PREVIOUS THREAD: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/44915312/
CHARACTERS AND PLACES: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19gNVgtevar647l4ZumUaVH6GlJzvxLlDNKaH8DrQMWE/edit?usp=sharing
WEBCOMIC 'CAUSE Y'ALL ASKED: http://wildwestscifi.net/gallows-humor/13683-gallows-humor-prologue
You are Brianna la Croix, journeyman necromancer, and your day off is starting with serious conversation.
Figures, but at least it's not urgent.
"I saved her. The proverb goes that it makes me responsible for her, but I'm a little more responsible for her than normal in this particular case," you tell Victoria, your voice soft and understanding. "No one ever became a good person by getting the evil beat out of them. And...honestly, I wouldn't have fought for Brigette if I thought she was a bad person at heart. Lost? Yes. Responsible for heinous crimes? Certainly. Evil? Not so sure."
Victoria looks down at her feet. "I could only wish she was here for you to say that."
"Wallowing, is she?"
"Like you would not believe."
"I buried an entire town by myself. I lived in the town. Try me."
Victoria winces and gives you a brittle, sympathetic smile. "Fair. Th-"
You hold your hand up. "Don't thank me yet. Actually, just don't thank me. This isn't a favor, for you or for her. This is for me." You take off your hat and set it on your knee. "This is for me not being the person I know I could become. You understand?"
"I understand," Victoria murmurs. Nathan and Scribbles come back, the Hero smiling broadly with the flush of victory high on his cheeks while the lamia scrawls furiously in her book. Amy starts serving out the breakfast while Scribbles catches up to her own listening; you take a peek, and the prose is surprisingly detailed and elaborate, and you can almost hear Nathan saying the words.
Your author friend has a good memory, it seems.
You finish your report to Scribbles with a slightly more frank tone than you'd set off with; your mind's on other matters, and your lovers can tell. Every time you look up at Amy she's giving you a glare like she caught you with your hand in a cookie jar. You look pointedly away and wrap up your report with what you saw of the battle for the Shaft.
"Silence, Nate, and Amy could tell you more."
"I can tell you more in just a bit, actually," Amy interjects. "No-go on Nate. Bri owes him a personal day."
"I can get that," Scribbles says with a cheery nod. "Just one more thing. /One/ more thing, it's not even really work. It's just, you said if I could provide the coffee we could talk again about letting me chronicle your story, and...well, it's a hell of a story so far! I've already written a bunch from interviews with other people who were there, but I'm /dying/ to get your perspective and permission to publish. This isn't even the end, is it? There's gonna be more, I can taste it in the air."
You look at the eager face of the snake-girl and trickle smoke from your nose. "Why do you wanna write /my/ story?"
"It's history in the making! A great event of our times! The Dungeon is going to change, maybe forever, maybe just for a few years, but someone should write it down so others can know what happened and maybe learn from it. Plus," she adds, primly, "every band of brave heroes should have their adventures chronicled. That so many die without the world knowing their story is a tragedy."
> ...You know what, sure.
> I don't know; I still have to talk to someone else who's involved.
>I feel that it's a bit like necromancy. There are a couple of good reasons why we don't try too hard for everyone to know about it. Legions of undead reasons. In the same way, I may or may not have to maintain the privacy of certain people in case it becomes a problem.
>If you're fine with that, why not?
>> I don't know; I still have to talk to someone else who's involved.
We really should get her say so in the matter.
And I want a quest where for once the protag doesn't just immediately spew secrets and ignore npc feelings because of anon stupidity.
Bri also only has Victoria's word on that, and it's not unreasonable to double-check that.
On a more interpersonal note, it would also tell Lora that you care about her privacy and feelings.
Vote may be slightly extended because of me writing a thing.
I'll admit Vox. Generally, patreon is fucking cancer. But you're the only motherfucker I've ever seen to run a fucking quest 24/7.
So should you be receiving money every month to keep up this level of commitment? Maybe.
At the very least you deserve it much more than Spoony does.
SPEECH THERAPY: http://pastebin.com/VmhBkRLm
Votes called, writing.
"I'm not saying no," you tell Scribbles. "But I need to get back to you on that. There's others involved that I need to check with to be sure they're comfortable with me telling you their secrets, because those secrets are bound up in my story. One of them is a...a private individual. Most of the others you can ask yourself."
"Such as?" she asks curiously, tilting her head.
"River la Croix, in Split," you tell her. "Or Cherry, the ghost girl I'm helping, who's currently guesting in my family's shrine in the Lichyard. Kells in Lakehallow may want to tell the tale of becoming an undead crocodile on his own. That sort of thing. Those folks I trust you to talk to on your own; the person /I/ need to talk to you sort of can't."
