The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Unraveling Tapestries OOC: Initial Conditions

    There is a god within us, and the heavens
    Have intercourse with earth; from realms above
    That spirit comes.

    ó Ovid, Ars Amatoria



    Let the red dawn surmise
    What we shall do,
    When this blue starlight dies
    And all is through.

    ó Robert W. Chambers, The Yellow Sign

    BEGIN THE RITUAL

    Read all instructions before attempting the ritual.

    Step 1: Put on headphones and get yourself into a meditative position close to your large screen of choice.
    Step 2: Follow the link. Hit pause, mute, turn CC off, then rewind it back to 0:00
    Step 3: Open your favorite purveyor of fine streaming music and find the song Submit (Subdued) by Mortiis from the album The Unraveling Mind. Queue it up so it's ready to play at your command. This works best if your keyboard/device has a handy play button, otherwise you'll have to be quick with your window switching in the next step.
    Step 4: Go back to the video, hit play and wait one second (0:01) before hitting play on the song. The better the timing the better the effect.
    Step 5: Enter full-screen mode on the video and lean back. Watch, listen, and absorb every detail. Pay particular attention to the progression.

    Repeat as necessary. Listen to the full album and watch related videos for maximum unraveling.

    THE YEAR IS 2020.

    There have been signs for some time now of an increased dissonance in the world, to the point that even Sleepers have noticed, but since they are blind to Magic they are severely limited in their ability to articulate it. "This is the dumbest timeline," or "go home, World, you're drunk," are frequently bandied about these days.

    By now there is a sense among the Wise that something is going on, beyond the (magically) ordinary. There is no unified agreement yet on a cause or explanation, and the Convocation called in London to discuss the matter proceeds with diligence, not with haste.

    Meanwhile life continues as it has, increasingly interrupted by news you never thought you'd hear, or witness, or have to deal with.

    THE WHERE IS WHEREVER.

    Imagine a vast metropolis of uncounted millions, a sprawling nexus of multicultural masses nestling among awe-inspiring architecture, ancient monuments, twisting alleys, maze-like neighborhoods, and crumbling infrastructure. A place of myriads and limitless imagination, equal parts potential and decay.

    If this place has a name, we shall perhaps learn it in the course of events, but for now let it be known simply as the city or metropolis. One note, though: wherever this great metropolis is, whatever its name, it is not anywhere in the U.K. Make of that what you will.

    YOU ARE ...

    Jayden Mavel, Mysterium, Mastigos
    Clover / The Witch of the Two Streets, Silver Ladder, Acanthus
    Hayabusa, Mysterium, Thyrsus

    Before you get too tied up in who you are, let's try to get some sense of what ties y'all together. Who are you as a cabal? What makes you a cabal, in the first place? Are you a gang, a family, childhood friends, ...?
    Last edited by stveje; 2019-07-09 at 03:00 AM.
    Sebastian/S.T. Veje
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Unraveling Tapestries OOC: Initial Conditions

    Starting with cabal creation is always tricky, at least for me. So my answer is going to be one of space.

    Ten minutesí walk from the train station, there is a left turn that branches into two roads. On the right hand there is a flight of winding stone steps that leads up to a shrine gate. Up there, everything is wood and gilt paint and water, save the antique cannon that for some reason sits by the caretakerís building.

    On the left hand, there is a street winding downwards, all electric lights and one-room bars. The buildings are many-leveled, apartments stacked atop little shops, flights of stairs leading down underneath to basement dives. And for all I know, thereís another flight of stairs down there in the basement, heading down to who knows where! And up overhead, the narrow space between the buildings is criss-crossed in catwalks and sun-shields, so that itís always cool and shady even at midday, and so that if you came up on the roofs you could sit there, and watch the lights of revelry below, and watch the trees sway in the wind about the shrine on the hill, a just unattainable jump away.

    This is a real place! The first time I ever went there, I walked alone after eleven at night, in the still and quiet of the shrine grounds, and past the bars being cleaned and closed. I have been there at midday; I have shopped at the unusual second-hand clothing store; I have not dared to eat the fried seafood, and walked past the bars with their chairs all stacked on the tables.

    If you ask me what sort of cabal we are, all I can offer as an answer, given that that is the sort of question that I find very difficultó we are the sort of cabal that cares for this place, the streets of heaven and hell.
    freedom in the flame

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Default Re: Unraveling Tapestries OOC: Initial Conditions

    What connects people in the modern city? I don't think it's family. Blood is deep, don't get me wrong, but in a world of such density and variety, family is too inflexible, too judgmental, and just too far apart. You don't see your family during the day, and if you're all working different shifts, you might not see them at all. A gang would do, certainly, but they're so limited. Gangs are all about power and so they really don't want you hanging out with anyone else. Boring. Friends is closer, but not childhood. Childhood friends are just asking to drift apart, to have big fights about how things aren't like they used to be or to just stop seeing each other once they get into the world of magic.

    No, you know what unites people in the dense city? Doing the same goddamn thing. The people you talk to every day, eat and drink with, think with and laugh and cry with, those people become your reality. Now, co-workers, there's a big wall between everybody, have to keep things professional after all. But if you find people who share your passion and manifest it, who show up to clean the same garden, who sit and drink tea at the same bar before they switch to whiskey, those people are the ones who get you. Raz sees a place, and I see the people who, whatever else they may be doing, are the ones who come to the shrine to pray, and to care, and who finish their task and go down to the same one room bar and sip their drinks. Who talk and laugh and watch and share in some inarticulable way, the same view of how the world ought to be because they wouldn't be there if they didn't.

    And here's how I see myself in there. Maybe you've seen this before? She's been waiting her turn for a while.
    Spoiler
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    Edit: Also, I am calling dibs on Thyrsus for sure. I want to be able to see the world in that video.
    Last edited by Anarion; 2019-06-27 at 07:24 PM.
    School Fox by Atlur

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Anarion's right on the money here.
    Quotes

    "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.Ē
    Oscar Wilde Writer & Poet (1891)

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    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Unraveling Tapestries OOC: Initial Conditions

    Fate. Of course it's fate.

    It loops us around and around. We weren't childhood friends but we did attend the same school. We weren't family but our cousins did get married and we sat awkwardly next to each other at the reception. We didn't go to work in the same office but your business was a supplier for my business and the negotiation was awkward for the first ten minutes before you snapped your finger and said 'oh aren't you so-and-so's cousin?' We kept looping back to each other. We kept getting opportunities to be into each others lives.

    We didn't always take them. The timing wasn't right, or we weren't right. But those phone number sat in the bottom of our contact lists for decades - just 'Dale' or 'Richard' or whatever, no last name, the kind of contact you flick past while looking for the two or three people you actually do call reliably. The kind of contact you'd never transfer deliberately but it's stuck to your SIM card and comes with you no matter how many times you lose or break or replace your phone.

    One way or another Fate kept us just together enough. Just enough so that when your life catches fire and the walls fall down and your marriage falls apart and the truth of all things is seared permanently on the insides of your eyelids and you've got nowhere to go and you're crying while scrolling through that contact list looking for a relationship you somehow haven't ruined - that's the place you stop. That's the person you call and say hey, I know we haven't really spoken in years, but I'm in a really bad place and I need a place to crash for just one night.

    And then those hundred little nothing moments become one ongoing everything moment.

    Of course it's fate.
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2019-06-27 at 10:14 PM.
    Soldiers, no poor sap ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by being all that he can be. Damn the torpedoes, or give us death. Eternal vigilance is the price of duty and to the victors go the spoils. So remember: you are the best of the few and the proud. So ask not what our country can do, only regret that we have but one life to live.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Unraveling Tapestries OOC: Initial Conditions

    The Second Law of Thermodynamics

    I am inspired by Brian Blessed's performance of Gotrek Gurnisson in Realmslayer.

