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. :(
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4