I is for—Ixchel
I think we can all probably agree that by this point in the narrative, no matter her dreamlike seductiveness earlier on, Dread Lady Ixchel has become very firmly a monster, both morally and visibly. This mostly has to do with the degeneration of her chosen vessel, poor Miss Adaluz, whose suicide and resurrection Rook oversaw in A Book of Tongues. Now she's looking for a replacement body, but just as Larry Cohen noted in his film Q: The Winged Serpent, Mexica faith-based magic has one very particular limitation—nine times out of ten, it requires a willing sacrifice. And trying to make someone “love” you enough to lay down their life “for” you so that you can possess their body after it's vacant is sometimes a little bit harder than it seems. Luckily for Ixchel—and unluckily, for everybody else—she always has a fall-back position.
J is for—Johnson (Andrew)
Who was President in 1867, exactly? Chances are, if I was actually American, this might not have proved such a goddamn stumper. As it is, if I had a dollar for every time I mistook Andrew Johnson (1986-1869) for Andrew Jackson (aka “Old Hickory”, 1829-1837) while writing and editing all three books, I'd have a nice little nest-egg. One way or the other, Johnson comes a little more directly into the narrative in A Tree—I vaguely discuss his failed impeachment, have him conferring with Allan Pinkerton via ectoplasmic avatar, and note that his admission of Nebraska to the Union makes him the sort of guy who might be okay with signing off on a new state, in theory. Given the timing, he seems like a President who'd understand that in a world where hexes can suddenly cooperate, matters hexalogical would really have to be put on the table from now on, along with whatever arcanistric measures could be raised to deal with them. (I also make him a bit of a racist, for which I apologize, especially if it wasn't true.)
Tomorrow: K and L!