The following is a transcript of the recent broadcast of “Run Up to the Monsterous Mansion Season 4”, the first episode in this season’s summer pre-show. It consists primarily of a conversation between the three hosts; Suzuki Omaya the show’s historical specialist on the mansion and previous seasons, Tom McCallister the color commentator for this season, and Greg Oyotonombe the magical arts specialist and contestant bio specialist. There are two on-the-ground reporters for the team, Maria Patel and David Silverman, who put together the bio packages and interviews for the show. Here they will be referred to as their first names.

In case this transcript skips dimensions like last year’s finale did due to the actions in the Second Foyer, a brief description of “Monsterous Mansion” – in the northern Sierra Nevada mountains of the Paiute Protectorate and Confederacy a sorcerer that assited in the War of Resistance built a massive mansion complex in the mid-19th century that was slowly expanded either by his descendants or the Mansion itself. It is  a somewhat intelligent complex that housed the family for over 100 years. In 1997, the family was abruptly dislocated from the premises and sent to one of their European homes as the Mansion twisted itself into something dangerous but did not move beyond its own borders. No one yet knows what is wrong with the buildings themselves or why they would do this. After ten years of attempting to infiltrate the complex themselves and with professional help, including the shaman of the Paiute Protectorate, an agremeent was reached with the International Broadcasting Board to allow a competitive telescry show to be broadcast on restricted channels showing self-selected teams to breach the Mansion and attempt to repair or recover what they can. Cash prizes are offered as well as access to the family’s extensive artifact holdings. While these forrays can be deadly, resurrection has been unsealed for these contestants and the necessary materials have been provided by numerous organizations across the world, from the New England Freestates to the Flying Cities. Contestants only gain cash prizes and artifact access if they survive; otherwise they are resurected at the end of the season.

Here is the transcript –

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Place Tree

May 30, 2017

I enjoyed the forest when I built it, but I always hated it in testing. There’s nothing worse than seeing something from far away, approaching it hoping for all of the payoffs of the varities of nostalgia that drives your feelings of beauty, and then finding the same cheap trick repeated over and over again.

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From Each Their Ability

September 2, 2016

A plasma spark between my fingers is the first element of the ritual that brings me relief. Then the slow, heavy inhale, the smell of rich pine tar mixed with burning sugar and cinnamon. Now the exhale, the thick black smoke that hangs rudderless in the air above me, waiting for the wind to take it away. Away with the ghosts of the pain in my joints, in my limbs.

The smoke thinned out into a weaving path over the evergreens studding the side of the mountain I was coming down. Like a dark spirit twisting and twining around the trees, searching for a home or hovel to hide in, it wove its way down toward Ikthardan. It’s a small town with no more than a few buildings other than the tall peaked wooden homes common in the Gertan mountains.

This was the last evening of a two week hike through the mountains to come to the town. They had summoned me, asking that I come as soon as I could. I was the closest of my order, and they needed our help before another new moon came and went.

I followed the river of smoke to the large longhouse that stood in the middle of the town, raised up on great oak risers and adorned with the hammers, mizran, and runes of the Order of Law. I rapped twice with my gloved hand and breathed deep, slowly exhaling. Townsfolk can sometimes be trying on my nerves.

A simple boy opened the door, unadorned by anything other than the light tunic and slacks, emblazoned with the small shield of Ikthardan. “Sir? Welcome to Ikthardan, what is your business with the Master of the House?”

I smiled, relieved. Young men are easier than stuffy majordomos or councilors. “I am Vala, I come as I was called. Speak to the Justicar, he will know of me.” I then reached out to him with my mechan hand, holding the forty-link badge of my order. “The Dranchae have come as we have been asked.”

The boy’s eyes widened and he dashed away, yelling for someone named Rozath. Probably the Justicar, the speaker for the Order of Law. The returning footfalls came with a large, barrel-chested man with a thick, braided beard and tightly coiled hair. He was, indeed, wearing a long tabard emblazoned with the mizran of the Law.

“Welcome, Valaryatha. I am Rozath, of the Claeve of Justicars, Lawbringer to this land and servent of the Silver Legions and enforcer of the Mizran, the Laws of the Righteous. We are in grave need of your help, dhallma.”

Whispers From The Past

January 17, 2014

Keton jumped over the low wall and sprinted quickly across the barren courtyard. Wreckage of the Old World littered the place – too dangerous yet, it seems, for any of the Folk to retake it. He could smell his charge inside though – ink and paper books, still at least partially intact, despite centuries of languish.

