Friday, March 29, 2013

Mythical Eggs

1. Dragon eggs. These eggs are often sought by adventures who wish to have a dragon on their side. But beware: a dragon values its eggs over their entire hoard and any thief will be mercilessly hunted.
2. Golden eggs. On rare occasions, one may came across a goose or hen that lays golden eggs. If you succeed in claiming this intriguing fowl, do not allow greed to cloud your judgement. Be content to receive one egg a day.
3. Phoenix eggs. Although known for their ability to revert to a chick by bursting into flame, it is not wise to forget that in the beginning they hatch from eggs.
4. Roc eggs. These monstrous birds build giant nests in high places to lay their eggs. Each egg is the size of an elephant, and has a thick outer shell that is nearly impenetrable. When they begin to hatch, the chick works through the inner membrane while one of its parents uses the sharp point of their powerful beak on the outer shell.  Due to the chick's inability to hatch without the help of a parent, the entire clutch will not survive.
5. Basilisk and Cockatrice eggs. These two creatures hatch from eggs not laid by their own kind. A basilisk is born when a toad egg is incubated by a rooster. While a cockatrice is born when a rooster lays an egg that is then incubated by a toad. These two creatures are very similar, which can cause some confusion to those who have not studied them.
6. Griffin eggs. Though some species of griffin give live birth, others lay eggs. A mother griffin is fiercely protective of her clutch. When possible, avoid traveling through areas populated with griffins during early Spring.
7. Karkinos eggs. A species of giant crab, the young are extremely aggressive from the moment they hatch.
8. Tripedal crow eggs. These three-legged crows do not use a egg-tooth to aid them in hatching, but use their powerful legs to break through the thin shell.
9. Feathered serpent eggs. These serpents are brood parasites, leaving their eggs in the nests of other creatures.
10. A world egg. This is a special type of egg. It is said that when it hatches, a world is born.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Great Egg Hunt

Every year in the land of Drakos around the beginning of Spring, the Great Egg Hunt was held. Citizens from the far reaches of the land gathered at the capital, eager to test their skills. For all citizens above the age of ten could participate in the Hunt.
The Hunt was simple. Scattered across the land were twenty-three dragon eggs. Whoever found an egg and returned to the capital with it would be admitted into the Drakonian Order. They would raise the hatchling within the walls of a place only known as the Pit. None knew what lie within the Pit but those of the Order, but whimsical tales of fantastic feasts had been spread in awed whispers throughout the land.
When the Hunt began, two siblings were quickly left behind by the other participants. Having only turned ten the day before, this set of twins were excited to be in the Hunt. The younger of the two was a boy named Amil: who had dreamed of finding a egg since for many years. His sister was named Anisa. She had little interest in dragons or the Pit, and was only participating so that she could help her brother.
The two children searched high and low wherever the went, passing through areas that had already been scoured by dozens of others. As night fell, they made camp in a little glen.
"This is hopeless!" Amil groaned, falling to the ground with a huff. His sister set down her pack.
"Its only the first day of the Hunt." Anisa reminded him as she began to gather fuel for a fire.
"But we're too slow!" Amil said with a wave of his arm. "By the time we make it somewhere, its already been stripped of any eggs!" He left out another groan and laid his arm over his eyes.
Anisa sighed as she bent down and tried to pull a broken branch that was caught under a bush. "The Hunt doesn't end until the last day of the month. We have just as much of a chance as anyone else to find an egg." She told him, her forehead wrinkling as the branch refused too budge. Increasing her efforts, Anisa spoke. "Come on, let go-" she let out a yelp as the branch suddenly broke away and caused her to fall. She rubbed her hip and looked at the branch. But before she could scold it for being difficult, her eyes were drawn back to the bush.
"Amil!" Anisa called as she pushed back a portion of the bush. As he brother joined her, his eyes widened. For hidden under the bush where the broken branch had been caught was a shallow dip, wherein were two dragon eggs.

