Sylum 10th Anniversary: Q&A

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Q: My 2 favorite Clans are Oceania (because I live in Hawaii), and Shogun (because I’m Japanese-American).  I have been enjoying all the new Oceania stories (Thank you Hawaii 5-0!), and am wondering if there will ever be stories for Shogun?  I also noticed that most of the members of Shogun are Chinese, and was wondering if this was because you didn’t know many Japanese characters (Not complaining! Just thought it was interesting that the leader is Japanese and the clan is based in Japan, but more than half the members are Chinese.)?

A: Since I’m actually working on Shogun at the moment and have highlighted a few of their characters in the past few days, figured this was a good question to answer.  Shogun has gone through a few changes over the history of Sylum.  And it’s only right now that we’ve been able to make a more diverse Clan that incorporates all of Asia.

Now that the Clan is become more settled, stories will start popping up.   You’ll start to see the characters showcased in other stories, and ones centering on Shogun’s characters and histories.  I know that I have a few stories in the works, including Katsumoto’s and Nathan’s meeting and Bonding.  And there are stories centering around World War 2 and what happens to the Clan Members who are Westerners.

Q:  Blue Bloods tv show follows a family of cops, the Reagans, in New York in which Donnie Wahlberg is one of the main characters, he also plays another character who already exists in the clans connected to a triad.

A: I haven’t actually seen Blue Bloods – it’s on my netflix que!  At the moment there is no reason to connect them.  Now when I do get a chance to see the show that could change.

Q: Any plans to add characters from the Raid movies or the Infernal Affairs to Shogun clan? The Departed by Martin Scorsese was a remake of the Infernal Affairs movie.

A: There are no plans for any of the characters from these movies.

There are many elements we look at when we choose characters for Sylum.   Sometimes it can be the character is just perfect, but we steal it from the show/movie and make up our own backgrounds history.  A movie/show can be intriguing enough for us to build off of it.   And sometimes it comes down to logistics.  If a show/character doesn’t work – it doesn’t work.   We also have to look at who the actor or director of the show is – there are some actors that are on our Oh Hell Fucking No list and can’t be used.

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Sylum Monthly Calendar: July 2015

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Going with the theme we’ve seem to be having.

Clan Leaders from Shogun.

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Character Introduction: Nathan Algren

003TLS_Tom_Cruise_018Shogun: Co-Leader

 

Name: Nathan Algren

Turn Date: 1872 AD

Sire: Moritsugu Katsumoto

Mate: Moritsugu Katsumoto

***

Nathan doesn’t talk much about his life before Japan. He fought in the Civil War, was a decorated officer, that saw too many of his men killed. After the war, he drank to stop the memories and barely held onto his rank and pension.

He was sent to Japan to help train the soldiers into an Imperial Army. Except they were kids and not even close to being ready to face battle. When they sent them anyway he rode in afterwards trying to save those he could.

He ended up taken by Takamori, the Shogun warrior holding back the Emperors advances. He hated the man instantly, yet felt a pull to him that made him want to do anything he asked. Takamori detoxed him, trained him, and then sent him to battle.

Nathan watched in horror as they were slaughtered now under true military soldiers. He carried Takamori’s sword to the young emperor and told his story. All of it. Including what war does to a man. Showed him the honor of Takamori’s heritage.

He returned to the village only to discover Takamori was actually Katsumoto, a Vampire and his Mate.

He was Turned and Claimed that night.

***

Image: Tom Cruise

 

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Sylum Inspiration: Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial

As one who has been to DC a few times, this monument is awe inspiring.

The Washington Mall where it’s located has been described in a variety of Sylum stories, and will be the back drop of many more.

It’s also important as Abraham Lincoln has a major roll in the Sylum Universe.

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Coffee House Friday

Sylum's Coffee House Image

 

I’m a bit behind in posting … but it’s been a lively morning here in the United States.

Normally I don’t post Political items … but considering this is relevant to the Sylum Universe.

Gay Marriage is now legal in the US.  Equality for those who want to marry!!

How does the affect Sylum?

It means Warrick and Nick can legally get married now…

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Sylum Tumblr: 1 Year Old

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It’s a month of Anniversaries!

Today is the 1 Year Anniversary of us building the Sylum Tumblr!!

It’s been rocky but now we’ve seem to have fun with it!

Stop by check it out!  Remember you can always post your own Sylum Inspiration to it and also ask questions!

