Efe and Darius

He wards himself to dampen his sense of smell, struggles to speak when overwhelmed, corrects other people’s grammar and spends his life in the company of an infuriating eldritch entity. Darius Liviu isn’t quite suited for the adventurous life in an allistic world, but the universe pushes him onto the road of heroes.

He’s awkward, suspicious and stubborn when it comes to holding people at arm’s length, and his stories are slightly-more-serious fantastical escapades involving marketplaces, rose-covered walls and an uncategorisable king who wants to save the world and attempt the terrifying: an intimate relationship.

Patrons can also enjoy a selection of subscriber exclusives, including the novelette-length story The Morning After.

One: Certain Eldritch Artefacts

Cover image of “Certain Eldritch Artefacts” by K. A. Cook. Cover image shows a cartoony, stylised vector image scene of a market scene with hanging peppers and fabric above the text and rows of corked potion bottles sitting on a wooden counter display surrounded by vegetables and sacks. Title and author name are written in a dark brown handdrawn type.Newly-graduated, divergent magician Darius Liviu has scoured half the world in search of the rarest of rare magical artefacts: a tolerable talking sword. After a year of failure, one last rumour sees him risk Rajad’s chaotic, cluttered, terrifying Great Souk. The noise, the smells, the people and his inability to move without provoking disaster make everything difficult, but Darius dares the nightmare of chaos and conversations in hope of an item will draw the eye of the man he thinks he loves.

The sword he finds isn’t elegant. It isn’t tolerable. It has no intention of being gifted as a lover’s token. It is, however, set on destroying Darius’s acceptance that awkwardness and a life of misunderstandings is the best he can hope for.

Certain Eldritch Artefacts is a story about autism, adulthood and the reasons why one should never enchant inanimate objects…

Links: PDF (read in browser)Patreon | Smashwords | Gumroad

PDF, EPUB and MOBI editions are available for download from Patreon.

Length: 10, 588 words / 29 PDF pages.

Two: Love in the House of the Ravens

Cover image for Bones, Belts and Bewitchments: A Marchverse Collection by K. A. Cook. Cover shows the opening to an unlit cave in a face of grey rock, covered in parts by trailing branches, vines and leaves. Barren trees grow around the cave entrance and white and broken bones rest around and inside the opening. Title and author credit are written in a white, fantasy-style text.After seven years in Rajad, Darius has fallen out of love with the unattainable and failed to fall in love with the companionate. When the right person offers a romantic relationship and he doesn’t understand why yes won’t grace his tongue, the only thing an autistic man can do is ask the Ravens–and hope he can survive the word they give him in return.

Love in the House of the Ravens is a story about what it means to be aromantic and autistic when the world isn’t accepting of either.

Chapter Links: One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine | Ten | Eleven

PDF, EPUB and MOBI editions are available for subscribers on Patreon.

Length: 10, 436 words / 29 PDF pages.

Three: One Strange Man

Cover of One Strange Man: A Marchverse Short Story by K. A. Cook. Cover shows a wooden door, bolted shut, set into a stone wall, with dangling ivy and climbing roses obscuring the wall and part of the door. The ground in front of the door is brown earth and has a thin-bladed green bush growing in front of it. A glowing white marble sits on the earth by the base of one of the roses on the bottom left-hand side of cover. Text is written in a white, handdrawn, fantasy-style type.How can the want for another person make an intelligent man gift something so precious?

When Akash’s former lover refuses to return a family heirloom, Darius knows only one way to help his mate—even if it means ignoring several laws in the process. The magic he mastered in surviving the College and the mercenaries has surprising utility in the art of larceny, at least once he gets past the stomach-knotting anxiety. When Darius makes the mistake of asking Akash why, however, getting caught in a stranger’s third-floor bedroom seems like nothing compared to comprehending the mysteries of romance and friendship.

Contains: A trans, abrosexual, aromantic autistic breaking the rules for the friends he loves; a queer trans man and a pansexual, aromantic genderqueer in a QPR; and an acceptance borne from a midnight flight through the streets of Rajad.

Links: PDF, EPUB and MOBI editions are available for subscribers on Patreon.

Length: 7, 673 words / 22 PDF pages.

Four: The Adventurer King

Cover image for The Adventurer King by K. A. Cook. Cover features a red leather-bound journal sitting on a wood panel background, like that of a tabletop or floor, with the text sitting on top of the book image in a gold fantasy-style handdrawn type. Objects sit on top of the book cover: a blue pen with a gold nib dripping ink, a screwed-up piece of white paper, a cream scroll with a green seal, a cream and silver compass, and a piece of rope. A grey single-edged sword blade sits underneath the book, and black handdrawn type atop the blade reads "an efe and darius story". The images have a cartoony, vectory feel.Seven years ago, Darius Liviu met a talking sword belt in the Great Souk, an eldritch being who changed his life forever. In that time, he has learnt something of the sword, mastered strange magic and survived dangerous jobs, but while he has friends in Rajad, he still feels out of place—too divergent to be welcomed and accepted as mercenary and magician.

When an unexpected meeting with potential employers goes wrong, his first instinct is to flee. But a wandering monarch, Efe Kadri, has an offer that might provide the certainty for which Darius has been searching, if only he has the courage to say yes…

Links: PDF (read in browser) | Patreon | Smashwords

PDF, EPUB and MOBI editions are available for download from Patreon.

Length: 11, 322 words / 31 PDF pages.

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