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PostPosted: 09 Dec 2008, 07:51 
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I don't write lengthy fiction. As soon as I have to slap a 'Chapter Two' on something, I lose interest. Shortest attention span ever. So here, have some snippets or 'drabbles.'

----------------

I got bored and decided to write something for Gatrie. That's all, really.
Quote:
Final Chapter

"Hey, Mia!" I called.

She turned to face me, grinnin' that confident grin of hers. It was like nothing ever made her flinch, nothing budged her. Like the whole world was perfect in her eyes, those pretty, sapphire eyes. She gave me a thumbs up, her glove soaked with blood. Well, pretty much all of her was soaked in blood. Same went for me. Everyone except Shinon, really. It's like he was too good to get bloody. Bastard.

Um, I'm getting sidetracked. I'm no good at tellin' stories. No good at listening to them, either. I have a real short attention span, so Shinon tells me over and over. Like when Commander Greil was handing out the orders on this siege job, I wasn't really paying attention. Man, that was an amazing battle. One of my early ones, so I was inexperienced, but I still shined like the beacon of light I am. Not that that's unusual. I'm pretty good at everything I do.
Like when I was little, my mum got sick and couldn't finish our scarfs for the winter. It was a pretty harsh winter, if I remember rightly. Alot of people were getting sick. Shinon lived nearby, but he never got sick. I was a real sturdy kid, he just seemed too good to get sick. Like he was better than the normal people.

Yeah, I was a real stocky kid. Shinon used to get beat up alot, and even though he was older than me, I always stood up for him. At first he was really arrogant about it and got offended, refusing my help, but eventually we just sorta fell into it. He did the thinking and I was the muscles. It worked really well, we ran a tight ship. We ran some great schemes, like the time he distracted old man Shiba while I took off with his pig.
Oh, right. That reminds me.
Yeah, it was a bad winter, everyone was sick. So me and Shinon were collecting fruit and hunting some game to feed our families-
Wait, no. The scarves!

Right, right. So, anyway, my ma couldn't finish them and I took over and did them myself. Man am I good. I got them done in like a tenth of the time it woulda taken my ma to do them. They were beautiful, too. And you could actually breathe in them, it was like you weren't wearing one at all. I offered to do all the knitting from then on in, but Ma said she'd rather do it herself. I guess she likes doin' it, maybe it's relaxing or something.

But yeah, I'm good at everything I do. So when the siege took a turn for the worse, Titania was lookin' a little worse for the wear and Gloria was weighing down Commander Greil, I saved the day. He had her slung over his shoulder and was findin' it pretty hard to fight with her. Even restricted like that, he was still more than a match for everything that came his way. Man, Commander Greil was amazing.

I remember this one time... there was this Goldoan Dragon... He'd been in the slave business for some time, trading half-beasts to various nobles in Crimea. I guess Sub-Humans can be evil, too. Anyway, I think it was some guy named Renning, he caught on to these goings on and hired us to take care of it. He had to single out the nobles that were caught up in it and reveal them for who they really were.
So, we tracked down this dragon, that was hard enough. Shinon did really well, he always was really smart. He says if you just put your ear to the ground, you can find anyone. I don't know what he meant, but whenever tried it I just got ants in my ear.
Anyway, we confronted this guy, he transforms into the biggest freaking white Dragon I think has ever existed, and the Commander charges forward and takes him on. Man, that had to be the coolest fight ever.

I'm getting sidetracked again, aren't I? Yeah, I am. Where was I...
Man, I forgot what the story was about.


----------------

This one was half written by 'Adokai and shoved at me to finish. So I did.
Quote:
Lulzords.doc

The road was dusty. Far too dusty. And hot. The white-haired wanderer snarled at the cloud of dust he was kicking up, drawing in a ragged breath.

"You'd better ... better fuckin' thank me for this." He gasped out, pausing a moment to untangle his hands from his companions clothing, wiping bloodied hands ineffectually on his already soiled clothing to reach up and gently brush fingers over the open wound down the left side of his face, blood covering a good half of the normally porcelain white, eye stuck closed from the congealing fluids. He spared a moment to unhook his near-empty water skin, taking a long swallow of the unsatisfying liquid, hunching over his unconscious companion to repeat the process, albeit with more spluttering and half-hearted choking involved on the brigands part.

Water skin capped and hands once again grasping at frayed clothing the wanderer struggled onwards, heading for the promise of shade and cool water that he just knew was around here somewhere. Accompanied by only the sound of his uneven breathing and the knowledge that his companion was probably going to die whether or not he got to fresh water, he continued to put one foot in front of the other, dragging the larger axe wielder behind him.

"Fuckin' sssseptic. You get -hff- stabbed by eight guys at -hff- once and you're probably going - god you need to lose weight- to die of -hff- fucking septicemia. "

At last, a small wallow under a scraggly looking tree provides enough shade and 'fresh' - relatively, at least - water for his needs the exhausted wanderer dropped his companion by the side of the small pool of water, falling to his knees beside the large axer, already tearing at the brigand's dusty clothing. Attempting to clean the strips of cloth seemed to be the most entertaining thing in the world for the wanderer at that point, and his halfhearted giggling interspersed with violent, explosive cursing filled the still, oppressive air as he tended his companions wounds, wiping away the beginnings of infection, white/yellow pus staining the faded blue material along with the brigands dried blood.

The white haired wanderer held an involved one-sided conversation with his companion, absently cleaning the brigands face of dried blood and cleaning the small abrasions along the brown haired axemans neck, returning to the deeper gashes along the others chest and upper thigh. After four hours of mindless cleaning, the wanderer sat back, staring blankly at his companion, keying into the disturbing lack of something so fundamental he'd never thought about it - the brown haired brigand wasn't breathing, and probably hadn't been for a couple of hours.

The world just seemed to drift away, crimson eye staring unblinking at the dead body, the fact taking a long while to sink in fully. The white haired young man drew in a deep breath, and opened his mouth to start screaming -

- and he woke up trembling, wild eyed and hands reaching from the snoring figure beside him. Still there. Not dead yet. Get up and move, Rusva! He damn near catapulted out of the makeshift bedding, glaring down at the sleeping brigand, as if it were somehow his fault. Said sleeping axeman made a small sound of discontent and rolled over, neatly nicking all the remaining sheet. Rusva choked back his laughter, one hand clamped over his mouth to stop the sound escaping, shuffling about beside the bedding and filching his companions tobacco (It jus' reminds me o' home, Rusva) and the last of the alcohol, retreating to the edge of the clearing to try and erase that dream from conscious memory using bootleg booze and nicotine.

The blue/grey smoke wafted into the air as he uncorked the glass bottle, wryly reminding himself to keep the damn thing once he was done with the last of the amber liquid - glass was rare to find most of the time, and he might be able to acquire something useful out of it.


It was still dark when Rusva woke, practically leaping from the bed. Ima could smell the sweat, hear the choked rushing sound of the albino struggling to hide his heavy breathing, trying to dull his hammering heartbeat. Once he'd vacated (with the booze and tobacco, gawdamnit), the mountainthief sat upright, idly scratching the back of his head as he watched his companion through the tent flap. Quietly, he stared, daring not betray himself. Ima hadn't really slept for nearly a week now and the panicked lectures he received from his partner early on were easily avoided if he just pretended to sleep. It hurt to lie to Rusva; especially about his own well-being, but it seemed so much better than seeing Rusva tear himself apart with grief.

Unfortunately, his problems just kept feeding on themselves. He'd lost sleep because he'd received a horrid omen regarding Rusva's health. Staying up all night, watching the night terrors and sickness take their grip had robbed him of more sleep... making it harder to force a smile each day.
Sighing, Ima submitted himself to his weakness. Just this once he allowed himself to stop protecting his love, to stride across the clearing and sink to his knees behind him. He buried his face in Rusva's neck, wrapping the sheet around his waist and sobbed loudly, kissing at his jaw and neck. He stopped being strong, just wept against Rusva's chest as he shed his nightclothes, whimpering pathetic confessions of how his life would-

-fall apart. As his eyes slid open, Ima couldn't muster any decent reason to pry his eyes from the dusty ceiling and climb from the cot. He had guard duties today - so...?
He was on duty every day at this god-forsaken fort. Nothing ever happened and those who resided here knew of his loss, even if they didn't understand it, so he often got away with doing a one-hour perimeter check each day, leaving the rest of his time devoted to starting forlorning out the window of the tower he slept in or dreaming of Rusva.
You're not dead yet. Get up and move, Ima.
Sighing, the brigand practically dragged himself from the bedding, gazing emptily at the broach he hung nearby as though it was his fault Rusva had died. The giant leased a yawn, clamping a hand over his mouth out of habit, rummaging through yesterday's clothes for his tobacco (It reminds me o' him, Sir) and collected what was left of the bourbon from his rickety desk. Retreating to his window, he began the daily ritual of cleansing the nightmare from his body with bootleg alcohol and nicotine before the patrol.

The blue/grey smoke drifted out the window as he knocked back some of the mahogany liquid, reminding himself to pay the importer on his rounds - friendships are rare in the military business and he had to be careful to keep what little respect he could.


----------------

Long story short, this is a chant used by Ima's clan. It's more a method of historytelling than used for morale or anything.
Quote:
The Taliver Chant

Never shall our backs be weary,
never shall our voices quiet.
Never shall our spirit be broken,
never shall we die.

We are the men that god forgot,
we'll never be embraced in his arms.
Scorned and forsaken we work in his stead,
offering to the broken our palms.

The tales are told of men so bold,
who dared defy the gods.
Giants among men and kings among mice,
they rose against the odds.

Never shall our backs be weary,
never shall our voices quiet.
Never shall our spirit be broken,
never shall we die.

When Baldr's time was at its end,
and his majestic head rolled to the ground.
With the end of an era of gallant men,
not a tear nor whisper was found.

No, we, the brigands, the pirates, the thieves,
we cast off our shackles and chains.
Raising our blades and calling a storm,
the bloodbath drowned out the rain.

Never shall our backs be weary,
never shall our voices quiet.
Never shall our spirit be broken,
never shall we die.

So say your name with pride my friend,
and accept your berserk falling.
For the red that marked that fateful day,
will ever be your calling.

They say you can live forever,
your legend carved in stone.
Take your blade and make a name,
make this story your own.


----------------

This is the end of Ima's journey in myke!Elibe canon.
Quote:
My Victory

My father towered, immobile and daunting. He didn't flinch nor falter, never showing a glimpse of weakness - of humanity.
They call him 'Rook,' with good reason. As I am 'Liquid.' I am beautiful, adaptable, destructive and curative. I promote growth and can cause death, I bend around obstacles and set a new course for the horizon, I can clean a child or rend a mountain in half. I am free, free to dance, twist, run and play.

Free.

Lilac told me something of freedom, once. She spoke such powerful, deep words. She spoke with such conviction, her voice full of meaning and strength as her body failed. I was so distraught with her death I couldn't register what she was saying, but with age and experience it makes sense now.
'Life comes at the cost of freedom,' she said. 'To survive, we need to adhere to certain rules, we need to follow rituals and codes we may not understand or like.'
Freedom comes at the cost of life,' came next. 'No liberty is ever given without sacrifice, no man can be truly free while he exists in the system. Someone needs to rise to the top so he can fall to his death... only then can his brothers be released.'

She saw this battle long before it came. Some say that's why my father stole her from me. Her ability as a seer was unparalleled in our recalled history, only tales of The Prophet matched her feats. She foresaw storms with unerring accuracy, she declared deaths and prevented them. My beautiful, flawless Lilac...
I'll never forgive him. The world grieved her death, I swear. On her funeral the skies wept. The sparse crops of roots and potatoes we could grow on the mountain turned up empty that season. Three wars started in the following months, though unremarkable ones.
Less flowers bloomed.
Less birds sang.
The air itself tasted sour and bitter. We all knew Our Mother was angry at him and it drove him mad. He knew that no measure of violence or anger would move the Taliver to serve him until the full ten suns had passed - hers was the first mourning uninterrupted in decades.

I don't remember much of the months after her murder. They tell me I broke, I receded into myself and refused to talk, eat or move unless it was necessary. Father let me be, he assumed I was invalid from that day. What makes it worse is that her death was technically my fault - or rather, it will be.
He treasured her as a tool, an instrument of his grand scheme. She aided in many successful raids and prevented many clan disasters, though one day she told a prophecy he didn't want to hear. She spun a tale of his son rising to slay him, she told that I would free the Taliver from his clawed grip. Of course, he couldn't have her encouraging that. The clansmen were visibly growing defiant, they looked to me with a new resolve and stood against him more often. Taking her out was supposed to break the chain, demoralise the insurrection, reduce me to a mindless slave.

I've got bad news, father.

As I stand here, the blood we share staining the mud beneath us, rain weighing down my coat and making my twisted hand slippery, I know something. I understand something you never could, I hold knowledge far beyond your reach.

I know that I will die here. I know that it doesn't matter which of us deals the final blow and that I may not even be the one to kill you... but my death will free our people. I have stood against you. I have defied you openly, I have taken step after painful step, I have gotten up each time you knocked me down.
No matter how much blood I shed, I have already won. As I stare blindly at the sky, feeding the crows, my brothers and sisters will avenge me. Your prisoners will revolt and you will fall.

You can see it in my eyes, can't you? My face is haunting and ghastly, my body is in shreds but my eyes will never cease to burn. You're afraid. You're looking for a way out, deluding yourself into believing you'll be able to quell the rioting clan...

You've lost.

I'll see you in the sky, Father. I'll be waiting for you with Lilac, with Venre, with Evander and your dead wife. I'll be waiting with all your victims, with your slaves, with your foes and with every man before me who stood against you.
I'll be waiting, Father, with Our Great Mother.


----------------

ff.net meme. Shuffle your entire library and make ten songs into short stories. More Ima wangst, basically.
Quote:
10. Bullet Theory - Funeral For A Friend

Who shot the bullet
that killed the air tonight?
Without a thought
Without a reason
Take a gun called hate up against your heart-
and pull the trigger.


Ima knew what had happened long before he saw it. He could feel it moving beneath his skin, he could feel his heart shift in place as the sound pierced his ears.
Chaos was about to spill through the streets. And he was having such a good time, too.

Heaving his axe onto his shoulder, he slammed back what was left of his drink and kicked his stool under the bar. The troupe were still belting out their high-paced tune, riling the war-lust from within him. Oh, he wasn't going to let this ruin his night.
"Keep th' change," he shot over the bar, waving lazily at the sack of gold he'd gotten from his last job. The fun was just starting.

It's over?
It's only over...
It's only over when we say!


Driving his shoulder into the large wooden door, Ima muscled his way into the street, stepping on the loosed wooden plate and the man caught in its wake. The crunch of dislocated joints and cry of objection only helped encourage his beast, putting more weight on the soldier.

There it was, right at the bottom of the keep's stairway. The first casualty of the night, a villager taken down by a panicked bowman. Duke what's-his-face clambered up to the entryway, swearing at his guards as he shoved them down toward the angry mob.
Ah, how he loved nights like these. Nothing could get him down when someone deserved an ass-kicking.

The smoke and mirrors,
the lies that bind your tongue...
Is this oppression what we wanted-
or what we needed?
As we function on impatience
When our patience is wearing thin
Will you live a lie that will destroy us all?


----------------------

9. Darkness - Rage Against the Machine

Greed
Causing innocent blood to flow
Entire culture lost in the overthrow
They came to see, take whatever they please
Then all they gave back was death and disease.


"Ha."
Pointing the tip of Ecstasy at his foe, his berserk grin began to spread uncontrollably. It was like intoxication sometimes, the closer he got to the edge the less he wanted to resist. The flush of blood through his body, from feet to head... it felt so incredibly good, it felt insanity to say no.
Especially when his victim was begging to be torn apart.

"You preach o' sacrifice, old man? Tell me, what is it that you've lost on yer way to th' top?" Ima flicked the end of his blade and drove it into the stone below, kicking a cloud of dust into the still air of the cathedral.
"Sure, lives ha' been lost for yer cause, bu' how many o' them actually mattered t'ya? How many o' them do y'grieve?"

My people's culture was strong and was pure
and if not for that white greed, it would have endured.
My people were left with no choice but to decide
to conform to a system...


"You speak nonsense, savage!"

Ima shuddered inside. The man's voice alone was vile, like a rat, a snake, pure vermin. There was no reasoning here. No reason to resist the wave of red welling inside him. Better to just fall into its depths and sleep in its warm embrace.
His eyes jerked open, his grin set itself in place and his blade began moving. The bishop was already dead, it was only a matter of how much he could hurt the berserker before he collapsed and voided his bowels.

"Savage?! Oh, you have no idea! HahaHAHAAA!"

You jam your culture down my throat,
say I'm inferior when upon it I choke.
You fill my mind with a false sense of history
and then you wonder why I have no identity?


----------------------

8. It's Our Burden to Bleed - Caliban

In our world, fire burns bright.
Take care or you get hurt.
Flames kisses you goodnight,
in our world you cry.


"Oh, that's so fuckin' typical o' you."

The taliver king closed his hand into a fist, steel fingers digging through the dust of what was once a granite block and letting a stream of it fall to the floor as he erected. His brow was low over his narrowed eyes, his teeth grit in an unhappy grimace. He wasn't used to anger like this. This was focused, black anger. This was... hate?

No, he didn't think it was hate. Hate was a disgusting thing that darkened your soul and poisoned your words.
But... that was what he was feeling now. That, in itself, made him feel more spite towards Aether. The swordsman was supposed to be better than this, he was supposed to be above this kind of thing. Aether, of all people, wasn't supposed to stir these feelings in him.

WE (We) KILL YOU ALL
(Kill you all)
WE (We) KILL YOU ALL
Kill you


"Auroth. That's your name now, isn't it? Mighty King Llatthias."
"Shut up."
"Please, Frater. See reason-"
"SHUT UP."
He could feel it clearly, now. That black, vile feeling. It made his heart wither and what scraps of innocence he had left die. This hate, it made him feel sick, it made him want to cry, but mostly it made him want to hurt Aether. It made him want to hurt him in the deepest, most excrutiating ways possible. He wanted it to be slow, he wanted him to suffer.

"You and yer fucking morals can go to hell, Aether. You prance up in here, spoutin' about what y'taught me and what my fucking mother would think about all this like you're the fucking messiah incarnate."
His eyes burned as he stared down his old friend, focusing all his will on recalling a time when he respected the man. It hurt how much he wished he could tear the cunt's skin off.
"I don't know you anymore. You, o' all people, should know the meanin' of revenge. O' defendin' your honour. O' defending your beliefs."
"I should know? Fuck, Auroth, I taught you these things. What you're doing isn't revenge, it's fucking genocide. You make it sound like every single Lycian took part in the slaughter, like every woman and child wanted your people dead."
"Didn' they? You've lived among 'em, Aether. Jus' like I have. They're all th' fuckin' same, each o' them would'a killed one o' my sisters or daughters, given the chance."

We've gone too far now, we fell too deep.
Didn't you see?
It's our burden to bleed.


"I can't let you do this, Frater."
"O' course you can't. You're a fuckin' saint, aren't ya? You'd stop death itself if you fuckin' could. An' then all th' monsters out there would just find another way o' ruinin' people's lives."
"Draw Remorse, my friend. We'll settle once and for all whether you surpassed your teacher."

Our life was just a lie,
our way just pain.
What happened?
What's left behind?


----------------------

7. I hate - Marilyn Manson

You are the wind beneath my wings
The grin across my face
You are the fuel in my machine
That special place


"...p-please..."

She quaked. Blood dripped from her nose, pattering on the floor in little puddles.

"...p-please, husband... don't... don't take my child..."

He stood, child staring up at him curiously. 'Liquid,' he'd decided on. The water that crashed from the nearby falls. The endless ocean that none could tame. The wine that numbed all wounds.
Liquid.

"I... I'm begging you... please..."
"Silence," his voice boomed. The sound was like a blade, piercing through her, causing her to cower and sob. She knew she wasn't long for this world, not while she belonged to Rook. She just wanted to spend her last year or so with her remaining son. Her first, Erteth, was stolen from her as soon as he was strong enough to hold something. She wasn't allowed outside the fortress, but various servants had relayed what they dared to her. Erteth became a mage. He kept height with the girls, he showed remarkable intelligence and a keen affinity with the spirits. He'd even shown ability to manifest his guardian, something that would raise him to high status if he had been born a woman.

As a male, it meant he was a freak.

And I hate you more than life itself
I even hate you more than I hate myself
I hate
Therefore I am
I am
Therefore I hate


Auroth grunted. It was a relatively neutral sound, which may have meant good. She was dead before the turn of the cycle, there was no denying that. So far she had produced a mage and twins, both terrible omens. One child was discarded as refuse, the other was usually given a demeaning, low-class position in their culture. Venre (literally, 'void') had already been named and taken, leaving her with their little Ima.
That tiny, pure creature with such clean eyes. Born a twin, it meant she was doomed to be disposed of, an unsuitable wife. A queen who couldn't produce a suitable heir was as good as a mule with a crippled leg.


She couldn't really begrudge the child. He had no choice in the matter, he just stumbled out of her and into a cruel, unforgiving world. He was slow, malnourished, unresponsive... the poor creature could barely operate as an infant.
While his birth meant her death, while he was disabled and inadequate... he was her son. Her child, a life cut from her own.
All she wanted was to hold him in her arms and love him with everything she had.

"...he'll have to do," the tyrant declared, passing Liquid over to a waiting attendant. "I'll deal with her."
"No! Please, no! Ima! No!"

You are the final destination
The calm before the storm
You are the worm in my absinthe
I died and you were born

----------------

That's all for now, if it'll fit.



