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The PS Inspiration Thread

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sciborg2's picture
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Factol
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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

The Dubliners, the Last of the Great Whales:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNp5dc0v-3c

"My soul has been torn from me and I am bleeding
My heart it has been rent and I am crying
All the beauty around me fades and I am screaming
I am the last of the great whales and I am dying"

Also like the Celtic Crossroads version:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3Kw_kyLUAw&feature=related

"This morning the sun did rise Crimson in the north sky
The ice was the colour of blood and the winds they did sigh
I rose for to take a breath it was my last one
From a gun came the roar of death and now I am done "

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sciborg2's picture
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Factol
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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

Found this quote in an old email:

"the windy light at the poles, the auroras, is a gateway of heaven;
yet, for the gods, this windy light is but earth underfoot. they live
in the enormous tree of electromagnetic energy that sprouts from the
iron core of the planet and spreads its broad branches over the entire
world...far above those rootlands, in the topmost branches of the
World Tree where solar wind buffers against the earth's magentosphere,
the terrain shifts like desert runes, a barren wasteland in the eyes
of the gods where images shimmer and swim on warped, quaking horizons.
just below that ruinous frontier is the paradise where the gods dwell.

protected from the sun's wind and the gusts of the stars by
overarching branches of the Great Tree, the middle region shines with
a special blue-green beauty for the electric entities who live there.
the ionosphere at this level spreads over the globe in majestic hills
and terraces. to the radiant gods, these ionized plains thrive with
life. rainbow forests flourish among silver veins of rivering
currents. and in those forests and streams, animals of ionized gas
fulfill their bestial life cycles: griffins, manticores, basilisks,
rocs, fire serpents, chimera, and an occaisonal sun-stallion alighting
from its frolicking journeys among the solar herd.

composed of plasma - electrically charged gas too tenuous for human
eyes to perceive -- the gods, their terrain, and the creatures exist
replete in their own world. for these dwellers of light, all that is
below their magnetic kingdom is steamy dark."
--attanasio, dragon and unicorn

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sciborg2's picture
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Factol
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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

The days aren't discarded or collected, they are bees
that burned with sweetness or maddened
the sting: the struggle continues,
the journeys go and come between honey and pain.
No, the net of years doesn't unweave: there is no net.
They don't fall drop by drop from a river: there is no river.
Sleep doesn't divide life into halves,
or action, or silence, or honor:
life is like a stone, a single motion,
a lonesome bonfire reflected on the leaves,
an arrow, only one, slow or swift, a metal
that climbs or descends burning in your bones.
― Pablo Neruda, Still Another Day

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Factol
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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

My eyes already touch the sunny hill.
going far ahead of the road I have begun.
So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp;
it has inner light, even from a distance-

and changes us, even if we do not reach it,
into something else, which, hardly sensing it,
we already are; a gesture waves us on
answering our own wave...
but what we feel is the wind in our faces.
-Rilke

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Hyena of Ice's picture
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factotums
Joined: 2009-09-25
Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

Probably the best inspiration I've encountered for scifi/fantasy fiction writing in general (including D&D) is actual nature-- you'd be amazed. The invertebrate world is excellent inspiration for horror movies, books, and the like-- grab a giant pacific waterbug and feed it a rove beetle, and the rove beetle's throes can easily translate to human ones (it arches its back in agony when bitten, writhes in pain, goes into convulsions as its insides are liquified, etc.) I could easily fill a book with the invertebrate behaviors I've witnessed, such as a jumping spider duel on a thimbleberry leaf, where the winning spider ended up lifting the loser by he fangs and threw it off the leaf, or the mosquito wrigglers just last spring who looked like they'd been bitten in the tails by tiny sharks, with greatly reduced numbers-- the succeeding generation just up and vanished (I suspected an internal parasite, and after some research on the internet, sure enough I learned there are parasitic nematodes of wrigglers, which apparently loved our unusually cool spring and early summer. It was AWESOME.)
When I write stuff for the Inner Planes and even the Outer Planes, I keep general ecological rules heavily in mind (e.g. what ecological role does this creature play, and how do its behaviors as described in the canon assist it in thriving in its environment? Ecological thinking is how I came up with the whole "outsiders & elementals are like the plane's immune system, and their role is also to spread the plane's influence" theme.) Part of the inspiration for this was learning about and/or realizing how various human behaviors or traits are subconscious survival traits or further our ability to survive. For instance, our parental instincts towards animals *and even plants* is necessary for animal husbandry and agriculture, and the tendency for dogs to raise baby animals of other species was probably bred into them just like so many of their traits.
As an excellent example of subconscious instincts, one can look at what humans universally find attractive in the opposite sex. All of these things pertain either to fertility level of the mate or ability to rear children. For instance, women instinctually look for providers who have money and/or other resources. Women aren't necessarily attracted to overly muscular men, but men with chisled or at least defined musculature is preferred, as this is a good indicator of male fertility, along with a full head of hair (some types of male-pattern baldness are associated with heart disease, and one of its comorbidities, peripheral artery disease, greatly lowers fertility. Being overweight or obese also lowers sperm count). Both sexes are attracted to the buttocks, which is a major indicator of both fertility and health. Men's attraction to the buttocks, thighs, waistline, and breasts are major, major indicators of fertility and health, which is a lot more important in females than in males since it takes a very healthy female to carry a child to term (this is probably why youth, health, and nubileness seems to be more significant to males than to females-- the guy just needs a high enough sperm count to impregnate a woman, and a healthy enough circulatory system to maintain an erection.) Both genders look for self-esteem, though superficially it's more significant to women. Nonetheless, signs of dangerously low self-esteem seem to be more significant to men (generally in the form of eating disorders and cosmetic surgery). A male with low self-esteem is less likely to be able to protect the family against other humans and wild animals, and very low self-esteem or serious vanity in either gender is likely to make them bad parents.
Of course, when it comes to human behavior, there are many variables and outright aberrations, such as those attracted to fatties, bald men, anorexic chicks, and those who select mates with mental baggage in the hopes that they can "save" that person.

sciborg2's picture
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Factol
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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

Hmmmm, honestly I see evolution having little to do with creation. Most races I believe were created by some deity or another, which was somewhat countermanded in the Chronomancer's Guide (I think elves were immune from devolution iirc).

I do think evolution occurs on certain worlds post initial creation, though even then there seems to be little evidence in most D&D settings of that.
=-=-=
Eladrin creed:

"Loving humans
Means
Writing poems & songs
Novels & plays, slogans, chants
& protest signs
Our critics
Want
To stone
Us for
While
We think of
Them
As people
Under different
Circumstances
We might
Be able
To help.

There is
Indeed
A Buddha
In
Every one
Of us
Loving humans
With all
Our clear &
Unmistakable
Reluctance
To evolve
Makes this hard
For most humans
To see.

But not you."
-Alice Walker

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sciborg2's picture
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Factol
Joined: 2005-07-26
Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

Ozymandias wrote:
Anything by Plugin <em></em> Not Found. Not necessarily their videos, but definitely their music. It's very... otherwordly...

*Edit*
Okay, after watching a video on the site, I have to say that http://massiveattack.com/blog/2011/09/23/international-alert-film-featur... is a great example of ideas conquering actions.

Hey, Massive Attack is awesome - thanks for the recommendation!

