Celina's Blog

September 17, 2017
by celinad
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Follow – A Beginning

“Can I borrow a moment of your time?”

You look up from your work at your desk to see a tall-ish man standing in the doorway. His clothes and shoes looked torn and overall peasant, but the manicured nails and the neatly trimmed beard and hair all spoke of his money. The tip of his boot tapped impatiently under your gaze, brow furrowing. He needed something, from you specifically. You’ve only been in this town, in this Inn, for a couple of days on a job, and have rarely interacted with anyone besides the bartender. For someone to have tracked you down to this room is pretty impressive.

“What do you want?” You say, standing to lean on your desk, subtly placing your hand over the closest dagger. It never hurts to be prepared.

“Well, um, I heard- You have quite the reputation in this area for your ability to… acquire certain objects.” He walked inside the room and closed the door behind him. “The job I have in mind doesn’t line up exactly with that criteria, but I believe that your particular skillset will be useful for what I have planned.” That caught your attention.

“What type of job did you have in mind, exactly?”

“I need to get somewhere. Somewhere that, normally, I would have difficulty getting anywhere near. I figured it was likely, with the vast collection of treasures you’ve managed to acquire over your career, that you would have to be experienced with getting in and out of places.” As he was speaking he straightened out his back, chin tilted up. Something about that motion ticked you off.

“I might be able to help you out here. But, of course, depending on where you need to go it’s gonna cost you.”

“Will a fairy-killing sword suffice as payment? Or any number of artifacts from the Queen’s treasury?”

“Hmm…” You tried to play it cool. Access to the Fairy Queen’s vault? An incredible opportunity. Risky, but so, so rewarding. Internally, your grin spread from ear to ear. “I’m gonna have to be paid something upfront, it’s sort of how I do things. Say, one hundred gold pieces?”

“One hundre-” He sputtered. “That’s outrageous!”

“That’s my price, if you don’t want to pay, feel free to lea-” You raised your hands as he interrupted you.

“No, I’ll pay it, obviously, it’s not like I don’t have the gold.” He takes a sack off of his belt and starts counting coins. “I just think you should lower your prices, is all. You know, for the poorer folk.”

The orange-tinted glow cast from the candle on your desk gave the gold an almost amber tone as the man carefully counted, muttering to himself. You sat back down in your chair, leaning back on two legs and twirling your dagger in your hand. The payoff from this job has the potential to be incredible, who knows what that fairy has hidden away. She’s always been drawn to beautiful things, it follows that she’d maintain some sort of dragon-esque hoard. Ideally, you’d be able to pay off your debts and live peacefully for a good long while. Speaking of…

“So what did the Fairy Queen do to you to get on your bad side?” As you speak he scoffs and briefly looks up from his – your – gold.

“I think you’ll find that the details are none of your business.” You raise an eyebrow. “If you must know, I believe it’s time someone put her in her place. She is corrupt, has a horrible sense of fashion and is terribly, terribly rude. I mean, honestly, would it kill you to be a little nicer to-” He stops himself, and coughs awkwardly. “I just want her to suffer a loss. Like I have.” He pushes the pile towards you, and you begin to recount.

“You realize that we won’t be able to do this with just the two of us, right? She’s no doubt heavily guarded, it’ll be incredibly difficult to pull this off alone.” Not to mention you have no idea how experienced this man is with this sort of thing.

“I… have some contacts I might be able to bring in.”

“What a coincidence, so do I.” You pour the gold into your own sack and drop it with a satisfying plop onto your desk, smiling.

“So, you’ll help me, then?” He seemed to lean forwards on his feet.

“Well you’ve paid handsomely, with more to come, I think that’s all I’m looking for here. You’ve got yourself a deal.” You spit into your palm and hold it out towards him, at which he immediately recoils. He stares at your hand, as if you were holding a poison-coated dagger, for a moment, before tentatively taking and shaking it.

“I need to go wash my everything, now. It was a pleasure doing business with you, I’ll keep in touch.” He shakes the spit off his palm and heads towards the door.

