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  1. - Top - End - #601
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Here's a song based on a PC of mine!
    Ambition
    (sung to Guren No Yumiya)
    Spoiler
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    My name will not be known
    If I do not prove myself

    Family that's not yet mine
    Will accept me they will find

    The only way they'll accept me
    Is if I show that I am worthy

    Enemies trying to stop me
    I shall not let them defeat me

    Succeeding my goals in this strange new world
    I shall not accept less than victory...!

    Turn my complete determination
    Into the fuel of retaliation

    Fighting to prove my self to them,
    I shall not lose to anyone here

    My ambition surges through my body
    Powers every cell within me

    Charging through the walls in my way
    I shall prove myself!
    More will be added later
    Last edited by Arkhosia; 2014-05-11 at 11:48 PM.
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    Arkhosia's Assorted Nexus Stuff!
    "As a girl, I wanted to be just like those heroes in the books... Someone who fought for what was right, and protected people who couldn't protect themselves!”
    ~Ruby Rose, RWBY
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    By Asdflove

  2. - Top - End - #602
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Another piece of non-fiction again. You don't have to read it if it makes you feel uncomfortable, but thank you to those who do and to those who give me feedback.

    Spoiler: An Introspective Look into My Self-Worth
    Show
    An Introspective Look into My Self-Worth

    I recently read somewhere online that to be happy you must first love yourself. As if to say that, “If you hate yourself, then stop and love yourself.” You will then be happy, or at least on the road to it. I wish it was as simple as just flipping a switch. This made me start thinking about why I have such a low opinion of my own self-worth, and now I can’t sleep until I can get it out of my head. So, I’m typing this, and it will probably run the course of another “Train of Thought” essay. To those willing to read this, please bear with me.

    I have tried to look into the origins as to why I have such low self-esteem. The best I can track it back to be the constant bullying I received through my developmental years in school. Everyday, I remember someone making fun of me and then the whole class laughs at me. The bully would start it, and then the classroom would support it.
    Never did anyone stand up to defend me. Never did anyone say anything to the contrary. Always, someone would be little me, say something to make me feel worthless, and the laughter would proclaim, “It is so true.”

    This stopped sometime after high school, but because I went through years of hearing this everyday I can’t believe anyone when they pay me any compliment. Every time someone says anything nice about me, all I can wonder is, “How can the compliment be true when for years everyone told me that I am worthless?” After all, I’m no different now than I was then. I’m still the nerdy guy who loves superheroes, science fiction, video games, science and math. The only thing different now is I go to work instead of school.

    Is it because that the things that I used to be bullied for are now popular? When it becomes unpopular, again, will the bullying return? If so, then do the compliments mean anything? How can I know if there compliments are true? They might just be saying nice things just to appear like they are not some sort of jerk.

    I can’t love myself, because for years I have been told how much everyone hates me. For liking superheroes, for being a nerd, for actually understanding what the science teacher was teaching. Now, for some reason these are the traits that are admirable? These are positives? Why? What changed?

    If these compliments are true, then why am I so lonely? Whenever I invite someone over, they are always "too busy" to show. It doesn't matter how far in advance I make the invite, or how wide open I make the available time. They can never make it. As, well, I never get invited to anything. If I am such a wonderful person, with such traits that deserve the recognition of a compliment, then why am I never invited to anything? Wouldn't people want to spend time with me? As things stand now, my life is just work and home. My social life only exists at work. Obviously, no one wants to spend time with me. So, these compliments that I received must be lies.

    You might think, "Well, if you are always belittling yourself, then that is why no one wants to spend time with you." This isn't the case. I don't always talk about this. I normally just chat about whatever topic comes up and make silly jokes or offer the random intellectual fact. Just like in high school.

    It could have been easy. I could have just thrown away all those video games. I could have thrown away those Star Wars VHS tapes. I could have made fun of superheroes that dressed in spandex costumes. All I had to do was pretend not to like them and school would have been so much more tolerable.

    I almost did once. Just before the fifth grade I moved with my family to a new state. Where we left from the Power Rangers was still popular. Like most kids, my favorite was Tommy, the Green Ranger, and I had green Power Rangers bike. I decided to ride it around the neighborhood shortly after we got settled in to our new home, and a kid saw me riding by. He immediately made fun of me and laughed at me because of my Power Ranger bike. Apparently, someone didn’t tell me that Power Rangers stopped be cool over summer vacation.

    Well, when the teasing got worse I decided the best thing to do was to cut off all the Power Ranger decals and accessories on the bike. When I was done it was just a green bicycle. Well, that kid noticed, and when school started up, everyone knew I was the kid that still liked the Power Rangers.

    Now, Power Rangers are nostalgia. People on the internet talk openly about how much the love the Green Ranger's theme song. All I can see and hear is an entire school laughing at me.
    I decided that I wouldn’t conform to what other people like just to fit in. I will like what I like, and enjoy what I enjoy. Regardless of what is popular. I suffered for it.

    So, how can I love myself, when all I ever heard from others is how much they hate me? How can I listen to their compliments, when even now I still here the whole classroom laughing at me? How can I believe that these traits of my personality, my intellect, my wit, and even my creativity are positive traits when for years they were the source of public disdain and mockery?

    I don’t know, and I know people don’t like to hear or read something from someone about how much they hate themselves, but it helps me work through my thoughts. I’m not sure what I intend to accomplish from posting it online. Maybe I’m hopeful that some comment from a reader will make me see something in a new light. Even if it doesn’t change a thing it helps me in the form of a writing exercise. Either way, thank you for reading.


    Spoiler: Edit
    Show

    I think I might continue these "Introspective" pieces as both a writing exercise and as a way to exercise my emotions. I think it is helping me although I can't quite explain how. Also, it might be helpful to those reading to understand what people who were bullied go through.


    I'm going to continue all my Introspection pieces on my Facebook page, if you want to continue to follow them.

    https://www.facebook.com/dndnerd
    Last edited by mebecronck; 2014-05-28 at 05:47 PM. Reason: Proof reading

    Some of Murphy's other laws.
    "Professionals are predictable, but the world is full of amateurs."
    "No plan survives the first contact intact."
    "If it's stupid, but it works, it isn't stupid."
    -Capt. Edward A. Murphy-
    Newton's Law of the Road
    "The object with more mass has the right-of-way."

  3. - Top - End - #603
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Apologies for my prolonged absence. I haven't even managed to read anything on here since my last post. I'll get some comments and other stuff up soon; I promise

    Spoiler: Teaser
    Show
    Honorable Commandant Elium,

    I take no pleasure in this wasteful destruction of your empire; it is simply a matter of satisfying my own populations. If you were to surrender, granting me unquestioned dominion over all of the systems I have already overthrown, along with 150 credits and your newly developed manufacturing technology, I believe that would be sufficient to slake my people's thirst for vengeance. I will stop this needless war, and grant you the technologies you need to retaliate against Admiral Bears, your betrayer.

    If the war hounds on your council may be convinced to see the light of reason, please deliver to them my offer.

    All my best,
    Empress Llamian Elwye of Kaf
    Last edited by Dr Bwaa; 2014-06-03 at 01:15 PM.
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    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  4. - Top - End - #604
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Currently typing up a series of backstory stories for a FFRP PC. Going to post them in the correct thread, but do you think it would be ok if I posted a link here for the enjoyment of y'all?
    Avatar by Ceika
    Arkhosia's Assorted Nexus Stuff!
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    By Asdflove

  5. - Top - End - #605
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Apologies for my prolonged absence. I haven't even managed to read anything on here since my last post. I'll get some comments and other stuff up soon; I promise

    Spoiler: Teaser
    Show
    Honorable Commandant Elium,

    I take no pleasure in this wasteful destruction of your empire; it is simply a matter of satisfying my own populations. If you were to surrender, granting me unquestioned dominion over all of the systems I have already overthrown, along with 150 credits and your newly developed manufacturing technology, I believe that would be sufficient to slake my people's thirst for vengeance. I will stop this needless war, and grant you the technologies you need to retaliate against Admiral Bears, your betrayer.

