I actually did not complete the series of images taken on the inside of the Siegeshalle so I shall just post them now.
This is the inscription in the very center of the floor of the Siegeshalle:
This is something you are not likely to find in a monument errected in Germany nowadays. After 1945 we have developed a certain allergy to patriotism and can not tell it apart from jingoism, nationalism, and voluntary bald-headedness anymore. I find this state deplorable. There are so many things we can be proud of and we really should relax towards this issue. But I digress.
The following image shows the lower edge of the copula and some Greek collumns. I appologize for the poor quality, as the names of the towns (top) where more battles took place and the names of the generals, nobles and heroes are hard to make out.
As you can also see by the light comming in through the door (bottom right corner) it was a nice and sunny day outside. The marble of the Siegeshalle was still chilly from the long winter, though.
The cockpit of our Zeppelin, being as it is within a steel-aluminium hull, had heated up quite a bit by the time we came back to it to fly on to the banks of the Danube.
Oh, and before I forget:
Here’s an image taken by our traditional steampowered camera. You can see the tail of the LZ-X1 Württemberg in the top left corner, caught circling over the Siegeshalle:
First things first:
This expedition was made possible by a grant of the Peabody Foundation and the Department of Anthropology of Miskatonic University, Arkham Mass.:
So, this is once again an opportunity to engage and revel in some undiluted patriotism. The first part of our little expedition took us to the Befreiungshalle in Kehlheim, arriving by Zeppelin, as is our custom on these occasions.
This monument was ordered by König Ludwig I of Bavaria and build under the supervision of Friedrich von Gärtner between 1842 and 1863. It is a monument to the peoples and tribes of Germany and their struggle against the Napolean yoke *cough*
As I said… undiluted patriotism.
Some images from the outside:
This column is rather odd. It may actually hint at strange connections in time and space. Well worthy of an alumni of Miskatonic University. Did Spartans and maybe the great Leonidas fight at the Battle of Leipzig? Did they help win the day? I shall not know until I have once again checked the appropriate records in the Great Library of Pnakotus.
And here’s a shot of the whole Siegeshalle:
The inside is dedicated to the battles that were fought between Leipzig and Paris, the nations and tribes of Germany participating and the Field Marshalls, generals and heroes of this struggle.
Some images taken on the inside:
Well, it is late and these images conclude todays entry, but there are more images to come. A boat trip and a visit to a monastrywith a really good brewery.
In a parallel universe my beloved wife and me would right now be back from Japan, propably just waiting for our luggage to be discharged from the bowles of an Airbus… It was not to be but it may still be out there in the misty future.
On a happier note: 75% of the Valhalla-Crew (see previous entry) is going on a day trip to Kloster Weltenburg tomorrow and afterwards there will be a birthday party at a very good cocktail bar, so this is going to be fun.
Mainly because it is the birthday of the missing 25% and she will receive a very special present. Our good friend is an archaelogist on her first post-graduate digg. So, we have purchased a Indiana Jones style hat, we hope she likes it.
As promised earlier, here are two images of my first take on steampunk cufflinks:
More of the same:
Another image of the brooch (in colour):
And of course, the steampunk wristlets I got from Lavenderfae for Airkraken Day:
I think it is one of the great features of the Steampunk subculture that people are making an effort to be creative in one way or the other.
OK, other subcultures do things involving spoken word, poems, poetry-slams, stuff like that. But here you get people creating things from jewelry (Goths do that to), to paintings (goths do that to) to building actually working steam-powered machines.
I think that’s just marvelous!
I should do a thing about steampunk machinery in the real world sometime…
How human are you and how much human is there in you? You very likely have never asked yourself this question.
Well, watch this video:
Now, how do you feel? I think it’s great to have so many little helpers.
Makes the idea of nanite shells (transhumanism again…) pretty redundant in a way.
Admitedly, I have a thing for technology. You could almost call it a fetish. Only almost. I do not use technology as any kind of paraphrenalia while engaging in the procreation of Pan narans.
