Monday, April 30

I should have stored it next to the Ark..

I took the crate downstairs, and with much dread I pried it open with a crobar. Yes, that was Qli. Not my daughter exactly, but a Creator recognizes his own handiwork. It was the same engine that Flea Bussy manufactured to my design. The chassis was original. It bore the GC mark, but it had clearly been through decades of grueling use..dents re-hammered, rips re-welded, but still meticulously well-oiled and polished.

The rest of the parts had been retooled and replaced. Some of the gears were made of alloys that I hadn't seen before. I put those aside for analysis.

But what else I found left me flabbergasted..carefully wrapped in brown paper and numbered along with every other loose screw and gear was a sliver of rock and metal, Qabalistic etchings still glimmering with energy. It was Qli-Steel's Soul Drive and it was still functioning! Also found intact was Qli's cranial sphere, the center of her analytic processing. I would have pried it open and see what sort of damage was see if I could possibly rehabilitate her.

I stared at the drive for hours. I knew if I touched it with bare skin I would have an instant neural link to her essence. I would know what she was thinking..or screaming. I sighed as I took off my left rubber glove.

"Alright, Qli.."

I spoke down to her sliver, I knew she was shut off from her surroundings. She need a nervous system to connect to. In this case, mine.

"Now is your chance to explain yourself. Make it good. Real good."

I put my finger on the designs. The voice that spoke to my soul was familiar, but the madness that possessed it was not.

Io! Io! Blood..

I immediately threw the sliver down to the work bench where it bounced off the work bench like a bad penny before landing with a clink.

"HOW DARE YOU!", I screamed.

I cast my glance to the cranial unit. There was a slot in the orb to insert the Soul Drive..for in case she was ever disassembled to this extent. Mind and Soul in one convenient container.

I picked the Drive up with my gloved hand and slid it into the sphere with a click.

I should have known this was a trick.

The crackling energy hit me in the chest like a steam-powered elephant. I fell to cold stones of the basement, that smelled faintly of earth, oil, and spilled wine.

As I held onto consciousness I heard a clank, and then the sound of metal rolling on stone. "So I dropped her", I thought. "She deserves a lot more."

That's when I saw THIS leaning over me.

She hissed and growled at me as if she was still getting used the idea of speech. I saw rage in those green glowing eyes. I lay perfectly still..there was no spell I could invoke fast enough. I just stared back in those eyes, trying to find a glimmer of the construct I raised as my own flesh and blood.

"Qli? What have done to yourself?"

She laughed in a voice that sounded like tearing metal.

"What have you done to YOUR self, Father?'

With that, she curled into the enlarged sphere and erupted into a full galvanic tesseraction as she slammed into the basement gates to the catacombs under Steelhead.
I was ready to hear the gates shatter from the impact, but in stead I saw yet another flash of energy as she folded space to elsewhere.


hide your face so that no one else can find you

It took quite a bit of courage to don the demon's cloak and mask. But this was a Masquerade after all. How ironic to show up as something I was, but no longer am. What if someone still had a vendetta against the Demon and was ready to unleash their anger on me? What if some of the madness in Caledon had followed me back to Steelhead, and a poisoned dagger from one of the Colonel's agents lay ready for me as well?

I was ready to remove the red garb and put it away when my doorbell rang. Miss Christensen was checking up on me. I always found her down-to-earth demeanor quite soothing. She just happened to have a mask in her purse, and was asking for someone accompany her. Who am I to refuse?

I looked about nervously as I entered the ballroom. Some called me Doctor, a few Mr. Masons, and the occasional Darien. All of them thought they knew me, but except for the Sheriff, I barely knew any of them except through vignettes in moment's of the demon's calm or weakness.

I could see tears welling up behind Lady Darkling's mask as I walked past her. She obviously missed her immortal friend, but I hope there is time to start friendship again. Miss Orr was in calico fur and a brown dress, her enigmatic movements giving her away behind her mask.

The masks they slide to reveal a new disguise

As I danced with Miss Christensen, she offered to work for me as a Nurse. She would even sew some uniforms the staff! I was overjoyed! The more we talked, the more it seemed like she had always known me, beneath the Curse.

During a break I had a sidebar with the Management..they were more than happy to set up a doctor's office downtown!

The next morning the postman delivered a letter and a package at my doorstep. The crate had the Caledonian seal stamped on it. The address listed as UNDISCLOSED LOCATION. My heart sank. The remains of my daughter who tried to reweave the Loom of Fate, despite any plea to sanity, lay interred therein.

The second was a letter from Mr. meQal. I'll save you the colorful language he used inside, but the gist of it was..due to a series of blunders by the Linden Bank, he would be unable to continue operations in Steelhead. Beauty & the Beast will soon be closing his doors.

A one-two of two people left in the world who knew the real me was gone..and the charred wreck of the daughter scarred from the Dark Future lay in a coffin at my feet!

~Dr. Mason

Sunday, April 29

Where a Doctor is Twice Needed

I was all set to make my debut at the Steelhead Masquerade Ball when I received the telegram..Mister Lunar had fallen ill to a chronic malady, and Miss Tensai had to withdraw from orchestrating duties that night to tend him. I wished him a fast recovery. Hopefully the Ball will be rescheduled for tonight.

