Sunday, 26 January 2014

88 - 95

88# Parent and Child.
Hand-sized sculpture in unknown grey stone.
This almost-formless shape is exactly what it needs to be and no more. The natural shape of the rock has been carefully smoothed and shaped so that it looks and feels unlike a piece of work, but more like something found. Two simple faces rise out of the stone like faces pressed against a sheet. The eyes, nose and mouth only have been scratched as single lines. And the hair of the child cradled in the parents arms.

89# War on Shaft Five
Bright synthetics on rough silk.
The paints, or acrylics, are amazingly bright. They glow under even the palest light. Overwhelming, almost bleeding over the edges of the image. It represents, in primitive style, a scene of war. A tribal people in (what we must assume are) astonishing war masks and head dresses is in conflict with a mechanical thing served by stunted warriors. The thing advances with raised metallic arms, the warriors respond with tubes that shoot abstracted fire. The sympathies of the image-maker seem clearly with the masked tribe.

90# Copy of a Museum Guide
Scorched book in Unknown Tongue.
The book is half-burnt. The language of this book has no relation to any living language, making it almost impossible for anyone but an expert to decipher. Magic may reveal its meaning in part, but not whole. The book is itself a copy of a copy of an older book, transcribed multiple times by writers with no knowledge of the tongue they wrote. It seems to be a guide to a lost collection of un-assignable things. Things which have no place or relation to either each other or the world. Some look like technology.

91# Image of the City of Death.
Silver-Nitrate image on paper.
Held under darkened glass, players (not PC’s) will recognise this as a primitive photograph. It is a street scene of a vaulted township carved from white stone in an art-deco style. Everything still in the image is picked out perfectly. Everything moving is blurred into a kind of river of shapes. The crowds in the street are a torrent of shadows, the water in the fountains is a wash of grey light. Yet, in the crowd, are still figures. It looks like someone has poised corpses there for a joke. The dead are dressed in robes of state and carry silver needles through their tongues and eyes. Yet some see, and one turns towards the makers point of view, its hand is blurred, as if it moves to raise.

92# Magma Chamber Dreaming.
Sand, held in relation by some unknown art. 3x4 metres.
This living mandala of crow-wing black sand never stops moving. Dominated by four strong lateral lines which shift around each other, sometimes waving, sometimes straight, the space between them broken into changing shapes that shift and rearrange like bacteria in a dish. A dreaming of the magmatic flows within an elemental chamber deep beneath the earth, the action of the image is linked to the eventual eruptions of  a specific mountain chain. The link proceeds both ways, the magma changes the mandala, the mandala changes the magma flow. One cannot change without the other. Anyone with the deep skills required, and the unknowable black sand, could try to control the eruption of the volcano’s that make up the range.
The consequences of feedback are unknown.

93# Monkey Egg
Stone egg, acid-etched calligraphy.
This two metre high stone egg is rumoured to be a twin to that which birthed the monkey king. It’s black surface is cold and the egg is either lifeless or asleep. Scholars propose either a miscarried twin, or some other form of divine life, taking its time, maybe destined for another age. An anti-monkey, or unmonkey. Maybe a snail. The egg has passed back and forth between the ownership of different cults multiple times. At some point is was acid-etched in a form of ‘mad grass’ calligraphy.
The ‘monkey prayer’ looping round the surface of the egg is also an image of Monkey himself. Stained in violent spectra, Monkey is a near-abstract half-blur of living power surging up out of primal darkness. Everything is dying yet he lives.

94# Primum Mobile
Carving on bone.
This carving seems to show a royal or wealthy family eating a formal meal. Around them a massacre is taking place. Uniformed soldiers are destroying a less well-equipped force. This seems to happen on another level of reality to the main image. Nothing in the massacre affects the eating family to the smallest degree. Murder and fighting flow around them as they look on indifferently. A man is drowned in the soup. Blood splatters the walls. Nothing touches them

95# Fat Lights, No Hunger.
Book of Poetry, handwritten.
This long form poem follows a deer through an Autumn forest at night. Every form of life the deer encounters receives its own stanza, from plants to animals. Remarks on the wind, the darkness and the stars make a kind of chorus. The unusual element is that all of this is seen from the perspective of a visitor from the Underdark. The sights and smells are alien and strange to the poet. Nevertheless they are given in a state of rapture. The language is Gnollish and the ink is blood.


  1. I realize this post is years old but I hope you do see this comment.

    Does "Image of the City of Death" refer to Titarenko's City of Shadows?

    1. It does not, I was unfamiliar with that creator when I wrote that, though he is good.