Friday, May 26, 2017

Spitemorta takes over her Mother's House


Spitemorta lay in Demonica's bed, listening to the cries of gulls out her window as the first rays of sunlight lit the wall behind her. She threw back her covers, sat on the side of the bed and nearly fell when she tried to stand up. She hobbled to the tea table and ate some of the cheese and corned beef she had found in one of the larders while hunting skinwelerio├╣. She had forgotten all about eating for some time and discovered that she was quite hungry. At last she decided to get dressed. The broadening daylight made her want to hurry.
"Well, it's back west to Niarg before rejoining Coel and Cunneda," she said as she stepped into her black kirtle, "but I'll never be able to straddle the Staff for the entire way across the Orin Ocean. I'll just have to pick a place where I can vomit when I get there."
She laced up her bodice, grabbed up the Staff and turned her dress deep vermilion. She put the strap of her bag across her shoulder and sat on the bed with her skinweler. "Now just where is it?" she said as the swirling colors in the skinweler gave way to images. "Show me the manor house at Peach Knob. So that's where Mother grew up with Auntie Min and Grandfather Razzmorten. Why would it be so dark? Very well, let's find some place out of the way, around back." 
Suddenly she was on her hands and knees in a pandemonium of terrified chickens, squawking and flapping dust and old feathers all about her in the dim light of dawn as she retched and heaved her breakfast onto the floor between her hands. "Aangh!" she cried, catching her breath and sitting back on her heels as the chickens crowded round to snap up tidbits of her cheese and corned beef.
She grabbed up the Staff and sprang to her feet to pound with her fist along the chicken house
wall until she found the door and threw it open. "My dress!" she wailed, waltzing into the pigweed with her arms held wide. Just then it occurred to her that she was holding the Staff and she quickly used it to make herself as clean as she was when she was first dressed. Suddenly she stopped short with a scald of alarm at the sight of her second sunrise in one day. "No!" She shook her head. "No way it's Demonica. It can't be anything but the traveling spell.      
"There's the house," she said, looking uphill beyond the big orchard. "And that was my very last traveling spell ever, ever, ever, I swear." She started walking up the grassy lane between the rows of peach trees. An oriole gave a bawdy whistle. Up the lane, a kingbird chased away a pair of grackles. She could hear a tinkling of bells as sheep came running.
"Hoy!" she thought she heard someone holler. She looked back beyond the sheep to see a stooped old man wave. She turned away and made for the house. The summer kitchen reared up before her as she came out of the trees. She got a whiff of steak and eggs as she heard someone bang a skillet. She stopped and looked up at the manor house behind the kitchen. "Good for gentry," she said. "At lest it's temporary."
A heavy set woman appeared in the doorway of the summer kitchen, wiping her hands on her apron. "Good morning to you, mistress," she called out with a smile. "You look bewildered, a-coming up on us out o' the orchard, that a-way. I've just fixed breakfast and I already set out an extra..."  
"Oh I know exactly where I am."
"Well now I'm Bethan, but should I know who you be?"
"It makes no difference who you are. But it's always best to know your new queen, particularly when you work on her manor."
"Peredur," said Bethan as the old man appeared behind Spitemorta. "did you hear what she just said to me?"
"No, but I can't begin to imagine what she was doing in the chicken house."
Bethan folded her arms and looked Spitemorta in the eye. "Well since I can't begin to believe what you just told me, dear, why don't you be so kind as to tell him what it was?"
"It's quite simple. I'm queen and you're in my house."
"Minuet is queen, and I'm queen mother. I raised the queen and her two children. This is my house. Razzmorten and the crown gave it to me."
Spitemorta let out a whoop of laughter and stopped. "Minuet is dead, dead, dead and you may be lucky enough to be the hired help in my house, if you don't get carried away," she said with a satiny rustle as she stepped into the doorway and pushed past Bethan.
"Now look 'ee here, child! Queen Minuet and Razzmorten saw us just days ago, and she certainly was queen then..."
"Yea? My soldiers found them dead of the plague when we destroyed Castle Niarg, what, yesterday? And my mother grew up in this house, so it's mine."
Bethan went apoplectically wide eyed. "You're Queen Spitemorta!" she gasped.
"It is Bethan's house," said Peredur as he steadied himself, stepping inside, "and I'm to live out my days here, too."
"Which could be up any moment from what I see," said Spitemorta as she picked up a piece of steak and took a bite.
"That won't hold up before the Bench," said Peredur.
"Queen's Bench," said Spitemorta with a cherubic smile and another bite.
Bethan caught his eye and shook her head. 
"If you're a willing part of my loyal service, you'll be alive to wait on me when I come back to stay."
"At your service, Your Majesty," said Bethan with a heavy curtsey.
"At your service," said Peredur with a bow.
Spitemorta stepped out into the grass and mounted the Staff. "Ta-Ta," she said and flew away into the morning sky.
"My word!" said Peredur as they watched from the doorway. "That witch! What have we got into?"
"Something you and I are going to live through, that's what."

