All posts by Jess

About Jess

Fox Lover. Awkward Human. Trying to navigate through life.

Final Project – Contextual Writing: Bowl with Peonies

Bowl with Peonies

Bowl with Peonies

China, YaoZhou kilns
11th Century
Porcelain with Vietnamese gold rim

Celadon wares were highly regarded by the Chinese Imperial court as they resemble the colors of jade, traditionally the most highly valued material in China. An addition of Vietnamese gold rim showed cross-cultural exchange between both countries at that time.
[Linking back to our group gallery guide on colours and culture]

[History]
11th century China was under the Song Dynasty and it was divided into two distinct periods, Northern and Southern.
“Green in the south, white in the North” was a phrase for ceramics in China as Longquan, Zhejiang province (Southern China) were known for their greenwares while Hebei province (Northern China) were known for their whitewares. Celadons are produced by firing a glaze containing a little iron oxide at a high temperature in a reducing kiln.

What is interesting about this artifact that is a YaoZhou ware, a type of celadon porcelain produced in Northern Song dynasty.

[Production]
Although it is studied that 75 percent of pottery kilns built and porcelain produced in 130 provinces during the Song period, YaoZhou wares were only made in modest modest quantities. This could be because pottery in Northern Song were considered a focus of connoisseurship after an early-eleventh century emperor ordered his valued porcelains to have their unglazed rims adorned with gold and silver. Thus making Song porcelains highly prized, just below bronze and jade. Another possible reason could be that at the end of the Northern Song in 1125, the remainder of the Imperial court fled south, hence a lost of technique overtime in YaoZhou wares, and their style adopted and replaced by the Longquan kilns promoted by the court.
[THE YAOZHOU KILNS: A RE-EVALUATION <- Interesting Study on the lost of YaoZhou wares]

Because of the limited quantity of Yaozhou wares produced, they were not exported in great quantities, as only a handful of fragments can be found in indonesia and vietnam.

[Decorations]
Before the Song dynasty, the Tangs decorated their pottery with Buddhist motifs (eg. lotuses, gems, Bodhisattva) as a kind of  ‘fashion statement’ for privileged ranks. However, the Songs reduced the Tangs styles with  motifs of vines and leaves. Tang ceramics focuses more on exotic motifs, vigorous naturalism and painted adornment, while Song porcelains are characterized by reserved decoration, balanced proportions and
monochromatic shades.

Yaozhou ware are most commonly found in the shape of a bowl. Earlier wares were normally left un-decorated until carving was introduced, which introduced the light and dark shades as seen in the chosen artifact.

A possible reason for peonies being decorated on this bowl could be link to the ‘Song dynasty art of flower arranging’. Porcelains display flower types that matches its vessel, exhibiting  flowers that blossoms in the summer and autumn.

[China and Vietnam]
In the early 10th century the Tang dynasty in China collapsed. The Vietnamese seized the initiative and launched a long overdue revolt against Chinese rule in Vietnam, thus forming the Ly dynasty. Annan (Annam, a southern province in China) was spreading the gifts of high civilization, such as trades and pottery making, to the Champa region of central Vietnam. A possible reason how this artifact ended up in Vietnam, also show cross-cultural influence.

I wasn’t able to find any information about Vietnamese pottery involving gold rims. There are two suggestions for the gold rims added onto the porcelains:
1) It can be considered a form of repair, to cover up a possible unglazed rim.
2) Just like the story of the emperor, adding gold rim onto the bowl was a form of decorative purpose.

But we can agree that gold was considered a valuable material and to add gold and celadon ware together made this artifact highly valuable.

Final Project – Free Writing: Bowl with Peonies

Bowl with Peonies

Bowl with Peonies

China, YaoZhou kilns
11th Century
Porcelain with Vietnamese gold rim

Celadon originated in China which later spread to other regions in China. Celadon wares were highly regarded by the Chinese imperial court as it is similar to the color of jade. As we can see how highly regarded celadon wares were in China, we can assume that they were considered highly valuable items during trading and only the wealthy might be able to afford it.

Decorations in chinese celadons is limited, normally by shaping the wares body or creating shallow designs (such as the peonies shown on the bowl) on flat surface, allowing the glaze to pool in depressions to give a much deeper colour to accentuate the design. There was rarely any celadon ware which contained a different colour. This is probably because celadon was regarded to be beautiful with the association of jade green. To add colour onto it might remove what celadon is known for: A greenware with a transparent glaze.

