I had so many people ask me ‘about that ghost story with the lesbians’ that I decided to make it much easier to find! So here it is: Godspeed.
The ghost of a pious woman has some unfinished business she needs to complete, and it’s up to two heathens – a grumpy necromancer and her jolly berserker wife – to help her.
Many thanks, as always, to Benevolent Ben, a wonderfully generous patron who prompted me to write this story as part of the rewards from my 2016 Kickstarter with, “How about something about a necromancer getting annoyed at having to resurrect her berserker girlfriend after her heroic and tragic death in every second battle?” It was such a wonderful prompt that it helped me write this whole novella! 🥰
It began with a thump.
I looked up from my laptop and around, surprised. It sounded like something heavy had fallen on my desk—a glass bottle falling sideways, or a heavy paperweight. Other than my laptop, though, there was nothing on my desk other than haphazardly strewn printouts of client accounts, a chewed-on pen and a stapler. For a moment I stared at the stapler, trying to decide if it could have made that noise somehow. Probably not. Perhaps I’d misheard the sound and it had come from outside, after all.
A few days later I was standing bleary-eyed at my kitchen counter at 7:10am pouring myself a coffee, when a carton of milk that was nowhere near my elbow flew backwards across my kitchen, hit the wall, and then spilt all over the floor.
Before I launch right in, let me just put one big fat disclaimer at the beginning of this monster of a rant: I am a huge Sylvanas stan. I have her statuette. I’ve written a bunch of stories about her. I am hugely inspired by her and I think she’s a really interesting character with an interesting backstory.
I can be both a Sylvanas stan and be interested about the introduction of Calia Menethil, and I’m here to explain why.
[TW for mention of suicide]
Following the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot, I wrote 700,000 words in one year. I was consumed by such love for the Lara Croft/Sam Nishimura ship, I lived in a perpetual writing coma. If I wasn’t writing, I was thinking about writing, or talking about writing, or gushing about how much I loved these two women and what I was going to write about them. I loved their dynamic, their story and everything about them. Even though they weren’t an ‘official’ couple, there was no doubt in my mind that they loved each other.
I’d lie awake in bed at night and imagine the type of adventures they’d have; I’d imagine silly things I could write about while I was driving to work during the day. They were my life, my soul, and I can hardly remember anything about that year that had nothing to do with them.
In the second half of 2013, riding high on the success of a popular 130,000 word slow-burn epic I’d written, I was planning my sequel, another monster story that ended up being 234,000 words long. I’d spent a month plotting what I thought was going to be a great story. I’d consulted folks from the culture I was writing about, I’d done all my archaeological research. As for the narrative, I’d been writing a sort of remix of a bunch of the older game stories into the new reboot, and I’d plotted what I thought was going to be an amazing homage to the original Tomb Raider.
My concept? I was going to transform new Lara Croft—the Lara who felt, and cried, and loved—into the old Lara Croft: someone stoic and unfeeling, someone who distanced herself from everyone around her and killed without remorse.
I was going to do it by killing her best friend and soulmate, Sam Nishimura.
Deepwood elves Eleni and Therese visit the annual fertility festival to choose fathers for their child-to-be.