Saturday, 20. October 2007
World of Darkness: Mysterious Places

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This book serves as both supernatural atlas as well as a solid storytelling resource for STs wanting to flesh out the locales of their own, private World of Darkness within their own chronicles. If you're a reader of science or dark-themed fiction, then there is no doubt that, at some point or other, you have experienced the hairs on the back of your neck rise with the creepily detailed description of a place or a thing that serves as a backdrop or, sometimes, as a focal point to a story.


The book starts with 'The Swimming Hole': At the bottom of a body of water, there is a cave where you can trade your blood for wishes. As ol' Ben Franklin used to say, "If men were granted half their wishes they'd double their trouble." Even more interestingly, the force protects the water and the owner wants to drain it; too bad for everyone nearby ...

I like also 'The Whispering Wood' - an arboreal Bermuda Triangle. It's both the literal "haunted forest" as well as the spiritual and philosophical "dark wood" that everyone finds themselves lost in from time to time ...

HUH!

World of Darkness: Mysterious Places
White Wolf Publishing, 2005 | 138 pages | PDF | 8 MB

Written by Kraig Blackwelder, Rick Chillot, Geoff Grabowski, James Kiley, Matt McFarland, Brett Rebischke-Smith and Chuck Wendig with interior artwork provided by Sam Araya, Greg Boychuk, Vince Locke, Chris Martinez, Mark Nelson, Jim Pavelek, Durwin Talon, Jaime Tolagson, Andrew Trabbold, and Cathy Wilkins.
Category: Books & Magazines | Buildings & Places | Fantasy & Utopia | Ghosts & Spirits |




Saturday, 21. July 2007
Egyptian Myths in Harry Potter

No matter where you live - Zurich, Switzerland, Hong Kong, China, or Ding Dong, Texas, - since it was 12:01 am in your time zone, the final Harry Potter book can become yours.

If you are - or are not - a Harry Potter fanatic, this essays by Susan Sipal aka S.P. Sipal are amazing!

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series is so rich in Egyptian mythological themes and metaphors that it would take a whole book to explore them comprehensively and in-depth. This editorial, obviously, does not seek to do that. My purpose is to make a rather quick, hit-the-highlights comparison between Harry’s seven-year journey and the Egyptian deceased's journey through the Underworld, to show striking similarities, and thus help us to look at these ancient Egyptian stories to make some predictions about what is to come in Deathly Hallows.

Do I think I'm overanalyzing and seeing points of comparison that are not there? Quite definitely. However, that does not negate the overwhelming evidence that JKR knows and uses Egyptian myths and motifs to frame and enrich her series.

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Egyptian Myths in Harry Potter:

Part 1 - Harry of the Two Ways

Part 2 - The Contendings of Harry and Voldemort

Part 3 - Harry's Sacred Egyptian Triangle

S.P. Sipal prior featured editorial on MuggleNet was One Last Memory. Also very interesting! (By the way - MuggleNet is an unofficial Harry Potter fan site).

I very much enjoyed this essays and I cannot urge you enough to go to read them!
Category: Books & Magazines | Fantasy & Utopia | Mythology & Epics |




Wednesday, 30. May 2007
A Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns by Sound

I can truthfully tell you that it is
a blessing to talk with a unicorn.
—N. J. W. Mitchell,
Hannah, the Witch, and the Unicorn (2002)


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Here’s a secret: expert unicorn spotters can “see” more unicorns, per capita, with their eyelids shut than the average person can see with eyes wide open. That’s because they have an intimate friendship with the sounds unicorns make. As you concentrate with eyes closed and mind focused, you may detect the telltale song of the unicorn, announcing the presence of the venerable creature and beckoning you to begin your quest. When you open your eyes, the unicorn may not be immediately visible, but you’ll know where to start looking.


