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Topics - WhiteRose

1
Academics / Awful stupid C++ Error
November 17, 2014, 12:43:32 am
So, in the spirit of full disclosure, this is actually part of a project that I have to do for a class for school. However, I'm hoping that someone with a little more C++ experience than I might be able to help me, because I've gotten pretty stuck.

Essentially, I have a vector, which I'm passing by reference to another object, which is supposed to print out part of the vector. Even when I just try to print the first element in the vector, however, if gives me a "std::out_of_range" error. But when I check the size of the vector right before that, it correctly returns that the size of the vector is two, so there must be an element in the 0th position, right? This code:


if (attributeList.empty()){
out << "Empty!" << endl;
} else {
out << "Not empty!" << endl;
out << "Vector size: " << attributeList.size() << endl;
out << attributeList.at(0) << endl;
}


prints out:


Not empty!
Vector size: 2
A


"A" is the element contained in the 0th slot of the vector, and it is correctly printing out, so why is it throwing an error here?

This isn't really urgent, but it certainly has me pretty baffled. Can anyone think of why this might be happening?
2
Video Games / The Binding of Isaac
November 04, 2014, 05:51:05 pm
Has anyone played it? It just came out on the Vita and looks pretty interesting; I'm impressed that they managed to take such a simple art style and action-based gameplay and still create an unnerving atmosphere. Of course, it is a rogue-like at the core, which typically isn't really a genre that I enjoy too much as I don't really like the feeling of losing all my progress every time I die.
3
Video Games / Vita Game
September 25, 2014, 05:47:19 pm
I'm going on a roadtrip this weekend and for the first time in a long while, I'm having trouble deciding which game I want to purchase. (Usually, even when I want to get something new to play, there's just not anything worth buying. Haha.)
I got a Vita a few weeks ago, as I saw an unbeatable deal in the local classifieds, and I have been honestly shocked at the fantastic library of games it has - it might not have objectively as many games as other consoles, but it has a ton of games that, according to my personal tastes, are fantastic. My tastes tend to be more "eastern" than "western," meaning I have more fun with games like Final Fantasy, Persona, 999, and so on as opposed to Skyrim, FPS games, Grand Theft Auto, etc. (though I will say that I loved the decidedly western Mass Effect series.) With PS classics, PSP games, and any pre-N64 era titles (due to emulation) being playable and some of the best PS2 and PS3 RPGs having been ported to it, I have almost literally every one of my favorites games in the same place - and it's a handheld! :D
Anyway, as I mentioned, I'd like to select a new game since I'll be on the road for a while. Does anyone have any particular suggestions that I should try? Here are a few of the games that I have my eye on:
  • Disgaea 4 - I played the first one on PSP, and honestly only got a couple of levels into it. However, I love the concepts in it and the sense of humor, so I think I probably just have the give the series another good, honest try. The main gameplay elements - SRPG but heavy on more typical JRPG elements, "unlimited" leveling, ultimate unbeatable super-bosses, etc - all seem to be right up my alley, so this is one that I'm considering.
  • Final Fantasy X | X-2 - I played Final Fantasy X to death on the PS2, beating the US version and, after getting my characters insanely powerful and then realizing that the super-bosses were only available in the PAL release, the European version, that one as well (never actually did get around to beating Penance, though.) I also really liked Final Fantasy X-2; admittedly, the story was pretty bad, but it never takes itself too seriously and the combat is fantastic. Since I already know I like this game, that makes it an easy choice, but since I've played it before, I also wouldn't mind getting something new instead.
  • Danganronpa - I have heard amazing things about this game, and it seems to be somewhere along the lines of 999, which I really, really enjoyed. It's classified as a "horror" game, and though I know that that probably isn't the most accurate genre for it, I do actually like horror elements in gaming (I recently started Corpse Party and have really enjoyed that, though between my school schedule and work, I haven't had time to get too far into it. Besides, the time to play it has to be right, for that type of game! Haha.)
  • Hyperdimension Neptunia ReBirth1 - Though it received mixed reviews, it seems like many of those who didn't find it enjoyable aren't fans of the genre to begin with. It looks like it's a pretty typical JRPG with a plot based on a parody of the gaming industry, and a cute art style. Even if I don't get this one now, I'd like to pick it up at some point, because the premise seems funny and it looks like a lot of fun.
  • Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment - I watched SAO myself a few months ago, and actually really enjoyed it (the second half was pretty average, but the first half was spectacular; in my opinion, they should have ended it at the first "ending.") However, even those who haven't watched the anime say that it's a great game. It "pretends" to be an MMO, but it is entirely single player, which seems like a really interesting premise, though admittedly doesn't appeal to everyone. I'm love to give it a try, but I'm not sure if this is the one that I want to get.

    Has anyone played any of these games who would like to recommend them (or against them)? I kind of wish that the Vita was like the PC or PSP where I could download games and try them for a while to see if I like them before buying the (usually better functioning) non-downloaded version.

    A couple of final notes: I already have Persona 4 Golden, so no need to recommend that one. (For the record, it's amazing - one of my favorite games.) I also don't typically enjoy multiplayer games or the multiplayer component of games, so I don't know if I would be very interested in any game where that is a major draw.

    Thanks everyone for taking the time to take a look through all of my ramblings. :)
4
Express your Creativity / Looking for a Reader
June 11, 2014, 09:38:30 pm
Over the past couple of years, I've been working off and on on a novel. It's not quite done, and it's incredibly unpolished and in need of some revision. I've harassed everyone I know in real life, but no one seems to really want to read it. (Not even my mom. It doesn't really get much sadder than that.)

The novel is long enough now that I can't just throw it all up in a thread. Though I could upload it externally and give a link to it or something like that, what I'd really like is a person or two who would be willing to take the time to read through what I have, and give some thoughts and feedback, and maybe even help me shape out some of the details and the presentation, in a way similar to how winkio has been helping me with Song of Destruction. (Coincidentally, I am still working on Song of Destruction in addition to this project. The genres are different enough that when I feel burned out of writing on one I can hop to the other.)

I know that everyone has their own lives and schedules, and doesn't have time to analyze a novel right now. However, I'm hoping that there is at least one person on here who would like something new to read and has the time available to give feedback and maybe talk on Skype every once in a while.

If your schedule is already busy, plesae don't feel pressured at all that you have to help. I won't count it against you or anything. :P Thanks for taking a look. :)
5
This RP aims to be fun, accessible, and fast-paced. I aim for at least one post a week, and hopefully more. For origins and further information, see the original thread.

This first post will be touched up as the story moves on.

Please excuse the bad formatting and bad drawing; I want to get things rolling as quickly as possible, even if it means that it isn't the prettiest.


It Begins


Spoiler: ShowHide


The human settlement of Northhaven and the orcish tribal hunting ground of Nor'Org'Tok had long been situation on the opposite side of the Grandeon mountain range. Only rumors had passed over the mountains; aside from these mumblings on the whispered winds, neither establishment knew of the existence of the other... until six days ago, when the quake hit. Unexpectedly, the earth shook, and a new pass formed in the mountains, joining the two colonies. Taking time to repair the damage and to reorganize scattered families and supplies, neither group has yet explored the pass.

  • It is now Tuesday, according to the human calendaring system.
  • Elves are rumored to exist, but have never been seen.
  • The large city of Typhoon is located to the north; it is the cultural center of the civilized world. The peoples of Northhaven and Nor'Org'Tok are not very familiar with it, and only the occasional wanderer from either tribe has ever been there.
  • Local wildlife can be highly dangerous if not approached as a group.
  • Northhaven is located on the west side of the pass, and is situated near the Sparris Forest.
  • Nor'Org'Tok is located on the east side of the pass, and sits as an entryway to the Ho'Rak Plains.
  • I will be posting a map sooner or later to help clear up directions.

    Tonla and Karogg, feel free to post whenever you are ready. Drawings are optional but are always fun. As I left things intentionally loose at this first post, feel free to introduce additional characters and background to your respective groups and civilizations. I'll take over the role of NPCs in the next few posts, but I wanted to give you both the chance to establish your cultural background as you see fit.

    Have fun!
6
Academics / LL(1) Grammars - Parsing Tables
February 05, 2014, 11:40:05 pm
It's about time this board got some use, right?

I took a class last semester that did a lot of stuff with parse tables and thought that I knew how they worked, but I'm trying to do a homework problem about them and I'm really confused.

Here's the problem:

Quote
For each of the following grammars, devise predictive parsers and show the parsing tables. You may left-factor and/or eliminate left-recursion form your grammars first if needed:
S --> 0 S 1 | 0 1
S --> + S S | * S S | a
S --> S ( S ) S | epsilon


It shouldn't be that hard, but for some reason I just can't get it.
To make a parse table, you put all of the non-terminals as row headers, and all of the terminals as column headers, and in the cross sections just put the rule that you would use to get that terminal, right? But I looked up an example problem and it's so different from what I thought. They keep splitting the grammars up (which is what I assume they mean by eliminating left-recursion,) but I can't figure out what they're doing in order to split them up like that.

Does anyone have any ideas? :(
7
Chat / Chaos Project Nostalgia Thread
February 05, 2014, 09:55:56 pm
Many of us have been here for long enough that we have memories of times good and bad here at Chaos Project. Sometimes I like to just look through old thread and chuckle at some of the antics that went on around here. In this thread, link to older threads that have given you a laugh. :)

I came across this one a little while ago. Hahaha. Definitely nostalgia.
8
Video Games / Favorite Games of All Time
January 31, 2014, 12:32:20 am
On a forum with so much focus on games, I'm surprised that the last thread like this was a very, very long time ago. (2008, unless there was one that I missed in my searches.) So, I'm giving it a fresh start. Plus I like making lists. Maybe I'll put these all in a spreadsheet. Ooh, and color them according to genre. A while ago, I was playing Pokemon, and listed all of the Pokemon I caught in a spreadsheet, too. I wonder if I have a problem. *cough* Moving right along....

Post your favorite games.
  • No restrictions as to genre, platform, or so on.
  • Feel free to group games if you'd like (by series, specific numbers in a series, or whatever else.)
  • There's no requirement to rank things, as I'm awful at choosing favorites, but feel free to do so if you'd like.

    I'm curious to hear what other people like to play. Maybe we'll even find some multiplayer buddies or something, or maybe discover a new game that sparks your interest. You can learn a lot about someone from their taste in games, or so the saying goes. (Okay, I admit, I made that up.)

