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Thread: D&D Snippets

  1. - Top - End - #481
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    Glory
    Or: Epic Endgames are Epic
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    It shouldn't have been possible, the way he moved.

    Excuse me, where are my manners? As much as I'd dearly love to prattle on about how imposing and incomprehensible my name is supposed to be, greater devils get that privilege; an imp such as myself must make do with a lesser name, such as 'Brintari', which is, incidentally, the name you may choose to know me by. I was on special assignment into one of the upper layers of the Abyss - a suicide mission, really, with the purpose of gathering information from the Eighty-Third layer - when I noticed a massive portal opened to one of the planets on the Prime Material Plane. I, of course, went to investigate immediately and found an army of the Tanar'ri pushing each other towards the portal, blood flying everywhere in their eagerness to leave their home plane.

    Ah, demons. Their stupidity makes me feel warm inside.

    Which brings me to what I was talking about initially, for a group of six mortals stood just on the other side of the portal and were, astoundingly, holding the line against the demonic hordes. One of them, a sorcerer or arcanist or whatever mortals call them, chanted and unleashed a wave of crashing thunder that deafened the Tanar'ri ranks, driving them back from the sheer sonic force of it, and their priest invoked the name of some wretched god of light and turned the front ranks of the demons into ash. They barely even got time to scream.

    "We cannot hold!" one of them shouted, even as she blasted a storm of fragmenting arrows into her enemies. "We need reinforcements!"

    "That'd be a great plan if someone hadn't used his last scroll to get us here!" another one shouted, a half-elven boy wearing dozens upon dozens of daggers in place of armor. He and a tall woman holding a claymore stood in front of the group, ready and wary, and a collective groan went up directed at the magician.

    The priest was about to say something when the boy - or was he a man? There's so much difficulty telling, with half breeds - dove into the portal, bringing his blades up in an impossibly fast scything motion that cut down a pair of demons at the waist.

    "Francis!" the woman with the claymore shouted desperately - sweet grief! - as she started forward, but the half-elf waved a hand at her impatiently and shouted back, "Get reinforcements! I'll hold 'em here!"

    "Gods damn it Francis, you aren't invincible like you think you are!" she protested, tears in her eyes, but the sorcerer grabbed her shoulder and gave her an intense look. As one, the group turned and ran, dashing away as fast as their feet could carry them. I stayed to watch the death of the boy.

    Except...except there's no way he should have moved that fast.

    In the brief time I'd looked away, he'd hacked down eight more demons, slicing through beings that must have been a century or more older than him at the youngest like they were feathers. He moved like a hurricane, like a god, a phantom of flickering steel and that white, white smile, always slashing and dancing away before the first flecks of blood could mar his clothes. Demons would lunge for the doorway only to find him before them, twin blades ripping into arteries and severing limbs with the neat, surgical efficiency of a butcher, and all the while he laughed merrily, like it was a game.

    The seconds dragged on into minutes. The minutes turned into half an hour. I lost count of the number of corpses he piled before that gate, but he was slowing down, and reinforcements were coming to the aid of the Abyss.

    A demonic sorceress, a succubus of some power, flew in and opened up not with words, but with a black ray of death that the half-elf deflected with his blades. He replied by hurling a pair of longswords at her, the blades lengthening from their dagger-sheaths as he threw them, which sliced her wings off and sent her plummeting to the earth. Her counter-attack was a wave of fire that scorched her assailant, making Francis scream in agony.

    "There is no victory for you here, mortal!" the sorceress screamed triumphantly as he picked himself up. The rest of the fiends edged away from him, for as he stood a radiance began to emanate from his flesh, waves of glory crashing from his form to blast them back.

    "If there can be no victory," he whispered, clutching a dozen bleeding wounds, "then I will fight forever!"

    There was an explosion of light, and I blacked out.

    * * *

    I came to some hours later, and standing before me was a goddess; tall and red-haired, fair of face and holding a glaive in her hand. She wore no armor, instead clothed in only a tabard that shifted symbols so rapidly that I could not keep track of it. I hit my knees and trembled, begging for my life.

    "Brintari," she said softly, and I looked up in terror, "be not afraid. I send you with a message that your master should find pleasing. Tell him that my name is Trivalla, and that his actions have helped me come to be. Tell him that I am the goddess of courage and glory, and that I do not forget my debts. But tell him this as well: my champion has cast his lot with the Planes Above, and while he lives, so too must I. Abide in patine, Brintari. Your day will come, when you may know the glory and terror of those below you."

    She turned and looked with a smile at the half-elf, fast asleep on a pile of demonic corpses high enough to build a mountain.

    "I would be very grateful if you could return Francis to his lover," she asked of me, and I nodded quietly. I barely even noticed when she vanished, and went to do as she asked.

    Master would be pleased indeed.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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  2. - Top - End - #482
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    I think I'm gonna do this in chunks... at least until I catch up...

    Machuchang
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    Moving On: I enjoyed this one. I liked the idea of it being so cold that saliva freezes as it hits the ground. Coming from a cold country I can appreciate that sort of temperature, but even so, it gives a neat idea of just how cold it is to someone from a place that’s not so cold.

    I love the idea of a man called Hero. And even though his character is a little clichéd, the idea of the reluctant hero and all. The simply fact of his name gives it a neat little twist.


    Lord Gareth (is this enough of a review for you ‘net husband? )
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    The Host of A Thousand Princes – Part 2: I thought ‘creepy as hell’ was a perfectly good response especially since it was creepy as hell. I like the way you describe General Northman, the bit where we find out he’s lost his hair piece etc… it’s only one sentence but you pack so much information into it that we really get a feel for this guy. Sure he’s getting on and is probably a little overweight by now, but he’s still a soldier (despite being vain enough to use a hair piece). He went for his gun, he’s getting annoyed rather than expressing outright fear. It makes me respect this guy, I feel a bit of sympathy for him. In fact, he’s just about the perfect foil for the other characters, because he’s so human. He’s horrified at the footage, human (or is that male?) enough to be entertaining less-than-appropriate thoughts about Natasha and loves his daughter. All that just makes the others, especially Natasha, just that more horrific. I like that Natasha talks in italics… it gives, to me at least, a sense that her voice is different. Coupled with the comparison between her and poor Northman it really emphasises the fact that this girl is not human.

    The winter section? I like the way that you’ve divided up the action with ‘exhale’ and ‘squeeze the trigger’. It gives it a feel for how quickly things are moving and yet how much is happening in a short space of time. I am also wondering what happened to Colors (that is Colors right?) to upset her so much.

    The autumn bit is the part that really creeped me out. Her Magnificence is quite the impressive figure, what with the blood of virgins and all that. She is a decidedly creepy and unnerving figure on her own and then you come up with this other voice that freaks her out? Gah…


    Darkpuppy
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    [b]A Strong Arm and Sharp Eye[:/b] I enjoyed this one. I liked the description of the Agora, I got a real feel for the smells and sights and sounds. I’m also quite impressed at how much you got out of a single roll - but I have to ask… what was the roll that got botched?

    Opposite: this one confused me a bit… it wasn’t very clear what was going on. In the first section, I get the feeling the girl should have been able to see the man watching her, but nothing happens. In the second part, I’m even more confused… is she dead now? What happened between the first and second parts? Obviously some time has gone, but there’s no indication of time flowing and moving, so it seems reads like it was immediately after. Your writing/sentence structures etc are perfectly fine, nothing wrong with them, but the story is lacking in clarity I think. And I know you were aiming for that, but I think you could have made things like the passage of time clearer without giving anything more away.

    Good Craic Oooh, this one! I liked this one. No matter what else is going on, it reads like a good, old fashioned rousing bar fight. No complications, no nonsense, just a good old punch-up. The characterisation really makes this story. He’s just some old dude in a pub, enjoying himself, butting in on the new girl, making sure she has fun – and then they put the smack-down on everyone else. Loved it
    Last edited by Lady Moreta; 2011-05-30 at 09:44 PM.


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  3. - Top - End - #483
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    Sorry, we didn't meet again so I need to wait until next week. I'll be back then!

  4. - Top - End - #484
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Moreta View Post
    Darkpuppy
    [b]A Strong Arm and Sharp Eye[:/b]
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    I enjoyed this one. I liked the description of the Agora, I got a real feel for the smells and sights and sounds. I’m also quite impressed at how much you got out of a single roll - but I have to ask… what was the roll that got botched?
    Ahhhh... the single roll that got botched? right at the end, he tries to make a roll on his... lemme see, it was one of the mental attributes and poetry, to understand the Ven Twa (Hidden Tongue, a metaphorical language used by House Al-Malik).

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Moreta View Post
    Opposite:
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    this one confused me a bit… it wasn’t very clear what was going on. In the first section, I get the feeling the girl should have been able to see the man watching her, but nothing happens. In the second part, I’m even more confused… is she dead now? What happened between the first and second parts? Obviously some time has gone, but there’s no indication of time flowing and moving, so it seems reads like it was immediately after. Your writing/sentence structures etc are perfectly fine, nothing wrong with them, but the story is lacking in clarity I think. And I know you were aiming for that, but I think you could have made things like the passage of time clearer without giving anything more away.
    Aye, was, as you noticed, aiming for a bit of obfuscation, but the hints are there, even if they're a bit obscure. Dragonsbreath is, basically, incendiary rounds, 7.62mm is rifle ammo (specifically, sniper rifle), and it is mentioned (or should have been) that Finlay was a sniper. His sort-of-late-sister can't see him because he's a rooftop and a half away, looking through a scope.

    What I was aiming for there was a more experimental piece, where the viewpoint (Finlay) is first concentrating almost completely on laying his sister to rest, and then justifying it in his own mind. So yes, the time scale is fairly ambiguous, and I apologise for that. Other Finlay Houlihan stories shall be, as you've noticed, a bit more straightforward.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Moreta View Post
    Good Craic
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    No matter what else is going on, it reads like a good, old fashioned rousing bar fight. No complications, no nonsense, just a good old punch-up. The characterisation really makes this story. He’s just some old dude in a pub, enjoying himself, butting in on the new girl, making sure she has fun – and then they put the smack-down on everyone else. Loved it
    *chuckles* yeah, I enjoyed writing that one, showing, as it were, good irish hospitality. I was actually terrified I'd gotten my north and south ireland mixed up, but thankfully, my irish friends assured me I'd gotten the split right. There might be more of Kathy within the Finlay Houlihan shorts, I haven't decided yet... after all, it'd be very awkward, what with him working for the Hunters, and her being a Forsaken...

    I would comment on the pieces that have been put up since I last wrote, but, unfortunately, my computer's borked (writing from the library), so it'll have to wait till I get back! Promising some more Finlay, and a little Eberron fiction, both after a) my 'puter's returned, and b) assignment is handed in!
    Pembrokeshire: A place where madness is an aid, not only to gainful employment, but continued existence.

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    - Darkpuppy, on Wizards in his DnD games.

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  5. - Top - End - #485
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    -shoves thread backinto the spot light-

    so.... I've learned my lesson about promising things in advance.... I'll stop doing that

    I need to start writing again....

    and so do the rest of you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Occasional Sage View Post
    big teej, you are the GitP forum with legs.
    Quote Originally Posted by McSmack View Post
    Or if you're feeling saucy you can remind him that it's not a democracy, it's a Teej-tatorship, and he'd best remember that.
    Quote Originally Posted by IthroZada View Post
    I imagine Cenobites to be what you get when you mash together the Book of Erotic Fantasy and the Book of Vile Darkness.

    if I've gone quiet in a pbp we share, PM ME! this means I'm not getting updates!

