Dudley Was A Buysexual

…mostly because it was just easier that way.

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The Doclopedia #1,572

A Tale Of Six Wands: The Wand Of Seeking
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Good morning once again, dear Tenna. When I was told that you had left early to take yesterday’s story to a no doubt panicked Theramachus, I took the liberty of heading out on yet more errands of my own.

He did? Hahahaha! I would have given a tenmoon to see his face. But he did send the proper bag of money, so everything is right.

I trust the room provided for you was satisfactory? Oh, really, you praise my humble household too much. It was the least I could do, since the hour was so late and Foxnight is often a less than safe time to be about. Now, let us have tea and begin today’s tale. I believe Prindeep has brewed us up some of the lovely Red Mountain Black today.

I would love for this tale to be about how complex and difficult it is to create a Wand of Seeking, but the fact is they are utterly common and made in batches of up to 30 at a time. Only a Wand of Light is more common.


As you perhaps know, Wands of Seeking are most commonly used by adventurers for locating everything from loot to monsters to traps. They are also a common item among city guards and rural patrols, most often to locate a guilty party or a lost child. The wands have long lasting charges and are quite versatile. Of course, versatility means a reduction in effective distance, so most such wands seldom reach out more than about 90 feet.

However, the Wand of Seeking I was asked to make needed to be very specific indeed. It also needed a very great range, as much as 20 miles. Why? Because the Six Saviors knew that somebody was behind the expansion of the Ostugar Giant Lands. Somebody not a Giant, whom we know now to be a fellow called Histeen the Mad, an outcast from the far Al’Anak’a Islands. Praise the gods he was utterly destroyed, and by the hand of the very Giants he had whipped into a frenzy of hate and bloodlust.

The components of the wand were of the usual type, but the construction process was slower and more intense. In addition, the breath of 100 hounds and the eyes of a Great Eagle (taken from a corpse that died of old age) were infused into it. Certain oils and bindings made of rare metals were used to limit the wand to 5 charges. Finally, it was rested in the crypt of Duliman the Explorer for a fortnight. Then, it was ready.

Activated, the wand would produce a line of red light visible only to the user. That line would extend out 20 miles in a straight line toward the objective. I am told that it took all five charges to finally locate Histeen, who was 150 miles behind enemy lines in a small castle, now completely gone and replaced by a meadow.

And that is all to that story, Tenna. Tomorrow’s story, I assure you, will be quite different, since it involves the creation of the single most dangerous wand anyone of my profession has ever made.

Until then, let us enjoy lunch and then, once you have dropped the story off with Theramachus and gotten payment, perhaps you would care to join me on a boat ride along the Border Canal? It will take a few hours, after which we could have dinner at a wonderful Syballan restaurant I know of. After that, perhaps a visit to the Royal Night Garden?

You will? My heart swells with joy! Now, let us see what tasty delights Prindeep has for us.
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The Doclopedia #1,573

A Tale Of Six Wands: The Wand Of Wild Magic
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Oh…oh my. I…I… Oh, please do excuse me if I stumble on my apology. I mean, it has been many years since something like this has happened and I assure you it was not my intention to…

Seduced me? I…what? I…did you? I must admit that I drank a bit too much guarit last night, so things are hazy, but…seduced? You seduced me? Yes, yes, I admit that I have never been seduced before. My life these last 150 years have been mostly about my work and business. When feminine companionship was needed, I simply went to the red lantern street. True, I was married when I was young. We had fifty years together, but…seduced? Why?

I, well, yes, you are beautiful and young and your body is delightfully formed, but that is my point. You are young and even though I look a fraction of my actual age, I am still an old man. Surely you could find…

Well, of course I find you interesting beyond your physical beauty. You are at the very least my intellectual equal, if not possessed of the same amount of lifetime learning. Indeed, you have taught me much about the arts, recent politics and the life of ordinary people. I find myself missing you when you are not…well, there we have it then. It has been so very long that I forgot what it was like and how it might happen.

You do? Are you sure? I am truthfully nearing the end of this life, so our years together would be few. My business has been sold these last 5 years to Murgin and Ranoe, and while I am well of, we would…

No? None of that matters to you? I…oh my, I find myself bereft of words.