And now, the sculptures of Kate MacDowell: http://www.katemacdowell.com/index.html

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Hyena of Ice's picture
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factotums
Joined: 2009-09-25
Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

On a similar note, here's some of the food lists I have so far for the treasure chart doc I'm working on.
As you can see, I have yet to add the fantastical.
(I have yet to think of an alternative name for Davidson's plum-- with any luck, Noosa's Native Plants might have an aboriginal name listed for them...) As with the woods, I might end up (in the finished product at least) listing the scientific names for the fruits and legumes. The lists are meant to be completist like those found in Madkaiser Games Kaiser's Bazaar and Jeweler's Exchange (and likewise, the Enchiridion of Objects d'Art and A Magical Society Silk Road, which all copied off one another) Doubtless you've never heard of a good 50% of these, and probably didn't even know that there are different types of millet.

GRAINS, PER LB
5 cp: Pea Vetch (not sure why anyone would sell-- let alone buy Lathyrus sativus, but I'm listing it anyway.)
5 sp: Adlay, Barnyard Millet/Hie, Broomcorn, Buckwheat, Eleusine/Ragi, Fonio, Pearl Millet, Teff
7 sp: Barley, Oats, Quinoa, Rye, Spelt, Triticale
1 gp: Lentils, Maize, Rice, Wattleseed, Wheat, Wild Rice
2 gp: Amaranth, Chickpeas, Kamut, Purple Barley, Wh. Maize
4 gp: Black Rice, Blue or Red Maize, Red Rice
7 gp: Forbidden Black Rice

STARCHY TUBERS AND SEEDS, PER LB
Note: I used the same pricing system as grains, since in many cultures, starchy tubers made up and still do make up the staple diet rather than grains.
1 gp: Biscuitroot, Ensete, Manioc, Plantain, Potato, Taro, Wapato, Yam
2 gp: Breadnut, Camas, Foxnut, Lotus Seed, Sweetpotato, Water Caltrop, Wild Yam
4 gp: Fritillaria bulb/Northern Rice Root, Purple Yam/Ube, Tigerlily Bulb

DRIED FRUITS, PER LB.
5 sp: Crabapple, Elderberry, Hawthorn, Wh. Mulberry, Pigface, Rose Hip, Salal, Thimbleberry,
1 gp: Akudjura/Kutjera, Apple, Apricot, Banana Chip, Brambleberry, Cherry, Currant, Date, Davidson's Plum, Feijoa, Fig, Goumi, Jabiticaba, Jujube, Mango, Bk & Rd Mulberry, Papaya, Peach, Prune, Raisin, Serviceberry
2 gp: Blueberry, Cranberry, Goji, Blue Honeyberry (Lonicera caerulea), Huckleberry, Ligonberry, Pomegranate Seed, Strawberry
3 gp: coconut, grapefruit, pommelo
4 gp: citrus, durian, kumquat, pineapple
5 gp: mangosteen, red durian
8 gp: cantaloupe/melon, rhambutan
10 gp: dragonfruit, longan, lychee, watermelon
NOTES ON PRICING: "Brambleberry" includes any berry of the genus Rubus. This includes raspberries, blackberries, boysenberries, marionberries, salmonberries, cloudberries, dewberries, etc. Thimbleberry, though also a bramble berry, is much cheaper because this fruit is usually fairly dry to begin with (thus less labor-intensive to dry) Fruits such as litchi/lichi, watermelon, and cantaloupe are very expensive largely because they contain so much moisture, which makes drying more labor intensive and requires much more fruit to equal 1 dried lb.

PRESERVES, PER PT
2 sp: Barberry, Crabapple, Elderberry, Hawthorn, Mahonia, Rose Hip, Salal, Viburnum Berry, Wild Pawpaw (Asimina triloba)
3 sp: Apple, Apricot, Brambleberry, Cherry, Citrus, Currant, Davidson's Plum, Fig, Goumi, Grape, Jabiticaba, Lilly Pilly, Mango, Mombin, Papaya, Peach, Plum, Quince, Passionfruit, Pine Plum (Podocarpus), Serviceberry, Sugar Plum (Uapaca kirkiana), Water Apple
4 sp: Blueberry, Cranberry, Conkerberry, Blue Honeyberry (Lonicera caerulea), Huckleberry, Kiwi, Lemon Aspen, Ligonberry, Medlar, Nekkarika/Blue Tongue Berry, Numnum, Prickly Pear, Sloe, Strawberry, Waterberry
6 sp: Tamarind
1 gp: Rose Petal, Wine

sciborg2's picture
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Factol
Joined: 2005-07-26
Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

Good stuff Hyena - I love the crunch you provide, it really helps flesh things out!

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Hyena of Ice's picture
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factotums
Joined: 2009-09-25
Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

Thanks.
It's worth noting that the preserves are far cheaper than dried fruit because they last longer (get a little bit of moisture on some dried fruit and it can get mushy or moldy, while preserves can last for years) Fresh fruit would be more expensive still, despite involving far less labor than dried fruit or preserves, and the price of the fresh fruit would be determined primarily by perishability-- for instance, fresh berries would be very expensive, whereas fresh bananas, citruses, and coconuts would be far less so.

When I finish the woods and gems, these will essentially be compatible with 1E to 3x (does Pathfinder use the same gem tables?), same with the shells and the monster spoils.
Many of the non-food charts I'm making work best with Kalamar Goods & Gear. Many of the item categories in that book are compatible with 3E Arms & Equipment and Aurora's Whole Realms Catalogue (bear in mind however that the clothing in Arms & Equipment 3E is NOT compatible with Aurora)

The following item types are consistent with the pricings from Arms & Equipment, and several items are recylced from that, Defenders of the Faith, and Song & Silence:
--Religious Items
--Containers
--Illumination
--Healing
--Games and Entertainment
--Thieves Tools
--Misc. Gear *save for the locks*
--Academic and Commerce Related Items

The following are NOT consistent however:
--Clothing
--Armor accessories
--Herbs (under food)
--Fish & Other Meats
--Spices and Seasonings
--Seafaring Equipment (the items other than the navigator's kit, sextant, flag/semaphore, waterproof spellbook, compass, and astrolabe could work, however, as I don't believe these items were priced in previous books.)
--Musical Instruments
--Thieves Tools

NEUTRAL (that is, not previously covered in 3x books or Aurora)
--Bread Goods (none of the goods were covered in Aurora)
--Fruit and Potherbs (not previously covered in Aurora or A&E)
--Medical Supplies (does not correlate with Aurora's Whole Realms catalogue at all, but since only the healer's kit appears in canonical 3x books, this isn't necessarily a problem.)
--Furnishings (in fact, the woods table I am working on generally depends on this and the containers list from Goods and Gear in order to make items)

sciborg2's picture
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Factol
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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

Looking forward to all this. I need to be better versed in Pathfinder, can't comment on how it does gems.

