Palladium – Chapter 13

I’m still off my groove. (“Beware the groove.”)

I do feel the mojo coming back though. It was just tired. The rest has given me some time to really think about the structure of what I’m doing. (Okay, going all out like I was had some insanity to it.) It’s strange and I’m still in the middle of it, so I don’t think I can talk about it right now. At least not that part.

But, I am thinking… well, again, it’s hard because I’m in the middle of it and I don’t know what my life will look like when I come out the other end of this tunnel I’m currently walking through. However, I write a lot. I enjoy being prolific. I would love to run more fiction here on my blog. I’m thinking about adding another story or two. I worry about keeping up with the pace, but if I’m only releasing 200-300 words at a time on a story and I only start releasing it as I’m getting toward the end of a story, it would allow me to share so much more here.

That’s one thing I’d like to do. Your thoughts?

I also would like to get back to my comics. I miss them, and I want to build up more for FanX this September. Should I even talk about my kid’s books.

Along this same like, I want to paint more.

I have a four-legged stool I’m trying to build (writing, painting, illustration, and narration).

While working full-time, I seem only to reliably be able to do two of these things at a time. For more than 200 days, I chose writing and narration. I got a lot done. But I never feel complete if I’m only working on two of the four. No, I just feel frustrated.

Then I start to wonder if I’m not actually living life, but rather just being he mule carrying the load up the hill all the time. Okay, well at least I can express that part. See, there are so many other auxiliary things that go into each of the four legs of my stool (editing, cover design, publishing, print-making, varnishing, cataloging, listing for sale online and off which include shows and writing up listings, mastering and editing audio, bookkeeping, exploring new opportunities, etc.) that each of these really gets lost. Now that’s where the frustration really builds.

I know, some would say that I need to hire someone to help me. I don’t think it’s with this area that I need to find someone to help me. Besides, my son already cooks and takes care of the pets for me. What I need is a housekeeper, and maybe someone to do some of the yard work — though I do enjoy mowing my own lawn with my push mower — it’s a good workout. Oh, and speaking of which, I can’t hire someone do exercise for me. So, this is something that yes, I need to look at, but it only works if I’ve got steady work for someone. Besides, there’s so much that I still have to do myself at least in regards to the art.

I bought a course a couple years ago on productivity and I do attribute it to how much I’ve been able to get done. Now that the mojo is rounding back (and you see some of the thoughts rumbling around in my head), I’m planning on going through the course again; this time with the auxiliary things in mind so that I can figure out how to get all those to work. This morning during my meditation, I realized how I need to structure that: not on a per day basis like the course teaches you, but rather on a per week basis. The more I think about this, the more I feel as if it will work well.

Thanks for listening to me babble. If nothing else, I hope it helps someone out there who also has these jumbled, rambling thoughts to realize they are not alone.

Well, wish me luck because that’s what I’m going to start on later today.

Let’s get you to the story.

Previously: The novihomidrak, Cirvel, heads through a festival on his way to meet up with an old “friend” who has a map that Cirvel needs. The friend, Sapere Imor, isn’t happy to see Cirvel and tries to persuade Cirvel with other temptations. Irritated with not getting his answers, Cirvel seals Imor into a genie lamp. A ninja steps from the shadows and steals away the lamp containing Imor, leaving Cirvel holding only air. He returns to the shrine to discuss the situation with the Grand Sapere, who demands to take it to the Dragon Council. Cirvel knows the Council will take far too long to come to a decision. Cirvel decides to act on his own. Returning to the market, he hopes to see the woman who had taken his lamp. He finds her and but she’s not quite ready to get down to business. At least not the kind he wants to discuss. When she does give him a chance to explain, he tells her that what he has trapped in the lamp is not a genie and that she won’t be able to use the lamp irregardless because she’s not the rightful owner. She bargains with him: help in exchange for the genie lamp. He asks her why she needs a genie. She replies that she needs a powerful trap. Treshauna then takes him to the meeting house for the ninjas to meet their leader, Drelin. Cirvel pulls Imor out of the lamp to prove that Imor is not genie — just a human. But Drelin learns that Cirvel is the genie. Cirvel “convinces” Imor to reveal to him the location of a place known as Alexander’s Den. Now that Cirvel has what he wants, the ninjas are ready to go on their mission. Before traveling the Wells of the Onesong, Cirvel needs to make one stop at the shrine first. Cirvel gets the coordinates for where they are traveling and he heads out. Meeting up with the ninjas, they take to hiding within his shadow. They go through the Wells, but as soon as they come out on the other side, they discover something is waiting for them. Blindsided, Cirvel gets severely injured.

