Written In Stone, Not So Permanent

Science and Koeleth butt heads. A lot. Case in point, the Oathkeeper, Tom’s iconic stone longsword. The fact of the matter is stone swords just don’t work, sans crazy magic mumbo jumbo. And the Oathkeeper isn’t magical. It’s just a sword, made of stone. In fact, gemstones don’t work either, so the Earthstar has to go, too. Honestly, metal is the only suitable material for sword making known to man. Steel, in particular, is well suited for the task of sword making. Why, you might ask, is steel so much better than minerals? It’s very simple really: steel is flexible, durable and relatively easy to repair, while stone is rigid, brittle and near impossible to repair (especially by medieval standards). Gemstone is less brittle than stone, but not enough to compensate for the advantages that steel has. The most important quality that steel has over other materials (at least as far as I can deduce) is its flexibility. A rigid sword breaks because its brittle and can’t sustain repeated impacts. Stone doesn’t have that flex. All this said, I’m not completely trashing the Oathkeeper; it’s too intertwined into the story. Not, like, fate of the world rests on this blade crucial, but simply a constant presence in Tom’s arsenal. So, my alternative is as follows: I plan to rework the story of Earthgift such that instead of cutting their weapons from stone, they forge them using the heat of volcanic magma. This slightly alters the geography of Darwin’s Expanse, but whatevs. If you’re wondering how such a smith might endure the scalding heat of subterranean molten rock, the answer is simple: talcum based protective gear. See, I’ve decided that while no more sophisticated than most other societies of their time, the Urdvayne, who worship the Stone, have a particularly advanced understanding of geology, mineralogy, and metallurgy. In other words, they know how to make good swords and they have the materials needed to make them. So, the Oathkeeper still exists, just in a different form. This, of course, also means the Royal Oathkeeper, the Oathbreaker, and all other variations of the design must also change. But I’ll get more into that when they come up in the story. Anyways, that’s all for now, so keep your eyes peeled for new updates.

Dropping Some Knowledge

Remember awhile back when I made a post with terms and definitions? Well, this is part 2! Also I edited a term from the original post.

Classifying Koelth, Pt. 2

Sealer – Any creature, human or otherwise, who has been born with a natural resistance to magic. Whereas abominations suffer from an excess of magical influence, sealers lack the sorts of residual and vestigial magic that even normal humans have. Like abominations, sealers can vary greatly in their ability to affect magic. Due to the passive nature of most sealers’ abilities, they rarely learn of these powers. Universally used term.

Asperser – A paragon who turns renegade during the process of receiving their guardian’s blessing. This is the rarest form of magical blessing by far, and all records indicate that the only way this can happen is if one guardian intervenes in the ritual of another, one of the greatest taboos among the guardians. The intervening guardian presents an idea to the would-be paragon that they cannot resist, leading them to completely reject the blessing of their original guardian. As a result, the asperser receives two blessed artifacts: his original paragon artifact and a separate renegade artifact. Unlike a normal renegade, whose renegade weapon is simply a twisted version of their paragon weapon, the asperser’s paragon weapon retains its original power, and their renegade weapon has its own distinct power. Primarily Trialian term. Ex: Cecil

Grand Sealer – A sealer whose abilities allow them to combat paragon level magic. At this level of power, sealers are not simply resisting magic, but actively manipulating it. When fighting against a non-magical opponent, nothing is gained. When fighting against a powerful mage, however, what would be a weakness for others becomes a strength for the sealer. Primarily Trialian term.

 

S-Rank Hybrid Classifications

Note: It is not uncommon to have hybrids of previously mentioned classifications. However, they rarely receive any special recognition. When they reach S-Rank, however, it then becomes noteworthy. In the below cases, all aspects must be S-Rank. We are dealing with characters whose nature is no weaker than Grand Sealer, Slayer, Paragon, Iconoclast, World Eater or Archfiend. A slayer who is also blessed is only a paladin if they have paragon magic, for example. These classifications are rare enough (except maybe the paladin) that you will never see more than two or three introduced into a single story (probably). You will see two of them, for sure, in the River’s Tale, but you’ll get no more spoilers.

Paladin – A slayer blessed with paragon level magic. Many paragons, renegades and exemplar learn how to fight against other magic users due to their frequent encounters with them, but without their own magic, they find themselves lacking. The paladin has trained himself to take on mages even if he is deprived of his own magic. Societally, their respective roles as paragons or renegades remain unchanged, but when they are put to the test, their skills in physical combat give them an edge. Primarily Trialian term.