    An old soul in a new world, strange and familiar, finding a voice that was always his but he never got the chance to speak in. A place where everything is broken, lesser, all oaths as dust. Still regal and boisterous and full of life! But now, too, possessed of a deep and abiding melancholy that comes with age, loss and confusion. The fire still burns but it is late in the evening and it has withdrawn from its explosive crackling to a deep emanation from the heart of the wood. The convictions of youth viewed from middle-aged failure. So with the character, so with myself.

    So I'm interested in playing Jayden Mavel. Ten years older, as I am.

    Jayden is a Mage I played for two years in the longest running and hardest hitting tabletop RPG I've ever been a part of. A lot happens in a game like that - a vast personal mythology is built up, a refining and sharpening of important concepts, a ferocious manifestation of her most pure ideals and a realization of who she was as a person. But at the end of that game, she lost! We built a Silver Ladder to Heaven but, ah - we couldn't take everyone up with us. My allies, her friends, said that we should go up even if we had to forsake all those we left behind because once we reached the top and became gods we would be able to help them. Jayden refused, pointing out that this wasn't ascension - it was repetition. This was Atlantis and we were the Exarchs and it was with that self-serving lie in our hearts that we would climb the Ladder to our thrones and break the world yet again.

    She couldn't convince them. They cast her down and cast her out and the world broke and the curtain fell.

    And it's ten years on.

    This is a different Jayden - a different life, a different path, a different world, different friends. All that she learned is meaningless; all her memories of her previous life, previous struggle, previous condemnation is known to her only through the crackling visions of the Awakening. It is no longer truth but symbolism; losing an argument, cast out before you could quit in disgust, refusing a throne crafted for you. A resolution to the passions of youth but not the end to them. Instead, the beginning of a far more difficult struggle.

    Apocalypse is what draws this soul to this game. The walls of reality struggle and crack; she's been here before, she can see the signs, she will tell anyone who asks - last time it was the archangel San Andreas, manifest in the world as a fault line that would split open and drown L.A., Atlantis. But she no longer has her original certainty that it is a good thing, a necessary, spiritually fulfilling thing. She doesn't have any of her old certainties or convictions. No longer can she gaze at the world with eyes of flame and tell good from bad; now the symbols are thick and the rules are different and her life is falling apart in fast motion and there are so many questions that righteousness couldn't answer for very long.

    She thought the universe could be answered through the lens of Forces, through fire and math and gravity and music. But the second law of thermodynamics was waiting for her at the end of that road and all that she's left with is herself and her questions.

    So: Jayden Mavel, Mastigos.
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2019-06-27 at 10:55 PM.
    Soldiers, no poor sap ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by being all that he can be. Damn the torpedoes, or give us death. Eternal vigilance is the price of duty and to the victors go the spoils. So remember: you are the best of the few and the proud. So ask not what our country can do, only regret that we have but one life to live.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Unraveling Tapestries OOC: Initial Conditions

    While that is a strong concept, I will be honest and say that the thought of playing a character opposite the character youíve talked up for a decade, one with metaphysical connections to another Mage game entirely, kills my own enthusiasm to write dead in its tracks. Like, I canít live up to all that baggage and weight. I am interested in doing something stylized, something about gardens outlasting apocalypse, playing with the archetype of the Acanthus, but throwing Jayden into the mixó

    Especially a Jayden who isnít an AU remix but ďI actually remember my old game and make references to itĒó

    Thatís too much! Itís like going from casual pub to pro, and speaking solely and entirely for myself, I canít do that.

    Then again, Mage is already one of those games that I like reading about but struggle to Properly Apply, and if the answer is ďI bow out and let yíall tackle this one so that I have energies for other games and Thanqol can properly explore this headspace,Ē Iíll be okay with that, too.
    freedom in the flame

    Spoiler
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Unraveling Tapestries OOC: Initial Conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    While that is a strong concept, I will be honest and say that the thought of playing a character opposite the character youíve talked up for a decade, one with metaphysical connections to another Mage game entirely, kills my own enthusiasm to write dead in its tracks. Like, I canít live up to all that baggage and weight. I am interested in doing something stylized, something about gardens outlasting apocalypse, playing with the archetype of the Acanthus, but throwing Jayden into the mixó

    Especially a Jayden who isnít an AU remix but ďI actually remember my old game and make references to itĒó

    Thatís too much! Itís like going from casual pub to pro, and speaking solely and entirely for myself, I canít do that.

    Then again, Mage is already one of those games that I like reading about but struggle to Properly Apply, and if the answer is ďI bow out and let yíall tackle this one so that I have energies for other games and Thanqol can properly explore this headspace,Ē Iíll be okay with that, too.
    Oh! If that would make you uncomfortable then I will drop the idea like a hot potato. Having you in the game is way more important than indulging my strange impulses
    Soldiers, no poor sap ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by being all that he can be. Damn the torpedoes, or give us death. Eternal vigilance is the price of duty and to the victors go the spoils. So remember: you are the best of the few and the proud. So ask not what our country can do, only regret that we have but one life to live.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Unraveling Tapestries OOC: Initial Conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    Oh! If that would make you uncomfortable then I will drop the idea like a hot potato. Having you in the game is way more important than indulging my strange impulses
    Mage is very much a You game, though! Whereas right now I am so immersed in Fellowship and CMWGE that my character creation process right now is ďso what sort of thing is this Mage usually doing? whatís their aesthetics, their styles, how would the manga artist draw them? whatís their likely Arc Color?Ē

    I am the sort of person who wants to play an Acanthus who always has just enough on them to pay the rent or to put down for a drink, a magician whose magic is intrinsic, and playing MtA always makes me feel like Iím swimming uphill a little bit. Iím interested, donít get me wrong, but if only one of us gets the opportunity to do Deep Psych Analysis, might as well be you, you know?
    freedom in the flame

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Unraveling Tapestries OOC: Initial Conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    Mage is very much a You game, though! Whereas right now I am so immersed in Fellowship and CMWGE that my character creation process right now is ďso what sort of thing is this Mage usually doing? whatís their aesthetics, their styles, how would the manga artist draw them? whatís their likely Arc Color?Ē

    I am the sort of person who wants to play an Acanthus who always has just enough on them to pay the rent or to put down for a drink, a magician whose magic is intrinsic, and playing MtA always makes me feel like Iím swimming uphill a little bit. Iím interested, donít get me wrong, but if only one of us gets the opportunity to do Deep Psych Analysis, might as well be you, you know?
    I totally get the insecurity, I had laid coinflip odds with myself that I'd get pushback from someone about this so I am ready to drop it at the first sign of that.

    I don't think the aesthetics are incompatible, however. I think that radically different approaches are implicit in the very structure of the game, and you playing exactly the image you have in your head would be entirely congruent with my concept. One of Jayden's original cabal buddies was exactly the sort of Acanthus you describe!

    But I've got no excuse for the baggage and weight. Baggage and weight is the heart of the pitch here. If that isn't your jam then I can distil a purer concept.
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2019-06-28 at 12:07 AM.
    Soldiers, no poor sap ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by being all that he can be. Damn the torpedoes, or give us death. Eternal vigilance is the price of duty and to the victors go the spoils. So remember: you are the best of the few and the proud. So ask not what our country can do, only regret that we have but one life to live.

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    Default Re: Unraveling Tapestries OOC: Initial Conditions

    The challenge Iíd pose to you, Thanqol, and I note that this may not be the game for it, is to play a character who doesnít have a strongly formed worldview yet. Youíre very good at playing highly defined archetypes and filtering the world through their lens: hard-bitten cop, jaded commander, arrogant firelord, etc. Theyíre often military, always with a particular way of viewing the world and fitting everything into that view right up until they encounter a crisis when they canít. The Jayden you described fits that mold, and I imagine her viewing everything she encounters in the context of her past failure and how she can scour it from the world. I could play with that, probably bounce off of it in various interesting ways. And if you want it a lot, Iíll do that. But I think Iíd be more interested in seeing you try something different here, someone more open to the kind of crazy world Stevje is dropping here and willing to let it guide them a bit more.