    My All-Time Favorites, in no particular order, perhaps non-inclusive in case I'm forgetting something:
    Spoiler: ShowHide

    • Every single game on Chaos Project, of course!
    • Chrono Series (Trigger, Cross, and even Radical Dreamers)
    • Persona 3 and 4
    • Rock Band 3 (I loved 2 as well, but 3 is a direct upgrade.)
    • MOTHER 2 (aka Earthbound) and 3
    • Final Fantasy VI, VII, IX, and X
    • Silent Hill 2 and 3
    • Mass Effect series (finished recently and loved it, so is currently on the list. Time will tell if it will stay, but signs point to yes.)


    Also Favorite, But Perhaps Not Quite As Favorite
    Spoiler: ShowHide

    • Super Metroid
    • Resident Evil 5 (Fond memories of local co-op with my brother. "CHAIN SAW GUY! BLUE PANTS! RUN RUN RUN! NOOOO!!!")
    • Super Mario RPG
    • Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, Dawn of Sorrow, and SOTN
    • Resident Evil (Gamecube remake version)
    • Fatal Frame II
    • Soul Calibur IV (Main Amy and Nightmare/Siegfried - yes, I'm aware it's an unusual combination.)


    Other Games That I Like But That Aren't Quite Top Favorites
    Spoiler: ShowHide

    • Whatever the current Pokemon flagship title happens to be
    • Oblivion (with mods to get rid of that awful level scaling) and Skyrim
    • Fallout 3 and New Vegas
    • Zelda: OoT and MM (Both excellent classics, but I can't say that I get them out to play them more than once a year or so.)
    • Final Fantasy X-2 (The entire game, particularly the story, is pretty cringeworthy, but the gameplay is surprisingly fun and it has a few good laughs.)
    • Diablo II


    I'll put up more if they come to find. So, how about everyone else? What are some of your favorite games?
9
When I heard about the series, I initially dismissed it as being a big budget shooter in the same vein as CoD or Halo, with lots of action and shooting and little else. (No offense to CoD fans, of course; just not my type of game.) I started the first one a couple times and never got into it. Recently, however, I picked it up again, and played through the whole trilogy. Ironically, the shooting in the first game is a little clunky, making it not a very good shooter game at all. (This is vastly improved in the second and third installments.) What really got me, though, was that it was a role playing game with actual roleplaying! You decide how your character plays out, your actions influence his/her personality, and your decisions make a massive impact on the game universe - even two games later! (Your character and save data, including the decisions that you make, are carried from game to game.) I love that you can fail an objective, and rather than getting a "Game Over" screen, the game keeps going with the story continuing as if Commander Shepard really failed that objective, and the consequences of that failure now being a plot point. The game universe and characters are all incredible and likeable - I especially came to love each squadmate that joins you over the course of the game. (Even Jack, whom I initially found incredibly distasteful.) The different alien races are unique and engaging, and the depth of backstory put into everything is impressive and worth reading.

Anyway, just thought I'd throw a recommendation out there. I sometimes crawl over this board when looking for new games to play, and I want to throw this series out there as one of my new favorites. This series gets my official stamp of approval. If you haven't yet, give it a try.

Also, on one final note, there are a couple of mods out there that I recommend as well, both of which are for the third game: the MEHEM mod, which improves the ending significantly (if you haven't played the games yet, don't read up on it or it will spoil the ending for you - just take my word for it and install it,) and the Citadel Epilogue mod. (As much as I dislike paid DLC, this mod ties in with the other one to really make the most of the content in tying together the final emotional strings. It costs $15 extra since it requires you to have a piece of paid DLC installed, but it's worth it, in my opinion.)
Finally, there is also a high-res texture pack out there for ME1, which makes it look a little less dated, though it has still held up pretty well.
10
Role Playing and Interactive Story Telling / A Fun Idea
January 30, 2014, 09:46:39 pm
I've been doing some doodling in my spare time, and I had a really fun idea! What do people think about doing a doodle type RP? I think this would be different enough from the RPs of the past that it would really get people interested. It also would solve the problem of being a big time commitment, as it's a lot easier and quicker to sketch out a scene than to type a good description. Even for people who choose not to play, having something visual to look at will make it at least fun to read through the thread.

I know that I always pop up with these new RP ideas every few months, and that they usually fall through after a couple of weeks, often due to nothing other than that I fall behind - I'll take the blame on that one. I'm hoping that this approach will make this feel like something new with a lot of potential rather than just the beginning of another failure.

I'm just tossing ideas around here, so nothing is concrete. It would be fun to have everyone do their own drawings in their posts, but I also understand that for many people, this is more difficult than typing a response, so just typing would be fine too. It would be some combination of typing and drawing. There are also some things that are just easier to describe than to draw, so it also might be a good idea to allow accompanying annotations. As for what the drawings themselves would be like, it would probably amount to some sort of comic-panel type format. Even if someone just draws stick figures, it will still be fun.

Again, just putting a few ideas out there. What are people's thoughts?
11
Video Games / Some people just don't understand....
December 12, 2013, 05:56:11 pm
Trying to explain why Persona 4 is a great game to a friend:

QuoteMe: So then, outside of world with the enemies, you have your regular life, where you interact with your teammates and where a lot of the actual story unfolds as you work things out together. What's really cool is that as you get to know your teammates better, they also become more effective in combat and you learn special team abilities.
Her: Wow, that sounds like a game for people with no friends.
Me: .... :(


The implied insult was kind of tactless on her part (I don't think it was intentional,) but mostly it's just kind of sad that other people don't understand why you think something is so awesome. I guess that's what people mean by having "different tastes." It's one reason why I usually don't bring up games with people unless they do first. Feels a little awkward sometimes.
12
Chat / Are games a waste of time?
November 06, 2013, 07:11:31 pm
College, work, and hanging out on CP keep me pretty busy, but even with all of my responsibilities, I still love to pull up a game from time to time. However, recently, my gaming experience has been slightly soured; I know that my time to relax is limited, and with all of the other things that I love to do - drawing, writing, programming, RMXP projects, cello, and so on - it sometimes feels like spending a couple hours a day playing games is a disgusting waste of such precious free time. Obviously, this mindset takes the pleasure out of slaying a few virtual dragons or whatever.
After doing some reading, I've realized that many people don't even consider gaming to be a hobby; you're not gaining useful knowledge or collecting anything of worth. I know that everyone has their own tastes, but gaming more so than almost any other activity is looked upon as childish, immature, and at times downright pitiful. The more and more I read about these opinions, the more guilty I feel, to the point where now my free time is spent wondering whether I should even bother pulling up the 3DS or starting up my latest foray into a fantasy world.

I understand that, depending on how existential one decides to get, they could go on about how life is about finding joy and doing what makes you happy, but it seems so easy for people to reciprocate by saying that anyone who is addicted to a negative substance or activity could come up with the same excuse. Am I only having fun playing games because I'm addicted to them? I don't know any more. :(

What are your thoughts, CP? Should I hang up the keyboard once and for all?

EDIT: The more and more I read, the more each point seems like an arrow to the knee heart. (Nothing like an overused meme to make a post seem less depressing, right?) It's true that I'm not bettering myself as a person. It's true that my more useful talents are being left to rot while I level up my characters in some MMO or follow some colorful squares on Rock Band. I can hardly imagine all of the progress I'd make in learning scripting or in my writing if I was doing either of those instead. It's true that my social life is suffering because I'd rather spend my free time in on the computer than out with friends. Games are probably even directly responsible for not having a boyfriend - I bet I could find someone if I put my mind to it. Even knowing all of this, I keep turning back to games, even though now they don't even seem that fun any more. It really is an addiction. :( Maybe I'm just really depressed today or something.
13
Okay, so it's basically a glorified stick figure but at least it's not an actual stick figure. :P

I was really bored so I decided to try my hand at sketching/shading.

Spoiler: ShowHide


What do you think? Isn't she cute? Haha. :D
14
Chat / Rose's Super Low-Key Social Thread
September 29, 2013, 01:30:52 am
Hi. I'm sorry that I haven't been around much. School started, and then I got a job, so I've been really busy. Which is actually where the problem comes in - because I do programming for work and school, I spend almost literally all day every day either in class or in my apartment. I've been afraid to get on CP because I'll accidentally commit time that I don't have to spare, so I've been pretty scarce....
But I'm really lonely. :( My roommates aren't around very often, so I don't get to talk to people much. So, with this thread, I'm hoping to have a little social window that I can visit sometimes to chat with people without any sort of commitment.

That sounds kind of pathetic, huh? Haha.

tl;dr: I just want to talk. How is everyone doing?
15
The RP is going great so far! Everyone is doing a fantastic job of giving their characters personality and shaping their world.

I have noticed a trend of people introducing additional characters, which is great! However, I also want to make sure that I don't step on anyone's toes as I continue with my own narration. I try to avoid controlling your main characters when at all possible, because I want you to each feel in control of yourselves, but what are your thoughts on the additional characters? I think there's a bit of balance involved. On one hand, I want people to feel free to shape their characters lives and background, and fully immerse themselves in the game. Other people are an important part of your background and environment, so it's natural and expected for everyone to add minor characters to help spice up the story and expand the game world. (Vell's introduction of the innkeeper at the Red Dragon was a perfect example of this. That was great!)

However, at some point, this does start to approach the line where the RP is no longer a game, but instead more of a community driven story, with each person being a narrator and an author, knowing the thoughts and actions of everyone on the metaphorical stage. Because of this, I feel that the actions of major, plot-important characters (aside from each person's individual character, of course) should usually be under the control of the one running the RP. Now, again, there's a bit of balancing to be done here, as having everything in the entire environment run by me would take away a lot of your creative liberty as players, which I definitely don't want to do. I don't want to take away your ability to flesh out the lives and backgrounds of your characters, and I don't want to replace characters that you introduce with my own versions of them that don't meet your expectations as to the actions and personality of those characters. I certainly don't want to limit this to a "choose your own adventure," where each of your responses is only a single sentence, followed by you waiting to see what happens next. So, there will be times where it is necessary for a player to take control of other character (in very rare cases, even other players' characters!) in order to be able to type more than a few words.

So, we have a matter of balance on our hands here. I want to make this the type of RP that you would all enjoy the very most, whether that be through each of you having complete creative liberty over the characters and plot, or whether that means limiting the player's realm of control to their own individual character.

What are everyone else's thoughts on the matter? Maybe I'm the only one who has even noticed anything at all, and everything looks fine to everyone else. If others are also noticing a bit of a problem, maybe we should start outlining a few loose guidelines for posts. For example (and this is just an example,) if someone wants to introduce a new character with any sort of importance to the story, rather than creating the character as part of their post, they can PM me with information about the character and allow me to integrate them as part of my next post.

