The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Lycunadari's Avatar

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    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    Status for July 9 to July 15!

    The theme was Oh no, not again!!


    Lycunadari passes with six nature photos.

    jseah passes with 1532 words of AT x HP fanfiction.

    Xiander passes with 2018 words of Blind Fate.

    Jormengand passes with 2091 words of Mindgames, including the theme, 1412 words of Guilt, and ten drawings of various people.

    Subproject54 didn't upload/send me anything.

    Some Android didn't upload/send me anything.


    Thus Subproject54 and Some Android FAILs this round!

    Lycunadari, jseah, Xiander and Jormengand PASS this round!


    Current standing:
    Spoiler
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    Lycunadari
    Current run: 288 weeks
    Longest run: -
    Themes: -

    jseah
    Current Run: 127 weeks
    Longest Run: 33 weeks
    Themes: -

    Xiander
    Current run: 106 weeks
    Longest run: -
    Themes: -

    Jormengand
    Current run: 18 weeks
    Longest run: -
    Themes: 6 weeks

    Subproject54
    Current run: -
    Longest run: 6 weeks
    Themes: -

    Some Android
    Current run: -
    Longest run: 42 weeks
    Themes: -



    The current theme is Cooperation.

    The theme for the week from July 23 to July 29 has not yet been chosen - anyone can suggest one!

    The theme for the week from July 30 to August 5 is chosen by Jormengand - let me know here or in PM and I'll include it in the next status post.

    -------
    Six nature photos.


    Quote Originally Posted by Subproject54 View Post
    Hey guys,

    Sorry I've been incommunicado for a couple weeks. Just popped in to let you know that I haven't dropped off the face of the earth. I should have my entries the week after this weekend.

    Glad to see you're doing well, keep it up!
    I'm looking forward to your triumphant return!
    You can call me Juniper. Please use gender-neutral pronouns (ze/hir (preferred) or they/them) when referring to me.

    "We all are vessels of our brokenness, we carry it inside us like water, careful not to spill. And what is wholeness if not brokenness encompassed in acceptance, the warmth of its power a shield against those who would hurt us?" - R. Lemberg, Geometries of Belonging

    Stories

    Do you like writing? Drawing? Being creative? Come join the CHALLENGE!

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Jormengand's Avatar

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    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    Am I... am I the only one trying to fulfil the themes?

    Using a random word generator, the first ones which seem like they'd be interesting themes are Corvine (pertaining to crows or ravens) and Amaranthine (Immortal, eternal, or purplish-red). So those can be the next two after co-operation.

  3. - Top - End - #33
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Xiander's Avatar

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    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    Am I... am I the only one trying to fulfil the themes?

    Using a random word generator, the first ones which seem like they'd be interesting themes are Corvine (pertaining to crows or ravens) and Amaranthine (Immortal, eternal, or purplish-red). So those can be the next two after co-operation.
    Lets go with Corvine!

    (I like the themes, but I kinda gloss over them when I am writing, unless they fit exceedingly well with my current story...)

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    Okay, then if Corvine is next week's theme (23-29), I'll use Amaranthine as my one (30-5).

    Co-operation, on the other hand, seems relatively easy, given some of the stuff I'm working on...

  5. - Top - End - #35
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Xiander's Avatar

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    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    1789 Words for the thing. I swear one of these days I will just forget to post in here....

    Spoiler: Blind fate, part three
    Show
    Before she could drive herself up the wall worrying about it, She saw Gregory heading back toward the table. He moved with a careless grace, and his face was a mask, showing no emotions. Pro poker players would seem overly expressive next to Gregory’s current grimace.
    He sat down across from her without a word. For a long while he just sat there looking at her, his eyes like glaciers.
    “So… Who called you?” She asked, trying to start up the conversation again.
    “Shoptalk.” He spoke the words in a flat, emotionless tone, which left Sandra nowhere to go with this line of inquiry.
    “Okay.” She said and shrugged. “New topic?”
    “I think,” He said thoughtfully. “That I would rather go for a ride.”
    She opened her mouth to ask what he was talking about, but stopped when she heard the unmistakeable sound of a gun’s hammer being cocked back.
    Gregory was holding a gun at her under the table.
    She froze.
    The room around her buzzed with pleasant conversation, no one else had noticed the drama taking place at her table.
    “What the..?” She trailed of looking for a fitting swear word to end the sentence with.
    “Let me tell you how this will work.” He said matter of factly. “You will get up and walk to the door. I will be walking right behind you. You will not do anything stupid, or someone might get hurt.”
    At a loss for words, Sandra simply nodded.
    She didn’t really want to cooperate, but the guy had a gun. With the room full of unknowing diners, even if she managed to get out of the way before he fired, someone might get hurt. It was safer to get him outside and then try to slip away, or tak him on. Hell, maybe he would stop the creepy act and confess he was just pulling her leg. That could happen right?
    She rose slowly, trying to smile and looke relaxed. She didn’t want him to get paranoid and shoot her on principle.
    She turned away, and walked calmly towards the door, which led from the restaurant to the street. She could all but feel his pressense behind her. He didn’t press the gun to her back, and she wasn’t sure how he concealed it from the crowd, but no one seemed to notice that she was being abducted by gunpoint.
    Where the hell was Robin? This was the exact thing she had hired the Puck to help her with. Why was the pixie missing in action?
    More to the point, what had happened to her date? What kind of phone call could make a man go from friendly and jovial, to outright kidnapping and threattening with guns?
    She could feel sweat forming in her palms, a good sign that she was getting nervous, even though she tried to keep cool.
    Pushing off her fear and worry, she sorted through everything they had talked about. Had she said something to set him off? She couldn’t see what it would be. They’d just discussed fate.
    She reached the door.
    He stepped up behind her and whispered.
    “Go outside, take my arm and keep walking like everything is normal.”
    She pushed open the door and stepped into the evening air. It was cool outsiden, but not cool enough to ecplain the chill running down her spine.
    She paused for a moment, and Gregory stepped up beside her, holding out his arm. She took it, glancing at him as she did. He looked relaxed, but his face was still a cold mask. He had draped his jacket over his right arm, neatly covering the hand holding the gun. The weapon was definately still pointed straight at her.
    She started walking, thinking furiously. To anyone watching, they would look like a couple leaving the reastaurant. Most people wouldn’t assume there was a gun under his jacket, so she couldn’t rely on assistance from a concerned passerby.
    She could try to fight him. Pull him off ballance by the arm she was holding, and try to beat him hand to hand. That was too risky though, even with all the precations she had taken before going on the date, trying that might get her dead.
    Better to figure out what his deal was and try and talk him out of it then. She kept walking, following his lead.
    “Can I ask you a question?” She tried sounding relaxed, like this was just an evening walk. It came out more tense than she had intended.
    “No.” He said flatly and kept walking.
    “Janet said you were a gentleman.” Sandra mumbled.
    “Janet doesn’t know me.” There was a hard edge to his voice, a deep rooted bitterness.
    “She sure thinks she does.” Sandra countered.
    “She’s wrong.”
    “She does think she is a lot cleverer than she is.” She tried to put levity into her voice, with only moderate success.
    “I wouldn’t know.”
    Damn, he wasn’t taking her bait. If she couldn’t get him to talk, she would be left with no option but to fight him. She really didn’t want to fight him.
    They turned down a sidestreet, walking in silence for almost a minute. He stopped next to a plain white car and let go of her arm. She felt certain the gun was still trained at her under the jacket though.
    “Get in the drivers seat.” He lifted a set of car keys with his left hand, and the car bleeped twice its lights winking on and off.
    Sandra just stood there, her mind raced along trying to find a way out. There were no good options. She could wrestle gregory for control of the gun, which was suicide. Or she could get behind the wheel of a car with the gun still pointed at her, which was an even worse option.
    “I said get in the car.” Gregory stated flatly.
    “Gregory,” She should sound scared, but to her own ears she just sounded embarrassed. “I can’t drive.”
    “What?” There was no anger in his voice, just a flat exclamation of disbelief.
    “I mean it.” She could feel her hands trembling with the expectation of him loosing his temper and shooting her out of pure spite. “I never drove anything more advanced than a bicycle.”
    He fixed her with a glacial stare.
    “I’ll have to put you in the trunk then.”
    “What?” She spat the word without thinking.
    “The trunk.” He repeated, with no inflection. “Open it.”
    Hesitating only for a moment, she stepped to the trunk and popped it open.
    “Why?” She asked, as she took in the cramped space inside.
    He answered her with a shrug.
    “You don’t want to shoot me.” She pointed out. “You could have done it by now, and just walked away.”
    “Turn your back to me.” He ordered, ignoring her comments.
    “You wanted me to drive the car.” She insisted. She kept talking as she obeyed, turning away from him. “That is just stupid. I could crash it, and hop i got out better than you. If I could drive a car even a little, I could probably guarantee that you got the worst of it.”
    “I’d shoot you.” He pointed out. “Both hands on your back.”
    She gritted her teeth and obeyed.
    “If you wanted me dead, you wouldn’t have put me in the driver’s seat.” She said.
    “No.” He agreed. She felt the cold hard steel of a set of handcuffs around her wrists. “I did want to talk to you while we drove. That can still happen with you in the trunk.”
    “If you wanted to talk,” She said. “We could have done that over dinner.”
    “We couldnt. Now get in the trunk.” His tone left no question in Sandra’s mind. If she didn’t get in the trunk he would shoot her.
    Man, why had she ever agreed to a blind date? Why hadn’t she done something nice and safe, like diving with sharks or skydiving?
    She drew in a breath, decided to err on the side of not being shot, and crawled into the trunk of the car. It was a clumsy process, getting in there with her hands cuffed, but she manged to only make a bit of a fool of herself.
    “Thank you.” Gregory said in a crisp, businisslike tone, and shut the trunk.
    Darkness settled around her.
    Her nerves started acting up, her heart was beating and she could feel sweat forming on her palms. It wasn’t the small space, she could deal with that. Being in a car was much worse.
    Cars were giant metal death machines, and she avoided them as much as she could. Being in the trunk of one did nothing to make her evening better.
    She reminded herself that she wasn’t going to die in a car crash. At least not till after she had been shot. It was an odd thought, but it gave her some comfort and she breathed easier.
    The engine of the car started, and after a second Sandra felt the vehicle roll into trafic.
    “So…” She half shouted. “What did you want to talk about?”
    “I apologize that these meassures are necesary.” The answer came from the front of the car. Even when he was shouting to be heard over the engine and all the way to the trunk he sounded calm and calculating.
    “It really wasn’t.” She shot back. “I was already talking to you.”
    “You really have no part in this.” He said, then elaborated. “I simply need a hostage.”
    “So you ruin our first date to get it?”
    There was a muffled sound from the front. It took Sandra a moment to realise that it was a dry, humorles laugh.
    “It would never work between us.” He said. “But if you make no trouble for me tonight, I will let you go safe and sound. I will promise you that much.”
    “I’ll think about it.” She said.
    He didn’t answer.
    It was impossible to tell how much time passed, or how far they drove. Sandra focused on staying calm, reminding herself that she wasn’t in danger yet.
    When the car finally stopped, she let out a relieved breath. Then she realised, that when she got out of the car, she would be in danger of getting shot again.
    There just weren’t any good options tonight.
    There was the sound of a car door opening and shutting, several footsteps, then the trunk was opened, and a dim light found her eyes.
    She blinked blearily up at Gregory, he stared down at her with that same glacial stare. It was like he had gotten one facial expression at a bargain and was determined to make as much use of it as possible.

  6. - Top - End - #36
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Jun 2009

    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    749 words for a Kancolle fanfic

    Spoiler
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    "Aircraft Carrier, Kaga, reporting for duty. "
    The first look, after climbing out of the summoning pool, that she saw of her Admiral's eyes was a dull tiredness. The two brown orbs stared at her as if seeing something on her that wasn't there. When Kaga frowned at him in confusion, he gave a small sigh and waved forwards the assistant standing beside him.
    "Your designation will be Kaga-412, please wear this tag at all times. " The younger man fiddled with a large pair of handles before pinning a small iron disk to her collar, inscribed clearly on it was the number 412.
    "Kaga-412?" she asked, not quite understanding.
    "You are the four hundred and twelfth Kaga Aircraft Carrier to be summoned at this naval base," the Admiral explained. She blinked at the statement but nodded her understanding. So there were others before her then.
    "Report to the carrier dormitory, your sister ships will be able to brief you. Tomorrow, you are to see Akashi-78 and Akashi-79 in the 39th foundry building for weaponry updates and flight checks. Lieutenant Takeda, please give her a tour around the base. "

    Once the tour was complete and Kaga-412 had committed the locations of the dry docks, the resupply depot and the foundries, as well as seemingly hundreds of destroyers ferrying supplies around, she was deposited in front of the dormitories with a set of linens, a few changes of clothes and an initial allowance for procuring any other necessities from the base store.
    The carrier dormitories. Considering the hundred or so destroyers she had seen in the base and out on sea doing drills, Kaga-412 expected the carrier dorms to be larger. The destroyer dorms were at least six times as big and consisted of three linked buildings.
    Past the reception woman, who directed her to the second floor, Kaga-412 saw the row of shared rooms that would be where she would stay while on this base. Each of the doors she passed showed a name of a carrier, Akagi, Zuikaku, Shoukaku, Kaga. She didn't quite know what to think about having an entire room dedicated to her twins, the name for duplicate ships.
    Knocking on the door politely, Kaga-412 entered to find a cozy room, three walls lined with double beds, with the wall facing the corridor having cupboards. In the central open space, under a well-used but clean table, sat three other women who looked identical to her. Only, one of them had a slightly weathered face, the woman's eyes filled with a grim toughness that went far beyond Kaga's normal sternness.
    They looked up from the papers on the table as she entered, Kaga-412 noting the fleet movement charts on them out of the corner of her eye.
    "You are?" asked the old one.
    "Sorry," Kaga-412 apologized, "designation Kaga-412 reporting. "
    The old Kaga closed her eyes for a moment then nodded, "a new one. Yes, 250 and 121 should still be at the range. I am Kaga-13. "
    The other two Kagas nodded solemnly. "Kaga-397" "Kaga-396" They introduced themselves.
    She gave all of them an awkward salute before casting about for a place to put down her supplies. There was a bed free near the door. She put down her linens, turned to open the nearest cabinet before freezing.
    The inside of the cabinet was a small shrine, covered with a collage of pictures that ran all the way up from the tiny altar and bell to near the top of the space. Each one was of a Kaga, looking just like her, smiling faintly or saluting or concentrating on the practice range.
    Above some of the pictures hung metal disks bearing numbers, just like the one resting on her collar. But the majority of them simply had a number written on the corner of the picture.
    The other three watched her salute the ghosts sadly.
    "Is it just us five?" Kaga-412 could not bring her voice above a whisper, "what about 398 to 411?"
    Their glance at the shrine behind her was all the explanation she needed.

    Her worst fears turned out to be false, but the truth was not much better. It turned out that most of the Kagas that sailed for Japan were summoned at this naval fleet base, Kobe. As it should be of course. 71 Kaga Aircraft Carriers were currently in service though 53 of them who had come from Kobe were currently deployed to other naval bases.
    Less than 1 in 5 of her twins were still sailing.


    767 words for Hero's War
    Spoiler
    Show
    "So the Magical Materials department managed to take some time out of the Ironworker's Water project to take a look at the Aura. The best they could tell was that Aura is definitely a magical material, as creating it requires the same concentration of magic into a small volume as with the others like Liquid Light. Furthermore, flexible materials like string and cloth definitely show that the phasing effect is a physical movement like acceleration magic and the way that enclosed candles stay lit when shifted shows wherever the Aura is moving things into contains air. The weird part is that the shadow effect doesn't seem to shift materials out of reality if Aura is created in too small quantity. "
    Landar finished her summary of the findings of the Aura Light investigation that Cato had thrown to the university alchemists. The name was promptly shortened to Aura even though no one had managed to replicated the glowing version reported by Elkas in the mountains. Cato was far too busy with the Lesser Council, arranging University funding from research consultations and the development of the second generation magic circle.
    While the Ironworker research into using Water for welding materials together was suffering constant delays from safety issues, the heavier-than-air flight research had stalled with the conclusion that airplanes were impossible without aluminum frames or grossly more powerful engines. Propeller designs had resulted in a far more efficient cold-air engine driven fan for industrial and mine ventilation purposes; cold-air engines being much more magic power efficient than raw acceleration based effects. Propeller engine for hydrogen balloons were also being field tested in Ranra.
    The last Cato had heard, the test airship's ability to field Elkas without need for launching as well as two weeks of endurance made them vital scouting elements; they had provided critical intelligence on the ever encroaching zombie swarms heading in from Algami Plains while the Elka scouts helped screen the vulnerable balloon from nightcryer attacks. The craft needed the new high density high power artificial mana crystals in order to get that endurance however, so it burned through magical power and money like a forest fire for every day that it was on station. Oh, and the hydrogen balloon was a deathtrap that risked blowing up.
    On the bright side, the finalizing of the second generation magic circle design before Cato left was going to create a second revolution in mass manufacturing. Cato and Landar's initial design had been the foundation that let them separate the calculation and control lines completely from the enchanting portion. A defined control interface with an actual almost-digital like communication protocol. With actual computation now possible, at least on the level of an Earth handheld calculator, and the foundation of actual programming language, this was starting to look more like early computer numerical control. Needless to say, practically every industrialist in Minmay had stuck an interest into using the controller for magically controlled manufacturing machines.
    Cato wondered if this magic numerical calculator was destined for obsolescence like the Babbage engine or for huge importance like an integrated circuit. It all depended on how difficult improvements to calculation speed turned out to be.
    At least those out-dated guilds in Ektal capital city would have no more excuses for failing to produce standardized parts. Cato would personally shove the procedures down their throats if they still couldn't make a straight screw even with computer aided tools.
    "So we still have no idea what Aura actually does. " Cato sighed. Despite his initial intuition that Aura shunted objects sideways into an unseen fourth dimension, the mechanics of such a thing was turning to be rather more complicated than just a fourth axis of motion.
    For one thing, the drop experiments seemed to indicate gravity worked differently in there. More like, there appeared to be none at all. But then the rotation or motion of the planet around ought to cause the phased objects to go shooting off into the distance once they were unlinked from the gravity of Firma. Something was holding them in place.
    Plus if the fourth dimension contained air as evidenced by candles staying lit and piyos staying breathing, presumably from the planet around them, then Kalny's tin food shouldn't have worked at all. A three dimensional container would not keep out air in a four dimensional space. And now news of a low, but definitely there, minimum required power to phase any physical object except light.
    The fourth dimension was turning out to be rather mysterious place.


