Sunday Screen-Shots: Jester’s Festival!

Beginning last year, seasonal festivities began in my favourite MMO, the Elder Scrolls Online. The first one, appropriately titled the Witches’ Festival, was in October. The second one, held in December, was called the New Life Festival.

With the advent of Spring, the Jester’s Festival is in full swing – perfect timing as April Fool’s Day / All Fool’s Day draws near! Here are a few screen-shots of my various characters making merry, playing pranks, and having all sorts of fun with other players. Sometimes, one has to stop and smell the sakura ( / )!

I’ll have live footage of my festival antics broadcasting shortly. I think that people know where to find the link by now, so tune in and watch the show!

Savage Smilodon

A happy merry-maker

Marketplace merriment

Dancing at dawn

Playing with fire

Kicking back

Flashy fireworks

Dazzling the crowds

A sprightly dance – see the staff?

I found the Lord of Misrule: Drumpf the Jester-King!

Final Birthday Friday Festivities!

It isn’t the final Friday of March; that falls next week – but, today IS the final Friday celebration of my week-long birthday celebration! It’s been loads of fun: phone calls and cards from family, breakfast in bed, and a surprise sushi platter rounded things up. All food was washed down with plenty of potables, both potent and non! All in all, it has been fantastic…life is good!

Here are my five musical selections for this Friday, along with some selected gaming screen-shots of fun and frivolity. My “Five for Friday” fun facts will return next week, but I’ll give you one, here: every song that I post here on my humble blog are ones that I know by heart, and sing loudly and proudly. The key to great singing isn’t something that can be taught, at that’s all I can say. Either you feel it, or you don’t!

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Happy Friday, everyone…enjoy your respective weekends, whenever and wherever you are!

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Midweek Music – Celebration, Continued!

Here’s some mid-week music as the fun and celebrations continue…I’m keeping the laughter in slaughter, LOL!

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Excerpt: Comeuppance

The tavern is exceptionally boisterous this night. Evesori sits at the vanity in the private room she usually shares with Lord Draven, staring at her reflection in the mirror. Her calm façade belies the anger and jealousy roiling inside. Her emotions, however, do have a detrimental effect on the glamour that she normally uses to conceal her true appearance. Dark, angry bruises mottle her cheeks and neck; her smooth-looking skin is wrinkled and hangs in loose wattles, her breasts are flat, sagging dugs drooping under her robe and her face is sallow, aged and haggard. Damn him, she thinks. He let the other, more powerful, fresh meat get away before the ceremony could be finished – now I have to suffer this insult!

Even now, she hears the tinkling laughter of his latest conquest drift up from the main room. Naviri, the young chamber-maid, had suddenly become a favoured member of the guild; even Theo was less enthralled by Evesori’s charms than he’d initially been, although Draven made it clear that Naviri was his alone. Evesori had brought Naviri to share their bed, in hopes that he would allow her to perform the ceremony, but Draven seemed unconcerned about Evesori’s need. Now she was suffering and desperate to rejuvenate her rapidly-declining looks. The blood of the girl was sorely needed, but Draven had stayed her hand. Enthralled to him, she had no choice but to acquiesce.

She yanks open a drawer and digs around, pulling out a small envelope. Only a tiny bit of the magick-infused powder remained, just enough to stave off the impending decay. She would have one week to acquire a fresh infusion – she doesn’t want to think of what will happen if she can’t.

She taps the last bit of the precious powder into a golden goblet, takes a small teakettle from a trivet-heater, and pours a bit of warm water over the powder. It hisses and bubbles momentarily, emitting a slightly sulfurous odor. When the bubbling ceases, Evesori takes up the goblet, hesitates for a moment, and downs the bitter concoction. The results are immediate: the bruises disappear, her skin becomes taut and youthful in appearance, and her cold, pale beauty is restored. That’s it, then, she thinks. If I’m unable to find a new thrall of my own, without milord’s assistance… She shakes her head, banishing the unpleasant thought. Standing, she drops her robe to the floor and moves to the tall wardrobe. She removes her usual tavern-clothes from their hangers and squeezes herself into the tight, form-fitting garments. She gives herself a final, appraising look before heading downstairs into the din.

Draven sits at his table in the corner with a giggling Naviri on his lap. He is stroking her hair and cheek in a way that enrages Evesori anew, but she forces a pleasant smile as she grabs a tankard of ale from the counter near the stairs and moves towards the table. An inebriated Theo notices her and staggers over, glad to see that she is looking like her old self again. “Evie! I wash…I wanted…hey, join the party!” He puts an arm around her shoulders, casually grabbing her right breast and squeezing firmly. He knows that Naviri is off-limits, so Evesori will have to do for the time being. At least she doesn’t smell of rancid, week-old meat like the last time, he thinks, and still wonders if that had been some unpleasant nightmare.

Evesori laughs and shrugs off his drunken groping, gently pushing him aside. “I’ll deal with you in a moment, dear Theo – I just needed to speak with our liege lord about a pressing matter. I won’t be long, if you want to wait for me?” She tilts her head engagingly, flicking her eyes upward to her room before fixing them on Theo, letting the suggestion sink into his addled brain. He grins foolishly, turning towards the stairs and reeling off of the edge of the fireplace mantel. He trips and stumbles on the steps, stifling an embarrassed chuckle as a noxious, wet-sounding fart explodes from his nether regions. A dark stain spreads across the backside of his breeches as he crawls up the steps. Draven roars with laughter, while Naviri hides a smile behind one small, delicate hand. Evesori sighs internally, even as she directs Skips-Over-Water, the lizard-man, to attend to Theo and make certain that he doesn’t get any filth on her silken sheets. Skips hurries up the stairs while Evesori turns back to Draven’s table, still wearing her inscrutable smile.

Her mouth tightens slightly as she sees the mocking look on Naviri’s elfin face. Draven is playing with her tiny horn-nubs, unconcerned with Evesori’s emotions. In her mind, she crosses the room in a flash, tearing out the girl’s throat with a vicious swipe of ragged talons, bathing in gouts of refreshing, life-giving blood. In reality, she steps forward slowly and respectfully, nodding at Naviri politely as she addresses Draven.

“Milord? There is an…urgent matter which I must speak with you about. A moment of your time, please?” She takes a calming swig of ale from the tankard as she waits for him to stand and accompany her outside. Draven looks at her for a long moment. When he finally speaks, his voice is as frigid as an ice-bolt from the staff of a cryo-mage. “Evie, please…you do see that I’m busy, do you not? I’m sure that whatever is troubling you can wait until morning. In fact, it will have to wait. I’m being entertained at the moment.” He looks upstairs, where a loud thud rattles the floor. “Besides, your…lover is waiting for you. Surely you will be busy for the rest of the evening, as will I.” He smiles at Naviri as he pulls her tighter onto his lap. He traces a long, pale finger along her jawline and narrow, pointed chin, then lightly touches the girl’s lips. Evesori is filled with rage as she sees the girl’s slight frame shudder with pleasure. Why is he doing this? Why now? Her thoughts roil in confusion; for the first time in an eternity her confidence is shaken, yet still she tries to hide it and save face. She drains the tankard and slams it on the table a bit harder than she intended, then turns to leave the tavern. Draven ignores her as she walks out of the door, busily nuzzling Naviri’s neck and lightly suckling on her right ear. Naviri doesn’t notice the tiny bite on her earlobe…

Once outside, Evesori picks up one of the chairs and smashes it into one of the stout porch-timbers, feeling slightly better as splintered wood flies. A couple walking past the tavern hasten their steps as they see the violent outburst, heading instead towards the quiet inn near the city gates. Evesori’s eyes are wild, her face twisted in hate. All semblance of calm has vanished, and her anger makes her careless. She is completely unaware of the cloaked figure shrouded in the darkest corner of the porch until it is too late. A slender but strong arm is around her throat before she knows it; a hand smothers her mouth and nose in a powerful grip. She struggles in futility as she is dragged off of the porch and into the darkness behind the tavern. There is a brief burst of flame, then silence.

A young city guard stands at ease under a nearby streetlamp, fully aware of what just took place behind him. He was there to ensure that none would interrupt. The heavy sack of coin in his pocket is comforting – he was paid well for his duty. If the sell-sword can rid his fair city of the blood-vermin, he is more than willing to turn a blind eye. “Well done, lad,” he hears a husky voice say. “Remember – when you identify more of these parasites, send the falcon to me. Otherwise, I will return at the next cycle of the new moons. Together, we shall exterminate these filthy creatures and return this city to its full glory.” A hand rests momentarily on his shoulder. “Your family will be free to sit at lakeside again…and your infant son’s murder shall be avenged.” He doesn’t turn as he whispers, “Thank you.”

The quiet presence vanishes. The young guard smiles…

Sunday Screen-Shots: 22 January 2017

Random Ramblings; Myriad Musings

I selected some screen-shots of a few of the pets that I “own” in-game. Every warrior needs a good companion, especially we solitary roamers! A friendly ear is always good to have around.

