Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Daily Cosplay

The Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door-
                Only this, and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;- vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow- sorrow for the lost Lenore-
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
                Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
"'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door-
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;-
                This it is, and nothing more."

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you"- here I opened wide the door;-
                Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"-
                Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore-
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;-
                'Tis the wind and nothing more!"

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door-
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door-
                Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore-
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"
                Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning- little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door-
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
                With such name as "Nevermore."

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered- not a feather then he fluttered-
Till I scarcely more than muttered, "Other friends have flown before-
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before."
                Then the bird said, "Nevermore."

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore-
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
                Of 'Never- nevermore'."

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore-
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
                Meant in croaking "Nevermore."

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er,
                She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee- by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite- respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!"
                Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted-
On this home by Horror haunted- tell me truly, I implore-
Is there- is there balm in Gilead?- tell me- tell me, I implore!"
                Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us- by that God we both adore-
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore."
                Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend," I shrieked, upstarting-
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!- quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
                Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
                Shall be lifted- nevermore!

The Lady Grey

Edward VI, son of Henry VIII, lay dying in June of 1553. Edward defied a succession act and rather than giving the throne to his half sister Mary, he turned to cousin, Jane Grey, the daughter of Henry VIII's sister, Mary Tudor the Queen of France. He granted her the crown and the succession. So Jane became rightful Queen of all England. So so she was named by the Peers and Privy Council.

Queen Jane was 16 years of age, strikingly beautiful, possessed of a curious demeanor, she enjoyed to laugh, though the hunt had no interest for the young lady. As Queen she refused to crown her husband, Lord Dudley and left his title and role to Parliment. She took up residence in the Tower of London though she was lost in the wild machinations of kings, queens, dukes and the men of power and letters.

Her reign was short lived. The Lary Mary, daughter of Henry VIII, quickly gathered support amongst the Catholic nobles and turned the tides against Lady Jane. Within 9 days the privy council turned for Mary and declared Jane treasonous. She and her husband both found the Tower of London their prison.

Later in the year the Lady Jane witnessed her husband beheaded and his lifeless body returned to the tower. She herself was taken out to be beheaded.

The executioner turned to her and pleaded for the young Lady's forgiveness, which she gave, but turned then and asked him to do the deed quickly, "will you take it off before I lay me down"; he answered that he could not. So she blindfolded herself and stumbling around the scaffold called out "what shall I do? where shall I go?" Her voice tore the hearts of the crowd and the Lord Thomas Brygdes took her by the hand and guided the child to the block. As she lay down she prayed "Lord Jesus into they hands I commend my spirits." They took her head.

 Though they took her head, they did not take her from the tower, for tis said she wanders those halls still, seeking her father who placed her on the ill fated throne.

Armor Up

The Flying Dutchman

In 1680 the ship The Flying Dutchman set sail from Amsterdam to round the Cape of Good Hope on a journey to Dutch East India. Captained by the seasoned Hendrick Vanderdecken the ship made good time with its stout-hearted crew. But  in rounding the Cape they ran afoul of a titanic storm.

The seas were whipped into mighty 15 foot waves that pounded the ship from fore to aft. The winds beat the sails with such power that the crew could not bring them in. The sea lifted the galley on high and sent it crashing into troughs that stole the sight of the shores from Captain and crew.

The Captain ordered the ship forward to break the headwaters of the mighty gale. Fearless he knew the Dutchman as a ship of solid make and her crew one of wild abandon.

But the seas were relentless and uncaring. The mighty swells grew in size and battered the ship. Her hull groaned with the effort, sails battered and showing the strain, masts creaked, groaned and threatened to topple into the sea. The crew called to the Captain to turn about and ride the storm to land and safety. But he turned his eye and ship to the storm and ordered all on deck to ride the devil to hell. They called their Captain mad but few gainsayed him for they were a stout and solid crew and if truth be told few wished to quit the fight.

But the seas proved mighty and tore the sails from her masts, drowned her holds and stole the ship's hope for safe harbor. The waves battered the listless galley as men fought to save their ship and lives but in the end she buried her prow into a mighty wave and vanished from the earth of men.

But the Dutchmen rose again, cursed for her vanity, and she sails the seas even now, rising when a storm is afoot to plow the waters in her vain attempt to make it round the cape. Her Captain and crew do not know their fate, they man the ship in every storm, plowing the turbulent seas, ever in search of calm waters.

