I used earth and water sorcery to get rid of the evidence of the great Gator vs Goblin battle, but this became my next couple days, which was not what I wanted to do. Norn would alert me about some minor invasion of green people that would start to deforest or defile the immediate area and I had to go take care of it with my animal army. Damn goblins. Little green nasty fuckers just kept coming back. They stank and apparently didn’t care that this was my land, all of it. To be fair, I hadn’t formally delivered a message to them, but slaughtering them every time I saw or smelled them should be crystal fucking clear. I also couldn’t seem to find a chain of command or some dude in charge to talk to, but the message was clear: stay off my land. Maybe this comes off a bit xenophobic, but who cares about this crap in a magical apocalypse? Not me. Already sacrificed my conscience in hopes that maybe I’ll get to live a couple thousand years. Gripping my mental hub, my magical visualization in my head where I could communicate with all my bonded creatures, I sent a command to all of them, that goblins were to be driven away or killed. And if they could not kill the goblins without sustaining casualties, then I was to be alerted. What made it worse was that I had no idea how the goblins actually got here, or why they kept popping up randomly. I assumed it was through a spacial gate I hadn’t found or that they were just really good at sneaking around.

  It’s hard to tell or communicate why I harbored this instinctive hatred for these alien invaders, but something about them made it feel like my soul was vomiting. My very magic reacted to their presence like it was food poisoning, an instant disgust that made me want to eradicate everything. Their very presence disgusted me even while I washed them away in the river or buried them far below the forest floor. And since my magical instincts had kept me alive so far, I figured that I’d just run with it. But it just kept making me angrier as I stomped out each infestation. The only upside was that I encountered and and got to dominate a whole bunch of weird magically twisted animals along the way. The grumpy armadillo that spit acid from its two heads that Gungnir named Grump and Gramp was not a fun experience, and the exploding seed throwing chunky squirrel with eight legs and three tails that Gungnir named Gumbo. The stupid flying orb weapon was really upset when he found out I dominated the gator and let him go without being named, which is why he kept giving the other creatures stupid names.

  “Gumby! Rocky! Fuzzball! Haunchy!” Every name was a bob in the air combined with a burst of rave-light from Gungnir.

  “Enough! Fucking Stop! Dear god please,” I begged, “It was just a herd of deer, you don’t have to name every living thing in this Ripple-cursed forest.” We were trekking through the forest, gathering creatures and scoping out the land.

  “This is your fault!” Gungnir whined, “Which technically makes it our fault!”

  “Look,” I said, grabbing the orb with magic with both hands and glaring at it, “If you can find out why the damn goblins won’t go away or keep coming here, then you can name the gator.”

  “Really? You mean it?” Gungnir rejoiced, “Scaly! Rath Jr! Fat legs! Treecodile!” Kong started groaning from behind us, his displeasure at the one-track weapon coloring our mental connection.

  “AFTER!” I yelled, chucking Gungnir, “After you solve the goblin problem.”

  Gungnir bolted upwards and slammed into Kong’s forehead. “Fine, but I’m taking the monkey!”

  “What the . . “ I said, turning around to see Kong’s eyes glow red to match the light that Gungnir was putting out. “How did, what,”

  “Your flesh sorcery, duh,” it said, “See ya!”

  The orb-controlled reptilian gorilla wheeled around and took off, its gait looking far too much like a human instead of an ape. I don’t even know what to think of this. Screw it. I leave the forest in the stolen hands of Kong with my psychotic split self shape-shifting weapon.

  Going back to my cavern, I began to prepare for the second to last Ripple that I knew was coming soon. The worst part about the Ripples was that Gungnir seemed to be the only thing that had the capability to shield me from it. So, what would happen to Spot and all the other bonded creatures when the Ripple hit, and then hit again? There were other effects of the Ripples that I only noticed after they hit. First, magic is a lot easier to do after each once, as if it is slowly loosening the strict laws of reality. Second, it also seems that enchantments are less stable than normal, as if magic itself is fighting against being bound in any kind of ordered way. The evidence for this was the miniature generator around my neck. I could easily see that what used to be a smooth process of slowly converting matter to mana was breaking down, the structure of the enchantment simply wasn’t enough anymore. The flood of power went from being a calm stream to a raging river, wearing down the integrity. I kept having to fix the enchantment and dial down the amount of power it was converting so that I wouldn’t inadvertently start a nuclear process I couldn’t control. If I couldn’t use my power generators, I would be forced to find a new way to cheat, to make free mana some other way.

  And the weirdest part of all of this that I noticed was that even though I was shielded during the last Ripple by Gungnir, somehow, my personal reserves of mana were growing, or stretching. I couldn’t tell if it was due to simply being full with mana all the time because of my generator, or if my soul was similar to a muscle, and using sorcery or channeling power was the equivalent of hitting the gym. Really makes me wish I had grabbed soul-based sorcery help figure this crap out. Thinking about all of this wasn’t really helping me out as I simply just didn’t know. My ignorance will be the death of me more than anything else.

  I spent the rest of the day conjuring crystals of all kinds and placing enchantments of energy entrapment and deflection in them and sticking the crystals in the walls of the cavern. My plan was to create a kind of energy sink/drain for the Ripple using all of the enchanted crystals, and see which crystal actually accomplished what I was setting out to do. Some of them were rubies and sapphires and quartz, and then interspersed with those were some wrapped in gold or other precious metals that seem to hold enchantments better but have lower energy efficiency overall. What I wouldn’t give for an experienced wizard right now so I could pick his brain. Brain. BRAIN! I have a brain! One that isn’t mine!


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