Sheriff of Copper Fold ch3Having enjoyed a hearty breakfast in Lady Talphenia's castle, Inquisitor Skennitus and his assistant, Delia took a stroll outside. The ground was thick with snow and the air was chill.
"This place is bitterly cold, Delia. Yet the chill of winter has a certain purity to it," said Skennitus.
"Spring is coming," said Delia.
"Ah, your elvish side gives you a certain sensitivity to the changing of seasons," replied Skennitus.
"Lady Talphenia looks like she has a bit of elvish blood in her veins," said Delia. "What do you make of our new mistress?"
"The whole air of this place is thick with the scent of demonic sorcery. She is a villain if ever I saw one," said Skennitus his features showing their ever-present look of disgust.
"I know you suspect her, but you could actually smile at her. She is now your liege lady. You surely don't want her to know you are on to her," suggested Delia.
"Of course she knows I suspect her. The woman is no fool. She wishes to display her arrogance by bringing me
Sos'umptu's Unwanted Assistant ch7The next day when Zariel arrived at the Baenre chapel, she presented Sos'umptu with a box.Sos'umptu's Unwanted Assistant ch73 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
The surprised chaplain opened the box.
"Honey-coated lizards!" the older Drow exclaimed with delight.
"Imported from Calimport. One of your nieces told me you liked sweets," explained Zariel.
" I certainly do. That was so kind, but it was really not necessary, child," said Sos'umptu.
"Well you were really nice to me yesterday, even after I had been such a spoiled bitch. Things are in a bad way now, but you're right, I need to trust Lolth and hope for the best," said Zariel.
Sos'umptu kissed her young assistant and gave her a hug.
Later that day, Sos'umptu was summoned to the chambers of older sister, Triel.
Sos'umptu slipped off her high-heeled shoes and stepped onto Triel's plush carpet.
Triel, wearing an elegant blue dress greeted her.
"And how is your assistant shaping up?" the matron mother asked.
"I think she has the makings of a fine Drow," replied Sos'umptu.
"Too bad," said Triel. "It s
An Advisory CapacityCommissar Heraclius had been trained in the art of riding an Imperial motorcycle, but it did not come naturally to him. Charging on his iron mount always made him dizzy and he had already fallen off the huge bike twice. This was worse than riding a horse with the Rough Riders.An Advisory Capacity3 years ago in Sci-Fi More Like This
In contrast, the Squats of the Grudborg Guild seemed to be in love with their motorcycles and kept revving them up every few minutes. They seemed an impatient lot and when not revving their bikes, they were firing their bolt pistols into the air or singing some rowdy chant in their harsh tongue. Commissar Heraclius imagined that the song's lyrics were of a lewd nature.
The Squat engineers were a good deal shorter than humans, but they made up for their lack of height with their strong muscular form. Most of them were bald, but they made up for that as well, with long, shaggy beards. Heraclius supposed that the leather jackets, emblazoned with the flaming skull emblem of their guild was a sort of uniform. They wer
The Birth of a Genestealer CultTheodore pulled up his truck near the wreck of the crashed spaceship.The Birth of a Genestealer Cult3 years ago in Horror More Like This
He couldn't tell if it was an Imperial craft, a pirate vessel or of alien origin. Theodore did not know very much about spacecraft in general. But he knew about money, and if there was anything of any value on board the wreck, he would recognise it when he saw it.
The ship did not look all that big; he had seen pictures of Imperial battleships that seemed to be the size of cities. All the better; he would be able to give it a thorough search and scavenge anything of value and then make a hasty departure before any Imperial officials arrived. Thankfully, the authorities on Istareus were slow, inefficient and corrupt. It could be some time before they got their act together to send in a salvage team.
As Theodore pulled on his safety helmet and attached a flashlight, he wished he had his partner Mop-head with him. With two of them, they could carry out much more loot. But since a burglary job had gone wrong, Mop-head wa
The Thing in the AquariumI have always enjoyed aquariums. There are few things more relaxing than looking at brightly coloured fish as they move gracefully through their tanks. There is so much beauty in the depths of the oceans. Yet it was in an aquarium that I saw the most terrifying and disturbing sight of my life, a sight that revealed to me the madness that lies so close to the world we inhabit.The Thing in the Aquarium3 years ago in Horror More Like This
I was on holiday in a town on the south coast, not far from Brighton. Though it was summer, the weather was atrocious and spending any time outdoors was imprudent. Of course our English seaside towns cater well for all weather patterns and there were plenty of things to do out of the rain. Among these was a visit to the small aquarium.
