Jacek Larkspur

Although humans had taken to evil with remarkable alacrity, love could not be completely eliminated, or at least the idea of love. He was from a family of myomancers, divining the future from the behavior of rats, While she was from a family of myrmomancers, divining the future from the tracks of ants. They were from two different worlds,1 and a love like theirs was impossible. Their parent’s disapproval entirely justified. hers did what any worthy myrmomancer parents with a modicum of good sense and decent breeding2 in their place would do; they hired an assassin.

Oh, not to permanently consign him to oblivion3, just mild torment until his family or friends could raise him up again, either alive or undead4. To that end they turned to the Guild of Death & Destruction (Local 329)5, seeking an assassin of exceptional skill, dedication, and cunning. Unfortunately, he proved too expensive and they settled on Jacek Larkspur.

Jacek strolled down the Avenue of Impalement just beyond where it crossed Impalement Avenue North (which ran East-West) and one block over from the Avenue of Impalements (plural), and near the "Avenue of Implements", a used torture device consignment store. He attempted to casually slip down an alley, but as one could at any moment be set upon by bandits, attacked by a vampire, or possessed by some dark spirit, strolling was not something one saw much of in the city of Phobopolis6 Primus7. It was generally accepted that it was best to keep your head down, accept your lot, and hope to die early, and maybe the Drodkip won’t notice and let your soul wander aimlessly in the unlife of the Shadowlands, forever betwixt the locked gates of the Halls of the Sun and the Pits of Screams.8

But Jacek was recently out of his indentures and newly licensed and accredited as a Journeyman Killwright9, his confidence in his own abilities, while not misplaced, did make him stand out amongst the general population’s furtive movements and shifty glances10, but such things came with experience. He made his way down the alley, its walls greasy and black like the pan of drippings under a BBQ11, a young man with a limitless future of discord and mayhem. Unlike most of the other young Killwrights in the guild, he was not going to content himself with one or two contracts a month with the time in-between spent in scarlet rooms filled with sin and iniquity, piss drunk and suffering from something that no physician’s leach or witches brew could cure.12 No, he had big plans.

He was going to make death his bitch.

His mood was so good in fact, that as he passed a man nursing a bottle of spirits13 in the alley, Jacek drew his rapier14, ran him through, and replaced the blade in its scabbard without breaking his stride, a bounce in his step that only comes with giving away one’s services for free15.

Jacek stopped where the alley dead ended, patted all his pockets and pouches, making sure he had all the things he needed, the things he might need, and the things he hoped he wouldn’t need. He then thumbed the hilt of his sword three times, making sure it could be drawn. It was time.

He made a sign with his fingers16[/ref], and a swirl of glowing green vapour17 coalesced into a Demkling, the lowest18 order of demon. Having already scouted and rehearsed the job, he had no need to break silence, his demon knew what to do and with two tentacles created a sling for Jacek to step into, while with two other segmented limbs it grabbed one wall of the alley’s corner and with two clawed limbs, it grabbed the other wall and proceeded to climb up19.

Once at the top, Jacek dismissed his monstrosity with a perfunctory wave of his hand, and looked about, looking for anything amiss. Nothing was, it was as it had been the three previous nights. He removed the bottled spell from his belt and set it on the roof along with his pack. Killing was easy, but doing so without getting killed yourself was an art. He fully expected the victim’s family to seek revenge, so he would cover his tracks, otherwise he could have just walked in the front door. When he made his escape, he’d break the spell bottle, blotting out anyone’s ability to track him by magic. It was not a cheep spell, in fact, it would eat nearly fifty percent of his profit on the job, but he was very careful.

He’d even bothered to follow the girl for a few days, just to make sure there were no unforeseen consequences. Pretty boring girl, really. She had a conventionally beautiful face, but not exactly memorable, sort of like a small market newscaster. Worse, she wore long dresses, so he couldn’t get a look at her legs. Not worth dying over.

He checked all his equipment, again, in the exact same pattern as he had below, and made sure his blade slid in scabbard, in and out, three times. You see, Jacek had OCD.20 Not severe, and beneficial to his profession in many ways, but in an ironic twist, for someone who needed order and control, his condition was something he couldn’t. Of course, he didn’t realize his condition, he just assumed that stepping across seems in the road with alternate feet was the right way to to do it, and figured other people’s failure to do so was their lack of perception at the intrinsic wrongness of not doing it. Satisfied all was in order, or was not in disorder, Jacek leapt from rooftop to rooftop, with nary21 a sound.

