Fire crackling in the dead of night, smoke slithering and choking its victims, scales chinking like armour, being underestimated, skulls piled high from your previous enemies, a blazing inferno that no one could hope to stop, being famous worldwide, being feared by all who know you, hoarding everything precious in your sight, being worshipped as a god, taking out your rage against the world, the small smell of burning that makes you question your safety, appearing out of nowhere, dramatic entrances and exits, trying to live up to your name but knowing you’ll never make it.
Of the divinatory techniques with which I am familiar, bones
are my personal favorite. Yes, they have that very witchy vibe – but it’s more
than that; the bones are honest. They don’t sugar coat, and while they have to
be interpreted, once you know how to read them – there’s little room for interpretation.
They are very direct and are much better suited to answering yes or no questions than tarot. With a
little imaginative methodology, there few questions the bones can’t answer. And
even fewer they won’t answer (as tarot cards can be known to do). A few
examples of things I think the bones are better at answering than tarot:
questions involving time, questions regarding health, sickness and maledictions;
they present a broader grasp to any given situation – incorporating things
outside of the question presented and how these things relate to the question
or the reading, showing the interconnectedness of life – and how these things
all relate back.
Our countless cultures have countless methods for collecting
and reading the Bones – and I can only rightly attest to my own methodology: one
in which the Bones need not necessarily consist solely of bones, but a
collection of gathered trinkets and curios, all with their own meaning, their
own story and their own energy. My collection consists of: bones (bare and
painted), coins, stones, shells, jewelry, twigs, buttons, animal teeth and
other squabbles. The only rule I implement is that the item can be easily
gathered and (safely) tossed without breakage or injury (save your razor-blades
and glass shards for witches’ bottles!).
Collecting the Bones and Bobbles
Most any small bones will do, though its recommended that
you use bones that haven’t been cooked, as cooked bones have a tendency to get
very brittle – especially in the case of chicken, which is quite common. In my
collection I have a number of different animal bones: most are chicken, but I
also have some raccoon and possum bones, as well as teeth and claws. I built a “base”
of bones, but am continuously adding or replacing as I see fit.
A short list of “Bones” I like to include – most of which
serve as my “base” bones:
Self Bone – used for the reader
Other Bone – used to represent another person or the person
you are reading
Magic Bone – represents the need for or use of magic
“Evil” Bone – malicious or hateful acts, disadvantageous
Love Bone – represents romantic love
Male Bone – represents male fertility, masculinity,
sexuality or a man
Female Bone – represents female fertility, femininity,
sexuality or a woman
Health Bone – represents physical or mental health
Wealth Bone – represents financial standing or monetary
Family Bone – represents familial connections or a family
Fate Bone – represents destiny and your lifepath (I use a
shell for this: open side up means an event can be altered, destiny is not set
in stone; open side down, this path must be walked – prepare in lieu of fighting)
“Key” Bone – (I actually use a small key) which represents
the key to any given situation, the remedy or problem at hand and its cause
This list is by no means comprehensive and I have many more
bones in my collection with more menial meanings. This is simply a small list
of options to be added to and adapted by whosoever casts the bones.
Reading the Bones
There is no right or wrong way to read the bones, there is
simply your way and their way. Below I will dictate how it is that I do a
general reading – again, this is just an example of one way, take and adapt to
fit your own unique style or tradition!
Begin by collecting your bones into your hand. I keep mine
in a leather pouch, but don’t like to toss them directly from the bag as it
doesn’t allow for much control – i.e. the bones fall out either in a massive,
unreadable pile or they fly out in such a scattered way nothing is close enough
to read. Throwing them from the hand allows for a rather contained casting, and
one that can be read easily. I do not include the Self or Other bone, instead,
the Self Bone is placed before the caster and the Other Bones is placed either
in front of the person you’re reading for or simply in the middle of the
casting area. When reading for yourself,
place the Self Bone in the center and discard the Other Bone.
Throw the Bones. This can be done on a square of cloth on
which a circle (or any number of complex shapes) has been drawn or simply upon
a flat table. If throwing in a circle, discard all bones that fall outside of
it. These bones are null for the reading, though they can also be read as “far
from the person’s mind/current situation.”
Interpret the Bones. This is done by noting the location and
connection of the bones present. For instance, note the Love Bones proximity to
the Other Bones and the Male Bone. This could be interpreted as being the male
love of the querent – but if the “Evil” bones is introduced, this could symbol
ulterior motives or a hostile or explosive relationship. Read based on both
their proximity to the Other Bone – the closer, the higher priority the matter
is – and their relation to one another. It’s very much like investigating a big
puzzle, putting it together piece by piece to form a comprehensive
understanding of their life or situation. Also not their relation based on the
third dimension: x bone seems to be overlapping y bone – is the x issue
eclipsing an underlying problem or truth represented by y? It depends. Only
through practice will you find clarity.
Convey the message. I always like to spend a few moments
making a variety of “hmm” noises when reading for others – it builds up their
anticipation. Or you can throw in the occasional gasp or snarky smirk. Their
responses are usually hilarious – even more so when yours are genuine! If you
are reading on your own, it may be a good idea to sketch out a general map of
the readings as opposed to taking a picture as often bones overlie others, which
makes for a rather misleading photo representation. You might also find jotting
down notes rewarding, especially in synthesizing a cohesive read.
Once you’ve garnered all the information you can from that
particular toss, feel free to specify: take the bone/situation you wish to
examine and toss the rest again over it/them, reading the others through that
particular lens. I.E. Who is this person
mentioned? What are their qualities? What is the nature of this love? What
magic is being referenced here? Follow that rabbit hole as far as you wish,
building your understanding.
