Phoenix in Shadow: Chapter 13

And what's an epic fantasy without a villain? Let's see what our Bad Guy is up to.   ------     Chapter 13.      "You are tense this morning, Lord." It raised an eyebrow and smiled. With the false Justiciars no longer free to roam Evanwyl, it no longer cared about the use of words that might reveal its secret guise; the Justiciars could no longer accidentally reveal anything. What was surprising and amusing was Bolthawk's observation, and the fact that it was true. "You see clearly, Bolthawk. How did you [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix in Shadow: Chapter 12

  Time to get our friends THROUGH this pass and to the other side!     ------     Chapter 12.      Poplock tasted the air. Definitely more humid. "I think we're nearly down. Look at the mountains." Tobimar's gaze flicked to both sides, then he paused. "He's right, Kyri. This canyon's coming to an end, and the warmth, the feel of the air… I think we're almost there." Almost in Moonshade Hollow. It hadn't been – quite – a nonstop series of battles from one side of the pass to the other, but there [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix in Shadow: Chapter 11

  The extended flashback is over, and new developments await!     -------       Chapter 11.      Kyri shook herself, breaking out of a reverie of remembrance, seeing again the darkness of Rivendream Pass, the serpent's corpse, the burned bush. The memories of how they had come here seeming to have streamed by her in a moment, and she shivered anew at the oppressive wrongness that now weighed upon her. "We were warned," she repeated. "Warned that even Myrionar's powers would be weakened [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix in Shadow: Chapter 10

Kyri and the others had somewhere to go...     ------     Chapter 10.      The crumbling path stretched up, up, between slopes dotted with trees that were touched with a stronger, somehow virulent green, and then vanished into shadow cast by the mountains about. "Rivendream Pass," the Wanderer said quietly. "This is as far as my magic can take us, as close to your mystery as I can go without travelling with you." "So, will you?" Poplock asked. "Because that would be really useful, even if you're only half [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix in Shadow: Chapter 9

  It's been a while since we looked in on our villain...   -----     Chapter 9.      "All went well, then?" The light-destroying figure in the mirror-scroll smiled. "Exactly as we expected, yes," Kerlamion said in the eerie deep, howling tones of tortured air. "Condor is on his way back to you even now." It nodded, smiling; despite the human form, anyone watching would have known there was something desperately wrong from that smile alone. "Excellent, my King. I will keep an eye out for him; it would not [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix In Shadow: Chapter 8

They were at the Spiritsmith's...     ------     Chapter 8.      "What, young Prince? You thought my skills suited only to metalwork?" The Spiritsmith was dipping a pearlescent cloth into some other liquid that shimmered like moonlight. Kyri saw Tobimar give a wry smile. "I suppose I did assume that, yes. Clearly I was mistaken." "When making armor, can one neglect the padding, the straps, the parts that make it truly wearable and secure? And if these be weak, will they not define the weakness of the [ Continue reading... ]

POLYCHROME: Chapter 30

  Our Hero was in grave danger...     ------     Chapter 30.      Polychrome stood with a jerky haste uncharacteristic of her, and Iris looked at his daughter with a raised eyebrow. "Well!" she said, a bright and brittle smile on her face. "I… don't think we should be prying into any private life of our hero!" She gestured to close the viewing pool as she walked quickly away. "I… I really should be practicing. Nimbus says I need more training!" The doors of the Rainbow Throneroom closed behind [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix in Shadow: Chapter 7

  Let's check in on another character, shall we?   -------     Chapter 7.      Aran stumbled, fell to his knees, remained in that position, unmoving, for long moments, waiting for his head to clear. I've been … driving myself hard. Far too hard. A part of him tried to force him to lunge back to his feet, but now he knew that much of that was anger at himself, rage and guilt. "Sit still," he told himself, and sat down. He was near his destination, though he saw nothing to indicate that a path to the Hells lay [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix in Shadow: Chapter 6

  Well, their destination involves climbing a certain mountain...   ------     Chapter 6.      "You're sure about this, Kyri?" Tobimar said, glancing involuntarily downward. The base of the mountain already seemed a very long way away. "As sure as I can be about anything which has not yet been proven," the blue-haired Justiciar answered with a smile. With the helm off and the Raiment mostly cloaked, she looked less like the Phoenix Justiciar, deadly avenger of Myrionar, and more like the young woman he'd [ Continue reading... ]

POLYCHROME: Chapter 29

  Our Hero was searching for a key...       ------     Chapter 29.      "Ha! You'll need to be faster than that, Erik!" Yeah, no kidding. Zenga was dodging most of the blows I sent at her, and I couldn't do nearly so well dodging hers. My armor did make up some of the difference, though. This was worthwhile practice, I had to admit. My workouts in the Rainbow Kingdom had been against Sky Fairies, and mostly near-pure blood, which meant that my True Mortal advantage was tremendously [ Continue reading... ]