Plotting Garrison Plots

I guess I’ll start off with the shocker.  Turns out that the reason I hadn’t been getting responses to those text messages is that my gf passed away a couple days after she had let me know she was going in.  Apparently they found her after the fact so she never even made it into the hospital.  We had our own online ceremony for everyone who knew her in SL back on Saturday, and we hit 73 folks in attendance at once point.  It was a wonderful ceremony that blew me over in how powerful it felt.  There was a video taken too, but I don’t know if it made it online or not yet, and I plan to find out when I’m a bit less busy.

Anyways…

I’ve had some interesting thoughts about Garrisons.  Originally, I was considering trying for an all-furry (or all non-human at least) garrison crew, and even picked up the 5000 apexis crystal Arrakoa follower(the most expensive escort ever, according to WoWhead!) but there’s not enough pre-gen furry types to pull it off.  At this point I’ve basically settled for as close as possible and speadsheeted out my followers to min-max the best team from who I have.

You see, it’s going to be a while before I can build an inn, where the other 200 possible random followers come from.  The first plot needs to stay a Trading post for now to fund everything, and once I cap out my resources my lumber mill will need to be replaced with a barn for savage bloods for gear, which doesn’t leave an open slot.  My alts however are a bit more free in that regard.

So I got to thinking.

My feral druid alt is a worgan.  There seems to be quite a few worgen in the follower list, and once you get level 3 barracks you can switch in racial guards… and I’m pretty sure she’s exalted with Gilneas.  So I’m thinking with her I’m going to try to build an all-worgen garrison, with the occasional furry-style filler that is too useful to deactivate, or if I can’t quite get enough Worgen.  Since I don’t need to maximize power, I can maximize for fun instead!

My red panda ninja gal on the other hand, I don’t have any theme ideas for yet.  I’m sure something will come to me eventually though.

Overall, I have to give props to Blizzard.  I was looking somewhat forward to this as a slice of Warcraft in Warcraft, and I’m enjoying it in its own right, at least so far.  A couple months down the road I’ll probably be less interested, as managing all the daily cooldowns will be more of a pain, but for now, I can’t wait to get home to check my missions and see if I nabbed any follower upgrades!

Worlds of Whimsy #3 – Transelvenism

The third universe I’ll spotlight was inspired by a comment I’d read elsewhere, about how Tokein-style elves tend to live as if they were in a post-scarcity society.  Said topic also pointed out that elves were sort of the ultimate expression of how a wizard might view himself:  Supremely intelligent and magical, but no one bothered to allocate for strength, and thus the idea blossomed:  a world where (almost) all the fantasy races are actually magically modified humans.

The world of Aureial

It all started with a small magical college hidden away in a forest enchanted for their protection.  Some wizard or other, whose identity was long since lost, finally managed to perfect safely using permanent alteration magic that did not require a pre-existing template, ie. you could actually make someone taller or shorter, without having to copy something else, and it stuck, even through dispels and dead magic zones.

With the possibility of transhumanism looking them in the face, they all got together and discussed not whether it should be used, but how.  Being scholars of the magical variety, they considered things like magical ability, intelligence and sharpness of senses, but gave the shortest shrift to physical needs apart from general health and longetivity concerns, eventually by consensus hashing out the template for what would become known as an elf, after the college’s original name.

And so overnight the college wizards and those of their families that were willing became the first elves.

As others interested in the procedure heard, a small town, then a city grew up around the village as more people signed up to be enhanced int he same ways, extending their lives and magical ability.  As the town grew, the council of elders that had been the first converted found they were having trouble keeping up with the demand for raw materials.  There was a nearby mining town that they had friendly relations with who had been able to keep up at first, but the men grew tired and weary faster trying to keep up the pace.  The cramped tunnels also led to issues with injuries slowing things down further.

One of the newer elves then came up with the bright idea of “well if we can improve ourselves for the life we wants, why can we not do the same for the miners?”  So decided, he traveled to the mining town and set up a doctor’s office there, and as he healed the people he examined the nature of the injuries and problems that they ran into.

It took the better part of two years for him to put together the template, whereupon without consulting with the council he took it upon himself to approach the mining company leaders.  Like the elven city, the mines were run by a coalition of elders, each representing a clan of highlander humans who had come here to try and improve their families fortunes.  After listening to the young elf, living proof that his plan was possible, they sent him away without a response.

What followed was a heated argument just short of a brawl among the greying, firey-beared folk.  They were a very earthy and practical folk, but some were uncertain about what they would be giving up in exchange for this “gift” of the elf’s.  Eventually, the decided to send a runner to the elven city, which was already starting to become the capital of a small nation as settlements were already beginning to take shape on the edges of the forest.

The council was at first aghast at what the young prodigal had come up with.  How dare he look at modifying others without permission!  After sending the messenger away they debated it for several days, only taking breaks for the restful meditation they had engineered to replace the waste of time called sleep.  Then, they called the young elf in and had him present his designs before them in each and every detail, follwoed by more discussion, with the designer included this time.  Finally, they came to an agreement that they would provide the changes, but only to the clans that would agree to supply them in turn with the materials for their new towns as payment.

When the messenger returned with this news, he was met with trepidation, as now the decision was firmly in the miners’ court.  Gathering once more in the mead hall, they spent the night in deliberations.  The elves had proved in their success thus far that there was merit in moving beyond the current limitations of the human body, but those who accepted the deal would have to live with the consequences, including this supply deal. In the end, but the time the sun rose to shine on tired faces, they had decided.  A couple clans were going to leave to start anew far form here, but the 8 remaining clans would accept the elven gift; making them stronger, hardier, and more suited to the world of the mines, under the earth itself.  They would become one with the rock in ways no unmodified human would ever know.

And so was created the first 8 Great Clans of dwarves, the ancestors of the modern dwarven race.

And thus the elven empire began to grow apace over the years in a slow but steady expansion, buoyed by the knowledge and magical might of the elves and the sturdy, hard-working dwarves toiling away at mines and forges, shaping metal and stone in the service of the growing nation.  There were even small villages of unmodified humans who sought safety within those borders, protected from the chaos of the human nations warring back and forth.  In a matter of decades however, the elves found their borders pressing up against those of an aggressive human warlord.

At first there were just minor skirmishes, but as the warlord took the measure of his inhuman rivals he began to send larger forces in to ransack and pillage the towns of anything not nailed down.  While the cost in human life grew, even worse in elven eyes were those of their own kind lost. While they were only maybe a generation removed from the first elves at this time, seeing the “base” humans be born, grow old, and die had lent the younger elves a sense of superiority, and the loss of one who would have lived as many as 900 more years was more harshly felt than the mayfly-like 60-year lifespan of their human subjects.  Eventually the local authorities demanded something must be done!

The elder council, mostly still consisting of those original elves, pondered the problem.  These bodies, while ideal in their eyes, did not lend themselves to fighting wars, and while the dwarves were stout and hardy, they were not well suited to quick offensive campaigns of this nature.  Something new was required.

The elf who had designed the dwarves had been awarded a council position for his earlier efforts, and once again was the one who brought up the idea of modification once more.  Just as elves were suited for strategizing and magical might, and dwarves for hardiness and endurance, why not create a design for combat as well?  Create an army that would break the teeth of this human’s offensive, then wash over him in a wave and end his threat to precious elven life?

While a few of the council who still remembered where they had came from dithered, the majority agreed with a minimum of discussion.  But where would they create this army from?

They put out a call for volunteers, but most elves were not willing to give up their gifts in defense of their homeland.  In fact, it was one of those rejecting the call to arms that brought up the solution:  convert he criminal!

Despite having been “improved” elves still had that core of humanity in them, try as they might to deny it, and so there were criminals.  Not as many, given that imprisonment and execution were far harsher to folk that may live hundreds of years, but they existed.  As well, the human population had those among them who would fight and steel jsut to put one up on their “betters” wherever they could.

With an actual source of manpower now, a small committee was formed to come up with the template for their new soldier.  Strong and quick on their feet, but ultimately not as intelligent to reduce the risk of them reverting to their original tendancies.  An inclination to loyalty would be helpful there as well, and given the terrain, a green skin would help with camoflauge.  They had to be tough, but should also mature fast, to replace losses quickly in any future wars.  It meant a reduction in their overall lifespan as well, but that would also help them to forget their origins quicker in favor of serving the empire.

A fortnight later, the first orcs exploded from the elven empire and wiped the uppity human warlord from existence, his name forever lost to history.

And so the great elven empire grew, displacing and absorbing the human nations surrounding it.  A ruling class of elves ruled over all, and under them the dwarves toiled and the orcs patrolled to serve their elven masters, while normal humans eked out an existence in the smaller farming villages and towns between the cities.

In the capital however, progress marched on, and further discoveries were made.  Over time, fewer and fewer elves were seen outside the great magical cities dotting the landscape as teleportation was perfected, as was the magical creation of materials from the ether itself.  The vilages along what had once been thriving trade routes found themselves in a increasingly dangerous situation as the flow of good and traffic dried up; eventually taking up trade directly with the dwarves in their underground homes.  With the absence of elven oversight, the orcs began to demand tribute from the villages as well for “protection,” more often from themselves than from any outside threat.  And the elves were oblivious to it all, in their figurative ivory towers of plenty.

It only took a couple human generations for the empire to collapse down to several major cities, protected by legions of orcs and swerved by dwarves, connected only by teleportation while small human fiefdoms sprung up between them of the former farmers and servants.

Ultimately it was the daughter of the elf behind the orcs and dwarves that shook things out of the tentative balance that had been maintained for a couple hundred years.  It was she that uncovered the secret of not just binding spirits to inorganic shells, but the actual creation of new life to inhabit it.  Her research had begun as a way to repair an old golem that had been created ages ago as a guard for the estate.  It had been badly damaged protecting her from a rogue orc, and she had been trying to repair it to it’s original state.

She was tired and getting sloppy near the end of her work however, and when she misspoke a word, instead of just energizing the dormant form, it awoke it as well.  When it spoke its first words, her fatigue was suddenly gone, replaced with wonder and a bit of fear of what she had just done.

The two spend the next several weeks sequestered as she ran every test she could think up, and finally could only come to the conclusion that she had somehow created life within it.  Troubled, she brought it before the city councilors, unsure of what to do with her discovery.

After sending her and the golem away, the council spent several more days debating what to do next.  The original elves had all finally passed, and the new ones were of a more manipulative bent.  Each had taken whatever measures necessary to place themselves on the council, as they’d all seen themselves as better than the rest.  As such, the first discussion was whether it would be feasible to move their selves to new bodies like these that never wore down and could always be repaired.

After another presentation by and dismissal of the creator, they decided against this, as it also meant a loss of the simple pleasures of the flesh, and they were too enamored of their current luxurious lives to risk giving it up yet.  However, another idea was then presented.  Rather than depending on the increasingly unreliable orcs for protection, they could replace them with an army of these golems, forged for war.  In addition, while most of the dwarves had left with the replacement of their services by magical means, eliminating the orcs meant the cities could be pure of all non-elves, and reach a perfection hitherto unimagined.

Thus decided, they brought the creator back in and charged her with creation of a great forge to create a race of these new “warforged” for their protection.  While she was hesitant at first to create a race of permanent servants, they played with her fear of orcs from that day long ago, and before long the green-skinned soldiers were forced out into the wilderness by crystalline and metallic bodies.

While some of the orcs form the satelite cities went full bandit, the orcish general of the Capital army managed to keep most of her army under her command.  Angry and prideful, she marched her forces to the gates of Dwarvenhome, the great underground city that had once in ages long past been a small mining town of highland folk.  To the dwarves’ surprise however, rather than attach she sent an emmisary, offering a truce.

While orc lives were typically short, she had heard tales form her father’s father’s father’s time of how the dwarves had been phased out in favor of magical appliances that ran themselves, forcing them to leave long-held craftsman positions and make a life for themselves away from the great elven cities.  This general was also more intelligent than most other orcs, a fact she had hid form her elven superiors, and now she envisioned a world where it was the elves and orcs who enjoyed the fruits of the elven society that they had been denied.

In the end, only about half of the Council of Ten Hammers agreed, but it was enough.  Deep below, arcane forges belched ash and hammers sung out the song of war approaching, as alloys the elves had never known were molded into sword and axe, honed to an edge fine enough to slice the remaining puppet strings dangling from elven fingers.

The war that followed of elf and orc, warforged and dwarf, was so destructive that any remaining records of it were wiped form living memory; even that of the long-lived elves and dwarves.  Int eh end, the great cities fell, and the magical knowledge that had allowed them to exist was likewise lost to sword and fire.  The very ground itself rose up, rearranging the face of the world. Dwarvenhome was likewise lost to the depths, taking with it most of the knowledge of dwarven forging, leaving the remaining dwarves with the hows but not the whys to allow them to advance any further until they could rediscover everything once more.

The orcish general’s daughter led the remaining orcs in the final battle of the war, her mother long since lost to old age.  When the dust settled, not a thing there stirred, the landscaped scarred and paved with bones and metal, unchanging to the present day.  Without a strong leader, the remaining orcs broke up into nomadic tribes, while the dwarves sought out new homes under mountains that had not existed a hundred years before.  The elves, shaken and traumatized as a people sought the forests and a more natural lifestyle, albeit enhanced by magic to present a shadow of their former luxury.

The warforged themselves were supposedly all destroyed in the great war, but about a human generation later new ones began to appear.  They had no memory of where they came from other than a masked humanoid of some type and a great forge, but as they seemed to have no ties to the old elven empire, they were gradually accepted by most of the other races.  Orcs were the one exception, as like the elves the war had traumatized the entire race, leading them to blame the warforged for everything wrong with the world as it exists now.

In the aftermath of the Great War other, new races also began to appear, possibly created by the fallout of the strength of the magic used and destroyed in that war.  The enigmatic gnomes, snivling kobolds, and the more compact halflings and goblins that originated from an area of humans and orcs caught in the backwash from a sudden release of great magical energy.

Other animals and creatures were changed as well, resulting in the magical menagerie that confounds modern magical scholars.  But history and life moves on, as it has a wont to do.  Groups of explorers now travel a changed world, following rumors of ancient elven fortresses that escaped destruction or tantalizing hints of magical artifacts from that lost age.

 

Yeah, I know, there’s no explicitly defined origin for Dragonborn or Tieflings, but it’d be easy enough to work in an origin if one was needed beyond “magic fallout” – especially if kobolds are tied to dragons.  Still, a Pathfinder/D&D-based world that explains some of the tropes without destroying the setting by following them to their logical conclusion – by the fact they already did once, and look where that got them!  The war also acts as a good place to slip any additions in, since it can act like the Black History of Turn A Gundam in terms of “this exists” without having to explain why.

Either way, I hope it was an interesting read, and someone somewhere gets a good campaign out of it!

Busy Busy Busy

Well, looks like it’s been a while since my last post.  I actually have another world or two I’d like to post about, but that’ll have to come later when I have access to my notes.  And have time.

Events conspired lately to knock me over the head, then keep me running just to keep up, it feels like.  Just to give a quick timeline:

– I started up WoW again as the pre-expansion patch and event was released. I let my gf know I’m gonna be a bit more scarce in SL as I try and balance the time between the two so I get the stuff to do done in WoW(including blocking time for raiding) and still don’t neglect SL too much.

– A few days after my mom got home, she went back in the hospital because her bloodwork was screwy, and she couldn’t even stand on her own anymore(which she COULD do when she first came home)

– We find out her body is basically shutting down at this point, and it’s not a matter of if, but when she’ll go.

– Several days later I find out from my gf that she’s going to have to go to the hospital herself for some tests and monitoring.  She was going to try to load Skype or SL on her laptop before she left so she could stay in touch with everyone.

– The next morning my mom dies in her sleep

– Funeral is arranged for that Sunday, with a wake the next Saturday

– A couple days later I haven’t heard from my gf so I send a text, but no response.  I’m halfway across the country so no way I can do anything else.

– I get my WoW plans for alts worked out for expac release and put together a checklist to prep myself for launch in November

– Attend funeral

– I send a second text, still no response.  Make sure the folks in SL know what’s going on as what I thought would be a few days is taking obviously longer

– Keep letting the folk in SL know I don’t know any more than they do, while working on knocking out my pre-expac checklist for WoW

– Gets to Halloween, her favorite holiday of the year, and still no sign.  Send another text and continue to worry

– Attend the wake for my mom

– Continue to work on final bits of pre-xpac preparation

On top of all the above is my usual workload and work, and I’m supposed to be going on-call tonight, which will last until the xpac launch. (I won’t get off until a few hours after release.)  It shouldn’t be as strenuous, hopefully, but we’ll see if the alerts outweigh not having to deal with customer calls as much.

So yeah, not much time for writing or other activities, and once the expansion actually launches I’ll have to hit WoW hard to get ready for raiding, as the guild I’m in is planning to try hitting Mythic as soon as it releases, rather than clear Heroic first.

So yeah, one hell of a past few weeks, and not looking to change.  Well, we’ll see what happens, and hopefully I’ll have something a bit more interesting here when the world isn’t trying to blow up around me.

Thoughts on Immortality

Given the turn my personal life has taken lately, mortality is one thing that’s been cropping up now and then.  Strangely enough, I had not too long ago just re-read a book series based on DOOM. The twist was that we were the only known intelligent lifeform in the known universe that was not functionally immortal.

Without giving away everything else, I do need to explain a bit as it goes into my thoughts on this topic.  The situation with the other intelligent races was that they could not die, at all.  They bodies could be damaged or break down, but once the body was repaired they would be back to normal.  While they may or may not be able to act, and they would be able to feel pain the whole time, they would still be fully cognizant of their surroundings and fully conscious, barring maybe some form of sleep as I can’t remember if that was a thing.  If the body was destroyed or sufficiently rendered unusable, their spirit or soul would disconnect and remain in that area as a sort of ghost, able to see and hear but unable to interact in any way with the world around them.  The fact that humans did not do this scared the living crap out of the other races.

Side note: writing about this is making me think of the way Transformers are handled in the modern fiction for it – as long as their spark is intact, their body could be trashed and they could still be fixed.  The only difference is with TFs their spark could be extinguished.

Anyways, thinking about this reminded me of some parallels with Tolkein’s elves.  The elves themselves were also fairly immortal, though there was little said about what happened to an elf who was intentionally killed that I can recall. The thing is, they were unable to leave the world, while humans were able to go beyond to an unknown existence once they passed on, and the elves considered this a gift given to that race by their creators.  Eventually the elves grew weary of the world, and retreated to a paradise of sorts among that universe’s equivalent of deities, but they could never truly travel beyond the end of the universe like humans did when they died.

That train of thought led me to consider what a society of functionally immortal people might look like.

First, with murder no longer an option, unconsensual torture would become the ultimate crime.  I’ll go over why I added the word unconsensual later but for now, consider the fact that without death, suffering from pain could be continued to the point of madness, depending on the tortured person’s strength of will.  Basically, it’d have all the makings of rape cases, but without needing the sex angle to force their power on someone else.  You also can’t just get rid of all pain, as it’s a very important indicator of damage to the body.  Without it, you might not realize your feet are on fire, and cutting it out would lead to people damaging themselves beyond easy repair without even knowing it until its too late.

My second point returns to that idea of consensual torture.  Even today, with fully mortal people, there are folks out there who derive pleasure from pain, whether receiving or giving it.  Take away the risk of death, and you can go a looooot farther- assuming that it’s not the risk itself that makes it pleasurable.

Speaking of pleasures and entertainment, that’s another huge potential pitfall any such society would have to monitor.  Doing the same thing, day in and day out, is already known to be boring within several years.  What about 100 years later, assuming nothing changes?  Would you be able to do the same thing day in and day out for 100 years?  I doubt it.  Just as vanilla sex can get boring and lead to more and more unusual sexplay to “spice up” a love life, other pursuits will become stale and these immortal people will look for ways to “spice up” their lives in general.  This I think is one of the more interesting parts of this thoughtline – the different ways this could go.

The first option I see I’ll call the “Dark Eldar” option, as that’s a good example of it.  As the folk continue to live, they become more and more jaded, and go to more and more extreme lengths for a novel experience.  Morals and conscience are eventually left behind, sacrificed on the altar of new life experiences, eventually leading to a society we would consider demons straight from hell. And hey, there’s an idea for a story or campaign right there!

The second option, which I’ll call the “Sleeper” option, is one that may have been explored previously, but seems like an interesting idea to me.  As folk start to become world-weary, they are put to sleep for a couple hundred years, using cryogenics or some magical equivalent.  Once they come back from their slumber, they would then find a presumably changed world, with new things and experiences to explore.  This would also be a way to address resource issues, which is something I don’t intend to touch on here.  Development would likely not slow down in this case, as newer folks would continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible as they are not weary of the world yet, and then when they grow weary, they could “rest” while the returned folk learn what happened while they were out and continue the work.  There’s still a danger of eventually drifting into option 1 if progress slows or stops, but this would be one potentially healthy way to address the issue of world-weariness.

