Poetry: I’m in a Battle Against Myself

I’m in a battle against myself
When I want to grasp at anything
My lack of action starts to sting
Because I want to rise to be a king

I’m in a battle against myself
Inaction and a lack of power
Dark clouds blocking off my flower
Needing sunlight, in only for an hour

I’m in a battle against myself
Stand tall and make window
Type up something quite low
It’s the only way to truly know


Digital Art: Character Art in Inkscape

I tried to draw Jessica in Inkscape. I enjoyed the experiment, even if I don’t quite like the results. I didn’t quite understand how to make the hair, especially the bangs and where the hair trails off the picture at the bottom, and I probably should have put more effort into the highlights than I did. On the other hand, I liked figuring out how to make the elegant lines that make up her cheek and chin, that define the sides of her face and the boundary of her neck.

But the real problem was that I was trying to use Inkscape for something it’s not meant for. Inkscape is meant to create pictures and images that can easily be resized, while character art, done correctly, should be able to work even if it’s displayed blurry, as when somebody looks at it in the wrong resolution. However, I learned enough from making this piece for it to be worthwhile, although now I want to learn to make some icons.

If you like this picture, please support the House Apart on Patreon.

Shattered Worlds: Ainsophor, the World of Knowledge

All of the knowledge of the Shattered Worlds finds its way to Ainsophor. Every book, every letter, every rumor whispered on the wind appears there eventually, sometimes because it was brought there on purpose, sometimes because the one carrying the information got lost and stumbled in there, and sometimes by a mysterious process that no one understands.

The peoples of Ainsophor have built vast libraries to hold all of those words, buildings so large that entire civilizations can live within them. Entire citadels and prisons have been built for no reason that to hold the stores of knowledge of those that live inside them. The thick walls of these buildings are of great use to those that fear the raids of the goat-headed Hrothgors.

The Hrothgors also desire knowledge, but they do not simply read books. Instead of writing things down, the gors carve great stone idols, and place them on high hills. These idols can store knowledge itself, waiting for the gors to place experiences and memories directly into their heads. The gors soon forget what they learn from the idols, but it’s enough for them to build siege engines that can crack the walls of a library-citadel.

And cracking those walls is needed for the idols to work. Each idol is inert until it is filled with knowledge, and this can only be done by spilling the blood of the learned upon the idols. The gors do not raid merely for food and materials, but they also tear scholars away from their work and their homes, all to increase the wisdom of the gors.

There’s no reason for the Hrothgors to wait for scholars to come to their world…

If you like this story, please support the House Apart on Patreon.

Art: The 501st Post

This is the 501st post I’ve made, and I bought some markers to celebrate. I noticed that the black had a tendency to bleed into the other colors. This is especially noticeable with the yellow, but there’s a bit of it with the red, too. I wonder if letting the black dry before I move on to the other colors would prevent that. Regardless, I’m going to have to practice with markers to really get a feel for them.

As for how long I’ve been doing this, well, I’ve come to realize that I’m horrified at the thought of disappointing people. Even back when nobody was reading, I still hated the thought of somebody looking in and seeing that I missed the post. I guess that this is my way of saying that you people are the reason I keep writing and drawing. I’m not sure how to feel about that.

If you like this picture, please support the House Apart on Patreon.

Shattered Worlds: Arwan, the World of Mists

Arwan is a world so shrouded in mist that even fire looks like a blur in the distance. Visitors often get lost here, and the shadows in the mists make maps all but useless. Some say that the land itself moves around, so that mountains can one day be replaced by forests or oceans. Those that grew up in Arwan, however, never seem to have trouble finding their way around.

But there are things in the mists that move around. Sometimes, the shadows of animals can be much larger than the actual beasts, and the currents of magic can even produce illusions from nothing in the fog. Stranger still is how things are sometimes smaller than they appear, or how one person can seem like many.

The mist ogres have found a way to exploit this. Entire warbands can hide in the mists. When their enemies draw near, they crouch down, and lie close to the ground. Their wizards can cast spells of deception, making it seem like the ogres are nothing more than rocks and trees. When someone approaches, thinking they are walking into things that are small and few in number, the ogres rise up and strike.

The ogres loom above their prey, eight feet tall and hungry for the flesh of humans or elves or even vermin. When ogres strike, whether with club or blade, they try to leave the body intact, so that it can be brought back to their fires and butchered into well formed slabs of meat. While ogres do fight for possessions and material goods, the thing they truly desire is to devour thinking beings, to place their bodies on spits and to roast them slowly until the meat falls right off the bone.

I don’t think the mist ogres will restrain their appetites to Arwan any time soon…

If you like this story, please support the House Apart on Patreon.

Poetry: Hollow Shell

I don’t want to live a hollow shell
Path of dreams, I cannot tell
Empty path, from which I fell
I don’t want to live a hollow shell

I don’t want to live a hollow shell
Trembling I do not wish to quell
A thing between here and hell
I don’t want to live a hollow shell

I don’t want to live a hollow shell
I reach out for the final knell
Of the forsaken funeral bell
I don’t want to live a hollow shell.


Pixel Art: Super Deformed Sprite

I’m playing with proportions still, and this time, I tried something deliberately out of proportion. I used Piskel’s ability to change the dimensions of the drawing field for this one. I started by drawing the head on a 32 by 32 drawing field, and then I changed the dimensions to 32 wide and 64 tall, so that there was a second 32 by 32 square beneath the head. If the body seems longer than the head, that’s probably just an effect of me not using the entire square for the body, leaving it narrower than the head.

If you like this picture, please support the House Apart on Patreon.

Shattered Worlds: Tsinkhitastu, the World of the Wild

Tsinkhitastu is dominated by beasts, with whatever thinking life there is merely living out of the animals’ way. Great herds of deer, goat, and bovine wander the world, tearing down whatever artificial boundary is put in their ancestral path, while packs of carnivores and solitary hunters alike prey upon the herds, following them in their yearly motions.

Within this drama, smaller creatures make their lives. Squirrels and rodents flit about, grabbing at what seeds and grass they can find while dodging the jaws of serpents and eagles. Bugs, from the tiniest gnat to the largest ettercop, fly, crawl, and nest across Tsinkhitastu, as the waters are filled with fish and frogs and other swimming things.

But all of these are nothing to the great God-Beasts of Tsinkhitastu. All living things tremble at the God-Beasts approach, if only for the quaking of the ground beneath them. It is on the backs of the God-Beasts that the only cities of the Wild World are built, for only the God-Beasts, high above the rest of the animals, can protect civilization from the chaos below.

But even these mighty creatures can be brought down. The varg riders, the goblins of Tsinkhitastu, care nothing of the dangers their beasts pose. There are few among them that don’t bear the scars from being bitten by their wolves, and those are the ones that were not eaten outright. The shamans of the goblins will even let the ettercops bite them on purpose, for this is how they work their magic.

The venom of the ettercops does strange thing to the mind of the shaman. Divorced from its body, the mind is free to wander the world, seeing through the eyes of other life. This mind fusion can affect even the God-Beasts. While the shaman is one with the giant, he can make the beast stumble, as if he was doing little more than a tapping it on the knee, sending it tumbling, leaving the cities above to be attacked by the varg riders.

I dread the day that the shamans make the God-Beasts do more than stumble.

If you liked this story, please support the House Apart on Patreon.