vaecrius: A round squishy plush lobster bursts out of the blue. (cock lobster)
Previous: A large, heavily armed Imperial squad come across an small, unrecorded hamlet that had been recently massacred by unknown hostiles. They investigate and discover an old sarcophagus that turns out to contain a living man who is either an Imperial noble, or an eldritch monster from the depths, or both.


Timín wakes up to the stink of death. It is everywhere in the darkness around him. He gets up, moves around, leaves the "house" he is in - the corner of the wall that happens to have a bit of roof over it still - and wherever he goes, it is there. It's seeped into his uniform.

He can still see the faces. The bloated and blue, green slimy bug-eyed stares, wall-eyed but still somehow looking right into him, women and children, old men and maidens. They cry out to him in his sleep: How long? How long must they lie in the darkness of the pit? How long must they go unavenged?

Suddenly the corpses are yellow and brown. The pit is the wine-dark sea, and he is inside an old photograph of the Xiniënar teleport station, before it was burned. The bodies arise - tens, hundreds, all along the docks and the catwalks and down the halls and climbing over the turnstiles - and stare at him. Timín is in an Imperial uniform, an enlisted man, in a style no one has used in decades. The name tag says "Cpl. Gitimurka". It is not his name. His spear is dripping with liquid screams.

How long must they go unavenged?

He hears himself narrating in his long-dead grandfather's voice, that mendacious red-jowled old cunt, tinny and warped in a holo-recording long since dumped somewhere in the bottom of the bay: "There were thousands of the skinnies around us! Damn near woulda killed us all if Captain Arramas hadn't blown down the wall to our nine while we were runnin'! We scrambled up the rubble and found three of their necros turning the whole place black with their zombies, poppin' up everywhere! You ever seen those mattresses they pull out of the poor-house, they rip 'em open, the bed bugs just pour right out? Imagine that with a whole lotta dead jellies. Was a glorious day for the Empire, that!"

Zombies. Skinnies. Jellies. Bugs. Young men and maidens, old men and children.

How long?

He looks over at what's left of his 40. Captain gave him a direct order not to touch it in the morning. Captain is asleep. Still dark. No one would know.

He does not touch it.

Read more... )

*(Potentially) Relevant setting fluff*
Read more... )
vaecrius: a crude scrawl of a grinning, blazing yellow sun. (hier kommt die sonne)
A rewrite of this, as a response to this.

Next: After some more exposition, a random encounter ends in violence.
Whoever is not in his coffin and the dark grave, let him know he has enough.


The sleepers dig unclothed in the pit. Naked and unashamed, they span the little abyss with their forms, waist deep in mud. Groundwater and rot, all too easily smelled by the masked men behind. They have been digging for a few hours now: one could see the tiles, the cobblestones, the foundation and a few old soil layers, then where the water table begins and the sleepers slowly work against boulders and packed clay.

A banner is erected on the ledge behind them: the rich azure, silver and gold of the Empire flickering in the wind, warning off any who dare intrude into the business of the Atharan crown. Atop rests its eye: blinking imperceptibly in the early afternoon sun as it stares through the air around them, the psionic scanner picks up only a few crows, as they occasionally dodge a bored Imperial soldier's slingshot. Its display is perched on a convenient boulder propping up the flagpole that the sleepers had dug up early on, and is not very ergonomic in any way; but whoever had put it there, it seemed wrong to move it afterwards.

It is before this little altar that the men's leader stands bowed, sun-crossed blue cape limp over his shoulders as though asleep, half watching, half staring blankly past, the ethereal screen. Nothing bigger than a crow for miles, save the squad and the one in black standing next to him directing the sleepers. The one in black occasionally asks him for an update; he tells her about the crows. They have long since tired of trying to speculate about what had happened to this place - at least until they have found their buried quarry.

For the past hour there has been nothing worth being seen. Then the one in black grimaces, rubs her temples and walks closer to the sleepers. There is a small commotion as the one in black redirects them, cursing something unintelligible about boulders.

The sleepers dig around it. Another two hours pass as the pit must be widened. After much repositioning and straining and three attempts at a haphazard pulley system set up by the squad engineer, it is lifted up.

It is not a boulder.

Read more... )

*(Potentially) Relevant setting fluff*

Read more... )
vaecrius: A little yellow ant in the grass on a sunny day. (yellow ant)
Most necromancers can ill afford the luxury of being guarded by an army of stinking, disease-ridden, animal-eaten, rotting ambulatory corpses. Much work goes into cleaning, preserving and repurposing the dead tissue to serve the magic-user's purposes, and only the wealthy have the manpower to maintain more than four or five in constant operation at a time.