The Reaper Witch 1280x2000








Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Languages in The Heart of the Staff


 
Modern English is the language spoken throughout Elf Killers and the epic series, Heart of the Staff.  Fairies speak Middle English without most of its obsolete words in The BurgeoningReaper Witch (February, 2013) and Doom (Summer, 2013). The rest of the languages used appear as isolated words and sentences chosen to give realism and color to various characters. Most of these are explained by context and all can be found translated in the respective glossaries in the books where they appear.
 






 Language:                              What it is:                               Who speaks it:

Niarg Standard                       current Modern English          Kingdom of Niarg
                                                                                                Kingdom of Loxmere
                                                                                                Kingdom of Goll
                                                                                                Kingdom of Bratin Brute
                                                                                                Jutish Elves
                                                                                                naked dragons
                                                                                                Cyclopsia

Archaic Modern Niarg            Middle English                       all Fairies
                                                                                            all profanities uttered by
                                                                                                  Ocker the raven
                                                                                            Niarg (600 yrs prior)

Old Niarg Standard                Welsh                                     Kingdom of Niarg
                                                                                             Kingdom of Loxmere
                                                                                             Kingdom of Goll
                                                                                             Kingdom of Bratin Brute
                                                                                             Cyclopsia

Jutish Elven                             Irish                                        Jutish Elves

Old Gwaelic Elven                 Irish                                         Gwaelic Elves (1M yrs prior)

Gwaelic Elven                         Manx                                      Gwaelic Elves

Gwaelic                                   Cornish                                   Gwael

Headlandish                            Breton                                     Penvro (Head)
                                                                                              Dark Empire
                                                                                              Mammvro

Goblish-Beakish                      Pictish                                     Kingdom of Marr (Beaks)
                                                Doric
                                                Scots

Ngop                                       Wagiman                                 the Ngop

Wagiman is almost extinct. The last I knew, only ten Australian Aboriginals still speak it.

Trollish                                    transposition of an                    trolls
                                               aboriginal language

Trollish is a very nasal sounding language, the transposition of an aboriginal New World language, where each letter in the original tongue is replaced with a different letter. In particular, the sounds most frequently used by the aboriginal speakers are replaced with the sounds which are the very most difficult for them to pronounce. Trollish uses such non European peculiarities as noun-verbs, which we originally tried to represent in English by running nouns and verbs together (as they are in the aboriginal) in words such as, headsmashjuicychampcantgoback, rollybottomhohoslap and grabupsqueakers, which we soon changed to head-smashjuicy-champcan't-go-backrolly-bottom-ho-ho-slap and grab-up-squeakers in order to be easy to read.
And as always, please let us know what you think,