"Alright," Scribbles agrees. "Get back to me when you can?"
"I will," you promise.
Breakfast is warm, filling, and /nice/. Amy and Nathan sit on either side of you, the former leaning against your shoulder while she eats.
You're starting to think Amy's afterglow is going to become a permanent feature of her facial expression.
As the meal winds down, Amy grabs Scribbles and Victoria and leads them away, chatting animately about the battle for the Shaft. You share a look with the wounded Hero and quirk an eyebrow.
"What now?" Nathan asks.
> Go for a walk
> Explore the Company Store
> Play something together
> Find someplace...private (fade to black)
Alright folks, I'm gonna crawl into bed. I will /attempt/ to update in the morning but, well, see thread title - I'm not making any promises. Archiving thread now.
Questions, comments, discussion, feedback, and criticisms remain welcome and appreciated.
Thank you all for reading and participating!
...I'll consider it. There's factors I'd need to take into account, not least of which is certain political aspects relating to the RPG industry. Honestly, the thought makes me uncomfortable. I write for love. I don't like asking people for money.
It's nice to know folks are still having a good time though. I've felt like the threads here lately haven't been up to snuff.
>I write for love. I don't like asking people for money.
Think of it more as people are covering your coffee bill so they can hear you tell your tale. More so an action of good will than one of profit.
Thread archived, water drank, pain pills taken in anticipation of moonshine hangover, I'm going to crawl into bed and flirt with Death's brother for awhile.
Thread has been successfully archived.
And then I locked my doors, because anon's love is kinda frightening sometimes.
That last bit got me thinking. You know how in old magic, Naming things makes you hold power over them? Or Truenaming something, whatever. What if Anonymity, part of the Nameless, is some sort of powerful force/eldritch god simply because it hasn't been named, and never could be?
And the Anonymous are its finger-agents, *bubbles* of it.
>.I'll consider it. There's factors I'd need to take into account, not least of which is certain political aspects relating to the RPG industry. Honestly, the thought makes me uncomfortable. I write for love. I don't like asking people for money
RE: RPG industry politics: I know nothing about this aspect, so please don't take anything I say as commenting on that aspect, pro or con.
RE: The rest of it (esp. personal preferences): The points you make here are all quite good, but allow me to try to add an additional point to the consideration
Ms. Palmer is approaching a somewhat different place, and from the outright opposite direction, but I think there's still enough there that's relevant to be worth linking it.
There is a difference, subtle, but still a very important one, between asking people to do something for you and permitting it. A major component of that difference has already been done: you never brought up the issue here, it was those wanting to pay who initiated and requested a means to do so. Patreon is usually used for asking, or in some cases even to an extent for demanding, payment, but just having a personal Patreon doesn't inherently constitute any such request or demand, that part comes in what you do with the Patreon link. There is an appropriate place for making regular-basis requests for payment. I understand and respect that you don't feel this is that place, and honestly, I agree, but there's also an appropriate place for granting someone's request when they are asking to be allowed to donate, and that I do believe this is an appropriate place for.
As for my votes:
Explore the Company Store, and find someplace to be our Private Place (Bri and Amy already have a private place together, lets find one for Bri and Nate). Then FtB.
Whatever our intentions were in the past, we've had enough of hurting others with the Words, even for self-defense. I don't believe the point of Lora's lesson was to teach us what Word to use to really efficiently hurt people. We shouldn't risk Commanding *them* at all.
> SPEAK to *self*. Probably either <Endure> or <Escape>
As I've thought more on this, I think Endure rather than Escape. Spoken in the Divine Tongue, that should ensure her survival of the situation while still allowing her to hear the attackers' grievances and discuss the issue with them, should they be willing to do so, and seems to have less backfire potential from the chance of being too busy compulsively fleeing to Revert the effects.
One can only hope that the atoms obey.
Dear Vox. You know that double coffe you love so much? Try adding that to the water basin and making something known as Navy Coffee. Also, first time acatually reading this semi live and I would like to say thank you for making such a wonderful quest. And that you are a fucking madman for doing it like this.
Also, the next time we can revive a skeleton, let's make one of these kind.
Oh shit, I just realized that I left out the steps where you repeat that step about 4 more times. with some salt on the grains. Besides, it ain't gotta taste good, it just gotta keep you awake.
At that point, It's not the caffeine keeping you awake, but your body trying to figure out what kind of poison this is, and why the brainbox above is refusing all that seriously required puking.
