Monday, March 30, 2015

The Haunted Valley

Of the Lost City of Gaxmoor and the World of Aihrde....

The blood was hot, and sticky. It clung to him even as it oozed across his palm and down his wrist. Flinging it off he continued his cutting. The kill must be bled first, to lighten the load if nothing else. Besides, the hunt was long and hard and the boy was hungry. The others could wait. He cleaned his hands in the dirt.

As the beast's warmth spilled into grass he gathered some deadfall from the scant brush that grew in the long narrow valley. Pulling flint and steel he struck a fire in short order. The warmth was inviting, relaxing; for a moment he allowed himself to breath.

The air was fresh, but held the sting of winter, which had only recently released its grasp upon the high mountains. The sky was clear and blue, not a cloud in sight. Ea-vette raced across the heavens, far in the west now, where her trail always led. But the light of her passage remained, lying upon the steep valley walls and the narrow gulch far down to the valley floor. The creek caught her light still and cast it back all the length of its long course. The valley itself was coming alive. Wild grasses were growing thick and fast, bushes and scrub oak clung to rocks. Flowers were beginning to bloom everywhere along the valley walls and the ridgeline. All came alive fast and furious in these high mountain passes.

Turning he used his knife to cut a flank of his kill. Spitting it, he crouched next to the fire and began cooking a bite. Something for the long trip home he told himself.

“May I join you?”

The boy froze. His blood turned cold and the color left his face. There were ghosts in these mountains.

Turning, he saw a man standing not far from him, near his kill, his feet in the blood on the ground.

“I mean you know harm.” He held up his hands, shaking back his tattered cloak to show that he bore no weapons. His knit gloves were old, tattered, without fingers . . . the mark of a bowman the boy thought . . . and stained with all manner of tales. He wore no armor, but a thick wool shirt and pants. His boots were worn too nubs and the sole of his left foot all but gone. He'd been on the road a long time. His hair was long, matted and dirty. We wore no jewelry, nor carried any weapon the boy could see. “Truly boy. I mean you no harm. I saw your fire and smelt the blood and thought I might join you. I am weary and my journey is not yet over.”

The boy rose and crossed over to the kill. He cut off a long strip of flesh and handed it the vagabond. But as he did so he looked around, up the long slope behind the traveler, following it first west and then east. There were no signs of any companions. Nor were there any signs of his passage on the grass behind him.

The man smiled. “You have a good eye, boy. But I am alone. I am always alone. My brothers and sisters cast me out long ago. May I?” He gestured toward the fire.

The boy nodded.

Both sat down then, one across from the other. The meat sizzled over the open flame, popping as the tongues of fire danced over the moist flesh. The boy turned his meat slowly, cooking it all round without burning. But the vagabond had no such patience, turning quickly or lingering too long, the met charred in places and remained raw in others. After a few minutes he tore into the flesh and ate like a hungry wolf. His teeth were white and strong.

“I've been wandering these valleys all the long winter. Its hard work, walking up these jumbled slopes. The gods must have chiseled them for the dwarves, for no man's legs were meant to walk here. And the winter's been hard. Too much snow. Too little game. Why in the world do people live here?”

The boy just watched him.

Daily Cosplay

Ghostbusters ... Male ... Female ... Racoons

I'm not even sure what to make of this but another Ghostbusters is in the works, this time with an all male cast. There are quite a few names on the list..Dany Aykroyd, Ivan Reitman and some other folks (see full line up here).

This is head spinning.

On the one hand we have people raving that the new female line up is ruining their child hood memories, and on the other hand, we have people raving that a female treatment of the movie will make it more appealing to the female demographic. To fix that we are going to two movies?

Here's an idea. Its a bit crazy and out there.

Write a script that is really cool and unusual and then turn it into a movie.

Try to avoid the PC. If the role is written for one gender or the other, then hire that person. Make the movie. Let us see it.

Avoid making statements. Leave that crap to people who do it for a living.

Like this guy:

Actually, either one...Han Blix or Kim....

This Was It

Extra Fabulous

Extra Fabulous Comics

Armor Up (Saxon)

The Lost City on Kickstarter!