Stopping and stooping at a particular peaked red roof, Jacek jimmied the whorled window of an appropriate attic.

\*\*\*

With disapproving families with the ability to foretell their plans, the young lovers found it difficult22 to arrange their assignations. But nowhere else is humanity as willing to persevere, endure hardships, remain resolute, determined, and steadfast, than two teenagers determined to rut. Like Leonidas at Thermopylae or Horatius on the Bridge, they refused to surrender.

Their current rendezvous was in many ways a stroke of brilliance. Each could tell their parents exactly where they were going, no need to lie and sneak as long as they arrived at separate times. And their parents were thrilled, what possible trouble could one get up to there? Was it not their duty as parents to encourage their visits? Was there anyplace better to get their infatuation out of their system?

So they met at a brothel. While the rhythmic sound men succumbing to their animalistic nature and women mimicking theirs reverberated through the walls, the young lovers embraced, exchanged vows of undying love, while the occupants of adjacent rooms exchanged money, their room a bastion of rightness in a universe gone to rot.

They fell to the bed, fumbling with their clothes, not noticing the attic hatch swing down nor the silent figure dropping from the scuttle hole. As he landed, silently, Jacek drew his blade, his mind and body as one. Like a cat stalking its prey, there was only the kill. His heart beat slow and steady, all emotion, all desire, drained and set aside.

The girl giggled, crawled under the covers, they boy went to follow suit as Jacek slipped behind him, grabbed him by the collar and slit his throat, let go of the collar with a twist, imparting just the right amount of spin to the boy’s body such that he spurted an arc of blood across the room23 as he fell. He then cast demon-sign, and was lifted back into the attic, the door closing silently behind him, before the girl even knew what was happening.

That was the plan.

As he finished his cut, and spun him, there was no spray of blood, it just blurpt out, like a chocolate fountain at a buffet. While disappointing, it was just a failure of aesthetics, not of skill. No, the real problem was as the body dropped, Jacek glanced up and saw the girl’s head already peaking out of the sheets. Thoughts flooded into his brain, had he miscalculated? Had he made a noise? Did he step in something and she smelled it? If so, does that mean he has poopy boots? Why aren’t her eyes bulging in shock and surprise, and instead, why are they narrowing?

And the girl launched herself out of the bed and at Jacek. He slid back, wondering how to extricate himself. What he wanted to do was just run the girl through, but her parents were his clients, and although not stated explicitly, he took it that they didn’t want her killed. Or harmed (another set of options off the table). He ducked under an attack of fingernails. Now teeth, barely avoided, followed by a foot, which wasn’t. She was giving him no quarter, her eyes wild, bubbly spittle on her lips as she growled. She lunged, but he anticipated it and used her momentum to . She bounced off the bed and into the wall.

“Oops,” he grimaced.

And that was when he realized she was naked. The boy had been the focus of the job, but he had put some time observing her habits. He’d thought her a bit skinny for his tastes, but some people are meant to be naked, and she was one of them. But now was not the time, nor the place… well, it was the place, but nevermind…

His hand shot out, and he began to cast his demon, the girl glowering at him across the room, too far away to stop him—

—Her skin began to turn green. Oh, shit, he thought, she’s a witch.

She threw a green ball of flame, missing low and to the left. He was about to smirk in a way that he thought was roguishly charming, but reminded others of a stroke victim, when he felt an intense, searing pain at his wrist. He looked down. There was his wrist, his smoldering wrist. Just his wrist.

His hand was gone.

\*\*\*

Multum Parvo

He passed the door four time; twice, before realizing it was a door, once, wondering if it was the right door, and finally, whether he should go through with it. Multum Parvo didn’t think his first time would be like this, then again he thought it would have happened at some point in the last twenty-three years, although to be fair, he’d only been been interested in it for the past eight. He took a breath24, a nervous, stuttering breath. What if the password25 he’d been given was wrong? Outdated? Maybe someone was playing a trick on him, and were waiting to laugh at him? He knocked. It was the bravest thing he’d ever done.

