Congratulations!

You have reached Maine's largest and most trafficked website. 

The official website of Stephen King's Thinner Gypsies

As of February 2021, we are now getting up to 7 MILLION visits per day!


This is the home page of

Maine author, artist, Voodoo Priestess, Gypsy Queen, and art car designer:

EelKat Wendy Christine Allen

Chances are high, I'm the most famous person, you'll ever meet.

I am EelKat

The REAL Gypsy Witch Stephen King based his Thinner Gypsy witch off of

and owner of the REAL World's Most Haunted car,

the car Stephen King based his fictional Christine off of,

My family, we are the Gypsies you see in The Thinner, the movie was filmed on my farm,

Founder of The Procter & Gamble Boycott

EelKat of Squidoo, EelKat Voice of the Voiceless.

EelKat Etiole's Friend.

We are the Gypsies of Old Orchard Beach, Saco, Biddeford, Scarborough, Wells, Kennebunk, Sanford, Bangor, and Palmyra, Maine.


This website started in 1996 and is updated, edited, and added to daily. (NOTE do keep in mind since the April 10, 2015 murder of my children, this site is no longer updated daily, and very few new writing articles are added any more - since 2015 updates have been about weekly and usually are about the continued ongoing investigation into the murder of my family.) 

As of 2021 it has more than 10,000 pages. However, only around 2,000 pages are indexed by search engines (robot blockers and/or passwords, prevent the rest from being findable by Google/Bing/Yahoo/etc.). Around 8,000 pages can only be accessed by clicking on direct links to them. The links are found on other pages on this site. Confusing? Perhaps. But whenever one of those difficult to find 8,000 pages gets traffic, I know that you are VERY dedicated in reading what I wrote or doing some stalker level digging to reach those search engine inaccessible pages and I'd rather not waste my time writing stuff for uninterested parties, plus it's fascinating to see how deep some people are willing dig to find every last word I wrote.

I published my first novel in 1978. Since then I have published 138 novels, 30 non-fiction books, 2,000+ short stories, a dozen plays, a few comic book scripts for Disney's Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck comics, a few dozen novellas, and 10,000+ non-fiction articles.

I am asexual and famous for 4 decades of writing 100% sexless stories, laced in extreme blood-gore-and-violence. But in spite of that, in recent years, most people classify me as an Erotica author. I don't know why, as I've never written Erotica or even any sex scenes, and as I am a nun, raised as such from the age of 3, I wouldn't even know how to write sex or Erotica. If you came here looking for sex, BDSM, Erotica, or Dominatrix's, please return to whomever sent you and tell them to burn in Hell where their immoral ass belongs. Also, do tell me their name so I can put a curse on them, so they will never enjoy sex ever again, to punish them for spreading lies about me and connecting my name to anything related to sex at all. I find sex vile and despicable and want no part of your perverse degradation near me.

All of my fiction works are about Alien Elf Wizards who live in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. All of my non-fiction works are about the history of Maine, it's Gypsy Clans, and most especially Old Orchard Beach the town which was settled and founded by my family.

Most of these pages answer reader questions on the worldbuilding, character creating, plotting, writing, editing, and publishing process of my work. 

Others are on the history of my people, The Gypsies of Maine, our culture, our lifestyle, our cars, and our religion.

The rest of the pages are daily updates of the terrorist attacks by Maine's White Supremacists on my non-white family, including updates of the FBI investigation of the April 10, 2015 murder of my children.




IMPORTANT UPDATE:

Due to the murder of my family and the resulting court cases, police investigations, and FBI investigations, I no longer have time to daily update this website.

Likewise ALL novel, short story, and article writing projects are on hiatus.

All book releases, book signings, workshops, and convention appearances for 2015 (and unknown amount of time after) are on hold while the murder investigation of my family is ongoing.

Writing advice for the worldbuilding, character creation, and other writing how to articles are on hold.

From now on, the bulk of updates here will be about the investigation into the murder of my family.

No, NOT just THIS author website, not JUST the EelKat pename, not just self published books: ALL 15 (fifteen) of my penames are on hiatus, that includes traditional published books as well, newspaper reporting jobs, editing jobs, my work for Harlequin Romance Novels, my work for Disney... EVERYTHING is on hiatus. Every publishing house I work for, every series I write, every penname I write under: they are ALL on hiatus, ALL projects.

There is NOTHING being published under ANY penname, not for ANY series, not for ANY publisher, from 2015 onward. EVERYTHING is on hold due to the murder of my family. I do not know when or even if, any of the projects will be restarted or finished.

Yes, BOTH the magazines I owned are indefinitely shut down because of this as well, with no plans for either magazine to return. The publishing house I own is also closed to submissions from now on, we will no longer be publishing anything. It is unlikely we will reopen the publishing house either.

All book signing tours, workshops, letures, PAX events, ComicCon events, carnival/festival/state fair/car show events are also canceled. I will not be attending ANY of them. If a venue still has my name listed as a guest/speaker/etc it is because they've not yet removed it. I WILL NOT be there, no matter where it is! 

EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE, IS CANCELED!

The ONLY thing continuing from this point on, is THIS website, where I'll post updates on the murder investigation, hopefully every week, but, you know how it is when 10 members of your family are beheaded, it's kind of difficult to have a schedule for anything anymore.

April 10, 2015 my 12 children were kidnapped,
from 146 Portland Ave. Old Orchard Beach, Maine.

May 15, 2015, ten of their heads were nailed to my door.

Do you have information?

FBI Agent Andy Drewer out of the 
Portland, Maine FBI office is in charge of the case.

If you have information about the April 10, 2015 murder of my family 
or any of the attacks on our home and relatives, give it to him not me.
He can be reached @ +1-(207)-774-9322 









Official Home Page Of The Quaraun Series
The Adventures of Quaraun The Insane: Bizarro Fantasy


FAQs: What happened to The Summoner of Darkness? The book was never released and the whole tour was cancelled.

The Summoner of Darkness, my NaNoWriMo 2014 novel that was due to release summer 2015.

It never got released because my family was murdered April 10, 2015, and I obviously had to stop work on the novel. 

I've had quite a bit of trouble going back into working on Summoner of Darkness, due to events that happened while I was writing it.

It was due to release June 2015 and we - me and my family - had just bought my motorhome a few weeks earlier (February 21) because we had a cross country book signing tour planned, which included a booth at the San Diego Comicon (do you have any idea how hard it is to get into that convention as a guest speaker?) and we were all going together.

But than my family was murdered April 10, 2015 and I stopped work on the book, and I had to cancel 57 book signings/lectures/workshops in 43 states, as well.

So, the tour was cancelled, the book was never released because it was never finished, and my family is dead.

I stopped working on the book and started playing Witcher 3.

I've been playing Witcher 3 ever since and I've not been able to go back into writing new novels for The Quaraun series without massive post traumatic stress disorder issues. That's why there has been no new releases for The Quaraun series since April 10, 2015.

I've not published anything at all since my family was murdered. 

No novels. No short stories. Not just the Quaraun series. No series at all. Not on any of my 15 other pennames either. Not for Disney or Harlequin either. Nothing. No where, in over 6 years.

I don't know when or if I'll go back to writing.

Sorry, but, my entire family was murdered and my life has been 24 hours a day every day for weeks, months, now years, of police investigations, and FBI investigations, and lawyers and court and even finding time to write between all of that, is just very difficult right now.

FBI Agent Andy Drewer out of the Portland, Maine FBI office is in charge of the case. If you have information about the April 10, 2015 murder of my family or any of the attacks on our home and relatives, give it to him not me. He can be reached @ +1-(207)-774-9322 





Well, this just pissed me off, so I'm putting it on the front page...

If you want to answer this yourself.... just click the link Reddit provides in the embed code... there are already 700 outraged responders, so, you won't be alone in responding to this.


>>>I was told to avoid making my main character disabled unless "it matters to the plot, like how a protagonist is basically only gay if it's an LGBT-centered book". I want other thoughts on this...

>>>My friend and I were having a debate, see.

>>>Because my main character has epilepsy, something that happened after a traumatic brain injury from the past. Long story short, his older half-brother tried to kill him and his mother, was half-successful (killed mom) but failed to kill the MC. He survived, but with epilepsy.

>>>However, my friend said this, essentially:

>>>"You honestly shouldn't make your character disabled unless it matters to the plot in some way. Otherwise people will either read too much into it or think it matters when it doesn't. Kind of like how you shouldn't make your MC black or gay or whatever unless you're trying to make a political statement or if you're writing a specifically LGBT-centered book. It's all about markets and selling."

>>>Now, of course it's not verbatim since we were talking for a while, but they were basically saying not to write...anyone, I guess? Fucking, like, I guess I'm not supposed to write anyone because of "markets" or whatever. Because my book isn't about disability or epilepsy. It's actually a fantasy book. It just so happens that the MC is epileptic. But they said, because of that, that I shouldn't have an epileptic MC since people will "read too much into it" or whatever...?

>>>Does anyone even get what my friend is saying?

>>>I mean, fuck it, my MC is still gonna be epileptic and nobody can stop me, but my friend seemed dead-set determined to tell me I shouldn't since it's not, like, a central theme or thing or whatever. I don't know...

>>>Thoughts?


Thoughts?

I have so many thoughts.

Let's explore them.

I am not a plot device. Neither are the characters I write.

My MC Quaraun, walks with a cane because of a lame leg from an old injury (a sword through his hip), has joint pain that is probably arthritis, but arthritis hasn’t been discovered yet in his time period, is clearly Autistic even though Kanner’s syndrome won’t be discovered until the 1940s, has a learning disability that causes him to not be able to mentally process numbers/time/years/dates/math, he has obsessive-compulsive disorder; he has post-traumatic stress disorder, he sometimes can talk fine around close friends but struggles with selective mutism and extreme anxiety around strangers, punding is a serious problem and trips up his ability to do everyday things - like if he sees a field of flowers he is compelled to pick as many flowers as he can carry and he doesn’t know why he does it and it usually requires a friend to come along and pull him out of the flower field because he can’t stop on his own, he is prone to walk along railroad tracks with a bag picking up every grey rock that has a white quartz stripe in it and he has thousands of them around his house instead of having a front lawn due to do many years of doing this daily, and he is prone to walking for hours on end on ridge-top roof poles of the old abandoned factories and mill buildings along the Saco River for no reason at all other than he feels a desperate need to be close to the clouds.

Why?

Not a shred of that has anything to do with the plot.

So why do I write him that way?

Because:

   *   I walk with a cane due to a lame leg from an old injury (a two foot long foundation nail/iron rod through my hip when I was 4 years old

   *   I have joint pain that is probably arthritis

   *   I have Kanner’s syndrome aka ACTUAL Autism, which is NOT on the Autism Spectrum (because only illness that are NOT Autism are on the Autism Spectrum, which means the 861 illnesses that can be confused with but are not Autism) and is in no way, shape, or form related to Aspergers

   *   I have a learning disability that causes me to not be able to mentally process numbers/time/years/dates/math

   *   I have obsessive-compulsive disorder

   *   I have post-traumatic stress disorder

   *   I sometimes can talk fine around close friends but struggle with selective mutism and extreme anxiety around strangers 

   *   Punding is a serious problem for me and trips up my ability to do everyday things - like when I see a field of flowers I am compelled to pick as many flowers as I can carry and I don’t know why I do it and it usually requires a friend to come along and pull me out of the flower field because I can’t stop picking flowers on my own

   *   I am prone to walk along railroad tracks with a bag picking up every grey rock that has a white quartz stripe in it and I have thousands of them around my yard instead of having a front lawn due to doing this daily for over 50 years now - I started doing it as a toddler, the railroad tracks go right by my yard

   *   I am prone to walking for hours on end on ridge-top roof poles of the old abandoned factories and mill buildings along the Saco River for no reason at all other than I feel a desperate need to be close to the clouds

I am not a plot device; I didn’t choose to have those things. These things exist in my life, like it or not.

I write him having the same disabilities as me, because I know what it is like to live with these things. I know how these things trip up everyday activities, like how I can’t just open the door and walk outside because I get to the end of the driveway and go back to the door to check the lock, 10 or 20 times before I finally make it out of the driveway... and he does this door checking thing to, not because it has any meaning to the plot, but because, I don’t know how to write a person who does NOT do that. 

I am well aware that I'm known for having some pretty outlandish writing methods that most other writers wouldn't touch with a 9 foot pole. I'm also aware I come from a non-American/non-European background/culture that the average American doesn't even know exists, let alone could wrap their mind around trying to imagine it exists. And my writing methods are influenced by that. I came from a culture that wouldn't think twice about cutting out the tongue of a woman who talked back to her husband, and strictly forbids women from having jobs, punishment for stealing is a hand cut off, punishment of lying is tongue cut out, punishment for adultery or being gay is beheading, yet drug dealers run everything and child prostitution is the biggest income. Still right now in 2021. I grew up a female in that world, didn't go to school because I was a child in a cage on display for pedofile men. I was rescued from that life by an FBI raid that was there because my uncles had a stockpile of military guns. FBI found 140 of use little girls locked up in puppy mill style cages. They had no clue we were there or what the hell they had walked into.

April 10, 2015 my 12 children were kidnapped,from 146 Portland Ave. Old Orchard Beach, Maine. May 15, 2015, ten of their heads were nailed to my door.

I deleted my how to write monster porn series off KBoards a decade ago. 1,371 articles of 10k+ words each, posted in 2007 on the forum. 

November 14, 2013 I got beat up by 3 strangers with golf clubs, I was 8 months pregnant, they killed my baby and left me with a broken spine, broken hip, broken knees, and paralyzed for 5 months, in a wheelchair after that, crippled for the rest of my life.

From November 2013 to March 2015 I was offline because I was in the hospital, than I was busy relearning how to walk and pee, stuff like that, so I had no clue about the major troll attack that had happened on KB,where 73 authors, me included, had their accounts hacked by a major troll, who went around posting from their accounts, pretending to be them.

Turns out what happened, in April 2013, me and Hugh Howey had done an anthology, and the way it wa set, the first 100 applicants got accepted no matter what they wrote. We were trying to help new writers get published and thought, you know what, we are both big enough names that we can help 100 new writers get sales.

All 73 of the author's whose account got hacked were published in the anthology. The week I was attacked - 3 other members of the anthology eam were murdered, and 7 others were also hospitalized, 2 with injuries worse than mine.

FBI got involved, investigated the KB hacker, found out they were someone who didn't get in the anthology because they weren't fast enough to be the first 100 submissions, so they went nuts, tracking down the authors who were involved, attacking them offline, and hacking their KB forum accounts. I contacted KB had the owners lock down my account and asked them to delete the 1,371 articles on how to write Monster Porn.

I was in the hospital on the way into surgery, when I got the text message asking me if I knew what was going on with my forum account. I was in the ICU when I contacted the owners of the forum.

Hugh Howey's lawyers made him shut down all of his social network accounts, including the one he used to have here on this sub, he used to post here on this subreddit long before he wrote Wool, go back far enough on this sub you can find his old posts asking for help on how to write this sci-fi idea he had.

Since the KB incident I haven't tried to help a new writer again. I learned my lesson. Unfortunately I learned it AFTER I was in a wheelchair.

October 18m 2006, a bomb blew up my house.

EVERY ONE of these events, appears in a fictionalized version in the Quaraun series, happening to my main character.

Why? Because they happened to me in real life and I write what I know.

I believe it is a good practice to write about things you know about, either from first hand experience, from witnessing it happening to others, or from talking to people whom have experienced it.

I live in Maine, America's wildest, most unlawful state, where drug dealers and moonshiners control nearly every small town, and mountain men armed to the teeth with assault rifles sau who can drive in and out of which streets, where beheading gays or any one suspected of being gay is perfectly legal, where 2/3rds of the population have no electricity and have never heard of computers, phones, or the internet.

The average American can't even begin to wrap there minds around Maine culture and Maine lifestyle. But I've never set foot outside of my and 90% of my life, I've never even set foot outside of one town: Old Orchard Beach. So, EVERYTHING I write is based ENTIRLY off the real world events that happen in one town that is 7 miles long and 2 miles wide. ALL of the events listed above, they ALL happened at 142, 144, 146, and 148 Portland ave, Old Orchard Beach, Maine, 04064-1520.

And because of my never setting foot outside of this town, prior to 2015, I have no ability to relate to what most people call "mainstream America". And mainstream America is so bizarre and so unlike culture here in Old Orchard Beach, that it's like mainstream America is a total different planet, one I simply can not relate to.

This is WHY I find it so difficult to relate to a good 99.99% of EVERYTHING - every novel, of every genre, that is set in "contemporary America". I can not relate to YA featuring characters going to school, I can not relate to Romances featuring women falling in love with businessmen/billionaires/doctors... heck, I can't even relate to what mainstream Americans classify as middle-class income, because by my mind, you people who call yourselves poor are insanely wealthy.

I've never had a year, in my entire life where my income before taxes reached $5,000, in fact only 2 years has my income ever bee higher than $2,000 in a single year (2007 and 2016). Yet, I'm told, my yearly income is less than what most people pay each month for apartment rent. I'm told my yearly income is less than the average American spends each month for food. I'm told that my yearly income is seen as too low for the average American to survive a single week on.

Most years my income is less than $2,000 a year, and the Department of Human Services tells me that that is 674% BELOW the national federal poverty level. 

And yet, I'm seen by most Mainers as exorbitantly wealthy. My $2k a year is more than most Mainers will see in 10 years.

My husband is insanely over the top mega super wealthy, he earns $21,000 a year. Twenty One Thousand Dollars a year, and is one of the wealthiest men in Maine because of it. And yet, DHS says he's more than 70% below the national poverty level.

He makes $20k a year, how is possibly anything close to poverty level? Let all 70% below poverty level. I'm astounded that outside of Maine the rest of America sees us as poor or poverty level. I'm astounded that the rest of America, is so mega wealthy, that they think they are poor when they are earning insane amounts of money higher than $21k a year. That's crazy. Why would anyone need so much money? I can't even wrap my mind around it.

But that puts into perspective, why I find it so difficult to relate to the Americans of the lower 48. Their exorbitant luxury while complaining they are poor, is mind boggling. How can you have so much money and see yourself as poor?

But THIS is WHY I simply can not write contemporary novels featuring American characters.

I can't even begin to grasp the insane amounts of exorbitant luxuries Americans of the lower 48 live in, and never having been outside of Maine, I'm not even sure what their kind of mega wealth even looks like. 

I know there houses are huge, because the house the backhoe drover over was 16feet long by 9 feet wide and had 3 bedrooms, a kitchen, and a living room, - no bathroom, we have an outhouse, so we don't use a bucket like most Mainers do, bathrooms kind of aren't common up here - but, tourists who saw the house before the backhoe drove over it, they always said the entire house was smaller then their smallests guest bathroom, they said the entire house could fit 2 to 3 times inside of each of their bedrooms. I can't even begin to imaging houses as huge as tourists from the lower 48 describe.

This is WHY, I write what I know. Because I've no clue what life outside of Maine, or even life outside of Old Orchard Beach, is even like.

I can't even begin to relate to the lifestyles and cultures of the lower 48, which is also why I don't read books set there either, because, what most call contemporary settings, I call pure sci-fi that is just so bizarre I can't even image the lower 48 is really like that.

The average American, says they struggle with things like school homework, cell phone service, affording vaccinations for their children, ... I didn't even know those things existed until I was 31 years old.

The lower 48 of America was BIG time culture shock for me. The amount of freedom women and children have in America is, mind boggling, a thing I never could have imagined existed. Women allowed to get jobs, things like schools and doctors. It's why I attend so many colleges and so many college classes. I didn't get my GED and start going to random college classes at every college in the area until I was 47 years old. I can't take degree programs because I don't know math, or science, to this day, now even in 2021, I can't count or tell time or read calendars, or use phones or money or credit cards and other number stuff, because I don't know how to do numbers. That's why I sign up to take a class here and a class there at so many colleges. You can take the individual classes without taking the math and science prerequisites that way. 

Writing for me, is the ultimate freedom. But, I came from a culture where freedom to write was not an option, because I was born female. And it's why I took up writing. The freedom to read and not be beaten to death for it. That's a great blessing. The freedom to write. Americans don't know how good they have it or how great their freedom to read and write is. I suppose you could say my reading so much and my writing so much is a direct side effect of my culture, and me making up for lost time by reading and writing at a higher rate than average. That's why my writing advice skews to the controversial "just write" good or bad, just write, write what you know, write what you love, don't ask for permission to right white or black or male or female, just bask in your freedom to write.

My method of writing, reflects heavily the culture I was raised in. As does my method of publishing, predominantly vanity press aka local print shops print up thousands of copies and I sell my novels out of the trunk of my car at local beaches to the tourists. I sold 57 million copies that way. Each of my novels averages around 20k sales the first summer of it's release, all to tourists on the beach, sales from my car. And yet,every time any one on this sub mentions vanity press, they get bombarded with answers telling them to not do it. Why? Avoid the scams yes, but, there's nothing wrong with vanity publishing if you are willing to get off your ass and get the face to face local sales. It works for me, that's why I advice it.

Never having gone to school, I know nothing about "traditional writing methods". The concept of themes, character arcs, 3 act structure, beats, tropes, hero journey, were all things I never heard of before joining this subreddit and yet before joining this subreddit I had already published 138 novels, some of them bestsellers. Some of them for big publishers: including Harlequin and Disney. I've sold more books than most people on this sub combined. And yet, I can offer no advice on silly useless things like themes, character arcs, 3 act structure, beats, tropes, hero journey, because I'm not even sure what they are.

Like I said, I am well aware that I'm known for having some pretty outlandish writing and publishing methods, but I do practice what I preach and works for me. Will it work for others? Who knows? Maybe? Maybe not. Thing is we are all different. We all have different backgrounds, came from different places, took different paths to reach publishing success. 

I am of the belief that there is no truly bad advice, so long as that advice is working for someone.

Heck, half the advice I see preached online, leaves me asking "How the hell is that even possible?" because I just can't wrap my mind around their methods, but you know what, that doesn't matter, because if that advice works for them, well more power to them. And who knows, just because it's bad advice for me, doesn't mean it can't be good advice for someone else. We are all different, have different goals, use different writing methods, have different ways of editing, and that's perfectly fine. 

The world would be a dull dreary place if everyone were exactly the same as everyone else, just as books would be a dull dreary read if every writer did exactly the same thing.

This is who I am and how I live, and these are things I have no control over. There is no plot reason why these are physical and mental illnesses I live with. They simply are physical and mental illnesses that I live with. And guess what... I’ve had ALL of these things, even arthritis and PTSD since I was 8 years old, and because I’ve lived with these things for 40+ years, these things are NORMAL for me. This is my normal. I wouldn’t know what it was like to live without these things, because these are things I was either born with or got before the age of 8, so have had them all since early childhood.

Because this is MY NORMAL, I wouldn’t even begin to know how to write a “mainstream normal” character who did not have these disabilities.

And thus, my MC is written with ALL of these things in his daily life, because they are HIS NORMAL, simply because they are MY NORMAL.

There is no plot reason behind my MC having any of these disabilities. This is just who he is.

My disabilities are not plot devices.

On top of that, he’s a Persian Mountain Jew Gypsy living in America, and THAT has nothing to do with the plot either. Why is he a Persian Mountain Jew Gypsy living in America? Because I am a Persian Mountain Jew Gypsy living in America. I know my own culture, traditions, religions, holidays, taboos, etc, so I just naturally write him having the same. I know the stereotypes and stigmas of being a Gypsy and I know how Americans treat you until they find out you are Jewish or Gypsy and suddenly they change how they treat you completely, and so I have characters treat him the same way Americans treat me, and that has nothing to do with the plot either, it’s just me writing him being treated the same way I am treated.

My race and cultures are not plot devices.

Plus, he is bi-polygamous, has 5 wives and 2 male spouses. Why? Because, you guessed it; I was born and raised in a bi-polygamous culture. My grandfather has 2 wives, my mother has 2 husbands, my uncle with the most wives has 15, my aunt with the most husbands has 9. His being bi-poly has nothing to do with the plot, the story is not LGBTQA+ centred. I write him that way, simply because that is NORMAL lifestyle for my people, and thus it’s just default normal for me to write him that way.

I could write him as a straight, white, able-bodied American, but, why should I? I am not myself a straight, white, able-bodied American and I wouldn’t know the first thing about writing a straight, white, able-bodied American. If I tried to write him as a straight, white, able-bodied American I’d end up filling it with cookie-cutter stereotypes, because what do I know about about white people, straight people, or American culture?

Would it be a plot device if my characters were healthy? White? American? Straight? Monogamy? No! So why would it be a plot device for me to write my characters exactly as I am?

Your friend is wrong on so many levels of wrong.

>>>I mean, fuck it, my MC is still gonna be epileptic and nobody can stop me, but my friend seemed dead-set determined to tell me I shouldn’t since it’s not, like, a central theme or thing or whatever. I don’t know...

You can and SHOULD write your character however you want. Your friend is wrong.

Yes, there are people who write disabilities ONLY because they want to be PC/inclusive/SJW/political, and if that’s how they want to write, well, let them write that way. Them writing that way, shouldn’t stop you from having your characters your way.

But here’s the thing, my MC’s disabilities, culture, and lifestyle may not be what the story is about and may not have any bearings on the plot, BUT, these things DO affect his life, how he acts, how he talks, things he can do, things he can’t do, things he wants to do and get frustrated over not being able to do.

For example, because of my leg/hip/spine injury, I can not climb stairs on my own. I require a person to hold me steady, while I use my cane and hold the railing, and going up just 2 or 3 steps on someone’s front porch can take a half hour or more - this is something that takes an able-person under 30 seconds to do. This is a enormous issue and causes me to be unable to visit certain relatives/friends because they live on the 2nd/3rd+ floor and have no elevator, so I can’t get up to their apartment, and when my family goes to visit their family, I have to wait in the car in the driveway, alone, by myself, while everyone else is in the apartment eating dinner and watching tv. This is the reality of having a crippled leg/hip/spine. An injury that I received when 3 strangers attacked me in the parking lot, while I was 8 months pregnant. I’m legally blind and almost deaf, so I neither heard no saw the attackers coming, while I was putting groceries in the back seat of my car. They killed my baby, broke my spine, broke my hip, broke my leg, and left me for dead. I was 5 months paralyzed, 18 months learning to walk again, and that happened November 14, 2013, 8 years ago, and I’m still not fully recovered. I’m out of the wheelchair (something doctors did not think was possible) and I’m slowly improving, but the reality is, my spinal column is crushed and can’t be operated on, so I’ll never run again, I’ll never walk normal again, and stairs my possibly never be something I can do again either.

Well, I wrote my MC to have this exact same injury. So, he can’t maneuver stairs, he needs help with even small steps. He can’t sit in chairs because his hip don’t bend normal, so he has to sit on pillows on the floor, he likewise can’t sleep in a bed because he can’t climb up into a bed, so he sleeps on blankets on the floor. Why? 

Because...

   *   I can’t maneuver stairs

   *   I need help with even small steps

   *   I can’t sit in chairs because my hip don’t bend normal, so I have to sit on pillows on the floor

   *   I likewise can’t sleep in a bed because I can’t climb up into a bed, so I sleep on blankets on the floor

You see him trying to pour tea, a task that takes 2 hands, while also trying to stand up leaning heavily on his cane. You see him sitting on pillows on the floor, having no chairs and no bed in his apartment, and you see him grabbing hold of the table to hoist himself up, while steadying himself with the cane. You see him hiking across the country, but not getting very far each day, because of the agony of his leg, causing him to have to stop and rest constantly, every half hour or so.

The story is about him struggling with the survivor guilt, after his lover commits suicide and so his disability has nothing to do with the plot at all, BUT, the disability is a major part of his life, causing many struggles that cause him to not be able to do basic “normal” things like climbing stairs, sitting in chairs, or sleeping in beds, and so this shows up in several scenes. You SEE him being disabled, but there is never a point where his disability is ever talked about, not in narration and not in dialogue. You just see his struggle to do normal things and you see the cane there in passing. 

Well, think about this now... writing a character with a lame leg and a cane is a pretty common disability for abled authors to write, but when was the last time you saw a character with a lame leg and a cane ACTUALLY STRUGGLE with ANYTHING? They don’t. Why? Because the author looks at a lame leg as just a thing you drag, and treats the cane lie a decoration. They NEVER write the character struggling on stairs, not able to sit at a table because they can’t bend the leg to sit in the chair, sleeping on the floor because they can’t lift their leg up high enough to climb up into a bed. They don’t write those things, because they have no clue that someone with a cane does those things, because they never had to live with a lame leg.

That’s where the problem of undisabled writing disabled comes in. Granted, they mean well and are trying to be inclusive and all, but they have never lived with that kind of disability so they have no clue how big of an impact something like that has on your life. 

It’s one thing I liked about the Witcher books. Several characters have lame legs, broken legs, use a cane or crutch, and the way it’s written, well, you KNOW the author had a broken leg at some point in his life, because you see the characters actually struggling to walk up hills or get on a horse. Take Avallac’h for instance. We are told he rides his horse all the time, even in the house, because he has a lame leg and can’t walk on his own. The one time we see him walking, he has 3 women gathered around him, holding him and helping him walk. Or Dijkstra, we see him, unable to run, dragging his leg, his leg in a brace. The descriptions are amazingly accurate and the struggles are very realistic. To the point, it’s obvious the author had to deal with a crippled leg at some point in his life.

It’s not a political statement to be disabled, but it is something that causes simple everyday tasks to be a challenge, so it will change how you write scenes of your character walking, eating, sleeping, talking, etc, depending on the disability. The story doesn’t have to be able the disability to have a disabled character. 

I am disabled, but you know what? It doesn’t define my life. I go hiking every day with my dog. I have to stop and rest along the trail because of my leg, and I can’t keep up with other hikers or joggers on the trail, but you know what? I’m out of that damned wheelchair against all odds and to the shock of all the doctors, who in 2013, said I would never walk again. I was paralyzed. I was in a wheelchair, and I said fuck this, I’m going to walk again. And it took me years to do it, but I’m back on my feet again. I refuse to let being disabled stop me from living my life. I refuse to let being disabled hold me back. I refuse to let being disabled define who I am. I got out of that fucking wheelchair and progressed to a walker, and then I progressed to a cane, and 2 years ago, I couldn’t walk to the end of my driveway, and now today, I walk over a mile a day with my dog, and I’m not stopping until I can do 2 miles a day, then 3 miles a day... before 2013, I took 13 mile hikes every day, and it took me 8 years to get back up to 1 mile a day, but if it takes me another 8 years to get up to 13 miles a day again, well, then I’m just going to spend 8 years doing that. I refuse to let a disability control my life and tell me what I can or can not do. 

And so I hate it when characters in fiction are disabled for plot device and SJWism, because I know immediately no actually disabled person wrote that. Token disabled characters, read as though all of us disabled people want sympathy, but we don’t. Heck, I turned down the government disability check and kept right on working. I hate the whole pity-party thing abled people do, “ooooh poooor cripple”. You know what? I’m not a dog. Stop patting me on the head before I plow you down with my wheelchair and beat you over the head with my cane. I don’t want your fucking pity or sympathy, and I hate it when abled people write disabled characters to pull in the pity points with readers. 

And you know something I really hate a lot? I hate when Fantasy novels throw in a disabled character and somehow magic cures them. Or a blind character, who can “see” through magic thought waves, or a deaf character who “hears” with telepathy, or a crippled character who suddenly magic happens and now she can fly and not need her legs. I HATE those types of characters/plots in Fantasy. It feels like the author was trying to erase disabled people from existence so they wouldn’t have to be bothered with looking at them. It’s very: “Oh disabled people bother me, I want to pretend they don’t exist, so let me wave a magic wand and POOF the disability transforms into a superpower”. I just hate that type of story and that type of use of disabled characters. That’s just erasure of disabilities. It’s like the author is saying they want to eradicate disabled people.

In the end,  say, yes, write your character with whatever disability you want/need them to have, but, don’t do it to pull the pity card, be PC/woke/SJW, or because you feel the need to be diverse. Do it because it’s right for the character.

Disabled people need to be in books more, yes, but they also need to not see their disability be used as a marketing tool or mocked or turned into the primary plot. Let disabled characters have a story that is something NOT related to their disability, and let the disability just be a thing in the background that they have to work around.

Just like how my relearning to walk is not a political statement, so too should writers be allowed to write a disabled character without that character being a political statement either. I am not a plot device. Neither are the characters I write, I just write my characters with the same lifestyle I life, because that’s MY default normal.

I have more thoughts, but you get the idea so I'll stop now.


>>>What are some cool concepts you have for tieflings / demons in your story? (Aside from fantasy racism)

>>>I want to include them in my story and write some lore for them, but I don't want to just make their whole struggle revolve around racism bc 1.) I've noticed a lot of racism metaphors tend to be very clunky and have bad implications, and 2.) I know it's not really my story to tell. So I wanna figure out what else I could potentially do!

**TL;DR:** Give your characters interesting lives and you'll have so many interesting things to write about that you won't have time to think about writing race struggles

In my series, Demons exist, but are very rare on Earth. They come from another galaxy, from a planet named Hell, which ancient Humans misunderstood what solar systems and planets were, so lead to the "Christian Hell" stories. So, basically Demons are an alien race of Humanoids from a plant that has a high rate of volcanic activity over most of the planet (meaning the planet is most "lakes of fire" same way the Earth is mostly water). 

In my series, Demons are "furries" meaning Satyrs (goat-men), Fauns (deer-men), Centaurs (horse-men), Ursiug (sheep-men), Kitsune (fox-men), InuGami (dog-men), various Japanese Oni types, Native American Trickers, bird-men of Egypt and South America, snake-people, etc. Basically any species from any folklore, from any real world culture, that is part animals and part Human, gets counted as a Demon, in my series.

According the my series, how the Demons got on Earth, is there are portals that show up at random throughout the universe, and sometimes they open up near a person, and the person falls through it and ends up trapped on another planet elsewhere in the universe. This explains real-world events like the disappearance of the lost city of Roanoke. (My series is set in the real world, and treats folklore creatures like Faeries and Centaurs as real, but incredibly rare - due to them being not native to our Earth, and often only one of their kind exists on the Earth due to how they arrived here by accidently falling through a portal.)

The series I write started in 1978 (when the first novel was published) and in the 43 years since than has had 138 novels and more than 2,000 short stories published, most of them revolving around 1 character and his 2 friends, who are the 3 MCs of the series. One of the 3 MCs is a Demon, specifically he is an Ursiug aka a Sheep-Man. From the waist down he is a Cotswold Sheep with 15" long golden fleece. He has a long tail and cloven hooves that he paints with gold nail polish. The hair on his head grows as long sheep's wool as well, instead of hair. He also has large ram's horns, but he keeps them sawed off/filed down and hidden under his hair. He wears long floor sweeping caftan and trench coats to hide his legs and hooves. 

Racism has never been a thing I dealt with in any of his stories. 

The reason he hides what he is from most people is addressed in a few stories, but it has nothing to do with "racism" in a "normal" sense of racism. Rather at one point in his life, he was captured by a hunter, who sold him to an animal test lab, where the scientists did experiments on him. They set out to vivisecting him, cutting samples off him, and attempted to slice up his brain, while he was still alive. All because he was not Human and they wanted to find out what he was. Prior to this, he had not hidden his lack of Humanity. After escaping from them, he became terrified of Humans knowing he wasn't Human, fearful of scientists coming after him again. So in a way, it's kind-of racism, but not what most people think of when they think racism. But, also, that's only mentioned in 3, maybe 4 stories, out of 138 novels and more than 2,000 short stories.

The series is VERY Literary Slice of Life Vinette Fantasy. Meaning the entire series is kind of like a soap opera, where the characters never grow or change or progress, instead you just watch them go about their mundane everyday lives. (Most people who read Fantasy, find the series tedious and boring, as it has no action, no advention, no wars, no kingdoms, no battles, no factions, no sex scenes, nothing you'd expect in typical "Epic High Fantasy".  

In 43 years of writing/publishing the series, and across 138 novels and 2,000+ short stories, my Demons have never yet, once had to deal with racism.

What DO the characters deal with? Everyday normal struggles of every day normal people. He lives in a small Human fishing village, where he works at a dinner. He drives a 1974 AMC Gremlin. He lives in a house on the beach, next door to a lobsterman and across the street from a laundromat. A few of his closest friends are aware he is a Demon, and as he is prone to visit prostitutes they know what he is, but he hides what he is and tries to pass as Human, around most people. He overall lives a normal life, like a normal Human. He's an LDS/Mormon and celebrates Mormon/Christian holidays. He has OCD on servere levels, so one story, focused entirely on him putting Christmas lights on his house - yep, that was the entire plot - him struggling to put up Christmas lights, when hooves don't do well on either ladders or icy roofs - while his OCD was kicking in and making him take the lights down and put them up all over again several times. The whole story - over 50,000 words beginning to end - was him putting up Christmas lights. He's in love with someone who's already married and struggles with wanting to break the couple up vs not wanting to damage the married couple's relationship. The lover's triangle is front and center in many stories. Other struggles he's had to deal with: his 50 year old daily driver car constantly breaks down and is a major plot issue in many stories. He likes playing DnD and has game nights with his friends. He's addicted to video games, especially ResEvil series, and he loves action movies. His job at the dinner has him dealing with shitty fussy people who complain about their coffee and donuts. Living on the beach, he has to rebuild his house every time a hurricane comes through, and entire novels are devoted to being just one day of the aftermath of a hurricane hitting his town. 

Just because your character is a Demon, doesn't mean they have to be bombarded with 24/7 non-stop racism struggles. Treat your characters like real people. Give them jobs, families, lovers, houses, cars, mental illnesses, neighbours, and every day struggles.

If you see a Demon (or any other race, Elf, Dwarf, black Human, etc) and think automatically the ONLY thing you can write about is racism and race riots and race wars and race issues, than, that says a lot of about your characters being flat, one-dimensional, lacking personality, stereotyped, and just being cardboard cookie-cutters. It means you need to work more on fleshing out your character as an individual person. Demon = racism, Elf = racism, black/PoC = racism, is just one-dimensional thinking. Round out their lives. Flesh out their careers. Make them a part of their community. Give them loved ones that they care about. Give them hobbies and things they like to do. Once you flesh out your characters and start seeing them as "real people" you'll see how silly it is to think Demon = racism, Elf = racism, black/PoC = racism.

Side note: I'm a PoC, and I've dealt with racism in real life. The Ku Klux Klan (the guys with white pointy hoods) blew up my house with a bomb in 2006 and left a giant white cross in my yard (I never took it down - it's still there - I put Christmas lights on it), they returned in 2015 and murdered 10 of my 12 children. I know racism better than most people. And you know what? Having lived through that kind of thing, I really DO NOT LIKE reading about racism in novels, especially, when it's written by authors who never experienced REAL and ACTUAL violent racists first hand. You can tell the difference between someone bullied in school and calling that racism vs someone who has had family members beaten to death on their front lawn by actual hate groups. You can tell FAST, when the only thing an author knows is name calling, and thinks name calling counts as racism. Try witnessing your children being beaten to death on your front lawn by a group of 74 grown men, 14 of which were holding you down with guns to your head, before telling me you qualify to write about racism.

As a PoC who has had actual family members murdered by actual Ku Klux Klan, I'm sick to death of racism being the ONLY thing anyone thinks they can write about, for EVERY non-white character. Demons, Elves, Dwarves, black Humans, Middle Eastern Humans... it's like no one can write any of those things without racism. And you know what that says to me? It says the authors have a REALLY DIFFICULT TIME identifying those characters as PEOPLE and instead think of them as aliens - even the Human races.

So, with that in mind, I would advice, to just trea your characters like you would treat your grandmother. You wouldn't throw your grammy into horrible race struggle situations would you? So why throw your characters into them?

Sure, I get that people who've been through racism, want to write through it as therapy or to tell others what happened. That's fine, because they are writing from experience.

But, when you're talking about Fantasy genre, you really don't need to put real world race struggles into your stories, no matter what race the character is. PoC Humans, Demons, Elves, whatever. To default to ___ race MUST = a story about racism, just says the author doesn't have any respect for that race at all and sees that race as inferior, so is incapable of showing that race as anything other than marginalized.

If you want to write a story about Demons, that's fine, but, don't feel you HAVE to write race struggles just because ten million other authors wrote race struggles. Dare to be different. Dare to treat your Demon characters with respect. Don't marginalize them. Treat them like people. Think of your Demon characters as though they were your best friends and write them with the same respect your show to your best friends. That's the way to write races that are shoved into race struggles, while not writing them about race struggles. Give your characters interesting lives and you'll have so many interesting things to write about that you won't have time to think about writing race struggles


>>>What is the step by step actions to become a better writer?!

>>>I've been wanting to improve my writing for so long, and I've been a bit successful in that because my actions were consistent. What I want to ask today is, What are the No Bs daily, weekly, and monthly things you can do to improve your writing?

>>>

What I did was this...

So, here's the thing: I never went to school. I come from a culture that forbids female to learn to read and write and females can and often are publicly beaten to death by their own fathers if they dare try to learn to read and write. I was 31 years old first time I encountered an American woman and she could read and write like men did and I wanted that.

So, I started asking around how do you learn to do those things. How can a woman possibly learn to do things only men are allowed to do. How can I do them with out being executed for the crime of being a female who can read and write. I ended up finding a high school that was teaching adult education classes for the GED program and, so when I was 37 years old, I would sneak out at night after the men were asleep and walk there, and after 3 months of doing that, I got a GED.

After that I took a dictionary and a copy of Treasure Island and a 99 volume Funk and Wagers Encyclopedia set and a Bible, and a case of 144 legal pads, and I spent every day I wrote out a page from the dictionary, a page from Treasure Island, an entry/page from the encyclopedia, and a page from the Bible. I continued with that until I had written out every pages of all of them. 

I had to move several times because the men of the clan kept beating me up. And social services helped me to get a driver's license and a job, which caused the men to blow up my house with a bomb, because women having jobs is far more an evil crime than women learning to read and write, in their minds. So, it's not been easy to gain my freedom. A fixed house is not safe - they've taken out five of them since the bomb, so now I have a motorhome and can just drive away when they show up. Since having the motorhome I've had more freedom to focus on reading and writing.

So, after that I went around to yard sales, flea markets, library book sales, Goodwill, Salvation Army and any other place I could find that had used books, and I just bought every book I could find, fiction, non-fiction, magazines, newspapers. I found lots of them that had "books a $1 a bag/box" so I was able to get a few thousand books per every $100 I spent at these places.

And I just kept doing the same thing. Every night after work, I would get a mechanical pencil and just start writing out page after page of every book, in legal pads.

In my 40s I found out about colleges, that wasn't a thing I had ever heard of before than, and so I started going to every college that was a 2 hour drive or less. And because I can't do numbers or clocks or phones of maths or sciences, I don't know counting and stuff, so because of that I can't sign up for a degree program, however college administrators told me about community student enrichment programs. Which allow anyone to just walk into the college, enroll in 1 to 3 classes from any degree program and so you can take the same classes as the degree students, you just are not awarded credits and don't earn a degree (because in order to get a degree ou have t take specific sets of required classes, whereas this way you are just taking classes you want to take and don't bother with the required classes at all.)

So, once I found out you could do this, every semester I pick one or two colleges that are near enough each other I can go to both, and sign up for 2 to 3 classes at each. I try to take 5 classes each semester.

In the end, I ended up spending the last 20 years steadily enrolled in lots of college classes at lots of colleges. I focus primarily on writing/literature/english classes, but I also take a lot of art/painting, cooking/culinary arts, auto mechanics, business management/entrepreneurship, history/world history/local history/maritime history/aerceplogy, boat building, religion/philosophy/culture/sociology, psychology, nature/marine biology/park ranger/forestry, and other classes as well.

In the end, all of this has improved my writing skills on huge levels. You can see the difference, from just 20 years ago, when I was still trying to get the GED and I struggled badly to even write a sentence with any level of coherent logic, to today where now I can write things like this Reddit post - something I would not have been able to do just a few years ago. And on top of that, I've gone on to publish more than a hundred novels since then.

I know the common advice on this sub is to just read and write, but they say that because it's true. I mean, look at me. All I did was to learn the basics of reading and writing, and then set out to reading and writing down as I read, the pages of professional published books, dictionaries, more than a dozen encyclopedia sets, lots of classic literature (Poe, Dickens, Twain, etc), lots of 70s/80s Fantasy/Sci-Fi (Terry Brooks, Keith Laumer, James Blish, Anne McCraffy, Marion Zimmer Bradley, etc - because that's the sort of books most of the $1 a bag/box sales had available) and huge amounts of National Geographic magazines (because they are a dime a dozen at most flea markets so I was able to get hundreds and hundreds of them, and they are full of so much knowledge about the world we live in.) 

If I was going to say that any one thing was the best at helping me to improve my writing, I would say it was the cases of hundreds of yellow backed National Geographic magazines. Why? Because they are written in high quality pro-edited good/perfect grammar, so hand copying out the articles, line by line pencil on paper, really gets you in the habit of writing good grammar. Plus all the articles teach you lots of stuff about world cultures and animals and such. Most of my published short stories and novels started out as my getting an idea from an article in National Geographic, either from a photo in it or from an article in it. So not only did the National Geographic magazines help me to learn to read and write, but they also offer a wealth of story ideas and act as writing prompts, that in turn went on to be published.

In any case, I don't know if any of this will be helpful t you in your situation or not, but that's what I did to improve my writing, so that's what helped me.


The number one worst (best?) example of pregnancy plots done wrong, that I can think of, is The Mpreg Genre... pregnant male characters, usually the MC himself. Yes, this is an actual genre, I write it and all of my bestsellers include it. It's uhm... well... it sells, if you can stomach writing it, eh, I mean just look at Virginia Wade - $30k a week, is no income to snub. It's usually a sub-genre within the Monster Porn genre, which is my primary genre. I originally started writing Mpreg as a one-off satire joke novel to poke fun at one of my other novels, and fans lovedit and requested more of it and, well, who am I to not give my fans what they want: bishie boy pregnant men. I never set out to write Mpreg as a career, it just sort happened. There are times when I am glad I never tell anybody what my pennames are, Mpreg is one of those times.

Obviously, in The Mpreg Genre, you are dealing with major biological impossibilities, like the fact that males don't have a uterus, and other pertinent body parts. Likewise The Mpreg Genre exists almost exclusively in the M/M Genre, which is often seen as being in bad taste, just for how inaccurately gay men are often shown in Yaoi. Yes, Yaoi, is the top level genre name. Yaoi = Boy Love aka 2 male characters in love, writing as though they were 2 female characters in love, written by women, for women.

The Mpreg subGenre is probably the most controversial segment of Yaoi. A Yaoi itself is a genre which pretty much everyone agrees is the most controversial genre on the planet.

Mpreg is definitely a niche fetish genre that has far more haters than fans.

In Mpreg usually the plot line involves magic or curses or gennie wishes granted or sci-fi tech or alien abduction human breeding programs gone to result in an unsuspecting male MC suddenly find himself very pregnant. Usually a comedy of errors type situation, some stories get quiet series, while others take a walk down the body horror path.

In any case, all you have to do is type "Mpreg" into Google and you will be flooded with tens of thousands of examples of this particular type of pregnancy plot done very, very, horribly, purposefully wrong. Some can be found self pubbed on Amazon and/or Kindle, a few are even professionally published by big house publishers, but most appear on fan-websites as weird fanfiction of various characters, while the bulk of the genre can be found self published to Smashwords where such fetish genres reign supreme.

Aside from Mpreg you have such other controversial genres as "Big Belly Erotica" aka Pregnancy Erotica. I *cough* write this as well sssshhhh, don't tell anyone *cough*. In Pregnancy Erotica, you usually see, very old school pre-1950s pro-male, patriarchal male characters, with very submissive and very pregnant female characters, who within days of giving birth and immediately made pregnant again. This genre often crosses over with The Harem Genre (which is the type I write) where you see one very dominate male MC, (yes, the male is usually the MC in this genre, not the pregnant female) and him having 5 or more wives, all pregnant, all, staggered, so each baby is born 2 or 3 months aparts, for the specific purpose of the MC ALWAYS having at least 4 pregnant women clinging to him in any given scene.

This genre is read predominantly by men, though, it has it's female fans, like myself, I can't get enough of reading this genre. It usually focuses on male MCs who are extremely family focused, dotting on their wives and children, but also being men who have severe over the top obsessions with being surrounded by pregnant women.

This genre is HATED with verhemant levels by feminists, liberals, and the over all "woke sjw" community, who are quick to flood every book they can find with scathing nasty hate filed reviews, usually peppered heavily with death threats aimed towards the author. According to the tens of thousands of hate fueled reviews this genre recieves on Amazon, the primary reason people hate it so much, is because "man = bad, female = good, me Jane, pound Tarzan to big pulp". In short, they hate seeing men happy, they hate seeing men with loving devoted wives, they hate seeing men who are pro-life and father lots of children, they hate men who are good dads and caring fathers of big families of lots of children, heck... they just hate men and ain't afraid to say it, in reviews that are often longer in word count than the novellas they are reviewing.

Side note, this genre is often written by LDS/Mormon women, like myself. I'm a 5th generation Mormon, I grew up in a polygamous family. I had 12 uncles, all over whom each had no fewer than 5 wives, each wife had now fewer than 8 children, I have one uncle who has a wife who gave birth to 23 of his more than 400 children. There are more than 4,000 - yes four thousand - people in my family. I write what I know, and I know very well, men who have lots of wives, all of their wives pregnant at the same time. And that fact is not hidden from my readers, and the reviews lash on hate to THAT, more than they do the books. They simply can not fathom the exists of people who not carbon copies of themselves.

I've yet to see a review of the Harem Pregnancy Fetish genre, that was actually a review on the plots done bad, they are always just massive reviews on the evils of pregnant women being glad to be pregnant and not having abortions. They accuse this genre of being very anti-pro-choice, and try to pull the genre down to be part of their own psycho-babble hatred of all things related to families, especially men who like pregnant women, whom the reviewers vilify for no reason at all. 

When you get into more mainstream genres like Harlequin Romance, they for over a decade had a series called "Babies and Billionaires" that released 4 new titles a week for more than 10 years, all of them the theme of either a pregnant girl falling in love with a billionaire, or a billionaire single dad falling in love with the woman who is his child's teacher/babysitter etc. There are more than 2,000 books in the series, written by well over 100 authors, if you want to look for them. These usually center around the story of big business man seeking instant family and almost always end with a big wedding.

The people who hate this genre, usually hate it for the same reasons they hate the previous genre: "Man = bad, female = good, me Jane, pound Tarzan to big pulp. Man like baby... GRRRRRR? Me kick man in balls, show him who like baby! Babies bad! Just like men!  GRRRRR! Me big girl, kick man! Him make babies no more! Yay!"

Harlequin currently has a series called Love Inspired, which features predominantly pregnant female MCs, the ones not pregnant usually have a newborn to toddler baby. Most of the novels in this series featured a happily married couple who are having a birth/pregnancy/baby related crisis to overcome (usually something like the baby has cancer or something). These are often very religious, include scenes of the couple in church, the minister praying over the baby, etc, and often end with some miracle "god cured the baby on Christmas Eve" type ending.

The people who hate this genre, usually hate it for the same reasons they hate the previous two genre: "Man = bad, female = good, me Jane, pound Tarzan to big pulp. God = man. Man = bad, so god bad too! GRRRRR! Me girl with big power suit shoulder pads! Show god whose boss! Baby bad, because baby come from men!"

In short, in my personal experiences of writing all of the above genres for the publishers/lines mentions, it's not an issue of pregnancy plots being done bad so much as it is femistists with big mouths and small brains, trying to out scream each other about how much no woman in her right mind should ever want to be pregnant because pregnancy means you had to be in the same room as a man, for longer than it takes to beat the shit out of him for the sin of having been born male.

So, in the end, I say, write your book, ignore the haters. Haters are just small minded people who try to scream loud in the hops that if they scream loud enough, you won't notice they don't have a brain.

I love pregnancy plots. It's also why I haven't published a novel in 7 years, not since April 10, 2015. My novels predominantly featured pregnancy plots, and, I can't write them any more. Triggers flashbacks to the day my children were murdered.



Do keep in mind, there are still 2 states in America where being LGBTQAI+ lands you in prison for 25 years, and in both of those states LGBTQAI+ books are not allowed to be sold in stores and authors living in those states and publishing LGBTQAI+ books in other states are subjected to being dragged through court by town hall mayors (I've been dragged through court 7 times in the past 7 years by Maine town officials).

