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Posted by on June 21, 2014 in Penn's Diary

 

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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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Another Snippet from the Council of Therian

orc

One day while playing in the woods near Brentwood, Burge spotted two orcs with rusty swords drawn. He quickly got the other’s attention and showed them what he had seen. Six sets of gnome eyes were watching the orcs as they lumbered about. Suddenly the orcs stopped and squatted low, as if to hide from someone. Penn couldn’t believe what was happening. Popo, a girl that always wanted to hang with the boys must have followed them out into the woods. She was heading right toward the crouching orcs without a care in the world. Penn and the others were paralyzed with fear, but Attilla came out of hiding with a scream and ran straight at the orcs. Each footfall seemed to drive another quill out of his back, as his therian rage flooded over the gnome. By the time he got to the startled orcs, he was half gnome and half porcupine. It was the farthest any of his friends had ever seen him go into his hybrid form.

The orcs were not ready to do battle with a therian, even if they didn’t know it. Attilla jumped in between them forcing them apart. A few quills stuck one of the orcs, but that only seemed to make the brute angry. Popo, now seeing the danger, turned and started back for the safety of Brentwood. Attilla broke off a quill from his shoulder and used it as a dirk, stabbing the orcs repeatedly. The gnome had never been in a fight where he could truly die, not many of the gnomes in the area had. Orcs, unlike the gnomes, were brought up to battle. By the time an orc had reached young adulthood, he had most likely killed several of his peers just to survive. Attilla had courage, but the orcs had skill. The deciding factor, however, was the tainted blood that ran through the gnome’s veins.

The first orc tried to grab the little creature, but that only got him an arm full of spines. He threw the therian to the ground and cut him across the chest with his rusty sword. The battle should have been over, but it wasn’t. The wound closed itself almost instantly, but the orc paid no attention. He was too busy pulling the thick quills out of his forearm. So Attilla jabbed his makeshift dagger into the leg of the other orc, but that orc scored a hit on the gnome-porcupine as well. It was a kick into Attilla’s ribs, which sent him flying. The orc believed the fight finished, for he had felt the bones give way under the force of his boot. It was a gross miscalculation, and it cost him his life. Attilla’s ribs quickly healed themselves with a sick grinding sensation, but after the initial pain he was fine. The overconfident orc stood over the therian, stuck out his leg, and went to pull the quill out. Attilla jumped on his leg, grabbed his shirt, then tucked his chin and jumped right into the orcs face. His quills buried deep into the unsuspecting orc’s neck and face. The orc fell back, instantly dead, and took the gnome with him. Attilla used the momentum to roll off, and went right after the first orc. The orc wisely ran the other way. Attilla followed.

It all happened so fast that the others still hadn’t even moved. However when Penn saw his friend chasing an orc into the woods, he bolted after them. The others followed as well, but they were not nearly as fast through the woods as Penn.  When Penn got to his friend, Attilla was on top of the orc’s chest violently chopping him with his own sword. From what Penn could tell Attilla had been at it for a while. There wasn’t much left to identify it as an orc anymore. Tears were pouring down the therian’s face, and it took Penn a moment to determine if his friend was injured or not. He realized that Attilla was fine, physically at least. Penn went to his friend and gently, for he didn’t want to be victimized by the quills, placed his hand on Attilla’s shoulder.

The therian stopped his insane hacking, and collapsed into his friend. His rage had played out and he was ashamed. Instantly, for he was a true therian, Attilla was back in gnome form. He cried with heavy sobs into Penn’s chest. Penn didn’t say a word. Even at that age, he understood that sometimes just being there was enough. After a few moments, Attilla wiped the blood, tears, and snot from his face. He stared at his friend and thanked him without saying a word. By this time the others were finally arriving.

Rumors spread like wildfire through the small town. After the incident people started getting scared of the therian gnome. Parents instructed their kids not to hang around with him. Attilla was the hero that day, but people couldn’t accept that. Even the boys that were there, except for Penn, altered the story so that it painted them in a better light. Sometimes lies are easier to believe than the truth, especially when the truth goes against the natural order.

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2014 in Snippets from The Council of Therian

 

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I am your Guest!

