I actually got pretty well into this one before I remembered that I couldn’t call them “crossword puzzles”, because I’ve already established that the Crossword Puzzles that exist in Realmgard are essentially sudokus.
That’s in Treasure of Oake Island chapter 4, by the way.
As is her wont, Witch-Princess Tenebella communes with the uncanny gods of the Sublunar Realm.
She glances up from the word puzzle before her to entreat the uncanny spirits at play amid the flickering of the eldritch fire.
“Three across,” she declares to the gods of the Sublunar Realm, “Six letters. ‘Pre-eminent Tanithite’.”
The answer comes down from the Sublunar Realm beyond the edge of hearing, nearly beyond the edge of mortal comprehension. The knowledge pouring down from the fathomless breadth of the Sublunar Realm and the eerie ones who dwell therein would be too much for a lesser mind.
A mind of less power, less arcane practice and learning then Tenebella would be blasted and shattered, the body of that mind reduced to a drooling husk. But to Tenebella — scion of a sorcerous dynasty stretching back through the mists of ages, dread and mighty daughter of a dread and mighty lower — the mystical tutelaries of the Sublunar Realm are like old friends.
“Of course,” Tenebella mutters, “Elissa. The Duchess of Tanith.” She writes the name, ensconcing it into the six horizontal cells.
“Moving on,” Tenebella says. “Six down. Eleven letters. ‘Piratical patriarch.’ The fourth letter is Q.”
Again, the answer comes wordlessly and soundless, the pure knowledge of the revelation reverberating in her skull.
“Hm. D’Arquestone. Of course.”
Tenebella hisses and retreats from the shaft of light that streams into the room as the door groans open. She raises the page of her puzzles up in front of her face to shield her eyes, long accustomed to the deep murk of the gloomy halls of her father’s grim fastness.
A sound like chuckling and amused murmuring echoes at the corners Tenebella’s perception as the otherworldly beings dancing in the flickering flames behold the sight before them.
Dauntless against any other worldly foe or obstacle, Tenebella blanches, then reddens with mortification as her mother comes into the room, humming a jaunty little song to herself.
“Mom!” Tenebella groans. “You’re embarrassing me in front of the Sublunar Deities!”
“Don’t mind me, dear,” Tenebella’s mother says. “I’m just doing a little dusting. You won’t even notice I’m here.”
Tenebella watches in horror as her mother meanders around the room, going to work on Tenebella’s collection of ancient treasures with her own treasured possession — a bright pink feather duster.
“Honestly, Tenebella,” her mother chides. “All your — what’s the word for these things?”
“Relics, Mom,” Tenebella says with a roll of her eyes. “The relics of long-dead races and antediluvian kingdoms that were drunk by the sea in bygone days.”
“All your relics —” her mother continues, beaming proudly at using the word properly. “— are covered in such nasty dust and cobwebs. It can’t be healthy for you to be breathing all this in.”
“That one’s supposed to be covered in cobwebs! It’s the Stola of the Spider Goddess!” Tenebella protests. She sighs and buries her face in her hands. The Sublunar Realm will never want to commune with her again after this.
“You just keep playing with your Moon Ghosts, dear,” her mother urges.
“Mom! Sub. Lunar. Deities!”
I’ve mentioned before that one of my storytelling gimmicks is extraordinary people (i.e. superheroes, Dark Lords, alien robots from the 49th Dimension) doing everyday things.
This is that.
To follow along with my August daily writings, and every else I do, follow me on WordPress, social media, or via my email list: