My Serial Idea – Returning to My Dungeons & Dragons Roots.

Happy Sif’s Day!

In writing a new serial I was struck by the need to do two things: 1) I want to create and develop new characters and have a sort of revolving cast to try new character ideas, and 2) To have a system of randomness that forces me to explore things that I would not usually explore. Enter an old friend in gaming – Dungeons and Dragons.

There are so many things to do in D&D these days compared to where we used to be when I was first introduced to the game in the early 80s. Back then we were using the 2nd edition with its iconic covers. I found myself fighting a solo campaign with a friend because the two of us were the only two people who liked to play at the time. W didn’t have the internet so meeting personally was the only way to play and few people back then wanted to join because D&D was ‘evil’ according to the preachers. I have discovered that, for mysterious reasons, anything that young people enjoy that becomes popular quickly becomes evil if it takes away from devotion to the church and said, preachers. They don’t like competition.

Over the years, after that, I had mixed results with playing with groups and in some senses shelved my involvement in the game because it was so hard to get a group together. Fast forward to a few years ago and with the internet, it is now completely possible to be part of a group every week that is scattered across the globe. I have regained my interest in Dungeons and Dragons and fifth Edition, while more basic than 3.5 has my interest because it is what everyone plays right now.

But there is also another reason, the materials available are so widespread now and most notably there are so many solo systems out there. It’s not that I don’t want to also play with a group on one of the platforms for doing so, it’s the writing possibilities with a solo play that intrigues me right now. Mostly the idea I can create characters and have random things happen, like real life, and those characters have to deal with them. It provides a writer’s wet dream in a sense when sometimes you get a block. Using this – I roll the dice and deal with it.

My plan is to create a party of one character, play for a little while then add another character and keep going for a while and maybe add another one or two characters. The choices here will be based on what is best for the story. I will even kill characters if I feel that it’s needed for the story. At the same time, I am going to be playing a game I enjoy for inspiration. I am not sure when this will full on begin, but I am ordering a solo system soon and the main thing, for now, is to design a good first character. A class that can survive on its own fairly well. That’s all for now, but I would be interested in what you think.

To-Do List 1-27-23:

  1. Work on the fantasy serial for the blog. – you can see the results today of what I worked on.
  2. Relax – need this as switching shifts has taken a lot out of me today. – done.

To-Do List 1-28-23:

  1. Visit to see my possible new apartment.
  2. Generate novel ideas – brainstorm
  3. List for YouTube Channel construction.

I remain.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher.  The Grey Wayfarer.

Skal!!!

Creative Writing Plans

Happy Thor’s Day!

I spent a few hours outlining my plan for a new YouTube Channel and now my thoughts turn toward the writing part of my life. There has been a long-running debate in my head about what type of writing I would like to do. I find the most relief and escape in writing fiction, in particular, fantasy, urban fantasy, and science fiction. That said I also feel at times that a non-fiction book would be the best.

I think creative writing is where I will end up going. Mostly in the idea that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Most of my favorite authors are fiction writers who through telling stories made people think. This is my goal as well and to do that I need to focus on something I don’t often do which is the theme. That said, I think the great problem with today is that people spend so much time trying to make a point they forget to write a good story.

So write to make money by writing something entertaining and at the same time – as a good storyteller does – make a point. That’s the goal.

My future plans involve creative writing:

  1. I will be doing some of that on this blog. I have an idea for another serial but it may take some time to set up – world-building and character creation and all that. This one will be a full-on fantasy story.
  2. Short Stories – I find this works best with some genres for me. Some genres just lend themselves best to short stories. Some I might publish here, and others I will collect for publication.
  3. My Novel – I actually have written a novel already but I wouldn’t publish it as it is pretty bad. But I learned a lot from that experience and it’s that most novel writing is getting things on digital paper and editing. Planning the plot ahead of time is going to be the necessary element this time so the story flows better.

There are many other things but I have to have an eclectic mix to keep from getting bored at the same time progress and variety need to be there.

To-Do List 1-25-23:

  1. Apply for the apartment I found and search for more.- done. I need to see if this is going to be a good option
  2. Orientation at my Job. – done. I start tonight on the third shift so shifting my sleep pattern will be the priority through the weekend.
  3. YouTube Channel Designing.- done. My target date for launch is Feb 1st.