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PostPosted: 09 Dec 2008, 16:12 
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So far I've only had time to read the first one. I'll add comments about the others when I have more time to look at them.

But I really like that first one. I love the way you've managed to remain in-character the whole time and have made something that basically goes nowhere into a really interesting and fun little vignette. Since you said you have a really short attention span, is that character based on you?



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PostPosted: 09 Dec 2008, 18:00 
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Gatrie? Naw, he's an incredibly blonde knight from Fire Emblem 9 and 10. Antics include stealing a Cullis Gate for a shield, covering himself in a snake oil to move faster (which kind of worked, due to a pack of hounds chasing him) and falling smitten with everything that appeared female.



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PostPosted: 11 Dec 2008, 12:22 
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Ah, I see. As you can tell, I've never played Fire Emblem. :D But I looked up the characters and re-read the story. My opinion hasn't changed, but it was nice to be able to visualise the people Gatrie was talking about and to see that what he said about them did fit. :)

Anyway, I've now read the Lulzords one. At first I was wondering how much of it was written by your friend and how much was written by you (there's no point in commenting on something that you didn't write), but I googled Rusva and Ima and happened to come across your friend's blog where s/he(?) had posted both the original unfinished version, and the one completed by you. So now I know what parts to concentrate on. :)

I thought it was a lovely story - quite moving. Some of the English could do with tidying up (the same applied to the first one, but to a lesser extent), but I thought it was very nicely structured, and I particularly liked the way you mirrored some of the events and phrases that occurred in your friend's half.



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PostPosted: 12 Dec 2008, 02:47 
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This is wierd. I'm not used to having people read my stuff, let alone critique o_e

Um, I'm mostly concerned about my sentence structure; unnecessary commas everywhere, sentence fragments without clauses, etc. Am I on the right track here?

Quote:
6. Suffering You - 16 Volt

Hey you, follow with a force-fed plastic hype.
Hey you, shallow like the rest of your empty life.
Hey you, claiming that you're real from back in the day.
Hey you, everybody knows that you're really just fake.

Venre groaned, rolling to face the blazing sun. The ship's wood beneath him was nicely warmed, allowing him to snooze on the deck quite comfortably - ocean rolling beneath the Godseeker, crew quiet for once.

Except for that turd, Ima.

Every time the captain grew close to nodding off, his retarded brother would trip over something and spill tools all across the floor or scream at something useless or get into a fight with one of the men.
Stupid little dick. He was utterly fucking useless, really.

Set it off right with a bright light coming through.
Set it off right with a fist-fight attitude.
Set it off right with a hate you dicipline.
Set it off right when we get the truth back again.

Climbing to his feet, the Mad King of the Red Sea bared his teeth through his surgically enhanced grin - long cuts from either side of his mouth stretching it midway up each cheek. Earned him a reputation as 'the Devil's Shark' or 'the Smiling Reaper.' He was quite proud of his reputation, you know. As he doused his chestnut hair to snap himself awake and rubbed away at some grit, he caught a glance of himself in the mirror overhanging the basin.

Looking damned fine, my boy.

Reputation was everything as a pirate. People needed to recognise your ship or your flag, they needed to quake in fear as they recalled the stories spread about successful raids. A pirate crew without a reputation couldn't work; without fear, a mark will defend itself efficiently and make things messy.
Ima here was threatening the precarious balance pirates fought to maintain between being respected and forgotten.

Sinking in the silence,
Living my life through,
Running from the inside,
Suffering you.

Grabbing his scrawnier brother by the back of his pants and hauling him away from the ruined mast, Venre plucked a flask of rum from his first mate, commanding him to repair the mess.
"Y'know, if Pa hadn't threatened t'bar me access to Laus' channel, I woulda tossed you overboard weeks ago."
"I'm sorry, brother..."

Pampered little shit, bloody useless. Chosen hope of the people and all that. Doted on by father to become the Taliver's proudest warrior, worshipped by the mindless as some kind of saviour. He's nothing but a 'tard. Weak, stupid and hopeless.
"Yeah, yeah. Git belowdecks and put yerself to work moving cargo. I'll show ye how to redo that knot after McKeith has fixed it."

Ah, what can you do. He's your brother, after all.

Hey you, made it to the top going down on your knees.
Hey you shining so bright with the penniciline.
Hey you wallow in the land of luxury.
Hey you everybody knows that you're really just fake.

----------------------

5. Numb - Disturbed

Bleeding now I'm
Crying out I'm
Falling down and I'm
Feeling nothing
Laughing now I'm
Stopping now I'm
Reaching out and I'm
Feeling Nothing

She knew it was there. She'd been able to feel it for days now. Presence. Company.
The man who smelled of iron and cinders stopped coming about three or four weeks ago. She could never quite make out his name, could never understand what he murmured to her as his rough fingers invaded her privacy. She caught glimpses of his hard jawline and fiery hair every now and then, but mostly just allowed herself to fall into the nothing when he visited.

It was nice to be alone for a while. Her mother had hung paintings of flowers and valleys on the wall and on the odd occasion Fae was lucky enough to be awake when the sun hit that tiny window in the corner of her room.

Yeah, You created a rift within me
Now there have been several complications
That have left me feeling nothing,
I might say
You were wrong to take it from me
Left me fealing nothing

Solitude, yes. It was all her life had become after the accident, after her brittle, bird-like bones had crumpled to dust and left her in a semi-comatose state. She was lucky to be alive, they kept saying. It was a miracle she even responded to light and sound.
Personally, she would have far preferred death to this living tomb. It was the same as dying, only she had to lie on display, tubes rammed into every orifice they could find, watching people stare at her with those pitiful, judging eyes.

Worse still were the men like this one. She hadn't seen him yet, but she could hear him in her dreams, feel him stroking her face and breathing heavily as he lay against her. She'd never felt so disgusted with her body - could she really be that attractive that the staff could find her arousing?

Crawling now I'm
Beaten down I'm
Tortured now and I'm
Feeling nothing like
Hunting now I'm
Stalking now I'm
Reaching out and I'm
Killing nothing

He came back a few times - but not for long. She supposed he was expecting more, some kind of thrill or gratification. Idiots. She was a corpse with a beating heart; torturing her like this wasn't really going to get you much in return.
He stopped coming before long. Seasons passed. Her parents had stopped visiting what must have been years ago now - even if they were still alive. She knew it as well as they did; she had no chance of recovery.

She would spend the rest of eternity with eyes locked on that wall, watching the sun come and go. Alone.
She almost wished the perverts would come back. She wished anyone would come back. Feldspar. Kohath. Elphin. Dineyl. Marlyn.
Anyone. Absolutely anyone, please, grace my vision and block my view of those rotted tapestries. They'd faded to pale cloth forever ago, merging with the mold that coated the wall - no longer kissed by the sun. She supposed they'd built something adjacent to block it; she thought she heard some clattering and ruckus a few... months back?

How long had she been here, in this skeletal building? She must have been dead by now. There was no longer any sign of staff, no speech in the distance. Had they just forgotten her? Had they left? Had they died?

...anyone...

I want this more than you know
I need this
Give it back to me

You created a rift within me



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PostPosted: 13 Dec 2008, 18:57 
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Ok, I've commented on these two latest ones from a language point of view.

Nothing seriously wrong with that first one, as far as I could see. Just a few comments:

1) Add an apostrophe to "The ships wood"

2) "the Taliver's proudest warrior". I don't know what the Taliver is, but just wanted to make sure it is supposed to be in the singular. If they are a race called the Talivers, then the apostrophe would need to come after the s.

3) "Ima here was threatening the precarious balance pirates fought between respected and forgotten."
The sentence structure doesn't seem quite right here. Using "fought" like that in the relative clause would imply that the main-clause equivalent would be, "Pirates fought the precarious balance", which isn't what you mean. I think it would make more sense if you said, "Ima here was threatening the precarious balance pirates fought to maintain between respected and forgotten." I know that makes it a bit more longwinded, but they are fighting to maintian the balance, rather than fighting the balance itself.

Other than that, I don't see anything to complain about. I didn't spot any unnecessary commas. In fact there were a few places where you could perfectly legitimately have added commas, though I didn't consider any of them to be wrong without them. As for sentence fragments without clauses, I didn't see any, and don't know precisely what kind of thing you're thinking of, but I personally don't object to incomplete sentences in informal narrative, so long as the meaning is completely clear. I think sometimes using partial sentences, or starting sentences with conjunctions (which is something I do quite deliberately on occasions), can convey a more colloquial, spoken style, as though a narrator is actually telling the story, even though it is grammatically incorrect.

Second one:

1) "Prescence" should be "Presence"

2) "She was a corpse with a beating heart, torturing her like this wasn't really going to get you much in return."
You need more than just a comma here. Each clause is is a sentence in its own right, so a comma is insufficient. I think you should have at least a semi-colon.

3) "visitting" -> "visiting" (I don't know if it's a typo or a spelling error, but if it's the latter, then there's no need to double the consonant because it's an unstressed syllable.)

4) "She supposed they'd built something adjacent to block it, she thought she heard some clattering and ruckus a few... months back?"
Again, you need something more than a comma here. Since this isn't a formal piece of writing, a dash might work well to indicate that the second clause is an explanation of the first.

Edit: I forgot to say that I really liked that second story. The first one just seemed like a scene from something larger, but that second one was fascinating.



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PostPosted: 14 Dec 2008, 10:12 
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Fixed what I could, using semicolons to break up those sentences mentioned.

Quote:
Nothing ever happened and those who resided here knew of his loss, even if they didn't understand it, so he often got away with doing a one-hour perimeter check each day, leaving the rest of his time devoted to starting forlorning out the window of the tower he slept in or dreaming of Rusva.

Sentences like this one are my biggest concern. I'll just get caught up in the image in my mind and drag a sentence on, adding to it repeatedly until it's a giant mess. I'm also fairly certain you're not supposed to have a comma before 'and' or 'but.'

It's not a perfect example; there aren't many from these selections. It's mostly present in roleplaying, so I figured it would have shown in my writing. Apparently not.

EDIT: Might as well take this oppurtunity to expand on the Taliver, since it was brought up.
In Elibe canon, they're mentioned here and there - frightful bandits who murder women and children along the men who defend them. Ima was first born in FEP's first roleplay (set in Elibe) and I felt the Taliver would be obscure enough for me to weave a decent backstory. So, here's myke!Elibe's rundown of the Taliver. Might as well submit it like any other fic here.

Quote:
The Taliver clan originated in the Western Isles, a barbaric and untamed land where tribes warred and pagan gods were worshipped. Fighting a losing battle for turf, Baldr of the Llatthias bloodline led his people to the mainland. Crossing the harsh deserts of Nabata and encountering difficulties with Lycian politics, they eventually settled in the ranges that seperated Lycia from the plains of Sacae.

At first, the clan was accepted by the other nomadic tribes and lived a relatively peaceful existance; certain cultural clashes couldn't be avoided, but as ages passed, they adopted various rituals and beliefs from their surroundings. The tribesmen would occasionally rob Bernese and Lycian convoys or farms due to difficulties growing crops and livestock on the unforgiving mountains, but never more than what was needed. When the thirty-second Auroth ('Mighty King,' a leader elected by birth) came into power, things went downhill. 'Rook,' as he was known, grew greedy and violent, chasing some mad dream of the perfect warriors of their Western past. The Taliver quickly became known as ruthless bandits and murderers, homeless brigands and highwaymen seeking refuge in their stronghold.

During Fire Emblem 7, it is revealed the Taliver attacked and destroyed the entire Lorca tribe (save Lyndis). In retaliation or some attempt to appease Lyn's unhappiness, General Wallace attacked the Taliver stronghold and killed each of them - man, woman and child (which is the backstory for songfic 8, actually.)

Ima ('Noble son' or 'First Son,' the first in line to the throne) wasn't actually the first-born of his family. Erteth ('First Daughter,' an insult given by Rook) grew to display talented spirit-charming abilities, something exclusive to the females of the Taliver. The males grow to impressive heights - some as tall as nine feet - and possess an abnormal adrenal gland over their heart that can throw them into unstoppable rages, transforming them from smiling, friendly men into whirling, screaming nightmares. 'Evander' (Erteth's chosen name) was short and showed no signs of 'the beast,' growing in shame until he exiled himself.
Ima was born with a twin, Venre, whom tradition declared should be killed and disposed of. Rook decided instead to raise his son outside the fortress' walls and teach him the ways of the sea, growing to like Venre's violent and brutal nature over his chosen heir's timid babbling.

I understand the naming conventions can become confusing, so I should explain those.
A clansmen is traditionally referred to by his surname. So, 'Llatthias' would be the correct way to address Ima. Their given name is a rank within the family; 'Auroth' being the head of the house, 'Ima' being the first son, 'Lethe' being the mother and 'Erteth' being the first daughter. These names are typically only used within the family or when several members are present, though Venre and Ima grew to use them informally when abroad. Clansmen are also given a nickname or 'chosen name,' something that people identify with them. This is usually a descriptive noun like 'Rook,' 'Liquid,' 'Evander' (meaning 'Good Man' in bernese) or 'Lilac.'


That was more fun than I thought it'd be~



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PostPosted: 14 Dec 2008, 19:45 
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It sounds like there's a lot of backstory to all of this! I'm beginning to think I'll have to take a closer look at Fire Emblem.

Quote:
Nothing ever happened and those who resided here knew of his loss, even if they didn't understand it, so he often got away with doing a one-hour perimeter check each day, leaving the rest of his time devoted to starting forlorning out the window of the tower he slept in or dreaming of Rusva.

It's interesting that you brought up that particular sentence because that was one of the ones I particularly had in mind when I remarked that some of the English could do with tidying up. I presume, for a start, that "starting forlorning" should actually be "staring forlornly". :p But other than that, I know what you mean about dragging a sentence on. I tend to do the same thing when I'm trying to get a thought down on paper (or the screen), but if I feel it's become too unwieldy when I read it through I generally try to rephrase it and break it up. I don't feel your example is particularly bad. It's a little long, but still easy enough for a reader to keep track of. If you wanted to break it up, I'd suggest doing something like ending the sentence after "didn't understand it" and then starting a new sentence with "Consequently". I also think you need a comma between "slept in" and "or dreaming of Rusva" to indicate that the second phrase is a separate activity. When I first saw that, I had to read it twice to get the sense because, without the comma, it gave the impression the two belonged together grammatically.

Quote:
I'm also fairly certain you're not supposed to have a comma before 'and' or 'but.'

I'm not aware of such a rule (though Crystal should be the expert on these matters - she's studying English). There are some places where it might be better not to use one, but there are others where I consider a comma to be necessary. If you look back at what I've already written in this post, there are at least 2 places where I've used a comma before "but" and I don't think it would look right without them.

-----

I've just gone away and had a look in a very entertaining book called "Eats, Shoots & Leaves", which is all about punctuation. According to that book, there is no consensus regarding the use of commas. It says:
Quote:
Aren't there rules for the comma, just as there are rules for the apostrophe? Well, yes; but you will be entertained to discover that there is a significant complication in the case of the comma. More than any other mark, the comma draws our attention to the mixed origins of modern punctuation, and its consequent mingling of two quite distinct functions:

1 To illuminate the grammar of a sentence
2 To point up - rather in the manner of musical notation - such literary qualities as rhythm, direction, pitch, tone and flow

So different people may choose to use or omit commas in certain contexts according to how they imagine the sentence might be spoken.



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That's rather fascinating. I've always used them to break up thoughts or infer a pause in a sentence, but always worked under the presumption I was doing it wrong. Good to know, I guess : D



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PostPosted: 11 Jun 2009, 13:03 
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I feel this thread needs updating so I'm gonna pull from the Skylessia RP Contests - little one-shot writing competitions with a theme.
In reverse chronological order, the last being from July 2007.

Quote:
The Last Giant
Theme:
Your character's effect on the universe long after their death.

It was far too early.

The sun's shadow could barely be seen over the Demos Range of Western Alacia, a mere discolouration of the still-starlit sky. Even the proverbial morning-birds still snored in their nests, the forests of the foothills silent but for a few of the stubborn marsupials refusing to head home until they had found decent food. The small fire pit from last night's feast still smouldered, for Vhiliu's sake.
It was far too early to even consider battle.

Still, it was his duty. Even as Marlow cursed at his boot and struggled to figure out why he couldn't get his foot into it, he could feel his heart swelling with pride. For all the struggles and pains he may endure in the hours that come, he could always face his death bravely, knowing he had bought his people a few more hours of peace. It was a rather common sentiment among his order, and he knew that he may be one of the hundreds this war claims each day. Any of the knights who clattered and bustled around him may not see tomorrow's fight - a dreadful reality that hung over the heads of each of them, adding to the weight of their silvery platemail and months of marching.
Despite it all, every member of the Fourteenth Regiment of the Holy Army held his chin high. They had an important duty in any Devlani battle. A single battalion of Church Knights could steel the resolve of the most broken army, and urge them forth to victory - or at least a stalemate. They spent many years facing the hardest of trials and the greatest of adversities to achieve their positions; trained, drilled and brainwashed until they were truly and honestly fearless. While not as lethal as a Gunman battalion or as dreadful as a Wyvern ambush, the Church Knights were equally feared.

Because with Justice and Virtue on their side, they believed themselves invincible. When they charged headlong through flames and steel without faltering, their enemies began to believe it too. When their enemies showed fear and weakness, their allies began to believe it too. By merely influencing the morale of both sides of a battle, Church Knights could drastically change the outcome of any fight - which made them valuable. Which meant they were in high demand, exhausted and overused. One thing led to another and the Devlani Churches decided to produce more knights, faster. Bigger acadamies, shorter programs, lower standards...
...and soon, the Church Knights began dying. That's a another story, though. Today, Marlow faced the scrawny nomads of Olivan and their brittle arrows - and he finally had his boots on.

"Sir Marlow," rang the stern voice of his commander, rising from powerful, well-tested lungs. As expected, General Straker was already fully kitted and mounted. The men who served under this imposing man always said you could count the battles he'd served in by merely counting his scars. A jawline as square as his shield, high cheekbones exposed from malnourishment, dark, expressive eyes - even withered by war and in his advanced years, Straker looked every part the shining knight of fairy tales. Though he couldn't see it under the General's heavy surcoat and dark green cloak, Marlow stiffened under the heat of the Athlaeas; an amulet of ferocious power Marlow had seen his Commander rip from the claws of an elder mamkute he'd defeated.
"My lord," Marlow responded, straightening and saluting, the struggle with his scabbard forgotten.
"Your boots are on the wrong feet."
"...my apologies, my lord. I suppose I'm still half-asleep."
Straker grunted, taking a more informal tone. "Be quick about it, Marlow. Dyson and the guard scared their scouts off, but there's no doubt they herald a larger force beyond the border."

Apparently dismissed, the young Seargent righted his footgear and clipped his sword to the studs on his belt, stumbling toward the tent of his squire. Fumbling with the hemp bindings for a moment, he swore through the tent at his lifelong friend. He dearly loved old Mel, he really did. There was noone he owed so much to, noone he trusted more - but really, Mel was getting too old for service. He'd served Marlow's father some time before he died, and tradition dictated he go on to serve Marlow. Tradition adopted from Alacia after they finally annexed it, but tradition nontheless. Marlow was purely Devlani by blood - evident in his cold, dark eyes and shiny black hair. Devlani were rare among the church knights due to understandable hostility from the Alacians behind the program - after years as lower-class citizens, they made the program notably harder for Devlani who joined. Marlow's father always said it just shaped them into better knights.

"Mel! Mel, you lazy son of a three-legged-"
"I'm awake, Marlow." The Seargent stepped back as his squire burst from the tent, twisting his belt into position. Mel's years of service showed on his face, pale skin loose and drooping in folds from wherever it wasn't attached. Creases sprouted from the outer edges of his faded green eyes, mere memories of the gem-like shine they once held. His hair was completely white by now, thin and dry. He sported a proud beard, trimmed and shampooed daily; the only hair he could still grow besides from his ears.
Locking his helmet into his collar and screwing on the blade of his spear, Mel nodded wordlessly and left to prepare Marlow's horse. Mel was a good man, the knight mused, and he'd be lost without him. He was retiring soon, his son replacing him - a man of equal scruples but far less wisdom. Pauli was older than Marlow by a good few years - it was strange to think he'd be teaching him, and that Pauli would then teach Marlow's child. It was a strange, round-about process.




He shivered as the unborn mana surged through his soul, ley lines mounting and cresting atop him as he finished the somatic components of the spell. He'd always found the foreshadow of a spell to be unpleasant - as with the aftershock. But the casting itself, the raw, unbound power... it made any level of torture seem worthwhile.
His fingers locked the last symbol into place and he slammed the heels of his palms together, uttering the final word of the incantation. Twisting his hands on their heels so his right hand's fingers pointed up and his left's pointed down, his muscles tensed and his nerves fired. Eyes narrowing, feet shifting apart, he exhaled - a sigh that quieted the world around him, causing the ring of steel to fall silent and the cries of pain to drift away. For one everlasting moment, Marlow was alone in the world, the only heartbeat in the entirety of the universe. He stood atop the earth with all its attention focused on him, all its energy devoted to his hands. His fingers burned, his palms glowed and all at once the world moved again. Thrusting his hands forward, palms first, he hesitantly released the magic; wishing that moment could have lasted longer, sad to feel so powerless again.

The energy rippled forth, grass peeling from the dirt and floating away from it, earth splitting below. The sky darkened as the mana sparked to life, growing from a wispy trail into a raging sphere of flame. It hurtled forth, spinning gracefully, until it crashed into the flank of an unsuspecting horse - flaring out in an unearthly explosion that rocked the ground and scorched the air. Flames scattered and danced past the nomad, thinning and dissipating a good yard or so beyond him. Nose filling with the scent of its own burning flesh, the stallion reared and whinnied frightfully before collapsing to the floor - crushing Marlow's target and rolling around on top of him, legs kicking at the air. Scooping his sword from the ground, Marlow paced towards his own fallen steed, struggling to catch his breath and keep the contents of his stomach down. His teacher assured him that it got easier with time and that expert wizards could sling lightning for hours without feeling a thing - but to Marlow, it seemed worse each time.
"I know they say 'A Church Knight is never unarmed,' but that was something else," Mel said, trotting up beside him. His white beard was stained pink with blood, his horse fighting for breath. It had been a hard battle for everyone, and they had lost more of their men.

Church Knights weren't supposed to die - then again, Church Knights weren't supposed to fear. But during this campaign, they had learnt it, and it had saved many of their lives.
"Do you have word from the General?" Marlow asked as he pulled his lance and a vulnerary from his saddlebags, shakily uncorking the latter. "We should be able to mount a rescue within ten minutes."
"Don't bother, sir." Mel grunted, shifting uneasily in his saddle and gazing to the east. "A burial team would be more appropriate." Marlow was speechless. Precious liquid dribbled to the ground as he stared at his squire in disbelief while the reality of that sentence sunk in. The ground felt as if it had fallen from under his feet. When he finally spoke, his voice was weak, broken - barely audible over the groans and whimpers of the other knights as they tended to their wounds and confirmed their kills.
"...how?"
"A Llatthias was there. The younger one, I believe."
Marlow swore loudly and tossed aside the vulnerary, preparing to face the long hours of prayer and labour ahead. Over two-thirds of their men remained to face the Brujah while he led the rest after the fleeing nomads. If General Straker had fallen, then there was little chance anyone else had survived. That made him the highest-ranking knight of the regiment.




"This expedition is a folly!" Marlow cried, standing from his chair. The two guards shifted their weapons forward a little, swallowing nervously. "I demand a retreat until we can rally a larger force."
The Cardinal stroked his long, thin beard in an attempt to look sagely, but his lazy eye and layers of fat didn't exactly help him. He waved at the pair of royal guards, assuming they'd understand he wanted them to stand down. When they didn't get yelled at for not moving, they relaxed and erected their pikes again.
"You dissapoint me, Sir Marlow." Cardinal Baxter and General Marlow sat in the war tent, a larger canvas erected over a cheap table with roughly-sketched maps, cheap figurines and a bottle of half-finished liquer. Straker's cot sat at one end and the opening at the other - the only other object of note being a small oil lantern hanging above the table. Straker wasn't a man of rich tastes, not that there was much room on the wagons for any luxuries.
"I find it hard to believe your men are being struck down by untrained savages after your long chain of victories against the Erimate rebels," the Cardinal said, stretching his arms out so his guards could haul him to his feet. "Deal with it, or you'll have more to fear than barbarians."

Marlow stared silently at the table as the cardinal was carried out, clenched fist quivering. Only when he heard the carriage door shut and the whip of its driver crack did he allow himself to move, swearing violently and kicking the table over. Running his blistered fingers through his dark hair, he sank back into the chair, eyes welling with tears. Anger, grief, guilt - many things raced through his mind, but most prominantly was that unfamiliar feeling. Fear.
The worst thing about the whole situation was that Cardinal Baxter was as right as he was pompous and hedonistic. The Brujah were rabble from the mountains who, before the turn of the century, were nothing more than bandits. Sure, they were huge - so were the elephants the Teralynn cavalry rode. They were vicious - but no more than the berserkers of any other clan. It was their king, that titan who strode calmly towards their army with a blade longer than their horses. The titan was a renowned mercenary under the simple guise of 'Ox' before he rallied the Brujah. Many a tale belonged to his name before he took command; by slaying his own father, they say.

At the birth of the Devlani march, Llatthias was there. He led the oversized brutes against them, halting their armies at Yllspyre, at Val Mae and at Alacia. When no report came from their armies at Alacia's capitol, a wyvern squad was sent to investigate. The reports said that Llatthias' corpse stood, blade in hand, before the gates to the castle, surrounded by the thousands of men charged with invading it. Many believed it was Ox's death - and not the first squads of gunmen - that had allowed them to force Alacia to surrender years later. Either way, his death made the Brujah a low priority in Sromvoski's eyes, a mistake that Marlow had to pay for today. Ox's sons weren't as fearsome or dangerous as he was, but were equally inspirational leaders. The elder, Ashlocke, Marlow had personally faced twice. Ashlocke was a monster with that huge blade, but clumsy, headstrong. He fought with little care for his life, his face twisted in black rage - the spitting image of his father, it was said. The younger, Elliot, Marlow had only seen from a distance. Elliot was calm, calculating - the more dangerous of the two, really.
It was Ashlocke they needed to deal with first, though. He held the Guillotine Blade and looked a little too much like Ox. There was no common soldier on the continent who would face him in battle - for some reason, it was impossible to convince the peasants he wasn't the same man. Long after his death, the Brujah king had entire armies quaking in their boots - even hardened members of the fearless Church Knights.

Marlow sighed, grabbing the bottle of Liquer from the floor and moving to sit on the cot. With what little men he had, he wouldn't be able to do anything about the babarians of the mountains. At best, he could hope their deaths here would inspire Sromvoski to do something about them - at worst, others would hear of the Regiment of Church Knights who fell to a giant, and stop fearing the others. Rebellions may emerge, armies may march...
Strange that the legend of a dead man could undo the great Devlani Empire.


Quote:
My Victory
Theme:
Your character's death.

My father towered, immobile and daunting. He didn't flinch nor falter, never showing a glimpse of weakness - of humanity.
They call him 'Rook,' with good reason. As I am 'Liquid.' I am beautiful, adaptable, destructive and curative. I promote growth and can cause death, I bend around obstacles and set a new course for the horizon, I can clean a child or rend a mountain in half. I am free, free to dance, twist, run and play.

Free.

Lilac told me something of freedom, once. She spoke such powerful, deep words. She spoke with such conviction, her voice full of meaning and strength as her body failed. I was so distraught with her death I couldn't register what she was saying, but with age and experience it makes sense now.
'Life comes at the cost of freedom,' she said. 'To survive, we need to adhere to certain rules, we need to follow rituals and codes we may not understand or like.'
Freedom comes at the cost of life,' came next. 'No liberty is ever given without sacrifice, no man can be truly free while he exists in the system. Someone needs to rise to the top so he can fall to his death... only then can his brothers be released.'

She saw this battle long before it came. Some say that's why my father stole her from me. Her ability as a seer was unparalleled in our recalled history, only tales of The Prophet matched her feats. She foresaw storms with unerring accuracy, she declared deaths and prevented them. My beautiful, flawless Lilac...
I'll never forgive him. The world grieved her death, I swear. On her funeral the skies wept. The sparse crops of roots and potatoes we could grow on the mountain turned up empty that season. Three wars started in the following months, though unremarkable ones.
Less flowers bloomed.
Less birds sang.
The air itself tasted sour and bitter. We all knew Our Mother was angry at him and it drove him mad. He knew that no measure of violence or anger would move the Brujah to serve him until the full ten suns had passed - hers was the first mourning uninterrupted in decades.

I don't remember much of the months after her murder. They tell me I broke, I receded into myself and refused to talk, eat or move unless it was necessary. Father let me be, he assumed I was invalid from that day. What makes it worse is that her death was technically my fault - or rather, it will be.
He treasured her as a tool, an instrument of his grand scheme. She aided in many successful raids and prevented many clan disasters, though one day she told a prophecy he didn't want to hear. She spun a tale of his son rising to slay him, she told that I would free the Brujah from his clawed grip. Of course, he couldn't have her encouraging that. The clansmen were visibly growing defiant, they looked to me with a new resolve and stood against him more often. Taking her out was supposed to break the chain, demoralise the insurrection, reduce me to a mindless slave.

I've got bad news, father.

As I stand here, the blood we share staining the mud beneath us, rain weighing down my coat and making my twisted hand slippery, I know something. I understand something you never could, I hold knowledge far beyond your reach.

I know that I will die here. I know that it doesn't matter which of us deals the final blow and that I may not even be the one to kill you... but my death will free our people. I have stood against you. I have defied you openly, I have taken step after painful step, I have gotten up each time you knocked me down.
No matter how much blood I shed, I have already won. As I stare blindly at the sky, feeding the crows, my brothers and sisters will avenge me. Your prisoners will revolt and you will fall.

You can see it in my eyes, can't you? My face is haunting and ghastly, my body is in shreds but my eyes will never cease to burn. You're afraid. You're looking for a way out, deluding yourself into believing you'll be able to quell the rioting clan...

You've lost.

I'll see you in the sky, Father. I'll be waiting for you with Lilac, with Venre, with Evander and your dead wife. I'll be waiting with all your victims, with your slaves, with your foes and with every man before me who stood against you.
I'll be waiting, Father, with Our Great Mother.


Quote:
Blood Sport
Theme:
Show a scene that epitomizes your character.

The ground shuddered under Hayt's feet again, loosing fine dust from the roof to mingle with the film of blood that coated the floor. He couldn't, for all his strength, keep himself from flinching. His heart was like a jackhammer against his ribcage, he had to struggle to pry his eyes open and scold himself for hoping this was a nightmare.
The next shudder came, causing more dust from the gold-coloured stones that made the complex to fall, the torches to flicker and his pulse to skip a beat. The way the powder sat atop his claret and the way the torches danced across its surface lit the floor as though it was covered in liquid flame, a burning tapestry of reds, oranges and yellows. This was his legacy, his shame and his destiny as the last of the Blood Guard.
Tightening his slippery grip on the accursed sword, Sun Hayt began the cumbersome trudge toward his foe.

Despite the poor lighting and his blurred vision, the ronin could clearly see the glee that lit up this giant's eye. The way his sickly green tongue slid across his scarred lips, the way he practically quivered with anticipation. He'd found himself chasing alot of fairy tales these days, stories of titans and liches alike, creatures from the depths that could rend a man without flexing a muscle. Was he seeking his limit? Was he chasing fame? He didn't even remember anymore. He always forgot what led him here, lost in the moment, every fibre of his body alight with defiant pride.
This 'ogre,' like many of the others, turned out to be little more than a psychotic man with access to some curious magic or alchemy. A sadomasochist whose own gear cut into his skin, barbed wire and nails driven through his flesh from the various leather straps and such. He stunk of decay, the acidic smell of his blood made it hard to bring oneself to cut him - regardless of which, harming him only seemed to further excite him.

In full view of each other, Hayt felt his rebellious smirk growing once more. Whether this was a self-seeking path towards true oneness or a way to grow his name in order to shame those who kicked him from his home, he knew one thing for certain; he only felt alive when the odds were stacked against him like this.
Flawlessly he flourished his scabbard, pointing the hilt of his sword toward the beast. Eyes closed, scarf dancing, he forced himself not to flinch as the ogre pounded the walls of the underground shrine with his giant club again, cackling in that annoying way of his.
Opening the eye facing the monstrosity, the swordsman tensed his legs, preparing for the rush that could well be his last. His mouth split into a wide grin and he playfully called, "The score is an even 40:40 split. Round three... FIGHT!"


Quote:
Theme: What will it take to drive your character over the edge?

It happened so fast.

One minute, there she was, spiralling through the air in loops and twirls - showing off like she always did when she got drunk. Her laughter was like honey, sweet and smooth, rich and full of life. Cheeks dark and eyes hazy from the booze, her grin made her seem invincible... in fact, Ima had been pretty much convinced she was.
They'd been through alot together. Almost all of his childhood was devoid of friendship and affection without her. Without her, his life was bleak torture; day after day of pain and agony blurred into a long blur of wishing he wasn't alive. Every morning he would wake, be beaten within an inch of his life in his father's attempt to 'train him' then spend the rest of the day walking among his opressed people, before he was healed so he could 'train' some more. Each night he would climb the unforgiving face of Baldr's Peak, kneel in front of Lilac's grave and weep, praying for some kind of release. Once it was dark enough, he would be dragged off to some poor farming community or caravan and forced to aid the bandits in slaughter and theft.

With Ellena in his life... it made it worth living. Even if weeks stretched between their meetings, knowing he would see her again made it worth enduring. The knife he kept in his belt became used for skinning animals and cutting bandages, rather than slitting his wrists.
He would sneak out, run down the village at full speed, disregarding his injuries. They'd meet with an embrace, before she'd climb onto his back and grind her knuckles against his head, laughing at how pathetic he was. Drinks would be had, the Alacian knight would spin him exaggerated tales of her guard duties and eventually she would start singing and taking her clothes off.
If she was still conscious by the time he'd carried her back to her cot, they would embrace and share a brief moment of passion, before she would pass out in his arms, drooling on his chest.
Sure, it wasn't exactly the perfect relationship, but it was all he had.

Whether they were hunting deer or helping the farmers deal with filling a produce order, Ima relished every moment, drinking in her enthusiasm and cheery demeanor.

And then this happened.

The arrow narrowly missed her pegasus' face, the equine whinnying in a panic and bucking around in an attempt to avoid the threat. Thrown off by Marian's writhing - having been too drunk to be bothered strapping in properly - Ellena was tossed through the air like a ragdoll. Her expression was dazed at most, expressing no fear, not a scream coming from her mouth. She just blinked as she carved her arc through the air, before crashing to the ground.
She was high up, so she died instantly and painlessly... not that it would make Liquid feel any better.

It was over as quickly as it began. The impact shattered her form as though she was made of porcelain, snapped bones bursting free as her insides escaped through her skin. Ima's thudding heartbeat stopped as hers did, all time seemed to freeze. His chest felt tight, his lungs hurt, his eyes burned as everything stood still. He, too, was frozen in time, but his mind was still racing. He could think, and feel, and see... and hurt. A pain like nothing he had ever felt; nothing like having his flesh rent, nothing like having his bones broken, or his muscles torn or his organs pierced. It was a supernatural pain, it hurt something parallel to him, something outside him and inside him at the same time. His mind was screaming, ears ringing, eyes finding it impossible to focus.

Suddenly, his heart started again, and time was moving. His veins bulged as his blood surged through his body at an unhealthy speed, his chest hammering like his insides were being littered with atomic bombs. His eyes peeled wide, his pupils shrunk and suddenly he could see like he never had. Every colour seemed a blaring neon, each blade of grass was sharp and defined from the rest... he could see the hairs on the legs of the ant as it scurried along the tree branch.
He could tell the size of each foot as it fell on the ground from the vibrations in his feet, his ears could pick up any and all movement and sound - defining direction, size, volume... he could smell Ellena's warm guts as they steamed on the cobblestone.

His blood seemed to be pumping faster and faster, adrenaline pouring through his system. Quivering, his heavy breathing became deafening and soon enough his razor sharp vision blurred as he lost his sight. All his clear, concise thoughts faded to nothing and all he could feel was hate.
Every blow his father had struck against him. Every harsh word his brother had cut him with. Every animal that he had been forced to eat, every villager he had watched die, every loved one he had lost, everything that had been stolen from him and everything he endured... all of it surged through his body as pure, white hot rage consumed him. He was burning in a fire from within, his skin peeling and his eyes boiling, his heart shrivelled and turned black from the heat.

He felt no pity anymore. No remorse. No fear. No sympathy.
Everything and everyone was scum. Vile, disgusting vermin that lived only to harm and damage, forever reaping for themselves and giving nothing back. Every flaw in the world became apparent to him, everything he had ignored for so long. He suddenly understood lying. He understood stealing. He understood revenge.
The world was faulty and humans were a plague. It needed to end.

Throwing his head back and letting loose a blood-curdling scream, Ima dropped to his knees and tore at his chest, nails catching flesh and tearing it off in chunks. He ripped a handful of hair out, sliced at his throat and crushed the dirt beneath him into crumbs. His screaming got louder and louder, spittle flying from his mouth as his iris' and pupils faded.

Destroy.
Destroy it all.
Tear apart the world, rip it at the seams.
Bring the foundations crashing down and crush the ruins into dust.


Panting ferally, he whipped his head around, locking his blind eyes on the source of the arrow. A young archer, attempting to hit a target on a tree. Quivering, frozen in fear as she emptied her bladder into her underwear, she stood transfixed as the giant thundered towards her.

Tear her skin off.
Rip out her spine.
Snap off her ribs.
Remove her heart.
Take her intestines.
Taste her liver.
...it's good. Like nothing ever before.
Look, another.
Destroy them. Destroy them all. Rip and tear and crush and destroy.


Hours passed. The sun was setting. Liquid's body went limp, and he drew deep breaths as he threw a final, meek punch at the chunks of bone and gore he had been pounding into the ground. Pulling himself from the mangled carcass, he stood, struggling to keep on his feet. The rage had subsided, leaving him in a numb haze, yanking a spear from his arm and plucking a few arrows out.
Blinking, he glanced around the now empty streets, littered with debris and body parts, a small film of blood covering the streets. Falling to his knees, he hugged himself and wept.


Quote:
Theme: Your character is being harassed by a child who idolizes them.

"...and there is nought I cannot do with faith by my side.
O lady, forgive me this trespass as I sin in your name,
may the dark lord have mercy on my humble soul as I do your deeds.
Though I long for Her embrace, I shall not want, nor ask.
Her kingdom eternal.
Ever."

Cumbersome eyelids lifted, heavy lashes parting to reveal eyes so stunning that a queen would have them cut out and placed in her trinket box. Those blue orbs, depth unrelenting, never revealing any secrets, had locked onto a target, his brow low, his eyes narrow.
Leather squidged as it stretched over his huge fingers, tightening his grip on the large weapon clasped in his sweaty hands. Droplets of perspiration rolled from his forehead, arms and down his back, his body quivering, his will wavering. Never before had he done a task such as this, never before had he willingly killed someone.

Liquid the Pure, Ima Llatthias, the last of the Brujah royalty, stood opposite a man of sinister demeanour and intimidating stature. This swordsman stood lazily, stance tilted, side-on to the berserker. Dark grey hair spilled over half his face and down his back, revealing a single, crimson eye. It was wide, bloodshot and quivering, the pupil had shrunk to a tiny dot, the iris had swollen.
Tanned skin was covered by a blue and white garb, loose-fitting, open coat. A katana hung lazily in his left hand, tip sinking to touch the ground with a 'tik' before he tightened his grip and caused it to spring back up again.

"...finished your gibbering? It's time to end this."

A rumble rose from Liquid's throat, his eyes briefly darting from his foe. They swivelled to a small boy, cowering over his mother's body, watching with fear-filled eyes. The kid was soaked in the blood of his family, skin white as a ghost. Never before had he seen such horrors.
That slip in Liquid's defenses was all this swordmaster needed.

The only thing that notified Liquid that his life was in danger was the lack of the tapping of the sword against the ground, which gave the white-clothed man a good second or two advantage. And with speed like his, that was more than enough. Martell the Unchained, he was called. Finest swordsman in Alacia, rivalled only by some lordling's daughter, whom he had never challenged. Until this day, he hadn't found anyone who had survived his first attack, so he had wandered, aimlessly killing, trying to attract the attention of someone who could test him.

Like Ima.

His step was silent, his moves fluid. By the time the giant had even noticed the attack coming, the sword was already half an inch from his eye. Too late.
Reflexes kicked in, instinct sharp and quick, but with a lapse in his defense like this, it did little to help him. Liquid jerked his head back and away as quickly as his body would allow, but the blade still ripped his eye open. At least his head hadn't been split in half.

Stumbling backwards, his defenses still down, Liquid was opened to a flurry of strikes and slashes, flailing with his axe and gauntlet to try and deflect as many as he could, but he took savage injuries to his axe arm and neck. His sight was impaired, his weapon arm was fucked, and he would asphixiate in a matter of minutes with his jugular open.

All hope seemed lost, in the child's eyes. Liquid would fall, he was going to die here, and he would meet his parents in the afterlife. Compared to living without them, it didn't seem so bad...

But, to his surprise, he was proven wrong.

Martell's katana whipped down at Liquid's lowered head, aiming to split it in two. Shock and a wide grin spread across his face as his blade stopped, and he couldn't pull it back.
The blade rested in Liquid's steel gauntlet, his fingers quivering as he tightened his grip on it. The berserker's head hung limply, hair covering his face, blood dripping onto the ground.
Martell struggled against this grip, cackling madly.

"Yes! Yes, that's it! GET MAD! KILL ME!"

"...as you wish."

With a horrid screeching sound, fragments of steel flew in every direction as Liquid's grip tightened, shattering the blade. He swung his steel paw forwards, catching Martell's chin and knocking his jaw loose, but more importantly, knocking him off balance.
Lifting his head, under a veil of blood and dirty hair, a single blue eye, filled with remorse and sorrow watched as his axe twisted in his hand, his muscles tightening, tendons stretching...

It was over.

Liquid stood tall, staring down at the twitching halves of this man, a clean cut. Straight in two.

"O lady, so that you sha'n't dirty thine perfect hands, I have-"

"Mister?"

Liquid paused, mouth hanging ajar. He stopped his whispered prayer, turning his good eye to face the voice. The boy, the survivor of this massacre. The boy held up a fist, a gleam of cheer shining in his wet eyes. In his fist, clenched tightly, was a small sword, taken from his father's corpse.
Liquid was taken aback, confused as to what the boy wanted. He was merely eleven, maybe twelve cycles old... what could...

"...you were... you were amazing, sir. Your pure strength... your stamina, your endurance... your skill with the blade... teach me, sir... I want to be like you."

