palace on the isle

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Russian emperor’s multimillion pound Faberge egg depicts a cottage in Yorkshire

The last Russian emperor commissioned the elaborately-designed gift for wife Alexandra after she visited Harrogate in 1894.

A Yorkshire cottage was depicted in a Faberge egg worth millions, a letter sent by the legendary jeweller proves. Last Russian emperor Nicholas II commissioned the elaborately-designed gift for wife Alexandra. She had visited the spa town of Harrogate in 1894 to treat her sciatica and stayed at Cathcart House under an assumed name.

During her stay the property owner, a Mrs Allen, gave birth to twins. Alexandra - the granddaughter of Queen Victoria - took this as a good omen for her forthcoming marriage to Nicholas II and asked if she could be godmother to the twins and that they be named Alix and Nicholas.The couple sent the children expensive gifts for their birthdays for the next 21 years.

One such gift was a jewelled cutlery set made by Russian silversmiths the Grachev Brothers. The boxed set was passed down through the Allen family and was recently put up for auction.  Along with it was an incredible scrapbook kept by the Allens that documented all the correspondence they had with the Emperor of Russia and his wife during their friendship. It reads: “His Majesty has charged me to make a rich album containing views where Her Majesty lived in her youth. Would you be kind enough to send me a photo of your house in which the Princess lived in 1894?”.

The four-storey Victorian property joined places such as the Alexander Palace and the Winter Palace in St Petersburg, Windsor Castle, Balmoral Castle and Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.

The egg was one of 52 Imperial decorative eggs made by Carl Faberge and is currently owned by a museum in the US.The cutlery, scrapbook and signed photo of the Czar and Czarina - who were executed following the Russian Revolution of 1917 - sold at auction for £24,000. [x]

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ya lit meme: [1/6] locations ≡ red london

Flowers and hearth fire, spiced wine and underneath, the scent of home.A place of strength and beauty, laughter and music and the steady hum of magic. Power in balance, and balance in power. The palace arcs over the glittering Isle, the river like a ribbon of red light beneath. The regal House of Maresh sits on the throne. And a magician stands behind it.

josshood  asked:

Thanks for the great blog - always a pleasure to read. Was Euron always planning to go to Oldtown? The facts underlying the Eldritch Apocalypse theory (which I love!) would seem to suggest he's had his eye on it for a while, but as recently as taking the Shield Islands, it seemed like his original plan was to sail to Essos. Did the plan significantly change after pushback from the ironborn, or did he simply reshuffle his agenda items and go to Oldtown earlier than he had initially planned?

(TWOW spoilers)

Euron’s initial plan was indeed to approach Dany personally. Perhaps his comment on how the Ironborn’s preference of grapes over dragons altered that plan is meant, like Littlefinger’s aside on how Cersei’s failures have forced him to sacrifice his “four or five quiet years to plant some seeds and allow some fruits to ripen,” as a direct comment from GRRM on how abandoning the five year gap changed the story. Euron might’ve been supposed to return to Essos himself for Dany at some point in the writing process, but the trajectory we’ve got given Sam V AFFC, the visions of Euron that pop up in ADWD, and of course “The Forsaken” works perfectly well on its own. 

Once his followers resisted and he decided to dispatch Victarion and the Iron Fleet to Slaver’s Bay instead, Euron found himself in a position not unlike Aegon’s on the opposite coast: in need of a conquest he could brandish before his men and use as a base of operations while awaiting the silver queen and her dragons. The Griffs went with Storm’s End; at the end of AFFC, it’s revealed that the Crow’s Eye chose Oldtown.

The most perilous part of the voyage was the last. The Redwyne Straits were swarming with longships, as they had been warned in Tyrosh. With the main strength of the Arbor’s fleet on the far side of Westeros, the ironmen had sacked Ryamsport and taken Vinetown and Starfish Harbor for their own, using them as bases to prey on shipping bound for Oldtown.

“Battle here,” said Xhondo. “Not so long.”

“Who would be so mad as to raid this close to Oldtown?”

Xhondo pointed at a half-sunken longship in the shallows. The remnants of a banner drooped from her stern, smoke-stained and ragged. The charge was one Sam had never seen before: a red eye with a black pupil, beneath a black iron crown supported by two crows.

“It grieves me that honest men must suffer such discourtesy, but sooner that than ironmen in Oldtown. Only a fortnight ago some of those bloody bastards captured a Tyroshi merchantman in the straits. They killed her crew, donned their clothes, and used the dyes they found to color their whiskers half a hundred colors. Once inside the walls they meant to set the port ablaze and open a gate from within whilst we fought the fire.Might have worked, but they ran afoul of the Lady of the Tower, and her oarsmaster has a Tyroshi wife. When he saw all the green and purple beards he hailed them in the tongue of Tyrosh, and notone of them had the words to hail him back.”

Sam was aghast. “They cannot mean to raid Oldtown.”

The captain of the Huntress gave him a curious look. “These are no mere reavers. The ironmen have always raided where they could. They would strike sudden from the sea, carry off some gold and girls, and sail away, but there were seldom more than one or two longships, and never more than half a dozen. Hundreds of their ships afflict us now, sailing out of the Shield Islands and some of the rocks around the Arbor. They have taken Stonecrab Cay, the Isle of Pigs, and the Mermaid’s Palace, and there are other nests on Horseshoe Rock and Bastard’s Cradle. Without Lord Redwyne’s fleet, we lack the ships to come to grips with them.”

“What is Lord Hightower doing?” Sam blurted. “My father always said he was as wealthy as the Lannisters, and could command thrice as many swords as any of Highgarden’s other bannermen.”

“More, if he sweeps the cobblestones,” the captain said, “but swords are no good against the ironmen, unless the men who wield them know how to walk on water.” 

“The Hightower must be doing something.”

“To be sure. Lord Leyton’s locked atop his tower with the Mad Maid, consulting books of spells. Might be he’ll raise an army from the deeps. Or not. Baelor’s building galleys, Gunthor has charge of the harbor, Garth is training new recruits, and Humfrey’s gone to Lys to hire sellsails. If he can winkle a proper fleet out of his whore of a sister, we can start paying back the ironmen with some of their own coin. Till then, the best we can do is guard the sound and wait for the bitch queen in King’s Landing to let Lord Paxter off his leash.”

The bitterness of the captain’s final words shocked Sam as much as the things he said. If King’s Landing loses Oldtown and the Arbor, the whole realm will fall to pieces, he thought as he watched the Huntress and her sisters moving off.

Euron and Aegon are parallels in many respects: the most significant new characters introduced in AFFC and ADWD respectively, they’re unexpected claimants who shake up the war by hijacking the story elements of the more well-established characters, particularly Dany. Of course, Euron’s motives are rather different from Aegon’s. The former has no interest in sustainable rule, so the Whispering Sound is less a rallying point for coalition-building like Storm’s End than a staging ground for his “sea of blood.” Moqorro, Melisandre, and Damphair have all seen visions of that unholy tide (Mel’s pointing at the Oldtown area specifically), and indeed it seems from “The Forsaken” that the Redwyne fleet is being set up as the climax to the mass blood sacrifices committed by Euron’s men. Basically, in the wake of his men and perhaps the author’s rewrites changing his plan, Euron’s now out to power up before his dragon arrives. 

And Oldtown, my favorite setting in the world of ice and fire, makes perfect sense as the ground zero for Euron’s apocalypse. Just as his eyepatch covers up the Crow’s Eye, his Pirate King performance shielding his C’thuloid soul, Oldtown’s public face as a prosperous port city home to thriving institutions only just barely covers up what this place really is. It’s a “hinge of the world,” an eldritch city, the closest thing to a Westerosi Asshai; all the lofty monuments to the “overproud,” from the Faith to the Citadel to the Hightowers, are undercut and undergirded by tentacled roots as big as trees. Oldtown is The Death of Dragons and the Faceless Man trying to steal it. Leyton and Malora get it, but they’re thought mad, and have cut themselves off from the city’s defenses at this point. Marwyn the Mage gets it…

“The grey sheep have closed their eyes, but the mastiff sees the truth. Old powers waken. Shadows stir. An age of wonder and terror will soon be upon us, an age for gods and heroes.”

The Mage was not like other maesters. People said that he kept company with whores and hedge wizards, talked with hairy Ibbenese and pitch-black Summer Islanders in their own tongues, and sacrificed to queer gods at the little sailors’ temples down by the wharves. Men spoke of seeing him down in the undercity, in rat pits and black brothels, consorting with mummers, singers, sellswords, even beggars.

“Who do you think killed all the dragons the last time around? Gallant dragonslayers armed with swords?” He spat. “The world the Citadel is building has no place in it for sorcery or prophecy or glass candles, much less for dragons.”

…but he skipped town. (And is also widely thought mad.) Alongside dragons and krakens, Damphair saw a sphinx bowing to Big Brother, and such is the face the Citadel shows to the world:

The gates of the Citadel were flanked by a pair of towering green sphinxes with the bodies of lions, the wings of eagles, and the tails of serpents.

So not only is Oldtown the absolute perfect kindling for Euron’s particular fire, but he’s also the payoff for the setup regarding the Citadel. The grey sheep are certain they’ve built a world without magic, but they’re wrong and the Mage and the Mad Maid are right, because the Crow’s Eye is coming. Oldtown is where he finally tears off the mask and jumps:

“Perhaps we can fly. All of us. How will we ever know unless we leap from some tall tower?” The wind came gusting through the window and stirred his sable cloak. There was something obscene and disturbing about his nakedness. “No man ever truly knows what he can do unless he dares to leap.”

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schwab week // day six (favorite setting)➝  A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC

Flowers and hearth fire, spiced wine and underneath, the scent of home.

A place of strength and beauty, laughter and music and the steady hum of magic. Power in balance, and balance in power. The palace arcs over the glittering Isle, the river like a ribbon of red light beneath. The regal House of Maresh sits on the throne. And a magician stands behind it.

Nerdy Ambient Music Masterpost

I am an absolute nerd, there’s no doubt about that. Also, I like listening to ambient music while I study, it’s perfect to get in the mood without all the distracting lyrics. So here’s a masterpost of nerdy, ambient (and sometimes ASMR) music, perfect for studying!