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Mystics from time immemorial have believed the alphabet to encapsulate divine creative power. This illustration from the late 1800’s shows how the entire alphabet is crystallized in a unicorn’s body. It’s little wonder, then, that unicorns are such miraculous communicators.

Hearing a unicorn requires time, patience, and “deep listening” skill on the part of the human, and vocal projection on the part of the unicorn. Because we live in a highly visual world, we rarely exercise the full range of our hearing. Yet our ears can detect things that our eyes automatically neglect. By listening as opposed to looking, we can avoid overlooking. Practice can be richly rewarding, whether one is listening for unicorns in particular or neglected delights in general.


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They do speak, sir, although not with words.
The unicorn sent her thoughts right into my head.
I understood her meaning.
—L. E. Engler, The Forgotten Isle (2004)


A soft gentle voice whispers in your mind as if carried
by the breeze passing through the gentle grove.
—Pharos, “Crest of the Unicorn” (2004)


This free e-book is lovely illustrated and offered in several online formats, such as eco-friendly, black text on white and a page by page version.

A Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns by Sound by Craig Conley.
Hearing is believing!
Category: Books & Magazines | Fantasy & Utopia | Myths & Sagas | Poetry & Inspirations |


Tuesday, 01. May 2007
Lacerta - Reptiloide der Innererde / Reptiloids of the Inner Earth

"Ich beglaubige, daß der folgende Text die absolute Wahrheit und keine Fiktion ist.

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Picture by David W Chace

"Er ist Teil eines Transkripts eines Interviews, das ich mit einem nichtmenschlichen, reptilartigen Wesen im Dezember 1999 führte. Dieses weibliche Wesen war schon seit einigen Monaten in Kontakt mit einem Freund von mir (dessen Name hier mit der Abkürzung E.F. angegeben wird). Lassen Sie mich erklären, daß ich mein ganzes Leben ein Skeptiker von UFOs, Außerirdischen und anderen unheimlichen Dingen war und ich dachte, daß E.F. mir Träume oder Science-Fiction-Geschichten erzählte, als er mir von einem ersten Kontakt mit dem nichtmenschlichen Wesen »Lacerta« berichtete.


Ich war noch ein Skeptiker, als ich diesem Wesen am 16. Dezember letzten Jahres (1999) in dem kleinen warmen Raum in dem entfernten Haus meines Freundes im Süden Schwedens begegnete, trotz der Tatsache, daß ich jetzt mit meinen eigenen Augen sah, daß sie nicht menschlich war. Sie hat mir während der Sitzung so viele unglaubliche Dinge erzählt und gezeigt, daß ich die Wirklichkeit und die Wahrheit ihrer Worte nicht länger leugnen kann. Dieses ist kein weiteres gefälschtes UFO-Papier, das behauptet, die Wahrheit zu erzählen, und statt dessen gerade Fiktion ist, daher bezeuge ich, daß dieses Dokument die Wahrheit beinhaltet und Sie es deshalb lesen sollten."

Lacerta - Reptiloide der Innererde (German Version)

"I certify that the following text is the absolute truth and no work of fiction. These are parts of a transcript of an interview I've made with a non-human and reptilian being in December 1999. This female being was already in contact with a friend of mine (whose name is given only with the abbreviation E.F. in the text) since some months. Let me declare, that I was all my life a sceptic about UFOs, aliens and other weird things and I thought that E.F. tells me just dreams or fictionous stories when he talked with me about his first contacts with the non-human being "Lacerta".

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Picture by David W Chace


I was still a sceptic when I met this being on December 16 last year (1999) in that small warm room in the remote house of my friend near to a town in the south of Sweden, despite the fact that I saw now with my own eyes that she was not human. She has told and shown me so many unbelievable things during that meeting that I can't deny the reality and the truth of her words any longer. This is not another of that wrong UFO papers which claim to tell the truth but tell in fact just fiction, I'm convinced that this transcript contains the only truth and therefore you should read it."

