Teri Tenweeve (D&D Character)

Aye, lads and ladies, it is time to gather ‘round the hearth. Stow your pipes and fill ye tankards and ale-horns. Kids, ye also gather around. Lilli! Get me some mead while ye at it. Aye, women. Tis a long tale and I’ll need something to wet me gullet.

Everyone else ready? Great!

Our tale begins on these very isles we call home. What the outsiders call the Moonshae Isles. But us ffolk have always just called it home. In times past, our wonderful isles were beset by war. That is in the past now, and we have our wonderful High Queen Alicia Kendrick to thank for that. Earthmother bless her.

But violence still comes to our villages. And even so great a ruler as the High Queen can’t keep us all safe. And it was on a fateful moonless night, that monsters came to our village. This was before a lot of you were born. But your older brothers and sisters will remember them.

Wreathed in fire, the fiends were. With red skin, dripping blood and goo. It was a disgusting sight! And I will spare ye the gory details. Ye parents won’t forgive, little ones, if I kept ye awake all night. So, it is sufficient to say that the monsters had come to Caer Tenweeth. And a night of horror it was.

Until the sky went white in the moonless sky. Aye…I remember that light like it was the night before. It was bright. Brighter than any light I ever seen. But it didn’t hurt to look at it. And us on the ramparts looked up at it. We forgot about the fiery blighters at the gates. That light gave us a hope. And listen ye young and old – there ain’t nothing as powerful as hope.

The fiends froze in their tracks at the coming of the light, and then we heard an ear-shattering boom! Thunder. But thunder unlike any of us had ever heard before. And with it, the monsters and fiends turned to ash.

But we were too dumbstruck to cheer at our fortune, for a blessed angel hovered with wings of splendid gold and white, just over Caer Tenweeth. Now, Lilli here is pretty…yes, ye are! But this angel was like nothing else. I cannot describe her, for I know I cannot do her visage justice.

She landed among us ugly fools, and with a smile, released any bit of hate we may have had in our hearts then. It was there that our tale truly begins, for she passed to me among the crowd a blanket. And swaddled inside the blanket was but a wee one. A wee one that many of you may know. But for the benefit of the young, let us not spoil this story.

The angel spoke to us in a voice that sounded like ambrosia. It might’ve been. She said her name was Concordia. And she said this:

“You hold in your arms one of my blood. And for granting protection to these lands, I ask only that you grant protection to her. To raise her as one of your own. Her name is Tereal, but you may call her by a name that will less suspicion.”

I nodded dumbly at that time, but do not judge me, children. I was a younger man, and even the oldest among us fainted.

Since then, as ye’ll know, Concordia has guarded these lands from fiends, the undead and other monstrosities. And in exchange for her devotion, this village housed a little baby, with shining amber eyes, skin almost as pale as snow, raven black hair, and an energy we only began to discover years afterwards.

We called her Teri. For Tereal was much too big a name for a wee one. And soon, the village became her family. No one thought of her looks as odd. For, to us, they weren’t. She was just Teri. The baby that an angel gave us.

An Aasimar Paladin concept art that was the inspiration behind Teri’s appearance. (http://thrythlind.blogspot.com/2017/10/arcane-templar-scourge-aasimar-devotion.html)

As Teri grew older, her friendliness increased. And why wouldn’t it? She knew Caer Tenweeth, and we were all good to her. At first because Concordia gave her to us. But as time grew on – because she was our little Teri.

As Teri hit 14 years of age, she was no longer our little Teri. She was taller than all her age. Something about her blood, we guessed. But her friendliness and energy hadn’t abated. She was always eager to help any of us, taking turns sleeping in every house in the village. And don’t think her a vagabond! She worked off all debts, even though we gave her none.

The years went on, and Teri was the only evidence we had of Concordia’s visit. We sometimes told her about the angel who had left her. She would shrug and say: “I know. She tells me.”

Concordia spoke to her, apparently. When I asked her what the angel said, she only grinned, and replied:

“She tells me to do what’s right.”

And I’d ask: “And? Are you?”

“She hasn’t told me I’m not yet.”

An age passed, and Teri eventually came of age. I feared for the lass, as most of her friends had been married already. And while the boys liked our resident angel-born, they would never dare to court her.

But I feared in vain, as Teri came to each of us in the village one by one, thanking us and letting us know she would be back to visit soon.

Forgive my sniffles here, for it is never nice to watch a child leave the nest. And Teri was all our children. But she was ready to leave the village. She told us that she needed to complete her Oath, and that the world was a large place, so she best start early.

I found out soon after she left that she had been training with the sheriff with spear and shield. She was going out into the world to fight. Like Concordia…I presume…

Yes…yes. I’m okay.

That was not the last we heard of Teri, thank the Earthmother. For we received letters back over the years that followed. Letters from her. Letters from her new friends. She’d gone out into the world and befriended more villages, making new families, and protecting them from evil.

I’m not going to lie to ye. A part of me wishes that Teri would come back home. But I know that she’s got an important job out there. The world is full of darkness, wee ones. And Teri is doing her best to give a little light.

“Oi, Ewan. Ye telling tall tales again?” Teri grinned that infectious grin, stowed her glaive and shield by the tavern’s entrance, and embraced those she had left behind. “I’m home. I told ye I’d be back.”

Teri Tenweeve’s Stats

Teri Tenweeve is an Aasimar Paladin following the Oath of Devotion, with the blood of the angel Concordia running through her veins. A combination of her celestial origin and humble background compelled Teri to seek out adventure and friendship far afield.

Teri is trusting, loyal, protective and generous. But her boundless energy is just as easily channelled into slaying fiends and evil men than it is to playing with peasant children or drinking with the farmhands.

Teri has gone out into the world, far from home, to fight evil where she can and save those who deserve to be saved. But while she believes all people deserve redemption, her angelic patron and her own experiences have led her to never trust traitors, and to seldom every forgive them.

Teri is quick to befriend but can hold her own when friendship isn’t enough. More than one fiend has fallen on the blade of her glaive. And many more will. For Aasimar live a long time, and Teri isn’t close to tiring.

For those familiar with D&D, her character sheet is attached.

What type of character would you like to see me create? Also, if you like my writing, make sure to check out Part-Time Monster Hunter, an urban fantasy about a university student who hunts monsters to pay the bills.

Two Nations of the Cataclysm: Empire and Anubis

Continuing the series of nations after the Cataclysm comes only two in this article, as there was a lot of information for the Zulu Empire. Remember to suggest which nations you would like to see featured by leaving a comment below.

Zulu Empire

In 1991, South Africa was facing a crossroads. While Apartheid had not yet formally ended, the country was in the throes of intense negotiation between liberation movements, politicians and civic society. In the back-drop, a low-key civil war was raging between tribalistic factions and recently decriminalised anti-Apartheid groups.

