It’s pretty incredible how much the world can change in just a month. Last full moon I was all talk of restaurants and getting together with different groups of friends for more gaming sessions, and now it’s like all of Spring… possibly all of 2020 is just “cancelled”…

For my disclosure on this or any of my posts or pages… please visit my Disclosure page.

We’re had to call off all our scheduled Blackspire recording sessions (meaning I’ll be using the old episodes of Legend Lore to fill out some of the Patreon releases this month) as well as other get-togethers with friends and family (including out little nephew’s third birthday this week). At least my mom (who’d been stranded in Peru since this all started) is finally home, and no one in my family is exhibiting any symptoms of the virus (unlike some other people I know)…

It’s getting scary out there…

My wife’s job is still considered essential, and as I’ve worked from home for close to a decade now, so my day to day routine (as well as my overall mental health) isn’t really as affected by all this isolation. If anything the movement of society into mass telecommuting has been a boon to my day job at least and (unlike everyone else apparently) I’m certainly not enjoying a bunch of new time on my hand… if anything I’m probably going to be busier than ever in the coming months.

Still, that comes with both immediate and (enticing potential) long term boons associated with them, and so my commitment to securing our Abundance continues to grow… and it’s time the rest of the world get a little more of that too, since most folks are not nearly as lucky as Jenny and myself…

Oddly, I’m actually talking to more people more regularly than I ever did before all this self quarantining started, and we’re also making it a point to reach out to friends to “hang out”, even if it’s just virtually. The other night we even had a rather lively few rounds of playing some games through Jackbox.tv through Zoom, which is now the new Skype I guess… even if they are selling off your facial recognition data to intelligence agencies or whatever they’re up to to justify it being “free”…

It was a fun distraction for a bit at any rate…

I’m certainly not the only one missing their friends/family and anxious for things to go back to normal as quickly as possible, but regardless of how these next crucial weeks and months play out… it’s doubtful we’ll ever really be able to go back to the way things were again…

Still, some things remain ever the same, as I did manage to wrap up the edits and show notes for another great episode of Adventure Hook, and it’s one where I really feel like I contributed some great content.

Just in time too I guess, as Adventure Hook S3E41: “The Dream That Came True..?” went live on Patreon this week. I’m particularly proud of this episode’s special storyteller’s resource “The Plot Device” and we discuss different approaches to using it all throughout the show.

The Plot Device

We’ll be recording episode 42 this coming week (likely with a focus this time on online RPGs), but my other big plan it to (eventually) create a bunch of “best of” promos to highlight each episode (particularly the ones now archived on Patreon) and make some video promotions on top of just audio selections. This is going to require me (hesitantly) diving back into using Lightworks to edit, but there’s something else I’ll need to finish up with that program first (more on that in a bit)…

I’m clearly not the most promotionally minded guy however, and I tend to overlook all kinds of obvious stuff in this department. So, for instance I’ve also gone back and cleaned up all the entries and embedded links to all the Season 1 episodes of Blackspire I’d clearly overlooks for too long…

I also created a new page on this site to similarly host all the embedded links of the Season 2 trailers, which at this point has hit #32..!

And so it’s also probably not a big surprise that subscribers and viewership of my YouTube channel has had a nice little spike. What’s perhaps more surprising however, is the channel’s revenue stream has suddenly reversed in an inversely proportional kind of way… which makes no sense (until you realize a corporation is behind whatever algorithm is making those evaluations)…

Still, whatever… money was never why I made those videos in the first place, and while I still get the occasional comment here and there, in all honestly I typically find that they’re usually something not worth responding to… with a few notable exceptions, which I at least try to take the time to acknowledge, if not actually engage with.

And (given also that the chances I’ll be doing any more talks this year are quickly evaporating) that means it’s well past time for me to finally do the work and create my newest video (in *sigh* Lightworks), which will be the Part 2 of my Magick 202: The Formula of Ritual lecture.

This material basically entails the last few minutes of the actual lecture (the camera had shut off, but I still managed to capture some sub-par audio) and the approximately 15 minute Q&A session that followed. No video means I of course have to create/reuse slides (usually a new image every 5-10 seconds or things can get dull) for said presentation… and I could just hear the litany of complaints about the sound quality of the whole thing (especially because it’s an exact criticism I’ve already gotten on better videos than this one was going to come out sounding).

Still, it definitely took me a while, but I finally decided to not let that crap stop me, and hopefully there’s enough half decent material in those A’s to the Q’s I got that at least one person will consider the whole thing worthwhile enough to absorb.