“I don’t believe I caught your name…?”

“You can call me Rook.”

“Honeycutt.”

September 13, 2017
by celinad
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Follow

For our first tabletop game of the class, Follow, I was in a group of four with Tina, Kassandra, and Tiffany. We chose the ‘Dragon’ quest, which basically means our end goal was to slay some sort of beast. We ended up shaping the universe we were in around a corrupt fairy queen who,despite the corruption, still had the support of most of her people, and who could only be killed by a specific sword. After we got through some marshlands, into the fairy’s territory, and failed to get past some guards, we changed direction and headed towards the sword. My minor character, Honeycutt, was lost to the guards we encountered, after she shot some fairies with her bow and then distracted the guards so the rest of the party could get away. Kassandra’s minor character, Arthur (King Arthur who had been cursed by the fairy queen to live his life as a dog), followed some guards (invisibly, thanks to an invisibility spell courtesy of Tiffany’s character, Ivy) and stole the iron sword from the cave it was kept in. Arthur then brought it back to us and we proceeded to burn down a local village to lure the fairy queen out of her castle where my major character, Rook, stabbed her in the back with the iron sword.

In this game we all had to create two characters to play as, one major and one minor. My major character was a noble figure named Rook, who wanted a sort of revenge on the fairy queen, for her rudeness towards him, and also wanted some magical artifacts to bring home. Honeycutt, my minor character who died fairly early on, was a treasure hunter who Rook had hired to help him get into the fairy queen’s castle, given her past experience with this sort of thing. She wanted, not only to steal some of the many valuable artifacts that the fairy queen probably had hidden away, but also to learn more about their society, the general history behind a lot of these artifacts, it all sounded incredibly fascinating to her. It’s a shame she died.

We were also supposed to have our characters have some sort of relationship with the other player’s characters. Tina’s two characters were both at least slightly linked to mine, Soren was Rook’s servant (who got fired towards the end of our adventure) and Prynn was a treasure hunter, like Honeycutt, so it’s likely that they would’ve run into each other before. Tiffany’s character, Ivy, was a rebel fairy with certain magical abilities, which Rook was incredibly interested in. If Rook had somehow gained magical good looks from her, he would not have minded at all.

Overall, it was a pretty fun game to play. I’ve played tabletop/role playing games before, but they’ve always had some sort of GM involved or I was never in charge of the direction of the story. Collaborating with each other and hearing everyone’s ideas was surprisingly fun and something that I’m excited to do again.

September 19, 2016
by celinad
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IDS – Cali & Ko

For my IDS this year, I’ll be working with Kassandra to create a webcomic. Kassandra will mainly be in charge of the story and I’ll be taking care of most of the art. We wanted to use elements that we enjoy seeing in other content, so we included diversity, time shenanigans, gratuitous violence, and good character development. So far, we have the storyline down and a basic description of all of the main characters. You will be able to find information on the characters, story, and completed pages over on caliandko.tumblr.com where we will be regularly updating. I plan on updating every so often on this blog as well.

September 16, 2016
by celinad
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ICTX – First Project

For my first ICTX project, I plan on creating a text-based game using this website. Quest is meant to help people create types of text-based games, even if they have little to no programming knowledge. That’s the boat I’m in right now. I’m not entirely sure how long it will take me, since I’ve never done something like this before, so I plan on just taking however long I need. I will mainly be following the tutorials available on the site to help me through this project.

January 8, 2016
by celinad
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iSearch Assignment – Kindred

It’s not a surprise that this story, like most, is set in the U.S.A. Kindred is specifically set in two places (so far), Maryland (across the bay from Baltimore) in 1815 and Altadena, California in 1976.

Maryland at the time of this story was still around 50 years from officially eliminating slavery, the practice of which had started in 1642 and would last about 200 more years for this state in particular. In the year 1815 specifically, the Methodist and Quaker anti-slavery groups both were working together to form the Protection Society of Maryland, which worked towards getting protection for the free blacks living in the state. Both of these groups are religious groups related to Christianity.

