Delver Magic Book XII: Essence of the Chase

Jeff Inlo
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Ryson Acumen wakes one morning to find his hometown surrounded by elves. A thrust of magic places the town of Burbon under the cover of a powerful spell, and only when the human village is completely sealed off does the elf leader, Standish Loftber, reveal his demands. Loftber knows that the human wizard, Jure, has taken possession of elf essence, and the elves will not leave until they retrieve what is rightfully theirs.


Jure refuses to simply abandon what he views as a precious gift. He vows to retain the essence and swears to strive against any attempt to remove the magical energy. In hopes of escaping the town, the wizard enlists the help of his friends and companions.


Ryson and Linda Acumen, Holli Brances, and Enin work with the wizard to break through the elf spell of distortion. The delver leads the group, utilizing his skills to deceive the elves and conceal any hint of a trail. They flee to the dark lands and struggle to find the one path which will steer them clear of a grave and costly confrontation with the elves.

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Jeff Inlo
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Published on
Nov 8, 2017
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Fiction / Fantasy / Epic
Fiction / Fantasy / General
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He works for the United States Federal Government to ensure the slower pace of progress. He hates unobstructed innovation and accelerated invention. He believes in doing things the hard way, even the wrong way, but especially the inefficient way. To him, waste is just another way to utilize resources, and incompetence is a prized characteristic of human nature. He is… Counterproductive Man!

As a fully licensed agent of the government, it is his sworn duty to protect the interests of the United States by thwarting ingenuity and productivity. Utilizing his own methods of obstruction, he has accepted the role of a hero with enhanced capabilities. He can leap tall buildings with the aid of a magnetic jump pack, and he can break glass with his sonic disruptor pen. With every department of the United States Government at his disposal, he can bring swift retribution against those that oppose him.

Even though he does not work in secret, little is known about this masked crusader. For many inventors, he is simply the personification of oppressive bureaucracy. Technological advancement in product or process is Counterproductive Man’s enemy, and while he is not the brightest star in the Milky Way, he might be the most annoying.

In this story, the origins of his inefficient and combative partner unfold, as do the initial conflicts with his archenemy. Counterproductive Man learns to work with others, something he does not do well, and he feels the stinging pain of defeat. Still, this is a hero that embodies the domineering perseverance of any government agency bent on having its way. He will fight his adversary to the end in order to defeat unbridled progress and to remain true to his name… Counterproductive!
Utilizing pure magic to overcome their treacherous nature, six serps form a council bent on obliterating peace and order across the land. They merge their manipulative abilities into a powerful force and develop a complex plot focused on raising tensions between the races. With sly precision, the snake-like creatures influence the decisions of Uton's most powerful leaders.
The mayhem begins with an ominous and grisly message. Captain Sy Fenden and Ryson Acumen immediately recognize the handiwork of the abnormally large goblin, Okyiq. The ghastly display, however, serves a much larger purpose and launches a series of cascading calamities meant to envelop the entire region of Dark Spruce Forest.

Concentrating their efforts on the dwarf underground city of Dunop, the serps assist one of the most infamous criminals of all the land in escaping a dwarf dungeon. Aiding the fugitive and thrusting him into a position of authority, the serps create an immediate and growing mistrust between the races. While suspicions fester is the forest, a horrible scene in the desert revives anger and sorrow across the algor community and heightens the evolving crisis.

Great magical spells and horrific monsters crash down upon Uton in waves, causing great pain and tragedy. Demons terrorize humans and dwarves, and Okyiq leads an army of goblins, shags, and bloat spiders through Dark Spruce Forest. Every misfortune is designed to foster fear and instability, and a war between the races seems like an impending certainty.

Recognizing the sweeping influence of the serps, the protectors of Uton work toward defusing the crisis. Holli and Enin take different paths in their fight to restore order, each one hoping to stave off catastrophe while avoiding direct confrontation with the serp council. Jure joins with Ryson to take a more direct approach to bring peace between the races, but it's the delver who discovers that the only way to match the serps' influence is to move faster than they can scheme.
As his hometown is attacked by river rogues and goblins, Ryson Acumen faces his most personal struggle. While fighting off the dark creatures, his deeply held beliefs create a conflict with Burbon's Captain of the Guard and Ryson's close friend, Sy Fenden. An argument leads to a fracture in their friendship, and the delver must choose a new direction in offering his services to Uton.
Ryson's troubles are quickly compounded by a mystifying encounter with his wife, Linda. Her immunity to magic leads to a surprising discovery that creates uncertainty between them. Unable to mend his closest relationships, Ryson begins to question the very foundation of his life.

With personal difficulties mounting, the delver places his focus on a mystery unfolding across Dark Spruce Forest. An entire elf camp has disappeared, and their absence has allowed for dark creatures to spread their influence across Uton's large forest. Ryson immerses himself into finding the elves, but the search further separates him from his wife.

Facing her own trials, Linda's immunity to magic attracts the attention of creatures with malicious intentions. With Ryson away, she is vulnerable to attack and is subdued by forces hoping to use her special condition for their own gain. Her mind is clouded by strange sensations and her emotional state leaps from hostile anger to cold indifference.

Allies of the delver become aware of the growing turmoil. Holli, Jure and Enin assist Ryson in his investigations and help bring order and direction back to his life. The perilous events merge into one decisive encounter with a powerful sorcerer and pure magical energy. Ryson and his friends come together in a realm of darkness to fight for each other and to fulfill their purpose in a larger clash influenced by the choices of each individual.

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