Excerpt: How I Met Your Father

In the short story Family Feud in Episode 14, Wanda explains to Nancy how she met her father.

“But Dad helped with the shop. He helped me with arcane homework. He attended Guild events. What did he do that earned Nanna’s ire?”

“It’s what he didn’t do. He didn’t hold his tongue. He would never challenge anything directly in front of you kids. But after the two of you went to school or would go to bed…he would make his opinions known. He never supported lying to you about magic, but he was very adamant that the Colleges were too quick to teach magic to children before they were emotionally capable of understanding the consequences. He likened it to giving a toddler an assault rifle and then being surprised when someone got shot. He felt the obsession with rank and magical power was just as dangerous as being obsessed with money and mundane power. Hmm, he hated the word ‘mundane,’ too. Said it implied witches were superior.”

“And yet he married a Werlock woman anyway.”

“I never told you how your father and I met, did I?”

“You met in college at a homecoming game.”

“Well, that is when we met. But I never told you the how.”

“So it wasn’t just an ‘I saw this stud across a crowded stadium’?”[

Not exactly. Your father had a roommate in college, Ted Volker. They had been friends since sixth grade. Like brothers. Senior year of high school, Ted’s father had died from a heart attack. He didn’t take it well and fell into a depression. Eventually got hooked on drugs. Mark managed to get him cleaned up before it was too late to save him, or so he thought. But during that time, Ted had started to dabble in magic. Got his hands on an actual grimoire some mundane who didn’t know what they had sold at a flea market.”

“By Hecate, that was never going to end well.”

“No. Ted actually managed to summon an imp, but he lacked the will to control it. The imp, however, strung Ted along and would pretend to follow his commands. Ted got emboldened. Had the imp steal money for him, test answers, all sorts of nonsense. Eventually decided what he really wanted was the quarterback’s girlfriend, who was the head cheerleader. I noticed the thing sneaking around and put a stop to it quick enough, but not before it fled back to Ted’s dorm room. So I tracked it down to exorcise the little pest, but by then it had convinced Ted to let it ‘temporarily’ take control of his body to fight me off.”

I just shake my head. “Stupid and greedy is never a good combination.”

“I get to the dorm room and instead of confronting an imp, I’ve got a full-blown possession on my hands. And while I’m dealing with that, your father comes walking into the room, me straddled over Ted trying to perform an invocation while keeping him pinned down. You can imagine what it looked like.”

“I’m trying hard not to.”

“Nancy Clarice!”

“What?”

“Can I finish my story?”

“I wasn’t interrupting you!”

“Anyway, so your father pulls me off of Ted, thinking I’m the crazy one. But then he sees Ted’s eyes have gone completely black and he smells of sulfur. The imp starts trying to convince your father to help him dispose of me, promises power, money, blah blah blah.”

“What did Dad do?”

“He punched him square in the jaw and said ‘Get the Hell out of Ted!’ then stepped aside and let me finish my business.”

“Good for him!”

“I finally got the imp exorcised and managed to stabilize Ted. But now I’ve got this witness to the entire thing, but instead of freaking out about what just happened, he is yelling at Ted for being an idiot.”

“That definitely sounds like Dad.”

“Now here I am, listening to him go on at Ted and going through my head how to handle this situation when he finally turns to me and asks if the creature is gone for good. I tell him it is and that Ted will be fine. The possession was too short to cause any long-term damage, but he’ll need to rest for a while. Then he asks me if I want to go get pizza. Just like that.” 

“What did you do?”

I said yes.” Mom chuckles. “Your father was quite handsome, you know.”


Nancy’s Immediate Family:

Mark Townsend: Nancy’s father was a “mundane,” which meant that Nancy’s brother would never be a witch. Despite his strong feelings about the magical community, he supported Nancy’s arcane studies and helped run the shop. His marriage to Wanda, an open practicing pagan, caused his own family to disown him. In response, he legally changed his name to Werlock the year Nancy was born.

He died at the age of 46 from a heart attack while both children were still in in their teens. Nancy and Scott have no relationship with their paternal grandparents.

Scott Werlock: Nancy’s younger brother is a branch manager for a credit union. Like his father, he is a “mundane.” And like his father, he ended up marrying a witch. After his father’s death, he often felt isolated from his mother and sister because of his lack of magic, and he is uncomfortable with demonstrations of magic in general.

Laurie Werlock: Scott’s wife comes from a family of Transmuters, but she has chosen not to continue her magical training. She operates a day spa where she does employ some of her fleshcrafting talents under the guise of “Reiki” or massage therapy. However, both she and Scott have made a decision to keep their children away from magic as much as possible.