A gold rim was added to this celadon bowl in Champa, a culture which flourished in central and southern Vietnam from the 7th to the early 19th century. It shows how cross- cultural exchange was happening way back even in the 11th century. The Vietnamese who owned this porcelain have decided to add their own culture design was onto the bowl, recreating an object that consist of two different cultures. We can see the intricate designs on the gold rim, as if matching the peonies design on the bowl. They might have felt adding additional colours and designs onto the bowl will help beautify it event more, unlike how the chinese felt that celadon wares should be left jade green.

We can infer that the function of the item was to contain maybe soup or water as we know it is a bowl. We can also infer the kind of people who might have used the bowl.  A mixture of gold and celadon suggests someone of somewhat of royalty or higher status could have owned it. It mostly likely wouldn’t be a common household object that can be readily found around Vietnam.

Why I don’t like Art history

It’s impossible to go in a chronological order because overlapping happens in art history and it gets confusing when you finish one timeline and realize another timeline is connected to it in some manner that you have to fixes them like jigsaw puzzles.

Also, remembering years and names of artifacts is a chore.

52-hertz is but the loneliest song

Have you heard about the 52 hertz whale? It’s the loneliest whale in the world. It sings its sad love song, hoping to find another but no other whale can hear it only because it’s different. Everyone talks about wanting to help the whale. Yet, when a similar whale do presents themselves in front of them, all they do is simply ignore it.


We passed silhouettes of large figurines of giant squids, whales, and the likes. The soft blue light emitted from the surrounding tanks were casted onto them, making them appear daunting in the half-darkness. However, the girl in front of me strode onwards with confidence, as if she owned the place. Well, technically her father owned it. Still, that doesn’t ease me that we’ve just broken into his aquarium. She was crazy, but so was I for agreeing. But I had a reason for doing so.

Today will be the day I’ll tell her to stop.

We met one fateful day at ward 47 of Bayview Hospital. A cast was plastered around my leg, elevated by a pillow. Bruises, small cuts and gauze pads decked my face down to my arms. I was admitted to be hospitalised after I’ve been pushed down a flight of stairs.

Another case of bullying and I was the unfortunate victim.

Boys were meant to be rough, noisy and rude. But I was none of those, further ostracised in school for my passion. The cause of my sorrows was propped up against the white wall, miraculously unharmed. Still, my hands itched to grab hold of it like it was my only source of comfort.

I stretched out my nearest arm. It still wasn’t enough. I tried scooting closer instead but the discomforting, sharp pain that shot through my broken leg each time I moved restrained me from doing so. Eventually, I resigned to flailing my arm uselessly along the side of the bed.

Maybe if I concentrated hard enough, I might be able to use the force. Use the force, Garry!

A pair of hands shot out from nowhere, startling me as they bought the violin case closer with an amused laughter. Her smile was wide, eyes bright. Her black hair was tied back into a ponytail, a pink dress donned her body. She was a girl of my age. As a boy from an all-boys school; sixteen, young and seldom fantasizing about females, I couldn’t help but to feel overwhelming shy and conscious in this situation. I must have seemed like an ugly, dying rat; lame. Well, literally.

What was she even doing here?

“Can you play this?” I could only managed a small nod, taking hold of the case. Excitement washed over her. “Play a song!” It sounded more like a demand than a question. Needless to say, I gave in to her request.

It was my chance to impress a girl after all.

With the violin supported on my left arm and my right hand grasping the bow, I took a deep breath. Steadied, I played “Till I find you”, a piece made by Yiruma. I was sent into a state of tranquility as I played a familiar song.

Like all peace, short and due, it was soon interrupted by a loud yell and pitter-pattering of footsteps. “Maia?” It sounded like they were searching for someone. The voices got louder.

“Maia!”

The girl who sat on the edge of the bed, got up immediately and dashed out through the opened doorway, not before popping her head back in. “By the way, that was beautiful! I’ll see you next time!” And just like that, she was gone. I was left alone, clutching the violin close. My cheeks flooded red with unannounced gratitude.

It was the first time in ages hearing a praise.

It was also how I came to know her name.

Maia.

The rest of the days were a blur. Maia was a regular at the hospital, claiming she was seeing her relative. She would often visit and I would play a song or two. It became a routine until my leg was well again. We kept in contact even after I returned back to school.

The persistent bullies were expelled after my parents have furiously expressed their outrage towards the superintendent. However, their goons remained. They’ve learned to hone their skills in verbal assaults rather than physical ones. They’ve continued their rain of insults; ‘A sissy-queer-fag’, they taunted over and over.

Humans are the worst.

I stopped playing the violin.

