Friday, December 26, 2008
Hm, I'm just thinking... how do you hint something to someone who doesn't take hints? Doesn't life get pretty de-layered without hints? Say, for example that I would DM some story in which the characters have the free choice of choosing, say, A or B. If I blatantly make someone say "A is better" then hint-less people would choose A, nee? Or if I let two people blatantly say one each is better, it comes down to which person they like better. On the other hand, small things subterfuged into the story and into scenes here and there would guide hint-taking players to consider the choice carefully... so that they can discover the truth on their own, not having someone tell them how it comes together. How is this accomplished, really? Because I refuse to have people *say* all important information in a game. Then it feels like all it's about is talking to, alternatively mind-raping, the right person. I guess that works if it's ass-hat hard to talk and/or mind-rape people, but it's not. In a game, the main thing players tend to do is talk and mind-rape people as much as is playably possible. So... what do you guys think? You like having info told to you? Or how are you supposed to discover things?
I hope people understand what I'm trying to say here...
Oh, and also, I'm going to get rid of that banner because it's annoying the hell out of me that I suitably put it up with the first calendar post, but not taking it down with the last... Yes, I'm anal about it. It's just, ps is fucking with me and it's 4 o'clock in the morning. G'night.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
“Well, I can tell we have a winner right here,” he said and reached out and shook hands with Julian. “Congratulations!”
“What?” Julian said, blinded by all the attention and this sudden change of events.
“Ah, excuse my manners,” the man said. “I am Derek, I am in charge of public relations. And safety. And finances. Oh, hello Leigh.” He shook the human’s hand as well. Leigh still looked grumpy and went off to climb a building to get his mind off his defeat.
“Wait, what? In charge of what?” Kati wanted to know.
“Ah, let me explain. The Lancea Sanctum will be pushing a political campaign in the area, and we thought we needed a local to speak for us while we’re off elsewhere. My boss, wise as he is, knows that it’s the woman behind the man that counts. So we agreed that the couple with the strongest woman coming to our Christmas Party would take charge in this region.”
“See?” muttered Benji.
“In charge of the region?” Julian said.
“This guy’s so fresh he can’t tie his shoes,” Kati said. “And don’t think you can just waltz in here like that, the Invictus…”
“Obviously he’s the most suitable man,” Derek declared and went on to shake Sam’s hand. “It can’t be doubted! Ah, well, I am needed elsewhere. Please enjoy the party; we will sort the paperwork out tomorrow. Tonight is Christmas, after all!”
And he was gone.
It was silent for another ten minutes. Then the star atop the tree released Ray from its magical spell, and he yawned and stretched and looked around if anyone else was bored.
“Hey guys, look, presents!”
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
“We’ll take down your evil plan!” Aiden declared.
“I think,” Ray added.
But Julian, at seeing the couple and at the damage he’d taken, suddenly remembered what had happened, how Leigh had come around and sent him off. He struggled to get on his feet and Kati helped him up. “It doesn’t matter what you do!” he yelled. “You’ll have to kill me to keep me away from Sam!”
At which Sam jerked up. “What?” she said and turned to Leigh. “You told me he left.”
Leigh wet his lips and smiled disarmingly. “Did I? I meant, he left when I told him to.”
“You beat me up!” Julian protested. “Said you’d kill us both if I didn’t get lost!”
Sam stared at him. “Forget it,” she said. When he tried to stop her from going she simply lifted him by his stylish coat and told him if he ever laid hands on Julian again, or any of Julian’s friends, she would send him back to his boss in one-pound boxes.
And once that was out of the way, she returned to Julian, who was overridden with joy at seeing her and immediately recovered.
Seeing as Leigh had met his match he had no desire to fight them. He came with them back through the tunnels and up from the hatch under the Christmas tree. Where our heroes discovered that today was Christmas day, which they had, with all the excitement, forgotten. The tree was lit up with the most amazing lights and the star at the top mesmerized Ray for a whole fifteen minutes.
Outside also waited a whole crew of vampires, setting up a stage and testing microphones. None of them seemed to notice them coming up.
Kati didn’t recognize any of them as Invictus. She grabbed one of them and asked, “What is going on here?”A voice cut through the crowd; “Let me answer that!”
Monday, December 22, 2008
He came rushing just as the guy was telling her about the composition of earth that gave it its orange color, and the guy flickered his wrist and a dozen throwing stars came flying at Julian. He didn’t even stop talking meanwhile. Sam was a bit distracted, though, as Julian cried out in pain and stumbled to the ground.
The others caught up with them but were slowed down by the ease with which the guy had defeated Julian. Ray and Aiden hurried up and pulled Julian away some, and began plucking stars out of him.
“Now what is this?” the guy demanded. He was of middle length, dressed with stylish ease and with nothing but peach fuzz on his head.
“Leigh!” Benji shouted, stepping out and pointing with one dirty glove. “It’s not over yet! I have…” And he grabbed Melody’s arm to pull her up front with him, but she was quite finished with pretending and finally got to elbow him again.
“Release that girl now!” Aiden yelled.
“What?” Leigh said. “What are you talking about, release? She can go if she wants.” He turned towards Sam and held out a hand, showing her she could do as she liked. She hesitated.
Aiden, Kati and Melody tried to attack him when he wasn’t expecting it, but like with all good fighters he didn’t really have a time when he didn’t expect it. Even Ray who had snuck up invisible was struck back. They were all repelled again and again, and the chances for our heroes seemed slim.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
The tunnel walls were soggy here, the brown earth was almost orange and rocks littered their path; once or twice one fell from the roof. A weak sound was reaching them; echoes of someone in pain. The tunnels caught the sounds and amplified them, bouncing agony at them.
Soon they came upon the wounded. A werewolf, a young male who seemed to be in pretty bad shape. A skinny girl dressed in black was next to him, trying to get him on his feet.
