“Profitable” – Space Tramp – Chapter 16 (Megatraveller Fan Ficiton)

Happy Sif’s Day!

Story:

Jeremiah looked at his personal device and the balance his investment account now had was much more to his liking.  25000 Credits was a big haul for an extra bonus but the trade route into exploratory territory had opened up some new markets for both his ship and the Countess. She had kept him on as promised as her captain and he had been working hard to open up new trade routes involving her holdings.  The results had been spectacular so he and his crew all pocketed some serious extra change.

This was good as Jeremiah was still investing a lot of his extra money and everything else he could save into getting his own vessel.  This meant a pretty spartan existence but he managed quite well.  If he kept it up and played his connections right, he might just achieve his dream. At least it seemed far more tangible than before.

He had had to learn how to ‘box ears’ this voyage though.  On a couple of occasions, the monthly time spent in some port often resulted in a brawl and he would have to break it up.  He had a tough as nails crew and the places they were going were frontier in feeling.  It was important that he and the crew did not look weak and they pulled it off with the local dockworkers and a few other crews.

The Countess herself was very pleased and the profitability of several of her fiefs just increased by quite a dramatic margin. She was certain that she would keep Jeremiah on as captain of her ship another year as she credited his trader skills. Jeremiah was beginning to see how his relationship would lead to his own starship sp he smiled and said thanks. He kept his gear in the captain’s cabin and headed to The Naked Gypsy. He, after all, and an annual tradition to keep with a glass of rum and a pretty girl of his choosing.

Megatraveler Notes:

Start:

Free Trader Captain Jeremiah Kilwood

Rank: O5 – Captain   Terms Served: 3

UPP: A67A84   Age: 32  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Pilot – 2, Navigation – 2, Engineering – 1, Sensor Ops – 1, Legal – 1, Liaison- 2, Carousing – 1, Small Blade-1, Trader-2, Turret Weapons-1, Streetwise – 1, Zero-G Combat-1, Handgun – 1, Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Vacc Suit – 0

Brownie Points: 7, Bonus Money: 62,500 Cr.

Year Fourteen:

Roll for position availability: 8  + 1 for Intelligence = 9 – position available, serves as Captain.

Roll for assignment: 3 + 1 for Social 5- = 4 – Exploratory Trade Assignment

Survival Roll: 8  – Survives.

Skill Roll: 8 – Skill acquired.

Bonus:  7 + 1 for Trader-2 –  Bonus. Rolls – 6 – 25,000Cr

Roll for Skills: (1 for skill roll) – Rolls on Merchant Life Table: 1 – Brawling-1

Year-End:

Free Trader Captain Jeremiah Kilwood

Rank: O5 – Captain   Terms Served: 3

UPP: A67A84   Age: 33  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Pilot – 2, Navigation – 2, Engineering – 1, Sensor Ops – 1, Legal – 1, Liaison- 2, Brawling-1, Carousing – 1, Small Blade-1, Trader-2, Turret Weapons-1, Streetwise – 1, Zero-G Combat-1, Handgun – 1, Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Vacc Suit – 0

Brownie Points: 7, Bonus Money: 87,500 Cr.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Ghost Dryad” – Rogue Wizard – The Fire of Fury – Part 22

Happy Sol’s Day!

Rogue Wizard’s Journal – November 5th, 2019

Yesterday I spoke about what happened according to my girls after I was hit with the death spell by the necromancer Death Angels.  I need to now speak about what happened to me while unconscious because it needs to be written down before the nature of it slips away.   Before my emotions about it swallow up the memory of it.

I spoke before of how my consciousness slipped away and I fell down ‘dead’.  I found though that I was not feeling too much death, but rather peace and love. It was a strange feeling and then as I lay there with my eyes closed I heard a voice.

“Edward”

I knew that voice instantly and in my excitement, my eyes fluttered open.  I was shocked at what I saw because I wasn’t in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan anymore. I was in The Red Tree Grove.  Like it was when I was young.  Full of life, trees, ferns, birds, squirrels, and bright colors. There was the tree not too far away.  Large like an oak, but covered in red maple leaves and white birch like bark.  A truly unique tree. Majestic and making anyone standing next to it feel small and very young.

My eye focused however on the throne part of the tree was in front of.  There she was sitting – Elpis.  She was covered in the same birch park skin as the tree so it was hard at first to see her but the red hair like the color of the tree’s leaves set her off a little.

She stood up and walked toward me and as she did the bark skin was shed and revealed the naked woman beneath.  Her body was short but the kind of sensual curvy that made a lump in my throat every time. Large breasts with cute nipples and nice curvy backside.  Her round face dripped innocence but eyes that were deep and spoke of long years of life but youth at the same time. Her hair was brown, but it could have been any color she liked.  She changed the color and length often.  Her smile beamed right into my heart.

She was not so much the gorgeous dryad of legend but the young teen girl and ancient matron all rolled into one. The experience of meeting Elpis is something people do not forget. I know the first time I did, I fell hopelessly in love with her.

“Hello Edward, it is good to see you again. You got old. Still, look good though”

For the first time, I realized I was naked myself and for once felt old.  The last time I was in her presence I had been eighteen. Now my body had suffered the years of a few decades of mortality.  I hoped at that moment I wasn’t a disappointment to her. But there was an old deep emotion that began to take over in me.  I crossed the few feet that separated us and took her in my arms and hugged her.  Crushed her really and kissed her hard. When the kiss stopped I whispered in her ear.

