derivative works

9

hoseok birthday bonanza!

day 06 - dancing

I think what probably gets me deeply into my feelings about this “JKR should have just made her students Of Color to start with, she can’t ret-con and pretend she did it right the first time” is that I grew up with Anne Rice and Anne McCaffery, two female fantasy writers who hated headcanons and fandom and sued people for deviating from their original vision or doing any kinds of derivative works without their express contractual permission.

I feel like people who get irritated with her about defending black!Hermione don’t appreciate how much healthier JKR’s attitude toward the inclusivity movement in her fandom is than theirs was. Or Moffat’s is. Or Gatiss’s. Or Whedon’s. Or Green’s. Or even, until very recently, Lucas’s.

She’s not a PCR, but goddamn, at least she’s passing us the milk rather than pissing in our cornflakes.

Sun thru the Houses

1H: the first house is the house of the self, and because the sun is representative of the self as well, this is a very healthy position for the sun to be in. this shows the type of person that is meant to put themselves out into the world, and to have a lasting impact on others. the sense of self is most likely pretty strong and associated with the aries archetype, since this is the natural ruler of the 1st house, and mars. this can give the chart holder a warrior like personality, one that must always be more forceful, assertive and able to stand up for themselves. they usually approach life with much vitality, strength and enthusiasm. these people must be appreciated, noticed and acknowledged for who they are. there is a strong desire to feel important and wanted as well, it is important to not let yourself become a tyrannical figure though, as that can be something common and associated with this placement of the sun. 

2H: the second house is the house of worth and value, also security and possessions - physical possessions. with the planet of one’s vitality, self expression and ego coming in here, it lights up the part of us that needs to develop outer security and what one values. it is important for these people to learn what gives them a sense of security and fulfillment and not have to be dependent to find it through others, like their opposing 8th house represents. security would typically come through strengthening the ego and self, because that is what the sun itself represents. the individual with this placement must feel secure with themselves, so even if outer security is missing, they will feel an overall safety with life. 

3H: the third house is the house of communications, knowledge, speech, and siblings. with the ego and self lighting up this house, the sense of self is derived from what this person knows. they must feel honorable about their own thoughts to feel a sense of purpose in life. they also must feel like they have been heard by others, nothing could be more sad than a third house sun person that is constantly ignored or feels ignored (perhaps if mercury is in the 12th house). these people are hardly ever satisfied with what they know, and are always looking to learn more, their hunger for knowledge is insatiable. there is always a need for this person to get their point or words across to others; through verbal speaking or the written word as well. there could be a talent or mastery of language. 

4H: the fourth house is the house of where we came from, our roots, home, family, mother/parents, the deeper part of the psyche, what makes us feel safe, secure and at home. with the planet of the ego and vitality here, the person must feel honorable in the home environment; there is a need for the home to stable in order for this person to shine. imbalances in this environment can severely hurt or impact the chart holder, never to be forgotten. there can be a tendency to over identify with the family and not give yourself the chance to branch off and create a separate identity in your own life. it’s common for this person to have been an only child - the center of the parents’ universe, worshiped by the parents even. creative energy may be mustered up in the home environment. 

5H: the fifth house is the natural ruler of leo and is ruled by the sun, so this is seen as a very healthy place for the sun to be in and shine to it’s fullest extent. the fifth house rules leisure, pleasure, romance, casual sex, gambling, risk taking, the general sense of fun, although that is something very subjective and personal to everyone. with the sun here, the person must feel honorable in what gives them a sense of pleasure and leisure. these two things are what the chart holder holds very highly and strongly values. there may be a strong creative force in the individual. the involvement of romance, fun or any theme falling in the fifth house enhances the chance of this person being a participant. however, there can be a need to always be the center of attention as well, especially when endeavoring these “fun” activities. 

6H: the sixth house is the house of labor, daily routine and health. with the planet of the ego and vitality, there is a tendency for the overall sense of self to derive from work/service and one’s own general health. there is a need and constant motivational factor of improving the self and finding ways to be better at what ever it is they do. self imperfections or insecurities are always heightened here, because the ruling sign of this house, virgo, is highly critical and picky, especially of themselves. there is always room for improvement and fixing everything to it’s best ability, virgo believes. since this house rules one’s general health, with the sun here the individual must have a respectable relationship & honor their own body. there can be self-neglect because of the primary focus being of service to everything else but themselves. the sun here must learn to efficiently balance out their daily life and the self, realizing there can be nothing without their self anyway. 

