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DShomshak

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  1. Like
    DShomshak got a reaction from Lawnmower Boy in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Let's also not forget that Donald Trump was not the anointed candidate of the Republican Party grandees or their corporate masters. As far as I can see, his was a genuine populist insurgency from the party's base...
     
    ...Though one could certainly argue -- and I would -- that the Republican Party base's alienation and rage was consciously cultivated for generations by those party leaders and corporate masters. And now they seem quite happy with a president who says openly what was coded in dog-whistle language, and openly attacks the political norms they spent decades undermining.
     
    Dean Shomshak
  2. Thanks
    DShomshak reacted to IndianaJoe3 in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Biden isn't the (presumptive) nominee because a small cabal of party insiders considered him the, "most electable" - it's because he got more votes than any other candidate.
  3. Thanks
    DShomshak got a reaction from Lord Liaden in Champions Universe: Unique Character Origins   
    An excellent bit of research! May I add a note or two?
     
    As an addendum to the Vandaleur entry, you might mention the other occult dynasties of the CU. The Sylvestri clan of Satanists is comparable in size and power, and detailed in CV2. All known super-powered members are v illains (it comes with the family background), but it is conceivable that a Sylvestri might turn against their heritage while retaining their aptitude for magic. (Though I would not be surprised if they'd been retroactively edited out of Champions Online to make the setting more "family friendly": This is a *very* dark concept and group of villains.)
     
    Other dynasties were mentioned in The Mystic World. The Chunhu, a clan of therianthropes, hold a powerful place in the mystic subculture of the Far East: One, "Tiger-Man, acts as a hero in Hong Kong but AFAIK has never been written up. The Kayvanzadi dynasty still flourishes in the Middle East, especially their native Iran. The Magambo of central Africa remain mysterious: The group seems to be made of some sort of vampire, but what sort is not defined, and their name is an ordinary Central African name. It's like being told to beware of the dark power of the Johnsons.
     
    I can also add a few *completely unofficial* personal details to the Zodiac Working. This was my first essay into Shared Origins for my own campaigns, though the PCs only met two villains derived from it (Frag and a fellow called Hotspur who wielded a flaming sword). I wrote up a villain team of Zodiac Working progeny called the Demonic Convergence, but never got a chance to use them. But I offer the concept for anyone who wants to make the Working an important part of their CU campaign.
     
    Finally, Pagan is my own PC from a friend's campaign. A 4th ed writeup appears in Ultimate Super-Mage under the name Morningstar. As this was a friend's campaign, not mine, his siring was not part of some greater plan (I left open who arranged his conception, but my friend never developed this.) By the time Steve Long ported much of my USM material into the official CU, there was already a Morningstar, so I changed the name to Pagan to prevent confusion. Not that I would expect anyone to buy the .pdf of USM from the HERO store just to get that obsolete writeup.
     
    Dean Shomshak
  4. Like
    DShomshak reacted to Cygnia in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    We Need to Speak Honestly About the GOP’s Evolution Into a Conspiracy Cult
  5. Like
    DShomshak reacted to Cancer in More space news!   
    Fomalhaut b seems to have faded away
  6. Haha
    DShomshak reacted to Ternaugh in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Thankfully, my Mom wasn't a Fox News viewer.
     
    She skewed liberal, and would reach out to her congressman whenever she felt that it was an important topic. Her congressman's staff gave her a direct line to their office, and would even sometimes call her to see what her feelings were on legislation that he was going to vote on. Interestingly, she was registered as a Republican, and they frequently made the mistake of assuming that she would somehow accept their shenanigans. Her congressman ran for governor (of Maine), and she received a push-poll from a group for the Republican candidate that asked her what her feelings would be if it was revealed that her congressman was gay. Her response was, "Honey, I want to elect him. I don't want to date him."
     
     
     
  7. Like
    DShomshak reacted to Old Man in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
  8. Like
    DShomshak got a reaction from tkdguy in More space news!   
    Heard on the BBC yesterday: the Paris Observatory reports that, using the Very Large Telescope, theyhave observed evidence of a protoplanet forming. Not the protoplanet itself, but a distinctive S-shaped kink in the dust cloud around a star. (I think they said AB Aurigae.)
     
    Dean Shomshak
  9. Like
    DShomshak got a reaction from death tribble in World Creation Superdraft 4: May 2020   
    Since I'm falling behind, I'll keep this one short. No b;lank verse, sorry.
     
    Is it flora, fauna, or ore? A bit of all three, as Kylvn gives the world Living Frost. A great musician can set the snowflakes dancing in patterns, and the ice crystals growing in chosen forms. It grows like the traceries of frost but can leave a surface to grow up and out, denser, until solid objects are formed. Then the form can be locked in place using powerful, intense silence -- for as cold in this world is not merely absence of feat, silence is not merely absence of sound. Once set in this manner, living frost becomes as hard as stone -- nowhere near as hard as adamantite, of course, more like marble -- and has a melting point comparable to silver. Given time, castles or entire towns can be built of living frost.
     
    If I had a picture of Crystal Castle from the end of The Dark Crystal, I'd post it here.
     
    Dean Shomshak
  10. Like
    DShomshak got a reaction from death tribble in World Creation Superdraft 4: May 2020   
    Thus spake Kylvn:
     
    Concerning fire, My acolytes expect
    Commandment that they hold in enmity
    This shining element of heat and change,
    Destroyer of the handiwork of frost.
    Indeed, it contradicts much hat I am;
    But also serves My will in subtler ways.
    The hearth gives central order to a home,
    And lamp-light permits study into night,
    That thoughts be analyzed and fixed in ink.
    And if the fire destroys when uncontrolled,
    Then mortals learn to plan around that fear,
    With comfort, light and cooking as rewards,
    And safety from the dangers of the night.
    Besides, the world has holy symmetries:
    My logic for the madcap whims of Fox;
    Schemata to unite in ordered plan
    The diverse entities from Blade-God’s cuts;
    Hard fixity for dreams of Andrea.
    ‘Tis meet, then, that as cold doth crystallize
    All things into a hard and rigid form,
    The Helix should contain an opposite,
    That melts, consumes, releases into smoke
    To evanesce into the empty air!
    And as the fixéd purity of ice
    Is emblem of dispassioned reasoning,
    So fire is worthy emblem of the love
    You give to mortals, sibling Tasha — What?
    The fire is claimed by Shayol? Pardons, please,
    You know you look so very much alike!
     
    Dean Shomshak
     
  11. Like
    DShomshak got a reaction from death tribble in World Creation Superdraft 4: May 2020   
    The End approaches...
     
    Final pick: Legendary Guardian/Mythic Monster: The Angel of cold Shadow, Kylvn’s Wrath.
     
    Monster. Definitely monster. Because a proper god needs something dark and terrible to trouble theologians.
     
    Before the world was cut from out the void,
    Cold Kylvn looked within his holy self,
    Beseeching Andrea and Augurie
    To show the worst that he could ever be.
    He saw he could succumb to deadly wrath,
    Illogical, unreasoning, malign,
    A curse released upon all mortal kind,
    Betrayal of his calm and ordered mind.
    And so he took Inscissivus’ blade,
    That cuts all things and cut into himself,
    Removing through this godly surgery
    The evil, raging possibility.
    Then locked it in an admantine box
    By Liminus anointed, boundary
    That nothing could then cross, eternal sealed.
    For ages as the world was shaped it sat,
    Unheeded, inoffensive, until Fox,
    The fool, discovered the dark box.
    “I wonder what’s inside it?” pondered he.
    “It must be wondrous, I shall set it free!”
    He stole the keys by which Eternus passes
    To any place, no matter how well guarded,
    And oped the box! While somewhere Malice laughed,
    As Fox felt from the depths a chilly draft…
    Then blast of ice, that froze him nose to tail!
    A frozen fury, thousand winters’ bite;
    Since when, the Fox has had a streak of white.
    The Angel of Cold Shadow was released,
    Its curse upon the world has never ceased.
    — from the Frozen Analects (generally considered apocryphal)
     
    No god can remember Kylvn losing his temper. Ever is he courteous. The most they’ve seen is mild pique, and an arch suggestion that certain actions are not logical. Kylvn’s worshippers say that while the Cold God’s actions may not be kind, they are necessary and ultimately for the benefit of mortals and the world.
     
    Except there’s the Angel of Cold Shadow. This figure of ice has six faces of silentiaries, merged in a ring to look full circle at once. Twelve arms, with fingers like long blades of ice. Six wings fledged with sleet and a body robed in blizzards. First seen, it stands about a hundred feet tall; but it can grow vastly larger. As it rises into the sky, its wings spread to overshadow a city, or an entire province. Its shadow brings snow and a deadly cold. Even frost elves and silentiaries might shiver; all other folk freeze in minutes, though the W'Brrm usually can thaw afterward and survive. For everyone else, the Angel’s shadow brings death. Only when everyone within its shadow is fled, dead or frozen stiff does the Angel vanish once more.
     
    The Angel of Shadow appeared over the city of Scalzaris when riots and civil war set it aflame. It appeared over the kingdom of Vallish-Miir after loyahs overran it, and over the bandit-wracked province of Zung. From such appearances, some speculate the Angel is Kylvn’s dread judgment upon chaos and evil. But the Angel also appeared over the peaceful island of Bonatha, slaying both the native humans and the high elf refugees they had succored.
     
    Another story says the angel is truly Kylvn’s wrath: that once, he did lose his temper and sent it forth as the Angel of Cold Shadow to destroy those who had offended him. He regretted this spasm of rage, but could not undo it, nor destroy the emanation of himself. He instead borrowed, or stole, the all-cutting blade of Inscissivus and cut the event from the chronicle of Time and the memory from all other creatures, even the other gods. But the priests of Kylvn condemn this tale as heretical; and anyway, if it were true who would know?
     
    Or maybe it's just that Kylvn, too, must sleep and dream on occasion... and the sleep of reason breeds monsters.
     
    Some say Malice is the Angel’s lover, and that she seduced it to serve Shayol; but other tales say the Angel is one of only five creatures that Malice fears, and it has nearly slain her.
     
    Kylvn refuses to dignify such tales with a response, saying that a logical mind restricts itself to facts; which, his fellow gods observe, is not a denial. They also see that Bestimm the Determinator and the Dragonslayer have both slain the Angel, yet it has returned, as if something truly deathless sustained its existence. Never have they see Kylvn direct the Angel; and indeed, he helped Nogrom guide a hero to the Man of Gold in time to stop the Void-Zealots from summoning it at the base of the Integral Tree.
     
    Because all bringers of death are known to Eternus, that god knows how the Angel is called. A mortal who is absolutely convinced that all hope is lost — believes this is proven beyond possibility of error — that there is no choice left between a horrible ending and horrors without end — can summon the Angel of Cold Shadow by freezing and starving to death. The mortal calls to the Angel with their last breath; and by Volcanis' gift, the Angel hears, in whatever cosmic adytum it waits. And the Angel delivers the ending they seek. An end in silence, and stillness, and the unity of a common grave.
    -----
    It is ended.
     
    Dean Shomshak
  12. Like
    DShomshak got a reaction from L. Marcus in More space news!   
    Heard on the BBC yesterday: the Paris Observatory reports that, using the Very Large Telescope, theyhave observed evidence of a protoplanet forming. Not the protoplanet itself, but a distinctive S-shaped kink in the dust cloud around a star. (I think they said AB Aurigae.)
     
    Dean Shomshak
  13. Like
    DShomshak got a reaction from Old Man in World Creation Superdraft 4: May 2020   
    Thus spake Kylvn:
     
    Concerning fire, My acolytes expect
    Commandment that they hold in enmity
    This shining element of heat and change,
    Destroyer of the handiwork of frost.
    Indeed, it contradicts much hat I am;
    But also serves My will in subtler ways.
    The hearth gives central order to a home,
    And lamp-light permits study into night,
    That thoughts be analyzed and fixed in ink.
    And if the fire destroys when uncontrolled,
    Then mortals learn to plan around that fear,
    With comfort, light and cooking as rewards,
    And safety from the dangers of the night.
    Besides, the world has holy symmetries:
    My logic for the madcap whims of Fox;
    Schemata to unite in ordered plan
    The diverse entities from Blade-God’s cuts;
    Hard fixity for dreams of Andrea.
    ‘Tis meet, then, that as cold doth crystallize
    All things into a hard and rigid form,
    The Helix should contain an opposite,
    That melts, consumes, releases into smoke
    To evanesce into the empty air!
    And as the fixéd purity of ice
    Is emblem of dispassioned reasoning,
    So fire is worthy emblem of the love
    You give to mortals, sibling Tasha — What?
    The fire is claimed by Shayol? Pardons, please,
    You know you look so very much alike!
     
