Palladium – Chapter 20

A couple nights ago, I was absent-mindedly watching my son play a video game and suddenly an idea blasted its way into my head. I swear its not a new concept, but a couple Google searches didn’t turn up anything, so I started to write. I’m still certain that I’ve seen something like this before and that it’s nothing new in the cloud-mind, but oh well, I’ll stick with the vision.

Last night as I was working on the story, I started thinking that it would be so great if I had another story that wasn’t going to be connected to my Sacred Knight series, or to my novihomidraks in any way. Woo hoo, go me!

Then, this morning as I was setting this up, I was briefly reading through the chapter and suddenly realized that I might actually have another of my Ninja origin stories. I still have to go back and look at my initial concept notes, but I’m wondering if the idea has percolated in my brain long enough to actually start streaming out. I think the story would be perfect for a Ninja story, thought it would be a little strange because of some key differences. Well, once I look at the notes, I’ll have a better idea.

It’s just strange that one day I think I have a new storyline and the next day I’m excited about the possibility of it being another in the series. Yeah, it’s weird.

Onto 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. He 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. 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.


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

Palladium

Chapter 20

by Dawn Blair

“How’d you get messed up with the ninjas?” T’kiel asked. “Not like novihomidraks to work with others, especially Black Nights. Or vice versa.”

“They stole something from me.” It was out of Cirvel’s mouth before he had a chance to contemplate the repercussions.

“And you didn’t just take it back? Come on, you think any of them could stand against an angry novihomidrak taking back what’s his? Surely you don’t expect me to believe that one. What’s the female ninja got on you?”

Cirvel couldn’t answer. He ended up shaking his head instead.

“That bad, huh? She’s got your heart.”

“No.”

“No, eh? Don’t think so, do you?

“No, she doesn’t.” Fear hid behind his protest. He heard it in his own tone and wondered how perceptive T’kiel was at spotting emotions in other people’s voices.

“Want to know something? I don’t like the Black Nights very much. Only help them out because Drelin is a good customer. But if it were up to me, I wouldn’t be helping any of the ninjas out. Let’s face it, most of them started out collecting souls of the dead. That’s just about creepy enough. Sorry, but that’s a whole heck of a lot spookier than being incubated in a dragon. Not sure why you’d want to put yourself in that mix.”

“It wasn’t one I had a whole lot of control over.”

T’kiel stood up and pointed at the completed spell structure. He then palmed the chalk and walked across the room toward one of the cupboards. “I think I have something you might be interested in.”

Cirvel stopped heading for the circles on the floor and turned instead toward T’kiel, who busily shoved things in the cupboard out of his way while he searched through the myriad of magical objects: dishes, wooden boxes, jewelry, daggers, pens, brushes, jars, cylinders, and glass bobbles. The sight of it made Cirvel envious, and that wasn’t an emotion he felt very often. But he could feel the remnant enchantments coming off each of the old items. What must it feel like to open the doors, grasp the essence of all those things, and realize ownership of all of it?

He’d amassed an amazing library and comprehended the emotion on that level, but this was different. This had more than the power of knowledge associated with it. This assimilated the energy of sorcery with it.

Knowing it was the dragon’s need to horde rising from him, Cirvel shook his head as if he could shake off the emotion. Magic he had, and it wasn’t like he needed more.

But those items, structures ready to channel and focus his power, mesmerized him. He wanted to listen to their lulling call, to wrap his fingers around them and feel the magic seeping from them. He wanted to know that these things were his.

T’kiel found what he sought and backed out of the cupboard, closing the door behind him. Feeling the flare of anger move through him at having been blocked, Cirvel breathed his irritation out and waited for T’kiel.

“I believe that every item has someone that they need to belong to. This, I believe, is yours.” T’kiel held out his hand and waited for Cirvel to reach out before dropping an oval shaped bone into the novihomidrak’s palm.

Cirvel brought it closer to examine. The white, cut and polished bone felt shiny and cold though its surface was porous. It had a metal eyelet affixed to the end, like it had once been attached to a chain that was no longer there. “What is it and what is its purpose?”

“It’s a unicorn bone. I didn’t ask which one. But if you wear it, it will negate poisonous magic cast against you. That stunt that Black Night wannabe pulled on you, wouldn’t have happened if you’d been wearing this. It might even save your soul.”

“How much?”

T’kiel winked at him, pivoting back toward the circle with a smile. “For you, a gift. Don’t worry, I’m adding it to the ninja’s bill. Serves them right for nearly shedding blood in my clean room. But I like you.”

Cirvel wasn’t sure he liked having the unicorn bone added to what Treshauna would pay for the use of this room, but then again, the Black Nights still had Imor’s lamp. While that assured he’d complete the mission with them, it didn’t give him any guarantee that he’d receive the lamp when they finished. They could double cross him. But with this, then he had at least some safeguard that he wouldn’t be trapped and made to work for them. If he got the lamp when this were done, then he could always gift the unicorn bone to Treshauna, never revealing how he’d come to possess it. “Thank you.”

T’kiel once again pointed at the circles on the floor. “That look about right to you?”

Cirvel studied the sigil work. He had to admit that the gnome knew his dimensional magic, another fact that gave him pause to wonder about the genie markings that had been erased from the door. “It does.” He slipped the bone into his pocket.

“Then I leave you to your work. I’m going to go check on the ninjas and hope they haven’t destroyed my shop. I swear, if I have to separate the two of them again, I’m going to charge them triple.”

Cirvel watched as T’kiel stormed out the door, the latch clicking securely behind him. Once alone, Cirvel got to work. He took out the little jar which held the drop of clear liquid he’d taken from the blue webbing and placed the vial in the center of the circle. He then raised the circle around it. “Vochey metaocular.” A little round piece which looked like a metal ring surrounding a clear marble came to his hand.

He waved his other palm in front of him and a sort of flat patch of blue magic took shape. He held up the metaocular to his eye and squinted with one eyes through it. He could see the vial with the drop of liquid in it, though now it appeared yellow. He rolled the metaocular in his fingers and the image zoomed in until all he could see was the liquid.

There, swimming around in the fluid, was the measurement he needed. The calculation for this realm looked like squiggles and swirls, but his genie magic understood it more than his novihomidrak self did. This, the strange little essence all floating in the murk, was the energy which made up the Humline of the world. That gave him the calculation he needed for planning the shift through dimensions.

Steepling his index fingers together, he solemnly closed his eyes and nodded as if in reverence. While in that moment of calm silence, he thought about the exact gesture he’d need to create the symbol that would unlock the dimension.

When he was ready, he rose to his feet and dispelled the magic. Once it dissipated, he picked the vial up from the floor. His fingers hit the unicorn bone as he put the vial away and he pulled the oval out to examine again. He knew this had to be costly, for remnants of a unicorn didn’t come cheaply or frequently. Cirvel raised his hand as he pivoted. “Sha’ma’shae.” All of his magic scattered. He knew T’kiel would appreciate him leaving the clean room clear of his magical impressions. He rubbed his thumb over the bone pendant once more, then walked out into the hallway.

***

The Doorway Prince

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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 | Dreamstime.com, ©

Xneo | Dreamstime.com, and © Gualtiero Boffi| Dreamstime.com

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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Palladium – Chapter 19

I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date.

I feel like the White Rabbit bouncing along. It was Friday afternoon before I once again had the realization that it was FRIDAY!

And, of course I was out at Salt Lake Gaming Con with no Internet access on my laptop to post this, so it’s had to wait until I had some wi-fi.

I do swear that someday I will get my groove back. Not going to lie; that has been hard, but I will get back up on the horse soon and get everything flowing once more.

Anyway, let’s get you to your next part of 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. He 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. 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.


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

Palladium

Chapter 19

by Dawn Blair

Gold to pink.

“That really needs a diving line,” T’kiel noted, pointing at the sigil Cirvel had just finished.

“You’re right,” he said, adding the line as indicated. He probably didn’t have the mental fortitude needed now to work this spell. The Humline confirmed that he really should be leaving now. Nothing good was coming out of this.

Nothing good.

Why wasn’t he listening then?

Because what waited for him on the other side of the dimensional walls, was much worse than a transition from pink to gold. But why couldn’t he remember the flash he’d seen in the symbol on the rectangle just moments before he’d destroyed it? Why had that been wiped from his mind?

What trauma had the Humline of this world endured?

Enough to cause a surge of agony reflecting the blood spilled so very long ago. Pink. Blood and the cleansing of time.

“I’m sorry I looked,” he whispered in the dragon language, hoping that the Humline understood his deep apology.

He felt the magic raising across his hand. Then footsteps.

“No!” T’kiel shouted. His foot kicked at that chalk lines, breaking them up so the ring wasn’t complete. “You’re not paying attention to what you’ve done.”

