Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tonight's Set List - Joshua Taylor Smith & the No-One-Elses

Tonight's set list, performed on solo piano for an audience of one tired toddler:

Come Sail Away (just the first part) - Styx
Desperado - The Eagles
Sleepin' on the Sidewalk - Queen
Piano Man - Billy Joel
My, My, My - Rob Thomas
Bright Lights - Matchbox Twenty
I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
Beautiful Mess - Jason Mraz

I think everyone was pleased with the performance. Hand eczema has been a problem the last week or so for some reason, so my thumbs and my right-hand ring finger started bleeding, but, hey, doesn't that happen to everyone?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Verinkothis and the Last Draconic Civil War (or What Happened to the Dragons that didn't Ascend?)

The rebellious dragon Kothis is known historically as Verinkothis, “Kothis the Destroyer,” a name he was given in the Last Draconic Civil War. Before the Ascension movement, he was a terrain sculptor by trade, responsible for both small- and large-scale landscaping and cavern safety, and preparing the land for public and private use as dictated by the Draconic Priesthood. He was a master planner and organizer, and was well renowned for his abilities and project leadership.

When the Draconic Ascension movement began, congruent with the spread of the Golden Ones’ settlements, Kothis became very skeptical of the Priesthood’s decisions. He thought that the Priesthood leadership was being led by delusional madness, perpetuated by ambition, not the Voice of Ja, concerning the Ascension and the divine gift of dominion on Tererae Solom to the Golden Ones. He was certain that the powerful magic was actually killing each dragon that performed the ritual.

As he publically voiced these opinions, he garnered a large following, consisting mostly of working class dragons, some artisans, and a handful of dissident priests (the notorious Seratha among them). His rebellious complaints appealed to many, as his concerns reflected the waning faith and egocentric desires of these few to remain as the dominant civilization on Tererae Solom.

As decades passed in the Ascension movement, most of the draconic populace ascended according to the direction of the Voice and the Priesthood, and the humanoid Golden Ones spread rapidly across the north. Kothis gained many more followers as the rampant evils of the Golden Ones became known, and his disputes with the Voice about the dominion of the evil humanoid race seemed increasingly more accurate.
After Ja eventually tired of the Golden Ones’ transgressions, He commanded the Draconic Priesthood to annihilate the entire evil civilization, save a small handful of families, which later became known as the Elder Faithful – the few Golden Ones who kept Ja’s laws. When Ja issued this command, Kothis and his followers felt vindicated; they felt that they were correct, that dragons were indeed meant to retain dominion of the world, and that the Golden Ones were to be destroyed. They did not believe, however, that Ja would further place Tererae Solom in the hands of mankind, and that He was already nurturing the new races that would inhabit the land.

Kothis’s group eagerly volunteered to aid the Priesthood in the eradication of the Golden Ones, and, unlike the Priesthood, the rebels reveled in the destruction. However, since they had denied Ja repeatedly in His command to ascend, and subsequently showed their blatent evil and lack of mercy in dealing with the Golden Ones, Ja told the remaining loyal dragons, though fiercely outnumbered, to gather Kothis’s forces and banish them from the face of Tererae Solom.

A great war ensued, commonly called the Last Draconic Civil War. The dragons loyal to Ja were outnumbered, a score of rebels for every loyalist, but the loyalists were supported by the power of Ja. Countless legends were borne during this war about the struggles and victories of the loyalists. It was during this war that the evil dragon leader was called Verinkothis.

In one battle, presumably somewhere in western Mavinaria, Kothis was buried beneath the rubble in a rockslide, later named in legend as the Grave of Kothis. Over time, the location of the Grave was lost to history, but it remained the source of legend and story long afterward and most scholars agree it was likely somewhere in Mavinaria.

Seratha, a dissident Priest and Kothis’s closest supporter, took over command of the rebel forces after Kothis’s death. Eventually all of her forces were captured and gathered to be exiled into a giant cavern far beneath the land’s surface in the chaotic Northlands. The resultant draconic civilization that developed there somewhat emulated their original civilization, with three major classes in society, the Priests, the hunters, and the builders. This punishment for the dragons was great and fitting, as the rebels never again enjoyed the sunlight or stars, and lost the freedom that creatures of flight normally have. In the centuries since, some few of these dragons, descendants of the rebels, repented for their ancestors’ behavior, and prayed for Ja’s mercy and release from the subterranean prison. However, most of the inhabitants perpetuated stories of their defeat as unjust and not divine.

Other than those angry stories, life for the dragons is similar to their lives prior to the civil war. Their diets consist of cultivated fungus and subterranean livestock farms of indigenous underground life, mainly giant underground worms. The area is a low Chaotic Point, which limits the dragons’ abilities with magic. However, the dragons have carved out plenty of room for themselves, even enabling some room for flight. Since they live far beneath the surface, they have had to be very careful when expanding their territory to ensure no cave-ins. They have constructed spherical, magical light sources, ten- to twelve-feet in diameter, which were mounted high upon the cavern ceilings to illuminate their world.

The dragons invested some work into attempts at digging out to the surface, but all such endeavors ended in either cave-ins or natural physical barriers. Neither anyone on the surface, nor the Elder Faithful, are aware of the dragons’ society deep below ground.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


That's right. Mondays. They suck.
Looking at the six-month gap between posts, I thought I'd catch us up on my mental health since my last January post.

I had a really bad episode in which I attempted to harm myself. My mother and my wife took me up to my doctor and basically said, "hey, this Cymbalta ain't cuttin' it." So he decided it was time for me to visit a psychiatrist. After a couple of meetings, he diagnosed me with Type II Bi-Polar. I was like, "okay...."

So a few months have transpired. I'm currently on a regimen of Seroquel in the evenings for management of my bi-polar syndrome, Cymbalta in the morning to keep my depression at bay, and Xanax when I have anger/panic/manic attacks.

And for at least two months, I've felt GREAT! I'm getting things done. I'm staying positive. It's nice, and very different from the last few YEARS.

So that's the update! :)

Stormy Summer

June 23, 2010, about seventeen YEARS since I first thought of Tererae Solom, is the historical date in which I finally stopped writing ABOUT the world, and actually began Solas's story. I've often thought about using this site to share some of the cool cannon that has developed for the world over the years, so hopefully I'll get off my lazy bottom and start doing that. :)

Maybe even later tonight!