Archive for July, 2012

faster higher stronger

Posted: July 27, 2012 in Uncategorized
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The Olympic Games start today.

All I have to say about them is this:

I will be very disappointed if the Tenth Doctor doesn’t light the Olympic Flame.

VERY.

DISAPPOINTED.

That is all.

Carry on,

~ Ian

So, I was walking downtown when a homeless guy came up to me.

“Some kid over there wanted you to have this,” he said, giving me a sheaf of papers. And he pointed back over his shoulder, where a young teen in a hoodie and gas mask peeked out at me from an alley.

“Great. Did he tell you not to read it, in fear that you might steal his awesome ideas?”

“Naw. I can’t read, y’see.”

“Fine.”

“So… y’got any meth?”

After telling the homeless guy that the kid in the gas mask over there had meth for him, I examined the papers, and saw a Post-it Note affixed to the front.

It said:

Ian: 

My stupid mom said that my stupid little brother had to help me with this chapter. She says that it’s nice to share, and so she made me collaborate. And now I have to give him half the money for the story, because he’s a collaborator. 

Please don’t put the part my brother wrote on your blog. It sucks. You’ll be able to tell which part it is by the fact that you’ll get to the part that starts sucking.

DF

I read the story, and honestly, I decided not to change anything. Our mysterious author’s little brother is a brilliant writer, honestly. I see Pulitzers in his future.

Anyway, here’s Chapter 5.

~ Ian

 

The Epic Legend of Damien Fell

Chapter Five: Shrouded in Shadow

As morning fell over the foggy shrouded mists of the northlands, Princess Amberlae and Damien Fell came to a secluded valley. A churning, boiling watterfall spewed over the granite rocks in the north end of the valley, and the smell of sulfer came form a crack in the rock. Huge statues guarded the exit to the valley, towering sentinels of stone carved from the living white rock. As Amberlae came to the valley, she could feel Power humming in her very bones. This was a place of great Magycke, she knew that, a place where the earth itself concentrated into a nexus of energy.

Around her waist were the powerful, solid muscular arms of Damien Fell. She found herself wondering at their toch. The feel of his hot humid breath on the back of her smooth alabaster neck was strangely arousing, filling her with a heretofore unfelt mixture of love and dread. This man– Damien Fell, a demonic, angelic assassin straight out of legend– made her feel things she’d never felt before. Amberlae simultaniously wanted to run and scream from him, and also to wrap her arms and legs around him and feel the power of his warm love flow through her. She was conflicted. She was a child of Lyghte, a daughter of humans and wood aelves, but at the same time she was drawn to the Shadouwe that was Damien Fell.

What is happening to me? Princess Amberlae asked herself. Am I becoming evil?

Damien Fell rained his horse to a stop, and helped Amberlae dismount. “Here is a good place to camp, he said.

“Why are we stopping?” asked Amberlae. “There are still many more hours of daylight left to go!”

“We assassins draw our power from the darkness,” Fell said. “We do not walk in the light. We are shadow-walkers, night-prowlers. I don’t like the daytime. Darkness is my preferred time.”

“Are you trying to convert me to the Darkness?” asked Amberlae snappishly. “Is that what you want? Well I’m a Princess of Karass Mor, you know, and I will not be sueded to the side of Darkness.”

“I do not wish to convert you to anything,” said Damien Fell.

“Well then, what purpose do you have in bringing me here?”

He turned to her, and his eyes flashed like obsidian reflecting firelight. He stroked her cheek, gently, almost tenderly, and murmured in a soft voice, “My purpose is my own”. Amberlae could feel the wave of mysterious fear and longing go through her body.

“So do you want me, then, is it?” asked Amberlae. “You want my body, do you not! You want to possess me, don’t you?”

heck no, said damian fell. im not going to tocuh u u stinky girl. girls are gross and stinky. i dont want to be nere you.

AAAAAGH NO sade the pirnicese. BUT MITSRE DAMIAN FELL I LOVE YOU

youre a stupid ulgy girl said dammein fell, and i dont want to see you ever again.

so he druwe his long sorde and he stabbed the icky girl prinsese thru teh stummik with the sorde and she was like AAAA U KLILED ME and then she fell down and their was blode evriwear. IM DED NOW ARE YOU HPAPPEY WITH YURSELD she yelled and daimin fel sed go dye in a poop mine you dumb poopy girl.

just then optimus prime came oute from beihnd a rock and sed GOOD JOBE KILING THE PIRNISISS DAIMUN FELLL. bUT NOW IT IS TIEM TO GO TO SAIBRTRON AND FITE SOME WEARWOLFS.

damian fell sead okay let me just get my ligthsabere. so he toke his sorde and broak it in haff and then litt the broakin haff on fier with som magic. so the fier burnd and daimn fell sed okay now tihs sord is a laitsabur and he jumpd on opitmus prims back and they flow into oater spase.

ther were all these wairwolfs in cibertron and they were all took ovre the hole place, so damiun fil drouw his sord wich was atchully a litesabrr now like i just told u abote. so then their was a big fite and optimos pryme had tow ligthsabers and they fot all the werwolfs. damin fel killd ten milion weirwolffs andoptmus prime kiled five milion. then ther was a wairwofl boss who was the knig of all warewolfs and he yeled I AM THE MOST POWRFULL OF ALL WAERWULBFS AND YOU CANOT DIFET ME. but daimiun  fall was triky and said we need bakkup! and he yeled so loud taht all the poepl in the yunivruse culd here him.

and al these peple shoud up it was like the’re was darth vader and he brout with him ROBOT HAN SOLO whou was like han solo only he was a robto. and then mario waz their an aslo ash wiht all his pokimans and i think so was sord man form the lords of the rigns. and also ange from avatar came and their was prinse zuko and uncel airo and thay were a teme and did ausom fierbendng. and thear was aslo a JIGANTICK TIRANOSOROS REX woh was being riding by wolferin and spidrmane and the trex cloud brethe fier and also asid and his naim  was FIER PUNCH. and their was a bunche of othre gais and also their was ranebou dash from the my litel ponies shou onley she got kiled bacouase she was a gurl an d gurls cante figth.

so then thwy had the ULTIMUTE BATELL and the bose gote his hedd cout of by daaimn flle and thay thru the hed into a jiunt rivre of poop and pee so that the mots pworefol warwollf couldent com back too liffe. so then their was a big feast in cyebrtorn and their was drath vaidr and robot hna solo and then their was also ash adn the pokamon and sord man and ang and zuo and airo and wulverene and spairdman and FIER PUNCH. and thay all aet roste warewulf and also ranebow dach. and potimus preme was so hapey with daimen fell that he lete him be KIGN OF CIBRETORN and wiht an armey of tarnsfromers damine fall conkered the hole yunivrese. and he livde hapiley evre aftur.

THE END!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

***********************************************

Princess Amberlae awoke to see the firelight flickering on the rocks and boulders of the deep valley in which they were encamped. “What a strange dream!” she murmured to herself. “I wonder what it could mean?”

A voice spoke from behind her, deep and resonant. SHe could feel it vibrate in every corner of her being.

“There are many strange things that will happen in the coming weeks, princess,” said Damien Fell. She turned to him, and saw him sitting with his back to her, gazing into the valley, staring at the waterfall. His greatsword Stormshadow was laid on his knees, and he was sharpening with a whetstone.

“What do you mean?” asked Amberlae. She wanted to stand up and see his face, but it was turned from her, and their was a strange, sad tenor to his voice.

“I fear that the death of Lord Hateshadowe was merely the beginning of our troubles,” Damien fell said darkly. “I worry that forever Chaos will fall over the kingdoms of Evershyria, unless I succeed.” And his voice was sad, and weary: the voice of one who has spent long years wandering, and may neevr know rest.

“What is your worry?” asked Amberlae, and she wad filled up with a strange mixture of longing and tenderness for this dark shadowy figure who came up out of legend to rescure her.

