Saturday, April 30, 2022

Z is for Zoe

I’m another character who came to the scribbler while she was Blogging From AZ. It occurred to Beatrix (and to the scribbler) that Rhiannon was becoming more of a player character. As such she could use a player. I may have talked to Beatrix about this possibility for some time before I joined the game. Before that I may have seen Beatrix with Rhane many times after catching a glimpse of Rhane at the library where I work. Yes, I decided to follow her. Yes, I was a bit of a stalker, but I did become a friend as well as one of the gamers in The Players Are the Thing. I’m new, so I bring a fresh awareness to the ground, to matters Mona, Rhane, and especially Beatrix aren’t aware of. I’m able to let Mona know she’s making Rhane uncomfortable by constantly touching her. I’m able to shake Beatrix and Rhane up a bit, get them to talk. They don’t talk nearly enough. It’s a bit confusing because I really like Rhane. If things didn’t work out between Beatrix and Rhane, it would be an opportunity for me. Nor am I immune to whatever weirdness is going on, affecting everyone in this roleplaying game we’re in. I’m part of it. I’m starting to get attached to Rhiannon, my character. To be inspired by my own creative input for her, ideas for her as a character. No way am I backing out now, no matter what weirdness is happening.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Y is for Ylynessa

I’ve been around in one form or another ever since the scribbler started plotting Trouble at Caerac Keep. I became Ylynessa when she started Blogging From AZ. I became Lord William Caerac’s adopted sister, privy to his secrets. Not that I don’t have quite a few secrets of my own. Willy wouldn’t appreciate what I’m up to, even though it’s for his own good. He shouldn’t have to hide who and what he is. He should walk proudly among the human herd, taking what he desires. Caerac Keep should offer him up the love and devotion he deserves. I’ll see that this happens, even if it means making what some might consider sinister choices. No matter how sinister they might be, they’ll lead to a better world for Willy. That’s worth making a few sacrifices, even if they’re sacrifices dear to me. It will all be worth it. I swear it will.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

X is for Xylanthe

I came to the scribbler when she was working on this very Blogging From AZ April Project years ago. The story I was part of, Trouble at Caerac Keep had been around for years in one form or another. At one point the scribbler opened it up to other writers. It transformed into The Keep.

It’s taken years for the various characters from that world to morph into stories of their own. Some became part of this one. Trouble at Caerac Keep became part of the World of Ouroborous along with A Suitor’s Challenge. The former tale takes place centuries before the latter. It was always a world of fantasy with goblins, kobolds, shapeshifters, and a number of undead creatures.

I myself became a mythical monster who once ruled the land of Aethyria until the other monsters exiled me. I have a blood connection to Ariadne and her sister, Alexi. I created myself a lair in a legendary labyrinth called the Dark Circle in the land of Rowenda. The Dark Circle is southeast of Caerac Keep, northwest from Aethyria. Yes, it is filled with monsters, monsters I rule and feed the blood of hot-blooded adventurers, daring to venture within the Circle in search of treasure and renown. Yes, enough escaped to tell tales of treasure and renown. Enough to lure plenty of would-be heroes within our walls to satisfy our hunger.

Alas, since the decline of adventuring, the moral questions about the rightness of killing monsters just for sake of riches and fame has meant a decline in our food source. We’ve been going hungry.

We’re being forced to cast our webs further afield in order to eat. To cast our eyes upon the walled city of livestock grazing within Caerac Keep.

You may accuse us of stirring up trouble, but these are troubled times. A monster must eat. Even if we have to fight the forces of civilization, it’s better than going hungry. If some tender young heroes rise to stop us, why, all the tastier. Especially if those heroes are the blood-kin of old enemies.

One tries to stay positive about change.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

W is for William

I had a different name, but always a place, a critical role to play in Trouble at Caerac Keep. I was the lord wishing to avoid trouble within his walled city, yet trouble came regardless. Who and what I was emerged in the course of Blogging From AZ. I became a vampire trying to keep the existence of vampires a laughable legend, to keep away anything which might disturb my sarcophagus. Outting me may well be the intentions of those behind the trouble in my Keep, an unpleasant possibility I’m forced to confront. Hopefully the attractive younglings I’ve asked to investigate that trouble with distract that trouble while I find out what’s truly going on. Hopefully the tale of our Trouble at Caerac Keep will be told. Told and resolved. No matter what you may believe, I don’t like trouble. I truly don’t.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

V is for Varwyth

I’ve been around since Trouble at Caerac Keep first popped into our scribbler’s head. I was born during the Blogging From AZ April Project first became a tradition for her. Does this seem contradictory? The identity of Varwyth is one I assumed to get close to Rhodry Nevalyn, to uncover the mystery Rhodry and his allies uncovered. This idea came to the scribbler while Blogging From AZ.

