Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Journal Entry from Prof. CRK - 4 September, 1955

4th September, 1955 According to the ancient texts which I have been able to translate, Mathion was a descendant of the Clan of Eredôn, one of the seven Royal Clans of the Wolven (Várna Iktirvandon). These seven clans are descended from the first High King of the Wolven, Hâr-Etheôn, who had seven sons. They became the forefathers of the most powerful Wolven clans.  The Wolven were governed by a cyclical hereditary monarchy of agnatic primogeniture, but in many cases the wives of the Kings were just as powerful and influential as their husbands. Each clan sat on the Ánovénean High Throne for up to seven generations, after which the Crown was passed to the next clan from eldest to youngest. This "Cycle of Kings" was set to begin after Etheôn's natural death with the ascension of his eldest son Eredôn, but owing to circumstances in the Battle of Degos Enath, Eredôn elected to put his line at the end of the Cycle, for both personal reasons and reasons of what the Wolven referred to as "naeróndu", which roughly translates as "sight of the mind." As a result his younger brother Erios became the first of the brothers to ascend the High Throne. The other six aided Erios in the early years of his reign, creating the tradition of the "Council of Elders," a body that was not made official until the reign of Hâr-Valaxor II.   What follows are descriptions of the colors and mottos of each of the Wolven Royal Clans.  WOLVEN ROYAL CLANS- colors and mottos •EREDÔN- blue and gold banner, sigil of a white wolf's head lined with gold above the Lost Sword of Eredôn on a blue field; "Power Through Honor." •ERIOS- first of Etheôn’s sons to ascend the High Throne after his death; purple and yellow banner, sigil of a black wolf's claw within a yellow diamond; "Answer the call." •ARUVAI- called "the Grim" (sometimes "the Grim Smith" in reference to his chosen trade), spent a century in wordless mourning after Hâr-Etheôn's death; banner of black and gray with a wolf-headed hammer sigil; "United by silver." •DÚREVON- first Regent, banner of red and white and black, sigil of a black quill within a white wolf's pawprint on a red field; "Words inspire action." •LAROS- "the Watcher"; green banner lined with silver, sigil of a green wolf's head lined with silver and a silver eye; "Unsleeping vigilance." •ÚREVOS- orange, black and grey banner, sigil of a black wolf's head encircled in orange flames on a grey field; "The fire burns bright." •ATHION- black, blue and white banner, sigil of a closed blue fist within a white wolf's claw on a black field; "Uninhibited."

Friday, May 4, 2012


It's 3:33am as I write this review, I've just gotten home from the summer blockbuster movie season kickoff, and I find myself...whelmed. Not overwhelmed, not underwhelmed, simply whelmed. It's been an arduous, epic four- year journey for Marvel Studios, and now here we get to see how all the planning and hype has turned out. I won't deny that "The Avengers" is a phenomenal achievement. I won't refute the fact that what the filmmakers and actors have done is extraordinary. And I am NOT a biased DC fanboy, so if you're expecting me to rip on this film, you may as well stop reading now because I found it very entertaining. Flawed, but entertaining. No film is without its flaws, no film is perfect. But with "The Avengers", the flaw is inherent: it is simply TOO BIG. I don't say this in a negative way. Simply as a fact, this is a massive movie, even for a comic book movie. Much like the Avengers themselves, this film simply should not have worked. But it did, and in this case I think the film's greatest flaw might actually have simultaneously been its greatest strength as well. I won't go into much spoilerish territory in this review, mostly because if the rumors are true just about everyone's seen this thing so there's really not a whole lot to spoil anyway. Although I am very proud to say that I started the thunderous applause for the final DARK KNIGHT RISES trailer. Let's start with the director, Joss Whedon. A legend among fanboys everywhere, I could honestly think of no one better to handle this much chaos. Even when nothing is blowing up, Whedon keeps everything moving, down to the camera. Which means you hang on every moment that passes. As far as the Chitauri Battle in Manhattan goes, well, let's just say he divvied up the theaters of war quite well. Whedon is a fanboy as well, let's not forget, so he made damn sure to give every one of these larger than life characters their moment. My hat goes off to him, and he did a damn fine job. Now, it's Loki's turn. I love, absolutely LOVE Tom Hiddelston in this film. I was a bit unsure about using Loki as the villain for this film, but in the end it was a perfect choice. Hiddelston really gets to have fun with his character in this one. And what made it great was his relationship with Thor (Chris Hemsworth), playing on their "false" brotherhood and in turn having a go at each of the other Avengers in one form or another. And he serves a great setup for a potentially apocalyptic villain for the sequel! But the highlight of this movie, and the person I'm sure everyone will be talking about soon enough, was Mark Freaking Ruffalo. Yes, his middle name is Freaking, because he did the most with his character out of any of the other actors in this film (no disrespect meant). Following Ed Norton's turn as Dr. Bruce Banner, I was dubious at best about the studio's decision to go with Ruffalo. But he brought such a weight to Banner (NOT the Hulk) and his inner conflict with "the other guy" made every moment he was on screen so watchable. If there is an emotional heart to this film, it's in Mark Freaking Ruffalo's big green hairy chest. Not to mention he gets two of the greatest moments of the film. Having established their characters in their solo films (with the exception of Robert Downey Jr., who got a bit more of a head start on account of IRON MAN 2), it was very interesting seeing all these people interact on screen. There was great chemistry all around, and I think fans will really enjoy how their camaraderie develops throughout the film. Now, this would be WAAAAAYYYYY too long a review if I went over every little detail of the film, so I think I'll just say this: Marvel has a behemoth on their hands, and I just hope they don't let it get too big. THE AVENGERS is a great way to kick start the summer, and  think that fanboys all over will be nerdgasming repeatedly while it's in theaters. However, this film was exactly what I expected it to be: big, loud and fun. And that's not a bad thing at all.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Journal Entry by Prof. C. R. K.

It has been two weeks since I returned to Oxford. The contents of the chest I have taken with me, much to my wife's chagrin. Regardless, the demands of my time have been dominated by my students. In my studies of the strange fragments, when I've had the time, I have been able to translate precious little. The writing is strange and fluid, but when the letters themselves are translated the speech seems very rough and hard. Some records are bound in leather books, others in scrolls several documents thick. John has taken a look, and suffice it to say he is simply baffled by them. The accounts given here, in these papers, is nothing short of extraordinary. Nevertheless, I feel that still more is yet to be found...