Monday, May 22, 2017

Ariel says she Could Die

shutterstock_89916550

"We're done Grandfather," said Daniel.
Bede on his deathbed completing his translation of St. John’s Gospel, by James Doyle Penrose (1902)
"So I see." he said, fitting his spectacles onto his face.
"How did we do?" said Ariel as she and Daniel sat beside him.
"A question like that has been nothing but a respectful formality for some time, my dear," he said.
"Perfect then?" said Daniel.
"Absolutely," he said with a deep nod. "And this completes anything which I might contribute until Neron has worked with you for a time and we get you ready to go study with Meri Greenwood. And it is he who will prepare you for your staves and take you to see Longbark in Mount Bed."
"And then?" said Ariel. "Are we...?"
"Oh," he said with a smile. "I expect we'll have you back here again for one final inspection and a little practice."
"And then we get her..." said Daniel.
"When the moment falls exactly right," said Razzmorten as everyone went silent, listening to the swallows and the trickling water and the river pounding in the deep reaches, drawing away the echoes from the sink.
Daniel dug at the rocks with a twig.
"Abaddon ought to be back with Toast, directly," said Razzmorten, looking at Ariel withmasonjanettewoodruff sudden innocence.
"Great-Grandfather Razzmorten is naught but a matchmaker," said Arial, giving him a peck on his cheek.
"Not at all. You've had your heart bond for all these years."
"Are we done?" said Daniel.
"With magic, anyway. Go enjoy the day."
"Thanks Grandfather," he said, tossing aside his twig.
"Father keeps saying that in spite of the bond, I might eventually be safer away from Abby," said Ariel.
"Yea? Is that what you want?"
1e97d87cfb68e52a666665bdc0f45198"Maybe it's best for Abby. I mean I could die..."
"No you're not. And worse than that, you're guessing. How's that fit for a young and powerful sorceress? What do you want to do with your guesses, anyway, break his heart and then go die? Maybe you'd better do what your heart wants."
"You're right as usual," she said as she stood and brushed the seat of her skirt. "I shall indeed follow my heart."
"And you're not going to say another word about dieing," he called out after her as she stepped into the lava tube. "Ye hear?"
Ch 2, Doom
Doom








Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps
Heart of the Staff Complete Series Box (1)







Heart of the Staff: Complete Series NOW Just $0.99 on Amazon 

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Howlies Might not Like Herio's Talking with Rocks

