Pulldrid Academy was Skymoore’s finest school for adolescents. The campus was large, vibrant, and littered with important-looking brick buildings. It was the kind of place you sent your children when you wanted to offer them the best education, the fanciest connections, and the lowest risk of being subjected to mandatory psychological experimentation funded by unknown third parties.

Imagine Karessa Plunderton’s guilt, then, at never taking advantage of these benefits, especially factoring in that she couldn’t imagine how her parents managed to send her to a place like this. Some days she wondered if her dad’s disappearance was somehow related, which only enhanced her guilt. But her guilt couldn’t override her disdain. Continue reading “Extracurricular”

Two Miles

“What if they’re right?”

“Right.” Percival chirped hoarsely. His mandibles clicked arrhythmically. “About?”

“About. What if it really is safer down here?”

“Does this look safe, Eli?”

Ellidina considered their surroundings. Percival – a sectum, a four-armed humanoid insect – stood in an identical stone cell opposite hers, separated by a clear material that wasn’t glass, with small holes so they could speak. Each room had an identical, seamless iron door. They had dim magical light five hours a day. This wasn’t one of them. Continue reading “Two Miles”

Good King Dundermoat, Part Two

It’s astonishing the wonders a good night’s sleep can do for a man. Last night, Benison Ioudek could not make the climb into Thalia Douieal’s carriage on his own, and this morning he was hauling tents and cooking supplies back to the caravan faster than the youngest guardsmen. It was a shift that drew a deal of attention, but the real topic of interest was, of course, the spell he had performed the night before. Continue reading “Good King Dundermoat, Part Two”

Good King Dundermoat, Part One

Benison Ioduok could open a door and arrive anywhere on Solkin, it was true. But the magic of a Story Keeper took a toll on the body, the soul, and the universe. So when he could, the old man walked or rode from one place to the next. Unfortunately, the world needed him more urgently than ever, it seemed, and his appointments rarely allowed it these days.

In fact, as he walked through the door which took him from a northern fishing village to a cave in eastern Penscarop, the Story Keeper was already late for his next meeting. Benison shook his head and pulled out his pocket watch, which had over a dozen different faces in five different numeral systems. He found the one for this particular region and adjusted the time a half hour back. The gears creaked and resisted as he turned them, but at last they acquiesced, and Benison was on time.

He leaned a little heavier on his cane. Continue reading “Good King Dundermoat, Part One”

Recursion, Part Six

A number of unfortunate situations can be attributed to a failure in communication. For example, linguistic barriers between Dol elves and their dwarven neighbors created confusion that led to the Orichalcum Wars which lasted for many centuries. Personal barriers can also result in poor communication, such as when a very literal person asks an irate person for directions, and spends six days sailing up the Yores River and rediscovering the ancient art of necromancy. Continue reading “Recursion, Part Six”

Recursion, Part Five

The way many told it, the legend of the Suntouched was a succession of successes. Climbing Mount Paylor, mastering one weapon after the next, discovering mythic treasures, defeating this monster or winning that battle. Of course, like most legends, it was largely a lie of omission. The Suntouched had failed many times. Mostly in the early days, but some were more recent, like his defeat at the hands of Ulthanadon, The Mad Dragon, or his role in the creation of The Below. And, most prevalent in his mind these days, the failure at Tinderleaf. Continue reading “Recursion, Part Five”