The peephole slid open, filled by an eyeball, cyclops being the preferred go-to for peephole manning. The cyclops grunted, the rumble raising in intonation at the end, indicating a question. Multum stammered the password, barely loud enough for himself to hear, let alone the doorkeep. The cyclops grunted, leaned forward to hear better, bumped into the door, and turned his head, giving his ear that critical change in distance and angle so as to better hear26. Multum, gulped, a cartoon character gulp, loud and his adams apple bobbing. He spit out the password27, but before he had even finished, the door swung wide as the cyclops grunted with all the warmth and welcome a grunt can convey28 and suddenly, he was inside, pulled or pushed he knew not, only he knew it wasn’t under his own volition. A drink appeared in his hand, only slightly watered down, his quarterstaff replaced by cloakroom ticket, and before he could stand there awkwardly wondering what to do, the madam glided29 over to warmly30 greet him.

Two women slinked over, wearing only the suggestion of clothing, and helped him off with his cloak. He clenched. His mind, his heart, every muscle,31 every fiber32 of his being. He forced himself not to wince, as if he were anticipating a physical blow, but they just smiled at him. And not condescending smiles nor mocking, but warm, inviting smiles. Multum stood there in Lincoln green and brown deerskin, his hair in a mullet.

He was a ’fling,33 a human who wanted to be an Elf.34 Now if you were to say to Multum, or any ’Fling, “You just want to be an Elf,” They would bristle and say that they merely identified with the way of the Elder Folk, admired their bravery and honor, their affinity with nature, their struggle to maintain their culture, and their plight against the forces of modernity.

But it was poppycock35. They wanted to be Elves. They wanted to live in trees, shoot bows while leaping from branch to branch, to dance in the woods for days on end, recite poetry with the creatures of the forest, living in harmony with and never get fat.

Sure, real elves suffered from scurvy, endemic goiter, abscesses, ocular degeneration, and iron deficiencies due to their refusal to domesticate livestock or engage in agriculture36. Reading was considered a weakness, a feeble crutch for man’s inability to commit knowledge to memory. Even metalworking was frowned upon, the dwarf blacksmith37 had to be situated as far away from the tribe’s sacred tree as possible, for digging up metals was “rape of Mother Eorðe”. Weak or scrawny babies were left in the branches of the Soul Tree as a sacrifice to the Goddess Kar Danu and her retainers38. Then again, Multum could be forgiven for not knowing these things, he’d never met an Elf.

Until now.

With a nearly imperceptible gesture from the madam, an elvish female, tall and lithe, glode39 over. Elves, by nature, are regal, aloof, elegant, and inscrutable40. Multum, smart enough to realize he couldn’t pull any of those off at the moment, decided to freeze41. Without so much as a glance at him, the Elven courtesan took his hand as she glid past42 and led him upstairs.

\*\*\*

A shoulder, an ear, and a cascade of golden hair. That was his whole world as he followed her up the stairs, and it was enough. He didn’t “bro-out” and slow down to let her get ahead so he could check out her butt, he didn’t do the pathetic hair-sniff. He was, for the first time in his life, completely in the moment. All of his fears and anxieties,43 and there were a considerable number, forgotten. Is this what normal people feel like all the time? He thought. Of course, thinking about it pulled him out of the moment and all his anxieties came flooding back, and for once, some were legitimate.

Multum was an herbalist from hinterlands, his village known for brewing beer, especially its I.P.A.44 But there was a dispute over water rights with the neighboring village45. Multum had been tasked as his village’s champion petition Drodkip himself for redress. The village elders were fairly certain of success, but Drodkip had a habit of consuming the petitioner no matter his decision, so they bandied about terms like “Noble Quest”, “Hero”, “Noble Hero”, “Hero’s Quest”, “Hero’s Nobility”, etc. Multum, they said, would be their savior, his name invoked down through the ages, echoing through the halls of time.

Multum had no illusions, he knew the village despised him and as one of two herbalists in the village and could be spared. Or perhaps despised is too strong a word, he had never been bullied, never outright mocked, or ostracized, but he could see in the people an exasperation, as if they had long ago lost all patience with him. His every interaction seemed to grate on them, as if it were dinnertime and he was a telemarketer for the same company that had been told “not interested” and “please don’t call again” multiple times.