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sciborg2's picture
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Factol
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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

Heck, a lot of Ani Difranco would work on the Upper Planes IMO:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chLjpk2yhvk&NR=1

"both my parents taught me about good will
and I have done well by their names
just the kindness I've lavished on strangers
is more than I can explain
still there's many who've turned out their porch lights
just so I would think they were not home
and hid in the dark of their windows
til I'd passed and left them alone

and god help you if you are an ugly girl
course too pretty is also your doom
cause everyone harbors a secret hatred
for the prettiest girl in the room
and god help you if you are a phoenix
and you dare to rise up from the ash
a thousand eyes will smolder with jealousy
while you are just flying back

I'm not trying to give my life meaning
by demeaning you
and I would like to state for the record
I did everything that I could do
I'm not saying that I'm a saint
I just don't want to live that way
no, I will never be a saint
but I will always say"

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sciborg2's picture
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Factol
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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

Basia Bulat's Heart of My Own

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnbE1IBCGQ8

"Under that bird
Beneath that falls
Down on these walls
Burnin my arms
I've been alone
When I sat by you

For every word I could undo
I've been uncrossed
and I've been untrue
I've been the thorn
I've been the hunt

With a heart of my own
Burn it down low
The light in your verse
And the shadow between
The way that I was when I used to roam

Back home
What do I hold?
For the maid or the mother I'll be
If only the loom and a thread will hold.
It is work too but as that I hear it
Tomorrow I'll mend it
The empty bones..."

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sciborg2's picture
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Factol
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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

Cool things found during lunchtime->

Saddo: http://www.juxtapoz.com/Illustration/the-thief-the-poet-the-warrior

Music today is Sigur, with magic children being blessed by the powers of...Aborea? Elysium? Ysgard? Here's the song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zr_MJAOyOeU

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

‎"Akka..." she murmurs...She understands now why her mother still loves him...The sheen of compassion that softens even his most hostile glare. The heart and simple passion of a man, who, despite his failings, is capable of risking everything - life and world - in the name of love.

"What?" he asks...

An unaccountable shyness climbs into her face. He is, she realizes, the first man to have ever made her feel safe.

"May our dooms be one," she says with a curt nod.

The old Wizard smiles. "May our dooms be one, Mimara."
-The White Luck Warrior

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Hyena of Ice's picture
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More fun with the archomentals

Bits from the same scene I posted earlier. Again, pretty rough draft. (I don't think I made Ben-Hadar haughty enough)

"By the way, have either of you heard? Vesvolch is dead," Yan-C-Bin commented. Cryonax gave Yan-C-Bin a sidelong glance. Sunnis's eyes widened in shock. "What? How, the forces of Chaos?" she inquired. "He got in Imix's way, apparently. The fool..." Yan-C-Bin answered as he turned to address her. "Good riddance," Cryonax grunted. Sunnis turned to Cryonax with a scowl. "What are you saying? I didn't like him either, but he was still an ally! His passing makes the alliance all the more weaker!"

"Finally! It's about muddy time you got here!" Yan-C-Bin snapped. "Oh, look Chilimba, it's our accuser!" Ekhak teased. "Shut up you craven air bag, I can see that!" Chilimba snapped in a surly voice. Ben-Hadar immediately turned his attention to the mephit lords, pointing a dripping, clawed pseudopod in their direction as his body roared and spiraled white like a torrent. "Traitors! Murderers!! I'll never forgive you! You'll pay for what you did to her! I hope you all evaporate!! Just wait, you'll get yours at the trial!!!" the prince screamed in a voice reminiscent of a thousand crashing waves. Ekhak burst into maniacal, raspy laughter. "Ha ha, who do you think you're kidding, raindrop? She was a fire elemental, it's not like you give a vapor rat's ass about them!" Ben Hadar's body became only more tumultuous, though only slightly so. "It's true that I didn't like Brista Pel. But, that doesn't mean... That doesn't mean I think that... she deserved... deserved that...!" Ben Hadar admitted; his voice was more subdued, as though he was trying to hold back his emotion; it sounded more like river rapids than a raging sea.
(note: Ben-Hadar witnessed Bristal Pel's murder at the hands of Ekhak and Chilimba, with Chilimba dealing the death blow. Both were armed with weapons of Quasielemental Ash, which is what Ben-Hadar is specifically referring to by "she didn't deserve that".)

"Oh, don't tell me you believe that festering raindrop's story... You know he isn't exactly trustworthy when it comes to those of us of the superior element," Ekhak teased. At that point, Yan-C-Bin's body roared with even more fury. "Shut up! My spies witnessed the same bubbling thing!!" the prince bellowed. With the next comment, Ekhak raised his wispy arms to his sides and raised his shoulders into a shrug, "But how do you know those so-called "soldiers" are reliable? More importantly, how do WE know they are reliable? Or even you for that matter, especially when you fail to reveal that those minions of yours outside of the unit you commanded directly were actually SPIES?" He placed emphasis on the last word. "Wha-- how dare you...!" Yan-C-Bin hissed. "Enough smoke, Ekhak, I was present at that battle as well. The minions of the abominable Fire planes waylaid me and my army," Cryonax retorted matter-of-factly. Ekhak took a "step" back. "No, correct me if I'm mistaken, but my understanding is that the opposition you faced came from the forces of Fire and Magma, only," Ekhak responded slickly. "Of course, my smoky friend, it all makes sense now...! I know she wasn't killed by my minions. Why would I even want to harm the poor lady? It's obvious that the true murderer of Lady Brista-Pel was Imix; he hated her," Chilimba replied. "Indeed, indeed. It's likely that our three accusers witnessed at least part of that atrocity, but because they're all the types to place personal grudges above their alliances, their promises, and even their duties, they decided to blame us!" Ekhak agreed. "What did you just say? Damn you're really asking for it!!!" Yan-C-Bin roared; his voice was like a combination of a raging tornado and a peal of thunder rolled into one, as his body became tumultuous, dark, and riddled with lightning flashes. Cryonax's eyes now emitted such intense darkness, that they could scarcely be seen through the supernatural halo of blackness. Ben-Hadar's body had become a white, raging torrent. Ekhak continued, his voice and mannerisms becoming even more sardonic, "I'm not the least bit surprised that Yan-C-Bin and Cryonax would resort to such a dishonorable and heinous crime, but to think that Ben-Hadar would actually team up.. directly.. with elemental lords of EVIL."
Ben-Hadar, infuriated, took on a threatening posture. "How dare you accuse me of such a thing!! I won't allow you murderers to get away with slandering me like that!!!!" With that, Ben Hadar rose into a tall, raging-white tidal wave, lunging towards the two mephit lords. Horrified, Sunnis scrambled to her feet and chased after the water lord. "Stop you idiot! If you assault them, then you will be the one whom the Wind Dukes punish!" Cryonax warned. "No, Ben-Hadar, don't do it!" Sunnis cried. She continued to pursue Ben-Hadar, but was unable to catch up. "Ben-Hadar, stop! They're trying to get you riled up, you're playing right into their trap!" Crystalle shouted. Ben-Hadar appeared to be ignoring their pleas. "Don't do this! Please at least wait until after the trial! I promise you that the Wind Dukes will bring Brista Pel's murderers to justice!" Sunnis pleaded. Ben-Hadar slowed down, and after a few more feet, came to a stop. Now Sunnis was finally able to catch up to and throw herself before Ben-Hadar in an attempt to stop any further advances. With the situation diffused, Yan-C-Bin, Crystalle, and Cryonax turned their gazes back to the mephit lords.

