Monday, October 31, 2016

The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas, is a 1993 animated dark fantasy musical. The Nightmare Before Christmas tells the story of Jack Skellington, a prominent resident of "Halloween Town".

The Nightmare Before Christmas: There are plenty of horrors for everyone.

Skellington stumbles through a portal to "Christmas Town" and decides to take the holiday back to Halloween Town. Water and oil do not mix, and while planning to roll-out the new found holiday Halloween and Christmas collide with a lot “dastardly and comical consequences”.

The Nightmare Before Christmas: Skellington

Friday, October 28, 2016

Ring the Buddha Bells

As my last post made known Tressa’s occult powers, this will be my last post and is the last recorded song by Tressa Norne, the former Temple girl in the temple of Erlik.

"Ring, ring, Buddha bells, Gilded gods are listening. Swing, swing, lily bells, In my garden glistening. Now I hear the Shaman drum; Now the scarlet horsemen come; Ding-dong! Ding-dong! Through the chanting of the throng Thunders now the temple gong. Boom-boom! Ding-dong!

Let the gold gods listen! In my garden; what care I Where my lily bells hang mute! Snowy-sweet they glisten where I'm singing to my lute. In my garden; what care I Who is dead and who shall die? Let the gold gods save or slay Scented lilies bloom in May. Boom, boom, temple gong! Ding-dong! Ding-dong!"

Chapter IX The West Wind, Slayer of Souls, Robert W. Chambers

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Who is Nan-yang Maru-AKA (Tressa Norne); A Host of Characters?

"My father was in the spice trade in Yian. The Yezidees took Yian in 1910, threw him into a well in his own compound and filled it up with dead imperial troops. I was thirteen years old.... The Hassani did that. They held Yian nearly eight years, and I lived with my mother, in a garden pagoda, until 1914. In January of that year Germans got through from Kiaou-Chou. They had been six months on the way. I think they were Hassanis. Anyway, they persuaded the Hassanis to massacre every English-speaking prisoner."

"I was seventeen. A certain person had placed me among the temple girls in the temple of Erlik. It pleased this person to make of me a Mongol temple girl as a mockery at Christ. They gave me the name Keuke Mongol. I asked to serve the shrine of Kwann-an—she being like to our Madonna. But this person gave me the choice between the halberds of the Tchortchas and the sorcery of Erlik."

Nan-yang Maru learned her trade well and seems to be predisposed to these dark arts, even so that she is able to defy and hold sway over all others sent her way to depose her.

Chapter I The Yezidee, The Slayer of Souls, Robert W. Chambers

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Boat Lending

Here is another Prieser figure set in 1/87. This set is numbered #10072, Boat Lending. These miniatures are manufactured in polystyrene. There are three row boats with oars, two rowers of the opposite sex and the yachtsman. As the woman's arms are in such a pose she could be coupled in the same boat as the man.

When my wife and I moved into our new home I had big plans for my model train layout. I now had the room for a room-sized layout (assuming no one wanted to move back home). No one has, but I still haven’t gotten too far with my plans. These row-boaters will be added to a lake scene one of these days.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

1/87 Prieser Stock Workers

I don’t have the extensive collection of Prieser figures like Hugh, but to complement Hugh’s recent Prieser posts I have decided to make a few of my own.

Prieser has an extensive line of miniatures. These figures are in 1/87 scale, but can be found in other sizes and scales. They highly detailed polystyrene miniatures and are carefully painted. This set is Prieser’s #10294: “ Stock Worker with Forklifts”.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Death Looks Out

"—And eight tall towers Guard the route Of human life, Where at all hours Death looks out, Holding a knife Rolled in a shroud.