7H: the seventh house is the house of others, partnerships, marriage, open enemies. with the sense of self, ego and vitality coming to light up this house, the person must feel honorable in their relationships with others. however there is a common tendency to have a poor sense of self and vitality because the ego is so closely associated with others, rather than the self. they find themselves through others. relationships and partnerships or social interaction of any kind give them subtle clues to who they are more so than when they are on their own. this can be the type of person that does not ever want to be alone by choice, because of this fear of feeling completely lost within the self. it is true though, that they do need to be involved with people or others in some way. 

8H: the eighth house is the house of privacy, intimacy, transformation and the occult. the sun represents the self, vitality and ego, so naturally when this comes into the eighth house, the ego and self seek personal transformation through acts of intimacy, occult studies or pushing themselves extremely hard to test their limits in life, and possibly find a sense of rebirth through doing so. this person pretty much yearns to feel emotionally connected to and bonded with something, there is an extremely intimate outlook on life. everything is profound in the eighth house, this person can be extremely wise and insightful because of their deep, complex dynamic make up, mostly because of their fascination with all things that are hidden from the public’s eye, their investigation of the inner workings of the self and others, as well as rather taboo subjects, can pay off rather well. 

9H: the ninth house is the house of beliefs, higher knowledge, travel, foreign lands, and philosophy. with the sun, ruler of the personality, ego and one’s own vitality, there is usually an experimental nature towards one’s own belief systems - the individual can usually try out many throughout their life, until one fits their personal moral system the best, and which they must find honorable enough to expand and grow from. the individual with the sun here may view life as a voyage, a soul search or some type of pilgrimage. this person can be very concerned with the bigger picture and tend to neglect the finer details to their life. there can be an eternal wanderlust and desire to constantly grow internally and mentally; these are very acquisitive people. this is a common placement indicating visionaries, gurus, religious figures, spiritual practitioners. the self is designed to find inspiration through growing and developing the self more, and passing this inspiration on to others through their own beliefs and knowledge, as well as life experience.  

10H: the tenth house is the house of one’s reputation, how one is perceived through the public eye, the persona, the career and one’s achievements. when the planet of one’s ego and personality, also vitality comes in the 10th house, there is a strong desire to be admired by others and recognized as someone. the sign of the sun specifically will give more clues to what it is exactly the person wants to be admired for. there must be an honorable relationship with one’s professional achievements and reputation. there can be a dependence on a parental figure for acknowledgment, or an inheritance to enhance the chances of acknowledgment. the person with sun in the tenth may over identify with tenth house matters and have a hard time forming a separate identity with any other part of themselves. 

11H: the eleventh house is the house of social groups/dynamics, organizations, clubs, society, humanitarianism. when the planet of one’s identity and self comes in this house, there is a direct association of the self with whatever they are associated with. there can be direct association between the self and friend group, this is who they are. or what cause they believe strongly in. this person may be vastly involved in many different groups or organizations, and an interest in spreading their knowledge. the identity here is strongly linked to a higher cause than themselves. the self worth, worst case scenario, is derived from groups or friendships. relationships with friends, groups and organizations must be felt as honorable and secure through the individual with this placement. 

12H: the twelfth house is the hardest house to describe because we do not truly know what is in there…generally it’s the house of the subconscious mind, the “back of the brain” where things are not commonly thought about or acknowledged, or seen. its the house of dreams, mysteries, escapism, illusions, sensitivity, spirituality…everything. it’s where things go to dissipate. it represents the things that are hidden from us, as opposed to the things we hide from others - it’s entirely unconscious in it’s workings, and extremely hard to describe or pin down accurately. with the planet of the ego, personality and vitality coming into neptune’s domain, the ego is washed away and dissolved. the boundaries between the self and outer world are extremely thin, these people are very sensitive to energy. the conflicting aspect of this placement is that the twelfth house is the furthest house from the conscious mind, and the sun itself is an extremely conscious energy. the individual with sun in the twelfth must learn to properly blend the workings of the spiritual realm and the things that cannot be seen, with the outer, more tangible realm. the ego is comfortable in spiritual practice, solitude and being of service to others. there is a fear of others not accepting them for who they are, so its more often than not that the individual with the sun here hides themselves from others and only comes out when alone. the sun here is easily tainted and colored by other energies and is felt the strongest when alone or secluded from others or things that may drain its energy. the sense of self is fogged and blurred by neptune. the ego must feel honorable in it’s spiritual views, acts of service and time alone. the uncertainty of the self that these people feel is what causes them to fall into the depths of depression or sadness. they can feel overwhelming guilt just for being who they are and expressing themselves, because there is some obligation they have to be there for others, and avoid ever being seen or felt as selfish. 

**afflictions of the sun must be taken into consideration as well, as that can severely alter some of these characteristics. 

Despite Everything, It’s Still You.

…. Right?

For @askgasterfamily  ‘s late birthday and also because I love Evil Gaster.  His character is so well executed and so incredibly deep that, despite being evil, I still feel for him.  I still sympathize.

