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Coyotedancer

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Coyotedancer last won the day on August 7

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About Coyotedancer

  • Birthday 01/01/1004

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  1. Total +1 from me. I just had to ditch and rebuild a character with a whole different AT because of this issue... After spending an afternoon watching Ivory's demon minions physically shove her scrapper partner away from his targets, or push the targets away from him, or block the goons from ever closing with him in the first place, I just said enough was enough and rebuilt her as a Defender. Mastermind pets are all obnoxious in tight spaces, but the large demon models just compound the problem, making them a menace even in a large, open room. <_<
  2. Coas predate passcodes, which are a SCORE/Homecoming innovation. Back in the Live days, having coalitions was the only way to get access to someone else's base if you weren't actively teamed with them. So, essentially they're just a legacy of the way things worked back then.
  3. Heh... With Demons I'm honestly surprised you weren't getting grumped at in office maps, too. (I was running as part of a trio with mine awhile back and got some ribbing from one of the other two about the boys blocking doorways. Which they routinely will given half a chance. XP) About all you can do with large pets like that (Demons and Bots, people are looking at you-) is try to be considerate and move them if they seem to be blocking entries and tunnels. That may mean pulling them back from fights and keeping them on Passive for a minute or two, even though that makes you vulnerable and limits your use to the team. Playing cut-rate Defender is better than getting kicked because the old devs decided to make our minions as aggressively obnoxious as they could.
  4. Dear Diary- It’s a truth in life that sometimes a lesson simply must be taught. Take the Talons of Vengeance for instance… It’s seriously starting to look like we can’t do ANYTHING or go ANYWHERE anymore without those monsters being involved. Every single time they show up, they home right in on B with a single-minded determination that’s beginning to border on absurdity. I swear to Ermeeth that the next time I hear a Harpy or a Siren start in on how they’re going to kill him? I’m going to pluck its wings and use the feathers to make toys for my cat. <_< It’s all gotten sort of ridiculous, and of course there’s NO WAY I’m just going to stand back and let them have him… So, I decided that maybe I needed to be a little more direct. A little more in-their-face about the whole “Killing this person is unacceptable”-thing. A point, as they say, obviously needed to be made. Ramiel may not have been right about me being an Incarnate, but I’ve still gotten pretty good at holding my own against things that I probably really SHOULDN’T be picking fights with… Reichsman, for instance, or Requiem… All of those Praetors from Praetoria… Babbage… Adamastor… That kind of thing. But what I seriously wanted to do was what my friends in Paragon City would call “a whole different ball game”. I didn’t just want to take the fight to one giant monster or some overpowered numbskull in a tacky uniform. I needed to take the fight to the Furies’ entire *legion* of monstrosities. I really do try not to be a vengeful person, Diary. But there was also that matter of the Talons having torn apart a group of my own people and corrupted a section of our home to consider. Red and the others may not have taken that personally… They were more concerned about the carnage in Founders Falls than they were about what might have happened to a bunch of “creepy old ghosts” in some crumbling ruin… But I did, and for the sake of the old ones and their mortal followers who were lost, that attack also had to be answered. That, I told myself, was really where I ought to start... So I went back to Founders Falls, and to that night in the old city. And this time? I went alone. Well, *almost* alone. I had forgotten that Praetor Duncan had also sent Ollie into that mess... I know I've talked about Ollie before. He may only be a clone, and a toy for that pervy Praetor Duncan, but he’s a pretty good person to have at your side when you’re facing a horde of screeching horrors. He's tough, he's fearless and he can punch bad-guys like nobody's business! Together, it didn’t take us long to hunt down and disincorporate every single Talon in those ruins, including the Keres who had lead them there in the first place. I know that seeking revenge can be a dangerous path to follow, Diary, and that if it consumes you, you’ll become easy prey for Entities like Mot and the Furies… But where do you draw the line between vengeance and justice? Is it really wrong to want to see the creatures that destroyed this part of the old city and its inhabitants taken to task for what they did? I don’t know the answer to that… If I were more of a hero, maybe I would… But it didn’t feel at all unjustified. After that, things happened much as they had when I first lived through them in the company of my friends… Only this time, the Sentinel just had to face my boss and I. 