    Thatís my 2 cents on that front.
    School Fox by Atlur

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Anarion's right on the money here.
    Quotes

    "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.Ē
    Oscar Wilde Writer & Poet (1891)

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    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Unraveling Tapestries OOC: Initial Conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    The challenge Iíd pose to you, Thanqol, and I note that this may not be the game for it, is to play a character who doesnít have a strongly formed worldview yet. Youíre very good at playing highly defined archetypes and filtering the world through their lens: hard-bitten cop, jaded commander, arrogant firelord, etc. Theyíre often military, always with a particular way of viewing the world and fitting everything into that view right up until they encounter a crisis when they canít. The Jayden you described fits that mold, and I imagine her viewing everything she encounters in the context of her past failure and how she can scour it from the world. I could play with that, probably bounce off of it in various interesting ways. And if you want it a lot, Iíll do that. But I think Iíd be more interested in seeing you try something different here, someone more open to the kind of crazy world Stevje is dropping here and willing to let it guide them a bit more.

    Thatís my 2 cents on that front.
    That is good analysis!

    I think that playing to that idea is implicitly what I am looking to do with the character. It's about what happens to someone when that bright-eyed conviction has faded. There's no action that can be taken r.e. past failures and no point of viewing the world through that lens, it's very much an 'everything has burned down, starting again from scratch with a new grasp on the indefinable essence of self'; hence Mastigos rather than Obrimos again. Her iconography is overtaken by cards, gambling, chance, regret, entropy - her card is the Wheel of Fortune and no longer Strength.

    This is my attempt to try something different in exactly the way you suggest by having someone leave the Path of the Mighty. But there are other ways to examine that idea!
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2019-06-28 at 12:43 AM.
    Soldiers, no poor sap ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by being all that he can be. Damn the torpedoes, or give us death. Eternal vigilance is the price of duty and to the victors go the spoils. So remember: you are the best of the few and the proud. So ask not what our country can do, only regret that we have but one life to live.

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    Default Re: Unraveling Tapestries OOC: Initial Conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    I think that playing to that idea is implicitly what I am looking to do with the character. It's about what happens to someone when that bright-eyed conviction has faded. There's no action that can be taken r.e. past failures and no point of viewing the world through that lens, it's very much an 'everything has burned down, starting again from scratch with a new grasp on the indefinable essence of self'; hence Mastigos rather than Obrimos again. Her iconography is overtaken by cards, gambling, chance, regret, entropy - her card is the Wheel of Fortune and no longer Strength.

    This is my attempt to try something different in exactly the way you suggest by having someone leave the Path of the Mighty. But there are other ways to examine that idea!
    ďCards, gambling, chance, regret and entropyĒ I can handle. The implicit threat of comparing everything to ďoh, hereís how it was last timeĒ is what needs to be jettisoned, I think.

    I can live with an AU Jayden who crashed and burned and became a Mastigos at the lowest point of her sleeping life. I can even handle a weird vision sheís not equipped to process of something that happened to another version of her. But I am not with having any continuity lockout or expectations to go watch the original anime, which has never been released in the States, if you get me. Someone who lived in an Obrimos way until it destroyed her life and now sheís starting over from scratch is more palatable than ďso I was an Obrimos in another timeline and hereís what happened...Ē
    freedom in the flame

    Spoiler
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    If you ask me what sort of cabal we are, all I can offer as an answer, given that that is the sort of question that I find very difficultó we are the sort of cabal that cares for this place, the streets of heaven and hell.
    I love it! And the way the others see that and run with it, I couldn't have asked for better :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    Whatever you guys decide on the character (and I have no strong opinion on the matter, so whatever you're all happy with), I just want to say that the 2nd law of thermodynamics is perfectly thematic and an excellent choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    Mage is very much a You game, though! Whereas right now I am so immersed in Fellowship and CMWGE that my character creation process right now is ďso what sort of thing is this Mage usually doing? whatís their aesthetics, their styles, how would the manga artist draw them? whatís their likely Arc Color?Ē

    I am the sort of person who wants to play an Acanthus who always has just enough on them to pay the rent or to put down for a drink, a magician whose magic is intrinsic, and playing MtA always makes me feel like Iím swimming uphill a little bit. Iím interested, donít get me wrong, but if only one of us gets the opportunity to do Deep Psych Analysis, might as well be you, you know?
    I'd love to see your answers to these things, for what it's worth.

    Mage has been a challenge for me as well in the past. I've been tempted to throw up my hands and give up on it, but I want to make it work for me, dammit. I love the concept, and I know I can't enjoy it as a passive spectator, so I'm going to try again. I hope we can both make it really click, this time.
    Sebastian/S.T. Veje
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    Default Re: Unraveling Tapestries OOC: Initial Conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    a weird vision sheís not equipped to process of something that happened to another version of her.
    Oh, it's this! It's this one.

    Like, here are two things:
    A) It has been ten years since I have played that game and a tonne of details have faded or been re-interpreted. It's allegorical and symbolic to me as well.
    B) I have no desire to explain the whole damn thing to stevje and demand metaphysical conformity. Everything is different; everything she knew is false.

    The previous set of experiences are cast as allegorical; the Mystery Play has her recreate the critical events on a symbolic level. I'm not going to, like, bring up the weird subplot where we met the werewolves or anything. It's the same soul, and the questions she'll be faced with are emotionally resonant, but I'm not going to get into the weeds. She grew up in this current world and had a divergent life from the original.

    I apologise for being unclear. But still, I'm hoping I can get to a point of legitimate interest and not begrudging acceptance. If I can solve the problem by talking more or compromising things, great! But also you don't need to justify a no if it's still not working
    Soldiers, no poor sap ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by being all that he can be. Damn the torpedoes, or give us death. Eternal vigilance is the price of duty and to the victors go the spoils. So remember: you are the best of the few and the proud. So ask not what our country can do, only regret that we have but one life to live.

  15. - Top - End - #15
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    I am cautiously intrigued, as long as she doesn't spend a lot of her time muttering jargon to herself in ways I don't comprehend and have difficulty interacting with.
    School Fox by Atlur

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Anarion's right on the money here.
    Quotes

    "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.Ē
    Oscar Wilde Writer & Poet (1891)

  16. - Top - End - #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    Oh, it's this! It's this one.

    Like, here are two things:
    A) It has been ten years since I have played that game and a tonne of details have faded or been re-interpreted. It's allegorical and symbolic to me as well.
    B) I have no desire to explain the whole damn thing to stevje and demand metaphysical conformity. Everything is different; everything she knew is false.

    The previous set of experiences are cast as allegorical; the Mystery Play has her recreate the critical events on a symbolic level. I'm not going to, like, bring up the weird subplot where we met the werewolves or anything. It's the same soul, and the questions she'll be faced with are emotionally resonant, but I'm not going to get into the weeds. She grew up in this current world and had a divergent life from the original.

    I apologise for being unclear. But still, I'm hoping I can get to a point of legitimate interest and not begrudging acceptance. If I can solve the problem by talking more or compromising things, great! But also you don't need to justify a no if it's still not working
    Sure. Just be careful! Like, please donít drown us out. I see this gameís colors as being- well, an unusual shade for the Chronicles of Darkness. Closer to Immersive Fantasy. Neon and storm clouds on the horizon and overgrown tenement buildings.