As we walked on through a lit tunnel of myriad colours and floating jellyfish, she told me her favourite animals were blue whales; How they were the biggest animals in the world; How they fed on the tiniest sea creatures; How a human can fit into one’s heart, despite how daring and morbid that was to imagine.

If a whale could love another with all their heart, would a human be capable of doing so with their entire being?

No. I don’t believe in something like that. Most of us could never amount to something that big. This is why we settled with a promised, well-known phrase: “To love you with all of my heart.”

What a silly metaphor that was.

We reached our destination, a wide clearing with a large glass wall loomed on one side. The same blue oceanic light filtered from it. This was the largest aquarium in the entire building. School of fishes whizzed around with manta rays tagging behind them. Large groupers hid in the shadows of a cave while yellow tangs darted among corals. I could understand why this was her favourite place.

Without another word, I placed the black case down, taking out my violin. Ready, I started with a shaky tune. It’s been a year since I’ve graduated, but the scars of being bullied deeply remained. I silently reminded myself. ‘It’s ok. There’s no one here besides Maia. And the fishes.’

I knew what she was doing. She was trying to regain back my courage with these secret night practices. “Awful! I would have kicked their butts if I was you!” she once said. I loved how bold she was, something I wished I was. She had told me everyone around her was overprotective, sheltering and disallowing her to do certain activities. But she wanted to live freely. So, on the impulse of her daring suggestion, we would meet every night on the tenth day; An escapade.

But my agreement might be detrimental to her.

I confronted her one day when I picked up a piece of paper she dropped. A report and list of unfamiliar drugs. A signature that agreed to chemotherapy. I had suggested we stopped our reckless escapade. But she begged, insisted that regardlessly, she will die.

I felt guilt trapped.

Whenever she would ride her bicycle, she ends up in a really breathless state. Each coughs grew harsher and painful overtime. Recently, underneath that beanie she wore, concealed a balding spot. Her body was slowly withering.

There was a chance for her to get better with rest…

Right?

In truth, I just couldn’t bear to see her disappear before my eyes.

I ended the song, high on emotions. “Why are you doing this?” Her eyes were welled up with tears, similar to mine. She spoke barely above a whisper. “Have you heard of the story of the 52-hertz whale?”

I finally understood, realising why I possibly couldn’t bring myself to stop after all this time.

How could I when we were both alienated whales in the vast ocean of life.


[The “longer” version of my short story for narrative class]

Till- Chapter Three: Architecture

[Pictures will be added soon, once I revive my ded laptop or get a new one]

“How did you know it was me?”

Two shadows passed the smooth, shades of ivory sandstone walls. Engraved across them in rich, brown-red figures and shapes was a story; a man named Theseus. Once heralded as a hero, but turned into a villain overnight for kidnapping a young girl named Helen. How ironic that the very same girl will be the cause of the soon-to-be war between two great Kingdoms. In the end, Theseus died a tragic death while taking shelter at Skyros after being exiled from his homeland. The recent king of Skyros is still very proud of what he has done years ago. He had led Theseus to the edge of the cliff before pushing him down to his awaiting doom.

“I didn’t.” came the honest reply after the short silence.

What.

As if sensing a wave of doubt from the other, Odysseus paused in his steps to glance over at Achilles. Puzzlement was etched on the younger’s face. “You revealed yourself to us all on your own.” The sides of the older man’s lips curled up. “Honestly, we had just wanted to lure you out. We’ve never expected someone as yourself to be feigning as a woman. Though, there were some noticeable inconsistency…”

Achilles cheeks were decked red, brows furrowed in hot embarrassment. No longer in that horrid dress, he donned a new look. He wore a dark-crimson, leather doublet vest, black pants, and a purple cape with intrinsic golden design to signify his royal status. There were belt straps then ran around his waist, and peaking out from behind his lower back were twin scabbards. A prince, a fighter and a dual wielder. “That wasn’t my decision nor my choice to make.” He decides to stride forward, a silent indication to end the subject.

Odysseus could only managed to stifle a snicker as he allows the other to led them on. They continued their walk through the courtyard’s hallway. To the side, the garden trees rustle in the mild breeze. Their leaves filtered the soft, midday light among the rows of supporting columns; Corinthian and high. They reached up to the groin vaulted ceilings, forming the sheltering hallway.

“So, how did you know that I was here? In the household of Skyros?” Achilles had his arms behind his head, acting in a nonchalant manner albeit voice full of curiosity.

“Ah. That. You’ll just have to ask a dear friend of yours.”

Friend.

Achilles has a strong hunch on who that was.

