Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Only Autumn

She's all the season I am not, and I am only autumn. 
Not her warmth or her winter, I am only autumn.
Only fitting together on the edges in passing
at night and nautically in loneliness and laughing
Given to fits and tantrums of colors, I am only autumn
I'm all closing but can never find an end
All shriek and gust, stealing gails but no mend
She's the fix for everything I break
The traveler already walking the path i wish i could take
She is only everything and I am only autumn.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

In the garage

So you may be wondering what is going on with these vaguely fantasy short stories is.  Well I have been working on a role playing game of my own for some time now.  I was working up some short in game fiction to give some of the feel.  It is a combination of the fantasy genre with elements of biotechnology.  I am hoping these elements to come out more in the stories as I proceed. 

The system I am working on tries to take the ambiguity out of multiple success systems.  I have always found games like those from white wolf as vague when it came down how two or three successes differed. 

I also want to move away from auto failure.  I saw a comic where a player stacked up a huge number of bonuses only to fail when rolling a one.  It got me thinking how the random nature of games can destroy players when there is no need for it.  In reality any time the players role they are screwed.  If you botch an unimportant fight you often derail a game, and if you win well who cares.  Its only when you are doing something important that it valuably affects the game by adding drama.

I really have been liking the Hero wars system of characters just having a success in certain skills, I think this solves problems.  But when you dig into that system it is very much about vague character descriptions being applied to the situation at hand to give some even more vague bonus.  Here I am back to what I disliked with white wolf. I am trying to figure out a system where maybe players can spend their extra successes on concrete effects sort of like Earthdawn's armor defeating hits.  Give them some crunch and fiddly bits so they can tell me how their results differ on two and three success roles.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A tale of the Gannith part 1

Cornass Vall held the title of first rider for six summers at this time.  Six long rides of the ring paths the migratory Gannith people completed each year.  For the Gannith all life worked upon these year rings all locked together like gears.  The only exception was the dark ring of the riders; their duty was to the dead.  Though the Gannith lived clock work lives, death came on it's own time.

Cornass arrived in the high camp of the grain ring in the cold fog filled days of late winter.  This was death's time, the riders were often on hoof now.  Seldom would a first rider attend to the deaths of the grain ring, it was low, but a wise man was to be honored.

Vall would work the rest of the day adorning the corpse with sweet oils and decorating the skin.  Binding the wise man to sit high and proud upon the riders horse.  Even braiding seals of debt into the animals main.  These beasts were a breed unto themselves, huge and heavy for the large Gannith people but strong and unwavering in the face of death or undeath.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A tale of Jethrik part 4

The figure was no phantom dreamed but something of flesh and blood, Nasol was soon to find. A curved blade of bone lashed out from behind the intruders back as he began to advance on Nasol.  The guard was often commended for his ingenuity but seldom for his skill at arms, the would not go well.  Nasol raised the heavy lantern pole, the castle guards armed themselves with, between his foe and himself.

As the intruder came into the light of the lantern Nasol recoiled.  It was a man of some sort the guard understood but the face was not human.  Taught flesh covered a featureless face seeming almost a mask or something lashed to the head.  There we no eyes or mouth to speak of just the flesh.  And it scintillated with color, sometime ruddy or bruised then returned to a dead skin white.

Nasol did not understand what he saw, he only fended off the cuts from the short blade as best he could.  He only understood the burst of red upon the skin when the enemies blade shattered on the iron of the lantern, that was rage. 

Nasol thought himself winning for a moment or two beyond.  Then he gambled on a wider lunge which was to undo him.  The figure slide past and grasp him on the arm.  This brought about an explosive pain as tendrils dung into the flesh of Nasol's forearm.  The feeling almost electric brought the guard to his knees.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A tale of Jethrik part 3

Though Isolated and alone there were still duties to the castle.  Nasol was to travel the lower parapet and light the signal fires upon the Solstice. This was a tradition of the castle and all would take part, even though few would see the entirety of the castle alight. There were many rites to be observed for those that lived in the castle Jethrik, though few required the wide adherence give to the solstice fires.

he travelled solitary through rooms filled with paintings and furniture battered into fire wood.  Gathering material to burn along with several stone jugs of oil he pulled on a hand cart.  The oil taken from a distillery he found several floors below.  Little was left of the yield but Nasol hoped he could put the still back into order and brew something of strength. But that would be later.