(this takes place immediately after, I just can't think of a taunt for Ekhak to make at Ben-Hadar at the moment)
"Ben-Hadar's body became even more tulmultous, just after he had begun to calm down slightly. Sunnis threw a scornful gaze at Ekhak before turning back to Ben-Hadar. "Don't, Ben-Hadar; Crystalle is right, they're just trying to provoke you," Sunnis warned.
"Insufferable traitor... Be thankful we are still officially bound by an alliance, else I would consume you," Cryonax threatened. Yan-C-Bin paused from his figure-eights and turned his attention to Cryonax, his body beginning to roar furiously. Within a blink of an eye, he blew his way over to the simian archomental. "No you don't, Icicle, he's my tasty snack!" the gaseous prince bellowed. Cryonax looked icy daggers at the prince and rose to his feet, uncrossing his tentacles. Sunnis looked back and forth at the two archomentals, now in a stare down with one another. Cryonax continued to say nothing, though his posture and gaze made it clear that he was threatening violence. "I deserve him more! You just want his body heat; I, however, am a conisseur of fine and exotic smokes, and I must say, Ekhak's age and power will make for some of the richest fumes I may ever taste! You're such an imbecile of gourmet, that you wouldn't be able to tell a Hanawar from a belker!" Yan-C-Bin ranted. The halo of darkness surrounding Cryonax's head became even darker as both archomentals drew closer to mount a physical attack.
Sunnis hastily rose to her feet and wedged herself between the two, prompting both to edge back in revulsion. "Gentlemen, please! Is this truly worth forfeiting our alliance over?" Sunnis pleaded. The two air-aligned ones gave the earth princess a gaze of anger, disgust, and offense for a moment. As Yan-C-Bin's snarl intensified, Cryonax took a step back. "Very well", the icy one responded. The halo of darkness around his face, emanating from his eyes, was starting to abate, albeit very gradually. "You hardened b****...." Yan-C-Bin hissed. As Sunnis started to head back to the spot where she sat before, Yan-C-Bin darted in front of her, blocking her path beyond 32 feet *compare that to 8 feet for a medium person* "You festering mire...! Don't ever come that close to me again...! I now reek of earth elemental!!" Yan-C-Bin roared.

This is a bit later (now Cryonax is threatening to eat Chilimba)

"Were it not for the alliance we are bound by, I would consume you on the spot, slagheap. Once the Wind Dukes pass their verdict, you had best hope they reach you before I do..!" Cryonax threatened; his face portrayed a slight bit more emotion than usual.
"Hah! You'd get indigestion from my Earthiness!" Chilimba retorted. "Elementals don't get indigestion, you smoldering fleshling fool," Cryonax replied; his voice was more firm and slightly more threatening than before. He cracked a sadistic grin-- something rarely seen in the Bleak Monarch. "I would be sure to devour you slowly, savoring every last iota of succulent heat and earth..." Sunnis shook her head. "You're demented..." she mumbled. Yan-C-Bin cracked a malicious grin. "Alright then, Cryonax, how about you eat the molten one, and I get the smoky one, eh?" the archomental offered. Cryonax gave Yan-C-Bin a sidelong glance before returning his gaze to Chilimba. "Fine," he responded dryly.

"Don't you think it's weird that the Wind Dukes summoned us all here, to the exact same location, only to have such a long, insufferable meeting in private?" Yan-C-Bin asked. Crystalle gave him a sidelong glance. "No, not really," he replied. "I have to agree; you can sense that they have the forces of the Outer Planes waiting on the opposite end of these grounds. The separation is likely a precaution to prevent in-fighting due to the schism between Protogenoi of the Inner and Outer planes," Cryonax stated. "I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about the fact that they put all of us in the same area; they know we made a treaty not to approach each other in-person!" Yan-C-Bin replied. "Unfortunately, I don't think there is enough room on this cloud to separate us up like that," Crystalle replied. "No, that's too convenient. No, this has to be a trick. They summoned us all here in the hopes that we'd destroy one another! They've probably watching the entire thing from their comfy little tower over there! It's the perfect conspiracy!" Yan-C-Bin ranted. The archomentals and mephit lords all groaned. "Ugh, not the conspiracies again... I get enough of this from Chan!" Sunnis groaned as she buried her face in her chiseled hands. "Air elementals..." Crystalle muttered.

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

I'm enjoying this series of elemental stories. Two things that escape my memory:

1. Who is Vesvol again?

2. What was your explanation for Cryonax's fleshy form?

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

Tragically beautiful:

http://www.strangehorizons.com/2000/20001106/sadly_true.shtml

When he grew, I took him into the snow and we surfed the slopes on battered sleds. We found a frozen bird, nearly dead, and he cried.

"Daddy," he asked me, "do we have souls?"

I told him I didn't know.

As a schoolboy, I'd raced from the classroom with similar questions at my heels.

Mother had greeted me with a hug. "Try not to look into people," she advised.

"There's a boy I know," I told her. "He'll burn in his bedroom."

"Be his friend," she told me.

The boy's parents left me his books, but I never wanted those. I have no faith in legacies.

I'll see more snowfalls than my son.

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

1. Who is Vesvol again?
Did I type Vesvol? I meant Vesvolch (initially Vesvol was what I came up with, but I added the "ch" to make the name more powerful and more masculine)
Vesvolch is the name I just (as of the day before yesterday) assigned to the forgotten Prince of Paraelemental Evil Magma. It's supposed to be mentioned at some point in the conversation, but Imix very recently slew him during his rampage across the planes of Magma and Smoke. You can read the whole story in my timeline (aka "When was the Law-Chaos war again?") topic.

2. What was your explanation for Cryonax's fleshy form?
That's simply how he appears (his fur is actually made of snow)

Oh, yeah, bear in mind that words for the opposing element are considered profanities to natives of the inner planes, so Yanny and Cryonax are being quite the potty-mouths here.

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

Oh I get that they were cursing each other, but I remember you (or someone else?) saying Cryonax is an elemental in truth taking yeti-with-tentacles form.

Contrasted against my theory that Cryonax is capable of utilizing fire, that regardless of parentage is he is not an elemental in truth.

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

Charlie Immer:

http://www.juxtapoz.com/Gallery/charlie-immer/charlieimmer5-13584 http://www.zupi.com.br/index.php/site_zupi/view/algodao_doce_e_horror/

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

but I remember you (or someone else?) saying Cryonax is an elemental in truth taking yeti-with-tentacles form.

That is correct. The cult of Tharizdun claims that Cryonax is an archomental, and Dragon Magazine 347 specifies him as an elemental. Also, even if he were somehow capable of fire-based powers, such would be entirely useless on the Paraelemental Plane of Ice according to 2E rules *unless you have a spell key, fire spells don't work period, and I'm not sure how that would affect spell-like powers.*. The 1E and 2E stats given for the Princes did not specify any of them as elementals (in 2E there weren't any special rules for elemental-type creatures beyond the vanilla bane weapons, or optional rules in the Player's Option: Combat and Tactics. It was, in fact, possible to poison some types of elementals before 3x.) In addition, if Cryonax was the type of being you suggested he is, then he could not be indigenous to the Paraelemental Plane of Ice (such creatures would lack even an iota of earth or fire essence unless they're planetouched, and even planetouched tend to have very, very limited access to opposing elements, if they have access to them at all.) which would mean that he would be unable to tolerate regions of True Cold like the Mountain of Ultimate Winter and many other areas (from what I can tell, these areas are much to cold for anything NOT indigenous to Ice, such as white dragons-- these are regions of absolute zero temps, which would certainly explain why the air freezes in those places...)

