Monthly Archives: October 2014

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYBODY

Wyrdwend

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Aside from the writing I’ve already done today I’m taking the rest of the day and evening off and reading. Yesterday at the library I got the Castle ofOtranto, Vathek, and the Vampyre.

I know I’m not going to finish writing either The Vengeance of Tôl Karuţha, or Scarecrow before the end of today. So I’m not going to worry the issue. Both have simply become far too involved compared to my initial concepts and plots. But I have made good progress on both.

After I read this afternoon my oldest daughter and I will spend the rest of the evening and night watching horror films together. (My wife and youngest daughter are horror-wimps.) Halloween being one of my three favorite holidays.

So Happy Halloween Everyone.

And everybody – man, woman, and child – stay safe out there.

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FLIGHT AND FURY

Wyrdwend

A brief scene of combat between Marsippius Nicea (the de facto commander of the Byzantine special forces team the Basilegate) and a creature he has never before encountered.

This creature had been attmepting to ambush Marsippius as he traveled alone through unknown territory but Marsippius observes him first and sets for personal combat.

From one of my Other World novels.

This is the second draft of this scene.

_________________________________________________

Marsippius bent his stave so fiercely that the bow seemed to double backwards like the horns of a fresh waxing moon, halving in height while multiplying many times in deadliness. He drew the shaft end all the way back past his furthest eyesight, feeling the soft fletching touch his ear like the passing wings of a fleet bird of prey at the final swoop. His left arm held steady being guided by the narrowing of his sight, the subtle turn…

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THE REAVENGING

Disney says it’s tired of legal fight over superheroes

The Incredible HulkA scene from Universal Studios’ ‘The Incredible Hulk’

Sadie Gurman, The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, October 28, 2014 10:38AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 28, 2014 2:47PM EDT

DENVER — The Walt Disney Co. says it is tired of fighting the same battle over the copyrights to iconic Marvel comic book characters including Spider-Man, X-Men and The Hulk.

A panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Tuesday in longtime dispute between the company and Colorado-based Stan Lee Media.

A federal judge last year dismissed a lawsuit in which Stan Lee Media claimed the copyrights to the superheroes and sought profits Disney made from movies and merchandise featuring them. Disney bought Marvel in 2009.

Stan Lee Media, which is no longer affiliated with comic book writer Stan Lee, appealed the judge’s dismissal. Disney says other courts have settled the case and it should be closed.

The panel did not issue a ruling.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

Spider-Man, X-Men and The Hulk will loom large in a federal appeals court Tuesday as a Colorado company battles with Disney for the rights to Marvel’s iconic comic book characters in a longtime dispute.

A panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in an ongoing case involving Colorado-based Stan Lee Media and The Walt Disney Co.

A federal judge last year dismissed a lawsuit in which Stan Lee Media claimed the copyright to the characters and sought profits Disney made from movies and merchandise featuring them. Disney bought Marvel in 2009.

Stan Lee Media, which is no longer affiliated with comic book writer Stan Lee, appealed the judge’s order. Disney has argued that other courts have already ruled against Stan Lee Media on the same matter.

The appeal is the latest turn in a court battle between the companies that has spanned more than a decade.

THE RACES OF EARTH AND IŸARLÐMA – THE OTHER WORLD

This is a listing (and very brief description) of those races that appear in both my gaming worlds and my High Fantasy/Mythological Novels.

Wyrdwend

Some background on the various folk, people, and races inhabiting my novel series The Other World (the Kithariãd) and how they relate to one another.

Human Race – divided into normal human sub-racial groupings. Human beings live on Terra or the Kosmos (Earth) and only by accident (or some would say misfortune or fate) ever visit other worlds, such as Iÿarlðma.

Eldeven Race(s) – divided into several separate sub-racial groupings. These include the Sidèhl, Jükaŗn, Lorahń, Ghêriel, and some say the Avafał and Maştur of Iÿarlðma. Also called the Telwé-Iÿarlðmayn or “Free Peoples of Iÿarlðma.”