When the Vortex opened and the Cataclysm arrived, South Africa did not get to choose its own way at the crossroads. Martial law was declared, and an interim parliament and cabinet was appointed from key figures of the previous government and new liberation movements. Apartheid was ended by decree as the country faced the new threat of magic and monsters.

This martial law persisted in name only until 1993. The country was ruled by chaos, informal civil war, sorcerer warlords and hordes of monsters.

On the 10th of May 1992, the Zulu King and his heirs were killed by opportunistic criminals, backed by a sorcerer warlord. With the royal line severed, leaders elected a new man to take the place of the murdered royal family.

On the 15th of May 1992, King Ukuhleleka I was crowned. He was a decisive leader, unsatisfied with waiting for the national government to bring order. He commanded great respect among the disparate groups of the Zulu people, in part due to his sorcery and also due to his sheer drive and natural authority.

Zulu political groups, unions and outlying tribes were brought into the fold and either consensually or forcibly came in line under the King’s absolutist vision for a new Kingdom. Migrant workers, previously living far from the Zulu homeland, rushed home to be a part of the new King’s vision.

The creation of a Zulu military was an open secret, which the national government didn’t even attempt to stop, as they faced a breakdown in society.

This new military and the subsequent creation of local militia under a system of decentralised chieftaincies that all owed absolute fealty to the King, brought order and relative peace to the Zulu territories. Many policemen quit their jobs and joined the unofficial law enforcement of the King.

While the rest of the country was facing complete turmoil, worse than civil war in some instances, the Zulu territories were peaceful and prosperous. Seeing this, the King approached the government of South Africa and asked for a position in cabinet. He was refused – he suspects due to fear, spite and tribal conflict.

On the 11th of October 1993, the King led an army of 15 000 impi (warriors) to the South African capital of Pretoria. The Zulu King and his personal bodyguard (the Untouched), stormed the Union Building during a cabinet meeting. The King gave the government an ultimatum:

“Accept me as Emperor, as God as decreed, and I will save this country. We will know peace and prosperity. Our children will be able to live in safety. God knows this. My people know it. And I give you all a chance to know it for yourselves. Allow me to save this country, or die here.”

The cabinet refused and the King killed them all with a flash of immense power, leaving nothing but ash. The already large force of 15 000 was reinforced by others, including groups from the army and police who agreed with the newly crowned Zulu Emperor.

Gauteng, South Africa’s most populous and richest province, was annexed and the Emperor didn’t delay sending out his commanders to secure the rest of South Africa. A large army was sent west, towards the Cape.

The army pressed unopposed up until Port Elizabeth, where it met a concerted defence by the remainders of the South African Defence Force (SADF). The Zulu army was larger, more well-trained, and had superior access to sorcerers and mages. The SADF was crushed and had to pull back.

The Zulu advance was halted not by the SADF, but by trouble in Gauteng. Mass protest action had erupted as a result of Zulu occupation. This came to a bloody head on the 18th of November 1993, when 156 protesters were killed, and thousands were injured in clashes with Zulu impi. The protesters that survived went underground, forming a group that came to be known as Goldfield.

With this insurgent group at home, and increasing monster attacks, not to mention surviving SADF troops constantly probing for weaknesses, the Emperor’s forces were in danger on all sides.

In 1994, the Emperor struck a deal with two warlord dynasties – an Earthborn Vampire clan called the Izingane Zgazi and a cabal of Necromancers who had formed an army of the undead that came to be called Shaka’s Chosen.

The vampires and necromancers plunged into both Gauteng to hunt down insurgents, and towards the SADF front. The new forces were brutal and came to be known to kill Zulu troops alongside actual enemies. Yet, they were effective.

Goldfield attacks and an attempted coup in the heart of the Zulu homeland resulted in forces being pulled back. The SADF pressed forward and made it to Port Elizabeth once again, until they were decimated by the vampires and necromancers.

The surviving forces pulled back to a series of bridges called the Three Point Line, which they manage to hold against the Zulu Empire to this day.

Upon the Western Cape seceding under Peter Jacob’s new idea of political reformation, the Zulu Empire halted their advance towards the Three Point Line and began to consolidate their captured territories – putting down rebellions throughout the Eastern Cape and northern provinces.

Goldfield insurgency never stopped, sapping Empire resources. The use of vampiric assassins to track down the rebels started to result in many dead vampires, as Goldfield developed the Extermination Corps, dedicated to eliminating vampires and monsters.

In 1999, the biggest blow to Zulu imperial authority was dealt. While on manoeuvres with his Untouched, Emperor Ukuhleleka I was assassinated by the Mage Corps of the Goldfield Movement. His son, Ukuhleleka II took the throne immediately, but was not as fierce as his father.

The Cape Defence Force (CDF) pushed past the Three Point Line for the first time since 1993 and the Goldfield Movement came out of hiding and decisively took over Pretoria and Johannesburg.

Ukuhleleka II split his forces too thinly to attempt to combat both the CDF and to retake Pretoria and Johannesburg. The CDF managed to make it all the way to East London, where it stopped due to overstretched supply-lines.

The Zulu army faced profound defeat when attempting to re-take the Gauteng territories, and were pushed south until Goldfield owned the old territories of Gauteng, North West and the Free State.

CDF forces were only dislodged after Ukuhleleka II made a deal with the vampire clans, granting them power to rival his own over the Eastern Cape. He accepted. Vampire armies stormed the Eastern Cape.

In 2002, the CDF retreated back to the Three Point Line and accepted a ceasefire with the Zulu Empire. Conflict continued between Goldfield and the Empire until 2006, when a formal treaty was established, and the Empire agreed to recognise the Goldfield Magocracy as a sovereign state.

The Zulu Vampire Clans ruthlessly rule over the Eastern Cape, causing the international community to harshly condemn the Empire, but despite Ukuhleleka II not being his father, the Empire’s military was still the largest, most advanced and readiest armed forces in Southern Africa. International condemnation was hot air.

While skirmishes have persisted between the CDF, Goldfield, Lesotho, Swazi and other groups against the Zulu Empire, the Empire has remained as a regional hegemon. A constant in the world after the Vortex.

Anubite Syndicate

While Odin was elected democratically to what became the Scandinavian League, and most of the Greek god trapped on Earth have kept quiet, the Egyptian god Anubis was not content to live as equals with the denizens of Earth.

Immediately after the Vortex opened, Anubis found himself in the nation of Egypt. Without a care for learning Earth’s customs, he summoned forth a horde of demonic Anubites to serve in his army. This army tore across Egypt, ravaging the countryside and securing strategic locations near the Nile, which was revealed later to be a powerful weyline.

Anubis’ conquest was halted, however, by the modern Egyptian military. While Anubites were strong, they were not well-armed and could do nothing against modern soldiers. Anubis had to prey on civilians to feed his forces.