Friday, March 22, 2013

How to train your phoenix

1. To begin, it is important that your phoenix learn not to burst into flames near anything flammable. This may take some time to accomplish, so remember to carry a fire extinguisher with you at all times.
2. Maintain a strict diet. Depending upon the breed, your phoenix may have a taste for small mammals. Make it clear to your phoenix that the neighborhood pets are off the menu.
3. Set boundaries. Do not allow your phoenix to invade areas that you have not approved. During winter, do not allow your phoenix to expand its territory when the other birds migrate.
4. Beware of socialization. Learn about any other phoenixes in the area. While some breeds will form large social flocks, others are solitary creatures and will react violently when meeting another phoenix.
5. Form rules. Phoenixes are intelligent creatures. Immediately after introducing your phoenix into your home, clearly and firmly outline the rules. If your phoenix is mischievous, you may have to prove to it that you are a person worth respecting and obeying.
6. Prevent jealousies. Do not neglect your phoenix. Provide it with care and affection, so that it does not grow jealous of the other people you associate with. A jealous phoenix is dangerous.
7. Avoid overindulgence. Phoenixes can be extremely vain creatures. While some pride is beneficial for your phoenix, too much causes foolhardy tendencies that will lead to deadly consequences.
8. Show caution when introducing new people. Phoenixes are excellent at reading the emotions of their owner. Maintain a positive attitude when you have visitors who are not known to your phoenix. If your phoenix decides that it doesn't like someone, it will drive them out of its territory with little regard to your objections.
9. Plan on not having other pets. With only a few exceptions, phoenixes do not permit other animals to reside within its roost.
10. Prepare to retrain. Due to their unique physiology, phoenixes are constantly in a cycle of death and rebirth. Though some memories and traits survive through the cycle, be prepared to train the new chick as you taught its predecessor.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The garage sale

At a garage sale, you can find many interesting things. Golf clubs, books, and sweaters are among the usual items found. Rarer items like antique tatting shuttles can be found from time to time as well.
Timothy had seen a lot of garage sales in his short thirteen years, for his mother actively sought them out. After they found one, she would meticulously search through all the common things for the rarities, then slyly haggle until she could purchase them for the price she desired.
So Timothy wasn't as surprised as any other boy his age would be when he pull out a jar of teeth from a basket of various toys.
He studied the teeth, then turned over the jar and read the label. Hen's Teeth.
 "That's weird." Timothy said as he set the jar down and continued looking through the toys. He couldn't think of what his mother might do with hen's teeth, or what anyone could use them for. After some more digging, he came across another jar. This one was filled with small green scales. Dragon Scales was written on this jar's label. Timothy set it by the first jar, then took a moment to see how his mother's search was going. She was sorting through a stack of magazines.
Returning to the basket of toys, Timothy hoped that there wouldn't be anymore strangely filled jars. But after a few minutes, his hand brushed against something warm. He pulled it out, releasing a quiet groan as he realized that it was another jar. Filled with red and orange feathers, this jar felt warm in his hand. Timothy looked at the label. 
 Phoenix Down
 Curious, Timothy tried turning the band. It unscrewed quite easily, practically leaping off of the lid. Setting down the band, Timothy looked around. No one was paying attention to him. He looked at the jar, closed only with a metal lid. Picking up a butter knife he had fished out of the toys earlier, he pressed it against the lid.
The lid flew off. The feathers burst into flame. Timothy dropped the jar and stumbled back. The flames died after a moment: revealing a fluffy chick.
A wrinkled hand tightened around Timothy's shoulder. He looked up at a old woman.
"You broke it. You've bought it. Five dollars please."

Friday, March 15, 2013

Mystery of the missing socks

1. Having discovered a fiendish plot to take over the world, your left sock has been placed in protective custody until the paperclips plan can be foiled.
2. Unhappy with a life of being hidden in your shoe, your right sock has paid for surgery to become a sock monkey using the change you left in your pocket.
3. Having finished chewing your slippers, the family poodle decided to bury your favorite sock with her cache of bones.
4. The sock drawer is not a good place to hide the catnip from the cat.
5. Socks make excellent puppets for young children. All the sock needs is eyes glued on.
6. The dryer does not run on electricity, but sacrifices. Socks are highly numerous, and so not missed by the other clothes.
7. Socks are a favorite appetizer for the monster under the bed.
8. Tired of constantly being trodden under foot, the shoes are planning a rebellion. They are cautiously freeing socks from your grasp one by one, in order to boost the number of soldiers in their army.
9. Remember when you went on the river walk last summer and got soaked from the waist down? Your socks are still waiting for you on that nice sunny rock.
10. Socks are constantly leaping through time. That orange striped one you just lost will be under your mattress next Tuesday after 10:15am.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Terrarth: Abel and the Ring

