Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Daily Cosplay (Ghost in the Shell)

Into the Morass of Time

Kekki came to the Ethvold after its first flowering, but before the Ethrum. There he found the gardens of Tefnut and seeing them, he desired them. But his mind was not bent toward their beauty, but rather the desire to devour them. Only the wasting away of things summoned his attention.

Where the water grinds down riverstone lies Kekki, where the rain shapes the hill, or the root breaks the earth, or time wastes all, Kekki lies. It is with an eye toward the sorrow and evil of loss that Kekki's mind is bent, not the nobility of spirit that comes with the passing of years. He lords over the waste of time and loves the ruin of it and he is altogether without emotion. He is not evil. He is not good. He just is. Tefnut never warmed to him and he took the guise of a long, legless creature, and from him all snakes came into the world.

At times the slow wastage of time would fail to satisfy him; then he would appear amongst men as a force of chaos and destruction. Often summoned from distant realms of delight, he would return and vie with Amenut for dominance of the Ethvold and its people. Once in a great while, his priests would gain the upper hand and he lorded over the forest in a horrible reign of death and madness. For this reason all men hated him and his worship was punishable by death. When the Ethvold diminished so did he, so that he took his favorite form and sank into the morass of that timeless forest.

~The Codex of Aihrde

Deadly Green

Dogs of Yesteryear

If you've ever watched A Lion in Winter with Peter O'Toole and Kathryn Hepburn you are probably familiar with the scene in the great hall where they are feasting and making merry. It is a perfect scene. Contained in a small hall, with men and women heavily dressed against the cold, hay on the floor, wooden tables, a few tapestries, but mostly stone walls, flickering lights and so on. And roaming about the room are several large dogs. They eat scraps that fall on the floor, bark and simply add an element of comfort to the hall.

Dogs have been with us a long time.

In Denmark archeologists have been digging around Castle Bornholm and amongst the many curiosities they found, they unearthed this flagstone. The photo, taken by J Janowski shows someone's dog wandering across the unsettled concrete (?). Full story about the dig here.

Dogs. Gotta love em.

UFO Files

On the north coast of Australia a photographer snapped a few pictures of what he describes as "what appeared to be a craft of moderate size zooming in and out of the clouds.” The craft was horse shoe shaped with high reflective surfaces. Read more.

I have no idea what that is, kind of looks like a shooters disk. Though it may be nothing, it is possible that in that picture, beyond the steel of the craft, are creatures from beyond the world. Who can say for sure?

Movie Trailer ~ Appleseed

Armor Up

Stellar Consumption

Russian astrophysicists (holy crap I spelled that word correctly on the first pass!) have been studying Xray data taken from several decades of observation. They came to the conclusion that three events they watched were the consumption of stars by the studied galaxy's central and massive, black hole. They estimate that every 10,000 years a star is consumed by a black hole…I assume in any particular galaxy as star's tend to cluster at the center and there are lots of them.

But that's good news for us, because we are way out on the edge of the Milky Way (best name for an galaxy in the universe by the by), so doing the math it should be about 4 billion years before we get sucked in and consumed  . . .  to start the whole ride all over again.

post script: that's a rather comforting thought, someday we'll all be consumed by the stars, becoming star dust. There we rest until the universe devours itself, pulling all the energy in until it cannot contain it and then explode back out.

Word of the Day -- Kabuto

Kabuto is a type of helmet first used by ancient Japanese warriors, and in later periods, they became an important part of the traditional Japanese armour worn by the samurai class and their retainers in feudal Japan.

Japanese helmets dating from the fifth century (long before the rise of the samurai class) have been found in excavated tombs. Called mabizashi-tsuke kabuto (visor-attached helmet), the style of these ancient helmets came from China and Korea and they had a pronounced central ridge. The kabuto was an important part of the equipment of the samurai, and played a symbolic role as well, which may explain the Japanese expressions, sayings and codes related to them. One example is Katte kabuto no o o shimeyo (lit. "Tighten the string of the kabuto after winning the war"). This means don't lower your efforts after succeeding (compare to "not to rest on one's laurels"). Also, kabuto o nugu (lit. "to take off the kabuto") means to surrender.

Shazam to the Big Screen

Dwayne Johnson has confirmed that he's taking up the title role in the film adaptation of Shazam. This is an odd one to me. I like the Rock, he's great on the big screen. But Shazam is an odd character to convert to the modern audience. The name is odd, tied to his metamorphous and his costume with the half cape is Sienfeldian.

That said, the Rock can carry a role and project power, which will carry far and they've worked toward making Shazam's look more modern. So who can say, but I'm in!
post script: It really is all in a name.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Black Box Collector's Edition -- Now in store!

Ten years ago we launched Castles & Crusades the RPG. We officially debuted the game at Gencon with a collectors set designed after the original white box of Dungeons & Dragons. We did this to celebrate that game's 30th anniversary.

