Saturday 28 March 2020

Image Response Ping Pong 14

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 Here we are , here we are , IMAGE RESPONSE PING PONG NUMBER 14 , in which we act as CHALLENGING MUSES in order to keep a lively series of blog posts , so to keep the sly flame of promotion burning .

 (DCOhas a kickstarter to get a limit print run, it's fully funded, but you still have the opportunity to back it and so get a print copy reliably , instead of waiting for them to be available via mail order or store front)

Patrick has envisioned a visionary god

 And given us the above to respond to ..

This is a Abeyantal Ambassador   ,a would be an elemental if the natural of reality was configured differently. This Ambassador, the Coruscate-Illuminant, is on its way to present itself before  the protean metabeings in the process of creating a reality.
The Coruscate-Illuminant argues for light as mass, energy as tangible solidity , a world where fire is a brick .

 It is unlikely it will successfully argue its case, it would help if the Coruscate-Illuminant would form an alliance with other Abeyantal Ambassador, but it can't envision sharing reality with any other. It desires to be an endlessly neon highway in a void forever.

Okay , now back to you Patrick.

Who be these?

(the answer is here!)

Thursday 26 March 2020

Image Response Ping Pong 12b

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d6 Sorcerer Knights of Nova Melniboné.

All assumed to have to a Restless-lance, a Changesome Flail and be riding an eel-horse of renown.

1.Scourfrous Zeal, his herald the Amphitere , its wings envasted ears, its head just lips and a lascivious tongue , its song lovely as its appearence horrid. His armour is bristling field of eyelids and his weapon the stolen tongue of the Dawn Bell

2. Volume's Man, his herald the Calopus, a horned wolf , laterally split entire by its own smile. Its horns make twice its height and festooning with mournful candles. His armour baroque with pearl and sculpted cherub reliefs. He wields a great hoop-net , "gods gullet" , that devours inexorable any caught in it. 

3. Burnt Poet, her herald the Leonine Whale, its furred form twisting ever in the air. It murmurs sadly to itself as it swells and declines alternately like a cloud . Her is a libary of burned books, joined with amber. She has the Eventual Moth, a tireless hunter, only real to its victim.

4.Padagoo Grune, his herald a Lympago, its manish form buckled under its own musculature, two dozen failed nations flags atop spears piercing its back. His armour a 1000 years of military fashion , cast in iron and smeared with sooty grease.

5. Kissing Grief, his herald a Stellione,the starlizard weasel, lit from inside  so brightly it hurts to look at it. His armour gold with a corona of blue flame. His weapon a great blade, a single piece of reflective glass that blinds and ensourcens .

6 Providence Jiver, his herald the Wonderful Pig of the Ocean, jovial , rotund , and a bounding.

His armour that of abyssal crabs, his weapon is the alabaster trident , which he caught the pig with.

Tuesday 24 March 2020

Image Response Ping Pong 12

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF WELL THAT WAS DARK

Well that was Patrick's response to a dark image , so reaping what you sow I guess. Though I think the dudes who did the reaping often were traveling specialists?

Two Preambles:

1. I'll assume if you are reading this blog you are wanting something to take your mind off the global pandemic and already have made use of all the information available to you , etc, and therefore are not assuming I'm being blithe or oblivious by not mentioning it.

 2. The image response ping pong post series is an ongoing promotion of the dco reprint kickstarter So there's the link out of habit, but anyone and everyone got other stuff going on right now.


This chimerical and polychromatical creature, what is it ?

It is a Heraldic beast, note the careful and artful framing of the horns , cheek tufts and spurred ears, the single wing, and its innate yet measured posing.

 These beasts are more literal heralds than other beast of that title. Sorcerer Knights of New Melniboné create them as living heralds, both in the sense of a coat of arms , and to fly before , to announce their presence giving reasonable warning to their subjects to abase themselves. Subjects that do not make respectful positions , will suffer  the wraith of the Sorcerer Knight , and the torturous fecundity of flesh from a blow from a   Changesome Flails, or a fair worse Khronous Uneasement , which is what will befall those the Knight-Resplendent chooses instead to smite down with their Restless Lance.