He had hauled his cart down many stairs when he first caught a breath of the cool outside seeping into the castle.  It had been a few days within the walls and Nasol was hoping to reach the outside.  Finally he reached the heavily barred doors of the mud room, but a few yards and he would be on the parapet.  Throwing open the third heavy door light filled the room engulfing Nasol's vision but for a blurred darkness that was the wall and just perhaps a figure some distance from the door.  He rubbed his eyes hoping some sight to return.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Krampus for Christmas part 81

Krampus skipped Columbus day which landed after Erikson every year.  There weren't any parades in the towns that Krampus lived near. One even outlawed it saying "we mourn the Indians here."  The monster was a little bitter he would have liked a calzone, he was forced to share dog food with the hound back at home.

After Leif Erikson and Columbus day but still in October the moon rose full and high.  This was a favorite night for hunters with south flying birds filling the sky. It was named the blood moon in times long gone by. This time it feel on fifteen of October and Krampus counted the date.  Don't worry he was just hungry not full of hate.

Just trying to add something to explain what the blood moon is before that section.   I don't know if everyone would know what that is  here is a bit from the farmers almanac.

Full Wolf Moon – January Amid the cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Indian villages. Thus, the name for January’s full Moon. Sometimes it was also referred to as the Old Moon, or the Moon After Yule. Some called it the Full Snow Moon, but most tribes applied that name to the next Moon.
Full Snow Moon – February Since the heaviest snow usually falls during this month, native tribes of the north and east most often called February’s full Moon the Full Snow Moon. Some tribes also referred to this Moon as the Full Hunger Moon, since harsh weather conditions in their areas made hunting very difficult.
Full Worm Moon – March As the temperature begins to warm and the ground begins to thaw, earthworm casts appear, heralding the return of the robins. The more northern tribes knew this Moon as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter; or the Full Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night. The Full Sap Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, is another variation. To the settlers, it was also known as the Lenten Moon, and was considered to be the last full Moon of winter.
Full Pink Moon – April This name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this month’s celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.
Full Flower Moon – May In most areas, flowers are abundant everywhere during this time. Thus, the name of this Moon. Other names include the Full Corn Planting Moon, or the Milk Moon.
Full Strawberry Moon – June This name was universal to every Algonquin tribe. However, in Europe they called it the Rose Moon. Also because the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries comes each year during the month of June . . . so the full Moon that occurs during that month was christened for the strawberry!
The Full Buck Moon – July July is normally the month when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. It was also often called the Full Thunder Moon, for the reason that thunderstorms are most frequent during this time. Another name for this month’s Moon was the Full Hay Moon.
Full Sturgeon Moon – August The fishing tribes are given credit for the naming of this Moon, since sturgeon, a large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water, were most readily caught during this month. A few tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon because, as the Moon rises, it appears reddish through any sultry haze. It was also called the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon.
Full Corn Moon or Full Harvest Moon – September This full moon’s name is attributed to Native Americans because it marked when corn was supposed to be harvested. Most often, the September full moon is actually the Harvest Moon, which is the full Moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox. In two years out of three, the Harvest Moon comes in September, but in some years it occurs in October. At the peak of harvest, farmers can work late into the night by the light of this Moon. Usually the full Moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the Moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night: just 25 to 30 minutes later across the U.S., and only 10 to 20 minutes later for much of Canada and Europe. Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice the chief Indian staples are now ready for gathering.
Full Hunter’s Moon or Full Harvest Moon – October This full Moon is often referred to as the Full Hunter’s Moon, Blood Moon, or Sanguine Moon. Many moons ago, Native Americans named this bright moon for obvious reasons. The leaves are falling from trees, the deer are fattened, and it’s time to begin storing up meat for the long winter ahead. Because the fields were traditionally reaped in late September or early October, hunters could easily see fox and other animals that come out to glean from the fallen grains. Probably because of the threat of winter looming close, the Hunter’s Moon is generally accorded with special honor, historically serving as an important feast day in both Western Europe and among many Native American tribes.
Full Beaver Moon – November
The Full Cold Moon; or the Full Long Nights Moon – December During this month the winter cold fastens its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest. It is also sometimes called the Moon before Yule. The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long, and because the Moon is above the horizon for a long time. The midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite a low Sun.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A holiday gift guide for very strange people

I find myself with pretty limited time today.  So no stories but a gift list for particular geeks like me is something I can whip out.  This would be for your gamer, writer and fistula owner friends on your list.

