Steampunk fiction, reviews and interviews

CampNaNo: Silk and Steel

Ahoi! I hope this finds you still safe and well and enjoying life as best you can!

I made some big edits over the easter break and I cut a scene from later on and put it earlier, so I’ve updated that post with the new scene in bold just in case you want to have a look 🙂

I’m at about 27K now and I’ve almost reached the end BUT there are HUGE tricky-chunks missing so I’m now going backwards and filling those in! XD There is method to the madness… honestly… maybe! XD XD

Soundtrack / Playlist:


“Oh! Of course! Edmund!” Ros sprang to her feet and shimmied over to open the back door. “Edmund, sweetie, you must be frozen solid, come in, sit down, let me get you a plate,” she gushed in one smooth flowing stream as she skilfully relieved him of the books – handing them to Spyro who quickly made them vanish – and guided him to a seat beside her at the table.

“So, so sorry I’m late… again…locking up at the library…so many things to remember…”

“Don’t worry about it in the slightest,” Spyro said, his eyes twinkling as he held the half demon in his gaze. “How are things at the university? Everything running smoothly I presume.”

“Oh, yes, thank you… thank you very much,” he added as Ros piled his plate with food “…um, yes everything is going very well indeed. My paper on ‘Demons of Love and Light’ has been accepted for publication…” he flushed slightly and spilled sauce all over the table cloth.

“Do please calm yourself,” Vraxi said seriously, as he dodged backwards to avoid getting sauce all over his shirt, “this is Dreamweave Silk from Pav’shmah, my friend, I would hate to have to charge you for the cleaning bill.”

“If that is Dreamweave Silk from Pav’shmah,” Ros said playfully, “then taking it to the laundry to get it cleaned will likely end with your neck in a noose for stealing it in the first place. And that would never do,” she added, patting the Yag on the hand.

Vraxi grinned slyly, “Oh dear. Then whatever am I to do if it should get sullied?” he asked.

“Well, you give it to me, love,” Ros said smoothly, “and I take care of it for you, as I take care of everything,” she added, waving a hand to encompass the food, the shop and the company within it.

‘Yes, as you’ll take care of us all in the end I don’t doubt.’ Xander thought, though he was careful to smile at his hostess as she caught his eye.

“I was referring to the business arrangement we have there.” Spyro said patiently. “The Roccahna Powder den Edmund, is it ticking over? Do you need another shipment yet?”

“Demons Of Love And Light, is a fascinating title for a dissertation, given the circumstances of our existence,” the doctor said, as if Spyro hadn’t spoken. “Do you expect it will be well received Edmund?”

Damn, Xander thought to himself, this seemed like a direct challenge to the half demon, carefully designed to examine where his loyalties might lie, and Edmund, naive to a fault in this dangerous game, would likely not see it as such until it was too late.

“I…er…um..well…that is…” Edmund’s eyes grew wide with alarm as he struggled desperately to negotiate this awkward social situation, obviously unsure who he should answer first or who he should even be looking at.

Oh dear, poor Edmund, Vraxi reflected, taking a moment or two to bask in the half-demon’s obvious discomfort. This game was starting to get interesting; just the kind of mental sustenance he had been hoping for to see him through the long dull night which lay ahead of him. Of course he wanted something of a more physical nature as well but he was certain someone in the room would prove accommodating of that later on; perhaps Ros… or Spyro… or both… best not get carried away he chided himself, coming back to reality.

He cocked his head sympathetically as Edmund stammered himself into a near stupor and Spyro seethed and the doctor smiled… you are damned either way, my friend, Vraxi thought, for you must answer one of them, and in doing so incur the displeasure of the other.

And then a thought struck him. If the alchemist was testing the loyalty of Edmund, might he not also test the loyalty of others in the room after a similar fashion? Yes, thought the Yag, he might indeed. Vraxi’s mind went straight to strategising, hunting for an opportunity, a way to intercept and come to Edmund’s aid with out appearing to do so, for in no form of Hell was Vraxanthrin Bane going to allow himself to be placed in such a precarious predicament.

“Woops, butter-fingers!” Vraxi yelped, dropping the wine bottle and covering both himself and Edmund – and nobody else, he was very careful to ensure that – with a large quantity of the claret contents.

“Oh! Er, sorry Vraxi, did I…?”

“No, no, my fault entirely” Vraxi said, smiling sheepishly as he attempted to mop up the mess. Xander stared at him incredulously, had Vraxi actually done something selfless for once? And at the expense of his favourite shirt? No, he reflected, the Yag never did anything unless it benefited him in some way…

“Looks like I will be washing that shirt after all,” Ros said, arching an eyebrow at the Yag.

Vraxi grinned, “Come on Edmund,” he said, grabbing the confused and blushing half-demon by the shoulders and steering him towards the stairs, there’s a bathtub up there with our names on it and I’m sure Ros will rustle us up something clean to put on…”

“Oh, er, thank you…” they heard the conversation fading as Vraxi pushed Edmund gently up the wooden hill “…would you like to go first?”

“…that’s very gentlemanly of you,” Vraxi mused “…but it would be prudent to bear in mind Edmund that in a city where the only rain we get is brimstone, the conservation of water should ever be our primary concern, wouldn’t you agree?”

“Oh, er, yes of course. Um…what would you suggest?”

“Well, do you not think it would more… economical if we shared the tub?”

Ros smirked and Xander shook his head.

3 responses

  1. “No, no, my fault entirely” Vraxi said, smiling sheepishly as he attempted to mop up the mess. Xander stared at him incredulously, had Vraxi actually done something selfless for once? And at the expense of his favourite shirt? No, he reflected, the Yag never did anything unless it benefited him in some way…
    Oh I love this…the scoundrel. He’s fabulous. 🥰 The end of the snippet is delicious❤️….and o’course; a most mindful plan of utmost ecological and economical import. Most commendable of Vraxi. 😁
    Thank you for sharing some more…I’ve missed them! Maybe Method is the very bestest type methinks; it suggests a level of competence that (my oft favoured) Accidental Method can only aspire to 😸 xxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    April 15, 2020 at 8:19 pm

    • Penny Blake

      Oh I’m so so so happy you love Vraxi! He’s my fave character to write in all of this – a loveable rogue to counter Spyro’s love-to-hate sinister-bastardry XD Aw thankyou so much for saying you’ve missed them – I’d hit the ‘oh gorden bennett no one is going to want to read this crap’ stage XD So that has given me a huge boost! Tee hee accidental method for the win!!! XD xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

      April 16, 2020 at 11:38 am

      • 😆😆 Aw…you’re soso welcome. I sure did miss them! 🤗 I was chuffed to bits to see them back so no more Gordon Bennetting please missy scrumptious! It’s as far from crap as a tastebud tingle.🥰 Oh Vraxi is an utter treat…and indeed a splendacious counter to Spyro’s sinister bastardry😂 I love it…and there’s more! Yay! Spoiled! ❤️❤️❤️ xxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

        April 16, 2020 at 4:02 pm

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