Dr Gnome part 4

Here’s today’s part of “Dr Gnome” sorry for another short part, but it is the last part of chapter 4. Tomorrows piece will be longer.

Enjoy

***

After covertly making sure that Alchemy reached The Lady’s Pleasure safely, Gavin Whitehawk returned to the narrow road where the trolls attacked his friend. He’d arrived too late to aid in the fight, but it looked like Alchemy handled himself well enough. Gavin felt a moment of pride, peering through the bushes as his friend finished off the last Troll. He’d spent years teaching the young wizard the arts of fighting, having explained to him time and time again that magic wasn’t always the answer. It took several of their friends spending time tormenting, the then apprentice mage, before he finally agreed to let them teach him how to fight with his body as well as his magic. Gavin had been his main instructor up until a couple of months ago when the warrior was recruited by K for the Fragrance Guild. Working as a field agent for the guild was a lot more fun than the occasional city guard duty that he was used to, a lot more dangerous too. The gnomes were determined to undermine the idea of free commerce, a natural environment and good craftsmanship with their mechanized mass production plans.

Gavin found the exploding rod the goblin had tried to use on Alchemy. The steel tube with its sighting scope on top and wooden handle was definitely gnome-made. He was surprised that Alchemy had left the device laying there next to where the carriage fell. Searching the area of the fight, paying close attention to the spot where the carriage had crashed, Gavin tried to find any clues that might have been dropped. The ground was thoroughly trampled, but noting caught his attention.

Hoof beats, coming his way, made him pause. He ducked back into the bushes along the roadside. Two goblins on short shaggy ponies trotted up from the other end of the road.

“Looks like they had an accident here,” one of the goblins dressed in a brown jacket and tattered pants said.

“But where is Razi, or the trolls we hired?” the other one asked, getting off his mount to inspect the ground.

“Over here!” the first one hollered. He knelt down on the ground where Gavin had seen the previous goblin die.

“What’d you find?” the second goblin asked coming over.

“Does that look like a bit of goblin flesh to you?” the first one asked, lifting a small green chunk.

“Maybe burned by Manticore venom,” the second one yanked it away.

“Well Kojo, it looks like the three assassins are now only two. We will find this elf, and avenge our fallen brother. The boss wants him dead, he just made it personal.” The first goblin sneered.

“Alake, we still have to tell the boss.” Kojo slid the piece of flesh into a pocket of his battered blue pants.

“Then let’s go tell the boss. I wonder what became of those trolls we hired?” Alake asked.

“If the elf got to Razi, then those trolls better have been dead first, if not, they failed our brother, and they will die by our hands.” Kojo growled as he snatched up the reins of his pony.

Gavin slid out of the bushes as he watched the goblins ride off. He whistled for his mount, that he’d left ground tied on the main avenue. Martin, the griffon, with head of a golden eagle and the rear of a lion ran to him. “Where to boss?”

“We need to follow those goblins, but keep back so they don’t spot us,” Gavin replied swinging into the saddle that straddled the beast’s shoulders.

“No problem.” The griffon launched himself into the air, climbing almost vertically to get far enough into the sky that the goblins wouldn’t be able to see him.

“So what’s up with these guys?” Martin asked as they flew slowly across the sky.

“Not sure yet, other than I think they work for someone. They did hire the trolls that attacked Alchemy. We’ll just follow for a bit and see where they end up.”

Dr Gnome part 3

So tonight just got half a chapter (more or less) done. Trying to get everything finished in time for the writers group tomorrow night. Will get tomorrow’s part up before heading the writers group.

4

At nearly noon, Alchemy Pong drove the carriage up to the front doors of The Lady’s Pleasure. The bellman, a small troll in a dashing grey suit, stepped up to the carriage. Alchemy jumped down. “I’m not sure where you folks throw trash around here. If you would please find somewhere to put this I would appreciate it. Also if you could see to the horses, the ones behind need mending then see them to the local orphanage.”

“Very well m’lord,” the bellman stammered, staring at the three dead trolls and the dead goblin in the back seat of the carriage.

Alchemy reached in and grabbed the small chest. “If you could please take my bags to my room as well.”

“And the name sir?”

