This was originally written for the Sword & Sorcery issue of S2B2, and then… became… delayed. Those who have survived the experience with me need enthusiastic thanking. Pride of place goes to Gogol, who read many, many versions of this, and politely indicated plotholes large enough to drive a truck through and places where there should be significantly fewer bears. Thanks also to Prodigy, who noticed that the opening was missing anything like an explanation of what was going on. Please, do not blame him if you feel that it is still missing that element. He really tried. And as always, thank you a thousand times to Sares, who I entirely betrayed by not making this (more) the immortal, semi-incestuous love story of Adiena and Evarda, banging on the corpses of all their enemies. And enormous, gold-plated thanks to both of the TWO people who agreed to illustrate this story, one of them twice-- the inimitable purlicue
, who helped design the look and characters of the story, and the incredible Ferx
, whose beautiful, beautiful art is on its pages. Everyone should high-five me, because I am, in fact, the luckiest.
The idea of a goddess of gates came from marinsco's fantastic interpretation
of a result from the deity generator meme.
Which I highly recommend. Arruén's quail preservation technique is real but for the life of me I can't find the recipe I used, so don't try that at home. Thanks to FFA for hashing out the color and material composition of Venadan's cadurrán set. Thank you, sincerely, to all the people online who have sexually experimented with olive oil, and could assess its functionality as lube.
To come up with the names for this fic, I had a lot of fun using Mark Rosenfelder's Sound Change Applier
. The source words are mostly Hebrew or Arabic, with a couple of obvious Greek borrowings, subjected to a system of sound changes modeled roughly on the ones Latin went through to become Spanish. Plus some lazy respelling to make everything look right. The language has regular penultimate stress. (Venadan's name really ought to be Vénadan, but it was visually distracting.)
Here's the (I'm sure very implausible) sound change rules, if you want to play around with them yourself: