Jump to content

The Loquacious Lord Grimm

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by The Loquacious Lord Grimm

  1. It's that time again. National Novel Writing Month. Hmm. Everyone has a story; most everyone, anyway. Sometimes it comes in the form of a novel, and some years, you might want to try to devote November to finally getting that first draft written. But it doesn't always have to be a novel. Our greatest or most dear creations can take the form of short stories, visual art, music, the perfect D&D campaign, an RP, or (heaven help us) a Blades scenario. So take a moment and share what you've been creating. You never know where it can go. I, for one, am devoting NaNoWriMo this year to a webcomic that I've been stalling on for far too long, in hopes that I can turn the daily devotion into a habit. The Silent Assassin doesn't plan on writing much this month, except perhaps a few scathing movie reviews, the next chapter of his autobiography, a few dozen post-it notes, one or two e-mails a day, and a long letter to Dear Abbey.
  2. People from SpidWeb have joined already. And are badass. Join us. You must join us youmustjoingusyoumus...
  3. We have a Wii U now. Will exchange friend info.

  4. Don't encourage them, Tyran. Minecraft addiction is a serious thing. The Silent Assassin wishes you pie, prosperity, and good hunting through the next solar revolution. In the event that none of these happen, he wishes that the pie you won't get goes to him.
  5. Yes, extremely cool. @actaeon- you've been here how long, and you're just now realizing? EDIT: By the time I caught the typo, it had already posted, and the mobile page wouldn't let me edit it. It's fixed now. Jeez. The Silent Assassin is testing this fancy new ipb for mobile thing. So far, the autocorrect isn't too bad, but the lack of formatting options is a little frustrating. Also, it needs more pie.
  6. rats. I was gonna do a 999 topic. Now I have to wait til 1001.

  7. Yet we assume that placing the powerhouse item nearer the starting point means that the player would be able to access it immediately. Presuming that the same Rakshasi hold the Halberd, regardless of location, a level 10 party would no sooner be able to obtain it than a level 2. If it were located, for example, right outside the starting point, and the player were actually able to access the dungeon, that player would eventually either learn that the cave is beyond their current capability and come back later, or grow frustrated and stop playing. We naturally assume that content further in the game's progress will be harder than currently accessible areas: such is good balance and design, as we understand it. Truly open worlds, which disrupt what we believe to be a natural flow, disrupt our expectations of progressive skill building. and many games built on open worlds and exploration (think metroidvania style) have to reinforce the concept of backtracking very early on in order to ensure that the player gets used to passing areas up and coming back when they're ready. Most games that work with this concept also give some very obvious hints that the player is not yet prepared for what lies beyond, by requiring certain equipment before allowing passage. Granted, Jeff has safeguards built into his world (reputation, money requirements, sub-quests, and ultimately the maps and associated SDFs) that would easily prevent a fresh party from even knowing about high-end dungeons near the starting point, let alone access them, and so there are few real reasons for there not to be a high-end dungeon hidden near start, which is Trenton's point. My guess would be real estate. The dungeons in Krizan Province (with a few Orb of Thralni-required exceptions) are designed with the goal of training a fresh party to get out and explore, and in explaining the reactions that the world will have to the actions that the player takes, when relevant. With all of those starter and intermediate dungeons spread through the area, it seems like a bit too much to cram in that extra high-end dungeon when there's so much space elsewhere. Further, placing the Black Halberd quite out of the way both encourages and rewards player exploration, which is what E3 is about. As for only having the high-end spells at the very end... well, in-universe it seems logical for the best mage to be with the Queen. Otherwise, well, again, there's no reason why one couldn't have an arch-wizard hanging around teaching newbies for personal amusement, giving a small taste of the power that can be obtained with a ton of money and experience. That one's a matter of writer preference. The Silent Assassin points out that the Mystical Item of Doom has to be in a dungeon near the end, or there's no point of having a game in between.
  8. [/topic_hibernation] An impossible woman, a sulky millenarian, a new desktop theme, a set of recurring characters, and the voice of Ian McKellen bring us the only bit of savory Whovian goodness that we'll have to hold us over until April. And of course, the big question: did this intro remind you of some things you may have seen before? My greatest hope is that further developments will justify the time spent with Amy and Rory this fall as foreshadowing elements instead of mere fanservice. Time, of course, will tell. EDIT: ooh. thought. The Silent Assassin suspects that Strax is actually the Master in disguise. Also, he really wants a memory worm.