I have visited many aquariums and I have been scuba diving in several tropical reefs. I count myself as having a reasonable amateur knowledge of marine biology. Yet I was struck by how many species in this aquarium I did not recognise. Many of the specimens in the tanks had an oddly
The Journal of a Prisoner in Paradise: Part 1They encourage us to keep a diary; a 'reformation diary' they call it. I'm not exactly doing much reforming, but I thought I would keep one anyway. Maybe when I get out of here I can publish it and it'll be a bestseller, just like all the drug traffickers who get jailed in Thailand write a paperback.The Journal of a Prisoner in Paradise: Part 12 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
I'm a computer hack. It's what I'm good at. I never paid much attention at school, except when we had lessons in IT. I've done a lot of illegal things. I always knew I could end up in jail, I just never expected to end up in a prison run by Amazons.
I had gathered a reputation for being the best at what I do. I had hacked into banks, government offices and military installations. I've met lots of geeks who do this for fun, but for me it's a career, a way of life. I charged a high price, but people knew they were getting some supreme wizardry when they hired me. So it was no surprise when I got personally hired by Lex Luthor to do a little job. I'm sure it was nothing illegal or immoral (ye
Sos'umptu's Unwanted Assistant ch5"Do you love Lolth?" Sos'umptu asked Zariel, as the two Drow priestesses busied themselves polishing the silver vessels of the chapel.Sos'umptu's Unwanted Assistant ch53 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
"Of course I do, mistress," replied Zariel. To answer otherwise would have invited instant death. Neglect of the cult of the Spider Queen was not tolerated in Menzoberranzan.
"Why do you love her, child?" Sos'umptu asked.
Zariel had never once thought about it. She was a priestess of Lolth, educated at Arach-Tinilith. From her birth she had been brought up to serve the Spider Queen. Why would she not love Lolth?
The young priestess shrugged.
"Because.. because she's our goddess," she replied. "Because we serve her and she rewards us."
Sos'umptu nodded. She knew she was going to need to stretch the girl's mind a bit and expand her theology.
"Indeed. That is truth," the chaplain said. "The reason I ask is many Drow do not really love Lolth, or at least they do not really understand why they should love her."
Zariel looked blankly at the Baenre.
"A lot of
Sos'umptu In Her PietySos'umptu knelt on the marble floor of the Baenre chapel. She wore a plain black dress, her usual attire. Her black feet were bare, a gesture of piety in the chapel that she held sacred above else in Menzoberranzan. She had been in prayer for hours, beseeching Lolth to bless House Baenre and to raise the Drow race to new heights of glory. She meditated on the ways of the Spider Queen, seeing new depths to her theology and finding ever new insights into her mystery. This was her daily ritual. Not a day went by without Sos'umptu kneeling on the chapel floor to supplicate her goddess.Sos'umptu In Her Piety3 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Other members of the Baenre house frequently joined her on that chapel floor, barefoot and demure before the statue of their goddess. No Drow in Menzoberranzan was permitted to neglect the worship of Lolth. Sos'umptu welcomed her sisters to join her in prayer to Lolth. Yet the priestess knew their motives. The other Drow did not love Lolth as she did. They beseeched the Spider Queen to grant them power, stre
My Life With The Alien Sex KultI belong to the Church of Love. It is my life. I know the Imperium would tell me I have joined a heretical cult. But we believe in the same values as the Imperium. We believe in loyalty, duty and obedience. Most importantly of all, we believe in cherishing the young and respecting the old.My Life With The Alien Sex Kult2 years ago in Horror More Like This
Before I joined the Church, my life was empty. I used to spend all my time hanging out with losers, drinking beer and smoking sturfroot. Sure, my parents made me go the mission chapel when I was younger, but I gave up on all that Imperial stuff when I got older. What do I care about their corpse-emperor rotting away on distant Terra? What has the Imperium done for us but demand our blood and sacrifice?
My life changed when I bumped into Origen. He had worked in the same garage that I did a few years ago. He was a really cool guy with a great sense of humour. He had moved to another town since I last saw him. I invited him to come to the bar for a few drinks. I was totally shocked when he just drank s
Sheriff of Copper Fold ch1Hestra had been summoned to her mistress' study. She knocked on the door, before entering, her bare feet sinking into the thick carpet of the chamber.Sheriff of Copper Fold ch13 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Lady Talphenia's study was a large chamber lined with shelfs containing books on any subject imaginable. Various sinister looking carvings also decorated it, a reminder of the baroness' interest in the dark arts. A few scientific instruments could also be seen. Talphenia sought advancement in every area of human knowledge.