1. Norwegian Eagle & Red tail hawk gauntlet.  Yes completely bad ass I am sure you will agree.  Who the hell doesn't need a gauntlet !?  Still there are some who will not understand so I will explain.  Falconry is awesome but time consuming, still why not have the option.  But for those of us with a Brecia Fistula on our left arms many worlds are closed to us.  A gentle cut and we bleed out.  But no more! Archery , Fencing, all are opened to us again with this very important real world armor.

2. Classes in sword play.  Highly nerdy and highly specific, The Demas school of sword play offers training in may classic European martial art.  Also the California Fencing academy offers classes all local to the San Jose area.  You Dungeons and Dragons playing friends will love it. 

3. Executive Protection Driving Classes.  Again your little role players will nerd out on this, but so will any fan of driving.  Being able to drive backwards and spin a car around is just Macho.

4. For the writer I suggest introspection.  I recommend a stay in a lonely hotel by the seaside.  Here in the bay i suggest East Brother Light Station.  Hotels isolated on mountains are also good. 

5. For weirdo i suggest a trip to the Integration out in Joshua Tree California.  Rent it out for a party or sound bath for your paranormal friends and I'm sure they will be delighted.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Krampus for Christmas part 80

So the great beast worked through September and finally came to a chilly October.  His lights all untangled and checked for shorts.  It was a lot of work for one lone monster he needed a cohort. Krampus recheck his stock of ribbon and bows.  He had lost a few power cords but He always lost those.

Christmas kept Krampus busy through much of the year and he toiled long nights when it was drawing near.  He even skipped lunch he was in such a hurry.  The dog helped himself to his sandwich whilst the big beast scurried.

Krampus did pause a bit just before Columbus day, he had a hunger that just wouldn't go away.  He couldn't wait another day to hold the feast and besides This day was better for the beast.  Columbus may have got all the press but the monster liked the viking day the best.

A bit to link sections one and two and sort of explain the time passing between them.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A tale of Jethrik part 2

The neighbor Nasol had never clearly seen to tell the truth.  It was only at far flung distance did he see the man, though that he only guessed. Their messages mainly passed along word of provisions at first then requests to trade goods.  Later was words of the Castle itself.  Nasol was of little help to the man having such isolated accommodations but the man gave him word of the King himself cut off, holding out in the forges bellow at least he had warmth. His queen had the high keep along with it's servants and retainers. News beyond these facts was banal and uninspiring.

Nasol had considering moving his quarters nearer to this window but this would require moving large provisions farther than he wished.  In truth his was to watch the west and that was what he would do.  He rooms were not uncomfortable.  Generations of guards had served here each claiming more of the royalty's cast offs to appoint their quarters.  The rooms Nasol inherited were grand by his judgement.  The rooms also came with a companion a huge she dog named Swan.  She was of the mountain moliser breed the guards drew from but of a sweeter disposition.  Lacking ferocity she served as companion and bed warmer for these western chambers.

Nasol and Swan waited huddled together on the wall most days, peering into the wilderness.  Sudden sounds were most often the castle itself but on occasion animals ventured near the castle.  Swan would howl down at squirells but anything bigger send the huge hound running in fear.  A deer had approached earlier and Swan was cowering in their quarters. So he guarded alone a wall that would not be attacked with all the determination of one finally left alone with a task.

Smoke trailed up above the high precipice of building that separated Nasol from the castle proper.  By wing it was but few miles of courtyards, towers and cathedrals.  By foot it was days if passage was not blocked but it the season it certainly was.  After some time Nasol worked his way down to the inner ring just before the western gate house.  It was this solid wall of stone that held in the flood waters and filled the castle like a bowl.  Nasol had been chipping through the ice sheet hoping to reach other guards.  They would have been supplied from the pantry near Nasol's room if they were not cut off, but with his bounty they would starve.  So the guard worked trying to reach them.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A tale of Jethrik

Nasol had been watching the play of birds through the winter wood since morning.  Even through meals eyes only faced out, as the stones of the castle had already been counted and recounted.  Every turns and twist of the battlement well memorized and etched in the watchman's bones.  Any uneven stones worn down after centuries of walking but a few swoops and rises still remained.  Nasol knew them all.

The cold came quickly this year, just after the rain.  Freezing the flood a terrible icy deep which walled them in.  All of them everyone was trapped in someway, Kings and commons all were isolated in tiny pools of life struggling through the winter.  The royals were at least high above the city with their kitchens and pantries safely secured form the weather.  Many of the castle would not find food and starved.  They would be found only in the thaw.

