April 10, 2020, 09:00:33 AM

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Messages - m3mnoch

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hey everyone!

i found myself registering and playing in this month’s writing contest by way of mark lawrence’s “great self-published fantasy blog-off”.

i’m super excited to participate, so i spent the last couple days on writing up a little piece about danyell (actually a pathfinder character of mine) and his friend horace.  i figured i'd write for entertainment instead of just my d&d campaigns.

i do indeed hope it at least entertains you guys a bit.


aka m3mnoch.

here's a bit about (nerdy enough!) one of my pathfinder characters titled "danyell and horace".  it weighs in at 1685 words.

Spoiler for Hiden:

Danyell and Horace

“Many thanks.”

Horace pocketed the couple coppers he received back in change from the merchant behind the counter. Were pitons really that expensive? Did he really need them for this next trip up north? From the drawn eyebrows and grimace on the burly shopkeeper's face, the question must seem scrawled in bright, flashing ink across his forehead.

He didn’t say any of that out loud, right? There was another pinched look from the large, completely frightening man. Hopefully?

With a sigh, Horace turned away and looked toward some of the more exotic items lining the shelves. He needed to find Danyell, gather what was left of their meager coin pile, and head back to the monastery.

Horace found him, disheveled-looking as always, standing over by a low shelf filled with porcelain figurines. Him! And porcelain! Porcelain which looked quite nice even. It was much more expensive than Horace's pitons, for sure. What did his clumsy, gray-haired friend need with any of those? They looked to be finely wrought cats lounging around in various well-posed scenes. Or maybe they were dogs? They were certainly small, delicate animals of some sort. And after a longer look, they indeed appeared very, very delicate.

Danyell picked one up.

Strange that he would pick such a fine piece of art. Horace hadn't thought the friar possessed such discerning taste. Besides, he barely kept any of his wages. Danyell seemed to relish in his role of giving it away to orphans who, of course, brought the money promptly to the master beggar. Or he gave it to widows who left most of the coin with their pimps. His copper coins always seemed to tumble after lost causes since he had barely any possessions at...


Danyell dropped it on the tile floor.

Horace sucked in a quick breath and glanced over at the merchant who was, luckily, helping a too portly woman in a too sheer silk dress. He hadn't noticed nor heard.

By the time Horace looked back over to Danyell, the wobbly priest was picking up the shattered pieces of the figurine. There were far too many pieces. And too many small spray-shaped piles of porcelain dust where the pieces of cat (Horace was sure now the presently dust was previously a cat) powdered as it hit the stone floor.

Danyell was scraping most of it into a pile, sucking on his thumb occasionally where a sharp edge must have slivered his finger. Rather, he sucked on his thumb until he realized it was covered with porcelain dust wherein he started making rapid and breathy spitting noises with his lips and tongue.

The heels of Horace’s hands immediately went to his eyes, pressing hard. He was struggling to push the disaster developing in front of him out the back of his skull. A deep breath and an inescapable moment later, he dared to peek out from behind his hands.

Most of the pieces and powder had been scooped up. Danyell's face screwed into one of his famous “I'm going to make this right” looks caught somewhere between focus and quavering brain cramps.

“Oh, in Zodal's name,” Horace whispered, not realizing his fingers were now rubbing at his temples. “No, Danyell, don't.” He glanced over his shoulder at the wicked battle axe, well-worn and leaning against the backside of the counter. The shopkeeper was definitely a large man.

Horace turned back just as Danyell's nose twitched and Danyell looked around with a sly expression making sure nobody was watching him.

Of course two other patrons had stopped what they were doing to eye him openly by now, but Horace didn't think Danyell even noticed them. This despite his exact attempt at that very precaution. Luck had it the meaty merchant was still pandering to the woman in the green silk. Though Horace was pretty sure Danyell would have kept right on even if the shopkeeper had been staring straight at him.

On he went, with his crinkled expression, his pursed lips, and his brows drawn in concentration. He cupped his hands together, surrounding the shards of the shattered figurine, and closed his eyes. He mumbled a few indiscernible words under his breath and it seemed to Horace as if a small bit of warmth shone from Danyell's cupped hands.

Horace watched him intently and debated on whether he should just take his pitons and leave the shop. Just leave it right now. While he still had a chance. He could almost disappear in the crowd on the street before a shopkeeper’s axe clove him in twain – he could see almost enough people outside to cover his escape. Almost.

