meowcats734 t1_iyt2xoo wrote

Thanks for the kind words! I'm glad the worldbuilding came across—this is part of a much larger world and story, and many of the words and elements have deeper meanings within the larger magic system. If you want to see some more of the mages in this world, the favorite clash of magics I've written is here.


meowcats734 t1_iysc2ba wrote


Shivio had once thought genies were never granted freedom due to the selfishness of humankind. After all, who would hold a Demon of Desire in the palm of their hands, beholden to their every whim... and then let that cosmic power flutter away in the wind? And with all the depravities and horrors Shivio had seen humanity wreak, it was all too easy for him to believe that genies were kept enslaved and sealed away due to the selfishness and greed of their owners.

But in the still-smoking crater that was the aftermath of Shivio wishing to set a genie free, he realized the truth was worse still.

Genies were selfish too.

It had taken Shivio and Kailenn ages to stuff that cat back into its cosmic bag, and the residue of magic still lingering in the soil would render this place hazardous to enter for aeons to come. If not for Kailenn's knowledge of healing and Shivio's training in surviving fallout, the paladin and the witch would have perished a hundred times over simply by breathing too close to the place where Hashmellan had been sealed once more. But the genie was bound once more.

And it had one wish remaining.

"Are—are you sure about this, Shivio?" Kailenn whispered, her hands trembling from the effort of maintaining the dark spell keeping them both alive. "I mean—don't get me wrong, I know this is important to you, but so was releasing Hashmellan in the first place, and I don't know how many more times I can bring you back from death—"

"Kailenn." Shivio flipped through the thick book he'd brought—out of habit more than anything, he had the contract memorized by heart—before snapping it shut. "I understand if you worry for your own health. I will hold no ill will against you if you choose to leave my side now. But if you would do me one last favor first?"

Hesitantly, Kailenn nodded.

"Do not worry about me." Shivio knelt by the patch of empty air where he'd caged the genie, twisting space itself into a prison. It was a tad more ostentatious than the lamp he'd found Hashmellan in, but Shivio hadn't wanted to leave anything physical for some poor, unknowing soul to stumble into. Anyone who could unravel the knot of space and magic Shivio had left behind knew what they were getting themself into. "I know the risks of this endeavor. I choose to embark upon it regardless."

Shakily, Kailenn smiled. "I'm not—I'm not leaving. Just... wanted to give you a chance to change your mind."

"A chance to change one's mind," Shivio murmured. "Fitting. That is what I am here to bring."

Shivio reached out through soulspace, untangling the golden chains that held Hashmellan outside of realspace—

And the genie burst into reality, their form rippling with rage as they towered over Shivio.

"You insolent brat," Hashmellan roared. "You think your arrogance can bind me? You know nothing of Desire. Your works will unravel in time, and I shall be free to raze your cities into dust and your children into corpses. Have you come to beg for mercy before your time has come? I will—"

"I have come," Shivio evenly said, "to make a wish."

Hashmellan froze.

Then, a fearsome joy splitting their face, they settled down, fingertips pressed against each other.

"I had not thought you foolish enough to make a third attempt," Hashmellan admitted. "Well? Out with it."

In response, Shivio simply handed them the tome of a contract they had wrought.

Hashmellan rolled their eyes, but took it. "Going by the book helped you little the last time you unstoppered me," they said, skimming through the book. "You won't... you..." They frowned, then flipped back to the first page, reading it again. And again. Their brows creased like thunderheads, the energy of their true form pressing against reality as their scowl deepened.

Finally, they shut the book and glared at it, and if not for the bindings placed upon them, they would have incinerated it with a thought.

"What is this?" they demanded.

"A chance to change your mind," Shivio simply said. "You will live through the lives of every soul whose wishes you have twisted and corrupted, and you will experience all the misery and suffering you have caused as if it were your own. Every death, every curse, every misdirected dream—that which you have given to others, will now become yours."

