Welcome to the site!

Hello everyone and welcome to my new site! I’ll be posting writing updates and miscellaneous things here, as well as on my Tumblr Blog. The site’s still in progress, but I hope you’ll like it. At first, a lot of the content here will have already been on my blog but I’m going to add new stuff too as time goes on. You can also contact me through the site quite easily if you ever need to.

I hope you’ll like the site as I continue to develop it, and I’d like to thank you for taking an interest in my work.

– Haredrier

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Death by Misadventure Chapter 0

Everything dies. Where the thread of life is threaded and spun, something must cut it and carry it away. Death is everywhere, from the smallest insect’s lifespan to the oldest tortoise. He didn’t know when he began to consider himself a “he” rather than an “it”, or even when he had begun to consider himself at all. That was probably part of the problem.

Everything had a death, even the stars in the sky. Death was an aspect of life, an ending to it. Death was not stupid in much the same way that the wind and stars were not stupid. It did not think in the same way other creatures did. As a matter of fact, it generally didn’t think at all. It mostly just was.

A swallow does not think of its migration, nor does a spider wonder how it should weave its web. It simply does. It cannot be smart or stupid because it does not think. Death for most is the same way. It does not need to be told when someone’s life is over, it just knows it. Even if it tried to perform its task too early, it would be unable to, as life’s grasp still held fast.

 

It had been 500 years, and Arthur’s death wondered. As unusual as this was, it could not ignore the question staring it in the face. Why? It had observed, life, as it should. It had seen countless other beings die, humans too. Even trees, which it had understood as being things that can outlive men by many years, has shriveled up and died, eventually succumbing to time’s cruel effects. And he was still here. It felt something was off, in an instinctive way. The very fiber of his hypothetical existence felt wrong. How? Another question. And since death had nothing better to do, it pondered.

It had been 750 years, and by this point he knew something was definitely wrong. He considered himself now, unique. Somehow unaffected by time’s effects after a certain point so long ago, Arthur had continued to be. He was no longer like the things that lurked behind every living thing, which seemed ephemeral to him at this point. They felt it too; he was one of them but not like them. He was sitting on a pile of hay in a peaceful barn in Arthur’s village when he wondered when he had first been able to sit, to interact with the world instead of lurking behind it like a massive stage prop. He picked up a handful of straw, pondering how it felt in his hand. More importantly, he wondered how he could feel and have a hand to feel things with. He decided that straw was ultimately quite itchy, but he didn’t mind. Since that day he found himself returning there every now and again, when the haystack was tall and he felt like indulging himself with feeling.

He began to pay closer attention to his surroundings- He was no longer merely an observer- he might just be able to take part in this aspect of life. It felt odd to consider at first, unnatural. But he figured that if he was able to do so, he might as well. After all, it was life’s fault for stubbornly holding on to Arthur for so long. It’s only fair if he gets to meddle a bit. There was something else new, that he’d picked up from people- Fairness. Before he never considered the possibility that he could have injustices occurred against him. That was something that happened to other people- real people. Was he a person now? He considered the definition. He could think and feel like they could, but he wasn’t exactly one of them. Not in the strictest sense. For one, they couldn’t see him. This was nothing new for him, but from what he’d seen they generally interacted quite a bit with each other, and therefore could see each other. No, he wasn’t human. Not yet, anyways.

Out of sheer curiosity, he began to see how far he could go from Arthur’s side. Early in his existence, he’d stayed right by Arthur’s side- at least for the first several hundred years or so. It was what everyone else seemed to do, or everyone’s deaths at least. Always looming over them, waiting to take action at a moment’s notice. Over the years, the looming had slowly decreased, and he had drifted further away from Arthur. It had felt like he was constantly waiting for something that would never come, and so he had relaxed a little. He’d focused less and less on Arthur and more on the world around them. Maybe that was when he’d began to think; real thinking. Pondering too, and maybe some considering and supposing thrown in there as well. Humans seemed to use so many words to say the same thing; that was another thing he hadn’t noticed before. He should probably learn how humans talk, if he was going to stick around. After all, he had nothing better to do.

 

It had been almost 900 years now, and he’d taken a liking to the inn in town. He had no concept of décor or coziness, but he liked travellers. More importantly, he liked hearing their tales of faraway lands and adventures that Arthur had never even dreamed of visiting or being a part of. It offered him some escapism, a means to take his mind off of pondering and putting it to work imagining instead. He tended to stay in the corner of the room, lurking in the shadows and keeping quiet. He could swear he saw himself in the corner of someone’s eye on multiple occasions, and he figured it was better to be safe than sorry. After all, he still hadn’t gotten the hang of talking. Not that he had anyone to really practice with.

So he’d sit and listen to wild tales, allowing himself to feel the warmth of the fireplace while listening in to the travellers who’d stopped for a night and warm meal. Some spoke of dark lands and armies gathering, or sunny lands filled with strange creatures and men with different skin. Some would tell tales of wild rides, mercenaries and assassins, hidden treasures and magic. This magic seemed interesting as well- something not a true part of the world but was at the same time always there in a sense. It reminded him of himself, and he began to think about it. A lot. One fateful day, another traveller came into the inn. He was different from the others- he was scrawnier, and proclaimed himself to be a wizard. He even agreed when the other people at the bar asked for a show of magic. The dark figure in the corner drew subtly closer to watch the spectacle. It was like nothing he’d seen before. It was bright and colorful and simple and something else altogether. He saw the man create a rabbit with a puff of smoke, and gave it to the innkeeper to make a stew of. At the end of it, he kissed his cup and turned it into gold, before buying everyone a round of drinks. After all the cheering and celebrating was over, the man went upstairs to his room for the night. Without thinking about it, Arthur’s death followed him up. The man did not notice him slip into the room as he stumbled into bed and began snoring quickly.

