sandstone carvings


Cross bedded Nubian Sandstone and the carved city of Petra, Jordan

hellsbellssinclub  asked:

Quiobi, no.1 with Qui-Gon as a Sith and Obi-Wan as a Jedi?

Obi-Wan Kenobi’s world is black and white.

There is good and there is evil.

He is a Jedi and therefore he is good.

Raised as the last Padawan Learner to the venerable Grand Master of the Order, Obi-Wan has strived all his life to be the perfect Jedi, the epitome of the light. He has ruthlessly chased out fear and anger from his heart, has excised all that would tempt him down a darker path shaded in charcoal, ebony, and onyx. He knows the shades of ivory that mark the path of the truly righteous like the back of his hand.

He is an example to the Order, to those initiates who feel they will never be chosen, encouragement to those Knights who fear that perfection is out of their grasp, and a subtle reminder to masters to think twice about their preconceived notions.

If Obi-Wan Kenobi can become a paragon of light, the finest of his generation, Master Yoda’s true heir, then anything is possible.

Through the light all things are possible.

Except… that is all Obi-Wan can see.

There is no color in his world, no vibrant blues, no ruddy crimson or a delicate yellow. The world around him is as black and white as the lessons handed down to him from a grandmaster who has evolved beyond caring about the color of a flower or the particular shade of the sunset.

After 800 years of shades of grey, Yoda needs no gaudy, saturated rainbow to tell him that sunlight dappled through the leaves of a sweet oak in the Room of a Thousand Fountains is beautiful. He simply accepts the world that he sees as it is. He does not need color nor does he want it.

“A Jedi craves not these things, Obi-Wan,” Yoda tells him and Obi-Wan does his best to listen to his master’s wisdom, to tell himself that there is beauty in the shift from radiant white to ecru to charcoal and the inky wash of night time.

It works for the most part.

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Drone overflights of the nation of Jordan, featuring the cities, deserts, and spectacular overlook shots of the sandstone carved city of Petra.

onceandalwaysenglishmajor  asked:

2 from the fluff list, something Gaara related? (He's one of my fave, I get into arguments with a friend over it all the time!)

Gaara is an amazing cinnamon roll and your friend can fite me ok

2 - “I bought this because I thought you’d like it.”

Gaara studied the neatly-wrapped package in his hands, not sure what to make of it. The paper was folded artfully and secured with tape in a way that represented great care. Not even he had enough patience to mimic the effort. He wasn’t as bad as his brother, who’d often presented unwrapped gifts from a bag, but the wrapping was an art in and of itself. His pale eyes blinked a few times as he hesitated. 

Lee looked at him expectantly, practically bouncing from side to side. Wordlessly, he channeled his energy into psychically willing his friend to open the gift. The package had sat on his desk for months, wrapped in decorative paper and begging to be given. Neji had questioned why he bought the trinket on their last trek through the land of earth, but Lee had kept it safe in his pack throughout their mission and return. With that level of dedication, and almost certainly because he hadn’t talked about it, both Neji and Ten Ten had humored him.

Physically incapable of waiting any longer, Lee ushered, “Are you not going to open it?”

“Oh.” Gaara looked up at his friend as though he had forgotten that was what he was supposed to do. “Right.” Carefully, he slid his fingernail underneath the tape, splitting it at each point. He took such care to remove the paper that it remained in one piece. At the center was an origami box, folded out of thick paper. The kazekage took it in his hand and peeled back the fold, shaking the contents out into his palm.

A piece of carved, polished sandstone hung from a thin leather cord. Gaara ran his thumb over the pendant, feeling the grooves of the buddhist-styled mandala. It was incredibly intricate, something that would have to be hand-crafted. Most likely, it came from a temple.

His companion hesitated, unable to read his reaction. Hesitantly, Lee ventured “I bought this for you because I thought you would like it.” By nature, he was too expressive to hide the concern in his voice. Crestfallen, he wondered if he knew the man as well as he had thought.

Gaara was pulled out of his thoughts by Lee’s voice. He made a noncommittal noise and turned the pendant over in his palm. After a few, painstaking seconds, he offered a “Thank you.”

Lee was caught off guard. “You mean you like it?”

Gaara nodded. Lee let out a sigh of relief, his entire body relaxing. He knew that not everyone was as easy to read as he could be, but Gaara’s often expressionless demeanor never ceased to cause him anxiety. He watched as the man pulled the cord down around his head, letting it rest around his neck. The leather rested against his prominent collarbones and disappeared down the front of his cloak.

“But I wasn’t aware that we were exchanging gifts,” the kazekage admitted, suddenly socially conscious of his taboo.

Lee shook his head vehemently, holding his hands out in front of him. “No, no. I do not need anything. I did not give that to you for any specific reason. It is a gift, that is all.”

Gaara hesitated as if he was trying to figure out if he was being lied to. As he studied Lee’s face, his companion laughed and scratched the back of his head.

“Really,” Lee insisted.

“Hm.” Gaara glanced down at his new necklace, busying his hands with folding the wrapping paper into smaller and smaller segments. When the paper became too thick to fold, he placed it into his pocket. Finally breaking his silence, he smiled ever so slightly. “I like it.”

Drabble List

Kentucky Gothic

(cause i’m addicted)

-You visit the small town where your father grew up. You visit the three separate graveyards where you have family buried. There are more dead than there are living. You pretend not to notice the way the silk flowers disappear

-The wildcats are screaming, the bobcats are screaming, you lie awake at night screaming because you cannot tell the difference.

-The deflated basketball is your garage is your homage to the god you know is watching over your team this season. The smell of burning mattresses fills the air.

-All snakes are evil except the snakes that are good. They are different shapes to help you differentiate.

-The fronts of the buildings on Main Street in Louisville are magnetic. You pretend you do not know. You pretend you do not care. You pretend that the smell of iron that fills downtown is not blood.

-The catfish at the bottom of the pond are ancient. At night they come to the surface and whisper to you the sins of your ancestors.

-Your neighbor offers you a ride. You do not know why they know where you are going.

-Everyone is related. Your father went to school with everyone. Your mother went to school with everyone. You cannot leave. Your roots are here and they run deep.

-You drive. There are horse farms. Miles upon miles of that white fencing. When did you last see a horse?

-The sandstone carvings deep in the woods are ignored.

-These trees know your secrets. Running away will only hurt you.

-In every house there is a pictured of the same covered bridge. This bridge burned down years and years ago. Still, the picture remains, eternal.

-GOD IS WATCHING and JESUS SAVES are plastered on billboards. They remind you of the Great Gatsby. They remind you that you are going to hell. No matter how fast you drive, they follow.

-Hell would technically have better weather. 

It Looks Like You!

for @errrbodylovesfinn, who requested Finnrey and a great meal (or a slight variation thereof ☺)

They had three entire days on their own, three glorious days in which they didn’t have to wake up before the sun rose, or run sprints, or climb the steep cliffs of Ahch-To, or do the handstand-Force-exercise that Finn was convinced was nothing more than a practical joke for Skywalker’s enjoyment. No, they had three full, glorious, empty days to themselves. And Rey suspected their grizzled old Master wouldn’t complain about a few days of peace and quiet, either.

Finn’s knowledge of the galaxy was second-to-none, but even so, Wild Space was full of dark corners and hidden places, perfect for new Jedi trainees to melt into the background, for people with strange and sad pasts to blend in. They’d pulled up a map and pointed to a random point, close enough to Ahch-To’s system that they could go there and back with little trouble. They weren’t expecting much – a change of scenery more than anything – but when Finn and Rey pulled up to the little red planet, what they found was a thriving space port, bustling markets, and-

“Oh! Let’s try this one next, Rey!” Finn garbled through a mouthful of spiced, dried meat. He pointed to a stall run by a perpetually unamused Togrutan woman, who glared at his finger like it was responsible for her missing teeth. “They look like you!”

