The first rule of thesaurus club is:
You don’t talk about, mention, speak of, discuss, chat, debate or bring up in conversation: Thesaurus club…
1. Stop making lists
B. Be more consistent.
7. Learn to count.
Keep smiling 🙂
The first rule of thesaurus club is:
You don’t talk about, mention, speak of, discuss, chat, debate or bring up in conversation: Thesaurus club…
1. Stop making lists
B. Be more consistent.
7. Learn to count.
Keep smiling 🙂
Sahm King refreshed my memory with an enchanting poet and philosopher called Khalil Gibran in his monday writing prompt for ‘We drink Because We’re Poets’ My poem isn’t exactly in-line with his prompt, but it is connected to an extract from Kahlil Gibran’s the Prophet (which is a masterpiece that I highly reccomend, ISBN 0-330-31972-8).
Thanks to Sahm for the prompt and reminder of this magnificent writer. If anyone reading this has not visited We drink Because We’re Poets, please do as Sahm and the team do a fantastic job of advocating poets and poetry. Keep smiling and keep writing, best wishes from Baldy 🙂
From Khalil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet’:
When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the
‘nay’ in your own mind, nor do you withhold the
And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen
to his heart;
For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all
desires, all expectations are born and shared, with
joy that is unacclaimed.
When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer
in his absence,as the mountain to the climber is
clearer from the plain.
And let there be no purpose in friendship save the
deepening of the spirit.
Or Carburettor, Rugby Union, Means: I Love You, Man
You leave me alone,
When I want to be on my own,
And my wishes,
You have heeded,
But you’re always there,
To show that you care,
And always when,
Though hard to conceive,
You may not believe,
But I have nothing,
But respect for you,
Because you’re solid as a rock,
And when I take a knock,
You prove yourself a pal so true.
I feel lucky to know,
That wherever I go,
You’re only a phone-call away,
A shoulder to cry on,
Someone I rely on,
And you know how to make my day.
You ensure there’s no strife,
I love that you’re in my life,
And feel that I’m on the mend,
It is important I must,
Say that in you, I trust,
My pal, my mate my friend.
This is a tiny Faerie realm, no bigger than an average sized village and only accessible through the wish of Amorette, the Faerie queen, who will whisk a character (or occasionally a pair or trio, never any more than three people) away with the Wand of Worlds to the shore of its Faerie pond.
The Faerie pond of Starcadia is a reservoir of magical water that has rejuvenating properties, so one who drinks from or bathes in it will feel refreshed, no longer tired or weary, their aches and pains will be cured and any wounds that they may have received will heal (with only the exception of a bite from something turned).
There is a Faerie orchard on the far shore that produces fruit that acts as an antidote for almost all poisons (the only exception is that caused by eating the flesh of a Giant Snail, otherwise known as a Keeper of Time, as even the residents of the Faerie realms honour and respect the venerable sages with a worship worthy of gods).
Once refreshed, healed and rested, each visitor is given permission to take a pebble from the shore of the Faerie pond (and advised to if they decline as it is considered rude not to accept a gift from the Faerie queen, even something that appears trivial and without value such as a pebble, though those who are wise would know that nothing is trivial and everything has value if one is patient enough to learn of it).
When they are ready (and in possession of a pebble from Starcadia’s Faerie pond) the individual(s) gets transported back to Amorette’s august presence, where she reveals the true identity of their pebble. When touched with the Wand of Worlds, the pebble changes shape and colour, growing to twice its size and has its properties explained to its new owner. The following descriptions refer to the stones found in Starcadia:
With the exception of the Rune Stones and the Night Stones (which are not actually stones) the other Starcadia Stones can be used only once and will become warm if a situation arises that would warrant the use of the Faerie gift. Once revealed by the Wand of Worlds and its use explained by Amorette, each Starcadia stone reverts back to its pebble form so the owner must remember what it is he or she has in their possession and keep it safe.
These stones can not ‘go off’ by accident as they can only be activated by the bearer’s sincere wish to use them. Visitors of Starcadia are people that the Faerie queen believes are worthy of the Faerie realm’s support and are usually kind, innocent or selfless; often found to be heroes who have saved lives or stopped suffering somehow. These individuals will be observed from time to time as anyone that ventures in to a Faerie realm can be located once they have left and Amorette tends to be fond of these special people and will sometimes come to their aid again if necessary; such is the love of Faerie-kind.
