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Saturday, September 24, 2022

Combo: Gaming & Gaming-Adjacent


The West Wards: The Watershed

Lybrti seeks to reunite the Auldgory continent from Storm Sea, across the fruited plain, over the Mountlands, to the Cold Ocean.

Of all the difficulties facing the Banner Ranks and other specialists in the employ of the Starry Empire, even beyond the timespace anomaly which is the Necropolis Sprawl, are the ruins of the Watershed.

Warlords and cultists of various stripes wage near constant warfare over navigable routes, potable water, and ranched foods, animal and otherwise.  Catamaran and canoe brave flooded streets beset with snipers and bombardiers eager to scrap or snatch-up anything at all of value from their peeling and crumbling cement apartment complexes along what centuries prior had been numerous cites of the Saints and the Angels.

Captain Tixa Ioq had briefly transposed there, following back to their source, corsairs attacking Northfork ships of the East's Battered Shore.  These same had been brought through from the sundown shore of the west coast to the whitecaps of the Starry Banner Navy's premiere shipyards and submarine bases.  Brought through a continuous portal by a demon, these desperate cutthroats and Cold Ocean denizen creatures fought with a ferocity previously unmet in battle.  Things went poorly for the Empire in this regard until other, tangential powers could be brought to bring desperately needed relief: namely, the adoption of the Wastelander-spirit of Blastar Firebloom in the person of Black Guard, Overcommander Zhanit Sworn.

Now, Lybrti, armed anew with the mysterious power of The Wasteland, the West Wards shall be brought under the Aegis of the Banner.



Writing lyrics which depict scenes and events from across the Grand Tapestry, including three from Auldgory, and one (so far) from Urutsk, at the point of the Shorrannin invasion.

More about the early days of my musical journey can be found here.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

GAMING Post: Auldgory (default start and factions)

(C) 2020-2022 Kyrinn S. Eis, All Rights Reserved

Um, why do we need to know about factions when you haven't properly explained the extant Order of Things?

So, the monolithic entity which is the Starry Empire has within it, both a Republic, made up of citizen soldiers, but also includes the Noble Families of Ancient (Eastern) Bloodlines, Merchant Barons, and a Southeast of only loosely, 'loyal' subjects.

Play defaults to the PCs serving in the Banner Ranks of the Starry Empire, having gone into service at age 07, and beginning session 01 anywhere from 15 to 25 years of age.  Barbarian and Outlier characters are not only possible, but viable regardless of where the 'party's' initial deployment is located.

While it is possible to expend one's Blessings to dictate how the PC matriculated the service to that point (default is, Combat Rifleman), and which rank they achieved by start of play, there are other options, such as political aide, or, journalist.  Outlier and Barbarian hangers on or diplomats of unincorporated lands are just as reasonable an option.

However, Auldgory has the Endgame baked in from the get go, and Blessing points can be pooled to purchase caches, property, and to invest in the security and prosperity of Banner Ranks strongholds.  Or, Lodges may be joined (and infiltrated, or enemy groups destroyed), which require Downtime investments of increasing orders of magnitude (pop-pop) to attain, with no value for intermediate steps; Lodges hold Power (POW), and this can be appropriated for emergency use.

With a national Goddess who grants actual miracles and can even (not often) resurrect the dead, you can imagine the number of weblines which intersect to form a very convoluted, intricate, and merciless environment where who one knows may on the one hand save one's life, or by associative guilt, be brought into immortal peril.  This is where the Factions exist, and these are largely only the ones operating within the borders of the Empire.

The lands west of the Lashan Mountain Range/s are so varied, the distances so vast, that reaching another civilised polity (The Landmaster Concern of the Wide Roaming Lands chief among these) is a quest through alien wilderness, scattered with environmental hazards and unearthly arcane powers.  points west are the variable track of the Wasteland, which warps and alters all life which enters, and reorders the landscape into surrealistic bastions of Illogic.  ...and yet, it is the Voidbrood, from beyond space and time, who are the true menace: their least minions more than enough to corrupt and stall the advance of the Banner Ranks tasked with inevitable reunification.

I'll discuss the task resolution situation in a future post.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Non-Gaming Post: Travelllogue and Marissa Nadler Concert Report + (formatting errors corrected)

The drive through the mountains of Tennessee (Cumberland Gap, if not mistaken) was amazing. The telluric energy was so powerful, quenching a thirst I hadn't realised I'd suffered living so long in the limestone and muck of Florida, or initial forays into Continental life which Jax offers. Georgia, lovely as it is, doesn't begin to shine until the hills rise wild; lit in shimmering white of early morning mist.

