Tuesday, November 17, 2015

At the Gates of Silvermoon

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

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

They were here to give the civilians time to evacuate.

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

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

What she found was a slaughter.

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

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

Oh no.

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

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

But that was only the beginning for her.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Battle for Eastcliff

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

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


One thing at a time.

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

They didn't find much success in that plan.

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

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

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

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

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

The ground rumbled beneath her.

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

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

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

Before Eastcliff

Kharisa Silverdawn stood outside of Eastcliff Garrison.

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

She would not, could not fail again.

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

She would hold the line.

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

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

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

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

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

The siege was upon them ....

Thursday, October 29, 2015

So Then I Got Bit

I found a town yesterday.

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

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

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

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

I don't want to face a horde.

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

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

I've been bitten.

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


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

So - my name is Leah.

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

They're coming.

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

They were human, like me - once.

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

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

Friday, October 23, 2015

7 Days to Die: Initial Thoughts

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

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


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

My experience went something like this:

Make a character.

Start a world.

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

Chased by zombies.

And then a dog.

And then also a bee.

Kill the dog.

Die to the bee and the zombies.

Respawn. This time in a desert.

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

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

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

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

That said, it's probably better with friends.

Monday, October 19, 2015

On Honor


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

What does that mean?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How does honor apply in combat?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Achaena Embershield

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Tranquil Air - 6

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Tranquil Air - 5

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

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

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

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

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Tranquil Air - 4

I was lucky. I managed to catch myself in the swift-moving waterfall several blocks below my platform.

The spirit of the water - welcomed me. I can't explain it any better than that - it sensed me, and I sensed it. I felt its movements, and it showed me how to move with it, even climbing against the current.

So, slowly, I climbed back up onto my platform, through the waterfall itself, soaked thoroughly, but alive.

The water spirit was disappointed, I think, that I had left it.

For my part, however, I knew that what I had just done was completely impossible without magic - in my world.

But, as I said before, gravity seems to be entirely arbitrary here. With nothing more than the screaming terror of the void below me - well.

All I knew then was that I did not want to fall into that gaping abyss. I knew, without knowing how, that it was death.

I sometimes wish for that early innocence.

The things I know now ....

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Golden Rose: Environmental Hazards and Perks System

Perk System!

Perks are advantages your character has over other characters. How's it work? You pick four, leave a response to this thread and write them into your MRP/TRP. Note that non-combat perks (except Pacifist Prodigy) do not "stack" on a single roll. Also note that a roll of 1 will invalidate any roll-based bonuses and you will suffer the full consequence.

Non-Combat Perks

Agile: Adds +3 to all rolls based on fast movement and balance.

Charismatic: Adds +3 to all rolls based on speech.

Charmer: Adds +3 to all rolls based on seduction.

Deft Hands; Adds +3 to all rolls based on lockpicking and engineering.

Nimble Fingers: Adds +3 to all rolls based on pickpocketing and other feats of sleight of hand.

One With the Shadow: Adds +3 to all rolls based on stealth.

Uncanny Strength: Adds +3 to all rolls based on using body strength.

Master of Cantrips Adds +3 to all rolls based on using magic out of combat.

Keen Senses: Adds +3 to all rolls based on vision and/or hearing.

Virtuoso: Adds +3 to all rolls based on playing or identifying music.

Pacifist Prodigy: Adds a stacking +2 to any roll, but you take -6 to any combat roll.

Combat Perks:

Precise: You gain a +4 on all combat rolls, but deal 0.5 less points of damage. (Minimum damage is always 0.5)

Berserker's Rage: For every 1 health you are missing, you deal 0.5 extra damage on a successful attack.

Ranged Specialist: Add +1 to all rolls, and add +3 to all failed rolls when attacked by a melee combatant.

Stalwart: Add +3 to any failed roll when blocking.

Evasive: Add +3 to any failed roll when dodging.

Sneak Attack: Add an additional 1-3 damage to a successful attack made from stealth.

Heightened Senses: You will not receive additional damage from a sneak attack.

Unstable Power: Permanently take -2 on all rolls, but deal 1 extra damage on any successful attack.

Heavily Armored: Take 0.5 less damage from any attack. (Minimum damage is always 0.5)

Lightly Armored: Add +2 to any failed roll.

Exploit Weakness: Deal 0.5 extra damage to unarmored or lightly armored opponents on a successful attack roll.

Blunt Force Trauma: Deal 1 extra damage to heavily armored opponents on a successful attack roll. (This is applied after the orginal reduction)

Brutality: Add an effective +1 to any sucessful roll when determining the effect of your success.

Rending Strikes: Your attacks cause your target to bleed for 0.5 damage every two rounds until they are healed or die.

Companion: You are allowed the use of a combat pet or companion. They deal half damage to enemies and have half health. Companions do not gain any perks or benefit from yours. (Minimum damage is always 0.5)

Cheat Death: Any attack that would bring your health to 0 would instead bring it to 0.5 (This effect can only occur once per event)

Clever: You never suffer penalties to your rolls from enemies' abilities.

Ability Perks:

When using an ability perk first roll d20 to see if you will be taking damage in addition to using your ability. You will not attack while using an ability, however.

Bless: Give an ally +5 on their next 2 rolls. (Can only be used once per event. Using more than one bless on the same person will extend the duration, but won't increase the modifier.)

Inspire: Grants all allies +2 on their next roll. (Can only be used once per event.)

Focus: Pass your turn to gain +6 on your next roll. (Can only be used once per combat encounter.)

Waves of Life: Heal all allies for 1. (Can only be used once per event.)

Ultimate Defense: For the next three rounds add +8 to any failed roll. (Can only be used once per event.)

Overwhelm: Pass your turn and deal 3 damage to an enemy as your next action. (Can only be used once per event.)

Grand Aegis: Grant all allies a protective shield that absorbs the next 0.5 damage dealt to them. Can last up to 3 rounds until it expires. (Can only be used once per event)

Find Weakness: Cause an enemy to take 1 extra point of damage from all sources. (Can only be used once per event)

Take Flight: Add +6 to any failed roll or +10 to any failed roll when being attacked by a melee combatant for 3 rounds. (Can only be used once per event. Only applicable when able to fly.)

Recharge: Refresh the cooldown of an ability. (Can only be used once per event.)

Selfless Defender: Use your successful roll to save any ally from a failed roll. (Can only be used twice per combat encounter. You will take damage based on your success relative to their failure if any.)

Note that all ability perks can be used by anyone and that you can redescribe them in combat as you want. I ask only that you keep the original name of the perk for OOC purposes.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Tranquil Air - 3

I couldn't stay here, of course.

My thoughts turned to that first rock I'd discovered, and I decided to search for more.

It seemed like almost every time I searched through the dirt, I found another pebble, and before long I had enough rocks to make a block of stone as large as the dirt it had come from. Disconcertingly, the dirt cube was in no way diminished.

A plan came to mind, then. I held the stones together, and they fused into a block,just as I suspected they might. I ever-so-carefully held the block against the side of my dirt 'island' for a moment, two. I released my hold - and the stone stuck there.

Now I knew what I could do.

If I was stuck here, I could at least make it more comfortable for myself - I could expand the island by quite a bit in this fashion.

I looked once more off the side of my domain. There were thick roots jutting out of the bottom, and I was certain I could do something with those if I could only reach them.

Steeling myself, I reached for the magic that would make me lighter than air, out of reflex, and I jumped.

Only the magic wasn't there.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Tranquil Air - 2

I despaired.

For a while, I didn't know what to do.

I sat on the edge of my little self-imposed limbo, my feet dangling off into the void, and contemplated how very peaceful things were. No one could reach me here.

I'm confident, to this day, that it was my own power that brought me to this place. Of course I had made enemies. But no one, in the entirety of my world, had the power to do - this.

Except me.

Gravity is an arbitrary force here. I was pinned to the ground, my normal means of flight lost to me. However - the ground itself was a few yards of dirt floating in a void.

Idly, I combed my fingers through the grass. To my surprise, I found a rock. I dug a bit deeper, ripping away the foliage, and an entire cube of dirt pulled loose from the ground.

A cube, not a pile.

That was my first discovery. Whatever this world was, it was not the same as my own.

