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The Pen is Mightier than the Sword

TLDunn213

Quill-Bearer
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Everything posted by TLDunn213

  1. TLDunn213

    Ancient Aliens

    While poking around on the gravity resistant thing I ran across a thing Where this guy; Bushman; had done a test involving crazy strong rare earth magnets. Placed N to N and dropped off a building they were landing later than two equal sized pieces of the same stuff that weren't magnetized. Claims that this is an anti-gravity effect Sadly I can't buy it without better testing. Steel rebar in the wall of the building is most likely to be why the magnets fell slower. Take the magnets up in a balloon and drop them over an empty field. If you get the same results, then, Then, we are on to something. Until then, it's just a pipedream fueled by wishful thinking and sloppy science.
  2. TLDunn213

    Ancient Aliens

    If someone is already doing this topic let me know. Anyway I was looking at a thing on magic in here somewhere And it got me thinking about the whole ancient lost science idea. And while I don't buy everything from that show on the History channel They do make a good case for ancient advanced science. It's the alien part I tend to discount. Not to say that aliens aren't out there or may have come here But the aliens "gods" they tend to point to in the series Looked human acted human mated with humans. Look at all the half gods in the Greek stories. So I hold to the view that most of these "aliens" were humans Who just happened to have higher level technology. Easy enough to see how that could happen Take the world as it is now. Pick a disaster. End of civilisation level. Wait oh... 50 years or so; and then come down from a space station Or out from under a mountain. We have modern tech while the other survivors are people in remote jungles and such who didn't have much tech to start with... Would we not be taken for "gods" ? Maybe I'll take a shot at trying to write a story along that line. See how long I can keep people guessing as to when it's taking place Ancient past or post apocalyptic future. Anyone else who wants to try something along this line; Go for it. If you want help with such a project; I'll do my best to be useful And if you don't want/need help; well, let me know about it anyway as I'd love to see a good story done along this line. And so far all I've got is the concept.
  3. TLDunn213