    If the war hounds on your council may be convinced to see the light of reason, please deliver to them my offer.

    All my best,
    Empress Llamian Elwye of Kaf
    I look forward to reading this.

    Spoiler: Reply letter
    Show

    Dear Empress Elwye,

    Enclosed is 150 credits and a book on KND 2x4 Technology.

    Let loose the hounds of war.

    Yours truly,
    Twilight Sparkle
    Last edited by mebecronck; 2014-06-04 at 07:43 PM. Reason: Removed work

    Some of Murphy's other laws.
    "Professionals are predictable, but the world is full of amateurs."
    "No plan survives the first contact intact."
    "If it's stupid, but it works, it isn't stupid."
    -Capt. Edward A. Murphy-
    Newton's Law of the Road
    "The object with more mass has the right-of-way."

  6. - Top - End - #606
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    *Trumpets!* *Fanfare!* *Celebration!*

    At long last, I return with a snippet, and also comments!

    Spoiler: Nu Miaplacidus: Chapter 1
    Show
    Nu Miaplacidus
    A Surplus of Neighbors

    Galactic Interval 19

    Most Illustrious Commandant Elium,

    I apologize in advance for the spice traders inbound to Terebellum. They launched without orders, so feel free to do with them as you please when they arrive. Consider their cargo a gift, as compensation for the trouble.

    Regarding Media, I had dearly hoped to retain at least a single star system with more natural resources than a mealy Alshainian apple core. In the interest of future cooperation, I humbly ask that the Media system be left to my competent hands. You may rest assured that I have no intention of expanding toward your handsome empire--logistics aside, with the bounty of neighbors with which I have been blessed, it simply would not do to start a war with one of them. I would, of course, send you tribute from the system in thanks for your generosity.

    I look forward to your response, whatever it might contain.

    Hopefully yours,
    Empress Llamian Elwye of Kaf


    -----------

    The bastard knows we're in no position to negotiate terms. It's the truth I've written in this letter; the empire shares a border with at least four others, all of whom seem to have reached the border systems just ahead of our own colony ships.

    I must place my hopes in charity, then, while the good Captain Ollse delivers her secret cargo to Terebellum. She will have no way home; another casualty amongst too many costly carriers already lost to the Void, but the Commandant will pay dearly in the exchange. Of course, it will be perceived as an accident. Captain Ollse is one of the best--just by firing her engines, she has already done her people proud.

    The other tribes on my borders seem friendly enough, barring some unfortunate, unavoidable conflicts--such is the nature of the Void. I shall have to send word to them immediately, and negotiate favorable borders, as the Commandant appears unlikely to relent in his bullish ways. Perhaps the bravely-named Bears will be more willing to consider an alliance.

    I dearly hope the rest of the galaxy is as barren as my territory, or I fear the Kafikan Empire will be naught but a tragic appendix on some inferior race's history reel.


    And on to the comments.

    @mebecronck
    Spoiler: The Battle for Breakfast
    Show
    Nothing huge to say here, but I did thoroughly enjoy it. Project MAPLE SYRUP was particularly enjoyable (though I find the realism a bit lacking--sausage defeating bacon at breakfast time? Please.)


    @Lord_Gareth
    Spoiler: Frustrations
    Show
    The clock on the wall ticked.

    It was about this close to driving Natty insane.
    I'm not sure the first line deserves to be in its own paragraph like this. I think it reads better if it's together.

    "You work in a clerical position," her manager said with a too-friendly smile. "Thought shouldn't be involved."
    Ouch. I think it would be stronger (e.g. more demeaning) to picture him sneering her actual job title, rather than "in a clerical position." "You're a secretary, Ms. Sokolov", etc.

    the cold coming in made already desperate people downright savage
    This would flow better with a "the" before the "already", I think.

    "That didn't go according to plan, huh?" Natty said sweetly, tucking a lock of blonde hair behind her ear. The would-be criminal stared silently at the blade, weighing his options.
    Good moment; good framing.

    "Look, here's the deal buddy,"
    Needs a comma after "deal".

    The door was locked - not a big deal, given the whole 'keys' concept.
    This seems rather out-of-place.

    oh hell, was he so out of it that he was watching The 700 Club?
    Oh, man. Things must be bad.

    "If you don't get up I'm gonna love breaking my foot off in your ass," Natty answered as she stood up from the couch and began searching for the phone with an irritated sigh.
    You're trying to pack a little too much into this sentence; it feels choppy as a result. You can cut "from the couch", since we know that's where she was sitting--she just sat down twenty seconds ago. Sighing and looking for the phone should probably have its own sentence, and you need a comma after "If you don't get up".

    "Something happen today?" Dimitri asked, concerned.
    If he's concerned, that's a sudden change in his demeanor. You could add some body language (e.g. turning to actually look at her/sitting up/feet on the floor) and more verbage to make the shift more apparent.

    Overall, enjoyable snippet. As usual, you create some memorable characters with few words--I hope there's more coming.


    @Arkhosia
    Spoiler: Ambition
    Show
    First let me say that I'm not familiar with AOT, though I did pull up the song while I read this. My first impression is that it fits pretty well, both thematically and rhythmically, so good job on that!

    Since it's a song/poem, I'm not going to worry about grammar or anything, but there are a few word choices that struck me as a bit questionable.

    My name will not be known
    If I do not prove myself

    Family that's not yet mine
    Will accept me they will find

    The only way they'll accept me
    Is if I show that I am worthy
    The repetition feels a bit stale here. Also, the third stanza just feels like a rehashing of the first, even though the focus is technically different (on "family" rather than general recognition).

    Enemies trying to stop me
    I shall not let them defeat me
    The "me" "me" matching here is a little weak, especially the first line. I think I'd try to change it a bit; if only in form, to remove the "trying to stop me" phrase in particular.

    Succeeding my goals in this strange new world
    "Succeeding my goals" is a very strange turn of phrase, especially since it indicates the temporal definition of "succeeding"; that is, "coming after". It's also generally not a very strong line; the first half is awkward and a little bland, and the second half is a cliché.

    I shall not accept less than victory...!
    Why "shall" here (and later), instead of the "will" you've used previously? Also, it's already pretty clear by now that the speaker intends to win, so the line itself is a bit superfluous--if the "victory" were enhanced to something more dramatic, it would really help the line.

    Fighting to prove my self to them,
    I shall not lose to anyone here
    This whole stanza is a rehash of things you've said better elsewhere.

    Charging through the walls in my way
    I shall prove myself!
    Same with this one, though it's more forgivable because it's the "conclusion". The first line is kind of awkward rhythmically, though.

    The whole thing feels a bit like you stuck too closely to the source song, at the cost of exposition about your character. Which is a shame, because the best lines are when you actually let a unique bit of characterization slip through (e.g. the sixth stanza). There's a lot of promise there, though.

    Incidentally, did you know there's a Playground Iron Poet challenge? Planning on signing up?


    Currently typing up a series of backstory stories for a FFRP PC. Going to post them in the correct thread, but do you think it would be ok if I posted a link here for the enjoyment of y'all?
    Definitely!
    For people who enjoy reading or writing.

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  7. - Top - End - #607
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Welcome back!
    Scientific Name: Wombous apocolypticus | Diet: Apocolypse Pie | Cuddly: Yes

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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    The glorious Dr Bwaa is back. All hail the returning king.

    Spoiler: To Dr Bwaa
    Show

    Nothing huge to say here, but I did thoroughly enjoy it. Project MAPLE SYRUP was particularly enjoyable (though I find the realism a bit lacking--sausage defeating bacon at breakfast time? Please.)
    I would back Bacon, too. I just didn't want my bias to show in my writing. Plus I wanted to leave it open for a possible sequel.