Thank you, Prindeep. Yes, it has been a most interesting morning. Tell me, old friend, do you think us foolish? Love so late for me and early for her? She is but 25 and I, well, we both know I am near unto worn out. Yes, one cannot argue with love, though people often do. Yes, as always, you are right. Accept the path we are on and enjoy the view. Wise words.

Ah, there is the bell! Go admit her and bring in that bag of gold.

So, my dear, let me tell you the tale of the fifth Wand of Glory. It is indeed a strange one.

First of all, you need to know that creating a Wand of Wild Magic is both an insane undertaking and, as anyone who studies magic now will tell you, impossible. Naturally, my much younger self took this as a personal challenge.

Wands of Time Travel are incredibly tricky to construct, highly unstable and given to a limited amount of power. A person successfully using one might go back as far as a century, stay for an hour, then be jerked back into their proper time, most likely to be sick to their stomach for an hour or so. I needed to go back 4,000 years. You can see the problem.

Fortunately, there lived in Jal a member of my profession who was quite obsessed with time travel. Kaneera Lal lived some miles outside the city of Sotsomo, her nearest neighbors wisely living more than a mile from her. Her estate boundaries were easy to spot, being covered in a light early winter snow when the rest of this part of the world was sweating through mid-summer.

At first, she was highly suspicious of me, but once I told her of what I needed, she became quite eager to help me. As we walked into what she called the “Deep Basement”, I was slightly unnerved by the fact that she was slowly becoming younger. Despite the fact that she had appeared at least 80 when she had answered my knock on her door, she looked no more than 16 by the time we reached our destination.

Said destination was no less that a constantly shifting sphere of multicolored lights that Kaneera informed me was a “time warp portal”. As she puttered about looking for a Wand of Destination, she laid out the rules for time travel.

1: Each layer of colored light I would go through represented a century. Stopping for anything over 5 seconds would reset the color bands to decades, then months, then days, then hours.

2: I would have up to 10 hours in the past before popping back into the present.

3: Don’t worry about changing history, because you can’t.

4: Avoid all other time travelers. She was most insistent about this one.

After using the Wand of Destination to show me a clear path to the city of Peskandar, some 4,200 years in the past, I stepped into the portal and began my journey of 42 steps.

Oh, no, the actual walk through the portal was quite easily done. I was surprised by that. Like you, I felt that there would be enormous forces assaulting me, but such was not the case. It was no different that walking across an empty street.

I stopped in the 42nd band of light, a pleasant light orange, and waited a few seconds until it split into 10 decades. Not being picky, I stopped in the third decade, awaited the years, then went for the fifth year, sixth month, tenth day.

I emerged into the very busy market of a large city on a warm spring day. Seeing a merchant dealing in magical charms, I went over to him and inquired where I might find the most powerful wizard in the city. He merely pointed to a tower that rose above all else, including the grand castle on the hill. I thanked him and tossed him a silver piece.

The tower proved to be over two miles distant, but still well within the city walls. At least 500 feet tall, the tower seemed to be made of a single piece of stone, the exact type of which I could not determine. The base was about 200 feet across and surrounded by a low wall and a beautiful little garden. There was no gate under the entry arch.

No sooner had I walked through from the street to the garden, than a small being, perhaps 3 feet high, stepped out the front door of the tower. He looked like a vastly more civilized version of the Forest Kobits one sees in the Western Lands.

“Greetings, Vanderas of Geshpar. The Master has been expecting you. Please, follow me.”

Stunned though I was by being known to these people, I followed him into the first floor room, which seemed to be half waiting room and half indoor garden. My companion, whose name was Dolbo, showed me to a large round red carpet in the very center of the room, above which was a shaft that looked to run all the way to the top. He instructed me to stand in the center and enjoy the ride. A moment later, I was racing upward at a very high speed.

The carpet slowed and then stopped in a finely appointed room that had four large open arches leading out to a balcony that encircled the room. In a large and comfortable looking chair sat a man whom I supposed was my host. He looked no more than 30, but then, I do not look 345, do I? If I were to describe his looks, I would call them handsome, in a rugged way.