Sylum Tumblr

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Sylum Inspiration: Terracotta Warriors

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As I’m working on Shogun Clan – I thought be interesting to showcase the Terracotta Warriors.

The Terracotta Army or the “Terracotta Warriors and Horses” is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BCE and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife.

The figures, dating from approximately the late third century BCE, were discovered in 1974 by local farmers in Lintong District, Xi’an, Shaanxi province. The figures vary in height according to their roles, with the tallest being the generals. The figures include warriors, chariots and horses. Estimates from 2007 were that the three pits containing the Terracotta Army held more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which remained buried in the pits nearby Qin Shi Huang’s mausoleum. Other terracotta non-military figures were found in other pits, including officials, acrobats, strongmen and musicians.

My father had the privilege of visiting the museum last year.  He was in awe of the vast amount of warriors and the history surrounding them.

For More Information: Terrocatta Army

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Coffee House Friday: Photo Call Out

Sylum's Coffee House Image

 

I know it’s been a while for one of these.  There are times Real Life just takes over and keeps us from the fun stuff!

Today’s Coffee House discussion is more of a request.

We’re asking all of our fans and followers for your personal photos that were taken on vacations or just wandering around your home town.

Why?  

This is part of a project for the Sylum Store, and for other art needs.   We have a world wide audience and hope to create images that represent all clans.

We’re specifically looking for historic landmark: Eiffel Tower, Colosseum, Sydney Opera House, Christ Redeemer … you may be noticing a pattern.   Also looking for everyday type  items: buildings, landscapes, streets, alleys, cafes, etc…  Places from all over the world.

A special call out to anyone who has been to New Orleans!   For those who have been to Clan Gatherings – we’re looking for variety of images of Oak Alley.

One very important thing! These need to be photos that you or  your family/friends  took, who don’t mind donating them to be used for Sylum.

Donate?

Basically these images will get incorporated into artwork we’ll be using on products for the Sylum Store – so they have to personal photos – not from professionals or ‘borrowed’ from websites.

How do I send photos?

Email: sylumclan@yahoo.com

Subject: Photos – ‘insert description or location’

We can’t guarantee we would use your photo, but the more we have the better variety we can provide.

Thank You!!!

 

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Sylum Inspiration: Sylum Manor

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Sylum Manor

I figured since we just had the 10 year anniversary, it would be fitting to showcase Sylum Manor!

Actually Sylum Manor is based on two plantations:  Oak Alley Plantation and Monmouth Plantation.  The outside of Sylum Manor is based on Oak Alley, as location and the surrounding acres of lands.

Sections of the grounds of Sylum is also based upon Monmouth Plantation.   Design, interior, and their gardens.

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Through my travels and studies through Natchez, Mississippi and New Orleans, Louisiana – I’ve explored and studied both areas and plantations.  Giving a strong bases for Sylum Manor.

Sylum Manor actually doesn’t look like the two Plantations.  It’s larger, more extensive and well a home for a lot of Vampires.   To best put it in perspective of how big Sylum Manor is.   Oak Alley Plantation … itself, the whole building – is Sylum’s front lobby.

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So the building you see here, is only a small portion of how big Sylum Manor actually is.  This is where you would walk into the main lobby, after coming up the oak drive way, pull around the circular drive way, parking in front of the entrance.  You would walk up three steps onto the veranda, porch that wraps around to the back of the house.  Go through a set of double doors, and step into the front lobby, that showcases the grand staircase.

What you see in this photo is that area.

This doesn’t include, the side wings that lead to the Manor Offices and Speed’s Library on the right hand-side.  Or the Dining Room, Ballroom, and kitchen on the left-hand side.  Let alone the 2nd floor that holds: Nico, Tony and Speed’s personal wings – some of them having a 3rd story added into their areas that accommodate: The Art Gallery, the Library, and Personal Suite.

And now for some extra visuals that have inspired Sylum Manor.  These come from both Monmouth and Oak Alley.

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Sylum Advent 2014: Archived

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All the fics, vids, and artwork has been Archived on the website.

Actually at this moment all Sylum fics, videos, fanmix, and artwork have been Archive.  What does that mean?  It means all entries that has been showcased during Advent, Seven Days or Spring Fling are available on the Sylum Website.

This would be the time to catch up.

We’re gearing up for the 10th Anniversary Edition for Clan War and all the fun things to go with it.

