Heartburgh

Heartburgh Episode 5: Part 6

Geoffrey knocked on the door to Flame’s room at the Drunken Pie Inn. “Go away.” Her voice was muffled. “It’s me,” he said. “We need to plan your defense.” “I said, go away.” “I’ve got your file,” he yelled through the door. “I know what happened on Emura.” “What the…” Flame swore then stomped to …

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Heartburgh Episode 5: Part 3

Geoffrey left the atheneum and spotted Olav the page in the hallway. “Where did Flame go?” “She’s in the north tower,” Olav said. “Hold on, I’m coming with you.” Abigail came out into the hallway, followed immediately by Hephziba, Ayoob, and the general. “I’m sure we won’t even need a hearing if she just explains …

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Heartburgh Episode 5: Part 2

“You looked very different on Emura,” Flame told Handel. “You were… taller. And…” “I know, I know, I was a lot more handsome,” said Handel. “But one thing I learned from that experience is that when you’re choosing an avatar, you’re better off picking one with a brain instead of just going for looks. All …

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Heartburgh Episode 4: Part 6

Geoffrey slowly eased Steuan’s door closed. He’d managed to get in and out without getting caught, without making a sound, or attracting any attention. He didn’t normally engage in breaking and entering. When he needed to have anything stolen on World of Battle, he had plenty of thieves he could subcontract to. Unfortunately, he hadn’t …

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Heartburgh Episode 4: Part 3

Author’s note: I removed the book Bartram was reading in the previous installment and replaced it with a catalog. A very special catalog. “So this is where Flame’s faith healer is staying?” General Lukomendrius Dungerame asked Geoffrey as the two approached the Drunken Pie in. “Steuan Raollet, yes. And he’s staying in the room right …

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Heartburgh Episode 4: Part 2

The door to the athaneum popped open. “The Duke is going to be a few minutes late,” Olav the page told the waiting council members sitting around the conference table. “He’s probably meeting with a foreign ambassador,” said Hephziba Primrose Livilla Massey. “Running a small kingdom in the middle of nowhere must be very challenging.” …

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Heartburgh Episode 4: Part 1

Geoffrey Napadayushyi, professional drama stirrer-upper in exile, walked into Heartburgh’s finest dining establishment, the Drunken Pie Inn, located just outside the entrance to Heartburgh Castle. Flame Bunyips, the Duke’s alliances and outreach coordinator, looked up from her breakfast. “Looking for a fast horse out of town?” “No, I’m actually just here for breakfast,” he said. …

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Heartburgh Episode 3: Part 6

By the time Geoffrey found and returned with four raw eggs, word of the competition had spread. Several villagers were camped out on the edges of the training ground, placing bets. The soldiers were no longer competing just for the gold stars. They were now competing for an audience, which meant that Ohoudulus might well survive …

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Heartburgh Episode 3: Part 5

Ohoudulus stood with his hands on his waist, watching the troops try to organize themselves into teams. “Watch and learn,” he told Geoffrey. “Watch and learn.” He walked to the first team. “Your ties are too loose,” he told them. “If they come undone, you’re disqualified.” He walked around behind the team, sniffed, and continued walking …

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Heartburgh Episode 3: Part 2

“This isn’t going to end well,” Bartram told Geoffrey. “You’re right, Flame is going to find out.” Geoffrey could see how it would play out. Flame Bunyips, Heartburgh’s alliances and outreach coordinator, would find out that Geoffrey hadn’t been injured in battle at all, and that she had provided medical care under false pretenses. She …

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Heartburgh Episode 3: Part 1

“Well, this is exciting,” the Duke said. “Our first official after-action debriefing.” For the purposes of the meeting, the atheneum had been turned into a war room, with a large map of Krim hung up on one of the walls, completely covering the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. A slate slab was propped up against the shelves on …

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Heartburgh Episode 2: Part 9

Geoffrey was very good at riding horses. Sowing hatred and discord usually required lots of travel. He was even better at riding dragons, since they were the faster mode of transportation on World of Battle. Krim, unfortunately, had no dragons. That was a pity, because it could have significantly reduced the time it took to …

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Heartburgh Episode 2: Part 8

“I guess he’s not going to have his soup then,” said Jim, and sat down in Bartram’s chair. He leaned over it and breathed in the scent. “Beans and… turnips?” “Skirrets,” said Quarta Pappa. “And garlic and onions, a little fennel.” Jim slurped up a spoonful. “Tasty.” “Is your friend really planning to walk all …

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Heartburgh Episode 2: Part 6

“When you get to Cleig Grijan, look for Quarta Pappa.” Flame handed Geoffrey a packet. “She’s the village elder.” “Her house is right next to the church on the village green,” added Abigail. “You can’t miss it.” “Fine, I’ll go,” said Geoffrey. “But just to Cleig Grijan. I don’t want to go to the sex …

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Heartburgh Episode 2: Part 3

Olav nudged Geoffrey awake. “Mr. Napadayushyi? Mr. Napadayushyi?” Geffrey propped himself up on an elbow. “Did we have a meeting scheduled? We did, didn’t we?” “No, no, I mean, yes, you wanted to talk to me today, but this is about something else. Duke Percheval would like you to come up to his suite.” Olav …

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Heartburgh: Episode 1 Part 7

“Wait, you can’t go in there…” the page said. Geoffrey shoved him out of the way and threw open the door. The general was climbing out of the bathtub and his derriere, glistening with water droplets, was pale and flabby. “Hey!” The general grabbed for a towel and turned around. “What’s the meaning of this?” …

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Heartburgh: Episode 1 Part 6

“General Lukomendrius Dungerame is in here,” the page said, opening the door. Hot, steamy air washed over Geoffrey and he stepped back. “Is that you, Geoff? Come on in!” The general was soaking in a large tub, one leg hanging over the edge, in a small, wood-paneled room that smelled of eucalyptus and juniper, probably …

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Heartburgh: Episode 1 Part 5

Geoffrey’s lodgings were located outside the castle proper, in an inn not too far from the castle entrance. He headed for a side door, instead, to avoid bumping into anyone he knew. He opened the door and walked right into Flame Bunyips. “What the hell!” Heartburgh’s alliances and outreach coordinator staggered to keep her balance. …

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Heartburgh: Episode 1 Part 4

“General Dungerame! The new military strategist is here.” General Dungerame turned around in his seat. “Hello, Geoff.” He dismissed the page with a wave of his hand. “Sit down.” “Hi, Luke.” Geoffrey walked out through a set of heavy wooden doors onto a stone balcony that overlooked the training field. Below, Heartburgh’s army was doing …

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Heartburgh: Episode 1 Part 2

Geoffrey found Flame Bunyips in the stables, brushing one of the horses. “There you are,” he said. “Who, me?” said Flame, turning around. “No, the horse,” said Geoffrey, and stroked the animal’s neck. “The stablehand said there’s nothing wrong with her.” “Then I’m sure she’s happy that you’re here with her instead of him,” said …

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