Monday, November 28, 2011

Nobody Important 33 - Mesmerizing

((Whooooaaaa. I'm like two weeks away from an actual honest-to-god more-or-less stable work schedule. Mondays off for this week and the next. Should get a post in next Monday, too.

Not knowing when I'll have free to write makes it hard to get writing done. Plus general ill health and inability to sleep.

Holy shit holy shit holy shit this story hit 396 hits on Sunday. /faint.))

If the Dunmer had wanted her dead, she wouldn't have lived to see the sunrise, painful as it may have been. That thought kept her calm when every instinct shrieked for her to run.
"Why stop?" She asked, instead.
The smith frowned ever so slightly. "What makes you think I have, fledgling?"
"I'm alive."
He nodded slowly. "There is that. Should I kill you, then? I would be within my rights, to kill a vampire in my own home, one who's hurt a mortal even." For emphasis, he gestured at the Bosmer on the bed. "The guard wouldn't care - not one person would so much as bat an eyelash, not when they saw those fangs. Would anyone mourn your passing? That boy, maybe?" She tried not to show her hurt. He was testing her, poking at her weak points. She looked down and away, ashamed she couldn't maintain her composure.
"I'll take your silence as a no."
She swallowed heavily. "I don't want to die. Not yet." She was surprised to realize it was true. She had work yet to do. Even if she didn't - even though her family was dead, even though that left a gaping wound where her heart should be, she wanted to heal. "I don't." She wanted to see Martin again, and even his Blades intrigued her.
"Should I care what you want?" He pointed at her with the blade he'd used on her bandages, expression cold. She shook her head slowly. "... Well, I do."
Her gaze snapped back to his face, she stared at him in confusion. "Fledgling ... not one person in this world will show you kindness. Most won't even show you mercy - not if they know who you are, what you are." He shook his head, sounding ... almost sad? "Most would kill you without a second thought, but you - just by your actions, you have proven you are a thinking, feeling person. You, like everyone else, have the choice to do good. Should you be slain, just because your condition makes the choice harder?"
Lyssi frowned again. "So, you don't hunt vampires."
Something about what she said must have been funny; he laughed merrily. She felt her cheeks warm once more. "No, no, fledgling. If a vampire causes problems in Anvil, I would happily rip off their limbs and stake them out for the sun. Even if I didn't, your kind cleans up their own messes. Like that beast who slaughtered the Cheydinhal guard." She stared at him once more, fear welling up. He couldn't know. "Yes, you've heard of that, haven't you. It put a lot of people on edge. I'd wager it's hard for even a normal burglar to operate in that city right now, much less a vampire."
She nodded slowly. "I had nothing to do with that." It wasn't really a lie. She hadn't exactly been in control of her actions, and she couldn't remember the details. It was almost, almost like another person entirely had done it.
He laughed again, and she smiled uncertainly in response. "Nine, no. You're a year old, fledgling. Most vampires your adge would have trouble with a gang of schoolchildren, much less the armed, armored, and most importantly, trained, organized city guard."
He reached out to ruffle her hair, laughing again when she reflexively tried to duck out of the way of his descending hand.
"Come, fledgling, help me clean up this mess, hm?"

They made their way into Anvil shortly after dusk, despite Ariel's protests. Martin couldn't explain the sense he had - it was an intuition, he supposed, and his gut had never steered him wrong. The Bosmer girl, this "Alyssia," would be necessary in the coming days. He was certain of it.
Ariel had a word for it. She called it "infatuation."
Martin didn't want to think terribly hard on why he was so focused on the girl. For one, he found it difficult to focus on the question itself. For another -
He spotted her by the city's lighthouse, and pointed her out to his traveling companions. Ariel gave him an odd look, then wordlessly produced a vial of potion, dabbing one drop onto each of her eyelids. It wasn't that dark out, was it?
He shook his head as Ariel gave the vial to Roth.
The Bosmer girl made her way down to the cellar of the lighthouse, producing a key.
"How do you suppose she got that, hm?" Ariel asked it quietly, so as not to draw her attention.
Martin shrugged in reply. "Let's go ask her, hm?"
The reek of gore was overpowering.
A dog sat, panting, at the Bosmer's heel, its mouth bloodied. There was the mark of long violence on the poor animal, and a half-crazed look in its eye, but it seemed calm - for the moment.
Nude bodies were stacked on the cellar's shelves - most had been partially eaten, and all had begun to rot.
The elf stood frozen at the center of the cellar, apparently frozen in place. Martin pushed away visions of Kvatch, walking the handful of steps he needed to reach her. "Alyssia," he murmured.
Her eyes were open wide, unblinking, the pupils shrunk to thin slits. Her nostrils were flared, and her mouth slightly open, putting her small fangs on display.
"Snap out of it, come on."

