- Work on my reputation. Mercenaries are, by far and large, despised for their tendency to, er, switch sides at the slightest bit of trouble. But there’s good money to be earned when you’re known for loyalty, ‘specially when you’ve got the employer to appreciate it.
- Never leave a job unfinished and a commision incomplete. Staunchness is best paid when you’re on the side on top, and the best way to win is to do your part and beyond.
- Strike hard, dirty and with finality. Because why wouldn’t brutality be the best possible course?
- Give my men freedom but not enough that they forget who they’re serving under. Mercenaries can be a nasty bunch, you have got to show them the stick every once in a while.
- Try not to get stabbed in the back by my lieutenants and/or employers. Should be pretty simple, right?
- Survive getting repeatedly stabbed in the back by traitorous employers and lieutenants. Even simpler!
- Avenge myself by going through with a lengthy, convoluted and extremely bloody plot that sees all my former lieutenants dead, my employers deposed of their influence, wealth and, preferably, their heads, and my position restored.
- Discipline the troop and teach them that whole loyalty lesson they seem to have skipped on. A few might hang, a few might regret ever being born, but obviously, they need the lesson.
- Maybe stop working for hire and start working with myself, now that I’m known as the guy with the private army and the grudge-holding. Decapitating former employers doesn’t sit well with potential ones — who’d’ve thought it so?
- Use my head to make up for the one I cut off. The land is descending into chaos, I might as well make the best of it…right?
Happy New Year to all you lovely people! May it bring you good cheer, brilliant books and more experiences worth remembering than not.
If you’ve followed my blog, you might know by now that I love making Top Ten lists.
This time, I thought I’d make a post exclusive to the New Year!
- Finish my book. Last year gave form to an amazing world of the fantastic, a world I want nothing more than to share with everyone willing to read it. It’s a world I’m proud of, and one which I can’t wait to show my friends and family, and anyone else who’d be willing to go on a brand new journey.
- Get back to drawing. I used to draw up until a few years ago. Loved it! The attention to detail, the patience required, the sheer amount of dedication, they are breathtaking. I’d love to find the time.
- Read more. I read over a hundred books, comic books and the like over 2017. Still, it’s never enough. I want to do better.
- Write more. Writing is somehow the most difficult and easiest activity in the world for me. I’ve learned so much in the last year, thanks in no small part to a few fantastic, supporting individuals, who went through some messy drafts of my short stories and showed me weak spots. Thank you, Amy, Vasi, if you’re reading this. You’ve done me a great service, one I can’t easily repay.
- Be less of an ass. Snigger. Yeah, right.
- Dare to get out of my comfort zone.
- Grow my audience, both on the blog and on YouTube. I love writing on my blog, and I love making videos about games on YouTube. I also realize that my schedule for both has been sporadic and chaotic, to say the least. I need to do better, and I’ll try not to fall into a hole of despair and self-pity as I sometimes do. Those are bad for both these platforms.
- Be more active, in many, many ways.
- Pick up a sport, or learn to dance. Or both. I used to do fencing a few years ago, and I loved it. Got into a fight with my coach, though. Perhaps it’s time to bury the hatchet. In his head. Cackle.
- Stop being a bloody lazy bum, you bum!
Aye, that’s it! My first post for 2018! May this year be better than 2017, whether the last year was good for you, or not. I love you all.
Yes, even you, Mr. Guy-who-stopped-reading-back-at-the-beginning. You evil arse.
Another Monday, another Top Ten List! I’ve been reading and thinking about magical weapons, sentient swords, talking scythes and so decided to do another one of my favourite little lists!
- If I get an arsehole of a wielder, I’m going to pretend that I’m just your normal, every-day magical sword. No sign of sentience from me, nuh-uh. Then, when he’s in the middle of a fight–snikt! and off go his hands.
- I would make sure not to get thrown away into a forgotten quarry by some reluctant master. Millenia spent talking to rocks, devoid of tasty blood? No, thank you!