    Dread Foundries

    Dread Foundries of Under Louis By Tracy L Dunn It was a gray dull day on the Styx, not that there were ever any other kind. And the term "day" didn't mean much when there was no sun to mark the passing of one day into the next. Still Stephen Fox noted the day as dull and gray. Of course this was mostly to distract himself from what was to come once the great Iron Boat had finished pulling alongside the sandbar that was just a few dozen yards from the shore. Close enough to tempt one into trying to swim. If one happened to be a fool or protected by very strong magic. Then again risking swimming the Styx was the act of a fool in Stephen's book no matter how much magic you had protecting you. And Stephen was not a fool; or at least not that much of one. If he were truly not a fool of some sort or other he wouldn't be following the lifestyle of a wandering gambler/mage along the banks of the Styx. There were after all safer ways of making a living. Many of which paid better than gambling or mage craft. Not that mage work didn't pay; if you were good at it. And that was rather the point. Stephen wasn't good at it. Oh he could cast a few spells well enough to get himself out of a tight spot. But brewing potions and enchanting objects day in and day out was just sooo dull. Which made his current picklement all the more vexing. It would almost be funny, if it were happening to someone else. Cheating at cards by way of magic. Really. If he were good enough to bewitch a deck of cards without being noticed on an Iron Boat while it was underway.... Well if he were that good he would have opened a shop a long time ago and likely be ready to retire by now. The Iron Boat swung around and came to a stop alongside the sandbar with its blue energy field crackling softly. "Steady there."Called the Captain. "We won't be long. Will we Mr. Fox?" he added turning to Stephen. Stephen looked at him and then at the spell shackle on his wrist. "Is this really necessary ?" he ask. "No." said the Captain softly "But they insist. And as they own most of the cargo on the boat..." he gave a shrug. "I see." Stephen said flatly. "For what it's worth, I don't think you was doing what they say. I know a thing or two about how hard it is to do mage work while a Boat's underway. No hard feelings between us?" he ask offering his hand. Stephen looked at the offered hand coolly for a moment before spotting the glint of something hidden in it. "No. No, hard feelings between us." he said taking the hand and the key hidden in it. "You were just doing what you had to do." he added slipping the key into a pocket. "Right then. RUN OUT THE PLANK !" he yelled turning to the two general purpose Synthoids standing near the rail. The "Plank" was a yard wide, ten foot long, six inch thick slab of Rune covered FerroMantic Iron. The Synthoids lifted it as if it were Balsa wood and quickly ran it out over the lower bar of the ships railing. Once it was hooked in place and the upper bar was swung aside the Captain turned to Stephen "You may now go ashore Mr. Fox." he said with a grand wave of his arm tword the "plank". Which was greeted with grins and snickers from the cargo owners who weren't able to deal with the fact that Stephen was really just that good at cards. Not sparing them so much as a look he strode down the "plank" and on to the sandbar. managing not to flinch as the energy field snapped back once his trail foot had left the plank and touched down on the mud of the "sand" bar. He stood there not moving until he caught sight of the Iron Boat's blue glow moving on past the bar and then he turned his back on it and looked the other way. Once the boat was out of sight Stephen took out the key and applied it to the locking rune on the Shackle, and sent power through it. There was a click, and the Shackle opened. Amateurs. If you want to hold a wizard you need to use two Shackles. And I might have been able to pick badly made ones like this even if they had used two. But the key was faster. He admitted to himself, as he pulled a bit of string out of his pocket and hung the key around his neck. Never know when you might need something like that. and then after a moments thought he passed his hand over the key and murmured a Word. The Key shimmered and a simple Rune stone charm took its place. Then he took a Scrip out of his belt pouch and went to work in the Shackle's inner surface. About half an hour later, during which an Iron Boat had passed without even slowing down, he made a few quick changes to the Runes on the outside of the Shackle and then snapped it closed around his left wrist. A touch to the locking rune and then the two on the side and then the one on the bottom and it shimmered and faded from view. Never hurts to have a trick or two up your sleeve, especially when people you don't like do most of the work for you without even knowing it. But Stephen's smirk of satisfaction quickly faded as he stood there waiting for a someone to come along with the only change of view was a slow but steady rising of the Mist over the Styx. Once Stephen had finished his work on the Spell Shackle he turned his attention to the problem of getting off the sandbar. His best hope was a Boat or a Barge coming along. Hopefully before his Styx charm failed. The rising mist wasn't as dangerous as the lapping waters at the edge of the bar; but without the charm it would still wash away his hope and memories; just more slowly and less noticeably. He glanced at the Charm its glow was undiminished, for now. Calling a Boatman wasn't an option; other things that couldn't reach him on shore would hear/feel, the call and get there first. Using the Shackle to power a bridge spell could work, if his Charm held long enough to let him charge the Shackle slowly. A fast charge would be as bad as trying to Call a Boatman. Then he saw it. Low to the water and half hidden by the rising mist. But clearly there; the spell glow of an Iron Boat or, given its lowness to the water, a Rune Barge. As it drew closer, it became clear that it was a barge. While far less shielded than a Boat a Barge was far more likely to stop and pick him up. So, once it was close enough Stephen cast a ball of light into the air above the water a little way out from the bar. "Ahoy, the Barge!" he called. "Ahoy, yourself." a voice called back, "What in the name of Cerberus are you doing out here?" "Waiting for a kindly soul to save me from the malice of those who can't bear their losses like gentlemen." "HA HO !" the voice called back, "I'm a mercenary soul more than kindly one, but if you've a bit of bling to trade for passage..." and the Barge to a stop even as the voice trailed off expectantly. Stephen was less than thrilled to see that the speaker was a Cyclops with a crew of orks. Still, having no other real choice..."I think we can work something out." he said stepping onto the Barge. "Well," Said the Cyclops, "what have ye ta offer for passage upon me fine craft?" 