There was a long pause, a pregnant pause, so pregnant it was already halfway through its third trimester. Finally the shadowy assassin said, “There is an ancient prophecy… a prophecy of the merging of Lyghte and Shadouwe, of the birth of a child who walks in both the darkness and lyghte, who will unite the cosmos and bring balance to this deadly and choatic universe forever……..”

“Is tha tnot you, assassin? asked Amberlae. “Because I heard a legend that said that you were born of an angelic warrior and a succubus. That you were raised in Hell, and that you were expelled from the infernal realms at the age of twelve, forced to make your life in the mortal realm.”

“That story is true,” said Damien Fell in what was barely a rasping whispre. And Amberlae felt a chill run through the core of her being as she understood that she spoke with a man who had lived in Hell.

“But… aren’t you the fullfillment of that prophecy, then?” asked Amberlae.

“I am not,” said Damien Fell. “For that prophecy states that the child must be born a mortal. I am immortal. I cannot die.” He hung his head, sadly. “That is both my blessing and my bane.”

Amberlae rose from her sleepingbag and came to Damien Fell, putting one arm around him. She was surprised to see tears running down his scarred, tanned cheeks— but his tears were not salt water, but blood.

“What was it like?” asked Amberlae. “In hell.”

Damien Fell shook his head. “It was warm,” he said. “And it stunck. There was always fire, and lava, and everywhere the smell of brimstone.” He turned to her, and she felt that strange thrilling deep within her womb as she gazed into his beautiful obsidien-black eyes.

“I came into this world, five hundred years ago, in the depths of winter,” he said. “I’d never felt so cold. I wanted to go home, back to my mother, back to my friends. I was all alone.” And he gazed deep into Amberlae’s eyes. She felt hypnotized by the assassin’s gaze, and she could do nothing but state into his infinitely deep eyes

“But the mortal realm has its benifits,” he said, and all his attention was focused on her.

She felt drawn into Damien Fel’’s eyes, and felt herself being pulled closer and closer to him, as if drawn by a magnet. She felt his breath against her skin, and closed her eyes, wanting to feel his sweet lips against hers…

But no kiss came.

“Come,” said damien Fell. “We must go. I’ve wasted enough time here in this valley.”

“Where are we going?” asked Princess Amberlae.

Damien sheathed his sword. “To the Womb of Shadow and Light.”

***************************************************

A blonde-haired man astride a supple white stallion rode to the ruins of a mountain of ice and stone. He dismounted, and sniffed the air. “Amberlae,” he murmured. Then he examined the ground. The hoofprints of another horse– heading south, he surmised, and at quite a rapid pace.

“So they went south…” he said. Then he lifted his helmet.

“Amberlae, my love,” said Prince Travyss. “I will find you.”

And his eyes narrowed. “And I’ll kill the man who stole you from me.”

END CHAPTER 5

My German brother Jannek is leaving to go back to Germany tomorrow. Now I’ll miss him for many reasons: his sense of humor, his friendliness, his smokin-hot body– but most of all, because of the unique way he uses English.

Because I wanted to share some of my favorite Jannekisms, here they are:

 

Jannek: In Germany, the cars go so fast on the Autobahn that the soup from the windshield wipers goes over the car without touching the roof!

Calum: Um… no. Not soup. You mean soap.

Jannek: Oh. What’s soup, then?

Dad: Zuppe.

Jannek: That’s stupid! Why would you put Zuppe in windshield wipers!

 

Jannek (trying to explain what Fleischsalat is): So… you take pork, and you crush it, and you put it into a sausage… but it’s not a sausage, it’s a very big sausage!

Dirk (another German, who has lived in America for much longer): It’s baloney with mayonnaise.

 

Jannek: I think I just saw an Uhu!

Me: Yeah. We call those owls in English.

Jannek: No. I know what an owl is. That was an Uhu.

Me: Is an Uhukind of owl?

Jannek: No. It is like an owl, only bigger and different.

(It was a Great Horned Owl. So, yeah.)

 

Jannek: (puts a towel over his head and making vaguely Arabic-sounding noises)

Me: Jannek, that’s really racist.

Jannek: No. I am a Mars alien from the Mars.

 

Jannek (telling a joke): So, a man walks into the place where you get jobs, and he says, “Hey, I want a job.” And, um, yeah.

 

Me: Hey, you know what baloney is, don’t you?

Jannek: Yeah. It’s like Fleischsalat.

Me: Well, do you know what we mean when we say, “That’s baloney!”

Jannek: No.

Me: It’s like a more polite way of saying, “That’s bullshit!”

Jannek: Oh. (pause) You’re talking baloney out of your mouth!

 

I’ll really miss him.

~ Ian

So, updates have been rather sporadic lately. Yes, I’ve consistently posted a new chapter of The Epic Legend of Damien Fell for the last three weeks, but as you all know, that isn’t really me. So I just thought I’d check in and say why I’ve been sporadic in my duties as a bloggist for the last month.

I’ve been working on a novel. It’s provisionally titled The Lotus Imperiate. Now, I’ve been well aware that I’ve had problems with titles in the past. But I don’t hate this title with a fiery passion (which isn’t the case with some of my other fictions), and so it may be the final title of the novel. Right now, all my brain has been occupied with coming up with ideas for this book, and not with stuff for my blog. So there.

Of course, it’s kind of funny. When I was writing Cassandra, it kicked off a massive flurry of blogging activity on Axolotl Ceviche. That’s not the case now, though. With tLI, I’ve been kind of hesitant to blog about my writing process. In fact, I’d go so far as to call myself reticent: I feel like if I told you guys anything about what I’ve been doing for the last month, everything would dry up. So I won’t share too much with you guys right now. I will say, though, that it’s a fantasy novel set in an Asian-inspired universe, and that the main plot revolves around a conspiracy to murder the gods. You know. Uplifting stuff.

I’m even going to share an excerpt from the book with you, right now! Brace yourselves.

Ready?

*ahem*

 

After

 

And that’s the first word of The Lotus Imperiate. Or at least it is right now. It might not be, once I’ve gone through a crapton of editing and revising.

So. That’s what I’ve been doing. How’s your Thursday?

~ Ian

When I woke up about eleven today, I went downstairs and opened the front door to look around blinking in the blinding light of a burning star.

When I looked down, I saw that the papers that contained this week’s chapter of The Epic Legend of Damien Fell were on the doormat, weighted down with a rock. I blinked in wonder and confusion, and then looked up. Behind a nearby tree, a young man’s face peeped out: a face, that is, hidden by a gas mask…

I waved, and the face disappeared, as if startled that I had seen it.

Wow, I thought. He’s starting to go a little crazy, isn’t he?

I took the papers inside, and began to read…

 

The Epic Legend of Damien Fell

Chapter Four: A Night of Fire and Shadows

An icy cold wind blew screaming and howling out of the frozen waistlands of the Eldorn Wastes as Damien Fell came to the Fiendfang.

The golden full moon was rising high above the shadowy blue-green ice-swept plains, casting an eery yellow pall over the ten thousand-foot high needle of green ice and black rock that was the Fiendfang. It stood out upon the snowy plains like a nose, a single razor-sharp needle that rose high up into the heavens, a lone and solitary tower that split the sky like a dagger through soft cheese. This was the most desolate place in the mortal realm. No mortals, save for the ice gnomes and the occasional northern barbarian, dared to come within five hundred miles of the Fiendfang.

Except for Damien Fell.

He rained the majestic black Daenovar stallion that he’d stolen back in the merchant city of Sh’kayar to a stop at a ridgeline and gazed out over the darkened plains that led up to the base of the Fiendfang. Pulling a spy glass out from his saddlebags, he looked out over fifty miles of bare ice and rock to a small point of firelight in the distance. The spyglass was traditionally used by assassins to scout out camps of enemies off in the distance, and Damien Fell was an assassin. This was a camp of enemies, and it was in the distance.

