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Tonight is a Les Mis sort of night.  Too many surprise funerals every December.Personal crap to follow- December really does seem to be about collecting yahrzeits sometimes... )
weirdlet: (Default)
So instead of the sort of half-assed bending-focused togetherness Aang seems to have preached and put together, part of what came out of the big United Republic reformation movement included a theoretical fifth element (ha ha, yes, Meeloo et all:) as a subject of study and cultural exchange- mastery of self, as well as mastery of elements.  Maybe it's something that was completely independent of Aang, and that's why it's looked askance at today as a hotbed for radicalism- a wide and varied philosophy that's about finding what you do best and getting very, very good at it, regardless of elemental bending or ethnic allegiance.  Shit like Jet and Mai, Jun and Piandao do, and especially Ty Lee and the Kyoshi Warriors, because that's the sort of information that people would probably really like disseminated, even if a lot of the bending elites would regard it as an unfair advantage (war crime isn't the right word here- I'm looking for something like a banned weapon or technique and I cannot find the right word right now).

It seems like the sort of thing that would grow out of a huge mixed city where the paradigm is shifting.  And it would give a lot more depth and weight to the Equalist movement- not only would it be a radical fringe to a legit school of philosophy and activism, it provides a stronger background source for so *many* Equalists, as well as the paranoia about them, because there's people wearing their buttons and spouting some of the same words walking around on the street, man! -who aren't necessarily anywhere near as hardline as Amon/Noatak himself, wanting to actually destroy bending as a power.

Dunno, just a thought.
weirdlet: (Default)
"Conceal, don't feel..."

Yue is done letting the blood of her tribe flow and trickle away, for the sake of any man's pride.
weirdlet: (Default)
So I was reading the Freeport Trilogy and about the serpent people whose Ancient Empire(tm) collapsed after an encounter with the cult of the Unspeakable One and its madness.  Their primary deity back in the day was Yig, and while I was mulling bits of flavor-text to be spoken by horrid cultist and hidden, kindly watcher alike, it started going on in my head about Yig-drass, the world serpent, the tree of serpents, everything in the world and the father/mother who is all.  Also stuff about 'we sinned against Father Sun, and so he retreats from us a little more each year- do not begrudge us these final, dusty days, for our end will come as it does for all of us, and you too, in your time,' -but mostly the big smush-up of Ygdrassil the World Tree and Jormungandr the World-Serpent based off the silly decision of a WotC author to name a snake-god Yig.

Also figure that the orcs' gods are He Who Watches and She Who Waits.  He Who Watches is more Odin than Gruumsh, and more goblin than Uruk-hai warrior.  Slinky little thief and spy with a cloak, a hat, and an eye-patch who snarks at you.  She Who Waits is somewhere between Frigga, Hera, Kali and every earth-mother goddess you've ever heard of, with a strong militaristic bent that feels sort of like Athena.  Ravens like them both.  He Who Watches will make you a deal and seal it with an eyeball- She Who Waits will just make damn sure that there's a line and anyone who crosses it is crow-food.
weirdlet: (Default)
Need to sketch at some point when things aren't exploding (*four inches* of water in the basement of a house we're trying to get rid of!)- Instead of Varrick, Korra-and/or-Asami with Varric Tethras, dwarven merchant prince, wielder of Bianca (she's a hand-crossbow/siege weapon).

"Daisy, you've got to stop crossing through Lowtown in the middle of the night!"
"Nothing ever happens!"
"I know- and that nothing is costing me a fortune."

-Korra as the Champion of Kirkwall.  Benders versus equalists, mages versus templars, Qunari versus everyone.  No real analogue for the professional sports thing, but I think that was something they either should have done more with, or done away except as a mention in passing.

Vid Idea

Jan. 7th, 2014 07:00 pm
weirdlet: (Default)
....Korra water-and-airbending to Idina Menzel's "Let It Go" from Frozen.  Possibly mix of Korra, Katara, maybe Yue in both pre-and-post sacrifice modes.
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Had a thought about a futuristic cybernetically enhanced soldier, who was nearing the end of her tour of duty and looking forward/well sort of but more just imagining what's it gonna be like when her arms and legs get traded back in for the civilian models.  And also looking forward to getting her reproductive set reinstalled, because it makes perfect sense that if you've got that level of cyborg mix-and-matching technology, that on duty everyone would have their civilian model and their work/duty model, and their potentially duty-interfering bits kept safely cryo'ed until you're back on-planet and have the time and energy to mess around.