No one has done anything wrong, so there's no need to feel that you've posted incorrectly or anything like that. Everyone is doing really great! I just want to make sure that we have things established so that everyone will be able to have the most fun possible.
16
Fading Twilight


Day One Dawns....


A gentle wind blows from the east. The fateful stars twinkle their message overhead. A beginning has arrived.


In ancient times, the Tower of Magi was a somber location. A whisper could be heard floating through the halls seemingly for miles. Magic was a forbidden art, shunned for its dangers. The hooded adepts would shuffle from one library to another, studying the even-then dusty tomes and preparing for the grand and mysterious Test of the Magi.

The Tower is not the same as it was in those days. With the victory over the Shade, there was once again time for curiosity, time to look into the unknown. Magic became a popular topic, though few still were those who had the talent to cast even the most basic conjurations. It became common for noble families seeking to educate their children to send them to the Tower, though often only for long enough to gain the most basic of knowledge. The eons old stigma faded, and magic became an accepted part of society.

With this change, the atmosphere of the Tower itself changed. The once hushed corridors were filled with buzzing students, relating to their classmates their latest successes and failures. Many of the ancient tomes were damaged or misplaced by those who did not understand their value, and fewer and fewer of the students were truly aspiring to take the Test.

Lorimar frowned from the upper balcony as he watched the courtyard below. "We've become a tourist attraction," he said, his lip curling. He turned back into the chamber, his grey robes gliding centimeters above the polished marble tiling. The color of a mage's robe bore significance to those who understood the meaning of the anciently established pattern. Grey robes signified a balanced approach to the art, drifting neither to the side of the light or dark. It was a popular rumor that the dour-faced elf would have chosen the black robes, but was threatened by the Council that such a decision would result in expulsion from the Tower. Like a large portion of the rumors circulated among the younger apprentices, this rumor may well have been completely false, but it was impossible to tell - whenever the subject was mentioned, Lorimar would give a glare so cold that anyone asking would quickly remember urgent business elsewhere.

The Headmaster chuckled. "If we have indeed become a location of common interest, all the better. Magic has never been so widely accepted and embraced. No longer do scholars of the arts have to hide themselves away in darkness." Though he currently wore the purple robes of his academic office, his robes worn at the Mages' Council were white. "You need to relax, my friend. A bright future is ahead of us."

"A bright future?" The elf's frown deepened. "What, then, of the meeting of the Council? What of the stars?"

His college's smile faded slightly. "Our course of action is yet to be determined. We can maintain hope that these patterns do not mean another cycle of the past returning to haunt us. The Council will be meeting again in three days, and will once again analyze the celestial patterns and their meaning."

Though Lorimar dared not interrupt the older mage, his eyes narrowed dangerously. Knowing deep down that he was just as powerless as the others upon the Council, he sighed, and turned back to the courtyard below, his thoughts elsewhere.


Meanwhile, in the same courtyard, Sofia was approached by another student of the arts. Like her, he was clad in the blue apprentice's robes worn by all those who are still beginning their life-long study of the arcane. His hair was painstakingly styled in the latest fashion, and his face was handsome, though it too bore expressions that clearly had been practiced during long hours in front of a mirror. "Hey," he said. "Are you new here? I don't think I've seen you around before. Well, I guess I wouldn't even know if I had - everyone here is all dressed the same, so it makes it kinda tough." After a brief laugh, he added with a smile, "Although, I do think that I would remember a girl like you."

Not far away, Azimuth sat in one of the Tower's many libraries, deep in thought as he poured over astrological diagrams. The stars and movements of the planets were known to have a significant effect on the powers of the arcane. His studies were interrupted by the approach of a red-robed scribe. "Excuse me, are you Azimuth? A have a summons for you from the upper levels of the Tower. I'm afraid I'm not sure who sent it." The messenger politely left a small, folded piece of parchment on the desk, and left with a respectful nod. The paper contained only a brief note:
    "Please visit me in my private study this afternoon. I have an important task with which I'd like your help. ~Headmaster Melyr"


Miles to the west, the wind whistled through the broken shutters of the Red Dragon Tavern, located in the trade-city of Farrance. No one knew how it had come to receive such a name, for such a run-down place bore little resemblance to the mythical creatures. The floor was unswept, and dishes were unclean, and the locks on the doors could be opened with nothing more than a solid nudge. It was not, however, for the quality of the premises that made the Red Dragon such a popular establishment. The food and drink were nearly mythical on their own, and the atmosphere caused even newcomers in the town to feel that they were among friends. Perhaps most significantly, there were only two places to go in Farrance when looking for some quick coin - the public announcement board containing requests for the local government officials, or, for those who preferred for a more adventurous route, the Red Dragon. It was for this reason that Alfred found himself pushing aside the creaky front door and stepping into the musty old inn. It was no secret that there was plenty of work to be found here, especially for those who knew how to look for it. And he certainly knew how to do that.

Alfred Blackwood wasn't the only significant visitor to the Red Dragon that morning. Having traveled through the night, Angel  slipped inside uneventfully, hoping not to draw too much attention to herself. Though she was skilled in finding edible herbs and other sources of food, there was no replacement for a bag full of fresh provisions - even just a loaf of bread or two. Besides, this was her first time in Farrance. Despite being wary of the crowds, a hint of curiosity gave her the urge to explore the town a little bit before setting off on the road once again.

Farrance was the crossroads between two other cities - the harbor of Port Arkkan to the west, and the mining community of Stonesdale to the south. Ramli felt at home there is Stonesdale, though he likely would have felt the same in any location so thickly dotted with mines and caves. At the moment, however, he wasn't feeling particularly pleased. On his way back to the surface from his latest dig, he had come across three human miners, each of them carrying a mining pick and wearing a frown. "What do you think you're doing in our mines?" said one of them, spitting a mixture of dirt and saliva. "Look, dwarf. We don't want any trouble, so just hand over anything you dug up, and we'll call it fair. We're not picky - ore, gems, whatever."
It would appear that even in a peaceful community like Stonesdale, there would always be a few freeloading thugs. These weren't, of course, their mines - no one owned the thick veins of precious ore than ran beneath the city. It seemed they were just trying to make some quick money with minimal effort.



Notes, Tips, and Rumors:
  • The kingdom of Taraoth is located to the north of Farrance. There have been rumors of a dragon sighting there.
  • Odd jobs can often be found in local inns and taverns
  • There has been talk of a group of wandering bards travelling between major cities.
  • Combat is not always the only way out of a situation
  • The story will unfold based on your actions. I've placed each character in a starting scenario, but don't let that limit you - feel free to let your own actions shape your circumstances.
  • Though you are in control of your own characters, be careful - being too reckless rarely ends well.
17
Fading Twilight



     Many hundreds of years ago, the grand arch-mage Azeash read a prophecy among the stars. He spoke of a gathering evil that would be unleashed upon the world. The public dismissed him in scorn, thinking that he had been driven mad by his magic. With a final warning, he disappeared, and was never heard from again. This incident was soon forgotten, until one night, when they came - the Shade.
No one knew their origin. In the beginning, no one even knew of their arrival, until it was far too late. Any record kept of the catastrophe or the nature of the Shade has long been destroyed, but the destruction was unmatched. The world surely would have been doomed were it not for the brave actions of six heroes, who managed to fight back the impending darkness.

     One hundred and fifty years have passed since that day. There are those who still remember the legends. Indeed, among the elves and the Dwarven Elders, there are even those who witnessed such events first hand. In the eyes of the common people, however, these ancient happenings are of little consequence, being little more than an excuse for the mid-winter festival. With the end of the destruction came a new beginning. The barriers between the three races of the world - men, elves, and dwarves - were lowered in an attempt to rebuild, and harmony strong anew in the world. Trade flourished, kingdoms were rebuilt, and  peace reigned. In time, mortal imperfections such as greed or envy worked their way back into reality, but not enough to corrupt the spirits of this new dawn. The world was at rest.

     It is the winter of the year 150 ND. Having completed his mid-day meal, King Perhin rose from his seat at the grand dining table, and, trailed by his guards and servants, returned to the throne-room, where he sat with a sigh, massaging his temples. It had been a long day. The winter festival had concluded only yesterday; though the King enjoyed the festival as much as anyone else - indeed, there were rumors that he himself had taken place in the games and festivities, though the King assured that he was the only one who knew with certainty that these were true - the stretch of time from the end of the festival to the spring was a dreary one. Already, the youth in the city were starting to get out of hand, bored from being free from another season of work on the farms. Bored youth led to crime and vandalism, and who knew what else.... To top it all off, there had even been rumors of a dragon sighting in the mountains to the north.
     The king frowned as he saw a messenger, escorted by a guard, hurry into the room. No doubt another report of a stolen cow or scattered chicken coop, he thought glumly. When his eye caught the wax seal upon the envelope, however, he sat up abruptly. The Tower of Magi almost never formally communicated with those outside of their order, but this was undoubtedly their seal - a hand with an open flame burning in the palm, stamped on deep blue wax. He hastily tore the envelope open, cursing as he cut his finger on the thick parchment in his rush. The message was short. It began,

"A prophecy has been seen among the stars...."




Creating Your Character

A few notes about creating a character: Though there will definitely be plenty of room for humor, this RP does generally have a slightly more serious tone than, for example, Captain Pimp. As you create your character, do keep in mind that others may be expecting a slightly different playstyle than you, so try not to choose anything that is exceedingly disrupting to either the environment or other players. (For example, a character named Batman who spends his time streaking through the public wailing at the top of his lungs  would probably not be the best choice.)

Name: Choose any name that you think fits your character. It might help to think of this after considering your other choices so as to choose something fitting.
Gender: Male/Female. Though I recommend playing as a character of your own gender so as to better relate to your character and their situation, this is not required, so feel free to play as any character you think you would give you an enjoyable gameplay experience.
Race:
The Races of Fading Twilight: ShowHide

There are three sentient races harmoniously sharing the world. You are welcome to play as any of them. Each race has their own unique ability, and a detriment - please pay attention to the abilities of even races that you are not playing as, as even non-player characters of these races will possess these abilities. Also please note that these are not statistical advantages, but rather implications as to the nature of these races - for example, one could role-play as a naturally cautious and graceful human if they so chose, despite the description of the human race below stating that humans in general often act otherwise.

1. Humans - known for their quick adaptability, determination, and ability to turn almost any environment into a thriving community, as well as for generally being the most diplomatic of the three races. Humans are the shortest lived of the three races. Though the three races were once equal, the coming of the Shade affected the dwarves and elves more so than the humans - ever since, humans have been the most populous race by a significant margin.