He felt he had a right to use it.

“Let’s see… I count twenty cookfires,” he muttered to himself. “Logically, hat must mean that there are five hundred people in the camp. I don’t know whether they’re all members of the Conclave of Blood, but if I have to, I’ll kill everyone in the camp to save the Princess. Nothing will stand in my way.”

Damien fell muttered, “Emeest’nacuoy,” and he was cloaked in shadows, an invisible warrior. Spurring his horse, he rode across the darkened shadowed plains, covering the fifty miles easily in an hour as he drew close to the Conclave of Blood’s camp. Finding a convenient hollow, he parked his horse, and drew his beautiful wood aelfynn longbow Forestsong out of the sheath on its back. Drawing an arrow from its quiver, he nocked it to his bow, and the arrow flew easily two hundred paces towards the watchman who looked out over the plains.

The arrow landed squarely in the chest of the watchman. His companion, a long-bearded dwarf with a beaky iron helmet, turned to look out over the plains and yelled, “Hey! Is there somebody out there?”

That was when the arrow exploded.

Damien Fell smiled. It was a long-kept secret of the assassins that you could make exploding arrows by combining a flame arrow with a gunpowder bomb. The watchman’s corpse was blown to bits by the shock of the explosion, and his companion was first showered with blood and entrails by the explosion, then killed by the shockwave.

The noise attracted everyone in the camp, and they all came running out to the front to see what had happened.

So Damien Fell snuck around the back entrance of the camp and went in that way.

Coming past one of the main cookfires, Fell noticed a large, ornate tent with lots of silk and majestic flaps embroidered with dragons and other suchlike things. “That must be Hateshadowe’s tent,” mutted the assassin. “I’d guess that that is where the Princess is being held prisoner.

He went into the tent, and found that, yes, someone was being held prisoner in there. But unfortunately it wasn’t the princess. It was a woman, yes, and a beautiful woman, but unfortunately she didn’t have quite the innocent goddess-like radiance of the Princess Amberella. She was held to the ground by tendrils of shadow, and seemed to be asleep;

As soon as Damien Fell entered the tent, her eyes opened alertly and she glanced around the tent wildly. “Who’s there?” she exclaimed. “I know that you’re there. I smell manflesh.”

She stared directly at the spot where Fell stood. “Wait a minute……. I’ve smelled you before. You’re the one who was in the tavern, weren’t you? The one who chased me through Kar’ae’thaluun! The one who brought that jewel to Blackthorne!”

Damien’s eyes widened. “You’re the woman in black!” he cried.

“I know that voice,” said the woman. “Show yourself, now.”

Emeesuoywon,” incanted Damien Fell, and he faded into existence, showing himself in his visible form.

Then he glared at the woman in black, placing his hand on the hilt of his broadsword Stormshadow. “Give me one reason why I shouldn’t kill you,” he snarled menacingly. “You’re a member of the Conclave of Blood. You deserve death.”

The woman in black smirked. “I’m no cultist, warrior. I’m an assassin, a member of the Shadow Syndicate. I commit criminal acts for hire.”

Damien Fell nodded. The Shadow Syndicate was a more recent guild imported to the continent from the Western land of Ixtept’laan—- not quite like the fabled Assassin School that dominated the continent’s murder-for-hire business, but similar, and fresh.  “Ah. I’m in that line of work myself, although I’m a freelancer at the moment.”

“A rogue assassin?” said the woman in black, her full rubescent lips quirking into a smile.

“I’d assume all assassins were rogues of some sort.”

The woman in black grinned. “True. As you can see, I’ve been imprisoned here by Lord Hateshadowe. I was hired to kill the traitor Drako Blackthorne by Lord Hateshadowe. He was certain that Blackthorne would betray him at one point. I came back here to claim my reward, but alas, Lord Hateshadowe betrayed me. I told him to give me my payment. He entrapped me here in his tent.”

“How are you called, woman?”

“My name is Shaira. And you, man?”

“Damien Fell. You might have heard of me.”

The smile fell from Shaira’s face, and her eyebrows arched into two perfect semicircles. “You….. I thought you were legend.”

“I am legend,” said Damien Fell. “That doesn’t mean that I’m not real.”

“What are you here for? Were you sent to kill someone?”

“No. I’m here to rescue the Princess Amberella.”

“You are? You don’t often see assassins going on rescue missions. Were you hired by that tiresome King Estuvi?”

“No. I’m working………. for my own purposes.”

“In that case, I propose a good old-fashioned teamup, Fell,” said Sharia. “If you free me that is.”

“Why should I do that?” questioned Fell.

“You want to rescue the princess. I want to murder that ugly sack of slime Hateshadowe. The two goals aren’t mutually exclusive.”

“I see your point.”

“And besides, two deadly assassins on a team can do alot more than one working alone.”

“Hmm….. will you kill me once I let you free?”

“Ive already shown that I can’t do that. The last time we fought, you nearly bested me. I had to escape using Magyck, and that’s the only reason I survived.”

“Swear to me that you wont try to murder me.”

Shaira sighed. “Fine. I swear it by the moon, evermoving, ever changing, that watches over us that go by night. I sware it by Golgatthu, god of death, the first of our proffesion and the grandfather of all assassins. I swear it by my blood, may it never be spilled, and by my dagger, may it never be blunt. I swear it in the name of all those who walk in shadow that I, Shaira of the Shadow Syndicate, will not try to murder you, Damien Fell, once you free me.”

Damien Fell’s rugged, handsom, be-stubbled face broke into a faint smile. “That brings me back,” he said. “I have’nt heard the Oath of Shadow in a long time.”

“How long have you been away from any Guild?” asked Shaira.

“More than I care to remember”, said Daimen, and he drew his long, sharp broadsword Stormshadow, and with one sweeping, precise cut, severed the tentacles that held Shaira to the floor of the tent.

The tentacles melted into the ground with a quiet hisssssss like the air being let out of a tire, and left nothing behind but a puddle of inky-black muck.

“That was impressive,” said Shaira, smiling. “That cut was perfect—– theres not a scratch on me.”

“Like I said,” grunted Fell, sheatheing Stormshadow. “I didn’t become legendary for no reason.”

“Well, if you can fight like you cut, then I’d be glad to have you at my side,” Shaira said.

“Don’t worry. I can.”

“Good.” And Shaira drew her long, elegant aelfynn chain. “Because there’s murder on the menu tonight, and I’m the waitress.”

**********************************************************************

Princess Amberella’s beautiful blue-green eyes fluttered open. As she awakened from her slumber, she gazed out over a vast stone circle, its black stone trilithons covered in mysterious dark stains that were the color of rust. She struggled, and tried to get away, but she was tied to a stone alter covered in similar dark stains. The black spike of the Fiendfang rose high up into the heavens, and the moon was reaching its zenith.

Looking down at herself, Amberella noticed that she was wearing a shear white silk shift, with a swooping neckline that allowed easy access to her heart. Her beautiful perky round breasts were magnificently dispayed, and her nipples were poking out in the chill northern wind, as erect and proud as pencil erasers.

In front of her, in the golden moonlight, there were about five hundred or so people, each of them wearing a black robe.

Lord Hateshadowe came up to her, and smiled. His robes were the red of fresh blood, matching his horrifying albino-red eyes.

“Let me go!!!!” cried Amberella bravely. “I am a Princess of the Human Kingdoms, and I will not stand to be sacrificed like this!!!!!”

Lord Hateshadowe grinned evilly, and stroked her arousedly under her chin, sending ripples of revulsion down her spine.