'Fine craft ?' was pushing things a bit to Stephen's way of thinking, altho the Rune carved Darkwood looked to be in far better shape than most craft of this type that he'd seen; not that he'd had reason to see very many. "I've a fine light crystal." he offered pulling one from an inside pocket. He didn't expect it to be nearly enough, but saw no reason to offer the full price all at once. He might get the giant to settle for less. "It's a start." the giant said after looking at it. "I've a bit of coin, but I'd rather your whole crew not know where I keep it." he said. "A wise thought that. Cronk; I'll be in my cabin talking business, see we're not disturbed." the giant said tossing the crystal to a large, rough looking hobgoblin whom Stephen mistrusted as soon as he saw him. "Aye, Captain Pheron." the hobgoblin said catching the crystal and hiding it without even turning to look. "Not easy to look at, but useful for keeping the rest in line." Pheron remarked as he lead the way to a small hut at the back of the barge. "Push off and get us back in the current." he called to a burly ork standing atop the hut holding the rudder pole. "Aye, Captain." the ork called back. "Shove off ya lazy swine; Cap'n wants us underway!" the steersman bellowed as Stephen followed Pheron into the hut. The room held a bed, a desk, and a chair. With the faint glow of locking spells on the bed; which was really a box with a mat on top; and the desk, which Pheron was opening. "See to your secrets while I see to mine. Then we can talk for a bit." "But we've not set a price." Stephen protested. "Half of what you've got in your money belt should cover it." "Very well." Stephen said drawing out five of the twelve gold pieces hidden there as he gave thanks that the three platinum pieces were hidden elsewhere. Pheron counted the coins and slipped them into a pouch on his belt."The Crystal is worth about a gold, so I'll let it slide. But you shouldn't try shorting people like that; it'll get you into trouble one of these days. Stephen flushed as re d as his hair and gave silent thanks that the spell shackle kept him from shifting. Altho the Cyclops might already know his true nature. Pheron laughed "Now that you know lying to me is a waste of time, will you have a drink and tell me of yourself and your travels; starting, perhaps with your name ?" and with that Pheron held out a glass of green liquid which Stephen recognized as Saurian brandy. Very good Saurian brandy, he discovered after a careful first sip quickly followed by a full swallow. "Ah, that's good." Stephen observed while resolving to be careful about drinking any more. Saurian brandy packs quite a punch. Pheron drained his glass, refilled it and took a sip of the next, waiting. Stephen took another sip. "I am called Stephen Fox; among a number of less disserved and far less suitable things." Pheron had raised his eyebrow at the name 'Fox', but said nothing, finishing off his second glass and refilling it again. Stephen took another sip of his drink and wondered if he could hold his own even at a glass to sip rate. "I am a mage, of some small skill;" he went on, "and a gambler of rather greater skill." "Which leads some to assume you use your first skill to improve the second." Pheron observed putting the cork back in the bottle and putting it and his glass back into the desk. Stephen drained his own glass and handed it over. "And so the question of your arrival on the sandbar is answered; yet the answer spawns the question of why you travel the Styx in the first place." "No great mystery there." Stephen said, "I had heard that Under Louis offered opportunities to use my second skill set to acquire the means to improve the first, and places where those means could be applied without need of further travel." all of which was quite true, as far as it went; his other reasons for traveling to Under Louis were ones it would be better to keep to himself, even if Pheron were a trustworthy sort, a boat full of orks, goblins, hobgoblins, and their ilk was no place to talk about matters of that sort. "Ah" said Pheron, "So you plan to settle in Under Louis. "Yes." Stephen said "But what of you; I'm assuming Under Louis is just a stop along your way?" "For now; but a few more loads of Nether Ore and I'll have enough Feromantic Iron to start turning this into a Boat. There's more money in travelers than cargo; even if cargo doesn't complain as much. Stephen smiled at that, then added, "If you don't already have a Mage lined up, come see me when you're ready to start building and I'll give you a good price on the Inscribing." "I'll bear it in mind; but I managed the Runes on this tub well enough by myself." Stephen blinked and let his eyes go silver for a moment. The Spell Weave on the Barge clearly matched Pheron's Aura and his mere ten foot height should have been a tip off to his other than pure giant blood. Which lead Stephen to revise his estimate of Pheron's age upward by a couple of decades. After all a pureblood wouldn't start coming into his magic until his first century or later. But a half-bread... "and a fine job it is too." Stephen said letting his eyes shift back to 'normal' "Still; a bit of help could save me some time, and work space don't come cheap in Under Louis; even in the best of times." "Best of times?" Stephen ask hoping not to seen too interested. "Scorpanoks; or so I've heard. Not just a few, and not just passing through a company's worth, and staying around. "Doing what?!"Stephen exclaimed, "I could see a few loaner types taking a warehouse guard job to get by till something better turned up. But a company...?" "Arms and armor; would be my guess. And they might be needing transport for it." "Careful there." Stephen warned, "Scorpanoks aren't noted for paying for what they can just take." "Depends on the Company. Some are better than others." Pheron rumbled; clearly not pleased at the thought."Anyway, I plan to dock in the goblin quarter until I can get their measure." Stephen didn't think that was much safer than dealing with Scorpanok mercenaries but held his peace, as getting out of the goblin quarter and into a better part of town unnoticed was a better plan than landing at the main docks or trying to find his way through the tunnels beyond Under Louis from some uncharted landing point. "So how far are we from Under Louis ?" Stephen asks, wondering how long he could stay awake, or if he'd have to risk trying to sleep on the Barge somewhere. "A few hours yet." Pheron said getting up, "a bit less if I push things. You can catch a nap in here if you like. I'll catch up on my sleep in Under Louis." "I wouldn't want to put you out." Stephen said; even as he took an appraising look at the bed and decided it would be quite comfortable. "No bother, I've got a meal and a bed waiting for me at the Stag." Pheron said opening the door and stepping out. 'The Stag' !? Well that was interesting Stephen thought as the door closed. He was to meet the Lady Fantasia there and learn what he could from her before poking around on his own. Could Pheron be one of Melkior's agents? Best not to know, if what Melkior feared was true. But would Scorponoks work for Thulians? Of course if they were using Varna agents there would be no reason for the Scorps to know who they were really working for. Deciding that further speculating would be pointless until he knew more; Stephen set a simple alarm ward on the door. Anything more would have been too much work with the Barge underway. And with his privacy secured he unlocked the holding spell on the Shackle and returned to his true form. And after giving himself a good bone popping stretch, lay down on the bed; not bothering to take his clothes off or turn down the covers. And was quickly asleep. A few moments, hours?, later he snapped awake. The Barge was slowing and the energy field shutting down. He quickly Shifted and reset the Shackle. Which he noted was now almost half charged. He'd just taken the alarm ward off the door when Pheron opened it. "We're here.” he said, "Will you be needing a Cloak?" "I think not." Stephen said glancing at the Styx Charm around his neck: it would need recharging soon. He added a Disguise Amulet. As the Amulet fell into place next to Charm and hidden Key Stephen's form seemed to waver for a moment as the image of an ork overlay his own. "Aye. That should do; if no one looks close."Pheron allowed as he lead the way out of the cabin. "Unless they already know the truth." Cronk said pointing a crossbow at Stephen's heart. “Let’s see what you really look like.” said the Scorpanok standing to Cronk’s left, reaching forward to grab Stephen’s disguise amulet and jerk it off. The ork image shimmered and vanished leaving his human form behind. Stephen