Nasol only had himself this winter.  He had been stationed along the western vista when the cold came.  His was to keep watch and burn the cones of colored smoke in alert, should the need arise.  This would have lasted until harvest but it was long past and no replacement had come.  No one had come.  Nothing in the western expanse but birds he could see at a distance. 

His nearest neighbor was perhaps a day and a half distant.  While not far the traveling was slow, working through abandoned halls and rooms often filled full with the decaying remains of the castles opulence.  In places he was forced to crawl through tunnels of furnishings all while working his way to high window in a lonely attic.  Nasol had piled up tables and beds and whatever junk he could find to reach the small window that was the only source of light. 

From the window was a sheer drop well over a hundred feet to the flooded and frozen plaza below.  Across the distance another window was set and he neighbor found.  Their communication often disrupted by the gails that cut through the high walls they finally arrived at passing notes and small items on twine ropes.  They had set up a simple pulley to pass food at first, Nasol had not tasted wine in months before they constructed the line.  His neighbor was hoping for a change of food.  A sparely loaded tin was the most they risked passing on the lines but it worded well for notes, on which they could converse. 

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Krampus Plea for Help

I am sort of at a loss on my little story about Krampus.  It's and short story and I don't want it to be.  It feels done to me so I am not really sure about adding more.  It seems like I have more chance to screw up whats OK, rather than improve anything.

I keep looking and hoping to find some sort of exception for silly little stories about Austrian Demons that allows for publishers to accept them.

Now I am looking into my options and am sort of sad.  If I had some solution I could work on things would be better.  Well I do have a little one.

Please if you have a chance read any of it and send feedback my way, or even pass it along to someone you may feel could be interested.  Have an English teach gosh bass the URL their way.  Have friends in Bavaria or Austria I'd love their thoughts Krampus is there guy I just borrowed him.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

through fire and flames

You know I am glad I play Dungeons and Dragons online.  I was looking over at some of the SwTor info and it looks just like world of warcraft.  I hate that sort of game play.  It reminds me of Everquest where i just taunted, bashed and stunned over and over again.  with macros i just hits keys one through four over and over.  That is not a game it's finger exercise.

My friend was talking about playing shards of dalaya the everquest free server again and I just was  like wow screw that.  I don't understand how anyone can devote so much time with so little reward.  My Buddie was always critical of wow for how quickly you were rewarded in that game.  He actually liked the slow EQ alternate experience progression.  With kids I say no way, If I have to spend three hours to get anywhere I could just watch a movie.  And how the hell do you get three hours with a three year old?

to get three quests done and finished in an hour is great.  When I am done with DDO I just shut it off and everything is good.  It's all city so if your out of a quest your done, in a safe spot and have no worries. Raids are an hour not several.  This game just works well with my time.

The billing works for me too, yes there are micro transactions but if you do the monthly payment your a king the way it's currently set up.  I can cruise into any quest I want on elite.  I get extra points every month to get my xp potions.  All is good.

I want to thank you turbine for giving me a game i like so much that works for me.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Caress of Steel

I love Rush!  I am not crippled by the hang ups of cool and Irony so let me say I love them with my whole heart.  I wouldn't be who I am without Neal, Geddy and Alex.  Of all of Canada's exports they are my favorite.  Voivod,Gordon Lightfoot you guys rock but Rush is RUSH!!!

Of all their many many records Caress Of Steel is my favorite.  It's sort of a forgotten gem as they don't normally touch it for their live performances. There is a lot of striving beyond their previous work wrapped up in this album.  I think that is exactly what I like as it isn't quite there.  I find Piece of Mind has this exploratory quality too, and it's my favorite Maiden record.  But back to Rush.

The are a couple of big tracks on this work, The fountain of Lamneth and The necromancer are both over ten minutes in length.  The are comprised of a few smaller piece that in the case of fountain work separately or together.  The necromancer you should take a single entity.  The rest are more standard length songs that have more of a since of humor.  Lakeside Park is pretty nostalgic for Rush getting at fun they had in youth disappearing.  I think I'm going bald is just goofy.

Digging a bit deeper into the long songs I wanted to call out a couple of fragments.  The Bacchus Plateau "song" is just wonderful, I would go berserk if they played it live.  While the album has a lot about aging and change this song sums up all its melancholia.  Its damn near perfect.  The last bit is the melody underlying "Return of the prince" did the wall flowers steal it for 3 Marlaina's?

