Dr. Bender

Fate and the Iron Tiger


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Fate and the Iron Tiger

An Exalted Tale by Dr. Bender

Tetsu, an itinerant con artist, can't believe his luck when a chance encounter lands him with more wealth than he knows what to do with. Little does he know that his luck will draw him into a diabolical plot to unweave the Loom of Fate!

This story takes place in the world of Exalted as presented in the roleplaying game of the same name by White Wolf. Prior knowledge of this universe is not required.


Hi all!

Thank you so much for all your support, comments and Kudos on Witch's Apprentice. I'm going to do another editing pass on it and make some corrections for future viewings but I'm also considering a slight spin-off of the series with a story focusing on Skuld and what happens next with her story from her point of view. Let me know if you'd like to see that.

Things are calming down with the move so I'm hoping that now I've got some stability I'll be able to work on things more.

Thank you again!

Status Update 2: Electric Boogaloo

Hi everyone, quick status update. Money's been tight lately and I've been trying to deal with that, which has taken up most of my time. Dissonance Part 1, FatIT Part VI and Witch's Mirror 2 are in a holding pattern while I get stabilised. I'm also getting some therapy again now, so that's good. I'm not about to drop off the end of the earth, though I understand I haven't published anything for six months, which isn't ideal at all. I'm sorry, needs must and all that.

Thank you for your patience, I hope to get something out for you all soon.

Status Update

Hello all again, it's been a busy month but things are falling into a routine and I'm writing more again.

Bad news: the Twin Tails game is ending a bit abruptly thanks to difficulties the GM is having with the campaign structure. I'll try to tie off the story to give everyone closure but that'll be it for Amaya and Akiko for a while. I'm a bit saddened I'm not going to get to play them for a while, but I'll probably re-make them for a new game later on.

A Big Change

March nearly over and I know I haven't written much. After getting over the flu and everything I talked about last blog, my GFs and I finally found an affordable apartment! We're moving in this weekend! All of the excite!

That being said, I've been organising all of my stuff to move and things have been hectic, hence a lack of updates and writing happening on my end. We'll be moved and settled soon and I plan to seriously hit the word processor and get movement on Twin Tails (we got another episode in the can, so I'm getting behind), Dissonance and FatIT Part VI.

200 Kudos, Thank You So Much!

Like the title says, Witch's Mirror hit 200 Kudos recently and I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart. This is the highest any of my stories have ever gotten and I feel like it's a milestone that deserves some celebration. I wish I could, like, release the first part of Dissonance (new Sara story) or publish Fate and the Iron Tiger 6 or something but neither are done. I don't even have a new Twin Tails, which is an issue.

Holidays, Writing and the Flu

Really? It's nearly the end of January already?

Family stuff and visiting people has taken up a lot of my time recently. Good news is, we got another session of Divine Blood in the can last night, so there should be a new Twin Tails soon. Otherwise, my new Sara story, Dissonance, and Fate and the Iron Tiger Part 6 is being worked on and moving towards inevitable, if slow, completion. Compounding that issue, I have to work on Thrythlind's new Divine Blood books and kick them out the door asap.

New Twin Tails Coming, Sara Story

We got a short game in Friday and I just finished the unedited draft of Chapter 11 of Twin Tails. It's up for preview on my patreon at the moment, should be here in a day or two. Just a planning session this time, a bit of character banter and defusing an angry mob of rich people. Was still fun.

Twin Tails Posted

Wow, what a week. New Twin Tails is finally up, I only did one editing pass because I wanted to get it to everyone after being extra-double-special late. Feedback very appreciated if you can spare a moment. In my defence, I've had dizzy spells on Friday and yesterday plus my Dad fell out of the ceiling Sunday morning. He's fine, just a few cuts and bruises, nothing permanent and no hospital visit. He's recuperating well but it was a bit of a shock for all of us.

What the Hell?

So, I posted a blog post yesterday to tell everyone that we got a game of Divine Blood in and I was working on the new episode of Twin Tails but it seems to have mysteriously disappeared. Word count too small, maybe? I mean, I guess I can pad these out but what I'm typing right at this moment feels a bit ridiculously wordy just to let people know I'm still around and working even though I've been a bit slow this month.

But I jest and digress.

End of Year Blues

It's that time of year, I feel like everything's either winding down or winding up to Christmas. I've been a bit deflated and easily distracted lately despite feeling pretty good about thinks.

Thanks to everyone who read Witch's Mirror. It's been my most successful story posted here, eclipsing Hold the Salt from five years ago. It's been so successful that, with NaNoWriMo rolling around, I decided to try to expand it into a full-length novel over November. Unfortunately, it's not going well, I'm way behind. But I'll keep plugging away at it.

Witch's Mirror Out, New Amaya Coming

Well, Witch's Mirror is out and the outpouring of kudos certainly makes it seem I've done something right, which is gratifying. It was a joy to write and I really want to continue Ciara's adventures in the future.