To-Do List 1-26-23:

  1. Go through the back of my car and organize things and get it so my daily stuff is more usable.
  2. Look for apartments closer to work – options needed
  3. Look at needed routines and systems for my life.

I remain.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher.  The Grey Wayfarer.

Skal!!!

“They Call Me ‘The Bartender'” – The Grey Wayfarer Pub – Episode 1

Happy Thor’s Day!

Episode 1 – They Call Me ‘The Bartender’

They call me “The Bartender”

It’s not a title I just have because I have served a few drinks to customers over the years. That’s true, but it is far more than that. It’s also my codename. I earned it by running a cover business for The Silver Shields for roughly five years. I served drinks and provided support for operations in the city I had been residing in at the time. It was a wild time of fighting vampires, werewolves, and any other supernatural thing that crossed my path. I should say ‘our’ path. I wasn’t alone.

The pub was a magical nexus built with its apex at a large tree that happened to be the home of a dryad. I made peace with her and the pub was built up around her. This of course attracted many different entities of a magical nature. Pixies, dwarves, elves, and humans with the magical talent to name just a few. Including my two wives Tequila and Constance.

Tequila was my very first barmaid and eventually, I won her heart (or she mine, I am never sure on that point). I was already married to Constance, but it took her being infected with vampirism and her subsequent cure to start seeing things as they really were. She changed her attitude about Tequila and let me marry her as well. Eventually, Tequila and Constance became a thing as well and we were one happy Trios family.

But the pub was under constant attack, and I moved my family, including the little dog Pint, out of the pub to a house just outside the city, This proved to be a mistake as I found we lost significant magical strength away from the Nexus. What happened after we moved is too horrific for me to recount even now, but in the end, all that matters is I did indeed kill all the bad guys but lost both my wives in the process. Pint was a fine miniature beagle and being magical himself, he was the main reason I was still breathing. He moved back to the pub and I was left in the ashes of my home with two dead wives.

I guess you could say I went nuts after that. I had what could only be described as a nervous breakdown and after a year I got back on my feet and the Shields gave me a further leave of absence. Pint, at that point, went with me and we spent our days lounging and reading and Pint having his bowl of beer three times a day. It’s been a couple more years and I guess the headshrinkers feel I am ready to go back to the war.

The problem is at present the old pub is peaceful as a lamb. There haven’t been any attacks on it for quite some time. It’s like the forces of darkness have conceded that point. If so, then the current staff can handle things and my boss at the Silver Shields offered me an alternative position given my experience and skill set. To start over with a new pub in a new place. I took it without hesitation.

My reasoning was that I don’t know how good it would be for my sanity to go back. Tequila was a part of that place almost from day one. The blood, sweat, and tears I spent in that place connected it to me forever, but I knew going back was impossible. I bent down and scratched Pint’s head. He whined,. The problem for him is that his magic is connected to the old pub. He simply wouldn’t be of use to me in a new place. I hugged him and he licked me sorrowfully.

“It’s OK boy. You are your own dog, and nothing is forever.”

Pint understands me and wagged his tail one more time and then after giving me a parting lick trotted off. I don’t know if I will see him again. I am not sure what his motive for going back is. It could be the desire to have his warm bed back by the fire or he wants to look up the barmaids’ skirts. I know he will miss me, but he was at the old pub long before I arrived and I suspect he will be there long after everyone is gone. I suspect Pint is immortal, but don’t quote me.

My real problem was the fact my trade as the bartender disguised my true skill – alchemy. I was the one that created the cure for vampirism, but it only was a temporary fix. The vampire virus mutated and developed immunity. Science overcame theology as magical biology overcame the faith magic. Now vampirism is back and I am going to be hard-pressed against it. Why? Because I don’t have faith magic anymore to fuel my alchemy. I need something new and right now I have no clue what it could be.

This means several goals are in front of me and I need as soon as possible to get to them. 1) I have to examine the new pub the Silver Shields purchased for me for my base of operations. 2) I have to get at least basic recon and intelligence about the area and what the basic supernatural problems are and 3) I have to meet my contact in the area with the Silver Shields and 4) I need to start experimenting with new forms of magic to fuel my alchemical concoctions. On top of this, I had a new apartment to furnish. Lot’s to do but in truth, there were no time limits as of yet.