Megan Werlock: Scott and Laurie’s daughter. Megan is aware of magic and has seen her grandparents and mother cast spells, but has not yet shown an interest in learning magic herself…and her parents hope to keep it that way.

Character Bio: Nancy Werlock and the Werlock Bloodline

Dr. Nancy Clarice Werlock is one of the most successful marriage and family counselors in the Delaware Valley. Some credit her uncanny empathy. Some credit her quick wit and quirky sense of humor. But Nancy also has a unique set of skills she didn’t learn from any psychology training.

Nancy is a sixth generation demonologist, and though she upset her mother when she decided to pursue a mundane professional instead of taking up the family business, she’s kept her magical skills sharp by integrating a few choice spells into her counseling practice.

As the protagonist of the series, Nancy shares her trials and troubles in the form of diary entries.

Special Abilities

Hellfire: Whether due to her family’s uncanny connection to magic or just a byproduct of her temper, Nancy can wield Hellfire, the potent elemental energy of the abyssal planes, like few other warlocks. Whether it is to send a precise bolt of Hellfire at a single target or to call down a column of Hellfire to take out a group, even her friends warn others to be wary of making her an enemy. (Though she insists to this day she only singed Steve’s hair and didn’t actually set him on fire).

Iron Wall Incantation: A useful incantation to have ready when dealing with an apprentice who often accidentally reads minds, the Iron Wall Incantation closes the witch’s aura and mind off to intrusion, preventing others from reading her aura or trying to pry into her thoughts.

Third Eye Incantation: All evokers, and warlocks in particular, find this incantation useful. Nancy is so adept at casting it that she can even do so in front of mundanes without anyone noticing. The incantation allows the witch to read auras and detect and identity paranormal residues or ethereal entities.

The Werlock Bloodline

For six generations, one of the few things that could scare religion into a demon was the name “Werlock.”

Wanda Werlock: Despite all of the family’s magical power, they are still mortal. Wanda was killed in a drunk driving accident at the age of fifty-five, and it was her death that sparks the series of events that leads to Nancy’s return to the craft. Fortunately, death is merely an inconvenience for powerful warlocks, and Wanda continues to provide support and guidance to her daughter from beyond the grave.

Morrigan Werlock: Considered the most powerful member of the family to have ever lived, and possibly one of the most powerful warlocks of the modern era, Morrigan Werlock achieved Rank One status and served as the first female Magus for the School of Demonology. Like Wanda, she hasn’t let a little thing like death get in the way of supporting her family. It is said that Morrigan’s reputation was such that she could summon archdemons and princes, who actually answered the summons willingly just to have the opportunity to argue infernal politics with her.

Morrigan opened Three Wishes in 1969, using the fledgling New Age movement as a cover to operate a shop catering to witches. Considered scandalous and a breach risk at the time, The Nine nonetheless permitted it, and soon more witches realized it was possible to operate in plain site.

Angelica Werlock: Belinda’s daughter was pregnant with Morrigan when her mother and step-father vanished. Her husband, Albert Gordon, was also a warlock. Angelica was the first member of the family to reach Rank Two after banishing three mariliths that had been summoned by a death cult. Angelica lingered for a time after her death to help her daughter Morrigan finish her Rank Three trials, then declared that she was going to go find Albert and the two of them would build a fief on one of the frozen levels of Hell…as she was always found of skiing.

Belinda Werlock: Erna’s daughter was actually the first member of the family to formally join the College of Evocation, later convincing her mother to join. Belinda became a renown scholar of demonic lore and penned a half dozen texts on the methodologies of banishing demonic entities. Her first husband, Simon Schubert, was an archaeologist. Simon died on an expedition when Angelica was seven. Belinda’s second husband, Frederick Ferguson, was a Rank Two Traveler. One day, the pair disappeared and never returned. The only thing they had left behind for Angelica was a cryptic note about taking a day trip to the City of Pandemonium.

Erna Werlock: Erna and her husband Henry came to the United States from Germany under the guise of political refugees during the Revolutions of 1848. In reality, Erna was fleeing persecution from a radical religious sect that blamed her for the demonic possession of their leader. In truth, she had been trying to capture the demon to banish it when it made a deal with their leader, but they were disinclined to listen to the truth. Their last name had been Werner, but they changed it to Werlock, a play on Warlock, when they emigrated. Erna died two years after her husband, and never communicated with her family from beyond the grave.