He crept closer to the sleeping figure, and he began to feel around in the man’s pockets for the wand that he’d seen the man use earlier that night. He noticed the man’s death rise up on top of the bedpost, ready to take him away. It looked at Arthur’s death, and the more it looked the more confused it became. It tilted its head and asked the semi-real figure how. Arthur’s death looked up and took the wand out of the man’s pocket. It did not speak to the other death like men spoke to each other, but rather in the quiet way all deaths communicated when they felt the need to. However, the words he chose were not in the simple, direct fashion that they usually spoke. Listening to humans talk so much must have affected it. He figured personality had something to do with it too. “Because I can,” he said. This confused the other figure more. How could this thing that was similar to it think of himself as a himself? This was not generally done, and he told the man with the wand that. “And what are you gonna do about it?” Arthur’s death replied gleefully. He crept out of the room, and the being sat stunned. It had never considered this before.

 

Arthur’s death retreated back to the barn and haystack that he had grown to love, trophy in hand. He still didn’t know why exactly he wanted it, what gave him the right to take it, or why he should care. He dismissed the last question, and the other two followed suit. He tried to do the same things that the wizard had done, and found it was much harder than it looked. He’d heard that this was generally how it went with learning things among people and so he decided to keep at it. After all, he had nothing better to do.

A century had passed, and he’d learned how to use the wand to some extent. He could reduce a pile of hay to ash, and he’d even managed to summon things with it. They were much bigger than rabbits, and with sharper teeth and claws. Now that he understood magic, he sat back down and stared at the wand. What now? He figured that if he were to travel, he could find someone to teach him and he could completely master magic. He was fairly sure people could see him now, and he calculated that over 900 years he must have enough knowledge to at least have a short conversation. The problem was Arthur. It always came back to Arthur. No matter what he’d tried, he couldn’t get out of the village. He figured it made sense that there was a limit to how far he could drift away from Arthur, and all things considered he could go pretty far anyways. But not far enough. Never far enough. He stared at the wand in his hands some more and began to think back on why he stole the wand in the first place. The answer came in the form of something he’d heard humans often say- boredom. Those travellers would always say that he reason they went on quests and escapades in the first place was to escape boredom, a feeling when you had nothing to do. Humans rarely lived past a mere 80 years or so, and he figured that after 900 years it must have taken its toll on him, made him take the wand. Why didn’t Arthur ever feel bored? Wasn’t it inevitable for humans to feel that way?

 

He began to drift closer to Arthur again, observing him closely once again. It felt familiar to be so close to Arthur again, but also annoyance. He watched him for weeks, and not once did he see a diversion from routine. He concluded that Arthur must be the most boring and pointless human in existence and being tied to him was some cruel joke on the part of life. He grew increasingly frustrated as he watched him again. How could this man stay contented with the same thing, how could he not feel the boredom and curiosity which had infected even the realm of the dead? How could he feel a longing for something more, a longing that felt human, and Arthur could not?

He stormed back to the barn. He’d had enough of this. He hated Arthur, for keeping him around. He hated him for being so stationary. He noticed that he hated. It was another new feeling, and it felt empowering. It was calling him to action, compelling him to take matters into his own hands. He thought back on the millions of days wasted, time spent here while everything else was getting busy living and dying like they ought to. If he could touch and feel now, could he not kill? What were some ways he’d heard people die? Old age didn’t seem to be an option, and the absence of it was really part of the problem. He’d heard people can be killed by objects, and people holding them. Sharp ones seemed to be more effective, from what he’d heard. He glanced to the corner of the barn and spotted a scythe sitting there. He remembered seeing it to cut through wheat and hay with ease, and he also remembered something else. Something primal built into Arthur and most other people he’d seen. Death carried a scythe and robes. Perfect. If he was going to finish the job, he might as well do it in the traditional style. Class and style meant something, living or not. Gripping the scythe and placing the wand into a pocket, he began to stride out of the barn with purpose. He’d walked before, but never tried striding. It needed a good occasion to do so, like birthday cake. He walked through the village until he reached Arthur’s door. At this time he’d probably be watching those tiny disgusting pixies fly around the flowers. They were always so vulgar too. This would be the last time he’d have to see them. He thought back on Arthur and all the time he’d spent languishing in this world. Actually, if he counted the days it had been exactly 1000 years to this day. An entire millennia of living. He felt the anger well up inside him again. Not anymore, he thought as he knocked on the door.

Suzy of the House Miller- Bonus Chapter

Morning sunlight streamed through the glass panels of the greenhouse as Earl, the High Priest of Pan, awoke. He slowly sat up, feeling the grass and wildflowers around him. He brushed a few petals out of his beard and stood up, yawning and stretching. He walked towards the door, where a woman around his age stood. Barbara had wrinkles around her eyes and mouth, but so did he. Even now, his heart would light up and he’d be filled with bliss whenever he saw her.

“Good morning, Dear,” He said through stifled yawns.

“Good morning, Earl. Sleeping in the greenhouse again?”

He nodded and stretched once more. “There’s something invigorating about sleeping in the grass and flowers.”

“You could’ve asked me to join you,” She said, stepping back into the house.

“You were sleeping so peacefully, I didn’t have the heart to wake you,” Earl said, hugging her.