'Still not an easy task for it, given our shared determination to drive it away... Going to face Diabolique and to free the Pantheon cultists’ would-be sacrifices was also much the same… Though it was good to actually get to talk with Tammy for a while. Though we’ve met a few times, and share a great affection for her father, we’ve rarely just gotten to do that. I wish it had been under better circumstances than a sewer tunnel infested with fanatics, but given the lives we lead? I suspect that’s about as good as it ever gets for people in our line of work. Diablolique was, of course, a total pain in the butt. Like Percy, that seems to be her one true superpower… Limitless Radial Annoyance. <_< But all of that was really just leading up to my actual purpose in revisiting the past. I had decided that if I really, REALLY wanted to make an impression on the Talons... If I truly wanted to draw a bright line and to show them what would happen to them if they dared to cross it... I needed to confront them in a way that they would never, ever forget. That meant facing their entire assembled army in Cimerora, Diary. And doing it completely on my own. Taking all of the Talons themselves… And all of their Elders… And all of the minotaurs and the cyclopses that Romulus had given them… And Romulus himself, in all of his hard-headed stubbornness… [/img] Until finally, I could knock that ugly Keres that had stood by Romulus’ side, taunting us with threats of death and the underworld, out of the sky with enough Force magic to light up half of the ancient world. Imperious told me afterwards that to do what I had done meant that I “knew no fear”. That isn’t really true. I’m as afraid of death and an unknowable future as anyone. But I’m not afraid of the Talons anymore. I hope that the ones who come to torment us now *remember* what happened to them in Cimerora, when they thought that they were assured an easy victory. And I hope that when they do, they’re maybe just a little bit afraid of me. -k
  5. Excellent! These are great fun to read. ^_^
  6. Diary, someone really needs to have a talk with those Malta guys about overcompensation and keeping things in perspective… They're starting to become a serious pain. Crimson (Yeah, THAT Crimson. The same Mister-I’m-a-Superspy Crimson that Shadow Spider sent me to punch in the nose a couple of months ago for snooping around Arachnos bases) asked us to look into a big, dangerous and vastly overly-complicated problem that he was having with a couple of ambassadors, and the Freakshow, those ninja ladies and a whole lot of… you guessed it… very zealous Malta people. I know I’ve mentioned the Malta Group before. How they’re bad about opening mis-delivered boxes of Wailers, and trying to solve all of their problems with gun-drones and flame-throwers... How much I like smashing their big robots, and how Red had us round up some of their people to help out in Dark Astoria. And while I’m still a little iffy on their exact political affiliations or philosophical beliefs, I’m told that they see all of us “metas” (Their word for anyone with superpowers, no matter what the origin or nature or those powers may be-) as a huge threat to the security of the world and the survival of humanity in general. I guess I can sort-of see their point when it comes to SOME individuals… Tundra the wolf, for instance, who likes to brag about eating people. Or that weird robot who’s been showing up in the Isles lately and murdering everyone it thinks is a villain with a chainsaw, while singing children’s songs… But for the most part, trying to destroy, or depower or imprison every single one of us as a potential threat is a pretty serious over-reaction. I mean, seriously Diary. Some of us are out there, day in and day out, trying our best to SAVE the world! Yes, okay, so pretty often we ARE having to save it from other “metas” who’ve gotten overly ambitious, or overly greedy, or who went off the deep end or who just didn’t think a cunning plan through all the way and ended up starting something monumentally stupid (In the name of honesty, I have to give the Malta guys that one-), but you can’t just paint with a very broad brush and call us *all* potential disasters because a few people end up being Nemesis or Lord Recluse or my mad scientist friend Vernon. It simply isn’t fair. Which leads to what I was saying about over-reactions… Kidnapping ambassadors, trying to blackmail