Rey’s head poked out from a stall selling sheer scarves in every color imaginable, peering around the throng at the stand Finn pointed out. The Togrutan woman was stretching and pulling a sweet-smelling dough, rolling it over in her bony fingers until three tiny, sugary knots rose from the rounded bun. Rey burst out laughing and left the scarves behind to stand next to Finn. She took a piece of spicy jerky from his hands and nibbled on it, eyes wide.

As they watched, the Togruta flipped and dipped the bun into a shiny chocolate glaze, letting thick droplets form into sturdy little points. Despite his full mouth, fuller hands, and increasingly empty wallet, Finn took a step towards the stall. Only now did the only woman slyly grin. She accepted the credits and handed over two pastries the size of Finn’s hand. Already, the hot suns were melting the chocolate points. Finn bent to kiss a smear of chocolate from Rey’s lips before she pulled him onwards.

They meandered on through the market, weaving through the crowds with ease. Like them, many had come to this system to hide – there was no Resistance, no First Order, no New Republic out here among the dust of the stars. Aliens and humans of all stripes argued, bartered, laughed and drank and ate and called out to one another, reveling in a simple life in a place of little importance.

Every stall, every stand offered something different – bright pink and orange fruits, heavy and pulpy; thick frozen leaves coated in simple sugar that freshened their breath; fresh bread the color of the rising sandstone buildings carved into the cliffside of the city; roasting and sautéing and glazed meats of all assortments dipped in buttery crusts – and this was to say nothing of the beverages. Blue milk was the simplest offering – Finn dared Rey to try a cocktail branded ‘the absolute strongest in the Outer Rim!’ and cheered with delight when she drank it all in one go.

For Finn, the ex-stormtrooper who had known nothing but nutrient paste, and Rey, who never wanted to see another portion, full or otherwise, in her life, the crammed market was the grandest feast they had ever seen.

Happy Birthday, Mari! <3

Alright, I’m still sick but I’m trucking along here! I do it for you, Mari!

If you guys don’t know, Mari is such a sucker for Prince!Percy so that’s what I’m giving her as her super special awesome surprise present. So let’s do some medieval Percabeth? Enjoy!


“That is the worst effing disguise I’ve ever seen.”

Annabeth had been thinking it before Piper even said it. The pair of them watched as the cloaked figure walked through the market, pausing here and there at each wheeled cart to see what was being sold. He stood out worse than a sore thumb. Sore thumbs, though, could be hidden beneath bandages. No, this was truly, truly awful. No one wore burlap cloaks in the middle of summer, not even the old crone who lived in a hut around the corner. She had enough room in that addle-brained, cat-clawed head to remove a layer when the time called for it. Whoever was trying to hide was either very dumb or in a lot of trouble. Either way, he must be really hot. As in warm. She couldn’t see his face shining with sweat.

But she definitely knew it was a he, based on his gait, and the breadth of his shoulders, and his shoes. Surprisingly enough, she could tell a lot about a person by the way they dress their feet. His shoes were a size too big for him, based on the way the heel dragged through the dusty road. He probably stole them. And they were muddy and had holes and the stink could likely be smelled across town.

Annabeth brushed her fingers over her nose as if she could already catch whiffs of it.

Thieves could spot other thieves, the same innate ability that wolves have when spotting other wolves. Predators amongst the prey, despite how some try to wear sheep’s clothing. 

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The Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness is a rolling landscape of badlands in New Mexico, which offers some of the most unusual scenery found in the Southwest. Time, water and wind have etched a fantasy world of strange rock formations made of layered sandstone, shale, mudstone, coal and silt. The weathering of the sandstone forms hoodoos – carved rock in the form of pinnacles, spires, cap rocks and other unusual forms like these “cracked eggs” recently captured by photographer Matt Beckmann under a purple sunset. Photo courtesy of Matt Beckmann.

