Archive for the ‘Writings’ Category

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Hawaii Pt. 4

June 27, 2020

Yzma was currently sitting on a makeshift throne, bored out of her mind. She pointed her newly acquired wand at a young woman in a cage. The woman shivered in fear and Yzma perked up a bit, savoring the fear. Her grin widened. The first thing she had done upon getting her hands on the wand was to remove the requirement to recite nonsense magical words. ‘Bippity Boppity Boo’ indeed. She directed her will at the young girl through the wand and watched her turn into a llama. She turned the girl into a rabbit, then a snake, then an eagle, and then back into a llama. She turned everything into a llama, it was probably an unhealthy fixation brought on by trauma but she could not be sure.

“This is so much easier than handling all of those potions!” Yzma said. “I do miss Kronk but he was holding me back. My new friends are so much more supportive.”

“Your new friends?” a voice asked. “Who are your new friends?”

Yzma turned to where Flynn Rider was chained to the wall. He had tried to escape several times to varying degrees of success but Yzma had always thwarted him. It cut through the boredom somewhat. She was glad that the young man had appeared out of thin air close to her hidden stronghold.

“Silence!” Yzma yelled. “Nobody asked you to speak!”

She realized that she just had to always have a big dumb man around to talk at. Chaining him to the wall kept him from actively interfering in her plans. Of course, she had failed to actually develop a clear plan yet but no matter.

“I have two new friends,” Yzma said. “The octopus and the dragon.”

“What is it with you and animals?” Flynn asked. “It’s some sort of obession with you.”

“It’s the magic I know best!” Yzma said. “This time it will help me rule. I will be Empress this time for sure.”

“So you turn a lot of people into animals,” Flynn said. “then this somehow results in you ruling the world. Did I get that right?” This was the most absurd experience of his life and that said a lot since he had previously battled an evil witch to help a princess with amazingly long hair. He had somehow befriended a horse throughout all of this. Also, he was still pretty sure he had actually died. This experience was even stranger.

Yzma grunted and glared at the captive thief. “You remind me of Kuzco a little bit,” she said. “This is not a good thing. I hate Kuzco. I have not completely assembled the parts to my genius plan.” She stewed in the moment of that thought. It had been much easier when she was more throne-adjacent. There were far fewer steps to success.

“When do you see that happening?” Flynn asked. “I’m just curious.” If he was going to be imprisoned, he might as well have fun at his captor’s expense.

“Eventually,” Yzma grumbled. She was not really enjoying this interrogation but it beat silence by a slim margin.

“You’re not even turning people into dangerous animals,” Flynn said.

“I filled a field full of snakes!” Yzma said. “Green ones so you can’t see them when you’re out walking and not paying attention!”

“Were they poisonous snakes?” Flynn asked with a smirk.

“No,” Yzma admitted softly. “You might have a point, though. I could get a little more dangerous.”

Flynn frowned, almost feeling like he had somehow outwitted himself. “Or not,” he said. “You could just keep doing what you’re doing.”

“Nonsense,” Yzma said. She pointed the wand at the llama in the cage and it quickly transformed into a jaguar. The jaguar snarled and clawed at the cage bars. “Much better. I’ll be Empress yet.”

“This is not good,” Flynn said and struggled to reach the pin in his hand to pick his locks.

“And to think,” Yzma said. “This was all your idea. You may prove useful yet.”

Flynn continued to struggle in vain. Yzma waved her wand and every tool that Flynn could have used to free himself floated across the room. The chains holding him tightened and Yzma let out a loud cackle.

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Atlantica Pt. 4

June 20, 2020

The palace under the sea had changed recently. It had grown darker and strange new, toxic plants had started to sprout up everywhere. Fissures had opened up all over that flooded the area with hotter, sulfurous water which helped the plants grow. There were a lot fewer citizens in the kingdom. Many of the fish and other creatures had fled, getting as much distance as possible from the gathering darkness under the waves. The merpeople who were left drifted about rather listlessly as if their very will had been drained from them. Periodically, teams of them would swim to the surface where they would sprout legs for some evil purpose.

In a little cage in the throne room was a crab who still had life in his eyes but not much. As Ursula, the Sea Witch swam close to the cage, Sebastian the crab trembled. He could not escape and he knew that Ursula kept him prisoner to spite the King and Ariel. His eyes briefly flicked toward Triton’s trident leaning against the throne and knew that with it, Ursula would not be opposed.

“Sad little crab,” Ursula said in a mocking tone before chuckling. “You could go free in an instant.”

Sebastian looked defiantly through the bars. “There is a catch,” he said. “You always have a catch.”