They strolled on in brief silence, down a short flight of stairs before coming to a large clearing that stretched out towards the vast sea and opened sky. The sandstone flooring continued on until the edge, where stone parapet balustrade lined them; to prevent a similar fate of Theseus. The smell of sea salt and breeze was stronger here, with the sun beating down on them. The soft cries of seagulls can be heard as they are seen gliding in the distance. In the corner, a reflective glint of bodied steel along with three resting feathered creatures were taking shelter under the grateful shade of a looming tower.

“Have you made your decision?”

“To join the war? I’ll need more time to think about it.”

“Very well. But do know we won’t leave without an answer. If you will, I shall excuse myself.”

Odysseus left towards the seen figures with a mumble, something about how wasn’t his companion already cooked under the sun in that ridiculous armor of his.

Achilles takes a glance back, taking in the sight of the rest of palace; elevated, grand, magnificent and tall. It stands out from above the cliff with thick, white washed walls and rounded towers, slightly weathered from the ages. A curtain wall of the same colour surrounds most of the palace along with -and as Achilles recalls on his first visit, a towering gatehouse at its entrance. The roofs were navy blue just like the ocean before them. Most of the windows were arched and large; sunlight was most welcomed here. Beyond the castle was a valley flanked with plateaus and mountains. This was where most of Skyros’ water source comes from. The river cuts through the palace and into the central courtyard before dispersing into series of various small canals, rolling over the cliffs into waterfalls.

He closes his eyes and paces off. He needs time to think. Odysseus words rang in his head. He told him to think about the people and the innocent lives that could be lost. Achilles had merely been in Skyros for a few days. The King was a prideful coward and the princesses were annoying and spoiled; he has no attachment to this place. The only reason he was here because the Queen of Pythia, his mother, had wanted to hid him after the recent rumours of war that might involve him. He doesn’t understand why. He would have been glad to bring back glory, much what his Father would have expected. Perhaps he could think of his family and people instead. Pythia wasn’t far off from Skyros either.

He hears the muffled roar of water, streaming from one of the canals before gushing down onto the bottomless sea. The sea. It was something familiar to him as he grew up around the sea. It brings him back to when he was child. The back end of the castle in Pythia had led towards the shore. Rough, grainy sand crushed under small feet with the waves rolling and foaming around him. And by his side, was another pair of feet. Another child. There was joy and fun between them both. And that child’s name was—

Achilles halted, his eyes fluttered open at the sound of approaching footsteps. The memories faded, now focusing on the present. The figure was a boy about his age, with short, tufts of russet hair, sun kissed skin and emerald eyes. He was shorter than Achilles. An ash brown cloth hung loosely from one shoulder, partially shrouding his dark clothes. His gaze was hardened, lips parted, as if he had wanted to say something.

—Patroclus. Yes, that was the child’s name.

And they were standing right before him.


(I would like to thank art history for the columns and arches – and yes, arches are Romans but then again, I’m not going for historically accurate lawl)

<<< Chapter 2

Chapter 4 >>>

Of Huraffes and Horses

Why Kaie’s world? Because it’s Jeff and Bonty.

First and foremost, I can’t believe I did this but what’s done is done. The theme of this world is very very different from the theme of my world. So I had fun writing something quirky and out of the usual. Great way to release stress as well.


“Hello! My name is Booma. Will you help me get to the Inter-Galactic Horse Race?”” A voice introduces himself to a lone Huraffe on world #73. Said Huraffe had just wanted to water his vegetables, especially his carrots, in peace. He never expected his garden to be invaded by a horse with a handsome huraffe face; as handsome as Huraffe Frad Fitt.

“My name is Brawlahallahahalibaba.”  Because it was basic courtesy to introduce yourself back. ”But you can just call me George.” When George had performed the basic 101 of introducing themselves like any civilised Huraffe would, they can now proceed to be nosy and rude. “Why does a horse have a Huraffe face!?” George squawked. Had he accidentally drank a bottle of detergent again and went high?

Well, George here posed a very good question: Why did a horse have a Huraffe face? And as the screen zoomed out and beyond the fourth wall, we can see the Author, clutching her phone in her hand whilst looking at an image of a weird Japanese game application, perhaps involving a certain horse with a human head— She continues to stare at the screen with dead fish eyes, whispering to herself in agony. “Why did I chose to write about this.”

In conclusion, even the Author doesn’t know the answer and begins to ponder about poor life decisions.

But let us zoom back into the story before the hole in the fourth wall gets any bigger.

“What are you talking about? I am merely a horse.” Yes, Booma had the perfect equine form. Four hooved legs, with a swishing tail and a huraffe face– Booma tilts his head in question at an awkward angle. It couldn’t be helped that Huraffes had long necks that Booma had to bend his horse neck back just to look up at the other. Luckily, Booma has a specially evolved, flexible horse neck. Reasons why its neck hasn’t yet snapped into two.