  6. - Top - End - #486
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    I'd say I'm trying... but I'm really not My muse seems to have abandonded me


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  7. - Top - End - #487
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Moreta View Post
    I'd say I'm trying... but I'm really not My muse seems to have abandonded me
    same here, I blame job-hunting and otehr things sapping my creativity.
    my awesome knight riding a bulette avatar was made by smuchmuch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Occasional Sage View Post
    big teej, you are the GitP forum with legs.
    Quote Originally Posted by McSmack View Post
    Or if you're feeling saucy you can remind him that it's not a democracy, it's a Teej-tatorship, and he'd best remember that.
    Quote Originally Posted by IthroZada View Post
    I imagine Cenobites to be what you get when you mash together the Book of Erotic Fantasy and the Book of Vile Darkness.

    if I've gone quiet in a pbp we share, PM ME! this means I'm not getting updates!

  8. - Top - End - #488
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    Glory
    Or: Epic Endgames are Epic
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    It shouldn't have been possible, the way he moved.

    Excuse me, where are my manners? As much as I'd dearly love to prattle on about how imposing and incomprehensible my name is supposed to be, greater devils get that privilege; an imp such as myself must make do with a lesser name, such as 'Brintari', which is, incidentally, the name you may choose to know me by. I was on special assignment into one of the upper layers of the Abyss - a suicide mission, really, with the purpose of gathering information from the Eighty-Third layer - when I noticed a massive portal opened to one of the planets on the Prime Material Plane. I, of course, went to investigate immediately and found an army of the Tanar'ri pushing each other towards the portal, blood flying everywhere in their eagerness to leave their home plane.

    Ah, demons. Their stupidity makes me feel warm inside.

    Which brings me to what I was talking about initially, for a group of six mortals stood just on the other side of the portal and were, astoundingly, holding the line against the demonic hordes. One of them, a sorcerer or arcanist or whatever mortals call them, chanted and unleashed a wave of crashing thunder that deafened the Tanar'ri ranks, driving them back from the sheer sonic force of it, and their priest invoked the name of some wretched god of light and turned the front ranks of the demons into ash. They barely even got time to scream.

    "We cannot hold!" one of them shouted, even as she blasted a storm of fragmenting arrows into her enemies. "We need reinforcements!"

    "That'd be a great plan if someone hadn't used his last scroll to get us here!" another one shouted, a half-elven boy wearing dozens upon dozens of daggers in place of armor. He and a tall woman holding a claymore stood in front of the group, ready and wary, and a collective groan went up directed at the magician.

    The priest was about to say something when the boy - or was he a man? There's so much difficulty telling, with half breeds - dove into the portal, bringing his blades up in an impossibly fast scything motion that cut down a pair of demons at the waist.

    "Francis!" the woman with the claymore shouted desperately - sweet grief! - as she started forward, but the half-elf waved a hand at her impatiently and shouted back, "Get reinforcements! I'll hold 'em here!"

    "Gods damn it Francis, you aren't invincible like you think you are!" she protested, tears in her eyes, but the sorcerer grabbed her shoulder and gave her an intense look. As one, the group turned and ran, dashing away as fast as their feet could carry them. I stayed to watch the death of the boy.

    Except...except there's no way he should have moved that fast.

    In the brief time I'd looked away, he'd hacked down eight more demons, slicing through beings that must have been a century or more older than him at the youngest like they were feathers. He moved like a hurricane, like a god, a phantom of flickering steel and that white, white smile, always slashing and dancing away before the first flecks of blood could mar his clothes. Demons would lunge for the doorway only to find him before them, twin blades ripping into arteries and severing limbs with the neat, surgical efficiency of a butcher, and all the while he laughed merrily, like it was a game.

    The seconds dragged on into minutes. The minutes turned into half an hour. I lost count of the number of corpses he piled before that gate, but he was slowing down, and reinforcements were coming to the aid of the Abyss.

    A demonic sorceress, a succubus of some power, flew in and opened up not with words, but with a black ray of death that the half-elf deflected with his blades. He replied by hurling a pair of longswords at her, the blades lengthening from their dagger-sheaths as he threw them, which sliced her wings off and sent her plummeting to the earth. Her counter-attack was a wave of fire that scorched her assailant, making Francis scream in agony.

    "There is no victory for you here, mortal!" the sorceress screamed triumphantly as he picked himself up. The rest of the fiends edged away from him, for as he stood a radiance began to emanate from his flesh, waves of glory crashing from his form to blast them back.

    "If there can be no victory," he whispered, clutching a dozen bleeding wounds, "then I will fight forever!"

    There was an explosion of light, and I blacked out.

    * * *

    I came to some hours later, and standing before me was a goddess; tall and red-haired, fair of face and holding a glaive in her hand. She wore no armor, instead clothed in only a tabard that shifted symbols so rapidly that I could not keep track of it. I hit my knees and trembled, begging for my life.

    "Brintari," she said softly, and I looked up in terror, "be not afraid. I send you with a message that your master should find pleasing. Tell him that my name is Trivalla, and that his actions have helped me come to be. Tell him that I am the goddess of courage and glory, and that I do not forget my debts. But tell him this as well: my champion has cast his lot with the Planes Above, and while he lives, so too must I. Abide in patine, Brintari. Your day will come, when you may know the glory and terror of those below you."

    She turned and looked with a smile at the half-elf, fast asleep on a pile of demonic corpses high enough to build a mountain.

    "I would be very grateful if you could return Francis to his lover," she asked of me, and I nodded quietly. I barely even noticed when she vanished, and went to do as she asked.

    Master would be pleased indeed.
    Hey Teej, I was writing :p


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
    My extended homebrew sig

  9. - Top - End - #489
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    I know, and you produce great things.


    but
    1) I worry when I don't get a notification that one of my favorite threads has had a new reply for a week or so
    2) I have no sense of time, this effects item 1
    3) more people should be writing
    4) like me
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    Quote Originally Posted by Occasional Sage View Post
    big teej, you are the GitP forum with legs.
    Quote Originally Posted by McSmack View Post
    Or if you're feeling saucy you can remind him that it's not a democracy, it's a Teej-tatorship, and he'd best remember that.
    Quote Originally Posted by IthroZada View Post
    I imagine Cenobites to be what you get when you mash together the Book of Erotic Fantasy and the Book of Vile Darkness.

    if I've gone quiet in a pbp we share, PM ME! this means I'm not getting updates!

  10. - Top - End - #490
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    Well hey, I'd appreciate a review or something :p

    WRITING CHALLENGE: Create a snippet from the PoV of a steampunk elf.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
    My extended homebrew sig

  11. - Top - End - #491
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    Well hey, I'd appreciate a review or something :p

    WRITING CHALLENGE: Create a snippet from the PoV of a steampunk elf.
    Hey. You still owe me a review of that Lyra snippet. Punk.


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  12. - Top - End - #492
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Moreta View Post
    Hey. You still owe me a review of that Lyra snippet. Punk.
    LIES!

    ...Okay I'll do it sometime soon T_T


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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  13. - Top - End - #493
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    ooooh Steampunk elf? hm.

    The Smell of Smoke
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    As always, the smell of smoke awoke me.
    I got up, and stretched. There came a metallic barking, it was a little mechanical dog, something I repaired like a couple years back. I think it was some mass-produced little pet for people of some city before it got destroyed. I named him Sprocket, and he was little more than a robotic puppy.

    Me own name's Kyranka. I'm just a normal elf girl trying to survive. I wear leather clothing made from the hides of Dryglocs- some mutated thing, I think it evolved from some ancient thing an elder once told me about, think it was called a wolf- cut into a practical long-sleeved patchwork outfit that covered my entire body. I've added various metal parts and pieces onto the outfit, so that it was like a junky jewelry suit of rusted iron, copper, steel and various other metals. This clothing is called a Hakra which is Elvish for "It'll do." Elves learned to sleep in their Hakra for it was the clothes on your back, meaning it was all you had.

    I have messy hair, I'm unsure of the color, cause soot and mud and grime all muddled and murky-fied it into some unidentifiable brown. My skin is similarly covered with soot, so to me I've always been soot-skinned and brown haired. I look into some leftover piece of reflective metal and see the one thing that stands out about me: my bright green eyes. where I come from everyone with green eyes is called Greeneyes, cause it said in legend, back when the that mystical all-powerful force called "Nature" existed, everything was green, some crazy elven hobos even proclaim that the Greeneyes are blessed by Natures Ghost to someday "resurrect" or "rebirth" Nature. But no one believes them. Do you? The world is all tan, rusty orange, red and brown and grey now.....I don't think the Green is coming back.

    I pick up my shot gun and my Partsintools Bag. When I came of age, I received my Partsintools Bag to honor me becoming grown up at the age of fifteen. I'm nineteen now and it had never failed, and neither has my shotgun.
    I then walk on over to this crude pipe with a nozzle, I put this old frying pan under it and with some effort, turn the nozzle- the rusted thing probably hasn't been turned for years. Out poured some oil into the frying pan, which Sprocket wandered over to, opened his mouth, extending a pipe out from his mouth he sucked up all the oil in the frying pan.

    I looked at the oil gauge on Sprocket's side, the arrow pointed to "F" meaning it was full. Sprocket was fed for the day.
    "C'mon Sprocket. Lets go find something for me to eat."
    Sprocket in response let out out a happy bark of a grinding gear.

    I wander through the wasteland of metal scraps and sand that was my home.
    My shot gun is held ready. I had signaled long ago for Sprocket to be quiet. I was in hunting mode now.
    It is difficult, hunting in the wastes. Only predators exist here. I was just one with superior firepower. I am also camouflaged, but so is everything else. Everything is dirty and muddled here.
    It was a few hours before I found something. The sun was starting to rise higher into the sky, and I am getting really hungry for some breakfast.
    I spotted a Zykero. Its this... thing. Its like a big cat, except with a scorpion tail and tongue. And bright purple fur. I aim my shotgun- BLAM!!
    It immediately sprinted away, darn it. I HATE it when I miss! Now I have to follow it and waste more ammo!
    I started to walk to follow the Zykero when I suddenly smelled something out of place.

    The Smell of Smoke.

    Then I hear a rumbling, I wheeled around, my shot gun ready. Sprocket had started his metallic barking again, and was barking furiously at a particular pile of junk.
    The suddenly a smoke elemental burst out of the scraps, its odor of pure smoke dominating the senses.
    Me and Sprocket being to run away as it pursued us.
    My shot gun is a good weapon, but I have limited ammo which I need for hunting- I can't get out alive of being attacked by a smoke elemental only to starve. I needed to find something else among the scraps to destroy it with.
    "Sprocket!"
    I yelled
    "Go that way!"
    If the smoke elemental gone for Sprocket then he would be a good distraction until I could come up with something, if the smoke elemental went for me, then at least Sprocket would be safe.

    The elemental went for Sprocket, running in the other direction. I had only a few minutes, Sprocket couldn't out run the smoke elemental forever. Come on there has to something here that I could, something that could work! I search frantically, desperately trying to find anything that would work.
    Then I spotted it: It was some kind of cannon on top of another pile of melted scraps and other junk. I run forward and started climbing, little bits and pieces of nails, wires, gears and shards of plating scattered underneath my feet and I feel old oil, grease and lubricant under my fingers as I climbed the random assortment of trash.