We did have the last session of Airship Lost in the end, but we were down two people and the session ended on a cliffhanger. I'm a little hesitant about posting such a session but I'm working on it. If it's going to be too long between postings, I'll put it up. The spice must flow and all that.

The Witch's Mirror

The Witch’s Mirror

By Branwen Gillen

“Werewolves suck,” Andrew moaned as he scooped up all his cards.

“What happened?” I asked with a smile and lightly taunting note. “This morning you were going to wreck me.”

“Fucking life steal,” he muttered under his breath.

Bill, the store owner, chuckled from behind the counter. “I think you’ll find that it’s vampires, technically, who suck. And don’t feel bad, Andrew, I know how much Sam spent on his deck.”

New Halloween Story

So, while I'm editing and re-writing Hold the Salt, it struck me back when I wrote that one of my goals was to put out one Halloween-themed story or horror story a year. I never made this goal. This led me to pause my editing for three days to write a Halloween story for this year, I mentioned it in my last blog post.

This year, it happened.

No Twin Tails This Week

Yeah, after one of my fellow players was a no-show last night and the GM was blasted from work, we took a break from the game last night. Unfortunately, this means no new Twin Tails for another two weeks. Not ideal but these things happen.

On the bright side, I'll be able to concentrate on Hold the Salt editing this week, which means I'm getting closer to finishing Fate and the Iron Tiger. I also got a start on a prequel to Twin Tails and I'm poking at a vampire story for Halloween that, knowing my luck with Halloween stories, won't come out for Halloween.

Finally, New Twin Tails


Sorry for the delay but Twin Tails C7-8 is finally out. I had to update it twice with minor tweaks after I posted it, but they're quite minor additions.

I had a depressive episode last week which delayed my projects as well as the release of Path of Fire for Guild Wars 2, which has gotten me back into the MMO for a bit. Hold the Salt is still being edited and will be re-released, I don't have a due date but it's progressing. After that, I'll be finishing Fate and the Iron Tiger. From there, I'm not sure what will be next but I'll be getting on with something.

Adventures of the Twin Tails Chapter 7-8

You can read more about this session on Thrythlind, our GM’s, blog at: http://thrythlind.blogspot.com.au/2017/10/the-shiny-red-cand...

Chapter 7: Session 3 – Be Sure to Name All Redshirts

“Here’s your purse, miss,” Malcom grumbled as he handed over the expensive leather bag to a particularly cadaverous-looking forty-something woman.

Session 2 of Airship Lost

Hi all!

Session 2 of Airship Lost went off without a hitch last night. Expect Chapter 5 of Amaya and Akiko's adventures soon. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I enjoyed playing it. I also should be getting my artwork of Ichiro/Amaya/Akiko sometime this week from the talented Avionetca https://avionetca.deviantart.com/ , I'm really stoked with the sketch she showed me so I'm looking forward to sharing that with everyone.


Yes, I've started a patreon page. You can find it here:


This means a few things and it doesn't mean a few things. What it DOESN'T mean is that I'm about to stop posting to Big Closet, or I'm about to limit free content. What is does mean is that I can value add by doing things like offering my stories in e-reader formats, collaborate with patrons and have my own discord. It also means that I will be editing and correcting publications, which will increase the quality of my work.

Shades of My Past

By Branwen Gillen

Author’s Note: This is based off a daydream I had during a serious depressive episode today. It includes a lot of personal introspection and recriminations. If you’re not interested in my existential angst, please don’t bother reading. If you continue, I hope it’s at least entertaining.


The Twin Tails New Fiction

Hi all again!

I've got a new offering called Adventures of the Twin Tails posted now. It's the origin of my new character for the Divine Blood campaign plus our first session from her perspective. I've tried to be as accurate as possible but some of the events may me slightly embellished for the purposes of good storytelling when compared to the real session. Hope everyone enjoys.

Also, you can find out more about the session from another perspective by visiting my GM Thrythlind's blog here:

Adventures of the Twin Tails Chapter 1-4

Adventures of the Twin Tails

The Airship Lost Campaign, A Divine Blood Story by Branwen Gillen

Chapter One – Amaya’s Birth

No, no, no, no, no…

It’s ok, I’m here.

Something’s wrong. I’m not supposed to be like this.

I know. It’ll be ok, I know what we can do…


“I hate you, Yukimura!” Setsuko screeched at the top of her lungs, flinging two kunai at her de facto husband’s head.

Ok, I can do this.


Right, step 1 in keeping my promise not to disappear: posting blog entries regularly.
Step 2, actually post a new story.
Step 3... er, let's take this one step at a time.

Hi all, thanks for your comments on my last entry. Sorry if I didn't get back to all of you, I'm going to try to answer some stuff here.

