Taker VI – Failed Attempt


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Now, if I could paint this well, I would do my own art =P

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get this chapter out. You know when you hit one of those rough spots in your writing where you know what you have to write and you know what you want to write but you don’t really feel like it because you have other things you want to do? Well, that happened to me, thus the delay on this chapter. But it’s here now, so, enjoy. 🙂

Chapters: Prologue | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 |  ToC

“So, I heard you’re pretty tough,” a large, muscular Aelve spat, slamming his fist down on the table.

The person he was speaking to, an unshaven Human, looked up blankly, then glanced around. No one even turned.

“You beat up some of the people in my gang a couple of dawnbreaks ago. Want to explain?”

The man rubbed the stubble on his chin, then shrugged his shoulders mildly. The Aelve stared in disbelief for a moment.

“You do not shrug your shoulders at me, Human. I’m Ta’vich, King of the Streets.”

Ta’vich waited expectantly for the customary look of fear. His addressee just gave him another blank stare.

“Alright, I’m done.” The gang leader picked up the table between them and flipped it towards the man. Before he could react, Ta’vich lunged forward, his fist coming into contact with the man’s jaw.

One punch sufficed to knock his opponent out, and Ta’vich stepped back, satisfaction on his face. “That’ll teach you to shrug your shoulders at me, Human.”

When he turned around and left, the Human opened his eyes and stood up, righting the table. He called for another drink and rubbed his jaw gently. Moments later, the barkeep hurried over with a frothing mug in hand.

“You should have beat him up, Asanthe. Now he will grow more arrogant. And he is a coward. One blow from you would have had him running,” the barkeep said quietly.

“‘Better an arrogant coward than a vengeful one.’ Philosopher Kylh, 601 A.E.” Asanthe took a swig of his drink. “Such words are not mere dribble, Clara. Where is your sister tonight?”

“You can tell?” Suddenly the barkeep became very shy.

Asanthe sipped his drink again.

“How can you tell?”

He grabbed her hand. “You wear a ring. It is so important to you that you wear it all the time, except for when you fill in for your sister. It leaves a distinct mark on your fingers. Your nails are not chipped and broken from years of manning the bar and dealing with unpleasant patrons. You may be twins, but you have a slimmer frame, and that outfit does not fit you as well as it fits Tara. And finally, unlike her, you have a decided predisposition to hang off every word I say.”

She stared at him, then hurried away to serve another customer. He sipped at his drink and let the bitter taste bite at his tongue and the sides of his mouth. Everybody reacted like that. Even in this modern era, knowing too much got you shunned and rejected by others. Still, better he remain rejected and unknown than his secret come to light. Already there were people who suspected him of being more than he claimed to be, and his claim was no light one at that.

Asanthe, wandering scholar and philosopher, studier of the arts and teachings of philosophers before him, that was what people knew him as. If they knew that he was really the last remaining shy-gyth — swordmaster — and the creator of the fifteenth sword art: sym-myth, there’s no telling how many he might have to kill to keep his secret safe; the last thing he wanted to do was kill more.

***

“It’s very rare that you come to see me, mother,” a tall, lanky man said placidly, addressing the hooded woman behind him.

“I need your help,” his mother replied.

“Another rare occurrence.” The man spoke in clipped tones. “Who is it this time?”

“You know who. He’s back.”

This elicited a reaction; his whole frame went taut. “Not even your best Purists can handle him.”

The Headmistress sighed. Her son had many faults, one of them being his insatiable desire to feel needed. She supposed that in part it had to do with the rough upbringing he had underwent. He had essentially been left in a state of total neglect for the entirety of his younger years. How she — who had willingly given her sickly son to the scientists to mutate — had become leader of an organization devoted to wiping out mutants from Cheridith was beyond her. Life certainly had its ironies.

She reached out and grabbed his arm, an unusual sign of affection from her. “Son, be careful. He was the best they made.”