And in both of those 2 states (Maine and Florida) gay men being publicly beaten to death by huge mobs of 100+ people while police officers and sheriffs cheer them on, has increased by 400% since 2020 as a direct police retaliation against BLM, and is currently sitting at no fewer than 12 gay men beaten to death each month of 2021, with the numbers getting higher each month, just in a radius of 14 miles from my driveway, there are 200,000 - two hundred thousand - Ku Klux Klan members right now parading around Maine with assault rifles - right now in November 2021 - gunning down entire families if any one person in the family is suspected of being gay or an alley of gay.

So anyone telling you it's a okay to be gay in America, or worse lying to you and telling you it's safe to write LGBTQAI+ books right now in America, clearly doesn't live in either Maine or Florida.

The dead people include 10 of my 12 children who were beheaded the youngest was 4 the oldest was 16, killed simply because one of my novels features a gay couple.

Maine is being held hostage by the KKK right now and no one in the lower 48 gives a shit.


Do you make an interesting story first and then realize the deep message within, or do you have a message and then make a story to tell that message?

>>>Do you make an interesting story first and then realize the deep message within, or do you have a message and then make a story to tell that message?

>>>How do you go about starting a passion-project? I hear a lot of people who seem to have this "mission" for their story, and it seems like some of the great works of fiction have this deepness that just seems too good not to be planned ahead of the story.

>>>While I myself just want to tell an interesting story, and by accident or through my subconcious or whatever, end up finding themes/criticisms of society/messages and whatnot.

>>>How do you do it? How do most big authors do it?

I think you must be an American, yes? I say this because I am not and I find many American habits to be extremely bizarre, and this habit of not being able to enjoy a story for the sake of the story because they are too busy desperately looking for secrets and hidden messages one of the most outlandish, utterly insane things I have ever encountered in American culture, and I just can't wrap my mind around it at all. The concept of looking for secrets and hidden messages inside of a novel is just so foreign and weird to me, and yet, everywhere I turn,, every American I meet, it just seems like they all do this.

Before I encountered Americans, I had never even heard of the concept of stuffing messages into a novel. It just seems so weird and fake to me. Like they are saying authors are only capable of writing propaganda to push an agenda, so they feel the desperately paranoid schizophrenic need to search every page for what every brainwashing tidbit of illuminati lunacy might have been slipped in. It's pretty ridiculous really, when you watch Americans go all mega paranoid and be unable to enjoy reading because they are so terrified of hidden messages in the novel.

I have never consciously put a theme in anything I've written, so I'm always surprised when a reader emails to ask about this or that theme and I why I focused on it so much. I'll go back and reread what I wrote and then still be clueless as to where in the heck the reader saw theme A or theme B in the story.

I think, readers see themes they WANT to see. Like for example, one of my novels has a reputation for being what readers have called "heavy with gay agenda" and yet, the novel in question has no gay characters, no mention of gay anything, and I can't figure out what in the heck they are referring to as "gay agenda". They were very anti-gay super christian type, and were angry that there was so much pro-gay themes in the novel, so wrote me a long scathing email on how much they hate gay characters and gay authors and gay politics. They included lots of Bible quotes on burning in lake of fire and needed to repeat. I was just reading the email and thinking: "What in the heck are they talking about? I'm a straight woman, so I'm not a gay author, like they said, none of my characters are gay, so that wasn't there either. There was no mention of anything to do with any politics gay or otherwise. To this day, I have no clue where in the heck they fund "gay themes" in my novel.

I say this, because, later I saw that same person (they live local to me) organizing anti-gay protests out front of a local grocery store. When I asked what they were protesting, as I had to walk by them to get in the store, they raved about the fact that the store had hired a gay cashier, and they were demanding a boycott of the "gay store" and it's "gay loving manager".

Well, when I saw this, and I recognized them as being the same person who has sent me that email, that's when I finally understood, WHY it was they thought my book had "gay themes" in it. This was a person who had a personal agenda, a personal vendetta against the LGBTQAI+ community, and so they were ACTIVLY LOOKING  for gay this or gay that in ANYTHING and EVERYTHING they came across. Which resulted in them seeing "gay themes" in places where no such theme existed at all. In their mind, they WANTED to find a certain type of theme, because they were actively looking for that theme, so they could hate on it, which resulted in them putting that theme into everything they saw.

I don't know, I think people see whatever it is they want to see, wither the thing they are looking for is in the book or not. They want the theme to be there so bad, that they are convinced they saw it. 

*shrug*

And I think most themes, which readers find in books are this same way. 

I think most themes are just the reader putting what they want to find in the novel, and most themes are not actually in the novels at all, readers, just think they are.

Another thing, is I never understand how people see or find themes in novels. I'm in several book clubs, and we'll all read the same book that week, than take about it at the next meeting. And with every novel, I'll be talking about how great the characters were, how fn the adventure was... and everyone else will be talking about this or that political theme they found in the novel, and I'll be asking: "What theme? I didn't see that. Where did you find any mention of politics in the story?" And they will point it out to me and I'll reread the chapter right there in the meeting and I still won't see it.

Well, this happens all the time, so I ask them:"How is it you are seeing all these themes and hidden messages? Where you really that bored with the characters and their adventure that you couldn't focus on the characters and spent time nitpicking for hidden messages instead?" And they will always answer with story about how high school ruined their ability to read a novel. They can't enjoy characters and plots anymore, because some high school teacher told them they had to search the text with a fine tooth comb looking for themes.

Damn. Is that what school is like? I guess I'm glad I never went to school then. My parents took me out of school at age 8 and I didn't get my GED and start going to random college classes at every college in the area until I was 47 years old. I can't take degree programs because I don't know math, I can't count or tell time or read calendars, or use phones or money or credit cards and stuff, because I don't know how to do numbers. That's why I sign up to take a class here and a class there at so many colleges. You can take the individual classes without taking the math and science pre-requisits that way. So, it ends up, I have a very difficult time trying to wrap my mind around the concept of reading for the sake of searching for themes, because I was never taught to do that because I never went to school.

Also, I've not had a tv since 1987, and the last phone I had was the switchboard rotary in 1978. I've not had a phone since the switchboard station downtown shut down, and we don't have cell phone towers up here, so cell phones and things like discord or tiktok or instagram that are cell phone apps, and things like netflix or hulu that require cellphone towers for streaming, I don't even have access to. I don't buy newspapers either. Without newspapers or tv or cell phones, we don't have access to news reports (like the whole 9-11 twin towers thing - we found out about it in 2013, two years after it happened). We are far enough north that we have snow all year long and as not many people live up here, no companies have any incentive to bring power lines up here even (we use solar power and wind power and generators mostly). So, we don't get to find out about politics and stuff that are happening in the lower 48 more than once or twice a year, and than it's from some tourist asking "So what'd you think about Covid19?"... what? We found out about that December 2020, I guess the rest of the world knew about it a year earlier?

 I live in Maine, there is no cell phone service up here, 2/3s the state doesn't even have electricity or indoor pluming, the average Mainer doesn't know what a computer is, let alone what the internet is. So, thinks like Discord, Instagram, and Tiktok, that are cell phone apps only, are not an option for me, seeing how cell phones are not things we have up here.I think the lower 48 forgets how isolated Maine is up here.

I think the fact that we are so extremely isolated up here and so very cut off from the rest of America, that, we end up, not knowing "the hot trends" in "political themes" and so, only outsiders from the lower 48 ever get hyped up on finding themes. We just ain't effected by them much up here in our every day life, so I think that has a large effect on how I read and write and why I struggle so hard to find themes in any novel.

I'm not pre-conditioned to look for themes, so I don't think to be all arrogant and nitpicky about tearing about the author's novel looking for themes, because I'm too busy having fun enjoying the adventure the characters are having, to pay attention to some stupid as special snowflake politics.

I read for the characters. I read to make a new friend with the character. I read to share the adventure the character goes on. I just can't understand how it is people read to look for themes and messages and politics. I wonder, is it because we don't get bombarded with news and politics up here, that we end up just not thinking about those things? Is seeking out themes when reading, a side effect of the lower 48 being over bombarded with news and politics all day every day? Have people forgotten how to just enjoy reading for the sake of enjoying reading?

Well, I write the same way I read. I create a character that I would want for a best friend, and then I write about them going on an adventure that I would want to go on if I was their best friend and going somewhere with them. That's it. I don't go around looking for themes to ram down the readers' throats because I don't have an political agenda when I write. And seeing how we get our news 2 to 3 years after the rest of the country, I have no way of knowing what hot political stupidity readers are going to be looking for this week anyways.

I am well aware that Americans see me for having some pretty outlandish writing methods that most American writers wouldn't touch with a 9 foot pole. I'm also aware I come from a non-American/non-European background/culture that the average American doesn't even know exists, let alone could wrap their mind around trying to imagine it exists. And my writing methods are influenced by that. I came from a culture that wouldn't think twice about cutting out the tongue of a woman who talked back to her husband, and strictly forbids women from having jobs, punishment for stealing is a hand cut off, punishment of lying is tongue cut out, punishment for adultery or being gay is beheading, yet drug dealers run everything and child prostitution is the biggest income. Still right now in 2021. I grew up a female in that world, didn't go to school because I was a child in a cage on display for pedofile men. I was rescued from that life by an FBI raid that was there because my uncles had a stockpile of military guns. FBI found 140 of use little girls locked up in puppy mill style cages. They had no clue we were there or what the hell they had walked into. I don't thin a lot of people in the lower 48 know what Maine is like.

The average American, struggles with things like school homework, cell phone service, affording vaccinations for their children, ... up here in Maine, I didn't even know those things existed until I was 31 years old.

Mainstream America was BIG time culture shock for me. The amount of freedom women and children have in the lower 48 of America is mind boggling, a thing I never could have imagined existed. Women allowed to get jobs, things like schools and doctors. It's why I attend so many colleges and so many college classes. You just can't do stuff like that up here in Maine. The men won't allow it. I didn't get my GED and start going to random college classes at every college in the area until I was 47 years old. I can't take degree programs because I don't know math, or science, to this day, now even in 2021, I can't count or tell time or read calendars, or use phones or money or credit cards and other number stuff, because I don't know how to do numbers. That's why I sign up to take a class here and a class there at so many colleges. You can take the individual classes without taking the math and science prerequisites that way. 

Writing for me, is the ultimate freedom. But, I came from a culture where freedom to write was not an option, because I was born female. And it's why I took up writing. The freedom to read and not be beaten to death for it. That's a great blessing. The freedom to write. Americans don't know how good they have it or how great their freedom to read and write is. I suppose you could say my reading so much and my writing so much is a direct side effect of my culture, and me making up for lost time by reading and writing at a higher rate than average. That's why my writing advice skews to the controversial "just write" good or bad, just write, write what you know, write what you love, don't ask for permission to right white or black or male or female, just bask in your freedom to write.

My method of writing, reflects heavily the culture I was raised in. As does my method of publishing, predominantly vanity press aka local print shops print up thousands of copies and I sell my novels out of the trunk of my car at local beaches to the tourists. I sold 57 million copies that way. Each of my novels averages around 20k sales the first summer of it's release, all to tourists on the beach, sales from my car. And yet,every time any one on this sub mentions vanity press, they get bombarded with answers telling them to not do it. Why? Avoid the scams yes, but, there's nothing wrong with vanity publishing if you are willing to get off your ass and get the face to face local sales. It works for me, that's why I advice it.

Never having gone to school, I know nothing about "traditional writing methods". The concept of themes, character arcs, 3 act structure, beats, tropes, hero journey, were all things I never heard of before joining this subreddit and yet before joining this subreddit I had already published 138 novels, some of them bestsellers. Some of them for big publishers: including Harlequin and Disney. I've sold more books than most people on this sub combined. And yet, I can offer no advice on silly useless things like themes, character arcs, 3 act structure, beats, tropes, hero journey, because I'm not even sure what they are.

I write as a way to work through my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Agoraphobia (which at its worst, I was unable to leave my bedroom for 15 years, at one point could not even step on the floor - it was EXTREME agoraphobia)(all 3 caused by the same trauma). This is WHY I always say, I don't write for "YOU" the reader, I don't give a shit about "YOU" the reader. I write so that I can get from one day to the next. I write as therapy.  I write for ME and my own mental hell and I don't give a rat's ass about "you the reader", writing for the market, writing for trends, writing to be published, writing for income. I write because I severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Agoraphobia, so you see, I'm not thinking about hidden themes or secret messages, because I'm not writing FOR A READER, I'm writing for me. I publish it because, why not? If anyone reads it and enjoys it, great, if not, that fine too, because I already reached my goal with it long before it was published. 

I wonder if I was writing FOR the reader, instead of for myself, would I write differently? Would I feel compelled to weave in hidden secrets and messages?

Readers have told me my series is full of politics and erotica, but I don't know where they find either in it. So if they read the my series and you saw politics, Erotica, or anything else, that's all stuff THEY put there because THEY WANTED it to be there. I don't write politics or Erotica - I write the abuse my uncles and their friends did to me and I write a character who survives the exact same abuse I went through only he survives it better than I did and he can go outside and talk to people, 2 things I can not do.  

I write, so that I can stop having PSTD agoraphobia attacks for a few hours, long enough so I can go to WalMart and buy food. But the effect only last a couple of hours, so if I want to go outside again the next day, I have to write the abusers being defeated by my MC all over again the next day.

It's the only way I am able to go outside. My panic attacks and phobias of being beaten up is so severe that I can not set foot outside the front door.

This is WHY I say, I don't write for the reader, I don't give a shit about the reader. I write so that I can get from one day to the next. I write as therapy. I write for ME and my own mental hell and I don't give a rat's ass about the reader, writing for the market, writing for trends, writing to be published, writing for income. I write because I severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Agoraphobia.

I wonder too, had I gone to school, would I be conditioned to look for themes as well? Would I not have the pure joy of reading for the sake of experiencing joy from reading, like I do? I don't know.

Themes are just never a thing I think to think about, not when reading or writing. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Would my writing be better if I wrote with themes in mind? Would I enjoy reading more if I scurried through the text with a magnifying glass looking for hidden themes between the lines? No clue. I just put all my focus on the characters. I like character driven stories so that is what I both read and write.

I couldn't even imagine trying to write something and try to force a hidden message into it. It feels immoral and sleazy. I just wouldn't feel right doing it at all.

When I write a story, I just pick a character that I am in love with and write him doing things so I can go on adventures with him. Fuck messages. Who wants a message? The freedom to write without being shot in the head for doing so is enough for me. I want to have fun with a character that is fun to have fun with. I think American writers take their freedom to write for granted. If they knew what a risk it is to write in other places, maybe they wouldn't be so focused on having agendas and shoving messages down reader throats. I think Americans have forgotten how to just enjoy reading for the sake of reading and writing for the sake of writing.

In the end, I just find the whole concept of putting themes in novels, to be bizarre and outlandish. I feel like authors who do that are coming from a culture that is so alien to the culture I grew up in, that they might as well be from another planet. I just can't wrap my mind around the concept of stuffing your novel full of themes and messages and politics and agendas. It seems so forgiven and bizarre to me. And yet, if half the posts I see on Reddit are any indication, the concept of shoving themes into your novel while you write, seems to be a pretty standard practice in the lower 48, yes?

I don't know. I just don't get it. I don't understand why readers waste time hunting for hidden themes and messages in novels, it seems like such a pointless waste of time, like don't they have anything better to do? Nor do I understand why some writers focus on putting themes in their novels. I guess if that's what they want to do, well, okay. More power to them. As for me, I'll just continue to read and write about characters having fun time adventures and continue on in my being baffled over the existence of themes and messages.

I have Kanner's Syndrome and Selective Mutism and extreme social anxiety, and am recovering agoraphobia which at it's worst I not only couldn't go outside the house, but I couldn't go outside of my bedroom for 15 years; so, getting out and talking to people was a HUGE obstacle for me. 

It took me 5 years to make it out my front door and to the end of the driveway and another 2 years to be able to get my car out the driveway and to the end of the street. But I kept trying every day, and now I'm at a point where 2 or 3 days a week, I drive 100+ miles and take college classes and visit museums and attend conventions and I talk to people constantly at them.

Getting out and talking to people face to face, and especially joining college classes at 200+ colleges (not all at once, but 5 classes every 3 months over a period of several years) forced me to have a schedule where I had to be somewhere (the college) so I had to go outside and I had to talk to people.

Well, all this in turn improved my vocabulary, and in turn, improved my writing. But themes and hidden messages? Nope. Themes and hidden messages are still a lost art on me, and I doubt I'll ever master them, but I'm okay with that. I've accepted that I can't learn to do everything in writing and instead of focusing on areas I can't do well, I focus on areas I am good at instead.



Should I Write Pornography to Build Discipline?

>What I came up with: smut. I don’t want to write it, but it’s easy and if you have a feel for rhythm and tension, you could probably write steamy stuff just fine. The point is this, the work isn’t difficult, but it’s a lot to tackle.

There are millions of Erotica authors who would be screaming and ripping there hair out if they read this.

>What I came up with: smut. 

Are you sure you aren't just distracted? NEEDED to watch PornHub for a few hours is quite different than actually making a career of writing Porn.

>I don’t want to write it, 

Why would you even consider writing something you don't what to write?

There are millions of dime a dozen Erotica authors who didn't' want to, and guess what? It shows. Their stories are craptastic garbage they can't even give away for free. Their characters are flat, their plots are dull, and their stories are just sex on the page for the sake of sex on a page. It's boring to read and you can tell they don't read the genre and think smut = endless sex. They don't have a clue what readers want because they are not readers of the genre themselves. They are just scam artist charlatans who think if you put enough sex on the page people will mindlessly throw money at them. They think Erotica readers are just dum, stupid, welfare bum high school dropouts who throw money at every sex object they see. And guess what: readers can see right through that scam. Readers can tell the writer thinks they are too stupid to know good writing. Readers don't like that kind of arrogant holier than thou author who writes sex because sex readers are stupid sheep who'll buy anything. These writers think they can write any shit on the page and get away with it because they think readers of sex are just worthless gutter scum trash. Writers like this are deplorable. We go enough writers like this flooding the industry already, we don't need more.

Look at the top writers in the industry. They LOVE what they do. They have a passion for what they write. They ENJOY what they write. They LOVE the fan base. They are RABID READERS of their genre, not just writers. They love what they do, and it shows. Their work glows with vibrate realistic characters and enticing thought provoking plots, that are driven by far more than just sex slapped on a page. These writers know readers are looking for art. These writers treated their readers with respect. They don't treat their readers like mindless sex crazed sheep who aren't worthy of good quality books. These authors know readers are intelligent people who deserve to be treated as equals and not kicked into the gutter just because they read sex. Writers who treat readers with respect are rare in the smut industry and we need more of them.

>but it’s easy 

And by what logic do you think this?

Go have sex and then describe it. Go on. Try. See what you come up with. Insert A into B and shake with C and get D... blah, blah, blah... dull, dry, boooooOOOOoooring. No one wants to read tab A to slot B sex scenes, but that's what 99.99% of clueless newbs write and than run crying to the Erotica forums all boo-hoo "No one buys my smut, I can't understand why! It's so eaaaasy to write! Look I wrote 5 a day every day this month!" Why? Because you write like a robot without any feelings or emotions, there are no sensory words, no flaming passion, just A + B = C text book sex.

There's a lot more to smut then sex, and there's a lot more to sex scenes than Biology class instructions. Few newbs know that and that's why there is so much utter garbage in the genre.

You want to give your readers mind blowing orgasms, well, first you have to give them a character they feel attracted to, than you have to give that character emotions the reader empathizes with, than you have to build tension with conflict, then you build erotic desires with sensory words, colour psychology, and subliminal messaging. By this point your reader has already had their mind blowing orgasm ad you don't even need to write the sex scene. 

Yeah. You do know that some of the Erotica that is widly regarded as the best smut ever written contains ZERO sex scenes right? If you didn't know that, than you just might be someone who doesn't read Erotica. Smut does not require sex scenes to evoke sexual desires, lustful feelings, and mind blowing orgams in your readers.

But writing sexless Erotica that DOES evoke sexual desires, lustful feelings, and mind blowing orgams in your readers, is not easy to do and is an art that takes years of practice writing hundreds and hundreds d stories before you'll perfect it.

Good smut, like any other genre, isn't a talent that happens over night. It's not easy. And it's emotionally draining.

Smut is not easy to write and anyone who thinks it is has never tried writing it.

The proof of how difficult smut is the write, can be seen in the dung filled heaping piles of crap that readers have to wade through to find the actually GOOD and well written smut.

If smut was easy to write, bad porn wouldn't exist.

Bad Porn is a dime a dozen, and those authors can't give their stuff away from free half the time.

I can sell a short story for $7.99 and a novel for $14.99 (that's how I price my work on Amazon) and people buy it. Why? Because I'm good. I'm damned good. And people are willing to pay for good writing. My readers know I put out quality. I have a whole crew of editors and cover artists that I have on my staff - yes, I have a staff, because this is a full time job for me. I'm not slapping crappy writing, flat characters, unedited text, bad formatting, craptastic covers, up on Kindle and wondering why they don't sell at even .99c. I'm putting out high quality work with pro editing, pro formatting, pro covers, and I spend 2 or 3 years on each novel, rewriting and revising, fleshing out well loved characters and giving them meaningful stories. I couldn't charge the prices I do if it was bad, because no one would buy it if I did.

I'm one of the world's top selling Monster Porn authors for a reason: I take my job very seriously, I love my characters, I love my readers, I respect my readers and think they deserve top quality work, not shittashist dime a dozen crap they can read for free on LitErotica.

Sure, writing crap is easy. Sure writing flat Mary Sues is easy. Sure plotless drivel that is nothing one sex scene after another is easy.

But bad writing is still bad writing and it not only won't sell, it also won't teach you how to improve your writing skills.

Writing crap is easy in EVERY genre.

Writing quality is difficult hard work in EVERY genre, even smut. But ask any smut writer and every one of them will tell you it's the hardest genre they ever tried to write.

>and if you have a feel for rhythm and tension, you could probably write steamy stuff just fine. 

Really? What experience do you have in the adult entertainment industry?

You want to know my job before I was a writer? No. You don't. But there's a reason I write what I write so very well: it's called I write what I know. Do you KNOW the fetishes? As in, has you ever done them, lived them, made a full time career doing them? If you haven't, you'll find those fetishes VERY difficult to write with any level of believably.

Now tell me what you know about subliminal messaging? Did you know some of the words best written Erotica contains ZERO sex scenes? And relies fully on the inclusion of carefully places sensory words, used to trick the reader's brain into trigger certain emotions, causing the reader to THINK they read a sex scene, even though the scene was nothing but a shoe salesman describing a shoe? Can you wield sensory words on that kind of level? Mos people can't and it's a skill that takes even the best writers decades to perfect.

Newsflash: sex does NOT = steamy stuff. That's the tar pit of doom that most newbs in Erotica fall into and never climb back out of.

Sex is dull.

Sex is boring.

You want to read sex, go read a Biology textbook, that's going to be more interesting than 90% of the smut written these days.

And after you've written 10 sex scenes back to back, you'll never want to see anything to do with sex ever again.

Most who jump into writing smut, thinking it's easy, quite in under 6 months, once they are faced with the reality that this is the HARDEST genre to succeed in, because it's the MOST DIFFICULT to write with any level of quality.

Most Erotica writers rely fully on being able to publish no fewer than 3 fully unedited short stories of 10k words each, EVERY WEEK, and burn out after just a few weeks of that grind. 

>The point is this, the work isn’t difficult, 

Yeah, tell that of the millions of smut authors before you who quite after 6 months of weekly releases. The biggest sellers spend years crafting each novel to perfection, that's why they become bestsellers - because they mastered good grammar, good editing, good plots, good characters, and gained a reputation with readers for being one of the few Erotica authors who actually CARES about putting out quality.

>but it’s a lot to tackle.

You can say that again. Are you sure you are even remotely aware of how much it is though?

I write Monster Porn, a genre that most people think of as sex, sex, sex, and more sex, and yet, in 138 novels and 2,000+ short stories published in the genre, I had yet to write a sex scene.

Interestingly, I'm one of the top 3 selling Monster Porn authors and the reason reviewers give for liking mine over the million and one other Monster Porn authors: I focus on character emotions and not sex. They say mine is better because of the LACK of sex, which they say is very difficult to find in the Monster Porn genre. Half my reviews read "Best Erotica I ever read!" in spite of their being no sex, no erotic scenes, no nudity, no sex play, NOTHING that is in any way, shape, or form related to sex at all, ever appears in the stories. And yet "Best Erotica I ever read!" is the most common review I get across all of them.

Why?

Well, one only has to read the reviews to find out. Reviewers are quick to point out they get tired of Monster Porn being endless gratuitous sex for the sake of sexual gratification, and that my 100% sex free Monster Porn is breath of fresh air to them. They say they started reading Monster Porn looking for the sex, sure, but after a while it became monotonous. Flat characters, Mary Sues. Unbelievable situations because all plot points were only there to lead to a sex scene. The major complaint in Monster Porn is that most of it it just standard PornHub sex scenes described, and there is no story. And THIS is where reviewers say mine stands out: Why? Because it's one character, just one... the monster no less (no the Human is NOT the MC in mine, the MONSTER is the MC)... it's one character, with LOTS of stories told about him. Told from his point of view. Told from the point of view of a monster who is sick and tired, fed up with and disgusted with being seen as a sex object. He hates how horney female Humans constantly throw themselves at him. You see the Monster's PoV as he watches sex crazed Humans make fools of themselves chasing after him. This ain't a sex crazed monster chasing innocent woman like you normally see in Monster Porn.

The other trend in Monster Porn is to write lots of stories about lots of MCs. A new MC every story/novella/novel. Even Virginia Wade's Cum 4 Bigfoot, doesn't follow the same MC through the entire 16 volume series. MC Porsche sticks around for the first 3 volumes than, a whole new cast of lost camp girls is brought in... each time, for each volume of the rest of the series. And this is a big complaint readers had with her series and why it abruptly ended after 16 volumes. Readers wanted Porsche back. They wanted to know what her life was like now, was se still popping out Bigfoot babies every spring? What happened with the hunter, were they still trying to chase her cryptiod husband? What happened to the scientists and the animal test labs that were putting mega big prices on Bigfoot's head? The series started out with an amazing story, following the life of a girl kidnapped by Bigfoot, forced to be his wife, becoming the mother of his children, than rescued by big game hunters, only to fight her way back to the forest and duke it out with big-corp pharmacy scientists trying to use Bigfoot DNA to make pills. The story was amazing and contained only 3 sex scenes - one each volume. Than the author switched gears to writing Bigfoot tribes showing up at random each volume and the final 13 volumes were rando Sasquatches having endless rando orgies with endless rando camp girls. And readers didn't care anymore. Readers stopped buying. Why? The beauty of Cum 4 Bigfoot was that it HAD A STORY and DID NOT RELY ON SEX to move the plot. And when the later volumes left story behind in favor of sex, well, readers stopped reading. 

Too many on page sex scenes, adding for no reason other than to fill up pages, killed the the most iconic and beloved Monster Porn franchise the world ever knew. The first 3 volumes of Cum 4 Bigfoot are still major bestsellers today nearly 2 decades after it's release, but the last 13 volumes, rarely get a sale at all. And story vs sex scene is why. The story was so good, and it wasn't flooded with on page sex, then the books were just endless sex with no stories and readers went "eh, I don't like it any more".

There is a lesson to be learned here: sex sells... ONLY to newbie virgins who've never had sex and want to read sex to make up for lost experience. Sex doesn't sell long term. Sex sells to newbie virgins, but those newbie virgins get bored with sex after a few months. So unlike other genres where you gain die-hard fans who read everything you write, in Erotica, you get a new round of new readers every 3 or 4 months, who rabidly read a lot for a few weeks, than decide sex is boring and stop reading sex. It's never long term fan base when you rely on sex to grab readers. Fans reading you today are not the same fans reading you a year from now.

This is something a lot of Erotica authors don't talk about, but they should. You hear so many Erotica authors say they quit because of burnout, but they never say what that means.

For most authors, a returning fan base is what keeps them going. Look at Harry Potter. The readers returned because they loved Harry Potter and wanted to read more stories about him. And JKR ended the series, and wrote 2 other series not related to HP and both flopped big time barely able to sell a copy, so she started writing HP spin off stuff instead, because, her fans were devoted to Harry not Harry's author. JKR COULD have marketed out to find new readers for her new series, but, that's not easy for any author. She learned FAST that fans didn't give a rats ass about her as a writer, they only cared about Harry Potter. Her fans were NOT HERS, they were Harry's and they were not willing to leave Harry behind to follow JKR to a new series about new characters. And try as she did, she just couldn't build a second fan base for her second series. She learned the hard way, fans don't give 2 shits about the author and WILL NOT follow the author to every book they write.

Stephen King is an extreme exception. Stephen King is unique. Stephen King is an author beloved by his fans, because they love the author. So Stephen King's fans follow him to every series, every franchise he writes no matter what it is. And this is a luxury, that Stephen King alone has. JKRowling discovered this when she ended Harry Potter. She thought she was like Stephen King. She thought her fans were fans of HER the author and boy was she wrong. And sooner or later, every author who makes it big is going to be faced with this reality. You either stick to writing one character forever, or you sink to the bottom when you write a new series.

What's this have to do with writing Porn? Erotica author burnout is a thing. Google it. How many Erotica authors churned out 30 to 50 novellas a year for 2 or 3 years only to quit and never write again? Tens of thousands. Start looking for them on Amazon and Smashwords and you'll find them fast. Millions of short Erotica novella, each with an author with a backlog of 100 to 300 all published in 2 or 3 years time. Dead. Sales flat lined, sunk to the bottom.

What happened? It's usually easy to find out, simply by searching the author name and looking for their blog or Twitter and just reading the final posts/tweets now years old... every Erotica author, it's always the same, they ALL say something like: "I can't keep up, the reader shift is too hard, trying to stay on top of market fluctuations is too stressful, Erotica readers don't stick around, I've no die hard fans that come back for more, I'm constantly having to build a new fanbase every 3 months, I can't take this any more, I'm burned out, and I'm sick of writing sex, there are just so many times you can write sex, there are no loyal fans to keep me motivated, I've have it, I quit!"

Thousands upon thousand of Erotica authors end their careers like this, usually less than 2 years after they started. Why?

The fanbase. The bulk of Erotica readers are horney young virgins who stop reading Erotica once they start having sex in real life. They don't remember the author names, they read every sex story they could get their hands on regardless of theme or topic or author. Devotion to no one. Loyal to no author. Fan of no one character. They dumped hundreds of dollars into buying $1 Erotica shorts on Kindle, than they had sex in real life and, stopped reading Erotica.

Unlike Stephen King who has fans who've been reading his work for 40+ years now, no Erotica author is ever going to see a fan after 3 months, 6 months tops if you are lucky. This means Erotica authors can't sit back and wait for sales to roll in on their backlog. They MUST have a new release EVERY WEEK if they want to see new sales.  Miss a single week and they are knocked off the new release list on Amazon and sink fast to the bottom, never to reach the top again. Why? Because no Erotica author has any true fans.

Look up the concept of "100 True Fans" there are lots of articles about how for any business to succeed that business MUST have 100 True Fans who come back every week and buy every product you make. This applies to soda bottlers, silk weavers, watercolour painters, dog groomers, and every other business out there, not just writers. If you do not gain 100 true fans, you'll not survive in your industry no matter what it is.

And THIS is why so many Porn writers quite within 3 years of starting. Because Porn is not a place readers stick around long and so it's next to impossibly to gain those 100 true fans. Porn authors have to be constantly marketing. They never reach a point of having a steady fan base coming back for more, so they can never stop marketing, and the marketing grind in the adult entertainment industry is FIERCE. You are battling it out against millions of Porn writers and Porn videos and trying to gain even one sale is not easy just because there are so many millions of competitors out there.

Well, in the Porn writing industry, you have to be constantly fighting the market, constantly bring in new readers, because reader turn over is HUGE. This means that Porn is the easiest place to get a quick sale, BUT it's the hardest place to gain a fan base or make a full time income. You'll earn one dollar here and one dollar there, because there are millions of stories to choose from.

If you want to rise to the top and do Porn writing full time, you NEED a niche, a niche so obscure, so unique, that you can corner the market on it because you are the ONLY author who writes that niche. That's what I did.

I succeed where many others failed, because I cornered the Brony market before Bronies even existed, and so when Bronies his PornHub looking for My Little Pony Porn, what did they find? Me. And ONLY me. For years, everyone said I was crazy writing Unicorn Porn, there was no market in it, no one wants it. But I kept on writing it. For 20 years, than the early 2000s My Little Pony craze hits and what happens to my 20 years of Unicorn Porn that was the laughing stock of the Erotica industry? It sold 57 million copies in barely a week. Yep, that's the power of cornering a market and being literally the ONLY author of your niche, and doing it for years because you LOVE doing it. 

I didn't write Unicorn Porn to cater to the Bronies because My Little Pony was invented in 1981 and my first Unicorn Porn was published in 1978, and the Bronies didn't exist until 2009. I'd been writing it for nigh on 30 years before the Brony crazy hit, and readers went looking for Unicorn porn to read and found me the only author of it.

You can't do that today though. Thousands of Unicorn Porn authors are out there now, since the Brony craze hit, and none of them can duplicate my success because I didn't follow a trend, I just passionately wrote what I loved and was already there when the fandom rolled in looking for it.

But than, why do my fans stick around and come back for more, while other Porn writers can't keep a fan base longer than the 3 month rotation of constantly shifting fans?

Oh, that's easy to answer. It's all about the sex vs the characters.

**One: I write only one character.** The series of 138 novels and 2,000+ short stories is ALL the exact same MC every time. AND, none of the stories connect or continue. There is no chronology, so you can pick up any story and read it first. The series is not one long continuing story, so you do not have to read multiple books. Each story is a fully complete stand alone story. This means readers get a complete beginning middle and end, without having to wait for the next volume. There are no Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, etc. Each story stands on it's own without you ever needing to read any other story. Same as how the Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys series are written.

**Two: There is no sex.** Yes. You read that correctly. I don't write sex. There are no sex scenes. Let me repeat this: There is no sex. The series of 138 novels and 2,000+ short stories AND there is no sex scenes in any of them. 

I write Porn by the ACTUAL DICTIONARY DEFINITION of the word. "An obsession with a single object;; for example food porn is a collection of photos of food." Contrary to the illiterate sex crazed mentality of how most people use the word porn, the word porn does NOT mean sex, does NOT imply sex, and actually has nothing to do with sex at all. 

This is the difference between writing Porn and writing Erotica.

Erotica requires sex. Porn does not.

Monster Erotica is a sub genre inside of the Monster Porn Genre. Monster Porn is stories about a character who is obsessed with monsters. Monster Erotica is stories about sex with monsters.

And THIS is where I stand out and rise to the top, keeping my fan base coming back for years, while Erotica authors can't hold onto a fan for more than 3 months. You see, while other authors write sex, sex. sex. sx. sex. sex. sex. sex. sex. and more sex. I write the life of one character and never once show him having sex. So while readers get bored with endless sex other Monster Porn authors write, my readers get hung up on the inner emotional turmoil of my monster MC struggling to live in Human society.

Most Monster Porn is under 50 pages long and contains on average 7 sex scenes. That's the standard formula most Monster Porn writers write too. Most are under 10,000 words, max, and fit 7 sex scenes in those 10k words.

My Monster Porn novels are 400 to 500 pages long and 100% sex-free, ZERO sex scenes. My short stories run from 10 pages to 75 pages and again 100% ZERO sex scenes. My shortest novel is 115k the longest 230k and there is sex no where. The short stories are rarely under 35k words most are 60k to 75k words... and yes, I count everything under 75k a short story, not long enough to be called a novel.

The thing of it is, my readers don't get bored from endless mind numbing sex, because there is no sex at all. The characters do have sex, that is understood, but, it's not on page and it's not even faded to black. You'll see characters doting on each other, you'll see characters hug, you'll see characters kiss. Then the next scene is the next day. It didn't even say: "They went to the bedroom", it just abruptly stopped while they were still eating dinner. Moving on to the next event. It's not even implied that sex happened and it is fully left up to the reader to decide if sex occurred somewhere back there or not.

You see the characters living their lives - the monster and the MC, living normal, everyday lives, and that's it. The reader is aware they live together. The reader is aware they sleep together in the same bed. You'll see the bedroom at some point and know it's the only bedroom they have, you'll see there is only one bed, so the reader knows they are sleeping together without explicitly being told this. But these things - the bed, the room - are just there. Sex never happens during the course of the story.

So, yeah, you can describe as little or as much detail of sex as you want, or, just not describe it at all. Ever. Just let the reader put sex into the places the reader THINKS sex should have happened.

And I get mixed reviews because of it too. You'll see a review say "The sex scenes are the best sex I ever read!" and  comment under it raging mad, demanding: "What do you mean? here is no sex in this fucking book!" With the OP replying: "Sure there is, they had sex after dinner, don't you remember?" And the commentator will be: "You're fucking crazy, the scene ended and went to the next day, SEX NEVER HAPPENED!!!!!!!!" and the OP will responded: "Gee, you're right. I just reread it. There isn't a single sex scene in the book. I don't understand, I thought sure there was at least 10 graphically detailed on page sex scenes. I was so sure of it. They were so vivid too! Damn, how did I imagine so much sex in this book when there isn't even a single sex scene?"

Why was so many of my reviewers s certain they read a sex scene when there wasn't once single sex scene in any of the books?

It's called sensory words. I make sure there are no fewer than 50 vivid sensory words on every page, and I fill the scene with heady, seething emotions... it ends up tricking the reader into IMAGINING that sex happened, because they WANTED sex to happen just then. Correctly placed sensory emotion triggering words, goes a long way towards triggering reader imagination and make the reader THINK they read a hot and heavy sex scene, when in fact, it was just their own brain imagining a sex scene because of the subliminal messaging caused by the use of sensory words. My skill at sensory words has readers having orgasms, without them reading any sex scenes at all. And that's why there exists Porn without sex scenes that gets called "The best erotica ever!"

But that's not any easy skill to master. It takes years of researching subliminal messaging, advertising, marketing, colour psychology, word psychology... I went to college to learn this stuff, because I believed in the power of evoking emotions through words. That's why I have a degree in Psychology and Small Business Management. I qualify to open a psychology office and treat people. I have a degree for that. But that's not why I got those 2 degrees. No. I got both of those degrees so that I would have access to studying how the human brain reacts to various words, colours, and phrases. I spent 12 years in college studying that. 

I didn't learn to write this way overnight or by hacking out endless smut.

No.

I learned the actual science behind writing sensory words, in ways so powerful, that I now can write 100% sex free smut and get reviews saying "Best Erotica Ever!".

And guess what else? I publish on average 2million words a year, without ever once describing body parts. I don't describe faces, boobs, vaginas, testicles, penises, nothing. The MC has 12 foot long hair, that's described every chapter.

Why? Because there is absolutely no reason to describe the characters. Their bodies are NOT the story's focus and it does not serve the plot to detail them out.

On the other hand is IS important for the reader to know that the MC has 12 foot long white hair that he won't let anyone touch and keeps hidden under a veil, because eventually the story reaches a point where someone DOES see the hair up close, just before the "hair" is now revealed to not be hair at all, but is actually the tentacles of a Portuguese Man o War JellyFish, and the revelation comes as the character who discovered this is strangled and stung to death by said 12 foot long hair-like tentacles. And at this point the reader now understands WHY this one character and this one character ONLY had a description of what he looked like, and WHY the description focused so much on the hair and not much else. Because his hair turned out to be a pivotal plot point as well as a deadly weapon. The reader also now understands WHY absolute ZERO other characters had any hairstyles described at all. Why? Because not one of them had hair that was important to the plot, so there was no reason to describe them.

Erotica can exists without bouncing boobs or erect penises. Did you even know that?

When you run to write smut, what will you write? 

Who are your characters?

What are their lives like? 

Where do they live?

How do they live?

What are their careers? Pets? Hobbies? Likes? Dislikes?

Who are their friends?

What do they talk about?

What do they feel?

Did you know Erotica, Smut, Porn, are NOT about sex? 

Readers of Erotica, Smut, and Porn, don't want sex. 

They want the Human connection. 

They want feelings. Emotions. Sensations.

And if you were an active reader of good quality Erotica, Smut, and Porn, you'd know that.

The problem is when CHILDREN try to pretend they are adults and THINK they know what Erotica, Smut, and Porn is, and THINK that Erotica, Smut, and Porn are nothing but none stop sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, and more sex.

You can tell the 12 year old pretending to be adults, from the actual adults, by HOW they write Erotica, Smut, and Porn. Children write insert tab A into slot B sex scenes back to back and try to pass it off as Erotica, Smut, and Porn and than they wonder why no one buys it, no one reads it.

Why?

Because they didn't know the audience.

You want to write Slash fiction for 12 year olds, go to FanFiction dot net.

You want to write REAL Smut for REAL adults, try buying some actual Erotica and reading it first. Not the dime a dozen short stories on Kindle, no, REAL Erotica novels, published by REALK publishers - Like Harlequin. Yeah, they publish Erotica. Not just Romance, but Erotica too. Try reading REAL Erotica, written REAL adults, published by REAL publisher. You'll see a difference. You'll see a BIG difference. And then you'll understand what readers of Erotica, Smut, and Porn ACTUALLY want and WHY the millions of Erotica shorts on Kindle, sit unsold.

The millions of unsold Erotica shorts on Kindle, are written by people like you. People who didn't want to write Erotica, but for some reason they got it in their heads that they had to. They didn't know the ACTUAL genre, because they never read it. They INCORRECTLY ASSUMED that it was nothing but back to back sex, so they wrote back to back sex, and were left wondering what they did wrong, why no one wanted to buy what they wrote.

Erotica, Smut, and Porn are classy. Sexy. Sensual. Full of emotion. And more than half of the ones reviewed as high quality and the best ever, don't even contain sex scenes.

What happened? What did the millions of unsold Kindle Erotica shorts author do wrong? They didn't do their research. They ASSUMED Erotica, Smut, and Porn were one thing, not knowing Erotica, Smut, and Porn was something else entirely. They didn't bother to read any professional published Erotica, Smut, and Porn. They thought, they didn't need to. They thought writing sex on the page was enough, was all they had to do.

They existed in a vacuum.

Without reading the pro pubbed Erotic Lit, they were left to imagine what Erotica, Smut, and Porn must be, might be, without ever picking any up to find out what it actually was.

Now we have Amazon flooded with millions of 10 page sex scenes that one is interested in buying or reading, because millions of immature, children, often teens or children themselves, authors who who laughed and mocked readers of Erotica, Smut, and Porn and say "Haha! I can write sex. that's easy! I'll be a millionaire by the end of the week, because to retarded stupid ass rubes will buy anything with sex in it! Haha!"

What happened? The readers were not as retarded or stupid as the would be millionaires of Kindle Erotica thought.

The fact remains the average reader of Erotica, Smut, and Porn are elderly women 70 to 90 years old. Not teenagers. Not college students. Elderly women make up 73% of all the world's readers of Erotica, Smut, and Porn and they have ZERO interest in reading about horeny 18 year olds doing sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, and more sex.

You know what else?

The top selling Erotica, isn't focused on FEMALE characters shaking their boobs around. Nope. The top selling Erotica, Smut, and Porn features MALE main characters.

Yeah.

The most die hard readers of Erotica, Smut, and Porn are NOT teenage boys looking for boobs, they are elderly women looking for middles hot, gorgeous men.

This is called knowing your audience.

Look at 50 Shades of Grey.

Why did it sell so much?

It wasn't because Anna's inner goddess was jumping stars and stripes red white and blue jumping jacks, that's for sure. Every reader of that book would like to strangle Anna's fucking psychotic inner goddess.

No, it was Christian, his grey suits, his grey eyes, his grey hair... Christian was so gorgeous we readers could ignore him throwing bloody tampons across the room.

Readers ignored a lot. Like his abuse, his violence, his temper, his beating up a pregnant women... Christian was a craptastic piece of shit, but he was gorgeous. And full of raw emotion. Sensory details. Subliminal messaging, advertising, marketing, colour psychology, word psychology... all woven into the words describing this horrible man whom no real woman would get near, but the words, were so emotional, so full of passion, that that Book outsold the Bible AND Harry Potter combined.

And yet there is almost no sex in 50 Shades of Grey.

ELJames may have poor skills elsewhere in her writing, but she wrote Christian with such a deep, burning passion, that readers could feel it. She loved the character she wrote. So much so, that she's now published 6 books about him. And she no longer writes the books from Anna's point of view, No. Christian is the main PoV character now, and her fans love that.

And 50 Shades of Grey, a book with almost no sex in it, is 300+ pages of emotional inner turmoil, as the character talks about their life, their hopes, their dreams, and the reader feels empathy, because the reader knows what it is like to be stuck in a dead end job, to be abused as a child by a bastard adult. Readers connect and identify with Anna and Christian both on deep emotional levels.

And all the millions of Kindle Erotica writers who flooded Amazon after the success of 50 Shades, and couldn't sell a single book, and sat there wondering why... maybe they should have tried READING 50 Shades of Grey instead of trying to milk a cash cow, they didn't understand.

For every 100 pages of raw dripping emotion in 50 Shades of Grey, there are only 5 pages of sex scenes.

50 Shades doesn't focus on sex, it focuses on emotion.

And the writers trying to cash in on writing Erotica, missed the boat big time, when they pounded out 10 page shorts full of 7 pages of sex.

No one wanted it.

Why?

People don't read 50 Shades for the sex. They read it for the deep,, dark, depth of emo despair, that the morbidly depressed Christian lives in. Women felt sorry for him, wanted to hug him, comfort him, dry his tears.

The failed Erotica authors of Kindle would have KNOW what ELJames knew, they they, like she, had been avid readers of Erotica, Smut, and Porn. ELJames knew Erotica, Smut, and Porn was about feeling emotion, NOT about writing sex. She didn't exist in a vacuum. She read the genre. She knew the genre. She knew what readers wanted. She knew readers were honery teen boys, but rather mature adult women. She knew readers were not looking for bouncing boobs, erect penises and non-stop sex. She knew older women were the primary readers and they wanted a gorgeous middle aged man, with broken emotions, in need of a shoulder to cry on and mommy figure cougar to tell him everything was okay.

You don't learn skills in a vacuum.

You don't learn genre in a vacuum.

You don't learn what readers want in a vacuum.

You don't learn discipline in a vacuum.

You don't become a better writer in a vacuum.

If you just write and write and write, all you do is teach yourself the skill of writing the same errors over and over. You'll never become better in a self contained vacuum. You NEED training if you are to become good at anything. Not just writing. Anything.

I think lot of smut writers would have a lot less heartache, if they just stepped back and took a reality check before they started. They just don't realize that writing is a JOB and a CAREER and that means, yeah, writing is work and it takes practice and skill to learn and master it, and that's never easy in any career. Yes, even writing smut.

They need to try to look at it like football: the 5 year old tossing a ball around with his daddy in the park is having loads of fun, but he''s ain't going to win the Super Bowl tomorrow. If he wants to win the Super Bowl, he has to spend years, decades, practising, even when it's hard, even when he wants to give up, even though he knows there are millions of other little boys also competing to reach the Super Bowl.

The difference between the boy who never does anything but toss a ball in the park from the boy who grows up to win the Super Bowl, is the same difference between the person who hashes out mindless sex because it's "easy" and Vagina Wade who makes $30k a week off Cum 4 Bigfoot.

You need to have a passion for smut if you want to make a career out of it.

>Should I Write Pornography to Build Discipline?

You know what.

I used to be like you.

I had no discipline to write. I couldn't finish a novel. I suffered from serious "ooooh shiny" syndrome. I had too many story ideas and not enough characters I was in love with. 50 years ago, was, that as a teenager I was like a hyperactive golden retriever trying to chase every squirrel in the park all at once, and ending up catching nothing. Whereas today as an elderly granny, I sit back like an old alley cat watching all the squirrels scamper by, patiently waiting for the one I know I can snag.

I one day realized I couldn't stop starting new things and I never finished them. It was a big problem for me.

I figured out the problem one day: I was trying to write for the market. I wasted time trying to come up with characters and plots that readers would want.

I was looking at writing all wrong.

I was focused on: "What's the trend?" What market sells good? And trying to write to those.

I was trying to write a lot of YA back than, so creating teen characters and trying to write teen plots.

But guess what? I don't read YA. I don't even like YA. But here I was trying to write it because that's what people were saying was hot. I hated this genre, I didn't want to write this genre, but I was trying to force myself to write it anyways because that's what everyone said I SHOULD be writing.

I wasn’t passionate about this idea or that idea, I just felt “Hey, that’s a good idea, readers will like that” but I never felt “OMG! I LOVE this idea!”

And I also I wasn’t passionate about this character or that character, I just felt “Hey, that’s a good character, readers will like this” but I never felt “OMG! I LOVE this character, I’d marry him!”

And that turned out to be the source of my problem.

How did I fix it?

One day I realized I didn’t want to write about rando ass teen characters for rando ass teen story ideas, that’s why I couldn’t finish any of them. Instead, I wanted to write stories about a cartoon character. So, I stopped all of it. I stopped creating new crews of characters and I went off screaming fangirl crazy writing fanfiction about a cartoon character I loved. After each new episode, I wrote a new story based on it. And then one day, the author of the character ended the series, and suddenly I had no more new episodes to write fanfiction for. And after writing lots and lots of short stories about this character, it left me asking, well that’s over, there’s no more episodes for me to write about, now what should I write?

I went back to my old 3-ring binders full of character profiles and just started reading what I had written. Laughing at how foolish most of it was, and noticed a trend:

I like Furries. 

Wait... I like furries? Really? Do I?

Looks up at my racks and racks and racks of My Little Pony and Baeyer Horses and Barbie Horses... no, I don't just like furies... I like unicorns.

Wait... wasn’t the cartoon character I was fanficing a shape shifting dog demon? Yes, he was. He most certainly was. 

Wait, that other guy I like. He’s a wolf shifter. 

Oh, and the eagle shifter. 

But wait, what about those squid headed guys I love in dungeons and dragons? 

And, and... looks at all the jellyfish... blown glass jellyfish, stuffed animal jellyfish, crystal balls with jellyfish inside them... wait... you know really like jellyfish a lot don't I? My whole house is like a jellyfish museum I collect so many of them. 

My brain suddenly went: "I wish there was a story about a jellyfish man. Why isn't there a story about a jellyfish man? I'd read the hell out of that... wait... why don't I write the story I ant to read?"

Damn. 

There it is.

I was trying to write what I SHOULD write because the market said this sells or that sells, but what I REALLY WANTED to write was a jellyfish man.

I love monster men who are half animal. I wish there was a man who was half jellyfish. That was the thought process.

The answer was staring me in the face for years, and I never saw it: the genre didn’t have a name back than when I started writing it, but it does today: Monster Porn. 

So, I took my favourite animals: JellyFish, Eels, Eagles, Unicorns, Cotswold Sheep, Shetland Ponies, and Bobcats, and I created a shifter-man for each one. And for the first time, I was creating character profiles that were actually fleshed out with detailed backstories and not just rando lists of fave colours and fave ice-cream.

Before I knew it, I had a backstory about a water world, whose sun exploded, and the sea creatures had enough time to get on space ships and try to find a new place to live. A crew of JellyFish, Squid, Octopus, Eels, and Cuttlefish landed on Earth, and used magic to shift into Human forms and look for mates. Yeah, it went full on sex with jellyfish tentacle monsters. And I had a blast writing it and OMG! I actually reached the end of a novel, for the first time.

Damn. 

What changed?

It was quite simple: I fell in love with a man who is actually a jellyfish. Yep. There it is. And because I loved that character, I could just write and write and write and write and write, his entire story, without one single rando stray idea popping up and interrupting me. One chapter, two chapters, all the way to the end, without the onslaught of new ideas popping up and getting in the way. Simply because I was so entranced by this guy that I wanted to know how will it end?

It was like I was the reader, reading it, as I wrote it. I had no clue where the story was going to go. What was going to happen. No plan, no plot, no outline. This was all new ground for me. Previously, I plotted and outlined the hell out of ideas. Now, I was typing blind, with no idea what was going to happen or how the story would end.

And the thrill, the amazement, I felt from FINALLY finishing a full novel (it ended at 73k words) was just mind blowing for me.

And here’s where the revelation happened about: I had too many story ideas and not enough characters I was in love with.