George still thinks he’s high on detergent, but it doesn’t bother him that much anymore. George decides to be a kind and courteous Huraffe and invites his new companion to lunch.

Steamed carrots was served. Booma expressed his love for carrots and George’s excellent taste buds. George prefers using  knives, forks and plates. Booma prefers chopsticks and bowls. Both species were able to accept each other’s eating customs. They picked up their cutlery with ease, putting shame to any cutlery-holding-skilled homo-sapiens. Especially Booma. Who needs hands when you have hooves like these.hooves

They conversed over lunch; how Booma was a racehorse that got lost on his way to the Inter-Galactic Horse Race on World #707; how George once accidentally set his washing machine on fire when it was suppose to be filled with water; how the sparkles that radiate from Booma’s handsome huraffe face was a natural phenomenon; how George think his neck is strong, manly and ready enough for a neck piercing, and so on and so forth.

When lunch was over and George was about to send Booma on his merry way to find the Inter-Galatical World Teleportation For Lost Race Horse or IGWTFLRH for short -apparently, racehorses do get lost a lot while traveling between worlds and conveniently, there was one here at world #73, a small spaceship whizzed down from the sky, towards the two figures standing in front of the house.

Inside the very said spaceship was another horse with a even equally handsome huraffe face. It was, Nyuuma! Booma’s rival racehorse! Nyuuma rolled down the windows of his spaceship, stuck his head out and began taunting Booma with a loud, horsey whine.

“NYEEEHAH! Booma, you fool! It was I, Nyuuma! Who crashed your spaceship and made you stranded here. Now, I shall eliminate you so that you’ll be late for the horserace and I can finally take first place once and for all and foreveEERRAAHHHHHH–”  Nyuuma had forgotten that they were on world #73 where Huraffes had loonnnnng necks. He had crashed his spaceship into George’s neck, resulting in it hurtling to the ground.

“Ouch.” cried George. It hurt like an ant bite. Wait. Now hold on. I know what you’re thinking. WHY DIDN’T GEORGE’S NECK SNAPPED INTO TWO-

Cue the Author, desperately pulling up google search, screenshoting evidence and shoving the pictures through the hole of the broken fourth wall.

Alas, (somewhat) biological proof:

giraffe-neck

But who is the Author kidding. We’re talking about Huraffes here. They get piercings on their neck for crying out loud.

“G-George! You’ve saved me from being totally blasted into oblivion and beyond!” Booma looks up at George with grateful, sparkly eyes, batting his eyelashes like some high school huraffe girl. George, meanwhile, was having difficulties trying to raise his long-but-not-as-long-as-his-neck-arms to reach the itch on his neck.

“Oh. Uh. No problem! I guess!” George was confused, though he felt somewhat heroic, even though he hasn’t have a clue what had just happened. Booma begins to drag the unconscious body of Nyuuma out from the still perfectly intact spaceship before chucking his nemesis into a nearby trashcan. Exactly where he belongs. Why not chuck the Author in as well–

As Booma was about to depart on his newly, sacked spaceship, he asks his newfound friend to do the customary friendship walk of departure between inter-galactic species. And so, their hooves/once-hooves-but-are-now-genetically-mutated-hands touched, hooves in hands, as two silhouettes walked off into the setting sun.

The walk didn’t last long as the spaceship was just a foot in front of them.

The end.

( I must have been high to wrote this. )

Till- Chapter Two: Authority

“Just what is the meaning of this?!” Came a shrill cry as the one of the doors slammed open and out came a lady donned in a vibrant dark blue dress. Her auburn hair was disheveled, dress unkempt from struggling as she was being dragged by the guards against her will. “Unhand me, you filth!”

When she finally managed to tore herself free, all eyes in the room were on her. Everyone who was from the palace were present in the room; from the ladies-in-waiting to the simple gardener. The young lady was rendered speechless and startled by the sight.

“Deidamia, my eldest daughter.” The King regarded her despite the unruly entrance. “How fortunate it is that you can finally join us all.”

“Father! What is happening?” The princess cried as shame coloured her cheeks.

Instead of giving an explanation, the elder simply gestured for her to gather by the rest of her sisters. All seven of them. They snickered at her foolishness. Begrudgingly with contempt, she did what she was told with her head held high and proud, not before trying to make herself at least presentable, like a bird preening itself.

“We have guests!” One of them muttered. “They’re the reason why we were all dragged here.” Another added to their hushed gossip. Deidamia decides to give a loud, haughty outburst. “And just who gave them the authority to order us around?! Don’t they know they are within OUR reign?”