    I finally got up, but I still needed to fix the thing, hopefully a quick job. I opened the panel and looked at the wiring and such- if I do a quick repair and fix up, it might be able to work. Once.
    No time to worry. Just hope that it works and fix it as best you can.
    I pull out my tools, rewiring this and that, replacing this with this part, and just generally working as fast as I could. My bond with the metal guided me towards its completion, it kept saying
    "Go! Keep going! You'll do it! activate me in a fury! Unleash it!"
    finally I closed the panel and called to Sprocket, then hovered my hand over the firing trigger and my eye in the aiming scope.Sure enough Sprocket came running in, barking while the Smoke Elemental pursued him closely behind.
    I took a deep breath for a moment then adjusted the cannon as I could before I could take a shot. One shot, One chance. Win or fail, Live or die.

    Then the Smoke Elemental came into sight.
    I took aim and pulled the trigger.
    Out roared a big flash of lightning, streaking across the air like a blade stabbing through fire. It burned the world it went through, passing right above Sprocket and hitting the smoke elemental directly, the electricity filled up the smoke, an inhuman shriek bursting from the elemental while it seemed to turn into some twisted living storm cloud with electrical veins.
    Then as soon as it began, the smoke elemental dissipated, leaving the new, unfamiliar smell.
    I shouldered my shot gun and petted a barking Sprocket.
    I didn't know what the smell was, but it smelt good, better than smoke.
    I could wake up to it.
    Last edited by Lord Raziere; 2011-06-11 at 12:34 PM.
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  14. - Top - End - #494
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    Raziere. Seriously. Break up your paragraphs. Your wall of text posts are painful on the eyes, my friend. Painful on the eyes.

    That being said, here's my steampunk elf one (warning: contains heavy elements of homebrewed setting):

    Soot & Smoke
    Or: A Night in the Life
    Spoiler
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    Midnight and the smell of ashes. My time of the day, here - with the moon rising high over the smoke and soot, the sounds of the city muted down to the bare bones of back-alley violence and the low, husky calls of the street ladies and men, the clicks and clacks of the last few honest folks rushing home to their families and loved ones to get away from the nightly drama play.

    Kralis at night. Beautiful.

    I pick myself up from my rooftop cot - it's too barking hot to be inside tonight - and stretch, taking in another deep breath of the thick city air and smiling. I tousle my hair to shake loose the big bugs and rub in some flea powder (the stuff stings like you wouldn't barking believe) and dig through my rucksack before finally shrugging and pulling out my slops, a set of leathers with a long, armored coat over the top. A steel-lined broad hat and a triple-barreled shotgun complete my evening ensemble, the weapon concealed beneath the coat.

    Down below, I can hear Ma and Da screaming at each other again. I roll my eyes and leap off of the roof, hands reaching for a pipe that juts from a nearby building. I grab hold of the greasy metal and, in seconds, I'm on the cobblestones, down with the ashes and muck. I smile to myself and start walking, happy to just pound the pavement for awhile and leave them behind.

    I consider stopping to play with a couple of halfling gentlemen of my acquaintance, but tonight doesn't seem the night - way too damned hot, for one - so I end up at Ryk's, a bar near the corner of Down and Up. Ryk's a half-orc, an old soldier that retired with a pension that makes my head spin just thinking about it, and he serves good swill for dirt cheap. I'm greeted by a chorus of "Hi Kylla!" or "Evenin' babes!" as I push open the front door, and that only makes me smile wider. The room's a bit smoky from the cheap candles Ryk uses (what, you think the beer pays for itself?) but I take a seat at the bar anyway. Ryk gives me a scarred grin and pours me a pint straight off, and I slap down a pair of steel nobles for the privilege before taking a nice, long draw.

    "Busy night, love?" I ask teasingly. The half-orc's older than I am, and I'm almost pushing a century.

    "You know it babes. That festival - whaddya call it, the Moonrise Summit or some crap? - is makin' everyone edgy just like it does every year, and edgy people like good booze."

    "Preach it," I mutter as I take another pull from the mug. "Ma and Da are at it again. She caught him this time, over at the Silk Ribbon with Aeysha. You'd think, given the whole history of catching each other in halfling brothels, they'd both jus' shut up about it, but no. Every damn week, another barking argument. I was half-tempted to mention that if we were going to fight about village horse-carts, I'd taken a ride on that particular one."

    The dwarf sitting next to me spits out the ale in his mouth and gives me an incredulous look, which I return with a wicked grin, Free City of Kralis, baby. 'Do as Thou Wilt' is the only law."

    Ryk laughs - he doesn't approve, but he can appreciate a good joke - when some greasy little girl runs up to me panting. At first I'm about to get irritated - she's an elf, like me, and can't be more than, what forty? - when she sets down a little card on the table in front of me with a rising moon crossed by rifles on it. I roll my eyes, "Since when did Garyn start hiring children?"

    She swallows nervously and looks around the bar, but I give her a hard look and she stammers out, "Th-the beggar king wants to see you!"

    I raise an eyebrow and shrug, standing up and finishing my booze off, "Hey Ryk, I'll probably be back. Might have to hit my plates, though, so keep something open for me, wouldja?"

    The half-orc nods, and I gesture for the little girl to lead on.

    * * *

    Garyn - he only calls himself 'The Beggar King' if you're in trouble with him - holds court in the sewers just underneath Crook-Tooth Alley, and it stinks down in ways you don't want me describing. He sits on a throne made of scraps, four centuries worth of elven wisdom and cunning with all the kindness of a hungry wolf-like. He isn't smiling when I walk in, which is never a good sign. He might like us to call him 'Father' but he's got about as much loyalty to us as we do to him - that is, none at all unless out pockets and stomachs remain full.

    "We've got a problem, Kylla, he says by way of greeting. "You've been holding out on me."

    I let my hand rest near the bottom of my coat, my little finger hooking around the small leather release for my shotgun. "I've got no idea what you're talkin' about," I say evenly. I'm lying - I have been holding back on my tithes and protection fees, trying to buy up some medicine before the next plague comes through the slums over the winter. They always come through over the winter, and about six years back we lost my younger brother to one. I've got no interest in following him to a shallow grave.

    "You'd be a better liar if I hadn't been asking around with your friends and clients, Kylla. Really, you gotta learn more discretion if you're going to sneak around behind my back. You know how much I just love people that hold out on me."

    I swear quietly, under my breath, "Look, I can pay it all back if you can give me a moon or two to scrounge it together, some folks owe me -"

    He cuts his hand across his face to get me to shut up, which I do immediately, "I'm not interested in your excuses, Kylla. This is the third time. I'm sorry, but you're done."

    I tug my loop and swing my shotgun out of the coat and into my hands, whipping it upwards as fast as I can. My finger squeezes the trigger and the shot blasts away a wooden support that I quietly weakened the last time Garyn had me paint the place. As I turn to run, a huge chunk of the ceiling comes loose and blocks the tunnel behind me. He'll be trapped in there for days.

    Assuming he gets out at all, anyway.

    * * *

    "Busy night, babes?"

    "Nothing too major, Ryk. Say, you know if anyone's hiring a repair rat?"

    "Y'know, I might have a friend or two."
    Last edited by Lord_Gareth; 2011-06-11 at 12:03 PM.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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  15. - Top - End - #495
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets

    broke it up a little, that better?
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  16. - Top - End - #496
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    Much easier on the eyes, though you've got some awkward wordings and capitalization issues. Honestly, the action seems pretty okay (the awkward wording makes it chop a bit), but you spend a lot of time emphasizing the idea that Nature is coming back...which they don't really care about. Or know about, really. Modern elves grew up like they are, and so did their parents, and grandparents, and their great-grandparents before them. Their bond with the city, with steel and grease and flame, is inbound now, as much a part of them as breathing. My snippet didn't get a lot into the steel bond, but the city bond is there for those that look.

    Any thoughts on Soot & Smoke, Raziere?


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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  17. - Top - End - #497
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    I seem to have gotten into the habit of Megaposts. Please bear with me.

    Lord Gareth, Endgame, parts 1 and 2: Gah, did I get stuck on reviewing that one. For some reason, I just couldn't get it on the first several readings. And then, after I let it sit for a couple of weeks, I re-read it... And it fell into place. Damn, that was good.

    I like Summer's characteristic straightforwardness. I like how Spring marches into a mundane's head and opens his brain with a cheerful smile. I like how Winter finds with dispassionate ruthlessness - until something breaks in their minds and they start going on until they just die.

    Autumn is harder to understand. And probably could have been creepier, for they are the children of Fear. What is the Mask?

    Anyhow, waiting for part three eagerly!

    I *will* take you up on the steampunk elf challenge in a couple days' time! Though that's probably going to be more Navy Seal elf... It's a longstanding fantasy of mine that has yet to take form. I'll review yours and Lord Raziere's story ASAP after this post, though.

    Lady Moreta, Leith: I kinda have to agree with Lord Gareth here. The style is good, as usual, but the composition stumbles. Your piece is long, but doesn't tell us anything about Leith except that she holds her fathers bow very dear, and the tasks he gives her, as well. Very Lawful, she seems. But not much else. I'd like to see her character more established.

    On an off-topic: I, too, would like to hear a more expanded opinion on the Jailin stories, if you're up for it.

    Darkpuppy, A Strong Arm and a Sharp Eye: wonderful! I enjoy it when stories suddenly go off elsewhere because of chance. It seems so very human, and it always gets my interest up. I loved how it was all stoic and then very ironic. It makes the world believable.

    Opposite and Good Craic: Finlay is good. I like especially how you play to the name and the mythology around it. You could get the correlation even from the first piece, and after the second one, well, the Irish fangirl in me squealed a bit. I hope you expand more on that!

    I did have a bit of a hard time reading due to the slang. But that's my problem in this case, not yours. What's a pigsticker? A kind of knife?

    And you kind of lost me at first on who actually fought when the brawl began. I had to re-read it to make sure.

    Big Teej, The fight in the mountains: same general criticism as before. Modern expressions used in each piece make every piece harder to read. Your style here is inconsistent. I can't get a feel for the character. Is he intelligent or stupid? Is he playing or is it serious? How the heck does he know the word "melodrama"? These little things make or break the story.

    The Extermination of the Draken Tribe is better. Far better. The man is simple, not stupid. He can cry when it's appropriate. Even though you use uncharacteristic words again - "migration" comes to mind - it seems more appropriate, because you can believe the character from a tribe with a history of movement would actually have such a word.

    "Pain is painful" is always redundant, though. Your piece is no exception.

    Nonetheless, "open my face to the sky" is a very good turn of phrase.

    Darkpuppy again, Lamb of God: He is a Lasombra, isn't he? Or at least a candidate for being Embraced by one? :) I like Father Michael. Morgana, however, would tell him that the sin of pride comes before all of those others he's committed and is their cause. She knows, she's been there.

    He's still a priest because he can influence people better? He seems to believe in God at least in part yet. Just desperate enough to do God's work.

    Anyway, the story flows fine. I can't really find anything to nitpick here.

    And my own, because, like Darkpuppy, I hate just posting critique, though I really should do it more often.

    This is an excerpt from a large work of mine, which is unfortunately in Russian and is hardly snippetable, because I'm trying to make a complex storyline. It is the story of Roderick (Morgana's sire) and Lindbergh (a Tremere), and their rivalry over the course of 500 years. But there's a few bits that might stand on their own, and I may be translating them from time to time. This is a piece that focuses on my only favorite character groups to play that hasn't been on this thread yet - the Tremere. Warning: fanon present - our city usually plays the Presidium all on a second-step bond to the Clan, and the Rodolpho on the third.

