kingtycoon: (Default)
So if you don't understand, let me explain - a little. I made this Game - The Game of the North (You'd love it). Now, if you know about RPGs you might know that the player's guide traditionally comes loaded up with long, long lists of spells. I, personally, hate that - its lame to learn all the spells in the book, it's tedious to have to study them all for exploits & so on. Plus maybe a lot of the time you don't play a spellcasting character - so a waste of time/space for everyone.

My solution was to come up with a system for making your own spells using a few guides & indicators. I really thought that would appeal to people - in particular the thing I wanted to address was this: As the GM, I run the game and work on it when I'm not running it - I straight up love that shit, I really do, it's one of the main things about me that I like doing. Now, as a player I find, I like having something to do between sessions - hence my old Spellbook Project -

My assumption in putting together the Game of the North was - give people things to do away from the table - let them engage a deeper way. Now. That's not for everyone. Which is, whatever, a shame? A shame for me anyhow. In playtesting it seems players want to have spells explained & made for them. So I'm using the neato rules I came up with and I'm making up spells. But I think, it's probably worth it for me to assemble my spellbook pictures & whatnot into some coherent element within this - just so I can put 'em in a book and people can have it as a possession - so I'm working on that! Anyhow The Blue Book is the example section for casting magic spells about summoning. Here's the whole explanation of that:
Read more... )
kingtycoon: (Default)
Here's the first part of The Blue Book
Conjuration of Mot: You call into existence the god-thing of the Qlp of Azure Mot, the demon of accidents & destruction. The world-shaker, typhoon maker, the implacable trickster of destruction. Mot is the chaos of catastrophe personified. It appears when commanded & unleashes its bizarre stochastic harms upon your adversaries. Mot is a being of curses, destruction & pain. It appears, when commanded to, as a gaunt man with numerous obvious injuries, near death but laughing. This being has an unspeakable power in the world and so a Wizard that is not suicidally reckless only summons the barest shade of Mot – thus it appears ghostly and indistinct in the world when called. Mot must be compelled to obedience during its time in the world but it does not struggle or evince any kind of resentment so long as it is allowed to unleash its terrible curses at will. The conjuration of Mot requires that certain signs & incantations be uttered but otherwise is cast in a single round.
Level: 2 Duration: 2 Rounds
Effects: The ghostly manifestation of Mot appears for two rounds and it attacks on all of its turns using its curses. It has 1 HD or 2 HD if called by a chaotic wizard.
Mot Pasxionixta XAOSI
HP – 5 (1HD) AC – 12 Saves – 18 Initiative 16 Chaotic
Attack: The Shade of Mot uses spells to attack. It is the manifestation of the magical power of Curses and only uses curses to attack. Gaze of Mot – Deals 2d4 damage to a single target. Scream of Mot – Inflicts d4 damage to a 10’ area. Curse of Mot – Inflicts Blindness or Deafness on a single target. Mot’s Galvanic Curse – Deals 1d4 to one target, and then 1d4 to another target irrespective of line of sight. Mot’s Phlogiston Curse – Deals 1d4 damage to a single target which bursts into flame.
The Shade of Mot is a weak shadow of the real being behind it, this aspect is indistinct and barely real, but this belies the vast power that exists behind the being. If a chaotic caster (i.e.: one willing to risk great danger) summons the being – all damage dice that Mot inflicts using its curses are increased to d6’s.

Conjuration of Shammat: You conjure demons from the dark side of the Blue Moon, the Qlp of the Pasxionixta XAOSI. Shammat is the general of the XAOSI and commands many, many legions. When summoned Shammat appears in the form of a great rider, a warrior riding upon a dragon, clad in armor & wielding a dozen weapons in its twenty hands. Shammat is imposing, but it does not unleash its own martial power upon the world, it is too responsible & benign for that, rather, the conjurer must impose upon Shammat to release the least of its warriors upon the world for a brief skirmish in aid of the conjurer. Shammat cannot be bargained with, will not be threatened, and cannot be defeated by anything short of its true contenders – that is, other Mondragora, Gods or Titans. Shammat’s legions must be tested in war often in preparation for the foretold battles that will end the universe. As such he is pleased to lend his warriors to the world to determine which of his warriors are fit for this great battle. Shammat appears, when summoned, gives a piercing cry and releases these soldiers. The warriors of Shammat come in the form of metal-bound humanoids, beings bound in iron, bronze, silver & gold each according to their ranks in Shammat’s legions. When Shammat is called he makes an accounting of the battlefield and determines which of his units to deploy. In this respect, Shammat manifests the magical discipline of Summoning.
Level: 4 Duration: 4 Rounds
Effects: No mortal wizard has ever been able to summon Shammat itself. Instead a token communication is offered to the Demon-King and it responds according to its own wishes by granting one of the following effects.
Ironmen of Shammat Pasxionixta XAOSI
HP – 5 (1HD each) AC – 14 Saves – 18 Initiative 16 Chaotic
4 Ironmen are summoned
Attack: The ironmen are armed with a pair of swords each. On their initiative turns they rush at opponents and make two attacks (+3 to hit, d8+1 damage).
Bronzemen of Shammat Pasxionixta XAOSI
HP – 10 (2HD each) AC – 16 Saves – 16 Initiative 118 Chaotic
2 bronzemen are summoned
Attack: The bronzemen are armed with a pair of shortbows each (they have 6 arms). On their initiative turns they fire two arrows apiece. (+5 to hit, d8+2 damage)
Silverman of Shammat Pasxionixta XAOSI
HP – 20 (4HD) AC – 18 Saves – 16 Initiative 20 Chaotic
1 silverman is summoned
Attack: The Silverman has 6 arms and makes 3 battle-axe attacks per round (+5 to hit for d10+2 damage each)
Goldman of Shammat Pasxionixta XAOSI
HP – 20 (4HD) AC – 18 Saves – 16 Initiative 20 Chaotic
1 goldman is summoned
Attack: The goldman uses a huge bow that requires all six of its hands to properly use. It attacks once per turn the arrows launched by the goldman are huge & have a difficult time striking individual targets, however they are very destructive to buildings & fortificaitons, the goldman can breach walls & collapse small buildings with its attacks.

Conjuration of Adon: You conjure a manifestation of the being Adon – worshipped in the most ancient ages as a god, though it is no god. Adon is a spirit of beauty & vanity whose weakness is ornamentation & wealth. It has power over the magic of Transformation & makes a fair teacher. The manifestation of Adon is 4 HD & lingers for a few hours before departing. It uses its actions to cast transforming magic at everyone it sees altering their appearance to suit it. The Manifestation of Adon regards all beings on this plane of existence as its lovers and uses its magic to create them as brides. Adon can be talked to and reasoned with exclusively in the Vada language. The summoning of Adon requires 10 minutes to cast & an offering of 400 Sp worth of jewelry, clothing or other finery has to be proffered. No control is exerted over the demon once he is summoned, he can only be entreated, usually by offering him riches or sexual gratification.
Level: 4 Duration: 4 Hours
Effects: Summons the 4Hd (3hd for non-chaos summoners) Demon Adon.

Adon Pasxionixta XAOSI
HP – 24 (4HD) AC – 16 Saves – 10 Initiative 18 Chaotic
Attack: Spells, Adon casts level 4 or lower Transformations once per round & knows some of its own Transformations (which it may teach). It favors a few spells: Make Delightful – Transforms any person, object or creature into a more beautiful (to Adon) version of itself. This is a permanent transformation of the plain into the beautiful. Bride of Adon – This transformation causes a target to become immediately fecund and for an unmovable ring of gold to appear on their finger. Their clothing & accoutrements change, becoming gaudy, garish & fine. Warform – Adon changes itself into another creature – usually into a warrior-type PC of 4HD or fewer. It retains this form for up to 4 rounds. Jewelfood – By some alien means Adon consumes jewels & treasure – transforming these into a part of its own body. Doing so destroys the jewels but invigorates Adon – this technique is peculiar to the demon & has little in the way of practical use.


3 of Many

Jun. 18th, 2014 01:15 pm
kingtycoon: (Default)

World Constructed World Mega City

Quickchannel Goldendream’s House  of

Short Interludes withPeculiar Folk of the

Pir Earth over Stone Pinepath

Fenster is an unassuming type, a man of very limited physical appeal, but with
a certain avidity of intellect that leaves one feeling overmatched once he
begins.  He is very retiring however and
is not easily drawn into conversation.  I
was compelled by his bashfulness to be introduced to him through several
intermediaries.  Once acquainted though,
he was very pleased to make demonstrations of the prodigies that he has
assembled in his home.  When simply asked
about the impressive model of the city in his house, Fenster was strictly at a
loss for how to explain himself he did, however, answer specific questions
easily and without discomfort. 

your model is of exceptional design, it is truly a marvel.  May I ask when the idea to create it came to

Ah, you see, I ah…  So the model itself, here – this building,
just near my own house, as it appears on the model – this was the first
building.  You see, here by the Quick
Channel.  This building was started many
years ago, in two-thousand and eighty-seventh year in fact.  It’s a storehouse for a vintner operating
just outside the city.  I’ve not been to
the winery, but here you can see, the stone I used is the same.  It’s like this with all the models, you
understand, I use the materials of the building they represent.  They were building the storehouse, you see
and I walked by because it was in my path and I found an unused piece of the
limestone – the cladding for the structure. 
You can see it just outside, it’s the same stone.  Well I took the stone and amused myself in my
idle hours by trying to shape it into a replica of the storehouse.  That was a great many years ago, of course,
but here it is, the first.

your models are all built from the stone of the built from the same materials
as the building they represent?

Oh, indeed yes, to me,
that’s the main thing.  That they
match.  You know, the first model – the
storehouse, I made it too large.  It was
the stone I had and I didn’t have the skill, then, to make it any smaller.  If I had, I’d not have needed to give up so
much of my house to the model!  But
yes!  Yes, I am told by other enthusiasts,
there are so many of us, it turns out, when a new building is coming in, or a
road.  Some of the foremen, they’re
acquaintances now, friends even, and they’ll… 
Have you met Dion Shortstreet? 
He’s one of the builders - one of the Knights of Craft-  their religion, you know, the Maker
Faith.  They are great supporters of my
avocation, they see it as a holy work, in their religion.  Well Dion, he will always spare me some
material, and sometimes a copy of the architectural diagrams.  If it’s a structure he’s particularly proud
of, he’ll ask for a model of his own, I can hardly help but oblige!  And he’s a good example but hardly the only
one.  They like to help and I like to
show them the work – the builders.  I
understand that a spare model of the Cathedral of Masons that I made is at Wei,
on their hill – the Churchmen, they say it is a subject of some of their

so Fenster, that is where I first heard of your project.  (Fenster is visibly pleased, he squirms at
his workbench)  But this accounts for the
new buildings, as you they are constructed, you gather a spare piece of the
masonry.  What of the older structures,
Klial has many very ancient buildings after all. 