wondered if his true form had shown during his unmasking, but could think of no way to check. “What’s the meaning of this Cronk?!” Pheron demanded. “Sorry Captain, but they made a better offer for him; and you.” The Scorpanok looked closely at Pheron, “Yes, there’s a bounty on this one too.” he said. More Scorpanoks moved forward from among the orks, energy crackling around their lower hands Shackles held in upper. “Rest of the crew’s secure Sarge. What about this one?” One of the new arrivals ask indicating Cronk with a wave of his Shackle filled hand. “He works for the Boss.” the Sergeant said. The Shackle waver took a step back. “You mean he’s…” “…Not your problem.” the Sergeant cut him off. “Right. So, just these two then.” he said turning back to Stephen and Pheron. “You going to come along quiet like or do we stun you, chain you, and wait for you to wake up?” “No waiting.” the Sergeant said twitching his tail with impatience. “If we stun ‘em, we drag ‘em. “You heard the Sarge. So how ‘bout it?” Stephen held out his arms; there would be chances to escape later. Trying to fight free now would just get him stunned and dragged. This way he’d at least get a look at where they were going. To his relief Pheron seemed to have reached the same conclusion; as he also held out his arms with a muttered growl. The Shackles snapped shut around each wrist and then came PAIN!!! Blinding; Searing; Pain! Then it was gone. “Just a taste of what you’ll get if you cause any trouble.” the Sergeant said as Stephen and Pheron climbed back to their feet. Stephen didn’t even remember falling, but a pain in his shoulder bore witness to his meeting with the deck. “All right; Let’s move you maggots. You two, up front; The rest of you rabble form up behind them; Four wide. Move it; Move it; Move it!” the sergeant yelled waving his upper arms while keeping the pain rod in his lower right hand close to his side. Stephen set off at a quick trot, having no other choice. Pheron was lucky to be tall enough to keep pace at a walk. Scorpanoks were everywhere, carapaces gleaming, tails held high, pain batons held in their upper arms. This wasn’t a company, this was an army. An occupying army. How could they have taken over so quickly and completely? They had only been marching for about 20 min. when the Foundries came into view and a feeling of unease started stealing over Stephen. He glanced down at his Styx-charm and breathed a Work of Power over it and only just managed not to flinch at the pain from the Shackles. WOW ! Picking these things will be a real trick (if I can do it at all) a nagging voice of doubt added. After all, he’d be not only trying to pick top of the line pain shackles, but trying it in a dread field strong enough to give him the creeps this far out. The Charm was helping, now that he’d boosted it, but it wouldn’t last long in the Foundries. A day, maybe less. Well, he’d just have to work fast, once he got a chance; if he got a chance. Another half-hour of quick marching and they had reached the Foundries. And the Dread field was like a wool blanket soaked in ice water. Even through the Charm, and small wonder with the amount of Neather-Ore being smelted and Feromantic Iron being quenched in Styx water. The wonder was that anyone without a charm, of some sort or other, could stand to stay here at all. Then a low-level pain started spreading over him from the Shackles. Like an electric shock set low enough to just be uncomfortable. “That should be enough to keep you working.” The sergeant said. “And if the Dread starts slowing you down; we can always turn up the shock.” “Now get to work. You lot can start shoveling black-rock into the furnace over there.” He said to one group. “And the rest of you can start loading ore into the smelter.” He went on indicating Stephen’s group. Stephen struggled to hide his dismay. Neather-Ore drew magic, likely strongly enough to trip the pain shackle, as if he wouldn’t be working with enough problems and distractions. Now he’d be lucky to have any magic left by the time they were finial allowed to sleep; if they were allowed to sleep. No, surely the Scorps would allow them food and rest, just to get more work out of them in the long run. Stephen closed off his mind to block out the pain and slow the relentless draining of his magic by the Neather-Ore. Survive now, escape later. And for the next several hours; he didn’t really notice how many; Stephen’s world shrank to a pile of ore, a smelter and the short path between them. Then, water. He hadn’t noticed his thirst until the water skin was at his mouth and it was only starting to ease when the skin was gone leaving his thirst more pronounced than satisfied. Another timeless interval of ore and pain. Another mouthful of water. More Ore. Then finial; Food. He couldn’t have said what it was, just that it was something to chew that gave energy and almost awakened hunger before fatigue took it away along with everything else. “Fox…” a voice called. Then again louder, “Fox; wake up. It’s time to go.” “Wha..? Who?” he muttered trying to force his eyes open. “Good. You’re awake. Drink this; it’ll help” and he felt a glass bottle against his lips. “Who?” he tried to ask again as the bottle was tipped up forcing him to drink or chock. He drank, swallowing quickly. The warmth of the Ambrosia spread through him quickly and the world came into sharper focus. He almost cried out at the sight of a Scorpanok guard leaning over him. “Relax, it’s me; Fantasia.” The ‘guard’ said. “How do…”He started to ask. “Would a ‘real’ guard be helping you?”She snapped. “Good to see you too. Now about these.” he said holding out the Shackles. “You haven’t got them off yet; you’ve been awake a good minuet now.” She teased, and then grew serious. “I couldn’t get a key. They don’t seem to believe in keeping ant handy.” “Stephen muttered a curse. “Fine; I’ll just have to do this the hard way. Go see if you can get Pheron up.” “Who?” “Cyclops, half-bread; over that way, I think. Shouldn’t be too hard to find.” He said pointing off to his left. “Friend of yours?” “I think so. His first mate sold us out to the Scorps. But I think he was really a Varna.” “The mate?” Stephen nodded. “o.k. I’ll see what I can do for your friend.” She said and moved off. Stephen watched the doppelganger go “unnerving, but useful.” He muttered, “Not that I have room to talk on that score. He added after a moment’s pause. Then he turned his attention to the Shackles. The one from the Boat was like a toy next to these. But the fact that they had missed that ‘toy’ might just give him the edge he’d need to beat these. He reached for the hidden Shackle with his mind and Power. Yes; as he’d hoped it was fully charged; having caught a good bit of the power being pulled from him by the Neather-Ore. Now what to do with that power? He studied the Runes on the Scorp-Shackles. Yes, more complex than the one from the Boat; even after he’d worked on it; but a Shackle is still a Shackle and so there has to be a lock and key rune set up somewhere on it. “ah ha ! There you are. And you are a nasty, tricky, bit of work too aren’t you?” Stephen muttered as he traced the spell weave from Rune to Rune. Tweek the wrong Rune and the pain spell would keep building until it kills you. Nasty. But, if I link this back to here; and this over to here… He reached into his belt pouch for his Scrib; somewhat surprised to find that it was still there… He was just finishing when a guard came by. “And just what do you think you’re doing?” he demanded. Stephen didn’t hesitate, he channeled energy from the hidden Shackle through the one he’d just finished working on and sent a bolt of pure Pain at the guard; who crumpled with only a soft moan. He was taking aim at a second guard when he spotted Pheron behind ‘him’ just as she called out “It’s me.” He lowered his arm in relief.
  4. TLDunn213

