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Venice, in some of the earlier editions, had chapter houses from multiple covenants and tribunals, permanently staffed. It was really hard to explain why this should be, actually, because in 1187 Venice is not the sort of place you'd expect magi to congregate. Constantinople would have been a better choice. That being said, 2nd edition had all kinds of problems with geography, so we'll make do with what we have.

To some degree I may need to cut my cloth to fit my needs here, much as if you are playing a game with a lot of mystery cults you need a bigger Order. So, yes, that the fashion has become widespread in Italy works for me. Also, I'd like some sort of sense that the faerie aura of the place makes something like a fan easier to enchant than a spindle, but I need to think that through. That is, the penalties and bonuses for spellcasting / enchantment may bend to a Local Law, which pushes the magi to fit in more.

I've not yet recorded the next chapter, but here's a quick spoiler / idea. When Venice was first beseiged, the ropes of their siege engines wore out fighting off the (Goths? Huns? need to check) so the women of Venice cut their hair, and used ropes of their hair in their catapaults*.

This cutting of the hair is a sacrifice, like the fingers and eyes we see in the Norse magicians, and having it as the tension element in a projectile weapon ties us again to the bow of Diana, which has been turning up with surprising regularity. There's also a sort of knight's favour aspect to locks of hair. Basically, thought, I can see player characters using lengths of their own hair to make the strings for their crossbows.*

  • Yes, I know that's physically impossible.
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It's rare to find more than one monster in a poem, but I am fortunate to have just found four. (The prose poem is "Levana and the Ladies of Sorrow") by Thomas de Quincey.

As noted, I went wild in the start of the lockdown, letting all of my recorded episodes loose in a single week. Time to rebuild some depth in the roster. The future episodes look like this. Stars indicate stats.

J11 : The horological demon of Jules Verne.*
J18: Precious stones (Moonstone, Onyx, Opal)
J25 Venice : The First Doge
J2 : Ladies of Sorrow - Levana*
J9 Precious Stones (Haematite, Jacinth, Jasper)
J16 A Night in March - poem
J23 TBA
J30 - The weapon of the urban Dianic cult
A6: Ladies of Sorrow - the Mother of Tears*
A13 Precious stones - Lapis Lazuli
A20 TBA
A27: Venice : In which we find the hidden forest
S3: Ladies of Sorrow - The Mother of Sighs*
S10 Precious Stones - Rock Crystal and Ruby
S17 TBA
S24 Venice - The Translation of San Marco
O1: Ladies of Sorrow: The Mother of Darkness*
O8: Precious Stones - Sapphire
O15 TBA
O28 TBA
O29: Venice - the Customs of Romance
N5 TBA- if I don't find another creature it will be the Horla
N12 Precious Stones - Serpentine and Topaz
N19 TBA
N26: Venice - Another Lovestruck Romeo

Currently Episode 300 will be 31 December. Hopefully it will be a new version of Half-Remembered Monsters. At some point I want to do "The Erl-king's daughter" by Dunsany, but it is 30 chapters long, so I'm not sure how to do it without it swamping the blog or taking years.

As always, suggestions for episodes gratefully received.

I've decided to not divide the four cthonic goddesses. .This week's story has all 4 cthonic goddesses in it. They are not statted yet: I hope to do them once per month.

J23 was something I was working up for Magonomia, but I'll post here. It's about the provenance of toadstones and their uses in toading, which is a sort of traditional folk magic in the northeast of England. It does lead me to have to think about if posts for Magonomia (once the game is delivered in May next year) should be in the main GFF feed as a "column" of one episode per month, or if I should split them off to a separate feed and site. Thoughts very welcome.

Also, are people enjoying Venice? It's numbers are not great, but I think the material is solid. Libsyn says that everyone's numbers are down because of the lack of commuting in the US at the moment. Thoughts welcome.

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The Venice stuff is my favorite part of the show!

Wait, Magonomia is happening? I heard the kickstarter failed and I assumed it wasn't coming out. If it is, is there any way I can financially support it?

It funded on the second try.

The publisher is over at https://shewstonepublishing.com/

See their contact info.

