Music of Legends of Windemere: Tribe of the Snow Tiger

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Last week was Delvin Cunningham’s story and now we have the one that focused on Timoran Wrath.  I’d always had Legends of Windemere: Tribe of the Snow Tiger planned out.  There were a few tweaks in the plot, but it was probably one of the more consistent ideas through all the changes.  I really enjoyed revealing Timoran’s secret and past here.  That didn’t really show up in song though.

Hate me if you want, but I couldn’t get away from this song.  Aside from being connected to the name of Timoran’s tribe, it really does suit him and the story.  There are rivalry’s and acts of survival throughout the story.  Some of it isn’t as action-packed as one would expect, but there is a battle to save a friend and to protect others.  You see a lot of people rising to the occasion and putting everything on the line including from the supporting cast.

This is a song I played for many of the Nyx/Trinity encounters.  It’s for obvious reasons since they were rivals and enemies.  This book has their biggest battle ever, which was so much fun to write.  I got to have both characters push their limits and go full beatdown on each other.  It was the fight that I wanted to build up to and it came off perfectly to me, so I wanted to give it a song.

Fairly self-explanatory here.  The story involves Timoran Wrath returning to his tribe and facing his past mistakes.  The only spoiler I can reveal about this is that he was an exile for a curious reason.  A song about going home and if one is able to seemed to make sense for him.

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#2 Post of 2020: Do You Avoid or Tackle Mental Health Issues in Fiction?

(Post originally published on April 6, 2020)

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I bring up mental health a lot here.  Usually, it’s in regards to the topic itself and not connecting it to writing.  Well, I’m going to switch that up here.  Wednesday and Friday are going to be some 7 Tip lists for depression and anxiety in fiction while today is going to be more of an open forum.  The question:

Do you think mental health issues should be avoided or tackled in fiction, especially genres like fantasy?

Personally, I think it depends on the author.  You can’t force someone to include a subject or trait that they aren’t comfortable with.  They might know enough about the mental issue to use it, which means research is needed.  It could also be that they are afraid of offending a sufferer with an incorrect depiction or to trigger something.  Since we are talking about a sensitive situation, it’s totally understandable that one would feel this way.  Honestly, I don’t think it’s fair to attack an author who tries and fails to depict a mental health issue even if they were being a jerk about it.  Respond with a rational criticism and try to educate if possible.

That also brings me to the other side of the spectrum that I’ve seen.  Some authors will take the more sensational version of a mental health issue for dramatic effect.  Anxiety-riddled heroes who can barely get out of the house.  Depressives who cry every time they speak and are covered in self-inflicted scars.  OCD is a term that is flung around so casually that it loses all meaning to some people.  Don’t even get me started on dissociative identity disorder, which used to be split personality disorder . . . Mostly because I’m still not 100% sure on how to work this one.  Anyway, these extremes can exist in reality, but they aren’t always the case.  To make it look like this is the only way it can go can be upsetting to those who suffer in a different way.  Especially when your depiction causes readers to expect those extremes in sufferers, so they doubt the words of anyone suffering in any other way.

This really is a delicate topic to add into your stories.  With fantasy, I think there are magical ways to cushion the blow or explain why it isn’t widespread.  Kind of a big cop out there, but it’s something.  At least with the more severe mental illnesses because you have psychics, casters, and healers out there.  One thing that is a dangerous tactic here is to use mental health issues as ‘curses’.  It’s pretty easy to do and comes off like a good idea when it’s in an outline stage.  The brave hero is sudden afflicted by anxiety or depression or a phobia or OCD or any number of things.  Yet, this can backfire and come off as insulting because it makes the conditions appear evil.  They’re not.