“You’re from Elaine?” the guy on the ground groaned.
“The guy is further down. We ran, and he didn’t really follow. He’s showing a girl around, as if it’s some tour or something.”
“Sam!” Julian shouted and ran off.
“Oh for Christ’s sake,” Kati sighed and followed him.
“Thanks,” Aiden yelled back at the two young ones before the whole group took off.“Be careful,” the skinny girl called to them.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
“Geronimo!” he yelled and jumped down right at them.
It seemed they had prepared a bit better for being attacked this time, because when he landed among them they didn’t run away. Instead Ray went invisible, Melody unfolded claws, and Julian hid behind her back.
They spent some time telling each other what had happened while they were separated, as well as warn Aiden that the next time he did that he’d get a pair of claws through his stomach. Then they extended that warning to Benji just to be sure.
And so they went on, stronger in numbers, south to confront Sam’s kidnapper.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Benji made a face. “I need to catch up, y’know. The other guy is way ahead of me.”
“He’s got this great girl… I have to find someone like that too!”
“Who has what?”
“My rival!” He suddenly stood up and fisted a hand in the air, the pain forgotten and a new grin on his face. “He’s cheating, I’m sure of it! But I can still win!”
“Are you talking about the guy who kidnapped Sam?” Julian said. “It’s a competition?”
“Kidnapped?” Benji said. “Competition? Not really. But I want his job. The boss might put me ahead if I can bring a really great girl.” He spun around towards Melody. “So please come with me! You’re not dating one of these guys, so you might as well go with me!”
Seeing that he was about to get another elbow, Julian grabbed his shoulders and turned him around again. “This guy, could you take us to him?”
Benji snorted. “Why would I?”
“How about you get a date with Melody if you do?” Julian proposed.
Ray made Melody stand still and be quiet while Julian did his best to make the deal look more like an opportunity and less like the instant death he figured it might be. Benji thought about it. “Alright,” he said. “I’ll show you there if you pretend you’re with me at Christmas. Deal?” After some convincing Ray and Julian managed to get Melody to at least pretend to agree to pretend.
“I can’t help but get the feeling this guy got it all wrong,” Julian said.
Ray shrugged. “Guess we’ll find out.”
Thursday, December 18, 2008
“Some say he’s working for someone on the other side of the ocean. Some up and rising Lancea Sanctum creep with megalomania. If that is true, and he is heading this way, it means he might be aiming at preparing this region for the Lancea Sanctum’s arrival. We’ve gone uncontested in this territory so long, I guess that was to be expected.”
“But what’s he doing?” Aiden asked. “If he’s only defending himself, and only travelling here and there, and not talking to anyone.”
“That’s what’s so evil about this plan!” Elaine explained. “No one can figure out how it’s supposed to come together! But no matter who he works for and what he wants, he’s made it quite clear that he’s hostile. And regardless, a mortal who knows about vampires is always unsettling. Anyway, if he’s coming this way like you said then he must be coming through the tunnels. It’s the easiest mode of transportation to go unnoticed. Large amounts of tunnels and not enough vampires to guard them.”
“He’ll come from the south.”
Elaine seemed thoughtful. “I sent some of my best that way on another mission, but I haven’t heard anything from them since.”
“Worth heading that way and take a look,” Kati said.
“Good suggestion,” Aiden agreed. “Let’s run right at the crazy vampire-killing mortal. May I also suggest we find the others first so that we can all die together?”
“They’ll be going that way too, to rescue Sam,” Kati said. “Come on now, let’s go.”
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
“Who the hell are you?” she asked.
“Benji, at your service, ma’am,” the guy said and did an elegant bow.
“This is the guy Kati was looking for?” she said.
“I don’t see Sam,” Julian said, looking around.
“What the hell do you want?” Melody asked Benji.
“I just challenged him to a duel!” Benji said, pointing to Ray.
“Why?” Julian asked.
“For his woman, of course!”
“Shana?” Ray said, confused.
“So that’s your name!” Benji said, smiling at Melody. “Shana, that’s a great name.”
Julian felt that aura coming on again, that he’d felt the first time Melody opened the cottage door to him. She grew somehow, becoming frightening. Probably some vampire thing. Benji didn’t seem all that frightened, but he did stop smiling.
“Okay, stop,” Julian said. “This is Melody.”
Benji let the hint of confusion slip over his face. “Melody?” he said. Then he considered that some and finally seemed to think he’d sorted it out. He pulled off his other glove and hit Julian with it. “Aha! I challenge you!”
Melody elbowed him in the chest, which quite abruptly ended his challenge.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Behind the mahogany desk stood an Asian woman with flowing black hair in a business suit, impeccably clean despite the location. She and Kati locked eyes and Aiden waited patiently while they sorted out their issues by trying to mind-control each other.
Once they were done, for the moment at least, the woman sat down in her leather chair with crossed legs. “Nice to have you back, miss Haines,” she said, looking at her desk.
“Nice to be back, miss Warren,” Kati answered, also staring at the desk.
“What have you been up to?”
“Some of the unaligned are willing to help us in finding him,” Kati told her. “And I spoke to the mage. She says he is heading this way. Have anything been up in the tunnels?”
“Yes,” said Elaine. Aiden knew her name was Elaine because it said so on the diplomas. “Some guy has been whisking around here. But it’s not the man we’re looking for, it’s someone else. Actually, I have no bloody idea what this other guy wants or who he is, but he’s been nothing but trouble, running around hitting on women and fighting most everyone that has come in his way. The difference is, he’s not winning.”
Monday, December 15, 2008
“I say we follow a wall,” Ray said. “If we always take right, we find our way out sooner or later. See, I can draw you this diagram…” And he started looking around for a stick to draw with.
