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The Pen is Mightier than the Sword


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Everything posted by Wyvern

  1. "- business?? I'll tell ya about business! I've been scheming a new full-proof model for Almost Dragonic Brand Chafe Stick™ ever since I crawled my way back up onto Mighty Pen bathroom porcelain, and-" Wyvern's monologue is interrupted as he attempts to lick the remainder of the Signe chocolate from his claws, and somehow twists his tongue into a forked double-knot in the process. The almost dragon breaths a whimsical sigh over the all-too-familiar taste of cherry chocolate mixed with pheromonal herbs, and slowly works on getting his tongue loose as Tzim carries on in her rant about the finer points of the division of unprofitable riches. "- and truly, had there been a clause concerning uncharted territories, perhaps-" Wyvern gently uncoils his tongue and slides it back into his mouth, letting his wings rest calmly for a moment. He nods as Tzimfemme carries on, paying attention to only a fraction of her words but reveling in her familiar voice and aggressive tone. The overgrown lizard's hide is practically covered in torn photos of doctored Tzim sightings, like some kind of armor meant to scare away those with a common sense of decency, but the loss of his collection seems trivial compared to the actual presence of his long-lost guild mate and Archmage sex icon. He flashes an extra toothy grin and continues nodding until a strange crackling sound brings Tzimfemme's monologue to a halt as well. "Great to see you too Tzim, s'been too long." Wyvern tilts his snout to the sky and sniffs at the air while Tzim grunts and continues to tug at her flail portal in vain. "Sssay, that's funny, it kinda smells like sulfur in here. Guess that's just what happens when ya bring up Signe's name, eh?" Wyvern tosses his head back and lets out a guffaw, slapping his knee over how clever his own humor is just as a large of piece of burning wood falls from the ceiling and lands directly behind him. The overgrown lizard falls back and squeals, flapping his wings in uncontrollable fright and scrambling across the floor until he's safely positioned behind Tzimfemme. "F-f-f-FIRE!!" Wyvern points several times at the burning wood, as if Tzimfemme weren't already well aware of it. "The Pen is burning! Quick, get one o'them 'Summon Troll Firefighter Squad' incantations or something!" Little did Wyvern know that the busted toilet in Schecerazde's bathroom had turned into a leak of geyser-like proportions, and was already helping douse the flames that had engulfed the Mighty Pen.
  2. Wyvern grunts and snorts obscenities as he squirms his way from under Schecerazde's bed, his horns catching a number of mattress springs that pop loose with an awful "TWAANNG." The overgrown lizard mutters something about close calls, only to stiffen and bite his bottom lip as he hears Schecerazde's quiet sobbing in the background. He tilts his head and scratches the back of his horns a bit, then heaves a smokey sigh of defeat and slithers his way up to her bedside. "Errr... L-look, don't cry lil' girl. Here." Wyvern reaches deep into his bag of holding and pulls out an Almost Dragonic Brand Wyvern Fan Club Lifesize Plushie Doll™, which amounts to a gigantic horrific imitation Wyvern that's falling apart at the seams. Schecerazde's expression turns to one of disgust as she takes a good look at the doll, and she opens her mouth to protest only to have her words muffled as Wyvern drops the giant doll into her "arms." "There, ssssleep tight." Wyvern flashes a warm toothy grin, and turns to depart from the room just as one of the wings of the giant Wyvern plushie falls off. "Hrmph. The Jailerssss of Aether huh? Hope those guys ain't around here, they've been bad news ever since I sold'em that Almost Dragonic Brand Combination Frock™" Wyvern reaches the exit of Schecerazde's chamber and raises a claw to her door, only to pause when his tail nugdes against something light and feathery. The almost dragonic ancient glances down over his shoulder, then does a double-take and glares down over his shoulder at the sight of a certain carrier pigeon. A carrier pigeon with a "W" brandished on the side of its head. A carrier pigeon that may or may not have recently attempted to save James Crow's life. "YOU!!!" Wyvern grits his teeth and practically trips over his own tail as he snatches the bird in his claws, gripping it by its little carrier collar. The bird flails back and forth and chirps protests "Ssslacking on the job again I see! Don't give me none of that tweet tweet bull, I sssmell the pigeon liquor on yer breath. Gimme my message back!" Wyvern pulls the unopened envelope addressed "Geldrinhor - Tzim sightings?" from the pigeon's back and tears it open, making sure the contents are still in tact. He leafs through a series of photos detailing orcs and witches with obvious imitation fangs, wigs and bullwhips. Laughably bad Tzim imitations, but get a leacherous lizard desperate enough and he's liable to believe anything. "Now, yer gonna show me to Geldrinhor's quartersss, or I'll give you flying lessons with a slingshot." Wyvern stuffs the photos into his back pocket and holds the pigeon up like a compass. He exits Schecerazde's sleeping quarters and heads in an Eastward direction down the ghostly rundown remnants of the Pen's Banquet Hall, unaware of the figure he's about to encounter...
