NaNoWriMo 2016: Day Thirty

NaNoWriMo_2016_WebBanner_Winner_Congrats Total Word Count: 5,010

# of stories written:

  • 1 x novella = abandoned (34k)
  • 1 x short story = completed (10k)
  • 1 x fanfic = begun but not completed (6k)

I really, really, really didn’t think I was going to make it this year. I gave up around the 23rd, thus forcing myself to indulge in a last minute spring of 4k+ or so a day. Funnily enough, before I began I made a list of all the stories I was going to attempt – and I attempted about half of it! So the rest can be kept in reserve for later.

My final 6k came from me picking up my Pokemon Fanfiction again. Entitled Kataryna’s Pokemon Jungle, I wrote them first as a fairly poorly edited serial some years ago and then gave up in 2004, ending on a real cliff hanger. My Poke-apocalypse begins some 13 years later when the character awakens (now aged approximately 30), emaciated and imprisoned, to find that the bad guy won, and along the way the apocalypse has, basically, happened. Not only that, but being unconscious (magically asleep) and in the clutches of her mortal enemy has lead to some other issues, specifically relating to the presence of a girl, approximately 11 years old… Needless to say, this is a fairly dark fanfiction, and probably should have trigger warnings for various reasons, not the least of which is PTSD in relation to earthquakes. Whether I will persist with it past the 6,000 words or so I’ve already written remains to be seen, but I will include an excerpt here. I would, at least, like to write at least as far as when she and Eva escape from the island, and become reunited with Kat’s boyfriend, Kameron (ps: I recycle names all the time) and experience the third – and probably most horrifying – revelation of them all:

That the apocalypse was partly their fault.

Shadeon, the Shadow Eevee (illustrated by Mistie?)

Shadeon, the Shadow Eevee (illustrated by Mistie?)


Here’s why Loki (not the Nordic god, but an ex Team Rocket member with megalomaniac tendencies) got up to when he’d finished draining the elemental power from the Seven Sisters (seven powerful Mew):

TRIGGER WARNING: Recounting of natural disasters: earthquakes, tsunami, volcanic eruptions etc, with multiple, incredible, casualties, including the destruction of named, real-world places. It might be Pokemon-themed, but this is pretty dark stuff!

Loki reached over for the remote and flicked a few buttons, then a few more. Ash and his friends and their colourful adventures disappeared, replaced with a grainy image that jerked and blurred every other second. “Would you wish for her to be exposed to this?”

It was difficult to focus, as buried amongst static as it was, but I could make out a city in ruin, smoke and fire billowing forth from the skeletal remains of the broken buildings, tumbled like a child’s playthings into a shimmering, rippling pool.

“That is Cerulean City,” he replied. “And that, I think you will realise, is what happens when a peaceful seaside city is struck by several earthquakes – magnitude 8.4 and 8.1 respectively – followed by a 12m tsunami wave.” He pointed. “Look.” Between the buildings, some distance from the ocean, lay the carcass of a wailord, its ribs exposed to the sky and being picked at by.. murkrow? Dark avian shapes that I could not quite discern as they blinked and blurred in and out of focus. “Seven kilometers inland,” Loki grinned, proud at his gruesome achievement. “Of the 240, 000 people that lived there, only 326 survived.”

I gaped at him. “You destroyed it?” He was lying. He had to be lying! I’d been to Cerulean City. It was beautiful, with its water parks and fountains. Now, almost everyone… dead. “Why?”

“Oh dear Kataryna,” Loki replied, running his fingers down my cheek, tracing trails of fiery heat. I slapped them away. “You’ve been away a long time. The world, well, it’s a wee bit different now, I think you’ll see.”

“But… why?” My shivering was now so bad that I had to struggle to get out the words. “Why destroy a city?”

“Why not?” Loki leaned back and crossed one foot across his thigh. This is not, I should point out, something that any respectful member of society should do whilst clad only in a towel. “Because I can? To make a point? All valid reasons, so take your pick.”

