Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Daily Cosplay

The Mistbane River

The Mistbane River, or the Blue Creek, has its headwaters in the far Rhodope Mountains where it begins as little more than a trickle. It tumbles and flows, following many courses through the Shelves of the Mist, where it gains more strength from tributaries and earns its river name. It breaks free of those hills just north and east of the small town of Petersboro and the Darkenfold. The river widens here and slows its pace considerably, drifting down beneath the eves of the Darkenfold where it continues its southern journey. The river is slow, ranges from 80-120 feet wide, and is rather deep except in the few fords that breach its travel. The Mistbane’s flow is often accompanied by patches of light or heavy fog, which reduce visibility considerably. The fog is considered by many of the locals to be dangerous and is avoided at all costs. They speak of tales of ghosts who snatch the unwary from their roosts and carry them to the seas beyond. The river continues its course through the Darkenfold by turning sharply west in the Millorian and passing through Lilly Fair, an even more dank and deadly portion of that horrible wood. It is eventually joined by the Westerling and then flows into the Bay of Brundus near the sandy beaches of Lawn. The banks of the Mistbane sport many wonderfully tall and full-bodied willow trees. These trees often reside on small grassy knolls at the water’s edge allowing their branches and leaves to brush the water. They are vaguely-sentient relatives of the older sentient trees and treants. These willows serve the river as guardians of sorts, offering refuge from the river or the forest, or both.

The river is, as the locales attest, haunted. For to the north, just below the river’s headwater, in the lands known as the Shelves of the Mist, the elves once gathered in great numbers. They built refuges from the Winter Dark in the many hidden valleys and dales. But a long war, the Seven Years War, with orcs from the east, left many homeless and or dead. Amongst these was their beloved Princess. She was buried upon the banks of the river amidst a field of winter lilies. Hence, the name of said fields. From there, her spirit rose and traveled the full course of the meandering river to the Beaches of Lawn. The Fields of Winter Lilies are often covered in a thick fog, for here the dead gather (the spirits of the fallen elves) both of the great wars and those who lived in more modern times. The scars of the Winter Dark still haunt the elves of Aihrde and their fallen cannot come back to life. When they die, their spirits perish with them or wander as lost souls throughout the world. And here where the winter lilies grow, they gather, for rumor of their Princess comes to them and they seek to follow her to the sea.

In patches great and small, these dead spirits of the elves travel the length of the Mistbane River, wrapped in fog and mist, following the river’s course to the Bay of Brundus. They do not travel quickly and only the strongest winds can move them, but even then these patchy clouds of soul-dust defy the wind, moving slower than one would think they should. Each patch contains 1-4 banshees, some are evil, some are good, and most are uncaring, seeking only to be reunited with their princess. They haunt the river all year long, and are often hidden in real patches of fog or river mist. Encountering one does not necessarily mean a battle must ensue. As often as not, they drift by or around creatures without ever taking notice, though those so engulfed may see the haunted, terrified faces of the dead leering out at them from the moist fog. The banshees are driven to rage by any form of excitement. If creatures flee or attempt to cast spells or act out in any way, it may drive the banshee to attack (50% chance); however, if there is battle or they are openly attacked, the banshees are driven wild and attack anything within the mist or on its edges.

Encountering these creatures can be deadly as any encounter with a banshee can, though the banshees rarely travel more than a dozen or so feet from the waters edge. Protection can be found in the shade of the willow trees that dot the bank of the Mistbane. Here the spirits of the dead will not go, for the willow trees hold a deeper appeal than that cast by their fallen princess – and they fear them.

~The Mortality of Green & The Codex of Aihrde

Imaginarium ~ The Mistbane

Evil Dead to the Small Screen

Sam Rami announced at this past weekend's comic con that he is penning a new Evil Dead, but this time for the small screen. Helping him with the scripts is the man himself, Bruce Campbell. The remake of the movie that came out last year did very well at the Box Office which has probably prompted the tv show.

All good. Though it looks a little more frightening and less tongue in cheek than the original. Though of course the original may not have meant to be tongue in cheek . . . . I may be getting it all jumbled in my head with Army of Darkness and the battles with the chain saw!

Movie Trailer ~ Sin City (new)

The Russians Keep Finding Holes

Deep in the wilds of Siberia strange holes keep popping up. Locals stumbled on the first one in 2013, but since then several more have been discovered. They are new formations and noone has yet determined what is causing them. Some are very big and all are rather deep.

From UFOs to mining accidents, to weird earth news . . .

But it sure does look like something came OUT of that hole.

Siberian Times.

