The Spiral Notebook, Entry Seven: Leafstorm

March 23, 2018 in Most Recent, The Spiral Notebook

Today on The Spiral Notebook, I want to talk about something us Theurgists have been clamoring for since day one: A low-pip AoE.

For those of you who don’t know the lingo, an “AoE” is a term used to describe an ability in an RPG that allows players to hit all enemies within a certain area. In Wizard101, AoE attacks are the ones that deal damage “to all enemies,” such as Meteor Strike and Humungofrog. Every single school, save for Life and Death, all get AoE spells by Level 28; the rest of us are left to rot, essentially. Death is another story entirely—Deer Knight CAN be obtained, either through burning Crowns or sequence-breaking to farm Loremaster—but I’m not here to talk about that. No, today I’m going to talk about Leafstorm.

So what is Leafstorm, exactly? Leafstorm is an Item Card-exclusive spell for Life Wizards, exclusive to the Kookaburra, a pet Theurgists don’t get until Level 118. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t that seem a little… late? What’s the point of a low-pip AoE at that level when we have Forest Lord? Sure, one could just get the pet off a higher-level Theurgist, but doesn’t that kind of ruin the magic of getting the pet for yourself? Giving us a low-pip AoE was a good first step, but what do we do going forward?


Here’s my proposal: Life learns Spirit Armor at Level 16, right? How about swap Spirit Armor for Leafstorm? It’d be a simple, yet effective tactic that would empower Theurgists in the earlier levels and allow them to have a far more enjoyable experience! Plus, let’s be honest… who uses Spirit Armor? XD


But that begs the question: What happens to Spirit Armor? Again, I have a proposal: Relegate it to a quest; more specifically, the Side Quest “Wings and Things” at Level 18.

“Wings and Things” is the first in a series of Side Quests that culminates in Theurgists learning the Sprite Guardian spell. It’s a simple enough quest: smack around some Dark Fairies, go to specific location, watch a pretty cinematic, bada-bing, bada-boom, on to the next one. But I think something more… special could happen. Here’s my proposed scenario: following the Satyr Prince Hughes’s appearance, something different happens.

Prince Hughes: Hello there, Student of Life! I am so glad that you called upon me for help. Join with me in this merry tune that I play.

The Satyr takes the Fairy Wings from you and gives you an Enchanted Flower as you dance.

As you take the Enchanted Flower, you feel a rush of energy from within. A calming warmth sets itself around you, wrapping your whole body in a tender embrace.

Prince Hughes: Is dancing not the most joyful thing? You cannot help but feel alive! Go now and always carry a song in your heart!

Later, you report in to Moolinda, and she takes note of something rather remarkable.


Moolinda Wu: My, my! It seems the Life Minion took quite a shine to you!

Moolinda Wu: It would appear you’ve tapped further into the power of your own spirit. Let me teach you how to use that power to shield others.

The quest ends; you learn Spirit Armor. Hip hip hooray! But the quest continues in “Acetate Cloth”:


Moolinda Wu: The spell I have just taught you is known as Spirit Armor. Unlike normal Wards, this Spell absorbs a fixed amount of damage, completely shielding you or your allies from attack.

Moolinda Wu: With this protective power, I feel you are more ready than ever to have a companion of Life at your side. And as for the summoning spell…

Moolinda Wu: You have already obtained the Enchanted Flower, but there are still more items to be gathered. You will next need some Acetate Cloth, a fabric with special magical properties.

Moolinda Wu: Last I heard, the Librarian in Krokotopia has a supply of this special cloth. He uses it to bind many of the old books there. Please see if he can spare some for me.


…And then the rest of the quests would continue as normal. It’s a small change that only requires a few dialogue edits, but I think it could work WONDERS.


In any case, that’s my idea for Leafstorm: Training it at Level 16, swapping it for Spirit Armor, which you learn at Level 18. Do you think this will work? Please give me some feedback! (And send it to Kingsisle so this idea actually has a shot :3 )

The Spiral Notebook, Entry Six: It’s a Punderful Life

March 20, 2018 in Most Recent, The Spiral Notebook

Welcome back to the Spiral Notebook, ladies and germs! Today I want to talk about something near and dear to my heart. Is it Spiral-related? No. But I’m still talking about it, okay? CHILL!

…If you’re an Ice Wizard, you probably groaned when you read that last bit. Like it or not, folks, today I’m talking about bad puns. Fellow community member Nicholas Ice wrote a short blurb on school-specific puns, so I couldn’t help but throw my hat into the ring! That being said… on to the wordplay!



Light ‘em up!
You mess with him, you’re gonna get roasted.
You’re really blazing through these guys!
No need to get EMBERassed!
I’m passing the torch onto you!
I am so stoked right now!
It’s my own personal brand.
You’re on fire right now!



Dude. Chill.
Ice to see you!
Why are you so cold towards me?
Don’t give me the cold shoulder, man…
What’ll it take to thaw that frozen heart?
That was so cool!
Wait, what?! Snow way!!!
You’re so scary, you made him freeze in his tracks!
Don’t get riled up. Play it cool.



Make it rain!
Don’t scare him too badly. When he runs, he bolts.
Are you getting through? All I’m hearing is static.
…Well, that was shocking.
You really light this place up!
He’ll be fine; he’s just getting his feet wet.
I see I’ve sparked your interest.
So what’s the current situation?
Water you waiting for?!



You really need to branch out.
For a veteran, you sure are green.
Make like a tree and leaf!
Leaf me alone!
I hear Theurgists are good for your Health.
Your class is grass, and I’m the lawn mower.
I’ve never been one to spring into action.



Eye see you!
Story of my life!
That’s just a myth.
It’s all in your head!
It’s the thought that counts!
You’re certainly Shattering expectations!
Man, look at ‘em! They’re Quaking in fear!



You are SO dead!
That was a grave mistake.
Geez! That attack was deadly!
You messed up; no bones about it.
I’ve got a bone to pick with you.
Get this through your thick skull!
We MARROWly escaped that!
I don’t feel so good… I think I’m gonna Feint.
He’s gotten so thin… he’s just skin and bones.
You really need to flesh out your excuses.
Why you gotta be so Doom and Gloom all the time?
Don’t be so surprised. I told you you had some Bad Juju headed your way.
Not everything’s black-and-white, you know.



Time to tip the scales! (Anyone who gets this reference deserves a cookie)
This game isn’t very balanced.
Let’s just call it even, okay?
Can you PLEASE not judge me?
My team deserted me…
I’m pretty in the middle on that issue.
Orange you glad to see me?

…And that’s it for now. Some of these were a lot harder to come up with than others, that’s for sure; in the meantime, I did have a lot of fun writing these! Would you guys be interested in more entries like this! Let me know! Until then… Peace!

Spiraling into Shadow – SPECIAL Q&A

March 9, 2018 in Most Recent, Spiraling into Shadow

Hello everyone! Today is a very special day. In honor of 20 whole chapters of Spiraling into Shadow, I’m doing something a little different: a Q&A! To kick things off, I asked my buddy and Duelist extraordinaire (as well as occasional Excel addict) Miss Mora Misthead* to whip up a few questions for me to answer. That being said… let’s get started!
1. What got you into writing fanfiction? Do you write other things as well?
Good question! Growing up, playing pretend with my older sister was one of the staples of my childhood; even in my crafting Bionicle figures from scratch or organizing my Thomas & Friends train sets juuuuuust right, I was always keen on telling stories of my own. Fully immersing myself in fantasy worlds–whether they be from video games, books, TV shows, or movies–it’s honestly part of what makes me me.
I DO do a ton of other writing! I’ve done poetry, editorials, reviews, short stories… my main passion is screenwriting, though. I’ve actually had a TV show in the works for over 4 years now… in concept, of course. But making my dreams reality? That’s all I could ever ask for.