“I love you.”

“I love you too Edward.”

She kissed me this time and then breaking away she took me by the hand and led me to the side of the tree where we used to make love.  She pulled me close to her and we made love again.  I will not speak of the details here.  That is my memory and one I will cherish for all my remaining life.  When we were done she spoke again as we lay in each other’s arms on the soft grass.

“Well Edward, you are still good at that. Better actually”

“I had a good woman teach me.  She was wonderful and gentle with me. I have missed her.”

Elpis teared up but then she took a breath and spoke.

“I don’t have much time. I can’t maintain this reality much longer and soon I will be gone. The powers have granted us this one moment to say goodbye for good.”

I began to cry and she took me in her arms again.

“I took the death ray for you, Edward.  I possessed you and took the death intended for you. You will live, but I am now finally dead and at peace.  My regret is that I will have to leave you behind again.  I don’t know if we will see each other again.  I don’t know so many things about what is after death.  I do know that you will go back to Lunette and Amber and you need to love them and let them love you.  The moment you live is all you really have so live life.”

“Elpis, there is so much I want to say.”

“Edward, sweet Edward.  There is no time.  ‘I love you’ is enough. close your eyes.”

I closed them reluctantly taking in one last look at Elpis’ face.

“I love you, Edward.”

“I love you, Elpis.”

I felt her lips against mine as we held each other in the grass and then the feelings of her body and lips next to mine faded away.  When I awoke, she and the grove were completely gone and I was laying on an open empty field that stretched as far as I could see. I began to weep. I wish things had turned out very differently. So much do I wish that.

It wasn’t but a few moments that I felt the tug of mortality pulling me back to the real world. When I woke up, I had Amber hovering over me and she started to cry as she held me.  I was crying too, but for a very different reason.

I am alive because of Elpis’ sacrifice.  I guess she lived up to her name after all by giving me hope in the midst of death.

I am a little emotionally distraught after writing this so I will break for now and try to write the rest tomorrow.

Writer’s Notes:

This was a hard part to write.  The emotions were pretty high on this one. Elpis is a character based on Miss Salty and the connection is very emotional.  I never built a  series like the Hedge Wizard of Redberg which contained: 1) Love for a woman, 2) My own life and 3) my favorite genre of fantasy fiction – urban fantasy.  It was a labor of love for someone and I never have done that before.  It ended abruptly when the whole affair between Miss Salty and I came to light.  I had to literally delete the blog and everything on it because people were reading it as reality. 

Which is why I make this final note. There is no love scene in either the Hedge Wizard of Redberg or Rogue Wizard that has ever been real.  They are fantasy, perhaps longing and desire at times, but never real life. 

Now, I truly do need to take a break.  But I wanted to send Elpis off as she deserved –  a heroine with a deep love for Edward at the end. As a character, she was a labor of love I will never forget. I did weep like this when Miss Salty left me and now I will probably at least cry again.  There are a few more scenes to Epilogue this series and bring closure, but Elpis had more act to play and I sent her out the way I wanted to, the way she deserved, and not by someone else’s hand.

Elpis means “Hope”.  

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Captain On Deck” – Space Tramp – Chapter 15

Happy Sif’s Day!

Story:

Jeremiah Kilwood looked at his new uniform in the mirror. He had purchased it with part of his bonus money but a good chunk had gone into investments. It has been a good year and a surprising one as well.  Countess Borgosman had hired him to be the captain of her newly purchased Suibstidized merchant and it had been an interesting year of speculative trading on planets where her holdings were.

It had taken him by surprise when she called a couple days after his promotion celebrations and it was a welcome one that he was going to find a position so easily.  The speculative route was hopefully going to take the resources of the Countess’s holdings and fiefs and make them a little more profitable by trading on the open market with them  Jeremiah was tasked with examining these resources and finding the best interstellar trade routes from a profitability standpoint.

This last year had been him doing just that and it was a fairly safe operation.  The beauty also was finding a crew was not necessary as the countess handled that part.  All Jeremiah had to do was run the ship and engage in the trades personally.  The Countess stayed on Regina and he took the stars. The subsidized merchant The Borgosman Lady was clean and smelled new.

It was a good first command in many respects in that the crew was skilled and respectful despite his youth as Captain.  He learned much fo the command responsibilities were more a matter of routine than any major leadership decisions. His main decisions were trade-oriented while at the same time keeping the passengers list full as well.  He then made sure each crewman did what they were supposed to do. He rarely had a problem.

In the end, he created about five major trade routes between the countess’ holdings and other systems.  It was quite profitable and the whole crew and himself were treated to a solid bonus. The countess thanked him and then told him that she had others taking over the routes and she might have another assignment for him next year but he would have to wait and see. So he gathered his belonging into his bag and threw it over his shoulder and headed to The Naked Gypsy.

He had a few drinks and headed upstairs and found a girl that had horizontal skills and as it turned out a sense fo fashion as she told him a captain should probably have a nicer uniform.  So after they had sex she helped him find something simple but more high-end than before.  It was nice and comfortable as well.,  The five pips on his shoulders in a circle was a nice touch. He liked it and it looked smart.  The girl was right, he looked much better, like a leader.

He looked back at the girl sleeping.  She was naked and lying face up so he was getting a good look at her assets.  He smiled and took the uniform back off and slipped in the bed next to her.  One more time before he headed out. After all, things rarely stay the same so it’s important to enjoy the moments.