Oh, on a misc note, in case you either didn't remember or didn't figure it out, "smoke" is a term Ice Paraelementals use as a synonym for BS.

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

You've linked to this achingly beautiful story before (several months ago at least?) Even being familiar with it this time around, it still hit me just as hard. Now my lunch break is over and I have to somehow muster the focus to concentrate on work again, thanks a lot!!!

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

I remember posting it too, but I feel like I would have done it in this thread and didn't see it?

Yeah, Strange Horizon has some gems.

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

Sandman's Worl's End is perfect for Planescape inspiration. Just perfect. Elves, Centaurs, bizarre creatures from every corner of every universe reach a inn (World's End - A free house) during a storm... and then share stories.

In special the story about Litharge.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sandman:_Worlds'_End

Is it Gaiman a Planescape fan or what? Sticking out tongue

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

Definitely agree about World's End. I think Gaiman, at his best, had a style where he personalized the fantastic.

I think Planescape did something similar with the factions, perhaps more so. You had these people who were reaching for intangibles, offering theories for meaning. Usually, when you look at fantasy, the meaning is intrinsic to the setting.

Planescape didn't offer that perhaps easy out, and I think this is why it numbers among the most compelling of the settings.

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

Work of Manuel Rodríguez Sánchez:

http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/magical-fantasy-worlds

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cItPTVvnoNk&feature=related

'it is rain, it is age, it is poison
supplication to family honor
little children with keys to the temple
red lights and silver dimes'
Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

In the midst of studying, read this, and now....Wow.

Have to stop what I'm doing and reread it from the top.:

http://apex-magazine.com/2011/11/01/the-bread-we-eat-in-dreams/

“My dear Goodman Mather, there is not a demon in Hell who was not once something quite other, and more interesting. In the land where the Euphrates runs green and sweet, I was a grain-god with the head of a bull. In the rough valley of the Tyne I was a god of fertility and war, with the head of a crow. I was a fish-headed lord of plenty in the depths of the Tigris. Before language I was she-who-makes-the-harvest-come, and I rode a red boar. The earth answers when I call it by name. I know its name because we are family.”

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

These are fragments of a scene involving the first showdown between Imix and Zaaman Rul. Zaaman Rul has returned to the Temple of Ultimate Consumption to slay Imix, after hearing that Imix murdered his mother. Zaaman Rul is well aware that Imix is his biological father, but is no longer willing to acknowledge it.

"Such imputence, showing your face here after being exiled by ME personally!" he hissed. Imix crossed his fiery arms as his expression softened slightly from one of annoyance and anger to one of condescension and slight amusement. "Why did you bother coming here, anyway? To make another half-serious attempt to cause me minor physical discomfort in the name of your "people"? Hmmph. Have you even thought that much out, little flameling, or did you merely come here out of pure impulse?" he asked in an overly patronizing tone.
Zaaman-Rul stood in a battle-ready pose, his body burning white-hot. "Vile backstabber! You know exactly why I'm here! Did you think I wouldn't find out!?!" the young archomental roared. "What in Water are you talking about, you pathetic little ingrate?!" Imix hissed.

"Imix...! Damn you to the abyssian dephts of Water's core...! I knew you were pure evil, but I never imagined you would stoop so low... It wasn't enough for you to simply violate my Mother, but you had to slay her with a weapon of vile Quasielemental Ash as well...!" Zaaman Rul screamed; his voice was like the deafening roar of a fierce firestorm.
As much as Imix tried to feign otherwise, he could not hide his anger at such accusations-- immediately after hearing those words, his body began to dance about more violently, becoming white-hot. "How dare you...! Who fed you such lies?! Was it the dripping 'loths?! I'll burn them down to the last spark of their accursed souls!!!" Imix screamed. "Coward!! Even now you continue to deny it?! You're a coward of the worst kind!!!"

"Damn you, Imix!! Damn you for forcing me to do this to you!!!" with that fanatical cry, Zaaman-Rul cocked his right arm back and lunged at his father. Taken by surprise by the boy's spirited charge, Imix only leapt out of the way at the last second, bringing his blazing arms before his face in a defensive posture. Zaaman Rul managed to graze Imix's left arm, cleaving a section of flame clean away. Imix looked at the darkened spot on his arm, then turned his spiteful gaze at his opponent. "You ungrateful little brat..! That was an actual serious attempt on my life...!" Imix hissed. His voice was like a towering inferno. "I was content to let you live, languishing with the bottom rungs of Mother Fire's creations, but it seems you're not content to leave it at that..!

"Lord Imix, they're escaping!" the efreeti general exclaimed. With a haughty sidelong glance, Imix replied, "Let them. The worthless flameling doesn't deserve the privilege of dying in my presence anyway, let alone the privilege of dying by my hand!"

(note: for anyone not familiar with my earlier writings, Imix did not "violate" Brista Pel; they were, in fact, lovers with a love-hate relationship-- although violating her was indeed Imix's intention when the two first met. Imix also played no role in Brista Pel's murder, and in fact went on a rampage across Magma and Smoke after learning that the Mephit Lords and the soon-to-be-dead Prince of Paraelemental Evil Magma assassinated her, since, for one thing, Imix considered Brista Pel to be his "property". As for the exile, Imix raised Zaaman-Rul for a time after raiding Brista Pel's palace and realizing who Zaaman-Rul was, but eventually disowned him once he realized that his son was too corrupted and spent too much time in his mother's aura to be corrupted to the side of evil.)

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

The relationships between the elemental beings is interesting. Does this mean that Zaaman-Rul has some essence of Tharizdun inside of him, given the assumption the Chained God created the Princes?

(You may have an alternate theory, and I might have read it Hyena, but I've been reading a TON of D&D stuff so it is hard to keep track...)

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

White Blank Page, Mumford and Sons:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_Od0PJp6GI

"Can you lie next to her, and give her your heart, your heart, as well as your body?

Can you lie next to her, and confess your love, your love, as well as your folly?

Can you kneel before the King and say I'm clean, I'm clean -

So tell me now where was my fault, in loving you with my whole heart?

Oh lead me to the Truth and I will follow you with my whole life..."

Heh, Taylor Swift cover (pretty good actually!) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5zvI5XXZbc&feature=related

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

Just one of those music enjoyment nights...

"This is for long-forgotten light at the end of the world.
Horizon's crying the tears he left behind long ago."
-'The Islander', Nightwish:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2sd8UMUaIk

Makes me think of Guardinals at their posts in the hearts of mortals fighting off the predations of the Baern, trying to infuse love and kindness into their prisoners on the swamps of Belierin...

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

The relationships between the elemental beings is interesting. Does this mean that Zaaman-Rul has some essence of Tharizdun inside of him, given the assumption the Chained God created the Princes?
(You may have an alternate theory, and I might have read it Hyena, but I've been reading a TON of D&D stuff so it is hard to keep track...)