He gave his mother a funny look of disbelief. “And you would mourn, if I died?” The laugh he let out was all air and no mirth. “Would you not instead rejoice that you wouldn’t have to send your Purists after me?”

She pursed her lips, then turned abruptly and left. He stood silently, brooding, watching her as she strode proudly away out of the small hut he lived in. He shook his head. She was the only person in his life who could exact any emotion from him, and he wasn’t sure if he hated or loved her.

***

The sun had sunk low by the time Ryke reentered the city. Most people had vacated the streets, and his footsteps echoed hollowly on the cobblestone. Except it wasn’t an echo. Someone was following him. He rounded a corner quickly then flattened himself against the wall of a hut. His shadow’s footsteps stopped, and he peered around the corner to see a cloaked figure hovering uncertainly.

Before he could do anything, the figure hissed, “Duck!”

Instinctively, he dropped. A crossbow bolt bounced off the brick wall, exactly where his head had been. He straightened and quickly scanned the area. Two cloaked figures now ran off in opposite directions. For a moment, uncertainty took the reins, then he threw caution to the wind and ran off after one of them.

Energy coursed through Ryke as he sped after his quarry, his speed giving him an edge. Aylya cast a quick glance over her shoulder and cursed when she realized Ryke was catching up. She could still stay ahead, though, just not by running in a straight line.

Without warning, she ducked around a corner into a side alley. Her pursuer had to slow somewhat before making the turn, giving her a few extra cords. It was all she needed. Springing into the air, she gripped a rafter tightly and pulled herself up. The muscle-up took longer than she’d thought— curse the newfangled heavy crossbows.

Ryke managed to catch up to her as she ascended. He jumped up and grabbed blindly, his fingers catching tightly on to fabric. It was her cloak, and it came tumbling down on his face as the clasp for it broke. He caught sight of a flash of red hair before his quarry disappeared across the rooftop. For a few minutes, he considered climbing up after her, but it would have been futile. Wrapping the cloak around his arm, he made his way back to the inn.

Tours yruly

 

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Taker III – Warlock


Forest

Green is so calming…

This one’s a little longer than the last few chapters. =P I had fun with it actually, and I don’t know if you can see the influence from The Way of Kings showing through. XP I enjoy writing fantasy to be honest. Creating whole new worlds is something I could spend forever just doing. Anyway, last chapter we had Ryke do battle to some thugs and meet a looter who set him on a track (whether it’s the right track or not we don’t know), and this chapter we introduce some new characters. Enjoy! 

Continue reading

Mansion — Prologue


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The floor plan I made is smaller than this mansion

So, we finally get started on the Mansion series. Now, I don’t believe I mentioned any details pertaining to this series in my spoiler post, so here is where I reveal all. The basic premise of this is to mimic common table-top rpg games. At least, it’s my take on that, and I’m going to have you guys, my readers, to be the players! Don’t worry, it will still be a story that you will all get to read, but now you guys will actually be able to decide how the story goes. I’m really excited for this, and I hope you guys enjoy it as well. 🙂

With this series, since it is so heavily based on input from you guys, I will be taking a slightly different approach to posting. With every post that contains a poll, I will only post the next post when the poll has received at least five votes. So, if you don’t want to read all the info that follows, you can just go ahead and drop a random vote in the poll below. Uninformed votes are better than no votes (in this case). XP


 

Rules

1.0 – General

  • 1.1 – The game lasts either until all the characters have been killed, or help has arrived
  • 1.2 – The goal of the players is to control the “detective” to suss out the killer
  • 1.3 – Every “turn” is a day at the mansion
  • 1.4 – At the end of every turn, the “detective” can perform an action
  • 1.5 – Between turns, follow up posts based on the action chosen will take place before the next turn

2.0 – Turns

  • 2.1 – Turns are managed by me, and I will write all the information and story for it as required
  • 2.2 – Every turn after the killing has started, the killer will target another character
  • 2.3 – At the end of every turn the “detective” can choose one of multiple actions to perform
  • 2.4 – After the action has been chosen, more decisions may be needed, based on the action