    Dread Foundries

    "We need answers, and to get them we need more information, and one place to get that is the Scarlet Stag." I said getting up from the table and putting my dishes in the sink. "O.k. I'll head over there and see what I can find out." Fantasia said adding her dishes to the sink. "I was thinking of going myself, Need to talk to Tatanya about something that's between us, and get it settled before we go forward with any sort of alliance for dealing with the ongoing problem." "I see... Well, don't let me get in the way of resolving a personal score with a Fay." "Now, Just a minute;" Pheron said sliding his plate across the table, where Fantasia could reach it. "Didn't we just escape from the Scorps ? And won't they be looking for us ? Which would make walking the streets a sort of crazy thing to be doing just now ? " "Well, it would be; If I was to go out there looking like this; Or relying on a glamour. But Full on shape shifting is a lot harder to see through. As Fantasia demonstrated by rescuing us." "Okay, fine, have it your way. It's still crazy. Then again so's leaving a personal score with a Fay standing any longer than you have to; Or even having a personal score with a Fay in the first place. How did...? No. On second thought; I don't think I really want to know."
  5. TLDunn213

    Behind the House of Usher

    It took us a couple of hours to get to the side channel we were looking for. Surprisingly, none of the Styx Gollums from the fortresses followed us. I wondered if I should take it as a good sign or a bad one, but came to no conclusion on that point. I took the time to swap out the sleep spells for binding ones, and take a look at the rest of the book. As expected there wasn't much of use to us just now. But quite a lot that Melkior could use in his research. After all knowing how a Styx Gollum or Dracolitch is made can be quite useful in figuring out its weak points. Once we reached the point where we were on the map it was a simple matter to repair the spell that keeps it up to date. In fact it took longer for the map to settle down after. It seems that the map has a rewind abilitie; allowing one to check for trends in the way things are moving around. I took a few minutes playing around with it, but didn't spot any shifts likely to be fast enough to matter to us. As to paths in and out, There weren't any good ones, But I found a couple that we could deal with well enough.
  6. TLDunn213

    Behind the House of Usher

    The House of Usher is not too far out from Arkem. Just down the lane and around the bend in the road with the big dead tree that's been there forever. You may have heard of the place. Several paranormal professors at Miskatonic have stayed there over the years. Most of them distant members of the Usher clan, even if the Usher name has mostly died out these days. Around to the back of the House you'll find a small, walled in, patch of woods. Small that is if you measure it around the outside. But if you go in... Well that's where things start getting... Interesting. You may want to take a Crescent of Astare and/or some other protective charms with you. You'll want to set out around sunset as it will be close to dawn when you get where you're going in there. Where are you going ? Well this is the Woodland of Weir. And if you follow a certain alley of Cyprus You'll come to the Lake of Auber. Watch your step it's rather foggy down there. Following the shoreline around will lead you to The Tomb of Ulalume. There's a Styx Horn hanging on a Rune covered Obelisk Next to the Lake. Auber is a sort of oxbow of the Styx close to where the Leth joins it. Watch out for the cross current. The Runes on the door-arch of the Tomb form a Gate Leading to a place on the slopes of Mount Yaanek Not too far from Leng and its fabled Library If you take the Styx route You will want to sound the Horn About an hour before dawn According to the stardial next to the Tomb And it is best if you pick a season that Puts the moon in Leo at that hour. The Lethe crosscurrent isn't as bad then.
  7. TLDunn213

    Ancient Aliens

    Maybe they did ask and it was edited out. But then they'd just edit out the oops part. As to being watched; This is a writing site, it's a fiction thing isn't it. 😊 "Gravity resistant" I'm going to have to do some poking around to see what I can find on that one.
  8. TLDunn213

    On Nerfs and Gribbles

    Going back to the hidden passageway, Zatar takes a moment to scan the still unconscious Snypiuer. After finding no major damage, and placing a general purpose heading spell on him, just in case, teleports him to the, by now customary, couch in the Tavern. "He'll be fine. Now, bring me up to speed on what happened to you?" "O.k. " Qwerty said, putting the stunner in its holster and setting off down the hidden passageway "I was down by the Vaults of Time, trying to figure out which way to go to reach 'just a bit past' " " Sorry, about that. You Teleported in next to the Vaults ?" Qwerty nodded. "I'm normally coming from the Kitchen/Larder direction." "Ah, of course, picking up food for the hatchling; I should have thought of that. Anyway, before that insight had occurred, this evil looking clown shows up and starts wrapping me up in this sticky sleep cocoon stuff. Would have had me too, if I hadn't remembered this spare body I'd left at your place last year." "I'd forgotten about that, So, the breakaway stasis spell broke when you mindshifted in ?" "Had to give it a bit of a mental shove, But it worked pretty much like we wanted."
  9. TLDunn213