Zaaman Rul's alignment is entirely the result of prolongued exposure to his mother's aura during the early parts of his life (including gestation). In 2E it's mentioned that the Princes of Elemental Evil have an aura that irreversibly switches the alignment of any elemental within range to evil. Dragon 347 and 353 seemed to encorporate that to a de-powered extent with the Corrupt Summoning and Purify Summoning feats, suggesting that the Archomentals of good possess a similar aura. Imix adopted Zaaman Rul in hopes that his guidance combined with prolongued contact to his aura would corrupt Zaaman Rul and make him a nice little peon, but Zaaman Rul by that point was the equivalent of a 12 year old and thus, for an Archomental (immune to mind-affecting effects), he was already too old to be affected.
Also, Tharizdun's taint had very, very little effect on the Princes other than giving them an evil alignment; they are technically completely natural to the Multiverse (all part of Tharizdun's plan to avoid detection)

Additionally, Dragon 353 states that the Princes of Elemental Good were spawned from the planes themselves to offset their evil counterparts (interesting note: all of the archomentals with an alignment counterpart are of opposing gender. Zaaman Rul being the exception since he was not the original good Archomental of fire) Zaaman Rul is an exception among the good archomentals because he is the result of sexual reproduction.
In my timeline, I state that Crystalle and Sun-Sing were also spawned spontaneously on the Positive and Negative energy planes (this was back before they became coterminous with the elemental planes, thus the Quasielemental Planes did not exist yet, though both neutral archomentals eventually gravitated towards one Quasielement.) Further, though originally a Prince of Neutral Negativity, Sun-Sing was eventually corrupted (seduced) by the Elder Eye, but Crystalle was not and remains neutral Crystalle and Sun Sing, along with the four Elemental Lords are aware that the Eye was suddenly corrupted, but are not aware that Tharizdun was behind it nor that it was absorbed by another power. The Elder Elemental Eye was originally the Prince of Neutral Omnimentals, and a sort of overdeity of the inner planes who kept them in equilibrium. Tharizdun weakened him enough to begin absorbing him, and had him create the evil princes. I actually came up with this idea when Rip brought up that it would be contrary to Tharizdun's nature and abilities to create something, esp. life. Thus it was necessary for Tharizdun to force the Eye to create the princes before the absorption process was complete, since once that occurred, the Eye would lose the ability to create life. Gazra and Alu-Sahn Kang are not yet archomentals, though they are getting close. Bwimb was also close, but his murder had knocked BwimbII a few pegs down the ladder.

I like making the Princes of Elemental Good flawed creatures-- I think it makes them more interesting. Zaaman Rul is naive, and his actions and views are affected by his personal biases towards his parents-- his hatred and resentment of Imix, and his rose-tinted view of his mother as immaculate (that means without sin/flaws). It's unlikely he could ever accept the idea that his mother willingly entwined with Imix, and if somehow convinced (like, via time travel or something), his will would likely be shattered, as he views is father as lacking a single remotely redeeming feature, and believes that his mother was even more courageous than he is, always making the right and tough decisions for her people. In truth, she gave in to her passions, but this dalliance led to a somewhat live-and-let-live relationship between the two regarding the others' citizens and henchmen. In the end, Zaaman Rul's crusade to slay his father is every bit as much the result of a desire for justice and well-being of his people as it is a personal vendetta for all the suffering that Imix has inflicted upon him (and the perceived suffering inflicted on his mother)-- the rejection, the physical and psychological abuse when he lived in the Temple of Ultimate Consumption, the lies (Imix fed him the lie that Brista Pel's servants intentionally hid the truth of Brista Pel's death from him, and that they were manipulating him to selfish ends-- Imix also gave the lie that he came to rescue Zaaman Rul from these corrupt servants, and that he was the only one who cared about Zaaman Rul's well being.) being disowned, the fact that Imix is so irredeemably evil that he has left Zaaman Rul with no choice but to slay his own biological father, the perceived atrocities committed against his mother (not to say that Imix was totally guiltless here; he is a misogynist, and viewed Brista Pel as his personal property, despite that he truly did love her.)
Chan's flaws of course are that she has a MAJOR attitude problem and can be very petty (for example, the way she treats/forsakes Ben Hadar's minions and worshippers out of a grudge towards him), and her conspiratological mindset-- a flaw she shares with Yan-C-Bin. Both are major schemers, to the point of making elaborate, convoluted schemes, and can't help but assume everyone else is the same way.
Ben Hadar is already quite flawed in the canon-- he's extremely arrogant, rude, and the other adjectives used towards him seems to suggest that he probably makes crude sexual comments to the wommenfolk, likes smooshing vermin (and seeing how far the splatter goes), and jokes about fleshling bodily functions. The PS Monstrous Compendium III also depicts him with a beer gut, which likely suggests that he's also a glutton. In my writings, because he gravitates towards chaos, (in addition to the descriptions in the canon) he also lacks self-control and lets his emotions get the best of him (you can see this in the meeting scenes, and if I get to retyping it, he also blows up at Cryonax in an earlier encounter, while Cryonax is perfectly calm; it makes Ben Hadar look like an idiot-- at one point he gets so agitated that he thoughtlessly slithers right into Cryonax's primal cold aura, and upon sustaining damage, accuses Cryonax of attacking him.)
Sunnis's anger towards Crystalle is not fully rational; she expects Crystalle to let her people invade Mineral and have a feast, when in fact a diet high in quality gems causes earth elementals to reach sexual maturity and reproduce. This would result in the Quasielemental plane becoming depleted before long. Of course, Sunnis has every right to be pissed with Crystalle for viewing the earth elementals as lower life forms, and for lacing the minerals of his realm with an elemental poison (the poison doesn't cause permanent harm to earth elementals, merely makes them sick and slows them down, allowing them to be picked off by the militias of Mineral)

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

sciborg2 wrote:
In the midst of studying, read this, and now....Wow.

Have to stop what I'm doing and reread it from the top.:

http://apex-magazine.com/2011/11/01/the-bread-we-eat-in-dreams/

Valente! Thanks for this - looking forward to reading.

I think I may have posted this on KQ somewhere, but I will continue to contend that this is what a tux & tails night at the concert hall sounds like somewhere on the lower planes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWrBV6tfNC4

(Encores are rare in Baator, if only because the soloists have usually sung themselves to death before the night is over. The erinyes swoon all the same...)

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

So I've recently been reading English translations of old Icelandic sagas. This stuff is great!!

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

Zim - what do you recommend?

Also, still trying to hammer my way into understanding all of it, but the "occluded frame" Bakker works to get across is pretty fascinating and I, at least, feel germane to the belief is power idea behind Planescape:

http://rsbakker.wordpress.com/speculative-musings/occluded-frames-draft-...

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

atomicb wrote:
sciborg2 wrote:
In the midst of studying, read this, and now....Wow.

Have to stop what I'm doing and reread it from the top.:

http://apex-magazine.com/2011/11/01/the-bread-we-eat-in-dreams/

Valente! Thanks for this - looking forward to reading.

I think I may have posted this on KQ somewhere, but I will continue to contend that this is what a tux & tails night at the concert hall sounds like somewhere on the lower planes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWrBV6tfNC4

(Encores are rare in Baator, if only because the soloists have usually sung themselves to death before the night is over. The erinyes swoon all the same...)

Wow....Abyssal or Pandemonium-esque? Cool link.

