On Continuing

Excuse me a second as I blow the dust off my blogging engine will you? Ahem. There we go.

Hello, hypothetical audience, it has been such a long time hasn’t it? I figured, since this fully armed and operational… I mean URL’d up blog is actually getting some intermittent content from me once again I might as well hammer keys to circuit board and actually blog again, but more on that later. First, since it’s been such a long time since I did this outside of fiction, how are you all?
Continue reading →

The Big Stink – Part Six

Tirran dashed across the muddy yard towards the gate. He realised he didn’t have that long before the man he left on the floor in the hut raised the alarm, so a quick escape was the best option. Somewhere in the distance a clock chimed nine, meaning Scovie should have had just enough time to get back from Inche Street. It was just a matter of not getting killed before reinforcements arrived now. It seemed that every member of the gang was now involved in breaking into whatever sewer ran underneath the yard, leaving an almost clear run for the gate. Even so Tirran tried to keep out of the dull light cast by the braziers, skidding in the mud back around to the side of the cart. The home stretch was in sight, it was just a short sprint and he would have been free. Tirran almost reached the edge of the yard when someone grabbed him from behind and threw him into the mud.

Continue reading →

The Big Stink – Part Five

The day dragged slowly towards evening. Tirran and Scovie had settled into the motions of a stake out, one constantly sat by the window while the other tried to keep an eye on the door just in case and remain sane. A round of half eaten bacon baps comprised of mostly gristle sat on a bed side table. Food was clearly not the pub’s strong point. Scovie had produced a deck of cards from somewhere and they had been useful to pass the time for a while, but Tirran was convinced either the young Constable was a very accomplished cheat or the deck had a few too many primes for his liking. Either way, the dimming light put an end to it, Tirran had decided quite early on that they couldn’t let it look like someone was watching the street and so decided to forgo any form of lighting that could be seen through the windows. Beyond a sliver of light seeping under the door, the entire room was lit only from the window, which now silhouetted Scovie as he sat on watch. Despite being there all afternoon, neither one of them had seen anything untoward out in the street, and the lack of activity was starting to take its toll.

Continue reading →

The Big Stink – Part Four

Tirran dragged his suspect back to the Inche Street Station House in handcuffs. One of the old Coach Houses out the back had been converted into a set of holding cells long ago, its rough iron cages keeping suspects and drunks alike in one place until they were charged and taken along the Gibbetgate Road to the dark, foreboding gaol just beyond the city walls. As he forced the Murid into a cell, Tirran couldn’t help but note the atmosphere of despair the building was soaked in. This simply added to the man’s already visible panic, which was already making it painfully obvious that he hadn’t anticipated quite how much trouble he had gotten himself in. Rather than leave him in the main holding cell alongside the other pick ups from that morning, Tirran directed him into a separate empty cell with solid walls. Even with only a single occupant, the room was cramped… oppressive, lit only by a small barred window out into the yard. As he was pushed into the room, he began to whimper audibly. Tirran ignored him as he undid the handcuffs and left the Murid to stew in his own guilt, slamming the iron cell door behind him.

Continue reading →

The Big Stink – Part Three

As the next morning dawned, a heavy fog rolled in across the bay and blanketed the city. Combined with the smoke produced by Tarnhaven’s day to day existence, the air was so thick it became difficult to see even as far as across the street. But undaunted, city life continued without pause. Even as Tirran made his way into the station long before his shift was due to start the streets were starting to get crowded. The red police lantern hanging above the main entrance was fully lit, casting a strange light across the haze that he thought was surprisingly appropriate given the previous night. When Tirran made his way across the entrance hall the desk sergeant, without even looking up from whatever ledger he was poring over, informed him that Inspector Myrti was looking for him. Deciding against a detour to find the tea urn, Tirran slowly made his way up the stairs, trying to imagine what the new day would bring.

Continue reading →

The Big Stink – Part Two

The particular geography of the River Farron combined with the layout of Tarnhaven’s Walled City meant the Harbour sat on a headland between the river’s mouth and the walls. This arrangement had served the city well in ages past, but in the new age of industrial trade, the harbour had become incredibly cramped. Even with the new docks being built outside the seaward wall and across the river on the Northbank, things were far from improving. The entire point of the fabled tunnel had been to give traffic a new artery across the city, connecting the harbour across the river mouth to businesses on the far side and so alleviating congestion through the city’s gates, or so the theory went. The sight greeting Tirran and Scovie when they reached what would one day be the tunnel’s great southern portal was a damp, muddy hole taking up a space once occupied by several warehouses. Beyond the makeshift fencing, various engines of modern construction could be seen, most of which sat idle.

