Colors of Another Sky Ficbt – Schizo Tech

“Bandits don’t keep treasures where they ambush.” Ha-neul tossed down a rope. “Get up here, and let’s think.”

Normally I could have merely leapt the distance. But it was daylight and running water, and I hurt everywhere. If our lion-maiden had actually connected with that plank, she would have hurt me.

That thought made me pause, and bring the plank along. It wasn’t the easiest to manage along with climbing, nails as bristly as stray hemp fibers. But if she were as fierce as any young Caller, and half as determined as her guardian, the sight of it might comfort her. It would certainly be fodder for a laugh from other Callers, and I could think of no better way to ease the fears of a maiden suddenly among strangers.

Familiar hands helped haul me up, while Ha-neul kept aim on what lay below. Yards away where the deck was solid Chae stood, calm and poised, a bronze luopan balanced in her left hand. The needle wavered; from the sun above, not quite pointing south. Odd. Chae’s tools normally worked.

Ha-neul took a step away from the firing hole as I found my feet. Understandable; even as some of our men were breaking out bottles of oil and gunpowder to drench the driest wood, a few of the falconers were dropping the special vials into the hold. Rock oil, treated with water-shedding energies and odd metals to burn even the most sodden infected flesh. No one wanted to be too close to that. “You’ve been holding out on us? Don’t tell me you can find treasures with that thing.”

“Not treasures as you would define them,” Chae mused, shifting her hand back and forth to study the needle’s movements. “Gold is gold. But things that are linked to a person, to an event, to a shift in qi – sometimes, those may be found.”

A/N: if you’re in a world where you have to Kill It With Fire, people are going to come up with effective firebombs….


51 thoughts on “Colors of Another Sky Ficbt – Schizo Tech

    1. Oooh, if you haven’t read the rest of the stuff she’s published– really, do! Links on the side. 😀

      Pearl of Fire is probably the closest “feel” to this world, it’s a kind of… different world gaslamp fantasy, most of the rest is “urban fantasy but it’s not a way to say romance novel for people who are embarrassed to read that, it’s actually magic and stuff in a realistic modern world” type urban fantasy. Not Dresden Files at all, but more Dresden than Anita Blake.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. This one is definitely closest to Pearl of Fire; though Pearl is more a gaslamp fantasy, while Colors is going to be “isekai into the year 1618 of a world in which RL history got smacked with spreading magic about 1264, and there were very odd ripples from there”.

        Jason will eventually figure that much out, and want to bite someone. Lee Cheong will be both amused and intrigued – your world didn’t have magic? How odd….

        Liked by 4 people

    2. It’s very much a work in-progress, to the point I’m bouncing up and down in the plotline as stress lets me fill in the holes. ATM I have… about 40 pages?

      I’m trying to get at least a few hundred words a day no matter what’s going on. RL is being very awkward.

      (The less said about grocery bills, the better, argghhhh….)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. If zucchini hasn’t tried to kill you yet, I’d say try and grow some in at the very least a five gallon bucket. They can be trained to go up a trellis. Not glamorous, and you are definitely going to get sick of it, but you can fry it, roast it, grind it up, dry it out, freeze dry it and use in place of dry noodles in lasagna, use as a flour but be aware it’s definitely not a one to one for wheat flour.

        Plus, it does keep in the freezer. Tomatoes can also be grown in buckets, plus you can hang those upside down. Or stick them in the bottom of a five gallon bucket, suspend it, and grow something else up top. Like radishes, or lettuce. Or herbs.

        Liked by 3 people

  1. Another thing to consider for firebombs is how they’re transported.

    If the Demon Hunters are called out in the middle of the night, riding out on horses, and carrying firebombs, one unlucky hit could get ugly.

    On the other hand, if they are being transported separately, on a supply wagon for instance, that would extend the logistics tail of the entire operation.

    “Okay, we killed the demons, now we have to wait for the wagon to arrive with medicine and firebombs.”

    And that could be a way to get the less-combatant characters on-site.
    They don’t need to be in the first wave, they can be the follow-up.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Do they?

        I get the advantage from a storytelling perspective, explaining why the archer never seems to run out of arrows and such, but you’re doing a lot of legwork sorting out how they have everything else.

        It might be kind of jarring to have detailed explanations about all the materials and magics going into everything they have, then have something more overtly magical tossed in.

        Unless you go into exactly how they are made, and that gets weird.

        Oh! New Theory!
        The Isekai protagonists appear in an exploded qiankun bag!
        Really get those dimensional shenanigans going!

        Liked by 5 people

      2. *Snickers at last bit*

        Honestly, I’m still working out some worldbuilding details. I know based on how portals work that qiankun pouches CAN work. It’s likely they’re not common, though. Running out of arrows will definitely be a thing.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Things like qiankun pouches try to make sense, but they tend to break down when you think about them too much, which is why they tend towards the hand-wavy end of magic.