The magic fizzled, draining into the floor of the clean room instead of the chalk.

 “Why did you do that?” Cirvel growled.

“Because it was wrong.” T’kiel pointed a stodgy finger at one of the symbols. “What do you call this?”

The gnome was right. The spiral drawn on the floor went counterclockwise. With the other symbols, it would have undone all the other magics. Worse, it would have made a few of the other spells explosive.

Cirvel bowed his head. “You are most correct. I apologize for my sloppiness. It will not happen again.”

T’kiel settled back somewhat and looked at Treshauna. She nodded in the affirmative, but Cirvel wasn’t certain why. The gnome took what appeared to be a cautious step forward, but the shuffle of his foot caused another break in the lines. “Honorable novihomidrak, I need you to step out of the circle.”

Cirvel found his way to his feet, but he remained in the drawing. “Why?”

The gnome stepped back out of arm’s reach. “Please…”

Treshauna moved closer, but stopped at a small wave from T’kiel which he performed with a hand down near his thigh as if trying to keep Cirvel from seeing the motion. “Cirvel, please, this is important.”

Had it just been T’kiel asking, he might have demanded more of an answer, but with Treshauna also making the request, he decided to comply. He left the circle.

“Chalk,” T’kiel demanded.

Cirvel passed him the bag.

T’kiel took out one piece, which he tossed to Treshauna, then with another he began to draw a circle around Cirvel.

“What is going on?” Cirvel turned to watch the gnome, aware that Treshauna had moved up behind him and was also now placing lines on the floor. While T’kiel worked on a circle, she drew a square outside of the circle.

“Please wait patiently,” Treshauna said. “Trust me.”

A shiver ran through Cirvel’s chest. She hadn’t said to trust T’kiel, only her.

After T’kiel finished his circle, he began a second just beyond the square. When they had both finished, Treshauna handed the chalk back to T’kiel.

“Can you see it?” T’kiel asked, his eyes remaining on Cirvel while he turning his tilting head slightly to speak to Treshauna.

“Barely.”

“See what?” Considering that Cirvel felt nothing around him, he began to worry about what he didn’t see.

“Stay still.” Treshauna glided her feet apart on the floor and bent one knee while letting the other slide out to the side. She placed her hand on the tilt before her. Her hand began to glow dark purple. He barely noticed her other hand where she made slow circles with her index finger.

The chalk turned the color of near midnight and a violet curtain rose up around Cirvel. Flashes of yellow, red, and green went through it.

Then he felt Treshauna right beside him even though he was still looking at her. It nearly made him jump. He refused to react, but it sent ripples of unused energy through him as if he were shivering.

“No!” he heard another voice shriek, low, deep, and masculine.

The purple curtain of magic collapsed from around Cirvel.

“Come here.” Treshauna dragged someone from the shadow beneath her. Due to the weight, she had to shift her stance now, but the muscled in her legs proved to be her biggest asset in pulling the man along the floor.

She tried to toss him out along the floor, but didn’t have the strength. Cirvel rushed forward, snatching the man’s black clothes and doing what Treshauna couldn’t. Once he stopped sliding, he flipped over onto his back and glared at him and Treshauna.

“Veniq?” she shouted at seeing who it was. “What are you doing here?”

It took Cirvel a minute to realize that this was the apprentice they’d seen when Treshauna had taken him to meet Drelin.

His eyes narrowed. “What happened to Drelin?”

“He got trapped. We’re trying to rescue him.”

 

Veniq’s glint remained hard on Cirvel. “Likely story. Drelin told me that if he didn’t make it back, it was probably the novihomidrak’s doing.”

“Woah!” T’kiel came to stand between Treshauna and Veniq, holding his hands out to each side. “I said you could use my clean room. I didn’t say you could have a feud in here. Magic, not bloodshed. Got it?”

Treshauna ignored the gnome. “Oh, because nothing ever goes wrong on a mission.” She dumped a flood of sarcasm on Veniq. “Why would he even tell you something like that?”

“Because he didn’t trust the beast.” Veniq swung his harsh look to Treshauna. “And since you trotted him into our fold, Drelin wasn’t about to trust you either.”

Treshauna rushed forward and seized Veniq’s black shirt in her fisted hands. She yanked him close. “Trotted?”

Cirvel pulled her away from Veniq. “Ignore the words coming from your jealous ex-lover and repeated by this puny man. Some dogs never forget the training of their first master.”