    I have another Introspective posted on my Facebook. I haven't been posting them here because I don't think it fits with Thread (being non-fiction). I will leave a link for those that want to read it.

    https://www.facebook.com/dndnerd/posts/527263307374654

    Some of Murphy's other laws.
    "Professionals are predictable, but the world is full of amateurs."
    "No plan survives the first contact intact."
    "If it's stupid, but it works, it isn't stupid."
    -Capt. Edward A. Murphy-
    Newton's Law of the Road
    "The object with more mass has the right-of-way."

  9. - Top - End - #609
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Spoiler: Nu Miaplacidus: Chapter 2
    Show
    The Noblest of Creatures

    Galactic Interval 25

    Sweet Bears,

    However can I thank you enough for your generosity! Truly, the wisdom and kindness of the Bear Council are unmatched. With this gesture, you have earned my unwavering support in all things.

    If it interests your council, my scientists are developing a faster-than-light balance transfer system, which they expect to double the productiveness of the empire's Banking operations. They are admittedly not as well-funded as your own researchers, but it would be simply delightful if our teams could coordinate their efforts going forward.

    Humbly Yours,
    Empress Llamian Elwye of Kaf


    -----------

    Truly, bears are the noblest of creatures. The Space Bears have agreed to vacate Sunn and give control of the system to me, without asking anything in return. Assuming they aren't simply luring me into an overextension before shredding the empire, of course.

    As an added bonus, a new system has come into scanning range, far to the galactic north. It lies beyond our fleet's current jump range, but that is a setback easily remedied. Finally, a star system with plentiful natural resources!

    On a more somber note, Captain Ollse has sent her final transmission in advance of a hybrid-drive unmanned shuttle carrying a load of refined Nuranium plundered from Commandant Elium's stores on Terebellum. She and her crew await the arrival of the Commandant's Reclamation Ship, preparing for their "accident" before they go to meet the void. My heart goes with you, Captain.
    For people who enjoy reading or writing.

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  10. - Top - End - #610
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    I don't think I ever typed some much in one day before. I had some of this done beforehand, but considering how long it has been since someone posted in this thread I decided my next post was going to be worth the wait. I woke up early this morning and got to work finishing up a new addition to each of my series and with some new ones to boot.

    Ladies and gentlemen, let's get ready to reeeeead!

    Starting with the new!

    Spoiler: Character Bio: Ashley
    Show

    Character Bio:

    Ashley

    Species: Anthropomorphic Squirrel

    Note: "Why anthropomorphic squirrel?" you may ask. 1: Why not? 2: Somewhat heavy handed symbolism. I based a lot of her character personality on characteristics of squirrels. Also, her animalistic appearance further separates herself from humanity. 3: Mystery. Why is she an anthropomorphic squirrel? Especially, when the ruins around her suggests that the world before was nothing that much different from our own. 4: I like squirrels.

    Age: Unknown

    Note: She is an adult, but doesn't know her birthday or how many years has passed. The world she lives in doesn't seem to have any noticeable change in seasons.

    Gender: Female

    Appearance: Grey fur coat and a long and very fluffy tail. It is so fluffy that it looks like it's wider than her body and she could easily conceal herself behind it without even ducking. She doesn't know how tall she is, or how much she weighs. She once found a scale, much like the ones you would see in a doctors office, and it said she is six and a half feet tall. But it was bent in several places and it wouldn't tell her weight at all. Her appearance is mostly human like except her fingers and toes end with retractable claws instead of fingernails, and her face has a slight muzzle to it instead of a human like nose and mouth. Her hair looks like a mix of a lions mane with a mo-hawk. It is long a lose, hanging over the top of her head and down the back of her neck. Her large squirrel-like ears keeps her hair from flowing down the side of her face. The only clothes she wears are a par of overalls and belt with several sacks tied to it. The overalls were the only clothes that fit her and she finds the various pockets on them useful. No shoes of any sort feel comfortable to her over her paws, and she thinks shirts look weird on her, because after a while of moving around with them on her fur tends to start pushing through the fabric.

    Note: It is from her fur color that she gets her name. Her fur is "ash gray" so she calls herself "Ashley".

    Background: She lives in a post-apocalyptic future, where she may very well be the only living sentient being in the world. She has no memory of life before the wastelands she calls home, or why there is no one else in the world. She doesn't know how she knows how to read and speak English, or any of the educated things that she knows how to do. She finds herself thinking about these thing sometimes, when she is not keeping busy with surviving, yet she knows that in all likelihood she will never find any answers.

    Traits: She is clever, inventive, resourceful, and restless. She is always keeping busy with something to help her survive, or some new project to make the loneliness more tolerable.

    Flaws: Her restlessness at times makes her loss focus on whats important. She tries to compensate for that by making a duty chart, so she doesn't forget anything important. The loneliness can sometimes get to her and she fears losing her sanity or falling into depression. The only thing that keeps her going, is that hope that one day she will discover she is not alone in this world.

    Skills: She is skilled with working metal and applies that skill to create useful tools to reinforce the rundown building that she calls home. She is also a quick learner. Having a library nearby with a D.I.Y. section that is not completely destroyed she has access to various crafts that she may find useful.

    Languages: English.

    Hobbies: New projects to incorporate into her home to make life more tolerable. She hopes to one day have running water, maybe even electricity.

    Powers: She is stronger than she looks. Her frame is slight, but athletic, yet she can lift cars over head with little difficulty. Having no one to compare her strength to, she doesn't find this unusual in the slightest. She is able to climb sheer vertical surfaces with ease thanks to her claws. She is very acrobatic and has a keen sense of balance aided by her tail. She is able to jump great distances as well, with remarkable confidence and accuracy.

    Special: She has a friend: a can of spinach she emptied out a long time, ago. The only thing left of the label is a strip of paper that says "Popeye". She put a hole in the top of the can and ran a pendulum she crafted into him. She uses him as an early warning system by attaching him to some string connected to tripwires. She talks to Popeye on occasions, mostly bouncing ideas off of him or making plans for the day, but she knows he is just a can.

    Note: Yes, I got this idea from the Tom Hanks movie. It's not like it has never been done before, though.

    Story Ideas: Just the one idea really. She is by herself in a post-apocalyptic world dealing with the physical and psychological issues that come from such an environment. Where I got the idea is interesting, though.

    It came from watching a video about "The Bechdel Test". If you don't know what it is, it is a test which asks if a work of fiction has two females characters who talk to each other about something other than a man. This video (which I won't name) was actually the first time I ever heard of this. It did get me thinking about it and how odd it is that so many works of fiction don't pass it, but near the end of the video the narrator said something that just irked me. She said that the Bechdel Test actually tests whether there is a female perspective in the work of fiction (I later learned that this is just her own claim and most other people believe that the test only serves the purpose of making you think of how odd it is how so many works of fiction can't pass such a simple test).

    The second she said that, I said, "That is simply not true." It didn't take that much thought or effort to come up with simple examples of how a work of fiction could fail every part of that test and we can still see a female's perspective from the work. I worked backwards on it start with:

    The two woman must talk about something other than a man: They can talk about a man and we can learn about their perspectives on a whole range of matters. If we are even to exclude their perspective about the man they are talking about in general, we can still get tangential information about them in the conversation. Let's say if in the Batman comic universe if two women are talking about Batman. We will learn about their perspective on vigilante justice, the issue of crime in Gotham City, maybe even their opinion on the economic impact having a well known vigilante in their city could have.

    The two woman must talk to each other: Same thing as before. We can have a good look on a woman's perspective on any issue, even if she holds a conversation with a man. The same topics of discussion can give us the same insights. In fact, as I though about this, I kept going to the Batman universe. There are a lot of well developed female characters in the series, and we know their perspectives on everything, because of how well developed they are. Yet, they are frequently the only female character in any given story. There are times when the girls team up together, but most of the time it is Batman versus Poison Ivy, Batman versus Joker and Harley, or Batman and Batgirl versus some other villain. In that series the villain team ups don't happen until well after the characters are developed. You don't have Harley and Poison Ivy team up until they had their introductory story lines as well as development in side stories.