It’s very flattering that
you’ve heard of my work even at Windheart, they spoke of it to you? 


Wonderful.  You’re right of course, you’re right, smart
fellow-  there are so many buildings, old
buildings.  Well, here, look at this one
(He picks up and hands me a carved piece
of wood, it resembles one of the tiny insula that are common on the Oxbows, far
from the city center)
That is a building on a street called Sucker street.  Named for a mollusk of some kind.  That house has stood on the same spot for ten
generations.  Would you believe it?  It’s a very modest old house.  Well? 
Where did I find the wood that would match?  I’ll tell you – I asked them. 


Yes, the house’s
inhabitants.  I told them I’d like to
take a bit of board from the side or a piece of the roof.  They told me I could.  Well, that house?  They handed me a bit of the roof that had
come off.  You’re best going after a
storm.  In a neighborhood like that. 

many houses on just Sucker road?

Sucker Street!  Street. 
Oh, let’s see (He counts, somewhat
slowly, a row of models in his great model of the city) 
Seventy Three, thereabouts, North &
South sides.  There may be more just now,
or fewer.  Very mutable, the oxbows.  I must go back soon. 

each of these models is made from the same…

Yes, it has to be exactly
the material that the house is clad in. 
Clad, you see, clothing.  I don’t
fashion the guts of the buildings.  Just
the outsides.

what of the palaces of the Kannyltine! 
Some of those are clad in gold, no?

Oh, aye, they are, they are
that… (He has a forlorn expression that
is immediately revealed to be a farce, he is making a joke at my expense, well,
he is trying to) 
You see.  Gold. 
The Last Kannyltine.  I wrote to
him, you see.  I wrote a letter and I
went to the scribes to have them make it proper, for his eyes, you see, and he
liked my letter.  He sent some people, I
imagine people of very great status to come and see my project here.  I was not present, you understand, I wasn’t
allowed in their company, but they came here and they saw.  They must have liked it very much and said
something to the Kannyltine – he had his own smith here the very next day with
an amount of gold and he showed me how to hammer it into leaves, and I’ve used
the same bit ever since. 

Remarkable!  Do you think that Ettis XLVII came here

Oh!  I hadn’t thought of that, but he might
have!  I wish I’d have cleaned up a bit
more!  The gold is nice isn’t it?  A nice touch, but I’m most proud of the
roads.  And the rivers and the bridges,
and the trees.  Oh the trees.  (The
model does have roads, and it does have water and bridges, but it lacks
trees.  Instead there are leaves
positioned throughout the model.
You see, a leaf to match each tree. 
I coat them in wax, they’ll last forever – but the leaves match.

Amazing.  How many buildings are there Fenster? 

Oh, altogether?  Many thousands, probably.  I imagine. 

really don’t know?  Exactly?

Ah, yes, I fooled you.  Yes, here it is.  (He
produces a tattered piece of parchment, it is heavily marked)
.  One hundred and forty seven thousand eight
hundred and ninety four.  Well, ninety 6 –
after today. 


I must return to my work,
but I can answer questions while I do so, I’ve had so much more time, all these
years since I’ve retired from the service. 
Would you be kind and make the coffee though?

2 of Many

Jun. 17th, 2014 07:02 pm
kingtycoon: (Default)

of Adventure Corpse Land Boarding School of Horrors

The Dark
Labyrinth Madrassa, The Unseelie Nursery At The Silver Grottoes

            Commonly, in
the lavish courts of the Flower Dynasts of Rosecrown one will spot a courtier
who seems strangely out of place.  Among
the Knights of the Gladiolus  Orders, or
the Provocateurs of the Daffodil Schools, all in their excesses of finery, you
might see someone at the Lord’s elbow, drably dressed with only the foxglove
sprig carved in jet or ebony or obsidian as a simple badge.  These courtiers, are conspicuous by their
lack of arms, their lack of a retinue, their lack of any significant
presence.  One cannot attend one of the great
cotillions of the Rosecrown Sodalities without every attendant calling out
names and titles, positions and affiliations, and yet with even with grace honed
to a perfect edge, one cannot learn the names or the identities of these
Foxglove marked courtiers.

 Not every one of the Rosecrown Houses has one
of the Knights of the Ordo Digitalis, and those that are so lacking are notable
for the failures of their intrigues and the fragility of their security.  While the Madrassas of the Tulip Courts teach
the arts of Story & the Madrassas of the Rose Court teach the arts of
governance, and each of the Schools of the Progression of Seasons have their
own subtle and unsubtle arts, the Winter-Madrassas teach those secret and
unseemly skills so needful at court and so shameful to countenance.  Secrecy among these schools is paramount and
none is more secretive or more exacting than the Madrassa at the Silver
Grottoes, the Unseelie nursery. 

The Peaks of the southern
Rosecrown frontier have ever been a bulwark against invasion, the great snow-clad
peaks that reach high beyond the clouds fencing the Julusti subcontinent,
saving it from all invasions save One. 
Silver Peaks are not empty, though they are no longer the frontier they
once had been, rather they are a fastness, a remote internal bastion.   But while the rare air and penetrating cold
of the high mountains no longer provides a hedge of defense from the outside,
there are guardians there still, who train up the very few in the proper arts
of courtly defense and the unseelie arts of courtly subterfuge. 

The Silver grottoes are
indistinctly named, a supposed region of the Silver-Peaks, it is an indistinct
name that offers anonymity, for how many silver grottoes are there in those
mountains?  Hundreds, at least
dozens.  Yet there is the one, among the
many, which is a place of strange and dark reputation.  A pit in the mountains so deep that the sun never
shines upon it, a dark place carved into the mountains long ago in the search
for the now spent silver veins.  But
through unknown interventions of history the abandoned mine, a maze in the
perpetual darkness became for the Rosecrown Sodalities, the training ground for
their court assassins. 

The Labyrinth itself is
known to occupy a very large area – based upon the omniscient and ancient
records of the Kannyltines, it is known that the mines were once of great providence
and were exploited accordingly.  The
excavation itself took place over many generations and the seemingly endless
vein was exhausted only after centuries of extraction.  The excavations remain, a great chthonic
palace, a rock depth beneath the mountains. 
Though materials remain, indicating the breadth and depth of the
Labyrinth, the documentation of its whereabouts have been eradicated
systematically through long & secret campaigns. 

Very few are those
candidates who survive the labyrinth.  It
is said to be a tomb, to all those who die within, those who could not navigate
its perils.  And more than mere darkness,
hunger and thirst, it is said that the many dead, gathered in that place walk,
and seek to destroy all who would surpass them in ability.  Nevertheless there are a few who do survive
the passage and enter the Silver Grotto, finding themselves at the Foxglove
court where they are trained in the assassin’s arts and the sinister work of
the Unseelie courts. 

Principally, the Foxglove
Knights are poisoners, extortionists & killers, but they likewise bring knowledge
of the defense against these nefarious arts to their patrons.  Such patrons pay an inordinate fortune to win
the favors of these courtiers – though they still are less expensive to train
and maintain than members of many other knighthoods.  The disconcerting, and often worrying thing
about the Digitalis Courtiers though, is that none now alive can say who their
masters are, who the Counts and Dukes and Mahatmas of their school are, least
of all the students, who approach the Madrassa in utter secrecy, utter darkness
and with only the greatest courage.  There,
they train in darkness, learn and study in darkness, are never exposed to the
sun while in the chambers of their grotto for the dozen years it takes to learn
all their dark arts.  And at last, it is
said, when one among them is sufficiently trained to leave the Nursery, it is
made known to them by the blinding light of the sun, which they are able,
finally and at last to see – at the end of their cruel journey into their
haunted catacomb. 

It is said as well, that
those who leave the Madrassa on their feet never willingly leave the sunlight
thereafter, that they are energized and empowered by the light as if it were a
potent drug, and that even by the dark of night, they rest their eyes only
briefly, and then in the presence of many lighted candles and under the starry
sky.  Whether this is so, whether the
Foxglive Knighthood is really so rare, so disciplined and so fiercely trained,
none can say – save for their own fraternity – and none among them ever speak
of these matters – or if they do, they each and all tell a wholly different
tale, keeping their secrets secret and their sinister arts unspoken, unheard
and unseen – these are the matters that are learned in the Night Madrassa.
kingtycoon: (Default)

Wildlife Ominous Floating Castle Secret Government Warehouse

The Albatross Vault at The Nightcandle Harbors

               Out on the Dagger-Sea, the
ice-laden gulfs of the Imperial South there are glacier hewn isles, grooved and
scrubby, treeless. The tracks of the
sea-serpents, they’re called and upon one of these tall, inaccessible rocks the
Kannyls of Nightcandle, of old – in their Colonial Vanity did cause a great
vault to be built. Carved into stone,
hard to achieve by ship – but inapproachable by any other means – save the once
in a lifetime freezing over of the harbor.
The vault is carved in the cliffside and the hewn out rock was recovered
to form a great dome overtop the handmade caverns. Once constructed the great edifice had a
purpose known only to the founder of the vault-
A Kannyl of Nightcandle’s earliest days called Zarraw (of a now lost
line of that family) – but after the earliest dynasts of Nightcandle were
replaced by their latter Imperial lords the place was put to rest as a
troublesome folly, impossible to access – except by the albatross, tern and
seahawk – all of which creatures nest there in their seasons.

