Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Podcast Launch

Hello all,

I mentioned a podcast in my last post and I'm proud to announce the official launch date is Saturday, November 25th 2017. I hope you all have a chance to listen and enjoy.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Welcome Back - Rebranding

This blog has been dead for about 2 years now.

This will be returning to the creative outlet roots;

Short stories

Art

and possibly a podcast.

I'm hoping to have at least 3-4 blog posts a month.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this rebirth.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Luck Thief (Part 1)

Sheriff Duncan Kettleborn released the latches and locks on his tomb. The air was still quite cold and would be for several days. Spring was here and he had a year before he'd return to the tomb. Pestle was always sow to awake after Falcon's  Winter. He always got out as early as possible. He could still see the last blue waves in the far east. However crime was always at the worst this time of year. Many people are broke after preparing for the winter and try to get out and at people's valuables quickly. Personally Duncan opposed the commercialization of survival, but as the sheriff didn't have to pay for his tomb he had little ground danger to himself and much if he opposed the system as it stood.

Lost in his thoughts and still stretching outside his tomb Duncan did not notice Deputy Phil Larson walk up behind him.
"We've got a suspected homicide. Woman froze to death outside her tomb key in hand. Strangest thing I've seen for awhile." Phil speaks everything in the same monotone. One reason Duncan found him invaluable, the deputy never got riled up or emotional about crime. He was always focused sometimes too serious. It has been said he leaves his tomb before it is safe and that he survives with magic. Duncan doesn't care about such practices, but the people of the Outer Wilds live there to stay out of the magical conflicts of the "civilized" regions and therefore don't trust those who practice magics. For whatever reason or ways Duncan is certain Phil has been out for at least a day now.
"Guess I've spent all my vacation stretching. Lead the way Phil." Duncan was still stiff. His provided quarters were scant and tight, but they were better than most could afford. Originally used as mines the miners lived down in the vaults year round and once the mine dried up the owners added gates and enclosures and made them tombs for rent. Used to be everyone lived underground out in the wilds. Slowly and violently civilization comes sooner or later. Duncan just shrugged at this thought and continued following Phil. It wasn't far to the Vault it was only across the thorough fair. All the vaults rested on the mountain side of Pestle. They look like a line of giant coffins. The sheriff guessed that was in fact what they are.
"She melted out a bit, but otherwise she is the same as when I found her." Duncan didn't like what he was seeing at all. There were always people who got trapped out in the winter, but this was not normal. She had her key in hand and was at her door. The way she looked off towards the mountain like someone had been standing there. If there had been someone there how were they still alive.
"Lets move her quick. Last thing we need is people thinking we got an ice walker in town. We'll check out her tomb once we have her at the Doc's." Duncan shivered at the thought. Wizards that lived for Falcon's Winter when there powers manifested 100 fold. Most of them were mad and extremely violent. The time following winter was when they released there pent up fury. Many an Outer Wild town has been taken over by an ice walker. Turning the place into a small winter kingdom. At least for a month or two when there power would finally wane.  Then they'd usually disappear only to return with Falcon.
"You really think we have an ice walker boss?" Phil sounded alarmed. This was unusual.
"No, but I know how gossip works here. Pestle will be stringing up anyone with a cup of ice by weeks end if word gets out." Duncan hated to admit it was true, but survival out here lended itself to a level of phobia.

They had her wrapped up nice and neat for Doctor Vivian Garnet. She would be out in the next day or two and she would want to look at the body. Lucky there was plenty of ice in the town to keep the corpse fresh.

Back at the tomb Phil turned the key and opened the first gate no problem. The men crouched down and walked down the steep steps to the next gate. This one as smaller and thicker. Opening it they saw the place had been left untouched. Whatever happened to the girl it was not a robbery. The little six by six by six room as even smaller than the sheriff's. He understood why so many went insane during Falcon's winter. A week of captivity like this can ruin anyone's mind.

Looking in her cupboards they saw she had the usual provisions. It was regretful that the mine owners would claim her assets, but such was how the law worked. Concerning everything she left in the tomb. They stumble on their first luck when Phil saw a journal wrapped in her bedroll.