The third option could be termed the “Fae” option, as it is along the lines of your typical fantasy elves.  It follows the idea that with the longer lives(in this case unlimited), there’s less drive to do anything worthwhile.  Progress would slow to a crawl as there’s no ticking time bomb to try and make something of themselves before they go.  Life would become ephemeral and passive, and the immortals in this case would simply drift through life without any sort of care, dancing, singing, playing, doing nothing but meaningless things.  Eventually, this could lead to stagnation and decay, and potentially could end up drifting into Dark Eldar territory if they started to take a more active role rather than the passive one that this option embodies.  Rather than trying to change the world, they let the world change them and drift through it like a breeze or slow stream.

Option four could be best labeled the “Amnesia” option, as that is what it essentially is.  This borrows a bit from some Transformers lore, where some ‘bots reportedly were so old they forgot things despite being computers, because they ran out of  “memory space” and erased old memories or overwrote them with new experiences.  We would ahve the same approach here where an immortal may only remember a couple hundred years of the mundane parts of life, and only the most major events stick with them across the aeons.  The immortals would never become truly tired of the world because there’d always be new things for them to (re-)experience, but over the years they could become someone completely different as they lose experiences and gain new ones.  There is a risk here of becoming stuck in a progress treadmill, but presumably written records would allow knowledge to be preserved against the collective amnesia.  Still, that’s one risk only perhaps the Fae option shares.

Option five is probably the most extreme, and could be termed the “Cthulhu” option.  Given aeons to live, rather than adapting but remaining something that our current minds could comprehend, these immortals would become something else, something other.  Their personalities and motives would become strange and unnatural to our mindset as they assimilate the truths of the universe that we might never be able to comprehend in our limited lifetimes.  Given that, they may even be able to transcend their existence to something unknowable to us, ala the Elder Gods or Great Old Ones of Cthulhu mythos, or the energy beings such as the Q and Organians in Star Trek.

After all:

T̙͉̟̱̯͐ͤ͆̄ͅhͯͮ͐̊a̟͊̚t̮̰̟͈̳ͣͦ͂̔̍ ̥͔͇̈́ẁ͓͉ͫ̂h͓̜̾̉͊̿̌i̱̗̔c͈̳̙͈̑̏͗h̞̜̹̎̈ ̻͙ͧͪ̽͑̽̍i̩̥̰̼̬͕ͪ̄ͧ̑ͩ͗s̙͇̬̮̖̳̰̋̌̈́͆̊ ̣͖͓̯ͫ̉̆̋ͫ͆̅d̳͚̪̖͕͉͈͂ͥͬ̾̂̉͐e̓a̦̥̘̹̺̳̬ͩ̑͊̇̓̒̚d̮͎͈ ̈́̒d͚ͤ̀͗ó͈̠̮̥̙͚̃ͬe̒̑̇͐̐́ͧs͇̰̹͈̖̜̹ͩ͋͗ͬ ͓̹̪ͭ̾ͅn̠̲̠̰̲̥̏o̳̫̿ͮ̉̈͆t͖̘̝̙͕̲̹̋͛ͨ̀̾ ̱̮̲́̈́ͯͥ͂̄ͅeͣt̪̠͕̏ͅe̜͈ͬ͐ͧr͔̳̳̼̦͎͐͛́ͦ̿ṉ͍ā̍̏̄͗l̥̤͎̮͔͌̍ ͍͕̠͙̠̞̇ͯ̎̂̈l͓̻̩̊̄ị̘̫̻͋̉͑e͕͎̠
̞̲͖̤̟̊̎̈́A̓͒͛n̻̮̖̓̀̊ͬͧͬd̤̂̐ͅ ̲̺̝̣̺̞̩ͩ͆̿ͮͣ̋͑ȋ̲̣̲͚̥͉͉n ̹̅̓͒͒̓̈́̆s͍̦̹̯̜̤̈́́͛͂ț͙̗̮̈̐ͯ̊r̺̖̱̰͓͙̟ͣ̽̓̍a̲̱̺̰̝͎ͫͩͣͮ͆̀̚n̰͍̘̼͓͒ͮg͙͎̫̹͓̫̳͊e͈̳͍̳̯ͮ ̅ͥ͊̈̃ͭa͔̭͖̘̻͈̭ͧ͂̐e̻̳̞ͬͮ͑̐̉o̖̫͚̤̭̳ͨ̇ͫn͙͈̟̿̎̐̿͗̓s̱̝̦̤̹̪̟̋̏̊ ͔̆̈̊̊͛͋e̙̥͚̩͇̔ͭ̿̈v̟̣̟̱̮͎̜ê̪̤̤͖̖̮ͦ̃͆̍̍ͣn͍͖̲̗ͩ̓ͥ ͔̻̻d̺̉̌̚e̥͍̩̭̺̅ͭ̏a̖̤̫̮̮̼ͪͪ͆ͅt̮͔̼h ̝ͤ̔͒͑͋m͔͖ͬͪͦ̓̇̓a͚͕̰y͇ͮ́͗ ̦̠̺̰̓ͦ̆̑͋d͔͇͙͍̄͊̈ͤ͋i̱̺̮̫̊ē̼͓̱͇̖̪͉̚.̥̱͇̪̭͐ͅ

Life Moves On

So my last living grandparent passed on this past weekend.  Oddly, I don’t feel any different than I did before, and looking back, that was the case with all my grandparents.  This seemed odd to me at first, considering all the folks mourning, until I thought about it some, and I think there’s a few factors here, some of which deserve to be looked at.

First, there’s the matter of how often I interacted with them.  My grandparents on my Dad’s side moved several states away when he retired, and on top of that I was in college at the time.  As such, I barely saw them much after they moved out there before they passed on.

My grandparents on my mom’s side lived a lot closer, but they were still about a half hour to 45 minutes away, and combined with my usual business I didn’t see them much either.  I still going to have all the memories, but I hadn’t seen much of either before they passed on in the end.

What really then is the difference between moving out of touch somewhere and moving on from this life? Emotionally for me, I think that it feels like they just happened to move to somewhere where I can’t reach them is all, and they’re not truly gone.  It’s even in the phrase, passing on.

Which brings us to the second aspect, what death means.  For me death is an ending but also a new beginning.  There is a picture I commissioned before which unintentionally did a good job of bringing out that feeling.

1395159812.adalfyre_dekafox

The color pallette and lighting gave me a feeling of a old worn foxdragon moving on into the afterlife, but pausing to look back one last time at what he’s leaving behind.  When death comes naturally, as it did in all their cases, this is how I feel it should be.  A laying down of burdens, and of moving on to greater delights and serenity.

Which then comes back around to the third part of it all, mourning itself.  The funeral was a somber but not overly sad ceremony, but it did make me think.  A lot of times the sadness and such is a reflection on the people left behind looking on what they have lost, rather than a celebration of the life that person lived, or that they have been released form whatever pain and suffering they may have been experiencing.

Me, I’d think I’d prefer something more along the lines of a wake.  Celebrate the life they lived, and raise your glasses to what they’ve left behind.  Celebrate their life rather than mourn their death.

I think in the end that’s why I’m not too torn up about it all – they’ve moved on to Heaven or whatever the afterlife may hold, and they passed on when it was their time, a life fully lived.  Whether they’re 1200 miles away or a dimension away, they still exist in the hearts of every person who cared for them.  The body has been returned to the earth it came from, and their souls have moved on to the great beyond.

