Monday, January 29, 2018

30 Days of Poems: Secret

There is something going down in my life that moved me to write this poem. Its about something that happened a long time ago that recent events have reminded me of. So I wrote it down. I may revised it later but I feel the need to get it out there.


I have friend whom I call brother once confessed to me a terrible secret,
that he was once apart of a tribe who hunt and kill my people in the name of the king.
He showed me that terrifying banner, scarlet, sable, and argent
danced across my eyes and chilled me to the bone.
He kept it hidden in a dark chest, a shameful reminder of what he once was,
a bloodied, wicked threat to my life.

He ran his fingers along my rose cap,
his eyes full of regret.
I thought for a moment of all who came before me,
all who passed to the grave.
Covered in red, darkening their caps, all at the whim of a King.

Perhaps it was the look in his eyes.
That I held no value for myself, perhaps it was a sign?
Perhaps I had come upon a moment of grace.
For it was forgiveness I gave him that night.

Not a fleeting pass to keep the peace.
Nor a flagrant lie.

Upon my word I pledged forgiveness, upon a mid-winter sky.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Exalted Third Edition: The Fellowship of the Rose

No poems today.

However, I would like to share a bit of writing I did for the Annual Exalted Forum White Elephant Exchange. Wise Old Guru, Artist and Writer behind the amazing Exalted Web Comic God-Kicking Boot was who I drew as my recipient. I was incredibly nervous because I am such a huge fan of their work. Yet I powered through. Wise Old Guru requested some content he could use for his House of Bells set Dragon-blooded boarding school drama. So I decided to build an homage to one of my favorite boarding school-fantasy anime, Revolutionary Girl Utena.

Fellowship of the Rose

The Fellowship of the Rose is a covert society of students dedicated to the principles of the honorable duel. Only the most elite, and prestigious of students at the House of Bells are permitted to pledge to join its ranks. Those who are accepted into the Fellowship become apart of a lifelong social network that crosses the boundaries of House, Aspect, and Class that spans the entirety of the Scarlet Empire.

Leadership of the fellowship is known as The Rose Council, the highest ranked and most esteemed duelists among them. In order to have seat on the Council one must be a currently enrolled student in the House of Bells, a fully initiated member of the Fellowship in good standing, and possess record of no less than three honorable victories in the sacred Rose Duel.

Members and Alumni signal to one another membership by wearing a small green jade & gold rose pin on their person.

The Rose Duel

This is a special duel that is practiced only by members of the Fellowship, and it is considered to the epitome of honor to participate in. Both parties involved fight unarmored, with a single blade, and with a freshly plucked rose pinned to the lapel of their uniform jacket. The object of the duel is to cut the blossom off one's opponents lapel first. The duel is not over until one of the participant's rose has been cut off.

New Gambit:
Strike the Rose (Difficulty 7)

Upon success of this Gambit, a small object is removed cleanly of an opponent's lapel using a single strike from a bladed weapon. If the item is of a delicate a nature, such as a glass brooch or flower blossom, the object is destroyed.

The Rose Consort

Winners of the Rose Duel may claim the prize of The Rose Consort. The Rose Consort is always a student whom is among the rare and exceptional Dynasts whom have not taken the Second Breath that were accepted into the Academy. The Rose Consort serves as both a personal retainer and consort to social events. A potent sorcerous working binds The Rose Consort to both secrecy and loyalty to current Rose Champion. In exchange, the Consort has the entirety of their tuition compensated, and garners the opportunity for a marriage match to an Exalted after graduation via the vast social network of the Fellowship.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

30 Days of Poems: Love Reflections

So I ran out of a bit of creative steam. I started working on a new Exalted Third Edition game and my creative energy got sucked up writing things up for my setting and plot. So I took a bit of a break from writing new poems.

However, I am back and I have written some new material. I am calling this piece "Love Reflections" each is a stanza about a past or current love. They are functionally all opening stanzas for poems dedicated to each one, but I am grouping them all into one piece. This is the beginning of what I hope will be a much larger work in the future:

Love Reflections

I once loved a solider
who's hair was the color of fire.