At first, Treshauna looked horrified, then she realized the taunt underlying Cirvel’s words and she smiled. “You’re right.”

He leaned down to kiss her cheek, but as he did so, he thrust his hand out to snatch Veniq much in the same way that Treshauna had. It only took him one hand to jerk the apprentice close to him though. Cirvel turned and growled into Veniq’s face. “Besides, the real question is why you wanted to disrupt my magic. Why did you try to harm us? You didn’t yet have any answers about Drelin. For all you knew, he was running an errand.”

“I’ve been watching you since the street.”

“So you should have known that we were trying to rescue Drelin,” Treshauna said.

“We can’t trust a novihomidrak!” Veniq pointed at Cirvel. “You should damn well know that. Just the fact that you refuse to acknowledge that tells me you can’t keep your own oath as a Black Night.”

Her dagger came quickly to her hand and she rushed for Veniq. “How dare you?” Spit flew into his face.

“No blood!” T’kiel shouted. “One drop and you all are buying me a new place. One drop with taint this room forever. Don’t even think about it.”

Cirvel felt his dragon power roll through him. First in his head, then dropping down to his chest, then back up as violent magic that threatened to make his eyes roll back. “Everyone stop.” The command came out robustly and knocked each of them back a step. Once he had their attention, he shifted his gaze between the three. “I will not put up with bickering. Veniq, if you wish to help save Drelin, you are welcome to stay. However, if you dare to sabotage me again, I will slice you open from throat to groin.” As if to prove his point, he showed Veniq the long black claw on his index finger.

He next looked to Treshauna. “Are you fine with that?”

She nodded.

He handed the book to T’kiel. “Will you draw the enchantment circles for me? It will take me a moment to shake off the dragon magic enough for me to continue.”

T’kiel nodded. Piece of chalk in hand, he went to a clear section of floor, dropped down to his knees, and set to work. He did glance back over his shoulder as if he not convinced they wouldn’t start fighting again.

Veniq motioned Treshauna, wordlessly giving her, what Cirvel presumed, a signal that he wanted to talk alone. Rolling her eyes, she followed him out into the hall.

***

Find out more on www.dawnblair.com

***

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 | Dreamstime.com, ©

Xneo | Dreamstime.com, and © Gualtiero Boffi| Dreamstime.com

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.

 

 

Palladium – Chapter 18

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. He 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. 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.


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

Palladium

Chapter 18

by Dawn Blair

The gnome pushed away from where he leaned and waddled across the room toward a workstation beneath some cabinets. He opened a drawer and pulled out a white sack before toddling back and handing it to Cirvel. “Anything else?”

Cirvel closed his eyes and acknowledged the gnome by bowing his head. “Thank you. That should be all.”

As T’kiel went back to the workstation and sat down on a stool there, Treshauna came closer to Cirvel. “Is there anything I can do to help?”

“No. This is something I must do. There is no assistance that can be given.”

She squeezed his forearm then stepped off toward T’kiel.

Ignoring their low-toned chatter, Cirvel took a piece of chalk from the bag and set to work making sigils on the floor. He discarded his robe when it became too much of a detriment to his writing. In his tunic and leggings, he continued making the magical netting needed as a structure for dismantling dimensional magic. As soon as he finished with the preliminaries, he placed the book into the middle of the three rings decorated with spirals, triangles, and ancient magic symbols.

He drew one final box, small and divided by the line of the largest circle. He placed four fingers inside the outline. “Trakaeshala voch ka milhan.”

The box lit in green, then pressed through the chalk marks scrawled on the floor, zipping its way to the center. As it reached the middle, the whole design burst into gold and rose off the floor. Cirvel pulled his hand back as the outer rings ascended higher than the inner two.

Behind him, Treshauna and T’kiel fell silent.

Cirvel crossed his arms over his chest, placing his hands on his shoulders, and closed his eyes. He would have felt more comfortable if he’d been able to change back to his genie attire. For some reason, it felt strange and awkward to be doing dimensional magic like this. But he didn’t want to change in front of T’kiel.

“Nok’ta shil.”

A soft, warm glow came over Cirvel as if he’d settled into a warm bed cocooned in velvety blankets. Treshauna filled his thoughts and he changed his breath to focus on the present rather than memories, no matter how pleasant.

He had much work to do. With a shield of glowing silver around him, he walked into the center of the rings and picked up the book from the middle of the funnel. A draft of air rising from the floor let him release the book to float in the air. Silver webbing drifted off the ends of his fingers as he worked around the book, occasionally tapping it enough to lock the wavy tendrils onto it.