Megatraveler Notes:

Start:

Free Trader Captain Jeremiah Kilwood

Rank: O5 – Captain   Terms Served: 3

UPP: A67A84   Age: 31  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Pilot – 2, Navigation – 2, Engineering – 1, Sensor Ops – 1, Legal – 1, Liaison- 2, Carousing – 1, Small Blade-1, Trader-1, Turret Weapons-1, Streetwise – 1, Zero-G Combat-1, Handgun – 1, Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Vacc Suit – 0

Brownie Points: 7, Bonus Money: 52,500 Cr.

Year Fourteen:

Roll for position availability: 9  + 1 for Intelligence = 10 – position available, serves as Captain.

Roll for assignment: 9 + 1 for Social 5- = 10 –   Speculative TradeeAssignment

Survival Roll: 11  – Survives easily.

Skill Roll: 7 – Skill acquired.

Bonus:  8 –  Bonus. Rolls – 5 – 10,000Cr

Roll for Skills: (1 for skill roll) – Rolls on Free Trader Service Table: 2  – Trader-2

Year-End:

Free Trader Captain Jeremiah Kilwood

Rank: O5 – Captain   Terms Served: 3

UPP: A67A84   Age: 32  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Pilot – 2, Navigation – 2, Engineering – 1, Sensor Ops – 1, Legal – 1, Liaison- 2, Carousing – 1, Small Blade-1, Trader-2, Turret Weapons-1, Streetwise – 1, Zero-G Combat-1, Handgun – 1, Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Vacc Suit – 0

Brownie Points: 7, Bonus Money: 62,500 Cr.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“The Edge of Death” – Rogue Wizard – The Fire of Fury – Part 21

Happy Sol’s Day!

Rogue Wizard’s Journal – November 4th, 2019

The last few days are a blur and it is probably going to take a few journal entries to sort out.  Of course, by seeing this entry you know that I survived the encounter with the Death Angels on Halloween Night.  I will note so none worry, that Amber and Lunette are also with me.  We are all alive and in a new place.  That said, I don’t think I will be the same again.  None of us will.

The Battle was one of the closest I had ever been in.  There were as far as we can tell six Death Angels.  According to Lunette and Amber, there were three men and three women.  I only got to see two because it is the one I fought and the one who hit me with the death spell that I noted.  The girls were busy with the other members of the Council’s death squad. The one that was immediate in my face was a man and he had bad breath and came with a hoard of rats that he used to tap into his powers.  He was wielding a sword made of magic – the green shit of the movies.

Honest and he came at me full speed and it was all I could do to hold the porch of the cabin against his attacks which were rapid and continuous.  I could see Amber burning something out of one corner of one eye and Lunette doing her pinball thing out fo the other.  But it was a full-time shield act to keep this guy from landing a blow plus keep his rats away from biting my ankles.  My whole attention was focused on this guy and that is what lead to my downfall.

I heard the death spell being chanted and could not do anything about it.  I backed up a little to the edge of the door and then I could see her.  Pale as shit and skyclad.  Her alabaster body was beautiful as was the rest of her and her hair long and pure white. Her one hand was extended toward me and she was chanting the Death Spell, the other hand was wrapped around the neck of a young teenage girl.  The sacrifice for the spell.

I could do nothing except strengthen my shield and hope that one fo the girls helped my ass. But no help came and the spell steaked like a bolt of eldritch green from her hand and hit me square in the chest.  At the last minute though, I felt something strange and yet loving; it made me feel at peace.  As I fell, I could feel my shield slipping as death came over me. I lost consciousness and dropped to the floor of the porch.  It was the last thing I remember of the fight.

According to the girls, they saw what was happening too late and then when I fell they got pissed.  Lunette literally when psycho at that moment and streaked off at the naked witch. When she struck she didn’t hold anything back and literally started to do her pinball thing and hitting hard enough to break bones.  Amber for her part let loose a fireball on two necromancers she was fighting with and I guess it burned them to a cinder where they stood. In a matter of seconds, it was two on three.

The other two Lunette had been dealing with turned tail including the guy we had seen in town.  Lunette turned her attention to rat necromancer and because his rats couldn’t fly like she could, she made short work of him.  The snap of his bones as she struck was audible to all.   According to Amber, she was screaming rage the entire time. Amber for her part concentrated a fireball in her hands for a few seconds and let fly after the last two and when it struck the scream echoed in the night. 6-1 our win, but I was down.  Lunette steaked to my side and grew full-sized ripping her miniature garment to tatters.

Amber and Lunette examined me.  Probably crying their eyes out but neither girl spoke to me about that.

“Lunette, I can still feel him.  He isn’t gone.”

Puzzled, Lunette reached out with her tattoo and confirmed I wasn’t dead.  But I wasn’t alive either. They checked on the teenage girl and she wasn’t dead either.  Barely alive.

According to the girls, they acted quickly gathering up our stuff, throwing everything into the pickup.  The placed me and the girl in the back and took off.  They left the girl in town on a park bench and called 911 and then took off again.  Lunette knew a place that might be safe so she was determined to get to it and find out what happened with me.

What did happen to me?  I need to think about it before I write about it.  But I can tell you, I have many life-changing events and this is definitely in the top three.  I will relay this tomorrow.  The emotions of this whole thing are still pretty strong.