As I continue writing, I’m considering adding some mental health issues into my stories, but I’m still twitchy on trying.  There is going to be an addiction subplot in one book series, which stems from severe grief and depression.  I don’t know if this counts since it’s a deep sadness with a source and not a depression with no clear catalyst.  Anxiety is one that I might consider more because I have a better idea of that one.  I guess another reason for me personally is that I really want to maintain the escapism and heavy topics like this can shatter that illusion if you’re not careful.  They won’t be the main focus of a story, so they’ll be there as subplots or character traits.  This kind of prevents me from tackling the really heavy ones because those need a lot of attention and focus.

Anyway, what do you think about this topic?  Also, if anyone ever wants to write up a guest post on a specific mental health issue then feel free to ask for a spot.  Awkward request, but I feel like I’m limited in experience and knowledge here.

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Heraldry Basics

Any of you writing fantasy will appreciate Toni Šušnjar’s post on heraldry, shared on Mythic Scribes. The History of Heraldry As Toni explains, …

Heraldry Basics
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Pictures from the Father/Son Zoo Trip

Last Sunday’s funny animals picture went over really well.  I realized that I randomly put it on the same day that my son and I went to the Bronx Zoo.  That was a lot of fun and we got some really good pictures.  Sadly, the tigers didn’t want to come out and you can’t hang around certain areas like you used to.  We are pretty quickly forced out of the viewing area by the crowd.  Anyway, here are some good ones:

Baby bison in a winter coat

Bleeding Heart Pigeon

Hornbill

Dhole (My son’s favorite and we got to watch them play for a while.)

Peacock that got right next to me. Sadly, a bunch of kids chased the poor thing away soon after the picture.

Chinchilla (They’re usually asleep)

Giraffe having a snack

Gibbon (These guys don’t come out very often.)

Leopard (Took so long to get this picture because a guy kept running back and forth to taunt the poor thing. I was so tempted to trip him.)

Lion (This one and the third male that they had inside were arguing when we arrived.)

Brown bear (Every other picture I took was nothing, but bear butt. My son found that hilarious.)

Dwarf caiman (New face at the reptile house.)

Baby alligator (First time seeing one moving around near the glass.)

White Rhino having a snack

Komodo Dragon (Eyeing all the tasty children.)

Fossa (Another animal that we’d rarely seen awake. Only one time before and it didn’t give us any good picture opportunities.)

Little penguins (That’s really their name.)

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A Toast to the Weekend . . . Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Not sure if I mentioned this last weekend, but this week started midterms.  Not the whole week, but midway through and it continues through next week.  I work a lot in the Testing Center where kids go if they need extra time or want a quiet place.  Needless to say, things have been busy.  I actually feel asleep on Thursday before I wanted to be, which was around 9:30.  Had just enough energy and sense to turn off the light, charge my dying phone, and shut down the TV once I felt it coming.  Figured I’d be awake again by midnight, but I was out until my alarm went off.  So, you can tell that I didn’t get much else done.

Last weekend was all about getting time with my son.  Saturday was resting since I got the first Covid vaccine shot and my arm was sore.  Sunday was the big zoo trip that I’m sharing the best pictures with tomorrow.  A long day of walking around and running into peacocks.  One of them was very interested in my son’s lunch and he jokingly offered it to the bird, which almost took the opportunity.  The peacocks roam the zoo since they can’t be contained.  It’s a lot of fun to walk along and end up with one of them following along or coming around a corner.  The tigers were the only animals that didn’t come out, but there were a few that we don’t normally see moving around.

I wasn’t that bright on the trip though.  Walking around in rundown sneakers is bad enough, but I didn’t drink a lot of water.  This lead to me having pain in my lower back for a few days.  When this happens, I’ve either hurt my back, which sets off my IBS or vice versa.  Makes things really frustrating and awkward.  I still did my best to play with my son on Monday.  Since I needed to use the heating pad at times, we did indoor stuff.  Cartoons and video games mostly.  I’m not regretting that since the rest of the week was bonkers.  Definitely need this weekend to rest up for what’s next.  It should be fine . . . Right?