The residents of Faerie are a peace loving but fiercely defensive and powerful allies. All that come from that mystical realm have a dislike of weapons and mistrust of those who bare arms. Weaponry is forbidden there and any who are found armed within the realm are quickly expelled and often punished
Following the War of the Races, Amorette, the Faerie Queen, was convinced to arm various Faeries and allow a troop of knights safe passage whilst armed, to enter her realm to defend against an army of Ogire that had forced their way in and had evaded capture and consequence through sheer numbers and brute force.
The Faerie queen realised that their way of life was endangered and that certain rules must be bent or broken if they were to prevent the realm from falling. With great sadness but firm conviction, Amorette willed the first Faerie blade in to existence. The short sword was a wide blade, two feet in length and impossibly sharp, able to slice when two inches away from its intended target.
Instead of a runnel, there was a highly detailed picture of a Faerie kissing a rose embossed at the base of the blade, the beautiful flower’s stem wrapped around and threaded through an intricate lattice design of silver that sparkles as if dusted with diamond or mythore. Its hilt, consisting of a slim cross-guard and handle, is smooth steel that ends in rounded tips and the handle is wrapped in soft blue cord. The Faerie blade is superbly balanced and has the ability to blind an opponent temporarily. Amorette’s spellborn sword can never break.
The first Faerie blade was given to sir Morris Tombstone, the knight captain who changed the views of the Faerie queen towards the need to defend her realm and sir Morris led the campaign against the Ogire army that saved the realm of Faerie from subjugation but sadly cost him his life when he and the Ogire king, Hofgrew, slew each other in a fierce final battle.
Sir Morris earned the thanks and respect of Faerie-kind and Amorette blessed the knighthood, bidding safe passage through her realm to any with a noble, honest and innocent soul who believed in good, light and justice; no longer keeping the world of Faerie so opposed to mortals. In desperate need, a Faerie blade will appear when a mortal risks their life to defend a member of the Faerie race. There have been more than a dozen recorded instances but there are likely many more.
These wonderful Faeries are among the largest of Faerie-kind, with an average height of two and a half feet and are often referred to as being the same height as a Human toddler; who they also resemble with their awkward swagger and failure to sense danger. Picksies are brown skinned with brown hair that grows quite quickly on their head so they tend to have long and unkempt hair as they travel a lot and don’t really have the time to cut it.
They also have brown hairy bottoms and legs like fur from the waist down, like a Satyr but with feet rather than hooves and no tails. Picksies have small pointy ears and the males have two tiny horns that protrude from the scalp in-line with their ears and resemble conical shells.
Picksies have similar life-spans to Humans, averaging eighty summers, though some live as long as a century and their longevity is due to the amount of exercise they take as most are travellers, either walking miles every day or accompanying Giant Snails as their scribes; in which case – the exercise comes from climbing up their shells as they tend to fall off their ride a lot.
Picksies are not very sociable and are grumpy people in general as they loathe to be interrupted, bothered or taken away from their studies or tasks. These Fae creatures are perfectionists and will not settle for anything less than excellence. They have extremely high standards and expect (sometimes unreasonably) the same from everybody else.
Picksies are not keen on company unless to lecture or debate but have a fondness for Giant Snails, a strange and unexplainable relationship that is endearing to observe as the Picksie and his or her Giant Snail argue like a couple married for many decades but love each other very much (and believe it is important to tell each other so on a daily basis, even if they are cross with the other one and usually after they have insulted one another).
Picksie Paint is an ink-like substance of a colour so deep, dark and rich in blue that most mistake it for black. The recipe for making this concoction is a carefully kept secret, as is the method for mixing the ingredients due to the Picksie Paint being one of the many items on the Picksie Pact (a binding agreement of non-disclosure made by all the Picksie Council).
Unlike certain inks or regular paints and dyes, Picksie Paint will never fade and is imbued with a replenishing spell that will make the calligraphy on a Giant Snail’s shell, sparkle momentarily every two hundred years and then appear as smart and stark as the day it was penned.