I have said before I see this as the first Progressive Metal record, I stand by that.  I think it's a critically important record for any collection, please go buy it.  I may be riding in your car someday and I will ask and then you will feel all awkward, lets avoid that.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Krampus for Christmas has been revised and reposted for your pleasure


Well i took my first shot at revising the whole story.  It will be worked on again, i have re ordered and reworked some bits. Please let me know what you think.  Please pass it along to friends too I need as much feedback as i can get. The story is Krampus for Christmas and you can email me at

Friday, November 04, 2011

Krampus for Christmas part 79

Sort of a clean up of a scene adding idunn 

Krampus shoved up dog crap with Christmas glee, packaging each in a nicely wrapped bag you see.  They tossed them down the chimney when Santa was mad, to add something special to tidings joyous and glad.  A special touch the beast added to the holiday; Krampus's merry mark to a night gentle and gay.  Hurry filled the frigid air it was the day before Christmas all was toil.  The Krampus must polish his chains and boil the oil.  Knives must be sharp and claws nice and dirty.  There wasn't time for Ms. Deroon; no time to be flirty.

Idunn peaked over the fence while he was his task, Krampus almost cried she wore her Halloween Krampus mask.  The monster finally laughed saying it looked just like him, praising the girl but reminding her to stay in.  Good children sleep when Santa was about ,  he would see her tomorrow there was no reason to pout.  He told her of all his work and said this time she couldn’t help,  she was a girl not an elf.   She wished Krampus a happy Christmas then went back in where it was warm.  The girl’s parents  still knew nothing of the beast or his horns.

Krampus chewed on a bone then gave it to the dog, stretching his arms there were children to flog.  He did some deep bends then touched his toes; Christmas wasn't a time for cramps when you rained down blows.
It wasn't quit dark when the fat man sleighed through the yard, Ho ho'ing to Krampus the fat tub of lard.  Krampus was a monster and monsters don't use sleighs, instead he drove a motorbike with a side car to make is way.  Santa thought it slow but seeing only bad kids there were fewer stops; not counting the years the economy drops. 

With Santa so busy, Krampus worked with an elf on Christmas Eve. The monster did the dirty work and elf flew with Santa keeping a few tricks up his sleeve. He delivered a special package for Krampus, if things went bad.  Even good kids had biting dogs or stale cookies which made Santa mad. With a word down the chime a present was tossed, smelling the aftermath your lunch was lost.

This elf wasn't Hermie though he was interested in teeth.  He hoped to pull them from kids and make a wreath.  He never though himself Krampus he wouldn't dare, he just hoped to be a fitting heir.  Besides he wasn't furry he hadn't the hair.  They called him Piet in his wintry home, few wanted to meet him when alone.  On Christmas he radioed Krampus if there was a change of plans.  They had their own frequency not using citizen bands.  If a house turned bad, or rarely good, Krampus radioed back that he heard and understood.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The swan is a murderer

In the evenings when things are winding out for the final time to forever be undone and moments both crystal clear yet ragged, I begin this.  If there ever was a never it's surely found everything lost and treasured.  That is how it rings and shines warming forever moments not so grand in passing.  Today may be built with them and all their dreams in hand, but they feel worth more than all we wrought laying in the past forgot.  Laying at times tempted to tear this all down to try for them again, be we are not the same and cant relive no matter what I might give.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


I was listening to this song Nocturne by Amber Asylum on KFJC on my ride home tonight.  It was a really nice combination with the washing away of color at sundown and the air that was coming in through my window.  There are a few moments that are just right and this was one.  There is some sign that turns and reverses direction that you can see from 101 south over buy North first and 880.  I was just thinking that it would be great in black and white and grainy but the light was already like that and it sort of just became.  The songs are good, but the end with the spoken word bit falls apart for me.

The image is lifted from Pirates of the seven sounds blog 

Live undead


Sorry for the lack of posts the last couple of days.  Halloween has been pretty time consuming for my family.  I have carved three pumpkins and am a bit tired of pumpkin guts.  Still my daughter loved the experience and I carved pumpkins especially for her and my wife.  My wife is a huge over indulged , by me, Megadeth fan.  I did a Vic Rattlehead pumpkin based off something I saw online.

For my daughter she wanted one that looked like me.  I have sort of a goofy beard inspired by Max Maven the stage mesmerist.  That is the big sad mouth like thing.  My nose is crooked and generally i look sad/baffled or upset.  I think i hit it there.