“Pond, Alchemy Pond.” Alchemy turned and walked into the resort to locate Mister Sellingford.

***

“Master Pond, I’m so happy to see that you made it safely,” Sellingford said as he closed the door to his office. The resort manager appeared to be a half breed of some kind. Alchemy spotted the tale tale ears of elf blood, but the short curly red hair spoke of brownie genes, recently in his family tree. The man was only slightly shorter than Alchemy, with a graceful way of moving, more like a dancer than a resort manager.

“Oh, there were a few bumps in the road, but nothing I couldn’t handle,” Alchemy smiled as he set the chest down in a chair near the man’s desk.

“I hope you don’t mind, I took the liberty of arranging our lunch in here,” Sellingford gestured to the small table that was laid out with lunch. “It is a bit more private.”

“Private is good.”

Sellingford walked over to the table. “Then, please have a seat. I’d have you know that I am head of the Buteamore secret police, the hotel manager is just my cover.”

“So has any progress been made in finding Hydd Berryman?” Alchemy asked pulling out his chair.

“So far, none. I have the local constabulary working on it, but they haven’t found anything that would be of any use,” Sellingford settled at the table opposite Alchemy. “We checked the house he rented on the edge of town. There are signs of struggle, and his secretary Miss Willowstaff is missing. It appears that there was more than one assailant on Miss Willowstaff.”

Alchemy picked up a large piece of dragon fruit and bit into it. Juice ran down his dimpled chin, but the fruit was sweet. “Who were the last people to see Berryman?” he asked, whipping the juice off his chin.

“Berryman was part of my afternoon gaming friends. We get together every afternoon for either cards or dice. The last time I saw him he’d just lost a round of black nave to Major Havestan. So other than myself, there was Major Havestan of the troll army, and Professor Drys.”

Alchemy finished off the fruit. “So what is Drys a professor of?”

“His field is ancient magical culture,” the police officer replied.

“And what’s he doing here in Buteamore?” Alchemy picked up another piece of fruit.

“There are several ancient cities that have recently been discovered in the jungles around the valley. He’s investigating them.”

The wizard set the fruit down on his plate without biting into it. “And he still has time for games in the afternoon?”

Sellingford looked thoughtful. “I never thought about that. I just assumed he had assistants or something, that worked when he wasn’t around.”

Alchemy shook his head. “He might, but most research mages, especially ones that research ancient magics, tend to be very tight about their research. I doubt he’d let anyone into the sites before he gleamed all the information he could out of them. If they’re really ancient sites and not something more”

Sellingford set his salad fork down. “I hadn’t thought of that.”

“When can you arrange a meeting for myself , the major and the professor?” Alchemy picked the fruit back up.

“We all have a drink after dinner in the bar here.” Sellingford said. “I suppose I could introduce you then.”

“That’d work nicely,” the wizard said. “Now I’d like to go over to Berryman’s place and look around.”

“I’ll summon the chief constable to escort you. We are still in control of the site until we find out what happened to Berryman and Willowstaff.”

“Very good.” Alchemy replied catching the bit of juice running down his chin before it dripped onto his blue silk shirt.

***

Dr Gnome part 2

Today we bring you the second part of Dr. Gnome.

Let me know what you think. Remember this hasn’t been through my editor yet, but it will be before going to press.

3

Gavin Whitehawk sighed as he watched over the incoming portal terminal of Buteamore. A popular hunting and resort area, the portal terminal stayed fairly busy with folks coming from all over the world, and several other dimensions to enjoy what the valley offered. His last communication from K, Delfinia actually said Alchemy should’ve already arrived. Gavin’d waited several hours, watching the portals from the balcony above the terminal floor. He was on the lookout for both his friend and anyone else who might be waiting for the young agent of the Fragrance Guild. He’d already spotted a couple of different people who could’ve been trouble. One goblin female moved around the terminal using a magical box to capture images of people as they came through the various portals to the wonders of Buteamore. From what Gavin could tell, she’d managed to sell several images to travelers. He tried to recall if she’d been in the terminal when he arrived over a week ago.