later innovation of an existing folly is a hallmark and a point of pride for
the Lords of Nightcandle – who have turned the use of the inaccessible,
impossible vaults to stranger ends than any could have imagined. In the hunts and journeys into the Utter
Dark, into the fallen realm of Sorrowblood and into the Raindrinker interiors,
and as well into the Rimal Steppes they have gathered those strangest birds –
by eggs, all hand raised and let loose in the aviary at the Albatross
Vault. So that the inner chambers and
the inmost rooms are haunted by man-eating birds larger than horses, or by
plump water birds, four pawed and wingless, or by the paw-winged trunk clinging
feathered monkeys. A vast panoply of the
pinioned beasts gathered from the Imperial East, exotic and peculiar, all are
housed in these vaults. Or were, for the
impulse to gather the menagerie, like the impulse to build the vault was a
fading fancy of a dynasty replaced and replaced again here by avid naturalists,
and there by spirited hunters, and oftener than not by the complacent and
neglectful lords who rather rightly turned their interests to human
affairs. And so by sporadic
interventions and avoidances in alternating turns the Albatross Vault (for the
Albatross never varied their devotion to the spot) came to be a strange and
haunted ruin – a wild menagerie of strangely-bred and otherwise extinct creatures. Some new, some forgotten – and on nights of
fatal consequence there have been seen great, fathom-winged birds leaping from
the place, blotting the moon and stars from perception – and the sailors of the
ice-clad harbor know too well the uncanny calls of the prisoned raptors that
are of no place but this one.

and there, a Lord of the Bay, a Tunkannyl, feeling secure in his walls, or a
Rinkannyl goaded to present the trappings of heroism will send out from their strongholds
at Wormstone or Weatherrock some gallants or vagabonds – whichever is in the
vogue of the time – to try and reclaim or rediscover or to merely revisit the vaults. Invariably this fateful enterprise is doomed
to a fatal end, but here and there, someone does return. These few survivors maimed and broken will
tell a tale that is retold until the next lord of the Bay decides to spend his
surplus heroes on the exploration, motivated by the stories he must have heard
at a young age – of a lone survivor – who had seen the great toothed-storks,
the sealbird or the spiderhawk – mad and deadly creatures that certainly
frightened the child-lord, but always with the succulent coda- “and the man returned with a feather of solid
ivory, inlaid with gold, clutching only this one beautiful treasure, he washed
at last to the shore.”
kingtycoon: (Default)

Dimension Door


Dimension Door 1
Dimension Door 2
Dimension Door 3
Dimension Door 4
Dimension Door 5
Dimension Door 6
Dimension Door 7

Dimension Door
Magic-User Level 4
Duration: Instantaneous
Range: 10’
This is a minor version of the Teleport spell, allowing the caster to instantly transfer the
Subject from its current location to any other
known spot within 360’. The being always
arrives at exactly the spot desired by the caster Unwilling subjects are granted a saving throw.
An unknown or unseen place may be specified. For example, 100’ south and 20’ high, but if the destination is already occupied by a solid body, the spell fails.

Prismatic Spray

Prismatic Spray 1
Prismatic Spray 2
Prismatic Spray 3
Prismatic Spray 4
Prismatic Spray 5
Prismatic Spray 6
Prismatic Spray 7
Prismatic Spray
Magic-User Level 7
Duration: Instantaneous
Range: 70’
This spell causes seven shimmering, inter- twined, multicolored beams of light to spray from the caster’s hand. The beams are inter- twined in a “fan” of light that is 70’ long, 5’ wide at the origin and 15’ wide at the terminal end.
Each beam has a different power.
Creatures in the area of the spell with 8 Hit Dice or less are automatically blinded for 2d4 turns. Every creature in the area is randomly struck by one or more beams, which have additional effects that are identical to the same color of the globes produced by the Magic-User spell Prismatic Sphere
Roll Color Effect
1 Red Deals 10 points damage
2 Orange Deals 15 points damage
3 Yellow Deals 40 points damage
4 Green Poison
5 Blue Turns to stone
6 Indigo Causes Insanity
7 Violet Creatures Sent to Another Dimension
8 Two Colors Roll Twice, ignoring this result

One thing about these rules that govern what spells you know and can cast is that your intelligence limits your highest level casting. 7th level spells require a 17 Intelligence - out of a possible 18. I personally presume that I'm at about a 16 on a good day, though others have suggested I'm smarter than that. Now, I've generated my list up to 9th level, meaning that I'd be up to an unnaturally high intelligence score, and that's something that I think would be... Attainable - through uncanny effort.

As it is, I'm telling a tale on myself - because my system for generating these lists put a 4th level spell in my 7th level slot- Dimension Door. Not that it isn't a pretty great spell. Portals, vanishing, teleportaion! aggressive teleportation - "I send you to a place in the sky!" That's mean right there, that's terror. Plus I can, what, Nightcrawler around, go where I want, be anywhere. Rob all the vaults, sneak into all the movies! Of course teleporting has all kinds of existential questions associated with it and those would be fun and instructive to parse out, experimentally. Do I lose my scars when I go through the door?

Besides that I've got Prismatic Spray. I haven't had a real fuck you spell since 1st level and Magic Missile. Sure I can do all kinds of weird gross things already - I can sicken people and make them love me, I can even talk to your houseplants- or teleport you to the middle of the sky. But Prismatic Spray - even when it goes easy on you, when I get you with just that one perfect shade of red - it stings. Now, let's say I hit you with the green color - and remember, that I'm attacking you with upsetting colors - how nuts is that? - but if you get zapped with the green one, you're poisoned, to death - and if I zap you with the blue you're stone now. Statue, stone - decorative. That's if you avoid me making you just go Crazy. Dirty stuff right there - "Be Schizophrenic now, I'm the worst ever enemy!" Of course the violet ray - you look into that violet ray and there you are, in another dimension. No bodies, no evidence, nothing, you're away. Will you ever come back? Can you? Do I care? Better than that even - let's say I snag you with two colors well fuck you your made of rock and also insane, or just, I dunno, singed and also in another dimension - Experience that fucker - Go to another dimension and be hurt there!
kingtycoon: (Default)
First - I'd like to point out what a difference two years make.
I painted this one first - just a little over two years ago:
and this is the version I polished off today:

Here's what I think.
- The Salesman is my Magician for a few reasons - first, because it's a role that's similar, they both turn bullshit into money. More or less. Charm, ease, confidence. Conman or Salesman - they turn bullshit to money. That's the purely mundane, secular relationship between these two. Second, because they both convey a sense of interior power. A mastery of the self and the self's internal impulses. These are people who are able to form their best perceptions and sense of themselves and then use that - that compressed diamond within to create... Something. A conversation, a ritual, a plan, a transaction. In either of these cases these are people with limited tools - language based tools, who can transmute by skill - those tools into power & the exercise of power. In both cases these are figures who have an undeserved dominance - because in both cases these are people who have formed themselves into a tool - useful only to themselves.

Here's how I read it.
- The Salesman has a powerful internal identity, a drive from within that comes from equal parts strength and flaws, he's a realized avatar of the Self - and internal identity that sometimes can have dominance in the self. By no means the complete man, nor the perfected man, the Salesman is a powerful man that derives from an inward drive and sense. So where the Student conveys a total lack of awareness - the Salesman represents a hyper-awareness but only of the internal self. Of his capabilities. He's uncertain of the world - but he does have the confidence and the power he needs to try and exert some dominance over the world itself. He is a man of will who gets by with a few accoutrements and little else.
The Pen, the Phone, the Money and the Cup - he's got the minor arcana, the symbols of the estates and the elements and the humors - he's got those spinning in the air, tools, toys to him. He has them and uses them - but may not quite appreciate their influence. He's self aware and understands their value to him - but may miss their function in the larger world. The Salesman masters himself, not the world - he's effective in the world but not the ruler.
He relies on the written word and the spoken word, on symbols and language. These are the effective centers of his abilities. He has a name for his qualities, and is good at equivocation, at reasoning and at persuasion. Words are his power - they're a thorough expression of his inner self - which is a manifested identity- to the outer world which may have no distinct identity. He's like Adam then - he names the creatures of the field. This is a source of power in him.

This time around I'm being more deliberate about my application of the hexagrams of the I-Ching. Here, you have Pushing Upward - Sheng - The breeze from within the earth. Pushing upward is a supreme success - Fear not - one must See the Great Man. This is a sign of the man who sees, clearly, the best in himself, and struggles to express it outwardly. Now- whether this really is the best in himself, is not truly manifest - it's a sign though, of what we hold dear about ourselves, and what we have within us, that makes us content in ourselves.

I wrote a story about it.

Here I am again under the lights.” he thinks. The day's started, the samples are all in place, the world is beginning to align in lighted forms and shapes. The objects on the horizon become distinct – cars and buildings and trees – cast in deep shadow from the rising sun. He drinks his bad coffee from his foam cup, it's burned and tastes burned and hot and burns his tongue. He flattens the wrinkes out of his suit and preens in the mirror. He looks fine. “Here I am again.” He says. “Under the lights.” He says this into his mirror, he's sure that he could say something more, something that would mean everything, that would change something for him today. He can't think of what though. He feels a certain shame, a certain restlessness and a certain anxiety.

They're almost here.” He says. Customers, is what he means – prospects, marks. Someone he'll pitch. He tries his pitches out. They come clumsily to his mouth, he's burned his tongue, it's swollen against his teeth and he feels unready. He's always been unready. If he'd prepared... “If I'd prepared more, I'd be doing something else.” He thinks this, remembers his college friends who learned engineering, who learned law. “Lack of preparation.” He's learned, that he's not the prepared type though, preparation doesn't agree with him.

At least I'm resourceful. It's better to be resourceful than prepared.” He says this to himself and he's sitting down by the door now, watching the lot to see if a customer will approach. He's coloring in the scuffs on his shoes with a marker. It looks fine, he's together. If he didn't shine his shoes today, that's more time he had for better things. If he didn't prepare by shining his shoes, at least he's resourceful enough to fix the scuffs with marker. He realizes that he's a genius. He drinks the coffee, it's cooled now but his tongue's gone numb. He looks at the phone – there is a list of people he needs to call today. He's good on the phone even if he doesn't like using it. People don't answer enough – sometimes they're angry that he's calling. He's good on the phone – when he can reach them. They come in, one out of twenty, they come in and of those one out of four will buy. He's alright, as a Salesman, he's alright, but just alright. There are better. “Always better.” He says. Thinking about it ruefully. The old man in sunglasses, the young kid that everyone seems to love and pity. The preacher, the highschool football hero. There's always someone better. But there's always someone, each day, who's the best. Who's the best is a matter for daily reckoning, something calculated by the sudden quirk of fate that grants vision and strength, the suddenly possible realities that emerge out of seemingly nothing.

It's all chance.” He says, and knows it. “Today's my day.” He doesn't really believe it, but repeating it helps.

It's after ten when the first customer comes up. He goes straight to him. A strange man in a crumpled suit. Trendy, nice – but it looks like he's slept in it. He goes right up, no hesitation. He manifests within himself a feeling - “This is where I want to be.” That's what he tells himself and walks right up.

