Palladium – Chapter 36

This “chapter” starts to get into one of my favorite sections of the story.

It also makes me glad to say that I was wrong last week when I said I thought we were getting to a choppy portion of the story because I realized that we have a few more weeks before that happens. For some reason, I thought this came earlier but I couldn’t remember when. Then I was reading through this during the last week and saw that it was this upcoming scene. There’s a lot of work to be done — remember, you are seeing this as raw story — but I love the potential of this scene. It even makes me wonder if I need to rework a scene or two in Tangled Magic quickly before its release.

I am currently working on a scene where Cirvel goes to Plenelia, the area of this world where there is no magic. Because I have another Plenelia story in the works, I’m discovering a lot about this side of the world where I haven’t yet spent enough time. Oh, I’ve spent some, but that was nearly 30 years ago. Wow. I need to get back to work on that story, now that I know how I’m going to jump-start it (this was the other half of the NaNoWriMo story I did 4 years ago that got created when I pulled Rivic’s story, which became Tangle Magic and Walk the Path, into two stories. Don’t worry if you’re confused; I’ve got this! (grin) That’s just the way my brain works sometimes).

Well, now that I’m done writing confusing sentences, let’s get you to the story.

Previously: 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. After a search, he finds the woman who stole the lamp. Treshauna is a Black Night ninja who needs his help in exchange for the genie lamp. He asks her why she needs a genie. She replies that she and Drelin, the leader of the ninjas, need a powerful trap. Meeting up with the ninjas, they take to hiding within Cirvel’s shadow to travel through the Wells. As soon as they come out on the other side, they discover something is waiting for them. Blindsided, Cirvel gets severely injured by the Shniktaur, an agent of pure chaos. Cirvel withdraws and takes Treshauna back through the Wells, but is unable to pull Drelin along. Once back, the saperes realize how wounded he is. His world blurs as he’s taken back to be healed. Waking up, Cirvel realizes three things: Treshauna has stayed with him, he’s lost the book about Alexander on a doomed world, and he is still not fully healed. He returns to his lamp where he knows he can take care of himself. After taking to the sands to heal, Cirvel returns with the strange feeling that he has fallen in love with Treshauna and she with him. He knows they must put their feelings aside, hard as it may be, to deal with the Shniktaur. Treshauna begins to ask him questions and he reveals how he had been an experiment which turned him into a unique novihomidrak (a champion born from a dragon). They then begin to make plans to find which dimension Drelin is in and to rescue him. For that, Cirvel needs supplies. Then go to the workshop of a gnome named T’kiel, who grudgingly allows the genie inside and gives them a clean space to work. T’kiel sets Cirvel and Treshauna up with everything they need to complete the spell to find Drelin, but outside forces work against Cirvel. T’kiel takes over helping the novihomidrak when Cirvel proves to be too distracted. Once Cirvel gets his focus back, he completes the spell and discovers Drelin’s location. T’kiel is interested in how Cirvel got tangled up with the ninjas and gives Cirvel a charm made of unicorn horn for protection. Cirvel and Treshauna leave T’kiel’s place and head out to find Drelin. Cirvel opens a portal to another world. They step through and they find Drelin, but are being tracked with attack imminent. Cirvel has Treshauna take Drelin to the shadows while he hunts. The Shniktaur follows Treshauna from the shadows, attacking them. Once again, Treshauna retreats to the shadows, taking Cirvel with her. He feels movement, and strangely even senses the Humline strongly here even as he is surrounded by chaos. Treshauna brings them out of the shadows. They stand before huge gates closing off the city before them and try to gain entrance. The guard demands to be shown that they have magic among them, a strange request, but Cirvel obliges with a simple fire incantation. They are allowed to enter the city, but not very welcomed. They only get the briefest of replies in response to their questions about a healer for Drelin. Cirvel and Treshauna begin to walk the streets of this town they have happened upon. In looking for the healer, Madam Orcee, they discover that they are being followed. A brief encounter with their pursuers threatens to detain them from getting Drelin healed, so Cirvel uses magic to get away, only to be countered at ever spell, almost in a taunting way. At last, Madam Orcee’s shop is ahead of them. Once inside the tea shop, they convince Madam Orcee to help heal Drelin. The guards following them enter the tea shop and capture Cirvel and Treshauna, using some sort of magic which leaves them powerless and transports them to a cell. In the transition, a feeling comes over Cirvel that there is more going on here and that the Shniktaur has no intention of destroying this planet, not yet at least. They are released from the cell to go be presented before the queen. Upon meeting the queen, Cirvel shows just how otherworldly he is. Instead of scaring the queen, it intrigues her. Treshauna is left behind while the queen goes on with Cirvel. Queen Marthyrn leads Cirvel through the maze of her castle and shows him the amazing library called the Athenium which lies at the center. Cirvel learns she has read the entire library by magic. Queen Marthryn indicates there is more on this planet for him to protect other than only her city of Gohaldinest and its library, then she leads the way to show him. Marthyrn takes him to the center of the Athenium where there is an enclosed glass room. He hears a weak mewling. She keeps him from rushing ahead. Then he sees it: a small, ill dragon upon a pillow.  Cirvel touches the dragon with trepidation, afraid his own power might overwhelm it.The dragon, Leschemal, is terribly sick and weak, but there is no apparent cause. Cirvel learns that this planet measures their time in seasonal cycles rather than by the stars; they have no astronomers here. It is in the last 100 years that Leschemal has gotten sick, so Cirvel questions Marthryn about what happened back then. Cirvel learns about the Plenelians, a group of magicless people who are at war with Gohaldinest. Cirvel demands that she stop the fighting, but when she says it won’t be easy, Cirvel pledges to go and speak with the Plenelians. One way or another, for the imagination dragon’s sake, this battle must end. Cirvel sees that she does care for Leschemal. Leschemal asks Cirvel if any of the worlds the imagination dragon created has survived. Cirvel tells Leschemal that he doesn’t believe they have. Cirvel and Treshauna are offered quarters. Treshauna notices that Cirvel is enjoying himself here and he confesses that Gohaldinest is his dream. He confesses to Treshauna that they have an imagination dragon here and why that is so important: they create worlds. Treshauna returns from checking on Drelin to let Cirvel know that Drelin would like to see Cirvel. They head over to Madam Orcee’s Tea Shop where Drelin is still recovering.