Well, that or you hit that sweet spot in your body where you see everything forever or just the flow of time itself. Mind you it's best if you only do that once a week otherwise you will need your stomach pumped.
We don't want to deal with these people. Not right now. We just want them to go away.
> Play something together
Being an introvert dating another introvert myself, I can attest that playing games together is good times.
Now, regarding the potential patreon, I kind of agree with all of Vox's concerns, but I also would like to donate. Hell, Vox, I'd donate in the form of supplying good coffee, in the spirit of buying the storyteller a drink, if we could figure out a way to do that that doesn't supply your address to the entire internet.
>Hell, Vox, I'd donate in the form of supplying good coffee, in the spirit of buying the storyteller a drink, if we could figure out a way to do that that doesn't supply your address to the entire internet.
New business idea: run a website like Patreon, but that mediates package deliveries instead of cash transactions. I'm too busy with other things to do it myself, so I'll just put that idea out there for anyone who wants to give it a try.
We should make a skele bard. Or a semi-sentient bone mech. I will always go for it. Even Fetch sitting in a little nest in the chest, yelling out "Left, 32 degrees out, 12 degrees up" would make my life.
>>begin compression on woman whose throat we just slashed
>Ask The other assailants if they're going to help same their friends life
Definitely. Add this to my vote here: >>44957022
also, just noticed I forgot to greentext the main-story-arc vote from that post, so:
> What I said there about exploring the company store, but properly greentexted this time.
I probably should have said this at the time, but write-ins were not an option on Speech Therapy; Brigette's making a reflexive decision based on the words she knows by heart.
Votes called, writing.
Votes called on Speech Therapy, writing later after I get home from work.
Okay, so two things.
Thing the first: just got the preview of the Mourners cover art, and it's looking fucking fantastic. I can't share it yet (LEGAL ISSUES) but I'll show it off when I get the chance. If everything goes well, we're looking to start the KS next month.
We also have a SECONDARY TIE. "Play something together" was the narrow victor, but "explore the Store" and "fade to black" tied in second. I'ma make an executive decision on "explore the Store" for this chunk.
You grin at the Hero and scoot back from him a bit. "Now I teach you not to lose so shamefully to Amy at chess."
Nathan blanches. "I never had time to learn the game! Harry knew how to play but he's not confident in his game and didn't want to teach me bad habits, and then when I started -"
"Nate," you say slowly. "/Relax/. Everyone is new at things at first. So I'm gonna walk you through some of the things she's been doing to you, and then we'll move on. They have names, even."
"What's the first one?" Nathan asks, interested.
"The Fool's Mate."
"...You really know how to make a guy feel good about himself."
Nathan's a quick study with a teacher to show him what he's looking at, and the two of you talk chess and its theory for a few languid hours; it's easy to relax around one another, though you can't help but grin a little shyly whenever you look up from the board and find that affectionate look on his face.
"Quit that," you chide, looking back down at your piece.
"Not used to dating handsome Heroes?" Nathan teases.
"You don't get to use my own line against me," you complain. "I am curious as to how, y'know, earlier happened. I figured you'd still be kinda...standoffish."
Nathan wobbles his hand and moves a rook. "It...was sort of spur of the moment. As things with Amy sometimes are. I don't think either of us had intentions, but she asked if I needed help bathing and the thought running through my head was 'right, she has no taboos about that'. So I said yes."
"I see where this is -"
"Don't get ahead of me," Nathan interjects. "We got to talking, is the thing. She was sitting on a little footstool next to the bath, just talking about her life in the Roost. And I knew that it was her making an effort, y'know? Like, it wasn't hard for her to talk about so much as she was looking for things she hadn't thought about in years, because she thought they'd be important to me. And it was...it was touching. So I kissed her, and things sorta. Went. From that point."
"That's /adorable/," you tell him, grinning around your pipe.
"Glad you think so," he replies, with a cough. "I kinda wanna stretch my peg a bit. Care to go somewhere?"
You stare flatly. "Did you just really?"
"I just really."
"You handsome bastard. And yeah. We haven't really seen a lot of the Company Store. Wanna correct that?"
You pack up the chess board and help Nathan stand; he asks for, and recieves, one of Lark's sins against nature. You light him up and walk with him back in the direction of the Company Store - not far, but Nathan still has his peg leg to get used to. Still, the slow pace is...comfortable.
"Are we looking for anything in particular?" Nathan asks.
> Visit the saloon
> Where did those medics come from, anyway?