Talphenia was sat at her large oak desk. She turned to her majordomo.
The baroness was an attractive woman, her dark complexion betraying her family's southern origin. Her sharp cheekbones hinted at the distant elven blood in her ancestry. She was barefoot and dressed in a comfortable loose-fitting gown of blue silk.
"You summoned me, my lady," said Hestra. She spoke with the accent of a noble, with no trace of her peasant origin in her speech.
"Yes, my dear. We have had a letter from the inquisitorial fortress of Rom-
Descending to DefeatAdmiral Kathy Tenka sat in the control room of her shuttle as it hung in orbit over the Earth. Within the next two hours she would be announcing that she was in complete control of the government of the Terran Republic. Her military dictatorship was at hand.Descending to Defeat3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Tenka's coup had been meticulously planned. Her fleet would emerge out of hyperspace shortly and establish a planet-wide blockade of the Earth. A crack squad of navy special forces would break into Government House and seize the top government ministers. Another unit of marines would then surround the senate building. Supreme power was within her grasp.
A lot of things would need to change under her rule. The stupid multi-party parliamentary system was stuck in deadlock. Nothing ever seemed to get resolved. There was clearly a need for a new constitution. She and her most loyal officers would form a military council; with a few token civilians on the staff of course. After a few years of military rule, a suitable new electoral syst
Crimes Against Sentients ch2After Lippi had been frogmarched away, Vislor had been left in a state of shock and confusion. Unsure what to do he had returned to his spacecraft for a stiff drink.Crimes Against Sentients ch22 years ago in Humor More Like This
At the suggestion of Jez, his Devaronian butler, Vislor had marched down to the spaceport security office. When he arrived he was informed that Lippi had been transferred to the Coruscant Security Force headquarters.
"What am I going to do now?" he said.
Sagapia growled something.
"What an excellent suggestion," said the beady-eyed Devaronian. "Perhaps, sir, you might want to consider calling your legal team. They might be able to arrange a suitably qualified attorney for Madame Vittbug."
Vislor gave a startled look, indicating disbelief that this had not occurred to him. Ignoring the two servants, he put in a holonet call to the legion of lawyers who answered to his beck and call.
"I want a defence attorney at the headquarters of the Coruscant Security Force on the double!" he demanded.
"We shall have somebody there right
Blood for the Emperor!Commissar Phokas scanned the assembled Beastman platoon. The beastmen were a fearsome lot, covered in fur with curled horns. Their cloven hooves scratched the ground impatiently and their goatlike heads growled. They looked more like the demons of ancient mythology than soldiers of the Imperium.Blood for the Emperor!3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
There were some commissars who frowned at the use of beastmen in the Imperial Guard. While Ratlings and Ogryn were generally accepted as useful, if abhuman, beastmen were prone to serve the powers of Chaos and often unrealiable. Yet it seemed to Phokas that they should at least be given the chance to prove themselves. He had also noticed that while the Beastmen lacked the brute strength of Ogryns, they made up for it with their savagery and at times, an animalistic cunning. Other commissars were entitled to their opinion, but Phokas was happy to have beastmen serve under him.
The beastmen had been kitted out in ill-fitting flak armour. They were armed with an assortment of spears, wicked-lookin
Elf Princess and Brownie Lady Pt1Venatriel knew her father trusted her. That was why he was sending her to represent the interests of the elven kingdom. Years of training in the art of diplomacy had prepared her for this mission.Elf Princess and Brownie Lady Pt13 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Yet for all that trust, her father the king had made this demand of her. She knew it made sense. While she would have preferred to have travelled to Dun-Vabaldim by carriage, riding on a dragon would get her there much more speedily, allowing her more time for preparing the elves case for revision of the Treaty of Irongorge.
There was also another reason. Only brownies could ride dragons, which meant the princess would be arriving at the Dwarfhold in the company of a brownie. This held considerable political capital.
"It will show that elves and brownies are now friends," her father had explained. "It sends the clearest possible message that the days of our enslaving brownies are past and the enmity between our peoples is over. Our harsh treatment of brownies in the past put us in a position
Sheriff of Copper Fold ch2Hestra, majordomo of Lady Talphenia arrived in the entrance hall of the castle to greet the new arrivals.Sheriff of Copper Fold ch23 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Standing in the hallway was a man and a woman.
The man was very tall. He wore a long leather coat and a broad brimmed hat.