Archangel – An archfiend blessed with paragon level magic. For all their merits, paragons, renegades and exemplars are limited by a lack of diversity in magical ability. They have only the magic which they are blessed with. Much the same could be said of archfiends. Their abilities are vastly broadened if they have two magical talents instead of one. Thus, archangels have a keen edge in battle. Most archangels, rare as they are, are exemplars, as the guardians’ sense of balance typically precludes archfiends from being paragons proper, and, as a result, they are rarely renegades. Primarily Trialian term.

Soul Bender – A grand sealer blessed with paragon level magic. Grand sealers are dangerous on their own, but gifted with paragon level magic they become a force to be reckoned with. Capable of manipulating the magic of others and commanding powerful spells of their own, it is not hard to see how legends arose claiming that soul benders could affect souls themselves. Most soul benders, rare as they are, are exemplars, as the guardians’ sense of balance typically precludes grand sealers from being paragons proper, and, as a result, they are rarely renegades. Primarily Trialian term.

Demi-Soul – An iconoclast blessed with paragon level magic. Demi-souls have twice the magical power of paragons, but are no more susceptible to magical burnout than a regular paragon. Normally, demi-souls are created unintentionally, as some forms of apostate magic can be shielded from the guardians. Naturally, if the guardian cannot tell that an individual is magical, they would have no trouble further blessing them. Often reluctant to be chained to a master, there is a disproportionately high number of demi-soul exemplars who go renegade. Primarily Trialian term.

Resonator – A world eater tether blessed with paragon level magic. Unlike other such combinations, resonators typically become paragons before becoming world eaters. Earthbound guardians are not beholden to the same laws and customs as the ascendant guardians, and as such care little whether or not a human is already blessed. Depending on the circumstances, such a bonding can force a paragon to go renegade. However, several outside factors play into this. Primarily Trialian term.

Dual Soul – A paragon blessed by two guardians. If one person represents the values of two guardians equally, he may find find himself blessed by both. Once a rare but real thing, it is now one of the greatest taboos among the guardians. Primarily Trialian term.

Fiend Hunter – An archfiend with slayer training. Oftentimes an archfiend finds itself the target of paragons, exemplars, slayers and even other abominations. Thus, when facing mages and those trained to fight mages, it is useful to have non-magical skills with which you can defeat them. Primarily Trialian term.

Soul Breaker – A grand sealer with slayer training. Grand sealers are dangerous on their own, but trained in the arts of slaying they become a force to be reckoned with. Being virtually immune to magic, they are the ultimate anti-mage weapon. Even an asperser would do well to steer clear of a soul breaker. Primarily Trialian term.

Dark Paladin – An iconoclast with slayer training. Many iconoclasts learn how to fight against other magic users due to their frequent encounters with them, but without their own magic, they find themselves lacking. The dark paladin has trained himself to take on mages even if he is deprived of his own magic. Primarily Trialian term.

World Stalker – A world eater tether with slayer training. Often world eater tethers will learn slayer arts to be able to defend themselves against the various magical foes they face and, on rare occasions, their own familiar. Between the familiar’s power and the tether’s skill, the world stalkers are nearly unstoppable when they set their minds to a task. Primarily Trialian term.

Fallen Angel – An iconoclast born as an archfiend. It is hard to determine whether a fallen angel’s powers come more from their iconoclastic magic or from their archfiend magic, as both emerge at a young age. However, they channel each variety of magic through different methods. Because of their natural magic affinity, archfiends make for very dangerous iconoclasts. Due to the methods by which most apostates are made, both aspects of a fallen angel’s magic work well together. Primarily Trialian term.

Fiend Eater – A world eater tether born as an archfiend. It is hard to say what might give rise to such a pairing, but it is undoubtedly a formidable one. The tether and the familiar play off of one another’s magic so well that it would be foolish to cross them without being prepared. Primarily Trialian term.

Soul Cleanser – An iconoclast born as a grand sealer. Few examples of this combination are known. The effects of forcing magic through the body of a sealer of any degree seem to be erratic and unpredictable. Sometimes it results in an artificial abomination, because the body cannot properly absorb the magic; other times it produces relatively normal humans, with the added magic simply filling the gap left by the victim’s anomalous nature. In rare cases, the victim’s nature and their magical weapon remain separate but intact, making for a powerful combination. In either the first or the last case, a grand sealer who achieves iconoclastic magic can be quite the potent anti-mage. Primarily Trialian term.

