Elemental Games

Book 10 in the Wyrdwolf series

Book 10 in the Wyrdwolf series
It's the week before Yule and the day before the full moon hunt. Izzy is having difficulties when someone unexpected drops by to help. Just as well, as the Luck & Judgement office has been hexed.

When Declan wins a bet and prepares to sort things out, Izzy has the feeling this is all about to go terribly wrong. What none of them is prepared for is the skill and artistry of their opponent. But are they fighting one person... or more? And are their opponents masquerading as people who offer help? Everyone seems to be playing games - including Declan and Michael, much to Izzy's annoyance.

Things come to a head when members of her staff and one of her cubs are threatened. Declan, Michael and Izzy begin to realise they are facing one or more magicians with immense power at their disposal. But that understanding may have come too late.

This time, Izzy must try to save more than her friends, her cub and her mate from destruction. Her struggle becomes a fight for her daughter's future and for the Ambrose past. But to win, she must first free herself from the scars of old wounds.

The tenth book in the Wyrdwolf series draws on Ancinet Egyptian mythology, folklore and history, water folklore and a real world phenomenon. Set in the borderlands of England and South Wales.

Elemental Games - on sale in Kindle or print editions, via Amazon.

  • Author: Alexa Duir
  • Set in: England, 2013
  • series number: Book #10
  • Where to buy: Amazon US
  • Where to buy: Amazon UK
  •    For other countries, click on the UK link and substitute your country's domain for the .co.uk in the url
  • True BitsIf you want to know which of the folklore and history in the books is true

True Bits in the book

Chapter 2
The timing of the qualifying races for the Rio Olympics for Rikki’s age group is authentic.

In Heathen mythology, Bifrost is the rainbow bridge between Asgard and Midearth. It will break at Ragnarok.

The accents of the Protestant and Catholic communities in Northern Ireland is often different.

Chapter 3
Melter (Northern Irish idiom) = an annoying person who gets on your nerves.

Gloucester was badly affected by the Severn flood in 2007. Great Britain as a whole experienced widespread flooding for much of 2012 and early 2013.

Chapter 4
PTSD – post-traumatic stress disorder.

In Heathen mythology, Heimdall signals the start of Ragnarok by blowing his horn, Gjallarhorn.

Chapter 5
Sigils are a type of magic that uses symbols to achieve their aim. They have been used in Western magic since at least the 17th century. Modern practice derives largely from the 20th century occultist, Austin Osman Spare. Within modern practice, sigils can be set to use third-party attention.

Chapter 6
Izzy’s description of Michael’s lesson is a standard method of producing a sigil. Sex can be used to charge one.

Paragraph 13 of the theft Act 1968 states “Abstracting of electricity: A person who dishonestly uses without due authority, or dishonestly causes to be wasted or diverted, any electricity shall on conviction on indictment be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.” I invented paragraph 13A.

The rain began in the UK in April 2012. There were numerous floods through the year and the winter of 2012/13 was one of the stormiest on record.

Wyrd is a Heathen concept related to fate.

Chapter 7
Sound (Northern Irish idiom) = good, trustworthy.

‘Wee’ is a common adjective in Northern Ireland and Scotland. It means ‘small’. It’s applied to everything and anything, irrespective of size.

In Heathen mythology, Hermoðr was sent to petition Hel for the release of Baldr. His epic journey is described in the prose Edda Gylfaginning 49.

Train Spotting is a 1996 film based on a book by Irvine Welsh.

cheeky wee get (Northern Irish idiom) = impudent and unpleasant person

Chapter 8
Florianopolis has some of the best surfing beaches in the world. Prainha Beach is in Rio.

Chapter 10
Doug Eaton is a locally renowned artist who paints the landscape of the Forest of Dean.

Bien (French) = good.

Kuzu (Turkish) = lamb

Chapter 11
The Welsh Marches are the English counties that border Wales. In medieval times, it covered a large section of Wales, as well as England. It is first called the March in the Domesday Book of 1086.