    If I had my way this would be a story about making the streets of heaven and hell the new seed for the next world to comeó

    But I can live with an explicitly AU version of the character. Go ahead.
    freedom in the flame

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

  17. - Top - End - #17
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    Btw, have some all-fresh PA PA YA. Bring it or BRING IT! That's what she sings, and you can't convince me otherwise ... bring bring bring bring it.
    Sebastian/S.T. Veje
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  18. - Top - End - #18
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    Default Re: Unraveling Tapestries OOC: Initial Conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    I am cautiously intrigued, as long as she doesn't spend a lot of her time muttering jargon to herself in ways I don't comprehend and have difficulty interacting with.
    Yes, that way we can maintain the jargon-free purity of Mage: The Awakening.

    Now hold my Yantra, I need to Reach to pull this spell off and while I have this as a Rote it's not a Rote skill and neither does my Order Rote Skill bonus apply.

    (jargon is the last thing I will import)

    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    Sure. Just be careful! Like, please donít drown us out. I see this gameís colors as being- well, an unusual shade for the Chronicles of Darkness. Closer to Immersive Fantasy. Neon and storm clouds on the horizon and overgrown tenement buildings.

    If I had my way this would be a story about making the streets of heaven and hell the new seed for the next world to comeó

    But I can live with an explicitly AU version of the character. Go ahead.
    Okay! I promise to do my best to keep things grounded in the now and the shared aesthetics. I'm intending to lean into the colours you describe; the AMV I linked is really the clearest encapsulation of my concepts and visual styles I can manage. Everything about it, from lyrics to appearance, is the resonance I am trying to hit.
    Soldiers, no poor sap ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by being all that he can be. Damn the torpedoes, or give us death. Eternal vigilance is the price of duty and to the victors go the spoils. So remember: you are the best of the few and the proud. So ask not what our country can do, only regret that we have but one life to live.

  19. - Top - End - #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    Yes, that way we can maintain the jargon-free purity of Mage: The Awakening.

    Now hold my Yantra, I need to Reach to pull this spell off and while I have this as a Rote it's not a Rote skill and neither does my Order Rote Skill bonus apply.

    (jargon is the last thing I will import)
    Touche, and you addressed in the response to Raz what I wanted to hear, so let's do it and see what happens!

    Now, talking about my character for a second. I want to play the quintessential Thyrsus in some ways. The shaman, the person who speaks the right language and understands all the spirits in the world. Seeing that opening video from Stevje really cemented that because, like, damn, those spirits are beautiful and that world is beautiful and I want to play the person who is just incredibly happy to to just see it all.

    The personality that I want to hit, though I'm not quite sure how, is the play between freedom and duty. The person who on the one hand wants to just revel in the beauty of life, watching things go by as she savors her little glass of whiskey and then finishes that, lets out a deep breath and jumps into it all! But then, on the other hand, who can't let herself go completely because she's still part of another world and she's the only one that has the right skills to mediate between them and so she's got to do it.
    School Fox by Atlur

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Anarion's right on the money here.
    Quotes

    "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.Ē
    Oscar Wilde Writer & Poet (1891)

  20. - Top - End - #20
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    The Tale of the Laborer and the Witch of the Two Streets
    (cw: homophobic slur, transphobia, conceptual vore, Exarchs Ain't Shit)
    (Musical Accompaniment)

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    There once was a laborer of a certain city whose life was a dull and aching misery, by means of the lies told to them by four dark gods of the world.

    When they were a child, this laborer wished upon a star that they might be allowed to wear a dress. Hearing this, the god who is named Meat took the form of a father and said to them: ďI gave you a cock for a reason, didnít I? Donít be a queer. I have gifted unto you these signs by which you may know your destiny: that you cry not, lest you be seen; that you care not, lest you be mocked; that you eschew the ways and trappings of women, who are weak vessels to be filled, who you may never wish to be.Ē This the child believed as they were told, and played sports that they were bad at, and dutifully heeded the commandments of their flesh.

    When they were a student, this laborer was overcome by a love of art and creation, though they were careful to always turn their talents to careful realism, rather than risking any subject that might break the commandments of the flesh. Seeing this, the god who is named Golden took the form of a career councilor and said to them: "You are the sum total of your net worth. Visual design is not a lucrative career field and its future job growth prospects are low. Discard your notebooks and go take computer programming as an elective, lest you become worthless and be discarded by the market in turn." And so the student went forth and drew no more, but learned the languages of computer programming, which were as leaden tablets about their neck.

    When they were applying for a job, they were approached by the god who is named Conform who took the form of corporate culture, which said to them: "Tear out your nails! Tear out your hair! Wear only what it is permitted that you wear! Shrive yourself into a shape which may be applied to any task we demand! Walk the path that we permit to your flesh!" And before this, the laborer bowed and did not stir, for they had been taught well to voice no pain. And they slipped deeper into sleep, and lost their edges and definition, and risked becoming a head on a many-minded beast which spoke only obscenity and balderdash.

    When they sat alone in a place they did not own for the span of the hours they were permitted to not be working, the laborer asked to themselves if this was what they wanted for their life. And hearing this, the god who is named Hopeless came to him in the form of a fear, and said to him: "No one ever gets what they want in this life. Christ, do you want to be homeless? You worthless piece of shit, you're lucky to have a job at all. Work, go home, play on your phone, and sleep: follow the wheel of this world and do not risk everything that has been given to you, you stupid motherfucker."

    And helpless to free themselves from these lies, the laborer existed in a state of quiet suffering they did not even understand, which is named Dukkha. And so they would have lived til the end of their days, save--

    Save for the Witch of the Two Streets.

    One day, the laborer sat behind the wheel of their vehicle, which stood still and trembling among its kindred, and their eyes gazed out at nothing in particular, only, now, they saw the Witch of the Two Streets, and were seen, and the Witch of the Two Streets smiled at the laborer, and her wicked yaeba pierced their heart right through. Then with a flick and a laugh she bounded away, and the laborer knew that they would never see her again, and the thought chewed a ragged hole out of their heart and grabbed hold of their hand, which forced the door open; they tried three times to exit the vehicle before they remembered that they had to undo the seatbelt. There was a great and terrible chorus of horns and curses laid at the feet of the laborer, but they vaulted over them and were off and away, shiny black shoes made for being seen clicking frantically upon the asphalt.

    They stumbled into the city which was their home, tearing their suit-jacket on jagged and broken fence-wire in their haste to follow the Witch of the Two Streets, who was armored in her fur-collared biker jacket and girded round with a silver belt. When the laborer's shoes pinched and tripped them up, they tore them off and threw them into a trash can, uncaring. Always the Witch of the Two Streets was a turn or a street crossing ahead, never turning her head, her fingers brushing the flowers that grew from the municipal street beautification projects. So onwards the laborer ran, until they were forced to descend into the underworld, which held over its gates the terrible warning: MIND MAY GAP.

    There, the laborer was forced to argue past the two guards who barred the way, and to one they gave their torn suit-jacket and to the other they gave their wallet, and when this was done, the guards offered their solemn warning: turn back, turn back, for the Witch of the Two Streets means to devour you. You are under strange enchantment. But the laborer rested their head against cool stone for a time, and let themselves cry, and then made for the platform. There, they looked once more into the face of the Witch of the Two Streets, who gazed in turn once more upon the laborer with her kitsune no me, her hooded fox-eyes, and there she stuck out her tongue impudently at them as the carriage doors closed.

    And yet the laborer did not give up. They could not. With a despairing cry they knelt upon the platform and waited for three days and three nights, and there had an adventure with a pigeon which brought them stale bread to eat and a rat who brought them half-empty water bottles to drink. When the proper time had come once again, the train arrived, and the laborer stumbled aboard, weary and yet clear-eyed. As the train roared onward, the laborer watched as the buildings drifted by, as if blown by the wind, each one choked by vine and flower. Across the sea, there was an ultimate Armageddon, which was of minor interest. The seas, in response, flooded the streets until there was only the train left, its rails in the shallows. Their car would be ruined. Good riddance, they supposed.