When I got to the end of writing this completely bizarre off the wall story of the JellyFish-man, I was sad. OMG! I was so sad. It was over. And I didn’t want it to be. I loved this guy, and I wanted to read another story about him. But I had created him and this was the only story I had written about him, so there were no more stories about him.

If I wanted to read another story about my beloved JellyFish, I was going to have to write it.

And so, I went back to all those novels I had started and never finished, 1 chapter here, 2 chapters there, and read them, this time, with a new eye, this time, asking myself: What would happen if I took my JellyFish man and dropped him into this story idea? Let’s find out. Let’s take this old idea I never finished, and let’s start writing it again, this time, with the JellyFish as the main character. What would HE do in this story?

And what become of that?

In 1978, I published my first novel, and today, 43 years and 138 published novels and 2,000+ short stories about the JellyFish man later, I’m still writing it, and obviously I now finish the stories, otherwise I couldn’t have published 138 novels about this one character. The novels do not continue, there is no Part 1 continues to Part 2 and so on. Each story is full and complete standalone novel that you can read, without reading none of the others.

The solution was: I found my passion. And my passion is that one character. Him and him alone. And I love to write new stories about him. 

>Should I Write Pornography to Build Discipline?

Is pornography your passion? You're ultimate dream job? The thing you'd do even if you never get paid for it?

Than yes.

Write lots of porn.

Why?

Because you are passionate about it.

Because you love it.

Because you couldn't imagine writing anything else.

Because you WANT to write it everyday for years on end and have no desire to write anything else.

If you love it, your discipline to write it is a joy to experience.

If you couldn't imagine writing anything else, your discipline to write it feels fun, not like homework, not a chore.

If you WANT to write it everyday for years on end and have no desire to write anything else, your discipline to write is second nature to you and you don't get bored with doing it.

If you don't LOVE what you write, you'll never become disciplined to write.

The secret to learning writing discipline is to write something you enjoy writing, until the habit of writing because so easy, you can write less fun things easily as well.

I write what I write, because I love what I write.

I didn't gain a discipline to write because I wrote porn.

I gained a discipline to write because I felt empathy to the main character who was trapped on Earth and forced to live in a culture he didn't understand, being sexualised by rape minded Humans who wouldn't stop sexualizing him. I wrote from experience of being an Asian women who used to be a professional Geisha from the time I was 8 years old, with no choice in the matter because my uncles thought "sex sells" and saw nothing wrong with lining up their nieces for the tourists. I got sick on white men pawing at me, got sick of white men calling me exotic, got sick of white men thinking I was nothing but their personal sex toy and as soon as I was an adult and old enough to say fuck you to my child sex trafficking uncles I did. And than I tried to ignore my sex filled childhood and write about normal teens in normal sexless lives and I couldn't do it because I could imagine what that life might be like. So I wrote about an alien monster who was being sexualised and fetishised by men everywhere he went and he hated it. And I empathized so much with his hatred for how sex crazed men treated him, that I fell in love with him, because I understood what it felt like to be seen as beautiful and exotica and only good for sex, and how much I hated men treating my like that my entire childhood.

I wrote a character I could identify with, a character I could put my frustrations into. Like I said, I'm very good at writing the behind the scenes aspect of the sex industry, because I grew up in it. I know the help of being trafficked to adults, from hit having been done to me when I was 8 years old. And I have a rage filled burning passion to scream outrage at the sex trafficking industry. THAT is my passion, and THAT is why I am so disciplined to write this character. Because I am driven by past events in my life.

And you pay attention to the real life childhoods of the biggest sellers in Erotica, we ALL come from that kind of culture. The REASON we succeed in writing smut, is because we know what real world smut lifestyle is. We ain't just hashing rando sex scenes on pages,, we are screaming infernos writing with driven fire. And if you don't have that, you won't make it in this career. THAT is why so many millions of smut writers burn out and quit so fast. Because they lack the soul driving passion to write this stuff.

And here's the reality check you might not be expecting: I'm listed as one of the top 3 highest selling and highest paid Monster Porn authors on the planet... and in 43 years I've not once had my income from Monster Porn reach $5k. Most years Monster Porn brings in around $2k - two thousand dollars a year - that less money in a year than I make each week at my retail job of stocking shelves at Walmart.

Let me repeat this: I'm one of the world's top 3 highest paid Monster Porn authors and my Monster Porn brings in LESS THAN five thousand dollars a year.

There's a reality check for you.

And if you say "What about the one that sold 57 million?" BookBub free days. I never made a penny of them and had to pay BookBub $2k to run the ad, that the download was free the first week of it's release.

In 43 years of writing, I've yet to earn $100k for book sales. Not even close to the millionaire status people usually slap on me.

Think you'll be a millionaire off Erotica, Porn, and Smut? You won't be. That's a huge myth that scam artists like to sell to get you to buy they self help book of "I'll teach you how to be the next Erotica Kindle Millionaire but my 10 page pamphlet for the low price of just $499! Half price it''s usual $999.99 price for the next 24 hours!"

Millions of smut writers, get duped by the Erotica Kindle Millionaire dream only to soon get the harsh slap in the face that that dream is a myth and doesn't exist. Most Erotica writers on Kindle, hash out weekly shorts, by the end of the year, maybe earned enough to buy a cup of coffee and than give up once reality sinks in and they realize smut is so over saturated that even the biggest sellers can't live of their royalties. Sex sells yes, but try doing the math. If a million readers buy one million books from one million authors... at best that's eac author making only one single dollar a year, and sad harsh reality, is that a lot of Erotica authors only dream about the day they make their first dollar. The million dollar industry of sex sells, is flooded with millions of $1 a year incomes. Sure it's a million dollars,, but it's each author earning one dollar each, and newbs don't take that part into consideration.

>If I can pull this off, maybe writing what I want to write will come easier.

Nope.

It won't

You are looking at a genre that is widely regarded at the single most difficult genre to write well. That alone, is going to stunt your path to discipline.

It's hard enough to gain self motivation and discipline in a thing your dislike, why make it even harder on yourself by trying to do it in something even the most disciplined expert writers say they won't try to tackle?

TL;DR: Write what you love, not what you hate.

And when I got done typing this and refreshed the page, I found this had shown up while I was typing...



A womans advice for heterosexual guys wanting to write about boobs (self.writing)submitted 3 hours ago by Haustvind

>>>"His juicy, full testicles jiggled alluringly as he jogged down the street. They stretched the fabric of his clothes, their perkiness straining against their soft, silken, textile prison. He obviously wasn't wearing any underwear, and the soft bouncing of hus huge groin bazonkers caused the conversations of the neighborhood housewives to quiet down as he passed them by with a sexy, winning smile."

>>>That's how you dont write about boobs (unless you're writing erotica I guess. Or satire). I've seen like five different posts, today alone, about if and how you should write about boobs in this day and age of righteous SJW fury. But it's really this easy. Assuming you're a straight male, if replacing whatever word you prefer for boobs with "testicles" does not make you either wildly uncomfortable or makes you want to laugh, then you're probably doing good.

Ah yes! Fabio! I know this novel of which you quote. I have it. 

Here's the full quote for those who never saw it or never read this novel:

>>>I'm now wondering how testicles can be seen as perky.

Me too, but I bet I can find a way for BoomFuzzy to describe Quaraun's testicles as perky. Let's see what novel that shows up in.

Ah well... 2 hours in and now it's gone. Pity. This was one of the best threads on Reddit,but I knew the mods would  take it down, what with the way some of the arguments were going.


Something something don't write about boobs (self.writing)

submitted 2 hours ago by don_h_kowalski

>>>No seriously. They're rough and coarse and getting everywhere!



Why the hell are we talking about writing boobs (self.writing)submitted 51 minutes ago by haydensidunAuthor

>>>I mean, just…why? Just write boobs the way you would write boobs (just like you would write about anything else you don’t have or are unfamiliar with…because you’re a writer and every writer does that to some extent) and then get second opinions when your first drafts are completed.That is all.

There was an earlier, now deleted thread, a writer asking how to describe boobs, and all the other threads popped up right after the first one was deleted... I think they were originally comments they intended to post, but couldn't because the thread was removed, so they each started a new thread, so they could post their comment anyways

I wrote Monster Porn and not once have I ever written about a character’s boobs


Ah yes! Reddit! For those who never experienced a Reddit post going viral before.

Head to the thread on Reddit, it's 600 comments and counting already and it's been less than an hour.

I suppose we should grab some popcorn and wait for the mods to arrive and start deleting the  comment battle going on over there.


Does the hero/heroine have to be attractive to be interesting?

>>>Does the hero/heroine have to be attractive to be interesting?

>>>Does the hero/heroine have to be attractive to be interesting in a romance or a story with a romance angle?

>>>Might seem like a silly question but I'm quite serious.

>>>I'm writing this story involving but not centered on a love triangle and in my mind none of these three people are conventionally attractive in any way.

>>>It doesn't bother me, but I'm worried it might bother the reader.

>>>Do people like reading about attractive protagonists? Would they like the story less if the MCs are not pretty?

>>>Should I make them attractive? Or of they're likeable but not physically attractive would that be enough?

My MC, the title character, Quaraun, and star of 138 novels, that focus primarily on the lover's triangle of him and his 2 lovers, and are borderline Erotica, but...

  • * Quaraun is only 5'6" tall, so shorter than most women and more than a head taller than even the average "short" man


  • * Quaraun has no hands; his hands were cursed when he was a child, he wears enchanted gold hand armor that work like modern day prosthetic hands

  • * Quaraun has no skin on the left side of his face; the incident that took his hands, also took his face; he wears gold rings in his ears and nose, with dozens of gold chains connecting to the two, to hide the scars on his face

  • * Quaraun has *(mutilation Trigger warning & NSFW - don't read if you think it might bother you)* a subincision severed penis, caused by 3 knives having been shoved up in and splitting it in half tip to top he used 58 gold rings to sew it back together and is terrified of it coming apart if he takes the rings off, so he never did take them off and needless to say, sex is nearly impossible for him, he classifies himself as a eunuch and partners go into relationships with him, knowing sex is pretty much never going to happen, which is WHY the series has no sex scenes in it, even though most readers classify it as Erotica; on that note, his primary lover has a scars/mutilation/genital piercing fetish

  • * Quaraun spends more than half the series mute, after his tongue is cut out, and because he has no hands, he also can't use sign language, his ability to communicate is difficult at best, and leads to constant frustration, angry, and violent outbursts

  • * Quaraun is horrifically underweight

  • * Quaraun has a lame leg that he drags when he walks and he walks with a cane

  • * Quaraun has very poor health, is often sick, and suffers from condition that causes him to faint often (as in a few times a day)

  • * he's a beta male who gets pushed around a lot by everyone, and he has post traumatic stress disorder and massive level phobias that take center stage in most volumes, causing him to be seen as somewhat of a whimpering coward/sissy, a far cry from the typical Romance novel hero

  • * he's not in a good relationship, his lover is a drunk abuser who beats him up frequently and uses gaslighting, humiliation, and manipulation to keep him from leaving

He's not pretty, he's badly mutilated. We can go beyond that. He's not your heroic white knight personality either... he's selfish, arrogant, bigoted, racist, snobby, drinks way too much, takes way to many drugs, has a problem with slicing his wrists whenever he gets depressed - which is always, and he murdered his wife and 4 children to be with his lover. 

Also I went a controversial rout by having the MC be a man, and went even further off track the mainroad by having the man be the one who was abused. Most stories have a female MC and if abuse is in the story, the always the man abusing the woman.

So... not your typical Romance hero on any level at all, and while it IS Romance, because the whole thing is the relationship of him and his lover, I'm forced to sell it as either Fantasy or Monster Porn, becausewell, he murdered his wife and children and bookstores just refuse to shelve it in Romance because of that fact alone.

And yet... every volume of the 138 volume series has sold at least 27k copies and one of which sold 57million copies... 

Why? 

Well according to my fans: "he's so broken I want to hug him and fix him and tell him everything's gonna be okay".

I write him in a way that triggers readers to feel a need to comfort him, and because of that, they feel empathy for him. 

Now granted, I am targeting a demographic that wants beta males, and my target readers are older women who want to be a cougar/mommy figure to their lovers. So, I'm targeting a very specific niche of reader, who wants a specific type of male lead, that doesn't fit the chiseled Greek God pretty boy alpha male hero.

Readers want a character they can connect to, and a lot of my readers have told me, they live in real world abusive relationships, and they like that I show it, for the horror it is, and don't glorify it or fetishise it, and they say, reading the abuse he lives with, seeing how he gets his scars, it made them feel a kinship to him, because they saw how he felt trapped because he knows he's with an abuser and he loves the abuser but he's conflicted with wanting to get away for his own health and safety. And readers have told me, they felt that they could actually feel what he was feeling because they had been in real world relationships like that and, they felt drawn to him, because they understood what he was going though.

He didn't have to be pretty or heroic or even be a good person - he murdered his family to be with the abuser - what he NEEDED in order to connect with the readers, was to feel real to them, to go through situations the readers had gone through, 

That's why I say just write what you WANT to write, because, no matter what you write there are going to be people out there who are into that niche.

>>>Does the hero/heroine have to be attractive to be interesting in a romance or a story with a romance angle?

Write a good story, about a character with a personality that readers can fall in love with, and won't care if he's pretty or not. Readers care about the human connection, the character's emotional struggles. They want a character who has been through things they went through and comes out on top, so they can fell inspired to pull through their own struggles. At least, that's what I have found to be true of my own readers and what they want. Readers in other niches maybe they want something different. Who knows?

But then again, that's what niches are for.

Every genre, has dozens of sun-genres, and every sub-genre has dozens of niches, and every niches has dozens of sub-niches.

>>>I'm writing this story involving but not centered on a love triangle and in my mind none of these three people are conventionally attractive in any way.

>>>It doesn't bother me, but I'm worried it might bother the reader.

Well, if a reader IS bothered by it, all that means, is that that particular reader isn't part of your target audience.

As Ricky Nelson said: "You can't please everyone, so you might as well please yourself".

For us as writers, that means, we should consider ourselves to be a template for who our target reader is. We should write the characters WE would enjoy reading about. And do so knowing that we are not alone, that there are others like us out there who also want to read that type of character.

>>>Do people like reading about attractive protagonists? Would they like the story less if the MCs are not pretty?

I feel the answer to this is both yes and no.

Yes, there ARE readers who are going to want to read an attractive hero. And nothing wrong with that. Just means they are not part of the reading demographic you want to be targeting when you market your book, that's all.

At the same time, no, not all readers are that way. There are plenty of readers who roll their eyes at the eye-cady pretty boys and want a character with an interesting personality instead.

I say, just write the characters the way you want them to be, and than when it comes time to find readers, target your marketing towards the type of reader looking for the type of character you wrote.

>>>Should I make them attractive? Or of they're likeable but not physically attractive would that be enough?

Breath life and emotion into your characters, give them real imperfections, real flaws, real struggles, imperfections, flaws, and struggles that your readers have gone through and can identify with. 

Because at the end of the day, that's what readers what: a character like themselves, that they identify with, and feel a connection to and because everyone is different, every reader is going to feel connected to different types of characters, so, just write the character you feel drawn to writing.

Be true to you. Let your characters connect to you on a personal level and your readers will feel the same connection to your characters as well.




UPDATE: April 7, 2021: The Art Car Building Streams Are Returning Soon! The Dazzling Razzberry is about to return, as we completely rebuild it on stream

Close-up on The Dazzling Razzberry II's 2.5million marbles and beads
The Dazzling Razzberry, April 7, 2021
Close Up The Dazzling Razzberry Hood - before and after the February 2019 vandalism done by fans of the PsychoBitch 4Chan QAnon Streamer & her simps who did $30,000 in damages to it:
The Dazzling Razzberry 2 aka The Autism Awareness Car, as it looked from May 2012 until it's destruction February 2019
The Dazzling Razzberry, April 7, 2021

FBI Agent Andy Drewer out of the Portland, Maine FBI office is in charge of the case. If you have information about the April 10, 2015 murder of my family or any of the attacks on our home and relatives, give it to him not me. He can be reached @ +1-(207)-774-9322 

The Dazzling Razzberry is back... now all black primer... Repaired, wielded back together, running, licensed, registered, and back on the road again... now primed and ready to be restored.

This car was obliterated by 5 members of the local hate group church New Life Church armed with baseball bats, in February 2019. They did $30,000 in damages, leaving it chop-shopped to pieces, smashed apart, and all of it's 2.5million beads and marbles scraped off.

These local domestic terrorist gay haters, made the claim that both me (a straight biological female) and my car (a fucking CAR) were gay, based on the grounds that I wear pink and my car was pink, and according to the vile hate mongers of this church wearing pink = gay and having a pink car = gay because pink = fucking gay in their mind! They also chatted "Too gay for the family friendly town" while making the claim they were making Maine safe for families to live in by killing gay families!

I'm sorry, but just because YOU don't like a gay family doesn't mean they are NOT still a family.

Your hatred for gay men is deplorable.

You scream What Would Jesus do?... yeah, fucking what WOULD Jesus do? Do you REALLY think Jesus would gather up baseball bats and smash up things belonging to gay men. I'm sorry, did you not READ your Bible? Peter, Jesus' favorite disciple was gay. Did you not know that?

And what the hell? I'm not even gay!

You fucking retards! I was 8 months pregnant when you beat me up with golf clubs and murdered my baby!

Take your fucking hate mongering church and burn in hell where you hypocrites belong.

This car was my daily driver and daily car vlog streams stopped February 2019 because the car was reduced to so many chopped up pieces, that it took up nearly 3 years to wield the pieces back together, and make the car drivable again.

Because it cost $12,000 for the 2.5million marbles that was glued to it, and took me 4 years to hand glue them on one marble at a time, and most of those 2.5million marbles were reduced to shattered powdered glass dust by the vandals, The Dazzling Razzberry will not be returning to it's former shimmering glory.

If you know the Twighlight Manor series and you know Etiole's brother Razzbury that the car was inspired after... know this... we are going Sea Wolf for the rise of The Dazzling Razzberry 3.

Out with the Green Moray Eels and in with the Piranhas

The Autism Awareness Car 3

aka

The Dazzling Razzbury 3

The 3rdpaint job after the 2nd vandalism.

FBI Agent Andy Drewer out of the Portland, Maine FBI office is in charge of the case. If you have information about the April 10, 2015 murder of my family or any of the attacks on our home and relatives, give it to him not me. He can be reached @ +1-(207)-774-9322 




FAQs: Why is Quaraun considered Bizarro?

>>>Why is Quaraun considered Bizarro?

Uhm, well, let's see:

The main character is a female Jellyfish, passing herself off as a male Elf.

His lover is an undead Unicorn turned Lich.

And his best friend is a time traveling Cotswold Sheep-man.

What was your question again?


FAQs: Why is Quaraun considered Erotica?

>>>Why is Quaraun considered Erotica?

I have no clue. I wrote it and I can't see anything even remotely sexual or erotic about it. When you figure out what it is that people find to be Erotica in it, you let me know, because I'd like to know why it is every other person says the series is Erotca.

The series, today, is about an elderly supervillain, looking back on the committed by his lover, after his lover commits suicide, and being so guilt ridden that he is contemplating suicide. There is nothing remotely sexual or erotic about it.

When it started, it was called Friends Are Forever and it was about a cat and a dog and a horse, who met and eel and a jellyfish and went looking to find a frog that lived in a haunted house and drove in a flying car - and AMC Gremlin - to get there. It was 16 pages, 200 words every other page, paintings on the opposite pages. I was 5 years old and it was published by The Old Orchard Beach, Jameson Kindergarten School in 1978.

I'm sorry, what part of a picture book about talking animals, written by a 5 year old to be read by other 5 year olds, and published by a Kindergarten School to be sold during a fundraiser to build a new playground, do YOU see as Erotica?

Keep in mind the 1970s and 1980s first editions were sold as children's Early Reader and Middle Grade Fantasy books for readers aged 8 to 12, and most of the first 30 or so volumes were PICTURE BOOKS, made up largely drawings and paintings, again, for readers aged 8 to 12 years old.

Most of the first editions where 16 to 32 pages long and featured under 20k words a peice. I was 5 years old when the first volume was published, making me one of the youngest published authors in America back in the 1970s.

The BULK of the series was written BEFORE I was 12 years old.

Prior to the 1991 rewrite, ALL of the characters were TALKING ANIMALS, cats, dogs, birds, sheep, horses, and fish or TALKING CARS. From 1978 to 1991, no Humans or Humanoid characters appeared in the series.

In the 1991 rewrites, the characters were changed to alien animals who used magic to shapeshift into Human form, to better blend in with society, and the talking cars, were removed from the series entirely, each one replaced with an Elf of the same name, who drove the car, rather than was the car.

It wasn't until 1991 after my best friend Tajid was murdered, in the first murder of The Cascade Murder serial killings of Old Orchard Beach, Maine, an event I witness, due to be one of the 6 kidnapped and tied up and forced to watch the other murdered, that you saw the adult Horror re-write re-release of the series, where main character Tajid (named after the real person) was renamed Quaraun, and his wardrobe turned pink instead or orange, and the first Horror scenes featuring death, bloodshed, violence, and murder appeared. These editions now novellas of 40k to 60k words and for the first time NOT illustrated.

In 1996 my uncles and cousins decides God told them to go on a killing spree ... you might have heard of it, it was little thing called Heaven's Gate, they killed 39 people by forcing them to drink poisoned Kool-aid. I survived that and had a really hard time dealing with it. Because of this all editions after 1997, had a heavy theme of suicide.

EVERY volume of the pink cover novel editions includes at least one and often as many as five on page suicides or suicide attempts, the suicide scene often spanning more than 100 pages of grueling detail. Mass murder and suicide became the running theme of the series as I wrote my way through the trauma of having survived every one in my life having killed themselves or killed someone else.

The series was official The Friends Are Forever Saga, but dubbed in 1987 as "The Twighlight Manor Series" by fans of the haunted house by the same name, which was the setting for the bulk of the stories.

The series appeared on FanFiction.net from 1999 to 2012, where it featured Lord Sesshomaru from InuYasha as the main character and was title The Bride of Sesshomaru.

In 2012, the series was deleted off FanFiction.net, and Lord Sesshomaru's character was written out and merged with Quaraun's character.

The series was renamed The Quaraun series in 2014, when The Pink Cover Editions were released for the 35th anniversary of the series.

The Pink Cover editions, were the largest rewrite of the series, a project to turn all 2,000 original short stories and picture books into novel editions. This project started in 2006 and is ongoing still, with the 2,000 short stories now combined and compiled into 138 volumes each varying from 115k to 230k words per volume. 

The first gay character to be added to the series was BoomFuzzy the Unicorn who was created in 2014, and was created SPECIFICALLY BECAUSE, Westboro Baptist Church started showing up at my house accusing the books of being what they termed "Gay Romance" and "Gay Erotica".

Also, by that point I was 47 years old and had yet to learn what the words pennis and vagina was, because there's this little thing I was born with, called Kanner's Syndrome, aka ACTUAL Autism, which is in no way, shape, or form related to Aspergers or any of the other 861 Autism Spectrum Disorders, because Autism is NOT on the Autism Spectrum, the Autism Spectrum meaning a disease with symptoms similar to Autism but is not Autism. If you are ON the Autism Spectrum you DO NOT HAVE Autism.

Likewise if your HAVE Autism, you ARE NOT ON the Autism Spectrum.

While 1 in 3 people are on The Autism Spectrum, real and actual Autism effects only 1 in every 120,000,000 (120 million) people, making it one of the rarest diseases in the world with fewer than 20 actual medical diagnoses of it in the past decade.

Having Autism, actual and real Autism, means I have a complete and total inability to imagine things.

I have no imagination.

This also means I am ONLY about to write about real events that I have experienced myself.

This is why there were no sex scenes in ay of my books and also why things like Quaraun's children being beheaded were added to the series in 2016 after my own foster children were beheaded in 2015.

Every event in every novel I have ever written, happened in real life to me, that is why I wrote it.

This is WHY the original characters were a black cat, a gold dog, a silver cat, an eel, a black shetland pony, and the 2 cars in the story were a 1964 Dodge 330 and a 1974 AMC Gremlin, both orange. Those were real pets that I had at the time I wrote Friends are Forever and those are the 2 cars my father had bought a few weeks before I wrote that story.

This is also why before 2014, no gay characters were in the series because, I had never heard the word gay befoe the West Borogh Baptist Church showed up in y yard.

They saw gay people, where there were none, but in researching to find out what gay was, I ended up adding a gay character to the stories, something that never would have happened had they not first accused the series of being gay when it was not. 

After 40+ years of having never once in my life written a sex scene, 21 sex scenes were written in 2014, those appearing spread out across the 138 volume pink cover novel set, one appearing in Night of the Screaming Unicorn, another appearing in BoomFuzzy and a 3rd appearing in GhoulSpawn and the Lich Lord's Lover.

Each of those 21 sex scenes is a very violent rape scene, that leaves the victim serious injured with broken bones and massive amount of emotional trauma. There is NOTHING even remotely erotic about these scenes, some of which show the victim brutal murdered long before the sex scene is over and being continually raped after being dead.

The first drug use scenes appeared in 2016 and 2017, in the expanded edition re-writes of BoomFuzzy, Screaming Unicorn, and Summoner of Darkness, after the FBI investigation into the 2015 murder of 10 of my 12 children, at the time the latest of The Cascade Murder serial killings of old Orchard Beach, Maine, revealed that a huge heroin drug ring out of Connecticut was behind the more than 130 beheadings which have taken place on Portland Ave, Ross Rd, and Cascade Rd in Old Orchard Beach, Maine since Tajid's murder in 1991.

As you can see, the contents of the Quaraun series, reflect the real world events that happen in my life, and the rewrites of each volume reflect the recent changes in my life at the time of that rewrite. Thus why in the 1970s the books were 16 page picture books for children, rewritten in the 1990s to feature murder and suicide, rewritten in the 200s to feature beheadings and rape.

Whenever some says it's Erotica, my mind defaults to thinking: "I hope the department of human services straps them in a straight jacket, locks them in a mental institute and nevers let's someone so mental psychotic that they find murder erotic out into the light of day ever again."

I'm thinking, because of all the abuse, violence, and bloodshed in 50 Shades of Grey, people have started to see any violent act in any genre of fiction to be Erotica, lately, and that's truly terrifying.


How do you effectively write a flawed protagonist?

>>>How do you effectively write a flawed protagonist?

>>>I'm trying to get into writing my first book and this is one of the hardest parts of the brainstorming process. Sure, you can give a character personality, but (assuming they're a hero), balancing flaws can be hard. Is there any general advice for this?

> Assuming that what the character does is justifiably right, make them do something and act a certain way where they are good.

^  THIS  ^

My MC , Quaraun, is a serial killer. My readers love him, in spite of the gore filled, grizzly bloodbath scenes of him chopping people up.

Why?

Quaraun is a vigilante. As a child e was brutally raped and mutilated, castrated by his attacker, and he grew up bitter. Later his lover was driven to suicide the the person who had castrated him. So he had a psychotic breakdown and killed the rapist.

Later, he witnesses a prostitute be raped, and the town do nothing saying she deserved it because she was a prostitute. So he killed the rapists and the entire town.

After that the series follows his march across the planet, as he hunts down and murders every rapist he finds, without a shred of guilt or remorse.

My readers are largely rape victims who seek "rape justice" fantasy that sees rapists get what they deserve.

The entire series is endless gratuitous murder of rapists for the pure sake of gratuitously murdering rapists. 

Which is WHY I question how so many people call the Quaraun series, Erotica. Since when is non-stop grizzly murder seen as Erotica?

My MC, Quaraun, is a horrible person, because he's a serial murderer. But, he lives in a society that let's rapists walk free unpunished, so he takes on the role of vigilante protector of rape victims. He's a deeply flawed character doing very terrible things... but in the minds of most readers, he's doing the right thing, because he stepping up to help victims when the laws of the land turned their backs on the victims.

Quaraun is good and a hero, in the eyes of the rape victims he enacted retribution for, and that makes him relatable to the readers, because, while they know he's doing the wrong thing, they also know, he's doing it for the right reason. He's trying to make the world a safer place by ridding it of the worst scumbags of all: rapists.

Basically my readers are: "he killing people and that's bad, but he's only executing rapists who evaded the law, and that's good so, let him do it".

>>>balancing flaws can be hard. Is there any general advice for this?

Give him flaw, even seemingly irredeemable ones, but also give him sympathetic goals and justifications for those flaws.

For example: 

  • * make him cruel, but first show him bullied cruelly and becoming cruel after no one will help him... the reader now sees WHY he is cruel and roots for him, because the reader remembers a time when THEY were bullied and felt helpless, so now they have an emotional bond with him

or

  • * make is arrogant and stand offish, but first, show his ostracized by his family and friends, shunned by his church, outcast from his town, show him terrified and alone in the world, with no one to turn too, let the reader watch as he teaches himself to stop caring about others the same way his family stopped caring about him, show him rise above it and become arrogant as a way to protect himself from getting hurt again, becoming stand offish, out of the fear he'll be cast aside again; every reader has had someone they trusted turn on them, and knows that pain, knows the desire to snub noses at the ones who first snubbed you, now the reader feels empathy for the flaw because they see how they themselves could easily develop that flaw.

The same can be said for my MC, Quaraun. If I just dropped him into the story, killing people all willy nilly, readers wouldn't relate to him. But I first wrote a 35 page long scene of him as a child being brutally tortured and raped, detailed out on the page, told from his PoV, drawing the reader right into the horror and terror that is going through his mind as it happens. I've won awards for that scene. That scene is WHY that novel sold 57million copies. That scene drew readers in, the grizzly, intense, raw emotion of his suffering during that grueling 35 page long rape scene, made readers want to hug him, comfort him, and run screaming by his side with him to kill every last rapists out there.

Because I first showed WHY he was flawed, HOW he became flawed, showing the suffering and agony that flawed him, I bound my readers to him so hard, that they went full mother bear on cheering him on to killing rapists. They no longer cared that he was a serial killing monster, all they cared about seeing him get the justice he deserved.

That's how you make a flawed character believable, relatable, likable, lovable, nd turn a monster into a hero. .. by drawing the reader into his internal suffering BEFORE you show him as the flawed monster he is. Make them love him, feel compassion for him, pity him, so much that no matter what he does, they'll root for anyways.










And on that note, let's answer this question right under it:

What are the weirdest things ever produced in your world?

My mage MC, Quaraun, makes (and wears) enchanted jewelry. Magic rings that allow the wearer to cast certain spells when wearing those rings, are a common item he wears. He changes his rings out depending on what set of spells he wants to be able to cast that day.

Among his collection, and also the set of rings he wears the most often, is a pair of citrine and gold nipple rings that shoot fireballs, essentially allowing him to shoot fireballs from his nipples.

The idea original came from one of my readers, when in 2016, I posted on the fan page FB group for the novel series, to ask readers, this question:

"If I wrote a novel based off the idea of flamboyant nipples, what exactly would flamboyant nipples be?"

After lots of good ideas, one reader pointed out that the enchanted rings was a long established fact in the published novels already, and the MC had pierced nipples, so why doesn't he wear enchanted nipple rings that shoot fireballs?

Me and the readers spent a few days laughing and joking about the idea, but about a week later when I sat down to write the next novel in the series, I couldn't get the idea out of my head, I just kept asking myself: "Why DOESN'T he wear fireball shooting nipple rings?" And I couldn't think of a reason why he WOULDN'T. His personality, that is EXACTLY the type of thing he'd wear. So, that became a feature in that novel, and has appeared in every novel published since that one.




How do you come up with monsters or mutants for your book?

Do you mean the Thullids? They are the only race that I think could be considered either monsters or mutants.

The primary monster/race that is used in most of my novels and short stories, is a very Lovecraft-like mini-cthulhu type of parasite, known as The Thullids, which people often assume I created inspired by Lovecraft's Call of Cthulhu, but in fact I created about 20 years before I ever heard of Lovecraft or Cthulhu. 

The creature itself is a tiny jellyfish that gets up your nostril, attacks to your brain, and over a period of about 3 years, while it's tentacles burrow inside your spinal column and nerves fussing to them so it can take control of you body, it slowly eats your brain, while learning how to be you, learning to mimic your habits, speach, etc so once it eats your brain (and kills you) is can take over your body and pretend to be you and no one knows you died.

I created the race back in the 1970s, when I was not yet a teenager, and, the inspiration came from a trip to the city aquarium, where I learned the fascination of stingrays, deep sea giant moray eels, and jellyfish - creatures that went on to become my favorite animals, to point that my tribe (I'm Kickapoo Native American) renamed me "EelKat" stating that eels and cats were my spirit animals. 

As my writing career got going, my novels and short stories were always filled with monsters that were just mutated eels, stingrays, jellyfish, bristlenose pleco catfish, octopi, or squid. Creatures which went on to be pets I had in real life, and still keep to this day. I love eels, jellyfish, and pleco, they are my favorite animals, so, most everything I write features them in some way.

Over the years, my parasitic jellyfish race, evolved as I researched more about real jellyfish and discovered that in Japan there is a thing known as "The Immortal Jellyfish" the oldest known living creature on earth, estimated to be several thousand years old: it's real sea creature, look it up. It's an asexual jellyfish, that ages to old age, than changes gender and reverts back to being a polyp, grows to old age again, changes gender again, reverting back to being a poly, it can't die, so long as it continues to change gender from male to female every 10 years or so. It's one of the strangest creatures in the animal kingdom and its DNA is what scientists use to make cloning possible, it's DNA when crossed with rabbits results in rabbits that grow glow in the dark green fur - glow in the dark rabbits are illegal in America but now sold as pets in Japan where these scientists are actively crossing the DNA f the immortal jellyfish with everything they can find trying to make a cure for cancer. One big side effect is something you now see in every PetSmart across America: Glow Tetras, Glow Danios, Glow Bettas, new breeds of fish created by injecting jellyfish DNA into the parents.

I because utterly fascinated by the bizarre create that existed in our real world, and the vastly improbable things our real world scientists are doing with it's DNA. And I wanted to use that to make my fictional jellyfish race, more accurate to real world jellyfish, so I spent a few years doing nothing but studying everything I could get my hands on, about jellyfish and jellyfish's connection to science. I even signed up for marine biology degree at college.

In the end, I took a fantasy-horror creature that I had created as a child, crossed it with real world science that I discovered later as an adult, and used it to create an absolutely terrifying race of monsters, who, as long as they keep jumping bodies and changing gender from being a male to being a female, they live forever, inside the empty skulls of the dead humans whose bodies they take and reanimate.

Once I had this race, their backstory (there's a full backstory involving another solar system being destroyed when it's sun supernovae, thus how they ended up on earth), who they were, what they did, why they did it, etc, all fully fleshed out, I kind of just stopped creating other monster or mutant races, and just focused on every short story and novel after that, all being set in this same world, so every MC of every story always ends up meeting this monster race somehow.

One thing lead to another, and I eventually started writing just one MC (Quaraun) for all the stories, the Quaraun sometimes being male and sometimes being female, as the series ran forward telling the story, no longer through the eyes of the Humans who saw the jellyfish as invaders, but now through the eyes of a homeless/planetless jellyfish who sees themselves as a refugee on Earth, just trying to survive on what they see as an incredibly hostile planet.

For those unaware, Quaraun is an Immortal JellyFish in Medusa stage (a pregnant jellyfish) carrying a clutch of eggs. She lives in empty skull of a dead, male Moon Elf, whose body she has taken over and controls.

This is why some characters call Quaraun HE while other characters call Quaraun SHE. Characters who know Quaraun as an Elf, call him he, and characters who knew Quaraun as a JellyFish before she lived in the Elf, call her she.

Quaraun is biologically a female, but is living as a male and hiding the fact that she is pregnant, carrying 7 million eggs, thus Quaraun uses the male pronouns HE/HIM and gets upset when referred to as the female pronouns SHE/HER.

All because when I was 8 years old, I saw a jellyfish in a big tank at a city aquarium. (Saco Aquarium owned by King Weinstein, byw, if you wondered which one. It is no longer there and the building is now the Saco Imax/Cinemagic.)

If we had never visited that aquarium that day, I might never would have created the jellyfish monster and in turn, I might never have become a writer, because the only reason I start writing at al, was because I wanted to tell the story of the jellyfish monsters I had created.

Looking back, I wonder how different my life and my career would have been, had we never visited that aquarium that day?

So for me, creating monsters and mutants, wasn't something I actively set out to do. At the time I was just a kid and not even yet a writer. I just saw this fascinating creature, something I had no idea existed and I thought it was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. I wanted to live in the ocean so I could swim with eels and jellyfish. As a kid, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I'd say things like "a deep sea giant green moray eel" or "a lion mane jellyfish". My child brain was convinced, I cold become a sea creature once I was an adult, and I think that heavily influenced the jellyfish monsters I write, take over human bodies. I think it's because, I just really wanted to be a jellyfish when I grew up.

It's a childish, ridiculous concept, but, I ran with it, I had so much fun with it. I still do. That's why I write it, because it's just fun to imagine life as a jellyfish.

Look around you. What do you love? What are you obsessed with? Where is your passion? Look to that thing. How can it become dark? How can it become evil? How can it become mutated? How can it become a monster?

When you take something that you love, like how I love jellyfish, you can take that thing and run wild with it, making it whatever your novel needs it to be.


>>>In my time writing, I've started maybe 20 completely different drafts in many genres. Fantasy, Sci-fi, urban fantasy, lit-RPG, romance. I've never really hated my writing and drafts, but I find myself chasing a new story when I'm barely into my draft every time. I could have finished so much in these years if I stayed dedicated to one thing. I don't feel bad though since I've still improved with short stories and stuff like that.

>>>How have you dealt with this in your past? What helped you get through longer-form fiction?

This is not a problem I have had in a while. But it was a problem I had when I was a teenager (I’m elderly now to me as a teen was back in the 1970s). I’m not entirely sure why I had this issue, but I do know what cured it for me.

For me the answer was this: I had too many story ideas and not enough characters I was in love with.

So, I don’t know if what helped me, would help you out too or not, because every person is different and will have different source causes for what they do certain things, but I can tell you what worked for me and, well, maybe it’ll work for you as well, or maybe not. Who knows?

I still have the issue of a million and one ideas flowing out my brain faster than I can write them, that hasn’t gone away, but I think the difference between now and 50 years ago, was, that as a teenager I was like a hyperactive golden retriever trying to chase every squirrel in the park all at once, and ending up catching nothing. Whereas today as an elderly granny, I sit back like an old alley cat watching all the squirrels scamper by, patiently waiting for the one I know I can snag.

So, younger teen me, used to start writing a story, then BOOM, a new story idea happened, and I ran after it, fully expected to write both, but than BAM, story idea number 3 rushed at me so I had to start that one to, and belong, I had 20 first chapters of 20 novels written down and no end in sight for any of them. Well, when it was just one or two first chapters started it was like: “Okay, I can do this, 2 stories at once, let’s go!”, but then once I had 20 of them started I’d be: “OMG! WTF! I’m so overwhelmed! I don’t know which one to work on! Argh!”

But now, today, decades later, my process is completely different. Now, I start a new novel and, an idea interrupts me, so, I open a new file, type out a 1,00 word or so summary of the idea, save the file as “Story idea about ___”, close the file, and within an hour I’m back to work on the novel.

This method results in I have a folder on my hard drive, that is just hundreds of story ideas, that I might, maybe, someday, get around to turning into a novel, but I’m not worried about forgetting the idea, because I wrote the idea down INSTEAD of trying to write the whole novel when the idea hit.

Of course, this takes some level of self discipline and resitting the temptation to write every idea as a novel the instant the idea pops up. And that kind of self discipline, don’t just happen overnight. You have to work your way up to it a little at a time, condition your brain, make it a habit.

But how do you do that? How do you train your brain until this sort of thing becomes a habit?

Well, this is where story vs characters come in. This: I had too many story ideas and not enough characters I was in love with.

Early one, it was not just too many story ideas that I was trying to write out all at once; it was also mega levels of world-building, magic system building, mapmaking, and 750 characters each with their own 3-ring binder of profile bios (I still have all 750 binders too - mostly Lisa Frank - because you know, 1970s & 1980s every bind was Lisa Frank.)

I created details character bios for 750 characters, and fewer than a hundred of those characters would ever go on to make it into a published novel.

The characters, not the story ideas, were what lead to the revelation that... uhm... okay.... I got some issues here. I can’t stop starting things and never finishing them. I keep starting novels and never finishing them, but worse, I keep creating characters and never using them. I starting looking at all these notebooks - the 1st bookshelf was 21 feet long and 9 feet tall, and I quickly ran out of room. My boyfriend had to build another bookshelf. And another. And another. 4 bedrooms and 2 hallways of bookshelves later, it occurred to me; I need to STOP filling up massive character profiles and actually write stories about the characters. And that’s when it hit me...

Wait... all these novels I keep starting... they include none of the characters I keep creating. Every time I get a story idea, I roll out an entirely new cast. 10 new characters for this idea, 12 new characters for that idea, 25 new character for the next idea, and none of the characters would ever match the story idea, so none got used.

Well, it turns out,my biggest problem was coming up with round hole story ideas and creating square peg character that I was trying to ram into something they didn’t fit in. And I did not have a passion for ANY of it.

I wasn’t passionate about this idea or that idea, I just felt “Hey, that’s a good idea” but I never felt “OMG! I LOVE this idea!”

And I also I wasn’t passionate about this character or that character, I just felt “Hey, that’s a good character” but I never felt “OMG! I LOVE this character, I’d marry him!”

And that turned out to be the source of my problem.

How did I fix it?

One day I realized I didn’t want to write about rando ass characters for rando ass story ideas, that’s why I couldn’t finish any of them. Instead, I wanted to write stories about a cartoon character. So, I stopped all of it. I stopped creating new crews of characters and I went off screaming fangirl crazy writing fanfiction about a cartoon character I loved. After each new episode, I wrote a new story based on it. And then one day, the author of the character ended the series, and suddenly I had no more new episodes to write fanfiction for. And after writing lots and lots of short stories about this character, it left me asking, well that’s over, there’s no more episodes for me to write about, now what should I write?

I went back to my old 3-ring binders full of character profiles and just started reading what I had written. Laughing at how foolish most of it was, and noticed a trend:

I like Furries. Wait... wasn’t the cartoon character I was fanficing a shape shifting dog demon? Yes, he was. He most certainly was. 

Wait, that other guy I like. He’s a wolf shifter. 

Oh, and the eagle shifter. 

But wait, what about those squid headed guys I love in dungeons and dragons? 

And, and... 

Damn. 

I love monster men who are half animal.

The answer was staring me in the face for years, and I never saw it: the genre didn’t have a name back than when I started writing it, but it does today: Monster Porn. 

So, I took my favorite animals: JellyFish, Eels, Eagles, Unicorns, Cotswolds Sheep, Shetland Ponies, and Bobcats, and I created a shifter-man for each one. And for the first time, I was creating character profiles that were actually fleshed out with detailed backstories and not just rando lists of fave colours and fave ice-cream.

Before I knew it, I had a backstory about a water world, whose sun exploded, and the sea creatures had enough time to get on space ships and try to find a new place to live. A crew of JellyFish, Squid, Octopus, Eels, and Cuttlefish landed on Earth, and used magic to shift into Human forms and look for mates. Yeah, it went full on sex with jellyfish tentacle monsters. And I had a blast writing it and OMG! I actually reached the end of a novel, for the first time.

Damn. 

What changed?

It was quite simple: I fell in love with a man who is actually a jellyfish. Yep. There it is. And because I loved that character, I could just write and write and write and write and write, his entire story, without one single rando stray idea popping up and interrupting me. One chapter, two chapters, all the way to the end, without the onslaught of new ideas popping up and getting in the way. Simply because I was so entranced by this guy that I wanted to know how will it end?

It was like I was the reader, reading it, as I wrote it. I had no clue where the story was going to go. What was going to happen. No plan, no plot, no outline. This was all new ground for me. Previously, I plotted and outlined the hell out of ideas. Now, I was typing blind, with no idea what was going to happen or how the story would end.

And the thrill, the amazement, I felt from FINALLY finishing a full novel (it ended at 73k words) was just mind blowing for me.

And here’s where the revelation happened about: I had too many story ideas and not enough characters I was in love with.

When I got to the end of writing this completely bizarre off the wall story of the JellyFish-man, I was sad. OMG! I was so sad. It was over. And I didn’t want it to be. I loved this guy, and I wanted to read another story about him. But I had created him and this was the only story I had written about him, so there were no more stories about him.

If I wanted to read another story about my beloved JellyFish, I was going to have to write it.

And so, I went back to all those novels I had started and never finished, 1 chapter here, 2 chapters there, and read them, this time, with a new eye, this time, asking myself: What would happen if I took my JellyFish man and dropped him into this story idea? Let’s find out. Let’s take this old idea I never finished, and let’s start writing it again, this time, with the JellyFish as the main character. What would HE do in this story?

And what become of that?

In 1978, I published my first novel, and today, 43 years and 138 published novels about the JellyFish man later, I’m still writing it, and obviously I now finish the stories, otherwise I couldn’t have published 138 novels about this one character. The novels do not continue, there is no Part 1 continues to Part 2 and so on. Each story is full and complete standalone novel that you can read, without reading none of the others.

The solution was: I found my passion. And my passion is that one character. Him and him alone. And I love to write new stories about him. 

So, like I said, I don’t know if any of this will help you in your situation, but for me, the answer was to find a character, one character, that I could go crazy fan girl obsessed with, and just write endless gratuitous fetish obsession stories about him. Of course, that also means I write some freaked out creepy shit that would make even Virginia Wade (author of to top selling Monster Porn of all time: Cum 4 Bigfoot) blush. 

I let my shifter-furry (fishy?) fetish run wild, don’t question if it’s ever too over the top gratuitous, and my readers love it. It reads like bad fanfiction writing by a horny screaming fangirl, because when you get right down to it, that’s exactly what it is: me writing fanfiction of a character I created and can’t get enough of.

That’s kind of what you got to do: find your niche, your passion, the thing you love to write about more than anything else and just drive in head first. It worked for me. Who knows if it’ll work for you too or not?




A Look At The Magic System of Quaraun's World:

Here's a question, I was inspired to answer today. Enjoy!


I love threads like this. I like to ask myself questions and than write up the answers, and that helps me to figure out how my magic works. So any thread that has a theme of : "How/Why does your magic system ___?" is my fave ones.

So, backstory of where it started:

When I first started building my magic system, the first step for me is to decide what type of mage(s) my characters are going to be. For example, what I mean is this:

My MC is a mage. He starts out as a child with psychic abilities, end up sent to live with priests skilled in psionics, becomes a psion, falls in love, his lover is murdered, so he studies dark arts and becomes a necromancer to resurrect his lover as a lich (all of this is pre-story backstory, that won't appear in the story itself, but was used as a base so I knew who he was and why he did the things he did in the story). This was a fact known before I started writing. Before I even knew what the story or plot was going to be, before I even knew the MC's name or who/what his lover would be.

What this meant was, I had a specific mage that I wanted to write a story about, I knew the basic type of mage he was (natural born, trained at an early age, became a peaceful psion, love/vengeance drove him to dark arts and necromancy), and the type of magic he would use (psionics and necromancy), and now I had to figure out the bigger details:

  • * What EXACTLY is psionics in this world? What can a psion do/not do? How do they do it? What prevents them from doing it? Are there any consequences to it?

In my system, psionics included mind control (including thralls/slavery), hypnosis, telekinesis, "looking" into minds to see dreams/thoughts/memories, hive mind abilities, and absorbing the souls of others.

  • * What EXACTLY is necromancy in this world? What can a necromancer do/not do? How do they do it? What prevents them from doing it? Are there any consequences to it?

In my system, necromancy was more than just raising the dead (as zombies, vampires, liches, ghosts, wraiths, etc), it also included blood magic and soul magic and demonology, so it required both summoning demons, selling one's soul, and blood sacrifices (a life for a life - the mage must kill someone and put their still living soul into the body of the dead person they are resurrecting) to raise the dead. This ment my MC was going to have to become a murderer in order to resurrect his dead lover... uhm... okay, I had by this point in planning, already declared him a peace loving vegan hippie Elf, now I had to have him commit murder? whoops! I had to do a lot of rethinking, both of the character and the magic system, and than it hit me... he would not see it as murder, if he killed his lover's killers, he would see it as justice/executing murderers, and would justify his actions that way. But wait... now that he's a murderer, wouldn't he be wanted for murder?

So before I knew it, I was creating a Guild of Wizardry, complete with a team of "Justice Mages" who were basically bounty hunters/Texas ranger types of mages who hunted renegade mages who used magic to commit crimes.

Well, NOW, I had to come up with a system of laws/rules that the Justice Mages used to judge "good magic" vs "evil magic", and that meant now magic had the element of good and evil and I had to figure out WHY some was deemed good and other deemed bad.

This lead to the idea, that what if my MC was on the run from the Justice Mages and banded together with other "evil" mages on the run. So now I was creating 2 more "evil" mages, one an Illusionist who used shape shifting to lure his victims and the other a Portal Master thief who used portals to steal things from the future and take them to the past. 

Damn. Now I had to figure out how does Illusion Magic, Shape Shifting, Portal Magic, and Time Travel work?

And, it just kept going that way, sort of snowball method, of every time I added something new, it opened up a question of "What if I added this to the plot...?" followed by "Oh, but wait, if I do that, than I'll need to add this...."

And, this went on in that manner for about 3 years, resulting in me writing up this mega massive magic system for my world, before I even had any clue what the story's plot was going to be, but at the same time, I was creating my plot and my characters' profiles BECAUSE I was building the magic system.

>Are there any safeguards against “evil people” acquiring magic? How do magic users in your world try to prevent magic from falling into whoever/whatever they deem “the wrong hands”? Are there safeguards or protective mechanisms that rely on living people to maintain, or would they be functional centuries after everyone died, able to deter archaeologists and the like?

Yes. A group who calls themselves The Justice Mages. They are the leaders of an organization they created, called The Guild of Wizardry. Criminal mages, and mages on the run from the Justice Mages, refer to them as The Guild.

Originally The Guild was founded as a simple guild to regulate magic use, and ensure that mages were using high quality ingredients in potions and were not sourcing from shady wholesalers and such. Just a basic guild, like any other guild in any other career. However The Guild was founded by a mage who also wanted to be ruler/king/whatever. He was a Faerie and at the same time there was an evil Necromancer, who rose up, became a warlord mage, conquered a bunch of countries, crowned himself king of each, and eventually declared himself the King of the Faeries. The evil Necromancer king was very old (10,000+ years) and had lived a life of abuse and never being loved, that lead to him being bitter and depressed. The Guild founder, made friends with the evil king, became his court mage, and than plotted to take the throne, by driving the old king to suicide. His planned worked except for one flaw: the king commit suicide via a lich making spell, turning himself now into a Lich Lord and becoming immortal.

Meanwhile the king had a teenage fanboy who was madly in love with the king and was devastated by his death. Fanboy is the MC of the novel series and becomes a Necromancer to learn how to restore a physical body to the now incorporeal Lich King. MC goes on to become the most powerful mage the world has ever known, because he binds his soul to the Lich, making himself also immortal, and capable of living tens of thousands of years to learn every type of magic possible.

The Guild leader, changes the Guild because of this fanboy mage, who rises up. FanBoy mage, just wants to resurrect his lover, he has no interest in greed or power or politics, but the Guild mages, because THEY are power hungry, they assume everyone ONLY becomes a mage to take over the government, so they convince themselves he is a threat to their global domination plans, even though he only cares about finding a way to be reunited with his dead lover.

Because he's so determined to do the impossible a resurrect the dead, he's ready to leave no stone unturned to reach that goal, which results in him being insanly overpowered, but because he's peaceful he rarely uses his powers at all. But the Guild believes he's secretly conspiring to overthrow them. This causes the Guild to go from being just a guild to gaining political power and taking over first the local town level government, but slowly growing to take over huge regions of the country, as well as large regions in other countries. Essentially The Guild goes on to ruler magic over the entire world, with the Justice Mages going on to become political leaders (for example: governors, congress, etc in America; advisors to the Royal Family in England, that sort of thing - the series is set in an alternate reality of our real world, where magic has taken control of most every level of government and infrastructure, so while it's our Earth with most of our Earth history - it's also vastly changed and developed much differently, tech and medical are different for example - magic not electricity or gas run homes and cars, cars can use runes and gemstones to fly and you get the runes repowered at stations instead of putting gas in cars, and hospitals use potions and spells instead or vaccinations and pills and surgery is ran as magic can usually fix things without scalpels needed - that sort of thing; but at the same time, stuff like WW2, JFK assassination, and the Moon Landing still happened).

