Monday, May 28, 2012

From the Vault - IC: Welcome Home...

This is a piece of short fiction from my Vampire: The Requiem game, one from the vaults so to speak. I was pretty happy with it at the time, so I htink I'll actually post it up here for viewing pleasure:

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Lachlan scowled as he stepped off his private jet in the secluded airstrip. His trip from the Amazon had been most uneventful, mostly his own nerves getting the better of him as he thought of all his family. Their images from nearly a century ago still haunted his waking hours, not an hour has passed by since that first scattering that he did not think of them. The air was gritty with the pollution of the Kine, the land was lit by harsh bulbs which blocked the natural beauty of the stars...this was no Ireland by any stretch of the imagination.

His combat boots squelched in the mud as he stepped into the limo, adjusting the trench coat around his person to hide the various blades and guns on his person. A Knight of the Invictus, let alone a loyal Knight of the Scarabae, never entered a new scenario unprepared for anything that may arise. Taking deep breaths, not for air but for the sake of keeping calm, Lachlan forced himself to think on what was to come. Already Pelinora had fallen so low, lost so much of her civility...what had fared with the others?

Would the Twins still have that same sad smile when they looked at the world? Had the past century effected them so, warped their bond and driven a wedge between the both of them?

What had happened to the Amun? Lachlan's face turns into a scowl as he thinks of what may have befallen the once proud Nosferatu when separated from those that they worship. They both created such works of beauty for the Twins, giving up much of themselves into every bit of the art...how have they lasted while separated from their muse?

How had the separation been to the newest member of the family, the youngest known as Rhealette? Had the time apart from the family made her leery, made her separate? Would she fit in, would she even want to come back when Khemet so unjustly broke apart the one thing that was truly good in any of their lives?

What fate befell those star-crossed lovers, the stoic Corvin and Lachlan's dear sister Sairy? Had the century in isolation strengthen their bond, or had it weakened and crumbled without support? Had Corvin treated her right, had Sairy come to terms with her own power over Corvin? Lachlan places a hand on his thigh and squeezes it as he remembers Sairy as they used to walk for hours under the moonlight, just talking and sharing between the two. Would his bond to his Daeva sister ever be the same again?

Would his Elder Rainier receive him, welcome him, respect him? Would he be punished for allowing Khemet to split the family, would he be punished for Elebeta's death?

Lachlan closes his eyes and places a hand over his heart at the mere thought of his beloved, the only one he failed to save. Duty and honor made him abandon her, made him leave her to death. He had fought with her even then, tears of blood pouring down his face as his Duty and Honor fought with his Soul and Love. In the end it was she who convinced him to go, he would have surely betrayed Khemet and risked death for her life.

How her sweet words elated his soul, her gentle touch calmed him and excited him so. How she knew the animal inside his soul, that part of Lachlan that he kept hidden even from his dear Sairy. A part of him died with her that night, as he let her to the flames. She gave herself so the Family might live...but Lachlan was never sure if he would ever allow himself to live again.

As the car pulled off the side roads into the major interstate connecting Orlando, Lachlan could not help but have his breath caught in his throat. It had been long, too long, since he had been in a proper city. He could already feel his blood stirring, the Beast within pacing as it paws eagerly at the gates within his soul. It wanted to hunt, to claim his territory. It wanted to make this home so desperately...but a part of his heart remained cold. His eyes scanned the side of the road as his driver sped past the gleaming steel, searching for any sign of his Family.

It would not feel like home until they were all gathered. Not a moment before. And then he would guard them, protect his home from whatever danger might rise its dreadful head. Lachlan gives a silent prayer that the hole in his heart may one day be filled, and that he may hide his one weakness from the rest.

"Welcome home House Scarabae..."

Because I cannot sleep...14th Century german Feast "gear"

At Feast on Sunday, my friend Jake made a passing comment that got a bit under my skin. I know he meant it in jest, but it still made me want to sit him down and discuss in detail how I was eating my food and why. Time did not allow me the pleasure of that, so I will do such here.

14th Century feasts were very similar in style and format across Europe, many countries duplicating others styles in order to try and 1-up them (such as the case in England or France) or they were still using the tried-and-true methods laid down by the Holy Roman Empire in its early unification of Europe (Germany and again France, those silly silly people). As such, each feast followed a very specialized format that was known to the eaters and thus accepted as a standard. Doing my best to research historical food, I have also discovered the ways in period that they would have eaten the food I make. With that in mind, I do my best to try and emulate and reenact what parts I can in the SCA feast.