But the thing had be done, the danger faced. Although a man, inside flowed the blood of an elf.46 Sure, it wasn’t technically him doing anything, the village elders didn’t trust him enough, so they had written the petition down and he wasn’t even supposed to read it out loud but hand it to the Drodkip directly47. It mattered not. He would go before his dread lord and face death like a man elf.

But before he went to his fate, there was her.

She guided him into the room, spun him around and started to undo his jerkin as she backed him into the bed. He noticed that she was slightly annoyed at the rather exuberant sounds issuing through the thin walls. He noticed! He could read an Elf’s emotions! Most humans couldn’t, but he could. Had he developed the skill? Was it inborn in him? Was there some bond between the elven woman and he united them in understanding?

His train of thought jumping tracks her hands went up his tunic and somehow managed to undo the lacing from the inside. She smiled, proud of her trick, and pushed him down on the bed, spread his knees apart, and crawled over him. A loud THUMP caused him to jerk his head in the direction of wall, she turned it back with her forefinger. She straddled him, taking his hands in hers, guiding them towards her chest, his eyes growing larger as the distance grew shorter, inversely proportional as his fingers floated closer, until the tips felt the body heat radiating from her.

That was when Jacek came CRASHING through the wall.

\*\*\*

Mokrado Moorditch

From behind the bar, she took note of the new client, gave the "Have a good time but watch your step" look that marks the distinction between a Bartender who can keep the patrons in line and a mere Goon who knows which end of a mug faces up.48 The ‘fling wasn’t paying attention, but it wasn’t intended for him anyway, but to demonstrate her dedication to the madam who paid her salary. She watched as he was led up the stairs, thinking he was rather cute, for a human. She smiled to herself, quickly forced herself to stop, aware that humans couldn’t distinguish between an Orc’s threatening displays of fang and happy ones.

And Mokrado Moorditch was certainly an Orc. Nearly six foot six, with skin the color of the flesh of an avocado. Not guacamole and not turning brown, but that green to yellow mix of a good Haas or maybe a Fuerte.49 She kept her silvery-white hair short but well styled and favored clothes that displayed her impressive musculature. It’s true one tusk was shorter than the other, but that just gave her an approachability, like a hot chick with glasses.

She had come to the capitol to study Thrall & Subjugation at University, but the city had proved much more expensive than her parents had budgeted for and she was forced to take up goonery to pay for mac ‘n cheese & ramen50. And she did enjoy the work. While not a devout Orc, she was proud of her heritage and thuggery kept her in touch with her people’s proud heritage of wanton violence and destruction.

She waited until the coast was clear, continued to clean the same mug with the same rag as she had been all night, and looked down at the book she had behind the bar. Her hand was big enough to cover the opened book completely, so she wasn’t worried about being found out (reading being being generally frowned upon), and few of the other employees would give her a hard time, for most of them had grown up in the capitol and had never had much interaction with Orcs so all she had to do was keep eye contact just a bit too long and they would begin to fret that she was thinking of eating them. Besides, she had to finish before her bookclub (The Weltanschauungen Orotund Quodlibet Society for the Ratiocination of the Welträthsel without Obloquy)51 later that night52.

Cracking skulls by day, and books by night. Sure, she wished she could integrate the aspects of herself better, perhaps after college when she began to enslave town and villages,53 brawn and brain united.

Yet, there was a third aspect to her, a dangerous, forbidden aspect. Few suspected, and fewer knew. They met in shadows and in a world riven with evil, there are some really dark shadows but with a secret so terrible, they met in the shadow of shadows. Only there, could it be admitted.

Mokrado was an atheist.

Oh sure, she knew that Drodkip existed, she wasn’t a full blown Denialist54, but she knew that the Gods were fairy tales. Cythraul & Hundun, had not wrestled until they ripped each other apart, the pieces becoming the Old Ones, the Gods of Chaos & Entropy. Their children, the Gods of Light & Dark had not waged war, creating stars as weapons. She knew that the New Gods had not unleashed the Divine Mathamatics, adding their power, subtracting the Old One’s. Dividing their enemies, multiplying their forces. The square and the root did not lay siege, and they had not loosed IT, the null set, the empty pit of nothingness, the great void, the Nothing That Is a Number, the chasm of non-existence, the Great and Terrible ZERO by which the Old Ones were thus divided.