Service to one is service to all, after all…

So, while whenever possible I reused slides from previous lectures to 1: connect to/hammer home that topic once more and 2: save some effort, still I wound up creating something in the neighborhood of 150 new slides (so far anyway) on top of any old stuff… all to serve as visuals for the 20 some minute long Formula of Ritual: Part 2.

I even wound up reaching out to our old magician friend Wimsaur, since I actually mention one of his videos (The Complete Tarot Universe) during this talk, and we’re now seeing if we can’t secure the original video file somewhere so I can pull the best one minute clip out of it and showcase it there too…

At this point (aside from Wimsaur’s video) I’ve actually managed to mock up the basic imagery (and text) of the talk from start to finish. I still have to go back through and do all the SFX and transitions/fades/animations, etc (nothing too fancy, of course), as well as any additional slides I’ll wind up needing, including the new outro panoramic I plan to mock up… but it’s getting there…

While definitely not actually near completion yet, I do feel like like the hardest lifting and biggest hurdles of creating this video are mostly complete at this point, and I even added some new resource slides from the video to the Magick 202 page on this site that will appear in this video.

And beyond just making this instructional video with others’ benefit in mind, I’ve also been feeling a strong need to put more effort into my own magick work, from keeping a more rigorous routine of kundalini yoga exercises, to more regular daily attention paid to shielding and protecting my energetic body through LBRP and Middle Pillar ritual work, and of course I feel called to participate in these global mass meditation, as well as additionally lending some of my more private Astral assistance… the details of which must remain private, other than know it was something strategic I did to help Brother Enlil succeed at an important task…

candle of Astral aid
oils to assist with that Astral operation

The 144K group specifically were involved in no less than two large mass meditations of light-workers on 4/4 (one in the afternoon and one in the late evening) and I made sure to participate in both… including doing some complementary candle magick to assist in “anchoring” all that form and force work involved with these rather intense group meditations. We’ve been at this for a long, long while now, but do actually finally seem to be on the cusp of actually bringing about what we’ve been working towards all this time…

Darkness is on the ropes…

I even had the perfect reddish-purple candle to use for this operation… which in a not-so strange way was really a follow up to what Brother Enlil and I had already started on days earlier… so to speak…

candle to assist in Astral warfare on 4/4/2020

And of course, with the full moon upon us, it was also time to perform the monthly Abundance ritual, which I did very much the same as I usually do, except for the introduction of a few different alcohols than I’ve used in the past… It just seemed like anything residing in fractal universes within universes within my earth jar would probably enjoy some variety as much as anyone.

Abundance candle

However, this time I tried to connect this operation with the two previously, and since: As Above, So Below, As Within, So Without… the ritual of Abundance for us was (ostensibly) also for everyone. A stimulus check in the mail for everyone will be nice, but we need the world to have enough of what it needs to no longer be in Scarcity… and while the damage to the economy right now is unprecedented, this period of self-isolation (coupled with a mass feeling of the world changing) could actual provide just the sort of catalyst to bring about some form of major societal paradigm shift… a Great Awakening… a Spiritual Enlightenment… a Full Disclosure even..?

It’s never felt so possible before now…

But now is our period of seclusion, and while I plan to use it much the same as I would have before the Coronavirus turned the world upside down (basically to continually whittle away on my ever-growing to-do list of projects…) I’ve been flirting with an idea of a big RPG I’d like to run sometime down the line… more or less whenever it become appropriate for us to socialize in person again.

And this idea would also hopefully involve cross promoting Blackspire/Adventure Hook with the Dice Dungeon guys. Their new line of dragon scale dice (whose Kickstarter I also backed) is what actually inspired this whole idea in the first place…

For you see, as a long time fantasy miniature painter, I have at one time or another certainly boasted having a final painted figure of each of the five colors of chromatic dragon (red, blue, green, black, and white). However… I’ve never actually had all five colors represented as finished figurines on the same table, at the same time.

Embarrassing, I know…

Now, my mind is already abuzz with a number of preliminary ideas of what kind of event I can actually make out of this concept. I already know I want to make the story and setting Blackspirian, and so four dragons of Tiamat vs. a pagan white dragon is a really, really good way to start the first of my rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock player character configurations. From highlighting the podcasts and my tabletop skills, to ideas of how to promote/sell their dice at the event, to maybe even actually making the (eventual) triumphant return of the Flagons & Dragons group night into a single event everyone who comes can participate in, I think I might be onto something really fun here…

Which of course will take tons more planning (though technically there should be lots of time still) as well as some serious help from others to pull it all off, but for me at least (here and now holed up in my studio) the first order of business is to actually have one nicely painted miniature of each of those five dragon colors… for the five most enviable players of the upcoming tabletop RPG battle to control, of course…

To start with, of the goal of having five finished dragons total, I already have a blue dragon (that’s not Stormtooth) I really like, that just needed a “regulation” base (and maybe a few painting touch ups) as well as a half decent white dragon who will also get a makeover of sorts (as well as requiring a new larger base too). In fact four of these five dragons (everyone but the pewter white dragon) is from the Bones line of Reaper Miniatures… and all from Kickstarters backed in years gone by…

For building up the blue dragon’s base I selected pieces of various gravels I had that looked closest in size and texture to the already painted portion of the figure’s plastic base and glued them on in a way that should hopefully continue the pattern of stonework and (once painted) should make it all look homogeneous.