“Ah, but you are more than just that, aren’t you?” he said. “Not only are you a Princess, and the most beautiful woman ever to walk the earth, but you are the Maiden of Lyghte. You are the embodiment of Good on the physical plain, and as the Maiden of Lyghte, you are the cosmic cork that keeps the evil spirits of Chaos in their bottle.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about!” exclaimed Amberella, but of course somehow deep within her she did; her dreams that she’d had in her sleep, so terrifying and erotic, had somehow signaled to her that she was a child of Destiny, and that she was no mere half-aelf princess, but instead was a being with fundamental cosmic power equivilant to that of a Goddess………………………………………………………………………..

Lord Hateshadowe’s black-nailed hand moved lower, and stroked her firm, beautiful young breasts. She squirmed and tossed her hair to try and get away, but to no avail: Lord Hateshadowe was molesting her, and she couldn’t do anything about it.

“I assure you that you do,” mused the albino, and his long black claws tweaked her erect nipple. “I have to say……. I am sorry to see such beauty leave the world, of course, but I intend to bring about the End of All Time, and then I will rule………….”

He turned to the assembled cultists who were gathered all around the stone circle.

“My brothers and sisters!” he cried, and his voice echoed around the Fiendfang with no amplification whatsoever. “Tonight, with the sacrifice of the Maiden of Lyghte, the Conclave of Blood achieves its goal!!!!!! Tonight, with the virgin blood of this girl of immaculate beauty and purity, HELL SHALL COME TO EARTH!!!!!!!!!!!”

The crowd of assembled cultists roared their approval.

“No longer will there be Lyghte and Shadouwe to oppose us!” cried Lord Hateshadowe. “Tonight, we bring Darkness…………. and FIRE.

He raised his obsidian dagger on high, and the golden full moon gleamed on its obsidian length.

The point was posied directly above the Princess’s exposed cleavage, and then directly to her heart………

Amberella squirmed one final time, as if trying to get away………………

An almost orgasmic look of pleasure spread over Lord Hateshadowe’s face……………………………

STOP!!!!!!!!!” shouted a tremendously-loud voice. A woman’s voice.

A woman dressed all in black strode across the stone circle. She was swathed from head to toe in soft black fabric, and carried a long chain in her right hand, which she twirled causally, as if she was preparing to smack Lord Hateshadowe across the face with it.

“Before you end the universe, Hateshadowe, I’d like it if you paid your debts,” said the woman in black. “After all, if there’s no universe left, who are you going to pay your debts to?”

Lord Hateshadowe’s shadowed face contourted with hate. “YOU!!!! he exclaimed. How in the names of the Nine Infernal Dimensions did you escape from my trap??????”

“Don’t play games, Hateshadowe, said the woman. “You should know this—- the Shadow Syndicate always comes back to collect its debts.”

“I don’t believe, this,” said Lord Hateshadowe, and he laughed dramatically. “Do you seriously believe that you can threaten me? You, with your pitiful chain, and your sad little Shadouwe Magycks?”

“No,” replied the woman in black. “But I CAN distracting you enough so that my friend can sneak behind you.”

Lord Hateshadowe’s blood-red eyes widened, and he wheeled just in time to see a majestic cloaked figure pull a pistol and shoot him straight through the head.

The Princess of Karass Mor gazed up at this man. Tanned and rugged, with a strong jaw covered in black stubble, he bore a long sword and wore a bow across his back. His arms were muscular and not at all scrawny, and his chest was as wide as a horse. Long, flowing raven hair spilled out behind his head, and his eyes were as dark as black holes, and they seemed to shine with their own unholy light.

Amberella gasped. She had never seen someone like this man. Was he one of her father’s knights…..? If so, why had she never seen him before? She certainly would have noticed him………..

The man gazed down at her, and when his dark, endlessly-beautiful eyes locked onto hers, she could feel her loins throb. Her nipples erected themselves even more, but not from cold this time, but from dark and erotic passion.

She wanted to wrap her legs around this man’s waist, to feel him deep within her. Though the idea of losing her virginity and purity frightened her, she wanted to feel this man’s seed deep within her belly, to feel her womb quicken and grow heavy with his child……………..

She was so lost in thought, in fact, that she didn’t notice Lord Hateshadowe standing up.

A perfectly round bullet hole, oozing pinkish-red blood, leaked in the center of his forehead.

He spread his lips wide, and he smiled.

“So, we meet again, Damien Fell,” said Lord Hateshadowe, and he smiled. “I remember how you thwarted my plans in Gol Xurath, ten years ago. Do you remember?”

“I remember,” said Damien Fell, and when those two short words dropped like ripe fruit from his lips, Princess Amberella felt a surge of erotic pleasure pass through her body, followed by a sudden dread.

It…… it cannot be……! she thought. This man, this beautiful, dangerous warrior, was Damien Fell?

In the Human Lands, Damien Fell was legend, like he was everywhere else. But he was no hero there, but a villain. An assassin, a warrior, a slayer of kings…… cursed spawn of an angelic general and a beautiful Hellish succubus, raised in Hell by his foster grandfather, the legendary Demon Knight Alaxuulaas, and escaped to the mortal realm when he was a boy. He was the slayer of a hundred kings, despoiler of a thousand women, master of Darke Magyckes too terrible for the human mind to comprehend, the bane of gods and the spawn of devils……… this was the man her father sent to rescue her???????

Or else……..

…….no, it was too horrible to comprehend………

………..or else he wanted her, once he killed Lord Hateshadowe.

The cultists in the Conclave of Blood were getting restless. They were drawing weapons and readying spells, prepared to come to their master’s defense.

The woman in black twirled the chain around her menacingly. “Don’t worry!” she exclaimed. “I’ll hold them off! You just kill Lord Hateshadowe!”

“Ah, but you can’t kill me, Damien Fell,” said Lord Hateshadowe. “I am the master of death. You cannot stop me. I’ll just keep coming.”

“I know how to kill you,” Fell said. “Your’re a Death Aelf. I’ve killed Death Aelves before.” And he drew his long, shining sword………

“You just have to cut off their heads.”

And he swung the sword, in a sudden gleaming arc towards Lord Hateshadoe’s neck………………………………………….

Faster than Amberella could blink, a flaming sword appeared in Lord Hateshadowe’s hand, and he parried the blow with a spray of sudden sparks. The sound of sword clashing against sword echoed out across the stone circle as the two clashed, gods of Shadouwe and Darkness, beings that moved with the skill and power of twin demons.

Below Amberella’s feet, the woman in black fought against the cultists, blocking their sword blowes with her chain, matching them spell for spell. Soon a pile of dead bodies was piled up all around the woman, but Amberella didn’t notice. She just stared up at Damien Fell and Lord Hateshadowe’s fight, her body thrilling with erotic tingles and horrific dread.

Lord Hateshadowe cast spell after spell, but Damien Fell blocked them again and again with his sword, in some cases using it like a baseball bat to send the spells rickochaying back at Hateshadowe. The battle raged on and on, and it seemed more and more like Hateshadowe was going to win——-

—–but then, all of a sudden, the Death Aelf stepped wrong, and Damien Fell landed a blow on his neck, severing it.

A massive fountain of pinkish-red blood sprayed from Hateshadowe’s stump of a neck, and Hateshadowe’s still-grinning head went flying over the cultists………..

Then Damien Fell did a sweeping cut towards Amberella.

She screamed…..

…….but then her bonds were loosened, and Amberella was free.

She stood up, dizzy, her legs all pins-and-needles from disuse.

But then Damien Fell picked her up and threw her over his shoulder.

“What are you doing?!?!?!?!?” shouted Amberella. “Put me DOWN!!!!!

Damien Fell whisteled, and a majestic black horse came running. Damien threw Amberella over the horse’s ass, and jumped on.

“We have to get out of here!” cried Damien Fell. “Hateshadowe’s corpse will explode at any minute!”

What???” cried Amberella.

“You heard me! Death Aelves store evil in their body like a battery. It releases when they die. With a particularly nasty Death Aelf like Hateshadowe there, the explosion can create valleys! We have to leave!”