This is a comprehensive guide talking about 10 of the most used house systems in Astrology today.  Included are basic information pertaining to each system as well as the strengths and weakness each system presents.  Begins below:

A house system derived from the works of Placidus de Titis in the 17th Century based on the idea that life is motion and not stationary. This method casts a chart using the time measured for the Ascendant to become the midheaven.  Paths are drawn outward from every single degree occupying the space from the 4th house to the horizon and the horizon to the midheaven.  After that both drawn out quadrants are trisected which create the entirety of the houses.

Placidus is the most commonly used house system in the world today.  It began gaining popularity in the late renaissance period and was adapted as a standard onward.  Placidus is extremely popular in the United States and is used mainly in the psychological interpretation of a chart.  Despite its popularity it still has struggles as a time-space based system which causes controversy.  

Placidus well known for its unequal house sizes along with signs enveloped completely in a house called interceptions.  Interceptions can explain psychological issues pertaining to a person’s life; and intercepted planets can show potential issues with energies manifesting outward.

This house system is notorious for its struggles in higher latitudes.  As the latitude increases from a birth location the house cusps become wider, sometimes cause two or more signs to exist in a single house.  For this reason the distortion effect can cause struggles doing interpretations, thus other house systems can be used.

Due to the uneven house sizes this house system was the origin point for “Pletomy’s five degree rule”  all signs within five degrees at the end of the house are to be interpreted as being in the next house (or influencing both prior and the following.

Strengths of the Placidus House System

  • Much has been published about it due it’s mass accepted nature and popularity
  • Every major angle starts at a house cusp thereby diffusing any kind of controversy that confuses some astrologers.
  • inside the 66 parallels it works well and tends to explain issues on the psychological level due to interceptions created with the system
  • Intercepted planets have more strength coming out when transit planets or progressions activate them

Weakness of the Placidus House System

  • The mathematical time space formula to cast the system leaves distortion and holes in charts
  • People living above and below 66th parallels have distorted chart’s not may not always represent their psychological states
  • Planetary rulership readings can be out of line due to sign interceptions
  • Doing transits with this house system can be difficult and sometimes inaccurate more so then other house systems due to uneven house spacing
  • It is more difficult to do mass horoscope readings due to unequal house sizes that are more individualized in this system

Dr Walter Koch’s house system is based upon the idea that houses in a horoscope are relative to the birth place using geographic latitude. The Koch system uses mathematical time calculations from the birth data and points on the ecliptic to formulate it’s house divisions.  

Koch is a more advanced version of the Placidus house system and uses the Midheaven as the starting point for the casting of the chart.  After the midheaven is drawn houses are formed by trisecting the time it takes for the ascendant and midheaven to rise to the ecliptic from the horizon.

Strengths of the Koch House System:

  • More accurately uses the latitude birth location to draw up natal charts
  • The house cusps are more accurately defined due to more advanced math techniques in play
  • Rulerships flow better and the planets in houses may make sense for many more people
  • Since it is similar to Placidus many of the same rules can apply; namely Ptolemy’s five degree rule

Weakness of the Koch House System

  • “Dead zones” in the mathematical spacing from geographic latitudes to determine houses cause distortions in the charts (interceptions and inaccurate planets in houses.)
  • Still faces the issues of Placidus with Intercepted planets and signs
  • Struggles to portray equality when birth latitude is above 66th parallel

Quadrant based House system which is based on space as opposed to time. It is calculated using the prime vertical passing east to west of the Zenith of a specific point on a map.  The Campanus house system casts 12 houses after the prime vertical is cut into 12 equal parts.  The Ascendant begins the 1st house and the midheaven is fixed to the start of the 10th.  This house system shares many similarities to Placidus house system in theory.

As with the Placidus house system this chart is best used for psychological understanding purposes.  It does contain interceptions as every sign may not rule a house cusp despite the equal division of the chart.  Planets may be intercepted and contained within a sign of a house which is said to inhibit their expression outward.  Unlike Placidus this house system can be used all over the earth.  It does not have a restriction on the 66th parallel where the houses dissipate and get distorted.

Strengths of the Campanus House System:

  • Ability to accurately explain the psychological complex of a person
  • Intercepted signs and planets tend to explain shortcomings and issues expressing certain traits
  • Intercepted planets have more strength coming out when transit planets or progressions activate them
  • Is useable anywhere on the Earth with no distortion of the house sizes
  • Every major angle starts at a house cusp thereby diffusing any kind of controversy that confuses some astrologers.
  • The midheaven is fixed to the 10th house for easy interpretation of adult life focus

Weaknesses of the Campanus House System:

  • Planetary rulership readings can be off due to sign interceptions
  • Doing transits with this house system can be difficult and sometimes inaccurate more so then other house systems due to uneven house spacing
  • It is more difficult to do mass horoscope readings due to unequal house sizes that are more individualized in this system

Regiomontanus is a time based divisional quadrant house system.  The celestial equator is divided into twelve divisions and projected on the ecliptic plane. The houses are cast based off the division and come out very similar to Placidus.  The Ascendant starts the 1st house, IC starts the 4th house, 7th house begins the Descendant and Midheaven starts the 10th house.  

