Cerdic the Usual – Ch. 4

A small car pulled into the train stop outside a small village. A teenager got out of the car and waved at Cerdic. “Hey, McNiall! Over here!”

Eyes rolling Cerdic started walking over to the car. “Call me Cerdic.”

“Nope, I call you McNiall until I know you better.” The boy motioned at the back seat. “Dogs in the back,” he motioned at the front seats, “people in the front.” He paused and looked like he just remembered something. “Oh, my bad.” He held out his hand. “I’m Veron Aelfson. Nice to meet you, McNiall.”

Cerdic shook the outstretched hand. “Nice to meet you, Aelfson.”

“Yeah, you can’t call me that in public. If you want to retaliate you can call me Smith, that’s what we go by in normal society.”

“Mr. Smith. You don’t happen to know a John Doe?”

“Funny, funny, droll. Get in. We have to find that leprechaun.” Veron opened the back door and put Grimm in the back seat by opening the dog crate and letting him walk in. “I’ll put the crate in the boot.”

– – –

“So, Smith, what can you tell me about leprechauns?”

“They draw people away from danger of the magical kind by pretending to tell them where their gold is when they get caught. They resent being caught by shape changers and werewolves. They don’t always wear green clothes as depicted in modern culture and are often confused with gnomes.” Veron motioned at a notebook labeled journal on the dash. “Page 75.”

“Eric said I wasn’t allowed to read the lore books yet.”

“Well, I say you should read about the creature we’re going after. I’m the field commander and I’m making a field decision.” He took a sharp left turn, causing the book to fall into Cerdic’s lap. “There, see? Read.”

“Well, if I’m not supposed to I’ll just blame the kid then.”

“It tends to work, especially since I technically outrank you.” Veron flashed him a quick, broad smile then focused on the road again.

“Right. Seniority and all that.” Cerdic picked up the book and turned to page 75. He began to read aloud. “The minotaur…really?” He thumbed backwards a couple of pages. “The leprechaun. There we go.” He glanced at Veron. “Why do you people always get the page for minotaurs first?”

“Oh, I could’ve sworn it was on 75. Odd. Did Eric turn to minotaurs first too?”

“Yeah.” Cerdic read the information on the page. He noticed some secondary script to the side that was in seeming jibberish. “What is this stuff to the side?”

“Oh, just scribblings. Nothing important.”

“Scribblings? Looks like letters to me.” Cerdic shrugged and looked back at the English. “So, not much is here. They seem to like using scarves and can usually be found in forests. You guys already mentioned everything else.” He looked back at the strange script.

Grimm barked a few times, surprising Veron who swerved a little into the right lane.

“Woah. Glad there’s no oncoming traffic. Do we need to stop for the little doggie’s room?” Veron glanced in the rear-view mirror and saw Grimm pawing at the door. “I’ll take that as a yes. Pulling over.”

While they were pulled over to let Grimm do his business Veron went to the trunk and pulled out an ice chest with sandwiches and soft drinks in it. “Want one?” He offered a sandwich to Cerdic.

“No, I ate on the train.” Cerdic was still looking at the scribblings in the corner of the notebook page. “Does that look like the Norse rune for ‘th’ to you?”

Veron took the notebook back. “Fine. They’re my personal notes. This isn’t the first leprechaun I’ve been sent to find. The first one warned of a mana storm. Usually they only warn of things that affect non-magical humans. The mana storm did cause headaches in non-magicals, but nothing serious. In warlockes, however, it caused debilitating migraines if they didn’t ingest Blue Ash.”

“Sounds nasty.”

“It was. My parents had a difficult time working through that storm even with the Blue Ash.”

Cerdic grabbed a soft drink from the cooler. “What’s Blue Ash?”

“An ash that’s made from burning wood that’s been infused with healing magic. Well, what we use is. True Blue Ash isn’t found on Earth.” Veron whistled at Grimm. “C’mon boy, we need to get where we’re going.”

Grimm plodded back and jumped into the open back seat. He tried to close the door himself but failed.

“Here, I got it.” Cerdic closed the car door then motioned to Veron. “After you, Smith.”

“No, after you, McNiall.”

– – –

A small copse of trees just outside a busy city came into view. Veron pulled off the paved road onto a gravel one and continued heading for the copse. “So, this is where the reports are coming from.” He pulled his cellphone from his pocket and started texting on it. “Just sending in a progress report. We have arrived.”

“You could wait until we’re actually stopped to do that.”

“I could, but where’s the fun in that?” Veron tossed the cell on the dash and returned his attention to the road. “I don’t know why you’re being sent on this mission. Pretty much anyone else would do.”

Cerdic nodded. “Eric said you were on a less important mission. I got the feeling everyone is on some sort of assignment.”

The car came to a stop at the end of the gravel. “Well, we’re just a short walk away now. As for everyone being on assignment, you’re probably right. My family has been going back and forth all over Europe. I get to stick around the same general area, but they’ve been from one end to the other and back at least once each.” Veron got out and let Grimm out of the back seat.