After perusing for a few seconds Phil looked up, "Her name was Jocelyn Rivers. Her family were very wealthy only ten winters or so ago. Some say that there luck ran out. She was the last surviving heir to the estate. Which was scant at this point. Apparently she had to work at the Golden Sun just to make ends meet. I'd say once we speak with the Vault Officer we will need to go there."
"Sound like a plan Phil. Once you've finished reading the journal leave it on my desk at the office. I need to finish the rounds."
"Alright boss. Don't be out too late you know it'll still be cold."
"I got my duster it'll be fine. Thanks for the concern." With that Duncan crawled his way out. And all he could think of was what he'd dreamed over and over in the tomb.



P.S. I hope you are looking forward to Part 2. Something that I always strive to think about in my world creation is who has the power. As you can tell the Sheriff is more of a figure head. Sure he stops lawlessness, but the true power is held by the Vault owners. Since survival is always paramount it is an easily held power.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Luck Thief (PL)

Prelude
Jocelyn looked up and saw the alignment of Falcon, Estaria's largest moon, and she knew winter would hit within the hour. She was rushing to get home. Anyone caught outside would die within minutes of exposure. As she ran through the all but empty streets she chastised herself for taking the winter closing shift at the saloon. She knew the dangers, but the pay had been too tempting. She was too receive 3 Griffon Marks assuming the bar lasted the week. She had closed everything properly and knew she would get paid. Now the only question was will she survive the next hour.

Jocelyn noticed a figure as she passed the alley beside the Golden Sun, the tavern she works at. The eyes shown red from the silhouette.
"My dear, would you be able to give a Dog to a poor man? It is all the money I need for a shelter. I will die otherwise." His voice was strange and not entirely real. She didn't want to stop she felt like she had no time, but she couldn't let him die. She searched her pocket and found a single Dog Coin. It was all she had left after stocking up on supplies and she knew a huge pay day was coming.
"This is all I have." and she threw it to him. The man caught the coin and smiled. Or at least Jocelyn sensed that he had smiled. It was then that Jocelyn felt the first wave of winter rush over her. She nodded to the man and ran.
"Thank you!" he shouted at her from the dark of the alley.

She was still about twenty minutes away from her personal shelter. She was poor and couldn't afford one of the nicer shelters. It was expensive to heat the larger spaces. She always felt claustrophobic inside her tomb, but she would live.

Her breath was starting to burn both from exertion and the cold. But she could see the rows of doors that were part of her vault structure. This vault structure housed about 40 individual tombs and 10 family tombs. No tombs were connected to prevent any breaks that could take out the entire vault. Her vault was on the opposite side she was getting so cold.

Falcon was rising a cold blue orb that filled the skyline. Larger than the sun this orb of death marked the new year. Everything would be born again once Falcon finally set. Falcon passes around Estaria once a year and all regions mark its path around Estaria instead of Estaria's path around the sun.

She was finally at her door, with no time to spare she reached in her pocket. She couldn't feel it. Ripping her pocket out it was empty. Where was her key. The vault door was unmovable without a key. She swore to the Fifteen and turned out her other pockets two at a time. It wasn't there. The office would have closed hours ago. Just like everything else in Pestle.

Already everything started to go numb. Breathing was pain she huddled against the door barely able to search her pockets any more. But that was her only hope.

Her fingertips could feel nothing. The cold was inescapable. Jocelyn fought back the impending, but it was too much.  Pulling her hands from her pockets she slowly opened her fingers which were turning black. And in her palm sat the key. As she died she thought she saw the red eyes staring at her from the white darkness of Falcon's Winter.


P.S.

Not sure how many parts this story will be, but it is based off of a campaign idea I had. I don't get to role play at all any more. So, I decided to write the story. The world of Estaria will become more richly detailed as you read, but it has been very fun for me to mentally design.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Doctrine of Deciet Pt. 2


It is about 45 years later that we see the next mention of Tobias Gaylord this is through the writings of a traveling minstrel named Thad the Gallant. Thad the Gallant was popular in that he did not allow his performances to ever be recorded and that he could only be viewed and heard live. He had some sort of technology that he used to prevent even hidden cameras and microphones from working. Many would be thieves were rewarded with nothing, but static and a mocking laughter.

