Ten Things I would do if I were a Cave Troll!

  1. Grumbrum live in cave. Cave pretty. Sparkle much. Really pretty!
  2. Little men come in cave! They poke Grumbrum with tiny hammers. Legs hurt. Stupid little men–dwarves.
    Dwarf soup delicious. Grumbrum happy.
  3. Long time come since Grumbrum have soup. Grumbrum hungry. He go out of cave.
    He miss cave!
  4. Little men throw wooden sticks at Grumbrum. Sticks sharp. Unpleasant. So is sun.
  5. Little men come in different forms! Village is full of them. They tasty.
    Grumbrum just kidding! He only eat men-dwarves.
  6. 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.
  7. Dark Lord come to re-krud Grumbrum. No want to go with him. Try eat him instead!
  8. Dark Lord make everything hurt, then leave. He laugh at Grumbrum! Mean Dark Lord!
  9. Grumbrum dying, he thinks. He turn to stone. Fall into earth. Unto dirt.
  10. 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.

Ten Things a Moderately Influential Warlord does!

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. The Moderately Influential Warlord is not apt at the art of diplomacy.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!
  9. 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!
  10. 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!

Ten Things an Inquisitor would do in a fantasy world filled with evil, vile, no-good things (#1 of the Crossleg’d Chronicles)

Be warned! The following Inqusitorial Scripture takes place in the world of The Unintentionally Helpful Villain and, quite possibly, of a few other entities I have written about, in this here blog.

  1. In a world filled with a host of monsters, demons and an entire Council of Darkness, Brezt Khleid, Inquisitor of the First Order, thrives. Why wouldn’t he? See that crystaline wolf-like spirit, laying on the ground, two expert cuts having even more expertly shattered the magics that held the foul intruder’s body together?
    Ay, ay! That’s his handiwork. Impressive, isn’t it, for a man such as he, crossleg’d and decrepit.
  2. Come now, use thy eyes to look upon him. Do you see that figure, far below, moving slowly, with the determination of a serpent, old and ancient, grasping towards ephemeral rays of sunlight… Down he goes, down the streets of old Feshemar, the city ever-lit by emerald flames, a gift–some say–by a goddess to a mortal lover.
    She had many such lovers, alas. As she grew bored with him, the gift turned to deadly trap, and even now his soul is used as fuel.
  3. Brezt Khleid has little time for legend, but he knows that one. Little does he doubt that, were he to ever find himself against this goddess, he would present upon her a just reward.
    The Inquisitor is not a godly man.
  4. That is not to say that he does not believe. See now as Khleid bursts into the merchant Olivan’s home, as he draws loaded crossbow and points it at shocked Olie’s face! There it is. The moment of truth.
    Shock runs through the face of this most voluminous merchant’s face; shock, then fury — and as metal bolt pierces skin, rends flesh, breaks ribs and shatters the stuff of life, one final moment of peaceful revelation. What is revealed, only a certain few could say, and –nay, don’t look at me with such ardent expectation! My lips are sealed!
    Instead, look upon the scene of this murder most foul.
  5. Brezt Khleid reloads his crossbow calmly, with the expertise of a man much too familiar with routine. He knows his work in the house is not yet done. Sounds from the house — sounds that make the hairs on Khleid’s neck stand on ends — become louder, as if attempting to force the Inquisitor to retreat.
    He has no such intent.
  6. The house resists every step Brezt takes. It is a foul place, in need of cleansing and the Inquisitor is the one to do it. He is the only one who can; Brezt Khleid has, after all, a divine mandate. A few flying trinkets and baubles won’t stop him, inconvenient though as they are.
  7. A door is all that stands between the Inquisitor and the source of evil that has made this dwelling its home. Khleid doesn’t know what awaits behind that door, but he is not a young man, prone to illusion. A merchant with Olivan’s reputation – that of a good and honest man – will only protect this corruption if he has a personal stake in it.
  8. So Brezt Khleid reasons as he breaks through the door, using his shoulder as most man would a battering ram. His sword flashes in one hand, illuminating soft light that parts away the darkness. Figures slide towards him with incredible, impossible speed. He tries to turn to his side, using his side as defense.
  9. Claws dig into Brezt Khleid’s flesh, leaving searing pain behind, rending his right arm useless. The hand-crossbow falls to the side, still loaded. None of this fazes Khleid. To allow distraction is to die. He thrusts his sword at the creature, as its claws are still running down the length of his arm. It — whatever it is — goes limp; as the Inquisitor pulls his sword, the body falls to the ground. He takes a deep breath trying to calm the fire running through his body, and allows himself a moment of reprieve.
  10. It is the face of a woman, far from old, but not young either. There is beauty to her, even as she lay dead; the Inquisitor has seen that many of those touched by evil are beautiful to behold. He does not trust beauty any longer; it is a sign of vile infestation.
    A pair of snarles forces him awake from his reverie. Two figures, child-sized, stand not twenty feet away from him. Watching. Their eyes are cauldrons of fire.
    Brezt Khleid raises his sword, a wan smile playing on his face.