A portal shimmered and Alchemy Pond walked through. Gavin marveled at the changes in his friend. Gone was the clumsy, often bumbling apprentice wizard. Now a confident elf strode into the terminal. The thin leather jacket he wore better suited his average build than traditional wizard robes ever had. His brown hair was cut shorter than Gavin ever remembered seeing it. It worked well with the angles of the wizard’s face even if it did show off the point of his ears a bit much. Gavin bet the changes were Delfinia’s influence. The good right hand of K had taken a liking to Alchemy every since their first meeting.

The goblin woman with the magic box approached Alchemy with an image, and he waved her away. Gavin couldn’t tell what was said. Then he noticed a coachman approach his friend.

***

Razi Rutu watched as his sister Misha approached the elf. He looked younger than Razi had imagined, but then he had trouble telling age on elves, they lived so much longer than goblins and looked so different with their flawless skin and flowing hair of various colors. All goblins were green, different shades of green, but still green. The older a goblin got the more warts they had. It was easy to tell age on goblins.

The elf waved Misha off and approached the doors of the terminal. He only carried two medium sized bags, and had a small chest slung over his shoulder. Razi didn’t think he looked much like a wizard. He wore a leather jacket instead of wizard’s robes. Maybe this was the new fashion trend in Salemania, where the fiendish Fragrance Guild kept it headquarters.

Razi moved to intercept the young wizard.

***

A goblin woman waved some kind of image in front of his face. Alchemy pushed it away with a curt “No thank you.” He’d been in tourist areas before, but never one on the par with Buteamore. The entire valley, according to his scanning of the mission report Delfinia gave him before he left her office, was set up to accommodate resort travelers and hunters who came to the valley for its warm climate and hot springs. He supposed the goblin got a lot of business from first time porters, but it wasn’t anything new to him.

He glanced about and didn’t spot anyone he knew. Heading through the doors, he figured he’d summon a coach to take him to The Lady’s Pleasure. There were always coaches for hire around portal terminals.

A large goblin came running up to him as he cleared the entryway. “Master Pond?”

“Yes, I’m Pond,” Alchemy responded.

“Very good m’lord,” the goblin groveled. “I’ve been sent to see you to The Lady’s Pleasure.”

Alchemy paused. Neither K or Delfinia said anything about sending a carriage. Maybe it was part of the standard package with The Lady’s Pleasure. “Give me a moment. I think I left something inside.” He turned and walked back into the terminal.

As he expected, a row of mirrors sat waiting for use against the far wall. He walked over, and with a small spell rang the mirror for The Lady’s Pleasure. After a short pause the smoke cleared and the face of a lovely Brownie woman looked out at him. “The Lady’s Pleasure, may I help you.”

“Yes, I’m Alchemy Pond, I have a reservation there. Did you happen to send a carriage for me at the portal terminal?”

The brownie looked confused. “Let me check with our manager.” She disappeared.

Alchemy glanced around the terminal while he waited. The goblin woman with the magic box was talking with a troll couple that just walked through a portal.

“Mister Pond,” the brownie’s voice drew his attention back to the mirror. “Mister Sellingford says he did not send a coach to meet you, but if you like he can dispatch one that can be there within the hour.”

“No that’s not necessary.” Alchemy moved to dismiss the mirror spell.

“Mister Pond,” the resort worker interrupted his movement. “Mister Sellingford did ask that you dine with him for lunch.”

Alchemy nodded. “Tell him I’ll be there.” Then he dismissed the spell.

The young wizard turned and walked back to where the goblin waited for him. “Why don’t we set the baggage in the back?” he handed a bag to the goblin then followed him to the waiting carriage.

“Very good sir,” the goblin replied with a pleased look on his green features.

Alchemy put his other bag on the back of the carriage, but kept the small chest with him. He didn’t feel comfortable with the unknown goblin, and putting the chest with the rest of his baggage was too risky. Maybe this goblin was going to take him to someone who knew something, or maybe he had been sent to eliminate him. Either way he wanted to keep the chest close.

“So what brought you to Buteamore?” the goblin asked as he chuckled to the brown horse to get him moving.

“A friend of mine told me about some good hunting here,” Alchemy responded. “He’s meeting me at The Lady’s Pleasure. We’re supposed to be hunting…what do you call those giant lizards in the forest around here?”