    I... totally did not forget to post. Yup.

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Jormengand's Avatar

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    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    3269 words of the word teacher.

    Spoiler: 644 words of LETHAL
    Show
    Species, Gender and Vital Statistics

    A character's species is the first thing that should be determined, as it determines practically everything else about them – a human and an elf have different abilities, naming schemes and cultures. Your character's species determines a variety of game statistics, which are explained later. For your first character, it's recommended that you choose based on what initially looks interesting rather than trying to get a whole view of what all your choices will do initially. Alternatively, you can determine randomly with a d100.

    The available species, and the d100 results corresponding to them, are 1-2 anakim (nephel), 3-4 anakim (cambion), 5-14 bugbear, 15-20 dwarf (black), 21-28 dwarf (brown), 29-34 dwarf (white), 35-45 elf (dark), 46-56 elf (light), 57-86 human, 87-96 kobold, and 97-100 ogre.

    Your species provides a variety of benefits and, potentially, drawbacks. Each of them is restated in its own section, so there's no need to jump back to the species page when trying to work out your skills, but they are also listed holistically as follows:

    Vital Statistics: This section concerns itself with real-world information such as height, weight, and age, as well as an overview of the species' appearance.

    Sub-Ability Modifiers: These are modifiers to your basic statistics which determine your raw ability in several areas. They're covered fully in their own chapter, but for now, they are as follows:

    Endurance (END), Strength (STR), Physique (PHY), Health (HTH), Attractiveness (ATT), Voice (VOI), Grace (GRC), Persuasion (PER), Dexterity (DEX), Agility (AGL) Reflexes (REF), Speech (SPC), Language (LAN) Calculation (CAL), Reasoning (REA), Awareness (AWA) Willpower (WIL), Instinct (INS), Sense (SEN) and Memory (MEM).

    Skill Bonuses: As well as a variety of other sources, your skills are partially informed by your species, though you often have a choice, albeit a restricted one, as to which skills are affected.

    Temperament Modifiers: Temperaments are an indication of how your character handles themselves. This section of each entry covers modifiers to your four temperaments: Sanguine (SNG), Choleric (CHO), Melancholic (MEL) and Phlegmatic (PHL).

    Miscellaneous Modifiers: Any alterations to a value that isn't one of the above (such as your life points) is mentioned here.

    Special: Every species has a variety of special abilities to choose from, or determine randomly if you prefer. They are listed here.

    Anakim

    Anakim are the children of mortals with the agents of divine beings. The offspring of a mortal and an angel or other celestial being is called a nephel (plural nephelim), while that of a demon, devil or similar with a mortal is called a cambion. Both betray their otherworldly heritage in a variety of respects, while the mortal side of their bloodline has limited effect on their abilities, though it does alter their appearance.

    Vital Statistics: Anakim look much like a member of their mortal parent race, though with a few noticeable traits that make it obvious they are not one of them. Usually, the most obvious feature is their size: averaging eight feet for male anakim and seven and a half for female anakim.

    Sub-Ability Modifiers: STR +50, DEX -20, AGL -20, REF -20, LAN +10, CAL +10, REA +10, AWA +10, INS -10, SEN -10, and MEM -10. Anakim are exceptionally strong and quite intelligent, but are slow-moving and absent-minded.

    Skill Bonuses: Anakim get +10 to any one of the following skills: Brawling, Intimidate, Spellcasting, Weapon (Any melee), Wrestling. They also get +5 to any other two of the following skills: Brawling, Combat Manoeuvres, Deception, Divination, Intimidate, Perception, Spellcasting, Swim, Throw.

    Temperament Modifiers: Nephelim get -25 SNG and -25 MEL. Cambions get the reverse: +25 SNG and +25 MEL.

    Miscellaneous Modifiers: Nephelim get +25 MOR and +25 ETH, while Cambions get -25 MOR and -25 ETH. Nephelim are more likely to be good than most, while Cambions are more likely to be evil.

    All anakim get +1 DEF and +5 LP.


    I've added eight songs (Across the Line by Linkin Park, Dark on Me by Starset, Dark Paradise by Lana Del Rey, Last to Fall by Starset, Legends Never Die by Against the Current, Monster by Starset, My Demons by Starset and Shadow of the Day by Linkin Park) to the dropbox folder I've been using.

    As for the theme, here's all of fifteen words of Mind Games

    Birds of a Feather [?][?][H][L]
    (S) {0}
    For each card in (S): +1%
    Flock together

    I need a few more words, so I'll see how interesting a story I can make in the space of 150 words using nothing but the most commonly used 1000 words:

    Spoiler: 145 words of... some story
    Show
    The man stood up.

    "I spoke with a god this morning", he said, and heads turned to listen to him. "I have been given the power to fight against the forces of hell, and all the people in the world who stand against what is right and good."

    He smiled, and showed the people around him this new power: he simply pointed at a building and in seconds it was on fire.

    "Why would a god ask you to burn people?" someone cried out.

    "Those who go against her will must die!"

    The man waved his hands about, scaring almost everyone - but a single person was not scared: a young woman stood up, pulled a gun out of her pocket, and shot him dead.

    "Strange. That's what happens to most of the people that get powers from a god," she said, and turned away.

  8. - Top - End - #38
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Lycunadari's Avatar

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    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    Status for July 16 to July 22!

    The theme was Cooperation!


    Lycunadari passes with four nature photos and three pages of facial anatomy practice.

    jseah passes with 749 words of Kancolle fanfic and 769 words of Hero's War.

    Xiander passes with 1789 words of Blind Fate.

    Jormengand passes with 3269 words of The word teacher, eight song covers, 644 words of LETHAL, 15 words of Mind Games and 145 words of Some Story.

    Subproject54 didn't upload/send me anything.

    Some Android didn't upload/send me anything.


    Thus Subproject54 and Some Android FAILs this round!

    Lycunadari, jseah, Xiander and Jormengand PASS this round!


    Current standing:
    Spoiler
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    Lycunadari
    Current run: 289 weeks
    Longest run: -
    Themes: -

    jseah
    Current Run: 128 weeks
    Longest Run: 33 weeks
    Themes: -

    Xiander
    Current run: 107 weeks
    Longest run: -
    Themes: -

    Jormengand
    Current run: 18 weeks
    Longest run: -
    Themes: 7 weeks

    Subproject54
    Current run: -
    Longest run: 6 weeks
    Themes: -

    Some Android
    Current run: -
    Longest run: 42 weeks
    Themes: -



    The current theme is Corvine.

    The theme for the week from July 30 to August 5 is Amaranthine!

    The theme for the week from August 6 to August 12 is chosen by Subproject54 - let me know here or in PM and I'll include it in the next status post.

    -------

    Four nature pictures, and three pages of eyes, noses, lips and face shapes.



    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    Am I... am I the only one trying to fulfil the themes?
    [/URL]
    I used to do something for the themes when I was mostly drawing and occasionally writing poetry, but with photography it's more difficult.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    As for the theme, here's all of fifteen words of Mind Games

    Birds of a Feather [?][?][H][L]
    (S) {0}
    For each card in (S): +1%
    Flock together
    Okay, so, the themes are supposed to be for a full piece (250 words). I realise I haven't actually checked how long your other theme pieces were (especially if they had trigger warnings and such), so I'm still going to count it for this week as well, but for the following weeks, try to make full pieces to fulfil the themes, okay?
    Last edited by Lycunadari; 2018-08-09 at 01:10 PM. Reason: corrected a typo in the current standing list
    You can call me Juniper. Please use gender-neutral pronouns (ze/hir (preferred) or they/them) when referring to me.

    "We all are vessels of our brokenness, we carry it inside us like water, careful not to spill. And what is wholeness if not brokenness encompassed in acceptance, the warmth of its power a shield against those who would hurt us?" - R. Lemberg, Geometries of Belonging

    Stories

    Do you like writing? Drawing? Being creative? Come join the CHALLENGE!

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    You missed out the LETHAL word count in my post, for what it's worth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lycunadari View Post
    The current theme is Cooperation.
    Pretty sure that this is meant to be Corvine.

    I used to do something for the themes when I was mostly drawing and occasionally writing poetry, but with photography it's more difficult.
    Fair enough.

    Okay, so, the themes are supposed to be for a full piece (250 words). I realise I haven't actually checked how long your other theme pieces were (especially if they had trigger warnings and such), so I'm still going to count it for this week as well, but for the following weeks, try to make full pieces to fulfil the themes, okay?
    Ohh, okay. I will try to make an exceptionally corvine full piece this time.

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    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    You missed out the LETHAL word count in my post, for what it's worth.

    Pretty sure that this is meant to be Corvine.
    Oops, sorry! And hey, both of that words start with "co" so it's an easy mistake to make. Should both be fixed now.



    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    Ohh, okay. I will try to make an exceptionally corvine full piece this time.
    Yay! I like corvids!
    You can call me Juniper. Please use gender-neutral pronouns (ze/hir (preferred) or they/them) when referring to me.

    "We all are vessels of our brokenness, we carry it inside us like water, careful not to spill. And what is wholeness if not brokenness encompassed in acceptance, the warmth of its power a shield against those who would hurt us?" - R. Lemberg, Geometries of Belonging

    Stories

    Do you like writing? Drawing? Being creative? Come join the CHALLENGE!

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    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    2536 words for a Crash Dive omake (Kancolle fanfic).

    https://forums.spacebattles.com/thre...#post-49347493

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    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    Quote Originally Posted by Lycunadari View Post
    Jormengand
    Current run: 17 weeks
    Longest run: -
    Themes: 5 weeks
    What typo do you see there?
    The typo is that Jormengand's theme is listed as '5 weeks'.

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    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    1528 words of blind fate.

    Spoiler: Blind Fate, part 4
    Show
    “Get out of the trunk.” He said, and lifted a small caliber gun to point straight at her.
    He took two long steps back, and waited for her to fight her way out of the small compartment. With her hands locked behind her back, there was no elegance to her egress. She ended up loosing her balance and falling out of the trunk, and onto a cement floor.
    Her shoulder hit the floor. It hurt, but Sandra had tried worse. Nothing seemed to break or dislocate, so she would probably get off with a bruise or two. Provided of course that she didn’t get shot.
    She struggled to a sitting position and faced her date. He was still aiming the gun at her, his face as emotional as picture of a statue.
    The room was lit by a single naked bulb hung from the ceiling by a short chord. Aside from the car it was empty. A single door in the side wall was the only likely escape route. The end wall, seemed like it was some king of sliding gate, making this a garage, and explaining why the car was in here.
    “Nice place.” She said.
    He shrugged.
    “So what are we going to do now?”
    “Wait.” He said with, sounding bored.
    “For who?” She pressed.
    She knew pushing the guy with the gun was risky, but at this point she was getting curious.
    “And having me here will help you do that?”
    “In my experience, he reacts well to indangered innocents.”
    He spoke as if he was commenting on a third grade sience experiment.
    “Who is he?” She asked.
    She didn’t understand why Gregory would use her as a hostage, but she had a feeling it would make sense once she had more details.
    He was about to say something, when the sound of a car in the driveway caught his attention. It was just a moment, but his eyes flickered away from her and towards the garage door.
    It wasn’t a plan, it was barely a conscious thought, really it was a knee jerk reaction. In the moment of distraction, Sandra acted.
    Pushing of the ground, she rose to her feet and dodged to the right. He didn’t fire the gun, instead he adjusted his aim, so he would hit when he did fire. It took him a fraction of a second, but Sandra made the best of it.
    Her leg snapped up hin a high kick, hitting his wrist and sending the gun flying out of his grasp. She didn’t stick around to find out where it landed. She threw herself at the door in the side wall, pushing down the handle with her elbow and shouldering it open.
    She stumbled from the garage into the same dilapidated house she had been remembering all day. The one from her dream vision.
    She managed to kick the door shut behind her and rushed away from her captor. In her mind, she tried to repeat the vision. Where had she run? Had she been cuffed in the dream? Was she headed straight for being shot this instant or was she breaking away from the fate she had seen?
    A terrible thought struck her.
    Maybe she hadn’t done herself any favours by lashing out at her kidnapper. If he was sinsere in the car when he told her that he did not want to shoot her, she might have just sent herself down the exact path she had spent all evening trying to avoid.
    And now she was running through the broken old house, persued by a man with glacial eyes and a loaded gun. Her only real hope was to find a window, to get out and get to where people were.
    She pushed on, looking for a back door or a window.
    “Gregory!” Shouted a male voice somewhere behind her. “I know you are here. I came to talk.”
    It would appear, that the mystery guest had arrived at this ****ed up daytime talkshow.
    Sandra dodged through a dorway on her left, trying to break line of sight and protect herself from getting shot in the back.
    “You came to repeat the same suggestion you always make.” Another voice answered.
    The sound echoed oddly in the empty, old house, making the voices sound almost the same. If she wanted to keep up with this conversation, Sandra would have to concentrate.
    She could hear footsteps, not far away. She darted out of the room she was in, and around a corner. The next room looked exactly like the last, faded white walls, tapestry peeling, no windows, no furniture, nothing she could use to her advantage.
    “If you would let go of that dumb principle of yours.” The voice rang loudly, a sharp annoyed tone to it.
    “I never will.” Came the answer.
    The two men were shouting at each other, and Sandra still had no idea where any of them were.
    “We could do so muc good!”
    “I am doing good!”
    “You are acting like a dog on a chain.”
    “I am protecting people.”
    “Like you protected the girl?”
    “Where is she!?”
    There was anger there, pure and undiluded. Sandra could almost feel the emotion in the words. What were these to lunatics talking about?
    Who were they talking about? Could the girl in question be Sandra? It didn’t really make any sense. Who was the other man, the one looking for a girl?
    Again, footsteps interrupted her, and she left the room she was in, rushing into a hallway with several doors. How big was this house?
    She picked a door at random and pushed on. If she kept going long enough, she would have to find a way out. She just had to avoid Gregory for long enough to make her escape.
    She noticed that the shouting had stopped, neither of the two men seemed to have anythign more to discuss. She listened intensely for footsteps, but all she could tell was that someone was moving somewhere behind her.
    Every room looked the same. Pale wall with fraying wallpaper, no windows no furniture, nothing unique.
    She kicked open a door and rushed into a nearly empty room. There was only one noticeable fixture there. A giant mirror standing on lion’s feet. The place was long abandoned and covered in dust.
    Seeing the mirror stopped her dead in her tracks, and she felt the choking sensation of Fate closing in around her. She had seen this place in her vision, she had been shot here in the dreams. And her dream visions always came true.
    In the mirror, a shape appeared behind her.
    She whirled and faced her persuer. Gregory aimed a small caliber gun at her. His glacial eyes focused on her with enough intensity, that she felt like they pierced her skin and looked straight at her heart.
    Without prompting, she halfturned and looked at the mirror. She wasn’t sure how this would play out, but a sudden inspiration left her with a guess about what was going on.
    “You can come out now.” She said, sounding more confident than she felt.
    From behind the mirror, a second man stepped forward, holding his own gun and fixing her with his own Ice blue stare.
    “Good.” Said the man in the door. “Here we are. Ready to talk.”
    “Not really.” Said the man by the mirror.
    “Come on.” There was irritation in the first man’s voice. “I go through all this to see you, and you insist on being dificult?”
    “If you wanted to talk, you could have called.” Said the second man.
    Sandra’s mind raced.
    She had thought, that the vision of two identical men was some sort of symbolic metaphor. Which just showed that fate has a way of getting the better of you, even when you think you are prepared.
    Now she knew the truth of it, which left her with a bunch of implications, a few possible scenarios and one chance to guess what was really going on.
    So she asked herself the relevant questions.
    Which one of the two men was Gregory? She had no clue, to her eyes they were identical. There might be a way to figure it out, but she wasn’t sure that would help her.
    Had Gregory kidnapped her, or was that the work of his clone? Again she wasn’t sure, so she tried to rush through the events of the evening. She had shown up early, Gregory had been on time. They had talked pretty easily, he had seemed nice and genuine. Then his phone had disturbed him, he had left the table…. And come back with a gun. And Robin hadn’t reacted when he threatened her, because that hadn’t been Gregory. He was waving a gun around now, but she suspected he was aiming for his stunt double.
    Was there any way of getting out of this safely? She loked from one gunman to the other, and decided to try something crazy.
    “I did call.” Said the man at the door. “I keep calling you, and you keep hanging up. So I upped the ante.”
    “Like this would make me want to talk!”

  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    Spoiler: 8733 words of Elite 5
    Show
    ## Beastmaster

    Beastmasters herald the coming of mighty beasts - indeed, they have their own mighty beasts alongside them - and use their mastery of the creatures of the wild to their advantage in combat and out of it.
    ____
    **Sign:** Animals near you are generally more agitated (though not necessarily more violent), and when you are in combat, birds usually flock near your location and cry out during the combat.

    ### Foretold Companion
    From 2nd level, your companion becomes stronger. Its speed increases by 10 feet, and it gets a +2 bonus to strength, dexterity and constitution. It gets a further +2 to each of those ability scores at each of 6th, 14th and 20th levels and a further +10 to its speed at 8th level.

    ### Monstrous Tactics
    From 6th level, when your companion strikes a creature, that creature provokes an opportunity attack from you.

    ### Pack Hunt
    From 8th level, you gain a second companion. However, this companion is treated as though your harbinger level were 3 lower than it actually is, and it doesn't benefit from your foretold companion ability. At 14th level, you gain a third companion, also at -3 to your effective harbinger level.

    ### Spell Fulcrum
    From 14th level, you can have an area spell with a duration longer than instantaneous affix part of its area - such as the centre or the extreme left edge or anywhere else - to one of your companions. Thereafter, when the companion moves, the spell area moves with it.

    ### Prophecy Fulfilled: Mighty Beasts
    At 20th level, both of your beasts from pack hunt become as powerful as your normal companion. They therefore benefit fully from your foretold companion ability and do not suffer from a -3 to your effective harbinger level.

