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Authors: Dara Joy

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Death by Ploot Ploot

BOOK: Death by Ploot Ploot
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DEAT H
BY
PLOOT PLOOT!

Dara
Joy

 

“I
wanted to make it really special on Valentine's day, so
I tied my boyfriend up.

And
for three solid hours I watched whatever I wanted
on TV.”

- Tracy Smith

 

Lorgin ta'al Krue sat at
the table of his old mentor, Yaniff.

The venerable wizard,
relaxed by all outward appearances, prepared to listen to his favorite of all
students as he always did. With intent.

Krue’s eldest son never
came to him with unnecessary concerns. He was ever focused and serious when it
came to matters of the Charl. Lorgin was the only student he had ever had who never
wavered.

It was a pity he was not
the one.

The elderly wizard had
that thought on a few occasions . . .

Well,
one could not choose these sorts of things,
no matter the outcome. He sighed
deeply as his gaze traveled to the other person in the room.
Facing the fireplace, a Familiar sat draped
across his
floor like a living rug.
Rejar
.

Lorgin's youngest
brother.

In truth, this was his
most difficult of all students!

As if to give credence to
the wizard’s ruminations, the half-Aviaran, half-Familiar's head bobbed forward
as he fell into a nap while attempting his meditation lesson.

Yaniff
sighed again.

The
lad was trying . . . but he was not completely
focused on his compressed studies. It was
difficult. Since he had unlocked his Charl ability, Rejar had much catching up
to do. The Familiar people were by nature capricious and Rejar was no
exception.
Krue’s youngest son seemed to
inherit the strongest traits from both sides– and the strongest capabilities
as
well.

From his Charl father, a
potential for being fierce in battle; from his Familiar mother, a mischievous,
playful nature. On the one hand, Rejar could be deadly; on
the other hand, his sensual nature preferred loving
to battle. A troublesome dichotomy.

Worse, the lad did not
seem terribly
interested
in wielding the forces of magick.

And this vexed Yaniff.

More often than not, the
lad was contemplating passionate matters! Yaniff was too wise a mystic to fool himself
into thinking that dusty tomes of arcane wizardry could ever compete with
Lilac’s charms. Rejar’s realization of his power had been a start but it was
not enough.

No,
Yaniff knew he needed to find something . . .
something more to kindle him . . .

The crafty wizard
pondered the problem.

Despite Rejar’s mixed
blood, he still exhibited
the swiftest
reflexes and sharpest senses– almost on
a par with the King of all
Familiar himself, taj Gian. But there was more. Contrary to wide held beliefs,
the Charl mystic bloodline was actually
stronger
within the half breed.

Rejar held within him an
immense power.

And it was up to Yaniff
to guide and foster that power accordingly.

As he watched his
student, Rejar gave up all pretense of holding a meditating position and
flopped forward straight onto the wooden floor. Like most Familiars (and the
cats they emulated), it bothered the lad not one whit. Comfortable by the cozy
fire, he curled into a better position for himself and drifted off into a deep
sleep.

Yaniff's nostrils flared
with annoyance.

He was tempted to bang
his staff on the floor to wake the rapscallion up. No other acolyte on the
entire planet would
dare
do such a thing in front of
a high-level mystic, let alone one’s master!

Still fast asleep, Rejar
lifted a forefinger and
attempted to turn a
page on the
Book of Legends
housed across the room. A book that
had nothing whatsoever to do with his studies!

Yaniff harrumphed. No
doubt the adventurous tales and illustrations were more to his liking then his
present task. Or else the imp was subtly goading him regarding his forth-coming
‘greatness’– which he had made plain to the revered wizard he simply did not
believe.

Rejar’s hand listed to
the side and the
Book of
Legends
began flapping about the room.

The old mage’s lips
twitched as the humor of the scene got the better of him. No matter how hard he
tried, no matter how irritated he became with Rejar’s lack of decorum, he could
not deny that the lad amused him.

Truthfully, he was most
fond of Krue’s youngest son.

Which was why he had
always been indulgent with him.

Although he was sure
Rejar did not view it that way– He still occasionally referred to his Charl
master as 'old man'. As if he could marginalize a powerful wizard such as he
with these labels!

Mayhap
it is a defense for him? Mayhap he always
sensed my importance
in his life . . .
He scratched his
chin.

Possibly.

He would think on it
more later, right now his other student needed him. He turned his attention
back to Lorgin, who had been patiently waiting to speak to him.

"What is on your
mind, Lorgin?" The flapping book nearly struck the wizard on the head
before it careened off the stone fireplace.

Lorgin's brow furrowed
as he thought of a way to put his current disquiet into words. "This is
difficult to describe, but of late, Yaniff, I have found myself somewhat . . .
ah,
flammable
.”

A snort came from the
direction of the floor.

Perhaps
the younger brother is not so asleep.

