I joined recently a westmarshes campaign, the sitting is in a academy for adventurers, on my first session we went to the training room. It´s an illusion in which training monsters are spawned. This exchange happened there.
Sorcerer: Well, i think these are all the rules. One last bit of advice don´t sell your soul please.
Cleric (Me): Don´t worry, my soul is worth something.
Everyone starts laughing, while the warlock stays silent for a while
Kusama spent much of her time between 1962 and 1964 sewing thousands of stuffed fabric tubers and grafting them to furniture and found objects to create her Accumulation sculptures. She exhibited the works together in an attempt to create hallucinatory scenes of phallic surfaces but found the labor involved in making them physically and mentally taxing. In response to the labor intensity of this work, she started to utilize mirrors to achieve similar repetition. Infinity Mirror Room— Phalli’ s Field was perhaps the most important breakthrough for Kusama during this immensely fruitful period. The reflective surfaces allowed her vision to transcend the physical limitations of her own productivity. Furthermore, the mirrors created a participatory experience by casting the visitor as the subject of the work, a feature that the artist demonstrated through a provocative series of self-portraits in which she used her body to activate the space. This work first appeared in the exhibition Floor Show, held at Castellane Gallery, in New York, in 1965.
Summary: Y/N was once an employee at Prince Adams castle along with being his childhood friend but she doesn’t remember. Caught up in the curse, she ends up in Villeneuve where she stands out. But circumstances arrive and she somehow returns to the place she once called home, and a beast she once thought a friend. A multi-chapter fanfiction. CHAPTER 1CHAPTER 2CHAPTER 3CHAPTER 4
Authors Note: This is by far my favourite chapter that I’ve written so far. I hope you like it as much as I did writing it. Things are picking up speed, plot wise. If you haven’t read my post about it, I’m currently doing exams (yay) so updates may be irregular compared to the usual Monday/Thursday schedule, but I promise to try as hard as possible to stick to it. Like always, tags and requests are OPEN! So are any questions. Hope you enjoy!
Chapter 5: A Castle of Roses You stared up in awe, now blissfully unaware of the fact that you were chilled to the bone. The castle seemed to almost grow out of the ground and up towards the sky like a flower. The gates in front of you seemed to be made out of solid ice that shone like large diamonds in the pale moonlight. The grounds were extensive and covered in a layer of pure white snow, blending all of its features together. The castle was extremely dark against the white that was surrounding it, almost like a beacon of darkness. There were many ornate towers that shot up by different amounts into the sky, all of which had several equally as decorative windows, which made you wonder how many rooms the castle had. The windows were all as dark as the night except one down below by what you thought were some doors. A shiver ran up your spine as you stared. ‘Oh right, heat’ you thought as you kicked your heels into the side of Phillipe, making him slowly approach the ice gate. Once you reached it, however, you realised it was made of metal but ice had simply frozen around it. You were about to unsaddle to go and pick the lock on the huge gate but before you could the gates forced themselves open. Phillipe took several steps backwards in fright but you urged him through them. “Come on Phillipe. If they opened then they clearly want us here.” As you approached you wondered who 'they’ were. ———————————————————————————————————– You had dropped Phillipe of at the bottom of the staircase where there were several troughs full of food and water, which made you wonder where the other horses were. You climbed the carefully carved stairs slowly, both out of apprehension and the fact that your legs were shaking from the cold. As you got closer to the grand doors at the top you couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sadness, as if the castle, despite its grandeur was a prison. You paused before the doors, slightly overwhelmed by their size. They towered over you and you questioned how you were to open them alone. You decided to knock, as it was only polite to give your unknown host a chance to ensure your entry was allowed. You waited several moments for a response but just received a large gust of wind to your back. With a large gulp you pushed the door open just enough for you to slip through. As you closed it shut, you noticed that the door had cracked around the lock, and the lock was old with rust and dust. You started to question whether anyone had left or entered this castle in years. Lost in your thoughts you didn’t realise that the coat rack to the left of the doors had approached you from behind and removed your coat from your shoulders. It shook it of snow and you absentmindedly said “thank you.” You turned to the coat rack to see who had relieved you of your damp cloak but no one was there. Confused and cold you shook away the ominous feeling and turned to face forwards. You let out an audible gasp. You had never seen anything more beautiful. A large, carved marble staircase adorned with gold decorations stretched out in the middle of the large hall. To your left was a large archway with broken doors leading to the beginning of an equally as ornate room, what the purpose of the room was, was a mystery to you. However, you could see several vines and leaves protruding slightly from the doorway. You were about to head over to the archway, curiosity overcoming your manners, but you stopped dead in your tracks when you heard voices, no louder than whispers coming from your right. “Look, a girl!” “I can see that! I may have lost my humanity but I still kept my eyesight.” “But what if she is zee one?” “Lumière, shh! She might here you.” You practically sprinted towards the whispers. You stopped abruptly before you reached the archway to the room where the voices had come from. You listened carefully for anymore sounds as you stepped into the room. It had several pieces of furniture just as lavish as the previous hall did but to your surprise, no people. There was a decorative rug thrown on the floor with a carved mahogany table on top of it. Two emerald coloured chairs with gold furnishings sat behind it and they were covered in a thin layer of dust making them slightly paler than the colour that was intended. The table had not a trace of dust, and upon it sat a candelabra made of solid gold and an extremely detailed mantle clock. The candelabra followed the same motif as the rest of the gold decorating that adorned the majority of the castles walls. Swirls and plants were clearly visible. The clock looked like it was trying to mimic an atlas and galaxy, with its decorations. You picked it up and studied all of it carefully, it was truly incredible; the intricacy of it all. “Fascinating.” You said out loud as you placed the clock back on the table. You looked up and saw a fire not far from the table and chairs. There was a small stool in front of it and you quickly walked over to the roaring flames. You were so focused on the heat, that you didn’t hear the candelabra snicker at the clock. You reached the fire and you let out a loud sigh. You plopped yourself down right in front of the fire, not bothering with the stool. As you slowly thawed you began to relax more and more, but the knot in your stomach still remained. You spent the minutes looking around the room. There was a lot of very expensive furniture including a large shelf unit and several wooden tables with decorative vases and other knickknacks. You turned to the window to see that the blizzard that was once raging outside had calmed down significantly and was now a simple dusting. You had almost thawed completely when you heard faint music coming from the entrance hallway. You rose slowly from your position by the fire, so that you could thank your host, who you presumed was the creator of the sweet melody that was echoing throughout the castle. As you left the room, you realised how cold you were before as you could feel your limbs working much more smoothly as you walked towards the music. As you passed the staircase you realised that the music was coming from the room with the vines and broken door. You entered carefully, and just like in all the other rooms you were blown away by its beauty despite its state of neglect. Large chandeliers hung from the ceiling but they were covered in such a large amount of cobwebs that it was difficult to see what colour they were supposed to be. There were several circular stain glass windows on either side of the room, creating an illusion of floating orbs in the middle of the room. Vines were growing up the walls, spreading out from a balcony opposite from the doorway where you were standing. Leaves scattered the floor which was rather dusty and smeared (along with several cracks in the marble). There was a large crest in the centre of the floor, clearly etched and painted extremely carefully. To the side of the balcony was a pile of broken wood, with bits of navy velvet and gold metal protruding through the splintered planks. You slowly realise that this must have been a ballroom of some sort, and you couldn’t even begin to imagine how beautiful the parties held in it must have been. You could see a harpsichord to the left of where you were standing, and it was clear that the music was being created by it. Unfortunately you couldn’t see your host who sat upon the stall by the keys as a pillar was placed directly in your line of vision. “Hello?” You asked as you began to walk down the steps to look round the pillar. Almost immediately the music stopped and a barely audible “Oops.” was heard. You passed the pillar to look at the harpsichord to see your host only to find the stool empty. You furrowed your brows in confusion. The room, like the rest of the rooms you had been in was devoid of all life. You looked carefully around and was about to go over to inspect the harpsichord but a loud clang from behind you made you jump and turn around in fright. There was no one behind you and so you followed where the noise came from. You looked behind you one last time at the former ballroom before walking back towards the fire room. You entered to see that the candelabra and clock were no longer on the mahogany table. In fact they were nowhere to be seen. Questioning where they could have disappeared to and who made the large banging sound you didn’t hear the voices coming from behind the door that adjoined the room you were currently in. “Lumière, I insist that this is a bad idea.” “Cogsworth, she’s cold and starving, it is zee least we can do, non?” “But if the master…” “Oh hush now. What the master doesn’t know won’t hurt him. Now Chip, no moving. We can’t have her more confused and scared than what we’ve already done.” “But Mama!” You had looked around the room thoroughly for a trace of a person walking into the room to room to remove the objects without you noticing but to no avail. You stood up straight and stretched, the heat from the fire doing wonders for your joints. It was only then when you noticed a faint glow coming from behind the door at the end of the room that you thought that the person may have gone into that room. “Finally, the host.” You said to yourself as you walked over to the door. You knocked once before opening the door. “Thank you for…” You began but when you looked you once again saw that you were completely alone in yet another ridiculously ornate room. This time it was a dining room. A large table filled the room with several chairs surrounding it. Like the other rooms all the chairs were covered in dust bar one at the end of the table nearest to you. You stared at the chair confused. Someone did live here but why wouldn’t they show themselves. All you wanted was to say thank you for their hospitality. You looked to the far end of the table, and your mouth began to water at the sight. Food was laid out on silver platters, as if inviting you to tuck in to their contents. Your stomach rumbled and with little thought you practically sprinted over to the meal. Forgetting all manners you plopped yourself down on the chair (creating a small cloud that poofed upwards). You began shredding away at the bread, ignoring the provided cutlery. You helped yourself to cheese, to vegetables and a stew which you think contained beef. You drank well-made tea, which you poured from a small but extremely detailed china teapot and drank from a matching teacup, which had a small chip by its handle. Every time you placed the teacup down on the table, you swore it moved closer to you but you were too busy eating to care. When you felt like you could burst, you relaxed into your chair which still expelled dust with each small movement. You looked to the window behind you to see that the gentle snowfall, once blizzard, had now ceased to nothing. Picking yourself up, you stood and walked to the door, almost certain you were close to overstaying your welcome. “Thank you,” you said to the dining room as you left, hoping that your mysterious host would hear you. You walked briskly past the fire into the hallway, to the door where the coatrack still stood holding your now warm and dry cloak. You wrapped it round yourself quickly, and tied the knot so that it wouldn’t fall off. You re-adjusted your bag on your shoulder before turning round to face the staircase once more, wanting to remember the beauty of the interior before you left. With one final look you did a small curtsy, as a way to say thank you (as well as wanting to seem like a princess that were in your stories). With that you pushed open the doors and left the clock, coatrack and candelabra to lose hope in you being the one. ———————————————————————————————————– Whilst you had been feasting and exploring, Phillipe had also been fed and rejuvenated. You had saddled him and set off almost immediately. You were trotting slowly away from the steps, heading once again for the ice gates, but clearly Phillipe had other ideas. He stopped abruptly at the beginning of the large drive, before turning to the left and travelling down the smaller path heading round the back of the castle. “Phillipe, not that way!” You exclaimed as you tugged at his reigns to make him turn round to no avail. Apparently he didn’t want to enter the woods again, and he wanted to find a back exit. Despite every effort on your part to make him change his mind he kept on trotting forwards. Eventually you gave up and just used the time to take in as many details about the grounds you were walking through. The majority of it were lawns with sculpted bushes and trees surrounding them. There was the occasional fountain, which had frozen to form an ice sculpture of some sort. You couldn’t even begin to imagine what the grounds would look like if there was no snow. You imagined vibrant colours everywhere and you knew it would be like a fairy tale, along with imps and other mythical creatures hidden in the shrubbery. You smiled as Phillipe took a path that walked by a small frozen over river. Up ahead was a bridge that crossed the river, and beyond it was a large frozen lake, that shimmered like glass from the stars twinkling. You felt like the view was familiar but you couldn’t understand why. As you approached the bridge you looked to the left and saw several stone pillars with thorns wrapped around them. You pulled Phillipe to a halt as you stared through the vines to see roses. Familiar roses. You dismounted Phillipe and walked towards the pillars. As you got closer you realised that there was a gate at least thirty metres away from where the pillars ended. You walked under the stone archways made by the pillars to find yourself in a rose garden. You stared around before it hit you. You had dreamt of a place similar to this rose garden and bridge only this morning. However, that was a dream. This and your dream world weren’t the same. There were no pillars in your dream, no castle, but there was colour, warmth, happiness. Something that this garden lacked. All of the roses here were white. It freaked you out really at how white they were. They were whiter than the snow you stood on. You walked over to one of the bushes in the centre of the garden. You skidded on some ice whilst walking there but now you stood at the foot of one of the bushes, a rose directly in front of your face. It was so fair, so dainty, so eerily beautiful. You reached out to touch it to find that it was extremely soft. 'It would be beautiful to paint.’ You thought, but you couldn’t paint it now. It was too cold. You looked around to see if anyone was near you. No one was (bar the gargoyles that sat atop the pillars and wall where the gate was). If you took one rose, you’d be able to paint it later in Touquet, plus you’d always have a momento from the time you found a castle in the woods. You carefully pulled on the stem, to ensure that there were no thorns that were to dig into your fingers. Eventually the rose broke free and for a few moments you got to look at it in awe. Not for long though. A roar erupted from atop the wall and one of the gargoyles dropped down so that it was a few metres away from you. With the moonlight behind it, you could only see the outline as it approached you. Stumbling backwards, you floundered for words. “Please…. Don’t hurt me…… I’m sorry….. I’ll do anything….. Just don’t hurt me….. Please.” You begged as it kept on coming towards you. You stepped back, forgetting about the ice. In one swift movement your legs came out from underneath you. You flew backwards and landed on your back, completely winded. Your head threw back at the sudden jolt, smashing into the ground. The world around you became blurry and black at the edges. As you stared upwards, unable to move from fright, the gargoyle’s shadow enveloped you and the last thing you see is a flash of sky blue against the darkness. With that you slip into unconsciousness.