Yes, I am a mystery. Yes, I have my own reasons for getting close to Rhodry, for taking an interest of what he and his companions find out about the disappearances, the mysterious illness which appears like a vampire’s attacks plaguing the walled city Caerac was so proud of. No, I’m not going to reveal those reasons. Not yet. Don’t worry. They will be revealed. I’m not about to let our scribbler forget about Trouble at Caerac Keep. Our story will continue even if I have to invade the scribbler’s dreams, seducing her with visions of our story.

I have a talent for such things.

Monday, April 25, 2022

U is for Undine

My origins were right here during the Blogging From AZ April Project. The scribbler needed a character whose name began with U. She’d already been working on Trouble at Caerac Keep. She’d planned for an antagonist like me to stand in the way of Rhodry and his companions. What she didn’t realize was how much I myself was a victim, trapped in a shell or was it a suit of armour? by the true villain, crying out for help, for someone to release me. I’ve developed a little more each time the scribbler participates in this project. I wish she’d bring that development to Trouble at Caerac Keep itself, make it more of a part of the story. I’ve been trapped for far too long. My voice needs to be heard. It should be heard. Please listen to it.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

T is for Thomas

What are you looking at? I’m ugly, so what? I’m a boy. What’s creepy is how pretty Danyel and Tayel are. Someone has to notice that, how weird those two are. Put them in their place. They’ve been left alone for too long. They have no idea how to behave. Maybe the scribbler created me for just that. To represent all those people who noticed how weird she was. Someone has to represent the world the scribbler tries to ignore. Boys will be boys. So what if I throw rocks at squirrel? They’re mocking us with their fluffy tails and their chittering. Like I’m going to let that go. Don’t give me that judgmental look. I’m a Follower of Seraphix. Seraphix chose me. Me! Anything I want, my god is going to get me. No matter how miserable it makes the other Followers; my snooty sister, my useless mother, my loser of a father. Why should my wish make anyone happy other than me? The other Followers are all weird. Acting like we’re some sort of community because we worship the same god. It’s my god. Seraphix is going to give me what I want. They’ll all be sorry when that happens. Maybe I’m around to show the problem with communities. Not everyone wants to join the stupid group. Not everyone wants to cooperate. Everyone is out for themselves. Why should I be any different? I’ll show all of them, even the scribbler. I’ll especially show Danyel and Tayel. I’m going to be prettier than either of them. I know I said that was creepy. I’m going to be even creepier. Just watch and see what happens in Tales of the Navel. Such a stupid name. Everything is stupid. I’ll show you all.

Friday, April 22, 2022

S is for Seraphix

Once We were a god of balance if We ever were a god. We may have been a construct imagined by Our feverish Followers, given a Voice, fed by a Vampyre. This was Our original conception in a roleplaying game. Our name was Seraphimis. Or Seraphis if you were one of Our gentler Sisters.

We transferred to The Keep and became a demon. Seraphis and Their Sisters were separate from us. We didn’t come together again until We became Seraphix in Tales of the Navel. We regained Our Sisterhood, were worshipped as god of balance once again.

We’re not sure if that part of Us was ever real. We were lost until Danyel and Tayel found Us, gave Us new life as Our Hand and Eye. Dyvian claimed Us, bound Us in talismans, coins he passed out to Our Followers. With each of their wishes, We grew stronger. With their faith, We’d become a god. Our Followers would be part of Us.

This plan appears to be working. We’ve become stronger than ever before with Our Followers, yet We’re more fractured than We’ve ever been, due to their divisiveness, their warring wishes. It driving Us more than a little crazy. No wonder other gods favor holy books with exact codes of behavior. Such a code would be simpler. Dyvian reassures Us there is divisiveness even among those with such a holy book in how it is interpreted. The key to strength is flexibility. Flexibility and keeping Our Followers happy.

Well and good, but what if one Follower’s happiness depends upon another unhappiness? Worse, We feel some of Our Followers, including Our Voice are scaring Danyel and Tayel away. We want Danyel and Tayel on Our side. We fear they will not be if we keep granting Our Followers’s wishes, becoming more godlike.

Thus lies Our growing sorrow and Our madness.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

R is for Rhane

I was born along with The Keep. You might say I was born for Amberwyne even if our story says I’m the one who created her.

You see, she existed first.

The original Amberwine was a quite a different character from my Amberwyne, a tough-talking youth from a matriarchy. This Amberwine became Ariadne of Aethyria, pursuing her missing sister to a foreign land where she’s wrapped up in the Trouble at Caerac Keep.

My Amberwyne was a wacky sidhe childing in a roleplaying game, reduced to a state of innocence due to the leanhaun seductress who devoured her. She brought some of this to The Keep where she was reimagined with me at her side. We’d both been victims of Fidessa, the same leanhuan. You might say she was my inner child, transformed into a separate person by my trauma. I had a lot of secrets still waiting to be uncovered in The Keep. I don’t think the scribbler could let me be, not after all the plotting and planning she’d put into me.