    For those who don't know what the Tremere are - they're mages that turned themselves into vampires through an experiment on immortality gone freakishly wrong. Like most mages everywhere, the initial group was too damn proud to admit it. And so the younger initiates usually thought vampiric magic was the best thing since the invention of fire, and only those who were mages in their human life (and the Tremere Embraced their share of those, including Lindbergh) knew that it was scraps from the table. This is a story of how another Tremere comes to realize this truth.

    If any of you have access to Dvorak's Humoresque, I wrote this piece to it. I can't find my favorite version, but any one with violin and piano more-or-less does the trick. Of those available on Youtube - Josef Suk's.

    Black Foam
    or
    Horribly angsty 600-year-old vampire, Hermetism, and a need to resist "I-told-you-so".

    Spoiler
    Show
    The Tremere Conclave was familiar and festive. Nights of freedom, won from the world itself. Foualliet, in his usual nonchalant manner, with all interested parties present, made his usual offer for Lindbergh to join House Presidium and gain the corresponding Blood Bond. Lindbergh gave his usual nonchalant refusal, then excused himself, and left the general post-council party. Freedom indeed - if bound by our own rules. Four young magi - among them two familiar faces, Anselm and Johannes - walked past the older magus, and the signs of respect they gave him reminded him of why he'd wished to have no company. Our own freedom.

    Lindbergh turned into one of the less lighted corridors, where the merriment would not reach. Tonight he would use his freedom not to celebrate another two years of unlife, and not to meet with the few friends that he'd only got the chance to see at the all-Clan gathering. He would stay in silence, in meditation. He would not have come to the Conclave at all had there not been reports to give. It angered immensely those who wished him dead for their games: the fact that his name appeared, year after year, century after century, in the roster of those who would speak before the Clan. It used to make the magus happy. No longer. Now he was made happy only by peace, even though he would not have thought of it that way. The times when he could wish for peace had long passed.

    He did not wish for it, then. And mayhap for this lack of desire, when he heard a hoarse voice come beyond a half-opened door, calling his name, he did not dare to simply walk past, pretending to not have heard.

    Even such a simple breach of the rules was not easy for him any longer.

    Lindbergh stopped and flung the door open. The man who slumped on the floor in a far corner would have curled into a ball - even the dim light of magical lamps hurt his eyes - but had no strength to.

    "L-l-lindberrr... Ai.. Hel..."

    A glass bottle lay broken on the floor next to him, and the sour smell of some unknown concoction filled the air.

    Lindbergh looked around carefully and, noticing no danger, approached.

    "Ethan. What happened?"

    "N-n-n-nit..noth.. Well. Willl... Passss. Its-self. S-stay."

    The magus lowered himself onto the floor by the alchemist, and Ethan fell heavily into his hands, back first, and stared into the ceiling with unseeing eyes. The alchemist's pupils were red and dilated, and his fangs had lengthened, as if from hunger. The reaction seemed natural to Lindbergh. If the concoction was poison of any kind, the vampiric body would spend blood to try and heal. So the magus held the alchemist firmly with one hand, both supporting and preventing a sudden attack in case the alchemist's Beast gained control, and picked up the shards of the glass with his free hand. It used to hold blood, of course. But what did the blood itself hold?

    "Ethan? Anrie Ethan? What did you drink?"

    Silence. Lindbergh then risked to give a wayward glance to the memories that should have remained, and strongly at that, on the broken glass.

    The images were strong indeed.

    ...The ice of two dead hands on the yet-intact bottle. One in burns that would not heal without special aid even through blood. Another clad in a white silken glove with gold needlework - the official guise of House Rodolpho, the Diviners' House.

    "Master Ethan." Really? Rodolpho himself? The velvet voice that spoke as if into a void even when it gave a name could belong to the first and last House Head only. "Are you truly certain that you want this insight? Our methods take a toll on the psyche."

    "I am an alchemist, dear colleague, and all of the results of my Magisterium I test upon myself!" Anrie's voice - changed? Dried out, desperate? A mere few.. No, a few dozens years ago it was so different. Or was it not? "I think your potion could not make a thing worse. And may the immortal, eternally rising from the ashes phoenix be my witness, I have paid more than enough for it!"

    And then Ethan's hope and despair mixed with Rodolpho's distant regret, and the diviner relinquished the bottle...

    Anrie moaned and started shaking, and the magus was forced to return his mind to Vienna, to the Conclave, to one of its buildings with so many Tremere and so many decisions to make, to one room where a very old acquaintance was losing what remained of his senses.

    "Anrie, can you hear me?" Lindbergh spoke, knowing that it was now important to just speak, to be guiding light and Ariadna's thread, to help his colleague pass out of the murky waters of vision. "Anrie Ethan, colleague, magus, alchemist of House Aurum..."

    At the last, the alchemist arched his back and cried out, but soon fell limp again. Tears of blood flew in rivulets from his open eyes.

    "Ethan!" Lindbergh raised his voice a half-tone. "Alchemist of House and Clan Tremere! What do you.."

    "To the Devil! To God! To the Devil and all Angels!" Suddenly cried Ethan, and twisted to grope at Lindbergh's shoulders. Unseeing pupils rolled back and forth uncontrollably: the potion was working. "May the Devil take all alchemy! What am I.. What could I? What we are? I.. What are we!

    "Anrie, what do you see?"

    "SEE!" Always naturally high, now the alchemist's voice rose to a screech. "Lindbergh! You knew it at the very beginning, when we were young? Why did you not tell me then? Why did you not convince me? Why did you lie, you had known then, you had known!"

    "Shh. Quiet," Lindbergh knew that if he wished to retain a hold on the alchemist, he would not be able to reach the spell component that would prevent Frenzy. But this was unlike the threshold of Frenzy. The alchemist's despair was so human that even the Beast seemed to hide from these feelings. "What had I known?"

    Anrie bawled. This was the first time Lindbergh had seen such behavior in a Kindred over six hundred years old. "Th-that all I am doing... Is useless, senseless, false and untrue! How, how could I have been so blind? How could you, having perfectly good sight, not enlighten me? Why?"

    "Why I did not tell you that all you do is senseless?"

    "Yes!"

    "But I do not know," Lindbergh said softly. "I do not know what you do, I have never taken much interest in alchemy..."

    "Lies! It is what makes us ourselves, what we are? Yet what ARE we, Lindbergh! This you had known!"

    "We?"

    Anrie raised his head and let go of the magus, then slumped against the wall, and closed his eyes. The flow of tears ended as suddenly as it had begun, and the magus soon began speaking much more evenly.

    "One can make gold of lead. That is true, yes?"

    "And if not gold, then silver." Lindbergh smiled. "Your ritual saved my chantry, remember? The werewolves..."

    "That is nothing." Anrie cut the magus off. "But gold can be made from lead, do you understand? A human can be made the perfect human being. And a vampire... Could be made into some other, better, higher creature. Is that so?"

    "Anrie, I am not an alchemist."

    "It is not so. Not so." Anrie's voice fell to a whisper. "Understand, Lindbergh... I wished to see our place in the Magisterium. I had done everything, gone through all the internal preparations - years of work - and I looked, and took this thrice, septem-cursed elixir from Rodolpho, and I saw... We... Lindbergh, the magisterium of gold has a place where it is very important to watch the black foam as strictly as possible."

    "Black foam?"

    "That is dirt. All of the dirt that ails the sick metal... It needs to be removed, always removed, for otherwise there will be no magisterium. Lindbergh?"

    "Yes?"

    "We are that foam."

    The alchemist fell silent, having choked on his words, and raised his hands to his throat, as if wishing to either strangle himself or to push the unruly words out. Lindbergh carefully took his hands and lowered them, and they fell, strength lost.

    "Tell me what foam means."

    "We... Lindbergh, we are not even the material. We are the waste, something that needs to be removed from someone else's Great Work. We are a phase without which there will be no Philosopher's Stone, bu we... We will not see it, not ever. There will be a transmutation in the history of the world, should the Great Alchemist desire it. But not for us. We will be carefully removed with a wooden spoon and thrown away, useless, unnecessary, dirty. Having become vampires, we are now less than nothing. Why, why did we do it? Who visited this fate upon us? It is unfair, unjust? Why us?"

    Lindbergh was silent. Words were less than nothing, as well. Ethan, too, kept his silence. Only after minutes had passed, he said bitterly, "I shall never see my dream."

    "Who knows." Lindbergh replied evenly.

    "I will never become..."

    "Who knows."

    "I... Lindbergh, you, you had known from the very beginning." Anrie opened his eyes, and now they held consciousness, and not the gush of a vision. "I now understand all that you have said about the magic of human mages, of the magic of the Tremere. This came together into one puzzle, a single trap. Why did you not refuse to participate in this blasphemy?"

    "Back then?"

    "W-well... Yes, back then?"

    "I wanted revenge. I failed at exacting it."

    "That's how it is, then... You wanted to kill us?"

    "Not you all personally. With the notable exception of Louis."

    "But so this filth would not exist?"

    "Yes."

    "And?"

    Lindbergh was silent. And then he replied, "I know not, Ethan. Even now, I do not know. Something is happening, as you have said. A Magisterium. I want to see it, even if this is the price. It has already been exacted from me regardless."

    "And even though you are mere useless filth yourself?"

    The former mage shrugged. "Let it be so, then. I wish to burn in a great pyre."

    Anrie shook his head sadly. "And I do not wish that. I wish to live, and for it to be life. And I do not know how I shall live on."

    "Forgive me, Anrie. I cannot help you."

    "I understand." The alchemist nodded sharply and got up, holding to the wall. "I know enough to understand that no one can help anyone in this. You have done enough for me. I an in your debt."

    "No. I have repaid you the debt of my first nights." Lindbergh, too, got up. "Where are you staying for the day?"

    "I will make it there on my own, Lindbergh, but thank you."

    "Very well."

    And the alchemist staggered out of the room. Yet he did not turn, and did not call for aid.

    Lindbergh then collected the broken glass and went to his own resting place. Sunrise was approaching and his heart was heavy.
    Last edited by Werekat; 2011-06-12 at 03:44 AM.
    There are thousands of good reasons magic doesn't rule the world. They're called mages. - Slightly misquoted Pratchett

  18. - Top - End - #498
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    Hrm, well, let's see... got one now, shall do a couple tomorrow after I record my Let's Play footage for this half of the week (Two sets of LEGO Batman, heh). Anyways, the first is taking up Lord Gareth's writing challenge, so, for your enjoyment:

    The Finest Automata
    Spoiler
    Show
    Michael Harlane breathed deep of the smoggy green air of London, and smiled. It had been a profitable night, all told, and his wallet would stay well-filled for another day or two. Say what you like about London, he thought, but some jobs are just too good to pass up here.

    And then he fell down, smashing his nose into the cobbles… blearily, he came to, and attempted to gauge his surroundings. The first thing he noticed was the heavy weight on his back, which appeared to belong to, of all things, a brass automaton, shaped like a tiger. The next item, a silvery laugh, led him to the third…

    …A young lady, crouching on one of the nearby smoke stacks. Looking down at him, and chuckling.

    “Pleased to meet you, sir!” her voice, like her laugh, seemed to flow like quicksilver. “I dare say, you’re in a fair pickle!”

    Mr. Harlane simply growled, and attempted to push himself up… eight sharp spikes of pain dissuaded him, and the lady continued.

    “Before we talk business, let me introduce myself. Ariel Cogsmith, one of the finest creators of Babbage Automata in Her Majesty’s land… or rather, I would be if it weren’t for a certain accident of birth-“

    It clicked, and Michael grunted derisively. “You’re a bloody pointear, aren’t you?”

