Most of the info here relates to Mike's game, called "The Rass Game" after the family all the characters belong to, or "The Pavis Campaign" after the ancient, mostly ruined, perhaps resurgent desert city they live in. The game is a story now more than a decade old, following the Rass family from its dissolute past, fractured by one brother's scorn of the ancestors, to its dangerous, promising future as the leaders of the city. Along the way the newest members of the house have proven themselves by restoring their father to life, through great deeds in the Other Side and in battles both physical and magical.
In recognition of these victories, Will I Am, a strange proto-man who is at once all races and both sexes, has been recognized by the city priesthood as the Champion of Pavis.

And then sometimes we play pirates or the ignorant thanes of a backwoods clan mostly interested in stealing the neighbors' cattle.

Playing Around at Stellarcon

Stellarcon seemed small to me, but maybe that was just the overtaxed elevators.

Downtown High Point is not a great place for a con. No good dinner restaurants in walking distance and Elm Street Café, the only good lunch place, closed on Sunday. I completely failed to find a place to buy wine, which meant at one point Saturday night I actually drank a Miller lite. I had forgotten how it doesn't taste even a little like beer.

Food at the Raddison restaurant was just OK, and as is typical for a hotel restaurant, was overpriced for what you got. Joys of a captive market.

Blindsight

0765312182.01. Aa ScmzzzzzzzMy players heard me rave about Blindsight by Peter Watts a month ago. Man, is it terrific, awe-inspiring and frightening all at once:

And if the best toys do end up in the hands of those who've never forgotten that life itself is an act of war against intelligent opponents, what does that say about a race whose machines travel between the stars?

Apparently this book is selling so fast and is so hard to find at the moment that the author has released the entire book online as a pdf. But a hard copy is definitely worth having. Dig the author's description:

...it might be best described as a literary first-contact novel exploring the nature and evolutionary significance of consciousness, with space vampires.

But be warned: this does not have a happy feel good ending. Quite the reverse. Still, it addresses some extremely interesting ideas in ways I haven't seen done before. By the way, this is by the same guy mentioned in this post, who wrote or contributed to the amazing Vampire Domestication PowerPoint presentation.

And to tie this all back to gaming, the world described in Blindsight would make an awesome base for the Questworlds science fiction world.

I think I need to get a copy of his first book, Starfish (Rifters Trilogy) The review makes it sound like a science fiction inversion of Seaborn Child.

Shame and Secrets in Dorkath

We ran some Dorkath last night, with Vilavendesh being given a delicate mission by his father, which took him to the White Tower Long Staff temple of Ulkamoon to find some trustworthy and discreet assistance. A preceptor of Arimtasus was also there, seeking the same from Lord Eppah. Unknown to the two, they both seek the same thing.

Toward evening, Lord Eppah heard from his Grass Skirt Girls that mobs are probably going to be out tonight in the neighborhood of the Twin Mountains Resort, angry because of the bizarre appearance of dangerous hunterbirds  in the fields surrounding the city. So Vilavendesh, who is on his way to the resort, will probably be killed by the mob unless Eppah gets out there to protect him. Mobs of angry Darjiini don't look kindly on foreign Dara Happan nobles wandering around. They're probably Alkothi spies, in the mob's opinion.

Empracio Moonbred

Here's a character sheet for Empracio, as best I could decode it.

There's lots of stuff on here that wasn't on your sheet. Preceptors get access to The Rufus Scripts and to Lunar Charms. I've left off a few of the spells in the Scripts (like "Bless Cow") and just because all the charms are listed, that doesn't mean you have one of each--only that you can make them. You also have to read the blessings and curses from a copy of The Rufus Scripts , which, even though they're lunar magic, are used like sorcery spells.

Other things in italics are either new for your use or not (like the virtues from Arimtasus that you hadn't listed) or things I couldn't decipher.

Drospoly Goes for a Walk

From out of the depths it...wanders.

Terrifying all with its...ambling.

I hope this monster never turns up to help Seaborn Child.

More Inspiration

What I'm not sure if is whose game it may be inspiration for.

Apple - Trailers - The Host - Trailer

It looks completely hilarious.

Wierdest Spam Subject Line Ever

This just arrived by email.

The radiation and super-serum have accelerated her mental abilities ahead of all her peers, however the increased energy requirements have kept her from putting on large amounts of weight.

The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion: A New Abridgement from the Second and Third Editions (Oxford World's Classics)

A classic study of the beliefs and institutions of mankind, and the progress through magic and religion to scientific thought, The Golden Bough has a unique status in modern anthropology and literature. First published in 1890, The Golden Bough was eventually issued in a twelve-volume edition (1906-15) which was abridged in 1922 by the author and his wife. That abridgement has never been reconsidered for a modern audience. In it some of the more controversial passages were dropped, including Frazer's daring speculations on the Crucifixion of Christ. For the first time this one-volume edition restores Frazer's bolder theories and sets them within the framework of a valuable introduction and notes. A seminal work of modern anthropolgy, The Golden Bough also influenced many twentieth-century writers, including D H Lawrence, T S Eliot, and Wyndham Lewis.

The Hero with a Thousand Faces (Mythos Books)

Originally written by Campbell in the '40s-- in his pre-Bill Moyers days -- and famous as George Lucas' inspiration for "Star Wars," this book will likewise inspire any writer or reader in its well considered assertion that while all stories have already been told, this is *not* a bad thing, since the *retelling* is still necessary. And while our own life's journey must always be ended alone, the travel is undertaken in the company not only of immediate loved ones and primal passion, but of the heroes and heroines -- and myth-cycles -- that have preceded us.

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