“None of those are valid.” I clenched my teeth to stop them chattering. Oh my god. Cerulean gone… Where else had Loki destroyed? Loki flicked the switch again. A mountain, or what had once been a mountain, now crumpled in on itself, slopes burning with bubbling magma.

“Alola,” he said. “A series of islands created by volcanoes, that brought land forth from the sea. And what the fire brings, the fire can take away. Population, prior, 1 million. Now, a mere 457. Ain’t population control grand?”

Another flick, and a new image appeared, this one mainly churning ocean studded with a few black rocks. “The Orange Islands. Gone!” He laughed. “I melted the ice caps, and threw in a tsunami for good measure. What fun. Now only the mountains remain above water.” He sighed. “Unfortunately, most of the islands were unoccupied.”

My heart, almost stilled from panic exhaustion, gave a frantic kick. There was one special island amongst the archipelago, an island of freed Pokemon, ex-captives unable to fully release their domesticity. They were watched over by one of the most legendary Pokemon of all, Mewtwo, and several of my friends – including the drained Mews – had been offered sanctuary there. What had become of them? The island had featured a tall mountain; I could only hope that they had sought sanctuary up its slopes.

Again and again the image flicked, and Loki repeated his tales of massive natural disasters, vast numbers of casualties. “Why?” I kept asking. “Why would you destroy everything?”

Finally, Loki ceased flicking and, with one hand, twisted my eyes to meet his. I fought to look away, but his grip was powerful, infused with the energy of almost all the Mews. “Because they wouldn’t take me seriously,” he said. “I offered them the choice: surrender to me, worship me, but they just laughed in my face.”

“Who did you offer?”

“All of them: presidents, prime ministers, even dictators. No-one would believe me. Not even when I sent earthquakes and tsunamis and blew up hurricanes to prove to them that I had the power! Oh, some of them fought back. Some president fired a nuke, but I brushed it away, and it destroyed most of Liechtenstein instead. Oops. That caused a bit of conflict, upped the political-ante, you might say. Then they were too busy bickering amongst themselves to pay attention to me.”

“If you’ve destroyed the world,” I said, my voice growing increasingly frantic, even as I sought for calm – I didn’t want to antagonise someone who could, literally, flatten cities. “Where the hell are we now?”

“Oh,” he said with a shrug, “Aotearoa.”

“Where?” I thought back to what felt like only a few weeks ago, when we’d been pouring through maps to try and track down the Mew sisters. “Isn’t that near Tasmania?”

“Correct,” he said, rather flippantly. “Tasmania’s gone. Ground zero, more-or-less. But Aotearoa, a forgotten, abandoned island in the South Pacific.”

“Isn’t it occupied? And two islands?”

“More than that actually,” Loki grinned, exposing his sharp canines. “Historically, in any case. Now? Not so much. Had a couple of advantages over the other islands – no wild Pokemon, for a start, just some ferals released by unscrupulous traders. And as for the occupied bit? Well, it is on the ring of fire.”

I gulped.

“Quite. Tore the southern island in half with an earthquake, erupted a couple of volcanoes in the north, and their government declared a national evacuation. Not sure what happened. Australia wouldn’t take them, they had enough problems of their own, what with all the fire storms and hurricanes. Probably still floating about in their cruise ships, but good luck to them with finding an inhabitable island in the South Pacific. Well, there’s always Antarctica. It’s warming up nicely now I’ve melted away the ice.” He stroked his chin. “Now where was I, before I digressed? Oh yes. Anyway, they abandoned their islands – or what was left of them – and I moved on in to raise my daughter in peace and relative harmony.”



NaNoWriMo 2016: Day Twenty-Eight

My absence from NaNoing has probably not been noted, especially given my previous post on the 20th. But things have changed in the life of LemurKat. For, you see, on Tuesday the 22, a new little “mews” entered my life. We’d been talking about adopting a furry wee companion for some time, now that we have owned our own house for just over a year, but had put it off due to the affections and interests of the neighbour’s calico, Lucky, who attempted to adopt us.

Hereby, I would like to introduce Lucifer Persephone* aka Lucie or Lols (short of Lolly, her fosterer’s name for her, because she’s so sweet).