    The last one is where the story idea hit me:

    There must be more than one woman: My first thought is, "Well, what if the story had one character, and that character is a woman. How could we possibly see any other perspective if we only have one perspective to see from."

    That is where the story idea hit me. I always enjoyed the post-apocalyptic setting, but I've been toying with ideas of a group of survivors fighting off the zombie hordes. I never put that much thought in the lone survivor story, dealing with the isolation and dealing with the exhaustive labors that she would have to go through just to stay alive. I instantly feel in love with the idea.

    So, that's where the idea came from. Her opinion on the purpose of the Bechdel Test is actually just her own opinion and most everyone else I heard talk about it doesn't share that same opinion.

    The name of the story series is "The Isolation of Ashley" and it fails the Bechdel Test. She only talks to one other character in it and Popeye is either a male character or a gender-less metal can.


    Spoiler: The Isolation of Ashley
    Show

    The Isolation of Ashley

    Chapter 1

    Day by Day

    "Yawn!" I stretch out as far as I can before I sit up in bed. Well, it is the closest thing to a bed I could make. Just four metal beams that I welded together into something remotely square shaped. I then filled it with every pillow I could scavenge from the abandoned city and covered it with a sheet. It was fine for the first couple of nights, but then the pillows would settle in the corners and leave me sinking in the center. Now I have to take the time to readjust all the pillows before going to bed. Hopefully, some day soon, I will find an actual mattress in the city.

    "Good morning, Popeye." The empty can of spinach doesn't answer. I decorated him with scrap metal to give it a face and call him Popeye because that was all I could read from the can's label. I crafted a pendulum with a hook on the end and placed it inside of him. That way I can put him on a string that I got hanging in my room. The string is connected to a series of tripwires that surrounds my house. Typically, the only thing sets off the trip wires is some small desert animal. Lizards, snakes, and even a cat once set it off. Maybe one day, a person will snag the tripwire, and Popeye will wake me up so that I don't miss it.

    "I had a weird dream last night..." I let my mind drift off, remembering the dream. I was on top of the roof looking out over the desert to the East. On the horizon, I saw a twinkling light that seemed unnatural. Without hesitation I ran off towards it. I thought that it must be a person signaling to me. When I got to the light I saw a giant wall with painted scenery. It was so massive that it must encompass the whole city. What created the twinkling light was a doorknob attached to the wall. Looking at it made me panic. I wanted to turn the knob, but I knew that opening the door would shatter the world that I knew and I would become lost.

    I take several deep breathes and close my eyes. Then I jump out of bed and shout, "Remind me to get a journal the next time I'm in the city. It might be a good idea to start a journal of all my dreams." I start stretching out, remaining quiet while I pretend that Popeye says something in response. "Of course I will read them, again. What else do I have to do these days." I pause again. "Those are good things, too, but I got to keep my mind occupied with some fun activities, too. Otherwise I will go crazy and start talking to tin cans." I let out a terribly fake laugh. I make a joke about that every morning, and it just keeps getting sadder.

    After I finish stretching I head over towards the corner of my room where I installed a somewhat functional shower. I put a open topped basin on the roof that collects rain water and connect it to a series of pipes that leads to a filtration unit. I built that after I discovered what the birds do in my water basin. It took a little bit of studying and experimentation to get it right. After that, it connects to a main storage tank and then to several other parts of my house. My shower has a working head, but I need to use a ball valve connected just above the head to turn the water on or off. I cut out the floor and made a recessed chamber with a central grate to collect the water. After my shower I take the collected water back to the roof and dump it back into the basin.

    "Oh, dammit!" I'm out of conditioner. With my fur coat it is difficult to comb out tangles and knots. It is one of the many things that is difficult about not being... human. I'm some sort of combination of human and squirrel. I got a squirrel's tail and claws on the end of my fingers and toes. My face has human eyes and a squirrels nose, mouth, and ears. My body is covered in gray fur and the hair on my head is more like a mane. It's a dark gray, thick and looks like a mo-hawk from the way it sticks out.

    I call myself Ashley, because of my gray fur. Not very creative, but I like it.

    "Remind me to get some more conditioner when I go into the city today." I pause for a moment, both to pretend that Popeye is talking to me, and also from anxiety from the pain I will experience combing my hair soon. "I know it not really a necessity, but this is one luxury that I will not give up." I pause, again. "I will not discuss this further. Add it to my list, and let's get on with the day."

    ----------

    After I returned the used water to the basin and put on my blue jean overalls... and combed out a dozen knots from my hair, I gather everything I need for a scavenging trip to the city. My belt and pouches, rope, a pickaxe and shovel, a hammer, string, pitons, Popeye, a long pole, a wind-up flashlight, and my over-sized backpack that I carry on my tail. I store a few amenities in my pouches such as some homemade trail mix, some blank paper, a few pencils, some chalk, and I tie a canteen of filtered water. I also have an old city map that I have marked to let me know where I have been, what I found, and what still has useful things that I couldn't take with me on the previous trip.

    The last thing I do before heading out is fold up a towel and put it in my backpack. I read a guidebook that suggested I should always take one with me. It has been helpful on plenty of occasions, but I sometimes question why they gave such emphasis to it in the book. Perhaps it is because everyone knows the basic necessities, but no one thinks about a towel.

    "So, let's check the list." I look at Popeye, how is currently attached to a strap on my backpack. "Hey, you forgot to add the conditioner. I can't trust you with anything, can I?" I add the conditioner to the list. The list has never been this long before. I'm running short on food, water, scrap metal, coal, and medicine. The hair conditioner just fell on my list of priorities like an anvil.

    I take a look at my map to see where the closest place I can find food might be. The longer I live here the further I have to go to scavenge useful materials. I thought about relocating to somewhere further in the city, but I dismissed the idea when I realized everything I would have to go through to move everything into another building. The forge alone is impossible to move. I would have to build a new one from scratch.

    "There's a grocery store a few miles from here that I haven't hit, yet. If we can keep a good pace we can get there and back before dusk." I might even find everything I need in one store. "Hey, stow that attitude Popeye. I will not tolerate your pessimism today after you forgot to put conditioner on the list."

    ----------

    The trip is uneventful. The sky is clear, the air is calm, and the temperature is mild. This is pretty much the normal. It might rain once every two or three days, but the temperature is always mild. Strange for a desert. Even stranger for it being like this year round. I don't know where I got the idea that deserts are supposed to be hot, or the concept of changing seasons. I never read about it, since I normally just read D.I.Y. books to learn new ways to improve my home. I owe the library next door to the easy access to all those D.I.Y. books. I figure that I learned about deserts and seasons from the same place that I learned how to work metal and speak English. Either that I always knew how to do it or I was taught about it by someone in my distant past that I don't remember. All I ever remembered is being alone in this city by the desert, or in the desert. I haven't reached the other side, yet.

    "Hey, look at that." I point at the pet store and move my tail to show Popeye. It is obviously a pet store since it has a giant sign with the letters P, E, and T still visible. The rest of the sign has fallen off. "They might something useful in there. Some pet medicine might work the same way as human medicine." And if I ever get desperate, I guess I could eat kibble. Hopefully, it will never get to that point. I shutter just thinking about it.

    The grocery store is in the same parking lot as the pet store. "Well, this is lucky. If we don't have much trouble in the grocery store we can hit the pet store on the way back." The trip here doesn't take too long, but I have learned from experience that scavenging in a dark store is rarely easy. Turned over shelves and scattered debris mixed with little to no light makes it difficult to find your way around or even figure out what you are holding in your hand. I don't know what put the stores in such a state, but I assume it is from other people scavenging through the building before me. Maybe I just missed them.