And someday, just like in the picture above, I will rejoin them.  Someday, in the sea of stars…

Art update!

First, let me say that damn, there’s a lot of dragons on Twitter. o..o  Got no idea who to follow or whatnot, or if I should just follow at random and then unfollow later if I change my mind. I kinda want to avoid information overload though.

Anyways!  Apparently the long wait for the second piece was because my e-mail wasn’t getting through.  Given it was a a huge long e-mail thread I’m thinking all the replies triggered a spam trap on her end.  Once we figured that out however, it was short order before I finally had both versions of a brand new refsheet!

All ages foxy dragon arts!

All ages foxy dragon arts!

I’m not going to post the adult version here, but it can be found at my galleries or at my AD Twitter @DekafoxAD.

I’d also gotten a sketch a little while back for the upcoming Halloween, and didn’t feel it was worth posting by itself.  Feral draggies are a lot more limited in costume options, so after some thinking I came up with the best idea ever:  a Star Trek style starship!

Halloween Dragon

I’ve got another adult commission in the works now, but next thing I want to get I think is a new icon… though I am sorely tempted to get a set of paired icons for me and Kait.  She may not use FA or any of those furry or social networking things, but they work great for profile pics in SL!  Still, it loses a bit of the effect if you can’t post them together.

Don’t really have anything else to add, other than I didn’t expect to be posting this much this month, but the way events conspired led to a bunch of September posts!  We’ll see if that trend continues next month.

Yes, Burd is the word

Specifically tweeting birds.. a twitter, you could say.

I’ve had a gmail since the invite days, but in the past few years as google has consolidated some of its domains, I’ve had several different people think my e-mail is theirs.  There’s a guy in South Africa, a guy in the UK, and a few others I have yet to identify.  Remember folks, count your Ls and make sure if you are using a county code(.co.za) use that and NOT .com!

Anyways, due to this I’ve occasionally been signed up for things against my will.  Most of these I’ve just canceled the subscription if it was a mailing list, or just removed my e-mail if not.  A couple times I’ve had to reset the password first to get in.

This sort of thing though left me with a Facebook account, and more recently a Twitter account.  The Facebook one I threw a few pics up on and a statement to whomever tried to open it that I’m not that guy and to stop trying to sign up things with my e-mail.  I’m not overly fond of Facebook’s data collection practices, so I’ve got little interest in making use of it, other than making sure that I don’t get spammed from it.  The twitter though I’ve been thinking about actually using.

The first thing though, is what would I use it for?  While this time I didn’t feel like totally abandoning it, I was torn on how to use it.  One thing that seemed obvious is mirroring my posts here to it(and which you should see as this is the first post since activating the integration).  That led to the thought of using it like a short version of this blog.  In other words, use it when I want to just shout something out to the wilds of the internet, or have something I feel like sharing in general but not specifically with anyone.

Which brought to mind another quandry – what about mature topics and such?  My galleries all require membership in whatever site they’re on to see the adult content.  Unfortunately, Twitter is all-or-nothing on protecting your tweets.  Either every tweet is protected, or none of them.

While finding that out, I read a little something on the philosophy why: Facebook is for the friends you have already, while Twitter is for people who could be friends but may not already be yet.  Regardless of if you agree or not, that does seem to be the thought process behind not having a granular system for protecting tweets.

The solution I’d seen to this was most folks have an AD or After Dark account which is for the fun adult stuff, while their main account is strictly for SFW content.  After a bit of thought, I’ve gone ahead to do the same.  It unfortunately doesn’t let me use the same exact e-mail, but using the googlemail version goes to the same place and prevents someone else from signing up with my info again by accident

Now I ran into another issue – I can’t sign into both at once in the same browser, so I wouldn’t be able to just track it all in Chrome like I had been thinking. I hadn’t used workspace 3 in a while of my 4 workspaces(1 is main, 2 is what I use for work-related stuff, and 4 is e-mail), so at first I thought of using that with a Firefox browser on one monitor and Chrome on the other.  I started to set that up then realized this seemed kind of silly and there might already be some separate program for the PC to use.  Looking into that, I tracked down Tweetdeck and got it set up to see both at once in a single Chrome window.

Funnily enough, I recognized the interface from a co-worker who must have been running it – I’d seen it several times before but never knew what it was.

With that out of the way, the last thing was who to follow.  I’ve never been big on social networking, and I mostly keep my work and online lives separate, as most folks here wouldn’t get the whole furry/otherkin thing.  While I’m still toying with this, at the moment I’m looking at following twitters of (mostly toku) fansub groups to catch new releases without having to check their blog semi-frequently, maybe a few furry artists, and I’m not sure beyond that.  I’ll just have to wait and see what the future brings.

In other news, delayed art post is still delayed.  I’m waiting on the final piece back from an artist, and so far it looks like by the time that’ll happen I might actually have 3 things to post!  Wait… no, 2 things still, but mention of a third possibly.

Unsubbed from WoW again until the patch, since I’ve got my cloak on my kitty.  Once we get to patch day for 6.0.2, I’ll resub, but right now I got nothing to do there and I don’t need to spend money to not play it.  I’ve not been back in Diablo 3 either recently, or Shadowrun Returns.  The start of Dragonfall isn’t grabbing me as much as Dead Man’s Switch did – either that or it’s the change in characters.

Also spent a bit more money than I planned to this month thanks to the TFCC(Transformers Collector’s Club).  When I saw the TFSS(Transformers Subscription Service) set for this year, I’d thought they were neat, but I didn’t like the idea of using repaints for MTMTE Chromedome or Rewind, and Thrustinator was a cute idea but not one I wanted to spend on.  Well, once Chromedome started arriving and I saw some non-stock pics, it struck me just how well the Prime Wheeljack mold worked for him with that color layout.  There was plenty of personality there and it looked like a valid modern update for him – not to mention that if he was a candidate for TFCC it meant Hasbro had no near-future plans for him, so I ended up giving in and ordering him.

Having received it, I can say it lived up to the pictures.  I still don’t care for the TFSS Rewind though, so I got a G1 Rewind so CD-RW would be complete.  I couldn’t leave this version of Chromedome alone, especially since he just got Rewind back in the comics. Between him, Nightbeat, and the Legends figures, it seems I’ve got a small Lost Light detachment now sitting on my work desk.

Speaking of which, I’m still torn on what toy to use to represent MTMTE Rodimus.  The Cloud Rodimus is too big and expensive for my taste.  Animated Rodimus looks like it might be a nice match, but I’d have to get one off eBay.  Energon Rodimus doesn’t look a lot like his MTMTE counterpart, but I do already own him, and it would let me leave my Classics Rodimus with the ’86 Movie crew.

I also need a Ratchet for the Lost Light display, but looking through the possibilities I don’t see any that looks close to his counterpart, apart from the meh-ish Universe mold.  Same reason I’m tempted to get a second Cyclonus, but I don’t know if I want to spend the money just so I can have one in the ’86 movie crew and in the Lost Light crew.  I’ve also eyed RTS Perceptor, though I have yet to pick him up.  Most of the other big names, I already have, though I’m not sure what to do about Magnus.

I think I’ll leave it at that for now.  Until next time!