> I wonder what the market's like
> Nah, just explore the town
Alright folks. My connection appears to be improved and stable. That said, I still have to go to work, like, now. Votes will remain open until I get home just after 8 PM tonight. Evening run may be somewhat slow due to distractions
not gonna lie it's 'cause KCQ is runningbut I'll be updating.
As always, discussion, questions, comments, feedback, and criticisms remain welcome and appreciated. They help me improve! I'm a bit curious as to folks' thoughts on Speech Therapy.
Thank you all for reading and participating!
> I wonder what the market's like
Some casual sight seeing and window shopping. Can be nice.
Now where's that Sensible Chuckle image...
Stretching his peg. Clever bastard. Don't get used to it too much, hero.
Everyone knows that there is only one person on 4chan, speaking to himself to make up for his gross lack of friends. Everyone else on here are just chat bots. It might've once been two people but moot abandoned ship.
After lamenting your inability to enjoy erotic woodcuts, you decide to enjoy one of the few luxuries you have in your life, the ability to treasure hunt.
Having searched through the lake, you encounter a sunken ship, inside lie the skeletons of its crew. It is suspiciously broken in half, with the mast torn from the vessel as if by force.
>NOPE NOPE NOPE
>Get to looting
God damn this not being a roll quest makes it harder. How does vox do this shit?
Christ, no wonder I don't really QM, I'm far too lazy for that shit.
Isn't that what all you losers are for? Acting as random number generators as I railroad you to wherever I decide you should go?
Note that he's only done this twice so far, for exceptionally high-risk-high-reward options that also had a high degree of impact in how the story went. The first was the boar-riding (success roll), and the second was when the elemental landed that large blob of elemental iron on Silence (fail roll). He revealed both of these in conversation following the latter.
Mostly, he seems to just decide about how each of the options is going to go before opening it for votes, then goes with the version our votes chose, with the main source of randomness coming from the imperfect-information status of our choices.
Lora can empathize. Bridgette's desire to make use of the Language to help people, is, by definition, going against divine will. That's why she had to fight just to know the Language.
See the pastebin, "the punishment is usually the act of trying it", and the same can be said of Lora's duty of maintaining the Dungeon. But that doesn't mean that either of their work is meaningless, now that they've actually achieved things worthy of respect. So they were granted their respective duties: to care for the knowledge and power they claimed the gods did not use rightfully, to see it done well.
I'm glad to hear that. I've always thought 'I was a kid when I read his books, they couldn't have actually been as amazing as I thought.'
Nope. Still amazing. Had to track down the early books to the Keys to the Kingdom after I learned it was finished. Real bitch to find them in bookstores, and I never remembered to order them online.
"I kinda wanna see what the shops are like," you admit. "There's gotta be more for sale down here than mining supplies and booze, right?"
"You're not wrong," Nathan admits. He takes your hand, and you lace your fingers in with his while the two of you walk. "...Though I'm starting to suspect you might just like shopping."
You whistle innocently.
"You /do/," the Hero accuses, laughing.
"Well yeah," you tell him, with a grin. "Even if I don't buy anything - which is often, because I've got this massive practical streak -"
"/No/," Nathan breathes. "You lie! You, practical?"
"Keep talkin' shit, stumpy," you warn. "Anyway, a lot of times markets have passionate, interesting people, wonderful art or jewelry, delicious food...y'know, fun stuff. Though from the looks of the place I'm kinda expecting to be disappointed."
You are. The markets of the Company Store are just as hunched and cautious as the town itself. Still, there's some things of interest available...and a bit of coinage burning a hole in your pocket.
> Find a gift for Amy
> Find a gift for Nate
> Find something they can share
> Get something practical
> Buy nothing
> Ask Nate how he's feeling
> Ask if you can vent a bit
Was having some issues causing the writing to actually happen. Also distracted, tired, and kinda blurgh in general. There's guests over at my home (they're not my guests) and they're seriously disturbing my calm.
Maybe turning on a playlist or something will help.
> Find a gift for Amy
But like, involve Nate in the process. If he helps us pick something out, it can be a gift from both of us, and you do not get to tell me that's not goddamn adorable.
Okay folks. I'm. Fucking crashing hard here. I'ma crawl into bed, sleep this off, and get up earlier than LolWutAM for once. Votes will remain open.
As always discussion, questions, comments, and criticisms remain welcome and appreciated.
Thank you all for reading and participating.
You DID ask for criticism after all, you didn't specify what kind
Anyway, looking forward to more content, sunday should be weird for everyone, although I forget if you were in the path of that blizzard or not.
> Find a gift for Amy, but like, involve Nate in the process. If he helps us pick something out, it can be a gift from both of us, and you do not get to tell me that's not goddamn adorable.