The difference with Placidus is usually seen in the degrees the succedent and cadent houses start at.  When compared to Placidus there is usually a difference in the position of the Moon’s nodes.  This is due to the positioning of the crossing of the moon in the elliptical orbit.  Usually the variance comes in the node falling in a different house in some Placidus charts.

Due to the striking similarities in the time based system shared with Placidus, Regiomontanus shares interceptions a cast horoscope.  Like most time-based systems not every sign will rule a house and distortions can exist in the houses when the birth place is close to the poles.

Strengths of the Regiomontanus House System

  • Takes into account the importance of birth location
  • Every major angle starts at a house cusp thereby diffusing any kind of controversy that confuses some astrologers
  • Intercepted planets have more strength coming out when transit planets or progressions activate them

Weaknesses of the Regiomontanus House system

  • The mathematical time space formula to cast the system leaves distortion and holes in charts
  • People living above and below 66th parallels have distorted chart’s not always representing their psychological states
  • Planetary rulership readings can be out of line due to sign interceptions
  • Doing transits with this house system can be difficult and sometimes inaccurate more so then other house systems due to uneven house spacing
  • It is more difficult to do mass horoscope readings due to unequal house sizes that are more individualized in this system

Meridian is a time based divisional quadrant house system sharing similarities to Regiomontanus.  The celestial equator is divided into twelve divisions and projected on the ecliptic plane. The Major difference between Meridian and Regiomontanus/Placidus is the Meridian system uses the east point in calculation as the ascendant. The houses are cast based off the division made. 

In many instances the Ascendant comes off wildly different than other popular house systems.  The houses also come out closer to equal all the way around due to using the equator to cast them.  The Ascendant itself can fall anywhere between the 1st and 12th house in this system.  An interesting factor to note is the Meridian ascendant tends to portray the way a person sees themselves.

Strengths of the Meridian House System

  • Takes into account the importance of birth location
  • Tends to cut down on house distortion due to casting the chart based on the eastern point causing more equal house sizes

Weaknesses of the Meridian House system

  • Still has a slight chance of containing intercepted signs and planets
  • The Ascendant is not traditional and may cause confusion in interpretation for some
  • Signs on the houses tend to come out dramatically different versus other house systems which may turn people away.

A house system which is based on the most simplest of formulas to divide houses.  Created by the Greek philosopher Porphyry, he created a simple system of dividing the ecliptic to cast charts quickly.  Some say this birth chart system was the birth and inspiration for all house systems used in Astrology going forward.  

The ascendant and midheaven are calculated and straight lines are drawn through the chart to create the angular houses of 1, 4, 7 and 10.  After that is established the remaining houses are drawn up by splitting each quadrant into three equal parts of 30 degrees each.  Easiest for drawing up house systems, can be done on the fly, and solves issues with 66 parallel issues with Placidus and Koch.

Strengths of the Porphyry House System:

  • Quick and simply way of dividing the ecliptic to form houses
  • Back in predated times it was easier to cast a chart without the need for mathematicians or computers (like we have today of course)
  • The chart is balanced and every house is equally defined with no chart interceptions
  • Has no issues with latitude parallel’s failing to form a readable chart

Weaknesses of the Porphyry House System:

  • Does not define the chart based on the birth latitude as well as more modern house systems like Placidus of Koch
  • Has short comings interpreting the psychological aspects of a person due to the simplicity of the chart
  • The quick calculating speed of present day computers has surpasses this house systems use

House system in which every house in the horoscope is divided up evenly in 30 degree segments.  Every house begins in the same degree in the next sign as the ascendant began.  The ascendant and it’s degree marks the start of the 1st house.  The 7th house of course is drawn opposite the ascendant a full 180 degrees.  

The midheaven and IC begin 90 degrees equally away from the Ascendant and Descendant.  The midheaven point itself “floats” and is not attached to the start of the 10th house cusp. The Succedent and Cadent houses are drawn up in each quadrant after the angular house 30 degrees apart from one another.