Do I Need to Use a Dragonis coming along fairly well.  I worked on a tough section Thursday, which brought me down to 24 sections to go.  My hope is to get 6 done this weekend and then 1/weekday except for Friday.  If I can do another 3 next Saturday then I only have 10 to go.  The project will be done by mid-February and then I’m going to tackle the next frightening project.  This would be outlining ‘Tales of the Slumberlord’.  I don’t know why I get twitchy about this.  Part of it might be that I keep doing short story outlines, so now I’m getting back into novel mode.  Last time I did a set of outlines for a series was . . . Geez, I was still married.  Well, it needed to happen eventually.  This isn’t something I can do at school either.  My goal will be to get the books outlined by spring and start writing in the summer.  I might edit War of Nytefall: Savagery one more time before doing that too.

Speaking of outlines, I really need to figure out what I’m putting in my next Idea Book since the current one is almost done.  The first one had most of my core series and connected books.  This one has all of the Sin related things.  I’m not really sure what to do next because everything else is kind of muddled.  Part of the issue is that I want to have related books with each other.  So, I’d put the dreaded Project Phoenix with all of the other former superhero things.  I really have to sit down and organize things.  I know I have a lot of stories/series that involve organizations and groups.  There are some random ones like a series where an alien bounty hunter lands on Windemere, which I still wonder if it’s a good idea.  I really want to use this character and her being an alien is essential.  I also want her to get involved with other characters.  Maybe I’ll make a post about the problematic ideas down the road.  Although, I think I’ve done that before.

Well, I’ve basically told everyone my plan for the week.  Television for me hasn’t been very exciting.  I finished one series called ‘Angel Links’, which was pretty good.  Then, I watched the new season of ‘Disenchantment’, which is a fantasy Matt Groening (Simpsons) show on Netflix.  Good story and comedy.  Now, I’m working on an anime called ‘The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya’.  It’s about a girl who can alter reality, doesn’t realize that she can, and the other characters are trying to make sure that she never figures it out.  That’s really basic and doesn’t even cover it.  I own it on DVD, but now I can see the second season too.  Figured I’d start from the beginning since it’s only 28 episodes together.

Goals of the week?

  1. Work and some play.
  2. Do I Need to Use a Dragon? progress.
  3. Sleep.
  4. Puzzle time . . . This one is tough.
  5. Prepare blog posts if I can’t do anything else.
  6. Maybe try to organize the ideas into Idea Books while I’m at work.
  7. Rue something.
  8. Fun outing next Friday.
  9. A few meetings.
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Who Do You Write For?

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This is a question that I ask a lot and see many people answering without hesitation.  At least it appears that way.  It’s hard to figure out for myself.  There’s always multiple factors that I think about.  The list can include:

  • Publish or Not
  • Career or Hobby
  • My sense of self-worth as an author
  • How other books are doing
  • Support of others when idea is presented
  • Can I maintain interest in the story
  • My main genre or experimental

All of this will help determine if I’m writing for myself or others.  Even then, I can never answer the question perfectly.  Maybe I’m in the middle?  As much as I write for myself, I truly want others to enjoy my stories.  I’ve said for a while that I wish I could get enough author success that it pays the bills and allows me to be a full-timer.  That means, I have to write for others and not only myself.  Yes, I have to enjoy what I’m doing because one can tell if the author isn’t really into it.  Still, I have yet to write anything that I want to keep to myself, so there is a part of me that is targeting an audience.

People come up with interesting solutions.  The one I could never do is writing what people are reading even if it’s not my area of interest.  This suggestion has been thrown my way since college.  Maybe I’m not a good enough author to be able to write any story, but it would come out empty.  The characters would be flat and I would simply be writing in the hopes of getting enough of a loyal base that I can write what I really want.  Yet, I still wouldn’t be able to guarantee that they’d stay when I jump.  You could start as romance to get a reputation and then your fans never support you when you finally jump to science fiction like you wanted.  Then, all of your writing for others instead of yourself has gone to waste.  Hate to say it, but readers are fickle these days.  Why take the risk?