- I would be a fantastic instructor to youths who’ve never held a weapon in their lives before. Face anyone–anyone!–and I’ll use the pipsqueak to gut whatever instructor, family member, or fellow student of the sword he’s going up against.
I like to throw my pupils head-first unto oceans of blood. It builds character.
- I would encourage, listen to and do just about everything but tolerate defeatist attitude.
- Teaching heroes is, of course, another purview of mine, and I would put my back into it. So to speak.
- I’m not saying I would enjoy sating my blood thirst…I’m not saying that I wouldn’t, either.
- I would make a great gift. Not a ‘ha-ha’ kind of gift, more like a ‘I murdered everyone at my birthday party and it was epic’ kind of gift.
It’s the little things in life.
- If ever a strong-willed man or woman with principles takes hold of me, I might be in trouble. Naturally, I’ll do my best to betray and murder them horribly. Not because I’m evil, but because I’m a free spirit, and loyal to who I am!
- I would not tolerate any Dark Lord or Evil Master or Ancient Forger’s soul to snuggle up in my biz! No other sentient creatures and souls are welcome in my house, thank you very much.
- I would accept kitten sacrifice as a price for my use! Oh, don’t look at me like that, it’s a valid currency where I come from!
Thank you for reading this list! We’ll be back next week with the third part of Adventurer’s Mishaps! If you’d like to give me some feedback–the comment section is below, and I’d be all too happy to implement any good advice in the blog!
- Bullets! Forty years I have watched as military arts evolved, changing the balance between all those different peoples who move in and out of the Barrowlands, bringing with them an ever-more complex array of ranged weaponry. These…guns, as they are called, are fascinating contraptions; I have seen a squadron of ill-prepared mages ripped apart under a single round of fire; my hands have had to
- In that time, I have treated bullet wounds properly, watching meanwhile as dozens upon dozens of my ‘colleagues’ pour arcane boiling oil into men and women who would be better served if the bullets within their bodies were to be removed.
I know very few men who’ve a liking for lead poisoning. But those charlatans sure enjoy the coin they receive from peddling the Alchemist Guild’s concoction.
- Duty of care goes beyond caring for one’s patients alone. It runs much deeper than that; we physicians, no matter the occupation, must seek to further our knowledge. To the betterment of medicine no price is too small to pay.
- A good reason to go after that mob of alchemists; to snoop around a little, anyhow. I’ve not the friends I used to, when I was younger. I am an old man now, my hair greying and receeding–I’ve grown fat, for Gods’ sakes.
- My hands’re still dexterous, and strong, however. When I grab one of the boy-apprentices from the Guild, and squeeze, the boy sings. The tales it tells…
And that’s it for today, I’m afraid. A bit shorter than usual, since I’m short on time! Today’s partial list was inspired by Ambroise Paré, the physician who, in 1536, changed the course of medicine by taking a bullet out of a bullet wound, instead of cauterizing it with the bullet still inside; all because he’d ran out of the substance. You can read more about him here.
This is a continuation of the Dazzlingly Hot Prince in a Fantasy Realm! post. After the good fortunes that came to shine upon our Dazzlingly Hot new King, his successful spree came to a screeching halt, when a Dark Lord entered the lands. A short skirmish ensured, during which Lerik–the new King– thought the battle his; that is, until the Dark Lord entered the fray.
Now, Lerik is scarred, and, as word of the crime that he committed to take the throne spreads, he faces civil war.
Merely a week past, I sent envoys to my father’s–mine, now–vassals, in search of mages skilled in restorative magic. The disgusting scar that monstrosity left me with has turned me unrecognizable. When next he crosses my path, I will be prepared for him. My blade will not fail me again, not if I have a squad of mages to neutralize that magic of his.
Where was I? The envoys, yes. This is a foolish waste of time; my head councilor, Kiril, demands that I record my thoughts. “One must record one’s history for those that are yet to come, majesty,” he keeps telling me. I should skin him. How dare he demand anything of me?!