Cirvel sensed someone walking up to his magic circle and he turned with a snarl. T’kiel had come closer to examine it. Cirvel’s growl sent the gnome stumbling back a few steps.  Treshauna caught the little man and kept him from falling over. “I said no disruptions.”

T’kiel muttered an apology, looking truly sorry. Treshauna pulled the gnome back with her, but they didn’t return to their seats. Cirvel continued working, trying not to let the sparking, annoyed, tingles running in irritation up his spine distract him. They had no idea how a novihomidrak could sense others, especially when they were working dragon magic. That said nothing about his additional genie magic, which was a whole other level and usually one cloaked in suspicious apprehension.

They had no understanding.

That thought gave Cirvel a prideful smile. Most people didn’t understand him. Of all the individuals throughout the galaxy, he was probably the most unique of them all.  

Once he had adequate anchors in place along the book and several hanging in the air but not quite touching the leather cover, he drew back his hands as if he were pulling puppet strings. A layer of shining gold expanded from around the book still maintaining a rectangular structure.

“This is the energy of this realm,” he said, feeling the need to explain though he wasn’t quite sure why. He reached his fingers through to touch one of the golden lines. “Line calthadus.”

The structure broke, falling like rain to the floor.

He tapped the book and a second set of anchors attached. He pulled on those. Again, a netting around the book stretched, this time a brilliant blue color.

Cirvel shook his hands, clearing away the webbing from his fingers. He reached in carefully, trying not to break the delicate strands now surrounding the book, but lifting each one to examine it. He had to roll some of them slightly against the pads of his fingers to see the other side. Looking for a thin line on each one, he knew that the differentiating mark could be small and seemingly insignificant. It might be something as tiny as a mark, or unperceivable as a slight change in the color. Usually, it was something more, but not always.

When he found nothing, he blinked down his dragon lids to examine it closer.

There, on the underside of one of the threads, a line of light blue. So subtle was the shift that he might ordinarily have missed it. He plucked at the thread, bending to examine it closer and hope it wasn’t going to break. He slid his nail along the length of the outer dark, blue thread, feeling the gel-like substance give way. Blue goo slid out over his fingers, making them slick. He fought the urge to be repulsed; he could wash up later. Now, he had a life to save.

The inside of the thread had a sensation like a blood vessel, all slick and pliable. He slipped his finger in and drew the second string up. He pulled, tugging as much of it as he could out of the opening.

Pinching it between his fingers, he ran down the length to clean it, or as much as he could access without breaking it. If he didn’t have to get to this world, he might not worry about that so much. As it stood, he needed a live connection to the world to make sure that it hadn’t been blinked out of existence. Going somewhere that was no longer there was usually a great way to get slammed painfully back to where you’d started; a sign that the Oneseong always wanted people to be learning and growing.

“The world where we need to go is still alive,” Cirvel said to Treshauna. Let T’kiel surmise what he would from his words. If T’kiel really was a friend of Drelin, the gnome would find this happy news.

If he wasn’t a true ally, then that would soon be revealed too. Either way, it didn’t matter to Cirvel. If he walked out of here with the knowledge of the other dimension, good. If he had to fight his way out, so be it.

On the other hand, he held Drelin’s life right here in his fingers. One slip, an accidental cut, and they wouldn’t be able to track Drelin. He’d have no competition for Treshauna.

She was already his.

He listened to the wise, little voice that spoke back to him. Yes, Drelin had broken her heart. Cirvel was fairly certain that she wasn’t one to give second chances. Rather, he should take the knowledge of her previous relationship with Drelin and use it as a lesson about how to treat her right and make sure she was his.

Even without looking up, he knew exactly where she stood. He could even smell her beautiful blond hair and feel the softness of the curls. The latter he knew was a memory, but the former was an actual, current sensory.

Now was not the time!

“Vochey vial.” As he said the spell, he held out his hand, palm upward. A moment later, a little vial with a cork stopper in the top appeared.

He twisted the light blue thread around his index finger, then holding the vial beneath it, he squeezed it as if he were wringing out a wet cloth. A clear liquid drop came off and fell into the vial. Releasing the thread, he corked the top before placing it in his pouch. Then he checked the thread again just to make sure he hadn’t damaged it, or worse, snapped it in two. All seemed well, but he smoothed his fingers over the line anyway.