 

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Sylum 10th Anniversary

website-banner-modified10 Years of Sylum

 

10 years ago today, on June 14th, 2005 I started this tiny thing called Sylum Yahoo Group.

The rest was history.

Sylum was already in the making, I was working on ‘Going Home’ when I made the Yahoo Group.  At the time, I had been posting to several different Yahoo Groups.  One was specific for CSI: Miami, another for NCIS, and the last was Makebelieve (I think anyone who’s been in fandom for a while, knows Makebelieve).

It was on CSI: Miami Yahoo Group that I met Tony … yes it is Tony’s fault.  And where I pissed off members of the community by asking the question – what characters would be interesting as Vampires.  Oh I labeled it OT  etc… but a couple of people started talking about it, going back and forth on ideas (I wasn’t even involved) and someone got bitchy and in a huff left the group because refused to talk this Vampire crap.

Well honey – 10 years later we’re still talking this Vampire crap.

But it was that moment that had me thinking the idea of a Yahoo Group for Sylum.  I talked it over with Tony – who was like go for it … see it is always Tony’s fault.  I built it, freaked out, and then launched it on June 14, 2005.

I left for lunch.

Came back to see 100 people had already joined.

I fainted.

Quickly had to learn how to run a Yahoo Group.  Set up rules and enforce said rules.  And realized how much of my life was now going to be dedicated to a simple idea – ‘that you can’t kill someone if they are already dead’.

For those who have been with us from the beginning, I’m sure you can remember some epic moments from the list.  The Yahoo Group was a blessing and my worst f’in nightmare.  OMG the drama that we kept off the list … *rubs head* I still get headaches.

Over the past 10 years.  The list grew.  The Universe grew.  Lives were changed.  I’m pretty sure there are a number of stories out there about long lasting friendships and relationships that developed from the list.

With the continued problems with Yahoo, and with their decision to change everything.  That’s when we decided to move to the Blog.  Though it’s not quite like the list, it’s been doing well over the past years.

Still can’t believe it’s been 10 years! Ten!  A lot has happened in my personal life over those ten years, good and bad.  Sylum has grown into an amazing universe that astounds me every time I sit down to work on it.  The vast number of characters, locations, story threads… keep it on track, making sure continuity stays in place … dear Marvel – never complain to me about ‘too many storylines/movies/characters to keep up with’ cause dude – seriously?  you have no f’in clue. No really you don’t.

Over the past ten years many have come and gone, a few have stuck with me from the beginning.  And I thank you for that.  It truly does humble me how far we’ve come and the fans that have followed us along this great adventure.

Now for a few special thank yous and notes!

Janet who took over the beta for an epic storyline, especially after the nightmare that came before, and the continued beta of this massive universe.  I know it’s a lot of work, and I thank you.

Sparrow who keeps track of all the continuity.  I may have all of Sylum in my head but even I get lost on where everyone is at!  Pointing out the fact characters have disappeared half way through a story is always helpful!

Gil and Shep the work you’ve done on Border and major storylines has built the Universe past the fab six, making it all encompassing.  Though I’m pretty sure you still want to kill me for handing that over.

Taibhrigh you came in just as the blog was beginning.  Your re-work and design of the new website was amazing and I can’t thank you enough for that.  Your art has been an inspiration to not just the readers but also us writers.

Note: We’ve recently updated the website to reflect the 10th Anniversary – go and take a look!

Timothy.  Well I could write a post just on how much I have to thank you for.  Yes I’m going to get sappy deal with it.  You came into my life as a friend and stayed as my spouse.  Sylum would not be where it is now if it wasn’t for you.  You are and will always be my inspiration and creative consultant.  Even if you do tease me about the how many times I described the road leading in and out of town *smirks*.   Working this past year on the 10th Anniversary of Clan War and overhaul of Annihilation has inspired so many stories and bunnies – that I’m now looking forward to the 20th Anniversary.  Though I’m not redoing the wiki… hell no once is enough.

Bob.  I hate you, you son of a bitch. You and your clones.  Though if it wasn’t for you … my life would be normal but boring as hell.

So here we are Ten Years!

*raises glass*

To Sylum.  Thank you for this grand adventure.  We’ve had ten amazing years and look forward to the next ten.