  9. Is that why you were talking about the goose in the apocalypse thread (congrats on its success, btw) ? Eh, lock it if you want, and mock me all you please.
  10. Enjoy your celebrations, whatever they may be.
  11. I broke my mixer board, so there's not going to be a Christmas Special this year :(

  12. Bump appreciated and seconded. I'm interested.
  13. Truth. I too, while supporting the right to own firearms, see no reason for civilians to carry automatic weapons. While a single shot can be used for sport, or to disarm or disable, a spray of bullets only either controls crowds or kills.
  14. @Nioca: After my high school's first big bomb scare (circ 2000), we started doing disaster drills. Alongside of the regular state-mandated fire drills, evacuations, and, after 9/11, blackouts, there was a plan for the event in which a shooter entered the building. It's very simple: shut the lights off, grab EVERYTHING, and cram everyone against the wall that has the door, then lock the door, thus making it look like the room is unused, and therefore giving no reason for anyone to enter. Given the layout of our classrooms, this would also put any invader at physical disadvantage, as their position would be given away by entry, and they would be most vulnerable while getting through the door. Past that, it was never said outright, but it was implied that the teacher or a physically larger student would have to engage the invader outright. It's not technically a barricade, mind you, and thinking about it, such methods would only work for the (relative) maturity of older students, but at least we understood that that though the event of a threat on the school was remarkably unlikely, the preparation would still be of benefit. Most schools around here now require keycards for entry or have remote-controlled locks (show your PID to the camera), so getting in to drop off a friend's forgotten lesson plans is a huge pain, let alone trying to break in. I used to think such measures were excessive, as it is quite easy to get through security with the proper reason and sufficient patience, and so a cold-blooded murderer could easily lie their way in. Of course, in the years since, I've learned that such measures are excellent deterrents for crimes of passion or stupidity (that first bomb scare, for example, involved a student who came to school high, and thought it would be a hilarious practical joke.) Oooh. Thought, considering barricades: you know those roll-down garage-like metal doors that are used for shops and such when they're closed (I see them all the time in Camden. even churches use them)? I wonder how much it would cost to install those, like on the inside of a classroom door frame. It's a better barricade than just a lock, and while not outright bulletproof, it would certainly help. The Silent Assassin wishes you a Happy Hanukkah. Because he hasn't done so yet.
  15. In the U.S., we also have the complication of a certain Constitutional provision explicitly granting all citizens the right to own weaponry. Given its origins and intent, and its continuing applicability (I live ten minutes from Camden, NJ, and the escalation of violence there is not something one can merely legislate away; the state has been trying for decades. Also, most of the weapons used in the current record-breaking murder streak were obtained illegally.), one cannot deny that right. On the other hand, it also is very true that the social responsibilities of government demand a very strict regulation of the trafficking of weapons. In New Jersey, there is a very extensive process (spanning from six months to two years, depending on how hard one fights through the bureaucracy) of paperwork, training, and referral designed to only grant licenses to determined, responsible citizens. Yet ultimately this only discourages future escalation, it doesn't outright prevent anything, and it solves nothing. Trying to find a balance between the two (and in this regard, I'm all for regulation and documentation, as it allows for the fulfillment of rights while discouraging the abuse thereof) has been of major political importance in the US for many decades. After all, while a man is entitled to hunt and defend himself... in the eyes of most victims of gun violence, direct or indirect, the exisence of even one gun in the world is one too many. One of our local news personalities actually did an interview with President Obama on Thursday, and one of the topics covered was, ironically enough, gun violence. They've only released snippets so far, but I will post a link if they actually put the whole thing up. From what I've seen, it will be very informative. As for Sandy Hook itself, I am praying that more information surrounding the shooter's motives comes to light; thus quelling the wild mass guessing of the world, and answering that most grave question that plagues us all right now: why children? And while the controversey of availability of firearms and other issues (I have seen people cite this tragic event as support for regulation of firearms, deregulation of firearms, tighter inter-state security (seriously), a cry against abortion, and an entire network of people I know have used it to justify their opinion that public schools are evil) may come up, I think we need to drop the self-righteous tirades and the crusades long enough to properly mourn the fact that many lives have been unwillingly ended through the selfish and viloent acts of a single person. We must take the time to come to grips with the changes that we need to make within ourselves, as these will change the world far more quickly than mere regulation. And then we must act upon them. Anything else would be disrespectful of the pure potential that died yesterday. The Silent Assassin has very little to say about gun control. However, he is a trained infantry Rifleman, and shortly after he recieved this training, he pointed out to me that people who respect the power of their weapons do not use them lightly. It is, unfortunately, the people who do not respect that power that tend to wind up in the headlines.