Ursula shrugged. “I admit that I almost strictly believe in the concept of quid pro quo,” Ursula said. “Tit for tat, little crab. I love to make a deal.” She grinned, knowing that the crab knew well the deal that the witch had given Princess Ariel and the trouble that had followed. He also knew something of the other ‘poor unfortunate souls’ that had fallen for Ursula’s tricks.

“Whatever you want, you are not getting it,” Sebastian said. “Do what you will.”

“Oh Sebastian,” Ursula said and the sound of his name made the crab shiver. “All I want is for you to spill all of Triton’s secrets.”

“I know nothing,” Sebastian said. “I am simply the palace composer.”

“Nonsense,” Ursula said. “You’re selling yourself short. I know that you have been an adviser to the King and a close confidant with Princess Ariel.”

“I know no secrets, witch,” Sebastian said. “Leave me alone.”

“Maybe I should do to you what I did to Triton and his other daughters,” Ursula said, bringing her smirking face very close to the cage.

Sebastian’s eyes went wide. “W-what did you do to them?” he asked with the tiniest bit of a stutter.

“Wouldn’t you like to know?” Ursula said and laughed. “You’ll find out soon enough. For now, I should introduce you to my new friend.”

Ursula swam over to the throne and took hold of a strange jar with a writhing shadow within it. Sebastian looked on with both fear and curiosity. The shadow was new to him.

“Have I told you yet how I won this time?” Ursula asked. “I finally beat Triton and it is because of my new friend here. I was gifted this shadowy fellow by a visitor to this world. The visitor said they had found it in the far off land of ‘New Orleans’ wherever that is. It lets me expand my magic so deliciously. With my magic, the shadow, and the trident, I am unbeatable. It is only a matter of time before the surface world is mine. They will kneel before me or they will drown.”

“You’re evil,” Sebastian said. “Ariel will stop you.” He was loyal to his core to the King and he had grown to love Triton’s daughters, and especially Ariel as if they were his own family.

“She can try,” Ursula said with another laugh. “I have allies from beyond and I have sent her beloved to another realm. She’s all but done.”

“That girl never gives up,” Sebastian said. “She beat you once. She will beat you again.”

Ursula shrugged. “Enough talk,” she said. “You bore me, little crab. I will let you play with my shadow and then we’ll see how much you’ll sing for me.”

Ursula slowly unscrewed the jar and the shadow slithered out as if it were her own black ink. It circled the cage as Sebastian struggled with the bars fruitlessly. Its approach was maddeningly slow and Sebastian could see that it was inevitable. He tried to brace himself as it drew closer.

Media Update 6/18/20

June 18, 2020


Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II

I watched the original Prom Night in the past few years and it was alright. It was part of Jamie Lee Curtis’ original tour of horror movies after Halloween. It was a fairly good slasher flick set in a high school. This movie has so little to do with the first movie except its setting and the titular prom night. I am so glad that they rebranded it because it ensured that it got made. Whereas the first movie had no supernatural elements, the sequel goes hard into the supernatural realm. I would basically call it A Nightmare on Elm Street except Freddy is a very sassy prom queen. It is kind of like A Nightmare on Elm Street 2, in a way. The movie is super horny (but harmless) and has a lot of pretty gay situations. I was surprised by how funny and interesting the movie was. The effects are so good and I was often astonished by some trippy and startling special effects. Wendi Lyon is very good in a dual role as the good girl and evil spirit. Michael Ironside plays the principal who is the actual target of the spirit’s vengeance. I definitely recommend this movie.


Witchboard

I was told that this movie had a lot of homosexual undertones and I was not disappointed. Two ex-friends who fell out over a girl meet up again just as a spirit starts to haunt the girl in question. There is so much raw chemistry between the two guys that is crazy. I found myself thinking ‘just kiss!’ over and over. Todd Allen and Stephen Nichols play the two lead characters with such white-hot hatred for each other that it must be more than just the girl. Tawny Kitaen plays the young woman and while she does good, she’s mostly just a prop. Kathleen Wilhoite plays a psychic with some queer energy of her own. It is unclear if all of the queer-coding is intentional or not but it is incredibly hard to ignore. I saw it all over so many lists online. The movie is very melodramatic like a horror movie soap opera but it is definitely quirky enough to be plenty of fun. I recommend it as well.


The Slumber Party Massacre

This movie was written by queer activist and novelist Rita Mae Brown, the only horror movie she ever wrote. She wrote the script as satire but the studio decided to produce it seriously. What came of that process is a movie with a lot of humor that is both intentional but probably also unintentional. The movie comes out way more subversive than the studio probably realized. There are a few bisexual or lesbian-coded college girls and a next-door neighbor who comes off fairly gay. The movie is exciting and contains a lot more moving parts than I expected from a slasher film set in a small area. The actresses are all great but a special shoutout to Robin Stille who plays the new girl in school. The villain Michael Villella is super interesting too because he could very well have been a faceless villain but ends up giving the movie wild energy through his physical acting. I recommend this movie as well.

