Katrisha a Portrait in Iteration

I’ve tried many times over the years to capture this very particular creature. Kat is full of visual challenges. Catching the exact shape of her cheeks and nose, that particular light-olive skin that is very frustrating to not make look either too pink, gray, yellow, or dark. Hair that is metallic, eyes a little slanted, and pupils a little slit. Lets say it’s still not perfect, but it’s closer than I’ve been… and I really need to share more of these attempts, and experiments.

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Commentary VI:5

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The Ripples of Change

There were a lot of things that pulled me back and forth on this plot line, that I stumbled into unwitting. As with Liora, it was a disruption that did not fit my plans, or rather my vision of them. In truth, as it all shakes out, it fit better. Liora’s path, her character, past and struggles. These proto-assassins are the sort of thing her mother was before she was rescued. The sort of thing that might have been made of her along the way to ‘fix’ her in the eyes of others, before she could have been converted to a soldier of the other side.

Her stakes, and position in all this. That this subplot would make the future for her more interesting – in a bit of an ‘ancient proverb’ sense of the word – was hard to deny. Its one of those things. If you let the rules of a world push events as they might imply, they can lead you places you didn’t know you wanted to go. Sometimes even kicking and screaming.

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Commentary VI:3

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We Might be Missing Some Cabbages

“The time has come”, the Walrus said, “To talk of many things: Of shoes – and ships – and sealing wax – Of cabbages – and kings– And why the sea is boiling hot – And whether pigs have wings.”

Through the Looking-Glass

The allusions were not all intentional, and it was not till I was staring at a line about wax seals that I realized how peculiar the association might be. Indeed I’ve been spending a bit of time pondering a story that fills a bit of the niche of several books in our world, that we soon after reference. The dark conclusion to the above frivolous rhyming perhaps no less apt to the uncomfortable end of the sequence. Much has uselessly been made of the gobbling up of the oysters, and all it could mean.

I do question the light opening of my verses however, against how the chapter ends. Yet there is some darkness still inherent here, between the lines. The hopelessness and sympathy, the perhaps ready, casual tone of asking if death has come to call. The at once ageless and timeless wait the woman has endured. There is something hidden between the weeks here. Two cracks at the same moment in different tone, by the same fictional author.

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Commentary VI:2

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An Agency of Change

Something interesting that came up Tuesday, which, well I guess agrees with some aspects of my writing. If it seems a bit slow it gets more interesting in the middle when they really dig into details about structural inequity in an abstracted society. One of the interesting things being I ran across it after most of this commentary was written.

It’s only passingly mentioned how much writers actually struggle to write truly egalitarian societies, because to be truly egalitarian I would argue you undermine the basis on which almost all of what is consisted strong story telling is constructed, deep interpersonal conflict. Which is always going arise out of social inequities, so the more egalitarian the society, the more subdued these are going to be. Feeling somewhere between naive to disingenuous compared to our understanding of real human behavior.

Where’s the conflict, is one of the first questions in story telling.


I went through a lot of tiles for this weeks chapter, trying to be clever about extra parts left over, and conflations of inequality and iniquity. Mostly cause I pushed the title I had started with on to next week. I’d also considered Remainders rather strongly over Iniquity, but move along. I do also have some worries about the tone shift in the middle of next weeks chapter… but next week.

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A History of Thaea: The Osyraen Period

750 B.E. – 500 B.E.

I’ll admit I’ve decided a few new things in writing this up, and reserve the right to correct any problems I find later. It is all written intentionally vaguely, but this is in part because there is a lot of lost, or confusing history and disagreement intended. Meant to echo subtle things such as the unlikely ages of some biblical figures, or the doubtful authenticity of any aspect of arthurian legend, but all are more likely true(r) in this context.

I intend this to be something of a living document as I track down little things I have (somewhere,) but also part of a series tackling different epochs of world history.

This is none the less, largely codifying my operating understanding of the history of the world, with a few flourishes along the way.

Though exact dates for anything much before 200 B.E. are hotly debated by scholarly circles, most are willing to oblige approximate decades of various significant historical events as far back as the commonly given 750 B.E. for the founding of Osyrae, and the declaration of Osir as King (Koning.)

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A Rhan’s Eye View

So, I’ve been working on a map I would be happy to show for a while. Some might have noticed a featured image on the previous commentary which was taken from the larger map. I’ve a lot more to write up on it, but I thought I’d share this more inclusive view. I’m not sure I have the equatorial scale of the continent facing us right, as it’s been roughed onto the circle to simulate a sphere manually. It should still be fairly close… maybe 20% variance.

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A Game by Many Names

This weeks chapter gets a pre-commentary about the title. Which while entirely prosaic and uninteresting in origin, did inspire me down a familiar (if somewhat different) rabbit hole.† I also admit I may have read this name somewhere as a one off joke I interpreted to mean roughly where I’ve gone (possibly a webcomic.) Though I cannot identify a source. There is a further key bit of inspiration in the following gaming joke: d4s are basically caltrops.

† Now mind you, unless I thought of a proper origin for it, rabbit hole is an expression that should never appear in context of the world of Thaea (origin Alice in Wonderland.) Oh well, this is commentary. Also in the very unlikely event anyone didn’t get where this is going Degresses, Digresses, Snakes, & the Occasional Climbing Implement, may be involved. Strangely this is not a caving expedition, any allusions to the burrows of adorable fluffy mammals aside.


Pilgrims & Paths generally speaking is a children’s game. Though this is the most common name by a small margin Travelers (rarely Wanderers,) and Jacks (Caltrops, or more rarely Stars) may fill in the blanks depending on who you ask. Some (very rarely) refer to the game simply as Ascension, but that can cause confusion with other games. In all irony this final name is most common when it is played illicitly by youth in a cloister, or Palentian soldiers in a barracks, as a form of gambling.

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