Mallow Castle, County Cork, Ireland

Mallow Castle is a 33-acre site composed of gardens and parkland on which three buildings sit: the remains of a 16th-century fortified house (pictured above), a 19th-century mansion to the north, and the ruins of a 13th-century castle to the east. The fortified house is a long rectangular three-storey building, with two polygonal towers on the north-west and south-west corners. It is early Jacobean in style, featuring high gables, stepped battlements, and mullioned windows. The wings of the house project from the center of the south and north walls, with the entrance in the north wing. The design of the house was to provide a field of fire around it entirely.

The 16th-century  fortified house is believed to have been built by Sir Thomas Norreys before his death in 1599. Following his death, his niece Elizabeth and her husband Sir John Jephson inherited the house, with their family remaining in Mallow for almost 400 years. It was placed under siege by Richard Butler, Lord Mountgarret, in 1642 during the Irish Confederate Wars and did not fall. It was captured in 1645 by James Tuchet, Lord Castlehaven. The house was badly damaged by fire during the Williamite War and subsequently abandoned by the Jephsons. The Jephsons built the new mansion house on the site of the older castle’s stable block.

What the Hell is Modern Architecture? Part Two: Mid-Century Madness

Hello friends! It’s everybody’s favorite time of the 20th century, kudos to Mad Men

For the purpose of this post, Mid-Century starts in the late 1930s and goes through about 1960. While the 60s were integral to the concept of “Mid-Century Modernism” to people who shop at Design Within Reach, it really belongs to the period known as Late Modernism, which will be the subject of next week’s post. 

Where we left off with our beloved modernists two weeks ago, World War II was just starting. Coincidentally, it turns out dictators really like columns and stuff (who knew), and so Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius fled to the US where they responded to the hostile takeover of their countries by committing a benevolent takeover of the major American universities.  

Though the architecture of fascism was overwhelmingly traditional, (with the exception of Italian Futurism) modernism has still been deemed “fascist” by the ill-informed for over fifty years. Go figure. 

The Second World War had a major impact on the field of architecture. For one, it destroyed previous socioeconomic orders, and the horrific use of technology to commit so many heinous atrocities undermined its central position in the previous ideas of technocratic utopia. The machine for living in had a bad taste in its mouth, now. 

In addition, in Europe, the destruction of so many urban communities during the war left a vacuum for housing projects, many of which failed and most of which were completely insensitive to people’s aesthetic needs post-tragedy. 

But I’m getting a little ahead of myself. One of the pinnacle struggles of midcentury was the battle to continue old norms (the International Style of 1920s Europe) and to pave new frontiers. Meanwhile, in non-western countries, this prewar architecture spread like wildfire, partially as a reaction against the 19th century traditionalism they inherited from colonialism. In countries like Finland, Brazil, and Mexico, there was considerable effort to balance new modern aesthetics with national identities and climates. 

But back to the Bauhaus babes: Gropius (and later Marcel Breuer) were both invited to teach at Harvard, effectively ending that school’s history of Beaux Arts classicism. 

Gropius’ arrival did something else for American architecture: with the exception of Richard Neutra & Co. on the west coast and Wright in the Midwest, American architecture was relatively stale innovation-wise on the East Coast, and bringing Gropius in kickstarted architectural change in that region

Gropius’ students, sick of the rather boring eclecticism of the time, flocked to hear the new European ideas, including future stars Paul Rudolph (my personal bae), IM Pei, and Philip Johnson, who would all go on to be icons of Late Modernism (and to some extents, its scapegoats.)

Enter the Saarinens

Meanwhile in the Midwest, where actual progress happened in lieu of lectures, the Finnish-born architect Eliel Saarinen and his son, Eero, effectively kickstarted the aesthetics of the mid-century. Eliel, a figure of the previous generation, shifted his attention to American design late in life, but Eero seemed to have been born into the American jet-set ideal. 

Saarinen the Younger established his reputation when he won the competition to build the 1947 Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, Missouri aka:

The 1950s were a period of (highly idealized) prosperity and optimism (despite the constant threat of nuclear winter) with a focus on scientific progress and good ol’ American ingenuity. 

It was said ingenuity that enabled new methods of construction, including the wall of glass. One of the pinnacle examples of this progress and optimism was the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Michigan begun by Saarinen the Elder and finished by Saarinen the Younger in 1948. 

It was in this building that the processes of American manufacturing, management, and industry were canonized in architectural form - the building, seemingly weightless, floats above a green, minimal lawn. 

Meanwhile, Mies

Meanwhile, Mies van der Rohe, was spending 1939-1956 building the new campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology. Mies was very fond of the craftsmanship of American steel manufacturing, and used the steel beam as a way to articulate his functional ideals with a finesse like no other. 

The glass box of the Institute’s Crown Hall was fervently egalitarian in that it was supposed to be good for anything and everything, and neutral to the concept of place and the specificity of internal function. 

(The irony of Mies’ buildings and their honesty of expression, is that the fire code of the time required that steel be surrounded by fireproofing, and therefore the steel visual on buildings such as Crown Hall, is, in fact, a decorative effect, something not lost on later theorists such as Robert Venturi.)

Mies’ seminal work of the period was the famous Farnsworth House (1945-51), where he applied the cool sleekness of his academic and industrial buildings to residential design. 

Perhaps Mies is most infamous in the long run for his tall skyscrapers, the most famous of which is the Seagram Building (New York City, 1954-8), which he designed with the help of Gropius acolyte Philip Johnson. 

The building owes its debts to Sullivan, who over half a century before, used appearance to express the ideal of its structure, an idea Mies evolved into “lying in order to tell the truth” - his steel frame hid within it wind bracing and other engineering necessities; the mullions separating the windows are applied, rather than structural necessity. 

While Mies’ aesthetic would be elevated to the epitome of American corporate style, it continued in the tradition of the Deutsches Werkbund of early modernity, which believed that industrial technique should be worn on the sleeve of architectural form. 

Unfortunately, the Miesian ideal was taken up by countless (often garbage) imitators, which reduced his finesse to mere uniformity, resulting in the endlessly replicating “glass box downtowns” of the 60s and 70s. The criticisms of later theorists that Mies left out the messiness of life within the glass structure, weren’t entirely invalid, but much of the time the ad nauseum replication of glass boxes are the faults of Mies’ imitators rather than Mies himself. 

Meanwhile, in Brazil and Finland

Brazil and Finland are perhaps the most notable of the nations to have adopted modernism after the pre-war German-French-American trichotomy, because their national architectural figures have contributed so much to the architecture of the time. 

Brazil’s strongman, Oscar Niemeyer, was born in Rio de Janeiro, and studied architecture at the Escola Nacional des Belas Artes. His architecture was heavily influenced by Le Corbusier, and featured a heavy use of reinforced concrete. Niemeyer was a believer in constructing “monuments” - architecture that stood out from its surroundings, and the concept that architecture should be infused with social idealism. 

Niemeyer’s most famous buildings were those built for the deal city of Brazil’s new capital, Brasilia. Built with Socialist ideas, such as the government owning apartments and leasing them to employees, and that the common worker and the top officials would share the same public spaces, the project, which was constructed hundreds of miles out in the middle of nowhere, aimed to bring a higher quality of life to a rural region.  

Unfortunately, his leftist politics resulted in his exile from Brazil, when Castelo Branco usurped the previous president and made Brazil a dictatorship until 1985. Oh well. 


In Finland, home of the Saarinens, the architect Alvar Aalto was quietly straight killing it at modern architecture. Unamused by the cold corporatism of the endlessly replicating glass box, Aalto and his contemporaries sought to infuse the vernacular traditions of their country, pre-industrial rusticism, and environmental consciousness with the sleekness of modernism

(This was easier to achieve in the Nordic countries, where rabid industrialization had not yet ruined natural resources such as timber.)

Aalto’s remarkable sensitivity to his clients and their anticipated behavior within his dwellings combined with his keen sense of place made his architecture successful during a time dominated by the necessity of post-war building making (in place of lasting architecture.)  

The sensitivity to the Earth, and the desire to embed his buildings fully into their environment (rather than make them objects on the lawn as was the modern tradition in Europe at the time), set Aalto apart from his contemporaries, and deeply inspired many young architects of midcentury, most notably Louis Kahn. 

But that’s not why y’all came here. Y’all came here for this:

On the Pop Side of Things: What Most People Think of When They Hear “Mid Century Modern”

While Gropius lectured, Mies built his boxes, Wright got weird with the Guggenheim, Aalto and Niemeyer led their countries as pioneers, and Corbu hid in Europe (butthurt that he was used for his input on the design of the United Nations building but never received the official commission- basically, he got catfished by the UN) the endless sprawl of the suburbs inched across the US, and the Federal Highway Act paved the way for a new way of life: sitting in the car a lot.

What most people associate with mid-century modernism are the “retro” vibes of the 50s - the Eames rocker, the fanciful signs, and the space-age hotels. What they don’t realize is that much of this beloved imagery existed outside the architectural canon, in the realm of folk or commercial architecture.