“We don’t have time!” Julian wailed. “Who knows what Sam’s going through!”
Since there was really nowhere to hide in the small, empty tunnels, they all huddled together and waited. Coming around the corner, teeth gleaming in a wide smile, was a young vampire dressed in jeans and t-shirt even as it was the middle of winter.
“Whew,” he said. “You all ran off like that, I thought I wouldn’t find you.” He pulled off one fingerless, black glove, walked up to Ray and hit him in the face with it. Before the three’s confused eyes he then threw the glove on the ground. “There,” he declared. “I challenge you!”
Saturday, December 13, 2008
“They should be able to find their way out,” Kati said. “Eventually.”
“I guess,” Aiden said. “No cell phone reception down here either. So what do we do now?”
“What we were going to do in the first place,” Kati decided. “My boss lives down here, and she knows the tunnels like her own back pocket. I need to tell her what I found out, and maybe she’ll send out someone to find the others.”
“Very well,” Aiden said. “Lead the way, and if something else comes dropping down from the sky, let’s punch it instead of running. Seems like a better idea.”“You punch it,” Kati said.
The odd pair walked on through the tunnels and entered an area where tunnel walls were exchanged for bricks and a number of doors appeared on each side. Aiden figured people lived here, mostly because some of them were walking around outside.
Kati went up to a door and knocked on it. “Boss,” she called. “I’m back!”
And with that they opened the hatch and went down into the tunnels.
It was dark and damp down there, and just as cold as above ground. The tunnel was so tight that they had to crouch down and walk in a straight line behind each other. Aiden went last since he practically filled up the entire tunnel. It was dug out of hard earth and it was only because the ground was frozen that it didn’t collapse. Eventually it opened up into a room, higher than it was wide, with several tunnels leading out at different heights. These tunnels were much better reinforced and looked more permanent than the one they had come through. This appeared to be the nexus of the undergrounds. They saw no one else and everything was completely quiet.
Kati was just about to show them the way when they heard a loud shout; “Geronimo!” and something came flying from above. It landed right in the middle of them with a bright flash and a loud bang. Something screamed inside Julian’s head and red danger flashed in front of his eyes. One moment he was standing there, the next he’d ran several steps, and once that far gone he went on running. Someone was running in front of him, but he was vaguely aware of that some others had taken off in another direction. As he disappeared into the tunnels, he heard a disappointed voice calling from behind.“Hey! Where did everybody go?”
Friday, December 12, 2008
“I’ll come with you,” Julian hurried to say. “If Sam is with this guy, then I have to go too.”
“We’ll help you!” Ray cheered, backed up by heavy nodding from Aiden.
Since the purple clashed so horribly with her furniture, Shana refused to try her magic again. They said farewell and thank you to her, and she told them to come back anytime they wanted tea. The group walked out back into the old apartment building with the bent mailbox.
“Where are we going?” Julian asked. “What’s an Invictus?”
While the three cottage friends told him about vampire politics Kati led the way towards the middle of town. Invictus was the ruling political group, they said. Themselves, all three were unaligned, which meant they followed Invictus rules but didn’t give crap about politics. That’s why they lived far off in that cottage, Melody said. Other vampires had dug out tunnels and living space under town, pretty much living in a complex of underground-connected basements and cellars, since no building above ground was grand enough.
Kati led the way to the town square, where the Christmas tree was waiting, towering above all the other trees. Once the happy day came someone would turn on the light switch and it would explode in a sparkle and shine like nothing anyone had ever seen, that would distract Ray for hours.
At this time the square was empty and quiet. It was too cold for the homeless to be anywhere except in the vicinity of fire and too late for anyone else to be outside. Julian looked around and saw nothing.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
“Like I told you over the phone,” she said to Shana, “The Invictus are looking for this guy who’s been all over the vampire radar the last weeks. He’s killed everyone who came in his way. Traveled very pointedly down south, and then back up north lately. We still don’t know why or who he really is, but whatever he’s trying to do he must be stopped before he kills more of us.”
“Wow,” Aiden said, “that’s a powerful vampire.”
Kati shook her head. “That’s the thing. He’s not a vampire. As far as we know he’s just a mortal.”
“He hasn’t gone after anyone personally,” Kati said, “only defended himself. So, Shana, what can you do?”
“Like I said,” Shana said, “I’m on Ray’s side, and Ray is neutral, so I won’t help you go after anyone. But I can see if I can find him.” Once again Shana opened her book. Again purple energy spewed out. She quickly snapped the book shut, with her hand this time. “Damn. That’s strange.”
“What happened?” Kati demanded.
“Something is protecting him from my sight,” Shana said. “The strange thing is, the same thing happened with that girl Sam.” Julian perked up. “I think they’re in the same place.”
“He killed her!?!” Julian demanded.
“If he had killed her they wouldn’t be in the same place,” Shana said. “What I do know is that he’s coming this way. In a very straight line.”
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
“Well, I’ll see if I can find her then,” Shana said, setting her empty cup aside.
The book on the table snapped shut and Shana closed her eyes and mumbled a few words. Another book came flying to her and she flipped through it, still with her eyes closed. The room seemed to shrink on them and the air became heavy. Julian thought he could se swirls of pink energy emanating from the book. Halfway the energy changed color into a sickening purple clashing horribly with the red cashmere and blue silk.
Then Shana opened her eyes. “I’m sorry,” she said, waving her hands to chase the purple color away. “Locating people is difficult, but vampires are almost impossible. I can tell you’re not from around here, though. You came from down south, many nights ago. Fleeing from something, or someone.”
“And Sam didn’t come with me?”
“Not as far as I can tell.”
“Well,” said the woman who had brought them there, “if you’re done, can I have a moment.”
“You came to see Shana too?” Aiden asked.