    At the proper stop, the Witch of the Two Streets was waiting for them. Not close enough to touch and to be devoured by, not yet. She nimbly made her way through the sea-clogged streets, even as the laborer forced themselves uphill through the waters, which lapped playfully against the thighs of their good trousers. Fish swam by, pitying them, and surfaced to remind them that the Witch of the Two Streets meant to devour them. But what else were they meant to do? The Witch of the Two Streets had hooked a line in their heart with a glance and a smile, and to stop would mean ripping that hook free; to stop would mean giving up on knowing why. To mean that all of this had been for nothing.

    Mind the steps, the Witch of the Two Streets called from high above, from that mountain peak, eagle-haunted and terrible. I haven't swept! Been meaning to get around to it, but you know how it is. So up the laborer climbed, though their palms tore on the rough stone, though the steepness meant that one false step would send them hurtling down to their death. When they ran out of strength, they hung there, and wept openly, and three steps above them, the Witch of the Two Streets pulled her hat down over her face and snored.

    Then they were at the top. Their clothing hung in tatters, and the skin beneath was smooth and featureless. Exhaustion pulled insistently at their wrists and their ankles, and they could barely keep their eyes open. But the Witch of the Two Streets was there for them, and she offered them fruit which was sweet and pungent and the juice of which budded on their chest, and she pulled them down onto a picnic blanket beneath the cloud-speckled summer sky. Beyond, the waves crashed against the mountain's foot.

    "Name me," the Witch of the Two Streets said to them, her voice gentle, letting them rest their head on her breast, "and I will grant your wish."

    The laborer did not have a wish. They said as much.

    "Yes, you do," the Witch of the Two Streets said. "You wish that life was not as it is; though I cannot grant that one, because it is true, which is very inconvenient. You wish that you were worth being loved; and that is true, too, though you have spent a lot of time hiding your self from yourself, and you did such a good job of it that not even you could see it anymore. You wish that you were beautiful; and that, once again, is true, though you have done a good job of hiding that, too, though it's not even really your fault. But what I can do for you is make it impossible for you to go on hiding those things from yourself anymore. Name me."

    You are the Witch of the Two Streets.

    "That's my job. Well, one of them, anyway. You should know better. Name me."

    You are me.

    "So close, and yet so far, and that's not a name, anyway. Come on. Name me."

    And here, the Witch of the Two Streets cheated, because otherwise we never would have gotten anywhere, and everyone knows if you don't get it the third time, you're just wasting the audience's time at that point. She plucked her name from her garden and made from it a white crown for the laborer's head, and placed it on there all half-crooked, and she grinned at them with her sharp white teeth, and for the first time in a very long time the laborer truly smiled, and named her.

    Then the Witch of the Two Streets ate the laborer all up, and belched, and laughed, and kicked her shoes off and took a nap in the long grass with her hat over her face and the cicadas singing a symphony just for her. Then, some time later, she rewound the whole thing so that she'd be there to lure herself out of the car in the first place.
    Last edited by Raz_Fox; 2019-06-28 at 06:03 AM.
    freedom in the flame

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

  21. - Top - End - #21
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    Default Re: Unraveling Tapestries OOC: Initial Conditions

    The Tower of Fire


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    Once upon a time there was a spotlight. It burned brightly, the result of hard work and hard engineering. Lots of people crowded around to see what the spotlight was looking at and a too-young mom smiled despite herself. A man in dreadlocks adjusted the tuning and pitch on the exact gurgling sounds but would later wind up wiping the whole set in post and replacing it with stock. Another too young mom out in the sticks watched that spotlight and smiled and the image stuck in her mind and permanently altered her buying decisions r.e. nappies.

    Then later there was a high school. A young girl with too much muscle and not enough confidence found herself falling off the gilded path. She got into trouble, and the trouble got worse, but she was happier than she'd ever been. She smoked behind the chemistry building and carved her name into a wall and dreamed of kisses and marriages or, at least, a whole lot of dirty sex and even more trouble. She got all of her wishes, some sooner than later. But she should have learned to be better at wishing.

    After that there came a dirty grunge band. Over-equipped for their skill level, but that's Hollywood for you. None of them were super into it but they all felt pulled along by the sweep of nature, like the passion of their songs was greater than their mediocre abilities. They were all shocked when they got a hit. They didn't appreciate that it wasn't just random chance or sheer brilliance on their behalf; a company full of very serious people in very serious suits had cleaned up the sound and ran a marketing campaign because their very serious experts had predicted that the market was primed for an unknown counterculture hit. Somewhere in Mexico a young man listened to it and felt like he was understood for the first time.

    And then the television show! It started off as a Mythbusters knockoff, honestly - science and explosions and cool visual effects. The hostess had a lot of energy and tried really hard, every day, even though she knew that she wasn't what the people were coming to see. At first she thought that the show was a dog and wouldn't go anywhere but her demo reel, but then a scary man in a suit had pulled her aside and had a pleasant conversation about how this show was going to be broadcast one way or another, so she pulled her head out and doubled down - not just trying hard because it was Hollywood and she didn't want this to be the end of her dreams, like she was before, but because it had been decided that this was to be her life. And she dragged charm and charisma out of middling scripts and fought for every laugh like a lion and by episode six she could watch it through and feel a fierce pride.

    Then came a howling from The Dark Side Of The Moon. There was an empty space in heaven and it could be filled with angels or by men. Honest despair fought with false hope and the audience had its illusions decided for it and they left saying it had been the greatest show they had ever seen.

    The too strong girl finally got her marriage. The grunge band got back together for another run at the top, and made it. The cast of the television show went into the big leagues and some of them even had roles in superhero movies. Someone found the nappy commercial and it was a meme for a hot minute. The music got louder. The love got hotter. The shows got bigger. The howl sometimes seemed loud enough to rattle heaven. All of it piled onto the mountain! More music! More shows! More cinema! More fame! More glory! More friends! More money! More danger! More strength! More fire! Burn bright!

    At a high enough temperature even love can burn.

    Everything else burned with it. Music caught fire and melted together. The conflagration spread to film and mile after mile of tape scorched away. Glory lit up like a lightning bolt striking the Tower. It ran like wildfire, everything fed into the furnace. Identity. Health. Talent. Dignity. The Wheel of Fortune turned. Entropy held court. The curtain fell.

    Holy wood burned: family, faith, self. It burned to nothing.

    And then some idiot made the wrong tweet and everybody promptly forgot all about it.

    *

    She had very much wanted to think that all of those stories were about her.

    Her decisions. Her life. Her family. Her career. Her music. Her world. Her martyrdom. Her salvation.

    Lucifer Morningstar was very sympathetic. He had thought the same thing too.

    She had very much wanted to be a star.

    So bright. So hot. So clear. So wishful. So magical. So vast. So powerful. So radiant. So distant.

    Lucifer Morningstar was very understanding. He had been the same way once.

    She had very much wanted to understand why her tower had fallen.

    She had friends. She had allies. She had servants. She had advisors. She had fame. She had wealth. She had prestige. She had love. She had faith.

    Lucifer Morningstar was very curious. And what was your foundation?