Knowing that the others probably had no clue what he was doing, he touched the dark blue structure. “Line calthadus.” The blue rectangle fell away from the book.

Working quickly with the few strands of remaining webbing waiting for him as well as establishing some new ones, Cirvel set up new anchors on the cover. He gave it a tug and a new structure pulled away from the book, this time pink.

Not only was the rectangular-shaped netting the vibrant color, but it also contained an entirely different architecture to the pattern. He felt the Humline respond with pain. Instinctively, he tore his hand through the netting, seizing the book as he went, and destroying the magic. “Balish.”

He turned, recalling the funnel magic around him with surprise. A tremor quaked through his shoulders at the memory of the pink rectangle as if his mind couldn’t let go of that moment. He knew he’d seen something, yet he couldn’t decipher exactly what it meant, only that it wasn’t good.

“Cirvel?” Treshauna asked as he dispelled the magic. The glowing settled from the air and became chalk on the floor once more.

Numbly aware that she was moving toward him, he raised a hand to stop her. “I’m not yet done.”

“But you’re pale.”

“I am still capable,” he snapped back. He settled with the chalk on a clean section of floor and began to draw new symbols. He kept having to force his mind away from those he’d seen in the pink glow. Why had he tried for that third layer when he only needed two?

He should have known that third layer would merely return him to this world, which would be the same as the first. He’d had the book here. He knew where it had been for a while. He really shouldn’t have gone looking.

The chalk snapped in half, rapping his knuckles against the floor.

He hated bad omens.

***

Let's Make a Deal

Journey with an ice nymph through the hot sands of a desert world as he tries to find his sister before they both perish from the heat.

***

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 | Dreamstime.com, ©

Xneo | Dreamstime.com, and © Gualtiero Boffi| Dreamstime.com

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.

 

 

Palladium – Chapter 16

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. He 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.


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

Palladium

Chapter 16

by Dawn Blair

The owner of a donkey and cart slowed as he went by them, the wooden wheels changing in cadence enough for Cirvel to detect the slackening pace. Cirvel glared at the man, but it didn’t seem to have the effect Cirvel wanted. He grabbed the sleeve of Treshauna’s black shirt and pulled her deeper into the shadows, turning her as they went so he could keep his eye on the street.

He leaned in closer to her. “I’m just thinking that a vortex is nothing but a portal from one plane of existence to another. There’s no one that can work dimensional magic better than…” He shifted his gaze to look around. “…a genie.”

“So what does that mean?”

Continue reading

Palladium – Chapter 15

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. He 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.


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

Palladium

Chapter 15

by Dawn Blair

Night came. A moon rose and set within the lamp. The desert had become quiet.

The sun rose, chasing back to the cool relief the night had brought with it.

A scorpion crawled over the sand, seeking shade for the day to come. Before it found refuge, it sank beneath the sand. It lashed out with the poisonous curve of its tail, but found nothing to strike before it died.

Continue reading

Alexander’s Den

I mentioned Alexander in Cirvel’s story, Palladium, a few weeks ago. I said that I had a short story about Alexander coming soon.

Tomorrow, that story releases.

Cover and layout copyright © 2018 by Morning Sky Studios
Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios
Cover art copyright © Andreiuc88- Dreamstime.com, © Chaiyas – Dreamstime.com, © Albund – Dreamstime.com

I wrote Alexander’s Den several months before I started Palladium. It really was only when I needed the mention of a dragon that Alexander started to take part in Palladium at all. Granted, he is only a side note in Palladium, but of course my head expanded the story so much more. Much like a novihomidrak, I knew exactly what would happen if Cirvel actually did find Alexander. Of course, I can’t say much more because Palladium isn’t far enough along for you to have read exactly what the Onesong had in mind for Cirvel instead.

Currently, only the ebook version is available. I’m considering options for the print version. And, I’m working on an audiobook version which will be releasing soon. Stay tuned for those. Meanwhile, you can find your favorite ebook distributor here.

Palladium – Chapter 14

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. He 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.


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

Palladium

Chapter 14

by Dawn Blair

Cirvel woke later to the warm breeze carrying the scent of desert flowers coming through the room. Chimes rang in the distance. The sound brought a sense of relief. If the festival was still going on, he hadn’t lost too much time to the healing.

He turned his head and found himself alone in the room. His heart sank. He’d been wishing Treshauna would be there. Of course, the presence of a ninja probably wasn’t something the saperes would welcome, let alone any other novihomidraks.

Continue reading