The Beasts themselves are mix of impossibility, impracticality and savage actuality. They are so reliant on magic that if one could suppress the incantations that flow in their blood, they would barely be able to breath let only stand .

and now Patrick, for you :

Image from here , Howard V Brown possiblity

Patrick's response here

Saturday 21 March 2020

Image Response Ping Pong 10

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did you know DCO featured on Kickstarter's "projects we love" , resulting in the addition of exactly no-one (that I can tell from the infomatics they give us) additionally backing.

While that was nice of kickstarter , I'm more amused that the audience of kickstarters "projects we love" is not an audience that sees a naked starving giant and thinks Cor better back that one.
That's you lot , apparently . Breath that rarefied air!

Anyway , thus  the opening  ritual complete, onward

Patrick has graced us with a poem

and given us
To the centre of the city where all roads meet waiting for you, To the depths of the ocean where all hopes sank searching for you, I was moving through the silence without motion waiting for you In a room with a window in the corner I found truth
Humanoid Khepri Scarab from Late Period Egypt, Egyptian Museum of Berlin
Surprised that it wasn't a modern work, but of old Egyptian land.

I have a temptation to just research this exact artifact and do a history report. But I never had an Egypt phase as kid.

Instead again once more the fecund land.. we haven't had a magic item yet right?

this is a Might-of-been-kiln
You take  some scrap of sentiment , a lost opportunity and a closed door , give it to the bottom hands and it molds them, swallows them and birth a clay mummery of you. It will act out a shadowlife , slightly responsive to the environment but more responsive to an unseen one, acting out its craft, laughing with unseen peers, weeping at defeats , exalting at triumphs. All in dumb clay.

It's best to not watch too long, if one is too full of doubt and regret , trying to divine exact moments of the might-of-beens shadowplay , will become too absorbing. Soon the shadowplay will appear more real than their surroundings. They will walk like a shadow after their Might-of-Been , till one day it turn and smiles at them.

It will reach out gently to the former's face, and , like a mother with their child's tears,wipe their face away , and mold the former to just a clay suggestion of form.


Jiri Sozansky found at the very very excellent


Wednesday 18 March 2020

Image Response Ping Pong 8

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF THE GAME CONTINUES

Patrick conjuring a umbral world that turns under the trains wheel and the insurrection arise against it, then he revealed a picture of this ugly dog

Alfrid Shaymardanov

 But first! The now all too familiar plug for the Deep Carbon Observatory kickstarter, now having exactly one stretch goal at 30,000 English Euros.   If reached (a mere 4000 English Euros away as of writing this post) the book will become sublimely grandiose , and will be constructed with the nigh inconceivable , as yet unprecedented, 3 RIBBONS
Minds were shattered at the beholding of Veins Of The Earths double ribbon, but here we are ADDING  ANOTHER RIBBON

Back to this dog

This dog obviously collects souls. In certain infernal realms politics and gambling are twisted together like the strands of a rope. This Dog was formerly a prince or sub-duke, played badly, now owes much, and has only the form of a dog.

 He was walked the mortal realm for centuries now, getting owners, serving them as best a dog can, and then betraying them at the most ruinous time.

He damns souls not by temptation , as he lacks any of the customary powers and resources normally at hand to a personage le diabolique .

Instead this dog must choose his owners carefully.
Mortals of weak character but still in possession of a conscience.
Of a type that reflexively choose their own desires and needs over others , or are prone to inflict petty harms or injuries in moments of spite, envy or rage. But a type lacking the icy nerve of a blackguard or the heartlessness of a brute.
After an act of ill , this type will then begin to churn with guilt and will quickly turn to a trusted family member , mentor or companion.

To them they will seek solace, eager for vindication, reassurance or rebuke.