A voice called to her, serenading, crooning. It pierced the roaring triumph of the beast inside her mind, and she became a person again in bits and pieces, ever so slowly.
"Come on, let's get out of here."
Lyssi shook her head to clear it, holding up a single finger. "Need - book." She managed to bite the words out around the sick feeling in her throat. She'd spotted some kind of a journal, before she'd lost herself. Fortunately, she didn't have to explain herself any further. Understanding dawned in the priest's eyes. He covered his mouth and nose with the sleeve of his robe, peering about. "Is that a head?" He asked it in quiet wonder, and she nodded once.
It was, indeed, a head, set upon a plate, withered and rotted from age. The hair had just recently been brushed, and a careful hand had applied some kind of makeup to its face.
She couldn't focus, couldn't think. All she could hear was Martin's heartbeat, the blood surging through his veins. So much had been spilt and she wanted - needed - a taste. She felt herself shaking, every inch of her quivering like a skooma addict, desperate for a hit.
Martin was the one to spot the leatherbound journal, its pages lying open for anyone to read. Lyssi only just managed to tear her eyes away from his neck as he made his way to the book.
Outside, she could hear the sound of someone retching, and she used that to ground herself, distracting herself, momentarily, from the ravenous hunger.
Pages turned, and she had to stop him. She had to - he would learn everything.
She couldn't let herself get any closer. Martin was the only person still living that she didn't want to have to kill. She couldn't - wouldn't - let a careless mistake jeopardize his life, and she was so hungry.
"Don't," she asked, instead. There was a note of pleading in her voice she couldn't help.
Finally, she let herself glance back in his direction - surely looking wasn't so bad, was it? She wouldn't lose control just staring at him, the way his pulse jumped and danced in his throat - no. She dragged her gaze up to his face. His mouth was set in a hard, angry line as he read.
"Please, stop?"
She refused to force him, but ... it was the only way, wasn't it?
He paused then, to look from the book to the carnage. His eyes settled on her, and his expression cut her like a knife. The disgust - the betrayal. He kept his voice even, but only barely. "I healed you - I trusted in you ... you monster. Is this why you needed to get to Anvil?"
She hadn't meant for him to follow her this far. "I ..."
"You what? This looks ... bad, Alyssia." He gestured at the severed head, laughing a bit bitterly. "You're a vampire. This ... is this your lair? Your home? Is that your mother?" He pointed at the severed head. "She's dead. You might have noticed."
Wait, what?
She shook her head, just staring at him blankly. His heart was racing with his anger, and it was impossible to think with such a distraction. He threw the book at her, and she caught it in numb fingers, looking down at it in confusion. What?
"So that's it. You needed to get back, to ... what? Finish disposing of the bodies? Feed? This is revolting." He stormed toward the door, indignation in his every step. "Never speak to me again."
"I - no - listen - "
He whirled toward her again. "So you can fill my head with lies?" His eyes were like chips of ice. "Why can't I remember our first meeting, Alyssia? Is that even your real name, vampire?" She fell silent, staring down at the ground, hugging the book to her chest.
At her heel, the dog growled slightly.
"Answer me."
She felt tears welling up, but she pushed them back, swallowing heavily. "This isn't my work." Her voice sounded tiny, even to her own ears, strong as they were.
He folded his arms. "So. Why can't I remember."
"I didn't mean - " She shook her head again, swiping at her eyes.
He laughed a bit, but there wasn't any humor to it. "You didn't mean what? You didn't mean for me to find out?" He threw his hands up in the air. "Well obviously! Why else would you wipe my memory?"
"I didn't want you to know - "
He cut her off, glaring fiercely. "You violated my mind."
She flinched, staring down at the book. "I'm sorry," she mumbled. The tears fell freely. She hung her head; her hair fell in her face, partially masking her shame.
Warmth enveloped her, and she stared up at him shocked confusion. "Nine, girl. I don't know what to do with you at all." One of his hands ran through her hair, and she sensed him giving the carnage one last look. "Just ... if this is all compulsion - no, don't tell me. Not right now."
"You should go," she mumbled into his chest. He was so warm. A tiny bite wouldn't hurt, would it? The beast inside helpfully reminded her of the euphoric high his blood gave. "Should leave me."
There wasn't any conviction to her tone. She didn't want to be alone anymore.
"I'm taking you out of here." His voice was soothing, and she found herself hypnotized. His scent, the call of his blood, overpowered even the stench of the bloated corpses. She'd do anything for another taste. "After that, we can talk, okay?"
She found herself nodding in agreement with whatever he had to say, leaning in for a tiny sip.
"No biting." He swatted her once, like he might an unruly pet. She caught the finger between her teeth, nicking his skin.
It was enough.
Lightning shot through her as the first drops touched her tongue. She suckled just so,running her tongue along the digit in long, sensual strokes. A strangled noise escaped him, and he hastily retrieved his hand.
"No." He said it quietly, strain in his voice. "Not here." Her stomach calmed after only one sip.
Lyssi obliged him, stepping back with a tiny smile.
She had the feeling she'd be smiling more often in the coming nights.
She followed Martin as he quickly vacated the cellar, hugging the book to her chest. She thought she might follow him anywhere ... if only for another bite.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chapter 32 - Poking Holes

In which inflations are deflated.

Sated, the bestial instinct subsided completely, leaving Lyssi alone with the horror of what she'd almost done. A strangled, choked-off noise escaped her, and she pressed her left hand to the boy's throat, white light suffusing the injury.

Did she have any healing potions left? The liquid did wonders to restore lost blood - no, damn it, she'd used the last one after Ungolim.

She glanced back at the smith, panic filling her. Unthinking, she shot a Command back at the Dunmer.

Find a healer, quickly!

Why did she immediately think of Martin?

The Dunmer raised an eyebrow, lowering his weapon. Didn't he understand that time was of the essence?

"Well, then."

The man paused for another long moment, then sheathed his sword. "I'll have you know, I've shaken off worse Commands from more powerful beasts than you, girl." He shook his head slightly, as though clearing cobwebs from it. "As it happens, I keep a store of healing potions in case of emergency. If my apprentice dies before I return, you will live just long enough to regret what you've done. That's a promise."

He left her there, the young Bosmer cradled to her chest, for what felt like hours. She had more than enough time for it to fully sink in that she could actually use her left arm again, though she still couldn't really breathe. There was a ... pressure. She felt like she was holding a breath, only she couldn't exhale, either.

The smith returned moments before she was sure the apprentice would have died, bearing a heavy-looking case that she thought read "First Aid."

Inside the case, she spotted a number of small, labeled vials, a roll of bandages, and a couple of scrolls. She couldn't make anything else out from where she stood. The Dunmer retrieved three vials from the case, then carefully placed them against his apprentice's lips, one by one, making sure not even a drop was wasted.

"Have you ever considered a career in medicine? There's a good girl, help me carry him back to his room." Lyssi did as commanded, relieved to realize her strength was returning enough that she didn't need any help. The smith carried his "First Aid" kit, instead.

"I forgot how strong even a little thing like you could be, with your ... condition." The smith inspected the boy's neck, and Lyssi stepped back, away from the bed. It was a nice room, with heavy drapes. Of course, a smith could afford the best.

"As I suspected, the wounds are already closed. He'll need rest, but he should recover." The Dunmer patted his apprentice's shoulder, fondly. "As for you ..."

He turned to look at her, and she felt her gaze immediately drop to the floor. "Nine, it would almost be a mercy to put you out of your misery, I think." Her head snapped up, and her eyes narrowed. Mentally, she dared him to try it. "Perhaps not. You can't speak?" She shook her head, once again making the vague throat-gesture that generally seemed to communicate her problem. "Was it recent?" She blinked, blinked again. What? She nodded slowly.

"I don't actually see any throat injuries - " the smith touched his own eyes for a moment, and she felt the low thrum of magic in the air. Then, he gently tilted her head from side to side. "Your Sire was a vicious brute, wasn't ... he? He." Callused fingers skimmed against the old scar. Experience told her that soon, it would be the only one left. The others - more recent - would likely fade quickly, if she got a chance to rest and heal fully. In response to his question, however, she could only nod.

Vicente wasn't a beast, but then, he had never bitten her.

Tears welled up unbidden.

Vicente was gone. She'd killed him.

"Focus dear, crying never helped anyone. What happened? Was it a piercing wound?" She nodded again, rubbing at her eyes.

"Ah, may I see?"

Lyssi bit her lip, glancing over at Enilroth's sleeping form. "Dear, you haven't got anything I haven't seen before and frankly, if the boy hasn't, then he could use the education." The smith gave her a long look. "None of you Bosmer women have much up top anyway. Show me."

After a long moment's deliberation, she obeyed. Slipping her arms out of the sleeves caused the dress to fall about her waist, held there only by the belt.

This garnered another long stare. "You know, I've seen worse, but it's been years. Those bandages need to be changed at the very least. Let me see." She almost jumped out of her skin when he came at her with a knife, but he was all business, cutting the cloth away with practiced ease and inspecting her injuries with a surgeon's critical eye. She noticed he wore thin leather gloves, just as Jauffre had, and was startled to spot an old bite wound on his forearm.

"I've done things I'm not proud of. I've seen good men die, and put more than a few of them down myself." She felt a pinching under her ribs, and decided she'd rather not look at what he was doing. "I'd guess you're a fledgling - less than a century?"

A rush of air escaped her chest - wasn't the problem that she couldn't take any air in?

She nodded, though he couldn't see it.

"Most vampires in your position would have dropped the boy to deal with me. They would have had to - fighters need their hands free, and it's a very, very rare mage who can cast without sound or gesture. But you ..." The smith dabbed a cold liquid against the hole he just made, and continued. "You are such a mage. But the order, 'Find a healer.'" He paused for a moment. "Try to inhale, please." She was startled to realize she could.