Alright folks. I'm alive but there's gonna be brunch here in about thirty minutes and I'm sorta hoping it'll help me kill this hangover because goddamn did I forget to A. drink water and B. take pain pills. I'll update when I get home; not sure when that's gonna be. At that time I'll also polish off the Duchess thing and provide the follow-up on Speech Therapy, assuming I've got enough time to do both.
Votes remain open.
Well that was worth the trip. It's been four years since I had a decent philly and now I know a place nearby that makes god-tier ones.
In other news, webcomic partner has once more felt the grip of lewdity. You know the place. If you don't, well, I'm sure someone will guide you to it.
Votes called, writing.
> Promise an update
> Immediately have to go chase the dog for four blocks and then drag her ass back home
Well that happened.
Gift for Nate is the victor. I'll update when I get home from work, and anon has my apologies.
Real life has been making a nuisance of itself lately, though Vox still manages to put out more than most other QM's despite the setbacks.
The bone-slut sure knows how to put out.
And seriously Vox? If you need to take a day or two rather than run ALL THE TIME, do it. You are awesome and deserve a break when you need it.
I like the daily pace, life's just been odd lately. Not bad, but between work schedule being fucky and a surprise guest in my fucking space it's been hard to focus and write. I'm sorry for things not being up to standard; I'll correct that soon, when life's more stable.
When I was sixteen, I spent a summer working for carnival. This was not one of those legit carnivals that shows up in town to run the fun rides and then leave to the next show; this was a ramshackle, south-of-the-law operation with the bent darts in its booths and the treats swimming in grease, run by the matriarch of a Southern clan mostly contained in the carnival itself. I am not proud of working for these people, and quite frankly I did Some Shit a few thousand miles away from home when it was that or get stranded half a continent from my family.
I say this so you have full context when I tell you that Microsoft is being more pushy about Windows 10 than these murderous rednecks were about their money.
Home at last. Writing shortly.
It's the spyware. Keyloggers and sending copies of your whole hard drive to the Microsoft servers every twelve hours. They hate not knowing what you're doing with the thing you bought from them.
Oh believe me, I intend to. I think my /favorite/ part was probably, "You was in Boy Scouts, right? You know first aid? Good, make sure I don't kill this guy."
That definitely doesn't fucking haunt me.
After this and your family reunion finger stabbing tale I can only conclude that you've lived a rather interesting if somewhat terrifying life and I can only express my admiration that you seem to have come out a relatively sane and nice individual.
>Observe, and be fascinated by the horrifying adventures of alt-universe Florida Man, Vox!
>Hired by a redneck carnival troupe on the basis he probably knew first aid!
>Prostitutes himself to afford lich maintenance materials, the salacious details of which we're not allowed to print!
>Runs a quest. Who the fuck does that!?
Forgot the family story, don't remember which thread it was. Oh well.
>Forgot the family story, don't remember which thread it was. Oh well.
Multi-year, multi-family-gathering game of monopoly involving extensive bookkeeping. An uncle(?) of his was found to be cooking the books -- they cut off the guy's finger.
> Alternative Universe Florida
Mate, Alt universe Florida would have its shit together. I wish I lived in alt universe Florida. Have you ever been somewhat kidnapped to look at a gang bangers sick mum? Super polite, and they tried to pay me with weed and booze. Super fucked up, just because I told the bus driver I was down for a conference on sleep.
Alt universe Florida Man, anon, not alt universe Florida. Florida Man is the guy from all the news stories. You know, "Florida man sets cat on fire in attempt to retrieve wife from tree," that sort of thing. Florida Man is the expression of the fucked-upness you refer to, but is not, himself, the fuck-upness.
I had tried to infer Vox was some other universe's equivalent of our Florida Man: the conglomeration of several separate individuals in terrible situations and making horrible decisions. joined as one for the lulz.
I'll deliver the joke properly next time, I swear!
You trawl slowly through the stalls; you pick up a few practical things, because you can't not (and because healing supplies are one of those things it's vital to keep up on), as well as a cheap deck of playing cards. Nathan doesn't seem interested in shopping for himself, though he looks with interest as you scrawl on the cards with a fountain pen while you walk.
"What are you writing?" he finally asks, while you wander.
"Long-term seduction attempt," you rejoin, flicking the latest card to the rear of the deck. "Gotta keep my hand in the game somehow, with how serious things get between us sometimes."
"I don't do it on purpose," Nathan complains. "Our relationship got off on a weird foot."
