Monthly Archives: October 2012

Nocturnal Rumination: A Night for Spooks and Nuttery

For a bit of light reading going forward, the Rumination offers the full text of Goethe’s Faust via Bartleby.  Enjoy it as light, after hangover reading or stimulating reading after trick-or-treating.

Here’s the text: LINK

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Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Art, Philosophy


Diurnal Aural Experiences: Faustian Echoes by Agalloch (2012)

Faustian Echoes (2012) from Agalloch offers a true to form retelling in nearly 22 minutes of song, using excerpts from a dramatic performance of Faust and lyrics directly and selectively pulled from the play itself.  True to form for Agalloch, the music is atmospheric and broad; nearly foreboding at times in its scope.  It often evokes the imagery they are trying to place within the song; never losing focus on the source material.

The music ranges from black metal riffing that causes a disquieting sensation that flows into the murky, monolithic darkness before settling into the spaces betwixt.  Yet, it seems to focus too heavily on those black metal elements, though amazing in their quality, are a decided step away from Marrow of the Spirit (2010).  The production is fuzzier; the sounds more raw.  Evoking a feeling of desperation not typically found in Agalloch, I find this interesting and powerful.  However, I found myself missing the well produced familiarity of Marrow, and its decided look at experience over song itself.  If there are any missteps here, it is this solid step back to the more discordant elements with a lower overall sound quality in a time when fuzzy sounding, black metal bands are easily found.  For a band that’s so forward thinking and stunningly epic in their album compositions, this was an obvious personal choice and one that I think did hurt the overall composition of the song.

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Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Art, Inspiration, Music, Philosophy


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Art of the Day: HAPPY HALLOWEEN!


Heidi as Death

Digital art – October 2012 

I am taking a break from the Siedenbard run down to celebrate Halloween with Heidi. Heidi is a performance dancer and I thought she would be perfect to dress up for the holiday. Here she is representing what the Gjåles would see as Death.

With that have a happy and safe holiday everyone!


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Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Art, Characters, Cultura, Gjale


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Inspiration of the Day (Halloween): Faust by J.W. Goethe

Why grinnst thou at me, thou hollow skull; save that thy brain, confused like mine, once sought bright day in the sombre twilight dull, and whose lust for truth went wretchedly astray?


As in most Anglophilic countries, today is Halloween in the U.S.  What better character, especially in Southern U.S. Romantic mindsets, is there than Faust?  He that forsakes everything wholesome and wise in exchange for power and knowledge beyond compare that he cannot at all control.

Faust barters his soul with Mephistopheles in exchange for the beautiful Gretchen and for knowledge beyond this world.  Goethe’s Faust follows alchemical understanding of the world through Renaissance Magic and pseudoscientific understandings.  These facets are interesting in that practitioners of these magics, “sciences,” and philosophies believed that through faith, knowledge, and power man could control the legions of Satan through naming them and bringing them to submission.  The Faust legend demonstrates fully that this cannot happen.

In my own part of the world, individuals that have reached iconic folkloric status are surrounded by whispers, indictments, or proven charges of having “sold their souls” for their work.  Huey Long of Louisiana was a populist politician in the early 20th century whose good was overshadowed by the pall of the corruption he allowed during his power (this is immortalized as the Kingfisher in film and novel formats).  Robert Johnson, itinerant bluesman of the South, sold his soul at the Crossroads in Greenville, Mississippi to play the blues, dying under mysterious circumstances in 1938.  These are just two such examples.

Faust, specifically as written by Goethe, has been institutionalized in Southern U.S. romantic literature, art, and folklore.  Faulkner made a career writing about divine justice and retribution; Cormac McCarthy uses this in a fair more nihilistic bent.  This can even be seen as the racist institution of the Southern Court Room in Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.”  It is seen the in plays of Tennessee Williams and in the prose of Flannery O’Conner.


Happy Halloween all!


Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Art, Characters, Inspiration, Philosophy


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Esoteric Alembic offers best wishes and thoughts to those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

If the overwhelming swathing news cycle hasn’t made you aware, a relatively large and powerful storm struck the Northeastern Coast of the United States.  Today, we begin feeling the fallout of these hits.  Metalsucks announced that their blog was on indefinite hiatus, the Gawker media ring has been down due to the power outages in New York.  The bottom line is this: 62 people are known to have died and countless others are without power and are nowhere near home. So, we here offer our thoughts and hope that recovery is smooth and strong.  Our own Baron Naberious was in MA when the storm hit; however, his experience was not nearly as bad as what NJ and NYC faced.

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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Idle Words., Words, Writing


Nocturnal Ruminations: The Metaphysics of the Four Temperaments.

Alchemy was everything in the Middle Ages and the tenets of its belief systems extended into the Enlightenment and maintain some folkloric and academic power to this date; e.g: Carl Jung’s work on using these archetypes to explain specific psychological conditions and just about any personality profiling test on the internet.  Hell, you might have even took one when you started working, “just to best assess your learning styles.”

Think about all things into which the Humors (an alternative name for the Temperaments) were tied: from medical practice, personality, psychology, weather changes, aptitudes at work and education.  Bleeding and leeching occurred into the early 20th century and continues in some more rural communities, even in the US.

Ire reflects the Choleric Temperament in terms of game development, and while there are plenty of other things the Humors are said to influence and still influence to this day.


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Diurnal Aural Experience: Cynic – The Unknown Guest (2008)

Technical, heavy, atmospheric, yet not at all brutal or cloyingly masturbatory for the sake of awesome showmanship; Cynic offers a wonderful listening experience.  The music is otherworldly, and in this song they actually approximate on guitar the sound of a lightning strike.  Amazing approach.

Here’s the song: The Unknown Guest – Cynic (2008)

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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Inspiration, Ire, Music, Nature


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Art of the Day: Harvest Festival Wenu


Harvest Festival Wenu

Digital Art – October 2011

It is close to my favorite holiday of Halloween, and my halloween pic for last year involved Wenu. My husband Beur is to blame for this. He requested a pin up girl style pose for this little innocent/not so innocent cleric and I decided she should dress up to be a little black cat. It was a good way to display some of her tattoos at least without just sitting her around naked.

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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Art, Characters, Cultura, Gjale


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Inspiration of the Day: Lightning through Volcanic Ash Clouds

Currently, we are finishing the design of the Magical Elements and the benefits for the characters in the game. The above image was found on and I was unable to find its original image on the web.  Brownie points (they mean nothing) to the person that finds it.

This is the inspiration for the Ire Metaphysical Element; or at least, the best physical depiction of Ire.  Today’s image, since this is what I’m working on at this time, is representative of that for which I am with this line’s development.

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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Cultura, Landscape, Magic, Nature, World Building, Writing


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Weekly Writing Log: In which we tabled Elements, started theming the day, and set new records.

Cultura saw a major design change this week wherein we started creating grid for abilities relating to magic, physical combat, and skills.  Over the course of this week, I devoted over 15 hours of working on this, completing the tables for physical elements and starting the metaphysical, and the results of which are pretty damned cool and do exactly what I’d hoped: offer a non-linear approach to character development.  The opposite result of this is that I did not write any in the Lay at all; however, I can deal with that if it means the engine is progressing well.

In the blog realm, we had our best day ever Thursday, regarding the Vanitas theme.  This has inspired me to continue constructing the daily posts around a theme.  Thank you for reading and feel free to comment!

I leave you with this, in homage to Halloween, Samhein, Day of the Dead, of whatever you want to call it:


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