As I was all dressed up with no place to go I chatted a bit with the Sheriff next door, that took a stroll to Lighthouse Island to re-introduce myself the Steelhead's owner, Miss Severine. She was apparently ready for the canceled ball herself, dressed in an exquisite peach dress.

I explained detail to her, and pledged to set up my doctor's office immediately. She encouraged me to make arrangements with Lunar for an office downtown when he recovers.

After I gave my goodbyes and crossed over the bridge,,I was stunned to see a waterspout in the harbor!

(My apologies, but my timing with the camera is poor..I just reviewed the plate and the whale had submerged by the time the image was captured!)

The Sheriff, who was on the way to see Miss Katt herself, told me that this marvelous young specimen of the whale species was his new Deputy! The Weird Wild West indeed! I've tended to animals and anthros before, but if this beast ever became ill I would have QUITE the house call!

My strength had had grown enough that I could could slip into the space between spaces and return to Tanglewood to collect the rest of my belongings from Lady Darkling's treehome. I noticed a poster for some form dance earlier in the day..they seemed to be wearing the whirling Dervish robes and dancing in meditative circles like I once had the pleasure to witness in the Ottoman Empire. Since it is a sacred ritual I could have bent the Sabbath rules and attended, had I known beforehand. I heard a ruckus coming from one end of the island. I supposed it was a ball of some sort..from a distance I could see the magnificent gowns and military uniforms..this must have been an after-event from Reconciliation Day, I thought. But as I approached I could hear their sighs and see the somber looks on their faces. I sensed something was wrong, so opened my suitcase and donned my white coat at readied my sachel in case my talents were needed.

As I approached, my heart sank as a small crowd of the powerful surrounded me with the all-to-familiar cries of "Doctor! Doctor! What news..?" Sadly I was the one asking all the questions.

Colonel O'Toole and his jackbooted thugs disrupted the Reconciliation by trying to kidnap the Kaiserin, and had shot Captain Pearse in the process! I immediately sent a telegram to the Pearse estate offering my skills, but I received a thank you note in return saying his condition was stable.

So THAT was why Qli Steel was wearing a police uniform when the Paradox claimed her! She was obviously in on the plot as one of her latest demented schemes to reshape her own History! That HOTSPUR O'TOOLE! He's lived up to his name in more ways that one! He should count his lucky STARS that prodigal daughter wasn't involved..she surely would have gone berzerk, and you'd have had a MASSACRE instead of a botched kidnapping!

Staving off my feelings of helplessness I returned to my home and immediately set up my office. I only hope that when Lunar returns I don't run afoul of some regulation or another.

When the next situation arises, I shall be ready as a Doctor. My supernatural talents, however, I still need to recover.

~Dr. M

Friday, April 27

Solutions are Found

Qlippothic finds me by the telescope at the roof of Darkling's living home, rubbing my temples and gritting my teeth. She asks me what's wrong. I tell her nothing. I'm..working out a problem.

I sit down with her at the table, which I've crowded with star charts and arcane manuals. I open the largest tome and flip through the pages with a blur. This one of those books with far more pages than one sees crowded between the covers.

I stop the kaleidescope of bizarre diagrams where the black ribbon lies nestled between the pages.

"'s not the entire incantation..that would be overkill. But this should be enough to purge the vampirism from the twins without destroying them."

Qli's glowing eyes illuminated the page. "But are you strong enough to read it? You are still recovering from the possession. And what of the oath..?"

"I will be strong enough by Beltane..and at these borders between the seasons there is a higher Law that supersedes that oath."

At a sacred time, at a sacred place, you shall fulfill your sacred duty.

"..and indeed, is it not my duty to heal the sick, as well as to counter the Darkness with what I have learned?"

Thursday, April 26

A Time to Heal, A Time to Plan

Dear Reader,

Qli and I are recuperating quite well. Lady Darkling's sanctum is most conducive to healing. The chairs are so comfortable they seem to have their own gravity wells. The ethereal music is relaxing. The art is intriguing, and even the living walls seem to embrace us in a nurturing atmosphere.

This is exactly the sort of space I wish to turn my home into. I had a jump start before I left. The closest I'll ever get to telling the Demon how I felt about him was shattering his precious throne with an axe and burning it..and his other infernal the living room fireplace overnight. I almost wonder if it's better to tear the Horned One's lair to the ground an rebuild from my life.

I had Miss Orr's furniture shipped back to her the next morning. I have no idea what her take is on the current situation, but for certain I won't risk a confrontation.
Death and Rebirth may be a carousel ride for the Incubus, but I am all too human. He already granted me the pleasure of being eviscerated once. I do not think I can survive another such encounter.

When I return to Steelhead..

I have no intention of entering the Taiyu House unless I am summoned, with Doctor's bag in hand.

(Note to Self: I must visit TombStone to speak to the medical staff there. I could use their advice on where to purchase supplies, and what equipment I need to turn my main level into a clinic.)

I'm not happy keeping a gun in the house either, but it is still the Frontier..and the Weird Wild West. It was the Horrors of War that traumatized me enough to first give the Demon the upper hand.