Proof-reading a copy of the Christchurch Writers’ Guild’s second anthology, “Spectra”

Little Lucie is super-gentle and has the cutest quiet meow. Because she’s only little (about 10-12 weeks at a guess), she’s only allowed access to specific parts of the house, consequently I’m spending a lot of time in the lounge with her. Therefore, I’ve taken to working on my laptop. Since my “Love in Tirra-Inle” story wasn’t really going much of anywhere, and I was up-to-date with my editing and formatting for 2 of the 3 titles, I began writing again – it’s not yet too late to win NaNo for 2016 – although I am pushing it damned close.

Yesterday I wrote: 5,169 words on a short story

Today I finished that story, clocking in at 9,801 words.

Over the next two days, I have to write around 3,500 words per day. Unfortunately, I’m currently out of a story!

The not-quite 10k story is a fairy tale retelling of the Icelandic tale, Kissa the Cat. And is, of course, somewhat inspired by our new little furry friend. In my version, Kissa is, like Lucie, a fluffy black cat, but unlike Lucie, she has one – just one – white paw. Whilst I have taken some of the elements of the traditional tale, I have given it a modern-day setting, thrown in some elements traditionally found in fairy tales and twisted the original meanings. I hope it is true enough to the original (and not a crossover) to be accepted into Shelley Chappell’s anthology, Wish Upon a Southern Star. There are, however, a few darker implications.

If you wish to read my version of Kissa, please note that it is password locked. You will have to enter the name of my cat to access it (just her first name).

Lucie telling me to get back to writing immediately!

Lucie telling me to get back to writing immediately!

* name may be changed, not yet entirely settled.

NaNoWrimo 2016: Day twenty

I’m officially calling it quits, currently, for today/for now. The story has kind of burned out before it got anywhere, and I need to take a day of consideration before I either force myself further into it, or decide to write something different. If I go for the latter, I might just aim for a short story every day/two-three days.

Kataryna and Daniel have been characters beloved to me for a long time, and their romance has always been a thing of mystery. I think trying to write their “origin story” is somehow destroying the magic. I’ve got why it’s – if not technically forbidden, then at least strongly discouraged – but then the plot has pretty much fallen apart.

So it’s – currently – “goodbye” to Kataryna and Daniel, and onto the next thing. I feel bad, like I’ve failed them somehow, so to make it up to them, here is the “fabled” reunion scene from Reborne:

He stood before her, facing away, and her breath caught in her throat. She reached up, grabbing a tree branch to keep herself steady. His long dark hair cascaded down his back, the sunlight bringing out the brown hues from the black. She longed to run her fingers through it.

“Daniel…” she whispered, almost afraid to speak his name, lest it shatter the illusion.

He turned, and she thought she had never seen anyone so beautiful as her beloved, naked save for his kilt and the panflute that hung about his neck.

“Kat,” he whispered, somehow recognising her immediately, despite the change in her. “Kataryna?” Then he turned away again. “Nay, it canna be. Just another trick.”

She stepped up behind him and placed her hand on his shoulder, stroking her fingers through his silky fur. “No,” she whispered, “no trick. It really is me.” This close she could bask in the glory of his scent and her entire body ached – with eagerness, longing, sorrow. He turned at her touch and stared at her, his emerald eyes beyond fathoming.

“You’ve changed,” he whispered huskily, reluctantly reaching out to her as though afraid if he were to touch her she would evaporate. They were so close, so close and the desire to press her body against his was almost unbearable.

“Yes,” she replied simply and took his hand in hers, guiding it towards her, pressing it against her fur.

It seemed to be all the encouragement he needed and he took another step, engulfing her, wings and all, in his arms. She nestled into the familiar spot against his chest, his chin resting on his head and melted there. His arms about her were strong, and warm and she felt as close to perfectly happy as she had ever been.

Here was where she belonged and she could remain here forever.

