Archive | September 2017

“Curse-teroids” Lexicon Game

I am considering running a slightly-atypical game of Lexicon to fill in all of the gaps in my MRI-created world (lot of time to sit and think, you know), “Curseteroids.” ☄️

(technically, Curse-teorites, but hey)

I would be using the Order Variation Follow the Phantoms and the type variation Codependence.

I’d be open to up to 8 other people, and am holding 4 slots for the people who played with me in Inspector Caracal’s earlier Lexicon game.

Why atypical?  Because I already have a novel started in my head for this setting, which requires SLIGHTLY more background than the normal, to quote, “You are all scholars arguing about how the Void Ghost Rebellion led to the overthrow of the theocracy and the establishment of the Third Republic.” I.e., we will all be scholars of some sort working on the Enclopedia, uh Cursteroidia, but I’ve set up the introduction to the world.

Since time immemorial [at least 500 years] the land of Otenysa has been beset by the Curse.

The Curse manifests as flaming rocks from the sky, some as small as a fist, some as large as a city.

Some land with a physical presence; some have only a magical shape, but all of them wreak havoc on the world around them.

A Curse Rock has a range of effect normally in proportion with its size; within that range of effect, buildings are destroyed or simply changed — melted, their material altered, turned upside down.  Animals are killed or changed, shrunk or grown, their colors changed and their milk or wool or meat altered.  Humans, too, are changed, magic given or taken away, ears and limbs and nose grown or shrunk, added or reduced, skin altered, internal organs broken.  Some of the changes are survivable; some or not.  Some are beneficial; most are not.

Any given Curse Rock will have the same sorts of effects on everything of a given “type” hit by its wave, leading to Balkanization of groups of mostly-humanoids.

Things I need for plot of The Potential Story:

  • Water (possibly also things like rock?) will have a muting effect on some Curse Rocks and an amplifying effect on others
  • In the waters off the East of the mainland there is a small island chain.  Situated mainly on the largest island, there is a nation which has been untouched by Curses for over 200 years — the longest of anyone — and whose last curses were mild and mostly-beneficial
  • This leads to them being a bit smug and superior, and it also leads to “missions” to the mainland to bring them technology, foodstuffs, and the like.  These missions are *cough* not always well-received.  

That’s it. There can be any number of “races” of altered stock of humans, plants, etc.  There can be almost any effect you can think of from the curse rocks.  There can be almost any level of techno/magic from Stone Age to Approx. Development Of Electricity, and almost any sort of magic that you want.  Any governmental system, any utopia or dystopia, and any extant or historical nation from the size of a single city to up to half the continent.  

The mass of one land mass has been determined, as well as a broad handwave of the Island of “Elves”, but the rest of the planet is up for grabs, as is geography, climate, where exactly the equator is in re. this land mass… 

So!  Anyone Interested?

  1. Me
  2. Lilfluff
  3. Rix Scaedu
  4. []
  5. []
  6. Literorrery
  7. Sauergeek
  8. [you]
  9. [you]
  10. [you]



The Hidden Mall: Into the Woods

“If we see a faun,” Abigil muttered, “I’m running away.  Just so you know.  All right, so, we’re going to go…”  She consulted her mental map.  “This way.”  She jutted her chin. “And we’re going to go quietly, Liv-one, because Liv-two is right.  It’s snowing.  We want to move quietly.  Liv-two, we need to deal with that wound, okay?  Snow tracks are bad enough, but you’re trailing blood.  And we want to move fast, because we’re going to freeze to death if we don’t move.”

They took a hurried moment, Abigail holding tightly to Liv-one’s hand, while Liv-two cleaned up her wound – a scrape high on her leg – and tied it with half of the scarf Abigail had used.  She cut the scarf with a long, nasty knife – Abigail didn’t ask where she’d gotten it.  She wasn’t sure she wanted to know how long that Liv had been in the malls. Or, for that matter, where Abigail-two had gotten to.

And then they hiked.  They were moving in a mostly-straight line, not because Abigail thought it was a good idea, but because the trees were way too dense to move through otherwise.  Once, when she thought she saw an opening, the trees seemed to shift, and the opening was gone.

The only positive, as far as she could tell, was that the snow was falling fast enough that their tracks were obscured.  There was no wind, either, which was a blessing of sorts.  

She was still pretty sure they were going to freeze to death.  Wherever they were didn’t seem to have doors, didn’t even seem to be a mall.

“Hunh.”  Dirty-Liv stopped and frowned. “Did you see that?”

“S-s-s-ee what?” Clean-Liv was clinging close to Abigail.

“Oh, come on, if I’m not that cold, neither are you.  Did you see something moving in the trees?”