It is now time for me to be somewhat vague about our conversation, which took up most of my remaining hours. His name was Deron and he was the High Wizard for a vast empire. Of course, I knew this because his legend lives on today, albeit only to a very few scholars of magic and ancient history.

He poured tea and let me know that he knew of me simply because the entire city was ensorceled to let him know if a new mage or purveyor of magic entered it. When I told him what I needed, he nodded and said he would fetch everything and have it ready before I left.

From there on, we spoke of the past, the future and many things that probably should not be spoken of at all. He seemed quite unconcerned by the coming loss of magic as he knew it, telling me only that magic comes and goes over time, so it does naught to worry. He also told me that wands were not a bad way to go, magicwise, since they could make anyone a user of magic without “interminable years of serving under a Master Wizard with delusions of grandeur”.

Shortly before my 10 hours were up, we were brought a long thin crystal of pure wild magic, as well as a few other things. I thanked him and then, just a few seconds later, appeared in Kaneera’s Deep Basement. The old girl herself was asleep on a sofa, snoring loudly and unable to be awakened by my best efforts. I scribbled a note to her and then left.

Five days later, I was standing in a cow pasture just two miles outside the walls of Geshpar. It was quite late at night and both moons were full. After a short wait, I saw a shooting star hurtling toward me. It slowed and slowed again until a black and pitted steel cylinder came to rest gently on the ground a few yards from me. A quick wave of a Wand of Opening caused a door to open and allowed me to retrieve the package containing the wild magic and other items. I then mounted my horse and rode home. The cylinder was found by the farmer the next day and is still on display at the Geshparan Museum of Oddities.

The rest of the story is barely…what? Oh, I am sorry. Let me explain. You see, I could not bring anything back through time that I did not take with me. Hiding the package away for over 4,000 years was also out of the question, since all the magic would be drained. Therefore, Deron simply sent the steel cylinder to the Small Moon, since nothing beyond our world was affected by the magic leaving. A timing spell brought it back to me at the appointed date and time. Quite a tidy solution, if you ask me.

Anyway, the rest of the story is quick to tell. I constructed the wand easily, it was used in the Great Battle to devastating effect and the rest truly is history.

Now, my love, what say you to a long hot bath together before dinner? Excellent!

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Who Put The Rocket Fuel In Mrs. Murphy’s Swimming Pool?

…and by “rocket fuel”, I mean bourbon.

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After The Change Came

Series 4

A Day For Hangin’ With My Homeboys


Every couple of years, the Green Ladies put on a “Females Gathering Together Day”, during which sapient females of all species gather in large numbers to…well, I’m not 100% sure, being cis male and therefore gently, but firmly, excluded. From what I have gleaned from being around a Green Lady and lots of other women (including daughters, granddaughters and sisters), it seems to be mostly discussions about things particular to females, plus examinations of world events. Whatever the case, females of all ages go, meaning that, for an entire day and part of a night, we males are left to our own devices, hopefully not going feral in the process.

So, the latest “F.G.T.D.” was a couple of days ago and I figured, why not have some of the guys over and hang out? I called up Dad, Sin, my troll buddy Jim, Roscoe, Nick, my cousin Rob, my gnome brother Hank (the others live to far away), and my elf neighbor Dendro, and invited them over. They all showed up and since the weather was great, we set up shop in the front yard (the backyard being Grace’s garden retreat) and settled in for beer, bullshittin’ and burgers.

Will loves hanging with his Grandpa and soon had Dad telling stories about me and my sibs when we were growing up and still human. This, of course, lead to stories from Dad’s youth, at least those suitable for a 7 year old to hear. From there, it was stories from everyone’s youth, most of which were hilarious, embarrassing or both. Will was particularly interested in the stories Sin and I told about our years at Hobart’s School For Young Ladies & Gentlemen, again, edited for younger listeners.

After a couple of hours of storytelling that got improved by about 4 mugs of Jim’s “Damn Fine” ale, we moved on to discussing everything from the weather to beer brewing to hog farming to good fishing spots in the foothills. Nick, sensing that some of these topics were boring Will, took him in the house for a couple of hours playing a new QuestWorld scenario from Portugal, “Pirate Heist”.