Inhale, exhale.


She was breathing!

"Good girl. How long have you been a vampire?"

She worked her jaw, taking a few practice breaths before replying. "Year?" She could speak! Her voice was all gritty, and she'd all-but forgotten how, but she could speak!

"You have remarkable control for a year-old fledgling. Military?"

She shook her head, then added a, "No," at the end, just because she could.

"Ah, well. Who was that boy you pictured? He must be important to you." The smith wrapped a fresh roll of bandages around her chest, fastening them in place with an odd metal clip. It looked a bit like a small butterfly.

"I ... that is ..."

The smith stood fully again, peeling off the gloves with some care. "Try not to blush, it wastes blood." He rubbed a clear gel between his hands. It smelled like alcohol; she wrinkled her nose. "And don't make faces. Basic sanitation prevents the spread of diseases like yours."

She took a moment to try and process what he was saying. "How do ..." She trailed off, unsure how to continue.

"How do I know all this? Dear girl, I've been hunting vampires longer than I'd wager you've been alive."

((Sorry about going MIA Monday - excessively common that. Starting my new position, in training again, no time at work to actually do bloggery anymore. Might/might not post for the next couple weeks. Probably at LEAST one a week though.))

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cubeaism 3 - What I Did

It took more effort than I expected, to destroy even a small portion of the portal. I chipped away at it for the better part of a day. It was hot, sweaty work, and it only reminded me how grimy I've become. But it was worth it. The portal wavered, then closed.

Then, I climbed the side of the shrine, dousing its flame with the ashy sand.  It's not much, but it's all I can do for now.

In the future, I'll do more work on tearing it down completely.

With that completed, I started work on my own shelter. I brought some stone and wood to work with, but I haven't had a chance to purify the stone. Wooden planks it is.

It isn't much to look at, but it will keep me safe. The evil creatures of Net roam these lands at night - Terrae's eye burns them with sunlight.

Which isn't to say I can't keep myself safe.

These lands are absolutely riddled with Net's minions, and there is only one solution for that ... problem. 

Yes, that is a skeleton riding a spider.
An initiate of Penna who has spoken her vows may not directly kill another living being, regardless of circumstance. She may also not consume any kind of meat, though fruits, breads, cakes, and even my favorite kind of food, doughnuts, are allowed. 

I have not yet spoken my vows, and I always was a good shot with a bow. Mother would have died of embarrassment, I think, if I wasn't.

The creatures didn't even wait for me to leave my shelter. I had to defend myself from the moment I set foot outside. 

On the other hand, the tall, destructive creatures known as Endermen, semi-solid and full of hate, are present in large numbers. Although somewhat difficult to combat, due to their nature, I killed three of them on my own, and the daylight did the rest. I collected five of their cores - their 'pearls,' so to speak. I think I can do something wonderful with these innately magical gems.

I still cannot stand what the followers of Net have done to my home, nor can I believe it was only one man to wreak so much harm. But hunting these evil creatures has brought me a measure of peace for the night.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cubeaism 2 - What I Expected

This ... is not what I expected.

Right now I've bedded down in a small hovel with my supplies, waiting for day. I have to get my bearings.

There is a desert where my home once was. It's ... it's wrong, is what it is. I know the mountains here, I know is landscape.

This cannot have been the work of just one man. I'm going to need to collect some more supplies for this. I had planned to replant the forest, to rebuild what I remember of my home.

With this, I'll be lucky if I manage to build an oasis.

It isn't a complete loss. There is some forest in the surrounding areas, and a small grassland surrounding a lake not far from here.

Was this entire journey a waste? I hope not.

I wandered the edges of the desert for a while, my mind churning. This couldn't be right, I took a wrong turn. I was in the wrong place.

And then I found my old doll. Little Steve. He's a bit smudged and ashy, slightly charred - but recognizable.

I never thought I'd see him again, after I dropped him that night.

More than that, though, I found an explanation for what's happened here.

A shrine to Net, a black scar on the land, rose up out of the sand, a horrible reminder of an old wound. I'm positive it stands where the main shrine to Terrae once stood. It makes an awful kind of sense.

Tomorrow I will work on destroying it - I don't feel comfortable with that portal active. I can hear ... things ... scuttling about, beyond.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cubeaism 1 - What They Said

((Story based on this thing here.))

They say that it took only one man to destroy my entire way of life.

My family were devout worshipers of Terrae, She Who is Life. We lived in a forest stronghold, with watchtowers placed in all directions. They hunted the wild animals for sustenance, and the evil creatures that dared enter our domain for sport. I was young and eager, and I wanted nothing more than to join them in the hunt.

Then, the fires came.

They say it was a man angered by the gods. He was what we now call an alchemist, a man who wielded great and terrible power.

One night, he walked unseen into our most sacred place and by merely raising his hands, he set all the forest ablaze. His presence burned so brightly that around him, the lakes dried up. The land itself burned.

Nothing was safe.

No one was safe.

My family fought valiantly, but there was no force of arms great enough to overcome the man.

I remember Mother telling me to run, flee the forest. She sent me to the disciples of Penna, where all may know peace and safety in their lofty temples.

My family were warriors.

I now follow a different path.

I will bring the blessed light of Penna to all the world, and I will use the same magic that man used.

Where he destroyed, I hope to rebuild.

Perhaps ... perhaps one day I will know what drove the man to act as he did.

I have left the safety of the Moon Garden Temple at the suggestion and blessing of my teachers. By myself, with the magic I now harness, I will build a new temple in Penna's blessed name.

I shall name it the Temple of Fallen Stars. It will stand above the charred ruin of my family's home, a monument in their honor.

So mote it be.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mod Interactivity - Equivalent Exchange, Better Than Wolves

(Because who needs emotion anyway?)

So, I've been playing around with mods in Minecraft recently, because when I get a game I tend to play it vanilla for a short stretch of time, then find out what other people have done to bend the engine's arm behind its back.

Minecraft is one of the better games out there to play modded, I think, and here's why:

Mod interactivity.

Hear me out - I know a lot of mods end up being incompatible with one another due to block IDs. And I know Notch pretty much deliberately made it hell to mod the game what with the code obfuscation and the lack of an official mod API and all.

However, once you get the blocks all in the game and past the inevitable black screen of death, lots of mods play really nicely together.

Here's an example: Right now I'm derping around with Better Than Wolves and Equivalent Exchange (plus a handful of others, notably Timber! and Clay Soldiers).

With Equivalent Exchange (it's an alchemy mod, by the way), once you get your philosopher's stone, you can turn a whole bunch of things into a whole bunch of other things at relatively low resource cost. In practice this means things like 'turn flowers into pumpkins into melons so you don't have to find a death mineshaft (oh god cave spiders why) to start farming resources.

It also gives you basically unlimited redstone and/or glowstone out of sugar cane, essentially turning all resources in the game (Lava is coal + redstone + bucket + philo stone) into renewable resources. Powerful stuff.

But how does that interact with Better than Wolves?

Let me explain what Better than Wolves is if you're not interested in googling it yourself (the name is a non-indicative jab at Notch's penchant for adding random trivial content) - the mod basically aims to add an endgame made of mechanical power to minecraft. To that end, you have things like windmills and water wheels, hemp plants and ground up souls of the damned, all to make you the undisputed ruler of your world. (So you can better crush any zombie uprisings, see?)

