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Authors: julie ann dawson

nancy werlocks diary s02e15

Table of Contents

Nancy Werlock’s Diary: The Politics of Warlocks


Julie Ann Dawson


Episode Fifteen of the Nancy Werlock’s Diary Series


Features Three
Nancy Werlock
Short Stories:


The Politics of Warlocks

Nancy gets a surprise “courtesy” call from Warlock Lucian Magus of the School of Demonology.


Psych Evals

Palatine Christopher Ross of the vampire Blood Court pays Nancy a visit to discuss his job offer. Meanwhile, Lord Advocate Joshua Brynwolf has more news about the origins of Houston’s psionic abilities.


House Cleaning

Nancy gets a frantic phone call from her sister-in-law about a wisp invasion the day of Megan’s birthday party.




Bards and Sages Publishing

Bellmawr, NJ


© 2016 Julie Ann Dawson. All rights reserved.

These stories are works of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living, dead, or undead is coincidental and vaguely disturbing.



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The Politics of Warlocks


November 10


“Doctor Verlock?”

“This is Nancy Werlock. How can I help you?”

This is Varlock Lucian Magus. If you have a moment, please?”

I do not need this today.

“Just let me get this transferred to my office,” I reply. I place the call on hold and take a deep breath. “Houston, give me a minute to get to my office and then transfer this.”

What’s wrong?”
He thinks to me.

Oh, nothing.
Only the magus of the school of demonology calling out of the blue.”

“Crap. What now?”

I shrug and head for my office. My grandmother had served as Magus for the school of demonology up until her death. Her successor was Phillip Jovalli, not exactly my grandmother’s choice for a successor but considered a “compromise” between the powers-that-be to fill the seat. Mom said it was because the Chancellor wanted someone a bit less willful after having dealt with Nana all of those years. He died in a freak summoning accident a few years ago. Apparently, someone used the wrong declension of a word in Latin, which by itself wouldn’t normally be a huge issue for a powerful demonologist, but there had also been a problem with using a low-grade sulfur reagent that wasn’t the correct purity. That’s what happens when you cut corners to save a few bucks. Or what happens when you vote for a compromise candidate, I suppose.

I’ve never met Lucian Magus, but I did make a point to read up on him a little when I jumped back into the craft. He’s part of the Neo-Traditionalist faction, which is really just a fancy way of saying they are Traditionalists with those things they agree with but
with those things they don’t agree.

Unsurprisingly, there is a lot of politicking in the craft. At the meta-level, you have the ongoing conflict between the Colleges of High Magic and the Colleges of Advanced Studies. The Colleges of High Magic are the original core fields of study. The Colleges trace their origins all the way back to Babylon; and there are unbroken hereditary bloodlines that go back almost a thousand years. The Colleges of Advanced Studies are far younger. Psionics only became its own College in the 19
century, while the College of Technomancy broke from the College of Transformation in the early 20
century. To Traditionalists, these Colleges are all considered acquiescing to the whims of witches who lack the discipline or skill to master “true” magic.

That obviously does not go over well with practitioners of those fields of study.

Then of course you have the political squabbles between individual Colleges, and the internal politics within Colleges. In the College of Evocation, you have Traditionalists who still think the Craft should be practiced as if we all still lived in the Dark Ages. There are the Neo-Traditionalists who want all the pomp and ceremony of Traditionalists without the chain-of-command and eighty miles of restrictions. The
 Movement takes a scientific approach to the craft that strips away everything that isn’t actually necessary to perform the task (I confess to leaning more toward this philosophy, but I’m not wedded to it). The Regno Hominum Movement believes humans are the true, supreme entities of the multiverse, and our ability to control demons and other creatures through magic is the ultimate evidence of this supremacy (don’t get me started…). The Cosmic Universalists contend demons, fae, and elementals are really no different at their core than humans and, with communication and understanding, can co-exist as easily with each other as various human races co-exist peacefully.

Pretty sure the CU people don’t watch the news much insofar as the whole “co-existing peacefully” thing.

After locking the door, I sit down at my desk, take another deep breath, and pick up the line. “Master Magus, it is an honor. What can I do for you?”

“You are very kind, Doctor Verlock,” he replies. “I vill strive to not take much of your time. It is simply that I feel I have been remiss in my duties. Ve have not officially talked since you earned your rank. And you have accomplished much in a short time.”

“Oh, well, thank you. It is kind of you to reach out. But I’m sure you have enough to worry about than making social calls.”

“On the contrary, Doctor. I feel obligated to let me fellow varlocks know that I consider them peers. Ve, more than most, find ourselves standing at the edge of the abyss, yes? It is important that my peers know they can reach out to me at any time.”

