Mar 31 2014

Shadow of Hope XXIX

Further examination of the Calishite revealed that he was deceased for some few hours at least, and although Marcus had not witnessed every subversive means to fake death, the severity of this neck injury was without a doubt irreparable by any but the most divine intervention. In addition, he had been stripped down to his under clothing, with anything of value having been removed.

Zulian’s angled eyes gave Katarina an appraising glance from face to foot and back again, as if assessing her motives. She then turned her head slightly and caught Erellia’s eye.

“Katarina, priestess of Trymeya,” Erellia offered before returning to her work with Vanris. Continue reading

Mar 30 2014

The Nix II

With a spindly insectile infrastructure and brazen plumage, any rational mind would have expected the Nix to be easily identifiable. Their cellular composition was versatile enough though to grant mimetic capabilities within a wide boundary range.  They existed in a semi-fluid state, though the staged reinforcement of tissue granted extreme durability to their frame.  As ridiculous as it sounded, their ability to assume the shape of a beach chair, lawn chair or lounge chair granted them virtual invisibility in certain settings, at least until the claws came out.

Once the screaming started, the presence of a Nix was pretty well assured. Continue reading

Mar 28 2014

Dameon Cross

The blackness of space can affect a man.  Unless that man has known nothing other.  Then that great void is home, and there’s nowhere else he’d rather be.  Such was the way of Dameon Cross, spacer, pilot and often times rogue trader.  His fancy lingo for what amounts to a smuggler.  A man does what he must to survive.  None knew that better. Continue reading

Mar 27 2014


“Have you ever been on an anchor at impact?” the navigator asked.

“We have not,” Jorey responded for the group.

“I have,” Sputter said, but he was daft.  No one paid him much attention.

“Well then you might get your chance this dawning.”  The lean man contemplated the projection of the archouranos revolving before him.  The dimensional map of the orbiting sky islands was a navigator’s most valuable tool.  “Difficult time to be crossing the Titan’s wedge.” Continue reading

Mar 26 2014

Shredder 37

“Climb, up there?”  Merinde was shouting over the wind as the freezing rain pelted down.  In all likelihood, she would have been screaming even if the weather was tranquil.  “I can’t even feel my fingers, and you want me to climb that?”

Her sodden finger pointed into a murky defile of rock overhead.  The natural chimney looked unpromising, but Gerard was insistent.  “I know how it looks.  I’ve been here before.  Watch.” Continue reading

Mar 25 2014

Now We Wait III

“Nonsense.  We carry on as planned.”  Farrin’s confidence was warming.  Not as warming as the resistance spells Horil had cast to keep them from freezing to death, but she knew every bit helped.  Checking her mental register, she was confident their temperature wards would hold until they were at safer altitudes.  She wasn’t so sure about the wind shields.

Farrin was looking around with such zeal, he broke her train of thought and forced her to hold on.  “What are you doing?” she said.

“Looking for dragons,” he replied, “Perhaps we could negotiate transport.” Continue reading

Mar 24 2014

Shadow of Hope XXVIII

Kurn gave a slow blink and shift of attention toward the boisterous warrior.  His eyes opened and surveyed the man, Kurn’s disapproval of the boasting tempered by the blood that adorned the man’s greatsword.  Kurn turned to Cheskith, in step with the return to Erellia’s shelter, and shrugged, glad that the conflict had ended and showing he cared little for such calls made in its wake.

Kurn reached the shelter and put the riding saddle under its canopy. He caught the eye of Haron and was briefly amused at the open amazement in Haron’s eyes that Kurn was on his feet after such an engagement, though Kurn knew he looked a poor sight.  “One of the pack horses is now for riding again.”  Kurn tipped his head toward the recovered saddle.  He looked up and down Haron as if checking the boy for injury from several paces distance, and was relieved to see he had suffered none.  He gave an acknowledging glance to the others of Erellia’s party, sparing no smile but glad they were all well nevertheless. Continue reading

Mar 23 2014

The Nix

I’m not even sure why I wear the rings anymore.  The war has been over for years.  I guess once you’ve seen what a Nix can do to a human, you never really let go.  Then there are the news blips of sightings and the stories of attacks that never quite make the headlines.  The war may be over, but I don’t think we’ll ever be rid of them completely.

Their Colonizer crashed into Sonora about 80 klicks north of Hermosillo on a hot summer evening without tripping a single alarm.  Their gift for camouflage extended to their interstellar craft, though we didn’t piece that together until after the worst of it.  The impact drew enough local attention that the Mexican scrublands were painted red before any countermeasures were enacted.

Continue reading

Mar 21 2014

Dahni Bobbajon

The Mad Beggar of Cornfall was legendary.  Homeless, shirtless and wild-eyed, the self-proclaimed ronin defended the city against illusory attackers with his invisible blade.  Scorpion style martial arts displays provided an entertaining backdrop for the unsuspecting traveler, as the acrobatic lunatic navigated the streets with untraceable abandon.  Seen upon rooftops, emerging from sewage tunnels and within any edifice the city boasted, the Mad Beggar was a beacon of local culture.  Though he survived upon the charity of others, his positive influence lightened the load of any who happened to cross his path. Continue reading

Mar 20 2014

The Limit

Shuffling feet were sanded smooth by the hot asphalt.  A windpipe whistled in the salt air, and caked teeth clacked against the insatiable hunger.  Movement again flashed ahead, hot and taunting.  A groan of need and the hunter turned, arm outstretched and drifting forward.

Then the prey was gone, vanished in a cataract world of barren wastes.  Gray everywhere, surrounding and smothering.  The flesh statue waited.  Snaking winds through the trees and a vague whisper thump pulled the grim visage around.  Murmurs in the distance, faint and far, cycled up.  Rotten feet plodded forward. Continue reading