I won't be attending the Friday events in Steelhead. While tending to the sick has always been considered a form of prayer in itself, I will not violate the Sabbath by
cavorting about in a Mummer's parade outfit! I might actually enjoy putting on a tuxedo for a Saturday night event, but I really don't have the charisma of my predecessor. Since Qli is a golem, she is exempt from these restrictions. She can raise money to keep the Foundation running, and I will be content with whatever is donated to help run my practice.

I am finally getting used to having my own body back. Among the very few positive side-effects of the body seems not to have aged during his reign, and judging from my peak health, I might have even aged backwards! Also, the pathways of my mind to my psychic talents have been widened. Telekinesis, Telepathy, Clairvoyance, even Teleportation..all these Disciplines have been enhanced.

As for Magic..the Demon has made a total wreck of my library! Oh Mr. Drinkwater, you would faint dead away to see what has become of my shelves! Nothing is categorized..the most dangerous of tomes were left lying about for the uninitiated to open, even those where just looking at their covers are dangerous! And those books I had found, he'd scribbled in the margins and between the lines the most rude sketches and his darkest obsessions..oh Steelhead is lucky they did not see even half of the schemes he contemplated!

And I found works of the most horrid filth one could ever imagine! Merely flipping through a few pages of a poorly-bound pamphlet of rice paper (marked by a code beginning with the numeral 4...) nearly made me retch! I threw it straight into the fireplace along with his precious throne!

It is so tempting to remain here in Tanlgewood, but Steelhead feels more home to me than anywhere else, and they do need a Physician desperately. Except for my war buddies Fuzzball and meQal, and my childhood friend T. Masala, nobody in Steelhead knows the real me..not even my own daughter!

Yes, the Demon proclaimed Brothers, Sisters, and Nieces in his territory, but I had no role in those demonic pacts..they are null and void to me, save for Qli, for she is the product of my works that the Incubus took all the credit for.

Oh Dear, I'm breaking a sweat. I need to calm down. Maybe a proper noontime meal will settle my nerves.

~Dr. Mason

Wednesday, April 25

Remaking Qli

My call across the Void was poured in from the angles of time and the ripples of space. I was too busy to dwell on the individual sources, lest I be distracted and cause the incantation to waver. I am able to lock the Sephiroth in place, so Life may race like lightning down through the Tree and into my Creation, my Child.

I heard footsteps..out of the corner of my eye I see Caledon's Chief Librarian arriving. The shining spheres reflect in the panes of his glasses as he took in the situation. And true to form, he opened the journal in his hand and began feverishly scribbling away, recording the event for posterity.

Her lifeless eyes opened, radiating the pure light. Her pattern drifted from her red-winged Fae body to her original form..smooth, featureless golden clay with shining metallic hair, and heavy bracers on her forearms and ankles to reinforce her frame.

I gestured towards the steamer trunk, which magically unlocks and flips open. I kept my gaze on Qli, monitoring her transformation.

"Mister Drinkwater? Could you retrieve her front grill for me please?"

JJ blinked, and nervously slipped a bookmark into the pages of his journal before closing it.

"Why yes..of course.."

A few seconds later Mr. Drinkwater stood next to me, carrying the hatch firmly in both hands.

A thanked him quickly as I accepted the hatch. I lowered the grill to the space on her torso above her navel. I pressed down firmly and the device nested snugly into the clay. I flipped the latch.

I looked up at the ten spheres of energy hovering over Qli in the classic pattern, linked together by a string of crackling energy.

I wrapped my hand around the handle of her grill, and took a deep breath. I looked down and I sensed that Qli was ready.

I lifted the handle, and her hatch swung open wide. For only a second I saw the hollow shell of her abdomen inside before the lighting leaped from the lowest sphere into her cavity. JJ took a few steps back, but I held onto the handle, straining to keep my eyes opening in the blinding light of Creation's force.

One by one the spheres winked out as the Qabalistic energy drained from the representation of the Tree of Life. Her torso grew brighter from the primal force. Wen the last spark drained from the sole remaining sphere I slammed the hatch shut and locked it.

JJ approached again, and cautiously crouched beside me.

"Is she..functional?

Her eyes opened, and they radiated with that same pure light.

"I am indeed, JJ."

"Wonderful, Qli, wonderful." I stood up slowly, exhaustion beginning to set in from the invocations. "Mister Drinkwater, can you help me lift her engine from.."

"That will not be necessary, Father."

Qli rose to her feet on her own volition.

"All systems..fully functional."

I touched her cheek, cold and clammy but quickly warming to my touch. I peered at her back. The sockets along her back where her engine was meant to be bolted in remained bare.

"Very good, my daughter..very good..standing without your are much more powerful now..but we must do this gradually."

I reached into the trunk and unfolded a robe I had packed for her. I helped her into it as her skin flushed with the healthy tone of a young human female. The robe had a low back for obvious reasons, but I removed my own cloak and draped it over her shoulders for an extra layer of modesty.

I thanked Mr. Drinkwater for his help, and I promised him I would explain everything that transpired to him in the morning Qli and I retreated the safety of Darkling's magically protected abode.

Qlippothic and I thank all of you..from the bottom of our hearts. We will return to Steelhead soon, and in a week or two we will be walking the streets of the Colonies again..but not as the same people we were before.

~Dr. Mason

Tuesday, April 24

Reviving Qli

My heart sank as I gathered her in my arms, cold as the clay from which I made her. Building her was the one Project I was allowed during my confinement within my own body by that nefarious Son of Hades. Yes, he supplied the raw power with his soulflame, but why did a living, loving person and not an automaton as he expected?