Whether it is his thick German accent, the fact that he keeps referring to me as ‘doctor,’ or the excessively friendly banter, I can’t help but feel like I am talking to a supervillain about to try and seduce me to join his army of evil.

“I appreciate that, Master Magus.”

“Please, call me Lucian.”

Yep, definitely about to try and seduce me to the army of evil…

“Well, Lucian, I will keep that in mind should I ever have concerns. And please, call me Nancy.”

“You are too gracious. Since I have you on the phone, there is an opportunity I vish to discuss.”

Here we go
. “Of course, what would that be?”

“I only vished to see if you might have an interest in writing a column in
Demonology Today
. I think our peers vould find your insights valuable, particularly returning to the craft after such a long break. Your guidance could help others transition back to the craft.”


“Is something wrong?”

I realize my response must have sounded disappointed. But I was expecting “I need a fifth to help summon a demon prince.” Not “can you write 500 words a month for a magazine?”

“Nothing at all. I’m flattered, Lucian. What exactly did you have in mind?”

“Vell, Varlock Gladys Temdro is retiring. I hoped you might be interested in taking over her advice column?”

The Dear Gladys column has been a mainstay of
Demonology Today
for fifteen years. Originally a simple how-to column providing advice to novices, it has over the years evolved into covering everything from dealing with unexpected vortex manifestations during a summoning to how to safely break up with a succubus and not get your throat ripped out.

I always suspected some of those letters were fake, to be honest.

“I hope everything is all right with Warlock Gladys. I can’t imagine her retiring.”

“She is vell. Her husband recently retired from the military. Twenty-seven years in your Marines. They vant to travel. See the vorld. Maybe visit friends in Tartarus for a few months. You know how it is.”

“That makes perfect sense. Good for her.”

“Does this interest you, then?”

“I…you know what? Sure. Sounds like it would be fun.”

“Ah! Vonderful! I thank you, Nancy. I vill have my apprentice send you all of the information you vill need. Darla vill contact you to verk out the particulars. I am in your debt.”

I come out and return to the counter. “Everything good, Boss?” asks Houston.

“Surprisingly good. Lucian wants me to take over the Dear Gladys column.”

“Oh my God! You’re publishing an advice column!” exclaims Anastasia from behind me. I turn to see her restocking the aromatherapy display.

“You’re early!” I say. “
She isn’t supposed to be here until 3:30
,” I think to Houston.

She had a half day today apparently,”
He responds.

“Teacher in-school service,” she replies. “Are you writing for Llewellyn?”

“Nothing so glamorous. Industry pub. Small business owners.”

“Oh, which one? I’ll totally subscribe to it.”

“Um, industry pubs are
expensive. It’s like a $100 a year.”

“Well, I can read your copies then, right?”

“I haven’t even gotten the contract yet. I’ll let you know when I get all of the details. You’re still planning on working until 8 tonight?”

“Yeah, but Dad asked if someone can give me a ride home because Mom’s car is still in the shop and mine has a flat tire.”

“How did you get a flat tire?”

“It wasn’t my fault! I swear!”

“I didn’t accuse you of anything! I just asked a question!”

“Oh, yeah, well…okay, I was on Route 295 and I was trying to get off the exit but there is all that construction going on so there isn’t a lot of room to maneuver and there was this bungee cord thing in the road and I couldn’t swerve around it because some idiot was getting off the exit using the
so I ran over the bungee thing and it had a hook on it and the hook put a hole in the tire.”

“Why don’t you just put the spare on it?” asked Houston.

“I did! All by myself, too! But the spare was a donut. Dad says I can’t drive on it. And I can’t get a new tire until I get paid Friday.”

“You changed a tire by yourself? That puts you ahead of Nancy,” says Houston.

“Hey! I could change a tire if I had to!”

“Then why did I have to change yours for you when you got a nail in it?”

“Because why should I do it when I pay you to do things for me?”

“I don’t remember getting paid.”

“You eat, don’t you?”

“You are so mean to me,” he says and turns back to Anastasia. “I’ll give you a ride home.”

Anastasia gives Houston a hug and resumes working with the aromatherapy display.

“So all he wanted was to ask you to write for the magazine?” asked Houston in a lower voice. “Sure it isn’t a ruse? Lull you into a false sense of security before asking you to help collect virgin souls for a pit fiend or something?”

“Gladys is retiring. I’m assuming someone recommended me for it because of my psychology background. I can’t imagine him calling me out of the blue. I’m sure there are other perfectly qualified people.”

“But few with your amazing wit and sense of humor, Boss.”

“Thank you.”

“Not to mention your incredible apprentice.”

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