gigatopithecus_closeupMILK

Not being let out of the cave by the great silvery blue eyed howlie was startling enough for Herio and Philpott, but being held captive by the giants for well over a week was an ordeal. At first it was just the pair whose tracks they had followed, who squatted outside in the pouring rain, keeping them from running away, but in the moonlight of the following nights, they heard eerie howls echoing away over the rocky countryside, and each morning they would see giants which they had not seen before, milling about or squatted on the rocks, just outside.
This morning, when Herio awoke to the calls of a sunset thrasher, he realized that they were awfully close to the mouth of cave and sat up at once. When he saw that no big creature was sitting just outside, he sprang to his feet and peered out to find the biggest collection of howlies he had yet seen. "Damn!" he muttered quietly as he began counting.
"How many this time?" said Philpott, sitting up on his pallet.
"I'm not sure whether I see fifteen or sixteen. One of them is half grown and three or four of them are carrying babies. I'm not counting the babies."
"Any sign of the unicorns?"
Herio stepped back inside, shaking his head as he squatted to pick up his leather water bottle before flinging it aside.
"After eight days, I'm surprised you even picked it up."
"Yea? Well after eight days, I don't see how a fellow could keep from it."
"So how far away from the cave are they?" said Philpott. "Any chance that we could make a run for it?"
"They'd get us. There are just too many, and they've got us blocked every direction you want to look. Besides, this is pretty open country, even with all of the rocks. We'd have to know our unicorns were waiting for us or they'd just run us down. They've probably eaten them by now, anyway."
"I doubt it, truth to tell," said Philpott, picking up the bottle for a look of his own. "I mean, if they were going to eat them, don't you reckon they'd just sit out there where they could keep an eye on us and champ away?"
"All right. So why did they bother to run off our unicorns, and why are they keeping us here in the first place?"
"To teach us a lesson, maybe. They've already made it clear as a bell that they don't want us grazing that pasture."
"You reckon they're actually enough like us to try teaching us by holding us captive?"
"They just might be, Herio. I swear that they spend as much time shaking their hands at each other as people do a-talking. They just might have something in mind for us."
"Starvation, I'd say. Do you have any idea about what they're saying with their hands?"
"You can go a good while without victuals. Forty days or better. But they're going to have to let us drink. It won't take too many days to kill us. And no, I don't understand a bit of it. I notice when they repeat some things, but I don't understand any of it. However, we understood their drawings 'way back at the sheep shed. What are you doing?"
"Smoothing out a place to draw a picture."
"Very well..."
Herio waited until one of the giants looked their way and waved his arms. "Hey!" he hollered.
The giant shook his fist.
"That doesn't look good at all," said Philpott. "You might want to try something else."
"This ought to do it," said Herio, picking up a rock.
"Whoa! I wouldn't risk a lesson in manners from one of those curses. They might not like our talking with rocks. Why not do it their way? If they're too far away for pictures and fingers, they howl, don't they?"
Herio put down his rock and thought about it for a moment. Suddenly cupped his hands to the sides of his mouth, drew a great breath and bellowed out a tenor version of the howlies' moonlit night wail. It sounded much more like a wolf than a howlie, but by the time he had put down his hands, all sixteen giants had converged on him, huffing and stinking of sulphury musk. "Aah!" he said, patting his stomach and pointing into his mouth as he made gulping noises. But before he could drop to his knees with his stick to draw, they had Philpott and him by the arms, ushering them down the hillside at a jog, hiking them up and over rocks as if they were toddlers. And a long way it was, too, stumbling to keep up with their great hairy-legged strides.
Far down the slope was a wooded ravine. When they came to the bank of a fast stream, the howlies let go of them at the water's edge, where they fell to their hands and knees at once and drank. The moment Herio sat up on his haunches and wiped his mouth on his arm, the blue eyed howlie threw down their water bottles with a grunt. "Philpott, look!" said Herio. "I'd never dream that old Blue Eye would know what those are for."
“Yea,” said Philpott. “Makes ye wonder what else they've figured out.”
"I hope they figure out that we're hungry."
"Well you're good at this. Tell them."
Blue eye squatted behind Herio and studied him.
"Well Blue Eye," said Herio as he carefully turned about to face the giant. "I wish I knew how to thank you for the water, but maybe I can show you that we're hungry." He gave a moan and rubbed his belly.
"Hmmmp," rumbled Blue Eye as he waddled closer to look him up and down.
"Mmm!" said Herio as he pantomimed  grabbing up something and chewing on it with lots of exaggerated champing.
Blue Eye knitted his brow and sat back on his rump as he thought this over. "Hmmmp," he rumbled as he picked his nose and resumed looking Herio over with studious consideration.
Herio rubbed his belly again and champed his teeth.
Suddenly, Blue Eye was on his feet, jostling a couple of other howlies and making signs with his hands.
ac3a7ad3cbcb"Did you see that?" said Philpott with a nod at the howlies as he bunged his water bag.
"What?" said Herio as he watched Blue Eye and the other giants wade into the water.
"Oh never mind."
The howlies waded slowly about in the water for some time, pausing here and there to grab at things along the bottom. By now, Herio and Philpott and all of the howlies not fishing were sitting on the bank, watching Blue Eye and listening to a water thrush singing in the willows. A grebe surfaced just beyond the bank, saw that it had an audience and ducked back under water.
so-cal-bigfoot"He was!" said Philpott, the moment he saw for certain that the howlies were fishing. "I'd have sworn Blue Eye was making hand signs for 'fish' before they waded in. They just got one. That is what they're doing."
Presently Blue Eye stepped out of the water with a wriggling catfish in each hand, giving one to Herio and the other one to Philpott. They were trying figure out how to show that they were properly pleased when the other two howlies climbed out and shared a fish with Blue Eye. The howlies each bit the heads of their respective fish to kill them, and then wolfed down hungry bites, watching to see how Herio and Philpott liked theirs.
"You said you were hungry," said Philpott, "but are you ready for raw fish, innards and all?"
"I've got my flint and striker," said Herio. "What do you reckon they'll do if I try to use them?"
"Try it."
Herio handed his fish to Philpott and scraped up a little pile of dry cottonwood leaves, crumbled up some of them and began striking his flint. At once all sixteen howlies crowded in close to watch every single move he made. He blew a faint stream of his breath where his sparks were landing.
Suddenly the howlies gasped and backed away wide eyed at the first curl of smoke. Herio kept striking and huffing as they crept back close to see. Directly he was feeding twigs into the first wee flame. Philpot took his knife and cleaned the fish. He paused at the sight of a female with a toddler on her hip, eyeing where the fish head and entrails had just dropped into the leaves. When he held them out to her, she snatched them away at once, shared them with her child and hunkered back to the fire, licking her fingers. Herio impaled the first fish and held it into the flames. Blue Eye waddled in close, craning to behold in wonder the fish in the flames and then Herio's face, then his hands and then the sizzling fish again.
"Mmm!" said Herio, sampling the fish. He held out a pinch of it to Blue Eye.
Blue Eye gaped in awe and put the fish into his mouth for a thoughtful moment. "Vooove!" he boomed. "Oooooh!"
Herio and Philpott had no sooner divvied out all their catfish than they found themselves being plied with more wriggling fish. After an unexpectedly long meal, Herio and Philpott caught each other's eye, rose without a word and made their way back to their cave with all sixteen howlies following reverently on their heels.
Doom









Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps
Heart of the Staff Complete Series Box (1)