Music of the Week:
IDLES – GROUNDS

The Orange Constant – Fadin’ the Line

Brzask – Brzask

George Seven – ICYTWAT GYAL

TUCURUVI (MADALENA) – Laurent Lucas x Oliver Hirondelle

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “LGBT Horror”
– I watched more Elementary Season 2
– I watched more Flash Season 6
– I watched more Arrow Season 8
– I watched more Buzzfeed Unsolved
– I started watching Supergirl Season 5
– I watched more The Good Wife Season 1
– I watched more Riverdale Season 4
– I watched more Supernatural Season 15
– I watched more Batwoman Season 1
– I watched more Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated Season 1
– I watched more Rizzoli and Isles Season 4
– I watched The Miami Connection (Rifftrax Version)
– I started watching Legends of Tomorrow Season 5

Hesper’s Web Pt. 8

June 13, 2020

Mariel, Asher, and Luther walked into the light coming from overhead. Directly in that light was the black crystalline form of the Thing that Had Not Been Gwendolyn. It was wrapped in heavy chains. Each link of those chains was carved with warding runes that would guard against magic and would limit the shapechanger’s abilities. The three surrounded the Thing with Mariel facing it directly. She smiled peacefully pretty self-satisfied. The Thing regarded her with malice so strong that one could sense it even though it had no face.

“I think you will find that you cannot move,” Mariel said.

The Thing tried to struggle regardless of Mariel’s warning and confirmed it. There would be no easy escape from this predicament.

“It doesn’t like being told,” Luther said. “Listen to her, she’ll only tell you the truth.”

“I think this discussion will go a little more smoothly if you have a mouth,” Mariel said. She waved her hand and the Thing’s surface ripple and it changed shape. It became a young girl, one who had teased and bullied Muriel back in school. It gave her some satisfaction to see the girl in such a bad way.

“Where am I?” The thing asked with a snarl.

“You are in my mind now, Devilspawn,” Muriel said. “You’ll find it is a lot stronger than the mind of a child. My mental defenses were well-trained by good education and experience. You are at our mercy.”

“You think I am afraid of you?” The Thing asked. She spat. “I’m not afraid of you, little elf.”

“We’re not particularly concerned with how you feel,” Muriel said.

“We’re more focused on your boss,” Asher said. “Hesper.”

“Hesper would devour you in but a moment,” the Thing said. “Do not look for what you do not want to find.”

“Oh we’ll find Hesper,” Luther said.

“With your help,” Muriel said. “Whether you like it or not.”

“You’ll get nothing out of me!” the Thing screamed. It spat and hissed.

“Oh? Is that so?” Muriel asked and then she laughed. “We already have the information we need out of you. You’re in my mind. I whittled down your defenses hours ago without you realizing.”

The Thing looked confused. “Then why am I still here?” it asked.

“You tortured a little girl,” Luther said. “You took days of her life for yourself and tried to take over her body and make it your own.” Images of Gwendolyn and her suffering floated in the air around the Thing. It looked at those images and felt pride at a job well done. Rage flitted across Muriel’s face but she maintained control.

“We wanted to make sure you died,” Asher said.

“And not quick,” Muriel said. “Slow and painful.”

“Do your worst,” the Thing said softly, staring defiantly into Muriel’s eyes.

“I will,” Muriel said. She walked forward and touched the Thing gently on the forehead. The point where she touched burned with green flame. A single candle-sized point of combustion and the Thing shuddered but remained defiant. Slowly the flame started to grow, surface skin started to flake and blow away. As its false face floated away, the Thing finally gave in and started to scream. The sound quickly went from human into something more shrill and inhuman. Muriel waved her hand and Luther and Asher disappeared. Muriel stood there and watched for quite a while as the flame slowly consumed the Thing and then she disappeared herself.

Gwendolyn was out of bed two days later. Everybody voted to stick around and make sure that she was going to recover and regain her health. She was able to walk to the gate where everybody was waiting. She had thankfully forgotten a lot of her experience in her long nightmare but she remembered the more recent positive memories of Muriel and her friends. She had asked them all a million questions as she started to recover but now it was time to go.

“Where are you going?” Gwendolyn asked. “Will you be back?”

“We’re going to go find the devil that hurt you,” Muriel said.

“We probably won’t be back,” Dina said before being elbowed in the ribs by her brother.

“Never say never,” Asher said. “You just focus on getting better. Alright?”

“OK,” Gwendolyn said. “Please get rid of the bad thing. Make sure it can’t hurt anybody else.”

“I promise,” Muriel said. “I promise you we will.”

And then they got onto their horses and they rode away.