    ## Doomsayer

    Doomsayers are harbingers who embody death and destruction. A doomsayer is, at best, a guide to the souls of those doomed to die into their promised end. At worst, they are a brutal destroyer of all that stand in their way.
    ___
    **Sign:** The air and water around you still a bit, though this doesn't negate strong enough winds or currents. Creatures are quieter around you, as though scared to make noise.

    ### Doomsayer's Curse
    You can use your doomsayer's curse twice per doomsayer level. All uses are restored at the end of a long rest.

    ### Open Wounds
    By expending a use of your doomsayer's curse as a bonus action, you curse a creature within 60 feet to take additional damage from all attacks. For one round, whenever the target of the curse takes damage except from this ability, they take 1 point of necrotic damage per harbinger level you have.

    ### Blood for Blood
    From 6th level, by expending 2 uses of your doomsayer's curse as an action, you curse a creature within 60 feet to take damage whenever it deals damage. For one minute, you cause the target to take a cumulative 1d10 points of necrotic damage each time it deals damage - 1d10 the first time, 2d10 the second time, 3d10 the third time, and so on. Each time it takes this damage, after the damage is dealt, it can attempt a constitution save (DC: Mag/M) to end the effect.

    ### Life Leech
    From 8th level, by spending 3 uses of your doomsayer's curse as a bonus action, you curse a creature within 60 feet to heal those who strike it. Any creature who deals damage to the target during the next round heals that much health, to a maximum of your harbinger level each time they deal damage.

    ### Toll of Ages
    From 14th level, by spending 4 uses of your doomsayer's curse as an action, you curse a creature to act as though aged and decrepit. For one minute, the creature gets disadvantage on attack rolls and dexterity saves, attacks against it gain advantage, and its speed is halved. The creature gets no initial save, but can attempt a wisdom save (DC: Mag/M) at the end of each of its turns to end the effect.

    ### Prophecy Fulfilled: Living Death
    From 20th level, by spending 5 uses of your doomsayer's curse as an action, you curse a creature to start dying rapidly. At the start of each of its turns, it takes true damage equal to one quarter of its missing hit points. It can then take a constitution save (DC: Mag/E) to end the effect after taking the damage. The effect also ends when the creature reaches full hit points or is dead.

    ## Gaia Disciple

    Gaia disciples speak for the world itself, and control its actions to an extent. They can move the winds, the seas and the land to their will.
    ___
    **Sign:** Life seems to thrive around you, especially plant life.

    ### World's Magic
    Starting from second level when you take this omen, you treat gust of wind, sleet storm, control water, hallucinatory terrain, stone shape, commune with nature, move earth, control weather, earthquake and tsunami as being one level below their actual level. The levels at which you get the chance to choose the elite abilities for these spells do not change, however.

    ### Land Shape
    From 6th level, you can alter the shape of land so as to create holes, pillars, walls, bridges, and other simple structures, and the land reforms imperceptibly to supply the material used or make space for the material excavated. As an action, you can effectively create or destroy up to 125 cubic feet of land (the amount that fits in a 5-foot cube) within 100 feet of you, though in reality the land is shifting about on a larger scale rather than anything being created or destroyed.
    ___
    For example, you can create a 3 inch thick wall, 10 feet tall and 50 feet long. However, because such a wall is made of loosely-packed earth, it will be relatively easy to break through. You cannot create fine detail or mechanical parts, and the change is too gradual to trap a creature, or - in most circumstances - to weaponise, though you can usually drop a cliff face on someone.
    ___
    You gain no benefit for making any dimension less than 3 inches - so in the example of dropping a cliff face, even though the area of earth you need to remove is practically infinitely thin, the area removed cannot be more than 500 square feet, nor indeed can any dimension be more than 2000 feet even if you somehow make the range that big.
    ___
    Due to the limited malleability of stone, unlike earth or sand, this ability can do little more than crack it and push it about a little bit. You can't make a pillar of stone rise from the ground.


    ##### *................................................. ................................*
    This ability is not *amazingly* specific in what it can and can't do, which is something I try to avoid - people should know what their abilities actually do. On that basis, here are some guidelines for DMs to make rulings:

    - The land shape feature is meant to be used primarily for utility purposes, followed by defensive purposes. Using it to pass through a cave wall is fine. Using it to put a 5-foot cube of earth in someone's way is fine too.
    - Creative offensive uses should be endorsed, such as the example of dropping a cliff face. Abusive offensive uses, such as propelling someone upwards on a 100-foot-tall column of sand just to have it collapse under their feet, should not be.

    \pagebreak

    - Anything that requires exceptionally pedantic specification of what is to be affected probably shouldn't be allowed.
    - If a particular use seems too strong for a 6th-level ability, it probably is.
    - If a player is using the ability primarily for offensive purposes, you've either been too lenient with offensive uses or not lenient enough with defensive uses, or the player has a more aggressive playstyle than this omen is designed for.
    - The more a player is using this ability, the more lenient you're being. The less, the harsher.
    - It's not only acceptable but deliberate that a player can use this ability repeatedly out of combat to create larger structures.

    ##### *................................................. ................................*

    ### Weather's Will
    From 8th level, you constantly have a power similar in nature to a control weather spell, though it's a lot weaker. You can, at will as an action, change the weather within half a mile of you up or down a step on any table, but only to a maximum of one step above or below the actual weather in that location. You cannot change the wind direction.

    ### Volcano
    From 14th level, you can create a volcanic eruption as an action. When you do, you can't do so again until you finish a long rest. A magma pit 10 feet across appears at a location within 400 feet. Creatures are entitled to a dexterity save (DC: Mag/P) to get out of the way, otherwise they fall into a pit of magma. The pit, and land within 60 feet, starts to rise to form a small hill over the next 3 rounds, dealing 40d6 points of damage to each building, or discrete damageable part of a building, on top of it each of these rounds.
    ___
    Then, the crater erupts, causing choking smoke to move out of the crater at a speed of 300 feet/round for 20 rounds, and lava to move out at the comparatively leisurely pace of 60 feet/round for 20 rounds. Each creature in the smoke must take a fortitude save each round or be poisoned in that round.
    ___
    Each creature which falls in the pit of magma takes 20d6 points of fire damage immediately, and creatures take another 20d6 fire damage each time they move into the pit for the first time on a turn or spend their entire turn there. When the lava erupts from the crater, a creature takes 10d6 points of damage every time the lava moves into their space, they move into the lava, or they spend their entire turn in lava.

    ### Prophecy Fulfilled: World Wakes
    From 20th level, you can awaken the world itself to fight for you for one minute. The world only fights creatures you can locate, but otherwise follows your orders. You can communicate telepathically with the world.
    ___
    The world's reach is measured from any point on the ground itself. The world can get multiple turns, each one under the control of a different gaia disciple, and similarly get multiple sets of legendary actions. Essentially, treat the world as multiple separate creatures in this case.

    **The World:** Colossal elemental U; AC -; HP ∞; Speed -; 30/1/∞/1/1/1; Damage Immunities all; Condition Immunities all; Senses blindsight 300 feet; Languages none; CR-; Actions:

    earth spike +28 (15 ft) hit 43 (10d6+10) piercing.

    or rock throw +28 (40/120) hit 32 (3d20+10) bludgeoning.

    or multiattack 3 attacks, each an earth spike or rock throw.

    or rockshard spray (recharge 5-6) 20-ft radius burst within 100 ft, each creature in the area takes 35 (10d6) points of slashing damage (reflex DC 36 half).

    or earthquake (recharge 6) as spell.

    or eruption (recharge 6) as incendiary cloud spell
    ___
    Bonus actions:

    alacrity any action other than the one just used.

    ___
    Legendary actions (3/round): earth spike or rock throw.

    ## Shifter

    Shifters are agents of change to come so they themselves are constantly changing. They are masters of wild shape.
    ___
    **Sign:** Everything around you seems to change a little faster.

    ### Greater Wild Shape
    When you take this omen at second level, you add humanoid to the list of types you can turn into. You also ignore the standard levels at which you get new types in favour of these ones: plant at 6th, fey, giant and monstrosity at 8th, abberation and ooze at 12th, dragon and elemental at 14th, fiend and celestial at 18th, and all at 20th.
    ___
    You can also use wild shape as a bonus action, though you retain the ability to use it as an action.

    ### Natural Weapon Mastery
    From 6th level, you are a master with the natural weapons of any form you take with wild shape, and they are treated as magical for the purposes of
    overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical damage.

    ### Exceptional Shaping
    From 8th level, you use half your level, not one third of it, to determine the maximum challenge rating for your wild shape.

    ### Dire Amalgam
    From 14th level, you can use a special type of wild shape which causes you to take on the characteristics of two creatures, rather than one. You gain the higher hit die size, higher hit die number, faster speed with each movement method, higher score for each ability, and so forth, as well as all of the special qualities and actions of both creatures. However, not only does this require two uses of wild shape to be used simultaneously, but you must also complete a long rest after using this ability before you can do so again.

    ##### *................................................. ................................*
    This, and another ability, are clarified more on the next page.

    \pagebreak

    ### Prophecy Fulfilled: Change to Come
    From 20th level, you can use your wild shape to transform other creatures, not just yourself. When you use wild shape, you may choose another willing creature within 60 feet to gain the effect instead of you. Once you use this ability twice, you must complete a short or long rest before doing so again.

    ## Tempest Agent

    A tempest agent is the herald of mighty storms, using them to defeat their enemies. They wield exceptional magical power which is focused largely around a specific set of storm-based spells.
    ___
    **Sign:** Winds around you pick up and storms rage above, with occasional flashes of lightning in the sky. It tends to rain more often than usual, though deserts won't be beset by sudden downpours.

    ### Extra Elite Spells
    You learn stormfield immediately, and frozen storm, incantation of the thunderstorm, blizzard, burning rain, command weather and heaven's roar as soon as you have enough harbinger levels to cast the relevant spells, in addition to the other elite spells you get normally as a harbinger.

    ### Improved Nontraitor
    From 6th level, your attacks don't harm your allies or yourself, so you can catch them in the area without issue.

    ### Subliminal Storm
    From 8th level, you can concentrate on any number of frozen storm, incantation of the thunderstorm, command weather and heaven's roar at the same time you concentrate on another spell, so you can concentrate on three frozen storms, one incantation of the thunderstorm and one hold person.
    ___
    You also have advantage on all rolls made to maintain concentration, no matter which spells you are concentrating on or how many.

    ### Sudden Storm
    From 14th level, you can cast stormfield, frozen storm, incantation of the thunderstorm, blizzard, burning rain, command weather or heaven's roar as a bonus action. Once you cast a particular spell as a bonus action, you can't do so again for that spell until you complete a long rest.

    ### Prophecy Fulfilled: Mighty Tempest
    From 20th level, casting stormfield, frozen storm, incantation of the thunderstorm, blizzard or burning rain does not use spell slots.

    ##### *................................................. ................................*
    To clarify, all of the elite spell names used here refer interchangeably to the elite ability for that spell, or the spell itself when you have the elite ability, as appropriate.

    ## Harbinger-Only Tricks

    The following tricks are available only to harbingers.

    ##### Bloodbound Companion
    Minimum Level 8. Whenever you or your animal companion takes damage while you are within 10 feet of each other, you can use your reaction have the other of you take up to half of that damage instead.

    ##### Symbiotic Companion
    Instead of getting an animal companion, you take on some of the abilities of an animal companion. For each movement speed, ability score, number of hit dice, size of hit dice, and so forth, you have either your own or your animal companion's, whichever is higher. You get both your normal abilities and actions, and the animal companion's.
    ___
    Essentially, you pick an animal companion, but get its statistics where they're better than your own rather than getting the actual companion.

    ##### Wild Healing
    As a bonus action, you can expend a spell slot to heal yourself for 1d8 hit points per level of the spell, or 1d12 if you are currently in wild shape.

    ##### Wild Summon
    Minimum level 2nd. When you use your wild shape, instead of changing shape, you can summon the creature which you would have turned into. You can only have one wild shape at a time, whether a normal one or a wild summon.


    ##### *................................................. ................................*
    **Q:** How exactly do Dire Amalgam and Symbiotic Companion work?
    ___
    **A:** Take every game statistic and choose whichever one is better in each case. In some cases, this might be subjective - like with type - so you choose one. For example, a dire amalgam of:
    ___
    **Young Copper Dragon:** Large dragon, chaotic good; AC 18 (natural armour); HP 136 (16d10 + 48); Speed 40 ft., climb 40 ft., fly 80 ft.; 19/12/17/16/13/15;

    ___
    and
    ___
    **Stone Giant** Huge giant, neutral; AC 17 (natural armour); HP 126 (11d12 + 55); Speed 40 ft.; 23/15/20/10/12/9;
    ___
    Becomes:
    ___
    **Dire Amalgam:** ???; As harbinger; AC 18 (natural armour); HP 184 (16d12+80); Speed 40 ft.; 23/15/20/16/13/15;
    ___
    The amalgam gets both creatures' actions, reactions, special abilities, and anything else that isn't a numerical value. Its hit points are worked out from its new HD and constitution.
    ___
    **Q:** What happens if I change forms while using Symbiotic Companion?
    ___
    **A:** The new form isn't affected by it at all.

    \pagebreak

    <img src="https://preview.ibb.co/cnSJjT/Master_Administrator_Zahra_Kyrea.png" align="left" width="700px" height="985px"/>

    \pagebreak

    # Magician
    # Elite Wizard
    ___
    *"Magic is written not in blood but in ink, crossed through a thousand times with the mistakes you made along the way. It is not bought in deals with devils but with study and sleepless nights. That is the path to true power."*

    #### Hit Points
    ___
    - **Hit Dice:** 1d6 per magician level
    - **Hit Points at 1st Level:** 6 + your constitution modifier
    - **Hit Points at Higher Levels:** 1d6 (or 4) + your constitution modifier

    #### Proficiencies
    ___
    - **Armour:** None.
    - **Weapons:** Proficient in daggers, darts, slings, quarterstaves, light crossbows. Trained in other simple weapons.
    - **Tools:** Proficient in 1 and trained in 1. Choose from alchemist's supplies, calligrapher's supplies, playing card set, herbalism kit.
    ___
    - **Saving Throws:** Elite at intelligence, proficient in wisdom, trained in dexterity and charisma
    - **Skills:** Master in 1, proficient in 2, trained in 2. Choose from Arcana, History, Insight, Investigation, Medicine, Nature, Perception and Religion
    - **Ability Scores:** Trained in any one of wisdom, intelligence and charisma.
    - **Initiative:** Inept

    #### Equipment
    You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

    - *(a)* a quarterstaff and a sling or *(b)* a dagger and a light crossbow.
    - *(a)* a component pouch or *(b)* an arcane focus
    - *(a)* a scholar's pack or *(b)* an explorer's pack
    - A spellbook


    ## Class Features
    As a magician, you get the following class features.

    ### Arcane Bond
    As a magician, you gain the service of either a familiar or an intelligent item. The arcane bond is detailed at the end of this class section.

    ### Arcane Recovery
    Once per day when you finish a short rest, you can choose expended spell slots to recover. The spell slots can have a combined level that is equal to or less than your magician level, and only one of those can be a slot of sixth level or higher, and that slot must be of a lower level than the highest level of spells you can cast.

    ___

    <div class='classTable'>

    ##### Magician
    | Level | Features | Tricks | 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 |
    |:---:|:----------|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|
    | 1st | Arcane Bond, Arcane Recovery, Elite Cantrip, Scribe Scroll, Spellcasting | 0 | 3 | 2 | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | - |
    | 2nd | School of Magic | 1 | 3 | 3 | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | - |
    | 3rd | Least Elite Spellcasting | 1 | 3 | 4 | 2 | - | - | - | - | - | - | - |
    | 4th | Ability Score Improvement, Item Creation | 2 | 4 | 4 | 3 | - | - | - | - | - | - | - |
    | 5th | Minor Elite Spellcasting | 2 | 4 | 4 | 3 | 2 | - | - | - | - | - | - |
    | 6th | School Feature | 3 | 4 | 4 | 3 | 3 | - | - | - | - | - | - |
    | 7th | Ability Score Improvement, Lesser Elite Spellcasting | 3 | 4 | 4 | 3 | 3 | 1 | - | - | - | - | - |
    | 8th | Item Creation | 4 | 4 | 4 | 3 | 3 | 2 | - | - | - | - | - |
    | 9th | Moderate Elite Spellcasting | 4 | 4 | 4 | 4 | 3 | 3 | 1 | - | - | - | - |
    | 10th | Ability Score Improvement, School Feature | 5 | 5 | 4 | 4 | 3 | 3 | 2 | - | - | - | - |
    | 11th | Greater Elite Spellcasting | 5 | 5 | 5 | 4 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 | - | - | - |
    | 12th | Item Creation | 6 | 5 | 5 | 4 | 4 | 4 | 3 | 1 | - | - | - |
    | 13th | Ability Score Improvement, Major Elite Spellcasting | 6 | 5 | 5 | 5 | 4 | 4 | 3 | 1 | 1 | - | - |
    | 14th | School Feature | 7 | 5 | 5 | 5 | 4 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 | - | - |
    | 15th | Super Elite Spellcasting | 7 | 5 | 5 | 5 | 5 | 4 | 4 | 2 | 1 | 1 | - |
    | 16th | Ability Score Improvement | 8 | 5 | 5 | 5 | 5 | 4 | 4 | 2 | 2 | 1 | - |
    | 17th | Superior Elite Spellcasting | 9 | 5 | 5 | 5 | 5 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 | 1 |
    | 18th | Miser with Magic | 10 | 5 | 5 | 5 | 5 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 1 |
    | 19th | Ability Score Improvement, Superlative Elite Spellcasting | 11 | 5 | 5 | 5 | 5 | 5 | 5 | 3 | 3 | 2 | 1 |
    | 20th | Ever Ready | 12 | 5 | 5 | 5 | 5 | 5 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 |

    </div>

    ### Scribe Scroll
    You can scribe a scroll of any spell you know, far faster and more cheaply than most people could. The cost to you is the cube of the spell's level in platinum pieces,
    except that cantrip scrolls cost 1 gp. It takes the square of the spell's level in hours to scribe the scroll, with cantrips again being the exception, taking just 10 minutes to scribe the scroll. For example, a fifth-level scroll takes 125 pp (1250 gp) and 25 hours, while a ninth-level scroll takes 729 pp (7290 gp) and 81 hours. The time spent need not be consecutive.