    On Nerfs and Gribbles

    A Nerf according to "The Prince and the Gift" by G K Dunn Which I helped with a little Is sort of a cross between a llama and a goat. Llama body, neck about half as long, goat head, Long shaggy fur Gribble Option one A giant tribble Option two A grabber tribble A nasty bit of work by an insane tribble breeder who got ahold of some Thulian biomancy text. (Zatar becomes fascinated by the ceiling at this point) Anyway They are bald scaley things with retractable tentacles That pack a nasty one two bioelectric neurotoxin sting They mostly sit around looking like rocks Until someone or something wanders by... And you don't need me to keep going do you ? They are said to be quite tasty breaded and fried. A delicacy in some regions of the Underdark. Or so I'm told.
  10. TLDunn213

    On Nerfs and Gribbles

    Zatar looked back and forth between the two Qwertys reflexively shifting to Magesight and aiming the med-Scaner at the armed Qwerty... Zeta; and with traces of a stasis spell clinging to him. Zatar turns his gaze and Scaner tword the other Qwerty, only to find him vanished. A stunner beam rips through the empty space a second later. "Really gone then, I was hoping he'd just gone invisible." "Should I have you bring me up to speed now or after?" "After, if you can get a lock on his teleport trace. I'm not sure what he/it Really is; So no clue how hard it will be to track." "Very;" Zatar said after a few minutes of murmured spells and adjusting of settings on the Scaner. "He didn't teleport, so much as dissipate. He seems to have turned into smoke or vapor and drifted off this way... and then sank through the floor... about here." Zatar finished coming to a stop a few yards further down the original hallway. "Seems to be an innate ability too, as I'm not picking up any traces of spell work of any type I've ever seen before."
  11. TLDunn213

    On Nerfs and Gribbles

    Snypiuer's screams of panic had stopped rather abruptly. Growing worried Zatar sends a small glowing mote of magic trailing after his earlier spells, and lengthens his stride. He's almost running when his light mote takes a sharp left into and through a large wall hanging. Skidding to a stop Zatar reaches out with his magic to lift the tapestry out of the way. Revealing a secret passageway with an unconscious Snypiuer on the floor. Pulling a Med Scaner from his cloak Zatar notes a lump on Snypiuer's forehead and a low support beam. "Knocked himself silly, I take it ?" Qwerty observed as he glided to a stop next to Zatar. "Looks like it. Now to see if he did any damage to..." "IMPOSTOR!!" Qwerty yelled from further down the passageway; charging forward with some sort of ray-pistol in hand, aimed at the Qwerty standing next to Zatar.
  12. TLDunn213

    Ancient Aliens

    ???? Like...Dude What are you smoking?
  13. TLDunn213

    Ancient Aliens

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. I was asking the other day; why we don't have water fueled cars, if everything needed to make them is off the shelf technology ? And then I went looking for an answer. And I found one. Which begs the question of why we don't hear this tidbit of information trotted out whenever the topic of water fueled cars comes up ? Oh, the answer; Disappointing really; Which may be why it's not brought up. The energy needed to break water into Hydrogen and oxygen is the same as the energy you get when you burn that Hydrogen as fuel. A bit more actually as no system is perfect and some energy gets lost along the way. So, yep, Thermodynamics strikes again. But...We see these water fueled cars driving around? We do. But there is always another source of power in play one way or another. Extra batteries, gasoline being mixed with the Hydrogen, or stuff added to the water that reacts to give off extra hydrogen. Sorry, but you can't get around thermodynamics. Spread the word, so we can stop wasting time on this a focus on options that do work.
  14. TLDunn213

    Warlocks

    While I don't have the D&D books for this class I've heard enough to see them as being more or less the same as the Dracons that I already have in the Shardscape. With the only real difference between the two being what they are bonded to. Or are drawing their Essence from, in the case of Ronini Warlocks. Now D&D doesn't have Ronini Warlocks, at least as far as I know. But I see no reason to not include them in the Shardscape. As well as "Blood" types; which D&D does have; sort of. In so far as they have Plane Touched, Tieflings, Azamars, etc. They don't really seem to have anything for those descended from The Great Old Ones, But the Thulians here in the Shardscape could cover that fairly well. And with the Ronini option also comes the Mongrel Warlock. Someone who, in their quest for power has been grabbing whatever supernatural essence they can get, and so are now well on their way to becoming...? If you are having trouble following what I'm talking about here, Check out my Dragons and Dracons post. And if you have questions after that, Please ask. And I will try to explain.
  15. TLDunn213

    Ancient Aliens

    So, I've been doing some research and; Vibro-blades are a real thing, Go figure. Not a huge surprise but still cool to know. And there's some evidence that a sort of tuningfork sonic drill was used to cut and carve stone back in ancient times. And that the stones used to build the Great Pyramid are a type of geo-polymer cement/concert. Which in a way could also explain things like the London hammer and other stuff found in ancient stones. Bad part about that idea is that "natural " geo-polymer processes are a thing geologists should already know about. And if they somehow didn't That would put the age of a LOT of stuff into question. Unless we just have really bad geology work on these few "out of place" artifacts. Any thoughts, anyone ?
  16. TLDunn213