2. What’s your personal favorite chapter of Spiraling into Shadow?
Oof. First a good question, now a tough one… not pulling any punches, I see. XD

Before I start, I want to clarify something: James? Yeah. He’s me. The things he deals with inside and outside his head? Yeah, I’ll never get into a Death-Match with a spider god any time soon, but I’ve fought my fair share of demons, believe me. The hardest part is telling yourself in that moment that it’s going to get better, even when your head is screaming that it won’t. Give yourself time and you will emerge from Shadow, but stronger than ever. Believe me.

…Wow, that didn’t get way off-topic and insanely deep at all… sorry. Back to the question!
I don’t have a specific chapter that I can point to as my definite favorite, but I CAN definitely talk about why it was insanely fun to write. Using the pre-existing characters of Wizard101 to add to the story–and even add to themselves–has been a blast. Whether it be shaping Cyrus Drake as a hesitant but compassionate personality, Baba Yaga as a sadistic yet caring grandmother, Dark Shepherd as a sassy companion, Lydia Greyrose being the “proper” grandma who always taught you etiquette… I’ve always found that kind of thing to be a blast, especially when you realize halfway through writing something just how well what you thought up clicks into the mold you’ve made. And if you’re wondering why I didn’t mention Spider… well, let’s just say I’m saving that for later. 😉


3. Do you plan your stories in advance? If so, how detailed is your plan?
I first started writing Spiraling into Shadow as a bit of a personal project, something I could return to if I ever needed an outlet. Fast-forward a few months or so, and I’d written over 7 chapters before I thought to myself, “Hey, if I’m going to be writing about a video game I love so much, why not be a part of the community I’d followed for years?” I’d tried my hand at writing for the Duelist101 community years and years back, but as I eased back into the community writing the Spiral Notebook series I knew for a fact that this was the place to share my content. So here we are.
In terms of storyline, I never really knew how or where I was going to take the series. Like I mentioned earlier, Spiraling into Shadow started out as a place to vent; encapsulating my dark frustrations within my work was really the point of it rather than a cohesive narrative. Eventually, though, my writing instincts kicked in, and I began to ask the vital storytelling question: What happens now?
After that, I started going with the flow. I drew inspiration from the game and its characters, shaping the main story into a much more personal narrative. This newfound sense of direction initially made ideas shoot out left and right: What if James and Spider were friends? What if James and Mellori were into one another? What implications would all those make in the story? I wrote, and I wrote, and I wrote, and soon Chapter 12 was finished.
Here’s a tip for all you writers out there: Whenever you run into a creative roadblock (which I’ve done plenty of times, believe me), take a look at the road you’ve ridden so far. (Heh, I just realized “ridden” sounds like “written”… deep.) Take what you know and make something new. Think about what kids of things the characters in your story would do going forward, or how they would react to certain events. Allow the story to branch out, because who knows? That branch might produce some really great fruit.
4. Who are your favorite authors? Have they influenced your writing style?
I have a lot of favorite authors–William Shakespeare, S.E. Hinton, J.K. Rowling, Edgar Allen Poe, Harper Lee, Laurie Halse Andersen… the most influential writer for me by far, though, was definitely Rick Riordan. His colloquial and surprisingly humane manner of expressing narrative always stuck with me; I still read his books to this day.
5. Why do you write every chapter in a different style? I love these, but what are you trying to achieve?
Writing the same way over and over again… it gets boring. There are only so many ways to say “said,” yeah? As a general rule of thumb, I don’t write things I don’t find interesting; shaking up the format keeps it interesting. Plus… I just like dialogue, okay?!

I now turn the questions to you, O viewer. Leave a comment below asking a question, and I guarantee I will get to it. Until then… Earthwalker OUT!


Spiraling into Shadow – Chapter Twenty

March 7, 2018 in Most Recent, Spiraling into Shadow

This wasn’t the first time Spider had visited James in his dreams.


They could only meet here, of course; what would the Arcanum think if their newest prodigy was in contact with the enemy? The thought made the Supreme Entity grin. Foolish creatures, Spider thought. Afraid of what they don’t understand… this world never changes.