Soul Eater – A world eater tether born as a grand sealer. Though no harm is intended, this pairing can be dangerous for the familiar, as the sealer’s abilities will sometimes drain the familiar’s magic, causing harm. Why an earthbound guardian would endure such a punishment willingly is unclear, though some suspect that they are trapped by the sealer’s magic. Either way, this unlikely combination proves quite useful, with both parties being able to manipulate and shape magic skillfully. Primarily Trialian term.

Disruptor – A world eater blessed with iconoclast magic. Unlike other such combinations, disruptors almost exclusively become iconoclasts before becoming world eaters. Earthbound guardians, while far more in tune with magic than any human, sometimes struggle to detect iconoclast magic, and therefore would likely bond with one unintentionally. However, the knowledge of their tether’s magic would also have little bearing on the guardian’s decision to become a familiar. Primarily Trialian term.

The Elephant in the Room and Final Notes

No doubt you have noticed something missing from the above list. There is one combination I haven’t accounted for. Well, there is a simple reason for that: sealers and abominations, by their very nature, exclude each other from coexisting. Sealers lack normal levels of magic, and abominations possess greater than normal levels of magic. If you had a person who was born as a sealer and an abomination, what you would probably see as the result is a normal human. There is no exception to this rule thus far, and there likely never will be. As it is, the chances of encountering more than one of each type of hybrid character are extremely low. World eater and slayer combinations are by far the most likely. Slayers are the product of training which anyone could theoretically learn, while world eaters are the result of a magical entity taking a shine to a particular person. Iconoclast and grand sealer combinations are the least likely. Sealers are rare, with only a handful existing in a single generation in Trialias, and there might only be two or three grand sealers among them. Due to the taboo nature of apostate creation, the actual number of apostates in the world is believed to be low; however, occasionally, when a successful method is discovered, there is a spike in the number of known apostates. Iconoclasts are rarely immediately noticed; often the magic increases in power as the child cursed with it grows into maturity, much like an abomination. Somewhere in the middle you find paragon types and abominations. Abominations are not terribly uncommon, but archfiends are exceptionally rare. Since all three major Trialian nations have a negative view of abominations, there are several organizations that hunt them. Fiend hunters, therefore, are more common than archfiends without slayer training. There is a set number of paragons each generation due to the fact that each guardian may pick one and only one paragon, with rare exceptions. However, there is always a predictable but varying number of renegades and exemplars. When a paragon turns renegade, oftentimes a guardian with have an exemplar on hand to replace them. Due to the inevitable conflict between paragons and renegades, and even between paragons and rival paragons, many fighters on both sides learn slayer magic to counteract their foes’ magic, thus paladins are common.

Pantheon #17

Hey, folks. Content as advertised.

Showcase #17

Peaz

Peaz is the incarnation of the Progenitor’s inner serenity and harmony. A lover of the arts and a positive soul, where Joye rejoices in revelry, Peaz embraces poetry and philosophy. He is the solace that shelters humanity in times of turmoil. He hates war and conflict, and is pacifistic nearly to fault.

Religion:

Domain: Peace, Tranquility, Calm

Associated Pantheon: Koeleth Sentimentals

Religious Order: Temple of Tranquility

Native Magical Element: Wind

Symbolic Weapon: Stave

Symbolic Gem: Lemon Quartz

Symbolic Bird: Dove

Insignia: Peace Sign (Because why not?)

Appearance:

Body Shape: Small Frame, Straight

Eyes: Hazel

Hair Style: Unkempt, Long

Hair Color: Brown

Facial Hair: Hippie Beard, Brown

Skin Tone: White, Tan

Attire: Hemp Robes, Rose-Colored Glasses, Sandals, Tie-Dye Headband

Weapon: Simple Staff

Markings: None

Notable Features: Distinctive Scent

Background:

Titles: Lord of the Trance, Serene Mind, Spirit of the Pacifist

Siblings: Warrdu

Significant Subordinates: None

Relationships: He believes in free love, so the list is long.

Antithesis: Warrdu

Notable Events:

Pax: In the aftermath of the fall of Orgalav, there was much work to be done. Peaz and his paragon made significant strides in smoothing out tensions lingering between the remaining nations. Koeleth, and Trialias, might not be what they are without his intervention.

Paved with Good Intentions: The Wanderer, as the bearer of the powerful weapon Envoy, has a duty to responsibly use his powers. Before certain rules were established, a follower of Peaz obtained the weapon. In their attempts to do good, they managed to destroy a city and devastate the farmlands around it.

