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 2016 Rio Olympics for Rikki’s age group is true.

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.

Neck or nixie is the Germanic name for an undine (water spirit).

Gloucester was badly affected by the Severn flood in 2007.

Kelpie is the Scots name given to a shape-shifting water spirit that takes the shape of a horse to drag its victims underwater.

Chapter 4
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 the modern practice, sigils can be set to use third-party attention.

Chapter 6
Izzy’s description of Michael’s lesson is a standard modern 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
Bien (French) = good.

Kuzu (Turkish) = lamb

Chapter 11
Pépé (French) = grandad.

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.

Bandages are a sexual fetish in Japan. And probably elsewhere by now.

Chapter 12

The Death Star is a fictional mobile space platform and galactic superweapon featured in the Star Wars franchise.

Loki was also known as Lopt which means something like ‘the airy one’. Skywalker is one of the names given to him by some modern Heathens.

The Valley of Death is a phrase from the poem The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Tennyson. The Brigade rode into cannonballs and perished.

Chapter 13
The information about Banksy and Blek le Rat is 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

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 Denny Island and the two Holms is true.

Lynette White was murdered in 1988. South Wales Police charged five black and mixed-race men with the murder, despite the absence of evidence. Three of the men were sentenced to life imprisonment in 1990. Two years later the convictions were quashed following a decision that the police had acted improperly. What Izzy says about the trial of the police is true.

The word hell is taken from the Heathen term for the realm of the dead. It does not occur in the languages used to write the Bible.

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

Tom Sharpe wrote popular satirical novels in the late 20th century.

Downton Abbey is a British TV period drama series (2010 to 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.

Aughiskies (Scottish folklore) are the more vicious version of a kelpie. They eat everything except the liver. All the water spirits named are attested in the folklore of various countries.

Chapter 19
Thing (Anglo Saxon) = assembly. I’ve used it for the council of a pack.

The Special Air Service (SAS) is a special forces unit of the British Army. Their barracks are in Credenhill in Herefordshire.

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

Chapter 20
Disir (Old Norse) = female ancestors.

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 23
Gandalf is the wizard in J R R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

Chapter 24
In Heathen mythology, Sigird could understand the language of birds after tasting a dragon’s blood. Prose Edda, Skaldskaparmal 7.

Chapter 25
Chicken-on-the-head is one of the curses in the card game Munchkin, by Steve Jackson and John Kovalic.

Bien sûr (French) = of course!

Chapter 26
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.

Netjeru (ancient Egyptian) = gods.

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

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.

Chapter 27
Myrrh was used by the ancient Egyptians for embalming mummies.

The Wagon was the name given by ancient Heathens to 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.

The ancient Egyptians believed that the akhu (the dead who had passed the tests of the underworld) joined the gods as stars. See the Unas Pyramid Texts spell 245.

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

Chapter 28
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.

In Heathen mythology, Ginnungagap is the primal void between Misthome (Niflheim) and Firehome (Muspelheim).

Chapter 29
The general information about Houses of Life is true.

Setnakht emerged from civil war at the end of the 19th Dynasty to found the 20th Dynasty. His reign was extremely short. He was the father of Rameses III. The information about the decline of the kingdoms is true.

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 (13th century BCE). In the first cycle, he 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 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 the Oxyrhynchus documents is true.

Chapter 30
Big boys' games, big boys' rules is an SAS maxim about their use of lethal force.

The information about the resolutions of CCTV used for child protection in 2013 is true.

Kitsune are magical foxes in Japanese mythology. They are shapechangers.

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

Bête noire (French) = black beast. The bane of one’s existence

Chapter 33
Keep your friends close but your enemies closer is often attributed to various historical sources. It’s a quote from The Godfather movies.

Occam’s Razor – the principle that the more assumptions a theory requires, the less likely it is to be true.

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

Chapter 34
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 35
Veles is a god from Slavic mythology. Otso appears in The Stolen Wyrdwolf.

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

Chapter 36
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.

Perita (Latin) = skilled, proficient, adept.

The information about ANPR is true.

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

Chapter 37
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 38
Although 80% of a badger’s diet is earthworms, they will eat small mammals including rabbits.

The legality issues of homosexual relationships in the UK are authentic. 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 39
A bindrune is formed from a combination of other runes on a single vertical stroke. Prior to modern times, they included only two or three runes.

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 40
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 42
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.

The pub The Severn Bore exists.

The Severn Estuary has the third largest tidal range in the world. The river is tidal as far as Gloucester.

Chapter 45
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. Firedogs (andirons) are devices made of metal which support the firewood.

Chapter 46
Cluedo (Clue in the US) is a popular board game about solving a murder.

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

The TARDIS is the transport of Doctor Who, the protagonist of a BBC TV series. It is stuck in the shape of a British police box.

The age of consent is 14 in several European countries, including Germany. For changes in the age of consent for homosexual sex in the UK, see the note to Chapter 38.

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

Chapter 47
The finfolk are from the folklore of the Orkney Islands, situated in northeast Scotland. What is said is authentic folklore.

The information about the Sweet Angel Pony franchise is largely taken from My Little Pony.

Chapter 48
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 49
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).

Chapter 50
The name ‘Budweiser’ is used in the USA by ABInBev and in Europe by the Czech companies Budweiser Budvar and Budweiser Bier Bürgerbräu.

Chapter 51
Mr Tumnus and the lamppost come from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis.

Emrys (Welsh for Ambrosius) is a name 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.

Cantrefs were medieval Welsh administrative areas.

Chapter 52
In Heathen mythology, fetches, the idesa (Old Norse: disir) and hamingjar (the word I have rendered as luckwives) are female protective spirits. There also ordinary norns in addition to the three Great Norns. According to the Prose Edda Gylfaginning 15, they were descended from gods, elves or dwarves. All norns shaped lives.

Chapter 53
In Heathen mythology, Ratatosk is a squirrel who runs up and down the world tree Yggdrasil.

Beating the Bounds is an ancient English ritual that seems to have its roots in ancient Heathen practices of land taking. Wassailing apple orchards on Twelfth Night is an old custom in southern England.

Chapter 54
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 56
A form of toga dyed solid purple was used to clothe images of the gods in the Roman religion.

Domine Mars (Latin) = Lord Mars

Parcae (Latin) = the Fates. Morta chose the manner and time of 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 59
The original version of Gone with the Wind was released in the UK in 1940.

Chapter 60
In Heathen mythology, the three Norns mend the damage done to the world tree, Yggdrasil.

Chapter 61
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.

SBS = Special Boat Squad – the Royal Navy’s special forces unit.

Chapter 62
The information about the Fastnet race is true.

Chapter 63
In December 2014, Moonrise was about an hour before sunrise.