  16. Consider this: there is a theory that has cycled through Christian thinking for... centuries at least, that suggests that many ancient gods may have had their origins in actual spirits: angels, as we understand them. The more aggressive or vile ones would obviously be fallen angels or demons (Think about Sauron's history, for example, or the Balrogs), the benign or benevolent ones would possibly be either other fallen angels who had chosen to usurp God's authority but still be caring, or regular angels still fighting on God's side. Hence YHWH's self-proclaimed title, "The Most High God". I would not be surprised at all (and it had been so long since I'd read the Silmarillion when I was introduced to this theory that I didn't make a connection until just now), if the higher figureheads from Tolkien's pantheon were merely Tolkien's incorporation of this idea. Of course, said theory is based on snippets of text and apocryphal references, and the same logic might conclude that they were all, in fact, aliens, but it's still fun to think about. The Silent Assassin has been cycling through his wardrobe of Speedos and kimonos all day, underneath the safety equipment for the labs, of course. It has just now occurred to me that it's casual Friday. Fail?
  17. End of the Prologue finally up. Yay!

  18. This is the Prologue. It tells of what came before. 4 Decadent robes hiked up to his waist, a wrinkled man wearing more jewelry than clothing ascends the stairs at as fast a clip as he can muster. Those among the living he passes salute or bow to him, but he pays them no mind: he is too focused on blocking out the nauseating squish that accompanies his every step. Every few meters, he is forced to move around the form of a fallen soldier, and in most cases, there is no way to avoid the blood and... other fluids that have since caked into the plush carpet once the unfortunates were left to bleed out. Healers and battemages tend to the casualties fortunate to survive the slaughter, but the rest... Gods, so much blood. At least, he comforts himself, most of these poor souls are important enough to warrant resurrection. They are, after all, the best that the Empire has. He rounds the corridor of the ninth level much more easily than the floors previous, given that there are no bodies, only to stop short at the macabre display left upon the final flight of stairs. The scene from hell itself, with still-burning tapestries, half-mutilated bodies draped at unnatural angles, and entrails strewn across the path forces his supper to unceremoniously evacuate his stomach. He quite fortunately manages to catch the holy sign and other baubles around his neck before it happens. The two guards at the top of the steps continue staring forward as if nothing has occurred. Catching his breath, he gingerly steps around his sick, still careful to keep his robes of office far from the floor, and picks his way up through the obscene scene around him. If the guardsmen recognize him, which they should, given the significance of his position, they do not show it. They do not move at all as he passes through the flame-pocked doorway into the throne room itself. "Howar," the familiar baritone rumbles behind him. He turns to find Garzahd propped against the front wall of the room, peering into open space. "Thank you for coming." "I came as quickly as I could," he responds, turning back to search through the room. Even though the throne room is equipped with massive braziers to light up night audiences, only a few torches are in use, making it difficult to see. "The Emperor's body, where is it?" "Gone," The answer comes from a silhouetted figure in the back of the throne room that Howar does not recognize. "Dusted. We will have to wait until morning to be sure, but it's doubtful that there is enough left." "I don't understand," Howar says, returning to Garzahd. "I presumed that you had called me here to resurrect him. Why else call for the High Priest?." "You are here because I require your political prowess," Garzahd says, eyes still fixed on some unidentifiable point of the floor in front of him. "Political prowess? In such an emergency? Garzahd!" The wizard's eyes snap up to regard Howar. "Do we know who did this?" Garzahd's response is wordless: he merely regards the darkness to his right, and conjures a magical light to illuminate the large serpentine rune burned into the marble floor. Howar instinctively clutches his holy symbol and backs away, his throat too hoarse from the sick to properly shriek in terror. The figure behind