Sir.” He says, approaching. “Good morning sir, you're well?” He extends his hand, the man takes it.

Ah, I been better, but not often. How are you doing fella?”

It's a beautiful day isn't it?” He's suddenly realizing that it is. The ice has receded. He isn't feeling the cold – there's no wind now. It's warm and the sun is out. He shouldn't be doing this, but he's looking away from the customer, the prospect. He's got his eyes shaded and he's looking at the sun, rising up.

It is isn't it. You're right. Listen, can you tell me about this one? I come by here all the time and I keep seeing this guy, I want to know about it, I been wondering.”

The Salesman looks at the unit, it's a nice one, but not the nicest. It doesn't seem like it will match the man's style, but the man's style is peculiar, now that he's noticing it.

We can go inside and I'll show you all the literature, come on in.”

Nah, nah, I'll stay out here and smoke – you wanna smoke?”

A little. You want some coffee? I'll get us some coffee and we can talk out here.”

Nice plan, sure. No sugar, light cream.”

Be right back.”

Not going anywhere fella.”

It's the kind of thing someone says when they are planning, in fact, to go somewhere. He realizes that. But also, he feels a great confidence. A lot of people come by just to look, like they want to know about the units, about product. A lot more people come by just to make small talk with a Salesman. Old guys, lonely. This one? He seems like – well it seems different, to the Salesman, it seems like he's interested, genuinely, in the Salesman himself. He gets the coffee out of the waiting room, brings it back – two tall foam cups.

The prospect, he offers a cigarette and a light. They stand there, drinking coffee and looking at the sun rising.

So you like this work?”

Not always, but today it's good.”

What don't you like about it?”

The uncertainty.” The Salesman doesn't hesitate.

What do you like about it?”

The certainty.”

Hah! How you figure that?”

heh, well – it's like this. I can't count on a customer coming up, and if one does, I can't count on them buying – so it's uncertain. But I can count on them liking me, and remembering me, and I can count on knowing my product and I can count on having a conversation. I like that, so that's what I can count on.”

So you're uncertain about everyone but yourself.”

That's it. I like that. I'm out here, just me, and that's all I can count on, and I like that. Counting on myself.”

But if you really counted on yourself, wouldn't you think you could close every prospect?”

Oh, now - I can say that I can, and I can believe that, but I don't know that I can. That's different. Believing and knowing.”

What makes the difference then?”

They sip coffee and smoke a while. It's not yet time to talk, the Salesman has to think about it.

Well – so I know I'm right handed – because that's the hand I use to write. But I believe I could get myself to write with my left hand, if I had to.”

So you know you're good, but you believe you could do better.”

If I needed to.”

So why don't you need to?”

Do better? Well... I hadn't thought about it really. I mean – if you had to write southpaw, you could do it, but only if you knew about writing in the first place, you know where you want to get to. So you believe you can get somewhere you already know about. But think about this – I'm talking to you, and I don't know you, or if you want to buy, or even if you could buy if you wanted to. A lot of people don't have any money, or they can't get financed. A lot of people. So I don't really believe I can sell you, but I know I can talk to you.”

So you talk.”

You don't mind?”

I'm here ain't I?”

You want to look at this unit?”

Yeah – tell me about it.”

Top of the line, in its time, it's pretty good still. Here's an old brochure – literature – that's what we call it.”

Literature. Words. Talking. Words. Pitch, Slogan, Jingle. Words.”

That's it. Words.”

So is it just words, that turn a prospect to a customer?”

And a conversation into a Sale. That's right.”

So tell me about that, words.”

Funny you should say that.”

You laughing at me?”

No, myself – you know, I think about it. Are there magic words? Alchemy – they used to have alchemists right? They turned lead to gold. Now, we've got Salesmen, we turn words to money.”

Top of the line you say?”

In it's time, it's still nice though, still strong – it's got character – see, look at this, and here.” It had character, that unit.

I get you. So why should I buy it?”

Well, because you can, and because I want you to.”

So what makes you so important?”

It's because this is my day. It's my day to be the best.”

And the prospect gets out his wallet, hands over the money – words transmuted to currency – right there on the lot.

Magic performed.

kingtycoon: (Default)

Well, that's a first pass on the Western Coast. Much can be said about all of this, in fact it will be.

I think, optimally, wishes being granted by a magic ring style ambitions? I'd like to finish this up in watercolors so that it's 5'x12' and then get some nice photos of the pieces, get them color-corrected and edited lightly digitally. Then join them up together into a big scaleable image file and then put that on the internet and make it interactive so that you click on a spot on the map and it gives you the option to read something about that place by choosing an author and a time.

I guess I should explain that when I write the history of my imaginary country I make up primary and secondary sources and that I kind of really do write it as a history - rather than as a novel. There's a lot of forged documents that count as authentic testaments of previous times. It's a whole thing. Can I tell you why I'd want to do this? I cannot.

Anyhow- the top of the coast is where you'll find Pinepath - the first of the Kannylte to join the Empire after the conquest of the Weft Valley. Pinepath is prinicpaly the home of the Zun people who joined up nice and easy because their existing civilization was governed by a handful of Mad Alchemists who were easy enough for the Empire to roll over, particularly with the groundswell of support by the common folk, who were pretty much done with being ruled by Mad Alchemists. Naturally there's an undercurrent there of Sane Alchemy now, which will is based on my modified hermeticism that uses 6 elements each with 2 'genders' or 'poles' that will end up being a mashup of the Tao and the Kybalion. Probably. They're called Pinepath in reference to the Mad Alchemists being crucified along the roads - but also, because of the roads themselves being made of wooden-boards and rope bridges, largely.

Next down is Copperring which has a similar backstory - here, you see the concentric rings of river and hill and mountain and river (sorta - it's something that doesn't really come out in a map, but the experience of the people living there is all about this concentric orientation). There's copper in the hills and in the river - so that's partly the source of the name. Also, this area was the head of a proto-imperial system, where the Url-King who'd fashioned the Copper-Ring, a kind of lightning-rod/static-sulfur-ball contraption lived. He used his technical knowledge, including the understanding of metal-smithing to draw people into his authority and governed his own region for 300 years(!) but also became a patron and defender of the people further south. Those people had been terrorized by the Eno (a tribe of religious zealot/assassin/nihilist/satanists) who lived on and worshiped the big mountain in the middle of the plain. The smaller kingdoms that the Eno preyed upon turned first to the Url-King for help and defense. He in turn disseminated his technical ability and knowledge throughout the region (but in a methodical, experimental way, so that some of the kingdoms were given some knowledge and denied other knowledge). This was effective at stemming the tide of the Eno's predations, but was not sufficient to turn them back entirely. The Url-King in turn pledges himself and all of his clients to the Empire so long as the Empire agrees to conquer the Eno. Being somewhat benign, the Empire drives the Eno of off the One Mountain and into a permanent diaspora. This ends a period of human history in which knowledge and wisdom might have prevailed against danger and heralds the age of Steel, in which military dominance and force become the final argument. Below Copperring are a couple of Kannylte that lie on what is called the Ruined Coast- in that it is full of ruins, not that it is ruined itself. Here you can still find the weird remnants of the Url-King's client states, a mish-mash of peculiar, individualistic city-states. I'm working on names for these places right now because the ones I had, I just don't like.

Stealing from Sargon the Great who conquered everything to the Persian Gulf and erected a monument saying: "I have washed my weapons in the sea." I have considered Tidescour or Oceanflight - but also things like Seaflight and Wavemask. None of them is really doing it for me so far. I'd probably really like Tidescour if it didn't sound too much like some kind of cleaning solution. The idea is that places are named for part of their conquest - so they should have some reference to people being driven to the sea, and some reference of the Empire rescuing them by marching to the sea. The Sea.

South of that, at the end, you can see the mountainous fingers rising out of the ocean - this is Whitesail which is sort of like Novaya Zemlya - at the southern tips these peninsulas are conjoined and linked on a seasonal basis, but the very, extremely, super-duper old old mountain range (appalachian style but with glaciers and fjords) help create these warm lowlands and super-rich fisheries. These areas are the traditional home of the Hlorii people - who express a lot more sexual dimorphism than you're used to. The dudes are 3 meters tall and sometimes have fangs, and the ladies are like, regular sized lady Fado singers. These people have a lot of weird duality in their cultural attitudes that are based on the land and the sea, the man & the woman, the highland and the lowland and so on. Their deal is a devotion to old-time religion that's dualistic and theological (rather than mystical). They gave up on resisting the Empire after a famous event in which one of their Hetmen's harem was captured and ransomed back to him in exchange for his complicity in helping the Empire.
kingtycoon: (Default)
At times like these I like to remember that I'm almost 40.

After a very long day full of progress bars and upload templates & field management I got drawn back to my imaginary world-  you know the one, the one I go crazy and work on endlessly, the one that I consider to be my main work in life.

So yesterday I realized something I wanted to work on, and then I did work on it. Because I love doing that and being busy and useful to myself.  I do not like washing dishes or cleaning up after myself because those things just don't seem useful.

Actually - let me talk about that thing - see, I was in the midst of the winter malaise because of all the effing cold and dark and I thought "I should have more fruits." But the thing is - I kind of don't like eating fruits. I don't mind them, but I... I don't even know. I like Square Meals. There's hardly any square fruits. What I decided to do was to just make potions for a few weeks. I mean, I got a blender don't I? Ain't I got a blender?! I do, so I bought like, nonsensical amounts of fruits and have been grinding their bones to make my juice. Anyhow - a couple of weeks of heavy potion consumption have left my guts somewhat out of proper order. My thought was to substitute all sugar and candy with fruits and then to drink them up all the time. Anyhow that was fine, as things to do go, except that there's a trashbag full of peels and cartons and peels and washing out the blender is a nuisance and... For all it's dietary imperfections the peanut-butter nutella diet is tidier with less hassles about cleanups. Anyhow I hate cleaning and love messing. I would make a sweet nomad, wandering the earth, littering it with peels and cartons as I move to less messier pastures.

Tomorrow, I'll clean up - I have to, no one will do it for me, and I'm supposed to be a kind of person. The kind of a person who has a clean blender. This reminds me - actually, of when I was a salesman - you'd always be pitching people on how you'd save them from hassles. People hate hassles. I bet 100% of all people dislike hassles, if someone did like hassles, man, I bet you wouldn't even want to know a person like that.

