Sunday, 21 May 2017

Nameless: Crossroads

[This is part of my Creative Writing Experiment.]

"I didn't ever think I'd miss trees," mused Buster as he looked up at the large jungle canopy they were marching through. Arslan, marching along side him at the front of the line just laughed. "The desert only looks like it goes on forever, baldy."

Behind them was Fayina still sporting bruises from Arslan's latest beating and Tabitha who was keeping close to the abused girl, followed by Silvain, a slim and freckled brunette who just days ago served as the alliance book keeper.

"This should be the place," Silvain said as she pushed her spectacles back to the bridge of her nose. The others stopped and looked around. Ironically it was the one eyed Tabitha who first spotted the pair camouflaged in the bushes, her hand instinctively reaching for the hilt of her blade.

"Easy there," said the taller of the two strangers as he pulled off his shimmering cloak to reveal a youthful yet bearded face. "I am Dmitri, and I believe some of you know my mother."

"Dariya!" squealed Silvain excitedly as she rushed over to hug the second figure whose hood had fallen enough to reveal a very old and wrinkled woman beneath. After a short exchange of introductions the grim reality of the task ahead set in once more.

"The seven of us here now just have to decide, who goes after the magic crystal and who goes after the cup of life," stated Dariya in an off kilter tone.

"Bags going for the crystal," said Arslan, proud with himself that he managed to speak up first. Tabitha quickly used it against him.

"I think the men should go after the crystal and we ladies go after the cup."

"The wh... Fayina stays with me!" Arslan demanded.

"No," interrupted Dariya - her weak voice still somehow managing a good measure of authority. "I will go with you, with my son. I expect you ladies to have the cup when we return."

"I swear we will," bowed Tabitha slightly. "On my life."

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Nameless: Grim Paintings

[This is part of my Creative Writing Experiment.]

Notaku wiped the sweat from his brow as he cursed the burning sun under his breath. It had been two days since his small caravan had left the city with Nessa, Florin, Romila, and Ladel, a sweaty, rotund, low ranking alliance member who moonlighted as their cook and whose sharp body odor was becoming harder to ignore.

Thankfully their destination wasn't far now as a the ragged tent in the distance grew ever closer.

"Notaku, my old friend!" exclaimed the dark skinned man who greeted them. "And Lady Romila, it's been a long time. What brings you all the way out here?"

"We need your help Jann," replied Romila as Florin helped her down from the wagon. Behind them, Ladel and Nessa had begun unloading three flat squares of cargo - paintings depicting individuals in terrible or hopeless situations.

"Ohho, where did you get these?" mused Jann as he stroked his long goatee.

"Bought them," Notaku piped up proudly. "Which was hard to do without raising suspicion I might add."

Nessa, who was now standing just behind Romila whispered "So, how does this work? We give him paintings and he gives us reinforcements?"

"The paintings -are- your reinforcements my dear," said Jann over his shoulder. "The new regime is full of sadists who wanted a method to publicly incarcerate and torture their foes for all eternity, all while saving space in the physical dimension. It's quite brilliant actually. Please, bring them inside and I will begin preparations to extract these unfortunate souls."

"Jann was always best at this field of study," mused Romila out loud as she watched Jann lead Notaku, Ladel and Nessa to his camp.

"So why did Matthias kick him out?" asked Florin.

"Because he enjoys tormenting children."

Friday, 19 May 2017

Nameless: Glorified Fetch Quest

[This is part of my Creative Writing Experiment.]
Nessa observed the distraught and demoralized faces gathered around the camp fire. After the attack on their base, the handful of survivors had relocated to the Sorrows under the leadership of their vice-leader, a stern woman named Romila who had just finished giving a speech on what they were to do next.

"Your plan is foolish," Nessa hissed at Romila as she walked past, causing her to stop mid step.

"We should just rally all our forces and attack the Lord Warrior directly!"

"Nessa!" barked Florin in an attempt to get her in line. Both women ignored him.

"That was suicide even before they had the elemental urn," countered Romila plainly. "But you are more than welcome to try - after we have our counter measures in place."

"It's a glorified fetch quest..." Nessa began but Florin cut her off. "Which we will be glad to assist in. In fact, I've decided which of the four items we should go after first: all of them."

As everyone turned to him in shock, he held up his hands to explain.

"The way I understand it is we need all four artifacts to stand a chance, and the fastest way to retrieve them is to split up. Romila's people are mostly spell casters - there happens to be a shortage of capable warriors to support them yet here we are. Four of us. It's..."

"...destiny." Tabitha said in a whisper, still loud enough to be heard by all.

"You sure about this boss?" asked Buster, one bushy eyebrow raised.

"It just makes sense." Florin finished.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Nameless: Glancing Blows

[This is part of my Creative Writing Experiment.]

After a few days of laying low at an inn on the outskirts, Matthias had come to see them. Impressed with their performance at the pyramid it was finally time to welcome them properly to the rebellion. Nessa couldn't help but be on guard as he led them into the local graveyard, and there deep within one of the tombs he opened a hidden door with stairs going down.

