Generation S – Issue #076 : Fulcrum – Publication 05.21.14

01[16:55] <@Storyteller> <Maybe it echoes in the far bigger on the inside capsule/compartment/thing, or maybe the older man’s words just hold that much power and reverberate so strongly through their skulls that is seems like it, or maybe this is just what happens at the beginning of a new episode where all the stuff from the last episode gets played out again so you remember what happened. Either way, those last two words hang heavily in the air…… ‘of Atlantis.’>
06[16:57] * @December makes a soft, antagonized yip of surprise, gaping in the man’s direction.
06[16:57] * @Hector` matches December, measure for measure, right down to the yip of surprise.
06[16:59] * @Chris_Gravier blinks several times, turning in very slow circles.
[17:00] <@Chris_Gravier> This is a real fucking elaborate prank… that or I might do excited I pee myself.
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Harp and Hammer

All fables, all legends have a beginning.  Heracles got his start strangling snakes in the cradle, Cu Chulainn by killing Chulainn’s hound, Darmok by meeting Jalad at Tanagra.  Indeed, mankind’s own start came from proto-hominids discovering fire..   This, however, is the beginning 0f my Legend.

I was born the daughter of Irish immigrants, and raised from birth to respect my roots.   Most of my early years were spent learning the old songs from my mother, or in the smithy, learning the secrets of iron and fire from my father. Most importantly, I heard the tales of our people, of the Tuatha de Dannan and their protection of the irish people, and our respect for them.   It was only natural, as I grew into being my own woman, that I discovered my own faith in the old gods, specifically worshipping Brigid, the goddess of the smith, and patron of poets.

Ren Faires were a big part of my life and that of my family.  Indeed, most of our family income came from my father’s forgework, making armor and trinkets for tourists, or my mother’s performances.   As I grew, I began doing my own part, performing duets with mother, or working the bellows for father.    In fact, working the forge is where this tale -truly- begins.

Sometime, in my 21st year, I was pounding away on a sword blank, working in carbon to harden the metal, when I heard someone ringing the bell at the front of the stand.   Tossing the blank into the quenching trough, I saw that the caller was a middle aged woman, dressed much like the rest of the tourists who came in, admiring the light plate we made for reenactors, but ignoring the actual fighting gear we made for not being “flashy”

She was different though, as she came in, her eyes immediately went to the wall where we kept actual battle swords, and the dummies with actual armor on them. I watched, with no small amount of pride as she traced the hammer marks on a thick bit of field plate I’d beaten out myself

“Aye, not at all bad.. for an amateur” The woman said, a smirk in her eye.   Suddenly, my pride turned to anger.  Who was this woman, a total stranger, to alk into -my- forge and call my own work amateurish?

“I’ve had a hammer in me hand since before I could walk, what are you talking about?” I said, trying to keep my anger in check.  It wasn’t, after all, like she came in here looking for trouble.

“So you forged this armor, did you?  I suppose these swords on the wall are yours as well?  Don’t get me wrong, they’re good work, but hardly worthy of a master smith.  They’re balanced well enough, and the tempering is good, but you could do so much better, here, let me show you.”  She said, quickly walking into the forge like she owned the place.

Pulling the sword blank from the quenching trough, she thrust it into the furnace, which seemed to flare up as she came close.  After getting the metal white hot, she quickly pulled it out of the fire and began hammering, which was when I was really in awe.  the metal seemed to shape itself to her will as she hammered away.  It must have been an hour, but it only felt like minutes when she produced a finished blade.

“Like I told ye, lass, you’re right good, but you can surely do better.” The woman said, leaving the finished blade on the anvil.  My head was still spinning from watching an obvious mistress smith at work.

“Wait, wait.. I watched you work,  I’ve worked with iron for the better part of my life,  I’ve -never- seen it take shape so quickly.. that’s impossible.” I said, in disbelief

The woman sighed, throwing up her hands.  “And that’s your problem, you limit yourself by only seeing what is possible and what is not.  The mark of a true artisan is that they’re constantly pushing their limits and pushing the limits of what is possible.  I’ve seen your work, and you’ve got the talent.  It’s in your blood,   I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t.”

By this time I’d had enough.  Within the course of two hours, I’d went from feeling proud of my work, to having it belittled by a complete stranger, to having that stranger offering me encouragement?