Attilla

“Take off your shoes,” Attilla wasn’t used to asking anyone to do anything; so he didn’t.  Penn noticed a small bench behind the door, and he sat to take off his boots. Above the bench was a large mirror. Penn had only seen one other mirror in his life. A merchant had been trying to sell it at the fair in Oliveloft. The gnome had seen his reflection almost every day, however, in wash basins and standing water pools in Brentwood. Still, he couldn’t help but be fascinated once again at the sight of himself, and the clarity of the mirror.

Penn first noticed that his hair was looking horrible. He always, ever since he was a kid, had to have his hair combed and looking sharp. After he had removed his shoes Attilla went on into the den area to start the fire, while his friend fixed his hair. Penn pulled a comb made of wood and abalone out of his pack and started working on his hair, which he wore combed over one eye these days. The comb had been a gift from his mom during the Festival of Serynade many years ago. Penn always carried it with him as a good luck charm.

After fixing his brown hair, Penn took a look into his own face. He noticed dark circles under his eyes. Two hard days travelling, with a night spent out in the wilderness had taken its toll. He raised his chin and noticed dirt lines on his neck.  He needed a wash badly, and wondered how nasty he must smell.

Attilla must have been watching him and understood what Penn must be thinking, for he called from the other room, “I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Most of the people here are animals anyway.” He made himself laugh, but Penn wasn’t sure that it was appropriate for him to share in the humor. So he just walked out of the foyer area and into the den, where the fire was just starting to warm up the larger room.

Attilla’s den area was beautiful. On one wall he had shelves upon shelves of books. Bindings of all different colors and sizes stood like little soldiers overlooking two comfortable chairs. Penn could smell the old parchment, which reminded him of the school house in Brentwood.  Just glancing at some of the titles, Penn had already read several of the books. As much as Penn loved books, he couldn’t take his eyes off of what was on the other wall.

Weapons of every kind hung on Attilla’s wall. Penn felt like he could have been in a dwarven weapon smith’s shop. Swords of every length and breadth, maces, axes, and some weapons Penn had never even seen all stared back at him. His eye’s immediately focused on a small hand axe with a turtle shell pommel. Penn forced himself to measure each weapon’s own designs, but he always found his eyes going back to that axe. Attilla got himself washed up, changed his clothes and started making some hot tea while his friend looked around the house.

“Did you want to wash up?”  Attilla asked. Penn turned to his friend and nodded. “There is a basin out back with fresh water in it. It may be a little cold, but it’s better than nothing.”

‘Yeah, my neck is all gunked up, and my feet need a good scrub.” Penn said.

“Well go handle that. Nothing in here is going anywhere before you get back, I promise,” Attilla teased.

“Jokes,” Penn laughed. “Make me some tea. I am your guest.”  Penn walked past the fireplace, where again the masonry was superb. There was no jealousy in Penn as he walked through the kitchen area and out the back door. He was proud of the life Attilla had carved for himself here in Shadowmire. Life had been hard enough on the poor therian gnome.  When the people of Brentwood learned of Attilla’s disease, they simply did not understand it. At first adults, who should know better, would try to bait him into his transformations so they could watch. His classmates would call him names and throw rocks and sticks at him. Attilla’s parents treated him harshly, and he distanced himself from them as much as he could.

The only real haven for Attilla was at the Darvel home. He stayed over there a lot of the time, and was always treated kindly. Penn would read through books on the nights Attilla had to go home, searching for some kind of way to make his friend better. Things never got better for Attilla in Brentwood. In fact, things got remarkably worse as he got older.

Penn Darvel

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2014 in Snippets from The Council of Therian

 

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Snippet from The Council of Therian

attilla

               The only real haven for Attilla was at the Darvel home. He stayed over there a lot of the time, and was always treated kindly. Penn would read through books on the nights Attilla had to go home, searching for some kind of way to make his friend better. Things never got better for Attilla in Brentwood. In fact, things got remarkably worse as he got older.