It's the main bit I've written ATM, so discarding it would be hard.

Next time, I tell you where they hid the faeriie forest. It rocks. (Written later - no, I'm ahead of myself. Next time is the sacred weapon of the urban Dianic alchemist cult)

The idea to do a Magonomia column comes out of the Venice source I'm using. It goes up to the fall of the Republic under Napoleon. So, it might be Ars until 1500 and then Magonomia after.

I feel like the Weapon of the Urban Diana cult episode perfectly encapsulates Ars Magica's strengths, where folklore fuels stories.

I'm inordinately pleased with the idea of it.

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Hi, you'll see the episodes go out of order a little this month. Basically it's a RL sickness problem.

I still have six episodes set up, but they are all on curious stones or Venice, so I don't want them all to come out together.

Also, my idea for a Magonomia column? Libsyn suggests I split it off into a separate feed. I'll need to think about it a little more.

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The last six months of transcripts went up this week.

I just had a chat with CJ via Zoom and he pointed out that I never tell anyone where the Paetreon is. That's quite silly of me....I must start doing that. It's probably against Atlas's site rules to direct link though, so...I'm Timothy Ferguson on Patreon.

So, onto GFF news:

I'm working on the transcripts for September-October now. Likely up this weekend.

The podcast costs about USD10 to host a month, and for a little while I've been getting USD18, so this month I was able to kick things up to the USD30 level with my podcast host and rebuild my episode depth.

So far the following have been loaded to auto-broadcast. I've not statted the monsters yet. For those of you wanting chunkier episodes: The King of Elfland's Daughter and Pentamerone episodes are about half an hour long. I won't be able to do this every month at the moment, so episodes will still often be 5-10 minutes otherwise.

Nov 19 Walter de la Mare 6 (I'm doing these in bunches because they are too short as solo poems. This is the last one in this series. It gets replaced by Pentamerone.)
Nov 26 Venice - The Banshee
Dec 03 The Cormorants of Andaver (A short story with a folk tradition of witchcraft)
Dec 10 The King of Elfland's Daughter 3
Dec 31 Pentamerone 1* (Fifty Italian Faerie Tales cut into useful chunks)
Jan 14 The King of Elfland's Daughter 4
Jan 21 Pentamerone 2*
Feb 11 The King of Elfland's Daughter 5
Mar 11 The King of Elfland's Daughter 6

  • I have loaded Pentamerone episodes, but they are based on the Taylor translation since it is out of copyright. It's been heavily bowlderised: for example 18 of the 50 tales have been left out entirely and the others have been made more child friendly. I'm going to revisit it using the modern Canepa translation and I might make little supplementary recordings to follow directly on the ones here, with my summary of the juicy stuff Taylor carved out.

In terms of current planning, if I get my act together episode 300 will be Dec 24, and will be stats for the backlog of monsters. The backlog will blow out incredibly, because by writing longer episodes, I mention more things which could be statted. At my old rate, which was one monster a month, I have enough to keep me going until 2025 now. 8)

The episode for Dec 17 is a biography of Teodroa Selvo, who is central to the Venice setting I'm building (she's the Rotting Princess that gets aided by something claiming to be Tytalus). The more I write this though, the less I need to go high fantasy. It turns out there were several female alchemists who wrote books in Venice at just after the period, and I'm looking to get a translation sent to me one interlibrary loan starts up again.

The transcripts for Sep/Oct/Nov/Dec are up.

Yes, I know I said December - I've scripted that far in advance. Monsters not yet done, but I'm going to find a new way to get some done.

Two bits of news.

I've kicked off my post a day over in that subforum. I know I'm a month late...

The other but of news is that I've preloaded nine episodes, so things are looking good in terms of material for the next few months.

Hi,

The 2020 Annual is available now!

It basically has no art. Sorry - 2020 was an odd one.

There's an updated version of "Half-remembered monsters" coming once it hits 100 creatures.