Worlds of Whimsy #2 – World of the Oldest Magic

The world I’d like to discuss this time is more fantasy-oriented this time in the classic sense.  I crafted this one out in more detail than the previous one as I actually thought of it in game terms from the start.  I actually had several stories planned, but after I wrote the first one I found out trying to plot the second I didn’t have a good feel of where it was actually going.  Still, this is a world I’d hate to see go to waste.

Obviously given the name, the first thing I’d like to cover is the way magic works here.  From a high level it’s like what’s called Vancian magic, aka the way magic worked until 4th edition D&D, with daily limits and all.  The way it works however is much less abstract.

In this world, most spells take a long time to cast from scratch, like several minutes at least.  The way casters work around this is they go through most of the cast, but leave a crucial piece out, such as a certain word or gesture.  Doing this right allows them to “hang” the spell mentally and complete it at any time with the missing piece.  The higher level the spell, the harder it is to master and prepare, and there’s only so many “attachment points” to hang spells off of, which gives the effect of Vancian magic, while allowing a few ways to bypass it for story reasons.

There’s another piece to the nature of magic that calls back to old school D&D too.  Metal can ground magic, like a Faraday cage, preventing it form being used on armored targets in a lot of cases, and obviously preventing casters from having a significant amount of metal covering them.  There is an exception however, a type of magic user called a warlock.  They can still use magic even while in armor, but it’s a rare hereditary gift, and those who can are usually feared by the mundanes and full casters alike.

Magic is also not too uncommon at the lower levels, but becomes rarer at higher levels.  Most towns for example may have access to level 1 spells and cantrips – think town healer with “Cure Light Wounds” or streetlamps with the “Light” spell.  Level 2 and 3 spells are typically only found in larger cities and are fairly rare outside that.  There’s little publicly known of level 4 or 5 spells, other than nationwide heroes are typically the only ones capable of such feats, and the spell libraries supporting them are typically kept in kingdom libraries or by royal magisters, away from those who would use them against the kingdom.

The highest and oldest magic however is fertility-based, and requires lovers who are willing to give fully of themselves to each other.  At the time of the story, this had been lost among the younger races, and only the dragons still held the secrets of such magic.  This would have been part of the twist in the end.  As such however, it’s not anything that need ever come up in a game due to its rarity, unless your game is already inclined in that direction of course.

While dragons are something that will be covered in the timeline, there is another side to all this.  The world at the time of this writing is on the cusp of a scientific and technological expansion, and age of exploration.  The smaller towns are still at the typical Fantasy tech level, but as you enter bigger populations, you’re more likely to see tech working in tandem with magic, leading more towards a steampunk level of things.  Guns exist, but are still fairly crude, and mostly in use among the kobolds.

Speaking of which, the intelligent races on this world aren’t necessarily the Tolkein defaults.  Well, some do start that way, but with little twists.

  • Humans are fairly similar to humans everywhere, as usual, but they are improvisers and are the most likely to mix technology and magic
  • Elves are all dark-skinned and are the survivors of an ancient magical empire that was lost in a cataclysmic event that shaped the world they know today.  They are not a forest people, and live in the remains of their crumbling cities.
  • Dwarves are still very traditional and clannish, but they don’t care about gems and other shinies.  They live for metalworking, and like their creations, they are very slow to change.
  • Orcs in the “modern” day can best be likened to gypsys.  They travel the land, calling no land their home, living out of wagons and making their way through life as they will.  There may be a few marauding tribes out there still, but they have little relation to the wagon-traveling orcs.
  • Kobolds in this world are tinkers and inventors.  Think tinker gnomes, except their inventions actually work!  They are the ones primarily driving the technical revolution, as spellcasters of their race are few and far between, much like dwarves.

The last and juciest bit is the timeline, which stretches back 2500 years from the modern day.

  • -2000 CE(Common Era) – A golden age of magic-as-tech. Elven empires spanned the world, with draconic advisors to guide them. Dwarves were isolationist and buried deep beneath their mountain, using the natural iron to keep elven magics out.  With nothing left to conquer or explore, the elves began to focus their vision outward, to other stars and planes.
  • -1000 CE – So far most worlds or planes visited have been barren of intelligent life. Elven advancement in most fields ceases, apart from entertainment, as they begin to lose the motivation for further advancement
  • -500 CE – An unknown elven mage stumbles onto a planet with beings much like themselves, but with rounded ears, and a lifeforce that burns brighter than theirs, but faster in equal measure.

    They send an envoy using magic to hide his ears. He lives among these “humans” as they call themselves for a time, and helps found a kingdom to spread the elven ways. Things go wrong and he is forced to flee back through the gate, but not before taking as many folks as he can from the kingdom before it was destroyed, using mists to hide his escape. The elf’s name was Myrlyn.

  • -250 CE – The small foothold of human civilization quickly expands into a small kingdom on this new(to-them) world. However, they are also reckless with the new knowledge they uncover. With elven and draconic help, most of the arcane disasters were kept on a small scale. Dragons on the other hand have begun to retreat back over the sea to their homeland, as if they sense some great disaster approaching.
  • -100 CE – A particularly gifted human is born. Recognizing his potential, the elves take him fully under wing and guide his studies. While still young however, he stumbles across the old portal used to bring humankind to this world. He hides this fact from the elves, but begins to focus on dimensional studies
  • -50 CE – Curious, the mage took all his knowledge and attempted to open the portal himself, secretly, although last time it had taken a full council of elves. He almost succeeds, but as the elves arrive to try and stop him, the energies go out of control and instead a portal is opened to a desert land. Before they can close it, a ban of green-skinned marauders rides through, slaughtering the mage and his elven teachers. Before long, more come through as the marauders hold off the elven warriors, unused to hard battle after centuries of peace, and the first elven-orc war begins
  • 0CE – In a last ditch effort to close the portal, the most learned elven mages take the ley lines that run through the portal and forcibly relocate the nexus. As the ley lines chaotically re-arrange themselves, magic goes wild. The mountain underneath the dwarven capital erupts, wiping out the city and the royal family. Cities that had been floating found themselves rocketing into space, or crashing into the ground below. Persistant spells and magical effects themselves vanished, to reappear elsewhere, or in some rare cases even took on a life of their own.

    The portal is destroyed, but at the cost of most of the elven civilization, and those that remained were shaken by what they had done. It had changed them all on a fundamental level; the skin of every elf alive had turned a dusky color, as if covered in ash.

  • 100CE – Within a few human generations or one elven generation, the fallout from the ley line changes had settled, leaving much about magic changed in its wake. The arcane was no longer as easily accessible, requiring great precision and concentration to mold even the simplest of effects, compared to the marvels that were once experienced daily.

    Dwarven society had broken up along clan lines, and for their own survival had reached out to the neighboring human settlements, providing worked iron tools in exchange for supplies and food.

    While orc raiders were still a problem, humanity had brought their science to bear and started looking for non-magical solutions, even as the elves who were only now entering the prime of their life bemoaned their lost society.

    The elves themselves had remained behind the walls of the cities that had survived up until this point, but as they felt the ley lines settle they began to venture out again into the changed world, making contact once more with the humans. They found a less-than hospitable welcome from most dwarves however, as they (rightly) blamed the elves for the destruction of their former capital.