And cut! How did you enjoy this story? Let me know if you’d like more!

Top Ten Things I would (NOT) do if I were a Royal Squire (#2)

Catch up on the adventures of the young Squire Roche  here.

  1. You wouldn’t see me excited over the prospect of becoming part of the Guild of Assassins. Just because Prince Kholin got himself into trouble doesn’t mean I sho–oh, who am I kidding, if I don’t go along with His Highness, he’ll end up in a ditch!
  2. There’s a stark difference between your common thug and the members of the Guild. The thug is less prone to stabbing you in the face with a dagger when you bump into him.
    If  Kholin hadn’t shoved a fist into that assassin’s face, I’d be a dead man.  Lesson learned: Never say ‘sorry’ to a killer. They’re really not into that.
  3. Not crawling back into that dung hole. To be honest, I’m not even sure I could find my way back to the Guild’s den if I tried. The slums, from which Kholin and I only now were led out of, are labyrinthine in the truest sense of the word. Dozens upon dozens of bleak, dust-covered passageways, which can barely be categorized as streets, lay the groundworks for the most miserable place I have ever seen. Dusty, soot-covered and grey-eyed urchin move like tiny apparitions in-between crowds of people who walk as if they’ve planted one foot firmly in the grave.
  4. No word from Kholin about why we had to go and join the Assassins’ Guild. I haven’t felt so…uncomfortable since Father sent me on my way.
  5. The Second Prince tends to jump into all sorts of messes before he’s taken the lay of the land. I try and make sure that his back is covered, but him keeping me in the dark half the time doesn’t help. We’ve been together for six months, but it feels like six years. Just thinking about what we’ve done during that time…
  6. Five months ago: I didn’t think I’d ever be in the position to gamble His Majesty’s signet ring at a game of cards in a seaside tavern. Imagine my horror when the bauble Kholin had thrown my way one hand back turned out to be one of the most precious pieces of jewelry in the kingdom.
  7. Three months ago: Outside the city, about ten leagues, is an abyss. So of course Kholin insisted that we had to go exploring. Jump forward one lousy, wet expedition later, and we and a pair of royal guards had to bolt as fast as our horses could carry us, chimeras thrice the size of the best-bred mares rushing after us.
  8. Six weeks ago: After the whole chimera debacle, both of us ended up cleaning the cutlery thanks to old Master Arbrus’ guiding, arthritic hands. The old Master of Ceremonies is like a rotten fruit – he’s only getting more rotten the closer you get to him.
    If I never have to polish another silver spoon in my life, it’ll still be far too much.
  9. Four weeks ago: We spent a month shining, cleaning and spitting spite and vinegar towards old Arbrus every time he turned his back on us.
    The King finally shooed the ancient hound away from our scent. Kholin demanded we celebrate by going back to exploring the city from above. I wasn’t about to go jumping up and down ceilings first chance I got…but you can’t exactly say no to a prince, can you?
  10. That’s how we met The Thief. He was a bulky man in his twenties; not the kind you’d imagine when someone screams ‘Thief!’ I would never have killed him…if he hadn’t tried to steal from Kholin. Turns out, that’s what got us an audience with the Assassins’ Guild Master.
    The Thief broke the rules. I killed him. Only members of the Guild can dispense justice like that. Maybe Kholin’s motivation isn’t all that complicated, after all.
    Maybe he’s just trying to protect me.