It also adds elevators which is just damn cool, I don't care who you are.

Now, your first water wheel generally will be made with glue because slimes are difficult to find and ridiculously rare besides. That involves a trip or several to the Nether to build a hibachi, plus the understanding of how to work mechanical power (if you just installed Better than Wolves you probably don't have that understanding) to stoke a fire using a bellows.

With Equivalent Exchange, instead of doing all that, you can take a bucket of water, some normal seeds, a sapling, and some sugarcane, and grind it all up until you've made a whole mess of slimeballs.

One of the cooler features of Better than Wolves is the block dispenser, which is critical to creating companion cubes (you monster), and also most forms of automated farming. Trouble is, it requires mossy cobblestone. I've only legitimately found a handful of dungeons in my entire time playing the game. The spider dungeon challenge aside, I've never really built anything out of mossy cobble because it's so damn rare.

Equivalent Exchange has a solution for that, as well! Seeds + Cobblestone = Mossy Cobblestone.

Basically, the two mods play off of each other in fun and interesting ways, because they both use the standard items - just in new and interesting ways. Sure I can't, say, transmute normal seeds into hemp seeds - but the mods compliment each other so nicely that sometimes I actually forget that isn't possible.

Of course, somebody else is doing something more impressive than I have the patience for with this combination, that's how I discovered it and that's ultimately why I downgraded back to 1.8.1 from the 1.9 prereleases. Good job, Stormweaver.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Got a Thing

Several things, actually.

Firstly, I got this thing!

Adopt one today!

It is a dragon egg-thing. Silly forum junk, but I figured it'd be less annoying than the other signature I have so yeah. /shrug.

Also I got a ton of mods for Minecraft and that is why I went MIA Friday.

I ... think I'll post more on that tomorrow. So tired. So very tired. @.<

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chapter 31: Bloodlust

((Only a month 'til Skyrim! Better get cracking on this!))

Stay quiet, follow me.

Lyssi kept her focus on the other Bosmer as she gently tugged him away from the staircase, toward a side door she'd noticed before. His eyes were wide, and he'd become almost as pale as she was, but he didn't speak. He couldn't speak. She made sure of that, focusing every bit of her power on that one thought.  

Stay quiet, follow me.

She sat him down on a barrel in what appeared to be a storage room, then shuffled her backpack off of her shoulder. She'd been expecting the torches and pitchforks response, and she'd expected to have to flee. It landed with a heavy thump, the thin blanket following. She fished the dead drop out of her pack, holding it up for the boy to see.

Enilroth became as pale as the white-gold tower of the Imperial City, trembling so badly that it shook the barrel he sat on. He recognized the package. She could taste his fear in the air, and it took too much work to convince herself she didn't enjoy it. The predator inside her knew the scent of an easy kill.

She split her attention now, letting the boy speak if he chose to - she scratched letters into the air, light following her fingertips.

"Who gave you this." The boy's suspicious activity was too recent. Combined with, his age, his raw terror - he was prey, not predator. He wasn't the traitor, he wasn't even a Brother. He had never taken a life, she was as sure of that as she was her own name. He was shaking almost violently, now.

"I'm... I'm sorry!" The boy barely got the words out past his terror. She raised an eyebrow, gesturing for him to continue. "I didn't mean to do anything wrong ... it ... it was the robed man!"

The traitor. Yes. She grinned to herself. Finally.

Enilroth was apparently encouraged by her smile. Maybe he was just terrified - probably, he was just terrified. "He... he paid me to put those things in the barrel. The ... the coins, I still have them, if ... I mean, I meant to ... please don't hurt me?" The boy swallowed heavily.

"The man." Let the boy think she'd kill him if he didn't tell her more. It was almost amusing.

"I don't know his name, and his face was in shadow. He ... he called to me yesterday as I walked by the lighthouse. I think he lives there! Or he did, anyway? I don't know. He ... He told me he was leaving Anvil. I'm sorry, but that's all I know!"

Leaving. Her grin became a scowl. The traitor had slipped out of her grasp because she was weak. She felt her fingers flex. Because of the demons, and the priest-turned-emperor, and her gods-cursed festering wounds, she hadn't been fast enough to intercept the traitor.

And now she was forced to wait another day ... she found herself pacing, trying to think of a way to protect herself from the sunlight.

There was nothing for it. She'd have to investigate this lighthouse, but she was confined to the smithy until the sun set. "You're ... you are, aren't you?" The boy sounded nervous still, but also curious. For the moment, she'd forgotten he was still there - of course, she stood between him and the door.

She glanced over at him, scratching her response into the air. The light flickered, shimmering into - and out of - existence, dying mere moments after she'd finished writing. She was almost out of magic. "Are what."

"A - a vampire. You really are a vampire, aren't you?" He sounded more curious than afraid, now. Suddenly, she wished she'd thought to bind him. Something about his curiousity unsettled her. He wasn't afraid enough for that kind of a revelation. She nodded once, hesitantly. "You're nothing like I thought you'd be. You're real pretty and ... well, you don't have wings, or ... or claws, or cloven feet or anything. You're practically a real person."

Pretty? She raised an eyebrow, tilting her head to the side, folding her arms - or well, folding her right arm over her chest. Her left arm still hung limply.

He leaned forward. "What's it like? When you bite people, I mean. You - do still, you know, bite people, right?" She frowned slightly. Her stomach growled, reminding her that she hadn't fed recently. She thought she might be on the mend - she no longer felt sick just thinking about food. "In all the stories and everything, I mean ... that is ... they all say it feels ... um."

In fact, she could go for a bite after all. She smiled, making sure he could see her teeth.

He swallowed heavily, and she put a finger to his lips.

Then she leaned forward, tugging his head gently to the right. She lapped at his throat, feeling his pulse jump under her careful ministrations. He would enjoy this, she'd make sure of it.

She had enough control for that, at least, didn't she?

Her fangs were razor sharp - she knew it didn't hurt when she applied just a little pressure, but already he was bleeding. He was so nervous, and his heart beat so quickly. She let herself enjoy his fear, licking at the tiny wounds she'd made. Just a taste, before the main course.

The boy actually moaned quietly. She knew he'd enjoy it.

She sank her fangs in again, this time a bit deeper, blood shooting into her mouth when she suckled, ever so gently. It tasted like she imagined ambrosia might. Hunger always had been the best spice, and she hadn't realized how starved she'd let herself become. She felt the blood knitting her injuries back together. The boy wouldn't miss the little blood she needed to survive, she reasoned - only, some rational part of her pointed out, she'd taken far more than she normally did.

She ignored that rational part. Her left arm joined her right in holding the boy still - he didn't seem to be able to hold himself upright anymore.

The door slammed open, and she heard steel scrape on steel.

"That's enough, I think."

Monday, October 10, 2011

Down Again (Call Center Blues)

Not much to say.

Ah ... so the call center I work for is a contractor for many major corporations worldwide, part of why I'm not actually allowed/supposed to mention names here, I guess. They're a good company, though, as far as I can tell.

Well recently I mentioned I lost my old posting. I don't think I mentioned the fact that they transferred me to a brand new contract with a first-time client, but they did. And ... then that client pulled out due to the fact that they were paying our department per-person per-hour, while almost no call volume came our way whatsoever.

