Nov 29 2013

Cyndi’s Riddles and Rhymes VII

On a horse or played as a game
These shoes won’t bring you luck
Try hanging them above a door frame
But make sure they’re pointed straight up.

Luck of the draw
Put your hand in the sack
Consider yourself lucky
If you get it all back. Continue reading

Nov 28 2013

Ice House Groundhog

The chain link junkyard behind the defunct ice house was his kingdom, and a wretched kingdom it was.  Forgotten hulks of metal nested in the wire grass, a pitted and pocked hive of mechanical leprosy.  Shattered shell fragments and crushed bone peppered the animal trails with the suggestion of long buried teeth.  The perimeter fence was little more than a memory of security.  The rusted tops of ivy laden chain link sagged several feet from the spindly array of barbed wire spanning above.

Some would call such a scene little more than a decrepit wasteland.  The groundhog called it paradise. Continue reading

Nov 27 2013

Ira Burstan

Within the gargantuan walls of the city of Cartomfe, most children would say that they dreamt of knighthood or the aristocracy or adventure, anything more thrilling than the mundane pursuits which consume the lives of the average commoner.  Ira Burstan was one of the select few who carried the pragmatic gene which would shape his youth well into adulthood.  For as long as he could remember, Ira wanted nothing more than to own and serve as innkeeper at the Bear and Tusk Inn along Cartomfe’s main thoroughfare. Continue reading

Nov 26 2013

Shredder XX

Until now.

Merinde sighed heavily and straightened up in her chair.  Her spine creaked its own discord, but she paid no mind to the aches and pains which conveyed memories of her past exploits.  Each was a story in itself, but those were tales she did not often revisit.  Too many ghosts.  Too much blood.  She took one more swig of liquor from the mug next to her and set the cup down upside down on the table to an array of gasps. Continue reading

Nov 25 2013

Shadow of Hope XI

Finishing the sip that he was taking, Borlak turned his dark brown eyes upon the person addressing him.  In his quiet manner, he replied, “Yes, I was approached and given an invitation that was just enticing enough to put the feet of my mount on a path that I had not intended.”

His head tilted slightly in thought, or maybe remembrance, a fond look sparkling in his gaze.  “As for home,” he continued, “You are correct that it is not the great city.  Nor is yours, I believe.” Continue reading

Nov 24 2013

Cynthia Anna Marie Domin

The “Riddles and Rhymes” and “Echoes of Her Past” series here on Sworded Tales refer to a PC named Cynthia Anna Marie Domin.  She was birthed for a World of Darkness Changeling game in which we played chyldlings.  Here is the original concept sheet for her (an act I perform for many PC’s, but hers was more involved than most):

– a 37″ tall, seven year old girl, app. 42 lbs.
– long, dark auburn hair that always seems to be hanging in her face
– little pug nose, deep brown eyes, prominent throat mechanics and a gap between her left incisor and canine
– ears are attached to the head the whole way around, not pierced
– round, dark, slightly raised birthmark on her hamstring about three inches above the knee
– always wears a denim jumper in varying shades of blue with a front chest pocket
– shiny black patent leather shoes with frilly white ankle socks
– always carries her backpack with herAddams Family in verrückter Tradition, Die / Addams Family Values

– black with leather bottom, front and main pouch
– carries: a book and crayons for coloring, a stuffed animal, a pouch of goodies, a play phone, marbles

– the howl of the wind
– screams of the dying live on in a curse
– ‘We are the screams of the dying.  We are the howl of the wind.  We are everywhere.  We see everything.  You can not hide from us…’
– do not scream, it will only make them stronger
– they are at peace during the calm, during the storm, none can withstand them
– each whisper, each moan, each howl, each scream…is another one
– we travel the void, the space between life and death
– we walk with the dead living and the living dead
– we are the echo
– ‘Do you hear it? Strength from the screams. There is peace in silence, but the screams are what make me whole. Will you scream for me?’

Looking back on that initial concept and then the host of memorable scenes that developed in playing Cyndi, she was a landmark TheRing1character for me.  I can’t say I fancy playing children, but I made my little Sluagh girl an ancient soul who was a delicious cross between Wednesday Addams and Samara from The Ring, though Cyndi was alive and kicking (quite literally) long before Samara found her way to mainstream media.  The chyldling flashbacks I had when I first saw Samara squirm from the television…  *FALCONPUNCH!*

The fact that I could play Cyndi like the prodigal visionary added such potential.  I think she gave me further insight into character depth than any other I had played, at least up to that point.  The innocence of youth blended with the horror of eternal precognition.  What’s not to like?

I’m sure her echoes will be long lived both here and throughout the other paths I walk.

Nov 22 2013


I grew up on them.  Long before the television blossomed into a banal and countless cartoon menagerie, there were a select few channels from which to choose.  My preferred viewing agenda was Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry and Hong Kong Phooey.  LooneyTunesWallpaper1024

Timeless classics of the perverted culture of the age, there was rarely an after school date or Saturday morning pajama fest that didn’t find the antics of these zany characters splashing across the screen.  Mix into that a box of Frosted Flakes or some other equally sugar inducing cereal, and WHAMMO! you had yourself an event.

Among the most classic in my memory, What’s Opera Doc? (aka Spear and Magic Helmet), Rabbit of Seville and Touché Pussycat.  Can I tell you?  The cavalcades of classical music and animated chaos that permanently imprinted the psyche.  Nothing but sheer genius.  So many wonderful snippets of memory, Marvin the Martian, the Coyote Acme antics and a host of other creative seeds.

Cartoons.  I wouldn’t be the creature I am today without them.

Nov 21 2013

Cyndi’s Riddles and Rhymes VI


I curse this place and all who enter here.
Within these walls of dishonor and fear
Will be a haven of distrust and lies
Breeding hate and anger and despise.

Never again will trust break through.
Never again will the truth ring true.
Hone will be lost in this tomb of gloom.
All attempts at ruling here will end in doom.

In this place of darkness, shadows will reign,
Echoing their unavenged screams of pain.
An abyss of horror all things good will shun
Until the wrongs have been righted, and justice is done.

Continue reading

Nov 20 2013

Shredder XIX

Seravis met her gaze without contempt, unable to see a means by which he would lose this engagement.  The younger man flourished a hand toward Merinde, granting her whatever time she saw fit to relish her final evening as proprietress of the Last Dance.

The small hamlet of Daruqhaar was the dying breath of civilization before the blasted wastes of the north.  A sordid and conflict ridden history congealed around a singular fact which explained the village’s survival nestled in such unforgiving lands.  The inn known as the Last Dance was blessed, or cursed, depending on which side of the argument was preferred.  The power behind the anomalous structure was unknown, but a dizzying number of tales surrounded the source material.  Whatever the origins, the Last Dance served as a beacon to those that would gamble in this challenging terrain.  Daruqhaar survived as a result, flourishing or rebuilding as circumstances dictated. Continue reading

Nov 19 2013

Grenna Fiori

The city had always been home to Grenna, caressing her with the mercantile aroma of war and the languid touch of sewage.  The storm seasons grew worse and the daily fallen now outweighed the newborn hope, but gods how she loved it!  The savage thrum of power and the criss-crossing array of cultures were a breeding ground for dreams.  That the goddess of sleep interlaced such wondrous moments of unconsciousness with nightmare was only fitting.  A young girl could not afford to become placid.  Not when that young girl intended to become a legendary purloiner. Continue reading