Writer’s Notes:

Two to one is a fair fight with my trio.  If there is one weakness I have in real life it is a lack of speed.  This played into the story.  I prefer to think things out, create a plan and execute.  In a situation where I can’t do that, its full-on defense and wait until I can.  Yeah, that gets you busy and then dead if you’re facing as deadly an opponent as the Death Angels. 

My emotions are real on this one and the couple to come. Particularly the next one.  

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Captain Kilwood” – Space Tramp – Chapter 14

Happy Sif’s Day!

Story:

Jeremiah stared at the five pips on his shoulders in the mirror and felt a surge of pride.  He had done it, achieved Captain rank at the earliest possible time one could at age 31.  The exam had not posed any problems and he was given an oral review by several captains. When all was said and done, he was lead to a ceremony where he was presented with his Captian pips and congratulated by the Captains who reviewed him.  He was still trying to take it all in.

This last year had been a simple route assignment, but the captain, one Nathan Briggs, of the far trader The Jasmine Hopper was determined to give his 1st Officer Jeremiah Kilwood a full experience by not only placing him on the bridge to be his Pilot and Navigator, but he also handled all duties involving cargo (buying and selling it) and securing passengers for each voyage.  This brought him into contact with a lot of various types of people, administration and those trying to move their cargo.  He was Captain in many respects in all but name this last year.

He learned a lot about the business wend of running a starship and it was a good route assignment but not as profitable as he had hoped so No bonus. But he wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. He kept the staterooms and low berth cold sleep beds full.  They always had cargo.  he navigated the customs agents like he navigated the stars and his experience with dock workers helped with the cargo issues.

Jeremiah had made a couple decisions as well. Firstly, he decided to forgo starting to take anagathic drugs to slow down the aging process.  The expense would cut into his ability to get a Starship and he figured he was still in great shape and could start taking them later if he wished. The second decision was to commit himself to full retirement which would provide a pension if he served a couple more terms.

Right now though the moment was overwhelming as he stepped out of the Free Trader Guild Headquarters and headed for The Naked Gypsy.  He had done it – made captain and now Captain Jeremiah Kilwood wanted to celebrate.  When he arrived at the Gypsy he recognized a whole lot of old comrades from various ships and sure enough, there was a party planned in his honor.

Drinks flowed and he had a hard time drinking so much so he sometimes poured it aside into a plant or another person’s drink when they were not looking.  Even so, he still was not exactly clear-headed halfway through the night.

Captain Juros had come in form her retirement home in the country and hugged him properly and said she was so proud of him.  When he checked his messages, there were several congratulating him from old shipmates as well as the Countess who was on Regina at the time and saw the announcement.  She apparently still kept tabs on him.

Eventually, the evening wore on to the point people went home and he found himself ready for his annual ritual of heading to the brothel.  He found however that he didn’t have to pay as madam Anabelle took him by the hand and lead him to her room for the evening – on the house.

He woke the next morning with her naked body still entwined with his.  His thoughts turned quickly to his finding a starship owner who needed a captain.  This would be his new life now and it filled him with a little fear and excitement.  Being in charge of a starship himself for the very first time.  From a promotion standpoint, there was only one left, and that was becoming Senior Captain and he wouldn’t be eligible for that until next term. For now, he kissed Anabelle ever so gently and began running his hands along her back, he was still young enough for a second round this morning.

Megatraveler Notes:

Start:

Free Trader 1st Officer Jeremiah Kilwood

Rank: O4 – 1st Officer   Terms Served: 3

UPP: A67A84   Age: 30  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Pilot – 2, Navigation – 2, Engineering – 1, Sensor Ops – 1, Legal – 1, Liaison- 1, Carousing – 1, Small Blade-1, Turret Weapons-1, Streetwise – 1, Zero-G Combat-1, Handgun – 1, Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Vacc Suit – 0

Brownie Points: 6, Bonus Money: 52,500 Cr.

Year Thirteen:

Roll for position availability:  7 + 1 for Intelligence = 8 – position available, serves as 1st Officer

Roll for assignment: 6 + 1 for Social 5- = 7 –   Route Assignment

Survival Roll:  5 – Survives.

Skill Roll: 7 – Skill acquired.

Roll for Promotion: 9 – promoted to Captain.

Bonus:  5 –  No Bonus.

Roll for Skills: (2 for skill roll and promotion) – Rolls on Officer Skills: 6 – Liason-2, Rolls Free Trader Service: 4 – Economic Cascade: picks Trader-1

1 Brownie Point for promotion:

Year-End

Free Trader Captain Jeremiah Kilwood

Rank: O5 – Captain   Terms Served: 3

UPP: A67A84   Age: 31  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Pilot – 2, Navigation – 2, Engineering – 1, Sensor Ops – 1, Legal – 1, Liaison- 2, Carousing – 1, Small Blade-1, Trader-1, Turret Weapons-1, Streetwise – 1, Zero-G Combat-1, Handgun – 1, Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Vacc Suit – 0

Brownie Points: 6, Bonus Money: 52,500 Cr.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Spectre” – Rogue Wizard – The Fire of Fury – Part 20

Happy Sol’s Day!

Rogue Wizard’s Journal – October 31st, 2019 – Halloween

We have survived our first attack by the Death Angels.  Halloween is always a mixed blessing for me and playing into that is the convergence of the spiritual world and this one that makes life difficult.  The necromancers of the Death Angels are going to have an advantage tonight and they used it because it is clear they know where we are.