One of the biggest events in 1976 California was the drought that lasted through to the year after. The drought had such a significant impact on the state that there were water conservation movements that last to this day, encouraging citizens to use less while doing daily activities and only when necessary for various other activities. The most damage at the time was to the agricultural system, which accounts for around 75% of water usage in the state, and numerous practices are still used to preserve their water supply, even in times where it would be completely unnecessary, like Drip Irrigation, which has now become a standard practice across the state.

May 21, 2015
by celinad
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Writing Prompt 7

“Choose another abstract idea, like love, anger, desire or greed. Write a poem based on two line stanzas that explores this idea, like Binyon’s poem explored the idea of hunger”

 

Time

 

I was at the beginning of everything,

And I will persist till the end.

To some, seconds take hours;

To others, hours take seconds.

I am an ever-fleeting resource

And more valued than hoards of gold.

But I am also cursed by those who wait.

Cursed, and loathed.

I may bring life to the world,

But I bring an end to all things.

After all,

The sands of time consume everything.

 

May 11, 2015
by celinad
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Inquiry 3

For my third inquiry I teamed up with Kassandra and Patrick to create a Sburb fan-session (Sburb being a video game that causes universes to be destroyed and created). So far we have planned out a lot of the smaller details of the session and have drawn outfits for each player and various scenes. In the future we will plan out a story, as well as some big events that could happen over the course of a session.

March 4, 2015
by celinad
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Inquiry 2

What is your inquiry project?

For my second inquiry project I chose to expand on the iHub Reads project of creating a Utopia with Mackenzie. We’re taking the criteria that was listed and going into more detail, adding different features, etc.

What challenges have you faced? How have you overcome them?

So far the biggest challenge we have faced is related to the model of our city that we are in the middle of building. We chose to create a scaled down version of the city in Minecraft, being an extremely simple and fun platform to use. The main obstacle was working on the model together. We attempted creating a LAN world, with no success, and spent a good chunk of time trying to find an alternative. Thankfully, Harry is currently letting us use his Minecraft server to create the model.

What are your next steps?

The next steps towards finshing this project is mainly finalizing a lot of the details in our society and getting it all on paper. We have a pretty good general idea of everything we need, but still need to write everything down. Another step should involve getting people to ask the two of us questions about our society, as that can help us expand on any areas of the society we may have missed.

February 23, 2015
by celinad
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Brave New World: Chapters 15-18

In these last few chapters we see a lot more regarding the actual world of Brave New World, along with Mustapha Mond’s past and an alternate possibility to living in the civilized World.

Chapter 15 starts with John leaving the Park Lane Hospital for the Dying after Linda passed away, and encountering a group of Deltas waiting for their soma rations before he leaves. John was appalled, comparing the Bokanovsky groups to maggots swarming around pills of poison. As the Deltas pick up their rations, he pleads for them to stop, for them to throw away the horrible poison that had killed Linda. Meanwhile, Helmholtz gets a call from a friend of his at the hospital, alerting him and Bernard to the scene John is causing for himself. As the two reach the hospital, Bernard and Helmholtz witness John attempting to force freedom on the clueless Deltas, calling the group slaves and babies as they currently are. Bernard watches the scene scared for John’s life, aware of the fact that the Deltas might just kill him, while Helmholtz joins John in the middle of the fray, the two of them throwing the some rations out the hospital windows, yelling for the Deltas to be free, who went absolutely mad. Bernard watched the battle with a sort of hesitation, worried for his friends’ lives, yet also for his should he try to help them. He takes the cowardly way out and decides to yell at the police for help as he sees them running into the building. The police tame the mob with a gaseous form of soma, and it doesn’t take long for the group, including John and Helmholtz, to start hugging one another almost in tears. Bernard tries to sublty escape the building after his two friends were taken in by the police, but ends up getting caught anyway and joins them in the police car.