  3. A loud bubbling from the toilet in Schecerazde's elegent bathroom. A bubbling twice. A bubbling thrice. The seat of Schecerazde's toilet all but flies off its hinges as it pops open like a jack-in-the-box at the Big Tops Point Circus. Somewhere in the spiralling towers of the Pen, a B-version of the "Jaws" theme cues up, played in the key of "drunk orc." The clear toilet water ripples as the tip of a tail stinger slowly emerges from its depths. It begins moving in small circles, almost as if registering its surroundings, before an almost dragonic claw reaches out and makes a deep scratch mark in the toilet porcelain. Wyvern's snout follows suit, his nostrils spewing dirty liquid as the backwards-ass snorkle attached to his left horn finally comes loose. The overgrown lizard hacks a soggy lump of wet ash onto the bathroom floor, then somehow manages to squirm his way out of the confines of the toilet, completely dismantling the bathroom utility in the process. He stretches his wings and shakes them every which way, spraying water recklessly over Schecerazde's otherwise pristine bathroom. "Water..." Wyvern groans and clutches the scales on his noggin, shaking his head. "How did they ever convince me to go with water...? Sure, the troglyodyte agent said 98% off travel expenses when using sewage systems in th'Winter, but that wasss ridiculousss. If only I'd quadruple checked the safety of them Almost Dragonic Brand Pirahna Scale Scuba Scarves™..." Wyvern hobbles over to the bathroom mirror and rubs it with the front of his claw, then begins grooming his scales to make sure his reptilian handsomeness is intact. "Lousy carrier pigeon... ssstupid Geldrinhor..." Wyvern grumbles as he picks a tiny baby alligator off of his wing and tosses it into the hole where a toilet used to be. "All I wanted wasss info on whether those nekkid mage sightings were legit Tzim or impostersss, and wouldn't ya know it the pigeon bailsss on me. Want something done, ya gotta do it yerself." Wyvern grunts and storms out of the bathroom, slamming the door open and stomping through a certain 14 year old's bedroom. The sounds awaken Schecerazde, who sits up in her bed with a look of fright, clutching her sheets for dear life when she spots the almost dragon. Wyvern freezes at the sight, then darts up to Schecerazde's bed to calm her, planting a claw on her lip to silence her. "SsSssSshhhhhhhHH!" Wyvern glances left and right, not wanting to be spotted or to cause a scene. "L-look, lemme tell you a quick bedtime ssstory that'll put you right back to sleep, OK?!" ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ Once upon a time, there was a dragon. A little girl wanted the dragon to tell her a bedtime story. So he ate her and- ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ Wyvern doubles back as Schecerazde lets out a wailing scream loud enough to awaken the entire Pen. He tries to calm the poor child for a moment, but promptly gives up on that impossible task in favor of option #2: hiding under Schecerazde's bed in the hopes that he won't be discovered.
  4. Drop in a few times a week, sometimes daily, but mostly just to skim and not to thoroughly read everything. Continuing to orient my focus towards having fun and making friends in real life, and it's going exceptionally well for the most part. Currently have about 4 or 5 shows I'm planning to attend over the course of the next two weeks, going to see some indie rock and some scream-y metal stuff from different bands my friends are part of, plus checking out some great underground rap shows of course, at least one of which I'm hoping to attend with a gal I'm rather fond of. Watching loads of films... 80s sleaze has been a reoccuring motif recently, but also checked a couple contemporary art documentaries ("Exit Through the Gift Shop" was rather interesting). Nice to see you holdin' the place up Snyp, your podcast idea was great.
  5. One of these days, I'm gonna have to get around to writing a favorite albums of 2009 list like I've done for the last couple of years, but for the time being I wanted to resurrect this thread to touch upon a 2010 album that has been absolutely blowing my mind recently: Dessa's "A Badly Broken Code." This album is probably my favorite piece of music in the last couple of years, and deserves some special attention in my opinion. It is not only the most intimate and cohesive album ever arranged by a female MC, but also an inspirational piece of art that has touched me in a number of ways. The album was long-anticipated on my part, as Dessa's talents clearly shined through on her debut EP and in her contributions to a number of Doomtree's songs, but it still boggles my mind just how amazing her full length really is now that it's finally here. Every single one of the fifteen tracks on this album is a stand-out, and I've been listening to it damn near obsessively for the last week or so with no sign of tiring of it yet. Dessa carries her excellent voice and superb lyrics through a seamless combination of rapping, singing, and spoken word that gives the album a very unique and original feel. And the beats are banging. Here are a few media goodies to feed people's interests: "Matches to Paper Dolls": <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http-~~-//www.youtube.com/watch?v=CK8Jys3K6rI&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http-~~-//www.youtube.com/watch?v=CK8Jys3K6rI&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object> "Go Home": <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http-~~-//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ptr-_QZXd6o&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http-~~-//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ptr-_QZXd6o&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object> I personally cannot recommend "A Badly Broken Code" highly enough. If you like what you hear, this record was put out independently without much distribution outside of Minneapolis, which makes it extra important to support it! And if you'd prefer to see Dessa live to decide whether you want to pick up the CD there, she's currently on a nation-wide US tour with P.O.S, the dates and venues of which are available at http://www.doomtree.net Thanks for listening, haven't been this enthusiastic about a record in a while! Wyvern out.
  6. Yesterday, I went and saw "The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus" at a theatre in Berkeley. This much-hyped Terry Gilliam film features the final performance of Heath Ledger, who passed away before the movie was completed. In order to make up for his absence in the latter half of the movie, Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Collin Farrel offered their help with the role, and all three make appearances as different variations of Heath Ledger's character when viewed through the magical looking glass that the film centers around. Overall, I didn't think "The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus" was all that great. The story was fairly good, but was shot and told in a scatter-brained sort of way that made for more confusion than intrigue. Some of the imagery was outstanding, but there were also moments when the images got a little too loaded to really work effectively. I really liked the performances from Heath Ledger and Tom Waits (who is particularly good as the Devil), but some of the other actors didn't grab me quite as much. Not bad, but certainly not essential viewing or worthy of the hype.