the throne supplies the words for Howar's thoughts: "A single silent symbol tells a story that would fill volumes, doesn't it? Erika Redmark literally signed the assassination. It would make for excellent poetry, if it did not so clearly violate our laws of censure. And that's not even the best part." Howar cannot be sure if the words are bitter irony or outright praise, but they clearly show a measure of respect for the outcast worm... "I'm sorry," he forces out before trying to clear his throat. "Just who are you?" "Ah, manners," Garzahd says. "I assumed you knew General Limoncelli." "Only by reputation, of course," Howar says, trying to view into Limoncelli's tall outline. "Charmed," Limoncelli does not move. A moment of tense silence passes before Howar asks, "How did she do it... I thought... the curse?" Garzahd shakes his head. "The death curse that I placed on her only triggers in response to sunlight. We thought it would be the most... appropriate measure of punishment." "Given the timing, that alone would have worked, had she not acted by proxy," Limoncelli explains. "Instead, she managed to teleport a small group of fighters past all of our defenses... and teleport them back out." "I still don't understand," Howar says. He has finally found a portion of carpet that does not squish with his every movement. "The spells? The antimagic field? The teleportation measures? We were prepared for this." "We were only prepared for what we knew they had," Garzahd corrects him. "Erika clearly tapped into something even more powerful than she. There is no other explanation." "What, artifacts? A demonic alliance?" Howar asks. "It's possible," Garzahd responds. His moving hands betray that he is thinking through the rites that might allow such a thing. "Quite possible. Our last reports from Below suggested that an army of demons had escaped imprisonment. Erika was part of the group that sealed them; she may well have let them loose, for a price." "Anything to get what she wanted; yes, that was Erika." Howar shudders at the thought. "She was a menace." "Is," Garzahd corrects him again. "Is a menace," Howar amends. "Well, we can't simply banish her again, now can we? She's already there, and besides...[censored]!" He is shocked that the thought has only just now come. "An heir! He's dead, and no heir!" "Hence, why you were summoned," Garzahd states, returning his gaze to the floor near Howar's feet. "Limoncelli and I have been talking. You see, there are... oh, we're not entirely sure, at least a dozen illegitimate claimants to the throne in Solaria alone. A few of them even live here in the Spire. But we're going to need your help determining the best one to continue the royal line." "The Council of Governors will never stand to have a bastard on the throne," Howar says, trying to figure out just what Garzahd is looking at. "They will if you validate the union." Garzahd looks up to meet Howar in the eyes. "It'll be two or three days before the Council is fully assembled. We have until then to provide them with the heir. I'm thinking one of the younger ones, and I, of course, will be happy to serve as temporary Regent." "I will help preserve the line," Howar agrees. "That is my duty. But why do you assume that I'll be your patsy?" "Because of the single most important detail in the room." Garzahd smiles a twisted, mocking smile. "Obviously, you missed it; otherwise, you wouldn't be standing on it." Limoncelli's deep, resonating, ironic chuckle sounds behind Howar as the High Priest looks down and promptly stumbles back. Written in blood and ash, ground into the carpet by Howar's feet, are two words: "WE REMEMBER" Howar whispers the words, trying to understand. "It's not just Erika," the general says, behind him. "It's all of them. And now that they've found a way into the one place designed to keep them out, it's only a matter of time before they come out somewhere else. And kill again. Why stop with kings when you can directly address the men who threw you in the pit? The Judge who passed your sentence? The... priest who used his influence to make you disappear?" "Gods," Howar swears, his hands again reaching for his holy symbol. "What will you do?" "We will do what we have to do," Limoncelli says. "When a dog repeatedly turns on its master, there is only one course of action. "It must be put down."
  19. What Carrie Underwood rarely tells people is that as she stormed home, he happened to pull up next to her in his pretty little completely unscathed four-wheel-drive, and asked why she was so upset.