Pantheon #16

Sorry this is late. Nothing else to say here.

Showcase #16

Disciplina

Disciplina is the incarnation of the Progenitor’s lawful, orderly nature. Possibly the most emotional of all the guardians, Disciplina hides her thoughts and feelings behind a steel curtain of rigid self-mastery. In all situations, she keeps her head, analyzing every detail with a scrutinizing eye. Disciplina is the ideal of warriors and scholars all across Koeleth. Leader of the Koeleth Sentimals, she commands the respect of guardians the world over.

Religion:

Domain: Discipline, Order, Self-Restraint

Associated Pantheon: Koeleth Sentimentals, Formerly Orgalav Dominion

Religious Order: Temple of the Golden Pillar

Native Magical Element: Earth

Symbolic Weapon: Hand-and-a-Half

Symbolic Gem: Amethyst

Symbolic Bird: Osprey

Insignia: Corinthian Column

Appearance:

Body Type: Slight Spoon, Medium Frame

Eyes: Ruby

Hair Style: Ponytail, Long Straight

Hair Color: Burgundy

Skin Tone: White, Tanned

Attire: Light Plate Armor

Weapon: Hand-and-a-Half

Markings: None

Notable Features: None

Background:

Titles: Queen of Divine Order, Unerring Rule, Golden Standard

Siblings: None

Significant Subordinates: None

Relationships: Maybe, just maybe, Apathos, if he could get his act together.

Antithesis: None in particular

Notable Events:

The Conquest of Trialias: When Orgalav waged war on Trialias, Atoriti waged war on Trialias’ gods. Disciplina was one of his highest ranking subordinates, and she led the charge against the Nagyb. Her dominion allowed for the rise of the tragedies who now rule those lands.

Breaking the Rules: When the Ekoalem returned to drive out the Orgalavi, they shone a light on the cruelty of the empire. Realizing how dark the empire had become and what her role was in its fall, Disciplina was convinced to aid the Koeleth Sentimentals, eventually proving herself worthy of leading them.

Something A Bit Different

Well, good news is I’m content with my chapter, so I’ll be sending it out for some final editing. I say “content” and not “happy” because “content” means I can release it with minimal regret and without lying about my opinion of it. Anyways, I may or may not get to the Pantheon today, because I wanted to do something different. It’s been awhile since I talked about some of my inspirations. I am influenced by many fantasy worlds, but many of them are video game fantasy worlds, with a few notable and famous exceptions. So, I’d like to introduce you to some legendary heroes of Eirmoda who are inspired by video games. The first you might know and might have already guessed about. Fair warning, tl;dr.

Tales of Distant Lands: A Gamer’s Inspiration

Continue reading Something A Bit Different

Pantheon #14

Apparently, apologizing is a bad marketing strategy. Sorry about that. I guess all the marketing classes I took were for naught. So I’m not sorry this is late, I guess…or something. Anyways, I plan on releasing chapter 10 next week on Wednesday. If I work diligently and maintain a decent pace, I bet I’ll even be able to be only slightly late by a day. Yay for being lost in the vacuous void that is adulthood!

Showcase #14

Empathae

Empathae is the incarnation of the Progenitor’s resonance with the human soul. One of the first guardians to be created, Empathae is also one of the few who is near universally beloved. Aside from a few exceptions, most guardians appreciate her ability to relate to them. Whether she’s acting as a mediator or a shoulder to cry on, Empathae has a knack for solving problems and resolving personal issues. She is the glue that keeps the Koleth pantheon together and the negotiator that keeps the gods from tearing each other to shreds. Often described as the spirit of humanity, she embodies all the best qualities of humanity and suffers from all the worst.

Religion:

Domain: Empathy, Understanding, Sympathy

Associated Pantheon: Koeleth Sentimentals

Religious Order: Temple of the Resonant Spirit

Native Magical Element: Light

Symbolic Weapon: Heater

Symbolic Gem: Opal

Symbolic Bird: Mockingbird

Insignia: Open Heart

Appearance:

Body Type: Straight, Small Frame

Eyes: Rainbow

Hair Style: Loose Ponytail, Long

Hair Color: Brunette

Skin Tone: White, Freckled

Attire: Button-Up Shirt with Rolled Up Sleeves, Denim Jeans with Rolled Up Legs

Weapon: Heater

Markings: None

Notable Features: Appears to be A Teenager

Background:

Titles: Lady of Many Hearts, Allheart, Spirit of Society

Siblings: None

Significant Subordinates: None

Relationships: Well, before the catastrophe, she got on great with Magikron in Gracil.