(written in 2004)

illustration by Bonnie

illustration by Kate “Bonnie” Harper

NaNoWriMo 2016: Day Eighteen

Word Count: 1,883

Daily Reward: Pecan pie 🙂

illustration by Azure Dragon

illustration by Azure Dragon


Re-introduced Tawny (Without a name), then had my character abused in the cafeteria. She’s now run hiding to her room.

Random stuff I’ve googled today (mostly entomology related):

  • How to determine gender of cockroaches (depends on species, can be quite difficult)
  • Can tarantula re-grow their limbs (yes)
  • How to cockroaches communicate (scent)

NaNoWriMo 2016: Day Seventeen

lemurish-AryWord Count: 1,175

Daily Reward: None achieved.


There usually comes a day during NaNo when the motivation wanes, when you (the author) realise that the story just isn’t work and that the characters are meandering around doing not much of anything and you’re just using their actions to help with your world building.

That day was today (or, to be precise, yesterday, since I’m updating my journal belatedly now).

The conflict has really established itself and the main intended antagonist is pretty much just playing-the-friend atm, leading me to wonder: what turns her into the enemy? Does she strive for friendship and have it flung back at her, and turn in an act of petty revenge? <– this is my preferred option. Or was she just a sly fiend all along?

I’m not sure how to fix it, and I’m totally okay with rewriting or deleting large portions of work (they still count towards my final goal, after all!) but… my brain is no longer in it. I’m tired of forcing the words out. Being a writer is not necessarily easy.

I’m working my way through Take your pants off at the moment (a different kind of writing book than I give you my body despite the possible connotations in the title) and plotting out Tail of Two Scions using their techniques. I think, ultimately, the plot I had previously, tentatively, planned out does fit the character-overcoming-flaw-scenario, and hopefully this will help me to tighten it. Possibly I will return to this story later in the month, but whether or not I can achieve my NaNo word count goal remains to be seen.

There’s always option #3, which is just to write random scenes that do fit into the Love in Tirra-Inle plot and see how it helps develop the world and the characters. Or further develop the “ghost story” I had started on (featuring Lilith), turning the other students against Kataryna and more or less pushing her into a dark, dark place. Keeping in mind the beginning of Book Two (Which is hardly a spoiler – it’s printed in this very blog!), Kataryna’s story must be a bittersweet one.

Today’s illustration is by Amanda Allan, drawn way baaaaack in the early days, when Kataryna was my online fursona and I went by a different moniker.


NaNoWRiMo 2016: Day Sixteen

Word Count: 1,638

Daily Reward: None (goal not achieved) – did sneak a few spoonfuls of Monday’s ice cream though!

Illustration by Moonfeather (also features her character)

Illustration by Moonfeather (also features her character)

Now Kataryna and Tawny have actually ventured out into the Deadlands, I’m just having some fun exploring the premise and building the background. I think I’ll view this story predominantly as creating the backbone of Furritasia, and developing the world in which my furrae live. Of course, aside from Scavengers, I doubt any of the stories will actually follow conventional enough plot lines to actually form a coherent book but ah well… Spent too much time looking up images from Hiroshima and Nagasaki and getting distracted, which is one reason I fell slightly short of the word count goal, the other reason being that the story had bascically drawn to a logical conclusion and I had to go to bed early on account of being required to taxi my husband to the airport on the morrow at approximately 5am. He’s off to Wellington for a conference (work) that has not been hampered by earthquakes or wild weather, and is going ahead as planned. To distract myself too much from worrying about him, I intend to fill the next two days with work, socialising and writing, and focus on Saturday, when I will be collecting him from the airport.


