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The Long Last Caravan Tapes of Lloyd And Raven

Upon hearing that the AIs have spent some time studying Lloyd Allen, the astute New Albion historian immediately thinks of the obvious two choices for study: The New Albion Radio Hour and Arcadian Mystery Theater, both of which contain classic Mr. Allen shenanigans. Although completely unknown to the layman, copies of broadcasts do exist in several libraries across the continent, including the library of the Monastery in the Western Mountains.

The more studious historian, the one who can call out the deeper cuts, will wink and slyly mention the Deborah After Dark debacle. Copies of this are even fewer and most of the few historians that discuss this do so according to second hand sources rather than having heard the broadcasts directly. Still, the broadcast is not impossible to come by, just difficult.

The Caravan Analogy on the other hand is stuff of rumor and legend. There is just enough corroborative evidence that most esoteric historians will concede that it does or did likely exist (and happen), however almost no copies of the broadcast tapes exist at all in present days. Rumor has it that a single copy exists, and it held by the New Albion Discordian Society (NADS),  an obscure, quite mad group of anarchist historians whose chaotic almost satiric approach to academic history and reality mapping is also termed the Sacred Chao. Its adherents operate in a grey area, somewhere between serious and prankster and often infuriate their professional peers with their shenanigans, such as attending  academic conferences claiming to represent the University of Dollfuckers.

Despite their colorful reputation, their library has numerous texts and broadcasts unobtainable by their more serious minded peers. Practically unseen by outside sources, their library is rumored to contain a prized copy of the Caravan Analogy, an example of handiwork by Raven and Lloyd in the earlier days of their relationship, after the construction of Lloyd’s 2nd Playhouse but before the construction of the Carnival.

How the AIs came across a copy is unknown. Collusion between the Discordians and the AIs is not entirely ruled out, but is never the less unlikely. A theory abounds that the AIs somehow procured a copy of the Caravan and the Discordian Society then actually stole it from them, which if true would be an incredible feat, almost as difficult to pull off as it is to believe.  As far as the broadcast itself, While crude and hardly as well developed as Lloyd’s later work, there are still numerous lessons for the AIs to have learned from it.

It is generally accepted that the AIs ignored Raven almost entirely, although they would have had to run across mention of him. Likely they thought him irrelevant and with his split from Lloyd some time back, merely a footnote in the study of Lloyd Allen’s work and methods. It is therefore entirely possible they did not know of the Carnival’s battle with the demon or the its subsequent stranding in the CO where they themselves had decided to plant the Cabaret. This oversight was a mistake, as while Raven never came into direct contact with the AIs, he is thought to be responsible for the subjects’ escape from the CO.

Theories also abound that the AIs knew next to nothing of the Gift, or upon running across mention of it, had misidentified and carelessly underestimated it. Others argue they did know of it, and had factored it into their designs, but that it was a factor that would figure in at a later stage. This question is assumed to be cleared up shortly.

One of the reasons the New Albion Discordian Society is tolerated begrudgingly by the academic community despite being at such odds with their attitudes and methods, is that when it comes to the more esoteric aspects of history, only the Monastery has greater knowledge and records, and the Monastery is notoriously aloof and difficult to communicate with. The only group in the city thought to be able to communicate with the Monastery is in fact the Discordians, though to what degree is unknown.

Both Lloyd Allen and Raven are shrouded in mystery and legend, and that certainly holds even more true for their time together. Still, there are several theories generally accepted to be at least close to the truth.

Lloyd Allen was already PH when the young David Adams had his encounter with the mythical Terryan and began his flowering. It is surmised that they met at Lloyd’s 1st Playhouse, where Lloyd took the young man under his wing. However, he had not been PH long and was in fact far more of a novice than he first let on.

Some point later, after extensive travels together, the two built the 2nd Playhouse. Some of the affairs that occurred there are too much myth and legend to be given any credence, but the Caravan broadcast is thought to be come from this period. Whether the Caravan performance captured in the broadcast happened many times or just once is unknown. Early manuscripts which comment on the performance assume the Master Of Ceremonies to be Raven, although some later commentaries call this into question and insist that it is Lloyd. They suggest that the old hermit met in the Mirage is actually Raven, and his actions regarding the audience members were specifically designed to manipulate the participants into manifesting the Gift through just the right mix of stress, challenge, trauma and insight. While very few participants would ever manifest, that would be no matter to Lloyd and Raven who were looking for the few who might. Did the girl in the broadcast flower, the commentaries ask? No conclusion is ever reached.

This conjecture is not accepted by all, however. Other manuscripts fiercely dismiss the idea that this was Lloyd and Raven’s motive behind the performances. They argue this is pure speculation based on wishful preconceptions. They caution against forming conclusions without evidence of motives, and instead concentrate on whether the performance is an fact a full fledged sub reality, limited in it’s expanse, but fully formed within its small sphere of existence. This would be the first example of a fully manifested sub reality created by a PH, and certainly by either Raven or Lloyd. Indeed it is argued that the two would have had to work in conjunction to create and sustain it. While nowhere near as expansive as later sub realities by either they or other suspected PHs (there is a small snippet dialogue from Lloyd concerning a post human named Sarah M and his admiration for her work. One manuscript attributes another quote regarding a young Sarah M to Raven, although his opinion of her is arguably derisive and negative).

Given the events that occurred after the Cabaret cast left the Carnival and the revelations now brought to light, interest in the works studied by the AIs which helped birth the Cabaret have spiked. Many are trying to create a definitive list, while others argue this is impossible. Still, many agree these Caravan tapes are on that list and inquiries have been made to the Discordian Society to please release them or at least allow access. So far they have been silent, but perhaps the doors to their vaults will be opened in time. Until that time, the search is on to identify and assemble whatever sources the AIs consulted.

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Paul Shapera Carnival Interview With Rabbithole Podcast

Well lookie here… i was going to post more stories but Greg Devries has posted the recent interview he dd with me for Rabbithole podcast. (this marks our second one.) It’s just me shooting off at the mouth for an hour about the Carnival, but i always enjoy talking with Greg for the podcast. It’s relaxed and i dont feel like i have to answer formally. I can relax and be myself, myself of course being essentially a Muppet On The Edge.

So if you’re inclined, here’s the chat.

http://rabbithole-podcast.com/podcast/episode-35-paul-takes-us-carnival/

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

The Monastery In The Mountains To The West

In New Albion lore, whenever someone is mentioned as going to the Mountains In The West, it is the monastery they’re usually going to. The monastery is not affiliated with any recognizable religion, (absolutely not with voodoopunk), although its purpose does lie somewhere between institute of higher learning, meditation center, and center for esoteric exploration. As vague as this sounds, it does have several specific focuses which will become clear in time. There is no strict code of dogma and no vows of chastity, although due to its nature, if you’re looking for wild orgies you’d probably be happier elsewhere.

The monastery will be reappearing in our dear New Albion storyline shortly. For now, however, we are going to take a look at its birth some time ago. And to do that we must start with Nicholas Schilling.

There is a city called Arcadia located about halfway between what used to be called Victoria and New Albion. Victoria is nowadays called Avalon and travel there is incredibly limited, but the time period we speak of is back when Avalon was Victoria and New Albion was just a young little upstart, barely a city. There were still people alive who remembered the card game. Very few, but they existed.

Nicholas was professor at the University in Arcadia, one of the most prestigious on the continent, well respected both inside and out of his field and an enormously well received lecturer. He had some great years at the University and was happily married and satisfactorily engaged with his career. Alas, this is not the time of his life we are interested in. We are interested in what came next.

None of his peers could pinpoint exactly quite when he started to go “off the rails”. It happened gradually. Bit by bit, odd and eccentric theories involving a collective unconsciousness started to seep into his lectures and papers. Out of place pontifications on “sub-reality”, “micro reality”, “macro-reality” and “post reality” popped up at odd times. “Post humans”, “meta-consciousness”, all things out of place in a distinguished school of facts and learning, ran amok from his pen and lips. It was a series of papers he published on connections between the collective unconscious and our reality, his last papers ever published actually, that finally did it. He was delivering a lecture about the papers, talking of an “akashic library” that existed in the CO along with other odd places and things, when the questions  and answers with his fellow professors grew heated and chaotic. The discussion erupted into yelling on all sides and in answer to a particularly abusive barrage from one of the Deans, Nicholas responded by simply raising his two middle fingers in the air, doing a series of suggestive and vulgar motions with them, then turning and walking out of the hall, never to reenter the university again.