A flash of green leaves; the Theurgist had arrived. But something was different; Earthwalker wasn’t smiling. In fact, just the opposite: He was scowling.
“Where’s Mellori?” The wizard snapped. His purple eyes flashed with anger; Spider could sense the Shadow well up within him.
“Raven’s child is unharmed, if that is what you ask,” Spider rumbled. “Getting attached, are we?”
The grip on Earthwalker’s staff tightened. It was a new staff, a pulsing green eye atop some segmented metal bars. Spider had taken note of it during their clash in Mirage, but fashion statements weren’t really the focal points of that meeting.
“I see you finally abandoned Malistaire’s old walking stick,” Spider chided. “What’s it called?”
“Eye of the Soothsayer,” James replied, clearly not interested in talking about the thousands of Crowns he’d burned to get his hands on it. “I’ll ask again, Cob: Where’s Mellori?


The deep undertones of Grandfather Spider’s chuckling reverberated throughout the empty dream. “I have placed her under the custody of my second-eldest. Surely you remember I had three children?”
The Theurgist shook his head, clearly not having any of Spider’s small-talk. “And how is that any better than you having her?”
“Bat is a bit more… bipartisan than I am,” Spider sighed. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he uses the girl as a means of actually foiling my plans.”
James raised an eyebrow, confused. “Then why give her to Bat in the first place?”


Under his tattered hood, Spider’s eight eyes flared. “You underestimate me, Earthwalker,” he boomed. “Do you think I wouldn’t have contingency for such an outcome?”
 “…I suppose not,” the Theurgist grumbled. “Doesn’t make it any easier for me, though.”
Spider shook his head. “I ask you again, young man: Why are we fighting? Such charades are inconsequential; you know this.”


A look of steely determination resonated from the Theurgist’s gaze, causing Spider to shift unconsciously. There were very few things in the Spiral that put the Supreme Being on edge; James Earthwalker was one of them.
“I told you in Mirage, and I’ll tell you again,” James said slowly. “This world’s messed up, sure… but I wouldn’t have it any other way. And frankly, I’m not too keen on you killing everyone, if I’m going to be honest.”
“If life gave you a ‘Restart’ button, would you press it?” Spider countered. “I’m only doing what needs to be done. Too many mistakes have been made.”
“And what, killing everyone in one fell swoop will do that?! This isn’t a video game, Cob! You can’t just start over whenever you want just because things didn’t go the way you wanted!”


“ENOUGH,” Spider roared, his eight eyes flaring with dark light. James staggered, blown back by the sheer force behind the Supreme Being’s words. A dark aura resonated from the hooded entity, whispers of the Void echoing throughout the dream.
“If you were not who you are, Earthwalker, I would have held back when we fought in the Sands of Time,” Spider rumbled. “But even at full power, you proved a match for me… no, more than that.”
The Theurgist gripped his staff tightly, its emerald eye pulsing with menacing green light. “I won’t kill you, Cob, but I WILL stop you. As many times as it takes.” After a pause, he smirked, adding, “Friends gotta keep each other in check, yeah?”
Spider laughed heartily. “You’re a rare breed, Earthwalker,” he smiled. “The realistic optimist… Raven could learn much from you.”
“Heh… wait, what? Raven? What do you mean?”
The Supreme Being shook his head. “You’ll see for yourself soon enough, Tainted One.” Raising his hand, Spider chanted an ancient warping spell, covering himself in shadowy light.


“You will find Mellori in Empyrea,” Spider boomed. “Prepare for heartbreak, young one… I have a feeling you won’t like what happens next.”

Spiraling into Shadow – Chapter Nineteen

March 5, 2018 in Most Recent, Spiraling into Shadow

“…Hello to you too.”


“Is this your doing?!”
“Is what my doing?”
“Don’t play dumb with me, Travis. Just this morning I checked my book reserves and found all the titles of the Song of Creation texts were changed.”
“Really? How so?”
“…Drop the charade, Ironhammer. I know it was you.”
“I’m touched that you somehow managed to properly accredit the Song of Creation thesis to me and me alone. But what will your new teacher think?”
“…That’s the thing, Professor. She was the one who did it.”


