From Part II, Chapter 8

It was several hours past midnight. With practiced precision, Jenario filled a flask with a fine powder recently crushed. A rolled piece of paper created the perfect chute for it to slide down the glass neck, which he promptly corked to prevent spillage. He then sat back and stretched. 

His supply of plants had grown since their journey from Mayla, and was beginning to rival even Nickademis’ medicines. In time, though, those medicines would multiply with the added recipes of new concoctions catered to their peoples’ needs, or so he hoped. For now, there was the grinding task of mashing out green goop, collecting seeds, and picking leaves and stems apart in order to gain their valuable contents within. His black marble pestle and mortar was the pride of his many tools. The simple, round bowl contained a few remnants of his last specimen. After wiping it clean, he was ready to begin again and checked on his progress of different groupings spread around him. 

A flat tree stump provided a makeshift table, though he was looking forward to an actual Study with several work benches once the buildings were complete, and with proper lighting. It was fine with the two lanterns sitting on either side of him, but having to swat down to reach everything was getting tiresome. When he at last stood, he felt the tension in his legs release after holding a strange position for so long. He then checked his supplies. Already, a selective bundle lay on top with a few shallow, cylindrical dishes, and a heated alembic on an iron burner. His last set of condensed liquids settled into the bottom of a receiving bottle, which he then poured into a round flask and corked to preserve all of its properties. The cooled-down liquids were placed together along a rack at the stump’s base. A set of test tubes contained crushed herbs, to be measured and applied in formulas for later. For now, Jenario’s main task was getting the necessary ingredients prepared. 

“Turn the roots this way!” he recalled a pompous member of the Council recording all of his studies while he had worked late hours into the night. “There! Shave ’em off completely!” 

“But it will destroy the active ingredients! If I get rid of the skin—” 

“Impotence! Such things have been wallowing in the same dirt we piss on! Would you have his Lordship sip piss?” 

Rather they all did. Delicate roots, which Jenario had spent days trying to find, were condensed to mere nothings and did exactly that when applied in medicines. How did Nick put up with them?  He let out a long sigh. How did I? 


New Patreon Incentives

I’ve updated my patreon page for some sneak peeks at the coming novel “Chosen” which I have started conceptualizing already. And I’ve decided to post full chapters of the current novel once a month (or as written) so you guys can read the unedited version, give feedback, or just enjoy some of the story before it gets into its final stages of publication.

Also get access to pre-released soundtrack music for an album I’m currently working on called “Sea of Sage.” The soundtrack acts like a promo for the next book as it centers around the Master of Water, Yuri Sanssumi, samurai of the seas! The Silent Siren or “Yuri’s Theme” as it’s currently called is the first completed song.

When I was in college, one of my illustration classes required us to put together a children’s book. My original title was “The Wizard Who Couldn’t Spell” – a cute concept about a guy who couldn’t understand how to form spells but mispronounced one and ended up understanding animals.

The actual story fell a little flat, but last night I revisited the concept again and rethought about it. For a children’s story, the character was too old. So let’s make him younger. His dream was be a part of this famous Guild where all manner of spellcasters come to study. Unfortunately, Angus was a terrible student and didn’t have a knack for it.

Instead, let’s make Angus live on the outskirts of town caring for familiars, animals who once belonged to famous Casters who no longer need them, are too old, or their original owner has passed. He’s a friendly jokester, always has a smile on his face. When he was little, his father went away to the Guild but was killed in some freakish accident. Angus never desired to study magic but was fascinated with their animals. The Guild saw favor in him when one of their familiars went missing and was found at his location.

Angus always seemed to have this ability to draw animals near and understand in a way most people did not. So the Guild dubbed him a Familiar Specialist, so in this way there was a connection to the place of magic.

Angus’s one resolve was to eventually find out what happened to his father. That would mean going to the Guild, which he knows he’ll never set foot in unless he has magic. However, his best friend Walter changes all that. When on a special visit to bring him another familiar, he drops a parchment containing a spell. Earlier, Walter had said no one could pronounce it because if it was said wrong that person could be killed.

Angus wonders if something similar had happened to his father. In jest, he attempts to read it because he believes since he has no magic nothing can go wrong. In actuality, he says it correctly, giving him the ability to hear animals’ thoughts. It also causes his hair to change colors, marking him.

This could probably expand into a struggle over the spell and to control something larger with it… gets the attention of the Headmaster, so forth and so on. Would make either a cool little comic or short story.

Chapter Snippet

I cannot believe I’m 14 chapters into the novel! It only took me 5 years!!??

ON A POSITIVE NOTE… the group has now left the clan of Healers are in the process of building their own shelter further north. Now we should start developing the characters’ relations with their surroundings and especially their own talents and “gifts” as the story unfolds.

***** Chapter Snippet *****

A distant explosion rumbled across the hills like thunder. In the moments that followed, a series of brief tremors made Jenario shift his weight in uncertainty. He then glanced to the others. 

Nickademis, who was assisting with some lumber, had also paused. 

“That lumix!” he grumbled. “Shafari had better leave us some wood to finish all this!” 

Jenario grinned and continued unloading large chunks of rock from the carts. For several weeks they had been preparing shelter at a new location in Lexington. So far, things had been going well, with a few surprise encounters during the night. This prompted Thomas Gracie’s decision for a wall to be made around their new city. And what a city it would be! With Roland as Lead Architect, construction began almost immediately after Thomas Gracie’s band had returned from their first expedition. Thus far, the outer walls were marked with a ring of stones Shafari had placed – and enchanted, to everyone’s discomfort. As well as they kept predators at bay, anyone who misstepped received a sharp shock that sent a him or her howling in pain. 

“I think Shafari gets a kick out of himself sometimes,” Jenario had mentioned to Tia after about the eighth shout, receiving that disgruntled look, her usual manner concerning magic. “For someone who hasn’t expanded his skills in a while, he certainly can do wonders with stones. Maybe she should’ve been a Stoned Mage.” 

Tia however, was not impressed. “Sometimes I think we’d be better off if he had actually stayed in Mayla!”

Jenario could not entirely disagree, for their son Abraham was an active child. The very thought of hearing his cry from touching the enchantment was enough to settle the matter.  The stones were eventually adjusted to allow an opening for people to walk through. This, to some extent, was a relief. 

Page 18 WIP

Now all it needs is a background…

I made this banner for the updated website DeviantART where they host my art gallery. I’m really excited they added these cool features. Now I can customize even more!

Page 17 – Need Dialogue

And a the gold lining on Wisdom’s robe… then Page 17 is done!

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