When it came time to eat, Ben, our House Elf, did not disappoint. It was a hell of a spread, with burgers of several types, all the toppings and condiments you’d want, and Ben’s delicious chili lime steak fries. I had a double cheeseburger with Brie and Gouda, topped with fire roasted chilis. Okay, I had two of those. Don’t judge me.

After lunch, and with most of us now well lubricated by beer, we got back into discussing all sorts of things for an hour or so before Ben busted out the ice cream. It was, of course, delicious. Thus fortified, we busted out the musical instruments and started playing everything from classic Pre-Change country and rock to some of the latest hits. There was also a good deal of just plain old jamming.

Around about sundown, Ben produced the taco bar and we all once again ate like starving wolverines. From there, it was another hour or so of talking before everyone headed for home. I put Will to bed and then promptly fell asleep on the sofa in the living room.

About 3 hours later, a cute little green face woke me up saying “Daddy, you need to go to bed now!”, so I did.

All told, it was a fine day of male bonding. And none of us went feral!

More blogging soon.

Doc Tempest And The Secret Of The Vampire’s Tomb

…from the May, 1927 issue

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After The Change Came

Series 4

Feeling Old In Dog Years


This Friday, my four kids graduate from college. That is on top of them all turning 9 years old a couple of weeks ago. I’m feeling a bit old here, folks. Now, at 19, I’ve still got a few decades to go, but these are our babies all grown up and graduating college here. Gigi and I have been alternately smiling and misty eyed. Now I know how mom & dad felt when Lily and I left home.

Well, actually, except for the fact that Lily and I left home years apart and I only moved like, 150 feet away when I got married and…well, we weren’t a litter of four who actually all moved out 4 years ago. June lives over in Davis and April & May are in Berkeley and Nick is still here in Sacramento, so it’s not like they are scattered to the four winds. Yet.

That “yet” is the big thing, see. April will be moving on to Oxford in the fall and May is off to an art institute in Paris and June is moving to Kaua’i to do botanical research and Nick…well, okay, Nick isn’t moving anywhere, but he recently got an apartment with his girlfriend, Vicki, so there’s that bit of adulthood to deal with. It’s just a lot to have happen to poor old Mom & Dad.

Those of you out there with empty nests and grown kids are probably chuckling knowingly. You can bet my parents are, and have been for weeks. I fully intend to do my own chuckling when Will & Gin leave home in about 11 years.

Of course, having the kids move out has freed up lots of space in the house, although two of their bedrooms are still bedrooms. Our grocery bill plummeted the day they all left home, although it spikes during holidays. All other bills went down, too. Education at all levels is free and the kids have no problem living within their yearly government allotment, so that is a good thing.

It did take us months to get used to the house being so quiet.

Anyway, this Friday will be all about their big day and parties to celebrate and family and friends congratulating them. They’ll all come home for a month, then split for their various destinations. Gigi and I could not be prouder of them. We will miss them, though.

Thanks for listening to an old hound deal with a milestone, folks. Next time, I’ll have something lighter to blog about.

Roscoe

Spaniels In The Pot

…not for cooking

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LETTERS FROM SISTER BOMIA

 

Dear Sister Arilloni,

I hope all is going well at the abbey. Did Sister Grek ever get over her cold? I hope so. Colds are bad enough for we mammals, but for the reptilian folk, they are much worse.

My vacation is still going very well and I have made a few new friends. One of them is a young apprentice wizard from Wurania. Her name is Metaphita and she is just a delight to be around. By turns she is a very serious young student of magic and a young woman who has not spent a lot of time in the wider world. She can be a bit overwhelmed at times, so I try to offer her advice and information and friendship. It seems to help.

Speaking of new friends, I made the acquaintance of a Valdurian gentleman named Aksel Tronin. He’s a former member of the Silver Falcons adventuring company, where he was a swordsman. He’s quite charming and handsome and still quite the swordsman, if you get my meaning. We have spent several evenings and mornings together.

I’ve made several trips into the countryside with different groups. We have been bird watching, flower picking and generally just enjoying the natural world that the Mother Goddess has provided. With the exception of an encounter with some thorncats, all of the excursions have been peaceful and relaxing.