Suddenly, the world of motels, supermarkets, diners, and more sprung up seemingly overnight. The architecture of this time was designed to get people’s attention, and not much more - which is perhaps why it is so endearing. Originating from Southern California, this style was known as “Googie,” “Space Age,” and “Atomic Age” architecture, inspired by the events that transpired as part of the Space Race, and the pop culture surrounding the events of the Cold War.

Also originating in California, the ideal of the Mid-Century Modern House was canonized in the Case Study Houses (built for Arts & Architecture Magazine, made famous by the photographs of Julius Schulman), the houses of Richard Neutra, and the affordable tract home plans put together by architects such as Joseph Eichler, and Palmer & Kilmer.  

It makes sense that such architecture originated in California, a state that adopted the automobile with a fervent efficiency and built its best-known city of Los Angeles around it.

The unique decor made by companies like furniture giants Knoll and Herman Miller, fit right at home in such adventurous houses. Herman Miller hired the famous duo Charles and Ray Eames to design many lines of chairs and other furniture which have become iconic in and of themselves.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

The Eames’ designs took the functionalism of modernism and infused it with fanciful coziness which became instantly appealing. The Eames’ chairs dared onlookers to sit in them, and were designed to excel at their purpose: to be sat in. These attributes, along with the slick futuristic design, have made Eames-design furniture timeless and highly desirable, even today.

While the Eameses were the most famous of the mid-century designers, the work of architects such as Eero Saarinen, and designers like George Nelson and Isamu Noguchi, should not be left out as well:

The fanciful nature of Mid-Century Modern design has seen a resurge in recent years, as younger generations delight in its charming simplicity and thoughtful execution for the first time.

Mid-century was the period during which American corporate zeitgeist, pop culture, and technological innovation reached its peak in the public eye. However, a new generation of architects were coming of age, whose sculptural monumentality would send a wave of dissent through the world of modernism, thrusting it into the period known as Late Modernism. 

Which is what we’ll get to next week! 

I hope you enjoyed this week’s post on Mid-Century Modernism! I’m sorry I couldn’t post an ugly house this Thursday, as it was Thanksgiving and drama was high. Trust me, the upcoming Michigan Monstrosity is well worth the wait. 

As a side note, for all of you who submitted a logo proposal to me, I am going through the entries (all 200 of them) and will select a winner soon, so stay tuned!

Like this post? Want to see more like it, and get behind-the-scenes access to all things McMansionHell? Consider supporting me on Patreon! 

The Prize, Ch. 8

Summary: AU Tom, set in early 19th c. London.  Madeleine and Tom have known each other since they were teenagers (her brother is married to his sister). Can they overcome their fears and choose each other?  

Genre: Romance/Angst/Drama (Written as an experiment in the heaving bosom/bodice ripper vein)

Rating: T (non-explicit sexuality/mild violence in later chapters)

Author’s Notes: Friendly reminder that I am not a “W”riter, I always feel like I can’t describe what I see, and your imagination needs to be on High right now.  Only half beta’d, all mistakes are mine. I promised I would post it before I went to bed and I’m exhausted, should probably go back and edit when I have fresh eyes.  

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7

“Tom!” she exclaimed upon seeing him enter the library, “Come see what Fred- uh, Mr.Kingston has brought me!”

His Christian name.  

She had just caught herself using his Christian name.

And she was cradling an armful of new books.

That were from him.

Tom wanted to march over to her and tear them from her hands, throw them into the fire, wipe every trace of memory about that man from her mind.

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A little tenderness

Based on “Imagine Thorin helping you untie your braids” from ImaginexHobbit.

Mood song: “Kiss Me,” Ed Sheeran

Dedicated to the lovely @spookynightfury xo


The somber silence that falls over the little house, so strange after the tumultuous events of the day, reflects the weariness and the ill fortune of the company, and you sink into a chair beside the woodstove to wait for nightfall.

Bard, your unwilling host, stands with his son at a window, watching the sun crawl toward its setting and listening with a keen ear for any sign of the Master’s spies or – worse still – the city guard. His daughters have retreated to a corner where the younger girl observes the dwarves with avid curiosity in her wide eyes and her elder sister attempts to distract her with needlework.

The dwarves themselves have settled in as comfortably as they can given the cramped space, finding seats on every available chair, bench, and step, and now only the occasional low murmur of talk passes between them while they, too, watch and wait.

Only Thorin still stands, his arms crossed and his brow heavy, his body radiating the restless energy of a caged animal. When his eyes chance to meet yours, the anger and frustration simmering in their depths seem to bore into you, and feeling yourself an intruder upon his thoughts, you quickly look away…too quickly to see his expression turn regretful.

You little know how often his thoughts turn to you in quiet moments or the part you play in his dreams of a successful quest, of peaceful times when he might show you the softness he can now little afford, and he can only wish back the careless glare while he watches you staring pensively out of the mullioned window and fidgeting with your hair.

