Monday, November 30, 2015

Daily Cosplay

Aihrde ~ Cult of the Sword

Guilds of Aihrde, The Cult of the Sword

This mercenary order was founded soon after the Winter Dark Wars by Tiberious Claudious, after his master Agrippa failed to overthrow the ruling Consuls of the Republic of Brindisium. Tiberious and the other survivors were driven into exile. Tiberious harkened to his ancestors for guidance, and received a vision of Augustus, a great warrior from the Age of Heroes. It was his sword, now an heirloom, that Tiberious carried in battle. In the vision, Tiberious saw the disparity in wealth between those who fought for Kings and the Kings themselves.

Tiberious began to work toward founding a order of unaffiliated warriors and mercenaries, loosely bound together and following a simple code. The Cult of the Sword was born. The movement spread far and wide, and most who carry blades under its cause wear the tattoo of the Cult, a simple gladius sword on the upper left forearm with the name Tiberious Augustus stenciled around it.

The Code of the Cult is simple – members identify themselves to one another and state who they are fighting against. Any member who finds their opponent to be a member of the Cult can refuse to fight them for any reason without losing honor or face. In some places, particularly in the Gelderland towns and the cleaver pits there, the Cult is very powerful and its members control who lives and who dies.

Armor Up

Legends of Glastonbury

Well, that's not something you want to put out about an ancient burial ground that might have held one of the most famous people in the history of the world... King Arthur.

New evidence from digs at Glastonbury questions some long held beliefs, most notably, that of the burial place of King Arthur. The monks who dwelt there centuries ago spoke of their most cherished King's grave being in, at or near Glastonbury. Future digs seemed to support this so that it became part of the historical culture of the landmark.

Well, until now that is. The Guardian.

 Seems that all may not be as it seems, however, the expedition leader had this to say: "A thousand years of beliefs and legends are part of the intangible history of this remarkable place.” Which is of course, all we ever want from such things.

Post Script: Anyway, wasn't King Arthur taken to Avalon after he died?

Imaginarium ~ Walls in the Hills

5 Line Movie Review ~ Slow West

After much struggle with the Apple TV (not normally a problem, but found out other inhabitants of my domicile were skype-gaming, downloading some mega-game from a steam sale and uploading youtube game videos) I managed to get the western movie Slow West rambling on the TV. I enjoyed the film, but there were some oddities.

Slow west is a rather slow moving movie, but not slow as in bad, slow as in travel in the 'old west was slow' type of slow. Setting was refreshingly different, scrub pine and high plains. The acting was perfect, story good (if a bit far fetched, finding two people who traveled from Scotland, changed their names, settled in a lonely patch in the western United States would be damn near impossible in 1870 odd time frame), overall feel of the movie spot on. But the movie kept slipping into some social commentary, not very subtle exposition about the wiping out of the indigenous population - the subtext portraying the American Indian as if they just rolled over and died, which is far from the case, these warrior nations fought valiantly, like lions, for a century against what were impossible odds - and then an odd focus on the brutality of inhabitants in the west....which assuredly everyone was not a brutal murdering thief or gunman. But the tale itself was well done, and beautifully rendered, so the movie is well worth the watch!

I give it 3 and a half butter and popcorns. 

Movie Trailer ~ Central Intelligence

A Book, Goblet and Three Keys

I think I just created an adventure . . . .

Word of the Day -- Motte and Bailey

A motte-and-bailey castle is a fortification with a wooden or stone keep situated on a raised earthwork called a motte, accompanied by an enclosed courtyard, or bailey, surrounded by a protective ditch and palisade. Relatively easy to build with unskilled, often forced, labour, but still militarily formidable, these castles were built across northern Europe from the 10th century onwards, spreading from Normandy and Anjou in France, into the Holy Roman Empire in the 11th century. The Normans introduced the design into England and Wales following their invasion in 1066. Motte-and-bailey castles were adopted in Scotland, Ireland, the Low Countries and Denmark in the 12th and 13th centuries. By the end of the 13th century, the design was largely superseded by alternative forms of fortification, but the earthworks remain a prominent feature in many countries.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Black Friday through Cyber Monday!

Black Friday Sale continues! Saturday Savings are here! Check out the example of savings!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Daily Cosplay

Captain Kirk on the CMA

This came out some months ago, but I missed it until recently. It deserves a little posting. Storm troops, Captains, star wars, star trek. its all confusing. But very cool.


The intro sets it up, then some jokes and it gets rolling around minute 9 if you are not inclined to watch the whole thing.

