It was a quiet day at Beyond Investigations. The pile of cases on Roland’s desk was empty as a church on Friday night. His office was still, save for the flickering of the lantern that hung just a bit too low in the center. Indeed, Roland was anticipating a slow day today, and that was just fine; you didn’t get a lot of days off as a set designer who moonlights as a private detective and sells baked goods on the side. It’s a hard life, but someone’s gotta do it.
Just as Roland gets up to call it quits for the day, in walks a dame whose every feature is like the night sky – dark, mysterious, but radiant all the same. Roland knows the look of trouble when he sees it, and sits right back down in his seat, ready to hear what she has to say, ready to accept whatever curveball she threw his way.
“Oh, hey Roland. Didn’t know this was your place.” Continue reading “The Cutthroat’s Promise, Part One”
“You’re really staying in Skymoore, Malleus?” asked Deyna dil Stillbreeze, a mountain elf whose dark skin looked purple beneath the night sky. “Couldn’t pay me to stick around there.”
“People were right,” agreed her twin brother Majorge, “that place isn’t of this world. Have you ever seen such catastrophe at a market in your life, sir?”
“That isn’t even to mention what happened at the bank! And the holes that open out of nowhere, and the complete lack of inns. Where will you even stay?”
Malleus Silverscale did not look concerned. His draconic eyes were fixed upon their campfire thoughtfully. He and his companions were hidden among a dip in the hills, but all around them, columns of smoke rose in the air as over a dozen separate camps settled in for the night, either planning to return to Skymoore the following day, or readying for the trek home. “There are always hospitable people, I’ve found. The peculiarities and dangers of which you speak are exactly why I’m staying; it’s true what you say, there’s something not right with Skymoore. I’ve grown fond of you over the course of journey, but I understand if you must go.” Continue reading ““We Will Weather the Storm””
Nestor Pinkly was not much for regret, nor for thinking ahead, but if he had thought ahead when attempting to save the prisoners trapped in the coffins, he might almost have regretted it, because his instinctual plan involved two spells that he had never used before, and the power involved in casting them might literally kill him.
But when it came to helping others, Nestor Pinkly did not think, he did. Continue reading “Nestor the Incomparable, Part Three”
Fifty years ago, a dozen gnomes left their homes in the dwarven nation of Barlagtelen, having grown tired of their neighbors disrespecting their careers as entertainers. They made their way to the neighboring woods of the Dol elves, who for a long time hated dwarves and were considered their opposite. The idea of a variety theater troupe was more palatable here, but they were unimpressed by the gnomes’ complete lack of magic in any of their shows.
These gnomes were a statistical impossibility, for it is just as uncommon for gnomes to lack magic as it is for dwarves to possess it, and yet there was not an ounce of magical blood among the twelve. But they didn’t allow this to deter them; what they lacked in arcana they made up for with talent, passion, and showmanship. Whether it be dancing, singing, acting, or acrobatics, these gnomes did it, and they did it well. Continue reading “Nestor the Incomparable, Part Two”
“And that,” Nestor Pinkly said, “is why friendship and joy are the most valuable resources even in a capitalist economy.”
“I think you misunderstood,” the golem replied. “I said gold is the most important thing to me because my body is actually made of it.”
“That was a lovely speech, though,” the golem’s boyfriend added. “Even if it did last a quarter of an hour. So, thank you for that.”
“My pleasure!” Nestor said, saluting the pair. “I hope you two have a wonderful day.”
“Can we get to the bank now, Nestor?” Karessa Plunderton asked. “People are staring.” Continue reading “Nestor the Incomparable, Part One”
Hello and howdee doo, citizens of Skymoore! It is I, your illustrious mayor and humanoid potted plant Gendry Dew, here to recount the highlights of this wonderful Autumn as we prepare for the coming winter. It was a fun season, graced as always by love, by the arts, and by the hardworking men, woman, and others of Skymoore who make this blessed city what it is.
Of course, I am legally required to inform you that this pamphlet is compiled from the quarterly Citizen Surveillance Report, where the various government agencies of Skymoore compile all of the private and public information from your lives that we’ve gathered these past ninety days. The CSR helps us understand what makes Skymoore tick, and what we as your benefactors can improve on in the coming season.
Now, without further ado, let’s get highlighting! Continue reading “Skymoore’s Seasonal Community Recap for Autumn 1677, Highlights”
Like most dwarves growing up in Barlagtelen, Boundless Imagination had three parents. There were home parents, Hansel and Petro Lagarban, her two fathers who had adopted her when she was just a baby, and there was Hilda Silverspine, her guildmother who instructed Boundless Imagination in the ways of tinkering, fixing, and building since she was could swing a hammer. Continue reading “Boundless Imagination”
Pif, Deacon, Alph, and the newcomer all sat huddled around a meal of jerky, cheese, and fruit, filling their bellies after a long day. Off to the side, the Trans-It! energy canister rattled softly as it recharged the five Minitoa’s Double A’s. Almo’s breathing complimented the machine’s rhythm perfectly, a musical reminder of how bad their situation was. Below, Odd & Ends was quiet. The shop was closed for the day, and the owner had retired to his room. Continue reading “Left Behind, Part Three”
To be honest, Alph rather liked Skymoore.
He wasn’t fond of being stranded and fighting for resources, and he wished the city were of a more convenient size, but it was nice. Back on Ernadam, everything was metal and factories and smog. Skymoore had a little metal and a little smog, but mostly it was quaint. And their blue sky and green plants were much more pleasant than the purples and reds of home.
But it was nice to breathe normally.
Yet Alph couldn’t bring himself to care about getting home as much as everyone else. It wasn’t home he wanted. It was peace.
But there would be no peace today. Continue reading “Left Behind, Part Two”
Deacon stood beside Lilm, his sister, in a field of purple grass. Before them, a rotted temple struggled to stay upright. The sky was the crisp red of a summer afternoon on Aldom. A hundred of their people, all of whom were genetically identical to Abraham Lincoln (not that one) had congregated there, and now watched the pair expectantly.
“I can’t do it,” Lilm said. “What if it doesn’t work?”
“We are faithful,” Deacon said, offering his eight-fingered-hand. “It will work.” Continue reading “Left Behind, Part One”