This marauding continued until 1996, when a coalition of nations aided Egypt against Anubis, crushing his forces. He disappeared into obscurity, where he came into contact with a cult that had formed in his honour. Intrigued by these holy images of himself, he agreed to learn Earthly languages and ways. He learnt of technology and why his efforts at conquest were thwarted.

In 2001, Anubis formalised his cult into the Anubite Syndicate. With the help of fanatics, planted inside the Egyptian military, he trained his own human army of mages and soldiers, backed by his Anubite army.

In 2002, a military coup weakened the Egyptian army and government, allowing Anubis to come out of hiding. He secured major cities throughout the country, killing all those who opposed him.

In 2004, the whole of Egypt was conquered by the Anubite Syndicate. Coalitions of neighbouring nations attempted to fight the threat but were unable to fully occupy Egyptian cities for long. By 2010, none of the coalition nations continued making an effort. Anubis became de facto leader of Egypt.

Following 2010, Anubis has struggled to expand his borders. His army relies mostly on a rich supply of weyline, limiting their ability to travel far away from the Nile. This has kept the region safe from his grasp.

Life for a human under the Anubite Syndicate is hard. Only a select elite are granted any sort of privilege but are still underneath Anubites on the national hierarchy. A race that has found the new nation pleasant, however, are wights – sentient undead. While unwelcome everywhere else, wights are seen as a natural elite in the Anubite Syndicate and given positions of power.

Anubis continues to rule the Anubite Syndicate with an iron fist and has never stopped his lusting for more territory. One day, he may build an army that can trek far past his own borders. And when that day comes, will the world be ready to face him?

If you haven’t already, make sure to read the 5-chapter teaser to the Kat Drummond Series, available for free HERE. Kat Drummond’s major release is set for early 2020.

Three Nations of the Cataclysm: Hope, Elves and Vikings

The events of the Cataclysm in the Kat Drummond series not only brought magic and monsters into the world, but also changed the fundamental political structures of Earth. While some governments and states survived, many were irreparably shifted and changed. While there are hundreds of states on Post-Cataclysm Earth, the following are some interesting nations mentioned in the books.

State of Good Hope

The vast majority of the Kat Drummond series is set in the State of Good Hope, often seen as the last democracy in Southern Africa. It is located in what was the Western Cape, a province of the Republic of South Africa. After a coup in 1993, the South African government was taken over by a Zulu-led military government with the purpose of reinstating order in an already chaotic country flung even further into chaos by the arrival of monsters and magic.

Cape Town, now named Hope City, was home to South Africa’s parliament, while the main cabinet and transitional government was stationed up north in Pretoria. The surviving parliament declared themselves the South African government in exile and engaged in some brutal clashes with the newly proclaimed Zulu Empire. The weaker forces of the surviving South African army were pushed back, shrinking the borders of the Western Cape.

The Cape government couldn’t afford to dedicate much to the war effort, as Table Mountain (a natural wonder and centrepiece of Cape Town) was revealed to be the ancient tomb of a primordial titan named Ademastor. The titan began to awake. Only the swift intervention of some quickly trained mages kept the titan asleep. Now, the Titan Citadel and Titan Cult serve to keep the Titan Under the Mountain asleep.

In 1996, the acting president of the Cape government went behind the parliament’s back and contracted the services of a circle of lawmancers. He used a series of magically-binding contracts and charters to create a semi-sentient Spirit of the Law. This spirit would defend his vision of a new state. The State of Good Hope. With it, he made his own vision of government magically binding under pain of execution by a litigious elemental.

Peter Jacobs was murdered for his actions by a disgruntled member of parliament, but it was too late. South Africa’s government-in-exile was now serving in a new state, with a new system of government and new names.

Now, the State of Good Hope controls much of the Western Cape, up until a series of fortifications on the eastern border called the Three Point Line. A tenuous truce with the Zulu Empire and Goldfield Magocracy has allowed the small-state to thrive economically, as the Titan has become a focus for many powerful weylines, attracting mages and corporations from all over the world.

But Hope City’s wealth isn’t immediately apparent. In the days of total warfare, countless South Africans had flooded into Hope City, creating an unsustainable sprawl that came to be dominated by gangs, magical warlords and monsters. With an apathetic and corrupt government, not much has been done to address this issue.

And for those who live in the better parts of Hope City, they tend not to care. But for those who have seen the sprawling slums, they know that it is knocking on the gates of Hope City proper. And the horrors it contains will not be contained forever.

Scandinavian League

Many gods of myth became trapped on Earth as freak rifts brought them here and the collapse of efficient riftmancy prevented them from coming home. Many tried to dominate Earth by force of arms. Some, like Anubis, succeeded. Others became depressed and went into hiding. But for Odin and Thor, trapped on Earth while their realms faced Ragnarok, they attempted to make the most of their new lot.

In 1996, after liberating large portions of Norway of monsters, Odin ran for prime minister of Norway. He won, democratically, and started a reign so successful that only a god could be expected to have achieved it. While Europe was awash with monsters and warfare, Norway returned to its pre-Cataclysm peace. The boons of the Vortex were harnessed, and Norway became a champion of what a modern state should look like – embodying Norse virtues such as honour, tempered with modern notions of diplomacy and progress.

In 1997, Denmark held a referendum. The decision to merge with Norway was unanimously accepted. The Scandinavian League was born. Sweden followed. Then Finland. Followed by Iceland.

The Scandinavian League engaged in its first international drama in 2002, when territories held by the Russian Federation, including the populations of St Petersburg, insisted on joining the League, the military government of Russia refused. The army was sent into the protesting territories and there were civilian casualties.

Odin gave the Russian government an ultimatum:

“Allow your people to choose their own path. Or meet your ancestors in Valhalla.”

The Russian government were strictly Orthodox and didn’t acknowledge the existence of Valhalla, thinking Odin and Thor were just very convincing con-men who had duped the entire region. They were mistaken.

Thor, and his newly formed group of heroes called the Thunder Corps, infiltrated Russian borders and made it into Moscow, where they abducted the President of the Federation. Showing the effectiveness of such a surgical team, and having the leader of Russia in custody, the Russian government accepted Odin’s ultimatum.

Odin showed massive restraint in this border dispute but explained his reasoning. Russia, despite its immaturity, had an important role to play on Earth. It was the protector of the Vortex. And a Scandinavian invasion of the protector state would be as scandalous as a Catholic nation invading the Vatican.

In the decades that followed, the League has served as an important power broker in Europe, acting as peacekeepers and ensuring that the European states would finally settle down. Only in 2030 is this benevolent role in Europe been threatened. A coalition of European warlords and republics have reformed the Holy Roman Empire, and if the rumours are true, the cabal that runs it from the shadows could come to threaten even Odin himself.