  20. Next post in Crystal Souls is finally out.

  21. This is the Prologue. It tells of what came before. 3 From his viewpoint high atop the Spire, Captain Vlish is able to see the first glimmering star emerge, if only through his periphery. His eyes, like the eyes of the eighteen soldiers under him, are fixed upon the gold-trimmed double doors that are the only entrance to the Imperial Throne Room. From beyond the doors pours the terrible sound of combat: steel against steel, bodies falling to the floor, suits of armor rolling down the stairs, all punctuated by the thud of the occasional spell missing its target. It has been but a few minutes since the alert came through, and only a moment or two since the Royal Guard's battlemage received the unit's orders: "Hold position under all circumstances. Reinforcements coming." No indication of the enemy's makeup, nothing to explain how a strike force of any size had managed plow through a garrison and ten floors' worth of barred doors and elite soldiers. But Vlish has no fear, and any doubts in his success, should the forces outside fall, are fleeting. Captain Vlish personally commands the Royal Guard: men and women hand-picked for their training, loyalty, and lethal battle prowess. A raging dragon would be unable to pass them, if dragons were not extinct. Indeed, the only person in the throne room not to hold claim to ending a full rebellion singlehandedly is their charge. Emperor Hawthorne III sits on the throne beside Vlish, his eyes, too, set upon the door before them. However, the Emperor's eyes are filled with something different than Vlish's unwavering determination. Awe? Fascination? Amusement? The Emperor is an older man, yes, and has never experienced more than a few laughable attempts on his life, but he is fit and well-trained. Vlish's predecessors saw to that. Emperor Hawthorne, who, like his father and grandfather of the same name before him, has been a ruthless and cunning leader, cutting down all who would oppose his perfect rule, and sending them to Avernum in perpetual exile. Avernum. The thought gives Vlish a small chill. Like all citizens of the Empire, he knows of the caves below ground, where monsters flourish and the lawless run wild. Like all citizens of the Empire, he knows that any variance from strict obedience could land him there. And like all citizens of the Empire... he doesn't like to think about it. Yet tonight, with the ringing crash of another dropped shield sounding in the hall before him, Vlish finds himself suddenly wondering what might happen to him should he not perform to the Emperor's expectations. For the first time since his orders have arrived, Vlish's eyes wander from the doors to the ... unimpressed?... face of his Emperor. He and his staff are guilty of allowing an attack force into the Spire, and worse, possibly into the presence of the Emperor himself. Palace servants have been banished for less. No, no. He will do his duty, and the Emperor is not a fool. The sound of another few sword strikes leads to the thud from another casualty in armor hitting the floor, followed by silence. The fight was... oddly, shorter than Vlish had expected. Perhaps the reinforcements have arrived? A few helmets tilt ever so slightly in the rank of soldiers at the doors, betraying quizzical glances and expectation of orders. There's something odd about the silence. Odd, Vlish realizes, because there is not enough movement going on outside for a full set of reinforcements to be there. "Your Majesty," he says simply, "I think it's time." The Emperor wordlessly nods and maintains his seated position, leaning forward and grasping a pendant around his neck. Anticipation, that's what it is. He's looking forward to what's coming next. THOOM. The sound of something heavy ramming the ornate double doors visibly rattles Vlish, if only for an instant. It is most definitely not what he expected. THOOM. Why would someone be bashing down the...? THOOM. In the quiet, the Royal Guard can hear footsteps in the hall, and the voice of a woman calling out. "Hey, hey, Phil! PHIL!" Thump. The line of soldiers before the doors stands at the ready, waiting for the breach. "I think they open out," the woman continues. "I... they.. oh, gods, I don't believe this," a man says, fairly close to the door. "Well, thanks for letting them know we're here. Sheesh!" another woman says. Is this really happening? Vlish wonders. Someone outside mutters something unintelligible. "Does it matter?" the man rebuffs. "Just buff us already, so we can get this over with." Emperor Hawthorne's impenetrable body language breaks as he looks up to exchange a glance with Vlish. What the hell is this? He is answered with a vibrating groan, as the heavy, gold-ornamented doors to the throne room slowly open. Until twenty minutes ago, they had not been moved in decades, and the Guard had encountered enough trouble getting them closed when the alarm went out. Weapons tense, archers behind the throne pull back their arrows, and Emperor Hawthorne stands. The battlemage prepares a shielding spell. With a rush of wind, the first attacker flies through the open doorway: a juggernaut in mismatched plate mail, clearly moving with the aid of hasting magic. The line of soldiers converges on him at once. At Vlish's side, the Emperor's pendant emits a blast of light, and a shimmering glow envelops Hawthorne, who readies a burst of flame in his free hand. Behind them, the archers let loose a pair