them and then hiring shape-shifting infiltration experts to replace them outright? That’s the sort of thing I’m talking about. When your mission to supposedly keep the world safe has you doing things that are that questionable? It may be time to step back and re-evaluate your choices. If even I, as a person who isn’t nearly shiny-natured enough to ever really be a Proper Hero (No matter what her boyfriend says-), can clearly see the problems inherent with your approach, that sort of says something. It says “There has to be a better way” and “You guys are SO BUSY trying to make everyone else out as a danger that you’ve become a pretty serious menace yourselves”. What I’m saying is that Malta is trying too hard and that Crimson and Indigo, in spite of our past differences of opinion, are absolutely right to oppose them. Left to do whatever they wanted, Malta would end up making just as big of a mess of the world as The Center or Doctor Vahzilok. Trying to get them to recognize that is ALMOST as hard as getting a Death Mage to change their mind, though. If they wouldn’t listen to me about how to deal with a box full of escaped wailers (And they didn’t, Diary-), there’s no way they’re going to agree to stop being such jerks to everybody else. That really only leaves us with one option. Punching them (and their giant robots-) into next week. -k
  7. Dear Diary- I really don’t know a lot about Praetoria. I know that it’s attached somehow to the Night Ward, where Bedwyr and the knights, and the Drudges, and the Spirit hounds and panthers come from… And that they had a big war with their Hamidon and that it’s where my friends Buddy and Free Radical came from… And that a lot of their leaders, the people they call “Praetors”, are real jerks. I’ve punched a few of them already, either by myself or while helping the others, and I have to say that I’ve never felt at all bad about doing that to ANY of them. Every single one deserved it. Maybe that’s why I didn’t mind when Maria Jenkins, who’s a friend of Unai and Tina’s, said that she needed me to go and do that to a few more of them. She’s the one who sent me after Black Swan, and Nightstar and Infernal. She also wanted me to go and ‘deal with’ someone who liked to call herself “Mother”… a woman named Praetor Tillman. I *recognized* that name, Diary. She’s the one who spooked B so badly in First Ward… Sort-of the best (Or maybe WORST, I should say-) example of the kind of psychic that he’s so afraid of becoming. A “psionic vampire”, he calls her. A destroyer of minds. I’m still not quite sure exactly what that means, but I can tell that it’s a Very Bad Thing just from the way B feels when he thinks about it. I guess that’s why I thought that maybe he should come with me when I confronted her. Both because he knows what she’s capable of much better than I do… And because I thought that maybe helping to put her where she couldn’t hurt anyone else might make him feel a little better about the things he’d seen. Penny wanted in on the punching, too, so we all met up and paid Mother’s dilapidated “hospital” a visit… A lot of places where terrible things have happened have… a kind of background noise to them. A spiritual static that’s very hard to describe. B says that psychics can feel that on a mental level, as a kind of pressure... Like he does when he’s in Dark Astoria. Those of us who deal in the realm of souls and spirits and Dark magic? To us, it’s a vibration. A chill. A dread. A nervous twitch that we can feel in our bones. That so-called hospital was crawling with it. In the maze of old equipment, discarded trash and empty rooms, we found too many of Mother’s “children”… Her Seers and a very lost soul who said his name was Malaise. What they did, and who they had become, B told me, was not their fault. They were the products of Tillman’s madness, and so it was better to have sympathy for them than anger. We chose to save that for Mother herself… Afterwards, we talked about Tillman, and what she had done, and B decided that to really understand the whole scope of what a very powerful and very deranged psychic was capable of, I needed to see what he had seen in First Ward for myself. ‘More time travel, which I’m sure MindWyrm and Red won’t appreciate, but I think he’s right… Anyway, Maria had a few more errands for me to run, and since things are always better when we’re punching goons together, B decided to stick around. We met up with Megan (That’s Ms. Liberty-) next, to chase down Infernal again and some pushy ghost named Diabolique. (She’s his girlfriend or something, maybe? I don’t know, but they seemed to stick awfully close together-) They weren’t very hard to find, and Infernal's demons were absolute slackers. Persephone would have been completely appalled to even hear them called demons at all, and I can’t blame her. B said he was