    Right behind the grocery store is a very tall building, maybe ten or twelve floors tall, with some severe structural damage in the side facing the grocery store. It looks like a tree with a wedge cut out of the side, and it is threatening to fall on the store. "Great, this my be my only opportunity to look through this store."

    Of course, it might collapse on me while I'm inside. I pull out my map and start to weigh my options. "Okay, Popeye, feel free to voice your opinion if you got any better ideas." Looking at the map, I can see that the next place I might find food is another mile into the city, and nothing with any promise for coal or medicine.

    "So, do we keep on going or risk the possible death trap?" This time when I wait I actually expect an answer. Forgetting for just a moment that Popeye is not real and that I'm actually alone. I catch myself quickly and slap myself across the face. "Get a hold of yourself Ashley."

    "This could be my only opportunity to get anything from this building." I start covering my options out loud to keep me focused on the problem at hand. "If I wait until after the building falls down on the store I could dig through the debris and find some useful items. But that would end up taking more energy that just navigating a dark building, and I might find nothing useful in the rubble of a collapsed building. Also, there is no guarantee that the building will collapse soon."

    It's decided, I got to search this place now or miss out on getting anything good from it.

    ----------

    I pull out my string, pitons, and hammer at the front door and set up a tripwire to alert me if anyone comes inside. I put Popeye on the cord and tell him to be a good guard. I pull out my flashlight and give it a dozen turns to charge it up. I'm fortunate that the building has some skylights that allow a little light in. They are either dirty or designed to limit light through them, so I still need the flashlight, but I can still see the layout of the whole store without it.

    I start collecting every can that isn't busted open. So long as the can is still sealed there is a good chance that the food inside is still edible. I used to use my flashlight to read the label before collecting any canned foods, but experience taught me that is a waste of time. You need to collect fast, especially with a guillotine hanging over your head.

    I then move to the corner of the store where I find bottled water. Some of the water bottles have gone stagnant and are no longer good to drink, but I can still poor them in my basin and let my filtration system make it drinkable. I typically boil it first to make sure it is okay, I'm not sure if it is necessary, but better safe than sorry.

    From there, I move to the coal. Unfortunately a leaky pipe, or possibly minor flooding from the rain, has soaked the coal. The bags have soaked into mush and all the coal is spread out on the floor. I might be able to dry it out and still use the coal, but collecting it is going to be a problem. Fortunately, I have a towel. I tie it into a carrying sack and gather as much coal as I can within it. I attach it to the end of my pole and shoulder it on my way to the shampoo and conditioner.

    Scrap metal will be easy to collect in the parking lot. All I need to do is rip off a car door or hood and I'm set for a little while. So, I take my time looking through the conditioners. I open up the lid and take a quick smell. Most of them smell rancid from age, but I can sometimes find some that either smell okay, or just scentless. Maybe one day I will read up on how to make conditioner.

    I suddenly hear Popeye ring in his dulcet tones. Something set him off, and I run towards the front door hoping that it is a person.

    ----------

    At the front door I can see it is opened slightly, but nothing around that would suggest who did it. "Well, speak up clatter box! Who opened the door?"

    As if to answer, I feel the earth start to shake. My heart stops as I realize the building behind us is collapsing.


    And now the additions to the old.

    Spoiler: Character Bio: Isabelle
    Show

    Character Bio:

    Sabrina Isabelle Watson

    Species: Human

    Age: 18

    Gender: Female

    Appearance: She has medium length black hair that she dyes the tips of in various colors depending on her whim at the time. She has a curvy feminine physique, but she wears lose fitting clothing to hide it. She likes to put on exaggerated make-up in the colors of black, red, green, and purple. Instead of just wearing eye-shadow, she will typically paint out a shape like a diamond, star, or heart around one eye and leave the other normal. Her clothes are normally black with accents of other colors to match her make-up. She normally wears a shirt with the current name of her band on it.

    Note: She wears the exaggerated costumes and make-up to promote her band. She wears lose clothing not because she is embarrassed, or because she thinks people would stare (because her outfit typically draws attention anyhow) but because she is more comfortable in lose clothes. She also designs her own clothes, taking whatever is on sale in Wal-Mart, K-Mart, or Goodwill and making it more Rock 'n Roll.

    Background: Her father left her and her mom when she was still a baby. Because her mom is a cop she had to raise herself after she was too old for a babysitter. She holds some resentment towards her mother for not being there for her, but knows it is unfair to blame her for things beyond her control. She instead works out her emotional issues in writing songs and aspires to being a Rock 'n Roll star. She built her style around some of her favorite classic rock bands like Kiss, Guns and Roses, AC/DC, and Metallica when she feels a little Metal. She is a member of the drama club, where she believes she will learn how to perform to an audience and build a great stage show to go along with the music. She is self taught with the electric guitar.

    She is although a self-described "Health-Nut". She hates junk food, goes to the gym every other day, and would never be caught dead in a fast food restaurant.

    Traits: She is very forward, preferring to tell it how it is instead of sugar coating it. She is very impulsive and will not hesitate to do what she believes is right. She is loyal to her friends and will stick by them no matter what they are going through, and will stick to them even closer when they are going through hard times. She wears her emotions on her sleeves, believing it is not a good idea to leave anything bottled up. She loves her music loud. The louder, the better. She is not necessarily an optimist, but she keeps a cheerful attitude.

    Her favorite classes in school is any class that lets her express herself, which is pretty much any of the artistic classes. She makes average grades in all the other classes, mostly B's and some C's.

    Note: Oddly enough, she prefers to have the radio off when she's driving.

    Flaws: She sometimes lacks tact and it could lead to misunderstandings, but she is quick to apologize. She sometimes sacrifices her own needs to be by her friends when they are in trouble. Even when her friends tell her to think of herself sometimes, she refuses to be even a little bit selfish and will continue stand by them. When she is a dark place and could use a friend she will typically lock herself away in her room and try to work it out on her own rather than ask for even a little help.

    Skills: She is self taught in sewing, cooking, and the electric guitar. She learned how to act in drama club.

    Note: The teacher/director of the drama club says she emotes well, but sometimes has trouble expressing the right emotion for the scene.

    Languages: English.

    Hobbies: She is a member of the drama club. She is also a regular at the local gym. She is the lead singer and guitarist in a band she formed together with two of her friends.
    Note: The name of the band changes on a regular basis, because none of them can agree on one name.

    Powers: No super powers in particular, but she can turn into the Hulk if you call her "Bella". She hates that nickname and the movies that made it popular.

    Special: Her first name "Sabrina" is actually taken from one of my favorite TV series from when I was kid, "Sabrina The Teenage Witch". The inspiration of the look for her character comes from turning the "goth" stereotype on its' head. If you just looked at her from a distance you would think she was a goth, but if you talked to her you would come face to face with the opposite of everything you thought a goth was. I gave her a more feminine figure to signify a little more clearly how she is older than Jessica.

    I decided to give them what I thought was just enough contrasting and complementing traits that it would be easy to see how they are best friends. Even in the life they lived up to this point is both contrasting and complementary. They both have just one parent, but Isabelle has a mother and Jessica has a father. Isabelle almost never saw her mother growing up and Jessica is always under the watchful eye of her father.


    Spoiler: The Big Play: A Jessica and Isabelle Miniseries
    Show

    The Big Play

    A Jessica and Isabelle Mini-Series

    Part 1

    "I'm sorry about springing this on you. Are you sure you're okay with it?" Isabelle apologized for the fifth time. The time for the drama club meeting was changed to just after school ended. Isabelle would have to head straight for the theater to make it in time. If she took the time to drive Jessica home she would be an hour late for the meeting, assuming she made every light and traffic was light, which is something you never see in L.A.

    "It's okay. Really. Don't worry about it," Jessica says as she fiddles with the over-stuffed backpack. "I got a book to keep me occupied. I'm going to do a report on it."

    "What's the name of the book?"

    "The Man Who Loved Clowns."