I dunno, it's just kind of a neat thought- it probably wouldn't be an acceptable norm now, but in another time, another context, it makes perfect sense to store it until you actually know you want or are willing to risk reproduction.  And that would go exactly the same for male soldiers, because while leaving bastards in every port may be less of an interference to ship- and combat-duty, it's still problematic and embarrassing and does not please the brass when someone can wave a DNA test at one of their soldiers and demand comp.

So yeah.  Someday- scifi story with awesome cyborg lady adjusting to civilian life, with added world-building for flavor.

Oh!  I know where this came from- there was this one story in a Chicks In Chainmail anthology, where the local women-warrior's guild responded to a burdensome tax on bronze bras by engaging a plastic-wizard who could leave them flat-chested as any man for duty purposes, then return them their boobs with ease when desired.  (This is all further complicated by the fact that he's been doing business on the side with the court ladies who want younger, trimmer parts themselves, and aren't particularly scrupulous about just where their 'dancing master' is getting those parts and what he's paying for them.  Namely nothing, leaving a lot of shepherdesses, apple-pickers and exotic dancers waking up with the wrong bits and a whole lot of angry warrior-women who want their boobs kept straight and to get the *right* set back on reversing the spell, thank you.)
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Inches away from being done with the old house.  Papers are signed, last van-load and sweep-out tomorrow.  Hopefully once the last bits of bills from this are dealt with, I can stop being terrified two days after payday about 'how are we gonna eat and let me pay my school debts'.

In other news- another 'Reimagining Legend of Korra' thought.  What if the police weren't just metalbenders, but metal-benders were a special division just like fire, earth, and water-bending experts?  And what if everyone got rudimentary chi-blocking lessons?  (I know, it takes some extreme talent and probably major acrobatic ability to land that sort of blow, but it's the sort of thing they'd probably pass around, I think.)

Ducky!

Dec. 18th, 2013 02:20 pm
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I just ate the first duck I cooked myself (well- Mom did the heavy lifting, I screwed up my shoulder a couple days ago and am still babying it until I can fight my way through the ACA hotline and get some proper doctoring).  It is *goooooood*.  And potatoes in duck fat is yaaaaaaay.
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Young Justice- *wow* that's some not-very-subtly-buried unresolved tension there, Luthor.  You only managed to create a *kid* in secret with your oblivious hubby...

Also, I need fic.  Anyone got any recs?
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So I was trying out my tablet with my new computer and new free art program.  I'm not sure where the problem is, but there was a lot of lag between pen and screen, and it was sucking, so I decided, crazy idea, to just go sketch with a pencil- and glory of glories, it stopped sucking.  Now if only my scanner had compatible drivers with Windows 7...  So you all get to see the phone-pics in all their horror instead.

Meant to be a 'different ages' meme.  Goes with the orcs I was babbling about in the last entry.

http://fav.me/d6v6i03 ; Orc girl at 5.
http://fav.me/d6v6ig9 ; Orc girl at 13.
http://fav.me/d6v6img Orc woman at 17.
http://fav.me/d6v6iup ; Orc woman at 25.

Annnnd the links are sucking.  The only working one is '17', so if you want just go to that one and then head to my scraps gallery on dev-art from there.
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(campaign setting) Orcish word for 'making' and 'breaking' is the same.  Or at least extremely similar, because in their creation, they were broken, and the concept remains central to the culture to this day.  Once high and haughty Sidhe, they were captives from the great war when humans first harnessed their own magic and fought back against their faerie overlords.  The Circean empire took prisoners and with subtle magics and unsubtle torment, broke them to their will and made of them slaves.  The orcish kind are unlovely, but are strong, fierce, resilient, and long-lived unless killed outright- and in the case of the Pit-Born, need not even be raised from young before becoming useable soldiers.  They all (but especially Pit-Born) are vulnerable to both magical control and the bullying of stronger leaders because it is all they have known since the first days.  They expect that life will hurt, because it does.  They expect teaching to be harsh and pass on the same lessons the same way.  It isn't just their personal experiences within their generation that reinforces this- constant reincarnation means that while each newborn orc is its own individual, echoes from the past often blur their perception of the present, including memories of not just endless generations of war, but up to and including the original tortures and breeding programs that made them what they are today.