embarrassed on her behalf to be even distantly associated with such chumps. I think Infernal may have taken all of our jokes and insults about his minions a little personally, though. He hit me really, really hard with that demon ax of his, and my Abyssal armor (being of demonic origin itself-) decided that that was the PERFECT moment to get conflicted about its job. Luckily, I have a pretty potent contingency healing ritual that fires when something tries THAT hard to kill me… So I just picked myself back up and went on with the punching. ‘Freaked B out a little, though. It’s sweet when he gets protective… Although Infernal probably didn’t think so when his brain got stabbed extra hard. Maria sent us after Praetor White and Praetor Duncan next… We’d met both of them before, and were NOT looking forward to “Dominatrix” and her pervy tendencies and her pervy minions. Lucky for us, this time she was alone. She hadn’t brought any of her bondage-gear-wearing friends along. And we actually got to see Praetor White this time. (The last time we went to deal with him, B and I got distracted by a bunch of giant robots and MindWyrm had already taken care of him by the time we were done-) He seemed sort of outclassed, honestly. I expected a lot more from someone who claims to be Praetroria’s “top dog”… Unless that doesn’t really mean what I was told it means. We had planned on meeting up with Positron before we went after Praetor White, but couldn’t find him. Once we were done, we searched the rest of the lab and found sort of an automaton kind of thing that LOOKED like Posi, but wasn’t. It thought I was Lady Grey. Even though we don’t look anything alike, and she’s WAY older than I am. It was weird. O_o Anyway, Maria figured out afterwards that the real Posi had managed to get himself captured somehow. (I’m starting to wonder why that seems to happen to him so often. First the trolls and now the Praetorians? It’s a mystery, Diary. Or he’s just careless.) Manticore decided he just HAD to come along and help us rescue the guy… Even though we both told him that we didn’t need him. And that he should really go help someone else. Anyone else. AnyWHERE else. Which he completely ignored. <_< Manticore being a clueless pain aside, we did eventually find Positron, under the guard of one of Ollie’s clone brothers. I had to keep reminding myself that THIS Olympian Guard really *wasn’t* Ollie, even though he looked and sounded (and punched things-) just like him. Otherwise I’d have felt sort of bad beating him up… Praetorian Loyalist clone-toy or not, I did develop a certain respect and sense of comradery for Ollie. Until he got eaten by Mot, anyway. Posi seemed glad to be rescued, and called B a hero. I started to ask him if I was chopped liver, since he did not say the same to me… but I didn’t. Because B’s always going to claim that it’s pure bias when *I* tell him he’s a Shiny Hero Guy. I figure he really needs to hear it from other people, too. Eventually he may start to believe them. -k
  8. That is REALLY COOL. Seriously. And a great read. Thanks for posting them.
  9. Dear Diary- I’ve been to kind of a lot of strange places lately… Praetoria, Night Ward, ancient Rome, the Shadow Shard, Hydra World, Wolf World, Black Swan’s Shadow Dimemsion… I’ve even been to worlds filled with nothing but Nemesis automatons, and Pantheon cultists, and angry ghosts and mobsters with Galaxy Wars laser guns. But I’d never been to the psychic plane before. I wasn’t even sure WHAT that was, or where… Honestly, I’m still not. Was it even REALLY a place? Or was it just a construct? A figment of someone’s imagination that we managed to wander into… To borrow for a little while? I keep trying to wrap my mind around it, but it’s hard. Psychic things are enough like magic to seem a little bit familiar, but the more I learn, the more I see that that’s all an illusion. They’re different enough to make useful comparisons impossible, and knowing one doesn’t make it any easier to know the other. I’m *trying* to sort it all out it, though. I really am. I’m going to have to. Because a little bit of that world has become a part of MY world now, too. Remember when I talked about our last trip to Dark Astoria, Diary, and how being told that I was just… not capable… of understanding that situation made me feel like I had lost my focus? The focus that had been the ONE THING keeping Mot and its influence out of my head? And about the way to make understanding possible? And about how afraid B was that in sharing something so deeply, he would hurt me? I told you that, in the end, we had made a choice. We had decided that it was worth the risk and the potential pain... That understanding was more important than being “safe”. And there WAS pain, Diary. Because in life, like in magic, understanding almost always has a price. Often, when