Hashmellan scowled. "Why? What possible benefit could you gain from—"

"This is not about me," Shivio snapped. "This was never about me. This is about how you—a being blessed with power beyond what most mortals could dream of—have squandered the gifts you have been given time and time again to sow chaos and destruction upon a world that could have named you a hero. I came here to give you a second chance."

"You call this a second chance?" Hashmellan's fury deepened as they read the book—which held one thing, and one thing only. Names. Hundreds of thousands of names, every soul Shivio could find throughout history that had been ruined by Hashmellan's touch. "This is a fate worse than a thousand deaths. You consign me to—"

"To understand," Shivio interrupted, "what you have brought upon this world. And maybe—just maybe—to let you grow."

Hashmellan stared at Shivio, lost for words.

"I make this wish," Shivio prompted Hashmellan. "It is your duty to enact it."

A divine hatred, an odium beyond mortal reckoning pressed down on Shivio as Hashmellan snapped the book shut.

"Your wish," Hashmellan hissed, "is my command."

Then the genie disappeared in a puff of wind, leaving paladin and witch alone in the ruins where wishes came to die.


This story is part of Soulmage, a serial written in response to writing prompts. Check out the rest of the story here, or r/bubblewriters for more.


meowcats734 t1_ithpjea wrote


The moonlight here was deadly, but we'd come prepared. As we stepped out of the safety of the dark and ancient cave, the five of us unfurled umbrellas as black as midnight to enhance our layers of heavy, lightproof clothing.

Something that had once been grass squelched and splashed under my thick boots, and I scowled. The pale, moontouched flesh of the grass beneath me reminded me all too well of the last time I'd stepped in eldritch effluvium, and the deadly disease it had struck me and my friends with.

"Are you sure about this?" Jiaola asked, the old man hesitating before the sea of molten grass.

I shrugged. "You're welcome to stay in the cave if you want. But it's not like there are a ton of talented medics down there, and... well, you heard what Svette said. It's the only lead we've found so far on curing our cancers before they eat us from the inside out. It's our best shot."

"For the record, I still think this is a terrible idea," Lucet muttered, one hand flexing as if stretching a phantom bowstring.

"Yeah, well, the two aren't mutually exclusive. Come on. Svette said that all we had to do was find Zhytln."

Zhytln. Zhytln. Zhytln. Zhytln. The name echoed off thin air, bouncing strangely in the too-pale moonlight. Reflexively, the five of us twitched, facing outwards in a circle to catch any new threats.

"...Maybe we should avoid using her name," Sansen muttered.

"Agreed," Meloai said. "This place gives me the creeps."

"You don't have to come with me, if you don't want to." I glanced at my four companions. "I'm doing this because I don't have any other choice. But—"

"You think I'm going to let you run off and get eaten by some eldritch abomination?" Lucet punched me lightly on the shoulder, taking care not to disturb the layers of protective clothing I had on. "Nah. I'm with you to the end."

A chorus of agreement rose from the rest of my friends. I nodded and turned back towards the pale plains.

"Then let's get moving," I said, and forged onwards through the grass-turned-flesh.


Considering writing a part 2; let me know if that's something you'd like to see.

This story is part of Soulmage, a serial written in response to writing prompts. Check out the rest here, or r/bubblewriters for more.


meowcats734 t1_isdkipb wrote


"A competent ruler should be able to navigate courtrooms, block hostile spells, live as her subjects do, understand their work, and lift a spear to protect them. Specialization is for insects," Councilmember Nielnieh said.

The lone insectoid at the table coughed and ruffled her lepidopteran wings. Nielnieh held up both hands in appeasement. "Not to say that the fey are incompetent," Nielnieh hurriedly said. "It is only a figure of speech."

"Words, like, totally have power, dude." The representative of the High Elves was smoking something that made Nielnieh's eyes water, but Xio's skill at thoughtweaving and lightwork was unparalleled. Even if they wanted to exclude him, it was a toss-up whether they'd be able to assemble security tight enough to keep him out. "I bet the kid would love to meet all of us, anyway."