It was easy and really pretty awesome, and well ... other than fighting off boredom (I'm good at fighting off boredom), 'no call volume' combines with 'unlimited internet access' to become 'absolutely amazing job posting.'

The free lunches end by the end of October. I'll have to transfer to yet another contract (my third this year, jebas), and ... that's stressful.

I think it's partly because I kind of had become settled. Attached, maybe. Other than the Ren Faire which I signed up for as early as humanly possible, I only missed like one day total ever. I bought a plant for my desk, got a bit settled, all of that. I was expecting to be with the contract until it ended or something better came about (something I'd like to do more than something that pays better; not living alone means I don't have to worry so much about my paycheck), I just ... wasn't expecting the contract to be gone so quickly.

They had nothing but compliments for the company as a whole, it just doesn't make business sense to keep a contract of that nature going when there's no call volume at all.

In practical terms, that means I get to go to another contract and finish training just in time for the Christmas ramp-up (because basically everything ramps up for Christmas, it's America, land of the consumerists.) Not only will it be a new contract with a new desk surrounded by new people and new work obligations with a new company line to toe (and probably different Internet restrictions, I think we're not allowed to use Google) - even assuming I get the offer to transfer - but it will be a veritable deluge of calls and probably mandatory overtime anyway.

Oh, and I created a kind of prototype map based on another map that I enjoy in Minecraft. So that was fun too.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chapter 30: Following A Lead

(Even if I'm not really restricted from playing games this week, I did promise myself I'd do some more work on this thing.)

Nobody Important

Chapter Thirty: Following A Lead

In which a conversation conveniently concludes concerns.

By: N3k0

Lyssi felt the wood between her fingers splinter and crack, shards of the barrel embedding themselves into her right hand and drawing blood.


If she kept denying it, her eyes squeezed tightly, maybe it wouldn't be true.

She opened them again. The package remained. She let go of the edge of the barrel, reaching down into it to pick up the oddly-light parcel.

She sat heavily on the decorative ledge that surrounded the base of the statue, stripping the paper from the box with her teeth. Empty. It was empty, except the letter, a hollow congratulations and another target. Did the traitor mean to kill every last Dark Brother and Sister in all Cyrodiil? It seemed so - the note mentioned a woman named Arquen.


She was numb, all over, and so, so tired. This was it then.

She hadn't even gotten paid.

Lucien would be killed. Hells, but she wouldn't be far behind. Too many people wanted her dead, and she didn't really care if they succeeded anymore.

Her eyes felt a bit wet, and red clouded her vision.

She was just so tired.

A man's quiet voice brought her attention back to the present.

"You're looking for Enilroth, aren't you?"

Lyssi looked up and over, her eyes settling on the old Dunmer. She nodded once. Enilroth?

The old Dunmer smiled gently at her. "He's been coming around this statue for a couple of days now, acting guilty. I thought he'd gotten caught up in something ... well, nevermind. I certainly hadn't expected the boy to ... ah, Nine help me. I didn't think he liked girls, you understand."

She nodded once, reaching up to rub at her eyes. Blood?

She was crying?

"Ah, here now, don't cry." She ducked her head, letting her hair cover her face as she wiped at her eyes. She couldn't let him see the dark crimson smear. "If you like, I can fetch him for you ... oh, where are my manners. I'm Enilroth's master, Varel Morvayn. I am the smith here in town." The dark elf sat beside her, resting his hand on her shoulder. The absurdity of it was almost enough to make her laugh.

Lyssi wiped her hands off on the dress, thankful she'd stolen a red outfit. She smiled up at the man, uncertainly.

"Shy then? I don't bite, I promise. Say - I haven't seen you around Anvil before, are you new in town?" She nodded once, gesturing vaguely at her throat. "Ah, I see."

She looked either way, feeling slightly guilty. She thought she might have just enough power ... it felt wrong. The smith was being so nice to her ... She reached up, uncertainly, then retracted her hand, shaking her head. No, she wouldn't make him tell her.

He gave her a long, odd stare, before speaking again. "Look, you seem like a good kid, and I wouldn't feel right leaving you out here. If you like, you can stay at my shop for the night, all right?" He forced a smile, and she relaxed some, smiling back. "There's a good girl." He stood, holding his hand out to her. She took it, following suit.

There was an odd roaring in her ears as she stood up, and her vision grayed out around the edges. She didn't remember anything after that.

She woke to a strange bed, in a strange room, feeling as though her skin were on fire. She opened her mouth in a silent cry of pain, covering her face with a thin blanket to protect it. A voice she didn't recognize greeted her. "I didn't know what you would want for breakfast so I brought you some - hello? Are you all right?"

She drew the blanket up, holding it like a makeshift cloak, the corner dangling in her face. Her skin felt tight where the sunlight had fallen on it, and she peered out from under the blanket at the other Bosmer. He looked young, barely out of boyhood himself.

Her eyes caught his, and his eyes went wide. The tray of food fell to the ground with a loud crash, and he scrambled out of the room, screaming incoherently. "Monster! Monster! Varel! Come quickly! Monster! There's a monster in the bedroom!"

She rubbed at her face, trying to return feeling to it.

There was some juice, and some bread and meat on the floor, so, after wrapping the blanket about herself properly, she stood and looked around. Apparently the smith had made her a bedroll at the base of his bed, raising a question or two in her mind of where the apprentice slept. Probably he stayed at the inn or something.

Oh, hellfire. The apprentice was the boy Enilroth, and she had to try and talk to him, didn't she?
Lyssi spotted her backpack in the corner of the room, the torn package sitting neatly beside it. She collected the package with deft fingers, careful to let no errant beam of sunlight near her skin. Then, she picked her way across the floor, careful not to step on any broken ceramics or now-soggy bread. Hopefully the apprentice didn't expect her to clean ... oh, who was she kidding, he was probably breaking out the torches pitchforks as she worked her way stiffly down the hall. Cleanup was the least of her worries.

"That is a woman, not a monster, and our guest besides. Be polite." The smith's voice came from downstairs.

Enilroth sounded a bit out of breath. "But Master - she ... she's a ... "

The old man seemed ... calm, she decided. "A vampire?" He laughed a bit. "My dear boy, the girl is a bit pale, that's it. Vampires aren't real, and whoever told you otherwise is filling your head with lies. Now, you go back up there, and apologize. I have to watch the shop."

"But Master - she ... her eyes, and ... and she ..."

Lyssi stood at the top of the stairs now, and she could see the balding Dunmer smith shake his head. "If you're that concerned about some red eyes, you must be just terrified of me. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if the girl was a halfbreed, but a vampire? Ridiculous. Go talk to her. You'll see she's perfectly normal, if a bit malnourished."

"Yes Master."

The boy trudged up the stairs, looking apprehensive, and she wished she didn't have a good reason for him to be so.

I'm sorry.

She reached out and grabbed his arm.

His scream died before it ever reached his lips.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Another Status Update

Seems to be all I do, lately, sorry.

Gonna be writing a lot this next week because apparently they're taking away 99.99999% of our entertainment at work and if I don't do something I will go batshit insane, snap, and start strangling people with a mouse cord. Can't guarantee it'll be precisely on-time - we'll see how people are actually adhering before I say one way or another if I'm going to be a bad corporate slave or a good one. Who knows.