Continue reading →

The Big Stink – Part One

Or Caliver Tirran & the Farron Tunnel mystery

When Caulder Morgraive first announced plans to build a great tunnel under the River Farron, the City of Tarnhaven rejoiced. Truly it was to be a symbol of modernity, a lasting monument to the growing industrial revolution and the city’s place directly at the centre of it. Morgraive was heralded as a hero and elevated to the loftiest heights of the Worshipful Guild of Mechanical Engineers, constantly lauded in front of his peers from across the continent as a living avatar of this new world of steel and steam. But as the years dragged inexorably on, the people’s enthusiasm waned. Delays and disasters piled up rapidly, barely a day went past without some kind of bad news hitting the national press, and slowly what was once an object of national pride was transformed into a national embarrassment. Now, five years after the fact, the tunnel stands as a muddy scar on the face of the city, an ever present dark memorial to overconfidence and the fickle nature of fame. Few give it the time of day, often only mentioning it in jest or derision. But for the city’s dark underbelly, it became the perfect cover, creating a new generation of inventive and unusual crime. For Sergeant Caliver Tirran and Constable Arbus Scovie of the Tarnhaven Constabulary, however, the tunnel currently represented an unwelcome extra workload. As Spring overtook the city there had been a spate of break-ins at properties along the decaying curtain wall that had once protected the city centre on the southern riverbank, and this morning it was the turn of an old public house on Kanver Street in Farrongate Ward. As the first officers unfortunate enough to pass by, the pair of them were getting an earful from the landlady.

Continue reading →


The fluorescent lights in the cell ceiling hummed into life and once again the routine began. As he heaved himself up from the hard slab that pretended to be a bed, he stared at the seamless white walls. ”Today”, he thought to himself, ”maybe today will be different.” He let out a sigh and tried to shake himself into some semblance of being awake. Soon enough, like every other day since he’d been imprisoned here, they’d force a tray of barely edible food through the slot next to the door and give him almost enough time to eat it before the guards would turn up to drag him away. Every day was the same, and everything was deliberately disorientating, the smallest event choreographed to place him on the back foot. The sad thing was, it had been working. Wherever this was, how long he had been here, even why he was being held had long ago faded away and become meaningless. All he had left was the blind hatred for his captors, and even that was beginning to wear thin. He was tired, tired of the routine, tired of what life had become, everything.

Continue reading →

The Aeolotropic Deduction

The Clerk edged his way through the double doors into the workshop. He would be the first to admit he had little knowledge of such things, but the heat and noise certainly met the stoat’s limited expectations of such a place. At first it seemed unoccupied, but hairy legs either side of a bushy foxtail poked out from underneath a large frame filled with brass gears and cogs. The Clerk politely cleared his throat.

Continue reading →

Century23: …But It Pours (Part 4)

The world slowly came seeping back as he regained consciousness, confusion fighting with pain as both made their way around his head. Keeping his eyes closed, he tried to figure out what had happened and where he was now from sound alone. The rain still hammered at the unseen ceiling above, so clearly he hadn’t been out that long, and the noise was hardly helping with the throbbing pain in his temples. Behind the driving rain, there was the faint noise of footsteps, someone pacing around the room. It didn’t take a great leap of deduction to figure out the guy who’d jumped him was still present, and after a second he realised he was bound by the wrists to the chair he’d been deposited upon. He tried to move his arms without making it obvious he was awake, though the restraints meant anything beyond a twitch was unlikely to happen. This movement also revealed the lack of weight in his jacket, the bastard had taken his pistols too. This information slowly processed in his mind, trying to form a cohesive plan of what to do next, making him miss the fact the footsteps had stopped several seconds ago.
“Y’know, it’s kinda obvious your awake,” the voice was only a short distance from him, thick with an accent he couldn’t quite identify “y’might as well open your eyes.” A few seconds passed as he tried to keep up the facade of unconsciousness before he did as instructed. The world came into sharp, painful focus and standing directly in front of him, silhouetted by a pair of work lights, was the blonde gunman.
“Shit… figures…” he groaned after a while.
“I have to say, I’m mighty disappointed,” the blonde man started pacing again as he talked in almost half interested tone, revealing a table behind him that had the Englishman’s two pistols sat on, “Ever since I came here I’d heard so many stories about the greatness of a single hired gun, of Weißmann’s bulldog, a man at the top of his game…”
“…always pleased to meet a fan,” came a sarcastic interruption through gritted teeth, earning a vicious side glance from the other man,
“…so naturally I jumped at the chance to face you when it came up. But what can I say? Y’fucked the job up. Twice, even; got yourself captured damn easily, lost your target and even got your partner killed. Sorry about that, by the way.”
“Ah… he bled out?”
“I imagine he would’ve done eventually. Can’t imagine the extra couple of holes I put in him helped none though.” A sly grin led into a long, laboured pause.
“So that’s how it’s going to be, then?” The Englishman eventually replied, predicting where the order of events was heading.
“Well, I was kinda hoping for a worthy opponent, y’know? Someone I could truly test my skills against, and all that. But this,” he waved dismissively at the Englishman, “there aint no skill involved when y’opponent is tied to a chair.”

Continue reading →