    Dean Shomshak
     
  14. Like
    DShomshak got a reaction from L. Marcus in World Creation Superdraft 4: May 2020   
    The End approaches...
     
    Final pick: Legendary Guardian/Mythic Monster: The Angel of cold Shadow, Kylvn’s Wrath.
     
    Monster. Definitely monster. Because a proper god needs something dark and terrible to trouble theologians.
     
    Before the world was cut from out the void,
    Cold Kylvn looked within his holy self,
    Beseeching Andrea and Augurie
    To show the worst that he could ever be.
    He saw he could succumb to deadly wrath,
    Illogical, unreasoning, malign,
    A curse released upon all mortal kind,
    Betrayal of his calm and ordered mind.
    And so he took Inscissivus’ blade,
    That cuts all things and cut into himself,
    Removing through this godly surgery
    The evil, raging possibility.
    Then locked it in an admantine box
    By Liminus anointed, boundary
    That nothing could then cross, eternal sealed.
    For ages as the world was shaped it sat,
    Unheeded, inoffensive, until Fox,
    The fool, discovered the dark box.
    “I wonder what’s inside it?” pondered he.
    “It must be wondrous, I shall set it free!”
    He stole the keys by which Eternus passes
    To any place, no matter how well guarded,
    And oped the box! While somewhere Malice laughed,
    As Fox felt from the depths a chilly draft…
    Then blast of ice, that froze him nose to tail!
    A frozen fury, thousand winters’ bite;
    Since when, the Fox has had a streak of white.
    The Angel of Cold Shadow was released,
    Its curse upon the world has never ceased.
    — from the Frozen Analects (generally considered apocryphal)
     
    No god can remember Kylvn losing his temper. Ever is he courteous. The most they’ve seen is mild pique, and an arch suggestion that certain actions are not logical. Kylvn’s worshippers say that while the Cold God’s actions may not be kind, they are necessary and ultimately for the benefit of mortals and the world.
     
    Except there’s the Angel of Cold Shadow. This figure of ice has six faces of silentiaries, merged in a ring to look full circle at once. Twelve arms, with fingers like long blades of ice. Six wings fledged with sleet and a body robed in blizzards. First seen, it stands about a hundred feet tall; but it can grow vastly larger. As it rises into the sky, its wings spread to overshadow a city, or an entire province. Its shadow brings snow and a deadly cold. Even frost elves and silentiaries might shiver; all other folk freeze in minutes, though the W'Brrm usually can thaw afterward and survive. For everyone else, the Angel’s shadow brings death. Only when everyone within its shadow is fled, dead or frozen stiff does the Angel vanish once more.
     
    The Angel of Shadow appeared over the city of Scalzaris when riots and civil war set it aflame. It appeared over the kingdom of Vallish-Miir after loyahs overran it, and over the bandit-wracked province of Zung. From such appearances, some speculate the Angel is Kylvn’s dread judgment upon chaos and evil. But the Angel also appeared over the peaceful island of Bonatha, slaying both the native humans and the high elf refugees they had succored.
     
    Another story says the angel is truly Kylvn’s wrath: that once, he did lose his temper and sent it forth as the Angel of Cold Shadow to destroy those who had offended him. He regretted this spasm of rage, but could not undo it, nor destroy the emanation of himself. He instead borrowed, or stole, the all-cutting blade of Inscissivus and cut the event from the chronicle of Time and the memory from all other creatures, even the other gods. But the priests of Kylvn condemn this tale as heretical; and anyway, if it were true who would know?
     
    Or maybe it's just that Kylvn, too, must sleep and dream on occasion... and the sleep of reason breeds monsters.
     
    Some say Malice is the Angel’s lover, and that she seduced it to serve Shayol; but other tales say the Angel is one of only five creatures that Malice fears, and it has nearly slain her.
     
    Kylvn refuses to dignify such tales with a response, saying that a logical mind restricts itself to facts; which, his fellow gods observe, is not a denial. They also see that Bestimm the Determinator and the Dragonslayer have both slain the Angel, yet it has returned, as if something truly deathless sustained its existence. Never have they see Kylvn direct the Angel; and indeed, he helped Nogrom guide a hero to the Man of Gold in time to stop the Void-Zealots from summoning it at the base of the Integral Tree.
     
    Because all bringers of death are known to Eternus, that god knows how the Angel is called. A mortal who is absolutely convinced that all hope is lost — believes this is proven beyond possibility of error — that there is no choice left between a horrible ending and horrors without end — can summon the Angel of Cold Shadow by freezing and starving to death. The mortal calls to the Angel with their last breath; and by Volcanis' gift, the Angel hears, in whatever cosmic adytum it waits. And the Angel delivers the ending they seek. An end in silence, and stillness, and the unity of a common grave.
    -----
    It is ended.
     
    Dean Shomshak
  15. Like
    DShomshak got a reaction from L. Marcus in World Creation Superdraft 4: May 2020   
    Thus spake Kylvn:
     
    Concerning fire, My acolytes expect
    Commandment that they hold in enmity
    This shining element of heat and change,
    Destroyer of the handiwork of frost.
    Indeed, it contradicts much hat I am;
    But also serves My will in subtler ways.
    The hearth gives central order to a home,
    And lamp-light permits study into night,
    That thoughts be analyzed and fixed in ink.
    And if the fire destroys when uncontrolled,
    Then mortals learn to plan around that fear,
    With comfort, light and cooking as rewards,
    And safety from the dangers of the night.
    Besides, the world has holy symmetries:
    My logic for the madcap whims of Fox;
    Schemata to unite in ordered plan
    The diverse entities from Blade-God’s cuts;
    Hard fixity for dreams of Andrea.
    ‘Tis meet, then, that as cold doth crystallize
    All things into a hard and rigid form,
    The Helix should contain an opposite,
    That melts, consumes, releases into smoke
    To evanesce into the empty air!
    And as the fixéd purity of ice
    Is emblem of dispassioned reasoning,
    So fire is worthy emblem of the love
    You give to mortals, sibling Tasha — What?
    The fire is claimed by Shayol? Pardons, please,
    You know you look so very much alike!
     