  • Special Ability: The Human Spirit - through sheer determination of will, humans are able to grit their teeth through the pain and survive what would normally put an end to their existence. Note that this means that they have only a small edge over the other two races; this does not affect something such as having your head sliced off, falling into boiling lava, or similar instances where death is inevitable.

  • Detriment: Hasty - generally speaking, humans tend to be slightly rash and act on impulse, causing them to be just slightly less coordinated in matters of finesse than other races.

    2. Dwarves - folders and shapers of nature, dwarves once kept to themselves within the deep halls of their home within the eastern mountains. Now, however, though the Kingdom Under the Mountain remains, it has become common to see members of this stocky and usually bearded race travelling the roads, looking for inspiration for their trade or perhaps even just getting to know the world from which they had been closed off for so long. Dwarves live slightly longer than humans, by a ratio of about 1.5.

  • Special Ability: Artisan - dwarves have a natural eye for fine materials, and are thus more apt at crafting items and equipment, ranging from makeshift weapons to fine masterpieces. They are also typically able to get a better price when buying or selling items, due to being able to recognize the build quality of items.

  • Detriment: Magic-impaired - dwarves don't have much of a knack for the arcane, and typically prefer to stay away from the art. There have been, however, quite a few dwarven mages in the past, showing that, though difficult, such a role is not impossible.

    3. Elves - unlike the dwarves, the elves do not shape nature to their will, but instead embrace the will of nature itself. They are typically slightly shorter than humans, though only by a few inches, and are often identified by their pointed ears. Elves are a merry people, known for their unique flavors of music, food, and clothing. Like the dwarves, they once kept themselves hidden from the world. Unlike the dwarves, they were more tentative when it came to opening up after the coming of the Shade; it is not uncommon to see the occasional elf in a public establishment, as a large part of the race are trying to put old discriminations behind them and embrace unity, but there is also a large portion of elves who choose to remain in their forest homes. Elves live about four times longer than humans, but their maturity is not by the same ratio - they mature about twice as slowly, and simply live longer. (For example, an elf who is 40 would be about 20 in human years, but rather than living until about 180, they live to be about 350.)

  • Special Ability: Elven grace - elves are typically lithe and swift, and have a knack both for moving quickly, as well as avoiding fatigue during long travels.

  • Detriment: Resentment - it is truly hard to get rid of the last vestiges of racism that have been passed down for so long. Elves often have initial trouble trusting those of other races, though they are still able to build up strong friendships with time.

    4. Mixed Race - though uncommon, it is possible to have family members from different races, resulting in a unique person with traits from multiple races. Before the first coming of the Shade, mixes races were virtually unheard of, but they are becoming increasingly common today. Please PM me if you would like to play as a mixed race, and we will work things out so that you can play in the way that you would like.

Age: Choose the age of your character, keeping in mind the difference between the races. (if you are a dwarf, for example, take the human-relative age that you would like to be, and times it by 1.5. For an elf, times by 2.)
Class:
The Classes of Fading Twilight: ShowHide
Please note that Fading Twilight does not have a strictly enforced class system. However, choosing a class does help to give others a good idea of the type of character that you would like to play. You are not at any time "stuck" to your class, so, for example, a warrior would be able to experiment with magic, though they would likely have little experience with it and would struggle with it much more than someone who showed that they have a background with magic by choosing mage as a class instead. Also note that your class does not completely define your character. For example, someone could have a background as a farmer, and role play as a farmer (maybe you're in it for the Harvest Moon experience or something, I guess,) and still choose any of the classes below simply as a way of describing how they would react in combat should it happen.

Warrior - one who prefers their combat the "old-fashioned" way. There are a variety of warriors with their own unique and distinctive styles, but they generally prefer the use of traditional weapons and armor and direct combat rather than alternatives.
Rogue - ranging from thieves to special agents to simply those with a knack for remaining unheard and unseen, rogues prefer to stay out of sight and out of mind. In a combat situation, rogues prefer to take a strategic route rather than duke things out man-to-man.
Cleric - though hitherto unmentioned, there are true gods in the world, both of good and of evil. These gods hear the prayers of their followers, and answer according to their faith. One does not have to have had formal clerical training to choose Cleric as their class.
Mage - there are two types of mages: those who dabble in magic, and actual mages. Magic is a difficult art, and it requires a lifetime of study. Though consistent use and study of magic is the only way to become truly skilled, such use takes a toll on one's physical health. Because of this there are few who even dabble in the arcane realms, and there are very, very few who choose to wholeheartedly practice the art. Those who do choose to devote themselves to magic have only a single choice for their training - a lifetime of study at the Tower of the Magi. If someone would like to play as a full-fledged mage, PM me, and I'll give you more details.

Please note that you are not restricted to these classes! If you feel that there is something else that more accurately describes your character in a single word or phrase, please go ahead and use that as your class. This means that unlisted classes, such as Bard, Paladin, Barbarian, Assassin, Archer, or whatever else comes to mind, are perfectly fine! On that note, if you really are going to play as a farmer as I used for my previous hypothetical example, (unlikely, but you never know,) you're welcome to simply choose "Farmer" as your class. Feel free to leave additional description if necessary, though there will also be room for that in the background section.

Physical Appearance: Feel free to be as detailed or non-detailed as you'd like, whether it just be a brief description or getting all the way into details such as height in inches, weight, and so on. Do try and give enough detail that others can picture your character. Generally speaking, the more detail, the better!
Background / Profession : Be as creative as you'd like here. Make your character who you really want them to be! If you're not sure about any details, please PM me, and I'll help you to work things out. As for a profession, if you have one, feel free to list it here as part of your background.
Personality: Who is your character as a person? If you don't want to give too many details, that is alright, but do at least let others know what type of person your character will be.
Unique Talent: Again, here is your time to be creative. Choose a non-supernatural special ability that you would like your character to have. Choose something that will be useful and set you apart from others, but nothing that is too powerful. This should probably be related to your background. For example, if you are a dwarven metalsmith, perhaps you would have the ability to reforge swords and armor to be even stronger.
Other: anything else that you want me or other players to know.



Other Notes:
  • Forthcoming if necessary
18
After some discussion in this thread, a few of us have decided that we are going to form an online band by recording our parts and sending them to one another, after which we'll sync them together to form a finished track.

Here are my thoughts on how it's going to work:

1. First, we're going to need to decide a song to play. It would probably be easiest if we choose something with sheet music already written, but given our unique combination of instruments, we're likely going to have to adapt something on our own. That still shouldn't be too hard, so we'll be just fine. It'll be especially easy if we can just start with a MIDI and go from there. :)

2. Someone with very steady rhythm needs to record their part first. Then, the others will have to make sure that the speed of their recordings line up with it.

3. Finally, we'll just sync everything together! It actually shouldn't be that hard at all.


So, what song should we play together?
19
Introduction


Hello! The RP board has been pretty quiet recently. I realize that a lot of CP's RP veterans, like Dio or Hexamin, have left to travel other roads, and that a lot of newer members here at CP aren't interested in participating in RPs because they are either too confusing or just simply aren't their style. My hope is to start a new RP that will be fun for newcomers to RPs and to RP veterans alike; it will accessible, fun, and, most importantly, I, as the storyteller, will be posting at the very least of once every day (with possibly very few exceptions, which I will make known before hand,) in the RP thread once it begins to keep things moving. I understand that not everyone has time for this same level of commitment (although, honestly, it does only take about five minutes to throw a post together, so I encourage it :D,) so the RP will be structured in a way that people who sign up can spend as much or as little time as they would like in the thread.


RP Basics
For those who are new to RPs, here is some information that you might find helpful:
Spoiler: ShowHide

What is an RP?
"RP" stands for "Role-play," just like the "RP" in "RP"G Maker. A forum RP is similar in many respects to a typical RPG that one might make, and different in a few other ways. Here are a few aspects of a forum RP:
  • Multiplayer - the number of people who are able to play is up to the discretion of the story-teller. In this RP, as many people as are interested will be able to play!
  • Text-based - though graphical images are welcome, (images such as maps are often used,) the majority of the game takes place just through typing. Typing a post in an RP is just like typing a post anywhere else on the forum. This means that things are able to be fast-paced, without having to wait for graphic design and so on, and also means that the game can be placed on any device that is able to access the forum, and at any time.
  • You are your character - the type of "role-playing" that happens in a forum RP is less like what you might find in, for example, Final Fantasy, where it is based largely on the calculation of numbers, the allocation of stat points, and so on, and is more like old-style RPs, such as Dungeons and Dragons. Those playing will act "in-character," meaning that in your post, you narrate the actions of your character. It's like helping to write a big novel, except that it is unfolding in real-time, and your actions directly affect what is going to happen! You will sometimes interact with other player characters, but the majority of people that you meet are controlled by the storyteller (for this RP, that will be me, but anyone is welcome to make their own RP if they want to try being a storyteller themselves. :))

    One of the best ways to see how an RP works is to take a look at past RPs here on the RP board. Obviously, many of them never really took off, but several of them were very successful. I recommend taking a look at Darkness Becomes, which is linked below.



The RP
This RP will be done in the style of an old Chaos Project classic, Darkness Becomes. At the risk of being just slightly cliche, it will be in a typical fantasy setting, with knights, warriors, mages, castles, and so forth, though I'm hoping the plot will catch enough attention that such familiar archtypes will only provide a springboard to making this RP more accessible and fun for everyone. One of the things that made DB so great was that so many people were involved - it made it seem like a real fantasy world. (Of course, Hex's fantastic storytelling and narration helped, too!)