Exiting the car himself Cerdic pulled a compass and an electric torch from his pockets. “It’s going to be dark in a few hours. You have a torch, right?”

“Yeah, we’ll probably need them.” Veron pulled his own torch from the door pocket of the car and put it in his jeans pocket. “I think the leprechaun will want to tell us what’s wrong, but it will try to keep away from us at first.”

Grimm walked around to the trunk of the car and pawed at it.

“Yeah, I think maybe we should eat first.”

Veron walked to the trunk and opened it. “Good idea, boy. Here.” He tossed a couple of sandwiches at Cerdic. “One’s tuna and the other’s ham and swiss.” He pulled out a couple of drinks and two sandwiches for himself and shut the trunk. “Here.” He handed a drink to Cerdic.”

Cerdic ate the tuna sandwich and half of the ham and swiss. He gave the rest of the ham and swiss to Grimm.

“So, the thing that’s going on is some powerful guy is building up an army of informants. Apparently a Medakus went missing in Oregon in the US and his mom is certain he was trying to find his father who is also missing. She claims that Warren Albrite is behind it. Here in Europe we’re trying to find our own informant amongst his informants so we can find out what he’s planning. A magical event that will affect non-magicals is not something we want on top of that.”

Setting the drink bottle on the top of the car Cerdic turned to look and Veron. “And how much of that were you supposed to let me know?”

“None of it, but you need to know how important this leprechaun hunt is,McNiall. It’s not some vacation. It’s very important.” Veron shoved the food trashin the trunk and shut it. “Let’s go.”

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SoS Podcast Episode 8: Campaign Chatter

Intro music: Cataclysmic Molten Core by Jingle Punks
Intro voice: Michael Connelly

We begin starting episodes by rolling monsters in the Monster Manual and come up with encounters based on those monsters. In this episode, we talk about Treants, Owlbears, and Naga. After that, we talk some about Nevre: Yeodiax, Wild Gods, and other things.

The gods of Nevre: The Sorceress – After

The first thing Taika did after she realized she was a goddess was free Ana from the block of ice that had kept her frozen for months. It wasn’t hard to do magic anymore. In fact, it was easy to reach into that place within herself that held her abilities. Shortly after discovering this new power she traveled to the city of Rentaz in the country of Zentar. There she met with the order of wizards. Old men who thought knowledge of the arcane would be enough to wield magic. While there she rebuilt the order from the ground up as the Sorcerer’s Guild.

– – –

At the top spire of the Sorcerer’s Guild Taika looked into a pool of water inside a silvered bowl atop an ornate pedestal. She had been searching for The Vengeance for some time now. Stigr hadn’t deemed to tell her where she was hidden so the only thing Taika could do was search for her. This time she was trying out a new scrying spell. The gods usually couldn’t be scried, but she was a goddess so she figured she could be the exception.

“Ervat! Bring me the feather of a scravyn, the toe of a salaman, and the horn of a zarx. The latter two should be ground to a fine powder,” Taika yelled over her shoulder. “Oh, and the toe should be fresh. The horn doesn’t have to be, but the toe is important.”

Her salaman assistant looked at his feet. “Yes, The Sorceress, I’ll get right on that.” He knew his toe would regrow, but he wasn’t looking forward to having it chopped off.

“Oh, here. This blade cuts without pain and cauterizes wounds.” She walked over to a shelf and pulled a knife from it. The knife glowed a pale green. “Don’t lose that. I also have a spell somewhere that can regrow it faster. Let me look for it while you get to work. The toe should be the last thing, of course.”

The salaman nodded and hurried off to gather the reagents. He set the knife down on a table and started going through organized drawers. “Now what did I put the zarx horn under?”

Taika sighed and moved over to a large, stone chair and sat down, rubbing her temples. “This is getting annoying. Why don’t you just show yourself, Adalet? We need a god with justice in her hand that’s supposed to wield it. I’ve felt the stirrings of vengeance within myself, and I’ve heard that Kemp has wielded his sword for vengeful justice. The kind without honor, and he is the god of honorable warriors!”

Suddenly an idea wormed its way into Taika’s mind. “Ah! No, I don’t need your toe!” She rushed into the other room and saw her assistant about to cut his toe off. “I need my toe.” She took her sandal off. “Quickly.”

“Uhh…” the salaman took the knife and instead of his own toe he cut off the toe of The Sorceress. “I hope you know what you’re doing.” He picked up the toe.

“Grind it into a powder, quickly.” She watched as the magic that infused her started healing her foot. “I need to get this scrying underway.”

It wasn’t long before the ingredients were prepared. “Ok. Powdered toe of god.” The salaman handed Taika a bowl of powder that she dumped into the water. “Powdered horn of zarx.” Another bowl of powder was poured into the water. “Feather of skravyn.” The feather was gently placed on the surface of the water. She said a few words in a strange tongue, then said a command in common. “Show me Adalet call The Justice and The Vengeance.”