Strengths of the Equal House System:

  • Easy to Draw up.  Just need the ascendant starting degree.
  • Every sign rules a house cusp and is easier for predictive purposes.
  • The Midheaven floats allowing for more versatility in translation
  • No interceptions of signs or planets in house cusps.
  • The system works above and below 60 degrees lateral

Negatives of the Equal House System:

  • Does not factor deeply into the location born on Earth and its impact on development
  • Lacking interceptions with planets and signs means less psychological in depth translation potential of chart
  • The house size difference may cause issues with predictive astrology; especially transits and pinpointing when effects are felt
  • The midheaven may be confusing to interpret for less experienced Astrologers

One of the most ancient and simplest house systems ever created.  A system where all houses are equal in size, and every house is ruled by and contains an entire sign.  The sign of the Ascendant becomes the 1st first house despite the location in degree of the Ascendant.  This can mean a Capricorn ascendant at 15 degrees shows the Ascendant in the middle of the 1st house with 0 degree Capricorn starting the 1st house.  Unlike more modern house systems the Ascendant, Descendant, IC and midheaven points float and don’t always start the 1st 4th 7th and 10th houses cusps.  

This house system is used most popularly by modern astrologers to showcase transit readings in mass horoscope interpretation.  The area of life impacted is easily interpreted since a sign is enclosed in a single house.  Since a planet moves through an entire sign while in transit, it is easy to tell the impact for a specific ascendant.  The house shows the area of life impacted which is easy to read.

An example of above; Scorpio ascendant natal with Mars transiting Sagittarius.  An astrologer would see in whole sign that every Scorpio Ascendant has Sagittarius in the second house.  Mars would be transiting the 2nd house for every Scorpio Ascendant; thus an interpretation may look like “Scorpio Ascendant may have struggles or ups and downs with personal finances this month…”

Strengths of the Whole Signs House system

  • Very easy to draw a chart by finding the ascendant and equally dispersing a wheel around it
  • Lacks interceptions and house distortion due to every sign ruling a house
  • The chart casts and works well anywhere on Earth birth occurs with no parallel issues
  • Mudane aspects (planets aspecting planets through houses) are easier to see with equal sized houses
  • Strong with current transiting planets because every time a planet movies into the sky it starts transiting a new house
  • Astrologers can cast mass horoscopes based on ascendant signs because they can see when a planet switches and which area of life it will affect for a person based on the house it moves into
  • The ASC, DSC, MC and IC are not fixed to the start of the angular houses allowing for more interpretation of how they impact life
  • Due to the ancient working of the house systems, the Arabic lots works best in this house system because they were created using it.

Weakness of the Whole Signs House system

  • Inexperienced Astrologers can struggle without the ASC, DSC, MC and IC fixed to the start of the angular houses
  • Requires more intuitive interpretation to synthesize how the whole chart melds
  • Planets in houses can shift considerably when the chart is cast versus Placidus, Koch and Campanus

A specific form of Astrological chart used when the birth time is unknown.  The Sun is moved to the rising position of the horoscope and becomes the start of the ascendant and 1st angular house.  This chart is meant to show the fully developed Ego and how the aspects with it play out. Some argue it is not fully realized and accurate; but for many without birth times it is better than nothing.

Strengths of the Solar Chart house system

  • Gives a house system to work with when the birth time is unknown
  • Can help correct distorted house systems (Even though better options exist)
  • Can see important aspects to a person’s inner self

Weakness of the Solar Chart House System

  • Doesn’t have a true Ascendant so much of the chart is missing
  • Lacks any kind of angular house structure so it’s impossible to translate their impact on a person’s life

A Zodiac system in which the stars play a significant role in calculating the planet’s, houses and interpretation of the general celestial sky into a natal chart.  This system’s strength is the consistency over time with the degrees of signs not changing as they do in Placidus and other such western house systems.  This can be attributed by the fact that the stars are “fixed” and do not as wobble the earth does.  The wobble accounts for the variation in degrees over time between sidereal and time based western systems.

The effect of degree difference in the tropical zodiac is caused by the seasons change ever so slightly over time due to the wobble.  This action makes the equinox’s fall later in time.  This is why over the course of history Western Tropical house systems have a 23 degree difference (currently) in planets in signs as opposed to the Sidereal placements.  The stars have not moved from their celestial positions, but appear to through western house systems.  The Sidereal will always generate the same consistent chart throughout time.

Sidereal is mainly used in the Vedic Jjoytish Astrology.  When a chart is cast all houses are equal of 30 degree denominations.  Sidereal, unlike western, is mainly used for its fixed star interpretations seen in lunar mansions (or nakshatra’s.)  The moon is the main source of interpretation in Indian charts, as well as Rahu (the north node) and ketu (the south node.)  