Antithesis: Apathos and/or Desiren

Notable Events:

Envoy of Chaos: The Envoy is a powerful weapon, and the rules surrounding it were created for a reason. One of its bearers was a follower of Empathae, and she managed to destroy a city, ravage a countryside, and upset the balance of power, all the while trying to fix the problems she was causing.

Pantheon #13

You thought you wouldn’t get another post this week, didn’t you? Well, my cunning plan to make you all think that I’m lazy while I actually cleverly posted an update slightly earlier than usual but still technically late worked! Muahahahahaaaa! Anyways, I am currently working on the next chapter of the Chronicles of Koeleth. I’ve made some changes and am delving into new territory so it has taken a bit longer than I had hoped, but I think I’ve got a good thing going in this next chapter. My hope is that chapter 12 will see me caught up to where I was before the rewrite. I certainly have the time to, now that work has settled down.

Showcase #13

Detremanat

Detremanat is the incarnation of the Progenitor’s drive to achieve greater things. She is wholeheartedly dedicated to her duties as a Koeleth guardian. No matter how imposing the challenge, Detremanat will conquer it. As fearless as Valro, as passionate as Angern, and more intelligent than either of them. Like a ravenous wolf, she relentlessly pursues her prey.

Religion:

Domain: Determination, Ambition, Obsession

Associated Pantheon: Koeleth Sentimentals

Religious Order: Order of the Dauntless

Native Magical Element: Earth

Symbolic Weapon: Broadsword

Symbolic Gem: Black Onyx

Symbolic Bird: Marsh Harrier

Insignia: Wolf’s Head

Appearance:

Body Type: Straight, Medium Frame

Eyes: Bronze

Hair Style: Ponytail, Short

Hair Color: Brown

Skin Tone: White, Peach

Attire: Leather Vest, Long-Sleeved  Blouse, Brown Pants, Leather Boots

Weapon: Broadsword

Markings: Wolf Shoulder Tattoo

Notable Features: None

Background:

Titles: Lady of the Relentless Chase, Grand Huntress, Spearhead of the Pantheon

Siblings: None

Significant Subordinates: Rebelos (Rebellion)

Relationships: Angern (It’s complicated)

Antithesis: Apathos

Notable Events:

Order in the Court: Detremenat’s religious order is a subset of the Valiant Blades. Once they were separate entities, but the organizations’ goals were so closely aligned that the larger organization simply absorbed the smaller. Detremenat had no qualms about it and Valro welcomed the new warriors.

Pantheon #12

Still dealing with a busy work schedule. Sorry about that. One of my colleagues took a lot of time off, and I’ve been covering some of those shifts. At any rate, I haven’t had much time to write, so I’m taking advantage of this opportunity to post another showcase. Enjoy.

Showcase #12

Empiten

Empiten is the incarnation of the Progenitor’s hollow purpose. Once a figment of the imagination, he became all too real when humanity rejected the guidance of the Progenitor. Born of a broken heart, Empiten roams the dark and desolate places of the world, haunting dead lands and brushing elbows with the forsaken of society. Though close in temperament to Sorowa in his early years, the growing desperation of humanity jaded him as the centuries marched on. Dismal though he may be, Empiten serves as the only protector of those who escape even Compassia’s gaze.

Religion:

Domain: Emptiness, Purposelessness, Hollowness

Associated Pantheon: Koeleth Sentimentals

Religious Order: Order of the Hollow

Native Magical Element: Wind

Symbolic Weapon: Mace

Symbolic Gem: Alexandrite

Symbolic Bird: Boreal Owl

Insignia: Hollow Circle

Appearance:

Body Type: Straight, Small Frame

Eyes: Gray-Black

Hair Style: Messy, Shoulder Length

Hair Color: Greasy Black

Facial Hair: Greasy Stubble

Skin Tone: White, Pallid

Attire: Bedraggled Shirt and Pants

Weapon: Mace

Markings: None

Notable Features: Heavy Bags Under Eyes

Background:

Titles: Lord of Hollows, Ghost in the Void, Phantom of the Ruins

Siblings: Apathos

Significant Subordinates: None

Relationships: He has a distant memory of a guardian with a sunny disposition with whom he was quite enamored.