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Hawaii Pt. 3

May 30, 2020

Adam followed Moana to a curious carriage that was open on the sides and it was somewhat low to the ground. There were no horses attached to it and there was no seat up top from which to guide horses if they were there. Adam looked curiously at Moana and she shrugged.

“I didn’t get it at first either,” Moana said. “Get in. You’ll see.” She climbed into the carriage and Adam climbed onto the seat next to her. There was a small circle in front of Moana and she reached down to turn a key. The carriage started to vibrate and make a rhythmic noise. His eyes went wide and he looked at Moana who was smiling and calm. He reluctantly calmed down slowly. Moana pressed her foot down on some lever and the carriage lurched into motion. Adam gripped whatever he could reach with some anxiousness.

“It’s called a golf cart,” Moana yelled over the noise.

“What’s golf?” Adam shouted, a little confused but talking made him feel less anxious about the ride.

“I have no idea,” Moana shouted. “It works really great at getting us around the island. Although, there are faster vehicles for emergencies.”

“Faster?” Adam asked with some alarm. “Faster than this?”

“You get used to it,” Moana said. “Besides, my boat would go this fast with the wind in my favor and the sea on my side.”

“I never really liked water that much,” Adam said. “My home is between the mountains and the forest.”

“Without the sea?” Moana asked. “I would die.” She seemed serious about that. She suddenly stomped her foot down and the cart lurched to a stop. Adam nearly cried out but managed to keep hold of his courage. Moana pointed out at the valley in front of them. “Look!”

Adam followed her gesture and tried to make sense of what he was seeing. The green valley seemed to be moving but the plants were not moving with the slight breeze. In fact, there was no sense in the movement. Then Adam saw what she was pointing at. It was countless snakes writhing. There were far too many snakes. They were like nothing like Adam had never seen in France. Their scales were a vivid green.

“Snakes!” was the only thing Adam could get out at first.

Moana nodded. “They’re not venomous,” she said. “I’m told that they aren’t native to this island. They weren’t here yesterday.”

“How did so many get here so suddenly?” Adam asked.

“My partner was investigating that,” Moana said. “I was supposed to meet him here and I wanted to introduce you.”

As if on cue, one of the snakes slithered out of the whole group of them with purpose. Adam stepped back but Moana stood her ground. She rolled her eyes and stomped at the snake. In a flash, the snake was gone and a large man was standing in its place. He was massive with long, frizzy hair and he was covered in tattoos and he was carrying a massive hook that looked like it was made from the bone of a giant creature and it had symbols carved into it. Adam suddenly felt himself transform into the Beast and he let out a growl.

“Neat trick,” the man said calmly. “Who is this new guy?”

“His name is Adam,” Moana said. “He, uh, does that.” She exchanged a look with Beast and he took a deep breath and returned to human form. It was getting easier to do each time. “Prince Adam, this is Maui who I guess I’m more or less stuck with forever.

“You love it,” Maui said with a grin. “You’re a prince, huh? Did I mention that I’m a demigod?”

“Not a very good one,” Moana said as she punched Maui in the bicep.

“It’s nice to meet you,” Adam said. “I guess we’re lucky to have you on our side.”

“You’re lucky I didn’t lay you out just now,” Maui said. “You’re welcome.”

“Thanks?” Adam said.

“Don’t worry, Adam,” Moana said. “I would have protected you.”

“I can take care of myself,” Adam said defensively but he had now realized that he was among rare and impressive individuals. He would have to see what they could do.

“So what’s with the snakes already, Maui?” Moana asked, getting a little impatient.

“I transformed into one of them to see if I could chat with them,” Maui said. “They all used to be human. They’re very confused.”

“How did they all get turned into snakes?” Adam asked. “Was it some witch’s curse?” His face darkened as he thought of his own run-in with the witch. He understood now that he had deserved punishment but still thought that the punishment was not in proportion to his crimes.

“I mean mostly,” Maui said. “Some bony witch named Yzma turned them all into snakes. She has some wand.”

“The name’s not familiar to me,” Adam said.

“I’ve never heard the name either,” Moana said. “but at least we know who might be our enemy. Although, it may be more complicated than that.”

“Yeah,” Maui said. “I guess it’s not always the obvious answer.”

“It bears further investigation,” Adam said with a grave nod.

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Atlantica Pt. 3

May 23, 2020

Aurora and Belle turned a corner and Aurora pushed open some double doors. “This is the Library,” she said. “Are you sure you don’t want to get some rest first?” Aurora knew that at some point, Belle’s journey from her world would eventually hit her and hard. Still, she knew that everyone had to deal with the transition in their own way.