        The only suggestion I can give is to have people making them with lots of material.

        “What is that guy doing with those bedsheets?”

        “He’s making a small qiankun pouch.”


        Which incidentally could make them rare.
        If they need to be made from the hide of some kind of special animal, and you need dozens of square feet to make one pouch, it would make them rare.

        “There’s good news, and bad news and good news and bad news.”


        “We’re hunting a dimensional boar.”

        “What’s that?”

        “It’s the animal we make qiankun pouches out of. Its hide compresses space inside it.”

        “That’s neat!”

        “Don’t bother trying to stab the side. There’s literally meters of muscle to push through to the vitals. Go for the eyes.”

        “Huh, that could be tricky.”

        “The on the other hand, we will also get lots of boar meat from it.”


        “Unfortunately, since it can compress space, it can eat nearly endlessly. When we kill it, it will basically explode into feces.”



    1. It also depends on what they’re made of, and what phase of matter you can keep them in.

      Oil may burn, but I’m fairly sure it’s not very explosive. Not on its own.

      I don’t think that even gas or diesel are very explosive either… as long as they’re liquid.

      Temperature matters too,. Diesel apparently turns quite viscous at really low temperatures, and the warmer any oil-based product is, the more volatile vapors it releases.

      The integrity of the container matters too. Can vapors seep through, or is it completely sealed?

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Temperature definitely matters, and given they have cultivation-based ways to keep things cold, that’s likely a big thing in “safe transport”.

        …Which gives a convenient Clock Ticking thing if someone breaks said arrays….

        Liked by 3 people

      2. The closer to “crude” the oil is, the harder it is to get it to burn and keep burning. Diesel will usually put *out* lit matches, IIRC.

        I wonder if the “burning metals” is related to our recent discussion of sodium?

        I’ve no idea what it takes to create sufficiently-pure metallic sodium, but I know that refining aluminum from bauxite and alumina is usually *very* engergy-intensive. Which makes it hard to make thermite, alas (not to mention grinding aluminum into a fine enough powder to burn well is a good way to blow yourself up unless you’re *very* careful).

        Not sure about magnesium. Iron oxide (the 3rd ingredient of thermite) should be easy to come by.

        …I wonder if magic can help the metals-refining process along? Might be a way for Our Heroes to have enough thermite to make a few “special munitions”, without sparking (ahem) an industry.

        Phosphorous, maybe? IIRC, some varieties will burn underwater.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. :cackles: Oh, you can put out a lit match by dropping it into a bucket of gasoline.

        ….as long as it’s not warm enough to have vapors.

        The vapor is what goes boom.

        Gas does have a much lower flash point, though.

        Have a youtube!

        Liked by 2 people

      4. I know that refining aluminum from bauxite and alumina is usually *very* engergy-intensive.

        Oh, absolutely. Which is why it was very precious and hard to obtain right up until someone invented hydroelectric power generation and electrodes.

        If the cultivators can create lighting arrays the energy problem might become much less pressing that the “is the mineral even here?” problem.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Lion-Maiden? Is he talking about Mary? What sort of treasure are they looking for?

    And yeah, sometimes just setting things on fire isn’t enough. Most of the time it’s just an annoyance that they’re more inclined to nom nom on your arm. Sometimes you got to blow it apart and then burn the pieces. Ka-boom!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Oh, yes. If it’s not the hair, it’s going to be other things. The adults around her are going to make it as clear as possible that this is Maiden With Protectors, Keep Grubby Hands Off.

        Meaning she’ll get looks because she’s attached to the Callers, but hey, you work with what you’ve got….

        Liked by 3 people

  3. But if she were as fierce as any young Caller, and half as determined as her guardian, the sight of it might comfort her.

    Yep, even if someone is bigger and stronger than me– if they arm me, I am going to feel better.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Reminds me of Ryk Spoor’s novels, where the culture considers disarming a guest *unthinkable*, and in fact appearing before a king *unarmed* is a deadly insult. To the point that some isekai’d visitors from Earth (who, to be fair, are probably more dangerous bare-handed) are *issued loaner weapons* before their presentation to the ruler.

        This culture also had the Armed Bow as a typical greeting in formal contexts, where one turned to display all of one’s weapons, as their version of “I’m not hiding anything.”

        Mary with a nail-studded plank… heh. Reminds me of that Simpsons episode where the aliens take over Earth (after someone wished for World Peace with a monkey’s paw), and then get chased off by “He’s got a *board*, with a *nail in it!!!*” after someone *else* wishes for someone to get rid of the aliens.

        Given how unwieldy a board-with-nails is, though, I imagine Mary will be happy to upgrade to a decent knife or something when she gets a chance.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Seconded. The characters have distinct voices, and their interactions made me giggle several times.

        … I ought to reread it. I’m sure I missed details.

        Liked by 1 person

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