New Sintar

Not all refugees from the worlds beyond the In Between were content to remain destitute and homeless on Earth. The proud elves of Sintar were initially scattered across the world, but starting in the early 2000s, began to rally to the northern island of New Zealand, where they established a large community. The surviving government of New Zealand was initially welcoming, but as the elvish population came to outnumber the humans, mandatory assimilation programs began.

The Sintari didn’t react well. Most of them refused to learn English, preferring to only speak their mother tongue. While there was some trade, specifically in the form of magical knowledge, relations became heated between the humans and elves.

In 2010, an elderly human living on the northern island was murdered by his Sintari neighbours after refusing to learn their language (New Zealand authorities allege that the man was deaf). Police were sent to the community and fired upon by Sintari militia and mages. Three policemen died.

In retaliation, an elf community in Wellington was attacked by human rioters. Houses and shops were torched, and, in rare occasions, elves were publicly executed by vigilantes.

While many elf communities in the north had not been united behind the Trennari, an organisation of Sintari militants, the pogroms led by out of control humans forced their hand. Overnight, Sintari communities executed any human found on the northern island. (There are, however, tales of elves saving their human neighbours, hiding them and sending them to the south where they would be safe)

The New Zealand army had been decimated by rift-surges and dealing with the more obvious monsters of the Cataclysm. Even then, a peace-keeping force was sent to the island. The elven forces had been underestimated. The Trennari had been stockpiling weapons and battle-scrolls for years. Perhaps decades. The peace-keeping forces were eliminated and the 1st Sintari-New Zealand War began.

Two years later, with the threat of a coalition of Australia, the Polynesian states and Japan, the Sintari and New Zealand agreed to a ceasefire. Prisoners of war were released. But New Sintar, the newly dubbed state, refused to give up their new territory. Not wanting to risk more genocide, the coalition of foreign states forced New Zealand to concede.

The northern island was now an elven land.

Skirmishes followed, even during peacetime, with fisherman from both sides vying for the same waters. In 2019, a new war began as the Sintari sent an invasion force across the Cook Strait. A hasty defence by the New Zealand and Australian navies stopped, the bulk of the invasion force, but a detachment managed to land and form a beachhead on Arapawa Island. The New Zealand army was unable to oust them, and the beachhead formed into a Sintari fortress and then settlement.

The 2nd Sintari-New Zealand war ended months after it started, with the Sintari disappointed by their lack of gains, but still the ultimate winner.

On the eve of the Kat Drummond series, the Sintari and New Zealand are facing tumultuous peace talks. Children born during the first war have come to expect to serve in the next. Many, on both sides, want peace.

But when both sides are filled with hate, and both sides refuse to give – can there be peace?


These were just three of the interesting developments in the world of Kat Drummond. What are some nations you would like to see? Let me know in the comments or by email. Would you like to explore more nations surrounding Kat’s home? The United (or are they now?) States of America? The New Holy Roman Empire? Let me know if you would like any of these, or if there’s another country you have in mind.

If you haven’t already, make sure to read the 5-chapter teaser to the Kat Drummond Series, available for free HERE. Kat Drummond’s major release is set for early 2020.

Gods and Legends in Post-Cataclysm Earth

Throughout our history, we have recognised the existence of gods, from the Olympians of Ancient Greece, the Asgardians of Norse mythology and the countless pantheons of our forebears. Much of these tales of heroes, gods and legend are mere mythology, but all myth has a grain of truth. After the Cataclysm, this grain of truth became a boulder in the case of some figures of legend.

The gods now walk among us. From Thor and Odin in the newly established Scandinavian League, to the Anubite Society in Egypt. There have been sightings of men, glowing divinely as they undertake impossible feats of strength, and a woman engaging in both fierce study and brutal warfare, accompanied by an owl.

The gods are not solely a post-Cataclysmic phenomenon. They have been to Earth before, informing human legend and society.

Ancient Greece

The Ancient Greeks had plenty of encounters with otherworlders of extreme power. Through intentional and accidental rifts, beings from the plane of Olympia entered our world and interacted with us. While not gods in the sense of omnipotent beings, the Olympians were immortals with extremely powerful sparks, allowing them to channel their internal energy into feats approaching godliness.

The Olympians made forays into our world, but seldom stayed long. They were content to meddle in human affairs, and then retreat back to their plane. Some became intimate with humans, but these occasions were relatively rare (still becoming the stuff of legends).

During the Cataclysm, riftmancy became highly volatile and Olympians who previously had adept control over rifts and crossing into other worlds found themselves trapped on Earth. Most of the Olympians on Earth have gone into hiding, fearing the powers of beings from other worlds that could potentially challenge them. This fear isn’t unfounded, as Hermes was struck down within years of being trapped on Earth by a cabal of sorcerers. Since then, the Olympians have kept a low profile.

The Norse Gods

Unlike the Olympians, the gods of Norse myth that found themselves trapped on Earth have been much more outgoing. Odin used his powers and gravitas to unite the ancestral territories of the people who once followed him – Scandinavia. His son, Thor, has devoted himself to the new Earthly profession of monster hunting, and has formed the top monster hunting guild in the world – the Thunder Corps.

Other Norse gods and their families have also found themselves trapped on Earth and have become figures of influence in Odin’s Scandinavian League.

“The Thunder Corps were legends. A top-level global agency run by Thor, the Norse God of Thunder himself. They handled the top missions and operations that this magical world could throw at them. When the legendary Fafnir decided to make Berlin into his own personal hoard, the Thunder Corps were the ones to send him spiralling into the abyss.” – Kat Drummond, Part-Time Monster Hunter


There exist plenty more gods and figures of human legend now trapped on Earth due to the Cataclysm. Many seek to find a way home, while others make a new home on our planet. While viewed as gods, and very powerful, they are not unstoppable – and most of them know this all too well.

It is this vulnerability that has been so poignant after the Cataclysm. We have discovered the flaws of our living legends, and it has revealed our own flaws to us. But in a way, this has made the legends more human. Sincerer. Perhaps, we can learn more from the fallible beings, once of myth, than the perfect heroes we had constructed based on trickery thousands of years ago. With this new knowledge, perchance we can do better than our fallen gods – or become even worse.

The Spark: Magic After the Cataclysm

It started with a spark. Nobody knows where this spark came from. Sure, they know it comes from the Vortex – the colossal tower of pure magical energy that sprung up in the Siberian tundra, giving way for the Cataclysm to occur – but where did it come from before then?

Some say it was here all along. Only hidden. It existed within the wind, the trees, the ocean depths and all elements that make up our world. It was a latent energy that only needed the spark of the Vortex to awaken – like the ignition of tinder.

Other experts argue that magic, the Spark, came from another world in the same manner as all the monsters and otherworldly beings. This world of magic is not a solid plane, like that of Earth, Olympia, the Norse worlds or the countless other planes bleeding onto Earth, but a dimension of pure energy – dripping said energy into our world like rain through a leak in the roof.

