Ashewoods

I’ve been rereading some of my old work; I thought this might be reather appropriate in October.  I ought revist the Ashewoods, I think.

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The Ashewoods are an interesting case.

All the Houses are interesting cases, of course, and all have their claims to uniqueness. Perhaps it might be better to say that the Ashewoods are an unsettling case. Part of it is their Hearth; what is now called Barrowlux was once a necropolis filled with the entombed ranks of the dead, catacombs beneath a long-fallen city. Part of it is their lineage, and what they bred with down in the dark.

The Ashewoods are part ghoul.

According to their history, when the Darkness fell, a few survivors sought shelter deep in the catacombs. Over the years, the descendants of those survivors adapted to their environment. As the city above Barrowlux was razed, the survivors moved deeper, scavenging for survival. Presumably the incursions from Neverborn above led to the first uneasy alliances between human and ghoul; the details remain unrecorded. Over the years, the deeper parts of the catacombs were turned into a refuge, secured as best as possible by the traps and the great doors left above.

Barrowlux sits at the far northeastern edge of the House’s lands, and is the farthest city of any note–beyond it, there are a few scattered hamlets, and the sparsely-mapped stretch of the wilderness. Buildings are being constructed aboveground–low, square, and wide-roofed, walls plastered smooth with mud or daub when stone is beyond the means or the reach of the builder. With the disappearance of the Darkness, the eating of the dead among the Ashewoods has become largely ceremonial, though it still deeply marks their culture. Their physics are a particularly striking example–nowhere else is the study of medicine so deeply entwined with the study of cooking (on the theory that really, it’s all a matter of caring for and preparing the body).

Ashewoods tend towards the wiry and pale, with dark hair, strong jawlines, and a good sense of smell. Brown eyes are most common, although green or red are occasionally seen. Occasionally the jawline will be prominent enough to be described as a muzzle, and the brown of the eyes light enough to be more reasonably described as “ochre” or “yellow”. They are generally soft-spoken, reserved (although visitors to Barrowlux report a more relaxed attitude towards guests), and quite cautious in matters of physical security.

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Stuffy mornings and the end of the world.

Definitely coming down with something.  It might just be something that’s a reaction to being so far south of my usual stomping grounds, but it’s something.  Am regularly coughing up a little muck in the mornings, and I hate that.

Lete’s see, thoughts… alright.  Discussing, recently, TV series that ended properly (weren’t cancelled, felt like they came to a natural resting place) and movies that ended with the end of the world.  Movies set after the end of the world–that is, movies which are presented not only as happening in a resource-poor high-danger wasteland but happening after everything was destroyed to produce this wasteland–are a lot more common.  For ones which actually end with the end of the world, the only ones coming to mind right now is 12 Monkeys, Dawn and Day of the Dead, and Return of the Living Dead (seriously, watch it).

I’m not sure why the reluctance to produce such things.  Most of the movies that depict a setting which could result in the end of the world aren’t ones which are likely to have a sequel anyway, so it’s not as if they’re being avoided out of fear of murdering franchise potential.

(Oh, Terminator 3!  I forgot that one.  And would sort of like to go on forgetting it, actually, but it counts.)

End of the world movies are a downer, yes, but that doesn’t make them bad.  Movies (in terms of pacing and complexity) tend to resemble short stories, and there are a lot of short stories that end with the end of the world.  So why, relatively speaking, are there so many fewer movies that go that route?  Harder to make?  Less likely to be popular?  And is that last veering towards the snobbery of insisting hoi polloi can’t possibly appreciate a good apocalyptic tale?

The road goes on and ever on.

Checked out and waiting in the lobby for the shuttle to the off-site parking. My nerves are killing me and I’m not sure why. I think part of out might be leaving the hotel, rather than a friend’s place. Feels a lot more final and a lot less amenable to having anything we forgot mailed to us.

Also, going to the States. I’m looking forward to seeing John’s friend and family, but I am not looking forward to the border crossing. Never had any trouble, but I know that sometimes they take (very boring) ages, and have heard the horror stories.

That, and, well… it’s the States. It’s NotHome. Which is an interesting disconnect, since as far as I can remember I did not have this anticipatory flinching when I went to London, and that is considerably less close to home and rather more anxiously edging towards draconian.[1]

Call it half lack of familiarity and half the horror stories John keeps finding.

[1] Than Canada.