To make is to break, because what was before is always destroyed or marred in the creation of a new thing.  To break is to make, because one's strength and will to change what is becomes imbued upon what, or who, is broken.

So there's a damn good reason for why the female elite of the central orcish territories are effectively the Marine Corp.  "Neither held nor hindered, neither bound nor bred.  Never again."  They refuse to ever be in that position again.

Sometimes orcs become more aware of their past-life experiences, though rarely all at once- the Awakened, along with those few who still live from the ancient days, often find themselves in positions of power because they are the most experienced (and frequently know the most dirty tricks, both giving and avoiding).  Some find the memories overwhelming and become maddened by them, either becoming driven tyrants or fleeing to live alone in the wilderness, seeking solitude in their pain.  It is rumored that one such has been living up in the high hills since just about the ancient days themselves, a great hulking being of the breed most commonly called 'ogre'.  In the time of war, they were used as a terrible combination of shock-troops and siege-engines, so terrible to behold and so prone to shaking the earth that only those who fled survived, and while many of them were killed, those who lived on were even worse when encountered alone, away from their controlling officers.  When it thunders, people of the lower hills say it is Last Shadow coming out from her lair.
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astflge the thing with the two princesses the trick is that Aksinya is Grandfather Kraken's agent on land, created at his behest, but the being cut off from the family magic means that she isn't his *puppet*. She can talk back, hold her agency hostage- "You can unmake me, yes, but let's see, that's at least sixteen years before your next Chosen One can go investigate what's happening *right now*..."

"We do it my way or not at all."  And thus, she's able to midwife the creation of a new spirit rather than just kill it before it can come into being.  I'm not sure about that, it was a suggestion made based on my other campaign setting where the orcs are creating their own god to have their back because nobody else will.

Also, the reason that spirits are even *interested* in humans at all, especially great spirits like Grandfather Kraken- spirits are what they are, an essential being of a thing or an animal or a place.  They can come into being, they can sometimes be destroyed, they can even learn and grow to an extent- but in between, they don't really change all that much.  Humans?  Humans change *themselves* to fit into places and arrangements and niches that could never have fit them in their natural state.  They're *fascinating*.  And thus, Aksinya's mother's lineage of sea-priestesses, who can hear the great kraken from his dark bed and, it's rumored, go to serve him after they die (black-eyed grey-skinned mermaids, who sing of the upper world).
weirdlet: (Default)
-that Eska and Desna go back to the North and take the throne as co-chiefs.  People are somewhat weirded out, but it's the North, they're much more on tradition than they are personality contests.

Also Jinora becomes the next great spiritual leader when she grows up, not necessarily just of the Airbenders, but a noted figure in philosophy and in both peace-making and right action.  Because Jinora.

I'm a little iffy on this whole mixing of spirit-world and physical world (because weren't there spirits in the physical world already, even if they were rare and usually only showed up because things were out of whack?) but hey, it's a new era.  -omg, we are at the togas and crystal spires Ancient Past point of time.  The blending of technology and spirits- or maybe I'm just off my rocker, but it's a thought.

Also, part of Eska's deal with the whole commandeering Bolin and then getting completely ragey over him leaving is A) inexperience with relationships comparable to *me* as a teenager, which is saying something, B) princess!levels of "I want it, I take it, I have it, and also I'm supposed to have a fairytale wedding at about this age hey don't laugh at me Desna you ass at least I'm taking initiative- and dad certainly won't, he's too obsessed." and C) inexperience with strongly-felt emotions expressing themselves in an orderly fashion.  She and Desna are not emotion-*less*- but whether naturally or learned, they tend to have a deep well far down below the surface, and other people don't pick up on their signals because they're practically using different code-books- and unless you're interesting or loved enough, why should they explain it to you?