“Now look, ma’am.  I don’t know who you are, but it’s bad manners to come into someone else’s place of business and do everything you’ve done.   How would you feel if I’d done the same?” I said, crossing my arms. “Now please, tell me just who you are that you come in here, disrespecting me and my father’s work.”

“Very well, lass, you’ve humored me.” she said, pulling the shades down on the stand, cutting it off from outside view.   Then as if drawing the veil off a covered piece of art, her face and body melted away, revealing a figure I knew all too well, indeed, it was one I worshipped daily.   Quickly, I fell to my knees, uttering a Blessed Be.

She smiled and pulled me up to my feet.  “Now now, I’ll have none of that while I’m here, Fianna,  or do you prefer Fanny?”

“Fi, please” I interjected, still stunned at who I was speaking to.

“Alright then, Fi, here it is the truth of it.   The Irish are sacred to the Tuatha, even those who have left Eire.   Long have I watched your parents and saw how they kept the old ways alive, so I saw fit to give them a blessing.    I took over your mother’s body one night and 9 months later, nature took it’s course and one Fianna Pella Murphy was born.   You know where I’m going with this, don’t you?”

I stared blankly.   Surely she wasn’t trying to say I was her daughter.  It would be pure arrogance to even consider such a thing.

“Ah, humility” She said, a bemused smile on her face.   “Is it really humility if it’s true?   Fianna, you -are- my daughter, and yes, you’re special.   You’ve seen that your own skills have started to surpass those of your mother and father, yes?  that’s because you’re more than human,  you’ve got my blood in your veins.”

“So you’re telling me all of my work, all of my accomplishments are yours, and not mine?”

“Certainly not.  Even with ichor in your veins, you’ve had to work for all of it. and that’s how it will always be.   But that’s not why I’m here.  I need your help, lass.”

I nodded.   I was unsure how I could be of any help to the Goddess of Craft, but I knew my duty.

“It’s like this, the Titans, yes, from Greek myth, I’ll get to that, are breakin’ out of their prison, and threaten everything we gods have made for humans here on the world.    We gods cannot act as openly on the world as we used to.  Fate’s a right bitch about that.  You’re different though.. your Legend is not yet written, and you have more freedom to act in the world than we do..  I’m sorry I can’t fight these battles for you, but I’ll see to it you know how to use the gifts in your blood.”

It was then that she rested her hand on my hammer, in an instant, it grew to the size of a full sledgehammer and back to it’s own size  “The power of fire and earth are yours, use them well.  Also, I’ve heard your prayers and watched your rituals, and know you play your harp to call on me.   you’ll find that your magic will have actual power to it now, more than faith.   as well…”  She pressed her palm against my harp, causing a small wave mark to appear on it.  “Fire and water go in balance, and you need both to work the steel.  Water too shall heed your call”

“Blessed be the Mother who gives life and limb.” I said, in reverence.

Brigid smiled. “That’s a good girl, for now though, live your life and hone your crafts, all of them.  Someday soon, you will come across a group of others like yourself, godschildren.  Join with them on their travels.  THey will benefit from your gifts as you will benefit from theirs, and always remember, protect the world,  We give our children strength so that the children of the world can see another tomorrow.

“You have my word, Lady Brigit, that I will see it done.” I said, clasping my hands and bowing deeply.

“I’d ask you to call me mother, but I wasn’t the one who raised you.   Someday I hope to earn that title from you.” Brigid said,  once again assuming her mortal form, and making her way out of the forge.   As for myself, I picked out another sword blank and got to work.

The rest of my tale you shall hear another time.

Combat Redux: The Tamas’ Secrets

Even ensconced in heavy, steel-toed combat-style boots, the young woman floated down the carpeted corridors of the Manor in near silence.  Her snowy trench billowed behind her as she made her way through the halls with measured purpose, an ethereal ghost moving luminous amidst the still, somber shadows.

What felt like hours passed before she found the right door and drew to a halt, staring at the brass placard for a long heartbeat.  One gloved fist uncurled from its place at her side and ran shakily through her platinum locks while a long-held breath slowly escaped her crimson-painted lips.   She reached for the door handle and steeled herself for a moment before she twisted and pressed the door inwards.  Deep violet lids slid momentarily down over blank golden orbs as she stepped at last into the gymnasium.

