Twenty-four Days of Ringworm and Religion: Day Twenty

Welcome to what is likely your first advent calendar fantasy novel!  Each day is a chapter, and should be read as such, but who am I to stop you from catching up? (This way to Day One!)  What follows is the story of one Marzipan Ridner, a young trans girl aching for the fulfillment of the holiday season.  When a mysterious wooden Advent calendar shows up she opens the first door, and finds herself whisked away to a world-tree of contrasting deities and binding bureaucracy.  She has less than a month to find someone willing to be her spiritual patron, but the denizens of the tree don’t seem very hospitable…

(reading time: 13 minutes)

On the Twentieth Day

The next day the snow fell even heavier, but only in patches. It wasn’t fresh, merely banks from the day before being disturbed and tumbling to branches below. Marzipan and Langcorn dodged the clumps as they fell, running through battened down saint streets winding through the boughs. Continue reading

Twenty-four Days of Ringworm and Religion: Day Nineteen

Welcome to what is likely your first advent calendar fantasy novel!  Each day is a chapter, and should be read as such, but who am I to stop you from catching up? (This way to Day One!)  What follows is the story of one Marzipan Ridner, a young trans girl aching for the fulfillment of the holiday season.  When a mysterious wooden Advent calendar shows up she opens the first door, and finds herself whisked away to a world-tree of contrasting deities and binding bureaucracy.  She has less than a month to find someone willing to be her spiritual patron, but the denizens of the tree don’t seem very hospitable…

(reading time: 10 minutes)

On the Nineteenth Day

The tree had been mostly green during their visits. They thought the blizzard they’d trudged through with Saint Defendens’s wolves was localized, either magically summoned and kept there or a storm that roamed between branches the way a hurricane might alligator crawl across a coast before dying. Continue reading

Twenty-four Days of Ringworm and Religion: Day Eighteen

Welcome to what is likely your first advent calendar fantasy novel!  Each day is a chapter, and should be read as such, but who am I to stop you from catching up? (This way to Day One!)  What follows is the story of one Marzipan Ridner, a young trans girl aching for the fulfillment of the holiday season.  When a mysterious wooden Advent calendar shows up she opens the first door, and finds herself whisked away to a world-tree of contrasting deities and binding bureaucracy.  She has less than a month to find someone willing to be her spiritual patron, but the denizens of the tree don’t seem very hospitable…

(reading time: 13 minutes)

On the Eighteenth Day

The saints and pagans alike breathed easy that day. Several of the more paranoid were poised to trick, assault, or threaten the visitors if they had to, but Marzipan and Langcorn never made it past the hall of Saint Perpetuus. Instead they simply stood in the middle of it, having some sort of argument, until they both left, but, curiously, it was through the same door this time. Continue reading

Twenty-four Days of Ringworm and Religion: Day Seventeen

Welcome to what is likely your first advent calendar fantasy novel!  Each day is a chapter, and should be read as such, but who am I to stop you from catching up? (This way to Day One!)  What follows is the story of one Marzipan Ridner, a young trans girl aching for the fulfillment of the holiday season.  When a mysterious wooden Advent calendar shows up she opens the first door, and finds herself whisked away to a world-tree of contrasting deities and binding bureaucracy.  She has less than a month to find someone willing to be her spiritual patron, but the denizens of the tree don’t seem very hospitable…

(reading time: 13 minutes)

On the Seventeenth Day

They were hoping to see some giant birds, as that was what one would assume lived inside a giant bird’s nest, but it had fallen out of use. The closest thing they could find were shards of speckled eggshell. It looked as if it should have been filled with cobwebs, but the pagan spiders of the tree probably had cozy little homes of their own, perhaps palm-sized cottages hanging from single threads like ornaments. Continue reading

Twenty-four Days of Ringworm and Religion: Day Sixteen

Welcome to what is likely your first advent calendar fantasy novel!  Each day is a chapter, and should be read as such, but who am I to stop you from catching up? (This way to Day One!)  What follows is the story of one Marzipan Ridner, a young trans girl aching for the fulfillment of the holiday season.  When a mysterious wooden Advent calendar shows up she opens the first door, and finds herself whisked away to a world-tree of contrasting deities and binding bureaucracy.  She has less than a month to find someone willing to be her spiritual patron, but the denizens of the tree don’t seem very hospitable…

(reading time: 16 minutes)

On the Sixteenth Day

A portion of the tree was dyed deeply red, making it visible from a great distance. Marzipan and Langcorn journeyed there to learn what caused it, finding the Diocese of Bloodletting, a magnificent stone building, the exterior of which was covered in large sluices that ran crimson with a seemingly endless flow of the Chrismon Tree’s blood. Continue reading