Sleepy Hollow

One of the greatest images of the Halloween tradition, the Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. Here we have Ichabod Crane competing for the hand of the lovely Katrina van Tassel with the lusty Abraham "Brom Bones" Van Brunt. One fell eve Ichabod, rejected again by the lady Tassel, is riding through the haunted wood near Sleepy Hollow. Sorrowful and dejected he rides his plow horse home . . . but in route he encounters a headless rider, a demon from hell, whose steed strikes a wild ride toward the young man. Ichabod, in terror, flees the headless horseman, plunging down the dark and narrow paths for life and his soul's safety.

At last he clatters across the bridge and to safety only to see the hell bent demon and his nightmare steed thundering across the bridge. He hurls his decapitated head at Ichabod in a fit of madness and it shatters upon his face. Ichabod flees the forest, the Hollow, county and state, never to be seen again.

Thus the legend was born. Some wondered about the headless horsemen, a demon from hell . . . but if ever the tale was mentioned the lady Tassel only smiled.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Daily Cosplay

I think she is Thor, but I'm going to go with Valkyrie!

The Ahargon Den

From the Codex of Aihrde
The Gates: The Ahargon Den

In all of towering Aufstrag there is but one physical gate, the Ahargon Den, the Great Maw. Those who entered called it the Art et Unklar, the Mouth of Darkness, for all that entered there were devoured by the malice of Aufstrag.

The dwarves fashioned this gate for Unklar, for in those distant days he bound them to him by chains of servitude that they could not break. And they put all of their skill into the project and made for Aufstrag an unbreakable set of doors. They cast the doors of bronze, but laced that bronze with iergild, that magical ore from beyond the world’s of men. They scripted runes into the doors, words of making from their forges that the bronze absorbed but that gave the doors a magical property that protected them against sorcery. They set riddles into the bronze as well. These riddles captured sound and absorbed it so that none could speak words of opening to it. Thus protected they ordered it set into the frame of stone and trolls, huge and monstrous came at the bidding of Unklar and set the doors in place. There it stood, overshadowing the Wasting Way.

To open the door the dwarves crafted a horn of exquisite beauty. Shaped from the horns of a dragon, bound with bands of platinum and inlaid with thin strips of gold, the instrument’s final shape resembled a ram’s horn.  Upon the mouthpiece they carved runes which opened the gates to the Rings of Brass. Upon the inner coils of the horn, where the air of the use blew, were more runes and these they set with a chime of opening and it alone could force the gates wide. Only the very strong or clever ever mastered the horn and those who tried and failed activated the runes of the Rings of Brass; these tore them from the world and hurled them into the Void where history forgot them. The horn the dwarves set upon a stand before the Gate and there it stood for many long centuries.

The Wasting Way ends in a broad patio of flagstones, exactly 100 feet wide and 60 feet deep. The flagstones are cracked and chipped, covered here and there in patches of a thick damp dark green moss. Vines snake across the stones to cling to the walls and great gate, called by men The Ahargon Den, the Great Maw. The two giant doors stand at their apex 24 feet high and are each 8 feet wide at the base. In sharp contrast to the gray stone the doors have a green tint to them. The left door has a crack in it; the right looks untouched by time. Both doors have a relief of a crescent moon upon them. When closed the moons come together in a large circle. The gates are set into two half moon shaped towers and covered by a huge arch all of stone. A tangle of wrought iron tops towers and arch, once shaped like thorns and brush, but now much decayed and wasted away. The doors stand shut.

The green tint is from oxidized metal, it flakes off to expose the bronze beneath. If the doors are pounded upon the green flakes fall off and expose the words carved into the doors by the dwarves at the Horned God’s request:

Suffer Not the Tyranny of Fear
Embrace The Dominion of Law

The Yoke Shall Set You Free

Way Overdue

We are way overdue for some King Arthur on the big screen. We've had a few goes at the movies in recent years, but nothing that captured the essence of that mythic (or non-mythic depending on your perspective) hero-king.

Where are Sir Kay? Gawain? Percival? Where is the round table and the Lady Guinevere? And Sir Lancelot? The knights of King Arthur's court should echo for eternity  . . . for as long as mankind plies the halls of adventure.


Here's a pretty cool news clip on robots. I've always liked that word, "robots", its very simple and gets the point across. It was said by Cicero that Caesar was one of the greatest speakers of his day as he could speak using simple, deliberate language with very little hyperbole. Language without adjectives so to speak.

I'm sure he would have used the word robot.


Armor Up

I'm pretty sure this is close to every character I've every played.