All utter shite made up by primitives to make sense of a world ruled by an undeniably powerful being, but one’s whose powers derived from natural, not supernatural means. After all, if Phobos were a God, why would he need to persecute certain avenues of inquiry and various schools of thought? She believed in reason. In facts. In her axe. Her two handed, two headed battle axe that she kept behind the bar.

As soon as she heard the CRASH from upstairs, she palmed her book and slipped it in her waistband, at the small of her back. As soon a she heard the scream, her hand went to her axe.

Now there are two type of screams possible in a den of sin and iniquity; the first is one that elicits eye rolls from the employees55. It was not that kind of scream. The other category, of which said scream fell, is to Goons as the sound of the can opener brings out the cat.

***

Falke Ostringer

She could kick herself.56 Everything was ruined, her secret exposed. Not to mention, she was physically exposed, completly naked.57 Rather than go for a killing blast, she widened the effect, ensuring that it struck its mark and sent the one handed man crashing through the wall. It was probably too much to hope that he’d broken his neck.

He skin changed to a pink hue as she struck out her arms, her dress lifting into the air behind her, every seam unraveled, the material wrapped around her, and the thread spiraled back into the cloth, re-stitching itself and clothing her as she stepped through the hole in the wall.

“Stop!” yelled the murderer, attempting to hold up his hand which wasn’t there, and then switched to the off hand. “The police will be here any moment and you know what happens to witches!” He was right. She didn’t care. Her skin changed to a reddish orange as she began to cock back her throwing arm to launch the ball of fire forming in her hand, when she realized something wasn’t quite right.

She’d enchanted her dress on backwards.

The fact that she’d managed even that is impressive. The witch with the backwards dress, Falke Ostringer, had never used magic before. All her knowledge of spells, hexes, curses, charms, enchantments, incantations, and invocations was theoretical, which was understandable, witchcraft being the quickest route to ones soul being forcibly separated from the body and ingested by the Drodkip and its former home possessed by a “what” rather than a “whom”58.

Phobos detested witches, they made the gelatinous membrane that functioned as his skin crawl. Some say59 it was because long before he ascended to higher60 level of evil, back when he was still man and male pattern baldness had not yet gripped his noggin, that a group of witches had forced his Warlock’s Conclave61 to open up admission to them, protesting their exclusion as sexist. Of course, no Warlock could join a Coven62 of Witches, they didn’t meet the requirement.

And here lay Phobos’s real hatred, said63 others. Warlocks, being male, could not create life, whereas Witches, with their lady bits64, could. Witches possessed power over fertility, growth, even creating life itself. Warlocks could kill, destroy, corrupt, build, fortify, or enhance, but they couldn’t make so much as a flower grow, let alone create ex nihilo65. There was no way to get around it, Warlocks were just half-witches, and for that inescapable fact, all witches must die.

And to die like this, all the years of training and hiding, wasted! If she was going to expose her power, she should have just used it to restore the life of the one she loved, rather than seeking revenge.

Stupid. She dropped her arms.

Jacek, Multum, and the whore66 let out a collected held breath. Multum looked at the strumpet, his eyes bulging. The bawd’s ear was round. The fallen woman realized the direction of his stare, felt her ear and smirked. “They’re fake, honey. You didn’t think”—

They were interrupted by the sound of stupidity.

“I knew you’d see reason,” smirked Jacek as he started to stand. Multum and the painted lady’s head both swiveled in unison to the witch, who was turning the color of a raspberry icee.67 He grabbed his courtesan pulling her to her feet and dragging her towards the door at the same time. “Now we have to figure out how to get you—” Jacek looked, saw the murder in her eyes and the ice in her veins. Literally, because she drew back her arm, ripping her sleeve at the shoulder, as ice and snow swirled around her hand.

Jacek tucked and rolled, Falke held her shot, noticed the couple at the door. If the police show up…

She iced the door just as the floozy’s hand gripped the doorknob. The harlot let out a scream68 as she was stuck to the door, Multum jumped back, so as not to come in contact with her.