  7. Wyvern’s eyes widen to saucer-size proportions as Colemanite Flakes does away with her shirt, his jaw hanging open and his forked tongue dangling loose as she requests the brand on a spot that Wyvern can’t help but gape at. Her words dance around his head, weaving their way around his senses like the intricate laces of her bra and forming something just as darling in his imagination. “Sss-ss-sss-ss-something to bite down on?!” Wyvern stammers as implications begin flooding his reptilian mind with more “darling” thoughts, his wings craning back and twitching with tension. The lizard scrambles for an answer, trailing his tail stinger over the ground for some object as his eyes stay fixed on where they were previously staring. “I-I uhhh, I’m sssure I can...” “By the way… nice tail.” Wyvern’s tail suddenly freezes as his scales go a deeper shade of red, his stammer moving to a higher pitch. The overgrown lizard desperately tries to stay coherent, searing his scales several times over with the Acceptance Brandishing Iron and still drooling like an idiot. Despite the reptilian Elder’s valiant attempts, the sight of the Almost Dragonic Brand Troll Knuckle Desanitizer™ dripping down Colemanite’s neck to the edge of her cleavage proves to be too much for the almost dragon to handle. A bloody snout and a happy wheeze accompany Wyvern’s collapse, and he lands in a position where the brandishing iron faces upward, reading: ACCEPTED OOC: An Accepted application Colemanite Flakes, welcome to the Mighty Pen. Sorry to keep you waiting with the responses, I hope you’ve enjoyed the Pen so far and look forward to writing more with you in the future. Welcome!
  8. "Alright, alright! No need for sssscare tactics." Wyvern casts another worried glance at Mynx's flexed claws, then quickly grabs the Acceptance Brandishing Iron and dives in to mark the application sheet 'Accepted.' He holds up the paper as if it were a shield. "There, sssee? All finished. Eheheh. Heh." OOC: An ACCEPTED application C, welcome to the Mighty Pen. I hope you find us a friendly little community to write with, and look forward to collaborating with you some more. Speaking of which, I'll brief you on your magazine quest later! ;-)
  9. "Ah yessssss." Wyvern flashes a toothy grin, scampering over to Colemanite Flakes and handing her an extra large bottle of Almost Dragonic Brand Troll Knuckle Desanitizer™ and a bill for 60 geld. He drums his claws on Colemanite's shoulder blade and peers over her neck at the newly appropriated pile of smut, letting his forked tongue glide over his lips as he leans in to examine it further. "If only all my applicants were thisss considerate when applying... it would increase my Office response time ten fold, that's for sure!" Wyvern slithers his way around Colemanite Flakes, his tail gliding briefly past her thigh in what may or may not have been an accidental brush of scales. The overgrown lizard seats himself in the smoking remains of Woody's broken frame and proceeds to rapidly skim through the worn magazines, pausing ever so often to raise a brow or let out a lascivious chuckle of approval. Once he's finished with the questionable reading material, he leans back and strokes his chin with a dirty claw. "Well, there are none of the shootsssss of legend here, meaning that C will still need to retrieve my lost magssss. However, I do really appreciate the thought Coley, and will gladly accept your donation and application." Wyvern smiles warmly in Colemanite Flakes' direction and nods to her appreciatively, then picks up his glowing Acceptance Brandishing Iron and faces it in her direction. "Now then, where would you like to be accepted?" ;-)
  10. "Really?" Wyvern breathes a long exasperated sigh and lets his wings droop, glancing left and right at the silent crowd of pennites. The overgrown lizard's snout goes out-of-joint at the general lack of sympathy in the air, and he waves the black wisps of smoke from his face as he turns to C with a frown. "Very well, C. Ssssince you've accepted responsssibility for the magazines, I will hereby return to recruiting new people to the Pen. Feel free to rope in any of these troublemakersss to help you in your quest as well." "Uhhhh..." C watches as Wyvern glares at the other pennites and wanders towards the pile of smoldering ash. "Actually, Mr. Wyvern, I didn't quite accept any..." "I'll fill you in on the detailssss of what mags I need later." Wyvern digs through the small mountain of blackened paper and door splinters, producing little clouds of ash that induce some fits of coughing from the surrounding pennites. The overgrown lizard digs his claw deep into the depths of the pile until he finally pauses, pawing at the object he was searching for. By the time he pulls the application stamp from its hiding place, the scales of Wyvern's arm have been rendered entirely black. "Right, onto ssstamping and accepting your application, C. Thanksss for your cooperation and patienccce." Wyvern gets on his hands and knees and skirmishes the floor near his overturned desk, scooting entire piles of paper to the side with his wings until he uncovers C's Pen application. The reptilian Elder pays no attention to the new orange glow of the "Accepted" stamp as he pounds it over the top of C's application sheet. He glances at the mark and nods, then holds out the ACCEPTED application for C and the others to see... only to watch it suddenly crinkle and burn to ash over the molten stamp. Wyvern scratches one of his horns and stares at the glowing Acceptance "Stamp," tapping his foot on the scattered ash of the application and moving towards C. "Hrrmmm... I guess it'll no longer work as a ssstamp." Wyvern halts in front of C with a smug expression and raises his new Acceptance Brandishing Iron. "Give me the palm of your hand so I can label ya accepted, C... that is, unless you'd like to be brandished elsewhere?"