    Dean Shomshak
     
  16. Like
    DShomshak got a reaction from Cancer in World Creation Superdraft 4: May 2020   
    The End approaches...
     
    Final pick: Legendary Guardian/Mythic Monster: The Angel of cold Shadow, Kylvn’s Wrath.
     
    Monster. Definitely monster. Because a proper god needs something dark and terrible to trouble theologians.
     
    Before the world was cut from out the void,
    Cold Kylvn looked within his holy self,
    Beseeching Andrea and Augurie
    To show the worst that he could ever be.
    He saw he could succumb to deadly wrath,
    Illogical, unreasoning, malign,
    A curse released upon all mortal kind,
    Betrayal of his calm and ordered mind.
    And so he took Inscissivus’ blade,
    That cuts all things and cut into himself,
    Removing through this godly surgery
    The evil, raging possibility.
    Then locked it in an admantine box
    By Liminus anointed, boundary
    That nothing could then cross, eternal sealed.
    For ages as the world was shaped it sat,
    Unheeded, inoffensive, until Fox,
    The fool, discovered the dark box.
    “I wonder what’s inside it?” pondered he.
    “It must be wondrous, I shall set it free!”
    He stole the keys by which Eternus passes
    To any place, no matter how well guarded,
    And oped the box! While somewhere Malice laughed,
    As Fox felt from the depths a chilly draft…
    Then blast of ice, that froze him nose to tail!
    A frozen fury, thousand winters’ bite;
    Since when, the Fox has had a streak of white.
    The Angel of Cold Shadow was released,
    Its curse upon the world has never ceased.
    — from the Frozen Analects (generally considered apocryphal)
     
    No god can remember Kylvn losing his temper. Ever is he courteous. The most they’ve seen is mild pique, and an arch suggestion that certain actions are not logical. Kylvn’s worshippers say that while the Cold God’s actions may not be kind, they are necessary and ultimately for the benefit of mortals and the world.
     
    Except there’s the Angel of Cold Shadow. This figure of ice has six faces of silentiaries, merged in a ring to look full circle at once. Twelve arms, with fingers like long blades of ice. Six wings fledged with sleet and a body robed in blizzards. First seen, it stands about a hundred feet tall; but it can grow vastly larger. As it rises into the sky, its wings spread to overshadow a city, or an entire province. Its shadow brings snow and a deadly cold. Even frost elves and silentiaries might shiver; all other folk freeze in minutes, though the W'Brrm usually can thaw afterward and survive. For everyone else, the Angel’s shadow brings death. Only when everyone within its shadow is fled, dead or frozen stiff does the Angel vanish once more.
     
    The Angel of Shadow appeared over the city of Scalzaris when riots and civil war set it aflame. It appeared over the kingdom of Vallish-Miir after loyahs overran it, and over the bandit-wracked province of Zung. From such appearances, some speculate the Angel is Kylvn’s dread judgment upon chaos and evil. But the Angel also appeared over the peaceful island of Bonatha, slaying both the native humans and the high elf refugees they had succored.
     
    Another story says the angel is truly Kylvn’s wrath: that once, he did lose his temper and sent it forth as the Angel of Cold Shadow to destroy those who had offended him. He regretted this spasm of rage, but could not undo it, nor destroy the emanation of himself. He instead borrowed, or stole, the all-cutting blade of Inscissivus and cut the event from the chronicle of Time and the memory from all other creatures, even the other gods. But the priests of Kylvn condemn this tale as heretical; and anyway, if it were true who would know?
     
    Or maybe it's just that Kylvn, too, must sleep and dream on occasion... and the sleep of reason breeds monsters.
     
    Some say Malice is the Angel’s lover, and that she seduced it to serve Shayol; but other tales say the Angel is one of only five creatures that Malice fears, and it has nearly slain her.
     
    Kylvn refuses to dignify such tales with a response, saying that a logical mind restricts itself to facts; which, his fellow gods observe, is not a denial. They also see that Bestimm the Determinator and the Dragonslayer have both slain the Angel, yet it has returned, as if something truly deathless sustained its existence. Never have they see Kylvn direct the Angel; and indeed, he helped Nogrom guide a hero to the Man of Gold in time to stop the Void-Zealots from summoning it at the base of the Integral Tree.
     
    Because all bringers of death are known to Eternus, that god knows how the Angel is called. A mortal who is absolutely convinced that all hope is lost — believes this is proven beyond possibility of error — that there is no choice left between a horrible ending and horrors without end — can summon the Angel of Cold Shadow by freezing and starving to death. The mortal calls to the Angel with their last breath; and by Volcanis' gift, the Angel hears, in whatever cosmic adytum it waits. And the Angel delivers the ending they seek. An end in silence, and stillness, and the unity of a common grave.
    -----
    It is ended.
     
    Dean Shomshak
  17. Like
    DShomshak reacted to Hermit in World Creation Superdraft 4: May 2020   
    Shoo, go away. There is absolutely nothing for you to see here! Shoo!
    Go play with the swamp that smells like Shayol's armpits or count pennies with Nogrom I...
    Yes yes, that's a book about worlds far beyond our own. Yes, ones shaped like donuts or even the exotic sphere! And...
    yes yes, they have gods too, some of them, others are about to be born and have gods and.... Fine, you got me, it's a guide to other creations!
     
    Yes yes, that's my 'intervention'. Should this world ever become too boring for too long and i can't change it, should I ever be about to truly die or ..well, not be... I have my magic, my last magic in this creation, to whisk me away...
    and start again in a new world with new gods.
     