I’m not sure if it was P.T. Wyant’s Wednesday Words or Blogging From AZ which reforged my identity and Amberwyne as player and character in The Players Are the Thing. I became part of a roleplaying game with Beatrix (a victim of vampires in The Keep), Mona (an angry survivor of vampirees and wannabe vampire hunter in The Keep), and Zoe. Amberwyne became my character in a roleplaying game, a character I found myself falling in love with. Literally.

The scribbler wanted me to express this unorthodox passion, yet she didn’t want to make the roleplaying game or my feelings a negative experience. On the contrary, she wanted to show how positive it could be, bringing people together, allowing them to release their creativity. Only my girlfriend, Beatrix has been seriously damaged by bad experiences with bad roleplayers. This is why she only games with women. It leaves her open to the curse of the dice and Fidessa’s wrath. Yes, the major villain in Beatrix’s own game became aware she’s only a character. She decides to vent her wrath upon the upstart gamemaster who dared to toy with her. It’s up to Amberwyne and the other characters to save their players and the game master. Not being real, they need me and the other players to help them.

Yes, it sounds like a complex story, doesn’t it? No wonder our scribbler is having trouble finishing it. Only she keeps returning to The Players Are the Thing in snippets, fragments, blog posts, and freebie stories. I know she can’t forget us. I know she will return to us.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Q is for Quartz

Aye, here I am. Back at this ruddy blog. Where Secondary Characters Speak Out started. Aye, she moved me to the other Cauldron of Eternal Inspiration. The one at where formatting isn’t so ruddy difficult. No, I’m not doing Secondary Characters Speak Out this month. I’m sharing April with the rest of this ruddy crowd, chattering about where they came from. Right. I’ll tell you where I came from. I was the dead dwarf in Fairest. The scribbler’s contrived little tragedy for the seven dwarves. Boo hoo, they’d lost their princess and now there were only six. Right. Like I was going to take that lying down. Or in any other position. I squirmed into my scribbler’s imagination…I’m telling you, it’s a mess up there. Got to her to let me host Fairest’s release party. Found myself some loyal fans. Hello, Paula, m’dear. Backed me up, they did, in not being dead. Insisted I get a story of my own. Between that and kicking at the scribbler’s imagination, I got her to start Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins, my own tale. Got her to finish it, too, but it needs revision. Got a thing for purple prose, that scribbler. That’s not me. Except maybe when I’m talking about rocks. Right. That’s not me. Started my own monthly blog, too. Secondary Characters Speak Out. Gives all those characters overshadowed by the main ones a chance to vent. No, I already told you there won’t be one this month. Come back next month. No, not here! At You want me to do more here? Fix the ruddy formatting! It didn’t use to be this hard. Upgrades, right. Not sure what’s so up about them if people can no longer use them. Hmmph.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

P is for Phaedra

I was born right along with A Symposium in Space, named after one of the guests in The Symposium, by Plato. I became the narrator of our particular tale, due to Phaedrus being one of Socrates’s students. I was learning from Sokrat, a wandering philosopher while journeying to find myself, hoping I’d find answers at Agathea’s symposium. The scribbler decided to make me close to Pausania, so I could question and clash with Pausania’s often uncompromising prejudices and sense of romance. I’m often both charmed and angry at Pausania, a paradox I find myself often confronted with in our relationship. I listen to her, yet I’m not necessarily taken in by her. You might say I was the voice of the scribbler herself when she wrote A Symposium in Space. A naive voice who doesn’t quite understand the world she’s in. The scribbler is often baffled by the professional world of writing, overwhelmed by social media and tech. I expressed her bewilderment, her feeling of being out of step. I’m learning. I’m questioning. I’ve never stopped doing either. Come, if you’d like to join me on my journey…

Nine Star Press:


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Monday, April 18, 2022

O is for Oleander

I was born when A Godling for Your Thoughts? was conceived, one of the novels in progress for Tales of the Navel. The idea that Seraphix could manifest and grow stronger, becoming more of a godling, more of a god with Their Followers wishes gave birth to me. I’m Thomas’s wish made flesh, his living link to Seraphix, his heart’s desire. A beautiful boy with the same name as a poisionous flower, blooming from Thomas’s desires, in spite of Thomas’s denial of those desires. Twisted, isn’t it? Here I am, bringing Thomas closer to his god, making him a part of his god, yet he scorns me. He scorns me and wants me at the same time. He wants to be me, yet he never can. Is it any surprise I’m a little wicked, a little poisonous, considering my source. I could offer Thomas salvation along with a chance to admit what he wants. Whether he takes them or not depends on if he has the courage to do so.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

N is for Nathalie

Named for one of our scribbler’s best friends, I was in the first story she ever wrote. I took on new life in a new romance in Wind Me Up, One More Time as a teller of tall tales, a writer, and Maia’s lover while remaining Grace’s sister. In the end there were two of them. One was the princess in a fantasy lured away by a seductively sinister enchantress, yet managed to do part of the luring herself.