Lacerta - Reptiloids of the Inner Earth (English Version)

I hope you find this entertaining as i did!
Crackpot theory - or enitrely possible? You decide.
Some interesting points, like why have we evolved faster than any other species on earth, why we have no skeletons or bones of alien races which were supposed to inhabit this place millions of years before us, why civilizations like the Egyptians and Aztecs suddenly disappear of the face of earth and other things.
Category: Fantasy & Utopia | New Legends & Claims | Ufo's & Aliens |


Friday, 13. October 2006
Imagine Earth without People

Imagine that all the people on Earth - all 6.5 billion of us and counting - could be spirited away tomorrow, transported to a re-education camp in a far-off galaxy. (Let's not invoke the mother of all plagues to wipe us out, if only to avoid complications from all the corpses).

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Left once more to its own devices, Nature would begin to reclaim the planet, as fields and pastures reverted to prairies and forest, the air and water cleansed themselves of pollutants, and roads and cities crumbled back to dust.

"The sad truth is, once the humans get out of the picture, the outlook starts to get a lot better," says John Orrock, a conservation biologist at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara, California. But would the footprint of humanity ever fade away completely, or have we so altered the Earth that even a million years from now a visitor would know that an industrial society once ruled the planet?


Imagine Earth without People by NewScientist.
Think about it.
Category: Articles & Essays | Fantasy & Utopia |


Saturday, 06. May 2006
The Thain’s Book

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Artist unknown - Click the picture for a larger view

For example: Gandalf

Gandalf was one of the Order of Wizards sent to Middle-earth to oppose Sauron. During his 2,000 years in Middle-earth, Gandalf came to understand and love the land and its peoples, particularly Hobbits. Gandalf worked ceaselessly to counter Sauron's plans to dominate Middle-earth, and he set in motion a chain of events that ultimately resulted in the Dark Lord's downfall.

Gandalf was one of the Maiar, spirits who helped and served the Valar. When he lived in the Undying Lands he was known as Olorin, and he was the wisest of the Maiar.


He sometimes walked among the Elves unseen or as one of them and shared wisdom and fair visions with them.

For much of the time, Olorin dwelled in Lorien, the gardens of the Vala Irmo for which the woods of Lothlorien in Middle-earth were named. Olorin also frequently visited Nienna in her home in the far west near the walls of the world. It was said that Olorin learned pity and patience from Nienna. But Olorin seems to have been most closely associated with the Valar Manwe and Varda, and it was they who sent Olorin to Middle-earth around the year 1000 of the Third Age.

The Maiar who were sent by the Valar to Middle-earth were given the bodies of old men and were known as Istari, or Wizards. Their mission was to help the free peoples of Middle-earth oppose Sauron without seeking domination or power for themselves. Olorin was the last of the five Wizards to arrive at the Grey Havens in northwestern Middle-earth. There Cirdan the Shipwright gave him Narya, one of the Three Rings of the Elves, saying:


"Take this ring, Master, for your labours will be heavy; but it will support you in the weariness that you have taken upon yourself. For this is the Ring of Fire, and with it you may rekindle hearts in a world that grows chill. But as for me, my heart is with the Sea, and I will dwell by the grey shores until the last ship sails. I will await you."
Appendix B:
"The Tale of Years," p. 366


The Thain's Book - an encyclopedia of the people, places, creatures, things, and events in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.

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© Douglas Carell - Click the picture for a larger view

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Artist unknown - Click the picture for a larger view


Entries include descriptions, histories, important dates, genealogies, etymologies, illustrations, sources and cross-references. (English)
Category: Fantasy & Utopia | Lexica & Overviews |


Friday, 03. February 2006
Radio Rivendell - The Fantasy Station

I'm becomming an Internet radio junkie. Radio Rivendell plays great music to read and write fantasy, and anything else.
Recommended!


Radio Rivendell is a non-commercial, non-profiting web radio station dedicated to playing the best fantasy music there is. 24 hours a day, all year around.