“Then let’s go!” cried Amberella.

“Not yet!” And he turned to the woman in black. “Shaira! Can you get out of here?”

“Already done,” said the woman in black, and with a puff of smoke, she vanished.

Damien Fell spurred his black horse forward, and as Amberella watched in the distance as the stone circle receaded behind them at a rate of sixty miles an hour, she saw a sudden flash of light as the dawn rose over the mountains……..

………..and Lord Hateshadowe’s body exploded.

There was a blast of black fire that shook the heavens.

The shock of the blast destroyed the Fiendfang, and the tall black needle of ice crumbled into dust as Amberella watched, ten thousand feet of ice and stone falling into nothing, just a cloud of rubble where the mountain had been.

It was awesome.

END CHAPTER 4

“So you told me to meet you here,” I said. “But you haven’t told me why.”

“Here” was a small, funky coffee shop in downtown Santa Cruz, with posters of long-forgotten punk bands on the walls and a barista with chunky glasses and a goatee. My dining companion… well, I didn’t know who exactly he was. He stood about five feet six inches tall, wore a dingy Dream Theater hoodie, and had a gas mask on.

That was probably why I didn’t know who he was.

“I can’t trust the internet anymore,” my dining companion said. “I’m worried about sending you The Epic Legend of Damien Fell over email. I’m sorry, but I just can’t do that.”

“…Okay,” I said. “Why?”

“Van Eck phreaking,” said my companion. He was talking in a deep, gravelly voice, sort of like Christian Bale in The Dark Knight. This didn’t make him sound imposing so much as it made him sound congested. “There are people all over the internet who tap fiberoptic cables and read everything you put in emails. It’s true. I read it in Cryptonomicon.”

“Um. Well. First of all, I don’t think that’s how Van Eck phreaking works. And second of all, who’d want to steal your story?”

“All kinds of people. Other writers. Like you.”

“Like me? Why would I want to steal your story?”

“I’m pushing the boundaries of fantasy literature here. Nobody’s saying what I’ve been saying. It’s a grim, savage story of good and evil that’s never been told before, and people will want to steal it. You know. Plagiarists are all over the place. Like that guy you like. You know… the English guy, who was in that Simpsons episode…”

I could have said a million things at this point. I chose to simply go along with the crazy teenager who sat across from me. “Right,” I said. “You’re a genius. So, is that what you wanted to talk to me about?”

“Nope. I’m giving you the next installment of The Epic Legend of Damien Fell in hard copy. That way nobody sees it but you and me.”

“Uh-huh. Sure,” I mumbled, wondering how fast I can transcribe the hard copy and post it on my lame blog once my companion is out of sight.

“I’ll be going now,” said my companion. “Got a dermatologist’s appointment to go to. You know how it is.”

“Yeah, sure,” I reply. “Hey, do you mind paying for the scone that you didn’t eat?”

“I’d love to, blogger-man, but unfortunately my mom cut off my debit card after I bought my nunchuks. You know how it is.”

“Oh, yeah. Totally.”

“Be seeing you, Johnson.” And he walks out the door, leaving me alone with the hipsters.

Prick, I think, and begin to read the third chapter…

 

The Epic Legend of Damien Fell

Chapter Three: Shadow Councils

“The unthinkable has happened!” cried King Estuvi of Karass Mor, and the father of Amberella. “The palace invaded— thousands of palace guards slain—- my daughter kidnapped!”

Looking at the King of Karass Mor, one would never expect him to be the father of the most beautiful woman ever to walk the face of the earth. He was short and lumpish, vaugely potato-shaped, with a neck-beard and a bald head. The courtiers of Karass Mor truly spoke the truth when they said that Amberella took more after her mother, the beauteous Wood Aelfynn princess Karyss Al’alanae.

“This is a disaster! Never since my wife has died have I been so distraught! I must convene a war council immediately.”

King Estuvi scowled darkly.

“Whoever took my daughter will pay in blood.”

***************************************

By noon the foremost lords and knights in the country from five day’s ride around the palace had been convened in the Chamber of Battle.

The largest chamber in the Palace of Karass Mor, the Chamber of Battle was far more older, and far more mysterious, than any other room in the palace. It was not constructed as part of the palace: in fact, in the long-lost days of the Karassian Empire, which ruled over three continents, this had been the central tower of a mage-lord of Darke Magycke. The palace had actually been built around this central tower. There were still remnants of the impression that this had once upon a time been a tower: the room was cylindrical, and sixty paces in radius: but even so, there was no cieling, for the top of the mile-tall tower had broken long ago. Staring up and up and ever upward towards the blue Karass Morian sky, you would feel like you were looking out of a tube at the heavens: the opening at the top of the chamber was only as big around as an Ecurian gold piece, and despite the fact that it was open to the sky, the chamber was ever dark, and torches were lit when the warriors of Karass Mor sat in council.

The greatest knights and warriors of Karass Mor sat in the seats spaced around the circular chamber, and all gazed towards the king as he sat on the trhone. Assembled in the hall were the three Jarkesh Lha’am brothers, Urik, Uric, and Urrick, sitting in their armor with their long swords Battlecleaver, Stormbreaker, and Irontail at their sides, respectively; the dark-skinned warrior-priestess Lasheena Dh’or, a beautiful betwixting jungle maiden from the depths of the cloud forests high in the Harharrakhan Mountains of southern Karass Mor; Sharrik the Fair, a handsome-looking knight in red demonscale armor, hailing from the tiny Sapphire Island in the Rushing Sea to the west of the Palace; Markessa Thûne, the greatest archer in the human kingdoms, famed for slaying the dread dragon Orrulgamakalagrhamakhan in the volcanic reaches of Shuurrggaatth Hhuul’l; General Estavar Kúne, the grizzled general of a thousand campaigns against the deadly power of the Frog Men of Danshevar; Wayne Wain of the Eastern Marshes, a frog-dwelling bog-eating spearman who had fought at Markessa Thûne’s side as she rode to the ice-lands of the far North in order to kill a Demongiant Swordmage who had killed her brother; Lord Maywolf Merrywheather, a prancing fop of a young man who never the less managed to be incredibly skilled with lute, rapier, and womens’ undergarments; Sir Jherrigal Umláut, eighty years old and the legendary champion of a thousand and ten tourneys in the days of his youth; Märzan Kal’Kättû, the Dwarvyn chieftain of the neighboring Stormhollow Clan, who dwelt under the volcanic Firespear Mountains and had forged strong swords as tribute to the kings of Karass Mor for a thousand years; Urgeth the Unwary, paladin and Lyghte Mage, who defended King Estuvi on the Battle of Yllamór; the king’s bastard half-cousin once removed, Darkus Chayne, the famed assassin and dread martial artist who traveled in the East in his youth and brought back techniques that let him kill a man to death in less time than it takes him to pick his nose; Tulweg Al-Bariq, the honey-skinned desert shieldmaiden who knew no man as master and whose beauty was reknowned throughout all of the Human Kingdoms; Lord Golrag Ukk, the only Orkish war-leader in the human kingdoms, and a skilled spearman and warrior; Admiral Kastaelanna Sal’dae, the bewitching half-aelfynn pirate captain turned naval admiral, mistress of a thousand ships and famed for her raven black hair, betwitching smile and the second-most beautiful pair of breasts in Karass Mor (after Amberella’s of course); Earl Shaemon Ysgallar, the young lord of the eastern province of Schlang; the wood-aelfynn ambassador and uncle of the Princess Amberella, Highlord Jaeron Láu’thi; plus a lot of other people who aren’t really all that important.

To the right of the King sat a young blonde man, hair cut short, wearing intricately wrought armor and the fabled two-handed sword Rayventallon across his back. He had a cleft chin and sparkling blue eyes, and his smile was as fake as the breasts of Ecydasia, Goddess of Those Who Go Unclad in the Night. He was the price of the neighboring land of Rayvenhawke, and his name was Travyss Hawke.