    Ancient Aliens

    Interesting thought about the great pirmaid. There is the idea that it was some sort of power generation system. Which has left me with the question of Where was the control room? And now they are talking about finding a big empty space above the grand gallery. If it is the missing control room then there should be a connecting passageway starting not too far from the front door. But haven't we already looked for hidden doors and passages all along the way there ? Mostly just thinking out loud here, But if anyone reading this knows anything or has any thoughts on this...
  17. TLDunn213

    On Nerfs and Gribbles

    *#Note: the events in this post happen somewhat before the events in Regel's post Wanderer returns. #* "Zatar, Yo, Z, are you down here ?" Qwerty calls looking around. "He said that, that new project of his was down here, ' just a bit past the Vaults of Time. ' " "Well, there's the Vaults of Time. Now, which way along this creepy dark coridoor to reach 'just a bit past' ?" Poundfoolish couldn't believe it. What luck. Someone Zatar knew looking for the Wabe. Shifting into his evil clown form, Poundfoolish sent streams of cotton candy cocoon at the unsuspecting zeta. Just as he was finished wrapping up his prey and stuffing him into a forgotten broom closet Poundfoolish felt a wave of arcane energy surging through the Keep of the Mighty Pen. Energy specifically tuned to drive out evil clowns. How ? How, can this be ? How can anyone even know he is here? He'd been so careful. Quickly shifting to his new form, the false Qwerty slammed the closet door and placed Wards to protect the cotton candy cocoon. Now, to find the source of this unexpected attack... *#cut to Regel's post: Wanderer returns #*
  18. TLDunn213

    Ancient Aliens

    One of the noteable counter arguments to the idea of a precursor high tech civilisation is the lack of secondary evidence. There is primary evidence, all the buildings made from huge blocks of stone. But where is the rest of it ? The pot shards, and art work, tombs and trash ? Did they burn their dead ? Were they super eco-friendly? Is this lost civilisation being actively hidden ? And if so, why ? And by whom?
  19. TLDunn213

    Wanderer returns

    Noting that Snypiuer's yelling sounds a bit like screams of terror, Zatar finishes his Saurian brandy and heads out the door. "What's his problem, anyway. It's just a clown suit." "Maybe he's afraid of clowns" Qwerty said shimmering into existence next to Zatar. "*Sigh*" "Could be, I guess. Easy enough to check." And with a snap of his fingers and a flick of magic the clown suit is transformed into a more normal outfit. Zatar and Qwerty continue down the hallway listening to see if the screaming stops. #*Note: See my post: on Nerfs and Gribbles, for related events.*#
  20. TLDunn213

    Wanderer returns

    Zatar glances at the open door, lets out a soft sigh and with a quick flick of magic clothes Snypiuer in a clown suit. "If you're going to act like a fool; you should at least dress the part." He muttered. Then raising his voice slightly, "Another Saurian brandy over here; and a round for Peredhil and his friend over there, whatever they're drinking."
  21. TLDunn213

    Thulians

    Thulians are one of the three Elder Races of the Shard Scape. the other two being the Saurians and the Morlocks. But more about them later. The term Thulian can denote either the final stage of their life-cycle or the species as a whole. The other stages being: Cephlarack, spore, egg, tadpole, and Illith. Thulians are xenomorphic species, which is to say they need to invade another species as part of their life-cycle. Let's start at the tadpole stage as this is the point where the life-cycle can diverge. If the tadpole is inserted into a host; also called a form donor. Form donors can come from several races including Humans, Elves, Dwarves, and even Orks and Trolls; to name some of the more common ones. Other races/species are quite possible. It is worth noting that Trolls are highly prized but seldom used due to a Troll's regeneration abilities. Which makes for a very high failure rate of the Morphosis process but yields a very powerful combat type Illith when successful. And there is the production of Protium as a side effect of failed attempts. Most other races have about a 1 in 4 success rate the other three outcomes being divided about evenly between Death, Kulls, and Shulls. With Kulls being killed when detected. The term Shull also refers to a sub-type of Elf called Neidraheil or False-Elf by most other Elves. This sub-race was created by the Thulians to serve as spies during the Saurian/Thulian war. A forerunner to the Varna which were created later for the same purpose. I will cover these subraces in more detail later. The Shulls that result from a failed morphosis look mostly like the person they were before except they tend to have the skin of an Illith. Which is pale white while at rest but can take on almost any color as an act of will, or sometimes reflex. The mind of a Shull is that of an Illith with access to the memories of the formdonor. A Kull by contrast is basically the reverse of this. That is to say they look like an Illith but have the mind of the formdonor with some access to the genetic memories of the tadpole. Which should explain why they are killed as soon as they are recognised for what they are. Death is largely self explanatory but includes three possible outcomes. 1 the formdonor dies but the tadpole survives, assuming it can get back to the spawning pool. 2 the tadpole dies but the formdonor survives, assuming that they can escape from the Thulians. 3 both die. A successful morphosis yields an Illith. Illith are more or less human shaped with tentacles hanging down its face from about where a human nose would be to about two or three inches below the chin. As noted for Shulls, Illith have pale white skin that can color shift much like an octopus or cuttlefish can do; including the ability to stun a foe by flashing a rapid series of colors. After an Illith reaches a certain age it may undergo a second morphosis, transforming it into a fully adult Thulian. Thulians in this stage have a main body somewhat like an octopus but with the Illith face on one side of it, face tentacles and all. When first transformed the main body is about three feet across with three foot tentacles hanging below it. Like Beholders, Thulians float in the air a few feet off the ground. It is unknown just how big a Thulian can grow, eight feet across being the largest size confirmed to date with unconfirmed reports of up to twelve feet or more. It is the adult Thulians which lay the eggs which hatch into tadpoles, asexualy as far as anyone can tell. and so the life cycle is complete. unless of course the tadpole isn't implanted into a formdonor in which case it will, in time, turn into a Cephlarack. Cephlarack are best described as a cross between an octopus and a spider. Living in deep caves near large pools of water Cephlarack wait for prey to come to them. While they can and will kill and eat just about anything, they prefer sentient races in which to implant their spores. Once implanted the spores travel to the brain and will take control of the victim during sleep. once under the control of the spores the victim will proceed to the nearest body of water in which they can fully immerse themselves. once the victim has drowned the spores mutate into eggs and then hatch into tadpoles. Thus completing the other ark of the life cycle. More on the Saurian/Thulian war to follow in later post.
  22. TLDunn213