Harry Potter:

Slytherin Common Room
Gryffindor Common Room
Ravenclaw Common Room
Hufflepuff Common Room
Hogwarts Express
Hogwarts Library
The Burrow - Weasley Home
Diagon Alley
Hagrid’s Hut
Snape’s Potions Class
Malfoy Manor


Lord of the Rings:

Rivendell
Hobbit Home
Green Dragon Inn
Erebor - The Lonely Mountain


Star Wars:

Tatooine
Coruscant
    Upper City Promenade 
    Upper City Rainstorm
    Senate Plaza
    Spaceport
Dagobah - Yoda’s Home
Kashyyyk 
Mustafar
Hoth
Endor
Outer-Rim Cantina


Elder Scrolls:

Nerevar Rising - Morrowind (1 hr)
Reign of Septims - Oblivion (1 hr)
Dragonborn - Skyrim (1 hr)
Riverwood - Skyrim
Skyrim Tavern
Telvanni Isles - Morrowind
New Sheoth Palace - Oblivion


Game of Thrones:

King’s Landing
Fall of Winterfell
Castle Black
Hall of Faces
Meereen


Other:

221B Baker Street - Sherlock
Tardis - Doctor Who
Clock Tower Gears - Thief
Paleto Bay - GTA V
Graygarden Ruins - Fallout 4
Apothecary
Spaceship
Radiation Storm
Wooden Ship on the Sea

                                      Jayce Brighthammer
                                      (The Paladin of Light)

Long ago, before Piltover was the city it’s now and Valoran was just emerged from darkness and a sea of monsters and disgrace, Valorians started building their colonies on the eastern side of the island, completely opposite to the Shadow Isles, to avoid their menacing influence and their darkness.

The newborn world was growing fast and vast thanks to the help of the One Light, possibly the First Crystal ever discovered, an extremely ancient power source that would grant magic powers to all those who lived close by and help all those in need.

To protect this light from the Darkness, the Valorians created an Order of warriors and mages, whose name is now lost in time. They would train together and work together to oversee the new colonies and protect the One Light in its palace. 

Pious, courageous and kind, Jayce Brighthammer became general of the Order at a very young age, devoted to his duty and nothing more. He was strong, smart and reliable and he was the only one allowed to enter the chamber of the One Light, from which he received an immense power that made him able to transform his weapon - the legendary Golden Hammer - into something even more powerful, giving him godlike powers in battle.

Unfortunately, all gods are doomed to fall.
After an attack from the forces of Darkness to one of the outer villages, right when Jayce was at the pinnacle of his greatness, amongst the ruins, he rescued a young man.

His name was Karthus and nothing more.

Moved by his loss, his family killed, their souls kidnapped by the Reaper, with nothing in his hands but his rags and bones, Jayce let Karthus slip in his heart, nestling there with a tenderness and a regard he never gave to anyone else.
He would always grant for him, taking him to the Bright City and let him enroll in the Order upon his warranty only. 

Karthus was a gifted mage, an extremely intelligent man and he was the light in Jayce’s eyes. The general would light up every time he entered the room and would be accommodating only towards him and his caprices. 

One day, Karthus came to Jayce and softly whispered in his ear that he had found, buried somewhere between the pages of the ancient tomes, a way to defeat darkness once and for all and keep it trapped and harmless away from the One Light.

Blinded by his trust, Jayce followed Karthus wherever he wanted, in a mesmerized haze. Sometimes the story wanted them to find another Crystal, completely opposite to the One Light, and destroy it. Sometimes it was a book from which to read a spell. Sometimes it was an Orb, sometimes something else. Jayce never questioned his trust in Karthus, even when his powers started dimming because of the distance from the One Light.

Finally landed on the shores of the Shadow Isles, the mage revealed himself for what he truly was. Karthus Lightsbane, ruler of the shadows, a master of trickery, whose goal was to take from the One Light their best champion and open a path for Darkness to attack Valoran at its very heart.

Betrayed and desperate, fallen from grace, Jayce Brighthammer looked for another source of energy to fuel his fight: rage. Now Jayce the Forsaken, he battled for ages against Karthus, never giving him enough time to point out the path to Light to the forces of Darkness. 

Their fight continued for centuries, until both their spirits withered and faded into legend. It is said that every now and then, at the very edge of dawn and twilight, where both light and darkness are balanced on the thin line of the horizon, you can still hear them battling.

Nowadays, the Order is still somehow alive, passing from heir to heir in the bloodline of the Kings of Demacia, whose strategic position now allows them to keep a steady eye over the dangers of the Shadow Isles. In some ancient rooms of the palace of Jarvan, the memory of Jayce Brighthammer is still honored and prayed upon.


☆ Devoted to his duty, Jayce almost reached a level of ascesis. He was a virgin, as much as he would never indulge in any kind of pleasure whatsoever.

☆ He is the Patron to warriors and overall armored forces.

☆ In ancient Valorian, the name Jayce, commonly pronounced and written Jaydice, meant Judge

☆ Just like Karthus, also Jayce was an orphan. His family had been killed by the dark forces. Possibly this could be the reason of the beginning of his love.

☆ The little cockade hanging from his pauldron with the numbers on it is the symbol of his command. Every year he would add a number on it. Before following Karthus, he had been in charge for four years, making him the most long-running general of the Order.

☆ Before meeting Karthus, he would live the life of a monk, in complete limitation. He would only drink water and eat as much as needed. He had his first cup of wine the night of the celebration for Karthus’ election as First Mage of the Order.

☆ Nobody knows if he had other first times after Karthus came in his life.

☆ The Golden Hammer is a relic, found on the grounds of the first establishment of the Bright City. It is believed that it belonged to a long lost marine king, and then resurfaced with the land that now is Valoran.


(side eyeing you @uncle-touchy-lich )

flickr

Osborne by Dubris
Via Flickr:

Creepypasta #166: Abandoned By Disney

TIME FOR A CLASSIC!

Some of you may have heard that the Disney corporation is responsible for at least one real, “live” Ghost Town.

Disney built the “Treasure Island” resort in Baker’s Bay in the Bahamas. It didn’t START as a ghost town! Disney’s cruise ships would actually stop at the resort and leave tourists there to relax in luxury.

This is a FACT. Look it up.

Disney blew $30,000,000 on the place… yes, Thirty Million Dollars.

Then they abandoned it.

Disney blamed the shallow waters (too shallow for their ships to safely operate) and there was even blame cast on the workers, saying that since they were from the Bahamas, they were too lazy to work a regular schedule.

That’s where the factual nature of their story ends. It wasn’t because of sand, and it obviously wasn’t because “foreigners are lazy”. Both are convenient excuses.

No, I sincerely doubt those reasons were legitimate. Why don’t I buy the official story?

Because of Mowgli’s Palace.

Near the beachside city of Emerald Isle in North Carolina, Disney began construction of “Mowgli’s Palace” in the late 1990s. The concept was a Jungle-themed resort with a large, you guessed it, PALACE in the center of the whole thing.

If you’re unfamiliar with the character of Mowgli, then you might better rememeber the story “The Jungle Book”. If you haven’t seen it anywhere else, you’d know it as the Disney cartoon from decades past.

Mowgli is an abandoned child, in the jungle, essentially raised by animals and simultaniously threatened/pursued by other animals.

Mowgli’s Palace was a controversial undertaking from the start. Disney bought up a ton of high-priced land for the project, and there was actually a scandal surrounding some of the purchases. The local Government claimed “eminent domain” on people’s homes, then turned around and sold the properties to Disney. At one point a home that had just been constructed was immediately condemned with little to no explanation.

The land grabbed by the Government was supposedly for some fictional highway project. Knowing full well what was going on, people started calling it “Mickey Mouse Highway”.

Then there was the concept art. A group of stuffed shirts from Disney Co. actually held a city meeting. They intended to sell everyone on how lucrative this project was going to be for everyone. When the showed the concept art, this gigantic Indian Palance… surrounded by JUNGLE… staffed with men and women in loincloths and tribal gear… well, suffice to say everyone flipped their shit.

We’re talking about a large Indian Palace, Jungle, and Loincloths not only in the center of a relatively wealthy area, but also a somewhat “xenophobic” area of the southern USA. It was a questionable mix at that point in history.

One member of the crowd tried to storm the stage, but he was quickly subdued by security after he managed to break one of the presentation boards over his knee.

Disney took that community and essentially broke it over its knee, as well. The houses were razed, the land was cleared, and there wasn’t a damned thing anyone could do or say about it. Local TV and Newspapers were against the resort at the beginning, but some insane connection between Disney’s media holdings and the local venues came into play and their opinions turned on a dime.

So anyway, Treasure Island, the Bahamas. Disney sunk those millions in and then split. The same thing happened with Mowgli’s Palace.

Construction was complete. Visitors actually stayed at the resort. The surrounding communities were flooded with traffic and the ususal annoyances associated with an influx of lost and irate tourists.

Then it all just stopped.

Disney shut it down and nobody knew what the Hell to think. But they were pretty happy about it. Disney’s loss was pretty hilarious and wonderful to a large group of folks who didn’t want this in the first place.

I honestly didn’t give the place another thought since hearing it closed over a decade ago. I live maybe four hours from Emarald Isle, so really I only heard the rumblings and didn’t experience any of it first-hand.

Then I read this article from someone who had explored the Treasure Island resort and posted a whole blog about all the crazy shit he found there. Stuff just… left behind. Things smashed, defaced, probably ruined by the disgruntled former employees who had lost their jobs.

Hell, the locals from all around probably had a hand in wrecking that place. People there felt just as angry about Treasure Island as folks here did about Mowgli’s Palace.

Plus there were rumors that Disney had released their aquarium “stock” into the local waters when they closed… including sharks.

Who wouldn’t want to take a few swings at some merchandise after that?

Well, what I’m getting at is that this blog about Treasure Island got me thinking. Even though many years had passed since its closing, I figured it might be cool to do some “Urban Exploration” at Mowgli’s Palace. Take some photos, write about my experience, and probably see if there was anything I could take home as a memento.

I’m not going to say I wasted no time in getting there, because honestly it took me another year after I first found that Treasure Island article to get around to going up to Emerald Isle.

Over the course of that year, I did a lot of research on the Palace resort… or rather, I tried to.

Naturally, no official Disney site or resource made any mention of the place. That had been scrubbed clean.

Even odder, however, was that nobody before myself had apparently thought to blog about the place or even post a photo. None of the local TV or Newspaper sites had one word about the place, though that was to be expected since they had all swung Disney’s way. They wouldn’t be out there lauding their embarassment, you know?

Recently, I learned that corporations can actually ask Google, for example, to remove links from search results… basically for no good reason. Looking back, it’s probably not that nobody spoke of the resort, but rather their words were made ineaccessible.

So in the end I could barely find the place. All I had to go on was an old-as-hell map I’d recieved in the mail back in the 90s. It was a promotional item sent out to people who had recently been to Disney world, and I guess since I had been there in the late 80s, that was “recent”.

I didn’t really intend to hang onto it. It just got shoved in with my books and comics from my childhood. I’d only remembered it months into my research, and even then it took me another few weeks to locate the storage bin my parents had shoved it all into.

But I DID find it. Locals were no help, as most were transplants who had moved to the beach in recent years… or old residents who just sneered at me and made rude gestures the second I managed to say “Where would I find Mowgli’s—”

The drive took me through an inordinately long corridor of overgrowth. Tropical plants that had run rampant and overpopulated the area mixed with the native species of flora that actually BELONGED there and had tried to reclaim the land.

I was in awe when I reached the front gates of the resort. Tremendous, monolithic wooden gates whose supports to either side looked like they must’ve been cut from giant sequoias. The gate itself had been gouged in several places by woodpeckers and eaten away at the base by burrowing insects.

Hanging on the gate was a sheet of metal, some random scrap, with hand-painted letters scrawled in black. “ABANDONED BY DISNEY”. Clearly the handiwork of some past local or an employee who wanted to make some small protest.

The gates were open enough to walk through, but not drive, so grabbing my digital camera and the map, whose flip-side showed a layout of the resort, I set off on foot.

The inner grounds of the place were just as overgrown as the entryway. Palm tree stood untended and ragged among piles of their own coconuts. Banana plants similarly stood in their own stinking, bug-riddled refuse. There was this sort of clash between order and chaos, as carefully planted rows of perrenial flowers mixed with obnoxious tall weeds and stinking, blackened mushrooms.

All that remained of any outdoor structures were broken, rotting wood and various charred bits of unidentifiable material. What was most likely an information booth or an outdoor bar was now simply a pile of assorted debrid chopped up by past vandalism and ravaged by weather.

The most interesting thing on the grounds was a statue of Baloo, the friendly bear from the Jungle Book, which stood in a sort of courtyard in front of the main building. He was frozen in a jovial wave toward no one, staring into empty space with a silly, toothy grin as bird shit covered whole swaths of his “fur” and vines ensnared his platform.

I approached the main building - the PALACE - only to find the outside of the building covered in grafitti where the orginal paint hadn’t peeled and chipped away. The front doors weren’t just open, they had been taken off their hinges and were stolen.

Above the front doors, or the gaping maw where they had been, someone had once again painted “ABANDONED BY DISNEY”.

I wish I could tell you about all the awesome stuff I saw inside the Palance. Forgotten statues, abandoned cash registers, a full-fledged secret society of homeless bums… but no.

The inside of the building was so stark, so bare, that I actually think people had stolen the moulding off the walls. Anything that was too big to steal… counters, desks, giant fake trees… they were all resting amid this empty echo chamber that amplified my every step like a slow rat-a-tat of a machine gun.

I checked the floorplan and headed to all the locations that might seem in any way interesting.

The kitchen was as you’d imagine… an industrial food prep area with all the appliances and space, no expenses spared. Every glass surface was broken, every door knocked off its hinges, every metal surface kicked and dented. The entire place smelled like very old piss.

The huge freezer, not even remotely cool now, had row upon row of empty shelf space. Hooks hung from the ceiling, probably for hanging cuts of meat, and as I stood inside for a momeny, I notced they were swinging.

Each hook swung in a random direction, but their movements were so slow and small that it was almost impossible to see. I figured it had been caused by my footsteps, so I stopped one from swinging by clutching it in my fist, then carefully letting go, but within seconds it started to swing once more.

The public bathrooms were in much the same state as the rest of the place. Just like the treasure island resort, someone had methodically smashed each porcelain commode with coconuts and other impliments. There was about a half inch of rancid, stinking stagnant water on the floor, so I didn’t stay there very long.

What’s odd is that the toilets and the sinks (and the bidets in the ladies’ room, yes I went there) all dripped, leaked, or just ran freely. It seemed to me that they should’ve shut the water off long, LONG ago.

There were plenty of rooms in the resort, but naturally I didn’t have time to look through them all. The few I did peer into were similarly wrecked, and I didn’t expect to find anything there. I thought there was actually a television or radio in one room, as I really think I heard a quiet conversation coming out.

Though it was like a whisper, probably my own breathing echoing in the silence, or just another case of the sound of flowing water playing tricks on the mind, this is what it sounded like…

1: “I didn’t believe it.”

2: (short, unknown reply)

1: “I didn’t know that. I didn’t know that.”

2: “Your father told you.”

1: (unknown reply, or possibly just weeping.)

I know, I know, that sounds ridiculous. I’m just telling you what I experienced, why I thought there might’ve been something running in that room - or worse, some vagrants who had holed up there and probably would’ve knifed me.

At the front doors of the Palace again, I figured I hadn’t found anything of note and had wasted the trip up.

As I looked out the door, I noticed something interesting in the courtyard that I had apparently missed. Something that would give me at least ONE thing to show for all my trouble, even if it was just a photograph.

There as a lifelike statue of a python, maybe fifty feet long, coiled up and “sunning” itself on a pedestal right in the center of the area. It was almost time for the sun to start setting, so the light fell onto the object in the PERFECT way for a photograph.

I approached the python and snapped a photo. Then I stood on my toes and snapped another. I moved closer again to get the detail of its face.

Slowly, casually, the python lifted its head, looked directly into my eyes, turned, and slithered off the pedistal, across the grass, and into the trees.