    *
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2019-06-28 at 08:43 AM.
    Soldiers, no poor sap ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by being all that he can be. Damn the torpedoes, or give us death. Eternal vigilance is the price of duty and to the victors go the spoils. So remember: you are the best of the few and the proud. So ask not what our country can do, only regret that we have but one life to live.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    The Maze of the Wilds
    (cws: mental illness, gaslighting, society being a huge jerk)

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    There was a girl who was wild when she was young. Blame her mom if you want, dad died young, before she could remember anything more than an embrace, a scratchy bird, and feeling safe. Mom's approach was to let her daughter run around free. They lived on rural land, a small foothills farm, good for potatoes and radishes and attracting wild deer to eat your potatoes and radishes. They had a dog, it was big and fluffy and full of love. And it suited the three of them, mother, daughter, and dog just fine that for her first few years the girl was more dog than human and had no trouble entertaining herself. At the end of this story, you might have someone else you'd like to blame, but consider whether or not it was all Mom's fault at the end of the day.

    Then time passed, as it is has a tendency to do. The girl learned to walk and to talk, and then she learned to run and to grab things and use tools to shape her world. And then, before you knew it she was supposed to be going to school. School meant doing things she wasn't used to doing, like sitting on a bus where screaming wasn't permitted or sitting in a room and listening while not squirming in her seat at all or going outside even when it was very warm and sunny, which was extremely unfair. The thing that really hurt the girl at this time is that she learned what it meant to feel guilty. In all her years to that point, she had never felt that. She knew she should be sad if she hurt someone by accident, but she also knew that she could apologize and since she didn't mean it as long as she tried to keep on doing better, that everything would be okay. But at school, she learned that sometimes there were things you just felt bad about no matter what. She felt guilty that she wasn't like the other girls, who had pretty dresses, ponies, bows for their hair, and those little notebooks that children bring to school that had cartoon characters and glitter on them. She wanted a little notebook with glitter, and she understood, in the way that children implicitly do because they know that the world isn't quite the way it ought to be, that she had to be like the other girls to have one. So she felt guilty that she wasn't like them. But then, when she started asking her mother to be more like them, she had a day where her big fluffy dog wanted to go ot in the yard and run and jump with her and maybe roll in some mud because it was hot and mud is very cool and pleasant on the right day. At that moment, the girl said no, and the dog looked at her with eyes that did not understand such a word, and she still refused it and it put a crack in her heart. And so she felt guilty that she could not be as she once had. That was the moment when she really learned what guilt was. She ran of course, away from the dog, up to her room, shut the door, fast as her little feet could carry her, footfalls on old wood thunder in her ears.

    Now, most people know that you can't outrun guilt. Some people say that's because you carry it in your heart, but the girl was still very young and in her heart she thought it was just because she couldn't run fast enough, which is why she joined the track team when she started middle school. She was very motivated, and running fast did allow her to forget things that hurt her, or at least to shove them far down into the depths of her heart while it was busy pumping blood and her brain was telling all her organs to kick in the endorphins. That was something that felt great, so she kept running, and swimming, and she played baseball, basketball, volleyball, and soccer. Being fast, strong, tall, and very good at helping other people win made her popular, and that too let her forget all the pain that was deep down inside her heart and if we're being honest, so did all the little notebooks with cartoon characters and glitter, which she kept buying all the way through school and into college because they were cute, which was something that everybody liked when it came to a popular girl like her.

    In the lives of most people, this would be the end of everything interesting. She'd finish college on a sports scholarship, meet some guys, have a career selling some sort of money for some other sort of money before meeting a guy and having a kid. Maybe there would be some nostalgia and her mother would say something about the grandchild that tugged a very old string in the girl's heart and then the baby would cry and she would forget and that would be that. But this isn't that sort of story. This story is the story about the time that something else intervened. It's a story about Cthulhu if you want, or about Kami, or about Gods, whatever word you want to use for the things that are out there that are beyond us. Because this particular girl was taken. Something beyond the world reached out and it took her. Now, it didn't do it all at once. It started with her seeing things while she ran track, like glowing eels made of vaulting poles just swimming through the air in front of her. She tripped, wiped her eyes, but they were still there. There were more things, sleeping spirits inside her kitchen in the pots and pans that yawned and rolled away from her, and big winged snakes coiled over the university's finance and administration building like the covetous serpents they were. She started seeing things everywhere, especially in the lonely places.

    The doctors called it schizophrenia. It's very sad, they said. Often strikes women in their early twenties, they said. Runs in the family sometimes, might have been the father, what was it he died from again, they said. And the girl smiled because above their heads were motes dancing in a beautiful pattern. They were motes of pain, fear, and anger because this was a hospital, but they danced beautifully. And this smile was very helpful for the doctors because they could understand that the girl didn't feel the way they expected her to feel, and that meant that she was very sick indeed. That was the second time the girl learned about guilt. The guilt of being sick and having everyone believe that bad things only happen to bad people. The guilt of not being able to support her mother or to complete the expectations that everyone had for her. The guilt of watching people turn away because you were once good enough for them and now you're not. They were going to let her finish school, of course, just needed the proper medication, maybe a break first. But words are the swiftest wildfire and people who had been friends were there no longer and the visions didn't fade away no matter what she did. Her own anger built and built and she struggled helplessly against a weight that was so large and so vast, that had been pressing against her heart for so long that she couldn't even feel it anymore.

    That was the second time she ran, and that was the second time that something beyond intervened by force. Something out there desired that she be at a specific place. Call it a Watchtower, call it luck, call it an old dog speaking up for a true heart. But when she ran, she was guided and pushed by a vast spirit, with hands of green leaves and arms of concrete and shattered glass. It had no name, but let's call it Chernobyl because the reality there is the closest that thing that one can offer to an image of this spirit. Chernobyl brought her to a maze of moss and stone that wound around a vast tower, up and out into infinity. And then it left her at the entrance and she could have turned around, but it felt for all the world like a challenge asking her if she would go in and climb up to infinity. The girl her turned down such a challenge would not be this girl and this would not be her story, but it was her choice to undertake it. She wondered, for a moment, as she hovered on the precipice, if maybe she had lost her mind and she was simply wandering through the streets until a car hit her or she got arrested. And then she smiled at that thought too because that too would mean freedom and dove into the maze.

    The maze came in three stages. In the first, she climbed alone, spirits in the distance out of the corner of her eye, animals leaping away before she could get a glance at them. Harsh winds and rain coming in an instant if she ever tried to peak above the slippery, moss-covered walls. This was the stage where she kept moving and her heart was numb and hard and all she wanted was to be away from everything. She kept going until her body screamed in protest, and then she kept going. She kept going until her legs were fire and her arms lead, and then she kept going. She kept going until her lungs burst, and then she kept going.

    It was only past this point, when every part of her felt torn asunder, that her heart was free at last. When she turned a corner and there was a pool of clear water and soft earth, she fell into it gladly, she drank and let it envelop her, and she cried and felt free. And that was the way that the spirits came to her, buried in earth and soaked with tears, the small spirits of fern and fox and the vast spirits of moose and pine brought her berries, leaves, and meat as was their taste and she held them and let them come. In this, the second, she climbed with company, and foraged and hunted and lived as she had always wanted to live. Here, her heart was broken and poured out of her because she felt as she had not felt since the years that society came and pressed on her so hard that she was crushed. And yet still she wound and climbed as the moss faded and the stones were slick with ice as her tears froze. And as she climbed, her companions hesitated. First the fox said "this is as far as I can go, if I do not turn back, I will go hungry when winter comes for want of hunting." And so he turned he waited and waved goodbye and returned to the maze. Then the fern said "it is too cold, if I go past this point, I cannot unfurl my leaves and I shall die." And so it planted itself and stood vigil over the edge of its domain. Then the moose said "it is too high and sheer, even I cannot find purchase and will slip and fall." So it bade her goodbye and worked its way back down the tower to more fertile lands. And lastly the pine looked around the two of them and said "it is too hard, even my roots cannot grind the rock nor my seeds take root, so I must stop and stand at the line before desolation." And it did, and the girl was left to climb alone.