Horace realized he was standing, staring out the window. His arms folded across his body and hands tucked tight into his armpits as Danyell walked right by him toward the door. Horace blinked. Well, it was more like lumbered by him. Danyell had all the grace of a fleeing monkey but was closer to a tortoise in raw speed.

Danyell turned to the shopkeeper as he shifted his robe. The large quarterstaff he carried almost overturned a small barrel of replacement arrow shafts with a bump-clang and two loud thumps. He had mostly turned to the shopkeeper anyway. Truth told, he was facing about a foot to the man's left for some reason.

Every person in the shop was now mouth-hung-open staring.

“Good day, master merchant”, Danyell said in a loud and craggy voice. He gave the shaky impression of a courtier attending their court as he bowed at the waist. Something clattered against the arrow shafts again. This time they did fall over and yet Danyell still didn’t seem to notice.

“I'm afraid I shant be needing your fine services on this such a blustery day. I have urgent business elsewhere, though by Theena's blessing, you certainly do tend a magnanimous establishment. Zodal shine down on thee and thine as each we barrow roughly through this day. I bid you safe vending and many pleasurable exchanges.”

He finished with a sort of clumsy, but well-intentioned flourish and tripped. He stumbled face-first into the street, as he attempted to close the shop door behind him. It shut with a muted thump despite Danyell's help.

Horace let out a breath he hadn't realized he was holding and dropped his arms to his sides. His head hurt where his arms had been tight-wrapped above his ears and he only now realized he had been pressing in on his skull.

Horace looked over at the shopkeeper who was staring at him as if expecting something. He supposed he'd seen him walk in with Danyell and assumed they were together.

“A good and decent man,” was all Horace managed to get out, his voice cracking a bit, as he turned to walk away.

Curiosity grabbed him by the boot-heels and Horace slid over to where the figurine should have been sitting on the shelf. Sure enough, there was a set of four small feline shapes, all made from delicate porcelain and finely colored. They perched, arrayed in all the varying poses expected of a cat and it honestly did form a graceful little scene.


Right in the middle of the pack of well-articulated kitties stood what Horace assumed had been the fifth cat in the series. Now it was quite lanky, still cast in the same porcelain with roughly the same color palette. Except it had large blotchy spots.

Oh, and it was also a giraffe.


What a humble exit! Thanks be to Zodal! It was surely his fortune Danyell was able to fix that ceramic figurine before shopkeeper should fret.

Danyell didn’t have enough money to buy such a beautiful and exquisite piece of work.  The only reason he even picked it up was because he had been thinking to give it to the widow Marlena. She loved giraffes and indeed would have been joyous at the gift.

And it was fortuitous he possessed the most-blessed ability to repair almost anything – Often better than new! It made this clumsiness others often spoke of even less of a bother.

The air out on the street was fresh if a bit windy and the sun was bright. It was an amazing opportunity to get out and see the wares of the hard-working village folk. Being mired hip-deep in his work at the monastery could sometimes be a dreary existence. But yet, The work he was doing made the sacrifice worth it.

Especially when he was able to get out and mingle amongst his flock. His people were marvelous!

Danyell grinned.

Looking around, Danyell searched for some faces he might recognize from the weekly services. Unfortunately, the more regular pew attendants appeared to be home on this glorious day rather than out walking alongside their shepherd. He would be sure to mention that from next week’s pulpit.

Danyell turned as the door to the shop he had just exited made a clapping sound and came to a close. Horace was there, lurching down the establishment steps like a man stricken, his eyes saucer-wide and staring. Danyell even thought his lower lip might have been wavering a bit. The look was something he had come to get used to as poor Horace was afflicted with a malady that occasionally spiked his stress levels.

Together, they were working on a cure. After all, Zodal placed Danyell in this world to make it a better place. So in light of that mighty task, relieving a little anxiety should be a simple problem to solve.

Unfortunately, Horace’s condition seemed to be worsening. Danyell would have to get to the bottom of that soon. Maybe another relaxing shop visit would do him good.

“There you are, Horace,” said Danyell, arms waving with enthusiasm. “I was just looking for you. Let’s go visit that weaponsmith. I think I just saw your friend Kara walk in!”

Danyell paused mid-stride because, in that moment, Horace looked as if he’d just swallowed a live rhinoceros. It could only mean he wasn't in the mood to see Kara right now.

Danyell could fix that!

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