Sidèhlor Sidhelalso named by men the Caer – Similar in many ways to the Western concept of Elves, but not so much the Tolkien-type elves as mythological elves, the Sidh being an extremely cunning and dangerous group of beings. The Sidh are a noble people but are extremely inscrutable and severe…

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THE ANGLO-SAXON WAY

The Anglo-Saxon War-Culture and The Lord of the Rings: Legacy and Reappraisal

 The Anglo-Saxon War-Culture and The Lord of the Rings: Legacy and Reappraisal

By Pritha Kundu

WLA: War, literature, and the arts, Vol.26 (2014)

The saints and missionaries of the Anglo-Saxon era (1897)

Introduction: The literature of war in English claims its origin from the Homeric epics, and the medieval accounts of chivalry and the crusades. In modern war-literature, produced during and after the two World Wars, themes of existential trauma, alienation of man as victim, horrors of the nuclear warfare and the Holocaust, and the evils of a totalitarian government, critique of narrow nationalism have become dominant; yet some memories of the Classical and the Medieval war-culture can be found, either as subtle allusion, or as a means of irony or satire, as in Catch-22 or Mother Courage. However, another ancient culture of war—that of the Anglo-Saxons—has failed to hold its sway over the thoughts of the modern war-poets and novelists. In fact, the process of oblivion began as early as the 12th century, when the image of loud and boasting warriors, bursting the mead-halls with their genial laughter, and fighting to death for the love of their lords, was replaced by the courteous Christian knights on their quest for the Holy Grail, rescuing damsels in distress, representing abstract virtues and ideals of a feudal culture. In the long run, the medieval image of the knight-warrior, alongside the raw and ‘real’ quality of the Homeric battles, has found ways into the modern imagination, and produced modern reappropriations of these old materials, whereas re-works on Anglo-Saxon literature are of a poor amount. John Gardner’s Grendel offers an existentialist and psychoanalytic approach to Beowulf, rewriting it from the monster’s point of view, and G.K. Chesterton’s The Ballad of the White Horse recalls the tone of sadness and lament in the Old English elegies, but none of them shows interest in the war-culture of the Anglo-Saxons, which, notwithstanding the ‘fantastic’ elements of monsters and dragons, remained so realistic in the battles themselves, and a strong bond of love and duty between the warrior-king and his thanes.

Considering the scarcity of the Anglo-Saxon influence in modern war-literature in general, one may wonder and stop by a work like The Lord of the Rings or Silmarillion, which few would be willing to categorise as serious war-literature. The fictional writings of J.R.R. Tolkien are said to have revived the genre of fantasy and magic-realism, and they have been readily assimilated into the new genre of popular literature. What seems to have been forgotten in this process is Tolkien’s own passionate and critical engagement with the war-literature of the Anglo-Saxons, which has gone into the making of his otherwise ‘fantastic’ creation of the ‘Middle Earth’. Tolkien’s lecture, later published as an essay, “The Monsters and the Critics”, brought a formative and seminal change in the course of Beowulf -criticism. His fictional works are at the same time holding the Anglo-Saxon legacy with devoted fondness, yet his reappraisal is of a critical kind—it critiques, reconstructs and reappropriates several Anglo-Saxon themes and ideas while constantly referring back to an old war-culture passed into oblivion…

THE INDIAN FIGHTERS

What this country definitely needs is more “Indian Fighters.”

Do you know what I mean by Indian Fighters? I don’t mean people trained to fight Indians, I mean men and women (civilian and military) who are trained by Indians to fight like Indians. As occurred in the French and Indian Wars, and like with the early settlers.

We’ve lost the edge the Indians gave us. We’ve lost the things they taught us.

We need those things back. In a bad way. Especially nowadays.

We need to retrain ourselves as Indian Fighters. Both in the Real World and even in the practice of our games.

​What Tactical Tomahawks Are For And How To Use One

​What Tactical Tomahawks Are For And How To Use OneExpand

From the Native Americans to Vietnam War soldiers, the venerable Tomahawk is finding new favor in this era of asymmetric warfare and, well, with the guys who prepare for battle when they go camping. This is what they’re for and how you can actually find a use for one.

To find out, we talked with SOG Specialty Knives and Tools‘ Chris Cashbaugh, a decent left-handed tomahawk thrower. SOG and its products were inspired by the knives and tomahawks of MACV-SOG, a highly classified, multi-service United States special operations unit which conducted covert operations before and during the Vietnam War.

IndefinitelyWild: How does a tomahawk differ from an axe or hatchet?

Chris Cashbaugh: Typically, an axe or hatchet is not designed specifically for military or tactical uses. Axes excel at chopping, splitting, shaving and more, plus they can be used for many of the same chores as an edged tool. The handle or grip is typically more ergonomic in shape and sometimes offers multiple hand positions and an axe or its little brother, the hatchet, is typically heavier to help facilitate chopping. In many ways, axes and hatchets are designed for one activity — chopping — and they do it very well.