“Obviously,” the woman said. “Why else would I have taken you here.” She stood and held out a hand to Shana. “I’m Kati. I called, remember?”
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
“Please describe her,” Shana said and gestured for him to sit down. He shook his head because his clothes were all dirty and full of snow, but she insisted, so he sat down on the edge of the seat of a dining room chair with a blue silk pillow on.
“She’s blonde, about this long, and skinny,” he said. “Her name is Samantha… and she’s a vampire. I think. I mean, we think, I don’t know. I, um, last thing I remember I wasn’t one, and I was with her, so I guess…” by now Shana was staring down into her teacup and didn’t seem to listen so he changed course. “Please, if you can help me…”
“Yes, yes,” Shana said, “of course I help a friend of Ray’s. No need to try and awe me.”“Do what?” Julian said and saw the other cast glances on him with narrowing eyes. “Err… sorry?”
Monday, December 8, 2008
“You’ll see,” Melody told him and rung the doorbell.
The door swung open but there was no one to be seen inside. Ray walked in first as if he owned the place, and the others followed, one by one. Aiden politely invited the woman to come with them inside and was surprised when she said yes. Julian was the last one to enter. It was odd, because the apartment really looked larger from the inside. In fact, it even had stairs leading to a second floor, and the windows overlooked some kind of sea or ocean. The door slammed shut behind him and he jumped of surprise.
The hallway led them into a large living room with hand-woven carpets on the floor and paintings of landscapes on the walls. One entire wall was occupied by bookshelves; shelf after shelf with books no less than half a decimeter across the back. In a red cashmere sofa sat a blonde woman with her head bent over a book. The pages were flipping themselves.
She looked up when they entered and smiled to welcome them. “Ray,” she said. “How nice, you brought friends. Would you all like some tea?”
“Maybe later,” Ray said. “This is Julian, and…”After the initial greetings were over Shana returned to the tea. “It’s not tea-time, I know,” she said, “but it’s always night here in case Ray wants to come visit. So we might as well call it tea-time and have some tea.”
Sors, no pic, I messed up dates and numbers XP calendaring is difficult stuffs, must know numbers 1 to 24 :o
Sunday, December 7, 2008
The woman stared at him, but then she said, “Fine, what?”
He smiled with relief. Everyone was so nice to him, he didn’t quite understand why. His earlier excuse of Christmas spirit was beginning to sound a little too childish. “You wouldn’t know where a woman named Shana lives, would you?” he asked.
“Sure I do,” the woman said.
“Really? Could you tell us?” Meanwhile the others had joined him, having gained confidence from his success. “Ray seems to have gotten lost.”
“Lost? In a town with one main street, you got lost?” the woman said disbelievingly. “Fine, I’ll show you the way since you seem incapable of navigating straight roads.”
She started walking, and the others followed even if Aiden had to talk both Melody and Ray into coming quietly.
“I’m Julian,” Julian told the woman, walking up front with her.
“Really,” she said.
“Uh… well… you haven’t seen a girl, have you? About this tall, blonde…?”
“No,” she said without looking.
“Well, we’re looking for Shana because these guys tell me she might know where…”
The woman stopped and he stopped talking. She turned towards him and he half expected to tell him to shut up, but she said, “We’re here.”
They had arrived at a run down apartment building where Ray immediately recognized the tilted mailbox and declared this must be where Shana lived.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
“Alright,” Ray said and began walking towards the woman.
Ray approached the woman briskly and head on. Most often others of the kin were far more likely to resort to violence if they felt as if they had been snuck up on, so he preferred the open method. He went up to her with a smile and waving his hand in a friendly manner. Just as he opened his mouth she stared him in the eyes and spoke one word, very articulately.
He turned around and walked back to the others. They were looking at him funny.
“What? Weren’t you going to ask her?” Aiden asked.
“Um,” he said, trying to figure out why he hadn’t. “Yes. Sure.” Tried to turn back and changed his mind again. “You do it,” he told Melody.
Friday, December 5, 2008
“Odd,” Aiden commented. “To turn off the lights at the darkest time of the year. Quite impractical, if I may say.”
The houses heralded the coming of a town, that would have appeared completely abandoned had it not been for all the lights, in windows, in trees, following roads and adorning bushes and poles. Even in the middle of the night the town was sparkling.
Ray led the way but after a few blocks he slowed down and began looking around with a suspiciously confused look to him. Another few blocks and he stopped completely. “Um,” he said, still looking around. “I think we should have taken that other road.”
“Really?” Aiden said.
“Um, yes, probably,” Ray said.
“You’re lost.” Melody stated. “How many times have you gone to visit her, and you’re lost.”
Ray held out his hands. “It hasn’t been this shiny before! All these lights distract me.”
Thursday, December 4, 2008
“What happened to your Sam?” Aiden asked.
Julian thought back, but his mind went blank somewhere along the way. “I… don’t remember,” he said.
“Tell us about her, then,” Ray suggested.
“We met some time back, things just happened,” Julian remembered. “I’ve gone to her place every night since.” Something slowly dawned to him. “Every… night…”
The other three exchanged glances.
“I… I don’t think I’ve ever seen her during the day… but that’s ridiculous. She’s small.” He held up a hand to show the measurements. “And… young. She’s not a vampire. Vampires are tall and dressed in red and…”
“Stupid, apparently,” Melody added. “If they all walk around looking distinctively vampiric. Hard to blend in, wouldn’t you think?”
“Well, since it is soon Christmas,” Melody went on, “I suppose we could return the pet to the master.”
“But I’ve never heard of a small, blonde vampire girl around here,” Ray said.
“Hm, maybe we should ask someone,” Aiden said.
“Yes!” Ray said and lit up like a candle. “Of course! Shana knows a lot of things! She might know something useful!”