The leather thongs that secure your braids are still damp from the river and hopelessly tangled by your hurried habit of tying new knots on top of the old ones, only becoming tighter as you work at them in growing frustration. Unexpectedly, a hand rests lightly on your shoulder, and the lush baritone that always sparks pleasant flutters in your stomach is close behind you.

“Allow me?”

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thebaconsandwichofregret  asked:

prompts: either Penny and Tennis or Scott and Drive In Movie

part one of ?

informal sequel to An Elegant Escapade

title pending

Creighton-Ward Manor has guestrooms to spare, even when there are seven guests in total. It’s probably just a coincidence that John’s happens to face the tennis court; that the high, white-mullioned window seems as though it’s aligned perfectly with the center line, neat and bright and pointed straight at him.

The tennis court did not exist a week ago.

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Customer and Training Center Hartford, Connecticut. Architect: Barkow Leibinger Cable stayed steel mullion #curtainwall 📷: @the_donnies

The Prize, Ch.7

Summary: AU Tom, set in early 19th c. London.  Madeleine and Tom have known each other since they were teenagers (her brother is married to his sister). Can they overcome their fears and choose each other?  

Genre: Romance/Angst/Drama (Written as an experiment in the heaving bosom/bodice ripper vein)

Rating: T (non-explicit sexuality/mild violence in later chapters)

Author’s Notes: Thank you to @i-wanna-be-toms-body-pillow for her continued enthusiasm and assistance. I’m still surprised that people are interested in this story.  Thank you for the kind words.  I really enjoyed writing this chapter, the beginning kind of had me hot and bothered. ;)

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6

The library was always the first place she went.  It was her domain, her refuge, her kingdom.  After time away, her heart would beat a little faster in anticipation as she made her way down the hall.  Stepping over the threshold was to be transported.  No matter the frustration of things great and small, no matter the pain of life and loss, she always found respite here.  She walked through the room, sighing contentedly, her hands caressing the spines of her treasures, shelf by shelf, feeling the binding against her palms, the smooth edges of the lettering.  Deep breaths filled her lungs, the scent of dust and memories and dried lavender relaxing her.  A few favorites, for she had many, were picked up with reverence and pressed to her chest, embraced as a beloved.  Among them were gifts from her parents and she traced her fingertips over the words they had left on the inside cover.  

“I missed you,” she told them.  And she heard them all respond in whispers, each page rustling softly in her ears, the cooing intimate words of a lover meant only for her.  

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Deconstructing the PR Cycle

I got some comments on my Google hits post about how the 7 million (or 3.2 mullioned spending where you are) items meant that people were interested in Meghan.

It doesn’t mean that. The number is just counting posts about Meghan (including tweets by UFO Paranormal accounts and Footwearnews posts). it doesn’t say anything about how popular she is.

To get a sense of her popularity, we need to look at Google Trends (or IMbd’s StarMeter, which I don’t have access to right now).

Here’s her Google trend line since October 1st:

That big peak is late October/early November. It’s HUGE but you can see that she’s been kind of flatlining since. Interest in her has gone down a lot, although you can kind of discern a couple of “bumps” here and there.

I got curious and decided to figure out what caused the “bumps.” That was actually harder than I expected. The “increased interest” incidents were not what I thought they were.

For starters, that big bump isn’t, as I thought, when the relationship was outed. The big peak is actually the statement. That was what caused a big splash.

And the other peaks are either “dates” or pics with Harry (which I expected) or reports that she’s “met” members of the royal family. I did NOT expect the latter as we in the fandom have mostly dismissed these stories as totally fake. 

I was particularly struck by that “met Charles” peak in late October. I barely remember that article, but apparently it got a lot of attention when the relationship was outed.

So none of the “increased interest” bumps have to do with Meghan (not even the nudes!). They all have to do with either Harry or the rest of his family.

The other thing I noticed is that these “increased interest” bumps are rather, er, evenly spaced. We get two per month – one early in the month and the other in the middle – and the Harry one always precedes the family one. 

That’s when I got kind of suspicious.

The big November peak makes the graph hard to read, so I decided to zoom in and check out the trend line since December 1st. Here’s the graph, with the Harry dates and family meets (even the ones that didn’t move the needle much, like poor George’s) labeled.

That’s a pattern right there.

I decided to check if Meg’s others “signature” articles were also on a pattern. Here’s the above graph with Meg’s pap walks inserted.

Yep, the pap walks come out in cycles too.