Author’s Notes:

It has been a long time since I have taken up a digital pen, dipped it in digital ink, and then put it on digital paper. For the last year or two, I have struggled with inspiration and motivation to write anything. Heartbreak will take you only so far in the writing discipline. Once rage, sorrow, and sadness fade; there is simply no motivation worth writing for. There needs to be something positive to inspiration as a core to writing, or you basically begin to see your writing tapper off with nothing for fuel to feed the furnace. While I search for a love that will inspire me to write out of that love (aka my muse), I simply need to realize that emotionally I am a better human being when I write. Even if I have to force myself to do it.

The inspiration for this series is my old theology pub series on my blog All Things Rabyd. I last wrote on that series on July 15th, 2016. It’s been a long time. The idea was to allegorize concepts into an interesting story. The world was that of urban fantasy with the occasional side trip into horror and science fiction. The pub was a place n my own mind where the characters and plot were free to do anything. It was a long-running drama series that ran from February 7th, 2013 to July 15, 2016.

A lot has changed since that last episode. Mostly Me. I am no longer a believer in Christ having now the opinion that until someone shows me good evidence to believe in anything spiritual I will remain a skeptic and an atheist. That said, the concept of a pub where the characters, places, and events are allegories of thoughts and feelings I am still having still appeals to me. It will also be good practice. The original pub allowed me to explore genres of writing, create new characters, and explore various types of stories. This one will do the same and the fact is without the worry of which Christian sensibilities I might offend, I can explore some genres that were previously unwise to pursue.

But mostly this is the first step to bringing writing back into my sphere. I hope you enjoy it. Without further delay – I present the series – The Grey Wayfarer Pub

I remain.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher.  The Grey Wayfarer.

Skal!!!

“Battle’s End” – Dark Shieldmaiden – Prelude

Happy Odin’s Day!

September 25, 1066

Anya the Bold knew she was dying.  She still clung to her sword while sitting with her back against the tree.  She had lost so much blood through her wound on her left side that she was sure death would come soon.  She had seen this many times before in others but now she knew it was coming to her. A mortal wound that she knew would be her end.

Not that she feared death.  Vahalla awaited and now she had more than enough reason to enter its gates. She had watched her husband die as a warrior.  Vagnar had stood on the bridge with his great axe holding off the Saxons long enough for the rest of them to escape. She knew he would fall but she had not waited around to see it.  She honored his sacrifice while hiding the fact that she herself had been stabbed by a Saxon sword.

She lay dying she thought of his embrace knowing it would soon be renewed in Vahalla. Her thoughts turned to his strong arms around her and the last time they had made love on the morning of the battle when King Godwinson’s army then surprised them.  They had enough time to arm themselves and then battle ensued.  Had not their own king fallen and their ally Earl Tostig, King Gdowinson’s brother fallen as well, things might have been different.  The Saxons had completely surprised them.

She knew her husband had felled many Saxons that day.  How many had fallen would surely be the stuff of legend as the tale was retold.  For now, though she knew he had only proceeded her in death by some hours. She stared at the trees in front of her while her vision darkened…

She awoke but it was not the hall of Vahalla she saw.  The same English trees lay before her and she felt strange. It was now nightfall and she was alive; something she had not expected.  She actually felt renewed and yet also had a feeling like she had downed far too much mead. She could move which when she had fallen asleep she could not do. She had lost too much blood.  How was this possible?

Looking down at her wound, her breath caught in her throat.

“Odin.”

It was healed like it had never existed.  Her head swam in disbelief.

“It’s alright, You were dying and I saved you.  You might not, however, believe how.”

She looked to see one of her fellow Norseman standing over her.  He had a strong young face, but his eyes betrayed an age much older.  She had seen him before but did not know his name.

“Why?”

“Because the wife of a brave man needs to be around to hear his tale.”

He held out his hand and helped her to her feet. Then she smashed her fist right into his face, knocking him on his backside.

“You rob me of Vahalla and my husbands embrace.  I should kill you.”

The man sat there, rubbing his chin.  He smiled.

“No.  You will join your husband someday, just not yet.  And killing me might prove far more difficult than you might imagine.”

Anya raised her sword and drove it down; but in a motion, which she did not see, the man stood to his feet and caught her wrist.   The strength of his grip caused her hand to flex and the sword to fall from her fingers. He then put the arm behind her back and his other arm went around her holding her still.  His strength was far superior to any man she had ever met.