“Deidamia!” The king’s deep voice boomed within the walls of the room, his tone filled with warning. The servants held their breath along with the rest of the seven younger princesses. Deidamia was close to retorting back.

Odysseus raised a hand up in dismissal, to excuse the girl’s rude behavior. He can’t help but to feel a tiny pang of pity at how easily the king can be pushed around. Of course, that was none of his concern. Not wanting matters to escalate into petty arguments, he speaks up. “Why, under the orders of King Melenaus of Sparta.” This effectively shuts the eldest Princess up. Odysseus was pleased. The Princess was not. Diomedes, his taller and sturdier companion of the trio can only give a small huff of disapproval at the abuse of power. His armor clinked as he crossed his arms.

“Your highness, I could have sworn remembering you had seven daughters instead of eight.” Odysseus couldn’t help but to point out this very simple observation of his.

Deidamia leered at the tallest of them all with disdain.

 

The tallest had long, scarlet locks cascading down to frame her face, and with eyes of pure blue as though reflecting the colour of the sky at day. There was great beauty in her, albeit her height and broad shoulders. She was dressed in a red flowing dress with its ends skirting the floor. Oddly, instead of reacting to the scornful gaze of Deidamia, her focus was elsewhere or rather on someone else. Her hands were balled up, clutching the sides of her dress as she stared intensely at the youngest of the three companions.

Said youngest of the three had been distracted the entire time, his gaze, wary yet searching, flitted from one servant to another. No, not, nope. Not them Nor them. There was a mixture of fear and expectation each time he moves on to another face. As he steered his gaze towards the princesses, there was a pause of hesitation. The tallest one. His eyes studied her feature, there was something uncannily familiar about her. And when their eyes met, everything made sense.

Green and blue eyes were locked onto each other. The former was filled with uncertainty and doubt, widening later with recognition and panic. The latter remained narrowed, a steady look of resentment growing. The atmosphere between them was taut, both gaze unable to tear away from each other. Though, it might have gone unnoticed by the rest as the King, meanwhile, had been trying to reassure Odysseus that it was a mistake before diverting everyone’s attention towards the gifts, encouraging his daughters to take a look.

Odysseus snapped the younger out of his transfixed state with a harsh whisper. “Patroclus. Is Achilles here?”

Patroclus took a moment to gather himself, averted his gaze, before replying with an unsteady voice. “Uh, no.”

Odysseus raised a brow up, suspicious and unconvinced. He directed his view at the excitement coming from the pile of gifts. The princesses were fishing out gleaming earrings, necklaces and such, ordering their servants to come forth with mirrors so they can vainly admire themselves. Everything seemed normal except the odd behaviour from one of them that was unable to escape the watchful eyes of Odysseus. One of the girls had been secretly taking sidelong glances towards the pile of weapons instead.

Odysseus glanced to his left, caught Diomedes attention and gave a nod. The latter, understanding the hidden command, discreetly signaled to the soldiers at the rear end. They swiftly exited the room and moments later a trumpet blast was heard followed by more. The song of incoming war was playing.

The entire room was turned upside down. It was filled with the blur of people, mostly servants rushing about in terror to escape. The king was up on his feet. His guards close and surrounding him. Even Patroclus and the rest of the soldiers were on guard, grasping their weapons for battle. The princesses shrieked and fled for safety. All but one. She had snatched a sword and a shield from the pile with ease, before taking stance, a look of fiery and readiness to fight. The once red haired beauty; now replaced with short, boyish tousled golden locks as the red wig was knocked aside and left abandoned on the ground. The disguise gone. This wasn’t a princess. This was a prince. In a torn dress.

In the midst of the chaos, Odysseus and Diomedes, still remaining where they once stood, took in the sight with baffled amusement. There was a brief recall, a scene earlier this morning, where they were betting on the success of this plan despite how crazy it was. Diomedes now owns Odysseus a pack of smoke rolls.

“Is that Achilles, Odysseus?”

“It is so, Diomedes.”

They have managed to fish our their prey into revealing themselves; Achilles, Prince of Pythia and also a young and rumored skillful fighter of these lands.


Extra:

we-are-number-one

[To be honest, I chose to write about this story because of this scene.
Funfact: Achilles in the greek mythology was really disguised as a girl.]