The three are taken to Mustapha Mond’s study, where he mainly confronts John and Helmholtz about their opinions on society. The pair of them are engrossed in the conversation, while Bernard manages to maintain his negative attitude, the reason why they have to meet with the Controller constantly present in his mind. Mond explains their society to the trio.

“The world’s stable now. People are happy; they get what they want, and they never want what they can’t get. They’re well off; they’re safe; they’re never ill; they’re not afraid of death; they’re blissfully ignorant of passion and old age; they’re plagued with no mothers or fathers; they’ve got no wives, or children, or lovers to feel strongly about; they’re so conditioned that they practically can’t help behaving as they ought to behave. And if anything should go wrong, there’s soma.”

John argues determinedly on behalf of Othello, and of the works he’s grown so fond of. While Mond agrees that they are beautiful, he states that you have to sacrifice that kind of high art for the stable happiness their society has. They have no need for the old beautiful things, it would ruin their happiness. John also asks about why they don’t just make everyone Alpha double-pluses which brings up an experiment that had taken place in the past.

“It began in A.F. 473. The Controllers had the island of Cyprus cleared of all its existing inhabitants and re-colonized with a specially prepared batch of twenty-two thousand Alphas. All agricultural and industrial equipment was handed over to them and they were left to manage their own affairs. The result exactly fulfilled all the theoretical predictions. The land wasn’t properly worked; there were strikes in all the factories; the laws were set at naught, orders disobeyed; all the people detailed for a spell of low-grade work were perpetually intriguing for high-grade jobs, and all the people with high-grade jobs were counter-intriguing at all costs to stay where they were. Within six years they were having a first-class civil war. When nineteen out of the twenty-two thousand had been killed, the survivors unanimously petitioned the World Controllers to resume the government of the island. Which they did. And that was the end of the only society of Alphas that the world has ever seen.”

The Controller also brings up his past, explaining that before becoming a World Controller he was a great scientist who was to curious for his own good. Because of this, he very nearly got sent to an Island, which is exactly what was going to happen to Bernard and Helmholtz. Bernard freaks out, panicking at the thought of being sent to Iceland, promising to be a normal Alpha and pushing the blame for their actions onto the other two men. After Bernard is properly subdued and sent to a bedroom, Mond explains that the Islands are actually a reward for uniquely-minded Alphas such as themselves. The Islands are (from what I’ve gathered) any Islands throughout the world that aren’t currently in use, the climates of which can vary greatly depending on the area. Helmholtz decides that he would prefer a stormier, windier climate and Mond agrees to send him and Bernard to the Falkland islands. Once Helmholtz leaves, John and Mond discuss various things: Shakespeare, Religion, Happiness, and just the society in general. By the end of the conversation, John comes to the conclusion that he is claiming the right to be unhappy.

The final chapter starts with Bernard and Helmholtz saying goodbye to John, as they have to leave the next morning. John mentions how he would love to go to an Island with them, however Mustapha Mond refuses to let him go, hoping to prolong the running experiment of exposing him to the civilized world. John decides that even if he can’t go to an Island, there is no way he’ll continue to live in the city, and the next morning he finds residence in an abandoned lighthouse. He feels the need, while living there, to support himself with as little help as possible from the civilized world, determinedly making a bow and arrow and planning on making a garden when the chance presents itself. John manages to live in relative solitude until a group of Delta-minuses see him outside the lighthouse whipping himself. That started the waves of reporters, constantly invading the Savage’s privacy. He managed to fend most of them off, shooting arrows towards approaching helicopters, but he didn’t do a good enough job. A reporter, hidden in the bushes surrounding the building, had filmed John with plans of turning the footage into a feely. The feely was a huge success, drawing in more and more sightseers to catch a glimpse of the star of the film. By the time Lenina had come to visit, John was at his breaking point. Between the chants of ‘We want the whip’ and ‘Orgy-Porgy’ he had attacked Lenina, and himself, before hanging himself the next day.

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