HoB: The Autopyle

March 16, 2015



Lady Poe of Blanchefort had quite a dilemma on her hands. A Silver tech female of growing regard, Lady Poe had become famous in Vithland for her Silver tech familiars, that she could create from thin air in a matter of moments.

The Autopyle room overlooking the Bay of Bloodstein (painting by Ewelina Dolzycka)

The Autopyle room overlooking the Bay of Bloodstein (painting by Ewelina Dolzycka)

She had a vast collection of them: Bark the hound dog that could act as a tireless extension of one’s eyes and ears, able to detect even cloaked persons. There was Shadow the cat that could uncover and destroy Shadow tech, Fins the fish that healed wounds and Whisper, the over-sized lady bug that could cloak one sight and sound.

Most popular of all was Tweeter, the little bird that could get one to where one needed to go without fail.

Lady Poe was always happy to create a familiar when one was needed, however, the demand for them became more than she could keep up with. She was a mother and busy tutor of the Blanchefort children after all, but she was the type of person who never wanted to let anybody down.

She tried creating a great number of her familiars to have on-hand for use in case one was wanted, however, the familiars only last for a week before they fade away into nothing and she’d have to start all over again.

Lady Poe of Blanchefort had no idea the trouble her Autopyle would create (Carol Phillips)

Lady Poe of Blanchefort had no idea the trouble her Autopyle would create (Carol Phillips)

She needed a method to keep her familiars functioning for an indefinite period of time, that way she could always have a small flock of her creations around for any who needed one. She eventually came up with a very clever and seemingly harmless answer to the problem.

Lady Poe created a Silver tech device she called the Autopyle.  As she wanted to use an abandoned bell tower in the western face of Castle Blanchefort to keep her familiars, she formed her Autopyle into the shape of a massive bell. The Autopyle transmitted vast amounts of energy, and, with it in place, her familiars would last indefinitely. She decorated the bell tower, sanding and staining the floors, painting the walls, adding artwork, bookcases, draperies and couches, all done up in her provincial taste. In the rafters she added bird houses for her Tweeters and branches for the Whispers to climb on. When somebody needed a familiar, all they needed do was come to the room and sign one out on her ledger so she would know what needed to be replenished. The room became very popular. It was considered very relaxing to go into the nicely decorated room and play with all the animals.


Lady Poe had little idea the trouble her Autopyle creation would cause. Word eventually got out of the wondrous Silver tech creation Lay Poe had invented. Its news made it all the way into Xaphan space and into the ears of Ruthinkiln of Waam, a foul Black Hat and sister of the long lost Ethylrelda of Waam. With such a wondrous device, Ruthinkiln could create Shadow tech monsters the League had never seen before, and, on no less than ten separate occasions, she attempted to infiltrate Castle Blanchefort with her Spectre henchmen, the Drunes. Their intent was to steal the Autopyle and take it back to Xaphan space where its secrets could be unveiled.

Fortunately, all of Ruthinkiln’s infiltration efforts were detected and quashed. Lady Poe’s daughter, Millie, and Sebastian, son of Magistrate Kilos, made protecting the Autopyle room their personal quest as they grew into adults.


copyright 2015, Ren Garcia, Ewelina Dolzycka and Carol Phillips



This post has nothing to do with my current book series, the Temple of the Exploding Head. This is just a musing …

When I woke up this morning, I thought that was it. There was blood all over our bed; not thin pinkish nosebleed blood–this was deep red and thick, from the heart.

Our dogs: (From Left to right) Badger, Baby, Lucy and Ginger

The blood had come from our dog, Lucy. Lucy is a red Dachshund, twelve years old, overweight and nearly blind. She’s not been herself for awhile now. Her vision started to go a few years ago, and her epic Dachshund nose that used to amaze us with its power got dull and numb. She doesn’t walk much anymore, she just sort of waddles and we have to carry her most everywhere. She’s got funny lumps under her skin here and there.

And this blood thing seemed to be the last straw. I called the Vet and explained that … maybe it might be time to … give Lucy peace. I thought I was taking my dog to die today.

When we got there, they showed us into the little room where dogs and cats go to … you know. It was small, just a couch with a little table. A water slide gurgled and a miniature rock garden sat nearby spewing aroma therapy. And there were pictures on the wall–of dogs and cats who’d seen their lives come to an end in that room. There was Buster, a Basset Hound and Jenny, a white-masked Golden Retriever. There was Snookers and Flo and Penny and an old tabby Gabbs.

The pictures were like a huddle of tombstones in a quaint yard washed in sunshine. There was plenty of space for more pictures, more tombstones. Would a picture of Lucy in her happy, barking younger days soon join the others?

Lucy: June 14, 2000 – Sept 3, 2011???

The Vet came in and sat on the floor.

Lucy trembled

Lucy, the day we brought her home from the store

The Vet looked her over. The blood came from a deep cyst on her leg that had busted open. Pretty common actually. Having drained, it looked much better. The Vet checked her legs–mild arthritis due to her age and weight.

She asked about her appetite. Good, Great–Lucy never misses a meal.

The Vet prescribed a doggie version of ibuprofen for Lucy and an antibiotic for her leg. She thought Lucy still had a lot of life in her.

So Lucy came back out of the Death Room, blind and silent, but alive and with the promise of more life.

We took her home and gave Lucy her first dose of medication. Soon, she was walking around again. Soon, she was splitting our ears with barking like she used to. We bought her a new toy and she took it and squeaked it and shook it around. Right now my dog sits at my feet, asleep, resting her head on her new toy, carrying it with her everywhere, just like she used to.

I don’t know how much longer we’ll have Lucy with us, but it doesn’t really matter. I’ll never forget the day I took my dog to the Death Room, and she came back out again with a new lease and a lesson for the landlord.

Bowl Naked