Tuesday, November 17, 2015

At the Gates of Silvermoon

The Ranger-General had bought them time - but it wasn't enough.

Kharisa Silverdawn stood in formation with her brothers and sisters, waiting for death's inevitable march. Their arrogance faltered with every line of defenses the Scourge marched through - and now they knew, for certain, that none of them would live through this.

They were here to give the civilians time to evacuate.

This was the first Khary had ever seen of war - sure, there were skirmishes with the Amani, but she'd lived within the relative safety of Quel'thalas all of her life. 

She'd expected some kind of glorious battle, and a part of her expected to somehow survive it. She still believed in her own immortality.

What she found was a slaughter.

Creatures - because they weren't people anymore - swarmed the gates. She watched as her comrades were slaughtered brutally, viciously - and yet the attackers did their best to leave the bodies intact. Khary couldn't understand why, at first. She didn't want to understand why.

She fought with every ounce of strength in her body, taking as many shambling corpses as she could with her. And yet they didn't kill her.

Oh no.

They took her, the stench of rotting flesh filling her nostrils as three ghouls held her still. A geist worked to free her from the confines of her plate armor, as a tall man - a human - stood before her. Blue runes glowed on his long, thin, sword, as he pressed the tip just under her breastbone.

She lost consciousness, then, as he pierced her heart, as she died. 

But that was only the beginning for her.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Battle for Eastcliff

As she'd predicted, the enemy struck hard and fast.

It would take time for the Nerubians to arrive - she was counting on that fact. By the time they came to take the Keep, the living would be gone.


One thing at a time.

Arrows, geists, and gargoyles rained from the sky - the scrawny, lithe geists had chosen to scale the walls, to no appreciable success, while the gargoyles scouted from above, seeking any living targets and trying to drag her archers from their perches.

They didn't find much success in that plan.

Khary's arcanite-reinforced, ghost iron armored skeletons decimated the weaker undead that stormed the gates, while her ghouls worked together to dispatch any abominations she herself did not take care of. More than once, she was grateful for her own thick plate armor.

Sure, it wasn't saronite - she'd sworn never to use the foul metal again - but ghost iron, that enigmatic material that flooded the market during the war for Pandaria, was just as durable, and had already managed to save her life without ruining her sanity.

She began, slowly but surely, to lose forces. It began with a massive flesh golem. This thing didn't much care as it became a pincushion. It crushed her ghouls into a fine red paste, and ripped two of her armored skeletons limb from limb, before her 'people' managed to destroy it. Three gargoyles worked together to harry her archers, knocking them from the walls to crack apart on the ground so far below.

It would take more time and concentration than she had to raise the broken bodies to fight once more.

It was a little more than an hour into the heavy fighting. Though Khary herself hadn't taken any severe wounds, her armor was banged up pretty badly, and her forces were down to a single one-armed skeleton and her own self.

The ground rumbled beneath her.

The Nerubians had arrived, tunneling under the walls of the keep. There was nothing she could do about that - it was an eventuality.

The comms reported that the mages were going through their own portals now, unravelling the magic behind them.

The garrison was lost - but this day, the battle was won.

Before Eastcliff

Kharisa Silverdawn stood outside of Eastcliff Garrison.

The undead were coming. The scouts had reported an army arrayed against them, and her mind briefly flashed back to the gates of Silvermoon.

She would not, could not fail again.

"Get everyone out," she'd ordered, and the soldiers had rushed to obey.

She would hold the line.

Arrayed behind her stood her army. Five fleshy ghouls knelt beside her, waiting and hungry. Ten skeletons stood behind her, each wearing heavy armor, and twenty skeletons readied themselves on the walls - these were archers. The skeletons were specially modified, their bones reinforced with metal. They weren't agile, precisely - no - but they were incredibly durable, and the archers carried magical quivers that drew directly from the armory.

It wouldn't have worked, if the elves and humans she'd chosen in life had not agreed, if she hadn't bound their souls already. No, these soldiers had died in the defense of their home, and had signed a contract before that - literally binding - to serve in death. 