Ren faire was amazing fun the first day, pretty cool the second day. I got some kind of a ... injury, I guess, on my eye. Light bruising, hurts like a bitch, kinda itches. Sucks. Wore an eyepatch the second day to keep myself from touching it (and to keep other people from noticing it doesn't open all the way right now.)

'sall good. Can see fine, no big.

Sunburn: reminding us pale fuckers why we're not supposed to actually see our primary star much. Also skin cancer, but I don't have that and I am very thankful. Very pink, however. Pain is a thing. Not terribly bad though.

I got a new charm - a "Mysteries" rune in pewter. I liked the cut of it at the faire, and it caught my eye, so I grabbed it up. Bought my pentagram at that stall last year, too. 's good. Guy's accommodating to weird people who get pulled around by their urges, but I guess if you get paid to and cater mostly to mystic types (and people who just think they are) anyway, it's the name of the game, no?

Hum ... So, I had a tarot reading by a lady who's got 30+ years of experience. It was ... interesting. Did a ten card spread and drew three cards for an 'angel blessing' thing.

The 'angel blessing' went as follows (might be colored by me putting on my people-friendly face):

1) Leadership
2) Peacefulness
3) Seeing the Good in Others

I don't really know about 1 - I have a very hard time seeing anything good about myself so ... yeah. You judge that, I'm not capable.

2, though - I hate conflict. I avoid it where I can, and ignore it when I can't. Rarely do I get embroiled in that kind of a thing. So yeah. Makes sense.

The third one ties into the second one - I can see just about every side of an argument and weigh them out equally. I just ... tend to ignore the bad parts when I can, because, well, see #2.

Don't quite completely remember all of the 10-card spread, but here's what I remember of it.

First card: The Emperor, inverted. (A very confused man, lol.) Fits well enough.
Second card: The Devil. (Obsessive. GIMME GIMME GIMME. I want things.)

Some other things turned up. Eighth card was the three of swords (gee, where have I seen you before, you little bastard.) Handful of pentacles, because I do worry over money a bit, don't I.

Things she pegged: "A very confused man" as the self card - Very much a tomboy, almost all of my hobbies are 'masculine' and such. I don't really think of myself in terms of gender, but I'm certainly not terribly feminine, tits aside. I don't actually understand women, and I have no interest whatsoever in mind games and obfuscation. The only times I don't say what I mean ... well, see #2 above. Pick and choose your battles, folks, because fighting is damn tiring and you lose more than you win. Always.

I do tend towards obsessive habits, yes. Granted. Moving on.

One of the themes she kept bringing up was that in relationships, A) I've been burned in the past and would like to avoid a repeat performance, and B) when I'm trying to initiate one, I tend to give far more than I get back ... which is actually how I get burned. I don't generally like relationships besides, and I usually don't actually want most of what people are supposed to get out of them ... also I tend not to initiate them in the first place (what can I say? Everyone I've connected with emotionally now has a relationship physically and is more like a sibling than a lover anyway).

How I got burned in the past? Well, the most recent one, I got what I wanted early on and didn't know how to kick the guy to the curb afterwards. Since, well, see #2, I tend to get entangled in shit I don't mean to and don't want to because it's easier than the alternatives.

So ... yeah. How about that obfuscation I don't do?

Oh, one thing it'd be nice if it were true - she claims that sometime in the next ten months I'll hit some kind of financial windfall that will make me happy.

Gods and goddesses all help me but I can't think of anything.

Maybe I'll win the lottery, lol.

In other news, baby animals! D'awwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Do want.

... Aw. I did a Google vanity search and apparently my use-name is no longer unique to me. Oh well, on the forums I frequent I'll still prolly be the only one (which is better than I can say for Neko.)

Saturday, October 1, 2011


So far the Ren Faire is pretty awesome, though I am neither a daytime person, nor used to so much fresh air, sunshine, and exercise. So sleepy.

Feet hurt. :(

Got to see the falcons hawks and owls again, took a picture with one. It's still great. Got a little figurine, painted my face up, got a mug and stuff. Wings are hard. :(
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Friday, September 30, 2011


What kind of gamer kid spends all their time writing, instead of playing games?

I spent the entire week playing games, being stuck at work, and getting ready for the ren faire.

Have this.

Jess really likes its voice changer.

I kinda suck.

Spoilers: I managed to pull neutral. It's awesome.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I think we can honestly admit that the schedule is actually Tues-Weds-Fri where I occasionally post on Monday now and then.


Sorry, Monday is one of my days off from my Real Job OMG, so I tend to not do anything worthwhile on Mondays.

This Monday, though, they released Dominion. So it's less that I didn't do anything worthwhile - I made a whole bunch of stays for the corset I'm helping to craft - and more that the entire day was spent pwning - and getting pwned by - noobs.

It was awesome.

What can I say about Dominion ... it's very, very fast paced. That's the main thing. Slower champions, champs that only have a good lane phase, and support are generally kinda boned in favor of A) Backdoorers like Shaco and Eve, B) TankyDPS (as always), C) Movespeed champions (lookin' at you, Janna/Rammus). Stealth gets a huge buff because of the Oracle's nerf/total absence of wards, making all stealth champions infinitely better than they were in TT (since most of them are also carries and very squishy besides), and SR, where everyone with a brain will buy pink wards and pinkeye to curbstomp stealthers. Plus, both Twitch and Evelynn need to do very, very well within their first three to six levels to accomplish anything in Summoner's Rift - in Dominion, the first four levels pretty much are given to everyone, with gold to match.

Everyone dies a lot, because the entire game is teamfights, skirmishes, and running around the map killing everybody else. A pro Rammus player will pretty much carry the entire game due to being essentially omnipresent.

Rather glad I've got a friend who plays a pro Rammus, though.

Because of the fast pace, games snowball pretty hard - even worse than Twisted Treeline, actually. If you start the game and someone disconnects, it's pretty much a given that you're going to lose. On the plus side, however, that means that the game is usually over one way or another in about twenty minutes - exactly how long games that snowball that badly take in Summoner's Rift before the other team surrenders, actually.

I do like the personal score feature - it lets you know who's actually contributing one way or another, providing you a little info as to what you actually did to earn personal score as you do it. For instance, capturing a point is +40 personal score, where you periodically get an additional +5 score when defending a point. The most amusing one to me so far is the 'martyr' points - I suspect it has something to do with dying while defending or supporting an ally, though I'm not really sure.

So far my favorite champion for Dominion is pretty much Singed, though I did pick up Janna, play her, and win all in the span of about thirty minutes total (including buying the champion.)

Favorite quote from Dominion so far: "Dominion has been out for less than a day and I've already forgotten what Summoner's Rift even is, lol."

(So tired, I stayed up until derp o'clock playing League of Legends.)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Minecraft 1.9 pre - Seed Water

You know, the only reason - the only reason - this entire post is not dedicated to gibberish about how awesome Dominion is (oh my god Dominion is awesome it's so fast and so much fun if you get a chance to try it you have to try it oh my gods and goddesses) is because the Minecraft 1.9 prerelease also came out and I got more time with Minecraft 1.9.

