Celina's Blog

November 8, 2017
by celinad
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Introduction: Ada

Another accidental ink splotch had them dropping their head onto the table in frustration. They had been hunched over this table for what has felt like days researching- who even remembers at this point. They probably started with something they genuinely needed, filters on their pipe system or upgrading their wand, but at this point had long gotten sidetracked looking into the effects of certain aspects on tree bark. Groaning, they leaned back in their chair and flicked their wand, sending pink, glowing wisps of energy over to retrieve a brand new stack of books. Surely, the contents of these would help them finally connect the last few dots, allowing them to very nicely climb all the way back up their research spiral, out of the void of isolation. Flipping through the first book, they found previously written notes on native flowers and their capac-

Suddenly, their vision went white, momentarily blinded by the rays of sunlight let in by the parting of the thick curtains that had previously been keeping them in a comfortable darkness. They reared back and curled into themselves, shielding their eyes with the book they had just been reading, letting out a brief gutteral-sort-of-hissing noise.

“Oh, don’t be so melodramatic. I leave you alone for a week and you’re already back to your usual tendencies.” The disembodied voice seemed to come from the direction of the light, so they were provided with no visual aid. However, the sound of the voice and the disapproving tone, coupled with the frequently heard sentiment, meant that this must be Ada. Allowing their eyes to adjust slightly to the light, they confirmed their theory, taking in the flash of lime green hair and desaturated turquoise cloak that was standing beside the open window.

“Whyyy… This time it’s important, I promise.” They whined, still keeping the book in front of their body somewhat, as if a bound stack of paper could protect them from Ada’s motherly rage.

“Really? What was soo important that you allowed this room to enter such a state of disrepair. There are cobwebs on your door, somehow, so don’t even try to say you haven’t been in here for ages.” Her hands moved to her hips, still scowling down at them. She was right, though. Taking a look around, they noticed the unruly stacks of books that had been developing in the corner, the scrolls half hanging out of chests, the dried ink stains all over their desk, floor, and also their skin. Towards the top of the room, they could even see a thick tint of magical energy, almost to the point of staining the ceiling. Still, this isn’t the worst they’ve managed, so they’re still pretty proud of themselves.

“I’ve been making a breakthrough in essentia infusion! If I can figure out how certain materials react with certain aspects, I’m certain that I can revolutionize the vis flitration system running throughout our towers. The key has to lie in materials in which the core aspects thrive, see, I’ve been examining th-” Ada raises her hand, effectively shutting their mouth.

“Alright, so, it’s not a life or death situation. Which means: you’re an idiot. We can talk more about this after some much needed maintenance. This room is a mess and, I swear to god, the mandrakes in your garden are practically vibrating themselves out of the earth. So that’s where you can start.” They pried themselves out of their chair, before sulking their way out through the doorway, dodging the aforementioned cobweb, as Ada properly opened the window, letting the magical essence into the outside world. As they walked outside, fresh air hitting their face, they quickly brought their goggles down to their proper place, instead of where it’s been for the past few days holding back their hair. Not only do their goggles enhance magical items and vis nodes in their vision, but they also provide eye protection from the bright, bright sun. Their most important feature.

They made their way across the series of gangplanks connecting the various platforms that made up their home, passing the smeltery and climbing a small set of stairs before reaching their multi-tiered farmland. Thankfully the mandrakes (the only crop that requires immediate attention) was on the lowest level, and therefore didn’t require that much physical labour. They pulled a knife from their cloak and made quick work of uprooting and decapitating the mandrake roots as fast as they could, preventing them from screaming too loudly, before replanting the entire area. While they were up and about, they decided to do a routine sweep of the compound, quickly checking for monsters, structural faults, or anything else that might need to be immediately fixed. Satisfied that nothing would collapse on them within the next few days, they returned to their research quarters, where they found Ada happily rummaging through their research notes.

Ada had this effect, where if she gave something enough heart and attention, it would be warmer and brighter coming out of it. They noticed that the curtains had been tied back properly, casting a soft light on the room. The books were nicely stacked on their shelves, scrolls had been tied up and stored away in chests, the cobwebs had all, thankfully, been removed, and there was a pleasant, flowery scent that filled the space. She looked up from the loose pile of notes she’d been reading.

“This is fascinating and all – especially the parts about the theoretical creation of these infused fibres, the possibilities there are really intriguing – but I did actually come to you with a potential problem.” They frowned, pulled off their cloak and resting it on a nearby chest.

“What’s wrong?”

“There’s been a group of cultists developing up north.”

“Well that’s not entirely new, cults pop up all the time. They’ll kill themselves off in a manner of weeks.” They scoffed.

“Normally I would agree with you, but this group has been growing for the past few months. Also, they’re slowly encroaching on your territory. Not that you would’ve noticed, with your nose buried in ink, but they’ve started migrating south through your pines.” She pulled out one of your many maps, circling where they were currently set up and drawing a dotted line showing their predicted path with her wand. “They’re gonna get dangerously close to your compound.”

So a decision has to be made here, they thought. Either, they could lay down some spells to hide the compound and hope for the best, or get in there and destroy them before they have the chance to attack.

“What’s their belief system like? On the scale of casually worshipping a dead god to burning down towns and commiting mass murder in preparation for the oncoming apocalypse.” They laid out the scale with a handy gesture.

“They’re veering towards the mass murder, looking at the other places they’ve passed through,” Ada circled three small towns further north, “they seem to be collecting new members and killing those who don’t join up.”

“That’s not very nice.” Ada rolled her eyes. “I guess we’re going to have to take them down, huh?”

“I would have to agree.”

They both grinned at each other.

“This is gonna be fun.”

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.

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