Thad mentions Tobias in an interview at New Burg's top news broadcast Fairly Accurate News or the FAN. The FAN is in fact a semi-intelligent AI leftover from before the first fall. Though it is capable of learning it has yet to reach what scientists consider sentience. The FAN was built in order to create an unbiased news system. It was lost during the Third Downfall. Though many of its databases were recovered the interview dictated below was amongst them.

“The FAN: In your music you often speak out against various beliefs that are common amongst denizens of Earth, what is it you personally believe? (His vagueness is actually a fault in his programming and not an attempt at subterfuge.)

Thad: I doubt you would be familiar with the teaching of Tobias Gaylord, but to put things bluntly I don't believe in this world.

The FAN: Your answer seems illogical. You do not believe in your own consciousness?

Thad: I believe that the perceived is merely the trappings of interpreted inputs. To tap into other inputs can cause other worlds to exist giving the perception of new trappings, but in actuality opening up the true reality. But a single consciousness is not capable nor able to do this. So, no I don't even believe in my own consciousness.

The FAN: What you say sounds like some sort of multiverse theory could you elaborate in order for me to compare this with other doctrines I have stored in my databases.

Thad: I thought this was supposed to be about my music? This goddamn interview is over. I've already said too much... Stop the fu...”

In fact there are several records of Thad's attempted lawsuits in order to have that interview removed from any and all records including the memory banks of the FAN. Thad actually found himself in financial ruin after years of fighting the FAN. He completely disappears from all records in the year 2410.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Doctrine of Deceit Pt. 1

In the year 2525 a new wave of religious dogma was introduced to the general populace. This of course was shortly after the Third Downfall in the year 2462. The third downfall having left most of the remainder of humanity in chaos left room for a new form of zealotry to rise. This often happens during periods of upheaval. The religion however is much older than the year 2525. It began in the little village of Little Pine which is just outside New Burg, the now super city once known in the 20th and 21st centuries as Pittsburgh. This village was quite rare in that approximately 45% of the population still claimed to believe in a higher power. This is much higher than the world average of only 25%. So, it is with great ease the leader of this new religion Tobias Gaylord was able to gain a foothold amongst the citizenry. The first mention of this religion in the town records is on September 16th 2350. It was in the Little Pine Recorder as a letter to the public and is quoted below.

"To Whom It May Concern,                                
It has come to my attention that the Little Pine community is at a loss for what it is that causes their current plight. I however have the answer and will be freely answering all questions concerning it at a meeting taking place in my church on September the 17th at noon.
Sincerely,   
Tobias Gaylord

The plight that he is referring to could only be the Plague of Roses which was a virus that had taken more than 1,000 lives in Little Pine and 45,000 lives in New Burg which was the epicenter of the disease. This of course was a grievous number due to the fact that as of the Second Downfall, 2285, the population of humanity had only re-surged to approximately 2.5 billion. This is compared to the 55 billion that had been around prior to the First Downfall, 2120.

Strangely enough the events of Gaylord's Q&A with the community is not mentioned, but Little Pine does not report any more deaths caused by the Plague of Roses. Even as the Plague ravishes the surrounding areas and totals at 10 million killed before a cure is discovered in 2352.

TBC...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

#7

It had been a week since they'd last spoken. Kirk didn't know what to do his mind was playing tricks on him. He would hear someone's voice and think it was Kate. He would see someone walking away and he'd think it was her. It made no matter because he had allowed himself to falter he had failed himself and thus he was unable to find out the truth.

Kirk continued at his tasks like a zombie. Work was a trial and he was failing dying under the weight of his indecision. The incessant grinding of his thoughts tearing his soul apart. He questioned everything he had done. He questioned everything he said and thought. His mind was turmoil, yet he was numb to everything else. His heart would burn with nervous regret and his mind would ache with the question. It was inseparable from his reality. No matter how hard he tried it was always there nagging and tearing.