A couple hours ago they sent some various forms of the undead to attack us and we fought them off. The first wave was zombies and skeletons probably raised to life from some local cemetery.  They were probably more difficult to kill because of what night it is, but all three of us are experienced with these creatures of nightmare and they pretty much are burned ashes to us now.  My fire is definitely a lot hotter and more deadly with the tattoo.   My shields are what really did it though.  There is an effect not just of protection now but it seemed to burn these undead creatures a little as they attacked it.

The next wave was far more difficult as it was some ghouls (strong bastards) and a Spectre.  In the course of that battle, the girls were handling the ghouls and I drew the Spectre.  Specters are raised from mages.  In a sense, they are an undead mage and that makes them fucking dangerous. They are the nightmares that were the inspiration of Tolkien’s black riders.

This one was wielding a sword that put my shields to the test quite a bit.  But whatever enchantment was woven into the ink of my tattoo for my fire it is once again deadly to undead in ways I hadn’t expected.  Either that it is tapping into the crossover of worlds tonight as well.  Regardless I was able to hold it off for some time while the girls took care of the ghouls.  Tne we combined our efforts on the spectre and between the flames fo Amber and myself, burned it back to oblivion.

We torched the skeletons, zombies, and ghouls too and soon there was a nice little bonfire beside the cabin.  The cabin is a little worse for wear now too.  Several windows are gone and we had to put out a few small fires. Lunette seems sad as probably part of her memories has been scarred and there is a good possibility we will have to leave here and never come back.

The thing we are all curious about is why the Death Angels haven’t attacked as well. The answer probably lays in what the council’s objective is for us and what strength the Death Angels have.  The re is one theory that they are a very small group sent only in the most special of cases, so the one we saw might be the only one and he is basically sending other forces he can conjure up waiting for reinforcements.

Or these last two rounds were trying to soften us up.  Wait.   … Lunette says there is movement near the sauna and one of my wards just went off in a fiery explosion.  This may be it.  I need to go.  Hopefully, there will be another entry.

Writer’s Notes:

Magic in writing is a bugaboo.  Mostly because even though in writing you could do what you want with magic, it isn’t much fun if it is basically an all-powerful stick. It also helps if your magical system is consistent.  My magical system in this series is basically one of the very specific schools of magic and usually a mage in only capable of being good at one of them.  In the case of the Rogue wizard, he is expert in two, abjuration (protective spells) and evocation (aggressive spells like fire, ice, and lightning.  He is average in divination too but dislikes using it.  His advanced nature is not due so much to ability as to an unfettered learning process. 

Emotionally we are coming down to a very emotional climax.  As I am looking at where this series might end, I am thinking before the end fo December.  At that point, I will take a breath for a couple weeks and new year will start something new.  

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Countess Redux” – Space Tramp – Chapter 13 (Megatraveller Fan Ficiton)

Happy Sif’s Day!

Story:

As Jeremiah crossed the threshold of The Naked Gypsy, he smiled as this last year had been quite profitable. His 25000Cr bonus now deposited in his savings was welcome and this last year had been a peaceful mission running charter for, of all surprises, Countess Borgosman for a second year. Captain Kingwood had called him the next morning after his last contract had expired with her and asked him to sign on as pilot/navigator again.  He hesitated but then the Captain told him that the countess had guaranteed 10x the bonus this time.  He said yes without hesitation.

The Countess was pretty much looking at more of her holdings and doing inspections on a few other worlds.  She liked the ship and the crew and wanted to keep them on. She was willing to do a larger bonus to keep them.

Jeremiah, however, found one change was present.  For some strange reason, the Countess took an interest in him professionally. She said she had watched him the last year and noticed that from his speech and knowledge he was a practical man but lacked some education.  She wanted to change that and offered to tutor him herself on some things.

Jeremiah hesitated but then agreed not wanting to spoil the contract for Jill the Engineer or the Captain.  The weird part was the Countess was probably four years younger than him but he could not deny she knew a lot of things he didn’t.  She started him reading literature, writing, politics, and history.  He was reading a lot of different things on a lot of different subjects. When he relayed what was going on to the Captain she smiled.

“Sounds like she is taking you through the first year of university education.”

Indeed that is what she was doing.  It was a lot of general education and for a year they spent at least an hour a day together and he got to know her very well. He also got past the hard and critical exterior to see a young woman who was doing the best she could while taking on a responsibility that she thought would not be hers for a long time. He came to respect her despite her criticism at times because he began to see it for what it really was – she cared about people. Even him the orphan boy from Strouden.

In her own way, she came to respect him too.  She even said that it was a remarkable achievement that a young man born in that social condition had achieved as much as he had.  She hoped he would take what she was trying to teach him and continue to be successful.

Their relationship was professional and was kept that way by the countess’ sense of duty and his sense of not wanting to spoil a contract. On the last day when they said their goodbyes, he thanked her and wished her well.  She smiled and then kissed him on the cheek.

“If you need a favor sometime, just let me know,”, she said.

He nodded and watched her leave.  Then helped Jill and the Captian secure the ship, said his goodbyes to them and walked down the ramp and off to the Gypsy.  The promised bonus was there with a little note from the countess with her special number and the words: “If you need me, call.”

Jeremiah had finished his third term in the Free Traders.  He signed his reenlistment papers for his fourth term with no problems.  He had recently turned 30 and no longer felt like a rookie. He was now eligible for the one thing he had been aiming for – Being a Free Trader Captain.  This next term was the one he had been waiting for.

