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.

  • series number: Book #10
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  •    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 are 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 form 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, or earlier if one counts Icelandic runestaves. Modern practice derives largely from the 20th-century occultist, Austin Osman Spare. Within the modern practice, sigils can be set to utilise 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.

My imaginary Paragraph 13A of the Theft Act 1968 is based on Paragraph 13, which is about stealing electricity.

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 9
Florianopolis has some of the best surfing beaches in the world. Prainha Beach is in Rio.

Chapter 11
Bien (French) = good.

Kuzu (Turkish) = lamb

Chapter 12
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 13

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 14
The information about Banksy and Blek le Rat is true.

Chapter 15
Youse (Northern Irish idiom) = you (usually more than one person).

Chapter 16
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 19
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, Hel.

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).

The water spirits are drawn from the folklore of various countries. Jenny Greenteeth (English folklore) is a river hag, as are Peg Powler and grindylows.

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.

Chapter 20
A thing was a governing assembly in early Germanic society. 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.

Chapter 21
In Heathen mythology, Yggdrasil is a cosmic tree that holds the worlds in its branches and under its roots. Creatures live in and below it.

Disir (Old Norse) = female ancestors.

Chapter 22
Ah, bon (French) = really? (sarcasm).

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

Chapter 23
In Heathen mythology, ulfhednar were similar to berserkers except they shifted into a wolf rather than a bear.

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 25
In Heathen mythology, Sigurd could understand the language of birds after tasting a dragon’s blood. Prose Edda, Skaldskaparmal 7.

Chapter 26
Chicken-on-the-head is one of the curses in the card game Munchkin, by Steve Jackson and John Kovalic.

Chapter 27
Bien sûr (French) = of course!

Chapter 28
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 fairy tale character who appears in the 2004 film Shrek 2. Donkey is Shrek’s sidekick.

‘A gift for a gift’ is a modern Heathen maxim based on pre-Christian Heathen practices.

Chapter 29
The Wagon was the name given by ancient Heathens to the constellation we call the Plough. I made up Urdh’s belt.

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

Chapter 30
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 device.

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

Chapter 32
The general information about Houses of Life is true.

Setnakht fought in the civil war at the end of the 19th Dynasty and founded 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 an 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 about the Setne documents, the Fayum/Fayyum, the canal, Sepermeru, nomes, and the Oxyrhynchus documents is true.

Chapter 33
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.

Chapter 34
Bête noire (French) = black beast. The bane of one’s existence

Chapter 35
Conard (French slang) = asshole/dick.

Il est un branleur (French slang) = he’s a useless idiot. (Wanker is the English equivalent.)

C’est une raclure de bidet (offensive French slang) = it’s bidet scum.

Chapter 36
Keep your friends close but your enemies closer is misattributed to various historical sources. It is 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 37
“I'm seventeen. Looking at linoleum makes me wanna have sex” is from the episode Innocence in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a popular TV series written by Joss Wheldon.

Chapter 38
Veles is a god from Slavic mythology. Otso appears in The Stolen Wyrdwolf.

Chapter 39
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 41
I Dream of Jeannie was a popular 1960s American TV shows about a jinniyah.

Chapter 42
What is said about the jinn and mirrors is true.

Chapter 43
Although 80% of a badger’s diet is earthworms, they will eat small mammals including rabbits.

The laws about homosexual relationships in the UK are real. The age of consent for gay sexual relationships was lowered from 21 to 18 in 1994. Equality of age of consent came in 2001. Single-sex couples could register a civil partnership from 2004. Same-sex marriage became legal in England, Wales and Scotland in 2014 and Northern Ireland in 2020.

Chapter 44
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 45
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 48
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 51
Many cultures considered it ill-luck to let the hearth fire go out. The tinderbox and tools were the common ones used before matches. Hearths were usually in the centre of the house until the advent of chimneys and fireplaces.

Chapter 52
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 mid-20th-century 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.

Chapter 53
The finfolk are from the folklore of the Orkney Islands, situated in northeast Scotland. What is said is authentic folklore.

Bronies hold conferences. Their ethic is to be kind and considerate.

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

Chapter 54
The information about CBIR engines is true.

The Lisa Simpson version of the 2012 Olympics logo is true. I can’t use 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 55
In Heathen mythology, the fetch (Old Norse fylgja) is part of a person.

Gullveig is a mysterious witch in Heathen mythology who was burnt to death three times and came back to life. She may be Freya. 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).

Sessrumnir (Old Norse) = seat-room. It is the name of Freya’s hall.

Chapter 56
The name ‘Budweiser’ is used in the USA by ABInBev and in Europe by the Czech companies Budweiser Budvar and Budweiser Bier Bürgerbräu.

Chapter 57
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 58
In Heathen mythology, 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 59
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 62
A form of toga dyed solid purple was used to clothe images of the gods in the Roman religion.

Dominus 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 65
The original version of Gone with the Wind was released in the UK in 1940.

In Heathen mythology, the three Norns mend the damage done to Yggdrasil.

Chapter 67
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. A crisis committee was called by the Prime Minister after the Thames flooded.

The Special Boat Squad (SBS) is the Royal Navy’s special forces unit.

Chapter 68
The Fastnet race is real.