 

As he took a cup of morning coffee he noticed a small envelope on the counter. He picked it up and eyed it, squinting through the morning drowsiness.

“What’s this?” He asked, turning it over in his hand.

“It came for you this morning,” His wife said. “From one of your followers.”

“Miller,” Earl said, reading the name on the return address. “Good man, has a wife and kid and takes good care of his garden.”

Earl tore open the envelope and pulled out a piece of paper with clean, neat handwriting. He read it aloud as his wife listened and drank her coffee.

 

Dear Earl,

I am writing this letter to respectfully ask for your help and guidance in this time. Your insight has helped me in the past and I feel like this question can only be answered by someone like you. My eight-year old daughter has recently found her god and they seem to have taken quite a liking to each other. However, it seems that for some reason she is his only follower, making her the new High Priestess of Anubis. She’s been trying her best to help him in any way she can, but I feel like I’m unable to help her in this. What can I do to help her, as her father and as someone who worships a god from a completely different pantheon as well? I want to support her in any way I can, but I feel like there’s nothing I can do and I’m afraid she won’t be able to handle the responsibilities of being a High Priestess yet. Any advice you may have is welcome, and I hope you receive this letter and can give me some guidance.

Yours truly,

Daniel Miller.

 

P.S. The mint seedlings you sent out last time have taken root and grown quite nicely. Thank you for taking care of us Pan followers and for sharing your love of nature with us.

 

Earl finished reading the letter and then sat down at the table and took a long drink of coffee. After sitting for a while in silence, he got up.

“I guess I’ll go for a walk,” He said. “Maybe I’ll find what he’s looking for.”

“Poor girl,” His wife said. “I hope she does alright.”

“So do I,” Earl said. He put on a pair of sandals and stepped out of the front door.

“At least put a shirt on!” His wife called out after him.

“No shirt,” He muttered as he walked out of the house. He considered himself fortunate to live out near the woods. Barbara had complained that it was far away from her job at first, but he knew she loved it there. After all, she was the one who’d put the bird feeder up and kept it well stocked for whatever might want a meal.

 

The morning air was wet and slightly crisp, but not cold. He walked calmly down a dirt path that lead further into the forest, slowly taking in the nature all around him with all five senses. He saw the dewdrops on the leaves, the sound of birds and insects filling the morning air, the smell of the earth mixed with pine. He felt the wind on his skin as he walked on down the path, until he came to an old stump just off the dirt road. He took a seat on the stump and crossed his legs. He closed his eyes and focused on the nature all around him. He felt the warmth of the coffee inside him and the whole world moving in harmony all around him. He brought his thought towards the god that had guided him for years, that had chosen him to lead all those years ago. The world around him felt different, and he opened his eyes. The forest around him was replaced with another. The air was warmer and drier, the smell of pine mixed with the salty froth of the sea. The sound of crickets and grasshoppers surrounded him as they shed their skin and left them strewn on the trees and forest floor. Earl knew where he was, what this dry, hilly forest meant. In front of him, he saw Pan. It didn’t feel like he appeared, rather like he was there all along. He was sitting right in front of Earl and yet was everywhere, like he was a tree and at the same time the forest that surrounded it for miles. He looked fantastic and otherworldly, yet at the same time like he perfectly belonged in this ordinary forest.

“Hello and good morning, O great Pan.”

Pan smiled and gave his High Priest a big hug. Formalities were not needed with the god of nature and festivities, but Earl always did it anyways. It never hurt to show some respect.

GOOD MORNING, MY BELOVED PRIEST. His voice came from nowhere yet everywhere, rustling through the trees and seeping through the rock and earth beneath them. It felt like the sound of the grass, the birds and the insects were all a part of it and yet something more, something powerful. It felt like everything around them was in perfect harmony, if only for a moment. Earl always felt awestruck and yet calm when hearing his god’s voice.

“Someone asked me a question this morning that I didn’t know ho to answer,” Earl said. “I was hoping you could help me.”

I’M LISTENING, Pan said as he absentmindedly ran his hand through the pine needles strewn on the forest floor.

“What does it mean to be a High Priest?”

This caught Pan by surprise. He paused for a moment, and then laughed. It was a joyous, mirthful laugh, the kind that would be welcome at the most rambunctious of parties. Nature around him seemed to swell with laughter as well.

 

IN ALL THE YEARS YOU HAVE SPENT AS MY HIGH PRIEST, I DO NOT THINK YOU HAVE ASKED ME THAT.

“Should I have?”

Pan chuckled. AFTER ALL THE TIME YOU HAVE SERVED ME, IS IT NOT OBVIOUS TO YOU?

“It’s not for me,” Earl said. “There’s a little girl who’s become a High Priestess, and her father’s asking me what he can do to help.”

DANIEL’S CHILD, YES? OF THE HOUSE MILLER?

Earl nodded. “Her name’s Suzy, if I recall.”

THAT MAN HAS BEEN A PART OF MY FOLLOWING FOR SOME TIME NOW, AND HAS TRIED TO ATTEND TO HIS DAUGHTER WITH THE SAME ATTENTION AND CARE AS EACH ONE OF OUR SMALL GIFTS, IF NOT MORE. HE IS AN EXCELLENT FATHER.

“He’s worried she won’t be able to handle the responsibilities. Anubis hasn’t had any followers for some time, and he wants to help her in any way he can.”