Before I begin with making all of the necessary threads for an RP, such as sign-ups and so forth, I would like to know who is interested in playing. Even if you can only post once or twice a week, or even if you don't know the first thing about a forum RP at all, I encourage you to participate! It will be a lot of fun, a great chance to get to know some other members of the forum on a less "professional" level, and not will time-consuming. Would everyone who is interested in trying a new forum RP please let me know by posting below? If not many people are interested in playing right now, that is alright! There is no pressure to play and no need for an RP if people just don't have time to participate; that's perfectly understandable. I just figured I'd gauge the interest levels of the community and see if anyone wants to give it a shot. Thank you all very much. I love this forum. :)





EDIT:Looking back at some of the other RPs on the forum, another fun option would be a humorous Choose Your Own Adventure RP, a la Captain Pimp. (Though I never posted in it, I have to admit that it gave me a few giggles.)
20
Chat / Smiley Addiction
August 26, 2013, 05:52:58 pm
I've noticed that I seem to go through phases of smiley faces. I'll completely overuse one for a while, and then without thought, switch a few weeks later to a different smiley. For a while, it was "XD;" the latest model is ":P". Sometimes, without any thought, I'll just not use any smileys for a few weeks. It's not even a conscious thing. Does anyone else have this problem, or am I just crazy? D:
21
Electronic and Computer Section / Cooling Mat?
August 26, 2013, 04:03:14 pm
I realize that this is a bit of a long-shot, but what are people's thoughts on using a laptop cooling mat? My laptop is a gaming laptop, and the underside gets very, very hot when at full load, so I've been using one of these: (http://www.amazon.com/D-and-Distributing-Co-45105/dp/B000QWFNPO/ref=sr_1_34?ie=UTF8&qid=1377546590)

However, it recently ripped and the little white fluffies inside started falling out. (Very sad. Poor laptop mat. :( Even worse, they got in the computer, so I had to take it apart and clean out the fans. Twice. Bleah.) Anyway, I'm wondering if I should get another similar mat, or, while I'm buying a new product any way, if I should opt for a similarly priced mat with a built-in fan. My laptop doesn't have any problems keeping cool (ever since I started cleaning out the fans every six months,) but having some extra cooling wouldn't hurt. Has anyone used such a mat, and if so, what are your thoughts? One thing that I particularly liked about my old mat is that it has (had) extra cushioning on the bottom. My lap is kind of small and my laptop is really big and heavy, but the mat pillow kept it from squishing me too much. One fear I have with a cooling mat is that while it will keep my laptop happy and comfortable, I personally won't be. Any thoughts?

In hindsight, after having finished writing this topic, I realize that this is a little ridiculous. >.< I always ask for advice before buying stuff; I should learn to make my own decisions. Lol. Oh well.
22
Video Games / Easy Modeļ¼Ÿ
August 25, 2013, 02:09:22 am
I just finished reading in an article in which the author stated that she has learned to love "easy mode" in games because it makes it so that the games don't take so long. She quoted the example of an RPG, and having to re-do twenty minutes worth of content if she loses on a boss or if she gets unlucky with the RNG. It really made me think about why I choose to play games, and games in general, so I figured that it'd bring up my thoughts here on CP and see what the rest of you think. I'm looking forward to hearing the opinions of people not only from the aspect of people playing games, but also those making them. Though I can understand her thought, here are my thoughts on the matter:

This turned into a bit of a wall of text, so I've put it in a spoiler so as not to assault your monitors with my verbosity. (I apologize in advance for the slightly unRose-like rant. I guess it's true when they say that people are passionate about their hobbies. :P )

Spoiler: ShowHide
I find it a little silly that someone would complain that a harder difficulty makes the game longer. Surely, there must be a point where there must be at least some difficulty, or else it is no longer even a game at all. Imagine a game where, if one were to select the easiest difficulty, the game would just simply say "Congratulations! You win!" and shut off the console. I certainly wouldn't ever consider "playing" a game like that. Suppose, then, that someone is playing the game for the story. In this case, maybe the "easy" button would just skip through all of the "hard" gameplay, and just play all of the cutscenes in the game in order. You get your story, there's no chance that you're going to lose, and everything is fine, right? Though this might be somewhat enjoyable for a few games with truly fantastic stories, it wouldn't even touch the actual feeling and atmosphere that those same moments have after having played the role of the character - particularly any challenging aspects of being such a character in such a situation. The challenge of a game is what separates it from just being an interactive movie.

Now, on the other hand, I can understand choosing to play on normal difficulty rather than hard or impossible or insane or whatever the case may be difficulty. It provides enough of a challenge that the game is still a game, but you don't need to spend hours practicing or number-crunching mechanics in order to move forward. Now, I can understand, if one is looking for a challenge, taking the harder route - having to do that extra strategizing or having to spend those extra minutes of practice are simply taking the challenge of the game and moving it forward to a new level. Of course, if someone has trouble with these harder difficulties and finds them frustrating rather than fun, by all means they should adjust the difficulty to the point where it reaches the level of challenge that is steep enough to make one need to use their skills at the game at an acceptable level whilst still having fun.

I, for one, never cheat on a game unless I have worn out every other aspect of it and have additional things to gain by doing so (for example, accessing areas or content that normally is not available except through hacking, glitching, cheating, etc.) It actually makes me sad to see people who cheat through games, particularly games that I really enjoy. I can't even put my finger on exactly the reason; maybe I just take my games too seriously. But it's awful, after playing through a classic like Zelda:OoT or a more modern masterpiece like Mother 3 or Persona 4, seeing someone who is cheapening their own experience of such a work. Sure, they are getting all of the same story, same characters, and so on, but they're missing out on the real gameplay! Even just small cheats like unlimited money in an RPG in order to get rid of grinding remove so much from the experience - in this case, balancing limited funds to decide where upgrades are most needed, and perhaps even having to do without some of the more expensive items unless one has the time to grind out the extra gold. Granted, playing on easy mode is usually not quite the same as outright cheating, but in many cases, it isn't far removed (one example that comes to mind is Megaman Legends, where easy mode starts the player with the strongest weapon in the game, which is only obtainable on such a mode. It's so powerful that there's never a reason to use a single other people of equipment throughout the whole rest of the game, because you can beat anything by holding down the shoot button for five seconds or less.)

On a less-ranty and more introspective note, perhaps it all comes down to why people choose to play games. The end result, with probably very few exceptions, is to have fun. Some people might find that fun in blasting through their enemies by mashing a single button without having to spare a thought for strategy, whereas others might find the fun in the planning and careful execution itself. People are just inherently different - one person might enjoy spending time to build a snowman, and another might have more fun simply pushing the snowman over. In conclusion, (does this sound like an essay yet?) it seems to me that the people who play on easy mode are either 1. physically or mentally lacking the capability of playing the game as the developer intended, and thus in need of a dumbed-down version to be able to get any sort of enjoyment from the game at all, or 2. finding their joy not from the game itself, but from the baser human desire to "win." They love the flavor of winning, even if that winning was in the same vein as a preschool game in which everyone is the "winner" so as to not upset any of the four-year old children. Those who play games on a higher difficulty - at least normal - are hoping to enjoy the game in the way that the developer intended and having fun by actually playing the game, whether that be through mastering reflexes, coordination, or game mechanics and strategy. One might argue that they play on easy because they don't enjoy the game enough that they want to devote time to actually learn to play it, to which my response would be to simply put the game away - return it to the store if you must - and go find something that you will enjoy enough to actually play.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter, as well. Does anyone here prefer to play on easy mode? If so, I firstly apologize for likely insulting you, (it was nothing personal) and secondly, invite you to share why you choose to do so.
23
Video Games / Fatal Frame
August 25, 2013, 12:15:23 am
After wearing myself out trying to be productive (which, incidentally, always seems less productive then just going about things in a more measured way, but that's a topic for the different thread,) I decided to relax a bit and pick up a new game. I've always loved survival horror games, particularly Silent Hill, so I gave Fatal Frame a try. Though I'm only about an hour or so into it, I'm loving it so far. It has a great survival horror feeling, with a good amount of scares and great atmosphere, as well as an engaging story. If anyone's looking at picking it up, you can probably find it at a local game store (it's for the PS2,) or find an ISO online and play it on PCSX2 (it runs perfectly fine, and with better graphics than the original console due to anti-aliasing and HD resolution.) I figured I'd share in case anyone else wants to give it a try. :) Let me know if you need any help getting it running.
24
Chat / New Avatar Image
August 23, 2013, 08:38:34 pm
Since coming back, I noticed that my old avatar image was removed (curse you, TinyPic!) and though I still have the original image, I think it's time for something fresh. :) I know an avatar is more of a personal taste type thing, but I figured I'd ask if anyone either has some ideas on what I personally could use, or even just a few tips in general when creating or choosing a forum avatar. Any thoughts?
25
Story & Themes / Song of Destruction: The Story
July 24, 2013, 01:42:28 pm
I know that this is a very old project, and that many people don't remember it. However, we did such a wonderful job piecing together the story that I am going to go ahead and write it out, simply for my own enjoyment and for the pleasure of anyone who is interested in reading it. I'll try and update it at least every couple of days. Feel free to read and enjoy, and give any feedback if you see ways to improve things. :)

SONG OF DESTRUCTION


"Overture": ShowHide

Overture
Andante con poco Accelerando.




The tavern was the same as any other night; even from the outside, the noisy racket and clatter of the patrons could be heard. The bard gave a light hiccup as she drained the last few drops of ale from her glass, sliding it across the table to join its rapidly growing congregation of brethren. "Alright, alright, one more," she said with feigned reluctance. Despite her obvious intoxication, her voice was surprisingly clear. There was a roar from the boisterous crowd as she hoisted her thin frame up on the table; the barkeep's smile lessened a little as she set her muddy, travel-worn boots upon a chair. Paying him no mind, she unslung her instrument from her shoulder. After a few sour and dissonant chords, her slightly fogged mind remembered how to play the unusual contraption, and slowly, a flowing, lilting melody filled the room, piercing the murky din like a fresh breeze. The atmosphere settled into one of quiet, almost reverent, anticipation. She added several extra bars to the tune as she mentally stumbled about her drunken mind, finding all of the shards of the tale and quickly knitting them together as best she could. By now, there were few that hadn't heard this particular yarn, but it had quickly become a favorite - possibly because there were still those trying to pick out the truths from the typical bardic embellishments. The bard allowed herself a grin; she was one of the few people who knew for a fact that the whole thing was true. The last few notes of her prelude still hanging in the air in silent resonation, she began her tale.