The one big change is that I think the Pantemerone and King of Elfland's Daughter series are going to run too long, so instead you'll be getting bigger chunks to make the whole series shorter. Pentamerone will now be 3 stories a month (in one episode) for the ones in the Bowdlerised version. These episodes are just over an hour. Similarly, King of Elfland's Daughter will be 4 chapters per episode, rather than 2. This means they'll also be double length. Hour-long episodes will -not- be the new normal, but it will be pretty common for the next few months.

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Thank you for the Cornwall pdf! It's really wonderful and I love the folk stories.

I do have one question. There is a part where the Plough dancers can tell off people, and that allows them to lower undesired traits. Is the basic idea that it works as a moment of self-reflection? You use xp to pay it off I'm guessing? Been a while since I read the rules, thank you!

It does make me feel old as the lack of page numbers shows that I'm out of touch in having it printed, lol.

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I just caught up with this Timothy. Awesome work there, thanks!

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Hi,

I just uploaded the longest episode ever. It's 77 minutes. I won't go live until mid-April.

Basically the state of play looks like this: Bold entries are already written and uploaded on timers. Italics are just planned entries. The episodes for this little while are longer, because I'm doing a bit of writing for another game. That means my episodes are more often commentaries on other people's texts, rather than written from scratch, which gives it extra length.

To make this work I've dipped the audio quality (sampling rate) in two epsidoes. If you think you can tell, please say, so I know not to do it again.

March
11 Venice - Marriage to the sea. Festival games.
18 - Samhain poems
25 - King of Elfland's Daughter 7
April
1 - Pentamerone 5, plus two short poems as bonus episodes for April Fool's Day.
8 Bjornaer swift
15 Venice - Coral story - this will be short for a Venice ep.
22 King of Elfland's Daughter 8
29 Was Pendule a descendant of Plotinus?
May
6 Pentamerone 6

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Update time

I've just uploaded the last of the really massive episodes for this little while. It's been too much for me and I need to cut back to smaller episodes. That being said the last few King of Efland's Daughter episodes don't have fresh folklore in them, so other than eventually stating the monsters, there's not a lot of writing involved..

I know the transcripts are five months late, and apologise. The podcast host I work with has a sort of "use it or lose it" plan structure, and I had to pay for a big chunk of time the last few months to fit in the long episodes I needed for Elflands Daughter and Pentamerone. This means I need to pack in all of that work, to stop the money being wasted, and its eaten into all of my time. When I get to the end of that space and can start working on smaller episodes again, monsters and transcripts will eventually come. In terms of "packing in material" I need to put about another two hours of finished audio in before the end of the month to make use of the space I've paid for. It's likely going to be Venice episodes just bvecause its the material closest to hand, but if I find poems or short stories with monsters in them on Librivox, I'll gather up those as a sort of "free audio from the universe".

The playsheet is as follows. Bold items have been uploaded on timers. Basically I think I've been able to rebuild the cushion of episodes I discarded at the start of the current plague, when I set all of the timers to immediate to give people a bit of brightness in lockdown.

May
6 Pentamerone 5
13 The Giant Legless Bird and the Cosmic Metronome (note 1)
20 The King of Elflands Daughter 9
27 Venice - The Stupidest War
End of month ? - Annual statement about the future of the podcast. Brief self congratulation on five years.

June
3 Pentamerone 8
10 Was Pendule a student of Plotinus?
17 The King of Elflands Daughter 10
24 Untitled Venice episode

July
1 Pentamerone 9
1 Pentamerone Bonus Episode (note 2)
8
15 The King of Elflands Daughter 11
22
29 (Venice)

August
5 Pentamerone - the censored tales 1
12
19 The King of Elflands Daughter 12 (conculsion of series)
26 (Venice)

  1. The graphics of this went live on the wrong episode last week. Given that the episode was full of Criamon weirdness...that seems OK. I'll fix it. Basically that was an accursed week where two episodes slipped the leash early.
  2. This contains three stories from the start of the Pentamerone I couldn't see much use in, so I cut them from Episode 1. Now that the project has expanded out to be basically all stories but the frame narrative and The Three Citrons, I've added it in.

Take care of yourself! That's always the better investment.

The transcripts for the first quarter of the year is up.

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