Cover and layout copyright © 2019 by Morning Sky Studios
Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios
Cover art copyright © Rodjulian |, ©
Xneo |, and © Gualtiero Boffi|


Chapter 13

by Dawn Blair

Cirvel tugged himself toward the Wells. Blinding pain, fear, and spewing blood helped sharpen his focus toward getting away. He felt like his eyes were crossed and he couldn’t see straight.

Damaged beyond repair.

He’d heard that term used for some novies when they were either born incorrectly or injured so badly no sapere could heal them. Refusing to be either, Cirvel began to crawl. He entered the tunnels for the Wells.

“Where are you going?” Drelin shouted.

“Drelin,” came a cry from Treshauna.

Cirvel realized they were both standing behind him. “Stay in my shadow. We’re aborting and going back.” None of the words came out with any coherence. Rather, they sounded like he was mumbling with his face in soaked mud.

With a thud, Drelin’s body landed beside Cirvel on that floor which resembled space. Cirvel tried to turn and reach for Treshauna. He couldn’t see her though his spinning vision washed in blood.

“Two seconds and I’m back in the shadowplane. Drelin’s unconscious. Drag him,” she said.

Cirvel wanted to state that a human wouldn’t survive the trip through the Wells. Drelin was slightly more than human though. Did that hold while he was knocked out? More advancing steps stopped Cirvel’s words.

He hauled Drelin up on his legs, surprised and yet not that he couldn’t feel the ninja’s weight on them. Having made himself into a travois for the unresponsive man, Cirvel crawled deeper into the Wells. He hoped the combination hadn’t moved on. Otherwise, who knew where they would end up. As soon as he was certain that all of him had gotten beyond the columns, he called out, “Nemicronitil.” No word had ever felt better in his mouth, even with the syllables coated in his blood.

Cirvel reached down and grabbed a fist of Drelin’s cloak.

The world began to drop away into the vastness of space.

Drelin started to pull backwards off him. Cirvel seized anything of Drelin he could wrap his fingers into. It didn’t help. The man pulled away from him as Cirvel was tugged along.

A moment later, Cirvel came rolling out of the Wells to the surprise of a sapere whose legs they knocked against.

“What happened?” the sapere asked, tugging the lengths of his robes out from beneath him. His eyes widened as Cirvel looked up and he saw the mess. He raised his head and looked around. “Help. Someone help.”

Cirvel heard the sapere issue a near scream as Treshauna rose from the shadows beside him.

“Who are you?” the sapere questioned as he pulled a dagger from beneath his robes.

Cirvel raised his hand. “Vochey dagger.” The magic stung through his mangled face, but he could see that the sapere’s dagger had disappeared.

“Drelin?” She dropped down beside Cirvel and rolled his body.

“Gone,” Cirvel said, blood dribbling down his chin. “He wouldn’t have made it coming through the Wells unprotected.”

The sapere gasped, “Did you…?”

“I’m fine,” Treshauna shot back. “Where are the other saperes? Come on. You’ve got to help Cirvel.”

Cirvel felt arms on him and he was being raised from the floor. Someone put a hand over his eye, pushing the lid closed over it and then pressing gently against it.

As people ran ahead of them alerting the shrine that an injured novihomidrak was coming in, the streets filled with onlookers and people looking to aid in whatever way they could. Feeling the growing energy, Cirvel wanted all of it to stop. Ire grew from his irritation.

Then he felt Treshauna beside him. She took his hand.

He certainly didn’t want her seeing him like this. A fallen novihomidrak… gods, he couldn’t even complete the sentence. If he did, he’d have to admit… no!

She made a counterclockwise stroke of her fingertips on the back of his hand, something he ordinarily wouldn’t think much of, but this time he felt the energy behind his anger evaporated. He grew sleepy.

Another circle. She was definitely doing something to him.

He felt his body settling. With the hand still covering his eye and Treshauna so close to him, he couldn’t see where he was. Treshauna’s face came next to his. “Rest, my love.”

The breath behind her soft words filled his nostrils with the scent of his own blood. He wasn’t even sure he’d heard her correctly. It might have been wishful thinking on his part, enticement to get him through the agony he knew he would soon endure.

“Not while you are mine. You will never suffer,” she said then, before reaching up and kissing his forehead.

True to her word, he had no memory of the pain, though he was certain it must have come and carried him to oblivion.


Three books of forbidden magic. Two friends in conflict.
One chance to save the world. 


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Palladium – copyright © 2019 Dawn Blair Published by Morning Sky Studios

Cover and layout copyright © 2019 by Morning Sky Studios

Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios

Cover art copyright © Rodjulian |, ©

Xneo |, and © Gualtiero Boffi|

This excerpt is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.