Your Next Adventure

Here is where this weekend's adventure should take place . . . .

post script: Rheinstein Castle on the Rhine.

News of the Bounty

Captain Robin Walbridge captained the Bounty for the past 17 years. He was washed overboard as the ship foundered and sank off the coast of North Carolina. He was one of the last on deck. Bounty news. 

A true Captain. Our hats off to him and our prayers to his family.

Abe Lincoln Vampire Hunter

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter is an interesting movie. It begins with unique premise that Abe Lincoln was more than a President; Lincoln had an alter ego, he was a vampire hunter . . . I surmised that much from the title at least.

It turns out that when he was a child Abe's mother was slain by a angry slave merchant because she and Abe both had interfered with the sale and beating of several slaves. Abe swore to hunt the fellow down and kill him. When he attempts to do so his plans go awry as he discovers that the merchant is in fact one of the living dead. He is rescued from his folly by a vampire hunter and sets out on the road of hunting and killing vampires.

In the course of events as he's battling vampires all over town he learns that slavery is actually a front, or partially so, for the secret vampire nation that dwells throughout the Union. They feed on the slaves in secret.

Time passes and Abe sets aside his axe to fight slavery (in order we suspect to weaken the vampire nation) and thus the civil war begins. It gets even weirder after that as vampire armies...immune to the sun because of some lip balm or some such...take up the grey and attack union armies. Silver is gathered from all over DC to stop them at Gettsburg where they are defeating the Union.

The action sequences in the movie are really cool; the figure of tall Abe wielding an axe and lopping open vampires is pretty cool. There is a scene in Louisiana where Abe and his  pals battle the super bad guy vampire, its really well done. Some crazy wagon rides too. But the overall vampire nation/civil war vampires/Gettsburg/sunblock scenes are rather out of whack.

The movie is fun, with good action, setting and the first part of the story is actually a pretty cool yarn; but the latter half of the movie goes off reservation and ends up in very weird alternate history.   Of course what did I expect with the title Abe Lincoln Vampire Hunter.

I give it two trolls!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Daily Cosplay

Siege of Acre

The Siege of Acre was a hallmark moment in the Crusades. Saladin's army held the castle and city of Acre and the army of King Guy of Jerusalem lay siege to it. While attempting to batter the walls down Saladin made several attacks on Guy's camp, distracting his main siege efforts. After several inconclusive battles in which the lighter armed troops of Saladin failed to break the siege, and the outnumbered Crusaders failed to drive off Saladin.

More support arrived for the army of Jerusalem as the months panned on, as did more support for Saladin. The battle wore on for a great many months until King Richard the Lion Heart arrived and set to pressing the Siege and an attack on the Saladin. Soon there after the starving city garrison lay down their arms.

Richard attacked Saladin and defeated him in two major battles but then had to uproot and head home as he had pressing business there.

Acre held as a bastion of the Crusader kingdoms for a hundred years and was one of the last footholds of the Europeans on in the Holy Land. In 1291 it was attacked by a large army commanded by Kahlil of Egypt. The long grueling siege end with the extermination of the garrison of the castle and city.  

John de Villiers, Master of the Knights Hospital, penned this letter before being killed: "I myself on that same day was stricken nearly to death by a lance between the shoulders, a wound which has made the writing of this letter a very difficult task. Meanwhile a great crowd of Saracens were entering the city on all sides, by land and by sea, moving along the walls . . . ."

Post Script: this was all written show I could post my favorite painting.


Over 8000 bodies lie buried in the catacombs at Palermo. The first interred was a friar in 1599, the catacombs continued to take in the deceased until 1920, the last body being that of a 2 year old girl. Many are remarkable preserved, others now so much. Some are set in poses that allowed their families to visit them if they desired.

Armor Up

100 Million Years of Violence

Can't we just all get along. Apparently not. Here is a piece of amber with a spider caught in the act of killing, or at least attacking a wasp. That wasp just thought he was  having a bad day when that blob of tree resin fell on them and immortalized their struggle. Of course he might have thought it was the most timely rescue in history. Just as the mandibles are closing in, death is imminent...splat! Resin pins the spider down and he cannot move. The wasp struggles to escape but with one out-streched claw the spider clings on, the resin seeps over him, slowly closing off his escape, covering him and he thinks to himself "not like this...not like this," until the last light is extinguished and his doom overtakes him.

Or he wasn't thinking at all as he's just a wasp. Pretty cool snapshot in any case!