  11. "Greetingssss colemanite flakes, and thank you for the poem." Wyvern smiles toothily at the applicant and spreads his wings, striking a deep bow. "Normally, I would stamp your application 'Accepted' and welcome you to our ranks, but I'm afraid there may be a slight delay. You see, I'm currently on strike until someone agrees to retrieve the issues of my rare smut collection that they foolishly burned in a fire. Ressst assured that, should pennites act responsibly, I'll be back to reviewing and accepting your application in no time." You can read about the situation here!- "Thanksss for your understanding, and please feel free to join in and help out if you wish!"
  12. “No no no no no no. No.” Wyvern raises a claw and waves it through the air to emphasize each and every “no”, stepping forward with an increasingly peeved expression at the seeming indifference towards his plight. “Ohhhh no, somebody’ssss taking responsibility for these burnt magazinesss. There was rare erotica in there that’sss almost impossssssible to acquire these days. Do you understand? Some of it was a near mythical status of rare, the kind of porn that king's waged wars over! Accident or not, it’s your resssponsibility to get it back to me. Or would you rather that that responsibility fell on C the Traveler?” Wyvern snaps a claw and turns his back on the pennites in attendance with a disgruntled snort, tilting his snout up angrily. “Either way, I ain’t accepting any Pen applicationsss until someone acceptsss the responsibility of retrieving those magsss lost in this fire. None. That goesss for C the Traveler and Colemanite Flakesss as well.” Wyvern taps his tail stinger on the floor impatiently, huffing a puff of smoke. “As sssoon as someone agrees that they will undertake the tasssk, I will get back to the process of accepting our honored guests. Jussst know that should you choose to accept the mission and seek out the smut, your journey will certainly be a long and difficult one indeed!” A long uncomfortable silence passes amongst the gathered pennites, occasionally broken by the flap of Wyvern’s restless wings, until finally the lizard hisses: “Oh, and ssssomeone remind me to thank Ordolar for taking care of the Office door. I’ve been meaning to get rid of that thing for yearsss!” --- Meanwhile, in the ashes of the former bonfire, Woody the Office Door moans over his fractured wooden back and broken hinges. The most powerful door in Pen history had had a long run, but now it seemed that at long last, his days as a force to be reckoned with were coming to an end. The Door’s thoughts flash back to his first love Rune, his rivalry with the dastardly Wyvern over the Mahogany Travel Log, and finally the orcish knight responsible for his demise… “Ordolar…” Woody’s grainy voice is faint but determined. The snap of his back splintering is not enough to qwel it. “Ordolar. I curse upon you… The Curse of a Thousand Splinters, brought upon you by the God Mahogney Closit. Till the day you die, may furniture treat you with the malevolence you deserve…” A grainy smile etches its way over Woody the Office Door’s face as he closes his eyes, and soon the Door’s spirit has become one with the trees and chairs and mattresses and wherever else furniture souls should travel. And the door becomes nothing more than a burnt heap of wood.
  13. “Tales of orcs?” Stephen laughs calmly in the glow of the fire, nudging Tanuchan as he basks the peaceful sounds of the pennites in attendance. The welcome for C the Traveler was turning out to be a promising one indeed, perfectly encapsulating the friendly and peaceful nature of the Pen and its residents. Stephen nods over at Mynx and with a growing smile, then turns his attention back to C as he continues. “Well, we can certainly accommodate you in that regard my friend. One time, Tanuchan and I were-” “AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!” Stephen’s story is cut short as the Office window suddenly explodes, bursting glass and mortar over the unfortunate pennites as Wyvern comes sailing into the room and crash-lands straight into his desktop, tipping it over with a flail of wings and tail in restraints. C ducks and covers over the sudden shocking display of destruction, shutting his eyes and trembling as glass falls over his back and the tottering Recruiter’s Desk almost lands right on top of his head. The loud sound of Wyvern’s coughing is the first noise that echoes through the room of stunned pennites, followed by the sound of him hacking up gravel and shaking the ropes from his wings. The overgrown lizard blinks several times and shakes his head dizzily as he glances around the Office, noticing the various Pen folks gathered there with an increasing sense of disorientation. He scratches one of his horns, then wheezes out a strained laugh and bashfully waves to those in attendance. “G-g-greetingsssss all! What a pleasant surprise, errrr…” “You like that, Mr. Wyvern Q. Almostdragon?!” An angry voice echoes from the grounds below the Pen Keep, adjacent to where the new Office window hole has been formed. “Maybe next time, you’ll think twice before selling a seasoned mage a faulty product!” “Oh uhhh, pay no mind to him.” Wyvern cocks a claw back at the window hole with an uneasy grin. “He’s jusssst a disgruntled costumer who wasn’t fully satisfied with the quality of my Almost Dragonic Brand Cheapo Discount Prosthetic Limbs™ when it came to building his golem army. Guesssss he failed to read the fine print, eheheh.” Wyvern grunts and wipes the glass from his snout with the back of his claw, then wobbles over to the C the Traveler and attempts to assist him to his feet. “Pleasssure to meet you, C.” Wyvern smiles toothily and shakes the newcomer’s hand. “Wyvern, at your service and shopping convenience. I hope that you’ve seen that the Pen is a very kind and accept-“ “What’s the matter, Wyvern?!” The voice below jeers with an angry laugh. “Can’t accept a customer’s complaints?! Maybe if you’d refunded me, this wouldn’t have had to happen!” “Jussst a moment, C.” Wyvern smiles and pats C on the shoulder, then storms over to the hole in the window and clenches his teeth, shaking a fist with rage at the figure outdoors. “Oh yeah?! Oh YEAH?! You two-bit bottom-feeding pathetic excuse for a warmongering imbecile asssshole #$^%@ stupid %^*#! You wouldn’t know how to build a golem army if you sat on one, you low-life worm! Just because you own a semi-automatic catapult doesssn’t make you all high and mighty, cheapssskate! Refund my ssscaly ass! Why don’t make good use of all those limbs you bought and SHOVE’EM!” Wyvern turns his back to the window and seethes for a moment, his teeth and fists clenched with a little trail of smoke rising from his flaring nostrils. The reptilian Elder takes a deep breath to calm himself, then steps back over to C with the air of an almost dragonic angel. “My apologies for keeping you waiting, C. As I was saying, welcome to the Mighty Pen, one of the safessst writing communities arou-” An Almost Dragonic Brand Cheapo Discount Prosthetic Limb™ suddenly sails into the room through the window