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AU Description Update – Chrysander and Jocasta

Chrysander Tamas is a youth seemingly in his late teens.  Thick, dark lashes often weigh heavily over the slate-hued orbs beneath. Framed within handsomely Old World, classically sculpted features, his eyes devour his surroundings and give little back in return.  Full, wickedly sensuous lips curl at his pleasure into a warm smile, but those gestures of pleasantry rarely, if ever, seem to brush the twin moons above.  His shoulder-length locks, falling loosely around his features, are dark and glossy as a raven’s plumage, and seem to be perpetually just out of place, lending to his rakish, disarming appearance.  A few hairs under six feet tall, Chrysander has the slender but muscular body of a trained dancer, his movements fluid and lithe, often seeming set to some primal rhythm and beat only he can hear.  A flimsy-looking pair of over-the ear style headphones are draped across the back of his neck, the earpieces resting lightly against his throat, the cord trailing down into one of his pockets.  His prime physique is on display beneath a skintight t-shirt in dark hues, typically varying from black to blue to green. Dark, military-looking camouflage pants offer his movements little resistance or limitation, tucked into steel-toed combat-style boots that complete his rugged ensemble, along with the nine-inch survival knife attached at his belt.  Whether in use, bound carefully across his back, or kept at his side as a stave, Chrysander is never without the six-foot long, pale cypress longbow Lunatick Fury.

… rarely far from Chrysander’ side is a monstrous dog of ultimately indistinguishable breed.  While ‘mutt’ may seem the appropriate phrasing, it seems inadvisable to utter such slander within earshot of either beast or its boy.  Grey fur that may more aptly be described as a silvery blue is kept cleanly groomed, though often appears in a state of irredeemable shagginess.  Standing nearly as tall at the shoulder as Chrysander himself, the hound hides a sleek, muscular body beneath his disheveled fur.  His ears, large and floppy, fall just beyond the edge of his powerful jaws, his muzzle slowly tapered to a blunt point.  Pale blue-grey eyes observe the world with a sense of sober wisdom and restrained curiosity, his whip of a tail slicing the air when his interest is piqued.   

  

Jocasta Tamas is a youth seemingly in her late teens.  Striking orbs hewn of molten gold glower upon the world with open contempt and loathing, glittering behind wire-rimmed oval spectacles that perch precariously upon the tip of her small, delicate nose.  Her haughty features could be carved of cold marble, remote and classically beautiful, yet seem somehow flawed by the wildness that smolders just beneath her surface.  A gothic kabuki mask of makeup leaves her normally olive complexion nearly snow-white, offset by her heavily kohl-lined lids and darkly smudged, bruised looking eye shadow. The look is completed with a viciously sanguine, ‘fuck-me’ red lipstick that makes it almost impossible not to watch every twitch, frown, and sound made by her full, luscious lips. A brilliant halo framing her face, she is platinum blonde to a degree that in some lights her locks seem silvery-white.  Cropped short at the nape of her neck, the longest strands layered towards her chin reach nearly to her clavicles, not quite hiding the flimsy set of over-the-ear style headphones draped beneath. Approximately five feet and six inches tall, the young woman seems athletically muscular while still wiry. Her movements fluctuate between smooth, feline grace, and the occasionally awkward, jerky gangliness of a long-legged bird.  The headphones settled around her neck rest comfortably against the buckle of a thick, jet black collar encircling her throat, adorned with a golden D-ring at its front, from which hangs a single copper link. Nearly floor-length, an unbelted white trench whips loosely around her form as she moves like some fallen creature’s lost wings.  Beneath the coat is a gold and crimson tank top, styled with flames as the colors fade into each other. The cotton garment doesn’t do much to obscure the bullet-proof vest beneath it that dampens the natural curves of her upper torso.  Black bondage-style pants, scattered with a plethora of pockets (one of which into the cord of the headphones disappears into), silver studs and D- and O-rings, are belted with a pair of riveted bands that are each woven partially through her belt loops, half and half, the other side of each strap hooked above the waistline of her pants upon each hip.  Mostly concealed by the baggy pants is a pair of black steel-toed combat-style boots. Slung upside-down across her back is a brilliantly shimmering white Fender Stratocaster, embossed with a golden laurel wreath, its reinforced strap crossing her chest from shoulder to hip.  Kept even closer than the guitar, forming an X over her chest atop the guitar’s strap is the band of the leather sheath that bears the thick, laurel wood shortbow, Arcadia’s Dawn.