    Maybe I'll be a spider gathering up the stories from the sky again
    maybe I'll be a Raven, swallowing the sun
    Maybe I'll be a Coyote using foolish wolves to place the stars
    I will trick and dance and laugh forever, making wise men look foolish and showing the wisdom in fools.  
    For now though, I am the Fox that Laughs! And, well, I may linger here for awhile yet bringing joy and frustration and challenges and wonder and a couple of messes others have to clean up...
     
    You're welcome!
     
    Interference: Fox himself has an escape clause by leaping to another creation draft (Even if it's as another trickster form or a different poster ;))
     
     

     
     
     
     
  18. Like
    DShomshak reacted to Cancer in World Creation Superdraft 4: May 2020   
    Time for Our final act.
     
    The Fox created a pathway for temporary divinity, a way for a mortal to assume divine status and commit Acts of God as they see fit.  An interesting path.
     
    At times, though, there are Divine Visitations which mortals may wish to repel, chastise, or even destroy, rather than assume godhood themselves and then disappear from the cosmos forever.  Gods tend not to take criticism well, but by the same token they tend to be invulnerable to anything mortals can control.  With the short lives and limited perceptions of mortals, this is, perhaps, appropriate.
     
    Perhaps.
     
    Nogrom's Interference is to establish something by which the mortals can punish, injure, even destroy a god, should that god stick around long enough to receive lethal damage.  That last case is rather improbable, but not wholly outside the chances of the world.  Yet mortals are admittedly short-sighted, have limited means, and commit rather amazing acts of misjudgment.  So their means for harming in the Divine must be limited, and limited by the nature of mortals themselves.  It must be so expensive that no megalomaniac wicked fool can expunge a god merely on an insane whim, no matter how many deluded minions he may command.  Only vast populations, collectively allied by reason and deep outrage, can have the capacity to inflict life-threatening damage to a god.  Lesser groups, even individuals, should have the capacity inflict stinging hurts both physical and otherwise, if their grievance is deep enough and broad enough.  
     
    The knowledge that it could be done is enough to inspire some few mortals to transcend themselves, and reflect both on the possibility that a god must be pulled down, and on the consequences of losing a deity from the world forever; for the enormity of the act, and the nigh-incalculable cost of even attempting it, will be enough to make mortals think beyond themselves ... and that is truly the first steps towards apotheosis, and growing the cosmos beyond the imaginings of the gods themselves.
     
    So ... what could possibly be so dear that only the deepest, most unanimous sense of world-wide outrage could allow mortals collectively to destroy a god?
     
    In answer to that ... Nogrom knows, with a faint smile, and accepting the possibility that We Ourselves might suffer the fate that we introduce into the world, this is Our Interference.
     
    Money.  Real money itself will be a weapon against all things divine.  Shekels or pounds or dinars or dollars, wampum or Yapese Rai or cowrie shells or banknotes, when mortals create money that other mortals will accept and continue to accept as having value, then this money can be used as a weapon against a god, avatar, angel, etc., and that weapon will do real damage.  (That virtual crap like bitcoins etc. is worthless hooey, though, and through Our Aspect as God of Mathematics, Nogrom can expose whenever convenient the large prime numbers at exposes those as not even play money.)
     
    There is a culture where the phrase "throwing money at something" is a dismissive term for wasteful and ineffective spending.  Against the gods, though, throwing money at them in large quantities will hurt them, injure them, and destroy them, if enough is expended.
     
    And, one may ask, how much is needed?  
     
    To this the God of Money says -- and any hint of a smile fades away entirely -- only this: If you entertain any hopes of having any money remaining after the god is destroyed ... then you don't have enough money to perform the act.
  19. Like
    DShomshak reacted to death tribble in World Creation Superdraft 4: May 2020   
    Some ask with real trepidation 'What part of the world did Shayol create ?'
    There are the Rainbow Bridges that Tasha brought into being, Fox created an entire continent, Liminus created the world, Volcanis had made the travel shafts, Andrea and Nogram created rivers, Eternus the staircase, Kylvn The Ice Reefs, Inscissivus The Lacieriat and Avalon was created by Fair Star. You would think that something Shayol created would be dreadful and awful and would be right.
    Shayol is responsible for the creation of a swamp. Not just any swamp. It has a few names. The Father of all Swamps, The Mother of all Swamps, The Murder Morass, The Killer Quagmire, The Murky Mire and the Swamp of Slaughter. It is riddled with poison and disease. Foul creatures and plants thrive in abundance. Boiling mud, water that pulls a victim down and deadly quicksands are all features of the swamp. It is vast but as the river Lethe flows into it or through it people forget about it. That or the swamp can move which is really unnerving.
     
    And because it is so dangerous there are many myths concerning it. Only two gods can cross the swamp with impunity. Shayol and Volcanis. The former as its creator and the latter because being the God of Nature he cannot be denied. Although Shayol extracted a promise from him that if he provided help to anyone then they would have to do Volcanis a great service. And only two creatures can cross the swamp with impunity, or no difficulty, Volcanis's Water Dragon and Tasha's Flying Unicorn. It is easy to understand the former but why the Flying Unicorn can land and trot across it is a real conundrum.
    Everyone else takes their life in their own hand and this has made for several epic tales. Andrea and Eternus crossed it together although the reason is different depending on who you ask. As did Malice, Tasha and Inscissivus who found that a rainbow bridge deposited them there. Bestimm the Determinator crossed it with Kylvn after the Finity Blade was stolen and left in the heart of the mire.
    Nogram and Liminus crossed it after a dragon drowned there and the poisons and disease found there caused healers great concern. The two gods confronted Shayol who threatened retribution if they meddled in his affairs stating flatly that he would sink The Man of Gold in the swamp and would destroy all cereals if they did not cross the swamp. They managed it but the God of Evil still bears them animosity.
    Only one god has crossed the swamp on his own and that is Fair Star but he did it once and his people greeted him on the other side. As did Shayol who was impressed by the determination of the Lord of the Elves. It is certainly true that the elves have more success in surviving it than anyone else. The death tolls and stories of those who perish there are lengthy in the extreme.
     