On Kickstarter now...The Lost City of Gaxmoor
Fifteen years ago Troll Lord Games -- fresh in the RPG market -- joined with Ernest Gary Gygax Jr. and his brother Luke Gygax, to bring to life their amazing city, The Lost City of Gaxmoor. The city, caught up in the ruins of time and under the heels of chaos, proved an instant hit and helped place TLG firmly in the RPG market.
Going out of print when TLG moved away from d20, the Lost City returned to the brothers Gygax, where it sat in quiet retirement, leaving only the memories of many blood-soaked adventure hours.
But now, after many years, the Lost City returns to the Troll Dens! This time, under the Castles & Crusades banner!
The Lost City unleashes all the wild imaginings of the brothers Gygax, bringing them to your gaming table! A seamless blend of the old world's iron grinding action and the Siege Engine, Gaxmoor promises an epic montage of wreck and ruin.
Introduction by Frank Mentzer!
FUNDING GOALS: The Lost City of Gaxmoor is a 120 page book, scheduled to release as a softcover book with the sprawling city map divided up into 8.5 x 11 sheets and set within the book. But it needs a far better treatment.  TLG's goals with this are to bring it out in hardcover format and to release the city map in a full color, 18 x 22 inch poster. Our basic goal is to hit a hardcover book, but the stretch rewards will build the project into so much more!
Join us! Join the Fray! Bring The Lost City of Gaxmoor back to the gaming table in all the glory the wealth of its adventure deserves!
EARLY BIRD: All early bird backers receive a soft cover edition of the Lost City of Gaxmoor. You must back the 25.00 pledge level or above. This copy ships with your kickstarter package unless you are at GARY CON VII. All Early Bird backers receive a digital copy at Kickstarter close.

Movie Trailer ~ Jurassic World (new)

Word of the Day -- Massif

In geology, a massif is a section of a planet's crust that is demarcated by faults or flexures. In the movement of the crust, a massif tends to retain its internal structure while being displaced as a whole. The term is also used to refer to a group of mountains formed by such a structure.

In mountaineering and climbing literature, a massif is frequently used to denote the main mass of an individual mountain. The massif is a smaller structural unit of the crust than a tectonic plate and is considered the fourth largest driving force in geomorphology.

The word is taken from French (in which the word also means "massive"), where it is used to refer to a large mountain mass or compact group of connected mountains forming an independent portion of a range. One of the most notable European examples of a massif is the Massif Central of the Auvergne region of France.

The Face on Mars is an example of an extraterrestrial massif.  Massifs may also form underwater such as with the Atlantis Massif.

Massif -- Face on Mars

Undead Dragon

Sandara has some great dragons. Check em out!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Daily Cosplay

Nothing New: Taxes

A recently discovered chunk of pottery in Egypt had a tax receipt written on the side of it, it burdened the pot owner with a 90 talent tax on his shipment. It was in Greek, the receipt, so we suspect it was a Greek merchant delivering his wares to Egypt. That is a gigantic sum of money, talents were worth 5-10000 drachmas which is half a man's earnings in 98 BC.

Nice article of at Live Science, explains the math of it and more about the Egyptian Government being made up of a bunch of argumentative types...much like the whole of our species.

Live Science

Armor Up! Dragon Rider

Death of Channel Surfing

In Canada they just passed "sweeping" legislation (that term always cracks me up) forcing cable companies to offer consumers a package whereby they can pick and choose the channels they wish to pay.  Good for consumers, but bad for channels and the death of channel surfing.

We switched to Apple TV a few years ago and the first thing that died was the channel surfing. I used to lounge in front of the TV (I enjoy television, the good and the bad) and surf into the wee hours of the morning. Well that ended abruptly. Well mostly, I found I like to watch previews now, so its sort of channel surfing. Sometimes its just too much to invest in a whole tv show.

At any rate, consumers are amused, but small channels, who will be passed over and forgotten will suffer. But then again, maybe that's not a bad thing.

Movie Trailer ~ The Walking Deceased


Chasing Dreams

NASA is outsourcing some of its jobs, which is a very good thing in my opinion and today the Sierra Nevada company gave us a peak at the autonomous cargo ship they will use to deliver supplies to the International Space Station if they get the contract. 

We are on the cusp of a new age. Its actually beginning to unfold before our very eyes. If someone doesn't go and derail it, in a few short years, we'll be plowing ships through the solar system to other planets.

From the Movie Set

Looks like from Indiana Jones 1 and 2!

No Sure I Would Do This

You hear about type casting, but the role itself might be bad enough. Ian Colletti was cast yesterday as Arseface in the upcoming Preacher tv show from AMC. The name is almost too memorable and  might hound the young actor where ever he goes.

That would suck.