Poorly Played Practical Joke
For Alistair’s Photo Flash Fiction Project
Maximum word-count: 150
This piece: 123
The foam was almost firm, as the surf smashed on to the shore with such ferocity, the wicked waves, wrecking havoc on the Sea-Sprites’ community; as though hurled hatefully by an evil wytch who could manipulate the weather.
The water faeries scattered as each wave broke, pandemonium on the sands as Amorette’s Fae sea-dwellers beseeched their queen for calmer waters. Sea-Sprites are notorious for teasing practitioners of magic and their latest victim had turned out to be more adept in the Craft of the wise than they had imagined, the wytch’s wrath; more vengeful than expected.
It had been noted that ‘Elfin Undergarments of Explosions’ was not a practical joke deemed wise to play on the ill-humoured warlocks and wytches of the land.
Here are some of the Cyralost appendices pertaining to the faerie realm and its inhabitants, the next post will continue these, enjoy 🙂
Sea Dragon Sea
Ironically, there has never been a recorded sighting of a Sea Dragon (or any other Sea monster for that matter) in these waters. The sea took its name from the legend of Shanasta, a Mer-elf who fell in love with a Sea Dragon known as Oracle.
The pair made history, fighting wars below the surface of the sea, ridding the oceans of various dark denizens. Long-story-short, Shanasta was slain, murdered by a land dwelling dark duke and Oracle wept so much for his lost love that his tears sank the land and formed a sea.
The islands of Kira that border (or lie within) the Sea Dragon Sea were the former high points of the sunken land or those favoured by the gods.
Mirk Pond lies at the base of the mountains that crown Winter Wind Valley south of Draggar’s Watch and in sight of Ixi Bagor. To the west lies The Fens, desolate marshland, bogs and swamp shrouded in a low mist and inhabited by lizards and great amphibians of an unusual nature (see appendices for Lizara and The Fens).
The pool itself, despite its name, is a vast pool of cool, clear, crystal water with hints of azure and aqua-marine. The water reflects light as if through a prism, casting rainbows everywhere.
Deep beyond all knowledge as even the keenest diver would give up and the attempts to gauge its depth were left wanting as the scholars either ran out of rope or had their lead lines confiscated by the Fae creatures that reside below.
What is known is that somewhere beneath the surface are the foundations of a Faerie kingdom, a Faerie fortress and many gorgeous grottos can be located in various places below ground. There are no tunnels in the vast network/labyrinth below Tarkus that join those below Mirk Pond (likely closed off to ward against unwelcome visitors in the Faerie realm) so the grottos can only be accessed through the pond.
It is said that travellers who rest besides the pool will fall under a spell and dream wonderful, inspiring dreams that will motivate the dreamer upon waking and make them feel revived, strong, healthy, brave and happy. The truth is Water Sprites, from the Faerie kingdom, come to the surface at night and can not help but kiss a mortal nearby.
It is a mutually beneficial process much like bees and flowers, the travellers are enchanted and receive a renewed sense of well being (hence Mirk Pond is so popular with new parents, and old ones come to think of it!) coupled with inspiration and joy whilst the Sprites are ‘charged’ with the affection, requiring love to power themselves (even if they have to steal the kisses whilst the mortals are asleep).
At night, the Faerie fortress (which is invisible by day) is illuminated, drawing energy from Cyralost’s moons and appears as a crystalline palace, glasslike and transparent, luminescent with all manner of colours shooting out of its portals (pointless doors and windows as Faeries can ‘wink’ though anything) like fireworks as the Fae practice their magic.
The water of the pond is non-magical despite the mana fuelled activities within its waters but a spring nearby holds the essence of Faerie light (a delight with children who love to see their tummies glow for a few hours) and is bottled on occasion to be used like lanterns. The light fades after a while though and there is no way to re-activate it. The spring resides in the centre of a Faerie orchard half a mile from Mirk Pond and the orchard’s trees produce magic apples that grant the same restorative powers as the Water Sprites (and last until consumed so no imposed time limit).
The law states that no more than three apples may be taken by any one person per visit, though this does not seem to be regulated and enforced but most abide and many respectfully leave a token offering to the Fae in thanks.