I must go now. Metaphita and I are signed on to a tour of some ruins that the Royal Society of Exploration recently discovered about 20 miles outside the city. It should be interesting. Give my regards to everyone.

Your friend,

Bomia

 

Dark Secrets Of The Dog Park

…mostly, they’re about eating poop
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After The Change Came

Series 4

A Day For Books And Walking


Greetings, Dear Readers. I’m back for another entry in the blog. Today, I’ll be telling you about my action packed yesterday. Well, action packed if you call a 24 mile walk to a used book store “action packed”. In point of fact, it was a pretty mellow day.

My favorite used book store here in the Sacramento area is Booktown Used Books, which is just about 12 miles from here, near downtown. It has been in that location since 1928. Arliss Brantner owns it and he is the 4th generation of his family to do so. It’s the largest bookstore in Northern California. The fantasy/science fiction section alone is twice the size our our living room, and our living room is big.

So, with the kids in school and Grace puttering around the house, I set off walking to Booktown. The weather has been great lately, with the spring rains mostly behind us and the summer heat a few weeks away. As I’ve said before, after the Change, downtown Sacramento was moved away from the rivers (American & Sacramento) to a spot 6 miles northeast and now high enough to never flood. As with all cities, towns & villages in the world, we have a Ring Road running in a perfect circle around town. It is located exactly 15 miles out from Sacramento’s Central Tower, where our City Dragon lives.

30 roads and streets run out from city center to the Ring Road. Grace and I live on Greenback Lane, one of the main roads. It meanders like a river toward downtown. Lots of curves, up and down hill, passing through our many greenbelts and farms and residential areas. It’s a nice walk.

Actually, almost all roads in Sacramento meander. There are very few that run straight for more than a mile or two. I probably ought to also point out that you’ll see very few cars on the road. People walk, ride bikes or horses or other animals, roller skate/skateboard, ride flying carpets (Mahmoud’s Enchanted Carpets has, like, 9 locations), or take the anibuses, which run every 15 minutes.

So there I am, at 8:00 in the morning, walking along, breathing the fresh air and enjoying the sunshine. Birds are singing in the trees, bunnies & squirrels and other wildlife are out doing their thing. I see neighbors tending their gardens or livestock. A few are just sitting on their porches, drinking their morning beverage. Other folks are walking along, including one young couple who are going on a picnic outside the city limits.

I’ve mentioned in the past that Ring Roads also double as city boundaries. They are enchanted to keep dangerous creatures or sapients out, and to a lesser extent mitigate really bad weather, wildfires and earthquakes. That’s why San Francisco will never again have a really terrible earthquake.

I tend to walk a bit faster than most non-mutant humans, so even pausing frequently to look at things or talk to folks or buy a peach milkshake at Bonnie’s Burgers, I’m doing 5 miles an hour. As with any city or town, the closer you get to downtown, the more urban things get. Now, that does not mean houses crammed right next too each other, since by law every home in California has to sit on at least half an acre of land and all urban areas must have extensive greenbelts. That latter is why you often see deer or even elk strolling through our downtown.

At just about the 2.5 hour mark, I reach Booktown. This may well be my 1,000th time there, since I’ve been going there for decades. My first visit was in 1970, a couple of months after I got my driver’s license. It was while I was on Easter break from Hobart’s School for Young Ladies & Gentlemen and on that visit, I bought about 30 books to take back with me, mostly pulp reprints.

Arliss and his wife, Olive, gave me a hearty greeting and advised me that they had gotten in about 5,000 books a week earlier that were now on the shelves. I grabbed a complimentary cup of tea and started looking around. Arliss had British Invasion rock & roll playing and coconut incense burning. Despite being born in 1985, Arliss and Olive are a couple of hippies.

90 minutes later I had a stack of 40 books and magazines, including the British mag “QuestWorld Spectator”, issues 1-4. I paid for them, said goodbye to the Brantners and left the shop to go grab some lunch. On my way to a great Indian buffet, I put the books on Ralph, a dogbus that runs up Fair Oaks Blvd to the Ring Road. He transferred them to Fancy, a bunnybus who transferred them to Waldo, another dogbus. Waldo dropped them off at our front gate and Ben, our main House Elf, transported them to our library.

