Quote of the Moment

Quote of the Moment: Oh, Shiny!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Dude In Distress - Part 1: Frantic Filly

This story was originally written as an RPG campaign for the game Valley of Unicorns. I thought it was such a fun story, so I revised it by creating my own player characters, and I did mock rolls as well to see just how much muck the characters could mire themselves in. Happy adventuring!

You can also find this story on Wattpad.

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It's a calm, sunny afternoon at The Watering Hole in the Valley--birds singing, dragonflies flitting from lily pad to lily pad. Murmurs of equine conversation circle the pond, along with laughter and cheer.

"I'm bored," Sun says. "Bored, bored, bored. And you stole my spot at the edge of the water, Star."

Star rolls her eyes. "You're always bored, unless you're at sparring practice. And there's plenty of edge left. You don't need to be on top of me."

Her twin sister has a tendency to suffocate her. She doesn't know why--Sun is a physical type and enjoys to beat things up, but Star prefers to aid the other horses, using the magic in her horn to heal. They may look alike, both storm unicorns, but they are nothing alike. Most times Star helps heal the bruises Sun causes.

"It's peaceful, and I'm enjoying it," says Star. "Go take your foul attitude elsewhere."

A clattering of hooves shatter that peace. A young fire unicorn filly, eyes wild and mane tousled, storms into The Watering Hole, nearly tumbling into the water headfirst.

"Help, help!" She collapses and dips her nose into the pond, taking a long drink. Then she inhales and bellows, silencing the birds and sending the dragonflies skittering. "Help! My fiance has been taken, and someone must save him."

Quell approaches the filly and touches his nose to her shoulder. "Calm now, young one." His voice has a sing-song quality, a hint of the beautiful tenor that explodes from his mouth when he sings. And oh, he loves to sing. So much that he drives many other unicorns away because he won't shut up. Some think he's just trying to make up for his dull bay coloring with a bit of beauty. "I'll help you. And I'm sure some others will too."

"Of course," Burn says. "How can I not assist a lady in distress?" Sparks jump from the end of his horn, lavender to match his gleaming coat. Big show off. Though his magic is powerful enough to back up his ego.

"It's not me that's in distress, but my poor fiance, Dom," the filly says.

Sun pushes herself up from the ground. "We'll help too!"

"Hey," Star whispers, "Don't go volunteering me for things. You're the one that's bored."

"Come on, sis, live a little."

Star reluctantly moves from her quiet spot at the water's edge, knowing she can't allow her sister to gallop off alone, and walks up to the filly. "What happened, dear? Fiona, isn't it?"

The filly nods. "Dom and I were walking along the river, having a romantic afternoon together when she appeared. I recognized her--Dom had mentioned another filly was after his affections, but he turned her down because he loves me. Well she showed up and demanded Dom go with her. When he said no, she used some type of magic and grew to four times her normal size, and snatched him up in her mouth. I followed her to a cave, but then I lost her because it was too dark to chase her down a tunnel. I fear her brain is unhinged and that if Dom doesn't agree to become hers, she'll surely kill him. Maybe even eat him! Will you save him from this Big Bad Girl?"

"Oh, I think I know who you're talking about," says Sun. "That ice blue unicorn? The one that prefers to live underground? I don't think anyone even knows her real name."

"Yes, that's her."

"We'll save Dom, no problem," Burn says. "He'll be back by your side before dinner. Maybe sooner."

Star sighs. This sounds like a quest that might take longer than an afternoon.

"I insist on going with you, though," Fiona says. "There is no way I'm going to stay behind and let you go after Big Bad Girl without me." The determination in her face is evident.

Their hooves are forced. Not only does the merry band have to save Dom, but they have to keep Fiona safe as well. "Let's gather supplies," Star says.

Fiona pushes herself up from the ground and takes one final drink. "Once you have everything, please follow me. I fear we'll have to travel deep underground, into the mountain."

Star takes charge and makes sure all five horses have packs with enough food along. All but Fiona is adorned with some type of armor. Sun and Quell have reinforced horns and hooves, and Sun has a buckler attached to her leg. Star puts on her cloak and blue beads to help if any healing is necessary, while Burn has red beads and a cloak as well to assist him with his more destructive magic.

Once they're sure they have all that they need, they allow Fiona to lead the way to Big Bad Girl and Dom.

NEXT UP: What Am I Reading?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Magic Is Reality, Reality Is Magic: Candles

Magic is Reality, Reality is Magic is a series that highlights aspects of religions, particularly Paganism. We pull things from everyday life to use in our fiction. Magic is one of the key attributes of fantasy. Why not explore the realm of magic that many people already have in their lives?

Picture By Arunravi.signs
Candles are used as symbols for many things, and their use is incorporated into several religions. Judaism has the Menorah, and Christianity utilizes candles in many of its rituals. Paganism also uses candles, in ritual, as well as for practicing candle magic.

A candle flame illuminates objects around us in the dark that we otherwise can't see. That flame can also reveal the magic around us, the flame feeding a spell. It's not as simple as lighting a candle and the spell is done, though. Depending on your intention and goal of the spell, you can use a specific type of candle.

Color is important in candle magic. Each color symbolizes different things. I've already touched on the meanings of green and orange in this series. If you're casting a spell to improve your financial situation, you'd choose a green candle, for example.

Some people also use different shapes for their candles, depending on the spell. You can etch symbols into the wax as well as rub oils on the candle. Color, shape, symbols, and oils can each represent something different in the spell you are casting.

However, in magic, intent is usually the strongest factor. The colors and other items help us focus and direct that intent.

So, the next time you blow out your candles on your birthday cake, think of magic when you make your wish.

If you'd like to learn more about candle magic, please check out the following websites: Candle Magic, The Meaning of Candles, and Candle Magic 101: An Introduction to Candle Magic.

Further Reading Suggestions:

Dunwich, Gerina. Wicca Candle Magick. New York: Kensington Publishing Corp., 1996.

I hope you found this tidbit interesting! If you would like me to touch on a particular topic that fits in this series, please don't hesitate to contact me with suggestions.

NEXT UP: Dude In Distress - Part 1

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What Am I Writing? 1/21/15 Snippet - Dead As Dreams

Below is a snippet of something I am currently working on. Be warned, it will usually be rough draft material. Please let me know if you like what you read! It'll encourage me to keep going. ♥

Aysa tried to squeeze her eyes shut, but they remained open. No blocking out the scene before her. True, the woman only danced, but there would be more. It was a nightmare, and it would surely live up to the word.

The chains shifted and squirmed, cold metal snakes winding themselves about her, brushing against her skin. She struggled to free herself--they only tightened their grip, creating a noose around her neck. They pressed on her windpipe, and she coughed, the small amount of air she was able to pull into her lungs burning with every attempted breath. She scrabbled some more, in an effort to reach the chains at her throat, to pull them off, but it only made things worse. No. Her vision blurred. This was what it felt like to be captured, to be thrown into slavery, to have freedom ripped from her hands.

Allowing the chains to choke her wouldn't help her escape. Panicking only hindered progress and hope.

So, she relaxed in her bindings. She refused to give up, but she'd bide her time.

And she watched the woman dance.

From Dead As Dreams, Chapter 24 (novel currently in the revision process)

About Dead As Dreams:

Dreams are in danger and souls are chained to the earth. Aysa, the Shepherd of Dreams, and Lazarus, a spirit seeker, join forces to restore the balance between dreams and nightmares and life and death. They face a rogue spirit seeker and a manipulator of nightmares--both intent on unhinging the world, but there is yet another pulling the strings.

NEXT UP: Magic Is Reality, Reality Is Magic - The Candle