The start of a brand new year means it’s time once again to bundle up and travel to Harbin, also known as “ice city,” in the northeastern Chinese province of Heilongjiang where the awesome Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival is has just begun (previously featured here). 2015 marks the 31st anniversary of the month-long festival, now the largest ice and snow festival on earth featuring the world’s largest ice sculptures, many of which are illuminated at night by multicolored LEDs.

Horse-drawn carriages offer tours throughout the wonderland of ice and snow sculptures, some of which are so big that people can walk through and even slide down them.

The ice used to create these amazing sculptures is harvested from the surface of the Songhua River using swing saws. Ice sculptors then use chisels, ice picks, and various saws to create their magnificent frozen sculptures. Deionized water is used to create blocks of transparent ice in order to create ice sculptures that are as clear as glass.

Head over to Design You Trust for even more photos of this wonderful winter festival.

The Signs as Leslie’s Compliments to Ann:

Aries: “You vivacious rainbow of joy”

Taurus: “You beautiful, brilliant musk ox”

Gemini: “You gorgeous, simple house cat”

Cancer: “You spectacular cloud of brilliance”

Leo: “You gorgeous, purebred poodle”

Virgo: “You sneaky persistent ice sculptor”

Libra: “You beautiful, tropical fish”

Scorpio: “You misunderstood sports car”

Sagittarius: “You humble, intelligent golden retriever”

Capricorn: “You spectacular, golden-tongued sunflower”

Aquarius: “You wild, majestic unicorn”

Pisces: “You transcendent, little seahorse”

IRASCIBLE || [ TIS; ask-feistypants]

Hans straightened the lapels of his jacket as he climbed out of his sleek sedan, slanting dispassionate eyes over the garishly-lit sign beckoning out to weary travelers on the interstate. The heels of his designer shoes clacked softly over the pavement as he made his way across the parking lot and towards the lobby.

A portly man in an ill-fitting dress shirt sat at the scarred wooden reception desk, absently thumbing through a wrinkled copy of Sports Illustrated with a buxom woman on the cover. Hans glanced around the room, to the faded pastel stripes on the worn armchairs, the ugly floral wallpaper.

Mentally, he sneered.

Outwardly, his face was a perfect mask of frightened concern.

He strode quietly to the desk, placing one hand upon its surface.

The man glanced over his magazine, raising his eyebrows. “Can I help you?” he asked.

Hans exhaled deeply, glancing down, brow creased in worry, before meeting the man’s eyes with his own, openly exhausted. “I dearly hope so,” he said. “I’ve been all over Fairbanks. I must have been to half a dozen hotels by now. It’s my girlfriend — we had a fight, and she ran out before I could apologize properly. I’ve been worried sick about her all night.”

The man behind the desk set his magazine down, nodding in understanding. “Women, man,” he said, offering Hans a crooked smile. “You know how they are.”

Oh, indeed I do. “I saw her car in the parking lot. I can’t tell you how relieved I was to know she’s somewhere safe.” Hans offered the man an open, pleading smile, raising up his other hand to show him the beautifully-wrapped roses held within it.  “Is there any chance you could point me to her room so I could talk to her? Small thing, 20 years old, red hair, about…” He gestured with his free hand. “…yea-high. Sweet as anything.”

The man nodded, sliding his computer keyboard over and typing quickly. “Yeah, I remember her. Cute girl. Want me to give her room a ring for you?”

Hans exhaled, scrubbing his free hand over his face, through his hair. “No,” he sighed wearily. “She’s so stubborn, she’ll probably refuse to talk to me.” He leaned against the desk, motioning the man forward. “Look… just man-to-man, is there any chance you could just give me a spare key to her room? She’s a spitfire, this one. Probably won’t even deign to talk to me until I show up on her doorstep.”

The man turned from his computer screen, eyeing Hans carefully. “I…” he started, frowning slightly. “I mean… I’m sympathetic — my girlfriend and I have had some real drag-em-outs over the past few years, but… I mean… company policy…”

“Please,” Hans said, leaning just a fraction harder against the desk, and he felt his gorge rise at the word.

The man hesitated, glancing back at his computer screen.

Hans heaved a weary, dramatic sigh, reaching with his free hand into his coat pocket to retrieve his billfold.

“Sir,” the man started uneasily, “I don’t think I can…”

Without a word, Hans slid two crisp hundreds across the desk, raising an eyebrow.

The man glanced around the empty lobby before quickly slipping the bills from the desk. “You were never here,” he said quietly, nodding to Hans and extracting a blank key card from a tidy stack by his computer, tapping a few keys and sliding it through a small contraption. He leaned up in his chair and handed it to Hans. “Room 63.”