    "I never heard of that one. Was it assigned reading?"

    "No. I talked the teacher into giving the class a list of books we can do for extra credit." Jessica decides to start looking through her backpack to find the book. She keeps several with her and sometimes forgets which books she stored in which compartment. "She made a list of twenty books that she is familiar enough with to grade reports on without having to reread them ahead of time. Each report we do will give is extra points on an upcoming test or quiz depending on the grade we get on it."

    "I wish I had such a generous teacher," Isabelle says passively as she signals for a left turn. "How many have you done so far?"

    "Nineteen."

    "Already?! We are barely a month into the quarter. You should have paced yourself better."

    "I know, but I was excited to read some new books I never seen before and get extra credit for it, too." Jessica abandons her search for the book and starts to fiddle with her hair, twirling it around her fingers. "Do you think I'm weird?"

    "No, of course not! Why would you ask such a thing!"

    "Well... Today in class," Jessica tells her story slowly, hesitating after every few words, "one of the guys in class... said to the teacher, 'I bet you wish you had more students like her'... And the teacher said, 'I don't know if I could handle another student like her'... Everyone laughed and it made me feel like I was different. Like I was weird." Jessica wrapped her arms around her chest and stares down at her feet.

    Suddenly, Isabelle changes lanes and swings the car way to fast into the first parking spot she can find. Jessica swings left and right in her seat and grabs the handle above her door out of panic. Before Jessica can ask what is going on, Isabelle has left the car. Jessica unbuckles her seat belt to get out of the car, too, but before she grabs the door handle, Isabelle has already opened the door.

    Isabelle leans into the car and wraps both arms around Jessica, embracing her tightly. She says in firm tones, "You are not weird, and don't let thoughts like that ever creep into your head, again. Alright, you promise me that." Isabelle tightens her embrace on Jessica.

    "Alright. I promise," Jessica answers filled with mixed emotions, one of them being panic. If she holds her any tighter she will not be able to breath.

    Isabelle holds her hug just a little longer. When she releases her hug on Jessica she moves her hands to each of shoulder and looks her in the eyes. Jessica can see the worry in face and that she might be holding back tears. This makes Jessica start to well up, too.

    "It's okay," Jessica says trying not to worry her friend. She wasn't that upset before, but seeing Isabelle so concerned about is starting to make her cry. "I'm fine now." Jessica then moves forward to hug her back and says, "Thank you." She releases her embrace as soon as she says the words.

    ----------

    Isabelle was only a minute late for the meeting, but that was enough to get "The Lecture" on tardiness from the director. Unlike the other members of the drama club, though, whenever Isabelle gets "The Lecture" it turns into a dramatic scene where Isabelle lectures back to the director. This lasts until one of them has given up on the other and decides it is best to get back to the club.

    Jessica is sitting in the audience space away from the stage, already nose deep in her new book. If she looked up she might have laughed seeing Isabelle in a shouting contest with a middle-aged man with thinning hair tied into a ponytail.

    "Well, since everyone is here now..." the director starts.

    "Tommy isn't here," a girl in the group interrupts.

    The director exclaims in panic and anger "What?! You're kidding me. How can we rehearse without Macbeth?" The drama club is fairly small. There isn't even enough students to have understudies.

    "The curse! You invoked the curse!" Sally points at the director and covers her mouth. She is the only student that believes in the curse of The Scottish Play. Even the director doesn't believe in it, but out of respect for Sally, they try not to do anything that would invoke the curse, such as saying the name Macbeth during rehearsals.

    "Sorry, Sally. I will do the cleansing ritual while I step outside and call Tommy's parents. Is that okay?"

    Sally keeps her mouth covered with both hands and nods her head. If her eyes were more bugged out they would pop out of her head. She is about fifteen years old with vibrant red hair and freckles and extremely superstitious. She keeps a rabbit foot key chain on her at all times, but no keys.

    "Okay," the director says while feigning a smile. "Everyone start reading lines until I come back. I got some important news to share with you upon my return."

    "Great, how do we read lines without Mac..." the young boy catches himself "... kers? He is the title role of the play."

    "We could just cover the scenes without him." Sally suggests.

    "I got an idea." Isabelle walks over to the edge of the stage. "HEY! JESSIE!" Jessica looks up from her book to see Isabelle staring right at her with her hands cupped around her mouth. "DO YOU WANT TO HELP US READ LINES?"

    "Oh, I don't know." Jessica doesn't speak up and starts to slump in her seat.

    "I CAN'T HEAR YOU! CAN YOU COME COME UP TO THE STAGE?"

    Jessica walks up to the stage holding her book to her chest. Once she is in front of the stage she speaks softly to Isabelle, "I'm not sure. I don't feel comfortable performing in front of an audience."

    "You won't be performing in the play. You'll just help us read lines. We're missing one performer and need your help."

    "But what about..." Jessica subtly points at the rest of the club.

    Isabelle grabs Jessica's pointing finger and helps her up to the stage. "You are surrounded by friends here. No one's judging you. In fact, everyone here will love you for your help."

    Jessica takes deep breath to calm herself and says, "I'll do it." The club gives an enthusiastic applause which makes Jessica excited to perform. "What's the name of the play?"

    "The Scottish Play," one boy in the club answers.

    "I've never heard of that," Jessica answers.

    "You might know it as 'The Bard's Play' instead," a girl in the club answers.

    "I've not heard of that either."

    "It's 'The Tragedy of Macbeth'!" The boy who answers immediately walks towards the door as he answers. "I'll do the cleansing ritual."

    "What's wrong with him?" Jessica stares at the boy as he walks out the door.

    "The play's cursed," Sally answers, "You can't say the play's name, the name of titled actor, or read lines in the theater at any time other than when doing rehearsals. If you do, you will invoke the curse and bad things will happen."

    "I will try to not invoke the curse. Thank you for warning me." Jessica gives a slight bow towards Sally as she thanks her.

    Isabelle walks up close to Jessica and whispers to her, "There is no such thing as curses right?" She used to be very skeptical of supernatural claims, but when she meet Jessica and her father, she has become more open to the idea of anything supernatural.

    "Of course there is."

    "Oh, okay." Isabelle moves away from Jessica and towards Sally, "Hey, Sally. How does that cleansing ritual go, again?"


    Spoiler: The Modern Bard
    Show

    The Modern Bard

    Government Intervention

    I wake up with a start. A psychic warning from a proximity spell tells me that I have company of the military variety. Without hesitation I send Lucky to the balcony to explore the outside of the house. Looking through her eyes I can see I'm surrounded. I only have one chance of getting out of this. I send a psychic message to Lucky through our mental connection. She understands it and takes action.

    She starts telling every cat in the neighborhood to go to my hotel room while I start scattering kitty litter throughout the room. I will my enchanted clothes to change shape to look like something a beggar would wear, complete with illusionary fleas. I make sure it covers my face with a lose hood.

    After all the kitty litter is spread out and I have half a dozen cats in my room, I take out a piece of dehydrated garlic and hum a few notes, then I blow on the garlic. It evaporates in my hand and suddenly the room smells like cat urine. Just in time, too, because I can hear them talking right outside my door. I send a new command to Lucky. This part of the plan hasn't received much practice, but I'm confident she will do well.

    One of them knocks on the door and says, "FBI, open the door." What a horrible cover. They are clearly not FBI.

    I imitate an elderly woman's voice and answer, "Dammi un secondo. Io sarò lì." I studied many languages in my journey's. I will even say with pride that I can talk to any person in the world in their native tongue and they wouldn't know I wasn't a native.

    They open the door without breaking it down. Obviously management gave them a key to get in. They walk in with their guns lowered, but still at the ready. Even with my head lowered I can see them checking corners and covering the whole room. One man keeps me in sight, two others clear the room, and the last man keeps the exit path secure. Based on their gear and tactics, I'm guessing they are Marines.