"Yeah, killing a guy will do that," you agree, shooting Nate a grin. He groans and shakes his head at you while you continue. "Though you can't say I wasn't following tradition. Killing handsome young Heroes is a necromancer rite of passage."
Nathan laughs, stealing your hat and putting it on his own head. "...Why does Amy do this so much?" he asks curiously, flicking his eyes up at the brim.
"Because she understands that it means something to me, and that it in turn means something that I trust her with it," you tell him, your voice serious but a warm grin on your expression. "Now gimmie my hat back."
"You wound me," the Hero complains, but he puts the black top hat back on your dark hair. "Seriously though, what're you writing on those cards?"
"Notes for the bedroom later," you tease.
"Fine, be that way," Nathan says haughtily. "Mind if I ask a question that's kinda serious but in no way bad?"
"Fire away, Nate."
"When you imagine having a family of your own, what's it like?"
> Intimate. Ish. It's changed a bit since you and Amy came along.
> Lots of kids. Maybe most of 'em end up being adopted, maybe they don't, but I liked the sprawling feel of my family at home.
> Honestly? Dunno. I was gonna let the chips lay where they fall.
>a handful of children. Wasn't planning on too many, but between the three of us and aunt river, i think i could handle quite a few and still trust them to handle themselves well when they grow up.
Ohio is just a thing that happens sometimes, huh?
>I was just going to the kitchen to make a grilled cheese sandwich, how'd I end up here?
> Honestly? Dunno. I was gonna let the chips lay where they fall.
It looks like those chips are going to lay with 'lots of kids'.
>ALL THE KIDS. Some might be adopted, some might not, but we will love them all equally. Whether they have funny shadows or make bird noises or talk with dead people. ALL THE LOVE.
I'm the sorta person who likes quiet. Kids are fine; lots of kids would be an issue to my general stress levels.
S'all cool though; I ain't Bri. I'm hoping Nate finds a way to rib her on it, but he'll probably be all serious and say she'll be a good mother, which will get her all flustered. It'll be adorable, and I can get behind that.
>> Lots of kids. Maybe most of 'em end up being adopted, maybe they don't, but I liked the sprawling feel of my family at home.
I'm not sure if my vote is making a difference. Pretty clear what is going to win.
True, but it's less dealing with kids than just having people around. The more people I have to juggle, the less relaxed I can get.
It's nothing intolerable, and I still like being social, it's just part of the give and take. How many people can I make an effort to deal with in a day before I'm doing them a disservice with how worn-out I'm getting?
I'm also kinda *not* comfortable of not dealing with any kids that I have, cause. Y'know. I helped make them. Can't just go to my room for a while to decompress if they have honest issues I can help with.
I'll end up with only 1 or 2 kids when I get older. If I'm going to saddle them with life and all its baggage, they deserve my full attention and support.
We wouldn't have kids with Shankbird. The Hero would just have to have kids with both of us and we'd deal with the kids equally regardless of who their technical mother was.
He'll have his work cut out for him.
I get that. I just feel that the kids themselves should be just as willing to support each other and play off each other's energy.
Im terms of "dealing" with them, they're supposed to be a step above close friends in how easily you can interact with them, although that's not a sure thing. Juggling material needs is much simpler, at least until you need to start going to parent teacher conferences, i suppose. Which leaves their personal issues, and yeah, i get if you don't want TOO much of that.
But then I'm asian, and I seem to have unusually peaceful family interactiom, at that.
I can agree with you on all that. I can deal with being around my parents and some of my friends all day. But I can't know how involved I'd need to be with my kids and how easy or hard that involvement will be, so I'd rather play it safe.
As it is, I have ADHD, and I'm sure my kids will have it too. One may be too much to deal with at first.
Do you folks remember the artist that was making the la Croix family crest?
Wait. It was cut off below the knee?
Why the fuck do we want to replace it with wraith steel then!?
We can literally get a regular metal one, people use those regularly in reality! Why not just get one made of iron.
Because the ankle joint is kind of important? But you're not entirely wrong. There's a reason Nate thinks a wraithsteel prosthetic would be a waste, and it's not /just/ him being a Hero.
Hey Vox, I just finished reading the archive after a week. (I'm a slow reader.) As an aspiring amateur writer, I gotta ask, how'd you get so good at writing?
Is it all the centuries of being undead?
Ahh gotcha, thought you just ment regular iron.
Well yeah I think wraith steel for wings, elemental iron for leg.
Hope we get to make the choice soon, we are slowly becoming a party of cripples
I'm flattered you think I'm good. But it's an honest question and it deserves an honest answer.
