Listen now to the wind, babe
Listen now to the rain
Feel that water lickin’ at my feet again
I don’t wanna see this town no more
Too many years made up my mind to go or stay
Right to my dying day

Just off campus, where the lake narrows back into the river it was carved from, is a bridge. Technically, the bridge has no name and is simply an extension of the road known as the Byway, the main artery that runs along Panda’s length.

Locally, however, the bridge is called the Rainbow Bridge. Named after the university students, who maintain a tradition of throwing colorful powdered chalk across the blacktop, of yarnbombing the railings and spray-painting bright murals on the concrete pillars. The hippie kids started it, back in the 1960s and ’70s, and for years it drove the local council nuts trying to clean up the “damage.” By the late ’80s, however, public opinion on the bridge changed. A new generation of kids was still creeping out at night with their neon legwarmers and Hypercolor T-shirts, but this time they were “warring” against a council that was becoming increasingly stacked with the grown-up balding versions of the people who’d thrown the first handfuls of chalk. Thus was the Rainbow Bridge turned from antiestablishment rallying point into a quaint local tourist attraction. Forty years later, kids still sneak out to bring color to morning commuters. The only difference is now sometimes adults join them.

There’s power in symbols, especially for a god.

There’s a genre of 70s/80s era rock in Australia called, variously, pub rock or bogan rock. Bogan rock is sweaty men, beer, flannel, and work boots. It also formed the backbone of the soundtrack I was listening to when I wrote Stormbringer.

In the Wyrdverse, Loki’s relationship to the rest of Asgard is… complicated. He’s the Outsider God, the guy who sits at the table but never quite, yanno. Sits at the table. He’s got a lot of repressed anger against the place–and against himself for his time there–although he wouldn’t describe it as such.

Lain’s relationship to Asgard is even more complicated, since he has the memories and experiences of both Loki and Baldr. As such, he sees Asgard as a place of sharply defined hypocrisy; a golden age empire built with lies and blood. To say he doesn’t have a lot of time for Asgard or its inhabitants would be an understatement, but he’s too “Baldr-y” (and “Travis-y”) for his malice to outweigh his burning desire for modernist reform.

Well. Most of the time…

Everything is true, some of it’s embellished.

Want the whole truth? Pre-order Stormbringer today.

(Hat tip to Jordan L. Hawk, from whom I stole the idea for this series of posts.)