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Fixing Up

I realize that I need to update some of the links on the site. I also realize that I have a couple of unfinished stories lingering around out there. Ties That Bind is nearing completion and I have been putting off ending it due to the fact that I enjoyed the characters so very much. Demon Wrought is just getting started, and I am waiting until the summer to really try to tackle this more adult project. Zoe and the Outcasted will not take very much time at all, but I simply have not had time to run with it.

All in all, the site needs some love from me. I have sketches to add, and stories to link. I really want the site to be easy to access, with information no more than two clicks away. I will get there. Stay with me.

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Posted by on April 8, 2014 in From the Desk of the Author

 

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Penn Darvel

Penn Darvel

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2013 in From the Desk of the Author

 

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Ties That Bind (Chapter 11)

Morgath

Ties That Bind

Chapter 11

Illusions Fall

The demon monkey stared out from one eye into a stone bowl of blood as he sat curled upon his throne. He didn’t recognize his reflection. Perhaps it was the battered and empty socket or the elongated canines, but Morgath was no longer familiar with the image that stared back at him.

“You promised no more pain,” Morgath angrily accused his reflection. “You said it would go away.” There was genuine sadness in his voice, the kind of sadness that makes someone do something they know they will later regret. Morgath didn’t care about regret. The monkey knocked the blood bowl from his throne, tired of the hunger that never seemed to be sated.

*****

Kaa was the first of the Silkwood elves to reach the small group, and he was quickly followed by about a dozen archers. “You have to get out of here,” he called to his daughter, Vaidon.

“We just got here,” Qari argued as he picked some prickly seeds from Rolo’s fur.

Vaidon, who could hear the sincere concern in her father’s voice, stiffened. The jaguar sensed the tension and mistook her rigidity; with a growl, he placed himself between father and daughter. Vaidon had no time for the overprotective cat, and pushed its face away with both hands as she made her way to Kaa. “What is going on?” she asked.

“Tira plans on taking Silkwood,” Kaa answered quickly. There was no time to mince words; Tira Al Lung would surely greet Bynn and Vaidon any moment. “I don’t know her exact plan yet, but I will find it out. Until I do, I don’t want you in the city.”

“We need food,” Calidorn stated plainly, “All of us.”

Kaa threw Bynn a satchel full of food. Then he reached over and took the quivers off of two of the elves and passed those to Bynn as well.

“Thank you,” Bynn managed. He knew to trust Kaa through years of hunting next to him for so many years. There was fear in Kaa’s eyes, the kind of fear that Bynn had not seen even when the hunter had looked upon the face of a dragon. Something had happened while they had been away, but there was no time to discuss it now.

Vaidon gave her father a hug, and Kaa wrapped his arm around her. One of the elven archers gave a bird call signaling the approach of Tira Al Lung and her servant Munkus. “I love you, daddy.”

*****

Tira approached just as the group had escaped into the woods. Immediately, she sent Munkus after them. The lion-like groundling dropped to all fours and started giving chase.

“Looks like you were too late,” Kaa teased. “I told you not to doubt my daughter and Bynn.”

Tira was tired of Kaa and his constant taunting. She was tired of her elven form. Tiranis was longing to break free from the simple elven skin she had been wearing. Then it happened; a combination of too many emotions and a one-armed elf laughing in her face caused Tira to lose control to Tiranis.

Kaa didn’t even try to run as the noble elf in front of him dropped down to her knees and started her transformation into a purple dragon. He knew something was evil inside of her, and now he knew what it was. The elven archers looked on, paralyzed in fear.

Still Kaa kept pushing Tiranis, even as she changed. “Bynn already killed one of your kind, and you will be next.”

Tiranis turned her head slightly as she remembered her mother. In an instant, the purple dragon was on top of the elf. She ripped him apart, partly for her mother but mostly because it had been so long since she had tasted the blood of an elf.

The elven archers did not even raise their bows. They were terrified, both of fighting a dragon and of attacking a noble elf. The confusion gave Tiranis a chance to speak. Her words were truthful and also laced with magical influence. By the time she finished her speech, the elves fully believed that a dragon was their only hope for survival against the blood monkeys and the vengeful trolls.

*****

Munkus quickly caught up with the group using a combination of teleportation and natural speed. The jaguar turned to fight the groundling, hoping that it would buy the others some time to escape. The two great cats fought a terrible battle, but it was a fight that the jaguar had no hopes of winning. When Munkus realized that natural weapons would not be enough against such a large opponent, the groundling resorted to his earth magic. The jaguar was confined in a tangle of vines. Tiranis’ instructions were clear, “Do not harm them. I want them alive.”

The jaguar’s sacrifice was successful, however. Bynn, Vaidon, Qari and Rolo, Batoonsta and Calidorn all got away from the dragon and her groundling pet.