I know I was MIA and I'm Sorry

I wanted to write an apology to everyone who has been supportive of my writing for the last 11 years. Real Life for the last 2 years has been hectic. Early in 2013 I had 6 months of dealing with a chronic acute gall bladder infection caused by stones. Gall bladder had to be removed. After that, I re-wrote FatIT as Tenjin for general consumption and promptly hit a dry spell that stymied both recreational and professional writing. I'm so, so, sorry FatIT Part 6 is taking so long to produce; I am at least as frustrated as anyone that it's not out there right now being read.

My book isn't a TG story, just to be clear

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It's been brought to my attention that the fact that my new book's not TG (see last blog post) might affect people's purchasing decisions. Fair enough, I didn't even think of it at the time I posted the last blog post, so I'm letting people know now.

Fate and the Iron Tiger PART 5

Tetsuko.jpgFate and the Iron Tiger PART 5
An Exalted Tale By Dr. Bender

Facing a peculiar set of altered circumstances, Tetsu wakes find that she now has to contend with her Lunar captors, fellow inmate Solars and a ravenous horde of the living dead. Unfortunately, all of them want to get closer to her...

Fate and the Iron Tiger PART 4

Fate and the Iron Tiger PART IV
An Exalted Tale by Dr. Bender

Pieces of the mystery surrounding River's Bend begin to fall into place as Tetsu is forced to decide who to trust and Feather begins to deal with her newfound feelings. But as a murderous new warrior walks into town, the only certainty that fate has to offer is suffering...

Killer Queen 2: Howl of the Demon Wolf

Killer Queen: Howl of the Demon Wolf
By Dr. Bender

In 1944, Suzanne finds herself newly turned and stuck with an unloving 'mother'. Ten years later, the serial killer that led her to a certain Sorority house has struck again...

The Witchery Universe Reference Document Version 1.0

The Witchery Universe
By Dr. Bender

The Witchery Universe is a lighthearted, wacky, romantic comedy universe in the vein of Ranma  ½. Young men and women suddenly discover that they’re expected to marry an otherworldly entity and become a Witch. Forced into a wild relationship with a number of alien suitors, the prospective Witch is forced to choose the one they’ll be spending an eternity with… and the woman they’ll be for the rest of their lives!

Fate and the Iron Tiger Part 3

Fate and the Iron Tiger PART III
An Exalted Tale by Dr. Bender

Bearding the lion's den, Tetsu finds himself surrounded by enemies. Now more than ever he needs friends he can count on but what's a young Solar to do when even his friends harbour inscrutable motives and terrible secrets?

Killer Queen: Those Wacky Nazis

Killer Queen: Those Wacky Nazis
A Dark Realms Universe Story
By Dr. Bender

In 1944, Corporal Lance Valantine returns home to Ravencrest a wounded hero after years of spying on the Nazis for the Military Intelligence Service. In 2011, a striking vampire college student calling herself Suzanne, Party Queen of the campus, is hell bent on making tonight a night to remember... or perhaps a night some would wish to forget forever.

What could they possibly have in common?

Hold the Salt

Hold the Salt

A Story for the Big Closet October 2011 TG Terror Contest!
By Dr. Bender

In a world where sometimes it seems like every day is Halloween, James Samson has but one concern. He needs a job. An announcement over the radio answers his prayers for a better life but what strings come attached to this opportunity of a lifetime?

Fate and the Iron Tiger Part 2

Fate and the Iron Tiger PART II
An Exalted Tale by Dr. Bender

In a little village on the edge of the map, heroic Sidereals Focused Rage and Shining Feather probe deeper into the mystery of the Snarl of Fate, infiltrating the luxurious Temple of Eternal Perfection after purging Creation of the villainous Anathma Tetsu.

This preview has been sanctioned by Chejop Kejak.

Beyond the Screen Chapter 5

Beyond the Screen Chapter 5
By Dr. Bender

The party finally arrives in what passes for civilization in the fantasy world, lulled into a false sense of security. Worse yet, they need Vanad back but someone seems to have their foot in the revolving door of the afterlife.

By the way, a Lich is a type of undead wizard that looks like a zombie. Not that there's anything wrong with that if you're into zombies...

Beyond the Screen Chapter 4

Beyond the Screen Chapter 4
by Dr. Bender

One day in the fantasy world and all Ressia and her companions want is some hot food and a nice, warm, bed. Fate, however, has other plans.

Warning: This chapter contains a short explaination of the DnD alignment system. May cause drowsiness, irritibility, altered states of consciousness and spontaneous brain matter combustion. Sorry, everyone, but it's important to the storyline, please bare with it.

Beyond the Screen Chapter 3

Beyond the Screen Chapter 3
By Dr. Bender

Some challenges are greater than others, though this may be lost on most of our intrepid, oblivious, adventurers. For James, however, the challenge of not breaking his hand on foolish heads will be great indeed...

Beyond the Screen Chapter 2

Beyond the Screen Chapter 2
By Dr. Bender

Before our intrepid adventurers enter the DnD world, they must face a test of might and mettle without a rulebook to guide them.


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