Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween and the Vartija

Halloween, the longest hunt of the year.
On this night, beasts from the other layers roam among us.
It is a duty of the vartija to protect humanity from these interlopers.
But as time passed, the varitja faded from humanity's memory.
The hunt became a delicate game of cat and mouse: in which the cat hid with the mice in order to capture the dogs.
It was a task the grew more difficult with each year as the vartija were slowly hunted by the creatures known as the Higher Races.
Four species, rulers of the creatures living on their layer. Each with their own reason for hunting the varitja.





We have met one of these creatures.
We will inevitably meet the others.
Will Emrri survive?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fantasy characters you may want to avoid

1. Involuntary shapeshifters.
2. Arrogant elves.
3. Anyone granting wishes.
4. Royal chancellors.
5. Stubborn dwarves.
6. Handsome princes/beautiful princesses.
7. Elderly folk living in strange places.
8. Talking animals.
9. Mythical beasts.
10. Hansel and Gretel.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Djinn and The Vartija: Aura, part I


"What?" She asked as she took another step back.
"I will provide the necessary stimulant to awaken your senses." I answered, no longer moving toward her. "How do you identify the creatures you hunt?" I asked.
The girl offered a shrug. "Normally they introduce themselves by attacking. Some of the less human-like critters show up in the park or by the cliffs. Usually they find me before I find them."
I frowned. "You always let the hunt come to you?"
She nodded. "What else can I do? Its not like critters have neon signs that tell me where they are."
With a soft moan, I shook my head.
How has she survived? How could I have been caught by someone so ignorant?
"Most creatures have a distinct aura. Sensing auras is how the vartija were trained to hunt."
"Okay. How do I sense auras?" She asked, taking another bite from the food she had brought out.
It was possible for djinn to consume the food from this layer, but a majority of it lacked flavor to my species. There was a small selection of delicacies on this layer that I would choose to eat. They were not especially tasty, but the would suffice during my exile.
"Focus your mind on me." I told her. Forsaking the limits I had set at the beginning of my exile, I fully released my aura. By my senses, my aura was the smell of wet charcoal and a lingering mugginess in the air. "Allow your senses to roam. Let them seek for anything out of place, anything that contradicts the surrounding environment."
I waited, considering her aura. I knew that as a vartija, her aura modified itself for each individual that sensed it. Taking a form pleasing to its pray, the aura acted as bait to bring the hunt to the hunter. A wise tactic for one prepared, but idiotic for one as ignorant as this girl.
Pulling myself out of my musings, I spoke.
She frowned. "The air seems more humid then earlier."
"Where? Pinpoint the source."
The girl slowly turned, then met my gaze. "From you. Is that your aura?"
I gave a small nod. "Part of it. Now focus inward, search for something similar in yourself."

Friday, October 19, 2012

Abilities of some mythical creatures

1. Shapeshifting. This ability can be split into two distinct types: voluntary and involuntary. For some, changing shape is as simple a thing as breathing. Others suffer violent transformations and often a loss of control.
2. Petrifaction. Meeting the gaze of many creatures will turn one to stone. In some instances this ability is used for more then protection: which can lead one to a vast stone garden or a business opportunity.
3. Manipulation of elements. The very elements can be harnessed, though to varying degrees. Sometimes as small a thing as encouraging a good harvest or filling a sail with wind. Control of the elements can also lead to devastating events such as a flood or inferno.
4. Captivation. The allurement of some creatures have led the unwary to an early demise. Whether by appearance, sound or scent, attraction is a powerful ability.
5. Communication. With bestial creatures such as dragons and unicorns, you would not expect to have an intelligent conversation. But such a thing is possible. Be it through a telepathic link or actual vocalization, these magical species can be an excellent source of knowledge once a conversation has begun.
6. Healing. Some creatures can be a benefit to those who are ill, wounded, or otherwise in pain. Though the exact circumstances under which a creature may heal another can be highly complex, the opportunity of a second chance may be needed by the more adventurous hero.
7. Bonding. There are creatures whom do not reach their full potential alone. For these, another is needed to support and strengthen. This bond is not always one-sided, however. As the bond-creature gains strength, it also may give its partner use of abilities and strengths that the partner's species would not normally have access to.
8. Longevity. One common ability of many creatures is a lifespan far longer then that of a human. Be it a few centuries or countless eons, the lives of the mythical can surpass the understanding of younger beings.
9. Venom. Many creatures may appear frail, but be warned: the natural defenses of these beasts are not to be trifled with. Some toxins of the mythical have no known cure, while others can only be cleansed by the attributes of another mythical creature.
10. Unknown required secondary abilities. There are some creatures who defy all known logic. While some may shrug and mutter something about magic, others remain dissatisfied with this answer. These individuals claim that it is not merely magic, but subtle abilities that we have not yet discovered. Whether magic or unknown ability, these creatures will continue to awe and inspire others for as long as stories are told.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Djinn and The Vartija: Breakfast