Mirk Pond got its name from Nettles the wytch (the infamous telluric magic practitioner renowned for her true prophecy). Nettles is believed to be an honouree name passed down by wytches due to the longevity of her existence (many hundreds of years) and some even claim she is in fact Anna Bedar-Scott, the first wytch and Dancer. Nettles predicted that the Faerie kingdom would fall when the pond was polluted by the dead after a devastating curse befell the island of Tarkus. It remains to be seen.
An endangered species, the Pixie Eel, called so for the rainbow, Faerie-like lights it leaves in its wake can be found around the shores of Calastria and Aduporia; the turbulent waters – a breeding ground for smaller fish.
Once caught in great numbers as their fins were used for spell components and their flesh was a very expensive delicacy which was considered an honour to be served, though not gratefully received as a meal because it tastes disgusting (and no amount of garlic butter can mask it, a not to those who also use this idea for snails… yuck!).
The Pixie Eel was trawled for until near extinction but is now less popular as food fashion has moved on and there are cheaper means to produce the spells that the Pixie Eel fins were used for.
Approximately three feet in length for a baby, the fish itself is quite ugly and nasty if it bites you, but very pretty to watch when swimming as the colours it leaves in the sea behind it are splendid in the sunlight. Adults can grow as big as a man but are rarely seen, preferring the depths, and – although huge – are harmless unless caught and trying to escape; as they are herbivores and live off sea vegetation (kelp in particular).
Legend has it, the fish swallowed a Faerie that was in-fact Maigen (goddess of children and Smallfolk) in disguise, and when it refused to spit her out, she made it emanate a rainbow in the sea and the light scared the Eel so much it gasped in fright, spitting the Faerie/goddess out as it darted off into the sunset; hence it is always seen speeding about.
Pool of Reflection
These magical pools can be found all over Cyralost and, though widely unknown to mortals, tend to be near a portal to the Faerie realm. The clear, colourless water can occasionally be located in ‘manmade’ basins (I use the term ‘manmade’ as overall, all encompassing description of anything built by mortals, whether it was created by Man, Elf, Dwarf or other mortal and mean no offence to Demi-Humans and now hope that I have further offended non Humans with the term ‘Dem-Human’, I can only apologise for my lack of knowledge with keeping up to date with regards to terms deemed politically correct and shall endeavour to educate myself on these matters as soon as possible. Racism is such a taboo subject that I rarely know the right way to avoid misunderstanding or offending people so I am sorry if I upset you pointy eared Faerie wannabes or mini men) but tend to be natural pools.
These bodies of water receive their powers by being bathed in by AquÆn, female Fairies that defend watery areas such as rivers and streams, lakes and pools (see appendix for AquÆn). There are no significant differences between the Pools of Reflection and non-magical reservoirs unless you look directly in to one, there is no indication that it is anything other than it looks and if someone does not look at their reflection but simply bathes in the pool or drinks from it, the water will still feel and taste the same, having no unusual effects and more refreshing than normal water.
However, using a Pool of Reflection for purposes other than invoking the mirror spells within (even if unintentionally or ignorantly) will summon an AquÆn to the area and the angered Faerie might take exception to the bather/drinker and attack.
If one does look directly in to the pool for more than a minute (whether intentionally evoking the pool’s powers or not) the image reflected will change and one of three things can happen (completely at random, subsequent visits to a Pool of Reflection, even the same pool, is as likely to meet the exact same experience as discover something completely different).
One: A true reflection is revealed, the image will show the seeker exactly who or what they are, sometimes with devastating reactions. If somebody or something is under an enchantment like invisibility, the pool will make them appear, if they are a shape shifter (whether a Xalim, Faerie or under a spell/curse) then their true form will be shown. Illusions shatter in the reflection but it is not just physical differences that revealed.
A person’s true intentions and desires are reflected (even if they are consciously unaware themselves and have yet to realise these) and the nature of their soul is revealed. Any lies they have told are exposed, as are any untruths that they have been led to believe about themselves (e.g. if someone had been told that they had done something, needed something, owed something or been held responsible for something that was not their fault; they will realise the truth and be able to make amends).