The jumble of rocks had tumbled together as though a great worm had borrowed through them. Tawny, taller than Kataryna by a full head, was forced to stoop almost double. Kataryna slouched, ever conscious of the wall of rock a mere finger’s breadth above her tufted ears. Her whiskers twitched with the air currents, even through the mesh, and her eyes kept drifting back to Tawny’s bracelet. Green — orange — orange — red — orange — green.”
“How bad is the red, really?” Kataryna ventured.
“One flash is fine,” Tawny called back. “Two, time to take precautions. Three or more, and … well … let’s say, we’ll have to hope you didn’t want children. If it stays red or you start throwing up, then, well, you’d better start notifying your heirs… You’re not feeling nauseous at all, are you?”
Kataryna shook her head, although, truth be told, her rushed breakfast was resting queasily in her belly. Probably just nerves though.
The passage dropped further, the walls turning to smoothed rock. “Look,” said Tawny, illuminating the wall with her blackemarr rod. It was a hand print. The palm not much larger than Kataryna’s own hand, the fingers long, with a well defined thumb, the fingertips tapering into rounded points. “Someone — probably a child — must have grabbed the wall here, and here,” — she lowered her light to illuminate another hand print — “maybe to catch their balance and then, BOOM! Vaporised instantly.”
Kataryna shuddered. “That’s powerful magick indeed.” She felt slightly uncomfortable. As fascinating as it was, a juvenile Ancient had perished here. But at least it had been quick, and the heat had purged the atmosphere clear. Kataryna could locate no residual presence, although a shiver still passed down her entire body.
“Not magick,” Tawny sounded almost gleeful. “Science!”
Further on, the smoothed rock turned back to a jumble of shattered pieces, then widened out, into what was quite clearly, a vestibule. The doorway beyond was still mostly intact, the stone weathered but solid, the stone bricks clearly defined, unmelted. Beyond it, Kataryna could catch the slightest glimpse of a chamber.
“Don’t be scared,” Tawny encouraged her, holding her wrist band high. Orange — orange — orange — green — green — orange. “It’s perfectly safe.”
Kataryna stepped forward. There was light here, a spectrum of colours, dancing across the mosaic floor, illuminating interconnecting circles, squares, the perfect geometry of the tiles. She entered the chamber.
And gasped.
Stone columns, thick, white and sturdy, beautifully sculpted, rose up, and up and up and up, curving inwards, like the ribs of an immense animal. Each connecting point featured a stone protrusion. Patterns decorated the smooth ceiling between them, faded almost into oblivion, the colour barely discernible.
“It’s magnificent. They must have been master Sculptors.”
“That’s the fascinating thing.” Tawny’s voice came so close to her ear, that Kataryna could not help a slight spasm of startlement. “It is highly unlikely that the Ancients had any Elemental Affinities at all. Their sculpting was done with tools, and their hands.”
The light came, dilute with dust, through windows taller than Kataryna. Coloured glass, individually set, into a framework, transformed it into a rainbow against the tiles. It wasn’t perfect — there were multiple pieces missing, panels lying broken on the floor, but it was beautiful — and to think that these had been created without the use of any magick at all…
“What was this place?” Kataryna’s voice sounded small in the immensity of it. It echoed back at her, ever so slightly.
The wristband still flashed: Orange — orange — red — orange — orange — red.
“We can’t stay for long,” Tawny cautioned. “Not unless you want to join them.” She motioned at the outskirts of the chamber, at what Kataryna had originally overlooked as broken branches, debris of the ages. What she realised now were bones. Hundreds and hundreds of bones. Her eyes flickered up, to a figure, carved of stone and set into an alcove in the wall, barely visible in the shadowed part of the nave. He was immense — perhaps some of the Ancients were giants? — arms spread, as though he wished to fly, strapped to his back an immense crosspiece, like the centre of kite. His face, so worn that his expression could no longer be read, his eyes no longer be seen.
“It was their place of worship,” Tawny replied. “The place they came, when their End of Days came, the place they came to beg their God,” she gestured at the statue, “to save them. But,” she shrugged, “he didn’t. They died here. Probably of starvation, or maybe of the poison that crept through their blood.”
Orange — red — orange — red — red — Kataryna held her breath — orange.
“We’ve got to go.” Tawny grabbed her by the arm, hauling her out, half pushing her along the passageway, out through the vestibule. They ran, gasping the Weave  of the hoods in and out, feeling it tangle against her muzzle, stifling against her nose. Shivers of anxiety raced down her spine, sweet beading against the fabric of her second skin. Clammy, uncomfortable. She wanted to rip it off, to feel the breeze against her flesh, but the breeze would bring with it the death of the poisons. Past the hand prints, over and through the rocks, out into the open air. Staggering to a halt, gasping, hands pressed on knees, chest heaving in the struggle for air, trying to hold back the nausea.
Tawny’s wrist, held close to her snout. Orange — green — green — orange — green — beautiful, wonderful, green!
“Their God wouldn’t save them,” Tawny said. “They put their faith above their instincts for survival. And now they’re extinct.” She rose her orange-gloved hands to the sky. “Their God couldn’t save them, and Elysia doesn’t give a damn about us. If you want to survive in this world, you’ve got to put your faith in one person, and one person only: yourself.”