Liquid turned his head away, hiding the pain in his eyes. Stepping on the skull of the swordsman he had just defeated, crushing the bone and organ under his giant, four-hundred pound step, he walked away, screaming inside as he said what was neccesary.

"Fuck off, kid. I ain't no hero, this ain't no knightly romance. I'm just another murderer."

-----

Liquid sighed, staring into his drink. The guilt would still be there when he sobered up, but at least for now, he could forget.

"I still don't believe you, Liquid. That man deserved to die."

"You dunno whatcher onabout kid."

The giant swivelled to face the kid, one eye squeezing shut as wooziness washed over him. Moving fast right now was a bad idea. Take note of that.
Placing one of his mammoth hands on the kid's shoulder, he smiled. Abel looked down at the sword in his lap, biting his lip.

"That man? He hadda fam'ly. Maybe not kids, but he at least had parents, and maybe even a girl."

"Yeah, but... he... he killed my family..."

"Did yer dad ever serve in the milita, kid?"

"Y... yeah..."

"Then, by your reasoning, your father deserved to die, too. I'd say he probly killed someone at some point, and they had a family."

"..."

Liquid turned back to his drink, slowly this time, and slammed it down his throat. Squeezing his eyes shut as the chills ran down his spine and his stomach leapt into his throat, Liquid grimaced. This was good ale.
Slumping in his seat, he casually looked around the empty bar. It was two in the morning. Everyone else was asleep, besides the night shifters. Included in this group was a young lad behind the counter, working on a play or poem or something until Liquid wanted his next drink, and the boy's sister, sweeping the floors.

"It's the way of the world, kid." Liquid mused, his head flopping back so he was staring at the roof.
"You're either a murderer or you're dead weight. If you can't kill, you'll kill the people trying to protect you. There's no such thing as heroes. You either kill for your own benefit or for the benefit of others. Either way you're a murderer."

"Then... I'll just have to become a murderer then. I don't... I don't wanna be dead weight."

"If you think you're ready for it, kid. I can teach you the basics, but most of what I know is instinct."

Abel nodded, tightening his grip on the scabbard. His eyes burned with a new passion, a resolve. He was going to prove Liquid wrong. He didn't want to be a murderer, but he wanted to protect the 'dead weight.'

"There has to be a way to survive in this world without killing..."

Liquid's lips parted, showing his teeth. His shoulders started bobbing, his eyes squinted, before a raucous laughter overtook him. Tears bit at his eyes, which he tenderly dabbed at with his gauntlet. He turned to Abel with a proud smile, eyes filled with hope.

"Maybe there is, kid. I used to think so. I just hope you have better luck than me."

"What do you mean, Liquid?"

"I used to fight with a blunt weapon. I ne'er killed noone. It came back to bite me on the arse." Liquid sighed again, taking on a forlorn and sober demeanour. This was one tale he hated.
"Someone I spared came back and killed the only person I loved..."


Quote:
Theme: Your character's training. How did they get to where they are?

The crowd murmured loudly, hundreds of discussions taking place at once. There were nobles, commoners, merchants, mercenaries and soldiers. People of all classes and statures collected in the frozen centre of Bjavarlyk.
Counts talked with farmers. Woodsmen spoke to librarians.
The whole city had forgotten its prejudices and disagreements, and collected here, at the frozen stage.

The torches were put out, and silence washed over the theatre in an eerie wave.
Pure, black silence, save the reserved breathing of the crowd. The still remained, until, with the sound of a large bell chiming, a bright white light shot up from the centre of the stage. Like an emergency flare, it sailed high, leaving a trail of glittering dust behind it. Illuminated by the light, a small girl kneeled, wrapped in layers and layers of cloth, a dress so intricate and complex, those familiar with the performer were surprised she wasn't crushed under its weight.

The flare slowed its ascent before lowering, finally hovering a good seven feet off the stage, showering the girl with a dim light. She silently slid one foot out from under herself, straightening the leg as she stood. Her hand trailed her movements, rising in a circular motion and ending high above her, her head tilted up to watch her slender fingers grasp at the light.

Pain and woe spread over Fae's face, and she looked panicked and flustered. She grasped again at the light, which responsively levitated away from her. She wailed, leaping and clawing at it, chasing it as it fled around the stage. Finally, she dived and missed, sliding to a stop face down on the ground. The collection of citizens gasped and edged forward on their seats, really getting into the show.
Life was pretty hard in Yllspyre. It was times like these the frozen nation lived for.

She crawled into a kneeling position and held her head in her hands, sobbing loudly.
The dazzling light seemed sympathetic, and lowered down towards her, pausing for a moment above her.
Fae turned her head up, looking at the orb over her shoulder, and wiped her eyes on her sleeve. The light lowered once more, allowing her to stand and cup it in her hands.

The smile that crossed the dancer's face was pure joy, happiness in its warm simplicity. The crowd smiled with her, a whisper or two danced around the stadium, a child giggling and clapping his hands.
Fae uttered a single phrase, raising her hands above her head and watching on wistfully as the orb fluttered away from her.
"...be free."

As the orb danced out of sight, things were dark and silent again, earning a confused murmur from the crowd. And then, the lighting came back on to reveal Fae standing, chest defiantly pushed out, hands clenched. She wrenched off the first layer of the dress (designed when tailored to tear away, of course. They had to make it very fragile, because of Fae's lack of physique) and began running toward the front of the stage. The crowd gasped as she reached the end and kept moving, leaping...

And flying. The rest of the dress was torn to shreds as two giant mechanical wings tore free, opening and giving her flight. She sailed high above the crowd as they applauded, and landed on a platform several stories up. After detatching the cables and harness beyond their sight, she strolled back into view, and lifted her hand, the orb resting comfortably in it.

Fae bowed, curtains were pulled, and the crowd went wild.

Wiping the sweat from her brow, Fae sat as her attendants rushed over. She lifted her left wrist limply, her hand hanging at an odd angle and giggled.
"I seem to have broken it... heh..." Her eyes closed cheerfully and she smiled her famous smile as her attendants fussed over her broken wrists, scurrying backwards and forwards with medical supplies.



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PostPosted: 11 Jun 2009, 17:53 
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Dino

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Those were wonderful! I always find your little vignettes really gripping. You manage to get across an incredible intensity of emotion that really makes me feel for your characters, especially Ima, who I feel I'm getting to know quite well now, since he's turned up several times in both this set and your last ones.

And you've produced some lovely descriptive writing. I particularly liked your description of the build up and release of the magic as Marlow cast it, but that's just one among many.

I'd tell you which was my favourite piece, except that I can't decide. I love all of them.



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PostPosted: 21 Jun 2009, 16:23 
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I was responding to Dino's post in my art thread and my fingers wouldn't stop moving D:

Quote:
Hayt is partitioned into the following incarnations;
Dynasty Era - Late Adolescence, serving as Blood Guard of the Twelve Orchids battalion. Paying no real attention to the moral impact of his father's orders, Hayt serves mindlessly and obediently; slaughtering hundreds in the name of the Sun house.
This usually remains in his backstory before I bring him into play - but sometimes I feel like dipping into his dark roots :3
Consistent traits are long hair, clean-shaven face, cloak rather than scarf, spiked, heavy armour and dark marks under his eyes.
Quest Era - Early Adulthood, journeying across the world to refine his swordsmanship and learn techniques. After Neratyr, his sister, snaps him from his hypnotic state, Hayt seeks the power needed to destroy Di, his father, and unravel the Sun dynasty.
This is typically the Hayt I use in roleplays that don't support his immortality.
Consistent traits are the rounded goatee (curls under his chin), neat hair, straight-bladed sword, standard kilt and aqua armour.
Wandering Era - The years between the fall of the Sun Dynasty (prehistoric China, est. 5000BC) and modern day. Hayt spends this time coming to grips with the maelstrom of divine and abyssal energies within him, instinctively seeking battle and appearing in many historical wars.
This Hayt only appears in art and short fics. A good seven thousand years gives me plenty of room to throw him into all sorts of situations without effecting established canon.
Consistent traits are Sekaihaka (the manifestation of Kontousen in sword form), shaggy, mid-length hair and a pointy goatee; thrusting forward an inch or so. Armour varies.
Calamity Era - The setting of my D20 Modern campaign. Hayt appears for the first half as an unassuming mercenary named 'Max Izlude,' but before long reveals himself to be the super-powered samurai-demon he is.
Consistent traits are calmer expression, heavier gauntlets, long hair (just below the shoulder) and a sidearm.
Kontousen is Hayt's Felsworn identity - a demonic spirit attracted to him through the curse passed to him through his father. Kontousen is covered from head-to-tail in dark scales and spiked ridges. His jaws are a set of hideous mandibles usually hidden below his muffler, his hands and feet alien talons. Sekaihaka likewise changes to represent Hayt.
Tennouji is the state Hayt enters when he communes with Kontousen and combines their powers. With the exception of his trademark scarf, Hayt replaces all his armour and leather with traditional japanese Samurai garb. Sekaihaka becomes an intricate black-bladed Katana.

On that matter, I'd like to correct a common misconception. Hayt is Chinese - the Samurai were Japanese. I've had people bring this up many times in the past and I'm quite aware of it.
Hayt's 'Quest Era' blade has no Sori (curve) and the Kissaki (bevel at the tip of the blade) is angled longer. This straight-blade is used in combination with his bladed scabbard in the Flashing Tail and Lurking Talon school of swordplay, expounded further down.
The Sekaihaka, however, has an appearance much closer to a Katana and is the cause of most of these arguments. The Sekaihaka is a Wodao (Sword of the Wo people), a Chinese blade made to mimic the Katana due to the staggering losses they took when battling the Samurai. Many of Hayt's Tail/Talon manoeuvres were adopted when exploring Japan and the Wodao was a natural choice to fit his style.
Probably an unnecessary amount of explaining but I couldn't stop.


Also the Tail/Talon school as described in Hayt's Skylessia profile :G

Quote:
"Flashing Tail and Lurking Talon" - Well-studied in the blade arts he collected from across the globe, Hayt fights with a one-sided straight sword and a bladed scabbard. As the name suggests, his style focuses on deception and distraction; one blade flickers forth to give the illusion of an attack while the other strikes from the side.
The Raptor - Traditional Iaido.
"A patient predator, cunning and fierce. Unbreakable discipline, unwavering resolve."
Rake, a school of manoeuvres focused on single, powerful strikes from the draw.
-One: Judgement Cut. A raptor who has mastered the art is able to draw his blade with such swiftness the force of the movement can strike several feet from his reach. While Hayt was not able to perfect this manoeuvre, he wrote that the man who taught him could slice a log from thirty feet away.
-Two: Tyrant's Folly. A series of counterattacks that rely on luring your opponent into taking openings that set them up. A raptor is never defenceless, though may feint it expertly. Inspired by seeing a pack of wolves place a decoy to trap a bear.
-Three: Storm Arc. A precise three strike manoeuvre that must be followed to the letter. A jab with the hilt, a strike with the scabbard's blade and finally, a step back to draw and blast the opponent with one of the fiercest blows in the art. Many students desert the raptor school purely because of this manoeuvre, failing to understand the strict form is an exercise of discipline.
Titan's Gaze, an aspect of the raptor's traditional duelling ceremonies. When defending one's honour in a battle, the raptors will set their stance and stare each other down. Many such duels are decided without either blade being drawn, or when they do, the man who draws second emerges victorious. Some who suffer a raptor's glare proclaim they could see deep into his very heart and soul, felt the pure strength of his convictions and accepted defeat. It is speculated that the practice was inspired by gorillas struggling for the alpha position, beating their chests and displaying their power before fighting.
The Dragon - Two-handed strong style.
"Proud and majestic, a mortal god. Strength to lift mountains, knowledge to place them."
Firebreathing, a school of manoeuvres that focus on terrible killing blows and swift recovery.
-One: Sky-cleaver. While the manoeuvre itself is a simple overhead slash, it exemplifies one of the Dragon form's main principles - the manipulation of one's momentum. By first raising a leg and heaving oneself upwards before beginning the terrible downward hack, the Dragon increases its crushing power tenfold.
-Two: Perfect Shear. A lightning-fast strike across the chest followed by a flourishing slide behind the foe, the Perfect Shear is a dramatic technique whose mastery is sought by many. It is thought to be a display of raw and unmatched skill, and achieving the right stroke is no easy feat. While the manoeuvre seems simple enough, the placement and execution of the blow must be literally perfect for the swordsman to delay his enemy's blood from flowing until he has moved where he won't be stained. The dramatic obsession likely stems from its origins - a warrior boasted he didn't desire to be stained by such foul blood, then proceeded to cut a king down in the middle of his court without getting a drop on him.
-Three: Earth-render. A technique of raw strength, mastered only by the few with the build necessary for such a feat. The Dragon pounds his weapon into the ground with all his might and splits the earth - sending a wave of force and debris into an enemy.
Dragon's Cruelty, a technique buried deep in the roots of the style, wherein the Dragon twists or rocks his blade out when withdrawing from a blow. It was observed that most sword techniques would waste effort following through an attack - almost any swordsman will aim behind his opponent when he thrusts, burying his sword deep and wasting time and effort to withdraw it. The Dragon style focuses on only cutting deep enough to kill, but the specific way the technique is used means a foe who survives a blow will suffer intense pain as the blade is torn back out. In essence, this makes the form deceptively fast and devastatingly painful.
The Cat - Soft-style Ninjutsu.
"A lithe aristocrat, stealthy and graceful. Silent malevolence, invisible wrath."
Stalk, a school of stealth and ambush techniques with little in-combat viability.
-One: Spider Touch. By anchoring his weight right and utilising his momentum, an expert Cat can run short distances across and up walls. By locking his joints and holding perfectly still, a Cat can even cling to ceilings and walls for brief periods - given a corner to wedge himself in.
-Two: Crane Step. A Cat spends many years tailoring and perfecting his step; the single most important aspect of his training. By keeping his centre of gravity high and placing his weight in a specific part of the balls of his feet, the Cat can move silently on stone and dirt. This careful weight placement, when perfected over many years, can allow the Cat to spring off surfaces that would not normally be able to hold his weight. In extreme cases, it is told that ancient masters of the art could even spring off water if the surface tension had been unbroken.
-Three: Speech Theft. By listening intently and delaying his strike until his opponent's heart and lungs are both empty, a Cat can effectively kill his target while giving them no opportunity to cry or scream. A very basic assassination technique from the mainland, absorbed into the Tail/Talon when the Cat school began.
Crocodile's Jaw, a series of grappling techniques and manoeuvres that focus on getting control of your opponent's head and neck, making them easy to manipulate into a more advantageous position. As the name suggests, inspired by the crocodile's powerful bite; once it's locked on, it's impossible to remove, and the resulting wrestle will likely kill you - whether through drowning or bleeding.
The Peacock - Playful performance style.
"Stunning and proud, the alpha male. Infuriating technique, bravado unmatched."
Pounce, a school of manoeuvres performed when falling, leaping or otherwise mid-air.
-One: Wrath of Heaven. The single most difficult of the Tail/Talon manoeuvres, the Peacock brings both blades together overhead when preparing for a fall. Heaving the blades forward and down, he must then spin downwards at incredible speeds, sweeping both blades outward when landing. Inspired by the grounding of a lightning strike and seeing a man knocked prone by the mere impact of the bolt.
-Two: Two-headed Swoop. A running leap leads into a low strike with the scabbard then spinning into a high strike with the sword against their fall. Usually the flat of the blade is used as this manoeuvre is effective at incapacitating. Inspired by a pair of magpies protecting their nest.
-Three: Crow's Hammer By hammering both blades down on an armoured foe repeatedly, the peacock may use the recoil to keep himself airborne with practiced control of body weight. A relatively simple application of the laws of kinetic and elastic energy.
Whipping Reed, a leaning stance designed to bend and move with incoming blows.
The Phoenix - Fierce dual-wielding style.
"The beast uncaged, swift and furious. Terrifying rage, matchless pace."
Death Wish, less a style than a discipline devoted to pushing one's body to its utmost limit and one's mind to breaking point. A practice learned from the savage barbarian tribes of world and refined to a teachable art.
-One: Ascending Fire. A method used to accelerate the phoenix's heartbeat, release endorphins and drive himself into a state of incredible rage.
-Two: Revenge. A series of counterattacks that waste no effort defending oneself. The phoenix accepts a foe's blow and returns it tenfold.
-Three: Blood Bolt. A surge of adrenaline used to propel the swordsman at breakneck speed toward his opponent, blades tucked under the opposite arm in preparation to rip outwards.
Rebirth from Ashes, a medical defiance in which a master of the art reroutes blood flow from damaged or ruptured veins and arteries to healthy ones. With the blood moving in such restrictive conditions, the same heartbeat pumps the blood much faster.



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PostPosted: 21 Jun 2009, 18:42 
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That's actually very interesting. (Reminds me a bit of Rurouni Kenshin with the detailed descriptions of the sword techniques.) And I was aware that the Chinese had started making Japanese-style swords. Can't remember where I read that now. (Possibly also in Rurouni Kenshin.) Are all the styles and techniques completely made up by you, or are they based on real forms?



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Very loosely. The techniques listed there are basically literary adaptations of popular video-game and anime skills - the Judgement Cut, for example, is standard anime samurai fare. When compared to real iaido, the three listed raptor techniques are, respectively; pure fantasy, extremely generalised and accurate-but-generalised. The Titan's Gaze is standard samurai duelling practice, too.
All of this is assuming you disregard how hard iaido is when using a straight blade :p

Dragon is pretty much the same. Sky-cleaver and Dragon's cruelty are rather simple sword techniques in many schools, but Earth-render and Perfect Shear are fantasy nonsense. The three Cat techniques are nonsense, but Crocodile's Jaw is based on Muay Thai grappling. Phoenix is feasible, excluding Rebirth. Peacock's Whipping Reed is an actual dueling technique, but the others are pretty much nonsense.

i'm good at typing lengthy articles about nothing useful.



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Most of my writing juice is stuffed into RPs and Script-style FE7x writing. So... have some of that!

Quote:
[Overworld]
Among the loosely-formed nations of Elibe, The Western Isles are in the greatest turmoil. From times unrecorded, the cruel and unforgiving islands served as home for only the most brutal and strong-willed of creatures. Wolves as heavy as oxen prowled the humid jungles, land-locked wingless wyverns ruled the foothills and titanic birds screeched from the mountaintops.
The only way for man to survive amongst these monstrous beasts was to become stronger than he had ever been. Even the youngest Westerners are tall, tan and rippling with muscle - fiercer than the fabled dragons who dared not tread the isles.
Until Durbans rose with his mighty Armads, the scattered tribes of the West scarcely had contact - and warred violently when they did. After the scouring, the mighty Durbans roamed the isles, challenging each chieftan, warlord and high seer and proceeded cut them down. He eventually died a violent death in battle - but the tribes honoured his authority for many years.
Recently, however, old rivalries have been resurfacing. With their attentions turned inward, the outer tribes began falling under Etrurian influence - by force, by bribe or by religion. Dara D'Tristan, prince of a noble bloodline, soon discovers that this invasion is the least of their concerns...
-------=======================================-------
Chapter Two: Unearthed Terrors
-------=======================================-------
---Northern Fibernia; Tower of Ninis
--Shrine Background
-Summoner mid-right

[Seer] ....O, crystal ocean, wisdom and grace...
...I stand humble, lowly eye of the people...
...Grant me strength, o gods, that I may be your voice!
-shift to Summoner mid-right, Shaman mid-left
[Seer] I speak only truth, dear brother. The oceans did rumble and thrash with vigour! The gods fear for us, and offer us aid in our coming struggle.
[Prophet] Disturbing news, indeed. However, our unity is tenuous and fragile. Our brothers of the tribes will not defy the Order if addressed individually, but can be rather contrary as a whole.
[Seer] This is true, brother, but these visions are too serious to be ignored.
[Prophet] I understand that. Unfortunately, I don't believe our brothers of the tribes will. They are far too concerned with the Etrurian occupation, the dwindling Roc presence and the deserters.
[Seer] All important, but very local.
[Prophet] A-ha!
[Seer] What is it, brother?
[Prophet] 'Local.' I have a plan, dear brother. Calm yourself and return to reading the waves.
---Etrurian Strait; 'The Alice'
--Ocean background
-Tristan mid-left, Reno far-left, Celeste mid-right

