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December 31, 2013
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Bookbinding Page66 by faile35 Bookbinding Page66 by faile35
The next page is here:… . For more information on the entire series, read the "'Demon's Due' Defined" journal entry here… or the "'Demon's Due' Plus" journal entry here… .

First, the narrative that I'm providing here is actually split into two parts, the first of which should have gone with Page65 but which I didn't provide last Spring. The second goes with this page.


Two days later at the Hall of Judgment, the Outer Courtyard is filled with forty-dozen armed and armored figures that shift and grumble their way into rough lines. The broken sunlight rebounds from a lake of roving stars over the dirt and cobblestones as hastily polished shield rims and spear tips lean and sway in the cool air. The nagging barks of sergeants carry over the walls and echo faintly throughout the building proper, filling the grounds with a cloud of unease that has outlived the evaporated morning dew. An array of curses punctuates the commands, drawing a net of confusion and subtle desperation over the assembly by its needlessness; the lines seem ever-determined to challenge the integrity of their shape, but for every shiver there is a quick self-correction and return to the strength and stillness that marks the soldiers' goal.

"It could be far worse," a voice speaks in an upper room overlooking the Outer Courtyard.


Luther ignores Captain Tarkin's comment, continuing his quiet stare out the window for several more slow breaths before speaking. "I think it was a mistake to sound the Muster," he says without turning from the glass. "I'm afraid we'll regret it."

Behind him, the Captain of Dernhem's City Guard shifts loudly in his seat. "Then we're even," the gruff voice sneers. "I think it was a mistake to give the Scholar leave to stay down there, guarded or not."

The chair creaks again. "Besides," Tarkin continues, "you'd reconsider your opinion about the Muster if you knew what I do."

"It's doubtful," said Luther Vandermoor. "The Regiment can't help in this. Not really. You've called together a group of conflict-eager lads and lackeys trained only to apply force to an already boiling kettle." He paused for effect. "They're likely to knock it over."

Tarkin snorts. "I didn't summon them to help in this. I brought them here to prepare them for what's bound to happen when the Heads of Drea Aliandis' family learn that their esteemed daughter has disappeared."


Enjoy! =)
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darknessence Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2014
I have only belatedly twigged to the possibility of an Aliandis army laying siege to Dernhelm. What a plot twist!

"Dah-dah-dah-Dum! Derhelm! A city under attack from without and within, in the path of an army of vengeful invaders, riven by internal discord, its undercity stalked by a shadowy menace preying mercilessly on its fairest maidens. Who will step in to save the day?"
"It's a job for LUTHERMAN!" (Or perhaps not, given his dubious track record) Would that make his enemy  Lex Super?

 Just think! Medieval siege weapons! Mangonels!Ballistas!Springalds! Onagers! Battering rams! My all-time favourite, the trebuchet ( I have a 1/8 scale model of one sitting on my coffee table)! Siege towers! Boiling oil! Bring it on!

 Just think of the possibilities. Just when Elina, alone and cornered by the latest incarnation of Mr. Evil, thinks her doom is upon her, a tunneling crew, working to undermine Dernhelm's walls, breaks through, causing a mountain of stone to crush the demonic meanie! What a way to save the day!

 ( In the interests of full disclosure, left-over champagne may have had a role in the composition of this comment. Happy New Year!)
Edmere Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2013
"You'd reconsider your opinion about the Muster if you knew what I do." What does Tarkin mean by that exactly?
darknessence Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2013
Captain:" Look, Luther, I know we don't see eye to eye......"

Luther: " Luther! Luther! I call you Captain, and you call me Luther! I don't get no respect aroun' here"

Captain:" I'm sorry, I didn't mean....."

Luther:" So, you call me Luther. LUTHER!"

 He fixes the Captain with an unhinged stare
Luther: Are you Tarkin to me?"
White-Feather Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2013

I think the hall of Judgment is overdue for it's appointment with the Window-washer's Guild, there's a bit of a smudge in upper right one there...;)

Jokes aside, I do like both the angle/details on this one here (and a change of setting for a couple of pages from the dark underground is a nice refresher to the fact that there is a world beyond the cellar), and the tension building in the narrative plot. Indeed, the city does seem to be in need of a little martial law until the Magistrate is found or a suitable substitute can fill in.

collared-by-faile Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2013
Well, I like the image here. Your new brick-drawing technique is great and quick, and you nailed the digital fixing as well. I (as usual) couldn't see where you were going with it at the halfway point, but it looks awesome.

I also love that both Tarkin and Luther have good points. It ups the tension when both sides do the right thing for good reasons and it still goes all to hell. :)
Mistersneaky Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2013
Luther:  "And if you tell me I'm "far too trusting" one more time, I swear I'm gonna pop you.  Seriously, how are you not tired of that yet?"

I like the architecture!  Kind of an early Romanesque feel to it.  I don't think I saw any flying buttresses on the previous page, at any rate...
Unpronouncable Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
tarkin? aw man, nothing good ever comes from guys named tarkin
Kajehase Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2013
Hmm... are those bricks dressed or are they naked stone?
Mad-Gav Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2013

My first thought (before reading the narrative) was, "Who is that ball-gagged figure at the top window?"



darknessence Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2013
And so it begins, again.......

I know I've probably said it before, but one of the things all of the eight women seem to share is a firm belief that their own particular talent, or skill, or innate capacity will be enough to overcome whatever  challenges may lie in store for them. That's an admirable quality, up to the  point where confidence becomes hubris, and then the universe, or some nearby demon, conspires to hand you your ass on a platter. You'd think that, after her close call, that Elina might be a little more cautious about remaining down in the Undercellar, but I think the seeming finality of her and Luther's victory over the zombies and the last gremlin has gone to her head, and to Luther's. I suspect that once again our hero Luther is going to facilitate the capture, stripping and binding of another beautiful woman. 

 I'd be a monstrous hypocrite if I didn't immediately add that I'm awfully glad he has, because I must confess to being mildly ticked that Elina  has managed to remain the one who got away. Not for long now, I suspect, and I am looking forward to the way her part of this chapter plays out, especially when I contemplate who, or what, could very well be the agent of her downfall. I suspect they'll be no shortage of rope when the time comes to bind her!

 That's not the only reason I'm excited by the return of Bookbinding. I'm certain that by the last page, we will have been provided with enough evidence to answer a lot of questions that I and so many others have. I absolutely cannot wait!! But I will....

 I'm not really the world's biggest fan of show tunes, but as I check out Luther staring out over the assembled hordes, I can't help wondering if he's singing softly to himself " And where are the clowns?/ There ought to be clowns/ Don't bother they're here"...
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