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this little tidbit of fictional imaginings, leave me a comment, press that follow button and come back for more!

If you like the adventures of Roche and Kholin, let me know and I’ll write more!

Ten Things I’d do if I were a royal squire

  1. There’s a few things a near-bankrupt nobleman hates more than a fourth son. I’m that son. Guess who got the boot, with only twenty pieces of silver and a letter to the royals’ far-off court. That’s right, this here lad.
  2. On the road, I — displaying the uncanny luck of the Roche family — get mercilessly beaten up by illiterate thugs. They steal the coin; the letter, they show no interest in.
  3. It is only thanks to the goodness within an old bard’s heart that I get to the city of Srava, where I am to do my duty as Roche and serve as squire. Here does my story begin.
  4. Dusting. That’s what I do, hours at an end. The Master of Ceremonies is as uptight as his title suggests. I don’t much enjoy his company.
    On the bright side, when I’m not cleaning the citadel, I serve at the Second Prince’s behest. He is kind and warm, and seems glad to have the company of someone his own age. We’re very proper and official, of course – the difference in rank between us is too great for anything else.
  5. It has been a month since I began my new life in Srava. It might be that me and Prince Kholin did something stupid to celebrate the occasion. It’s…not outside the realm of possibility that the two of us snuck into the kitchens during a small, entirely harmless fire that someone started, and we added something extra sweet to the bread.
  6. I believe we just invented an entirely new kind of dessert…Taking credit will be difficult, on account of the King being furious. It would appear that the King really likes his morning breakfast. He’s been fuming and foaming, and it doesn’t look like he’ll stop anytime soon.
  7. The funny thing is, the sweet bread’s really good. The King doesn’t know what he’s missing.
  8. The Prince is fearless. I chase him around all day long now, making sure he doesn’t slip from one of the buildings he loves climbing so much; a broken neck would hardly suit his princely visage.
  9. It’s been a wild few weeks since I got here, but I’m happy with how things are going. Life is good, even calm…well, when I don’t slip up and almost fall to my death, trying to follow His Highness.
  10. It’s been six months. Me and Kholin might’ve joined the Guild of Assassins. Not where I thought the day would go.

 

When I was a kid, I loved reading about the adventures of Jimmy the Hand, Prince Arutha’s Squire from the Riftwar Saga. Something reminded me of him today, and I thought that a tribute to Raymond Feist’s classical fantasy series would be fun to write!

Thank you for reading, and if you enjoyed this – leave a comment behind, start a conversation! I love talking about all things fantasy, and it’d be loads of fun to talk shop with y’all!

If I were an occultist in a Lovecraftian world…(Ten Things, part 1)

Today’s post is written in celebration of the release of the Darkest Dungeon’s DLC – The Crimson Court. Brilliant game, narrated by the wonderful Wayne June (perhaps the most atmospheric narrator of Lovecraft’s works).

In seeking knowledge, I enrolled into that most prestigious of places for higher learning…the Miskatonic University.

Though this repository of knowledge has many a volume of coveted lore, there exists  great difficulty into procuring these wondrous books of arcane and occult writings. Such hardship did I encounter in laying my hands on these idolatry works that I found myself desperate for aid; and, even worse…for understanding.

I discovered that I was far from alone in my unsavory fascinations with otherworldly tales and myths of creatures, ancient and godlike and grotesque. My pursuits did not remain unnoticed for long; a group of men and women, all older than I — and well on their road out of the philosophical school of Miskatonic University — cornered and spoke with me at great length. I had been dodging this group for some time, for they awakened in me a primordial fear.

They had prepared with great care and — with the use of a young and attractive acolyte I knew nothing of — baited me into an abandoned wing of the university, closed down for renovation. Their organization, so foolproof as to give me no way of retreat,  was sure sign of a primal, predatory streak that bespoke of experience in such matters.

So it was that I found myself cornered on all sides by the scions of the most powerful men and women in America; young as they were, I was younger, and they did not take no for an answer. Their demand was that I join them, and do so without question. My destiny forced upon me, I had no choice but to concede.

My word was not, they said, strong enough binding. More was needed — nay, demanded — for the compact to take hold. They spoke to me, then; not individually but as one, their voice serpent-like and seductive as no other, and they closed the fingers of my palm around a blade, and they held her there, as she thrashed and screamed to no avail.