NaNoWriMo 2016: Day Fifteen

Word Count: 1,770

Daily Reward: Burgerfuel 🙂

illustration by Shi

illustration by Shi


Slept on and odd until noon, then managed to nut out a bit of writing. Still feeling a bit exhausted, both emotionally and physically, and the story is not exactly flowing. I’m now about halfway through (achieved the 25k mark), but not yet 100% certain of where the plot is going. Today just dealt with Tawny and Kataryna meeting again, and heading out into the Deadlands so that Kataryna can look at the giant cow roaches and Tawny can make Kataryna trust her. I’ve softened Tawny’s snark a lot, so that she now seems genuine. Thus the source of conflict in the book is kind of weak. I would say it’s technically Maeve, since she’s the force currently driving Daniel and Kataryna apart.

NaNoWriMo 2016: Day Fourteen

Word Count: 1,032

Reward: ice cream – consumed preemptively because whether I achieve the goal or not, today I feel deserve the reward (See below).

The Grimalkyn by Kit Foxfire

The Grimalkyn by Kit Foxfire


Just after I had drifted off, achieving maybe an hour worth of sleep. Why? Because at 12.30 am, our house turned into a boat.  It rocked, and it rolled, as if we were all at sea, for TWO WHOLE MINUTES. It left me shivering uncontrollably, even though I was not cold, which was either an adrenalin rush or quite possibly an anxiety attack. This was not an isolated event, this was an even experienced from pretty much Dunedin to Wellington and probably beyond and it was, of course, an earthquake. Now, we in Christchurch are sorta earthquake veterans, but you never, ever, get “used” to earthquakes. This one was really big (7.5) but also quite far away and quite deep. It decimated the seaside community of Kaikoura, and has now basically cut that township off from greater New Zealand, whilst also simultaneously destroying the major connecting highways between the north and central South Island cities. Wellington, our capital city, also suffered significant damage.

But that wasn’t all – because Civil Defence NZ then issued a tsunami warning. Christchurch Civil Defence were rather slower at following that up, and then did not give a clear evacuation range until a significant amount of time had passed. We live 6 km from the coast, and are pretty much not much higher than sea level, so I was a tad concerned.  Husband declared we were fine and went straight to sleep, while I lay in bed, pretty much just staring at Facebook and refreshing the CD page. Cars streamed past our house, as people from Brighton moved further inland, every so often one would head in the opposite direction. I moved my car onto the driveway, as a precautionary measure.

Finally, at around 4.30 am, sleep finally caught up with me. About an hour later I got up, showered and prepared for work.

I’d have had maybe 3 hours sleep and worked my longest workday. But you know what – everyone in Christchurch, and Nelson and Blenheim and Wellington and all the tiny townships and hamlets between, are tired. We ALL deserve ice cream.

Wibbly wobbly, there goes another one…

Well, if I wrote Aroha’s Grand Adventure through numerous (around 400) aftershocks, I can write this one too.

That sharper jolt was a bus.

Illustrated character above isn’t in the story, I just like him and I’ve almost run out of fanart of the actual characters.

Rewriting an earlier passage, as I believe the best way to shape the story is to have Kataryna and Tawny actually (apparently) become friends. Yesterday’s chapter has been moved into the “to be poached from later” folder.