So what's a fella like you doing this far south?” The Psych merchant who I was currently working for asked with a lopsided grin. I shrugged, repositioning my bow and scanning the woodland that bordered the road. The merchant sighed, and out of the corner of my eye I saw him shake his head. “You definitely aren't the most talkative guard I've hired. Though your kind aren't very talkative anyway, so I suppose it's normal. Now when I was up north trading some exotic spices, I had quite the conversation with one of your folk. Went by the name of Esmeralda, she did. Mighty fine businesswoman, that Esmeralda...” The merchant sighed once more, and I shook my head.
Going south was my escape, yet wherever I went, I was still nothing more then an unbound Taint. I was sixteen and had yet to experience the Connection. Until I did, most Psych would not trust me. But I didn't care about the opinion of a bunch of blood mages. I planned to spend my freedom doing whatever I wanted.
Which at the moment meant going as far away from the world I knew as my feet would take me.
“Have you ever been in these parts before?” The merchant asked, before laughing at himself. “Naw! A youngster such as yourself, still wet behind the ears, probably hasn't been this far from home before.” He grinned warmly and slapped my back. “Just stick with Franklin, and you'll be alright.” I rolled my eyes, but couldn't resist a small smile. Franklin was a strange one, that I was certain of. But he had been the only one willing to hire a Taint.
We rode on in silence for a little while, then I spoke. “My name's Abel, not youngster.” Franklin laughed, then ran a hand through his salt and pepper colored hair.
“Well, Abel, I'm glad you've found your voice. I was beginning to wonder if it had been left in the last town.”
As Franklin let out another chuckle, something moved at the edge of my vision. I turned and lifted my bow as a werefox streaked towards the wagon. I waited for another second, then released my arrow as the werefox bared his fangs. My arrow caught in the werefox's shoulder, knocking it back a few feet. I leaped out of the wagon and notched another arrow, “Not today, fox. Leave now, or throw away your life.”
The werefox brought a clawed hand up to the arrow in his shoulder, then seemed to consider me. The werefox smiled and charged me. I fired, and the werefox fell with my arrow in his throat.
I put my bow in it's place in my quiver and drew my knife, cautiously walking towards the fallen werefox. “Careful, lad.” Franklin advised from the wagon. I nodded, watching as the werefox began to shift into its humanoid form. Its russet colored fur sank into pale skin, ears shifting lower on the head as the muzzle sank into a scruffy face. The transformation lasted only a few seconds, but the change was staggering.
The werefox opened his completely black eyes as I came closer, an urgency flooding them as he caught sight of me. I stopped a few feet away from him. The werefox lifted an arm towards me, then dropped it as he began drowning on his own blood.
It took only a few moments before the werefox died.
I looked away, then forced myself to look back at the man I had killed. “Shame he didn't choose to turn and run, lad.” Franklin said with a sigh, placing a hand on my shoulder.
What do we do now?” I asked, looking at the merchant. He looked at me, then nodded toward the body.
“We wrap it up and take it to the closest town. If he was a bandit, there might be a reward.” He turned and walked towards the wagon, calling over his shoulder. “You'll want to check the body for valuables, though I doubt he carried much in his fox form.”
I turned toward the body, and carefully scanned it for any items. I felt like a thief, but Franklin was right. The werefox wouldn't need anything anymore, and any possessions we left on him would be picked off by the townsfolk.
The only item the werefox had was a ring. It slid easily off his finger when I touched it. The ring was a dark gray and made of iron. It was completely smooth, without a single scratch marring its surface. I stared at the ring, gently turning it over a few times. Then without much thought, I slipped the ring on my left index finger.
My eyes snapped shut as the ring began to burn.

When I opened my eyes, I was lying on a straw mattress. My head felt as if a herd of centaurs had stampeded over it.
“Ugh...” I sat up and rubbed my head, wondering how I had gotten here.
The last thing I could remember was putting on the werefox's ring...
I looked down at my left hand. The ring was still there, and felt as cold as ice. I grabbed the ring and tried to take it off. But no matter how hard I tugged, the ring didn't even budge.
“Why won't this come off?” I groaned, giving up for a moment.
“It won't come off until you die.” A voice echoed in my mind.
I jerked up, looking around the room., but saw no one.
 “Who said that?”
“I am Nifol. And you are my new host.”

Friday, March 8, 2013

Events that happened in 1994

1. The Lion King was released in theaters.
2. Ice Hockey became Canada's official winter sport.
3. The wollemia nobilis (a tree previously known only from fossils) was discovered living in a remote rainforest gorge.
4. The UNC-Chapel Hill student radio station WXYC provided the world's first internet radio broadcast.
5. The first Giller Prize for Canadian Fiction was awarded.
6. The musical Beauty and the Beast opened on Broadway.
7. Reba McEntire was named Entertainer of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards.
8.  Star Trek: The Next Generation had its series finale after a seven-year run.
9. Super Metroid was released on the SNES.
10. The United States Supreme Court ruled that parodies of an original work are generally covered by the doctrine of fair use.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Three Story Challenge

 I was challenged to write three different stories in one day. I accepted. So instead of just one story today, I hope you enjoy three.