“There’s no room for anything to move,” Clean-Liv complained.  “It’s all packed together like – hunh.”  She frowned at the trees.  “Abigail, do you see that?”

“What?”  Abigail hated the way she wanted to snap at her friend, and the way her heart sank at Liv’s did-you-see.

“There, between the trees, or maybe in the trees.”

“Don’t tell me it’s a beaver,” Dirty-Liv groaned.

“No, but it’s, look.”

They looked.

Abigail frowned.  

It was a doorway.  In a tree.  It was a little small – all of them would have to duck – but it was definitely a doorway.

“Well,” Abigail muttered, “at least it’ll get us out of the snow.”  She tilted her head.  “Go ahead and open it, I guess.”


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What I Did on My Summer (not-really-Vacation)

So, let me tell you about my summer!


So far, Summer 2017 has involved medical foo, home renovations, surprise!funeral and not-a-surprise godbaby.

Medical Foo I have blogged a bit about in That Was Spinal Tap and That Was Spinal Tap Two.  I’ve also fic’d and freewrote about it in Diagnostic Machine and Just A Little Structural Rot.

The long and the short of it: After more doctor visits, blood tests, and spinal taps than seems reasonable or even probable (and two MRIs), I have a diagnosis and will start drug treatment soon.  It’s not a thrilling diagnosis, but, to quote Arnold, it’s not a tumor. (It’s not a baby either.  I don’t think they’d need a spinal tap to tell that one).

I now have three weeks without blood draws or doctor visits, and if my dentist calls, I’m going to tell them I’m out of the country for a while.  Or something.  No more co-pays kthnxbai.

Did I really just say kthnxbai?  Please forgive me.   Continue reading

A New World: Carrenonna

First: A New World
Previous: Artle


Kael struggled to hide her horror.  The cliff.  They had…  done something to it.  Something about an edict and a gift?  How did you give away a cliff?  Or power it? Power it away?  She needed to drink this potion quickly; there was far too much missing in her vocabulary.  “They did what to the cliff?  The large one into Artle?”

The clever daughter looked at Kael sharply.  “You have to have seen the bridge.  If you flew in, it is big enough that you can see it from space.   And if you drove in, well, almost everyone comes in from Artle. The train, the bus – did you come in from Carron?”

Kael had the sense from the way the girl shifted topics that she was being thrown a lifeline.  She took it.  “Carron, yes.”  She was going to have to look it up.  “I’m sorry, it is just something that I read about – that is.”  She was supposed to be in character.  She cleared her throat and winked at the girl.  “I know not of these places you speak of.  A bridge over the River Meadon?  A place called Carron?  Is that Carrenonna’s Annex?”

The girl leaned forward.  “Caronn- Caronn, say that again?  Please,” she added hastily, presumably before her mother could tell her to be polite.  Or her father, who seemed very engrossed in the leaflet.

“Carrenonna.  Carrenonna’s Annex, a tower much like this one with several buildings around it, making up a small village of sorts.  It was granted to Carrenonna in the same year that this tower, Kaelingrade Torrent-Step’s Black Tower, was built, and it stood such that on a clear day, you could see one tower from the other.”

“There’s no tower in Carron.”  The older daughter had heretofore been engaged with her tablet, taking notes of some sort.  Now she looked up and turned the tablet so that Kael could see a map – no, a tower’s-eye view of a large town or a small city, rendered in shining glass.  “See?  This is Carron, and there’s nothing taller than maybe six stories.”  She smirked, and considered Kael.  “In the terms of the age, Lady Kaelingrade Torrent-Step, the entirety of Carron reacheth not to the top of your secondary annex.  Which has way too many stairs.  You should consider an elevator.”

Reacheth?  Wait, elevator? Something which raised, that was easy enough. “But then…”  She glanced out the window.  Quite some time had passed.  “Then Carrenonna’s Annex is fallen to dust, and likely Carrenonna with it.”

“Well, uh, Carrenonna, if she lived the same time as Kaelingrade – I mean, as you – lived a thousand years ago.  Even if the old people back then were like Methuselah or something, their towers weren’t.  Right?  I mean, this place is a replica and all.”

Metuselah!  Kael struggled to maintain her composure.  “It would take a great deal of work for a tower to stand for a thousand years, yes.”  She’d thought Carrenonna had such work in her.  Perhaps she hadn’t.  

“So, I do have a question.”  The daughter turned the map back towards her.  “Why’s that one named after Carrenonna, then, and this place isn’t named after you?  After Kaelingrade, I mean.”


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Patreon Posts!

Originally posted February 27, 2015


The fighter pilot with the callsign Spice was new to the team and, although all her credentials assured that she was not, indeed, new to space fighting as a concept or a skill, still the team had to be reassured.

Read On

Fancy Dresses, long lingering kisses, awkward moments with your friends, bullies… Prom!