Thus this type will need good and firm guidance , far more than most.
They are easily lead astray but also easily kept in line too.

The Dog however will always be a source of assurance , a companion that does not judge or doubt, a instant balm for fraught nerves and lingering doubts.
His gaze is pure unconditional love, and to stroke his fur is to be instantly assured of all being right.

The results of which are ruinous in the extreme. Eventually no crime or base act becomes unconscionable to the owner , because The Dog will always be by their side, a silent validator and selfless comforter.

Then when the mortal has truly damned themselves and The Dog has grown bored , it will betray them. Revealing their possession to pursuers , distracting them from their normal security measures, uncovering hidden evidence etc.

If no subtle opportunity presents itself The Dog is more than capable of just tearing their owners throat out.

Either way the owner will find their soul now another gross fat hair writhing on the dogs coat.

So that's that dog Patrick , and now a muse-servitor for you :

James Pryde "the death bed"


Saturday 14 March 2020

Image Response Ping Pong 6

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF  We are now in round 6 of Image Response Ping Pong ,

the kickstarter for GIANTLY IMPROVED DEEP CARBON OBSERVATORY is still ticking on , so there's your opportunity to get your print copy , otherwise wait until a point of sale can be found for them..
We have neaaarly settled on some minor stretch goals to extra-fancy the book. Nothing to do with increasing the writing or picturing because we reckon we got exactly the right amount of both.

 Patrick has responded and offered me this:

It is of course an ancestral urn,(or is meant to appear as)  used to contain the ashes of greatfathers and mothers and placed in a quiet room , so one may pray for guidance.

The hinging doors however reveal the real use, a escape portal for a member of the Horizon Society ,the decentralized wizards college.

However the sigil marks not a safe portal but one in which the ethereal tunnels from it are fraying.
The magics of the portal detect the damage and show the sigil as warning, let the user be aware.

To enter such a portal would risk predation, dimensional flinging, spectral marooning and soul-polyps.

The tunnels might be one of the rare ones that will be visited by a ChainOfArms, a centipedal nercomantic creation whose creation and useage was one of the many outrages that the unregulated magical studies of the Horizon Society inflicted on both common and rare society.

The remaining ChainOfArms work themselves to ruin , scrittering along the ethereal tunnels , finger-kniting the rips and holes they find.

The now firmly centralized Institution of Ethereal Affairs has firmly and severely banned any research surround the creation of them , including even dissectations  of one. Even being in possession of any part of one requires several permits and invites far attention from the Institution than is normally healthy.



Wednesday 11 March 2020

Image Response Ping Pong 4

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF IMAGE RESPONSE PING PONG IMAGE RESPONSE PING PONG we hope you are entertained because we are doing this the whole run of the kickstarter campaign

Which you should back if you want to get a print copy ahead of the crawling,wailing and keening mob that no doubt will descend upon any shop or point of sale doth blessed with such a splendoriffic tome. click the text go to the link you know the drill

Anyway we are in the 4th round of this game. Patrick has answered my last serve thusly

 (click here to read his respond )

has given me this to respond to 

crapaud et grenouille by Jean-Joseph Carriès
 Okay we have a very expressively frog or toad. Toad seems more fitting for its countenance.
An expression thoughtful and somewhat malign. The Toad sees you very clearly and feels only bored contempt for you. Its black pit of a mind stirs somewhat as it consider any uses for you.

Let's build on that, (plus address the smaller frog ), we have a port city, a twin port city , "Callo-calloo"
A sleepy marauder of a river feeds into the sea beside it , and so its docks receive the shallow bottom river boats and the ocean crossing deep keelers.

Stretching out from the cities flanks are brackish swamps. Where the sea breaks against them is the thick wall of mangrove trees , which erratically give way to  the moody swamp cypress.  All of which is a smugglers paradise, providing they have learned the tunnel like paths through the mangroves and know which  long strands of moss festooning the cypress are sacred to spirits , and that which can idly brushed through.