She has stuff to apologize for, but it's not unsalvageable.  Given time, and work.

Edit- Also, I am still waiting for Korra to actually sit down and watch Bolin's propaganda films and have a bit of a foam-fit over how ridiculous it is, the costuming, and possibly over the choice of casting.  Then again- it's the first movers, there's still a chance for it to be less evil than the real-world Hollywood machine.
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Oh, the sly Bolin....

Oh, *Bolin*.

I would almost want this to work out.  I like quirky, bizarre and non-mainstream romances.  Except that in the interim Eska was nuts and Bolin was a jerk and regardless of actual abusive relationship status, neither of them are really ready for Relationship at this point, I don't think.  It's- there's so much bad characterization, I keep having to focus on what points I'm keeping in my headcannon because the rest is a wild ride of nonsense, like fifty years of comics continuity in one series.

....oh god, was that just tentacle face-fucking?  She's your *niece* for crying out loud!

Spirit butterflies!

...what just happened?  Did he just cut Raava in half?  Did he just - I don;t think he could have destroyed all those other spirits, but- shouldn't Raava be stronger for having been so many others, or is it just a connection?

...you know, I really wanted Korra to learn about being herself separate from the Avatar, but I didn't want her de-powered to do it.

You know, *again*.

Iiit's a fucking kaiju.

Oh Korra, sweetie...

I'm not getting it.  Where's the eternal darkness?  What is Vaatu's game here?  Is he really, literally, just going to fucking rampage in a giant physical spirit-body and destroy human civilization?  Or is there something else he's going to try to do that's actually big and world-ending, and this is just Unalaq getting his Saturday cartoon super-villain kicks on?

Why is he bothering with this?  These planes can't threaten him.  What the hell is going on?

...Oh, Varrick.

And in the tree- this is the moment I have wanted Korra to start having.  Oh, baby girl...  (and it's also why I wonder why Raava and Vaatu were necessary in the first place).

and now I'm holding my breath.  It's like- this must be it.  This must be the true potential of *any* human spirit that truly, fully opens its chakras and holds itself open to the universe.  Having the powers just helps show you the way, the methods and stretches the 'muscles' for it.

It's a spiritual kaiju fight.

...I still don't understand this spiritual-bending thing that Unalaq does.  Is it supposed to be calming/changing emotional states in a spirit?  Binding it to your will, or just taking control of its energy like spiritual blood-bending?

Hell of a last stand for the friends of Korra-

*blink*  And that just happened?  Oh, wow, Bolin.  And Eska.  Oh my.

Oh, *Jinora*.  Be careful, sweetie, indeed!

What just- okay, recreated Raava, and pleeeeease don't have sacrificed Jinora to do it, please- re-lights the spark of light in the heart of darkness, and Korra knocks him back like an avenging goddess over an altar and rips it right out of him- she gets her Avatar-ish mojo back (maybe? she's still a giant spirit) and then spirit-soothes/spiral dances Una-Vaatu into- motes of light?  Forcibly pulled him into alignment so he could no longer maintain his vicious integrity?

Oh, Jinny, *you* saved it.  But Korra definitely helped.

Oh, Korra baby.

-oh?  You may be very good at compartmentalizing your feelings, Eska&Desna, but you have a mother?  Where?

AHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH oh Eska.  I knew it.  I knew they were both riding the tide of adrenaline.

Oh, turtleduck.  Oh, Bum-Ju.

She's thinking.  She's really come to the crux of what being the Avatar is about and she's giving it real *thought* oh I've waited for this for two seasons.

A real, and clear, mature relationship decision.  Be still, my heart!  And stop leaking, face.


...Interesting.

......

Nov. 17th, 2013 04:50 pm
weirdlet: (Default)
.....things were awesome for a moment- and then Ginger.  And things were awesome, and then- reunion kiss.  And Varric is neither chastised nor in any way stripped of his power and privilege.  He's still somehow in a position to negotiate.