“Is she one of us too?” Julian asked.
“A mage,” Melody said. “Quite some difference.”
“Then isn’t this a bit late to go visit?”
Melody just smiled. “No sleep for the wicked,” she said.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
“Hi,” he said, walking over and holding out his hand. “I don’t think we’ve met.”
The man turned towards him and, with heartbreaking desperation, said: “I need help!”
Ray stopped. “Okay?”
“This is Julian,” Melody said and explained the situation as far as she knew.
“You want us to take you to a city?” Ray asked.
Julian shook his head so that flakes of frost and snow flew off of him and started melting in little puddles on the floor. “I have to find Sam! My girlfriend, I have to find her.”
Ray seemed to think for a moment. Then he shrugged and nodded. “Okay.” Melody took a deep breath. Ray did the same, but called out: “Aiden!”
Out from another of the little bedrooms of the cottage came a giant of a man, completely dressed in black, peeking in through the doorway as if he was extremely busy elsewhere. “What’s all this yelling about?” he demanded.
“Julian wants us to go find his friend Sam,” Ray said and patted Julian’s shoulder.
Aiden thought for a moment and then, too, shrugged and nodded. “Okay.” He left his doorway and started looking around for shoes. “Where are we looking first?” he asked, pulling on his black coat.
While Ray said he didn’t really know and maybe Julian had an idea, Melody sighed and watched with a growing sense of coming disaster as they made plans about making plans. “Could this maybe wait until tomorrow night?” She asked. “Besides, we don’t know who this guys is, it might be a trap. And how long has he walked anyway? And he hasn’t eaten in forever…” But it was useless because the three men were already going out the door.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
“I’m… my name is Julian,” he said and threw a longing eye into the warmth of the cottage.
Since he didn’t go on she sighed and let him in. “I’m Melody,” she said. “I have no idea how you got here through the snow, but you better have a good reason for invading our privacy.”
“Our?” he said and looked around. The cottage was hardly something to be proud of, small and scarcely furnished with a few shelves, sofas and tables, nothing on the walls. Any number of people could have lived there, from one to ten.
“I don’t really know where I am,” Julian said. “I, I don’t know what happened. I’ve been walking through the forest for days. You haven’t seen someone else have you? A woman, blonde, um, short?”
“Nope,” Melody answered.
“Oh,” he said and looked sad.
“Maybe she’s dead,” she said. “If she wasn’t turned, in this cold, she wouldn’t make it.”
What she said seemed to upset him, but he focused on what he didn’t understand rather than what he did. “Turned?”
“Please, I’m not stupid,” Melody said. “You must have fed since you turned or you wouldn’t have made it so far. You’re one of us. The kindred.” When he still looked confused she sighed, walked off to a bookcase and came back with a book, blood red. She held it in front of him and, with a bored sneer, clarified; “A vampire.”
Monday, December 1, 2008
The winter night was dark and cold. The first snow had covered the land in a dampening blanket and rested beneath the pine trees like a gray beast lurking on the living, waiting to swallow them into its freezing belly. Through this black and white landscape came a single figure walking, the air around him having crystallized into glittering frost against his clothes and skin. His back was bent and his movements were stiff, but there burned determination in his eyes and nothing in the world could have stopped him from taking one more step forward… and then another one.
His walk through the endless forest hade been long and hard, but this night he lifted his gaze from the snow to see lights in the distance. A little cottage daring the cold in the middle of nowhere. Empowered by this welcome sight he went on and arrived after some time on its doorstep. Just as he lifted a hand to knock the door was opened and before him stood a young woman. She was lean and beautiful with short chestnut hair, but there was something distinctively dangerous about her. The way she stood tall in front of him, the way she met his eyes. He let out the first breath that had come out of him in days, but there was no heat left in him to turn it into a cloud of mist.
And so it began.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Only two days left and after that I won't be able to blog about anything else... but I can't think of anything to say anyway XD My life isn't very interesting right now, since all I do is take care of the house when everyone's off to school and work, do Math C and play Wow. Really, honestly, coupled with some Sims 2 and Skyping, that's it.
Oh, except sketching like this, ofc.
Fave food of the week: schnitzel + noodles + soy
Friday, November 21, 2008
I'm also sketching along the Cristmas Calendar drawings... I've already changed style about three times and scrapped about 9 sketches... So I've decided now that I'll use whatever style I feel like at the moment with the Calendar, so don't expect a coherent style or story as far as the drawings go. Black and white, colored, shaded, manga, portraits, chibi... I'll mix and match a bit. FFS = For Fun's Sake!! ^^
This blog is turning completely schitzophrenic... :D
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
What a spectacular parody on life they are. This fumbling attempt to through the correct tunnels and ways pay respects to someone's life, their deed during their time in this world. Churches. Psalms. Coffins. Rows of people with their bent heads, speeches and songs of words, that are just words, no more. How come they can't say to each other, what they want the priest to say? How come they can't say to the dead, what they want the priest to say? No, it should be out there, spoken by the right, high and loud for all the hear. Pitiful.
Grief cannot be handled this way, can it? Explain it to me someone. Grief cannot be shared this way. Grief cannot be eased by displaying it on the stage of the altar of Christ. Grief cannot be understood this way, can it? Explain it, because it is beyond me.
I understand tradition and ceremony; they grant safety in a world of chaos, sincerety in a world of lies, and strength in a world of weakness. They are holy. But I cannot understand why they must be displayed.
A rap star swearing to avenge the death of his brother in front of his crew, this I understand, and respect. A king's coffin followed by the masses of his people. This is not burial, this is for the living, statements for the world and thus justified to be public.
But funerals. Especially for those who never believed in the religion they still insist on being buried in. This ridicule of sacred things, this joke of a ceremony! Relatives, each wanting their own thing, each having their own ceremony in their head, but still playing along with the game of intelligent beings. Compromises. Pretty words.
