Posts tagged poisonroot
Flash Fiction set in Koru

Koru, one of the five countries that make up the continent of Ehrian. Although, that said, one that I'm thinking of changing the name of, mainly because that makes the spoken language 'Koruan', which is little too close to 'Korean'. Maybe 'Korun' works, or 'Kor'. 'Caw, listen to me speak my language'. Bleh. In the D&D campaign we've gone with Koruan.

Anyway! A bit of dunking in the politics of Koru.

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043 - Dying

Eve and Tic return! I'm still trying to nail down exactly what she's like, and what her role is. Ideally I'd like to use her to explain things that we take for granted. This one touches briefly on plant biology, but not in any way that would teach things. The trouble is, I think it would take quite a lot of exposition to explore some ideas.

Anyway; in my head, the setting for this is a town in Avatar: The Last Airbender, in a valley, where Zuko and Iroh end up fighting Azula, and Aang gets involved as well. According to Google, it's called Tu Zin.

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040 - Rated

Another Eve and Tic story. This one developed the idea that Eve lives in a post-human world, a place where we, as the Antecedents, left some of our technology and our iconography, and that's about it. I really like this idea; I've read a couple of things set in this kind of post-human world and they're always fascinating. I love new, fantasy-inspired, looks at current technology. It's also handy to clear another of the 100 themes off the list. This project's hanging around like nothing else.

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Eve and the 10,000 Year Clock

I've been listening to Stuff You Should Know Podcast through from the beginning, so I'm somewhat behind. There's a good one though, on the 10,000 year clock. It's a lovely idea, essentially that we might one day not be here as a civilisation but there will definitely be something left behind to prove that we were here.

It helped crystallise a thought I've been having recently with both the world of Poisonroot and the Eve and Tic stories, and my wonderful wife helpfully added another facet to it: what if the continent of Ehrian is something like a Pangaea continent, ten thousand years in the future? I appreciate that it wouldn't be time for the continents to actually move, but certainly time for a mass extinction event to have forever changed the face of the planet and for technology to have changed, evolved, moved on from its current wasteful ways. And then Sue suggested that I could use this as a way of including real scientific fact, or inventions, from now as seen through the eyes of Eve and Tic.

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039 - Dreams

I'm working with a new character, introducing her over several very short stories. She's interesting; I can't quite decide yet what the target audience would be for stories featuring her, but I'm enjoying the young adult audience.

Here's the first piece. It's also a 100 themes piece.

039 – Dreams

An explosion rocked the city. A plume of flame and dusty mingled with black smoke roared out into the night, shaking the buildings to their foundations. Eve stopped running long enough to turn and look at the destruction as the smoke gushed out of the hole torn into the roof. The awe of the watching crowd of restaurant-goers turned to panic as pieces of terracotta tile, some needle-sharp and others bigger than Eve’s head, started to rain down onto the cobbles. They scattered, heading for inns or houses, sheds, anything to get away from the scene.

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Story 9: Cog519 Part 3


Merry Christmas! Here's part 3 of steampunk horror story 'Cog519', which is now available as a podcast!


The weeks that followed seemed to go in a blur. 519 learned everything that Nef put before him, quickly turning his hand to just about any skill that was needed and producing works that a contemporary master might have wept to see.


Without fail, every morning, 519 asked Nef if he had a name for him. Nef always replied with “Not today, 519; ask me tomorrow,” though more and more of late he had been wondering what impulse prevented him from giving 519 the name he desired.

Was it that Nef had long since given up self-correcting ‘him’ to ‘it’? Even Lot, on his twice-weekly tours of the research facilities, had occasionally slipped up. Choice of pronoun made 519 seem somehow human in a way that was still alien, and the two jarred. As if calling it ‘him’ was enough, and to give it a name would be too much, too close, too human.

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Story 9: Cog519 Part 2

Merry Christmas! Here's part 2 of steampunk horror story 'Cog519', which is now available as a podcast!

Back in the lab, Nef walked slowly around the table on which was sat Cog 519. It was much shinier now; even as it had been walking back to the workshop with him, its joints had eased as it self-lubricated. About halfway there, it had quietly announced “Self-cleaning system initiated. Do not be alarmed.” Nef had almost stumbled in sudden panic, but then he had heard a strange amberic crackling from behind him and, when he turned to look, the fine layer of dust and grime on the armour was simply being burned away. Lightning crackled over it, apparently generated from the shard of amber at its heart, and then the blue light effect died away. While not completely clean, it had definitely come down from needing ‘full clean’ to merely a ‘light buff’.

It had followed every command perfectly, including the one to deactivate, and now it was slumped to one side. Nef fingered the amber shard still held firmly in the cog’s chest; should he remove it?

“Another long-range recon unit in the making,” a low voice said behind him. He turned to see Supervisor Lot entering the room, his long white coat stuffed with tools of every sort. He came up to Nef and clapped one meaty hand onto his shoulder. “I heard you’d found a good one, but this… this is exceptional.”

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Story 9: Cog519 Part 1

Merry Christmas! Here's part 1 of steampunk horror story 'Cog519', which is now available as a podcast!

The amber light glinted off the exposed metal, the strange yellowish glow giving it a dull sheen. It was curved, definitely; Nef brushed a little more of the loose soil off of it and tried to assess his find.