Of course, I like complicated challenges with no payoff a lot. I love that stuff. That's not a hassle. That is weird pleasure.
It came to me that I could work harder on my imaginary country and I realized that I could paint a whole big map of it. I work better from maps - they give good ideas, geography=history you know - all human experiences are predicated and mediated by the local environment, so I work on setting up the world as a bunch of pictures. A bunch of feet by a bunch of feet - this is going to be a big-fun and big fun project. Also? 0 payoff, and extra effort. But washing my blender is a HASSLE. It's weird being alive no? My size 14 shib-shib is thrown in there for scale.

Here's the first pass on the upper northwest corner -
more details to be added, more embellishments to fall, labels, the whole thing.

and for the extra pinch of verisimilitude:
kingtycoon: (Default)

Have you ever lost momentum? Have you ambitions ever exceeded your abilities? This to me, is right, this is part of the nature of becoming. It's important to always be in the act of becoming. So by inclination I'm an autodidact. I thought, those years ago, that I'd like to learn how to paint, and I thought, I was interested in magic and maybe I'd like to learn the Tarot. Likewise, I wanted to know the future and wanted to invent a way that I could see it. So I started something, and then I carried it pretty far, and then I realized that I had learned, I'd gotten better than I had been. So I'm going back - this is my second pass. I'm going to finish this up on better terms, with better knowledge and better skill. That's the plan. If at first you succeed, try to succeed harder.

The Student is unaware.  At the beginning of a journey, disheveled and unready.  I've tried this once before and I liked the results, but I like this second pass much more.

The appearance of the sun was something that I was missing before, and which needed inclusion this time around. Representative time's passage - here the sun indicates the danger of distraction and the dawn of awareness. The student is intent but unaware, disorganized and lost in details. She can't see that the bus has emptied, that the world moves around her. And she can't see that she's losing track of her possessions
I wanted to include the minor arcana - the symbols of mastery and understanding and social position here - while indicating that their value is not clear to the student. She can't understand the value of these things and so she lets them fall to the floor unattended. The student loses things, misplaces things, the student is at the cusp of really learning.

The form of the learning is not distinct here though. Will she recover her articles and leave the bus? Will she sit unaware and become forgotten? The card alone can't answer that - but it's meant to cue this awareness. Are you missing what is happening around you? Are you going to learn something you didn't want to know purely by misadventure or are you going to catch on before it's too late. This is what the card asks you to consider.

I think that this time through I'm going to do something I should have done before - I'm going to give the story that I internally devise that helps me put the picture together.

0 The Student.

It’s 11 after 7 when he gets on the bus. There’s nothing auspicious about this because
the bus is almost always on time, it doesn’t mean anything that it’s on time
today. This disappoints him because he’d
really like to draw on the movements of the bus as part of his presentation
today. He hasn’t worked on his
presentation at all, but usually he has enough time to scribble it out in shaky pothole-addled lines during his journey
to school.

It may not work today – he’s almost sure it won’t. He’s put off this presentation – Prophecy of
Eschatology is probably his worst class & he worries about how well he’s
doing. He’s already in trouble with his
parents after his performance in his Raising Up a Moral Family in The Fallen
World exam. He’s not even close to
getting a decent grade in his best classes either. He’s very poor, as a Student, ineffective. He
knows this and he’s starting to really worry about it. It’s not helpful, going into Prophecies
either, It’s depressing in an uplifting way.

He kicks rocks at the bus-stop – a patch of gravel where
the sidewalk’s crumbled. Thinking: (it’s
only 8 after 7 – the bus not yet come) The
End Time is upon us but I have to do homework & prepare for a future even
though the Eschaton is certainly incepted
He’s young yet & lacks the self-awareness to see how the conflict
between the preparatory mission of high-school is contradicted by the hopeless anticipation of the end of the
world. Maybe it’ll end before 3rd
He mentions this out loud to
no-one. It’s dark still, this morning,
& cold. His hair is getting stiff in
the late autumn air, freezing up since he’s left the house with his head still
wet from the shower. Stiff so it snaps
without breaking in his fingers – just like ice crackling. It’s very distracting and he chooses to be
distracted instead of thinking hard about what he can say about the impending
collapse of the wicked global economy.
He has no idea that his hair is now mussed comically, that his buttons
are uneven on his shirt.

He is absurdly disheveled,
completely unprepared & utterly distracted by the competing messages of
powerlessness, diligence & commerce that surround him. The digital clock on the bank façade that
stands above the bus stop says 7:10 – he realizes that he should probably pray
for guidance but he hates praying because it draws too much unwanted attention,
too many people assume that he is crazy and he’s self-conscious about appearing
to be crazy. Because he already looks
like he probably is.

On the bus there are often crazy people & they
usually pray & often it’s full of curses and shouting. Sometimes a businessman will yell at someone
for praying too loudly. He tries to
think about this though. It’s come up
today & usually doesn’t – Prayer. You’re not supposed pray in public to draw
attention to your devotion, except that you really are supposed to be if you
don’t you express a deceitful shame in your devotion – but ostentatious prayer –
meant to draw attention. Which is wickeder? The crazy people aren’t ashamed at all. They are usually really crazy – not wicked –
they smell bad & curse & tare drunk.
Are they being ostentatious though?
He doesn’t much feel like they’re trying to be more devout than him or
anyone else. Praying is a contest to see who is more crazy. He decides it right then.

He decides it exactly at 7:11 A.M. He gets on the bus
which is lit up within against the gloomy crepuscular Midwestern sky. He thinks that the bus is like the Solar
Barge of Amun-Re, that it will take him to school & then rise up in the
East & light the world. He won’t
pray to Amun-Re, falcon-headed king. He
resolves that whatever is supposed to happen will happen as preordained by
scripture & decides he doesn’t need to pray – unless he is supposed to, in
which case he probably will.

Since he doesn’t go to normal school he has to take city
buses & almost no-one else on the bus is a kid, they’re mostly people going
to work or coming home or are crazy. Usually. Sometimes when it’s very early in the month
there are a lot of crazy people on the bus.
Because they have to go downtown or wherever crazy people have to go on
the first week of the month. He tries
his best not to draw attention but it’s been three months now since school
started & on the first week of September he sat next to the worst smelling
lady who prayed the entire time. The bus
was empty but she sat down net to him.
He did his best not to look at her but had to glance over when she
started saying that someone was trying to fuck Jesus in the ass.

She kept saying that someone was trying to fuck Jesus in
the ass and that the man who was trying to do it was a snake who was fucking
Jesus in the ass – it seemed really blasphemous but also funny and he couldn’t
help but ok over and it was terrible because she was looking right at him and
yelling at him specifically. She was
telling everyone (just the bus driver) that she thought he must be trying to fuck Jesus in the ass. The bus driver didn’t seem to care which was discouraging because he was just a
boy and felt like the adult bus driver should say something. The lady kept yelling at him until he got off
the bus. He kept thinking that if she
really, truly thought that he was trying fuck Jesus in the ass that instead of
just yelling it at everyone she should have probably asked him to stop. Instead she just narrated it, like it was
something she couldn’t believe that she was seeing.

The lady didn’t come back in October but there was
someone else who came and sat right next to him at the beginning of that
month. Just the same. This guy had half of his hair in tight braids
& the other half was just wild, like he had to stop getting his braids done
halfway through. He didn’t say anything,
just sat down & scowled really hard.
When it was time for the Student
to ring the bell for his stop the man wouldn’t get up to let him off & he
had to climb out of his seat over the back of the seat in front of him. He tripped over the handrail and landed on
the molded rubber floor of the bus. The
driver laughed & self-consciously the Student
looked at the angry half-braided man – who didn’t laugh. He looked angrier than ever & started to
get up. The Student stood right up, panicking.
He scrambled out the open door of the bus without looking back, without
ever really gaining his feet. He fell on
all fours out the bus & scuffed both of his palms. So later, there were blood stains down the
legs of his uniform & one of the knees got a hole in it.

Now it was November & he hadn’t considered that he
might meet someone else, crazy, on the bus.
He was wearing the same uniform & the knee hole had spread so that
the flat bone of his kneecap poked through when he sat down. He couldn’t explain the relationship between
the hole in his pants, the bus and the angry man. It didn’t register to him that these things
had any corresponding interaction at all.
He had no awareness of his history, no narrative to explain any of his
actions or circumstances. He had a hole
in his uniform and there was no context beyond that. Without any sense that the past informed the
present, he wasn’t able, either, to extrapolate a future from his present. Life to him was only spiraling chaos becoming
more and more chaotic. Entropy behind

He struggled, at 7:11, with his bookbag – searching out
his Eschatology textbook, but he’d left it somewhere. He couldn’t say where, it just wasn’t in the

All of his textbooks were covered with the same
grocery-bag covers and couldn’t be easily distinguished from one another – what
he’d thought was End Times For the Repentant Sinner was in fact his
biology textbook – Dinosaurs in the Levitical Tradition. Interesting for the pictures but useless for
auguring his chances in the times of tribulation.

Sure that he must have packed something that could help
him – he rummaged furiously in his bag – coming up with some crumpled papers –
remembering suddenly that all of them, all the papers required both of his
parents’ signatures.

For the first itme in his life it occurred to him that he
could, perhaps, deceive someone. Maybe
he could avoid his father’s anger (he’d be plenty angry – 2 D’s & an F –
all in Pre Calculus for the Innumerate).
I could just do it. I could.
He resoved then to lie, cheat & forge. Planned to commit himself utterly to crime
& deception. And so doing he reached
for a pen, absentmindedly searching his pockets, growing more assertive in his
search & finally with a dawning sense of futility realizing that he’d not
brought a pen & in his bag he only had a broken pencil to keep the scraps
of paper and trash company.

“Christ just look at you, whadda mess – Jesus Kid.”

The Student
never noticed the man getting on the bus, and didn’t see him sit down next to
him. Hadn’t even heard him until he
spoke. Now the man, wearing a suit,
smiling very pleasantly, even as he scolded – almost laughing – was snatching
the papers from the Student’s
hans. He produced a pen & very
competently scawled his father’s signature and followed it up with a very
elegant simulation of his mother’s signature.
He even went so far as to write a little apologetic note on one of

“You don’t know this stuff? Or you didn’t pay attention? Here’s a tip – the tests are always on Tuesdays
– did you notice that yet?”

