I started to title this post, “An Introduction to the Sword-Bearers of Palmers Rest,” and then had to slap myself in the head because, you know, I did finally graduate from college and I don’t have to do term papers anymore. Now, I do work as a journalist for the Times-Picayune in Chapel Hill, so in actuality I do much worse than term papers daily. Growing up is realizing, if you write for a living, that deeply researched term papers are only the kiddie pool.
Uh, enough about that. Story. You guys want a story about the weird that goes on in Palmers Rest.
Dudes! I wrote books about this stuff! Start with Sorrows’ Master.
Questions from the Preternatural Community
But here, mainly, I wanted to splash around in this bigger pool and let you guys on Mage Net know about the new preternatural sheriff in town, since we’re getting many, many questions that just repeat themselves. That, and the vampires amongst you tend to email us at 4 a.m. and want an answer toute de suite. Yikes, no way. Sorry. Posting this is way better.
We get questions like, “What the heck is a sword-bearer, and why is that a big deal?”
Like, “What’s his territory? Do I owe yet MORE tithes or protection money?”
Like, “If he’s the new sheriff…how is he better than the Council of Nine or the flipping vampire masters in our town?
Like, “So there finally IS a new sword-bearer, huh? Is this kid going to be effective? We heard he was some kind of [your choice of derogatory term here].”
Like, “Is he a mage? The last-sword-bearer-but-one was. Are they ALL mages?”
- Either the answer to your prayers or your worst nightmare. Tell me if that’s a big deal.
- Traditionally, as far as he can travel in a day, so that at least gets us the East Coast. Or just Palmers Rest. As for tithes, no. But if you want a boon, now, that’s a different story.
- No mandatory subservience for mages. No blood donations. And he does great parties.
- Yes, there was a hiatus for Sorrows. Alexander is a Southern gentleman, born and bred, but he’s no pushover. However, unlike most Southern gentlemen, his sexual preference is Yes, Thank You Very Much. When he has to, he hits like an Armored Personnel Carrier and takes damage like one. Don’t forget the big freaking sword. He’s the real deal.
- No. He’s worse than a mage. We’ll get to that eventually.
Stuff like those questions.
Polite Guy with a Big Effing Sword
For those who are wondering, the “preternatural sheriff” I mentioned is the new sword-bearer. We didn’t know, at first, that that is what a sword-bearer does in the preternatural community. He keeps things from going totally nutso. Oh, correction: He’s not a cop. There are no rules or laws he enforces, except the basic “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.” Or something like that.
Boons: For the Usual Price, he’ll grant a boon. Or you can hire him and his soldiers if he approves of what you’re trying to accomplish. More about that later, too.
Not all the sword-bearers have been as truly kind and downright good as the new guy. Most folks would not call the sword-bearers or their Covens moral, but they do have standards. Each one makes up his own mind on what those might be.
And Alex does know what to do with all the forks and knives at a formal table. Dude’s polite, get over it. He can still hit.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start some introductions, so you don’t get lost right off the bat.
Where am I writing from? Well, I live in Palmers Rest, North Carolina, which is a small town at the western edge of the Triangle Area in North Carolina, a bit west of Cary and Raleigh, and south of Chapel Hill and Durham. That’s in the United States, guys. The year is 2014. OK? Situated? Good.
I’m Trent Broyhill, or as they call me at home, the Apprentice Evil Queen, or AEQ, if you like acronyms. I’m one of the seven originals in the Coven, not including the sword-bearer, my dear Alexander Malcolm Gotth.
Why a Coven?
We are neither witches nor Wiccan. Calling our bunch a “Coven” is sort of a in-joke that the sword-bearer and his mates took up sometime around 1600. If Christians then knew about the sword-bearer and his goddess—the Trinity, a god in many bodies—they tended to think he was the very Devil, and we his circle of worshipers. Mistakenly, they think he’s in charge, the miserable sexists, but you know, 1600s.
He’s not in charge. SHE is. He serves his goddess and his family. He protects the town and the humans in it. Kind of keeps an eye on things. Accepts gifts on behalf of the goddess on the cross-quarter days. Grants boons. Goes medieval on the collective butts of they who threaten.
Of what are they gods? Back around the time the Egyptian dynasties were getting started, Sorrows made the crops grow, the children be born strong, and the animals and plants nice and healthy. The Trinity is a fertility god–with a sword. And we’ve been living right under your noses all this time.
Was that a good start? When you read the first book, let me know what you think.
Let the questioning begin. Please, no spell-bombs.
PS – That’s Alex in the image, wearing the famous “Pooky” face of utter confusion. Which is how he felt for the first month he was…uh, I’m going to save that. *evil smile*