    In the third stage, the girl climbed alone and not alone, for she climbed past spirits of sun and stars and was scoured by spirits of rain, wind, and thunder. They were vast and distant, but they showed her attention, for she was alone in this place beyond where people were. And here her heart was light because she had poured it all out and now it was empty. She looked back and saw all the world perched below her and knew that she was small and that people were small, and that even civilization was small and fleeting. Then she looked forward and saw the stars and knew that the world was small, and she the smallest piece of the whole. An empty heart could fill with that vast whole and walk among the sun and stars and scouring winds without fear because it was of them and they of it.

    So at last, after endless time, she reached the summit of the maze. And because she was still human, she let out a great whoop and shout to celebrate that she had accomplished something grand, and she took her foot and wrote her name in the fleeting dust so that, for just an instant, she could be above everything else as was her right.

    Then the girl smiled to herself and leapt off the mountain.
    Last edited by Anarion; 2019-06-29 at 06:34 PM.
    School Fox by Atlur

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Anarion's right on the money here.
    Quotes

    "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.Ē
    Oscar Wilde Writer & Poet (1891)

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Unraveling Tapestries OOC: Initial Conditions

    Name: Clover.
    Shadow Name: The Witch of the Two Streets.
    Deadname: 404 content not found, try a different timestream?
    Academic Ability: Ordinary.
    Athletic Ability: Above Average.
    Blood Type: O.
    Favorite Food: Seafood Udon.
    Animal: Fox.

    Commonly Found:

    (As Clover, often by day)
    - "thinking with her eyes closed" in the shade
    - taking a break from work to chat with someone or have a drink
    - telling someone's fortune, often by giving them a card reading or reading their palm
    - on her knees among the flowers, busy with the duties of gardening
    - having a "one-sided" conversation with an animal

    (As the Witch of the Two Streets, often by night)
    - beating the bounds
    - considering someone's fate or physically following its path, then taking decisive action
    - filling a sketchbook with her studies and notes on a Mystery
    - "weeding" unwanted influences from her gardens
    - nonchalantly fixing something for someone at three in the morning

    Clover's Aesthetics
    Draw her eyes as always closed!
    Cute little fangs!
    Mixes practical gardening clothes with garish, colorful tank-tops and graphic tees. Fanny pack! Big floppy sun hat! Thick gloves! Bright red hair messy and loose; whenever she tries to pin it up, it always ends up a mess as soon as the camera leaves her, even if it's just for a beat.
    Half-asleep all the time; apologetic little yawns and spacey demeanor.
    Usually has a half-open bottle of hard lemonade to share, stashed away somewhere nearby.
    Broke(tm); usually has just enough to buy a round, and that's it. Goes dumpster diving and buys her clothes second-or-third-hand, cheerfully. May actually "live" in a back room at the shrine.

    The Witch of the Two Streets' Aesthetics
    Eyes open but hooded/in shadow, ranging from amused and playful to disdainful and scary. Usually the former, though!
    Draw her yaeba as a little scarier/more like actual fangs!
    Big fur collar on her big black biker jacket, black leggings, silver belt with a silver knife, and big gaudy silver hoop earrings. Hair up in a ponytail, bangs behaving and severe. Major "Brie Larson in Scott Pilgrim" energies. Wears a classy black hat.
    Awake. Very awake. Even when it's the middle of the night. "Took a nap earlier."
    Usually has a travel-sized sketchbook to hand, full of practice sketches and warm-ups and Fate Matrixes (which look like tangled, color-coded mazes).
    Does her best to come across as numinous, absolutely self-assured, and playful as long as you're not on her "weeding" list. More likely to give you an ominous warning and then watch from a safe distance as your fortune collapses around your ears if she wants you to stay out of her gardens.

    (Ported from CMWGE, but still useful for me as an anchor point!)
    Arc Color: Purple (Shepherd) Arc. "Shepherd Arcs teach you to guard things, guide things, and wake powers in things. They're about taking care of others."
    Emotion XP: (overacted) shiver of numinous terror or awe. "Wonder, terror, or mystery enough to draw the players for a moment into the illusion that there truly is a Witch who watches over the Two Streets."
    Chibi-Quest: "Gardener of the Two Streets." Once per scene, earn 1 XP towards this quest by commenting, "hands in the dirt," usually either gleefully or ruefully. You don't have to sigh and murmur "yare yare" to yourself beforehand, but it can't hurt!
    freedom in the flame

    Spoiler
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Unraveling Tapestries OOC: Initial Conditions

    Clover/The Witch of the Two Streets
    Tell me about this shrine. Who is its caretaker, if not yourself? Is it dedicated to someone, something?

    Too Strong Girl
    What is your connection to the Two Streets and its shrine? How did you find this place, and how did you come to care for it?

    Wild Girl
    Same question as the Too Strong Girl, but also, you talked about duty. Duty to whom, or what? Is it connected?
    Sebastian/S.T. Veje
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  25. - Top - End - #25
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Unraveling Tapestries OOC: Initial Conditions

    Duty is the synthesis. At the top of the path of ecstasy is freedom, and then you return to the world and walk a path of duality, one foot in the realm of humans and one in the realm of spirits. But the shaman remains human (at least initially, the long-term is open to doubt). So the shaman gains a duty to mediate between the realms, and to do so on behalf of humanity for the most part.

    For the Wild Girl, before she left she was crushed by the guilt that society had given her. You might think that, freed of that burden, she would abandon society, but she did not. Freedom without purpose is aimless and she still knew all the old paths she had traveled. Now that she could see the new ones as well, she undertook the task of mediating between the mortal world and the shadow as best she could and on behalf of a vision of the world that was better than hers had been before she awoke.

    I think that brings us to the connection with the Witch. They both want a world that doesnít press so hard on people, and they see the hand of the exarchs in the way that people are so forcibly molded into such limited patterns. I also think they both choose to tend to the shrine. The Witch has her reasons of course, but the Wild Girl knows that such a place is sacred to the local gods and tends it for them to bring the neighborhood of the Two Streets safety and harmony. It may be a proper locus for the spirits of the place, and in any event, the Wild Girl enjoys gardening.
    School Fox by Atlur

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Anarion's right on the money here.
    Quotes

    "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.Ē
    Oscar Wilde Writer & Poet (1891)

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Unraveling Tapestries OOC: Initial Conditions

    Liza Mavel: The original pop sensation. Broke out as a teenager and took the charts by storm. Her career took an abrupt halt when she tried to run away with her deeply unethical doctor, Dr. Sun Brackmann. She eventually came to her senses and went back home, but she was pregnant and the resulting media storm threatened to blot out the sun. She tried to raise her daughter properly, for a little while, but there was too much pain and too much ambition. Before long she was back onto the stage, rising higher than ever and fading out into a generic Hollywood fixture. As she got older and saw more of her daughter's increasing self-destruction she started to try to reconnect - gradually at first, but each time she was turned down she became more and more determined.

    She is Judgement.

    Gilda Mavel (maiden name Gilda Radner): A little too large and a little too strong. She was a champion in the high school football leagues but the discipline of the life and the relentless pushing of her parents to excel grated at her. When the opportunity arose she fell, and fell willingly. She found a girlfriend who was no good for her and they began a cycle of smoking, drinking, vandalism and truancy. For her it was an intoxicating mixture of rebellion and love, and with that in your pocket then nothing is safe. Eventually went into martial arts, and then kickboxing, and then stunt doubling for action movies. Wound up marrying her high school girl after several years of on-again, off-again - but marriage didn't change that cycle. However they interact it's always passionate and physical, fighting or kissing.

    She is the Chariot.