“I have given you a gift.  A gift that you need to understand and I am willing to teach you, but you must calm down and listen.  I have given you a chance to tell your husband’s tale for generations to come.  But more than that, I have given you a chance to truly live.”

Anya relaxed.

“Why would you do this.”

“Because your husband was not the only one who has loved you.”

He let go of her and she spun and looked at him.

“Anya the Bold.  I have watched you for a long time. From the time you were a child.  You have a strong spirit and an intelligent mind. You are brave and a passionate heart.  I have come to love you, but I would not dishonor your marriage.”

“Who are you?”

“Just call me Erik. Listen, If you want to honor your husband’s sacrifice, live and give him vengeance. What happened today cannot go unpunished.”

Anya looked at Erik grimly and then nodded.  She then held up her sword.  The sword her husband had given her a few years ago.

“I shall avenge my husband, twenty Saxons will fall to this blade, I swear by Odin the All-Father.”

“Good, and I will tell you more about what happened to you. But for now, we must join the others and return home. The Saxons will wait until another day.”

As he turned and she followed a tear formed in her eyes. If only she had known the horrors that awaited her, she might have killed Erik for his ‘gift’.

Writer’s Notes:

Its been a bit since I started something new. My hope is this series is intriguing enough and entertaining enough for me.  It is a story I wanted to read but seeing no one has written it yet, I decided to do it. 

I remain.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

 

“Tolkein’s Day” – Odin’s Eye

Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day.    

Discussion:

Today is Tolkein’s Day and as most of us might be at home, perhaps picking up and reading one of his books is a good way to celebrate it. I cannot underestimate the influence of the man on my imagination as a boy growing up. The Hobbit remains my favorite fantasy book of all time. The effect on me was to open my horizons and cause me to think more with the eye of how imagination can take us to places we could never go with my other way

Time to Look Through the Eye:

“To see the truth, change one eye for another”

Meditation:

I meditate on my days as a child a lot.  I would have to say the chief influences of that wonderful year I went from elementary school to middle school was one of the best between reading The Hobbit that summer, as well as, Mrs. Frisby and the Rat’s of Nihm (an introduction to science fiction for me)  were both books that set my course.

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Of course, I also learned a great deal about adult female anatomy from the teacher who gave me Nihm.  She had a habit of dressing in lingerie that shall we say was a little loose fitting and didn’t cover much.  She apparently didn’t notice my body was going through puberty a little earlier than most boys my age.  Between Tolkein. Nihm and the free anatomy lessons, I found my boy’s heart starting to grow into manhood.

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Mystery:

I would say that the same feeling of awe and mystery is with me today.  Tolkien gave me a sense of imaginative mystery that still inspires me to write to this day.  Not to mention giving my favorite wizard of all time – Gandalf. A wizard I might say that is based on Woden – Odin’s English counterpart.

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Spirituality:

In some small way, I think this might have been the beginning of my fall from faith.  I found myself constantly at odds with people who would condemn Tolkein for his use of magic or that he was a Catholic.  mY response would be – ‘who cares, the man writes good stories.  It is this rebellion that remains in my soul whenever some busybody with an opinion wants to intrude into my life. A rebellious spirit that lives with me to this day.

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Conclusion:

I am grateful to Tolkein for his works and to a time of my life in a summer that I was reading them that made me start shifting from boy to man. Happy Tolkein Day everyone!

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Reforging the Sword” – Odin’s Eye

Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day.    

Discussion:

In Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Aragorn is the bearer of a broken blade that is reforged by the elves.  Andúril is the new weapon and becomes a central weapon in the struggle against evil as wielded by the last of the line of the kings of Gondor.

My recent work in the yOutube realm has placed me once more in the position of preacher and teacher and with a familiar topic – Bible and Theology.  I don’t speak of the bible being the sword that needs to be reforged so much as my knowledge and understanding of it.  Before I used this knowledge to try to build people’s faith.  I see this now as a flawed and broken weapon.

In a very real sense, I see this as reforging this knowledge into a new weapon.  A weapon to use against my former faith and no I don’t seem my turn from gospel preacher to atheist as good to bad but rather the other way around.  The real evil is religious people who do evil things in the name of God and the Bible.  In reforging my sword of Biblical knowledge, I plan on using it to fight this foe.