The toaster popped, and I carefully removed the once frozen waffles. My mother was still asleep, which gave me time to check on Muritage. Carrying a plate of blueberry waffles to the backyard, I walked toward the tree-house. In the dim light of dawn, I was able to see someone sitting atop the flat roof of the tree-house.
Have you changed your mind?” I asked him once I was closer enough to not risk my voice carrying back to the house.
I will not relinquish my hold until you release me.” Muritage answered as he continued to stare east. I shook my head.
Well, I had to try.
I lifted the plate. “I brought breakfast.”
Muritage turned his head, meeting my gaze with a scowl.
What gave you the impression that I would find human sustenance palatable?”
I frowned. It hadn't occurred to me that djinn might not eat the same as a human or myself.
Okay, then what does your kind eat?”
He turned away. “What sustains me is not your concern.”
I stared at him, then shook my head. “So long as you don't harm anyone in order to feed. What are you doing up there?” I took a bite from a waffle as he replied.
If given the option of confinement or the outside, which would you choose?”
I nodded, taking another bite. After finishing the waffle, I looked around at the neighbors' houses.
Could you come down? You're a bit too visible up there.”
Muritage stood. He was wearing umber slacks, a white long-sleeved dress shirt and a sepia waistcoat. He stepped off the roof, walking on air down to where I stood.
How do you do that?”
It is a simple manipulation of water molecules. A common ability among my kind.” He answered offhandedly. Meeting my gaze, he continued. “Such an ability could be compared to a vartija controlling their aura. Once one is aware of the mechanics, utilizing the ability takes scarcely a thought.”
As he walked around me, I turned to keep him in sight. “Well, I can't sense my aura.”
I took a step back as Muritage stepped toward me with a condescending smile.
That is why I will instruct you, little tamer.”

Friday, October 12, 2012

Things you can do with cardboard

1. Use as a box for holding things.
2. Make a large card for someone.
3. Cut out a sword or shield for a child's Halloween costume.
4. Hold excess thread or yarn.
5. Stiffen a tatted snowflake.
6. Practice constructing a castle.
7. Map the area your story takes place at.
8. Bind a book.
9. Make a deck of playing cards based on your characters.
10. Practice your smashing abilities.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Far away, there are a series of tunnels trailing underneath the land of goats.
Though dangerously unstable, these tunnels were the favored route of kittens for leaving their homes undetected.
One day, a black kitten was traveling though the tunnels. Suddenly the ground shook, and the roof of the tunnel collapsed!
Dirt covered the kitten, getting into its eyes and nostrils.
The kitten panicked and fought to get free of the dirt. The kitten succeeded in freeing its head, popping out into the open.
But the kitten's body remained stuck, despite all of its efforts to get free.
The kitten cried for its mother, but was ignored by the small herd of goats nearby.
Time passed, and the cry grew weak as no help came.
Then the goats began bleating as a human arrived.
The human offered the goats a short conversation, then turned as she heard the kitten cry.
Kneeling next to the mostly buried kitten, the human began to dig.
The kitten shut its eyes against the loose dirt the human moved, wiggling its forelegs once they were free.
The human lifted the kitten out of the hole and brushed dirt out of the kitten's fur.
Seeing the kitten was weak, the human took it with her; choosing to care for it until it grew strong enough to return home.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Ice cream flavors based on nuts and berries

1. Chocolate almond.
2. Boysenberry.
3. Maple walnut.
4. Blackberry.
5. Pistachio.
6. Raspberry.
7. Butter pecan
8. Strawberry lemon.
9. Macadamia nut brittle.
10. Blueberry.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Djinn and The Vartija: Reconnaissance


I rose from the couch, satisfied that enough time had passed. If the girl had been aware of the bond, she would have returned earlier. Striding across the carpet to the trapdoor, I crouched and lifted the latch. After climbing down, I knelt beside the tree. It was time to learn about the Vartija.
Transforming into a jackal, I inhaled. Her most recent scent led to a gate in the fence. I slunk across the lawn, toward the house. According to the bond, it appeared that the girl was in there.
After studying the exterior, I shook my head. Some discomfort would be required to enter unnoticed.
Exhaling, I released my hold on solidity. A burning pain engulfed my body as it lost form, rising into the air as a cloud of smoke. My senses were sharply diminished in this form; allowing only for sight and hearing. On the roof, I maneuvered through the air into the ventilation system. Allowing a small amount of my usual density to return, I worked against the current. After a few moments, I left the ventilation system. Releasing the density I had used to enter, I floated to the ceiling. Following the bond, I worked my way through the house.
I found the Vartija sitting on a couch with a boy. There was a square cardboard box on the small table before them, from which they removed slices of some human food.
"...ready for the quiz." The Vartija was telling the boy. He nodded, offering her a smile.
"I'm glad the study session helped."
I studied the boy. In this form, I was unable to correctly identify his species, but he appeared human.
Another human entered the room. The woman was middle-aged, with long hair a few shades darker then the Vartija. Her eyes were a light brown. Dressed in jeans and a cream blouse, she was taller then her daughter. This was the human mother.
"Finished studying?" She asked, looking at the closed books on the table. The boy nodded.
"Yes, just finishing up the pizza."
The Vartija looked at her mother. Her face was open, unguarded at the moment. It was surprising, to see a Vartija at ease.
If she had been trained, I would not be able to spy like this without her sensing my presence.
"How is your family?" The mother asked, looking at the boy.
He shrugged, speaking after having swallowed a bite of food. "They're okay. My uncle is coming for a visit later in the month."
I left the room, searching the house until I found the room belonging to the Vartija.
It was a small, neatly kept area. Solidifying enough to handle objects, I began searching the room.
The description she had given of the item was sparse, but I would find the the journal.
A journal of Vartija secrets, however damaged, might hold the key to my freedom.
It wasn't well hidden.
I lifted the book from the top shelf in the closet. Carefully flipping through it as fast as possible without further damaging it, I scanned the contents. After reaching the last page, I set the book down. Further solidifying my hand, I conjured a near exact replica of the book. Placing the replica where I had found the original, I left the closet. With the original in hand, I floated to the window. Unlocking the window and opening it, I left the house. After closing the window, I passed my gaseous hand through a chip in the glass near the locking mechanism and solidified my fingers. The window lock slid back into position, and I extracted my gaseous hand. Returning to a solid form, I smiled at the chip in the glass.
The reconnaissance had gone well, and now the source of the Vartija's knowledge was in my possession.