One day while playing in the woods near Brentwood, Burge spotted two orcs with rusty swords drawn. He quickly got the other’s attention and showed them what he had seen. Six sets of gnome eyes were watching the orcs as they lumbered about. Suddenly the orcs stopped and squatted low, as if to hide from someone. Penn couldn’t believe what was happening. Popo, a girl that always wanted to hang with the boys must have followed them out into the woods. She was heading right toward the crouching orcs without a care in the world. Penn and the others were paralyzed with fear, but Attilla came out of hiding with a scream and ran straight at the orcs. Each footfall seemed to drive another quill out of his back, as his therian rage flooded over the gnome. By the time he got to the startled orcs, he was half gnome and half porcupine. It was the farthest any of his friends had ever seen him go into his hybrid form.

The orcs were not ready to do battle with a therian, even if they didn’t know it. Attilla jumped in between them forcing them apart. A few quills stuck one of the orcs, but that only seemed to make the brute angry. Popo, now seeing the danger, turned and started back for the safety of Brentwood. Attilla broke off a quill from his shoulder and used it as a dirk, stabbing the orcs repeatedly. The gnome had never been in a fight where he could truly die, not many of the gnomes in the area had. Orcs, unlike the gnomes, were brought up to battle. By the time an orc had reached young adulthood, he had most likely killed several of his peers just to survive. Attilla had courage, but the orcs had skill. The deciding factor, however, was the tainted blood that ran through the gnome’s veins.

The first orc tried to grab the little creature, but that only got him an arm full of spines. He threw the therian to the ground and cut him across the chest with his rusty sword. The battle should have been over, but it wasn’t. The wound closed itself almost instantly, but the orc paid no attention. He was too busy pulling the thick quills out of his forearm. So Attilla jabbed his makeshift dagger into the leg of the other orc, but that orc scored a hit on the gnome-porcupine as well. It was a kick into Attilla’s ribs, which sent him flying. The orc believed the fight finished, for he had felt the bones give way under the force of his boot. It was a gross miscalculation, and it cost him his life. Attilla’s ribs quickly healed themselves with a sick grinding sensation, but after the initial pain he was fine. The overconfident orc stood over the therian, stuck out his leg, and went to pull the quill out. Attilla jumped on his leg, grabbed his shirt, then tucked his chin and jumped right into the orcs face. His quills buried deep into the unsuspecting orc’s neck and face. The orc fell back, instantly dead, and took the gnome with him. Attilla used the momentum to roll off, and went right after the first orc. The orc wisely ran the other way. Attilla followed.

It all happened so fast that the others still hadn’t even moved. However when Penn saw his friend chasing an orc into the woods, he bolted after them. The others followed as well, but they were not nearly as fast through the woods as Penn.  When Penn got to his friend, Attilla was on top of the orc’s chest violently chopping him with his own sword. From what Penn could tell Attilla had been at it for a while. There wasn’t much left to identify it as an orc anymore. Tears were pouring down the therian’s face, and it took Penn a moment to determine if his friend was injured or not. He realized that Attilla was fine, physically at least. Penn went to his friend and gently, for he didn’t want to be victimized by the quills, placed his hand on Attilla’s shoulder.

The therian stopped his insane hacking, and collapsed into his friend. His rage had played out and he was ashamed. Instantly, for he was a true therian, Attilla was back in gnome form. He cried with heavy sobs into Penn’s chest. Penn didn’t say a word. Even at that age, he understood that sometimes just being there was enough. After a few moments, Attilla wiped the blood, tears, and snot from his face. He stared at his friend and thanked him without saying a word. By this time the others were finally arriving.

Rumors spread like wildfire through the small town. After the incident people started getting scared of the therian gnome. Parents instructed their kids not to hang around with him. Attilla was the hero that day, but people couldn’t accept that. Even the boys that were there, except for Penn, altered the story so that it painted them in a better light. Sometimes lies are easier to believe than the truth, especially when the truth goes against the natural order.

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2013 in Snippets from The Council of Therian

 

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Magic Items

Magic Items are always fun to deal with.

I love creating magical weapons and armor. It makes ordinary men and women become something so much greater. However, in Dessilus the magic will be crude and unrefined which resembles the people that inhabit the wastes.

Skurlok finds a pair of magical weapons which change his life forever.

The undead are looking for a magical source that will grant them new life.

A few of the Reptile Elite have magical weapons and armor.

The Insectiles have no magic.

I have a goat assassin (spinning off of my friend’s animal hybrid ideas) and he carries magical items. Also, there is a goodly mountain sheep of the same type. These two will serve as polar opposites and a reference of good and evil.

