Penny Blake

Extraordinary Everyday

Category: Books

The Curious Adventures Of Messrs Smith And Skarry

The evil overlord Wiz has seized control of all the tea, cake and magic in the universe.  In a world crammed with dubious science and cream-powered technology, crippled by sugar tax and loose leaf ration books, overrun by cake smugglers, tea fiends and lemonade dealers, ruled over by Tea Time Lords and policed by vigilante mechanical angels, only a band of truly extraordinary adventurers can bring down this oppressive empire and save the good people of earth from this tea time tyranny. Could these two would-be wizards, Messrs Smith and Skarry, and their band of relentless rogues, be the anti-heroes The New World has been waiting for, or have they simply stirred up an enormous storm in a rather tiny teacup?

Most of you are familiar with the graphic novel I’ve been working on for the past two years and I’d like to thank you all so much for the kind encouragement, advice, support, psychiatric assessments and asylum referrals you’ve offered during that time. I’m happy to say that Smith and Skarry now have their own website and thanks to the awesome talents of illustrator Robin Eisenberg, the print version of the graphic novel is beginning to take shape. You can read the full text along with the illustrations as they are completed here:

https://smithandskarry.wordpress.com/

Thanks again for all your support, I really hope you enjoy what we’ve put together so far 🙂

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The Tea Activists’ Handbook: Introduction to November

November

 

November was gifted to us by The Powers That Tea, so that we could stand outside in the cold and the dark, drinking bonfire-flavoured Yerba Mate and reflecting on the fact that it is probably not very nice to burn people on bonfires or blow each other up, or shoot at each other with guns. Important messages which, like a nice Masala Chai, need mulling over, lest we forget.

 

The Sacred Tea for November is Yerba Mate.

 

The Scared Ritual for the first of November is as follows:

 

The Chant:

 

Red the poppies of the field

            Red the blood that has been spilled

            Green the tea this day we make

            Green the life, not ours to take

.

The Oath:

           

I solemnly swear to accept the gift of the month of November as a month for contemplating endings and beginnings, for comforting those who grieve, for celebrating and enriching the lives of those around me. I will honour the Powers That Tea by drinking Yerba Mate with respect and acknowledging that its life-giving goodness is a divine gift to all, not to be hoarded or monopolized by one group of greedy guzzlers. As a mark of this vow I will wear my  Sacred Tea Scarf every day during the month of November.

I solemnly swear that I am up to a lot of good… although it may not seem like it at the time.

 

Ceremonial Garb: (Optional)

 

The Sacred Tea Scarf

 

 

Escapological Marbles

Entry Taken From Weapons Of Choice And Miscellaneous Combatalia For Extraordinary Ladies And Gentlemen

Escapological Marbles

Whether you are tailing a notorious villain or being tailed yourself, no extraordinary adventurer should ever be caught without their marbles. Make sure you always have a nice sized bag to hand, ready to thwart the expeditious actions of your enemies.

How do they work?

Er…are you serious? You honestly don’t know how to use a bag of marbles to make good your escape? Tush and Fi what sort of an upbringing have you had? Go and find a five year old to explain it to you!

More Miscellaneous Militant Millineria

From the upcoming book: Weapons Of Choice And Missileaneous Combatalia  – A Pocket Book For Extraordinary Ladies And Gentlemen by Penny Blake

 

2. Shocking Bad Bonnet Of Frightful Impropriety

This bonnet is as frightful, shocking and improper in its visage as in its propounded effects. Its ability to remove the inhibitions of the wearer in a fashion comparable to six bottles of absinthe but without any of the unpleasant (physical) after effects, instantly affords it a wide variety of uses.

How does it work?

A series of electrodes inside the bonnet send inhibitory signals into the behavioural inhibitory centers within the cerebral cortex of the wearer, thus inhibiting their natural inhibitions as long as they are wearing the bonnet. The bonnet does not affect any other part of the brain and once removed the wearer experiences no ‘after effects.’

Power source?

One standard sized GORGON battery will power this bonnet for approximately 12 months depending on useage.

Possible limitations / set backs?

This bonnet should only be used by ladies and gentlemen who know no limits.

 

3. Blinking Cap

The Blinking Cap looks deceptively like any ordinary everyday workman’s cap, the difference being only that when the wearer puts it on they are cursed with a sudden involuntary plague of violent and rapid spasms of the eyelid.

This rapid eyelid movement allows the wearer to see miraculous visions of the past, present and future. The wearer is thus able to see what is occurring in a place even though they may be some distance from it, also to see what has happened previously in the past and, most astoundingly, to predict what will happen in the future.

How does it work?

The blinking cap utilizes the medical phenomenon of the glabella tap and replicates it on an intermittent basis via a small metal hammer attached to the front peak of the cap. The hammer tapping on the forehead of the wearer stimulates a primitive nerve reflex causing the subject to blink, however in order for the reflex to continue to function, the tapping must not be continuous, otherwise desensitization will occur and blinking will cease. The intermittent mechanism can be set and controlled via the metronomic function device secured within the brim.

Power Source?

The metronomic function device which controls the hammer mechanism is available powered by clockwork or by GORGON mini-battery.

Limitations?

Those wearing the blinking cap for long periods have complained of immense irritation, headaches, hallucinations, chronic insanity and blindness. Of course it is impossible to control, or indeed sometimes to interpret, whether the visions induced by the hat pertain to the past, present or future, or indeed whether they are real at all.