It seemed that this world was - compressed, somehow. Things were condensed down to their basic essences, such that I held a chunk of dirt, now no larger than my hand. I focused, and the dirt became even smaller, enough that it could fit in a pocket, with room for more. Setting the dirt down, I focused again, and it grew back to its original size - but no larger.

I broke the dirt once more - and this time, a large creature appeared in its place. Startled, I shoved the thing away, and it fell off into the void.

So, now my island was one "block" smaller.

Thus ended my first day. I watched the sun set beyond some distant horizon, and without really meaning to, I slept.

For the first time in years, I fell into true sleep, instead of some meditative trance. Perhaps I should have worried more about falling off into the void, but I was tired, and the sound of running water soothed me.

When I woke, I realized that such a sound could only mean one thing: I had water.

I looked down to confirm this. Flowing out of the side of my island was a seemingly inexhaustible waterfall. I dug into the island, always wary that another -creature - would appear, and found the source.

Like everything else in this world, it felt somewhat - blocky. But although it was refreshing to drink from, I couldn't scoop more than a double handful out at a time, and at the core of this source block, I could sense some kind of raw life. I'd need something that could capture the essence of this 'creature' to really have any effect here.

Part of me wanted - for science alone - to put a block of dirt into the water, to see if the dirt could obliterate that core when it returned to full size.

The rational side of me reasoned that I'd need this water to survive, and so I didn't try that.

Instead, I drank my fill, and turned my attention to what I could do here.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Tranquil Air - 1

I wished for peace ...

... and I got it.

What had I done?



My name - you know, I can't remember anymore. It's been so long.

As I sit down to write this, I am reminded how much has changed.

And so I begin, naturally, at the beginning.

Once upon a time, I was the most powerful archmage my world had ever known. My power was without equal among mortals, perhaps even peerless among the gods. I didn't believe in deities. If they existed, they did nothing to influence our world, or such was my reasoning.

Perhaps it is my hubris that brought me so very low.

Regardless, my power was in high demand. I ended wars almost before they began, having no true loyalties outside myself. Any who could meet my price would earn my services for as long as they could pay. I used their enemies as fodder to hone my skills, demanding from myself nothing less than perfection.

The earth trembled, and the waters parted before me. Anything I could conceive of became reality.

Such power comes at a price, of course.

I wore myself thin. I had made no few enemies among men, though I rarely concerned myself with others. No, it was my pursuit of power that drove me. There was always another secret, always some new research, another technique. I began to sleep not at all, and I barely ate. What little I did consume was bland and tasteless. In my endless pursuit of perfection, ironically, I lost myself.

There is - or was - a saying. Be careful what you wish for.

On one fateful autumn day, I wished for peace. With all my heart - I wanted nothing more than a single moment of tranquility amidst all the chaos.

I remember I had been surrounded by sycophants, people who were supposed to serve me. They all had their own goals, their own desires, and none of them truly cared for me, except as a means to an end. Their chatter threatened to drive me mad.

"Silence!" I demanded.

The world went silent. Everyone stopped - all movement ceased. The world went gray - then black.

I found myself lying in the grass, staring up at a blue sky. I watched the clouds roll by, and I thought to myself how peaceful it was. Where had - everything - gone?

Standing up, I caught the first glimpse of my new reality.

I stood on the only land for as far as the eye could see. The patch of grass I stood on was perfectly square, and the edge dropped off into the void. Below was only darkness.

In a way, that was my first glimpse of the enemy.

I skittered back from the edge, curling in on myself.

What had I done?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Reset: Achaena

Achaena looked up from her work, mixing a healing potion, and staring into the mirror that sat behind her workstation.

The woman who stared back was not her own face.

She'd seen the specter around the manor a few times now - a high elf, if she was any judge.

The others didn't see the woman. She only appeared to Akkie.

"Why me?"

She asked it quietly - she didn't need her training master to hear. He'd think she'd snapped, and she knew she hadn't. She would know if she'd gone insane.

The specter reached out, her pale fingertips touching the glass. Her other hand came to her lips, pressing a single finger to them, and silencing her.

What do you want?

She didn't know if the spirit could hear her thoughts, but the ghost didn't want her to speak aloud, that much was obvious.

And ... who are you?

