The Dark Crystal – The Shape of the Sacred – Chapter 3

Chapter 3 – The Theft of the Daggar

      The Daggar of Absolom had begun to hum the moment Jax had taken it from the pedestal. The glowing was something new though. That had only started after he’d left the Spriton clan territory and entered the Swamp of Sog.

While the rest of the clan was celebrating the addition of his older brother, Jek, to the Spriton brotherhood, the order of warriors, Jax had snuck away in search of Rel.

Jek had never seen war, but then again neither had most of the citizens in the Spriton capitol. Only his uncle Rel had ever known what war truly was. Yes, the Woodland and Spriton Gelflings despised one another, but only Rel had witnessed any violence.

Jax couldn’t understand why the Spriton’s would need an army if they never fought. And it angered him that when one of their own needed them they celebrated instead. Rel had not returned home for almost seven blinks of the Rose Sun. At his old age he must be in trouble, or lost, or worse. Everyone seemed to shrug it off as unimportant and immersed themselves in the decadent celebration that signaled yet another Spriton boy had become a man of the brotherhood.

No one was even guarding the daggar when he went to take it. At first he’d just wanted to address the council of the Dark Woods for guidance and reassurance that Rel was not in danger. He had been one of the strongest and bravest of the brotherhood, but that was long long ago. Instead, Jax arrived to find the chamber still and soundless. At least until he removed the daggar, that’s when the hum began.

Jax stared at the now daggar as the light it cast off drove shadows from the swamp around him. The bark of the weedtrees that lined the path pulsed with pale blue light as he passed, journeying deeper into Sog.

“Rel?” he called out into the blackness beyond the reach of the daggar’s light. “Rel, it’s Jax. Are you okay? Do you need help?”

Jax was four cycles of the Greater Sun away from becoming part of the brotherhood. Well, three and three-quarter cycles as of the last pass of the middle moon. Though seeing how disinterested they were in Rel’s wellbeing he didn’t think the brotherhood was one to which he’d ever wish to belong. It had been almost an entire triad of dark and light since he’d left with the humming, and now glowing, daggar. Two of which were spent still within Spriton territory. Part of him wished that the Order of Warriors would follow after him. That was why he’d gone slower than he would have, something he was now regretting. The time he’d wasted dragging his feet might have put Rel in more danger. He was aware of his slow pace through the Swamp but that was more fear than any voluntary action on his part.

The Swamp of Sog was the womb of terrifying monsters that he’d been warned of again and again.

The Daggar of Absolom began to hum louder with an added nauseating resonance that made his teeth tingle. The weapon’s pulsing blue light shone brighter and lit up more and more of the swamp with each buzzing swell. Around him, the night gurgled and spat stinking plumes of thick mist. The smell was unlike anything he’d encountered. It was so strong it was attacking his thoughts and overpowering his senses. His whole body felt heavy like something was filling him, adding to himself and maybe even taking him over. It was the smell of the swamp. He was sure of it. The light continued to pulse and Jax gripped the hilt of the humming blade tighter in his hand. He used his other hand to press the fabric of his sleeve tightly against his nose. The coughing fit leapt out of nothingness and struck him like a Land Strider hoof to his chest. He couldn’t breathe behind his sleeve, but the scent of the swamp was viscous and heavy and oppressive. It felt like every breath was not a breath but a swallowing of liquid Sog.

He tried to think of something, anything to get his mind off of the taste of the swamp. He tried breathing only through his nose but the liquid air engorged with the stench slithered into his nostrils, scraping along the hairs. It burrowed deeper inside him before dropping down into the chasm that fell away into the larger expanse just before his throat where it rested on the flesh of his tongue.

The fortified walls, his tightly pursed lips and gritted teeth, defending his tongue and taste buds were all for naught. The sneaky liquid scent had circumvented them all the same.

The Siege of Ebrie!