He went home and told his wife they were leaving. His wife told him there was no way she was prepared to give up either her home at the University nor her hitherto secret and undisclosed up until to this point sexual escapades with said Dean from our last paragraph. Thus, mere hours after the shenanigans at the lecture hall, a sad and rather depressed Nicholas Schilling left his job, his school, his career and indeed his hometown, setting off by foot on a pilgrimage to the young, burgeoning city of New Albion.

The journey took a very, very long time, not just because of the distance, but because he stopped in numerous out of the way places, cities and towns, looking for all sorts of  hard to explain things or some scrap of evidence they had left behind. He had a pleasant and unexpected lunch one afternoon in the cafe under the Justacorp building with a young go getter named David Adams in which they discussed, of all things, folk mythology and fabled animals.

A few years after he started his journey, he finally arrived in New Albion. He looked like a cross between a bum and an orthodox priest, with a long, disheveled beard and just a hint of something resembling either madness, otherwordly knowledge, or most likely both, in his eye. He rented a musty, dilapidated and cheap apartment in what was shaping up to be the port district and carried out the last stages of his research.

This took 6 months. After this was finished he spent all his time writing letters to various people across the continent, many of whom he had met on his travels, meeting with odd denizens of New Albion in run down pubs, and sitting silently for hours at the riverside, watching the boats and the water go by. This period also lasted a number of months, until one day a gentlemen and two ladies approached him during his riverside musings, whereupon introducing themselves, they all shook hands, hugged and set off together heading westward.

Nicholas is credited with founding the monastery. He naturally balked at receiving the credit and would often dismiss it, but writings from the very early days all confirm that everyone present insists it was he who truly founded the monastery. Certainly once he lived there he never ventured out of the mountains again. He had a small but cozy room in what is now the east wing, but back then was the only wing. In the early days discussions were had about how to, for lack of a better, word, advertise themselves. Nicholas scoffed at such suggestions. The few resident there were encouraged to write, anything from articles to essays to out right stories (Nicholas preferred stories himself. He would never write academically again), and publish as they wished or were able. Beyond that, “those who are drawn will find us” is all Nicholas ever said on the matter. The fact that in all the time since the monastery began it has never changed its policies demonstrates that he was indeed correct.

Back when the Corellik raiders used to roam the lands west of New Albion causing many a problem for the outlying areas, they caught wind of the monastery and its rumored treasures and attempted to invade. Once. They tried it once. When years later a young, overeager warrior who hadn’t been born during that raid tried to urge the chieftan (who had himself been a riled up teenager at the time of the first raid) to invade it again, the chieftan simply pointed out that he would rather be buggered by their entire stable of horses before reattempting such a feat and wished well whoever was stupid enough to try.

Constance and Thomas did in fact live there for a small, quite happy time, although Constance’s life was cut short by events it is not our place to go into here. It has remained mostly removed in relation to events happening in New Albion, although it watches more closely than New Albion knows. Many will want to know details about the attack that destroyed it, but as this attack takes place after the events in the Cabaret, it is also not for us to discuss here today. We shall see it again soon enough.

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

A Big Congratulations To The Cast And Crew Of The Bayreuth Production Of Dolls


The Bayreuth production of Dolls is finishing up their remarkable run of Dolls Of New Albion and i would like to extend them an enthusiastic and heartfelt congratulations. The effort that went into this was beautiful to behold and i can only hope there will be a video of the performance released. Regardless, may you all be immortalized by having your soul filled skulls steampunked out and lining the walls of your hallowed institution of higher learning that you may gaze down upon future generations and judge them while silently screaming. Or, you know, you could just go out for a few beers and pat yourselves on the back. The first option is way cooler but perhaps not for everyone.

For those curious about the production there is plenty to peruse here:

https://www.facebook.com/SteampunkOperaBayreuth/
You rock, Bayreuth cast. If i could lick each of your souls, i would.

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Of Course It Means Something That All The Cabaret Casts’ Names Begin With An H.

In answer to a question.  Yes, obviously it was something considered and while a small thing that’s not important really, there is a meaning to it.

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Incorrect New Albion Quotes

These are freaking AWEsome. I don’t know who this person is, but I LOVE YOU.

So, on Tumblr, the user It’s Supposed To Be An Epic Tragedy has this series they do called Incorrect Quotes from the New Albion universe. They are utterly hysterical.

The Floozy: How often do you sin?