Anton had figured he didn’t have a chance.

He was new to Hieder Hill High, he wasn’t one of the popular kids – was the new guy ever the popular guy? – his family wasn’t rich or even that well-off, and he didn’t dress like or act like the popular guys.

Open to All Patrons!

I live!  It’s been a hell of a month.  But here I am. 


This story originally posted June 4, 2011.


He came to the school in autumn, once the crops were in. They’d gone back to old habits and old practices in the Academy, as in so much of the world, knowing that the old existed and had survived for so long for a reason.

Read On!

Lightning in Autumn

My Giraffe (Zebra) Call is open!

Written to Inspector Caracalprompt.

Set after Addergoole Year 10 but before the 2011 apocalypse. 


There were tourists in the bar again, the sort of people that made what was normally a pleasant place feel like the back of the locker room.   Nathan felt his shoulders tensing, felt his grip on his drink getting tighter.  “Another?” he asked Patti.  

The bartender shook her head. “Not yet, son.  Nurse that ice a little longer, and then I’ll pour you another.”  Then she was gone, tending to the New People at the other end and the other regulars in between.

“Shit.”  How Patti did that and kept in business, he never knew.  He turned slowly on his stool, taking in the tourists at the pool table, the regulars at tables further and further away from the tourists, Liza the bouncer at the front door…

He turned back around in time to see Leo strutting up to the tourists and getting in the tallest one’s face.  Nathan’s heart did a little twist.  Leo.  That blonde hair, that arrogant, playful smirk, that – that body.  It wasn’t just Nathan’s heart that was twisting.

The tourist took a step back.  His friends were jeering.  Leo didn’t seem to notice, stepping back in to the tourist’s personal space, running a hand over the man’s cheek.  Nathan felt a stab of jealousy.  My cheek is right here!

“There’s a reason they call him Lightning, you know.”  

He hasn’t heard anyone sit down next to him, but now there was someone there, sipping a drink and watching the same scene Nathan was.  “I’ve never heard anyone call him that.”

“Yeah?”  The guy was, unfortunately, undeterred.  “They call him Lightning because he never strikes the same place – or the same person – twice.”

“I’m not the same person.”  Nathan chewed on his ice and watched Leo work.  He was louder than he normally was, and he seemed to be – from the words that wafted over the music and the conversation – suggesting that the tourist ought to come back to his place and show him exactly what his sort was worth.

“It doesn’t matter if you’ve changed,” the peanut gallery continued.  “He doesn’t care.  He just hits once and he’s gone.”

Nathan glanced over. His helpful new friend looked, in a  general sense, kind of similar to Nathan: dark hair, dark eyes, not all that tall.  “Not what I meant – ooooh!”  Leo had somehow ducked a punch the now-beset tourist had thrown and instead tossed the tourist on to the floor.  “You saw it, Patti, you saw it!  The asshole threw the first punch!”

“That’s not gonna save my furniture, now is it?  Liza!”

The fight was in full swing, as it were, when Liza waded in and hauled the tourist out of it, and then hauled his friends out.  “Parking lot!  All of you! You, too!”  She glared at Leo.  It might have been Nathan’s imagination, but he thought Leo looked a little sheepish for a moment.

They allowed themselves to be herded – tourists, Leo, two other regulars who had gotten involved – out past the pile of broken furniture they’d left in their wake and through the side door, but the swinging door showed the tourist spinning around with a punch the minute his feet hit the asphalt.

“Looks like he’s going to hit someone more than once,” Nathan muttered, not particularly generously.

“Ha.  Good one.  Yeah, he’s plenty violent, isn’t he?  But he don’t come back, kid.  Like I said.  Never the same person twice.”

“But I’m not the -”  Nathan gave up.  He didn’t want to explain to this stranger.  Hell, he didn’t even want to explain to Leo, who would probably scoff and walk away, no matter how different this could be, Nathan could be.

The front door swung again and a redheaded woman walked in.  Another tourist, Nathan thought, noting the dyed-crimson of her hair and the clothes that wouldn’t have fit in here even if she were male.  Then she kissed Liza with an intensity that suggested comfortable familiarity and an intimacy that said maybe she wasn’t all that out of place in a gay bar after all and plopped herself down at the bar next to Nathan’s new buddy.

“Telling the same old lies, Trev?” she teased.  “Don’t listen to him, kid, whatever he says.  Patti, my love.  The usual and one of whatever these nice boys are having for them, too.”

Maybe that was supposed to cover exactly HOW big the wad of money she was passing over the counter was, or how two of those top bills would probably cover the furniture damages.  

“They’re not lies, and anyway, how would you know?  You’re not exactly his type!”  Trev – if that was New Friend’s name – looked put out.  The woman just laughed.