<<< Chapter 1

Chapter 3 >>>

Till- Chapter One: Home

“Promise you’ll never leave.”
Green eyes gazed back at blue ones, belonging to a young boy just of his age.
He grasped the outstretched pinkie of the other’s with his own.
A pinkie swear.
A childish promise made.
“Never. Till death do us part.”


skyros1

Ships of all sizes were docked at the port and the usual, daily hustle and bustle can be seen. Travelers and traders from afar were unpacking their goods, ready to show off their wares to the locals of Skyros. In exchange, the marketplace was lined up with stalls of food and busied sellers, ready to serve the weary traveling customers. The harbour is the main reason why the kingdom of Skyros was thriving well. The citizens lived a carefree life, untainted by any events of wars so far. This is due to the king’s persistence in maintaining diplomatic ties with their neighbouring kingdoms. Such was the result of years of peace and harmony. Though there is the occasional theft from a pickpocket or two within the city itself, it causes not much of a concern at all. In all, Skyros was a city where life moves in a slow-pace. However, that very image of tranquility was to be shattered at a palace that was situated on a cliff, overlooking the entire kingdom. It was home to the Royal household of Skyros

“And why is it, may I ask, that an urgent audience was to be seek abruptly?”

A middle aged man, with dirty blonde hair messily tied back into a small bun and a stubble spotting his face, stepped forward to give his respect. His footsteps resonated around the hushed, spacious throne room until he was noticeably standing right in the middle of it,

“Apologies, your highness.” The man hoped to appease the other before introducing himself. ”I, Odysseus, have an important request from Menelaus, King of Sparta.”

The silence broke into harsh murmurs among the few servants. The King of Skyros perked up from his seat, attentive. Sparta was somewhere further down south of Skyros. Despite the distance, being allies rather than rivals was much preferred with such a huge and strong Kingdom.

“And what is it?” The King egged on, gesturing for the other to continue with a small roll of his hand.

“A request that Achilles be handed over to us.”

Silence once again befall in the room, leading to a slow built up of confusion and tension in the air. The clueless servants watched on, though Odysseus was quick enough to spot the visible stiffen from the King himself. The latter stuttered.

“I…I don’t quite understand-”

“Achilles. Prince of Pythia. Son of King Peleus and Queen Thetis.” Odysseus went on, straightforward as ever, as if mocking the other’s act of being puzzled.

“…I can assure you that there is no such person-”

“We have information that the Prince of Pythia has taken residence in your household.” He give a brief glance behind him. A figure moved from somewhere within his own companions, flinching. Odysseus then focus his attention back onto the King. “We request that you have everyone gathered here right away, your highness.”

In disbelief of the other’s ridicule behavior towards him, the King could only gape in bewilderment. He was still King! He deserves an ounce of respect at least rather than being ordered around as the other so please to do so! Especially in his own kingdom!

However, Odysseus wasted no more time before turning around, signalling for the rest of his followers to do as he has instructed them to beforehand. Soon, soldiers after soldiers piled the ground right in front of him with jewelries, of fine gemstones and crystals. Along later, came weapons and shields made from the most skillful smiths. The last of the soldiers were followed by a well-built warrior clad in armor and a meek, average looking boy with a worn-out cloth draped around his neck, one end hanging loosely over his shoulder. Both of them took their positions right by Odysseus, though the boy seemed reluctant to do so, as if he yearned to stay in the shadows.

chap1

Still sullen with anger, though mostly dissipated upon the sight and greed for treasures and the fear of soldiers, the King arched a brow up in question.

“It’ll be rude as a guest not to present gifts while visiting someone’s home. A gift from King Menelaus to the royal household of Skyros.” Odysseus explained with a simper.

Why how cunning…!

There was a moment of contemplation before the King eventually beckoned one of the servants to make the announcement within the palace.


Chapter 2 >>>

 

Research – The Trojan War

Ayyy, from on my title, my story will be loosely(?) based on the Greek Mythology : The Trojan war. However, the world of will be that of a slight fantasy twist. Slight because it is already a fantasy kind of story. I will also somehow butcher the original myth. So I apologise to anyone who’s a greek mythology fan.

Reason why I chose to do this is that I am currently working on a personal project that spins around a certain greek mythology and eh, why not just work on another. And I’ve been wanting to do one that focuses on Achilles. Only because after reading some facts about him that I find him to be a pretty interesting character.

(I may edit this page from time to time.)

Brief intro on what the story is about:

Melenaus’s wife, Helen, has been kidnapped by a dude named Paris. Both of them are kings of different kingdoms.  Melenaus decides to evoke the Oath, a pact made years before that the unsuccessful suitors of Helen would agree to defend the winning suitor in any quarrel. This very Oath had been suggested by Odysseus, a potential suitor at that time, to prevent disharmony among themselves.

