12 October, 2018

Wiccans vs Fascists

If you don't see gaming potential in this, there's something wrong.

Here's where it's from

Wiccans are mobilising against the rise of the right wing, and this totally plays into the concepts I've been aiming toward in my game about mystic familiars and urban magic. Minorities gaining power from the victimisation they feel at the hands of the mainstream, protectors of ancient ways, warriors for diversity, people who dislike one another but have a common enemy who threatens them all. Meanwhile the seemingly monolithic juggernaut controlling the world pushes further toward oblivion while it distracts the masses with light entertainments and meaningless diversions.

I can see so much potential in this...

#Inktober Day 10 - Flowing / Pumpkin

There are places across the realms where the barriers between realities are weakened, these often align with locations of folklore and superstition such as crossroads, edges of forests, and graveyards. There are similarly times when the barriers fluctuate in their power.

There is a general chicken and egg debate regarding whether the beliefs of mortals influence the barrier strength, or if the fluctuating barriers are sensed by the mortals and thus lead to their beliefs.

If graveyards have a weakened barrier between worlds (perhaps due to the increased spectral activity of the restless dead, continually puncturing the barrier with their attempts to complete unfinished business), and if halloween is one of those times when the barriers are weakened, then when the two coincide (halloween on a graveyard), the barrier is doubly weakened and may be eliminated altogether... especially if some other phenomenon such as a full moon further influences the situation.

For this reason, wards and barriers need to be erected. This may be done through simple carving of pumpkins... but as the collective belief in the pumpkin's power is eliminated by consumerism and the banality of the modern world, these carved talismans are losing their power. On the posotive side, that also means that the barriers are getting less weak at these times.

Of course, the unhinged religious fundamentalists have a strong belief in demons and a rabid fear of the unknown, so while they remain a force in the world, the demons will always have an easier time influencing our reality. Some fear witchcraft, giving it power... some disbelieve it, thus weakening it... some believe the only power resides in saints, or angels, depending on the sect of their fundamentalism.

Regardless of intentions or beliefs, pumpkins are still carved in the places where Halloween is observed. To avoid this part of the festivities is to open the world to the darkness, without providing adequate barriers to prevent it's foothold in the physical world.

11 October, 2018

#Inktober Day 9 - Precious / Masquerade


The realms of the spirits tend toward the extremes. There are places of hideous nightmare, vistas of primal nature, apocalyptic hellscapes, burning deserts, and frozen crystalline wastes. But just as there are realms inspired by the dark nightmares are hells, there are other realms inspired by magnificence, dreams and heavens. These are no less dangerous.

Those who live in the dark places are known for their bestial violence, predatory urges, and uncivilized violence. Those who live in the light places are known for their beauty, culture, and arrogance. Both seek to manipulate the mortal world, an eternal game of chess, or go. Both conceal their identities to prevent the overload of psychic energy and paradigm shattering insanity that their mere appearance invokes in mortals. These creature are gods, demons, kami, oni, avatars, titans, fey and great old ones.

#Inktober Day 8 - Star / Wings

Star / Wings

The demi-celestial Chimera has made it her duty to defend the mortal realm from the darkest beings drawn to it like moths to a flame. But there are so many of those beings, and only one of her... so she bestows an awakening on lesser spirits, and grants mystic insight to mortals who are willing to assist her. Often these spirits and mortals are drawn to one another, sharing a symbiotic bond as mystic and familiar.

In the mortal realm, these pairs may make low key shifts to reality, preventing the mundane masses from knowing the truth, but in the various spirit realms they may reveal their powers more flamboyantly, taking on the roles of wizards in realms inspired by fantasy dreams, or super-powered heroes in realms inspired by comic books.

Those who have yet to prove themselves have lesser powers, but once a follower of Chimera has shown loyalty and bravery, they may gain admitted to Chimera's Order of the White Lotus. From there they may be granted other powers such as the ability to manipulate dreams or fortune, or access the highly coveted "Dragonfly Wings of Chimera".

Other powerful entities across the realms have established their own orders of loyal followers, disciples, and saints, some dedicated to similarly altruistic purposes... others not so much.

09 October, 2018

The Great G+ Exodus

Well, it's happening. Google Plus is clising down in under a year, but the pricess of winding down has begun. I get a lot of traffic here at the blog from G+ because my posts automatically get reposted there as a part of the wider Google ecosystem. That means I expect traffic here at the blog to drop off a bit, unless I can find a way to repost blog entries to somewhere new.

This news hit me about 6 hours ago, and in that time, a few hundred G+ members have engaged in the great G+ exodus. This move has shifted a decent chunk of my game related community to the MeWe platform.

I've already set up an Artists Group over there, and a few members have already joined. I've also established a group for Australian Game Designers (or those interested in them).

If you're interested this is me... I think it'll take a while to build back up to the 3700 followers I had on G+ (especially when there's a cap of 50 new contacts per day).

There are some great advantages to the new site, such as the ability to add sketches, audio, and markdown text, but these are offset by the politics of the site's founder. When there doesn't seem to be any better options, you've got to take the good with the bad. We'll see how long until another community exodus is required. 

08 October, 2018

#Inktober Day 7 - Exhausted / Apple

Exhausted and Apple

Like the roses of the legendary Flame Gardens, the apples of the Celestial Orchard are a highly-desired delicacy. The trees on which these apples grow are magnificent specimens, standing hundreds of metres tall, on high altitude mountains.

Protected by entities who might otherwise be considered demigods or primal avatars, the Celestial Orchard is a realm of rampant virulent life. But such life is inherently vegetative, animals who linger in the area for too long have their souls and energies drained to nourish the huge trees and their sacred fruit.

In the time it takes most intruders to climb the giant fruit trees, or even see the fruit, the psychic drain has already begun. In most cases, it's only the swiftest flyers can reach the fruit fast enough to avoid succumbing to the drain; but the most successful pickers of the fruit are the sloth totems, who exert such low levels of energy, and conserve their speed. Though they live in a state of perpetual exhaustion, they eat enough of the fruit to live forever. 

Note: The laws of physics vary from demi-plane to demi-plane, and don't necessarily make complete coherent sense. Most say this is because the spirit world draws on the dreams and beliefs of mortals in the central physical realm, where the strongest beliefs and dreams derive from those with the strongest creativity, and the weakest grasp of science. Don't try to make logical sense of it, the spirit realm doesn't work that way.

06 October, 2018

#Inktober Day 6 - Drooling / Lantern

I was really tempted to go with an interpretation of the moth memes going around at the moment, but decided against it at the last moment.

Drooling and Lantern

Unwary travellers in the dark caverns of the outer spirit realms sometimes vanish mysteriously. Those travellers who are more perceptive, or at least more nimble, often return to the more civilised parts of the spirit realms with tales of lantern predators, bioluminescent entities, or at least entities with bioluminescent lures that shine in the inky blackness of the untravelled outer realms.

There is great debate as yo whether these creatures are echoes of the distant past, distorted nightmare fragments clinging to the outer edges of the planes of the subconscious, or entities drawn toward reality from the deepest chaos and darkness between realms. Few have managed to study these entities, for few who linger in their presence retain their sanity for long.