“They are? The
tests? Are?” The Student
really had nothing to say, the man had appeared and immediately taken hold of a
conversation that the Student had
already been having with himself. As if
the man could read his mind and as if it were natural that they discuss what
was on it.

“Sure, but maybe you’re just dumb. That’s okay – you can be dumb. Now.
You gotta get it together soon though kid. Jesus, you ever even see a mirror?” The man produced a comb & began
straightening the Student’s
hair. Unbreakable black plastic. Suddenly the Student became very afraid.
His father & classmates often called him a faggot & hye had a
dawning sense of understanding about what that actually meant. Was this man – combing his hair – on the bus –
was this man a faggot? Had he followed
him around and…

“Hey – how do you know my parents’ names!”

“Haha, Christ kid, yer a mess. Keep the comb, ya need it.” The man produced a cigarette and lit it. Tried leaning back on the rainbow-pattern
injection molded bus seat & looked grouchy when he found he couldn’t. “Shabby.
Dingy. Well, it’s still better
than you deserve – for sure. Christ you’re
a mess, yer a real mess. Listen. What’s it gonna take? This bullshit mighta flown in little kid
school but yer about to be shaving!
Christ! I bet yer kinda dumb
huh? You like to read? Learn?
Whaddya know about? Haha! Kid…
Alright – take this list…”

The man, whose fingers were thick & flat – bony, he
produces a notebook and begins to write.
His own handwriting is deft & precise. He prints the words & seems to anticipate
the bus’s inevitable pothole encounters – stopping his writing when it’s time. He had no trouble talking while he
wrote. “So you’re just gonna take
it? Keep that comb, you’re thinking –
this guy on the bus – comes at me. Is he
crazy? Is he gonna hurt me? Yer just sitting there waiting for what? To see if someone else? Who?
You think some adult’s gunna save you?
You got no fire in you kid. Do
ya? Nah, I called ya stupid and ugly
& you just sit there proving my point – how’d it come to this? Yer gutless.
Don’t even talk, listen. Take
this paper, read these books and comb yer fucking hair. I’ll check in on you. Lissen – I like you but you gotta work on being
likeable. Sometime soon yer gonna get
yer ass kicked – not by me – you’ll have it coming though so just know that.”

“Oh! Last thing –
school is bullshit – your school in particular – don’t wrry about it. Oh!
Almost forgot, I brought breakfast.
Here’s yer coffee, black, no sugar – easy that way. You wanna split this donut? Sour cream, they’re the best – I can’t eat a
whole one though. Take it.”

The Student
takes the coffe & the donut half (really about a third) and sits

“Caffine & sugar kid, ya need em.” He watches the Student take a bite & a halting sip - his first ever – of coffee. It’s served him in a tall heavy Styrofoam cup
with a logo on t. After a bit of still
almost silence common to the early morning bus-ride the driver grumbles out two
stops & then the man in the suit smiles & reaches across the Student to pull the bell. “My stop.”
He gets up to leave and winks at the Student. “Go get em champ.”

So here is the first of the Major Arcana.  I'm trying harder to paint better, and I'm trying to give better indications about the cards meaning and I'm trying to do much more to make these a coherent, functional tool.  I really don't think that I will try to explain myself any further, except to say that I think my pace will be substantially slower than it has been in the past.

kingtycoon: (Default)
Yes, this again.  Yes.  I mean, YES!  If you didn't know, I've been concocting my spellbook, as if I were somehow a D&D wizard in contemporary North America.  I guess.  I guess that's what I'm doing.  Sure, why the hell not.  Anyhow, I'm up to level 6 spells and this has been a strange period for me.  Level 1 was all the good stuff, the adventurer's toolkit.   I must have done okay because I lived to cast Level 2 spells, which come at like, character level 3 - don't...  let's not get into why the game is convoluted with all it's nuanced sub-systems, it's just this way and has been.  So says Gygax, so say we all (with a lot of muttering and foot dragging of course).  Kept it going, somehow, and made it to whatever arbitrary level I got my 3rd Level spells at - and things started to change for me.  None of the really big ones, no Fireballs or Lightning Bolts, I learned to see, really see then.  By the time I was throwing down my 4th Level power I guess I'd grown bitter, weary maybe.  But powerful, dangerous- maybe a threat to the others...  I abandoned ship, decided I'd go my own way and start a new - Monster Civilization with Monsters and Blackjack.  And...  Well, I'm guessing that got old, real old.

Which is all to say - I finally made it to (I think, if memory serves) 11th Level, which gave me 6th Level spellcasting ability.  Pretty handy, sure.  You'd like it, good luck surviving that long, but sure, it's fine.  Fun.  I'm getting a little distant now, strange  - removed.  You see, I think I'm learning - not just about the world anymore (but certainly about that, I'm learning about that in a big, big way) but about myself, and about other things, things that I hadn't thought about before.  I guess I'm mellowing, or maybe turning toward a new path, maybe I'll seek some eldritch power from out of the past, or maybe I'll learn some hidden truths about the cosmic realms beyond.  Maybe.  Maybe I'll just spy on people like a grinning, weird creep.  Who's to say?

Legend Lore

LL 1


Glass Eye



Now... I guess these will do.Personally I'm a little stoked about the Legend Lore / Glass Eye combo-move.  I mean, Legend Lore (despite the nerfy text) is basically ultimate psychometry and glass eye lets you see the bones in the walls and the dinosaurs beneath you.  What's more legendary than a dinosaur?  So...  Like, time travel, kind of.  It's weird - when you get used to seeing with your mind's eye all the things around you through the eyes of others?  Remembering their memories?  Well, things get pretty abstract - you start getting confused - you accidentally make a 6 page spell into a 7 page, or do you?  Or do your magics become intertwined?

Straight up I'll tell you that I left an easter-egg in this thing.  Well.  I've left a few, and now I know how to see through objects and whatnot - I can...  understand, see colors not meant to be seen, there are words beneath words!  There's the hidden text within the text!  There's a lot to know, all around us, and now I'm getting to know it.  We shall see what becomes of me next.

P.S.:  It'll be a goodly while before I get back to this - I just got home from Vacation - and I still have NaNoWriMo to overcome this month.

P.P.S.:  Send Coffee.
kingtycoon: (Default)
My only 5th Level Spell is a pretty good one. It's not major creation, or Contact Outer Sphere - which are probably the coolest, but it's damned useful.

Telekinesis 1
Telekinesis 2
Telekinesis 3
Telekinesis 4
Telekinesis 5


Magic-User Level 5

Duration: 1 round/level

Range: 120’

By concentrating on
nothing else and taking

no other actions, the
caster can move objects or

creatures by concentrating
on them. A total of

20 pounds per caster level
may be moved 20’

per round. Living beings
may also be moved,

but they are allowed a
saving throw versus


And there it is - five pages about how to move some stuff around with your mind.  I like that the level dependent stuff here is kid of in my favor now - now that I'm 9th level you understand.  I get 90 minutes, a whole movie's worth of telekinesis and I can move around what 180 pounds of stuff - 180 pounds of rocks or swords or guys or furniture just by thinking about it.  Think about the brain, think about the brain.  You know I think...  I think I must have gotten bored.  What with my monster kingdom that I've got going on.

Or maybe, you know - maybe my monster friends are terrifying?  Maybe I'm more than half a prisoner?  Maybe I can only really get around to doing some surreptitious things around the Ogres and Trolls, I have to act in secret, I don't want them knowing, or suspecting!  Maybe they're really servile though, maybe I'm just growing lazy, what with their obedience?  Maybe I sit around thinking about having things come to my hand?  Maybe I just mind-shove people off of cliffs as part of our gang initiation?  Or as part of some kind of trial - like in that scene from Farewell to Arms?  I loved that scene - I guess?  Maybe monster-reprisals?  Maybe I stack weights on the enemies of monsterdom to test their mettle, their virtue?  Maybe I really am just bored.  I mean it was interesting adventuring, and monster overlord has been working out pretty well - but I just put one spell in the old book - so maybe I need something new to challenge me?

I'll knock all their huts down on top of their heads, provoke them into fighting each other, maybe I'll keep the best ones with me and then I'm going, gone - looking for the real stuff - the Big Magic.  True Power, you know?  It's the wizard's way.
kingtycoon: (Default)
So I made it all this way and after many adventures and strange experiences I came to learn these spells. Honestly, I'm a little concerned about what must have happened to me that led me to this...

Speak With Plants

Speak with plants 1
Speak with plants 2
Speak with plants 3Speak with plants 4

Protection From Normal Weapons

Protection from normal weapons 1
Protection from normal weapons 2
Protection from normal weapons 3
Protection from normal weapons 4.

Charm Monster

Charm mister 1
Charm monster 2
Charm monster 3
Charm monster 4

Here is a much better version of this post...
kingtycoon: (Default)

Agatha - The Page of Cups

When I started this, now more than a year ago, I didn't really know how far I'd go - but once I started on the minor arcana I knew I'd have to do something special for the face cards - the top of the suits. It came to me that I aught to work with actual faces - the ones I know, and so I started thinking about who exemplifies which characteristics of the cards and started planning how I'd do this. Then I got deep into the phones and the pens - and I don't mind telling you, while it's kind of interesting and I'm somewhat proud of how I've reasoned out that Phones replace Rods and Pens replace Swords - figuring out how to paint a picture where there are 8 cellphones laying around - it's not that fun. Anyhow, I wanted to get to one of these and I don't even care, I don't need to go in sequence here. The Duke of Zhou only had 64 Hexagrams - which amounts to all of the Major Arcana (less the Student #0) and all of the numbered cards - meaning these face cards fall out of sequence anyway. Anyway, and also - I do what I want.

Page of Cups Agatha So here is Agatha, the Page of Cups.  Agatha loves Pokemon, hates school, loves Rootbeer milkshakes from Tommy's.  She is really incredibly good at drawing, very, very poor at remembering to call people on the phone or to turn in her homework.  She's a good and loyal friend, when she remembers to be, a kind and compassionate person, when she remembers how to be and wouldn't knowingly do anything bad ever.  That's all to say that Agatha is a 10 year old girl who lives in her head, has an imagination bigger than the world and can't always be relied on not to stay camped out there when there are things she needs to be paying attention to in the real world.  Agatha is principally Good - but practically somewhat Neutral - owing, effectively to her lack of attention for the material world.  Practicality though, that doesn't really suit her anyway.

