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Recently, I've encountered some criticism about my research. While I am fairly lazy when it comes to having to explain every single detail, I DO quite a bit of research and I'm going to continue to write how I feel my character should be. Sorry, if you don't like me, don't bother talking to me.

What texts do I use? Luckily for me, and my wallet, most of the texts my character is based on are in the public domain, and are thus available online. Not the best solution, but I'm a college student and my money goes to food and school books, in that order. There are a few books that I do have, however.

Our Troth Vol. 1 and 2 by members of The Troth, compiled by Kveldulf Gundarsson. This one is a big reference for the religion of Asatru, which Brendan is based on. It has a rough overview of history, the gods, the other supernatural creatures, also information about holy days, blot, sumbel, etc. Really a huge resource. The contributing authors give plenty of citations for their work and they are all fairly well respected in the Asatru community. EDIT: Disclaimer: As with any text compiled from smaller articles by multiple authors, many of the citations are for these smaller works and it's not till the end of the book that we see the actual books most of this is based on.

Futhark: A handbook of rune magic by Edred Thorsson.

Essential Asatru by Diana L. Paxon. A rough overview, not quite as detailed as Our Troth but with some details that the bigger books lack.

The Poetic Edda translated by Lee Hollander. Nicknamed by some "The King James Edda", it stays true to the original flow of the language by using quite a few words not normally seen by your everyday American.

Edda by Snorri Sturluson

Beowulf

The rest of my texts are available online.

German 1500: Germanic Myths, Legends, and Sagas Huge resource, as the class is pretty much everything that Brendan is based on. There are also links to pretty much every other important text from the time period on that site.

Note: Some of these, I have not had time to read yet, and are listed for my reference. I am in college, time is short, sue me.

The Sagas of Olaf Tryggvason and of Harald The Tyrant (Harald Haardraade) e-text from Project Gutenburg

Heimskringla, or the Chronicle of the Kings of Norway by Snorri Sturluson also from Project Gutenburg

The story of Burnt Njal

The Story of the Volsungs, (Volsunga Saga)

Laxdæla Saga

Eirik the Red's Saga

The Troth's Book List has several others that I refuse to go and re-link. Go, Read, Learn.

Some specific terms I've seen conflict with, either because they are used differently elsewhere or just aren't used at all:

Wight - From Our Troth - any sort of conscious being. You, Odin, and the Thing that Goes Bump in your yard at night, can all be called "wights". Among heathens today, the word is most often applied to beings in the class of the Thing that Goes Bump (as in "What the Hel is that wight out there?") or used as a wide generalization ("all holy wights" means gods, goddesses, ghosts, land-wights, humans, and well meaning etins and other creatures). Similar in many ways to the Japanese concept of kami. (Old Norse vættr, Anglo-Saxon wiht, Modern German Wicht)

Incidentally, searching for "Wicht" in a german dictionary and clicking on the explanation of "wight" gets you this answer. Note that as far back as Chaucer, "wight" was used in the sense of "supernatural creature", among other uses.

German "fairies" - I've never encountered the term "fairy" in my research. Grimm's Tales are Kinder und Hausmarchen. This is often translated as "Grimm's Fairytales" but a more direct translation is "Children and Household Tales", stemming from their origin and purpose in 19th century Germany. Most of them do not involve "fairies", but regular people, often (but not exclusively) girls, who get into difficult situations.

Fairies in Germanic tales are referred to by many names, often "changling" when dealing with them stealing children, which they liked to do before the child was baptised. Also "hill-woman" or "underground woman", "the underground people" or "thickheads" when dealing with dwarves. Nixies were known, as were changlings called "killcrops".