So that’s the pattern. She bumps up interest at the beginning of the cycle with a Harry date or pic, then she has a pap walk and a family meet rumor to keep the interest high. Then there’s another pap walk at the end of the month, which is also when we get the beauty/lifestyle articles and the “friends” articles. Then the cycle starts again with another Harry date or pic.

Sometimes the cycle breaks, as it did on the third week of March, when Megs missed her second monthly pap walk. Why, you ask? The Westminster attack happened on March 22nd. Skipping the pap walk was smart.

Overall, however, this is a very disciplined gang (except for Lainey who goes rogue once in a while) and they keep to their schedule come hell or high water. Remember that January 12 pap walk that got backdated to December and we all thought that was a mistake because Megs had to “be in London” for her Kate meet? It wasn’t. The pap walk was required by the schedule.

The pap walks are not the only things that are on cycle though. Here are the “date” articles (two per month, one at the beginning and one in the middle, like clockwork) and the essays. Note that the essay dates jump around. That’s because many (MLK, IWD, V-day) are linked to holidays. She always puts out one “big” one per month, however, pubs have their own schedule so sometimes she gets a smaller one at the end of the month (Game Changers in December and “freckles” in March)

The weirdest part of this is that even stuff that I assumed was bad luck (like the Toronto detour) or the tabs making mischief (old V-day article appearing on the press) or independently making stupid crap up (Norway, ”love cave” and “dino date”) is actually part of her pr cycle. She’s feeding ALL of this stuff to the tabs. ALL OF IT.

NONE of this is organic. It’s all a well-run pr machine.

Remember how we all think she’s being quiet on IG and not posting anymore? And everyone thinks that’s because KP told her to keep the social posts down?

Well, we’re all wrong.

Guess what? She puts out at least one IG post (on either her personal IG or the Tig) that gets pushed out to the press per cycle. Like the essays, the dates vary because they’re often linked to holidays, but there’s always at least one.

And those engagement rumors all from “friends” and “sources”? One per cycle, always at the end/start of the cycle to “hook” the audience into paying attention to the next cycle. 

These two may very well be having the romance of the century behind the scenes, but nothing we’ve seen is “real.” It’s all a pr construct. Relationships don’t fall into place like this. You don’t schedule your dates for the beginning of the month and meet a family member every month (on the second week of the month). You don’t suddenly decide to get engaged at the end of every month.

And, mind you, most of these articles allege that the date (or family meet) occurs either the previous day or a few days ago. They (except for the supposed Charles meet in October) don’t pretend to tell you about something that happened several weeks or months ago. They are all supposedly contemporaneous. 

“Supposedly” being the key word here.

You can spot the pattern with all of her stuff, the humanitarian articles (once a month), the “friends” articles (once a month), the “good with kids” articles (once a month), the merchandise pimping (one high-end time and one low-end item and she wears each item twice per cycle and then once on the previous/next cycle). Some articles are “perennials” and get pushed out every month (”style sisters” with Kate, IG pics of Cory’s apartment, food/travel expert). 

Same crap, different month.

So if you’re wondering why people talk about the pics being old or the stories being fake this is why. The whole thing is fake. ALL OF IT.

I didn’t add November because that statement spike makes the Google trend all wonky, but the same cycle appears in November. She’s been doing this since the very beginning.

This is why people are so bored and sick of her. The royal fandom is like Groundhog Day now. Everything gets recycled and repeated every single freaking month and none of it feels or sounds real.

And that’s one of the (many!) problems I have with Meghan. The whole point of the royals is that they’re not supposed to be a reality show with fake storylines and made up “characters” and events. They’re supposed to be real people with real duties that they carry out.

If I wanted fake meetings with the heir to the throne and made up dates with the spare, I’d watch the royals on E!

There’s lots of big design credit in the little details. Paint window mullions to match the shade of painted kitchen cabinets. It’s a small way to add extra personalization to a kitchen.

Cabinet paint color: Ralph Lauren Rue Royale

tifipants  asked:

7k prompt: merintosh smut *coughcough i didn't just refresh ur blog watCOUGH*


It’s starting its sixth hour of rain as Merida, shivering under her arisaid, stares at the thick forest that crowds the southern border, fading away endlessly in the fog. She’s been out here for the last three days after the spies reported there might be some bloody Camelot sneaks in the woods, and that bloody bastard Arthur isna setting a toe, a single toe here, so long as she is queen. If he thinks he’s sneaking in, even in his current difficulties, so long as –

She’s so absorbed in her thoughts that the sound of hoofbeats behind her startles her, makes her turn and almost fall out of the saddle, as another figure comes galloping out of the trees. He barely reins up before he’s jumping down, striding toward her, and grabbing her by the ankle. “Merida! What the blazes are ye doin’ out here? You’ll give yourself the death of cold!”