Because the leader of The Guild is a Faerie he lives thousands of years and remains the Guild leader for centuries. He himself went insane, as most mages do. His lust for power, corrupted the Guild and now all of the Guild's leaders and most of it's members are in fact, more evil than they "evil mages" they are supposedly protecting non-magical people from. However, because they are silver-tongued evangelical type speakers, they make "good" politicians, are able to weasel their way into high powered government positions in every country in the world, and because they are good at charismatic public speaking, they are good at convincing the masses that they are good, while the so called "evil mages" are the evil ones.

Meaning that ultimately, the organization that was put in place to keep magic out of the hands of evil men, got corrupted by evil men who are now in control of pretty much most of the planet.

This in turn means that essentially, while people believe there is a group in place to keep magic out of the hands of evil men, the group itself is now doing the opposite of what people think it does.

Additional on-theme/topic questions:

  •  *   How is magic use regulated? If magic is outlawed, why? 

In mine it is. At some time in the past (before the start of the novel series this magic system is used in) too many mages went power crazy. Law had to step in. Rules, regulations, laws, and ordinances govern magic arts with a fine tooth comb. Now being a mage requires certification, permits, license, PhDs, building inspections, etc, similar to real world doctors before they can work at hospitals or real world restaurants. Becoming a mage as a career, setting up a magic shop, becoming a mage for hire, all require huge amounts of legal red tape and approval from bureaucrats who make Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Vogons look loosey-goosey.

Practicing magic without the correct and proper paperwork can land a mage with huge fines at minimum, in jail or prison in most cases, and in some cases result in life time solitary confinement in a special mental institute just for mages, where they keep the mages straightjacketed in special anti-magic fabric and shackled in a techo-faery-iron, most mages there are lobotomized and physically tortured with medical experiments as well. Nothing is more feared in the world, than this mental-institute-prison for mages, and the fear of it alone is enough to keep most from even thinking about learning magic.

Some forms of magic are allowed, things considered "good" or "holy" or "healing" are generally the least regulated. So you see mages in medical careers, hospitals run by healing mages, churches run by mage-priests who do laying-on-of-hands magic-healing, science-mages who create new advances in healing potions or techno mages who invent magical household items (flying cars, self-sweeping brooms, self-boiling teapots, etc), swamp witches who double as midwives and make herbal potions to heal sick livestock. That so of thing, is seen as respectable in the eyes of the law, and those types of magic careers are easiest to get approved and licenced for.

Other forms of magic are allowed on a limited basis with extreme levels of men-in-black style secret agent government scrutiny. For example, portal magic and time travel are allowed for a few, limited individuals who have gone through extreme levels of rigorous government testing, to prove they can be trusted. Changing history "the wrong way" is seen as a devastatingly evil crime, unless the government decides a certain event needs changing and hires the mage to change it. Most of the world has no idea that portals or time travel exist, only a few governments have access to the ability/tech, and guard it's secret lustfully. Thus a mage hired to be a part of the program, has his identity changed, and who he was before essentially ceases to exist, with him no longer allowed to live free in public society. No one chooses this life as it is near life imprisonment. All mages in the program were kidnapped and forced into it against their will and only stay in it because they are too scared not to be in it, after being shown footage of other mages being tortured to death for escaping.

And then there are forms of magic that are outright banned, with the practitioners seen as criminals and arrested, fined, imprisoned, or tortured if caught. Necromancy, divination by communicating with spirits, demonology, familiars, blood magic, resurrection of the dead, sex magic, death magic, Chaos magic, and other such things, will land a mage in the mental institute or even warrant execution.

And then there are the corrupted power hungry leaders who make the laws, and are known to abuse the laws to their favor. For example, it is common practice for many Justice Mages, to frame their competition, some mage with all his paperwork in order, not practicing outlawed magic, could suddenly find himself accused of Necromancy and sent to prison after conveniently planted human bones were found in a box in his closet, planted there by the Justice Mage doing the inspection.

  •   *   If magic items are outlawed, why? 

Many magic items are illegal. Gemstones naturally possess magic powers, resulting in most mages wear a lot of bling, because certain types of crystals enhance certain types of powers. Mages will often have a dozen or more piercings in each ear, lip piercings, nose rings, nipple rings, toe rings, any place they can add a ring with a crystal charm or gemstone in it, they will. Runes and animal shaped charms and sigil talismans are often hung on the rings, these adding more enchantments. The most powerful mages give Liberace a run for his money with the over the top gem encrusted robes and capes. Magic can be embedded into cloth via weaving patterns, embroidery, or beadwork as well. Every colour adds power to corresponding spells, so mages are prone to wear eye popping day glow colours: hot pinks, neon yellows, day glow orange, phosphorescent lime green. You KNOW a powerful mage when you see them, because they are covered in bling, bling, bling, and more bling on top of eye blinding colours. 

The has caused society as a whole to fear flashy jewelry, beading and embroidered clothing, bright coloured fashions, etc. These things are outlawed in most towns, and confiscated and burned or otherwise destroyed by the Justice Mages.

Most people wear shades of black, brown, navy blue, or grey, and any jewelry is simple bands of silver or gold without gems or stones or charms. The general public is scared of bright coloured clothe and flashy jewelry, because people caught wearing such things can be accused of being mages and killed by the Guild's Justice Mages.

Any magic item that is used to make mages more powerful is outlawed, while household magic items (the flying cars, self-sweeping brooms, self-boiling teapots, etc mentioned before ), are allowed, but regulated via permits and licences, the same way real world gun laws are.

  •  *  Can magic be abused? In what ways could/would people exploit magic? How would a tyrant, evil mastermind, supervillain, megalomaniac, or someone with no morals use your magic system? Can charlatans and scam artists "bottle magic" (real or fake) and sell magic to people? Does easy access to magic increase petty crime (drug dealers, domestic violence, street gangs, etc)?

The criminal underground is the center stage of most settings in the series. So drug dealers, brothels, prostitutes, and street gangs are a constant theme seen in most novels. This is a thing I focused on a lot in my magic system, because my MC is on the run from the law, and ends up as a drifter who goes from one scum infested gutter dive to the next, making friends with drug dealers, gangsters, and thieves, all of whom use magic to not only commit crimes, but also to elude the law.

  •  *  If people can be born with magic, and some people have magic and others don't, are there breeding camps, slave rings, concentration camps, that imprison/enslave magic users to breed them and sell the babies as slaves to mega wealthy or build enslaved battle mages for evil governments?

This is a thing that shows up. Elves and Faeries are born with genetic magic, as is anyone with Elf or Fae blood in them. There rise up a few money hungry businessmen who get a hold of Faery-Iron and Anti-Magic cloth, and build a breeding farm, where they gather up genetic-mages into cages, like a puppy mile and force breed them, than sell the "magic babies" to wealthy families as slaves or pets.

Not much is done about these renegade groups because, they are seen as doing a good thing by getting mages off the streets and under control.

>>>How many/much magic can one person learn in your world?

It is unlimited. Anyone can learn it, if they wanted to.

Magic is rare, but is still common enough that most every city has a mage-merchant/magic shop or a wizard for hire, and most rural regions have a few swamp witches nearby. Mages exist in all cultures. You maybe have a few dozen mages for every million people in any region, so somewhat commonplace, but rare enough that most individuals won’t encounter mages every day. A human may go their entire lives never meeting a mage in some regions or may see an entire group around town every week, depending on where they live and how heavily regulated it is in that region.

The Guild of Wizardry started centuries ago as a guild for mages, rules magic over the entire world, with the Justice Mages (Guild leaders) becoming political leaders (for example: governors, congress, etc in America; advisors to the Royal Family in England, that sort of thing - the series is set in an alternate reality of our real world, where magic has taken control of most every level of government and infrastructure, so while it’s our Earth with most of our Earth history - it’s also vastly altered and developed much differently, tech and medical are different for example - magic not electricity or gas runs homes and cars, cars use runes and gemstones to fly and you get the runes re powered at stations instead of putting gas in cars, and hospitals use potions and spells instead of vaccinations and pills and surgery is rare as magic can usually fix things without scalpels needed - that sort of thing; but, stuff like WW2, JFK assassination, and the Moon Landing still happened). It’s set in the 1970s because I published the first volume of the series in 1978 and set in the then current era, so it remains set in the 1970s even in the new volumes written today.

The world is a weird “steampunky-vibe”, but not steampunk setting that is a mix of 800 A.D. Quebec, 1640s Salem, 1800s Maine, and 1970s Old Orchard Beach, kind of all rolled into one, quasi-medieval hippie filled 1970s stuck in the past sort of weird alternate urban fantasy, that also has future tech from sci-fi like time travel, star ships, cyberpunk tech, and huge interplanetary portal systems.

 *   Are there any powers that are unique only to one mage? If so, why?

Yes.

Quaraun's hair seemingly possesses a magic ability, to be usable as limbs, like hands or feet. It is actually not magic at all, but Humans believe it is magic.

Quaraun is often described as "gliding a few inches off the ground, his feet not touching the floor", which leads to the belief that he levitates. In fact, what he is doing is using hiss hair instead of his feet to walk. Because Quaraun is only five feet six inches tall yet his hair is twelve feet long, he is able to use his hair to lift himself off the ground by a few inches or even several feet.

The secret to Quaraun's supposedly magic hair, is that t is not actually hair at all, because Quaraun is not actually an Elf. Quaraun is parasitic, alien JellyFish, disguised as an Elf, wearing the body of a dead Elf like a fur coat. Quaraun's hair, is actually thousands of very fine, thin JellyFish tentacles, which is why his hair is bioluminescent and glows in the dark, and why his white hair, shimmers silver and blue in the light resembling fish scales.

When around other people, Quaraun moves as an Elf does, walking on his feet, however, when alone or with people he trusts, Quaraun uses his tentacle-hair to move. Doing so lifts him up off of the ground, and most people are so busy looking at him hoovering, that they do not notice the way his hair stiffens to support his body, while long parts of his hair, the parts pooling around him on the ground, are actually stiffened into spider-like "feet" moving along the ground.

Quaraun is also able to use his hair like a weapon. When threatened, and feeling he has no other way to escape, Quaraun''s hair takes on a Medusa-like life of it's own, lashing out at his attacker, either pulling them away, or wrapping around the. When confronted by life-threatening situations, Quaraun has been known to use his hair to strangle his attacker to death.

Being a JellyFish, similar to the Portuguese Man of War, Quaraun tentacles are full of highly toxic venom and he can also sting his enemies to death.

Quaraun is usually described wearing a saree and a hijab and a veil, all at once, wearing all 3 as a way to conceal the true nature of his hair. If you don't examine it too closely or if you don't touch it, Quaraun's hair, appears to be nothing more than, long silken stands of hair. Removing the veils, shawls, saree, and hijab allows the slithering, living, movement of Quaraun's hair to be seen, thus why he rarely uncovers it.

Because Quaraun's hair is not actual hair, and is instead are his JellyFish limbs, thousands of tentacle arms and legs, Quaraun never cuts his hair and becomes deeply offended by any suggestion that he does.

In a scene where he is overpowered by his attackers and they shave his hair, we see Quaraun left bleeding to death, as his blood drains from the thousands of severed tentecles.This "cutting of his hair" leaves him in agonizing pain for months, and while, like any JellyFish he can regrow his severed "limbs" it takes 30 years for his tentacles to grow back, during which time he makes the claim that he can no longer cast magic, without his hair, citing that his hair is the source of his magic powers.

The truth is far deeper than that, though. Quaraunis weak and in frail health, he realis heavily on his stinging, strangling tentacles to survive. His Elf body his badly injured, with a lame leg, and he can barely walk with the Elf's legs. Quaraun moved with his hair, most all of the time, carefully wearing long skirts to hide his feet, hiding the fact that he's actually "walking" on his tentacles and not on his feet. 

But, with his hair/tentacles cut off, he can barely stand, let alone walk. And he hides the fact of his being a JellyFish from most people. Only people he strongly trusts know that he is actually a JellyFish. Thus why the claim that he can not use magic and must go into hiding, after his "hair" is cut.


>>>Are people born with a pre-determined (or end up locked in quickly) set of magic power, so one guy has lightning powers and that’s all he can use, do people train in lots of magic but only use just a few or is it the case that as long as you know the spell and have the talent, you can cast it - like in Elder Scrolls and such?

There are a rare few who seem to be “born” with magic powers, or at least that’s what some people believe. The reality is its just that some children have a very strong will power and no adult yet told them things like: “Humans can’t fly.” So a toddler who sees a bird fly and says: “I can do that!” WILL fly with the bird, simply because they believe they can. This leads to the false belief that some are born with magic powers while others are not, but really EVERYONE has the ability equally, and it’s just that most children are raised by adults that tell them “you can’t do that” and so they believe from a young age they can’t, so they don’t. I explained this more, below.

>>>If people’s magic ability is limited to a small bit of a large range, what is it that separates those “schools”? Is it just a studious distinction or is there something innately different about the magic?

There exist schools, sort of, more like mini-religious cults than schools, but they will often call themselves schools. Usually, it is a sort of church/coven group of 4 or 5 or 10 or 12 mage-priests...

*(Note: Mages and priests and wizards and witches and sorcerers can ALL be male or female in my world. There is no law/rule that says all witches are female, or all priests are male, so there are male witches and female priests, etc. I use “HE” throughout this post because my MC uses HE - however my MC is by birth a female who lives as a male, so an F2M transgender Elf, but anyway. Most everything here applies specifically to the MC himself, thus my use of the pronoun “he/him/his” here.)*

...anyway, throughout the world (most countries/providence/states have at least 1 or 2 or more such groups) there are always different sects of sort of religious groups of mages who band together, often in a Ghost BC Papa Emeritus 2/3/ Papa Nihil type of “black pope” fashion sense, with a very Lovecraft cult vibe. A high-powered mage who either actually wants to teach others about magic leads these or one who went power crazy and formed his own cult leads it. Either way, these schools attract “edgy teen” types looking to learn magic (often to spite their parents or school teachers or whatever). And thus magic arts continue to be taught to younger generations this way.

Every group will have it’s “THING” that it focuses on. 

  *   Like the one that is featured most in the series, focuses on wish granting spells. 

  *   Another group seen often focuses only on ice/snow/frost/water manipulation spells. 

  *   Another is a group of elderly grannies who live in a swamp and teach swamp witchery green magic that focuses mostly on herbal magic and hoodoo rootwork. 

  *   One is seemingly a culinary arts school that is led by a Fae who makes magic (toxic/drugged) faerie food and teaches his students how to do the same. 

  *   Groups of counterfeiters teach apprentices how to make Faerie Gold (acorns turned into fake gold).

Sometimes it’s just one mage who takes an apprentice under his wing. So it’s not a group/coven/school/cult group teaching them. 

Other times, the person goes solitary and just gathers up books and teachers themselves.

So there is no one way to learn magic.

Also, infinite types of magic exist. All the standard types are possible: spell casting, potion making, spirit intervention, druidry, elemental, high magic, ritual magic, there are thousands and thousands of types. No one knows how many. Every culture developed its own traditions and taboos, and those develop and change every generation, so like real world religions, magic arts are a constantly changing and shifting thing as mages discover new techniques, theorize new methods, etc.

>>>Can they learn everything? 

Hypothetically, if a person lived long enough, was determined-dedicated-disciplined enough, could locate all the books-diaries-notes-tomes-grimoires of every previous mage from every era of the planet, and had enough money to buy all the equipment-materials-ingredients for everything, then YES, a mage could in theory learn every spell and every potion and every enchantment and every invocation and every ritual from every type of magic that exists.

However, most people only live long enough, locate enough books/notes, and have enough money to learn the most common and mundane or simply magic arts.

  *   Humans rarely become overly powerful. If a Human becomes high powered, it’s usually because he apprenticed from childhood under the teaching of a high powered Elf or Demon or Faerie mage.

  *   Dwarves and Gnomes are slightly longer lived than Humans, but still not long enough lived to become super high powered. 

  *   Elves and Demons live long enough to either learn lots and lots and lots of common spells, becoming a jack of all trades mage, or they focus on one type and become super high powered in one specialty. 

  *   Faeries, particularly solitary Fae like Phookas or Leprechauns live for tens of thousands of years and are the most powerful mages of all, but develop high levels of boredom induced insanity, a side effect of living so long combined with the solitude magic study requires. Ancient Faerie Mages often become tricksters and use magic to cause chaos in Human lives (kind of the way school boys pull off butterfly wings and stomp on ant hills and then laugh about it). Very ancient mega high powered, near-god like over powered Faerie Mages gone mad, are seen as evil megalomaniac super villains.

>>>Is that common? 

In Humans, no. It’s rather rare for Humans to seek a career in the magic arts.

In Dwarves and Gnomes, more common that with Humans, but still rather rare.

Most mages are Elves or Faeries, just because of Elves living hundreds of years.

Most of the god-powered mages are very ancient Faeries, often over ten thousand years old.

Learning advanced magic requires centuries of locking yourself away with books and solitary practice. Humans, Dwarves, and Gnomes can never become powerful because they don’t like long enough, so most mages are Fae or Elves. And they are prone to lock themselves in a hermit solitude for 500+ years of intense studying, which results in most of the most powerful mages being extremely eccentric, very antisocial, and often outright raving lunatics. 

Centuries of no interactions cause them to lose touch with reality and forget basic social skills, resulting in the most powerful mages of all, are also often completely off the wall, stark barking bonkers insane.

These extremely all powerful mages are mega arrogant and often quote their near god-like powers as being an excuse why they can get away with not giving two shits about anyone around them

>>>Easy?

No.

Magic is VERY difficult and tedious to learn. Thus why so few take up magic arts, even though anyone could do it if they tried.

The problem is that magic is largely will-power/faith/power of positive thinking based. You need 100% self confidence in your ability to cast a spell. If you doubt or hesitate even a little, the spell won’t work, either having a poor result or not working at all. 

So: 

  *   ... someone with a low self-esteem is going to have zero results.

  *   ... someone with a high self-esteem in private but low self-esteem or social anxiety in public, is going to excellent results in the privacy of his own home, but flub, bumbling or zero results at all in public situation.

  *   ... someone who mentally crashes under peer pressure, may get amazing results around strangers, but flub up every spell when his domineering, overbearing stepmother is watching.

  *   ... someone who self absorbed, believes he can do anything, has narcissism/arrogance/sociopaths issues and doesn’t give 2 shits what other people think about him, is going to be shooting absolutely perfect planet destroying fireballs out his ass if he so does so.


Most low level, common mages are shy, timid, bumbling nerdy geeks who can’t cast spells in front of a girl they like, while the mega OP god powered mages tend to also be mega arrogant, self absorbed narcissistic dicks. It’s not always that way, of course, but the averages skew heavy that way. High-powered timid mages exist, and arrogant dicks who can’t spark a fizzle out of their pinkie exist. There are no “low powered mages always ___” or “high powered mages always ___”. But certain personality types are going to have better luck casting magic, so certain personalities dominate certain types of magic.

And...

Because magic fluctuates based on the mental/emotional state (will-power/faith/power of positive thinking) of the mage, his magic abilities can fluctuate. This means sickness, injury, hunger, fears, phobias, sexual arousal, depression, superstitions, religious beliefs, and more, can instantly strip an OP god powered mage of his ability to use magic.


For example:

  *   A mage with the flu is going to be befuddled by stuffy nose and headaches and cannot think clearly or focus well, so even if he was god-powers OP last week, he’s near powerless while he’s laid out with the flu. The same is true if he has a broken leg or gets a stab wound. Any sickness or injury that distracts his mind from heavy focusing on the spell is going to cause him to be as powerless as a non-mage until he’s healed.

  *   A normally confidant OP god power mage, who has a phobia of spiders, may suddenly lose his ability to cast spells if he sees a spider run across the floor. His phobia of the spider floods his brain, alters his mental state, and he can no longer focus on the spell.


This is why when Quaraun is having a panic attack or meltdown, he suddenly can't cast spells anymore.

The mage needs to focus his full attention on the spell in order to cast it. If he’s distracted, the spell will fumble, misfire, or not work at all.

This has a tendency to cause mages to go one of two ways with sexual relationships as well: they either become celibate, often eunuchs, to avoid sexual tension/arousal from distracting them, or they become hyper sex crazed, chasing down prostitutes in brothels constantly, again to avoid sexual arousal being an issue when magic is needed.

This also results in mages being hermits, living solitary lives, having no families/spouses/children/friends/pets, so that these things don’t become a distraction and/or to ensure villains can’t hold their loved one’s hostage to impede their ability to use magic.

Most of the OP mega powered mages are also highly superstitious. A common superstition in many mage circles is that they get their magic from their hair. This causes mages to never shave or cut their hair. For example:

  *   The MC of the novel series this magic system is used in is an Elf with 12 foot long hair. He (Quaraun) is the world’s most powerful mage. In a scene when he is captured by enemies who shave his hair off, he cannot cast magic for nearly 30 years, because that’s how long it takes his hair to reach 12 feet long once again.

  *   The most powerful Faerie mage (BoomFuzzy) has massive dreadlocks that reach to his knees. 

  *   The most powerful Demon mage, (The Gremlin aka GhoulSpawn) is a Cotswold Sheep-man, with the lower body and cloven hooves of a Cotswold sheep, and long ropes of golden fleece cover his waist and legs that grow like Rapunzel hair from his hips and thighs.

  *   The most powerful Dwarven mage (Bullgaar) has a massive beard, hundreds of braids, and requires servants to walk behind him carrying his beard because he can not walk on his own otherwise. His beard is so long. 

All 4 of them wear rings and charms and specifically coloured cluotie ribbons braided into their hair/beard/fur because they believe in the power of specific gems, metals, and shapes causing spell enhancements.

Religious mages may believe their magic to be a “gift from their god” so believe they must live strict rules of that god’s religion in order to practice magic. They may believe they can only cast spells successfully if they light candles or burn incenses or place sacrifices on an altar for example. 

The long hair, charms, and religious rituals do not actually CAUSE the magic powers, but rather the mage’s belief in those things, causes the power, so losing a charm, cutting their hair, or forgetting to light the altar candles that night, will cause the mage to lose his powers, simply because his belief in those things is so strong.

Many mages have wands, staffs, or crystal spheres that they carry with them. These items in and of themselves are not magical. However, mages use them as a focus. The mage focuses his mind and will onto the wand, and the spell seemingly is cast by him aiming the wand. Thus, unmagical people often believe wands are powerful, when, in fact, the wand itself has no power. The mage just uses the wand to direct or aim his focus on his target.

All that said, they do not fully rely belief alone on. 

Real world Voodoo (New Orleans and Haitian), real world HooDoo Rootwork, and real world Enochian Angel Sigil Magic, are used throughout the series. (I am a real world Voodoo priestess and Hoodoo Rootworker, so this is an area I know inside out). Any type of real world magic (Wicca, Witchcraft, Shamanism, Paganism, Heathen, etc) is used by mages in the novels. The MC uses primarily Voodoo and Hoodoo because this is what his Borka lover used and taught him. The Demon mage uses primarily real world Chaos Magick, Demonology, Spirit Familiars, and Enochian Angel Magic.

Because of this, sacred geometry, archangel sigils, sacred words/language of angels, gris-gris, goofer dust, veve, loa, candle altars, jackballs, hoodoo potions/salts/oils/sachets, and similar materials all play a central role in the series.

The 3 MCs (Quaraun the Elf, BoomFuzzy the Unicorn, and GhoulSpawn the sheep Demon) cast huge spells with elaborate ceremonial high Magick rituals that come straight out of real world books by Aleister Crowley, Silver RavenWolf, Scott Cunningham, catherine yronwode, Gerald Gardner, Denise Alvarado, Christopher Penczak, Raymond Buckland, Julia Parker, Derek Parker, Laurie Cabot, Amy Zerner, and Monte Farber (I have all the Wicca/Witchcraft/Magick books by those authors and they act as the source material reference guide I use for my magic system, while working on the novels.)

>>>Explain supernatural events scientifically or by "magic"?

>>>The thing is, I've been writing worldbuilding, the magic system and all those things related to a novel. However, I was surprised that I had never questioned how paranormal events were explained. I mean, in the Lord of the Rings it was just magic and that's it, nothing else had to be explained. However, does this look bad in any way? I'm not saying it for myself, in fact I personally like that things are explained through myths, legends, etc, but I have seen that many people prefer that these paranormal events be explained in a "logical" way with chemistry, mathematics or those things. Maybe for credibility, but no idea how to explain that a person can control fire with spells or levitate by breaking the laws of physics.

>>>How do you explain the magic in your worlds? Do they use math or just legends, myths and others related to just "magic"? Is one much better than the other? What do you think?

You know what, I write a Fantasy series with a huge amount of magic, the 3 MCs all being mages, and while mages are rare in the world, they tend to hang out together in cult like groups, so my 3 MCs are around lots of other mages, and pretty much keep to their own little mage groups bot associating with any none mages. So, big amounts of magic stuff happening all the time, the series has supernatural and occult and metaphysical ghosts/paranormal stuff, however... before reading your question here, I've never thought about the who science vs magic aspect, and I had to stop a minute and think: "Wait, how DO I do this in mine, do I even know?" LOL

Anyways, I been sitting here rereading your question and going back over my series and thinking - what did I do? Have I ever touched on this unknowingly without realize it? Or have I just completely never addressed this at all?

And after a few minutes I realized: OMG! I HAVE addressed this before, I just never realized I did it, because it just came out as a natural part of my character's personalities. So, I'm not sure if you could classify it as part of my magic system or not, but anyways, here's what I've done:

My 3 MCs are very different in terms of how they deal with and think about magic vs science vs supernatural vs metaphysical  vs religion vs occult.

For example: 

  • * one MC - Quaraun - is a Necromancer *(the ACTUAL real world meaning of the word aka "one who sees ghosts and talks to spirits" not the DnD/Fantasy type that resurrects armies of undead/zombies/minions)* and he is very religious, and so for him, mage is very ritual based - lighting candles, drawing magic circles with salt, prayers to loa, veve made of cornmeal, throwing bones/stones/shells to speak to dead ancestors, honey jar petitions to archangels/demons/saints, largely real world Hoodoo Rootwork sort of thing. So for HIM and how he sees things, the supernatural is very spiritual, very religious focus.

  • * but another MC - BoomFuzzy - is a Faerie and is born with natural/gentic magic abilities *blinking, fey stepping, illusions to make acorns look like gold coins, that sort of thing)*, so for HIM and how he sees things, the supernatural is very mush straight up pure magic = magic because magic just is.


  • * but than the 3rd MC - GhoulSpawn/Gremlin - is a gremlin, classic WW2 style demon fascinated with engines and electronics, and he's a sorcerer/scientist, who builds time machine-like portals/gates, and borders into alchemy type magic. He's always spouting off science gargon that the other mages largely ignore and roll their eyes over, because they can't understand half the stuff he's talking about, and he's kind of a mad scientist who spends a lot of time with charting out equations, So for HIM and how he sees things, the supernatural is very science, logic, engineering, and chemistry and tries to explain how magic and supernatural things are natural things that physics can account for. His science theories also never get explained, because the other characters just walk off and leave him yapping to himself, so what he actual says science says magic is, is never something the reader sees, the reader just knows he thinks he knows the answer and never is told what that answer supposedly is.

  • * But than with in the side characters, there is another mage - AlKeeme - who is straight up an alchemist who is a cryogenics frankenstein-like scientist, and he too, do the science thing to explain supernatural, because, that's just how his mind works. 

  • * And another mage - ZooLock - who is full on a high priest with a cult of Lovecraft-type priest followers, and for him and his group, magic is all about the god they worship so again religion is the answer, but only because that is how his mind works. 

  • * And other Fae characters - BlackBird and FireHawk and Etiole - , like the first, are also straight up magic = pure magic, no religion or science involved because that's how their minds think.

So in the end, it turns out, the way I do it, my magic system never (in narration) is confirmed to be one way or the other, is it "just magic for magic's sake" or is there a science behind it or is it "the gods". Instead, each character has their own views on what he or she THINGS the source/origin/explanation is, and so it's left up for debate as to what exactly the supernatural is, depending on which character is the one doing the theorizing. I don't try to define it, I just let the characters do/believe/think their own thing befitting their personalities.


  • *  Do people go crazy from using magic too much? 

To quote one character from one of the novels:

>>>“Wizards tend to be crazy. Wizard training take big toll on health and sanity. Century or two of being solitary lil hermit, casting spells to become all powerful, gives Wizard big egos and small compassions. Dey forgets basic social skills. Get all wild and feral. Den when ya piss dem off, dey shove wand up ya ass and let lightening bolts blow ya brain out ya skull. Pelt ya wid grasshoppers. Send tornados up to ya front too. Dat sort of t’ing. Wizards got reputation for short tempers and ability to do weird freaky shit to ya.”

>>>"Aren't you a wizard, yourself?"

>>>"I am."

>>>"Well, how come you're not crazy?"

>>>BoomFuzzy stared at the girl for a few moments before answering.

>>>"Ya t'inks I no crazy? How'd dat happen?"

>>>"Well, you aren't the one rolling around on the floor ripping another mage's hair out, are you?"

>>>BoomFuzzy turned his gaze to Quaraun and GhoulSpawn, still rolling around on the floor screaming obscenities at each other while pulling each other's hair.

>>>"Ahyah. Ya do got a point. I no on floor pulling hair out. But dan again, dey do not get called Quaraun the Insane and GhoulSpawn the Crazed for not'ing, eh? Funny. I is usually de one people t'inks is de nuttiest."

>>>"How come?"

>>>"Ya, don't know who I am do ya?"

>>>"No. Don't t'ink so."

>>>"Ah! Well. I is BoomFuzzy de Unicorn. Otherwise known as King Gwallmaiic, Elf Eater of Pepper Valley, Leader of the Lich Lords. King of the Faeries. And not those two girly dressed twits on the floor having hair pulling contest, real Faeries."

>>>"I heard that!" Quaraun yelled.

>>>"I knows ya did. Ya rabbit ears can hear a mile away."

>>>"You're The Elf Eater?"

>>>"Aye. Mass murderer of millions. I live in a gingerbread house and spend me free time rolling Elves in chocolate, den fucking the living daylights out of them, those two usually. They don't just dress like girls, dey both like being fucking like em too. I be one wat like shoving wands up asses, shooting lightening bolts out ya skull, dan shoving grasshoppers up ya dick for good measure. Though dat one dare," BoomFuzzy pointed to Quaraun. "Him like candy canes up hims dick. Weird fetish of his. I is happy to oblige."

Learning advanced magic, requires centuries of locking yourself away with books and solitary practice. Humans, Dwarves, and Gnomes can never become very powerful because they don't like long enough, so most mages are Fae or Elves. And they are prone to lock themselves in a hermit solitude for 500+ years of intense studying, which results in most of the most powerful mages being extremely eccentric, very anti-social, and often out right raving lunatics. Centuries of no interactions causes them to lose touch with reality and forget basic social skills, resulting in the most powerful mages of all, are also often completely off the wall, stark barking bonkers insane.

These extremely all powerful mages, tend to be mega arrogant, and often quote their near god-like powers as being an excuse why they can get away with not giving two shits about anyone around them

This tendency for mages to go mad, is a major reason why the Justice Mages exist, and is why the insane asylum for mages was built.

The more powerful the mage is, the crazier, wilder, more feral they tend to act. This in turn causes the general public to be scared shitless of any mage with any level of advanced abilities. Which in turn is the reason why so many laws regulate magic, it's learning, and it's practice.

People who want to study magic, need to pass psychiatric evaluations and then are not allowed to study solitary, because of the history of so many mages going crazy from solitary study of magic.

Mage/wizard towers are outlawed and most were torn down and destroyed.

Mages who still live in towers, live along the coast, mostly in Maine, where they set up a lighthouse illusion spell, around their tower, so that everyone thinks they are just and elderly lighthouse keeper and don't realize the old fisherman and his lighthouse is actually a wizard and his tower in disguise. In this world ALL of Maine's lighthouses and lighthouse keepers are mages and their towers.

  •  *  How is economy, capitalism, business, and merchants affected? Can mages turn common items (stone, acorns) into gold? Can mages destroy currency systems by mass producing gold and making coins/money/currency/gold worthless? 

Faerie Gold and Leprechaun Gold exist and are both nothing but leaves and acorns with glimmer spells. Generally seen as counterfeit money, it is nearly impossible to tell they are not real coins, and for a few days the merchant will think himself rich, may even buy a bunch of stuff, but the gold turns back to acorns or leaves with in 2 or 3 days and so, all hell breaks lose when angry men start fighting over who cheated who, while the Faeries sit back and laugh over the chaos they caused.

The making of Faerie Gold is outlawed and mages caught with it are sent to prison and force fed molten gold. Most die from this punishment, but a few survive, including the MC of the series, who in later novels suffers from disfiguring facial scars, and can no longer talk from his tongue and throat having been scalded with 4t degree burns from the molten gold.

  •  *  What is stopping mages who control the weather, to cause draughts and hold crops hostage, asking huge ransoms to allow rain to fall? Why would people need carpenters if mages came build houses at the wave of a wand? Do mage chefs who create perfect food at will put bakeries and restaurants out of business?

Not much. 

There are mages who can control the weather, mostly Faeries, and they DO hold regions hostage, by causing floods and droughts and lightning strikes.

Mages can and do put human businesses out of business because they can wave a wand to build things.

One of the primary MCs IS a trickster Fae chef who uses magic to make super amazing food and thinks it's hilarious to set up shop beside human restaurants, put them out of business, than pack up and leave.

  •  *  What about mages with unchecked, unlimited power? Do they exist? What do they do? Why? Your characters are not all-powerful gods, are they?  How do governments deal with mages like these?  Why is the Universe not 100% under control of one magic user?

Faeries and Elves are rare (only a few hundred on the entire planet), but extremely powerful because they live long enough to learn very advanced types of magic. Most of the world is run by only a handful of very ancient Faeries, and while the bulk of the planet is still 7billion+ Humans, Humans are so short lived, and so unable to agree on anything, and so prone to fight with themselves, that they are never able to gain a foothold in overthrowing the Fae who run everything.

Essentially it's a few Fae who act like Queen Bees running the hive, while Humanity are their worker drones. And the Fae are in control of an ancient alien elder brain, that keeps a psion spell on most of the planet, so most Humans are oblivious to the existence of the Fae, and the few who are Faerie Sighted and able to see through the Fae barrier, are deems as UFO alien abduction conspiracy theorists, because the Fae abduct them, take them to the mental institute for mages and do the "alien abduction stuff" to the humans to convince them aliens are real, causing no one to believe them.

So, yes, mages DID take over the world and mages DO run the government, men-in-black are Faeries who run the world, alien abductions are Faeries playing mind games on Humans to make anyone who can see Faeries seem crazy.


Questions other users on this thread asked, that I'll answer too: 

From u/LeFlamel :


>Define the wrong hands.


Sadly, the wrong hands were the ones who set out to keep magic out of the wrong hands, and so it's the wrong hands who are regulating magic.


>>>Their enemies? 


Any mage who achieves any level of power, is eyed suspiciously and seen as "the enemy of all humanity", which causes people to call the Justice Mages.

But, the Justice Mages are known to kill first and ask questions later, often killing people who were not mages at all, or killing mages who had committed no crime. This has lead to unscrupulous people who don't like a neighbour say because they don't mow their lawn often enough or painted their shutters pink, to call the Justice Mages and accuse the neighbour of secretly being a necromancer. 

The Justice Mages who are basically magical police, who move in like a SWAT team, surprise raid the accused, often beating them to death on false charges of necromancy, and than only after searching the house after killing the person, do they discover the person was not even a mage at all.

This sort of abuse of the system is very common.


>>>The poor? 


Most poor, side with the mages, and not the Guild, as most of the illegal magic arts, are in fact very helpful to poor families.

Like for example, Swamp Witches make medicinal teas and elixirs, but often they are elderly women who can not afford to cost of buying licenses and permits and certification, so they practice without paperwork, and thus their potions, may in fact be more powerful and work better than those made by healing mages in the hospitals. But hospitals are expensive and poor people can not afford them, so will usually sneak out to the Swamp Witch instead.

Well, this puts BOTH the poor families and the Swamp witches at risk of fines, imprisonment, or worse.


>>>Criminals? 


Many criminals become mages. And many mages, once targeted by the Justice Mages, are forced to live a life of crime, as their reputations are so damaged they can not live in normal society again.

Most drug dealers/chemists are mages, as are most moonshiners, most gang leaders, and most scam artists. 

The law has reached a point of being so corrupted, that many turn to criminal slums for safety from the Justice Mages.


From u/FlawlessPenguinMan :

  • >>1.: Nope, most magic users are heartless, and even the better ones are quite cold and rude. It's in their nature.

Yep.

This is how it is in mine.

And to quote the MC himself from a novel:


>>>"Years? Multiple years to make one potion?"

>>>"Oh, yes. You weren't expecting me to wave a wand and go POOF! Were you?" Quaraun pulled out his wand as he spoke and waved it around over his head.

>>>"Well, yeah, kind of. You are a wizard, after all."

>>>"You been reading too many Fairy Tales, Boy. Real world magic, isn't like what they tell you in Fantasy novels."

>>>"But magic is real, right?"

>>>"Oh, yes. Magic is most certainly real. I just think, real magic, may not be quite so glamorous as you are imagining it to be."

>>>"So, no magic wands?"

>>>"No."

>>>"But you are holding one."

>>>"What? This?" Quaraun waved his rainbow wand around again. "This is nothing."

>>>"Than why do you have it?"

>>>"In case I need to kill someone."

>>>"Kill some. . . one?"

>>>"Yes."

>>>"With a little wooden stick?"

>>>"Yes."

>>>"How?"

>>>"Well, usually, I just wave it around while I talk, and when they least expect it, I ram it up their nose and through their brain. And POOF! Instant death by magic wand. No magic needed."

>>>"You're kind of violent, aren't you?"

>>>"The world is a violent place, Kelim. Of, course, I can also just do this."

>>>Quaraun spun around, aimed the wand, and a brilliant purple bolt of lightning shot out from the end of the wand and blew up the table on the other side of the room, leaving nothing but a smouldering piles of ashes where moments ago had been a table.

>>>"That. . . that.. how..?"

>>>Quaraun pointed to his 12 foot long hair. "World's longest hair."

>>>"So?"

>>>"It means, I am the world's most powerful wizard. More hair equals more power, Boy."


and later in the same scene:


>>>"You know what I do to rapists now?"

>>>"Uhm. . . do I want to know?" 

>>>"I jab my wand in their eye sockets, scramble their eyes and their brains to jelly. Serve it on toast. Absolutely marvellous. More death by magic wand, without any magic at all. It's so satisfying. I hate rapists."

>>>"You seem to like scrambling brains with your wand."

>>>"Oh yes. I've become addicted to it. Brains are such a delicacy."

>>>"Are all wizards like you?"

>>>"What do you mean?"

>>>"Uhm. . . you're. . . you're kind of crazy. And mean. And, you. . . well. . . you don't seem to care about anyone. Like, killing is just easy for you. And you eat brains!"

>>>"Ah. Yes. A side effect of spending a hundred years locked in a tower with no one but me, myself, and I to talk to. I find I'm much more suited to conversations with myself now, than I am conversations with Humans. And Humans are rather delicious. I would much rather eat a Human than talk to a Human."


and later in the same scene:



>>>"You already said that one."

>>>"You're interrupting me again."

>>>"You're repeating stuff. You listed off a few of those things more than once. . ."

>>>"Do you want my wand up your nose?" Quaraun pressed the end of his wand on Kelim's nose as he said this.

>>>"No," Kelim squeaked.

>>>"Good. Then shut up. You're the one invading MY privacy. If you don't want to listen to me pontificate, than you don't have to be here. You can turn your ass around and march right out that door. No one invited you here, Kelim. I have better things to do than waste my time with sex crazed ignoramuses like you."

>>>"I'm not a sex crazed ignor. . . ignor. . . whatever you just called me."

>>>"Ignoramus. It means you are too stupid to know the big words I use."

>>>"I. . . uhm. . ."

>>>"Now where was I? Oh yes!" 

My MC doesn't give 2-fucks what other people think of him, and he sees no issue with killing a Justice Mage that dares confront him. He is cold and rude and stopped caring what others thought of him centuries ago.


  • >2.: Pretty much just peer pressure. Anyone who wants too much power is frowned upon and alienated, and if they actually achieve too much power, the best mages gather up and try their best to kill that person.

Yep. Same in mine as well.

Only it's the Guild's Justice Mage who do the shaming and humiliating. They make wanted posters and put them up all over the mage's home town, and any place the mage's friends, family, and clients live. They spread rumours and gossip and make up horrible les about the mage and do everything they can to slander, defame, humiliate, and ostracize him. They are known to incite local villages into angry mobs and, start rioting against the mage and his family. Many mages are dragged through the streets, stripped naked, and publicly beaten to death.

The sheer brutality and extreme levels of torture the Justice Mages do to any mage they turn on, is usually enough to scare most people out of ever becoming a mage.


>>>Are your Magical Spells permanent or temporary? Let’s say that someone used magic to conjure a sword, would it disappear after some time or does remain forever? I’m having trouble deciding on mine because i feel like the former limits magic a lot but the latter just makes it too overpowered.

I can tell you what it is I do in mine and you can compare that to your magic system and see if it gives you any ideas to work with.

In mine, it depends on the spell used, where the power is sourced from, the skill of the mage doing the casting, materials used to make the spell, enhancements used, and the intended purpose of the enchanted item. So, both permanent or temporary spells on enchanted items are possible.

For example:

*  The type of enchantment:

   *  Is the spell a blessing, a curse, putting nature energy into the sword, putting life/blood/soul/death energy into the sword, etc? 

* What power is sourced?

   *  Depending on the culture/religion/etc energy may be sourced from nature (fire/water/earth/volcano/ocean/etc - like one clan may worship a large river and draw on it's power, but won't believe any other water has power, while another clan may see all water as sacred), or from life (including death/blood/souls), or celestial energies (sun/moon/stars/comets/constellations), or divination (spirits/familiars/demons/etc), or crystals, or colors, or a combination of any of the above (so, like a mage who believes red has certain energies, may use a red candle, a red rose, a red ruby, and his own blood in the ritual he used to cast the spell).

   *  . . .

   *  Or if the spell was powered by Moon energy, it may only work on the 3 nights of the full moon and never work any other day of the month and never work during the daylight. 

   *  . . .

   *  Or if the spell was powered by the sun, it may act like solar energy and require the sword left laying in the sun for an hour every morning to charge the spell and if you forgot to charge it, oh well, now you are without a spell for the rest of the day.

   *  . . .

   *  Or a spell powered by the rising sun, may be defused by the setting sun, so the spell would only last 12 hours or less, being a very limited time dependant one use spell.

* Intended purpose:

   *  For example, if the sword was blessed to protect an elderly warlord's son who left for his first battle, the sword may have the intent to protect the son for the rest of his life, so the spell may be either permanent, or somehow connected to the son's blood or soul so that the spell stops working upon his death, so no one else can ever be protected by the sword. 

   *  . . .

   *  But than again, if the sword was intended to not only protect the son, but to be passed down to his son and his son and so on, than a more permanent spell would be used.

   *  . . .

   *  On the other hand, if the sword was cursed to kill a specific enemy, the spell would be a one time use that went away upon the enemy's death. 

* Skill of the mage casting the spell:

   *  Magic is accessible by anyone, but VERY difficult to master. Thus a teenage boy, just starting to learn may attempt to cast a big time OP spell on the sword hoping to use the sword to cast big explody fireballs, and end up with a sword that might make enough spark to maybe light a candle. Whereas a 500 year old Elf who has been perfecting his technique for the past 458 years, may be able to destroy entire cities with firebolts from his sword. This of course would also effect how well the mage could make the spell last for a few hours, a few years, or even permanently.

* Materials used to make the spell:

   *  A generic rando steel sword pulled from a generic rando smithy, will not hold the spell power very well, and likely will end up being a spell that wears out over time.

   *  . . .

   *  On the other hand, a sword handcrafted from the bone of the mage's great-grand-daddy, soaked in the mage's blood, heated in a sacred tarpit, and pissed on by seven virgins, a sword made specifically for this specific spell, may become incredibly powerful and hold it's power for thousands of years, thus seeming to be permanent.

   *  . . .

   *  "Personal ingredients" are a thing in real world Hoodoo and Voodoo, and Voodoo and Hoodoo make up the bulk of the on page magic system seen in the novels, and so they are a big part of the magic in the Quaraun series. Blood, urine, semen, spit, menstrual blood of sacrificed virgins, are common things used in making pretty much every spell and ritual in the Quaraun series. Tus why you'll see BoomFuzzy piss on a scared circle after drawing it.

* Enhancements used: 

   *  Runes, crystals, veve, sigils, holy oils, charms, talisman, smudge, holy water, sacred salt, curios, etc are all a thing in my system. Mages in my world are a highly superstitious, excessively paranoid lot. The type of people who won't go outside without a rabbit's foot. So the use of runes, crystals, veve, sigils, holy oils, charms, smudge, holy water, sacred salt, curios, and talisman is a huge thing in my magic system.

   *  . . .

   *  For example, I have a mage (BoomFuzzy) who braids purple ribbons into his hair when casting spells. He believes the colour purple attracts magic energy. This same mage has a dagger with an obsidian blade because he has superstitions about the powers of obsidian over death and obsidian's ability to cut a soul in half. The hilt of the dagger is decorated with teardrop shaped rubies, that look like blood dripping from the blade. The dagger is more cerimonial than weapon, and he uses it when casting blood spells, where he uses the blade to draw his own blood.

   *  . . .

   *  Another mage (Quaraun) has intense phobias, and believes that pink attracts energy to drive away fears, so he wears pink, decorates his house with pink, all his furniture is pink, and he places pink quartz crystals everywhere, while wearing pink watermelon tourmaline crystal points on his jewelry. He also believes JellyFish are his sacred spirit animals and roses are his spirit flowers, so he embroiders jellyfish and roses on all his robes and has jellyfish and roses engraved on all his metal items and carved on all his wooden items.

   *  . . .

   *  Well, in the case of your example, an enchanted sword, may have engravings of specific runes or sigils on the blade, and the sheath may have the mage's spirit animal tooled into the leather, and the hilt may have specific coloured ribbons braided around it. All of which would enhance certain aspects of the spell on the sword.

For each of the above options, there are many options, dozens for each, each with further sub categories, far too many to list, as each region, each culture, each religion, each species. each race, etc, well have different beliefs and methods. It's a multi-magic system based off real world Occultism, where you see things like Wicca and Voodoo, but then within Wicca and Voodoo there are Solitary Wicca, Gardnerian Wicca, Crowley Wicca, etc, and Haiti Vudu, New Orleans Voodoo, and so forth. 

My magic system is like that. Where every region/culture/religion/etc developed magic arts unique to themselves, and than branches broke off within each belief system to cause multiple types of systems within systems. 

Resulting in some of my mages:

   *  . . .

   *   are straight up classic Gandalf type High Fantasy mages (HellBorne and GhoulSpawn), 

   *  . . .

   *   while others are more Swamp Granny making herbal elixirs to heal local villagers (The Banshee Sisters), 

   *  . . .

   *   while still others are more 1970s tree-hugging hippies who draw on natures elemental energies (Quaraun), 

   *  . . .

   *   some are full blown modster type gangsters profiteering off selling illegal magic drugs and magic weapons (BoomFuzzy), 

   *  . . .

   *   some are just housewives using every day magic to help with the chores (The Dazzling RazzBury), 

   *  . . .

   *   and others are dogma driven priests wielding high magic through ceremonial rituals prayer (Quaraun and ZooLock), 

   *  . . .

   *   some a scientists who deal in advanced space age techno magic (The Gremlin, Cheeka, Phozeen, and Dr. Dameon), 

   *  . . .

   *   others are elementalists that full blown cast lightening bolts and fireballs (Quaraun, Etiole, and FireHawk), 

   *  . . .

   *   some are alchemists (AlKeeme), 

   *  . . .

   *   some are shape shifting illusionists who can look like anything or anyone (BoomFuzzy, BlackBird, and FireHawk)

   *  . . .

   *   some run mental institutes and wield powerful mind control psychology and psychiatric medicine (Harrier and Cheeka), 

   *  . . .

   *   some are medical mage surgeons wielding magical organ transplants (AlKeeme and Dr. Vangoneese), 

   *  . . .

   *   some are time traveling portal masters (GhoulSpawn, The Gremlin, Cometa, and Cheeka), 

   *  . . .

   *   some are beast masters who command armies of animals (The Gremlin and his army of fire breathing gold sheep)

   *  . . .

   *   some are magical talking animals (BoomFuzzy, EelKat, Spriggan, Lyxiana, Bela, and The Ptarmagin Kats of Space Dock 13)

   *  . . .

   *    and so on and so forth. 

   *  . . .

And I don't have any hard rules or limits that say like "Fireballs are impossible" or anything like that, so in theory if a mage was determined enough to try to advance his skills that much, he probably could find a way to shoot planet destroying fireballs out his ass. The reason that sort of stuff doesn't happen is because magic is sort of wild and chaotic, so, it's never 100% certain spell A will always have results A, it could have results B instead. 

Also, magic takes decades to learn how to use even on a basic level, so it's pretty much only elderly people who are well adapt at advanced level magic. 

And magic is physically taxing... it just plain causes exhaustion, like after you cast a spell you are out of breath and feel like you've run 10 miles. 

And doing high power spells drawing on big energy sources could kill the mage, especially in healing magic, where most healing spells cause the mage to "absorb" the injury they are healing. Like if someone gets a sword wound to the belly, the mage can heal the wound, but he'll end up with a similar wound to his belly and will require weeks or months of rest to heal himself. 

All this said, means that while magic is accessible to anyone, any race, any species who wants to devote the time to learn it, very few  people go on to become proficient mages just because of the decades of intense study involved vs the health depleting side effects, just make magic not worth it in the minds of most people.

So while anyone could potentially become as high powered a mage as they want, even becoming god-powered if they set their mind to it, probably fewer than 1% of the population ever peruses magic on any devoted enough level to actually become a competent mage. And only a dozen or so in all of history have ever gone on to become "near-god-power-level". 

What all this means is that yes, magic items such as cursed or enchanted swords do exist, and sometimes they will have the spell last permanently, but they are very rare, and temporary, or even one time use spells are more common for enchanted items, but even those are incredibly rare.

So, with all of that in mind...

I would say, you need to look at the basic rules of your magic system and ask yourself: 

* What CAN my magic do? Why?

* What CAN'T my magic do? Why?

* What limits does magic have? Why? Is it the magic itself or is it the mages that are limited? Why? Can mages find ways around those limits? If so, how?

* What does magic cost? Are there health or other side effects/consequences that would cause the mage to hesitate before making a permanent spell vs a temporary spell?

So, I don't know if that gives you any ideas for what you could do or not, but I hope that helps!


I believe every system has it's own take on blood magic. I've seen several different types/translations as to what it is.

>>>ok so, what the heck is blood magic?

My magic system is a poly-magic or multi-magic system, meaning no one magic theory/belief/practice is universal, and each religion/clan/culture/social class/region/race/species has developed thousands of various theories/beliefs/origins/practices/rituals about what magic is, what magic does, how magic works, etc. 

Blood magic is a generic term in my world. It doesn't mean a specific school/division of magic, and instead simply means any spell or ritual that somehow involves blood. The only thing each culture's blood magic theories have in common is that blood is somehow used either to cast the spell or blood is effects by the spell being cast.

>>>What does it do?

When it comes to blood magic, most of the world's cultures have developed some belief and or practice regarding it. These vary widely and include:

   *  ...

   *   Lovecraftian-style cultists who sacrifice virgins to elder gods,

   *  ...

   *   vampire-like religions based around drinking blood to gain immortality

   *  ...

   *   alchemists who use blood to create healing elixirs

   *  ...

   *   necromancers who use blood to bind lost souls of the dead to golems

   *  ...

   *   Christian-like religions who believe they will go to heaven for drinking the symbolic blood of their saviour while actually drinking wine not blood

   *  ...

   *   medical mages who use blood manipulation to heal the sick

   *  ...

   *   mind controlling psychiatrists who use blood manipulation of the brain to cure patient mental illness caused by too much blood floor around the brain

   *  ...

   *   lovers who perform blood exchange rituals in the belief it will bind their souls together as one soul

   *  ...

   *  wizards for hire who craft magic items for customers, and ensure the item will only work for it's owner, buy mixing vials of the owners blood into the material (blood added to the dye for cloth items or blood added to the molten cast iron, for example)

   *  ...