Pan stretched out and laid flat on the ground, silent. The air was buzzing with thought as he sat in silence for a moment. The grass around where he lay seemed to grow longer and richer, and a few wildflowers sprouted up and blossomed. The air grew perfectly silent, and the birds leaned in closer to hear what Pan had to say. The wind fell silent, and nature stood still for a moment. He took a deep breath, and everything moved again. Pan sat back up and put his hands in his lap. Earl couldn’t look away from his hands, as something seemed to grow from between his palms.

 

TO BE A HIGH PRIEST, Pan said, IS TO FOLLOW YOUR GOD. A HIGH PRIEST IS A GOD’S CONNECTION TO THIS WORLD AND ALL THAT LIES THEREIN. THEY LEAD OTHERS IN WORSHIP AND GUIDE THEM IN THEIR GOD’S TEACHINGS. THEY LIVE THEIR LIFE AS THEIR GOD WOULD, AND SHOULD NOT DOUBT THEMSELVES. THEY HAVE A BOND TO THEIR GOD, AS THEY BOTH DEPEND ON EACH OTHER. A HIGH PRIEST IS WHAT PEOPLE SEE OF THE GOD IN THE MORTAL REALM, AND WHAT THE GOD SEES IN HUMANITY. THEY ARE NOT THEIR GOD AND THEIR GOD IS NOT THEM, BUT THEY BECOME INTERTWINED IN A WAY. YOU CANNOT HAVE A HIGH PRIEST WITHOUT A GOD, A RELIGION WITHOUT GUIDANCE.

TO BE A HIGH PRIEST IS TO DO AS YOUR GOD WOULD WANT, FOLLOWING YOUR CONSCIENCE AND TRUSTING YOUR GOD. IT IS TO BE A LEADER, IN GOOD TIMES AND BAD. IT IS TO BE A HERALD, TO PROCLAIM YOUR GOD’S VIRTUES THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. BUT MOST OF ALL, IT IS TO BE HUMAN.

IF ONE WANTS TO HELP A HIGH PRIEST, THEY MUST SEE THE PRIEST AS HUMAN AS WELL. THEY MUST TEND TO THEIR NEEDS AND LISTEN TO THEIR TROUBLES AS YOU WOULD ANYONE ELSE. THEY CANNOT TAKE THE SPIRITUAL BURDEN OFF THE HIGH PRIEST, BUT THEY CAN EASE THE BODY.

Pan opened his hands, and in it was a single white lily. It bobbed up and down in a pool of water encased in his palms. Barbara’s favorite flower. Earl smiled when he saw it, and Pan put it in his hands.

IF YOU WANTED TO ASK ABOUT HELPING A HIGH PRIEST, THERE WAS SOMEONE ELSE BETTER SUITED TO ANSWER.

“Thank you, Pan.”

YOU’RE WELCOME, EARL. REMEMBER TO TRUST YOUR FAMILY AND LOVED ONES, AS I TRUST YOU.

 

Earl opened his eyes, and was back in the forest near his house. He looked down at his lap, where a doe rested her head. He opened his other hand, and saw the white lily in it. He slowly got up and began to walk home, with the deer following by his side. He gave it a pat on the head and headed inside, where Barbara was heading out the door.

“I’m off,” She said. “What have you got there?”

Earl showed her the lily, and she smiled.

“Tell Pan I said thanks. I’ll be back in the evening.”

She gave him a kiss on the forehead and headed out. Earl walked into the kitchen and filled a bowl with water before placing the lily in it. He sat down at the table and picked up a paper and pen. The deer seemed pleased, and trotted off back into the forest as Earl began to write his reply.

 

 

 

Short Story- Action Sequence

Max stumbled as he ran through the wood as fast as he could. He heard barking behind him, mixed with the foreign shouts of guards from the Stone Fortress. Considering what he had just done, they’d probably sent every hound in the kennels after him, with an entire platoon armed to the teeth. Great. Once again, he has gone and dome something incredibly reckless to try and save Klaus. Despite his high-quality boots, he still occasionally slipped over the wet, moss-covered stones and stumbled over roots that came just above the ground. He took off his jacket and flung it as far away from him as possible, hoping it would confuse the dogs as he ran through a small river.

Okay, focus. Inventory. What do you have to work with to get out of here in one piece, what can you do to survive? His spirits rose as he remembered the gun in his sweater pocket, but then they promptly fell again as he remembered that he had used the last of his ammo getting out of the keep. No wand either. Damn, he had to remember to tie one to a bungee cord next time, he seemed to lose them like they were pens. He had a knife, but considering the sheer number of pursuers he might as well have a candy bar. On the bright side, the forest was too tightly packed to use tanks or carriages, so at least he didn’t have to try and melt steel.  Although if he could melt steel, their musket’s probably wouldn’t be a problem. No. Focus. He tried to remember any other ways of using magic that he might have seen over the years, stored in some dusty corner of his mind next to the safety instructions for half a dozen weapons of mass destruction.

As he ran he heard the voices and barks get fainter, and figured that his jacket must’ve held them off for a little while. He slid behind a large rock and allowed himself a moment to catch his breath.  As he examined the knife he remembered one other way to use magic that could help- power sigils. Similar to runes of old, they’d focus magic into a powerful and often raw form, and Max could remember just the one he’d need to take care of a large group like this. Of course, it’d be tricky to spread sand on the ground in the shape with such limited time, but he could always carve it into something.