“I know because I know Leo.  And I know you.  Like I know I’m not your type but I might… sometimes… be this guy’s type.”  She sipped her whisky – neat – and grinned at them, a grin that looked more hungry than cheerful and, Nathan had a feeling, was covering over a seething kettle of pain.  

She saw through him, he knew that much.  “Doesn’t matter.  Lightning never strikes the same place twice.”  He finished the drink Patti passed him in one gulp and laid his money on the counter.  “I gotta go.”

The redhead’s voice followed him out the door. “Don’t believe that old lie, kid.  Lightning strikes wherever he damn well pleases.”


See stories about Leofric/Leo (that have been migrated) here.

See stories about Cya(the redheaded woman) here.


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This Emperor’s Son, a surprise continuation

This was meant to be a comment fic like thus after this comment by Kelkyag, but it turned out a wee bit long. So… bonus ficlet?

After (Before) The Empire Falls, the Emperor Stands.

The young son-of-the-Emperor (they were all sons of the Emperor, although their fathers were all several years dead) waited until two of his cousins were making an appropriate fuss and two more seemed to have decided to climb the bookshelves all the way to the top.

There were seven nursemaids for the lot of them, but, from the things the nurses said when they thought their young charges weren’t listening, there were more of them, the sons, then there had been in recent memory — “recent” in Hildeh’s case and Galleh’s, at least, being a number that stretched back quite some time — and the bureaucracy that funded their employment did not seem inclined to send them any more help.

This particular son — whose name, like easily half of his brothers, was Eranodi, after Eroni, the first Emperor — was glad for the overwork and the subsequent distraction, because it gave him a freedom he was fairly certain young Emperor’s-sons were not supposed to have. Continue reading

Early for Snow

My Giraffe (Zebra) Call is open!

Written to sauergeek prompt.


It seemed like summer had left the door open and autumn was sneaking in. Xarissa threw on a coat and went outside to pull in her plants.  The weather ap was calling for a hard frost tonight – never mind that it was mid-September and even this far north, not the sort of time that you got frost.  It wasn’t supposed to frost for at least another month!

Tomatoes, peppers – she picked everything that was full-sized, regardless of ripeness.  They’d ripen on the counter or they wouldn’t.  Cabbage, broccoli – the potatoes could wait.  The carrots might be happier for a wait.

The wind was blowing damp and cold in her face. She turned to adjust her coat – and realized it wasn’t just wind, but snow.  Heavy snow, the sort that shouldn’t come till maybe early November, coming down so hard she could barely see the house.

With a muttered “screw it” to the rest of the plants, she hurried back to her house, skidding inside with a shove from a wind blast, and turned to look out the window at the weather.

The snow had moved from flying sideways to flying upward.

“That is just not right.”  

She pulled on her winter boots, dug out her mittens, found a scarf and a hat and her long winter coat.  “By the time I’m dressed,” she muttered, “it’ll be spring again.”

It was still upside-down winter when she stepped back outside, the snow heading at a diagonal up towards the old maple tree.  Something was wrong; something was definitely wrong.

She dragged her fire pit out between the two maples, the old and the new, and piled every bit of yard waste she could in there.  She wanted smoke more than heat, lots of smoke.  

With hands made clumsy by cold and feeling like her face was going to freeze off, she managed to light the fire.  The smoke blew upwards with the snow, pushing upwards above the tree.  

Xarissa looked at the shape outlined by the smoke.  It was big, too big, and it was high up in the air, and all the snow was flying right into it.

“We are going to have to have a talk about your timing,” she muttered, “whatever you are.  Shoo!  Shoo!”

Startled, the invisible outline seemed to dart further away.  The snow subsided, falling back to the ground the way it should.

“’Winter is coming,’ my ass,” Xarissa muttered.  “Someone went and summoned winter.  Damn kids…”

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Happy Monday! Giraffing Will Continue Until Morale Improves!

Happy Monday, guys!  My Giraffe (Zebra) Call is still going strong:

Here on WordPress and Here on Dreamwidth.

Tell your friends!  Tell your enemies, especially if they like fiction!  Tell your dog, especially if he has a Paypal account 🙂

Speaking of telling people, the Signal Boost story continues apace.  Let me know if you have boosted and I haven’t credited your boosts – and yes, you can boost again, especially if I have written to your prompt.

If I haven’t written to your prompt, I am working my way through the list and will get there soon.

If you haven’t prompted…. go prompt?  The theme is Autumn, Autumn, fall, and falling.  It’s got a lot of room for interpretation and I encourage you to interpret as broadly or as narrowly as you wish.

The stories written so far include:

and more are coming every day!

Check in, give ‘em a read, and then come back and prompt 🙂