Midweek Music

Here are three excellent tunes to tickle your eardrums on this fine Wednesday morning.

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3 Thursday Songs

Here are three songs on this Thursday afternoon. Music always puts me in a creative mood.

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Tuesday Tunes

A trio of Tuesday tuneage for those of us who love music.

“There are two kinds of music: good and bad. There are no genres.”

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Tuesday Tuneage

Here is a trio of tunes for this relaxing, rainy Tuesday.

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5 on Friday: Character Class Themes

When I had an in-game guild site up I’d done a little musical tribute to the four character classes in The Elder Scrolls Online: Templars, Nightblades, Sorcerers, and Dragonknights. With the addition of the Warden class, introduced with the Morrowind / Vvardenfell chapter, I decided to update this post for my scheduled “Five on Friday.”

Another new class might be introduced soon, as many have been screaming for it and discussing it in forums. I think a necromancer class is fitting and goes along with the Elder Scrolls storyline and the accompanying lore. Unfortunately, the devs seem more inclined to listen to their favourites and their followers and those people aren’t really playing the game. It has been obvious of late, with all of the glitches and scheduling issues ZoS has been wrestling with since the beginning of the year. “Never mix business with pleasure.” That is a rule which many forget or deliberately break, and it shows.

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First, the Templars: they are the healers, radiating the light of life on their comrades – but don’t mistake them for gentle, pious souls! They will bring down the power of the heavens upon their enemies, crushing them with the gravity of the sun. Another skill they possess is referred to by all in the game as the “Jebus Beam,” and it is potent against many! The Beatles’ song “Here Comes the Sun” was the best tribute I could think of.

Next, the Nightblades: the assassins, cloaked in the shadows. They stealthily creep up on opponents unawares, thrusting knives or swords that weaken the enemy’s stamina and armour. Some sap the very life-force from foes, taking it for themselves or sharing it with group members before sidling off to scout the battlefield by themselves. I felt that the song “Night Prowler” by Ac / Dc was most fitting.

Now, the Sorcerers: the mages are versatile, wielding blades, bows, or staves. Their powers are formidable when they utilize the destructive power of flame, frost, or storm, given the appropriate staff, then summon a familiar from dark depths to fight at their side. Beware of the storm-callers! They dish out quite a bit of damage when equipped with proper mage-robes, too. I figured that “Symphony of Destruction” by Megadeth was the perfect tribute to the versatile might of the sorcerer.

The Wardens: they are the Druidic class and have control over aspects of nature, including animals, plants, and the element of ice. They can summon screeching raptors from the sky or send ravaging beetles tunneling underground to target enemies. Insect swarms can be sent to harry and sting, and a spiritual bear is often seen at the Warden’s side. Plants are used to heal and protect your allies, while ice can be used in all three ways: damage, healing, and protection. My Warden is an ice-mistress, so the song “Cold as Ice” by Foreigner came to mind as a dedication to the wintry druids.

Last, but certainly not least, the Dragonknights: my favourite class in-game! Fearless warriors with the heart of a dragon, they charge first into battle wreathed in flame, using the very stones of the earth to smash foes down – or protect comrades with a shield of spinning rocks. They flex their wings, holding enemies fast with mighty talons, or lashing them into submission with a whip of flame. Dragonknights dominate with whips and chains, so the song “Hands of Death (Burn Baby Burn)” is ideal!

Waxing Poetic: The Forge-Master

The moon phase has waned to new. Tomorrow marks the New Moon and the Perigean Spring Tide, but my creativity has been waxing strong lately. Here is a dream-inspired poem of mine, which is copyrighted. You have no permissions to it other than reading it.

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Shaper of iron…rugged and strong

Wild, long hair and beard blow and flow in the wind

Cresting the hill, he approaches bare-chested

The forge is cold…long untouched…neglected, she slumbers

He sets powerful hands to the bellows – deftly manipulates

Coals glow under his experienced touch…heat rises

He reaches down, caressing the knob on the vent – the flames explode

He smiles, thrusting thick, raw pig-iron into the fire

Hands deftly pump the bellows – steadily…rhythmically

Iron glows red…then white-hot

Sweat streams down muscular thighs

Loincloth falls away, unnoticed in his exertions

Iron is doused with cool, soothing fluid…steam rises in a sigh

Mold me, forge-master…I am your smoldering ember

Notable Quotes: Vincent van Gogh

Writers, artists, and other creative, deep thinkers tend to say meaningful things which touch us in some way. Author, singer, actress, and poet Maya Angelou, as well as the poet Rumi, were two individuals who left behind some fantastic quotes which resonate with me.

Noted artist Vincent van Gogh was another, and I was inspired to post these three van Gogh quotes after seeing a re-airing of one of my favourite Doctor Who episodes.

These quotes, along with many others, can be found on the GoodReads.com site in case you were interested in having a look.

“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”
― Vincent van Gogh

“I try more and more to be myself, caring relatively little whether people approve or disapprove.”
― Vincent van Gogh

“Be clearly aware of the stars and infinity on high. Then life seems almost enchanted after all.”
― Vincent van Gogh

Tuesday Tunes: 15 May 2018

The clouds and rain moved in today so no yardwork can be done. A lot has been accomplished so far and the landscaping is coming along nicely. We’re finally redesigning it to our tastes and love the progress.

Doing a bit of writing and gaming today and have music blasting as always. Here are three tunes for Tuesday afternoon.