Would you like to meet the both of me?

Mischief Corner Books/Shenanigans Press:



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Friday, April 15, 2022

M is for Map

Guess you could say I’ve been around as long as Leiwell, Danyel, Tayel, Ashleigh, and the Sisters of Seraphix. I used to be called Amarie. Map was the name inspired by a story title in the original roleplaying game I appeared in, the same one as my family. I was created to be part of that family. Developed a bit of a comic background as master of the Sisters of Seraphis, comedy offered up by my devoted acolytes, particularly Mel. Not that I was amused. They kidnapped me in order to save me from the hardcore mischief Dyvian (he used to be Divian) and the Followers of Seraphimis were stirring up. That mischief continued, although it was competiting with all sorts of god, demonic, fae, and vampiric mischief in The Keep. No, I can’t seem to get away from Dyvian. It got a lot worse when we went from The Keep to Tales of the Navel. The scribbler got quite the twisted idea about Dyvian and myself. I’m not too fond of it, but now we’re stuck with each other. Not sure how he feels about it, either. Can’t say I blame him. I’ve done some terrible things in this world, but I’m trying to put a stop to it. I’m also trying to say no to Dyvian, his plots, his schemes, his dangerous take on religion. In this revised universe, I have only myself to blame. Don’t ask me what I mean. I’m not telling. Not yet.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

L is for Leiwell

Dyvian, my brothers, my mothers, and I were all born for a roleplaying game. We grew very close to our scribbler’s heart and other people’s hearts, so close we were revised and relocated to The Keep.

We were reborn and revised once more when our scribbler lost faith in Stealing Myself From Shadows. She tried to revise that story with us, ending up with two novels in progress; The Hand and Eye of the Tower as well as Stealing Myself From Shadows. We not only became part of a series of novels in progress, but crept into many a story posted at this blog and at

One persistent theme has always been true for me from my first incarnation to now. I’ve always been about self-sacrifice. Perhaps I’ve become one with the Hanged Man in Tarot decks for the scribbler. I’m always sacrificing myself for my family, my little brothers, and my master.

Much has changed, making my family and myself no longer linked by blood, but magic and myth in the Shadow Forest. We’ve still formed a family with a strong bond, living together, trying to create a tangible existence together.

Another persistent theme is that my love for my family conflicts with my love for my master. I’m divided in my loyalties, more divided than ever. The scribbler has made Dyvian far more complex than his previous incarnations. I’m not sure if whatever I am isn’t as bad or worse than what my brothers believe my master to be. I’m not sure of many things, including what our scribbler is up to. I have a sinking feeling we will find out. It may be hard to hold onto happiness when we do, but I’m going to try. For the sake of everyone precious to me, I will hold on.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

K is for Kevin

You might say I came with the bar in this fantasy setting, this fantasy keep. The tavern has become quite the trope in roleplaying games. The story I’m part of, Trouble at Caerac Keep was inspired by a roleplaying game. I was the voice of the people at The Tipsy Hedgehog, someone who could give Rhodry and his friends, well, allies a little help and advice. It was possible I might have to be rescued at some point.

Thanks to Blogging From AZ and P.T. Wyant’s Wednesday Words, I fleshed out, becoming so much more than this. At first I was someone who wasn’t creeped out by Rhodry being Serpent-Born. If anything, I found him quite beautiful. I started to take off in these blog posts, becoming much more than someone working at a tavern. I was not only Maggie’s assistant and adopted son (Maggie is a former adventurer and the owner of The Tipsy Hedgehog), I had an entire mysterious past of my own. A past I hope our scribbler will explore, even if she doesn’t get to it in Trouble at Caerac Keep.

I really hope she does get to it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

J is for Jupitre

Don’t you recognize me, mortal? Don’t you quiver at the sound of my name? Once you wouldn’t have dared to give me that blank expression. There was a time when your kind trembled at my feet, begging me for mercy. There was a time you would have quivered at the very mention of me!

That was before you forgot the gods and me along with them. You stopped worshipping me. Now look at me. A tired old man who’s a mere shadow of himself, a minor character in the scribbler’s blog posts and her Works in Progress. I don’t even get as much attention as my wife! Never marry your twin sister. She’s too clever, too greedy for power, too possessive of you, too much like you to be your bride. I was just hungry to get close to her. She thought our love was forever, that it would be just myself and her after I took her. There’s was no need to get so upset because I sought companionship elsewhere. I always came back to her. Now I’m trapped at her side, an after thought in her life in Omphalos. Do I get to have any fun in this place? Well, yes, but I don’t have nearly the attention and adoration I deserve. Give it to me, mortal, or I’ll smile you with my lightning bolt. Fine, I no longer have my lightning bolt, taunt me over that misfortune as well. You’d better watch out. I’ll going to get my power back. Once I do, you shall experience my true glory. Just watch.