She wasn't a great necromancer, to raise so many at the spur of a moment's need - but it didn't take the gift of foresight to know this day would come. She'd set this up with Eridan over the last few months, in preparation.

Inside, the living scurried about. Mages set up portals, and people filed through in orderly fashion.

Above, the first gargoyle screamed, an arrow piercing its throat. It splattered on the ground next to her. 

The siege was upon them ....

Thursday, October 29, 2015

So Then I Got Bit

I found a town yesterday.

You know, if there were any living people left, that'd be a good thing, but there aren't.

Right now I'm boiling toilet water over a campfire so I can maybe drink it. I'm burning a couch for fuel. After that's done I'm going to cook down a bunch of zombie fat into candles, and tomorrow I'm gonna make sure that I've gotten everything in town before heading out to find a place to live.

I could just take over one of the buildings in town, but that seems - dangerous, after a fashion, you know?

Like, I can only imagine that this place draws the horde like no other.

I don't want to face a horde.

Oh, good news and bad news, though. I've got plenty of supplies to survive on, and I found a pistol in one of these houses. That's the good news.

The bad news is one of the zombies got at me.

I've been bitten.

But I'm not gonna just - lie down and take it.

It's not like there's anyone for me to be a danger to; I'm going to see if I can find some antibiotics in one of these houses. If not .... if not, there's gotta be something I can do.

I'm not gonna just - lie down and die.

Daylight's starting to seep in. Time to get moving.

((Leah was then murdered by a bear, the end.))

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


I figure in the long nights ahead it might be soothing to try and keep a journal.

So - my name is Leah.

I don't remember the finer points of how things happened. All I know is I woke up this morning with a splitting headache and without a single piece of clothing and the deep-rooted knowledge:

They're coming.

So I ran. I was panicky, I guess. I don't remember anything. Eventually I found a road, and made my way towards town. By then, of course, I'd already figured out who 'they' were.

They were human, like me - once.

Now, they shamble and crawl, attacking anything they can get their hands on - I actually watched a bear make short work of one of them.

It's daylight out. I'm heading out. There's more town to scavenge.

Friday, October 23, 2015

7 Days to Die: Initial Thoughts

Oh holy Christ the player model (at least for females) is ugly as sin.

Significant tweaking makes it at least marginally palatable to look at, but nothing will fix the dead-eyed stare into my very soul. Maybe this game is a commentary on how the player is the zombie.


So my friends got me hooked on the idea that survival horror would be a really fun genre to try out, and more specifically that 7 Days to Die is the best game of its ilk to try it with.

My experience went something like this:

Make a character.

Start a world.

Walk down a road, looting every pile of trash compulsively with no idea what I'm doing.

Chased by zombies.

And then a dog.

And then also a bee.

Kill the dog.

Die to the bee and the zombies.

Respawn. This time in a desert.

Loot everything compulsively - I think I had like a hundred aloe vera by the time I died - this time, to a bear.

So then I got wise and decided maybe it's time to research the game I just bought.

The guide got me a little farther - I made it through a whole day this time - but I can tell I've still got a lot to learn.

I can tell this game has the same seductive siren's song as minecraft - you hit things until they break, take them, and make them into something better - while being the challenge I craved.

That said, it's probably better with friends.

Monday, October 19, 2015

On Honor


By definition, this is honesty, fairness, and integrity in one's beliefs and actions.

What does that mean?

One of the cornerstones of honor is esteem and respect for every living creature, If one does not respect someone, one has little reason other than one's own personal beliefs to treat a person with fairness or integrity.

One must also bear respect for oneself. If one does not respect oneself, then one has no reason to keep oneself to an honorable standard.

Breaking this down even further, then, one must explain what it is to act with integrity.

Integrity is a standard to which one holds all of their actions. This standard must be adhered to at all times, and as a result consistency is achieved, such that one's treatment of all creatures, within reasonable bounds, is equivalent.

