From The Jackals To The Shepherds 34: Queen of Clubs


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The poet this week is Yone Noguchi:

Make your calls to make the world a better place:


The Woods:


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Battlebards Tracks used:

Elven Dirge – Farewell – Score Music – Philippe Payet

Elven Dirge – I Nainie A Nierme Uuvea – Score Music – Mike Bridge

Dark Elf Temple – Ode to Submission – Score Music – Cameron Last


For a long time, we were at war with The Jackals. But now, we’ve driven them off, and we have this – a year of relative peace. In this moment, there is an opportunity to build something.

A week has passed.

At night the Universe grows lean, sober-faced, of intoxication, the shadow of the half-sphere curtains down closely against our world, like a doorless cage, and the stillness chained by wrinkled darkness strains throughout the Universe to be free. Listen, frogs in the pond, (the world is a pond itself) cry out for the light, for the truth! The curtains rattle ghostily along, bloodily biting our souls, the winds knocking on our cabin doors with their shadowy hands.

Rattled wind comes not only from outside our homes, however. The tragedy of Autumn’s harsh storm these past weeks pulling down our attempts at a hospital reveals itself to us now. Safwan’s cough no longer plagues them, but others in our community lack the fortitude of youth. Wheezes, coughs, hacking rings through our community and echoes off bare wooden walls of the old mining community. Influenza is autumn’s friend, the cycle of yearly contagion does not skip our community.

The strongest among us abandon the project to consolidate housing for the week to ensure the available warm beds are given to the sick and those who need comfort the most. With the grace of fortune we do not lose any lives this week to the disease, but all progress stops in every other area while we care for the sick. As the disease washes through us quickly, Llyana puts xer hands to use. Caring for the sick is a farmer’s skill after all, regardless of if the sick are humans or livestock. Xe takes xer new duties seriously, and at the end of the week, when we all return more or less to the land of health, xe sits at the top of the hill overlooking our community center, as the sun dips behind the mountains and the last rays sparkle over the Jewel of Gerrard.

And victor of life and silence, xe stands upon the Heights; triumphant, with upturned eyes, xe stands, and smiles unto the sun, and sings a beautifully sad farewell unto the dying day. And xer thoughts and the eve gather their serpentine mysteries around xem, xer thoughts like alien breezes, the eve like a fragrant legend. Xer feeling is that xe stands as one serenely poised for flight, as a muse of golden melody and lofty grace. Yea, xe stands as one scorning the swords and wanton menace of the cities. The sun heavily sinks into the mountains beyond, and leaves xem a tempting sweet and twilight. The eve with trailing shadows westward sweeps on, and the lengthened shadows of trees disappears: how silently the songs of silence steal into xer soul! And still xe stands among the crickets, in the beauteous profundity sung by stars; and xe sees xem softly melted into the eve. The moon slowly rises: xer shadow on the ground dreamily begins a dreamy roam, and xe upward smiles silent welcome.

When we am lost in the deep body of the mist on the hill, the world seems built with us as its pillar! Are we the gods upon the face of the deep, deepless deepness in the Beginning?

We begin a new project at the end of the week, for if we are to bring everyone under the same roofs, we need more lumber, stronger lumber as well, to hold the warmth of winter in. We hear the call of a copse of pine trees, we hear them upon the hill, by the silent river where the lotus flowers bloom, we hear you call, pine tree. What is it you call, pine tree, when the rain falls, when the winds blow, and when the stars appear, what is it you call, pine tree? We hear you call, pine tree, but we are blind, and do not know how to reach you, pine tree. Who will take us to you, pine tree?

And a week passes.

Thank you for joining us for the thirty fourth episode of From The Jackals To The Shepherds. If you like this show please give us a rating on iTunes, tell a friend, or share us on social media. As always the intro for the show was read by Dave Lapru, who is also our mapkeeper. You can find Dave on twitter at plantbird, and I’m at leviathan files. This week’s poet is Yone Noguchi. Please consider visiting our website at Riverhouse Games dot com, or supporting this show and other Riverhouse Games work on Patreon at patreon dot com slash Riverhouse Games. Music for this episode was provided by Battlebards dot com.

Listeners, I have a favor to ask of you. In these times there’s a lot that scares me in the world, but we have to stand up as a people and make our voices heard. I ask that you make a few phone calls to your representatives about issues that matter to you. I’ve been using a great website at 5 Calls dot org which provides critical issues, background information, contact info, and even scripts to read while on the phone. Thankfully my representative’s offices have been polite and personable when I call, but if you’re worried about it, or if you experience phone anxiety, there’s an app you can download called Stance, which allows you to pre-record your statement, which it will then deliver straight to the representative’s voicemail. Today I’m calling to urge my representatives to STOP THE GOP GIVEAWAY TO CORPORATIONS AND THE WEALTHY

The goal of the House Republicans’ tax reform plan, dubbed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, is clear: to provide corporations and the ultra-wealthy as many tax breaks as possible. The bill would permanently lower the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20%, gradually phase out the estate tax (which applies to estates with over $5.6 million in assets), and eliminate the alternative minimum tax (AMT) immediately. The AMT only applies to people who make more than roughly $130,000 a year; Trump paid an additional $31 million in taxes solely because of the AMT in 2005. Meanwhile, this plan offers no tax breaks to the bottom 35% of Americans and will increase the deficit by a whopping $1.5 trillion over the next decade. This deficit will in turn necessitate future cuts to critical government programs like Medicaid and Medicare; the Congressional Budget Office found the House tax bill would force a $25 billion cut to Medicare in 2018 alone.

To cover the revenue shortfall from slashing taxes for the wealthy and big businesses, the GOP will eliminate a multitude of itemized tax deductions that typically offer relief to middle-class consumers, including deductions for student loan interest, adoption costs, alimony payments, and extremely high medical costs. As a result, any middle-class consumer who adopts a child, has costly student loans, pays more than 10% of their income on medical costs, and/or has multiple children could pay more under this plan. The larger standard deduction also means that middle class consumers have less of an incentive to donate to charity, hurting non-profit charitable organizations in the process. Further, the bill would eliminate tax incentives for using renewable energy while preserving tax shelters for the fossil fuel industry.

Meanwhile, this plan offers no tax breaks to the bottom 35% of Americans, and the bill’s massive deficit will necessitate future cuts to critical government programs like Medicare and Medicaid. The GOP claims their plan is designed to cut taxes for the middle class, but it is clear that their primary goal is helping the wealthy avoid paying their fair share in taxes. If implemented, these changes would result in the transfer of wealth from the working class to the rich and will continue to exacerbate income inequality in this country. Bottom line, this plan is a raw deal for Americans.

Please make your calls to help make our world a better place. Thank you, I love you, and I’m proud of you in advance.

And until next week, I hope your week goes well.

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