The mirror's surface blurred for a moment, and she once again saw herself. The spirit was there, too, however - her arms wrapped around Akkie's shoulders gently.

"They're coming."

Akkie could read the woman's lips, though no sound issued forth.

Who? Who's coming?

The spirit gestured, pointing toward the window.

It was late, the sky was dark. Akkie hadn't been able to sleep, these last few nights.

She moved, silently, to the window, looking out. The spirit's reflection pointed, and Akkie looked down. There. Movement in the courtyard. Armored men? At this hour?

Those were guards. Stormwind Guards.

Her blood froze in her veins. No, that couldn't be right. The masters were always so careful.

She heard the distant thump of a fist, pounding on the door.

No. No.

She turned toward the door, opening her mouth to scream the warning - and the spirit slid into her body, freezing her voice in her throat.

"No," the spirit whispered gently, in her own voice. "No."

Her body turned toward the window, opening it quietly. She slipped outside, onto the roof, tumbled soundlessly to the ground - and ran. No one saw her move through the streets, up the trellis, and onto a different rooftop. Her body used its training, moving without her consent.

The screaming began when the manor caught fire.

She turned briefly, her eyes fixed on her home, the only place she'd ever known.

"Run," the spirit urged, and her body obeyed, taking her outside the city walls by way of another rooftop, a tall tree, and a controlled dive. She was going to feel that one in the morning - but nothing was broken; she'd rolled just so, at exactly the right moment.

Her feet took her to a clearing in Elwynn, a small, empty space with a tiny pond in the center.

Finally, finally, the spirit let go of her.

"Why?!" She cried it softly into the wind, fists balled up with rage. "They need me!"

The spirit sat across from her, now, resting on a tree stump. "You would have died." She said it softly, her voice sad. "I couldn't bear it," she admits. "My only daughter ...."

"My mother abandoned me!" She said, denying it. "I was left at the orphanage before I could even talk!" That - was what the masters had told her, anyway.

The masters wouldn't lie to her, would they?

"Not by choice," the spirit whispered. "They lied."

The dead had no reason to tell falsehoods. She looked the spirit over, really inspected her. Her long, flowing hair was lighter than Akkie's, though Akkie couldn't say if that was because she was dead, and that had sucked the color from her, or if there was some other reason.

A line of dark blood slit her throat from ear to ear, the blood running down her front. "You were murdered," she said softly.

"In my own home," she said softly. "While my dear, beautiful daughter lay only a foot away in her cradle." No. No, the masters ...

"Your masters lied to you." the spirit repeated. "And now they are dead." A grim smile that didn't meet her eyes. "It brings me no joy," she admitted. "But it puts my soul at ease, to know that I managed this one thing. My daughter is safe - and my murderers have met justice."

The spirit began to fade from view.

"Mother - no - " Achaena reached for the ghost, her fingers brushing through the air where her mother had been, and as the ghost disappeared entirely, she knew then that she was alone. Tears tracked their way down her cheeks, unbidden.

What was she supposed to do now?

The Person Shaped Nothing

Dream fragment:

In this world people are being attacked by an inky blackness that draws all their color out of them, leaving them as the person-shaped nothing, and stealing their emotions as well.

Often they turn to art, music, and the like, to express the emptiness that's taken them.

Those works of art can be used to draw the blackness to another person, which creates another person-shaped nothing and grants the creator their colors, and feelings.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Up Up Down Up Down Down Down.

We haven't had a real talk lately, you and I.

We never speak anymore. You go off in your little world of dreams and fantasies, and I live in my bleak shadows.

It's like we're two different people.

But we're not.

There's me, when I'm on top of the world. When nothing can bring me down, and I can stay up for days, running on fumes because the high is just so high.

And then there's me, when I'm under it, crushed by its weight. When nothing can drag me up, and it takes all my energy just to get out of bed.

Today is one of the latter days.

The doctors say to 'diet and exercise' - nevermind that they don't give a good idea of what to at or which movements will help the most. I suppose anything would do, wouldn't it?

It's supposed to make you feel better.

I stayed up too late last night, and couldn't stay asleep this morning. I'm feeling queasy and sick.