Antithesis: None in particular

Notable Events:

The Advent of the Abomination: Since the earliest days of Koeleth, abominations have been associated with Empiten. Above all others, they are the homeless, the forsaken, the unwanted. In many ways they are Empiten’s true followers, even if they do not actively worship him. For all his negligence and indifference towards humanity as a whole, he ensures that abominations are taken care of. Nothing is off limits, whether it be transforming an Inquisitor stronghold in an abomination oasis or convincing a fellow guardian to send a empathetic adventurer to help a nomadic group of abominations.

Pantheon #11 and A Necessary Update

Sorry about the late post here, my dudes. Last week was quite the week. Between work and other concerns I’ve had little to no time to write. I do apologize for that. This week looks like it will be equally packed, sorry. Anyhow, you may or may not have noticed that I’ve opened up the comments on my stuff. Feel free to say whatever you like down there; compliment me, critique me, mock me mercilessly, destroy my faith in humanity, whatever.

Showcase #11

Apathos

Apathos is the incarnation of the Progenitor’s stoic grandeur. Though he always played a role in the machinations of the Progenitor, Apathos never truly influenced the world until the Progenitor left it. Humanity, abandoned and jaded, gave him a pedestal on which he could stand. Neither good nor bad, Apathos simply is. He rules the broken man in his darkest but aids the strong man when the troubles of the world would drag him down. Like an academic studying a tome, Apathos studies humans, impartial and calculating. He is the anchor that grounds the rest of the sentimentals, whether he likes it or not.

Religion:

Domain: Apathy, Indifference, Lethargy

Associated Pantheon: Koeleth Sentimentals

Religious Order: The Listless Temple

Native Magical Element: Water

Symbolic Weapon: Spear

Symbolic Gem: Black Pearl

Symbolic Bird: Raven

Insignia: Empty Chalice

Appearance:

Body Type: Straight, Medium Frame

Eyes: Silver-Grey

Hair Style: Unkempt, Short

Hair Color: Ash

Facial Hair: Ashy Stubble

Skin Tone: White, Pale

Attire: Grey Sackcloth Robes

Weapon: Spear

Markings: None

Notable Features: Scar Near Left Eye

Background:

Titles: Lord of the Stoic, Nihilistic Spirit, Unseen Mover

Siblings: Empiten

Significant Subordinates: Ummm….he forgot

Relationships: Sorowa won’t take a hint. He’s not interested. Disciplina, on the other hand, has an exemplary posterior that requires further observation.

Antithesis: Disciplina

Notable Events:

The Advent of Desire: No, not the guardian from the previous showcase. Instead, Desiren has no effect on Apathos, but Disciplina does. When she joined the Sentimentals, Apathos felt something he had never felt before: lust (and maybe a little bit of love.) Very meh by human standards, but a big deal for someone who isn’t supposed to feel.

Envoy Elect: In the early days of the existence of the magical weapon Envoy, it was passed along freely to anyone who would wield it. Its immense power proved to be too much for some, however, and the guardians held a council in which it was determined that only followers of Disciplina, who could control themselves, and followers of Apathos, who desired nothing, should be allowed wield a power that would corrupt all others.

Chapter 9: Casper the Not-So-Friendly Ghost

A quick shout out to Life of Chaz. Dude’s probably become my most regular viewer aside from the friends who I force to view my content; in other words, he’s my most willing reader. Many thanks, my man. Much gratitude. Also, chapter 10 is is following on the tails of this one; I had a burst of creative momentum lately.

Chronicles of Koeleth: The River’s Tale
Chapter IX
Voice of the Damned

“Now, hold on a minute,” the barkeep interrupted. “You said you were going to tell us about Tom’s unexpected and interesting comrade. We haven’t met anyone that fits the bill.”

“Sure you have!” the old man assured his audience. “I’ve told you about Aaron, Collin, Cleo—she fits the bill of ‘unexpected,’ let me tell you!”

“I heard that, you squawking parrot!” the female voice retorted aggressively from the upper rooms.

“If only your sense of humor was as sharp as your hearing!” the old man shot back before returning to the topic at hand. “Anyways, you’ve met all sorts of interesting people that most folks don’t see everyday. Your grandmother and I are quite the exceptions. That, my young friend, is quite off topic, however. I haven’t gotten to Tom’s most unusual—and most important—companion. But we have some time before we get to that. You must know about the adventure that led up to that meeting.”

Continue reading Chapter 9: Casper the Not-So-Friendly Ghost