Priscilla Araneus was pruning one of the rose bushes, her hands deftly cutting a blossom from the stem. Her long caramel colored hair cascaded down her back in fine ringlets, shining in the moonlight.
She lifted up the rose, inspecting it. Even from this angle, I could tell she was smiling. She truly did make a gorgeous woman, almost like a rose herself. She was tall and lithe, her skin the color of chocolate, and just enough curves to be able to show them off.
And show them off she did. Even in the garden she was dressed in a yellow sundress of fine silk. A slit rose up from the hem, showing a fine expanse of thigh. Thin straps and a low neckline did little to conceal the rest of her figure. A red rose was tucked behind one ear.
She turned around to face me, her full, strawberry colored lips curled up in that teasing way that always caught a man’s attention.
And her eyes reflected green in the moonlight, reminding me why ancient man felt so inspired to discover fire.
Of all the worlds in the Aether, Nidia is one of its most terrible. Located deep in Africa, it is a world built on fear and deception, on control and submission. Their ruling class, the Nidian spider people, hold a tight grip on the lower classes. Many a people have been hunted to extinction by the Nidians in their constant hunger for blood. The Guild has only ever been on the boundaries of this world, gathering their spider webs to be processed into the finest silk the world has ever seen, and it has always been known as a high risk, high reward local.
One of the great things about the Aether as a literary device is, literally, I can make the setting of these worlds whatever I wish. Nidia was actually inspired by two events: finding a black widow in our couch when we were moving into our house (I didn’t sit on it for a month) and a giant garden spider that camped out in our backyard for a summer (who my wife named Priscilla).
Priscilla is one of the few friends Virgil has left, a refugee from that world. While she is one of his closest allies, she is still a Nidian. Their concept on morality, on how the world works, is completely alien to humanity. They live for the strongest, the destruction of the weak, the proper display of power in the form of intrigue and warfare. For a Nidian, it is more disrespectful to not betray and murder than to seek peace.
Nidia played a big role in Virgil’s past, though I’ll leave the specifics to be found in the book. If you are interested in find out more about Priscilla, or want to see more about Nidia and what might happen when you let the Aether get to close to your mind, head on over to Amazon and buy Sorcerer Rising.