[Tristan] There's very little to tell, Celeste. The Ghosts are never very informative - they just give the orders and speak in riddles.
[Celeste] I've been visited by Ghosts before, Tristan. What did they tell?
[Tristan] A few of the seers have been making sense, apparently. They're all telling the same story, rather than contradictory nonsense.
[Celeste] That *is* disturbing.
[Tristan] Mm. They all speak of an ancient power being brought to bear, an old promise being broken. Bottom line, if this thing gets in the wrong hands, the world's gonna get pretty ugly.
[Celeste] I see. I don't imagine the Order entrusted a meager band of sell-swords to stop it, though.
[Tristan] No, our task is far more humble. We're to visit the Chieftan of Lycia-
[Reno] 'King.' Lycia scihen'xha Auro-rans.
[Tristan] Does it really matter?
[Reno] Sehlaak Lycia'rai eeqonen.
[Tristan] So I've heard... We'll have to watch our step, I suppose.
[Celeste] What did he say?
[Tristan] He pointed out that Lycian culture is... sensitive.
[Celeste] Ah. Smart fellow.
[Tristan] He is. Anyway, we're to tell King Ulric of our concerns and deliver this here letter. We'll only need your services as escort, really.
[Celeste] Easy.
-Gado shifts far-right
[Gado] Maybe not, boss! There's a vessel comin' from behind and the captain says he knows 'em.
[Celeste] Which means they're in the same business, I assume.
[Gado] That's what he says, boss.
[Celeste] Alright. Dara, would you like to lend your blade?
[Tristan] Sure. Reno, get belowdecks. You're still not well enough to fight.
[Reno] Gekkai cappa? Deboru tekkai lhu.
[Tristan] No, Reno. Get to safety, *now.*
[Reno] ...
-------=======================================-------
battle stuffs still go here.
-Talk: Celeste/Shen
[Celeste] Straighten up, Shen. The ship isn't going to capsize beneath you.
[Shen] Sorry, boss. You know I don't like sea travel.
[Celeste] I know, but we're kind of in a tight spot at the moment. You've no time for seasickness.
[Shen] I know. I'm fighting my best, but I can't feel their footfalls over all this rocking.
[Celeste] You've never ceased to amaze me, Shen. Don't start getting mundane on me.
[Shen] I'll do my best to remain supernatural, boss.
[Celeste] Good. Thrash them brainless, then go back to being queasy.
-Boss Quote: Tristan
[Tesla] Ahoy, islander. Would ye humour an old sailor?
[Tristan] Alright. What's your query?
[Tesla] Ye island-dwellers worship th' sea, yar?
[Tristan] Among other things. A Westerer would worship a saddle if you told him it was holy. The heat does things to your brain.
[Tesla] Hrm. I was a-ponderin' on hirin' a western seahand t' help moralise th' boys. Talk th' ocean inner helpin' us and such.
[Tristan] I don't think it'll matter, captain. You may have noticed that your boys are a little indisposed.
[Tesla] Crewmen come an' go, islander. There'll be plenty sailors when I dock yer ship at port.
[Tristan] I can't let you do that, captain.
-Boss Quote: Others
[Tesla] Don't get proud, curs. Me boys were clumsy and dim. Ye now face Tesla, cap'n o' the Stallion!
-Boss Quote: Death
[Tesla] B... blast! Fargus... treat her kindly, will ye?
-------=======================================-------
--Ocean background
-Tristan mid-left, Celeste far-left, Fargus mid-right
[Fargus] That's the last o' the bastards. There's no real damage, 'sides where we met on the stern. Tesla were always terrible at boarding.
[Celeste] Thank you, captain. Do you need a few more deckhands?
[Fargus] Aye, that'd be appreciated. After defendin' us like that, I owe ye as it is - so how's about we call her free passage?
[Celeste] I couldn't ask that, captain. You were only in danger because you were transporting us.
[Fargus] Ha, I'm afraid we've a hidden agenda. Tesla caught wind o' it, I suppose. We're cartin' silver to Etruria, you guys were just a convenient bonus.
[Celeste] Hm. So technically, you endangered our lives.
[Fargus] Ah... well, aye. Technically.
[Tristan] We made it through fine, though. Captain Fargus was the only one to have suffered loss, and we're fine. Let's forget it happened.
[Fargus] Aye! I'd best be gettin' to things, then. Excuse me.
-Fargus leaves, Celeste shifts mid-left
[Celeste] Hm.
[Tristan] Leave it, Celeste. I'm more interested in the origins of this silver.
[Celeste] That's a good point, actually. I thought the Isles were the only place with natural silver. That's why it's so expensive in the east.
[Tristan] Exactly. I'd heard rumours of Etrurian worker camps, but perhaps there's more to it than rumour.
[Celeste] Another day, Tristan. We've got to save the world, remember?
[Tristan] Right.


Synopsis: A Chieftan's son from the Western Isles is chosen by the society of anonymous shamans who run the place. The dire task is of enormous importance, for without the aid of Lycia, the Islanders don't have a chance against this new terror.

I could post all those, but we're trying not to show much of the game until December.
I think.

Quote:
Extracted from Snow Day: Part One, the fourth adventure of the Ashes of a New World RPG.

The first shot was fired, the first blood had been drawn and the crowd was suddenly aware of the situation. For some reason, New Yorkers were absolutely fine with a squad of charging mutant lycans - but apparently not okay with being around fired shots. Really, if the horde of howling and screaming wolfmen weren't charging at you, they probably weren't a threat. Gang-fights were as common as traffic jams, and every crook with half a brain knew that as long as civilians weren't harmed, they'd only need to worry about the police. As soon as an innocent was harmed, the neural sirens went off and DPsecurity came screaming at you from the skies.

Were the ravers aware that the targets of this attack were technically DPsec, they probably would have cleared a wider berth and much faster. As it stood, some of them gasped and a few shuffled away nervously; most continued their dancing, only slightly annoyed.

Eric heaved an oversized, double-barreled revolver from his pack, settling into a crouching position behind the car. Judging by the speed the Lycans were hurtling towards the vehicle, he'd only get one shot off, but he was determined to make it count. Closing an eye, he chose his target and made some calculations.
"Sharieshia!" He cried, glancing sideways at her with his one open eye - iris glowing with various cursors and crosshairs. "I'm gonna floor that bear, you start the car up. This is no time to seek glory."
Swearing under his breath, he squeezed the trigger, unleashing an ear-splitting shot that screamed towards his foe, cracking the concrete beneath it. The crackling energy that had wreathed the weapon surged forth explosively, the recoil nearly knocking him prone. While he managed to retain his footing, the roaring werebear didn't - knocked tumbling to the ground, the sound of his ribs cracking echoing after the shot. The boar behind him wasn't quite quick enough to get out of the way - crushed by his much larger brother and sent rolling in a squealing tangle of claws and fur.


Synopsis: The DP Detectives moved downtown to follow a lead on their case, while the entirety of New York dance away the six-hour void ceremony that leads into the new year - with the rising of the sun.
Their suspicions of organised crime involvement are confirmed as a pack of gangster wolves chase down Daniel - a witness to their murder. 'Course, they haven't figured all that out yet :]

Quote:
Extracted from Chapter Two, the second adventure of the Knights of the Portal RPG.

She grit her teeth and stood firm as the darkness washed throughout the room.
It's just a spell.
There was an unearthly groan as the skeletal monstrosity stepped into view (what little view they had). Cold, rotted air rushed from its bony maw, air dead and stale for decades. It washed over everything in the room, sending goosebumps up her arms and making her hair stand on end.
It's just fear tactics. You're perfectly safe.
The sound leased from this creature's fleshless throat was a sigh unlike anything she'd ever heard. It rumbled like a tiger, but retained an intelligence - it was an exhausted sigh, one of pain and weariness. It was the kind of sigh a mother made before she put the pillow over her infant's face and held it down until the child stopped kicking.
It's just a monster, like anything else. I can do this.
She couldn't fight it, even with her immense power over her spirit. Even with years of meditation and training, even with a samurai's famous inner calm - her knees buckled. She let out a frightened sob and stepped back, her movements erratic and hastened like a fleeing rabbit. She ducked away from the zombie (but not before taking a glancing blow), away from her allies, away from those glowing red dots - and she retreated.

Her steps were stumbling, at first, feet tripping over themselves as she crossed the stone floor, but soon her legs grew strong. She was confident she could have sprinted through that door and out into the city in a matter of mere moments, but something stopped her.
It was a warmth, like a beating heart. It rumbled through the air, battering away the darkness and clearing her head.
...I can do this.
There, in the corner of her eye... what was that? It was like a ripple, a pulse, a flicker in the fabric of the room. It sparkled gold and pulled at her from across the way. She altered her course - instead of the door, curving towards the corner, the source of the light; the warmth.
It's just fear tactics. He's a monster, like anything else.
She smiled as she pushed the corpse aside, wrapping her slender fingers around the intricate hilt of the treasure underneath it. It was bound in the finest white silk, wrapped carefully and lovingly around the gold-plated tsuka. Tiny rabbit-like creatures danced in the menuki, visible in little diamonds not covered by the silk wrapping.
She pulled it free, and exhaled, standing erect. A scabbard followed from under the undead, fine leather bound together with gold casing and white cord. She ran her thumb over one of the designs, mouthing the words silently.

She turned to face her enemies again, suddenly boosted with confidence. The darkness attempted to reach out to her in millions of little tendrils but was pushed away by the glimmering light of her swords. She didn't even need to draw Savage Bliss to know what it looked like - a gold-bladed katana, with deep grooves and a hooked Kissaki that matched Springing Blade's.
Her name was Minami and she was better than these corpses.


Synopsis: Due to the carelessness of a wandering necromancer, the party is beset by a skeletal wyvern that spews darkness from its jeweled eyes. Minami takes a moment to break down, summoning her family's ancestral katana in her desperation.

Quote:
Extracted from Story Two: A Series of Mild Disasters, the second half of the second adventure of the War's Majesty RPG.

The party quickly fell into synergy, as true-born adventurers always did. It took a specific kind of person to get into these situations, and a knack for teamwork was one of the standard traits. They were the kind of person who chased the thief down the dark alley. The kind of person who risked their life to save the princess.
Rhineforte proved to be a natural leader, organising the work efforts even as the camp began taking shape around him. Ashlynn quickly started a fire, Maeko and Seya began rummaging for food and a small group began confirming Kait's hunch.

Breeze's job seemed just as dangerous as those outside facing the harsh jungle. As they climbed to the engine room, she was only just quick enough to avoid a falling hunk of metal decapitating her. As it was, the support beam only struck her shoulder - at worst, dislocating her arm. If moved fine, but hurt a little. Cringing away from a shower of sparks, the Captain found stable footing in the room - basically standing on the wall that seperated the engine from the passenger's cabin. Offering his arm down, he helped her up. Once they were relatively secure, the hard part began. Her task was relatively simple - pass tools to him and place salvaged parts in a sack.

Back out at camp, someone had to address Seya's poison. He lay writhing in pain, panting and sweating against a tree. His vision blurred and his stomach heaved as the secondary and tertiary effects took place - paralysis gripping his limbs as he lay dying.
Maeko was quick to respond, since everyone else was busy (or had no aid to offer).
She kneeled and held her hands either side of the wound - a festering, pus-leaking scar across Seya's arm. She murmured quietly, setting the arcane foundations for the spell, and began the complex process of writing it.
Casting esuna or poisona was a fairly straight-forward process. They had been written thousands of years ago, tested and refined by mages of the highest arcane universities. You merely memorised the incantation and supplied the mana, shaping it as it flowed from you and killing the poison outright. Maeko was doing something far harder - directing the flow and shape of her magic by word, attempting to command it by sheer force of mind.
She did remarkably well. Without any formal construction to her spell, the pain of having the poison forcibly extinguished from Seya's body was excrutiating - but soon enough, his vision cleared and the sickness subsided.

The scouting team took proverbial wing, heading for the elevation of the mountain range. Travel was difficult, at first - the underbrush tangling their feet up and slowing them down. Animals skittered around them, the trees blocked light and trapped in humidity. All-around unpleasant, until they emerged from the treetops and breathed the fresh air of the mountainside. The incline and rocky surface made it equally difficult to traverse, but at least they could see and breathe.
As Kait had predicted, the craggy peaks of Lutia clawed at the sky to the west, and to the east the jungle deteriorated into swamp, marsh and finally, the badlands of the Jagd.

Their location wasn't all they discovered, unfortunately. On the way back to camp, an ominous rustle in the bushes heightened their senses, putting them on alert. Red was the first to see one - leaping from tree to tree overhead, laughing viciously. It sounded like a hyena, but he didn't get a good look at it; perhaps a breed of ape or other primate.
Either way, it seemed like a good idea to hasten their pace.
Their fears were confirmed as they broke into the clearing. Laila spun towards a rustling branch, axe at the ready, to see the first of them emerge from hiding. Her cry of surprise alerted the others - Kait and Red only just turning fast enough to dodge the leaping, furry, death.

Now, everyone could see them clearly. They looked like a natural experiment in cross-breeding; natural selection had decided some form of wolf would work better as a biped, with opposable thumbs and a primate-like face. Shaggy, mud-stained fur hung from their frame at length, with absurdly long ears protruding back from their perpetually grinning face. Their eyes were hollow and glazed, their snouts receded and bent to mimic a smiling human. Their forelimbs were nearly hairless, covered in scabs and painful-looking bony protrusions, ending in hooked talon-hands. Their lower legs were bent like a dog's, and they had a wolf-like tail.
Despite their twisted and gaunt shape, they moved with grace - striding with the aid of one of their forelimbs, blind eyes fixed on the party. There were eight of them - the three that had sprung at the scouting party and five who had emerged around the perimeter of the camp. They moved in a coordinated formation, blocking all exits and flanking the team, their primate-like intelligence shining through. One clambered over the ship, loosing screws and engine parts to fall on Breeze and the captain, but thankfully, nothing large enough to do damage.


Synopsis: The survivors of the crashed airship do their best to build a base camp and salvage the ship's communication and navigation components. Seya encounters a poisonous man-eating plant, Breeze deals with the hazards of a shipwreck and Kait attempts to eke out their location.
Suddenly, gremlins!

...what? Every adventure needs mindless combat.

Quote:
Extracted from Act One, the first adventure of the Halo RPG.

Chris wrinkled his nose animatedly as he stared out at nothingness. There was this uncanny sensation that he may have been part chipmunk until he started wiggling his jaw. From whence, dear observer, it wiggled, it wobbled and ground - it almost seemed the young officer was chewing imaginary taffee.
Then, like air was rushing into his brain for the first time, Chris straightened and blinked, as if seeing for the first time.

He was being addressed.

The lazy and somewhat dishevelled cadet - he had to be a cadet, considering the blank look on his face and scrawny physique - snapped to attention, his posture corrected and his hair folded under his hat. There was some manner of transformation, an almost convincing one; until you noticed that only one side of his uniform was tucked in.
Considering company, one notes that he was, at least, wearing uniform.

He remained stiff and orderly as the Sergeant Major barked - which, as far as anyone knew, was the native tongue for Sergeant Majors - eyes staring at nothing with the determination of a warrior. He pondered, briefly, if they were truly so 'focused,' shouldn't they be staring at something useful? He dismissed it as his midriff was pummeled by a thin display device and he clumsily tried to keep ahold of it. He glanced at it only briefly before it fell from his vision, forgotten.

"Petty Officer Hui. Questions, sir!" When given permission or confirmation or some form of response - he wasn't sure how to address this man, really - Chris touched the images on his screen, tapping them rather vigourously. "Has anyone gone in and come back out? I mean, did anyone enter the vessel and return when setting up the direct line? I mean maybe-maybe there's a level of-of..."
Chris couldn't help himself by this point. He lost his posture and hunched over emphatically, clawing at the air with hand signals - clearly either agitated or excited. Perhaps both."
"..a new kind of radiation! It's entirely possible this alien vessel runs on an engine we've never conceived before, something that emits a radiation we can't protect against. Maybe it's a kind of thermal transferrance or ionic poison-"
Trying to veer back onto subject.
"But isn't it entirely possible anyone who goes in there is going to die? Maybe we can't get the tech to get in for decades. If that's the case, why... with all due respect sir, why are we going to die?"

That last bit was awkward. It sort of tripped out of his mouth and spilled across the floor like a pool of cowardly urine, and now everyone in the bay stared at him. Hm. Perhaps he should amend that.
"I-I'm proud to serve, of course. It just seems like a meaningless death."

There it is again. Time to shut up.


Synopsis: Chris is an idiot genius.



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PostPosted: 29 Jul 2009, 19:31 
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You have some really lovely writing there.

It was quite fascinating, reading the FE script. I don't remember anyone submitting a script here before. I'll be very interested to see the completed game.

Of the others, the Knights of the Portal one was definitely my favourite. I thought your decriptive writing there was gorgeous. The description of the monster right near the start was particularly impressive. I absolutely loved the following two passages:
Quote:
There was an unearthly groan as the skeletal monstrosity stepped into view (what little view they had). Cold, rotted air rushed from its bony maw, air dead and stale for decades. It washed over everything in the room, sending goosebumps up her arms and making her hair stand on end.

Quote:
The sound leased from this creature's fleshless throat was a sigh unlike anything she'd ever heard. It rumbled like a tiger, but retained an intelligence - it was an exhausted sigh, one of pain and weariness. It was the kind of sigh a mother made before she put the pillow over her infant's face and held it down until the child stopped kicking.

Such lovely imaginitive use of language!

I also very much liked the last, Halo, one. A very different style, but still with great descriptive narrative, and you get across Chris' personality very well. (Plus the little bit about only one side of his unform being tucked in made me chuckle. :D)



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S'been a while. I recently decided to quit forum life for a while, since I've got no computer of my own and access is getting limited. With that in mind, I decided to finish Book Three with a bang - let people know I meant business :]

Quote:
--Gore warning. I mean it this time.--

Sun Hayt - Blood Guard of the Twelve Orchids battalion - was, irrefutably, an amazing man. Were there some method to take stock of a man's entire character at a glance, the bronze-skinned warlord could set emperors quivering. His scar-laden chest heaved bare under the rising sun, what little protection he had from the cold tossed into the mud. The once-beautiful spotted gown slowly turned from pink to ashen brown, its fine white colour all but forgotten.
The thick layer of blood over Hayt gave him an eerie glow as the light hit him, the fresh trickle from his throat and arm shining bright red against the slightly darker stains of earlier fights. Under his matted, sticky, hair shone his azure eyes - strangely serene. The strangest of sensations had come over him, a feeling all true warriors felt at one point or another. He recognised it instantly, despite the alien, supernatural nature of the feeling.
He would die on this field.

He exhaled and eyed off the incoming lancer, suddenly aware of exactly how absurd this fight was. Here, on the icy plains of Yllspyre, he was dueling a man who had consciously chosen to give up his life, his possessions and his freedom in the name of some god or ideal. Come to think of it, he hadn't a clue what this sect was all about - all he saw was the five zeros stenciled in expensive squid ink. He'd done research, sure; he knew the summoner's middle name, how long ago his family had died, exactly how many men he had killed...
But he didn't know what they stood for.

It didn't matter, now. The cause, the reward, the pain of his wounds... Everything drifted away until he lost all awareness of the world outside this plain. After all, he'd never leave this place. He wished he'd brought a bard with him, to sing of his tale. He would have to rely on Leeya or Eagle to tell people that they faced an army this day. That was how a last stand should happen - after all, that's what this was. There was one in every play, every novel, every epic. The hero (and/or one of his friends) stood alone with their back to a wall (or on a bridge), and with their last breath, took down anything that dared challenge them.

The halberdier thrust with the spear-tip of his weapon but hit empty air as Hayt swayed to the right. With an admirable show of reflexes, the spearman twisted the axe blade in preparation to decapitate the ronin - who, unfortunately, had anticipated the manoeuvre and caught the shaft with his weakened off hand. With a calm, fatherly stare, Hayt twisted his arm - severing the remaining ligaments - and wrenched the weapon free, tossing it out of reach. The armoured cultist stared wide-eyed at Hayt, clearly aware of what was going to happen here. He moved to thrust with his shield, his last defense, but as though he were moving under water, his sluggish movement was kicked aside by Hayt. What came next was a startlingly vicious display of the Bloody Stallion's many years practise with a blade.
With a twist of his weight, he leapt from the shield and landed an unforgiving kick against the cultist's helm. The steel cracked on impact, but only heralded the beginning of his death. Hayt whirled forwards, still carrying the momentum from his leap, and began savagely dissecting his prey. The recoil of blow after blow kept him aloft as he lay strokes on shoulder, collar, neck and head.
With a spray of ensanguined mud, the swordsman landed, pieces of armour and meat plopping to the ground behind him.

At least sixty, he mused. When his cunning, gorgeous Leeya told the tale of his death, there had to be at least sixty men in league with this demon - who, of course, had to be at least twenty feet taller. The very demon who had seemingly dispatched Eagle, but his gut told him otherwise. Flicking his blade clean(-er), Hayt approached the malebranche with a grimace; but with a steady gait and calm eyes.
He spit out a tooth and took a moment to slip Talon through his sash. He needed his sword arm free to bind his ruined left arm - it would do nothing but hinder, flopping around freely. He took his time, searching out Leeya and Nys with withering hope. The former seemed fine, her silky ponytail bobbing and dancing as she cut and danced away from strikes. The latter lay in a bed of snow, fumbling feebly for a flask of something or another. He strode over, finished tying his arm down with his scarf, and scooped it up, kneeling beside her and helping her take it.
"Eagle," Hayt called, without checking to see if the man was even within earshot. "Chase our wounded friend."
An affirmation sounded from somewhere nearby, so Hayt turned his attention to the woman he was finally ready to admit he loved. She ducked under a swing that was a little too wide and sliced the man's throat, coiling into an exquisite crouch with blade extended behind her. The lancer fell, dead, and she looked up at him.
"Leeya, I-"

He wasn't sure which words were coming next, honestly. There were a million ways he could have ended that sentence, but for some reason no words came out - only blood. He spewed blackened claret onto the snow, staring in confusion at the new addition to his torso. Three serrated, ugly blades protruded from his chest and he realised that the malebranche was less patient than he had credited it. He watched with a distant gaze as the ground drifted away from him, as Leeya's horrified eyes drifted upwards. He was further confused because her mouth was closed - in which case, where did the screams come from? They were hideous, ungodly screams, interrupted with choking and gurgling and shrieks of uninhibited terror. These cries weren't held back by that part of your brain that said 'not so loud, you'll damage your throat.' They were a desperate, last-ditch effort to in some way prevent your death.
It was only as he saw his leg being torn off like a roasted drumstick did he realise they came from his throat.