    Ariel laughed, but without humour now, almost reflective. “Aye, that I am, sir. A trickster, a Fair One, servant of both Queen Mab and Her Majesty’s Regulars, since society does not allow me to purvey my wares . And you, sir, are the Parkside Strangler.”

    “I have no idea what you’re-“

    “Oh, come now, sir, I did mention I am a purveyor of fine Babbage Automata, so let me spell this out for you. Three weeks ago, I was retained by one Inspector Michel (Ring a bell?), and, let me tell you, sir, you gave me a merry chase… but my clockwork tiger here, her scent receptors and processors are the finest calculating engines this side of China, and she led me to your domicile. From there, a little friend of mine,” at this, she gestured to the silver crow on her arm “Kept an eye on your movements, recording a killing on its kinematograph. Of course, the police don’t count those as evidence yet, but they did search your house, and-“

    Before she could continue, Haldane cried out in rage, and pulled a pistol from his coat. The last things he heard were a brief “tink” and a grainy recording of a tiger’s growl. The last thing he felt was pain.

    Ariel sighed. “And I hadn’t even gotten to the part where I mentioned he was worth more alive. Humans,” she tutted “No sense of drama.”


    EDIT: And Werekat, were the Lasombra in the nWoD, Father Michael would definitely be a candidate. At the moment, though, he's Finlay Houlihan's "Handler" for Malleus Maleficorum (Sheesh, what an idiot I feel like, what else would they call it?), the christian extremist Hunter organisation.

    As to Finlay, thankin' ye kindly, to be sure! The slang can be a bit of a trouble, but yeah, a pigsticker is basically the sort of knife you'd use to cut pig's throats, so it's big, and mean (In crunch terms, Kat stabbed Sean's hand with a Klaive... OUCH!). As to who was fighting? Pretty much Fin and Kat versus everyone else. Poor Finlay, there's another place he won't be able to drink for "sympathising with the enemy"... I'm working on more Finlay Houlihan stuff, I promise!

    EDIT 2: Right, critique...

    Going backwards for a few stories:-

    Werekat - Subtle... verrrry, subtle. Perhaps a wee bit too subtle, but I think the educated souls here will get it. But very, very Tremere. Bravo!

    Lords Gareth and Raziere - To be honest, an elf in a steampunk setting could still be nature bound (and thus disliking the soot and smoke, forced by circumstance and shrinking territory, et al), but Lord Gareth is correct that the rhythm seems... off, somehow. Can't really see where, but it does seem off. Also, para breaks are, as noted, Lord Raziere, essential. But you'll get the hang of it! Lord Gareth, interesting as always, although if it weren't for the challenge, I wouldn't precisely know your character was an elf.

    EDIT 3: Can't sleep just yet, so here's some Finlay for you. Yes, Dublin is a busy place, WoD wise, and, to clarify, the gentleman he met was a Geist (humans given a "second life" by an archetypal Ghost, in exchange for being living Anchors (Geist - The Sin Eaters)

    Judgement
    A Finlay Houlihan Vignette
    Spoiler
    Show
    If there’s one night of the year I hate, Father, it’s All Hallow’s Eve. The rest of the world can pretend, but we Irish know damn well it’s the time when the Devil’s at his busiest, and this year, Father, was no exception.

    Yes, Father, to be honest, I am a little irritable at the moment. You’ll understand, I’m sure, when you realise what happened to me, happened in my own damned home!

    I was just sitting around, watching the pools (Yes, Father, I know gambling is sinful, but a man can dream of raising his station in life, can’t he?), when everything goes a bit dark. I’d thought, at first, that those fools at the electric company had cocked it all up again, but I look up, and the lightbulb’s there, shining away, but not getting very far, if you understand me.
    Ah, you know the way of the Godless well, Father, for I did indeed spot the feller as I looked down again. Bold as brass, crouching on my windowsill! Well, yes, Father, it was a bit of trouble, because there I was, not a thing to hand, and he obviously didn’t mean well.

    “Are you afraid, Finlay Houlihan? Do you not see that, as you judge others, so I’ll judge you?”… Brrr, just remembering gives me the shivers, Father, and it’s not easy to put frights on me, as you know!

    What’d he look like? Well, that’s the oddness of it all, Father. He wasn’t more than 20, and dressed like your average member of the hoodied hordes, and yet… he felt like he was old, y’know?

    No, no, no, Father, I woulda spotted one of those a ways away, he was… well, I don’t understand it myself, Father, he was alive, and human, but something about him felt dead, even though I checked his pulse before… Ahhh, but I get ahead of meself.

    Well, I was going to point out that, if he knew me so damn well, he would know nothing of the Devil would scare me, but he was already pulling a weapon (Beretta, Father, don’t know where the lad got it!), so, rather naturally, I got behind me chair right quick! Ahhh, I’ll miss that chair!

    Yes, Father, a whole clip, unloaded into my old leather seat, it’s a terrible shame, to be sure, but it would be a terrible shame if I were to stop breathing, too! Oh, don’t pull that face, I was fine! Anyway, the lad thankfully didn’t have a backup plan, so I leapt up, pulled him in, and, as God’s my witness, gave him a pummelling he wouldn’t forget…

    …Yes, that’s right, Father, if he were still here. Thing is, I’m not entirely sure he isn’t.

    I’m getting to that, Father! Doesn’t the Lord counsel patience in his spare time, eh?

    Anyway, yes, Father, I checked his pulse, and, sure as sure, he had a pulse. Not for long, but still. And I took the body to the old mine. But, here’s the funny part, Father. This morning, I got a letter. No stamp, no address, just “To Finlay”. Here.

    Aye, that’s what it says, for sure. “You’re guilty, and we shall meet again. – The Hanging Judge.”

    Now what sorta name is that, Father? And, forgive me for asking, but what in God’s name have I gotten myself into now?
    Last edited by darkpuppy; 2011-06-11 at 10:46 PM.
    Pembrokeshire: A place where madness is an aid, not only to gainful employment, but continued existence.

    "Wizards... the class everyone whines about, but I destroy whenever I feel like it"
    - Darkpuppy, on Wizards in his DnD games.

    Vale of Shadows OOC
    Vale of Shadows IC

    All The Kings Men IC (DEAD)
    All The Kings Men OOC (DEAD)

  19. - Top - End - #499
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: D&D Snippets

    Darkpuppy: Gah, nWoD. I'd forgotten. I haven't played it yet: I enjoy the old setting a bit too much to.

    Do they cut the throats of pigs where you live? 'Cause that's a lot of blood wasted that usually goes into sausages, and that's a pig that thrashes and can seriously hurt the throat-cutter. They usually use a stiletto-type thing where I live, and rupture the heart in one strike. Failing that, a gun.

    A little critique for your newest piece: unless Finlay has some weird power, a chair is not going to save him at that distance. Believe me. I do some shooting, and even a rubber-bullet traumatic gun goes through centimeters of wood at that distance. A regular lead bullet makes a nice hole in the chair and the guy behind it as well.

    Besides that point, I like the whole "who judges the self-appointed judges" thing. Once again, I'd love to get Morgana into that whole story of yours. An ovate-turned-Kiasyd is something that would work well, I gather, if they could keep from killing each other.

    For the automata: nice! A bit more faery than elven, but can't say that stopped me from enjoying it.

    For my own piece: Subtle? Not precisely what I'd choose to call the piece. Why subtle? Because of all the mythological and alchemical references? And what can you say about the characters, if anything?

    And have you anything to say for the Jailin and Cypher stories?

    Lord Gareth: Oooh. I now read the setting. I like it. A lot. I'd like to read more on it, and maybe to play it. And I liked the discussion on nature and how elves might relate to it in steampunk, so I wrote this little piece. I took the liberty of making some assumptions for Dreavarrian clerics and druids. If you have anything official written on them, I'd enjoy reading it!

    Critique for your own piece: yeah, the familial relations between your elf's parents are kind of weird, if you ask me. They seem more human than anything. Take away the ages, and you get a human rogue. What makes her and her family an elf? I'd like to see the "connection to the city" angle emphasized. Then again, that's not the rogue's strong point, probably.

    My own piece for your challenge:

    Nature versus nurture,
    or
    Hey, this is a Victorian view too. I simply stole and adapted it.

    Spoiler
    Show
    So, young apprentice, you think you are ready to know my secret? How we live in a large house and not the gutter? The reason we have wine on these tables and not cheap beer? The reason we wear clothes of clean linen and silk, even though our work is no cleaner than the work of our kith and kin?

    Mayhap you are.

    By the way, I told you to take that leather off. At least where it touches bare skin. Put a layer or two underneath. I don't care if it was a gift from your dear ol' ma. It heats instantly: today we go to the large foundries, you will be burned at the furnaces, and healing salves are not easy to come by. Once you do, I'll let you in on a dirty little secret.

    There we are. Now listen well.

    Nature is better than tech.

    An unpopular view to hold in our society. In a world where nature had failed us. In a world where metal and smog won out, and the dwarves had defeated us, if not in battle, by building their mountain dungeons up into the air, where our forests once had been, long ago.

    I? I live long, young one, but not so long as to remember. Mine is only a little past a gross, and all of this happened millenia ago. And I have come to my views not through tradition - how I used to disdain it! how I still care not for those books which lament the days of old! - but through experimentation and tinkering.

    I am not an inventor for nothing, you know. I have spent years upon years studying the ways of metal and oil. I make a better living than most of our people, for I service those who had been crippled in ways we do not yet understand, and they can walk, run, use the fork and knife, and enjoy the other fine things in life.

    But my earliest inventions were horrible. Worse than horrible; useless. And it is only when I took the time to study our own selves, our living bodies, that I understood that fundamental truth I told you earlier.

    Nature is better.

    And the second dirty little secret - it is still here. The cities are a jungle. The mess we make is no more than other creatures make. Come, I will show you something I procured from the black market.

    See this? It is what is called a termite nest. A living one, no less, from lands far away. Long ago, I'd paid much of the money I had been saving up for wholly other purposes for it. I never once regretted it, for it has taught me much.

    See those little insects, crawling in and out? Does this not remind you of something?

    We are no better than flies, truly.

    When we grew too many, nature has deemed fit to place us together, into cities. To change us. That itself is the hallmark of the living world: adaptation.

    The only weakness of nature is that it takes time to adapt. But adapt it always does. Look at us: so many died, yet so many live, and we have bonded with the new forms that nature has taken. The city itself is a living being made of living beings. That is how we know it so well.

    So what does this have to do with prosthetics, you must wonder? For those whom the servants of the gods simply cannot heal, for the strange injuries that people of all races sometimes present?

    What is an elf but a machine that repairs itself? We are each a bustling city of creatures, all servicing our mind, all defending our body from illness. So complex a city that our own compound seems like a child's toy houses and carriages. I have been studying the materials of our bodies and their mechanics: how the blood and bile flows and how waste is taken out. It is a machine as much as any forge-creature. It is just that most do not understand this simple, dirty fact. My aprons are stained with oil; doctors' are stained with blood, and there is no real difference.

    No, you do not have little tinkerer-elves inside you, not literally. Have you been paying attention at all? The span of the mind of youths boggles me, and you are better than most our kin, too...

    I have been watching, apprentice, for all my life I have been watching. It has made me the best, the one to whom all of the rich come when in trouble. It will make me - and you, if you have the wisdom to finish your training! - even better yet. Once I finish my study of the elven body, I will set myself to studying the city. It will not only make my prosthetics better - when I have learned, I will make the city itself better, more comfortable, cleaner and perfect.