The scribe reminds me, the envoys. They returned with news of the nobles -my nobles!- refusing to send me healers, or assistance, or even bend the knee! Worse yet, they are preparing to move against me. Rabid, they call me. So tells me Kiril, and he would know; the envoys are his, after all. They have seen armies forming up. I must strike now.
I will not stand for open rebellion. I will not have what is mine be taken away!
The battle for Daar Keep was but the first of many. I have already commissioned several artists to portray me as I was, my armor glistening and pure, the blade a lightning in my hand, as I struck the traitors down. Their fear exhilarated me, imbued me with such strength as I have never felt! Kiril tells me that it is the mark of great leadership, to awaken such fear in men.
I have struggled with the idea of this rebellion, but Kiril has helped me move past the pain of betrayal. I am grateful in truth, for all this allows me to become stronger. A finer warrior, by far. I used to despise the idea of battle after battle, with no end in sight. Now, I savor it, this taste…the smell of blood in the air.
It has been weeks since I last had time enough to dictate to my scribe. The little man is positively shaken by the thought of blood, can you imagine?
I have done away with all those who would betray me near the capital. Braze is safe, and will remain so. My loyal subjects will not suffer at the hands of oath-traitors.
Time to turn my attentions to the South. I have dispatched Kiril to the North, where he will subjugate all those that have thoughts of betraying me; he will then strengthen the borders against the Dark Lord’s minions.
I will admit, the scar has begun to grow on me. My ladies-in-waiting tell me that it doesn’t turn them away, but merely accents the beauty I posses, and makes me more kingly. I still intend to remove it, once the opportunity arises; but not now. There is much to be done, yet.
The campaign in the South has gone…well. My armies are being bled, however, and the need for fresh blood grows daily. The call for mercenaries has been sounded; what rats will answer, I wonder. Only time will tell; but there is promise. A number of warlords, still south to the southernmost point in my kingdom, have been known to killfor coin; and they are very efficient.
The news is that some of those are in motion. If they dismantle the Southern lords and their forces, I will make sure that they be paid accordingly…
- Grumbrum live in cave. Cave pretty. Sparkle much. Really pretty!
- Little men come in cave! They poke Grumbrum with tiny hammers. Legs hurt. Stupid little men–dwarves.
Dwarf soup delicious. Grumbrum happy.
- Long time come since Grumbrum have soup. Grumbrum hungry. He go out of cave.
He miss cave!
- Little men throw wooden sticks at Grumbrum. Sticks sharp. Unpleasant. So is sun.
- Little men come in different forms! Village is full of them. They tasty.
Grumbrum just kidding! He only eat men-dwarves.
- Village is empty for long time now. No more tasty people come see Grumbrum. Grumbrum sad. He lonely. Maybe he eat shiny man who write list.
Grumbrum just kidding! He likes man who use tiny feather. Man is funny, he use long words to talk to Grumbrum sometimes.
Grumbrum will eat writing man last.
- Dark Lord come to re-krud Grumbrum. No want to go with him. Try eat him instead!
- Dark Lord make everything hurt, then leave. He laugh at Grumbrum! Mean Dark Lord!
- Grumbrum dying, he thinks. He turn to stone. Fall into earth. Unto dirt.
- A little she-child came today. She left flowers in Grumbrum’s hand, and sang songs to him, and danced under the rays of the sun.
I am at peace, now.
- A moderately influential warlord is only as influential as he is capable at the task of carving up his colleagues, i.e. other warlords. This one would be one hell of a stickler for the collegial spirit; and when I say that, I mean that his belief in killing warlords in order to consume their spirit is deeply held.
- The best Warlords are masters at the art of war. This one, while adept at killing, often finds himself blundering his way through the finer points of war — tactics are one thing, strategy–something else entirely. What’re these tiny wooden figurines doing on his dining table, anyway?! Better remove them before the roasted pig servings arrive, else he’ll swing one thick arm and break them all!