All fifty feet of it. Its head long disappeared into the woods before its tail even left the sunning spot.

Disney had released all their exotic animals onto the grounds. Right there on my floorplan map was the “Reptile House”. I should have known. I’d read about the sharks at Treasure Isle, and I should have KNOWN they’d done this.

I was dumbfounded, just utterly stupefied. My mouth must’ve been hanging open for the longest time before I came back down to Earth and snapped it shut. I blinked a few times and backed away from where the snake had been, back toward the Palace.

Even though it was totally gone, I still wasn’t taking any chances and backed my way into the building.

It took a few deep breaths and slaps to my own face to get myself right in the head again after that.

I looked for a place to sit down, as my legs were feeling a bit like jelly at this point. Of course, there WAS no place to sit down unless I wanted to recline in the broken glass and dead leaf carpet or haul myself up onto a desk of questionable reliability.

I had seen some stairs near the Palace’s lobby and decided to go have a seat there until I felt better.

The staircase was far enough away from the front of the building to be relatively clean, save for a startling accumulation of dust. I pulled a wedge of metal off the wall, once again painted with the “ABANDONED BY DISNEY” motto I’d become accustomed to. I placed the wedge on the stairs and sat on it to keep at least somewhat clean.

The stairway led downward, below ground level. Using my camera flash as a sort of improvised flashlight, I could see that the stair case ended in a metal mesh door with a padlock. A sign on the door… a REAL sign… read “MASCOTS ONLY! THANK YOU!”.

This perked up my spirits a little bit, for two reasons. One, a Mascots-Only area would have definately had some interesting stuff back in the day… Two, the padlock was still in place. Nobody had gone down there. Not the vandals, not the looters, nobody.

This was the one place I could actually “explore” and perhaps find something interesting to photograph or wantonly steal. I had come to the Palace essentially agreeing with myself that it was okay to take anything I wanted because - hey - “abandoned”.

It didn’t take much to bust the lock. Well, actually that’s wrong. It didn’t take much to bust the metal plate on the wall that the padlock was hooked to. Time and decay had done most of the work for me, and I was able to bend the metal plate enough to pull the screws out of the wall - something nobody else had apparently thought of, or hadn’t been able to do at the time.

The Mascots-Only area was a startling and very welcomed change from the rest of the building I’d seen. For one, every second or third fluorescent light overhead was illuminated, even though they flickered and faded randomly. Also, nothing had been stolen or broken, even if age and exposure were definately taking their toll.

Tables had note pads and pens, there were clocks… even a punch-in clock on the wall complete with filled-out time cards. Chairs were scattered around and there was even a small break room with an old, static-filled television and long rotted-out food and drink on the counters.

It was like one of those post-apocalypse movies where everything is left in the state of evacuation.

As I walked the maze-like sub-basement hallways of the Mascots-Only area, the sights just became more and more interesting. As I went further, desks and tables were knocked over, papers scattered and almost melded with the damp floor, and a large carpet of mold was slowly overtaking the real rotting crimson floor-covering.

Everything was just sort of “squishy”. Anything wood disintegrated into mush when I applied even the least amount of force, and clothing items hanging on hooks in one of the rooms simply fell to moist threads if I tried to unhook them.

One thing that annoyed me was that the light was becoming more sparse and unreliable as I went further into the dank, suffocating depths of the place.

Eventually, I reached a black and yellow striped door with the words “CHARACTER PREP 1” stenciled on it.

The door wouldn’t open at first. I figured this was probably where the costumes were kept, and I definately wanted a photograph of that twisted, stinking mess. Try as I might, whatever angle or trick I tried, the door wouldn’t budge.

That is, until I gave up and started to walk away. That was when there was a slight popping sound and the door creaked open slowly.

Inside, the room was completely dark. Pitch black. I used the camera flash to look for a light switch on the wall by the door, but there was nothing.

As I made my search, I was jarred out of my sense of excitement by a loud electrical buzz. Rows of lights overhead suddenly flashed to life, flickering and fading in and out like the rest I had passed.

It took a second for my eyes to adjust, and it seemed like the light was going to just keep getting brighter until all the bulbs exploded… but just when I thought it would reach that critical stage, the lights dimmed a bit and steadied.

The room was exactly as I had pictured it. Various Disney costumes hung on the walls, fully put together like strange cartoon cadavers hung from invisible nooses.

There was an entire rack of loincloths and “native” clothes on hangers toward the back.

What I found odd, and what I wanted to photograph right away, was a Mickey Mouse costume at the center of the room. Unlike the other costumes, it was lying on its back in the center of the floor like a murder victim. The fur on the costume was rotten and shedding, creating bare patches.

What was even more odd, however, was the coloring of the costume. It was like a photo negative of the actual Mickey Mouse. Black where he should be white, and white where he should be black. His normally red pants were light blue.

The sight was off-putting enough that I actually postponed photographing the thing until last.

I took a picture of the costumes hanging on the walls. Upward angles, downward angles, side shots to show an entire row of frozen, putrid cartoon faces, some with plastic eyes missing.

Then I decided to stage a shot. Just one of the bedraggled character heads on the slick, grimy floor.

I reached for the headpiece of a Donald Duck costume and carefully removed it so the thing wouldn’t fall apart in my hands.

