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A CRACKDOWN

M IS FOR MAGIC.   Despite the outward appearance of internal strife at the Guild, their detectives are at as hard of work as ever when it comes to putting the kibosh on the underground dueling scene, and the infamous Duelist's Club has pretty much got a monopoly on that particular pastime in this neck of the woods.   Considering the amount of effort the Club puts into security—never holding a bout in the same place twice, keeping the locations in the strictest confidence, concealing and repelling charms, and all manner of defenses—it's surprising how often they get raided.  It just goes to show, I suppose, that the Strawmen aren't quite as incompetent as they sometimes appear.  Of course, when the raids do happen,...

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A CHARMING MALFUNCTION

Master Wax, purveyor of purses, pouches, portmanteaus… and various other contrivances for carting things around whose names do not begin with ‘P.’  When Master Wax introduced his Bottomless Bags, the only P-Word that came to mind was problems.  They were numerous.  Shall I list them?   Let’s start with the superficial.  The design, while eye-catching, was so obvious, so overt that no self-respecting member of the magical community—who loath such simplistic and limiting definition but nonetheless do require some convenient method of allusion—would ever be seen carrying one in public.  By their reckoning, they’d be outing themselves—either as more or less than human, or, far more likely, as weirdos.   The more serious issues lie within.  Master Wax defines his...

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LARKIN'S LAMENT

            They say that one man’s misfortune is another man's opportunity.  Those are, I have long found, words to live by.           Perhaps you’ve heard of Reverie Larkin.  Powerful.  Older gentleman.  Member of City Council.  Lives in a big old house on a high hill—and to the best of my knowledge, possesses the largest, most extensive collection of books on or related to magic anywhere in the city.  The library at Barrows School of course falling outside municipal limits.  It appears he also has something of an infestation.           Brownies are fascinating creatures . Despite the fact that they are seldom seen or heard, records of them...

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SPIDERS & DOOM

Well, I hope you're happy.  I gave you every chance, every opportunity to avert catastrophe, and you did nothing.  Not a one of you lifted a finger.  I warned you--I offered a reward for God's sake, out of my own pocket!  And now it's too late.   He's done it.  Professor Wrinkle's infernal Duplicator is complete.  And it works.  Heaven help us, it works.   What will happen now, you ask?  What's next?  I haven't the faintest bloody idea.  That isn't how time travel works.  Whatever it is, I doubt it will be good.  As far as I can see, I've only got one choice.  Only one answer, in the face of this unfortunate turn.  I must try to capitalize...

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A QUANDARY

           It seems to be a cruel trick of the Universe that those with vast intelligence are rarely given the sense to use it in a way that does anyone any good.  If they were, surely all of our problems would have been solved long ago.  Sadly, in my experience, a brighter mind only seems to correlate to a greater capacity to bollocks everything up.     * * *  Scarcity.             That which drives every market, no matter how big or how small.  Without it gold would be worthless, diamonds little more than sparkly rocks.  If God ever did anything for us at all, it was not giving us enough. ...

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