Marchverse Side Stories

These are side stories, more like bonus scenes or character studies, about the characters of The Crew of Esher Hill, Efe and Darius, and The Unnatural Philosophy of Kit March, posted as extras for my website/Tumblr followers. This is a chance for me to post little (or maybe not-so-little) one-off pieces about various references and occurrences that don’t work as a full story.

Please know that these may not (and often won’t) stand well on their own as a first introduction to the wider Marchverse.

I started writing these as an exercise in not being quite so perfectionistic in how I work, so they’re not as polished as the other Marchverse pieces, but I hope you’ll enjoy these little detours anyway.

A Gift of Naming

Cover of A Gift of Naming by K. A. Cook. Cover shows cartoon-style tall-trunked trees growing on a green mountain slope with a high green canopy before a blue and grey clouded sky. Brushes and small green shrubs grow at the base of the trees in the foreground. Text is written in a white, handdrawn, fantasy-style type.A Gift of Naming takes place approximately a hundred years before Tes arrives at the College.

If one’s parents provide a shirt that tears when tugged over their child’s shoulders, isn’t it cruelty to force the wearing of it, however well-intended the gift?

Even in the best of circumstances, it’s no easy thing to tell the parent who named you that your name no longer fits.

Contains: A genderless gardener wishing for a name that better describes hir and the trans mother who knows that such gifts should never become obligations.

Links: PDF | EPUB | Web

Note: A stand-alone short story about a brand-new character.

Love Spells, Rainbows and Rosie

Cover of Love Spells, Rainbows and Rosie: A Marchverse Short Story by K. A. Cook. Cover shows a wooden door set into a wooden wall with a paper sign on the front reading Mara Hill, Witch. Stones, bones and feathers tied to string dangle over the top of the door, along with a creeping vine, and two potted plants sit on either side of a wooden doorstep--white daisies in a bag and orange roses in a brown pot. A straw broom rests propped against one side of the door and a piece of torn paper reading Absolutely No Love Spells sits on the step. Text is written in a white, handdrawn, fantasy-style type.Love Spells, Rainbows and Rosie takes place eighteen months after The Sorcerous Compendium of Postmortem Query, forty-three years before Tes arrives at the College.

Lovers’ Day is good trading for a witch who deals in enchantments, ribbons and dyed flowers. For Mara Hill, it’s long been a holiday of tedious assumptions and painful conversations–once best handled by casting petty curses on annoying customers. This year, when a girl asks about love spells, it may be time to instead channel a little Aunt Rosie.

Contains: A sapphic, allosexual, lithromantic trans witch enduring the most amatonormative holiday extant–in a small town still in want of open conversations about aromanticism.

Links: Web

Prequel works: The Sorcerous Compendium of Postmortem Query

Sequel works: Love is the Reckoning


Cover image for Ringbound by K. A. Cook. Cover shows an eight-pane window set into a cream brick wall above a stone and wood table or bench, with various items sitting on the table--candles in vases, bottles, a large shell, a white vase filled with flowers, two gold rings propped against the vase. The text is written in brown fantasy-style handdrawn type. Through the window, scrubby green trees and a blue-green sky is visible. The subtitle "a marchverse short story" is written in white handdrawn type.Ringbound takes place two years before Old Fashioned, three months before The Crew of Esher Hill, and forty-two years before Tes arrives at the College.

Kit can’t find anything unfair about the contract or the man, so why is the ring so heavy?

Kit March is a signature away from marrying the man who loves him. He should be delighted, but for reasons he doesn’t understand and can’t explain, his future with Lauri weighs upon him. What is a magician to do when no script extant has words for the confusion he feels?

Contains: A gay, transgender, aromantic autistic struggling with the difficulty of wedding the gay, cis man who loves him.

Links: PDF | EPUB | Web

Sequel works: The Crew of Esher Hill, Old Fashioned

The Skin Game

Cover of "The Skin Game: A Marchverse Short Story" by K. A. Cook. Cover features two filmy, gauze curtains hanging before a yellow and light brown decorative stone wall. A break in the curtains shows a wall-hanging featuring a spray of grasses, a bamboo-like plant and some rocks on a cream background, while another cream hanging with indistinct brown type hangs behind the left curtain. Two potted plants—striped leaves in a round cream pot and white fruit-blossom-style flowering twigs in a squared white pot—sit on the stone floor between the break in the curtains. Text is pictured in a dark brown fantasy-style type.The Skin Game takes place a couple of hours after One Strange Man and five days before The Adventurer King, seven years before Tes arrives at the College.

Yes or no, he can’t speak either.

Celebrating the retrieving of Akash’s necklace shouldn’t be a difficulty for Darius Liviu, but even in the company of friends who accept his aromanticism, he can’t avoid one unrelenting truth: sex is complicated.

Contains: A trans, abrosexual, aromantic autistic struggling with the expectations of intimacy; and a queer trans man and a pansexual, aromantic genderqueer willing to help him on the road to figuring it out.

Links: forthcoming

Prequel works: Certain Eldritch Artefacts, One Strange Man

Sequel works: The Adventurer King