Regardless of the true origins of the Spark and the magic it enables, it is here now and humans need to understand it in order to use it.

The Human Spark

After the Vortex appeared, something started happening to seemingly random humans of all ages and backgrounds. They began to feel a well of power within themselves. A latent energy at their core. Through some cosmic fate or pure arbitrariness, some humans now had magic.

“It all started with a spark. The Spark. The Cataclysm didn’t start with monsters and demons. It started with humans. Glowing orbs rising from the hands of office workers, fireballs being flung by homeless people and an overwhelming arrogance by people who had gained immense power by sheer luck.” – Kat Drummond, Part-Time Monster Hunter.

People with a spark are called sorcerers. Sorcery, the term used for their type of magic, involves willpower and self-control to be able to harness their internal magic to do their bidding. This takes the form of controlling elements, manipulating the world around them or simply exerting pure power.

Not all sorcerers are created equally, however. Sorcerers have affinities – certain acts of magic that they naturally prefer. Some may feel an affinity to fire and become natural pyromancers. Others may be more comfortable harnessing their natural power to channel into more refined pursuits, like enchanting or divination.

Affinities aside, sorcerers also have varying levels of power. Initially, power levels were random. Spark is semi-hereditary, however. Strong sorcerers typically give birth to strong sorcerers and carry on a powerful magical bloodline. But, as is the case with all things, this isn’t always true. Some powerful sorcerer families will give birth to a weak sorcerer or, rifts forbid, a husk!

“Husk – a derogatory term for a non-sorcerer.”

An easy way to think about sorcerers and their spark is like a battery. They are their own battery and can harness their own magical energy to use as they will. Willpower and power willing, of course.

Spark is exhausted as a sorcerer uses it, simultaneously exhausting the user physically. After a rest, spark does replenish, in the same manner as stamina. It has been known for sorcerers to turn themselves into husks by over-exerting themselves on particularly harsh and powerful casts, however.


The Vortex didn’t only place Spark in the core of humans, but also spread it across the world. Think of the Vortex like a waterfall of magical energy. Now imagine that waterfall snaking out, like rivers or tendrils throughout the world. These rivers of magical energy are called weylines.

When the big rift opened – the Vortex in Siberia – it released tendrils, like roots from a tree. These spread throughout the world. Where they passed, the new magic-users of the world felt immense power. These were dubbed weylines, inspired by the elves who subsequently colonised northern New Zealand and parts of Ireland. People flocked to weylines. Enchantments were stronger there. Magic-users flourished. And people in their vicinity just felt good. Weylines exuded a sense of purity. But not all weylines were good, and not all good weylines necessarily remained so.” – Kat Drummond, Part-Time Monster Hunter.

While sorcerers tap into their own magical reserves to use magic, wizardry is the complex art of tapping into weylines to use magic. This is a complicated process, requiring years of study, experimentation and knowledge. If sorcery is raw power, then wizardry is refined knowledge.

Wizardry, due to its refined nature, is a lot more focused and versatile than sorcery. While sorcerers are typically powerful, if blunt instruments, wizards can fine-tune their incantations and enchantments to suit very specific purposes. But they are limited. Wizards cannot use their magic everywhere. They require weylines of the appropriate type of energy and the knowledge to tap into the weyline and transfer that energy to a suitable incantation, rune or enchantment.

The most basic form of wizardry is incantation. Wizards can figure out how to voice their will into vocal totems or runes. These are called spells. If a wizard knows the words of a spell, they can channel a weyline into the spoken spell to cast it.

Most wizardry is done in the form of enchantment and runemancy. Objects are imbued with magical energy through the use of magical symbols, runes and circles of power. These can take the form of enchanting clothing to always stay dry, or vellum to carry a purifying aura to ward off evils spirits. Once created in a weyline, enchanted items can carry their magic anywhere – but this magic cannot be recycled, only destroyed.

Dark Magic

Weylines have characteristics. Simply: they can be good or bad. The nature of a weyline determines a number of things, but in relation to the topic of this article, weyline characteristics aid in what spells can be cast in it. In addition: the types of spells cast in a weyline determine its characteristics.

Spells of a good nature, like purification and healing magic, clean up a weyline and make it good. Creatures like pixies are also known to clean up weylines.

Spells of neutral characteristics, like elementalism, have no effect, positive or negative.

Dark magic, such as necromancy or demonology, corrupt weylines.

Weylines have profound effects on their denizens. People residing in corrupted weylines are more prone to depression, anger and random acts of violence and crime. Denizens of pure weylines are more likely to feel good and act good.


The Cataclysm, while decades old, is still a relatively new phenomenon. Magic is still an active school of study and much is still unknown about it. Perhaps, humans will discover its origins and nature in time, and with it, discover more about themselves and their interaction with this new power.

Hopefully, with this knowledge, humans will gain the wisdom to not use magic as yet another tool to destroy each other.

Announcing Part-Time Monster Hunter

The Warpmancer Series has reached its ninth book, available September 4th. For fans of my science fiction epic, I hope you enjoy! It is a culmination of all the arcs that came before it, and the first meeting of many of the characters from my extensive cast. It has been an ambitious series and will continue to be so in the upcoming sequels. But I’m not only going to be working on Warpmancer going forward. I have begun work on a new series in a new genre. This new series is called Part-Time Monster Hunter (PTMH).

The series is an urban fantasy set in a twisted and alternate history 21st century, where portals have opened up allowing fantastical beasts, dark magic and the heroes and gods of mythology into our world. It has been decades since the initial opening of these rifts and humanity has begun to adjust to a magical way of life.

I am really excited about this story! I love fantasy, but have only ever written sci-fi. This series lets me explore my other favourite genre, and a new style of storytelling. While Warpmancer focusing on a large cast of major characters, PTMH focuses on a single main character and how she reacts to the world. This allows me to get much more personal and develop a character as I’ve never done before.

Because of the rift aspect of the story, I am able to borrow from many aspects of traditional fantasy and mythology – including Norse, Greek and Arthurian legend. This means an extensive canvas and very fun interactions as the likes of Thor tangles with Athena in a modern setting.

The PTMH universe borrows from the myths and legends of many cultures, including traditional epic fantasy and some creative license on my part.

If you are as excited as I am about the story, you don’t have to wait. You can download a the first five chapters of book one now, and sign up for the opportunity to receive the books for free.

Download the first five chapters here!

I hope you enjoy and stay tuned for more info on this exciting new series.

Crowdfunding Warpmancer Re-Release

I started writing the Warpmancer Series in 2009. Back then, the book was going to be called “The Trooper” and was going to be a stand-alone. As I approached finishing it in 2013, I realised that it needed to be a series. First, I called the planned series “The Terra War Saga”. Fortunately, I realised that was boring and renamed it to the Warpmancer Series, starting with Fall of Zona Nox. The series has drastically shifted since the completion of Fall of Zona Nox in 2013 and now I feel it is time for a reboot.