The HMS Bounty

News is coming out of North Carolina that the replica ship HMS Bounty has sank. Last night the crew had to abandon ship in two life boats as the vessel began taking on water and had lost its propulsion. Its not certain if any crew members were lost, the coast guard reported that they had rescued everyone on the manifest, 16 people. Some reports have 17 people were on board.

The historic ship was built for the move Mutiny on the Bounty with Marlin Brando. It has appeared in numerous movies since then.

May she find peace in the Deep Quiet.

The Story of the United States

In maps. This link is pretty cool. It takes the expansion of the United States across North America from the 1780s until the absorption of Hawaii. The map series is called Manifest Destiny and is pretty cool.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Daily Cosplay

The Return of Conan

Peter Bradley sent me a happy happy fun time link last night. I loved the first Conan movie, way back in the early 80s. Especially the fight scene in the underhalls where they rescue Valaria, but the final battle on the hill was pure awesome.

The second Conan movie was fair to middling, and this latest one a good watch. But it would seem that the hold team is getting back together!

Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed with Universal to reprise the role of Conan in the The Legend of Conan. This could be pure awesome. Arnold is older now and must play an older Conan.

With luck, with a little bit of luck, we'll see this Conan come to life . . . .

Armor Up

But He's Pretty Sure

He Did the Right Thing

He definitely should have cut it.

Living On Gas

Life on these gas giants must be very hard. On Saturn, a storm began in late 2010 and continued to batter the gas giant for a year, winding down only in 2011. The temperature spiked to 150 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. The storm is linked to a massive build up of ethylene gas deep in the planet which ripped up toward the stratosphere. It was so large it would consume the entire North American continent and wrap around the Earth.

Gas giants are not actually gas giants. At their core lies iron or nickel, this is surrounded by a massive wall of liquid hydrogen In fact the majority of the planet's mass comes from this core and the liquid hydrogen. Their atmosphere is of course gas, consisting hydrogen gas and helium and other chemicals. The weight of the liquid hydrogen is so great in fact, it crushes the liquid hydrogen close to the core creating a layer of metallic liquid in nature.

Sleeping Giants

In the forest deeps there are giants. They seldom wake, spending most of their days in a heavy slumber. So long under the lidded eyes that moss grows upon their backs, heads and brows.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Daily Cosplay

Mythos of Aihrde

From the Coming Codex of Aihrde

A House at the End of Time
It is known that the Arc of Time served as a road for all things that left the living world. Drifting beyond the All Father's creations the listless dead followed the arc until its end in the Maelstrom. Here the spirits gathered, riding upon or being devoured by the seething cauldron of the Maelstrom. The All Father upon seeing this was unamused and he made great halls for the fallen dwarves, hall where their spirits might live out eternity until the Gonfed, the end of days. But the Stone Halls called only to the dwarves and the noble dead and heroes. For all the rest they gathered at the ends of the Arc of Time, beyond all sight and knowledge.

But one came to this end and built his house here, far from the eyes of all living creatures.

The Red Duke, Lord of Chaos and servant of Evil, constructed the Homeless House here upon the back of the Maelstrom, at the feet of the Arc of Time. He gathered the listless dead and forced them to labor upon the massive sprawling castle of walls, keeps, and dungeons. The House served him as a fortress for thousands of years; there he built his armaments, crafted sorcery, made beasts of wild abandon, guided his servants, tortured his enemies and devoured all that traveled the Arc forcing them to serve his will. Thus the Arc of Time ended in a nightmare.

His House gave a center for the madness that men later called the Wretched Plains, a madness that attracted creatures great and small, both good and foul, though more foul than good. Around the Red Duke the plains became a mad house of chaos, where thoughts took shape and the listless dead wandered in a state of confusion if not suffering. What was an afterlife of quiet dark and mindless waiting became a torment as the souls of the dead found themselves bound to the will of the Red Duke.

In the wars that came the Red Duke's enemies unearthed him and hounded him to his very doorstep. So that after he set one of his own vile creations to guard the way to the House, Tiamat a great five headed dragon. Her domain men called the Maw of Tiamat. She watched over the road, devouring all that came forth. The listless dead found themselves passing through and into the guts of Tiamat.

Beyond her the Red Duke fortified his House. He opened the earth and made a chasm between the dragon and his House; it opened a rift to the Maelstrom so that any who fell through plummeted into the cauldron and were forever destroyed. He threw a bridge across it and this he guarded with a mighty barbican with a massive portcullis made of the iron of his very will. No gate guarded the neck of the barbican for the Red Duke was always vain and did not believe any could pass his iron will.

