The opportunity came for an All-Saint’s Day hair-of-the-dog.  Almost went to see Count Gore’s hypnosis show but lost main power midway through the day, and that wasn’t enough to convince K to get out and about.  Instead, she dragged me along on one of her sudden hunches.  K’s instincts are good, so when she gets a trail on something I saddle up.

We head over to a used bookstore.  She’s looking for books on how to weave.  Her hunger for knowledge in the use of her loom is huge.  Me, I’m expecting to find nothing.  My instincts aren’t feeling hot, and I’m not on the trail of anything, so it’s a bust I’m ready for.  Which is okay, because even the missions that are failures have to be lived.  You gotta pay the dues.

Turns out I find a couple of interesting things, all clues to what’s goin’ on.  I think the unconscious washes these onto my shore as components for the next thing I’m supposed to do.  I get the feeling that the Dark Goddess must have dropped these off at the used bookstore for burger money.  A girl’s got to eat, and those late night meetings with the struggling artists in need of a vision can wear out the coffee machine.

  • A near-mint condition copy of the 1983 Dungeons and Dragons module Ravenloft. Six bucks.
  • Two DVDs of Karin (episodes 1-4 and 5-8).  Four bucks each.
  • Two CDs of trance techno – Blank and Jones “DJ Culture” and Global Underground “Afterhours” (3 CDS).  Six bucks and nine bucks respectively.

Thirty bucks for some new brain protein chains?  Not bad!

For those not in the know, the Ravenloft module is considered by many DnD people to be one of the best.  Players adventure in a classic style vampire adventure, with all the expected trappings.  What is memorable about the module is some of the techniques it uses to evoke atmosphere and create a sense of player involvement in what happens.  So even though it follows a lot of the typical dungeon-kill monster-loot cycle of DnD, it has features that make every game different and more player-oriented.

I’d heard about Ravenloft recently on my sensor array, but as it’s an old module I’d have to really search to get a copy.  My researches in roleplaying theory and storytelling techniques require me to look into such sources of experimental gameplay.  And here it is, delivered in my lap for my own examination.  However, I also believe the subject matter also relates to my ongoing relationship with my Mirage.  The players are trapped in a nightmare world at the behest of an evil vampire, and they must explore the world to find the answers.  Each step leads them closer to the dark castle of the vampire where all shall be revealed!

No, not relevant to me and K’s situation at all.

I’d already watched the first ten episodes of Karin on YouTube, and loved them.  And here they are for me to watch in the comfort of my own home.  I have to say they hold up well to a repeat viewing.  I’m noticing a lot of things I missed before (always a good sign for craftwork), and I’m enjoying the study of the techniques of storytelling revelation and exploration in the show.

The theme of monsters being victimized by us, as people, is one I’ve been meditating on for a long while.  I also am drawn to the idea of Goddess-on-earth trying to find what the heavens need to survive and continue.  With a normal human dude as her sidekick instead of magical mentor with lotsa knowledge.  It’s always got to be about us.  I’m not so sure that’s a good thing anymore.  Outside, out there, things are looking to us to make things happen.  I’m drawn to the idea that we are the divine being(s’) adventure and that the work to be done involves both poles of the world.

The Dark Goddess wants me to know about this stuff.

When it comes to techno tracks, very often it’s about finding 1-3 singles that can carry you through to another state of waking vision.  My life support always needs new course calibrations to stay on course with the living spirit.  I’d heard Blank and Jones’ track “Nightfly” on Logic Trance 4 and loved it, so I figured I’d give them a try.  The Global Underground has always been a mixed bag for me, but I spotted Killing Joke’s “Requiem (A Floating Leaf Always Reaches The Sea Dub Mix)” on the 3 CD set.  I really liked that song on one of my ambient collections (the name eludes me and I don’t feel like digging it up), so maybe this set will be in the same vein.

I find that when I’m ready for new states of mind, or to examine old ones from a fresh perspective, the music comes to me.  I just find it.  It might be that the music will go along with something else I’m supposed to work on.  I’ve found that the music that most closely approximates my center tends to be ambient (leaning towards dark) with trance techno in the mix.  It’s the only formula that is complex and subjective enough to bring it out.

I don’t know, maybe UFO Girl passed them along.

Already the New Year is here, and the work is afoot!  As Pluto enters Capricorn its time to hold onto your butts.  Thanks, weird beings.