Even old Rel’s hot, sour breath would have been sweetly fragrant aside the swamp. Jax remembered that fled his mouth through the rotted bars of green teeth would have been sweetly fragrant when compared to this noxious swamp. Rel had cackled on through the incomplete cage of teeth about the adventures and terrors from a time now at the mercy of his degrading memory. The time of reverence and respect for the heroic Blue Knight had long ago given way to dismissive and disdainful tolerance. No one believed his stories anymore.

No one but Jax.

He remembered the story of the Siege of Ebrie. Rel would sit by the flames of his hearth and Jax would intently experience Rel’s stories from a meditation mat on the floor.

Missing Link: Knife & Fork You Can Also Use As Chopsticks

Absolutely ingenious idea!!

Via Dornob Designs

Molded rubber with nylon grips, this is not your normal Chinese-restaurant pair of disposable bamboo chopsticks – but does the task at hand warrant holding a new type of hybrid utensil, or simply add complexity to an elegantly simple table setting?

For those of us caught between worlds (curious about chopsticks but unable to handle them as well as Western tablewares), this spring-loaded-style, middle-of-the-road solution by DesignWright makes things a little easier – and addresses the awkward issue of having to ask for ‘regular’ silverware when frustrated. Not quite personalized nor customized, but still a gap-bridging idea for interstitial users-in-training.

A spoon is intentionally left out of the mix – a third-wheel tableware object that a chopstick or two cannot replace anyway. Still, to get the complete picture of what it would be like to eat with these, it would be useful to have that last piece of the puzzle (even if slotting it right into the others is not on the design menu).

And for general fans of minimalist two-in-one design ideas, this same designer-and-brother duo has previously won awards for works like their two-in-one salt-and-pepper shaker – again, just one more way to reduce the number of objects needed to properly set an everyday dinning room table

Lace Manicure DIY

Via The Looks For Less

Lace Manicure DIY Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Yard Lace From A Ribbon Spool
  • A Base Coat
  • A Base Color
  • Non-Permanent Glue
  • Thick Clear Top Coat
  • A Toothpick
  • Wax Paper

To recreate this look, first prep your nails with a base coat and a base color because this DIY does involve glue and you do not want to glue lace directly to your nails. I used Essie’s Protein Base Coat and Color Club’s Who Are You Wearing?. You will want to choose a base color that contrasts well with the color of your lace.

Next, lay the lace over a nail and with a pair of small scissors, we used eyebrow scissors, cut the lace to the size of your nail. You will want the lace to be slightly shorter than the length of your nails – it is very important that it does not extend beyond your nail, else you will not be able to seal it with the top coat. Lay a piece of lace on wax paper, coat the back side with glue using a toothpick, and place the lace on your nail pressing the sides down with the toothpick. We usedHold the Foam! glue because it has an immediate grip, yet allows you to reposition the lace before it dries. Repeat the trim and glue process for your remaining nails.

Finish the manicure with a couple of applications of a very thick clear top coat until the edges are sealed and the nail is smooth to the touch. We used the Konad Clear Top Coat because it is super thick for finishing nail stamping designs.

I’m not sure that this manicure will last long, but it is perfect for a girl’s night out or special occasion! Thanks so much to my sister for taking the time to decorate my nails. Our manicure party was so fun! So what do you think of this manicure? Would you wear this look?

Ingenious New Pen Design from Yanko Design

Via Yanko Design

Think about it, instead of having a straight tube ink refill, how about fashioning it as a spiral? Agreed it occupies a bit more space so the pen can’t be sleek and slim, but it holds double the amount of ink! There’s a reason why our DNA is structured in a double helix. I guess it will work like a charm for those disposable types, making them last longer. I won’t call this project 100% eco-esque but it’s a step towards it!

T&T Pen-ink Chamber is a 2011 iF concept design entry.

Designers: by Han Chi-hoon, Kim Yeon-soo, Park Byong-gon & Kim Sung-geun