Twenty-four Days of Ringworm and Religion: Day Fifteen

Welcome to what is likely your first advent calendar fantasy novel!  Each day is a chapter, and should be read as such, but who am I to stop you from catching up? (This way to Day One!)  What follows is the story of one Marzipan Ridner, a young trans girl aching for the fulfillment of the holiday season.  When a mysterious wooden Advent calendar shows up she opens the first door, and finds herself whisked away to a world-tree of contrasting deities and binding bureaucracy.  She has less than a month to find someone willing to be her spiritual patron, but the denizens of the tree don’t seem very hospitable…

(reading time: 8 minutes)

On the Fifteenth Day

They never suspected the gruff and furry group of men would be such caring and precise craftsmen. It only took them an hour after Marzipan mentioned it was her birthday to throw together a party and tons of gifts. Even with hands that sometimes had as few as three fingers, with nails like pumice hooves, and breath shooting out of their goat and boar nostrils, they still assembled finely braided twig crowns, delicate drawstring fur pouches, and roasted mushroom caps cut into the shape of snowflakes to snack on. Continue reading

Twenty-four Days of Ringworm and Religion: Day Fourteen

Welcome to what is likely your first advent calendar fantasy novel!  Each day is a chapter, and should be read as such, but who am I to stop you from catching up? (This way to Day One!)  What follows is the story of one Marzipan Ridner, a young trans girl aching for the fulfillment of the holiday season.  When a mysterious wooden Advent calendar shows up she opens the first door, and finds herself whisked away to a world-tree of contrasting deities and binding bureaucracy.  She has less than a month to find someone willing to be her spiritual patron, but the denizens of the tree don’t seem very hospitable…

(reading time: 14 minutes)

On the Fourteenth Day

It had been eighteen hours since Saint Defendens of Thebes sent them out into the barely tamed wilderness that was his backyard. They should have been back by now. He paced back and forth behind his cabin, on the swept stone floor that protected the area around his forge and anvil from the driving snow. Continue reading

Twenty-four Days of Ringworm and Religion: Day Thirteen

Welcome to what is likely your first advent calendar fantasy novel!  Each day is a chapter, and should be read as such, but who am I to stop you from catching up? (This way to Day One!)  What follows is the story of one Marzipan Ridner, a young trans girl aching for the fulfillment of the holiday season.  When a mysterious wooden Advent calendar shows up she opens the first door, and finds herself whisked away to a world-tree of contrasting deities and binding bureaucracy.  She has less than a month to find someone willing to be her spiritual patron, but the denizens of the tree don’t seem very hospitable…

(reading time: 13 minutes)

On the Thirteenth Day

The centerpiece of the smugglers’ den was a tall stove of black iron with a bulbous base and clawed feet. Its top disappeared into the twisting tree roots of the low ceiling, but it must not have gone very far, given that curling fingers of smoke still slipped into view. The stove’s door hung open, waves of sweltering heat and orange glow filling the pocket of dirt. Continue reading

Twenty-four Days of Ringworm and Religion: Day Twelve

Welcome to what is likely your first advent calendar fantasy novel!  Each day is a chapter, and should be read as such, but who am I to stop you from catching up? (This way to Day One!)  What follows is the story of one Marzipan Ridner, a young trans girl aching for the fulfillment of the holiday season.  When a mysterious wooden Advent calendar shows up she opens the first door, and finds herself whisked away to a world-tree of contrasting deities and binding bureaucracy.  She has less than a month to find someone willing to be her spiritual patron, but the denizens of the tree don’t seem very hospitable…

(reading time: 16 minutes)

On the Twelfth Day

Saint Kentigern was a bust, a bully of a man who did nothing but taunt, thinking it excused because he did so on his knees in endless prayer. His floor had been covered in scuff marks from the pads on his knees he used in place of shoes. With no need for a high ceiling he had lowered it to the point of discomfort for anyone standing at their full height. This forced his visitors to bow just for the privilege of being insulted. Continue reading

Twenty-four Days of Ringworm and Religion: Day Eleven

Welcome to what is likely your first advent calendar fantasy novel!  Each day is a chapter, and should be read as such, but who am I to stop you from catching up? (This way to Day One!)  What follows is the story of one Marzipan Ridner, a young trans girl aching for the fulfillment of the holiday season.  When a mysterious wooden Advent calendar shows up she opens the first door, and finds herself whisked away to a world-tree of contrasting deities and binding bureaucracy.  She has less than a month to find someone willing to be her spiritual patron, but the denizens of the tree don’t seem very hospitable…

(reading time: 16 minutes)

On the Eleventh Day

The state fair was Heaven to Marzipan, and she still thought that after seeing several flavors of the real thing within the Chrismon Tree. She had only been once, and only because Mom was trying her hand at selling handmade greeting cards at a stall of her own. The little girl wandered about in a daze, watching cotton candy drift by, doughnuts sparkle like veins of diamond, and sausages dance on glistening rollers. Continue reading