hole with some catapulted force, soaring in the direction of Mynx, who ducks out of its way gracefully. Unfortunately, the second Almost Dragonic Brand Cheapo Discount Prosthetic Limb™ fired into the room is not so easily evaded. It flies through the air until it connects dead on with Tanuchan’s head, knocking her unconscious. Stephen curses his reflexes, several seconds too late. “Uhhhh…” Wyvern ignores the rants of the mage outdoors and grabs C’s hand, pulling him to a safer corner of the Office, free of projectile limbs. “A-as I wasss saying, welcome to the Pen. It’s a fine community where writers bond together and form important tie- OH MY GOD MY SSSSMUT MAGS!” Wyvern promptly abandons C and races over to the burning fire at the center of the room, where he wails and desperately attempts to put it out. The overgrown lizard sobs and cries in anguish as he notices the pages of the stray magazines turning black in the fire, waving his tail back and forth and trying to stomp it out but only getting himself burnt. The reptilian Elder drops to his knees in front of the fire, pulling at the scales of his head in frustration as another prosthetic limb crashes into the room and narrowly misses him. He bangs his claws at the foot of the fire and lets out deep booming sobs, ramming his head several times against the floor and accidentally heating his horns in the flames. He flails at the flaming magazines for a few more moments, then lets out a long cry as he resigns himself to their fate. The overgrown lizard sits in a stunned silence for several minutes as he watches the mags wrinkle and crackle in the fire, then finally turns to the pennites in attendance with bloodshot eyes. “Alright.” Wyvern sniffs and points a claw at the fire, slamming his tail stinger unhappily on the floor. “Whossse idea was this?”
  14. The Pen cooking contest judges idle away in their elegant seats with a collective air of misery, daydreaming of appetizers as their hopes of eating continue to diminish. Tanuchan breathes a deep sigh and flinches as her stomach lets out a loud grumble, only to turn her head as the tilted Portrait of Zool offers a similar sound. Signe attempts to conceal her own stomach ails by stretching into some bored yet undeniably sexy position, but fails to completely hide the sound and inevitably completes the chorus of hunger. Once the natural growling has passed, the judges slump back into their seats, resigning themselves to a day without food until a promising sound catches their ears. The ring of a triangular dinner chime. The judges leap from their chairs. “Could it be-?” “Is that-?” “FOOD!” The chiming continues as the doors to the Conservatory contest tables are shoved open by a line of twenty-some wiggly cabbages, carrying a large imitation silver tray with a lid over it on their collective backs. The tray wobbles back and forth dangerously above the cabbages and their constant wiggles, almost toppling over until the cabbages come to a slightly less wiggly stop in front of the judges. The Portrait of Zool frowns and examines his list of contestants, not finding anything listed for the “Almost Dragonic Wiggly Insatiable Instabaker Cabbage Gang” but a little too hungry to really care. The other judges step forward to examine the lid of the dish curiously, only to fall back as the cabbages suddenly shake it off, revealing the rather unappetizing image of a conscious Wyvern all garnished up. The overgrown lizard’s wings and tail are bound by ropes, tied into crooked positions that are as decorative as they are uncomfortable. Cooking ribbons are tied around the lizard’s horns, their bright orange curls contrasting with the charred black look of the reptilian Elder’s scales. The almost dragonic dish turns his eyes pleadingly towards the judges, unable to speak due to a non-wiggly cabbage that has been crammed into his toothy maw. The cabbages set down the tray as Chiroq wiggles a “Bon Appetit” to the three judges. The wiggly chefs then shuffle off together to celebrate their culinary achievement with a bit of water, soil and warm sunshine…
  15. I recently finished watching the anime series "Eureka 7" in all its 50 episode glory, and my final verdict for the series is: lame. Granted, I did watch the entire 50 episodes, so it's only fair to note that the anime does have its strong points. The animation of the series, for the most part, is fluid and excellent. Of particular note is the character design, as each character has very colorful and distinctive clothes and features that make them stand out from each other and gives the anime some style. The music of the series is also superb, pairing exciting symphonic adventure music with the occasional bout of pounding techno, not to mention four different catchy intro and outro themes spread over the course of the show. While there were a few lame episodes scattered around the first season, it still got me involved for the most part and had me looking forward to the development of the characters and plot in the second season. Unfortunately, the second season quickly devolved into a disgustingly sappy love story, ripe with cliches and over-amplifications of emotions. The fate of humanity and the universe as we know it rests in the love between characters Renton and Eureka... but that doesn't make us any more interested in whether Renton will like how Eureka looks wearing make-up or not (there is an ENTIRE EPISODE that revolves around this "conflict." An ENTIRE EPISODE, I kid you not). Several episodes continue in that vein, largely abandoning the wide cast of cool characters to focus on the least interesting of the bunch. As if that weren't bad enough, "Eureka 7" is also a mech anime, meaning that we have to deal with those corny giant robots... extra-corny, in this case, since in "Eureka 7" they fly around using giant surf boards and even have their own special moves, complete with unecessary exclamations like "Baruka Berserker!" or "Seven Swell!" It really is ridiculously corny, and it seems like the few dramatic moments that work right in the series are eclipsed by some mecha nonsense. So strained is the mecha aspect of this anime that it blatantly bites concepts (and occasionally, scenes!) of other mech animes, including several bits from "Neon Genesis Evangelion" (which, to date, is the only mech anime that I've loved). After about 18 lame episodes, the series does manage to deliver a few great scenes in its last 8 episodes, mainly thanks to the relationships of some of the suffering opposing characters like Dominic and Anemone coming to the forefront... but even these episodes had a good deal of cheese. I should also note that I'm disappointed that the series completely overlooks the fates of all but the central characters, as there were some interesting relationships between the supporting characters that could have panned out or at least been touched upon at the end. Anyway, more lame mechsploitation to avoid. I'm sort of surprised at how much critical praise "Eureka 7" has recieved in the anime community considering how annoying it gets and how predictable it ultimately is. Blegh.