   *  prison guards use various blood manipulation to torture criminals 

   *  ...

   *  drug dealers use magic drugs that change chemical reactions in drug addicts to cause even greater addictions and ensure the customer only buys drugs from them

   *  ...

   *  crime lords, gang leaders, and mobsters who put curses on enemies, via adding the enemy's blood to dolls

   *  ...

It seems like I'm forgetting some. I'll add it later if I remember more.

Each of those has seen page time in one or more published volumes of the series, though most are never been touched on in great detail, and simply left vaguely described allowing the reader to imagine the details as they wish.

>>>Why? 

No one is exactly certain why magic works or what the exact origin of it is. Every demographic has its own theories.

However, one story does give a brief "revelation", that hints to the possible "scientific-ish" reason for magic, especially blood magic, working.

In a story that is set in the year 2525, a doctor discovers that there is a bacteria-like substance which covers everything on the planet. This bacteria has a strange ability to transform when mixed with other ingredients or coated on objects. It reacts to pretty much everything, but doesn't constantly give the same results every time. The doctor theorized that this bacteria-like substance was somehow "magic" and that magic itself was actually these billions of tiny living creatures which coated everything on the planet, and that spells "worked" simply because these creatures obeyed commands of anyone who fed them, thus why spells containing certain ingredients, especial blood, worked so well. Certain colours and lights repelled the bacteria, thus explaining anti-magic. 

It is never confirmed or denied if this actually is what magic is or not, but the main characters of the series believe it is, so that's the "origin story" of what magic is, that the series goes with.

>>>Why do people bother learning it? 

For centuries blood magic has proven to be the most powerful of all magic forms.

Blood magic is highly addictive for the mages who practice it.The main character becomes addicted to cutting himself, with it reaching fetish levels for him and in nearly killing himself on several occasions as a result of doing it too much too often, because it's too addicted to be able to stop. He also becomes addicted to letting others drink his blood out of the wounds, which again, becomes a dangerous fetish addiction for him.

The series being set largely in the 1970s, most mages, the main character included, use LSD and drink absinthe over LSD laced burnt sugar cubes. Referring to it as Fairy Wine, many mages are known to mix this absinthe, sugar cube, LSD cocktail with their own blood. LSD/Absinthe/blood drinking parties are a common practice among mages in the criminal underground, and the main character being a part of this crowd, these scene appear often throughout the series. Most mages who get into practicing blood magic do so, because they tried out one of these LSD/absinthe/blood drinking parties and got addicted to drinking LSD and blood laced absinthe.

Main character Quaraun, has an additional fetish which shows up in every story: his piercings. More than 200 of them in his ears, nose, lips, eyebrows, nipples, penis, foreskin, and scrotum. Including a Prince Edward and 58 scrotum rings. The ring/piercing fetish came about as a side effect of his cutting fetish, with him taking up the practice of continually adding new piercings for no other reason than to cut himself so fellow mage BoomFuzzy can drink his blood.

In the most controversial scenes of the series, BoomFuzzy makes drugs, puts them in Quaraun's food, and when Quaraun passes out of a drug overdose, BoomFuzzy slices Quaraun flesh so drink the Elf's drug laced blood, and get high himself.

Mages addicted to blood magic are known to take their blood addiction fetishes to extremes, often resulting in the deaths of one or more mages involved.

Of any type of magic, if a mage dies as a result of his spells and rituals, he is mostly likely to die from practicing blood magic, and most likely from an OD-like side effect to the addiction of draining his own blood mixed with LSD. 

Blood magic is also the type of magic most likely to be banned by the various world governments, largely due to it reaching drug addiction type levels.

Because of the LSD-absinthe scenes, the novels are banned from being sold by 14 state capitals in America (yes banned by the actual government - complete with court orders that were given to me by sheriffs) and banned from being sold in 27 countries. In Japan, Germany, Brazil, and Australia where the series gets the highest sales, the governments require the books to be sold with a rating of "M18+" for strong mature drug content, printed directly onto the paperback covers.

The series is banned from every school and by most every large religious denomination in America, and for 43 years has been the source of dozens of government issued court cases, branding  the books as "obscene". These lawsuits were what directly caused one of the volumes to sell 57 million copies. Due to the extreme controversy over the blood-letting LSD fetish scenes, most books stores won't carry the series, making it difficult to get copies as it generally can only be found for sale via BDSM grind houses and vampire goth night clubs.

Oddly in Maine, the world's largest producer of both LSD and opium, the series is sold at hospital and nursing home gift shops, and the bulk of the series mega fan readers are elderly Maine hippies now in their 70s to 90s.

Maine being America's largest producer of LSD, opium, heroine, meth, and hash, leaves me the series' author with no surprise why Maine remains the largest demographic of readers for the series. 

>>>what are the strengths and weaknesses of it?

Most mages get into blood magic because it comes with a promise of power, control over others. It's seen as the strongest and most powerful of all magics, and this would be it's strength.

On the other hand, few mages ever become powerful or strong with blood magic because of the drug side of blood magic which causes them to quickly tumble down the LSD and absinthe rabbit hole. This is the biggest weakness of blood magic.

I guarantee my high Elves are the highest high Elves you'll ever encounter and the government agrees, that's why the books are banned in so many states and countries.

>>>Really, what can you do with it?

The primary plot of the series the story line which goes through every novel like a connecting thread, is based around a macabre blood ritual gone awry. (Each novel in the series stands on it's own as a standalone novel; the volumes do not continue like part 1, 2, 3, etc; but rather you could pick up volume 22 and read that first, than jump to vol 3, than vol 74, and it wouldn't be a problem, because it's not one single long story spanning 138 volumes, but rather it is 138 separate stand alone stories each featuring the same main character.) 

The main character is an elderly Elf, who as a teen boy had fallen in love with an evil necromancer. The boy, unskilled in magic attempted to cast a soul binding love spell on the evil necromancer. Unfortunately the spell worked. Unfortunate because the boy was unaware that the necromancer was preparing to commit suicide in a lich making ritual, and so killed himself to turn himself into a lich shortly after the boy cast the love spell. Both spells worked, resulting in the boy being soul bound to the lich and the lich being unable to fully turn into a proper lich. The end result was the boy had half of the lich's soul inside of him, and the lich had half of the boy's soul inside of him. This caused the boy to become evil like the lich, while causing the lich to become somewhat good like the boy. This also resulted in the boy becoming immortal and the lich being able to die. However, the boy walked in the world of the living and the lich wandered in the realm of the dead, leaving the two bound together with one soul, but separated in two dimensions, ever together always knowing each other's thoughts, but always separated never being able to be in the same plane of existence. 

This in turn resulted in the boy decided to correct the mistake, by himself becoming a necromancer and finding a way to bring the lich back to the land of the living and restore him back to a corporeal body. All of this is backstory, to before the series starts. The series itself takes place when the boy is now an elderly necromancer, 10s of thousands of years old, still trying to be reunited with his dead lich lover, while wandering the world in search of every mage, every time, every grimoire seeking a way to break the curse that binds him to the lich, so he can break his curse of immortality. Every story features the immortal Elf in a different place, with different people, seeking different spells and rituals in hopes of freeing himself of this curse. 

That is the primary focus of blood magic that runs throughout the series: the soul binding ritual which inadvertently bound the Elf to the Lich, via a blood spell. Not once in any of the 138 novels so far published for the series since 1978, has the soul binding ritual ever been explained. It never says what was done, how it was done, or why it worked, and is left for the reader to imagine that part for themselves. All that is ever said was that the Elf stole a magic dagger belonging to the necromancer and used it to mix his own blood with the necromancer's blood, than later the necromancer used the same dagger to kill himself during the lich making ritual. Beyond that it is not known exactly how the soul binding happened between them.


>>>Something that surprises me is how rarely light and darkness are taken literally when it comes to magic systems. 

Same.

>>>What is Dark Magic to you?

To me personally? (As opposed to in my magic system?)

Whenever someone mentions their magic system is based on light and dark, my mind always defaults to Day and Night or Sun and Moon magic, so when I start reading their post, that's what I'm thinking, Light = Sun/Day or Dark = Night/Moon/Shadow, but than a few lines of reading their magic system I realize, no, wait, they don't mean light as in daylight or dark as in nighttime, no, they mean light as in good guys wear white/are angels/are holy/are god vs bad guys wear black/are demons/are evil/are satan, and than I jut lose interest in reading the rest of their post/comment.

Why?

Well, because the entire concept of Light vs Dark magic was invented by Catholic Pope Leo, to try to make Pagan Celts look bad during the Roman invasion of Britannia. Satan/Horned God/Demon/Devils/Easter/Christmas/Baby Jesus/Virgin Birth weren't even in the Bible yet at that point - those things were added AFTER Saint Patrick discovered the Mother Gia, Horned God, Baby New Year mythos. (Compare pre-1612 editions to after 1612 editions of the Bible - I own a Bible from the 1400s, it's missing a LOT of what people consider to be standard parts of Christianity today, included the entire book of Luke, the crucifixion ending of all the gospels, the virgin Mary, Satan, demons, Hell, devils, horned evil ones, and archeologists can't find any scrolls prior to the 1600s which have these sections - they ain't in the Dead Sea Scrolls the Nag Hamid, Josephus, etc.)

(I have a PhD in Bible History and Religions of the World btw, I spent 14 years in college studying this stuff, including going on archeological digs to look for Bible artifacts. I'm a minister when I'm not an author, and I was shocked by the actual dates when certain parts of the Bible were added to the Bible.)

Well, anyways, what this means is, that in order for the magic system to have a Dark vs Light that is good vs evil, black vs white, that means your world has to also have a few things, namly: Emperor Constantine, Pope Leo, Saint Patrick, the Roman invasion of Britannia, The Christian Bible/Jesus, the Virgin Mother Gia/Horned God/Baby New Year, and the Catholic church to declare Yule & Ostera be renamed Christmas & Easter. The act of changing Yule & Ostera be renamed Christmas & Easter is pivotal, because THAT is the event which declares the existence of Dark Magic vs Holy Magic. Yule & Ostera were declared to be "dark and evil" and the pope said they needed to be cleanses and made Christian, thus the creation of the concept of Light/White?Holy magic, which was created to cleanse Yule & Ostera festivals of their dark evil ways and reform them as Christmas & Easter.

What this means is, without the existence of Easter and Christmas and all the events and people that brought about Easter and Christmas, it's not possible for the concept of Light Magic = Good and Dark Magic = Evil, to even exist at all.

Well, okay then, so tell me this? How many magic systems exist on Earth and have Jesus/Christianity? Not many. So WY that do they have Dark = Bad and Light = Good magic, when that concept wouldn't exist otherwise?

So, you see, it just bothers me (and now you understand why) when a magic system says dark = evil vs light = good, when that magic system is set in a world where Jesus never existed. I mean, how can a religion based concept of magic exist in a world where that religion never happened? It can't. Of course, I feel the same way about things like Elements and Manna/Mana and Chi and Ying/Yang and Feng Shi based magic systems that exist in worlds that don't have Daoists (Chi, Elements, and Ying/Yang), Jews (Manna), Hawaiian/Polynesian Huna (Mana), etc. Because let's face it, if magic bread doesn't fall out of the sky on Mose and magically cure the snake bites of the Jews, the whole "let's eat bread to gain magic powers from Manna" is never going to get brought to Polynesian by missionaries to introduce Mana to Huna, and than if a Jewish author does combin both when he created Magic the Gathering to create the concept of eating magic wafers to gain power, Mana can't exist in your world.

So, yeah, my brain just gets all twisted in knots everytime I see things that are central sacred core beliefs of real world religions, appear in a magic system when those religions never happened.

And so, whenever I see a magic system with "Dark Magic" well, my first thing I want to know is: "Is this magic system on an alternate earth history?" If it's an alternate Earth history and the various religions that created them exist, well, then I'm like, "Okay, I can see how they evolved and became your magic system". But than if it's some alien world in another universe and earth never existed, now I'm just left asking: "Wait, so how do your magic system have core Christian beliefs if no Christians ever came into contact with your planet?"

And it's not that I don't like the systems, no, t's just that I have Kanner's Syndrome and my brain likes to work overtime, over thinking historical accuracies, and my brain just gets stuck in obsessive overthinking mode. So, in the end, it's a "me thing/issue" not a "you thing/issue" and you and your magic system are fine, you go ahead and do it your way and ignore my brain being hyper logical for no reason.

So, yeah, that's where my brain goes off to thinking, whenever I see "Dark Magic" mentioned in a magic system. 

And this isn't recent either. I mean, go way back to before Reddit, before the internet, back to the 1970s, and me being a kid watching Saturday Morning Cartoons, I don't remember what the show was, but I remember, I was maybe 8ish years old and some show I was watching had two wizard/mage characters battling, and the whole concept was this guy wears white = he's good and gong to win vs that guy wears black so he is evil and going to lose. And I remember is used the terms light and dark, and I remember sitting there arguing with the show and saying "No, light means sunlight and dark means nighttime, light doesn't mean good, dark doesn't mean bad."

Nw, I know why my brain defaults to thinking ood/Evil style Light/Dark Magic = sourced from Christianity, because I was raised by my uncles who all of them were an entire family of super hyper evangelical traveling evangelists, the type that ran around carry snakes and screaming they couldn't die. So, yeah, big time hyper evangelical theories got into my head from a young age.

But, I don't know why my mind defaults to light magic = sun/day and dark magic = moon/night specifically. But it could be because my great grandmother was a Voodoo priestess, and both my grandmothers practiced Hoodoo Rootwork (none of which went over well with the evangelical ministers in the family who vocaly condemned my grammies all the time), and so they all 3 did a lot of candle magic and altar work involving moon phases and things like "pray this prayer during a new moon and light this candle at midnight for 7 days in a row" or "burn this veevee sigil at high noon and drop the ashes in the river". So, I grew up wit real world witchcraft/magic arts, and those revolved heavily around mostly the moon phases, but also the sun as well. So, I think somehow that conditioned my brain to think light magic = sun/day magic and dark magic = moon/night magic.

I just have a really hard time wrapping my mind around the concept of light magic = good magic and dark magic = evil magic.

>>>Light isn't a force of good, it's stuff that comes from fire and the sun that can give warmth and life, but burn and kill when there's too much. Darkness isn't a force of evil, it's just an absence of light, which can make life more difficult and grant cover for threats, but it can also grant a reprieve from heat and attention. 

Yep. This is exactly the way my mind thinks. I think light = daylight, sun, fire. And magic system reflects that.

In my series, the Elves are divided off into tribes, with each tribe has a type of nature they focus on. Elves consider themselves to be the guardians of nature/life, and each tribe is assigned a specific type of nature to focus on.

So, my series has things like Wood Elves, who focus on protecting trees/forests. Flower Elves who tend huge gardens. Prairie Elves who take care of prairies. Etc. Among them are Sun Elves who focus on the sun and Moon Elves who focus on the moon. 

Well, Elves draw on nature energies to do their magic arts, which they in turn use to protect nature. The Sun Elves are the ones who use Light Magic, which is fully focused on drawing from the Sun's energies. Sun Elves do all their rituals during the day. The Moon Elves practice Dark Magic which fully focuses on drawing on the Moon's Energies. Moon Elves do all of their rituals during the night.

>>>Both can be good, and both can be bad, because they're only connected to good and evil in our minds, as opposed to reality.

Yep, this is my way of thinking to.

In my series, magic is neutral. It's not white, grey, or black, it just exists. Magic is a part of life, same way air is a part of life. Air is not good or bad, it's just there. Likewise magic is not good or bad, it's just there.

the people who use magic, however, can use it any way they want. So, just as guns can be a tool to help hunters feed their family, or a weapon to murder people with, so too, can magic be a tool used to help the community or a weapon to hurt people, depending on how the user uses it.

A perfect example of this is how I use Necromancy. My MC is a necromancer, and people tend to be scared of him for that fact alone. Thing is, he uses Classic Necromancy aka necromancy the way it was created by Elves. However, Humans got a hold of Necromancy giving rise to Corrupted Necromancy which became more popular and the form most people think of when they hear the word necromancer.

Classic Necromancy, as the Elves created it, was a way for the Elves to restore life to trees, plants, soil, and grass (so Necromancy includes: Chlorokinesis, Florakinesis, Healing, Herbal, and Terrakinesis magics, as well as Death, Soul, and Blood Magics) in areas where large sections of land had been destroyed by things like forest fires. Necromancy was good and used to help families rebuild their farms/crops after desateries struck. And this is what my MC does as a Necromancer.

But, greedy and power hungry people, saw Necromancy as a way to gain control, which gave rise to evil kings/politicians becoming Necromancers, resurrected corpses into hoarse of undead minions, to build armies of undead to take over cities and countries. Giving rise to the fear of Necromancers and the belief that Necromancers are always evil and lead zombie armies.

This is an example of where magic in my world is neutral, neither good or evil, but good people used it to help their communities, while power crazed people used it to destroy other communities.

And thus, Light (Sun) and Dark (Moon) magic are the same as well, where both can be used for good.

In my world Light (Sun) deals mostly with sun/fire/heat/wind/sand/desert/life type magic, so includes Aerokinesis, Heliokinesis, Pyrokinesis, Pyromancy, Thermokinesis, that sort of thing. And Dark (Moon) magic deals mostly with moon/gravity/oceans/shadow/ice/snow/cold/death, so includes Clairvoyance, Conjuring, Cryokinesis, Crystallokinesis, Umbrakinesis, that sort of thing. Both Light/Sun and Dark/Moon magics are similar to elemental magic, but are not elemental magics.



I would think it was a bit strange to see a colour guide, unless the book was like some Bob Ross how to paint type of book, and it was showing me why I shouldn't mix Prussian blue with Cadmium red to make purple, because see, it's going to make this other colour here: *(shows colour chart of resulting colour)*

In a fiction story, I would find it better (as a reader) if the author just said outright:

"Me and my mom could not agree on the colour of the bin. I think it is a cyany color. But my mum described it as green. I described it more as blue. Cyan is between green and blue, right? But we both still saw the bin differently. Not that it really matters now, but, it just shows you one of the ways mum and I saw things differently. Like the day when... *(now leads into telling the main plot of the story)*"

This is what I would do (and have done) in my own stories. By writing out a scee, showing each character saying the item is a different colour, you end up showing the reader, with vivid narrative, the actual colour of the bin. The reader if left aware that it's somewhat blue and somewhat green, maybe even turquoise, to the point, that two characters are now arguing over the colour itself. 

The reader is shown somethings about these two characters, namely that one (or even both) may be colorblind and one (or even both) are unreliable narrators within the story. It also shows the reader that these two characters are both going overboard in nitpicking something that's not really that important (the colour of a bin) and are each so OCD that they are both willing to argue about who it using the correct colour name. This actually tells the reader quite a lot about the character, because now the reader is wondering: Is this character Autistic? An Aspie? OCD? PTSD? Because pretty much only someone with one of those 4 things is going to nitpick who is right over a colour. 

I know. I have Kanner's Syndrome, and OCD, and PTSD, (all 3 actual medical diagnoses) and I'm a total nightmare to live with if someone says my dresses is Cerulean and I say it's Wedgewood. I'll print off pages from the internet - colour charts from https://www.pantone.com no less. I'll bitch about how wrong they are for hours. Completely oblivious to the fact that I'm making a right damned annoyance of myself by fussing over something that in the grand scheme of things don't matter at all. Unfortunately it often takes several days of mega obsessing over the correct vs incorrect shade of colour before I finally step back and think: "Hey! What the hell? Why am I obsessing over this so much?" Who knows. Autism: it's a nightmare to live in my head sometimes because I notice every small, minor detail of everything, and focus in on those tiny details way too much. It's a big problem for me.

But, me having Autism, I can pick up fast on an Autistic character in a novel, and the minute the author starts saying: "Me and my mom could not agree on the colour of the bin. I think it is a cyany color. But my mum described it as green. I described it more as blue. Cyan is between green and blue, right? But we both still saw the bin differently. Not that it really matters now, but, it just shows you one of the ways mum and I saw things differently. Like the day when... *(now leads into telling the main plot of the story)*" ... I know immediately one of those two characters has Autism, just like me. And now, I as a reader, am going to spend the next several hours analyzing everything those 2 characters do and say to try to figure out which them, is someone like me.

And I'll love every minute of it. Why? Because far too often an author SAYS a character has Autism, but then we never see the character do anything even remotely Autistic on any level whatsoever. So, I love it, when I SEE a character doing and saying distinctively Autistic things WITHOUT the author ever mentioning Autism at all.

By that I mean, for example, the MC of the series I write, has Autism, and yet not once in any of the 138 novels in which he appears, do the words autism, autistic, neurodivergent, etc ever get used. And yet, a lot of my readers understand really quick, by the things he does and says, that he has Autism, and they email me to tell me how much they love the fact I never label him, I never say what he has, and yet, he's written so accurately to someone with Autism, readers know he has Autism.

So, this, to me, is an example of WHy you SHOULD NOT, opt to put a colour chart in the back of the book.

Instead, find a way to weave colour descriptions into the story and do it in such a way, that you reveal personality traits, mental illnesses, habits, hobbies, quirks, etc into the story. Use this as a way to bring your characters to life like living breathing people, so well fleshed out and full of flavour that you readers feel a connection to them.

Instead of slapping in colour charts, use creative descriptions, actions, and dialogues, to help your readers better relate to your character's frustrations over his mum not understanding the subtle difference between colors. Have her scoff and wave her hand in the air, saying "Green, shmeen. Come on, Joey, you know I don't give a rat's ass if the bin is blue, green or purple! It serves its purpose doesn't it?" See, now the reader knows she's a laid back character who doesn't care about little details. But than he stamps his foot, pouts, and goes: "MOOOooooOOOooooM! You KNOW colour matter to me. I'm applying to the Art College remember? Do you really think a college professor is going to take me seriously if I can't tell the difference between cyan and turquoise? What if they test me on that? Huh? Huh? What if?" ... 

Well, now it opens up the plot. Now the reader understands why the colour is important to him. It's not specifically the colour he's worried about, he's on edge worrying about his college entrance application being approved. See what I did there? I used the argument of the two characters disagreeing on what the exact colour was, to bring the reader around to the main plot of the kid worrying about getting into college.

So, I say, rather than sticking a colour chart in the back, instead, find a way to weave in descriptions of the colour, into the narrative and dialogue of the story. Well, that's what I'd do at least.

Hope that helps.




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FAQs: Where is the article Flamboyant Nipples & Wizard Testicles? I can't find anything by that name on your website.   

FAQs: Where is the article Flamboyant Nipples & Wizard Testicles? I can't find anything by that name on your website.  

That would be because there is NO article by that name on my website.

It took me a while to figure out what you was talking about as I don't read reviews, so I was unaware this review existed. But now that I've found and read the Warrior's Forum review you are talking about, what Tom Addams is referring to in his review on The Warrior's Forum is this page here:

As you can see, the title of the article in question is Noses, Penis Piercings, And Rapunzel Hair: Writing Character Descriptions: A Detailed Look At How I Write Character Descriptions of The Quaraun Series, and NOT  Flamboyant Nipples & Wizard Testicles which is why you could not find it.

As you can see, Tom Addams is just a gay hater looking for something to hate, that's why he spreads the gay erotica rumors and made the Flamboyant Nipples website to begin with.

Do keep in mind that less than a month after creating that website, Tom Addams showed up at my mother's house and plastered her entire house with "Workers of Iniquity Tennessee Baptist Church" anti-gay, propaganda flyers, business cards, and dvds. He drove all the way from Tennessee to Maine to do this. And than a few weeks later he returned with a Road Grader, which he drove 175 feet up my mother's driveway and drove it over her car flattening it.

THIS is the man who made the Flamboyant Nipples website, that reviews eelkat dot come, specifically THIS PAGE and calls it gay erotica.

I don't write gay erotica, because I don't write gay characters, because I'm a straight woman and don't know the first thing about being gay.

The page you are looking for is NOT called Flamboyant Nipples, and it is NOT about gay Erotica, and that is WHY you couldn't find it.


Remember folks: 


   *   YOU thinking about sex while I talk, DOES NOT mean that I was talking about sex.


   *   YOU fantasizing about sex while you read, DOES NOT mean that I wrote a sex scene.


   *   YOU sexualizing things and jerking off to them, is NOT me writing titillation for you.


    *   YOU thinking about sex while reading a book I wrote, does NOT mean the book is Erotica, it just means that YOU are a fucking pervert capable of sexualizing anything and everything.


AND:


    *   YOU THINKING ABOUT SEX WHILE YOU READ A BOOK THAT I WROTE IS NOT AN EXCUSE YOU CAN USE TO GET AWAY WITH MURDERING MY FAMILY!
























Let's answer this question on the home page, because, I'm going to post several chapters from a Quaraun novel here with the answer, which, will go a long way towards telling you want exactly the Quaraun series is, how it read, and why people who call it Erotica are kind of idiots.

No better way to see how idiotic the Erotica rumors are, than by reading the series for yourself, so, let's give you a free read of it here on the home page of my author website, eh?

>>>So, I just read a review that said the Quaraun books were literary genre in the style of Edgar Alan Poe and HP Lovecraft. Someone else said it was erotica and gay sex none stop. Another says it sword and sorcery high fantasy, like DnD told behind the sense. Which is it? I wondered because I want to write slice of lice and your books was recommended to me as the best slice of life in sci-fi.

>>>So I'm working on an episodic mecha slice of life series about a pair of 15 year olds, one is demon girl mechanic called D and the other is a curious gill man called Finn. The series is about them having fun in life with the giant robot D found in a junkyard, which comes with the added burden of being an attractor for villains, who constantly crash whatever they're doing.

>>>Now the way I write each episode is a standard intertwined A and B plot. It usually starts with main pair going to do something slice of life (the A plot), with the villain of the episode soon starting their B plot by creating/hiring a monster to try and eliminate the leads whilst they're out of their robot. Then it's a bit of back and forth with A and B plot development, with the leads resolving the relatable topic and the monster causing havoc over time. Then of course it ultimately ends with the monster growing big, the leads get in the robot and they use said robot to pummel the monster (and are allot of the time the whole city) into oblivion. This isn't every episode, but it's the basic skeleton for the slice of life episodes I use.

>>>Now with the episodes being a 50/50 split of slice of life and giant robot fighting, the fighting part is easy. The main problem I'm having is the slice of life side. I have trouble coming up with topics that people can find relatable that would fit the main characters interests (or general misfortune). Any idea's of good topics that could work well, something that can be done comedically or light hearted?

>>>The main problem I'm having is the slice of life side. I have trouble coming up with topics that people can find relatable that would fit the main characters interests 



>>>So, I just read a review that said the Quaraun books were literary genre in the style of Edgar Alan Poe and HP Lovecraft. Someone else said it was erotica and gay sex none stop. Another says it sword and sorcery high fantasy, like DnD told behind the sense. Which is it? I wondered because I want to write slice of lice and your books was recommended to me as the best slice of life in sci-fi.


The Quaraun series is most definitely not Erotica, not even close to it. There is also no sex, gay or otherwise. I'm not sure why that rumore goes around, but it's pretty obvious to anyone whose read the series that those reviews are from people who never read it.

I'm sorry, but you can't expect to ever become good in writing your genre, no matter what genre it is, if you never read anything from that genre.

I mean there IS a REASON I'm the world's top selling, best of the best writer in the Slice of Life Fantasy genre, to the tune of the fact one single volume of the Quaraun series sold 57 million copies... I'm the best writer in my genre, because I'm a huge reader of my genre. I read 4 to 5 novels a week, I read 10 or 12 short stories a day. All Slice of Life Literary genre and Fantasy genre. I know the Slice of Life and Sword & Sorcery genres inside out, because I read a few hundred volumes of it EVERY YEAR for the past 50+ years.

I love this genre, that's why I write it. I can't get enough of the Slice of Life genre or the ElfQuest franchise, and I wanted there to be something like ElfQuest, that was very Hills Like White Elephants, and since there was no ElfQuest meets Hills Like White Elephants out there, I decided to write that, and that we have the Quaraun series.

I wouldn't be considered the world's top writer of y genre, if I didn't read my genre inside out every day, year after year.

And the fact that you have no clue what your genre even is and are mixing it up with something else, well, that just tels me you either don't read at all, or if you do, you certainly don't read the genre you are trying to write. 

If you read the genre you wanted to write, you wouldn't be asking a question like this because you would already know the answer, just from knowing what other authors within the genre do.

The best way to become someone who writes good Slice of Life literature, is to first become someone who voraciously reads the Slice of Life literature that is already published. Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, H.G.Wells. Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemmingway, all wrote Slice of Life within other genres (Poe was Slice of Life Horror, Lovecraft was Slife of Life Cosmic, Wells was Slife of Life Science Fiction, for example). So if you are looking to write Slife of Life blended with something else, I recommend you read everything by Poe, Wells, and Lovecraft. And if you want straight up pure Slice of Life: Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Edward Abbey, and the king of Slice of Life himself: Ernest Hemmingway, are what you want to read.

Other greats in the Slice of Life genre include: Herman Melville, Jack London, Nathaniel Hawthorn, Laura Ingalls Wilder, George Elliot, Lucy Maude Montgomery

You can't very well write a genre, if you have no clue how the best of the best wrote that genre, so read them first, before you even think about writing Slice of Life.

I get the feeling that you don't know what the Slice of Life genre even is. Based on your question, there is absolutely nothing here that indicated Slice of Life at all.

I would suggested reading the Slice of Life genre to find out what it is and that way you will get a better feel for how to write it.

Some of the best in the Slice of Life genre are:

* Hills Like White Elephants - arguably the greatest piece of Slice of Life literature ever written

* A Christmas Carol

* Little House on the Prairie (all 9 volumes of the series)

* The Old Man and the Sea

* The Lottery

* A Picture of Dorian Grey

* The Fall of the House of Usher

* The Unicorn in the Garden

* Desert Solitaire

* Oliver Twist

* Moby Dick

* The Bronze Door

* The Great Gatsby

* Grapes of Wrath

* Of Mice and Men

* Silas Mariner

* Anne of Green Gables

I highly recommend you read all of those before trying to write the Slice of Life genre, because I really don't think it means anything close to what you think it means.

Slice of Life is quite literally the line by line detail of every single minute of the entire day of a character's life. EVERYTHING including slowly chewing a meal for 5 ot 6 or 10 or 12 pages is spelled out in greuling detail. Everything: sleeping, waking up, a page or 2 of yawning while sitting on the edge of the bed and thinking deep thoughts of should they get up or go back to bed, brushing their teeth, peeing, pooping, washing their hands,drying their hands, walking slowly to the kitchen while describing in vivid detail every wrinkle in the wallpaper, every loss thread on the carpet, every table and chair they pass, everything they walk by is described in detail.

The Slice of Life genre is widely regarded as the single most dull, uneventful, boring, mundane genre out there (though for me it is my favorite genre, and is both what I read and write) because it takes 200 or more pages just to describe the character waking up and getting out of bed, and than says The End, without the character even even getting to the kitchen.

It's an extremely "artsy-fartsy" genre, that looks at how the human mind processes looking at things in their life.

It is called Slice of Life, because it is literally taking a look at a 5 minute slice of the character's life and analyzing every minute detail of those 5 minutes, and taking an entire novel to examine those 5 minutes. It is an incredibly detailed look at a single slice of the character's dull, boring, mundane life.

There is nothing here:

>>>So I'm working on an episodic mecha slice of life series about a pair of 15 year olds, one is demon girl mechanic called D and the other is a curious gill man called Finn. The series is about them having fun in life with the giant robot D found in a junkyard, which comes with the added burden of being an attractor for villains, who constantly crash whatever they're doing.

>>>Now the way I write each episode is a standard intertwined A and B plot. It usually starts with main pair going to do something slice of life (the A plot), with the villain of the episode soon starting their B plot by creating/hiring a monster to try and eliminate the leads whilst they're out of their robot. Then it's a bit of back and forth with A and B plot development, with the leads resolving the relatable topic and the monster causing havoc over time. Then of course it ultimately ends with the monster growing big, the leads get in the robot and they use said robot to pummel the monster (and are allot of the time the whole city) into oblivion. This isn't every episode, but it's the basic skeleton for the slice of life episodes I use.

>>>Now with the episodes being a 50/50 split of slice of life and giant robot fighting, the fighting part is easy. The main problem I'm having is the slice of life side. I have trouble coming up with topics that people can find relatable that would fit the main characters interests (or general misfortune). Any idea's of good topics that could work well, something that can be done comedically or light hearted?

...that suggests you are actually writing anything even remotely Slice of Life, let alone 50/50 Slice of Life.

>>>Any idea's of good topics that could work well, something that can be done comedically or light hearted?

If you really want to write Slice of Life (but I think you don't, I think you have it mixed up with something else, I'm not sure what), there is NEVER anything done comedically or light hearted. Slice of Life is very, very, very, very serious, almost uptight.

>>>Now with the episodes being a 50/50 split of slice of life and giant robot fighting, the fighting part is easy. 

I can tell you right now that if you tried to sell this as Slice of Life, you'll have a full on 100% of Slice of Life readers going full on lynch mob on you over false advertising.

>>>fighting, the fighting part is easy. 

Fighting has no place even being considered in the Slice of Life genre. If you sell this as Slice of Life, you will quickly find the entire Slice of Life readership blacklisting you - and yes that is a thing Slice of Life readers are known to do. So, if you value your writing a career, and don't want to see your novel plastered all over vigilante callout sites, I would suggest you REALLY get to know The Slice of Life genre really well, because you are looking at the most hostile MENSA society member snooty-tooty readership out there. Readers who have walls of PhD and writing 5,000 word scathing reviews of 1000 word short stories. 

They are high IQ sticklers for accuracy and want no nonsense in their look at the Human condition.

>>>So I'm working on an episodic mecha slice of life series about a pair of 15 year olds,

The slice of Life fandom is made up largely of old men who are bankers, lawyers, stock brokers, psychiatrists, and psychologists. They have zero interest in 15 year olds or having fun or playing games in junkyards, that is why the average Slice of Life MC is between the ages of 60 to 90.

Again, I really think you need to research the Slice of Life genre, and get out there and hang out with readers of Slice of Life, because from what you've said it, I don't think you've ever even read the Slice of Life genre before or hung out in High Society Country Clubs and talked with the demographic who reads this genre.

>>>The main problem I'm having is the slice of life side. I have trouble coming up with topics that people can find relatable that would fit the main characters interests 

Slice of Life is a look at the Human Condition through a psychiatrist's microscope, and focusing just on one segment of the day: eating an apple or sitting on a boat fishing, and there is nothing else. It's taking eating an apple and expanding the process of eating that apple into a 500 page slow grind that examines and analyzes the feeling of the apple's crunch between your teeth, and how it feels in your eardrums while you chew, and why that makes you think of you dead great grandmother who baked apple pies.

Slice of Life takes an extreme narrow focus look at one act: sitting on a boat fishing (Old Man and the Sea), reading the newspaper Sunday morning (Unicorn in the Garden), drinking at the bar while decide to have an abortion or not (Hills Like White Elephants), sitting in a desert spending 300 pages talking about the petals of a single flower (Desert Solitaire) and turns the entire story into a deep, emotional psychological drive into the character's emotional turmoil over that one five minute event.

Slice of Life is NOT, the boring parts between the exciting parts, that need spicing up with comedy and light heartedness, as you seem to be thinking. I really think you need to do a deep dive into researching what Slice of Life means, because what you are describing is not even close.

If you really want to read the Quaraun books and see what Slice of Life is, and you don't live near by so can't stop by and buy a copy directly from my car, here, I'll post some of it online here for you so you can see what it looks like, and see if it helps you to understand what typical Slice of Life genre looks like when done in a Fantasy setting.

>>>So, I just read a review that said the Quaraun books were literary genre in the style of Edgar Alan Poe and HP Lovecraft. Someone else said it was erotica and gay sex none stop. Another says it sword and sorcery high fantasy, like DnD told behind the sense. Which is it?


The Quaraun series IS Literary Slice of Life, as I have stated many times before. If you are looking for sex, drama, action, adventure, battles, wars, factions, than you are in the wrong place because the Quaraun novels contain ZERO of any of those things. It's the mundane every day life of an elderly Elf wizard, as he goes from one tavern to the next, while trying not to have an emotional breakdown over the suicide of his dead lover BoomFuzzy the Unicorn. It's 90% internal monologue of a depressed Elf, trapped in an immortality/eternal love curse, and doomed to live his life over and over again, thousands of times. The series starts in 800AD ends in 2525 and than repeats back at 800AD over again, with things happening differently each time he relives his life over again, as he goes through time trying to change his past to make a better future where his lover doesn't die.

The GodForSaken City, Tea With a Thullid, The Swamp Hag's House, The Death of Finderu, and The Marketplace Aftermath, all from the novel Kelim and the Necromancer, are a perfect example of what you will see in EVERY Quaraun novel. AND, it shows you what people mean when they say it is like literary slice of life written by Edgar Alan Poe and H.P.Lovecraft.

Here there are, 5 chapters of Kelim and the Necromancer in their entirety, for you to read for free:



The GodForSaken City
(a chapter from Kelim and the Necromancer)

Quaraun, glided gracefully across the room, to stand beside the pretty young wife. The Elf cupped his hand under her chin and pulled her face close to his.

"Dear sweet, pretty girl. Your husband was right. You ARE very beautiful. Not as pretty as me, but still, lovely just the same. Do you know what happens to someone when they lose their soul?"

"No," the girl squeaked, sounding terrified.

"They die, ever so slowly. They turn into a Nzambie. They start to eat everything and everyone around them. Their need to drink blood and eat brains becomes insatiable. And in your case..."

Quaraun's gaze moved to the young woman's pregnant belly. He slid his hand from her chin, down her breast, stopping on her belly.

"Your baby will not survive. It's soul, is connected to yours. It's soul will go with your soul, out of your body, and into me. I'm a soul eater now. A side effect of being soul bound to a Lich. Half my soul is dead. Half his soul lives in me. Half my in him. But he died. Now I drink blood. I eat brains. Because I was in love, and I bound my soul to his. I was not careful with my wish. I didn't think of the consequences. Why would I? I was young and foolish. I will be beautiful forever. Immortal. Unageing. But at a terrible price. I wished for love. Eternal love. Love that would never die and would last forever. Your father can't kill me. Though he and his men, may try. But I can never die. Not while the Lich lives. I tried to warn your husband. I told him what had happened to me and what would happen to him and you, if he carried out his wish. But he said he didn't care. Said he would have you at any price. He said you were his. But you didn't love him. So he needed me, to cast a love spell. Grant his wish. He got his wish. But he didn't pay me. you've had three glorious years of bliss. But every wish has a price.  Payment is due today."

Quaraun let go of the girl.

"I didn't hire you." She pleaded. "Deal with my husband, not me. You can't force me to agree to any of this."

"Your husband was unusual. Most care not for their soul. They will gladly sell it for love. But you he tried so hard to get you to love him, and you never noticed he was alive. Desperate, he came to me.   He wanted your love. He wanted your hand in marriage. But he wasn't willing to give up his soul. He loved himself, far greater than he loved you. He wanted you to love him, as much as he loved himself. But he did not desire to love you in return. No man who loves a woman, offers the price, your husband offered."

"What did he offer?"

"YOUR soul. And the souls of whomever were with you when I arrived. And look how many are here. Half your father's kingdom is here to celebrate your child's birth."

"We can pay you money. My father is wealthy..."

"I am Quaraun, The Pink Necromancer. Your father's wealth is but a pittance next to mine. And I'm the most powerful sorcerer the world has ever known, I can get more money, whenever I need it. I've no need for your money. I need things that can not be so easily got. I need souls. I am the most beautiful being ever born. How old do you think I look?"

"You look very young. Younger than me."

"I know. And yet I am more than 750 years old. Elves should only live 400 years. I'm twice the age I should be. And I've not aged in 500 years. I am immortal and I have eternal beauty and I have love that can never die even though my lover is now dead. That's what I wished for. But it came at a price. I eat souls to survive and maintain my eternal, youthful beauty. I need your soul. I'm not evil. I don't want to hurt your unborn child. I don't want to take your soul."

"Than don't."

"Too late. You don't have a choice." 

"Why?"

"Because I don't have a choice," the Moon Elf said, shaking his head. "People who play with magic, wishes, and souls like they children's toys, eventually learn the error of their folly. I must survive. I don't want to die. I warned your husband to never sign a contract without reading it first. Especially not one written by a Necromancer." Quaraun turned to the man. "You are a fool. Prove to me you act on love not lust, I said, you have not done that. You selfish dick. A child already born and another on the way. Had you loved her, you would have waited, like you agreed to do in the contract. Ten years with no sex, and your souls would have been free. No longer bound to me. Prove your love was not lust, by never having sex with her. Prove you loved her, more than you loved yourself. You couldn't do it. And payment is due on this the first birthday of your first child. You never loved her. You just wanted to sink your dick into her warm flesh. A man who loves would never sell the one he loves to save himself. You know nothing of love..."

The girl looked to her husband: "What have done?" 

"It's not like he says, he's lying. He tricked me."

"I deceived no one. You were too fast to save your own ass at any cost. Today is the first birthday of your first born child. Ten years have not yet passed. You couldn't live with her, for ten years, without sex. Prove to me you loved her and didn't just lust after her. Had sex never happened, the spell I cast would have erased itself 10 years from the day you signed it."

"Quaraun," the young mother pleaded. "Please, I made no deal with you. I have no part in this. Please have pity."

And such was life for Quaraun.

An endless need to collect souls.

Before binding his soul to BoomFuzzy's, Quaraun had never done anything evil, illegal, or even remotely bad. Nor would he have. This was the price he had paid for eternal love. A price that he didn't truly understand, until his lover commit suicide to become a Lich. 

Now he was alone. Soul bound to an undead creature, that was making it's way across the planet decimating villages, slaughtering everyone in it's path. And Quaraun, followed it, hunted it, in and endless search to find the Lich and destroy it. Kill it. Free himself of it's grasp. Gloomy. Disappointed, and eternity unhappy. Quaraun wandered the world aimlessly. Always two steps behind the Lich. The Lich always eluding him, for it had part of his soul, and so, just as he always knew what the Lich was about to do, so too, did the Lich always know what Quaraun did.

The Lich was no longer the man, he had loved. It was an undead creature incapable of feeling love or mercy, or even remembering that it had once been alive, once been in love. 

As the Lich became more soulless, so to, did Quaraun require more souls to stay alive.

Lost.

Troubled.

Miserable.

Grieving.

The hopelessness of endless despair constantly crushing his mind. The Lich was out, killing again. Quaraun could feel it. He hated that he could feel it. Feel the joy the Lich felt as it obliterated towns, slaughtering with out mercy. Everything the Lich felt as it raped and murdered and plundered and destroyed everything in it's path, Quaraun felt, and it was killing him. Quaraun needed to drown it out. 

Quaraun stared at the bottle of Green Fairy Wine. It's minty, anise fragrance lulled him to it. A flavour as heavenly as it smelled. But even that came with a price. More drug than alcohol, Absinthe clouded his mind with hallucinations. The consequences of the delightful aromatic wine, was a clouded mind.

The deliriously unhappy, lonely, heartbroken Elf didn’t want to deal with a hallucination right now. 

Hallucinations had become a regular part of Quaraun’s life these days. Besides drowning out the Lich, he had pain of his own he wanted to erase.

Quaraun's health was not well. He had immortality. But immortality did not mean, life without suffering. Life without pain. Quite the contrary. The aches and pains of old age, creaked through Quaraun's muscles and bones. But one pain, worried him most of all.

The pain in his head grew worse. It was a pain he had lived with since childhood. A Thullid parasite lived in his head, burrowed deep inside his brain, slowly eating it as it grew bigger, hollowing out the Elf’s body and taking over. 

The thought of the Thullid in his head and what it was doing to him, depressed him. He didn’t like thinking about it. He pretended it wasn't there. He pretended he was still an Elf, that somewhere inside him, Quaraun the Elf still existed. He knew this wasn't true. 

Quaraun the Elf had died centuries ago. 

Quaraun the Thullid was simply replicating his life, pretending to be the Elf, Quaraun had once been.

To the innocent eye Quaraun appeared to be travelling with nothing.

No pack. 

No weapons. 

No equipment. 

Nothing at all.

Anyone meeting him on the street would presume him nothing more than an empty handed wandering merchant, for a merchant is what the heartbroken Moon Elf told people he was. He had begun avoiding telling people who he was. The rumours about him were too wide spread now. 

Every one knew the name of Quaraun the Insane, but few knew what the hermit Necromancer looked like or how he dressed. 

The fact that the lonely Elf Necromancer was a transvestite and easily mistaken for female was not mentioned in any of the rumours, nor was the fact that the mournful Elf wore eye-popping pink. 

Somehow, people neglected to mention these facts when spreading their slanderous lies about Quaraun. 

And so as long as no one knew his name, the nervous little Elf could pass safely through a village without striking terror into the hearts of those he passed, simply because they were on the lookout for an evil Moon Elf Wizard, not an elegant, Northern High Elf princess.

Quaraun was cloaked in pink silk regalia.

Dripping with glittering embroidered hearts.

Massively encumbered in pink and verdant gemstone jewellery.

And carrying nothing but a minuscule beaded pink heart-shaped purse.

Quaraun looked every bit the aristocratic princess, he acted like he was. If the gloomy little Necromancer didn’t speak, you couldn’t tell he wasn’t a female Elf. 

Quaraun was not trying to be a female, nor did he pass himself off as one. He simply liked the fashions women wore and saw no reason why he couldn’t dress the same way. His voice did give his natural gender away. 

The shy, secluded, quiet Elf didn’t deny being a male if anyone asked. But with his social anxiety and selective mutism issues, the grief stricken Elf rarely spoke to anyone. Thus few knew that this lady in pink finery was in fact the world’s most remarkably formidable and most exceedingly powerful wizard. 

The primary problem with the way Quaraun dressed was the fact that most women did not actually dress like the reclusive little Moon Elf did. He dressed like a prostitute. Or at least, he dressed like what Human men considered being a harlot. 

In these times when sumptuary laws forbid females from wearing the kind of clothes Quaraun wore, only prostitutes dared wear such garb.

Silks and cottons were exceedingly rare and in most places excessively taboo. 

Each of Quaraun dresses was embroidered with enough gems and pearls to buy a country. 

Quaraun had so many jewels on his dresses that he made King Edward III look dull and drab and everyone agreed that that was hard to do.

Once men got done gawking at his clothes, the next thing they noticed was his long, silken, luxuriant bum length silver hair, which the skittish little Elf left unplaited, uncut, unstyled, and spent three hours every morning brushing until it gleamed and flowed fluid as silk. 

Human women kept their hair tamed somehow. 

Husband-less women braided their hair and twisted it into ram’s horns. 

Espoused women did the same but wore a veil to let men know they were owned. 

Only prostitutes wore their hair long and loose, a sign to men that they were both single and available with eagerly open legs. 

Unfortunately Quaraun was an Elf, not a Human, and he knew little of Human ways or Human laws, and was unaware that by dressing as he did and keeping his hair long and lose, Human men assumed him to be a prostitute begging for every man in the village to fuck her. This led to Quaraun having been raped or nearly raped on many occasions. 

Most horny Humans left him alone once they realized the stupid little Moon Elf was a male, but others didn’t care and raped him any ways.

Once men got past seeing the clothes which said prostitute and the hair which also said prostitute, they saw his face. Everyone had always said Quaraun was the most beautiful being ever born. 

All Elves were beautiful, it was why their entire race was so vain, but even other Elves were envious of Quaraun’s looks. He had an unnatural beauty that took the breath away from anyone who laid eyes on him. The end result was every male he meet, Elves, Humans, Dwarves, Thullid, and Gnomes alike, wanted to jump in bed with Quaraun and expected to be able to do so, thinking that the timid little Moon Elf was both a female and a whore.

Quaraun could get help from any male he meet, in any village. He was the most exceptionally beautiful Elf any one had ever laid eyes on and he knew it. 

Boy did he know it. 

Vanity.

Arrogance.

Ego.

Pride.

Pretension.

Self-admiration.

Conceitedness.

Hubris.

Ostentation.

Disdain.

Narcissism.

Quaraun excelled at these things.

He made an art of these things.

It was his entherial good looks that made him so damned arrogant, stuck up and pompous. 

And with everyone thinking he was a female, the silver haired, pearly skinned, azure eyed Elf had males everywhere eating out of his hands, lining up and begging to serve him, just to get a close up glimpse of his astounding beauty. 

This often lead to trouble, as men were rarely content just to look at the mesmerizing beautiful Elf and usual the men expected Quaraun to repay their help with sex.

In every town he entered, Quaraun ran up against someone who wanted to rape him and was bold enough to try. 

Quaraun was very small and very thin, and was every bit at frail as he looked. Standing only 5'6″ tall, most women were taller than he was. Elves were usually very tall. Quaraun was always the shortest Elf anyone had ever seen.  Most Humans were taller then he was, not just their men, but their women too, in fact their children were often taller than Quaraun. So this increased the perception that he was female, but it also made him physically too weak to fight off most Human attackers. Quaraun with his vanity was quick to take anything offered him, but often the men doing the offering expected sex in exchange.

There were several problems, first being that regardless of what he looked like, Quaraun was still a male and most men coming after him, wanted a female, so once the discovery was made, that there was male genitals under his skirts, Quaraun often found himself with a knife to his throat or in his side as was the most recent case.

The second problem was the fact that even if the man coming after him, didn’t care that he was male and was willing to fuck him any ways, Quaraun was a wizard of the Di’jinn order and had taken a vow of celibacy and thus had no interest in sex. He was for lack of a better term, an uncastrated eunuch. Quaraun was very adamant in not breaking his vows, so adamant that in spite of his love and desires for BoomFuzzy, the two had never had sex, which was certainly not from a lack of trying on BoomFuzzy's part. BoomFuzzy would have ravished the Elf daily had Quaraun let him.

Mostly uncastrated.

Quaraun’s scars were another issue entirely.

Quaraun was vain enough, that were his entire body beautiful, he probably would have run around naked, but his belly, groin, thighs, and genitals were badly mutilated and covered in horrifically disfiguring scars.

But all of this contributed to the problem Quaraun had when travelling on the road. For he looked every bit to the Humans as a prostitute begging to be fucked and he appeared to be carrying nothing with him, save a small purse that hung from his belt and could not possibly have held more then 10 coins in it. 

While Quaraun was blessed with beauty, he wasn’t blessed with brains. 

Quaraun was too stupid, too vain, and too scatterbrained to think to not look so vulnerable and was often left to wonder why he was so often attacked by gangs of horny men dropping their pants and trying to fuck him. 

It was a frequent occurrence for men, bandits, highwaymen, camped beside the road for the night, to see Quaraun, think he was a she, and the she was a whore, and so ask him to join their camp and stay the night. 

Quaraun dim-witted and forgetful as he was, never realized their intentions, would agree to share their camp, only to quickly find himself pinned to the ground being groped and undressed by a group of men whom hadn’t had anything to fuck in weeks and, once discovering the reluctant Elf was a male, were not about to let that get in the way of what they had started. 

Quaraun always managed to get away with the help of Pocket Lich, his pet DracoLich.

The dark, demonic, undead dragon would catch the rapists by surprise. Some horney humans fought the enormous, ominous onyx dragon. Others dragged Quaraun into the bushes, still intending to rape him, dragon or no dragon. 

Quaraun often ended up with badly bruised arms and legs where the men had restrained him.

Poor Quaraun. Surely the men would kill him. The men would have beaten the poor, frightened, frail, sickly little Elf to death while raping him. But the DracoLich mysteriously materialized and greedily gobbled up the men.

To the untrained eye, it would have seemed that the DracoLich should have eaten Quaraun as well. The men were too quick to assume the Elf unarmed and carrying nothing.

Examining his belt revealed a singular, sinister truth.

But therein lay the illusion, for Quaraun was a tailor, a jeweller, and a wizard. Before his people died, Quaraun had lived a simple life. Quaraun sewed heavily embroidered clothes and accessories for fine ladies and wealthy Wizards. His specialty had been colourful gemstone jewellery, luxuriant velvet capes, and shimmering silk robes bequeathed with magical powers. At his hip was a little heart-shaped bag that was far bigger on the inside. Large enough on the inside to house a massively big black dragon, along with the dragon’s mountain full of glittering gold.

The DracoLich was Quaraun’s pet and he kept her safe and sound in his pocket. Once aware the men intended to rape him, the discombobulated little Necromancer pulled the Dragon out of his bag of holding. Thus she appeared seemingly out of no where.