    \pagebreak

    ### Spellcasting
    As a user of arcane magic, you have a spellbook which contains a variety of spells that you have learned or developed.

    ##### Cantrips

    At 1st level, you know three cantrips of your choice from the magician spell list. You learn additional magician cantrips of your choice at higher levels, as shown in the Cantrips Known column of the Magician table.

    ##### Your Spellbook

    At 1st level, you have a spellbook containing six 1st-level magician spells of your choice. Your spellbook is the repository of the magician spells you know.

    ##### Adding New Spells

    When you find a magician spell of 1st level or higher, you can add it to your spellbook if it is of a level which you can prepare and if you can spare the time to decipher and copy it.
    ___
    For each level of the spell, the process takes 1 hour: because each magician has their own shorthands and idiosyncrasies, it's not just a simple process of copying it word-for-word. You must have something to write with, but this can be as simple as a stick of charcoal. Once you have spent this time, you can prepare the spell just like your other spells.

    ##### Replacing Your Spellbook

    You can copy a spell from your own spellbook into another book. This is just like copying a new spell into your spellbook, but faster and easier, since you understand your own notation and already know how to cast the spell. You need spend only 10 minutes for each level of the copied spell.
    ___
    If you lose your spellbook, you can use the same procedure to transcribe the spells that you have prepared into a new spellbook. Filling out the remainder of your spellbook requires you to find new spells to do so, as normal.

    ##### Preparing and Casting Spells

    The Magician table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells. you must expend a slot of the spell's level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.
    ___
    You prepare the list of magician spells that are available for you to cast. To do so, choose a number of wizard spells from your spellbook equal to your magician level + twice your intelligence modifier (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.
    ___
    You can change your list of prepared spells when you finish a long rest.
    ___
    When you learn an elite ability for a spell, you commit that spell to memory. You always have the elite spell prepared, and it doesn't count against the number of spells you can prepare per day. The writing on a spellbook or scroll does not include the elite ability for that spell, so if you copy another magician's elite spell, you learn the normal version of the spell.

    ##### Spellcasting Ability

    Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for your magician spells. You use your Intelligence whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability.
    ___
    In addition, you use your Intelligence modifier and proficiency bonus for the spell save DC of a magician spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.

    **Spell save DC** = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier.

    **Spell Attack modifier** = your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier.

    ##### Ritual Casting

    You can cast a magician spell as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag and you have the spell in your spellbook. You don't need to have the spell prepared.

    ##### Spellcasting Focus

    You can use an arcane focus as a spellcasting focus for your magician spells.

    ##### Learning Spells of 1st Level and Higher

    Each time you gain a magician level, you can add two wizard spells of your choice to your spellbook. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots. as shown on the Magician table. On your adventures, you might find other spells that you can add to your spellbook.

    ### Elite Cantrip/Spellcasting
    At 1st level, you choose an ability from the magician elite cantrip list. At 3rd level, and every 2nd level thereafter, you choose an elite spell from a list 1 level higher, but you can only choose spells from your school of magic apart from the cantrip. For ease of reading, these abilities have all been put at the end of this class section.

    ### School of Magic
    When you reach 2nd level, you choose a school of magic, shaping your practice of magic through one of several schools. Your choice grants you features at 2nd level and again at 6th, 10th, and 14th level.

    ### Ability Score Improvement

    When you reach 4th level, and again at 7th, 10th, 13th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

    ### Item Creation
    At 8th level, and again at 12th level, you learn to craft a particular type of item using the spells you know rather than the standard list of items of that type, though you cannot make items of elite spells and you must use a spell and spell slot level you have access to. For a spell from a crafted item, the attack bonus is 4 + the spell's level and the DC is 12 + the spell's level unless otherwise specified. When you get this feature, choose an ability from the following list:

    \pagebreak

    #### Brew Potion
    You can brew a potion which, rather than the standard effects of one of the potions in the magic item list, replicates the effects of a spell cast on the drinker, or an oil which affects an object. You can also make throwing potions: inspired by alchemist's fire, these potions are designed to be hurled or slung towards a target.
    ___
    How exactly this works depends on the spell, but irrespective, the price to craft a potion is the spell's level, times the square of the slot level of the effective spell slot you are casting it from, times five gold pieces. Potions of cantrips cost just 1 gp, but only ever replicate the 1st-level version of the cantrip. Brewing a potion takes 1 minute per gp in its cost, though this doesn't have to be done all at once and can largely be done while travelling.
    ___
    For example, a potion of dispel magic which automatically dispels spells of 5th-level or lower costs 3 x 5<sup>2</sup> * 5 gp = 375 gp, to make.
    ___
    If the spell has a material component, you must possess that component and if that component is consumed upon the casting of the spell, it is also consumed while brewing a potion of that spell.
    ___
    A normal potion may only be made from a spell which affects a single target creature, or is able to affect a single target creature, or has a range of self and does not project any kind of area.

    For example, you can make a potion of mage armour, because that affects a single creature.

    You can also create a potion of feather fall, because it targets up to five creatures, and can therefore target just one. When drunk, it affects only the imbiber; it can't be shared.

    If you're feeling particularly cruel, you can make a potion of magic missile, which will hit the drinker with all the darts it produces.

    However, you can't make a standard potion of detect magic or lightning bolt, because while they both have a range of self, they also project an area outwards from the user. You can, however, create a potion of disguise self.
    ___
    These potions can be administered either by drinking them (or pouring them down someone's throat) or via a weapon, as though they were an injury poison.
    ___
    An oil can be made from a spell which affects a single target object, or is able to affect a single target object. Unlike the oils in the magic item list, they can be used as easily as any other object. You simply pour the oil onto the object you want to affect. Light, identify and knock are examples of spells which can be made into oils, but magic weapon is a traditional favourite.
    ___
    A throwing potion can be made of any spell which targets an area which is either spherical, or has a circular base, and which has a casting time of one action or one bonus action. Fireball is the archetypal spell for throwing potions, but an ice storm or even the ringed form of a wall of fire can be placed in one. Throwing a throwing potion is the same action as casting the spell, and has the same range.
    ___
    A creature who administers, applies or throws a potion is considered the caster and therefore is responsible for concentrating on the spell,.

    #### Craft Magical Arms and Armour
    You can craft magical equipment (weapon, armour or shield) that either has a constant effect active on it, or which applies a particular effect on striking. As well as the costs listed in this section, you must also obtain a nonmagical version of the item in question, which carries its own monetary and/or temporal cost.
    ___
    Any item can be made to have a constant effect active on it, so long as that effect is an effect which either targets a single item, or can target a single item, and which has a duration other than instantaneous, and which can actually target items of that type.
    ___
    The cost to do this is the spell's level, times the square of the level of the effective spell slot you are casting the spell out of, times the number of times you would have to cast the spell in order for it to last sixteen hours, in platinum pieces. For a cantrip, this instead only costs 1 gp for each time you would have to cast the spell for it to last sixteen hours.
    ___
    If the spell requires an expensive material component, you must additionally pay the price of that component. If that component is consumed on
    casting, you must instead pay its price once for each time that you would have to cast the spell in order for it to last 16 hours.
    ___
    On this basis, the cost of creating a magic weapon of +1 quality is 2 x 2<sup>2</sup> x 8 = 64 pp (640 gp), a +2 weapon costs 2560 gp and a +3 weapon costs 10,240 gp. It costs the same amount to make armour or shields of the same quality.
    ___
    Alternatively, you can create a weapon that has a particular effect on striking. Any spell which has a single target and requires a single attack roll can be put in a weapon. Whenever the weapon is successfully used to strike a viable target for the spell within the spell's range for the first time in a round, the target suffers the effects of the spell. Similarly, you can create a set of armour which strikes the attacker the first time per round the wearer is struck with a weapon attack from within the range of the spell. No roll is needed to hit with the spell; it just hits when the triggering attack does.
    ___
    Either way, this kind of effect is expensive: it costs 1000 gp to imbue an item with a cantrip in this way, and 2000 gp times the spell's level times the square of the level of the effective spell slot being used to imbue an item with a spell of a higher level. Then, you must pay the material component cost, if any, and must do so 50 times over if it is consumed on casting.
    ___
    Ammunition costs 1/50 of the amount to enhance that a weapon of the same magical powers does.
    ___
    It takes 1 minute per platinum piece in the item's cost to craft that item, discounting the time it takes to craft the base item. The time needn't be spent consecutively. The process can largely be done while travelling on some kind of relatively stable vehicle, but not while travelling on foot or horseback.

    \pagebreak

    #### Craft Rod
    You can craft a rod containing a spell that you know, which grants the ability to cast a spell that the rod contains. The rod is useful only to creatures who can cast that level of spells, and requires attunement.
    ___
    A creature in possession of the rod they are attuned to is always considered to know the spell therein and, if relevant, have it prepared. This allows them to cast the spell using their spell slots. The rods are therefore useless to creatures who do not prepare spells and who already know the spell on the rod, or any spellcaster who already knows the spell on the rod if it is a cantrip.
    ___
    You can craft two types of rod: a lesser rod or a greater rod. A lesser rod only grants the spell to a creature who can already learn or prepare it, which is to say a creature who can cast spells of that level as a member of a class whose spell list contains that spell. Greater rods can grant the spell to anyone who can cast spells of that level at all.
    ___
    Irrespective of the level of spell it contains, a lesser rod costs 1000 gp to craft and takes 4 hours to craft, while a greater rod costs 5000 gp and takes 20 hours. This time need not be consecutive, and can be done while travelling on some kind of relatively stable vehicle, though not while walking or on horseback.

    #### Craft Staff
    You can craft a staff which allows the wielder of the staff, if they are a spellcaster, to cast the spells within the staff. The staff uses the wielder's save DC and spell attack bonus, rather than the normal one for a crafted item.
    ___
    You can craft a lesser staff, a moderate staff or a greater staff, whose properties and prices are as follows:
    ___
    A lesser staff has up to 10 charges, and regains 1d6+4 charges each day at dawn. These charges can be spent to cast 3 different spells of the creator's choice, each of up to 3rd level. The staff costs 1000 gp and 8 hours to make.
    ___
    A moderate staff has up to 20 charges, and regains 2d8+4 charges each day at dawn. These charges can be spent to cast 4 different spells of the creator's choice, each of up to 6th level. The staff costs 5000 gp and 40 hours to make.
    ___
    A greater staff has up to 30 charges, and regains 3d12+4 charges each day at dawn. These charges can be spent to cast 5 different spells of the creator's choice, each of up to 9th level. The staff costs 25000 gp and 200 hours to make.
    ___
    Using a staff costs a number of charges equal to the level of the spell being used, plus double the effective level of the spell slot being used. The highest-level effective slot that can be used is equal to the highest level of spell that can be put in that staff. For example, a moderate staff containing magic missile can be used to cast a magic missile of up to the 6th-level version, which costs 13 charges.
    ___
    Time spent creating a staff need not be consecutive, and can be managed while moving on a relatively stable vehicle, though not while walking or riding a horse.

    #### Craft Wand
    You can craft a wand which allows for the repeated use of a spell, or a wand of the war mage. The cost of creating a wand of the war mage of +1 quality is 640 gp, a +2 wand costs 2560 gp and a +3 wand costs 10,240 gp. It takes 1 minute per 10gp in the wand's cost (64 minutes, 256 minutes or 1024 minutes) to craft a wand of the war mage.
    ___
    Crafting a wand of a spell is a different process. The spell wand costs 100 gold pieces, times the cube of the level of the spell in question, to create, and takes 10 minutes times the cube of the spell's level to make.
    ___
    All spell wands crafted in this way have 7 charges, and regain 1d6+1 charges each day at dawn, up to a maximum of 7. Each charge can be used to cast the spell at the standard level, and each additional charge expended beyond the first increases the effective spell slot level by 1.
    ___
    You can instead craft a wand of a cantrip, costing 50 gold pieces. A single charge activates the first-level version of the cantrip, two charges the 5th-level version, 3 charges the 11th-level version and 4 charges the 17th-level version. However, the user must have that high a character level to use that level of cantrip.
    ___
    Due to their relative simplicity of construction, a wand can be crafted on the move. Also, you need not craft it all at once.

    #### Craft Wondrous Item
    You can craft a wondrous item with a connection to one or more spells. The item's price is based on the spell that it uses and how it uses it, but the basic price is the spell's level, times the square of the effective spell slot level in platinum pieces, assuming that the effect generated is equivalent to using the spell once per day. For a cantrip, instead use just one gold piece (only the first-level version of the cantrip is used). If the spell is always active, this should be multiplied by the number of times you need to cast the spell to get it to last 16 hours. If the spell is used in some unusual way, the DM should decide how many uses of the spell per day the item is equivalent to.
    ___
    If the spell requires an expensive material component, you must additionally pay the price of that component. If that component is consumed on casting, you must instead pay its price once for each time that you would have to cast the spell in order for it to last 16 hours.
    ___
    It takes 1 minute per platinum piece in the item's cost to make it.
    ___
    The things that a wondrous item can do are fabulously diverse, and to attempt to list all their possible abilities is sheer folly - notably, the one thing they should not be allowed to do is emulate the benefits of some other type of crafted item. Nevertheless, here are some pre-approved suggestions:

    - An item which simply always has the effect active of itself (such as an amulet of light).
    - An item which serves as the centre for a constantly-active version of a spell which usually lasts a limited time (such as a talisman of magic circle against fiends and undead).

    \pagebreak

    - An item that can use the effect on itself or be activated to use the effect on itself (such as a platform of levitation or a lock of mending).
    - An item that can turn into the sort of thing the spell might normally create (such as a disk of floating disk or a figurine of wondrous power of phantom steed).
    - The Necklace of Fireballs (Costs 150 gp per bead).
    ___

    There are a few things that a wondrous item can't do: namely, copying the functionality of another type of crafted items. This means that they cannot:

    - Provide a single-use or otherwise limited-use spell effect, the way a potion does.
    - Provide an effect when you hit a creature or are hit by one, as a magical weapon or piece of armour does.
    - Grant a spell known, as a rod does.
    - Allow you to cast a spell directly, whether like a staff or a wand.
    - Grant you some kind of magical effect on yourself, the way that a ring does.
    ___
    Here are some examples of specific items you might make.

    ##### Boots of the Blazing Trail
    As an action, the wearer of these boots can cause fire to appear in their wake. Every square on the ground the wearer leaves becomes a square of a wall of fire, as the spell (DC 16).

    **Cost:** 640 gp (640 for 4th-level spell 1 use/day. Requires movement and is shorter, but more flexible; no change)

    ##### Collar of Undead Loyalty
    A skeleton or zombie wearing this collar remains under its controller's control indefinitely, rather than just for 24 hours.

    **Cost:** 50 gp (67.5 gp for 1/4 of a 3rd-level spell (animate dead) once/day, reduced at DM discretion for only providing one of two possible effects of the spell).

    ##### Firetrap Coin
    This coin looks like any other gold piece except to magical inspection, but a creature who touches it is assailed with magical fire, as per the fire bolt cantrip. A command word allows a creature to bypass this effect.

    **Cost:** 10gp (1 gp for the coin itself, plus 4 gp for guess at 4 activations per day, ad hoc doubled for command word and no action requirement).

    ##### Jewel of Loquaciousness
    This small item of jewelry whispers confounding nonsense to your enemies within 120 feet for up to 10
    minutes per day. Only the intended recipient of each message can hear it. They can respond to the jewel if they like, but usually it takes little notice of their responses (or just uses them to help it deceive them). The DC of any insight check against the jewel is 12.

    **Cost:** 100 gp (100 uses of message per day)

    ##### Null Stone
    This stone permanently suppresses other nearby magical effects, as an antimagic field does.

    **Cost:** 20,000 gp (81,920 gp base cost; reduced at DM discretion for drawback that can't be turned off).

    ##### Master Glove
    While you wear this glove, you can do anything that an arcane hand could - striking for 4d8 force damage, pushing a creature, grappling and crushing a creature, or providing cover. Your strength is treated as being 26 for these purposes.

    **Cost:** 7500 gp (1250 for fifth-level spell, guess at 6 uses per day. Effect is slightly odd in positive and negative ways, so no other changes.)

    ##### Panel of Disguise
    This plain panel - they come in a variety of shapes and sizes - is usually placed on a floor or wall. It can assume any appearance that fits in the same rough space, so if applied to a wall, it can appear to be part of the wall, containing a door or a window, or it can be placed in a corridor and appear to take up the whole corridor and indeed be part of the wall, assuming it's about the right size. An investigation check (DC 13) reveals the panel for what it is.

    **Cost:** 160 gp (First-level spell - disguise self - at will).

    ##### Raven's Emblem
    This raven-shaped symbol can be activated as an action. When activated, it begins to fly, as if of its own accord, with a 60-foot fly speed. The area within 15 feet of the emblem is enveloped in magical darkness. Once activated, the emblem stays active for 10 minutes, moving however it can to assist you in that time. You cannot activate it again until you complete a long rest.

    **Cost:** 350 gp (3rd-level spell (fly) and second-level spell (darkness) 1/day)

    ##### Smuggler's Bag
    This backpack is invisible when worn, as are all of its contents (though its contents may still make noise and a creature can still potentially feel the bag.)

    **Cost:** 1282 gp (Constant 2nd-level spell, plus cost of bag.)

    #### Forge Ring
    You can craft rings which grant a continuous effect of some kind to the wearer. The cost to do this is the spell's level, times the square of the level of the effective spell slot you are casting the spell out of, times the number of times you would have to cast the spell in order for it to last sixteen hours, in platinum pieces. For a cantrip, this instead only costs 1 gp for each time you would have to cast the spell for it to last sixteen hours.
    ___
    If the spell requires an expensive material component, you must additionally pay the price of that component. If that component is consumed on casting, you must instead pay its price once for each time that you would have to cast the spell in order for it to last 16 hours.
    ___
    Forging a ring takes 1 hour per level of the spell, or 30 minutes for a cantrip. This must be done consecutively and you can't move about while doing it.

    ##### *................................................. ................................*
    **Q:** What happens if I create a ring of false life?
    ___
    **A:** The temporary hit points top up every hour.