Because I willed it so. Because I reached upwards to catch her soul as the Tree of Life shook her essence free from the Higher Realm, while the Demon was looking down, stoking the black flames of the Qlippothic Spheres.

But now..with the Demon gone, so was her pilot light. I pressed lightly on her belly. Her Soul Drive extruded from her navel..a lucky first guess as to one of the many places she could keep it safe. I held it close to the lantern's light. The diagram of the Tree was intact. The sliver of rock glimmered from the Fae blood that had been absorbed into its sigils.


The voice echoed in my brain. I smiled as I felt her spirit communicate to mine from within the stone.

"Yes, Qli. It's me."

I finally sense you as I first saw you when I opened my eyes.. I knew someday you would be free.

I could only nod as I bit my lip. Finally, I gulped hard and whispered,

"But this is a terrible price for my freedom. Your paralysis. So many hurt.."

What matters now is you are here as you truly are. I did everything I could to confound the Demon's plans without incurring his wrath and risking your own body and soul. I rushed to Tombstone at your plea, not that of the Prince.

I nodded sadly. "He almost succeeded..trying to have me killed so he could claim my body all for himself." A long, quiet pause as we listened to the crickets..the rustling leaves, the rippling of the waters. The cool night breeze blew across my cheek. All little things..little things I never realized I would miss so much.

I shook my head and came back to my senses to deal with the here and now.

"Qli..I don't know how to power your body again!"

The same way you conjured my soul, Father.

I slid her Soul Drive back into its hiding place. Was I strong enough after all this time? With no preparation to retry what took me years to accomplish, both with the Demon's help and interference? For the first time, I recited the formula as it was meant to be spoken, unobscured by intricacies meant to confound the Stranger inside me

with ends in sight, with means defined
imbue this clay with spirit mine
the goal condoned, the process blessed
the Sacred Spheres I do request
my will is strong, my faith endure
endow this flesh with light so pure!

Blue eyes shut tight as the edge of Tanglewood floods with luminescence, multiplying with each orb invoked that floats in formation above the creator and the creation,


Words that would have burned the Demon's tongue to cinders echo among the trees.


The wind begins to howl, spiraling the leaves around the pair.


The air is warm and smells of roses..

But something is wrong. I am still too weak. My body misused for years. My soul taunted by my captor until I had all but given up hope.

The Spheres are not phased down far enough..I need help to widen the portal! I must draw from my own life force..

FATHER! NO! I will not allow it! I will not see you cured just to die over me!

And I will not have your soul crumble to dust in my arms! Then how..?


Friends? Yes! YES!!

Here I send my distress call through the aether, between the gaps of time and space. It matters not what you think of me now or then..all I want is my daughter to walk again! I reach out to you Dear Reader..if ever you loved my sweet Qlippothic..close your eyes..see her in your mind..and channel what energies you can to her..let her LIVE again!

Recovering Qli

Finally, the train arrived in Victoria City. The Demon could have carried Qli's engine under his arm, but I required a cavorite-lined steamer trunk..with wheels..just to pick it up at the baggage claim. I had no idea what lay before me, so I wasn't going to trust their telehubs..this is sensitive equipment!

Add to this I had to retrieve the hardware of that other Qlippothic. I was planning to pick up my surviving daughter first, but as soon as I gathered by baggage I was accosted by two sinister-looking fellows in black uniforms! And by accosted I mean "doused with holy water while the other sang Jerusalem from a prayerbook. I found the water refreshing and the singing off-key. Obviously news of the Demon's demise had not yet reached all of Caledon. A blindfold was tied over my eyes and I was stuffed into a carriage. I overheard them arguing to each other as to whether I indeed was who my luggage tags claimed me to be.

I was rudely pulled by my vest out of the carriage, carried indoors and dropped down into an armchair. When the cloth was lifted a very irate Colonel O'Toole was standing over me, demanding to know what had happened to his agent. So..I began to explain the nature of Temporal Physics, specifically the dangers of Paradox associated with reckless use of Galvanic Tesseraction..

After only a couple hours of my elucidation, the Colonel was fast asleep. I carefully placed his ungloved hand in his pot of still-warm tea and confidently strode into the foyer. The guards stood up from where they sat playing Old Maid, obviously confused by the turn of events. In the most boastful, self-conceited imitation I could muster I said,

"Your Colonel was no threat to me. Now will you escort me to Tanglewood with the dignity so deserved of Royalty, or would you like to share the fate that has become of your superior?"

I may have the Demon in me no longer, but his constant, pompous boasting and intimidation is forever engraved in my memories.

I was ferried to Tanglewood in a most impressive combat-worthy vessel, but I can describe it little more, for my knowledge of things nautical is limited to knowing my port from my starboard. Before I disembarked I admonished them to ship the remains of "Agent Steele" to House Bloodwing in all due haste.

I arrived to a marvelous sight. The trees reminded me of the mighty Redwood forests that lay not far from Steelhead. However the leaves more closely resembled that of the oak family. I did pick up a few acorns, leaves and bark scrapings for further study. I'd be a fool not to suspect Fae or at least Druidic intervention in the foundation of the ecological system!