Just an hour ago everything had been going full speed; the tunnels were needed for the incoming refugees, the Matron had said, and needed soon. Nef looked around at the earth-moving equipment, and the worried faces of his team. The site was going to have to be cordoned off, he realised. This was too dangerous to simply leave, or go around. The cog - what else could it be? - would have to be exhumed, examined, learned from and then probably recycled. And the workers… they’d have to be memory-modified. More time. More effort. More expense.

He turned around. “It’s a shield,” he said, “probably a few decades old, no more.” He smiled and shrugged. “I’ll bring it out; go have a cup of something hot and I’ll tell you when you can continue.”

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Writing and Editing

Things have been quite interesting here at home, which is primarily why I haven't been posting.

For those of you not in the know I am a primary school teacher. We had the school inspectors in last week, and this is normally a stressful event for any school worker. I'm not pretending that my stress levels were more than anyone else's, but there's a little bit of background to this one.

In the last five years of teaching, I have missed Ofsted three times. The first time I was on a week-long residential trip with my class. The second time I left the school about a week before they were visited. The third time I was essentially pigeonholed away from Ofsted for reasons not worth going in to.

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Map of Zar

Bit quiet on the writing front; I'm editing Poisonroot when I can, but there's not been a lot going on.


I moved house. Again!

Anyway, the cat woke me up at 7.30 this morning (Sunday) and I decided to use the time wisely. My D&D group are journeying into Zar, and Trip's next story will take him there as well.

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Poisonroot - Epilogue

A text completely without swearing or sex. One with a solid story arc, a couple of slightly smaller ones, a secondary character with a viewpoint that we see occasionally and a solid set of characters.

I am fairly pleased with this. I hope you've enjoyed it. Please let me know either way! I value my readers beyond all else.

Update: Changed the names on the brothers grim. Seemed a bit awkward. Originally they were Prime, Second, Tertes, Quad and Quinary. Now they're Prime, Secundus, Tertius (still not sure on that one, but Tertes sounds too awkward and Tertia sounds like a girl's name), the recently-deceased Quadra and Quinary. Let me know what you think.

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Poisonroot - Chapter 29

Oh my goodness.

It's finished. It's finally finished. Now, a corollary to that; NaNoWriMo is very much NOT finished yet. I am ahead of par, to the extent where I could, in fact, take a day off. I won't, of course; that would be stupid. But I'll be writing something completely different for the last couple of days of NaNo because Poisonroot is DONE.

The last chapter... I'm proud of it. I'm not often pleased with my writing, but Victor's character has started to change in so many subtle little ways. I think he's still a bit of a bastard under the surface, but it's more that he's starved of contact with other people, or he's deliberately starved himself. Forced to communicate daily with Trip and Lauren, things have changed for him.

Anyway. A sequel is definitely coming.

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Poisonroot - Chapter 28

So I can finally add the missing chapter of Poisonroot, the one I wrote when I was having mild writer's block. It detailed the aftermath of the fight, and was another Interlude chapter... except this time it isn't an interlude.

This is essentially the start of chapters that are Anila-centric but are not interludes from the main action. I foresee a sequel to this (am, in fact, already planning a sequel to this) where Anila is a main character with her own POV chapters, alternating with Trip.

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Poisonroot - Chapter 27

Whooooooooooo! Epic fight scene is epic! Ok, so I listened to almost the entire Portal 2 soundtrack (Songs to test by) while writing this. It's actually really good for writing epic scenes. Lots of electronica-assisted soaring orchestral riffs.

This is quite a wonderfully epic scene for me and it's already got me thinking about how I can top it in the future. Tricky stuff. My inspiration for the Hork-construct monster is part Chernabog from Disney's Fantasia, part 18 colossus from Shadow of the Colossus and a healthy dose of body-horror from Neon Genesis Evangelion.

PAM is entirely grown from the D&D campaign. Thanks guys!

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Poisonroot - Chapter 26

Almost done, I think! Can things get any worse for Trip and company? Rennin swoops in the save the day and Sabir kicks ass, but will it be enough?


All over the room city-dwellers shuddered as the fruit did its work.

“What have you done to them? Lauren said, her voice almost a whisper as she stared round in horror. Trip and Victor looked at each other briefly; this was too similar to Deep Round for mere coincidence.

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Poisonroot - Chapter 25

Chapter 25, and the end is in sight for Trip, Lauren and Victor! What surprises await them? How will they deal with this new threat? What is High Father Hork going to do now that he has his own personal army?

Find out in the thrilling conclusion, over the next few days!

Side note: I had real trouble not having Victor swearing in this. I'm tryin' t'keep it fam'ly friendly, I'm guessin'.

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Poisonroot - Chapter 24

Ok! So I can share a post now, as the last two were either plot from after the current canon or background-related info.

I kind of had trouble moving on after the last chapter. It's taken me most of three days to write Trip and co. away from the cozy semi-safety they were in at Lord Rennin's. Poor Trip; he's not had a pleasant time of it recently, and things are only going to get worse.

I've been reviewing my stats on NaNo and I've discovered I've been almost bang on par or over it since Day 11. That's 13 consecutive days. I think I can actually do this again. It's almost miraculous considering how bad last year went.

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