NaNOWriMO 2016: Day Thirteen

Word Count: 1,671

Daily Reward: Sleep

illustration by Shi

illustration by Shi



Dear Kataryna, why did you just allow a fossa – the natural predator of a lemur – to appoint herself your bodyguard, and escort you out, via a magick portal, to a location 50 miles from the university? A location where a. the air is quite probably poisonous, b. there are giant carnivorous cockroaches that have a taste for Furrae flesh and c. there is no-one to rescue you should something happen. Except Tawny, and did I mention that Tawny is a fossa, and thus the natural predator of a lemur? How kraaking naive can you get?

We must also not forget that Tawny was appointed in her position as Kataryna’s bodyguard by Druid Maeve, Daniel’s older sister who totally does not approve of their (Kataryna and Daniel’s) liaison.

Crap, I think Kataryna is falling into the “too stupid to be a heroine” category. Good thing this is not a book I ever intend to publish!

Perhaps they need to bring someone else along too. Suggestions? Maybe the archeologist  shouldn’t be Tawny, maybe I should appoint some sort of neutral professor. Possibly Bjornston?

Also, hard to remain focused today as I decided to try and work out which continent Furritasia actually is. Toyed with the idea of America, but the problem is I would then have no justification for having a Scottish wolf and I’ve already spoken of the Highlands. Decided the United Kingdom would be better – but as it’s separated from Europe by water, that could likewise be inconvenient. So got into looking up continent drift. Found Doggerland again (learned about that in QI last week) and discovered that we’re heading towards (in like 250 million years) a super-continent, where all the continents have drifted together into a great amorphous blob. Am not sure when (if?) the UK is ever likely to reconnect with mainland Europe, and climate change is more likely to rise waters, not create new land bridges, but might take some creative liberties. About 2/3s of Furritasia is Deadlands, caused by the Great War of the Ancients. Daniel’s from the North, and Kataryna’s name is French, and she’s from “the rainforest district of Eriwyn” but that could be anywhere; her kin might originate from Madagascar, but the Furrae were genetically created and ring-tailed lemur are common enough in zoos all across the world.

Extract (or why we don’t regular travel from A to B using magick portals):

“Stand here.” Tawny grasped Kataryna by the arms and guided her into the centre of the chamber, placing her feet between two weaves on the floor. She stood opposite her, one hand still grabbing her shoulder. With the other, she rose her blackemarr rod, reached up and slashed a rune in the ceiling above them.
The runic-Weave moved, displacing themselves from the ceiling and the walls, moving closer, closer to surround the two girls. Circling spirals, faster and faster and faster. Kataryna felt her stomach clench and nausea swelled, rising up into her throat. She gagged. Closed her eyes. But eyelids did nothing to hide the Weave. Spinning faster and faster, it became a blur of light. Then the world dropped out from beneath her, and she was plummeting. Falling. She could not scream, could not move. Her feet hit the ground first, the impact jarring up through her so hard and fast that her knees turned to porridge and she collapsed, gagging, to the coarse, red sand beneath her.
Sand? She blinked, bleary, wiping vomit — mostly just liquid thankfully, since she’d not eaten breakfast —  to find herself staring across at a crumpled, broken metal, skeleton, arching over the gaping maw of a canyon. Nearby rose the domed shell of a jättemörtko, grinding its way across the coral-fungus that coated everything, glistening black-green. Everything, that was, except the immediate area, which had been cleared back, just outside the limits of a low circular stone wall. Every stone shimmered with runes.
“Welcome to the outskirts of Ef-I,”  Tawny declared. “One of the remnants of the Ancients civilisation.” She looked disappointingly unaffected by the sudden change of environment. She definitely hadn’t thrown up. Kataryna finally trusted her stomach enough for her to stand, although her legs still felt weak.
“So that’s a Displacement Portal,” she stated.



NaNoWriMo 2016: Day Twelve

Word Count: 1,832

Daily Reward: Once Upon a Time

illustration by Ruggy

illustration by Ruggy


Well, I was trying to make my characters have a nice conversation and get to know each other a wee bit better. But they weren’t having a bar of that, and tried to get a little bit too close.

So I threw a magickal storm at them.