    Thulians

    Aara-Illith A rare sub type of Illith that arise from using a Dracon as a form doner. The failure rate for this is naturally quite high and there is the risk of pissing off a Dragon if the Dracon isn't a Ronan. The few recorded cases of Aara-Illith mention two noteable details that set them apart from other Illith. The first and most easily noticed is the wings. All Aara-Illith develop them regardless of whether or not the Dracon had them before the morphoses and unlike other draconic traits they may have or develop; the wings are permanent. No one has any ideas as to why the other draconic traits can be called and dismissed as with normal Dracons and the wings cannot. There are those that say this isn't the case and that all traits become locked once the morphoses is complete. This is possible given that the other notable feature of Aara-Illith is the hybrid mind. While Shuls and Kuls have remnants of the other mind it is only in the Aara-Illith that a true fusion occurres. It is also worth noting that the morphoses process is slower and less painful for those Dracons who chose to embrace the change. While all Draconswho resisted the process either succeeded totally or died trying.
  23. TLDunn213

    MalNoc

    While the term is often used to refer to the victims of the spell it is more correct to list the victims as Nocs and the spellcaster gaining benifets as Mal. But I should start at the top for those of you who don't know about this particular bit of dark magic. There are in fact two forms of the spell, but for now I will focus on the more common one. Which sets up a lifelink between the Mal and the Noc or Nocs as there are normally several. After all that is rather the point. Having many people to do stuff for you like bleeding and dying, healing from wounds, and just plain old aging, and even eating and sleeping if you want to take it that far. The spell is set up using Runes which can be inscribed on shackles, amulets, and the like; or directly onto the people involved by way of brands or tattoos. If the Mal is a spellcaster and the Nocs are as well, then it is possible for the Mal to use their spell energies as well. This is the darkest from of the MalNoc spell in which the Mal is a master parasite feeding on many victims at once. There are in fact two less vile applications for the MalNoc spell. The first is the creation of a Champion to deal with a crisis. Here everyone volunteers to support the Hero; Who then goes out with the power of the whole town behind him, very literally. And once the crisis is over the spell is broken and everyone goes back to their normal lives. The second is a true variant of the spell creating a band of MalNocs rather than a Mal and Nocs. In a Band everyone is linked to everyone else with a two-way connection. So no one dies until everyone does. But if one of the members is caught in something that keeps hurting them everyone is getting hurt until the link is broken. So think very carefully about what you're getting into before using magic like this.
  24. TLDunn213

    Ancient Aliens

    Adding to this mostly to pull it out of the pile and put it on top again. If there's anyone, Guest or Member who'd like to comment on stuff like this... Well, it's sort of dead around here lately. I'm not sure what all a Guest can and can't do here But becoming a member isn't all that hard. Just a few clicks and simple questions, if I remember right. Guest can use the chatbox I believe, so if you need help just ask there and someone will get back to you.
  25. TLDunn213

    Dread Foundries

    Later at Lady Fantasia's "So, how did the Scorps manage to take over so quickly and completely?" Stephen ask as they sat around the kitchen table having a much needed meal. "It started with the riots in Over Louis about a month or so ago." Fantasia explained. "A lot of street people were coming down to the Gobblin Quarter and the Council didn't like it. And there was this Group of Scorpanocs in town...Next thing you know there's a whole Company of them here, the regular Watch can't be found, the Council's declared Martial law and haven't been seen since." "If Melkior's right, and there are Varna involved, it all makes sense. "Except for the Scorps working for them in the first place." Pheron cut in, "After all they were made during the Gith Rebellion to help fight the Thulians; so them working for them..." "Well, they are Mercenaries and the War was a rather long time ago." Fantasia said, refilling her coffee. "And with Varna involved they might not know who/what they are really working for." Stephen offered. Pheron's brow wrinkled in thought, "Maybe; But I just don't see them not checking out their employers well enough to find out. But I can't see them working for them if they knew..."
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