For every man, Humble or proud, Mighty or bowed, Death has a shroud;—for every man,— Even for Tchingniz Khan! Behold them pass!—lancer. Baroulass, Temple dancer In tissue gold, Khiounnou, Karlik bold,

Christian, Jew,— Nations swarm to the great Urdu. YaƧaoul, with your kettledrum, Warn your Khan that his hour is come! Shroud and knife at his spurred feet throw, And bid him stretch his neck for the blow!—"

Chapter VII The Bridal, Slayer of Souls, Robert W. Chambers

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Wizards of the Coast Bugbear

Bugbears stand seven feet tall, have fur and are said to be related to goblins and hobgoblins. This specimen, made of a hard dense plastic, stands 40mm from the bottom of its base to the top of his head. The miniature has the following inscriptions inscribed on the bottom of its base. “Bugbear, 21/45, 2015 Wizards”.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Inscription Found on a Pillar

"On one side of the pillar was an inscription, of which I took a note:


'To the great god Nodens (the god of the Great Deep or Abyss) Flavius Senilis has erected this pillar on account of the marriage which he saw beneath the shade.' "

Chapter VIII, The Fragments, The Great God Pan, Arthur Machen

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Flatline Games Holloween Expansion

Flatline Games has made a special Print and Play Halloween Special expansion for their very popular Dragon Rage board game available. A quote from back story reads: “a devious necromancer has enchanted a chariot of pumpkins from an unsuspecting vegetables merchant.”

A three page PDF includes statistics and properties for this expansion in English and what I assume is Spanish and a page of counters.

Halloween Special Expansion Counters (the actual counters are somewhat larger than those depicted here.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Riddle of the Sands Extras

Here are two additional Riddle in the Sands resources that I have just come upon:

The Riddle of the Sands LibriVox Recording (394MB)

For those of you who do not have an E-reader or prefer to listen to your literature as readings, LibriVox offers a recording of the text.

BBC, In Our Time (45 minute podcast)

The BBC offers a 45-minute discussion on the decline of Anglo-German relations before the First World War. Along with the “Battle of Dorking”, 'The Riddle of the Sands’ is given a brief mention as some of the cautionary literature being purported during that time period.

Tressa Norne Sings Another Song

"Little Isle of Cispangou, Isle of iris, isle of cherry, Tell your tiny maidens merry Clouds are looming over you! La-e-la! La-e-la! All your ocean's but a ferry; Ships are bringing death to you! La-e-lou! La-e-lou!

"Little Isle of Cispangou, Half a thousand ships are sailing; Captain Death commands each crew; Lo! the ruddy moon is paling! La-e-la! La-e-la! Clouds the dying moon are veiling, Every cloud a shroud for you! La-e-lou! La-e-lou!"

Chapter VII The Bridal, Slayer of Souls, Robert W. Chambers

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Slayer of Souls

" 'There in the dusk of the temple when the Eight Assassins came—the eight Sheiks-el-Djebel, all in white—chanting the Yakase of Sabbah—always that dirge when they came and spread their eight white shrouds on the temple steps——' "

Her voice caught; she waited to recover her composure. Then went on:

"The ambition of Genghis was to conquer the world by force of arms. It was merely of physical subjection that he dreamed. But the Slayer of Souls——"

"Who?" asked Recklow sharply.

"The Slayer of Souls—Erlik's vice-regent on earth—Hassan Sabbath. The Old Man of the Mountain. It is of him I am speaking," exclaimed Tressa Norne—with quiet resolution. "Genghis sought only physical conquest of man; the Yezidee's ambition is more awful, for he is attempting to surprise and seize the very minds of men!

There was a dead silence. Tressa looked palely upon the four.

"The Yezidees—who you tell me are not sorcerers—are using power—which you tell me is not magic accursed by God—to waylay, capture, enslave, and destroy the minds and souls of mankind."

Chapter 5 The Assassins, Slayer of Souls, Robert W. Chambers

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Riddle of The Sands

You can always assume that the novel will give you more detail than the movie, but once reading the book it was nice to see how the characters of this story were portrayed. The video tells the story in a bit different manner, but it was no less entertaining.