The Scorpion Bone King

What you need to know:

A cult of necromancy, mind controlled by a giant undead scorpion humanoid, lives in old ruins in the desert and raid the local caravans traveling the roads.

How it begins:

Posts and banners are put up seeking guards for caravan routes at all the towns and cities in a desert region. They will pay per kilometer plus a bonus on arrival.
Note 1 - You can have a caravan destination be where the players are already heading.
Note 2 - If players ask why guards are needed, they will be told about the raids by bandits on the roads.

– 1 –
Feel free to have the first day or two of travel have several small challenges. A wheel of a wagon breaks, bad weather the players have to help the caravan deal with, a feud between two wagon masters the players have to break up, etc.

– 2 –
It shouldn’t be till the second or third day the party is raided by X number of necromancy cultists. They will have weapons and armor of the regions and tattoos of scorpions on their arms, chest and face.
Note: Their weapons will be coated in scorpion poison, dealing extra damage or stat damage.
They will mostly be 75 percent warriors, 25 percent spell casters.
They will fight to the death.
They will have no treasure other than food, basic supplies and their weapons and armor.

- A -

  • Once the battle is over, the wagons masters will congratulate or condemn the players based on how well they did.
  • Also the wagon masters will discuss how the local magistrate may reward the players for putting down the bandits.
  • They will also discuss how the bandit’s den may be close and worth a look, should the players be interested.
  • They would be willing to wait a day if the players give them a percentage of the rewards plus any finds they come across in the bandit’s den.

- B -

  • Tracks will lead through the desert to part 3 should the players investigate.

– 3 –
Several miles through hot sand dunes, a dozen spires of sandstone rock shaped like scorpion tails raise 3-5 meters out of the sand.

- A -

  • All around the spires are spiked foot traps placed in the sand.
    Note: Any players walking through the sand to the spires must roll a check or step on the traps and take X D6 damage, plus losing half their movement. Healing eliminates this effect.

- B -

  • In the middle of the spire under the sand is a rock trap door with three scorpions carved on the surface, all facing up. Opening the door reveals a set of stone steps.
    Note: This is the first sequence of the puzzle in room 7 – 3 up

– 4 –

Stairs descend into a chamber of sandstone. 2 skeletal stone scorpion statues are built in the center of the chamber and within each claw is a lock. In the back of the room is a stone door with 6 scorpions carved on its surface facing left. Part 2 of the puzzle - 6 left.

- A -

  • Unlocking all 4 claws locks lowers the door.
    Note: If any player fails to pick a lock, the claw will snap closed for X D6 damage, then reset.

- B -

  • The door is a one ton block of stone.

– 5 –

Hall of sandstone, bone scorpion tails jut out form the stone writhing and striking at random. At the end of the hall is a stone door with 8 scorpions carved on the surface facing up. Part 3 of the puzzle: 8 up.

- A -

  • Any player passing through the corridor must roll or become struck by a tail.
  • For each point players failed their roll, they will take 1 D4 damage plus poison which can add additional damage or stat damage.

- B -

  • The stone door at the end of the hall is locked and needs to be unlocked or brute forced to pass, all while rolling to dodge the scorpion tail strikes.
    Note: Players can fight and destroy the scorpion tails.
  • Give each cluster a set of hit points and one scorpion tail attack which does D4 damage plus poison.

– 6 –

A hall of sandstone, scorpions are carved all along the walls. At the end of the hall is a stone door with 10 scorpions carved on the surface facing right. Part 4 of the puzzle -  10 right.

- A -

  • There are pit traps along the hall hiding under false floors. They are X meters deep and contain dens of scorpions at the bottom.
    Note 1: There are bits of carrion at the bottom left by the cultist to feed the scorpions so they don’t die.
    Note 2
    : You can have the player fight the scorpions as per the rules for swarms or allow them to roll a save to avoid being hit by the scorpions as they to escape.