Of course, it might be his big break. But is going to be a nightmare at home with any older brothers!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Daily Cosplay

Storytellers Dictionary on Kickstarter

What is the Storyteller's Dictionary?
Bent over the keyboard, the words tumble across the page like waves on a sandy beach. But you hit a snag...what is that thing called...that door inside a the castle gate. You know there's a specific name for it, you know it has to have a name, but what is it? Use the wrong word and you've spoiled the tone, wrecked the description and leave the reader disappointed.

The right word for the job.
When we first conceived the Storyteller's Thesaurus it wasn't with just one book in mind. There was always a companion book, the Dictionary. Both books together were conceptualized to help the writer or game designer reference the language they need, quickly and efficiently.

Like the Thesaurus, the Storyteller's Dictionary is specifically designed for writers, teachers, game designers, students and anyone who enjoys the creative output of fantasy, science fiction or horror tales! Broken up by subject matter, the Dictionary allows the end user to reference material with ease. Do you want to know about castles? Reference the Castle Section. Do you want to know about types of herbs? Reference the Herb Section.

The Storyteller's Dictionary is there for the many challenges of writing and designing. From herbs to castles, from nebulae to pole arms, the Dictionary is a must have.

The Fire Worm

They are Alive!

So when I was younger (last week or such) I watched some episode of the Twilight Zone or Night Stalker or some such show and in some doll came alive and terrorized the little girl's family. I can't remember the particulars, only one: it scared the crap out of me.

Its left me with a bad, uneasy feeling ever since...which is strange because I love toys....but the fear of the doll waking in the night, watching me, haunting made me hang all my sister's dolls all the time...which of course would probably just have made them more angry at me.

But now Barbie has made a doll that can talk to you. You talk to it and it responds to your questions! Your question is binged back to Mattel and the toy company's computers talk to you.

They are alive!

Of course, this is pretty cool. It might be a bit intrusive, your kid talking to a company computer via their favorite toy, but hey, its a toy company! What could go wrong?


Bees and Wired

You may or may not have heard but the bee populations in the United Sates have been suffering a decline. This has many worried as they are pretty important for seeding planets, helping us all have a little bit more to eat.

So their dying is a problem.

Normally, information on the internet is sad reflection of the writer's political philosophy with little or no regard to the bigger picture of what might be going. Lots of poorly articulated concepts floating around (that might be the most negative thing I've said on this blog haha)


Here's a very cool piece over at Wired that at least opens up the discussion to their being more than one cause...which is almost always the case.

Good read on Bees.

Armor Up

I don't think I put this fellow up....

Marvel's 33

With the end of the Secret Wars storyline Marvel plans on sending 33 different comic titles to the chopping block. These titles include Amazing Spiderman, All New Captain America, Nightcrawler and, well 30 other books.

You can see the full list here.

But never fear, as with all comics, these books may be brought back out in future titles. Nothing is certain in the realm of fantasy and science fiction.

Movie Trailer ~ Ex Machina

Word of the Day -- Vellum

Vellum is derived from the Latin word "vitulinum" meaning "made from calf", leading to Old French "vélin" ("calfskin"). The term often refers to a parchment made from calf skin, as opposed to that from other animals. It is prepared for writing or printing on, to produce single pages, scrolls, codices or books. The term is sometimes used with a more general meaning referring to finer-quality parchments made from a variety of animal skins.

Vellum is generally smooth and durable, although there are great variations depending on preparation and the quality of the skin. The manufacture involves the cleaning, bleaching, stretching on a frame (a "herse"), and scraping of the skin with a crescent shaped knife (a "lunarium" or "lunellum"). To create tension, scraping is alternated with wetting and drying. A final finish may be achieved by abrading the surface with pumice, and treating with a preparation of lime or chalk to make it accept writing or printing ink.

Modern "paper vellum" (vegetable vellum) is a quite different synthetic material, used for a variety of purposes, including plans, technical drawings, and blueprints.

Into the Mountains

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Daily Cosplay

She Landed to Sleep in November...

Back in November Philae landed on a comet. Philae was sent there by the ESA with the goal of getting as close to a comet as possible (on it is about as close as you can get) and having a look see at her particulars. Her mother ship, Rosetta, is hovering in the heavens (does a comet have a heaven) above her.

She was put to sleep to conserve energy as the comet, at the time, was further from the Sun. Now her position means she gets about twice as much solar power as before, which means she can deploy her solar wings, pick up some juice and start transmitting data.

That is happening now.

All very cool.

Home sweet home.

Brutal Walking Dead Fist Fight

Imaginarium ~ Into the Woods

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...