The music that is being played is mainly from fantasy films such as Lord of the Rings, Conan, Willow and such, but it also features music from well known computer games such as Warcraf, Baldur's Gate, Dungeon Siege and many more. As time passed by Radio Rivendell has tried to promote small bands and independent artists who submit music and has allowed Radio Rivendell to play their music. This is something that will grow in the future.

You need Winamp (Windows), MacAmp (Macintosh), Media Player (Windows), Xmms (Linux) or Real Player (Windows & Macintosh). There could be more compatible players, but these are the most common.

Radio Rivendell, probably the best fantasy music radio station there is! We are broadcasting straight from Imladris in Middle-Earth.

Oh Yesss! You're welcome!

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Category: Fantasy & Utopia | Music & Voices |


Saturday, 10. December 2005
Dlabraddath

Elves

The elves are one of the major races of the Realms. They are known as the fair folk and the long lived, and once ruled large sections of the Realms after the time of the dragons and before the coming of humankind. Now the majority have retreated from the onslaught of humankind, seeking quieter forests or refuges, and their numbers in the Realms are a fraction of those even a thousand years ago.

The elves of the Forgotten Realms are of human height, but of a much more delicate build. Their fingers and hands are half-again as long as a human's, and delicately tapered. Elves are said by some people to be flighty and not dependable. Some elves, especially wild and sylvan elves, have a mischievous sense of humour and can be unpredictable and even fickle, but others have a serene and dignified manner. They are a very graceful and dexterous race, and can be strikingly beautiful. Elves have an affinity with magic and although the high magic was lost to Fearun they are still some of the most powerful mages in the Forgotten Realms.

Cormanthyr - Empire of the Elves

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© Meilin Wong


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© Robert Chang

Half Elves

Half elves are always a mix of elven and human. Those extremely rare beings that are a cross with another race are given other names, and described elsewhere (n.b. These are not part of official Forgotten Realms material). The mix is not necessarily half and half – but they are always at least 50% elven. They either have an elven parent or at least two elven grandparents. The exception to this is those half elves born in a half elven community. The offspring of two half elves will also be a half-elf.

The children of those half elves who mate with elves are themselves considered to be half elves.


In fact elves will always consider any being that has human somewhere in their ancestry to be a half elf, no matter how small the proportion of human blood in their veins.

Yuirwood - Half Elves of the Forgotten Realms

The Halflings

The name halfling is a term used by other races and considered a misnomer by halflings. They refer to others as “big folk” and to themselves as the Hin, or “small folk.”

There are two other key things you need to know before you can begin to understand halflings.

Just like their notoriously large appetites for food Halflings have a huge appetite for life. They fling themselves into everything they do to experience it to the full. They are joyful optimists, full of curiosity and ingenuity; life is full of new experiences and pleasure.

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© Rafal Hrynkiewicz


Halflings love to poke fun at “the big folk” when they take themselves too seriously. They seldom grieve, and never for the loss of material things. However when they do grieve, they do so with all their heart. When a member of the family dies halflings are overwhelmed by grief for weeks if not months. When it is a spouse this intense grief can dominate the rest of their lives.

The heart of halfling life, the centre of all that they do is home. However to a halfling home is not a place, home is people. The extended family or commonwealth of several clans is home – no matter where they happen to be. Whole clans can migrate from one village to another, and the big folk can mistakenly think halflings are rootless and unsettled. However the truth of it is when the families move the take their roots and their “home” with them.


Beluir - Halflings Hin

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© Johnny Gruelle

Gnomes are one of the “small folk” races. Depending on subrace they range from 2 to 3 ½ feet in height. The size of a gnomes head in proportion to her body height is the same as in a human. However, the face is proportionally larger, especially the ears. Gnomes have strong bones, a wiry muscle build and a good immunity – they are tough. However as they are so much smaller than a human, they tend to be less strong.

