Mermaid Sushi Eternal!

January 11, 2017 Danielle 0

I did one of those FaceBook ‘use the initials of your name to find your whatever’ things, to find the name of my personal anime series. The result: Mermaid Sushi Eternal! Which sounds kinda creepy, and led to the following idea/writing prompt (for an ongoing series / serial):

 

The safety and sanctity of the world is threatened by the machinations of an evil sea-goddess, who wants to flood the entire world (perhaps by encouraging global warming to return the planet to an earlier utopian time, of mostly ocean, little land, and jungle-hot weather). Her minions are various aquatic and semi-aquatic mythological creatures, mainly mermaids and sirens, who act as secret agents – they insert themselves into world politics to encourage bad decisions and bring about the downfall of humanity.

 

The problem is that mermaids and sirens are almost unkillable. Like traditional vampires, they can come back from beingĀ seemingly dead unless very specific steps are taken. There are obviously a few ways to kill them and keep them dead, but most of those are hard to do or require pilgrimages to mystic mountain shrines. The only relatively easy way is to eat them – thus absorbing their magical ocean power, and preventing it from reanimating them. Thus: mermaid sushi.

 

Almost every episode ends with the heroes resignedly eating yet more mermaid sushi to save the world. (There are probably consequences to eating the mermaids as well though – maybe with increasing ocean power also comes an increasing capacity for the sea-goddess villain to whisper into your mind directly, and to purify the power and get rid of the villain you have to do specific tasks. Like the mystic pilgrimage to the mountain or desert shrines, which are lost to modern mapping but can be found by those pure of heart and true of purpose.)

 

Happy new year, everyone šŸ™‚

Colouring for Mindfulness

November 6, 2016 Danielle 0

pic3_step5aAs part of a creative project for, believe it or not, a change management course, I digitally rotoscoped (it means turning a photograph into a line drawing, or a piece of film into a line-drawing animation – think A Scanner Darkly) and then coloured in a series of photographs.I’m not sure it achieve the intended objective for the course (increased ecological awareness), but it was an interesting exercise in mindfulness.

pic1_step6Ā  pic8_step5

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And for those who are interested, I’ll put the uncoloured images up for download.

 

Feel free to print & colour them, but please don’t sell them or print them on anything and sell that without contacting me first to check. They are my artwork, after all. šŸ™‚

 

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Elementals and Elemental Magic (a Yarthian overview)

October 17, 2016 Danielle 0

Elemental magic is a fascinating subject, worthy of a talented wizard’s attention. Of course elemental magic has almost nothing to do with the entities we call elementals. Elementals are simply spirits or entities not native to our reality, which manifest in certain ways, often linked to natural forces or objects. They are more properly a subject for Druidic or Shamanic study, though Conjurers and Evokers engage with them too, and Abjurers must learn their natures in order to protect against them. Elementalists call on them no more or less than any other wizard, but we do, perhaps, understand them a little better. Elemental magic draws on the fundamental forces of the universe to power spells: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.

  • Earth, known to the Elementalists as Ground, is at the same time the most and the least powerful of these forces. It is easily overpowered in the short term by any of the other forces, but on the longer term it can have the greatest effect. It is difficult to shield against, and affects all moving or still objects, living and inanimate.
  • Air is the most obviously powerful force, affecting both the unseen fields and forces of the planet and the devastating power of lightning and storm-wind. The force of Air is also related to the power of the void, where no air exists and only darkness reigns, as well as governing friction and affecting the action of light.
  • Fire is, for the most part, only locally significant. Explosions and chemical reactions are governed by this force, as well as the power to dampen and put out such conflagrations. Fire is relatively easy to shield from, and while good for making an impression or doing damage to a specific target, it does not have the power to shape actions or decisions the way Ground and Air do.
  • Water, known in Elementalist circles as Tide, is in some ways the weakest of the forces. It is most commonly used to control bodies of water, or to affect water in its different phases – as ice, or steam. However, the Tide force also controls decay and affects all life; as such, it is the most closely linked element with the Necromancy school of magic.

 

Elementals of different types may manifest using each of these forces, or combinations of them, but they do not represent personifications of the elemental forces. A Fire elemental is not a being created from the Fire force; rather, it is an entity whose nature is more closely aligned with the fire force than our own, or a being originating from a variation of reality in which the Fire force is more powerful or more dominant.

 

Each type of elemental is aligned to one or two basic forces, and is thus susceptible to being summoned and controlled by Elementalists specialising in those forces. As well as the traditional elemental creatures known to traditional magical scholars throughout Yarthe, many of the so-called ‘outsiders’ not traditionally viewed as elementals are in fact elemental in nature. The various realities from which these entities derive are viewed as paradisical or hellish by Yarthian natives, but they are simply other worlds or realities akin to our own, but different in some basic way. It must be remembered, though, that not all spirit beings and so-called ‘outsiders’ are elemental in nature; an elementalist has no more influence over non-elemental entities than we do over other wizards, which is to say, very little in most cases.

 

The types of elemental that we have catalogued thus far include:

  • Water or Tide: other than the Marids, Water Mephits, and Void elementals (also known as Daemons), beings aligned to the Tide element seldom take humanoid shape. Many are shape-shifters, formless and changeable, such as the Water elementals, while others have strange or beastlike forms, belying their intelligence – for example, the Andrenjinyi, Elohim, and the Tojanida; the only truly beastlike Tide elemental is the serpentine Water Weird. Forming a subgroup of the Tide elementals are the Shadow elementals, including Fetchlings, Shae, Owb, and Shadow Mastiffs.

 

Many elemental beings are aligned to more than one of the base elements.