Aihrde: of the Will Eloth

The valley blossomed about Eahrtaut, and the river flowed through it. The tree stood then in the Pools of Green and these pools lay upon the feet of the tree and it is told that when the pools should run dry, then indeed the days of the Gonfod are upon the world and the final Rin begin.

The chroniclers record, that in after ages, during the Winter Dark, when the Horned God came to see the tree, he thought to master it. He pulled upon the tree but its roots were too deep, and he cursed it, and that it was in grim mockery of Eahrtaut that the Horned God fashioned the fortress of Aufstrag, making its shape that of a horribly twisted oak.

Wenafar came to the tree and saw that it was heavy with Mordius’ life and wisdom, and she was amazed. She opened her hands and unleashed a torrent of birds. Thus, the avian folk came to the world, and they occupied the high branches of the Eahrtaut and made nests there and sang and frolicked in its rejoice in it.

The year passed, and the season changed. The leaves of Mordius wilted and fell to the ground, exposing the power and the wisdom beneath. The gods marveled and waited to see what might unfold. Thus the seasons turned, and the tree renewed and grew taller and stronger. And at last after a long age, the tree grew heavy with seed, and the birds gathered them up and flew them wither they would, dropping them in the deep valleys of those mountains where the water flowed clean and fresh.

These seeds took root and grew, and in turn they dropped seeds until after the space of many years, the children of Erde’s thought spread wide and far. These were the trees, and they were of the Val Eahrakun for they were of the All Father’s thought. They became aware of the warm, clean air through their leaves, the warm sun energized them and their leaves spread to take in more, sating them on life giving light. Beneath them, their roots spread out like toes, pushing through the cool earth, thirsty for nutrients and absorbing water from the soil. And they marveled, for they could not see their lives behind them but knew that the world was alive around them. So the trees became sentient creatures, for Erde made them aware of the world around them.

These were the Wil-Eloth

The Codex of Aihrde, The Andanuth, 12


The Wil-Eloth, the first trees, learned the Language of Creation from the All Father. They are rare now, living solitary lives, musing upon a world vastly changed from that of their youth.

Footnotes: Our Ever-changing World

The island of Kane pops up in historical sources, particularly during the battles between Sparta and Athens in the Peloponnesian Wars. However, the island does not appear on any map and its location has been a mystery.

Archeologists think they may have found it. It seems what is now part of Turkey, a small peninsula, was once an island. Over the centuries sediment built up between the mainland and the island, allowing the two to slowly join.

Very cool. Read on.

Armor Up

Movie Trailer ~ Central Intelligence

Greek Myths

The Greek myths are fairly amazing, filled with truly imaginative creatures. I think, i many respects, they are the back bone for the gaming communities idea of monsters. Others, like the Norse for instance, tend to be grounded in reality. 

The Fenris wolf, the Midgaard Serpent, the Frost Giants etc. But in Greece we have centaurs, chimeras, gorgons, medusa...truly creatures  beyond the pale, beyond what we, as primitive many, encountered in the wilds. Even the undead are more grounded than these creature, as the idea of rising from the dead is nothing out of the human experience...many have seemed dead and came back for instance. Frequently coffins are found with claw marks on them, on the inside (well not anymore). So even that is within the normal. 

But a winged lion with a scorpion's tail? Not so much.

Word of the Day -- Calque

In linguistics, a calque or loan translation is a word or phrase borrowed from another language by literal, word-for-word or root-for-root translation.

Used as a verb, to calque means to borrow a word or phrase from another language while translating its components so as to create a new lexeme in the target language.

Calque is a loanword from a French noun, and derives from the verb calquer (to trace, to copy). The word “Loanword” is a calque of the German word Lehnwort, just as “loan translation” is a calque of Lehn├╝bersetzung.

Proving that a word is a calque sometimes requires more documentation than does an untranslated loanword because, in some cases, a similar phrase might have arisen in both languages independently. This is less likely to be the case when the grammar of the proposed calque is quite different from that of the borrowing language or when the calque contains less obvious imagery.

Calquing is distinct from phono-semantic matching. While calquing includes semantic translation, it does not consist of phonetic matching (i.e. retaining the approximate sound of the borrowed word through matching it with a similar-sounding pre-existing word or morpheme in the target language).


This is one of the most interesting portrayals of Medusa I've ever seen. Its a piece by Lilia Osipova.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Daily Cosplay

Aihrde: Of the Dwarves

Erde wondered at his creation. They were odd to him, not filled with the beauty of the world, but rather its strength and his anger. He looked upon them for a great while, and they returned his gaze without fear, but with a love that only stone can know, a love that is hardened in the furnace of creation, as iron or other metals, and one that roots deep in the earth.