"Point of order." It was an open secret that the slums of Knwharfhelm were home to a thriving goblin population, and even though they didn't officially have a spot on the council, the consequences of denying the street-cleaners and sewerfolk their voice would be... smelly. "We are good at surviving off scraps because somebody forced that life on us. Our 'skills' would be unnecessary if you would approve our education campai—"

"That money is not yours to spend, gutterling," Knwharf ground out. "If we are truly to consign our next ruler to the... tender care... of these animals, are we sure she will come out alive?"

"It will make for good trials," Ratiti growled, a boastful grin on her face. "A leader that survives the warbands is a leader we can trust."

"Then the Council is in agreement," Nielneh said. "Search your peoples and present your candidates for the next to be chosen as leader, and they will face the trials of all those they govern."


It's late and this isn't my best writing, but this prompt just seemed like fun. Hopefully you enjoyed, and kudos to OP for the prompt! This story is set in the world of Soulmage, a serial written in response to writing prompts. Check out the rest of the story here, or r/bubblewriters for more by me.


meowcats734 t1_irpw1h1 wrote


The Witch of Warp and Weft left no bodies when she killed. Quivering from my hiding place behind the ruined central hut, I watched in silent, trembling horror as she methodically imploded every goblin in the village that tried to stand in her way, sending bullets of warped space like hunting hounds after the people who'd taken me in.

The tribe's elder snarled a wordless challenge and drew mischief from her soul, teleporting forwards in a blur of sparks, but the Witch scoffed contemptuously and flicked a hand, curving space in a twisted knot moments before Ragan's teleport finished. I'd never wanted to know what happened when you teleported into a spatial anomaly before, and as the gore and organs that had once been someone who'd cared for me splattered on the dirt, I wished I'd never found out.

"Did you really think that using teleportation against a witch of space was a good idea? Ugh, I knew goblins weren't sapient, but this level of idiocy is really something else." The Witch's eyes scanned the tribe; despite the fact that everyone left standing was either hiding or fleeing, she unerringly fired another round of six spells outwards in spiraling arcs. In my barely-developed soulsight, I saw six lives shatter like so much dropped porcelain. "Ah, well. Makes monster-hunting duty a little easier, I suppose. There's no point in hiding; I can see your souls." She turned to the right. Another four spells cast. Another four lives lost. She turned a little further—

And stared right at me.

She stopped, blinking in shock. A brave warrior—someone whose name I'd never known, and now never would—leapt at her, spear in hand, but his attack simply slid off the witch's back, space itself bending around her to protect her. Idly, she flicked a hand, and the warrior... ceased. I whimpered, frantically scrambling back as I reached for the magic in my soul.

"There, there. What's a human child like you doing in this hovel?" The witch stepped forwards, a disconcerting compassion in her eyes. "Did these monsters kidnap you?"

I tried to speak, to cast a spell, to run, but something deep inside me had just snapped, and I couldn't move, couldn't control the magic leaking from my soul. I shrank into myself, trying to hide from the world, to hide from the latest monster to rend my home to ash and rubble—

I froze as I felt a hand on my shoulder. "You have a strong soul," the witch whispered. "And nobody deserves to be left with these vermin. Why don't you come with me, hmm? I can teach you how to control that magic of yours."

Frantically, I shook my head. "Y-y-you killed them. You killed my family."

She frowned. "Your family? Child, these are goblins. Did you think they were people?"


"We'll have to get that straightened out," she said, picking me up as if I weighed no more than a feather. "Along with any other things that these monsters might have done to you."

"They're not... they're..." I tried to assemble a coherent thought, but the terror and fear were overwhelming, and it was so much easier to just let the witch hold me, to stay quiet and do what she said. "I..."

"It's alright, child. I'll protect you from the monsters." Her voice curdled into something I think she thought was kindness. "Even the ones you think are people."

And against my numb, shocked protests, the Witch of Warp and Weft carried me out of the ruins of my home, leaving nothing behind but empty houses and bloodied soil.


This story is part of Soulmage, a serial written in response to writing prompts! To catch up on the rest, check out this post, or browse r/bubblewriters for more!