He heard a large amount of shouting from behind him, and the barking picked up in full again. They must be mad about the jacket, and Max hoped he hadn’t left anything important in it as he got up and started to run again. He needed more time, he needed to formulate a plan. Something with such a faint smell like the jacket wouldn’t cut it a second time. He stopped for a moment and pulled off both his boots before setting off again. He frantically tied the laces together and flung them between the trees as far as he could. He was starting to reach the base of a small hill now, and there wouldn’t be anything worse than getting stuck in between some hills. There were a lot more fallen leaves on the ground here, and as he ran in between the trees his socks snagged once or twice on sharp rocks and his toes knocked against hard roots. The trees here all had incredibly hard bark, and with his relatively dull knife it’d take a good 5 minutes to carve so much as a small line into one. He didn’t have that kind of time. He smashed his feet against more rocks. It was no use, his flesh was just too soft, too squishy…


The man in the eyepatch followed the baying hounds. This man had caused trouble for the last time, and he’d personally see to that. His men informed him that once again, the dogs has gotten distracted with something else belonging to the man, this time his pair of boots. He hated interruptions like this, and made it clear to his men. If only the man had chosen to run over a nice clear plain, he could chase him down with a horse and cut him down personally from on high. But alas, beggars can’t be choosers, and in any case this man’s death promised to be a satisfying one. He ran, leading the charge with his sheath and holster bumping against his legs. No muskets for him, if he had the opportunity he’d take the man out by his own rules, damn it.

He began to jog along with his men again. Their target would have to rest soon enough, after all he was only human. Despite rumors of what he’d accomplished to get in and out of the keep in the fortress of stone, there was nothing else he could be than a man with a bag of tricks. The man in the eyepatch has a good sense for these things, and he was pretty sure that their target was all out of cards to play, and sooner or later they’d have him. Maybe they’d even be able to take him alive, and be able to painfully unravel each dirty trick from his skull. According to the commander-in-chief, he deserved it. After that, he’d be able to do whatever he wanted to the man. He knew most didn’t quite see it, but there was a certain peace and beauty in watching someone else’s hope and life extinguish before your eyes.

His train of thought was interrupted by the dogs, who had gotten a lot louder in a very small amount of time. They must smell blood. Despite being loud, dirty beasts, the man in the eyepatch had to admit they did their job well. There was something primal in their barks, something that made him feel his bloodlust rise up from inside him full throttle, screaming and shouting for more with an unquenchable thirst that had been made known to him all those years ago. As he and his impromptu firing squad reached the peak of a hill, they saw their target at the bottom. He was resting against a tree with his backs to them, seemingly exhausted. His men began to shout again and rushed down to surround him, but something wasn’t right. The man with the eyepatch felt uneasy, there was something off about this. It was too simple, and after all the stunts this man had pulled there was no way in hell he’d let himself get caught that easily. He shouted a quick retreat order, but it was muffled out by the din of the dogs. The man with the eyepatch quickly scrambled for cover, and seconds after he had jumped behind a large tree there was a sound like an explosion as a violent blast of bluish light burst out from the center of the valley.  The man with the eyepatch sat underneath the tree for what seemed like half a minute before he heard a creaking sound. He looked up, only to see the thing that protected him from the blast falling towards him, ready to crush him in an instant. He tried to scramble away, but his boot was caught on a root, and he fell face first onto the moss-covered ground. The only thing he could do is scream before he was snuffed out forever.

Max laid on the ground, unable to believe that it had actually worked. He glanced at his chest. It was red and raw, with the carving still etched into his skin and a painful sensation that came with it, as if he had been skinned and cauterized in an instant. He lay his head back down on the ground, and then turned it slowly from side to side to survey the damages. The entire valley had been cleared of trees, as if an arsonist or a sadistic man with a bulldozer had gone to town on it. Amidst the smoking and fallen trees lay the carnage, with some of those closer to the blast still sizzling with a sickly smell. Max didn’t care. He was alive. He raised one hand in the air triumphantly, and then put it to his mouth as he began to cough. His pickup crew would be here shortly, all he had to do was wait. It might not be the comfiest spot, but a short nap couldn’t hurt.

Death by Misadventure- Chapter 2

Several hours after Arthur and his death set off seeking adventure, they arrived at a small inn. The sun was high in the sky and glinted off of the spotless windows. A sign overhead read “The Tricky Carrot Inn” and had a simple carrot painted on it with fresh orange paint. Death noted that it seemed less like the place to hire a solid group of ruffians and more like an establishment you’d feel comfortable taking your grandmother to on her birthday. He grimaced at the cleanliness of it all- couldn’t they liven up the place with a cobweb or two? To be fair, he had never been to a place like the one he had in mind since Arthur never did, but he’d heard about the type. You can glean a lot from passing travelers and books, provided you have a perfect memory and a millennium to kill, he mused.

Continue reading “Death by Misadventure- Chapter 2”

Death by Misadventure- Chapter 1

Arthur felt good. It was another sunny morning and he sat in his favorite chair. The pixies fluttered around his small flower garden, dancing through the sunbeams and drinking nectar. He couldn’t recall when exactly he had planted them, but he loved the view. There was a knock on the door, and he slowly got up to answer it. As he opened the door a hooded figure bumped past him and walked into the living room. Arthur closed the door and headed towards the figure, who was pacing back and forth. He had leaned a scythe on the side of the table and he looked frustrated. He turned to look at Arthur.

Continue reading “Death by Misadventure- Chapter 1”

Enis- The Guardians

In the beginning, the world was filled with chaos. Amidst a sea of improbability, a small rock was formed. On this insignificant speck in space, life was formed. Some rose higher than the rest, and armed with power they cast out the chaos to another dimension. They took the space above the skies as their home, perfect and pure. They lived as gods, immortal and all-powerful.

On the earth beneath them, magic, nature and life ran rampant. Amidst the hordes of monsters and improbable, primordial creatures sentient races formed like small lights in the darkness. Out of mercy or curiosity, the gods decided to help these races survive the madness of the world. To achieve this, they formed the Guardians. These massive creatures were born to destroy monsters and threats and protect. They were sent to all corners of the world: Srakh in the desert, Buruh in the Dark Isle, Caan in the north, and Sordus in the forests. Olshog stayed at the mountain of the gods to defend the entrance into the heavens.

Caan was a fierce and goat-headed guardian, who wielded a whip of lightning and drums that could make the heavens and earth quake. He defeated countless frost giants in the Northern Wastelands and erected the mountains to keep humanity safe. He shattered the mother of all frost giants as well but was unable to completely destroy her, and she became a swirling tempest in the Tundra known as the Eternal Storm. To this day, it still manages to create frost giants, lumbering ice elementals with an urge to destroy all other life.

Sordus was a massive guardian who took the form of a massive treant. He could travel between the forests of the world, but felt an attachment to the ones in Enis. He created and trained the Great Oak in the Northern Isles and the Wood Spirit in Mim, retiring to Enis and staying in the Royal Forest. Through his touch he brought peace to the creatures of the forest and created a circle of life. By making the forests peaceful, he made it possible to hunt and collect wood to survive.  He felt no strong attachment towards the races of the world, but rather tried to hold a balance.

Ambra’s appearance was vaguely insect-like, with 8 arms, 2 legs and no face. He became deeply intertwined with the culture of Southern Mim, as well as the people who lived there. He banished the evil fire monkeys to a distant island and taught people tranquillity. There were no great calamities that he needed to avert in his lifetime, other than a plague or two. As such, he spread teachings of peace and harmony, becoming a religious figure for the inhabitants. He lived on a hill near the largest city in southern Mim, easily accessible to travelers and those who sought his guidance.

Srakh lived in the desert that covers much of Ashk. Over the centuries, he took pity on worthy mortals that traversed the desert, often giving them pieces of his fur to keep warm or some of his flesh to prevent starvation. He moves with the sand dunes and can feel every grain of sand in the desert, often found wherever one may hide from the sandstorms or at the occasional oasis. Since he is now blind, he taught himself to see using the winds and sands, as well as forging an immortal vulture to scout the desert for him. He slew the desert viper, making its bones into a mountain range to protect humans from the snakes and keep the sand at bay. Harpies took up in the mountains later, and people learned to put their faith in him as his bare skull looked over the deserts.

Drun, the buffalo-headed guardian, watched over the plains of western Enis and could summon storms, thunder and cause plants to bloom. He was very passive, only intervening with affairs when an atrocity had been committed or when someone requested his help. He was known as Ruk’s older brother and one of the wisest guardians. He was the one who taught humans and orcs the secrets of the totem and rudimentary magics.

Ruk was known as the younger brother to Drun and protector of northern Mim. His stern ways taught the people of Mim to rely on physical strength, willpower and tactics to survive. Ruk taught the humans to defend themselves, as well as strategy and survival. He had the head of a bull, and wore the skins of bears on his shoulders. His spear is a legend among the people of Mim. He was rather more harsh and hot-headed than the other guardians.

Buruh ruled over the Dark Isles to the south and had very limited interactions with humans. As such, he was quite harsh and reclusive. Local legend says he frightened away the sun condor and killed the great serpent, turning its bones into the mountains and its blood into the great river. He allowed the jungle to run lawless, with only the strongest or most resourceful surviving. He had a massive throne of stone in the jungle, and plants with healing properties grew off of it. Even centuries later, the local people took trips there from time to time to pay their regards to their protector who was long gone and to pick fruit and herbs to help their villages. Some legends even say he created a massive crater in the Dark Isles when he plucked the moon out of the ground and hurled it at the sun. It now chases the sun condor around the sky, keeping him at bay.

Olshog took human form and guarded the base of the god’s mountain for centuries. His true form was a terrifying spectacle of power and was only used in times of crisis. It had the head of a goat, with four arms and wings like a bat’s. He wielded a sword and told the surrounding people of the holy mountain, with warnings no to go up there.

After centuries passed, some of the guardians began to fade. Sordus gave up his power to spare a child, effectively becoming reborn in him and living as a shadow of his former self. Caan, having completed his tasks, faded away leaving his drums behind. They became guarded by a faction of monks in the north, until one day when a faun stole them and used them to wage a battle against the gods themselves.

Ambra finished teaching the people around him, and legends say that he ascended into the sky in a  ball of light to traverse the stars.

Orcs and Humans clashed. Drun remained neutral, not wanting to side with either of them.   Ruk detested orcs and insisted that Drun help him humans. When he refused, Ruk killed him out of anger. He went to Sordus, who met a similar fate. Absorbing their power and filled with anger, he went towards Ashk to confront Srakh. He felt like the other guardians were either coddling humans, or remained too indecisive. Srakh and Olshog encountered him at the border of Ashk and slayed him for becoming corrupted and partial. They buried his body deep underground and out sprung Raoul Aedre, birthed from the life force of Sordus and Drun. He plunged one hand into the earth and a massive tree sprung up. He plucked it out and crafted a water sack from Ruk’s hide, going off to bring life into the lands. He had the head of a moose and furrowed the land, creating rivers and bringing life to the plains and fields.