- B -

  • The door at the end of the corridor is locked and needs to be picked or brute forced to open.
    Note: The door is trapped and when opened, two bone scorpion tails will strike from the other side coming out of the ground. The player in front of the door must roll twice to avoid being hit or take 2 D6 damage plus 2 poison saves.

– 7 –

A sandstone room. Over each wall are 4 metal scorpions acting as levers. They each have a metal plaque underneath labeled 1-15.

- A -

  • The scorpions can be turned to face up, down, left or right but all start in the down position.
    Note 1: This is where the puzzle notes come in. The players must turn the right number scorpion in the right position in order to open a secret door in the floor – 3 up, 6 left, 8 up,10 right.
    Note 2: Using any scorpion not in the sequence will result in the scorpion striking the player for D4 damage. Any scorpion that is in the sequence but moved incorrectly will not result in any penalties other than the door will not open.

– 8 –

A sandstone room. In each corner of the room is a large bone scorpion. Within its ribs is the cult’s treasure: coins, jewelry, magic items, bolts of cloth, etc.

At the end of the room is a stone door with one large scorpion carved on the surface.

- A -

  • All the bone scorpions will attack if any player comes within 3 meters.
    Note: they have large scorpion stats plus undead traits.
  • Their sting attack deals stat damage.

- B -

  • Once a scorpion is killed, their contents spill to the floor.
  • The treasure inside is covered in a sticky sap that upon touch deals D6 contact poison damage.
    Note: The poison will dry after after a few days.
  • Using cloth or a barrier against direct contact will protect the player from the poison.
  • You can allow the player to use the sap to coat their weapons dealing poison damage.

- C -

  • The door is locked and needs to be picked or brute forced to open.

– 9 –

A room of sandstone. Two metal braziers burn in the back of the room. Between them, nestled in a pile of dead and bones, is a giant sized half-humanoid half-scorpion made of bone. It has a crown of stingers around its head, plus three tails from its thorax. X number of cultists stand around the room, they have the same description as the cultist that attacked the cavern in part 2.

- A -

  • The scorpion will waste no time and attack immediately once the players open the door.
  • The scorpion has large scorpion stats plus undead traits.
  • You can add fighter or wizard levels if you wish for added challenge.
  • The scorpion tails each get a separate attack and have three different poisons:
    1 - is a stun poison
    2 - is a control monster poison that forces the player to fight for the scorpion till it rolls a successful save against the poison
    3 - is a stat damage poison
  • The scorpion also gets an extra headbutt attack delivering X D4 damage from its stingers.


The scorpion shatters to dust once killed. The cult has been cleared and the players can return to seek their treasure, or do they?
Maybe the scorpion king sends out a pulse of energy as it dies, causing all the scorpion in the surrounding area to become hostile, sending 1000s maybe millions of scorpions as a swarm to attack the players and the caravan.
Maybe waves pour over the towns and villages and players have to find a way to divert the swarms.
Maybe a much bigger badder scorpion exists and has attacked the caravan while the adventures are away and a sandstorm is coming in. The players have no way to travel and the creature hunts them from the storm.
Maybe this is not the last of the cult and it is only a splinter group of a much larger organization, gathering treasure to build an undead army and now the players have gotten their attention.

Either way, have fun and hope to see you again.


The St. Thaddeus Monastery best known as Qara Kelisa which literally means Black Church is an ancient Armenian monastery perched on a mountain ridge in the northern Iranian province of West Azerbaijan.

One of the 12 Apostles, St. Thaddeus, also known as Saint Jude, was martyred while spreading the Gospel. He is revered as an apostle of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Legend has it that a church dedicated to him was first built on the present site in AD 68.

Not much appears to remain of the original church, which was extensively rebuilt in 1329 after an earthquake damaged the structure in 1319. Nevertheless, some of the parts surrounding the altar apse date from the 10th century. Much of the present structure dates from 1811 when Qajar prince Abbas Mirza helped in renovations and repairs. This structure exactly duplicates the design of the cathedral at Etchmiadzin. The 19th century additions are from carved sandstone. The earliest parts are of black and white stone, hence its Turkic name Kara Kilise, the Black Church.