Armor Up (Celtic Warrior)

ISEE-3 ~ Explorer 3

Several weeks ago we commented that a privately funded group was working to get the 30 year old ISEE-3, better known as Explorer 3, spacecraft up and running. They raised money, got permission from NASA and got her all going. The intent was to position it in an Earth-Sun axis and see what they could learn.

However, there doesn't seem to be enough juice left in the tubes to fire her stabilizers and put her on the new course. So she continues on lonely journey, slowing dying. And thus it was meant to be.

They have however turned on five of Explorer 3's instruments and will begin data mining the cosmos for things like gamma rays. Read on.

Not bad for privately funded astro-scientists!

Word of the Day -- Abenaki

The Abenaki (Abnaki, Wabanaki, Waponahki) are a tribe of Native American and First Nations people, one of the Algonquian-speaking peoples of northeastern North America. The Abenaki live in the New England region of the United States and Quebec and the Maritimes of Canada, a region called Wabanaki ("Dawn Land") in the Eastern Algonquian languages. The Abenaki are one of the five members of the Wabanaki Confederacy. "Abenaki" is a linguistic and geographic grouping; historically there was not a strong central authority, but as listed below a large number of smaller bands and tribes who shared many cultural traits.

The word Abenaki means “people of the dawnlands". The Abenaki people call themselves Alnôbak, meaning "Real People" (c.f., Lenape language: Lenapek). They also use the autonym Alnanbal, meaning "men".  In addition, when compared to the more interior Algonquian peoples, they call themselves Wôbanuok, meaning "Easterners" (c.f. Massachusett language: Wôpanâak). They also refer to themselves as Abenaki or with syncope: Abnaki. Both forms are derived from Wabanaki or the Wabanaki Confederacy, as they were once a member of this confederacy they called Wôbanakiak, meaning "People of the Dawn Land" in the Abenaki language — from wôban ("dawn" or "east") and aki ("land") (compare Proto-Algonquian *wa·pan and *axkyi)—the aboriginal name of the area broadly corresponding to New England and the Maritimes. It is sometimes used to refer to all the Algonquian-speaking peoples of the area — Western Abenaki, Eastern Abenaki, Wolastoqiyik-Passamaquoddy, and Mi'kmaq — as a single group.

Dragonriders of Pern Movie?

Warner Bros. has optioned the rights to the works of Anne McCaffrey, which of course includes the Dragon Riders of Pern. I've always loved these books. The stories are very original. Something completely different than the normal fantasy worlds. It would be cool to see them put up on the big screen. No easy task I should suspect

It never hurt that the books sported Michael Whelan covers!

Of course an option doesn't mean a film, but with their big successes with Harry Potter and the Hobbit, they may just be looking for something new to do. And just think of all those toy dragons.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Daily Cosplay

The Wall of Worlds

The Wall of Worlds is not a plane in and of itself, but rather a magical barrier that lies between the Void and the Inner Planes. It is crafted of pure magic and its nature reflects this. It was created by the All Father, but Unklar devoured it and cast it back out again as the Shroud of Darkness. After the Horned God's fall, some of the wall remained and Corthain refashioned it and placed within it the Runelords to guard creation from the Void and to keep those who Void from crossing into the Inner Planes.

Even in its diminished state its size is stupefying for the Void is infinite and surrounds all the Firmament and the Maelstrom. It can only be located through diverse magics and carefully crafted lore, the Winter Runes. When one does find it they are greeted with its seemingly infinite nature, for the Wall rises from bottomless depths and reaches limitless heights. It stands as a giant wall of fog and mist. At times it is calm, with the white mists quiet and serene. But sometimes the Wall rages in mindless anger, hurling great bolts of electrical energy through the heart of its own teeming clouds.

There is no physical limit to the Wall, so it is impossible to determine where one is in relation to any other plane or reality. Once breeched the Wall yields to the cold horrors of the Void.

~The Codex of Aihrde

Imaginarium ~ Dark Clouds

Movie Trailer ~ The Hobbit

Who Killed the Cliff Dwellers

Historians and archeologists have long debated the whys and wherefores that caused the collapse of the Pueblo or Chacoan culture. These peoples dwelt in the American South West, in and around what is today northern New Mexico and Colorado. They built impressive buildings, farmsteads, villages and what not throughout the region. They eventually moved out of the low lying valleys and up and onto the walls of valleys and steep canyons. The society lasted about 3-500 years. It originated in the broader region where the Chacoans had dwelt for a much longer time, farming and building (their ruins litter the region) and then, for some unknown reason moved to the cliffs.

But why they moved to the valleys and cliffs and then why the society collapsed after only a few hundreds years has been a mystery.