   

     

~T.L.~

Carry On Wayward Sun

A beat up Ford Escort travels down the interstate, seated within is a young man, giving dictation.

Jesse Custer, voice journal date January 4, 2011.

As of today, it’s now been three months that I’ve been on my own, that is, it has been since that long and the man, and the woman I thought was my mother, gave me five minutes to pack and leave the only home I ever knew.   Regrettable as it is, I cannot blame them.  It took me a couple months to come to terms with things myself, and even now I find myself sometimes wishing I could wake up.

________________________________________________________________________________________

I as nearing the end of my third semester of seminary classes, learning more and more about the bible and preparing myself for the life of a missionary, when during a quiet moment in my room, I heard a loud flash of thunder, and saw a supernaturally handsome bearded man was standing there, a smile on his face I’d to then only seen pictured on drawings of Christ.

“No Jesse, I am not your Jesus.” The man spoke in a warm and comforting voice.  “I am Baldur, God of the Sun, Son of the All-Father

“Riiight, and I suppose I’m Thor? ” I said to him, with a very skeptical look.  He laughed heartily and shook his head.

“I suppose it must be hard to believe, but it’s the truth. I am in fact Baldur of the Aesir.”

I took a closer look at the man and responded.  “Even if you are who you say you are? Why come speak to me?  I’m a christian,  I worship the God of Abraham and his son.”

“Ah, Jesus of Nazareth.  His tale is one I respect.  In fact, my respect for that one is part of why I am in this mess that I am in, but worship is not why I’m here.   Jesse, let me tell you a story.  It was twenty years ago, I was travelling the world, incognito of course, when I found myself here, in this city.   Enjoying the company of mortals more than the rest of my kindred do, I found myself visiting the places where young people of the day spent their time.   it was there I met the most beautiful woman I had seen in a human lifetime.

I was smitten instantly and wanted her for mine, but there was a problem.   I found out she was recently married to a young man.  In a moment of.. weakness, I took the man’s form and spent the night with her while her husband was out of town on business.   The woman’s name was Christina Custer.”

I looked at the man blankly.  Here this strange person was, sitting in my room, telling me he was a god, and admitting to adultery with my mother, what madness was this?

“That isn’t the whole story.   I found out, later, that the woman was with child.   in nine months, she gave birth to a baby boy, which she and her husband named Jesse.   What I am trying to say, Jesse, is that I am your father.  you have the blood of a god running in your veins.”

As much as I -knew- the man had to be insane, or worse, some demon there to test my faith, something about the man’s words rang true to my heart.  I did not have time to react as at this moment, my parents busted through my bedroom door, Pa carrying his shotgun.

“See, I told you what I overheard, George, this man’s a Satanist and he’s corrupted our son and has him possessed with demons!” Mom shouted.  I want to stand up and speak at which point Pa leveled his gun in my face.

“Oh no, you’re not gonna get us with that evil too, you devil worshipping filth.   No boy of -mine- would ever consort with such occult nonsense.   Ya got five minutes to pack your bags and get out of my house.  As far as Momma and I are concerned, we ain’t got no son.”

(Shakily, the voice continues on)

 

I suppose I was lucky that I had all my campin’ gear and a few days of clothes in Little Big Horn here, so I wasn’t completely hopeless.  I bunked with my buddy Keith that night, didn’t tell him anything about was was goin’ on. other than my folks kickin me out.    Anyway,, that night, my dreams of becomin’ a missonary were over.  Seems my folks called the seminary and told them I’d gotten in with a bunch of satanists, and were witholding any more tuition money.  I was greeted at the front gate by security and told I wasn’t welcome…

 

But it’s funny how The Lord will open one door for you as another closes.   As I was driving through Bolivar, trying to figure out what I was gonna do. I heard someone talking.

“I’m terribly sorry things happened as they did, kid, I really am.”   I turned my head and there was that same guy from last night, sittin’ in my passenger seat.

“You’re sorry?  Sorry doesn’t give me a place to live or a future livelyhood or a full belly.” I responded to him, finding myself more than a little angry over what his intrusion into my life had caused.   As I spoke, I could see his face fill with remorse.

“Yes, I know, and I truly regret that,  let’s say you drive us to the nearest fast food place and we can talk things out over a meal, my treat.”

Against my better judgement, I did as he asked.  I must admit, with a full stomach, I was more open to hearing him out.