Through interpretation, the other planets (up to Saturn, since this system is based on planets only observable by the naked eye) are either cited as malefic or benefic to a chart.  Depending on the ascendant, each sign on a house can create super charged friendly planets called functional benefics.  Functional malefics are the opposite end of the spectrum and can cause blockages from planets expressing themselves.  These concepts are used in place of planetary aspects like conjunctions, trines and sextiles.  

One of the most important things to realize is most people Astrologers do not judge a sidereal chart by planets in signs, rather by planets aspect each other, houses and fixed stars.  Since the sidereal system is consistent it has more scientific interpretations.  Divisional (or Varga charts) are the one of strengths of this house system which brings added depth to a person’s reading.  The other main advantage is the creation of Dasha periods in which a planetary time period is signified which give that planet priority in a chart.

Strengths of the Sidereal House System

  • Time proven and tested system which has been around for thousands of years
  • Consistent due to being based on fixed stars in the celestial sky
  • Does not create interceptions due to its equal house cusps
  • Strong scientific and mathematical calculation method allows for accurate divisional varga charts
  • Easy to read system of planets aspecting each other, houses and fixed stars

Weaknesses of the Sidereal House System

  • Does not incorporate new age philosophies into calculations and casting of chart
  • Since the system lacks interceptions it struggles and doesn’t dive into psychological issues a person may face
  • The system may be far too scientific and not esoteric like some Western Astrologers prefer
  • The translations of the texts that utilize the sidereal system are based off Jyotish writings
  • They can be hard to interpret and some of the translations are either out of date or seem nonsensical
Roleplaying Races 3: Elves

We close off another special on races as we usually do, with another core race!

And with this entry, we complete the trifecta of non-human playable races directly derived from Tolkien’s work. For your consideration: Elves.

The exact specific origin of the idea of the elf is not known, but it does have Germanic roots, with tales of mysterious and magical forest people who can either help or harm humanity, depending on their mood (Almost entirely harm in most of the Germanic tales, though the Norse also have their stories of helpful elves.)

With a description like that, it only makes sense that they would be conflated with the Romance-derived concept of the fey, and often the terms are used interchangeably or categorically, with elves being classified as a physically human-like variety of fey. However, the term elf has also seen use in association with all sorts of descriptions, conflating them with traditional diminutive fey, such as brownies, sprites, pixies, and the like.

The modern high-fantasy concept of the elf comes, of course, from influential works like Tolkien’s, who returned to their Germanic roots when describing them, painting them as an aloof forest people with incredibly long lives that are distrustful and dismissive of other races, believing them to be violent and short-sighted.

It’s that characterization that has held for most every other fictional work they have been in, including many fantasy roleplaying games.

In fact, this has also led to a lot of stereotypes and oversimplifications on the part of writers and players, similar to how “Dwarves live underground and like gold” or “Orcs want to bash your face in” or “Halflings really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things unless your story revolves around being a thief who steals something important”. For elves, this means they are assumed to be elitist forest-dwellers that think they are better than everyone else”.

However, like all stereotypes, your elves don’t have to be that way. Do you think the local elf brewer is going to turn his nose up when a dwarf noble rides up with entourage and offers coin to sample and purchase his finest wares?

So what does being an elf in pathfinder mean? Well, unlike Tolkien’s work, elves are not immortal unless slain, but rather, simply have incredibly long lifespans. Furthermore, they are still very much creatures of the material plane, though, like gnomes, they may indeed have some past connection to the fey realms, however distant or close it may be.

Pathfinder elves are, however, not limited to forests, appearing in virtually every environment, their bodies subtly changing to reflect their surroundings over time. Indeed, an elf who lives in one location long enough may pick up traits from it, even if it is nothing like their original birthplace. Thus, while the long-eared, pale, lithe humanoid is a classic image, you can see elves in a variety of skin tones including and beyond the human range, as well as having the possibility of camouflage patterns, all sorts of hair colors, and beyond.

Attitude-wise, while many elves do indeed feel themselves to be the chosen children of the natural world, or at least feel wary around the more short-lived races, elves run the gamut of behaviors just like any other sapient race, they may be haughty or humble, fierce or gentle, depending on their life experiences.

In the Golarion setting in particular, elves fall under a few different categories of history. Some may have dwelled most of their lives in elven communities, being from or descended from those who returned to the planet from their colony on the neighboring planet of Castrovel. Others may have been part of the xenophobic shut-ins of the Mordant Spire having spent the long Age of Darkness preserving elven lore and civilization. Others, the Forlorn, have lived among humans nearly all of their life, and while the differences in rate of maturity and aging makes things difficult, they are perhaps the most understanding of human ways and plight.

Agile in both body and mind, elves are, however, somewhat frail.

They are, however, immune to magical sleep, and foes have trouble bewitching them with enchantment magic.

The magical nature of elven society means that even those with no spellcasting ability are at least familiar with many magical items, and their spellcasters are especially good at overcoming spell resistance.