  • Snow (Air and Water/Tide): Ice elementals and Ice Mephits, Mihstu, Niln, and Wendigo (it is recommended that students do not at any stage attempt to summon or control a Wendigo, as they are dangerouslt unpredictable). Some Snow elementalists have also had a certain degree of success in influencing the undead, indicating that perhaps the Air and Tide forces are at work in the magic which animates them.

 

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Dreamwalkers, part 6

September 30, 2016 Danielle 0

Lirrya sighed, and sat down.

“I’ll stay. It’s my responsibility,” she said.

“Don’t be daft,” said Jerleth. “You know what happens to women the Islanders take.”

“I’m a shifter, Jerleth. They can’t rape me, I’ll grow a set of teeth down there and emasculate anyone who tries.”

“Lirr, I’ve seen some of the things they do to slaves who won’t cooperate. Please. I’ll go.”

“I’m not the innocent you seem to think, Jer. And they’ll try to wring concessions from my father by using me as a hostage before they do anything to me. I’ll be in less danger than you will, at least for a while. They’ll just clap a mage-collar on you and sell you.”

Jerleth frowned, and said, “I’m not leaving you here, Lirr.”

Lirrya sighed, and said, “Either way, Tarnia, you should head off while you can.”

Tarnia nodded, and her mouth quirked in a half smile. She said, “I’ll tell the clans you both chose to stay, to protect the Union’s interests.”

 

It took less than a minute for Tarnia to fade into insubstantiality once she started concentrating. Her body faded from the feet up and the hands in, leaving her face as the last part of her to be visible. Then that faded too, and there was barely a shimmer of mist or smoke in the air where she had been. She wafted up to the top of the tent, and floatedĀ out through the chimney-hole at the apex. Jerleth poured himself another cup of wine from the pitcher on the table, and sipped it slowly.

 

“I never get used to that Dreamwalker stuff,” he said.

Lirrya chuckled softly. “Didn’t you study on Tiana?”

“Only for a year. I spent more time with the North Islands shamans, learning the names of the different types of storms. I can Dreamspeak, but I don’t have the Sight or the inclination for symbol magic.”

“You never told me about that. What was it like, living with the shamans?”

“Cold, mostly. Interesting, though. They have shifters, too, did you know that? And their storm shamans can bond with inanimate objects, like a ship or a weapon, and make it part of themselves. They can do crazy things with them. I saw one set his spear blade on fire to kill an icebear.”

“I always wanted to beĀ a Dreamspeaker like my mother, but it’s just not me. Maybe I should go and learn to bond with a sword instead. Sounds like a useful trick.”

“Not just swords. They had ships, too – like the islanders. Only theirs are made of bones.”

Lirr lay back andĀ stared at the tent ceiling, her good humour gone. “You have to wonder if that’s where we’ll all end up, slaves to the islanders and their ships. It doesn’t seem to matter how many we kill, they just send more and more. And now sorcerers, too.”

“Tarnia said we could stop it, Lirr.”

“No. She said if one of us didn’t go, the Union would fall. She didn’t say it would stand if we do go with him. And she didn’t say we’d survive, either.”

 

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Equinox, part 1

September 29, 2016 Danielle 0

There was something in the air. SomethingĀ in the way the light fell, or the smell of the breeze rippling in over the river, something about day itself. Calla closed her eyes and breathed in, sifting through the smells of spring pollen and herbs, the edge of old woodsmoke from the harvest festival bonfires across the valley. She still couldn’t identify what it was, but there was something. Today was just more alive than yesterday had been.

Her aunt’s voice broke her out of her contemplation, calling, “Calla! Are you done with the bees?”

“Almost,” she yelled back.

 

It wasn’t exactly a lie. Checking on the bees would only take a minute, and she was more than halfway to the hive already, more by coincidence than by intent, but still. Calla hurried the rest of the way across the yard to the beehives, keeping out of their flight path. The false wall on the first hive was stuck, but a quick smack with a rock loosened it enough to pull away, revealing the glass inner wall. Underneath, the bees crawled about, unconcerned about the sudden light coming into the hive. They looked fine. Calla carefully replaced the false wall, and turned to check on the second hive.

 

The second hive was more elaborate, with a honey tap as well as a false wall for inspections. It stood right next to the first hive, separated by the width of a narrow path, but they never had problems with one hive robbing the other. Calla pulled off the false wall to look inside the hive,Ā then stepped back involuntarily. Inside the hive was a small dragon, curled up under the comb. As the light hit it, it opened one honey-golden eye and stared at Calla through the glass wall of the beehive.

 

Calla stared back.

 

“Took your time,” the dragon said.

Calla heard his voice as if he was whispering directly into her ear. It sounded peppery, like the sensation just before a sneeze.

Calla blinked, and said, “I’m.. sorry?”

“Good,” said the dragon. “You should be, making me wait. Are you ready?”

“Am I ready for what? What are you talking about? You shouldn’t be here,” said Calla.

 

The dragon turned his head to stare at her with both eyes, golden as starlight through a UV filter.

“You’ve forgotten.”

He stepped out of the hive, right through the glass. calla couldn’t decide if he looked scary and mysterious or ridiculous, covered in honey like sticky, golden oil. Honey dripped off his scales, and he sat down to wash himself fastidiously, like a cat.

Calla asked the dragon, “What have I forgotten?”

At the same time, Calla’s aunt yelled again, “Calla! Are you done yet?”

Calla turned involuntarily to respond, then turned quickly back. The dragon was gone as if he’d never been, just a drip or two of honey on the ground where he’d been. His voice whispered in her ears, “Everything.”

 

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