Time to Look Through the Eye:

“To see the truth, change one eye for another”

Meditation:

As I was meditating on this change, I realized that I might actually have to reach for and open my Bible on my shelf.  Something I have not done in well over a year and a half.  I found myself feeling old strength and knowledge flow back through my veins again as I used my knowledge of the bible and theology again but it was very different.  I can see the obvious flaws with the Bible and theology in ways I never saw before.

Mystery:

The mystery for me is to unravel the power of religion that it gains over people.  To do that I need to understand why people believe nonsense and how to combat it.  In the realm of Christianity, I can see why people want to believe.  Eternal life and some sense fo purpose are good motivators.  But if the promise is false and if one takes the time to determine their own purpose, then what is the need?

Spirituality:

For my own sense of purpose, I am developing a sense of being an advocate for atheist issues, in particular, the separation fo church and state.  It fits well with my political science degree and my religious background.  I feel in the sense of atheist spirituality I might have started to see the need here and between this blog, my YouTube Channel The Rabyd Atheist and my desire to either teach in the public school or work for non-profit that has anti-theist aims regarding church and state. I have figured out that I will probably never be happy unless I am advocating for a cause and/or educating.

Conclusion:

I suppose I am taking the material of my old beliefs and education and forging them into something new – a new better and freedom-loving something.  – a new sword of truth.  Forged from the materials and shards of the old one.  My own Andúril.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Hel / Hella – Goddess of Death” (Asatru – Part 16) -The Pagan Pulpit

Happy Sol’s Day

Announcements:

We don’t pray here – we figure God, the gods, goddesses, or whatever powers that be either know already, don’t give a fuck, or are busy with more important matters than our petty stuff. We also kind of assume that they expect us to do stuff that we can do for ourselves and that we will do them ourselves and not be lazy. We also believe in being good friends, so we don’t presume on our friendship with the powers that be by asking them all the time for stuff while giving them nothing in return.

We also don’t take an offering here.  We figure the powers that be probably don’t need it.  Let’s be honest, offerings are not given to the divine powers, they are given to an organization to support it.  Just being honest. God, the gods or whatever never sees a dime, farthing or peso of that money; it all goes to the church, mosque or shrine.

Theme Song: “Helvegen – The Way to Hel” Wardruna

Meditation:
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Text:

See the source image

If you want more details about Asatru, I can’t recommend this book enough.

Sermon: 

Somewhere along the way the depictions of Hel or Hella, to differentiate her from the realm she rules, became a half beautiful woman and half corpse.  But the original description of her in mythology simply has her half black and half white. The one thing is for sure a lot of elements Christianity crept in as time passed as regards her realm more properly known as Helheim.  She is the goddess of those who die of natural causes and not in battle. Her realm is mainly described as a continuation of this one but forever.  Forever, of course, being defined as until Ragnarok when everything basically hits the reset button.

Hella is in a couple stories of significance.  First, her origin story which has her as the child of Loki and a giantess. It is in this story that she is placed in charge of Helheim by Odin himself.  Her spheres are not pleasant ones – sickness, famine, old age.  Her artifacts reflect all of this.

The other story is, of course, the story of Baldar who ends up, somehow even though he died in battle,  in her realm.  The gods attempt to appeal to her for his release.  Her condition is that every person must weep for his death.  Loki, of course, has a hand in making sure one person does not and  Balbar remains with Hella. She also is in charge of keeping Fenrir the great wolf bound until his release at Ragnarok. It is interesting how much she figures into the story when it comes to the end of things and perhaps that is her real sphere – the end.

To the followers of Asatru, Hella is venerated not as someone to be feared.  She is simply one of the options one might find oneself in when you reach the afterlife.  Her real job is to offer comfort to those who have died and give them rest from the toils of this world.  The people who live in Helheim admire and respect her.

For me, she offers an interesting paradox of a character.  Of dubious origin being the child of Loki, she fills the role fo bastard daughter who finds herself in a position \of power and thus both loved and feared.  Her personality might be a little brooding and gloomy, but given her job who can blame her.

In my writing when I have depicted death allegorically or as a traveling companion to the hero, I find she always takes the form of a woman and I have to say this is due ot Hella’s influence. I see her as not only gloomy and foreboding but with a dark sense of humor who occasionally can find laughter in the ironic particular as regards death.