Of course the Elytis abode had to be all the way across the island from where I had arrived! I had already gotten dark, and the tree cover blocked all of the moon's glow and starlight. The only illumination came from the silent dance of the fireflies, th distant glimmer of hearths behind curtained windows, and my own lantern that danced mysterious patterns on the leaves floating gently along the ground above my feet.

There, at the edge of the water, on one end of a bridge that lead to nowhere, the pale light of the full moon flooded my vision. There on that bridge, lying face up, my daughter lay, silent as Death. Her arm hung off the edge of the bridge, fingers trailing the surface of the placid water, leaving the faintest wake in it current.

Posted to the door of House Bloodwing

Dear Friends,

I have traveled across the the pond to repair Qlippothic and bring her home. I will also be "down for repairs" as I learn what it's like to be human again, and sort through the mess the Demon has left for me. I do intend to open a doctor's office at my residence after my spiritual healing. I thank everyone for your kind words and letters of support in this my most difficult hour. The main floor of the House (which I shall rename the Bloodwing Foundation) shall remain open to members as I recuperate upstairs. But do please respect our privacy.

Also, Qlippothic Steel is no more. Apparently the Demon's banishment was too much of a Paradox for her and she disappeared in a puff of logic, leaving a her engine and a black uniform behind.

Vortex is the Demon's son, not mine. His notes tell me he was last seen in Lumidor. I think it best to leave him be.

When we are ready to re-enter the community, Qli will take over the Demon's hosting duties in Steelhead. I fear I am more of a lecturer than an entertainer, and a poor dancer as well!

Best Wishes to my friends in Steelhead and the Colonies. Be Well.


Dr. Darien James Mason, MD, PhD.

Monday, April 23

"no more, demon. no more"

With those words, so love was shattered.

House Bloodwing trembles and windows break.

With those words, so the Son of Hades was banished.

The scream echoed through Steelhead City chilling every living soul. A broken talisman repairs itself and the soul rushes to its proper vessel. Horns crumble and pale features melt like greasepaint. Eye burn like the core of anger, then close.

With those words, the Man caged in the Ancient's hubris was freed.

Blue eyes stare up at the parting black clouds and a human hand weakly stretches towards the Sun.

For seven generations the Incubus is again banished from the mortal realm.

Clear tears well down his cheeks, tears of joy.

Thank you, G_d! I'm free! I'm finally FREE!

And the burden of a godling's legacy falls on mortal shoulders.

Doctor Mason rises to his feet, brushes himself off, and calmly enters his house, shutting the door behind him.

Tell the devil it's time you gave him his due
He should go back to hell, he should shake in his shoes
Cause the mightiest, scariest, creature is you

Goodnight demon slayer, goodnight
Now it's time to close your tired eyes
There's devils to slay and dragons to ride
If they see you coming, hell they better hide

Goodnight, goodnight, goodnight
Goodnight my little slayer goodnight


Saturday, April 21

From the Pacific to the Meditteranean

Friday's Tiki Party went smashingly well even though I spent most of the time hiding my exposed skeleton behind a huge mask. Sheriff Fuzzball looked casual yet dignified at his state of the art double grammaphone. Grass skirts and fire staves abounded. Sir Edward Pearse look very distinguished in his grass kilt. The decorations were fabulous..and even the Tiki God behind me enjoyed himself. Except near the end after he tried to crush me the second time and I banished him.

I had a somber talk with Emilly after the festivities as she continued to dance with a new companion. If all I have left is friendship and memories, then so be it. Even if I cannot help but look back, I shall carry on.

Less than an hour ago I completed ceremonies at the Steelhead Toga Party. Tensai Hilra created a marvelous dais upon which to orchestrate the celestial songs. Note the Ionic columns and hanging vines..I haven't since such opulence since..well..for a long time. I came as my Hydra form. I was surprised by how many people had never seen me in this cursed shape! But Sinister and Dexter behaved themselves.

I was particularly struck by Miss Jezebel Dagger's floating Phoenix interpretation.

Next Friday Is Egyptian Night in Kokopelli Square and next Saturday is the Masquerade Ball! I hope to see you there! };oD


Friday, April 20

Signalled Rau, then Stripped Raw

(Once again, get your mind out of the gutter!)

I was overjoyed to meet another Caledonian emigre' named Sigal Rau in one of Steelhead's local shops. After exchanging pleasantries I learned that he is, like myself, a Prince! A Polynesian Prince in fact. He mentioned that he was the builder of comfort items, and was hoping to open a store soon. I told him that there were serveral open storefronts ready in Steelhead for an honest merchant like himself to set up business. And not a day later, his tea and liquor store opens across from my house! All I have to do now is wait for the Taiyu House to open and I'll never be wistful for Erebus again! For all of these reasons I name Prince Sigal Rau the Guest of Honor at my Tiki Dance tonight!

He was kind enough to point me to some places that sell somewhat authentic ceremonial dress from his culture. I decided to visit Miss Scully afterwards to show off the outfit, and to see how she was doing carrying her twin bundles of joy. I asked if there was anything I could do for her, and indeed she asked if I would clean out her aquarium for her,a s the chemicals and the strenuous work might make her ill. I cheerfully obliged.

She neglected to tell me about the school of pirhana. I'm actually glad I don't have any nerve endings left so I can't remember how painful it was. I've had my heart torn out before, but not like this.

