Hi everyone,

Just wanted to give an update on the website. We are putting bits of lore in here all the time. With this large of a world, there will always be something extra we add in here. Check out the Fungal Gardens right here.

 

Cool thing is, this part of the Celestial Gardens is mentioned in Dragon Gods Rising, the first Fantasy novel for New Gods of Mankind. You can buy a copy in print on Lulu.com, Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, Barnes and Noble or Drivethru RPG.

Here is Chapter 27:

They moved south. Bphophix ignored every comment and stall. Elisna ducked her head and didn’t even make eye contact. Several offers came to their ears. There were many different booths selling all sorts of odd items, from celestial dirt, to wondrous fruits of the Orchard of Knowledge, Reason, and Madness. One Salamander offered nymph ears, sautéed or baked. A sylph cried out his famous lashon patties fresh from the fields of Naalgrom.

 

Bphophix, distracted by the catcalls, did not think to look down the road. A very solid object blocked his path. Bphophix ran head first into many folds of fat. He fell right on his backside.

 

A very plump looking Undine, with a strawberry red wig of Human hair, huge breasts, and strange smile stood in the middle of the alley. Her hands went right over to pick up Elisna. “Ah someone like her does not belong to you.” She picked up Elisna, with one quick scoop. Bphophix dropped low and kicked the being in the shins.

 

Elisna fell down and so did the strangely dressed Undine. The two sprites flew around Elisna’s head.

 

“You damaged me! You must pay for that!” the plump Undine shouted.

 

Bphophix glanced around noticing the brothels. He silently cursed his luck. This must be the Alley of Ills, and people will be looking to trade flesh.

 

He had no time for games.

 

“I’ll pay for the damage with your un-life, Undine! If you do not want me to take your soul and put it here, in my wineskin, you will back off and go play with someone else!”

 

“What a horrible bargain! You silly creatures deserve nothing but suffering. Endless suffering.”

 

Bphophix popped her in the head with a well-executed straight kick.

 

“I am a deadly weapon and I know how to make your existence very painful. The trade is fair.”

 

The Undine grumbled and slowly stood up.

 

Bphophix scooped up Elisna with one hand and put her on his shoulders once more. He created a huge power-walking gait. Quickly they moved through the smaller crowds.

 

The living made their way out of the alley. No one else cat called to them. No more offers were made. A growing sense of unease settled into the place.

 

Finally they made their way to an isolated, decorative stall.

 

Stretched over the wooden poles, a faded yellow canopy flapped slowly in the breeze. Wooden shelves open to the market stood displaying all sorts of items; toys, trinkets, and other small things one might find at a general store. Nothing specialized could be found here, but each item stood out as a fine piece of craftsmanship. A small building made of wood and stone sat behind the shop, just a few meters away. Smoke curled out of a stone chimney. Wooden mold covered tiles clung to the roof. A chubby black-furred sylph with small wings and a huge grin hobbled around on a cane. He wore a nice robe and a hat. A pipe hung out of his mouth lit, and he puffed at it on occasion. The smell of tobacco clung to the air around him.

 

Bphophix slowed his ferocious power walk. The alley, a fading memory several moments behind them.

 

“Welcome, welcome dear guests to my shop. My name is Viril. I hope you do have some time to browse my goods. Did you lose something?”

 

“Yes, I think I have. My sanity.” Bphophix retorted.

 

“Ha! I can recover this for a small fee. But I think you are being witty. You look like a man driven by certainty.”

 

“Hmm, very perceptive. So you know who I am then?”

 

“Oh the rumors have spread. I knew you would come and visit me. Everyone has visited me. Everyone. Even Fate.”

 

“So if this is a place for souls to stop in their journey to the afterlife, why are you still here?”

 

“Excellent question. I believe Fate and all of the gods found a place for merchants like me. It seems we are not so welcomed in other heavens. We tend to cling to old habits and no one wants to count money in heaven. So we have come here. This is our place. I happen to be one of the most successful merchants in the Great Bazaar.”

 

“Your booth is unimpressive. The only thing I find worthy of any type of consideration is your speech. Do you pretty up your goods with flowery words?”

 

“How else do you think I make a sale? And my best goods can be found in my house. Not out here. And I have my friend here who guards my booth in case you get sticky hands.”

 

A massive giant with four arms, three eyes, long blue shaggy hair, and a giant chest came from behind the house. It lumbered over and sat on a tree stump near the booth. It roared quickly then stared, menacingly, at Bphophix.

 

“That is Grunit, she protects my goods and helps around here. I am quite fond of her.”

 

“Well she should not be worried about any sticky fingers. We need your knowledge, not goods.”

 

“In due time, Captain. She even brews a nice cup of tea, if you would like.”

 

“No thanks. I don’t think I have ever met a giant on this world.”

 

“Really? They come in two varieties. Jurelian and Forest.”

 

“Another problem for another day. I need to know where Gotorro is.”

 

“Straight to the point. A flaw or quality of your personality. Very well, what do you have in trade for such information?”

 

“Knowledge.”

 

“Knowledge? Hmm, you are the originals. Not too many of you around. What could you possibly tell me that I would be interested in?”

 

“I can tell you about Old Earth. A place where all of these ideas originated from. Where humanity started, what you call Invaders.”

