Saloondrian Short Stories, by Blake Propach
Amidst the Chaos by Licheng Mai
On the day the temple rises from the earth, let the Key guide you into the catacombs.
The light was climbing over the hills of Trickdraw Junction, trickling down into the town as a middle-aged wizard stood in the street outside his potion shop and sipped his morning tea. Felix loved to start the day with tea, starting the day with tea meant he was not starting it with famine, murder, earthquakes, or demons. Such was the life of Felix R. Brewell the Prophetic, who would rather have been anything but Prophetic, but did as the universe commanded of him.
The townsfolk were beginning to stir. The shops around him were opening up, one by one. Earlier risers getting a head start on their daily errands. Felix was content to watch them, and to sip his tea. He turned to the east, enjoying the dark mountain landscape before the sunlight would inevitably scorch the cool earth to render it hot and miserable. Something glinted, flashing brightly far away. Felix instinctively raised a hand to his eye. When he lowered it, the mountain had transformed. Two glowing eyes had taken the place of the flash, glowing like embers.
Before Felix could register what had happened, his store exploded behind him. Physically, catastrophically, the west side of his entire building ceased to exist in a magnificent puff of purple smoke engulfing the alleyway.
“For the sake of the Plague,” he exclaimed, spinning to witness the destruction, his tea spilling out of his tiny mug onto the dusty road beneath his feet.