Oh my gods and goddesses Dominion is amazingly fun. It's just BAM POW ZOOM. I need to be over there! Now I'm over there! Oh damn the base ate my face. I'm alive again! KILL! So fast. Ridiculously fun. I got an hour with it and played three matches. Lost one because Dez DC'd early. :( AT&T did not want me to achieve victory. Dominion snowballs really hardcore. If you're losing to start with you'll prolly keep losing. If you're winning to start with, curbstomp harder so they can't get up.

Anyway, Minecraft 1.9, what to sayyyy ...

Well. First off, there's enough of a problem with the FPS just tanking for no reason that somebody already coded a fix for it. Two different people did, actually. If the first one doesn't work, try this one.

All the seeds changed, so that sucks. For example: I had an amazing Survival Island style seed I was mucking about with with the incredibly appropriate seed Water. It had a tree, enough grass you were guaranteed at least one seed unless you're just the unluckiest person on the planet, enough coal and clay that you could build a house out of bricks without too much trouble, and a massive hole that led into one of the biggest cave systems I've ever seen.

Just amazing.

Now, the Water seed takes you to a slightly different location.

This is what you see when first loading it - a very nice little pumpkin patch. There's also a bunch of sugar cane, a patch of red mushrooms, and enough brown mushrooms to seed your own mushroom biome with.

Nearby, there's a lovely little lava lake about here:

It's nice.
Oh, there are a bunch of sheep and more grass than you can shake a stick at, so you'll be able to get a bed. Even if you kill three sheep, you'll still be able to shear the rest later on for a plush bit of carpeting.

Finally, there's The Ravine:

All coordinates are approximate.
I like that the vines continue down into the ravine itself, too. There's at least 35 iron exposed in the first little chunk of exposed ravine, and more coal than you can shake a stick at.

All in all, it's now a very nice little starter seed, it's just not the Survival Island it used to be. Didn't actually get around to exploring the ravine, though - I got killed by my FPS tanking for no reason.

Oh, and apparently they're coding in Hardcore mode! Now Minecraft itself will keep me honest when I play hardcore. Yay!

More reason to hate creepers though.

Some Nether changes, a new automaton to make mob grinders more epic, more useless items, a massive Enderman nerf, three new mobs (one of which being the passive mobs that are holding the place of NPC Villagers), and of course it broke all mods and texture packs again, lol.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011



Warning: No network connections found.

This is the Remote Autonomous Resource Extraction Unit 01.

The Remote Autonomous Resource Extraction Unit has crash-landed on a large, tier-three oxygen-rich planet. Preliminary analysis indicates that there may be sentient, carbon-based life-forms already inhabiting this planet. Investigation is required.

Preliminary analysis also indicates that this specific island, though resource-poor above-ground, appears to be situated above a large quantity of subterranean resources.

To better facilitate interaction with organic life-forms, and as part of the company's ecological initiative, the R.A.R.E. Unit 01 is composed of 35% organic material and can convert certain key organic materials into fuel.

During the landing sequence, all pre-processed fuels, all nonsentient technologies, and all purely organic life-forms stored in the R.A.R.E. shuttlecraft were lost.

Until the R.A.R.E. Unit 01 receive further instructions, it will continue with its mission alone.

Warning: No network connections found.

Objective one: Establish a base of operations suitable for long-term habitation by organic life-forms.

Secondary objectives:

A) Obtain a reliable source of organic materials for use as fuel.

B) Obtain a renewable source of organic materials for use in constructing temporary habitation.

C) Secure base of operations from hostile life-forms.

D) Report progress at earliest possible opportunity.

E) After initial report, report progress at least once every fourteen days, galactic standard time.

Objective two: Begin collection of valuable mineral resources.

Secondary objectives:

A) Craft tools of sufficient strength and durability to facilitate efficient collection of materials.

B) Craft some form of weaponry and/or body armor in case of hostile interactions with native life-forms.

C) Report progress at earliest possible opportunity.

D) After initial report, report progress at least once every fourteen days, galactic standard time.

Objective three: Deliver resources to home planet after sufficient number have been collected.

Secondary objectives:

A) Report progress at earliest possible opportunity.

B) After initial report, report progress at least once every fourteen days, galactic standard time.

C) Construct some fashion of interstellar travel if no crafts of sufficient size and power are able respond to S.O.S.

Warning: No network connections found.

Warning: Low power. Please recharge Unit 01 soon.

Transmitting on all frequencies: The Remote Autonomous Resource Extraction unit requests assistance. The R.A.R.E. Unit is almost completely out of fuel and a number of organic functions have already been suspended. All purely organic members of the R.A.R.E. Unit were killed during the landing sequence. The landing sequence also destroyed all methods of transportation, tools, and technologies save for R.A.R.E. Unit 01.

Warning: Data corruption detected in main hard drive. Transferring data to organic processors ... no organic processors detected. Attempting to synchronize with network database ... no network database found. Please restore Unit 01 to a good backup.

Warning: Organic functions temporarily suspended. Please resume functions immediately to avoid atrophy.

Warning: No network connections found.

Warning: Low power. Please recharge Unit 01 soon.

Warning: Hostile life-forms detected.

((This should be fun. I need to stretch that out at least ten minutes, possibly more. Pfeh.))

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ren Faire Prep

Because ya gotta have blue hair. (will write more on that tomorrow).


Or I planned to but then I decided to put on fake nails and I remember why I keep them - my real nails - short. Typing is just really hard right now. I normally type with the very tips of my fingers and so I'm down to like 10 wpm trying to manage these fucking things.

Anyway I need practice because typing is a key part of my job and I wanna play my games so I'm gonna just keep at it.

So I'm prepping to play as a kind of stereotypical faerie with the wings and everything. Did a lot of wirework and stuff then spraypainted them black. Going for a kinda postcard-goth fairy look. Blue wig because hair does not take that color in dye well, fake nails for the lulz and because mine are all gnawed down.

It is very hard to type.

Trying to finish the stays for a corset and Mom's sewing a dress and boots and stuff. It's neat. I'll get to spraypaint the corset with fabric dye too! It's fun.

qwerqwerqwerqwerqwerqwerqwerqwer Looks like I'm gonna be playing auto-attack champs for a bit, LoL.

Of course, it could be worse.
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Friday, September 16, 2011

Hm. What to say, what to say.

I should really try and plot these out ahead of time, huh?

Still sick. Not much to report.

Oh, I got a pet rock!

It's actually a cactus and I think that's cool. Well not really a cactus, but a desert-ey kind of plant anyway.

Apparently it's snowing outside. I find that absolutely ridiculous. It's not even October yet!

I have a friend who's plotting out a really kind of awesome looking thing. I have a curiousity as to whether or not it will ever get off the ground, but it still might be interesting to play around with.

Dez is also considering running a D&D group. That would be nice I think.

I hate being sick.

I don't smoke, I don't drink, I don't even eat that much really. I don't do any kind of illegal drugs.

I don't even know.


Apparently you can't use an ampersand in the tag cloud. Who knew?

Edit: So I guess I was lied to about the snow bit. But it is balls cold outside. :(

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sick Again

Sorry, not much to say.

Apparently I've got a sinus infection and an ear infection. I'm really kinda prone to that sort of thing.

'sgreat. Back at work today though.

Uh. So.