    But the tales persist that one god has not even tried to cross the swamp and that is Fox. Although there is a spectacular disease or poison that exists there that makes the Reynardi blow up in flames. When Fox complained Shayol confronted him saying if they had not tried to cross the swamp then they would not have been hurt. But they had free choice, free will, independence, that they thought it would be a good story but overall that it would be FUN. Paradoxically several people who have achieved godhood have tried to cross the swamp. At lest two were successful but others ran straight into Shayol who killed them there which brings up the most disturbing legend about the swamp. For it is said that Shayol was not always evil and that the swamp is the result of him killing another God whose name and power have been lost in the mists of time. The flesh and the blood of the god so warped the land that it became the swamp and drove Shayol quite mad and into becoming the God of Evil. Shayol disputes this. He says he was never mad.......
     
     
    Geography: The Swamp.
     
    This pick was the one that I had first when I thought up last year in taking a God of Evil. And could one of you pick a city or major settlement as Geography ? No. Spoilsports the lot of you. 
  20. Thanks
    DShomshak got a reaction from Ragitsu in Druid/ranger humor?   
    Well, my druid PC was fond of telling children whimsical stories about his animal friends from the swamp, which usually ended with Old Man 'Gator eating something or someone. Not sure that's the sort of thing you seek, but it's a quirk.
     
    Dean Shomshak
  21. Like
    DShomshak got a reaction from Cancer in World Creation Superdraft 4: May 2020   
    This is odd: My post on the Silentiaries seems cut off half way through. I'll re-post and hope the whole thing appears, because there was quite a bit more.
    -- DS
    --------------------
    Kylvn approves of the Frost Elves, but they are not truly his people. And so he created the Silentiaries. He sang them into existence from living frost, breathed souls into them, and finished the work with a great silence.
     
    Kylvn create hive insects and similar creatures as early attempts at orderly species, and the silentiaries build on those experiments. Silentiaries somewhat resemble oversized grasshoppers about six feet long, walking (or jumping) on four hind legs but with slender arms with three fingers each. They appear to be made of translucent, pale blue ice with glittering, crystalline compound eyes. Folk of other species find silentiaries very difficult to tell apart. They are cold as ice as well, and take no harm from even the greatest chill.
     
    One reason for their species name is that silentiaries cannot speak: They breathe through spiracles in their sides. They communicate through sign language. Their language can barely be managed at a crude level by creatures with only two arms; full fluency requires four. Though they have no voices, siloentiaries can make silences, and these flavor their sign-speech the way humans use gestures to emphasize their speech. They also love music. Their styles are intricate and contrapuntal, full of fugues and interlocking rhythms.
     
    These folk live in hives grown from living frost, labyrinthine and many-turreted, amid extensive ice-reefs. They mostly eat living ice, though they cannot survive for long without cold-tolerant ordinary crops such as turnips or rye. The farmland is of course tended collectively.
     
    Silentiaries rarely go far from their hives except in winter. Other seasons are at least unpleasant for them, and the hottest weather is deadly to them. In winter, though, silentiaries can travel far in vessels of living ice, animated and directed by music, that stride on a dozen jointed legs through the snow. They venture out to trade, to found new hives, or to perform special feats of ice-shaping for other folk. On rare occasions they are sought for their remarkable mental prowess, for every silentiary is highly trained at memory, observation and logic; or as musicians. But this is dangerous, and not just for the silentiaries.
     
    Silentiary society is divided into six ranked castes. Most silentiaries begin in the worker caste, with numerous subcastes for each occupation. Workers have a lifespan of 36 winters.
     
    A worker who shows the six disciplines of truthfulness, logic, equanimity, reciprocity, loyalty and perseverence and advances six degrees in their occupation is elevated to the supervisor caste and receives another 36 winters of lifespan along with greater responsibility.
     
    Supervisors of great diligence and sagacity can be promoted into the Gaon caste of lawgivers, judges and priests, responsible for maintaining the order of the hive and relations with the outside world. Gaons receive another 36 years of lifespan.
     
    But Kylvn paid attention to Shayol’s curse of god-addiction. He saw that, unchecked, order could become a mere fetish of homogeneity or pattern with no real use, rigid and self-destructive. So some supervisors are instead promoted into the Daimon caste of blasphemers, rebels and clowns, tasked with bringing a bit of Fox’s chaos into the hive to prevent complacency and create possibilities for new and better practices. They also receive a longer life.
     
    Either gaons and daimons can be promoted for merit into the fifth caste; but of this caste it is forbidden to speak, and no one below the rank of gaon or daimon is allowed even to know what it does.
     
    Finally, hives are ruled by a single silentiary of the sixth caste. These prophet-monarchs commune with Kylvn personally, and the Cold Lord is willing to make introductions to other gods if the need is proven. Prophet-monarchs can live up to 1,296 winters – no more. Then Kylvn gives them to Eternus.
     
    Kylvn finds Shayol and Tasha both tiresome, in their fashions, and so he did his utmost to insulate his people from their influence and their contest. Evil coming from The Female of the Species? Silentiaries are genderless; and as they reproduce asexually, they have no need or understanding of love. Three silentiaries can drain a bit of their cold, clear blood into an urn of ice filled with snow, which is sealed and quickened with music. After a turning of the year, the urn hatches as a young silentiary.
     
    Silentiaries can also reproduce by pure music. If five silentiaries play improvisationally and achieve a spontaneous moment of perfect harmony, a sixth silentiary appears, already adult, with knowledge gleaned from all five of its “parents.” These silentiaries, the Songborn, are gaon or daimon from birth.
     
    But gods are not balked. Tasha and Shayol both claim their due from the silentiaries. Shayol’s baleful power in the Helix made the silentiaries a plague unto all other intelligences – literally. Careless contact with a silentiary, especially with its blood, can induce a deadly disease in other folk. The victim gets colder and colder until he or she freezes. This is usually fatal, but about one in ten frozen victims crack to release a young silentiary with the person’s memories. Only the frost elves are immune, by the way the Fair Star made them.
     