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2013 in Penn's Diary

 

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Writing Assignment for Tech Writing

The assignment was to properly use fifteen of my vocabulary and spelling words in a paragraph.

Tell me how you think I did.

 

The pretentious old man believed that his true legacy would be fully realized posthumously. He had taken every possible measure to ensure that his spirit would remain long after his body was devoid of life. The elderly man had placed the pedagogy for his young apprentice to follow; although he feared the ostentatious boy would do nothing more than jeopardize his plan. Still, he was invaluable to the dying teacher due to his inherent goodness and virtual abyssal amount of knowledge. The student felt that a lingering spirit, with no vessel to fill, was a not only a paradox but also extremely dangerous. Yet he followed his mentor’s orders and stated the words of magic in emphatic tones and with perfect syntax.  One wrong syllable or inflection would obliterate both teacher and student. Everything went according to plan, and the magic began to intercede. The youth and pride of the student was no match for the wisdom of the teacher, and the old man’s spirit forced itself into the boy’s body. The teacher casually walked away from the dying student; it would take him a few days to get used to his new pseudonym but it was far better than death.

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2013 in From the Desk of the Author

 

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Ties That Bind (chapter 10)

qari

Ties That Bind

Chapter Ten

The Alliance

“You didn’t see what I saw,” Qari screamed as Calidorn carried him through the forest. “I will kill them all.”

Calidorn tried to calm the man down, but Qari was having no part of it. He had seen the vile and nefarious manner in which the monkeys were feeding on the blood of humans. The mere thought caused him to once again fight back the urge to vomit.

Bynn appreciated the man’s enthusiasm for killing the monkeys, but realized that it was not the right time to make a stand. Silkwood was close enough that the elf believed the group stood a good chance of making it before the monkeys completely washed over them. Bynn threw the magical trident to Qari when he had finally calmed down enough to be put down by Calidorn. “I promise, you will get your chance at revenge,” Bynn offered, “But not now.”

Calidorn and Batoonsta never slowed in their dash for safety. The elephant man and the minotaur were far slower than the elves and Qari, and they had no intention of being overtaken by the blood monkeys. Vaidon stayed with Bynn and Qari as they argued.

Finally, Qari conceded that the fight would come another day. However, that notion was abandoned as the man saw Rolo getting chased by three wild monkeys. The anteater would be killed if no one intervened. Bynn let loose two quick arrows, and two of the creatures fell. The last monkey grabbed Rolo’s tail and set his feet against the pulling anteater. Qari drove his new trident through the creature’s chest, and urged Rolo to safety. Rolo followed Calidorn and Batoonsta.

The salvation of Rolo had cost Qari and elves their advantage. The blood monkeys were closing in on the group. “Vaidon, go with the others and send help as quickly as possible.” The female elf hesitated and almost argued, but something told her that Bynn was right. They would need help. She sprinted straight for Silkwood, but the monkeys cut her off. A half dozen of the creatures darted between her and the path to the elven city. Vaidon never slowed as she continued to run directly at the beasts. She cut down two with one mighty swing of her sword; however, the others clawed and scratched at her as she passed. The wounds were not nearly fatal, but they were certainly painful. They also slowed her down, which allowed more monkeys to get in front of her.

The demon monkey led the charge on Bynn and Qari. Bynn knew that the great monkey was somehow protected from his arrows, so he continued to launch arrows into the horde of blood monkeys that followed their master. Qari ran right at the demon monkey as the elf’s arrows thinned the troops.

“More blood for the monkey god,” the demon shouted as he leveled a stone club at the charging human. Qari lowered his spear in the hopes of skewering the beast. The demon monkey easily parried the attack, but it did not account for the magic of the trident. Qari wretched the stone club from the demon’s clutches. Instinctively, the man pulled the club free and swung it at the face of his foe.

There was a sickening crack as the club hit the monkey in the left eye. Blood poured from the shattered socket where an eye was resided. The demon monkey dropped to his knees and clutched his bleeding face. The blood monkeys hesitated; their lord had just been defeated. Qari aimed another strike, but before he could attack the monkey disappeared in an eruption of blood.

Bynn grabbed Qari and took advantage of the blood monkeys’ confusion. They may make it to Silkwood after all.

The monkeys in Vaidon’s path were too far away to know about the defeat of the demon, so they continued form in front of the elf. Vaidon was injured; every step sent waves of pain through her legs.  The monkeys in front of her would kill her if she continued; however, the monkeys behind her would kill her if she stopped. Vaidon had no choice but to press forward. Suddenly, the jaguar appeared and slaughtered the monkeys in the elf’s way. Vaidon stumbled and the great cat leaped over her and killed the monkeys behind her. Then the jaguar took her collar in its mouth and carried her off as if she were one of its cubs.

