Stories from the Dubh Linn

Last night I finished off the last of the stories for the next Thaumatology anthology, Tales from the Dubh Linn. So I thought I would share them with you. I’m not sure how I’ll order them yet, but this is what you’ll be getting:

A Night on the Town: Four friends on a night out in London end up visiting the Dubh Linn, a notorious pub in London frequented by the darker side of supernatural society.

After Twilight: A teenager with a taste for vampire romance story finds herself falling in love with a teenage vampire who has just started at her school. Will the course of vampire romance run true?

Changeling: A farmer in Wales becomes convinced that his wife has been replaced by a fae changeling.

Hunt: A young couple spend Halloween night in a tent in Windsor Great Park while overhead they can hear a sound like geese calling. They are in for a very wild night.

Succubus: When Wendy discovers that her husband has been cheating on her, she summons a succubus for revenge and gets more than she bargained for.

The Body Trade: When a reporter begins investigating human trafficking into London she enters a far more dangerous world than she could ever have been imagined.

For those who have previously read the series, these are largely standalone stories, but you will be seeing some characters who have turned up before. John Radcliffe and Kate Middleshaw turn up more than once, and we’ll even be seeing Hughes and Croft, the Welsh detectives from Disturbia. You’ll also become better acquainted with Belvedere, the decadent Sidhe from the same book, and there is one more, secret, guest star from the main series.

As a side note, when Hammer of Witches comes out, it will have a bonus short story along with it. Housemates tells the story of how Ceri and Lily first met.

Fairies, Boggarts, Sidhe… Oh my!

A lot of people blame the Victorians for turning the noble Fae into Tinkerbell, but actually it was magic. Fae need magic to live. They metabolise it, absorbing negative thaumatons and, as a side effect, emitting positive ones. At the core of every fae is a reserve of magical energy which keeps them alive and gives them their power, and the bigger the fae, the more magic it needs to keep going. Before the Shattering, the bigger could just about survive on Earth, but they were weak, powerless, and not very happy. So they tended to stick to their Otherworld, a far more magical reality.

So, back in the Victorian period, the most common types of fae anyone would see were fairies and sprites. Physically the two are identical, roughly four inches in height with wings like feathery butterfly wings. They come in various colours, though sprites tend to be more pallid than fairies. The main difference is attitude, sprites are far more callous, and the innate ability sprites have to fire magical, toxic darts from their hands. Fairies and sprites are both able to turn invisible and lift things via a magical form of telekinesis.

After the Shattering the larger fae returned, the Sidhe. Human-sized, they are almost universally either fantastically beautiful or hideously ugly, though you might not know since they all appear exactly how they want to appear through their use of Glamours. Highly magical, they are often skilled magicians who use magic intuitively. They are not common in Britain, but they rule areas of France and Germany, and the whole of Ireland. Indeed, the Sidhe are responsible for the dissolution of the United Kingdom and its return to its former title of Great Britain; during the Shattering the British government backed entirely out of their neighbouring island as the Sidhe took over.

The fae are divided into two cultures or factions: the Seelie and the Unseelie. There are a few independents, but most of them fall into the two types. Generally, Seelie are good and Unseelie are not, but it would be better to say that all of them are capricious and uncaring, and the Seelie can be malicious about it. They don’t like technology, they’re allergic to silver-iron, and they think humans are annoying monkeys who use both.

If you happen to meet a fae, just remember one thing: don’t make deals because the fae have been doing it a lot longer than you, and they always stick to the letter. Beware a Sidhe baring gifts!