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Three Tales for the solstice fire

Wondrous things come in threes, so let my telling be in three.

The first is a tale of the heart. It begins in kidnapping, and mother’s sorrow, and the inflicted frozen horror of the world, but that is not where this tale lies. Imagine that near ending – the finality of a rescue close at hand. Then this young woman, a Springtime flower girl, her mother’s daughter, sees the fruit. She feels the hunger. She looks about this realm that is a prison.

It was a pomegranate; the fruit of prosperity, the fruit of nuptials, a marriage seed. Hardly nourishing at all. She knew it’s weight. Sometimes, you chose your home. Sometimes, a home chooses you. Sometimes, you pretend there is no choice. So it was that Persephone gained two homes and the world of seasons was born.

Is this winter a mother’s grief, or a marriage bed? Are we torn from our gardens or find them by the hearth? Rue and thank Persephone for her choice. Give us a turn. With nowhere to go, how should a wheel turn. Spin it again, Winter. Greet your love. Welcome to the sensual dark of the year.


The second is a caretaking tale. A mother and queen adored her son above all others. Well would she guard and protect him. Then in his infant swaddling, the threads of fate she saw and a young death. Desperate, the mighty woman gathered oaths and negotiations with all that was; each tree, wind, stone, furred and feathered thing, and all that was. The world gained her luck as they agreed that none among them would harm her beloved Child. So, he grew and became known as impervious – for no manner of flame, stone, blade, or fletching would harm him. It became a game to attack him and revel in this unyielding defense, a joy to behold, and a revel for those who knew him.

Thus it was a trickster saw this and grew jealous. Taking a maiden form, he approached the Queen and asked was she not fearful? Had she truly made him guarded against all? “All but the mistletoe,” she answered, “For it was so small and weak that it could do no one any harm.” So it was, the weakness was discovered and within a day the shining lad was struck dead by a evergreen spur.

Yet, this is not the whole tale, for magic lay in regret. Seeing she could not protect her boy from harm, the Queen wept and forgave the small sprig. As tears clung to leaves, they adorned it as berries. Then brewed Mistletoe renewed the strength of the fallen boy, as Winter renews us all, as dead wood hides the world strength. There are no protections from fate, but there is love and forgiveness amidst the trickery. Evergreen is hope.

Then, my tale. I sit by this fire and watch my life burn by. Time burning away in the wood. It is a fine pyre. Solstice burns before us, and I am glad to spend it so. Tales and wine and love enwraps the night, and the spirit soars like smoke; laughs like flame.

If we must burn, let us burn well. There will be Winters yet – darkness and cold. Let us burn the best fire. Winter come. Bring the passionate darkness. Enjoin us in conjugal heat. Renew sinews in evergreening splendor. Here’s the light, Winter’s crackling Laughter. We burn together in the world like this fire. Let the season be our time to shine.

This entry was originally posted at https://cristovau.dreamwidth.org/1026494.html
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LARP-talk: Goal Trade-up

There are some LARP writing shorthand terms I use that probably have some sort of better and more official terminology. I am going to start writing about these, and if you have a similar term or experience, let me know.

The first is one of my favorite techniques in short form games, the goal/plot trade-up. This works pretty well in campaign games, too, and can get players who are looking for a plot in tangent X to get back on track with main plot ABC.

The goal trade-up works like this; give the player a fairly easy to accomplish completion of a major goal. If the player is looking for a lost father, they find and reconcile with the father in one trip. If they need to find the origin of a mystery sword, they find a scholar that recognizes it quickly. The pc can find the guy who sold them out and kill them in one mission.

But then, they immediately get a bigger central-plot goal that they need to work with. Dad's reunion leads to discovering you were adopted and secretly the son of a god. Time to figure out how to visit your REAL dad. The sword is a reasonable minor relic, but it has a nemesis that wants to destroy it and everyone who has every wielded it. You have to figure out how to stop this nemesis. The guy who sold you out was trying to save you from a curse that immediately hits you and is full of big badness. You have to deal with this curse.

Get the goal done, and welcome to your bigger, cooler tale. The bonus of this is that the player feels accomplished because they did a thing; start, middle, ending. Further, they are committed to the next stage of the story, which you may have more creative input over.

A successful trade-up feels great and creates extra buy-in to the whole story. One danger is that some players get attached to the original conflict. Was that really all there was to my lost father, the mystery sword, or the guy who sold me out? Some players will fixate on that and fight the fact they achieved a goal.

In any and all cases, a game involves listening to each other and some give and take, but I love the trade-up because it always feels like I have been given something.

More anon...

This entry was originally posted at https://cristovau.dreamwidth.org/1023591.html
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All aboard

Hello Dreamy people...

My LJ account has been completely imported here, for those who are curious. The larger swath of it was already stored away when LJBOOK was free.