Writing for myself only has the same issues.  This is what I keep running into with Bedlam stories.  I really enjoy writing these, but they never sell or garner much blog attention outside of the teasers.  So, this would be almost entirely to scratch my Rated-R itch, which some would say is good.  It takes away from the stories that I will really publish and hope others will read like War of Nytefall and Tales of the Slumberlord.  I have Ichabod Brooks too, but I haven’t decided if I want to send him to blog limbo or publish.  Seems whenever I post a full story on the blog, it’s basically there to stay, which makes sense.  People see those as freebies that I wrote for myself and they don’t take it seriously.

I think I’ll be fighting with this question until the day I die.  Being in the middle is probably where I fall and might stay there forever.  Maybe that’s the ideal for an author, but it means almost constant confusion.  You don’t always have the clearest sense of where you’re aiming.  Is this scene for yourself or your audience?  An editor and beta readers can help here, but that can see everything you personally enjoy is removed.  That turns your story into one written solely for others and kills the balance.  Yeah, I’m just going in circles here because I keep thinking of the pros and cons.  An endless, eternal loop that feeds doubt, anxiety, and despair.  Such is the life of an author.

Who do you write for?

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7 Tips On Writing Great Book Reviews

I love books and believe everyone should leave reviews of the books they read. Reviews help readers decide if a book is worth reading, they also help…

7 Tips On Writing Great Book Reviews

Excellent tips!

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Immortal Wars: Light, Blood, & Tears Part 2

(Disclaimer: A warning to those who continue.  This is a sequel to a previous story.  Both of these were written in the mid-1990’s.  While the first one was slightly edited and vanity press published, this one has not been touched in over 20 years.  I figure I should do something with it and people may get a laugh or fright from how I used to be.  Every author comes from somewhere, so this is part of my origin.  To that end, I am deeply sorry for whatever nightmares I will inflict on the literary world and the American English language.  Enjoy?)

PREVIOUS ENTRY CLICK HERE

The entire top floor of the Black Tower is a single room with minimal, but very bright, lighting.  There are windows around the walls, but they only show the vast darkness of deep space.  A large, metal table takes up a third of the room and several hover-chairs circle around it.  Seven of the chairs are occupied and their owners are slowly getting agitated and restless.

“Sorry I’m late.  I had to make these very special drinks from scratch.  Took longer than I had expected.  So, all of you had better like them.  So, did anybody miss me?” asks Adriana when she enters the room.  She immediately has a nearby robot hand out the glasses of potion while she takes a seat on her large throne.  This hovering throne is black as night and has two menacing dragon heads as the arms.

“Don’t worry.  Our aim is getting a lot better.  In a few weeks, we won’t be able to miss you if we tried,” remarks a red-haired man in a color changing jester outfit.  A young blond girl, wearing a black version of Adriana’s clothing, smacks the evil jester upside his blue-eyed head.  She has an almost primal look in her eye that reminds most people of a tigress.

“Thank you, Kilanus.  As for you, Tegam, behave yourself for this meeting.  My fuse is extremely short today,” mentions Adriana.  She watches everybody stare at and cautiously sniff at his or her drink.  Only the golden armored brute with his weird, albino eyes gulps the potion down.  Hellax attempts to push back his spiked, brown hair while he looks up at the others.

“I wouldn’t have done that just yet, Hellax.  Since Kilanus wasn’t given any of this, I suspect it is some form of immortal killing poison.  After all, Adriana isn’t sadistic enough to kill her own daughter.  Unlike me if, perish the thought, I had a child,” says a brown-eyed woman, who actually looks more like an ugly man.  She makes a flame serpent slither from her callused hands and it quickly melts Kilanus’ silver skull belt and her crimson skull and crossbones necklace.

“Ooh.  I’m sooo scared.  I don’t think you should do anything that you would regret, Psylon.  Without me, this group loses its unique advantage of extra lives.  Besides I can beat you up with my arms torn off,” states Kilanus in a calm, casual voice.  The fire animal simply disappears and Psylon starts mumbling to herself.