The smugglers , wreckers, bandits, and belligerent tribes (though rare that any one of these isn't somewhat part of the other) have a port too, the Moondocks.

 A littoral phantom location like the Underground or the Blackmarket, its physical location merely hasty planks and rope lowered, concealed trapdoors, and backroom ladders, only its conceptual location is a constant mercantile reality.

The other occupant of note is frogs. Penny frogs hoping out of bouquets, nimble fly-snatchers at the window sill, surly gnarled poison toads firmly in the way, dizzy googlers jumping on your face as you sleep. Even a variety that ventures into the salt waters, protected by a thick mucus and pestering fishermen as it takes fish on the line.

  Thus the ever present chorus of chirps, croaks, burps,pops, and groans, must be endured to spend any length of time here.
As the frogs are so voice-some , you might make the mistake to think they are not listeners too.
But they are. "Frogs catch flies, but they catch words better" as they say here.

All this speech makes it way to a singular mind. "The Toad" as it as known, the everydayity of the name is in contrast to the fear and respect is said with.

The Toad Hears. The Toad Knows. 
The Toad will share with you what he knows in exchange for a meal. 
(assuming you can find him , a challenge and ordeal in of itself)
The meal must be flavoured with misery , rage, or grief.
A meal will obtain these flavours when the maker is unable to take the action they believe will alleviate those feelings and instead find themselves in the kitchen and its requisite burdens.

A meal served to him will get you 3 questions answered. If you have the culinary expertise to serve him several courses each will get 3 questions.

The Toad is no resentful  genie, and will answer each question attendent to its spirit and not merely a  miserly response to just the letter. 

However he finds a passing amusement in trouble and strife. 
So how much he says and what he doesn't say will be shaped by a desire to either to see you in problems or being the source of someone else problems.

The Toads palate grows bored easily, and offering him a meal spiced with a common situation risks angered him.

The Toad angered will result in the afflicted unable to find their way out of the mangrove , until the Toad grows bored of their misery or their death. 

And on moonless nights the frogs chorus can be joined by the lamentation of those who ired the Toad so much he holds them there even after their dying.

AND THAT IS MY absolutely purple I don't even know what's happening with my writing right now RESPONSE

Agostino Arrivabene


Monday 9 March 2020

Image Response Ping Pong 2

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Patrick has replied with this ..fellow.
What is

Well to answer that , one must know of an empire, though barely worthy of that name, it only containing 5 kingdoms.
The 5 kingdoms are similar to each other in their ways yet each has a violent history with its neighbours. And while long and bloody, these histories pale in comparison to the strife caused by each kingdoms attempt to unite all the kingdoms under one banner.

After a particular ruinous schism / 5 way civil war, a secret alliance of the magicians, witches , and void-fishers of the 5 kingdoms undertook a vast ritual to reach into the possibility-sea in the well of time and pluck the Perfect Monarch.
One whose sagely countenance and fierce wisdom will lead the 5 kingdoms in a golden age.

The above picture is what they received.

It is now a year of the Perfect Monarchs reign . He makes laws that are impossible to follow , nonsense decrees and spends much of his time quietly observing people in their homes , occasional undertaking a simple domestic task or routine labour.
While interacting or observing his subjects he maintains the above poise, however his movements through the air have his body lying prone  and what seems to be his robes undulate , making many to think he might some kind of squid.

The effects on society from the attempts to enact , avoid, or manipulate his nonsense have resulted in a confused upheaval , elaborate bartering systems, and spontaneous riddle courts.

The magical alliance who brought him here are still unsure if the ritual succeed or instead they brought forth some form of  potentially dangerous astral cuckoo-squid.