My recent releases, including Godkiller and my short stories, trump Fall of Zona Nox completely in writing quality and story complexity. This is to be expected. I wrote them in 2017, after a lot of improvement to my writing.

Fall of Zona Nox isn’t the worst indie sci-fi ever and it has positive reviews, but I can see by read-through rate to its sequel, Rise of the Defiant, that it is doing my series a profound disservice. Its inferior writing quality is putting off a lot of readers of the series and losing me an opportunity to make a career out of sci-fi.

So, I’m re-releasing Fall of Zona Nox into a trilogy of three books. This trilogy will be the first three books in the Warpmancer series and be nicknamed the Zona Nox Arc. They will be titled: Shadow, Trooper and Captain – representing James’ rise through the ranks. They will be immediately followed by a re-branded Rise of the Defiant, titled “Defiant”.

I want this trilogy to be as high quality as possible. I believe that the Warpmancer series is and can be a valuable addition to science fiction. I just need to perfect my first books as much as possible so that people will give the rest of the series a chance.

To do this, I need your help.

I need to hire a professional developmental editor to help me make Shadow as great as possible. To do this, I will need R10 600 (approx $900). To help me fund this endeavour, I have started a crowdfund.

You can check out the crowdfund here.

All help is much appreciated and contributors have the opportunity to get some great rewards – like having their names featured in the series.

Even if you can’t help with money, I am also in need of beta readers to help me improve the book, as well as a street team to help me share the book upon release. If you would like to help out in anyway, sign up to my mailing list for future instructions. You can sign up to my mailing list here.

I will be posting more about the re-release as they become relevant. Stay tuned!

New Trooper Ranks and Structure

Concept Art of a Trooper by Tolulope Adeojo.

The Trooper Order’s Military (as distinguished from the Armada, Order-Logistics and Order-Administration) is loosely based off Earth ranks that have been heavily simplified and adjusted. Many administrative roles are no longer needed to be carried out by the likes of Staff Sergeants and Majors, so the Order has cut out these ranks and kept only what is necessary for a coherent chain of command.


High Protector: First among equals of the Council-Generals. Makes final decision when consensus cannot be achieved. Can be seen as the ruler of the Trooper Order.

Council-General: An almost peerless general tasked with directing the grand strategy of the Order, including the affairs of the Armada, Logistics and Order.

Planetary General: The highest ranking general and commanding officer on a planet.

General: Leads an army made up of 2-5 sections.

Force Commander: Leads a force of 2-5 divisions.

Colonel: Leads a division of 2-5 companies.

Captain: Leads a company of 3-5 platoons.

Lieutenant: Leads a platoon of 3-5 squads.

Strike Leader: Leads a strike team of 10-20 men. Answers to superior officers but not formally a part of any greater structure. Acts semi-independently.

Sergeant:  Leads a squad of 6-12 men.

Corporal: Leads a fireteam or section of 2-6 men.

Lance Corporal: Leads a patrol of 1-3 men.

Specialist: Specially trained personnel.

Private: Inducted Trooper.

Trainee/Recruit: Informally inducted Trooper.


Patrol: 1-3 infantry with regular equipment.

Fireteam: 2-4 infantry with 1 special equipment (sniper, heavy, engineering, close combat, demolitions).

Squad: 4-10 infantry. Can have a dedicated small transport. 2-5 special equipment.

Strike Team: 11-20 infantry with whatever equipment is needed for the particular mission.

Platoon: 12-50 personnel with multiple dedicated transport, 1-3 armoured support and respective special equipment per a squad. Also takes the place of a specialist corps, such as a dedicated Artillery platoon.

Company: 36-250 personnel with all respective perks of each body within, with extra possible access to a dedicated starship and 5-10 additional armoured support.

Division: 80-1250 personnel with an HQ. 10-25 additional armoured support.

Section: 160-6250 personnel with an optional flagship.  50-100 additional armoured support.

Army: 320-31250 personnel with Major Base HQ, flagship and 250-500 additional armoured support.

Planetary Group: Can contain any number of armies, ranging from 100 to 1 million personnel.

System Group: Can contain any number of planetary groups, population willing.

The Order: The current predicted headcount of Trooper combat personnel is sitting at approximately three billion and rising. They are divided into approximately fifteen thousand system groups and then into thirty thousand planetary groups.


Philosophy of the Imperial Council

The big baddies of the Warpmancer Universe, like any three-dimensional entity, isn’t some basic evil formed in a vacuum. Like in reality, everyone and everything finds its inspiration and origin in a philosophy. The Imperial Council and their founding races are no different.

It is very rare for the villain to think of themselves as one. For the Edal and Ulyx who lead the Imperial Council, they are heroes. While some may acknowledge their crimes, they have greater goods to absolve themselves.

But what is this philosophy? What is the Imperial Doctrine? And what real world Earth philosophies inspired these ideas?

Imperial Doctrine

The Edal, the ancient and beautiful warrior race that provides the viciousness to contrast with the Ulyx’s cold calculation, are not based in a philosophy of violence. War is their culture, but the philosophy behind their war is much more peaceful.

The Edal believe in an ideal state – a utopia that needs to be preserved. While many human utopianists believe we must still work towards a utopia, the dominant Edal philosophy is that there was or is an ideal state and that the goal of life is preservation, not progress.

The specifics of this society are not clear, and that is probably fortunate. If the society was formalised, the police state of the Edal would probably crush countless contravening individuals. Rather, this ideal state is a vague idea of aesthetics, technology and loyalty to the Martyrs and the Council.

Psychologically, this desire for preservation is probably wrought from a cultural fear of change. The political class are victims of this as well. Only a few rulers, probably some of the Martyrs, have probably ever considered that the Edal’s obsession with the purity of the now is a bit arbitrary.

The Ulyx depart from their conservative allies and become much more utilitarian. While the Edal have established unassailable doctrine, the Ulyx have a very basic principle that governs their intergalactic politics – peace.

It must seem very ironic to think of peace being a governing tenet of the Imperial Doctrine. The Edal are very much not peaceful. “Degora ten Alka,” is a common Edal adage and oath, meaning: “Glory in War.” Practically meaning: one can only find glory and meaning through war.

The Ulyx are different. They believe the goal of war to be a lack of it. For centuries before encountering the Edal, the Ulyx had explored the stars and observed countless conflicts. The dominant belief came to form that these conflicts needed to be stopped and the only way to do this was through sheer force.

The Ulyx principle is: peace through the sword.

The Ulyx befriended the Edal not to join their crusade, but to use them as the sword that would bring peace to the galaxy.

As a result of these two philosophies, Imperial Doctrine formed to highlight the importance of hierarchy and order. Edal society is feudal and Ulyx society is based on rule by science-political class. Both have sacrificed freedom for the preservation of an ideal state and the pursuit of peace.