of precision-aimed projectiles that harmlessly glance off of the juggernaut's armor. A spray of frost pours from the doorway, knocking some of the guardsmen off-balance in time for the fireball that flies over the juggernaut's head and into the melee. In these few first moves, Vlish has already seen enough: they are standard adventuring tactics, and they are easily dealt with. Pulling a potion from his belt, he makes his way around the line towards the door and the undefended spellcasters beyond. The fighter is too concerned with the other soldiers to notice as Vlish as he sweeps around him to the open doorway and promptly receives a boot in the face. He barely gets his shield up in time to block the follow-up sword stroke. Battlemage? The blows have disoriented him slightly, but he can still see the longbow and the set of robes in the hallway, behind the leather-clad woman with whom he is now engaged. That's... one... two... Vlish manages to turn the woman's sword against her upper arm, and bashes it with his shield, for good measure. Three... It gives him the brief instant that he needs to turn around and assess the fight behind him. Two of the Royal Guard lie on the floor, their comrades fighting around them. The plate-mailed invader... four... still hasted, holds them off... it's probably an invincibility potion. Invincibility potion! Vlish pries the stopper out of the bottle in his shield hand and is forced to take the nastiness in one gulp as he dodges an amateurish thrust from the woman in leather. He can feel his skin tighten and harden beneath his armor, and he tears past the women into the hallway with confidence. Gods. There's no one else out here. Rushing towards the mages' robes first, briefly stumbled by the leather-clad woman's attempt to trip him, Vlish sees enough of the macabre display of burning bodies strewn through the hall to recognize that all of the fallen wear the armor of the Guard. There is not enough time to think on this before he realizes that the figure holding the longbow is also holding a holy symbol. He turns to face that instead, but a gust of icy wind knocks him off of his feet mid-stride and throws him back through the doorway. A rain of acid flies through the air where he had just stood, striking the priest instead: she screams, hands flying to her face, where some of the spray hit exposed skin. Another boot to the head, this time accidental, brings Vlish back into focus. The leather-clad woman stands practically on top of him, sword sheathed, a shortbow out and aimed over the line of Guardsmen. She is only able to get one arrow off before Vlish seizes her leg and pulls her to the ground. His sword lashes at her, trying to carve its way past her bow and through her simple armor, but every time he draws blood, the wound closes instantly behind it. She is already fast, hasted, magically regenerating, and determined, but more dangerous than that is the contempt in her eyes. This woman had probably been on the wrong end of a political struggle, or had a close family member exiled, and that thirst for revenge is what continues to deflect Vlish's blade. A third gust of frost pushes at them, but this time, Vlish is braced for it, and the invulnerabilty effect allows him to merely shrug the cold off. The potion will last a few more minutes, and simply keeping this force occupied for a few minutes is all he has to do, until the Juggernaut's invulnerability wears off and the reinforcements arrive. The leather-clad woman's swift defenses finally leave a hole open, and Vlish delivers a decisive blow just above the collar of her armor, severing vein and tendon, fracturing bone. She spasms in pain beneath him as he finally stands and leaves her to bleed out. One down. Now for the casters. No sooner is Vlish in the hall than a set of ghostly aparritions appear in front of him, summoned from the nether realms to defend the spellcasters. Lovely. Vlish tears into them before the inevitable claws can even manifest: he needs only break through them to keep the invaders busy again. Behind the hostile shades, the priestess rummages through a backpack on the floor, while the mage defends her: a wand flicking out bolts of flame in one hand, and various other spells from the other. Even through the spirit, Vlish watches as the mage's wand burns out. Ha. The mage merely tosses it away and... pulls out another from within his robes? At the same time, the priestess pulls the scroll for which she had been searching from the pack and begins to read. The mage's fireballs continue to barely miss Vlish as he finally disrupts the first of the shades. Despite their low-quality trappings, the invaders clearly have come very well-prepared, and are quite skilled. Wands, scrolls, and potions might be common, but the number and quality that he has already seen cost a very pretty penny. Someone's life savings went into funding this attack. Vlish disrupts a second shade, but the remaining two move closer to block his path. And what of the attackers? Surely, a group of four people capable of fighting their way up the Spire would be remarkably famous. The Emperor would have seen to either honoring or exiling them by now. A fireblast from behind disrupts a third shade, and from in front, the mage launches yet another set of acid sprays, again, barely flying over Vlish's head... right back in the direction from which the fireblast came... Gods, they were never aiming for him. In a single smooth motion, Vlish