The Riddle of the Sands; Maps and Charts

I just completed my reading of “The Riddle of the Sands”, which was edited by Erskine Childers (1870-1922). I read the text as an Epub and didn’t get to read the Preface or get to view the accompanied maps and charts. As you know I love my maps and charts.

“The Riddle of the Sands” is a record of secret service that had been recently achieved (1902). The preface will give you some of the details. For the full story I highly recommend this novel. The novel starts off a bit slowly, but if you are like me and like a good sea yarn you will appreciate all the navigation details, and will come to appreciate the knowledgeable seamanship of captain Davies.


"A WORD about the origin and authorship of this book:

In October last (1902), my friend 'Carruthers' visited me in my chambers, and, under a provisional pledge of secrecy, told me frankly the whole of the adventure described in these pages. Till then I had only known as much as the rest of his friends, namely, that he had recently undergone experiences during a yachting cruise with a certain Mr 'Davies' which had left a deep mark on his character and habits.

At the end of his narrative—which, from its bearing on studies and speculations of my own, as well as from its intrinsic interest and racy delivery, made a very deep impression on me—he added that the important facts discovered in the course of the cruise had, without a moment's delay, been communicated to the proper authorities, who, after some dignified incredulity, due in part, perhaps, to the pitiful inadequacy of their own secret service, had, he believed, made use of them, to avert a great national danger. I say 'he believed', for though it was beyond question that the danger was averted for the time, it was doubtful whether they had stirred a foot to combat it, the secret discovered being of such a nature that mere suspicion of it on this side was likely to destroy its efficacy.

There, however that may be, the matter rested for a while, as, for personal reasons which will be manifest to the reader, he and Mr 'Davies' expressly wished it to rest.

But events were driving them to reconsider their decision. These seemed to show that the information wrung with such peril and labor from the German Government, and transmitted so promptly to our own, had had none but the most transitory influence on our policy. Forced to the conclusion that the national security was really being neglected, the two friends now had a mind to make their story public; and it was about this that 'Carruthers' wished for my advice. The great drawback was that an Englishman, bearing an honoured name, was disgracefully implicated, and that unless infinite delicacy were used, innocent persons, and, especially, a young lady, would suffer pain and indignity, if his identity were known. Indeed, troublesome rumours, containing a grain of truth and a mass of falsehood, were already afloat.

After weighing both sides of the question, I gave my vote emphatically for publication. The personal drawbacks could, I thought, with tact be neutralized; while, from the public point of view, nothing but good could come from submitting the case to the common sense of the country at large. Publication, therefore, was agreed upon, and the next point was the form it should take. 'Carruthers', with the concurrence of Mr 'Davies', was for a bald exposition of the essential facts, stripped of their warm human envelope. I was strongly against this course, first, because it would aggravate instead of allaying the rumours that were current; secondly, because in such a form the narrative would not carry conviction, and would thus defeat its own end. The persons and the events were indissolubly connected; to evade, abridge, suppress, would be to convey to the reader the idea of a concocted hoax. Indeed, I took bolder ground still, urging that the story should be made as explicit and circumstantial as possible, frankly and honestly for the purpose of entertaining and so of attracting a wide circle of readers. Even anonymity was undesirable. Nevertheless, certain precautions were imperatively needed.

To cut the matter short, they asked for my assistance and received it at once. It was arranged that I should edit the book; that 'Carruthers' should give me his diary and recount to me in fuller detail and from his own point of view all the phases of the 'quest', as they used to call it; that Mr 'Davies' should meet me with his charts and maps and do the same; and that the whole story should be written, as from the mouth of the former, with its humours and errors, its light and its dark side, just as it happened; with the following few limitations. The year it belongs to is disguised; the names of persons are throughout fictitious; and, at my instance certain slight liberties have been taken to conceal the identity of the English characters.

Remember, also that these persons are living now in the midst of us, and if you find one topic touched on with a light and hesitating pen, do not blame the Editor, who, whether they are known or not, would rather say too little than say a word that might savour of impertinence."