Sincerely,

Bj Jones

PS: Please reply to this post with your memories of Sylum, either how you discovered it, memory from the yahoo group, friends you’ve made, gatherings you attended, how it’s affected your life.  Let’s make this day unforgettable!

 

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Sylum 10th Anniversary: Sylum Q&A

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Q: Would like to know if there will be more JackB and Chase stories?

A: Speaking of Jack and Chase…  The two actually have weaseled or worked themselves into their own storyline.   As we’ve re-worked Clan War – Jack and Chase weren’t fitting as well as expected.  Instead after a round of Bauer style negotiations – mainly his way or the highway – the two ended up with larger rolls in Annihilation and their own story.  *sneaky bastards*

Because of this *glares at the two very non-repentant CTU Agents* I’ve had to adjust the Clan War Teaser Trailer  <— Click to view it.  *sits and waits*

Q: Also will Sam/Dean be in same stories?  Wasn’t sure if this would be continued of question 1 or a question all by itself.  So to be safe I put it in 2 questions.  Ok?

A: Well the new ideas brew, Sam and Dean won’t make an appearances as they wouldn’t have arrived into Sylum yet.  For future stories, I can see them working with Jack and Chase.

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Character Introduction: Edward Courtney

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Oceania: Advisor

 

Name: Edward Courtney

Turn Date: 1879 AD

Sire: John Herod

Mate: Julia Kelly

***

Edward Courtney doesn’t remember much of his parents. He remembers leaving England and making his way with his family to America. While on the boat, there was a man carrying two guns.  Fascinated by the crucifix on the handle, he reached out.

A rogue wave hit the boat, pulling Edward overboard. He still doesn’t quite know how he survived but looking back it was a sure sign that God had a plan for him.

When he washed up on shore, he found the gun he so admired washed up next to him. He picked it up only to hear shouting, and looked up to see adults running for him.

Cort was moved around to variety of homes, orphanages and finally when he was old enough he wandered out of the area and headed West.

He landed in a town called Redemption.

It ended up being Hell.

He walked into a middle of a gunfight competition. Not taking no for an answer he was dragged into the competition and handed a weapon. He stared in shock at the gun with a crucifix on it, the very same one he reached for a child. ‘The Left Hand of God’ he would later discover it’s twin ‘The Right Hand of God’ with Ben Wade. The fact their both Meridii somehow made it sense.

Expecting to die quickly, he took a deep breath, said a prayer and pulled his gun. His opponent laid dead in the street.  He threw up seconds later.

He was a natural.

It also caught the attention of John Herod.

The next six months of his tortured life was at the bastards hand.

Ending with Herod Turning him Without Consent.

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Sylum Inspiration: Irish Wolfhounds

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Irish Wolfhounds: Aka Professional Rugs

Wolfhounds have been through the Sylum stories.   They are large lovable animals, but they are called Wolfhounds for a reason.   We introduced them in Clan War with Boromir and Aragorn, and then later had Faramir and Eomer.  The Vampire namesakes were not to thrilled.

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Sylum 10th Anniversary: Q&A

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Q:  As you can see most of my question relate to how in my imagination more characters could exist in sylum universe.  Could the Hunger Games characters like President Snow or Coin possibly exist? They would make some awesome villains and what if they were soul mates but hated each other?  Instead of a dystopian future, sometime in the past the games could have been this weird mesh like gladiator games slash the sacrifices from minotaur’s myth, kids from different city states.

Q: Any chances of seeing characters from Game of Thrones?  Some of them from the deserts parts of the show could hail from clans in Africa or the Middle East. I always had the most fun reading through the characters pages from sylum’s wiki even those I had not known from any of the story lines and how the vampires interconnect with each others!

A: I’m answering these together for a reason.  Neither one of these will be making an appearance in Sylum.  The characters and storylines do not fit inside the universe we’re creating.  Add on the way the authors feel about fanfiction especially Martin, it is best to leave these series alone.  It’s also the reason we have nothing from Anne Rice and Laura Hamilton.

Q: In the movie Argo we see Rory Cochrane, who from sylum is he, Speed?  Kafele? Yevgeny? Or none of the above?

A: Lee Schatz is a real person, who is still alive. So we won’t be adding his character or have a ‘Rory’ character play him.  The events surrounding Argo is likely to play in the background of storylines in Sylum, due to the fact it’s a historical event.  We try hard to keep these events relevant and shown in the stories to indicate the world around the Vampire Clans.

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