In the real world

As the Imperial Council’s beliefs didn’t form in a vacuum, neither did mine. Imperial culture and philosophy finds three major inspirations in philosophy and history, besides the very obvious aesthetic connection to the Roman Empire.

The Edal find their inspiration in Plato’s idea of the perfect state. Plato believed in the rule of a Philosopher King over society. This is found in the Ulyx society, but also in Edallic society. Councillors are basically philosophers, but they all share a common creed.

This isn’t far detached from Plato’s idea of a perfect society. Plato wasn’t a liberal. He believed that there was one right ideology and that it needed to be enforced. He also believed that there was an ideal state of society and that it needed to be preserved.

As garnered from Popper’s The Open Society and its Enemies, Plato believed that the only good progress was a return to the perfect society that humans had lost. Edal are similar. They believe that they had once achieved perfection and that their goal is to maintain it as much as possible. There is no interrogation of their ideas or realities – only unquestionable loyalty to stasis.

The Ulyx’s ideology of peace and order comes from an English philosopher named Thomas Hobbes. Hobbes proposed the idea of a leviathan, a super-state or ruler that is so powerful that they can maintain peace and order and prevent society from devolving into what Hobbes called “a state of nature”.

Both these ideologies are actually pretty congruent. The Edal want to preserve an ordered society and the Ulyx want peace within this ordered society. But how is this deeper philosophy achieved on a cultural level?

Despite their aesthetics being based off Rome, the Edal are heavily based off Imperial Japan. They subscribe to an overwhelming doctrine of duty and a hierarchy based off responsibility and servitude. The relationship between ruler and ruled in Edallic society isn’t based off capriciousness, but a mutual understanding of everyone’s natural place in the world.

In Imperial Japan, the Emperor wasn’t a God. He was a man who was just as much a servant to custom and culture than every other Japanese citizen. The same goes for Edal society. The Warp-lords and Councillors may hold land, but they are expected to protect and lead their people. Filfs have very few rights, but it is expected that they are protected and that they are not wastefully expended.

Like Imperial Japan, there is a space for everyone in Edallic society – as long as you do your duty and follow the doctrine.


Like humanity, the Edal and Ulyx are not unitary. Individuals within the races and society have disagreements. Attentive readers may notice quotes within my books by Ulyx and Edal sounding individuals speaking of very un-Imperial ideas.

While there is no freedom of speech or thought in Imperial territory, space is big. Edal and Ulyx free thinkers often escape to Free Space, where they find jobs as academics in human and Exanoid society.

Jherin Kura’kaia, mentioned a few times throughout the series, is an Ulyx economist and philosopher renowned for his ideas of galactic commerce. He is a free market libertarian who argues for the opening of as many societies as possible to peaceful trade.

Jherin would have been killed if he had stayed in Imperial territory. On Mars, he is safe to preach his ideas of liberty and commerce.

His brethren still located in Imperial Space are not so lucky.

Did you enjoy this expose of Imperial Philosophy? What other aspects of Warpmancer Lore would you like to learn about? Please let me know in the comment section below.

Change: Tales of Chiid (Fantasy Short Story)

Featured Image Source

This short story was written as a high school English assignment years ago. I still enjoy it. I hope you do too.

Ash fell as it always did and always would. Every day it was the same scene – ash falling from the sky, blanketing an already drab landscape in a depressing gray. Only the occasional rains helped clear the ash falls and, more often than not, just aggravated them by turning the gray substance into mush akin to the snows of the north.

Yes, it was a day like any other. Ash always fell in the city Quorn and always would. It was one of the by-products of the city’s industry after all, and most knew that without the ash, they would all soon wither and die. Like the plants that said ash had already killed. Well, that statement is only partly true as the ash did indeed kill plants, but only if plants had already been growing there in the first place.

Quorn was situated in a wasteland, an area called the Blight of Chiid, an inhospitable land where no sane man would settle – and that was true, no sane man did live there or anywhere in Chiid for that matter.

Quorn was a city of orcs, but not just any orcs. Quorn was a city of orc industrialists, industrialists who were the principal reason for the ash.
After Warlord Grugon-Zot answered the Alledonian declaration of war, the need for weapons and supplies became greater than any one small confederacy of city states could handle. But the Warlord did not fear, as he knew his people and their insatiable hunger for development.

So, as any good industrial-era monarch would, he sent the weapon and mining guilds up north to oust natives from their territory and replace tribal lands with towering factories and ash-spewing refineries. Quorn was one such city that was founded as a result of this and it is in Quorn that our tale begins.

Rez’targ squinted into the downpour of rain and ash as he trod down the inappropriately packed streets of Quorn. The presence of rain disappointingly did not do much to thin the torrents of ash and Rez’targ found himself sighing, realizing it would be one of those winter days which would best be spent lying next to the warm hearth of the inn which he had, in fact, previously inhabited, armed with nothing but a mug of ale and some good thoughts.

He knew the world didn’t work that way, and just grudgingly continued on his way down the street, preparing himself to be armed with a pick, opposed to the more desirable beverage. Rez’targ’s days were simple. He would awake in the morning – he didn’t really note the time as it was always gray and dull in Quorn – head to the market to buy some imported bread for breakfast and then head to his job at the mines. The monotony of his existence would have bored even the most optimistic person, but Rez’targ knew the alternative and was thankful for it. He was by no means an underprivileged orc.

Sure, he wasn’t born in a Great Clan or as the heir to a rich guildsman, but he knew how to work and what to expect in life. Yes, the monotony bored him, but it also comforted him. He would much rather be working and eating than the alternatives of either slacking and starving or fighting and dying in the south.

The market was somewhat like the street, crowded, but today, the reasons for the crowd were different. Rez’targ tried to ignore the new addition but it was hard to avert his eyes as he tried to haggle with the bread merchant for a fairer price.

Erected (seemingly overnight) in the middle of the large flat expanse which was the public market, was a stage and, upon that stage stood, in Rez’targ’s view, one of the most majestic looking orcs he had ever seen outside of the Great Clans. Yerla-Gozt stood upon the stage, flanked by two guards armed with nothing but banners.

The banners were blue; contrasting against the usual red of the Chiid government and upon the banners read the text: “Durb ob Hai” – Rule of the People.

Yerla-Gozt was yelling something inaudible to Rez’targ but by the looks of the people surrounding the platform, it was something they liked and Rez’targ found himself being drawn closer towards the centre of the market area, chewing his newly purchased breakfast.

Yerla-Gozt was utilizing a cone-like device to amplify his voice, allowing people from all around the market to hear. The crowd itself was what got in the way of the seemingly ingenious public speech tool as the shouting and cheering interfered with hearing the reasons for the shouting and cheering.