Belle walked forward without seeming to hear Aurora at all. Her eyes were wide and her smile made them shine bright. Here was something that Belle understood. Back in her hometown she practically lived in the library. Then, in Beast’s castle, when she saw the library she had finally seemed to find her footing. She felt some of her anxiety and tiredness melt off of her like snow on a steep roof. She was so focused on the books that she did not even register that there was a young man sitting at a large table with many books in front of them. Aurora gave Belle some time before she spoke again.

“Belle, I would like to introduce you to part of our team for uh, what did you call it?” She asked of a tall thin man with spectacles and short but floppy hair.

“Research,” Milo said without looking up from his book and scribblings and then looked up and realized that the princesses were standing there.

“Right! Research!” Aurora said. “This is our ‘research’ team. Belle, may I introduce to you to Mister Milo Thatch. Mr. Thatch, I would introduce to you, Princess Belle.”

“Just Belle is fine,” Belle said. “I’m barely a princess. I promise.”

“You can call me Milo,” he said. “It’s nice to meet you. I’m actually technically a king, so there’s that.”

Belle made another mental note at that. The number of members of royalty from many different worlds was climbing quickly. Ariel, Aurora, Tiana, Milo, and herself made five which seemed to be a lot. She wondered again if royalty itself was part of the magic or if that was a faulty theory.

“Really?” Aurora asked, startled. “I had no idea. I’m sorry, Milo.”

“I don’t really like to advertise it,” Milo said. “Especially with Queen Kida elsewhere.”

“We all seem to be separated from our loved ones,” Aurora said.

“At least we’re lost together,” Belle said. “I can’t imagine being washed up on strange shore and I was all alone.”

Aurora and Milo enthusiastically agreed. A much older man came walking out of the stacks, with a comically bushy mustache and a funny-looking helmet. He was also looking a little lost but optimistic. Belle guessed at a glance that his lost expression may have nothing to do with their situation. He had the look of an academic. Belle knew that she had worn this expression many times back in her village.

“Oh I’m sorry,” the man said. “I was a bit lost in the stacks. Reminds me of my years in university.”

“Belle, this is Professor Porter,” Aurora said. “Professor Porter, this is Belle.”

“A professor!” Belle said. “I always wanted to go to university but my father couldn’t afford it.”

“Well,” Professor Porter said. “We could use another set of learned eyes.”

“That was my idea,” Aurora said. “As soon as Belle started talking about how much she loved reading. Maybe she could join you?”

“Like the professor said, I think that’s a great idea,” Milo said. “We’d be glad to have you.” He pulled up a chair to the table for her. She sat down gratefully.

“Thank you,” Belle said. “My head is spinning and I have to do something. I feel better with a book in my hand.” She reached out to clutch one to her chest.

“Well, we have plenty of those, my dear,” Professor Porter said. “We have many soldiers here but few scholars. We’ll figure this out yet!”

“There is one more member of the research team,” Aurora said. “but Queen Ariel is finally getting some sleep. You’ll meet her in the morning if you can drag yourself out of bed in time.”

“I’ll try,” Belle said. “Honestly I might sleep for a week.”

“It’s a lot,” Aurora said nodding. “I have to go check in with patrol but I’ll have Tiana or one of her workers show you to your room when they bring your food. You should rest, library or no.”

“I’m starting to agree with you,” Belle said with a yawn. “I suppose the problem won’t go away tonight.”

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Hawaii Pt. 2

May 16, 2020

The next morning, Adam was back to human form as he stood on the beach and looked out over the sea. He had a blanket draped over his shoulders and no shirt, he did not want to transform again and tear the shirt that Moana had left by his door. He was slowly eating a breakfast that mostly consisted of some sort of compressed meat. It was not too bad. He watched the waves lapping at the sandy shore and thought about Belle. They had been through a lot. Actually, Adam realized that he had selfishly put Belle through hell but she had come back when he sent her away. She loved him when he had not really deserved it and he wanted to make up for all the horrible things he did. He needed to get back to the castle and make it up to her. He was willing to put in the work to truly change.

After a long time for introspection, Adam noticed young Lilo had walked up to stand next to him. Standing next to her was the creature she had called Stitch. The thing was not even as tall as Adam’s hip and had huge ears, eyes, and a mouth lined with pointy teeth. It was covered in a thick blue fur that almost hid its claws. Stitch would have been terrifying if it was not so cute. If you put a collar on it, you might mistake it for a rather ugly dog at a glance. Lilo had said that the creature was not of this world. Fur and being from another world, Adam and Stitch had more in common than he would have guessed at first.

“Whatcha thinking about?” Lilo asked, looking up at Adam with wide and curious eyes.

“My wife,” Adam said. “Her name is Belle and I have a feeling she is far away from here.”

Stitch let out a sigh and looked up at the sky. “Angel,” he said with some anguish in his voice.

