There was a crooked house and it was full of crooked people. Some of them were really screwed up but all of them were pretty good at at least one thing to make up for it. Sort of. Some of them could do magic, which was interesting, but not nearly as helpful as you’d think. Some of them hated each other and some of them liked each other and some of them kept to themselves, but they tried to make it work because the rent was cheap and they had nowhere else to go. Sometimes they would even all try to do something together, like make cookies or go to the theater or help a hurt person. It usually got pretty weird when they did that, but they were doing their best. Sometimes it was funny and sometimes it was sad and sometimes both at once. There was a lot of screaming in the house and sometimes breaking of things and explosions, but not a lot of meanness. They really were doing their best.
The Story So Far…
(Here’s a little mood music, folks.)
One afternoon in late summer, an injured Erik was rushed home by his Uncle Mordecai, minus one eye and a certain amount of gray matter. Mordecai also managed to set off a city-wide riot by blowing up his violon-cello with an application of magic at two young men who were helpfully kicking injured Erik. (Erik and Mordecai are members of a fantastical minority race, being a green person and a red person respectively. So it is okay, or at least not as bad, to kick them if they are hurt and dying.) Back at the house, Hyacinth was able to repair Erik with metal, but she had to use what she had right there, which wasn’t a lot, owing to circumstances beyond her control. Erik has an eye socket and part of his head made of an alloy of antimony, copper and tin, and Milo and Hyacinth have made him a new eye out of metal, which he is still getting used to. He is much improved and remembers everyone almost all of the time now, but he still has some trouble with words.
He is also having some trouble with gods. He is able to see them walking around and hear them talking when he has his metal eye in. For his own safety, he is trying to ignore them, because sometimes they don’t like being observed and they are capable of harming him. They also tell him things, but this appear to be a voluntary interaction on their part. Sometimes when he is thinking of something, they just interject a little more information on the subject, things he couldn’t know on his own.
It is evident from backstory that his mother and his Uncle had some dealings with gods. The gods ride people of Erik’s particular race, but they don’t seem to be very nice about it. Mordecai is very anxious that Erik not have any dealings with gods, but there doesn’t seem to be anything he can do to prevent that. He is not aware that Erik can see the Invisibles, Hyacinth and Erik both considering it better for his tenuous mental health that he not be told.
Hyacinth is a blonde lady who could probably do with a good deep-conditioning treatment. She knows how to fix people with metal. She has a steel plate in her head patching an injury that was attained at the age of twelve. While she was healing, she displayed an anger and lack of tact that made her parents desire to have her committed to an asylum. Instead, they sent her to live with the man who patched her head injury, David Valentine. Hyacinth lived with David and (off and on) Barnaby from that point onwards. David had a lot of money and a serious mood disorder – he liked to scream a lot and threaten suicide and he occasionally wore fabulous dresses. Barnaby was not a whole hell of a lot more competent, honestly, but he was a bit more stable.
Barnaby currently occupies the attic space in Hyacinth’s house. Having lost contact with him, she found him sometime after the war, screaming at people on a street-corner, and she brought him home. He is a former state augur whose ability to see the future has gotten a bit out of hand in his old age. He experiences his existence as being surrounded by signs, all of which have blaring information and most of which are irrelevant. He breaks things and rearranges them in a desperate attempt to alter the unfavorable circumstances he sees, or at least to get the signs to shut up about them. He finds chaos upsetting and prefers to keep to his room, which he has papered with various collages relating to past and future events and can rearrange at his own discretion.
Maggie is a little girl with braids who is about two and a half years older than Erik and a crap-ton more resilient. She is learning to turn into a bird. Her mother is the General, a severe woman who turns into a glorious golden eagle. Every Pension Day, the General goes to collect her cheque, and to be alternately fawned over and screamed at by her fellow retired soldiers. Her own retirement and surrender were not willing, and she was sent home with incorrect records which state she never achieved a rank higher than Master Sergeant. Every month, she sets her pension cheque on fire as a form of protest. Maggie’s father is Sanaam. He is a sailor and a hilarious person. He visited in early winter and was badly shaken by what happened to Erik in his absence. He knows a lot about monsters. Maggie inherited his sense of humor and her mother’s magical skill. This is a dangerous combination.
Milo is a young man with glasses and long red hair that he wear braided and tucked down the back of his shirt. He has a gift for enchantments and mechanical design and helped Hyacinth to build Erik’s metal eye. He does not talk. Social situations appear to scramble his ability to do words entirely, as well as other things. He does pre-printed cards for himself and he draws things. He also puts on dresses and turns into a completely different person. That person is Ann. Ann does not have any trouble talking. She does shopping for the house and sings in a drag club. Milo builds things in the basement and works in a factory.
Mordecai has recently been taken ill with double pneumonia. He has weak lungs that Hyacinth repaired with metal, and they do not work very well. He frequently becomes ill in cold weather, but he has not been this sick in a long time, possibly ever. Hyacinth cannot take him to the hospital, as he is obviously capable of magic and he is running a high fever – the hospital would refuse him on the presumption that he might do some serious damage, even though he is not capable of such. She has put him in the kitchen where it is warmer and she is trying to take care of him herself. Erik is incredibly concerned and a familiar Invisible voice has suggested he might want to call a god to help…
How to Read…
Ideally, at this point, from the beginning. You should definitely read the Pilot first, because it has the house and all the main characters described. That is going to get pushed down the queue and become increasingly hard to find, so I will leave the first part here:
Click forward from there. You can navigate from the bottom of the posts. The panels on the front page, for some reason, creep out of order after the first row, so the links at the bottom of the posts are your best way to get things in order.
Now, I’m trying to tag posts with the characters they focus on, so if you particularly like (or loathe) a character, you might be able to skip around that way, but it could get confusing. I will admit, I do not write things chronologically, but I try to correct them and post them that way, and I intend them to be read that way, so your mileage may vary if you just read randomly.
WordPress seems to do a thing were it decides what posts are related and recommends them, also at the bottom of the posts. You can try reading, or reviewing, this way, too. I have no idea what criteria go into these selections or how relevant they will be so your mileage may vary even more that way.
As we get more posts and more plotlines, I will make an archive page where I organize posts by plotline, but there is not enough going on yet to make that really worthwhile.
For more information on setting and mechanics, I direct you to the About page.
We now have a Wiki page, which is slowly under construction. Look there for character pages and more detailed information.