Tag Archives: Magic

Whimword – Soupçon


The cauldron bubbled as the colloidal data gushed from its rimy transfer hose; mixing with the liquefied quartz storage solution. It became a seething sea of froth and foam, as icy, crystal white tried to mix with lurid, actinic green. The fibre optic inlet pipes strobed with a terabit storm of code, but the two liquids still resolutely refused to be miscible. The internal clock was megahertz below spec, and the run-cycles remained irregular and off-pattern.

It wasn’t working.

“Ugh, the SysAdmin Magus is not going to be happy,” Delthani v7 sighed and swept her sweat matted hair out of her eyes. “I don’t think I can face another neural flensing.”

Dejected, she slumped to her workstool, head in hands. Her eyes drifted up to the side of the cauldron. Beneath the patina of defrag slop, and carbon slag, she could still see the glimmer of her grandmother’s name in faint bronze letters:

Delthani v5

~ Bionic Alchemy ~

~ Cyber Witchcraft ~

v5 wouldn’t have put up with the SysAdmin’s outrageous requests. Her mother – the infamous v6 – would have broken the asshole’s skull right across the quantum write-head mooring. But no. v7 was a people person, she wanted to please. She wanted to be helpful, even if it landed her neck-deep in some datamancy which couldn’t work either practically, or theoretically. But she’d always had a hard time saying no to people, especially the ones in the fancy computation-hats of the lead Ops team. Ye Gods, she wanted one of those hats so bad.

She wished her mother was still here, not a kiloserver sectors distant. She could have gotten her out of this mess. Hell, if v5 was still around she probably could have gotten this mess to work! She played by the old rules, the ones from back before the BIG patches.

Delthani wanted to cry, but she couldn’t. The cauldron was sucking all the moisture out of everything. Hydroscopic little shit that it was. She supposed she should clean this all up and try again. She stood up and went to fetch the tungsten pail of bit-quench from the shelf. Next to it sat a slim vial, no bigger than megabyte ampoule, glimmering purple and iridescent in the cauldron-light.

Where had she gotten than from again?

It had been a gift from that mad, old net-hag in the exchange burrows. She’d promised that it was “the total antithesis of a problem.” Delthani had mostly taken it just so that it would keep the old hag happy. She was a nice sort, and exchanged old ero-chat logs for pastries and calculation off-cuts.

“Well maybe just a soupçon. A cheeky little dash. What’s the worst that could happen?”

As in trickled in the cauldron flashed hard red: boot failure. But before she could curse, it flashed pale blue and held. The status feed flashed.

# Compile Complete #

“Well bugger me…”

High Adventure

I spent this weekend in the wilds of deepest, darkest Essex. A place which I like to think of as more or less perfectly fitting the bill of the anti-north. I was renewing acquaintances with an old friend of mine. There had been a forecast of snow, but when Saturday morning finally rolled around I did not expect to find it lying so thick and heavy. All plans to go or to do were abandoned as we found ourselves housebound. Not so much due to an inability to leave the house, but through the plain common sense that perhaps driving anywhere that day might not actually be very near the top of a list titled “Clever Things To Do.” Gravitating to the kitchen, as all right-thinking folk do, we quickly found ourselves embroiled in a tale of high adventure, with epic quests and feats of daring do as we set out the reshape the world with our deeds.

The Atlantean Kingdoms

Behold! The Hinterlands of the Atlantean Kingdoms

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The Power of Words

Long ago, in the far distant days of February when my blog airship set out from its moorings in the suburbs of Nottingham, I picked a name for it. That name, as the more astute of you will have surmised, (hint, it’s the REALLY big writing at the top of the page) was The Rogue Verbumancer. It’s a name I quite like. The mancer is taken from the general term for wizard, magician or person of great skill that seems to crop up more or less everywhere. From the grim, grizzly and slightly shady world of the necromancer; the reckless self-endangerment of the pyromancer; or the drug fuelled cyber-haze of the neuromancer. As a suffix it’s been about, the whore that it is. The Verbu, or more accurately Verbum (I ditched the m, two of them seemed redundant from a phonetic perspective) is the Latin word for word, or so the internet would have me believe. Even as a supposedly dead language Latin still gets about. I liked how Verbumancer implied a sort of wizardry with words. The rogue was added to signify that I didn’t play by the rules, I didn’t take orders from nobody or that simply, I wasn’t very good. It was also preferable to lacunamancer, because it sounded better and wouldn’t have people associating me with Lacuna Coil or that song from the Lion King.  Continue reading

The End of the Beginning

I’ve always been told that a story must have three parts: A beginning, a middle and an end. I left my last post on a bit of a cliff-hanger. With Máel Coluim discovering that the man he’d rescued was quite some way from home. I left the beginning unfinished, and if you leave a part of the story unfinished then you’re just left with some words that don’t really make a whole lot of sense. Of course you can sub-divide each of these parts along the same lines. Last week I gave you the beginning of the beginning and a bit of the middle of the beginning. Today I give you the rest of the middle of the beginning and the end of the beginning. 

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