    \pagebreak

    **Q:** What about mage armour?
    ___
    **A:** It works as long as you're not wearing real armour. The effect never permanently ends.
    ___
    **Q:** What about...
    ___
    **A:** See, look, I can't rule on every spell you could possibly put in a ring, but some quick ones:

    Anything with a save that can't be forgone (such as charm person but not levitate) you just can't, except bestow curse (use the 5th-level version; it's cheapest) in which case the item is a cursed item with one of the bestow curse effects.

    Any spell that requires a choice must be chosen on creation (with some exceptions such as alter self which specify that the choice can be changed).

    Invisibility stops working for the rest of the day if the wearer attacks or casts a spell, mirror image refreshes duplicates every minute, haste will absolutely eat every tenth turn, sending doesn't work, polymorph only works for wearers with enough hit dice or levels to assume the form in question.

    Telepathic bond requires that each bonded creature have their own ring, but each one costs 1/8 of the normal price; you can link up to 8 rings in this way.

    Contingency triggers the contingent spell once per day; you must pay for that spell as well but only once, not enough times to last 16 hours.

    I know that technically, control weather targets a creature (yourself), but no, you can't.

    Whatever you think you're doing with wish, you aren't.
    ___
    **Q:** Aren't rings of jump and feather fall too expensive?
    ___
    **A:** Jump and feather fall should use the rules for guessing how many times per day the effect will actually come up - probably about once each.
    ___
    **Q:** Aren't rings of longstrider and shield too cheap?
    ___
    **A:** No. Rings of shield do provide a hefty bonus, but at a hefty cost. Longstrider is a nice effect for how cheap it is, but rarely a gamechanger.
    ##### *................................................. ................................*

    ### Miser with Magic
    From 18th level, whenever you would expend a spell slot, you may instead roll 2d10. If both d10 rolls are equal to or lower than the spell slot's level, you cannot use this feature again until you complete a long rest. Either way, the slot is not expended.

    [I was about 200 characters over so snipped a bit]
    Spoiler: 373 words of Design Spotlight: Raven's Emblem
    Show
    I like to provide little insights into some of my design decisions. Today, I'm going to focus on the Raven's Emblem, one of the example magic items for the magician's item creation ability craft wondrous item.

    Before I get into the item in specific, let's go over why I wanted example items in the first place: the uses of most of the item creation abilities are relatively obvious, and have an effect relatively adjacent to casting the spell normally - rings provide an always-on effect, weapons an on-hit effect, and potions, staves, wands and rods actually allow you to cast the spell directly, one way or another. Wondrous items, however, are weird: they cast the spells sort-of of their own accord, often on themselves and often when they can't normally be targeted.

    So, the raven's emblem started off basically as an item that teleported to someone using misty step, and then bestowed a curse on them, branding itself onto their skin. There were numerous problems with this: you can't misty step into someone's square, and the effect is mainly just the same as simply casting bestow curse on someone. So the emblem had to do something else.

    I was stuck with the idea that I wanted the emblem to move, but I didn't think that misty step was the best way to do it. I considered having it dimension door into another room, use a variety of divinations, and telepathically report back to you, but that was a really expensive way of doing something relatively uninteresting. I decided that since it was, well, a bird, it should probably use fly to get around, which ends up with the weirdness of being an item with turns and a fly speed, but roll with it, okay? If dynamite can roll initiative, a magic item can fly of its own accord!

    Then, I just slapped the most cost-effective, thematic ability - darkness - onto the emblem, and you end up with an item which, once per day, flies around and strategically positions its darkness ability to help you in combat - which can be exceptionally useful if you also have the Ultravision ability, which allows your darkvision spell to make you see perfectly in magical darkness.

  15. - Top - End - #45
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    Status for July 23 to July 29!

    The theme was Corvine!


    Lycunadari passes with seven nature photos and and one corvine ink drawing.

    jseah passes with 2536 words of Kancolle fanfic.

    Xiander passes with 1528 words of Blind Fate.

    Jormengand passes with 8733 words of Elite 5 and 373 words of Design Spotlight: Raven's Emblem.

    Subproject54 didn't upload/send me anything.

    Some Android didn't upload/send me anything.


    Thus Subproject54 and Some Android FAILs this round!

    Lycunadari, jseah, Xiander and Jormengand PASS this round!


    Current standing:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Lycunadari
    Current run: 290 weeks
    Longest run: -
    Themes: 1 week

    jseah
    Current Run: 129 weeks
    Longest Run: 33 weeks
    Themes: -

    Xiander
    Current run: 108 weeks
    Longest run: -
    Themes: -

    Jormengand
    Current run: 19 weeks
    Longest run: -
    Themes: 8 weeks

    Subproject54
    Current run: -
    Longest run: 6 weeks
    Themes: -

    Some Android
    Current run: -
    Longest run: 42 weeks
    Themes: -



    The current theme is Amaranthine.

    The theme for the week from August 6 to 12 has not yet been chosen - anyone can suggest one is Manipulation!

    The theme for the week from August 13 to August 19 is chosen by Some Android - let me know here or in PM and I'll include it in the next status post.

    -------

    A bunch of nature photos, and a girl with her crow friends~



    Quote Originally Posted by TwoLegsArmchair View Post
    The typo is that Jormengand's theme is listed as '5 weeks'.
    Okay, I went back to the first week where Jor did something for the themes (which was the second theme we had) and counted the weeks to make sure I didn't miss one, and I didn't find any mistake. So unless you can tell me exactly why you think this is a typo, and what you think it should be instead I'm not going to do anything about this.
    Last edited by Lycunadari; 2018-08-09 at 01:09 PM. Reason: corrected a typo in the current standing list
    You can call me Juniper. Please use gender-neutral pronouns (ze/hir (preferred) or they/them) when referring to me.

    "We all are vessels of our brokenness, we carry it inside us like water, careful not to spill. And what is wholeness if not brokenness encompassed in acceptance, the warmth of its power a shield against those who would hurt us?" - R. Lemberg, Geometries of Belonging

    Stories

    Do you like writing? Drawing? Being creative? Come join the CHALLENGE!

  16. - Top - End - #46
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NontheistCleric's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2017

    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    Quote Originally Posted by Lycunadari View Post
    Okay, I went back to the first week where Jor did something for the themes (which was the second theme we had) and counted the weeks to make sure I didn't miss one, and I didn't find any mistake. So unless you can tell me exactly why you think this is a typo, and what you think it should be instead I'm not going to do anything about this.
    Looking at the previous threads, I realized I made a fundamental mistake as to what 'Themes' meant. I didn't realize before it was supposed to mean the number of weeks someone had done themes instead of listing, for example, the themes they had done. I thought you'd just put the 'Longest Run' number in the wrong place.

    So, that was just me being stupid. Ignore whatever I said before.

  17. - Top - End - #47
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Lycunadari's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoLegsArmchair View Post
    Looking at the previous threads, I realized I made a fundamental mistake as to what 'Themes' meant. I didn't realize before it was supposed to mean the number of weeks someone had done themes instead of listing, for example, the themes they had done. I thought you'd just put the 'Longest Run' number in the wrong place.

    So, that was just me being stupid. Ignore whatever I said before.
    Alright.


    No one has picked a theme for this week (August 6 - 12) yet, so I'll do it: the theme is Manipulation!
    You can call me Juniper. Please use gender-neutral pronouns (ze/hir (preferred) or they/them) when referring to me.

    "We all are vessels of our brokenness, we carry it inside us like water, careful not to spill. And what is wholeness if not brokenness encompassed in acceptance, the warmth of its power a shield against those who would hurt us?" - R. Lemberg, Geometries of Belonging

    Stories

    Do you like writing? Drawing? Being creative? Come join the CHALLENGE!

  18. - Top - End - #48
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Xiander's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Denmark
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    I finished up blind fate, with 2430 more words. Now to go back and fix the glaring plothole.....

    Spoiler: Blind Fate, part five
    Show
    Standing between two armed men was making Sandra nervous. Really, it would have been a scary proposition on any day, but today she was genuinely fated to be shot.
    She stopped, backpedaled and went over that thought again. She had done everything she could to avoid it, but still she was here, between two gunmen, fated to be shot.
    She turned the whole thing over in her head, all her safetymeasures, everything she had prepared, and decided to try something crazy.
    “At least I got you into the same room as me.” The man at the door answered coldly.
    Before the man by the mirror could retort, Sandra turned to look him in the eyes and said firmly.
    “Gregory.” She took a deep breath. “I don’t think it is going to work out between us.”
    “What?” A puzzled look settled on his face, the other gunman forgotten for a moment.
    “This is a pretty terrible first date.” Sandra explained. She had her back turned to the other man, so he couldn’t see it, when she winked at the one she thought was Gregory. “You don’t have to keep what you promised.”
    “What are you talking about?” Asked the man by the door, annoyance in his voice.
    “Are you sure?” Gregory asked, his voice as serious as the sunday obituaries.
    Sandra clenched her teeth to prevent herself from making a nervous sound, then she nodded.
    For a moment it felt like time had slowed down, crystalised into one terrible second. She looked at his face as he moved the gun, aiming at her.
    Then there was a thunderclap and she tumbled to the floor bonelessly.
    “What the hell are you doing?” Shouted the other man.
    And suddenly the room was full of smoke. It was a thick black mass, so solid that Sandra couldn’t see her own hands on the flor, as she struggled onto all fours. Her shoulder throbbed and ached, but her arm moved as it should.
    She hesitated for a second.
    Somewhere in the room, she could hear her kidnapper yelling. She had no idea where Gragory was, or what way to crawl to get out of here.
    She nearly screamed, when something soft touched her hand. Then she realised that it was another hand, grasping her wrist, pulling her towards the door.
    She followed, glad to get out of the smoke filled room. Behind her someone cursed, her kidnapper she assumed.
    Once she was out of the room, the smoke began to clear up. She could se an outline of a person in front of her, leading her our of the smoke. Soon the smoke was thin enough that she could recognise Robin.
    The puck led her through the worn down house, choosing her way with a surity that Sandra could only envy.
    She could hear someone cursing behind her, she assumed the kidnapper was still somewhere in the smoke. And Gregory… had shot her. Of course, she had asked him to do it, but still.
    She’d been shot.
    It took a moment for that thought to actually settle and become real to her. She glanced down at her shoulder, there was a hole in her shirt, and under it, she could see the coarse material of her kevlar west. It wasn’t a classic choice of wear for a blind date, but given the circumstances, it had probably been the right choice.
    Ahead of her Robin took a right turn and she followed, trusting the pixie to lead her safely out of the creepy house.
    “How is this place so big?” She murmured.
    “It isn’t real.” Robing answered, her voice cheerful.
    “What?” Sandra squeesed the word out between her teeth.
    “Time twists oddly,” Robin explained without slowing down. “What is, what was, what might be. They get tangled up and pockets of potential appear. We are in one such pocket.”
    Sandra had heard of pocket spaces before, it was one of the odd things you learned about if you opened your eyes to the truth. Maybe this house had never been build, but somehow it still existed, hidden from normal people, but accessible for those in the know.
    She chewed over the implications.
    “Can you find the way out?” She asked between two hurried breaths.
    “Of course my dear.” There was a smug certainty in Robin’s voice.
    “What if we are followed?”
    “I can close the pocket.” Robin said. “Keeping your persuers from you, if only for a time.”
    “No.” Sandra snapped. “Not until Gregory is out.”
    “Gregory?”
    “The guy who shot me.”
    A thrill of laughter rolled out of Robin’s mouth.
    “You wish to help him?”
    “It’s complicated.”
    “It seems so.” Robin stopped in front of a closed door. “Here we are.”
    “Can you get him out?” Sandra asked, her voice shaking a little.
    Was she worried about Gregory? She pushed the thought away and focused. She needed answers, he had them. That was all.
    “Of course.” Robin sent her a mischivous smile. “But please leave this place at once, so that I have kept my word to you.”
    “Just go.” Sandra said. She felt tense just being in this place, her nerves jangled every time she thought she heard a noise.
    Robin shot her another wild smile, and ran off deeper into the house. With a sigh, Sandra pushed open the door to freedom.
    She stepped into the garage, and had the imedeate sense that she had returned to the real world. It wasn’t anything tangible, but a certain tenseness had ben resting on her all the time, while she was in the pocket house. Only now, when it was suddenly gone, she felt its absense.
    She slammed the door behind her and took a second to actually think. The car was still there, trunk open, left exactly as it was when she made her escape.
    Exactly as it was…
    She looked in the drivers side window and saw what she was looking for. The keys still dangled in the ignition. A shiver went down her spine as a plan formed. She really didn’t like the idea, but it beat the alternatives.
    When the door to the house burst open and spewed forth both Robing and Gregory, Sandra sat in the drivers seat, engine running.
    “Get in!” She snapped at them.
    Robin paused and closed the door behind her with a deliberate motion. There was a shimmer of power, as the bubble of nonlinear time was cut off from the world. Gregory piled into the front passenger seat. A moment later, Robin got in the back.
    With a fierce smile, Sandra stepped on the speeder. The car jumped forward, stopped abrubtly and the engine stalled.
    For a second she just sat there, stunned.
    “Maybe I should drive?” Gregory suggested.
    “Yes.” Sandra could feel her cheeks flushing bright red.
    She tried to hide her embarrasment, by hurrying to switch seats with Gregory. In the backseat Robin was barely restraining a laugh.
    After rearanging the seats, they left the house at top speed. Night had fallen completely and rain fell freely. Streetlights flew past as gregory took them away from the creepy old house, and the pocket of lost time inside it.

    *******************************

    The rain had let up a little, and Gregory had parked the car on a random street. Sandra had gotten out, her legs shaky after the events of the evening, and decided to sit down on the curb about ten steps away from the car. Gregory sat down next to her with a sigh.
    “So…” He said akwardly. “Better or worse than your first date?”
    She let out a small laugh.
    “The night is still young.” She said. “But I’ve never been shot on a date before. You brought a gun on a blind date?”
    “Don’t sound so surprised.” He said and shrugged. “You wore a kevlar west.”
    “I..” She stumbled over the words. So many things she wanted to say, and none of them came to her tounge.
    “You knew you were going to be shot.” He said. It wasn’t a guess, it was a statement, like he already knew it was true.
    “Yes.” She admitted. “How did you..?”
    “I have a gift for getting to the truth of things.” He said in a tired voice. “When we talked about fate, I could tell that you weren’t lying. You really do know something of fate, or you think you do.”
    “I see my own death.” She said, quietly. “Every once in a while I get a vision. They always come true.”
    It was odd to say it out loud. To tell someone about it. She had tried telling people about it in the beginning, when the visions started. She ad hoped someone could help her, get rid of the visions or protect her from her fate. But no one had listened. No one believed her when she spoke of the future.
    But she had a feeling that Gregory might be different, that he might understand.
    “I think you are wrong about fate.”He said.
    She turned to look at him and he met her with his iceblue eyes, calm and thoughtful. It was like some one threw gasoline at a fire in her chest.
    “I saw you shooting me!” She raised her voice to a near yell. He dared to tell her she didn’t know fate? A storm of angry words fluttered about in he mind, but he spoke before any of them came out.
    “And I shot you.” He said calmly. “But here we are.”
    Her anger fluttered and weakened.
    “You shot me…” She said weakly.
    “And you didn’t die.” He elaborated. “So either, what you see is not fate, but just a possible future, or what you see is not your death.”
    She shook her head, trying to make sense of the argument. Everything was a big jumble of emotions and she couldn’t make heads or tails of it. For a while she just stared down into the tarmac, watching rainwater rushing past her feet towadrs a storm drain.
    “Who was he?” She asked quietly.
    “Aden.” Gregory answered. “My brother.”
    “Twin?” She asked.
    “Yes.” He took a deep breath, before he continued. “We don’t often see eye to eye. I am sorry you got mixed up in this.”
    She turned and towards him again, and looked straight him in the eyes.
    “You saved me from a kidnapper on out first date.” She said firmly. “Don’t apologise for that, most girls never find a boy who can rescue them from anything bigger than a spider.”
    He smiled weakly.
    “I had hoped for a more ordinary first date.” He said.
    “I hate to disappoint,” She smiled at him. “But ordinary is not my strong suit.”
    He smiled back. There was a silence, sligthly longer than normal for a conversation. His eyes held hers completely. She felt him shift slightly, leaning closer. Her breath caught in her throat with expectation.
    Then someone grabbed her chin, turned her head, and she felt a set of hot lips press against her own. A shck went through her like electricity and she gasped, as she felt a tounge brush over her lips.
    Then the kiss was broken and she looked into Robins golden eyes. Crest fallen, she stared as the Puck rose to her feet andtook two steps backwards.
    “I saved you from your date, you gave me a first. The pact is upheld and I take my leave.” With a curtsy and a laugh like silver bells Robin simply disappeared.
    Silence reighned for almost a full minute.
    “So…” Gregory began. “Who was your friend.”
    “That is kinda complicated to explain.” Sandra said, still staring in shock at the spot where Robin had been. “Why don’t you tell me about your brother instead?”
    “How about I trade you my story for yours?” He suggested.
    “That could work.” She said, shaking her head to free it of the sudden numbness.
    She was not at all hure how to feel about what had just happened. She didn’t know how she felt about Gregory, but he was certainly a much safer bet than the mad pixie.
    What worried her was just how good the kiss had felt. Then again, she hadn’t really had any physical contact with anyone for….. At least a couple of years now.
    “Should I be jealous of the Puck?” Gregory asked, laughter in his voice.
    “No!” She said, a bit too quickly. “That was just business. Payment for services rendered.”
    Sandra could feel herself blushing furiously.
    “Riight.” He said shending her a teasing glance.
    “Hey!” She shot back. “At least her brother is unlikely to kidnap me.”
    That shut him up for a bit.
    The silence was broken by a long gurgling sound from Sandra’s stomach.
    “We never finished dinner.” Gregory pointed out.
    “I would kill for a burger right now.” Sandra agreed.
    “Please don’t kill anybody.” He said with a chuckle. “It’s my treat.”
    “Nice.” She shot him a calculating glance. “Trying to bribe me to forget the trouble you got me into?”
    “Something like that.” He rose to his feet.
    “Why did he want to talk to you so bad anyway?” She asked.
    “That would be shop talk.” He shrugged apologeticly.
    “Are we really sticking to that rule?” She said, surprised.
    “I would much prefer if we did.”
    “Alright, but I will want to know more about your evil twin sooner or later.”
    “How about,” He suggested tentatively. “We get a burget and talk about the weather tonight. And postpone talking about how we are both fate touched until the second date.”
    That shut her up for a few seconds. In the chaos of the kidnapping, she hadn’t thought to ask herself, how he knew about pixies and time pockets. She hadn’t realise until this moment how odd it was, that he was willing to discuss fate with her so openly.
    It made sense, that he had been touched by fate, in a way similar to what happened to her. She doubted he was prophetic like she was, but there was something there.
    She got up and faced him.
    You buy me a burger, and if I am not kidnapped again before I can eat it, I’ll consider a second date.
    “That sounds fair.” He said with a small smile. His Ice blue eyes twinkled.
    She sifted through the events of the night, trying to make sense of it all. One detail stuck out to her. She had been shot, but she had survived it.
    As they walked to the car, to go get fast food, Sandra reflected that this date could have been worse.
    Last edited by Xiander; 2018-08-06 at 05:34 AM.