  • 150 CE – A particularly frustrated human mage discovers how to “prepare” spells by leaving them unfinished, and nearly blows up his own home. He shares this discovery and founds a magickal college in the capital of the human Terian Empire, Duskhold. This starts a magical renaissance of sorts over the next century as human and elf explore the limits of this technique.

    Orcs begin to “settle down” into caravans as their most aggressive are weeded out over and over, and become a race of nomadic travelers, travelling the land in wagon caravans trading(and stealing) what they need.

  • 200 CE – A particularly ambitious human king attempts to re-unite the continent in his name, using this new magical knowledge. He nearly succeeds, but the dragons, not having been seen in nearly a hundred years, return in force and raze his stronghold to the ground. His son, much wiser and less ambitious takes his place and the empire fragments into several kingdoms and Fiefdoms. Most of the dragons return to their homeland across the sea, but a small group stays behind, settling among the mountains.
  • 350CE – First appearance of kobolds among the worldly races. Even more energetic and short-lived than humans, they combine that with the touch for metal that dwarves have. Great inventors, but not great at refining ideas. They kick off a small scientific renaissance not unlike the magical one earlier. While the elves longed for their magics, and the dwarves were too stubborn to take advantage of most of the new tech, humans combined it with their magical knowledge and began to explore the world once more.
  • 547CE – Present day.

And there began the story of a human warlock and his dragon lover-to-be.  That story series would not have had huge repercussions outside the barony the warlock had been near to inheriting.  In the end, in the other portion of the twist, the magics would have changed him as well and he would have become fully dragon in both body and soul as the price for what he had asked.

This one would make a fairly good campaign setting I think.  And who knows, maybe it will someday, on the game tables of the folk reading this, or maybe even my own!

Someday.

Happy birthday Transformers!

On Sept 17, 1984 the first episodes of what would become an ongoing franchise of cartoons, movies, comics, and toys aired its first episodes.  While the comics were technically already out, it was the cartoon that really kicked off the sensation that carries on to this day.

I don’t think I watched it myself back then, as I don’t recall watching much until after the second or third season had started.  I’d come home from school, plop myself in front of the TV, and watch GI Joe and Transformers back to back inw aht I thought was an awesome hour of TV(except when baseball pre-empted it).

I saw another blog today that was looking to celebrate the 30 years of Transformers by exploring a toy from his collection for each year over the next 30 days.  I like the idea but I know I wouldn’t be able to keep up wiht it with the other stuff I got going on, but ti got me thinking.  Is that something I’d be able to do too?  The G2 stuff is likely where I’d be missing “years” but I figure why not try and see if I can match that – do I have one from each year?

  • 1984 – I’ll go with Ratchet.  I actually got one at a garage sale at my grandparents when I was young, and I still have it somewhere, though he’s missing a bunch of accessories, and the rear treads on his sled were broken and glued back together since then.
  • 1985 – Powerglide!  One of my first two or three Transformers.  Since then he’s lost a tailfin/foot, and the pins on his wings kept trying to slide out, but I’ve still got that red jet with an ego twice his size packed away somewhere.
  • 1986 – Blurr this time.  I got him around the same time as Powerglide, though his head broke off and got lost when I was young, so I treated him like a headmaster.  I eventually got a replacement, but the shield clip broke.  I’ve still got that one however, packed away somewhere
  • 1987 – Nosecone and the Technobots!  I got a Nosecone but the arm broke off, so I got a second one later.  I also got an Afterburner, but he got stolen by a so-called friend.  I always liked these futuristic vehicles, and kept drooling over Strafe, so later on in College when I got back into collecting I got a replacement Afterburner and completed the team!
  • 1988 – Quake the double Targetmaster.  This guy has aged better than some of my other examples above, with no real damage in all the time I had him.  The only Targetmaster I got until much later, just like Hosehead was my only Headmaster for a long time.
  • 1989 – Pretender Bumblebee – My first toy of Bumblebee, which I thought was a big deal since he was such a big character back then, relatively.  He also looked a lot like his cartoon model for the time.  I wanted the Jazz too, but never got ahold of it
  • 1990 – Construction Patrol – I got this for Easter I think, but by this time I was drifting away from Transformers some, towards TMNT.  Part of that was because I didn’t “get” Action Masters at the time.
  • 1991 – The first year I don’t have anything for.  This was one of the Euro-only years, while the line went into hibernation int eh US and Japan
  • 1992 – Skyquake – Years later I found this through a fansite selling figures, pretty much intact.  This was before eBay really took off so I jumped at the chance for a huge decepticon with all these missilebombs he could drop, and it was Euro-only!
  • 1993 – Another year I don’t have anything.  I saw the G2 toon and saw a few in stores, but I never got any of them while they were fresh.
  • 1994 – Same as 1993 I’m afraid, but from what I see this should be the last fallow year.
  • 1995 – Space Case – Years later I fell in love with the idea of forward-swept wings, and heard about the cyberjets having awesome articulation.  I zeroed in on Space Case having too gaudy a paint job that it would work as a good base for a custom character I named Slipstream(no relation to the fem Decepticon).  After I bought it while I was waiting to get started, I grew attached to the figure as-is and the repaint never happened.
  • 1996 – Wolfang – Actually got the Japanese version, long after the initial release.  While I had a fan character called Foxfire based off this mold, I never entertained actual thoughts of repainting him.
  • 1997 – Airrazor – My first new Transformer since G1. I’d been catching Beast Wars when I could, and I happened to spot her on the pegs at a store I was at.  Didn’t even wait to get home before opening the package, since I had to wait at the post office a bit that day.
  • 1998 – Transmetal 2 Cheetor – My second BW toy ever, which I got as a gift.  Just because you’re a teen doesn’t mean you can’t still ask for toys as gifts!
  • 1999 – Tigerhawk – Another one bought for me.  I thought the design was really neat, besides the nature of the character himself
  • 2000 – Mach Alert – My first new vehicle transformer, imported fresh from Japan when everyone was going “OMG VEHICLES” at Car Robots, and when we had no idea it would be brought over.  He’s still my favorite of the Car Bros.
  • 2001  – BM Rattrap – I just had to get this one because he was supposed to be the size of a live rat, like Supreme Cheetor was housecat-sized
  • 2002 – Minicons. I realize I’m cheating a bit but I can’t name a specific one.  Minicons however were a return to Micromasters, and would let me populate my Metroplex and Brave Maximus for a real Autobot City!
  • 2003 – Unicron – Finally the big bad from 1986 had a figure of his own!  Sure it wasn’t exactly like G1, but it was close enough(and still is).
  • 2004 – Energon Rodimus – Again going back to my like for S3 G1, we finally had a Rodimus Prime again, even though they never called him that Stateside.
  • 2005 – Energon Galvatron – Just like Rodimus, except this also looked like that old Decepticon Lunatic more than any other figure to date.in design and deco, apart from a few concessions to the gunship mode
  • 2006 – Primus – Just liek Unicron,w e now had a Cybertron for him to consume, only it also transformed into a version of the Transformer’s creator!  It didn’t look much like the images from the old G1 UK comics though, sadly.
  • 2007 – Movie Optimus Prime – While not accurate to the movie, the first movie since 1986(and live action) it was a good Optimus on its own.
  • 2008 – Universe Cyclonus – The popularity of Classics let us get a lot more of these “updated” G1 figures, and Cyclonus gave us a proper representation of Galvatron’s lieutenant
  • 2009 – Animated Arcee – Even though it was the tail end of the line, it was the first ever official Arcee based on her G1 car mode, and my stand-in until the new one comes out later this year.
  • 2010 – PCC Leadfoot – The Power Core Combiner was an odd concept that borrowed from Energon Prime, but this one was neat in that it was a former G2 character who hadn’t been used in ages, with a gun that also became an engine.
  • 2011 – Generations Kup – This slot was reserved for Classics Kup.  Another of the 1986 Autobot cars, though he wasn’t a futuristic pickup anymore, he looked recognizably like himself. This was also part of the Generations revival that has continued through today, and into the foreseeable future.
  • 2012 – FoC Shockwave – Even though it’s based on the game and doesn’t turn into a gun, this was to me the most accurate Shockwave thus far, and still has a place on my desk at home.  I pretty much bypassed Prime in favor of Generations, and this was one of the FoC figured I felt worked fine with other classic-styled figures, even if it was a bit small.
  • 2013 – Generations Springer – This was one of the best figures of the year in that it not only has a good implementation of triple-changing, but at the same time looks like it leaped right out the pages of the IDW comic book. A bit large due to his size class, but very satisfying.
  • 2014 – Rhinox – I gotta give this one to the big lug, as we finally had a figure for him that looks like him in both modes, and even transforms kind of like the show.

