Fair Arts

Fair Arts: Introduction to Kindling

Humans invented fire at the dawn of civilization. It was a significant catalyst for our development. This much everyone knows. Most people don’t know how instrumental kindling was in those early millennia.

Starting fires can be difficult, even in perfect conditions, and there are rarely perfect conditions. Kindling is powerful because it turns the smallest spark into a true flame, and a flame into a bonfire. Though less widely applicable now, kindling brought humanity into the light.


Post-Mortem: Charity Pollack

Phoenix Matchmaker (PM): It can be a complicated proposition. Phoenixes value tradition. They rarely accept new techniques or ideologies.

Fan of Phoenixes (FOP): That’s a bit harsh, isn’t it? Phoenixes have proven to be surprisingly adaptable over the millennia.

PM: Some would say that. I would say, if you compare them to other kinds of people, they can be downright hidebound.

FOP: How do you match a phoenix to a companion? What do you look for?

PM: There are major issues and there are minor issues. A Phoenix concerned with sustainability won’t pick someone who isn’t careful with resources. A phoenix whose priority is security of the national interest won’t pick someone who harbors illegal immigrants.

FOP: Have you ever found a match that worked initially but fell apart later?

PM: Very few of my matches break down.

FOP: Of course, I know. In general, have you seen matches like that.

PM: There was a memorable case where the phoenix cared a great deal about medical self-determination and the companion refused to euthanize a patient…the phoenix abandoned her.

FOP: What would you say to someone seeking your services?

PM: Know yourself well. That’s the key with phoenixes. They hate self-delusion most of all.


Myth 13: Zombies Answer to Zombie Masters

This particular kind of conspiracy theory is hardly unique to zombies, but given its prevalence, it merits some consideration.

There are some who believe that zombies everywhere answer to a secret zombie council that seeks to turn every human into zombie, and also feed off them all. We secretly control all the major industries, obviously, and any evidence to the contrary is placed by us.

To be clear, not only do zombies, insofar as we are a monolith, not have a secret ruling council, we have little to no internal political organization at all.

Fair Arts

Fair Arts: Introduction to Astrology

Astrology is the art of using the operations of the stars. To all you scientific minds out there, yes, by "stars" I'm including plenty of things we don't call stars anymore. Asteroids, planets, comets, eclipses, space stations, space shuttles, natural and artificial satellites…

The modern applications of astrology are mostly beyond the average person, since it's not helps to get a satellite put into orbit. Here we'll cover a few traditional methods of working with the heavenly bodies.

One of the simplest forms of magic that a beginner can pick up is working with the sun or the moon. They're very obvious, have plenty of impact on our day-to-day lives, and most of all, are really, really bright. Everything else is more distant, but when the light is in your face, it's easier to manage. Some people struggle with still images, so the sun and the moon work best.

With the sun, it's important to carve out space in each of the seasons, and for each section of the day, for specific effects. This can vary from person to person, but in general: spring/dawn for things that are beginning or growing, summer/noon for things that are at their peak, fall/dusk for things that are shrinking or fading, and winter/midnight for things that are ending of dying. Keep in mind, whichever time you pick will intensify that type of situation; if you want to stop something ending, I recommend summer/noon to extend the time available, and if you want something to stop fading, I recommend winter/midnight to put it into stasis.

The moon is similar, but different. Each phase of the moon will allows you to influence reality, but it's more continuous than the sun, which is discrete. Make sure not to work against the direction of the moon's phases; if you want something to increase in power, start with the new moon for best effect.



As some of you might have guessed, I’ve recently become somewhat busy. Med school is not currently kicking my ass, but I’m expecting it any day now, and my girlfriend and I are working on the ongoing rent situation. Suffice it to say that I’m not really managing five posts a week anymore, or anytime soon. I’m moving to a MWF schedule, with an optional post on weekends. Hopefully I’ll get this thing running again.


Post-Mortem: Berserker Task Force

Leader of the berserker task force stops by to have a chat

Me, Former Berserker (FB): Good morning. I’m sorry about the timing, it was just the only way our schedules lined up.

Randall Tandy: More my fault than yours, buddy.

FB: I guess it is. You have a pretty hectic schedule, actually. I was surprised to learn that. The berserker task force may serve an important function, but I wouldn’t have imagined you were very busy most days.

Randall Tandy: Your first guess was right. We’re not usually busy. Most of my free time is spent doing talks, lectures, and interviews about our work.

FB: You’ve had a bit more than fifteen minutes.

Randall Tandy :I won’t lie, it’s been a hell of a journey. Nothing I’m doing is really special, it’s all a matter of knowing how zombies work.

FB: Most of the early pioneers in the anti-zombie movement were incompetent at best; they didn’t know how to handle a rogue berserker.

Randall Tandy: No, they didn’t. We have much better techniques to handle them now. And I have to contest that, I’m not anti-zombie.

FB: Most critics of the task force would disagree, and I’m not sure I see your point of view as clearly here as I do theirs.

Randall Tandy: I have nothing against zombies if they can co-exist with all the other people in this world. Some of them can’t do that, and those I do have a problem with.

FB: Berserkers.

Randall Tandy: Berserkers are zombies who’ve given up on their humanity. The thing that we didn’t realize early on was that the process is reversible. So many bureaucrats and soldiers gave up on the victims of this disease because they thought they couldn’t be saved- or that it was too expensive.

FB: How would you handle a berserk zombie? Walk me through the process.

Randall Tandy: The most important thing to get right is containment. Berserkers will break through any barrier you put in front of them, or hurt themselves trying. Something like sedation is more effective because it minimizes harm to everyone, but not all drugs will work on berserkers. If containment fails, our primary concern is evacuating the area. A successful evacuation can leave us with enough room to let the rage play out. If a berserker acts without anyone to injure, there’s no reason to do anything about it. Harmless property damage is much better than carnage.

FB: That’s surprisingly enlightened of you. What about if evacuation fails?

Randall sighs.

Randall Tandy: Then it fails, and we move from there.

FB: Thanks for giving us some insight into your organization, Mr. Tandy. I think it should help some of my readers out.”

Randall Tandy: Thank you for letting me.