Found Family. Argent Mettlebright has become an advocate for the rights of all crossers, offering them a safe haven at Stately House. But dragon crossers command a special place in his regard, largely thanks to Kyrie.
. . .
Every child of the Rogue, no matter how wretched the circumstances of their begetting, was a precious life. Yet they’d been born bereft. Orphaned. Unwanted. Exploited. Tsumiko wanted them. And now that Kyrie knew, he was urgently, tenaciously insistent. The boy could not, would not leave them be. They were his kindred. No, Kyrie counted them even dearer. He wanted Argent to find his brothers and sisters. And to bring them home.
Pimiko and the Uncharted Island
. . .
Keeping the full illustration under wraps, since I know some of you haven’t been able to finish Bk6 … and I do have an unholy dread of spoilers. But I did want to announce that this art (and an original story snippet) will be featured on December’s Quarterly Art Card for my patrons. More about my Patreon on this page >>
The Adorning of Dragons. Stately House has become a peaceful retreat for those Argent trusts and respects. Lord Mossberne is one of the fortunate few, and he has long-since made himself at home.
“Mani-Pedi” | art by FoxOfTwilight
Although it’s only been hints here and there, it’s clear that those who call Stately House home love Lapis. He’s there as often as he can be. Throughout Book 4, Kyrie recalls Lapis often and fondly, since the dragon lord has been mentoring him almost since birth. Lilya is similarly attached.
Lilya had always considered Lapis part of her family. His face had been bending into view since her cradle days, because he doted on Kyrie. But Lapis was too kind to part her from the brother she adored. He had two arms, and so he would carry them both away. Some of her earliest memories involved midnight blue hair, trilling lullabies, and reaching for sparkling baubles that seemed to be singing. Lapis came to Stately House more than any of the other members of the Amaranthine Council, and she was sure that in his heart, their home was his home.
Mikoto and the Reaver Village (Amaranthine Saga, #4)
Isla Ward is similarly close to Lapis, though their relationship has taken a turn toward the professional. Since she’s Hisoka-sensei’s apprentice and a diplomat in her own right, she works closely with everyone on the Amaranthine Council. But Lapis is practically family. Indeed, in Bk4, Lilya refers to him as “Uncle Lapis.”
Little Ladies. Back when I posted “Naproom,” art that features Michael reading bedtime stories to Lilya & a bunch of boys, someone asked if there were no female crossers at Stately House. There are! Fox and I had already been plotting a companion piece of sorts, with Ginkgo in the garden.
“Garden Girls” | art by FoxOfTwilight
. . .
From left to right: Be’el-garva, Ginkgo, Tawny, Mei, and Kyrie. Plus assorted kittens and Ephemera. (Who else has begun playing spot-the-nippet in Fox’s art?) Yes, Tawny is part lynx. And Mei’s Amaranthine parent is from one of the cozy clans. A chipmunk!
Tawny’s arrival at Stately House can be found in Lord Mettlebright’s Man, Ch55:
Argent appeared suddenly, as if he’d been leaning against the door this whole time. He relieved Adoona-soh of a tawny-tailed toddler who hissed and bared tiny fangs. “Desist,” he chided. Like that would help. She went limp. Touché.
Most of the time, the girls are mentioned alongside the boys, like in LMM, Ch83:
Gilen with his banded tail. Tawny, the little feline with a big hiss. Raife of the unfortunate hair. Mori, whose eyes were far too old. Mei, who clung to Mori and called him brother. But where had Nonny gone?
But they’re sometimes singled out for special attention, like in LMM, Ch155:
Sansa and Isla paddled in the shallows, giving Annika and Mei a swimming lesson. How they’d pried Mei from Mori’s side was a mystery. Tsumiko sat close enough to the water that waves swished around her and a skittish Tawny. Poor kitten.
And naturally, when Kyrie & Lilya are reminiscing about home in Bk4, its their foster siblings they miss:
She could almost see Gilen’s banded tail disappearing high above, with Tawny in close pursuit. And hear Mori’s stern voice reminding everyone to stay with their buddy. Right now, she even missed Nonny, who was a terror and a tease with everyone except Uncle Jackie. Kyrie stopped inspecting a cluster of mushrooms growing up the side of a tree like stairsteps to say, “Jarrah would call for a climbing contest.” So true. She said, “Finnick would have lost his shoes by now.” “Disa would beg to be carried.” “And Raife would give in first.” Lilya tightened her grip. “I wish we could have brought everyone.” With a wistful smile, Kyrie said, “We miss them because we love them. They are a part of us. Our family.”
Our little cobra-crosser is Be’el-garva, who also received a mention in Bk4. (She hasn’t yet arrived at Stately House in the current timeline of LMM.)