Samaelle's permanent undead minions (excluding things that were intended only for a single engagement or which have since been lost or destroyed) are as follows: )
vaecrius: Duke2 Rigelatin overlord: "We'd kill you, you see, but our religion prevents the interruption of suffering." (rigelatin)
[2012.10.02: Added Thrazán and Tocanno.]
[original post from August 2012.]

Figured I'd finally start writing a bit more setting stuff down, maybe even start naming a thing or two and seeing where and if any of the ideas floating around in my head actually connect with each other.

(If you don't care about stuff I make up, skip this post. Otherwise, please let me know if any of the names is a dirty pun on something or otherwise sounds like something stupid or inappropriate.)

The world is split into two known continents, one to the north and one to the south. Travel between them is a long and daunting task, riddled with risk of storms and pirates, monsters and strange winds, where people often disappeared and turned up dead from heat stroke crossing the equator. At its height the Empire spanned both, then retreated to its former territory to the north: for a time it had discovered a way to move great masses instantly past the sea, and with its wealth and promise of power it had directed seven coastal cities in the north to build seven great teleports, each linked to a complement in one of seven cities to the south.

The seven cities to the north are Razval, Angorrul, Thrazán, Tulgoz, Aqravi, Rodellos and Luboc.

The seven cities to the south are Idrepholon, Aitreias, Xiniënar, Luluthuega, Schezatharai, Tocanno and Tobhainan.

Some descriptions follow. )
vaecrius: A stylized navy blue anarchy sign juxtaposed with a pixellated chaos symbol made to resemble a snowflake. (anarchy and chaos)
Interviewer note: This sounds like an interesting, but difficult, writing challenge. Challenge accepted! Now I need to figure out at least 10 ways for someone to respond when a characters says “Hello”. I am sure at least several responses would be snarky.

Resulting in the following writing exercise: barks for Gondwanaland characters (Tyr, Samaelle, Yumi, Edgar) as NPCs in the starting base. PC is a magic-using Imperial merc, could be any ethnicity - main focus is merc status.

Stupidity follows. )
vaecrius: A stylized navy blue anarchy sign juxtaposed with a pixellated chaos symbol made to resemble a snowflake. (anarchy and chaos)
The deed stone is a small monument located within the lot, its visible portion engraved with the legal description of the lot and the date of the original survey, and occasionally a map indicating the stone's relative position in the lot. The monument's foundations contain an airtight vault, locked with three locks, each openable with one key kept by an agent of one local lord. Inside this vault is the original of every title instrument dealing with that surveyed land, or where such instruments were destroyed or lost a certificate from the court briefly summarizing the nature and content of those destroyed or lost instruments.

To wilfully interfere a deed stone with the intent of destroying or obscuring the title record without lawful excuse is a capital offence. Negligent or accidental interference may lead to any number of punishments short of death, but provided that the entire record in the affected deed stone can be reconstructed within a reasonable time most offenders are merely nominally caned and made to indemnify the Republic for replacement cost. An entire school of forensic plant and soil science exists dedicated to measuring the degree and timing of alleged tampering with deed stones.

Most actual land transactions are dealt with through 50-year lease assignments of subdivided portions and it is up to the tenant to keep the records of the leases safe for enforcement against any other person.
vaecrius: A stylized navy blue anarchy sign juxtaposed with a pixellated chaos symbol made to resemble a snowflake. (anarchy and chaos)
[no number or storyline given - can be placed after just about any initial in media res scene.]

It wasn't always like this. Long ago the Empire brought prosperity, stability and infrastructure to these lands, trade was booming and the great Sun-Sea was not the onerous barrier it is today. Until about eighty years ago you could make twenty inter-continental trips and never once feel the sea was there, a mere illusion of vastness on the horizon caused by the sharp curvature of our small world. )
vaecrius: Duke2 Rigelatin overlord: "We'd kill you, you see, but our religion prevents the interruption of suffering." (rigelatin)
(V1 here, it sucks)
(V3 here, it sucks a little less)

We sat in the stable and watched the pit. Where the pit was now there used to be a village shrine to some local god of good and light; where there used to be the shrine, there once long ago was a well where they say the water ran pure and purged those who used it from evil and darkness.

Now it's just a pit, a bowl of dirt carved thirty feet across the middle of the village square, damp with muddy choleric water and littered with dead villagers. Even a couple dozen yards upwind the smell still made some of the younger soldiers gag.

The smell wasn't helped by the fact that a couple of the bodies were moving. Somebody, after all, had to dig the pit. )

I know this

if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.


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