  16. Looks like this is shaping up to be a pretty fun story, Patrick. :-) It's too early to judge obviously, but I do like the title and the somewhat comic tone of the narrator's diary, not to mention the focal points that the adventurer chooses to write about. I like how in the first Day's entry, there's a playful awareness of the cliche that taverns represent as a starting point in RPGs, and I also like the tongue-in-cheek way that the narrator touches upon it. In the entry of Day 3, the adjective "Bloody" threw me off a bit as I thought it might be literal at first... it is a fantasy involving the king's men rallying in recruits, after all! Anyway, curious to see whether you take this story in more of a serious or more of a comical direction Patrick, though nothing's stopping you from covering'em both.
  17. Cool short story, Venefyxatu. :-) I can definitely see why imagining it would scare you while walking to your car, as there is something very eerie about being alone on a dark and confined street late at night. I feel like you capture that feeling very well in this piece, especially in the way that otherwise innocent objects and locations appear menacing in light of the situation. The faints sounds of jingling bells and the flower boxes and statues were especially effective, as was the way that the square changed into something more unnerving at night. Even the ice cream truck with its slogan has a strange air of malice to it. Nicely done Venefyxatu, I enjoyed reading it.
  18. There are two interesting movies I watched recently on DVD that I feel are worth touching upon: "The Element of Crime" and "Ellie Parker" "The Element of Crime" is the 1984 debut film of Lars Von Trier, and is quite an interesting spectacle. One thing that really stands out to me about the movie is the use of color, as it's shot in a dingy shade of sepia with occasional flashes of blue thrown in, usually coming from electronic devices like television sets or police sirens. The use of colors and contrasts makes it feel like a very dark take on classic film noir, and sets a great mood for the movie's seemingly futuristic setting. We see images of dead horses floating in water, and thrill-seekers tossing themselves off buildings against police protests to see if they'll survive or not. The story is also interesting, dealing with an ex-cop who is re-hired to track down a serial killer who is killing young girls in a systematic way. The story explores criminal psychology, and the way that tapping into the criminal psyche can ultimately lead to acting on criminal impulses. It's a damn impressive film if you're into the more artsy stuff (aspects of the setting reminded me of "Eraserhead"), well worth checking out. "Ellie Parker" is a fairly odd movie starring my favorite actress, Naomi Watts. It's a frustrating film in the sense that the quality is pretty terrible: it's shot on grainy digital video, like a college movie class project, and seems somewhat aimless in terms of its direction. The story, which deals with an actress searching for work in Hollywood, is full of eccentric details but is not terribly interesting in the long run. Regardless of the movie's many shortcomings, however, Naomi Watts delivers another outstanding performance, and almost seems to carry the movie on her own. In some ways, "Ellie Parker" is a minor success in the way it shows off Naomi Watts' acting abilities... I could see it being used as a sort of audition tape when directors are searching for samples of acting. Not very good as a movie, but clearly a shining example of Naomi Watts' abundant talent. Having touched on those, I want to hear more people's thoughts on films! I'm curious what movies Pen folks loved in 2009, please list'em here along with any thoughts you might have about'em!
  19. An uncomfortable stillness washes over the Pen as its various denizens go about penning their special war arrows, leaving only the sound of a slow ticking grandfather clock and the howl of the December wind outdoors. The wind drops for a moment just in time to reveal the creak of bows arched back... extremely cheap Almost Dragonic Brand Criss-Cross Bows™, if the ensuing chaotic twang of arrows sailing in every direction is anything to go by. The Portrait of Zool continues laughing over the brilliance of the war arrow writing thus far until a criss-crossing arrow lands with a resonating thud next to him, chipping a piece of his frame as it vibrates mere inches away from the precious surface of his painting. Zool frowns and attempts to crane his head to read the note attached to the arrow, but finds it a little too distant from his canvas position to properly make out. Should the painted pennite have made it out, however, he would have found a standardized letter addressed with his name on it. Not a war letter persay, but a letter aimed at the doors of many other pennites. A letter with an almost dragonic signature, dribbling the red ink of ill omen. Dear Zool, CONGRATULATIONS! Your Pen quarters have been officially selected for an Almost Dragonic Brand Product Placement Makeover™! Just sit back, relax, and let our skilled troglyodyte technicians turn your beloved dwellings into an enormous ad for some of the finest non-selling gimmick items this side of Nanoteknonnen-Os. Best of all: this offer comes absolutely NOT FREE! A bill covering all of the items used in this makeover will be tacked to your door, with the expectation that you will pay it within the next week, or your quarters will be forfeit to Almost Dragonic Inc. Happy holidays! Love, Wyvern P.S: Rental options available when quarters become forfeit. Just inquire at 1-900-LEECHINGLANDLORDLIZARD. The Portrait of Zool raises a brow as troglyodytes wearing smocks and carrying paintbrushes begin filing in and surrounding his painting, and he cries out as one of them begins scrawling some Almost Dragonic Brand slogan over his newly painted shirt. Elsewhere, while Snypiuer and Loki Wyrd are occupied waging arrow wars, their quarters are broken into and flooded with troglyodytes carrying large boxes of products to display. Even Ozymandias' inner-walls are breached by the sinisterly timed ad campaign. The initial phases of Operation Almost Dragonic Branding go off without a hitch...