I must admit in all honesty, I don't expect I will be using Dreamwidth all that much. The Internet is made of people, and I have an active LARP community at Google Plus, and a huge everyone and my uncle community at Facebook.

So, I am not certain what I'd use DW for... perhaps when journals return to favor? Maybe a mass exodus from micro-blogging? I am not certain. In any and all cases, my LJ won't be checked any longer.

More anon... ...just not there...

This entry was originally posted at http://cristovau.dreamwidth.org/1022690.html
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Five Happy thoughts

Another gym day up, and another gym day down. Butterfly Press is awesome. Argh! but awesome.

Started working on an in-game Crossover LARP story yesterday.

I picked up a box of munchkins for the office this morning.

Finished enough leaf pick up this weekend to be satisfied. In time, too!

Album for today is Kate Bush's "50 Words for Snow." Huh, Stephen Fry is on the title song. New information for me. Very cool and moody album.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/50_Words_for_Snow

More anon...
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Five happy thoughts...

Animal crackers
My kids asked for Moana songs at bedtime
Cracked open a a decent Malbec yesterday
Today, was balance/leg day at the gym - rocked it
Friday and another work week comes to a close!

More anon...
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Five Happy thoughts for the day…

Running a small LARP means I can e-mail my players 1-1 and discuss casting choices and preferences personally.

"Maui Man, you can try, try try, but you can't expect a demigod to beat a decapod (look it up)" – Shiny, Jemaine Clements on the Moana soundtrack

We have a new boss at the office. He seems reasonable, but I have “Don’t get fooled, again” running through my head.

In The Name of the Wind, my current audiobook, Kvothe is being vindictive. It is enjoyable, vicariously, and I realized it is a truth about realistic heroes. Even the best people, heroes, suck sometimes. Also, the internet tells me that Kvothe Meme is a thing.

I really enjoyed Sam Adam’s HOPFLAKE WHITE IPA from the Winter mix. When did I become an IPA guy?

More anon…
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Happy thoughts for the day

Five happy thoughts…

I hit the gym this morning. My back and shoulders ache the good ache.

The Name of the Wind remains a delight to listen to, and I wish my commute was longer (Ha!)

Kicking butt and repairing lots of devices at work. I want to clear my to-dos before December.

Starting to get into Donnie Firebrand’s mindset as my default PC – funny at the gym.

Chai, our newest kitty, is sort of dog-like in adoration. Funny to have a cat welcome me home from work.

More anon…
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Five Happy thoughts, reboot

I got out of the habit of posting my list of 5 good things. Attention can be hard to muster, and some days FIVE is hard to come up with. The things is, though, this practice is a good focus for the heart and a pretty good way of journaling the outline of your activity. Plus, in the social media arena, it gives you an outlet to frame your life and concerns to your friends. So, here it is, five good things that come to my mind today.

1. Moana – A great movie on many levels; good music, a romance free story, a female chieftain assumed to take power without conflict

2. Dark chocolate – This week out office has a selection of Dove Milk and dark chocolates. Bess has fully converted me to the dark side.

3. Nonny has an informal interview for Kids4Peace this weekend. She is interested and dedicated to communication between various religious groups and is more civics-minded than her parents. I am proud of her.

4. The Standing Rock Go Fund me page has exceeded their goal. They will need it, but it is important to recognize that despite hushed media coverage, they have gotten support and people have stepped forward and care about them. Stay vigilant. Stay supportive. Stand strong. This is a long fight. They need all the help they can get. https://www.gofundme.com/sacredstonecamp

5. Still alive. It is worth noting that I never expected to get old when I was a kid. It wasn’t something that I thought of, but I always kind of assumed that something stupid would happen to me before I reached the age of 30. Here I am well past that, and chugging on. Borrowed time? Who knows, but in any case, I am glad for each moment. I am reminded of one of my favorite sorrowful Sarah Mclachlan songs, "Hold On."
We’ll see another day and we will praise it
And love the light that brings a smile across your face
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZN0jDwg0UW0


Thus, ever, my closing and promise: more anon…
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Some Haiku for 5th Gate

So, I need to preset some black scrolls. I am not going to sweat it. Some poetry is better than none, not worse (Verse?) So, here are 10 Haiku about death. Yay?

Cast unfeeling eyes
In-between this life and death
Pass by, pale Horseman!

A spring flurry
Crows dark as ancient depair
Float from tree to tree

Stabbing through my soul
This life a creamy rosebud
Plucked from the garden

In a split second
During a Fall's thoughtless breath
A life unravels

The last flicker dies
Chills settle in your cottage
As friends start to weep

This limp hand is held
As the wind catches the soul
The candle flickers

One more tendrilled soul
Has found a strong lattice
To wind upon now.

Succumbing to death
The eyes shine as they whisper
I am not afraid

A peace will settle
upon the needled forest
Witness to a Fall

Silence in the sky
Despite the intents thunderous
For we cannot hear

Okay, I'm getting in the head space for this game.

More anon...