you take a leap of faith, you fall... But sometimes, Diary? Sometimes when you take a leap of faith... you find out that you can fly. And it's that chance that makes the leap worth taking. Our leap needed a starting point, though… What we wanted to do couldn’t just happen anywhere. We needed a way to access the psychic plane, and since B can’t open those portals yet himself (Much less take me with him-) that necessity was kind-of a complication. It turns out that using someone ELSE as a conduit is A Thing, though, just like using an anchor or a sympathetic material connection is in ritual magic. And the stronger the anchor person’s mind, the better it works. Fortunately, B happened to know of one VERY strong psychic whose own connection would be solid enough for us to use… UNfortunately, it was Vanessa DeVore. o_O In order to establish our connection to her, we had to find and understand the shattered parts of her own psyche. That involved using an artifact called the Bands of Shu that we had to take from the Malta group. … and then expose to a whole lot of different things to "charge" them before we could use them. Vanessa’s history is a sad one, Diary. She didn’t start out a monster. She never meant to become the person that she did. And B said that what happened to her was a warning. That *any* psychic mind could shatter and fragment the same way that hers did. I had very mixed feelings about attacking her after getting to know the woman she had been... The woman she might STILL BE if the events of the past had gone differently... But it was what needed to be done. We had our access to the psychic plane and we used it. The pressure that Travis feels under Mot’s influence? It’s like something too heavy walking over the ice on a frozen pond. One step too far, one ounce too much… and everything shatters into pieces. I understand that now. I’ve felt it, through him. And I think I know how to protect him from it… Not with a magical ward or a ritual, Diary, but by being another mind to share the weight. By allowing my own psyche... my own mind and soul, in some sense... to be his shield. And we traded memories… Thoughts, hopes, fears, emotions, doubts, dreams… All of it. Who we really are, behind who we pretend to be. He knows now how hard I have to work at being social. Why I'll always be as protective of him as I am. That I live my life afraid of never being *good enough*… at magic, at life… at anything. How many doubts and how many worries I have. And I know why he’ll always feel like he isn’t really the hero type. Why he wanted so much not to be alone, but still couldn’t ever let anyone get too close to the truth of himself... Why he thought that no one would ever really want him just for being him, and why he’s probably always going to be surprised when he’s reminded that I do. When he feels just how much he IS loved and how much he means to me. And he will feel it, Diary. He’s always been able to read my mind and to project his thoughts to me… But now it’s a two-way street. With that connection we made between mind and soul, I can do it to. We can share with each other, Diary, and that has the potential to be something really amazing. I don’t like the nightmares that reliving the memories that he shared with me have caused him. He knew it was a risk, and that they would bring up many things that were never resolved. I can feel what they do to him… How much they shake him... But at least I also know now what he needs ME to do to help. How I can give him at least a little of the steadiness and the grounding that he'll need to work through those memories and make peace with them. I know that a couple of B’s friends still don’t really approve of me. They’ll never trust me because I’m Etoilean. Or because I’m Oranbegan. Or because I’m still a Death Mage, no matter how much I may try to be a hero… To them I will ALWAYS be suspect. A bad influence, or worse... If they knew what we had done? The kind of connection we forged between us? They would probably be convinced that it was all some sinister plot on my part. So, we decided that we’re not going to tell the others about any of this. It was a choice that WE made, after all, for ourselves. It isn’t necessary for them to approve or to understand. Our future is our own. Whatever the sorrows of the past or the complications yet to come, we'll share them now and always face them together. -k PS: It’s still funny to me that everyone in Paragon City takes the monorail everywhere. Going for pizza… Going clubbing… Going to rescue a civilian from certain doom… Going to save the whole world from some devious Nemesis plot… Or getting ready to go psychic mind-sharing with the one person in the world you’re willing to trust just that much. It all seems to start with the train, and I'm not sure anymore if that's ridiculous or if it's profound.