E. C.
March 1903

Accompanied Maps and Charts (The preface, maps and charts are not available in the epub version.)

Map A—General Map
Chart A—Chart to Illustrate the Stranding of the 'Dulcibella,' etc.
Map B—Map of East Friesland
Chart B—Chart of Juist, Memmert, and Part of Norderney
Sketch—Memmert Salvage Depot

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Devil Worship

"Recklow touched his short silvery moustache hesitating, Then:

'"The worship of Erlik is devil worship," he said. "Also I am entirely prepared to believe that there are, among the Yezidees, adepts who employ scientific weapons against civilisation—who have probably obtained a rather terrifying knowledge of psychic laws which they use scientifically, and which to ordinary, God-fearing folk appear to be the black magic of sorcerers..." '

' "The devil-worship, of which one of the modern developments is Bolshevism, and another the terrorism of the hun, began in Asia long before Christ's advent: At least so it was taught us in the temple of Erlik.

"It has always existed, its aim always has been the annihilation of good and the elevation of evil; the subjection of right by might, and the worldwide triumph of wrong.' "

Chapter 5 The Assassins, Slayer of Souls, Robert W. Chambers

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Drat, Halloween Rats!

While I was shopping at that dollar store I shuffled over to their holiday section. They had a whole aisle dedicated to Halloween decorations and costume accessories. I found these hard plastic rats there on a rack and thought they might work well for some miniatures game.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Arcady Brave Warriors Play Sets

I was visiting an area in my county that I rarely get to visit and happened to see one of those Dollar stores. I don’t remember its exact name, but it was one that I had not seen before, so I thought, why not go in a have a look around.

I found several interesting items, two in which I will share with you now. Each of these sets includes two Indian riders, one horse and several scenic pieces that seem to be in 54mm. Although, not top notch stuff, they are painted rather decently.

Set 1

Two Indian braves riders (one with a full head set-presumably a chief), one horse, a Totem pole (but the braves look like they are either plains or Indians from the south west), a cactus, four poles and a wooden roof?

Set 2

Two Indian braves riders, one horse, one prickly cactus, a Tepee, a wooden ladder (sort of out of place here), a fire pit and a stew pot?

Haven’t got around to taking them out of their packaging and assembling them yet. I will leave that for another day.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Coin Age a Print and Play Board Game

Coin Age is a micro-sized, (about a size of a credit card) board game for two players. Players must supply four US dimes, three pennies, two nickels, and one quarter each. The game uses these coins to determine one of the four prescribed actions (place, pay, move, or capture).

The one-page Coin Age PDF contains game rules and a two-sided map. Coins are used instead of counters and can be stacked on the map.  Depending on a player’s coin slap (the number of heads or tails) he might come up with decides on how he might proceed. There is an out-comes table included within the rules that identifies what actions are available to the player. The game ends when a player plays his last coin or when the last empty space on the map has been filled.   

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Assassins

Tressa Norne has been recruited by US government as a consultant and is currently giving those closest to the case some background information.

"Even in the twelfth century, when the wild Mongols broke loose and nearly overran the world, the Tibet infantry under Genghis, the Tchortcha horsemen drafted out of Black China, and a great cloud of Mongol cavalry under the Prince of the Vanguard commanding half a hundred Hezars, never penetrated that grisly and unknown waste. The "Eight Towers of the Assassins" guarded it—still guard it, possibly."

Chapter 5: The Assassins, Slayer of Souls, Robert W. Chambers

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Other Influencers of H.P. Lovecraft

Although I have mentioned one of the following texts in my The Work and Influences of H. P. Lovecraft post my research has uncovered a few others that I would like to mention:

Tales of Three Hemispheres, Lord Dunsany, and especially the following three interlocked stories within this volume:
    Idle Days on the Yann
    A Shop in Go By Street
    The Avenger of Perdondaris
The Dammed Thing, Ambrose Bierce
The Hyborian Age, Robert E. Howard
The Great God Pan, Arthur Machen

All four of these texts are available from Project Gutenberg.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Innovation Stupefies the Dull

"The lightning of innovation stupefies the dull; ignorance is always suspicious of innovation—always afraid to put itself on record until its mind is made up by somebody else."