Mother asked him to be gentle and kind and patient. Give newcomers a chance to see past the red eyes and horns and scales, to see how much his other denmates liked and trusted him. And mother was wise, because that’s how it always worked out. Even the worst crybaby—which was Be’el-garva, a little half-cobra—would trail after Kyrie, wanting to hold hands.
Look forward to daily chapters of Lord Mettlebright’s Man in June. (It’s become a Pride Month tradition.)
Michael and the Crossers. Thank you to everyone who participated in the recent poll over on Patreon. Fully half of you (51% to be exact) asked to see our “halfers” next. Most of Stately House’s crossers are known by name thanks to Lord Mettlebright’s Man. Of all of my options, I chose Nonny, Gilen, and Jarrah in large part because they’ve had the most mentions & screentime. Jacques mentions Jarrah in Bk3: Tamiko and the Two Janitors, trying to pawn off the little hellion on Kip, and all three of these boys had their moment in Cross and Crosser (that IY x Amaranthine Saga crossover I wrote for my fanniversary last September), which I’ve excerpted below.
Happy Dichotomy Day! One thing people keep asking me for is MOAR moments with Argent & Tsumiko. While I can’t deliver those in books set away from Stately House, I can treat you in other ways. Like so…
“Silver Bells” | art by FoxOfTwilight
For the record, 1) The jingle jammies were totally a gift from Lapis, and 2) Fox and I seem to have kicked off a whole series of cozy pajama pics. Expect more relaxed, at-home moments with more members of the cast in the near future! ::twinkle::
Safe Place. Argent allows his sons to attend the summer courses at Wardenclave, which is arguably one of the safest places on earth. Which allows Kyrie to meet Mikoto, newly appointed headman of this historic village. “It is my honor to welcome you on behalf of Wardenclave. May the coming season find you stronger for your efforts and richer for the bonds we will share.”
“Barefoot Boys” | art by FoxOfTwilight
• • •
Sitting on the edge of the mattress, Mikoto was nearly the same height as the boy, who was compelling at close range. His fingers twitched, but he recalled himself and lowered his gaze.
“Curiosity can be a compliment.” Kyrie carefully picked up Mikoto’s hand and brought it to his face. “Some people need to touch me to be sure I am real.”
The boy smiled. “Touch is part of familiarization. And I find it reassuring.”
“I do. Because you are neither afraid of nor disgusted by me.”
What a thing to suggest.
“Not everyone finds the marks of my heritage beautiful.”
That remark was even more telling than the last.
The boy could see right through him. Had weighed Mikoto in a balance and somehow found him worthy. But Kyrie was also baring something vulnerable. People feared this gentle child? Flinched away or thought him ugly? Mikoto felt a surge of indignation, of protectiveness.
Kyrie shuffled closer. “We are becoming friends …?”
“We are friends.” Mikoto pulled him into an embrace. “And not simply because you are beautiful.”
—Mikoto and the Reaver Village Amaranthine Saga, #4
A Little Latin. We put the school motto for Saint Midori of the Heavenly Lights on a T-shirt. It’s that Latin phrase that inspired Kyrie’s name. And it’s in the Twinkle Press Threadless shop. Over Here >>
Do you have suggestions to future products? We have a bunch of ideas, but I’m betting you do, too. ::twinkle::
He Needed a Name. Questions related to Kyrie have come up from three or four different people this week. That’s FAQ levels of inquiry, so I thought I’d do a blog post. Who knows, maybe you’ve been wondering about this, too. ::twinkle::
• • •
They would give them a home and teach them how to be the best of all worlds. Starting with this little one, who needed them as much as he needed a name. An idea sparked, and Tsumiko started along the path again, aiming for the central courtyard. “I want to show you something.”
A stone archway spanned the broad entrance, and words were chiseled deep into the stone. Argent scanned the Latin and translated, “God Have Mercy.”
“Yes. Kyrie eleison … my favorite song and the school’s motto. I thought Kyrie might make a good name for a child who needed mercy and found it.”
“Kyrie,” he said, testing the syllables.
—Tsumiko and the Enslaved Fox (Amaranthine Saga, #1)
• • •
Pronunciation. Kyrie’s name is properly pronounced with three syllables (KEE-ree-yay), which is the Latin word for “lord.” You can check out YouTube, where abundant recordings of Tsumiko’s favorite song are available. But since I’m ever and always a fangirl and Death Note‘s OST is memorable for its sonorous Latin choruses, I’ll link you there – Death Note Kyrie, Kyrie II And Kyrie Orchestra.
Origination. Some of you kindly flagged the above scene in order to correct my reference to Latin, pointing out that kyrie eleison is Greek. You are not wrong. But neither am I. (And this is where I start to sound like a total nerd, but not a defensive one. Because this stuff is really cool, but can be a little confusing.) Continue reading →