  19. - Top - End - #49
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    1697 for a prologue for Record of the Inherited Memory Girl's Efforts.

    Spoiler
    Show
    "Beep. It is seven in the morning. Beep. Beep, beep beepbeep-"
    Petra slammed her hand down on the alarm clock before it could start ringing. As every morning, she cursed herself for buying an alarm clock with the most ear wracking wail. Her body had learnt the hard way to wake up on hearing her recorded message.
    "Office set one," she snapped to the ball of light hovering over her dresser before stumbling off to the toilet to freshen up while the wisp retrieved her working clothes. The peeling sensation of her powered toothbrush that scraped her teeth clean woke her up fully.
    Bah, she had to buy more mouthwash again. Perhaps she should hire out a long-range wisp contract? Petra consulted her account over breakfast and nodded. She could afford it.
    "Your weight is 64 kilograms, lifeforce power at 99%. No medical anomalies found, metabolic adjustment 2% recommended," reported the servant wisp after it cleared away her plates. Accelerating her metabolism to deal with the slight overeating she had done in the last few days would have been normal, but Petra was about to sleep for two days once ethics approved her upload.
    "Call an air carrier, load profile," Petra commanded.
    The final board meeting was today, she could not risk being late with ground traffic.

    Living in the busy metropolitan city of Ennis had its privileges to go with its high cost of living. Petra sighed happily as she settled into the cushioned seat of the flying car that arrived at her balcony. The force shield over the car stopped wind, smells and heat, while allowing her a panoramic view of the city skyline.
    Expensive due to power consumption, but air carriers were the fastest city transport. No rush hour traffic jams for her today!
    "Load saved route to Skillshare Administration Building," she said to the car and it beeped happily at her before zooming off.
    <Show headlines>, Petra commanded her AR mentally. The transparent window popped up in front of her, brightly coloured pictures showing two faces opposing each other across a screaming headline.
    <Great Debate the second round to begin! Military policy in question!
    Celebrated military scientist Aine Valis will be meeting the famous federation architect and spokesperson Emmerset Illonvil in a second round of televised debates. The highly anticipated live session will take place in three days time at 7 hours past noon within the Hall of Progress.
    The second of such debates is expected to cover the necessity of Aine's famous invention, the SuperGravity Warhead, in today's political scene. The previous wars were ended by the doctrine of mutually assured destruction and it is with this history that Emmerset's oratical skills and inspirational political writing has brought the world close to a true international Federation of all major states.
    The proliferation of superweapons in the modern era, not just of the most famous Orbital Missile System using Aine's invention, has had an effect on the military budgets of the nations in our world. Proponents of Aine's peace claim that her invention spearheaded the modern era's "too costly to fight" state that has preserved peace, that no war is possible because the majority of military spending is in the production and upkeep of these superweapon systems. While their deployment would utterly devastate the targets and thus remove any benefit for the attacker, not to mention the inevitable second strike that would likely destroy the rest of the world.
    Furthermore, military development of these projects have also lead to other more peaceful advances, such as antigravity materials that have enabled the ongoing international project LandSpace Tower->
    Petra sniffed as the article began to devolve into speculations and analysis of the talking points the debaters were expected to bring up.
    Aine and Emmerset were big names. Every modern person knew about them, the papers sang their praises and the speeches and inspiration they were drove children to fanciful dreams. Along with Davis, Rottheim, Lefferty and more. Petra had had the chance to meet Aine once, during her final years of study some fifty years ago. The woman's keen intellect and deep understanding of magic-energy devices had vindicated every scrap of praise for the genius that she was. One of the giants who stood far above the common masses. Those who were granted vision, intellect, leadership or charisma that drove civilization to greater heights.
    Petra had vowed to herself then, that one day, she would be one of them. Able to stand proudly amongst the ranks of the Great People.
    And from her work with SkillShare, it looked like that day was soon here.

    Petra stepped out of the air carrier before it had even finished touching down at the car park. The antigravity engine whined at her noisily, complaining about spooling down right before the rental carrier was to take off again.
    "Welcome to the office, Madam Petra. "
    "Aldar, you know you don't have to call me that," she greeted the team lead with a broad smile. They were old friends now after this long road they had traveled together. "I'm not yet a Great Person. "
    "We all know it's a matter of time before you get that recognition, madam. The primary work on Skill Share was done by you after all. "
    Outsiders might have thought Aldar was jealous that Petra had taken the position of research lead on the Skill Share project while he was the management lead. The research lead of a project was the most reputable position, and if the project was successful and was influential enough, then Petra would easily become known as a Great Person. The one who pioneered the project and saw it to fruition. Skill Share would be known as Petra's.
    Management leads were important but far less prestigious.
    For all that Petra did the development work on the Skill Share AR module, she knew that Aldar was just as clever and just as good as herself. It was something of a fallback plan even, that if the unthinkable happened and Petra was no longer able to work at Skill Share, Aldar could take her place.
    But over the long years of work, Petra had come to know that Aldar actually wanted the management position. It paid more and he would be able to live a 'normal' and 'quiet' life afterwards. No speeches or interviews like Aine had. It was crazy talk, but the man was always slightly crazy. Well, it was good for Petra, she supposed.
    "The ethics board will arrive soon, we should get ready," Aldar said.
    Petra nodded back, tugging on her suit's lapels to straighten it as they walked into the Skill Share administration offices. She had to look like she knew what she was doing with this project, as research lead. No matter how lost she was. Though at this time, the ethics board had taken so long to give approval that Petra's research team had been able to finish all their groundwork, fill in every blank and answer every question.
    In truth, Skill Share was ready to deploy but for the last portions of data that her full mental scan was needed to finalize. And that ethics refused to approve.
    The meeting room was arranged in an almost adversarial fashion. The ethics board members here today to pronounce their decision would sit behind the long table while Petra and Aldar would stand in the center of the room in front of them. It made her feel as if she was trial.
    Which was not totally inaccurate. If these imbeciles decided to deny her upload, it could set back the Skill Share project for years if not decades. It might kill her project even, if they could not find further funding.
    The secretary peeked out of the room at intervals while Petra and Aldar stood around waiting for the executioner, not knowing if they carried an axe or a pardon.
    Then without fanfare, the four staid men and one woman strode into the room to take their seats behind the table. The white ribbon on their suit lapels showed their positions on the ethics board.
    Petra resisted the urge to sneer. The ethics board suffered the common criticism that they were only there to impede progress. They put obstacles in the way of Great People building their Projects. What sort of people wanted to serve on ethics boards was beyond Petra's understanding, but ethics boards were a requirement of the international Ethical Experimentation Treaty.
    But today... today, they held in their hands the final pronouncement that would determine the fate of Petra's pet project.
    "Petra Zivoska, Aldar Thang, this ethics panel has deliberated and come to a decision on your ethics application number 032C. " The man in the center said solemnly.
    She clenched her hand behind her back, unwilling to let them see her tension.
    "A full mental upload carries risk to the System in general due to the volume of data storage you request, presents an ethical challenge in that your mental copy may potentially be activated as a thinking sentient being in the future and that the procedure requires you to be asleep for a duration of greater than forty five hours. In your application, you gave responses to these challenges posed.
    The private System servers have been tested and found satisfactory, that the final storage does not support simulation and that no theoretical foundation of virtual simulation of mental copies exists, that you yourself have undergone lifeforce augmentation and that medical facilities will be made available for the duration of the procedure; these responses have been considered. Furthermore, you claim that your project cannot succeed or will meet great difficulty if you cannot undergo this procedure. "
    The man paused for effect, making Petra want to strangle him.
    "Your application has been approved. We wish you the best-" and then Petra stopped paying attention.
    Petra managed to keep it in long enough to smile, thank the man and hustle the ethics board out the door with handshakes all round.
    Right as the door closed, she spun to face Aldar and glomped him with a high pitched squeal.

  20. - Top - End - #50
    Banned
     
    Jormengand's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    In the Playground, duh.

    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    Channeller is 4320 words.

    I did a speech; it's 4 minutes 45 long. I even managed to put the theme in! Mild trigger warnings for offhand references to prejudice in general.

  21. - Top - End - #51
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Lycunadari's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    Status for July 30 to August 5!

    The theme was Amaranthine!


    Lycunadari passes with nine pride photos and one landscape painting.

    jseah passes with 1697 words of Record of the Inherited Memory Girl's Efforts.

    Xiander passes with 2439 words of Blind Fate.

    Jormengand passes with 4320 words of Channeller and a speech including the theme.

    Subproject54 didn't upload/send me anything – are you still in?

    Some Android didn't upload/send me anything – are you still in?


    Thus Subproject54 and Some Android FAIL this round!

    Lycunadari, jseah, Xiander and Jormengand PASS this round!


    Congratulations to Jormengand for passing 20 weeks! Well done!

    Congratulations to me for breaking Glass Mouse's 290 week record! Yay!

    Current standing:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Lycunadari
    Current run: 291 weeks
    Longest run: -
    Themes: -

    jseah
    Current Run: 130 weeks
    Longest Run: 33 weeks
    Themes: -

    Xiander
    Current run: 109 weeks
    Longest run: -
    Themes: -

    Jormengand
    Current run: 20 weeks
    Longest run: -
    Themes: 9 weeks

    Subproject54
    Current run: -
    Longest run: 6 weeks
    Themes: -

    Some Android
    Current run: -
    Longest run: 42 weeks
    Themes: -



    The current theme is Manipulation.

    The theme for the week from August 13 to 19 has not yet been chosen - anyone can suggest one!

    The theme for the week from August 20 to August 26 is chosen by me, it's Unfortunate Implications.

    -------

    Announcement!

    I'm going on vacation and I don't know if I'll have time/internet access to make the status posts, so I will make the status posts for the weeks from August 13 to September 9 when I come back. You can either continue posting your work as usual or make one post with everything at the end. Also, we are going to choose all the themes for that time now, so Jor knows what to do.

    The theme for the week from August 27 to September 2 is chosen by jseah.

    The theme for the week from September 3 to September 9 is chosen by Xiander.

    The theme for the week from September 10 to September 16 is chosen by Jormengand.

    Please let me know the themes here or by PM until August 19 so I can include them in the next status post, otherwise I'll chose them to make sure we don't have themeless weeks.
    -----

    Here are a bunch of photos from pride, and one watercolour painting. I did another one as well, but forgot to take a photo of it.
    Last edited by Lycunadari; 2018-08-09 at 01:11 PM. Reason: typo
    You can call me Juniper. Please use gender-neutral pronouns (ze/hir (preferred) or they/them) when referring to me.

    "We all are vessels of our brokenness, we carry it inside us like water, careful not to spill. And what is wholeness if not brokenness encompassed in acceptance, the warmth of its power a shield against those who would hurt us?" - R. Lemberg, Geometries of Belonging

    Stories

    Do you like writing? Drawing? Being creative? Come join the CHALLENGE!

  22. - Top - End - #52
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Xiander's Avatar

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    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    How are we counting revision? I don't know if I will write much this week, but I am planning on revising blind fate. And I have some roleplay notes I can share. I just want to be sure I have enough.


    Also for my pick, the theme is Sorcery

  23. - Top - End - #53
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    1502 for Hero's War

    Spoiler
    Show
    She sat beside him, both of them looking out the balcony to the quiet pond and garden under the calm evening moon.
    "I still can't believe it," Landar said after pouring the tea for both of them. "My father approving an out of family marriage is impossible. "
    Cato sighed, there was Landar's willful blindness when the topic was her father. "You could at least try to bury the hatchet. That means to make peace with him," he clarified the idiom at her confused look, "your father has approved of your work. You should be proud. "
    "I still don't understand, how does my father even approve of a marriage without political benefit?"
    "I don't think his only motive is to gain an advantage in the Iris clan," Cato explained, "he does look out for your wellbeing, in his own way. You should remember that the last time I visited here with Minmay, your father did try to set us up together. You might not have believed him, but I certainly thought he was being serious. "
    He saw her disbelieving look and had to explain himself.
    "Your father wanted a marriage with a strong Iris clan member because he felt it was the best way he could ensure your status. I think. Magical strength is also a very strong indicator of intra-clan status too, hence his insistence that you train. Now that you and I have been credited with helping the Iris create a new training program that increases the power of the clan significantly, our engagement will only cause your stock to rise in the eyes of the Iris. After all, your investigations into lifeforce and mine into magical power storage was the genesis of that training program that they will all be using.
    Even before that, our cooperation with Minmay gives you significant political power with Ektal country, and no matter how isolationist the Iris are, that is worth something. Plus it helps that we're rich enough your lifestyle is basically guaranteed.
    Think about it, if your father marries you off to another Iris branch family, that will only make his position as the first branch more secure by acquiring a potential allied family. Your cooperation with me is unlikely to change in any case, so the Iris still benefit there. Instead he supports your marriage to me, which improves your position at the expense of your branch family within the Iris. "
    Landar snorted, "there's also the fact that I won't be listening to him and he knows it. "
    "There is that," Cato said.
    They shared a moment of silence that the night filled with the chirping of insects. The tea was nice.
    "Well, enough about that craziness. I won the argument, I proved I can stand on my own, that's all that matters. Yes, yes, I will play nice. It's the least I can do after he quietly ignored the requirement of testing your magical strength. "
    Landar leaned on his shoulder and patted Cato's hand before he could raise a protest about her stubbornness. "We should talk about something else," she said.
    "What do you want to talk about?" Cato asked, feeling a little strange. Was she in one of her more forward moods? The fact that she had turned their engagement bracelet into a weapon was still fresh even many months after that picnic.
    "Talk about Earth. What was your life like there? What are your parents like? Are they going to be surprised to find you're married if we get a way back?"
    Cato mused, thinking about what to tell her. Come to think of it, he hadn't really spoken much about his life on Earth.
    "I grew up in the United Kingdom. We're an island nation, though the island is quite big. The capital, London, probably has as many people as the entirety of the Inath Federation. My parents were academics, they met in university, the final stage of education, got married, went to work in the same University of London and never left. I grew up in London, went to school in London at six years old all the way up to University. also in London, and basically never left either.
    I can't describe to you what it is like to live in a city like that. Minmay at its busiest does not come close to the daily traffic jams or the sheer density of people at King Cross at rush hour. I remember I had to travel half an hour by train to go to school and come back home, five days a week, when I was just eight. My mother used to send me to school but as I grew older, I had to take the train myself.
    That's pretty much the story of my entire life. Each day, my parents go to work, I go to school. We come home in the afternoon, have a family dinner and that's all. We have a pretty huge fiction collection however, my room has an entire wall dedicated to my own personal bookshelf, and my parents and I share our books with each other all the time. "
    He mused to himself. Yes, that omitted a huge amount of detail but he couldn't just dump it all on her without explanation. The idea of a public transport system was nothing more than a gleam in the eye of Minmay, a shiny project that probably couldn't be usefully implemented on a scale smaller than all of Ektal. Talking about his hobby of computer games and programming was also too far ahead for Landar to really understand.
    Cato continued, leaning back on Landar, "my parents should be fine. They'll be too relieved that I've returned to worry about my getting married. They're certainly less complicated than your family. My mother has two siblings, my father has one, I have a few cousins but no brothers or sisters myself.
    More than that, my mother would be very interested in interviewing you about the Iris and the overall Tsarian culture. She studies these things. My father is an engineer, like me, and would be more interested in our work on magic and technology. And now you know where I got my..."
    Cato looked down, noticing the lack of sound from Landar, and found that she was sleeping lightly against his shoulder.
    "Come on, at least sleep in your bed," he shook her gently. She murmured and cracked open an eye before sitting up.
    "Oh, did I fall asleep?" she muttered, "we should sleep then. Leave the tea, we can clean it up tomorrow. "
    Cato nodded and helped her up, "so, do you mind showing me back to my room? I still can't find my around this very... large house. "
    Landar frowned at him, "we're sleeping here of course. " She pointed at the bed in the adjoining room.
    "On the same bed?" Cato asked skeptically.
    "Well yes, we're engaged right?" she said plainly.
    The completely nonchalant way Landar said that made Cato pinch his nose. "All right, I think there's a cultural difference here again," Cato sighed, "on Earth, if a man and a woman share a bed-"
    That got her to look away in embarrassment, though the dim moonlight wasn't enough to see if she was blushing like Cato was. "Oh, if we have sex before we're actually married, we're expected to keep it quiet. But if I get pregnant, the marriage happens immediately. But, we, are, waiting. Understand? The other families will laugh at us otherwise. "
    Cato nodded. Perhaps he ought to clear up any particular cultural quirks now... "And is there any expectation that we sleep together for the first time after marriage?" he sighed as the idiom once again failed, "sleeping together is a euphemism for sex. "
    Landar just stared at him, "I have no idea what your world thinks about sex but it's not like that. We are expected to have children or try for children within a few years however. Marriage is a union of politics and love if you can manage it. " She huffed and turned to the bed, "but it's late. I'm too sleepy to have a discussion about all the weird quirks you might not know about or have yourself. Later!"
    Was the act considered less significant here on Inath? Or perhaps that was just the Tsarian outlook. Though Cato had noticed that red light district in Minmay seemed to be more tolerated than on Earth. Strangely enough, there were male prostitutes too but Cato had never really thought about what that signified about Inath other than a surprisingly high level of equality that he had attributed to magic covering the differences in martial ability.
    He really needed to have an open discussion with Landar about cultural expectations on this sort of thing very soon. Before the year was up at least.