“Gods!” She kicks at him, startled. “What in the devil are ye doin’?”

“Lookin’ for you, ye fool!” Macintosh glares at her. “D’ye think we dinna ken how you’re sneakin’ off here every day? Ye canna go alone! What if ye were captured by that bastard and none o’ your men had a chance to raise a hand in your defense? What sort o’ clansmen would we be, if we failed to defend our chief? Our queen?”

Merida has been opening her mouth to upbraid him for thinking less of her ability to protect herself, when she abruptly snaps it shut. She is shivering, so hard her teeth bang, and he gives her a dour look, utterly failing either to ask permission or to apologize for calling her a fool, as he grabs her by the waist and pulls her down from Angus’ back, shrugging his plaid out of his belt and wrapping it around her shoulders. His paint is washing off in the downpour, and his kilt is plastered to the lean lines of his thighs (not that she’s looking at that, or anything else). “You’re blue,” he says disapprovingly. “If ye turned into an icicle and fell right off, ye wouldna even notice.”

Merida racks her brain for something smart to say, but she is instead momentarily at a loss for words. Any man who can run around the damn Highlands without a shirt in all four seasons of the year has of necessity an almost supernatural resistance to cold, and she snuggles against his chest without meaning to. Gods, he annoys her, but he’s also come all this way out to find her – it’s not a short ride from Dunbroch – and she finds herself oddly at a loss for words. She lets herself rest her head in the crook of his shoulder, breathing in the scent of leather and horses and whatever silly oil he puts in his hair. It’s…. it’s good. Steadying. Real.

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The Magister

An excerpt from the Magister:

Character: Callitus

He reflected upon the pivotal moments in his life. The catalysts and consequences that brought him to every event, each more crucial than the last as his youth fell away. His years had been spent for him by another, and the time not given to hard labor found him pitted in combat. He, however, was adaptive. His hardship had become routine with time, which was why the situation at hand made him all the more uneasy. In all his years thrown into cage fights the opulent room he found himself in was the first place to make him feel trapped, and the feverish eyes of the magister upon him made him feel as though a predator shared his trap.

He could just see her, eyes still adjusting to the darkness of the room. The windows were covered with thick muslin, daylight just visible around the edges. The only other source of light was the mullioned lanterns set about the room. The magister, however, stood just outside of the light cast by the fire. She was gripping at a velvet drape in the corner of the room, smiling in childlike anticipation.

In the short time he had known her he determined that she had two sides, like a coin. She was normally cold, self possessed, and unrepentantly malicious. There were increasingly frequent times, however, when all pretense was dropped and she not only expressed fervent emotion but seemed unaware that the expression was inappropriate or abnormal. He preferred the maliciousness. She began to tug at the fabric, sweeping it away from the grand mirror it had covered. He looked at himself.

“Well?” He could hear the anticipation in her voice. “How does my arm fit?”

He couldn’t help but narrowed his eyes. “Surely it is more my arm than yours at this point.”

“Ah, but my dear, so much of me went into the craft! Not only my magic, but the sweat of my brow and blood of my veins,” she simpered, “and I mean that last part quite literally.”

He opted for silence, taking the time to examine the new arm in question. What had been a stump ending just past his shoulder was now a matrix for his forged metal limb. Binding the organic to the inorganic were thick black veins running the length of the arm, and hooking into the corded muscles of his neck. That’s where they seemed to disappear, though if he focused his one good eye upon his face in the dim light he fancied he saw a slight discoloration along his jaw, as though the dark veins continued just beneath the skin, forming like a bruise. He reached his other, more familiar arm over to run the remaining fingers over the metal, testing for sensation. The fingers, much like his old arm and right eye, had been lost in his battles. His body bore the evidence of combat. ‘A shame,’ he thought absently. He used to think he wasn’t half bad to look at. Sure, his nose was bent out of shape and his jaw sloped off to the right a little now, not to mention the time spent in the salt mines had weathered his skin down to yellow paper. He still had all his teeth, though. Nice ones too. And a full head of dark hair, horns just barely visible above the mane. He was no longer of the same nature of his parents, Qunari or human. Pity.

“Well?” She hissed again, and he saw her nails grip the velvet, working holes into the thick fabric and he quickly decided not to keep her waiting.

“Good as new,” he grunted, flexing his new arm, “Maybe even better.”

Her serpentine-eyes narrowed for a second, but if his underwhelming response angered her she let it go. Gathering up her robes, she began to close the distance between them, becoming impassive once more. The proximity made him realize she was much more imposing than he first thought. As she drew herself up he was shocked to see her eyes were at the level of his. He felt an unfamiliar urge to withdraw under those unsettling eyes, made unnaturally bright by sickness.