Riven is really fun to play, on LoL. Bouncing everywhere. 's worse than WuKong. 's pretty cool though. Honestly I kinda dig her splash art & model, y'know? Don't see what all the bitching is about. Biggest problem is how easy it is to unintentionally towerdive. She's got an excess of forward momentum at all times.

The dash is cool. Manaless champion is also cool.

Bet she'd be amazing in a lane with Maokai. He gets that passive, where spells cast around him let him heal, right? She is constantly in motion and constantly casting spells.

Her voice sounds kinda ... odd. Girly. Which, y'know, female. But like girlish, rather than ANGRY WOMAN 'KGO. I feel like she's from some shoujo anime - like the tomboy bruiser to Lux's girly girl caster or something. (Amusement, Riven is ex-Noxus ... ish?, and Lux is from Demacia.)

Wonder how they'd do in a lane together, lol.

Things to try later on (assuming I ever get to play her because jeez everyone wants to):

How's triforce on her?
How's Sheen specifically on her? Manaless with no AP ratios at all, but that on-hit with her ability spam might be neat.
What's most effective - more attack speed or more attack damage, and I bet phantoms would be just silly on her for the move speed. Prolly depends on her AD ratios. Very spammable abilities though. Eh.

Oh - Also Minecraft 1.8 went live as opposed to leaked-and-promoted. So that's cool. SMP still has the Endermen bug (they literally can not see you right now on SMP).

Endermen ... I wish they weren't so easy to kill. I like the tie-in with the original mythos that they're affected by water, but really, two hits with a sword? In relation to that, I wish they weren't so common. Instead of one enderman screwing with the landscape, there's basically an army of them.

And they burn in sunlight. I don't really like that part either. One of the bigger scares of the Mythos was the fact that He didn't give a damn if it was day or night, y'know?


Creative mode is hella fun.

Some of the lighting is still bugged.

Still waiting for a good, basic texture pack that's 1.8 compliant.

Gonna go try out single player now. Bet they're significantly scarier there when looking at them could actually hurt me. lol.

Oh, I also wish they didn't move around logs, wood, or cobblestone. Dirt, sand, gravel, sure, but random trees all over the landscape missing their middle bits is kinda disconcerting. And messy.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Lots and lots of minecraft-related youtube vids. You should check them out. Mostly the new ones relate to 'things I'm wrapping up before 1.8 forces new worlds on us.'

Goodbye 1.7.3. Welcome 1.8 in all its buggy glory.

I am so sick right now my head asplode. :(

Friday, September 9, 2011

Let's Play Minecraft!

Or: Neko Has No Sense of Self-Preservation

This one should actually get finished because a) I'm having a ridiculous amount of fun with it, b) like Nethack, there's the "I could die at any time from doing something retarded" factor, and c) I've got a rather tight deadline before I delete EVERYTHING to make way for 1.8.

Also goals. Actual goals should help keep me on track.

Also my computer died a while ago and ate my VtM - B save and that was kinda demoralizing.

I really do sound kinda emo, huh?
Technically, with the challenge as it was posted, you're not supposed to use any mods, but I am far, far too lazy to clean out my %appdata% for something random like this, especially with how much work I had to do to get Xie's and Plasticcraft to work together in the first place. The only appreciable point where my small selection of mods helps me is in this video, where I get health returned on par with hunting down a couple of pigs and stabbing them for chopping down a tree.

Besides, it's not like I'm gonna use F3 to check mob positions or see-through ground or anything.

Keep an eye on this post; I'll post the other videos here as they come.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lord of the Rings Online

This space would be occupied by Guild Wars 1, except for the fact that when I went to try the free trial, I had no problems whatsoever (other than the usual 'wtf NCSoft master account? I don't remember my password for that asdf' that I usually get) ... but Myk and Dez both had lots of problems.

Like, Dez picked up the free trial and got stuck on a loading screen. He decided to leave his computer on overnight to see if it got past the loading screen.

He comes back to find he is out of free trial time, so sad.

Myk had problems with long load times as well, so ultimately he never tried it either.

Ah well.

So, LOTRO. My opinion has always been kinda 'meh' about LOTR. That's part of why I hadn't gotten into LOTRO in its prime - I just didn't care, and besides, I had certain other games that won't be mentioned here to occupy my free time (for the last five years). The movies were fantabulous. I got through 2 1/2 of the books before I gave up on them due to massive ending fatigue (IT JUST WON'T END WHY WON'T IT END). Over all, I appreciate what Tolkein has done for us (creating the entire modern fantasy genre as we know it) more than I appreciate his actual works.

The game is ... not bad. The graphics haven't aged well, but hell, certain other games which we won't mention here (with over 11 million subscribers) graphics haven't aged well either. Besides, LOTRO's landscape is quite pretty. The character models are where it falls squarely into the 'meh' department. They'll do, anyway.

Since it didn't start as a free to play game, it has a lot going for it that most free to play games don't - it has a lot of content, for one. Like, a lot. And it's all free to play, for various degrees and quantities of 'free.'

Since the best features of the game require at least some interaction with it, I'd like to take a moment to discuss the store. Ah, the store.

The store is well-integrated with the game. Sure, it's just a system of menus and it's nothing fancy, but it does the job it needs to do well, and for the first time ever, the company isn't based out of Cali so I can actually buy shit without any hassle. You don't have to leave the game to purchase things - it's just a pop-up window. So that's nice.

I would like to now address something that bothers me.

Why, in the name of every God to ever walk the earth, do we allow ActiBlizzard to get away with such a flagrant disregard for what the players want when every other game on the market took a clue or ten and caught up ages ago?

I'm speaking here about Player Housing and Cosmetic Gear.

Player housing has its upsides and its downsides. On the upside, it's the ultimate expression of player creativity. Hell, 99.999% of the fun I've had, continue to have, and will have in the future with Minecraft involves customizing my own space which I have carved out of the living stone of a billion-foot-tall mountain. Entire games have been made from the concept of 'let's allow you to shape the world.' Why can't more games implement something as simple as player housing? Like, even how Conquer Online - something I haven't played in literally years - handled it, where there's an NPC, and you talk to them, and they teleport you to an instance where your house 'is' - not even a real place in the world!

Hell, if I could have a house to decorate in WoW, I'd probably even consider buying the damn thing with real money ... if I still played.

Which brings me to another thing that WoW  is just now - just now - catching on to, which is 'cosmetic gear.' It isn't hard to implement - just allowing one to appear to wear an outfit, y'know, cosmetically, that you aren't wearing stat-wise.

Sure, it's exploitable in PvP.

Does anyone really give a shit? I mean, do people really look and see 'oh that person is in x clownsuit, therefore they have just rammed a bulldozer up my ass so far I can see metal protruding from my forehead'? I can appreciate that there's a psychological factor to consider, but if it's that much an issue, give the PvP crowd the ability to turn it off - or better yet, allow everyone to do so.

Problem solved.

Both of those things, they are available in this free-to-play offering.

Why not other games?

Rant time off.

Anyway. I'm enjoying LOTRO, when I get to play it, it isn't hard, it's pretty standard MMO gameplay fare, I shelled out $20 on it to remove a gold cap and get two extra bags for all my characters. Do I see myself playing it ten years from now? Well, no, not really.

Is it amusing right now?


Do I see the game itself persisting for a year or two at least?

Sure, why not?