Whuff... back after a long hiatus (GF was ill, things got hectic, etc), but back now, and looking forward to reading... what, 8 pages now of wonderful snippets? and writing a few more of my own. Anyways, good to see the thread's still alive, it's a good one!
EDIT: Aaaand my long overdue Fading Suns vignette... keep in mind, this entire vignette is about a single roll... one that almost derailed the plot, until the GM was nice enough to give us another lead...
A Strong Arm and Sharp Eye
(Is Not Always Enough)
SpoilerThe Agora of Shaprut assaults the senses of all who do not live there, a wild commingling of sweat, spice, cries, laughter, conversation, sweet flowering plants from other worlds, and the rushing, to and fro, of servant, merchant, priest and noble alike in a grand and chaotic dance. It showed, felt Sir Miguel Don Esteban De Sutek, both the glory of the Pancreator in the wide variety of people and beings, and the sin that causes the Fading Suns, all in one square mile.
Here, a Shantor, horselike, but sentient, arguing tonelessly with a Charioteer Guild pilot over the price of a better voicebox, there, the nimble hands of a child pickpocket, and the cry of distress and rage as a Decados noble was stripped of his purse. The last made him smile, for, even with his vows to Emperor Alexius to uphold the vows of a Questing Knight, he felt no favour toward the members of the decadent and godless Mantis House. But he was here on business, and so could not tarry here as long as he wished. The Emperor Protects, he briefly mused, And I am but a finger of his hand.
Making his way through the crowd, he kept one hand upon his pistol, another upon his belt pouch, and, after a small eternity, he turned left, into a small alleyway. The dust and grime were thick here, and boxes, containers, and the occasional smashed urn littered the way. The sun did not reach here, and Sir Miguel took a moment to wipe the sweat from his brow before continuing.
There had been rumours of illicit slave trading on Shaprut, and he was most eager to deal justice to those who robbed freedom from others, but first, he was to meet with...
He halted. A pattern of rags, at first indistinguishable from the muck in the shade, had resolved itself, and the dark scarlet stain was unmistakable. The pile was, for the moment, still moving, and still, for the moment, his only source of information.
Kneeling in the dust and dirt, Sir Miguel cradled the young woman. She was known to him. Not dear, but known. Seriah Al-Malik. Soon, she was to be no more, but he took in her face as she breathed shortly and painfully. She had been beautiful, but her face was now scarred, as if her assailant had taken offense at her beauty, and, without her synthflesh mask, she looked doubly incongruous in the robes of an old beggar that she favoured when walking anonymously. She was a spy, but not for much longer. Her brown eyes, still crinkled with laughter lines, were becoming glazed.
“Seriah Al-Malik, you have something to tell me? Who must I find to avenge you?”
She pulled herself closer to him, and, with her last strength, whispered into his ear, and then fell heavily back into his arms. He laid her gently on the floor, spoke Final Rites, as a dutiful son of the Orthodoxy, and then swore, heartily. Reaching for his communicator, he muttered to himself in frustration. He had his information, but lacked the means to understand it...
...Her final words had been in The Graceful Tongue, and, being a warrior, not a poet, he had never understood the metaphor and allegory that would help him.
Much happier with this one, though, set in the new World of Darkness...
SpoilerI watch you as you leave the nightclub. God above, you're more beautiful than ever. You've been looking pale this past few days, and, while I understand, my heart aches at seeing you like this. In a way, I'm directly facing you. That hurts, too, because I'm a poetic soul, and the situation just reflects what we've both become.
You haven't aged a day. I feel envious. I certainly did, with the war. Life becomes all the more precious, love, the more you see it wasted around you, for nothing more than dreams of money. I have all the money I need after my discharge, have had for years, even if every picture of the queen is soaked in blood in my mind. Still.
I'm listening to Flogging Molly as you talk to some dried up old stick in edwardian clothing. He's a freak, but it's Saturday morning, oh-dark-God-alone-knows, and nobody notices one more oddball around this club. The music's talking about the history of our shared isle in terms that would have made them dead, this time even ten years ago. But it makes me laugh. After all, I do always find myself in the same old mess, and I certainly drink enough to make me sleep. But that's all by the by, love.
I tense my finger, watch you for a few moments more, and then leave, quickly. Staying would be awkward, and I know you wouldn't want that...
The black market trader had looked really scared when I'd asked him for 7.62 Dragonsbreath. They're really rare, expensive as all hell, but he knew not to f*** with me. He'd seen me during the Troubles, he'd heard of me from his army mates, and we both knew he'd get what I needed, or he'd be havin' Guinness with the angels. Those blokes from the church must have known this too, known a lot more than I did, when they offered me the job. I'd seen even more working for them than I had during the war, but here... I felt better. I was doing good, this time, God's work.