Monday, April 11, 2022

I is for Iama

I am the lonely enchantress, living in her golden palace with regrets and victims past. Everything I touch tuns to gold. I lured a princess away from her family, hoping I could find something I no longer remembered discarding. I am a jest on the lips of the daughter of one of my creatrixes as she becomes more and more like me in Wind Me Up, One More Time.

I am so much more than I was in an ill-conceived story by an 11-year old child, scribbled in her teddy bear notebook. I’ve gone from evil wizard to lonely enchantress in my scribbler’s imagination, sharing my betwitchment with others as they succumb to the spell of lonely ambition.

Come and see what I’ve become…

Mischief Corner Books/Shenanigans Press:



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Saturday, April 9, 2022

H is for Hector and Harold

A proud figure in gleaming armour stands as the mist clears, giving us all a moment to admire him in his glory. As does the second figure who wears no armour, but enough jewelry to dazzle the eye as he strikes a pose next to the first.

Hector: (lifting his head and trying to pretend the second figure isn’t there) Yes, I am Hector, prince and hero of Troy. The voice of honor, loyalty and values in the untold tale of Aissa and Polyxena.

Harold: And I am Lord Harold Vingegarten of Feathers Royal, the Lord Harold. Voice of values and all things valuable in Fairest, that scribbler’s twice told tale due to be told again and first taste of published glory. Not that I see any glory in that story. Just what’s glorious about it? (sniffs) I was hardly in either the first or second published edition of Fairest. My role hasn’t improved in the expanded version.

Hector: (looking down his nose at Harold with some distaste) You must be favored by the gods, to be in print twice. Not to mention walking around with all that wealth, inciting every thief’s lust. Either that or your sword arm is worth its weight in everything else.

Harold: (shudders) As if I’d carry a sword around myself! That’s what guards are for!

Hector: You’d let another man shed his blood for you and steal your glory? Robbing you of the chance to prove your mettle?

Harold: I’ll keep my mettle to myself, thank you very much. I can’t go swinging a sword around. I’d ruin my nails, not to mention I’d get blood all over my clothes.

Hector: I recall dimly being forced to meet you before. You behaved like a tedious worm even then.

Harold: Who are you to call a tedious worm? It’s not like I don’t remember you. (wrinkling his nose) A smelly pervert with an unhealthy fixation on the men his brother had unnatural relations with. Or maybe it was a particular man?

Hector: (drawing his sword) Worm, take back your words or say your prayers.

Harold: Eek! (He starts to run. Yes, he’s loaded down with treasure, but he’s surprisingly fast) I’m being pursued by a pervert!

Hector: Coward! Stand your ground and face me!

Harold: (over his shoulder) Oh, like you did in The Iliad?

Hector: Slanderous worm, I’ll cut your tongue out of your mouth!

Hector gives chase. Actually he’s pretty fast. He might catch up with Harold if The Iliad was true…

Hector: (filling the screen) LIES!!

Eep! I start running after Harold…

Friday, April 8, 2022

G is for Grace

Hello! I may look young and small, but I’m one of our scribbler’s oldest characters. I was in the first story she ever wrote about a little girl and her teddy bear saving Princess Nathalie from Iama the Terrible. Our scribbler used to write a lot about me. I’m not sure where all the pages went, papers filled with notes and story. Neither is our scribbler. She never forgot me. Our lost story always bothered her, Theodora Bear’s and mine. This is why she wrote Wind Me Up, One More Time, making it a fairytale with a slice of my life, my mothers’, my sister’s, our friends’, and our stuffed animals’. Its magic added to the magic of our lives, but psst! both stories had happy endings. Want to read it?

Mischief Corner Books/Shenanigans Press:



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Thursday, April 7, 2022

F is for Faith

Faith, Charity, and Hope. What sharpens and tempers the Unicorn’s horn as She heals the ailing land of Rowenda. These are the names given Her three chosen acolytes to Her service. I was the first of these acolytes to emerge from the scribbler’s imagination when she revised her conception of Rhodry Nevalyn’s companions in Trouble at Caerac Keep. Of course it’s all about Rhodry. Why do I, chosen of the Unicorn Goddess have to play secondary character to a Serpent-Born abomination like him? (Why hasn’t Quartz invited me to Secondary Characters Speak Out to complain about it? Doesn’t he wish to hear my grievances?) That scribbler is far too fond of Serpent-Born abominations, but I digress. I believe my origins began here. During a past #BloggingFromAZAprilChallenge, the very first the scribbler took part in. She needed a cleric to represent the Unicorn Goddess whom she so blasphemously regards as the mainstream religion in the Worlds of Ouroborous. More blasphemy, regarding the world as belonging to a giant serpent, let along being part of a giant serpent. The very thought makes my skin crawl. Ahem, again, I digress. She needed someone different than her precious Rhodry invested in Caerac Keep, someone who lived there. She needed someone to express the concerns of the Keep regarding creatures like Rhodry and his master. She needed someone who’d lost someone dear to her, trying to save them. Thus my poor sister Hope disappears and my other sister, Charity lies in a swoon, too tired to move, marked by what many regard as the kiss of the vampire. Hope isn’t the only one missing. Nor is Charity the only one who lies ill. They are the only ones thus affected who were taken or struck down at the Unicorn temple itself. Our Goddess protects the temple. It is warded against the undead specifically. This is why I reluctantly find myself agreeing with the Serpent-Born about vampires being the source of the problem. They shouldn’t even be able to enter the temple, let alone touch those chosen and blessed by the Unicorn. I must find the true villains kidnapping our people and attacking them. This is why I’m allied with Rhodry against my much-better judgment, along with an unsettling sorcerer and a far too attractive foreigner from Aethyria. We must get to the truth and save our people. Wish us luck in our quest. May the scribbler return her wayward attention to that quest, a quest which is too often neglected.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

E is for Emma

Strange to be speaking in first person. My story, Your Name Is Emma was an exploration in second-person narrative. Fascinated by the character depth in certain online serialized web series using this method of storytelling, the scribbler decided to try it herself. Thus Emma was born. That’s me. The girl in the black hat squashed down her head and the baggy sweatshirt hunched over a notebook, a book, and a coffee in the corner of my favorite cafĂ©. I’m also a ghost. Strange. I hid behind books, trying to lose myself in beautiful prose when I was alive. Now no one can see me. The coffee house is starting to change. More families and people with noisy smartphones (are they really that intelligent?) are starting to invest the place. I can no longer drink coffee or even hold the mug which contains it. I cannot even pick up a book and read it unless someone else does. Or I possess someone. Unfortunately that attracts the Soul Takers. They may appear as missionaries selling salvation, salespeople selling anything. I’m the only one who can see their death’s head grins, their sharp teeth, the glowing fires of hell in the sockets where their eyes should be. They can also see me. I’m trying to avoid them, best I can. Only I keep coming back to this coffee house. Or Esther. The girlfriend whom I never appreciated when I was alive. Like so many things. I’ve got so much unfinished business. Like my own story. I wish the scribbler would return to Your Name Is Emma. I wish a lot of things.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

D is Danyel, Dyvian, Not Tayel

Shadows spreads to envelop my blog. Danyel stands, small and fragile-looking, but one of his hands glows with a warm green energy. Tayel is at his side, his exact likeness, a slight androgynous boy with a head of touseled silvery golden waves. Violet-blue eyes too big for a face just like Danyel’s glare back at the darkness, only Tayel are filled with silvery light.

Danyel: No, he’s no longer called Dayel. Our scribbler changed his name so readers wouldn’t have as hard a time telling our names apart. That doesn’t mean he has to leave.

Tayel: A single letter shifts yet not my purpose.

The darkness swirls like a whirlwind in slow motion only to dissolve and part, revealing Dyvian standing in the center. Dressed in a black velvet tunic and trousers with a ruby ring upon his fingers. Moon-pale hair caught back with a little dark ribbon, revealing high cheekbones, a generous mouth, and coldly prismatic eyes flashing with bits of color which are muted, diminished as they swim in his irises.

Dyvian: What is purpose in the face of the darkness? Don’t you long for the shadows’ embrace? Thrilling you, terrifying you? Can’t you feel their power? For I have always been the ally of a god, little ones, even when I was first conceived.

Danyel: Seraphix isn’t a god. Not yet. There’s some question whether Their original self, Serphamis was truly the God of Balance. Even if you were Their Voice, Their Vampyre.

Tayel: Names changes yet motivations remain, even when they’re obscured.

Dyvian: (smiling) Be very grateful that’s not true, little one, considering what the Vampyre planned to do to both of you.

For a moment he leers, seeming to sprout fangs, eyes turning blood red. Danyel and Tayel shrink back.

Dyvian: Be glad my intentions toward you are far less dark in Tales of the Navel.

Tayel: Less depraved, no less dark.

Dyvian: You are certainly darker, little Tayel. Even before your name changed, you were changing.

Danyel: (stepping slightly in front of his twin) Tayel has never been dark, even if he scares us at times. I already said why our scribbler changed his name from Dayel to Tayel. She was just trying to be considerate and so is Tayel! He may have secrets, but he keeps them because he’s tryig to protect the rest of us.

Tayel: (looking away) Consideration has seldom been my concern. Clarity and closeness are. Only the dark see darkness in others.

Dyvian: You could be speaking of yourself, little one as much as I. The truth is you are no longer the same any more than you belong with the letter D.