A tomahawk is going to be lighter. A ‘hawk is more useful for combat and the straight handle is ideal for releasing while throwing. It does good job at bushcraft operations and can handle some chopping, but it’s not designed like an axe for that one chore. They are fun to take into the wilderness and throwing ‘hawks is a real blast.

Also, they have a military/tactical look to them and a deep military history.

IW: Are they actually useful as a breaching tool for the military? Most guys I know say they typically use explosives and rams to “kick” down doors.

CC: In quick response situations they can be used to breach doors and windows. This is true in situations where there might be a fortified door or there isn’t enough time to setup an explosive charge. They are excellent tools for breaking glass — particularly using the spike — and they are small enough in the hand that they can get that job done quickly and in tight quarters.

IW: What uses do they have for soldiers beyond breaching?

CC: Tomahawks can be used for chopping, splitting, digging, prying or even cutting rope. Typically, anything that an edged tool can be used for, you can use a tomahawk for. It might not be the best option for any one of those jobs, but it will work in a pinch and it’s a tool that can do multiple jobs. That’s very beneficial to soldiers.

I guess, theoretically, they can be used in close-quarters combat, but that doesn’t figure into the design nor is it an expected uses.

They are also widely used for throwing at targets. If you’ve never done that, it’s a really fun way to pass the time if you’re sitting around base, waiting for your next patrol.

IW: When did the tomahawk first find popularity with modern soldiers and how has it evolved to suit there needs?

CC: Tomahawks, or some version of them, have been popular with the military since the 18th century and were used by both sides of the American Revolution. Robert’s Rangers, the story goes, used them in the French and Indian War, which is neat when you consider the name is a version of an Algonquin word for a stone-headed tool of the same shape.

During the Revolution, tomahawks were valued for their versatility in wilderness tasks and effectiveness as a close-quarters weapon. As modern firearms increased in reliability, the need for a close quarters weapon wained. Then, in the mid-1960s, there was a rise in popularity for them among American troops in the Vietnam War. The MACV-SOG group, from which SOG Knives takes its name, had a version of the tomahawk, which are valuable collector’s items today.

They have seen a big surge in popularity with the military and general population over the last 10 years, due to introductions of new designs and the unique needs of current urban battles. The biggest evolution in the tomahawk has been the transition from natural handles like wood to more modern, advanced materials like glass-reinforced nylon, composites and metals that make them both lighter and stronger.

​What Tactical Tomahawks Are For And How To Use One

MICRO PASTS

I’m all for this…

MicroPasts launch crowd-funding platform for community archaeology projects

Micropasts

For the last six months, the MicroPasts web platform has been ‘crowd-sourcing’ the transcription of thousands of Bronze Age finds recorded on index cards, the tagging of hundreds of historical photographs, and creating scores of 3D models of archaeological artefacts including Bronze Age weapons and gold jewellery, ancient Egyptian figurines and million-year old stone axes from Olduvai Gorge.

In a new venture, they are now launching a crowd-funding section for the platform to support archaeological and historical research involving collaborations between community organisations and academic institutions.

The project team are asking both for new crowd-funding proposals and for donations by members of the public to existing crowd-funding campaigns that they feel passionate about.

Project co-lead Daniel Pett, British Museum, who has been heavily involved in implementing this software, commented: “This section of our site is a little bit like KickStarter, but especially for people who want to sponsor high quality research about human history, or for people interested who want to collaborate with an academic institution and start a new project in their local area.

Supporting the silent majority

Rather than funding new digs, the MicroPasts crowd-funding site is meant to support the ‘silent majority’ of archaeological and historical research. Important tasks such as artefact study, digitisation of documents or old fieldwork records, scientific sampling, library-based searches and laboratory work are often insufficiently resourced but are key to ensuring high quality publication of the primary evidence. Volunteer historical and archaeological societies have a very big part to play in such research, and are especially effective when they team up with similarly interested universities or museums.

Project co-lead Professor Andrew Bevan, UCL Institute of Archaeology, added: “Unlike other crowd-funding platforms, ours is dedicated to helping such community-based archaeology and history projects who otherwise sometimes find it difficult to raise the necessary financial support.”

The MicroPasts crowd-funding site has begun life with three starter projects.

Building Character

Some very interesting ideas regarding character and game mechanics.