  24. - Top - End - #54
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Xiander's Avatar

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    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    For this week I did 479 words of preparation for a Pathfinder
    Spoiler: Gm's notes
    Show
    As they draw near to the mountains at the edge of the desert, our heroes spot a thin line of smoke, unmistakingly comming from a cooking fire. A wandering tribe of Desert nomads are camped under in the shadow of the mountains. Can the heroes win their trust and enlist their aid in finding the trail of blood?

    Twenty great tents, each hold one extended family. Grandparents, parents, sons daughters cousins nephews and nieces share a roof. Each tent is ruled by the oldest member of the family, male or female.
    Each family has some say in any given matter, based on the number of family members. Three families are bigger than the others, and rule more or less in unison.

    The Farflight tribe boast some of the greatest hunters in the gathering. The Farflights know the hidden paths of the dessert well, but are not keen on sharing them with outsiders.
    They are led by Horgus Farflight, an experienced tracker. Tall and broad, he wears the skin of the great lizard that took his left eye. Even at sixty years of age he is still a formidable fighter.

    The Moonshadow tribe have made a habit of traveling to the edge of the desert to trade with outsiders. They are more open to listening to outsiders than the other tribes, but that does not mean they are friendly.
    Armielle Moonshadow is ancient, especially for a dessert nomad. She wears a dress made in Alchmia, blue with white flowers. She speaks softly, and her great grandson relays her words to the gathered people.

    The Stonearm tribe are craftsmen. They make weapons and leathers for all the tribes and have prospered due to the quality of their wares.
    Rogar Stonearm Is a squat, squarejawed man with small beady eyes. He has a cruel streak and has sometimes been known to send outsiders into the desert fully expecting them to die in the sands.

    On their way deeper into the desert, the heroes feel the wind picking up, a sandstorm is drawing near.

    Survival checks, to judge the speed of the aproaching storm, and find proper shelter.


    The night sky is broken open by a series of green, red and blue flashes, like lightning with no thunder. There are no clouds and no other source of the sudden lights. After a while, an ethereal battle startes forming in the sky, and getting sharper and more defined, as it descends upon the desert sands.
    A lantern archon and a batalion of Hound Archons face off against an Ice Devil, leading a horde of bearded devils.
    The archons are defending a Narrow pass, while the Ice devil holds the remain of a crumbling fort. The archons are outnumbered, but for now they hold out.
    Will the Heroes join the winning side, try to save the Archons or wait and let the battle play out.


    And revised most of a 10000 word story found here:

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing

  25. - Top - End - #55
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Lycunadari's Avatar

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    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    Status for August 6 to August 12!

    The theme was Manipulation!


    Lycunadari passes with 5 nature photos and three character drawings.

    jseah passes with 1502 words of Hero's War.

    Xiander passes with 479 words for RP and about 10000 words of revisions.

    Jormengand didn't upload/send me anything passes with 2659 words of a Magic set, 2357 words of Elite 5, two symbols and 487 words of Design Spotlight: Bonded Foci, including the theme.

    Subproject54 is out due to disappearance.

    Some Android is out due to disappearance.


    Thus nobody FAILs this round!

    Lycunadari, jseah, Xiander and Jormengand PASS this round!


    Current standing:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Lycunadari
    Current run: 292 weeks
    Longest run: -
    Themes: -

    jseah
    Current Run: 131 weeks
    Longest Run: 33 weeks
    Themes: -

    Xiander
    Current run: 110 weeks
    Longest run: -
    Themes: -

    Jormengand
    Current run: 21 weeks
    Longest run: -
    Themes: 10 weeks



    The current theme is Sunshine. (Chosen by me to avoid a themeless week).

    The theme for the week from August 20 to 26 is Unfortunate Implications!

    The theme for the week from August 27 to September 2 is chosen by jseah, please post it here or send it to me so I can edit it into this status post.
    -------

    Announcement!

    I'm going on vacation and I don't know if I'll have time/internet access to make the status posts, so I will make the status posts for the weeks from August 13 to September 9 when I come back. You can either continue posting your work as usual or make one post with everything at the end. Also, we are going to choose all the themes for that time now, so Jor knows what to do.

    The theme for the week from August 27 to September 2 is chosen by jseah.

    The theme for the week from September 3 to September 9 is Sorcery.

    The theme for the week from September 10 to September 16 is Reanimation.

    Please let me know the themes here or by PM until August 19 so I can edit them in this status post, otherwise I'll chose them to make sure we don't have themeless weeks.
    -----

    Nature pics and OC drawings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xiander View Post
    How are we counting revision? I don't know if I will write much this week, but I am planning on revising blind fate. And I have some roleplay notes I can share. I just want to be sure I have enough.
    As far as I remember, we never found a good solution on how to count editing/revision, considering it can include anything from fixing typos to entire new scenes. Maybe a rule depending on how much has changed would work. Something like:
    • superficial changes (typos, replacing single words, changing sentence structure etc): 1000 words = 1 piece
    • medium changes (new sentences, changing the structure of a scene etc): 500 words = one piece
    • extensive changes (completely new scenes, completely changed scenes etc): like new writing, 250 words = 1 piece

    That's obviously still pretty subjective, but the other categories, especially art, are as well, so I think it would be okay. In any case, your 10000 words of revision for this week are more than enough.
    Last edited by Lycunadari; 2018-08-17 at 05:16 AM. Reason: added Jor's stuff
    You can call me Juniper. Please use gender-neutral pronouns (ze/hir (preferred) or they/them) when referring to me.

    "We all are vessels of our brokenness, we carry it inside us like water, careful not to spill. And what is wholeness if not brokenness encompassed in acceptance, the warmth of its power a shield against those who would hurt us?" - R. Lemberg, Geometries of Belonging

    Stories

    Do you like writing? Drawing? Being creative? Come join the CHALLENGE!

  26. - Top - End - #56
    Banned
     
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    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    I meant to post this yesterday but internet cut out unexpectedly, so I'm going to have to claim one of my tri-annual (Hey, look, a pun!) free passes at a late upload.

    2194 words of a custom Magic set here. There's another 465 words in an MSE file but copying it all across is really annoying so you're going to have to trust me, okay?

    Spoiler: 2357 words of Elite 5
    Show
    ## Arcane Bonds

    A magician has a bond with either an unusually powerful familiar, a little like the find familiar spell, or an intelligent arcane focus with a variety of special powers.

    ### Special Familiar

    You gain the service of a familiar, which works just like the find familiar spell with a variety of exceptions - you can't have a familiar from both sources. You can use the find familiar spell to change your familiar's form or to summon it again if it is slain, but you can do either of those things freely after a long rest without having to cast, or even know, the spell.
    ___
    The creature's type doesn't change from its original type. Unlike most familiars, it can attack. It is also not bound by the standard list of familiars - see the list below instead.
    ___
    The familiar's natural armour increases by 1, plus 1 per 2 levels after first, and its hit points equal either its listed hit points or half of your hit points, whichever is more. Its intelligence score becomes 6, plus 1 per 2 levels after 1st, if it isn't already higher.
    ___
    The familiar has the evasion ability, uses your save bonuses if they're better than its own, and has advantage on saving throws against spells. If you know the Scrying spell, you can cast it on your familiar as a ritual. You can't be surprised while your familiar is within your natural reach. You can't harm your familiar and it can't harm you. Finally, your familiar grants you a special bonus while it is within a mile of you. These bonuses are given on the table below:

    | Familiar | Benefit |
    |:---:|:-----------:|
    |Badger|+1 proficiency level to survival|
    |Bat|Darkvision 30 feet or +30 feet.|
    |Cat|+1 proficiency level to stealth|
    |Crab|+1 to AC (Natural armour)|
    |Crawling Claw|Resistance to necrotic|
    |Eagle|+1 proficiency level to perception|
    |Flying Snake|+1 proficiency level to acrobatics|
    |Frog/Toad|+1 hit point per level|
    |Haemonculus|Resistance to poison|
    |Hawk|+1 proficiency level to initiative|
    |Lizard|+1 proficiency level to athletics|
    |Octopus|+2 proficiency levels to intelligence save|
    |Owl|+1 proficiency level to wisdom saves|
    |Poisonous Snake|+1 proficiency level to deception|
    |Quipper|No speed penalty for swimming|
    |Rat|+1 proficiency level to constitution save|
    |Raven|+1 proficiency level to investigation|
    |Scorpion|+1 proficiency level to intimidation|
    |Seahorse|+2 proficiency levels to charisma save|

    \pagebreak



    | Familiar | Benefit |
    |:---:|:-----------:|
    |Slaad Tadpole|Resistance to acid|
    |Spider|No speed penalty for climbing|
    |Stirge|+2 proficiency levels to strength save|
    |Weasel|+1 proficiency level to dexterity save|

    ### Bonded Focus

    A bonded focus has a special power depending on its form. If your bonded focus is damaged, it is restored to full hit points when you complete a short or long rest; if it is destroyed, you may create a new bonded focus after any long rest; alternatively, you can use the find familiar spell to create a bonded focus instead of its normal purpose (you may still use it normally to find a familiar).
    ___
    You can also change the form that your bonded focus takes via either method that could create a new one.

    #### Bonded Crystal

    You can use your crystal to split any spell you cast into up to two, plus one per five levels, identical copies which each have the relevant fraction of the effect. For example, when you cast burning hands, you can create two cones of fire, which might overlap, each of which deals 3d6/2 points of damage.
    ___
    At level 15, you could make 5 mage hands that can each carry two pounds with a single casting of the spell, or four clouds of knives which each deal 4d4/4 points of damage to a creature who enters their area, and each damages the creature separately.
    ___
    Anything that is not a divisible numerical effect can have its duration, if it has a duration other than permanent, split between targets, otherwise it is lost. For example, even with a 3rd-level slot, you can target two creatures with a fly spell, but they can only fly for 5 minutes each in this case.
    ___

    #### Bonded Orb

    You can cast any spell as though you were in your bonded orb's space (and therefore able to use it as a focus, as well as casting the spell from its location), with the exception that you cannot use any spell to move further than you would be able to move normally (notably misty step and dimension door), so long as it is within 50 feet plus 5 feet/level of your actual location.

    ___

    You can also see and hear through your orb while it is within this range, though you are blind and deaf to your own senses when you do so.

    #### Bonded Rod

    When you use your bonded rod as a focus, you can cast spells at 50% longer range, plus 5% longer range per level, whether the value listed as the spell's range or anything else that provides a limitation on how far away the spell can affect.
    ___
    For example, at 3rd level, you can cast a spell with a listed range of 120 feet at a target up to 198 feet away, or use the Misty Step spell to teleport up to 49.5 feet.
    ___
    The minimum distance between dancing lights is increased, but not the area of light they shed or how far they can move per round, for another example.

    #### Bonded Staff

    A bonded staff can be wielded as a quarterstaff. You are a master with your bonded staff. The staff deals extra damage equal to your mastery bonus, or your eliteness bonus if you become elite with it.

    #### Bonded Wand

    You may imbue a spell into your bonded wand, expending a spell slot as normal (or not expending one in the case of a cantrip). When you do, you can give your wand to another creature, who can then cast the spell once at any point today.
    ___
    You can only imbue one spell into the wand at a time. The user of the wand uses your attack bonus and save DC, and the spell slot level that you used.

    ##### *................................................. ................................*
    **Q:** What does Bonded Crystal do in the case of...
    ___
    **A:** Oh, you are a pest, aren't you? Prestidigitation just doesn't work because it's too weird, you divvy up Alarm's volume equally, colour spray and sleep you divide the hit point roll and nothing else, no you can't divide feather falls to make people fall even slower, magic missile divides each dart up into mini-darts that do piddly damage, alter self doesn't work, haste's duration is cut up so it's probably a bad idea, bestow curse divides up the duration or damage, your choice, yes you can send three seven-word sendings, you can change which creature you bring for each fragment of dimension door... for anything else, extrapolate from this; I'm not doing the whole spell list!
    ___
    **Q:** Can I touch a creature as though I were in my orb's space?
    ___
    **A:** Yes, for example in the case of vampiric touch. You can't just randomly grab people as though you were in your orb's space, though.
    ___
    **Q:** What happens if I cast a spell from my orb that is limited in how far away the effect can travel from me during the duration?
    ___
    **A:** You are considered to be in the orb's space for the whole spell, so you don't need to be near the spell's effect to maintain the spell but if someone moves your orb away, being near the spell effect won't help you either.
    ___
    **Q:** What, specifically, is a range?
    ___
    **A:** Basically any limitation on the maximum distance between two or more things that isn't an area of effect.
    ___
    **Q:** Do these items work with spells from magic items?
    ___
    **A:** Yes, so long as you're considered the caster.
    ___
    **Q:** Can I swap between a bonded item and a special familiar?
    ___
    **A:** No.

    \pagebreak

    ## Schools of Magic

    A magician has the opportunity to specialise in one of a variety of schools of magic. Each one has one or more subschools: traditional schools of magic (abjuration, conjuration and so forth) which it specifically improves. Any school of magic grants you the following benefits regarding its subschools:

    - You are a master at spells in that subschool.
    - You can choose elite spells from that subschool.
    - The time it takes to copy a spell from that subschool into your spellbook is halved.

    ___

    Each school also grants you a variety of other abilities, at 2nd, 6th, 10th and 14th level. The schools of magic are as follows:

    - **Adjuration** holds people to a limited set of actions, allowing you to force them to perform specific actions or prevent them from attacking you.
    - **Animation** brings nonsentient objects into motion, or compels your enemies to act through physical force rather than subtle mental influence.
    - **Animism** is the control of, or assault on, the souls of living beings, or beings which were once living and retain, or are, the souls of the creature they once were.
    - **Apparition**s are much like phantasms, but rather than having a single effect and then going away, they stick around as though they had been summoned or raised.
    - **Coercion** is a direct assault on a creature's mind. If enchantment is picking the lock on someone's mind, coercion is bashing down the door.
    - **Cogitation** allows for super-fast rationalisation, thought, and understanding. You can look at a language they have never seen and learn the meaning in moments, or decipher a hidden message just by looking at it.
    - **Convocation** creates lasting forms of energy, allowing a pillar of fire to rise while you become living lightning.
    - **Deception** tricks people. Their beliefs are changed, and what they see changes to match; they see an illusion and their worldview reforms to suit it.
    - **Destruction** is its own explanation, causing life to become death and structure to become ruin. Proud stone towers collapse into rubble and creatures go up in flames.
    - **Diabolism** is the use of demons for one's bidding. It has a subschool, possession, but also allows calling of demons to serve the user. Possession effects are ones which force a demon into a creature's body, allowing some degree of control of that body (whether by the caster or otherwise).
    - **Effigy** spells are ones which affect one creature through another creature or object: the archetype of effigy is the standard voodoo doll, and this school of magic allows the pins in the doll to come to life in the victim.
    - **Exhibition** allows you to reveal the results of your divinations to other creatures, or project a message outwards. Alternatively, you can use your divinations as the targeting equipment for a powerful attack.
    - **Exhortation** is an appeal made to a creature to aid you, or a forceful attempt to bring a creature or object, willing or otherwise, to you.
    - **Illumination** is the control of light, allowing you to make devastating attacks which blind your foes, or plunge entire continents into darkness.
    - **Inhibition** dissuades people mentally from their goal, suggests to them another course of action, or leads them astray by suggesting the impossible. If all else fails, it crushes their spirit until they choose to stop.
    - **Intervention** convolutes things, it targets some creature and places impediments to their goal, or chooses some other creature and foils plans to harm them. To use intervention is to confound someone, somewhere, in some action.
    - **Malediction** is a fancy way of referring to curses: these are abilities which plague a creature in some way and are generally difficult to remove.
    - **Morphism** refers to the changing of one's form, or in this case merging one's form into that of a summoned creature, potentially allowing you to remain unharmed no matter how much damage the morph sustains.
    - **Oneirism** is the manipulation of dreams, allowing you to transmit messages between sleeping creatures or even bring a creature's nightmare to life.
    - **Petition** is a wide call for creatures to answer to you, to come to your aid, or to rally to your cause; using the power of petition allows you to send a rallying cry to those who would never normally even hear you out without leaving your seat.
    - **Precognition** allows you to protect yourself or other creatures with foreknowledge of events that are to come. Further, while neither divination nor abjuration have strong aggressive potential, the combination can be devastating, flooding a creature's mind with warnings against their untimely (and inevitable) demise.
    - **Protection** is the creation of physical impediments to harm: walls and shields of energy that block the attacks of those who wish to harm the allies of the caster.
    - **Replication** allows you to copy creatures, spells or abilities, enabling you to use abilities that are beyond your grasp, but within another creature's.
    - **Retribution** seeks to retaliate in full force against attackers. The weak points left by an opponent's attack are automatically exploited.
    - **Sacrament** guards one's soul, and wards against those with ill intent. It is used by necromancers to ensure that their undead are protected from the machinations of clerics, and by abjurers to ensure that they can protect all creatures, alive or dead.
    - **Seance** is the act of speaking to the spirits of the dead. They have the power to serve you or impart wisdom to you, allowing valuable information to be obtained or armies to be defeated.
    - **Silhouette** is the physical manipulation of shadows, allowing a creature to be strangled by the darkness or even forced to fight their own shadow in battle.
    - **Warding** is the ability to create safeguards which impede magical and physical assault on a creature, usually by changing the attack in a way that makes it less harmful.
    - **War Magic** gives up a subschool to empower your physical prowess.
    - You may also specialise in a single one of the traditional schools (**Devoted Specialism**), none at all, (**Generalism**), or all of them (**Universalism**).

    \pagebreak


    Outlander Symbol and Isoquar Set Symbol

    I suppose for the theme - and the last 484 words I need - I'll do another design spotlight.

    Spoiler: 487 words of Design Spotlight: Bonded Foci
    Show
    Bonded foci were weird, because I needed them to act as some kind of object that you manipulate to distinguish them from familiars who act of their own accord. Passive benefits therefore seemed a little bit odd, and absolutely in-theme at the same time. The first one I thought of was a bonded staff, which was an easy enough item to design: writ large, a staff is a weapon above all else, so it made sense to make a bonded staff the key item for a battlemage. Originally, I made it scale like a cantrip, but that got a little crazy with extra attack, which I intended to be a benefit of at least one subclass. So, it now adds your mastery bonus, which is a slower-scaling number but still a significant damage boost.