I started the meal privately, normally a public gesture done with everyone at the table but I frankly didn't have a large enough bowl this time (next time I'll try and invest in one, though large glass/ceramic bowls are harder to find than a plastic). I washed my hands using a lavender water, patted them dry and then sat at my place and prepared for my meal. Historically a different style of tablecloth would be provided, but for this instance I simply laid down my own square of cloth to use as my placement cloth with enough extra hanging over to use as a napkin. I place my knife, spoon, bowl, plate and goblet on the table with the bowl facing the direction that the food would be served (in this case, the center of the table). I enured my knife was sharp, then set out my nef with sea salt in the center of the table for easy access by all participants as well as a display of our worth and wealth.

As the meal began, I ensured I ate properly. I only used my right hand, and only my first three fingers at that to provide good portion control and to not seem unsightly in front of the ladies by shoveling massive amounts of food into my mouth. My left hand was used for utensil selection, moving plates, conversation and other non-food related tasks that would arise. I sampled only the dishes I liked, taking the portions appropriate to share with the rest of the table. I ate gingerly, not speaking while eating and took the time to appreciate each dish and thinking on its taste and design. When my fingers became too dirty, I simply used the bottom (and hidden) section of my placement cloth to clean them to continue to have a clean white place setting and also clean fingers.

When finished with the platters and meals, I ensured that the uneaten bits were separated from any trash bits present (such as an uneaten chicken thigh amidst a pile of bones) for the "servants" to have for their supper later. I thanked my server for his hard work, then enjoyed my last bit of time at feast in reflection to my meal and having light and easy conversation with my tablemates. When the highest ranking Lady chose to retire from the table, I then left after ensuring she was the first to leave. I once again took my bowl, took my lavender water and cleaned my hands one last time to finish the meal.

That was a civilized, noble, honorable and chivalric way to eat. That was not barbaric to eat like that, that was period dining at the best I could reproduce.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Filk: (Down in) Trimarian Lands

So I had this tune stuck in my brain for a while, and being the silly man that I am I filked it.

The original tune is based off Kokomo by the Beach Boys, I couldn't get the original song out of my head for days before the alternate chorus started flowing out of my mind. It took a few hours, but I decided to pen this down for my own personal amusement.

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An Crossra, Star Haven ooo I wanna take ya to
The Ruins, Darkwater come on shine my armor in
Oldenfeld, Wyvernwoode baby why don't we go to Avalon

Where the three seas meet
There's a place with chivalry
That's where you wanna go to dance and sing the moon down

Fighting on the sands
Well-crafted mead chilling in your glass
We'll be falling in love
To the rhythm of a bardic band
Down in Trimarian Lands

An Crossra, Star Haven ooo I wanna take ya to
The Ruins, Darkwater come on shine my armor in
Oldenfeld, Wyvernwoode baby why don't we go
Down to Trimaris
I'll steal a kiss
While watching fencing lysts
That's where we find true bliss
Way down in Trimaris

To Martin's shrine, with water so divine.

We'll dye thread all night
Spin fibers by candlelight
By and by you will find, a doublet that will fit just right

Training Squires right
Consorts and Crown Lyst fights
That loving look in her eye
Escorting Princes as they claim their prize
Way down in Trimarian Land

An Crossra, Star Haven ooo I wanna take ya to
The Ruins, Darkwater come on shine my armor in
Oldenfeld, Wyvernwoode baby why don't we go
Down to Trimaris
I'll steal a kiss
While watching fencing lysts
That's where we find true bliss
Way down in Trimaris

Pots and pans, cooks highly in demand

Hearts shall always wish
To live down here in Trimaris
Where Peers of honor and grace
Are countless like all our sand
Here in Trimarian lands

An Crossra, Star Haven ooo I wanna take ya to
The Ruins, Darkwater come on shine my armor in
Oldenfeld, Wyvernwoode baby why don't we go
Down to Trimaris
We'll steal a kiss
While watching fencing lysts
That's where we find true bliss
Way down to Trimaris

An Crossra, Star Haven ooo I wanna take ya to
The Ruins, Darkwater come on shine my armor in
Oldenfeld, Wyvernwoode baby why don't we go
Down to Trimaris
I'll steal a kiss
While watching fencing lysts
That's where we find true bliss
Way down in Trimaris

An Crossra, Star Haven ooo I wanna take ya to
The Ruins, Darkwater come on shine my armor in
Oldenfeld, Wyvernwoode baby why don't we go
Down to Trimaris
I'll steal a kiss
While watching fencing lysts
That's where we find true bliss
Way down in Trimaris

Apology on the lack of updates!

Hello true believers!

As you may have noticed, I haven't updated my blog here in a little over a month. Life has been rather hectic lately, and it's taken me away from recording my life and creative sprawling. I actually have a number of things to add to this over the following days, so stay tuned for a bit of a dump update to catch up before June!

Thank you so much to those you read, comment and discuss what I write on a regular basis. It really helps me develop and grow creatively, so thanks for being a part of the process!