“63,” Hans repeated, slipping the card into his pocket.

“Down the hall and up the stairs. Should be on your right.”

Hans took a deep breath, nodding. “Thank you,” he said.

The man smiled at him, genuinely. “You take care of your girl, now.”

Hans offered him a grateful nod before making his way to the nearby corridor.

His heels clacked purposefully over the stairs. He stopped long enough to roughly deposit the roses in a nearby wastebin without a backward glance.





A nondescript door, just a flat white panel with a peephole of smudged glass.

Just in case someone knocked.

Had to knock.

Hans smirked to himself as he extracted the keycard from his pocket.

‘Take care of your girl’.

That wouldn’t be a problem.

Not a problem at all.

He slotted the card to the lock and pulled the door open with a resounding slam.


The annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in China has been held since 1963.The festival officially starts January 5th . With its stunning designs and incredible colour displays, the amazing attraction draws thousands of visitors from all over the world during the month-long show.It is the largest in the world.

Dragon Occupations by Flight
  • :Please add to this list! Make sure they are lore appropriate. Occupations can belong under more than one flight.
  • Arcane:Astronomer, Enchanter, Magician, Seer, Scholar, Researcher, Explorer, Navigator, Runesmith, Hedge wizard
  • Earth:Historian, Archivist, Jeweler, Miner, Stonemason, Architect
  • Fire:Smelter, Weaponsmith, Armorsmith, Metallurgist, Hearth Keeper,
  • Ice:Archaeologist, Furrier, (Ice) Sculptor,
  • Light:Philosopher, Archivist, Librarian, Accountant, Treasurer, Archaeologist, Historian, Book Binder, Scholar, Judge, Candle Maker, Barrister, Scribe, Antique Dealer
  • Lightning:Tinker, Scientist, Engineer, Scrap Collector
  • Nature:Herbalist, Apothecary, Farmer, Gatherer, Hunter, Florist, Beekeeper
  • Plague:Apothecary, Undertaker, Scavenger
  • Shadow:Fortune Teller, Spy, Gambler, Toy Maker
  • Water:Admiral, Shipwright, Navigator, Seer
  • Wind:Minstrel, Bard, Artist, Lore Keeper, Explorer, Diplomat
ive gotten over 30 messages demanding an itemized budget of how i will be spending my kickstarter money so here it is

- $1000: production

- $5000: to be turned into $1 bills and kept in a large bathtub in my living room for all of my friends to take instagram photos in

- $45863: 1 year salary for an ice sculptor to move into my home and carve blocks of ice into the shape of me every day until all of hollywood is just a garden of icekits


Steve and Heather Brice are a husband-and-wife team that creates amazingly detailed ice sculptures. Their work has been showcased in museums, the Word Ice Art Championships and in their own year-round gallery. The artists, both Alaska born and based in Fairbanks, met through an ice-carving project for a Catholic school.  Heather, with a college degree in sculpture, wanted to try ice as a medium, and she offered her assistance to Steve — already a self-taught, award-winning ice sculptor.

Now, they run a business together and create pieces for gallery display, private commission, competitions, and occasional educational workshops. Their work often features animals and fanciful creatures in action.

CHINA, Harbin : A family pull a sleigh before the opening ceremony of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, northeast China’s Heilongjiang province on January 4, 2016. Over one million visitors are expected to attend the spectacular Harbin Ice Festival, where buildings of ice are bathed in ethereal lights and international ice sculptors compete for honours.     AFP PHOTO / WANG ZHAO / AFP / WANG ZHAO                        


So The Spirits’ Session 3 Memorial Anthology has a dust jacket, and as I was scanning stuff last night, the jacket slipped off.  It was then that I discovered something: instead of the usual monochrome reprint of the jacket image, the cover of the doujin features phone book-style ads.  They’re for:

- Pow Milk;
- the Sheliak clinic (“all insurances accepted”);
- the new “sweets buffet,” presumably run by Trill, at the Balancoire restaurant (“just west of the Balancoire save flower!”);
- a PSA urging donations to lend “a helping hand to the children of Azha” (from Lyude, the “Minister of Azha Reconstruction”);
- Lolo’s repair shop (“free estimates!!”);
- the Cursa ice sculptor (“please specify pose in detail; not responsible for discrepancies”);
- “Mintaka Seaweed,” which promises “seaweed facial hair just like Shanath’s” if eaten, from “Baelfight Inc.”;
- and a recruitment ad for the Knights of Diadem featuring Rambari and Celsica.

This is a great doujin.