Gnomes have excellent hearing, possibly as a result of their large ears. They spend a considerable amount of their time underground (svirfneblins spend all their time underground) and they enjoy the light of the moon and stars as much as the sun.


It is not surprising that they see well in low light conditions. Gnomes have somewhat prominent noses, and find very large noses attractive. Their sense of smell is as keen as their hearing, and they frequently use this in their practice of the alchemical arts.

High Haspur - Gnome Artificers of the Realms

Elminster is a white haired, grey bearded human with a gruff voice, a twinkle in his dancing eyes and non-descript clothing. His weathered face is now finally showing the signs of his age. Like his onetime apprentice Vangerdahast, this ancient wizard is finally starting to seem truly old, prone to long reveries in which he sees again people and places now long vanished. This is not surprising as records place his birth in Athalantar at 212 DR; and his entry to Myth Drannor as a young prince at 241 DR.

Elminster smokes a meerschaum pipe and can drink heavily without apparent ill effects. He can be witty and clever in conversation if he so desires, or haughty, or charming or terrible and commanding. As he has grown older, Elminster has become more whimsical, given to sudden impulses and doing things "for the hell of it."


Sha'Quessir Isyar - Elminster Elf Friend and Wizzard

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© Sylvia Polster


Welcome to the Dlabraddath. This consists of an umbrella site, Dlabraddath, and a group of subsidiary sites celebrating the Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) Elves, Half Elves, Drow, Halflings, Humans and Gnomes especially those of the Forgotten Realms. It includes information on language; culture; physical description; physical and mental attributes; psychology; life cycle; relations with other races; races (subraces); history; music; architecture; pantheons or gods (including the Seldarine and the Drow pantheon), societies and much more. It also includes a site devoted to the most famous human citizen of Myth Drannor ~ Elminster.

Dlabraddath (English)
Enjoy!
Category: Fantasy & Utopia |


Wednesday, 23. November 2005
The Endicott Studio

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"Lady of the Waters" by Brian Froud

... Today, with clean water piped directly into our homes and largely taken for granted, it takes a leap of imagination to consider the greater importance of water to those who fetched it daily from the riverside or village well. Deeply dependent on the local water source for their crops and animals, our ancestors had a natural reverence for those places where good, pure water emerged like magic from the depths of the earth. As a result, water has played a role in myth, folklore and sacred rites in cultures all around the globe — particularly in arid lands where the gift of water is most precious ...

Sacred Springs and Other Water Lore by Terri Windling. (English)


The perspective is cross-cultural, the long, rich essay is very well researched and written.

According to various Siberian tribes, the eagle was the very first shaman, sent to humankind by the gods to heal sickness and suffering. Frustrated that human beings could not understand its speech or ways, the bird mated with a human woman, and she soon gave birth to a child from whom all shamans are now descended. In a mystic cloak of bird feathers, the shaman chants, drums and prays him- or herself into a trance. The soul takes flight, soaring into the spirit world beyond our everyday perception. (Great care must be taken in this exercise, lest the wing-borne soul forgets its way back home.) Likewise, the shamans of Finland call upon their eagle ancestors to lead them into the spirit realms and bring them safely back again.

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"Troll Witch II" by Brian Froud


Shamans, like eagles, are blessed (or cursed) with the ability to cross between the human world and the realm of the gods, the lands of the living and the lands of the dead. Despite the healing powers this gives them (the "medicine" of their bird ancestry), men and women in shamanic roles were often seen as frightening figures, half-mad by any ordinary measure, poised between co-existent worlds, fully present in none.

The Magical Lore of Birds by Terri Windling. (English)

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Stones are memories. They are the bones of the land, the anchors of myth. They may delineate boundaries; may be fashioned into fetishes, objects of power; or may be carried as reminders of where we have been, protecting us upon our travels. Stones may also be signposts, markers on the land where we perceive enduring emblems of the ancient world. Hundreds, even thousands of years later, we can still see the same surface of the stone that the ancient people saw. Signs left on these stones appear as if they were carved only yesterday, even though a thousand years have flown their shadows across the surface of the rock. Through stones and the signs made upon them, the past speaks and reaches out to us.