From Quaraun’s belt hung a small, insignificant looking pink heart shaped pouch. It resembled a sachet, heavily embroidered with beads and bullion. The pouch no bigger than his fist. Within it was anything Quaraun thought he might need on his journey. Including a tent which would well serve his sleeping outside at night. 

Quaraun stood in the road, look at his map, than looking up at the sky to study the clouds. He was growing tired and wanted to stop and rest. He could see a think forest up ahead, and thought it would be a good place to set up his little tent and sleep. But the clouds hung low in the sky, dark and grey, while thick fog rolled in. 

"Snow", the Moon Elf muttered to himself. "Damn. No time to stop. I need to get to the village before the snow gets too deep to travel."

Quaraun rarely slept in public houses, inns, apartments or taverns.  He only stayed at such places when he was sick or wounded and needed a safe place for extended rest. Or when the weather was ill fitted for sleeping outdoors. He would have slept in his tent tonight, where it not for the black storm clouds rising up on the horizon. 

Quaraun said he preferred to sleep indoors, stating that he was an emperor and emperors sleep in beds. But, when presented with the choice, he choose sleeping outside instead. On warm dry nights, he lay on the grass, watching the moon. On cooler nights he lay on a thin bedroll, in his pink striped tent, instead. Quaraun had been a travelling vagabond wizard for many decades now. He'd grown used to sleeping outdoors. He enjoyed being outdoors. Being inside buildings made him feel trapped. Uncomfortable. 

It had snowed last night.

It would snow again this night. 

Quaraun knew he must find a place to seek sturdier shelter for the night.

The heart shaped bag held more than just a dragon and a tent. The bag on Quaraun’s belt contained an entire house full of items. 

His massive mostly pink wardrobe. A myriad of magic weapons he never used. Shelves full of potions, he had pre-made for selling. All his sewing and magic item crafting equipment. Food. The heads of those whom he had killed. The hearts of his murder victims. Rumour had it that the eccentric Elf Necromancer kept his dead wife in this little heart shaped bag to one day resurrect her. 

Of course, this rumour was only partly true. He had every dead Moon Elf in his pocket. And had no intention of resurrecting any of them. He simply liked being reminded that were all dead, exactly as they should be. 

When the melancholy little Necromancer got tired need to rest, he pulled out a bedroll. When he needed a place to sit, out came a big carved gold throne with overstuffed pink velvet cushions. 

And in case the bizarre little Elf ever decided to settle down, the palace of the Moon Elves was also in his pocket. His shop and BoomFuzzy's house were both in his pocket as well. 

Quaraun had no need to look for a place to spend the night. All the forgetful Elf had to do was pull a house out of his pocket and be safe and dry. Quaraun was too stupid to think of that and so he bemoaned the oncoming snow storm bearing down around him.

Quaraun hated to set up camp, and  have it get soaking wet. He felt there was nothing worse then trying to stuff a wet tent back into its little heart shaped pouch. 

Pocket Lich was very important to Quaraun, for he had no other means of protection. To lose Pocket Lich was to lose the only defence he had.



~o0o~



Trudging through the muddy snow, ZooLock sighed, glanced around nervously, then whispered: “We are being followed.”

“That’s preposterous. Who would follow us, your greatness?”

“That pink robed Elf you were talking to back at the glass-blower's pavilion. It’s been spying on us for the past hour….”

“Really? Where? I’ve not seen anyone.”

“That’s because you aren’t taking notice. I can hear it. I can smell it.” His many long tentacles tweaked to sniff the air. ZooLock glanced behind. He could no longer see Elf. The purple alien squid slunk further down the dark alley. “It ain’t passed yet. It’s hanging back, waiting for us to come back out.”

“Then why did we come down here? We are trapped in here. This is a dead end, your Lordship. Anyone following us must have ill intent, mustn’t he? We’ll be murdered! You’ve killed us! I’ll be left to wander the world alone….” Xanoodut wailed desperately.

“Shut up.” ZooLock grabbed the green Goblin. The purple tentacled alien flung the little Orcling back against the brick wall. Xanoodut landed in a garbage can.

“You needn’t do that,” said Quaraun from the terrace above the squid headed Thullid.

“Why are you following us?” ZooLock hissed, twisting several magenta tentacles in every direction.

Quaraun leapt down to the cobblestone ground below.

“I’m not following you.”

“No?”

“No, I’m following the Pixie which is hitching a ride in your pack.” 

“Pixie? Pixie! Blessed thieving Pixies! I hate Faeries.” ZooLock’s tentacles flailed frantically. He yanked off his backpack and shook out its contents onto the cobblestone. Among other things out tumbled a tiny winged creature. 

The Pixie attempted to flee but was snatched up by one of ZooLock’s tentacles. The Pixie hung helplessly in ZooLock’s grasp. ZooLock held the creature upside down by its ankle. It flapped its wings furiously, trying to escape. He held it up to one of his fishy wall-eyed Pleco eyeballs. 

“Why were you in my pack?” ZooLock demanded.

“He was hiding from me,” answered Quaraun.

“What do you want with this creature?” ZooLock held the Pixie behind his back. He trusted Elves less than he trusted Faeries.

“That creature stole something from me and I want it back.”

The Pixie fluttered wildly, gesturing, begging: ‘Don’t give me to the Elf’. Moth dust scattered in the air from its beating wings. 

The Goblin pulled himself from the garbage can which ZooLock had tossed him into. He had found a fork for his collection and way, twisting it as he walked back to ZooLock and the Elf.

“Bug’s afraid of Elves, Master,” the Goblin said.

“I can see that,” answered ZooLock. 

“Insects are worse than demons,” said the Elf to the squid headed demon.

“Who are you, Elf?” ZooLock demanded as he held the Pixie behind his back, out of the pale Elf’s reach.

“My name is of no importance to you. Give me the Pixie.”

“Why would I do that? I have no proof this Pixie stole anything from anyone.” 

“Why else was he hiding in your pack?”

“Lots of reasons. Primary one seems to be it has a great fear of you. I sense you will not leave this creature unharmed if I hand it over to you.”

“Keep the thief. I have no use for him. I already have his soul. His body will come to me when he dies. Just give me the vial he lifted from my purse.”

The Thullid searched the Pixie. It was carrying a small heart-shaped glass vial filled with shimmering green goo. Etched into the glass was a pocket watch with a brass dragon encasing it.

“You have got a weakness for hearts, strange Elf,” said the Thullid.

ZooLock looked from the heart-shaped bottle to the giant magenta hearts embroidered on the Elf’s bright pink robes. The Thullid tossed the Pixie, and it flew away. ZooLock stared at the little bottle, spinning it back and forth with his tentacles.

“An alchemy potion. What does it do?”

“It is not important, give it back to me.” 

“If it’s not important, then I have no reason to return it. Have I?”

ZooLock pocketed the tiny heart-shaped bottle.

“You really don’t want to be doing that,” Quaraun warned.

“No?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“Do you want to die?”

“Is that a threat?”

“No. Merely stating a fact. You’ve no clue what is in that bottle. If continue to play with it, you WILL die.”

“Ah, and what are you going to do about it?”

“You will give it back to me.”

“What if I don’t?”

Quaraun seethed menacingly. “Do you know who I am?” 

“Do you know who I am?” ZooLock challenged.

“No, tell me. Who are you?”

The little Goblin jumped forward to answer: “This is my lord and master ZooLock the Great.”

“Ah,” nodded Quaraun. “Now see, I’ve never heard of you.”

“Never heard of ZooLock the Great?” Xanoodut stammered. “How is that possible? Everyone has heard of the Great Zoo. All powerful warriors are afraid of the mighty Zoo King, the innocent defender who fights the stupid Oolong, the….”

“Do you mean Oolong the Stupid?”

“Yes! My master ZooLock…”

“I’m sorry, never heard of him, and I’m not interested in being told the stories about his enslavement of the innocent in goldfish bowls  


***[WRITE MORE HERE—LOOK UP PHRASE IN BOOMFUZZY***. 


I simply want my vial back, and I will be on my way. I have places to be, people to kill, liches to make, heads to shrink….”

“Not so fast strange one, you have not yet told us who you are.”

“Ah yes, forgive me. Where are my manners? I am Quaraun the Insane, though I’m not insane. I don’t like people calling me insane. I cut off the heads of people who call me insane, just as quickly as I cut off the heads of thieves who steal my dragons. Now it’s my vial or your head.” Quaraun pointed to the shrunken Thullid, whose head already hung on his belt. “I’ll take both or either it makes me no difference.”

“Quaraun the Insane? You?”

“So you’ve heard of me? How utterly boring. My vial or your head.”

The little albino Moon Elf now held in his hand a ruby encrusted, black obsidian dagger.

“Who hasn’t heard tales of you? Your conquests are legendary.”

“I would hardly call them conquests. They are mostly people who are trying to kill me because I am in love with a man and dress like a woman. I am just so fast that I kill them first. I have all their heads. And I’ll have your head too if you don’t return my bottle.”

“Oh, but they are. You defeated the mighty Gibedon,” ZooLock slithered out.

Quaraun looked down at the dagger. It was the same one he had used to cut off Gibedon’s head.

“One wizard is hardly a conquest,” Quaraun said, not taking his gaze from the enchanted dagger. “When he had sex, I stabbed him in his bed. No conquest there. Give me my dragon.”

“But he was not just any wizard. He was Gibedon the Great. A Necromancer. Vile beasts, the Necromancers….”

“You do realize, of course, that I am a Necromancer?”

“Ah! But of course! But you differ from the rest. You fight for love. Thus the hearts. I should have recognized you by the hearts embroidered on your silks. Is it not what they say of Quaraun the Insane? You are on a noble quest to kill the Lich Lords, for that I commend you.”

“Nobel quest? I’m not on a quest.”

“You are to defeat the Lich Lords.”

“Defeating the Lich Lords? Whoever said I wanted to defeat them? What bull crap idiocy is that? I built them. I’m the Necromancer who controls them.”

“But you are hunting them.”

“No. One of them escaped. I’m searching for him and trying to get him back.”

“You truly do not recognize me, do you?”

“No. I don’t want to. I have my freedom now.”

“No. Why would you? It has been many a year. Oh my. So long ago, you killed us all, but spared me. I never understood why. You slaughtered us, because you were in love with that beast. The boy who loves horses. You’re in love with the Elf Eater of Pepper Valley. You murdered the Di’Jinn to save his life. You poisoned the Moon Elves to vindicate his death. And then you resurrected your lover as a Lich. You truly don’t remember me, do you?”

“Should I? You seated me in The Sanctuary for thousands of years. Is it fun to live in a glass bottle? No! I prefer no recollections of you.”

“I was your guardian, centuries ago. I have searched for you for so long, my ladyship. I had feared you lost. I am he who implanted you in the Elf.”

“What are you talking about?”

“You are no Elf. And you forgot. You are one of us. A Thullid.”

“I am no Thullid.” 

 The purple squid man bowed before the pink robed Elf.

“You are our leader.” 

“Yes. I am aware.”

“The Grand High Emperor of the Triple Planets.”

“An annoyance seeing how I don’t even know where The Triple Planets are.”

“Our Lady Herself: The Scared Pink JellyFish.”

“I am NOT your ladyship.” 

“It’s why you wear pink.”

“I wear pink because I’m a Di’Jinn.” 

“The Elf always wore blue until you ate his brain and killed him.”

“I am not dead.” 

“Yes. I understand. Something went wrong. Instead of taking over his body and you became him. You never developed a Thullid head.”

“I don’t need an octopus head. I have a beautiful face.” 

“You should have tentacles like me.”

“I don’t want tentacles like you. I want my dragon back. I’ll kill you if you don’t hurry up and give her to me.”

“He never killed. He was gentle. But he was sick. Seriously ill. He was dead long ago. This is why I chose him as the host. He would soon be dead. The Elves would not care if we took his body and put our Queen in it, so you might have a body again.” 

“Shut up and give me, my dragon.”

“There is nothing you can ask, that I will not do. I risked life and tentacle to keep you alive when the enemies attacked our temple. You were injured. We feared you dying. I am so sorry. We were forced to implant you in the body of this Elf. We had to save your life.”

“I want my dragon.” 

“Oh Holy Pink JellyFish, your wish is my command.”

ZooLock handed the vial back to its owner.


….Five Years Earlier...


As he often did, Quaraun found himself in a seedy tavern on a gritty, slummy, crime filled, gang infested side of town. His addiction to Faerie Wine and Poppy Tea kept him in such places, though he hated the public houses, he could not tear himself aware from the siren call of glistening Green Absinthe Fairy Wine, the Milky sweet opium tea, or the hashish hookahs, so readily available in these places. Of the three, it was the Fairy Wine that keep drawing him back.

Faerie Wine was illegal in every city, town, village, and country Quaraun had been in, and he’d been in a lot. 

Poppy Tea wasn’t illegal but it was looked down on by upper classes. 

And Hashish, well, it marked him as from the Middle East. A Persian Elf addicted to Persian drugs. 

"Hemp is for ropes, and cloth, and sails on ships!" Villagers chided him. "Not for smoking!"

A Persian Mage, with Persian addictions that came from being raised by Persian priests.

But Quaraun didn't care what people thought of him.  And so he sat in a public house, drinking bottles of Fairy Wine, between cups of Poppy Tea, while smoking Hashish from his hookah, all while reading the latest round of wanted posters he'd found hanging around the town.

One would normally expect the world's most wanted criminal, to be taken down the wanted posters of his face, to not let people know he was wanted.

But, this was Quaraun, and Quaraun was not hiding who he was or what he did. He was however, upset that the wanted posted had called him: Quaraun The Insane and not Quaraun, Wizard of the Di'Jinn Order or Quaraun: The Pink Necromancer. 

And so, Quaraun had gone around the town taking down all the wanted posters, and now sat in the bar, carefully crossing out the word "Insane" writing underneath it "I'm not insane, I am The Pink Necromancer, Wizard of the Di'Jinn Order" and in a few hours, he would be hanging the posters back where he had found them.

He did this in every town, as it deeply annoyed him when people called him: Quaraun the Insane.

"I'm not insane," Quaraun muttered as he crossed out the word "Insane" on yet another poster.

Quaraun used to be upper class. 

Maybe.

Was he?

He couldn't remember any more. To many life times. Too many futures. Too many pasts. They all blurred together now. It was difficult to try to separate them one from the other any more.

A nobleman. Yes. That was it. Wasn't it?

Respectable. 

Respected.

He used to be a lot of things. 

An aristocrat. 

Son of the king’s brother. 

And the world’s most powerful wizard. 

No, he was still that. But it was so long ago, that no one remembered. Now he was just a commoner. A common Elf. 

He gave it all up for love. 

And a wish.

A wish that had cost him everything.

A wish for love.

Love.

Eternal love.

Immortal love.

Love that would never die.

And now he was trapped in his own curse. Cursed to live forever. And relive life over and over and over again. Immortal. But immortality that never moved forward. Immortality that existed only to the end of the Earth and than slung him back to the beginning of this Elf's life.

He gave up everything for love. Everything. Even the ability to die and move o past this life.

Though bound to his lover, they were ever separated. Separated by hate. Bigotry. Eternal love, ripped apart by an angry mob. Their time together always so short. Doomed to watch his lover die, again and again, in and endless broken cycle of immortality. Cursed to walk to Earth alone for centuries after his lovers death, only to walk up one day, back at the beginning and start the cycle over again.

Their love was true, but so to, was the hate of the world. The world, refused to let the lovers remain. For he loved someone whom society deemed not worthy.

Another male. 

BoomFuzzy. 

But now BoomFuzzy was dead. 

Quaraun was trapped in and endless cycle, of trying to stop BoomFuzzy's death, and then, unable to stop his death, Quaraun walked the rest of the cycle, killing all involved in his lover's death. Until the Earth imploded yet again, and Quaraun woke up, yet again, the young child, whom had yet to meet BoomFuzzy.

Quaraun had seen BoomFuzzy's death a thousands times. Ten thousand times. Every time, he tried to change it, stop it from happening, something else would come along to kill BoomFuzzy instead.

Quaraun had learned long ago, that he could change how things happened. Talking to someone different. Saying different words. He could change history. He could change the world. He had to power of a god. Able to stop wars or cause them. Completely rewrite the time line of the Human race.

But not everything could be changed. Some things were constant. Every life time they always happened. Event connected to his wish, events leading up to his wish, they were frozen in time. Events connected to the discovery of time travel, they too were frozen in time.

Every life time was different. Minor changes. A different drink. A different colour hat. Small details could be changed. Lives could be saved. But every life time was always the same. Quaraun and BoomFuzzy always meet. The Di'Jinn always died while trying to kill the Unicorn. The Hanging Tree always happened. Gibedon always tried to assassinate BoomFuzzy. Quaraun always killed Gibedon. BoomFuzzy always commit suicide. The details were always different. The dates, not always the same. But the events could never be stopped.

BoomFuzzy was dead. 

Just as he always way.

Of all the things he could not change, why did it have to be that?

Unable to stop BoomFuzzy's death, Quaraun devoted his life, to trying to resurrect his lover instead. But necromancy was a difficult art. No one had ever achieved a fully successful resurrection. Mindless shambling dead. Corpses with no thought of their own. That's all necromancy could achieve. No necromancer had ever lived long enough to achieve the full true resurrection of a loved one.

But Quaraun had an advantage over necromancer's before him: he was immortal.

By some bizarre fate, his wish for eternal love, had granted him endless life times allowing him to relive life through unlimited rebirths. And because of this, he was certain, that he could bring BoomFuzzy back to life. If he had to relive life a million times to find the secret of true resurrection, so be it, that s what he would do. 

Wither he lived to the end of the planet, or died before than, Quaraun always came back to start life again. He could not explain it. He did not know why it happened. But Quaraun always came back, to start life anew. And he remembered his past lives. He remembered what went wrong, what not to do again, and what went right, what to focus on instead.

BoomFuzzy was dead. 

Just as he always way.

Everyone was dead. 

Everyone who hated BoomFuzzy. 

Everyone who drove BoomFuzzy to suicide. 

Every last Moon Elf. 

Quaraun had killed them all. 

He wasn’t really sure how, either. 

Everywhere Quaraun went people died all around him. 

He didn’t understand it. He just knew he couldn’t stay anywhere for long, because sooner or later he would get angry with someone and they would drop dead. 

The world’s most powerful wizard had become too powerful and it scared him. He didn’t like hurting people. He didn't want to hurt people. Every time he got mad, everyone around him dropped dead. And he didn't know how or why.

"I'm not insane," Quaraun muttered yet again.

Quaraun looked down at the paper in his hand:




“Wanted dead or alive, preferably dead.” 




Read the heading.

Under that was his name. 

Almost.

His name was Quaraun. 

Quaraun Swanzen.

Quaraun Swanzen, Grand High Emperor of the Triple Planets, though he had no clue what the Triple Planets were.

Quaraun a Moon Elf. 

Quaraun the Last Moon Elf.

Quaraun a wizard.

Quaraun a Wizard of the DiJinn Order. 

Quaraun a necromancer.

Quaraun The Pink Necromancer.

Quaraun the merchant.

Quaraun the tailor.

Quaraun, weaver of pink Thullid silk.

Quaraun, merchant of magic-items.

Quaraun, travelling wizard for hire.

But that’s not what the paper said.

Quaraun read the name printed on the wanted poster:




“Quaraun the Insane”




Insane.

He hated that term.

A label.

Quaraun hated labels.

Everyone have labels for him. Abrasive terms. Hateful slurs.

“I’m not insane,” Quaraun continued to mutter between glasses of Faerie Wine.

He shivered. It was cold outside. Cold inside. Snow flurries lightly drifted the town. The tavern was packed and crowed and loud. Everyone who had no place else to go, had clamoured into the building to get out of the snow.

This place was one of the more substantial buildings in the town. It had a foundation of hewn granite and the walls were made of sawn timbers. Wood that had come from a lumber mill and had not been, simply logs hacked in half. In spite of it's more study construction, it was the scurviest place in the town. 

Apparently it had been built as a bed and breakfast by some wealthy merchant whom had died decades ago, leaving the building to be taken over thugs and whores, who turned it's upstairs into a brothel and it's downstairs into a bar-room.

Though travellers were invited to spend the night in the rooms upstairs, Quaraun felt uneasy about places which had rows of bed lined up side by side in a single room. He'd examined the upper rooms and found each bedroom had no fewer then 4 beds, and most had ten or more beds, though the rooms were not nearly big enough for them. 

Quaraun liked his privacy. 

He had work to do. BoomFuzzy to resurrect. BoomFuzzy's killers to hunt down. Bodies to run tests on. Corpses to experiment on. Rooms with other tenants, left him with no way to do his work. Nosy people didn't like necromancers killing the locals, slapping their bodies up on a table, and cutting them up trying to figure out how to reanimate them. Quaraun needed privacy if he was to complete his life's work and find a way to resurrect BoomFuzzy.

From time to time Quaraun would share a room with one or two others, but it was rare. He would have to find some place else to sleep tonight.

Quaraun looked around at the throngs of Humans, huddled together, some sitting, others standing, all yakking and yapping. Quaraun deeply disliked Humans. He'd been hurt by too many Humans, too many times, to dare trust any of them. What started out as fear, has since grown to hate. His dislike for Humans was a loathing revulsion, which stemmed largely from how many Human men had tried to rape him over the years. 

Quaraun didn't care enough about any race to be truly racist, but he often came off as unintentionally racist, when he talked. Humans were often offended by things Quaraun said, leaving the Elf baffled and confused as to what it was he had said to offend them. 

Humans were an easily offended, overly sensitive lot. And while Humans translated Quaraun's actions to be hostile racism, it was in fact post trauma stress, caused by having been abused by so many Humans, so often, for so many decades, that Quaraun lived in mortal fear of any contact with Humans and often spoke more defensively than he needed to, simply out of caution.

"Focus on the behaviour, not the person," Quaraun often told himself, whenever Humans were around.

Quaraun was becoming irritable and angry. Irritability and anger were common behaviours for Quaraun when he was stressed. The Humans on the far side of the room were getting loud and rowdy. Rowdy and loud. It was stressing Quaraun out.

Quaraun nervously eyed the brawling Humans on the other side of the tavern. He was ready to stuff everything into his bag and run, should they come to this side of the building. But so long as they didn't disturb him, he was okay sitting in a dark corner of one of their buildings.

Quaraun clutched his pink Thullid silk scarf, holding it to his face, rubbing it on his skin, his eyes closed. The scarf as soft as a baby’s skin. The feel of the soft silk on his skin comforted him and eased the tension being in this noisy tavern had caused. His long hair coiled tightly around his body, hugging him. 

The veil, hid the living tentacles that were Quaraun's hair. From a distance, his hair, looked like read hair. But up close, it was too thick, to slimy, it glistened too much, and it moved like snakes with a life all it's own. Quaraun, was not an Elf. Quaraun was a Thullid. A parasitic JellyFish, living inside the skull of an undead Ef, and Quaraun's hair was the JellyFish's long tentacles. Covered in a pink silk scarf, Humans just assumed Quaraun to be a male Elf who liked dressing as a woman. And they were often too busy being prejudiced against what they assumed to be a transgender Elf, to notice, the slithering tentacles under the veil.

The building was dark.

Very dark.

Even with the light from the candles and fire pit. 

Only a few candles lit the room. 

One large pit fire sat in the centre of the tamped dirt floor.

 Wooden planks were laid down here and there, for the serving girls to walk on and keep their feet from getting muddy as they served mugs of beer and tankards of ale to the ever increasingly more drunk Humans who frequented this place.

There was not enough light to see well at all, and definitely not enough light to read. 

Quaraun had his own candles in his bag, and had set up several on the table and than placed several small mirrors around the table all facing inward, to cause the dim candle light to reflected back on itself, several times across the table, illuminating his table as though many dozens of candles were one it, not just a few.

The rich, flavourful warmth of the melted sugar cube flames, still lingered in the emerald green liquid, Quaraun was swirling around in the bottom of his fragile, shimmering, cut lead crystal glass. 

Quaraun brought his own glasses with him. He always did. He never trusted a bar, pub, or tavern to keep their tankards clean. 

Quaraun professed to hate the seedy public houses he often found himself in, but, Absinthe was illegal, and these underground nightclubs often sold it in their dark backrooms, to special clients wealthy enough to pay the steep price for a bottle of the refreshing, tantalizing, green liquid.

The aromatic smell of burnt sugar filled the air with it's sweet, pungent, syrupy sweetness, and mingled with the Green Fairy wine's hypnotic scent of anise and cloves. The heady aroma was as intoxicating as the drink was itself.

He reread the rest of the paper. 




“Soul bound Elf driven to madness by broken bond.”




“BoomFuzzy,” Quaraun whispered. 

They had been soul bound.

Quaraun and BoomFuzzy.

Soul binding was an illegal ritual. Their souls cut in half. Traded. They each had half of the other’s soul.

Soul binding was dangerous.

A person bound to another, felt everything the other felt. Even wounds, and injuries. And depression. And sadness.

BoomFuzzy had been depressed for many years. Long before he had met Quaraun. Quaraun's wish, the wish that caused his immortal curse, had been worded because BoomFuzzy had been so very depressed. Eternal love, for BoomFuzzy. To help him. Heal him. Fix his broken mind. But depression was not so easily fixed, and love was never enough to stop BoomFuzzy from ending his own life, after so many he knew and trusted, turned on him. It was Gibedon's betrayal, that always caused the problem. BoomFuzzy trusted Gibedon. 

And while he loved Quaraun and was filled with great joy when they were together, BoomFuzzy harboured inside of him, dark, morbidly morose thoughts that he could not shake. 

Could not escape. 

Could not break free of. 

Memories of abuse he'd lived through. Guilt over crimes he'd commit. It finally became more than he could bear, and even with the undying love he and Quaraun shared, 

Love was simply not enough. 

And so in every lifetime Quaraun relived, BoomFuzzy killed himself, not knowing the dire consequences it would have for Quaraun, who felt every agony of BoomFuzzy's dying breaths, as though he himself were dying.

BoomFuzzy had drunk a poison, that dissolved his organs. He drowned in his own blood, as the acid burned through him, melting away his insides. It took three days for him to die. And there was no cure. No way to stop the suffering once it had started. 

And Quaraun had felt it all.

Quaraun learn the hard way, why soul binding was illegal. 

Why laws forbid such a ritual. 

"Oh, my poor BoomFuzzy. I had no idea how sad he was. I never should have bound my soul to his. I thought it would help him, if he could feel how much I loved him. I never thought of the reverse. That I would feel how heavy his depression was on his mind."

The sounds of cackling drunk Humans singing and shoving each other around, brought Quaraun back out of his morbid thought. He'd forgotten for a few moments that he was in a tavern.

A new crowd of Humans had come in from outside, leaving the door open. Frigid cold wind, swirled through the building, snuffing out several of the candles, and blowing at Quaraun's stack of papers.

One of the bar maids, sputtered and swore, yelling loudly at the rude men, as she made her way to the heavy hewn timber door and closed it again.

Large drifts of snow had blown in, and now lay scattered around the front tables. The building was so cold inside, that the snow did not melt and simply collected on the floor, with other snow that had been previously tracked in by other patrons.

Quaraun shivered. It was nearly as cold inside this building, as it was outside. But at least the walls kept most of the wind and snow outside. Quaraun reached into his little pink, silk bag of holding, and pulled out a large luxurious fur coat, made out of many skins of many animals, all patched together. Legs, paws, heads, and tails all still hung from the pelts. Everything from fox to rabbits to weasels to coyotes were patched together on the cloak.

The long hooded cape-like cloak had belonged to BoomFuzzy. Quaraun had kept it after BoomFuzzy's death.

Quaraun kept reading.




“Sodomite. Murderer. Necromancer….”




There were many more crimes listed. 

None of them true. 

They were nothing more than slanderous rumours made up by Finderu, the mage whom had enticed Gibedon to turn on BoomFuzzy. Finderu, was the root cause of everything. Finderu's actions were what started the chain of events leading to BoomFuzzy's death.

Finderu, who always lived. In every lifetime, Finderu always walked free, unpunished for his deeds. Lived, nearly immortal. Lived, a good long life. Even though he caused so much suffering to so many innocent people.

Finderu's lack of punishment and lack of death, frustrated Quaraun every lifetime. Quaraun always killed everyone involved in BoomFuzzy's death, except for two: Ghirardelli and Finderu. The two mages who always escaped punishment, every time. Every lifetime Quaraun hunted them and every lifetime they escaped. Every lifetime Quaraun actively made changes to events, hoping it would lead him to killing Ghirardelli and Finderu, but every lifetime, they never saw justice for their crimes.

“Sodomite. Murderer. Necromancer….” Quaraun whispered the words from the poster. The words written by Ghirardelli and Finderu.

These first three were the only ones, actually true.

“Sodomite. Love shouldn’t be a crime." 

"I’ve only killed murderers, thieves, bullies. Criminals who've evaded justice. That should not be a crime either." 

"Necromancy is the only way to find the lost soul of the dead lover they murdered. For they did murder him. They drove him to suicide.”

He skipped over the lines that were inaccurate, stopping to read out loud the paragraph that was accurate:




“Master of DiJinn Magic. 

Grants wishes. 

Raises dead. 

Commands Demons. 

Can control any dead object, including dead trees and objects made of wood. 

Master of the Undead, builder of Liches. 

Is the Necromancer who created the Lich Lords. 

Carries the head of Gibedon. 

He has in his possession:

    *   a DracoLich, 

    *   a school of flying zombie goldfish, 

    *   and a flock of vampire turkeys. 

Is able to stop time and travel forward and backward to the past and future. 

Does not need a weapon to kill. 

A wizard of unusual and illegal powers. 

Does not require the use of spells, rituals, gestures, or words. 

Like a Thullid, Quaraun cast spells psychically via thoughts; 

He needs only think it to make it happen instantly.




The bottom of the notice was signed: Finderu, Founder of The Guild of Magic and Ghirardelli Chief of the Justice Mages.

Like a Thullid.

That line stung.

Quaraun made doubly certain no one discovered his secret. No one must know he was a Thullid hiding inside the body of an Elf. No one. Ghirardelli and Finderu were casting suspension on him.

“I’m not a Thullid,” Quaraun said to himself, forgetting he was in a public tavern where others could over hear him. “Oh dear. Like a Thullid. So much like a Thullid. Oooohh. So much like a Thullid. I’m turning into a Thullid, that's so depressing. I have such beautiful face.”

Quaraun pulled a mirror out of his beaded heart shaped purse that was much bigger on the inside and stared sadly into it. 

“I am the most beautiful creature on the planet. The last thing I want to look like is a Thullid. It is so depressing.”

Quaraun slumped over the table and burst into tears.

“You alright?” A barmaid asked. She couldn’t remember ever seeing an Elf cry before and thought she had heard somewhere that they didn't cry because they didn't have emotions.

“I don’t want to sprout tentacles,” the Elf wailed, not looking up at her.

“Tentacles?”

“I have a JellyFish living in my head.”

“You what?”

“It’s eating my brain and taking over my body. I’m losing control of who I am.”

“Ah, yes. Of course.” The girl shook her head and walked off, thinking the Elf was drunk. 

Thullids were even rarer then Elves were these days. They were almost as rare as Unicorns and Unicorns were long believed to be extinct. 

Quaraun had been attacked and implanted by a Thullid, nearly three hundred years ago. Humans barely lived forty years, so three hundred years was out of reach for their memories. Most had started to think of the squid headed aliens from Neptune’s moon as a mythical race. And so no one believed Quaraun when he told them that he was turning into a Thullid. 

Poor Quaraun. 

Everyone simply believed the Elf to be crazy and so no one ever listened to him when he said squid headed aliens from Neptune’s moon had implanted a tiny pink JellyFish in his brain. 

Who in their right mind would believe such a story? 

It was crazy. 

He knew it was crazy.

If it wasn’t happening to him, he’d not believe it were true either.

Unfortunately, it was true. 

There really was a tiny pink JellyFish living in his skull, devouring his brain, sending it’s tentacles twisting and winding throughout his body and taking control over him.

The problem for Quaraun was not the fact that a JellyFish was living in his brain. 

The problem was that Quaraun the Elf had died three hundred years ago and he didn’t know it. 

He already was a Thullid.

Which was why Quaraun was such an emotional Elf prone to crying and laughing. Things Elves simply did not do. 

The JellyFish had taken over the Elf’s body centuries ago, but the JellyFish had been damaged during implantation and the JellyFish instead of taking over it’s host had become it’s host, with the JellyFish now believing itself to be the Elf, not realizing that it was actually the JellyFish and the Elf was dead.

Quaraun’s fit of self pity was interrupted by a bar room brawl that had broken out between a few Humans. Quaraun scowled as he watched the Humans tumble around fighting. He hated Humans. Then he looked back down at the paper.

“The Guild is becoming a problem. This needs to be dwelt with.”

At the bottom was a name:

“Finderu,” Quaraun said to himself. “I must find, Finderu.”

Quaraun pulled out his map. It had several towns and cities scrawled across it. He’d crossed off most of them. He'd found Finderu's men in each of them and gotten all the information he could out of each of them before relieving them of their heads. 

At the centre of the map was a circled title:

The Godforsaken City.

“Of all the places. The Godforsaken City. Only Humans would think of such a name.”

The drunk Humans continued to brawl, bringing Quaraun out of his thoughts again. 

“And why a tavern run by Humans? Filthy creatures. I swear I….”

“Hey, cutie-pie,” a slurred voice caught the attention of the pink robed albino Elf and broke him from his thoughts. 

A woman’s hand began caressing his shoulder. 

Quaraun cringed at the thought of anyone touching him. 

He hated being touched. 

Someone was in his personal space. 

He didn’t like it. 

It felt like an invasion. 

An attack. 

His first impulse was to swing around and punch the Human bitch in the face. 

But he couldn’t draw attention to himself. 

The Guild was doing enough of that already. 

He resisted the temptation to pummel the filthy Human whom had dared touch him. 

The Elf turned and saw a drunk woman. She leaned against him and smiled.

“I’m looking for a good time, how about you?” She asked. Her breath reeked of alcohol.

“Go fuck yourself.”

The Elf growled, baring his sharp fangs, and pushed her away violently. 

He hated females. 

Especially Human females. 

Quaraun loathed women. 

Drunk women were worst of all. 

Drunk Human females were loatheful. 

He despised them more than anything.

The female stumbled back a few feet, then fell hard on her bum. 

The sight of this made The Pink Necromancer chuckle sadistically. 

Though not an outright act of violence, shoving a woman, even a drunk one, was enough to give him disapproving glares from fellow tavern goers. Quaraun didn’t care what they thought. They were, after all, only Humans and he was a pure blooded Elf. 

Not a Common Elf, but a High Elf. 

And not just any pure blooded High Elf. 

But a pure blooded Moon Elf. 

Purest of the purest, highest of the High Elves ever to exist. Higher than most with all the drugs he took, took.

He was also the last Moon Elf, and being the last Moon Elf, he’d long ago decided he was never going to procreate and simply die the last of his kind. 

The thought of creating a half-breed child repulsed him to no end. 

Quaraun even refused the company of other Elves. 

Fathering a half Moon Elf half other type of Elf, repulsed him as much as half Elf and half not Elf. 

Quaraun had devoted himself to being a eunuch. He wasn’t going to fuck anyone or be fucked by anyone. 

Except BoomFuzzy. 

And BoomFuzzy was dead, so there was little chance of that happening.

Quaraun was not in the tavern looking for drinks or whores, and he was not happy to see either drunks or women sitting in the same room with him. 

Quaraun was there for one reason and one reason only: His map was telling him that somewhere in this tavern, this filthy, disgusting Human infested tavern, was Finderu.

 It pointed to the left, the Elf got up, taking his bottle of Green Faerie Wine with him and followed the direction of the map quickly, pushing back numerous drunks and druggies. 

A band was playing off to the side while an off-key bard sang long half-ling poetry in drunken slurs. 

The music boomed in his foot long pointed ears and would surely give him a headache later.

But Quaraun paid no attention to the packed tavern, and it’s Human patrons. His mind was focused on other thoughts. Long ago thoughts. Centuries old thought that drove him ever on ward in his killing spree across the globe.

BoomFuzzy was dead.

Everyone involved in his death, must pay. 

Must die.

Many were dead already.

But Finderu had eluded capture.

Always escaped.

Not this time.

He was close.

Finderu was here.

Here.

In this very tavern.

Somewhere in this tavern, was a Fairy.

Not a Human.

He should be easy to find.

But where was he?

Quaraun could see him no where.

Finderu must die.

Finding Finderu was Quaraun’s only purpose for the moment. 

It was the only thought on his mind.

Quaraun had never met Finderu, so he didn’t know who he was looking for. 

BoomFuzzy had known Finderu. 

BoomFuzzy was just a nickname.

BoomFuzzy’s real name was Gwallmaiic.

King Gwallmaiic.

King of the Realm of Fae.

King over all the Faeries.

Finderu was one of the people whom had wanted BoomFuzzy dead, though Finderu had never known him as BoomFuzzy. 

Finderu had known the Evil Sorcerer King as Gwallmaiic, King of the Faeries. 

Finderu had once worked for the King, as his advisor. 

King Gwallmaiic had, had many advisors. 

But Finderu was the one whom had turned on the King and tried to kill him. 

Finderu had plotted with the Necromancer General Gibedon, to overthrow the throne. 

Finderu had played a primary role in causing King Gwallmaiic’s depression and eventual suicide.

After BoomFuzzy’s death, the Faerie kingdom fell into disarray. 

No longer one vast empire. The Realm of Fae was now many small factions.

Each faction led by ruthless cut-throat men. Finderu was one of those men.

One by one everyone who had had a hand in causing BoomFuzzy's suicide was fast becoming dead. Losing their heads to the vengeful Elf who was hell bent on wiping out every last person whom had ever even thought ill wishes towards the dead Faerie King. 

Not just the Moon Elves. 

BoomFuzzy had already been depressed and suicidal when he meet Quaraun. 

Quaraun had not known this. 

He had known BoomFuzzy was sad, but he had no known how sad. 

That it was more than being sad. 

That he had struggled with serious depression for years and had been teetering on suicide for many years.

BoomFuzzy had no support he could reach out to. 

No one. 

For centuries. 

He'd been well over two thousand years old, when Quaraun had met him. BoomFuzzy, as King Gwallmaiic, had been the most hated person alive. 

Unloved. 

Unwanted. 

Hunted. 

He'd been abandoned by his parents as a small child. Left to fend for himself, he'd grown up bitter and lonely and mean. 

No one had even loved him, not even his own mother. He never knew love. He didn't know how to love. And Quaraun's love, so late in his life, was too little, too late. Gwallmaiic's mind was so far broken by the time Quaraun had met him, that there was no repairing it. 

No recovery from the depths of despair. No saving him from the seductive embrace of suicide that he was fast spiralling to.

He had needed love. Wanted love. But when love finally entered his life, he couldn't accept it. Did not fell he deserved it. He had needed help, but he was too proud to ask for it. To scared to let anyone know how weak he was. Too depressed to admit to anyone, how lost he felt. 

How much despair he felt. 

He could see, no light of hope. 

BoomFuzzy had desperately needed to reach out to others for emotional support. But this is easier said than done. He was in a low point and he couldn't see a way back out. He told himself to try to remember the people in his life who cared for him. 

Quaraun. 

Gibedon. 

But than Gibedon had plotted to murder King Gwallmaiic and take his throne, and Quaraun had murdered Gibedon to save BoomFuzzy. 

The discovery that one lover was plotting to kill him, and the other lover murdered the plotter, was too much for BoomFuzzy to bear. And the fear, that Quaraun, like Gibedon, would eventually turn on him, shadowed over BoomFuzzy's mind, and was a event he could not bear. Rather than risk eventually losing Quaraun's love, BoomFuzzy killed himself, while he knew Quaraun still loved him, before Quaraun had a chance to start to hate him. 

Quaraun had back tracked into BoomFuzzy's past and found everyone whom had ever caused BoomFuzzy misery and killed them. There was no one whom had ever caused BoomFuzzy pain who was still alive, except for one: Finderu. The leader and founder of The Wizarding Guild. 

Finderu was the law. Finderu made the laws. Finderu said what types of magic were good and what types were evil.

Some types of magic were so evil in Finderu’s mind, that they were worthy of being executed for. Necromancy was one of them.

Unknown to Quaraun when BoomFuzzy was alive, was the fact that centuries earlier BoomFuzzy had been a member of The Guild. Every wizard on the planet was forced to become a member of The Guild in order to practice magic, wither they knew that or not. Thus any wizard in any city or any country, even in distant jungles where no one had ever heard of Finderu or his wizarding guild, was required to join The Guild or risk execution for practising magic without a licence. 

BoomFuzzy, however, had been a member of The Guild. Unfortunately, BoomFuzzy had also been a Necromancer and that didn’t fly well with Finderu, who hadn't known about Necromancy before meeting BoomFuzzy or rather Gwallmaiic. BoomFuzzy was just a nickname that Quaraun called the evil Elf eating King of the Faeries.

King Gwallmaiic, also known as the Elf Eater of Pepper Valley, was the actual rule maker. Not Finderu. And this was the root of the problem. Finderu wanted to be King. He lusted for control and power. King Gwallmaiic had the control, King Gwallmaiic had the power. And Finderu was jealous. 

King Gwallmaiic made the laws. Not Finderu. King Gwallmaiic was the law. Not Finderu.  But Finderu would hear nothing of it and Gwallmaiic had liked Finderu. Liked him enough to want to fuck him and therefore let Finderu make laws that normally Finderu would never had been allowed to make otherwise. Gwallmaiic had a problem with sex addiction and wanted to fuck everyone he meet, so there was nothing special about Finderu.

The problem was, Finderu was devious and plotted to get close to King Gwallmaiic, befriend him, kill him, and take the throne. Quaraun didn’t know all the details. He only knew BoomFuzzy's side of the story, which he only knew from reading BoomFuzzy's countless dozens of diaries after BoomFuzzy had died. 

Quaraun was madly, insanely in love with BoomFuzzy and learning that BoomFuzzy had had other lovers, both before him and even while they were together had greatly upset Quaraun. 

Finderu had been one of those lovers. Or at least, Finderu had pretended to be one of BoomFuzzy's lovers long enough to get close to the Faerie King and try to kill him. Which failed because Flower Faeries simply are not good at murder and Phooka's make an art of killing.

Pretending to be the lover of the king is exactly what led to Finderu’s law banning male lovers.

In the end, Finderu fled Pepper Valley and immediately made laws against Necromancy in hopes that someone else would kill the evil king of the Faeries for him. No one ever did and eventually the evil Necromancer King killed himself in a Lich making ritual. 

Finderu made laws outlawing Liches as well.

And in Quaraun’s mind all of this had ultimately contributed to BoomFuzzy's depression which eventually lead to his suicide, meaning Finderu had been one of the murderers of BoomFuzzy and thus must die for the sin of his hand in BoomFuzzy's death.

Thus how Quaraun came to be in The Godforsaken City, sitting in this tavern, looking for Finderu. 

Again. 

For the ten thousandth life time, Quaraun once again, sat in this tavern, looking for a way to find and kill Finderu. But tavern's did not stay open all night and Quaraun was forced to pack up his things and head outside. 

The problem with outside, was this particular village, was infested with a higher then average rate of thugs, criminals, pickpockets, thieves, gangsters, hoodlums, muggers, and overall scumbag degenerates of society. And Quaraun, was dressed like some sort of Bollywood version of a high society noblewoman turned prostitute, waiting to be mugged, and it wasn't long before a group of thugs decided to attack him.

Quaraun didn't get a chance to see who it was whom had hit him. All he knew was someone had hit him. And now he was dizzy.

"This is new," Quaraun muttered to himself. "I never got attacked at this tavern before in any of the previous lifetimes. Something has changed. History is not repeating itself. I don't know if that's good or bad. Either way, it means I don't know what will happen next. Or what to expect. I best be careful than."

Quaraun sat dazed on the hard cobblestone road, holding a bloody handkerchief over his mouth, and contemplated why it was this time was different, trying to figure out what it was he could have done which had caused this change of events.

“You okay?” A voice asked behind him.

“I’m fine,” Quaraun muttered through the silk cloth, without looking up to see who was talking to him. 

“You don’t look fine.”

The albino Moon Elf wizard wasn’t fine, in fact he was hurting quite a lot, but he’d rather not talk about how he felt just now. The bandit had hit him hard on the jaw, and he’d landed even harder on the stone road. A bloody nose, a split lip, a scraped knee, a twisted ankle, and He wasn't sure who had hit him or why. He was a stranger in this town. Had entered the market, after leaving the tavern, looking to buy something to eat and had not expected to be randomly mugged, because he had been through this series of events in ten thousand previous lifetimes without ever being mugged before. The city guards had seen the whole thing and ran after the attacker. The mugger, running with the clippity clop of cloven hooves on the cobblestone, got away without taking anything.

One of the guards returned. "Bastard got away. Lost him in the crowd. You okay?"

"I'm fine," Quaraun said.

"Never seen nothing like it. Guy had hooves like a deer. Ran up crates and bounced over walls like a fucking billy goat. No way we can catch him."

"So you're saying I was attacked by a satyr?"

"A goat man? Yeah, looks like it."

"Was he wearing a green velvet coat?"

"Yeah. He was. You know him.

"No. But I've seen him before. History changes every time he's around." 

"You sure you're okay?"

"I'm fine."

"Anything stolen?"

"No. Only thing I was carry was my bag and that's still here."

"Okay than."

The guard left.

“You’re bleeding,” said the original voice, that was still standing out of sight behind him.

“Yes. I know. Thank you for telling me what I already knew.”

“What are you doing?”

"Trying not to pass out." Quaraun wanted to wrap himself tightly in the warm, comforting safely of his tentacles, but he knew doing such a thing, now, here, in public, would cause a stir. 

"No, I mean... What happened? Why you bleeding?"

“Bullies don’t care.”

“What?”

“Bullies are cruel.”

“You want to explain that better?”

“I'm sick of Elf hating bastards at every turn. Wizard hating wretches are just as bad. And whores. And drunks. And Humans. It's like this every where I go. Elves and Wizards aren't welcomed anywhere. And I am both. And I'm fed up with the way people treat me. I can't go any where these days.”

“You’re a Wizard?”

“Yes. And I'm tired of being beaten up for it.”

“Someone beat you up?”

“No, I just like randomly laying on the ground with a split lip for no reason.”

“You're dressed like one of those rich, uppity aristocrats. Not a good thing to do around here. Lucky they didn't brain ya. Probably thought you were carrying a lot of gold coins.”

“I am carrying a lot of gold coins.”

“Why would you say that?”

“Say what?”

“Your kind of stupid aren’t you?”

Quaraun looked up at his conversation companion. It was a Goblin.

"A Goblin?" Quaraun muttered to himself, not addressing the Goblin.

"Yeah. I'm a Goblin. You sound surprised."

"Well, quite frankly, I am. Goblins are not prone to living in Human villages."

"This ain't a Human village."

"Ain't it?"

"No. Faeries run everything around here."

“Who the hell are you?”

“Just a random stranger.”

“Great. Wonderful. I love random strangers who are too rude to introduce themselves. Think you could help me up?”

The green skinned Goblin helped the little Elf Wizard stand.

“You got long hair.”

“You keep stating the obvious.”

“How do you walk without tripping on your hair?”

“The same way I walk without tripping on my dress.”

“Why you wearing a dress?”

“I'm an Elf. This is how we dress.”

“Do all Elves have hair like that?”

“No."

"Why not?"

"I am unique." 

"So?"

"I don't cut my hair.”

“Why?”

"Because I’m a Wizard.

“Do Wizards not cut their hair?”

“Yes. Have you never seen a Wizard before?”

“No. Well, wait. There’s Finderu.”

“Finderu?" Quaraun stopped dead in his tracks and spun around to face the Goblin. "Do you know Finderu?”

"Sure!"

"How do you know Finderu?"

“Everyone knows him.”

"Everyone?"

"Yeah."

"Who everyone?"

"Everyone who lives here, of course!"

"Why would everyone here know Finderu?"

"Because he lives here."

“Finderu lives here?”

“Yeah. He’s a big shot. Thinks he runs the town. Bullies everyone.”

“What does he look like?”

“Flower Fairy. Rose red hair. Now that I think of it. His hair is pretty long. Not at long as yours, but still. So Wizards never cut their hair, huh?”

 “No. We don’t. I haven't cut my hair in 300 years.”

“How come?”

“Our long hair attracts the energy which powers our magic abilities. The longer a mage’s hair, the more powerful they are.”

“You must be pretty powerful than. Your hair drags on the ground.”

“Yes. It does. And I am. I’m the world’s most powerful wizard.”

Quaraun looked around the market square. There was no sign of any other Elves or any one that looked remotely like a Wizard either. That was troubling. It usually meant The Guild’s agents were in the town. He set out about his business, but the Goblin followed him and continued to pester him.

“Are you a male Elf or a female one?”

“Will you stop annoying me?”

“Do I have to?”

“What?”

"You kind of stand out. I mean... Look at you."

“Have you never seen an Elf before?”

“We don’t see many Elves around here.”

“I wonder why?”

“You’re kind of bitchy aren’t you.”

“Oh, I don't know. Let me think. I walk into town and get punched in the face. I think I've earned the right to be bitchy, don't you?”

“I didn’t hit you.”

“No. But it's not the first time it happened. I'm tired of being beaten up by racist assed bigots, in every town I go in.”

“Who beat you up?”

“I don't know. But when I find out, I'll have their head.”

“That’s a strong reaction, don’t ya think?”

“I’ve taken heads for less.”

"You sound serious."

"I am. Why wouldn't I be."

“You don’t look big enough or strong enough.”

“I’m bigger then you.”

“Barely. You're a full head shorter then every Human in town. I thought Elves were tall?”

“I'm short. Now go fuck off.”

“Why you dressed like a prostitute?”

Quaraun glared at the little Goblin.

“I am NOT dressed like a prostitute.”

“Could’a fooled me.”

“Is there some reason why you’re still yapping at me?”

“Thought you looked like you could use some company.”

“Do you want something?”

“No. I just saw a male Elf in a slutty pink dress, laying on the ground with a bloody face. Thought I'd stand here yapping at him. Don't often get a chance to talk to an Elf. They're kind of rare.” 

“Do you know nothing about Elves?”

“Nope. Like I said, we don't get many Elves around here.”

“Obviously.”

Quaraun brushed himself off, pulled a small silver hand mirror out of his bag of holding and began re-applying his make-up.

“Are you just going to ignore me now?” The Goblin asked.

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“I’m an Elf.”

“So?”

“You’re not an Elf.”

“Meaning?”

Quaraun put his mirror and make up away and started walking. The Goblin walked along with him.

"Why are you following me?"

“You didn’t answer me.”

“Meaning I don’t want to talk to you.”

“Why not?”

“You’re not an Elf.”

“So?”

“I don’t talk to non-Elves.”

“You had to talk to me to say that line there, you know.”

Quaraun continued walking. The Goblin continued trudging along behind him.

“Why are you following me?”

“Nothing else to do.”

“Stop following me.”

“Just because we are both going the same way, doesn’t mean I’m following you.”

Quaraun angrily flung his pink feather boa over his shoulder, turned around and walked in the other direction. The Goblin changed directions as well.

“You are still following me.”

“Of course I am.”

Quaraun stopped walking.

“Why?”

“I’ve never seen no one like you before.”

“Of course you haven't. There isn't any one else like me. I am unique. I have enough self confidence and self worth to be myself and not have to try to be like everyone else.”

“You got a name?”

“I seem to recall you not giving me yours.”

“Xandri Witsnot the Goblin.”

“Do you expect me to tell you my name now?”

“Of course.”

"Why would I do that?"

"It's the polite thing to do?"

"Is it?"

"Isn't it?"

"You didn't sound so sure there."

"Most people just know it's the polite thing to do."

"I'm not most people."

"Yeah. I can see that."

"You are a stranger to me. Why should I tell you my name?"

"Everyone starts out a stranger. First step to becoming friends is to introduce yourself."

"Who said I wanted to be friends with a Goblin?"

"No one. I just thought... you being new in town and all, you might need someone to help you out. Tell you where things are..."

"Are you a street urchin?"

"A what?"

“Quaraun.”

"Wait what?"

Quaraun continued walking.

"I said, my name is Quaraun."

“Quaraun? What? You mean, like the Necromancer?”

“Yes.”

"Are you... wait... are you THE Quaraun? The one on all the wanted posters around town?"

"Yes."