Here’s the thing: I got this prompt a year and a half ago for my 1001 Followers Fic Giveaway, and never answered it. I think poor Anaander (Mianaiaiaiai) probably wanted an au of Vorkosigan Saga characters in the world of should-have-ended-with-s5 Supernatural, and I have no real objection to that but I am, at the moment and for the last year and a half, bored of that particular flavor of angst. So let’s go the cooler route, and talk Vorkosigan Saga with supernatural elements. Specifically, because they are my jam, faeries.
Because they’d go out into space with humans, wouldn’t they? Of course they would. Still no one names them - the Fair Folk, the Good Neighbors - but it’s known that the Seelie Court settles on what comes to be known as Eta Ceta, and spreads their empire from there. Bright and smiling and deadly, artistry and charm, lying only in the spaces between pretty words. And the Unseelie, dark and dangerous, smiling only to show their teeth and untamed but by their own rules - Jackson’s Whole, that is. Where the letter of the law is written in contracts and anything can be bought and sold.
And in the middle, though not, praise god, literally, is Barrayar. There were Folk of each Court on this little colony when the wormhole closed, few enough that a miracle occurred: they banded together, because the alternative was being overrun by the humans. Now, it’s not said, that “Vor” is just another word for “Fae”, but…they bred with mortals, but the older the family, the purer the bloodline, and the stronger all the old rules. Truth, iron, Names…A man’s bond is his word and his name, because that cannot be broken. Only a Vor, or someone with their lord’s explicit permission, may wield an iron blade.
They’ve got to have a different naming custom than in canon, because something that simple and formulaic is an invitation to disaster. Or maybe all the repetition dilutes the power?
God help the first faerie to try to throw a glamour over Cordelia’s eyes; she will literally Sensible her way through it. I bet Illyan’s chip lets him see through glamour as well.
My eyeteeth for the scene, though, when she wakes up to a grey-eyed faerie lord pointing a stunner at her and demanding her name. The Fair Folk might be not quite scientifically explicable enough for practical-minded Beta Colony, but she know this is a damn awful situation. So she refuses until he returns the gift - and he does, enough to tell her “Aral Vorkosigan”, at least, which isn’t quite all of it. (He’ll tell her the rest alone in the clearing away from he prison camp, a year later or so, and promise that if she ever needs him, if she ever calls, he’ll hear, come as quickly as he can. She’s already declined his proposal at hat point. but she keeps that Name like a treasure, and starts stuttering before she’ll let it pass her lips.)
ALL the glamour in Cetaganda, and somewhat less classily at the balls each year for Winterfair and Gregor’s birthday, every Vor Lord and Lady showing off until the room swims with illusion and charm. Koudelka’s iron swordstick. Miles human enough that he can lie, but it gives him heartburn so he tap-dances through Naismith like a faerie prince of the old, old days. Mark feeling something click inside him as soon as he sets foot on Barrayar, or at least in Vorkosigan District, because even uprooted to other planets, the Fair Folk will settle onto a land and make it theirs, and Mark didn’t know until he got home.