One sad instance of this involved a man named Robert Jez, who discovered that he was not the father of ‘his’ ten year old son and that his wife had lied to him in order to trap him in a relationship which led to a decade of unhappy marriage. Mr Jez left the Pool of Reflection, sold his wife in to slavery and spent the money on his ‘son’s’ education and keep at a nearby monastery before falling in to a terrible depression and drinking himself to death.
Another instance made a young woman discover that her opponent in a campaign for the role of mayor in her village had rigged the votes in his favour and she was able to prove his misdeeds by forcing those he had bribed to confess the truth. He was removed from office and publically flogged whilst the young lady took on the role as mayor and became the first woman to rule a settlement on her island.
Two: Another effect of a Pool of Reflection is to reveal a premonition, show something that will happen in the future, which (whilst sometimes frightening) is incredibly useful to some who can use the information to ensure they meet their intended destiny or avoid it if desired. Some people use the knowledge for good, others for bad (like making money through nefarious means because they have seen something that gives them an advantage over others) whilst some become inconsolably distraught if they have learnt something bad or terrible (i.e. fatal) will occur.
These events are carefully monitored by Destiny’s own reflecting pool (a basin of a completely different nature) so that she can ensure that nothing detrimental to the time-line happens and can deal with those who endanger it (as a result of having seen the future and trying to change it) appropriately.
Three: Finally, the Pool of Reflection can show one’s own image but (as part of the AquÆn’s nature to defend pools, lakes, rivers etc) will give the reflection an inhuman smile (or un-Elf-like etc, don’t you tar me with that brush, you overgrown Pixie!) and the eyes turn nasty, evil looking. Then, the fingers turn in to long claws that reach out for the seeker and tries to hold them firmly until the rest of the reflected image solidifies whilst it turns in to a monster that resembles the top half of a MÆrow (see appendix for MÆrow) and drags its victim in to the pool to drown them before devouring them.
It is forbidden to tell others of a location of a Pool of Reflection, so they tend to remain a secret until unsuspecting travellers trigger off one of the mirror spells within them. If someone does relay the location of one, they will suddenly forget whatever they had learned from the one they visited, forget any revelations of truth or premonitions and their mind will become foggy for a period of approximately three months (something to do with the phases of the moons that are unnecessary to explain in this appendix).
This affliction makes them absent minded and forgetful to an extent that they become a danger to themselves and others so are subsequently incarcerated for their own good and often sent off to specialist detention centres where the mad are dealt with, especially if they regain their senses after the three month period has waned and they have become aggressive through frustration over their imprisonment and talking about ‘magic pools’…
The AquÆn (both singular and plural) are female Faeries that can change their form at will but tend to only shape-shift if in danger or wishing to attack. AquÆn are peace loving Faeries, honourable, noble and decent in nature though fiercely protective of rivers, streams, lakes and pools (of which they are the appointed guardians) and can attack violently if the need arises.
Their true form is that of a beautiful woman with two horse legs (unlike Centaurs whose proud equestrian bodies have four legs and not dissimilar to Satyrs who have two goat’s legs), no tail and no Faerie wings or feathers though. Their powerful horse legs are, of course, magical and can propel them great distances from a standing position; much like the way a ‘Jump’ spell works.
Certain magical properties that are not apparent in (or available to) the AquÆn are absorbed by the pools in which they bathe (see appendix for Pools of Reflection). AquÆn are guardians of all rivers, lakes, streams and pools but tend to dwell as near to a portal to the Faerie realm as possible, travelling great distances if necessary to reach out of the way locations such as a mountain stream if it is threatened.
These Faeries will appear if someone stirs up the mud from the bottom of a stream or disturbs a lake too much and demand a sacrifice of some description in recompense for the disrespect. It is possible that they will wish some task performed or have a traveller give up an item or small treasure (it is very rare that they demand something completely unreasonable like a child or someone’s life) and will attack if refused.
The AquÆn are solitary creatures so it is rare to see more than one anywhere (and unlikely as they are fiercely competitive and will demand a duel from a rival AquÆn if encountered). As single entities, it would be, of course, difficult for just one of them to defend a river if there was an army marching through it and so the AquÆn would shape-shift in to something colossal like a Giant or a Dragon to deal with the threat appropriately.