Sadly, kitteh was not enjoying it, as he was gone when I came out from the hotel room I had rented: I'd fed him pouch Tuna and he had apparently recovered from the five hours of desperate panting to keep himself cool, as I have no A/C and only two functioning widows (at present). The ascent into the mountains was uncomplicated, but descending was further challenged by what I then thought was a low tyre; today, I found that the tyre was ready to come apart - likely from yesterday's return trip at maximal controllable speed. I had them replace the front-pair.

 [] Once in Nashville, I drove to the venue, but confused it for the place across the street, of which I took photos, and may post them if you let me know. From there, I saw the Music Hall, and found my hotel; fancy. The only 'iconic' Nashvillian meal I had wasn't great, but Will Arnold informed me I chose the wrong protein.

 [] Vanderbilt district was wonderfully familiar to a larger, more vibrant University of Florida, and the mottled brickwork of the corner spoke to me of Reconstruction/ism. --- Bought a binder, sheet protectors, a 5 Star notebook, and one each of a Black, Blue, and Magenta-Pink click pen. With these, I assembled my printed lyrics, re-read them, and then got to work on new lyrics. One good one came from this time, and one in the rough awaiting sober editing. This morning I wrote the thirteenth, printed it, and added it to my binder.

 [] Sunday at the End, was Marissa Nadler (& co.) 20th of 20 stops, back in Nashville. She was very kind to make time for me in moments she could rest between personal readiness, meeting visiting friends (who were very pleasant and upbeat), and then getting her game-face on for the show.

 [] First was a group whose name I never fully grasped or retained, one or the other, but the duo were likewise great fun to speak with, and welcoming. Links to the acts are listed below. The acoustic guitar, banjo, and backing vocals were a dreamy/hypnotic, very subtle Americana, as perceived with one ear-open napping on the couch in a safe place, like home. It couldn't have been a better introduction to their sound, and was a fantastic opening of the way, as it were.

 [] Next came the Nashville Ambient Ensemble (the Keyboardist was kind enough to speak with me about the local scene, and the Ensemble in particular, which was fascinating), their music is very serpentine, subtly complex, and by what I count as their third or forth piece of their set, suddenly of much higher energy and complexity: brain-stim to violin, electronics, and guitar. My already addled brain was blooming like an alien flower under the Ensemble's star.

 [] Marissa Nadler took stage, and as I stared at the floor throughout all but a few moments to look up, I was in the best mix of her music, old and new, with hints that something heavier is breeding in the dark wings. Marissa's self-effacing humour at the troubles she had with the particular entry point of Lemon Queen was so heartening -- she's a real Human, much to our delight. The hijinks with her tourmates not being on the same literal page and being surprised by the next song was fun, rather than consternating, and illustrates not only their familiarity with her work, but the camaraderie they share. The bassist, drummer, FX-pedal overseer, bard, whose name I either never clearly heard, or which leaked out of my mind; this guy is quick-witted and clutch as his musical chops illustrate. Milk(e)y, likewise, not only a seasoned Marissa Nadler tour vet, was similarly humorous and sharp to adapt to the changing situation directed by the Woman herself. 
 [] I picked up four CDs, had a few additional moments of chat with Marissa, and walked out with perhaps twenty minutes to spare on my prepaid parking.  A lot more to be said.

 [] During my stay, I saw episodes 2 and 3 of House of the Dragon, which is surprisingly great, like a high budget British TV production of one of the rarer Shakespearean dynastic plays. Also caught the HBO Elvis flowing montage production which was almost too fluid and flowing...great, but too much, I think. The third Wonderful Beasts with Mads Mikkelsen (swoon): "I am not your enemy, nor have I ever been." -- he excels in Satanologies (esp., Hannibal, and this role).  I then caught the most important portion of, Pawn Sacrifice, which was also very good.

 [] OK, Eis, out.

*** PLEASE: Don't let YouTube and Streaming services be the only 'support' you give to your fave artists. ***

 [] MARISSA NADLER :: Official Site 

  o Nashville Ambient Ensemble :: LINK 

  o Kyle Hamlett Uno/Duo/Trio :: LINK