Long ago, the gods, working in perfect union, created the world. With power unfathomable, they organized pieces of lifeless matter into plants and animals. The crowning act of their creation was to form a species based upon their own likeness, and with a small taste of their own intelligence and power. This was the dawn of mankind.
Satisfied with their creation, the Gods charged the race of men with the stewardship over their newly-formed realm, and departed to continue with their works. The years passed and turned to eons as men nurtured the seed of godly intelligence within them, tasting the power of creation as they learned to work with metal and stone. Though they were not without their struggles and imperfections, the human spirit continued to endure and to thrive even through hardships. A great empire was formed, and all was well in the land. Great libraries and universities were formed, ushering in a golden age of knowledge. A new field of study, alchemy, blossomed, bringing with it unprecedented possibilities.
The art of alchemy involved manipulating the properties of the natural elements of the earth. Though risky, the process brought forth incredible results, finally culminating in the creation of a new substance: titanium. The alchemical properties of this new material were perfected suited to slip between the cracks in the fabric of space-time. As its creators further experimented, they reached deep enough to discover the Netherealm, a dark dimension located between the planes of reality. Drawing upon the power of the Netherealm, alchemists began to learn how to wield this new energy, turning from scholars to mighty sorcerers and wizards.
With unforeseen power came fear, spreading like a plague through the empire as citizens watched the growing power of the magical force channeled from these demonic reaches. Fear led to contention, and eventually to war. Rifts formed, and the great kingdom of mankind began to split into different factions. As the war raged on, magic continued to play a key role, and its use as a tool of combat was perfected. There were those, however, who having tasted such power, craved more.
The method used at that time to draw energy from the Netherealm had reached its limit. Enough energy was lost during the transfer process that an effective cap was formed. This led to a new and dangerous technique - rather than pulling energy from the Netherealm into the mortal plane, one would pull sections of the realm itself through the channels into the physical world, allowing direct access to the power therein. These experiments, however, had unforeseen results. The evil contained in the world of demons seeped into the human realm, corrupting it and bringing forth monsters and abominations. Saturated in darkness, the world teetered on the brink of destruction.
Sensing such powerful energy from their creation, the gods returned to the world. They were shocked at what had become of their once peaceful planet. After a thorough analysis and a council among themselves, it was decided that race of mankind was beyond salvation. The world would have to be destroyed. With grim acceptance of what had to be done, they turned back to unleash their powers upon the world they had once formed.
The human spirit was not so quick to accept such a fate. Through the use of their newfound powers of magic, mankind had grown their own abilities to those to rival the gods. They didn't sit idly as fire began to rain from the skies - they resisted. A great war took place, changing the shape of the very world as titanic forces collided. Many years passed as the conflict raged. It was a eternal battle of perpetual hopelessness. Mankind could fight back the gods, but they were unable to destroy their immortal creators. In such a harsh, ongoing stalemate, it looked as if the world itself would simply be torn apart before either side won the conflict.
In desperation, mankind searched for a source of salvation. Somewhere within the eternal realms, someone heard their call - the mighty Overgod, creator of even the gods themselves. In His infinite wisdom, He looked upon the war-torn realm, and proposed a solution.The wrathful gods were sealed away, and mankind was preserved, in return for a sacred promise to never again delve into the forbidden powers of magic. The remaining titanium was destroyed, and with it, the dark arts were removed from the planet. The scars of corruption were etched deep into the planet, and would never be able to be fully purged, but despite this, peace returned to the realm. Humanity picked itself up and, under the watchful eye of their Savior, began to put back together the pieces of their lives. Though they vowed never to forget what had taken place, thousands of years passed, and history became legend and eventually myth.
"Only a select few still understand the whole truth, as preserved by the faithful historians of the Church of the Overgod. It is the responsibility of a priest of the Holy One to wisely preserve the balance - William! Brother William! Are you paying attention?"

William's head snapped up from where it had been slowly drifting to the surface of his desk. At the same time, his elbow slipped, sending a rush of parchment to the polished stone floor. His face flushed as, amid a few snickers hastily disguised as coughs, he hurried to reorganize the mess. Father Theris rubbed his temples for a moment, caught between irritation at having his lecture interrupted and pity at the bumbling young novice. He strode across the room, the gold-threaded hem of his white robe trailing along the ground, and crouched down to assist him.
"I-I'm so sorry, Father," stammered William, growing increasingly red as the senior priest assisted him. "I was helping Brother Paul with cleaning the Great Hall last night and -"
The Father's face was stony as he stood, his thin and aged frame still managing to tower several feet about the seated trainees. "Today's instruction...." He paused, looking around him at the young priests, who waited in silence. "...will conclude early today. Go on your way." The embarrassment of the moment was lost in the elation of being released from lecture early as the young students streamed from the chamber into the hallways of the marble chapel. Though they never truly had free time, being released early meant more time studying for the rigorous Trials, the final test before one became a full-fledged priest in the sight of the Overgod.
"A moment, William, if you don't mind," said Father Theris, catching him by the shoulder as he crammed scrolls into his case and turned for the door. William was several years younger than the average scholar at the Chapel of Light. Having been abandoned by his parents at a young age, he had been raised by the priests and clerics. Though he knew the scriptures, mantras, and history more thoroughly than any other priest in training, his naivety and occasional absent-mindedness prevented him from being among the best in the class. Pale at the thought of retribution for his actions, he followed the older priest to the great oaken desk in the corner. "I can't stand for having my class disrupted in such a manner," the Father began.
"It's all my fault-" William began. He was interrupted.
"I'm afraid that a punishment is in order."
William nodded gravely. "I understand, Father. I'll do whatever task you see fit."
Father Theris's face was expressionless. "In that case, I see it fit that you fetch the water for tonight's banquet. We will need at least five buckets. That ought to teach you diligence."
Normally William would have humbly accepted such a fitting punishment. However, he had already been given this same task as part of his assigned daily duties - by the very same person. "But Father, I've already-"
The instructor's face turned to a hint of a frown, though William thought that he caught a hint of a humorous glint in his eye. "Are you speaking back to me, Brother William?"
"No, Father," said William quickly, bowing his head submissively.
"Very good. That will be all." Theris turned away from his pupil, but added as an afterthought, "Oh, one more thing.
"The desks here are designed in such a way to prevent drowsiness. However, I do remember that a group of students several years ago discovered that by resting your elbow in the crevice near the right edge of the desk, a more comfortable position could be achieved without causing one to slip. Yes, the right edge. Crevice."
"But why are you telling me-"
"That will be all. Trouble me no longer, William."
With his thoughts still spinning, William gave a final bow of respect and hurried from the chamber, out into the grounds of the chapel.

It was a good thing that he hadn't been given additional tasks as punishment. With the Trial coming up in just a few short weeks, William had been so busy with his studies recently than many of his chores were starting to slip between the cracks. He was grateful that the evening instructional had ended early; this gave him time to hurry into town and retrieve the message waiting at the postal office. Such a high priority message should have been picked up as soon as it had arrived, but maneuvering through the crowded streets of Newhaven all the way to where the post office was located on the other side of town would have taken more time than he had available. With some luck, this extra time would allow him to retrieve the message and be back before the nighttime prayer session.
William thought that he felt the atmosphere grow noticeably worldlier as he stepped out the massive, gold pattern gates of the Chapel grounds. "It's a good thing that I'll be a priest soon," he thought to himself as he gave a friendly nod to the gatekeeper closing the doors behind him. "The Overgod has so many blessings that He can give to this people, but they have to be willing to accept it. Already, so many are turning away from the truth, not knowing what it is they're rejecting." He pulled his white novice's cloak around himself more tightly, not to block out the cold - for it was a warm, summer's evening - but to provide some thin layer of protection against the evils of the world.

Though the sun was still in the sky, a thin cover of clouds dimmed the contrast of the shadows as William made his way down the central road. The first few shops were starting to close for the evening, their owners carefully locking the doors behind them as they left for their evening drinks. As he passed the city square, however, a bustling from a nearby building broke the lazy atmosphere.
"I told you, I don't know what you're talking about! Get off my property!" A small crowd of onlookers had gathered around the entrance to what appeared to be a small home. An unshaven man stood in the doorway, glaring at the handful of guards who had disturbed his evening. One of the guards, marked by a feather in his steel helmet as the corporal, nodded in understanding, though his expression indicated that his patience was starting to wear thin.
"We understand your hesitation, but rest assured that this is just a pre-caution. We received report of illegal activity from in the premises, and are only seeking to preserve the peace of the city from the Black Arts. If you would please come with us for a brief interview, we will have you back before the evening is through. We appreciate your cooperation - "
"To the Nether with you and your 'investigation!' This is the forth time this season that you've dragged half the city off for your blasted interrogations! I haven't done any sort of magic, though if you keep this up, perhaps I'll have to - at this point, I doubt the Overgod Himself would object to me turning the lot of you to a bunch of slimy toads. Wouldn't make much of a difference, I dare say!"
William shook his head and pressed onward, allowing the commotion to continue behind him. This wasn't the first time he had seen such stirrings, and it he had no doubt that it certainly wouldn't be the last, but there was still no reason to worry. The secrets behind magic had long been lost. Every now and again there would be word that someone had managed to conjure up some small sparks to put a curse on their neighbor's crops, but the majority of these rumors were likely backed with no more truth than the myths spawned by bright-eyed children as they ran through the woods, their imaginations running wild. A small smile tugged at William's face as he recalled entertaining the priests with his own childlike insistence that he was going to one day assume the role of the High Priest, the leader over the entire Church. Such talk from a grown man would be considered blasphemy; the High Priest was chosen by the Overgod Himself, and was not a position over which people competed, despite it being such a great honor. From the mouth of a child, however, such notions were worthy only of a gentle laugh and a shake of the head. Still smiling, he hurried along his way.

The building of the postal service smelled strongly of the horses stabled outside its walls. Neighboring cities had initially scoffed at the High Priest's notion of a public service allowing the exchanging of messages and parcels, but the program had not only quickly flourished, it had soon been adopted in even distant parts of the land as they realized its usefulness both in diplomacy and in personal matters. Only a small portion of the building was accessible to the public; the majority of it was closed off behind the wooden counter, where a number of men were still hurriedly finishing up their sorting tasks so that they could return home for the evening. A single armored guard, looking rather bored, stood nearby, his eyes following a fly that had made its way into the building. He barely spared William a passing glance as he neared the counter.
"Excuse me." One of the men behind the counter looked up at William's call, straightened his dirt-covered clothes, and hustled forward. His eyes quickly took in William's clerical vestments, their white fabric shining from beneath his cloak.
"Ah, good evening, Brother. I apologize for the wait. Are you here to pick up a package, or to send an item?"
"I'm picking up a package for the High Priest." Despite it being such a menial task, William couldn't help but allow a hint of pride to creep into his voice. Even a menial task done in the name of the High Priest was nothing to scoff at. He withdrew the slightly crumpled note bearing the name and seal of the Church, as well as a brief description of the package. The letter not being sealed, William had taken a brief look himself at the description, curious as to what this important item might be, but it disappointingly only gave details of the bland wrapping and the estimated time that it had arrived in the city.
As expected, the small parcel was wrapped in several layers of thick parchment and bound together with twine. It was only about the size of a small book, though undoubtedly much of the bulk came from the crude wrappings. Despite its nondescript appearance, however, William felt an inexplicable sensation of awe as he retrieved the bundle and placed it reverently in his pack. Whatever this was, it was undoubtedly important. He gave a brief word of gratitude to the service worker and hurried out the door, suddenly anxious to give the package to its rightful owner.