Some of it has to do with my particular reaction to social exclusion. Like a lot of folks who for one reason or another couldn't make friends in real life (that story's long and painful), I spent a lot of time online. As a young and aspiring writer, I submitted some work to a monthly fic contest on what used to be the WotC boards and it was, I'm gonna tell you straight, absolute shit. Fractally shit, even. Feces at every level of zoom.
But someone, somehow, saw potential in there. I got tagged into a writing group, somewhat intimate, but entirely composed of a combination of published authors, English professors, and college students...and me.
The eleven year old with attitude problems.
The initial crash course was rough. The skills I learned had very little to do with the actual art of writing and a lot to do with *being an artist*. How to take critique, how to /give/ critique, developing a thick skin, teasing additional information out of a reader by asking them specific questions (you may have noticed me doing this with you guys). How to edit without losing faith in the work, how to accept that a first draft is not the only draft. Valuable skills, and skills that've stuck with me all these long years.
Other things were a matter of practice. If you wanna be a writer, /write/. Even five hundred words a day, as long as you get them onto the page. Are they not perfect? Fine. Shop 'em around. Ask what makes them tick. Read your sentences out loud to get a taste of them.
A lot of time has been spent trying to find my voice and developing my own particular writing style. Some choices are stylistic; they're not inherently bad or good. I've got a friend who's wild for Stephen King, but I have trouble reading King; the work feels dry and disconnected (cont).
Conversely, my less-is-more trend can leave out details that some readers feel are vital, or create confusion while I'm trying to go for an emotional angle and I forget that what *I* know is not necessarily what the *reader* knows.
I've been working on refining my writing for the better part of thirteen years. I still feel like I have a long way to go. My advice: write. Ask folks for critique and not just other writers; it's important to see how *readers* see and feel your work. Read, voraciously, and explore new genres and authors. Experiment with different voices. Try hipster shit just to try it so you can see why it doesn't work - or find an unexpected way to MAKE it work. And above all else, be gracious to your readers. They've given you a fragment of their lives, which they will never get back. Even if they ended up hating the work, you owe them for that.
Did you have further, or more specific questions, anon?
I love your advice and I've been doing the whole reading tons of material and seeing how other writers do their thing thing, but not so much the writing thing. But I'll do that. I'd have to be an idiot to not the follow the advice of an undead but very talented lich.
Follow up question: are there any books you personally recommend?
"You know," you tell him playfully, "you're the second person to ask this question? Well. Not this exact question. Lora asked me what I thought my future looked like when this is all over."
"...How'd that go over?" Nathan asks carefully, still watching you write on the cards.
"She hit me with a wing for being needlessly morose and it honestly kinda helped," you admit. "And, y'know, thinking about it...I wouldn't mind having a lot of kids. Even if some or a lot of them are adopted. I mean, there's my kids, any kids I adopt, a theoretical apprentice or three, Amy's kids, River's if she has any..."
"Sounds like a clan," Nathan says with a grin.
"Well..yeah. I loved growing up with an extended family at home, and...I think it'd be nice to raise children into one too. Especially if the worst, gods forbid, should happen."
"Always gotta be practical," Nathan murmurs.
"Not /entirely/ practical," you admit, handing him the completed deck. "My gift to you. Take a look."
Nathan draws the first card and reads the text out loud. "Half an hour of peace and quiet by any means necessary."
You grin, a little wryly. "Favors. Fifty-two favors, called in any time you like. Just turn in the card and let thy will be done. Just, y'know. Be reasonable."
"I get what you mean," the Hero agrees, playfully. He fans the deck to look at it; his eyes alight on a particular card, and he flashes it at you with a wicked grin.
"Quickie with feeling, huh?" you read, returning his smile. "...I bet Lark's barn is empty."
* * * *
> Enjoy dinner with Nate
> Go find Amy
The Literary Offenses of Fenimore Cooper by Mark Twain is an in-depth critique of a humorous sort and full of great advice from one of the great American authors. It's also a good example of critique that expresses the critic's feelings while still being constructive.
Literally anything by Garth Nix, but especially his Keys to the Kingdom series. Nix has a talent for worldbuilding that works with the story instead of stopping to tell you about his setting and putting the actual plot on hold.
Stardust, American Gods, Anansi Boys, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Almost all of Gaiman's work is phenomenal, but in those four books you'll see the same author with four different voices, all of them used masterfully. In particular, the Graveyard Book has the best cold-open I have ever read in English.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. If you've read literally anything with vampires, this book is non-optional. Related, check out Bloodsucking Fiends, You Suck, and Bite Me by Christopher Moore, as well as his book Lamb: the Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal.
