I am a huge fan of mechs and their amazing pilots. I love to watch their heroics on the news; I visit when pilots come to my town; I own multiple letterman jackets emblazoned with mech pilots’ insignias. I’m burdened with the dream of piloting and eclipsed by the fear that I will never be more than a spectator. I love that which is unfathomably above me, as they exchange Laser Beams Like So Many Stars.
Everyone who is part of the story touches Destiny in some way. Even if they are not the heroes. Even if they are not even named in the pages. I am a master bladesmith, the keeper of the Sacred Forge. My blades are renowned for their strength, sharpness, and harmony.
A holy sword does not come from nowhere. It does not materialize from starlight and a wish. It is built through effort, honed through attention, and consecrated by a powerful heart. They will not name me in the story. But my blade will never be forgotten.
A figure stands in an ancient ruin, bare feet on crumbling stone to make it easier to leap and climb. Her gown is far too fine, representing her dual heritage as the daughter of two kingdoms, bitter rivals only joined through her. Her sword, much too dark, hungers for legacy, fame, immortality via story and myth.
At the princess’ coming of age ceremony, an uninvited guest gifted her with a sword, then vanished, laughing, into smoke. She cannot put it down until she finds the place it came from.
I’ve spent years adventuring through the mysterious, whimsical, dangerous lands of HORIZON PROPHECY ONLINE, a science fantasy MMORPG that peaked at about 161,000 concurrent players. The game always had a scope and reach too ambitious for its budget, but now, with daily player counts in the hundreds, the studio has announced that they’re shutting down HPO for good. With four hours to go before the servers are switched off, I decided to create a new toon and go through the starting area one last time, as a final farewell to the world I’ve given so much of my time.
I run a tea shop on the border of the living and the dead. The recently deceased visit for one last hot drink before their long journey to the Great Beyond. Time is strange here. Days and memories blur. Nobody visited yesterday – I am sure of that. Someone passed last week, but I am unable to picture their face.
The fog thins. A figure approaches. I stoke the fire. “Welcome to the last tea shop,” I say. “You are welcome here, To The Dregs.”
Well, hello there! Welcome to the Flying Stag, our hearth and home among the treetops. My name is Wulflen Skyway, I’m the proprietor of this fine establishment. Now, the dancing doesn’t start until twilight, and you don’t look like you have an undead problem, so what shall it be? We have a moongoat shawarma that’s proven very popular, and craftsmanship demands I recommend the Frozen Drupelet, our raspberry spiced ice wine made right-
Ah, touring around looking for stories, are you? Well, I was a bard back in the day, before some… stuff happened, so I could spin you a few yarns. No, no, the scale armor is just an affectation, nothing to worry yourself about. No, I’m not going to “dish” about my past, thank you. The Flying Stag, though, well, it may not be as well known as The Broken Cask – yet – but it has its stories to tell. Continue reading Solitaire Storytelling – The Broken Cask
Another job, another hotel, another lobby. Being a paid killer might sound dangerous, or exciting, or glamorous, and it can be, I suppose. More often than not, though, it involves waiting. Lots of waiting, when the planning is already done and there’s nothing to do but count the moments, watch the goings-on, and think about what you’ve done and what you’re about to do while you wait for your target to appear.
That’s okay, though. I’ve got Time To Kill.
Busted, rusted, set adrift, cloaked in cloth and grime.
This old ship lies still—a relic
from a different time.
Lift the dust sheets, one by one, pry the broken latch.
Up the ladder, flaking paint,
up towards the hatch.
Crank it open, hit the switch, dim lights flicker on.
Yellowed bulkheads, fraying wires—
captains, dead and gone.
In the cockpit, fire it up—engine’s thrumming roar.
Creaking, lurching up towards
shining stars once more.
If you are reading this, there is a good chance you already know who I am, but just in case: Hello there! My name is Cory Deepwood, and I am a witch. I have been practicing for many years, now, learning the ways of the earth and the sky and quite a bit in between. At first it was tradition, passed down from my mother to me . Eventually, though, I began to think of myself as something of a steward, taking care of the lands I have worked on and the people within them. Within these pages are the spells and appurtenances I have used in my craft. Whether I have now passed it to you or you have found it in a dusty library somewhere, I hope you use my Grimoire well.
The pomegranate seeds have been weighed, the ectoplasm has been deep-fried, and the bezoar has been taken out to sit at room temperature. The dream sand has been powdered, the tannis root is in the ice box, and last night’s gambling winnings are set aside. Yesterday I took care of a mothman whose own shadow had become solid and started causing trouble, and a buru who had an odd fixation on pursuing a literature degree. I wonder who I’ll see this time?
It’s another day behind the counter for a Cryptid Apothecary.