Story one: The Loneliest Number
Time is cruel. It beats against the works of man, causing even the greatest of empires to crumble to dust.
I have seen the rise and fall of countless empires. I do not interfere with those foolish beings. They dream of a glory, of a bright future where their children want for nothing.
I have seen these dreamers die.
Their children are no different, nor are their children's children. They dream, carve out a simple existence for themselves, then die just as they have begun to live.
I was once among their number. I had dreams. Friends. Family. A love.
But then I received a gift from one gifted in the ancient art of magic.
If I could go back, I would never have accepted that gift.
My curse.
Time laid claim to those I loved, tearing them from my grasp.
No matter how much I plead, Time ignores my cries for release.
For I am outside of her reach.
Yet I am not fully removed from her.
There are moments, so brief in my eye, where I feel her effects.
A silly child catches my notice with his naive laughter. A woman walks past, reminding me of my lost love with a flick of her hair. A foolish hero somehow convinces me to aid him on a quest.
The child grows up, laughter fading to exhausted sighs as his crops wither during a drought. The woman's hair becomes gray, wrinkles destroying any resemblance to my love. The hero is slain in battle, his quest left unfulfilled.
For a moment, each drew me into the simplicities of humanity.
Time stole each from me, laughing at the anguish she caused.
But no more.
I will not fall for anymore of her tricks.
Mankind had said that one is the loneliest number.
But it is far worse to be among those whose lives you come to care about, only to have them endlessly torn away.
I am better off alone. Outside of time's painful games.

Story two: Reflection
“Look into the mirror, and your journey's companion will appear.” The fairy said before disappearing in a puff of smoke. I waved my hand, coughing until the smoke dissipated. When I could breath again, I walked up the stone stairs toward where the mirror stood upon a pedestal.
In the dim light of the cave's torches, I slowly approached the mirror. As I expected, I saw nothing but my reflection. It revealed just how out of place I was in the land. My jeans and I ♥ Dragons t-shirt were very different from the fairy's gown of leaves or the troll's loincloth and bone necklace. I pulled a twig from my hair, frowning as I waited for the reflection to change.
“Come on, magic mirror. Who's my companion for this journey?” I asked, dropping the twig and leaning forward to tap the mirror's surface.
My finger slipped into the mirror, ripples appearing across its surface as I gave a yelp. I pulled my hand back, glancing down to look at my finger. It was cold, but looked okay. I looked back at the mirror and gasped.
My reflection did not copy me. Instead, it shook its head. “Jumpy, eh? Guess I didn't copy that trait.” My reflection said as it tapped the surface of the mirror. Its hand went through, and the rest of it followed.
I stumbled back, which caused my reflection to laugh. “This will be fun.” She said, crossing her arms and looking at me. “I don't know why you're so surprised. Its a magic mirror, not a hero vending machine.”

Story three: Four Simple Words
A little girl ripped the wrapping paper off of her last birthday present, then gave a delighted cry as she held up a lilac pegasus toy. “Thanks, Susie!”
Her friend gave a grin. “Now we can play together!”
The birthday girl nodded, then looked around the room. It was her birthday party, and she had gotten presents from all of her friends and family except for one. Setting down her new toy, the birthday girl stood as the other children ran over to where her mother was scooping out ice cream. The girl looked around the room, then walked out into the hall.
It was in the hall closet where she found the person she sought.
“Big brother, why are you hiding?” She asked, looking up at her brother. He was only a few years older then her at eight, but he was her hero.
“Because your friends laughed at me.” He grumbled, folding his arms. They had laughed at the him; for being the only boy at a pony themed birthday party. The birthday girl's eyes widened as she looked up at her brother.
“I'm sorry, brother. Please come play with me. Mom's serving ice cream!”
The boy looked at his sister, then sighed. “You really want me to play with you?”
The birthday girl nodded her head eagerly. “Yes! You're the best at racing and I love you.”
The boy smiled as his sister pulled him out of the closet. “I love you too.”

Friday, March 1, 2013

To wear a hat

1. To keep your head warm.
2. When you forget to brush your hair.
3. To keep the sun out of your eyes.
4. As part of a costume.
5. So you can show support for your team.
6. To disguise your unusual ears when visiting a different planet.
7. As a way to show off your pin collection. Just be sure not to wear it for too long if you have a large collection, or else your neck may begin to hurt.
8. So you'll have something to trade to the creature who has possession of the item needed to complete your quest.
9. To help keep your hair dry when it rains.
10. Because hats are cool.