As I looked into the face of the wide-eyed, mouldering head, a loud clattering sound made me jump with fright.

I looked down at my feet, and there between my shoes was a human skull. It had fallen out of the mascot head and shattered into pieces at my feet, only the empty face and lower jaw remained, staring up at me.

I dropped the Duck head immediately, as you’d expect, and moved for the door. As I stood in the doorway, I looked back to the skull on the floor.

I had to take a picture of it, you know? I HAD to, for any number of reasons that may seem silly, but only if you don’t think it through.

I’d need proof of what happened, especially if Disney was going to somehow make this go away. I had no doubt in my mind, right from the start, that even if it was just gross negligence, Disney was RESPONSIBLE for this. THIS was why the resort had closed, and I was the only one outside Disney Co. who knew. ME.

That’s when Mickey, that photo negative, opposite-Mickey in the middle of the floor, started to get up.

First sitting up, then climbing to its feet, the Mickey Mouse costume… or whoever was inside of it, stood there at the center of the room, its fake face just starting directly at me as I mumbled “No…” over and over and over…

With shaking hands, a violently thrashing heart, and legs that had once again turned to jelly, I managed to lift the camera and aim it at the opposite creature now quietly sizing me up, head tilted.

The digital camera’s screen displayed only dead pixels in the shape of the thing. It was a perfect silhouette of the Mickey costume. As the camera moved in my unsteady hands, the dead pixels spread, marring the screen wherever Mickey’s outline moved to.

Then the camera died. Went blank and quiet and… broken.

I raised my eyes once again to the Mickey Mouse costume.

“Hey,” it said in a hushed, perverted, but perfectly executed Mickey Mouse voice, “Wanna see my head come off?”

It started to pull at its own head, working its clumsy, glove-clad fingers around its neck with clawing, impatient movements similar to a wounded man trying to pull himself free of a predator’s jaws…

As it worked its digits into its neck… so much blood…

So much thick, curdled, yellow blood…

I turned away as I heard a sickening tearing of cloth and flesh… only cared about getting away. Above the doorway out of this room, I saw the final message clawed into the metal with bone or fingernails…

“ABANDONED BY GOD”

I never got the pictures out of the camera. I never wrote the blog entry about it. After I ran from that place, fled for my sanity if not my very life, I knew why Disney didn’t want anyone to know about this place.

They didn’t want anyone like me getting in.

They didn’t want anything like that getting out.

Credits to: slimebeast

ABANDONED BY DISNEY

Some of you may have heard that the Disney corporation is responsible for at least one real, “live” Ghost Town.

Disney built the “Treasure Island” resort in Baker’s Bay in the Bahamas. It didn’t START as a ghost town! Disney’s cruise ships would actually stop at the resort and leave tourists there to relax in luxury.

This is a FACT. Look it up.

Disney blew $30,000,000 on the place… yes, thirty million dollars.

Then they abandoned it.

Disney blamed the shallow waters (too shallow for their ships to safely operate) and there was even blame cast on the workers, saying that since they were from the Bahamas, they were too lazy to work a regular schedule.

That’s where the factual nature of their story ends. It wasn’t because of sand, and it obviously wasn’t because “foreigners are lazy”. Both are convenient excuses.

Keep reading

dhandelion  asked:

Hi ! Would you tell me, if you think Euron is one of the big villains, who do you think will defeat him ? Dany ? Asha ? Bran - a nice analogy to LOTR, since he would be the Gandalf of Euron/Saruman ? Or do you think his plan to become an Other will backfire spectacularly ? I'm in the mind to think that, if it's not them, it will be someone with magical abilities - that would leave us with Arya, Bran and Dany (do I forget one ?). Thoughts ?

Hiya! I do think Euron’s plan to become an Other will ultimately fail because hubris, but as for who brings him down…

A big part of my “eldritch apocalypse” theory is that, if as the evidence suggests Euron is a rogue protege of Bloodraven’s and has a significant villainous role to play in the overarching magical struggle with the Others (although as a trickster/interloper like Saruman or Randall Flagg, as I’ve been saying), he needs himself a base of operations, somewhere to gather the Others to him. In other words, like Aegon at Storm’s End, he needs somewhere to let his true (freak) flag fly. And Pyke just is not it; as I’ve said, Euron has utter and blatant contempt for the Ironborn and their ways, and is using them because he needs ships and cannon fodder, full stop. 

As such, we learn at the end of AFFC he’s looking to move his HQ. 

“Battle here,” said Xhondo. “Not so long.”

“Who would be so mad as to raid this close to Oldtown?”

Xhondo pointed at a half-sunken longship in the shallows. The remnants of a banner drooped from her stern, smoke-stained and ragged. The charge was one Sam had never seen before: a red eye with a black pupil, beneath a black iron crown supported by two crows.

“It grieves me that honest men must suffer such discourtesy, but sooner that than ironmen in Oldtown. Only a fortnight ago some of those bloody bastards captured a Tyroshi merchantman in the straits. They killed her crew, donned their clothes, and used the dyes they found to color their whiskers half a hundred colors. Once inside the walls they meant to set the port ablaze and open a gate from within whilst we fought the fire. Might have worked, but they ran afoul of the Lady of the Tower, and her oarsmaster has a Tyroshi wife. When he saw all the green and purple beards he hailed them in the tongue of Tyrosh, and not one of them had the words to hail him back.”

Sam was aghast. “They cannot mean to raid Oldtown.”