Chapter 12
Star Wars is a 1977 film created by George Lucas. The hero Luke Skywalker destroys the Death Star.

Chapter 13
What is said about Banksy, Robert Del Naja and Blek le Rat is all true.

The magician is standard to most tarot packs. The image for that and Scarlett’s ‘Loki’ card come from Heathen mythology. Lemminkäinen's mother is from the Kalevala, the Finnish national poem.

Chapter 14
Youse (Northern Irish idiom) = you (3rd person plural)

Chapter 15
Rag societies are student charitable organisations. They are widespread in the United Kingdom. They usually have a week of crazy fundraising activities each year.

Chapter 18
The position, history and regional administration of the Holm islands and Denny Island is true.

Lynette White was murdered in 1988 in Cardiff, Wales. South Wales Police charged five black and mixed-race men with White's murder, although no crime scene evidence could be linked to them. In November 1990, three of the men were found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. In December 1992, the convictions were quashed by the Court of Appeal after it was decided that the police investigating the murder had acted improperly. What Izzy says about the trial of the police is true.

Someone tried to lay claim to Denny island in the early 2000s and prevent it being registered as common land.

Tom Sharpe wrote a popular satirical novel in the late 20th century. Three were made into equally popular TV series.

Downton Abbey is a British historical period drama television aired between 2010 and 2015.

Jenny Greenteeth is a figure in English folklore. A river hag, similar to Peg Powler or a grindylow.

From December 2013 onwards the Somerset Levels suffered severe flooding.

Kelpie is the Scots name given to a shape-shifting water spirit that takes the shape of a horse to drag its victims underwater. Aughiskies are the more vicious version, which eats everything except the liver. All the water spirits named are attested in the folklore of various countries.

Chapter 19
SAS officers are known as Ruperts.

In Heathen mythology, ulfhednar were similar to berserkers except they shifted into wolf shape rather than bear.

Neck or nixie is the Germanic name for an undine.

Chapter 21
Ah, bon (French) = really? (sarcasm).

The information about John Dee, Edward Kelley and the Enochian and Theban scripts, is true.

Chapter 22
Lysistrata is a play by Aristophanes, originally performed in classical Athens in 411 BC. It is a comic account of a woman's mission to end the war between Greek city-states by denying all men in Greece any sex.

Chapter 24
The game with the chicken-on-the-head is Munchkin, a card game by Steve Jackson and illustrated by John Kovalic.

Bien sûr (French) = of course!

Chapter 25
Black-eyed children are an urban legend of paranormal creatures that resemble children between the ages of six and sixteen, with pale skin and black eyes.

Farsi is the Persian language. What Declan says about Arabic is true.

Orlog is a concept from Heathen mythology related to wyrd. It is primordial law.

Chapter 26
Puss in Boots is a European literary fairy tale probably best known from the 17th century version written by Charles Perrault. He appears as a character in the 2004 film Shrek 2. Donkey appears in the Shrek films as the ogre’s sidekick.

‘A gift for a gift’ is a modern Heathen maxim.

The Harmattan is a season in the West African subcontinent characterized by a dry trade wind, of the same name.

The Wagon was the Viking name for the constellation we call the Plough. I made up Urdh’s belt.

The ram-horned snake is from Celtic mythology. It was often associated with Cernunnos.

A ba and an akh are parts of the soul from ancient Egyptian (Kemetic) mythology. The Halls of Ma’at and the perils of Duat are described in the Book of the Dead. The ancient Egyptians believed that some stars were akhu.

The Snow White reference is to the 1937 Walt Disney film.

Chapter 27
Red magic – in ancient Egypt, the colour red signified the ‘Outland’ and things from it.

‘Hoist with his own petard’ is a phrase from William Shakespeare's play Hamlet. It means a bomb-maker who has been blown up by his own device.

Chapter 28
The general information about Houses of Life is true.

The end of the 19th Dynasty in ancient Egypt plunged the country into civil war. Setnakht (Strength or Victory of Set) was the first pharaoh of the 20th Dynasty (the last dynasty of the New Kingdom). His reign was extremely short. He was the father of Rameses III.