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Winged Adder

Desert Hound

Floating Baby Jelly

Winged Orange Flame-Toad

Black n’ White Piggy

Turquoise Dragonfly-Pixie

Black Panthers

Miniature Mammoth

Sun Salutation

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Excerpt: Metamorphosis

*** Author’s Note: Here is another excerpt of my fiction, edited to keep this post short and sweet. ***

The moons shine softly in the glade, casting their light on the statue of the Forest Lord. Behind her, the portal flares brightly, then fades and winks out. Barefoot, she walks towards the statue, which seems to gleam with an inner luminescence of its own. This statue is identical to the one that she saw in the grove before entering the portal, but looks to have been freshly-carved in comparison to its slightly weathered, moss-and-lichen-encrusted twin.

Of course, she thinks to herself. This is the realm of the Forest Lord, under his control and timeline. I am…between worlds.

She stands before the stag-headed stone effigy and gazes for a long moment, taking in the primal grandeur. The powerful build of the demigod as he brandishes his spear; his wolf companions savaging a boar at his feet.

The words of her savior echo in her mind: Pay due respect, child. The God of the Hunt suffers no foolishness.

Her hand pulses slightly where the mark was placed. She clenches that hand into a fist, momentarily, then presses her palms together and kneels before the statue. She bows her head, closes her eyes, and waits as she was instructed.

Her thoughts clear. Her mind is filled with the bright moons and the softly gleaming statue. The eyes of the demigod open, blazing as they fix on her form. A voice like distant thunder echoes in the labyrinth of her brain: Hmph. Another whelp bows in supplication to me.

Silence falls, yet she doesn’t speak – not yet. She feels that fiery gaze on her, penetrating, analyzing her from head to toe. She lets her thoughts flow freely, hiding nothing, including her recent shame and despair. The probing continues for a moment. Then, the presence exits her mind as swiftly as it entered. She waits.

Well, pup – you have been marked. It seems that my prodigal offspring has deemed you worthy of this gift. You must undertake the trial. But, first…

A tone of amusement is detected as the voice continues: First, remove your wretched rags. This trial requires your skills as a huntress and a warrior. Your sword and shield will not avail you.

She nods a brief assent and stands, slowly removing her armour and placing each piece carefully and reverently at the base of the statue as an offering.

She now stands nude, limned in moonlight. It is time, the voice says. Prepare yourself! With those words, a stabbing pain rips up and down her spine. She drops to her knees again, throwing her head back, mouth opening wide to scream. The sound strangles in her throat as a multitude of changes occur.

Her body twists, her back arches. Her shoulders broaden, muscles rippling and writhing like coiled snakes. Her fingers and toes lengthen as claws extend from those appendages. Her legs become the crooked, powerful hindquarters of a wolf. A thick brush of a tail touches the forest floor. Her gaping mouth stretches into a muzzle with strong, sharp, white fangs. Black fur sprouts from every pore; her ears become triangular and move nearer to the top of her head, and her breasts diminish to vestigial nubs hidden under the newly-grown, shaggy coat. A howl erupts from her throat, announcing her primal arrival. She stands, slightly hunched, snarling in surprise.

She still knows who she is…but her awareness of everything is magnified one hundred-fold. The light breeze which flutters the leaves and rustles the grass carries many scents, which she identifies without a thought. The pungent scent of large cats. The slightly dusty smell of feathers – harpies are near. The moist, dank essence of reptiles, hiding in mud. She detects the sap rising in the nearby trees; the blood pumping through the veins of the plentiful prey.

The voice of the Forest Lord thunders in her mind once more: Heed me well, pup. The prey is yours for the taking. Find the largest and bring it down, then sound the call of the hunt. You will know when you have succeeded. Now – go! Hunt well.

She doesn’t hesitate. Turning away from the statue, she lopes down the hillside and jumps to the top of a boulder to survey the area. A tiger prowls in the grasses below, it’s back to her. Silently, she creeps down and hides in the rock’s shadow, inching closer to the large feline. Before it realizes the danger, she has leapt upon it and severed its spine with a savage bite to the back of the neck. Blood-lust descends and she tears out the great cat’s heart, gulping it down in two swift bites. Strength fills her; she races onward, seeking out the trophy prey.