Yaniff threw the
Familiar a disgruntled look, and then addressed his older brother. “What mean
you by flammable?” Lorgin was at the peak of his virility; he also had a fine
wife. What could he be speaking of? Eyes wide, the old man thought he figured
it out.
Ah, that.
He leaned forward and whispered, “Are you speaking of
erotic desires?"

Lorgin's cheekbones
bronzed slightly; that was not a subject Charl knights would generally discuss.
Nor was it in any way a problem for him. In fact, he feared he often wore his
wife out.

Yaniff viewed his
student thoughtfully, his left hand stroking Bojo's head. The winged companion
had landed on his shoulder earlier in the day and had remained there. Bojo did
this every morning–
as soon as Rejar began
his daily meditation lessons.
This routine had begun a few weeks back
when the Familiar lost focus and had inadvertently set poor Bojo's crest afire.

Apprentices were
occasionally risky commodities for companions.

Since that time, Bojo
had been a leery of Rejar's lessons. The companion constantly watched the Familiar
with a jaundiced eye. Ah well, the poor beastie still sported a singed area on
the top of its nubbin head. It would be several weeks before the feathered
crest fully grew back. At present only
three
scraggily feathers had sprouted.

Bojo looked constantly
startled.

The memory of the event
still made Yaniff chuckle; although he took great care not to let Bojo know.
Broody winged companions could become quite listless. The last thing he wanted
was a moping companion hanging off his shoulder, perpetually glum.

Lorgin threw his brother
a disgusted glance– but for a different reason than dear Bojo. He was about to
give Rejar ammunition. His capricious brother was sure to bring this incident
up again. And
again. Why did
he
have
to be here now?

The flapping book zoomed
past Lorgin’s nose and dive-bombed a pile of wood in the corner.

He sighed; then got to
the matter at hand. "At odd times of the day, Yaniff, I find myself on the
verge of
expecting
something . . .
My power seems to
surge in response, sometimes spiking before it calms
back down."

Instantly alert, Yaniff
sat forward.
This
he was not expecting. At least not now. "Tell me
more."

Lorgin rested his
muscular forearms on the tabletop. "My power seems elevated even when I
am not calling it forth. There is an . . .
excitement . . .
to it." His brow wrinkled. "And then there
is–"

"What?" Yaniff
was keenly interested in his next words.

"It is hard to
describe, as I have stated. A melding and fracturing within as if . . ."

A thought was sent to
both of them.

{As
if your powers were breaking apart and coming
together at the same
time.}

Both
men looked at Rejar who was still stretched
across the hearth with his
eyes closed.

Yaniff narrowed his eyes
at the Familiar, shocked that he had so easily lulled him, a seventh level
mystic, into thinking he had been in a benign mode. Not only had he remained
sharply acute in an altered state, but he had also pierced Lorgin's confusion
to reveal the truth.

Whether Rejar understood
that truth yet or not was another matter.

In time, these lessons
would catch up to his staggering natural abilities. Abilities that were
becoming more and more apparent with each day. One just needed the patience to
help him bring them forth and then
know
them.

Lorgin jerked his thumb
in the direction of the dead body on the floor. "He has the right of it.
It is as he says."

Yaniff nodded. "And
how do you feel when this unbidden ‘rising’ occurs?"

"Hmmm. I do not
feel as if I am controlling it precisely, but rather the feeling, whatever it
is, is controlling the experience. I do not like it much."

This was not surprising.
Lorgin was not one to relinquish control. He would fight anything he perceived
as wrestling control from him.

Such will denoted a
strong nature, but in this instance, he needed to allow it to happen. Yaniff
was confident this student would do so once he explained the situation to him.
Lorgin’s acute intelligence always successfully battled against his first
instincts. In that way he was very different from his brother; a Familiar lived
his life by instinct.

In fact, it was this
dichotomy that made these lessons so difficult for Rejar. He would think more
on that later as well.

"I have heard of
these afflictions before. It appears you are preparing to open a new level,
Lorgin."

Lorgin's eyebrows
arched. "A new level? In my wielding of magic?"

"Yes.
There are some who experience it in such a
way."

Lorgin was not
convinced. "I have not experienced this in the past when my powers arose.
Not even when I first sparked."

"This makes no
difference. The experience will change for you once you open yourself to it,
Lorgin. Do not fight it, as you have been doing. Allow the power to
align
with
you. Every level, as you know, is vastly different from the one before. There is
no telling in what order a facet will present itself to you."

"The type of power
is uncertain you mean?"

"Precisely. You may
be increasing the level of one of your known Powers of the Four; or–"

{You
may be preparing to jump to a new level
entirely, brother.}
Rejar sat up from the floor. "Is that
not right, Yaniff?"

Yaniff nodded, impressed
by the intuitive skills of the One who would one day wield the tenth power.
Like Lorgin, there was power within him waiting to come forth. Unlike Lorgin,
however,
his
power– when it bubbled and writhed completely to the
surface– would be untold.

It had already released
once and instantly vaporized an entire lake with but a glance from his blue and
gold eyes.

BOOK: Death by Ploot Ploot
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