The first of the dwarves to speak called upon him, naming him then in the speech of his people, Al-Erde, which is “Father of All Things,” or “Creator,” or in its simpler form “All Father.” His words were as stone and reflected the iron will that Erde set into the dwarves. “Al-Erde, we see that you stand over the world and that yours is the spring from which all things come. What would you have of us? Set the price, so that we might pay the debt.” This dwarf was Hlothver, and he was named the greatest of all the fathers of dwarves.

Though others quailed at the speech, the All Father heard it and knewthat it carried no threat or hint of malice. Rather, the weight of stone was in it, and even as a stone sees the world, so do the dwarves. All things are passing by, held to the ravages of wind and rain, but the stone stands to the last, hard. Erde did not answer Hlothver but returned to the forge of creation.

But the dwarves took heed of Erde’s silence, and saw the answer in his actions. It came to them then, in those early days of their lives, that the debt must be paid in kind, that the All Father created for the joy of creation and so must the dwarves. Ever after they labored in the making of things, in fashioning homes and tools, in shaping rocks, carving mines, building towers, and later walls of wood and stone. Each dwarf came into the world with the debt of life upon his soul, and it was his or hers to repay the All Father by leaving something behind, great or small.

So the desire of the forge became the fire of their lives. They also took from the All Father that actions speak where words must fail, and always they set aside pointless deliberation once their minds were made.

~ The Codex of Aihrde

Imaginarium ~ Before you the Mountain

Musing on the Walking Dead

Long time viewers of this blog know I'm a huge fan of the Walking Deak. I came to the show late. It was already in third season (I think). I was bored one night, and having seen some of it, thought I would give it a go, as there was nothing else out there  (an Netflix had just released the first two seasons, or just the first, I can't remember the exact sequence). But I watched S1 E1 and was instantly hooked. S1 E2 just cemented the whole thing. It had everything I love in apocalyptic shows....gritty, knuckle-bashing, blood smeared, abandoned-house people carving a niche out of a world suddenly gone primeval.

Good stuff.

Six seasons in, I'm still hooked. This one has started out great and carried through for the first half dozen episodes flawlessly.

I am however ready for the group to get back together. I get that all these episodes is one single day, taken from everyone's perspective, but the group is scattered in my real time, and needs to get back together. Not because its bad story...its a great story, and a bad ass concept to do one day in 10 or so episodes...but rather because I'm a 'keep the chickens together' type of guy! 

And these folks are scattered far and wide!

Loving the show!

Armor Up

Allan Quatermain - The O.G. Raider

Child of Storm by H. R. Haggard, 3rd edition frontispiece illustration by A. C. Michael, Public Domain Image
So most people see the Raider class in Amazing Adventures and think of Indiana Jones. While certainly Indy was part of the template for that class and has been a defining factor of modern pulp, there are many different heroes that can fall into that category. Lara Croft, for example, is a character who in many ways personifies that character class and the idea behind pulp heroes in general.

What may surprise some players, however, is that Indiana Jones himself was modeled after earlier literary figures--no, I'm not talking about James Bond (who would actually be a Gumshoe, anyway). I'm talking about the inestimable Allan Quatermain.

Allan Quatermain (not Quartermain, as it's often misspelled) was the hero of a series of novels in the late 19th century by H. Rider Haggard, the most famous of which is King Solomon's Mines, which has been adapted several times into film. The character has been played by such luminary actors as Sean Connery, Patrick Swayze, and Richard Chamberlain, among others in various film adaptations of Quatermain's adventures.

Arguably the most famous version of Quatermain on film was the 1985 adaptation of King Solomon's Mines, which starred Richard Chamberlain as Quatermain. Best of all, you can watch the entire thing on YouTube for free!

For those whose tastes run towards the literary and who really want to see the origin of this character, one of the great progenitors of the pulps, you can also download the entire novel for free in ebook format from

More About Quatermain

Movie Trailer ~ Huntsman Winters War

I'm very much looking forward to this one. I enjoyed the original Snow White and the Hunstman. Very good stuff.

Of course it has Charlize Theron in it, so....

Lord of the Undead

Word of the Day -- Grille (Castle)

A grille or grill (French word from Latin craticula, small grill) is an opening of several slits side by side in a wall or metal sheet or other barrier, usually to let air or water enter and/or leave but keep larger objects including animals in or out.

Memories from the Office of a Game Publisher – Office Space

Everywhere I look across social media I seem to be encountering two things. Economic news about the pending commercial real estate collapse,...