There. Just over that ridge: a mammoth lumbers about, quietly munching grass. It is a double-tusked behemoth with mottled grey fur, blind in one eye. Its handicap will make it doubly dangerous; even as the thought crosses her feral mind, it raises its head and lifts its trunk, scenting the air. She carefully moves downwind of it and crouches in the tall grass, waiting. The mammoth stands stock-still, the tip of its trunk twitching back and forth, seeking out the predator. The old beast is canny, she notes. This will take some time. She hunkers down low and backs away a bit, stopping as one of her paws touches the muddy banks of the river which cuts through this realm. An idea forms in her mind: mud will mask her smell and confuse the beast; if it is unable to tell her apart from the river-dwelling reptiles, then she might be able to take it by surprise. Slowly, she submerges herself in the murky waters, stopping short of immersing her head completely. Only her ears, eyes, and nose remain above the surface. Concealed in this fashion, she waits…

Werewolf Wednesday!

I was going to re-post this yesterday, but I got busy with errands and housework…that’s what happens when you live in the real world!
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Random Ramblings; Myriad Musings

The full moon approaches, the coastal storms continue and my Very Important Project nears completion. I also note a few more awards that have come my way, which gives me plenty to write about and complete over the weekend…in the meantime, enjoy some pictures and songs about wolves and werewolves!

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Sepultura’s Sunday Screen-Shots: Domus Dulcis Domus

There is a New Moon today, coinciding with a Pisces Solar Eclipse…fascinating, no? In light of that, and to celebrate the purchase of my first in-game house, here are a few in-game screen-shots of some of the exterior courtyard and interior décor. Time to earn more gold for a proper guild-hall worthy of the Sanctuary!

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Courtyard: walled for privacy & security

Relaxing on the porch as the sun sets

Casual dress; reading up on a recipe

Cooking for company

Sitting for a spell – time to put the cat out

A welcome visitor

Flirtatious fan-dancing

Sharing a drink by the fireplace

Drinking and chatting – a cozy evening

Standing close – time to retire

Fun Friday Facts: 24 February 2017!

Happy Friday, everybody! It’s the final Friday of February of 2017; yes, an ‘offical’ one would be if the last day of the month fell on a Friday, but I’m not as anal about such things as others are, LOL! Anyway, I figured that my “five fun facts” would relate to unique household items that a lot of people wouldn’t normally see in the homes of friends or acquaintances. I was inspired to do this by the recent addition of player housing to The Elder Scrolls Online, and I’m celebrating the purchase of my first “staple” home in-game. Good excuse to talk about home décor, no? I listed these items in the order they were acquired, just for the heck of it!

1. I have a lava lamp, which I purchased in Seattle in 1998. It has travelled with me from Washington state, to Oregon, and back again. I like lava lamps…they’re pretty nifty!

2. I have a globe, a gift from a family member and received in 1999. It’s very nice, mounted on a hardwood stand with a wheeled base. It once belonged to the California State University in Sacramento, according to one of three labels stamped on it. It has a date of 1915 etched into it as well.

3. An antique typewriter graces one desk in my writing room. It is a manual, Royal typewriter of 1930s vintage, and I use it to type out rough drafts of my book chapters. It was a surprise gift from my husband a couple of years ago – he just brought it in one day after running errands. He knew that I’d been looking for one…it made my day when he carried it in the house!

4. A seven-foot tall grandfather clock catches your eye when you first walk into our living room. It is a Trend model, which used to be made by the Sligh clock company, but has long since been discontinued. It is quite stately, with a glass-paneled wood casing and brass hardware. I’d venture to guess that it has more moving parts than the exercise machine does! The clock is our engagement present to each other, since we both saw it at the same time and made the joint decision to buy it. We call it our “engagement ring,” as it rings out every 15 minutes and chimes the hours. It’s definitely a source of pride!

5. Last but not least, the Marcy home gym. I’ve been wanting a universal exercise machine for years, as circuit-training has always been an important part of my workout regimen. I finally have one of my own – no more dealing with questionable fitness centers or sketchy, so-called “personal trainers!”

Some Sunday Scenery & Songs!!!

I’m getting ready to watch “The Battle of Five Armies” – finally! I figured this post was worth a re-blog, since I’m feeling lazy. Enjoy!

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Random Ramblings; Myriad Musings

’tis blustery today – the power and interwebz are flickering intermittently! I figured I’d do a quick post of some recent in-game scenery, at the very least…but, I keep getting interrupted when I try to read various blogs, so I am reading them via my ‘phablet.’ Doing so prevents me from using a ‘Like’ button, so don’t think that you’re forgotten! I swear, some people are demanding and think that if you miss reading them once, that you’ve abandoned them – and that isn’t the case. Drama queens (and kings) of that nature are definitely not worth the time and effort…and you can bet that I’m nothing like that. I understand that real life issues get in the way, and people return when (and if) they can. If not…c’est la vie, non?
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