The sun had now almost completely set, causing the flickering flames of the streetlights to cast dancing shadows along the walls. The streets were nearly empty, and were silent, save for the chirping of a few scarce crickets hidden away among scattered bales of hay, and the echoes of merriment floating from the occasional tavern. William moved quickly; he didn't run, not wanting to meaninglessly lose his composure, but some unknown sense of urgency caused him to feel the need to walk quickly. It wasn't until he several minutes away from the post office that he realized why this was so.
He was being followed.
Every once in a while, out of the corner of his eye, he would catch a hint of a patch of darkness amid the shadows, though it would always disappear if he turned for a closer look. He initially dismissed it as his eyes still adjusting to the growing darkness of the night, but after four or five such incidents, it was clear that this was no trick of the mind. Breathing deeply and trying to maintain calm, he further picked up his pace towards the Chapel.
As his speed increased, so too did the frequency with which he saw the shadowy figure. He realized that there must be more than one of them. What was more, they were now more focused on keeping up with him than with keeping hidden. No one else was around, anymore; the pubs of the downtown district were long behind him. Only a few high-class homes remained between him and his destination. He could make it. He paused for just a moment, and broke into a run. He could see the lights from the Chapel in the distance. The leather soles of his shoes beat against the cobblestone street as he turned a corner - right into the midst of a waiting group of figures, robed in a deep, dark crimson. Panicked, he turned back, but the following figures had now closed in behind him. He was trapped. His hand closed protectively on the bag containing the precious, unknown delivery. Shutting his eyes, he whispered a prayer to the Overgod as he heard his aggressors close in upon him. There was a sharp pain in the back of his head, and the world disappeared.

Verse 1: ShowHide

Verse I
Allegro non troppo.



William had no idea how long he slid in and out of consciousness. At least once, he found himself almost to the point of being able to force his eyes open, but every time he stirred, an unexplainable wave of fatigue would wash over him, and he would drift off once again. During one of these waking periods, he thought, peculiarly, that he detected the scent of sea-water. The long stupor was finally brought to an end by a dull pain in his back. He exerted all of the force that he could muster from his weary body and felt for the source of the pain. He was lying on a rock. After a failed attempt at removing the obstruction, he groaned, and forced himself to sit up. He appeared to be in some sort of dungeon. The stony walls were carved right into solid stone, but were obviously shaped by human hands. Most obviously unnatural of all were the single thick, iron door, and the flickering light of the torch that could be seen through its small slit of a window.
No shackles bound his hands or feet, leaving him able to move about the chamber freely. This was no surprise; no one would be able to force their way through the thick layers of surrounding rock. The moment he was able to think clearly, William reached for his bag. His parcel was safe within. At least this was some small victory. Before being captured, he had - with faith granted by desperation - said a prayer of protection over the bag and its content, asking that it be safeguarded from the hands of his captors. Apparently, the Overgod had heard his prayer. As long as the holy seal was in place, no one would be able to take his possessions from him. Of course, he thought cynically to himself, a whole lot of good that would do him in the end, stuck here in this prison. No doubt he would eventually starve to death, at which point the power of the seal would fade. It was, in fact, curious that his captors hadn't simply killed him in the first place, once they discovered that the bag was shielded from them. Perhaps they didn't know that the power of the seal would be broken upon death, or perhaps the depth of their sin stopped at burglary, rather than descending into murder. Someone, William doubted it was the latter.

Being completely sealed off from the outside world made it impossible to track the passing of time. William felt his stomach growl loudly. It was likely around lunch time. He wondered what they were thinking back at the Chapel. They most likely thought that he had gotten lost on the way back from the postal office, he thought gloomily. It wouldn't have been the first time such a thing had happened. The sound of metal grating on stone echoed from somewhere outside his chamber. Perhaps it was the guards, making the rounds between the cells. They could even be bringing food. A small spark of hope sprung in the back of William's mind, but it fizzled out quickly. Food was unlikely. It was probably just a routine check.
A second, identical sound caught his attention. There was definitely something going on outside. He forced his aching body to the door. The window slit was near the very top, above eye level, but by stretching himself to the tallest that he could muster, he could see a glimpse of the ceiling outside. It, too, was made of stone. Very faintly, he heard voices rebounding outside the chamber, followed by a third screeching noise. He experimentally tried hopping, giving himself a few extra inches of height. The grating sounded again, this time closer than ever before. This time, it was accompanied by a rhythmic clanking, almost like hurried footsteps.
The next sound he heard made his heart skip a beat. It was the metallic clink of a key being shoved haphazardly into a lock, followed by the turning of rusted tumblers. The source was incredibly close. If it had been even slightly plausible, he might have guessed that it was coming from within the very iron door against which he now pressed himself....

The door flew open. William fell unceremoniously to the stone floor, narrowly avoiding being crushed as the steel slab swung inward. With its movement came the same grating sound, now loud enough to split the ears. A knight stood in the doorframe, wearing hulking metal armor that shone brilliantly in the torchlight, despite displaying signs of very recent battle.
"Get moving." The order was muffled by the thick metal visor through which it was delivered, but its intent was clear. Before William could retort with any questions of his own, the figure had disappeared, rushing to the next door along the cell block. The other voices were back, now. Echoing wildly, their words were unintelligible, but their meaning was as clear as day. This visitor was far from welcome.
Countless steel doors identical to that of William's own cell lined the stony corridor. Aside from the scarce flickering torch bolted to the rocky wall, it was almost as spartan outside the cell as within it. Not that he had time to admire the scenery in the first place; already, a party of red-robed figures had rounded the far corner. By this time, the knight had already opened two more doors and moved on to a third. There were no signs of any other prisoners emerging. If all prisoners were given the same treatment he had seen, thought William, then this was hardly surprising, although the sheer quantity of cells did seem somewhat foreboding. Why have that many if no prisoner was going to survive more than a few days?

Rather than moving forward to the next door, the knight turned undauntedly towards the approaching robed men. William found himself caught in between the two parties - it was a deadly position. Without a moment to spare, he ducked back inside his cell. Though it was not high on his list of places he wanted to be at the moment, it was above being dead. He didn't dare close the door behind him, fearing that it would lock again. Instead, he crept to the corner of the room behind the door. If he could remain inconspicuous until the skirmish had ended, he might be able to sneak out without being seen.
His foot nudged something on the ground as he moved. The parcel! He had nearly forgotten it. With a whispered prayer of thanks, he snatched it up, running his fingers along the seal to ensure that it was still intact. Though he still hadn't the slightest idea what was contained in the thin leather wrappings, it must be incredibly important if it truly was what this red-robed group were after.
The sounds of combat resounded from outside the dark cell. Judging from the tell-tale clash of steel, the robed figures were better armed than their manner of dress suggested. Deep within his stomach, William felt the gnawing sensation of guilt begin to grow. The word 'coward' floated tauntingly in the back of his mind, despite his efforts to force it back down. "Overgod help me," he muttered, pushing the door open and stepping out into the fray.
Blood stains caused the stone walls and floor to shimmer sickeningly. It was impossible to follow all of the movements happening in the flurry of cloth and steel, but two motionless bodies draped in red robes proved that the knight was managing to hold them back so far. William wasn't sure what to do. He was unarmed, though a weapon would hardly have made a significant difference, given his lack of combat experience. He swallowed and tried to recall the words to a blessing of protection. With hope that the Overgod would forgive his stumbled recitation, he stretched out his hand and muttered the final syllable.
The only sign of the holy barrier was a faint shimmering in the air, like water vapor on a sunny day. In the torchlight, it was nearly invisible. This led to unintended consequences - unaware of the barrier's existence, both the knight and the guards slammed into it, and were hurtled pell-mell across the stone floor from their momentum. Unable to handle the force, the barrier dissipated. One by one, the figures pulled themselves back up, as one by one, each pair of eyes turned towards the novice priest standing in the cell doorway. William gulped.

The surge of red rushed forward, each individual figure indistinguishable among the solid mass. A few moments ago, it hadn't seemed like there were this many, but now that they were advancing on him, their numbers seemed significantly larger. William only had seconds to act. Instinctively clutching the parcel closely, he squeezed his eyes shut and whispered a desperate prayer. No specific blessings or recitations came to mind; it was a simple plea for help.
A tiny tingling sensation seemed to run through his body, like an unexplainable shiver on a warm day. From behind his closed eyelids, he saw a flash of brilliant color. A wave of warmth washed over his skin. Baffled, he snapped his eyes open. His enemies lay crumpled on the ground around him. Several of their red robes were still smouldering with what must have been some sort of holy fire. It seemed that the Overgod had answered his prayer in a way that he had never expected. He stood stunned for several more seconds. Finally, movement caught his eye. Amid the carnage, the knight coughed and tried to stand. The shining armor didn't show any signs of having been charred by William's sudden surge of power, but blood was visible seeping through the chainmail between its metal plates. At least one of the red-robed figures must have found their mark.
"Hang on!" called William, rushing forward. "I'm going to try to help you." The knight managed a feeble nod in response. Even given the desperateness of the situation, the gesture seemed somewhat reluctant. Kneeling down, William placed his hand in the center of the ornate breastplate. Its texture was surprisingly smooth and polished, even more so than its gleaming appearance would suggest. "Mighty Overgod above, hear the prayer of your humble servant," he began. The words of the chant came to mind easily, a result of countless hours memorizing his copy of the Novice's Scrolls back at the Chapel. The gentle energies than began to run through his body flowed smoothly, a definite contrast to the raw power than he had felt a few moments ago.
"You're just full of surprises, aren't you, Altar Boy?" The knight lifted a gauntleted hand to the helmet's latch, and pulled it off in a continuation of the same motion. Shimmering golden hair, knocked out of place by the jostling of combat, cascaded down to her shoulders. Red indentations marked where the helmet had been pressing against her face. This contrasted sharply with the icy blue gaze looking up at him. "I thought I might be able to round up some backup by cutting through the dungeons, but I can hardly say that this is what I expected." Her eyes moved from his face to the hand still resting on her chest. William flushed furiously, and yanked his hand away.
"S-sorry," he stammered. "I didn't know.... I mean, um...."
The girl waved his excuses away, using the wall to support herself as she got to her feet. "I guess I owe you some thanks. Don't get used to it, though; he caught me off guard, that was all." As she spoke, she began methodically using a large brass key to open the remaining cell doors. "At least I managed to thin out their numbers a little. It probably won't do much good, though. Just when you think you've gotten them all, more always seem to show up. It's all about cutting off the head." She grimaced as the last door creaked open. "Looks like you're the only one who made it. Lucky break for you." Curiously, William peered around her shoulder into the final cell. His stomach crawled at the sight. A corpse rotted in the dark corner, wrapped in tattered rags and shreds of remaining skin. Given only a another day or two, that could have been him. He shuddered.
The sound of footsteps caught his attention. Behind him, the knight was descending the staircase to the next level of the stony fortress. He hurried to catch up. "The exit's the other way," she said, not stopping nor turning to look at him.
"But won't there be more guards?" Each step was both tall and narrow, making for a dangerous combination in such a dimly lit environment.
"Didn't stop you before."
William shook his head. "That was different. I'm not even sure what happened back there."
She shrugged, a gesture undoubtedly made difficult by the weight of her armor's thick, metal pauldrons. "Not my problem."
"But -" The knight held up a hand, silencing him. They had arrived at the bottom of the staircase.
26
Does anyone have any suggestions on an image hosting site? Tinypic seems to have deleted all of the pictures I uploaded, so I'd prefer to switch to something that's not going to just delete everything without warning like that (though I would imagine that most free hosts have at least some sort of limit.) I've taken a look at Imgur, which seems alright, but I thought I'd ask and make sure that I'm not missing out on anything great.
27
Welcome! / I'm back.
July 20, 2013, 05:25:49 pm
Hello. I missed you all.