Urunea, a co-authored RPG design blog + Rambling and Science

At the beginning of the week we showed you the core mechanic that gives your character the ability to interact with the world, and how they can become exhausted by the tasks set before them by the Game-Master. That’s just the start though, there’s a whole host of interesting mechanics that grow from that simple origin. Further down the line we’ll show more of how your character’s dice pools can start dwindling in a potentially permanent fashion, and how your character may wish to expend more than just effort in their task attempts. But today I’d like to pull back and look at the wider character; the way that they’re created, and the placement of your starting dice, skills and talents that gives rise to a fleshed-out person that you can inhabit for the span of an evening, rather than a body there only for confronting conflict.

One of our…

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The Withcer 3: Wild Hunt Cinematic Trailer Now Available

I don’t play the Witcher. I’ve got a friend who does. But that looked intriguing.

The Quiet Year lead to a Death Crawl in the Carolina Backwoods

An excellent gaming blog and an excellent review of these games.

Rolling Boxcars

~ The Quiet Year lead to a Death Crawl in the Carolina Backwoods ~

pic1768982_md PDF Cover

I had the good fortune to try several new (to me) RPGs this past weekend and what a step outside of my normal gaming! It all started at 0600 EST on Saturday morning when I finally got the chance to play The Quiet Year. Some may recall that one of my first blog posts in 2014 was a review of this very game after reading only the rules. Well, I am here to tell you the game is quite fun and we had a great group of gamers playing. It’s amazing how the game was sketched out on the map and  the shared narrative was constantly changing. Many times in not such nice ways, but that only added to the continued shared narrative and the fun! I know these few words do not do…

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Good things come in small packages

Superb! I really like these tokens and this idea.

TinPot Revolutionary

During my couple of days off, I have been busy sorting out my 1/600 WWII miniatures. Firstly I decided to redo the labels for my infantry stands because I have never been quite happy with the ones I created before, as I wanted them to be easy to identify when playing but be generally unobtrusive so that they don’t detract too much from the miniatures themselves…

Infantry New labels, the colour designates the company and the numbers are for platoon – squad

I then started to paint and base the plethora of tanks that I’ve had lying around for some time…

Tank closeup Allied tanks including Cromwells to the front and Sherman DDs at the back

‘You stow that s**t Parnham!’

With a good deal of tanks finished and ready for the battlefield, I needed some form of storage for them. A year or so ago I solved the problem of storing my infantry in…

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BattleBones: A Fantasy Dice Game, Now on Kickstarter

Interesting and worth a look.

Initiative : Tabletop

battlebones

Hardcore wargamers often find themselves in battles that last for hours, and are more than happy to take a short break and re-field their armies. In effort to not burn out but stay in the gaming spirit, some folks wanted to make a game to play that would be light but relatable to their ongoing theme. The folks at Sanctioned Chaos have created BattleBones: Fight for Sorroah so that gamers have a quick game to play in between war games, or for just an easy-to-pick-up game to teach others.

The game is used playing custom dice (being produced by popular dice company Q-Workshop), the faces of which represent various components of your army. Players roll dice and place them in a battle formation. Using a rock-paper-scissors method of deduction, dice are knocked off the battlefield. Players use 10 dice each, though there are rules that allow players to have more…

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A55 The Cat Has Jumped – AAR on Seaborne Assault!!

Looks like an extremely interesting scenario I wouldn’t mind playing myself.

Hong Kong Wargamer

This scenario reflects the seaborne assault by the IJA on a relatively lightly held beach in the Philippines. The landing took place on Dec 22 1941, shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbour. Conditions were not ideal on this beach – the wind’s heavy and so’s the surf. The Japanese launched their attack on these “shohatsu’s” (or “LCs” for landing crafts) which were really big steel boats.

Shohatsu

As such, neither the crew nor the passengers get to button up.  They were therefore subjected to a +2 CE DRM (Crew Exposed DR modifier) at all times.  The Filipino defenders had problems of their own as well : they were using MGs that were stored since the 1920’s.  The defenders’ machine guns were therefore a lot less reliable than usual (X11 instead of B12).

The IJA wins immediately if they manage to exit 25 or more VPs (“victory points”) off the right edge of the map…

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DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS DUNGEON MASTER’S GUIDE TABLE OF CONTENTS

Not everything I had hoped it would cover (although I can just add in the sections I intend to create later on) but it definitely has some extremely interesting and unforeseen (form my point of view) sections. And if it is anywhere nearly as good as the Player’s Handbook or the Monster Manual then I very much look forward to owning my copy.