It has become a recent thing that deforestation caused the collapse. Its been touted so much that its become . . . like the asteroid and the dinosaurs . . . an accepted fact. The indians destroyed the native plants and killed the eco-system.

Turns out that might not be true. Recent studies have shown no evidence for deforestation and no evidence that the Indians destroyed their local environment.

Read on.

My guess . . . and its utterly a guess . . . that outside pressure drove the Chacoans into the valleys and cliffs. I've recently visited those things and attacking them with stone age weaponry would be next to impossible. They are perfect for defense. Except for water.

So pressure put upon a people from another people might have driven them to the cliffs. We know these people abandoned their cliff dwellings and began moving south, west and east around the year 1450. It is highly possible that continued pressure from other groups drove them south. (one has but to look what the Sioux did to the Pawnee, or the Commanche to the Apache and you can see how the early Americans pushed one the other from this region or that).

Good article linked above.

post script: environmental science seems to have leaked into every other branch of the sciences today. Its a bit unnerving.

Armor Up (Ramses)

The Language of Creation

As anyone who reads the Aihrde mythologies (TLG's and C&C World), they know that the building block of all and sundry things lies in the Language of Creation. Understanding this language allows one to do all manner things, one of those things, as noted in the book Rune Lore, is to bend light to protect oneself, hide oneself etc.

Well it seems scientists have done just that. In a laboratory in Cambridge England, they have begun to assemble material out of parts that are less than a few billionth meters wide and the size of these building blocks allows them to bend light through the item, affectively cloaking it from being seen.

Read on!

post script: I have no idea what that graphic is, but it looks cool. It actually looks like an upcoming encounter in my weekly C&C game…after I create a monster around it.

Movie Poster Legend

Word of the Day -- Bindle

A bindle is the bag, sack, or carrying device stereotypically used by the American sub-culture of hobos. The person carrying a bindle was called a bindlestiff, combining bindle with the Average Joe sense of stiff.

In modern popular culture the bindle is portrayed as a stick with cloth or a blanket tied around one
end for carrying items, with the entire array being carried over the shoulder. Particularly in cartoons, the bindles' sacks usually have a polka-dotted or bandanna design. However, in actual use the bindle can take many forms. An example of the stick-type bindle can be seen in the illustration entitled The Runaway created by Norman Rockwell which appears on the cover of the September 20, 1958 edition of The Saturday Evening Post.

Though bindles are rarely used anymore, they are still widely seen in popular culture as a prevalent anachronism. The term bindle may descend from the German/Yiddish word Bündel, meaning something wrapped up in a blanket and bound by cord for carrying (cf. originally Middle Dutch "bundle"), or have arisen as a portmanteau of "bind" and "spindle".

Trailer ~ Gotham

This just looks better and better. The Penguin actually looks really cool!

Skull Island

Back in 2005 a new King Kong motion picture hit movie houses. It was damn good, very close to the original with only a little bit of over-hollywoodisaztion going on (really the giant worms and insects were a bit much). But Kong himself was well done and the rescue scenes with the damsel in distress very cool.

Well it looks like, with the success of Godzilla, that Kong is coming back, at least Kong's island is. Legendary Pictures released a teaser bit for Skull Island that follows we don't know who or what on an adventure exploring the island itself. 


post script: King Kong is still one of the greatest stories ever told.

Classic RPG Art

This is one of the best pieces of art ever put on an RPG cover. Simple, yet it conveys everything you want to know about the story. . . hard won gold calls for a celebration. And the treasure horde is just awesome! I love that guy sitting on top of the gold as well.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Daily Cosplay

The Net of Ea-Raena

The All Father tore from his breast a rib and upon it hung long stands of his tissue. Those shreds hung from the long rib-like a curtain of light and he made it to pass through the void. This was the first of the Sisters, Ea-Raena, the Maiden of Night. In time she bound herself into form and cast off the remaining shreds of the All Father’s tissue. And those shreds settled upon the Firmament and unbeknownst to her they wove together into a great net. So the Ethereal Plane was made. A plane of wild abandon, only the most hardy can live here for there is no air or light, only the unbridled language of creation. It continues to grow, being of the living substance of the All Father, but only the most learned have begun to unravel the mysteries of its origins or why it continues to spread.

Men call the Net the Ever Expanding or the Ethereal Plane.

~The Codex of Aihrde

Imaginarium ~ Where Trolls Dwell

Storyteller's Thesaurus Kickstarter

If you haven't already heard, TLG's parent company, Chenault and Gray, has been running a Kickstarter for James M. Ward's and Anne Brown's Storyteller's Thesaurus. This massive 500 page tome of wonderful resources is on KICKSTARTER right now.