    I should be complimented that I would draw the attention of the U.S. Marine Corps, or that some government official feels like they need the Marines to take me into custody. Instead, I'm nervous, because they will not likely fall for my hurried disguise. I will have to sell it well.

    "Non prendere i miei gatti. Conosco i miei diritti." I repeat this over and over again as I turn away from the one covering me. He tries to tell me remain calm and stay put, I can hear him gagging from the smell of cat urine in the air. I'm not bothered by it because I'm aware of the illusion. The air already smells normal to me again.

    "Excuse me, ma'am." He coughs a couple of times as if he might vomit. "I need to ask you some questions."

    "Io non ti capisco. Si prega di lasciare la mia casa." I gesture with my hands as if to shoe them away.

    "I can talk to her, sir." A woman's voice comes from the hallway. The one guarding the exit trades positions with the guy guarding me. "Ho bisogno di farle alcune domande." Her accent is decent. She probably has a relative that is Italian.

    I need to bide time. Lucky should be getting close by now. She left the range of our psychic connection just a few seconds, ago. "Non si può avere i miei gatti. Essi sono miei e non sto dando via."

    "Non siamo qui per il gatto, signora." She answers me calmly, her training to de-escalate the situation is kicking in. I have clearly sold the idea that I'm an elderly Italian woman that is hording cats in her apartment. However, because she can speak Italian, I doubt I can stale very long. I can only say, "Don't take my cats" in Italian so many times before they get suspicious.

    "So this is The Bard." An authoritative voice chimes in from the hallway. I peek up just enough to see a tall man in a business suit walk in the room. I don't look up enough to see his face, but his voice is deep. I can tell he has taken speech lessons to project that deep voice over a large audience. "You are not an easy man to find." He is clearly talking about me. My cover didn't work for him.

    "Voglio che meno persone in casa mia, non di più. Vattene, per favore." I desperately try to put the pieces of my failing cover back in place, or at least bide some more time.

    "Sir, we didn't find The Bard," The one in the doorway, still standing at attention, is the one to deliver the bad news. He is the one in command of the squad it seems. "The only person here is this elderly lady. I don't believe she understands English."

    "Yes. An elderly woman who keeps a swarm of cats in her apartment, with plenty of cat litter, but no cat food." That is one detail I hoped they wouldn't notice. The authoritative man continues, "I'm certain this is The Bard." Why do they call me that? I never put a name to my work. Is this something my clients gave me or are they looking for someone else?

    "We got a job for you Mr. The Bard." The man walks further into the room and stands across from the television. "Turn on the news."

    This will buy the time I need.


    Spoiler: The Adventurers Odd: Hindsight is Always 20 Something
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    The Adventurers Odd

    Hindsight is Always 20/something

    The three adventurers stand around the body of their fallen friend.

    "I'm not quite dead, yet," the ghost of Jorun interjects. "I'm only at negative nine. I get one stabilization roll before I'm officially dead."

    "How is he a ghost, if he's not dead?" Jorge the Monk asks.

    "Oh, hey Jorge! Where have you been?" Bob the Rogue asks the suddenly present monk.

    "Are you asking in game or out of game?" Jorge asks the inquisitive rogue.

    "What alignment are you?" the soon to be dead paladin asks.

    "I guess both, but it doesn't really matter either way." The Rogue retroactively makes his question rhetorical with panache.

    "What does panache mean?" Jorge asks the voice in the ceiling.

    "I don't think the narrator even knows," Varonis mocks with a laugh.

    Hey! I totally know what panache means.

    "What alignment are you, Jorge?" The still dying paladin asks.

    "Prove it," Varonis challenges the not very confident voice in the sky.

    It means... Um.... the sound keystrokes fills the halls...

    "Ha! See, I knew he was bluffing." Oh, shut up Varonis!

    "HEY!" The not ghost of Jorun shouts, "What alignment are you, Jorge?"

    "Lawful Good," Jorge finally answers.

    "What the hell!? How did he get through the door without bursting into flames?" Jorun protests indignantly.

    "Oh, stop using words you don't know." Varonis tries to silence the voice in the sky.

    I have you know I do know the meaning of that word, and Jorun is right. With a blink of the eye Jorge is suddenly on the other side of the doorway.

    Bob the Rogue sighs and says, "Hey, Jorge! Do you have any healing potions on you?"

    "Yes, I do. Why do you ask?" Jorge's answer somehow makes the unconscious body of Jorun wince.

    "Oh, no reason." Bob's answer seems to contain some hidden laughter. "Oh, my laughter wasn't hiding." Okay, Bob laughs loudly with pride, then.

    Jorge walks through the doorway and though the flames burst magically in the air around him, he makes it through unscathed.

    "So that is what evasion does." Jorge says, having somehow used evasion without being previously familiar with it.

    "Let's just say that I taught him that." Bob interjects.

    "Let's not forget our friend here." Varonis brings the group's attention to the dying Paladin.

    The sound of rolling dice echoes through the hallway.

    "WHAT!" the now ghost of Jorun shouts at the top of his not lungs, "He didn't even have an opportunity to use the potion."

    Sorry, Jorun, it takes a full-round action to use a potion on someone who is unconscious. Because he had to use a move action to go through the door and reach you he couldn't do that on the same round. So, you had to take one stabilization roll.

    "Ouch, man." Bob the Rogue holds back his snarky attitude. "No, I'm not holding back any snark. That just plain sucks."

    "Well, we knew this run was going to be in a hard dungeon," Varonis says, trying to ease the pain of his friend's passing, "We were prepared to lose characters here. I was just hoping it wouldn't be so soon."

    "Rest in peace, Jorun" Jorge the Monk takes an knee and clasps his hands over a friend he hardly got the chance to know.

    After a brief moment of silence Bob speaks up and says, "Well, let's divide his equipment before we move on."

    "You're kidding" the fading ghost of Jorun says is disbelief.

    "Dude, dungeon, danger..." realizing the series of D words he listed he felt like adding one more, "Dagger. Your gear isn't doing you any good, but could save our life."

    "How pragmatic of you," Varonis says, using a made-up word, "Don't start on that, again." Hey, you started it.

    "Fine, fine. Well, I need to build a new character for this campaign. I'm thinking going full healing with a cleric." The not Jorun voice says from nowhere.

    "So long as you don't role-play religious zealot, I'm okay," Bob responds passively to the not voice while digging through the corpse's pockets.

    Jorge looks around at the group and then the door and says, "How much XP do I get for surviving the door?"

    Some of Murphy's other laws.
    "Professionals are predictable, but the world is full of amateurs."
    "No plan survives the first contact intact."
    "If it's stupid, but it works, it isn't stupid."
    -Capt. Edward A. Murphy-
    Newton's Law of the Road
    "The object with more mass has the right-of-way."

  11. - Top - End - #611
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    mebecronck's Avatar

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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    I actually have a good reason for the double post for once. My post is too long to put into just one post.

    So now for my next entry in a fan favorite series.

    Spoiler: The Journeys of Cronc: Cyrodiil
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    The Journeys of Cronc

    A Walk through Cyrodiil

    Part 1

    In the many journeys of Cronc, he finds himself in strange places. When he gets in the mood to travel he will just walk anywhere, and will occasionally find himself in front of portals to other planes. Having no fear, he just jumps head long into them. Whatever he finds on the other side, he is ready for the adventure, but if all they have is some good food and drink, he will be satisfied with that, too.

    ----------

    The Argonian woman is running as fast as her clawed feet can make her. Her scaly tail swinging back and forth with each giant stride. She was just supposed to run down to the well at the edge of town and get some water to do some laundry. But when she returned, she found her home town overrun with horrific creatures and a giant swirling red portal set in the center of it all.

    In a panic she ran away, but she can hear something following her. She's too frightened to look back. If she looks back they might catch her. Her breathing gets more and more labored with each passing moment, and her legs are getting heavier. She no longer recognizes the terrain around her. She hasn't been this far away from home before.