    Did you know that I have already been able to spin silk better than the silkworm itself?

    We will all wear clean linen and silks before my day is out.


    Lord Raziere: Your work made me like it besides the mistakes, which is a feat. You do great work in the details. The Partsintools bag is a nice touch, as are the "It'll do" clothes.

    I don't have a problem with someone "missing" nature - you always get the mainstream and the reaction, it's a classic part of culture.

    What I didn't like is the fact that she thought to look for a weapon out of logic, not out of intuition. In combat, order of the day is survive first, think about scrounging something else later. Seriously, if she'd felt there was a weapon through her connection, it would have been loads more believable.

    I like the way she uses her connection to fix the cannon, though. And I love elves in camouflage. I even drew a picture of one once, and that should tell you just how hard I find it to get out of my head.

    As for problems in the text - I think your problems come mostly from the wording. It's clumsy in places, and there are little typos and mistakes that make it difficult to concentrate. No apostrophe in "because" when shortened to "'cause", an "a" where a "the" would be appropriate, a "had" where a "has" should be, "being" instead of "begin". That sort of thing. The worst are the mistakes that can be fixed two ways and you have to stop, separate yourself from the story, and think what the author must have meant. This interrupts the flow. A lot. Be more attentive, and you should be fine.

    And I translated another snippet for Lindbergh. Hopefully, it's also very Tremere.


    Bull-baiting
    or
    No, the Tremere don't train all their apprentices this way. The Chantry just hates this one in particular. He isn't being too smart, either.

    Spoiler
    Show
    "Come here."

    To Lindbergh it seemed as if his voice rang with power. Yet red-haired Louis merely smiled and said, "Go drown in the Seine, you simpleminded dupe."

    "Come here."

    "Or better yet, in a dump well."

    "Come here."

    Louis gave a moment's thought. "I shall ask the Prince Beatrice the very best dumping wells for you. I heard they had sent you to clean them while you were hers? I was so glad that I could send you there!"

    ...

    And Lindbergh came to, held up in the air at a hand's length from the chantry's First Apprentice. Louis smiled charmingly, releasing him, and the former mage crashed to the floor. He did not want to come to: even though the Beast had been silenced by magic, the stone cell and two vampires in it did not become any more pleasant.

    "You are trying my patience." Ethan sighed from somewhere behind. "We're going to run out of nails soon enough."

    "True enough." Louis added. "The whole chantry has been enchanting these damn nails so someone could learn at least the basics of Dominate. How.."

    Lindbergh raised his head and gave such a glare that Ethan exclaimed, "Hey, careful! Let me get another nail first!"

    "Got it?" Asked Louis in a few seconds' time. "Then let us continue. The whole chantry toils at these thrice-damned nails so that the someone sitting like a stupid oaf on the floor right now could learn the beginnings of Dominate without breaking our furniture. Hey, apprentice of the second circle? What's the problem? I thought you had studied mental magic in life?"

    "First apprentice..." Lindbergh finally found the strength to speak. "The Prince and her dumpwells have wanted to see you. You should..."

    "Silence!"

    The mental command was, as always, deafening. The voice went through his mind like lightning, discharging all words from his mind. Even when Lindbergh had sparred with the experienced mages of his former House, House Tytalus, he had never felt anything like this. Of course, the famous masters of the Sphere of Mind rarely used a cudgel when they could use the tiny hammer of a skilled silversmith. But as the former mage already understood, thaumaturges had nothing but cudgels remaining to them.

    And that cudgel kept slipping his hands.

    "Apprentice of the Second Circle, you are indeed a cretin." Louis crossed his hands in amusement. "How could you not understand such elementary things as the fact that insulting higher-ups is not advisable?"

    "Listen, Louie." Ethan spoke suddenly. "Maybe we could just forbid him insults?"

    "And not get the educational effect?" Louis seemed to enjoy the sound of his own voice and swayed from heel to toe, trembling with expectation. "Besides, I am made so happy by the simple fact that this fool will be doing soon the dirtiest work reserved for servants! You have no idea how happy, Ethan..."

    For this evening alone, Lindbergh had indeed earned a month of the simplest and most unpleasant punishments. Louis would have earned no less, however - for in theory, the Tremere Oath demanded respect of all magi to all other magi, even with the caveat that the younger magi would recieve "the respect they earn." But Louis had crossed even the line that applied equally to novice and regent alike multiple times during the evening. De Lion had made it known that should Lindbergh remember to call to the Oath for justice, justice he would have, and both magi would be punished equally for their deeds. Yet the former mage would not invoke the Oath.

    And the First Apprentice knew this.

    "And we should think of something for now. For the educational effect. While we wait for your nail to wear off." Louis gave a thoughtful sniff, then clapped his hands at the approach of an idea. "Ah! I think we should find out what of your mortal life so inhibits you in learning! So tell us of how you learned... What was it? Ars Mentis?"

    Lindbergh was quickly silenced by a command, for he had instead begun listing the unsavory roots of Louis' genealogical tree.

    "Tell us in all detail how you studied mind magic!"

    But Lindbergh had already bought time and braced himself for this kind of Domination. The former mage had always had great memory.

    "At the beginning, my mentor, who had always worn a black suit of the best and thinnest wool-cloth of England, dyed with a black dye of the finest hues, the secret of which is kept - or so they think - locked within one Florentine family..."

    "Enough!" Louis interrupted him. Strangely enough, the First Apprentice did not seem angry, even though he had just fallen into a child's mistake by Lindbergh's reckoning. "Good trick. Tell us of the training procedures alone."

    Lindbergh shook his head. The command had missed its mark. "This is difficult to put into words. Especially the first bits of training. I cannot."

    "You must have had some exercises. Those same commands which
    you cannot seem to master, despite them being the simplest of all actions."

    "That is not so."

    "What is not so, dupe?" Barked Louis. "You had no exercises?"

    "Of course we had them." It was Lindbergh who was laughing now, explaining the obvious. "But for your information, First Apprentice, a command is an elementary act, meaning simple, meaning indivisible, only for those who cannot do anything more subtle. As the old adage goes, brawn instead of brain."

    He seemed to get to Louis, but the shadow of doubt passed momentarily.

    "But he who has no power could not give a command." Guessed Louis correctly. "So that was the problem. You've never had such power in your hands before. But that is fine. Even the weakest runt will bite when kicked."

    "Yet I had already had power over that which you have difficulty with still." Lindbergh responded calmly.

    "Over what?"

    Lindbergh looked the First Apprentice in the eye, and smiled mercilessly.

    "It was easy for me to breed simple panic." The First Apprentice listened attentively, having not recognized their first meeting, Lindbergh's capture at the price of three dead vampires. So the former mage continued: "Alone. And you needed six on the street for tha..."

    Louis roared! The Beast overtook his mind, and Lindbergh would have been crippled, if not killed outright, if not for the always-calm alchemist.

    "Begone!"

    The First Apprentice sagged to the floor, his Beast as sealed as Lindbergh's own.

    Ethan groaned and rubbed his left hand, pierced by yet another nail, then spread both hands, showing off the wounds. "Knowing you two, I shall need not be righteous to earn money begging by the Notre Dame cathedral, showing off stigmata." The alchemist said wearily. "Having your aid, I shall soon feed the entire Chantry with bought blood. Let us get to work, colleagues, the night is not getting any younger."

    "To wor-rk, yes." Said Louis angrily, getting up from the floor. "Come on, apprentice of the second circle. Do it right at least once, dimwit, and we shall leave this place."

    "Don't you worry about me." The perspective of cleaning the ritual room of blood while hungry no longer seemed so bad to Lindbergh as it did minutes ago. "Better yet... Come here."
    Last edited by Werekat; 2011-06-12 at 04:17 PM.
    There are thousands of good reasons magic doesn't rule the world. They're called mages. - Slightly misquoted Pratchett

  20. - Top - End - #500
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: D&D Snippets

    Darkpuppy: Gah, nWoD. I'd forgotten. I haven't played it yet: I enjoy the old setting a bit too much to.

    Do they cut the throats of pigs where you live? 'Cause that's a lot of blood wasted that usually goes into sausages, and that's a pig that thrashes and can seriously hurt the throat-cutter. They usually use a stiletto-type thing where I live, and rupture the heart in one strike. Failing that, a gun.

    A little critique for your newest piece: unless Finlay has some weird power, a chair is not going to save him at that distance. Believe me. I do some shooting, and even a rubber-bullet traumatic gun goes through centimeters of wood at that distance. A regular lead bullet makes a nice hole in the chair and the guy behind it as well.

    Besides that point, I like the whole "who judges the self-appointed judges" thing. Once again, I'd love to get Morgana into that whole story of yours. An ovate-turned-Kiasyd is something that would work well, I gather, if they could keep from killing each other.

    For the automata: nice! A bit more faery than elven, but can't say that stopped me from enjoying it.

    For my own piece: Subtle? Not precisely what I'd choose to call the piece. Why subtle? Because of all the mythological and alchemical references? And what can you say about the characters, if anything?

    And have you anything to say for the Jailin and Cypher stories?

    Lord Gareth: Oooh. I now read the setting. I like it. A lot. I'd like to read more on it, and maybe to play it. And I liked the discussion on nature and how elves might relate to it in steampunk, so I wrote this little piece. I took the liberty of making some assumptions for Dreavarrian clerics and druids. If you have anything official written on them, I'd enjoy reading it!

    Critique for your own piece: yeah, the familial relations between your elf's parents are kind of weird, if you ask me. They seem more human than anything. Take away the ages, and you get a human rogue. What makes her and her family an elf? I'd like to see the "connection to the city" angle emphasized. Then again, that's not the rogue's strong point, probably.

    My own piece for your challenge:

    Nature versus nurture,
    or
    Hey, this is a Victorian view too. I simply stole and adapted it.

    Spoiler
    Show
    So, young apprentice, you think you are ready to know my secret? How we live in a large house and not the gutter? The reason we have wine on these tables and not cheap beer? The reason we wear clothes of clean linen and silk, even though our work is no cleaner than the work of our kith and kin?

    Mayhap you are.

    By the way, I told you to take that leather off. At least where it touches bare skin. Put a layer or two underneath. I don't care if it was a gift from your dear ol' ma. It heats instantly: today we go to the large foundries, you will be burned at the furnaces, and healing salves are not easy to come by. Once you do, I'll let you in on a dirty little secret.

    There we are. Now listen well.

    Nature is better than tech.

    An unpopular view to hold in our society. In a world where nature had failed us. In a world where metal and smog won out, and the dwarves had defeated us, if not in battle, by building their mountain dungeons up into the air, where our forests once had been, long ago.

    I? I live long, young one, but not so long as to remember. Mine is only a little past a gross, and all of this happened millenia ago. And I have come to my views not through tradition - how I used to disdain it! how I still care not for those books which lament the days of old! - but through experimentation and tinkering.

    I am not an inventor for nothing, you know. I have spent years upon years studying the ways of metal and oil. I make a better living than most of our people, for I service those who had been crippled in ways we do not yet understand, and they can walk, run, use the fork and knife, and enjoy the other fine things in life.

    But my earliest inventions were horrible. Worse than horrible; useless. And it is only when I took the time to study our own selves, our living bodies, that I understood that fundamental truth I told you earlier.

    Nature is better.

    And the second dirty little secret - it is still here. The cities are a jungle. The mess we make is no more than other creatures make. Come, I will show you something I procured from the black market.

    See this? It is what is called a termite nest. A living one, no less, from lands far away. Long ago, I'd paid much of the money I had been saving up for wholly other purposes for it. I never once regretted it, for it has taught me much.