“I sense a good deal of cyanide in this concoction.  But something in it has weakened the deadly potential,” explains a frail, black-haired man in leather armor.  His blue eyes look toward a large man, who is nodding in agreement, and a sinister robot that appears to be analyzing the liquid.  The cyborg notices the sudden silence and looks up with dark, yellow eyes.  Immediately, his sensor probes slip back into his stomach and are replaced by a unique green gel-cell.  Still in absolute silence, the cyborg puts a few drops of his drink into the green gel-cell.

“What do you think, Cybro?  Mindtrigger and I have already noticed some diluted cyanide in it.  Is there anything else that your instruments have picked up?” whispers the large, muscular man.  His long, black hair is like the tresses of Mindtrigger, but instead of blue, this perfect killer has deep, red eyes.

“Well, Draveon.  It tastes fine to my borrowed human senses, but the ingredients are rather odd.  It would appear that Adriana’s remarkable skills in both chemistry and the long lost art of magic has not diminished over the years.  I found three different types of alcohol, sulfur dust, raw sodium, a weird form of liquid nitrogen, and some unknown energy.  I think the energy came from one of the isotopes that we found during our voyage home.  My conclusion is that this beverage is not poisonous, but it is not a common drink,” Cybro explains while his left arm, which ends in a triple laser, grows a straw and drains his cup.

Adriana gracefully chugs her drink before saying, “Are all of you finished talking?  All any one of you had to do was ask and I would have told you losers everything.  You see, that drink is our newest edge against the planet guardians.  I had Startrix use her powers to discover when each of us would die.  Since there seemed to be multiple times, we picked the ones with the least amount of casualties on our side.  When the time of your death does occur, this potion will cause your body to be teleported back to the top of the Black Tower.  Understand?”

“Most of it.  But, why did you leave Kilanus out?  Or is it because she’s underage and you decided to act like a responsible mother for once in your life?” asks Draveon after he finishes his drink and crushes the silver cup into powder.

“Give me a break.  I don’t need a lecture on parenting skills from an oversized testosterone factory.  Just because you like kids does not mean that you can tell me how to treat and what to do with my daughter.  Get your own child first and then we can argue about this, Draveon.”

“Don’t give my husband any ideas, Adriana.  I hate kids unless they’re deep fried and covered in chocolate syrup,” replies Psylon.  She gets sick glances from everyone in the room, including the emotionless slave robot in the corner that has no face.  She hits it out the door with a small fire wave.

“I really didn’t need to hear that.  I mean, I really did not need to hear that.  But, to answer the question, the magical power in my potion is useless if Kilanus dies.  The reason for this is quite simple.  Only my daughter has the power to resurrect us.  If she dies, we cannot bring any of our casualties back to life.  Now, what else do we have to discuss?”

“You said that you have a perfect plan that will put a major hurt on the planet guardians.  Mindtrigger also needs to give us the new information on the guardians that he has collected over the past six months,” says Tegam.

“Duh, what guardians?” mentions Hellax in his usual idiotic voice.

“Go back to sleep, numbskull.  Well, Mindtrigger.  Age before beauty, so the spotlight is on you.  Tell us what you have discovered about our enemies.  And this time say it in normal terms.  You don’t want to lose Psylon like last time,” orders the blond leader.  The fire controlling immortal glares at Adriana after she finishes off her drink.

Cybro pulls out a small, metal box and hits a blue button on its backside, which makes a large hologram appear above the table.  It is a hologram of a beautiful, redhead with sweet, hazel eyes.  She is wearing an emerald colored skirt attached to a matching, sleeveless shirt.  On the chest of the shirt is an intricate picture of a churning whirlpool.  She also wears white boots with retractable blades on the outer sides.