    Tasha might say she levies no curses, but her influence likewise has a deadly effect. Mistletoe induces desire, but silentiaries cannot feel it. They go mad from the contradiction and probably die within a week if they do not kiss someone of another intelligent species… which merely triggers the second phase of the curse. The silentiary falls into a frozen coma, then splits several days later to release an individual of the kissed person’s species, retaining memories of his or her life as a silentiary but unable ever to return to the hive.
     
    As silentiaries largely keep to themselves, rumor about them flourishes. Tales say that silentiaries, playing in concert, have animated the surrounding reefs to massacre invaders with ten thousand blades and spears of ice – or even reshaped the hive as a titanic juggernaut that can crush dragons. Their leaders and magi are said to know strange magics as well, such as incarnating spirits in bodies of living frost. There are somewhat reliable stories of gaons extracting dreams and memories and storing them in ice-jewels… and daimons releasing those stored visions into the minds of other folk. It is even said, by those who claim to know more than other folk, that the silentiaries can control the curses of Tasha and Shayol to trap other folk in a chrysalis of ice and bring them forth as folk of another species – loyahs turned into cave elves, reynardi become humans.
     
    But few would dare to investigate these claims first-hand. The silentiaries are pariahs to most other folk, literally untouchable, for fear of their strange, icy contagion.
     
    Dean Shomshak
  22. Thanks
    DShomshak got a reaction from TrickstaPriest in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    I admit, I am of at least two minds.
     
    On the one and, yes, American culture fetishizes guns to an astonishing degree. Insurrection from any nationwide attempt at sudden, serious restriction or regulation is a real threat.
     
    Though bluntly, I think the odds are high of insurrection within the next 5 years anyway. A civil war disconnected from real economic or political issues -- only about mythology and identity. I hope I am proved wrong, but there seems to be a significant percentage of the population that is *flipping crazy* at the loss of their caste privileges and cherished myths of identity.
     
    OTOH, we do have the example of gay rights. There were predictions of civil war over that, too, and it didn't happen. First laws against homosexuality were rolled back. Society didn't collapse, either in a Gay Sex Orgy or an Evangelical crusade. Then a few states tried civil unions. Again, nothing happened. Then outright marriage. And what do you know, nothing happened. Finally the Supreme Court (narrowly) declared same-sex marriage had to be legal everywhere. And God did not smite the country as He smote Sodom and Gomorrah, neither did the Evangelicals rise up in armed rebellion and the military join them. Too many people realized they had friends and family who were gay, lesbian or bisexual, and they were just people instead of some abstract boogyman of "The Gay." A solid majority of Americans think same-sex marriage is just fine, and what's the big deal?
     
    Already, polling shows that a solid majority of Americans think some kind of tighter gun regulation is okay. So it may be possible to follow the same-sex marriage playbook. A few states or major cities institute small restrictions, such as on magazine size. There are lawsuits, some laws fail but some stand. Some politicians support these restrictions, the NRA fails to unseat them in the next election, and starts looking like a paper tiger. More regions institute more restrictions, and yet the people are neither crushed by jackbooted government thugs, nor massacred by brown criminals invading their homes! And the myth starts crumbling.
     
    Success is not assured. Like I said, we could still get a Seinfeldian civil war over nothing, or Donald Trump could secure de facto dictatorship. But all hope for improvement is not lost.
     
    Dean Shomshak
     
     
  23. Like
    DShomshak got a reaction from death tribble in World Creation Superdraft 4: May 2020   
    Kylvn approves of the Frost Elves, but they are not truly his people. And so he created the Silentiaries. He sang them into existence from living frost, breathed souls into them, and finished the work with a great silence.
     
    Kylvn create hive insects and similar creatures as early attempts at orderly species, and the silentiaries build on those experiments. Silentiaries somewhat resemble oversized grasshoppers about six feet long, walking (or jumping) on four hind legs but with slender arms with three fingers each. They appear to be made of translucent, pale blue ice with glittering, crystalline compound eyes. Folk of other species find silentiaries very difficult to tell apart. They are cold as ice as well, and take no harm from even the greatest chill.
     
    One reason for their species name is that silentiaries cannot speak: They breathe through spiracles in their sides. They communicate through sign language. Their language can barely be managed at a crude level by creatures with only two arms; full fluency requires four. Though they have no voices, siloentiaries can make silences, and these flavor their sign-speech the way humans use gestures to emphasize their speech. They also love music. Their styles are intricate and contrapuntal, full of fugues and interlocking rhythms.
     
    These folk live in hives grown from living frost, labyrinthine and many-turreted, amid extensive ice-reefs. They mostly eat living ice, though they cannot survive for long without cold-tolerant ordinary crops such as turnips or rye. The farmland is of course tended collectively.
     
    Silentiaries rarely go far from their hives except in winter. Other seasons are at least unpleasant for them, and the hottest weather is deadly to them. In winter, though, silentiaries can travel far in vessels of living ice, animated and directed by music, that stride on a dozen jointed legs through the snow. They venture out to trade, to found new hives, or to perform special feats of ice-shaping for other folk. On rare occasions they are sought for their remarkable mental prowess, for every silentiary is highly trained at memory, observation and logic; or as musicians. But this is dangerous, and not just for the
  24. Like
    DShomshak got a reaction from death tribble in World Creation Superdraft 4: May 2020   
    Vide my post about Ice Reefs, I hadn't defined mountaintops as cold, or have any knowledge that anyone else had done so. Kylvn did not insist upon it: Except for Winter, he leaves climate to Volcanis and the other gods. But he accepts Fox's decision that it be so, at least in Silyyaytsa.
     
    On seeing the new country, Kylvn smiles austerely and says,
     
    A gift divine this truly is, O Fox!
    And if some details be a trifle edged,
    As jests in names, or godly foibles tweaked,
    Why, Fox must e’er be Fox, as Kylvn must
    Be pompous. (Did I say those words aloud?
    Ahem. Pay them no heed.) Consistency
    Is in erratic way thy virtue chief.
    And if the residents must take some care
    In which notes they do sing? I still approve,
    For discipline is good for mortal souls.
    Be thou assured that I shall not forget,
    And count on Kylvn’s reciprocity.
     