Qara Kelisa has been registered as the ninth Iranian historical-cultural heritage site on the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage List.



The Amazing Medieval “Hobbit” Stone Houses of Staffordshire, England

These medieval cave houses carved from sandstone were abandoned by the last residents in the 1960s, but people were living happily inside them for over three centuries before that. Many people believe that these houses are featured in a very well-known book published in 1937, The Hobbit. The opening line of J. R. R. Tolkien’s book states, “The door opened on to a tube-shaped hall like a tunnel: a very comfortable tunnel without smoke, with paneled walls and floors tiled and carpeted, provided with polished chairs, and lots and lots of pegs for hats and coats – the hobbit was fond of visitors.” Tolkien was famously reluctant to name the places that inspired his stories. In fact, there are so many similarities between the 18th century Holy Austin Rock Houses and Tolkien’s description of the Hobbit holes that it becomes an obvious assumption that he must have seen or read about these remarkable dwellings.



Sunderwala Burj, before and after Conservation by Aga Khan Trust for Culture. Inappropriate repair works through the 20th century have reduced many of our important monuments to a caricature of their formal self / as the original builders intended them to be. For more information, please visit, Nizamuddin Urban Renewal Project.

Taken from Nizamuddin Basti Urban Renewal Initiative Facebook page.


American Artist, Ra Paulette, Spent 10 Years Carving A Giant Cave – Alone With His Dog

He spends his time carving a sandstone cave that he found, turning it into a wonderful subterranean space full of light. Without no one but his dog for company, Paulette created different designs and styles for every cavern, giving each one very specific qualities and textures. The purpose of this gigantic artwork is to create an environment that would inspire “spiritual renewal and personal well being.” It will also serve as a venue for artistic events once it’s finished.

Company Painting of the Qutb Minar

Part of a Series of Sixty Drawings of Mughal Monuments and Architectural Details

India (Delhi), East India Company, 1836

Watercolors on paper

This Company painting depicts the Qutb Minar, a fluted red sandstone tower covered with carvings and inscribed with verses from the Koran. The Qutb Minar was started in 1199 as the victory tower of Qutb-ud Din Aibak, commemorating the Muslim dominance of Delhi. It was completed by his successor, Iltutmish, and the top was restored by Firoz Shah in 1369. The picture shows the cupola added by Colonel Robert Smith in 1828 and removed in 1848.

‘Company paintings’ were produced by Indian artists for Europeans living and working in the Indian subcontinent, especially British employees of the East India Company. They represent a fusion of traditional Indian artistic styles with conventions and technical features borrowed from western art. Some Company paintings were specially commissioned, while others were virtually mass-produced and could be purchased in bazaars.

Photograph by @JohnStanmeyer

Paul Salopek, the official walker of the @natgeo @outofedenwalk project, last year writing under moonlight, dwarfed in the historic Nabataean ruins of Mada'in Saleh, Saudi Arabia, carved into sandstone mountains thousands of years ago. A pre-Islamic people, the Nabataeans carved palatial tombs in a vast area that today stretches from Petra in present day Jordan, south into Mada'in Salih, Saudi Arabia. The Nabataean kingdom was conquered by the Roman Empire around 20 BC.

Be sure to pick up the March 2015 issue of National Geographic magazine for part IV of the Out of Eden Walk where Paul Salopek and I traveled overland through Turkey along the Syrian border where we witnessed last August the tragic exodus of more than 130,000 Syrians fleeing Kobani in Syria, migration based upon forced migration, as we continue our journey retracing humanities footsteps out of Africa that began some 60,000 years ago.

All my best, John Stanmeyer

@natgeocreative @thephotosociety #saudiarabia #hejaz #Nabataean #MadainSalih #tombs #petra #levant #moonlight #journey #writing #journalism #paulsalopek @paulsalopek #night by natgeo