Additionally, I actually have a bunch of glass shards from a busted windshield I’ve kept for years just in case I ever wanted to do big crystals of ice or whatever on a figure’s base… and so figured this glacier-dwelling white dragon’s base was the perfect opportunity to finally try it out!

I think they work nicely to start, but eventually I planned to add more shards to round out the shapes of these crystalline protrusions as well as build up a texture to eventually be painted over white… and then finally have snow flocking glued over top.

For the soon-to-be green dragon, I used mostly a different type of gravel to attempt to mimic the stonework of this figure’s base. According to the earliest of Monstrous Manuals, green dragons typically hail from forests, so I plan to work in some earth textures to fill in the wider cracks in the base, and perhaps eventually even punctuate it up more with some forest floor type vegetation, etc…

Red dragons instead hail from volcanic regions, and I had a plan for what I was going to do for this guys base, so to start with I chose to glue on lots of bits of craggy gravel (which does still match what little base I actually had to match) that I’ll eventually fill in with a nice smooth texture to simulate that the rock in between them has gone molten…

It was a start, but there was still the black dragon to think about. The first four figures fit comfortably on 3″ circular bases, but the last fellow is larger and so instead I cut him a 4″ base out of foam core. Not the sturdiest or heaviest choice of foundation, true… but I had a plan for utilizing that material too…

So then I got started with adding more textures. The desert-hailing blue dragon now has layers of sand blowing between the larger rock, and I used simulated liquid leading to ooze into the crags of the soon-to-be-red volcano dweller.

I super-glued on more shards of glass (don’t worry I’ll eventually give them a coating of something to keep them from cutting/shattering) and then used a generous application of oxid paste to build up the soon-to-be snow textures around them as well. I then used a more thinned down application of the same paste to create the fill in dirt around the green’s stones. And for the black dragon’s base I instead broke out my X-acto blade and began a subtractive approach instead…

Black dragons “traditionally” dwell in swamps, and so I thought I’d eventually make a watery, swamp-like base for this figure as well. First things first, after cutting away the water holes I’ll eventually fill over with resin, I filled them in with a liberal coating of more (you guessed it) oxid paste (it’s so useful… I really do use it every chance I get). This should seal and secure it, as well as actually waterproof it against the very slow drying water effect I’ll also eventually apply.

So now it’s time to test to see how well the base textures matches up. I start with applying a desert yellow base coat over the previously painted gray stones. I want the blues of this figure to really pop, so I chose a yellow that was a little bit more on the orange side to enhance the complementary contrasting blue scales.

Eh… maybe not totally perfect (you’ll see a difference if you’re looking for it) but for now I think it’ll pass the “first look” test at any rate…

I’ve also decided to re-purpose an old miniature to become Brother Zao… as one day… one day… I’m confident we’ll need him on a battlemat somewhere. And yes, I used oxid paste on his new base too.

Otherwise, I’ve laid the foundation (pun intended) of these five figures… a long yet casual “whenever I feel like it” project to work on when the mood strikes (and there’s not another more pressing matter that needs my attention) but for now at least, three of the dragons are ready to be primed.

A good start, and some fun “blank canvasses” I’m looking forward to exploring eventually. I know the general color scheme for each, but there are a lot of “reds” in the world, to say nothing of some of the more reptilian coloration I’m hoping to capture here too…

We’ll see. For now they’ll just sit patiently on my worktable until I hear them calling me again…

There’s so much else to think about right now…

The future has so many different question marks hanging over it than it did a month ago… but I guess let’s just see what happens.

Not sure what other choice we’d have in the matter anyway…

Stay safe. Be well.

***

Tuesday 4/7/2020-

Sun: Aries

Moon: Libra (Full)

If you’d like to start from the “beginning” of all this… you can read from my first blog post.

For my disclosure on this or any of my posts or pages… please visit my Disclosure page.

read Reliquum Publishing title(s) by Robert Randle
Blackspire
Adventure Hook
https://twitter.com/TheReliquum



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