“Not dragons m’lord.”

“No, not dragons, these are primitive lizards.”

“Ah, you mean the thundersaurs sir.” The goblin flipped his whip to get the horse moving a bit faster.

“That’s what he called them thundersaurs.” Alchemy noticed three black riders pull out onto the road behind them. Their build said trolls, but with the black hooded robes they wore, it was impossible for him to be certain.

“Thundersaurs are extremely cunning m’lord.” The goblin continued, but he glanced back at the sounds of the hooves behind them.

“Yes, that’s what my friend said very cunning indeed. That’s what makes them such worthy prey.” Alchemy pulled out his wand. He spotted a road intersecting theirs. He tapped the goblin on the shoulder with his wand. The new wand felt heavy and awkward in his hand. “Please turn there.”

“But that isn’t the way to The Lady’s Pleasure m’lord,” the goblin objected.

“Perhaps I wish to see part of the valley before my arrival,” Alchemy countered as the goblin pulled the reins to turn the horses.

The carriage lurched a bit as it moved onto the lesser traveled road. The black riders made the turn with them and pulled out swords as they cleared the main avenue.

Alchemy pointed the wand in front of the horse. “Brickus!” he shouted.

The horse must have sensed the invisible wall that appeared there, but in its frantic high speed turn managed to flip the carriage and itself over.

***

Razi Rutu scrambled to stay on top of the carriage, and Alchemy Pond did the same. The goblin wondered how much the elf had already figured out. The boss provided them with only sketchy information on the man. But he’d heard that the Fragrance Guild doesn’t employ fools. Hopefully the trolls he hired to intercept them would be enough to overcome the wizard. If not, Razi scrambled for his exploding rod, hidden under the seat of the Carriage.

***

Alchemy pulled out his short sword and held it defensively as he readied his next spell. The black cloaked riders circled the fallen carriage. One charged forward swinging his sword at the wizard. Alchemy jumped over the swing.

“Burn!” he shouted with a flick of his wand. A huge fireball shot out of the wand. He was impressed. It was bigger than anything he’d fired before. The fireball slammed into the black rider knocking him from his horse. The robe’s heavy black fabric blazed up, engulfing the struggling troll. Alchemy caught a flash of splotchy brown skin before the troll quit moving and the fire consumed him.

“Elf must die!” another troll shouted and ran his horse right for the downed carriage that Alchemy stood on.

The wizard flicked his wand again. “Clank!”

Heavy chains appeared around the charging troll. The extra weigh collapsed the small horse he rode, but the animal’s momentum threw the bound troll awkwardly at Alchemy.

Alchemy leapt off the carriage, right into the path of the last mounted troll. The troll kicked his horse faster, aiming the beast at the elf now standing in its path. The wizard jumped aside, but the horse clipped him knocking his wand from his hand. Alchemy stood his ground instead of trying to find the wand. He knew enough swordplay to beat a troll. But he wasn’t that good against mounted foes.

The troll circled around again and aimed his horse right at Alchemy. Alchemy waited until the last second then moved out of the way, moving to the left of the horse, since the troll had his massive sword held in his right hand. He struck awkwardly at the troll’s midsection. The troll managed to get a hand down to block the lethal blow. The wizard’s sword severed the troll’s hand. The troll screamed and swung the stump of his arm down at the elf. Alchemy parried the blow with his sword as the troll’s horse stumbled over the carriage horse trying to get back to its feet.

***

The goblin found his exploding rod still strapped under the carriage seat where he left it. The carriage rocked as the horse tried to right itself. Razi saw the elf swing his sword and cut off the troll’s hand. The writhing brown thing flew at the goblin, and he blocked it with the rod. He had to get clear of the carriage. He scrambled around to the far side where the other two trolls lay dead. The first one just a charred pile of flaming ooze, and the second one, still bound in the magical chains lay with his neck broken next to the back wheels of the upset carriage.

This elf is good. But I’m the best assassin in the valley.” He watched as Pond launched himself onto the rump of the last troll’s horse, and drove his sword into the thug’s back.

Razi followed the elf with the rod as he jumped down off the horse, picked up his wand and walked around the upturned carriage. “Not so fast, Mister Pond.”