He skipped over a bench, almost rolled into a ball, with some kind of message woven into iron fibers that it had once been made from. Some message in Latin. It was hard to read, with only the “EST” still visible on the outside of the mass. Respecting the warning, he unbuckled the grip for his aether emitter, a glove-like device that was used not just to project certain tools useful for spelunking in the ruins of the Old World but also for defending himself against the many threats that live in the ruins and feed and unwary travelers.

A Librarian, however, was no unwary traveler.

Keton crept along the outside of a massive building he had followed the trail of books too. Both the smell of binding resin on the wind, faint but enough to track, and the subtle comfort of the books themselves. He could feel the resonant song of the knowledge contained within them, that special talent that selected the Librarians from all other Folk. Taking care to not get lost in the ecstatic song, he carefully pushed the doors open with his right hand, left hand slipping into the aether emitter and pressing the lock combination. The bonds quietly folded around his arm, locking into place like a gauntlet of brass and light. He quickly tapped in another code on the buttons, lighting up the nodes on the gauntlet like a torch. He raised his hand, fingers extended so the light filtered throughout the room. Illuminating rows and rows of rotten but only just books.

A treasure beyond imagining, a wealth of information of the Old World waiting to be reconstructed. Recorded. Preserved.

He sprung into action immediately, whipping a brown leather messenger’s bag to his feet and pulling out a contraption of arms and plates, filled with tiny intricate clockwork and a thrumming aether engine, whirring and spitting tiny jets of steam. He then pulled out a bottle from within the bag, a strange shaped bottle filled with the cleanest water, and poured it into the machine’s fuel port and stepped back, letting the strange machine unfold until it seemed like an open book, two big copper plates with a spine joining them, with several spider-like arms that ended with various aether tools specialized in the reconstruction and recording of the printed word.

He quickly set about carefully moving the less decayed works to the desk he had set the machine up on and stacked them near a large, padded claw on the back of the machine. It slowly grabbed on book at a time and the arms went into motion. They peeled away filth and brushed away dust. They spun with light and flashes of lightning, carefully restructuring the broken chemical bonds that were once pages and ink. Then a large lens would scan each page in less than a second while the other arms continued their work on the next page. Each book was placed back on the desk looking as it did when the library first received it, carefully recorded into the machine’s internal aether matrix.

Keton grew more and more excited the more books he saw placed down. All were medical texts, ancient troves of knowledge that the Clerics of Forest Paths would pay dearly for. That may save people and bring him both glory and recognition in the Order of the Sheltered Bower.

He dreamed of sheltered promenades, a house in the High Hills, his own private library. Perhaps even an apprentice, a Secretary. He might even be made a full brother of the Order. A true Librarian, not just a Master of Acquisition.

The machine worked faster and faster, hitting a certain stride as it adjusted to deal with the images filling each of the pages. The books were from a later period as well, printed on high-reflection glossy paper, filled with bright colors and vivid images. It seemed wasteful to Keton as he flipped through one of the finished tomes. They left wide, bright white margins and took up entire pages with unnecessary images of men and women at sport or at play.

Flipping through the books and daydreaming let Keton forget the first rule of being a Master of Acquisition, however – The Library is not the only place that hungers for knowledge and feeds upon books. Be ware, be warned, be alert.

Unfortunately for Keton, he never saw the bookworm until it was too late, his fingers frantically stammering on the keypad of his aether emitter for his blade before finally going still.

I didn’t know him when I sat down, but by the time I got up I’m pretty sure I did.

I came in around midnight, I’d been driving all night with my boyfriend to get to Seattle in time for a convention we were working at. He was passed out in the passenger seat and I was starving, so when I saw the lit sign just off of the freeway, I pulled off to grab a burger.

At the bar, facing the cook and eating a single piece of pumpkin pie was a man. He was small, broad, and slumped over his plate. Dressed in a pair of slacks, running shoes, and a wool coat with long, knotted hair splayed down his back. I sat a few seats down from him and ordered by burger, than said hi.

He smiled, a weak and soft smile. A heavy smile. I asked him about why he was so sad.

“I’m not sad.” He said, slowly and carefully, as if each word were brand new and still had sharp edges on them. “I’m just tired. It’s been a long, hard road.”

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So this is getting placed in the middle of NFTAP2 to establish a history for a few things I want to work with later. This isn’t the only large scale edit I’m going to be doing to NFTAP2.

So, here we go!

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More Cattlepunk!

July 3, 2012

Here’s some more work for you in my Cattlepunk setting.

Please share my blog with anyone you know who might be interested! I could really use the views and the interaction of some new readers!

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