From The Jackals To The Shepherds 36: Ace of Clubs

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6F670778-04A9-47A3-8719-29D397530A4CThe poet this week is T.E. Hulme:

Make your calls to make the world a better place:



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Battlebards Tracks used:

Elven Dirge – Farewell – Score Music – Philippe Payet


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.

The scratch of pen on paper, the ring of hammer on nail, and the sound of warm laughter in the autumn air ring an echo in our ears of Drach’s absence. Idle hands lead to idle hearts he was fond of saying, and we know that if we took more than a moment to focus on his fate that the idle heart of grief would drown. We focus our efforts on a central project, as those few of us gathering wood soon become those many of us and we decide to step up our efforts. We add on to the project to bring down those trees large enough to sustain the fires in our empty homes as a way of paying tribute to his loss, and the circle of pines watch, at night their faces turn to each other and babble their speculative mourning.

Eileen watches the community throw their strength into this project, remembering her time with Drach in the spring following Jules and Gerrard’s deaths. Lighthearted they had walked into the valley wood in the time of hyacinths, till beauty like a scented cloth cast over, stifled them, bound motionless and faint of breath by loveliness that is her own eunuch.

Now Eileen passes to the final river ignominiously, in a daze, without sound.

The creak of a falling tree fills all our ears as we watch another fall to be cut in smaller bits by the town. Llyana helps pull the sickly trunk clear of the line and as ze stretches zer back, ze look to the moon hanging high in the fall sky.

Beauty is the marking-time, the stationary vibration, the feigned ecstasy of an arrested impulse unable to reach its natural end.

Llyana, whose bent form the sky in archèd circle is, seems ever for an unknown grief to mourn. Yet today we hear zer cry of weariness of the roses and the singing poets. Ze wipes away sweat of hard work and sets about cracking boughs and splitting knots.

A touch of cold in the Autumn night – the terrifying girl who has been with us a long time walks abroad, and she sees the ruddy moon lean over a hedge like a red-faced farmer.
She does not stop to speak, but nods, and round about the wistful stars blink, and send white faces like town children. As the light of the stars touch the split trunks of the ancient yet ascetic trees the transforming girl who has been with a long time lifts her hands and picks iridescent scales from between her fingers. She turns her luned eyes to the moon watching down. The clearing grows larger this cycle.

We start a new project, the last we will start before winter comes. The excess of lumber affords us the resources to rebuild our food stores, and perhaps this time the building will stay upright. To counter the failings of the last attempt, we dig deep for the foundation. The scraping of steel tools on frozen earth echoes in a blue cave, and scaled eyes open, reptilian nostrils breath blue mist through a cave, and a Creature stirs.

Thank you for joining us for the thirty sixth 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 T.E. Hulme. 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 needs doing in the world, and 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. You can also use ResistBot, a free service that emails or faxes your representatives based on text messages you send through the service. Calling makes the biggest difference, but it’s a smart strategy to cover your bases. A polite and persistent approach across multiple mediums is the way to go. Today I’m calling to urge my representatives to stop final passage of the disastrous Republican tax bill.

Around 2am on December 2nd, the Senate voted 51-49 to pass H.R. 1, the Republicans’ sweeping, multi-trillion dollar tax bill. Bob Corker (R-TN) was the only GOP Senator to vote No, citing the bill’s massive and consistently-reported $1.4 trillion deficit increase as a dealbreaker. In a major departure from procedural norms, Senate GOP leadership waited until only a few hours of floor debate remained to unveil the final text of the bill (479 pages, filled with illegible notes and changes written by lobbyists), preventing senators, nonpartisan analysts, and the American public from understanding the bill’s widespread effects before the vote took place.

The House and Senate have now each passed differing versions of H.R. 1, setting up two potential paths forward for the bill. Either the House will simply vote to pass the Senate’s version, or the two chambers will agree to go to Conference Committee where an identical compromise bill will be agreed upon and sent back to each chamber for another full member floor vote. While the former path leaves little room for change, a Conference Committee creates a window for the bill to be derailed. The chambers may struggle to reconcile differences — ACA individual mandate repeal, child tax credit, estate tax, etc. — or other previously agreed upon caveats may fail in the interim. For example, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), voted for the Senate bill under the condition that two ACA-protecting bills pass first, but the House has offered no guarantees that they will pass either of them.

Regardless of the tax bill’s path forward, the passage of this bill in both chambers has illustrated that Republicans have prioritized lining the pocketbooks of the wealthy and corporations over providing much-needed relief for struggling middle-class families and workers.

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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