Chapter III Grey Magic, Slayer of Souls, Robert W. Chambers

An Encypted Telegram is Received

The following telegram came, encrypted, to the governments special agent Victor Cleves:

"Washington "April 14th, 1919."

"Investigation ordered by the State Department as the result of frequent mention in despatches of Chinese troops operating with the Russian Bolsheviki forces has disclosed that the Bolsheviki are actually raising a Chinese division of 30,000 men recruited in Central Asia. This division has been guilty of the greatest cruelties. A strange rumour prevails among the Allied forces at Archangel that this Chinese division is led by Yezidee and Hassani officers belonging to the sect of devil-worshipers and that they employ black arts and magic in battle.

"From information so far gathered by the several branches of the United States Secret Service operating throughout the world, it appears possible that the various revolutionary forces of disorder, in Europe and Asia, which now are violently threatening the peace and security, of all established civilisation on earth, may have had a common origin. This origin, it is now suspected, may date back to a very remote epoch; the wide-spread forces of violence and merciless destruction may have had their beginning among some ancient and predatory race whose existence was maintained solely by robbery and murder.

"Anarchists, terrorists, Bolshevists, Reds of all shades and degrees, are now believed to represent in modern times what perhaps once was a tribe of Assassins—a sect whose religion was founded upon a common predilection for crimes of violence.

"On this theory then, for the present, the United States Government will proceed with this investigation of Bolshevism; and the Secret Service will continue to pay particular attention to all Orientals in the United States and other countries. You personally are formally instructed to keep in touch with XLY-371 (Alek Selden) and ZB-303 (James Benton), and to employ every possible means to become friendly with the girl Tressa Norne, win her confidence, and, if possible, enlist her actively in the Government Service as your particular aid and comrade.

"It is equally important that the movements of the Oriental, called Sanang, be carefully observed in order to discover the identity and whereabouts of his companions. However, until further instructions he is not to be taken into custody. M. H. 2479

"(Signed) "(John Recklow.)"

Chapter III Grey Magic, Slayer of Souls, Robert W. Chambers

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Risk Godstorm Edition Deity Divine Powers

The divine powers have the following powers that can be used when a player chooses to play one of their gods.

God  Divine Powers
God of
"When the god of death attack, opposing armies do not go back to the Underworld, but are placed with the defenders players reserve armies instead."
of Magic
"When the goddess of magic attacks or defends reroll all 1's"
God of
the Sky
"When the God of the sky is in godwar, roll an additional die."
God of
"When the god of war attacks, he wins all ties."

Risk Godstorm Edition Game Miniature Deities

One of the first decisions you must make, that is after you choose the four plague lands, in the Risk Godstorm Edition board game is to choose the pantheon you want to use during the game. Each faction, (Babylonians, Celts, Egyptians, Greeks, Norse) has its own set of gods. There are gods of war, death, the sky and a goddess of magic.

Peoples God of
of Magic
God of
the Sky
God of
Babylonians Druaga Ishtar Marduk Gilgamesh
Celts Arawn Brigid Lugh Nuaoa
Egyptians Osiris Isis Ra Set
Greeks Hades Hekate Zeus Ares
Norse Loki Freya Ooin Thor

Players roll one die and the highest rolls picks the pantheon of their choice. You keep rolling until every player has had a chance to pick a pantheon.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Another 3D Print in Process

I was going to print one 18mm pumpkin warrior, but decided to print a larger Pumpkin Gree. The print was found on Thingiverse and consists of 3 components: a hollow pumpkin, cover, and stem.

At 70 grams is it going to be expensive. This print took me way over budget. Live in learn, and I have learned, for now on, to stick to small prints.