    See those little insects, crawling in and out? Does this not remind you of something?

    We are no better than flies, truly.

    When we grew too many, nature has deemed fit to place us together, into cities. To change us. That itself is the hallmark of the living world: adaptation.

    The only weakness of nature is that it takes time to adapt. But adapt it always does. Look at us: so many died, yet so many live, and we have bonded with the new forms that nature has taken. The city itself is a living being made of living beings. That is how we know it so well.

    So what does this have to do with prosthetics, you must wonder? For those whom the servants of the gods simply cannot heal, for the strange injuries that people of all races sometimes present?

    What is an elf but a machine that repairs itself? We are each a bustling city of creatures, all servicing our mind, all defending our body from illness. So complex a city that our own compound seems like a child's toy houses and carriages. I have been studying the materials of our bodies and their mechanics: how the blood and bile flows and how waste is taken out. It is a machine as much as any forge-creature. It is just that most do not understand this simple, dirty fact. My aprons are stained with oil; doctors' are stained with blood, and there is no real difference.

    No, you do not have little tinkerer-elves inside you, not literally. Have you been paying attention at all? The span of the mind of youths boggles me, and you are better than most our kin, too...

    I have been watching, apprentice, for all my life I have been watching. It has made me the best, the one to whom all of the rich come when in trouble. It will make me - and you, if you have the wisdom to finish your training! - even better yet. Once I finish my study of the elven body, I will set myself to studying the city. It will not only make my prosthetics better - when I have learned, I will make the city itself better, more comfortable, cleaner and perfect.

    Did you know that I have already been able to spin silk better than the silkworm itself?

    We will all wear clean linen and silks before my day is out.


    Lord Raziere: Your work made me like it besides the mistakes, which is a feat. You do great work in the details. The Partsintools bag is a nice touch, as are the "It'll do" clothes.

    I don't have a problem with someone "missing" nature - you always get the mainstream and the reaction, it's a classic part of culture.

    What I didn't like is the fact that she thought to look for a weapon out of logic, not out of intuition. In combat, order of the day is survive first, think about scrounging something else later. Seriously, if she'd felt there was a weapon through her connection, it would have been loads more believable.

    I like the way she uses her connection to fix the cannon, though. And I love elves in camouflage. I even drew a picture of one once, and that should tell you just how hard I find it to get out of my head.

    As for problems in the text - I think your problems come mostly from the wording. It's clumsy in places, and there are little typos and mistakes that make it difficult to concentrate. No apostrophe in "because" when shortened to "'cause", an "a" where a "the" would be appropriate, a "had" where a "has" should be, "being" instead of "begin". That sort of thing. The worst are the mistakes that can be fixed two ways and you have to stop, separate yourself from the story, and think what the author must have meant. This interrupts the flow. A lot. Be more attentive, and you should be fine.

    And I translated another snippet for Lindbergh. Hopefully, it's also very Tremere.


    Bull-baiting
    or
    No, the Tremere don't train all their apprentices this way. The Chantry just hates this one in particular. He isn't being too smart, either.

    Spoiler
    Show
    "Come here."

    To Lindbergh it seemed as if his voice rang with power. Yet red-haired Louis merely smiled and said, "Go drown in the Seine, you simpleminded dupe."

    "Come here."

    "Or better yet, in a dump well."

    "Come here."

    Louis gave a moment's thought. "I shall ask the Prince Beatrice the very best dumping wells for you. I heard they had sent you to clean them while you were hers? I was so glad that I could send you there!"

    ...

    And Lindbergh came to, held up in the air at a hand's length from the chantry's First Apprentice. Louis smiled charmingly, releasing him, and the former mage crashed to the floor. He did not want to come to: even though the Beast had been silenced by magic, the stone cell and two vampires in it did not become any more pleasant.

    "You are trying my patience." Ethan sighed from somewhere behind. "We're going to run out of nails soon enough."

    "True enough." Louis added. "The whole chantry has been enchanting these damn nails so someone could learn at least the basics of Dominate. How.."

    Lindbergh raised his head and gave such a glare that Ethan exclaimed, "Hey, careful! Let me get another nail first!"

    "Got it?" Asked Louis in a few seconds' time. "Then let us continue. The whole chantry toils at these thrice-damned nails so that the someone sitting like a stupid oaf on the floor right now could learn the beginnings of Dominate without breaking our furniture. Hey, apprentice of the second circle? What's the problem? I thought you had studied mental magic in life?"

    "First apprentice..." Lindbergh finally found the strength to speak. "The Prince and her dumpwells have wanted to see you. You should..."

    "Silence!"

    The mental command was, as always, deafening. The voice went through his mind like lightning, discharging all words from his mind. Even when Lindbergh had sparred with the experienced mages of his former House, House Tytalus, he had never felt anything like this. Of course, the famous masters of the Sphere of Mind rarely used a cudgel when they could use the tiny hammer of a skilled silversmith. But as the former mage already understood, thaumaturges had nothing but cudgels remaining to them.

    And that cudgel kept slipping his hands.

    "Apprentice of the Second Circle, you are indeed a cretin." Louis crossed his hands in amusement. "How could you not understand such elementary things as the fact that insulting higher-ups is not advisable?"

    "Listen, Louie." Ethan spoke suddenly. "Maybe we could just forbid him insults?"

    "And not get the educational effect?" Louis seemed to enjoy the sound of his own voice and swayed from heel to toe, trembling with expectation. "Besides, I am made so happy by the simple fact that this fool will be doing soon the dirtiest work reserved for servants! You have no idea how happy, Ethan..."

    For this evening alone, Lindbergh had indeed earned a month of the simplest and most unpleasant punishments. Louis would have earned no less, however - for in theory, the Tremere Oath demanded respect of all magi to all other magi, even with the caveat that the younger magi would recieve "the respect they earn." But Louis had crossed even the line that applied equally to novice and regent alike multiple times during the evening. De Lyon had made it known that should Lindbergh remember to call to the Oath for justice, justice he would have, and both magi would be punished equally for their deeds. Yet the former mage would not invoke the Oath.

    And the First Apprentice knew this.

    "And we should think of something for now. For the educational effect. While we wait for your nail to wear off." Louis gave a thoughtful sniff, then clapped his hands at the approach of an idea. "Ah! I think we should find out what of your mortal life so inhibits you in learning! So tell us of how you learned... What was it? Ars Mentis?"

    Lindbergh was quickly silenced by a command, for he had instead begun listing the unsavory roots of Louis' genealogical tree.

    "Tell us in all detail how you studied mind magic!"

    But Lindbergh had already bought time and braced himself for this kind of Domination. The former mage had always had great memory.

    "At the beginning, my mentor, who had always worn a black suit of the best and thinnest wool-cloth of England, dyed with a black dye of the finest hues, the secret of which is kept - or so they think - locked within one Florentine family..."

    "Enough!" Louis interrupted him. Strangely enough, the First Apprentice did not seem angry, even though he had just fallen into a child's mistake by Lindbergh's reckoning. "Good trick. Tell us of the training procedures alone."

    Lindbergh shook his head. The command had missed its mark. "This is difficult to put into words. Especially the first bits of training. I cannot."

    "You must have had some exercises. Those same commands which
    you cannot seem to master, despite them being the simplest of all actions."

    "That is not so."

    "What is not so, dupe?" Barked Louis. "You had no exercises?"

    "Of course we had them." It was Lindbergh who was laughing now, explaining the obvious. "But for your information, First Apprentice, a command is an elementary act, meaning simple, meaning indivisible, only for those who cannot do anything more subtle. As the old adage goes, brawn instead of brain."

    He seemed to get to Louis, but the shadow of doubt passed momentarily.

    "But he who has no power could not give a command." Guessed Louis correctly. "So that was the problem. You've never had such power in your hands before. But that is fine. Even the weakest runt will bite when kicked."

    "Yet I had already had power over that which you have difficulty with still." Lindbergh responded calmly.

    "Over what?"

    Lindbergh looked the First Apprentice in the eye, and smiled mercilessly.

    "It was easy for me to breed simple panic." The First Apprentice listened attentively, having not recognized their first meeting, Lindbergh's capture at the price of three dead vampires. So the former mage continued: "Alone. And you needed six on the street for tha..."

    Louis roared! The Beast overtook his mind, and Lindbergh would have been crippled, if not killed outright, if not for the always-calm alchemist.

    "Begone!"

    The First Apprentice sagged to the floor, his Beast as sealed as Lindbergh's own.

    Ethan groaned and rubbed his left hand, pierced by yet another nail, then spread both hands, showing off the wounds. "Knowing you two, I shall need not be righteous to earn money begging by the Notre Dame cathedral, showing off stigmata." The alchemist said wearily. "Having your aid, I shall soon feed the entire Chantry with bought blood. Let us get to work, colleagues, the night is not getting any younger."

    "To wor-rk, yes." Said Louis angrily, getting up from the floor. "Come on, apprentice of the second circle. Do it right at least once, dimwit, and we shall leave this place."

    "Don't you worry about me." The perspective of cleaning the ritual room of blood while hungry no longer seemed so bad to Lindbergh as it did minutes ago. "Better yet... Come here."
    Last edited by Werekat; 2011-06-12 at 04:10 AM.
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  21. - Top - End - #501
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    Quote Originally Posted by Werekat View Post
    Lord Gareth: Oooh. I now read the setting. I like it. A lot. I'd like to read more on it, and maybe to play it. And I liked the discussion on nature and how elves might relate to it in steampunk, so I wrote this little piece. I took the liberty of making some assumptions for Dreavarrian clerics and druids. If you have anything official written on them, I'd enjoy reading it!
    Well, clerics are explicitly a banned class in Dreavarr, not out of concerns for balance but because the gods hate you. Yes, you. Specifically. They spend time out of their day to get to know you and find reasons to hate you, and then they stop thinking about you entirely. They aren't interested in your prayers except as tools with which to make you miserable, and they're only interested in your worship insofar as they need it to survive. There's a reason the world is trapped in eternal warfare.

    Druids, on the other hand, tend to be quixotic figures, the servants of a war that was lost a long time ago. They tend to be street shamans and rat-kings, scraping along in their gutters and stealing what they need to survive and spending any money they can get on tomes or retaining mages to help them study the problem and try to reclaim some of the mutated, magic-harrowed wastelands of the world. Most of them end up adventuring just to leave the smoke and smog of the city.

    Critique for your own piece: yeah, the familial relations between your elf's parents are kind of weird, if you ask me. They seem more human than anything. Take away the ages, and you get a human rogue. What makes her and her family an elf? I'd like to see the "connection to the city" angle emphasized. Then again, that's not the rogue's strong point, probably.
    Thing is, a lot of elves on Dreavarr cack it early; life is nasty, brutish, and short in almost every place on this world, and the elf that lives more than a century and a half is either a hard-bitten survivor or so worthless that no one's bothered to kill them. As such, elven parents tend to be elven youths, and we all know the thing with young elves and acting human - namely, they do it. Part of the 'city' angle was the appreciation Kylla had for it - a human or dwarf or halfling might take pride in his city, but Kylla breathed in the pollution and smiled, looked at the ash and soot of progress and thought 'home'. No one else does that.

    Thanks for the review! I'll be posting more reviews/stuff later.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    Lord Gareth: that explains a lot. Looks like I got some stuff right, and some wrong. Did you find what I had written to be appropriate for your world?

    As for Kylia - hm. I'd say that anyone who grew up in some environment will see it as the norm without a serious shake-up and a view of the alternative (some of the stuff they considered "the norm" in the FSU boggles the mind, for instance). They would all think "home," would they not?