“Maybe I can see her,” Lilo said softly and she unfocused her eyes as she looked out at the ocean. “Give me a second.”

“Really?” Adam asked with some excitement. “Belle could see long distances with the help of a mirror I gave her. Can you do something similar?”

“I see her,” Lilo said, an odd calm in her voice. “She is worried about you but she is safe.”

“I’m glad she’s safe,” Adam said with a smile. “Can you tell where she is?”

“She can’t see your wife,” Moana said with a smile. At some point, she had stepped up to Adam’s other side. “She likes to mess with strangers. She can’t really help herself.”

“Really?” Adam asked Lilo.

Lilo kicked the sand a bit. “Yeah,” she said. “Sorry mister.”

Adam sighed. “In the past, I would have let rage consume me,” Adam said. “Your trick did give me hope for a moment, Lilo.”

“You didn’t turn into the big monster this time,” Lilo said.

“I didn’t,” Adam said. “I’m a little worried about that right now. I thought I was past that.”

“What is it?” Moana asked. “Is it a curse?”

Adam looked surprised. “It is a curse,” Adam said. “According to the witch who cursed me, it should be broken.”

“How did you break the curse?” Moana asked. “Did you need something returned to you?”

“No,” Adam said. “I had to work through some issues. Maybe I’m still working through them.” He paused. “I’m definitely still working through them.”

“I work on issues too,” Stitch said.

“Yeah that’s right, Stitch,” Lilo said. “You’ve stopped breaking things mostly.”

“Lilo,” Moana said. “Go on. It’s not safe for you to be out here and you have chores to do.”

“Not the dishes again!” Lilo cried out.

“Dishes again,” Moana said. “Sweeping too. And bring Pleakley and Jumba their food.”

Lilo grumbled and kicked the sand again.

“What was that?” Moana asked, a smile forming on her lips.

“Nothing,” Lilo said. “Come on, Stitch. Let’s go.” She and Stitch scampered off across the sand.

“There’s an even chance whether or not she does those chores,” Moana said. “I was trouble when I was her age too.”

Adam chuckled. “I think we were all terrors at that age,” he said. “You said outside is dangerous? What’s going on?”

Moana nodded. “Come on,” she said. “I’ll show you. It’s got to do with magic.”

Cult Pantheon

May 11, 2020

What follows are the borderline and rarely worshipped mystery cults of the world of my Dungeons and Dragons campaign. These are often but not always the crazy people of the world and it shows.

The Nameless

It is rumored that this god or goddess was punished early on in the history of creation. This deity decided to expose the mortal races to knowledge forbidden by the other gods. While the good deities had the best wishes for the mortals of the world, they had wanted to keep them in the dark on certain things. That way they could more easily protect them even from themselves. Sometime later they realized their error much later, the damage had already been done to The Nameless. They nearly destroyed them and what survived had lost its name and form. The Nameless escaped into the Dreamplane, connected to the minds of the whole world. Not much more lore than that survives in the world but it is known that The Nameless survives as a sort of god of inspiration. The followers of the Nameless are few and far between but most are inventors and forward thinkers. Many, but not all, also contain some level of insanity.

Zeoron, The Limitless One

Many theorize that Zeoron was waiting for the gods when their eyes first opened to reality. One of the rumored “Old Ones”, Zeoron did not take kindly to the upstart newcomers who wished to form the world. He fought them all but either lost or realized his fight was futile. Instead of dying, he exploded and his essence spread across all of the planes much like the spores of an exploding mushroom. His followers contend that Zeoron’s essence is everywhere and is truly limitless. Many of his followers believe that Zeoron wishes this reality forged by the gods is illigitimate and must be destroyed. That is why they think that Zeoron’s essence may be the origin of all monsters in the known planes of the multiverse. Followers of Zeoron seek to destroy the foundations of society and any forces that might defend the multiverse from destruction.

Church of The Light

Worshippers of the Church of Light reject all deities in favor of the truth of the light. The light never intercedes on behalf of its followers but instead allows them to rely on the power within which makes them stronger and more self-assured. They view dependence on the gods as a drug, one that is dangerous to mess with since the power and favor handed down from the gods can be taken away on a whim. Followers of the Church of Light seek to teach others to abandon the gods and move on. All that is needed is the Light. The Church is small but extremely loyal to each other. Some outside of the Church have wild theories about what the Light really is. It could be a devil, a spirit, an Old One, or any number of things whispering in the ears of mortals to cause doubt of the gods. Some of their followers prefer the Church because they are tired of the eternal conflict between the good and evil forces.