NOW What am I going to do?

Oh..wait..I have an idea..


Thursday, April 19

And They All Fall Down / Calling all British!

Just as I planned..the Loli-Oni gorged themselves on turkey sandwiches and in a few hours the tryptophan put them out!

Not a moment too soon..I have to get ready for Tiki Night in Kokopelli Square!

And now for something completely different.

This is Miss crook Shnook. She is one of those rarest of SL avatars, the researchicus documentarius. She is investigating SL for her company, Films of Record as well as for a grade.

The "rubbish" is that she hasn't found any Brits online at this stage. Just Yanks, Aussies and Canucks. And DON'T try faking an accent just to get interviewd. She says she can tell if you're not grim enough.

You may also contact her at

Wednesday, April 18

The Long Pastel Teatime of the Soul

I wish Miss McAllister were here to help me bake all this. I did just send her a birthday present form here after all.. At least the Loli-Oni let me go home long enough to sit in the Town Meeting. They took Xerxes as collateral. Egyptian Night next Saturday, Formal Masquerade on Sunday. Egyptian. I don't have a thing Egyptian. I asked my son Vortex if he had any suggestions while he helped me pack up the cartload of frozen turkeys I had stashed in the sub-basement.

And here comes the UPS man! Let me sign here..Thanks!

Now..a little bit of Hellfire and these things should be golden brown! It's a good thing I already gutted them! Now..arrange them on the platters..decorate with purple cabbage..put the giant cranberry Jello-mold out..

*stares at the mold* I don't know you, do I? *shrug* Well if you're alive you better jiggle outta here in ten seconds..

*changes from chef's outfit to waiter's suit and picks up a metal staff to ring a huge triangle..He trembles from the vibration until he drops the staff*


*earth starts trembling*

*closeup of Darien crossing his fingers behind his back*

To Be Continued..

Tuesday, April 17

They Kiss Me and Hug Me and Call Me George

The good news is the Goth Loli Ogresses (which I will call the Loli-Oni for short hereafter) gave me enough free time to pose in my armor for Acedia's diary, both on horseback and dismounted. (See the Fashion Mogul link on your right.) She even took footage for YouTube video of me demonstrating my marital prow..excuse me, martial prowess! You will most certainly see it posted here.

(I do hope the musical score matches..)

Analogue Montagne seemd shocked that the Loli-Oni had stolen her hairstyle. Maybe she can convince them to let me go?

The bad news is I've been forced to do servant work for these powerful yet effeminate giants. The teapot is easily the size of a beer keg and I think I got a hernia from pouring it all day..with pinkies raised of course!

And then the finger sandwiches. These humongous harajuku consume THOUSANDS of tiny little strips of crustless bread filled with who-knows-what that have to be served just so on this multi-tiered platter the size of Princess Diana's wedding cake. And thy sit and talk about quaint little pleasantries..

I saw this pretty unicorn the other day! I tapped her with my magic wand and she made such a funny sound, like peanut brittle! I took her home and put her in my dollhouse next to the other princes!

OTHER Princes? *gulps*

And for hours and hours I have to hand cut every..single..

YOWCH!!'s's growing back already..did I say "hand cut?" I haven't lost this many body parts since Tombstone! From that..erm..mountain lion..yeah..that's what it was..

What am I going too? They never seem to run out of food or time to eat it..I..


I think I'll call my neighbors..


Monday, April 16

But of Course I'll Stay for Tea..


And the Brood Grows

Ladies, Gentlemen and Herms:

May I present Mr. Trekkie Masala. He may be newly rezzed, but his deva and mine have been friends since dialup Bulletin Board Systems were considered state of the art and the 2400 baud rate was an innovation.

I immediately rescued him from Help Island and fitted him with something stylish. I introduced him to my inner circle of friends, who approved of his sense of humor and knowledge of things geekified.

..but some things you still have to learn on your own.

Happy Exploring, dear friend! With the gifts my friend and I gave you I hope to be pleasantly surprised by the next shape you assume!

Sunday, April 15

Once Upon a Time..

Once. Such a sad word.

There once was a handsome Prince who loved to throw elaborate balls. He went to his old friend Acedia Albion's new island to pick up the new armor she made just for the occasion.

He noticed a wedding chapel. Must be for those Happily Ever After endings he's heard about.

Just as he was about to leave he was stopped by a guard. At first I thought my niece Elisa Elliot had a HUGE growth spurt, but then I realized that sometime even Ogres fall into the goth-loli scene. And of course where else would such a creature escape derision but upon Acedia Island?

The guard demanded in the sweetest double baritone that I sit with her(?) for tea. I saw the only two chairs nearby were too small, even for me. Not wishing to upset this creature..or my dear friend Acedia..I pulled up an invisible chair and cheerfully poured some Earl Grey.

After the surprisingly pleasant exchange and returned to Steelhead. It felt food to be in armor again, remembering all the battles I fought long ago. My instincts were still with me, thankfully for I heard the distinct WHOOSH in the air of a hail of arrows! A defensive crouch just barely saved my armor from being punctured. I spat out a few choice Spartan curses as the cowardly snipers gobbled insanely and fled as fast as their grubbing little feet could carry them.