For now, though he settled into the ritual of seeing if there was someone he knew to have a drink or two with at the bar and at the end of the night head to the brothel and engage the services of a woman who would remind him he was a man in other ways. He wouldn’t even be surprised if she looked like the countess.

Megatraveler Notes:

Start:

Free Trader 1st Officer Jeremiah Kilwood

Rank: O4 – 1st Officer   Terms Served: 2

UPP: A67A74   Age: 29  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Pilot – 2, Navigation – 2, Engineering – 1, Sensor Ops – 1, Legal – 1, Liaison- 1, Carousing – 1, Small Blade-1, Turret Weapons-1, Streetwise – 1, Zero-G Combat-1, Handgun – 1, Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Vacc Suit – 0

Brownie Points: 5, Bonus Money: 27500 Cr.

Year Twelve:

Roll for position availability:  7 + 1 for Intelligence = 8 – position available, serves as 1st Officer

Roll for assignment: 8 + 1 for Social 5- = 9 –   Charter Assignment

Survival Roll:  11 – Survives easily.

Skill Roll: 10 – Skill acquired.

Bonus: 10  –  Bonus: roll: 6 – 25000Cr.

Roll for Skills: (1 for skill roll) – Rolls Free trader Life Table rolls: 4 Mental Cascade – picks +1 Education

Roll For Reenlistment: 9 – reenlists

1 Brownie Point for term served.

Year-End

Free Trader 1st Officer Jeremiah Kilwood

Rank: O4 – 1st Officer   Terms Served: 3

UPP: A67A84   Age: 30  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Pilot – 2, Navigation – 2, Engineering – 1, Sensor Ops – 1, Legal – 1, Liaison- 1, Carousing – 1, Small Blade-1, Turret Weapons-1, Streetwise – 1, Zero-G Combat-1, Handgun – 1, Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Vacc Suit – 0

Brownie Points: 6, Bonus Money: 52,500 Cr.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Death Angel” – Rogue Wizard – The Fire of Fury – Part 19

Happy Sol’s Day!

Rogue Wizard’s Journal – October 30th, 2019

Well, the fear I have been having has taken form. I have been nervous every time we go to town and the last couple of times I felt that we were being watched.  Closely watched.  Lunette says her scouting runs every morning show nothing but I pulled my familiar raven Nevermore from his pocket dimension and added his wandering eyes to scouting and in the end, it has paid off.

The cold of fall and early winter is on the Upper Peninsula so the skinny dipping sessions have disappeared and we are spending more time in the sauna and cuddled in bed for that matter.  Our plan was to settle in here for the winter and then take off in the spring.  As safe as this place seems, the fact remains the longer we stay here the more difficult it will be to keep ourselves hidden.

My relationship with the two women is growing and we are now pretty comfortable in the presence of each other to the point intimacy of all levels is pretty normal with us. If it wasn’t for the constant danger we are in, things would be wonderful.  As it is we have to remind ourselves our little paradise on earth is under threat from some of the most dangerous magic users in the world.

Today brought to that the forefront of our mind as we finally saw a Death Angel wandering in town.  It took us back for a second but we knew immediately he was hunting for us. he didn’t stand out at first with his black overcoat like he probably would have during summer, but in the cold weather, he looked normal for this time of year.  If it wasn’t for his pale skin and pure white hair – two side effects of necromantic magic.

I have been a rogue wizard all my life and am not in any way bound by the Council’s laws on necromancy (which you can see they violate themselves), but you know what magic form I have never dabbled in?  Necromancy.  It dangerous shit as it can truly exact a heavy price if you do not learn to safeguard yourself.  The most potent form of it is death spells which require the life of someone to cast.

I suppose this is also its greatest weakness and why so many necromancers don’t like casting the death spell.   You have to first bind another living creature to the spell as the ‘cost’ for casting it, then cast it hoping you did the binding spell right.  If you don’t it will take that price from you.  That’s why necromancers like immortals as if the bind their death spells to an immortal then its unlimited charges.

Normally though most necromancy takes blood or other living things of smaller size like bugs or rats.  Which is why necromancers are fond of them. They also tend to use blood magic using their own blood when possible but the blood of others if necessary.  It isn’t uncommon for necromancers to have cuts on their palms.  More subtlely the magic begins to take the color from your skin and hair. Pale is what you call a long term necromancer.

Nevermore was circling the town above us when he spotted the guy. He was tall, pale and dressed in a black overcoat. Really, right out of a movie.  These necromancer types the Council recruits are usually professional and have the same moral code as Darth Vader.  Often the same effect on people too.

I quickly told the girls to get in the truck and we needed to leave as quickly as possible without causing a scene.  We finished our shopping, loaded the truck and headed back to the cabin. We all breathed a heavy sigh of relief when we were home.

Nevermore came home a little later. I had left him to observe the man.  He stayed, seemed to track something by sniffing where we had been and then took off into the woods.

“What could he be sniffing for” Amber asked.

“Me”, Lunette answered.

Pixies have their own smell that is unique.  Lunette never wears perfume as she already smells like flowers constantly.  I love her smell but it is unique in that what would a pixie be doing here in the middle of nowhere?  There is no grove up here.  The presence of a pixie wouldn’t be too abnormal if this wasn’t werewolf territory for the most part and pixies and werewolves have a blood feud so old, no one remembers who started it. But if that smell is accompanied by two others who are human then it might set off some alarm bells.