Srakh’s assistant, a harpy child he saved, desired power and knowledge too much. One day, while Srakh was occupied, he went to the spot of Ruk’s grave and absorbed some of the power from there. He grew larger and went to Ashk’s capital. Once he stole and absorbed all of the information from the records and library there, he built a massive tower in the desert and confronted Srakh. There was nothing that Srakh could do to save him, and Olshog severed his wings, blinded him and threw him into a labyrinth on the southwestern edge of the desert where he lives on.

Buruh faded next, his mission to protect complete. His massive throne still lies in the jungle with healing plants growing off it.

Srakh faded after that, having nothing more to offer humanity. The Bookkeeper’s tower stands half-destroyed in the center of the desert as a silent reminder to future generations.

A powerful wizard harnesses the last of Ruk’s power, erecting walls and creating a chasm between Enis and Ashk. He is defeated, and the last of Ruk’s power fades forever. The place is still eerie and evil, known as the Fallen Realm.

Raoul lies dormant in the delta, leaving his water sack buried in the western forests of Enis. His river stones lie in the delta, standing upright in a ring. A child he took care of stays behind, trying to bring him back. Now not much more than a legend lost to the ages, some say that when the delta is filled with pure music from the soul he will rise again to bring prosperity to the earth.

Olshog ascends into the heavens, now guarding civilization from above.

After a king of Enis tries to construct a massive weapon to invade Mim and a small group of special forces try to stop him, Raoul is awakened once more due to the heartfelt music played by one dwarf with a love for ballistics. He destroys the weapon and is reunited with the Undertaker, who had been staying dutifully trying to awaken him for centuries. He then creates a massive pine in the center of the Delta and retrieves his water sack, before climbing the mountain of the gods with the Undertaker. He lived there peacefully with Olshog, the Death Quartet and the gods to await the final battle against the forces of chaos.

New Discord Server!

Hey, I’ve been working on this for a little while and I’m glad to announce that the Discord server is officially open to the public! I call it the Grand Bazaar, and aside from art trading and such it’s a place where you can relax and chat with others. There might be future changes implemented, but I’m excited to see where this goes.

You can find it here: https://discord.gg/wzCytwN

Short story- The End

To tide people over while I work on personal matters (writing’s had to wait a tiny bit, working out stuff for moving out), I’m posting a short story/ first chapter I wrote a while back. Technically I could elaborate on it, but this is what I have at the time. I hope you guys like it!

The door to the roof was locked. Rick would smash it down with the axe, but he’d need both hands for that. Instead, he kicked it just under the doorknob, and light streamed into the dark staircase as the door swung open. Jason took his hand off of his side, just for a moment, and put on the pair of sunglasses from his jacket pocket. He grunted as him and Rick stepped out onto the roof, and the sensation of fresh air filled his nostrils. Sure, it smelled a little like ash and sulfur, but it was better than in that dreadful place. They stumbled towards the edge of the roof, and settled down on the edge, with their feet dangling off of the roof. Rick tossed the massive gilded battleaxe down next to him, and let out a chuckle as he carefully placed the plastic bag down as well. A whole lot of good that thing was, he didn’t even get to properly use it.

The afternoon light felt strained and weak, as if the sun was being pulled into the swirling whirlwind of pure terror and chaotic energy that was manifesting downtown. They stared at it in awe for a few seconds, watching all the people in a panic. People running and screaming, heavy traffic on every block, even a few looters added to the pandemonium unfolding before them. Luckily Rick had managed to get some last minute shopping done before all hell broke loose. Metaphorically and literally, by the looks of it. He hoped that none of the blood, sweat and other various fluids that currently decorated the plain plastic bag had gotten inside it as well. Now that would be a shame.

“Are you gonna be alright?” said Rick, as Jason pulled his coat back a little to inspect the crude bandages around his side.

“Bad choice of words, considering the situation, but at least this won’t kill me.” Jason pulled his satchel onto his lap, and rummaged in it for a second before pulling out the roughly carved totem that had started all of this. Rick still didn’t think it looked all that much like the monstrosity it was depicting, but he supposed the artist had to take some creative liberties. Jason tossed it off of the roof, and they both watched in silence as it fell and shattered on the pavement below. Rick leaned back, and adjusted the tie he had to repurpose as a bandana to stop the bleeding. Unfortunately, headbutting cultists was not half as fun as it looked in movies. Pity, it was his favorite tie too. At least he wouldn’t have to wash it for work tomorrow.

They sat there for several minutes in pure silence. Well, it would have been silence if not for the whirling wind, the cars honking and the sound that sounded eerily similar to a screech coming from far away and yet right behind you as well. Finally, Jason broke the silence.

“So, what now?” he said as he leaned back on his elbow, with one arm still clutching the place where his spleen used to be a few hours ago.

“What do you mean?” Rick responded.

“Well this is it, right? The Apocalypse? The end of days? Humanity’s great quelling? So is this all, just some terror tornado and poof, everyone’s dead? That feels like a bit of a cop-out.“

Rick gave a short grunt of agreement, and Jason continued. “I mean, it’d just feel wrong if it ended here. For a being of chaos, total annihilation almost feels out of character. Wouldn’t it be more fun for a higher being to see us struggle than to just end it here? I bet he’s going to keep some people alive, just to toy with them.”

Rick stared off into the distance and nodded. “I still can’t believe that those crazy bastards managed to achieve total chaos with only a sweater vest, a human spleen and a plate of Chicken Parmesan.”