Do not be afraid to adjust your style! Want to narrow down a
time frame? Make a sort of timeline with the bones. Wish to determine the
source of an ailment? Shape the bones into the form of a body. I find the bones
allow for far more creativity and ingenuity than cards. And above all – TRUST
Photos: These are photos of my “base” bones when I first started reading; since then they have probably doubled (if not tripled) in number and do not incorporate my other animal bones, claws or teeth.
Since Plane Shift: Zendikar was released I’ve been planning to run a D&D campaign in the setting. As equipment is really an iconic feature of both Zendikar blocks, I thought I’d go about turning some equipment cards into items, either mundane or magical, for characters to use when playing a campaign set in Zendikar.
Bone Saw - Simple melee weapon 1d8 Slashing Damage, Two-handed
For Oath of the Gatewatch’s Bone Saw, I based the damage, and the need to wield it two-handed on the apparent size of the item. As such, i presented it as an item similar to the longsword, but without the versatile rule, representing the fact that the Bone Saw isn’t intentionally made for combat, and is therefore a little more unwieldy to use as a weapon than the longsword. To purchase in-game, the Bone Saw would cost around 10gp, and weigh 4lb.
Captain’s Claws Magic Item - Rare These gauntlets grant the wearer +1 to their unarmed attack and damage and damage rolls, and advantage on all acrobatics or athletics checks based around climbing. Any friendly creatures that see this character succeed an acrobatics or athletics challenge based around climbing may gain advantage on their own acrobatics or athletics checks based around climbing.
Also from Oath of the Gatewatch, Captain’s Claws are treated as a rare magic item. To mirror the +1/+0 it grants to a creature it is attached to, my rendition of Captain’s Claws acts as a +1 Weapon, but specifically for unarmed attacks. To represent the summoning of allies, I decided it could in game-terms mean that the wielder can help their allies their allies catch up to them, essentially “Entering the battlefield” attacking with their leader.
Explorer’s Scope Objects viewed through this spyglass are magnified to twice their size. Perception checks relying on sight may be made using this spyglass, granting the user advantage.
From the original Zendikar set, I decided that explorer’s scope would be treated as very similar to a standard spyglass found in the Player’s Handbook, but with the added bonus to Perception checks, representing the item as a must-have part of any Zendikar explorer’s toolkit, as the rules of the actual card suggest.
In Zendikar and the many other settings of Dungeons and Dragons, Ogres are considerably bigger than the majority of humanoids, that being the reson behind this weapon having the Heavy, Reach, and Two-handed rules. While the same limitations of heavy don’t apply to the card itself, it seems plausible that a goblin would have a lot of trouble using such a large weapon. The weapon’s stats are similar to the standard Greatsword found in the Player’s Handbook, but with slightly raised damage and extended range, representing the weapon’s size and brutal crafting (I mean just look at the thing!). 2D8 does seem like a serious amount of damage for a non-magical weapon to deal, and makes an appropriate comparrison to the effect that giving a creature +5/+0 can have in a game of Magic. This weapon would likely weigh around 10lb, and cost over 50gp, perhaps being sold for considerably more than that if the players are trying to barter with the tyrannical ogre Kazuul or any of his minions.
Pathway Arrows Magic Item - Uncommon You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with these arrows. An eldrazi or construct hit by a pathway arrow must make a DC11 Wisdom challenge. On a failed save, the target gains the Stunned condition until the beginning of the wielder’s next turn.
For a weapon that taps colourless creatures in the game, the main design goal of Pathway Arrows as a magic item was to create a similar effect in D&D’s own combat system. Going with stunned, the target is quite heavily locked down for a turn in combat, just as tapping a creature before it can be declared as an attacker in Magic stops that creature from doing anything in the ensuing combat. While stunned presents further disadvantages in combat, this is balanced by the target’s ability to make a save to prevent it from suffering the condition. In game, pathway arrows can be presented in a quiver of five, sold for the normal costs of an Uncommon Magic Item presented in the Dungeon Master’s Guide.
I’m planning on designing D&D rules for the majority of Zendikar’s equipment, if you have any feedback or any card you would like to see in the next post, please let me know!
there is a deep suffering in your bones,
a clawing ache in your chest.
it’s a kind of un-becoming—
like heartstrings unthreading themselves,
like a faded whisper that never makes it
past your trembling lips.
and you can’t help but feel that
there is something strangely familiar
in the art of disappearing.
Word Count: 2,327 ( what can i say? i love details lmao)
Warnings: Cussing, slight violence and that’s pretty much it. oh and ANGST (:
A/N: Here it is! It took me forever because I originally wrote a different one shot but I’m going to save that one for another time. Hope you like it and please let me know what you think.(:
You tried to throw Donald and the rest off of Gabriela’s trail but it wouldn’t be long before they figured out who she’d gone to for help.
You were one of the main reasons the kids and most of the nurses even got out in the first place. You had a change of heart and a long talk with yourself about who you’d become in the short span of two years. You were never this heartless and you wondered (more like hoped) if there was truly a God that they’d forgive you for what you’d done. Maybe this act would somehow absolve you of this sin but even if it didn’t, it did help you sleep a little better at night knowing those innocent children were spared.
The bed moved a little, the mattress dipping and a pair of arms circled your waist.
“Ya up baby?” Donald’s breath fanned over the crook of your neck.
Oh yea, you were also secretly dating the leader of the Reavers, Donald Pierce, that you were also apart of.