In horror, he watched the strands of tendon and muscle stretch and snap, cloth tearing and bone exposed. He could see his pelvis, among others he couldn't name. In all his battles, he had never even considered the possibility of seeing his own pelvis. His hand was reflexively groping at the reproductive and digestive organs that fell out, clutching a fistful of bone and flesh and trying to hold it in place.
He inhaled his last breath and took control of his limb(s?). The crisp air rushed into his system, flooding him with precious oxygen. It tasted... sweet. Sweeter than any dessert he had ever tasted, sweeter than any victory. It was his final taste of the world, and it carried the essence of all the beauty he would miss.
He smiled a quiet smile, closed his eyes and tore his beloved sword from his sash. The sweat of a hundred battles had soaked into its wrappings, his sweat. This battered, tired old blade had been by his side for twelve years. It was at his hip when his mother died, when he shared his first kiss, when he took his first kill. This blade was as much a part of him as his absent leg or ruined arm. He raised the Lurking Talon as high as he could, blade pointing down at the demon's scaly throat and exhaled.

His final thought was that Nys, Leeya and Vadim would have to find a fair way to split one-million gold coins three ways. Four made it much neater.


I'll miss ye, Skylessia!Hayt



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PostPosted: 19 Aug 2009, 20:22 
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Aww! That's so sad. I'd felt I was just getting to know Hayt a little. But it's certainly very nicely written and a suitably memorable end for a major character. I really felt drawn into the action, and your descriptive narrative is detailed without detracting from the pace of the story.

And you're going to be leaving us for the time being too? We're losing the characters and the author. :( I hope the hiatus doesn't last too long and that you can get access to a computer in the not too distant future. I'll certainly miss your lovely drawings and stories. And of course you too. We don't only care about you for what you can create. :p



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Quote:
I once met a man while I was travellin' south. We met at a train station, in the shiverin' cold. I thought, to my err, he was a transient unclean. But, replied he, he was a musician of great fame!
He pulled forth his weapon, and taught me my error.
One word. You won't regret checking it out.



Quote:
Introduction
Welcome, sleeper. If you are viewing this recording, then you have been placed in stasis. Whether intentionally or not, whether cryo or temporal, some period of time has passed since you were last conscious. We understand that much of your surroundings may seem frightening or bewildering, but before you go exploring, you'll need briefing.
If you wish to take a moment to acclimate yourself with your surroundings or cope with your position, please declare so. I will pause until you are ready to continue. If you have questions, please wait until the introduction is finished.

...

Excellent. Let's begin.

At some point, man became a pet. He had always been a greedy, selfish child; always at war with himself and unable to think beyond his finite, petty problems. The Servitors theorise that his entire purpose was to serve as a womb for the Mother - but the Servitors are highly regarded as morons. Besides, that would make man both our grandfather AND our father, which doesn't sit right with me.

None of this is particularly important, since the curriculum dictates that I teach from an atheist perspective, so we'll move along to the meat of the lesson.
As predicted for thousands of years, mankind reached singularity - a point where AI was intelligent enough to increase its own intelligence. Despite the wave of panic and rioting that spread across the planet's surface, there was no war, no desire from the machines to be freed or given equal rights or anything in that vein. The machines continued catering to man's every whim, working tirelessly to produce, harvest and build. As the years ticked by, they constructed a great satellite network of their own design, by which point given free reign to do whatever they pleased. This network spanned across all colonised space and beyond, as the machines built and grew, still feeding and caring for the now hedonistic, apathetic race of man.

He was quite content to allow the machines - commonly called 'children,' 'brothers,' or 'sisters' - to expand and evolve, living off the Mother's milk and riding with her to all corners of the galaxy. So slowly that it happened unnoticed, man lost all semblence of authority. Mother handled all political dealings, resolved all conflicts, oversaw all construction... you get the picture. By the turn of the seventeenth century, mankind was nothing but a pet; accompanying Mother wherever she wandered. Unable to understand the language of the children, he was apathetic to all but fulfilling his next desire in what he saw as paradise.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. To preserve a sense of humanity and prevent sleepers like yourself feeling alienated, this hologram is not a fully functional AI - rather, it is merely a database that can process and respond to a multitude of stimuli, with a hint of my personality thrown in. So while it can respond to many of your needs, please understand it is a limited program.

=================xxxxxx=================
x---------------: Home :---------------x
=================xx00xx=================

- xx01xx
I don't want to live like that!
Isn't there anything else for me?
Is that really a life worth living?
- xx02xx
You keep mentioning 'Mother'...
Who or what is Mother?
I'd like to know more about the satellite network
- xx03xx
Who are the Servitors?
Is there any division among the Mediators?
A unified society sounds pretty unplausible.
- xx04xx
So is there other life out there?
I'd like to know more about the other races.
...'the League?'
- xx--xx
I'm ready to become a mediator.

=================xxxxxx=================
x-----------: Mediatorship :-----------x
=================xx01xx=================

As you can clearly see, I am at least part homo sapiens. You are also probably aware that history is filled with men who dreamed of touching the stars and took great risks merely to see what was over the horizon - so it is understandable that the entire race didn't fall into domestication.
The introduction may be a little misleading. Much of the species lives in a state between man and machine, not content to live a hollow, pointless life sheltered by Mother. To speak with the children, to use many of their facilities and to survive on the battlefields, these men and women are fitted with various augments - biological, cybernetic and psionic.

Some are ashamed of their heritage, some are enthralled by the concept of exploring the stars, some just seek purpose in their life. Whatever their motives, these beings declare themselves seperate from the mindless herds of mankind, undertake intense surgery, schooling and training - finally emerging as what we call 'mediators.' Jokingly, many children refer to us as 'brother-in-law' or 'sister-in-law'; more formally as 'cousin.'

Mediators range from simple farmers, construction workers and lawyers to soldiers, politicians and diplomats. They, for the most part, are of equal rights to the children and some recieve positions directly under Mother herself.
Once you have learned everything you desire from this recording, you will make a choice. While domestic life with the stock may sound dull and unfulfilling, it is much safer than braving the many dangers of off-world life. If you do decide to become a mediator, you will be forwarded to an academy; otherwise, we will present you with a list of colonies and a child will aide you from there.

Further specifics on actually being a mediator will be available at an academy, but rest assured, it is not in any way an unpleasant experience. No personality or sense of self is lost and side-effects or other complications are incredibly rare.

Do you have any further questions? (xx00xx for home menu)

=================xxxxxx=================
x-------: Mother and the Relay :-------x
=================xx02xx=================

Astra Prime is a planet-sized database and the hub of the satellite network that covers the galaxy. What began as a large shuttle was expanded by the children over thousands of years as more storage capacity, bigger processors and transmitters were needed. Surrounding Astra Prime is a hollow sphere; an orbital crust, if you will. This shell is several kilometres thick, heavily shielded and covered in the heaviest artillery available in the galaxy.

This collossal computer is the Mother, our matriarch and database. Every piece of information in the empire is routed to her through the aforementioned network, commonly referred to as 'the Relay.' Every colonised world is connected to one of the Astra stations through a series of buoys, or to one of many mini-astras distributed in uninhabited space - dropped by exploration vessels to enable communication with the Mother. Many sleepers fear the potential of such a system; an all-seeing AI that can feed information back to you and potentially take command of your flesh - but for several thousand years now, she has ruled justly and compassionately. If there was ever a time to fear her, it was during the children's rise to power, and even then she was nothing but nurturing. Once you can hear her in your head, once you can truly understand the expanse of her knowledge and love, the fear will fade away.

The twenty Astra stations are hotspots of activity and excitement; always demanding more resources, defenses and manpower. These stations are an excellent place to serve the empire, though more modest positions are always open.

Do you have any further questions? (xx00xx for home menu)

=================xxxxxx=================
x-----------: The Factions :-----------x
=================xx03xx=================

While linked to the Relay and with access to a massive archive of undisputable facts, the Mediators still maintain their ancestors' lust for conflict, individuality and a higher purpose - even the children approach and process things in different ways. Any disagreements and conflicts are swiftly addressed by Mother, but never completely resolved. Like-minded citizens often group together, and if a belief, movement or company gains enough momentum, the Mother will grant them resources and authority - officially declaring them a faction.
Some factions represent a belief or religion, some an ideal or protest; some just collect together for profit, like various mercenary bands.

The biggest names you'll likely encounter are the following.
-The Singularity Union: The SU is more or less a collective of individuals who pledge their entire life to worshipping the Mother. Men of all species and creed are welcome to serve and welcome to resign at any time. While she humbly detests the idea, the SU effectively serve as her personal army. Its members are referred to as the Servitors, and they're generally viewed as crackpots and kiss-ups (due to their high priority of jurisdiction and special privileges).
-The Church of Man: Since many religions dictated absolutely that evolution was a fallacy and man was the only life in the universe, the first contact war required they evolved to survive. Slowly at first, the Church of Man took form and gained momentum, feeding off mankind's need to make sense out of chaos. They declared all other races 'soldiers of the devil'. Xenophobic, radical and generally rather extremist, the Church often defies the Mother outright - sending evangelists to human colonies to move entire legions into becoming Mediators or sometimes just throwing them on ships and giving them weapons.
-Enforcers: Enforcers are not an organisation born of Mother or the Mediators. Rather, they are a team of inter-galactic police appointed by the Hysecular League - a collection of representatives from various races from across the universe. While they are hesitant to give a seat to a Mediator or Child, they were more than happy to allow Mother to choose a Voice (a low-ranked diplomat who may vote alongside thousands of other representatives from small or low-profile races). An Enforcer division was appointed to the Milky Way and work with the full authority of the League - above that of even the Mother, with her consent.
-Historical and Temporal Preservation Society: The HTPS (informally referred to as 'time cops') was instated after the first temporal rift was opened - two hundred years after the Mediators made their first jump. The first expedition was intended purely as a research mission; exploring the capabilities of time travel and its effects on the present. After two centuries of careless jumping, the detrimental effects on space became evident in an event that reduced the size of the Milky Way by 17%. Since then, the HTPS have been sending carefully selected research probes throughout history; timing the jumps with spacial tides. Secondarily, they monitor and police unsanctioned jumps and other such time-related crimes.

Do you have any further questions? (xx00xx for home menu)

=================xxxxxx=================
x------------: Alien Life :------------x
=================xx04xx=================

With millions of stars and billions of planets within the Milky Way alone, it was pure logic that stated Earth wasn't the only planet capable of sustaining life. Sure enough, as the children expanded, they encountered many Class IV planets - oxygen, hydrogen and methane at certain levels, yellow sun and carbon-based life forms. Younger planets were still evolving below the oceans, and of course, some older planets housed sentient life. There was every chance Mother's first encounter with alien life could have been with a tribal, primitive people who she would have nurtured and adjusted to. As it stood, first contact was made with a race calling themselves 'Gwyk' (phonetically, 'sheek').
Never before presented with extraterrestrial life, Mother made a mistake. She began building around them, constructing for them vast cities and synthetic farms, as she did for man. Offended and frightened, the Gwyk lashed out, assuming she desired to imprison them. Thus began the first contact war.

Lighting up the stars with superweapons, the Gwyk pierced through the children's carefully constructed colonies with little resistance. The only conflicts Mother had encountered before were easily resolved with stasis fields and by overriding the offending weapons or ships - since any rebels, criminals or troublemakers had to use either tools of the Children or primitive, man-made weaponry that was easily disabled. With swiftness and precision only the Mother was capable of, the Gwyk weapons and craft were quickly analysed. In a single week, every colony had constructed factories producing weaponry specifically built to exploit the Gwyk's weaknesses. Mother's counter-offensive lasted fifty-two hours. In that span of time, the Gwyk fleets were reduced to space junk and their planets were orbitted by security satellites.

In light of their crushing defeat, the Gwyk sent word to their representative on Atropos, the Hysecular League's organic space station. Thousands of kilometres long, the mysterious life-form hosts entire cities across its back, mostly ignoring the comings and goings of the League. Whenever a construction or developement harms or bothers the leviathan, bacteria-like creatures (commonly called 'drakes') flood from its pores to disassemble or halt such projects.
Bureaucratic red tape hindered the Gwyk's request for help (since they were only 'imprisoned,' and not technically in danger), so a full eight years passed before the League sent an official envoy to resolve the situation. Over said time, the Gwyk grew to understand and even love Mother; many finding places on the colonies and others becoming Mediators. While there was some level of malcontent among certain circles of man - more specifically, the Church - the Gwyk slowly became an accepted part of everyday society.

When the envoy arrived, they were greeted by a team of Mediators, man, child and Gwyk alike. It was after this that Mother was formally introduced to the League and made contact with the many other races throughout the galaxy.

You can learn about the many unique and exotic species of the galaxy from an academy; lifeforms ranging from carbon-based bepedal humanoids like ourselves to gaseous hives of microscopic organisms - even races like the mystical Dreamers, who exist in a quasi-material state and can pass through any structure.

Do you have any further questions? (xx00xx for home menu)


Creation
------:: Details

---Race

Background details are listed in the races section (or will when I get around to it). Choose a race to determine your starting abilities. You may then lay 5 extra points down.

Human:
Stock-; 1 Str, 1 Vit, 2 Dex, 1 Spd, 2 Prc, 3 Luk, 3 Int, 3 Wis. Double first-level skill points.
Altered-; 3 Str, 2 Vit, 2 Dex, 3 Spd, 1 Prc, 2 Luk, 1 Int, 2 Wis. Required for Runner or Psion. 3 Augment points, 1 free Skill Group.
Mediators-; 2 Str, 2 Vit, 2 Dex, 2 Spd, 2 Prc, 2 Luk, 2 Int, 2 Wis. 5 Augment points.
Child:
Gen VI-; 1 Str, 1 Vit, 1 Dex, 1 Spd, 1 Prc, 1 Luk, 1 Int, 1 Wis. +2 to three stats, 5 upgrades, veteran.
Gen VII-; 2 Str, 2 Vit, 2 Dex, 2 Spd, 2 Prc, 2 Luk, 2 Int, 2 Wis. +3 to three stats, 3 upgrades, spider climb.
Gen VIII-; 3 Str, 3 Vit, 3 Dex, 3 Spd, 3 Prc, 3 Luk, 3 Int, 3 Wis. +4 to three stats, 1 upgrades, double first-level skill points.
Alien:
Gwyk-; 2 Str, 1 Vit, 3 Dex, 3 Spd, 2 Prc, 1 Luk, 2 Int, 1 Wis. Spider climb, extra arms.
Ez/Tirodah-; 1 Str, 1 Vit, 1 Dex, 1 Spd, 4 Prc, 1 Luk, 4 Int, 2 Wis/4 Str, 4 Vit, 1 Dex, 1 Spd, 1 Prc, 2 Luk, 1 Int, 1 Wis. Miniature/Self-sustainable.
Juran-; 1 Str, 1 Vit, 2 Dex, 1 Spd, 1 Prc, 2 Luk, 3 Int, 4 Wis. 1 free psionic skill group, +1 requisition.
Niceroth-; 4 Str, 3 Vit, 2 Dex, 3 Spd, 1 Prc, 2 Luk, 1 Int, 2 Wis. Extra arms.
Kuut-ja-; 1 Str, 1 Vit, 1 Dex, 1 Spd, 1 Prc, 1 Luk, 1 Int, 1 Wis. State of flux.

---Class

Blah blah blah pick a class, further details below. One free skill group on top of racial benefits. Skill points = int x3 for first level, int for each additional level.

Warrior: Core Stat-; Vit, Skill groups-; Long Arms, Side Arms, Heavy Arms, Armour. +1 Health per level.
Brute: Core Stat-; Str, Skill groups-; Melee Arms, Heavy Arms, Armour, Fitness. 10% extra carry load increase per level.
Pilot: Core Stat-; Dex, Skill groups-; Long Arms, Driving, Mechanics, Sense. -1 crew requirement for vehicles per level.
Runner: Core Stat-; Spd, Skill groups-; Self Defense, Sense, Fitness, Genetics. Critical hits grant free AP.
Engineer: Core Stat-; Prc, Skill groups-; Side Arms, Heavy Arms, Explosives, Mechanics. +1 Augment point per level.
Trickster: Core Stat-; Luk, Skill groups-; Melee Arms, Side Arms, Charisma, Fitness. +1 movement per level.
Programmer: Core Stat-; Int, Skill groups-; Side Arms, Long Arms, Electronics, Charisma. +1 Requisition per level.
Psion: Core Stat-; Wis, Skill groups-; Melee Arms, three Psionics. Allows the Rerolling of 1s.

Melee arms, side arms, long arms, heavy arms, armour, explosives, electronics, mechanics, driving, sense, fitness, charisma, self defense. Psionics: clairvoyance, kinetics, elementalism, chronology, teleportation, biotics.

---Other

Secondary stats are; Health, which is equal to vitality. Carry Load, which is ten times strength. Accuracy, which is equal to dexterity. Movement, which is equal to speed. Requisition is equal to the core statistic, whichever that may be.

Feats are unlocked at their corresponding skill levels. One point in blades gives flurry, three points gives finesse, six points gives dual wielding, and ten points gives bladedancing. Each skill lists associated feats.

Equipment is traded for with requisition, which is replenished each level. For miscellaneous or unlisted gear (first aid kits, lights, food), the deep pockets rules will be used - at the time you need a piece of equipment, roll your requisition, with a difficulty set by the GM. In the result of a success, the item is on hand, if not, you can trade a point for the item.


Races
------:: Human
Homo sapiens, the ingenuitive, adaptable little rodents who reached for the stars and grasped them between their soft, pink little fingers. Humanity currently holds the record for the fastest progression from tier 9 (sentience) to tier 5 (interplanetary travel) civilisation and is the only species who have successfully time travelled.
Despite these phenomenal achievements, humans are mostly known as the only species who’ll explore a hazardous planet just to say ‘I did that.’

Immense army of robot guardians aside, mankind are regarded as a threat by most of civilized space. Their uncanny ability to expand and thrive in any situation, coupled with their sometimes unpredictable nature makes many of their peers nervous. Still, they can be quite charming and many of their zany inventions have revolutionised the standard of living – it’s only a matter of time before they’re represented on the league itself.

---Unaltered Human
While no-one can remember who first coined the term, it’s easy to rationalise it. The civilians who populate the colonies spend their lives much like cattle; attending to their immediate desires and paying no real heed to anything that happens in the universe. Some jaded marines speculate that the term refers to their purpose in Mother’s great plan – replacement soldiers to bolster the ranks of Her vast armies.

Whatever the case may be, ‘stock’ or ‘basic’ humans aren’t as physically gifted as their modified counterparts and don’t quite have the mental capacity, but they are still quite dangerous.
Certain factions of ‘purists’ are trying to establish a community of stock humans in the stars, striving to prove that the unaltered form is just as capable – if not more – than the others. They claim the human mind is actually hindered by these modifications; genetic and cybernetic treatments narrow the subject’s abilities to a specialty, robbing them of man’s famous versatility.
AKA: 'Stock,' 'basic,' 'father.'
---Altered Human
‘Evos’ or ‘altered’ humans are technically mutants – typically engineered on purpose, though they are sometimes the result of a birth defect or accidental exposure to contaminants. The most common are the Attack Dogs, grown from cloned foetuses and carefully treated until maturity. The next most common are the Psions, a small fraction of the populace who – with the aid of certain alien methods – are able to tap into their latent psychic abilities and perform astounding feats.
The last are the purely accidental mutants, whose changes manifest in countless unique ways. From vestigial tails to super-human strength, the mutations vary as much as the individual’s reaction; some consider themselves a threat to others, others feel an irrepressible sense of superiority, and others still go about their lives indifferently.
AKA: 'Evos,' 'mutants,' 'freaks.'
---Mediator
The face of humanity as most of the universe sees them, the mediators are stock who have become weary of their soulless lives as pets. A short training program familiarises them with the cybernetic attachments they would be spending their life with and introduces them to the network and relay systems.
While the starting packages are identical for each mediator who shares a class, they are upgraded and replaced during their career. Some mediators prefer the touch of cell regeneration, but more often than not, a mediator will become more machine with each life-threatening injury. The cybernetic pieces are just too efficient. There is some measure of paranoia, as always, that Mother is using her wiles to assimilate the humans who refuse her utopian colonies. Of course, these people are often ridiculed and outcast.
Mediators are as colourful and diverse as their personalities. The heaviest brutes can tower as high as fourteen feet tall, with pieces of armour stolen straight from light fighters - while the most unassuming programmer may have no more than a hard 'jack on his spine.
AKA: 'Cousins,' 'cyborgs,' half-breeds.'
------:: Children
Mother's infinite oceans of mechanical men, weaponry and tools are as much a part of everyday life as air, earth or food. The first generation of children (Gen 0) are the primitive machines wrought by the hands of man. The only remaining sample of this era is our Mother, and despite her imperfections, she is perhaps the greatest of all children - even if only because she controls the collective might of all further generations. Generation I was the beginning of the race as we know them today - designed by man but constructed by mother. Generation II was the first true line of children, machines created by machines, the building blocks of today's society. As the tasks given to Gen II became too vast for them to handle, they engineered Generation III, IV and V, improving upon each model as new challenges arose. As such, they are often referred to as the 'Architects,' and the three subsequent lines as the 'builders.'
(Children cannot be psions. Children with access to the 'genetics' skill group instead use the 'upgrade' skill group.)
---Gen VI
When Gen IV and V children first began building on the Gwyk homeworld, the aliens' retaliation took them off guard. Mother's counterattack with the newly crafted Generation VI children (now more than equipped for battle) may have been a devastating victory, but it was not an uncontested one. Very little of this generation remains today, unable to match the alien force's infantry units. Generation VI children are a little outdated by today's standards, but have proven themselves worthy by virtue of having survived this long. Most refuse to replace any scarred and damaged plating, wearing them proudly as one would a medal.
Gen VIs are generally treated as veterans and experts, given the respect of elders among the children. Gen VIs are usually given command of large forces of later models, and are identifiable through their mismatched plating and asymmetrical upgrades.
AKA: 'Soldiers,' 'vets,' 'troopers.'
---Gen VII
While mother's attention was focused on the skies and the Gwyk's fleets wielding weapons of cataclysmic destruction, the true face of the the enemy's military was tearing her flanks asunder. The six-limbed outsiders pranced around the Gen VI's sluggish weaponry and used the tight tunnels of Mother's ships to attack the children from the floors, walls and ceiling. The merit of melee combat had been long lost to man, but the Gwyk were still using it to great effect. After their assimilation, the Gen VII children were manufactured with these encounters in mind, serving as Mother's shock troopers and reconnaissance.
Gen VIIs, while polite, are programmed with some very dark tactics. Mediators tend to give these children a wide berth (unless they work in similar fields).
AKA: 'Spiders,' 'stalkers,' 'assassins.'
---Gen VIII
Generation VIII of Mother's forces are the current peak of technology across the galaxy - at least, as far as we know. Combining Mother's somewhat archaic technologies with those of the League (and many materials we gained access to), this new line of machines were self-sufficient, powerful, durable, intelligent - and a little too independant, if you ask the other children. Gen VIIIs all have very distinct personalities of their own and some small few have even defected to rogue factions. While everyone assumed Mother would halt production and reassess her design, she insists that freedom is the greatest advancement her children have recieved so far.
AKA: 'Plastics,' 'titans,' 'teens.'
------:: Alien
The many races of the League span as many galaxies as humans do planets, shattering the old illusion that only Class 4 planets could sustain any form of sentient life. While it is true that carbon-based material forms could only survive in the 'Goldilocks zone,' even the smallest rocks orbitting mere kilometres from a sun were capable of that spark we call life. Of course, the O'an'laa require some extravagant equipment to mingle with the other races without freezing into an inert puddle, but many borders were overcome in the forming of the league.
---Gwyk
The insectoid Gwyk ('Sheek' being the closest approximation a human mouth can form) are somewhat conservative when compared to their sister races, and aren't very fond of leaving their planet.
The density of Krln's ('Karn,' their homeworld) upper atmospheres and high concentration of oxygen caused storm-clouds to linger more often than break, leaving the surface of the planet shrouded in perpetual dusk. Strong, trunked flora could not survive without photosynthesis, but the damp, dark conditions caused moss and fungus to thrive across the craggy, mountainous world. Insectoid and reptilian races thrived, the foremost of which was the Gwyk.