***

Alchemy wasn’t surprised when he saw the goblin holding some kind of rod at him. He’d seen several rods like it back at FG HQ. RD was still trying to figure out how they worked. They weren’t magical, but mechanical, something about some kind of chemical explosion. They were very loud and very dangerous. He wasn’t sure he wanted to be on the receiving end of one of the projectiles they fired.

The elf wizard smiled. “Your friends weren’t very good. I barely worked up a sweat, and you think you can take me with that? I bet it doesn’t even Burn!” He flicked his wand. Another fireball shot out its end, just as the rod exploded.

The fireball and the projectile met each other in the air between the goblin and the elf. As they met, the two exploded. The force of the blast knocked the goblin down. Alchemy remained standing only because he grabbed hold of the carriage wheel before the concussion hit him.

Alchemy walked over to the fallen goblin. He picked up the little green man. “Who are you working for?”

The goblin shook his head and bit down on something in his mouth. A foul stench, stronger than the goblin’s own natural body odor, came out of his mouth. Alchemy dropped him as his head began to dissolve. Manticore venom dripped down from the goblin’s dissolving face. The elf wizard sighed. It would’ve been nice to get some information out of somebody. Whoever was behind this caused a lot of fear in his henchmen. Alchemy wondered who it could be.

Dr Gnome part 1

Here is the first part of Dr. Gnome, 2 short chapters,about 2000 words. Now this has not gone through my editor, it will go through her once the book is finished. I am going to put up 1000-2000 (or more) words a day until I finish the book. If you like this and would like to contribute to the fund to have a professional cover done for the book, please use the paypal link on the right side panel. I hope you enjoy and look forward to part 2 tomorrow.

Dr Gnome

By

A.M. Burns

1

Three goblins, Alake, Kojo and Razi Rutu tapped their white canes along the narrow avenues of Buteamore. Razi sighed as they walked. Beneath the sheer white gauze covering them, his keen eyes kept watch for anything out of the ordinary. They had their orders. They must carry out the boss’s plan. No one must be the wiser. Too many people nosed about where they shouldn’t. It was time to cut some of the noses off. The brothers were the best assassins in the valley. No one ever suspected the three blind helpless goblins.

***

“Well played my friends,” Hydd Berryman said, laying his cards down on the table. The tall slender elf ran a hand through immaculate blond hair. “But I’m afraid you must play the next hand without me. My wife’s expecting me in a few minutes.”

“You know, she keeps you on a very short leash,” Professor Drystan said. A smile crossed his angular Elven face.

“Nonsense, they’re still young and in love,” Major Havenstan, the former troll army commander replied with a gruff laugh.

Berryman joined in the laugh. “I shall return after dinner, then we can have another round, perhaps I will win this one.”

“You can try Hydd, you can try,” the major chuckled.

***

Horses nickered as the goblins walked past. Razi Rutu wished the beast would remain silent. They edged around the carriages, carts and horses waiting out front of the Lady’s Pleasure, an exclusive club in the middle of Buteamore. The upper crust of valley society and their friends rarely paid any head to the comings and goings of the likes of three blind goblins. The area was empty accept for the horses. Razi made sure to keep his tin cup held up as he tapped his way across the carriage yard in front of the club.

The front door of the club opened and a tall elegant elf walked out, heading toward a horse not far from Razi. The goblin recognized the elf from the image sent to him and his brothers. This was their first target, right on schedule.

***

Hydd Berryman walked out of The Lady’s Pleasure. He spotted his horse standing there waiting patiently for him. Three blind goblins tapped their way across the carriage yard. It always amazed him how handicapped people of all races managed to get around as well as they did. He reached into his coin purse and dug out a piece of copper. He dropped it into the cup of the first goblin who continued on past him with just a short “Thank you m’lord.”

Two steps later, Hydd wondered how the goblin had known he was a lord. He turned back toward the blind goblin, just in time to have the smaller creature swing its white staff into his stomach. The elf doubled over in pain as green knuckles laced with heavy metal cracked him in the nose. Hydd Berryman went down.

***

Kojo Rutu pulled the short knife out of the base of the elf’s skull. Hoof beats sounded from the narrow avenue they’d just come down.