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2013 in From the Desk of the Author

 

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Demon Wrought (Chapter 3)

Larkin Dane

Demon Wrought

Chapter Three

 

Priam had been nervously awaiting his sister’s return; worry clearly etched on his young face as the two females approached the house. He quickly ran to Helen and she fell into his arms. Her shoulders bobbed as her tears absorbed into her younger brother’s night shirt. Priam looked to Beth for answers.

“She is not hurt,” Beth answered the wordless question. “She was lucky that Berg found her though, or things could have been very different.” The words caused Helen’s imagination to run wild, and her crying escalated into an uncontrolled frenzy. Beth looked at the boy holding his terrified sister, and she felt sympathy for the Troy family. “I think, perhaps, you should keep this incident to yourselves. The girl has already had to deal with so much, I think telling your parents would be…”

“The proper path for us,” Priam finished Beth’s sentence. “Thank you for everything you have done this night, my lady. Keeping secrets from our family is what caused this horror in the first place, and we will not make that same mistake again.”

Beth was surprised at the intensity and confidence of Priam. He was completely in control, and was dismissing her. She smiled, realizing that Helen was in good hands.

From the window above, Castor and Pollux looked down on the trio. The boys were not old enough to understand why they couldn’t look away from the cleavage pressing up from Beth’s dress, but they were old enough to know they didn’t want avert their gaze. When the voluptuous woman finally walked away, the twins nervously grinned at each other and lay back down in bed. They made sure they were back to back. The two boys hoped to quickly fall asleep; they longed for dreams of the woman and her breasts.

*****

Berg forced the man into the Crab Trap, and searched for Larkin. Ricci noticed the half-demon and immediately made his way over to him. “If you are looking for Larkin,” Ricci stated, “he has already returned home. Let me help you.”

“I would rather lie naked and dying in a desert,” Berg stated. He gave Ricci a smile and yanked the condemned man back outside. Berg either did not hear or simply did not care about the protests of Ricci. The fat man cursed the half-demon, and called down every degradation he could fathom. Berg and his prisoner made their way to the jailhouse with the man struggling the entire way.

“I didn’t know she was just a kid, Berg,” he argued over and over again. “Honestly, it won’t happen again. I swear on my life.” As they got closer and closer to the prison, the man pulled harder and harder against Berg.

“I will cut your damn head off if you don’t stop pulling against me,” Berg turned angrily on the man. “You tried to rape a little girl. It is taking everything I have not to cut you into pieces and throw you in the sea. But I promise, if you yank me one more time or say another fucking word…” Berg let the threat hang in the air between them for a moment before continuing to the jailhouse.

Perhaps it was the look in the half-demon’s eyes or maybe it was the fact that the air had turned much colder as Berg spoke, but the man did not speak or pull anymore.

*****

“Baby, I know that things haven’t been the same between you and Ricci lately,” Dani spoke as she slipped out of her dress, “but I want you to be careful.”

Larkin pulled his shirt over his head, revealing a muscled chest and abdomen covered in scars. The man had seen and survived many battles. “I am not scared of Ricci.”

“Yes, I know,” Dani continued, “but he does run the city.”

“I know that,” Larkin countered. “You think I don’t know that he runs the city?” The muscles in his chest and arms tensed as he continued. “I have to choose the men I take on these missions very carefully, because I KNOW that he will try to find out exactly what strategies we are using. He is in with the knights, I swear it, Dani.”

“Well, no one believes that to be the case.”

“No one?!” Larkin asked.

“Don’t try to spin my words, Larkin Dane.” Dani shot back. “I have never doubted you or questioned your methods. Never once have I complained as you trampled off to fight demon knights alongside a demon spawn. So you will not try to take my words and twist them into some version where I lack faith in you.” Larkin just stared at his lovely wife. He had pushed her to this point with his words, and now he had to endure the tirade. “But… just because I believe you does not mean that others share my faith. Ricci is powerful, and people are more afraid of his power than they are of you and your men. So, be careful. If you cannot do that, then I would rather us just leave this place.”

Larkin grabbed her delicate face in his large hands and promised her that he would be careful.

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2013 in Penn's Diary

 

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