“Thank you for your assistance, Cybro.  As you all know, this is Hydrana, the Neptune guardian.  She is a hydrokinetic, which means she can control and create water, ice, and vapor.  Recently, this immortal has acquired a natural automatic cold field that resembles Psylon’s heat field.  Any weapon or attack that is based on heat will dissipate before reaching her.  Fire attacks are only slightly weakened by this field.  I have recently discovered that her real name is Delila Mandervale II.  Will that data be useful?” reports Mindtrigger.

“Of course, it is.  We can kill their families right before the planet guardians’ eyes!” exclaims Psylon as the hologram changes into a young man.  His uniform is a brilliant orange and dark blue streaked bodysuit with an ebony cloak.  This guardian’s eyes are a unique pale blue, which clash with his dark, brown hair.

“Hold on for a second, Mindtrigger.  We will absolutely not threaten or kill their families unless it is totally necessary!  The one thing we do not need at this time are four powerful immortals going on a rampage through us.  If you hurt their families, I will personally hunt you down and kill you.  That is a move that will be done only in desperation.  Continue, scientist,” Adriana says.

“Thank you.  The telekinetic Earth guardian, Infinity, is really named Steve Vascotti.  After days of research, I have discovered that his bird form comes from an ancient Native American necklace that has been absorbed into his chest.  It was made by one of the original guardians and reacts to immortal signatures by giving them this extra ability.  He has only become physically stronger since our most recent encounter.  His limited abilities can’t grow anymore without causing him severe harm.”

“He’s a lot cuter too,” Kilanus mentions.

“I thought you had gotten over him,” laughs Tegam.  Infinity’s hologram is changed to that of a gorgeous, raven-haired female wearing crimson clothes.  The revealing outfit has a bare midriff and white lines along the sides that contrast with her long, black gloves and boots.

“Can I please have no more interruptions?  The emerald-eyed Venus guardian, Miracle, has become a somewhat bigger problem than she used to be.  I should know since she has occasionally made me her favorite target.  Her real illusions are capable of sustaining much more damage before disappearing.  She was previously called Kelly Tavinowsky and she is currently in a very serious relationship with this one.  So, if we can find a way to catch her, we can get him without any painful trouble,” explains Mindtrigger as Cybro changes the picture.

A handsome, blue-eyed boy with shimmering black clothing takes Miracle’s place.  His uniform has a dull, white belt and a pair of sleek, blood red boots.  In his right hand is a slender sword that has two glowing jewels embedded in its hilt.  Around his neck is a medallion, which is a big stone surrounded by nine smaller ones.

“That’s the one who stole my sword of light.  When I get my hands on that Mars guardian, I will suck his flesh right off his bones,” roars Draveon.  An orange spear suddenly strikes the chair between Draveon’s legs and Mindtrigger walks over to retrieve his weapon.  As usual it turns into a mist and goes into the immortal’s ears and nose.

“Another gruesome picture I would like to forget.  You’ll get your chance in due time, killer.  My plan revolves around that hatred you have and you will eventually get it back.  I swear on your life.  Finish your report, Mindtrigger, before we have any other interruptions,” orders Adriana.

“Sure.  Fate is really Edward Slane, but unlike the other guardians, his biological parents are dead.  As usual, more research is needed on the lucky guardian.  I have no idea where to discover his past and neither does SEAS.  If that computer can’t find it from a distance then I certainly can’t.  The only useful piece of information that I have is on the anomaly I found in his genetic code.  It makes him immune to most of the guardians’ magic weapons.  Just like Kilanus.”

“At least that’s something.  But I will personally look into and burn down Fate’s family tree later.  I want to see Draveon, Tegam, Cybro, and Startrix in my quarters within five hours.  Then, I will explain my perfect plan.  Any questions?” asks Adriana as she gets off her hover-throne.

“Why can’t you tell all of us?  We have a right to know some of things that you are planning.  Whatever one of us does will effect the others,” says Psylon.