3.0 – Actions

  • 3.1 – There are multiple actions that can be chosen at the end of every turn
  • 3.2 – Question
    • 3.2.1 – Allows the “detective” to question a character of players’ choice more thoroughly
  • 3.3 – Lock up
    • 3.3.1 – Allows the “detective” to lock up the character of choice in one of the mansion’s rooms
  • 3.4 – Plan
    • 3.4.1 – Allows the “detective” to develop a plan with another character
  • 3.5 – Kill
    • 3.5.1 – Allows the “detective” to kill a character of choice
    • 3.5.2 – Note that killing a character who was not the killer may make everyone else turn on the “detective”
    • 3.5.3 – Killing more than three characters who are not the killer means the “detective” loses
  • 3.6 – Call for help
    • 3.6.1 – The more calls for help that are put out, the faster help will arrive
  • 3.7 – Investigate
    • 3.7.1 – Allows the detective to investigate a character’s story

 

Characters

Notes on characters

What follows is a list of all the characters in the game/story. Any of these can be chosen by you guys to be the detective. Note that the character chosen as the detective will have no weakness. After the character is chosen, I will choose a random other character in the background to be the killer. The killer will not have the skills and weaknesses listed here but will have a secret “killer ability” instead. After the killer has been chosen, the other characters will each have a dice rolled for them. If the dice rolls 1-2, they keep their skill. If the roll is a 3-4, they keep their weakness. If the dice rolls 5-6, they lose both their skill and weakness.

List of Characters

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Lavone (Skill: Discerning; Weakness: Brashness)

The owner of Rosemont Way Mansion and a professional and well recognized cellist, Lavone started her career from an early age which quickly led her to fame and success, and she has now retired at 55 years of age. She frequently hosts gatherings at her mansion where she meets with other up and coming individuals from different walks of life. Standing at 6’2”, she has gray eyes and blonde hair. With a slim and refined physique built up from years of swimming, everyone agrees that Lavone looks younger than her age.

Innovation

Arturo (Skill: Friendly; Weakness: Trusting)

A recently promoted manager at the respectable company Triad Technologies, Arturo is a cheerful 5’3” man who has an intellectual capacity beyond his 25 years. He also has a flair for the arts and fashion design. With a very outgoing personality, his green hair and eyes make him stand out quite visibly in any crowd. He and Lavone have known each other since he joined Triad Technologies, and the two would consider themselves good friends.

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Howard (Skill: Post-mortem; Weakness: Slow)

After retiring from the air force, Howard set up a small independent flying business, and now flies tourists over the beautiful Swedish landscape. Having tired of the military regulation closely cropped hair, he has grown out his brown hair over the years and keeps it shoulder length in a ponytail. Despite only being 5’8” tall, he has an extremely muscular and stocky body, and would intimidate even the most brazen assailant.

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Keith (Skill: Commanding; Weakness: Discouraged)

Keith works on staff at Rosemont Way Mansion. Initially starting as a simple cook, he quickly rose in Lavone’s favor to the point where he now manages much of the staff at the mansion. Despite his seemingly fearsome appearance, not lessened any by his carefully styled platinum hair and piercing eyes, Keith really has quite a sense of humor, and made himself a sloppy-looking cake for his 38th birthday. Its taste, though, was nonpareil.

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Therese (Skill: Communications; Weakness: Inattentive)

Lavone’s cousin, Therese took a different approach to life, and instead of heading down the artistic path, decided to work in a technological field. An communications technician, she is four inches shorter than her cousin, but her large volume of brown hair makes her look an inch taller, and the three inch heels she wears everywhere pushes her higher up. Like her cousin, she also possesses an impressive physique, though she is on the skinnier side of the spectrum.