Ma’at is an ancient Egyptian goddess. She represents balance, which was a central concept of Kemetic culture.

The Magic Book of Princess Ahura was written around 1100BCE. It is one of a cycle of tales about Setne Khaemweset. Setne was a real person: the fourth son of Ramesses II, he lived around 1270 to 1224 BCE. The later tales about him cast him in the role of a searcher for magical knowledge. In the first cycle, he seeks and finds a book of powerful magical spells: the Book of Thoth.

The Egyptologist mentioned by Teazle was Margaret Murray, better known for her later work The God of the Witches, which was a significant early influence on Wicca. She was the unofficial assistant to the famous Egyptologist Sir William Flinders Petrie and helped excavate the sacred city of Abydos. The temple of Seti I at Abydos contains inscriptions dubbed the ‘Helicopter hieroglyphs’ as they supposedly depict a helicopter and a tank.

During the 19th and 20th dynasties, Sepermeru was a centre for the 19th Nome. It was one of the chief cult centres of Set, whose temple there was excavated and identified in the 1980s.

The information from Teazle, Sam and Raphael about the Setne documents, the Fayum/Fayyum, the canal, Sepermeru, nomes and Oxyrhynchus is true.

The information about the Oxyrhynchus documents is true.

Chapter 29
What is said about the resolutions of much CCTV used for child protection in 2013 is true.

Versipelles (Latin) = pelt-changers. Usually werewolves in Roman mythology.  

Kitsune are magical foxes in Japanese mythology. They are shape changers.

Declan’s comment about shares is a quote from common advertising warnings.

Chapter 30
C'est un crétin! (French) = He’s a moron!

Chapter 31
What Declan says about the origin of ‘keep your friends close but your enemies closer’ is true.

Je m’appelle Isolde Ambrose (French) = my name is Isolde Ambrose.

Merci beaucoup (French) = many thanks

Chapter 32
The linoleum quote is from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a popular TV series written by Joss Wheldon. It was spoken by the character Xander. 

‘I’m Spartacus’ comes from the 1960 film Spartacus, directed by Stanley Kubrick. The phrase is used by other Roman slaves to protect the main character.

Chapter 33
Veles is a god from Slavic mythology. Otso appears in The Stolen Wyrdwolf.

n’est-ce pas (French) = a tag question inviting agreement.

Chapter 34
Enemy of the State is a 1998 American action-thriller film directed by Tony Scott. Its theme is the ability to obtain information about an individual.

The information about ANPR is true.

The author referred to is Tony Geraghty. The book was The Irish War.

Chapter 35
I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched were popular American TV shows in the 1960s. One was about a jinniyah and the other about a witch.

What is said about the jinn and mirrors is true.

Chapter 36
The legality problems of Fox and Niall are true. The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 lowered the age of consent for gay sexual relationships from 21 to 18 in the UK in 1994. Equality of age of consent was finally achieved in 2001. The Civil Partnership Act 2004 permitted single-sex couples to register their relationships legally. Same-sex marriage was finally enabled in England and Wales from March 2014 and Scotland from December 2014. At the time of publication of this book (Nov 2015), same-sex marriage was not permitted in Northern Ireland.

Chapter 37
The Book of Thoth is a fable. In ancient Egyptian mythology, the god Djehuty (Thoth) is a great magician and the inventor of writing.

Chapter 38
Flex-foot blades are used by runners. Carbon fibre blades are superior. The normal route for children to obtain sports-quality blades is true. LimbPower exists.

The Severn Bore exists. The information about it is true. Minsterworth near Gloucester is one of the best viewing points. The Qiantang River in China has the largest bore in the world.

Chapter 39
The story of King Canute is a 12th century fable. Canute’s action was designed to shame his courtiers who told him he had the power to do whatever he wanted.

Undergraduates excluded, what Declan says about Discordianism is true. The ingredients for a Discordian spell are an adaptation of the Paper Clip Sacrifice from Erisian Ritual Magic II.