    I seem to recall that "yaytsa" is Russian for "eggs." I shall have to look up the meaning of "silyy."
     
    Dean Shomshak
  25. Like
    DShomshak got a reaction from death tribble in World Creation Superdraft 4: May 2020   
    This is odd: My post on the Silentiaries seems cut off half way through. I'll re-post and hope the whole thing appears, because there was quite a bit more.
    -- DS
    --------------------
    Kylvn approves of the Frost Elves, but they are not truly his people. And so he created the Silentiaries. He sang them into existence from living frost, breathed souls into them, and finished the work with a great silence.
     
    Kylvn create hive insects and similar creatures as early attempts at orderly species, and the silentiaries build on those experiments. Silentiaries somewhat resemble oversized grasshoppers about six feet long, walking (or jumping) on four hind legs but with slender arms with three fingers each. They appear to be made of translucent, pale blue ice with glittering, crystalline compound eyes. Folk of other species find silentiaries very difficult to tell apart. They are cold as ice as well, and take no harm from even the greatest chill.
     
    One reason for their species name is that silentiaries cannot speak: They breathe through spiracles in their sides. They communicate through sign language. Their language can barely be managed at a crude level by creatures with only two arms; full fluency requires four. Though they have no voices, siloentiaries can make silences, and these flavor their sign-speech the way humans use gestures to emphasize their speech. They also love music. Their styles are intricate and contrapuntal, full of fugues and interlocking rhythms.
     
    These folk live in hives grown from living frost, labyrinthine and many-turreted, amid extensive ice-reefs. They mostly eat living ice, though they cannot survive for long without cold-tolerant ordinary crops such as turnips or rye. The farmland is of course tended collectively.
     
    Silentiaries rarely go far from their hives except in winter. Other seasons are at least unpleasant for them, and the hottest weather is deadly to them. In winter, though, silentiaries can travel far in vessels of living ice, animated and directed by music, that stride on a dozen jointed legs through the snow. They venture out to trade, to found new hives, or to perform special feats of ice-shaping for other folk. On rare occasions they are sought for their remarkable mental prowess, for every silentiary is highly trained at memory, observation and logic; or as musicians. But this is dangerous, and not just for the silentiaries.
     
    Silentiary society is divided into six ranked castes. Most silentiaries begin in the worker caste, with numerous subcastes for each occupation. Workers have a lifespan of 36 winters.
     
    A worker who shows the six disciplines of truthfulness, logic, equanimity, reciprocity, loyalty and perseverence and advances six degrees in their occupation is elevated to the supervisor caste and receives another 36 winters of lifespan along with greater responsibility.
     
    Supervisors of great diligence and sagacity can be promoted into the Gaon caste of lawgivers, judges and priests, responsible for maintaining the order of the hive and relations with the outside world. Gaons receive another 36 years of lifespan.
     
    But Kylvn paid attention to Shayol’s curse of god-addiction. He saw that, unchecked, order could become a mere fetish of homogeneity or pattern with no real use, rigid and self-destructive. So some supervisors are instead promoted into the Daimon caste of blasphemers, rebels and clowns, tasked with bringing a bit of Fox’s chaos into the hive to prevent complacency and create possibilities for new and better practices. They also receive a longer life.
     
    Either gaons and daimons can be promoted for merit into the fifth caste; but of this caste it is forbidden to speak, and no one below the rank of gaon or daimon is allowed even to know what it does.
     
    Finally, hives are ruled by a single silentiary of the sixth caste. These prophet-monarchs commune with Kylvn personally, and the Cold Lord is willing to make introductions to other gods if the need is proven. Prophet-monarchs can live up to 1,296 winters – no more. Then Kylvn gives them to Eternus.
     
    Kylvn finds Shayol and Tasha both tiresome, in their fashions, and so he did his utmost to insulate his people from their influence and their contest. Evil coming from The Female of the Species? Silentiaries are genderless; and as they reproduce asexually, they have no need or understanding of love. Three silentiaries can drain a bit of their cold, clear blood into an urn of ice filled with snow, which is sealed and quickened with music. After a turning of the year, the urn hatches as a young silentiary.
     
    Silentiaries can also reproduce by pure music. If five silentiaries play improvisationally and achieve a spontaneous moment of perfect harmony, a sixth silentiary appears, already adult, with knowledge gleaned from all five of its “parents.” These silentiaries, the Songborn, are gaon or daimon from birth.
     
    But gods are not balked. Tasha and Shayol both claim their due from the silentiaries. Shayol’s baleful power in the Helix made the silentiaries a plague unto all other intelligences – literally. Careless contact with a silentiary, especially with its blood, can induce a deadly disease in other folk. The victim gets colder and colder until he or she freezes. This is usually fatal, but about one in ten frozen victims crack to release a young silentiary with the person’s memories. Only the frost elves are immune, by the way the Fair Star made them.
     
    Tasha might say she levies no curses, but her influence likewise has a deadly effect. Mistletoe induces desire, but silentiaries cannot feel it. They go mad from the contradiction and probably die within a week if they do not kiss someone of another intelligent species… which merely triggers the second phase of the curse. The silentiary falls into a frozen coma, then splits several days later to release an individual of the kissed person’s species, retaining memories of his or her life as a silentiary but unable ever to return to the hive.
     
    As silentiaries largely keep to themselves, rumor about them flourishes. Tales say that silentiaries, playing in concert, have animated the surrounding reefs to massacre invaders with ten thousand blades and spears of ice – or even reshaped the hive as a titanic juggernaut that can crush dragons. Their leaders and magi are said to know strange magics as well, such as incarnating spirits in bodies of living frost. There are somewhat reliable stories of gaons extracting dreams and memories and storing them in ice-jewels… and daimons releasing those stored visions into the minds of other folk. It is even said, by those who claim to know more than other folk, that the silentiaries can control the curses of Tasha and Shayol to trap other folk in a chrysalis of ice and bring them forth as folk of another species – loyahs turned into cave elves, reynardi become humans.
     
    But few would dare to investigate these claims first-hand. The silentiaries are pariahs to most other folk, literally untouchable, for fear of their strange, icy contagion.
     
    Dean Shomshak
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