Ten years later the game is growing stronger and faster than ever and we are happily celebrating our 10th anniversary.

To bring it in properly we present to you the 4010 Collectors Edition of Castles & Crusades, the Black Box. 10 years of C&C. 40 years of D&D. It's a wonderful world.

Get yours before they run out:

There are only 1000 printed.

The first 300 are signed and numbered.

Within are 3 books, 10 dice (four d6's with Castles and Crusades replacing the number 6), and a small bit of company history, three cards that trace the evolution of the original company logo. These are all signed by the creators of TLG and C&C: Stephen Chenault, Davis Chenault and Mac Golden.

Daily Cosplay ~ Gencon

Of Ealor and the Waters

When first he (Ealor) entered the world, he wandered far and wide, always in a watchful quiet. But at last he came to a cliff that overlooked a deep ocean. He looked into the waters and was amazed. They stood still and lifeless, but they were deep and full of promise. None had as yet dared the water, for the All Father himself labored in the dark upon the land and all those who followed him were near to him. But Ealor was ever his own, with little care or concern for the machinations of others, and with a booming laugh he leapt from the cliff into the water.

~The Codex of Aihrde

Beneath the Blue

War of Giants

As we've rambled about from time to time here in the Dens, the two giants Amazon and Hachette Publishing have been hacking it out over digital pricing and other issues. There you saw B&N take a swipe at Amazon by cutting prices to meet Amazon and Amazon removing pre-orders of loads of titles.  Recently similar problems erupted with Disney and Amazon, over pricing, placement and who should take the hit when Amazon undercuts Disney. 

There are the giants Hachette, Amazon and Disney at blows and shaking the world of commerce.

Enters the fray: Walmart!

Walmart joined the mess by massively cutting prices on Disney releases, including preorders. She immediately cut the legs out from under Amazon on this one because as everyone knows, what Walmart really sells is necessities like toilet paper, paper towels, motor oil, soda, etc. The rest is loss lead! (I'm joking of course, but not really)

The good news is that they aren't arguing over price increases!

Game Trailer ~ Advanced Warfare

Armor Up

I've put this one up before but he's just too cool to forget!

Michael Volquarts

Word of the Day -- Collector's Edition

The terms special edition, limited edition, and variants such as deluxe edition or collector's edition, are used as a marketing incentive for various kinds of products, originally published products related to the arts, such as books, prints, video games or recorded music and films, but now including cars, fine wine, and whisky, among other products. A limited edition is restricted in the number of copies produced, although in fact the number may be very low or very high. A special edition implies there is extra material of some kind included. The term is frequently used on DVD film releases, often when the so-called special edition is actually the only version released.

Collector's edition may just be another term for special edition. It may also refer to books in special limited and numbered editions, sometimes hand-bound, and signed by the artist and containing one or more original works or prints produced directly from their work and printed under their supervision.

The Black Box Collector's Edition is now available in our store!  First 300 are signed and numbered.  First come first served!

Star Wars Rebels

The new animated feature (what we called a cartoon back in the day) has a street date. Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion is set to debut on October 3rd at 9PM.  This is a one hour movie that sets the stage for the series Star Wars Rebels which rolls on October 13th at the same time.

34 languages
143 countries
400 million households

The movie and series is set five years before Star Wars A New Hope.

All very cool. Though I have to say that title Spark of Rebellion is really really good. Very literal, but simple, yet holds a touch curiosity about it. Whoever came up with it should pat themselves on the back. (really, I'm not being sarcastic, titles are hard as they have to have so many elements about them).

Can't wait.

Rosetta on the Comet

As you may or may not be aware, the ESP's Rosetta charted a course across our solar system and has entered an orbit around the Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (they really, really need to work on these names, I know its usually after who discovered them but still…). Once she stabilizes and they find a good landing zone, she'll send a probe down to make some crop circles.

But in the meantime, Rosetta captured some astounding photos of the comet itself. Enjoy here, curtesy of!

Paths of the Dead

I believe this is Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas entering the paths of the dead. Regardless, its a fantastic piece. The color is gripping and the trees jarringly realistic. I'm not sure who did it, might be a piece for a video game?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Gencon Cosplsy

Gencon Cosplay

Alice in unwind errand

The Gen Con Blues

Blogging has suffered a bit in the past few days. Gen Con has consumed a little more attention than expected. Meaning, I am fairly certain Steve is lying down in an alley somewhere, Todd is huddled over a steak and Tim found a nice char bar. In their respective places, they seem to be stuck.

Me, I am experiencing the Gen Con blues as I have missed yet another one. I am going to cry a river.... Of bloody words upon a page. Or, maybe get a little sleep.

Anyway hope everyone is having fun at gen con. If you did not get to go this year, shoot for next. I am. That or a Troll Moot in the fall. In old English that's gemot.

A troll gemot.

Or something.