“You know, my little project, that in all the excitement of invention, I forgot to ask your name.”

“You know, I really don’t remember.” He answered honestly. “Kind of life I’ve had, it’s not all as important as you’d think.”

@becausedragonage I’m not sure if youre interested but I’m working on a few DA pieces outside of the games storylines. I’ll tag you just encase :)

Blind Date - Chris Evans x Reader

Hi :). Could you write either a senior or Chris story where they somehow meet the reader but she’s very hesitant in wanting to get close to them because of fear of being hurt and rejected like her past relationships? Thank you :)

You hated the colour black, you didn’t even consider it as a colour but Scarlett told you that it’s the colour you look best in. You thought it was a little bit fitting that you were wearing a colour you hated considering you were doing something you hated, going on a blind date.

It was Scarlett Johansson, your closest friend, who had organised it. She’d picked where you’d go to meet, she even picked who you were going on a date with. He was going to be the one with the blue tie apparently. Just because you were going didn’t mean you were going willingly, she had practically forced you, giving you this big spiel about how your future will end up if you continue spending your life alone and pushing away everyone who took interest in you.

And at the time it had been quite inspirational, but as you looked into the mirror you felt yourself realising that you didn’t want to be a part of anything just yet. You’ve been rejected and hurt so many times in past relationship, and you just weren’t ready to go through all that again.

You tried calling Scarlett five times and she didn’t answer, which meant the guy will just be there. Waiting for you. Guilt sat in the bottom of your belly as you paced the living room of your apartment, tapping the phone repeatedly just so you’d have something to do with your hands. It was a hard decision for you to make, but you couldn’t exactly just leave this guy to be rejected so harshly when the reason you’re running away is because you don’t want to be rejected, you may be a coward but you’re not cruel.

With a grievous sigh you left the house, not feeling brave at all. There was no head held up high, no confident walking. You were insecure, and afraid.

The restaurant was the kind of place where you’d have to book two months in advance, unless you were a celebrity like Scar of course. There were large mullioned windows with long embroidered curtains. The ten tables in the room were a dark walnut colour and a singular red rose was placed in a vase on each table. In the background there was delicate live piano music playing, bouncing off the cream walls and adding a relaxing undertone beneath all the chatter. There was a bar at the back which many people sat at, probably waiting for their table, that was where you were suppose to meet your date.

In and out, that’s what you told yourself. This would be a quick job, all you had to do was found the man with the blue tie, tell him you’re sorry but you’re not staying and then leave. That’s it, three very simple things.

He was very easy to spot, surprisingly. It was more to do with the fact that no one else was wearing a blue tie, you walked up to him slowly. You’d started counting to ten in your head as a method to calm down your racing heart, he also looked very nervous though. He was tapping his fingers against his drink and turning his head repeatedly. When his eyes finally landed on you though, he seemed to grin. The man was up faster than you thought humanly possible, “you must be Y/N, right?”

“Scarlett told you my name?” You were surprised because she’d given you no details whatsoever about him, you tried to explain this to him. “I’m sorry I don’t know your name, she only told me to look out for a blue tie.” You were trying to speak as calmly as possible, not wanting to end up displaying just how awkward you could get.

“Chris, hi.” He shook your offered hand, and you took a moment to take him in. He was beautiful, you don’t know whether that’s an insult or not but you certainly don’t intend it to be insulting. He is beautiful, he has beautiful blue eyes and a beautiful beard and beautiful hair, beautiful biceps and a beautiful suit. “Can I get you a drink?” His question took you from your trance and reminded you why you were there.

Resignedly, you shook your head. “I’m not staying,” as soon as the words passed your lips he had a frown on his face, it was a beautiful frown. “I’m sorry, but I didn’t want you to just be sat here waiting for me. I did try calling Scarlett so she could tell you before you arrived, but I think she was hoping if she didn’t answer than I wouldn’t back out of this blind date.”

“Ah,” he made a noise of understanding and he nodded his head. “Well, uh, can I ask why? Not to seem big headed or anything,” he waved his arm dramatically.

You’d begun to swing from side to side, feeling a tad shy in his presence but you weren’t as uncomfortable as you thought you’d be. “I just… you want the truth or a lie that’ll make you feel better?”

He swung his head from side to side, deciding between the two choices, “I think I’ll go for brutal honesty.”