“I gathered the necessary ingredients, of course. A few herbs here, a few papyrus reeds there… and the axe of a Minotaur who did not play fair. But Baba Yaga cast the spell.”
“…I see. She must be truly desperate for my journal.”
“She told me about how she once saw you come up with this idea for a creature. She said you called it… the Wumpus?”


“M-Mr. Drake!”
“The Wumpus?! That little childhood fantasy?! Don’t tell me… she actually intends to make it a real creature?!”
“That’s… what she told me…”
“Well, I’m afraid I have bad news for her. The Wumpus IS real… because I’ve already made a spell for it.”
“Here, let me see if I can find it…”


“Here we are.”
“P-Professor Drake! This-!”
“-Is a Shadow-Enhanced Spell, yes. After my fallout with Baba Yaga, I was… in a dark place. In a way, this spell was made in defiance of her, in defiance of the impossible standards she placed just over my head…but the Shadow only ended up making me stronger.”
“Mr. Drake…”
“Go back to Baba Yaga, Travis. Tell her all is forgiven… and don’t forget to tell her I beat her to the punch.”


“Did… did you just wink?”
“Yes. What of it?”
“I dunno, I guess I just never thought of you as the, er, ‘winking’ type…?”
“…It’s time for you to leave.”

“…There, there, Paige. It’s alright.”
“No, Miss Greyrose, it’s NOT alright! No—it’s not fair!”
“What’s not fair?”
“I hate feeling… so… responsible for him! Like, I saw what he was becoming, and all I did wasn’t enough!”
“…I see…”
“And I hate the fact that I even feel that way, you know? Why does it always have to be about James? James, James, James! All anyone ever asks me is, ‘How’s your brother doing?’ ‘Can you get me a Teleport to James’s Palace?’ UGH!!!”


“…Oh no. Oh no. Oh nononononono… Not the ice… not here… not now…”
“Paige… calm down. Take a few deep breaths. Remember what I taught you…you control the Ice, the Ice doesn’t control you…”
“…Deep breaths. Deep breaths. Deep breaths… deep… bre…”


“Miss Greyrose?!”
“Young Ironhammer. It’s good to see you.”
“I came as soon as I heard… oh Bartleby, your house…!”
“Travis, Take Paige home so she can rest.”
“But your house-”
“And tell Hadfield the truth. If he’s going to teach her, he needs to know.”
“Are you sure?”
“Shadow has gripped her heart, young Ironhammer. Perhaps even worse so than her brother’s. We must act quickly…”

Spiraling into Shadow – Chapter Eighteen

March 3, 2018 in Most Recent, Spiraling into Shadow

“Well, if it isn’t Travis Ironhammer. What brings you here today?”
“Good evening, Mr. Drake. I actually came on an errand from Baba Yaga.”
“Oh, really? Pray tell, what might she want?”
“Well, first she wanted to thank you for sending me her way. Those are her exact words, no lie.”
“I see…”
“Second… she wanted me to ask you if she could borrow your diary.


“…I beg your pardon.”
“She said you had a… diary? She was wondering-”
“Let me stop you there. First, it’s not a diary, it’s a journal.”
“…And second, why would she even want it?!”
“She’s thinking up a new spell. One that requires your dia-I mean, journal. At least, that’s what I gather.”
“…Mr. Drake? Are you… okay?”
“…Tell that… witch… that she can make her own spells, for all I care. She won’t be stealing any more ideas from me… not anymore.”
“Professor Drake-”
“Get out.”


“…So, he didn’t give you the diary, hm?”
“He called it a journal.”
“Journal, schmournal. I taught that man everything he knows! He should show an old lady some respect!”
“I mean, I suppose…”
“So what if I helped him publish his groundbreaking thesis on the Song of Creation? It wasn’t my fault the publishers put my name first in the title!”
“And oh, I’m so sorry I told you your hair made you look like a dingy painter! You looked even more ridiculous than your brother and his stupid dreadlocks!”
“And I’m so, SO sorry that you got lost that one time we went to Azteca to conduct research on the First World! How could I have known you would have wandered off to research those dumb Quetza-”
“Baba Yaga?”