- His influence can reach high places…but more often than not, it does so as a joke than as threats that kings would flinch at. The moderately influential warlord isn’t aware of this, of course but if he was, he would use his axe as way of diplomacy.
- The Moderately Influential Warlord is not apt at the art of diplomacy.
- Much can be said about his moderation; but not where alcohol figures. In that here topic, our warlord is most impressive indeed. Why, he could outdrink a squadron of heavily outfitted dwarves; and we all know that all dwarven warriors are drunks.
Except for Bub. Bub hasn’t had a drink since his fourth wife left him. I’m worried about the poor guy, he’s been through a lot since that happened.
- A warlord like ours, he’s good at leading a small population but ambition is far from his mind (if we were to accept that he had a mind, which is a questionable hypothesis on several different levels). That is why he serves this here old king Patrick, for Patrick has treated him well and with some respect, unlike all other monarchs nearby our warlord’s lands.
- This here warlord is moderately emotional, as well; ’tis why he tears up so at the news of ye ole’ king Patrick’s death and succession.
- Sorrow is a tough emotion to crack, and a confusing one at that. How’s our warlord to let go of it? Simple enough; as he oh-so-often does, he’ll bathe that beautiful axe in blood. The handles, made of ivory are more thirsty than ever, and it is his great pleasure to feed them!
- After a good slaughter, a warrior like this one is all too happy to take a romp in his quarters; it’s up to a few certain types of women to go off with a man such as he, all muscles covered in blood and gore — but in a culture that often births moderately successful warlords these types of women are never far away!
- But the thirst for vengeance is not yet sated. Funny old thing, that — desire for vengeance sometimes ends up ruining perfectly good mediocre warlords. Sometimes…it gives birth to far scarier men, intent on taking it out on would-be successors.
Hello, Monday! For some strange reason, I’m feeling less than motivated today…whatever could it be? Oh, well! Take heed, kids! Keep at it, even when you feel like crap!
Read the previous Volume here.
Diary Entry #0160
I am told that I have entered the first of many identical free human kingdoms. This one shares a border with mine lands. That is what makes it special. Bah, humans are strange folk. So glad am I that I no longer fill their ranks that I could incinerate a dragon with but a blink!
The stench of mine wife of before grows ever-stronger. We are a mere few days away from catching up with her. She smelled well, once. Her perfumes were sweet beyond measure, beyond imagining. She enjoyed the flustered looks of men fool-enough to take a breath within her sweetly vapors, mere moments before they expired.
What man could not love such a woman?
Diary Entry #0161
The trolls I adopted unto mine armies in mine infinite army have once again tried to eat a village. Not even the villagers, this time. The damnable brutes started munching on buildings as we passed by. I found myself forced to summarily execute them.
The structures within the village were historic! Fifty years old, I hear. I felt that the villagers deserved some recompense for the grief given to them, and so I turned all their elders into statues of pure gold.
They did not seem too pleased with this development.
I couldn’t imagine why.
Diary Entry #0164
We have come upon a wondrous and most tranquil pond, which feeds into the great river Kraln, that gives easy access to the very shores of the continent, and I find myself considering the very real possibility of plundering this kingdom single-handed and turning this land to near-eternal darkness.
These notions are premature, I reckon — there is yet the thunder to be reclaimed. It must be safely brought back in mine citadel. Only then will I–what’s this? I hear the blunder of idiot horse-creatures coming towards mine camp. They will not enjoy mine great mercy for this interruption!
Diary Entry #0165
A princeling and its servants attempted to run through mine camp with their filthy animals. Whilst I reacted with great alacrity and cut into a squadron of these pampered noble-born, some of mine young lads lacked such experience.
Twoscore of mine loyal subjects have died. A dozen of those were promising Librarians…there can be no forgiveness for such crime.
This land will burn. It will all burn.
I did not kill the wretched princeling. He was damn skilled for a human, I will grant him that; I did leave him a parting gift, however — something to remind the boy what is coming for him.
A cut across that face will certainly serve that function.