The image of Adalet appeared on the water. “Where is she?” The image zoomed out and showed a small town in the northern plains, just to the south. Adalet was running through the town with a quarterstaff. “Oh, she found something it seems. What is it?” The pool seemed to show time in reverse. The town was unbuilt before Taika’s eyes. Eventually the image froze on Grigori Petrovich who was paying a man for a hut with the same quarterstaff on his back. “Oh. Interesting. The quarterstaff of the man who killed her parents. I’m surprised the town is still standing.”

Taika returned the image to the present and watched as two figures followed Adalet, attempted to get her to give the weapon back, got attacked by her, and then defeated the god. “A zarx and a wick just killed her…ah they left before she reconstituted.” She watched as Adalet’s body turned to smoke and reformed next to the pile of her clothes. She redressed and walked away from the town.

“Ok, write the ingredients down. It worked better than I expected.” Taika poured the water from the bowl into a stream of water flowing down the tower. “That’s got to be the most useful of the eight-hundred spell variants I’ve found.”

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The gods of Nevre – A Collection of Short Stories

I just compiled a book! It has all The gods of Nevre short stories in it, which is a lot. I didn’t realize how much I’d written until I started compiling them.

The gods of Nevre Before and After stories have been revised, and some of them have been expanded. At the time I write this some of the stories in this book are not posted on the website yet, but those stories are also somewhat different than the ones in the book.

The book also has a short story that will not be appearing on the website. It’s called The Library and the Moon. It follows Stigr, The Pathfinder, as he discovers the library. Something also happens that shatters the moon, which produces a ring around Nevre and casts a shadow on the surface. The ring shadow will be somewhat explored in my D&D campaign Nevre: Yeodiax on my YouTube channel (link at end of post).

Here is a link to my author page. This links to the Amazon US store, but the book is available in all regions Amazon is available. At the time of writing only the Kindle edition is live.

Update: The paperback is live!

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The Fractured Mountains – Ch. 8

The Fractured Mountains

Draveth was awoken by Krash who had a hand over his mouth to keep him silent. “I heard a noise. I’m going to check it out. You watch camp while I’m gone.”

Draveth nodded and grabbed his claymore. He motioned to Krash to find out what the noise was and began to pace around the campsite.

Krash walked in the direction he heard the sound coming from, turned back gave a slight wave, then disappeared into the tall grass.

As the grass scratched at Krash’s robe he tried to move silently but failed miserably. He was able to happen upon a section of cleared grass near the river they were traveling parallel with. The footprints on the ground were bare feet and to Krash looked vaguely like halfling feet. Just as he started to think about why halflings would be hanging out by the river without shoes there was a whoosh-thump and Krash fell, unconscious. Continue reading

The gods of Nevre: The Pathfinder – After

Stigr sat studying the histories at the end of time. It wasn’t truly the end of time, there was no true end to time, but he called it the end of time because no sentient races were left on the surface of Nevre. Something had happened fast enough that it wasn’t recorded in the great hall of histories. The histories just stopped. He was too worried about what that might mean to go back to that time and see what had happened. In all of his visits, he had never once seen any of the other gods. Not even Gormaliev.

A tome was lying open with a single sentence on the right page and nothing on the left. There was a single sentence. “The Pathfinder, meet me at sundown on the seven-thousandth anniversary of The Fount of the Gods at The Fount.” Continue reading

Help us, Jor-val Ondelios, you’re our only hope! – Pt. 1

Kasmor Shrouder, human Jedi Knight, gripped the handle of a training saber. He was about to get in a friendly duel with another Knight. Naris was a saber master. He had felled many Yuuzhan Vong with a single strike on the last mission and this had annoyed Kasmor. Up until this point, he was the saber master on his squad. This new guy wasn’t going to show him up. Continue reading

SoS Podcast Episode 7: Warlocks

Intro music: Cataclysmic Molten Core by Jingle Punks
Intro voice: Michael Connelly

This episode picks up from the recording of the last episode. We talk mostly about D&D 5e warlocks and warlock adjacent things. Then we get into spells and ranges and the episode ended up being shorter because, in retrospect, it’s not that interesting to listen to.

The gods of Nevre: The Healer/The Kindness – After

Simisola was known for her kindness and her healing, but most people thought this kindness was always nice. Kind is not always nice. Sometimes being kind requires being harsh.

– – –

Simisola stood on the stairs leading up to the monastery. She had only visited there once before when a monk needed her healing in order to go on and do great things. Today one young monk needed kindness to go on to do great things. She walked up to the gates and stared at the guards, waiting for them to talk to her. Continue reading

Rebuilding Brangmar – Pt. 7

The ritual wore off and the four adventurers found themselves able to speak Gaelic. It was strange. They knew the language as if it was their native tongue, and yet they knew they had previously had no knowledge of the language.

“So, this is weird. I have to keep myself from falling into Nordic, but I can speak this tongue as if it were the one I learned from birth.” Throbor ducked to avoid some low-hanging debris. “Are we heading out of this ruin or exploring it?”

Aram hopped over some discarded boxes with something rotting in them. “There’s nothing more to do here. Let’s move on. I don’t want to run into more of those Teblats…oh, that’s what they’re called.” Continue reading