His face was tanned and weatherbeaten. His hair was greying. Yet it was his eyes that struck Hestra. Those two blue eyes targeted her with a fixed stare. Something seemed to burn in that gaze; a hatred, not a cold hatred, but an anger that would have consumed the world if it could.
His face seemed locked in a harsh grimace. It was as though looking at the majordomo was some chore to be endured, as though he were looking at something that filled him with disgust.
This could only be Skennitus, Holy Inquisitor and Paladin of the Church as well as, soon to be Sheriff of Copper Fold.
The young woman who accompanied him was similarly dressed in a leather coat and broad brimmed hat. She had long red hair. Her cheekbones were narrow and her ears were pointed. She had t
Sink or Swim with KathyCaptain Anne Molina kicked her bare foot against the plasteel door of the cell for the third time that day; a useless gesture that only ended up hurting her foot.Sink or Swim with Kathy3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
It had been two months since she had been arrested and detained for her involvement with Admiral Tenka's failed coup. Some senior officers involved had been allowed to quietly resign, others were facing discreet court martial proceedings. Not Captain Molina. She was in it up to her neck. She and six other officers in the Terran Navy were being charged with insurrection and related charges along with the famous admiral. Their trials would not even commence until Tenka had been convicted. That meant a very long stay in the Judicial Reception Centre.
Molina missed her husband and her two children. They had visited her a few times, but they were painful, tearful visits. The captain felt so ashamed seeing her family wearing a prison uniform.
Just how long was she going to spend in prison? Three years? Five years? Ten years? Her mi
A Brownie in Elfprincessland ch1"Ouch! You stupid girl!" howled Princess Venatriel as the hairbrush snagged on her long golden hair. "That brownie over there is more gentle than you. I should get her to do it," she told her maid, pointing to Lady Melkanen.A Brownie in Elfprincessland ch13 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"You mean, 'your noble sister over there,'" said Melkanen. "Your Highness, I'm your bodyguard not your maid. I can't defend you with my sword when I'm messing with a hairbrush."
Venatriel frowned. Her elven maid continued brushing her golden hair. Venatriel's tresses fell to her knees. Melkanen sometimes wondered if her own waist length hair was a little impractical, but here in the elven city of Parvinead it was just about shorter than average. There were very few elves, male or female, who did not have at least waist length hair and some let their hair grow even longer than Venatriel's.
Venatriel frequently screamed at her elven maids, but she never raised her voice to Melkanen. Since the brownie had saved her from death at the hands of a dark elf assassin, the p
If the Shoe Fits an OrcMallow Blacknickel II was not at all happy to be in an orc camp. The orcs looked quite ready to eat him alive. Half of them were engaged in quarrels with their fellows, and those that were not were looking at him in a very intimidating way.If the Shoe Fits an Orc3 years ago in Humor More Like This
His companion, the drow cleric Dagestu Baenre did not look intimidated in the slightest. She looked quite out of place in the filthy camp, resplendent in her jewelry, wearing the gold robe that marked her as a cleric of Waukeen. She wore jeweled sandals on her dainty black feet.
"Try to look a bit more confident, Mallow," the drow urged. "The orcs have no respect for cowardice."
"These are big orcs, I'm just a little gnome. It's a bit hard not to look frightened, Dagestu," the cobbler replied.
The places Dagestu dragged him to. Since the renegade drow had rescued his shoemaking empire from bankruptcy, he had effectively become a servant of the Church of Waukeen. That meant following the cleric around and using his business to support her interests.
An Interview with Lady VashjSunedran, top journalist of the Kalimdor Times, had been trying for years to get an interview with Queen Azshara. It had all been to no avail. It seemed that the Daughter of a Thousand Moons thought talking to journalists was beneath her. The offer of an interview with Lady Vashj, one of the queen's chief highborne ladies-in-waiting and close confident was definitely the next best thing.An Interview with Lady Vashj3 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
The night elves worshiped and adored their queen. To them she was the very model of perfection, beautiful, wise and benevolent. Sunedran had seen Azshara from a distance and could only admire her magnificence. A major part of him wanted to be carried away by the tide of adoration, yet somehow it didn't quite ring true. The common view of Azshara as the perfect queen simply did not sit with his journalistic instinct. Deep down, he knew that if you dug hard enough, you could always find a scandal. Perhaps Vashj could help him to find the real Azshara.
For the interview, Sunedran wore a plain dark blue ro
The Emperor's AcceptanceAs Commissar Phokas surveyed the fallen Eldar bodies, he heard a growl from behind him. It was the beastman, Sergeant Snaligraz.The Emperor's Acceptance3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"We have killed lots for the Emperor, Sir," said the beastman. "But many of us are dead."
