J.F. Posthumus

J.F. Posthumus

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Virginia, United States
A computer tech and artist that thrives on writing fantasy to escape the harshness of reality.
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Discover in the Mountains....

A little longer snippet from Banshee's Daughter, which takes places after Iliana is sent to rescue a hobgoblin's son.  It takes place deep under the mountains in Virginia.  Perry was a spelunker who was attacked by the kobolds and took several spears to his ass and Dante is the hobgoblin's son.

This has a mixture of setting, action, and (hopefully) humor. 



The castle of the docelfar witch wasn’t like any other she’d ever seen.  It was as though the crazy woman wanted a labyrinth of rooms, hallways, and chambers to confuse not only those who slipped in unnoticed, but those who lived there as well. 
You’d have to have a map to keep from getting lost, Iliana decided as she allowed her ethereal form to slither through the walls and ceilings until she found the room she wanted.  The throne room was as chiseled and dark as the rest of the castle.  The only difference was the torches lining the throne like a flickering orange crown of flames. 
The exiled docelfar sat in a throne of gray limestone with shale steps leading up to the dais.  Unlike most other docelfar and elves Iliana had seen, this woman was plump bordering on fat.  Her hair was piled upon her head, making her pudgy face seem that much heavier.  Beside her, held by two kobolds, was a tray laden with candies and pastries with a pitcher and goblet filled with some sort of beverage. 
Despite the woman’s weight, her magical power filled the room and, unlike that of Xantos and Darkflower and the few other powerful magic users she knew, this woman’s magic was imbued with something else.  It tasted dark, sooty, and bitter, as though someone had brought the leaves from above and were burning them instead of dried wood.
“Alzeina, my lovely,” a soft voice, snapping and crackling with fire, whispered, “I grow tired of the paltry banquet of mortals.  I want the bauchen’s son to dine upon.”
Iliana shrank back into the wall, keeping only her head out from the stones so she could hear with ease.  Thick gray tendrils of smoke curled around the throne, growing thicker in substance until it swirled in a tornado beside the throne.   As the twister slowed, a corporeal figure formed until there was only a fog creeping around his feet and the dais. 
Six feet tall, easily, with hair the color of soot and skin the purest white of a flame with a hint of blue, his eyes were flaming red and he wore a tunic of pale blue that drifted in an unseen breeze.  Loose-fitting pants billowed in the breeze and Iliana felt the blood drain from her face despite the chiseled and toned body of the man leaning nonchalantly against the throne.
A djinn.  It was a djinn that had been feasting upon the misery and dying in that building.  No wonder Asmodeus’s minions weren’t daring the docelfar’s lair, the djinn was keeping the souls hidden from everyone.  Worse yet, a single banshee couldn’t banish a djinn alone.  And she wasn’t even a whole banshee!
As she watched, trying to stave off her panic, the djinn straightened slightly and inhaled deeply.  Oh, gods, he’s scented me, she groaned inwardly.
“Ah, Faust, I shall personally bring the bauchen’s son to you and torture him slowly as you dine upon his dying body.  It will be the finest feast,” Alzeina murmured, running her hand along the djinn’s forearm.  “Perhaps then, you will accept my offer of a night in my bed.”
Faust, though Iliana doubted that was the djinn’s true name, ignored the docelfar’s touch as he stared at the column, which Iliana hid behind. 
Come out, come out, little banshee, Faust’s voice echoed within her head.  I know you’re here, though I wonder what brings you to my lair.  Perhaps you’re hoping to save the boy’s soul from being my feast?
Iliana remained silent as she allowed her body to slide from the throne room.  She had to get to Dante and Perry before the witch and the djinn made a personal appearance for her benefit.  Descending through the floors was faster and easier then rising, but only because she allowed gravity to assist her.  Since banshees were created from the dead and they were ‘raised’ from death, rising was as easy to a banshee as flying was for a bird.
Dropping to the floor in her corporeal form, Iliana gestured towards the lock and snapped out a command.  The lock drifted softly to the floor even as the door swung open. 
“That was a quick trip,” Dante commented as Iliana moved towards the door.
Iliana shot him a glower.  “Keep quiet, make as little noise as possible and follow me if you want to get out of here alive and in one piece.”
“There’s a difference?”  Perry asked, looking from her to Dante in fearful confusion.
“Yes.  You can be alive and in several pieces as the main course to an evil spirit.  Sound like fun?”  Iliana asked with forced cheerfulness.  “Your choice: follow us or remain as the main course for a hungry monster?”
Tsk, tsk, child, to call me a monster, Faust’s voice floated into her thoughts yet again.  I’m merely a powerful being with a large appetite.  Perhaps you’d enjoy staying and joining me for a meal?
An appetite for pain and suffering, Iliana retorted sharply.  Sorry, but I’m not a masochist.  Now, be a good little annoying djinn and get the hell out of my mind!
A laugh that snapped and crackled like burning embers filled what she thought was just her own mind, until she saw Dante stiffen and heard Perry gasp.  So much for sneaking out.  Maybe he wouldn’t tell the crazy Alzeina what they were up to.  She could handle escaping from the djinn, provided the docelfar didn’t get in their way.
But, just in case, she pulled her gun and moved towards the stairs leading up.  Perry followed close on her heels and Dante followed behind the human spelunker.  No sounds echoed down the stairway towards them, which raised her suspicions.  Somewhere, Iliana knew the djinn was waiting with a platoon of docelfar. 
From the stairwell, she moved narrowed her eyes and peeked down the hallway, but again, it was empty.  So far, so good, she thought as she led the pair towards the doorway that would take them to the city and then freedom.
The sound of maniac laughter echoed from behind them and Iliana closed her eyes in a two-heartbeat groan of dismay.  Opening them, she looked past Dante but saw nothing.  The djinn was playing games with her which meant only one thing.  He wanted them to escape from the castle. 
Sighing, she decided to give into defeat and motioned for the pair to follow her as she headed towards the door. 
“Rather strange, don’t you think, that we were able to break out that easily?”  Dante commented as Iliana led them through the twisting, curving streets of the kobold city.  “Even out here, there isn’t anything to hinder us.”
“It’s a trap.  It’s all a trap,” Perry moaned.  “I’m going to be speared to death by crazy, deformed midgets and their lunatic queen!”


  1. What fun bringing together so many different mythologies! I thought your descriptions here were great. Love the last line!

  2. thanks!

    I was having fun with Perry, who's a nod to two great friends on mine. Playing around with the mythologies has been a lot of fun so far, too!

  3. There are some lovely descriptions in this excerpt but I think what's getting lost amid the fantasy tropes is your MC's voice. Sometimes, I'm getting author, sometimes I'm getting a traditional omniscent fantasy narrator, but I'm losing a sense of Iliana.

  4. 'should be 'maniacal' laughter.
    The descriptions are very good, I get a real sense of the scene and the characters moving within it.

  5. hehe 'crazy deformed migits" I love that line. NIce mixture of suspense and humor.

  6. Definitely some wonderful description in here, and interesting character interaction too. Nice!

  7. You have some nice desc. here. This line stood out to me and I really liked: "and Iliana closed her eyes in a two-heartbeat groan of dismay"