“I really didn’t want to turn your life upside down like this, kid.  Most Scions like yourself are never visited, left blissfully unaware of the greater world around them, and get to leave peaceful mundane lives.”

“Scion?” I said between bites of Big Mac.  “What’s a Scion?”

Baldur paused and shook his head.  “Good grief, but you’ve led a sheltered life.    You see, a Scion is one who has both the blood of mortal man and the gods running through their veins.  You know the stories of Hercules? Gilgamesh?  The irish legend of Cu Chulainn?”

I nodded.   this Ku Klux whatever he had mentioned was nothing i’d ever heard of, but I knew of Hercules from my old high school mythology classes.

“They were scions, as are you.”

I half-choked on my burger.  after a moment to regain my composure, I asked “Okay, supposing I believe you, and I must admit, it is a large bite to swallow, why me?  Why Now?”

Baldur nodded. “Smart, you get right to the point of things.   See, the gods, we’re at war, albeit a cold war at the moment.  The Titans, they’re breaking out of their prison.”
I humored him a bit.  “Titans? wait a minute, only the greek mythology i’ve ever read mentions the titans, says Zeus and them locked ’em up right square in Hades.”

“You’re partially right, it was Tatrarus.  and just because only the Greeks spoke of the war with the Titans doesn’t mean the rest of us didn’t war with them as well.  But to make a long story short, yes, we all participated in that war, and the Titans were locked away, but their prison is weakening.  Already some of their servants are out and about in the world of man, trying to speed their masters’ release, and speed Ragnarok in coming. ”

“And what’s a guy from the bible belt supposed to do to stop that?”  I said to him.  I do not know why, but the more he spoke, the more what he said seemed to make sense, even if my mind kept saying he was full of it.

“You haven’t been listening, you’re no ordinary guy.  You’re  a Scion, you’ve got my blood in your veins.” Baldur paused for a moment, thinking, then kept talking.  “Alright, you’ve done some preaching, right?”

“Indeed I have.”

“You ever notice during your sermons that, when you talk, every eye on the room is on you, listening to your every word?  Tell me, have you seen any other preacher hold a congregation like that, or were their kids in the back playing on their gameboys and old ladies gossiping about this woman or that woman from the church down the road?”

I was stunned,  I had never noticed it before, but he was right.

“That’s my blood in you, kid. ” He said, smiling warmly at me.   “You’ll find , in time, that that’s the least of what you’ll be able to do.”

“But I’m just a man, and a Christian at that.  I can’t deal with such pagan magic?”

Baldur sighed.  “Then let me speak to you in terms you understand.  Samson, he had the strength of many men, did he not?   Elijah, called down the fire when the priests of Baal couldn’t, did he not?  Aaron turned his staff into a snake.  Even Jesus of Nazareth himself performed healings and resurrections, walked on water, even came back to life after dying.   Tell me, to one from another faith, would these not also seem like “pagan magic”?    I’m not trying to consume your soul or anything, I’m trying to prepare you for what’s to come.   You see, if we lose this war with the Titans, everything dies.  Men, women, children, animals, even we gods.  I don’t care about my own life so much as I care about the race of men, so I’m asking you please, to help us keep that from happening. ”

I could tell he was very sincere in his words, and he  was making a point.   “Alright.  I may be damned for this, but if I can save others, I will do what I can.”

Baldur sighed in relief.  “Very well.  In the next week I will teach you everything you need to know about who and what you are, and how to use your abilities in our fight.  I have faith that you’ll do your best, here’s money enough to see you in gas and food for a while and one last thing for today.”
I took the money and put it away, asking “Yes?”

He responded “We Aesir are uncertainas to whether your god truly exists or not, but do your best and I promise you I’ll find out what I can, put him in contact if I’m able.  I owe him that much for you turning out how you have.”  And with that he disappeared.

__________________________________________________________________________________

 

It has been three months since that fateful day, and the things I have seen since then proved to me that Baldur was truthful in everything he said.   He’s seen to it that I don’t have to worry about my next meal, and has even given me a few items that seem to make my powers work.  He called them relics, but I always thought those were those ghoulish things the catholics keep dead saints bones in.
In all seriousness, I have seen the work of these titanspawn in action, and after what I’ve seen, I know that I -have- to help however I can.  I just hope they can see reason and turn from their ways like Paul did when God showed him the way.   Jesse Custer, Endin’ Log.”