Archive | July 9, 2012

Weaving a new way, a story of Reiassan, just-pre-Steam!Callenia, for the Giraffe Call (@lilfluff)

For [personal profile] lilfluff‘s prompt.

In the era of Empress Eetanasaria; before the Emperor in which most of the Steam!Callenia stories are placed

“But what is it?” The head of the Textiles Guild stared at the contraption, keeping a good distance back, in case it bit, or exploded. Down in the ironworker’s corner of the city, things were prone to doing that.

Byornon smiled, and fingered the glass beads in his beard. “This, Sir, is my life’s work. I have spent every moment not dedicated to the Empress’s Army on this machine, and on the machines necessary to build this machine. I believe it will change your life forever, and mine as well.”

“But what is it?” The Guildhead stepped back a bit further. A machine made by one of The Empress’s engineers that could change his life… if it blew up, it was likely to be on purpose.

“Let me show you.” That didn’t reassure the Guildhead. “Better yet, let me show you and three of your best weavers.”

“My wife and daughters are my best weavers. I will not bring them to this… place.”

“Then I’ll show you, and you can then show your wife and daughters.” Byornon was undaunted. “Just take a couple more steps back, and I’ll get it heated up.”

The Guildhead was more than willing to step back. “But what is it?” he repeated.

“Oh!” Byornon tossed a handful of coal in a boiler, and three of the aether-filled red stones that powered some of the Empress’s great war machines. “It’s a loom.”

“But we already…” Byornon threw a large lever, and three smaller ones, and gears began clanking. A small brass shuttle began whirring up and down on a wire as the frame clicked from one side to another. “We already have…” The shuttle, which looked like nothing so much as it did a small weasel-kit, dragging a long tail behind itself, was setting up the warp. “We already have a loom,” the Guildhead wailed. His weavers were not going to be pleased.

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Excerpt – from the Character Development Meme – Timora, Year 9


24.) What might your character’s ideal romantic partner be?
Timora wants a white knight. She wants a truly nice man who sees her for the lovely soul she is and doesn’t mind that she doesn’t look like the popular girls; she wants someone who wants long walks on the beach and gentle kisses and will rescue her and carry her off on his horse.

They read you Cinderella
You hoped it would come true
That one day your Prince Charming would come rescue you

Failing a fairy tale, she wants a nice guy who likes spending time outdoors and won’t make fun of her.

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Callenian Poetry, an Excerpt

This is the donation-level perk for the June Giraffe Call. It’s not done yet, but here’s the first bit.

Callenan poetry falls into several different categories, but the largest division, describing all else, is spoken vs. written poetry.

Written poetry originated with the priesthood, and before them with the gods-chasers1 of the original Home Valley. The Callenian language, written, lends itself to artistic forms and decoration.

In the early days of the written word, the god-chasers would mark short prayer-poems, often calling out to longer spoken-poem works, onto the skin of the tribe’s Riders, onto the leather of their saddles, and onto the fur of their goats. As time went on, the artistic forms became more complicated; the holy texts of Callenia are written in formed poetry.2

Spoken poetry existed long before the written, and was first used to pass on stories and lessons from one generation to the next. In the style of epics, spoken poetry tends to rely heavily on repetition, rhyme, and a strong rhythm to carry mnemonic cues.

1. The Callenan left the original gods when settling Reiassan. See
2. For examples see

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Neighbors, a story of Steam!Callenia for the Giraffe Call

To fflox‘s prompt

Soon after Every Gift and Building the Wedding-House
If the demolition and construction of the new intersection, the re-construction of the former Bureau of Education building, and the presence of soon-to-be-newlyweds in said building hadn’t gotten the neighbors’ attention and drawn their ire, the two mechanical contrivances on the front sidewalk definitely did.

But not just ire, Katyebah was gratified to discover. People were also curious, and, more than that, people wanted to give advice. In Lannamer, heart of the Empire, heart of the Emperor’s engineering corps, it was unsurprising, she supposed, that most people were front-porch engineers.

“Shouldn’t that gear be turning leftwards?”

“Shouldn’t you have used brass and not silver? Silver tarnishes.”

“Shouldn’t you have used a better grease for that than goat lard? The whole place smells like a farm and it will go rancid very quickly.”

“That’s not wild aether, is it? You know what happens with wild aether.”

“You need another five degrees on that roof angle to allow for the snow. Like this.” The grizzled man that stepped forward looked to predate the Empire, possibly the continent. His beard was braided down his chest in the old style, two white braids woven with beads; his head was bald on top but he still had three respectable braids running down his back to his seat, all three heavy with beadwork. Katyebah almost expected him to be wearing leather and fur, but his tunic and waistcoat were fine North-country brocade.

He cleared his throat. Everyone stopped to listen. “The machines are good for lifting, although I’d fix the arm joint on that one; it’s bending the wrong direction for the stress. And the ‘jaws’ on the other one are cute, but they don’t have any gripping power at all. Nice job, though.” Over Uncle Bantas and Aunt Gelah’s stunned bows, he continued. “Your roof needs to shift angle, though. Just 5 degrees, but without it, it’s going to be dumping snow into your attic by a month into the cold season. Here, let me show you.” He pulled a piece of chalk from his pocket and started drawing on the sidewalk.

As Katyebah studied the drawing, she thought maybe, just maybe, she might get along with the neighbors after all.

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IconFlash: The Bug Rebellion

Continuing flash series! I’m going to write one flash for every Icon I have, over 4 LJ accounts, 1 DW, and a whole bunch of not-currently-in-use, until I get bored or run out of icons.

Today’s icon:

Swirls, picked by @dahob

Icon by [personal profile] lo_rez

I have been using this icon for my Bug Invasion series.

It hadn’t been Kaylie’s intention to steal a Bugship. She and Derrick had just been trying to get away, as away as they could get when Derrick had one of those bugs in his head, just trying to have the closest to privacy they could get.

But the Bug-shuttle had been right there, and its swirling interface, like Mandelbrot sets of buttons, had answered to Derrick’s touch. Blushing, he’d told her his symbiote thought this was a good idea.

It wasn’t until they were in the front seat, both of them fitting easily in the single Bug-shaped seat, and Kaylie’s foot hit the second set of buttons, that they thought maybe the symbiote had bigger plans. And when Derrick’s face got a suddenly stricken look, Kaylie knew it had to be something big.

“They won’t follow us.” He said it, and then /It/ said it, in the metallic voice it forced out of her lover’s vocal cords. “They don’t understand what it’s like. They will say I have left the… chirrrZXkkglg…. the reservation.”

“And what about us?”

“You won’t be the only ones. We have a plan.” Derrick’s eyes blinked silver-and-gold for a moment. “I will sleep now. You may be alone together. Do not worry.”

They had a plan. That was not the most reassuring of things. But Derrick’s arms around her, in the pilot’s chair of a shuttle shooting towards the atmosphere… that was the most comforting thing Kaylie’d felt in a long time. There would be more.

It looked like the Bugs had a rebellion going on. Kaylie wondered how Earth would fare in the aftermath.

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