Conversely, most elves also train to be familiar with a variety of cultural weapons, namely bows, longswords, and rapiers, and are at least passingly familiar with other elven weapons.

Of course, not all elves are alike, with several subsets and ethnicities, some of which warranting their own racial entries, such as Drow and Aquatic Elves. Others, such as Arctic Elves, Dusk Elves, Savage Elves, and Tower Elves, are simply variations of the core race.

Elves have one of the largest sets of alternate racial traits I have ever seen. Some may have adaptations suited for the environment they come from, or having special connection to their own magic, or to dragons or fey, and so on.

Elves are at once ageless beings, but at the same time, time itself is one of the major factors in their lives. Given how long they live, they have difficulty identifying with other races, who seem like children to them, yet find it startling how quickly they mature. Furthermore, their great age means that their race is slow to change culturally, so social growth that other races develop can seem like bizarre, dangerous thinking to older elves that spent most of their lives simply persisting as they are. However, at the same time, their long view of the world also means they have much to say about sustainability and the fleeting nature of certain social dynamics.

Elves can be found in most any class, though those with an association with nature, as well as arcane magic, are a strong contender for their power. They also make for agile and precise members of martial classes. However, they overall seem to have a preference for ranged combat over melee.

Elves can be so much more complex a choice than one would initially expect, but a good one nevertheless. Consider creating one, and delving into as much of the classic lore as you wish, or shaking things up with elves that defy expectations, like having body types other than slender, and so on.

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The coming of Spring~❤I like the warm spring!

(Tell the truth,Ahiru,Fakir and Uzura they really look like a real family!!:P)

And the last two doodles derived from my previous work of Nutcracker(click this) and the ballet ACTⅠ,(Ahiru is Mary/Clara,Fakir is Nutcracker,Drosselmeyer is godfather)but there are some difference.Following my friend’s suggestion,I let Autor portrays Ahiru’s little brother in the Nutcracker,then I imagined and painted these.

Don’t ask me what Autor’s doing because I don’t know too hahahahaha

youtube

a) Omg I can’t wait to see this

b) It bears pointing out that this right here is the public domain in action. This book can get written, and published, and turned into a movie with a budget and special effects and so forth, because Pride and Prejudice is in the public domain, free for anyone to take and create new art from. I mention this because the public domain has been under constant attack for decades. Here in the US it was most recently beaten back by the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998, but the TPP, currently under review by congress, prevents works from entering the public domain in much of the rest of the world, and will provide an easy lever for those who want to extend copyright here in the US in a few years. If we want to see, say, The Great Gatsby vs The Invaders From Mars, we must protect the public domain, and stop the passage of laws like the CTEA and trade agreements like the TPP.

DEATH IS A PLACE. but i forget where it is . . .

insp × by @infimityonhigh

I like to think that every story is reality somewhere, and fiction is just a window to alternate realities.

I feel like Sasuke and Naruto are real people with real souls.

Every story about them -the one Kishimoto wrote, and the derivative works written by countless fans throughout the years- is, in some way rooted in distant, parallel, real alternate universes.

When one of them dies, the other waits for him in a place outside of time. When they meet in this place between lifetimes, they talk.

Keep reading

Sign of the Times

First of all, I love SotT.   I’m going to put my music critic hat on for this post (even though, I’m not really a pompous, condescending, feckless, snobbish ass - which seems to be a requirement for the most part.)  I’m going to TRY and look at the song from outside my fandom bubble - inasmuch as that is possible.  I’ll be a critic who is familiar with 1D post Up All Night - something that seems sorely lacking. Please bear with me.

Sign of the Times is Harry Styles’ first foray into solo music.  Styles’ solo career has been greatly anticipated since One Direction began their hiatus.  With the launch of this first singe, we finally get a taste of the “direction” his solo music will take.  Styles has cited Elvis Presly, The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd among others as his greatest musical influences.  Sign of the Times undoubtedly has a David Bowie flavor, but this review will stop well short of calling the work derivative.  Styles seems to draw from a deep knowledge and appreciation of rock music roots, specifically British rock.  Styles is only 23.  Some may think he’s too young to deliver a convincing ballad about death, pain and loss.  Whatever his age, the ballad certainly doesn’t feel calculated, but rather an expression of his deepest self.  Anyone familiar with One Direction’s latest album, Made in the AM, and Styles’ contributions to it should find some familiarity in SofT.  Styles has long been fond of power ballads and putting music to pain, loss and happiness. 

There are a few problems with Sign of the Times:  I’ts much too long at just under 6 minutes.  The melody is too simplistic and repetitive.  Falsetto should be served as a sauce or seasoning, but never a main course.  It’s just plain overly dramatic.