“Get him up,” Razi ordered “Here comes our ride.”

Seconds later a small wagon driven by another goblin, and drawn by a heavily- lathered large black horse pulled into the carriage yard. The three brothers hefted the dead elf into the back of the wagon, threw a tattered blanket over him before piling in on top of the corpse. Razi tapped the driver on the shoulder . With a crack of the whip, the driver drove the horse out of the carriage yard at a fast trot.

***

Sarff Willowstaff uncovered the simple wooden-framed silver mirror on the wall. Long delicate Elvin fingers tapped the frame three times. Then she waited for the face to appear. In a swirl of mist, the mirror connected with it twin back at Fragrance Guild headquarters.

“Willowstaff are you there?” A voice came from the mirror.

“Willowstaff here, but Berryman isn’t back yet,” the elf replied.

“Go ahead and give your report Willowstaff.”

Something moved outside the window. Willowstaff turned and saw a squat green face with large ears looking in at her, a large metallic tube leveled at her beyond the thin glass of the window. In the next room a window crashed just as the metallic tube shook, smoke poured forth and the window before her exploded in a shower of glass. The elf screamed as something slammed into her chest, throwing her across the room.

***

Razi Rutu jumped through the shattered glass and landed on the plush carpet.

“Willowstaff report!” the voice from the mirror shouted.

The goblin walked over and pulled the cover back over the mirror as his brother Kojo walked over to the fallen Elven female and plunged his dagger deep into her small breast. Razi held a finger to his lips to remind his brother to be silent. They didn’t want their voices to carry through the magic mirror back to Fragrance Guild HQ.

Luckily the elf woman was lighter than the man had been. The two goblins picked her up and carried her out to the waiting cart while their brother Alake proceeded to go through the small house. Their boss had told them to search for anything that might lead the Elves to him.

Minutes later the goblins loaded back into the cart and drove off down the small valley.

***

“Willowstaff report!” field liaison Greenbriar shouted into the mirror.

“Greenbriar, what’s going on?” liaison coordinator Falcon asked coming over to his cubicle.

The younger elf stood up, and nervously ran a hand through his long brown hair. “Agent Willowstaff had just opened a connection when she was cut off. I heard a loud boom and glass breaking. Also Agent Berryman had not arrived in time for their daily check in.”

The senior officer nodded. “I’ll inform K about this. She’ll want to get someone out there quickly.”

2

Patrons filled the Tiny Hinny Wine and Whorehouse for the annual gaming tournament. People of all sorts pushed their way into the normally spacious main floor of the bar trying to play or observe the games in progress. The clamor in the place made it impossible for anyone to hear much beyond the area around the particular table that held their attention. Each table had its own sound dampening spells to allow the table’s dealer and players to hear each other without strain.

At one table, several Elves and a Vixen bent over cards in their hand. A large pile of chips sat in the center of the table.

“I fold,” the Vixen muttered laying her cards on the green table. She glared down her muzzle at the young Elf sitting across from her.

“Too much for me,” one of the other Elves said also laying his cards on the table.

“Well?” the young Elf asked the beautiful woman across from him.

The Elf woman took a long deep breath, heaving her tight chest. She peered at the man across from her, then looked at the dealer. “May I raise? I’m good for it.”

The dealer looked at the other player. “Does my lord wish to raise?”

The younger Elf nodded his perfectly-groomed brown head. “I don’t care if she raises or not.”

The woman pushed the rest of her chips to the center of the table with a predatory smile. “I’ll raise then, an additional one thousand gold crowns.”

The area around the table hissed into silence. Before he could respond, the young Elf startled at the tap on his shoulder. Madame Yvette Tiny, proprietress of the Tiny Hinny stood there. “Alchemy, you’re needed in the office.”

“K has the worst timing. Winning this hand would put her in just the right mood for me. I wonder if I can bill her for the loss.” The young Elf sighed and laid his cards down on the table. “I am afraid duty calls my lady. The game is yours.” He rose and headed toward the door with a wink across the table.

***

“Alchemy, where have you been?” Delfinia Dove asked as he walked into her office below Lady Kamala’s Fragrance Fantasimy.