  20. Wyvern finally locates his lost piece of geld, which is lodged firmly in a floor crack undoubtedly formed through one of his many schemes gone awry. The overgrown lizard tugs at the currency with tooth and claw before finally prying the floorboard up with his tail stinger and breaking it in half to retrieve it. Wyvern breathes a happy smoke ring as he fondles the coin, rubbing the geld piece on the front of his tunic as he stands with one foot in the broken floorboard and turns to troubled sleep. To answer the question that may have been troubling you in your sleep: the Almost Report was discontinued from a combination of its staff abandoning ship and a lack of actual news items to report on. I've considered reviving it and hosting it on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, and have even spoken to an interested party about collaborating on it, but the loss of personelle occured rather abruptly and it was never made clear whether they were eventually planning to come back or not. Since I don't want to step on any toes or hurt any feelings, I've refrained from putting any plans into action until it's all been clarified... though I will say that there's still not a terrible amount of news to report on! And I couldn't agree with you more about Pen RP events like the Fall Ball being the most memorable to me. The freeform RP threads of the Pen and their cast of many reoccuring characters have always stood out to me as something very unique to this site, and have always been my favorite thing about it. The style of approaching the Pen in-character doesn't seem to be too popular an approach any more though, which is a shame... I've often considered whether it'd be a good idea to enstate a policy in which every person who joins the Pen must create a character for the site, regardless if they ever plan to use that character or participate in collaborative threads. Just the ability to reference and play off of Pen characters is an inspiration to my writing, and the drastically decreased number of said characters present has likewise decreased my amount of writing here, I think. That and the lack of boobs, of course (God bless Elvina's recent Cabaret reappearance... where's my Almost Dragonic Brand Disposable Camera Golem™ when I need it?!) Carry on then. Wyvern seats himself on a Cabaret chair near Zool's painting, leaning his neck back and yawning as his tail swooshes idly back and forth.
  21. This looks like it'll be an interesting piece, JT. :-) I like the concept of the siren not truly understanding her role in the scheme of things under her father's deception, and am curious to see how she'll react once she discovers what her father really is. I'm also interested in seeing if the freedom that the father's offering her is really real, and how Evelry fits into the picture. One thing that you might consider in revisions is offering a different way for Annalisa to remain ignorant of her father's appearance, as him hiding in a darkened room would surely fail at some point when Annalisa's curiousity got the better of her. Perhaps Annalisa could be born blind, and simply take her father's voice for granted in her blindness, even if he never touches her? Also, on a more technical side note: in the fourth from the last paragraph, Annalisa says that she has not been allowed to see "your father" in what I assume is a comment directed at her father. Is that intended as a "you" rather than a "your," or is she really referring to her father's father who she also can't see? Thanks for sharing this here JTQuinton, always nice to hear from you. :-)
  22. Wyvern sifts through a very modest looking roll of geld in his claws, the "roll" in question consisting of a single geld piece wrapped in a Christmas giftwrap tube meant to fit at least 20 of such coins. Somehow the well-wrapped geld still manages to slip out of Wyvern's claws when the lizard pauses to overhear the discussions of activity stimulation, causing him to burst into a stream of curses and flail with his wings as he drops to the floor to scramble for it... I just wanted to drop in to say that I agree 100% with Jason Newcomb and Loki Wyrd about the "more boobs" thing. I also love the ideas proposed to expand the Pen's reach through more online social networking sites, and as an initiative have launched a Facebook group for the Pen. It still needs a bit of polish from our more artistic pennites, but it's here to join never the less! http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2162...7965&ref=nf Consider it an Xmas present to the Pen, if you will. :-) And thanks for all the great ideas Loki and Jason, feel free to keep'em coming. With that, Wyvern sets off across the floorboards, sniffing at each and every crack in his futile Christmas geld search...