Nevermore lost him and came home.

The time of year does not help either. Halloween is upon us and that means the worlds are crossing over and the spiritual plane will give necromancers a little boost to their powers.  All wizards really, but the undead will walk tonight and they will have an easier time spotting us. I checked my wards and we are sitting by the fire instead of in the bedroom.  The plan is to take shifts being on watch. This could get ugly. Nighttime will be the worst.

Writer’s Notes:

The series is coming to its finality. I should also note that the last parts are going to be emotionally draining for me to write. That’s the only spoiler alert you are going to get. 

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Countess” – Space Tramp – Chapter 12 (Megatraveller Fan Ficiton)

Happy Sif’s Day!

Story:

As Jeremiah looked at his bonus amount on his personal device, he laughed a little.  He got his wish but it was not as much as he hoped, but it was something.  He realized the big bonus was rare but this was not much more than his normal pay.  He considered it poetic though as this last year’s charter assignment had been one long one of being diplomatic and kind to someone who was at best melancholy.

The captain of the Trilian-Moons Maiden, a well kept and polished Free Trader, was competent to be sure.  She was uniquely suited to dealing with this charter assignment. She needed a pilot/navigator and she was pleased with Jeremiah right away because of his skills. But Captain Sarah Kingwood was very much instructing him on etiquette and protocol of the social variety. The entire trip this was the case and she made that clear, in multiple ways, because their charter client was Countess Borgosman.

Countess Borgosman had chartered the ship because the nature of this trip was to be more behind the scenes and she was not announcing her coming to the various places she was visiting hoping to surprise the stewards fo the various fiefs of her property she was visiting for inspections.  She always was suspicious of everyone and had a condescending opinion of everyone’s competence level.  The promise of a bonus and this being a charter trip made Jeremiah willing to put up with even a Countess snob if it meant more money.  Besides he would be either in his room or at the control most of the time. However, the countess insisted on a formal dinner every night with all crew members present.

The upside for the captain was that meant she only needed a crew of three – just her, Jeremiah and the Engineer Jill Forest, a young but very technically savvy woman.  The Steward and Doctor for the trip would be provided by the Countess. The captain provided a more standard uniform for this occasion that matched her own to Jeremiah and Jill.  I few days before the countesses arrival, they had lessons from both the Captain and the countesses’ steward for the trip on all the appropriate customs.

Jeremiah did manage to utilize some of his Streetwise and Carousing skills as far as dealing with people in learning all this.  When the countess arrived he knew how to act and address her as well as eat at the table properly. He wore the uniform with his firs officer pips on the shoulders. It was a little stiff but he managed. He only had to wear it at the dinner and the rest of the time was just keeping his work uniform clean as possible which he always did.

When the countess arrived he was a little puzzled because she was younger than expected.  It was later revealed she had inherited her father’s title and land after his death a couple years ago.  She was tall and thin having actually grown up on a much lighter gravity world.  Her brown hair was plain and so was her face.  But she was also looking a little sad at times.

The trip was actually very uneventful.  His contact with the countess was usually always only at dinner. The first dinner he seemed to avoid her attention but he noticed she dressed in her dinner dress and wore the jewels and makeup of noble well and held her head high.

It was the second night that she turned her attention to him.  She asked a lot of questions about his background and some of the trips he had piloted for and navigated.  She almost seemed amused when he told her the stories fo his growing up on Strouden.  She seemed very interested in his background and how he became a Free Trader. But other than this her conversations were mostly with the captain after that.  Her only social interaction with him as official like a tone from a bureaucrat.

The next many months went by and the trip settled into a dull routine other than Jeremiah was paying a high degree of attention to the human interactions at dinner.  Learning finer points of being polite and looking well mannered.  Learning to handle different people of different social classes was definitely something he felt he could put to use as a captain.  Despite her nature, the countess was always polite although her questions always assumed that the person she was talking to might not know something as well they thought. Jeremiah, however, seemed to escape this attention. He settled into being on the bridge for his shifts, sleeping, dinners, and reading.  There was not much else to do.

When they landed on Regina a year later, Jeremiah felt well versed in the basics of social customs of the upper classes and nobility. The real problem though was, as he walked down the ramp of the ship for the last time, he realized while this was nice to know; he preferred the real world grit of real people.  Being a liaison to the upper class was a good skill but he hadn’t had fun for a whole year practically and was eager for a stiff drink and some female companionship of a more intimate and preferably sensual variety.

But he shook his head at the bonus of 2500 Cr for the trip.   It was something to be sure but he was fairly sure that was a lot less than the captain was expecting.  He smiled and walked into The Naked Gypsy and breathed in the air.  Yep, the smell of booze, sex, and fun. Felt more like ‘home’ than the last year.  Next year he would be completing the last year of his third term and turning thirty.  It seemed so long ago that he stepped on to the deck of his first starship.  Right now, fun awaited as well as a more lucrative future – he hoped.

Megatraveler Notes:

Start:

Free Trader 1st Officer Jeremiah Kilwood

Rank: O4 – 1st Officer   Terms Served: 2

UPP: A67A74   Age: 28  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Pilot – 2, Navigation – 2, Engineering – 1, Sensor Ops – 1, Legal – 1, Carousing – 1, Small Blade-1, Turret Weapons-1, Streetwise – 1, Zero-G Combat-1, Handgun – 1, Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Vacc Suit – 0

Brownie Points: 5, Bonus Money: 25000 Cr.