    Andrew Worhol: Guitarist and songwriter for the Lost Angels. Fat, friendly, bombastic - somehow both creative and lazy at the same time. Branches out into graffiti and spray paint art. Originally the most counterculture and rebellious of the band, as time went on he became increasingly corporate. Eventually shucked his mortal shell and spiritually ascended to become the Ruin, the Exarch of Fate became a jerk, drove everyone else out of the band, began producing generic music with increasingly elaborate visual design, and eventually ditched the charade and went into film. Extremely rich and powerful and very comfortable with using his influence to petty advantage.

    He is the Emperor.

    Michael Blue: The Bassist of the Lost Angels, defined by constantly degenerating eyesight and return trips to laser eye surgery. Very quiet, solitary, a little creepy - he's totally unreadable and tends to keep to himself. Occasionally the right question gets through to him and you hear some impossibly strange ideas. Became increasingly paranoid in later days, especially after siding with the Ruin and arising to become the Nemesis, the Exarch of Spirit an argument with Worhol drove him out of the band. Nowadays mostly engages in absurdly secured urban exploration - wandering through abandoned buildings after a security team of 30+ people go through the place and lock down every single corner like he's the freaking president.

    He is the Hermit.

    Mr. Mikaul: He's a high end publicist and fixer, but he's also a true believer. Originally commissioned by Liza Mavel to manage her daughter's career, Mr. Mikaul found himself falling for the music of the Lost Angels and became determined to take them all the way to the top. Had a mental breakdown when the band fell apart and nearly died of an anti-anxiety pill overdose. After months in rehab he's become determined to get the band back together, whatever it takes, despite none of the band members having even the slightest interest in doing that.

    He is the Heirophant.

    *

    The temple is a place to crash. In the midst of an inferno that would burn away the world it is the only place still and quiet. It is a place without electric lights, without electric cameras, without electric screaming. The towers of the city shift and crash and pound with music, and the skyline is awash with fire. This is a place that houses a friend who will take a call and provide a couch. When your senses are alight and your world of fire and all places are oneplace and each mind is a diamond and asserting your self against the rushing thunder of certainty that everyone screams at you from all sides.

    How someone would come to care for it? That's... not a real question. It's a natural process. Each person expands to fill the space that they are in, broading themselves to fit the location as the location shrinks to fit within their heart. It's entirely organic. Someone could shuffle the deck at any moment and break that connection, if they had a reason to.
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2019-06-30 at 08:22 PM.
    Soldiers, no poor sap ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by being all that he can be. Damn the torpedoes, or give us death. Eternal vigilance is the price of duty and to the victors go the spoils. So remember: you are the best of the few and the proud. So ask not what our country can do, only regret that we have but one life to live.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Unraveling Tapestries OOC: Initial Conditions

    The three men sit in the shade of the plum tree. The bird alights on the white-flowering branches, but is silent.

    ďIf you do not sing,Ē barks the first man, ďI will kill you.Ē The bird flutters to a higher branch, out of reach.

    ďIf you do not sing,Ē murmurs the second man, ďI will make you.Ē The bird flutters to a yet higher branch.

    ďIf you do not sing,Ē says the third man, smiling, ďI will wait.Ē And because time is all moments, because time is now, the bird sings.


    This shrineĎs dedicated to the memory of the third man. I mean, itís the second man who most of us end up having to be, because if we donít make things happen, theyíll just get worse, and itís the first Man we all have the potential to become, but...

    But itís a good thing to remember that sometimes, the wisest thing to do is to wait.

    The cityís Thťarchs, they think of this man as the Sage. Itís historically dubious, but perhaps the idea of the man is more important than the reality of his policies. Besides, thatís whatís here, right? The idea of him.

    Which means that a place dedicated to him...

    Thatís the place where heaven meets the world to shake hands. A place where you can be a little less fallen, from up here. A place like that, verdant and loved and on the first rung of the climb...

    Isnít that what is called Eden?

    ***

    Iím the gardener! Technically Iím what you might call a shrine maiden, yeah, but the uniformís hanging up in the back shed. Not practical for day-to-day chores and gardening and lugging things about; itís sacred. I take care of the flowers, monitor the health of the trees, haul fertilizer, lop off dead limbs with a chainsaw, do the landscaping, sweep up, wash the foot path, change the batteries in the smoke detectors, handle any minor roof and flooring repairs, keep an eye out for vermin infestations, and generally work to make this a place where you donít have to worry about that sort of thing!

    Where you can think about higher things; where you can be quiet, if thatís what you need; where you can wait for the bird to sing, no matter what that bird is.

    You might be wondering why our Wild Girl doesnít handle it. Her pathís higher. I know just enough about the magic of living things to handle most of it, and I donít have any initiation into that strange and holy and perilous place on the other side, not like she does. Thatís okay. Hands in the dirt and all.

    ***

    As for the head of the shrine...

    Thatís not my place to say, yet!
    freedom in the flame

    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Unraveling Tapestries OOC: Initial Conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post

    ***

    Iím the gardener! Technically Iím what you might call a shrine maiden, yeah, but the uniformís hanging up in the back shed. Not practical for day-to-day chores and gardening and lugging things about; itís sacred. I take care of the flowers, monitor the health of the trees, haul fertilizer, lop off dead limbs with a chainsaw, do the landscaping, sweep up, wash the foot path, change the batteries in the smoke detectors, handle any minor roof and flooring repairs, keep an eye out for vermin infestations, and generally work to make this a place where you donít have to worry about that sort of thing!

    Where you can think about higher things; where you can be quiet, if thatís what you need; where you can wait for the bird to sing, no matter what that bird is.

    You might be wondering why our Wild Girl doesnít handle it. Her pathís higher. I know just enough about the magic of living things to handle most of it, and I donít have any initiation into that strange and holy and perilous place on the other side, not like she does. Thatís okay. Hands in the dirt and all.

    ***

    As for the head of the shrine...

    Thatís not my place to say, yet!
    I think it might be mine though, and I'm prepared to commit to it. Rebecca, that's our wild girl's real name, we'll come up with more on that later, but Rebecca is the Kannushi, the master of the shrine. I'm not sure it really means all that much to her as a title or hierarchy, but it means three things to her in practice. First, she is the one who decides how things ought to be arranged at the shrine. She may be silent on the matter in which case it's not important to her, but if she says a rock goes just so in the garden, that is where the rock goes. Second, she is known in the neighborhood of the Two Streets as her title and so if your problem is of the type that Clover's quiet counsel does not resolve, Rebecca is the person you consult. Her solutions are often eccentric and wild, but she knows the gods and if you do exactly as she says, they will do what is needed. Third, she holds a position within her order, which I lean strongly to be Mysterium, and that includes dealing with sleeper problems and collecting the right supernal things for safekeeping.

    Man, the caliber here is such that I had a moment of feeling bad that I'm just laying out some facts OOC without writing a story or any prose laying this out in-universe. But I need to sleep so that will come some other time.
    School Fox by Atlur

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Anarion's right on the money here.
    Quotes

    "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.Ē
    Oscar Wilde Writer & Poet (1891)

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Unraveling Tapestries OOC: Initial Conditions

    Indeed. Everything is excellent.

    My brain is a weird mush right now, but I don't think I have all that many questions that I wouldn't just rather find out in play, and you guys seem to have it all so well in hand. I say we just get your sheets done and jump right in. Not that you have to hurry, or stop telling stories ... by all means.
    Sebastian/S.T. Veje
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  30. - Top - End - #30
    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Unraveling Tapestries OOC: Initial Conditions

    I strongly advise the book or audio novel for Metro 2033 if you're looking for post-apocalyptic mage inspiration. It is really compelling and super weird.

    More content coming soon.
    Soldiers, no poor sap ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by being all that he can be. Damn the torpedoes, or give us death. Eternal vigilance is the price of duty and to the victors go the spoils. So remember: you are the best of the few and the proud. So ask not what our country can do, only regret that we have but one life to live.

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