"Welcome to the Veiled..." Matthias began, but cut himself short when he saw the pool of blood at the bottom of the stairs. His worst fears were realized when the bodies of his allies came into view. A squad of soldiers with blood still dripping from their swords casually waited for them to descend. Furious, Matthias outstretched a hand and shouted a violent incantation.

Nothing happened.

The soldiers grinned and raised their blades. "For the Lord Warrior!" they shouted in unison before charging the hapless mage. They never reached him as Florin's squad leaped into action, swiftly executing the intruders. With the sounds of battle still ringing from deeper in, they knew there'd be more of them. Suddenly hit by a terrifying thought, Matthias began sprinting down one passage - almost outrunning his protectors.

Turning the corner he finally made it to their arcane vault where they stored artifacts too dangerous to fall into the hands of the new regime. A large contingent of soldiers was already there, and in the center - a menacing black armored figure holding the most powerful relic of all in that location - the elemental urn. Florin's team took a moment to realize they were now staring at the Lord Warrior.

The urn was somehow familiar...

With the smallest of nods, the rest of the soldiers yelled their standard battle cry and attacked while the Lord Warrior casually walked away from the skirmish and out an adjacent door. Desperate to prevent the loss of the elemental urn, Matthias charged forward on his own but was quickly brought low by a stab through the knee and a follow up through an eye.

Tabitha, Buster, Nessa and Florin were also hard pressed but managed to negate the enemy numbers by putting their backs against a wall. Slowly, like in the Kalek's pyramid, the soldiers fell one at a time until none of them were left breathing. Florin was surprised that not even the last few would flee. It seemed that escape was a privilege reserved for the Lord Warrior.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

TESO: Not so Graht

Adventures of Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Despite all my efforts it seems the Lion's Guard went ahead and captured some pact soldiers which led to my return to their valley encampment the Nord dagger man, Craizee, and together we killed every single Lion Guard scum left in there. At this point I definitely regret reviving King Emeric. Anyway, there's still hope for an alliance with Queen Ayrenn so I sail over to the giant forest of Grahtwood next, and this place is a mess - story wise.

The trees here are massive!

It's like they put piece meal ideas everywhere, such as a rebellion, a vampire den, the Worm Cult messing around, freeing forest spirits, a showdown against Sheogorath's new favorite mortal, assisting an Ordinator of Almalexia shutting down a dolmen and so on with no main thread tying them together like in past zones.

At least I got to push a drunk wizard off a tower.

Ultimately I just need to retrieve pieces of an ancient machine so that the Bosmer (who are actually cannibalistic since they don't eat plants) recognize Ayrenn as their true leader. Her brother Naemon tries to use the machine first which turns him into an ugly daedra which I destroy easily. Ayrenn (who did no work for any of this I might add) doesn't change at all, just powers up(?) and then sends me to fetch her next accessory over at Greenshade.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Today I Smiled: Eurovision 2017

Ahh Eurovision - it's been awhile since I posted about it last but  this was definitely fun to watch last weekend. If you missed it, don't worry - I've got you covered! This year had male models (5th place), yodeling (7th place), a dancing monkey (6th place), a guy in a horse mask (14th place), some dancing Moldovians (3rd place), an anime kid who is pretty damn good (came 2nd place, worth a watch) and these guys (10th)...

Can you guess why I liked them? :P

My faves of the more "normal" variety included a trio of chicks who blend really well (11th), the UK songstress (15th), this happy moon guy (16th), and this jolly Croatian with a great vocal range (13th). I have no complaints about the actual winner though.

I didn't understand a word of his song yet it was fantastic. You can tell how awesome it is when other competitors are crying while listening to it. He even earns bonus thumbs up for letting his sister (the one who composed it) take the stage and sing it with him in his encore.

Hope you enjoyed at least some of those links, if not here's something a little more mainstream. Similar to D&D devils, if you sing someone's song there's a small percent chance they will appear for an impromptu duet! :P

Monday, 15 May 2017

Nameless: Satisfaction

[This is part of my Creative Writing Experiment.]

Finding the garden was pretty easy as it was at the highest level of the pyramid. There a large contingent of gladiators turned guards men stood watch while a dark skinned woman was busy at work deeper in. From the way she barked orders at the others it was clear she was in charge.

Moving in single file with Nessa up front, the team silently snaked its way into the garden grounds - silently taking down targets of opportunity while getting as close as they could to the woman. Unfortunately, Tabitha stepped on a particularly crunchy twig which drew the dark lady's attention.

"Intrud...!" she screamed, cut short by Buster's axe cleaving its way up between her legs and arcing out at her bosom - showering the short, bald man with her blood and entrails. There was no hiding now, as the team began openly engaging the guards who began pouring in from the lower levels.

"For the Lord Warrior!" they cried now and again. Not that it helped as their numbers slowly whittled down by the superior combat skills and the high ground advantage of Florin's group. At the end, they stood bloodied, wounded but victorious over the bodies of at least twenty foes.

Maybe more than twenty.

When it was clear no more were coming, they patched themselves up as best they could, took what valuables the dead no longer needed, and torched all the plants in the garden. Satisfied with their accomplishments they limped out of there together.