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Brinda (Skill: Knowledgeable; Weakness: Pessimistic)

Also part of the staff of Rosemont Way, Brinda manages general household duties and acts as Lavone’s personal maid. A buxom but relatively dour woman, Brinda has always maintained a stanch loyalty to Lavone, and knows with a methodical precision every one of Lavone’s particularities. Despite having turned 60, Brinda has managed to keep up a splendid head of long white hair, and her brown eyes have not lost their life.

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Hollie (Skill: Technological; Weakness: Frailty)

Therese’s best friend, Hollie shared a room with Therese in college where she studied programming. Working as a part of the big company Orange, Hollie has, through sheer devotion to her work, ascended through the ranks and leads a brilliant team in the company. A fight with cancer when she turned 28 left her bald after chemotherapy, and she, as she jokingly tells others, never had enough time to bother getting her hair back.

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Soledad (Skill: Morale; Weakness: Stubbornness)

A counselor who met Lavone briefly at a concert, Soledad shares Lavone’s passion for music and even played some cello in her earlier years. At 62 years of age though, she has started to slow down some, but still has a pleasant smile for everyone, and her heart for the sufferings and troubles of others has led her to continue her practice, despite having a hefty sum of money she could have retired on a while ago.

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Vanessa (Skill: Insight; Weakness: Disloyal)

The newest addition to the staff of Rosemont Way, Vanessa is still learning the ways of everyone there, but through her sharp mental acuity and willingness to learn, has quickly caught on, and Keith lacks no praise when it comes to her. A striking feature about her is her curly brown hair, which stands a distance off her head, but looks quite attractive, and she has a healthy relationship with a young man called Mickey.

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Angelo (Skill: Strength; Weakness: Animals)

Arturo’s kitchen apprentice, Angelo also manages the gardens and grounds of Rosemont Way. His piercing blue eyes, bald head, and dedicated gym hours have turned him into someone who could easily be mistaken as a bouncer for some prestigious club. Despite this, he has a space in his heart for animals and takes care of the three cats and two dogs of Rosemont.

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Abram (Skill: Recovery; Weakness: Cowardice)

A therapist who helped in the recovery of Hollie after her cancer incident, Abram has since become close with Hollie, and, despite being eight years older than the avid programmer, stands as her closest chance of a romantic relationship, if she ever even considered the thought. He has gray eyes which one could simply get lost in, and keeps his hair cleanly styled. At 6’2”, he rivals Lavone for height but walks with a slight stoop that makes him seem a little shorter than her.

The Heavy Man

Hans (Skill: Random; Weakness: Drunkenness)

A researcher studying nanobiology, Hans made a name for himself with his breakthrough research regarding amoebas and external organelle manipulation in cells. Somewhat overweight from a few too many beers, he doesn’t mind a friendly get-together, and is a regular to Lavone’s parties. His warm, friendly brown eyes belie a personality that is innately sharp and witty, and heaven forbid anybody ask him about his research, as he can go on for hours without ceasing.


Skills

Discerning – A stronger ability to detect a lie
Friendly – Easily able to befriend someone
Post-mortem – Able to detect minute details on a corpse
Commanding – Capable of directing others
Communications – Has a higher chance of successfully calling for help
Knowledgable – Precise knowledge of the entire mansion
Technological – Able to retrieve corrupted information from security cameras
Morale – Good at boosting the morale of the group
Insight – Momentary brilliant flashes of understanding
Strength – A greater ability at fighting off the murderer
Recovery – Able to heal those who have been wounded
Random – Possibility of a very powerful skill or a debilitating weakness

Weaknesses

Brashness – Inclined to act on random spurts of impetuousness
Trusting – Very easily duped
Slow – Slow in physical movement
Discouraged – Easily discouraged
Inattentive – Lack of attention to surroundings
Pessimistic – Inclined to lower general morale at a faster rate
Frailty – Easily overcome in a physical confrontation
Stubbornness – Disinclined to agree with anything but self
Disloyal – Readily abandon the others
Animals – Distracted from the group to care for the animals
Cowardice – Scared easily
Drunkenness – Overly fond of the bottle

Killer Abilities

Lock picking – Able to escape from any locked room
Lying – Able to deceive anybody without the “discerning” ability. With the discerning ability, there is a 1/6 chance of catching the liar
Killer – Much more capable of killing other characters
Stealth – Able to get to any point in the mansion unseen
Manipulative – Extremely good at manipulating others to set up a kill
Disguise – Able to disguise as any other character


Poll – Who is the “detective”?