Diary Entry #0166
I have learned that the man to have attacked mine loyal band of servants has recently killed his father and has taken to calling himself king.
He will have difficulty doing so with no tongue. Patricide fills me with disgust I can not logically explain. I will punish this fool boy in the stead of this dead father.
But first, my thunder and my wife await!
- Look at my reflection on every possible orifice in my luxurious manor or castle – mirror, guard armor, pond – you name it, if it reflects my face, I will stare at it for hours!
- Save any and every helpless princess I can find *authorly groan*, marry her and consecutively order her assassination. I am charming, after all– but not kind-hearted. Not by far.
- Father enough wee bastards to make my own polo team.
- Win several border skirmishes against enemies on all sides — The EVIL Dark Lord and his minions on the northeast; the annoying elves and their Tyrant to the northeast; monsters of darkness and unimaginable nightmare all throughout the west…and worst of all, other human kingdoms to the west and to the south.
- I’ve been told that I have also won battles against dwarves under mountains…but I have never deemed to look below my belt to see the truth of these claims.
- No wars, however. Those would take far too much of my “me” time. This dazzling smile, these stunning cheekbones…they take a lot of care, you know. A lot of virgin blood, also.
- Prove my loyalty to humanity by challenging the Dark Lord to a duel, only to get refused for lack of sorcerous might.
- Go on a quest for magical items!
- Finish the quest. Claim a magical sword from a lake, or a pool, or even a little pond. No mountains, though. Those are nasty, and people can break their necks when tumbling off them. Deathtraps, I swear. When I become king.
- Succeed my father. By running him through. With my sword. My magical sword.
Bit of world-building in this here Top Ten Fantasy List! Hope you enjoyed it; you’re very welcome to come back for more!
- The connection between a vampire and his progenitor is a sacred one, akin to that between a parent and a child.
Naturally, I began plotting the murder of my maker in order to claim his influence and authority for myself as soon as I was turned…once I were to get my predatory instincts under control and my maker’s knowledge safely within my gap.
- The older a vampire is, the more difficult to kill…but the bloodline is also of great import, and mine is potent, powerful. My Lord progenitor is old; too old, perhaps. His guard is down and his will to live barely binds him to this world. Would it truly be a crime to aid him in his transition? He hungers for death nearly as much as I hunger for his power.
- A stake in his heart as he rests during the day sets the body aflame. His pain and disappointment at my betrayal reverberate through my entire being and I am lost and regretful for a moment — a short moment, as my maker’s essence withers away like the roots of a poisoned oak.
- The power sings to me like never before; my form changes, my consciousness expands, and the face that is reflected by the mirror is all-too unfamiliar; pale and red-eyed, lips twisted into a predatory sneer. It is difficult to believe how these changes have affected me so.
- Thus begins a downwards spiral into a near-constant hunt for pleasure and escape from boredom. It is the way of immortality — humans chase it all their lives; whenever they get it, they hardly have any clue how to fill their time up.
- Centuries pass as I gradually begin to realize that I am a pariah to my kindred. The physical changes that overtook me shortly after I killed my maker are a sign of what I have done, the line that I have crossed. Who’d have thought that the demons of the night from my childhood had such honor amongst themselves?
- It hardly matters. For seven centuries I have walked this world alone and have left my mark in more ways than one and I have consumed the very lifeblood of thousands. My power grows ever stronger. Why should I wince at lesser creatures and their morality?
- A thousand years have passed me by. I am alone.
- In my life, I have never created another. Never given the gift of eternal life, fearful that the betrayer shall suffer betrayal in turn.
- A young woman has caught my attention. I have looked upon her life for some weeks now, and find her ambition, her drive, to be unlike any I have come before. She is confidence personified…and she is alone. Perhaps it is time that I introduce myself…
Thank you for reading! I enjoy writing diary-like entries from different characters’ perspectives; trying on the shoes of villains, vampires and monster-hunting inquisitors is a great way to exercise the imagination!