The reason that Dale Pike’s poem “The Deeper Well” is tagged “Labyrinth” is for this:
“The paths are unkempt
arrows flipped; markers pried
one always tells the truth
one always lies”
The creatures in the Labyrinth change the marks Sarah has made in her attempts to move through it so she stays lost. I have to digress here into the issue of how Jareth, the Goblin King, claims he did everything for Sarah’s benefit, stole Toby away from her, made her solve the Labyrinth, played his role as her adversary because that’s what SHE expected of him, and meanwhile from her POV she’s been confused and lost and solving puzzles, and she HATES it?! And in the end he tells her “Everything I’ve done I’ve done for you”
like I just can’t think of a thing that is more us right now, ok an ARG sounded exciting, but now we are lost and frustrated, we don’t know what puzzles to solve and what is real and what isn’t, or even if the whole entire thing is just an illusion?
but if the solution is to realize “you have no power over me” I don’t even know what that means yet
Anyway “one always tells the truth one always lies” - she comes to a pair of doors with sentient knockers, she has to choose a door, a path. One knocker always tells the truth, one always lies. She chooses the WRONG DOOR and falls into the oubliette. It’s a dungeon cell that can only be accessed through a door in the ceiling, a place where you put people and forget about them. A deep well.
This is, if you think about it, also where S ends up at the end of the Dale Pike fic “The Players”. He falls down a hole into nothingness, into a room you can only exit through a ceiling, an oubliette. I’m a little lost again here but if we take the Labyrinth reference as a clue this seems to be pointing towards John making the wrong choice by shoving him through the trapdoor; I just don’t know what the Right Choice would be in this context.
Also at the end of TFP, when Sherlock passes out at the prison and wakes up back at his burnt-out house, we see him falling into black nothingness (ooze), followed by an overhead shot of him lying on the table, like he’s fallen into the room. Which has no doors. This could also be a reference to an oubliette. (Which is evidence for Dale Pike being some kind of Someone, since apparently the poem was written a year ago, (have people really checked all the dates out?) and I don’t really believe all this, except… I’m just pointing out evidence here.). In this case, though, the room is an illusion that Sherlock can just walk out of? (No idea how this ties in yet.).
With reference to the Skull on twitter and tweeting George Takei … I think most people have the sense not to do this anyway because it’s a Bad Idea, but if you want an ARG-related reason just to quiet the voices in your head a little, the solution to the Labyrinth is “you have no power over me” and the Skull was literally trying to offer us power. That was supposedly the solution to the riddle, right, power? (I already wondered if he was just lying and now I suspect he might be the one who always lies). He has no power over us and no power to give us. This is the Wrong Path.
In short, I’ve spent most of the past week wondering if I was going to give up and delete, log out, go inactive for a year or so, but I still can’t get away from the game? And does anyone know where I can watch Labyrinth online it’s been a while and I’m suddenly very very interested.
Rinbu Revolution ends, Zettai Unmei begins. This episode is 100% Duel.
Utena gets her full entrance, plus a little extra for the occasion - like Bobby Roode hitting the ramp with a gospel choir in Toronto.
How do Anthy’s french cuffs stay on? These are the questions one asks when faced
with the apocalypse.
Utena’s opponent, the reigning champ, is already in the
ring. (Bad form - practically a jobber entrance. Champ should come out last.) Turns out End of the World is….. Akio! It was Akio all along. Quelle torsion, as the french would have it.
Akio says that he’s sure she figured the whole thing out ages ago, which seems
correct. You can chalk some of her
denial on this front up to cognitive dissonance, but I’m sure on another level
it made him just that little bit more exciting.
Visitors to Venice’s Palazzo Grassi become immersed within a white space that appears to have no boundaries in an installation by American artist Doug Wheeler. Wheeler’s lighting installation, titled D-N SF 12 PG VI, is part of The Illusion of Light exhibition at Palazzo Grassi – an 18th century residence situated on Venice’s Grand Canal that now hosts contemporary art shows.
The woman was a prisoner, but she came from a noble line, so she was not treated like a common ruffian and thrown unceremoniously into a dungeon. Instead she was given rooms above ground, and a fine wardrobe, and regular meals, and as much freedom as could be afforded to someone who had threatened the safety of the kingdom. She had the run of the entire garden - but the garden was enclosed by high walls and regularly patrolled by guards.
Regina knew all this. What she didn’t know was why everyone referred to the woman as the dragon, or why she had started feeling the sizzle of magical wards in the gardens as soon as the woman had started taking daily walks there.
Regina sat on a stone bench under a leafy tree, trying to lose herself in a book, and surreptitiously watched the woman as she stalked along the pathways between the rose bushes.