Parting Thought:

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I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Happy Sif’s Day and Some Personal and Writing Notes” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Sif’s Day

Sif: Gold-Haired Earth Goddess

After a week’s deliberation, I decided that from henceforth, Saturn’s Day will now be Sif’s Day.  I juggled Eostre and Idun in this spot but in the end, I think Thor’s wife, goddess of the land, earth, and harvest takes Saturn’s Place the best.  Her story in Norse mythology is the one where her hair is shaved off, presumably by Loki as a prank.  Thor threatens to hurt Loki repeatedly unless he fixes the problem.  Through a complex, multilayered scheme, Loki convinces the Dwarves to create living gold hair that when Sif places it on her head attaches itself and becomes her hair.

Other than that, Sif represents the fertility of the earth.  Something that is missing from the week with the current gods and goddesses.  As Thor’s wife, the rain – earth duo is in the days now.  I rejected Idun and Eostre in the end because they already have their time of the year all to themselves in many respects.  Sif represents the constant and continual bounty of the earth in all seasons.  With Sol, we have the bright sun goddess who is a beacon of life and truth.  With Frigg, we have hearth and home.  Freya gives us a passionate woman both in love and war.   The addition of Sif gives us the hard-working woman in the field. A welcome addition.

So. Happy Sif’s Day.

Personal Notes: 

This is not a The Grey and The Wayfarer post. But after writing my four-part series of getting things off my chest so to speak, I have felt much better.  I have thought of some of these things far less and seem to be moving on better. Perhaps the Storm is breaking and some sun is shining through at last.  Time to get moving.

My job search can be a little frustrating at times. I learned recently that most Human Resources jobs want certification.  No problem accept its another few months of time and a couple thousand dollars. So crossing that off at least for now, I have focused on Business, Education, and Government.

Business – I am moving my focus from human resources to retail as I actually not only have some education there as far as management but also experience both in retail and management but never at the same time. Mostly, business is attractive because I have 15-20 years left before age and retirement will start to kick my ass and I need to make as much money and put it aside as possible in that frame of time.  At the same time, the physical labor thing is going to be less and less of an option. Retail Business Management fits given experience and education.

Education – I could go to another state and teach.  Texas would let me start and then learn the education stuff as I go.  Mostly though I would be using it as a springboard for a masters’ degree and eventual doctorate. I would want to teach at the university level.

Government – Like it or not, I am adding this to the list because my Political Science degree gives me the most qualifications for government jobs. It is what the degree is actually designed for, so it is time to add it to the list.

One of the things I have done is to rewrite my Resume again. I eliminated, as much as possible, any references to my ministry career and my education for it. They are irrelevant to the jobs listed above.  I also have been removing anything that might give away my age. My experience listed will still make me older, but I want it to be, without lying, a little nebulous.

Writing Notes:

There is, of course, my other ‘career’ as a writer which I need to get more serious about.  So here is that list:

Blog: This personal blog needs to be kept up because it is simply good practice.

Blog Fiction: Last time I wrote about some fiction ideas I had floating, but there is some other fiction on this blog already that I need to address and make the previously mentioned ideas a little more concrete.

  1. The Grey Wayfarer (Serial) – I wrote this series when I first started this blog  It was a work of fantasy fiction with the same name as the blog.  That was confusing I am sure, but the reason I stopped writing it here was a realized it had potential to be one helluva novel.  So, I leave the five parts that exist as a teaser to a someday maybe finished work. I just felt the writing was that good and so was the concept.
  2. Rogue Wizard: The Fire of Fury –  There is a large part of me that senses the whole Hedge Wizard of Redberg / Rogue Wizard universe and storyline needs come to a complete end. I originally started the whole thing as a labor of love for Miss Salty and now she is gone out of my life.  The continuation based on it in this blog is difficult emotionally at best to write. Spoiler: It might be time for the whole thing to die. But it will die by my own hand and not just fade away unfinished. I have been sitting on Part 10 for months because emotionally it might be the last difficult thing to write with the whole saga. After that, it is simply a matter of killing off the main character. Me.
  3. ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ (adult version) I have toyed with the idea of taking fairy tales and giving them a modern spin many times.  It would fit my short story or short fiction series niche.  Red Riding Hood, if you know the actual origin and symbolism is already a pretty adult tale, but I want to give it an urban fantasy truly adult feel.  Little Red wouldn’t be the only one but it is my favorite fairy tale and a good place to start.
  4. Tales of a Viking Muse (working title) – I mentioned this a couple days ago.  This will be my Viking Shieldmaiden Skald Muse.  I am using Dungeons and Dragons to flesh out the character and to create the backdrop world to an extent.  She will be a combination of a fighter/bard.
  5. ‘Space Tramp’ – Basically I am taking the advanced character generation system from MegaTraveller and doing a year by year full flesh out of the background of a character.  The challenge, of course, is the random nature of the generation process which will force me to in one year explain a near-death and another year take a pretty boring admin assignment and make an interesting story of it.  The character will be a free trader crewman of the merchant branch, so it should give him the freedom to move about as he sees fit.  It should be fun.