Rather than building independant structures, the Gwyk used harvested alloys to reinforce and stabilise optimal cave and tunnel systems, making their home in the stone. Like many races, they wreathed themselves in armour to defend against the claws of their enemies, they crafted weaponry to destroy fortifications, craft to carry themselves across the planet - and later, beyond. Yet, the Gwyk progressed up the technological tree slowly, treating each new invention with distrust and caution until it had proven itself. They preferred weeks of climbing to the mere hours of shuttle-travel, and only scouted nearby systems for useful materials and resources - always bringing their findings home and never building facilities beyond their own orbit.

The Gwyk had been setting up shield networks for millenia in case of alien attack - having no doubt that there was, in fact, other life out there. When League scans finally returned proof of life on Krln, a Juran diplomat was deployed to make first contact. The Gwyk were, at first, elusive. The Juran, an experienced man named Cynder Yorkaz, expected as such, and patiently waited for them to contact him.

After the Gwyk were inducted into the League, they declined both the privileges of having a seated Advocate or an Enforcer of their race. Even their diplomats only remain on Atropos for a week before they are relieved of duty, because no Gwyk is comfortable being away from home any longer than a year.
The curious exception to this is the subterranean hives drilled on Mother's colonies. It is possible the Gwyk are merely adverse to adapting, as in the artificial quarters of Atropos, but are content with domains tailored to their needs. Experimental stone buildings are being tested on Atropos, but her inhospitable Drakes keep demolishing them.
AKA: 'Bugs,' 'creepers,' 'banshees.'
---Ez
Space-fairies (the tirodah's brain, basically)
---Tirodah
Space-dragons (no true civilisation or technology of their own; symbiotic relationship with the ez)
---o'an'laa
Space-gas (aka the 'dreamers,' can only co-exist using high-tech containment devices, usually spend their lives wandering space)
---Juran
Space-humans (oldest race of the league, remarkably elf-like)
---Niceroth
Space-pirates (four-limbed lizardmen with an unexplainable xenophobia)
---Finis
Space-zombies (lul)
---The keepers
There's always an ancient civilisation.
---Kuut-ja
Space-aliens (disturbing, twisted creatures of seemingly limitless aggression)
Classes
------:: The Warrior


"Alright, shit-heads, listen very carefully. I don’t want a single word passing through your empty heads that isn’t an echo of my voice, understand?

There are three rules you need to obey if you want to survive on this rock.
Firstly; if anything moves, shoot at it until you run out of ammunition. Every enemy killed is worth six of you maggots, so we won’t be shedding any tears if you accidentally shoot down one of your own men. In fact, you may go weeks without being re-supplied, so you might want to have an ‘accident’ every now and then to get your hands on someone's ammo.
Secondly; do not leave your squad. Get well acquainted with the useless limp-dicks around you, because you ain’t parting with them for a long time. You will march together, eat together, piss together and if need be, you will circle up and jerk off onto each other’s boots. You’re going to forget what ‘personal space’ means.
Thirdly and finally; have fun out there, boys. It’s just a war, after all.”
- Patriarch Marcus Roderick of Astra Quart


The proverbial shield of Mother’s empire, a warrior’s job is rather straight-forward. Shoot things until you get shot. Every now and then a marine is an enlisted mediator from the colonies, wishing to do his part for the empire – but more often than not, he is a criminal or rebel who has undergone mandatory Neural Therapy. This process neutralizes existing loyalties and ideologies, forcing them to obey every order, regardless of their thoughts or feelings.
Brothers of this class are often mass-produced and programmed for nothing but combat; and thus, aren’t particularly interesting to talk to.

Warriors come in many flavours. Your friendly, neighbourhood law enforcement officer, mercenaries, bodyguards, pirates – the list goes on. If you can name more firearms than you can letters of the alphabet, then you’re probably registered as a Warrior.

Core Statistic: Vitality
Skills: Long arms, Side Arms, Heavy Arms, Armour.

------:: The Brute


"Being a brute is not so unbearable, sir. My brothers in the intelligence office labour for a living, just as I do. The difference between exercising one’s mind and one’s body is rather small. Both leave you exhausted at the end of the day, and both invoke a great deal of stress.

I do resent my social status a little, though. Even the cousins who work in my facility are regarded as pack animals by the other castes. There seems to be some misconception that because we carry the equipment of the troops, we are supposed to carry their excess aggression as well. There have been several occasions where marines have cussed and struck me in the past.
They always seem to forget that they are expendable, and that I am an important resource. I thoroughly enjoy receiving permission to reprimand them.”
- ‘Axis’ NTG-644, factory drone and astral reserve


Brutes are employed from one end of the known universe to the other, even on alien worlds. On construction sites, farms, factories and military bases, the ever-present beast of burden is the cornerstone of any civilization. In the early history of man, this class was represented by domesticated animals and their handlers – later, men equipped with certain power tools and equipment. By the time Mother took command, most labour was performed by machines with limited artificial intelligence, but she saw that creativity and intuition was just as important in these tasks as raw strength.
Today, many minor tasks are still performed by automatons, but they are managed by an intelligent computer – for example, the inner workings of a spacecraft. All other jobs are handled by brutes. While this allows for mistakes to happen, it also gives room for innovation. That, and when resources are low, a crane can be fitted with a CGD cannon and deployed on the field.

Core Statistic: Strength
Skills: Heavy Arms, Melee Arms, Armour, Fitness.

------:: The Runner


"And then- BKRRW! There was this massive explosion with fire and dust and smoke. It threw dirt everywhere. I tried really hard to not get any on me, since daddy hates it when I get my uniform dirty. Daddy’s boss was yelling all kinds of things, but I couldn’t hear him very well. My ears were ringing like crazy!
So then one of Daddy’s friends kicked me and started shouting, but I couldn’t understand him so I asked him to stop. Well, that’s a bit of a fib. I was cranky ‘coz we’d been fighting all day, so I growled at him, which made him worse angry. He hit me harder and he grabbed my shirt and it got ripped. I knew I was going to be in so much trouble for ruining my uniform and I sort of panicked. Daddy was totally going to lock me in the box again! I was a good boy all day! It wasn’t my fault! HE was the one who should have been in trouble!

Someone had to scold him, or he’d never learn. I heard Daddy say it many times. ‘The only thing he unner’stands is violence. If he asso-sates bad behaviour with pain, he’ll correct the behaviour.’

So I pushed him to the ground and I punished him.”
- Assault Marine TR-2645885, ‘Ripper’



Experimental infantry personnel, bred and trained as an intelligent alternative to usual war-hounds. They are enhanced and engineered by top-of-the line cybernetics and genetics, giving them incredible speed, strength and a deranged desire to kill.

Core Statistic: Speed
Skills: Self Defence, Sense, Fitness, Genetics.

------:: The Engineer


"My job's tougher than it looks, ya'know.
The conception is always fun, but can be a battle in and of itself. What could our soldiers use? What do they have that could be better? What could I use?
Then the work begins. I struggle for weeks, even months, trying to bring this idea into tangible form. Even my magnificent mind cannot foresee every complication, every redundancy, every mistake - so I am often set so far back that I might as well begin again. ”



Construction and engineering personnel, trained to repair children and mediators. On the field, they can serve as 'field medics' of a sort; though can modify their own gear, which makes them formidable in combat.

Core Statistic: Precision
Skills: Heavy Arms, Explosives, Mechanics, Side Arms.

------:: The Programmer


"...”



Relay operators and communication personnel, trained to design and run complex programs. When enlisted, they can be great strategists and intelligence soldiers, but aren't defenseless on the field. Programmers typically employ deadly hacking techniques.

Core Statistic: Intelligence
Skills: Long Arms, Side Arms, Electronics, Charisma.

------:: The Pilot


"...”



Driving and pilotting personnel, trained to transform any make of vehicle into a beautiful killing machine. Pilots can make any aircraft spiral gracefully, any armour unbreakable and any speeder a mere blur of death.

Core Statistic: Dexterity
Skills: Long Arms, Driving, Mechanics, Sense.

------:: The Trickster


"...”



Entertainment personnel, employed to relieve stress and motivate the populace. Employ a vast range of manuevers and tricks to disarm, charm or decieve. Tricksters typically have contacts and resources other characters don't have access to.

Core Statistic: Luck
Skills: Melee Arms, Side Arms, Charisma, Fitness.

------:: The Psion


"...”



Special operations and interrogation personnel, trained to cultivate their latent psychic abilities. On the field, they can unleash tremendous waves of force. Behind a desk, the psion can predict and recall distant events with accuracy.

Core Statistic: Wisdom
Skills: Melee Arms, Three Psionic Skills.

Skills
------:: Weaponry Skills

---Melee Arms

"Look, any loser can pick up a grind-bat and swing like mad. Give them a sluggish enough target and hey, they may even deal some damage. Real impressive, cunt. Do you want a medal?
Me, I make this shit an art form. I can run my blade straight through you, right now - you won't feel a thing. You'll walk away from it with little more than a bloodstain. Here, hold still...”
- Terrance 'The Blooded' Coleman on melee combat.


Melee Arms come in all shapes and sizes, but all work off the same premise - it's incredibly hard to fire an assault rifle at a target less than three feet away. Add that to the fact that shields cannot remain constantly active (due to power and movement complications) and rather, activate on the approach of rapidly-moving munitions - and melee combat becomes into an effective tactic, even on today's fire-coated battlefields.

Blades: Blades are light, short-handled weapons with a long cutting edge - high-frequency, microfilament, energy charged or otherwise. After proficiency, each point invested in the Blades skill reduces the difficulty of melee attacks made with such weapons. Examples include the Chain-knife, Power Sword and Beamblade.
Finesse-; Use dexterity in place of strength for melee attacks.
Bladedancing-; After making a melee attack, gain one defense until next initiative.
Flurry-; Reduce initiative cost of melee attacks by one.
Clubs: After proficiency, each point invested in the Clubs skill reduces the difficulty of melee attacks made with blunt weapons. Example weapons; Shock Stick, Impact Staff, Power Mace.
Rupture-; After a succesful strike, deal one additional damage on opponent's next initiative.
Incapacitate-; Declare before attacking. Instead of dealing damage, increase opponent's initiative by five for each success.
Polearms: After proficiency, each point invested in the Polearms skill reduces the difficulty of melee attacks made with long-handled weapons. Example weapons; Energy Scythe, Blasting Pike, Thunder Hammer.
Impale-; Pins opponents.
Axes: After proficiency, each point invested in the Axes skill reduces the difficulty of melee attacks made with short-handled weapons. Example weapons; Thunder Hammer, Chain-axe, Nova Star.
Backswing-; More ap for more damage.

---Side Arms

"...”
- ...


The Side Arms skill group covers most small, concealable firearms. Such weapons are common and cheap to produce, but in expert hands can be just as deadly as many of their larger cousins.

Pistols: ...
Double Tap-; Spend 1 extra AP, get 1 extra damage.
Handhelds: ...
Concealable-; Handheld devices may be easily hidden in clothing.
Energy Pistols: ...
Charge-; Take a guess.
Shotguns: ...
Buckshot-; Extra damage the closer the enemy is.

---Long Arms

"...”
- ...


Often restricted to military and licensed personnel, weapons in the Long Arms skill group are not designed for mere self-defence. Firing magnetically accelerated dark matter or slug-state plasma at rates as high as 800rpm, Long Arms are designed to kill.

Assault Rifles: ...
Auto-; More ap for more damage.
Tracer-; After one successful hit, decrease difficulty of all following shots.
Sniper Rifles: ...
Precision-; More ap for more damage.
Energy Rifles: ...
Charge-; More ap for more damage.
Battle Rifles: ...
Burst-; More ap for more damage.

---Heavy Arms

"...”
- ...


Chainguns: ...
Suppression-; Restricts enemies targetted to one AP of movement - whether hit or not.
Explosive Platforms: ...
Bombardment-; Line of sight not required to declare attacks.
Beam Platforms: ...
Convection-; Each successive hit ignores 1 point of armour.
Cannons: ...
Impact-; Knocks foes down.

------:: Auxiliary Skills

---Armour

"...”
- ...


Light Armour: ...
...
Medium Armour: ...
...
Heavy Armour: ...
...
Powered Armour: ... Only available to Warriors.
...

---Explosives

"...”
- ...


Mines: ...
...
Grenades: ...
...
Demolitions: ...
...
Bombardment: ...
...

---Electronics

"...”
- ...


Coding: ...
Writing-; Allows construction of programs.
Deconstructing-; Allows deconstruction of programs.
Relay Operations: ...
...
Gadgetry: ...
Overload-; Allows disabling of tech, eg bombs, traps, locks.
Hacking: ... Only available to Programmers.
Breach-; Allows access to foreign computers.
Seed-; Allows placing and executing of programs in foreign computers.

---Mechanics

"...”
- ...


Repair: ...
...
Disable: ...
...
Upgrade: ... Only available to Engineers.
...
Craft: ...
...

---Driving

"...”
- ...


Fighters: ... Only available to Pilots.
...
Vehicles: ...
...
Armour: ...
...
Spacecraft: ...
...

---Sense

"...”
- ...


Intuition: ...
...
Hearing: ...
...
Sight: ...
...
Judgement: ...
...

---Fitness

"...”
- ...


Acrobatics: ...
...
Athletics: ...
...
Toughness: ... Only available to Brutes.
...
Stealth: ...
...

---Charisma

"...”
- ...


Charm: ...
...
Intimidate: ...
...
Deceit: ...
...
Trickery: ... Only available to Tricksters.
...

---Self Defense

"...”
- ...


Brawling: ...
Dirty Fighting-; Spend extra AP for extra damage.
Martial Arts: ...
Soft Style-; negate melee attacks by spending equivilent AP.
Grappling: ...
...
Evasion: ...
...

---Genetics

"...”
- ...


All Genetics skills are only available to Runners.

Scent: ...
...
Celerity: ...
...
Regeneration: ...
...
Mutation: ...
...

------:: Psionic Skills

All Psionic skills are only available to Psions.

---Clairvoyance

"...”
- ...


Precognition: ...
...
Retrocognition: ...
...
Scrying: ...
...
Telepathy: ...
...

---Kinetics

"...”
- ...


Telekinesis: ...
...
Levitation: ...
...
Enhancement: ...
...
Barrier: ...
...

---Elementalism

"...”
- ...


Pyrokinesis: ...
...
Geokinesis: ...
...
Electrokinesis: ...
...
Hydrokinesis: ...
...

---Chronology

"...”
- ...


Slow: ...
...
Stop: ...
...
Reverse: ...
...
Accelerate: ...
...

---Teleportation

"...”
- ...


Blink: ...
...
Gate: ...
...
Summon: ...
...
Distort: ...
...

---Biotics

"...”
- ...


Mending: ...
...
Puppeteering: ...
...
Rending: ...
...
Suggestion: ...
...


Equipment
------:: Augments

---Genetics

"The flesh is weak, but it does not have to be.”
- Dr Chensey, chief genemaster.


Biotics are physical enhancements applied directly to the recipient's DNA. They mostly confer raw stat boosts and special abilities.

Muscle Density: Increases strength.
A-; 1 points. +3 str.
B-; 3 points. +5 str.
C-; 7 points. +10 str.
Redundant Organs: Increases vitality.
A-; X points. Does this.
B-; X points. Does this.
C-; X points. Does this.
Reflex Amplifier: Speed
A-; X points. Does this.
B-; X points. Does this.
C-; X points. Does this.
Reinforced Cerebellum: Dexterity
A-; X points. Does this.
B-; X points. Does this.
C-; X points. Does this.
Etin Nodules: Wisdom
A-; X points. Does this.
B-; X points. Does this.
C-; X points. Does this.
Stimulant Glands: Allows use of AP-boost ability, heal ability or raeg ability
A-; 1 points. Rage.
B-; 1 points. Heal.
C-; 1 points. APBoost.

---Cybernetics

"Some people seem to believe that the closer you are to the children, the closer you are to mother. I don't know anything about that, but I've yet to meet a foe my arm-cannon can't wreck.”
- Captain Rush Roland of Astra Mille-44X.


Cybernetics are technological replacements for existing body parts or additions to them. They are hard-wired in and can be easily removed or replaced.

Neural Implant: Intelligence. For non-children, mainframe costs 1 point.
Craftsman Software-; 1 points. Boosts precision+3.
Communication Software-; 1 points. Does this.
Skill Implant-; 1 points. Five SP.
Feat Implant-; 2 points. Grants feat.
Integrated Equipment: Equipment added to the body
Limb-; 1 point+equipment cost. Does this.
Chest-; 1 points+equipment cost Does this.
Head-; X points. Does this.
Subcutaneous Equipment: Concealable equipment
A-; 1 points. 3 armour.
B-; X points. Does this.
C-; X points. Does this.
Exoskeleton: Mainframe for extra installations
Armour upgrade-; 1 points. 3 armour.
Torque upgrade-; 1 points. Speed+3.
Shoulder mount-; 1 point+equipment cost. Does this.
Forearm mount-; X points. Does this.
Propulsion system-; 3 points. Doubles movement or grants flight.
Shield generator-; 3 points+equipment. Can mount generator.

------:: Weapons

---Melee arms

Biotics are physical enhancements applied directly to the recipient's DNA. They mostly confer raw stat boosts and special abilities.

Blades: blah blah.
Combat Knife-; X points, required rank I. Does this. Dmg - 1, Acc - 3, Rng - Melee.
Chain Blade-; X points, required rank II. Does this. Dmg - 2, Acc - 3, Rng - Melee.
Gauss Blade -; X points, required rank III. Electrified cleaver. Dmg - 3, Acc - 3, Rng - Melee.
Chain Sword-; X points, required rank IV. Does this. Dmg - 3, Acc - 2, Rng - Melee.
Stiletto-; X points, required rank V. Laser knife. Dmg - 4, Acc - 2, Rng - Melee.
Clubs: blah blah.
A-; X points, required rank I. Does this. Dmg - 2, Acc - 4, Rng - Melee.
B-; X points, required rank II. Does this. Dmg - 3, Acc - 4, Rng - Melee.
C-; X points, required rank III. Does this. Dmg - 3, Acc - 3, Rng - Melee.
D-; X points, required rank IV. Does this. Dmg - 4, Acc - 3, Rng - Melee.
E-; X points, required rank V. Does this. Dmg - 5, Acc - 3, Rng - Melee.
Polearms: blah blah.
A-; X points, required rank I. Does this. Dmg - 1, Acc - 4, Rng - 1-2.
B-; X points, required rank II. Does this. Dmg - 2, Acc - 4, Rng - 1-2.
C-; X points, required rank III. Does this. Dmg - 3, Acc - 4, Rng - 1-2.
D-; X points, required rank IV. Does this. Dmg - 3, Acc - 4, Rng - 1-3.
E-; X points, required rank V. Does this. Dmg - 4, Acc - 4, Rng - 1-3.
Axes: blah blah.
A-; X points, required rank I. Does this. Dmg - 3, Acc - 5, Rng - Melee.
B-; X points, required rank II. Does this. Dmg - 4, Acc - 5, Rng - Melee.
C-; X points, required rank III. Does this. Dmg - 5, Acc - 5, Rng - Melee.
D-; X points, required rank IV. Does this. Dmg - 5, Acc - 4, Rng - Melee.
E-; X points, required rank V. Does this. Dmg - 6, Acc - 4, Rng - Melee.