“How can I help?”
“…What kind of a question is that?”
“I don’t want you guys to be enemies. He said you were friends, once… why can’t it be that way again?”
“People change, Ironhammer. You of all people should know that.”
“For a Scholar of Myth, you clearly lack a lot of faith.”
“…How dare you insult me. I ought to turn you into a Piggle.”
“Baba Yaga, I believed in James after Katie died. I believed in Paige when she claimed the Sword of Kings, even when those Friars said that such a feat was impossible for a woman. That’s what Myth’s all about, right? We believe in others. And I believe in you—you and Cyrus.”


“…You’re incredibly wise when you want to be, young man. Green Bean must be rubbing off on you.”
“Uh… thanks?”
“Listen. I think I know how to make it up to Cyrus. And if all things go as planned, who knows? You might get a new spell out of it.”
“Count me in. What’s the plan?”


“Okay, so here’s what you do…”

Spiraling into Shadow – Chapter Seventeen

March 1, 2018 in Most Recent, Spiraling into Shadow

The Thamaturge sat in the plush red armchair, taking in her surroundings. The house was small, but it was quaint—a humble abode for a humble woman. Paige smiled; she could definitely see herself living in a place like this.
“Tea’s ready!” A melodious voice rang out in the adjacent room. Turning, Paige noticed as a small blue figure fluttered her way over, a large silver platter wobbling in her petite hands. Bowing her head in silent thanks, the Thamaturge delicately took the steaming cup and saucer from the tray and placed it on her lap.


“I can’t tell you how good it is to see you, dear.” The blue fairy flitted her way over to her own small armchair, an appropriately sized cup and saucer in her hands. Sighing, she touched down upon her chair, placing her drink in her lap as she adjusted her glasses. “Tell me, how long has it been?”
“A couple years since graduation, Miss Greyrose,” Paige replied, taking a sip of her tea. Almost immediately a satisfying warmth spread over her tongue, along with an all-too-familiar taste. She smiled. Earl Grey… some things never change.
“My, my,” the Ice Professor tutted. “Seems only yesterday you and that brother of yours first stumbled onto campus.”
“That was nearly 10 years ago,” Paige said.


“You’ve grown so much since then.” Lydia Greyrose smiled as she stirred her tea with a spoon the size of a toothpick. “Is Hadfield treating you well?”
“He’s… different,” Paige chuckled. “His methods are a lot more… informal, I’ll give him that.”
“How so?”
“One day we went to Wintertusk and just went sledding all day.”
“Sledding…? Oh my. I think I know where this is going.”


The old fairy smiled, a kind of frosty twinkle in her eye. “Did he do the avalanche?”
Paige guffawed, her eyes nearly the size of the saucer in her lap. “NO WAY. How did you know?!”
“I’ve heard similar horror stories from alumni,” Greyrose laughed, her voice bubbling with mirth as she rocked back and forth clutching her gut. “About how Hadfield would take his students sledding, only to submerge them in several meters’ worth of slush…” The Ice Professor wiped a tear from her eye as she de-fogged her glasses with a napkin.
“It was a good lesson!” Paige retorted, chuckling. “A far cry from your orderliness, that’s for sure, but it was great! And really fun, actually! I mean, Ice isn’t just rigid structure… it’s also unpredictable, like a sudden snowstorm.” She grinned. “At this point, I’m just mirroring what Hadfield told me, so I guess his lesson plan is working.”
Lydia smiled fondly as she sipped her tea. “I suppose you’d be a bit more inclined towards unpredictability… what with all that adventuring you’ve done on the side with that brother of yours.”