Stones and Signs by Dr. Ari Berk. (English)

Author, artist, editor and essayist Terri Windling's Endicott Studio includes a Reading Room where you will find "essays and musings on folklore, modern magical fiction, and other related topics" including the essay's above.
Category: Fairy Tales & Fables | Fantasy & Utopia | Myths & Sagas |


Friday, 23. September 2005
Stargates, Ancient Rituals, And Those Invited Through …

Metaphysical nonsense, or high-tech mechanisms built by "the gods"?

Stargates, Ancient Rituals, And Those Invited Through The Portal
by Thomas Horn (Author of "The Ahriman Gate"), RNU - Opinions & Editorials.

Some wondered of "metaphysical" stargates where astral soul projection could occur while others had questions about etheric energy alignments between points in interstellar space allowing vibrational energies to pass through distances of space along the space-time continuum. This is what I was talking about from the moment I mentioned time-dimensional doorways, and the entities that can and do move through them.

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"Stargate" by David A Hardy


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If YOU Believe something unknown is going on and has something to do with the story above - you must read this suspense thriller. The novel is fiction... but what it portends may not be. Endorsed by PhD's around the world who believe its message is urgent and that the timing of its release is essential, don't be caught without The Ahriman Gate!

To find out more, please visit The Ahriman Gate: Some Gates Should Not Be Opened by Tom and Nita Horn.

Category: Books & Magazines | Fantasy & Utopia |


Friday, 01. July 2005
War of the Worlds

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Krieg der Welten, der neue Spielfilm von Steven Spielberg, gedreht nach dem Buch des Schriftstellers H.G.Wells, gab Anlass zu heftigen Diskussionen in Theologenkreisen. Lässt sich der Glaube an Aliens und der Gottesglaube des Christentums, Islam und / oder Judentums miteinander vereinbaren?

A variety of religious leaders discuss the possibility of beings on other planets.
God only knows if there's life on other planets.
"War of the Worlds,' which opens in theaters today, is sure to stir meta-planetary curiosities among more than just UFO spotters and "X-Files' fanatics.


The aliens according to gospel?
by SGV Tribune.


Elsewhere:
Tom Cruise Believes in Aliens by juiceenewsdaily.

Mystery Scientology Theater - How War of the Worlds Anticipated Teachings of L. Ron Hubbard by the VillageVoice.



UPDATE 03.07.05 @ 16.49 Uhr

The radio show the world remembers best occured on October 30, 1938. The War of the Worlds stirred a public panic that today would be the envy of modern media marketing.
War Of The Worlds - The Radio Broadcast of 1938 by The War Of The Worlds: the historical perspective.

The script to the broadcast - "The War of the Worlds" by H. G. Wells as performed by Orson Welles & the Mercury Theatre on the Air and broadcast on the Columbia Broadcasting System on Sunday, October 30, 1938 from 8:00 to 9:00 P. M.
Category: Fantasy & Utopia | Movies & TV |


Monday, 16. May 2005
The Dharma of Star Wars

Matthew Bortolin, an ordained member of Thich Nhat Hanh's Buddhist community, brings together the phenomenon of Star Wars with humanity's profound hunger for the spiritual.

Here the Interview: Matthew Bortolin: Darth Vader vs. the Buddha

The Book The Dharma of Star Wars Offers a Refreshing Take on the Famous Film Saga.

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Read also Jedi-Shinshu: The Buddhist Heart of Star Wars - A Movie Review by Frederick Brenion.

Als Inspiration, wenn Sie den neuen Film "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" anschauen.

An inspiration for the new film "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith".
Category: Fantasy & Utopia | Movies & TV |


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