Thursday, November 21, 2013
So, some feral horses in the area had been playing Vikings, knocking down our fences, helping themselves to our pasture, picking fights with our own horses and generally making a nuisance of themselves. At some point we made the decision to run them back out the hole they had made and fix the fence behind them. Somewhere between the planning and execution stages, my horse was startled and panicked by something absurdly insignificant and began to try to rid himself of me. I lost my reins but still managed to keep my seat. Noticing that my ungallant steed was carrying me toward a large pile of ancient, abandoned and rather sharp and menacing-looking machinery, however, I took the decision to bail out of my saddle before disaster struck.
Disaster struck anyway. I landed badly, threw my left shoulder out, and completely shattered my right wrist. Yeah, the one I paint with. Awesome.
Had a large chunk of metal installed in my forearm today, and they gave me some rather speedy and intense pain medication so I'm on the mend, but got no idea when I'll be able to work or paint again, and the Army National Guard Officer Candidate School, which I was hoping to attend next Summer, is almost certainly never going to happen now. Sigh. Oh, well. I like being an NCO anyway.
In spite of the injury, I imagine I'll still be posting some, since I've got nothing but idle time in which to sit around and concoct army lists, dream up games I'd like to play someday, and work on comic book stories, though having to type with my left hand is a pain. Hopefully I'll make better use of this time than just sitting around spending money in the Miniatures and Wargames section of ebay...
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
EMPIRE - A Song For All Exiles
Robert E. Howard
Trumpets triumph in red disaster,
White skulls litter the broken sod,
And we who ride for the one Black Master
Howl at the iron gates of God.
Black shapes ride to a reddened revel,
Crimson queens with their hearts of ice-
We have plunged our hands in the wind of the Devil,
Leave the saints to their Paradise.
Beacons break and the singers falter,
Lights go out in the rushing gloom-
Slay the priest on the blackened altar,
Rip the babe from the woman's womb!
The black blade drinks and the black heart gladdens;
Summon our kindred up from Hell!
Let me mingle the wine that maddens
With the burning kisses of Jezebel.
Who would trade for a bloodless Heaven,
One fierce harlot's hot caress?
Virtue is one but the Sins be seven-
And sin is the only godliness.
Black be the night that locks around them,
They who chant of the Good and Light,
Black be the pinions that shall confound them,
Breaking their brains with a deadly fright.
Praised be the Prince that reigns forever
Throned in the shadows dark and grim,
Where cypress moans by the midnight river-
Lift your goblets and drink to him!
Virgins wail and a babe is whining
Nailed like a fly on a gory lance;
White on the skulls the stars are shining,
Over them sweeps our demon's dance.
Heritage of the world is ours,
Gods of all evil grant us rule-
See where they hang from flaming towers,
Woman and prelate, priest and fool.
Trumpets bray and the stars are riven!
Shatter the altar, blot the light!
Of all the world from the hells to heaven
We are the kings of the world tonight!
The high helm turned toward me, and from deep within its darkened depths a harsh voice croaked out:
"Set foes before me, and then you will know me and my story. My blade shall be my pen, blood my ink, flesh my parchment. And in that tale, you'll learn all you will ever need to know of Aulech Henschblut."
I don't mind telling you I was chilled a bit by that one, and a little uneasy about going to sleep at night with Aulech loose in the house, small though he might seem. Over the last evening or so of painting, however, I shared some of my favorite Robert E. Howard poems with him, the last being Empire, A Song For Exiles, and after that, he seemed to become a tiny bit friendly, maybe even a little jovial. But he's never told me his story. Luckily, I have Howard's poem, and I imagine that it depicts Aulech's life about as well as any tale I could tell you.