What’s right with the song, first and foremost, is everything wrong with it.  Anyone who’s heard Styles interviewed will know how slowly he speaks.  He seems to have and entirely different perception of time and he pulls the listener into his perspective.  Signs of the Times just doesn’t seem nearly as long as it is - as if time itself was slowed down for six minutes.  A more complex melody  would only diminish the nuance, layers and escalation built into the ballad.  Styles is one of those rare artists who can make boring music fascinating.  With his voice, he commands every emotion.  He can illicit pain, sorrow, elation in a seemingly effortless way.  The falsetto part, in an effort to increase the ethereal effect, has a little too much reverb.  That said, Styles falsetto is delightful to the ear and somehow it just works in Sign of the Times.  As for the drama, it just feels real.  Styles has lost his grandmother; Matt Irwin a photographer and close friend;  Johannah Deakin, mother of his One Direction band-mate, Louis Tomlinson, (reportedly, Styles and Deakin were very close and her regarded her almost as a second mother.)  Sign of the Times feels like something from another time and place - hopelessly out of sync with today’s popular music and yet - comfortable, timeless beautiful.

Styles has the ability to take something minimalist, simplistic and make it great.  Any artist can create music that is original, out of the main stream, esoteric.  Styles’ genius is making this ballad, utterly foreign in today’s pop music landscape, thoroughly accessible.  Everything about Sign of the Times seems wrong from the music industry, bean counter perspective - but isn’t that always the case with the great ones?  This ballad was surely a huge risk for Styles.  He should have taken a safer route - shooting for a niche somewhere between Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran - thank God he didn’t.

The vocals in Sign of the Times are nothing short of breathtaking.  Styles had ample opportunity to shine in One Direction and he certainly delivered some fantastic vocals there.  As a solo artist, however,  his entire vocal toolbox is on display and it’s quite impressive.  He’s not the first pop/rock singer to have a raspy voice, but he honestly doesn’t sound like anyone on the scene now, or from the last 50 years.  His voice is raw, sensitive, evocative, gritty, expressive and soothing.  The unique thing about Styles’ rasp is that it never sounds harsh - something poor Rod Stewart could only dream of.  Styles can easily pierce the hearts of his listeners and his delivery always feels honest and genuine.

Sign of the Times has been a phenomenal success so far.  He dispatched Adele’s “unbreakable” 50 minute rocket to the top of iTunes in only 19 minutes.  The One Direction fans certainly gave him a boost, but those kind of numbers are simply impossible with mediocre music.  No signer can prove their worth with one song, but with  Sign of the Times, Styles is well on the way.

The My Immortal entry on Wikipedia, but with Shakespeare

Since the beginning of the work’s publication, it has garnered infamy for bad writing, inconsistency, and disregard for the source material. Often regarded as among the worst plays ever written, “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare” is felt to be a detriment to those attempting to bring legitimacy to theatre. Despite this, the series has also inspired multiple derivative works, and is viewed with nostalgia for the Elizabethan period.

The author published the plays self-identified as William Shakespeare, but the identity of the author has been a subject of debate. The play has been speculated to be a hoax designed to either troll Henry VIII or to satirize English theatre, but the work and the alleged presence of the author in Stratford has also been described as too elaborate and too time-consuming to fake effectively. The existence of similar works produced by play writers also suggests the work is genuine. However, the question of “The Complete Works of Shakespeare’’s authorship has been deemed "unsolvable.”

Invitation to Dérive

“Men can see nothing around them that is not their own image; everything speaks to them of themselves. Their very landscape
is alive.”  — Marx

(…) We perceive the ‘real world’ through our own image, ideas, conscience. The physical parts of an environment are decipherable by all, but the meaning we make of it, it’s almost incommunicable. It’s unique to which one of us. In a sense, it is safe to say we all live in a different space. In a different ‘geography’.(…)

Rita Matos / aritamatos.tumblr.com 

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THE DREAMING LANDS (2002) by Michael Whelan

Oil on Canvas - 20" X 30"

This painting is one of several works derived from my experiences at MSKCC in 2000.

That year I also read a couple of books which mentioned a feeling I have experienced at night during camping trips: lying in some huge quiet wilderness area, and imagining the overwhelming weight of the Earth at my back, as if I was actually lying in space and pressing against my back was the huge sphere of the earth with all its wonder, order, chaos and complexity. At the same time I also had a sense of being a part of it all, of sinking into and being one with the foundation of stone and rock which supports us all, the whole planet and everything on it.

This feeling came to me again while I was recovering in the hospital, with the sense that all the buildings and man-made constructs were transparent as mist, that the “bones of the land” (the rock and stone under everything) were the only things that were real and solid and supporting me.