DUNGEON MASTER’S GUIDE Table of Contents – UPDATED!

by
Morrus

Saturday, 25th October, 2014 07:19 PM Number of Views: 1694/1694

If you find this article useful, please share it with your friends!
That D&D 5E Dungeon Master’s Guide table of contents yesterday? It’s been updated with a new version. An extra 12 pages (including a new 6-page “Maps” appendix) and small number of other minor changes throughout – mainly slight variations in section names, although a new two-page “Madness” section appears in part 3, while the “Rewards at 20th Level” entry is gone.

dmg_toc[1]

BEYOND THE OLD WOMAN

I used to not like to read books by female authors because so many were culturally and politically and sexually obsessed with being “female.” In proving they were female. It permeated everything they did or said, usually proving very detrimental to their appeal and to their work. Much like far too many black authors and directors were overtly determined to prove they were “black.” Rather than being a really good author or director who just happened to be black.

Then somewhere along the line many women authors stopped doing that crap and suddenly just started writing really good stories and being excellent authors/authoresses. JK Rowling, Cecelia Holland (one of the very best authors I’ve ever read of historical fiction – often about the Vikings), and so on and so forth.

Now I read many female authors with great relish. Eagerly. And they are extremely good at what they do, and their stories are superb and superbly well written. They grew up and out of being just women and into being excellent authors who just happened to be women. They didn’t stop being women, they just put the emphasis in the right place in being an author.

I’d love to see the very same thing happen in directing with female directors… so bring em on ladies, and bring your sword and shield with ya as you come. Because I’m game if you are…

Studio drawing up shortlist ahead of 2017 release

It’s all about the capes and spandex over at Warner Bros. at the moment, in the wake of the studio’s unveiling of its 10-movie slate of DC adaptations.

THR has published a summary of Warner’s superhero plans, and has dropped an interesting tidbit in relation to the Wonder Woman solo movie, starring Gal Gadot.

According to the report, the studio is keen to appoint a female director to that particular project, which would be a welcome breath of fresh air in a traditionally male-dominated genre.

Potential candidates for the project? Well it’s all guesswork at this stage, but we’d love to see Breaking Bad and Game Of Thrones alumnus Michelle MacLaren make the step up from small screen to silver…

Wonder Woman
is set to open in the US on 23 June 2017, with a UK date yet to be confirmed.

HAUBERK AND MAEL – A DREAM IN VERSE

Wyrdwend

I woke this morning with these lines running through my head. Don’t ask me why, I’ve never understood how this crap really works. This kinda thing just happens to me from time to time.

HAUBERK AND MAEL

Jerkin and wainscoat, both fitted well
Shield trimmed with cold steel, hauberk and mael

Bodkin and longbow, employed at range
Pierced through at angles, hauberk and mael

Gorgelet and gauntlets, painted with shells
Baldric beseasoned, hauberk and mael

Also there were a bunch of other words and terms in my head (I wrote them all down) some of them archaic, or archaic or foreign versions of better known terms (such as maelfor mail) which are also plays on words (mael also meaning bald, shaven, defenseless, blunt, hornless, the Welsh saint Mael, a Keltic name for Ireland and Wales and Brittany, and of course a variation on the armor – mail – yeah…

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EARLY HUMAN POPULATIONS

early human populations extensively explored the planet,” … yeah, no kidding. Nevertheless the exact means and routes are still quite fascinating.

Studies show early contact between Easter Island and the Americas

The first known painting of Easter Island in 1775 by William Hodges. Image: Public Domain

The first known painting of Easter Island in 1775 by William Hodges. Image: Public Domain

The findings reported in the journal Current Biology lend the first genetic support for such an early trans-Pacific route between Polynesia and the Americas, an impressive trek of more than 4,000 kilometres (nearly 2,500 miles).

A need for re-evaluation

The findings are a reminder that “early human populations extensively explored the planet,” says Anna-Sapfo Malaspinas from the Natural History Museum of Denmark’s Centre for GeoGenetics. “Textbook versions of human colonisation events—the peopling of the Americas, for example—need to be re-evaluated utilising genomic data.”

Archaeological evidence had suggested that 30 to 100 Polynesian men, women, and children first landed on Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui, around AD 1200, arriving in two or more double-hulled canoes. After settling on the isolated island, the Rapanui famously built giant stone platforms and over 900 statues, some weighing as much as 82 tons.

While it may have taken weeks for Polynesians to reach even the closest nearby islands, there are hints of contact with the larger world. For example, there is evidence for the presence of crops native to the Americas in Polynesia, including the Andean sweet potato, long before the first reported European contact.