Our Troth's entry on wights will have to wait. I'll retell it later.
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It was early evening in the countryside of Dorset. In the distance, thunder rumbled as another storm approached. All I could hear was the wind rustling the dry leaves and in the distance, the rain falling on the fields. The dank air was ripe with the smell of rain, moist earth, and something far more potent...the unmistakable scent of decay. The rest of this estate was bright, cheerful, and open, but the area I was in was dark, choked with ivy, ancient trees, and crumbling stone. Fresh turned earth was the only clue that this place had seen the hand of man in the last hundred years. Fresh turned earth...holes in front of each crumbling headstone.

And the holes were empty. )
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Questions Meme
1. Have you ever called a person useless?
Hmmm...no. Shadows are useless. People often waste my time far more colourfully.

2. What object in your room is really important to you?
The books can be replaced. Touch anything in my private garden at your peril.

3. Are you good at hiding your feelings?
Sometimes.

Cut, because this is way more than 20 questions... )
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I shall probably regret this, but here goes. I am not doing the intro tracks to these songs. They are thirty seconds or so of spoken intro set to music. They bring the track number up to 28, an insane number to write stories for. I am therefore writing stories for the full-length songs only.

Challenge can be found here.

Artist: E Nomine
Album: Finsternis
MitternachtWolfen Draculs BluthochzeitSéanceDas BöseDie Schwarzen Reiter
ZornHexenjagdDer ExorzistHerr der SchattenAngstExitus
NachtwacheAus Dem Jenseits
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Name: Dark Horse Books
Run By: [profile] death_mage 
Fandom: OC
Open to the Public: Limited, anyone is welcome to drop in and browse the book collection, however the rare book room, specializing in real magic and supernatural lore is only open to those who Mr. Keigwin okays personally.




Dark Horse Books is scheduled to open in a few days on a quiet corner of Ashley St in Beverley Hills. Its owner, a reclusive British nobleman, is never seen in the store during the day, but often stays until just before dawn. The bookstore itself is run by employees of Mr. Keigwin. During the day, the main area of the bookstore is open to the public from 10 am until 4 pm. After dark, however, Mr. Keigwin arrives and opens not only the main area, but also a rare book room, specializing in books of magic and supernatural lore that are too real to be sold in any major bookstore.

If you are looking for any old or rare book, be it fiction or non-fiction, this is the place to go. What Mr. Keigwin doesn't personally have, he is able to find via internet and assorted contacts. He also does book restorations. What you won't find? Romance novels. He hates them and refuses to sell them.

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May Character Development Exercise

 

What's the one thing that your muse has done that they regret the most? What happened? How do they live with the consequences and have they ever made amends for their actions? Has this event impacted their lives/the lives of anyone else or how they deal with similar situations? Write a story around these questions.

 

Ritual of Death – May CDE

 

May 1, 1817

 

From the Diary of Brendan Keigwin,

 

A startling revelation was made clear to me today, one that could change my quest to rid myself of this darkness forever. The evil has been brewing in me for over a hundred years now, and I confess at times it overcomes even my will. I did not learn until today just how terrible a crime I committed at the winter solstice, when my latest attempt to exorcise the demon inside me failed utterly.

 

I blame the evil for my mistake. Surely, had I been fully in control, I would have recognized the signs? Of course I would. I am not heartless yet, and this horrible tragedy weighs heavily upon me. And yet, that dark part of me laughs at my remorse and reminds me of how good it felt at the time. At these times, it is hard for me to remember why I do not utter the words that would end my life completely.

 

The tragedy of it was, I chose her myself for the sacrifice. She was a young girl, maybe eight, living in an orphanage in a village some thirty miles from my home outside Dorchester. Her manner was naively sweet, with none of the canny street-smarts common to such wretches. The matron assured me she had no living family, and having a foster parent of such prestige would be a welcome change for the girl. I collected her and we went back to my estate with hardly a word spoken between us. For her part, she was too stunned by the elegance she'd been whisked into. I was nervous. The solstice was two days away, and the ritual I'd found and altered was the most promising to date.

