Archive for the Liber et Audax Category

Eisen im Feuer

Posted in Liber et Audax on November 3, 2017 by Occult Detective

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I’ve been working, sparingly I’m afraid, on a number of important projects, all while trying to juggle my father’s illness, family duties, and the day job, not to mention my work for various non-profit organizations and me lending a helping hand to a local start-up.

What’s that old saying about irons in the fire?

Well, with my lovely wife’s help, I am starting to get all my ducks in a proverbial row and progress is being made on several fronts, especially now that the witching season is coming to a close.

You can expect a litany of announcements in the near future… Either that or you’ll take notice of my obituary in the local paper ;)

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Hallowe’en is over, but Samhain remains.

Posted in Horror, Liber et Audax, Magick by Trial & Error, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on November 1, 2017 by Occult Detective

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Another Hallowe’en has passed. We had a great night. We visited my parents at the Woodcarvers Building and watched some of the kids parade through in their costumes, then headed back home for a bonfire and camp supper.

We ended the evening with some para-entertainment, courtesy of Rob Lowe, and an episode of Lucifer.

All in all, a fine Hallowe’en that came and went too fast. Luckily, we’re still in the throes of Samhain, which will culminate this coming weekend with November’s Frost Moon.

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It being November 1st, I can’t let the day pass without acknowledging the birthday of Landon Connors.

Yes, I know, he’s a fictional character, but in truth he’s much more than that. Giving him a birthdate grounded him for me. Knowing how old he was in, say, 1986, helps me make him a living and breathing person.

He was ten, by the way.

Happy 41st Birthday, Landon Connors. I hope there are many more to come…

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If you were one of those who purchased the latest issue of Occult Detective Quarterly and found my Walter Davies tale, “Birds of a Feather”, truncated, fear not. The good folks at ODQ have uploaded the missing words in an Erratum, with future editions having the corrected prose.

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That’s all for now… I’ve writing to attend to.

One day till Hallowe’en means it must be Devil’s Night

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Liber et Audax, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on October 30, 2017 by Occult Detective

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Devil’s Night is upon us, a night of pranks and mischief. Unfortunately, good-natured fun (corning or soaping windows, smashing pumpkins, toilet papering trees) can sometimes give way to out-and-out vandalism.

Please, if you’re up to some devilishness this evening, do not include arson or property damage into your repertoire. Have fun, but remember — these are your neighbors.

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— On another note: I drew attention to the latest issue of Occult Detective Quarterly and my short story “Birds of a Feather”. There was a problem with the issue and the last 800 words or so of my tale were inadvertently absent from the edition. This problem is being rectified and I trust no print copies will make it into the wild sans the story’s conclusion.

If so, please contact me and I’ll email you the rest of the third act and epilogue. Same holds true if you are one of the few who was sent a pdf of the issue.

It’s a story I’m quite fond of and would like to make sure you get to read it in toto.

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— Now normally on a Monday night, Connor and I would join some of my oldest and dearest friends in a rousing Roll20 session of D&D, but this week that will not be the case and we’re looking toward spending the night with Kim for a change.

I wonder what sort of infernal tomfoolery will get up to? Only the devil knows for sure, and he’s not telling.

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— In closing, a reminder to embrace All Hallow’s Read. Please, give someone a scary book this Hallowe’en.

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Four days till Hallowe’en and magic can still be found in the quiet places

Posted in Liber et Audax on October 27, 2017 by Occult Detective

Kim, Connor, and I made our annual pre-Hallowe’en trek out to the old bones of a Victorian farmhouse. Built in 1879, it was a beautiful home, as recently as thirty years back, but neglect and vandalism have given way to the old girl fading fast. She’ll not be with us much longer, I suspect, but we will continue to marvel over her till she becomes naught but a memory.

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After, we trekked north to one of my favorite places on earth — a place my friends and I called “The Circle of Stone” in our youth.

Located in the heart of the Mississinewa Forest, a hop and a skip from the Dam, the circle is long gone, destroyed by vandals in the late 90s, and the shelter house has fallen into disrepair, but there was no escaping the magic of the place.

The three of us were swept away, enchanted by the majesty of that sacred site that has inspired me for nearly 40 years.

We walked the Lost Sister Trail, stood out by the lake, and let nature sink into our bones.

If felt good to reconnect to a place that had meant so much to me as a young man. It felt even more special now that I get to share it with the people I care most about in this world.

