Risen. A poem.

The stone moved
The bonds broken
The body gone
All their fears unspoken

They trembled
The light shined
Son of Man arisen
Sin forever broken

The Laidback DM #6 – Free Map!

Despite being a bit laidback when it comes to D&D Dungeon Mastering, I do like to draw time-consuming maps. Since I don’t always use the maps I draw, I thought I’d offer them for free here on my blog.

The following map is a base for a bunch of pirates who have an alliance with a Blue Dragon. The pirates are part of a death cult that regularly raids coastal villages for sacrifices before returning to their island. Naturally they provide the Blue Dragon with a sampling of treasure. They have a high observation post for spotting incoming ships. The tide plays an interesting part in this map—as it rises the caves on the left of the map are swamped with water. The Blue Dragon’s lair is above the tide level of course, and it can conveniently use its lightning breath to electrify the water if anyone approaches during high tide…

Pirate Cove and Dragon Lair Map

Above: Actual map is 15cm x 10 cm. Just right click and save.

This map is free to use for non-commercial purposes, as long as you acknowledge me and my website stevestillstanding.com. If you want to use it commercially, please send me an email and we can talk terms.

Happy Gaming!

Steve 😊

Finish Me. A poem.

Take that knife, that blade so sharp
Plunge it deep and end it all
No, you’d rather tinker, play awhile
Remove strips of flesh, one at a time
Rather hear begging, screams, plaintive cries
Rather grin at my pain, lick the blood that drains
You have me where you want me, victimised, restrained
You have stretched this out, to feast on my pain
So finish me, just take my life
And bring an end to all this strife

War for the Planet of the Apes. A movie review.

Let’s get this out of the way right now. War for the Planet of the Apes is one of the best movies this year. You should do yourself a favour and see it. Matt Reeves has directed an incredible movie (which bodes well for his proposed Batman trilogy).

Andy Serkis as the driven and emotive Caesar, leader of the apes, and Woody Harrelson as the fundamentalist Colonel, commander of the human soldiers, are ideally cast and give nuanced performances throughout. Most of the apes speak in sign language, with a few exceptions. Bad Ape is a great new character, providing some light relief to the seriousness. The CGI apes are amazing, with only a few quirky jitters in some of the action scenes. 

WftPotA has themes that should resonate with any audience: retribution, family, redemption. There is more focus on drama than action, allowing for greater lead character development. The overarching story is a Moses allegory–freeing the slaves and leading them to the promised land.

I’m not going to spoil any more of this for you. It’s probably my first ‘must see’ call this year. This is the best of the current crop of Planet of the Apes movies, and certainly the deepest.

Rating: A+

Oil and Quicksand. A poem.

My dreams are oil and quicksand
Darkest thoughts, you understand
A heady brew, an unlikely mix
Brought to life, a concrete fix


Dragging me down where dead men float
Tarred and feathered in the undertow
Set me alight in fire and flame
All the better consumed by pain


Oil and quicksand in my head
Hope sunk deep, my feet in lead
Throw me a rope that I’ll ignore
Through neglect, self-pity, forevermore


Let me be forsaken and forgot
Let my head go under, into the bog
Disappear in peat without a trace
Oil and quicksand, my resting place

Comic Book Love Affair

I’ve been a huge fan of comics and graphic novels since I was a boy. My on-and-off again love affair with them over the years has depended on my available budget. Recently I got my son interested in the hobby, which gave me a great reason to reinvest myself. Here’s a few of the titles I’ve been reading recently:

ShadeShade the Changing Girl – an avian alien inhabiting the body of a teenaged bully. This book is a psychedelic trip.

CaveCave Carson has a Cybernetic Eye – wild and weird underground civilisations and parenthood shenanigans.

Superman comicSuperman – married to Lois with a 12-year old son, Clark Kent is older, wiser, cooler and this book is currently one of the best comics available. And Lois Lane rocks!

SupersonsSuper Sons – Jonathon Kent (Superman’s son) is Superboy, and Damien Wayne (Batman’s son) is Robin. They team up. Shame they can’t stand each other. Awesome stuff.

Teen TitansTeen Titans – Robin is a little know-it-all pain, leading a band of teen heroes (Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy, Aqualad). They’re making a live action TV series, so this is a good jumping on point before the show starts.

AquamanAquaman – think he’s the lame guy who speaks to fish? Think again. While you were sleeping he became a bad-ass.

BatmanBatman – always has the most amazing writers and artists and great stories. But what did you expect? He’s Batman. Oh, and he recently proposed to Catwoman…

So there you have it. My current faves. I’ll talk about some of my all-time favourites, soon.

Have a sterling and four colour-filled day.

Steve 🙂

 

Yes, I love DC Comics. I used to be a Marvel fan, but DC’s consistent quality and top stories just blew me away. You can find out more about DC Comics at http://www.dccomics.com

On the Shelf. A haiku trilogy.

Lost

Another friend lost
Empty space upon the shelf
Whispered remembrance

Alone

Walking in my sleep
Dreaming alone as always
Isolationist

Reflections

Friendship, charity?
Mature reflections adrift
Empty shelf beckons


Friendships can be hard to find and to keep, especially as one grows older. If you’re an introvert it can make it even harder. It’s not easy to find someone you connect with and let it grow to a point where you can say you are ‘real’ friends, rather than acquaintances.

I recently lost a good friend. Lots of reasons why: circumstances, distance, family commitments, time. I’m not really sure why people ‘disconnect’. In a world where communication over distance is so much easier than before, you wouldn’t think it would be an issue.

But that’s how the cookie crumbles. I have less friends in my life now than I ever had, but the ones I have left remain true. And sometimes that’s all you can hope for.

Steve

Plundered. A poem.

Plundered heart
Pillaged and torn
Barbarous thoughts
Have had their way
Their longships
Have left my shores
And I am left
Humiliated
Ashamed
Awaiting their return

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