Tayel: (glowering at Dyvian. No matter what your eye seeks, no matter what your Voice calls for, or how often you grab for the bright innocence nearby, I shall stand in your way.

Dyvian: Mine wasn’t the seeking eye, nor the grabbing hand. We’re drifting from our topic, my dears, which is our origins. Two roleplaying games or interactives stories where I hunted you in the name of my god.

Danyel: Only now we’re in Tales of the Navel, a series of stories which may not be ours, even if we are major characters in it.

Tayel: Born from shadows, we could not replace that shadow. Once more he rises to eclipse us.

Dyvian: How prettily you put it. Alas, it’s not my shadow you speak of.

Danyel: It’s not that pretty, what we’re saying. Nor is it fair. We stole Christopher’s story from him.

Tayel: (letting out a low growl) No. He gave his story to us. We’re his creations, moving to his purpose.

Danyel: Why do you always speak as if Christopher was up to no good? It’s not that simple.

Dyvian: No, it isn’t. Not with Christopher. Not with me. Too often you forget this when it’s me.

Tayel: Forgetfulness is a bliss offered to those more fortunate.

Danyel: We forget nothing. Just because you’re no longer a vampyre coming after us doesn’t mean you’re not coming after us.

Tayel: Strike against what we hold dear and you’ve offered a challenge we cannot turn away from.

Dyvian: How possessively you speak of a man who isn’t truly your brother. You presume a great deal, wrongly, if you think my love for Leiwell is any less than yours.

Tayel: Your love drains the will and blinds conviction. Danyel: You play the devil with him. You’re trying to tempt Leiwell with something, lure him away from us.

Dyvian: Well, well. How gratifying to learn you are as jealous of me as I am of you. In past incarnations, Leiwell always betrayed me for your sakes. What do you think he’ll do this time, hmm?

Danyel: He’ll do what he feels is right. He always does.

Tayel doesn’t answer.

Dyvian: Will he? And just what is right? What does he think is right?

Danyel: (crossing his arms and glowering right back at him) What do you?

Tayel: Righteousness is blind. The heart tries to see what is obscured by feeling.

Dyvian: Often I believed I was doing the right thing. What my god wished.

Danyel: Did you?

Tayel: Justifying depravity in the name of right is a mere veil you wrap around your eyes.

Dyvian: While you see more than you ever wished to. Tell me, little one, do you believe in Leiwell as much as your more innocent twin? Do you have faith in him?

Tayel doesn’t answer.

Danyel: Tayel?

Tayel won’t look at his brother.

Dyvian: (softly) Some things never change. No matter what incarnation we’re in. This is why you cannot hold onto Leiwell.

Danyel: (turning on him with an almost savage fury, the glow in his hand fierce) I can. Can you?

Tayel: Everthing shifts and changes including our faith and our grip.

Dyvian: Fine. (spreading his cloak) We’ll see whose is stronger and tighter.

The three end gazing at each other as the mists come between them, the darkness swallowing Dyvian while the gray fog claims Danyel and Tayel. The twins grip each other hands tightly before they disappear.

Monday, April 4, 2022

C is for Caerac

Eh, what’s that? Why are you bothering me? Can’t you let a dead man rest in peace? Who am I? Why, I was once Caerac, hero, adventurer, and founder of a Keep! I made my way across lands swarming with monsters, living by the strength of my sword. I gave other humans the shelter to build shelters of their own, driving back the kobolds into their den and facing them there. Why, my companions and I were famous! With the treasure we won, I founded Caerac Keep, creating a little shelter and a home in a monster-infested land. Well, yes, I took that treasure from others I killed, but they were monsters! Who are you calling a murderer? Who knows how many the monsters would have murdered if I hadn’t struck first? And why shouldn’t I take their treasure after they nearly killed me? I was a hero, I’m telling you, a hero! Why else would a Keep be named after me? All right, I was the one who named it, but still I earned every bit of glory I won in life. What do you mean, how did the scribbler come up with my concept? Are you suggesting she just needed a name for her Keep? That I’m just a plot device for the protagonists in Trouble at Caerac Keep, a dead man they can raise and question? There wouldn’t even be a Caerac Keep if not for me. Now go away. Stop banging on my sarcophagus. Let a dead man rest in peace.