Aethernautation

This song is sung by Jack Diamond and his cousin Eightcups Max during chapter one of The Dangerous Exploits Of Smith And Skarry as they set off in search of The Lost Tribe Of Siberian Soup Seers on board their landship The Chronic Agro …

 

Aethernautation: A kite-flying song sung by two splendidly relentless rogues : 

 

Aethernautation is my fascination

There’s no place on this wide world I’d rather be

Than soaring up high through the billowing sky

Over green rolling valleys and white rolling sea

 

Some call it affliction

For sure it’s addiction

No fiction

My earth-bound soul harbours within

The Icarusian lust

To dance up with the dust

Of the universe, certain sure somebody must

Unfathom, uncover, dissect or discover

The avian mystery mortals call flight

But while they all tax

I will simply relax

And make do holding tight

To the strings of my kite

 

Aethernautation is my fascination

Libation at the feet of some god I’d pour

If only I could, as an aviest should

Over mountains and oceans on gilded wings soar

 

Some call it affliction

For sure it’s addiction

No fiction

My earth-bound soul harbours within

The Icarusian lust

To dance up with the dust

Of the universe, certain sure somebody must

Unfathom, uncover, dissect or discover

The avian mystery mortals call flight

But while they all tax

I will simply relax

And make do holding tight

To the strings of my kite

 

 

Aethernautation is my fascination

My pre-occupation

insation, they say

But I know if I dream

It enough it will seem

That I’m truly the stuff

Of the aether above

And I know that one day I’ll dance

Up with the universe

Though they call me perverse

Still the thing could be worse

To be enslaved

By the stuff of the grave

Well I call it a terrible

Curse

I’m dismayed

And amazed that no tinker

Or forward free thinker

With all of their springs

And their cogs and such things

Has not yet uptaken

Unless I’m mistaken

The torch from the lad

Who lies dizzied and dazed

On the pages of history

 

MOCK NOT HIS FALL

(For friends it would seem it ha come to us all)

 

But my heart will rise high

With my soul to the skies

And not be embittered by

Man’s latest gall

 

Some call it affliction

For sure it’s addiction

No fiction

My earth-bound soul harbours within

The Icarusian lust

To dance up with the dust

Of the universe, certain sure somebody must

Unfathom, uncover, dissect or discover

The avian mystery mortals call flight

But while they all tax

I will simply relax

And make do holding tight

To the strings of my kite!

 

Weapons Of Choice And Missileaneous Combatalia

The release day for our long awaited LARP book ‘The Everyday Extraordinaries’ is almost upon us. The production of this has been an amazing roller coaster ride involving so many wonderful, talented and exuberant Steampunk enthusiasts (and some awesome friends and family who had never heard of Steampunk before in their lives) who have suffered stoically through frantic days and sleepless nights welding, stitching, hotgluing, spray painting, manically guzzling tea, roaming various open spaces and cityscapes in search of elusive china teasets, playtesting and generally listening to me waxing idiotic about fruitcake theories and dystopian parallel dimensions. This book is a collaborative labour of love and my most enormous amounts of gratitude go out to all the extraordinary ladies and gentlemen who have made it possible.

And so, like the veritable magpie I am, ‘on to the next treasure’ …

In this case:

Weapons Of Choice And Missileaneous Combatalia For Extraordinary Ladies And Gentlemen; A useful hand guide to my Waistcoat-Pocket Arsenal including many of my most nefarious, eccentric and useless inventions, several of which feature in the Ashton’s Kingdom series and all of which can be easily constructed by armchair-inventors and  used when playing The Everyday Extraordinaries (Or indeed any other LARP system or event which will allow them).

As each entry is completed I will post it on here so if you want to go ahead and have a go at making and using any of these crazy creations you can go right ahead and do so. Similarly if you want to share them that’s fine too, all I ask is that you make sure folks know they are my brain-children so they know to come and incarcerate me and not you 😉

Section One: Miscellaneous Millitant Millineria:

1. Top Hat Of Imposing Mental Prowess

This essential piece of headwear may come in many guises, all of them tall and many of them black. The Top Hat Of Imposing Mental Prowess infuses the brain of the wearer with the ability to outwit, outsmart and outthink (although unfortunately not outrun) his or her opponents in any challenge requiring a superior or more rapid intellect.

How does it work?

The underlying mechanical and alchemical principles are similar to those used in the recent development of Titter Technology.

The hat is equipped with an aerial which channels thought waves from the aether into a box attached to the side of the hat. This box holds a Statistical Alchemical Translation Device coupled to a Synaptic Frequency Filter. The Synaptic Frequency Filter provides an adaption to the traditional function of the SATD so that, instead of harvesting thought and sound waves, distilling them into their constituent parts and then recombining them using a comparison-based logic system into another language, the SATD now collates only thought waves, separates them into ‘idiotic’, ‘average’ and ‘ingenious’ and feeds only the ‘ingenious’ waves into the mind of the wearer via a series of electrodes concealed within the lining of the hat. The hat’s range is adjustable up to a distance of approximately 1,000 square miles.

Power Source?

One GORGON theremythium battery is enough to power this hat for approximately six months, depending on usage.

Possible set backs and limitations?

At present, the ability of the SATD to discriminate between ingenious thoughts that will be useful to the wearer and ingenious thoughts that will nonetheless be completely irrelevant is severely limited. This may occasionally lead to the wearer spouting utter incomprehensible and illogical nonsense at inopportune moments and has, unfortunately, lead to one or two cases of accidental incarceration on the grounds of mistaken madness. There is also, as such, no linguistic preference setting which has also proved problematic for some.