Grief cannot be handled this way.
Give me the funeral I deserve, when I one day return to the source of all things. No words. No social games. No outings of pretended religion, no traditions made for tradition's sake. Give me silence. Give me the whisper of the winds and song of water. Give me your thoughts, your grief. Sit down and share your memories, but do not for a second think you can share grief. Give me your tradition, your ceremony, that which is holy to you. A drop of blood. A tune whispered in your head. A parchment of poem in my grave. A prayer to whatever god you follow.
Give me your respect when I go. No bloody funeral.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Nightflyer asked me, one of these days, "would you want to do a Christmas Calendar like Eva did last year?", and I thought, it could be an awesome tradition of ours to make one every year. I worried a little how I'd come up with anything nice, but that solved itself as soon as I sat down and wrote the first letters. From then on it was just a whole lot of fun and I wrote the first version last night (I blame the Nightflyer for all lost sleep). I'll fine tune it later (or not, dunno) but I also thought I might draw little cute illustrations along the way. Nothing too complicated, but just to keep myself entertained since I won't be allowed to blog about my own stuff and already know how the story goes.
There will be a Christmas Calendar, it starts the 1st of December, and it will be right here.
There might even come teasers further up, so stay tuned.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Remember that small on-site sketchchallenge we had because of boredom? Remember me not being satisfied with my pic?
Just so you know, I always think something or other could be better. This one is closer to what I wanted than that one (mainly because drawing on the computer is cheatingly easy compared to drawing by hand) but it's not perfect. Far from it, in fact.
Although I don't think it's humanly possible for me to make a drawing I'd consider perfect. Pics are only mimickings of reality, after all. So in this case, only reality could be perfect. For once.
My dreams are keeping me entertained, though. I so wish I could take them to one of those psychoanalyzing dreamreaders. I want to know what wanton destruction and insane fun could possibly mean, in a dream way. Probably that I'm inhibited in real life. Hm. I read somewhere that how you read your own dreams tell you more about yourself than what you actually dream.
I read a book called "Swedish Mafia" (although in Swedish), about biker clubs like Hells Angels and Bandidos in Sweden. Kind of serious and kind of scary, although sometimes it feels like it tries to condemn what they do but only manage to boost their reputation. What I do know is this; a police badge should be like the cross to the vampire. In my book, you do not target cops. Bust whatever you want, but lay a hand on a decent cop and you're out. Strike three, red flag. Corrupted cops, however, should be taken out back and shot. And a police force should be (and is, sometimes) the way that hurt one of them and you get half the country gunning for you. I like the idea, and I like the message. You do not mess with.
Also, read Lee Child. I like those books. As entertainment of couse, it's hardly higher level academics, but they follow my moral code, I think. The way I wish the world was. And the way I wish I were.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
When you have nowhere to go,
When you have nowhere to stay,
When you have nothing,
When you lose everything?
When you stop breathing,
When your dreams end,
When your mind is broken,
When your blood is taken,
When you love no more,
When your eyes lose their shine,
When your heart breaks?
When you go cold,
When you are burned,
When you are set at sea,
When you are sent into space,
When you are fed to the beasts,
When you are buried in the ground?
When does a human die?
When does the soul leave?
One thing I do know for sure,
One soul left today.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
My Korean is progressing, if not at all at the pace it would with actual real lessons. Self-learning does appeal to me in many ways, though. The optimal would perhaps be to just know someone personally to ask if you have questions.
Anyway, I do love languages. I had my sights on something like Japanese or Arabic before, but I like Korean better and better, even disregarding the fluff. I love the sounds and the way people look when they speak it and the way it makes perfect sense even thinking through the filter of western grammars once you cut through the initial layer of prejudice. I'm not going to pretend it's easy, but what language is, really? One of the hardest part is how f***ing fast they talk natively. I mean, French doesn't stand a chance. Another complicating factor is that I briefly studied Japanese not long ago, and tend to mix up words sometimes. Not because they sound alike, because they don't. I actually have no idea why. I guess they have similar base sounds or something.
Having listened to, say, the same song in both Korean and Japanese, though, I can officially state that Korean is a much more beautiful language. And whether or not it could prove useful to me I will learn it. And when I know enough to survive (vague term, right? but I know what I mean, you I don't bother about) I will go to Korea. Maybe find my family? Maybe.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
My brother, who's grown up even deeper into the internet-generation than me, brings his MP3 to the bathroom. I'm not quite that far gone, but the thought has fluttered over my head once or twice. He SMS:es practically until he falls asleep. He claims it's because he get's bored otherwise. I wonder then, when does he think? When does he turn all other senses off and just let his mind fly?
What kind of world are we creating where boredome and time for thought and inflection are things that must be fought with every last ounce of electronics we can muster?
Saturday, October 11, 2008
In less globaly and politically relevant news: Swedish Idol for the first time sports a participant of Asian descent who can. actually. sing. Wow. I was just starting to wonder if Asians were too smart and stuck up to sing.
Gaming comments: I've been playing a lot of different PSP games lately. FF:Crisis Core is, of course, a favorite and, thankfully, everything but a disappointment. But I actually want to bring some attention to a game I did not expect to enjoy; The Godfather. I mean, what could have been another horrible transportation from movie to handheld game turned out not only keeping the original's manlyness and tone, but also having excellent gameplay and lots of value. Tumbs up for EA.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
What else... I'm looking for an education that would take me to Uppsala, since I have two friendly friends who also want to go whom I could share apartment with, and since I made a plan... actually, let's talk about the plan.
Did everyone read Loverboy's post about being out of balance? My instinctive question was, how? How get back into balance? Do you know what brought you out of it? If so, do you know how to get it back? I've been out of balance for about five years. So what is balance, really?
