satyr, drool you bastards, bosom

Chess and metaphysics

"But what are the gods for?" Ariel asked. "Pawn to queen four."

"What are you for?" said the Traveling God. "Knight to bishop five."

"You can't move your knight there," Ariel said. "My queen is there."


"And she'll kick your knight's butt. She trained on horseback for years, girl and woman. Besides, she has her posse around her. Look, both bishops and the king."

The Traveling God considered this. "She and my knight could pig in together," he suggested. "He could make himself useful in the laundry."

Ariel nodded regally and sank back into the cushions of the breakfast-nook sofa to ponder her next move. "I'm not drunk enough to answer your question," she said. "Assume I answered correctly, and carry on. Pawn to rook three."

"Then you have it," said the Traveling God benevolently as he moved her piece. "That's the same reason the gods exist. Love, your pawn is crowding my bishop abominably."

"She's always had a crush on him. Sees him as her first step on the ladder to becoming Pope Joan. She can work in the scribery, copying out his meeting agendas. But you didn't answer me."

"You didn't answer me. But you did have the correct answer. Rook to king two."

"What can a rook possibly want with my pawn? It's a castle. Do you practice being obtuse?"

"You of all people should know about architecture that feels human passions. It's looking for a swamp to fall over in, and wants to ask directions. No need to practice, I have it perfected."

Ariel glowered. "Queen to knight six, and take your knight with her."

The next morning, Quin shuffled downstairs and filled the kettle with water while he waited for Ariel to finish dawnsong. The chess board was set up in the breakfast nook, and all the pieces were laid out in double rows down the center, with a bishop standing at one end with an awkward black pawn. A white pawn stood at the other end beside a white knight. "Ariel, why are our chess pieces getting married?"

"They're romantic asexuals who wanted a commitment ceremony," Ariel said at a break in dawnsong. At the next break she said, "The other pieces didn't see why they shouldn't have a full state wedding. To start the Season on a high note. Quin, why do the gods say we exist?"
satyr, drool you bastards, bosom

Interim notes

As you might have noticed, Throbbing Pagan Sex God is a tad stalled.

That's partly because the plot starts to roll forward with a sequence called "Ariel's Big Adventure," but that section can't start until three other scenes are done. Those three scenes are undone because they're dead in my mind--I forgot what happens, or I know what happens but the characters just won't move any longer because the scene is stale. I've decided to stop waiting on the scenes. Below is a rundown of the important pieces of information each scene was supposed to convey. Read on if you like, or skip it if you don't want to be spoiled for when I finally unstick the scenes.

Collapse )

Right. The plan for the week is the first section of Ariel's adventure.
satyr, drool you bastards, bosom

Questions before circle

Everyone in the more laid-back of the local pagan groups is milling about getting ready for a ritual on Hannah and Sam's farm. Tension is in the air because Blackthorn has recently moved into the area and made a bid for power; no one knows whether he will choose tonight's ritual to start a witch war. He's not invited, but he's also not specifically disinvited, not yet. Meanwhile, Ariel is having religious troubles of several different flavors, mostly related to the fact that the gods have taken to visiting her house. She's also been having more organically grown doubts of her own for a while. She and Hannah, a much older woman who has been like a mother to her since she moved in 7 years ago, are standing on the hilltop watching the preparations below.

Collapse )