Year Eleven:

Roll for position availability:  8 + 1 for Intelligence = 9 – position available, serves as 1st Officer

Roll for assignment: 8 + 1 for Social 5- = 9 –   Charter Assignment

Survival Roll: 5  – Survives.

Skill Roll: 9 – Skill acquired.

Bonus: 10  –  Bonus. rolls 2 – 2500Cr

Roll for Skills: (1 for skill roll) – Rolls Free Trader Service Table rolls: 1 – Interpersonal Cascade  – picks Liaison -1

Year-End

Free Trader 1st Officer Jeremiah Kilwood

Rank: O4 – 1st Officer   Terms Served: 2

UPP: A67A74   Age: 29  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Pilot – 2, Navigation – 2, Engineering – 1, Sensor Ops – 1, Legal – 1, Liaison- 1, Carousing – 1, Small Blade-1, Turret Weapons-1, Streetwise – 1, Zero-G Combat-1, Handgun – 1, Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Vacc Suit – 0

Brownie Points: 5, Bonus Money: 27500 Cr.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Navigator” – Space Tramp – Chapter 11 (Megatraveller Fan Ficiton)

Happy Tyr’s Day

Story:

If there was one continued disappointment for Jeremiah is that many of his assignments had no bonuses to them.  If it wasn’t for the continued good pay of being a 1st Officer his savings toward owning his own starship would be very negligible.  As it was he lived a very Spartan lifestyle ( other than the once a month trips to whatever local bar and brothel there was on a system) and still put a lot away, but those missing bonuses were just not to be found in the standard route assignments he found so often in his life.

This last year he had easily found work as a first officer being the bridge crewman and pilot of the far trader known as Red Grasshopper III. They were on a route out toward the center of the Imperium but six jumps out would return back to Regina.  It was a well-known route and well patrolled by the Imperium so no trouble was expected.  It was however new to Jeremiah and so he learned some new things and saw some new places.

The captain was also the owner and played the role of that very well.  Senior Captain Largo Frogman, was a good captain with the right balance of running his ship with discipline, encouragement as well as striking a good balance between micromanagement and letting his crew free to do their jobs.  The Grasshopper was well maintained by her engineer and the steward/medic was top notch.  Jeremiah was the pilot and shared that with the captain. He sat in the navigation co-pilot seat a lot.

This was great for him as he began to fine-tune his navigation skills.  He smiled at his ability to come up with his own course routes through a system and jump coordinates were getting much easier. He could program the computer with the navigation himself. By the end of the trip, he took the Navigation Journeyman exam and passed so now both Pilot and Navigator had the word Journeyman next to them on his Free Trader ID card.

When they touched down in Regina a year after setting out, Captain Frogman thanked him for his hard work and excellent navigation.  He didn’t promise him a spot for the next voyage, but he was open to the idea if Jeremiah wanted it.

Jeremiah was uncertain because he was looking for something more lucrative than a simple Route assignment.  As much as he liked Captain Frogman he needed something more profitable and so he would chance it on a new assignment.   He gathered his gear and headed to The Naked Gypsy.

As usual, the bar/brothel didn’t fail to lift his spirits.  He ran into some dock workers he knew from back a few years and bought them a round of drinks.  After a couple hours, they left and he headed upstairs to the brothel.  He found that a lot of the girls that had been there when he had first started coming there were gone.  Madam Anabelle explained that many of them retired. Jeremiah shook his head – prostitutes retiring at 26 standard years was something he couldn’t fathom.  Lots of time on your back leads to time on your back sunbathing somewhere. It made him smile.

There was a new girl that caught his eye and he asked to see if she was available.  Mirana was as young as he had been when he left Strouden but she obviously has skills he had never thought of that age which he learned in the hour he spent with her.  He went next door and got a room in the hotel.  He checked the job list.  He needed something to make some money. When girls of the evening are retiring faster than you and you are a spacer, it’s time to double your efforts

Megatraveler Notes:

Start:

Free Trader 1st Officer Jeremiah Kilwood

Rank: O4 – 1st Officer   Terms Served: 2

UPP: A67A74   Age: 27  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Pilot – 2, Navigation – 1, Engineering – 1, Sensor Ops – 1, Legal – 1, Carousing – 1, Small Blade-1, Turret Weapons-1, Streetwise – 1, Zero-G Combat-1, Handgun – 1, Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Vacc Suit – 0

Brownie Points: 5, Bonus Money: 25000 Cr.

Year Ten:

Roll for position availability: 9 + 1 for Intelligence = 10 – position available, serves as 1st Officer

Roll for assignment: 4 + 1 for Social 5- = 5 –  Route Assignment

Survival Roll: 7  – Survives.

Skill Roll: 8 – Skill acquired.

Bonus: 3  – No Bonus

Roll for Skills: (1 for skill roll) – Rolls Business Table rolls: 2 – Space cascade – picks Navigation – 2

Year-End

Free Trader 1st Officer Jeremiah Kilwood

Rank: O4 – 1st Officer   Terms Served: 2

UPP: A67A74   Age: 28  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Pilot – 2, Navigation – 2, Engineering – 1, Sensor Ops – 1, Legal – 1, Carousing – 1, Small Blade-1, Turret Weapons-1, Streetwise – 1, Zero-G Combat-1, Handgun – 1, Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Vacc Suit – 0

Brownie Points: 5, Bonus Money: 25000 Cr.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!