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Strategic Meeting

Candles burn low on the aged oak table, casting alternating light and shadow on the faces gathered around it. A solid man with long, graying hair braided in a tight rope down to the small of his back leans over a frayed map spread open on the table. Piles of coins hold down ragged corners which curl tighter than a sea serpent preparing to strike.

The man looks up at the slender, cloaked figure standing across from him. “I take it that all has been set in motion?” he queries.
“Aye,” comes the husky reply. “The bait was set and they couldn’t resist it. Even now, they feed obsessively on the decoy. They were quick to reveal themselves, emboldened as they are.”

The man gives a harsh, humorless chuckle. “Good.” He glances about at the four others gathered here in the abandoned barn, his grim expression mirroring theirs. “We must move swiftly, then. Some must leave tonight, the moment this meeting is concluded.” No muttering complaints meet this announcement. They have all been expecting this over the course of the past few months and are prepared to act.

The man leans over the map again. “One is already established in the lands to the north, here.” A blunt finger indicates the port city near the smoldering volcano. “She will be joined by her scholar-in-training to ensure that her disguise and story are compatible and raise no suspicions.”

Next, he indicates a mountainous area in the northwestern part of the map. “Two others are making their way to the land of the Orcs as we speak. They have lodgings ready at one of the strongholds there and will present themselves as apprentices to the new king when he makes his request a fortnight hence.” He glances at the others again. “They will be our eyes and ears there, as we expect new movement from our foes.”

Looking down at the map again, he continues: “Another will set sail to the south from here.” His finger stabs at a port city on the northern tip of a long island. “We expect a great deal of activity there soon, so a coordinator in that strategic location is of utmost importance.”

He gathers up the coins, allowing the map to furl as he distributes the gold to the others in attendance. The amount is not insignificant, as this meeting had been called in haste. The urgency and seriousness of it had been established by the location and sealed with the amount of coin paid.

He puts the map in its special case and re-seals it, tucking it back in the enchanted coffer it normally resides in. Crossing his arms, he meets the gazes of the others again. “The rest of us will set sail from the port to the south and should arrive within a week. With the eyes of our enemies cast elsewhere, we have a short interval to establish our observation posts where we know they will gather next.” He grins, white teeth flashing in the candlelight.

“Staggering our respective arrivals should go unnoticed, but always remain alert. We cannot afford to be as sloppy, lazy, and careless as they.” His expression turns serious again. “Their numbers have rendered them so,” he says softly. “Still, one slip on our part will make this entire operation a worthless cause.”

He casts a meaningful gaze on each face present. “The spies which haunted our guilds were identified and scattered. That important step made this moment possible. Let’s make the most of it, shall we?”

The candles are extinguished as traveling clothes are donned. The guests depart at varying intervals and in different directions. The merging of the three guilds is complete.

The next leg of the journey begins…

Private Audience

Author’s Note: Now that I am free to post my excerpts again, here is the first of many. They will focus on some of the side-stories in my fan fiction.

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The inn is dark and sparsely populated on this wet evening. The lute-player has retired early, as the few patrons present are disinterested in music or entertainment. Dark dealings are rife across the land and many are determined to teach some harsh lessons to those engaging in them.

Such has been Liliorra’s fate. She has lost count of the days which have passed since her capture. Each day that has passed has caused what little hope for rescue existed to dwindle. I have failed you, Lord Draven, she thinks during one of the rare lucid moments when she can endure the never-ending pain.

So foolish. So stupid. Her thoughts move through a fog and her head lolls forward. Another wave of pain bears her backwards in time. She had been certain to follow his instructions in the private missive he’d sent.

Meet me at my private room at the Gnarled Oak in a fortnight, the letter had said. We will depart for the isles under cover of darkness. The ship and my skeleton crew will provide the shelter we need while we rebuild our numbers. I long to see your face again, lovely Lili. Soon. Your lord consort, Draven.

The Gnarled Oak had been bustling and crowded when she arrived, offering safety and potential thralls. Always was she on the lookout for strong, healthy flesh on which to feed. The tall, broad-shouldered man with a wild shock of white hair and an intense gaze drew her attention immediately. He stood silent in a corner, drinking deeply from a large tankard and surveying the room. His eyes fell on her and didn’t look away.

Liliorra had slowly made her way in his direction, confident in her abilities. “You’re quite the sturdy one, aren’t you?” she had inquired, glancing at him from under lowered lashes. He’d merely smirked as she eyed his physique. Draining his mug, he motions to one of the servant-girls. “Would the lass care to join me?” he inquires as his tankard is refilled.

Pretending to demur, she requests a deep red wine from the girl and sips it while moving closer to her target, watching his eyes drop as she leans near to offer a better view of her décolletage. “Are you here for the evening?” she asks in a low whisper and offering a sultry smile.

The big man grins and turns toward the stairs. “Join me on the upper level, if you will.” He stops and glances back. “Fewer eyes and ears there.” She watches his retreating back. Quite fine from the front and very appealing from the rear, she thinks. She follows, smoothing her bodice and skirt and taking her time. She doesn’t want to startle the prey and she doesn’t want to let the opportunity slip through her fingers. If she stays close she should be able to utilize the enchantments that Draven had graced her with…

Another wave of pain brings her back to the present. She screeches helplessly, unable to clamp her jaws shut. The heat of the midday sun bakes down on her patchy skull, wisps of what used to be long, lustrous hair whipping in the breeze off of the ocean. She slumps in the cage, unaware of the cries of the gulls.

A lone form watches impassively from the observation tower. The thing in the cage will try to escape at nightfall. It always does. Gloved hands curl into fists, knuckles cracking.

The entertainment provided by those attempts is quite enjoyable.

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