Crugg squatted on the tree limb, the wind blowing softly into his face stirring his, once again thick, purple hair, carefully watching the doe as it contentedly chewed the grass beneath him. Brandishing his crudely carven spear Crugg let out a piercing scream and dropped from the branch to land hard on the ground, just in time to see the doe’s rump disappearing into the undergrowth.
It had been two full months since he had returned home with his mother, he reflected as he rubbed his sore bottom, and she had, so far, kept her word not to chain him to the wall…though he still didn’t trust her. Now he had the run of the forest, at least a day’s walk in every direction, not that he ever walked for an entire day, but that’s what his mother told him.
Crugg stood, still rubbing his bottom, “Ow…” he looked after the fleeing dear, “I gotta get better at this.” Then he picked up his makeshift spear and started walking. He didn’t really have a destination in mind, he just kept walking until he got tired and plopped down on a log to rest, dropping his spear next to him, he started looking for something to eat.
The forest was a dull green, the heat of summer ever present despite the shade. Looking around him Crugg settled on a bush with small, bright red berries that was within arms reach. Snapping off one of the branches he started popping berries into his mouth, their tartness making his cheeks pucker slightly inward. Then he sat back and sighed, “Bored now. What to do, what to do?” He pondered the question for a long moment before resolving to see how many of the tart berries he could stand to eat at once. After a few minutes he managed to down sixteen at one time. The overwhelming bitterness almost numbing his tongue he tossed the branch away, “Well…now I’m bored again.” He looked back at the branch, “What do you think I should do?” He briefly considered eating more of the berries before noticing that the branch was sitting on top of a thick, brownish book that almost disappeared in the dirt.
With some effort Crugg pulled the book out of the ground and brushed off its, amazingly, dry and unmarred cover. The front of the book read ‘Gordon Remulus’ Magnificent Recipes for World Conquest, or Destruction (Whichever is Preferable at the Time)’. “Well, this looks interesting.” Crugg muttered as he opened to the first page.
It was a table of contents; the book was split up into Drinks, Salads and Appetizers, Breakfast Dishes, Meat Entrées, Fish Entrées, Vegetable Entrées, Stews, Deserts, and Snacks. The writing was heavy, the ink so thick that Crugg was amazed when he turned the page, which he thought was made from some kind of thin animal hide, and saw that it had not bled through. The next page was mostly blank except for the word, Drinks, written in large angular letters which Crugg was sure he had never seen before. He flipped the page back and realized that the table of contents was written in the same script, only smaller. Shrugging Crugg flipped over to the third page. The label on the top of the page read ‘Deliciously Twiggy Tea of Timely Transportation’, this was followed by a list of required items,
3 large twigs from a sufficiently aged White Oak (with leaves still attached)
(If White Oak is not available any other Oak or Birch will due, or the twigs and needles of an older Comurdian Pine or Fir in a pinch, though results will vary)
½ a pinch of ground White Oak bark
(Non-ground bark may be used, but ground produces a better result)
1 small pot of fresh spring water
(fresh river or lake water can be used, but salt water or any treated water should be avoided)
This was followed by directions, ‘Boil water and allow to steep for five to seven minutes before drinking, or for spell results pour entire mixture (hot or cold) onto your feet while reciting the phrase Jumpity-Jim Strikes Again, followed by the name of your destination. The spell will result in instantaneous transit to desired location.’
Crugg read through the recipe twice before scratching his head and flipping farther into the book to look at another recipe. The top of this page read ‘Open Face Turkey Sandwich of Necromantic Power’, and was, again, followed by a list of ingredients,
2 slices fresh turkey (the turkey must be fresh, repeat, MUST BE FRESH)
1 cup turkey gravy (chicken gravy will suffice if necessary)
1 slice white bread (wheat bread will produce a lessened effect)
1.5 ounces dirt from a recently dug grave
The directions read, ‘Heat turkey until cooked through, at the same time heat gravy to desired temperature (I like it piping hot), place turkey onto bread (do not toast bread) and then pour gravy over top of sandwich and enjoy. If used for spell results poor gravedirt over top of sandwich and allow to sit for two days, then bury sandwich face down beneath the headstone of a recently buried (within the week) man (not a woman, a man). This should increase the potency of all your necromantic spells by a factor of 7 as long as the sandwich remains buried.’
Crugg shook his head and flipped farther into the book, the next recipe was titled ‘Simmered Meat Broth of Flaming Death’, the ingredients followed,
1 lb of bones (anything will do, though the bones should have a little fresh meat still clinging to them)
¼ clove garlic
2 pinches pepper
1 pinch salt
1 hot coal
1 large pot of fresh water (no sewage Manfried)
‘Bring water to a boil and add all ingredients, boil until meat separates from bone then allow to cool overnight. In the morning skim fat from top of pot and scoop out bones and coal then reheat and enjoy. For desired spell result simply fling hot broth onto the target, he will immediately burst into flame shortly followed by his demise. Note, non-edible ingredients do not have to be removed for the spell to work, I make all my soups this way, just in case.’