 

The girl was to be a human sacrifice, the theory being that with enough power behind me, I could force the darkness out of me and into the bleeding and dying child. Then it would be child's play to burn the corpse and with it the demon that had haunted me for over a century. There was quite a bit that could go wrong, and it could leave me in worse shape than when I started. I was hopeful, however, that I would be free of that dark spirit before the new year.

 

Then the night came. Winter solstice. The longest night of the year, and the night the old pagan holiday of Yule began. I could not say for certain whether the Christian God existed, but I'd encountered too many of the old pagan deities and spirits to discount them as mere myth. No, they were real, and their power had not diminished at all over the centuries. They lay in wait for a suitable sacrifice. I had felt that power before. It was obvious to me why our ancestors had worshiped these beings. The ritual to gain immortality may have had unintended side effects, but the power released that long ago night had been nothing short of addicting.

 

It was time. I took a sip of the ritual mead, and collapsed to my knees in front of the stone altar. The potent alcohol was mixed with herbs to bring on the trance, and already I felt the effects. The shadows around me swirled in the light of the candles scattered around my private garden. My head swam, and I felt unconsciousness tug at me. I shook my head and focused on the stone idol before me on the altar.

 

I have walked the twisted paths of Hel's kingdom, climbed peaks made from the stinking corpses of the damned, crossed rivers of poison and of blood, sacrificed my very humanity for knowledge. Hear me Hel, goddess of the Dead. Daughter of Loki, it is in your hall that Baldir resides, waiting for the end of this world and the beginning of the next. It is your dual nature that man fears, the cold hand of death masked by dark beauty. I implore you, goddess of the peaceful realm, lend me your aid as I exorcise this darkness from inside of me.”

 

I took a knife from atop the altar gestured to the shadows. A servant came and laid the girl on the altar. I had eyes now only for the stone idol of Hel, where she sat patiently waiting on the sacrifice. I brought the knife to the girl's throat first and quickly slit it. The blood coated the altar, and I brought two bloodied fingers to the idol's forehead, Hel's portion of the sacrifice. I dipped my fingers in the blood again and brought them to my own forehead. A shock stiffened my body, and I felt the power course though me. I took the knife and slit my wrist. When the blood hit the girl and the idol, the power literally exploded inside me and all conscious thought died.

 

I woke minutes later, my mouth at the girl's throat, swallowing convulsively. Sickened, I fell backwards with a cry. I could taste blood in my mouth and could feel it churning in my gut. I turned over and heaved on the dry grass until no more blood came up. For a moment I felt fangs in my mouth, felt the demon's laughter, before they faded and I was left weary. On the altar, the idol sat where it had before, the same yet hideously altered. Instead of the random drops of blood on her, one whole side was evenly coated in blood, while the other remained pristine white. I looked away, shamed. The goddess had rejected my plea, had raised the demon in me only to allow it greater control over me. And now the sacrifice grew cold on the altar and here I sat, covered in blood, with the darkness stronger in me and fading stars on the horizon. I rose and went to my rooms to bathe. The servants were left with the task of disposing of the body and cleaning up the blood.

 

It wasn't until May that I learned the girl's identity. The orphan matron visited me in the morning, while I wrote in my darkened library, far from the sunlight that was now my enemy. The matron had looked into the girl's past and had received news she thought I'd be overjoyed to hear. The girl was a cousin of sorts to my own house. Her mother was descended from my sister, who married a common merchant before my change.

 

I was shocked. The girl had been my last remaining family, a family I thought long dead, and I killed her and drank her blood. I hid my reaction well, so as not to alarm the matron, but once she was gone, I cried my despair to the darkness. The darkness laughed at my remorse. It knew my soul, knew my greedy nature. I was damned.

 

I killed my own flesh and blood and drank her blood. The goddess was right in rejecting me. I am sickened by what I have done, and I despair at ever redeeming myself, and that part of me that glories in the blood and the power grows ever stronger with each spell I cast. I am not sure how long I can remain myself, human. I am not sure I deserve to live after the abominable act I committed, and yet I do not have the will to end my life.