Saturday, April 2, 2022

B is for Briar

Long has our scribbler held a passion for dark fairytales. She was writing them herself in high school. She found herself captivated by Tanith Lee’s Tales of the Flat Earth and Red As Blood when she discovered them in college, on the shelf of a used bookstore in Santa Cruz. One of the things she’d enjoyed about Carmilla was the fairytale nature of the dream Laura had, a dream Carmilla claimed to share. She still wonders if Mircalla might not have told the truth about that dream, perhaps Mircalla did dream of Laura when she was a child, an ideal she clung to as she grew up. There is a certain similarity to the vision my Rose had of me while she was an infant, a vision which drew my princess close to me in Fairest. Our scribbler’s favorite anime is Revolutionary Girl Utena, a surreal series about ritualized dueling at a school and becoming a prince, regardless of your gender, all of which was grounded in a fairytale in its participants were caught in. Our scribbler’s favorite manga, Tokyo Babylon could be regarded as a fairytale, a cautionary tale about an innocent boy devoted to saving others, never noticing the danger reaching out for him from the sakura. Puella Magi Madoka Magica, another favorite anime of our scribbler’s has certain dark fairytale elements in the price young girls pay for a single wish. When our scribbler got a submission call for f/f fairytales, inspiration blossomed within her imagination. The quote, the myth from Revolutionary Girl Utena returned to her: “Princesses who cannot be saved by the prince become witches.” What if the witch who cursed Sleeping Beauty had once been Snow White? What if Snow White became a witch because of what the wicked queen did to her and the passion the two of them once shared? From this concept, Fairest was born. I was born. Our world and our characters have evolved greatly since that moment. Two editions of Fairest were released. A story for my lost Quartz, the seventh dwarf is being revised in Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Cofiins. We began with a cycle of curses and love. I don’t think we’ve strayed too much from that concept, judging from Nimmie Not’s behavior in Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins along with various blog posts. It’s the heart of our stories. It still beats even when we try to rip it out of our chests. It still beats.

Friday, April 1, 2022

A is for Amberwyne

Once upon a Fantasy Hero roleplaying campaign, my name belonged to someone else. I claimed it during a Changeling the Dreaming roleplaying campaign as a sidhe childing whom made everyone’s jaw drop with her odd way of thinking. Indeed I’d suffered severe damage, being ravaged of my power by a leanhaun I loved. Some of this conflict along with myself made its way into The Keep, an online interactive fantasy roleplaying/writing project with lots of yaoi and yuri. This was where I met Rhane. In The Keep. I was the manifestation of her lost innocence, taken on physical form due to her abuse from vampires and a leanhaun. The leanhaun, Fidessa stuck around, too, becoming an enchantress with a penchant for curses and playing with me in The Players Are the Thing. She’s the ultimate villain in the roleplaying game Rhane is playing in, while I am Rhane’s character. You may have noticed our scribbler had a passion for roleplaying games. A lot of us (her characters) were created for roleplaying games. Only she got attached to us, writing stories for us. The Players Are the Thing is a work in progress involving not only her former roleplaying characters, but a roleplaying game itself. Our game gets entirely too real when the Game Master’s dice are cursed by her own villain. Fidessa learned she was nothing but a plot device in some disillusioned woman’s roleplaying game. She is not amused. She decides to show Beatrix (the disillusioned woman) just how unamused she is. It’s up to me and the other characters to save our players from themselves and their dice, undoing ‘Dessa’s mischief. I was already cleaning up a lot of her messes. My friend, Isolde and I are were coping with her curses, traps, and monsters she’d scattered across our land. I wasn’t entirely sure what ‘Dessa was up to. Once upon a time I was very close to her, her student, lover, and companion until I learned what she’d done to Isolde and her mentor, trapping living souls in marble to make their scupting a more “genuine artistic process”. I ended up leaving ‘Dessa with Isolde after freeing the souls. Since that event, it’s been one curse or trap after another Fidessa has been leaving. We’ve been lucky to have Rhiannon warning us of what my former mentor is up to, although Isolde insists we can’t trust Rhiannon. Isolde doesn’t trust anything she’s learned from Rhiannon and ‘Dessa. She doesn’t want to believe we’re just characters in a roleplaying game. I wasn’t so surprised. I’d been dreaming of Rhane, seeing visions of Rhane. My bond with my player is much closer than Isolde’s is to hers. This gives me a much better chance of reaching out to Rhane through her daydreams, warning her about Fidessa and her dice. All of this, the plot of The Players Are the Thing has evolved over time. All this came from our scribbler’s love, not only for her characters from roleplaying games, but of roleplaying games themselves. There’s been a lot of jokes between players about cursed dice. There’s been a lot of difficulty for women in roleplaying games with alternate sexualties, wanting to play alternate sexualities within them over the years. This has resulted in women forming their own roleplaying troupes like this. Our scribbler wished to show some of this, along with how roleplaying games could be a creative, helpful process. Yes, Beatrix’s dice may be cursed, but I’m helping Rhane to enjoy life again, to channel the richness of her creative inner life into the foundation of a happiness which will last. The Players Are the Thing are the culmination of all of this. I share a bond with Rhane many may find questionable, for I am not real. Just because I’m not real doesn’t mean I can’t help. This is my conflict, my struggle, and my goal in my story; to help my player once I become aware of her. To help everyone to be a little happier, to grow and change to meet the conflicts which await us in the campaign ahead.