I don't have any answers, do I ever have? But I started out at the question, what is most important in life? What could you absolutely not do without? What is the thing you would never give up, even if you had a gun to your head? Or to your loved ones' heads? I went through a whole lot of things; love, home, material possessions versus spiritual, survival versus ideals, but my final answer ended on respect. If someone held a gun to your head, would you still respect yourself if you gave in? If the answer is yes, if you have good reason, if you can live with it, then okay, give whatever up. To look at the other angle, can you live without the respect of the people around you? I'm not asking, can you survive. Live. So; cred, simply.
Step two. If respect is the all-time star of the game, the player you can't be without on the field, then logic says you have to do everything you can to get him on that field and keep him there. How? So list number two was born. The list of what I theoretically must have to have respect, well, two lists, one for self-respect the other for the outside, although I soon came to the conclusion that if the self-respect quota is filled, most of the outside follows per automatic.
And, finally, one of the posts on that list was, having my own place. Supporting myself too, but further down the list. Having my own place, space... simply somewhere where I call the shots, where I don't have to ask mom if I can take the last apple and don't have to explain why I'm not there at dinner. It sounds trivial, but I suppose it's like a symbol somehow. Independence, maybe. Or the satisfaction of knowing that I can. That I can survive without someone doing my dishes and telling me to vacuum.
So... Uppsala. The first step towards a better me. Are you guys still reading? Okay, then just stop me before I completely embarrass myself :D See ya around!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Just at the end of the game some idiot dude (my father chose to call him "ADHD-case", but I shall keep that as a quote only to preserve this blog's political correctness...) decided that crosschecking my brother in the back while he held the puck would be a good idea. Then he decided that continuing to crosscheck him sixteen times, moving him forcibly from the area of the goal all the way until my brother fell and hit his head in the rink side was another great idea. I cannot describe the roars of protest from the stands and bench, but even as it was painfully obvious (even the other team's supporters were yelling) it took five minutes of arguing before the guy was shown off the ice. I seldom see my father angry anymore, and I've never seen him, y'know, rightfully angry. I got to see a little glimpse of what would happen if someone purposefully hurt me or my brother for real. That's also manly. My brother, on the other hand, was probably the calmest person in the hall. He didn't get hurt either. Just stood up and went to his spot on the bench from which he watched the ensuing chaos as the judges tried to sort out who to punish, since several of his teammates had decided revenge was on the menu. I must respect that.
Watching hockey on this level, compared to Elitserien or NHL is fun in another way. For one you get to see drop dead serious eighteen-year-olds acting all tough only to stumble over their own feet and go headfirst into the ice, and then remarkably stand up as if nothing happened and continue to chase the puck. You also get to see goalkeepers who, when they think no one's looking, push their own goal out of place to get an end to the other teams offense. And then, after the whistle's blown, take a look over their shoulder and bump it back into place. No one saw that, right? Or when two players collide in a mess of arms and legs and skates, get untangled and skate away, only to discover when they try to play that their sticks mysteriously have changed size... and color.
Gotta love warning tags. I found this text on the back of a children's book from McDonald's (it measures about 25x15 cm): Keep out of reach for children under 36 months since small parts may pose choking hazards. Which part of that made sense?
Friday, October 3, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
I'm on a roll!
See, I realized...
That's not boobs; This is boobs!
I make no promises, seeing as that is a guarantee for failure, but if you want to request something do it now. Because apparently I'm stuck on boobs. And also, I seem to be in a drawing-frenzy.
The wolf-tattoo and crest are shamelessly stolen. I make no claim whatsoever on the design. And to be fair, the letters are from something called "the Theban alphabet".
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I got a sudden urge to draw boobs. So here, enjoy!
(I know the background is kinda slobbish, but whateves, it didn't have boobs.)
Also... I accidentally discovered something awsome when channel-zapping: serious, cute, non-joking, non-provoking gayness in a Swedish-produces drama series directed at the large crowd. I'm impressed.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Been lots of twists and turns in the story of The Name, but it has finally been concluded. My name would today be written "Da Yeon" and means, roughly, "very compassionate". Huh.
Doing quizzes is the perfect way to waste time. I dunno why I'm so fascinated, but it's fun.
The romantic type, those with turquoise hearts are the kind of people who wish their life would read like a romance novel. They love to be the one rescued by their mate--or alternately, the rescuer. They are also the kind to be socially cruel to those who wrong them, destroy ing the person's life for the pain caused to them. Those with turquoise hearts are faithful, but dislike boredom, and will leave if interest is lacking.
It's also darn impossible to get Korean music. I started out trying to find somewhere to buy it legally, like, say, iTunes. Do not work. Then I went illegal and pissed and tried to download it. Do not work. It's as if the only source is, like, YouTube and imeem. Idiots. -_- Dammit.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Honestly I don't have anything to say today. I just wanted to update the blog anyway. So...
Things I would talk to you about if you were here:
Front page designs.
Short term memory.
Automated costumer service.
Things I wouldn't talk to you about if you were here:
Getting lost in the beat.
Passions of the future.
I haden't written a word for three weeks. Two nights ago I wrote two and a half pages by hand, around three at night, then I couldn't keep my eyes open. The urge struck. I've had that itch since then, but I don't sit down and write. Why?
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
What brings about this poinless confession? I sought distraction from a very long time on a train, and found a book on the Soviet invasion of Finland. I'd really like to learn strategics and warfare; real large-scale combat, and I've already studied the Finnish Civil War and have a better overview of WWII than the first, so I thought, why not look intellectual on the train.