    Soon she comes to a dead end, a giant slab of rock that marks the base of a mountain. She might have seen it coming if not for the trees. In hindsight, she should have known the mountains are here, but when she saw those creatures, she just turned around and ran, not thinking of where she was going.

    She turns around, takes a deep breath, and bares her claws. She sees a giant creature made of stone and wrapped in lightning push its' way through the forest. Seeing the thing stand before her made her lose what little confidence she had to fight. For a moment she felt like balling up and accepting fate, but then she heard a guttural roar come out of the forest to the right of her, followed by the foot beats of some giant creature.

    Before she can wonder which monstrous creature would be the first to kill her she sees a giant mass of green flesh burst through the woods and tackle the stone golem before her. It looks like an Orsimer, but bigger.

    The thing starts ripping chunks of stone out of the golem and throws them in every direction. Once it grabs a particularly big piece of stone out of the creature, it starts to bash the golems head in with it.

    The Argonian woman flinches at the sight of this, and notices another creature emerge from the woods. The Argonian is familiar with this one and knows it is called a daedroth. It is a large alligator-like creature with human-like arms and stands on its' hind legs.

    Surrounded by such monstrous creatures the Argonian woman falls to her knees and pushes her back to the stone wall. The daedroth lets out a frightening roar, then a giant rock hits it in the back of the head. The strange Orsimar pulls out a giant axe and growls "HOT AXE!" With those words flames start to pour out from the head of the axe. "U COM GIT SUM 'O CRONC!"

    The daedroth is more than happy to abide. It charges at Cronc with a wide open maw. Cronc grabs his axe with both hands and readies himself to give a giant overhead swing on the daedroth's head. But before he could bring his axe down the daedroth leaps forward and turns its' head to the side and grinds its' teeth into Cronc's torso.

    Cronc starts stabbing the butt of his axe handle into the daedroth's eye and bursts it with a sickening pop. Flinching in pain the daedroth lets its' prey go. Cronc wraps his arm around the daedroth's mouth like he was putting it in a sleeper hold. "U NO EET CRONC! CRONC EET U!" Cronc takes a giant bite out of the daedroth's neck and starts to chew it.

    The daedroth panics and struggles free. Oily black blood streams from its' neck. Cronc has symmetrical red blood stains on both sides of his waist. Cronc swallows the meat in his mouth and with a big toothy grin stained black with daedroth's blood, he charges the daedroth. With one giant swing of his flaming axe he cuts the daedroth in half through its' stomach.

    The Argonian woman says a quick prayer to Sithis and either gets ready to thank her savior, or meet her maker. The massive creature shouts, "COLD AXE!" and the flames stop pouring from the axe's head. He turns to the Argonian woman and walks up to her leaving a trail of red behind him.

    She tries to say, "Thank you" but the words just won't be produced from her tongue, for they keep getting caught in her throat. He leans down and stares her face to face. She closes her eyes prepared to die. She can feel his hot breath against her scaly skin.

    "DID U SEES DAT!" The giant laughed, "CRONC GO TA ROKKIE DING AND SMASH! DEN CRONC TUK ROK AN SMASH ET ON GATTA DING! DEN CRONC TAKE AXE AN SMASH!"

    Cronc retells the whole story of his fight with the daedric creatures. Reenacting some parts with exaggerated motions of his fists and feet. The Argonian woman starrd at the giant Orsimar as he regales her with the story of his battle.

    "OH!" Cronc runs over to the bisected daedroth and grabs both halves of it, one half per hand. He carries it back to the Argonian woman. "Cronc gunna git nue butes! Ware bute makey gui?!"

    "Um," the argonian woman almost jumped at the sound of her own voice. "I don't know."

    "Et oh kae! Wee goe fin bute gui!" Cronc surprised the Argonian woman when he suddenly grabs her and sits her on his shoulders like she was a child riding on her father's back.

    "Whoa! Hey! Wait!" Cronc grabs the two halves of his soon to be boots.

    "Wut u naem?"

    "I'm Niketena-Jeen" she says as she grabs on to Cronc's head in a panic. She wonders if it is a better idea to ask Cronc to put her down or to just go with him, where ever that is.

    "NEEK... AH ..." Cronc tries to pronounce her name. She has heard her name mispronounced before, but never to this degree of difficulty.

    "My friendssss just call me NJ."

    "Cronc cawl u En Jay, tu!"

    "Can you wait a moment, pleassse?" NJ asks her possible captor.

    "Oh kai."

    NJ says a quick prayer to Sithis that her idea may be a good one. "My town wassss taken over by thesssse thingssss. Can you help me sssave them?"

    "Moar dis ding?" Cronc holds up the top half of the daedroth.

    "Yesss." She swallows and leans away from the gory mess of flesh.

    Cronc pauses for a moment as he chews the idea around. "Moar butes fo' Cronc!" He starts to run off in a direction and suddenly stops. "Wat wai?"

    "Sssithisss sssave usss."


    And now critiques.
    Spoiler: Dr Bwaa
    Show

    Regarding Media, I had dearly hoped to retain at least a single star system with more natural resources than a mealy Alshainian apple core.
    I believe you mean "measly".

    Truly, bears are the noblest of creatures.
    Has not Her Excellency The Rev. Sir Doctor Stephen Tyrone Mos Def Colbert, D.F.A., Heavyweight Champion of the World✱✱ featuring Flo Rida La Premiere Dame De France taught us anything. Bears are Godless killing machines and they will eat you. Just look at what they did to the Saints on the hockey rink.

    Assuming they aren't simply luring me into an overextension before shredding the empire, of course.
    Has not Admiral Ackbar taught us anything. You once, again, bring shame to the Rebel Alliance.

    Other than that, I don't have much to say. I'm enjoying the read because each entry expands my understanding of the subject matter, but I don't have much to start off with. I'm confused with what's going on and who's involved. Are you an invader taking over a galaxy? Did someone start a war? Who are all these different factions and how do they relate to you? Is this a previously established fictional universe that I'm just not familiar with and if I had that context, would I understand it better.

    Well, each time you post a new piece I'm a little less lost and I'm enjoying finding my way to understanding what is going on.


    EDIT

    I just had a fun idea. I think it can help flush out my character's personalities and help see things from new perspectives in my stories. Not to mention it will give me something to write when I'm dealing with the BLANK SCREEN OF WRITER'S BLOCK.

    Ask Me Anything (and by me I mean my characters)

    Ask any of my characters any questions. Just direct the question to one of my specific characters and I will attempt to answer them as if my character was reading it and answering it. This could be a ton of fun.

    Please, enjoy. Please, critique. And please, keep writing.
    Last edited by mebecronck; 2014-09-29 at 09:42 PM.

    Some of Murphy's other laws.
    "Professionals are predictable, but the world is full of amateurs."
    "No plan survives the first contact intact."
    "If it's stupid, but it works, it isn't stupid."
    -Capt. Edward A. Murphy-
    Newton's Law of the Road
    "The object with more mass has the right-of-way."

  12. - Top - End - #612
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dr Bwaa's Avatar

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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Sorry (as usual) for my amazing delay in doing anything productive, mebecronck. Once I finish Iron Poet comments & judgments, I'll have comments on your stuff and another chapter of Nu Miaplacidus up this weekend. Slime, Muck, & Filth Part 2 is not ready yet, unfortunately.

    @Cronc
    Who is your favorite GitP character and why?
    For people who enjoy reading or writing.

    Spoiler
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    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

    Play chess? Look me up! (bwaa)


    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  13. - Top - End - #613
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Teaser
    Spoiler
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    "Something bad happened to you, didn't it Hatch?"
    "...Yes."
    "Someone hurt you."
    Hatch shifted uncomfortably, ducking her head so that her pink hair hid her face.
    "What did they do to you?" I asked quietly.
    A little spark of electricity danced around Endeca's palm.
    "He gave me the magic."


    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

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