Technology is simply something good. Oh yes, I can almost hear the howling of back-to-nature veggienazis and the like but technology is not only dirty factories. Technology is also microscopes and minimally invasive surgery and sattelites and the list goes on. To be honest, for me the whole thing goes a little further, I like technology for its own sake.
That’s why I have a collection of pocket watches (clockwork technology, a milestone in its own right and an integral part of gentlemanly equipment in the Steampunk era), two laptops (plus one at work which I could take home with me if I wanted), two shiny iPods (one Touch, one Nano), this is part of the cyberpunk aspect and a collection of various gadgets ranging from a pocket sun dial to various Swiss army knives and comparable tools to a watch with an integrated compass.
I know, I could do with one computer, one pocket watch and one Swiss army knife but this is beside the point. I am aware that this is propably just remnants of hunter-gatherer instincts and primate rank display substitutes fiering down my spinal cord, but by Jove, I don’t care.
(I get the feeling this might develop into a rant)
Today I had another of those encounters with something I did not miss in my life until I knew it existed and it is also (just) a gadget. Something which could be substituted by something less expensive but it would not be that cool.
I attended a meeting with a potential client today and he had a very stylish messenger bag which featured among other things a solar panel which powers a lithium battery which you can use to recharge an iPod and other equipment. All I can say is:
IT MUST BE MINE!
Seriously, that was quite a stylish accessory and from the color scheme and technology level it goes well with cyberpunk and steampunk outfits. Oh happy day!
Some thoughts on D&D 4th Edition
As I have said, D&D 4th Edition reminded me a lot of the classic dungeon crawls of the D&D boxed sets of the ’80s. You know, the one with the black-and-gold master boxed set, when you could get to level 36 with.
What I miss in the 4th Ed. is the range of skills. The character sheets feature only a small number of skills like dungeoneering and acrobatics which are helpful to adventurers but you do not get any „normal life“ skills. Also, I had a number of spells which had a definite range given in grid squares, qhich implies the use ofminiatures and a grid is required for the game.
Further, all the spells and spell-like abilities my character had, an 11th level Avenger, were combat related. Maybe it was because I had a very combat oriented character or maybe all characters work like this now in 4th Ed, I cannot say. The game was fun but it was too much geared towards combat. It was good for an action packed night but I miss a lot of the stuff from the 2nd and 3rd Eds. which gave your character more depth. It felt like Hero Quest with more detail for the players.
Ah well, I still have Chaosium.
After a short night and a long-ish breakfast at Olaf and Motte’s place it was time to go back to the Cavecon at around 11:00 AM. I had planned to run a steampunk game based on the new Chaosium Basic Roleplaying but than I felt more like playing myself so I joined the D&D 4th Edition game run by my good friend Markus. We started at about 14:00 and played until about 3:00 the next morning. Bloody hellfire (literally!).
It all started peacefully enough in a small town in The Realms (they have changed quite a bit from the 3rd to the 4th edition, I have to say) but then, all hell broke loose.
First, we had a brawl with a Dæmon and about a dozen burning zombies on the market place, than my character (an Avenger, something I have never encountered in D&D before) investigated the sewer exit the Dæmon had come from and by doing so pokewd right into a wasps‘ nest. Only that the nest did not contain wasps but Dæmons (some of them were actually flying and looked like mishappen, humanoid flies).
What followed was a rather long fight with a number of demonic creatures of various shapes and sizes with a climatic encounter with a demonic hydra at the end, which nearly finished the group all by itself.
In the end, as I said, the game, which consisted mostly of battles just like in the days of the D&D (not AD&D) boxed sets of the late ’80s, lasted until 3 AM.
We had a lot of fun, there was plenty of laughter and stupid jokes and several liters of coffee. I think I must have had eight to ten mugs myself and felt really alert when I finally got home around 4 AM.
I like the 4th edition, but there are certain things I miss and the gameplay has changed significantly. I will write a personal assessment and critique of the game in my next entry in this blog.