Alchemy tossed his cloak across the room. It landed lightly on the cloak rack. He smiled at the first assistant to the head of the Fragrance Guild. “Off at the games. You remember the annual tournament was today? I thought you were going to come watch me play.”

“Sorry Alchemy, some of us have to keep regular hours. K’s waiting for you.”

“Pond! Get in here!” the voice of K, also known as Lady Kamala, rolled from her office into Delfinia’s.

“Maybe you can watch me tonight?” Alchemy smiled as he walked toward his boss’s office.

Not a speck of dust lay anywhere in K’s office. She wouldn’t allow it. The mistress of the Fragrance Guild ran a tight ship, and Alchemy Pond knew it. She could be a tough mistress, but she got things done. The elegant elf sat behind a massive ironwood desk. Her long black hair spilled down around her delicate shoulders. Her sharp green eyes flashed as Alchemy walked in. “What kept you Pond?”

“I left as soon as Madame Yvette delivered your message.” Alchemy sat in one of the cushioned leather chairs in front of her desk. He knew better than to argue with K.

“I need you to go to Buteamore immediately. We’ve lost contact with our agents there,” K began without further preamble.

“What’s going on in Buteamore?” Alchemy relaxed in the chair.

“That’s what I need you to find out. The valley isn’t far from where the human’s are working on developing a new communications system using specially breed firebirds. They’re much faster than either pigeons or pixdragons. The problem is there is some kind of field coming from near Buteamore that’s interfering with the firebirds. The humans asked for our help. We suspect the gnomes are behind it. Agents Willowstaff and Berryman were working on trying to find out what’s causing the problem. Willowstaff was cut off in the middle or a report via mirror and Berryman never made his report that same day.”

Alchemy leaned forward intrigued. He’d heard the human’s were working on some new messaging system, but it was all very top secret. “So who else do we have in the field in that area?”

“Gavin Whitehawk has been working with the humans for a couple of weeks. He’ll contact you when you arrive. You have a room reserved at the Lady’s Pleasure.”

A door opened and a stout older Elven mage in long grey robes walked in. “Ah, I see that Pond is still here,” he smiled

“RD, what do you have?” K asked.

The old mage walked over to the desk. “Mister Pond, let me see your wand.”

Alchemy pulled his wand out of the pocket in his thin leather jacket and handed it to the guild’s senior research and development man. RD looked at the wand and shook his grey head. “Just as I remembered, this birch sapling is great for an apprentice wizard, but you’re now a top agent for the Fragrance Guild, honestly Pond, you need something a bit more substantial.”

Alchemy looked sharply at the old mage. “Now RD, you know I don’t have any problems with my wand, or at least none that I’ve been told about.”

“Pond!” K snapped. “I must insist that you carry a stronger wand. RD brought the new standard issue for field agents.” She gestured to the man.

The old mage laid the wand on K’s desk before pulling a long wooden box from his robe and extracted a long dark wand. “Ironwood, thicker and slightly longer than what you’re used to carrying” he tapped the wand lightly on K’s desk before handing it to Alchemy.

Alchemy waved it around. “A bit heavier than I’m used to.”

“Get used to it. You’ll find it more useful than the little thing you’ve been wielding.” K said snatching the old wand before he could reclaim it. “Now you’re going to travel by gate. There’s one up at the castle that will take you to Buteamore. I need you there as soon as possible.”

Alchemy watched his old wand disappear into the desk with a sigh. He’d learned a lot over the past twenty years with that wand. He hated the thought that it might be gone forever. Maybe Delphinia could reclaim it for him if he asked her nicely.

“I’ll be there.” He turned and walked toward the outer office.

“And Pond, don’t dilly dally. The humans have a new batch of firebirds due to hatch any day now. We need this resolved quickly,” K called after him.

 

Coyote’s Pup unleashed

Well after a lot of hard work by myself as well as my editor Laura, we got “Coyote’s Pup” ready to be turned out into the world. I am really pleased with how it turned out and am hoping my fans will be too.
Now I am getting the finishing touches on “Blood Moon Yellow Sky” so it can go off to Laura. Hopefully it will be ready for the world about the first of next month. Tall and Alex are ready for longer adventures.