Bynn and Qari quickly followed on the same path the jaguar had opened for them. As the duo neared Silkwood, they noticed volleys of arrows raining down behind them. The elves were driving the monkeys away from the city. Batoonsta and Calidorn were already resting when Qari found them. Rolo was curled into a tight ball next to the elephant, and Qari jumped on him and buried him in a hug. Bynn found Vaidon sitting with her back against the giant jaguar as the beast lay on the ground. The jaguar gave a low growl as Bynn approached the wounded female, but Vaidon gave him a soothing pat to show that it was alright. The good news was that everyone was safe. The bad news was that Tira Al Lung had been right about the monkeys.

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2013 in Penn's Diary

 

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Gathering the Magic

swamp witch

 

The crickets were chirping and the frogs were calling. The sound of the small wooden shelter, anchored to the shore by a worn out rope, was steady and somewhat comforting. The green light glowing from inside was far less comforting, and coupled with the steady cackling laughter it was downright terrifying.

However, the man who slowly walked toward the boat house was not easy frightened. He was Rainor, and he was on the hunt. As he approached the door he heard a voice from inside say, “Come in!”

Rainor, the powerful mage, was only to happy to oblige the swamp witch. He opened the door and walked in, without fear or hesitation.

“I saw dat you was a-coming,” a small dark-skinned woman stated without turning around to give any regard for the man. Her dark eyes were focused on the green flame.

“Good,” Rainor answered, “Then this should go smoothly.” As he spoke, he looked around the shack. There were herbs and cattails, as well as skulls from many animals and even some from humanoids. Then his eyes settled on several small dolls. Rainor was curious about the dolls, for they exuded a strange magical appeal. The mage made his way over to the dolls as the witch continued to look into the flame of her green-flaming candle.

Rainor scanned the dolls, and was amazed. They were very detailed, and he even recognized one of the dolls as Jericho, the king of Shadowmire. The city of the therians was not far from the witches hideout, so it was not surprising that she, too, knew of the lion king. Then, his heart went into his throat as he quickly grabbed a doll that was an exact replica of Rainor himself, dressed in the same clothing that he wore at that exact moment.

“How did you?”

“I saw dat you was a-coming,” the witch repeated. This time she turned, and looked at Rainor. She was not unattractive, or at least, there was a time when she may have had a chance to be pretty. However, those days were many years and many baths behind her. Her teeth were rotten, and she was caked in swamp mud. Still, when Rainor looked upon her, he wanted her. Something stirred inside him as her chest heaved in heavy breaths.

She was casting spells on him, he realized. Rainor exploded in anger, furious with himself for underestimating the wicked swamp hag. He kicked her in the stomach and doubled her over. Then he grabbed her by the hair and threw her into the corner.

The witch laughed in the mage’s face. She repeated the same words over and over, “I saw dat you was a-coming.”

Rainor held his doll over the green flame, “You think it is funny? I will burn this place into the swamp.” The green light seemed to have no effect on the doll at first, but suddenly it burst into bright green flames. Rainor fell to the floor of the shack, barely able to breathe. Pain shot through his entire body; it was as if every inch of his skin was being stung by a wasp.

The witch’s laughter continued as Rainor writhed in pain. He felt the wood from the floor on his cheek and watched the burning doll. The Doll. The mage mustered his strength and lunged for the doll, which was on fire but did not seem to be consumed by the flames. Rainor snatched the doll and smothered it under his body. The pain lessened but he was far from being alright. He was still dying.

The witch stopped her laughing and started some incantation which Rainor had no intention of staying around for. With one magic word, the mage teleported back to the safety of his study. All he wanted to do was sleep, but he knew that to give in to that urge was to accept death. Rainor would never so readily give himself over to that fate.

He found potions of healing and one that stopped that effects of almost every poison. Rainor quickly popped the corks, and poured the liquid down his throat. Then he passed out.

Rainor woke three days later; his head foggy and his body weak. Where am I? What happened? He wondered. He saw the answer as he looked on the ground and noticed a small doll that looked just like him.

 

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2013 in Penn's Diary

 

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Ties That Bind (Chapter 8)

Qari

Runt of the Litter

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Ties That Bind

Chapter 8

The Cave Tree

Calidorn’s broad fingers tinkered with Qari’s bird skull helmet while the two talked about their past. Qari explained how his tribe had been slaughtered by the blood monkeys while he was away. He explained that all of the surrounding tribes had suffered the same fate. Rolo was out searching for food; it had been a while since the anteater had been allowed to freely hunt. However, now that his master was safe Rolo enjoyed romping through the forest without a saddle.

“What about you?” Qari asked. “Did the monkeys take out the others in your party?” Calidorn had explained that he was part of a mining expedition that had found this cave particular cave.