“Don’t you go insulting my spleen, I grew it myself.”, said Jason. “Sometimes you don’t notice how much you love some things until they’re gone.”

Rick chuckled and reached into the bag, producing a couple cans of soda. They weren’t ice cold anymore, but at least they had stayed safe from what they had just faced. He tossed one to Jason, and then opened his and took a long sip from it. He stared at the massive eye forming in the sky above the storm as his feet dangled over the side. He didn’t know if he would see tomorrow, or if it would be a tomorrow worth seeing. In any case, he had tried his hardest, and isn’t that what really matters? Maybe not, he thought to himself as he saw a news chopper get swept up and consumed by the swirling void. Oh well, in any case there probably wouldn’t be a lot of people to reprimand him after all was said and done. He turned to Jason again. “I’ll bet you ten bucks that money will be worthless after this.”

Jason laughed. “I’ll bet you ten bucks we won’t survive this.”

“I’ll take that bet”, Rick responded.”If you win I won’t be able to pay you back, it’s a win-win situation for me.”

They sat in silence for a while longer, watching the storm continue to grow as the eye looked on from above. They both knew that there was no point in running. They were both too exhausted to deal with the tragedy that was unfolding in front of them, so their minds wandered, focusing on the little things. Rick wouldn’t have to listen to another complaint from his hair-brained boss. Jason wouldn’t have to mow Mrs. Custer’s lawn next Tuesday, and he could keep the stake launcher he’d borrowed from Eugene as long as he wanted. They were both terrified about what the future might hold for them if it held anything at all, and they both couldn’t wait to see what it would all be like.

Egg’s Fantastic Fundraising

As some of you may know, I’m leaving soon (just over a month from now) to go live and study abroad. I’m still working on Suzy of the House Miller and will sometimes write Death by Misadventure as well. The only work of mine (for now) that I’m planning on charging for is Suzy of the House Miller when I publish it. However, there are still other ways you can support me that I’m announcing, which can benefit you as well.

1. Donating for a new computer.

I go more into detail about this here, but I’m still trying to raise money for a decent computer/ laptop, since I won’t be able to bring my current one with me. There are some reward tiers to it, but anything helps.

2. Becoming a Patron

I’m launching a brand new Patreon page for myself, which you can find here.

1$ patrons will get access to polls involving my writing (possibly helping to decide and shape Death by Misadventure as it goes on), as well as personal posts if I decide to post any there.

3$ patrons will get new chapters of Death by Misadventure approximately 1 week before I publish them in other places. As extra incentive, I’ll publish a chapter of Suzy of the House Miller for that tier of patrons in the next few days. This chapter won’t be available otherwise until release or if I get a large number of donations for my new computer, as I said in the post linked above.

3. Hiring me

For a reasonable price, I’d be willing to create a short piece of writing for you personally, to share or use in places (while crediting me, naturally). Want a short chapter about some of your OCs? Would you like to see my take on a trope or setting? PM me and we can work something out.

I’m still not sure on the prices (it’d probably vary depending on the length), but I’d try to make it quite affordable so both parties can walk away satisfied. I do some art too (some of it is in the Character Spotlight posts), but I’m not sure how well that’d sell. I’d always be open to offers, though.

These are the ways you could possibly support me as I move and continue to work on content that you (hopefully) enjoy. Thank you for reading and I hope you have a good day/ night.

Canburg Smugglers- Journal entry

I wrote this a while back when I was bored- it’s from the world that my Camburg Smugglers story is set in. It’s written from the perspective of the main character and would be his final entry before the story begins. I hope you find it interesting!

 

March 4th, 236 by the new Imperial calendar.

As of the time of writing this entry, I have departed from my original station in an undisclosed location and now en route to a confidential assignment. I have been told that this as a matter of the utmost security, and as such I will not disclose any unnecessary information in this personal journal entry. However, I, Emmett Barbary, have embarked on a journey that has taken me and my military career from the shoddy outpost near the Monkey Cliffs to the heart of a bustling city that I have been told is rife with crime, despair, misconduct, and all sorts of unpleasantries. As of now, the ship I am traveling on is jostling someone and as such this may be unreadable in the future. However, I feel it is necessary to record this as a means to preserving my own history and legacy.

I have obtained passage with a small cargo ship over the desert, in an attempt to remain as inconspicuous as possible. The conditions are less than ideal, but at the very least I do not have to sneak anywhere with a false identity. As I sit in the dimly lit cargo bay with my meager belongings, I can only wonder why I was summoned to this remote location. My military career, however impressive for someone my age, shows that I am inexperienced in matters of tactics and strategy against human opponents. This must mean that their request must have something to do with the entities I cannot name here that have caused problems in the past. I have heard rumor of insurgents that plot the downfall of local authorities, but aside from them the location seems relatively peaceful according to reports I have read. Nevertheless, I must obey the commands of my superiors and as such I have made my way post-haste, as instructed.

With me as always is my full military uniform, packed away in my luggage. I felt it would be foolish of me to travel in it as I usually do, due to the confidentiality of this journey. My pistol is hidden on my person for protection, but my sword and all my military papers are stowed away out of sight. Once I complete this entry the journal will join them in hiding for the time being. I am traveling under a false name with a crew I hope is none the wiser, but of course there is no way to be certain. I am currently wearing common traveling clothes that have been purchased very recently and as such are rather uncomfortable. I was incredibly relieved when I was informed that we will arrive soon and I can shed this false identity for good. I can only hope that no misfortune befalls us in this final stretch of my journey.