    Oh, and yes, elven youths. But if Kylia is somewhat over a century, how old are they?

    And yes, I'd like to read your reviews very much.
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    Oooh... stories... I'll um... read them... sure... later...

    Okay, so I have a cold that has currently settled itself into my sinuses and is making my life miserable. I'll read and respond later, when I feel better.


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  24. - Top - End - #504
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    Bump for more critique and to help show this thread to some folks from another forum that I'm 'porting over.

    MOAR SNIPPET soon from me.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    Sorry it's been a while, haven't really been able to get my head together. Anyways, comments and things!

    Werekat - Aye, mainly due to the alchemical and mythological references. Still, peeps are smart here, they'll get it. As to Jalin and Cypher, I have nothing more to say beyond "well written". Your characters are good, and you have a clear sense of how to portray each.

    As to the Hanging Judge, yeah... a Geist who's come to an accomodation with a seriously nasty archetype (sure, he'll be judge, jury, and executioner on a circuit, but on his terms), and someone who is going to cross paths with Finlay again. Haven't decided how or when yet though.

    And yeah, in old times, they really did used to slit throats with a large blade. Kept the pigs fairly restrained for long enough to do the deed, and it was usually over a trough or other container large enought to make sure the blood didn't spill. Leastways, as far as I remember.

    Anyways, yeah, new snippet. My promised Eberron one, and it was a bugger to write. Getting into the head of Warforged is hard.

    Calculations
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    Zhaum stared out into the dark. He liked the darkness, in his own abstract fashion, because it was less demanding. His steel hands clasped and unclasped, marking time as his soft basso voice chanted worship of Aureon. He was, he considered, both like and unlike his forge-brothers. His voice was unusually quiet for a Warforged, but he felt comforted by repetitive activity, some means to pass the time, to help think. Not all of his brothers liked thinking too hard. It was alien to them, having been treated as machines for so long. Zhaum did not pity or regret, though. They were what they were, and would, in time, become what they would become. Evolution. A strange word, much like the Word he served. Knowledge.

    In a way, the two were linked. A thinking being cannot evolve without knowledge, to shape itself and it’s environment. And knowledge helped thinking beings understand how they came to be. Knowledge, Zhaum had decided long ago, was the highest purpose.

    As a creature howled in the night (two miles approximate, no need to wake his comrades), Zhaum considered Knowledge, and its implications. As one granted powers by Aureon (although none knew until after the war), Zhaum’s purpose was to uncover knowledge. But some knowledge, even Aureon would hide. Such was his group’s purpose now. And yet, knowledge led them to this forest (Eldeen Forest, low population density, high likelihood of hostile animal encounters, moderate of aberrations), to the clearing where they rested, before the final leg of their journey. The thought did not comfort Zhaum as it once did.

    No matter how much certain knowledge must be hidden, and those who have it destroyed, it is no comfort to one who both seeks and prizes knowledge, wishing to share so that all may learn, become more. True, these beings known as Inspired sought to use their knowledge to make knowledge meaningless (Chance of coherent thought in event of Dal Quor coterminous: Minimal), but they sought knowledge just the same. It was a dilemma, and one he had been calculating for some time now.

    On the one hand, the destruction, or at least delay, of knowledge regarding the enigmatic inhabitants of Dal Quor, the realm of dreams. The missed chance to gather such knowledge firsthand. On the other…

    Zhaum did not need to look back to remind himself of his fellow travellers. He remembered their every detail, every nuance. Even if they died, they would live on in his memory. Calm Selan, the Adarian monk, who had first brought the news of the Inspired’s plot, almost dead then, sleeping now. Would he ever know true peace? Would he discover some means of allowing his people the freedom to seek they are denied?

    Feral Zha’ri, the Talenta Halfling. He had been nothing but a brute when Zhaum had found him, but he now fought to master wars, not of brute force, but of thoughts and words, even as he fought his own war against his violent heritage. Should he be denied the right to grow, the right to change?

    And finally, Brodwen, the artificier who had given him life. She no longer used her house name, for she was out of favour, and was happy as such. Would she bring forth a creation, from her brilliant mind, that would make her knowledge praised? Or should she be stifled, before she brings forth a weapon of war, knowledge used only to hurt?

    Zhaum calculated, and, in the way of the Warforged, brooded. He had, in a sense, already chosen. But he had to be sure. And so, he chanted, seeking knowledge from the giver of knowledge, great Aureon.

    And, in a moment of clarity, his calculations shone, rearranged themselves, and became cold, hard, and set. For the paths of his companions, he would not seek this knowledge, but hide it, cutting off a part of his own path.
    Being certain his calculations , aided by prayer, were correct, he felt no more regret, or pity. The Inspired would die tomorrow. And Eberron would be safe, for one more day, at least.
    Pembrokeshire: A place where madness is an aid, not only to gainful employment, but continued existence.

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  26. - Top - End - #506
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    so I've got a monsterous thingy I have to go to/put up with this morning, so I've been a bit of a mess whilst waiting for it to get here. so I haven't been reading much of the new stuff.

    now, I'm taking a personal day to deal with this, so once I'm through with it I SHOULD be able to come read all the new stuff AND

    -happy dance-

    write up a snippet or 3 about my summer group!
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    I missed D&D again, so I don't know when we'll have it next. Probably not for 2 weeks though

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    Much easier on the eyes, though you've got some awkward wordings and capitalization issues. Honestly, the action seems pretty okay (the awkward wording makes it chop a bit), but you spend a lot of time emphasizing the idea that Nature is coming back...which they don't really care about. Or know about, really. Modern elves grew up like they are, and so did their parents, and grandparents, and their great-grandparents before them. Their bond with the city, with steel and grease and flame, is inbound now, as much a part of them as breathing. My snippet didn't get a lot into the steel bond, but the city bond is there for those that look.

    Any thoughts on Soot & Smoke, Raziere?
    no I don't really emphasize that. I just say that some elves have a crazy belief that Nature might come back someday because of some elves having some random eye color might bring it back, these elves are laughed at, because their logic is about as sound a mute monk. I wasn't trying to.

    here is me emphasizing that:
    "Where I'm from, the elders say the other elves have long given up upon our old heritage...the heritage of nature, our connection with it. gave it up, exchanged it for a lesser connection with the vile steel, cogs and engines that destroyed it, traitors to the world....
    but I move on, I survive. frack these machines that killed Mother Nature, frack them all. They killed the Mother of the Elves, they killed that legendary greenery....even though I have never seen it myself, I dream of it, we keep old pictures of that long gone nature....we preserve them, we keep them, cause, if we don't who will?

    Let me share you a secret: I saw a plant. a beautiful blue flower out there, in the middle of the scrap wastes. growing. call me crazy, call me delusional, or that I saw a mirage from the heat or something...but I saw it.

    I don't know if its a complete illusion, a product of my mind, some last remnant that somehow freakishly survived just waiting to die, a sign that Nature is still out there....or if its just one last middle finger to civilization before Nature goes out with a whimper. I don't know and I don't care. It gives me hope. It makes me march on."

    as for your story, I like the portrayal of what a post-apocalyptic city would be like. do as you will.....every haphazard and patchwork.....just like it should be.
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    here's a little something I whipped up last night.

    it's amazing what you can do when you're inspired by something that just happened.

    oh well,
    I digress.

    needless to say, I didn't sleep very well last night.

    EDIT: story removed because I am attempting to get it published, if you wish to read it PM me and I'm more than happy to let you see it.
    Last edited by big teej; 2011-10-03 at 08:17 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkpuppy View Post
    Anyways, yeah, new snippet. My promised Eberron one, and it was a bugger to write. Getting into the head of Warforged is hard.
    Well, it might have been hard to write, but it doesn't show - except in two places, which I'll get to in a minute.

    This is very good, I think you got inside the warforged's head really well. You did a fantastic job of showing his motivations and thoughts without making it really obvious. I like the way of describing his thoughts as 'calculations' - just a tiny word change, but it makes a huge difference to how we see the character.

    The second paragraph is fantastic. I can't think of anything more appropriate for a warforged to worship than knowledge and you do a fantastic job of setting that up and explaining why this warforged is seeking/worshipping knowledge without any big sort of exposition, which would have spoiled the affect. It's very natural, and there's a sort of lovely irony in that. It's so obvious so natural - and yet it's about a warforged, a creature that, let's face it, isn't natural.

    One thing I would change: the sections in brackets. I would have put them in italics instead. I get that he's musing on knowledge and what to do with this situation and these little aside are just that - extra thoughts that just pop into his head because he is what he is and he can handle that much though processing at once. But I think it would be clearer if they were italicised, not bracketed (besides, it's not really the proper use of brackets ).

    The biggest problem that I see is that it's not entirely clear what it is he's considering doing or not doing - and I say it's a big problem, because I get the feeling (and I could be wrong here) that it is meant to be clear. I think this boils down to a couple of sentences that don't really make sense.

    First, this sentence:
    No matter how much certain knowledge must be hidden, and those who have it destroyed, it is no comfort to one who both seeks and prizes knowledge, wishing to share so that all may learn, become more.
    I'm sorry, but apart from the fact that this is a horrible run-on sentence (which should be avoided like the plague ), this sentence makes absolutely no sense. I am pretty good at figuring out what something is meant to mean (comes from having a best friend for whom English isn't a native language), and I cannot figure out for the life of me what you're saying here. I think it needs a complete re-write, and I suspect, from the length of it, that it needs to be at least two sentences.

    And this one:
    On the one hand, the destruction, or at least delay, of knowledge regarding the enigmatic inhabitants of Dal Quor, the realm of dreams. The missed chance to gather such knowledge firsthand. On the other…
    Although on a second reading, I think I see what you're saying - your guy is debating what to do - one option is to go after this knowledge and the other is to not and to destroy these 'Inspired' who I take it, are doing bad things? Again, it's a run-on sentence (the first one at least). I would advise re-writing it into two sentences. All those commas break up the sentence quite badly and screw with the flow, it's really hard to read.

    Other than that, I really liked it

    Quote Originally Posted by big teej View Post
    here's a little something I whipped up last night.

    it's amazing what you can do when you're inspired by something that just happened.

    oh well,
    I digress.

    needless to say, I didn't sleep very well last night.
    Every time I read this it creeps me out. I have to say Teej, I think this is the best thing you've ever written (which just goes to show the value of real-life inspiration). The last bit especially is very LoTR, Mines of Moria "We can't get out... we can't get out" which creeps me out even more.

    I think the key to the success of this one is the short sentences. They keep it flowing, keep it punchy and keep the tension up. This guy is so nervous he's almost cutting himself off, he's aware his number's up and he doesn't have time for long rambling thought processes. He has to be quick if he's going to survive, and it comes through in the writing extremely well.

    The other part that works really well is the list affect. The
    Drake.
    The cook.
    The librarian whose name I could never remember.
    and

    It’s in the vents.
    It’s coming.
    I can hear it.
    I can hear it coming for me….
    bits (and the others of course). It breaks up the narrative quite nicely. The narrative is us watching, him explaining what's happened, what he thinks will happen next, he's talking himself up, trying to convince himself that he's tough, he'll make it... but the italics/lists are that little voice that shows us that he is really freaked out. No matter how he tries to hide it, he's terrified. That combination is what makes this really work, he is an incredibly real and believable character.

    I think more things should go crawling through your vents, you write good when you're freaked out
    Last edited by Lady Moreta; 2011-06-26 at 10:46 PM. Reason: fixed formatting


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