Fairness is very much related to integrity; when one is consistent in the way which all creatures must be treated, one can say that they act fairly toward all creatures.

However, that is not the entirety of fairness. Fairness can also contradict with the goal of consistency, however, as fairness is not precisely the act of treating all creatures the same. Instead, fairness takes into consideration all aspects of the situation and applies appropriate judgement. To be fair to one person, one may need to take into consideration a number of factors which are not present for another, yielding an entirely different action and result.

There is also the matter of honesty. Acting with fairness and integrity, the honorable person should of course be honest to all. Honesty therefore, must be defined, as it is one of the key tenets of honor.

Honesty is more than simply electing not to lie. One can tell the complete truth in all things, and still lead a person to an inaccurate conclusion. Therefore, honesty is instead the intention to not mislead any being into wrong thinking. This can be conveyed through actions or words.

How does honor apply in combat?

To review, honor is a matter of treating all people, even enemies, with respect and esteem.  In many ways, therefore, it can be said that to act less than honestly is still honorable; for example, a feint in combat would lead an opponent into wrongful thinking, but to abstain from using a specific technique because it is dishonest does not show respect to your opponent's abilities.

Therefore, honor in combat may not be entirely synonymous with honesty, as treating an enemy with appropriate respect includes the important point that you must never underestimate an opponent. To underestimate any person is to be disrespectful.

That is not to say that honor is simply the drive to win at all costs; however, and using techniques which do not fall in line with one's own morality would conflict with honor directly.

However, if one were to act in a way that was dishonest in combat, one may still be honorable, as this displays respect for the opponent's skill and strength.

Next we must address that honor is not only actions, but beliefs. To treat a person with respect, one must not only act in a respectful fashion, but to believe that they are worthy of respect.  This comes back to the basis of honor, both in combat and out.

To elaborate, this means that one must not underestimate one's allies, and must instead respect what they are capable of. One should also respect others' beliefs and actions, whether or not those beliefs or actions conflict with those one may hold, themselves.

In closing, honor is based upon respect for all creatures. To be honorable is not only to act respectful, but also to hold others in approprie esteem. To act respectful, one should be honest in both actions and words, seeking not to mislead others into wrongful thought. To maintain one's own honor, one should act with integrity, which is to say that one's behaviour should be consistent as possible. Fairness dictates that one may not treat every creature in the exact same fashion, as circumstances may vary dramatically, but to treat each creature in equivalent fashion based upon the circumstances.

- Achaena Embershield

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Tranquil Air - 6

Having established firmer footing, I now turned my attention to the strange, thick roots that hung from the dirt platform.

Ripping a few free, I inspected them. These held power. Life itself seemed to pulse in my hands.

Experimenting with the roots, I fused a few together, just as I had the stones. I expected a block of roots - but what I got instead - well.

The emerald sapling that I held in my hands had a strong essence, as powerful in its way as the water spirit was.

I collected the rest of the roots. A strange feeling in my gut said I wouldn't get any more.

That done, I placed down a block of dirt several stone blocks away from my platform, and planted the tree there. It made me feel - better. I wasn't alone here. The water spirit, and now the tree, would be all the company I needed.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Tranquil Air - 5

My plan slowly came to fruition. The rocks I collected were feather-light once broken from the ground, just as the dirt had been. It was no great task to collect what should have been a literal ton of rock - and it all fit neatly into my pocket.

Satisfied that I had enough stone, I embraced the waters once again, sliding off the edge. I kept myself at a level just under my platform through sheer effort, and stuck stone after stone to the underside of the dirt. Stone, once placed, seemed to be immune to gravity, just as the dirt was. I soon discovered that the stone was happy to stick to itself, as well.

I could do a lot with such tools. I used to consider myself an artist, back before my impossibly potent magical talent in magic took over my life - and here were the most responsive materials I'd ever worked. I would make this world a work of art, I decided. My masterpiece.

After all, I had nothing but time and empty space.