 

Perhaps soon, I shall. Either that or I shall become the blood-sucking night fiend and have no regrets to plague me during the long daylight hours. We shall see.


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Describe, in detail, your muse's dwellings. Where does your muse live and what do they surround themselves with? Do they have lavish surroundings or modest and spartan surroundings? How long has your pup lived there? Does it feel like home? Is it a place they want to come back to at the end of the day or not? Is it more like a sanctuary or a prison? How does it reflect your muse? It need not be there present residence, but choose one adobe and write a scene that takes place in the dwelling or describe it in great detail.

Have fun! Looking forward to reading your entries!

-Trinity Mod

 

American moving companies have got to be the most incompetent of any I’ve dealt with. Granted their presence made moving my possessions into my new home in daylight much easier. My servants were, of course, undead I’d brought with me from my estate, and therefore were unavailable to keep these children from tossing my belongings around like sacks of flour. Standing in the shadows of the mansion’s porch watching them was beginning to wear on my nerves. Granted, they probably didn’t know I was there. I’d augmented the dark shadows on the porch with a few of my own creation. Not getting a migraine while watching my possessions being unloaded was a wonderful thing. A headache, though…that was just starting. Idiots.

 

“Continue to drop boxes and I shall ensure even sanitation workers will not trust you to handle their wares.” I stepped forward a bit, out of the darkest shadows, and leaned against a pillar. “I’ve changed my mind. Stack the boxes in the main hall. My servants will deal with them when they arrive.”

 

“I assure you, sir, we are taking…”

 

“Shut it. I was watching the whole time. If anything is broken, I will be taking the damage out of your check.” Inside me, I could feel that dark core pulsing contentedly. I turned and walked inside, two shadows on my heels. I stopped one. “Watch them. If they drop anything else of mine, come get me at once.” The shadow took a semi-human form and nodded. I turned away from it and went up the stairs to my study.

 

Most of the boxes for this room had already been brought up. The furniture, too, was already here, bought from a local shop rather than flown from my estate in southern England. The room was dark and full of the dark mahogany and leather furniture I loved, and yet it still felt empty. No shadows in here as yet. The two I’d created to shield me from the sun were the only two I had here. The rest I would create once I’d properly sanctified the place.

 

I dropped the illusion hiding my right hand from the eyes of the movers and ran my good hand over the stark white bone. It was a constant reminder of my condition, as if I needed a reminder now, when the beginnings of blood hunger stirred in my gut and my fangs were still lengthened due to the irritation downstairs. Bloody hell. It had been over thirty years, and I still was not used to that particular response to anger. Or maybe it was just that every time they lengthened due to hunger or anger, I was tempted just a little more to do something with them. I sighed and pulled the black leather glove in my pocket over the bare bone.

 

The small courtyard just off my study was what had attracted me to this place. Grape vines blocked most of the light from the small space. In the middle of the square, a large, gnarled tree grew up from the rich, dark loam. I had already set up my stone altar on one side of the tree. The stone offering-bowl was empty. I’d remedy that later, when I could sacrifice the fat rabbit that even now nibbled lettuce in a pet carrier downstairs.

 

I knelt before the altar and rested my gloved right hand on the offering bowl. The power and death both items had seen left an aura that made this place feel a little less alien. My family had used this altar for generations, though none had used it for as dark a purpose as me. Still, the power surrounding it made me think of home. It was good that it was here. Soon the rest of the house would feel more like home as well, but for now, this small sanctuary would do. I smiled.

 

One of my shadows danced about me. “Lord,” it said in its quiet, hissing voice, “the movers brought the last box in. They are downstairs looking for you.”

 

“Very well, I’ll be down shortly.” I rose, dusting off my pants, and made my way downstairs. The sooner I got these idiots out of my new house, the sooner I could go about making it a home.


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By request from one of our members this month!