"You are wearing pink. Are you The Pink Necromancer?"

“Yes. I am. I just told you I was. Now please leave me alone. I'm busy. I have work to do. Corpses to dig up. Heads to collect. Souls to extract. Murderers to hunt down and kill.  BoomFuzzy to resurrect. I simply do not have time to talk to you.”

“You’re Quaraun the Insane?”

“I'm not insane. Please don't call me that."

"Why not?"

"I don't like being called that. It's mean and cruel and hurtful and a label slapped on my by bullies.”

"You're like... A Di'Jinn, aren't you?"

“Yes. I am a Wizard of the Di'Jinn Order.”

“So you grant wishes.”

Quaraun stopped walking again.

“You got a wish you want granted?”

“No. Not me. Got a friend who does though.”

“Really? Doesn't every body?”

Quaraun looked around hoping for a side street or a tavern or a dark alley, anything really, just some place he could slink away from this annoying Goblin.

“Yeah, but this one’s different.”

“They always are.”

“No, you don't understand. He's in love.”

“Love. Bah. I'm sick of love.”

"You? Ain't love your thing? I always heard…."

“My lover is dead. Get on with your story. I haven't got all day.”

“Well, it’s Kelim see…..”

“Who’s Kelim?”

"My friend. He's a Pixie…."

“Pixie? Good god. Faeries. That's the last thing I need.”

“And he’s gone head over heels for Ophelia.”

“Another Pixie?”

“No. She's a Flower Fairy.”

“Flower Fairy. So he wants to father half-breed mongrels, great.”

“You one of those purists?”

“I’m an Elf.”

"Uhm... Okay... whatever. Any ways. Her father has got her set up to marry this other dude, see?"

“And?”

“She doesn’t want to.”

“She wants to marry the Pixie.”

“No.”

“No?”

“No. She doesn't know he exists. That's the trouble, see? She's in love with this other dude.”

“And what do you want me to do?”

“Well, Kelim’s shy….”

“Of course he is. Why else would he need a Di'Jinn?”

“But he’s also a Pixie and Finderu doesn’t like Pixies….”

“Finderu?” Quaraun muttered the name quietly.

The Goblin continued talking about Kelim and the Flower Fairy and the upcoming wedding but Quaraun heard nothing else the Goblin said after the word Finderu. When the Goblin finished, Quaraun addressed him, more calmly and less arrogantly then before.

“What has Finderu to do with any of this?”

“He’s Ophelia’s father.”

“Is he? Fascinating. Finderu has a daughter. I didn't know that.”

“You know Finderu?”

“Oh, you could say we're old friends. I some business to attend to with Finderu. I didn't realize he lived around here.”

“Are you a Guild member?”

“I'm a Wizard. What do you think?”

“It’s illegal to practice Wizardry without being a member of The Guild.”

“I know. Finderu loves to remind me.”

“Yeah. He made that rule or something. He's always talking about it.”

“Finderu. Founder of The Guild. Here. And he doesn't like this Pixie you say?”

“No. Won't let Ophelia near Pixies. He's one of those radicals. Don't believe in interracial marriage.”

“Well then, we'll have to fix that. You tell your friend, Kelim, come find me. We'll see if we can't set him up with Finderu's daughter.”

“Where would we find you?”

“Well, I was on my way to visit Ghirardelli.”

“The Swamp Hag?”

“Yes.”

“But she’s a Witch.”

“Yes.”

“I thought Wizards and Witches didn’t get along?”

"Oh. No. We don't, but….I... I have business with her.... uhm... her head needs fixing. If Kelim wishes to speak to me, he can find me there. I'll be there for a few days."



~o0o~     




At that exact moment, elsewhere in The Godforsaken City, a little Pixie was having troubles of his own with Finderu...

Kelim the Toadstool Pixie stole a glance at Ophelia, the Lilac Fairy, as she passed him in the entrance. 

“She looks splendid, her golden blond curls pulled back in a braid and her dusty blue dress reflecting her eyes.”

 Kelim dreamed about composing poetry about Ophelia, then spun aside as she approached. He didn’t want to be caught gawking.

In Kelim’s mind, everything about Ophelia was perfect, except for one thing. She was the daughter of the snobbish aristocrat Finderu the Masked.

Finderu the Masked was formidable. 

Kelim knew this was true because everyone said it was. Rumours said that Finderu was a nasty bastard because he was a vampire. 

Kelim doubted that was true. 

Kelim heard a lot of rumours he didn’t believe in, like the Lich Lords. 

And that crazy psychotic Elf that was chasing them. 

Kelim had met Finderu the Masked once, when the old wizard came into the bakery. Finderu had flaming red hair streaked grey with age, and blue eyes just like his daughter’s. 

Finderu was arrogant. He also did not like Toadstool Pixies any more than he liked his daughter working in the bakery like a common commoner. It was the reason he had been at the bakery that day, to tell Ophelia off and let her, and everyone she worked with, know just exactly what he thought of his daughter lowering herself by getting her hands dirty along with the low, vile, filthy peasants.

“I’ll turn all you filthy peasants into fucking pheasants, if I catch even one of you near my daughter,” Finderu said as he left. “At least pheasants keep themselves clean.”

 Finderu had glared at Kelim when he said the words vile, low, and filthy. He let Kelim know any advances towards his Ophelia were unacceptable.

Kelim’s first impression of the man was that Finderu was a hard-ass rich bastard who’d never worked a day in his life because he was some sort of aristocrat. 

Plus, everyone knew Finderu thought of himself as a king. Finderu wasn’t a king, but he was the closet thing this region had to any kind of ruler. Finderu treated The Godforsaken City, which wasn’t even big enough to be called a city, like it was his own private dynasty.

Kelim didn’t like aristocrats. They were too arrogant. He didn’t like wizards either. 

Finderu was also a wizard. 

A high ranking, aristocratic wizard of immense power. 

Not magic powers. No. Finderu was not the skilled mage he wanted people to believe he was, and he had a reputation for hiring assassins to kill any mage with actual real magical abilities.

Political power. That was Finderu’s true power. That and money. He had enough money to buy his way through life. Enough money to hire thugs to keep anyone who opposed him in line. Or tied in chains at the bottom of the Saco River.

Finderu was the leader of The Wizarding Guild. The Guild of Wizardy. The organization who declared who could legally do what, with magic.

All wizards everywhere on the planet had to answer to Finderu’s Guild. 

Or at least, he thought so. 

Finderu was a control freak. 

Every magic user on the planet answered to him or else, wither they knew they were supposed to or not. He accepted nothing less. And he hired hit men, bounty hunters, adventures, and questing heros, to hunt down, and murder any mage Finderu felt threatened the sanctity of The Guild’s rule.

Most mages in the world were unaware The Guild existed until the day they found themselves confronted by a band of 5 or 6 self proclaimed warriors here to do their duty by killing the evil, big bad boss villain.

Hiring blood thirsty thugs, calling them bands of heroes and adventuring parties, and sending them on quests to hunt down so-called evil villains, was what Finderu was most known for.

The only problem was his questing parties were far from heroic and the so-called evil villains were just innocent victims. People Finderu wanted out of the way.

Kelim, however, was just a Toadstool Pixie and had no interest in magic, so he didn’t bother thinking much about Finderu’s obsession with other wizards. If he had, then perhaps he would have been at the town counsel meetings to hear the news of a dangerous renegade wizard on a worldwide killing spree or that there was a huge reward for said wizard’s capture and an even bigger reward for his execution or the even bigger reward for his head on a silver platter. 

Finderu would have given anything for the head of the psychotically deranged, serial killing Moon Elf wizard, even Ophelia’s hand in marriage to a lowly Pixie. Finderu had been preaching his hatred for Quaraun the Insane, more heavily that usual, because rumours had said Quaraun was in the area. Thus why so many wanted posters had gone up the past week. Finderu HAD to make sure everyone in town KNEW Quaraun psychotically deranged, serial killing thug. It was imperative that no one find out he made up half the rumours about Quaraun. Imperative no one knew Quaraun was not the blood-thirty lunatic Finderu made him out to be.

Finderu was terrified people would learn the truth: that Quaraun was just seeking revenge for a murdered lover. Finderu’s glut lust of being King of the Faeries had driven King Gwallmaiic, King of the Faeries, Leader of the Lich Lords to suicide. 

Had Kelim paid better attention to things in the local news, he would have known Finderu was becoming obsessed with finding and killing the lover of King Gwallmaiic, known to Quaraun as BoomFuzzy.

Kelim would have known he could find and kill the Elf and give its head to Finderu for any price. But Kelim was too busy thinking about the day when he finally stopped being shy and actually got up the courage to say ‘Hello’ to Ophelia. He hoped that day would be soon, because it had been weeks since he first laid eyes on Ophelia and he had said nothing to her yet.

One problem with Finderu the Masked was his love for gratuitous violence and another was that he was a skilled wizard of sorts, one who did not require the use of weapons or wands or crystal balls because his bare hands, knowledge of magic, and mental powers, were great enough on their own. 

Everyone in the village was terrified of Finderu the Masked. Rumours even said his powers rivalled those of the Moon Elf, Quaraun the Insane who was fast growing a reputation for been the most powerful magic user of any type of all time. Kelim didn’t believe those rumours either.

Kelim liked to believe he was a forward thinking Pixie who believed the days of magic were outdated and foolish. He was also a radical who supported the recent expansion of the Human race, which was coinciding with the massive world wide death toll of the Elves, Gnomes, and Dwarfs.

The Faeries had dramatically declined in number decades ago. They blamed it on the overpopulation of the Elves, Gnomes, and Dwarves. Kelim was more than happy to see the Elves, Gnomes, and Dwarves brought to the brink of extinction. Though Humans would overrun the world, because of it.

Kelim the Toadstool Pixie had been in love with Ophelia the Lilac Fairy forever now, or at least it seemed that way to him. 

Kelim told everybody that he had loved her forever. 

Actually it had only been three months since she moved here and started working at the bakery where he worked. Kelim knew he was being ridiculous by not talking to her, but he was Pixie enough to admit to himself, at least, that he was a coward. 

Cowards don't stand up to bullies, and Ophelia's father, Finderu the Masked, was a formidable bully. 

Kelim didn’t have what it takes to tell Ophelia how he felt about her, that the only thing that brought him to the bakery where he worked every day was seeing her walk past him 5 or 6 times, depending on their timetables. 

How could he? Not when her father was someone as so highly irritable as Finderu the Masked was.

At some point the word 'Hello' escaped his lips. He couldn't remember when.

“So, you mean you've never said a word to her?” Asked Kelim's buddy Xandri Witsnot the Goblin. 

“Of course I've spoken to Ophelia. It's not like I'm a complete idiot!” Kelim said.

“Oh yeah? WHEN?”

 “She was in the break room last month, and she asked me about Ghirardelli the swamp hag, when she was sitting in front of me. Said she hadn't seen Ghirardelli around town in a while, heard she had an old friend visiting but, never saw anyone new in town  and was wondering if maybe Ghirardelli was sick. Thought maybe we might check in on her.” 

“And what'd you say?”

“Uhm...” Kelim tried to remember. He had been so focused on Ophelia slim neck that he was caught blushing when she was suddenly facing him, her blue eyes amused and that smile of hers playing at the corners of her mouth. 

“Uhm... ugh, I can't remember.”

“Because you didn't say anything you dolt!”

    ~o0o~


Quaraun lay on his back in the cool dying autumn grass and stared up at the tall, towering great white pine trees. The morose, dizzying sensation of Vertigo sank in his stomach as his gaze chased the timbers up to their 130 feet of height. Nuthatch and Brownling birds ran down the thick bark, head downwards and peeking under the cracks, searching for ants. Quaraun wondered how they did not get dizzy or fall off from the blood spilling to their brain. 

Quaraun grew nauseated just thinking about it. Quaraun closed his eyes. This did not make old necromancer feel any better, so he sat up and looked out across the quagmire instead.

Quaraun listened to the Saco River, gently lapping the nearby shore. He wasn’t laying near the large swift-flowing river, but rather by a small swampy patch to the side of it. 

The water of the river was a delicious copper from tannins, looking crisp and clean and drinkable. 

The water here in the side swamp was black and sickly looking, not the clear, healthy, clean water anyone would want to drink. It stank too. In some places on the edge where it sat still, there was a brown rusty gelatinous foam coating the leaves and twigs. That icky looking mess seemed to be the sources of the smell.

Quaraun walked the edge many times this week. The Swamp Hag’s house was around here somewhere. Up ahead, the woodland got deeper and darker, the trees closer together. The deeper the elderly mage went into the ancient forest, the cleaner the swamp looked. Here it was not so clean, and that meant only one thing: Humans lived nearby. The only Human out here was the Swamp Hag herself.

A sudden Earth shattering kaboom, and rumbling earthquake that vanished as swiftly as it had started, interrupted Quaraun’s thoughts. Followed by someone screaming. Both happened so instantaneously that Quaraun was uncertain if he had imagined it. The old Elf sat up, his foot long ears, now erect, no longer hidden down his back under his hair.

“Someone’s hurt,” Quaraun said quietly to himself. “We should go see if we can help them. Where’s my cane?”

After a few moments of struggling with his cane, Quaraun finally made it back to his feet. He sniffed the air, listened to the wind, to determine the direction the scream came from. Before long, his ears picked up the sound of someone moving. 

“That way,” the old Elf said to himself, pointing his cane in the grove's direction.

Back by the wider part of the Saco River, near the small sandy beach, Quaraun saw a man, with bright yellow eyes and golden frizzy, woolly hair, dressed in an extra-long, and extremely full skirted long green velvet kashimiri coat, over orange and yellow chiffon gota embroidery lelenga robes, decorated with pink jellyfish embroidery. He lay on the ground, his hands over his face, wailing in pain.

“Are you alright?” Quaraun asked as he paused over the man peering down at him.

“Arrgh!” The fellow yelped, then sat up quickly, only to scream in pain again, as he moved.

“I’m sorry,” Quaraun said. “I did not mean to startle you.”

The newcomer ignored Quaraun momentarily and scrutinized the area, peering around in every direction, seeking a place to escape to.

“I have never seen eyes like yours before,” Quaraun said, as he stared at the man’s gold flecked yellow eyes. “What are you?”

 The fleece haired man glanced back up at Quaraun.

“Where am I?” The stranger inquired, ignoring Quaraun’s question.

“You don’t know?”

“No. I seem to have gotten myself lost.”

“That’s the Saco River,” Quaraun pointed his cane towards the estuary. “I believe this beach has a name, one the humans gave it, but I do not know what it is.”

“You are not Human,” the stranger said as he stared at the beach, then glanced around again.

“Nor are you, judging from the texture of your hair and the colour of your eyes,” Quaraun answered.

“This is Rotary Park.”

“Is it?” Quaraun looked around. “It doesn’t look like a park.”

“No. It won’t be until 1964.” 

“Are you from the future?”

The man ignored Quaraun’s question and stared up at the sky as though he expected something to fall on him.

“I also seem to have misplaced my car.”

“Should I help you look for it?”

“Do you know what a car is?”

“No. Should I?”

“No. No reason why you . . . Good God! I hope it didn’t land in the river.”

The woolly haired man crawled closer to the river, and peered into the water, trying to see to the bottom. Quaraun followed him and looked into the water as well, not knowing what he was looking for. 

Gingerly, Quaraun waded out into the water. Large schools of several hundred black-nosed dace and creek chubs darted away from the shore, swimming into the deep waters. Quaraun stood waist deep in the water, then turned back to face the man on the shore.

“Can it swim?” Quaraun asked.

“A car? Of course not. It’ll sink to the bottom, fast as a rock.”

“Oh.” Quaraun stared out at the deep middle region of the river. “I can’t swim, either.”

“Then why are you out in the water?”

“I like being in the water. I just can’t swim in it. Elves drown.”

“Shouldn’t fish know how to swim?”

“I used to swim. Centuries ago. But now I’m stuck in this Elf and he drowns. I almost drowned. My father tried to drown me. He held my head under the fountain.”

“I’m sorry.”

“He hated BoomFuzzy.”

“Don’t most people?”

Quaraun waded back out of the water.

“Did you know BoomFuzzy?” Quaraun asked.

“King Gwallmaiic, Elf Eater of Pepper Valley. . ."

“We’re in Pepper Valley.”

“We’re in Biddeford.”

“No. This is Pepper Valley.”

“Yes. It’s Pepperell Mill Valley. The mill should be right down there. Damn. I can see the trestle. Have trains been invented already? You call Biddeford, Pepper Valley, because. . .  Never mind that. I can see the railroad station from here. What year is it?”

“Year? 1849. Three years after The Great Gale of 1846.”

“Oh.” The stranger searched Quaraun’s face. “You don’t know me, do you?”

“No. Should I?”

“In 1849? Yes. Ongadada happened four hundred years ago."

"What's Ongadada?" 

"You don't know?"

Quaraun shook his head.

"It's 1849 and Ongadada didn't happen? And you never met me before?"

"No."

"Something’s changed. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. I think it's bad.”

"Why is it bad?"

"If Ongadada doesn't happen. . . there's a doctor. He's born because of Ongadada. If Ongadada doesn't happen his parents. . . they don't meet, so he's not born. Which, I used to think was a good thing."

"But now you don't?"

"He was a good doctor. Saved a lot of people. Helped a lot of people. But than in 1983, a plague hit. The Crystal Plague is what most people called it. He . . . he decided who lived and who died. Seven million people survived. Every one else on the planet died."

"So he saved seven million people?"

"Yes."

"And that was bad?"

"No. How he did it was bad."

"The Crystal Plague spread across three planets. One planet had a region, where the plague hadn't hit. He went there to find out why. No one knows what he discovered. He wouldn't tell anyone. But he said, he knew how to save people. And selected people based on race, what they looked like. When people learned where he took the refugees, millions began to flock to BatBay. Mothers arrived carrying toddlers. He built a machine, to scan people's brains. Some people he declared, were immune to The Crystal Plague, and the scanner showed him that. He took babies from their mother's arms and threw them into the ravenous crowds, than dragged the mothers into the safe haven, while they screamed and tried to go back for their children. He told the mothers they were immune, their children were not. Others, he took the children into the refuge, and kick the mothers off the cliffs of BatBay Mountain."

"So he was evil."

"No. We thought he was. When it happened. There was a group, arrived from the future. Convinced if we went back to the past and Ongadada didn't happen, than both the doctor would never be born and The Crystal Plague would never happen. So they invented time travel and portal magic, and created the portals. Time Travel was created for one purpose, to kill the baby. Or rather, to kill his father's wife, before his older brothers could even be born. That was my job."

"To kill a baby? Or it's mother?"

"Both. Either."

"Did you?"

"No. I couldn't. I went there, just like I was ordered to do. I was convinced they were right. So I was also convinced it would be no difficult task."

"But you're not evil. You can't kill, can you? I can sense that in you. You've never taken a life."

"No. I've never taken a life. But it was worse."

"How?"

"I got personally involved. I was born into the time period of The Crystal Plague. I was born in 1959, so I was still a young man in 1983 when the bulk of the plague hit. When the scientists from the future, asked me to go to the past and stop Ongadada, I was living in the plague while it was happening and I'd seen the doctor throw children out upper windows of the hospital. We all thought he went mad. I believed I was doing the right thing, going back in time. Stopping Ongadada."

"And you don't believe it any more?"

"No."

"Why not?"

"Things the scientists have done since then. When I went back in time. I was supposed to find this family, and kill the pregnant wife. I found the family, sort of. They miscalculated the time. Sent me to the wrong year. So I meet the doctor's father, before he had married. I figured, I could make friends with him. Maybe I wouldn't have to kill the girl or the baby. Maybe, I could just prevent him from ever meeting her."

"And how did that go?"

"We fell in love. Me and him. I couldn't go back to my own time, didn't want to. I wanted to stay with him. Than he met the girl. He loved her so much. Killing her would hurt him. He'd been thorough so much hell in his life, and with her he was happy. I couldn't. . ."

"You couldn't kill her."

"No. I couldn't hurt him. So I couldn't kill her. And that's the irony. Turns out, if I'd never interfere, me never would have met her and Ongadada never would have happened. Strange twist of fate. I can't explain it, but Ongadada happened BECAUSE I went back to the past. In the original time line, Ongadada, didn't happen. Creating time travel is what caused Ongadada, and yet, without Ongadada, time travel can't be invented. Ongadada is a fixed point in time, so long as time travel exists. Because time travel can't exist otherwise. But if no one goes back in time, Ongadada never happens. It's an impossible time loop folded back on itself. One can't exist without the other."

"But you said this time it didn't happen."

"Yes. I know. They punished me you know."

"Who?"

"The Diontite Scientists."

"The ones who created time travel?"

"Yes. Because of my inability to not fall in love, they went back in time, to 1959, took my pregnant mother and threw her into Hell. I was born in Hell."

"Hell, meaning what exactly?"

"It's an alternate dimension of Earth, that exists alongside Earth. But the whole planet is melting. On fire. Forests and plains burn endlessly. The Moon has been destroyed. So the Earth is being pulled closer to the sun. Mountains are melting. The oceans evaporating. Almost dry. What used to be the Pacific Ocean, is a vast canyon, full of dead sea creatures. Strange, sea creatures, from deep, deep below, from depths deeper than Man has ever explored, rose to the surface. Strange deep sea JellyFish, climb out of the briny pools that are all that are left of the ocean, and attack any life-form they find. Suck out their brains. Steal their bodies."

"Thullids?"

"Thullids. They aren't from another planet. They originated from Earth."

"Are you certain?" 

"Oh, yes. Positive."

"I remember the planet dying. But there was so much confusion. ZooLock grabbed me and put me on a ship. I thought we went to another planet. Not another time."

"It was another time."

"How do you know?"

"I was there."

"At the end of the world?"

"At the end of the world. And your beginning. ZooLock loved you."

"He did."

"He'd have done anything for you."

"I know. Poor ZooLock. I've not seen him in years. I don't know what happened to him."

"He lost you in the desert."

"Yes. I remember. My little black pony. I've not seen ZooLock since the unicorn arrived. And than I meet BoomFuzzy. I loved BoomFuzzy. I miss him. He died."

"I know. He loved you too. And The Diontite Scientists, they will do anything, to keep you and him separated."

"Why?"

"You are the last of your kind."

"I'm the Last Moon Elf."

"No. You're the last female Immortal JellyFish and you are carrying a clutch of eggs. Seven million eggs, that need seven million hosts."

"Seven million. Is that not the number of people the doctor saved?"

"It is. And that's why he saved them. Why he chose the ones he chose. He picked to be hosts for your babies."

"My babies will never be born. I am not only the last female, I am simply the last of the Thullid Jellies. There is no male to fertilize my eggs. So they will never hatch."

"They will." 

"How would you know?"

"It was in the year 2525, that the Thullids rose out of the dying sea to escape the dying planet. They come from the centre of the Earth. From the deepest, darkest reaches of the canyons beneath the ocean. They surface, to dry land, in the years before the planet dies. And they discover the time machines and go back in time, to try to save themselves. Only in the past, the ocean was, different. More salty. Less salty. I don't know. Maybe the surface water is different from the deep water, and they can't swim through it to get to the deep water. Whatever the reason, they become trapped on land and can't return to the depths of the ocean."

"And hat has to do with my unfertilized clutch of eggs, what, exactly?"

"You become the last female Jelly in 2525. But it is right now, what year?"

"1849."

"Meaning the apocalypse has not yet happened. And there are still male Jellies, right now under the sea, seeking their Medusa."

"But I'm up here on dry land. Living in the body of a male Elf."

"Well, perhaps than, one of the males will get smart enough to figure out how to rise to the surface and live in something compatible with your male Elf?"

"That is not something I hold out hope for."

"Well, the doctor was successful in saving seven million people, remember? So successful, that people me to the past to kill his mother before he could be born."

"But you didn't kill her."

"No. I fell in love with instead. And now I'll do anything to protect my beloved."

"Love will destroy you. I know. Look at what happened to me and BoomFuzzy."

"Do not give up hope on BoomFuzzy. He'll move Heaven and Hell for you."

"His soul was cast into Hell."

"And he crowned himself Hell's ruler and broke open the gates of Hell to find a way back to you." 

Quaraun did not respond and both men remained silent for a long time, watching the water, flowing down the river.

“Are your pupils supposed to look like that?” Quaraun asked, still focused on the stranger’s yellow eyes.

“Like what?”

“Your pupils aren’t round.”

“I know.”

“You have eyes like a llama.”

“Sheep.”

“Sheep?”

“I have the eyes of a sheep.”

“Not like a llama?”

“No! Certainly not.”

“Does it make a difference?”

“It certainly does.”

“Why? Aren’t sheep and llama both similar?”

“No! We are nothing alike!”

“We?”

“I’m not a llama.”

“I didn’t suggest you were. Though you do smell like one.”

“I . . . what?”

“You smell like a bale of hay,” Quaraun said.

“You just say the first thing that pops into your head, don’t you?”

“I do. Yes. Should I not do that?”

“It’s rude.”

“Saying you smell like hay is rude?”

“Yes.”

“But you do smell like hay.”

“I . . .” the stranger started to retort something angrily, but stopped and calmed his tone. “I’m a shepherd. I live on a sheep farm.”

“One can live on a sheep farm without smelling like the musty, musky sheep. You smell like you sleep in the barn with the sheep.”

“As a matter of fact, I do.”

“You do?”

“Yes.”

“You sleep in the barn with the sheep?”

“Yes.”

Quaraun fell silent for a moment, then asked: “Are you alright? You screamed like you were in pain.”

“Yes. I... uhm,” he hesitated and stared up at the sky. Then looked back at Quaraun. “I fell.”

“In a field of clover? There’s nothing to trip over.”

“Yes. Well, there’s grass.”

“You tripped on the grass?” 

“I didn’t say I tripped. I said I fell.”

“Is there a difference?”

“Around me there is.”

“Do you need help up?”

“No. I think I should sit here and rest for a while.”

“Are you okay?”

“It looks like I’ve sprained my ankle. I shouldn’t walk for a while.”

“If you can’t walk, then you are not okay.”

“I will be fine.”

“We should put some camphor on it. I have some.”

Before the stranger could object, Quaraun knelt beside him and set about to tending to his ankle, but did not get far.

“Oh my! You have no feet!” Quaraun exclaimed, when he noticed the golden cloven hooves.

“No. I do not have feet.”

“You’re a goat!”

“Sheep.”

“Sheep?”

“I’m a sheep. Cotswold.”

“So you’re a Satyr?”

“Ursiug.”

“What?”

“Ursiug. I have long soft, fluffy, luxuriantly, lush Cotswold sheep’s fleece growing from my legs, not short, dry, rough, scratchy, bristly goat’s hair.”

“Your golden fleece is beautiful, it matches your lovely golden hair. If you’re a sheep, then you’re a ram?”

"I suppose."

“Have you got horns on your head?”

“Somewhere, under my hair. I keep them filed down. Otherwise I wouldn’t blend in with Human crowds. And Humans do behave rather badly to discovering someone with horns, tail, and cloven hoofs.”

“You’ve a lot a hair.”

“Not as much as you.”

"No. No one has hair like mine. Yours is almost dreadlocs."

"Yes. Wool is as difficult to brush your tentacles are. My locks knot up after only a few hours of not being brushed."

“I like dreadlocs,” Quaraun stated for no reason whatsoever.

“I know.”

“Do you?”

“Oh yes. I know you well.”

“And your strange golden eyes are like a pleco, not a llama.”

“A pleco? I’m a sheep, not a catfish.”

“Pity. I like sea creatures.”

“Because you are one?”

“Am I?”

“You’re a female Medusa JellyFish masquerading to be a male Elf.”

“How does the little Satyr know that?”

“Ursiug.”

“That word again.”

“I’m an Ursiug, not a Satyr. Satyrs are goats. Ursiugs are sheep. I’m not a Satyr, I’m an Ursiug. I’m not a goat. I’m a sheep.”

“Ah! Well, in any case, you’ve lovely golden hooves. And I . . . uhm . . . I . . . don’t . . . know where your ankles are.”

"I've twisted my ankles before. Quite often actually. Bad side effect of portals that open on a hill in the future that happens to be a valley in the past."

"You fell out of portal?"

"Yes."

"I can heal your leg. It's only. . ."

"No!" He quickly grabbed Quaraun's arm and shoved the Elf back away from him. "I know you can. But don't."

"Why?"

"I know what it does to you."

"It is easy to heal you."

"I don't want you to. I've seen you heal things before. It weakens you. Badly."

"When have you seen me heal anyone?"

"In the future. A different future. The world was dying. Forests were dead. Grass dead. You went frantic healing everything. Restoring life to every tree and blade of grass you saw. I didn't realize what you were doing at first. I didn't know how you did it. Until you collapsed. You exchange your own health and draw the sickness and death of the things you heal. And you're not strong enough for it. To heal me, you'd take my injury, and you're frail enough as it is."

"I am an Elf. It is my nature to heal things."

"I know."

"I hate to see anything suffer."

"I'll be fine. Get on with whatever you were doing. Don't let me get in your way."

“I was looking for the Swamp Hag.”

“Ghirardelli?”

"Yes. I've never found her not in any life time, and yet, 3 years ago, I meet her. Very strange. That had never happened before. She stole a sword from a shepherd and he wanted it back and chased her through the woods and she hid in my tent. Thing was, the man chasing her never arrived. I suspected no one was ever chasing her at all."

"I know where she lives."

"Do you?"

"Yes."

"No one ever does." 

"With good reason. She's well hidden. The hut is built out of sod and covered with moss. It's almost impossible to see. Follow the river, East toward the ocean. There's a swamp, followed by a ravine, climb down into the ravine, follow that, you'll come to another swamp. She's there."

"You're the one who was chasing her, aren't you?"

"Yes."

"Why?"

"I have reasons."

"Who are you?"

"Gremlin."

"Gremlin? Is that a name?"

"More of a title. A nickname. The car is a Gremlin. It should have landed by now. I hope I didn't lose it. Gremlins are damned difficult to get nowadays. My name is Gremoorsh Loire. You knew a friend of my fathers."

"And your father is?"

"I believe your friend referred to him as The Ghoul."

"The Ghoul? Your father was The Ghoul?"

"Yes. That's why you used to call me GhoulSpawn."

"Did I?" 

"You did. When I was younger. A lot younger."

"Gibedon's second in command. I never met The Ghoul. Loyal servant of King Gwallmaiic, from what I knew."

"BoomFuzzy."

"You know King Gwallmaiic as BoomFuzzy?"

"No. I met his after he died. After you resurrected him."

"I've not done that."

"I know. Something went wrong. The Diontites, they changed history. Trapped you. Trapped him. Put up barriers to keep you apart. I'm undoing their changes. Reverted the world back to it's original history, before arrogant aliens decided to interfere. You WERE supposed to kill Ghirardelli and Finderu, and you did, originally. The first lifetime you lived. And you DID bring BoomFuzzy back. But it caused. . . it caused. . . the Crystal Plague."

"The Crystal Plague?"

"Yes."

"What's that?" 

"It's. . . there were side effects to true resurrection of the dead, and they went back in time to change things. But their changes caused the end of the planet. I'm fixing it. I'm putting things back to way they were supposed to be."

"You're rewriting history."

"THEY rewrote history. I'm erasing their changes and making things right."

"Why?"

"Because I love you."

"Do you?"

"Yes and you forgot that."

"I've never seen you before."

"You've seen me many times."

"When? Where?"

“I've taken lots of forms around you. This one you are highly attracted to. You like this form. You finds it wicked attractive, so I keep it, more often than most. If you wanted a female, I would be a female. Had you wanted an Elf, I would been an Elf. I hate Dwarves, but had you wanted a Dwarf, I would been a Dwarf. I can be any gender of any race of any species you desire me to be. I've been testing out a lot of different ones on you for a lot of years now.”

"You're a shape-shifter?"

"Something like that."

"BoomFuzzy was a shape-shifter."

"I know."

"I don't remember you, though." 

"They made sure you forgot it. I must go, and you must kill Ghirardelli. She lives over there."

Quaraun stood looking in the direction Gremlin had pointed, than turned back to look down at the sheep-man who was still in too much pain to get up.

"I don't feel I should leave you here," Quaraun said. "It will rain soon. Look at the clouds. You've no place to get out of the weather and you can't walk to get anywhere."

"I'll be fine. I always am."

"You can't walk. From the look of you, you're in more pain then you're trying to let be known."

"Have you a suggestion?"

"I've a tent."

"Meaning?"

"You can stay with me until your leg heals. I wouldn't mind the company."

"It takes about twelve weeks for a torn tendon to heal."

"Is that what's wrong?"

"I think so. Longer if one of the bones is broken. Which it might be."

"Other than finding Ghirardelli, I don't have any place to be. And she's not going anywhere."

"You'd let me, a stranger, stay in your tent with you for twelve or more weeks?"

"Yes."

"Why?"

"I don't know. But I feel like I can trust you. I feel I've known you forever. And you're wearing the same yellow Thullid silk, embroidered in pink jellyfish, that ZooLock was wearing, last time I saw him, in the desert of the Di'Jinn, before my unicorn arrived. You remind me of ZooLock and BoomFuzzy the Unicorn. I miss them both."


     ~o0o~


There are some days where the memory of his past life was so vivid, he thought he could still smell that lovely tannis fragrance of crisp autumn air. Other days, like today, when his head was spinning and he felt sick to his stomach, there was nothing he could do but be haunted by ghosts of his past.

Quaraun stumbled across the apartment. His strides were swift and determined. Or as precipitous and controlled as he could compel them to act. He’d enjoyed a few bottles too much green Fairy wine to drink, and he knew it, but he couldn’t oblige anybody else to notice it. No. He wasn’t supposed to be out drinking this evening. Not tonight. Tomorrow is a considerably important day. 

Consistent. 

Stable. 

Calm. 

Steady. He must walk steady. And consistently natural. And calmly stable. 

Balanced. 

Balanced is more advisable than stable. 

Yes. 

Balancing was desirable. 

And upright. 

Upright was important. It would do no good to make attempts to walk if one was not standing upright beforehand. 

Quaraun wondered if he was standing upright or not. The determination in his steps became his immediate focus. Quaraun kept an eye on his feet to make certain they were moving in the correct places. He couldn’t discern if they were or not.  

Must walk steady. Mustn’t let anyone notice. Must... Must...  

Thunder boomed outside.  

Lightning flashed.  

The momentary manifestation of blinding luminescence infiltrated the room with its purple haze before melting away and surrendering the chamber back into the blackness of night.  

Wait...who is that?

The instant burst of light lasted scarcely long enough to imbue the lodging with intense light.

There was a man in the corridor. Standing just outside the door. Looking in. Staring at Quaraun. Watching. Waiting.

How’d he got there?

Wasn’t the door bolted?

Quaraun walked closer to the door.

Cautiously.

Carefully.

Slowly.

Guardedly.

“Who are you?” Quaraun called out.

No answer.

Silence.

Quaraun stumbled, but hastily caught himself.

Can’t collapse.

Couldn’t let this fellow think he was drunk, either.

He squinted his eyes. Straining to see through the darkness.

Hoping for the lightning to flash again.

There was a man in the doorway.

A man. Where there shouldn’t be one.

“Who are you?” Quaraun called out again.

Nothing.

The man stood in the doorway.

Watching.

Staring. Silent.

He didn't move.

He didn't speak.

A ghost of his past, haunting him in this unfamiliar place.

Might be one of his friends.

No.

They shouldn't be here.

They couldn't be here.

They were dead.

Dead and gone forever.

It wasn't fair.

They should have been able to live a little longer. Live until he was ready.

He'd promised.

He'd wished for it.

But too late.

Because, there is no promise, not if you die first.

His mind raced through the possibilities.

BoomFuzzy was dead.

Dead.

Gone.

It had happened before.

"Hello?" a voice called out.

He opened his eyes.

Two men were standing over him.

No.

No.

No one was there.

They were dead.

And he wasn't.

And never would be.

Couldn't be.

Immortal.

Yes.

He was immortal.

He couldn't die.

Forced to live life over and over.

To watch his loved ones die again and again.

Every life time.

Unable to save them.

Once upon a time there was light.

There were colours.

A home.

A family.

People.

Friends.

Lovers.

Happiness.

Joy. But those days were gone.

So soon.

So quickly.

Now there was only darkness and silence.

Darkness and drink.

But who knows?

Maybe. . .

No. . .

Couldn't be. . .

You didn't care. You weren't there. You abandoned me, when I needed you most. You left me behind. Quaraun opened his eyes. 

A glowing purple unicorn was standing over him. 

"You're mane and tail are corded. So lovely."

The unicorn answered, but Quaraun could not hear his voice or tell wat was said.

A glittering gold sheep was kneeling beside the unicorn. 

"You have such beautiful golden wool."

They were both talking but he couldn't hear them. 

Quaraun's vision blurred and doubled, than went in and out of focus a few times. The muffled sounds of his friends’ voices bounced around like a rubber ball inside his head. He tried to focus on one voice, one sound, straining to hear who was talking and what they said. Finally his vision became clearer and the sounds became less garbled.

"You okay?" the glittering gold sheep asked.

"Who was the man in the doorway?" Quaraun asked, not answering the glittering gold sheep's question.

"What man?"

"That man!" Quaraun sat up and pointed towards the door. 

Wait. 

He wasn't there. 

The man was gone. 

Quaraun looked around. 

The sun was up. It was daytime. 

Night was gone. It had slunk away to the shadows, to hide for another day. Fleeing from the sun's warm embrace. Waiting for sunset to come and free it back into the world again.

"There was a man there," Quaraun said to no one in particular. "Where did he go? Did you see him?"

"No," The glowing purple unicorn answered. "Only thing we seen was you passed out on the floor."

A knocking, rapped quickly.

Than silence.

Waiting.

Than the knocking came again.

Louder.

Again.

Louder still.

Quaraun opened his eyes.

He looked around the room.

"Where am I?"

He was sitting at a large wooden table.

It was a small room. 

Quaint.

Old.

Old and old and old and old.

So old.

Quaraun rubbed his eyes.

They were dry.

Dry from crying too many tears.

Unable to cry any more.

His mouth dry too.

He looked around again.

The glittering gold sheep and the glowing purple unicorn were both gone. They had never been there. 

Small.

Very, very small.

That was how Quaraun felt.

Small and alone.

Sad and alone.

Lost and alone.

So much alone.

Quaraun glanced up at the windows in this room.

They were small too.

And high.

So high above.

Out of reach.

Nothing felt real.

Only death.

Death was real.

His hand dangled down over the edge of the table.

Quaraun looked down.

He was wearing only the clothes he'd had on last night.

His boots were missing.

"Oh god!" Quaraun whispered to himself. Quaraun stood and stumbled and quickly sat back down. "I'm drunk. Why am I so drunk?"

He thought back to the wine he'd been drinking all night. Bottle after bottle of it. Maybe that had something to do with it.

Quaraun nervously twisted his hands around the long thin neck of the green glass wine bottle he was clutching.

"I need to either stop drinking Fairy wine, or drink so much of it I never wake up out of it's embrace. How did I get here?" 

Quaraun tried to focus his eyes through the semi-drunk blur, he was still drifting in and out of.

Lots of wooden shelves lined the walls.

Some shelves were jam packed full of ancient leather bound books.

Other shelves were littered for various assorted glass jars, coloured glass bottles, clay pots, and various brick a brack.

Bundles of dried herbs hung from the rafters.

"Ah! The Swamp Hag's house. Forgot I was here." He paused, suddenly remembering why he was here. "Oh dear. I'm running out of leads."

Quaraun glanced down at the dishevelled lifeless body of the Swamp Hag on the floor behind him. Her blood was pooling on the wooden planks.

His attention was brought back to the sound which had awoken him. The knocking sound thudded, dully through the house again.

He turned back to he front of the building.

"Damn. Someone's at your door. I suppose we should answer it. You certainly can't."

Quaraun pushed his chair back from the table, stood up, picked up the Swamp Hag's head and stuffed it into the pink beaded heart shaped bag of holding on his hip.

"My god! I just realized. This has never happened before."

Quaraun paused, took out the Swamp Hag's head and stared at it in disbelief. 

"In ten thousand life times, I've never before killed Ghirardelli. I've never before even met her. So much is changed in this lifetime. I don't even know who's at the door. This is all new. None of this has happened before. I'm doomed to live the live the same events over and over. Endless lifetimes. It's always the same. It never changes. Why is it different this time? I'm not reliving my past this time. I'm on a new path in life. One I've never been on."















Tea With a Thullid
(a chapter from Kelim and the Necromancer)

THREE YEARS EARLIER... 


... IN THE FRONT BAR ROOM OF AN INN, SITUATED IN A SMALL VILLAGE IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, SOMEWHERE IN THE FORESTED COAST OF MAINE.... The Great Gale of 1846 had just arrived in Saco Bay and Quaraun, was seeking shelter for the night:


“Do you have a room for hire?” Quaraun asked the innkeeper. 

“We do,” the innkeeper answered. “Four.”

“Four rooms?”

“Four rooms. Ten beds a piece.”

“Tens beds? In one room?” Quaraun did not conceal his disgust at the suggestion of ten beds in a single room.

“Aye-yep. And if we are full, which we are, it being harvest time, you see. All the transient potato, blueberry, and orchard pickers are here for a few weeks. But in busy fall season, like now, ten beds per room ain’t enough, so we lease space for mats on the floor. Hay provided for under the mats. You furnish your own bedroll.”

“I see.” 

Quaraun looked around at the crowded room. Busy season was an understatement. Dozens of the apple orchards’ harvest hands sat around the inn’s public room. 

Some talking. Others drinking. 

Most, like Quaraun, were only in here to wait out the hurricane. The massive storm slammed the Gulf of Maine and trapped itself in Saco Bay, dancing circles through the massive sandbar horseshoe. 

Four hundred acres of apple trees bordered the largest of the Saco Bay beaches. And if this storm had any say in the matter, most of Maine’s apple harvest will have floated away in the Atlantic Ocean by morning. 

Most of America’s entire apple production grew on this one beach. The livelihoods of near every family in the area depended on the sale of the apple harvest. To lose the apple harvest, days before it’s sale to the out-of-state merchants, would devastate the economy of every town in this region.

Merchants from around the country recently arrived here expecting to load up their ships. The ships owned by fruit merchants lined up along the Saco River Delta. All the merchants waited to load their ships’ hulls full of apple barrels. They too gathered in the room, worrying about their ships, fearful of losing not only their cargo, but their ships as well.

This topic of conversation spewed from every labourer and transient picker in the room. Hurricanes rarely reached this far north, but when they did, they hit hard. 

No one expected the storm. 

No one knew it was coming. 

Quaraun struggled to understand the Human astonishment over the storm’s arrival. In his mind, it had been easy to see the storm was on its way. 

Crickets stopped chirping their night time songs several nights ago. Sea gulls, pigeons, hawks, ducks, geese, and shorebirds flew inland, fleeing the coast in droves. 

The brackish, salty smell of the ocean permeated the air with the sharper, heavier, rotten egg stench of sulphuric gases being churned out of the gravel. While, the already thick coastal fog became denser with each passing night. 

The normally cool autumn air had become hot, thick, and humid days ago, making every sweltering day unbearable.

These signs and many more told Quaraun an enormous storm was brewing. 

How had the Humans not detected the signs this storm was coming? These uneducated, backwoods Humans were all so dreadfully unprepared for this. 

Quaraun marvelled that a species as stupid as Humans could massively spread across the planet like an insufferable plague of parasites. He concluded that their stupidity was precisely why they were becoming so over populated. They were too stupid to know how to do anything other than fuck each other.

The old Elf listened to the Humans in the room talking and marvelled at the levels of their sheer stupidity.

Quaraun predicted the storm’s arrival a week before it showed up. But he never considered that Humans lacked skill in deciphering the symptoms of weather. 

Being an Elf, reading signs of nature was natural for him. His soul’s proximity to nature made it difficult for him to remember that Humans were as distant from nature as he was close to it.

Also, being a Moon Elf, especially, made it easy for the ancient Elf to foretell the weather. Moon Elves were born properly adapted to knowing the phases of the moon and its effects on the tides. 

And thus, Quaraun had known weeks ago that a gale would soon arrive. Thus why he had veered off his normal coastal route and headed inland.

Like a tremendous tornado, it raged up the coastline, ripping up every house, tree, cow, horse, and boat in its track and hurling them across the sky. 

The smell of salted crab and slippery uprooted kelp filled the air. The storm churned up everything laying at the bottom of the sea, and spat it out onto the sandy shoreline.

Men, women, and children huddled, frightened, in every corner of the lodge. They feared the building itself would uproot and crush them. The fierce storm beat the walls with every tree, goat, and boulder it could find to throw.

Completely oblivious to the rain, there were some children who continued to play outside, while their mothers fussed and worried frantically at the front door of the inn, begging them to come in out of the raging thunderstorm. The high winds whipped their long hair out of their buns and veils. The minister nearest the door raged that demon where carried in on the wind, to tear the cloths off of their women.

More men and women were making their way towards the building. Their arms around each other, they bowed their heads and walked on against the wind, barely able to stand.

This inn sat several miles inland, away from the coast. When the storm hit, every fisherman, merchant, farmer, and hired hand grabbed whatever they could carry and ran in a mass hoard away from the waterfront. Many stopped here, while as many more kept running further inland.

Quaraun listened to the conversations. 

Farmers worrying about the loss of their apple, blueberry, and potato crops.

Merchants terrified for the safety of their ships, precariously bobbing around in the port, knocking against one another, rocking in the raging tides.

“Along the way to my friend’s house,” one woman said to another. “I saw several lilac bushes in bloom. Just the other day. This time of the year. When winter will arrive soon. Can you imagine? I told her it was witchcraft and do you know what? She agreed with me, that’s what. It a bad omen telling us that witches are in the area. Lilacs got no right to be blooming this time of year. Spring flowers they are. But we had an Indian Summer we did, just last fortnight, and it caused all the spring flowers to bloom, when they should bury their heads under the leaves and getting ready for winter. Damned Indians cursed us with this heat all over again. Witches. Witches and Indians. Bastards. Every one.”

“It’s a hurricane,” Quaraun interrupted the woman.

“A what?”

“It’s not a curse from witches. It is a tropical storm, from the south. That is why it has been so hot. No one sent a curse to your town. This kind of weather is normal down there. Winds shifted and sent it up here. Hurricanes happen in these parts about every ten or twelves years. Just because they are uncommon up here in the north doesn’t mean they were caused by witches or curses. There are no witches involved in this.”

“Are you from the south?”

“No, but...”

“Than you got no business telling us what the south is like, do you?”

“I have been there. I resided in the cloud forests of Rupa-Rupa for a few years.”

“What sort of gibberish nonsense, childish baby talk is that?”

“Rupa-Rupa? It’s a country in Peru. In the Amazon Forest. In South America. I lived with the Indians down there and they are nice people. As are the Indians around here.”

“And I suppose you’ve lived with them filthy savages too?”

“I have.”

“How could you stand living with such horrible, filthy savages?”

“They are good people. Not filthy nor savage.”

“Well, I just find that hard to believe. They live in tents, sleep on the ground. Keep their horses inside with them.”

“Their horses will survive this storm, while the horses of this town will all be dead by morning. They care about their livestock."

“Do you suggest we should bring the horses in here with us? How revolting a notation! Think of the smell!”

“You consider not smelling them for a few hours to be more valuable than keeping them alive?” 

“Horses smell. I don’t see how my husband can stand them. They stink to high Heaven!”

“I wonder how your husband can tolerate the smell of you. You madam, stink from having not bathed. You simpletons think bathing is a sin and bath only once a year and you smell bad because of it. The Indians are clean and well kept, unlike the bulk of your white men are. One has only to look around this tavern to see no one in this town even knows the invention of soap happened. I can not fathom how any of you can live with yourselves, let alone with each other. It’s you white Europeans who are evil and full of hate, daning to bring harm to one another. You think just because your own hearts are full of evil thoughts that everyone else’s must be too. Not all people are cold-hearted, bigoted, and cruel like you, you know.”

“The nerve!”

“After I lived in the south, I travelled the coast back up here again. It took me over a dozen years to walk the coast back up here. I saw several hurricanes during that time. They are fairly common in the south. Tropical storms push the heat ahead of them. There is absolutely no magic whatsoever involved in any of this. You shouldn’t blame people for things they didn’t do.”

“And I suppose YOU would know magic if you saw it?”

“Yes, as a matter of fact I would.”

“An expert in weather and magic? How do we know you’re not the witch who cursed us?”

“Madam, I assure you, I am no such thing, nor have I done any such thing.”

The two women snubbed their noses at him, got up from their table, and stormed across the room, where they could continue their gossip and busy bodying away from Quaraun. 

Quaraun sighed and continued to make his way through the terrified crowd. He continued to eavesdrop on the conversations as he roomed around the room, looking for a quiet corner to sit in. One preferably free of Humans. The problem with being the last Elf on the planet was, there was no one but Humans around to talk to.

The majority of the crowd, who were not apple growers, were fisherman worrying that dead fish from the storm would pollute the water for months, and leave them with no fish to sell to market.

Quaraun felt no concern for the economy of this Human village. 

The old Elven wizard was just wanting shelter from the rain for a few hours. However, the witch accusation brought up by those two women earlier bothered him greatly. So much so that the pink robed necromancer began listening to see if others had similar ideas.

Quaraun was a mage. 

A wizard. 

A necromancer. 

The Pink Necromancer.

Deemed the most evil mage to ever walk the earth.

And in the minds of most Humans, this made the lonely little Elf a witch. A wizard was just a male witch, by Human logic. And Human logic in this region, stated that witches were evil and must die. They had to be burned or strangled to death. Witches did not deserve mercy. If one was found guilty of such things, they would be burnt at the stake for their crimes against society. The people called them ‘Witches’. It was a name given to them by their own kind, from whom they came.

Drowned. 

Stoned. 

Hung.

Burned. 

Crushed. 

Humans devised many ways of executing witches. And here in New England, killing witches was as common as the white steeple church congregations who did the killings.

Witches had no place in this world. Witches were a danger. 

They were killed without thought for the consequences; they were killed because it was fun to do so.

A witch’s life wasn’t worth the cost of one human soul that could be saved by the Lord. It was only the right way to go, so said the ministers.

The more attention Quaraun paid to the discussions in the room, the more unsettled and disturbed the nervous Moon Elf became. And the less he wanted to be in this town at all, let alone in its over crowded inn. For the jelly-brained Elf quickly recognized that most every Human in the building maintained a witch's curse caused this storm. Many spoke of gathering pitchforks and heading into the swamp to kill the local witch and end the storm. 

"Killing the witch will kill the storm," one man reasoned to another.

"Aye, we gotta break the curse to save our harvests," agreed the fellow across from him.

Several more men cheered in response. Each adding his own comments of killing witches and removing the curse. 

Quaraun shook his head as he listened intently, not paying attention to what they were saying. He couldn't listen for more then a few minutes without zoning out, lost in thought, unable to focus on anything but thoughts of being back at his home, back at Ivujivik, back with BoomFuzzy.

BoomFuzzy.

The memory of BoomFuzzy drove Quaraun to everything he did in his life.

Quaraun's thoughts of BoomFuzzy were broken by a couple yelling.

A couple argued about the weather as it was. Another arguing over who would win in a battle between the two.

Quaraun felt uneasy. 

Talk of witches and witchcraft and evil curses filled the room. 

At every table.

In every corner.

These frightened people believed a witch's curse had produced the storm. IA spell that would destroy the earth, kill all living creatures in the land, and then burn down their houses and leave them to wander the streets for years, decades to come. t was a cruel thing, to think such things and to believe them so. No one knew why the storm happened or when it started. All they knew is that it did and they feared for their lives in a way that few ever do.

And so it was with great caution that Quaraun walked among them. 

A young girl with long black hair stood alone on the stairs, her hands clasped tightly around a pillow, as she stared at the wall ahead of her. Her eyes red and puffy, cheeks wet, but tears did not fall. Her terror too great to cry any more as she listened, trembling, to the minster's tales o demons crawling up out of the earth to reign fire from heaven and slaughter the wicked.

A small boy lay on his side with an arm over his face, trying to stifle his sobs and failing miserably. His mother stood behind him, her own head buried into her hands as she rocked back and forth slowly. Both more scared of the minister's tales of holy terror they they were of the raging storm.

Quaraun became more uneasy the more he listened to the hysteria filling the room. Should anyone discover the old pink robed silk merchant was also a mage, they'd murder him.

As Quaraun paid closer attention to the conversations, he also realized that all the local church congregations were here as well. None felt safe in their churches as the howling winds ripped up buildings and tossed them into the sea. They feared the monstrous Atlantic waves would sweep away their parishes.