I like telling stories, but I don't have thoughts of my own. I ... extrapolate, on other thoughts.

My head is all over the place, a billion pieces that all say 'suck.'

So when I got up this morning, it was still morning, and so I thought to myself, "Let's accomplish something!" ... only no forward progress was made on any goals, and I quickly got frustrated, depressed, and self-loathing.

Depression, they call the one. Bipolar, they amend, when they hear about the other.

Mom thinks it's an autoimmune thing. Hashimoto's disease or disorder or some such thing - it starts, just as the doctors told me so long ago, "Like your thyroid caught a cold."

Only it never quite seems to have gotten better.

Of course, that kind of thing just doesn't. If it's how she thinks it is, then I'm stuck, because not only is it a lifelong sentence, but the doctors don't understand this kind of shit well enough to even diagnose it half the time, much less actually treat it.

- Crashing from the high.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Fixing Isla Paradiso for Gameplay

Pretty simple, actually. There are a lot of issues with the Isla Paradiso map for The Sims 3: Island Paradise. EA did not take the time they needed to fix many of the issues that render it unplayable, and so this map brings even the best computers to their knees.

This step-by-step guide should make this world playable for you.

First off, houseboats.

For some reason, the houseboats in the game tend to not be routing-friendly. What I do is I delete all the houseboats and throw down a routing-friendly lot in its place. This is a very basic lot, designed for the Sims 3 Apocalypse Challenge that I play frequently. It has a lot of store content and requires most of the EPs, however, so any houseboat that you've tested for routing failures should work in its place.

Alternatively just delete all the houseboats.

That means you're going to need to relocate all the families you just evicted. If you have a routing-friendly houseboat, you can put them back down where they were - otherwise, just find a land-based house for them to live in.

It's very important that you don't just delete the families, as that can cause more lag. There are plenty of land-based homes to choose from if you don't want to make your own houseboat or use mine.

There are three land-based homes that are a problem as well - namely the Medina family, Los Amigos family, and the Ichtaca family. The Ichtaca family can be resolved by simply knocking out the archways in front of their front door, allowing the front door to be properly set.

The Medina and Los Amigos homes just need to be bulldozed and - again - the family themselves should be relocated.

Many guides suggest that you deal with the Scott family specially, since they are the source of a lot of lag on the Isla Paradiso map. However, they are evicted as part of the first step, and relocated afterwards - that's all you really need to do with the Scotts.

I personally just delete Hobart's Hideaway, because I don't tend to do much with resorts. If you intend to play with that feature, check this link to solve the routing issues caused there. Literal bugs causing bugs!

You will want to split up the School/Stadium combo lot as well. Place down a stadium in one lot, a school in another, and bulldoze the existing one. The reason for this is not lag-related - however, if you do not perform this step, any athlete in the Professional Sports career will experience difficulty advancing as they are likely to lose every single game they play on the combo lot.

This is a problem with all neighborhoods that have combo school/stadium lots - for example, Moonlight Falls.

If you want to experience all possible careers - and have all the required EPs - you will want to place down a lot that has the Plumbob Pictures Backlot item on it, as well as a separate lot that has the Gypsy Wagon on it. This step unlocks the Film career paths and the Fortune Teller career paths, respectively.

Since Isla Paradiso has very limited space to work with, you probably will not want to use the pre-generated Late Night lot for the Film Career, but instead create a custom lot with the Film rabbithole placed on it.

For extra safety, you can install the NRAAS mod, Overwatch, found here. This mod seeks to automatically clean up issues which cause lag over time.

It is recommended - but not necessarily required - that you turn your graphics settings up to the highest level they will go. This supposedly fixes lag on its own - however, if you do not have a high end computer, it can cause issues instead!

Finally - and this is important! - save the fixed file as a separate save from whatever family you intend to play. That way, you don't have to repeat all of this effort the next time you want to play with Island Paradise. Whenever you start a new family on this map, save the new family separate from your fixed Island Paradise map, and you will always have a safe save to work from.

Now go, enjoy your playable Isla Paradiso!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Side Blogging

Incidentally, a lot of my more recent blogging efforts have been on side blogs, since they're character/story blogs. is one such, for the 2015 spring Apocalypse Challenge tournament. :)