"Without music life would be a mistake."  ~Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Choose a song that "fits" your character, their mood or situation that they find themselves in. Take that song apart and write a story based on the lyrics. Feel free to post the song, lyrics or video onto the ooc community so that we can feel what your character might be feeling. Ah, music, the expression of the soul. ;) Have fun guys and thank you for the suggestion.

-TN Mod



From the Diary of Brendan Keigwin: April 25, 2009,


I'm a priest for the poorest sacrifice
I'm but a raft in a sea of sorrow and greed
You bathed in my wine
Drank from my cup, mocked my rhyme
Your slit tongues licked my aching wounds

 

Woke up this morning. I know, sounds like something obvious, but I’d truly began to wonder if this condition were taking me over so much that even my sleep schedule would be effected. It has already insinuated itself in every aspect of my life. I tried to explore Hollywood today, but ended up back in my hotel room with a migraine. I refuse to drink a little of the blood that I was able to obtain. Call me stubborn if you wish. It’s not even really the fangs or the fact that I’d heal that gets me, although I am still more than a little irritated that I can’t use magic to heal something as simple as a migraine. No, it’s just that I’d enjoy it. That…that is…monstrous.

Put a stake through my heart!
And drag me into sunlight
So awake for your greed
As you're slaying the dreamer

 

I have always lived to learn more. I remember, even as a young child, sitting at my grandfather’s knee night and day, learning what he had to teach and practicing what I could. It has never been for any real practical use, this knowledge. I only wanted to know. Does that make sense? And yet now, I feel the darkness growing inside. I use my power for my own comfort more and more. And worse, I enjoy the feelings this growing vampiric nature inspires in me. This greed, this lust for life, not just killing, but all manner of experience. It is kin to my previous quest, but so much more, and part of me looks back at that child and laughs at the naïveté. The other part wants to die every time I must drink blood, not because of the blood itself, but because the greedy side grows stronger with each drop of blood on my lips. My quest for knowledge has grown so dark since that fateful night.

Swansong for the Wish of Night
God it hurts, give a name to the pain
Our primrose path to hell is growing weed

 

Night comes and it seems like part of me awakens. The night feels alive, and not just because the shadows dance around me. This is my time. The breeze seems to speak to me, promising more if I’d only give in, and that greedy darkness blazes brighter. At these times, it is almost impossible to see in me the child that at ten was so concerned about a runt kitten that he took it to his grandfather to learn to heal it. No, I cannot even heal myself now. The darkness is too great in me. To heal, I need to be alive, and the darkness is that of the death I cheated.

Blame me, it's me
Coward, a good-for-nothing scapegoat
Dumb kid, living a dream
Romantic only on paper

 

I suppose it was always a dream, really, the steadfast belief of youth that death will hold no dominion over this life. Did I know the risks if I failed? I thought I did at the time. But knowing the risks and living the failed result are two very different things that I have been made very aware of in these last three hundred years. If I could go back in time, I’d slap that kid with his nose in a book and tell him to get out and enjoy what he had. No…I didn’t mean that. Did I?

Tell me why you took all that was mine!
Stay as you lay - don't lead me astray!

 

Why me? They say power corrupts. Is this my penance for learning so much? The loss of my humanity? Learning to enjoy the darkness in myself, the lust, the greed?


Wake up, mow the weed
You'd be nothing without me
Take my life if you have the heart to die

 

No! If I hadn’t become this, I’d be dead. I’d be dead ten times over. What would I have done in that short lifetime? What would I have learned? No, I don’t have the heart to use spells I know will remove the vampire for good. I don’t have the heart to die. I must admit, if only to myself, had I the chance, I’d become this all over again.


You bastards tainted my tool
Raped my words, played me a fool
Gather your precious glitter and leave me be
The Great Ones are all dead
And I'm tired, too

I truly hate you all!

 

Still, should I ever find the miserable grave of the whoreson who mistranslated that ancient text, I will raise him as a zombie just so I can have the pleasure of setting him on fire and watching him writhe in pain over and over again, for as long as I wish it.

 

~Brendan Keigwin


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