Well, the Finnish fought most of that invasion in the scale numbers of roughly 1:10, had severe lack of ammunition most of the time, and equipment that barely passed as cool in WWI. They did however have the wheather on their side, if by that I mean that Finnish people survive -38C and Soviets do not. Specifically since the Soviets for some reason forgot to bring proper coats, even if this was in the middle of December and Global Warming was still hiding in the bushes. They also forgot that most of Finland consists of forests and lakes, which implies that bringing dozens of heavy tanks that completely destroy the small roads and make retreat utterly impossible might not be the best idea. As if that wasn't enough, they also decided that one officer should have no say in where the other officer was, resulting in that they often blocked said small roads for each other with said tanks. Left was for the Finnish army to ski in, hide behind the trees and grant frozen, starving and locked down Russians warming gifts in the form of bullets and morlotov coctails.
Said should be that Soviet learned the lesson for the next war, handing Hitler and his nazis about the same treatment when that time came. Which was only fair, since Hitler swore in his non-agression pact with Stalin to not sell Finland weapons, but then used the ships he sent to fuel Stalin's submarines to ship weapons to Sweden. As if he had no idea what Sweden would do with them.
All the political bullshitting confused me, since I hadn't read such in-depth stuff about WWII before. But I think I have the general pictue: Finland is awesome.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Pull myself up
Take the step
Move about in the big wide world and
open my eyes until the dry air make them hurt.
Dive into the pond
Stick my head into the tiger's mouth
It doesn't matter if I answer the question right because
its fangs were made of foam.
It's strange, but...
No matter how much I drink
Or if I put a bucketfull by my bed
Only the humid breath of the tiger soothed my eyes and it was
warm from the heat of its lungs.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
It's been a lot of seriousness lately, and I think we all need a break. This was meant to just be a character sketch to begin with, so I tried a lot of new techniques that I thought of or picked up from here and there. To begin with I drew the sketch on real paper, scanned it and then drew the outlines again on top of the old ones, because I have yet to figure out how to make scanned imagines good outlines. Gave me the chance to correct some flaws on the original sketch too. Next came the flats. I only heard of flats recently, which should tell you how nooby I am at digital coloring. Google it, or better yet YouTube it, if you don't know what it is. The most genious thing since... I dunno, the start of digital coloring? Made everything insanely much easier and faster, which is why I felt I had time and interest left to make a real background with.
I feel pretty good about myself right now :P But more than anything, I have fallen in love with my tree. That tree, right behind him on that hill. Isn't it the prettiest thing you've ever seen?
I understand what you want to say, and I agree, mostly. But that everyone can make their own happiness doesn't mean we shouldn't try to make it easier on everyone. It doesn't mean we should ignore shit people throw at us, "turn the other cheek". Even if fact is that life deals you cards under the table, you don't just sit down and take it. You stand up and shout. Because whether or not it helps you, whether or not it helps the ones who come after you, it makes you feel better. It gives you the special word for "pride" or "honor", self-respect, that Asia uses, that we here in Sweden have replaced with "lagom".
That I am adopted is an issue in itself. One I will, and am, dealing with. What's done is done. The question whether international adoption should or should not be performed, however, is a completely different issue and on a different level.
What I dealt with the first post was basically my own feelings and the beginning of me connecting to where I am from; because it is true that where I am from does have significance in the choice of where I will go tomorrow. I am also very aware of that I am the one who have cut myself off from my heritage.
The previous post, however, is aimed more at the later issue, an attempt to bring the question into the light. Adoption has always been seen as a good thing, right? I question that. I propose that it might even be bad, and I'm not the only one. I do that counting all information I know at this point, logically, and that my own feelings agree is only another fact that supports this theory. I am a part of my own test-group. Not scientifically viable, but in real life a rather commonly practiced form. I want people to think about whether what Korea practices is adoption or a dandied form of selling humans.
Listening to someone feeling sorry for themselves is quite annoying. I know I do my own bit of whining, but for your information quite a lot of it is venting and/or the author side of me going haywire because strong emotion is the best food for words and letters. I'd say my flaw is to blame stupidity and systems created by stuidity for all my problems instead of dealing with myself, but I do not feel sorry for myself. I have chosen my path; I could have made it easier, but I will not. Neither would I change the fact of my adoption if I could. I never said I'd rather have stayed where I was; I have no idea how life would have been or who I would have been; quite frankly I have never thought about it. Can't change the past. No point in thinking about whether I would want to.
I know you know me better than most. Do you think I would take an opinion because "everyone says so"?
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Here's some facts that can't be denied:
Many adopted Koreans return to live in Korea when they're adults. Many of those never feel at home there either.
Suicide is considerably much more common in people adopted into another etnicity than their born one.
Korea still gives up thousands of children for adoption even as their economy is now well above the average line. Adoption within the borders are very uncommon. They make millions off foreign adoptions every year.
Korean culture still carries the remnants of a time where an unmarried woman could not have a child. Most children up for adoption come from single mothers.
Sweden adopts many more children from Asian countries than others, like Africa.
There is a strong feeling of sitting between chairs, so to speak. For some reason I'm not yet at the point of being angry, or even accusing, of Korea. Maybe because I've recently read about how rough the road has been for her. But she gives many opportunities. I'm slightly less inclined to give Sweden the nice treatment. Have anyone ever informed parents or the people working with adoption about the skyrocketing suicide rates, about the feeling of sitting between chairs? Sure, it's better than leaving children starving on the streets. But kids in Korea are hardly starving on the streets anymore.
I met the other Korean girl I talked about. We just had a night on town, and as if fate intervened we ran into a group of Korean tourists. They were exalted about every little thing we had to say, though the hardly spoke english. Apparantly I have the same name as a famous Korean singer. They asked who we were, where we were from. My friend knew the Korean word for adopted. All the women of the group said "aaaahhh," and tilted their heads. I got the distict feeling they felt sorry for us.
Maybe they should.