disrupts the final shade and spins around to regard the carnage that has come of the throne room. Half of the Royal Guard lies dead at the feet the juggernaut, sliced, broken, and singed in equal measure. The other half fight defensively over the bodies of their commrades. Behind them, the Emperor continues to rain down spells on... the invincible juggernaut, dammit, doesn't he know better than to waste his magic? And behind him, the blackened goo on the walls can only be what remains of one of the archers. The other lies sprawled on the top steps of the thone platform, steam rising from her body, and beside her lies the body of the battlemage, several arrows clearly protruding from his... oh gods... Vlish had rushed out into the hallway, giving no orders, in order to end things quickly. Instead, the throne room has been recieving orders from... "Keep forward!" the Emperor cries, pelting the clearly unbothered invader with fireballs. "Defend your honor! This dog cannot last forever!" With no missle or casting support, Vlish had been the only one able to get around the invaders, leaving the line of Guardsmen as easy pickings for the enemy casters' spells. Not even the Empire's Best could withstand the seemingly infinite supply of magic coming from the hallway. But... how... could one man... fifteen soldiers? One... no, this doesn't make sense? Why would they all attack him when the obvious threat is beyond? They could easily encircle him and... Even as Vlish watches, some of his Guardsmen stop fighting, completely dazed. What is this? More magic? While spells exist to counfound large groups, there's no way that anyone but the most accomplised of battlemages could ever develop the willpower to... The juggernaut throws the middlemost of the defenders aside, and begins to move for the Emperor. The Emperor takes the assault almost gleefully, his energy shield pulsing in a strange acidic yellow as it takes blows from the spellcasters in the hall. No. Vlish begins to run up behind him. Spellcasters and invulnerability be damned, no one appraches the Emperor without his consent. And from beside Captian Vlish, a single arrow flies out. In his periphery, he can see the leather-clad woman on one knee, reaching to pull another arrow from the satchel at her side... how is she even still alive...? And then all is blindness. A white light bursts forth from the Emperor's chest, like a brilliant sunrise or a thousand moons. The burn of the light forces him to look away, if only for a brief instant... ...And when he looks back, the Emperor is gone. And now all is deafness, as a deep rumble of the universe itself roars forth. Some of the guardsmen shake off their magical curse and dive in time to avoid the tearing of the very fabric of reality itself. Now the light is green, and the blast of wind throws Vlish to the ground on his side. A solid... no, not solid... something... something liquid and green and glowing and not right has ripped through the air in a corner of the room. The silhouette of the juggernaut moves toward it, and then vanishes into it. Vlish thinks he is screaming in terror, but he cannot hear... the roar... the roar is everything, and it makes him hurt. The leather-clad woman... she goes through too, unharmed, and then the mage... such a hurry. Where is the Emperor? Do they flee? And the light grows brighter, and the priestess, hauling along her backpack, steps in front of the glow, and then turns around to look at him. So pale. He skin... he hadn't noticed before. She's so pale. So was the leather-clad woman. And the juggernaut. All, so pale. Why didn't he notice that before? The priestess shakes her head at the carnage and walks into the greenness. It swirls up behind her like a whirlpool or a puddle absorbed into the ground. The roaring continues, though the wind is gone, and Vlish cannot hear. He stands, or tries to stand, and as he does, a single man runs into the room, a balding blur with two swords. The reinforcements. Did they take the Emperor? What was the light? The running man opens his mouth, and might have asked a question, but Vlish cannot hear it over the roar. "I can't hear you!" Vlish tries to say back to him, over the roar. The man repeats his question, gesturing emphatically towards the throne. "There was a light!" Vlish explains. "Do you know what it was?" The man dashes over the bodies of the fallen guards and begins to search around the throne. Vlish follows him, barely able to keep his balance. "I think they were ghosts," he tries to explain, as the man grows ever more upset. Vlish isn't sure what he's looking for. "They had to be ghosts! Why else would they not die? And why else would they be so pale?"
  22. Due to developments in this music thread, I find myself hunting for badass pictures of someone marching tuba. What tragedy that my own band years occurred before facebook.

  23. I play trumpet (was fairly active in high school and college, but now it's mostly just the occasional special church service), and am in the process of teaching myself piano and guitar. I also sing baritone and dabble a bit in composing and synthesizer. The missus plays bari sax, but also owns an alto and soprano sax, which come out on occasion. And Juan Carlo, my little brother plays tuba professionally. It's not that impractical The Silent Assassin plays the mouse organ. And you like a fool. And "Courage Alone Will Not Save You", which grants two extra units when defending a citadel.
  • Create New...