“I’m very glad you could come to this council, Travyss, my son,” said King Estuvi. “You are betrothed to my daughter, and I would wish to see that no harm will come to her.”

“It is my pleasure, my lord,” said Travyss, smiling his gleaming-toothed smile. “I love your daughter. She is the most beautiful, bewitching creature that ever I did see. I want to protect her. I will not let her come to harm— and if I do, I will fall on my sword immediately.”

Estuvi smiled and nodded approvingly. “I care for you as well, Travyss Hawke. In the short weeks that you have lived here in Karass Mor, I have grown to care for you like a son. And since I have no son, only daughters……”

“And each one fairer than the last,” Travyss said, winking.

The King grinned. “Aye, they take after their mother that way,” he said wistfully. “Anyway, I was hoping to give you the crown after I die, uniting the kingdoms of Rayvenhawke and Karass Mor when I pass from this life.”

“It would be my honor, my lord,” said Travyss, bowing his head and smirking.

“So be it, Travyss Hawke, Prince of Rayvenhawke,” said King Estuvi. “I name you my son and heir.”

From a nearby seat, a man spoke with a voice like thunder. “WHAT????” it cried.

Everyone turned to look, and there was Sharrik the Fair, Lord of Sapphire Island and the Rushing Sea. His eyes were blazing with angry fire.

“My lord, you cannot mean this? Surely you do not mean to give the Kingdom of Karass Mor to this……. this outsider???

“Prince Travyss is no outsider, but has become to me like unto my only son. I would be honored to give him my kingdom when I die.”

“But, sire, surely you have not forgotten? Your grandfather, and your father— they both died in the wars with Rayvenhawke! At the hands of the ancestors of this young stripling!”

Prince Travyss put his hand on the hilt of his sword. “I will not stand here and be insulted by this seafoam lordling,” he snapped. “I am a Prince of the Human Kingdoms, and I will not be spoken down to.”

“Calm yourself, Travyss,” said King Estuvi. “You have no quarrel with good Sharrik here.”

Travyss scowled, but he released his hand from his blade.

The King of Karass Mor turned to the Lord of Sapphire Island. “As for you, Sharrik, there are more greater things afoot here. With the kidnapping of my daughter, all the human kingdoms are threatened— verily, not just the human kingdoms, but the lands of Dwarves, Wood Aelves, Dark Aelves, Orcs, Trolls, Gnomes, Giants, Lizardfolks, Minotaurs, Frog Men, Crab Men, Ticktock Men, and Dragons alike have fallen under threat. If we do not stand together, the whole world is doomed.”

“I don’t care!” cried Sharrick. “His grandmother killed my father— and I demand revenge!”

And he drew his long sword Garthgaléna, the fabled ancestral sword of Sapphire Island. It’s blade was carved of a single gigantic sapphire, and it shone in the dime light of the hall with a cerulean glow. Charging screaming at Travyss, Sharrik the Fair brought his sword up into an attack position.

Travyss drew his family’s sword Rayventallon, a massive six foot two handed blade forged from black iron, and dropped into a defensive posture.

The swords rang out for a second, then with a sudden long cut, Travyss severed the handsome head of Sharrik the Fair.

There was a sudden fountain of pulsing red blood from Sharrick’s neck, and then his still-standing corpse fell to its knees before the prince.

Does anyone else doubt my claim to the throne of Karass Mor??” exclaimed Travyss exclamatorially.

“No! We’re good!” replied the rest of the lords.

King Estivu shook his head as he looked at Sharrik’s kneeling, headless corpse. “You poor fool,” he murmured. Then he addressed the whole Chamber of Battle. “Now that the preliminary business is taken care of, then I suppose I must let you know why I called you all here today,” he declaimed.

“Well, I can tell you: tragedy has struck the kingdom of Karass Mor. Our castle was broken into by members of an evil cult, and my daughter Amberella kidnapped.”

The members of the council gasped and murmured. Highlord Jaeron Láu’thi, the aelfynn ambassador and the pRincesses’ uncle, said, “By the Nine Aelfynn Gods! Brother-in-law, what is to be done?”

“The bravest and most skilled in battle knight must go forth from the kingdom into lands of darkness to find my daughter,” said King Estuvi. “And I know exactly who the one to rescue our Princess must be.”

“Who?” cried the councilmembers. “Who? Tell us who!”

“It will be my daughter’s betrothed, Prince Travyss Hawke of Rayvenhawke,” exclaimed the king.

At this there were angry mutters among the councilpeople, but Travyss knelt down beofre the King, and bowed his head. “I would be honored to search for your daughter and my beloved, my lord and father\”

“This is an outrage!” cried Wayne Wain of the Eastern Marshes. “He’s not even a Karass Morian!”

“He’s a cold-blooded murderer!” exclaimed Urgeth the Unwary. “He killed Sharrick where he stood, just a minute ago!”

“Let me find the girl, my leige!” bellowed General Estavar Kúne. “I will bring honor back to Karass Mor!”

“No, let me find her!!!” shouted Admiral Kastaelanna Sal’dae. “I’ll take half the cash up front and the rest on completing my job!”

LET ME TAKE HER,” cried Lord Gorlag Ukk, “OR I WILL TAKE MY AXE AND MURDER EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU RIGHT HERE!

SILENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” shouted the king……..

……..and everyone obeyed;

“Travyss is the strongest warrior of his generation!” cried Estuvi. “He is a knight of consumite skill and power! If any of you will go to the Fiendfang to find my daughter, let it be him!!!!!!!”

“The fiendfang?” asked Sir Jherrigal Umláut. Legend had spoke of the dark mountain and its hideous fastnesses for thousands of yeas. “But that is a suicide mission!”

“Yes, and it is why Travyss must go to the Fiendfang,” said the kIng. “For he is the only one skilled enough to survive a suicide mission!”

There was a long pause, and then Jherrigal Umláut said, “So be it. If the Gods have ordained that Travyss is the one who must go to the Fieldfang, then we will pray for him here.” And all the lords and knights in the hall bowed at Travyss.

“I will leave at once, my liege,” said the Prince. “The journey to the Fiendfang is three thousand miles. It will take me at least two weeks to get there.”

“Then we will wish you safe jounrey,” the King of Karass Mor said. “May the Lyghte be on your side, and when you return, we will have a wedding merry enough to wake the dead.”

***************************************************

In the mountains at the north end of the world, surrounding the Fiendfang, a woman in black road up to Lord Hateshadowe’s tend, her mount weary from thousands of miles of journeying. She gave her mount to one of the nearby cultists, and entered Hateshadowe’s richly austere domicile…….

Lord Hateshadowe sat by a writing desk, reading an ornate grimoire entitled How to Kill Princesses and Bring Chaos Neverending. He didn’t even bother to look up when she arrived.

“So, Shaira,” he said. “You succeeded in murdering that man Blackthorne?”

The woman in black, or Shaira, as she was named, removed her face mask, and revealed a beautiful lush face, with a small pointed nose and a pair of full ruby lips.

“I did, Hateshadowe,” she said. “Now yo have to honor our bargain. You promised me a fortune in rubies when I returned. I don’t see any fortunes here.”

“In good time, in good time,” smiled Lord Hateshadowe. “We must wait, though. When I sacrifice the Princess tomorrow night, then you’ll have rubies and more besides.”

“I’m not a member of your cult, Hateshadowe,” said Shaira. “I’m a member of the Shadow Syndicate, and I want my payment. You promised me that you would give me the money when I finished the job.”

Lord Hateshadowe’s shadowed face smiled hatefully. “I lied,” he said.

Bastard,” snarled Shaira, and she drew her throwing knife and prepared to send it hurtling straight through Lord hateshadowe’s smug face……………..