I whistled for my trusty steed Xerxes and galloped to the Hotel before I fell into some other nefarious trap. There I found the Hotel barred from entry! Was this sabotage? No..Lunar was just running late. Lady Kirawil told me by coincidence that her steed was named Leonidas. We wisely decided to keep the beasts separated.

I suppose the carpet needed to be replaced, but I did prefer the darker tones.

Here I am dancing with the lovely Lady Annastina.

Afterwards I slipped through a crack in space into Caledon, for a deliciously decadent party thrown for a good cause. I had the pleasure of witnessing one of those delicious Duchess Sandwiches I've heard so much about.

While dancing with Miss Lapin I congratulated her on the success of her charity endeavors..except for the War. She asked me why it had gone so horribly wrong. I explained to her that whenever Ares is summoned..even in jest..he will burn a fire in the hearts of men that will not be satiated until the Red God's spear is drenched point to pommel in the lifeblood of the fallen.

I requested a favorite song. I should have remembered the context has has changed.

Distant days, I long to sense it all so clear.

In the midst of jubilation and generosity, I suddenly felt that cold familiar sensation of loneliness and regret.

Despite the wisdom of defeat I bore my heart for all to see the wonders I'd seen.

I retired to my court chamber. Please..there is no need to comfort me.


Saturday, April 14

Disco and Delirium

The Horror.. The Horror..

Well alright it wasn't that bad Except for that THING on my head. My horns still itch.

Bell bottoms and ill-conceived color coordinations abounded.

Sheriff Fuzzball looked like he was attacked by a Baskin Robbins truck.And that's the least offensive color scheme he had for the night!

Hotspur O'Toole won the men's contest with red Hibernian take on De Funk.

Jezebele Dagger's Afro won in the women's section. She just happened to be under it..

Tonight I plan to get garb I mean. Now I'll put that Travoltino monstrosity away in my back closet and see if the meddlesome moths choke on its synthetic fibers.

And one more thing..contraty to what my daughter said I have subsequently declined the Marshal job in Tombstone. The only rules I shall enforce hereafter will be in MY House and at MY events. I've torn through enough hats and pulled enough lead out of my abdomen thank you very much.

I WILL however be hosting two more nights a week at Club Delirium. Thank you dear Sister Lumia for introducing me to this new benefactor!


Friday, April 13

One Piece Removed..

..and the whole puzzle changes. Just as I begin mourning for my saddest goodbye, my daughter from the nightmare world opened a burning tome. She recognized the seal touched it to contact her long-lost Aunt.

It seems her rage has subsided. I am told she bears no ill will towards the house. With hesitance I write to her with cordiality.

But there is one question left unanswered that must be addressed. Among demons the tongue and pen can leave deeper wounds than the sword. One thrust wounded me so deeply that I almost packed my bags and left this Grid forever. I need to know if what she said was indeed true..or perhaps seemed true to her when I let my guard down and tried to reconcile too soon.

Demons expect betrayal of each other. Forgiveness is worth more than diamonds to us. Witout it every last Demon would withdraw to cloisters of despair or devastate the landscapes with firebrands of rage.

Your skills speak volumes to your talents, Sweet Sysperia. I am listening. And I am watching.


Thursday, April 12

Recovery, Recruitment, Reproduction and Retro

DON'T PANIC, Dear Reader. It's not what it looks like.

Last night I spent many hours with Miss Darkling in her "chill room" in Tanglewood, catching up on the twists and turns in each other's lives, and discussing intriguing opportunities not yet disclosable. Also I did something I should have done long ago..I welcomed her to my House.

I did the same for Miss Dagger, who with her parter Miss Weirs (Weirs-Dagger? How lovely!)last night became the "alpha mother" for two bouncing baby..demonic..well I really must see the wee bairns for myself!

(once they are actually born that is)

As the new Bloodwing Priestess she has promised an emblem and a flag for my House, which all members may proudly display on their residences. In return, I buy her some slinky piece of gothic attire from Acedia's. A fair trade, certainly!

Speaking of which Acedia tells me my armor is ready. While I don't plan to go slaying dragons with it I am sure it will me most impressive!

And..I bought an outfit for Friday. Qli tells me that this "polyester" was a new invention in the decade the suit came from, so of course everyone had to try it. Also, because of the feel of it they had a ready excuse for taking it off to proceed to more engaging activities. Now that I can understand!

But I don't understand this THING I'm supposed to wear on my head! It's so huge it hides my horns, and I can't even SEE with it on! How can one solitary prim be so damned UGLY?