Falke scanned the room for assassin, her skin turning a deep orange69. Probably crouching on the other side of the bed. She had to kill him. She would avenge the death of her love, sacrificing her soul for him. His family would raise him from the dead, surely. Probably fully restored, or as much as was possible, or at least not a zombie, at least enough to know what she had done for him.

She hoped. Maybe she should tell someone before. Maybe the ’fling—

—Her eyes remained fixed on the bed as her head twitched ever so slightly in the direction of the ’fling, standing frozen70. Whether she saw the movement or felt it through the æther made little difference to the bed. Her reaction bordered on precognition, firing a white hot blast of plasma at the exact spot where Jacek would appear from behind the bed. She wasn’t wrong. Her aim was true, her instincts correct, it was just that Jacek was very, very fast.

He sprung over the bed, planting his severed stump and ignoring the pain while grabbing a pillow with his good hand, he was clear of the blast before it struck71. He threw the pillow into her face, pinned it there with the stump and punched as hard as he could.

She dropped, out cold. Breathing hard, he looked at Multum and the wench, or at least her heaving bosom72. They both stared back.73[/ref] He nodded towards the unconscious witch. “Not a mark,” he said, proudly.

At that moment the door was struck by a blow of such force, it split it in two and the pieces flying into the room, the one taking the attached woman74 with it. It had been so fast that it was only after she landed that Multum finally ducked.

And then the axe-wielding female Orc shouldered herself through the splintered door frame.



  1. Also, “too” different. Her parents made no note of the pun because 1, In their language, it wasn’t a pun and 2, Phobos had banned puns.

  2. Unlike those degenerate myomancers.

  3. Which also happened to be much more expensive as well as denying Drodkip his right to feast on it which typically drew his ire (and the ire of a nigh-omnipotent despot is an ire you don’t want drawn).

  4. Again, depending on how much they were willing to spend.

  5. The Guild had formed from the merger of the Poisoner’s Union, Assassin’s Guild, Sapper’s Co-Op, and Berserker’s Collective, and controlled most of the non-magical means of death available to the general public.

  6. All cities were named after The Dread God-King* Phobos, each distinguished by a completely arbitrary mix of numbers, letters, pre-fixes, and suffixes, (for example, Phobopolis 3, was nowhere near, Phobopolis 3rd, but was near Phobopolis III).

  7. Primus was the capital city, and seat of The Dread God-King* Phobos’s throne.

  8. Known as *Hameshta-Gehan*, *Aaru* & *Avernus*, in Elder Speak (also, "*betwixt*" is an affectation in either language).

  9. His was still using his temporary membership card.

  10. Not to mention their shifty movements and furtive glances (nor their glancy shifts or movey furts)

  11. Or one of those filthy kitchens you see on a restaurant rescue shows where the owner can’t figure out why their business is failing.Then host teaches them its wrong to yell at your employees by yelling at them and they should listen to their employees by then proceeding to chang the resteraunt and menu without their imput.

  12. Penicillin having yet to be discovered.

  13. Not alcoholic spirits, actual spirits, the spiritual essence of living things, bottled and ingested, and highly addictive.

  14. Thinner blades being more evil.

  15. Like Doctors Without Borders.

  16. West Coast, yo!

  17. Things mystical get British spellings

  18. Therefore, the cheapest.

  19. My description of the demkling’s physiognomy is deliberately vague on the off chance the reader is eating while reading.

  20. Obviously undiagnosed. The study of the mind was not unknown in Eorðe but its practical applications were relegated to weaponization.

  21. Yeah, I said “nary”

  22. Which, let’s face it, was half the appeal of their relationship.

  23. He imagined it would become his trademark, like a sickle, and he’d be dubbed “The Scythe” or “The Reaper”, or if people saw it as a happy-face, “The Deadly Smile”

  24. Through the mouth, so he wouldn’t have to smell the stench.

  25. For the record, it was “recherché

  26. He did not cup his ear because one hand held a club and the other was relieving an itch in a part of the anatomy most effected by the fact that commercially available toilet paper had yet to be introduced.