Page of Cups
Agatha's got freckles to spare and promises that she doesn't want to grow up vain even though strangers all want to comment on her hair and tell her how pretty she is.  She makes friends with everyone, even if she won't remember their names, loves animals and peanut butter, is terrified of the Slender Man and still usually rides on her father's shoulders.  She's smart as a whip but lacks application, she's perceptive about surprising things and knowledgeable about the weirdest fan esoterica.  She can't see without her glasses and if it were up to her, she'd spend all day making sprites for video games.  She doesn't usually finish the things she starts and she has never even attempted to clean her room.


Agatha loves sugar and hates vegetables, she rarely eats and usually just a little.  She's picky about food. Indifferent to most of life's comforts, she has to be reminded to eat, to change her clothes and not to sleep on a bare mattress.  She's very earnest and incredibly polite.  She is good humored and funny and would rather cut up with her friends than listen to a teacher.  She can dance and loves the Beatles, Gangnam Style and Michael Jackson.

She's a good card to draw and she's got my favorite face of all the faces.

The Page of Cups represents the inspiration that drives you to a new creative effort.  So for that, I have Agatha - without whom?  I don't know if I'd ever have picked up a brush...

kingtycoon: (Default)
Third level spells. You know - normally, this is where the Wizard, excuse me - The Magic User really becomes superhuman. Some of the spells he throws up to that point - they're ersatz versions of what a more... robust adventurer can do. Magic Missile is basically a crossbow that runs out of arrows really quickly, and Charm Person can be replicated with actual charm and a little money. Heck, the Floating Disc is a shoddy version of a donkey! Even Shield is just... Well it's almost as good as an actual shield. Sure, they're magic, but it sure is giving yourself a hard way to go, all that studying and learning just to do stuff that you could do with a little bit of money and practice. The payoff though. The payoff is supposed to start with the 3rd level spells. That's where Fly and Fireball are, and Lightning Bolt. The Big Ones. Of course I didn't get any of those. I got much more esoteric and, in the end, I have to admit, more interesting spells.
Dispel Magic
Dispel Magic p1
Dispel Magic p2Dispel Magic p3

As a Magic-User grows in knowledge and
power, he becomes able to dismiss magic as well
as conjure it. This spell empowers the proper
forces of existence to expel the foul energies
known as magic as if they never were. The spell
affects a 20’ cubic area. All spells in that area
that are currently in effect are automatically
negated. If cast on the same segment in combat
as a spell from an enemy combatant, Dispel
Magic can be used to disrupt and negate that
All magical items within the area of effect are
temporarily disenchanted. They regain their
enchantment after 2d6 turns, but one-use items
such as potions and scrolls (but not spellbooks)
are permanently nullified.
There is one important exception - a Magic-
User’s Dispel Magic has no effect on Cleric spells.
Dispel Magic negates magical curses or diseases
for only 2d6 turns.

Clairvoyance p1
Clairvoyance p2
Clairvoyance p 3
Clairvoyance p2.5
Clairvoyance p3.5

Clairvoyance is a means of seeing events in a
distant location. There is no effective limit to
the spell’s range, but the location must either
be familiar to the caster or be obvious, such as
the top floor inside a tower the caster can see,
or just beyond a dungeon door. The spell cannot
penetrate metal; sheets of any type of metal
between the caster and the target area will
prevent the Magic-User from being able to scry
upon the area. The caster will be able to hear
sounds in a 10’ radius of the spell’s focal point
even if the area is dark. If the area is not dark,
the caster will be able to see as if he were
standing at the spell’s focal point, for a normal
distance but in all directions at once (for the
vision is in his mind’s eye).

I reasoned that Dispel Magic-  since it's so recursive, so self-aware and metamagical, that it would be much more technical, formulaic and difficult.  I figure Op-Art kind of sums that up.  There are steps and procedures and there's a gloating bit of triumph.  Dispel Magic won't help you get it over a pack of wild animals, some angry townsfolk or even a very aggressive priest.  But you know who it does beat?  Other Wizards.  I like that it's the competitor's spell.  The one you go to if you're trying to outplay the chessmaster.  Sure it's brute-force, sure it's sometimes more science than art and sure it's a technical and arduous spell to get down and memorize (cripes...)  But it wins, it wins the battle and the war - the ones that matter, the ones against your peers.  I like especially to that an enemy wizard might buff and enchant and fix himself up all fancy and strong, all glammered and buffed and in a moment you can take all the wind out of him, knock his stuffing out and let the fighter have at him.  "Goodbye to your fancy flight, your silly illusions, goodbye to your fireball and your enlarge and so on, I dismiss them, I am the teacher and I dismiss your nonsense."

Clairvoyance is a whole other animal.  I cheated a little, and by cheated I mean - just did something I think I would do if I lived in a magical universe where I had to write these things down for real and memorize them daily and carry this nutty book around and be the obligatory scrapbooker of the party - and that's embellish preposterously.  Sure I added an additional semi-transparent page!  Of course I did.  Transformative thinking!  That's the Magic-User's whole M.O.  And really, by the time I got to here, big level 5, I think I'd be pretty pleased with myself and rather stoked about my biggest and heretofore best spell.  Clairvoyance is another not-too-flashy, not-so-glamorous spell that straight up wins.  Sure it's viscerally pleasing to lightning bolt a line of kobolds into ash.  Sure it is.  It's more useful still to be able to look into their tunnels and find their treasure in advance of ever having to go and menace them.  You can figure out who's who and what's what - and with my other crazy spells, I can just go in and pose as one of them and charm the dickens out of their leader.  Intelligence gathering.  Sure, you're going to see a lot of things you probably would have preferred not to see, and sure!  You could be a giant pervert and just remotely-view bathrooms and sorority houses.  You could also learn the combination to the safe, the whether your neighbor is sleeping and where he keeps his valuables.  You can solve the whole puzzle in advance of everyone even knowing there is a puzzle.  It's another chessmaster spell - but you don't beat other wizards with it (of course you could) you beat the whole silly world.
kingtycoon: (Default)
So the idea was this- make a spellbook.

A satisfying enterprise!  I got 5 first level spells and here they are.

First up -

Magic Missile

Magic Missile

A missile of magical energy shoots forth from
the caster’s fingertip and strikes its target,
dealing damage equal to 1d4 per level of the
caster (so a second level Magic-User deals 2d4
points of damage). The missile strikes unerringly,
even if the target is in mêlée combat or
has less than total cover or total concealment.
Specific parts of a creature can’t be singled out.
The caster can throw the full force of the
missile at a single target, but if the caster is 2nd
level or higher, may divide the dice of damage
between targets as he wishes. Dice must be
assigned to targets before any damage is rolled,
and targets of these divided dice are allowed a
saving throw versus magic, with success
meaning the target takes half damage.
Each Magic-User’s Magic Missile is unique in
appearance and always looks the same. When
the caster writes a scroll, the resulting Missile
looks identical to the normally cast version.
When using a scroll written by another Magic-
User, or memorizing a spell out of another’s
spellbook, the resulting spell will look like that
other caster’s Missile. Each different ‘signature’
for a Magic Missile must be researched and/or
transcribed as if it were a different spell.


This spell allows the Magic-User to discern the
magical properties of an item. The spell
requires one uninterrupted day in a laboratory
worth at least 1,000sp to cast. At the end of the
day, the Magic-User will have successfully
determined one magical property of an item.
The character will not know if there are additional
properties unless the spell is cast one
more time after all properties have been discovered;
this “wasted” day will confirm no further
properties. Note that a cursed item will not
identify as cursed, but as the item it pretends
to be. This spell does not reveal command
words. Each casting of the spell, successful or
not, requires the expenditure of 100sp worth of


Magic-Users are masters of matter and as such
can command objects racing towards them to
stop. The objects are sometimes impertinent, it
is true, but this spell will protect the caster from
many attacks which would otherwise harm him.
Against missile attacks, the spell grants the
caster AC 19, and an effective AC 17 for all other
attacks. Even if an attack hits, it does one less
point of damage than it otherwise would have.  

Charm Person

Charm Person
The Charm Person spell makes a single subject
utterly enamored with the caster and desperate
to please him if the saving throw versus magic
is failed. This is not mind control, as the subject
retains their personality and controls how they
act but for their utter fascination with the
caster, and the caster must articulate their
desires if they expect the subject to fulfill them.
Any request which is not against the subject’s
interests or personality will be followed. Any
request which is against the subject’s interests
or personality triggers a saving throw to refuse
the request (but this will not break the Charm!).
If the caster promises the subject something the
subject is normally inclined to want, then this
saving throw is not necessary and the subject
will comply.
This spell works on all humans and human-like
creatures (except Elves); other (non PC class)
humanoids are not affected if they have more
than four Hit Dice. Abuse or neglect of the
subject will trigger another saving throw to
negate the Charm, and murderous violence
triggers a save but with a +5 bonus to the roll.
The subject, if intelligent, will realize they have
been victims to mesmerism 

Floating Disc

Floating Disc
The caster creates a slightly concave, circular
plane of force that follows him about and carries
loads. The disk is 3 feet in diameter and 1 inch
deep at its center. It can hold 500 pounds. If
used to transport a liquid, its capacity is 2
gallons. The disk floats approximately 3 feet
above the ground at all times and remains level.
It floats along horizontally within spell range
and will accompany the caster with an equal
movement rate. If not otherwise directed, it
maintains a constant interval of 6 feet between
itself and the caster, and will follow the caster
without prompting to maintain a minimum of
6’ distance. When the disk winks out at the end
of the spell’s duration, whatever it was supporting
falls to the surface beneath it. 

 You know - I'm happy with these, I can see that it would take a long time to really commit these to memory - but I just can't imagine that I would ever possibly forget something that cost me $100 every time I used it.  And really-  while Charm Person is maybe the coolest and most useful of the first level spells, I bet it'd be really hard keeping up with all of my acolytes and hangers-on if I started using it all willy-nilly (note:  Do not prepare Magic Missile or Charm Person when you know you're going out)  

Truthfully, in civilization, the handiest spell I have is probably floating disc - which is spectacularly dull - even if it is really spectacularly overt.  "I made a magical disc of force that follows me and carries my stuff!"  Impressive.  

Ah who am I kidding.  I'd charm every politician and celebrity - just to see the looks on their faces afterward 'The subject will realize that they have been victims of mesmerism' - Dick Move
kingtycoon: (Default)

My Spellbook – a new project

From the Lamentations of the Flame Princess Rulebook:

A spell is a fairly standardized effect that has

been repeatedly created by many Magic-Users.