Chapter 40
The Severn Estuary has the third largest tidal range in the world.

Chapter 43
Izzy’s thoughts about keeping a fire going are attested in folklore in many cultures. The tools she uses were the common ones prior to matches. Fireplaces replaced hearths that were usually in the centre of the house. Fire dogs (andirons) are devices made of metal which support the firewood.

Chapter 44
The Angel of the North is a sculpture designed by Antony Gormley. It stands 20 metres tall, with wings measuring 54 metres across.

Cluedo (Clue in the US) is a popular board game about solving a murder.

The TARDIS is the transport of Doctor Who, the protagonist of a BBC TV series that has been running for 50 years. It is stuck in the shape of a British police box.

TOR conceals a user's location and computer usage from anyone conducting network surveillance or traffic analysis. Hushmail can convey authenticated, encrypted email.

Chapter 45
The finfolk are from the folklore of the Orkney Islands, situated in northeast Scotland. What is said is authentic.

Although Sweet Angel Ponies don’t exist, bronies do. They are the male fan base of My Little Pony, a toy franchise owned by the US company Hasbro.

Chapter 46
The information about CBIR engines is true.

The Lisa Simpson interpretation of the 2012 Olympics logo happened. I have not used the authentic logo as it is subject to copyright.

The logo was created by the brand consultancy firm Wolff Olins. It was unveiled in 2007.

Chapter 47
In Heathen mythology, the fetch (Old Norse fylgja) is part of a person.

Dr John Dee (court magician to Elizabeth I) used a round scrying mirror made of obsidian.

Gullveig is a mysterious witch in Heathen mythology who was burnt to death three times by the Aesir family of gods. The event may have led to a war between the gods. Gullveig may be Freya. The only mention of the story is in the Poetic Edda Voluspa 21-22.

In Heathen mythology, Vanadis is one of Freya’s titles. It means something like ‘protective female spirit of the Vanir’. Laufeyjarson is Loki’s matronymic (surname).

The name ‘Budweiser’ is used in the USA by ABInBev and in Europe by the Czech companies Budweiser Budvar and Budweiser Bier Bürgerbräu.

Chapter 48
Mr Tumnus and the lamppost come from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis.

Emrys is one of the names given to Merlin. Ellwood is an Anglo Saxon surname deriving from a place in the Forest of Dean. It means ‘old wood’ or ‘elder wood’.

Chapter 49
In Heathen mythology, fetches, the Idesa (Old Norse: disir) and hamingjar (the word I have rendered as ‘luckwives’) are female protective spirits.

The information about norns is true. It can be found in the Prose Edda Gylfaginning 15.

Chapter 50
Beating the bounds is a ritual that seems to have its roots in Heathen practices of land taking in England and Scandinavia. Wassailing apple orchards on Twelfth Night is an old custom in southern England.

Chapter 51

A Dalek is a creature from BBC’s Doctor Who TV series. A Zorg ZF-1 is from the 1997 film The Fifth Element. Wolverine is a character in Marvel Comics.

Chapter 53
A form of toga dyed solid purple was used to clothe images of the gods in the Roman religion.

Domine Mars (Latin) = O Lord Mars

Parcae (Latin) = the Fates. Morta chose the manner and time of a person's death.

Roman citizens could appeal to a tribune about the decisions of a magistrate. The tribune was obliged to determine the legality of the action before a magistrate could proceed.

Chapter 55
There are various versions of Merlin being imprisoned by a lover.

The original version of Gone with the Wind was released in the UK in 1940.

Chapter 56
In Heathen mythology, the three Norns tend damage done to the world tree, Yggdrasil.

Chapter 57
The flooding in Somerset continued during January and February 2014. Two councils declared a major incident. The army was called in to help.

The information about the effects of the storms in early 2014 is true.

Chapter 58
The information about the Fastnet race is true.

Chapter 59
In December 2014, Moonrise was about an hour before sunrise.