"You have fought hard, Sergeant," said the commissar.
"Malkrul is really hurt, Sir."
"Let me see him, Sergeant," Phokas commanded.
Phokas was duly led to a group of beastmen who surrounded a wounded member of their platoon.
Commissar Phokas looked down at the wounded beastman and saw a painful sight. One of the beastman's curled horns was broken and his eye swollen and closed. He was bleeding from multiple wounds. Beastmen smelled foul at the best of times, but a wounded beastman was truly an accursed stench.
Phokas contemplated summoning a medic, but he had doubts about whether the beastman would survive long enough to receive ministrations. He also did not want to divert a medic from aiding the wounded humans. Priorities had to be made.
"Rest easy, Soldier," said Phoka
Transported to VielsDen KeepTirarna, Dragon Queen and High Mistress of Garth had been the scourge of many lands. The Eagle Empire had almost fallen, faced with the onslaught that the Dragon Queen had assailed against them. The warriors of Gath had allied with the human barbarians and the Orc tribes of the Az'hard mountains. Yet it was dragons that had been the key to Tirarna's power. The dragons that she had trained had laid waste to city after city.Transported to VielsDen Keep3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Now the evil queen was cornered, defeated. Her army had fallen against the enormous might of the Eagle Empire.
Tirarna's dragon gave a terrible cry it died; it's heart pierced by the magic lance.
"My dragon!" screamed the queen, before tumbling from the saddle.
As the Eagle Knights advanced toward her, Tirarna gathered herself up from the blood-soaked soil and drew her massive broad sword.
"You shall never take me alive, you wretched dogs!" cried the queen. Yet something was holding her back. Some unseen force had trapped her. A faint blue nimbus surrounded her body.
Educating Princess Azshara part3The next night, the princess' lessons began with practice at writing. I found her somewhat restless throughout this session. After taking a break for refreshment, I announced to my pupil that we would be switching to arithmetic.Educating Princess Azshara part33 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
"I hate arithmetic," wailed Princess Azshara. "It's hard, difficult and boring."
"That is because you are unfamiliar with it, Your Highness. As you master it, you will find yourself solving mathematical problems with perfect ease," I replied.
"I don't care, I don't want to do arithmetic," insisted Azshara.
"Every highborne child is educated in arithmetic. If you do not learn it, you will be thought ignorant," I said.
"I'm the daughter of the king! I'm going to be queen one day!" snapped Azshara. "If I don't want to study arithmetic, I don't have to. I'm tired of studying. I want to play with my toys!"
I was used to seeing such willfulness in highborne children and I knew I was going to have to stand my ground.
"You must calm down, Your Highness. It is your fath
Cottage Visiting"He will sleep soundly now," said Lady Talphenia, as she moved away from the bed. She had just performed a healing spell on the child, who had been sick with fever for days.Cottage Visiting3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"I will send some herbs that will help him to make a full recovery," the baroness continued.
The boy's mother wept, before falling at the knees of her liege lady.
Talphenia allowed the peasant woman to kiss her hand. She was used to such deference, as well as such extravagant gestures of gratitude at her small acts of kindness.
The peasant woman was in her twenties, the wife of a copper miner. Her husband and two of her children were at work.
Talphenia's stocking feet brushed against the stone floor. She had left her shoes at the door of the cottage. The woman had insisted that the baroness did not need to remove her shoes in her humble dwelling, but the noblewoman had insisted on following the peasant custom. She expected it in her castle and she wanted to encourage habits of cleanliness among her people.
Dagestu's PartyThe minstrels had finished their performance, and they were replaced by a group of scantily clad dancers from Mulharond, who performed an exotic routine. Dagestu was not massively impressed with them; she had seen far better in Menzoberranzan. Being human, the dancers lacked the speed or grace of elven dancers.Dagestu's Party3 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Among the party guests were all of the wealthy of Waterdeep and many from outside of it. There were lords and merchants, princes and priests, artists and warriors. All of them had come to pay their respects to the beloved Drow cleric and banker, Dagestu Baenre. With both wealth and an exotic appearance, Dagestu was the darling of Waterdeep's chattering classes.
The guests were all in their stocking or bare feet. The carpets of Dagestu's house were priceless and none was allowed to walk on them in shoes. Of course, Dagestu had the money to replace the carpets the next day, but an important part of Waukeen's doctrine was prudence. Luxury had to be kept in balance with frugality. H