The captain of the Huntress gave him a curious look. “These are no mere reavers. The ironmen have always raided where they could. They would strike sudden from the sea, carry off some gold and girls, and sail away, but there were seldom more than one or two longships, and never more than half a dozen. Hundreds of their ships afflict us now, sailing out of the Shield Islands and some of the rocks around the Arbor. They have taken Stonecrab Cay, the Isle of Pigs, and the Mermaid’s Palace, and there are other nests on Horseshoe Rock and Bastard’s Cradle. Without Lord Redwyne’s fleet, we lack the ships to come to grips with them.”

“These are no mere reavers” indeed; Euron is after more than plunder. He is after power. Where else would a crazed drug-addled metaphysicist go, after all, but a city full of ancient magic and crazy secrets and palantir candles (again, Euron is Saruman to the Others’ Sauron) and a book that tells you how to kill dragons and the magic-obsessed ruling family…whose tower happens to be built upon an ancient skin-crawling “oily black stone” labyrinth of lurking eldritch insanity, aka Euron in building form? What better place for Euron to establish his (and the Others’) kingdom, to begin his transformation into a god of death? And hey…he agrees.

Euron turned to face him, his bruised blue lips curled in a half smile. “Perhaps we can fly. All of us. How will we ever know unless we leap from some tall tower?”

I believe Euron will quite literally signal the story’s descent into metaphysical madness when he blows the Horn of Joramun from atop the Hightower at the climax of TWOW, the metaphorical “leap” into the “flight” beyond even the one Bloodraven promised him, bringing down the Wall and unleashing the Others…in a ghastly inversion of the NW warning horns, right down to the magically high platform of the South instead of the North. And indeed, as I’ve said, Euron conquers and absorbs other forces and narratives, a black hole that walks like a man, an agent of entropy (“all of Westeros is dying”) like, again, Randall Flagg in The Stand. (There’s a lot to mock about Stephen King, but at his best, he can (could) deliver a fantasy-horror-grim-realism blend to rival GRRM.) 

As such, I can think of nothing more appropriate for his character than for him to decide that the Others are just like Bloodraven or the warlocks or the Ironborn or anything that’s not him: sheep to dupe and/or enslave. Again, fantasy is rife with characters who look at the gathering darkness and think to themselves “that looks delicious.” Y’know, another comparison just struck me: Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII, right down to his winking parodic sheen, relentless postmodern infestation of and assault on his world’s institutions, and his defining victim’s trauma and memory issues.

And then Euron’s all-categories evil-buffet qualities will destroy him, as he neatly arranges all varieties of hero against him. While he’s trippin’ balls in ADOS in the cracked glowing monster-infested ruins of the Hightower, I think Asha and Rodrik will lead a coup back home in the Islands against him. Meanwhile, GRRM has said that Willas and Garlan Tyrell have a quite significant role to play before story’s end, and I think it’s here, joining with Sam to rally the South against the new Night’s King even as Stannis fights the tide of the Other invasion to the North. (And again, I turn to LOTR: the Rohirrim fight Saruman, preventing them from coming to Gondor’s aid against The True Darkness until the very last second. The structure here ain’t without precedent, is what I’m saying.) And as @madeinmyr has argued, while all this is happening, Bran will be fighting his failed predecessor Euron on the astral plane, resisting his attempts to become Godhead (again, think Sephiroth vis-a-vis Jenova or Meteor). 

I think when all this comes crashing down on Euron, politically, militarily, and magically, he will flee a shadow of his supervillain self, and Dany will find him wherever he rests. (The Isle of Faces? The Lonely Light? Bear Island, bringing Jorah into the mix?) He will see one last chance, and like Saruman at Isengard, go all in on his honeyed tongue, offering to Dany that they rule the world together. And like Theoden, she will be swayed and tempted for a moment, before breaking through the fog, remembering who she and her fellow dragonriders are (“big goddamn heroes, sir”), and burning the fucker alive, continuing her series-long war against slaving sociopaths who think they’re the only real persons…before that war climaxes against the Others, the ultimate slavers (given the wights) who think they’re the only real persons.

Food of the Heart || Multi

Small Horatio hurried down to the great table in the palace of Dragon Isle. The great thick redwood table was piled with bowls and plates of foods to break the fast. From loaves of Oat bread to platters of oatcakes with nuts or berries piping hot. Slices of the same bread fried in hot butter or grease. More plates stacked with crisped bacon. Greasy sausages that when you bit into them snapped delightfully, some were stuffed with pork others beef or even the rare fish sausage if that is what you preferred.
Already Vlad had seated himself and had helped himself to a few tea eggs and fried bread still crispy and hot. He was reaching for a jar of preserves, blackberry or dragon berry, when he spied Horatio. “Horatio.” Vlad patted the place next to him with a welcoming smile.
Horatio sat next to him grabbing a few oat cakes that were red with berries baked into them, slathering them in honeyed butter he crammed one in and chewed grateful for the fresh cake in his hand. Serving himself a few sausages these had peppers from a region on the main island and pork.
Too cool down the flames were pots of mint tea or icy milk with honey. He sipped a mixture of the two rather enjoying the combined sweetness of the honey and the sharp refreshing coolness of the milk, a bit of creaminess set the whole thing together right.

He then noticed Serafina his sister entering, “Fina!!!” He called to her patting the bench next to him.