Non-Fiction Book: My book here is basically Life of Christ, but form a skeptics’ point of view. I taught the life of Christ as a pastor and instructor in the faith probably ten times. I am simply writing what would amount to a harmony of the gospels with a twist.  I am going to show even with four accounts, the gospels still are not compelling evidence to believe that the Life of Christ as presented in the Bible is a genuine story of any more historical value than Homer’s Illiad or the Tales of Gilgamesh.

Novel: Over the last few years the successful fantasy stories have been the epic ones from Game of Thrones, to Lord of the Rings, to Wheel of Time and Sword of Truth.  I don’t mind these but I enjoy more the stories that are a little more down to earth.  Five friends from a small village heading out into the unknown and finding an adventure.  No saving the world or correcting the imbalances in the powers of magic for the universe.  Just some friends finding themselves in a tough spot and fighting to get out of it.  That’s my novel. I am thinking of using National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) to fast forward its content by 50,000 words in November.

This is a lot of writing, but good writers write a lot and I want to be a good writer. So, raise a drinking horn to the challenge of making some changes in my writing with the goal of publication and making it my second and hopefully also paying career.  What you may see over the next couple of weeks is me trying to make progress on all of this. Hopefully, my muse will come alive and something will not only click but take off.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Role-Playing Games as a Writing Tool” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Thor’s Day!

This post idea has been sitting in my hopper since July.  It’s probably about time that I clear it.

In writing, there are a couple of challenges when it comes to characters and their interaction with each other. The first is record-keeping in that you need to make character notes and that can take a lot of forms but you want something simple that can be easily altered as the story unfolds.  The second is the ability to compare characters wih each other.  Which one is stronger, smarter.  Along with this is what can one character do that the others cannot.  This can be tricky if you don’t have a system that can compare them objectively or makes not of the differences.

My solution has been when applicable to use role-playing games (RPGs) for this purpose.  The paper, dice and pen kind. Over the years I have used Dungeons and Dragons for instance to make records of my Fantasy Characters.  By having already made up character sheets and plans to make notes, it makes it very easy to do this.  You also can know which character is stronger or smarter by comparing Strength and Intelligence scores for instance. You can also know that one character has knowledge of history while the rest of the group does not and the other has knowledge of how to speak Elvish and the others do not. I currently use this for my novel which is a fantasy novel, but I have also used it with science ficiton and urban fantasy.  With the first MegaTraveller has been used and with the second d20 Modern with the Urban Arcana addition works very well.

The trick with it though is sometimes you can’t be completely bound by the world the RPG characters are created in when writing. Then you might be writing fan fiction but not original stories.  Fantasy is easier to avoid as you can simply create your own world and adapt the RPG system you are using to it.  But science fiction can be more problematic with this approach.  Science Fiction RPGs tend to be very universe specific. Mostly though as a writer you have to be story-driven not rules-driven.

By opening up my writing schedule recently, I think a good way to get the creative juices flowing would be to create a single RPG character and then take them for a writing fiction ride for a while.  I am going to combine this with my search for a new muse as well. I am thinking I may do a D and D female character – I am thinking a Bard (Skald). 🙂

I also may in time drop into the science fiction world of Megatraveller. I have an idea for fleshing out the background of a character creation of a young orphaned lad who joins the Free Traders and starts traveling the stars.