All this made the Homeless House a place of importance so that evil men who sought evil council spoke of the House as a place to be held on high and worshipped; they made sacrifice in its name, constructed temples to mimic its shape, and called on the Red Duke for a place of power in the afterlife. 

Armor Up

Adventure Abounds

This place just landed in the Darkenfold . . . .

Hills Have . . . Slopes

On Easter Island there stand giant statues, absolutely huge, stone statues. We aren't quite sure how they go to where they are. We are sure they are there. Its one of those instances, like stone henge, where we have trouble believing that homo-sapiens who lived thousands of years ago, were the same as the homo-sapiens who live today (with less phones).

A theory has been produced that proposes the islanders "walked" the giant statues. Its interesting to watch.

Not sure how this would work on a hill . . . .

Raining Sharks

This is a crazy story. Its not easy to know which is the oddest thing about this story.

A lemon shark fell from the sky yesterday. It landed on a golf course. That in and of itself is weird.

A marshal on the course saw the shark and picked it up and tossed it in his golf card. That too is a little weird. If you've ever seen someone try to pick up a baby shark, you know how hard it can be. If not check out this video.These people save a bunch of baby sharks....from their ma, who they just killed....

So shark lands in golf cart. Dude takes off for the main "golf house" and heads to the ktichens with the shark.

The employees scramble and put shark in a home made bucket of salt water. Now this too is pretty weird. Sharks dont' breath salt water, they live in the salt water ocean. I'm not sure what they did to get salt water . . .

But then, the article reads that "on his break" an employee then drove the shark to the pacific ocean and tossed it in the water. It floated for a minute, revived and swam off into the Deep Quiet. That too is pretty weird. But I'm not sure what's weirder, the flying shark living so long or that the employee had to take his BREAK to take it to the ocean. You'd think at that point they've vested enough time to just take the little bugger to his water home!

Great new story! Hats off to all those shark masters! Article here.

Post script: the shark was carried by the an eagle to land, or so they figure.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Daily Cosplay

Holloween Candy

Janson Engleish over at Mental Floss has put together a timely list of useless facts about the candy we all love to love, love to eat, and love to treat those goblins and witches that hound our doorsteps like so many tricks on All Hallow's Eve. Pretty fun.

This year I'm going to confuse people and give out turkey and dressing.


Uno, Doce, Tres . . .

Scientists have cataloged over 84 million stars in our Galaxy, the Milky Way. Using the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy they created a 9 gigapixel snapshot of the guts of our Galaxy. They found over 173 million objects, of which 84 million were determined to be stars.

And into those Darkling Skies Voyager continues his lonesome trek . . . .

Armor Up


 The weakest portion of any wall is the gate. An opening that is blocked by doors, portcullis, or other device, the gate lacks the necessary strength to withstand massive blows. Castle walls routinely were a dozen feet thick, gates only inches so. To bolster the strength of the gate, castle builders fortified the gate with towers and walls built outside the existing wall. The towers flanked the neck, a tunnel leading to the main gate, added gates inside the neck and defended it with murder holes. Anyone breaking through the first gate of the barbican, would find themselves pushing against a second gate, the actual city gate, and exposed to enfilading fire from left, right and above.

The Neck

This is Halloween

Big Teeth

Researchers have determined that the giant jaw and skull fragments they discovered in the Arctic basin belong to a new species of aquatic dinosaur, the Pliosaurus funke; this beast was about 40 feet long with a sixth of that being its massive tooth-lined skull. It hunted in the clear blue waters of the northern hemisphere. It gives life to an Arctic ecosystem that had to consist of massive creatures.

It just seems to me that this beast would do more than 3-30 points of damage!

Troll Lord Games joins Fat Dragon Games to bring you the REAL Halloween Treat! Enclosed please find coupons for a FREE download of Crusader 25 from TLG and the Great Helm of Brilliance from Fat Dragon Games. And while your chewing on those tasty tricks, be sure to check out the Halloween Treat Bag for all the Goodies we've cut prices on!

Adventures slashed by over 50%; books cut by half. Monsters, Gods, Castle Keepers and more! Check out all our specials HERE. And don't forget Fat Dragon Games, get 15-25% off RPG miniature terrain HERE!

This Sale won't last forever, it'll be gone before the goblins come!

Songs from the Drowned Lands ~ Kernaghan

Recently I took a trip to New York (the city) and needed something to read that I could easily carry on the plane. I don't really buy pa...