Even as your head turned into red mist, flaring in a fireworks display that would have made you squeal with joy when you were younger, I felt the love for you. It had never gone, not when you vanished, not when the men from the church told me where you were, and how you were. And I never talked to you, because old instincts die hard. I couldn't believe it, when I saw what you did with the poor lads you took home, when I realised that you'd not aged a day, and I'd become a tired, bitter old man. I'll never forget, like some of my brothers never forgot, and the people they hurt never forgot. But it was nothing personal, and I'll raise a glass to you, my long departed... sister. And your wake'll be a fine thing, even if it's the second time around...
I don't think I'll explain that one too much unless I'm asked to. But I will say it represents a situation I've yet to see in a game I've played in, and now know how I'd go about it, in this case. If you listen to the track the unnamed character's listening to (I might name him, make more stories about him), you'll understand what he's talking about, and see another layer to the story. The song is Drunken Lullabies.
EDIT 2: Ooooh, other nWoD snippets? Laaaaavleee! xP
EDIT 3: Lord Gareth, even though I hate, hatehatehate, apocalyptic WoD games, be they old or new WoD, I love the first snippet! Haven't read the next (if it's been written) 'cos I have to do stuff, but wow... the emotion is just right, the feel of madness and beauty and horror and... just wow. I especially loved Winter. Perfect!
EDIT 4: Bleedin' Nora, I come back after a break, and I'm on a roll! Another one with my previously unnamed character, now known as Finlay Houlihan (or Finn, for short)...
SpoilerI'm down at Siobhan's bar, a fine old place with good craic, when I see the lass. She's a pretty one, for sure, but she's not waiting for anyone, and she's not getting into the spirit of things. Forgive me for sayin', but I can't help but take that personal. So, in the spirit of our fine isle's hospitality, I set my Guinness down next to her at her table.
She must be havin' a hard time, she doesn't even look up. Now I'm up close, it's not so much that she's pretty, but that she looks wild. Her eyes... God above, her eyes look just like mine. And that's not right in a fair world. But it's not a fair world, is it? It's a right s***hole. But I cough, just to let her know I would appreciate helpin' her out of her mood.
When she looks up, I feel like a rabbit caught by my grandpa, just staring, like. Not many people do that, after what I've seen, but she had it. “Death surrounds you.” No gab, no flirting or moaning, just that. Somehow, I chuckle. Hard when it's clear she doesn't want the company, but I'm stubborn. To make it worse, she's a Cork girl, and, judging by the looks of my fellow drunks, they've only just realised.
“Aye, lass, and I'd not be surprised at that, considering!” She just nods, as if she knows my life already. “You look like someone with a few skins under yer coat as well, lass... care to make your no doubt overdue confession?” Now it's her turn to chuckle. Not much, barely a snort, but it warmed my heart, so it did! I would no doubt have gotten a bit further on, had Sean not decided to cause trouble.
The sound of his fists hittin' the table as he leant on it were like guncracks, and his voice was no less harsh as he asked “Ye're from t'other side, aren't ye?” My mind was going through all sorts of ungodly words, not to be spoken in polite company, and I was seriously considerin' a quiet final confession, when, without warning, she pins his right hand to the table with the biggest pigsticker y'ever saw, real primitive and nasty lookin'. Now Sean may be a bully, but he sqeualed like a babe.
I don't rightly remember much after that, but I do feel, and will feel for a while... well, until my arm heals up, anyway, that it was another night of good craic, right there. I do remember after, though, because we're both panting, and laughing, and Siobhan's laughing, too, 'cos she's used to this sorta thing, and everyone else in the place is lyin' about groaning. The Cork lass turns to me, and she says “You fight well... want a drink?”
Well, God help me for a sinner, but a pint of our fair land's produce is never turned down, much less a glass of the good stuff, and so we had a good chat. Turns out her name was Kathleen, which was fitting, because I'm a Finn, and we resolved to meet again. She was... well, not worried, but concerned that might not be right, but I assured her that none of the fellers would cause trouble, especially since they'd die of embarassment if their wives found out.
And that would have been that, except for the giant spider which chose that moment to burst through the door. Well, Siobhan wasn't used to that, but I was, and it seemed so was she. We both just sighed, and went to our bloody business. Took a long time, and we were exhausted, but we still said we'd meet again, trouble and all. It was funny, because she called me a “Wolf-blood”, whatever on God's green Earth that is – a compliment, no doubt – and... Father, please don't judge on this....
...But I'd swear, for half that fight, she had claws.
He's a mortal with the wolf-blood merit, and he works for one of the Hunter organisations, although he only knows his local vicar gives him strange jobs every now and again. For reference, he's 56.