Various groups of highly paranoid Christians sat clustered about the lodge.

Some praising the lord.

Others cursing the devil. 

All had different reasons to be here. None of which involved Jesus.

All glaring daggers at each other. Huddled in opposite ends of the room from each other. Each group keeping their distance to avoid contamination by opposing doctrines. Their hatred for other Christians, more vehement than their hatred for witches.

One man was sitting at a table, staring intently at the Bible that lay before him. It was opened to Psalms. He and his wife stared at the page. He didn't speak. His hand didn't twitch. He stared in blind silence. Stricken with terror. He'd been frozen in this spot for the past hour.

Each religion claiming to be God's chosen people, while condemning the other sects to eternal damnation.

Nothing terrified Quaraun worse than Christians. Especially the extreme, hyper radical, fanatic super-Christians of northern New England. They loved to praise the Lord while also hypocritically slaughtering their neighbours. 

Praised the Lord, while slaughtering innocent old women on false charges of witchcraft, voodoo, and black magic. 

Murdering innocent young girls on charges of sorcery, simply for the sin of having been born with red hair or green eyes. 

Every time the elegantly dressed necromancer set foot near one of these Christians, he risked his life. For Quaraun, hiding the fact that he was a wielder of magic was vitally imperative for his survival.

A minister stood in the doorway, casting demons out of the weather.

One minister was yelling at a man, accusing him of being a witch, based on the fact the man was chewing tobacco.

Another minister stood on a table raving that witches and warlocks walked among them and must be found and executed. He was waving a book over his head as he screamed out lists of ways to tell a witch. At first Quaraun thought the man was reading from a Bible, but as he stopped to listen to the passages, Quaraun soon realized it was not the Bible this preacher was reading. It was Heinrich Kramer's Malleus Maleficarum. The treatise on witchcraft, and the only book ministers, valued more than the Bible itself. 

Quaraun cringed as he remembered the smell of burning flesh. He'd walked through towns, where dead witches were left hanging crushed and burned, strangled and mutilated, unburied and on public display. Left as a warning for other mages to stay away. The charred stench of the publicly burned bodies was horrific. It gave him nightmares.

The pastor on the table bothered the old Elf quite a lot. Quaraun was a mage, a wizard, a necromancer, and a priest of what this minister would consider a Pagan religion. Listening to this minister brought to Quaraun's mind many terrible old memories.

Thoughts he didn't want to think.

Quaraun just wanted to stay dry. He did not want to be reminded of dreadful events of his past. The Hanging Tree.

Memories of his father and the Moon Elves.

Horrible memories of their contempt for all things not deemed good and righteous, by their standards.

Memories of bullying and teasing, that got out of hand, and led to torture, mutilation, and murder by public execution.

Loud, angry mobs.

Violent mobs that rose out of fear.

Fear deliberately being placed in their minds by radical, charismatic fanatics.

Fanatics, not unlike the minister, who right now stood on the table, trying to rile up the locals into witch hating hysteria.

It was one of his favourite pastimes. Watching these people react in fear to his words and actions. He loved being the one to break them apart from the inside out.

“I know I'm a bit young for such an age of cynicism and distrust," the minister screamed. "But this is a war! This war is not just between two countries, it's a world of difference between them! The only reason you are here at this time of day is because we need help! You need the help of the Lord to set you free! Free from the witches who hold our town hostage this very night!”

Fear filled Quaraun's mind and soul with dread, as he took notice to the minister's hate filled words, furling hate filled furies, in the angry eyes of the men and women whom had gathered around the terror crazed preacher to cheer him on.

Quaraun made a mental note to not let anyone in this area to find out he was a mage. The last thing he wanted was to be huge up in yet another tree. Quaraun pulled his mind away from the radicals and focused on the words of the merchants instead.

Sailors.

Pirates.

Privateers.

Scurvy.

Rickets.

The sea gods, punishing land dwellers, by sending demons to stir up the cold ocean.

Goods trapped on ships in danger of sinking.

Goods stuck on docks in danger of flooding.

Perishable goods delivered to the wrong port, and not being able to get to them because of the storm.

The need to take the ships away from shore to save them from being crashed on the rocks.

The harvests, not yet gathered, and being mercilessly destroyed by the storm.

The need for a miracle, a way out. A chance.

Anything that would keep these people alive, keep the ships safe.

Money lost.

Ships lost to transatlantic gulf winds.

Even more money lost.

Money being lost seemed to be the biggest worry of the Humans. Quaraun wondered why the Humans worried so much about money.

Though Quaraun was quite wealthy and had more money than he would ever need, he also never used it. The wandering wizard appeared to most people to be both homeless and penniless. Humans laughed when the old Elf asked to buy things, thinking he could not afford them, but they then gawked when he dropped handfuls of gold coins in their laps.

Quaraun could not count. He knew nothing of math or numbers or years or dates. It was the reason Quaraun never knew his own age or what year it was, or how many days had passed from one event to the next. Why he sometimes said week, when he meant year. Why he sometimes said he was 400 years old and other times said 800. This was also why the old mage did not realize that gold coins were worth much more than common coppers. And also why he did not understand that he was giving Humans way more money than they asked for whenever he paid for anything.

Money was the biggest, number one worry these Humans possessed right now. Witches were the second.

Superstitions of sea monsters and sirens, mermaids and mermen, silkies and roans.

Curses cast by witches.

Tales of terrible squalls and suffocating typhoons, sent by evil witches to destroy the mercantile economy, force the people to not buy from grocers and instead buy from charlatan apothecaries. Or so said several of the merchants who, right now, sat in the bar.

The conversations of the merchants were not much better than the conversations of the ministers. 

Equally hysterical. 

Equally pointing fingers at magic casters. 

Equally ready to kill any mage in the area in order to end the hurricane and save their harvests.

The farmers and fishermen were no better. Tossing around tall tales of sea witches and swamp hags, skulking around at night, poisoning water, killing fish, spiking apples with maggots and rot.

This was a superstitious lot. Anti-mage topics were spewing from every table.

There was talk of dark elves, of wyverns, and of the Dark Lord. The more people that spoke, the more they seemed convinced of the evil lurking in the forest.

There were also talk of demons.

Tales of them being the cause of the storms.

They said it was some kind of cursed curse.

It was clear no one here knew anything about nature or natural sciences, knew nothing of how weather worked, and was ready to tar and feather anyone they deemed a witch. Or wizard. It was clear to see no one here had any idea who either is was, let alone what their role could be in society, let alone in the universe itself.

Listening to the overall conversation of the majority of the crowd, Quaraun felt uncomfortable in this inn. Worse, than just being a wizard, he was a necromancer, who practiced blood magic, raised the dead, dealt in soul exchange, and summoned demons. If anyone in this room discovered what he was, these people would turn into a lynch mob fast. 

Clearly, superstitions and fear of witchcraft ruled supreme in the minds of these people. Several tables sported me, gathering up self-proclaimed adventuring parties to brave the storm, head out into the swamp, and kill the Swamp Hag who lived out there.

One orchard grower was shouting, offering to pay top coin for the Swamp Hag’s head, if they could kill her before the storm destroyed all of his crops.

Three merchants were haggling over the price of one self-proclaimed mage hunter whom they each wanted working for them and not the other two.

The people of this region were terrified of witches and were blaming every ill fated event they meet on one witch: Ghirardelli, The Swamp Hag. 

The price for her head was being bargained over drinks, as more and more men, stumbling drunkenly forward, bragging tales of how they had once killed this or that witch and were well qualified to rid their town of the scourge that was Ghirardelli.

Quaraun knew of Ghirardelli. She was a friend of Finderu’s. Finderu was the leader of The Guild of Wizardry. Ghirardelli and Finderu were responsible for most of the wanted posters of Quaraun. 

Ghirardelli the Swamp Hag was well respected in the mage community. If she lived long enough, she likely would take over as leader of the Guild one day. Quaraun was looking for Finderu. And if anyone knew where to find Finderu, it’d be Ghirardelli. And thus Quaraun had come to this region looking for Ghirardelli. 

But Quaraun was old, and in frail health. He moved slowly and walked with a cane. Aching bones and creaking joints kept him from travelling as far or as fast as he would like. And so, Quaraun had wandered these parts for several years, moving from town to town, village to village, swamp to swamp, sea port to seaport, in search of anyone who knew the whereabouts of Ghirardelli the Swamp Hag.

Everywhere he went, the story was the same: everyone had heard of Ghirardelli, but no one knew for sure where she lived, or even if she was actually real at all. Many believed her to be nothing more than a bedtime story, parents told to naughty children to scare them into staying out of the swamps at night.

And so Quaraun had meandered through the swamps and forests along the coast, searching in vain these past several years for any hint of where Ghirardelli might live.

It was by sheer luck and pure accident that he wandered into this random inn and found it rife with the conversation of gathering parties of heroes together to hunt down and kill the infamous Swamp Hag. 

Heroes. 

Off to kill the wicked old witch.

Heroes.

Murders of the innocent.

Masters of slaughtering elder women.

Elderly women, branded as witches, for no other reason than young people, inherently hate the elderly. 

Elderly women, murdered at the hands of thug like gangs of gold hungry men, killers for hire, killing in the name of doing good deeds.

Skilled at killing the so-called changeling children.

Mentally disabled children with learning disabilities, branded as demons and changelings left by Faeries, branded as evil, by incompetent parents who couldn’t be bothered to admit their child was retarded. Easier to claim some elderly woman was a witch, and hire a pack of greedy, bloody thirsty hero to kill them both.

Children, branded as monsters, slaughtered by heroes, murdered by killers for hire. Gangs of 4 or 5 men banded together under the guise of being an adventure party. Singing bards and drinking pints, with the blood of the innocent still dripping from their swords.

Off to kill the big, bad, terrible monster, returning with tales of glorious conquests. Quaraun had seen plenty of these so-called bands of heroes in his lifetime. There was never a genuine hero among them. Nothing but ravenous packs of bullies, greedy, money hungry bullies, who hired themselves out as warriors to rid your town of evil.

Quaraun wondered what made heroes think they were heroic. 

What was more heroic? 

Killing the elderly after falsely accusing them of witchcraft? 

Or killing the mentally retarded children falsely accused of demon possession?

Heroes. That’s what every self-righteous killer called themselves. Quaraun found these so-call do-gooders to be the most repulsive life forms of all. Using religion and hysteria as an excuse to commit murder. 

Though he admitted he couldn’t complain too much without being a hypocrite. Quaraun had killed enough of these adventure parties in his lifetime. They were always adding his name to the list of big bad boss villains in need of battling. He hated them and their ego evilness, that they paraded around as heroics and bravery.

Quaraun liked to be left alone, left to do his own thing. Weaving and sewing silk. But he was old, and he had eccentric habits and quirks that branded him as evil. A witch. A demon. Endless groups of warriors, rouges, rangers, bards, and assassins had hunted him down. Travelled great distances to seek him out. Seek him out and kill him. The big bad super boss villain. That’s what they always called him.

Idiots.

Though Quaraun rarely used magic and preferred to live life as a normal unmagical being, he was, in fact, the most powerful mage the universe had ever known. 

Foolish Humans.

Four or five of them would arrive. 

Taunt him. 

Tease him. 

Bully him. 

Threaten him. 

Challenge him to a duel. 

A fight to the death. 

Expecting to win. 

Expecting him not to flay their minds with a simple thought. 

Expecting him, a psionic Elder Brain, living in the body of an undead Elf, to not obliterate their brains, with nothing more than a blink of the eye, a twitch of the nose, or a wave of the hand. 

Quaraun’s powers were incomprehensible. 

In nearly a thousand years of life on this Earth, no one had yet defeated him. They branded him as the world’s most feared evil super villain. The world’s most feared and most powerful sorcerer.

And yet these silly bands of Humans, calling themselves adventure parties and heroes, continually hunted him down, expecting to kill him, expecting to take him down, expecting to be the one to defeat the infamous Pink Necromancer. 

Quaraun shook the thoughts of past adventurers he’d killed out of his mind. Right now, it was more important to focus on the mob like citizens who were organizing groups of adventurers to seek the supposed cause of this massive storm: Ghirardelli, the Swamp Hag. 

“She’s usually hanging around that Finderu,” a man said to his buddies at the table.

“Finderu?” Quaraun whispered. 

The old Elf spun around and approached the table. He knew caution was needed here, as Quaraun must find Finderu without these people discovering who he was.

“Excuse me?” Quaraun addressed the man who had mentioned Finderu. “When you say Finderu, do you mean the sorcerer Finderu the Masked?”

“Aye. That’s the one.”

“Does he live around he?”

“Who wants to know?”

“I do.”

“What’cha want him for?”

“What? I WANT to kill him.”

"What'd he do to you?"

“He killed my friend. I’ve been looking for Finderu for years.”

“Finderu lives up at The Godforsaken City, far as I know. With Ghirardelli, the Swamp Hag.”

“Do they live together?”

“No. The old hag lives in the swamp. Finderu has a castle or fortress or something he lives in. He heads some coven up their for witches.”

“The Guild of Wizardry?”

“Yeah. That. Witches are all coming through here. They have little pow wows, casting spells and curses on the locals. Folks ‘round here are scared shitless of Finderu and his witches. Won’t surprise me none if they what caused this here storm.”

“This, here, storm, as you put it, is a hurricane, and no witchcraft caused it, however, given the type of magic Finderu does, he could have put a spell on your village so that you didn’t see it coming.”

“Yeah? You think so?”

“Well, considering this is a port full of sailors and fishermen, who usually are pretty good at seeing big storms before they get here, does it not seem logical. Something stopped you all from seeing it?”

“Yeah.” The man turned to his friends. “The old Arab’s got a point.”

“Arab?” Quaraun puzzled over the term. “Why do you call me this?”

“Ain’t you one of them Arabians?”

“No. What makes you say that?”

“The get-up you are wearing. Seen drawings of men dressed like you in The Arabian Nights.”

“Ah! I see. No. I’m Persian.”

“What’s the difference?”

“Well, quite a lot, but I suppose not enough for you to understand.”

“Yeah, well, all you towel heads are alike.”

“Towel head?” Quaraun had encountered this term before and it never came from the mouth of anyone good. He was uncertain how to respond t this, so he said nothing further.

Looking around the room, Quaraun was now paying closer attention to how these people wear dressed. 

Mostly in black, brown, grey, or midnight blue.

The men wore hats.

The women wore white bonnets.

Quakers.

Puritans.

In New England.

Just outside of Boston.

The fishermen and sailors dressed in hemp and worn rags. 

Field hands and harvesters fared no better.

Peasants. 

Serfs. 

Something of that nature. 

These were poor people.

Uneducated.

Superstitious.

And lead by religion crazed men who waved Heinrich Kramer’s Malleus Maleficarum higher over their heads, they waved their beloved Bibles.

This was no place for a magic caster. 

Especially not a necromancer like Quaraun, who practices blood magic, summoned demons, raised the dead, and devoured souls.

Quaraun fell silent as the men took to talking of how they would kill Ghirardelli, the Swamp Hag and Finderu the sorcerer. 

The conversation soon turned to plotting an ambush to capture and torture to death every mage that made his or her way to Finderu’s place. The hostility with which these men described what they were going to do to every mage they encountered was deeply unsettling for Quaraun.

Quaraun slipped away from this group, before they realized he was himself a wizard whom had once been a member of Finderu’s Guild of Wizardry. 

The Humans in this place were ready to tear any mage they saw limb from limb. And Quaraun, with his fear of water, did not relish the thought of being dragged down to the river and drowned, as they were now suggested they would do to the next mage they saw.

The witch hunting craze that was winding into a frenzy in the pub of this inn was utterly terrifying for Quaraun, as he was what they would classify as a witch.

Quaraun looked back at the bar where he had left the innkeeper standing, then looked back up at the ceiling, contemplating the four rooms with their ten beds each ad hay on the floor for more lodgers. He was still thinking about why he had come in here: to rent a room for the night.

But now Quaraun reconsidered that option. This place did not seem to be as safe as it had at first appeared. While the building’s structure appeared strong and study enough to withstand the hurricane, the people inside were angry and far more dangerous than the hurricane outside.

Quaraun slowly made his way through the crowd, cautiously stopping and listening for any hint of Ghirardelli’s location. 

Or more importantly, Finderu’s location. 

But it appeared no one knew for certain exactly where she lived. All anyone seemed to be certain of was that the biggest thunderstorm anyone had ever seen, was tearing apart the coastline as it ripped its way North, and witches and witchcraft caused this storm, therefore Ghirardelli must die, because who else around here was a witch?

Utter nonsense.

That’s all any of it was. 

Complete and utter nonsense.

No one here knew what a hurricane was.

Everyone here was blaming witches for something no witch could do.

Convinced that this crowd was nothing more than delusional fear mongers looking for blood, Quaraun decided he would get no useful information about Ghirardelli’s whereabouts here. And so Quaraun squeezed between the witch crazed bigots, and made his way to the front bar where the innkeeper stood serving drinks.

Quaraun settled down at the bar and ordered a bottle of brilliant, emerald green absinthe.

“You don’t get many hurricanes up here, do you?” Quaraun asked the innkeeper.

“Nope.”

“Do you know what a hurricane is?” 

“Big tornado, out at sea.”

“I’m surprised.”

“By what?”

“That anyone around here has an education. You don’t seem to be as hysterical and superstitious as everyone else.”

“I run a business. Have to keep a level head to deal with this lot.”

“Yes. I could imagine. What’s this witch they are all talking about?”

“Ghirardelli? Local legend. An old woman who lives out in the marsh somewhere. Makes herbal potions for heal fevers and warts. That sort of thing.” 

“Have you ever seen her?”

“Yeah. She comes into town a few times a year. Folk around here make up stories about witches and demons, because it makes them feel justified in bullying old women. It’s those stupid preachers what put those ideas in their heads.”

“So you don’t believe she caused the storm?”

“Hell, no! Of course not. She’s just an old woman who folk make up stories about, because spreading rumours and lies about people who are different is easier than taking the time to get to know them.”

“Do people here not know about weather systems?”

“What’s that?”

“Never mind.”

Quaraun listened around the room some more.

“The people around here really believe in witches, don’t they?” Asked the dismayed Elf.

“Yep.”

“Is that not a silly superstition?”

“Well, not many schools up here. This ain’t Boston, you know?”

“No. I know. But is Boston any better?”

“Well, they did have the Salem witch trails down there, didn’t they?”

“Yes, that’s what worries me,” the woefully worried, world-weary little Elf said skittishly.

“Why’s it worry you?”

“They went after Tibuta.”

“What’s a Tibuta?”

“Who. Tibuta was a woman who took care of a minister’s children. And the children called her a witch. That’s what started the whole thing. But I knew Tibuta, and she was just a kindly old woman who took care of children for wealthy men too incompetent to raise their children themselves. I saw the trails happen, and they were no trails. Just a bunch of hysterical ministers, with their hysterical followers, pointing fingers based on skin colour, race, and how one dressed. Tibuta was black. Only black woman in Falmouth. And we are less 2 days walk outside of Falmouth here.”

“So why’s that worry you?”

“I’m a foreigner. How long do you think it’ll take them to call ME a witch, just because I’m from the Middle East?”

“True. Folk like you probably shouldn’t tarry around these parts long.”

“Those people are looking to burn a witch. I don’t think they’ll care too much who they burn, either.”

“You still thinking of renting a room?”

“With this lot? I’m not sure.”

“Well, I wouldn’t blame ya iffy you waited out the storm elsewhere.”

“I might do that. I don’t relish being hung in a tree.”

“Those ministers over there are right good at working folks ‘round here into a frenzy. You think they are bad now? Wait’ll they was listening to that book reading for a few hours, then see how bad it gets.”

Quaraun looked up at the ceiling, seeking to determine how big the building was. After a few moments, he turned back to the innkeeper.

“How many rooms are upstairs?” Quaraun asked the man.

“Four on each floor.”

“And there are three floors?”

“There are.”

“That’s twelve rooms.”

“It is.”

“But only four bedrooms for rent?”

“Yes.”

“And all sleep at least ten people?”

“Yes.”

“No private rooms?”

“No.”

“But you have extra rooms,” the uneasy Elf Necromancer pointed out. “Besides the four for rent, I mean.”

“Yes.”

“What are those rooms?”

“Ones on the first floor are this room you are in, the scullery behind me, and two rooms for my household. The chambers on the second floor are bedrooms for rent. You rent the bed, not the room.”

“And the third floor?”

“Those are for clients.”

“Clients?”

“Clients.”

“Could I rent one of those?”

“Are you a client?”

“No. I don’t think so.”

“Than you can not.”

“How does one become a client?”

“Why don’t you just rent a bed for the night, like every other traveller does?”

“Do I LOOK like every other traveller?” Asked the unusually elegant silk merchant. “I’m an Elf. Or did you not notice that?”

The innkeeper stepped backward and stared at Quaraun, studying him up and down, scrutinizing every inch of him, with an expression that suggested he had not, until just now, noticed how Quaraun was dressed or that Quaraun was not Human.

“No,” the man shook his head as he spoke. “No, you certainly don’t look like no traveller I’ve ever seen before. You from Morocco or something?”

“Morocco?”

“Yep. You look like you from Morocco.”

“What makes you say that?”

“Looks like Moroccan robes, all striped in silk, you are wearing there.” 

“Do they have striped silk in Morocco?”

“Don’t they?”

“I don’t know.”

“You ain’t from Morocco?”

“No,” Quaraun shook his head as he spoke. “I’m not. That’s in Africa. You’re a long way away from Africa. Do you know Morocco here?”

“Aye. Seen pictures of it before.”

“Really?”

“Ah-yep."

"Where?" 

"In a book."

"I'm surprised anyone in this area is smart enough to know what a book is, let alone have one." 

"Yep. Used to be a man 'round here with books."

"But not any more?"

"Nope."

"What happened to him?"

"Don't know."

"Oh."

"When I was a boy, there was a learned man in town who had a lot of books. Couldn’t read the words none, but they had a lot of pictures. One was a travel book. Showed lots of drawings of people showing how they dressed, all exotic, like you, what kinds of food they ate, exotic culture traditions, and the places, you know, the buildings and architecture and stuff, and also the strange plants and animals. He would read the words to me and tell me about the places. He’d visited ‘em. Always wanted to go see those places. Morocco, Egypt, Persia, Babylon, Baghdad, Bangladesh. But it costs money to travel and one gots to work to feed his family, you know?”

“I am from Persia.”

“Are you?”

“Yes,” the resplendently elegant silk merchant answered. “I am a Di’Jinn.”

“So, you’re like one of those Arabs, then, right?”

“No.”

“Same difference though, yes?”

“Not exactly, no, but, uhm, well, it’s similar, I suppose you could say. No. I’m not Arabian, though I suppose in your mind everyone from the Mediterranean is Arabian? You don’t know enough about our cultures to know they are different.”

“So you’re saying you’re from Arabia, but you ain’t an Arab?”

“No. I’m from Ivujivik.”

“Where’s that?” 

“Ivujivik is in Quebec.”

“Canada?

“Yes.”

“So you’re one of them Frenchies?”

“French and no, I’m not French. I already told you. I’m an Elf.”

“Ooooh.”

“You don’t know what an Elf is, do you?”

“Elves is like Vikings, right? It’s why you got eyes like you do.”

“How are my eyes different?”

“They is blue. Never see no one with blue eyes ‘round these parts here.”

“No, I suppose not,” the cerulean eyed little jelly brained silk peddler said as he looked around, noticing that everyone had brown eyes. “Also, you meant Scandinavian.”

“What’s that?”

“Viking is the Scandinavian word for pirate. A Viking is a sailor turned rouge, like most pirates. Scandinavia is the region.”

“Ooooh. Right. So, if you’re one of them Vikings, why are you dressed up like an Arab?”

“I’m not a Viking. I’m an Elf. And it’s Persian, not Arabian. I’m dressed like a Persian.”

“Same diff.”

“No, it’s not the same thing... I am an Elf. I was born in Ivujivik, but after my mother died, a Di’Jinn priest, who took me back to his home in Persia adopted me. I was only three years old when my mother died, so I was raised my whole life as a Persian, with the Di’Jinn.”

“And the Di’Jinn are who?”

“Many Humans call them The Magi or Wisemen. Perhaps you know them by that name instead?”

“You mean, like The Three Wise Men, what gave baby Jesus gifts on Christmas?”

“Yes. Exactly them. They were looking for The Chosen One. And they were still looking for The Chosen One when I was born. I’m possessed by an alien JellyFish, that arrived on Earth via a spaceship that fell out of a portal, and landed in the Hudson Bay, crawled out of the ocean, and up the nose of the first life form it saw. A little 3-year-old Elf boy.”

“Did you now? So you’re saying you are a JellyFish, living in someone’s nose?”

“Yes,” the little jelly brained Elf answered. “That’s exactly what I am.”

“Riiiight. This ain’t your first drink tonight, is it?”

As it was clear, the innkeeper thought Quaraun was drunk, Quaraun saw no reason to not continue.

“Yes. The Di’Jinn have based their entire religion on looking for Thullid possessed babies. And as they know the Thullid to be aliens who arrive here on ships from other solar systems, they are always looking for and following fallen stars, shooting stars, comets, just any star that moves.”

“The wise men from Gospel of Luke?” 

“Yes. They were searching for the mother ship, and god. They thought it was Jesus in Bethlehem, but that star was just a comet, and not a Thullid ship, so they left, but they made such a fuss about the baby before they left, that every Human in the area assumed the child to be the Messiah from the Hebrew Torah, so a bunch of witch haters got together and murdered him in a bloody Necromancy sacrifice, then resurrected him as a Lich.”

“Murdered who?”

“Jesus. They hung him on a cross for 3 days. And once he’d become a Lich, hoards of Humans started following him, assuming him to be God or the Son of God and thus Christianity rose up.”

“So you’re saying Jesus is a Lich?”

“Yes. He was. He is. He stills roams the Earth today, that’s why so many Christians claim to have seen him. I am soul bound to a Lich.”

“Soul bound?”

“Yes.”

“Like spirit wivery?”

“What?”

“Spirit wivery.”

“I heard you. What is spirit wivery?”

“Men hoard up women, have weird witchcraft orgies and then say their wives are their slaves for eternity in the Celestial Kingdom, after the Second Coming of Christ?”

“You mean Mormon? I know a Mormon. Odd fellow.”

“No. Not the Mormons. They broke off of ‘em though.”

“Broke off of who?” 

“The Cochranites.”

“Cochranites?”

“Yes, follow that Jacob Cochran around. Seventy-three of the women in his church have married him so far. Spirit binding rituals. They claim Jesus is a corpse running around in Peru. Spirit wives are a big thing with them. Every one bind souls to every one else.”

“Have they now?”

“Ahyah. They live out on the Heath Road. Just off the Flag Pond Road. Out near where that Swamp Hag supposed to be. She lives near the Cascades. Lucy Mack over there,” he pointed to a woman sitting at a far table. “She wanted to marry him too, but her father had himself a right fit over it. They live up on York Hill.”

“In Pepper Valley?”

“Ahyee. The Macs is moving to Vermont after the storm. Bought themselves a sheep farm.”

“The Cochranites are polygamists, then?”

“Yep.”

“You don’t see polygamy often in America.”

“Nope. Ain’t your people polygamists?”

“Elves?”

“Arabs.”

“I told you, I’m not Arabian.”

“Oh, yeah. You did. I forgot.”

“My people are polygamist though. I had two spouses at the same time.”

“Will they be needing a room too?”

“No. No. They both died many years ago. That’s why I’m here, in fact. I’m searching for the man responsible. I heard Finderu lives in the area.” 

“So, you’re not a Cochranite.”

“No. I’m not a Cochranite.”

“Don’t they believe Jesus is a corpse walking around in South America?”

“I don’t know. I’m not familiar with any Cochranites. I never heard of them before. I don’t know what they believe. Though if they do believe Jesus is a Lich, they may just be the one religion that has Jesus right.”

“So, you are saying Jesus wasn’t The Chosen One?”

“No. I’m The Chosen One. The baby with a Thullid in his brain. The Elder Brain reborn. The Sacred Pink JellyFish. It’s why the Wise Men carried off me and not Jesus. They left him laying in a manger. Poor baby. Left in a dirty feed trough, to be fed to pigs. What a horrible thing to do to a baby.”

“Aye-yep. Nothing filthier than a pig sty’s manger. You like babies?"

"I love babies. I have a clutch of eggs I'm waiting to hatch."

"You... what?"

“Do you realize I remember the world before the Christian religion was even invented?”

“Really?”

“Yes. You Humans didn’t start worshipping baby Jesus until over a thousand years after he had died. But all that is beside the point.”

“And the point is?”

“The point is, not everyone in many layered long stripped robes is Arabian. Some are Jewish, some are Islamic, some are Romanian, some are Persian...”

“Like you?”

“Like me. And I am not a female.”

“Didn’t say you was.”

“Yes. I had noticed that. It puzzled me that you didn't mention it. That’s why I brought it up.”

“Eh?” 

“Ninety-nine per cent of every American Human I meet thinks I’m a man in a dress.”

“Do they?”

“Yes. It’s really annoying.”

“I should think it would be.” 

“They can not comprehend that there are places where men dress like I do. It is so tiring. Every time I walk into an American village, I am bombarded with teasing and taunting and bullying and being hit and pushed around and rocks thrown at me, because they say men like me can not be around because the Bible says this or the Bible says that. And do you know what?”

“No. What?”

“I’ve read the Bible.”

“Have you now?” 

“Yes.” Quaraun nodded his head as he spoke. “Every word of it several times. And you know what?”

“No. Tell me.” 

“Half the stuff they say is in it, isn’t in it at all. It’s just some bigoted, racist ass shit their minister or pastor or preacher SAID was in the Bible, because he knew his followers were too damned stupid the read the damned book for themselves, so would follow him like brain dead sheep. It’s so annoying.”

“Churches?”

“No. Well, yes, they’re annoying too, but no. Americans. You Humans. You really are an evil lot, when you get right down to it. All you do bicker and fight and beat up everything that is different from you. Which is why I find you, you, personally, to be so odd.”

“Me?”

“Yes. You. You haven’t started screaming and yelling, calling me a man in a dress, and waving Bible verses condemning me as evil, in my face, and I’ve been standing here in your inn, talking to you, for nearly an hour.”

“Well, it’s not polite to bully people.”

“But bullying people is the Christian thing to do, isn’t it?”

"Is it?"

"I've never met a Christian who didn't bully me yet."

“Well, some people is just ignorant.”

“But... you do not see how I dress as odd?”

“No. Should I?”

“No. You shouldn’t. You’re not a Christian, are you?” 

“Nope. Does that make a difference?”

“It shouldn’t, but it does. You are not judgmental and cruel.”

“Meaning?”

“It’s just that I so seldom come across anyone in the Americas who doesn’t act offended and unnerved by my style of attire. And I rarely encounter Christians who are not quick to try to rape me. When I find someone who does neither, I am left to assume they are neither Christian nor American.”

“Your clothes bothers people?”

“Usually, yes.”

“Well, your dress certainly ain’t normal.” 

“No. Not your normal at least.”

“Are there different types of normal?”

“Yes. What is normal for me is strange for you, but what is normal for you is strange for me. What you call exotic is perfectly normal. And what you call normal, I see as exotic.”

“So you think us in our homespun and hemp is exotic and you in your bright blinding pink silk wraps is normal?”

“Yes.”

The innkeeper started laughing.

“I see nothing funny about it,” Quaraun said.

“You are very serious.”

“I’m an Elf.”

“So?”

“Elves are always serious,” the jelly brained Elf said very gravely. “We never make jokes.”

“Why not?” 

"Jokes are evil."

"Are they?"

"Yes!"

"How you figure?"

“Jokes are a form of lies. Lies are evil. Evil is as evil does. We Elves abhor evil.”

“Okay.”

“Usually they say I am dressed as a woman and call me a prostitute, and say I don’t look like a man. I get beat up by you Americans on grounds of being ‘a man in a dress’ all the time. It’s rather annoying that no one identifies me as dressed as a different culture, not a different gender.”

“Ah! Well, they just stupid people is all. They don’t know other cultures exist. They think every ones same as them. But me, I know different. See? I know the world is full of exotic places with exotic cultures who wear exotic things, see? So, I look at you and I do not see a dress. I see an Arab from Morocco all dressed in striped silks.”

“Arabians don’t come from Morocco and I’m not... uhm... I’m from Iran, Persia. I’m not Arabian or Moroccan.”

“Well, same difference.”

“No.” Quaraun frowned. “Where I am from is 10,227 miles away from Morocco.”

“Is it?”

“Yes. It took me four years to walk from Persia to Morocco.”

“You been there?”

“Yes,” the elderly Elf answered. “I have.” 

“Why did you do that?”

“I’m walking my way around the world.”

“Really? What for?”

“No reason in particular? My family died. It upset me. So I started walking. And walking. And I just kept walking. And now, it’s been so many years, that I don’t know how to stop, so I just keep doing it.”

“So, you’re a tramp, like a beggar?”

“Oh, no. Quite the contrary. I’m very wealthy. My uncle was a king. So, technically, I’m a prince. I have plenty of money. I don’t need to beg and I can pay for whatever I need when I need it, and right now I need a place to spend the night.”

“Ah, yes. You came in here asking for a bed to sleep in.”

“No. I don’t want a bed to sleep on. I want a private room where I can meditate undisturbed. Could I rent one of your client rooms?”

“You’d have to be a client.”

“How does one become a client?”

The man stared blankly at Quaraun for several seconds before responding.

“You don’t know what a client is, do you?”

“No. Should I?”

“You look rather old to be a client.”

“I look old?”

“You ARE old, aren’t you?”

“I am, but I was not aware I was starting to look old.”

“What I mean is, you seem to be elderly and clients are usually rather young.”

“Ageism?”

The man pointed across the room to four women, then spoke very slowly, almost whispering: “We have four prostitutes. The four rooms on the third floor belong to them. If you wanted to be one of their clients, well... you DO know what a prostitute is, don’t you?”

"Oh yes. I've been mistaken by one by enough jackass white American Christians."

Quaraun stared at the four women, who were dressed somewhat fancy, or at least fancier than the rest of the crowd, and sitting together chatting. After a few moments of thought, he got up and made his way to them. But first, stopped at Lucy Mac's table.

"You shouldn't be here," Quaraun said to the woman.

"Our house is right on the river," Lucy Mac replied. "It's not safe there."

"No. That's not what I meant. Something has changed. I changed history somehow. You were supposed to go to Vermont twenty years ago. You had a son, who killed 13 sheep on the farm, and then an angry mob chased you to New York. You lived in Palmyra after that. Your son talked to ... well, he said they were angels. He started a church. It's very big. Has a huge impact on the world a few hundred years from now. If you are still here in Maine and your name is still Mac, in 1846, than, something has gone very wrong with history."

"I'm sorry, sir, but you have me mixed up with someone else. I have no son."

"That is very troubling. I wonder what it was, I could have changed to cause this to happen?"

Quaraun left Lucy Mac, worried about the changes of this timeline and wondering if he should try to fix whatever he had changed which had caused this. But, just now the biggest hurricane in the history of planet Earth was bearing down on Saco Bay and he had other things to worry about.

"I have an interesting proposition for you ladies," Quaraun said to the four women, when he finally arrived at their table.

"What? Let me guess. You want all four of us at once?" The chubbiest girl asked. "That cost extra."

"That is not what I meant. Wait? Do you do that?"

"Freakish things cost extra too."

“No. Could you please let me explain?” Quaraun pulled a chair away from one of the other tables and sat down at the whore's table. “I want to rent your room, not you.”

The four girls exchanged glances, then looked at Quaraun like he was crazy.

“What do you want our rooms for?”

“Not all of them. I just want one.”

“Sure. Whatever. Just one. But for what?”

“I like my privacy. Is there something wrong with that?” 

“I guess not. But it’s still a strange request.”

“Is it?”

“Yes. You are odd,” the first woman said.

“Yes. Very odd,” agreed the second woman.

“How is it an odd request?”

“How isn’t it? Why can’t you just rent a bed like everyone else?”

“Your village doesn’t have a proper inn or boarding house or, well, this is the only place I can find that will rent rooms to travellers.”

“But that doesn’t answer my question.”

“Doesn’t it?”

“No. It doesn’t. Not in the slightest.” 

“I’m looking for a private room where I can rest without being disturbed. But here, it’s renting one bed in a room with ten beds and, I’m... I’m not very sociable... and... I... I’d rather not sleep with, well, uhm... to put it bluntly, commoners and poor people have a tendency to rob people like me and I feel safer, if I’m not sleeping in a room full of thugs. This IS Old Orchard Beach, after all. Scum dive honky tonk of Maine.”

“So, you’re a wealthy snob who doesn’t enjoy being around us poor folk?”

“No, that didn’t come out right.”

“That’s what you said.” 

“That’s not what I meant.”

“What did you mean?”

“It’s not poor people I dislike. It’s men.”

“Men? You don’t like men?” 

“Christians mostly. Especially the American ones. White ones most of all.”

“Why?”

“I don’t like being raped,” the elderly silk merchant said bluntly.

“Raped?”

“Rich or poor, in fact rich are worse than poor for that sort of thing. You see, I used to sleep in places like this, but I was attacked and, rather than help me, the others in the room joined in helping the rapists rape me and now, I seem to have developed a fear of sleeping in the company of ... well... men.”

“Rapists?”

“Yes. They raped me. Several times. It’s the way I dress, they... they don’t understand my culture. American men, they see how I dress and say I look like a woman, they say I’m wearing a dress so, I must want to be treated like a woman. Thing is, where I come from, all males dress like this. This is normal for my people. But, it’s happened at more than dozen villages now, you Mainers are sex crazed imbeciles and I’ve developed a fear of boarding in rooms with other men. I’d like either a room by myself or with women.”

“Why don’t you just change the way your dress?”

“I shouldn’t have to change who I am to visit America. If you came to Persia, I would not ask you to stop dressing like a whore and dress like me to fit in with my people. What is it with you Americans and you insistence that everyone change who they are to become duplicates of you?” 

“If you don’t like Americans, then why are you here?”

Quaraun sighed. 

He hated talking to females. 

He also hated talking to Humans. 

He especially hated talking to female Humans.

He struggled to understand the arrogant Human hatred for all things not themselves, and they struggled to understand his not wanting to become like them. Females took it a step further by seething an arrogant hatred for men, as well.

Quaraun felt particularly uncomfortable around these four female Humans.

“I enjoy visiting other places and experiencing other cultures. I have never seen such violence, such racism, such bigotry, such hatred for everyone, and such sex crazed rampant rapism as I have encountered here in America. You are a cold, cruel, bitter people full of animosity and hate, who rape everything you don't kill.”

“Well, yeah, that sounds like a lot of men. Gotta push their weight around. Put us women folk in their place. You should join up with the women’s suffragette.”

“Woman’s suffragette?” This new word surprised the old albino Moon Elf. “What is that?”

“Women’s rights. We fight for the right to vote. We have a mind, don’t we? Are we not intelligent, just like men?”

“In my experience, most women are more intelligent than men.”

“See?” One woman turned to address another of them. “What did I tell ya. You get a man with an education and he’ll agree we women are smart. It ain’t all men who hate us.”

“American men are cruel,” Quaraun stated bluntly.

“Aren’t they though?”

“I came here, to your country, to learn from your people. To make friends. But it has met me with nothing but violence and suspicion and hatred. Your men all act like I’m an evil villain because I don’t look like you, don’t dress like you. I don’t understand it.”

“They treat us women the same way.”

“Yes. They say that too. When they attack me. They say I’m dressed like a woman, so I deserve to be treated like a woman.”

“See? What’d I tell you. Men are women hating bullies.” 

“Men are evil. My family died. Men. It was men who did it. And evil man, I've been trying to find for years, orchestrated the whole thing. Kept his hands free of blood so he could proclaim his innocence. Hired thugs to carry out his plots."

"Your family died?"

"Yes."

"That must have upset you. No wonder you hate men. I would too, bastards out of Hell, that's what men are."

"Yes. It upset me. So I started walking. And walking. And I just kept walking. And now, it’s been so many years, that I don’t know how to stop, so I just keep doing it. And one day I was in a port. I got on a ship and it brought me here to America. If I had known before I came here how evil and hate filled your men were, I never would have come to this country. Your men here are downright evil.”

“Yeah, every woman in America thinks the same way. Men are fuck faced bastards.”  

Just then, a group of drunk men tumbled their way to the table and began pawing at the four women and Quaraun as well.

“Get away from me!” Quaraun said angrily, as he shoved the man aside. Then he turned to address the women: “I’m sorry I bothered you. It seems you’ll be busy tonight and I won’t be able to rent one of your rooms. Here.” 

Quaraun handed the four women each ten gold coins. It was enough money to feed every person in the building for the rest of their lives. 

“Lock yourselves in your rooms and don’t let any of these men touch you. You don't belong in a place like this. Take the gold, use it to help other women. You fight for your rights. Don’t let men push you around.” 

Quaraun stood up and turned to leave, then stopped and said: 

“I came in here to get out of the rain. I’ve a tent, I normally camp out in that, but it is raining and windy and cold. But I’d rather be cold and wet than beaten bloody and molested by your degenerate, sex crazed American men. I feel safer weathering the storm, even though I already know what's going to happen. I'm sorry. Run. No one gets out of this village alive tonight. The Great Gale of 1846 is going to go down in history as the biggest Hurricane the world has ever seen, 10,000 people are going to be dead in this town by morning.  I'm probably going to regret doing this, because I know it is going to change history, but get out of here. Go inland further. Try to get as close to Bangor as you can. Bangor isn't going to get hit hardly at all."

"What are you talking about?"

"I'm a time traveller. I'm from the future. No one in Saco Bay will live through the night. You aren't far enough inland here."

"You're serious aren't you?"  

"I am. You need to get out of here."

"Are you leaving?"

"Yes. I have to find shelter for the night. I know how this week ends. I know where it is safe and where it is not. I've lived through it enough times now. Pepperell Mill will survive the storm. Do you know where that is?"

"Yeah. We work there."

"Yes. I know. That is a pity. Take the fastest horses you can find and get out of here. If you can't reach Bangor, head to Biddeford, the factory, the section with the smoke stack will still be standing 200 years from now. You'll be safe there. I'm heading that way myself."

"You going back out in the storm?"

"Yes."

"Biddeford's fourteen miles from here."

"Well, than I best get going. I'll feel safer in Pepper Valley in tent by the mill, than I do spending the night here with rapist Christians and witch hating murderous Christians. I must constantly remind myself that I am in America, the most vile, immoral, degenerated, hostile races of Humans to ever exist. I do not feel safe in your country at all. Your men are pure evil. I wish you luck with your suffragette. Oh, and avoid Dr. Bean.  He hates the women vote movement.  He's going to kill a lot of you at a rally in four years. They won't find your bodies for another hundred years, when they drain the swamps to build the Saco Police Department Maybe we can change that part of history.”

Quaraun left the building and trudged through the wet, muddy streets, until he made his way back out of the village. He continued walking until he came to a meadow.

“Tall wet grass. Damn.”

After walking nearly a six hours through the waist deep tall grass, blueberry shrubs, and thickets, he finally reached the safety of the old growth pine forest, overlooking York Hill, once again. Black smoke billowed up from the mill's row of smoke stacks. By morning 3 of the hundred foot tall chimneys would be gone, along with most of the mill's west end. But the North Dam side would survive. Here it was safe to stay and wait out the massive hurricane. 

He searched around a bit for a grove with enough of a flat area for him to set up his tent on, then, pulled out his wand, walked around in a circle for a few moments, muttering enchantments, while drawing sigils in the mud. Moments later, his pink and magenta striped tent POUFFED into existence. 

Quaraun used his wand to make a glass-like barrier around the tent, to keep out the wind and rain, and protect it from any trees that might fall during the storm.

Once inside, he hung up his wet cloak and robes and changed into dry ones. For a while he set about to weaving more of his pink and magenta stripe silk and later spent a few hours embroidering other yardages of pink silk. 

Outside the rain continued to pour down, while the thunder rumbled and lightening flashed.

“Sounds like a big hurricane. Stuck in the bay and swinging back like a rubber band. I’m gonna be stuck here a few days.”

And as he predicated, Quaraun was stuck in this location for several days. The torrential rains of the hurricane whipped through the trees, sending limbs and trees crashing around him. 

Quaraun waited out the storm by dying and spinning and sewing and weaving and embroidering. Being a merchant of pink, embroidered silk scarfs and dresses, Quaraun took any opportunity to replenish his stock. In between dyeing silk worm cocoons, spinning silk threads, weaving silk cloth, embroidering silk yardages, and sew silk clothes, he wrote in his scrolls and read his books.

Quaraun lost track of how many days it had being since he set up his tent. This place was secluded and peaceful. No one bothered him, and so he was content to stay put.

The heavy cloud broke open above the tent.

“No,” Quaraun said. “That’s not correct.”

He crossed out the sentence and stared at his scroll, speculating how to better word what he wanted to say.

The heavy cloud broke open above the little pink striped tent.

“Nope, that’s not good, either.” He scribbled out that sentence as well.

The old Elf sighed, rolled up the scroll, and returned it, his ink bottle and quill back into his pink beaded heart shaped bag of holding. 

Writing was not his strong point. Still, Quaraun made a point of writing down the events of each day, at the end of the day, before retiring to bed for the night. 

Today was different. 

Today, it was raining. 

It was still raining.

It had been raining all week.

Quaraun was glad he had decided not to rent a bed or a room or a space on the floor at the overcrowded inn. 

Hurricanes usually lasted only a day or so before moving on. This one was stuck in the gulf and had stuck around all week. He couldn’t imagine spending a week with that lot at the inn. Of course, they were likely all dead by now anyways.

This spot where he had found to pitch his tent was much nicer. 

Quieter. 

Peaceful. 

And though he hated using magic for everyday things, it had been a simple matter to put up a magic barrier to keep out the rain.

The hurricane was still spinning around like a top, trapped in Saco Bay’s massive horseshoe shape, and so instead of moving on, it just kept riding back around.

Again.

And again.

And again.

Two merchant vessels had come crashing down beside the tent. Twenty three more were scattered about the yard of Pepperell Mill. Three of the mill's smoke stacks lay shattered and crumbled not far away. Back in Old Orchard, three hundred acres of apple trees were uprooted and now floating in the nearby Scarborough Marsh. The pier had collapsed, as had the roller coaster and more than 200 hotels. Saco, Biddeford, Old Orchard Beach, and most of the rest of Greater Portland, lay in ruins. Ten thousand dead and counting, many hundreds of bodies would never be found, all ready dragged out to see.

And yet, the storm kept raging, as the death counts continued to rise with each passing day. The biggest Hurricane in Earth's history: The Great Gale of 1846, decimated Maine, and Quaraun, once again had a front row seat, just as he had, hundreds of times before.

Stuck in the horseshoe of Saco Bay, the hurricane made it's way across Maine yet again, for the seventh time in the past three days. It was why hurricanes did so much damage whenever they hit Maine, and it was fortunate that hurricanes rarely hit Maine. But the hurricane had been pelting the area for more than a week now, and was no longer a hurricane, but rather was not just a very large storm. The Saco River had flooded every town along its banks and Pepperell Mill, in Pepper Valley, Biddeford, was underwater and had been evacuated. 

Quaraun could have moved on, but he was in the high grounds, and he liked sitting and looking down on the Saco River estuary. And watching this storm, had become an annual event, something he did every life time. It was the birthplace of BoomFuzzy, his lover from long ago. Biddeford had been BoomFuzzy's home, and though Quaraun had never been to Pepper Valley while The Elf Eater of Pepper Valley had been alive, he returned here each year to be nearby to the place his dead lover had called home.

BoomFuzzy.

This was BoomFuzzy's home.

The place they had never been while BoomFuzzy was still alive.

Quaraun had only one wish: he wished that BoomFuzzy were still alive.

He watched as thunder crashed against the horizon, and a cold wind whipped through him as rain started to fall. There was no one here, only himself.

He closed his eyes, leaned his head back and let the rain pour upon him, let himself feel its chill. It had been raining all week. It had rained and rained and rained. 

There were things about Biddeford he could not change, would not change, no matter how hard he tried. An so, Quaraun were arrive here, every year, every spring. Every winter. To sit with the Saco River and watch the rain.

But with the hurricane arriving only days after Quaraun did, the elderly wizard found it difficult to go outside and watch the birds and fishermen in Saco Bay. Of course, there were neither birds nor fishermen out there right now anyway, any that had been foolish enough to not leave the area, were not splattered dead on the sides of the big red brick mill buildings.

Quaraun had busied himself with weaving and embroidering and sewing, the entire week, but, the ground was cold and damp, and he was old and weak. His bones were hurting, his hip was aching, and the moist, foggy, rain filled air, was wrecking havoc on his rheumatism and arthritis, making it painful for him to sit at his weaving loom today.

And so it was not yet night and not yet time for bed, but Quaraun was sitting in his tent, contemplating going back to bed, to sleep off his aching bones and hope that the rain will finally have stopped by the time he woke up. 

Listening to the pitter patter of the rain, Quaraun was stuck sitting in his tent, waiting for the rain to stop, not quite tired enough to sleep, but hurting too much to do anything else. 

Some days, immortality and eternal beauty were nice. 

Other days, like today, the side effects of old age reminded Quaraun just how very old he was. 

The ancient wizard tried to figure out how old he was. The problem with this, was he didn’t know exactly when he was born. Quaraun had been born some time around the Human’s year of 800 A.D.

The other issue with this, was he did not know what the current Human year was.

The other problem, was the local Humans were protest English rule, so, they had stopped using the English calendars, around the same time they had tossed all the English tea in the Atlantic Ocean.

Quaraun was not good with math or numbers in general, so he struggled to calculate his age. 

An exact age was near impossible to determine, but even a rough estimate was difficult. 

Quaraun finally concluded that he was somewhere older than four hundred years old and somewhere younger than a thousand years old, and decided that seven hundred and fifty years sounded like a good number. So declared himself to be seven hundred and fifty years old. And he had spent the past three hundred or so years telling people that he was seven hundred and fifty years old. 

And now today, he sat in his pink and magenta stripped silk tent, resting on his pink and purple striped silk pillows, wearing his pink and fuchsia stripped silk robes, wrapped him his pink and orange striped shawl, wondering how many years it had been since he had started telling people he was seven hundred and fifty years old. He wondered this now, today, because his creaky bones were hurting worse than usual and he wondered could it be he was now over a thousand years old?

After concluding that he must by now be over a thousand years old, the old Elf sat on his pile of pink striped silk cushions for a few more moments, struggling to determine of what he could do to pass the time. Specifically, he concluded that being old was a depressing thought, and he wondered what it was he could do to take his mind off the thought of old age. 

The ancient wizard contemplated getting up and working on his weaving, needlepoint, or sewing some more, but his hip was sore, so he continued to rest lazily on the pillows. 

Quaraun suffered from poor health. This was not because of his greatly advanced age, however. He'd been born a runt. Small, sick, and weak, straight from the womb, no one had expected him to live to the end of his first week. His youth had been spent mostly indoors, in bed, reading books. There had been little else he was capable of. Though he had grown stronger as he grew older, he remained forever, two heads shorter than most other men and a full head shorter than most women. Quaraun wondered what it was that bothered him most: being short, or that he had gotten old?

At least he had immortality. That was the advantage of being a necromancer who was soul bound to a lich. The lich was immortal and now, so too was the necromancer whom had created the lich.

But immortality did not mean a life without suffering, or existence without pain, discomfort, and illness. 

There were days when even the smallest injury would cause him agony; days when the slightest movement would make his chest tighten up and lungs burn and throat clench up. 

Even the smallest things could kill him.

He could remember times when nothing was wrong with him. When he did not have any illness or pains to cause him grief. But this was his eternal punishment for a self wish, carelessly worded.

It made him wish for death. He knew that he should never wish for death. Yet every time he thought about it he found himself wishing, hoping and praying that he would die from something. Anything.

So he lived with it. He took whatever the universe dealt him with stoically. 

And after ten thousand years of reaching the implosion of Earth, going back in time to start life over again, Quaraun had become bored with everything in general.

The Phooka of a thousand deaths. An undead lich, cursed to live his life over and over, endless eternities. BoomFuzzy. Quaraun knew the risk of binding his soul to a lich, but he'd done it anyways. And now he too, was cursed to relive life again and again, forever.

Immortality. Deemed by Humans to be a thing to strive for. To live forever. Was that not t