Ganza, The Advocate

The self-styled spirit of Justice, the shadowy Advocate urges her followers to fight for both accusers and the accused. Therefore it is also a sort of deity of even-handed Law. Followers created the first so-called Lawyers and corresponding Judges. Worshippers pray to remain objective and unemotional whether they are on the attack or on defense. They are passionate only about making sure that their wards are given fair treatment by the governments of the world. Ganza is represented by the symbol of the scales. Her followers are expected to dress well while following their mission.

Dendar, King of Nightmares

Dendar was born as the God of Fear but he proved to be a loose cannon and he ended up being opposed by good and evil gods alike. He sought the destruction of everything that everybody had built. Therefore, the evil gods did not stand in the way of the good gods when they captured Dendar. They imprisoned him for eternity in a box floating through Outer Planar space. At some point after the Ascension, the box was cracked and Dendar escaped into the Dreamplane. Mortals and Immortals alike still feel the pure fear of Dendar’s power in their sleep. If he can, Dendar will be released from the Dreamplane and will not stop until he utterly destroys the multiverse.

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Atlantica Pt. 2

May 9, 2020

Aurora led Belle to a big castle on the shore overlooking the sea, part of it was actually in the water. The place had obviously been modified to be more of a fortress and the work looked recent. Huge iron plates covered the lower windows and nasty-looking spiked fences and sea barriers had been desperately erected. It was all so grim but Belle had gotten used to grim. In the night, she could see soldiers patrolling the grounds by their lit torches. There were quite a few people out there which was kind of comforting. Of course, so was Aurora’s sword.

They arrived at the gates and the guards opened them for Aurora and Belle. The two women made their way inside. Everything was more inviting and warm inside the gates but there was still a tension in the air. Aurora knew exactly what she was doing and where she was going and Belle definitely liked that. Belle had never been a fighter, she was just not that kind of woman. Still, she did like to help people and Aurora seemed sure she could help here. She held onto that. A little dog walked up to them and Aurora turned to it.

“Dodger,” Aurora said. “Something or rather somebody has come up. Have Phoebus take over my patrol?”

“You got it, Your Majesty,” the dog named Dodger said and then scampered off.

“Did that dog just respond to you?” Belle asked.

“Yes,” Aurora said. “Is that weird to you?”

“A month ago I was having conversations with teapots and candelabra,” Belle said. “I’m just trying to establish the rules here.”

“The rules are that there aren’t really any rules,” Aurora said. “This is all insane and it will probably be insane for a long, long time. Are you hungry?”

“Actually yes,” Belle said. “I can’t remember when I ate last.” Her stomach grumbled and she silently prayed for a meal with Adam with a bit of the gray stuff and some of Mrs. Potts’ tea. She did not want any of this to happen and now it was all hitting her at once. She felt a bit dizzy for a moment but she shook it off with a deep breath.

Aurora flagged down a young woman who was passing by with a tray of food. “Tiana?” she said. “Could you get some food to the library for Belle here?” Belle’s eyes brightened at the sound of the word ‘library’ but she tried to stay on track.

“Of course!” Tiana said with a brilliant smile. Tiana was dressed in strange clothes that looked like some sort of dress but a strange design and material. “It’s nice to meet you, Belle, I’m Tiana and, as you can see, I love to cook. You definitely look like you could benefit. Newcomers get beignets.” She said the last with a flourish as if that word was not only supposed to mean something but it was of great importance.

“Great!” Belle said. “I’m excited for whatever those are.”

“Oh you will love them,” Tiana said. “Everybody back in New Orleans loves a good beignet and mine are the best.”

“New Orleans?” Belle asked. “I’ve heard of Orleans but not New Orleans. How strange.”

“Tiana here is also a princess from another world,” Aurora said.

“That’s three of us who are royalty,” Belle said. “Two princesses and a queen.”

“Four of us if you count Queen Ariel,” Tiana said.

“That might be something,” Belle said thoughtfully. “It’s a big deal to have so much royalty in one place.”

“Really?” Tiana asked. “I’m barely even a princess, I kind of just stumbled into it. I married a layabout dirt poor prince.”

“It was kind of the same with me,” Belle said. “I had no idea my husband was even a prince until after we fell in love.”

“We’ll have to talk about it sometime, huh?” Tiana said. “I do have to get this food to people. Maybe a cup of tea later tonight? You’ll probably need one. Your head has gotta be spinning.”

“It is,” Belle said. “Thank you. That would be great.”

“I’ll have somebody bring you some food at the library in the meantime,” Tiana said before she ran off to deliver more food.

“There’s that word again,” Belle said. “I love libraries. Libraries make sense. Please bring me to the library.”

Aurora laughed. “Sure,” she said. “Let’s go.”