I once loved a tree feller
with hair all over his body
like a bear's pelt.

I am courting a viking
with hair spun of gold

in the sun.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

30 Days of Poetry: Haiku Time

Okay so today I slept in until noon and relaxed. I have work later this evening, so I decided today I would write something short.

So today I tackled the ancient Japanese poetry form of Haiku. I managed, without trying, to get to under 17 syllables, of which I am very proud:

falling blossoms
eternal promise
on a single droplet of dew

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

30 Day of Poems: Love Rhyme

So my good friend Blake, aka Lord Thorgrimm the leader of my SCA household, is one of my biggest supporters of my bardic pursuits. He likes to tease people however. Blake has teased me about how my poems don't rhyme. So I wrote this one for him, with a little inspiration from the Rapunzel myth for good measure:

Love Rhyme

The fiery footed fellow
sped across the meadow.

To meet up, with his lady love.
He push obstacles
with a brutal shove.

He leaps and bounds with poem in hand
to tell her true
where their love stands.

He finds her in
a locked up old tower
he curses then
as he forgot her a flower.

Climb and Climb up to the sky.

To the kiss of a maiden, ever so fine

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

30 Days of Poems: 12th Night

For the next 30 days I am challenging myself to write a poem every day. Most will be in an archaic style as I am training my skills as a Bard for the SCA.

Below is the first entry, inspired by my favorite annual SCA event:

12th Night

Lords and ladies in colorful attire.
Fine smells
Mutton, lamb, and saffron
waft from the kitchen doors.

Grand pageantry with banners argent and azure
billowing amongst holly and white candles.

Small, yet meaningful gifts shared with friends old and new.

Songs and stories shared in an echoing hall.
Emotions stirred that warm the heart and quicken the mind for the coming new year.

Dancing steps shared and laughter when they are missed.
Cries of victory when they are stepped correct.
A raucous time is had by all.

Twelve nights we waited in the darkness and cold.
Twelve nights we dreamt of hot cider and halls.

Upon this joyous holiday we laugh, as the twelfth night has come upon us, at last.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Exalted Third Edition: Adamant Crane, Dawn Caste

Adamant Crane
Dawn Caste Solar Exalted
Temple Guardian of Palanquin


Strength 3
Dexterity 5
Stamina 3

Charisma 4
Manipulation 2
Appearance 3

Perception 2
Intelligence 2
Wits 4


Archery 0
Athletics 1
Awareness 5
Brawl 1
Bureaucracy 1
Craft 0
Dodge 3
Integrity 3
Investigation 1
Larceny 0
Linguistics 1
Lore 1
Martial Arts 3 (Crane Style)
Medicine 0
Melee 4
Occult 3
Performance 2
Presence 3
Resistance 3
Ride 0
Sail 0
Socialize 1
Stealth 0
Survival 0
Thrown 0
War 2


Awareness (Join Battle)
Awareness (Ambushes)
Melee (Defend Other)
Occult (Exorcism)
Performance (Prayer)
War (Frontline Commands)


Backing (Heavenly Gate Temple) ••
Influence (Palanquin) •
Language (Old Realm) •
Martial Artist ••••
Resources •


Defining Principle: “I shall battle the heartless at the price of my hopes and dreams.””
Major Tie: Heavenly Gate Temple (Protective)
Major Tie: Palanquin (Love)
Major Tie: Ysyr (Resentment)
Major Principle: “Fallen blossoms do not return to branches; a broken mirror does not again reflect”
Minor Tie: Unconquered Sun (Gratitude)
Minor Tie: The Gods (Reverence)
Minor Tie: Heaven's Gate Guardians (Fellowship)
Minor Tie: Heaven (Awe)
Minor Tie: Faith (Important)
Minor Tie: Demons (Hate)
Minor Tie: Ghosts (Distrust)
Minor Tie: Remi Siama
Minor Tie: Meysan (Protective)
Minor Tie: Serene Finnay (Fascination)
Minor Tie: Geb (Respect)