With a nod of your head you moved to sit down on one of the bar stools, signalling to the one in front of you for him to sit at. He complied. “So once upon a time, in a land far far away, also known as New York where I grew up. I dated this guy who cheated on me. And then I dated another guy, who dumped me through text. And then I dated another guy who had sex with me multiple times and then rejected me. And then I had this really long relationship, and it turned out that he didn’t want me, he just needed a bank account. And I’m not ready to go on any more dates, I don’t want to get rejected or anything like that. Hurts too much, you know?”

“Wow, I’m sorry.” He didn’t really know what to say and you really didn’t really expect him to say anything, it was hard for anyone to comfort you over something that’s happened in the past. Chris suddenly clapped his hands together, “right this isn’t a date then. Let’s just have a few drinks, compare war stories. I’m sure you’d be very interested to hear how I dumped someone using an orange.” He’d moved his head down a little so that he was able to connect his eyes for you, and his smile infected you and caused you to smile. That was all the confirmation he needed, he ordered you a drink and you started talking.

After a large amount of conversation, ranging from oranges to tutu’s, both you and Chris were hunched over each other laughing boisterously. He wiped away his tears as you did the same, though it blurred your vision slightly you still managed to notice how he’d looked you up and down, “I love the black dress by the way.”

You looked down at it and grimaced, “I don’t, I hate this colour.”

“Me too!” He yelled, raising his arms over his head and you gasped along with him. You weren’t sure how many drinks you’d had but the two of you were certainly feeling very buzzed by this point.

As you finished laughing again, you looked out over to the restaurant area and noticed a plate of pizza passing through the tables. It made your stomach growl, and so there was really only one thing you could do to remedy it. “Do you want to go on that date actually, I’m starved.” His eyebrows raised to an impossible height on his forehead and it made your shyness from before return, “i-if you’ll have me?”

All of a sudden Chris stood up from his seat, falling to his knees and throwing out his open palm towards you. “My lady, I would be honoured.” By now people were staring so you quickly grabbed a hold of his hand and pulled him from his position on the floor, giggling as you did so.


Throwback Thursday: Gunner’s Mate School

Located at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center in suburban Chicago, the Gunner’s Mate School was the world’s largest steel mullion and glass curtain wall building when completed in 1954. Spanned by overhead trusses, the building’s column-free interior was vast enough to accommodate full-scale mockups of Navy gun decks, where cadets could simulate conditions at sea. This early work by Bruce Graham and William Priestley was among the earliest realizations of the concept of universal space: the principle that well-designed, open-span spaces can adapt to a multitude of functions over time. The structural clarity achieved with the Gunner’s Mate School would inform many later SOM projects, from the John Hancock Center to Willis Tower.


Color of the Week: Behr Premium Plus Ultra Saffron Strands

Yellow is often associated with happiness and energy and is a great color to bring into the home. Be daring, covering all of the walls, or use it as an accent, painting interior doors or mullions. It’s also great to bring in through decorative accessories and textiles like rugs and drapery.

Image sources: Vignette, Entry, Kitchen, Bathroom, Living Room, Bedroom


Connecticut Residence

At the outset, the intention was to enhance and develop the interior/exterior relationships. The 10’ high steel and glass curtain wall creates the envelope of the structure without imposing spatial boundaries. The window mullions become delicate picture frames outlining nature beyond.  In this house, nature too is a work of art complementing the remaining collection.

The glass wall along the northeast elevation provides a stunning view into the treetops creating the sensation of being suspended between the 70’ tall trees. 

Want more Architecture? Follow @prettyarchitecture

Architect: Elliott + Associates Architects  

  1. you absolve my hands of vandalism through narrative. (you told the story in fragmented whispers made husky by nicotine, “this cathedral’s mullioned panes used to hold gabriel’s face - angled, glorious, conqueror - (there have been firebrands less divine),” as i listened in rapture). 
  2. all my memories of your church are: ghostly hymns, the reverend’s rebuke, your hand confessing your name on my thigh (“forgive me, sweetheart, for you are damned”). whatever devices for prayer i have, i clutch them tighter at night. 
  3. the oppressive architecture of the distance between us is measured by the height of your consecration.
  4. everyone shows up on sundays in dresses starched, and long-sleeves ironed. they all stare at the dirt under my nails and the wildness in my eyes. (this is what they do not know: i’ve travelled across land and sea in pursuit of a hedonistic god, drinking his wine, relishing in his violence, the viscera of my heart).
  5. i show up on sundays for you. 
  6. in your mythology, gabriel announces salvation. in mine, you announce the destruction of the forest i’ve followed my god into. both stories end the same. 
  7. you absolve my hands of your blood from where i pierced your wrists with my propensity for wildness (“forgive her, father, for she has sinned”). you are the cross i burn, you are the prettiest sin i’ve committed. 
—  the ecclesial deconstruction of the hymns a pagan sings in church || bsc