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Hawaii Pt. 1

May 2, 2020

When Adam came to, he was far above the surface of the Earth. He could see a lot of water below him. His and Belle’s castle was well away from the sea so this was confusing. Below were a set of islands that were absolutely foreign to him. As he made these observations, whatever magic that was keeping him suspended in the air gave out and he started to plummet. He could feel himself panicking and flailing and then he stopped, it was not helping him. He took solace in the fact that Belle was nowhere in sight. He hoped she was safe. He wished he was stronger.

He hit the surface of the water hard and it hurt really bad. He might have blacked out again but he was surprised to wake up again, deep under the water. He started to paddle upwards as fast as he could, his lungs ready to burst. He broke through the surface and breathed in the sweet, sweet yet salty air. He struggled to keep his head up. His clothes were wet and heavy and so was his fur. His fur? He was stunned to see that the curse was back. Why was it back? He was grateful for the extra strength but he had fought so long to be human again. He roared into the night.

A few moments later, a boat appeared and a young woman reached down. He grabbed her hand and realized it was human again. He was so tired. He made it into the boat and almost immediately flopped onto his back, breathing hard.

“Thank you,” he said over the sound of the waves slapping against the hull of the boat. “Thank you so much for being here.”

“Rest,” the woman said. “I’ll get you back to land.” She started the engine up and Adam found himself drifting off to sleep. The movement of the boat rocked him to sleep and his last thought before blackness took him again was that he hoped this young woman was good with boats.

He had no idea how long it was before he woke up again. He was on a cot in a small house and he slowly sat up. He shook out the cobwebs in his head and looked around. The place was dim but there were a few other cots. Where was he? He started to stand up but a little girl appeared in the doorway.

“Don’t get up,” she said. “You’ve been through a lot. You need to rest.” She walked closer with a bowl of cooked and shredded meat. She held it out to Adam who took it gratefully.

“Where am I?” Adam asked. When he started to eat, he found that he could barely stop to get any words out.

“Welcome to Hawaii,” the girl said. “My name’s Lilo. What’s your name?”

“My name’s Adam,” he said. “I’ve never even heard of Hawaii.”

“Really? Where are you from?” Lilo asked. “Everybody’s heard of Hawaii.”

“I’m from France,” Adam said. “I’ve lived in the same place my whole life.”

“But I’ve heard of France!” Lilo said. “You’re not very bright, are you?”

“He’s not from your France,” a voice from the doorway said. “He’s from some sort of Other France just like I can’t find any familiar islands no matter how far I go.” All of a sudden Adam recognized her from the boat, the young woman who had saved his life.

“This is really super weird,” Lilo said.

“Yes,” the woman said. “It really is. My apologies, I didn’t introduce myself earlier. My name is Moana and, like you, I’m not from around here. I’m from Somewhere Else.”

“What does that even mean?” Adam asked.

“I’m not sure,” Moana said. “I’m sure magic is involved, though.”

Adam remembered the feeling of being magically suspended in air far above the water. “That definitely feels like the truth,” he said. “I have a little experience with magic but nothing like this.”

“Oooh,” Lilo said. “What kind of magic?”

Suddenly, a blue blur flew out of the shadows toward Adam and he instinctively reached out to stop it. He caught in his hand a little blue-furred beast that was excitedly gibbering. He realized after a beat that he had once again transformed to The Beast.

“Oh,” Lilo said. “That kind of magic. Stitch! Don’t attack strangers!”

The big-mouthed, blue-furred thing called Stitch looked at Lilo and wriggled out of Beast’s grasp and landed on the floor. “Sorry!” it said.

“Sorry about that,” Lilo said, patting Stitch gently on the head. “He gets excited when there are new people. Especially when somebody is as furry as he is. Stitch is an alien. From space.” Lilo pointed upwards and Adam could not fathom what she could mean. He found himself following her gesture upwards but saw only the ceiling. He shrugged.

“Are you not scared by my appearance?” Adam asked, his voice once again coming out in a deeper growl no matter how much he tried to make it sound gentle.”

“I have a lot of experience with transformation magic through my partner,” Moana said. “He’s out taking a shift scouting.”

“After dealing with aliens, I kind of accept just about anything,” Lilo said. “You also seem pretty nice.”

“Lilo,” Moana said. “Why don’t we let Adam here get some rest. Then we can give him a tour of the island and introduce him to people.”

“Okay!” Lilo said. “Nani’s probably wondering where I am anyway and Pleakley and Jumba will want to hear about another visitor.”

“That’s fine,” Moana said. “Just don’t tell too many people, we don’t need a whole bunch of visitors right now.”

“See you later, Adam!” Lilo said, not agreeing to anything. She ran off before anybody could say anything.

“Rest,” Moana said. “I’m serious. You’re safe here. We’ll talk more in the morning.”

“Alright,” Adam said and eased back into the cot. “Goodnight.”

“Goodnight,” Moana said and stepped out back through the door.


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