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRnDIXsGIyc

John Legend + Four Horsemen = Win

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

Fast and furious today, now with Augustine and the Nature of Memory:

"We shall see that Augustine
incorporates elements of both Platonic and Aristotelian
philosophy into his theory of knowledge. What is distinctive
about Augustine's epistemology in contrast to that of his
philosophical predecessors is its incarnational essence. We will
explore below what the incarnational nature of reality means, and
the attendant implication that epistemology too is incarnational. "
-Sheri Katz

http://www9.georgetown.edu/faculty/jod/augustine/sheri

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

I posted this originally in the timeline topic, but I'm also posting it here (albeit a tad more organized). This is a bit of backstory about Asmodeus-- be warned that it's a tad erm... disturbing and graphic-- also disgusting, as it deals with physical body invasion (just so you know what you're getting into here)

I've also toyed with the idea of a powerful artifact, essentially the personal journal of Aeshma/Asmodeus from his crusades in the Abyss. The accounts range from interesting (the bit above about the Plane of Infinite Portals) to uber-disturbing (a verminous parasitic obyrith that gestates within the body of a celestial, slowly converting its good *and lawful, if it has any* essence to evil, before emerging a la chestburster from whatever orifice or wound it entered *Asmodeus specifies that the parasite, in its first free-form hatchling stage, will seek to enter the host through the nearest available orifice. If no orifices are available, due usually to armor, then it will find a soft spot and "create" an orifice. Oh, yeah, Asmodeus's best friend as well as lover were killed by these things, and both died right before his eyes. Once it enters the host, the parasite sends a network of filaments through the victim's body, and its body is sort of a fleshy or gummy mass- essentially the parasite resembles a gigantic neuron initially. Some of the filaments penetrate through the skin and create a fibrous mass that fastens the victim to the floor. The victims are moved to "brood pits"-- caverns unhallowed with special curses to make curative magic impossible to cast. Attempts to move the victim, even if they can be freed from the floor, can result in the parasite bursting forth prematurely. If encountered outside of a brood pit, Dispel Evil or Remove Disease can be cast, but fail to exterminate the parasite immediately unless it was very recently implanted. Instead, it attempts to escape the spell by rupturing forth from the victim prematurely before dying.
Insidiously, Pazuzu gave Asmodeus's best friend a medicine that would restore consciousness and ambulation, and then cut him free from the floor of the brood pit, sending him to Asmodeus. Asmodeus attempted a Remove Disease spell on his friend, which caused the parasite to rupture forth from the healed wound in his abdomen where it entered. There was a splattering of gore, some of which landed on Asmodeus (including some on his face) BTW, the combination physical and spiritual process is agonizing for the victim, and once the parasite's parasitic stage is complete, there is nothing left of the victim's soul. Asmodeus found his old lover in one of the brood pits and was unable to save her before she essentially "gave birth" to the parasite-- as per the orifice it entered. This second event took place in a massive brood pit, with around 500 parasitized celestials. Pazuzu was usually nearby, often appearing simply to taunt him. After these events, Asmodeus began to use evil methods to capture and destroy obyrith souls.*
More disturbingly still, the obyrith parasite, once it reaches maturity and bursts forth from its host, can mimic the voice of said host. Imagine Asmodeus's horror as one of these monstrosities bursts forth from his beloved in a most unholy way, springs to attack him, and then, as Asmodeus raises his shining blade to annihilate the abomination, it pleads for mercy in his beloved's voice, using the same words she uses. Oh, man that's the ultimate mind-****.
After this horrifying event and after slaying nearly 2 dozen newly-emergedmature parasites, Asmodeus was left to deal with the 480 remaining celestials. Asmodeus was left with no choice but to SLAY all of his fellow celestials in that chamber, as there was simply no other way to save their souls (or at least what remained of them. Well, technically he COULD exorcize the hosts, but that'd still kill them, and he didn't have enough power at that point to exorcize all 480 victims-- that was the remainder left by the time he was able to act.) His fellow celestial paragons chastised him heavily for this (as well as ACTUAL acts of evil he committed in his crusade against the Obyriths), which frustrated him greatly since he felt that they didn't fully understand their enemies, plus some of the paragons who admonished him the harshest had never even stepped foot in the Abyss (When Asmodeus returned from his 66 year crusade and participated in the trial of Chilimba and Ekhak *the charges would be dismissed due to lack of evidence*, an argument with one such paragon resulted in Asmodeus chastising him, stating that said paragon finds it so easy to judge him from his "comfortable ivory tower") While hailed throughout the upper planes as an infamous hero and demon-slayer, Asmodeus nonetheless felt underappreciated-- he felt as though he was sacrificing hids own soul and sanity for the good of everyone else, and that few of his fellow celestials appreciated this sacrifice. He also felt great contempt towards the celestials, esp. some of the paragons, who never served in the lower planes-- Asmodeus's expectations of them were actually rather lenient-- in Asmodeus's view, serving a mere 3 months in the chaotic of neutral evil lower planes non-consecutively was sufficient, but some of his superiors had never even stepped foot in the lower planes, and as a general rule, these individuals tended to chastise and judge him the harshest.
All of those disturbing incidents, I should add, took place during his infamous 66 year campaign in the Abyss, where he fought the Obyrith uninterrupted there, without leaving the plane even once. 66 years in the Abyss isn't healthy for any celestial, esp. a lawful one. All the while, Pazuzu watches, and occasionally makes an appearance in a difficult-to-reach area to taunt Asmodeus.

I also have Asmodeus making a quote at one point that through genesis via the consumption of aasimon and archon souls, this species of obyrith "is robbing the powers-- worse still, robbing Mother Celestia of her life-blood", and stating that this is one of the highest forms of blasphemy (regarding the "Mother Celestia" part, recall my earlier posts about Planism-- essentially Gaiaism plus fatalism for the outsiders and elementals-- Asmodeus is basically asserting that, since all celestials born on Mt Celestia are products of the plane itself-- be they a product of petitioner evolution, sexual reproduction, or spontaneous birth from the plane itself, these parasitic obyriths are thus devouring Mt. Celestia's very essence.)

At any rate, you might notice some similarities in this story with that of Zaaman Rul + his family as well as Ben Hadar. I do indeed like to give my characters (in D&D and elsewhere) complicated, disturbing pasts, and I believe that giving the celestials & princes of elemental good personality flaws, as well as making many of the fiends and princes of elemental evil just a tad sympathetic makes them far more interesting. The story above is meant to showcase how Asmodeus truly began his fall, which in fact was not (at least, the way I have it written) by thinking like an Obyrith in order to better predict their behavior and hunt them *which did remove some of his purity, but was self-limited and did not have a progressive corrupting effect on him* Instead, the fall began when he adopted evil means to destroy the Obyrith, including wholesale destruction of their souls in order to weaken the Abyss itself-- something he viewed as absolutely necessary in order to win the war. In Asmodeus's view, the celestials were dealing with the Obyrith with kid gloves on, while the Obyrith were more than willing to resort to any means possible to gain the advantage, including parasitizing celestials, wholesale destruction of souls, and physically and spiritually devouring other obyrith.

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

I like this Asmodeus story as well as the personalities/histories of elementals in the previous post.

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

There was an old saying, “You can cast what you can cut,” and it always brought to Sena’s mind gruesome pictures of the greatest holomorphic achievements realized only through suicide.