    The rod came next, though I originally gave the ability to the wand, until I realised that I wanted to give the wand the imbue with spell ability. Bonded orb was originally going to allow you to bounce a spell off it, but I couldn't think of a clever way of doing that. Last of all, came the crystal, with its massive list of rulings because it's not massively well-defined in what it does in a lot of cases. I try to avoid this kind of ability, where you're not always sure what it does, which is why it comes with a boatload of rulings, the same way that wondrous items did. On the other hand, I really was running out of ideas at this point because trying to make a focus do something interesting was... hard.

    Incidentally, I recalled that Pathfinder had tried bonded items, so I went to check what they did, but all they do is give you an extra spell slot - and if it's anything that the magician has enough of, it's spell slots! Plus, it's a really boring ability, and I don't want to be boring, like, yeesh, seriously. Finally, it didn't mesh with the idea of the bonded focus - a focus is something that you carry all the time, that needs to be manipulated with one hand in order to actually work (Pathfinder's bonded items can be amulets or rings), and therefore something that needs to be able to do something more than once per day.

    That said, though, I ended up in this weird situation where you're not even in the same square as your focus if you choose an orb, but this is fine, because I thought of that at the time: you're treated as in its square and therefore able to use it as a focus (as well as able to cast spells with it). Though, the image of an orb being manipulated as though you were in its square when you're actually not is a funny one, it probably doesn't make any mechanical difference - or at least, I hope not!


    Oh, and for my theme choice, I'll make it Reanimation.
    Last edited by Jormengand; 2018-08-16 at 03:08 PM.

  27. - Top - End - #57
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Lycunadari's Avatar

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    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    I meant to post this yesterday but internet cut out unexpectedly, so I'm going to have to claim one of my tri-annual (Hey, look, a pun!) free passes at a late upload.
    Okay.
    You can call me Juniper. Please use gender-neutral pronouns (ze/hir (preferred) or they/them) when referring to me.

    "We all are vessels of our brokenness, we carry it inside us like water, careful not to spill. And what is wholeness if not brokenness encompassed in acceptance, the warmth of its power a shield against those who would hurt us?" - R. Lemberg, Geometries of Belonging

    Stories

    Do you like writing? Drawing? Being creative? Come join the CHALLENGE!

  28. - Top - End - #58
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Lycunadari's Avatar

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    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    And I'm off, see you in September!

    Here are the themes until then:

    The current theme is Unfortunate Implications.

    The theme for the week from August 27 to September 2 is Mundane.

    The theme for the week from September 3 to September 9 is Sorcery.

    The theme for the week from September 10 to September 16 is Reanimation.
    You can call me Juniper. Please use gender-neutral pronouns (ze/hir (preferred) or they/them) when referring to me.

    "We all are vessels of our brokenness, we carry it inside us like water, careful not to spill. And what is wholeness if not brokenness encompassed in acceptance, the warmth of its power a shield against those who would hurt us?" - R. Lemberg, Geometries of Belonging

    Stories

    Do you like writing? Drawing? Being creative? Come join the CHALLENGE!

  29. - Top - End - #59
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    1766 words for AT x HP

    Spoiler
    Show
    Harry watched Fluffy warily until Hermione had her wand pointed at the harp and focused her magic. Other than Hermione, no one else in their year could possibly sustain a transfiguration that large and complex. He turned to help Ron with the professor-
    Harry went cross-eyed with the tip Quirrel's wand hovering a mere inch from his face.
    "Stupefy"

    Voldemort hurried along the trail of destruction behind the arrogant McGonagall. The stupid and dumb woman was dismantling all the traps in her way in her haste to catch up with the stealthy Snape. Just like her to bring along three little kids to chase a dangerous wizard after the stone. Not even Voldemort would do that, what the woman thought they could do was beyond him. If it was an actual dark wizard after the stone and not Voldemort weaker than he had ever been.
    The first year had put up a surprisingly hard fight for a little girl, he had had to use far more magic than he expected. This body was fading rapidly under his possession, Voldemort really should have let the man go with the unicorn blood to shore up his power but the opportunity of Dumbledore stuck at the ICW was too great to ignore. Plus the unicorn blood would cloud his thinking and dull his senses in exchange for restoring his life and magic.
    Still, he had enough magic in him to defeat a transfiguration professor. Whatever traps or obstacles might exist would not be something that required much magic to solve, the crazy old wizard wouldn't want to hurt any of his little charges who wandered down here, right? Even the dog outside would only maul you a little, not that the Cerberus had lived after eating a blasting curse for interrupting.
    He caught up to her right as she was disabling the fire zones of Snape's potions room.
    "What-" was all the professor got out before a beam of light nearly set her on fire.
    Her icy hail into the empty troll room was batted into the wall with a wave of his hand, and then the battle really began.

    A few minutes later, Voldemort spat out a glob of sweat and saliva, cursing his temporary body's weakness. Quirrel wasn't a strong person in the first place and the possession had taken its toll. Voldemort forcing his magic through Quirrel in an extended drawn out battle didn't help.
    He glared at the transfiguration professor's statute, with one arm raised and a wide-eyed desperate expression. Zhonya's Defence. McGonagall's last ditch defence turned herself into a time locked statute, something that she couldn't reverse by herself, obviously. Only the very best of transfiguration masters could attempt this and not kill themselves from temporal shear.
    Her statute was impervious to all attacks and magic, except for the killing curse. Something that he really couldn't spare the magic for. She would take a day or so to thaw out naturally, more than enough time for Dumbledore to come to her rescue.
    In fact, the doddering old fool was probably on his way, McGonagall had already sent her message minutes ago after all.
    Voldemort stumbled through the wrecked potions room, an Assyrian ice curse parted Snape's fire wall.
    And there, in front of him, lay his prize. The culmination of all his efforts!
    The little red stone, small enough to fit into his fist. A seven fold sealing diagram? Pah, was that the best Dumbledore could create?
    Voldemort examined the lines, looking for the inevitable weaknesses of this particular sealing technique. It was more suited to internal defence and the trapping of dangerous creatures than to keep others out. Dumbledore might be a genius at magic but not even he could invert the technique perfectly.
    And there it was, Voldemort jabbed his wand into a corner while prodding the second edge clockwise with a pair of fingers laced with magic. He hummed a short series of very exact notes and the outermost layer crumbled with not a sound. Six layers left and not much time to do it in.
    Breaking through the remaining layers, each more fiendishly designed than the last, was an exercise in tediousness. Voldemort at his height could smash his way through, but now he was reduced to this! His learning journey over the years had given him some cursebreaking knowledge but he shouldn't have to scrabble about on the ground like some common wizard! He was Voldemort and magic should bow to his dominion!
    With a snarl, Voldemort snatched up the Stone from the broken warding array. That seal had delayed him for as much as time as it took to defeat McGonagall.
    Luckily, Voldemort had planned ahead for his inevitable success by preparing the ingredients for Elixir of Life before attempting the corridor. With a simple plop, the Stone dropped into the vial and an enchanted music box to perform the melody-modified ritual chant for him, a few seconds was all it took for the Elixir to be completed.
    "Heh. Hahaha... Muhahahaha!" the Dark Lord cackled as he downed the potion in a single swig.
    The last drop went down his throat right as phoenix fire arrived out of thin air on a clarion call of battle.

    "Energy drain?" Shurelia looked up from the dinner, interrupting Leard from his report on Metafalss politics.
    No. There had been a short spike in the Tower's broadcast field, as if someone or something had requested a huge amount of energy before the authentication system kicked it out.
    That was troubling, she had expected that the locals would eventually realize the presence of the Tower's energy broadcast field. But not this soon, even the locals who had H-wave abilities shouldn't be able to reverse engineer Sound Science in just two months!
    The drain this time was small and undirected though, whatever that was wasn't specifically meant to tap into the Tower, possibly a generic symphonic power collector. Shurelia shook her head, it was impossible to tell without the device in front of her.
    Still, perhaps a mission to wherever that was would be good. The embassy effort could pull double duty to assess the locals' progress in Sound Science perhaps?
    "Leard, do we have a map of this world?"

    Harry jerked awake at the crashing of stone and the wail of tortured magic. Before he had even thought about the situation, Harry grabbed his fallen wand lying next to him and rolled to his feet.
    Quirrel- The train of thought crashed to a halt as what was Fluffy's room exploded around him. Dimly, he stepped in front of Hermione's fallen form -she's burnt, her face and arms- and the chips of flying stone pattered off his school uniform.
    Fluffy's room didn't look like Fluffy's room anymore. The giant dog was missing a head and blood was everywhere on the walls. What was left of the walls.
    Instead, one entire side of the room -thank goodness it wasn't their side- was just missing, the damage going through the empty classroom and the next wall to open into the empty air over the school's outer grounds. The floor of said classroom and half of Fluffy's room was also gone, exposing a surprisingly undamaged broom closet below.
    The calm afternoon sun outside shone down on Professor Quirrel floating in mid-air, surrounding the sneering man with a golden glow. The sneer and the sheer confidence in his posture made Quirrel look like a completely different man. Not to mention his turban was missing and his hair looked to have grown back into a short buzzcut. No, it slowly growing back as Harry watched, getting longer visibly.
    In the shadow of the castle in front of Harry and his friends, was Dumbledore. The Headmaster's countenance looked scarier than Harry had ever seen him look before, not even when the twins had exploded an actual toilet like they had threatened their mum with on the platform. The cold anger on the Headmaster's face was totally at odds with his fun and almost foolish behaviour.
    Harry realized that his Headmaster might be a bit more complex than he had thought. That he appeared to be a doting grandparent to let the Hogwarts students not be scared of him even when Dumbledore, Chief Warlock and Supreme Mugwump, was really a very powerful wizard who could do anything he liked to them.
    The very alarming circumstances Harry found himself in might be worth screaming just about now but somehow Harry did not feel like screaming. Even if the tension between Dumbledore and Quirrel looked hard enough to grind the castle to dust. Even if Hermione was gravely injured and Professor McGonagall was missing and Harry himself had just woken up and holy ****, Hermione was half burnt and needed to get to hospital wing and safety right now and not in that order.
    No, Harry felt as if time was passing very slowly or his thoughts were just racing really fast.
    The Headmaster was staring down a very dangerous and cunning dark wizard in the form of Quirrel. The Headmaster did not need little children distracting him or needing to be protected. He remembered how that went in stories and how he was always irritated at the dumb kid who was so dumb he didn't run. And Hermione was injured and maybe dying!
    "I'll get Hermione and Ron out of here," Harry said softly, getting only a single nod from the Headmaster who didn't take his eyes off the floating former-Professor of Defence.
    Wingardium Leviosa. "I wonder how long you can defend those children? Maybe I'll tear down this castle stone by stone as you exhaust yourself?"
    "You have come to the wrong place, Tom. "
    "Ah, I knew you would recognize me. No matter, I have already won, for you see, I have the Stone. "
    No no, ignore the ominous taunting. Dumbledore didn't deign to give a response, only the sensation of risen magic prickling on Harry's skin like a wave of goosebumps. Then Fluffy's door, hanging half off it's hinges, was lit up by flashes of colour and a horrible sparkcrashbang came from behind Harry.
    He pushed Ron through the door with his foot, taking more care not to bump the floating Hermione against the frame and ignoring how he was straining to even keep her off the ground...

  30. - Top - End - #60
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Xiander's Avatar

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    Default Re: The CHALLENGE 4: Art block can't stop us

    Where is my flipping mind these days? I did 1542 words of a new story, and forgot to post them. anyways, here is the first installment of Eye for Detail:

    Spoiler: Eye for Detail, part one
    Show
    Hand shaking. Heart pounding. Breath shallow.
    His face was hurting, like something had taken a bite out of it. Vision blurry he looked down on the knife in his hand. Short but sharp, the weapon was slick with blood. Was this his own or someone else’s?
    He had a hard time seeing anything, but there was clearly a knife in his right hand. He couldn’t make out what he was holding in his left. He tried to focus on it, but it was like his eyes were drifting shut.
    He tried to open them and get a proper look.

    Grim opened his right eye. The left stayed shut, kept in place by the eyepatch. Probably for the best.
    He’d halfway dozed, and the bus had moved through most of the city without him seeing the path it had taken. That didn’t bother him much, he would find his way soon enough.
    The memories were what had him worried. There was nothing more irritating than a half remembered truth. Like an itch he couldn’t scratch or a piece of meat stuck between his back most teeth, it teased him. There was something he could not remember.
    He decided it could wait.
    There was a place, where he was wanted. A task he needed to do. He wasn’t sure about the details, but he knew this bus would take him there.
    His lone eye scanned the bus. There were only four other passengers. An old man, two half drunk teenagers and a woman talking on her phone. For the late hour that was quite a showing.
    Grim didn’t care for the other passengers, or the driver. He mostly didn’t care for the bus. They were all incidental, he could have gone without any of them, and the end result would be the same.
    There was a thousand ways to the place he was going, the bus just happened to arrive first. So he got on and let it take him to his destination.
    Now he felt that destination near, so he rose and went to the door. He didn’t press the button to signal for the bus to stop. It stopped anyways.
    Another drunk teen got on, and Grim left the bus behind. There wasn’t much life on the street, but a few people shuffled forlornly through the wet night.
    He stuffed his hands in the pockets of his coat and set off at a steady pace. As he walked, his right hand closed around the business card in the pocket. The thing that had started him on this trip, and would see him reach the end of it.
    He pulled it out and read the words on it.

    Frank Robinson
    Barrymoore and Robinson accounting

    He flipped the card over to see the adress and phone number on it. Someone had written a message for him in red ink. In neat, artful handwriting it said simply: Found him.
    Grim smiled down at the card and turned a corner. The business card had come in the mail, send by an old contact. He knew this had been a favour to him, so he probably owed her one.
    He could live with that.
    It took him a few minutes to reach his destination. He tucked the card back in his pocket and left it there. Not much use left for it, but he supposed it would make a fine suvenier.
    After a short walk, he found himself looking at a nondescript building. There was a list of businisses by the door to the stairwell, each listed next to the floor it was on.
    Just his luck that Barrymore and Robinson was on the tenth floor. Still, he’d come this far. A few Stairs wouldn’t really hurt him.
    The door was locked. He considered breaking it down, but decided that it would attact too much attention. So he reached into his coat and drew out his ring of keys from the inside pocket.
    It was a big, heavy bundle. Keys of all sizes and shapes rattled against each other as he picked out the one he would use. It took some time to find the right one, but he expected he would have time to spare.
    The key fit in the lock, first try, and the door swung open. He sepped inside, pulled the key from the lock and looked at it. As he stood there, the key seemed to wilt and fall apart. In seconds all that was left of it was a small bit of black dust on the floor.
    The key ring was practical but limited. A key for every lock, but each key would only work once. Still, he didn’t expect he would need to come back to this place.
    Grim stepped into the stairwell and closed the door behind him. He didn’t want company for what he was about to do, the locked door should be enough to discourage any one passing by.
    He took the stairs at an even pace. He wasn’t really in a hurry, he knew his price would be there when he arrived. The tenth floor waited for him, even after spending minutes climbing the stairs.
    The door to Barrymoore and Robinson Accounting was closed, probably locked.

    Grim eyed it seriously, the ring of keys in his inside pocket felt oddly heavy. It would be easy to just unlock the door and get on with it. Still, sometimes easy wasn’t right. He couldn’t get used to relying on the magic gadget for all his problems.
    So he looked the door over one more time. It was a pretty door. Probably expensive. A frosted glass part with the name of the company on it told him that he had come to the right place.
    “Vanity.” He mumbled to himself.
    Everyone had a weakness, and vanity was a comon one. This door could have been solid, but someone had insisted to make it flimsy, to make their name look good. Grim didn’t complain though, it made his job easier.
    He hit the glass with one elbow, sending spiderweb cracks across the entire surface. The second time he shattered the glass completely.
    As the glass rained towards the floor, he felt a tugging sensation in his missing eye. He debated resisting for a moment, then he decided to see what his eye had in store for him.

    There was a kinfe in his hand, covered with blood. Whose blood? There was no one else here. What was he holding in his other hand.
    He forced his eyes open. He could see the knife clearly now. It was a letter opener, sharpened to a scalpel edge. He held it with the blade pointed towards himself.
    What was in his other hand?
    He looked at it, and it was blurry and indistinct. Something round, much smaller than his palm. He breathed in and forced his eyes open.
    Sitting in his left hand, staring blindly at him, was a single, bloody eye.

    He rushed back to himself. His missing eye was pounding in his skkull like his heart did in his chest. He ignored it and got back to the task at hand.
    The glass had fallen to the floor on the inside of the door. The window was now an open hole in the wood.he reached through and unlocked the door.
    On the other side of the door was a counter were someone would recieve guests during business hours. Beyond that was a well kept office space.
    He walked through the place, calmly noting where everything was. It was a habit. A smooth exit is always helped by knowing the layout.
    There were computers in here, and Grim saw his own reflection in the mat surface of one of the screens. Unshaven, uncombed and genereally unseemly, he looked like someone who had broken in to steal just enough harware to pay for his next fix. The worn old coat and the eyapatch didn’t help that look.
    The thought of stealing anything seemed wrong to him. He wasn’t here for money. If he needed money, he would just sell his services. People knew what he was worth, and he had done work for the best and the worst the city had to offer.
    This night wasn’t about that though. Tonight, Grim was out on his own business. He found the door he was looking for at the back of the main room. This one didn’t have frosted glass, instead the name Frank Robinson was spelle out in golden letters on a small sign hanging on the door.
    Grim entered the office without knocking.
    “I have told you not to clean this room a hundred times.” The ofices occupant greeted him. “And what are you doing out there? It sounded like some one was throwing plates at a wall.”
    The oficce was roomy, and would be well lit in the day, the sun having access through the full wall windows on the other side of the room. Now the place was lit by the ceiling lamp, and the flickering bluish light of a computer screen.
    The man who spoke to him was middle aged, balding and dressed in the most expensive suit Grim had ever seen. There were cars less expensive than that suit.

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