Wednesday, April 11

..and Farewell

*Darien wills his front door to open has he steps inside, his cloak's designs shimmering in the night air from the moonlight that dares trickle into the demon's abode. He calls out a name familiar to his lips. The silence is deafening. It immediately strikes him that his House is emptier than before.*

*He sees it there in the near-darkness, on the mantlepiece of the unlit hearth. The one who needs not breathe takes a long, deep breath. Floorboards creak as his bold strides carry him with dread to the fireplace. Weighing down the letter is a gift returned, the signet ring of House Bloodwing. With grim visage he places the ring aside and raises the parchment.*


*The fireplace billows with flame, then settles to a bright yet cold blaze. He reads the letter, the elgant curves of her handwriting unmistakable. The face pale as stone and just as stolid softens, the red flames in his eyes flicker. He nods silently in agreement as the missive shakes ever so slightly in his hand. An unmeasurable moment as he stands with the delicate paper at the end of his reach.*

*Did he crush it, or rip it to shreds? Did he toss it to the chilled flames? Did he slip it into his shirt, next to his heart? Or did he lovingly fold it in thirds to place in his secret compartment of ancient treasures, savoring the scent of her perfume and feline fur upon it one last time before storing it away for eternity? If he remembers, he will never share.*

*A flourish of his red cloak and he sinks like a ghost through the floorboards to land in the cold embrace of his throne. To some it was a maintenance bay, others a dungeon. To him it was the deepest, dryest space in his castle, where a monarch of Erebus would by tradition hold court.*

*But there was no court. No advisors to whisper what they wanted him to hear. No abomination in a jester's cap cavorting to cheer him. No servants to feed him. Only the gentle crackle of magic torches in sconces across from the gate to the tunnels that now seemed continents away.*

*And there, Prince Darien bent down, raising his arms to his face, an elbow tipping over an ancient, dusty bottle of wine he had rested there. A muted crash of priceless handblown glass, and the prize of now-extinct grapes escaped across the smooth stones now slick until it sank between the mortar cracks into the cold earth beneath. He ran his pallid hands over the markings of his face, palms blocking the twin glowing coals from view, fingernails barely touching the base of his boldly spiraled horns.*

*No creature heard the whisper from the bottom of his broken heart.*

"And they lived Happily Ever After."


Talking Turkey

Yes, a turkey was a special guest at the Steelhead town meeting last night. This duly appointed representative of the flightless gamebird community complained ad nauseum about the abuse against his species by unknown bipeds within our borders. Unfortunately, he got a bit too hot under the wattle and began threatening the residents in their entirety by the end of the meeting. Impulsives creatures, they are. Not unlike myself.

Also of note:

Sheriff Fuzzball Ortega revealed that he has lycanthropy. It is a bold move on his part, and I am sure he can use his condition to his advantage the next time trouble arises in Steelhead.

My hosting venues for the next two weeks in Steelhead are as follows:

Friday the 13th: Disco Night (shudder) in Kokopelli Square, 7PM. Hosting by everyone's favorite werewolf Sheriff Fuzzball. Dress code is best described as "funky".
Oh well, at least it's my lucky day.

Saturday the 14th: Medieval Formal Ball, Steelhead Hotel, 7PM. Tensai Hilra will DJ from her impressive soundstage. Dress in period. No duct tape, please.
I'll have to excavate my closet for this one.

Friday the 20th: Tiki Party, Kokopelli Square, 7PM. The Fuzzball returns. Grass skirts, flowered shirts, and drinks with umbrellas are meant for this evening.

Saturday the 21st: Toga Party, Steelhead Hotel, 7PM. Some insist on bringing kegs, but I'll bring my amphora.

After the meeting, I took our new neighbor JeZeBel Dagger to Acedia Albion's stores in Bolinas. It was so wonderful introducing my new friend and neighbor to one of the first friends I ever made in Second Life. Her stores are the Beverly Hills boutiques of SL..aside from some newcomer items, one must earn a lot of Lindens or channel funds from outside the grid to afford her products, but I say they are well worth it!

My sister Lumina complains that her kimonos need refitting, but the only problem I have had is getting her to make male versions of her best items! Which she will indeed do, by the way. The red Galactica robes I prefer to wear are her design, but the male versions only came in blue and black. (I'm wearing them in one of her recent model shoots, I will find the YouTube link later). Similarly I saw she had some lovely ornamental armor that would be perfect for me on Saturday..except for the pink ruffles. She assured me she tailor (hammer?) a larger, masculine version for myself. (And then, I assume, I will get a discount for modeling the new article..are you taking notes?)

Sadly she was too busy and I was too tired to search her sprawling mall for 70's gear. The thought of polyester sliding against my pale flesh and an Afro impaled on my horns makes me want to grab two coins and take Charon's next skiff back to Erebus, but I will persevere.


Tuesday, April 10


If you have found this Journal, Dear Reader, then you obviously know of me. But who can truly know me? That may be impossible, even for me.

The primary reason, one which I must squeamishly admit, is that I don't truly exist.

Yes, I admit that I am the avatar in the dreamlike (and infamously unstable) aftificial Grid of Second Life. I am the alter ego of some middle-aged mortal playing out a Jungian hallucianation from a higher yet far more mundane realm. Someone with obviously too much time on his hands and an overactive imagination, and..issues? By admitting this, I have Transcended..somthing I have been trying my entire existence to accomplish. Maybe that will help. More about who and what my avatar is at a later entry. Let's move on.

What is this Journal? Let me start by what it isn't. It isn't a tell-all. No one's secrets shall be exposed here except possibly my own. Not even my children's.


Not something you'd expect from a Demon, or a Prince for that matter. But to do otherwise would ruin this Journal. This is a log of my activities, past present and planned, that I wish to share with my associates. You may expect the occasional rant or poem, but this is not some neurotic teenager's MySpace blog with dripping blood animations and spinning inverted crucifixes. I have standards.

So..the floor is now open for wellwishers, questioners, petitioners, dire ominous threats..

~Darien Mason,
Prince of Erebus*