“Very well.  Let me just say this.  For the past year and a half all of us have unconsciously avoided fighting on a specific area in this universe.  This area has remained blissfully unaware of what is going on around it.  It is about damn time that it became the ultimate battlefield.  If I’m being too cryptic about my plan then listen up because I’m only saying this once.  We are going to attack the planet Earth.  To be more specific, New York City.”

“Earth?  Finally.  But, why New York?” questions Kilanus.

“Why?  Doesn’t every supervillain attack New York,” replies Adriana with a wicked smirk before leaving the confused band of villains behind.

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Thursday A Little Personal – Twiggy and Lucy Learn about Teagan’s New Book

“Hey, guys, come here.” “Yes, boss. You might have to call Twiggy twice.” “What’s up? “You both know the writer Teagan R. Geneviene.” “We have heard …

Thursday A Little Personal – Twiggy and Lucy Learn about Teagan’s New Book
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Sheila’s Shield Shop: We Put the ‘S’ in Defense!

Rise of the Shield Hero

Judging by your sword and armor, I can tell that you’re an adventurer.  Obviously, you need a shield to go with everything else. First, I need to explain how this works.  You would be surprised how often people buy a shield and expect it to defend them with no effort on their part. Now, you physically move it into the path of whatever you don’t want to hit you.  Got it?  So, let’s see what you’re interested in.

First, let’s talk about material.  Not all shields are metal.  You have wood, hardened leather, bone, animal skins, cloth, rawhide, and wicker.  Of course, you can have combinations.  You need to factor in your strength and speed because you don’t want a shield that weighs your arm down to the point of uselessness.  For example, you have a sword and armor set for speed, so a heavy shield would work against that.  Metal would certainly be a mistake as the main part.  You can pick a lighter material with studs or spikes.  Ah, you notice that one.  It’s gorgon bone, which is why it looks and feels like solid rock.  Surprisingly light, but rather expensive.  If price is no option then we can make one of those with iron studs around the rim.  Too much?  Wood wrapped in leather with metal studs and a gorgon bone symbol of a grinning face.  Got it.

Next, we come to style, which we can already tell will be light and easy to maneuver.  That rules out tower, kite, coffin, and other big ones.  The material you picked isn’t very heavy, so we don’t have to go small like a buckler.  I’d recommend a heater shield.  These are the ones shaped a pointed, upside-down dome.  We have some attachments for this type as well, which are rather unconventional.  For mechanical, you can have a hidden blade kept in this area and a press of this spot with your pointer knuckle can make it come out of the point.  Not recommended for honorable duels, but it can save your life if you’re adventuring and need to deliver a surprise stab. A magical trick is to have it return to your forearm if you lose it, which we call The Mercenary Prince special.  While it costs us repeat customers, it saves you money and means you’ll think of us for upgrades and recommending to friends.  I’ll put both down for you then.

Finally, we come to the enchantment section.  Our shields are imbued with magic by the use of crystals that we put in the best place for activation.  Being a defensive object, it’s difficult to add an offensive spell such as fireballs and lightning bolts.  You could accidentally cast them at the wrong time.  We can put those on there, but you have to sign a waiver.  Our suggestion is reactive magic such as reflections, vibration bursts, energy drain, and anything else that awakens upon violent contact.  This purple amethyst is popular with a vampire curse spell, which is really the fun name for energy drain.  The more you block, the weaker your opponent gets.  We also have sensory and physical enhancements that are always active as long as you are wearing the shield.  Summoning magic?  We have sigils that can be attached, which allows you to call forth a specified creature to fight on your behalf.  Minor beasts that are created every time your shield is struck?  I will have to ask the casters in the back.  It might depend on what type of creature . . . Scorpions . . . Okay . . . I think we can accommodate you.

That’s about everything.  A few minor points are strap material and the warranty.  You don’t have to get one, but it couldn’t hurt.  Thank you for thinking of us. It should take a week to complete the . . . Three days isn’t much . . . For that amount of money, we’ll get for you in two.  Have a great evening.

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