Rez’targ found himself enthralled nonetheless with the words he could hear. He heard words like ‘democracy’ and ‘equality’, concepts he had heard much about before but had never dwelled on; the Crimson Hand made sure people didn’t ponder things they weren’t meant to ponder.

The speech went on and sometimes Rez’targ found himself cheering with the crowd but as it went on and people began to show a little too much enthusiasm, Rez’targ knew he wasn’t safe. Glancing around quickly he saw what he had suspected. Lining the roofs of the surrounding buildings, just out of sight of the political rallyists, were soldiers. Armed with rifle and baton they surrounded the large conglomerate of people, only now being noticed.

Rez’targ had prepared for this, however; he was always prepared. He knew it was illegal and typically stayed away from anything that could endanger his life, but he knew he would need it one day and the opportunity when he was offered it was just too great to pass up.
Shoving towards the soldiers barricading the eastern entrance, he withdrew his illegal document – a perfect forgery indicating his obviously fake position as a civic official.

He had gained the document from a friend who ran in the underground, a strange orc who had spent most of his life in Sirdovia, among humans. This orc was named Kurt and was a photographer. He possessed one of, if not the only, non-government camera in Chiid. With the camera, he had taken a flawless photo of Rez’targ and then utilized it to make a document that would get Rez’targ out of almost any trouble.

The deal had cost him very little in the short term but Rez’targ felt it would bring something bad upon him sometime in the future – the Crimson Hand always knew these things, even if later rather than sooner; they always found out. Flashing his papers to the officer, he was allowed past and just in time as he heard rifles fire and smelt the scent of gun powder and sulphur mix with the acrid odour of the wet ash.
The rally had turned into a protest and then a riot; the Crimson Hand couldn’t let that go on for longer and had opened fire, no doubt killing Yerla-Gozt in the first pull of the trigger. This is what happened when someone opposed the Crimson Hand, it’s what always happened, and so what was the use of resisting? To Rez’targ, there was no use – to him, life would always be monotony, a boring and unpleasant routine. He was just thankful to be alive.

He didn’t look back as he continued his way to the mines but, along the way, he wished he had. Every morning he passed this building, and every morning he regretted it. The Crimson Hand office was imposing to say the least, as it stood towering over the neighbouring buildings, casting a long shadow over the already dark and depressing city.

Crimson Hand agents and soldiers always congregated around the building and if Rez’targ had his way, he would always avoid those two types of people. Those weren’t the most unsettling things about the building. Inlaid upon the entire wall, creating a living image upon stone, were the screaming sculptured faces of the now dead.

This was the wall of Blight, a reminder to all orcs that no matter how bad they think their lives might be, it’s not the state’s fault but the fault of elves and humans. Rez’targ didn’t really care about the historical connotations but did feel that the wall did its purpose of creating fear.
Hastening his pace, he tramped onward towards the mines, avoiding the suspicious glares of guards and soldiers as he crossed over a military base line, marking off the area between the mining and workers districts.

Upon entering the small checkpoint, Rez’targ was not surprised to see many familiar faces from the protest lined up against the wall. He averted his gaze but could still see the uncovered faces stare at him hopefully, pleadingly, as he passed and they were shot down. Rez’targ forced down pity, anger and all emotions. Death happened, killing happened, nothing would ever change that.

The coal mines were as they always were – a doorway into a mountain which was supposedly filled with black rocks which made fire hotter. Rez’targ had been working at this mine for most of his life. He had worked there, grown up there, lost friends and family there. His years of work and surviving said work had paid off and he knew it as he received one of the rare promotions seen in Quorn.

Miners were typically all the same, orcs who went underground to go chip at rocks and hopefully get something useful out of them, but through showing himself as useful, the Overseer had decided that Rez’targ’s unusual intelligence would be better suited for other things.

Rez’targ was the quarter master, if you will, of the mines. His job was to count what was needed and make sure it reached its desired recipient. It was a tedious job but much more useful and safer than that of a delver – Rez’targ was thankful for that. Signing in with the Overseer, he noted how many of the coal miners were absent, most probably shot at the protest. Fighting down any sort of emotion at the loss of colleagues, he continued to his work station where he began sorting through the tools necessary for the miner’s daily work. After outfitting the correct kit, he placed the supplies upon a sleigh which he then shoved off into the tunnel to be retrieved by some hot and thirsty miner.

This routine normally went on for hours without break but it was better than the back breaking labour of the mines; most things were. Sometimes miners would come up early and ask for a lessened wage in exchange for leaving earlier. Depending on the Overseers mood, it would go through or not.

Today, however, something strange happened. The Overseer sat in his usual seat, overlooking the gray and dull industrial complex which was Quorn and as usual, orc miners came up from the mines to speak to him. What was particularly bizarre, was that not one or two miners appeared, but all thirty of this hour’s shift. Hubris kept the guards blissfully arrogant but Rez’targ knew better – something bad was about to happen, something which he didn’t want to be a part of.

Edging nondescriptly around his workstation, he prepared to take cover as the miners continued to advance towards the outside office of the Overseer to eventually surround him and his guards who were only now starting to notice that something was amiss.

It happened all at once but, as the Overseer opened his mouth to deliver a snide comment to the supposed leader of the miners. He was shot. The previously unarmed miner had been carrying a pistol, gods know where he found it, but regardless, he had just killed the Overseer, Rez’targ’s employer. So did this mean the work day was over?

The guards fell as quickly as their boss, dying agape as their haughtiness was crushed by the heavier substance of a lead shell. Rez’targ could see everything as it unfolded, workers killing oppressors and oppressors killing workers. More guards charged in but the workers, now armed with the weapons of their previous rulers, fought back. Blood sprayed and bullets flew, as cartridges emptied, so did the life of its owner. Some turned to close combat, utilizing their rifle or pistol as a club but only few succeeded in that endeavour.

Eventually, the conflict trickled down as the fighting poured over into the military camp. Rez’targ took this opportunity to leave the now abandoned coal mine, gliding cautiously over the now corpse-covered ground as ash continued to fall, moulding with the puddles of blood to create a slimy red mush. Stepping carefully along the way, he finally passed the now slaughtered military camp.

The city burned as he walked, houses crumbled and people screamed. Gunfire sounded in the distance and both rebels and soldiers fought in the streets. Rez’targ ignored both as he made his journey home.
He didn’t concern himself with the conflict. He didn’t concern himself with the fact that the now burning Crimson Hand building was being draped over by the blue banners of Yerla-Gozt, now a political martyr. He didn’t concern himself with the fact that chanting could be heard all around the city, “Durb ob Hai!” – Rule of the People.

As he walked, Rez’targ knew that Chiid was changing; he knew that the world was changing but he also knew that people would never change. This ‘democracy’ would still be murder, equality would still be slavery.  The ash would still fall and blood would always be spilt to paint it red. Rez’targ knew that things never really changed.