………but as soon as she drew it Lord Hateshadowe said “DEPPARTER’OUYAHAH!” and tendrils of shadowy substants came out the ground and wrapped her tightly in a chocking embrace.

“What is this?” she cried.

“It’s a little spell to keep out from attacking,” he said. “Don’t think about dismissing it, or doing any kind of magycke—– if the spell detects any kind of magic being cast it’ll squeeze the life from you like the juice from a potato.”

“You son of a—” screamed Shaira, but a tentacle closed over her mouth, keeping her from saying anything.

“You know,” said Lord Hateshadowe. “Sacrificing a nubile princess is such hungry work. Maybe when I’m done sacrificing Amberella tomorrow I’ll come back and eat your heart.” He laughed then, long and maniacally, and the tentacles that wrapped around Shaira’s body squeezed her tighter, and she slipped into un-consciousness as the sound of Lord Hateshadowe’s laughter rang in her ears………………………..

END CHAPTER 3

Our guest novella continues here on Axolotl Ceviche…

I recieved this portion of The Epic Legend of Damien Fell from the author. He’s apparently displeased with my introductory paragraph at the beginning of the previous installment (which can be found in the CWW installment for June 13). Apparently, I was a little too mocking of what he considers to be an “epic work”. Honestly, I didn’t see what was wrong, and told him so in my reply email, but he simply replied with an ASCII drawing of a gigantic middle finger. So, I’m going to keep this intro paragraph short. The gods know I have a tendency to ramble.

So, in any case here’s Chapter Two of The Epic Legend of Damien Fell, which is a chapter that might as well be subtitled: In Which There Are Many Tits. I mean– crap. I did it again, didn’t I?

~ Ian

 

The Epic Legend of Damien Fell

Chapter Two: A Night of Shadows

In the golden-pillared halls of the Palace of Karass Mor, the most noble and majestic of the Nineteen Human Kingdoms of Evershyria, Princess Amberella slept madly, dark and shadowed dreams filling her beatiful head while she slept.

A person looking in through the window at Amberella’s lithe, naked body (for the princess slept nude in the summer heat of tropical Karass Mor, her beautiful breasts left unburdened by any under wear or sleeping-clothes) would notice that she was beautiful. The most beautiful of all women alive, in fact- only seventeen years old, she had a mass of tumbeling red gold hair that fell in a deliciously sweet-scented mass down her smooth, golden neck and framed her sweet, young, plump, brown-nippled breasts. Her legs and buttocks were formed like that of a goddess, and the place where her legs joined was met with a soft downy wisp of tawny fur that no man had ever penetrated— Amberella was a virgin, unspoiled, and unlike the many slutty daughters of the other human kings. Her eyes were the gray-green of a southern sea in storm, and her ears were delicitely pointed—- for her father, King Estuvi, had wed a wood aelfynn princess, who had died in child birth bearing Amberella, youngest and most beautiful of all the kIng’s daughters.

Amberella was not only beautiful, though: a kind heart beat beneath her perfect breasts, and not only that, but due to her half-aelfynn, half-human lineage, Amberella was a mistress of Lyghte Magycke: more gifted in magycke than any of her jealous sisters, who were more slutty and not quite as beautiful as her, Amberella was the queen of all she surveyed: the desire of all men, the jealousy of all women: she was perfection, incranate.

But tonight her heart was troubled, and shadow lay over her. Amberella was to be betrothed to the prince of the neighboring kingdom of Rayvenhawke; Prince Travyss Hawke. Though his skill in battle was undeniable, and he was truly handsome, he was a foul slime: a more disgusting example of human sludginess that did not look fair and beautiful on the outside had never been born.

Amberella lay naked in her bed, haunted by dreams……………………………..

An outside observer would notice Amberella writhing in her sleep, contorted and maddened, her full pert lips spread murmuring, “No, no, no!” The vains in her slender neck popped out and strained against her smooth skin, and despite the hot whether and 100 percent humidity outside, her nipples stood out from her tits like spigots. She squirms and squeals; she is a study in terror and delight.

But inside her mind…….

Inside her mind………..

The darkness surrounds her as she stares into the maddened face of oblivion……. A voice speaks out from the heavens, and it makes a noise like thundre……..

Princess Amberella….. Maiden of Lyghte…… The Darkness comes for you……. You must meet it and join with it………

No! cries amberella. I’ll never join with the darkness!

You will join and merge with it…… says the voice. You’re children will be born of Lyghte and Darkness, a mixture of Good and Evil….. You are the mother of a new race………

And then the clouds part, and a shadowed man in a cloak of shadows appears before the princess. She cannot see his face, but his eyes burn like supernovas, and his body is like the embrace of the night. 

Come to me, Child of Lyghte……. the shadowman says. 

No….. murmurs Amberella. No……

But deep within her desire burns, and the princess can feel her sheath honeying and she is pulled by desire, strong desire, to see this shadow mans arms around her and feel him inside her, feel her belly grow swollen with his heavy children, be consumed and destroyed in his rage……….

He throws his arms around her. Come to me, my beloved, my mate. 

No, she says, but she thinks yes, and as he presses close to her, his insubstantial lips pressing against hers, she feels a wave of pleasure coarse through her body, and knows that this is her destiny……………………………..

*******************************************

Inside the palace of Karass Mor, a fight was going on.

“Sound the guards!” cried the footman. “Have them come!”

But the guards would not come, because they had been murdered in their sleep.

As the black-clad assassin-warriors poured into the palace, one man strode confidently into the room. He was tall, quite tall, and his hair was long and white. Infact, everything about this man was white: save for his burning red eyes, and his painted black fingernails. He was an albino, a master of Darke Magycke like none the world had ever seen. Clad all in shimmering black robes that were as dark and form-fitting as the night itself, he was in complete command of his environment. As evil as the depths of Hell, and ten times ad badass, he was ten thousand years old, a remnant of the long forgotten Death Aelf race that once ruled over the land with an iron glove. His name was Lord Hateshadowe, and he was hate and shadow incarnate……..

“Have we located the princess?” he said to a minion.

“We have my lord,” said the minion, a blubberous fat man wearing the purple robes of an acolyte.

“Good,” said Lord Hateshadowe. “I will go to her chambers.”

He lifted his hand, and spoke a word of power. “Rekcufrehtom siht llik,” he said, and gestured at the minion.

Immediately the minion screamed, a strangeled gasp coming from his throat, as he clawed madley at his face. “My head!” the man cried. “By the power of Hell…… MY HEAD IS IMPLODING!

There was a loud schluuuucking sound, and the man’s head disapperared in a blast of blood, a gushing fountain of red slimey liquid gushing from his severed aorta.

Lord Hateshadowe grinned. “See that this man’s corpse is cleaned up,” he said, and strode up the stairs to the royal bedchambres.

********************************

Princess Amberella woke up from her slumber, panting and heaving. Her soft pale perfect skin was slicked with sweat, not from the humidity but from the frighteningness of her dream…… or was it a nightmare? she thought. Terror had rarely intruded into her peaceful life, but even so she’d had bad dreams as a child. Even so, none of her nightmares were quite as terrifying… or quite as exhilerating as this one. Her whole body thrummed with a combination of passion and fear.

The door to her bedchamber creaked open, and a man walked in.

At first Amberella thought that the man who entered her room was the shadow man from her dream. But no, while the shadow man in her dream was horrifying and beautiful, this man was different. His skin was purest white, the soft white of snow— no, not of snow, but of ash. His eyes gleamed demonically as he strode into her room.

“Who are you?” cried Amberella fearfully yet assertively. “Come any closer, and– and— I’ll call for the guards! They’ll have you arrested, you’ll see!”

“Your guards won’t come,” said Lord Hateshadowe (for it was he who entered).