After a wonderful lunch of Indian food and a mug of pale ale, I began my walk home. I decided to use the footpaths found in the greenbelts and had a great time birdwatching, looking at and talking to various animals, and generally grooving on nature. The walk home took 3.5 hours and when I arrived at the old homestead, I was greeted by the twins and their friends. They were making up a game that I won’t even try to explain, but for about 10 minutes, I was a moving goal post.

Once I got into the house and sat down, Ben showed up with a cold iced tea. After I finished the tea, I was considering a short nap. This plan was abandoned when my green skinned hottie of a wife came and sat on my lap and whispered saucy suggestions in my ear. Later, we ate dinner with the kids and then played some dice games.

All in all, a pretty damned great day.

More bloggage later.

Doc

The Belatedly Retconned, But Well Crafted, Story Of Mostly Purple Patty And The Blogger Who Forgot Things

…co-starring her favorite dwarf hamster, Ferdinand

The Doclopedia #1,423

Dangerous Dames: Rita Lincoln

Name: Rita Lincoln
Aliases: None
Age: 25
Hair: Blue & Green Eyes: Green
Height: 5’4” Weight: 100 lbs
Last Known Address: San Francisco, California
Crimes: Murder, Kidnapping, Grand Theft, Arson

Summary: Rita Lincoln was born in Reno, Nevada to a blackjack dealer and an auto salesman. She became a political activist in high school before joining the Rainbow Raiders, a well known and dangerous domestic terrorist group. She quickly rose to become the leader of the group.

The Rainbow Raiders are known for dying their hair two colors and wearing brightly colored clothing. They strike quickly, commit assorted mayhem, then disappear. They operate mostly on the West Coast, but have struck in Texas, New York, Illinois and Florida. They are responsible for the assassination of 3 US Senators, 1 Supreme Court Justice, 7 billionaires and the Mayor of Los Angeles. They are known to use firearms, explosives and in one instance, nerve gas. They should be considered armed and extremely dangerous.

Rita Lincoln is a marksman and skilled in several martial arts. She is a fanatic dedicated to radical environmentalism and feminism. She is known to favor broadcasting assassinations live on television and the internet. Experts have stated that she is the most dangerous sociopath they have ever seen. There is a $10,000,000 reward for her capture alive.

The Billionaire Dog’s Journal

…it’s printed on gold pages

New Doclopedia theme! WOOHOO!

 

The Doclopedia #1,422

Dangerous Dames: Lily Martin

Name: Lily Martin
Aliases: Lily Moran, Lily Magellan
Age: 33
Hair: Black Eyes: Brown
Height: 5’9” Weight: 140 lbs
Last Known Address: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Crimes: Murder, Grand Theft

Summary: Lily Martin was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia to a well to do family. Somewhere around her 14th birthday she ran off with her 16 year old boyfriend, Ken Redding. For two years, they lived in and around Ontario, where they got involved in a criminal gang. When Redding was caught by the police stealing a car, Martin left town and headed into the United States. Records of her life and whereabouts for the next 5 years are extremely spotty, although she is known to have spent time in Boston, New York and St. Louis.

At age 21 it is known that Lily Martin, using the name Lily Moran, took part in and probably masterminded the Texas Rancher’s Bank heist. The sophistication of the crime had federal agents convinced that it must have been done by much older career criminals, until a chance recording by a department store security camera proved them wrong.

Two years later, an art heist in San Diego, was recorded in full by two cameras not listed on the art gallery’s blueprints. Lily Martin and a gang of 5 other women are clearly shown in it. Three of those women were caught within a month, but the stolen paintings have yet to be recovered.

Five years and at least two heists later, a woman going by the name Lily Magellan shot and killed one Pietro Guinelli in a restaurant in Seattle while he was having dinner with 18 year old Karen Taggert. The killer shot Guinelli four times in the chest, then told Taggert she had done her a favor. She then told everyone to “sit very still and be very quiet for 5 minutes” before she left. She made her escape and has not been seen since.

As of today, Lily Martin remains at large. There is a 1.25 million dollar reward for her capture. Law enforcement officers are urged to consider her armed and dangerous.

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