Still don't understand why Unalaq's doing what he's doing.

...I'm having flashbacks to The Secret Garden and Colin in that tub with the ice.  Oh, *Jinora*...  Sick and dying children are some hair-trigger points of mine, Tenzin and Pema and oh god.

At least the brothers are communicating again.  Now if only Mako could get his head out of his ass... at least we can see that it's because he's awkward and really bad at relationships this time.  Although the moment of physical intimidation, however unintended, is kinda... eurgh, it was bad enough when the Eska/Bolin thing went so horribly awry.  Boys shouldn't have to be afraid of their girls, girls shouldn't have to be afraid of their boys, and nobody should be so afraid of getting hurt that they can't *leave* when they need to.  That's not funny.  At least, not funny if it's played for serious and not just one person's exaggerating to cover their own insecurities, very briefly.

Ah-ha!  At long last, we get to see Bumi, strategic mad genius and retired United Forces commander!  -annnnd no.

Something that occurs to me from earlier- where are the girl Southern resistance warriors?

Katara!  I'm still wondering where the hell she's been for the rest of this nonsense, but Best Healer is Best, let's see what she can do for Jinora.

Oh Naga...

Ah-hah, here we go, something about why Unalaq is doing this!

*Eska&Desna's sideglance*

Asami Sato, Ace pilot and gadgeteer!

Oh shit, it's the Chitauri's giant flying slaughterfish!

(I think what I would have done is have the big flying distraction going on above, whilst I tunneled through the ice below.)

*Why* is Bumi so blazingly less competent than brave?  I know, I know, emphasizing how special bending is and how lucky he is to have made it this far- fuck you.  Fuuuuck you, 75-90% of the world is non-benders and Piandao was awesome and Bumi was a freaking *commander*, why are all his accomplishments offscreen suddenly no more than Uncle's wild stories, with no action backing them up?

Okay, this is what it's all about.  Merge the spirit and the material world, yadda yadda... still think Unalaq is either not telling us something about *why*, or is completely delusional/riding high on Vaatu-juice.

Okay- the world is out of balance with Light presiding, but that means that true balance is- probably really inimical to human life.  Also, I'm not getting what balance they're going for- balance of ruling power?  Balance of physical forces?  Balance of positive and negative spiritual energy?  It's one thing to prate about balance, it's quite another to actually find it.  I think what most people think of as 'balance' is more 'equilibrium', equilibrium being a self-sustaining point that favors and supports whatever they feel is right, such as human life.

He *calls* himself a Dark Avatar.  ....  Seriously.

I just- this just does not fit with the whole mythology and narrative established in A:tLA.  There was no *evil*, just aggression and lack of empathy.  I just.  argh.

...why do I want there to be fisticuffs leading to freindship between this dark spirit and Bumi?

...but even if he's right, Desna, hundreds of thousands of people may die in order for his 'new world order' to become.  And therein lies the problem- what's this new world order worth if it destroys everything rather than changes things for the better?  Or is it supposed to be a world full of only spirits, with humans fighting for their lives in tiny enclaves, as in the time before the Avatar, when Lion Turtles gave them their only shelter?

At last, we see the Southern troops' reaction to being constantly cheek-by-jowl with these spirity types!  I think they're mostly going with this because Unalaq is chief, pays their wages and possibly he sold them on some kind of becoming-a-stronger-tribe-with-us-in-control thing.

...and this is how Bumi always manages to save the day.  By sheer, dumb hilarity.  While I am still pissed off about his general competence levels and the way he's being treated as a non-bender by the story itself, not just his family- I gotta say, that was pretty fun, even if I'd have preferred some of it having been part of his crazy plan rather than just flailing about until something awesome happened by happenstance.

...and there is no exit strategy.  The only way out- is through.

Is anyone else getting an eye-of-Sauron feel from the Tree of Time?

...Waitasec- ah, right, they all just came through the spirit portal, so of course now they can bend in the spirit world.  That makes no sense and I don't know why that's in there aside from justifying not having to come up with some other way for folks to do battle in the spirit world.