Parasite Rex, by Carl Zimmer. Great for body horror, but also great for an example of an author taking a complex and somewhat arcane subject and making it accessible to the lay person.
Everything is Under Control, by Robert Anton Wilson. It's an encyclopedia of conspiracies, both real (and in some cases successfully prosecuted in court) and blatantly fictional (yet still with devoted followings).
Nos4a2 (cannot remember author name off top of head, too drunk to go get book). Horror that goes for the spine instead of the gut, nice depiction of how someone lives their life after trauma they have trouble speaking of to others.
The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern. I cannot describe this book without spoiling it. Find it, read it, come back and give me your thoughts.
House of Leaves, by Mark Z. Danielwiski. A book that gives back what you put into it.
Discworld. All of it. Pratchett was knighted for this series. You may also enjoy Good Omens (co-written with Neil Gaiman).
Wicked. The novel that inspired the play of the same name, and an interesting subversion of Oz.
Reckless, by Cornelia Funke. She has a lot of other fun novels but Reckless is a wonderfully fey-themed take on fantasy in a world connected to but relatively uninfluenced by modern Earth. Great sense of /threat/ without bludgeoning you with it.
The Cirque du Freak series by Darren Shan. I'm not gonna lie, I'm telling you to read these because they will make you frustrated and angry. An object lesson in when it's time to Just Fucking Stop.
Are you learned or interested in American history or education? Check out Lies My Teacher Told Me and Lies Across America, an examination of high school text books (and roadside historical musuems and attractions) and how the bad information therein perpetuates.
The Devil's Dictionary. This book should need no introduction and I won't disservice it by giving it one.
Up Against the Wall, Motherfucker. Another one where I am too drunk to remember the author's name, it follows the real-life stories of people who legally changed their names to unprintable names and then went and made the news in protest of government activities to which they objected.
Ready Player One by Earnest Cline. This is another one where describing it would ruin some part of the effect. Watch a man extend the culture he's part of from the inside.
The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I don't have a lot in common with King's writing style but his frank, honest approach to both violence and horror has a lot to say for it, and you'll find both in the series. Even if you can't get the whole thing, check out The Wind Through the Keyhole.
Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer. This book is shit. It has worsened the world for existing. It is also immensely successful. Read it, then come back to me and tell me why.
Which I find strange.
I devoured books like Slumdog Millionaire and Artemis Fowl in 1-3 sittings once I hit my reading stride. I could read over a hundred manga chapters and only stop because my eyes are pounding. I play Disgaea titles.
It's like just as much as addictive media has devoured me, so have I learned the different tells of truly Bad addictive stuff. That doesn't mean I'm immune, just that when something truly, truly is not something I enjoy or able to take something from in some way....I can put it down.
To the best of my knowledge, Meyer is very good at getting hooks in her readers; regardless of whether you know it's crap, you nonetheless feel compelled to keep going and find out what happens next.
I read all four books in under 36 hours, and I bloody HATED them, but I couldn't bring myself to put them down and walk away. There are some really good books where you can comfortably stop in the middle of a chapter or a scene and take a break; that doesn't work with Meyer.
SPOILERS. GUY I'M ADVISING, PLEASE NOT.
Meyers' great talent is forging an emotional connection with the reader. Her language is clumsy and sloppy, and most of her phrasing - if read with even a little depth or consideration - literally describes things that seem absurd. In particular, her obsession with 'liquid' eyes is a bit fucked when you consider that horses are the creatures we interact with most that have such eyes. But in the way she frames and suggests descriptions, she creates a feeling while leaving a space for the reader to insert their own projections and thoughts. I very much doubt she had the wit to do this on purpose given her total lack of competence in all other aspects of writing, but in her blind success there's lessons to be had in writing to evoke a feeling.
Jesus fucking christ what. How? WHY? Jordan was so shit at advancing his own plot that he managed to fucking die before he could finish because no one would slap his shit and tell him it was time to shut the fuck up!
IN OTHER NEWS, I HAVE POLISHED OFF ABOUT HALF A GALLON OF STRAWBERRY MOONSHINE AND AM WORKING ON THE THINGS THAT WERE FORMERLY STRAWBERRIES FLOATING INSIDE IT.
I AM NOW VERY DRUNK AND POSSIBLY FLIRTING WITH DEATH.
WILL LINK THREAD WHEN IT HAPPENS. IT'S BEEN A WEIRD NIGHT FULL OF FEELS UNRELATED TO THE QUEST THAT ARE A MIXTURE OF 'AWW', SHAME, GUILT, AND RAW TERROR.
I SHOULD POSSIBLY SHUT UP NOW.