Calidorn shook his head. He fidgeted with the helmet and attached some adornments. “No, not the monkeys.” The elephant man handed the bird skull back to Qari. “It was the jaguar.”

“Yeah, the jaguars are bad,” Qari put the helmet on, and it fit perfectly.

“Not the jaguars,” Calidorn picked up his hammer as the memory came back to him. “THE JAGUAR.” Qari didn’t understand what he meant, but when Calidorn did not elaborate he knew better than to pry.

Instead the small human decided to change the subject. The past was filled with too much bloodshed. “So how far back does this cave go?”

“It goes pretty deep. I shrunk down as much as I could, but still couldn’t slip through a few places.” Calidorn’s eyes seemed to lose the sadness in his eyes.

“Wait, did you say ‘shrunk down’?”

“Oh, yeah!” Calidorn grew to stand about eight feet tall. Then he shrunk back down to around four or so feet high. Qari was amazed. Calidorn just laughed. “Want to go exploring? I bet you can fit through some of the cracks that I couldn’t. You are skinny.”

So the two new friends set off to travel deeper into the cave. Qari trusted that Rolo would be safe. Anteaters survived in the wild on their own all the time. Further and further they went, and it got cold to the shirtless human. Calidorn offered the man a cloak to help with the chill. “Gets cold down here.”

They passed over a small underground stream. “I have been able to get fish out of here sometimes. They are small, but at least it gives me something to eat other than fruits and roots.”

“How long have you been surviving down here?”

“Somewhere around a moon cycle,” Calidorn answered. At first, Qari was amazed at how the elephant creature had made it so long. Then he realized that he and Rolo had been running for almost two weeks. It was intriguing the lengths living creatures would go to ensure survival.

Calidorn led them to a small crack in the wall. Qari would not have even noticed it if it was not pointed out to him. “I have heard strange sounds through this crack. I know it leads somewhere.”

“Go it alone, eh?”

“As I said, I can’t fit,” Calidorn laughed. “You don’t have to go, if you don’t feel comfortable.”

Qari chuckled nervously. “I will go. If I don’t come back, take care of Rolo.” He was only half kidding. With a deep breath, the small man slipped into the small crack. He had been in a cave the whole time, but being unable to move in any direction except sideways was overwhelming. Qari considered going back, but he heard a sound that he was all too familiar with; monkeys.

Anger drove him along. Hate pushed him through even though it took the skin off of his ears and cheeks. Qari climbed and climbed as he made his way toward the sounds of his most hated enemies. Finally, he saw a small light up ahead. He cautiously poked his head out into a large open chamber which spilled light into his crevice.

What he saw nearly took his breath away. He was midway up the wall overlooking an open cavern. In the middle of the cavern was a large tree. A small opening in the top of the cave gave enough sunlight to keep the tree alive. Strewn throughout the tree were abyssal plant vines. Their smell washed over the small man, and nearly made him swoon. He covered his face with the cloak Calidorn had given him earlier.

Monkeys leaped from the opening into the tree and climbed up and down. At the base of the tree, Qari saw something that he did not expect. There were about thirty humans and elves sitting under the tree. What are they doing? Why are they just sitting there? Qari wanted answers. Some of the men at the bottom of the tree were tribesmen. Could some of my people have survived? Qari hoped, but he needed to get down to them.

Suddenly Qari heard a powerful call from the opening. He looked up to see a spider monkey with blood red eyes. The beast hooted and barked and all the monkeys rushed up the tree and followed him. In a matter of seconds, the cavern was completely quiet. Qari courageously jumped from his perch and grabbed hold of a branch. He quickly climbed down, making sure that the cloak stayed wrapped around his mouth and nose.

When he reached the humans and elves, he puked into the cloak. The abyssal plants had caused them to be lulled into a near catatonic state. They were sedated and did not even notice the small human that had climbed down among them. Worse than that was the fact that they were covered in blood sac oozes and leeches. The blood sac oozes where heavy with the life essence of their host. Qari realized that the monkeys were using them to harvest blood. He could see scars and some fresh wounds where the monkeys had pulled the oozes and leeches away.

Qari sank to one knee and contemplated just staying there; giving up hope. He realized quickly that he had to get away from the effects of the abyssal plants, or he too would become a feeder for the monkeys. If he had more time, he would have killed every one of the damned souls under the tree. However, he had no weapons and no time. Qari climbed the tree and made a leap back to the crack. He had to catch the ledge and maneuver his way back in, but he managed it with some difficulty.

Qari stopped about halfway back to Calidorn and cried. He let out all of the anger, hurt, guilt, shame, regret; all of it. His eyes were red and puffy when he stepped out of the hole, but he had a plan. He was going to kill every blood monkey he saw. There was no more running. It was time to hunt.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2013 in Penn's Diary

 

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