Its already funded, and we are now deep into the stretch goals. Having signed on such luminaries as Steven Sullivan and Lester Smith to contribute to a short story anthology. You won't want to miss out on this one. And there are rumors that Jean Rabe may be joining the mix.

Join the fun and get your copy reserved via Kickstarter today!

Movie Trailer ~ MAD MAX

THIS LOOKS *^#%@)$ AWESOME! Its starts out cool, but keeps getting better and better! Holy Lima Beans!


The MUFON symposium wrapped up this past weekend . . . as did Comic Con . . . in Cherry Hill New Jersey (interestingly i was just in Cherry Hill a few weeks ago). The symposium has been going on for many years now and highlights all the current thinking in UFO reporting and observations.

Some 400 people attended each day of the 3 day gathering.

The Symposium speakers included some big names in the field, but none of the earth shakers from the past. They hey day of the 90s and the UFO experience has subsided some. Though I doubt not that it will pick up again when we realize we haven't learned everything there is to know. (Its our particular genius to always thing we have at last come to understand things, when we probably haven't).

Armor Up

Really, Only Dr Who Can Solve This

Scientists have been wrestling with the meteor-killed-the-dinosaurs theory again. Its became established in popular culture that a meteor struck the earth and wiped out all the dinosaurs but for the birds (I guess the birds were all flying really high and managed to avoid the titanic fireball that burnt up all the oxygen and fried the surface). But its really not established in science.

According to live science "Despite some differences, the researchers agreed unequivocally that a meteor impact — from an asteroid, or, some say, a comet — most likely killed the dinosaurs, and that the die-off happened quickly, not gradually, as some researchers believe."

That quickly was perhaps 100s of thousands of years according to Dr. Brusatte, a paleontologist. "It was abrupt."

Quickly? Abrupt? I know we like to philosophize about time, geologic time being time outside the bottle, too long to grasp. But really its not. You can put it in perspective very easily too. Roman Emperors were ruling Europe 2000 years years. They are all dead now, their civilization a few stone buildings littered about western Europe and North Africa. That ruin happened in a few hundred years. A whole society born, evolved, matured, died in about 700 years. From language to settlement, from birth to death. 

200,000 years is a long, long, long time. The earth spun around the sun 200,000 times while the dinosaurs died out. 

So it took the dines 10s of thousands if not 100s of thousands of years to die from the single meteor event. That's like saying Julius Caesar destroyed the Roman Empire. Forget that the empire collapsed 4-600 years after he died, he is the cause. That's not really accurate.

No. He might have played into it, but there were other causes that destroyed the Empire. Now for the dinosaurs, according to this article, there was much more at play than a rock thumping the earth. Climatic changes were altering the landscape, dinosaurs were becoming highly specialized (its probably what killed the mammoth) and as we all know, in evolution, specialized creatures always lose. It means you can't adapt. If you can't adapt. You die. The earth is not static…meteor or no meteor…its been going through climatic shifts since the sediment begin settling on the surface.

The article is interesting, and almost seems to want to hold on to the KT event, but when they know it probably wasn't what destroyed the dinosaurs. It might have played into it, been a part of a long term trend, but it was an event only.

Doesn't Dr. Who have  time machine?

Movie Trailer ~ Hunger Games

If you haven't read these books, you really should. They are very good. They get better actually. Movies are well done too, of course with Jennifer Lawrence you can't go wrong!

Third in the series . . .

Word of the Day -- Atoll

An atoll is a ring-shaped coral reef including a coral rim that encircles a lagoon partially or completely. There may be coral islands/cays on the coral rim.

The word atoll comes from the Dhivehi (an Indo-Aryan language spoken on the Maldive Islands) word atholhu. Its first recorded use in English was in 1625 as atollonCharles Darwin recognized its indigenous origin and coined, in his The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs, the definition of atolls as "circular groups of coral islets" that is synonymous with "lagoon-island".

More modern definitions of atoll describe them as "annular reefs enclosing a lagoon in which there are no promontories other than reefs and islets composed of reef detritus" or "in an exclusively morphological sense, [as] a ring-shaped ribbon reef enclosing a lagoon".

Godzilla News

Coming out of Comic Con (that just wrapped up) is all kinds of news. The most exciting? GODZILLA! We have the line up for Godzilla 2. Rodan…who I mistakenly thought was in this year's movie…will fly onto the screen. He'll be joined by Mothra and the Ghidorah. I'm not sure about the other two, but man I loved me some Rodan. Had a model of him and he a Godzilla battled all the time.

Two giant monsters destroying the world. Even as a youngster I had visions of the apocalypse!

And in case you hadn't heard it today!