Yet, according to the notes in the basement, there was another way, an older way. And the Sisterhood had found it. It was spelled out in meticulous ledgers that Sena read, reminding her of stories she had found at Desdae pertaining to hemofurtum and the dead empires that had practiced it. She imagined white curtains stirred by salt winds, sheltering hundreds of spell slaves that had once slit their snowy skins, collecting holomorphic energy into slender silver ewers.

Vast colligations, as they were called: giant collections of silver vials filled with the fluid to argue reality.
-Huso, The Last Page

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

sciborg2 wrote:
Zim - what do you recommend?

http://sagadb.org/

I'm nowhere near the point of having read them all yet.

This stuff isn't really for the squeamish, imo. Take Hrafnkell's saga, for example. (spoilers below)

Spoiler: Highlight to view
Hrafnkell kills his neighbor's son, Einarr, with an axe for -- get this -- riding his horse. Mind you, the guy was a priest (of Freyr) and had made a vow that he would kill anyone else who rode his horse. The priest very specifically warns Einarr not to ride the horse...so of course Einarr rides the horse. HUGE blood feud between Hrafnkell and Einarr's father, Thorbjorn, ensues. Hrafnkell actually feels bad about what happened and offers a very large wergild as compensation, Thorbjorn refuses.

Eventually Thorbjorn manages to get Hrafnkell exiled. Hrafnkell's horse gets thrown off a cliff, the temple Hrafnkell had on his land gets burned. Years later, Hrafnkell becomes a man of prestige in the land where he is now settled, and eventually gets his old land back, with some revenge in the bargain...

Then there's some stuff at the end of Grettir's saga:

Spoiler: Highlight to view
So Grettir is killed. But the saga doesn't end here! Grettir's brother, Thorsteinn, goes all the way to Constantinople just to avenge Grettir's death. Now think about how difficult a trip to Constantinople must have been during the Viking Age. Now Grettir's killer, Angle, wanted to join Constantinople's Varangian Guard. So of course Thorsteinn expresses an interest as well. During a review/inspection of the Varangians, Thorsteinn kills Angle, in front of dozens of Varangian Guards, using Angle's own sword. When Thorsteinn is subsequently imprisoned, he takes to lots of loud singing along with his cellmate. The singing catches the interest of a rich woman named Spes who is apparently stuck in an arranged marriage and unhappy about the fact. She arranges to have him freed, and the two proceed to have an affair...

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

Awesome stuff Zim, will definitely check it out.

"Who among you will comfort a stranger from the right-side-up islands?" said the Harpooner. "It is dark at the bottom of the world, and the upside-down wind has taken my breath."

The Narwhal wheeled around her.

"We will comfort you," said the Narwhals altogether, "for the love of the right-side-up is neither constant nor true, and whales alone know all the deeps where a heart may become lost."
-http://catherynnemvalente.com/shortfiction/harpooner/

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

If anyone can manage to find them, I'm looking for an English translation of the Gray Goose Laws. If an English translation exists, that is. I'd also like to find an English translation of whichever historical/literary source mentions Nastrand. (Nastrand apparently being the very worst area of Norse hell.)

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

I'll ask around Zim.

More celestial inspiration:

"Grace is more than immortal. The more the world besieges it, the greater its significance burns. And she can feel it, this very instant, a spark shining in the God's infinite palm."
-The White Luck Warrior

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

"We are insensate molecules,
assembled from the accidental
code engraved upon our genes.

Mud that sat up.

Chemicals mingle in our
sediment and in their
interactions and combustions
we suppose we feel
suppose we love.

We reproduce, mathematically
predictable as spores within
a petri dish.

We function briefly then
subside once more to the
unknowing silt.

We are a blind contingency,
an unimportant restlessness
of dirt and yet Rossetti
paints his dead Elizabeth,
head tilted back on her
impossibly slim throat, eyes
closed against the golden light surrounding her.

Clay looks on clay and
understands that it is
beautiful.

Through us, the cosmos gazes
on itself, adores itself,
breaks its own heart.

Through us, matter stares
slack-jawed at its own
star-dusted countenance
and knows, incredulously,
that it knows.

And knows that it is
universe."
- Alan Moore

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

"I could have gone down, almost did, embracing what I took to be my shittiest hour; no one's more surprised than me to learn I'm too angry to drown.

Sour memories and premature death have set me afire.

Sure, I didn't survive in one piece, but I survived all the same. I got away, when too many others didn't."
-Two Worlds and In Between: The best of Caitlin B. Kiernan

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Re: The PS Inspiration Thread

"Woman. Everything I am I owe to Her. All the good and the bad in my
life. All the sorcery and mystery. All the wisdom and madness. Even in
the very beginning, before there could be space, or time either, when
every point of each of us touched every point of each of the others,
She was there. She was Herself the one point out of which everything
has come. And She was the coming, too. Why do you think we left but to
follow Her ?

"In the very, very beginning, before there was a beginning, when
everything was one point, Woman was all the incomprehensible meaning we
needed. She held us together. She made us one. Wholly promiscuous, for
we were all together with Her - yet wholly chaste, for She was as
utterly alone as we were - one whole and single point. What greater
happiness could there be ?

"That was the question that doomed us. That we could think it at all
bespeaks a terrible flaw in an otherwise perfect wholeness. But, of
course, it was our perfection that inspired the question in the first
place. How much happier could we be if we were to be a part of Her yet
apart from Her ? How much more happiness would there be if we could see
Her and be seen ?

"And with that question came the necessity for the space to see and the
time in which to be seen, the space a hug needs, the time a kiss
requires, a space and a time vast enough to embrace all the mystery of
Her and equally ample enough to make room for all of us that wanted to
see and hold Her.

"There were many more of us than any of us could have imagined. Each of
us had thought we were the one and only one until we fell apart. Our
clamoring for Her drove Her away from us - and naturally we followed,
out into space and into time, wanting to be with Her as we have always
been with Her. But in a new way. And so space and time came into being.
Only none of us, except perhaps for Her, could have known how cold and
dark it was going to be.

"And none of us, surely not even She, could have anticipated the woe
that was to follow - and the joy that woe would require to make itself
whole again. And none suspected the sorcery and wisdom that we would
have to learn and possess to match the mystery and madness of losing
Her. Nor did we realize the vast distances, the expanding light-years
of space and what great aeonian spans of time it would take even to
begin to approximate the generous and true wholeness we had enjoyed
when we were all at one point.

"Little did any of us foresee our bizarre fate. How strange that, out
here in space and time, each of us is so wholly separate from others.
How strange that She is everywhere and yet nowhere. How much stranger
yet that She has become woman - and out of woman´s diminishment, out of
the exile from the body of the ovaries to become testicles, out of the
stunting of her nourishing breasts to useless nipples, out of the
maiming of the fullness and symmetry of her chromosomes to a genetic
mutation has come the distortion that is man.

"Is there any wonder then that we men suffer and in our suffering we
rage ? We are the immortal points that broke apart from the one point
to follow Her here. We are the eternal wanderers. And where is She now
? She is everywhere and nowhere. She is the embrace of the great
emptiness that is the universe. She is the long-lingering kiss of time.
She is everything She always was - and everything we always wanted Her
to be. Now we serve Her or we rail against Her, because we can never
escape Her or ever really find Her. She is nameless and She is the very
breath of all names - for She is the truth that finally embraces us
all. She is God."
--Attanasio, The Dragon and the Unicorn

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