  10. I’ve been thinking a lot about Cimerora again, Diary. I think that sometimes I’m just not sure how much to say about things like that. About history and mythology, and the places where they intersect. Or the places where no one really wants to admit that they did… The Talons who destroyed Cimerora are, in many ways, creatures of legend. Things that people have convinced themselves couldn’t possibly really exist. The minotaurs and the cyclopses of Romulus’ army, likewise. Even the history books in the Midnighter’s library don’t blame that little city’s loss on them. Mortal warfare, politics, natural disaster and plague… Or simply the passage of time… Those are the things that the history books always claim. Never the Otherworldly. Never the Furies, or the Fates or the Entities of Entropy and Change. Maybe that’s because people like to think that the world is predicable. That the future, and the past and the present are all somehow bound by laws, and rules and systems that they can understand if they can just apply *enough* Science, and Rationality and Order to the problem. I don’t know, Dairy. Sometimes I just want to go to those library shelves, pull down all of the books, take my pen and write about what really happened in the margins. I won’t… because the librarian would murder me… But sometimes I really, really want to. If the people of the modern world can accept that Circle magi are real, and that the Hellion’s demons are real and that the Midnighters are more than just a club for people with colorful names and an interest in esoteric information, it seems to me that they could handle knowing that the things they call myths have also had a part in shaping the world. ‘Not JUST the Talons, or the Pantheon or the Well of the Furies, Diary… But things like Pandora’s Box. Yeah. Pandora’s Box is real, too. We found that out when the Freedom Phalanx asked B to help them with a really weird problem, and he brought Sebara and I along just for fun. (So, why did they call him, out of all of the young heroes in the city? Well, the trouble was all about psychic disturbances and he IS a psychic… But it’s also that B’s pretty flashy, Diary. He’s always getting caught on video, and after one really dramatic rescue there was this clip going around of him talking to this adorable little boy who called him “Mister Rogue”, and it was SERIOUSLY cute, and it sort-of went viral, and… Yeah. Apparently Positron watches ZooTube videos and was impressed with the way he handled the situation. He may grump about being called ‘Mister’, but that video? A perfect example of why I call him a Shiny Hero Guy. ^_^) Anyway- At first they thought Penny’s friend Rusty might have something to do with it, since he and his little clockworks had been giving them all so much trouble over her joining the group. (I think it’s kind-of sweet how protective he is… He really seems to like Penny a lot… But she does have a point when she says that he needs to give her some space to do her own thing. She *is* a hero, after all. He’s going to have to come to terms with that sooner or later.) He really didn’t want to talk to us, so we had to smash a bunch of his clockworks even to get through the warehouse where he lives. (He’s a terrible housekeeper, by the way. Worse than any of the SUP3RFR31GHT guys. <_<) Once we found him, Penny seemed kind of miffed and asked him some pretty pointed questions, and while he owned up to being annoying to the Phalanx, he denied having anything to do with odd psychic disturbances. We’d hardly finished talking to him when we got a call about super-strong TROLLS in Skyway giving Positron and the others trouble. I have to admit that I had a pretty hard time imagining Trolls… those guys like my friend Julius out in the Hollows… giving someone like Posi a hard time. I mean, he’s an Incarnate and all. A real one. But… that’s what they said, so we went to check it out. The Trolls were all GLOWING, Diary. And they really were a lot stronger than I remembered those guys being. Their leader Atta was there and we busted him, but that wasn’t as easy as it ought to have been. Something weird was definitely going on… That’s when the Freaks showed up. We were told that something serious was happening in Atlas Park and rushed over there next. We found not only a bunch of Freak guys, who were glowing just like the Trolls had been, but ALSO a few groups of Talons! You can imagine how happy B was about THAT, Diary. I’m starting to think we can’t go anywhere or do ANYTHING anymore without those monsters getting involved. <_< We dealt with all of the Talons (And got caught on City Hall’s security camera footage together. I already talked about that, and how it lead to my CapeBook page getting comment-bombed by a horde of catty fan-girls. XD) and then we had to punch the leader of the Freaks… Her name was Clamor and she had pink chicken feet, Diary. Pink. Chicken. Feet. I’m not kidding. Apparently, she’d decided to become sort of an honorary Talon or something? Penny read her mind after we’d gotten her to pipe down and to stop trying to break the city, and she told us that all of the trouble had been caused by an artifact. Pandora’s Box. It sounds like we’re going to have to go and find the thing before the Talons can get ahold of it. B said, “Great. Just what I need to be playing with!” and I said, “Oh, SO not!”