As the Oath has been evoked, warriors and fighters had been gathered, especially those who partook in the Oath. However, an oracle had warned them that in order to win the war, they must get the most skillful and powerful fighters within their lands. Hence, began the quest to round them up. Among the powerful fighters was a rumored boy named Achilles. So far, they haven’t been successful in locating him until they met someone by the name of Patroclus, who seemed to have a past-connection with him.


Inspirations and References:

Bravely default/Bravely Second
(I’ve been playing this game recently, so perhaps most of my inspiration has been coming from it)

Image result for bravely default

Image result for bravely second

Image result for bravely second and default background

Flying ship concept. Something which I want to include.

Image result for bravely second and default background

And the outfits/character designs.

(ROBES. ACK. NOPE. I’m not going for historically accurate clothes hahahaha. I don’t want a story of a bunch of greek dudes in robes walking about only having to change into their armors because of war.)

Image result for bravely second and default characters

Image result for bravely second and default characters

(Fanart – I can’t find the original source/artist)

Granblue fantasy

http://gematsu.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Cygames-Boss-GBF-PS4-No-Comment.jpg

http://gematsu.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Granblue-Project-Re-Link-Ann.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/mveaCOh.jpg

Somehow similar to the worlds in animus like Re:Zero, SAO and Fairytail. I’m going for a similar fantasy world concept. So Fantasy RPG-ish? Is that the right word, psh.

So is there magic (because Re:Zero and Fairytail)? Yes. But only to a certain limitation I guess.

Image result for re zero

Image result for re zero starting life in another world city

I might go with the concept of magic crystals. They are form in certain mountainous caves where water and sunlight meet, either through a crack or slit on the cave’s ceilings/walls. The magic properties comes from the crystals soaking up the earth’s power, as the people believe that the earth is magical and abundant of lives, leading to the creation of fascinating creatures and such. That’s where people can harness and use their energy, for flying ships, etc. and are rechargeable by the sun’s light.

Image result for magic crystals

Possible Creatures (Few examples. I might end up meshing some creatures to create something up) :

Hippogriffs:

Image result for hippogriff

Hippogriffs are mostly found along the coastlines and mountainous regions. They mainly prey on fishes, due to their waterproof feathers. They do occasionally feed on bigger creatures and can take down beasts as strong as them. They are normally seen in small groups.

Pegasus. Especially since they’re kind of one of the more iconic greek mythology creatures.

Image result for pegasus art

Image result for pegasus art

Pegasus are considered rare winged horses that only the rich and upper class can own them. They’re much more harder to them than normal horses.

My original story concept, I had wanted to do something that revolves around the Aspidochelone or Asp-turtle. But naaaah, I couldn’t really think of anything to do with it. I was partly inspired at that time to make a story like The last Guardian. But I may feature it because I still like the concept of the Asp-turtle.

Image result for aspidochelone

Image result for aspidochelone whale

Ships:
Flying ones!

Image result for flying ships fantasy

Image result for flying ships and cities

Image result for maplestory flying shipClassic Maplestory flying ships

Mizael Tengu

Gazeraz Alchemist - concept by *MizaelTengu on deviantART:

Akihiko Yoshida

Image result for Akihiko Yoshida character designImage result for Akihiko Yoshida character design

(I bet you weren’t expecting all of this because of the featured image hahahaha)

Final Project: Let there be light!

I had the opportunity to work with Celine on this project and based on our modular construction, we tested them out first under lighting to see how it will turn out to be like. (More can be seen from Celine’s post so do check it out as well!)

Since my modular construction was based off the SEM image of cat fur, it looked something like this:

img-20161020-wa0017

I like how the colours turned out to be! Especially the pink!

The process of combining both our work was a long one. Only because we had no idea how to do so since our models were almost similar and we like how both our models looked like when there’s lighting so we decided not to change the materials we used.

So combined along with Celine’s (hers was based off butterfly wings), we decided to use hers as a base structure while mine is to be added onto. We had to cut each petal-like piece individually as a template was impossible to be used on corrugated paper. That was the time my hands and fingers felt the pain of true hard work.

img_20161110_170756 img_20161110_170721

Celine managed to turn my layers into ruffles instead and they looked really pretty! So I sewed some ruffles to be added onto. We decided to add some felt petals as well.

img-20161111-wa0003Rough design sketch

img-20161114-wa0009Sewing the ruffles

img-20161114-wa0011 img-20161114-wa0007It looks really prettttty!

The result (more pretty pictures can be seen on Celine’s post!):

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Extra pictures (Thank Calista!):

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-Cue the opening of Lion King- When your lampshade becomes a peach.