The AquÆn have a weakness for children (which they also protect and will appear if in the area when a child is in trouble) and tend to let them off with a stern talking to if they disturb the water. They are also open to a challenge, whether on of wit, strength or bravery, rarely declining and tending to remain in their original form throughout the contest (playing fair unless cheated or lied to, which they will sense and shape-shift in to something horrible to punish the offending cheat).
If someone wins the challenge and defeats the AquÆn fairly, they will be gifted with some precious Faerie trinket (not of their choosing but always pleasantly rewarding). Fae items are always magical
and often very rare in the world of mortals.
This comical looking Fae creature is a one legged goat with insane looking green eyes. Æjekp was spellborn of lightning when the Cyclops stole the element to defend themselves with prior to the Minoch’s banishment from the empyrean, following The Great Betrayal.
Purely accidental in creation, a sole Æjekp was abandoned, alone in the world until Amorette, the Faerie queen, took pity on it and adopted the poor creature. The Faeries cared for it until it reached maturity and was able to look after itself. Sensing the Æjekp’s desire for independency, Amorette sent it back to Cyralost with her blessing, which enabled it to turn invisible at will (hence it is never seen).
Born of lightning, the Æjekp can harness that element’s power in its reflexes, enabling the one legged goat to move impossibly fast and kick an opponent with such ferocious speed that it will land on its hoof (which is the only time anyone will see it, as it lands, as it is invisible or hopping so fast it is a blur the rest of the time).
The force of that kick is devastating and will shatter bones, killing smaller creatures. The Æjekp will only attack a potential threat and stays away from largely populated areas. Like all goats, it never stops eating, and – being ten feet tall, it has an even bigger appetite and is able to devour whole fields of crops at a time, making itself a pest that none could catch.
Like most animals, the Æjekp is not necessarily good or evil, just instinctive, eating without regard to ownership and defending itself as necessary. With so few recorded sightings (and some of those put down to alcohol, narcotics or illusions) the Æjekp is still considered a myth by many, its comical description making it hard to believe or making one think they are being made fun of, which suits the Faerie goat’s shy and solitary preferences.
He woke with a start, woke but did not wake, slept but did not sleep; he was between dreaming and waking yet keenly aware that neither were yet a reality. He opened his eyes, brushing a thick mop of black hair with his thin boned hand and rubbed at his eyes like a child when he yawned.
He took a quick glance around the familiar room, looking down at the purple carpet and through the fabric of reality to the grid of fine walkways that spanned the void. Then he looked at the mirror and saw the boy from the pictures of his childhood.
The boy was him but could not be because he was him. The question-mark, his constellation, blazed in the sky as the boy in the mirror said: “Come with me.”
And he knew not to say “Where?” For he knew he was going where children danced whilst angels sang. He knew not to enquire “When?” Because he knew the answer to be now and always.
He knew not to ask “How?” Because he knew he had only to take the child’s hand and step through the looking glass. And he knew not to beg “Why?” As it was no longer his concern.
Though he did say “But she…” And himself (the boy) replied “Will be fine.” And there was peace without pain and no more questions came forth, his constellation faded to a slight sparkle.
She woke with a start, turned to touch him and realised that another angel had been called home. And she wept.
The wasted spaces that fill the places,
On the road to desperate ice cream flavours,
Where the darkness that loves you
Admits that to love you, is to kill you.
Shadows, shards and silhouettes,
They are not what I was intending,
But the original, organised disorder,
Governs contradictory clowns,
To bend stone and bruise banes
Of forlorn forest Faeries.
Sympathy in symmetry with nonsense,
Not dissimilar to the needy and greedy;
Unfamiliar liars who claim to know.
That should keep them guessing…
This is an older poem of mine, written about eighteen years ago, I was inspired to post it after reading a recent poem by Paul. F Lenzi. I hope you like it. Best wishes from Baldy.
Lost now you have left me,
To sleep in the empyrean,
My nights are haunted,
Now you eternally dream,
The unbearable knowledge,
Of your passing, smote,
And I am left fain,
Unable to emote.
Memories erupt within,
As I watch all feeling flee,
I retire from the world,
Wish away the life in me,
Long in to the endless night,
I sing sweet death’s lament,
Until I fall to mortal fatigue,
And all my breath is spent.