So short a few years in G2, which had a few new molds(which I got some of as repaints were released later) but a lot of repaints, I was able to come up with something for every year, though a couple there wasn’t much that spoke to me as far as listing it went.

I had something else as well originally intended to be added to this post art-wise, but due to recent developments while I was putting the above list together, I’m going to hold off on that for now.  Until next time!

Worlds of Whimsy #1 – Free Traders Universe

Well, what do ya know!  I didn’t notice until I was going to write this that this was going to be the 50th post, but that’s a rather auspicious start.

Anyways, I’ve noticed lately I haven’t had much to write about, as life is continuing on without major changes, I haven’t had any grand ideas to ponder, and art’s pretty much on hold pending the new reference sheet.  It just so happens I was pondering a world design mixing up dragons with Star Trek and maybe Spelljammer and Shadowrun, and it hit me that I tend to do this on and off sometimes.  I’ll come up with this grand new idea of r a world or timeline or something, maybe start to write a story(or even finish it!) and then end up dropping it.  I don’t really want to be a GM so the only way I can really bring them to life usually would be via story or art.  Art usually isn’t that great for something like this without a bunch of it(which would get rather expensive) and with writing I’ve found I tend to work best with short stories, and I would need a strong story idea to get myself to finish it.

Then it hit me that I could put them out here!  Write out these fancy ideas and flesh them out, and while I may not be able to give them life, maybe someone else later will come along and build off that in their home games, and make it live!

I’m actually torn on what to show off for the first posting though.  I think I’ll start off with one of my more recent world-building attempts, although techncially I suppose it’s actually a couple worlds.

The Free Traders Universe

This was actually the setting(s) for an aborted story series based in the Spelljammer ruleset and setting.  It was supposed to follow the adventure of a small 4-man crew of a spelljamming vessel. They were rather unique though, especially a couple of them that I basically had to (or wanted to) create their own worlds because of them.  First, the ship!

Lazy Sue

Swordfish-class
4xStandard room = 2 tons
Helm room = 1 tons
Galley = .5
basic Engineering = 1.5 tons
5 tons + cargo
10% rigging
10% frame

12 tons
9.6 tons internal
4.6 tons cargo

Heavy Frame – Dark Wood
Dark Woof Hull
Pyre Iron plating
Pyre Iron piercing ram

Maneuver C
AC 25
hardness 12
345 HP

 

I never got as far as making deck plans apart from a general idea of what was where.  She was crewed thoguh as I said by four folk:

The Captain was a standard womanizing rogueish half-elf.  Nothing special at first, though more may have been revealed later.

The navigator was a dragonwrought kobold, giving them a mini-dragon on the crew.  She likewise wasn’t supposed to harbor much in the way of dark secrets, but had been doing this a while at the start. Her homeworld would have been based in the Council of Wyrms setting.

The weapons master on the other hand was one of those two special cases.  He was basically a warforged in game terms, but he was ultimately a proxy Transformer.  So, one of the few worlds I somewhat fleshed out is:

Forged Homeworld
(Cybertron of Universal Stream Draconix 313.16 Iota)

The history of this world mirrors the Primax 984.17 Alpha(G1 cartoon) history, after a fashion, given the presence of magic.  Forged were created to be warriors, like Eberron, and laborers.  The countries that gave birth to them however went to war with one another, and practically destroyed the planet.  The Forged finished the job, and left, their creators and their entire homeworld having been seemingly lost.  They started blaming one another and the war-restarted among the stars, with the Forged taking sides in part based upon their old loyalties, while others left to find their own way.  The other spelljamming races don’t look at the “out-of-control machines” with kindness, needless to say, though their reception could be anywhere from a cool neutral stance, to outright jailing, which would have been a plot point at one of the worlds they would have visited.

 

The artificer and ship’s engineer was the newbie, and the initial audiance perspective member.  She was also rather out of the ordinary, in that she was a felitaur.  In other words, like a centaur except her lower half was fully feline and her upper half was a humanized feline, in typical furry fasion.  Similar to chakats, but without being a herm or any of the baggage that term brings.

I didn’t flesh out her world much, other than it was a Realms-like world, but with more taurs and fewer bipeds.

I did put some thought into the first part of their story, which I originally planned to be from the Transforged’s PoV.

Giasin

This world was intended to borrow from a mix of La Gias(SRW), Panzer World Galient, and Turn A Gundam.  The world itself was meant to parallel the Forged homeworld just before its final war, except instead of self-aware mechanoids they’d uncovered ancient giant piloted mecha and tried to copy it with their magitek technology.  The Lazy Sue would have been seized to be used in their war, but the Transforged character would have broken the “PCs” out and helped them escape onto their next stop.

 

The next stop would have been the Council of Wyrms setting, and there would have been little change if any.  The story would have been told form the kobold’s PoV as she had run away form this world, and was now returning to it, though not entirely of her own accord.

There would have been one more intermediate stop, likely at a space station equivalent, before returning around to the taur’s PoV and their final destination.  I didn’t get far enough along to flesh out this world either, other than the story here would play with a plot along the lines of “Yesterday’s Enterprise” from Star Trek, mixed with a quarantined planet and a dying or dead Spacejammer.

I lost interest as I was trying to start the second chapter, and as no one else seemed really interested either, I let it die at that point and moved on.  I’d still like to plat a Draconix stream Cybertronian at some point, if a GM will let me though.

 

The next entry will probably also be a revival of an old story setting, but unlike this, it’ll be a single world as such.  Like this setting, I only got one story and the start of another written before I lost the thread of the story, though it was more I knew what I wanted in the ending but couldn’t see a good way to get there.

Also, as a reassurance this isn’t replacing any other ideas I might write about.  This will simply be something else I write about or for now and then in addition to posts about art, life, philosophy, and so on.