Thanks for picking! Remember, I’ll be waiting for at least five votes.

Tours yruly

 

The Beautiful Duckling


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Poor lil guy =/

This was an essay I wrote for College Composition class. Basically I define beauty kind of sorta not really maybe? XP Just read it if you’re interested, and I hope you enjoy. 🙂

Sitting on her eggs, the mother duck speculated eagerly over the strange, large egg underneath her. When they all hatched however, she found to her disappointment that the most promising egg had yielded the ugliest duckling. In the real world, people celebrate artists for coming up with innovative, new perspectives on life. They call difference beautiful. How did two examples of the same concept, beauty, produce such drastically different results? Why did the mother duckling automatically ostracize her offspring for its difference from the norm while humanity cheered on painters and composers for creating something they had not seen or heard before? This discrepancy exists because what someone calls beautiful ultimately reflects his or her own nature, and thus the definition of beauty is mostly subjective.

Most people have heard of the pithy saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” and in sooth it could not have got much closer to the mark. Two people look at an abstract painting and, where one sees random splotches and ridiculous shapes, another sees art and beauty. Initially believing he did not look beautiful, the ugly duckling realized when he had grown up that everyone had lied to him and he did actually look beautiful. What changed? He saw himself from a different perspective. After seeing the other swans flying gracefully through the sky, he realized that his place belonged among them in the air, and in that he found a sense of beauty.

Yet, despite the subjectivity surrounding beauty, people will fight quite strongly over whether or not something deserves the adjective beautiful. They most certainly have a reason for adamantly calling something ugly. When the pompous Mr. Smith brushes Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night aside calling it unrealistic, he has based his perception of beauty on realism. In the story of the ugly duckling, the duckling’s mother based her standards of beauty on what she knew. Because the ugly duckling looked different from what she expected and knew, to her eye, he was not beautiful.

Despite all these differences, beauty did not subject itself completely to human opinions. Time and careful observation have shown that humans do tend to see beauty in similar things. Complementary colors and the golden ratio work together with the rule of thirds to create proportion, balance, and symmetry which many people find pleasing to the eye. Sounds which clash and cause discordance contrast sharply with harmonious chords and melodies. Of the two, most people would call the latter beautiful and the former unpleasant.

While discussing the nuances of how the definition of beautiful floats in its effervescent manner through all kinds of writing and our daily language lends insight to the particulars of English, the true importance of beauty comes not from what it describes but from who it describes. What people term beautiful reflects a part of themselves. When the mother duckling called the ugly duckling ugly, she did it not in a spiteful manner, but instead she demonstrated a mother’s blind love for her own children versus the children of some other parent. After seeing the swans fly across the sky, the ugly duckling only had to look into the lake to realize that he had lived too long thinking of himself as ugly, and when he called himself beautiful for the first time, he demonstrated an acceptance of himself. God created everything beautiful, and questions about the beauty of anything He made point not at an imperfection in the creation, but at a hole in the questioner.

Tours yruly

Mansion (Cutting-the-red-ribbon Post!)


This might not um totally be like a spoiler *cough* post for a maybe new series I could possibly might do on this blog. The title of it is like uh totally hidden in y’know *cough* look up.

**Accessing Secret Writer’s Database**

Loaded.
**Hacking into Personal Note Files**

Loaded.
**Retrieving Preliminary Data on Mansion**

Loaded.
**Displaying Floor Plans*

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I had NO idea wordpress could do that!! ^^^ O.O

Talking about it hacking into my computer of course. What, you thought I was talking about the slideshow? Pffft. I totally knew that.

Tours yruly