 

“Oh that is a juicy bit of knowledge. Wow. You must really value humanity.”

 

“Yes I do. Now I can only tell you stories in parts. I will tell you about what I remember from our history books. You might want to write it down.”

 

“Oh, well I have a fire on inside and tea. How about we sit down and I will get out a scroll. This will fetch a handsome price indeed. But you are only telling me the first part? Hmm, I want at least a millennia’s worth of information. One thousand years. Is that clear?”

 

“Ok Viril, and once I am done you will take me to Gotorro?”

 

“I will take you myself.”

 

Bphophix and Elisna along with the two sprites entered the small cottage house. Even the Jurelian woman giant somehow got inside. Everyone curled up on pillows or wooden chairs and listened.

 

Bphophix told the story of mankind’s first millennia of recorded history. Sumerians and their Bronze Age rivals battled mightily in the cradle of life. Empires rose and fell. The Egyptian reign of Akhenaten, the 18th Dynasty, finished his oral dissertation. Each point Bphophix made, Viril labeled. Several scrolls sat filled on a table nearby.

 

Viril finished writing his last entry, his handwriting furiously fast.

 

“Wow! I could not get such a bargain! That was several thousand years of early Human history. I hate going into debt with someone.”

 

“You just did. Now you will take me to Gotorro and help me free humanity.”

 

“Oh, that is such a difficult task. And I am not up to such a task as being a freedom fighter.”

 

“All I ask is you tell me of Gotorro and how to free my people.

 

“Gotorro is an unscrupulous money lender. He has muscle that he uses to enforce his rules. Somehow he made a deal with Fors. Now he has over fifty Gnome souls working for him that were once warriors, some even Stoneborn. He lords over all the other money lenders and he collects debts with his muscle, often by force.

 

His one weakness is for music. If you want to move his soul, you need someone who can sing.”

 

“Oh, Bphophix I can sing him my new song I made up! Plok and Flana know the tune, right?” Elisna smiled.

 

Both sprites nodded.

 

“Well I think we have something. Let us go see if we can free humanity.”

 

Bphophix and his group left Viril’s shop. The old pawnbroker led them through several side alleys into a place not quite on the beaten path. They crossed an old field filled with different types of mushrooms. The poor lighting of this place was good for fungi to grow. No one worked the fields. Many huts sat on either side of the large plot of land. It stretched over a hundred meters in every direction. They moved quickly towards a large house made of earth, shaped like half of a rounded cylinder with grass for a roof. A Gnome out front split logs with three other Gnomes looking around suspiciously. All of them turned their attention to the party crossing the field. A collective frown gathered like a storm on their faces.

 

“I think you are in the wrong place, Human. You are supposed to be dead first before coming to work the fields.”

 

“Gotorro, I take it?” Bphophix addressed the Gnome splitting logs made of mushroom stalks.

 

Beady deep blue eyes stared intently at them from his wirey, silver, full length beard. He leaned on his ax.

 

“I am just getting a bit of exercise. What do you need? And why, Viril, did you bring them here?”

 

“I owed them a debt.”

 

“That must be a large debt indeed to make you so brave.”

 

Bphophix spoke with a smile on his face. “I would like to propose a trade.”

 

“Oh, I just lend money. I have nothing else for sale.”

 

“But you do hold all of those Human souls correct?”

 

“Aye I do. But they are all huddled up in those shacks you see dotting the edge of the field. They just finished their morning shift.”

 

“I would like to propose a trade. All of their souls, and future souls that come here, for one song.”

 

“One song?”

 

“Elisna can sing this song for you. Once she does, you can capture it and keep it. In return I need to get every single soul out of here. They all come with me.”

 

“This must be an excellent song.”

 

“It is the first song sung by Humans since reincarnating on this world. It is something I helped to create. Now are you interested?”

 

Gotorro laid down his ax and crossed his arms. “Fine I will hear it.”

 

Elisna spoke, “This is a song about mankind.” Bphophix let her down from his shoulders. She cleared her throat. The two sprites landed on her shoulders.

 

Elisna sang. The lyrics spoke of humanity and their first appearance on this world. Then it turned dark, as humanity died out. But then she sung of Fate and the trickery involved in creating mankind once more. It spoke of the potential for Humans to reach the stars once more to visit old Earth.

 

Afterwards Gotorro thought in silence. The other Gnomes did not smile or frown.

 

“This is a beautiful song child. I agree, Bphophix. Your souls are free to follow you. Now child you cannot sing that song again as I now own the song.”

 

“Yes, that is what Bphophix told me. I am ok with that.” She beamed her bright smile.

 

“A question I must ask, Bphophix.”

 

“Yes?”

 

“Where will you take these souls now?”

 

“The sprites know of a place called The Celestial Spheres. I made an agreement with a group of them so they can watch over Human souls. In return they get an afterlife along with humanity. I will personally create a realm worthy of going to when we die. Something inspired from old Earth legends. Now I have other things to worry about. Like how humanity will live and function in the living world.”

 

“Good luck, Bphophix. You will need it.” Gotorro smiled as they parted.

A second novel will be coming out by this time next year. Working title is Shadows of the Leviathans.

 

Enjoy the new material!

 

Richard

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