The rest of the night, I can not recall, or do not wish to, except when I close my eyes. Then do I recall the taste of iron upon my lips, and a sweeter taste, by far…

Come the next day, my life continued as it had before — the life of a poor philosophy student, lucky enough to be part of the acclaimed Miskatonic University.

One difference persisted, of course–my continued contact with the coven I had been forced into. While my fear persisted, and indeed, grew to heights I had hoped unattainable, so did a perverse, ghoulish thrill at being involved with such unique individuals.

These events took place five full years ago. Much blurred from my mind once my fellow occultists went their own ways into the world. I continued my studies; both into the realms of philosophy and theology, and those studies that threatened my expulsion from the university and the taking away of the lifeline that was my scholarship.
That I would’ve put these events behind me, of that I have no doubt…if it wasn’t for the call that I received late last night. A call in a serpentine voice, one that suffered no objections…

To Be Continued!

I’ve wanted to write something with a Lovecraftian edge, theme and so on and so forth for the longest time. Seeing as I decided that I would give the recurring wizard/lich/demonic slave, Hyperius, a little break…well, I just couldn’t resist the opportunity! I hope you had fun reading this wee exercise!

Ten Things I would NOT do if I were reborn as a demonic slave

  1. Movement’s difficult with so many arms. You wouldn’t think it was by looking at all those naked statues of four-handed sex goddesses, but it is. It really is. I wouldn’t be doing much of it at all; not properly, anyway.
  2. I WILL NOT give the fat demon lord massages. No, I do not care how many yugoloths will point their tridents at me, I refuse! A man has got to draw a line somewhere! Oh, wot? Demons are gender-neutral? Oh, I see, they can be made gender-neu–you don’t mean…? You do? Oh, dear.
  3. In my anger at cleaning up boots from human blood, I will take it all out on the very reason for those stains — humans. Yes, you heard me right. These stinkin’ no-good person-people are not getting away with staining any more of my master’s spiky boot pairs!
  4. I would not admit that the slaughter of innocent wee man-people by my hand is a big reason as to the perpetual bloodstains on the master’s boots.
  5. I really wouldn’t.
  6. No ignoring my weaknesses this time. No matter how many shiny, strange sources of energy I disc–ooh, why is that undead butterfly engulfed in sorcerous ene–Focus, Hyperius!
  7. No alliances with humans. Plot as I may, but I’m not going back to that stage of development…
  8. I would not go mano-a-mano with the boss-man. Fat and lazy as he might be, he’s still head demon poncho of the whole shebangin’ demon invasion. Head poncho, for those of you who might not be aware, is a specific term in demon culture, meaning…most wonderous demon who wears a particular type of clothing, for none other fits on his voluminous body.
  9. No ice magic. Much as I loved it in my good ol’ lich days, it simply does not help. Leaves one hell of a burn. Who knew that ice could burn a demon so bad?
  10. No more choking on demonic boots! Never, ever again! It took me four days to remove every single piece of metal I crunched down when I was eating the demon lord. Four weeks, in fact!

The events on this list are entirely fictional. Far be it for me to imply that demonic lords and slaves have access to the Internet… 

Top Ten Things I would do if I were reborn as a demonic slave

 

  1. New body, new set of rules! Let’s start off with movement. Nope, moving on four legs isn’t as easy as it looks. Why am I going to that hole? Wha—No, stop it! LEGS! LEEEEE—
  2. New management. I was a freelance lich in my last incarnation, but this time around…demon lords are all the buzz! I’m not saying this metaphorically; the large, tentacle creature with huge breasts and flames for eyes is buzzing at me.
  3. Licking boots. Sure. Why put my knowledge of this realm when you could use my new acid-coated tongue to clean your boots, demon lord?
  4. Why do demon lords even have boots? I understand faeries, and walking—but what is it about demonic boots?
  5. Do they really need all these spikes? Those are really hard on the acidic tongue, mind you.
  6. I’m getting boggled in boot-licking minutiae? Really? Oh, very well! I would also corrupt the souls of the forsaken, the desiccated, and those who have no brains on their skulls in order to know well enough not to stay in the middle of a demonic invasion!
  7. I would begin plotting. Demons plot, and I would hate to be unfaithful to my newly-discovered nature. What else do demons do, though? Let’s have a gander at my demonic lord and master; he…
  • Sleeps a lot;
  • Enjoys clean boots;
  • Consumes the souls of humans;
  • Plans invasions past the initial point of contact –my bad, everyone— but never acts on them;
  • Reads his poems aloud and pesters me and the succubi for positive reinforcement.
  1. I will plan on taking my demonic lord’s place. While I no longer am a wizard, or a lich…the knowledge remains. First, I will…abuse his poetic skills! No demon would expect such assault.
  2. Once the abuse continues, it is time to gaslight him. Aye, you heard that right. I will light the pungent gas that surrounds him afire!
  3. I shall consume his tender, burned flesh, and take my rightful place as demonic lord!

The protagonist of this list may or may not have choked on demonic boot by mistake, and proceeded to die several more times before reaching his goal. At this time, one simply could not say.

Top Ten Things I would NOT do if I were a lich

  1. Regret my past life as a miserly old wizard. Screw that guy, he dead!
  2. No time will be spent in moral considerations, akin to (but not excluded to): “Is necromancy evil? Is angering the gods of death wise, in any world, including this one? How can my apprentices possibly be this useless, even as reanimated corpses?”
  3. I would not dig deep holes. There’s plenty of things necromantic and ice magic can accomplish. Exhuming bodies is easy. Digging holes to bury bodies – not so!
  4. No cutting of the necropolis costs! Ice sculptors are a pain in the boney arse, but if I have to levitate above their heads to make sure that they’re doing their job all well and proper, I will! No second-hand ice will do.
  5. Responding to old acquaintances, fellow advisors and friends from my old life…while it may sound good on paper, something tells me that those guys will tend to be conservative; all for the traditional monarchy, for leaving things as they are. Well, not me! I am a progressive lich! I vote for change. End to life, and death eternal!
  6. That should probably not be the platform I go with, after conversing with several of the recently deceased.
  7. I would not lose that most annoying of wizardly traits, even in death – inexplicable idiotism!
  8. The eldritch smell of death would not stop me from exploring the fissure in space and time – so what if it looks like a festering wound in the sky above my floating ice fortress? I don’t discriminate!
  9. I would not feel pain. The demonic forces that will shatter my icy carcass would be just that quick to act.
  10. No regrets at making a pact with an Arch-demon. None. What. So. Ever.

 

Thus ends the latest adventure of the wizened old wizard-turned-lich. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Click here and here for wizardly context, and here for the last entry in this particular series.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Top Ten Things I would do if I were a lich!

  1. I would get me a nice little ice cave, with loads of stalagmites, stalactites and the skulls of my long-dead apprentices and army comrades.
  2. I would begin raising my apprentices from the dead. They were an incompetent bunch in life—doesn’t mean that they have to remain useless in death.
  3. I would discover that death really hasn’t done much in the way of improving my pupils’ skills, communication or otherwise.
  4. I would bury several bags’ worth of bones. A speech for the fallen pupils would be in order.
  5. Time for a change! You know what a newly-created lich needs? A necropolis! In the sky! No more of that damp icy cave! Time to outsource some necromantic goodness to the world.
  6. I would begin with the kingdom I served in life. No place like home. Step One: Raise the dead. Step Two: ProfitIf by profit you mean mayhem, slaughter and eternal ice covering the land.
  7. Now that I’ve got a proper ice lair – just look at that landscape, it’s got all the stalagmites! – I can look above and beyond!
  8. I would inadvertently look at something terrible, mystical and not-at-all friendly.
  9. Demons would invade from the terrible, mystical, not-at-all friendly place that will –oh no!—suddenly turn out to be a horrible-no-good portal. The ice will melt, and so will my icy exterior. And interior. Every –erior in a several hundred mile radius.
  10. I would find myself horribly, terribly dead. My soul at the mercy of demons. Oh, well. If you can’t beat them…join them.

Liches are a lot more punctual then wizards. Even when those liches used to be wizened old wizards in the first place.

What will happen next? What didn’t happen? Find out next Friday and Monday! Yey! *claps excitedly*