A simple question that even children have mastered was the question Kirk could not, and would not ask. How should he do it? A text, a phone call, in person, in private, or where or how? It nagged at him and tore at his insides like a cancer. Spreading to everything. Food was tasteless and his initiative was nil.

Soon, Kirk was questioning everything he did around her. He was questioning looking at Kate, smiling at her. He didn't know how to act he didn't know how to react. He was lost in his mind and everything had become estranged. But it didn't matter because Kirk had managed another chance. Kate was going to meet him for lunch at this burger place down the road from the coffee shop they had met.

Kirk got there early. He was always early. He couldn't help it, because this was his preoccupation. Kate walked through the door like a whirlwind. She stopped his heart and dropped his jaw like electric shock. Her foot steps were like dancers and a simple glance from her could start a fire. She sat opposite him and lazily resting on her elbow. She eyed him like he was an alien. He then realized he was staring. His eyes awoke as if from a dream and met hers.

"So, what'cha in the mood for? I hear that the cheeseburgers here are pretty good." Kirk tried to sound smart or caring or anything but as desperate and nervous as he felt.

"Um, I dunno..." she looked at the menu and drew out her words as if in thought. He loved the way she bit her lip as she read the options.

"I think I'll be going with the number seven. It has jalapenos on it. I love jalapenos." he laughed... it wasn't a joke and he laughed. He was drowning.

"Oh, I think I'll go with the number 4. I like simple cheeseburgers. None of that triple, double, extra cheese, special sauce with a salad on top monstrosities." she looked at him with a knowing smirk on his lips.

#7 The Jalapeno Explosion Burger - Double patties, extra bacon, 
special sauce, extra cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, jalapenos, 
and onion.

"Yeah those monstrosities are disgusting."

After several minutes their burgers arrive.

The waitress placed what could only be describe as a heaping pile of protein and arterial clotting death with a side of fries. In front of Kate was placed a small cheeseburger without any additives. Kate burst out laughing the moment the waitress stepped away. Kirk couldn't help himself and laughed as well.

"I suppose if I ever had to eat a monstrosity it'd have to be to protect you from certain danger at the hand of a burger monster." he laughed and stabbed his fork into the burger dramatically. The ice was finally broken. He felt in control again.

They were walking out of the burger place and Kirk looked at Kate. She looked back at him. He wanted to kiss her so badly. He wanted to hold her to him. He wanted to never leave her side.

"Well, I hope we can do this again soon. I had a really good time." Kirk heard the words leaving his lips and he couldn't stop them. That isn't what he had practised!

"Yeah, I had a great time too. I definitely think we should do this again." she watched him. He thought it was expectantly. Like she wanted him to kiss her.

Kirk patted Kate on the shoulder and walked her to her car. He wanted to shove her against the car and finally kiss her. She started to get into her car.

"I really did have a good time, don't be a stranger okay?" Kate looked up at him from the driver's seat.

"Yeah we definitely have to do this again." He turned around. He walked away. His whole body in turmoil. He heard her car start. He watched her pull out. He watched her drive away. He sat on the sidelines of his life and couldn't help but know this might have been his last chance and even if it wasn't would another chance make any difference.

Kirk drove home in silence. He went to bed in silence. He awoke to silence. He lived in silence. The world was a haze of disappointment and he wasn't even trying anymore. As he walked into the coffee shop he saw Kate sitting in the corner in front of her laptop. She was reading something and didn't seem to notice him coming in. He walked to the counter and ordered a black coffee to go. He didn't see the point in ordering anything fancy when he couldn't even taste it.

He waited at the counter and tried to not look at the corner. His back was to it as best he could. Until he felt a tap on his shoulder. Turning around Kate was right there. Right in front of him.

"You're so awkward." was all she said as she leaned forward and kissed him. His mind exploded into chaos. Heat spread through him like lightning and he woke up for the first time in days. His hands went around her and his lips opened to hers. He closed his eyes and felt everything. He could feel her sweated against his finger tips and he could feel her hot breath against his cheek. As they separated she looked at him again. "You better call me you idiot." She had her bag on her shoulder and walked out the door.