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 36

by Dawn Blair

A couple blocks further and they reached Madame Orcee’s tea shop.

A different lady stood behind the counter. “How may I assist you today?”

“You have a man here that is being tended to,” the boy piped up from behind them.

“Aye. Come with me.” She waved them forward, starting for the beaded curtain. A circlet of little bells around her ankles rang as she moved.

Beyond was a small area where plates and cups were stored, along with a variety of fruits and vegetables. A couple buckets of clean water sat nearby for washing the dishes that currently waited beside them.

The woman took a staircase up and opened the door at the top into a room which held a couple beds. The only one occupied was the one where Drelin slept. Smoke curled up from a small pot in the room, leaving the scent of burning wood diffusing in the air.

Treshauna glanced around. “Is Madame Orcee here? I was hoping to get an update on his condition from her.”

The woman turned, giving a slight bow. “I am Madame Orcee.”

Treshauna glanced back to Cirvel, her eyes wide with questions. “You aren’t the same woman who was here earlier. How can you be Madame Orcee? Are you sisters? Is Orcee the last name?”

The woman’s sly grin continued. “Madame Orcee is a title. There are many of us who work the will of all those who see.”

“So it’s an oracle position then.”

Cirvel wasn’t certain if it were a question or a statement, but regardless, the woman nodded.

Looking displeased by this news, Treshauna moved forward toward Drelin and looked down at him. “Well, is the other Madame Orcee here? Can I speak with her? Or did she tell you what was going on with our friend?”

The little bells around her ankles chimed as stepped over to the bed. “Your friend exists in the veils between worlds right now.”

“He was awake earlier. We were talking.”

“Aye, he sometimes chooses to be on this plane with us. But too much of him is still in the veil. That is why we are burning pine. We are hoping to coax him to spending more time on this side with us.”

“Is it working?”

Something in her voice hinted that she thought it might not work.

“Time will tell,” this Madame Orcee answered, which didn’t seem to please Treshauna, who reached down and placed her hand gently on Drelin’s chest to shake him and call his name.

Drelin didn’t respond.

“Time will tell.” Madame Orcee moved toward the door. She placed her hand gently on the wood as she turned back. “Stay here and speak to him. Your voices may lead him back from the veil.”

“What if he can’t make it back because he can’t navigate through the shadows?” Treshauna said.

“I do believe you know exactly what will happen then,” Orcee said, her words naturally growing faint as she faced away from them and started to walk back down the hallway from the room. Soon, she was gone.

Cirvel moved closer to Treshauna. “You think he might be trapped in the veil that she spoke of?” He shook his head. “What is this veil?”

“It is said to be the place between our world and the Onesong. Lingering spirits who have yet to return to the energy of the Onesong are said to roam here and transfer knowledge of future events to an oracle or soothsayer.”

“So it’s a transitory dimension?”

“Possibly. A soulcolist could probably tell you much better. Drelin could probably tell you.” Treshauna tried rolling Drelin a little harder, as if he were only in a sound sleep, while calling his name in a much louder tone.

Cirvel placed his hand on Treshauna’s shoulder. “I have another idea.”

“You do? What?”

“Vochey, lamp.” He held out his hand where a magical lamp settled. He turned to place it on the table beside the pot where the pine burned, then reached over and twisted his fingers through the smoke curling from the dense cluster of gathered needles. The smoke became solid in his hands until he had fashioned two silver rings out of it. He placed one onto Treshauna’s finger and another onto Drelin’s. “Nurgan’tae masdon.”

The rings lit blue with writing that seemed to scroll and flick. Treshauna gasped at its beauty; everyone always did when they first saw the genie magic.

“Convenient of Madame Orcee to have here exactly what I’d need to make these. Oracle indeed,” he said.

“You think this was on purpose?”

“I know it was. I can feel it.” He scooped his arms under Drelin and lifted the man from the bed. “You will need to hold onto my arm.”

Without hesitation, she took a tight grip on him.

“Branded and bound, take me back.”

Gray smoke spilled from the lamp, wrapping the thick bands around Cirvel’s wrists.

Treshauna laughed nervously as she felt herself begin to dissolve to smoke.


Alexander's Den


If you have enjoyed my work, please tell a friend about my stories. Thank you!

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.



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