  23. A cool lil' piece of prose, Bouts_of_coughing. :-) I like the "morning after" feel that it conveys, and the way that the initial clumsiness of the wakening affairs turns into something more heated. I dug some of the details, particularly the partner's legs sticking out like "crazy spider-legs," though it did take me a moment to envision since the immediate thing that came to mind was eight limbs. One thing that I was uncertain about in this piece was the gender of the narrator - perhaps it's done intentionally to convey the sense that this situation can happen to either sex, but there were no characteristics that identified the narrator as male or female to the reader. Anyway, nicely done, thanks for sharing this Bouts_of_coughing. :-) Oh, and as for the rest of us being lucky because we can write *Wyvern glances around the Pen and scratches one of his horns* it would seem the current number of people contributing things would go against that theory. ^_-
  24. Wyvern cocks his head up at Jason and drops the important game of geld-stacking solitaire he was playing, sweeping the limited pieces back towards his geld pouch as his snout twists in wrinkled disgust over the offer. The prospect of "Naughty Nymph: Newcomb Edition" certainly didn't seem to appeal to the skirt-chasing side of Wyvern's almost dragonic imagination, and the resolve in Jason's eyes didn't seem to comfort him any. Still, the lizard had to admit that Jason's appearance had quite improved from that of the young hooligan that had originally tossed insults around his Office... Gone were the wimpish looks and shrill vocal chidings, replaced by the chiseled chin and upright demeanor of a honed musician, an elegant bard that clearly had some future in fantasy modeling. Wyvern leans back in silence and taps a claw idly on his desktop, carefully considering how to work his way around Jason's sudden enthusiasm. "Errr, thankssss for dropping by Jasssson. Alright, lemme see here." Wyvern yanks open a drawer of his desk and begins tearing through the wild jumble of paperwork located within, pausing as he produces a terrifyingly long parchment. "Ah yes, that 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,973,578,001 geld that you owe me, you've come to repay it at long lassst have you? I'm not sssure if Naughty Nymph modeling is quite going to cover it, I'm afraid." Wyvern shakes his head slightly, only to suddenly freeze as a twinkle flashes over his eyes. The overgrown lizard's snout slowly spreads its way into an extra-toothy grin, and he begins rubbing his claws together in a sinister fashion. "Although then again, perhapsss something could be arranged... Let me jussst get in touch with 'Naughty Nymph's chief editor and we'll see what we can do, alright?" Wyvern flicks his forked tongue out in glee and moves his tail stinger through a stash of triple-X mags at his side, eventually producing a velvet telephone with only two dialing buttons on it, labeled "X" and "O." After punching in the appropriate number, Wyvern raises the phone under one of his horns and leans back in his seat as the sultry voice a handmaiden tells him to wait for only a second. "Hello, Ssssigne dearest?" Wyvern bites his lower lip as he casts a quick glance over at Jason, then slowly hisses as he continues. "You're sssounding hot today. Hey, listen, I was wondering if you wanted to do a little personal business... see, I have this male model here, and he owes me a pretty big favor soooo..." ;-)
  25. Bouts_of_coughing sighs to herself as she glances over at the Office Rolodex clock and considers the lengthy period of time that the Pen’s Recruiter is apparently forcing her to wait, wondering if it’s all part of some idiotic initiation ritual or if the Elder of Initiates really is as lazy and incompetent as rumors have suggested. The Pen applicant leans back in her Office easy-chair and takes a deep breath to calm her nerves, only to break into a short fit of coughing as the dust of the quarters’ accumulated paperwork gets to her. A loud sound rings out in the middle of her coughing fit, and by the time she’s recuperated, Wyvern has already made his entrance and is forcing the Office window shut again. The reptilian Elder brushes a claw through his disheveled scales in a failed attempt to set them straight, and turns to Bouts_of_coughing with an awkward bow. “Greetingssss Bouts, can I call ya Bouts?” Wyvern strikes a toothy sneer and a little wave as he approaches his desk, causing paper work floor tremors with his jerky tail motions. “Sssorry if I’m here a little earlier than expected, the Almost Dragonic Brand Slow-Plastered Bed Spreads™ I was working on went far quicker than expected. I hope you’ve had enough time to properly acquaint yourself with the Recruiter’s Office?” Bouts_of_coughing slowly nods with a glum expression, watching as the crimson-scaled Recruiter skirmishes through his desk until he comes up with the appropriate application poem. “Glad to hear it. Now, lessee here…” Wyvern stretches his wings and collapses back into the seat behind his cluttered desk, cocking his feet up onto the desktop as he lifts the poem closer to his snout. “Hmmm, snow and ice in the first line, cousins of H2O. Not a good ssstart if you wanna leave a favorable impression with me my dear… after all, we all know how terrible water is.” Bouts_of_coughing opens her mouth to respond, only to be interrupted as Wyvern continues. “I do like the bits about stealing though. And I mussst say, the last three linesss kinda win me over.” Wyvern grins, leaning further back in his chair and swatting a corner of the application with his claw. “That’sss a catchy ad ssslogan if I ever heard one! Don’t suppose you’d let me borrow it for my marketing campaign for Almost Dragonic Brand Slow-Plastered Bed Spreads™? I could offer you a 10% discount on bulk purchases of the spreads in return, how about it?” Wyvern leans in across his desk with an eager expression, his scaly claws pressed together in a businessman’s posture. Noticing the mixed look of confusion and annoyance on Bouts_of_coughing’s face, Wyvern lets his wings relax and slowly pulls himself back down into his seat. “That’s alright, you don’t have to decide now, but think about it would ya?” Wyvern winks and snatches a stamp from a corner of his personal mess, marking Bouts_of_coughing’s application ACCEPTED. “In the mean time, I hope you’ll at least try one of these Almost Dragonic Brand Bruteweiser Cough Drops.™ 10 geld a piece, and guaranteed to make you cough or your money lost!” ;-) OOC: A very strong poem and accepted application, Bouts_of_coughing. Welcome to the Mighty Pen! I hope you find this a friendly and open community to share your writing with, and look forward to reading more of your stuff as well as writing with you collaboratively. Welcome once again, and apologies for the long wait!
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