The  murderous conspiracies against the Perfect Monarch are numerous but as yet they have succeeded in only thinning each other numbers as they fight over opportunity and positioning to usurp the Perfect Monarch.


and now Patrick the volley to you is:


Saturday 7 March 2020

Image Response Ping Pong

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF SO the kickstarter I alluded to is an a4 revamp of Deep Carbon Observatory.
 (click the text to go direct to kickstarter in case you thought it was just going to go here)

 When Broken Fire Regime had hit a bottle neck , I had the idea that we could revamp DCO , and in doing so work some form of design template that we could apply to Broken Fire Regime.

But this revamp became a considerable production , to the point that work on Broken Fire Regime stalled. BUT AT LAST it is ready . By ready I mean ready to be kickstartered to pay for the limited print run, as we are not content with merely doing a print on demand.

The art is done , baring a couple of map touch ups, the writing is done, the layout is done, this isn't a kickstarter in which you pay someone who intends to do something at somepoint.
It is just funds to get the pdf to the printers, get the books from the printers to storage, and from storage to the postal service.
Oh and pay someone (David Shugars) to do the pdf version good.

SO THIS POST has the purpose of alerting you to the kickstarter BUT ALSO kicking off the start of a game like post series where-in I post an image , Patrick response to it with a blog post , presumably d&ding it in some form , and tails it with an image that I in turn respond to.

And so we could have our posts popping up in the feeds semi-regular and also sneaking the ongoing plug to DCO kickstarter, like a worming tablet in a hunk of pet food.

BUT PLOT TWIST it got funded in like half hour.
SO y'all are welcome to cut ahead of the line and secure yourself a print version via the kickstarter, but this fucker is definitely getting made.

Me and Patrick are still going to start this Image Response Ping Pong though:
 Thanks to the Smithsonian Institute for recently uploading a very lot of images to the public domain


Friday 6 March 2020

Deep Carbon Observatory Kickstarter

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So we got a kickstarter live to fund a limited print of Deep Carbon Observatory.

It's not just a hard cover version, but an a4 hard cover version with more art, improved layout, better maps , better explained content.

Anyway click the link to find out more .

I'll have some actual blog content for y'all soon.

Tuesday 3 March 2020

Brief Personal Info Dump

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Normally I wouldn't bother telling y'all about whats going in my life but as I'm a significant part of some upcoming kickstarters, it seems appropriate to update you on the following.

I'm someone who experiences gender dysphoria. Currently there's no precise means to determine exactly what is creating it and/or if its not some other problem that is creating the symptoms typical of gender dysphoria.

As to alleviate it , I would attempt to present female, underwent laser facial hair reduction ,took female hormones and asked people to use female pronouns with me.

But as time went on this just made me hyper aware of the aspects of myself that still were male. The more I attempt to "become" female , the great the distance seemed to be created by what I couldn't change.

So then in the last couple of years  I stopped my transition attempt and instead made a conscious focus on accepting or at least tolerating being male.

This has resulted in far less mental distress than I was enduring before.

The reason I'm TMI-ing y'all is because I don't think its appropriate to continue to use me as an example or inspiration of trans representation or to highlight my presence in an attempt to foster greater diversity.
 (which I worried might happen in regard to some upcoming kickstarters I'm involved in )
I don't undergo or face the obstacles facing trans women , there-fore should not get the aid offered to them to help alleviate that.

And in regard to pronouns , I now have no preference. He, she , they, I don't mind and don't care.
Still happy being called scrap princess ,  basically none of this is likely relevant to anyone other than someone who was about to mention my name as an example of a trans person in DIY d&d.

Two caveats:
Just because I found peace living as my natal gender doesn't mean others will. As I said before, there's currently no precise way of determining who will benefit from transition and who won't.
Furthermore one of the least precise method is the unwanted opinion of a stranger on the internet.
Society should get to a place where one can consider both options without being pressured either way.

I don't consider how I "identify" a meaningful act. Better to talk about ones actions, desires, and external social pressures and freedoms than try to measure and label something as illusionary as a "true self".
People get caught up trying to correctly label their gender , assuming having done that, they then can have permission to do something or present a certain way.