As the Ice Professor placed her now-empty cup on the coffee table, she looked at her protégé, curious. Something was… off. At a normal glance, one might assume the Thamaturge was simply uncomfortable; however, this was different. Her pale-blue eyes were muddled, her lips resting in a slight frown. Her shoulders drooped to her sides as her gaze flitted around the room nervously.
“…Icebreeze? Is something the matter?”
Paige shook her head hurriedly, adjusting her hat atop her head with an odd vigor. “N-no, Miss Greyrose. Just… thinking, is all.”
Lydia raised an eyebrow. “Thinking? Is this about James?”
Paige sighed. “…Yes… although I hate that I am.”
Without a word, the Ice Professor had flown back to her seat, sitting upright. She looked at the Thamaturge, directly gazing into her former student’s eyes with a sternness that radiated a determined coldness as well as a compassionate warmth.


“Tell me everything.”

Spiraling into Shadow – Chapter Sixteen

February 25, 2018 in Most Recent, Spiraling into Shadow

TIME: ???


JAMES EARTHWALKER and MELLORI enter the North Time Dunes. They take note of a shadowy hooded figure leaning on his cane in the distance—GRANDFATHER SPIDER. He watches the pair intently through the sandstorm.


…You ready?


Are you? I mean, this is Spider we’re up against here.


James pauses.


Spider’s… an old friend. My enemy, but a friend nonetheless.


(Shaking her head) I still can’t believe you were the one who broke that seal.


We got along really well, believe it or not. If we weren’t fighting, I’d get a drink with him.


Pfft. You’re 18.


So are you.


Your point?


…We’ll discuss this later.


They reach a large clearing. On the far end of the clearing, the Eye of History throbs with energy as a bolt of dark lightning ripples from it into the sandy maelstrom overhead. In the center of the clearing, Grandfather Spider extends his arms in dramatic fashion.


(In announcer-esque fashion) At long last, the inevitable showdown between Light and Shadow!
(Beat. Spider returns to leaning on his cane as he looks at the young Theurgist. If his hood weren’t obscuring his face, he’d be smirking.)
It’s been far too long, Earthwalker.


(Rolls his eyes) Good to see you too, Cob.


Spider chuckles.


You still insist on calling me by that name?


Of course. I’d like to think we have something together, y’know? I mean, I freed you and all.


Indeed. You braved the Abyss alone, even without the assistance of that Sorceress…


(Smiles bitterly) Those were the days, huh.


…This battle isn’t exactly clear-cut, is it, O Tainted One?


It really isn’t.


Beat. Mellori glances nervously between James and Spider.


I really don’t wish to fight.


You brought this upon yourself, bud.


Why are you so keen on protecting the Spiral, young one?


Where else would I put my Evil Magma Peas?


Spider laughs.


Fair enough, Earthwalker. But still you fail to see the bigger picture.


Which is what? “The Spiral is a sea of fractured pieces, asking to be reunited once more?” Yeah, no thanks. It’s messy, yeah, but… I’m okay with that.


Such poetry. You should write fanfiction.


…I’ll consider it…


Mellori, fed up with the idle chitchat, smacks James on the back of the head.


Stay focused!


OW! Okay, okay!


(Laughs) She’s got quite the leash on you! And here I was thinking you were your own man.


Shut up. Let’s do this.


(Chuckling) Understood.


James and Grandfather Spider stand opposite each other. Beneath their feet, a Dueling Circle springs to life.


You planning on cheating?


But of course. (He shrugs) And who knows? With the Sands of Time in such a frenzy, it might make things a bit more… unpredictable.


James grins.


Just the way I like it.


Spider slams his cane down. 7 Power Pips and 7 Shadow Pips burst forth, surrounding the Supreme Entity’s feet. Beneath his hood, 8 purple eyes flare with an unbridled intensity.


Let’s begin.

Spiraling into Shadow – Chapter Fifteen

February 20, 2018 in Most Recent, Spiraling into Shadow

“…Are we sure about all this?”


The three wizards sat down on the murky ground, their breaths visible in the frigid air. The Hive clicked and clattered with an almost mechanical buzz, gigantic insects scuttling this way and that in service to the Shadow Queen. James had described it best when they had first entered: breeding grounds for mindlessness.
Paige turned her head, concerned. “Katie? Everything okay?”
The Sorceress shook her head. Up until a moment ago, she hadn’t said a word since her boyfriend had descended down the Spider’s thread. “I… I dunno. I guess I’m just… worried for him, that’s all.”
Travis sighed. “Katie, something’s been on your mind. Knowing you, you’re worried for James… right?”