Surprise Anticipation Method
Sensory Acuity Prana
Keen Sight
Keen Hearing and Touch Technique
Awakening Eye

Dipping Swallow Defense
Bulwark Stance
War Lion Stance

Spirit Detecting Glance
Spirit Cutting Attack
Terrestrial Circle Sorcery

Durability of Oak Mediation
Spirit Strengthens Skin
Ox-Body Technique

War God Ascendant


Willpower 5
Essence 1
Parry 5
Evasion 4
Join Battle 10
Resolve 4
Guile 2
Disengage 8
Rush 6
Soak/Hardness: 3/0


Initiation: The Talisman of A Thousand Eyes
Ritual: 1 wp during Awareness Join Battle or Investigate Threat roll, gain 1 sm per two success.
Control Spell: Summon Elemental


War Fan
Hook Sword
Straight Sword
Temple Guardian Robes
Calligraphy Kit
Jar of Salt
Scroll of Crane Style Techniques


Adamant Crane was born to the Kyo Noble Family of Palanquin. Shortly after his birth, his family was discovered to be leaders of a Resistance against the occupation of Ysyr. When the Sorcerer-Princes forces came for his family, his grandmother, a retired temple-priestess of the local cloud goddess Soft Gale, fled with him in the dead of night to the Temple of the Heavenly Gate. As she had so many connections among the various temples, and many truly did not suspect an old woman of covert activity, she was able to elude her pursuers easily. She gave him over into the care of the warrior-monks who residing in the temple, she left a generous donation to the temple in gratitude and fled into exile.

Adamant Crane spent the rest of his childhood and adolescence living among in the vast Temple complex surrounding the heavenly gate. He trained in the way of battle, tactics, and occult arts under the watchful eye of temple priests. Crane believed it was all for the expressed purpose of devoting his himself to protecting the Heavenly Gate. That was partial true. Agents from his now hiding extended family would occasionally visit him at the temple, aiding in his tutelage in secret. Shaping him to one day be the military leader the noble families of Palanquin would need to throw off the yoke of a hundred years of Ysyr oppression.

On his 16th name day, Adamant Crane officially joined the ranks of the Heavenly Gate Temple Guardians. No longer a Ward of the temple, Adamant Crane began to gain the respect of his fellow citizens for his piety, humility, and fighting prowess. Five years pasted as he continued his sacred duties guarding the Heaven's Gate and growing and improving at the Art of the sword, the sacred Crane style, and his arcane studies. In secret, he learned from his family and from his fellow citizens the full history of the Ysyr conquest and occupation. He then grew to resent the hegemony of the Sorcerer-Princes.

It was this resentment that drove him to draw sword against the arrogant Sorcerer-Prince Etuko Na, whom was attempting to perform magical experiments upon The Heavenly Gate. He rallied his fellow temple guards in a no holds battle against the Sorcerer and his demonic servitors. During the fight the Second Breath came upon him, the Unconquered Sun choosing him as a sword of heaven. In the bonfire of golden light he cut his way through the demonic hordes, banishing them back to hell with the slice of his blade. He struck down the villainous Etuko and fulfilled his sacred duty to protect The Heavenly Gate. He claimed Etuko's talisman, as memories of his solar incarnation that filled his mind drove him to realize it was a relic of great sorcerous power.

In the coming days the Heaven's Gate Priests of the Temple would aid the young exalted in a daring escape from the Ysyr authorities: Creating a cover story about the wrath of the gate itself smiting Etuko, distracting the Ysyr Inquisitors, and buying Adamant Crane enough time to escape upon ship until such time that his name was a distant memory.

Crane, now far from home, with his skills at swordsmanship and the occult, and a modest Temple-Guardian stipend he collects from the Guild banks once a moon phase, wanders alone to understand his new Exalted nature. He seeks to rights the wrongs of world, and continues to gain the strength and power to one day liberate his people from the enslavement of the Sorcerer-Princes of Ysyr.