Contact 19-23 generations ago

Genome-wide analysis of 27 native Rapanui now confirms significant contact between the island people and Native Americans sometime between approximately AD 1300 and AD 1500, 19 to 23 generations ago. The Rapanui population began mixing with Europeans only much later, in about 1850. The ancestry of the Rapanui today is 76% Polynesian, 8% Native American, and 16% European.

The new evidence about the Rapanui suggests one of two scenarios: either Native Americans sailed to Rapa Nui or Polynesians sailed to the Americas and back. The researchers say that it seems more likely that the Rapanui successfully made the trip back and forth, given simulations presented in previous studies showing that “all sailing voyages heading intentionally east from Rapa Nui would always reach the Americas, with a trip lasting from two weeks to approximately two months.” On the other hand, the trip from the Americas to Rapa Nui is much more challenging, which would have made it likely to fail or miss the island completely. From the Americas, Rapa Nui is indeed a small target, which might also explain why it took Europeans so long to find it.


Genome-wide Ancestry Patterns in Rapanui Suggest Pre-European Admixture with Native AmericansCurrent Biology

A second article in Current Biology by Malaspinas along with Eske Willerslev and their colleagues examined two human skulls representing the indigenous “Botocudos” of Brazil to find that their genomic ancestry is Polynesian, with no detectable Native American component at all.

CONSTANTINE

DC is producing some really excellent shows. Arrow, Flash, and now Constantine.

And I don’t know who that guy playing Constantine is but he got it nearly pitch perfect. The whole episode was superb.

My only regret, not seeing Doc Fate in action. I also hope that in the future we’ll get to see Zauriel.

I’ll definitely be adding Constantine to my roster of TV shows to watch on the weekend.

SHIGIR IDOL

I have studied archaeology most of my life. The more I learn of ancient and prehistoric man the more I am convinced he was anything but ignorant and simple. And yes, being a man who works with codes and cyphers this is right up my alley.

This kind of thing is also extremely ripe for Story and World Building…

Is this the world’s oldest secret code?

By Anna Liesowska
22 October 2014

Scientists close to precise dating of the Shigir Idol, twice as ancient as the Egyptian Pyramids.

The oldest wooden statue in the world. Picture: Ekaterina Osintseva, The Siberian Times

The Idol is the oldest wooden statue in the world, estimated as having been constructed approximately 9,500 years ago, and preserved as if in a time capsule in a peat bog on the western fringe of Siberian. Expert Svetlana Savchenko, chief keeper of Shigir Idol, believes that the structure’s faces carry encoded information from ancient man in the Mesolithic era of the Stone Age concerning their understanding of ‘the creation of the world’.

German scientists are now close to a precise dating – within five decades – of the remarkable artifact, which is a stunning example of ancient man’s creativity.

The results are likely to be known in late February or early March, The Siberian Times can reveal.

Now the question is turning among academics to a better understanding of the symbols and pictograms on this majestic larch Idol, one of Russia’s great treasures, which is now on display a special glass sarcophagus at its permanent home, Yekaterinburg History Museum, where Savchenko is senior researcher.

The Idol is the oldest wooden statue in the world, estimated as having been constructed approximately  9,500 years ago

There is no such ancient sculpture in the whole of Europe. Picture: Ekaterina Osintseva, The Siberian Times

German pre-historian Professor Thomas Terberger said: ‘There is no such ancient sculpture in the whole of Europe. Studying this Idol is a dream come true. We are expecting the first results of the test at the end of winter, (early) next year.’

Professor Mikhail Zhilin, leading researcher of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Archeology, explained: ‘We study the Idol with a feeling of awe. This is a masterpiece, carrying gigantic emotional value and force. It is a unique sculpture, there is nothing else in the world like this.  It is very alive, and very complicated at the same time.

‘The ornament is covered with nothing but encrypted information. People were passing on knowledge with the help of the Idol.’

He is adamant that we can draw conclusions about the sophistication of the people who created this masterpiece, probably scraping the larch with a stone ‘spoon’, even though the detail of the code remains an utter mystery to modern man…

D&D DMG RELEASES DECK OF MANY THINGS

Superb. when I used to play AD&D and later developed my own version of D&D the Deck of Many Things was one of my favorite items to pull on players. Of course I always modified the Deck so that results varied each time a card was drawn, and every advantage had a liability, and vice-versa.

This looks very nice.

The First 5E DMG Preview: DECK OF MANY THINGS!

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