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8 nights till Hallowe’en & we bid an old friend farewell

Posted in Liber et Audax on October 23, 2017 by Occult Detective

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John Hall was rapier smart and an absolutely brilliant musician. He loved to argue, but loved to laugh even more. He was an absolutely unforgettable guy and I will miss him terribly.

John passed away on Friday from complications with his heart catheter. He would have turned 54 on Sunday.

John was just three years older than me, but in high school that seemed like an enormous gulf, especially when I was a freshman. I really looked up to him and the rest of the elder statesmen and women of the Oak Hill Dungeons & Dragons Club.

He never failed to put a smile on my face.

I know he’d been suffering for a long time and I’m glad that suffering has ended for him, but damn it I’m going to miss that guy.

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I am thankful that we got to sling dice with him on a couple of occasions a few years back. It meant the world to all of us and to him… It was like no time had passed. We were young lions once more, roaring at the mind-flayers whose dungeon we darkened.

Godspeed, John. I love you, brother. Save me a place at that great gaming table in the sky.

11 nights till Hallowe’en & in the forest there is magic still

Posted in Liber et Audax on October 20, 2017 by Occult Detective

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Yesterday, after I handled some business for the Converse Historical Society and visited with my ailing father, Kim, Connor, and I made our annual sojourn southwest of town to Hainlen’s Orchard to pick up this year’s pumpkins.

Hainlen’s has been a staple of the Converse community for nearly 100 years and a fixture in my life almost half that long. I love the smell of the place, especially in their market, with the blending of fruits and spices and all that cider to create a sensory overload.

After, we traveled north, to one of my most favorite haunts — the Mississinewa State Forest. We decided with autumn’s turn that a hike through the woods was in order, so we opted for the old Blue Heron Trail.

At 2.25 miles of mostly level terrain, it’s a nice, leisurely stroll through what is at times some amazingly beautiful representations of wild Indiana. We spied a doe and fawn on a couple of different occasions and a heron along the shore of Mississinewa Lake.

It was a spectacular endcap to the day, marred only by the discovery that one of my favorite parts of the woods, an arrow straight tunnel through towering pines, was devastated by rot, decay, and the advance of poison ivy. Those northern pines were bare, the once thick carpet of copper needles overrun by grass and vines…

I worried that a bit of magic was gone from the place, but there was still something wondrous and beautiful in its demise. The spell was still cast. It’s ghost remained in the skeleton frames of the soaring shafts and the lingering memories of the years when I’d camped there, often in fall and winter, drifted in and out among the spires.

It’s said that all things must pass, but I don’t know if that’s squarely true. Sometimes, they transform instead, remaining behind as a new thing, striking and extraordinary in its own way. Different, yes, but the shadow still lingers…

In hoc signo vinces

Posted in Liber et Audax, Magick by Trial & Error on October 13, 2017 by Occult Detective

 

Ah, yes, my second favorite ‘holiday’ is upon us, and in October no less.

This Friday the 13th is made even more special by signaling the 710th anniversary of King Philip IV’s royal decree that the Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Salomonici, or Knights Templar, be arrested en masse and charged with a whole host of crimes, such as heresy and sodomy.

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The Templars have long been a fascination of mine. The sheer volume of material written about the Order is staggering and while the majority is conspiracy drivel, there are truths to be found scattered amongst the literary refuse.

The enigmatic nature of these “Poor-Soldiers of Christ” is captivating, from their humble origins to the esoteric and occult narrative that has been irrevocably woven into their mythology.

Of course, it’s the mysterious treasure horde they were said to possess that lures most down the rabbit hole of Templar obsession. Rumoured to have collected everything from the Ark of the Covenant, the Holy Grail, the True Cross, and an unbelievable profusion of other divine relics, in addition to more worldly riches, the Templar Treasure, lost to the ages is the stuff of legend.

It’s fueled an entire industry unto itself. Mention the Templars and they will come.

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Usually, Friday the 13th is reserved for Camp Crystal Lake related revelry. But not today. Today is for the Templars and to them I raise a horn in their honour. While our faiths do not coincide, the wonder of it all still sparks my imagination.

The end for them began with the words Dieu n’est pas content, nous avons des ennemis de la foi dans le Royaume. As the Knights of the Temple came to a close, their legend began and grew in the telling.

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