The Sorceress smirked. “You know me too well.” Sighing, Katie looked down as she sifted through her Deck. “Yeah, James has been… off. Ever since Azteca.”
“Ay, Azteca,” a voice grunted. Turning, the three wizards noticed the old rat dangling his scraggly feet over the edge of the abyss. “So it truly is gone,” Captain Taylor Coleridge muttered, clearly lost in his own little world. “Raven have mercy…”


“Yeah, James… didn’t take that very well,” Paige replied glumly, igniting the old captain’s ramblings. “Especially since he tried so hard to save Pacal…”
“Not to mention seeing Malistaire again,” Travis added. ”It was a shock for all of us, sure, but for him…” The Conjurer shook his head. “I can’t even imagine.”


“…It’s worse than that,” Katie mumbled, turning away. Tears were beginning to pool in her eyes.
Paige’s expression softened. She placed a hand on the young Sorceress’s back, rubbing it affectionately as her friend began to sob uncontrollably.
“Hey, hey,” the Thamaturge soothed. “What’s wrong?”
Katie slowly turned back to her friends, her tear-streaked face glistening in the dim light.
“Th-there’s something I haven’t told you,” she whimpered. “Th-the day after Azteca was destroyed… I-I found James back at his house… he… he was…”
She broke down sobbing once more, this time her tears flowing far more freely. Paige and Travis exchanged worried and shocked glances; they had never seen Katie this raw before.
“Katie…” Paige started slowly. “Tell us. It’s okay.”
The Sorceress’s head snapped up, her eyes flooded with sorrow, regret… and fear.


“He was trying to–”

Spiraling into Shadow – Chapter Fourteen

February 18, 2018 in Most Recent, Spiraling into Shadow

Paige didn’t quite understand why James loved Shadow so much. But then again, she kind of did.


She vaguely remembered that when James was little, he would constantly get picked on by older kids for being different. He struggled in school both academically and socially, his number of friends countable on one hand. Sometimes he would have outbursts, arguing with his parents on a nightly basis over the most trivial things… he had a spark, that was for sure, but it was a spark he couldn’t control.


She remembered when James, years ago, cast his first real Healing Spell in Golem Tower. It was a Fairy, and he had used it to heal a young Diviner he didn’t even know all that well. She would never forget that light in his eyes, that glow he radiated.


She remembered when Travis and James challenged the Gobblers on Colossus Boulevard to an eating contest. Even with the two of them working together, Prince Gobble won… by a long shot.


She remembered the day when James, along with some Sorceress named Katie, defeated an old Wraith in the Haunted Cave. The two were inseparable ever since.


She remembered the look of jealousy crossing her brother’s face when Katie first met Alharazed in Krokotopia. It was then she began teasing him about his “girlfriend.” He hated it.


She remembered when James geeked out upon meeting Sherlock Bones in Marleybone. James jabbered on nonstop about how he used to watch a similar character on TV when he was little… how come HE could recall his past so much better than she could? She remembered thinking it wasn’t fair.


She remembered when she and her brother ventured together through the vibrant land of Mooshu. She remembered his shock when a boss, upon defeat, left behind a Spell Card for him to use, and her further surprise upon hearing similar stories from Katie and Travis. Samoorai, Goat Monks, Ninja Pigs… where was HER spell?


She remembered sparring with the Loremaster in Dragonspyre alongside her friends, hoping that they might be given the chance at receiving all those cool spells the upperclassmen were using in the Arena. It wouldn’t be for a few years that she’d get her very own Lore spells, when she resorted to painstakingly crafting them herself.


She remembered the first time James killed Malistaire. She remembered his wide eyes, glassy with tears, as the scene of the Centaur’s arrow piercing the former Death professor’s chest undoubtedly looped over and over again in his mind…


She remembered how Katie had kissed him square on the lips right afterwards.
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