Sorry for taking a little while to get back here; I did actually get home a few weeks ago, but I've been pretty busy with family stuff and getting situated again. I'm actually on a trip even now, but I figured that I have been keeping you all waiting long enough. :)

<3

EDIT: I've been poking around the forum a bit, and I've realized how much I really, really did miss you. There are so few internet communities that are as great as what we have here on Chaos Project. It's so great to be back.
28
Welcome! / I'm Sailing Away
June 21, 2011, 12:24:56 pm
I haven't really told anyone yet, but a while ago I applied to be a foreign exchange student, thinking it would be a neat experience. I didn't think that my application would be chosen, as I was sure there were more eligible students applying. Well, turns out it was. Early tomorrow morning, I'll be packing up and moving to Taiwan.

I'm not sure what my internet situation will be, and how much free time I will have. It's possible that I won't be able to come here again until I return. Thus, this topic: my farewell to all of you.

I'll try to avoid being sappy - after all, I'm not leaving forever. I'm just going away for a while. My experience on this forum has been excellent. I don't have many friends in real life, probably because I'm so quiet, but I feel like I have met some true friends here. The people here are fantastic. I'm sure by the time I return, you'll all have accomplished amazing things.

I wish I had time to thank everyone individually, but I'll have to generalize a little, as I'm sure you don't want to read all of that.

To winkio, Niche, AliveDrive, and the rest of the SoD team, I wish you the best of luck on the project. Sorry I wasn't able to contribute more. If things are still in progress when I get back, I'll be more than happy to help tie things up.

To ForeverZer0, game_guy, and the ARC team, I'm sure you don't need my best wishes, but you have them anyway. I've been astounded by the progress you all have made, and I know that the project will have evolved into something fantastic by the time I return.

To Aqua, Ryex, GAX, and the rest of the mod team around here, being part of such an excellent group has been one of the best experiences I've ever had. I know I probably won't be able to retain my position as a mod once I leave, as I'll be unable to contribute, but I'll work hard to earn it back once I return.

To Hexamin, Zeriab, and other members who don't visit any more, I know you probably won't ever read this, but you've helped make this forum what it is now. Thanks.

Finally, to Blizzard, I don't even really have words to describe what I want to say. If not for you, none of this would even be here. Thank you.



The last thing I want to leave you is a promise - though I may not be able to log on while I'm away, I will, without any shadow of a doubt, come back here once I've returned to the US. I've even set up reminders to myself to be sure I won't forget, though I know I won't.

I will return July, 2013.

Well, that's that then. Virtual hugs and handshakes all around. I'll be sticking around for the rest of the day, so if there's anything you'd like to say, feel free.

29
Day 1
Weather: Sunny


Significant Events planned for today: None




The call of roosters from the distant Sweet Apple Acres could be heard echoing over Ponyville as the sun lazily rose over the small town, glinting off the brightly colored rooftops and causing the leaves of the trees to shine.
There wasn't anything significant about today, but for some reason, there was a very distinct feeling in the atmosphere - a feeling that something was about to begin.

As they awoke, more and more ponies could be seen wandering the town, going about their daily tasks. As they worked, many of them came up with excuses to stay near the new residential development on the west side of the town, hoping to catch sight of some of the new ponies who had moved in yesterday. Despite the Mayor's insistence that the new residents needed some rest after the always exhausting activity of moving to a new place, it was impossible in such a small town to not feel at least a little curious.
30
Yes, really.

The first thing I want to say is a small disclaimer: I know that many people aren't into this type of thing. This is perfectly acceptable, however, I do ask that you leave the RP threads alone, and don't be rude to people who decide to play.




Before posting the information about this RP, I would just like to say that I fully intend to keep this RP running no matter what - RPs here lately have been having serious trouble getting off the ground, and so I'm going to set up rules not only for the players, but for myself. The terms:

  • I promise to post once a day at the very least, regardless of my personal circumstances.
  • I will be beginning the game immediately, even without any players. As people sign up, they will be added to the game world. Due to the nature of the game, this should work out just fine.
  • In order to prevent the RP from being unable to continue, if it is necessary that a player take action and they are not available for quite some time - thus preventing other players from continuing - I will take control of their character for that sequence of events. I will pay very special attention to how everyone acts In order to maintain the feeling of player control, however, I will allow the player, upon their return, to revise the actions that I have taken to an extent. There will be limits on how much you may revise your actions in this case - any story events that have happened between my taking control of your character and your revision must remain largely unchanged. With that restriction, you are free to revise your actions as you see fit. (I know that some people may not like this rule - feel free to bring it up if it concerns you, and we can discuss it.)
  • Though this isn't directly related to keeping the RP running, I thought I'd list this here as well: I will plan to stick to the original canon as much as possible. However, due to the nature of RPs, I will have to take some creative liberties with regard to certain history, minor characters' personalities, and other aspects that can't be determined by current canon information.




    Backstory

    (For those familiar with the TV Series, this RP takes place immediately following the events of the first season. For those unfamiliar with the series, don't worry - knowledge of past plot events aren't necessary. However, I do recommend that you watch the show simply for the enjoyment of it.)

    One thousand years ago, the land of Equestria was ruled by two sisters. The elder, Celestia, would raise the sun at dawn, and the younger, Luna, would raise the moon in the evening. As time passed, however, the younger sister began to become resentful - the ponies of Equestria played and worked during her sister's day, but during her night, they would only sleep. Slowly, the hatred built up inside of her, and eventually manifested itself by transforming her into the evil Nightmare Moon.

    With her newfound power, she sought to overthrow her sister, and become the sole ruler of Equestria. In order to stop her, the elder sister utilized a long sealed power - the Elements of Harmony. Using the six elements, she defeated her sister and, with some regret, banished her to the moon for a thousand years. Now ruling alone, she took responsibility for both the moon and the sun, and maintained peace in Equestria for a thousand years.

    However, even she knew that the seal on her sister's banishment wouldn't hold forever. As the thousand years drew to a close, she sent her prize student, Twilight Sparkle, to gather a group of ponies able to revive the power of the Elements of Harmony. As predicted, Nightmare Moon appeared once again with a vengeance, striking against her sister and sealing her away, trapping the world in eternal nigh. Along with her five other pony companions and her assistant Spike, Twilight managed to recover the Elements of Harmony and defeat Nightmare Moon, stripping away the hatred that had built up inside her and turning her once again into the princess Luna, and breaking the seal that trapped Celestia, allowing her to return.

    Not long later, however, Celestia vanished without explanation. Luna, who had returned to her role of controlling the moon, contacted Twilight Sparkle and her friends, letting them know of the problem at hand. They agreed to search and find out what had become of Celestia, and left on their homes in the town of Ponyville. In the meantime, Luna took up responsibility for the raising of the sun as well as the moon. As news of the princess's disappearance spread, rumors began to grow. What possibly could have happened to her? Had Luna, her supposedly reformed sister, gotten rid of her, seeking to rule Equestria by herself?

    Our story begins approximately a week after these events. There has been little word from Twilight and her friends, but despite this, things continue on as normal in the quiet town of Ponyville. There is quite a bit of excitement in the town at the moment, however - today marks the unveiling of the new residential area, meaning that many new guests are going to be moving into the small town. Though there were a few complaints about the new neighborhood, in general everyone is happy with the new development, and looks forward to meeting new residents and making new friends.

    You are one of the new inhabitants of Ponyville. Will you make your mark on history, or live out your life quietly? It's all up to you.




    Character Template

    Name:
    Gender:
    Relative Age*:
    Race: (Select one of the following:
       
  • Earth Pony - a standard looking pony with no horn or wings. Easily the physically strongest and hardiest of the three races.
       
  • Pegasus - a winged pony able to fly through the skies. Typically are light and nimble.
       
  • Unicorn - a pony with a single horn on their head, allowing them to use magic. A unicorn's magical abilities are usually limited to his or her special talent, though there are some magical abilites, such as telekinesis, that are fairly standard among unicorns. )

    Special Talent/Cutie Mark: (A pony's Cutie Mark is a representation of their special talent. A special talent isn't a super power; it's much more similar to a human talent - an area in which you excel. Note that if you are playing as a young character, you may not have your Cutie Mark yet, in which case it is not necessary to list it here.)

    Appearance: (I recommend using the Pony Creator to create a pony as similar as possible to your character, and then either modifying the image or just describing any differences.)

    (A few notes about appearance: in general, female ponies have eyelashes and more rounded noses. Male ponies have the more square noses and no eyelashes. You're free to create your character any way you would like, but I'm just letting you know the general conventions.)

    Element: (Select which of the five Elements of Harmony is best reflected in your character. The five elements are Honesty, Kindness, Generosity, Loyalty, and Laughter. It is acceptable for multiple players to reflect the same Element.)

    Stats: Distribute 10 points to the stats below. As you live your life in Ponyville, you may further develop these abilities. Pegasi are given an automatic four points to speed, Unicorns are given an automatic five points to magic, and Earth Ponies are given an automatic eight points to strength and hardiness.
       
  • Strength:
       
  • Hardiness:
       
  • Speed:
       
  • Charisma:
       
  • Intelligence:
       
  • Magic (unicorns only:)

    Occupation (optional:)

    Personality:



    * Pony ages are a bit of a toss-up, as it is not agreed how their lifecycle relates to that of humans. The age you put here is the comparative age of your pony to that of a human. For example, maturity and the appearance of a Cutie Mark occurs between 8 - 12 years old, adulthood is reached 18 - 22 years old, etc.


    I will be posting the first post of the RP in a few hours, regardless of whether anyone has signed up yet. Don't worry - you're free to sign up and join the game at any time.