...annnnd the world just got spiritually super-charged.  sort of there and not-there at once with the whole merging of spirit- and material-worlds?

This is something that has bothered me since the episode with Avatar Wan.  So these are the great spirits of the universe, the apparent forces for 'good' and 'evil', whose fighting has kept the world spinning for time immemorial, from the very beginning (so far as we can tell).  Is that why they look like proto-intestinal parasites?  No, trilobites might be the better word for it.  But they look like tapeworms.  They're so ancient they go back to the time of the beginnings of life itself, not just life as we know it.  But it still looks utterly alien and kinda freaky, which is why I wonder why they are human-relatable *at all*.


-And that's the end of the episode(s).  I've seen .gifs of much more stuff than this, so there must have been a two-hour finale instead of a one-hour, so I'm off to grab the last two episodes.  Man, Nickelodean is giving this such a weird schedule, with breaks and mashups- I think they're trying to get rid of this, or at least mush as many episodes together as they can in one chunk so they can have it over with and get the room back in their schedule.  I hope we can get the next season off the ground with this attitude.
weirdlet: (Default)
-and watching just a bit of LoK- Night of a Thousand Stars before bed. I'm hoping for something amazing, but I'm pretty steadfastly determined to ignore Bolin's characterization from this season.  He used to be sweet, buoyant and respectful, optimistic without necessarily being innocent, as much as he tries to cling to it.  And he used to be both intelligent and dignified.

Not no more.

Forget just getting a swelled head with fame- that scene with him and Mako in the lockup is characteristic of all my bitching about how 'these guys are supposed to be Team Avatar?  They're *barely* friends!'  The relationships, rough and smooth, were what *made* A:tLA.  This?  Bad pacing I could forgive, crap villainy I could forgive, the inability to carry a storyline through I could forgive- but this utter fail of the bond of brothers (sisters/friends/parents/mentors/love interests) is what makes me angry.

I like that President Raiko is pretty savvy, though.  He seems to be doing the Reasonable Authority Figure thing, even in a world gone painfully nutty.

And all the stuff with Jinora in danger and Tenzin and Pema is making me cry in a good way.  It's like Les Mis, it's horrible but it's so genuine I appreciate the feels even if they hurt coming up.


In other news, we finally got some help today clearing out the basement.  Who knows, maybe we'll actually be able to clear the place out and hand it over to the bank sometime in the next *month*.

(this has dragged on for far too long.  I am so ready to be done with this crap and get back to sword-making.  Oh, and my boyfriend is moving to Arizona, which is just. Great.

But hey, no roaches where he's going!  And better job prospects!
weirdlet: (Default)
Legend of Korra, Season 2, Episode 10-

This moment was awesome!  And that moment was awesome!  Now if only the stuff between and leading up to it made ANY SENSE AT ALL.

I want their writing staff fired.  There are these occasional, profoundly beautiful moments, that are just *wasted*.  And I'm sick to death of Korra being helpless despite being the most badass chick since Toph, Mai, Katara, and Ty Lee.  I'm *sick* of it.  That one sequence would have been so cute and had so much meaning, but nothing she does is ever competent and she never gets out of problems on her own recognizance and soseeing her as a little baby girl lashing out and flailing until she's set straight by Irohis just icing on the damn cake.  There's flawed and then there's rolling the idiot ball, Sisyiphean style, before you.  I don't mind watching her fight and fail and learn again- but I really want that last part in there.  She doesn't learn, change or grow.  None of her choices matter.

And this nonsense with Vaatu and Unulaq has got to stop.  Where is his motivation, what is he going for, and Wan Shi Tong really is the epitome of the intellectual idiot.  What the fuck.  I am so done.  And why would you waste Professor Zei?  Spirits should be a bit alien and frightening, but this just makes them seem so- small.


I mean *really*.

There are definitely going to be overhaul AUs.  I can't let this stand.
weirdlet: (Default)
Current thought- Legend of Korra vid, "On My Own," Les Mis.  Listening to different versions to see which voice I like best- so far Lea Salonga's winning.
weirdlet: (Default)
Is it weird that I kind of want to see Korra working construction?

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