“My guards are loyal to me to the last,” exclaimed Princess Amberella. “They will serve me until their deaths.”

“And will they serve you past their deaths, Princess?” asked Hateshadowe.

“…….What are you saying……?” asked the Princess.

“Your guards will not come for you, because they are all dead,” smirked Lord Hateshadow. “And they are dead because I killed them.”

“No!” cried Amberella. Her beautiful blue eyes widened in fear. She would have burst into tears, if she had not been so afraid.

“Yes,” said the demonic-eyed man that stood before her. “Now, you will come with me.”

“Who are you?” exclaimed Amberella. “Where are you taking me?”

“I am the leader of a group called the Conclave of Blood,” said the man who stood before her. “And as for where I am aking you……… well…. youll soon find out about that.”

He snapped his onyx-nailed fingers and two men in black-and-red robes came up on either side. They grabbed Princess Amberella where she sat, hauling her up on her feet. One of them took the opportunity of touching the beautiful naked girl by rubbing his hands over her right breast. She shuddered—- the cultist’s palms were greasy and sweaty, and his eyes ran over her freckled shoulders and back like a slithering lizard.

“You know what to do with her,” said Lord Hateshadowe. “Take her away. We shall hie ourselves to my ship at once, and from there, go on to…. the Fiendfang…..”

Even in the peaceable kingdoms of the human lands, Amberella had heard the name of the Fiendfang. It was a place far to the north, in the Eldorn Wastelands, a place ravaged by cold winds and scarred by volcanic activity. Allegedly this was the land where demons walked…….

“No!” screamed Amberella fearfully. “I won’t go with you! Never! Help! Father, guards, Travyss, someone help m—”

Lord Hateshadowe rolled his eyes. “Estiéfyu,” he murmured, and Amberella fell suddenly silent. Though her lips moved and her lungs breathed under her pert young breasts, no sound came out. She could not speak.

“That’s MUCH better,” said Lord Hateshadowe. “Now come, my minions. We must away to the Fiendfang. We certainly wouldn’t want to miss the next new moon, would we?”

As the Conclave of Blood left the palace of Karass Mor, there was nothing to be heard throughout all the halls but the resounding echo of Lord Hateshadowe’s hateful, shadowy laughter………….

END CHAPTER 2

I’ve occasionally considered writing under a pen name.

When I was in high school, I wanted to write under the name of Ian Gilmour once I got published (under the influence of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, and by the fact that there’s already another famous Ian Johnson, and he’s not me). Right now, I’ve been using the first of my two middle initials in all the stories that I write, so that I’m Ian P. Johnson.

Of course, a lot of writers use tons of pen names. In a lot of ways it’s a form of branding. Let’s say you have a prolific author-man, named Ort J. Lothfus. Now, Ort might write in lots of different genres, so he uses a different name for every genre he writes in. So when you’re picking up a book by Ort’s technothriller pen name, you would be expecting a completely different book than you’d get if you picked up one written by Ort’s nurse romance pen name.

Unfortunately, the best pen name ever, which is clearly Anne Onymous, has already been taken. So I’m going to have to look elsewhere.

Here is a list of my potential pen names by genre:

Thriller

  • Tedd Punnischer
  • Max Caliber
  • Jack Steele
  • Brian Pfister
  • David Glock
  • James Gore
  • Mike Irons
  • Jason Nine Millimeter

Romance (hey, it’s unlikely, but it could happen)

  • Dianna Heartley
  • Julia Whisper
  • Angela DeVille
  • Linda Swift
  • Michelle Worthington
  • Emma Blakeley
  • Elizabeth Pashynne
  • Magdalena Sachet
  • Rachel Abbington

Gay Erotica

  • Randall Hardwood
  • Willy Peters
  • Steven Thruste
  • Richard Bigby
  • Marcus Head
  • Jack Shaft
  • insert any other terrible dick joke here, basically
  • Peter Johnson

Chicana Lesbian Erotica

  • Esperanza Chingarse
  • Silvia Dos Mujeres
  • Teresa Encama
  • Paulina Tetagrande
  • Alicia Consolador
  • Graciela Trepidora
  • Maria Duchafría

Erotic Twilight Slashfic

  • Blake Hihara

On a more serious note, I have a cool idea for a science fiction novel, and if I ever publish it, I actually will use a pen name for that. I’ve actually thought about the pen name that I’m going to use for that, and it is:

Sean Shepherd.

Why, specifically? Well, you have to understand that “Ian” is the Scots Gaelic version of “John”, and the word for “John” in Scots Gaelic’s closest living relative, Irish, is “Sean”. As for the last part, I’ve decided on that because my mom’s last name, and my second middle name, is “Shafer”. And of course, schäfer is the German word for… I think that you can figure it out from there.

And I might just use Roger Gilmour as a pen name one of these days.

(Ha! Get it? “One of These Days” is a Pink Floyd song! Ha! Ha! Ha! I am laughing, and yet nobody else finds it funny!)

~ Ian

If sunlight causes vampires to crumble into ash, then does the light reflected off the face of the full moon cause them to get mild flaking?

~ Ian

I am no traveler. But I have heard the stories from those who are, and what they say is this:

At the forty-ninth parallel, there is a veil of mist that extends from ocean to ocean. This veil cannot be penetrated by mere mortals. Those who try to pass through it find that no matter how far they penetrate the mist, they become lost in a maze of shadows and fog. They cannot find the way out. There is no way out. And the longer they remain beyond the mist, they grow colder and grayer and eventually fade into nothing, into mere fog-wraiths, without ever seeing the sun again.

Nobody goes north of this barrier. Nobody can go there. Armies have marched through the mist, and disappeared forever.

Some say that the mist marks the north end of the world. Some say that there is nothing beyond this place.

But then, on one day every year, the veil of mist parts. On the first day of the seventh month (or on the second day, if the first day falls on a Sunday), the veil of mist parts, and we southrons are permitted to pass beyond.

I have never seen the land beyond the mist. But I have spoken with those who have gone beyond, and this is what they say:

They tell of a country made entirely of ice. They tell of a land forever bound in snow, from the gently-lapping salt sea to the peaks of the highest mountains at the backbone of the continent. It is a cold land, and a savage one, but beautiful still, shining white and brilliant beneath the ever-burning midnight sun and the eerie green glow of the aurora.

Those who have gone beyond the veil tell of a queen that lives in this country, a lady both beautiful and terrible. She travels the snow-bound country in a sled made of hoarfrost and icicles, pulled by a team of thirteen white bears. Wherever she goes, she is accompanied by a procession of knights, wearing surcoats of red, mounted on the finest of steeds. Her rage is the frozen anger of a blizzard; her smile is the promise of spring. She crosses the country, dispensing justice, for she is a wise and stern ruler, and all love her and despair. It is said that her face gazes balefully out from their currency, which shines with all the colors of the rainbow.

I have also heard tell, from those who have gone north of North, that the warriors in this country wear bladed shoes, and they challenge each other in grand arenas of ice, and their tourneys are the delight of all the people who live there. I have heard that their healers are noble and just, and that they will not refuse a patient for lack of money, for it is said that among those who walk in the snow-country believe that healing is a duty, not a whim. I have heard of the birds and the beasts that live beyond the veil, the mighty grizzled bears and the giant hornèd deer, the fearsome direwolves and the golden-voiced swans that howl and sing all the night and day.

I have heard tell of this land, even here in my southern home, so close to the sun, so far from the cold. And though I may never look on the face of the ice-queen, or see the knife-soled warriors jousting on pitches of ice, or hear the call of the loon so mournful in the frigid night air, I can still dream.

And I do dream.

It is my fondest wish that one day I see this place. One day, I hope to pass beyond the veil. And though I do not know if I ever will go that way, if my restless feet shall ever take me to the far North of the world, I still wonder.

And thus it is that I am given hope.

Happy Canada Day.

~ Ian