  27. Which he mispronounced.

  28. Which isn’t much.

  29. As a vampire, gliding came naturally

  30. Or as warmly as someone room temperature can manage.

  31. Which isn’t technically possible considering flexion and extension anatomical movement requires one set of the antagonistic muscle pairs to be relaxed while the other is contracted.

  32. And that’s a lot of fibers.

  33. Short for “Elfling”.

  34. Most Flings preferred “Sylvans”, but that just got them mocked even more. Also, spelling it with a “y” is just some bush league, D&D Dungeonmaster stuff.

  35. Do men wear capes? If yes: Poppycock, if no: Bullshit. Also, poppycock is literally, “soft shit”! mid 19th century: from Dutch dialect pappekak, from pap ‘soft’ + kak ’dung-

  36. If asked, they would reply, “Mother Eorðe is not a broodmare.”

  37. No Elf would soil his hands thus

  38. Many of the Elves theological battles centered on whether crows or ravens attended Kar Danu, (and Elven theological battles involve real arrows). There were some who held that crows AND ravens attended the Goddess. These were considered “squishes” and hated by both sides.

  39. If you ever saw an elf, you’d know that “glode” is the only word for it, grammatical or not.

  40. Like Hitchcock’s Blondes.

  41. Not literally, although such things did happen from time to time, it being a fetish for some.

  42. “Glid” is also grammatically acceptable when discussing Elves. Also, it’s “past” not “passed” because it’s acting as an adverb to the verb “to glide” (yes, I had to look this up).

  43. He was on prescription strength leeches.

  44. Incubus Pale Ale

  45. They manufactured poison powders, pastes, and pills

  46. Metaphorically, because if elf blood flowed in his veins, he’d be an elf (Unless he was a vampire, and that’d be only temporary, and not technically HIS blood).

  47. In essence, he was like C3-PO & R2-D2 being handed over to Jabba in “Return of the Jedi” without the rescue plan.

  48. You’d be surprised

  49. But not a Mexicola.

  50. Well, the *Eorðe*, equivalent, probably some sort of protein baked in a dough or some kind of salt preserved meat.

  51. Eliciting a slight chuckle mostly to demonstrate that they understood the words, proving once again that a group’s "funny" name is funny only to them, and even then only on a conceptual level (like a "New Yorker" cartoon).

  52. She had to remember to bring the hors d’oeuvres which they referred to as amuse-bouche because somehow hors d’oeuvres wasn’t pretentious enough for them.

  53. After an unpaid internship with a prestigious band of cutthroats, of course

  54. Denialism ranged from those who denied the existence of magic, to the existence of the Drodkip, all the way to those who denied the existence of existence, claiming instead that they were nothing but the poorly drawn dramatis personæ inhabiting a mythopoeic pastiche drawn from better works, relying on the inversion of certain tropes and conventions while engaging in meta humor to protect the author in a kind of "irony armor".

  55. For there is nothing a scarlet woman despises more than overacting

  56. Literally, she was very limber.

  57. But mostly in quick flashes or in profile, so that the only way you could see anything is to wait for the home video and pause the blu-ray or sign up for Mr. Skin

  58. Which would require another body to inhabit as the body would start to reject the grafted consciousness, form and matter being incongruous, proving Aristotle’s Hylomorphic Dualism is correct (Suck it, Descarte!)

  59. They did so quietly, for officially, there was no time before the Drodkip.

  60. Or lower, depending on your view on your view evil.

  61. The Warlock word for Coven

  62. The Witch word for Conclave

  63. Past Tense. Phobos killed anyone who said this.

  64. technical term

  65. There is no defensible reason for me to use this as opposed to “from nothing” besides it sounding cooler.

  66. Which would be the title if this were an indie film.

  67. Which is blue, for some reason.

  68. It was a good one, full throated, piercing yet smooth, with just a hint of vibrato.

  69. Like a pumpkin pie, not oompa loompa.

  70. In indecision, not in ice.

  71. Luckily, synthetics had yet to be invented, so there were no toxic fumes from the melting of the bedding material. On the other hand, there was asbestos in the ceilings and lead in the wall paint, so pick your poison.

  72. He was still a man, damnit.

  73. Both people, not her breasts, get your mind out of the gutter!

  74. And her breasts.