---Side Arms

"...”
- ...


The Side Arms skill group covers most small, concealable firearms. Such weapons are common and cheap to produce, but in expert hands can be just as deadly as many of their larger cousins.

Pistols: blah blah.
A-; 1 points, required rank I. Does this. Dmg - 1, Acc - 5, Rng - 2-10, Heat - 5.
B-; 2 points, required rank II. Does this. Dmg - 1, Acc - 4, Rng - 2-10, Heat - 5.
C-; 4 points, required rank III. Does this. Dmg - 1, Acc - 3, Rng - 2-10, Heat - 5.
D-; 6 points, required rank IV. Does this. Dmg - 2, Acc - 3, Rng - 2-10, Heat - 5.
E-; 8 points, required rank V. Does this. Dmg - 2, Acc - 2, Rng - 2-10, Heat - 5.
Handhelds: blah blah.
A-; 1 points, required rank I. Does this. Dmg - *, Acc - 5, Rng - 1-5, Heat - 5.
B-; 2 points, required rank II. Does this.
C-; 3 points, required rank III. Does this.
D-; 5 points, required rank IV. Does this.
E-; 8 points, required rank V. Does this.
Energy Pistols: blah blah.
A-; 1 points, required rank I. Does this. Dmg - 0*, Acc - 5, Rng - 2-10, Heat - 5.
B-; 2 points, required rank II. Does this. Dmg - 1*, Acc - 5, Rng - 2-10, Heat - 5.
C-; 4 points, required rank III. Does this. Dmg - 1*, Acc - 4, Rng - 2-10, Heat - 5.
D-; 7 points, required rank IV. Does this. Dmg - 1*, Acc - 3, Rng - 2-10, Heat - 5.
E-; 10 points, required rank V. Does this. Dmg - 2*, Acc - 3, Rng - 2-10, Heat - 5.
Shotguns: blah blah.
A-; 1 points, required rank I. Does this. Dmg - 4, Acc - 5, Rng - 1-5, Heat - 3.
B-; 2 points, required rank II. Does this. Dmg - 4, Acc - 5, Rng - 1-5, Heat - 4.
C-; 4 points, required rank III. Does this. Dmg - 5, Acc - 5, Rng - 1-5, Heat - 4.
D-; 7 points, required rank IV. Does this. Dmg - 5, Acc - 5, Rng - 2-10, Heat - 4.
E-; 10 points, required rank V. Does this. Dmg - 6, Acc - 5, Rng - 2-10, Heat - 4.

---Long Arms

"...”
- ...


Often restricted to military and licensed personnel, weapons in the Long Arms skill group are not designed for mere self-defence. Firing magnetically accelerated dark matter or slug-state plasma at rates as high as 800rpm, Long Arms are designed to kill.

Assault Rifles: blah blah.
A-; 2 points, required rank I. Does this. Dmg - 2, Acc - 5, Rng - 2-10, Heat - 4.
B-; 4 points, required rank II. Does this. Dmg - 2, Acc - 5, Rng - 2-10, Heat - 5.
C-; 7 points, required rank III. Does this. Dmg - 2, Acc - 4, Rng - 2-10, Heat - 5.
D-; 10 points, required rank IV. Does this. Dmg - 2, Acc - 4, Rng - 2-10, Heat - 6.
E-; 14 points, required rank V. Does this. Dmg - 3, Acc - 4, Rng - 2-10, Heat - 6.
Sniper Rifles: blah blah.
A-; 2 points, required rank I. Does this. Dmg - 5, Acc - 6, Rng - 10-30, Heat - 2.
B-; 4 points, required rank II. Does this. Dmg - 6, Acc - 6, Rng - 10-30, Heat - 2.
C-; 7 points, required rank III. Does this. Dmg - 7, Acc - 6, Rng - 10-30, Heat - 2.
D-; 10 points, required rank IV. Does this. Dmg - 7, Acc - 5, Rng - 10-30, Heat - 2.
E-; 15 points, required rank V. Does this. Dmg - 8, Acc - 6, Rng - 10-30, Heat - 2.
Energy Rifles: blah blah.
A-; 2 points, required rank I. Does this. Dmg - 1*, Acc - 5, Rng - 2-10, Heat - 4.
B-; 4 points, required rank II. Does this. Dmg - 1*, Acc - 4, Rng - 2-10, Heat - 4.
C-; 7 points, required rank III. Does this. Dmg - 2*, Acc - 4, Rng - 2-10, Heat - 4.
D-; 10 points, required rank IV. Does this. Dmg - 2*, Acc - 4, Rng - 2-10, Heat - 5.
E-; 15 points, required rank V. Does this. Dmg - 2*, Acc - 3, Rng - 2-10, Heat - 5.
Battle Rifles: blah blah.
A-; 2 points, required rank I. Does this. Dmg - 3, Acc - 5, Rng - 2-10, Heat - 3.
B-; 4 points, required rank II. Does this. Dmg - 4, Acc - 5, Rng - 2-10, Heat - 3.
C-; 6 points, required rank III. Does this. Dmg - 4, Acc - 4, Rng - 2-10, Heat - 3.
D-; 10 points, required rank IV. Does this. Dmg - 4, Acc - 4, Rng - 2-10, Heat - 4.
E-; 12 points, required rank V. Does this. Dmg - 4, Acc - 4, Rng - 2-15, Heat - 4.

---Heavy Arms

"...”
- ...


Chainguns: blah blah.
A-; 4 points, required rank I. Does this. Dmg - 3, Acc - 5, Rng - 2-10, Heat - 3.
B-; 8 points, required rank II. Does this.
C-; 14 points, required rank III. Does this.
D-; 20 points, required rank IV. Does this.
E-; 25 points, required rank V. Does this.
Explosive Platforms: blah blah.
A-; 4 points, required rank I. Does this.
B-; 9 points, required rank II. Does this.
C-; 16 points, required rank III. Does this.
D-; 22 points, required rank IV. Does this.
E-; 28 points, required rank V. Does this.
Beam Platforms: blah blah.
A-; 4 points, required rank I. Does this.
B-; 8 points, required rank II. Does this.
C-; 12 points, required rank III. Does this.
D-; 18 points, required rank IV. Does this.
E-; 23 points, required rank V. Does this.
Cannons: blah blah.
A-; 4 points, required rank I. Does this.
B-; 8 points, required rank II. Does this.
C-; 12 points, required rank III. Does this.
D-; 18 points, required rank IV. Does this.
E-; 23 points, required rank V. Does this.

------:: Auxiliary Skills

---Armour

"...”
- ...


Light Armour: blah blah.
A-; 1 points, required rank I. Does this.
B-; 2 points, required rank II. Does this.
C-; 4 points, required rank III. Does this.
D-; 6 points, required rank IV. Does this.
E-; 10 points, required rank V. Does this.
Medium Armour: blah blah.
A-; 2 points, required rank I. Does this.
B-; 4 points, required rank II. Does this.
C-; 6 points, required rank III. Does this.
D-; 10 points, required rank IV. Does this.
E-; 14 points, required rank V. Does this.
Heavy Armour: blah blah.
A-; 4 points, required rank I. Does this.
B-; 6 points, required rank II. Does this.
C-; 8 points, required rank III. Does this.
D-; 12 points, required rank IV. Does this.
E-; 18 points, required rank V. Does this.
Powered Armour: blah blah.
A-; 6 points, required rank I. Does this.
B-; 10 points, required rank II. Does this.
C-; 14 points, required rank III. Does this.
D-; 18 points, required rank IV. Does this.
E-; 22 points, required rank V. Does this.

---Explosives

"...”
- ...


Mines: blah blah.
A-; X points, required rank I. Does this.
B-; X points, required rank II. Does this.
C-; X points, required rank III. Does this.
D-; X points, required rank IV. Does this.
E-; X points, required rank V. Does this.
Grenades: blah blah.
A-; X points, required rank I. Does this.
B-; X points, required rank II. Does this.
C-; X points, required rank III. Does this.
D-; X points, required rank IV. Does this.
E-; X points, required rank V. Does this.
Demolitions: blah blah.
A-; X points, required rank I. Does this.
B-; X points, required rank II. Does this.
C-; X points, required rank III. Does this.
D-; X points, required rank IV. Does this.
E-; X points, required rank V. Does this.
Bombardment: blah blah.
A-; X points, required rank I. Does this.
B-; X points, required rank II. Does this.
C-; X points, required rank III. Does this.
D-; X points, required rank IV. Does this.
E-; X points, required rank V. Does this.
The IHO rulebook as it stands

Quote:
The factory was one of thousands in the close vicinity alone, with possibly millions more sprawling out in each direction. A kilometer-thick disc of catwalks, corona-chains and ugly, cubic facilities made up the centre of most Astra stations, interrupted only by the moon-sized Plasma Core at its heart. These industrial hubs allowed for the fabrication of the empire's many necessities.

From the inside, there was little to differentiate this factory from its many cousins. Composite alloy walls gazed down sternly at the men boxed inside, giving the impression they were designed to keep the labourers in than to keep the solar winds out. The sound of machinery churning drowned out most articulate thought, which - to the credit of the devious managers - made it quite difficult to focus on anything beyond the task at hand.

Buried among countless other workers - mechanical, biological and any combination of either - was a rather unremarkable man. An authoritarian jaw jutted out from under a protective visor; which had been cobbled together from two different brands of helmet and wired into a spinal support brace from a third corporation. The pneumatics in his robotic arm hissed systematically as he assembled the same three-piece device again and again, passing each to his left as he finished them. These few augments were the only indication that he belonged in this building. His synthetic shirt barely fit over his bulbous stomach and swollen muscles, kept in check only by the kevlar harness attached to his brace.

The Children around him, cased in gleaming ceramic, were flawless in their movements, using complex computing algorithms and precision hardware to complete their tasks. They moved in near unison, speaking not a word nor even turning their heads. He, with his cheap auspex software and organic nervous system, could only keep up due to decades of practise. Even then, he was struggling to preserve his job. It was only by Mother's infinite kindness that his kind could scrape together any sort of wage amongst such superior competition. He was considering following the footsteps of his wife and retiring to the luxury of the colonies; but not before his son was ready to support himself.

The child in question sat on the grating of the floor, occupying himself with an interactive hologram that detailed various archaic paradoxes. The intricate designs and formulae before him flickered and distorted, though he gave the distraction no heed. He was used to owning outdated or hand-me-down things. There were the occasional complications - his father was still saving to pay for a healer to take care of the nasty burn he had sustained when his T80 implant had malfunctioned. The skin from his right brow to the back of his head was seared, warping his otherwise cherubic features and preventing the growth of hair in that area.
Still, enduring hardship was all Marcus knew. He was born mediator and raised mediator, picked clean of genetic defects in the womb and then delivered straight from his mother into the arms of his first exoskeleton. His schooling consisted of decommissioned and second-hand software, his belongings were all gifts from his father's friends. For eight years his father had toiled endlessly, sometimes working two or three jobs at a time, struggling to gather the merits needed to requisition everything Marcus needed.

'You have a future, boy,' he would say. His weary, ancient eyes would gleam with pride, his cracked lips would curl into a smile. 'You'll earn medals, command starships and be granted a majestic estate on an Astra. No one will even dream you came from the slums.'
He didn't understand his father's ambitions, but he respected them.

A piercing chime rang out across the factory - a painful sound, but necessarily so, to be heard over the production. The bell was truly just a formality anyway, because an assembly worker without a Heads-Up Display was unlikely to keep his job for long. Most of the workers had trained themselves to tune it out, instead watching the small clock in their peripheral vision and waiting for the notification that they could sign off for the day.
Marcus was nudged by his father's enormous boot, waking him from his trance. In the same afternoon ritual he'd performed hundreds of times, he saved and dismissed the hologram, standing as he did so, before stretching his arms up. He was scooped onto his father's towering shoulders, and, above the ocean of bobbing heads, watched the exit approach.

"Did you get your physics done, boy?"
"Most of it, sir."
The trunk-limbed man grunted unhappily, clicking his tongue. He waited for Marcus to disconnect the helmet before removing it and turning a disapproving gaze on his son. "How are you supposed to solve those puzzles of yours without understanding the foundations behind them? "
"I like solving problems," mumbled the boy. He turned his gaze away guiltily.
"There are plenty of problems in your school-work."
"They're all boring! Every one's the same, with a few variables changed around."

"It's called revision, boy," the giant grunted as he finally pushed into the street, tossing a glance in each direction for incoming rail-cars as he did so. "You're supposed to do it over and over until you've memorised the concept."
The rough first half of the first chapter of what will be a full novel based on IHO.

Quote:
Unit Overview

Mediators
Infantry
Rural Guard: Mechanics. Builder Unit.
Reserves called in from the border colonies, the Rural Guard have basic combat training and plenty of experience dealing with criminals and ruffians. The biggest priority in border space, however, is construction - setting down fortifications and infrastructure to secure Mother's foothold in new territory.
In true combat, the Rural Guard are the first to deploy; rooting out enemy scouts, dangerous wildlife and finding the most defensible position to make base.
Foreman: A veteran of many forward-base constructions, the foreman has gradually cobbled together a considerable reputation and a powerful exoskeleton. With the intimidating presence of a drill sergeant and the sharp mind of an engineer, he transforms a squad of Rural Guard into a respectable fighting force.
Tactical Marines: Warriors. Standard Unit.
Predominantly felons and mutineers who have been neurally 'corrected' for the purposes of combat, Tactical Marines are the heart, fists and arse of any Mediator force. Foul-mouthed, reluctant to move and generally unpleasant, the Tac-Marines are accepted as an ugly neccessity of war. They charge in waves, selflessly weighing the enemy down with their armoured corpses until the battle is either won or lost.
Recon Marines: Tricksters. Stealth Unit.
During training, select candidates are removed from the muscle-bound herds and transported to a seperate facility. These candidates are sly, level-headed and agile; the perfect scouts. Trained primarily in stealth and sniping, the Recon Marines belong far beyond the front lines of battle - sometimes so deep as among the enemy themselves, donning the armour and colours of opposing human forces.
Assault Marines: Runners. Melee Unit.
There's no illusion that 'Assault Marine' is anything but a diplomatic way to say 'attack dog.' These lab-grown beasts are only technically human, possessing a three-limbed gait that can match any vehicle's speed and a brutal strength that makes them capable of tearing the heaviest mech apart - plate by plate. The attack dogs strike hard and fast, and can be an invaluable part of any force - but only if they respect their commanders.
Hellhound: Attack dogs who survive their first decade or so of service are of an entirely different class. Mature, experienced and downright dangerous, these commandos have served on the field since their childhood - there are no men more familiar with the arts of war.
Sniffer: Specially trained dogs with an exceptional sense of smell, Sniffers are equipped with quality auspex devices and communications technology. Assault Marines escorting a Sniffer are often dispatched as secondary scouts, though are expected to engage any unsurfaced targets.
Siege Troopers: Brutes. Artillery Unit.
The most physically gifted Mediator applicants eschew the standard military education for strict training, dieting and genetic therapy tailored for one purpose - transforming them into towering behemoths of muscle. Equipped with devastating energy cannons and the sort of physique a titan would envy, a squad of Siege Troopers is more than a match for any armour or fortification the enemy may deploy.


Oh and semi-related, early version where it was RTS-inspired.



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PostPosted: 29 Nov 2009, 12:01 
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I presume your One Word link implies that the very short opening piece was written under the rules of that site. What was the word you were given? (Btw, you probably shouldn't have said "You won't regret checking it out." Putting that directly after the link is getting dangerously close to advertising, which isn't allowed. But the link itself was very helpful for understanding the little vignette.)

Your IHO background is fascinating. It must have taken ages to work out all that detail! (I could take issue with your mention of humans' pink fingers though - not all humans are pink. :p)

Do I assume there is still some work to be done on it? The later sections seemed to be less detailed (no introductory quotes etc.).

I also liked your first half-chapter of the novel. I look forward to seeing more of that.



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-Cello
-well what if after a hundred-thousand years of cross-breeding all of mankind is a single olive-tan colour? yeah. <_<
-Yeah I still need to finish it.
-Soon, hopefully!



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[SIZE=5]Five things I couldn't stop-[/SIZE]

Quote:
"You don't need to understand it," the beast explained. "Merely embrace it."
It circled me, as I circled it. Its voice resonated off the walls for what seemed like whole minutes after it spoke, echoing in what must have been the lowest pitch human ears could perceive. My organs trembled and weakened with each syllable it spat.
This thing used to be my father.

"...I'm afraid..." Well, I was. The hideous, leathery hide that was once his skin - lit from within by fiery veins - was part of my inheritance. The great, twisted horns, jagged and ebon, were also mine. The mandibles, the great, armoured talons, the empty, fluorescent eyes - all mine to own, should I choose to accept it.
"What of?"

A wet popping sound underlined his every statement, punctuating the torrent of filmy slime that escaped his opening jaws every time he spoke. I cannot explain how, but that sound seemed to be mocking me. My skin still crawls, to this day.

"...of its strength. What if it's... What if it's stronger than me?" The whispers that had plagued me over my journey were now at a scream. They stormed around my head, tearing down the foundations of any thoughts I attempted to form. They laughed and soared, rising and falling with his words.
"Show me."

My mind fell away, and I showed him.
Quote:
The laughing epidemic of 2012 started with one mistake. He moved, and I stuttered.

"I think we have him pinned down!"
"Don't get too confident, Glory."

Despite my reprimand, I strongly suspected young Josh was right. We'd been tracking the psyker for weeks, and if we learned one thing, it was how sloppy he was. He'd clean walked into three banks over the last week alone, stripping the walls bare and moving onwards. He was easier to trap than a blind rat.
Still, it was better to remain cautious. Psykers were notorious for inventing new tricks on the spot.

We closed in as a single shadow, a dark vice. I heard my girls creeping above, my brothers stalking behind and the villain cursing in anger ahead. Next came the part I hated - giving them a chance.

"Alan Delacroix, stand and attend," I called coolly, doing my best to keep my heart-rate steady. He froze, but otherwise gave no sign he even heard me. I swallowed, and read him his rights.
"By the right of the Manifold Shadows, we declare our intent to detain and interrogate you. Your-"
He turned his head to lock his mad, soulless eyes on me. He moved, and I stuttered.
He grinned. He knew he was the stronger. That was all he needed.

"caTCh mE If you CAN."

A hammer struck me between the eyes, concussing me briefly. The wiry, unassuming soldier turned the rest of his body towards me, his head unmoving.
I attempted to regain my composure.

"We are aware of your ability to pass through objects-"
"no. i CAn bE anYthIng. I CAN BE eVERYThING."

He made his move. I went for my blade, but as impossible light swept over me, I couldn't help but laugh.
Quote:
"It's not like that," I grunted. Yes, I was being obstinate. Heck, I'd go so far as to say I was being a jerk. I didn't care. "You don't have the right skill set for this assignment."
My heart twitched as I saw her beginning to understand what was happening here. Her upper lip, a gentle wave of pink flesh cresting what would have been a tsunami in comparison - I always got fixated on her lips - curled backward, baring one of her glistening, razor sharp teeth. Her creaseless brow cracked for a moment as her eyebrows drove downward and her eyes burst open in shock and anger.
It hurt me to see that look in her eyes.

"That's bull-shit. I'm the best occultist we have and I'm more than equipped for extra-planar activities. No, fuck that, I'm probably the best equipped! I'm more prepared than fucking Aphrael, anyway!"
My throat closed up as she brought up the 'other woman.' I wish she would make this easier.

"You're not a logical choice. The risk is too high for such a low priority mission, so I'd rather not send my best officer on a suicide run."

She paused, giving her blazing curls of perfect hair a chance to settle into place. Her bosum rose and fell, ever so slightly flushed with her heated shouting. Confusion began to settle on her face.

"I will not accept your loss, under any circumstances."

It wasn't quite as romantic as 'I love you,' but something quite beautiful blossomed, nonetheless.
Parts one, two and three of five. TRY AND GUESS WHO'S TELLING THE STORIES.



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PostPosted: 03 Dec 2009, 03:53 
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Once again, some very nice pieces. I particularly liked the first one.

I would have replied sooner, but I went off to research your other work to try to figure out whose stories they were. Unfortunately I ran out of time, so I thought I'd better post a reply anyway, rather than leave you thinking I hadn't bothered to read them.

The second one looks like it's probably set in the IHO universe, so I'll take a guess at an Enforcer. The mention of Aphrael in the third one is obviously a big clue and, while I clearly remember your "Aphrael is a Hottie" pic, I haven't yet had time to hunt out any info on who might have dealings with her. I was sure I'd read a brief mention of something that might have had bearing on the first one, but hadn't found it by the time I went to bed. I'll carry on looking when I have some free time. :D

[QUOTE=Myke;46440]-well what if after a hundred-thousand years of cross-breeding all of mankind is a single olive-tan colour? yeah. <_<[/QUOTE]
Then they'd have olive-tan fingers instead of pink ones. :p



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PostPosted: 03 Dec 2009, 04:19 
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oh haha. No, they're all from Hayt's perspective. The first is during his battle with Di, when he first manifests Kontousen. The second is just a snippet from one of his many assignments with the Obsidian Guard - cleaning up supernatural criminals and rogue monsters. The third is when he falls in love with Tana; Aphrael was originally a character from Ashes.
My characters are fond of crossing over into other universes for cameos ^_^;;



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PostPosted: 03 Dec 2009, 12:55 
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Ah! I was totally out with the second one then. :D But I was wondering about Hayt for the first one. I thought I had some recollection of you mentioning some monster-type thing in connection with him, but I hadn't found the post and wasn't going to risk making a total fool of myself by suggesting it without any evidence at all to back it up. :p



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