While every Magic-User must use a spellbook

to store their magical knowledge – mortal

brains are not structurally designed to hold this

information – there is no “formula” for any

particular spell. Take the spell Magic Missile, for

instance. It is a very common spell, especially

for traveling and adventuring Magic-Users. But

if you looked at the spellbooks of one hundred

Magic-Users which all contain Magic Missile,

none would look the same. Each spell notation

is a combination of reference notes, philosophical

debate against the universe, and gibberish

scribbling, all of which serves one purpose: To

trigger dream-state understanding within the

Magic-User’s mind. Nothing contained in a

spell book is a “how to” guide so much as an

individual recipe for self-induced hypnosis.

The Project – I think I’ll randomly generate spells for myself and then generate an actual spellbook – through arts & crafts techniques. For my project, I’ll use a 100 page composition book, so I need to figure out 100 pages worth of spells. A spell uses a number of pages in your spellbook equal to its level, so a 2nd level spell uses 2 pages, and so on. For the calculations and random generation of how many spells and what levels they’ll be – I’ll turn to my old pal, excel:

Spell Level

Number of Spells

Pages used




























If you want to do this yourself (you seriously should by the way, we can scribe each other’s spellbooks) I can give you a hint about how to make old Excel do this for you. But you’re a wizard too no? You know the ways of random number generation.

So now I know what spell levels I have, now to figure out which spells I actually have in my book. LotFP helps out with this by having spells per level conveniently coincide with the more commonly rolled dice. So here’s the list I got:

Level 1

Ø Magic Missile

Ø Identify

Ø Shield

Ø Charm Person

Ø Floating Disc

Level 2

Ø Ray of Enfeeblement

Ø Detect Invisible

Ø Change Self

Level 3

Ø Dispel Magic

Ø Clairvoyance

Level 4

Ø Speak With Plants

Ø Protection From Normal Weapons

Ø Charm Monster

Level 5

Ø Telekinesis

Level 6

Ø Legend Lore

Ø Glass Eye

Ø Lucubration

Level 7

Ø Prismatic Spray

Ø Phase Door

Level 8

Ø Maze

Ø Demand

Level 9

Ø Shapechange

Ø Temporal Stasis

So… I have a pretty neat spell list. It’s nice to See Magic Missile, the Mage’s friend, and dear, sweet old Ray of Enfeeblement - I’m not scared of no fighters. Nosir. But I have to say, what with Charm Person, Charm Monster and Shapechange – I’m set up to be kind of a bastard. Plus – Clairvoyance and Phase Door and Glass Eye all make it so I’m kind of a sweet detective. I did get a little boned on my 3rd level spells though. No Fireball, Lightning Bolt or Fly. I’ll take Dispel Magic all day long though, it’s not quite ace, but I guess it is the thinking-wizard’s 3rd level go-to. Really the worst I did was Floating Disc and Speak With Plants – although, heck I like plants and often move a lot – so I’d take them. I’ll work on spells a I see fit, and fill up my spellbook and post about it as I finish it up.

kingtycoon: (Default)

Do you know the ontological argument for the existence of Superman? It goes like this - you are imperfect (come on, admit it) and you have the quality of existence. Superman is perfect. Since you are imperfect and have the quality of existence, Superman must exist because he is better than you.

Of course Superman does exist in fiction and that's the corollary or rebuttal of the argument - that non-existence is the sine-qua-non of perfection. Nothing is perfect that physically exists. Or, if you like, carried forward - what is real is not what is best.

There you are - the best argument for the life of the mind, the inward looking eye and the contemplative dream. What's best isn't real and what's real isn't best.

This is what the 4 of Pens is all about - retreating from the mundane and becoming absorbed in the beatific and sublime.


Captured - as it were, by the perfection of a fiction, of an idea. Compelling, it's compelling just to think of it - the Deity as a concept is something that has absorbed people since they've been people. To me this relates very closely to the 4 of Cups - a figure immersed in a dream, on the one hand you have a spiritual fulfillment that arises in spite of the world's efforts, in the other you have a person withdrawing from and forgetting the world - which goes on, quite indifferent.


The distinction - between those withdrawing is that the one is ignoring what is good in the world, the other is turning away from what is bad. Simple enough, maybe a fine distinction. But consider - there is perfection in thought that doesn't exist in the material realm. Platonism for you. The world is just shadows of a better idea. It's sensible to be captured by the idea. In the 4 of Cups he's captured by the world, ignoring the spiritual, or fulfilled already, turns to the material.

The 4 of Pens connotes not only an abandonment of earthly cares - but a rejection of the validity of them,


A trance of the nobler world - this situation likewise implies a final sleep - the translation of the mortal to the spiritual through that eventual magician called death. Sure, you're going to get there from here. And when the heart stops and the brain dies the mind goes on. Maybe. In fiction it might and fiction, unlike the mundane world, has the quality of being capable of perfection.


kingtycoon: (Default)
6 of Phones 002

So a couple of things just to get out of the way on this one.  First - Soundtrack:

  Accept that shit into your heart.  Take your time, I'll wait.

Now - on to the true facts.  1st true fact  - am not down on the contemporary scene.  I ain't make judgements or hate, but I don't listen neither so I have no sense of what is cool for the moment.  So I painted up what I guess is a idealized type of rockstar guy - like if Prince was in Zep and also the only member?  Whatever, I've never seen a stadium show!  The Agora is the biggest venue I've ever been to and even then I was always down and front by the stage.  Once I caught a guy that Henry Rollins threw into the air, it was kinda great.

Maybe I'm trying to paint something a little more like this:

  I mean, sure there are famous singers and whatnot, but I mean - everyone falls very short of metal-style triumphalism right?  You go and see these fools now and they're supposed to be rock-stars and they stare at the stage or whatever.  They're just playing music - it's kind of different from super-human rock & roller.

Anyway - the 6 of Phones is about being this hero, this victor and especially this spectacle.  There's an idea within the concept of a great person arising from the ranks - one of the many made heroic by achievement.  That's a concept within the card.  You're one of many and somehow empowered.

Well, not somehow - it's by virtue, by trying effort and something innate - the 6 of phones is the fulfillment of the pure-expression of the self.  That is - those qualities - the ones you suspect you have but you wish other people would notice?  The ones that will win everyone over - women will want you, men will want to smoke the same cigarettes?  Well - when your day comes and the full expression of your secret glorious inner-self is made manifest - you'll be a crossfire hurricane, you'll be 1,000,000 stories tall. 

6 of Phones 011  See - that's you in the spotlight, that's the faceless many taking notice,  wanting to save and keep something of you - an image, some recollection.  You are scripted by Lee & Kirby, you are invented by Bob Kane, you are the great one.

See the lights?

6 of Phones 010

You know I never meant it to be a crown, I didn't intend it anyway and you know - that's half the matter right there - working out the secrets by meditative attempting - so there you are - crowned in light, gaped and gawked at by the faceless many - all of whom are worshipful, adoring.

And suddenly I know just what song to play you:
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So #15 is traditionally - THE DEVIL! Maybe you're spooked of the Devil? Maybe not, I bet you can tell what kind of a person you are if you are or aren't. That's my opinion. Well, that's an aspect of my opinion, there's actually rather a lot to it. Why not explore? Yes lets!

So in some ancient forms the Devil is representative of temptation, think of Christ being tempted in the wilderness for example - the Devil appears and tries to get Christ to act all wrong and then Christ resists. The Devil also appears and tempts Job - "Curse God and Die!" The Devil tempts. Kind of a weird thing to tempt a person to - hopelessness? I can see that, hopelessness is a real vice.

Over time this figure changes into a manichean opposite of god, goes from the Adversary meant to tempt creation into an enemy, possibly even on equal footing, the Devil, to be opposed, thwarted, tossed in the lake of fire. Now this is probably the more familiar of the Devils you've heard of and the Tarot kind of works from that, and it kind of mentions the older meaning too. The Devil represents Vice and the temptation to vice. And this... This is representative of a worldview that may prevail, but I'd say not by many. The idea here is that there is a force that tempts you to the wicked actions - this force is purely malevolent and wants to doom you. Now - I don't buy that. That there is a dark force that turns your hand and heart to wickedness - well I don't deny that. But we're talking about dualism and soul/mind/body divisions - I'm not exactly going that way. It's not a dark spiritual force that tempts you to wickedness - is what I am saying.

Rather, the Devil represents the dooming component of human existence - which is our frailty. Our physical frailty specifically. The Devil represents a kind of arrogance, in my mind, that there is a special force that rules over evil and compels you to evil action. Vice is maybe its own temptation, but I theorize something else.

For example. I see the people driving their $100,000 cars in my neighborhood and you know, I daydream about robbing them, I totally do. Because I want money. Which is gross! But here's the thing - the wolf is at the door, the menace is in the world, there are menacing forces that would drive me to do such things. Or maybe you've grown too attached to someone, you'd rather they were dead than without you, or you're menaced by another who looks to outcompete you, or you've got a vague anxiety that the person you are with is going to be the last person to love you, the last person to touch you. You can have these fears and they'll tempt, tempt or drive you to vice. I don't suggest that people have any innate wickedness but that their fragility predisposes them to it. Not a fall of man - but the story of the fall of man kind of sums this up. The immortal and invincible person is of course the good guy - there is no danger that he faces.

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This of course doesn't allow for mad-dog killers and the sort. Serial murderers and ladies that execute their babies in bathtubs. Genuinely I don't think those people are wicked, I think they are probably very crazy and that is sad.

So the Wolves. The wolf is kind of the same as the person - pack hunters, tribal and so forth. We're similar in our ecological neighborhood. But the wolf, you know, they have a few million years of adaptive advantage over us, they're more capable, dangerous - they're more effective and less fragile. They're a paradigm of human fear, a good marker of human frailty. The wolves at the door, the danger that waits lurking. Man is a wolf to other men - the big bad wolf- it comes up and hasn't faded imagery wise.

The wolf means another thing too though.
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The beneficence of human genius. Cause the dog is a wolf and it's our best friend. Not mine you understand, but I get it - a dog, you can get somewhere with a dog, it is the primordial danger and fear turned on its head, made a tool. A useful tool to turn against our other predators, other people included. It's a sign that this fragility, while it tempts us to dark deeds - is also a tendency that can be mastered. The frailty endemic to the human condition, that creates the human condition, it can be snatched away and have its nature changed. Because we're better than the world, we can solve the puzzle of biology and darkness and primordial fear.


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