… But I don’t think we can really avoid it at this point. ‘Not sure how I feel about that… But I’m not afraid of admitting that sometimes myths are real. And that sometimes you just have to deal with it. -k PS: I’m still getting random images of that summoner and her friend with the swords in my orb’s storage files. It’s starting to get really, really annoying. I haven’t had any luck at all finding out who they are. There aren’t any records of them ANYWHERE, Diary. It’s like they just… don’t exist! The guy’s tail reminds me a little of B’s, but THAT’s no help. If they’re aliens who just got to Earth or something? I’ll never find out who they are. <_<
  11. Dear Diary- The Internet is a strange place… After noticing White Thorn in a phone-camera photo that got posted to CapeBook, and then seeing her again running with Toku while their stream was live, somebody decided to go and make a fan-page for my Shiny Hero Alter-Ego, and that’s been… kind-of fun, actually. Even after a bunch of B’s fangirls found it (Someone tagged me in a security video of us busting Talons together in Atlas Park-) and they flooded the page with all kinds of catty critiques of my costume and disdain for my favorite boots, I’ve still had a GREAT time reading all of the comments. The speculation about who Thorn is and where she came from is especially entertaining. So far there haven’t been any good recordings of my voice posted (Toku’s stream was way too loud and way to focused on them for anything that anyone *else* said to be heard-), so the one or two who’ve hit on her maybe being a refugee from the Isles, or even a “reformed” young villain are just guessing… But sooner or later they probably will hear me speak somehow, and then those few will get to crow about being right. My accent? It’s a dead give-away. But until then? My favorite fan theory is that I’m secretly a shape-shifting alien sorceress from a star system somewhere in Orion. The fellow who came up with that wrote a whole essay on why he just HAD to be right. I didn’t read it all… It was some pretty strange stuff… But I liked the idea enough that I dropped a sparkles emoji on his post. He's even more convinced now. XD One of the funniest questions I’ve gotten on my page so far was about my white armor. How do I KEEP it white, in spite of doing things like busting bad guys who explode all over me, wandering through the sewers and getting covered in sticky Arachnos web grenades? I just answered “ritual cleansing” to that one, and posted a selfie. And then I laughed, because they have NO IDEA how much work is really involved in keeping a white costume clean. Or that Ritual Cleansing sort-of means two different things. One of which would probably lead to death threats. Because fan-girls. And Internet. Aside from keeping up with social media and running errands for Scirocco and occasionally delivering a box or six of wailers for Tav, I’ve still been visiting Peregrine Island and helping the Portal scientists and security people. I’ve gone to all sorts of interesting places. I busted up a gigantic clockwork thing that called itself Babbage… I met a VERY angry lady robot named NIghtstar… I got covered in tentacles by someone called Black Swan… And I met a demon sort-of guy who was, appropriately enough I think, named Infernal… I went with some brand new heroes to help clear out the sewers under Atlas Park, too, just for fun. And ran… you guessed it… right into one of those Goth Pervs. I guess it’s important to set one's expectations early. <_< I even got to take B out to see the Shadow Shard! It isn’t as freaky a place as the Eternal Prison, but it is pretty strange out there. We found this big, round, floating castle-thing and felt like we just HAD to check it out. We met… someone… inside. He said that he knew us, and that he had been watching us help people and protect them. (Which was VERY weird, since neither of us had ever been to the Shard before. Honestly? It freaked me out a little bit. I don’t like being spied on by Entities, Diary. <_<) And he wanted us to deal with something he just called Madness… We told him we would help, but that we needed to go and gather up a few of our friends first. I think he understood. I wonder what punching Madness will be like? -k PS: Feral wanted to see my corset outfit, so I thought I might as well take a picture to show it off. Persephone had to help me get the lacing and the fit right, but in the end I think I like the way it looks. It isn't the most comfortable outfit I own, but that really isn't the point. Everyone’s probably going to be shocked that it isn’t all black and purple... or entirely white. Buuut that's okay, too. I picked cobalt blue for reasons. XD