Until it happened, I didn’t even know that the Deadlands produced random magic storms.

And now Daniel’s oldest sister has realised that they’re having a wee affair and she does not approve at all. Oh dear…


“Kataryna,” he half-growled. “Ye canna know how much I want ye.”
“Oh,” she replied, <edited for smut>. “I think I have some inkling.”
A rumble rolled across the sky. The sky suddenly flashed a vivid and startling white, illuminating the garden and the Shaped framework of the gazebo. Kataryna’s fur crackled with static electricity, tiny sparks dancing iridescent violet between their fur.
“Oh fer the love of Elysia,” Daniel groaned. He rolled over, snatched up the picnic blanket and dragged it over them. “It’s a kraakin’ magick storm. We’ve gotta get inside, behind the wards.”
The clouds, barely noticed earlier, but now clustered above like conspirators, suddenly split open, disgorging their contents, great torrents of water. Droplets pointed around her, transforming into tiny, translucent frogs that hopped about spasmodically, only to burst with a spray of water.
“What the hell?” Kataryna fumbled to draw her shirt back on, as water gushed down around her, plastering her pelt to her body. Together they scrambled to their feet, him holding the picnic blanket over them. Not that it prevented much of the water. Another low rumble. For a flicker of a heart beat, Kataryna thought she saw a giant bird spread its wings across the sky. A jagged shaft of lightning arced out to strike the rod atop one of the towers. Sparks, incandescent purple, blue and red, erupted outward, like petals unfurling from a fiery flower.
The two of them hurried across the flower garden, colourful sparks descending around them, whilst the bubble-frogs hopped or popped around their feet. The air smelt sharp and sweet, of ozone and vanilla. The key suddenly squirmed in her hand, its body twisted like a caterpillar and it drove its teeth into her finger. Kataryna squeaked in surprise and pain, fumbled amid it slipped from her fingers.
“I’ve dropped the key!” She fell to her knees, scrabbling in the pebbles, trying to grab it as it wriggled away from her flailing fingers.
Another lightning bolt scythed the sky, striking the gazebo. It flared a vibrant white and began to twist and stretch as though it were alive, a giant pale spider with far too many legs.
“Dinna fret,” Daniel shouted to be heard against the deluge. “It’s just an illusion. It canna hurt us.” Kataryna’s fingers grasped the silver key. It wriggled once, but she drove her nail into it, and it stilled. The living gazebo extended one of its support-beam legs and ripped up a rose bush, sending it tumbling across the garden. Kataryna screamed as it flew straight towards them. Daniel wrapped his long body protectively around her, took the key gently from her shaking fingers and inserted it smoothly into the lock. It turned with a click and the two of them tumbled through. Behind them, the rose bush vanished in an explosion of sparks. The rose bush may have been an illusion, but the sparks were real. She could feel their stinging touch as they rained down around her, even through her saturated fur.
“I thought you said I was immune to illusion!” she screamed. The ground beneath her suddenly turned liquid, and she lurched forward, falling on her hands.
“No-one’s immune to a magick storm!” Daniel howled. He leaped over the patch of molten ground, and scooped her up in his arms. “Are ye hurt?” his tone gentle, although she could sense the panic.
She shook her head, mutely, staring out at the transformed garden with wild eyes.
Wind whipped and howled around them, whirling leaves and petals, the tiny sparks of doomed fyreflits and lightning-ash. The rain hammered. Trees groaned, waving their branches as though trying to fend off the lightning that jumped and sparked around them. Thunder boomed and rumbled, the immense low intonations shaking the earth.
Daniel reached the nearest tower, lowered Kataryna to the ground beneath the shelter of the portico. Above and around them, the protective wards glowed faintly, holding back the worst of the storm’s cinematic pyrotechnics. Out over the garden two of the trees seemed to be fighting with the gazebo, trying to push it back into the boundaries of the rose garden. Daniel drew her close to him, pressed his muzzle against her cheek. “Come on,” he said. “Let’s get ye inside and dried off.” She glanced at him, his fur sodden, plastered to his body and his braids framing his face like ragged string.