One thing is for sure I need to get my creative juices flowing and there is a wealth of ideas to draw from RPGs and its time I began to tap into them.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Revival – Asatru (Part 5)” – The Pagan Pulpit

Happy Sol’s Day

Announcements:

We don’t pray here – we figure God, the gods, goddesses, or whatever powers that be either know already, don’t give a fuck, or are busy with more important matters than our petty stuff. We also kind of assume that they expect us to do stuff that we can do for ourselves and that we will do them ourselves and not be lazy. We also believe in being good friends, so we don’t presume on our friendship with the powers that be by asking them all the time for stuff while giving them nothing in return.

We also don’t take an offering here.  We figure the powers that be probably don’t need it.  Let’s be honest, offerings are not given to the divine powers, they are given to an organization to support it.  Just being honest. God, the gods or whatever never sees a dime, farthing or peso of that money; it all goes to the church, mosque or shrine.

Theme Song: ‘Herr Mannelig’ – Garmarna

 

Image may contain: 1 person, text that says 'Crazy World YOU DON'T HAVE A RIGHT TO THE CARDS YOU BELIEVE YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN DEALT. YOU HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO PLAY THE HELL OUT OF THE ONES YOU'RE HOLDING.'

The situation is always changing and it is not always in your favor.  Regardless there is always the best way to play your hand and it is your obligation to find it.

Text:

See the source image

If you want more details about Asatru, I can’t recommend this book enough.

Sermon:

It is hard to say when the revival of the interest in Pagan Norse Religion really began. In some cases, we might say that it was preserved through family traditions and merging pagan traditions with Chrisitan ones. There was also a limited amount of writing done by historians and literature experts on Norse Mythology and religious practice.

Some argue that it was the early 20th century with the interest in Germanic ancient culture by the Germans that saw the start of it.  It is also a criticism that it might be colored by the Nazis but it is probably more likely to be the case of the Nazi’s using cultural trends to their advantage as far as PR.  Symbols and history are often coopted by those that rule to form a romanticism they tap into.  The romanticism though already existed because a lot of it can be traced back to the 19th century long before the nazi’s perverted the mythology and the Swastika.  I and many other people who study Asatru and history would say the chief deity of the Nazi party was Adolf Hitler himself, not Odin, Thor or Tyr.

In any case, in the last 70 years or so a revival of interest in ancient Northern European mythology has arisen.  Becoming more popular, as Diane Paxton observes, starting with the writings in England with Tolkein and CS Lewis. Robert E. Howard with Conan chimed in during the 1950s.  Is it any wonder that I have an interest in this mythology when what sparked my interest was these great writers and my own heritage.

In 1969, the same year I was born, the Odinist Fellowship was founded, followed by Viking Brotherhood in 1971 and Asatru Free Assembly in 1976.  All in America. In Iceland, Asatru became an accepted religion by their parliament in 1973 thus opening up the most direct route to a religious revival of ancient ways through Asatru.

What has followed has been a process of Norse paganism in Asatru arising and organizing into various groups. The 1990s saw a great deal of expansion and development. Publications and books are becoming more and more frequent.  I would say interest has been revived and increase due to the television series Vikings among many others.

For me, my personal story of ‘conversion’ to Asatru is a long one.  Like I said, I loved fantasy books from an early age. devouring CS Lewis, Tolkien, and Howard. Conan became a favorite hero of mine along with Gandalf.  I was a Dungeons and Dragons player and Dungeon Master for many years and that has this culture and religion as a large part of it.   The more I learned the more it fascinated me.  I suppose the crisis moment and conversion point would be me leaving Christianity for good last year and realizing my need for a new code of conduct.  I looked at many warrior codes, but Asatru appealed more than all of them because of this connection to my culture, history, and interests. My pagan tendencies tend to line up very much with Asatru.

This ends part one of my Asatru analysis.  Next will be a discussion of many of the Norse gods and goddesses and their significance to the followers of Asatru.

Parting Thought:

 

Image may contain: one or more people, beard and text

Paganism does have some bit of a ‘dark’ side.  In that, most of us will do terrible things if the ones we love are threatened.  There is no turn the other cheek or forgiveness without restitution.  And if the person opposing us doesn’t offer us restitution or threatens to take what is ours, then we can get such restitution by other means.  You might say justice has a different meaning to us.  Your best course of action in dealing with us is being honest and respectful and mind your own business.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!