-Hank: I don’t sin.

-Helen: I sin a little.

-Han-Mi: I sin sometimes.

-Henry: I sin a lot.

-Raven: I’m sinning right now.

#incorrect quotes #the ballad of lost hallow #uncle raven’s super happy funtime carnival #paul shapera source: tumblr
 

– Jacqueline: While you were being heterosexual I studied the voodoo

 

#incorrect quotes  #new albion radio hour #paul shapera #idgafoskitten
-Jacqueline: Give a man fire and he’ll be warm for a day.
-Lloyd: Set a man on fire and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life!
-Jacqueline: I…don’t think that’s how it goes.

 

#incorrect quotes #new albion trilogy #new albion radio hour #paul shapera #source: tumblr


-Byron: a bank teller? What are they telling
-Edgar:
That you’re poor

 

#new albion trilogy #dolls of new albion #paul shapera #incorrect quotes

-Annabel: What a mess

-The Narrator: It’s just a bunch of papers
-Annabel:
No, my life

 

#incorrect quotes #new albion trilogy #dolls of new albion #paul shapera

-Jacqueline: I need anyone with a pulse and a brain to pitch in.
-Thomas: Hey, Jacqueline, do you need help with anything?
-Jacqueline: No, we’re good, thanks. In fact, you can head home early.
#incorrect quotes  #new albion trilogy #new albion radio hour #paul shapera

-Constance: What’s the easiest way to steal a man’s wallet?

-Jacqueline:
Knife to the throat?
-Thomas: Gun to the back?
-Lloyd: Poison in his cup?
-John:
You’re all horrible.

#incorrect quotes #new albion trilogy #new albion radio hour #paul shapera

 

Lee: I thought Elysium was a myth

Adrian: Well, you were myth-taken

#incorrect quotes #new albion trilogy #new albion guide to analogue consciousness #paul shapera

-Constance: Why are you doing this?
-Lloyd:
Because I’m bored, it’s funny, and I hate you. There you are. The holy trinity of why.

new albion trilogy new albion radio hour paul shapera incorrect quotes
 
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Posted by on July 18, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Oh Look! An Old Recently Unearthed Photo Of Raven And Lloyd.

Taken by Sarah De Buck. She had the album back when it was just with scratch vocals so she could design the cover and after she heard it, made this. I told her it could not see the light of day until after the album release. (I cackled with glee over bringing up Lloyd again and waited OH so patiently for y’all to hear it.)

Raven and Lloyd the ballad of lost hollow hallow

This is simply an artist’s interpretation.

We’ll talk soon about plans for the 3rd installment. Frankly, i have a LOT of thinking to do. Until the usual state of affairs, i actually have a pretty damn good idea where most things are headed. Which you think would made figuring a solid plotline and framing device easier, but no. There’s a lot of stuff to cover and a lot of ways to cover it. One thing i think i’m leaning towards is that it may have to be a couple self contained stories. You know, like the steampunk and atompunk operas to a certain extent.

There’s the Why, which is pretty damn interesting if i do say so, and a worthy Why that i totally believe has been worth waiting to find out. One that i think would be misserved by simply relegating it to a few lines of lyrical exposition.

There’s the How, also full of potential and there’s the potential for a great story that explains it that would work great as a couple songs in a song cycle.

And then there’s our cast and what happens next. So at the moment i’m fiddling with the idea of 3 song cycles. I’m also fiddling with the name Madeleine Magpie And The Secret Of The Cyberpunk Burlesque Show, but that is ridiculous of course and i imagine i’ll decide on something better. And without Madeleine Magpie, although i actually see this story there.  And it’s interesting. And odd. And oddly fits, but it’s ridiculous of course and surely you all trust me to not follow some utterly ridiculous concept to some insane great length. Right? Right?! Hmmmmmm…….

And oh yeah, UNCLE RAVEN’S SUPER HAPPY FUNTIME CARNIVAL IS OUT NOW. CHECK IT OUT HERE, because, there it is. Although i must say, the response has been FREAKING AMAZING. Like… holy shitballs i love you all. I LOOOOOOVE you. Like the Floozies love Raven. (And yes, you bet your ass i am going to tell a backstory on that one one day not so far off. In song of course. There WILL be a Floozy song.) But thank you. You do not know what all that online response and sales and posts and Tumblr stuff means to me.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2017 in Uncategorized