  12. I started off describing my main, Kaikara, as an apprentice rather than as the full-fledged Death Mage she would eventually become. That just seemed like a reasonable thing to do... When I made White Thorn, her heroic "alter ego"/secret identity, I described her as 'learning how to be a hero' (Kai Prime is a Rogue-), getting to know Paragon City and trying to establish a reputation from the ground up. When I made Graceful Ivory Mask, the time-traveling 20+ years older "grown up" version of that same character, I leaned on an idea that had already been established IC with her younger self... Time travel has always messed with Kai's magic. It takes a period of adjustment for her to realign with the forces she draws on to power her spells. Artemian the Madness Mage? His experiences in Dark Astoria shook him badly. Enough to make it difficult for him to focus his mind like he once could. He's having to mentally pull himself back together and re-gain the confidence and will that almost being devoured by Mot took from him. Ashton Fletcher? Well, he was trapped in a Circle of Thorns soul crystal for several hundred years... You can't blame a ghost for being a little rusty with his swords after that.
  13. Diary, am *I* the sneakiest magus in the ENTIRE HISTORY of sneaky magi, or what? XD I already talked about that plan that I came up with for borrowing the copy of the Book of Lineages that Vermis used to have in his library, didn’t I? A little light time travel, a disguise charm, my stealth cantrips, some good luck and we’d have a way to at least get *some* idea about who B’s mother’s family is. Even if the book could only give us their names, I figured it might be a good place to start if he really did want to try finding her. Well… I went and did it, Diary. Now that I know how the things work, I just used the crystal shard in the Sanctum instead of going to the Menders in Ouroboros or using the one that the Midnighters have. (I had a feeling that neither group would really approve of what I was doing anyway, since teeeechnically it IS theft. So, better just not to mention it to them. What they don’t know will not get me busted.) There were a couple of close calls. I came around one corner and ALMOST ran right into Amtes and Persephone, but they were looking the other direction and I got back around that corner double-quick. It also took longer than I thought it would to find the right book-chest, and the warding rune that Vermis had cast on it was a real pain in the butt to untangle… But I was determined, Diary. I was not going to be thwarted by some uncooperative explosive evocation! I… might have had to take the entire chest with me. And… I might have ended up actually kind-of… destroying it… getting that ward to submit. Which more or less completely foils the plan of just taking the book back to the library and replacing it when I’m done. I do feel a little sheepish about that, I admit. Since it… it sort of turns out that I’M the one who took the book in the first place. Yes, I’m the book-bandit. The “bad sort” Vermis was so grouchy about. And I can never just own up to it and give him the book back, because Causality. Anyway, book in hand I gathered up everything else we needed for the ritual, did the initial enchantments and called B. He seemed really surprised that I’d actually gone through with it... I think he’s *still* not used to the idea of having someone around who really does care enough about him and what he wants to go and do something about it. Anyway, he met me on my favorite Ouroboros island and I showed him my prize. It’s not a large book, Diary. Like a lot of artifacts, it’s smaller and plainer than you’d expect. It’s bound in dark leather, and its pages are black and made of something that absolutely ISN’T paper. (B laughed and asked if it was made of “the skin of virgins” or something. I said that I suspected it was demon hide of some kind. From the texture and age, it may even be leviathan skin.) Akarist had told me how to use the book, but I wanted to make sure that I had everything just right, so we tried it with my own name first. You have to collect some of the person’s blood in a prepared bowl, from a cut made with a particular knife, and then write their name with that blood using a raven quill on the chosen page of the book. As the blood moves down the page, it forms the names of the person’s ancestors all the way back to the time of the old city. Sometimes, there are markers next to a name… Showing descendants of the Mu, or the Fey or other things. I already knew what my lineage would look like. The number of names marked with red lightning sigils from both my mother’s family and my father’s is why Regalion wanted me so badly as a sacrifice. It’s why I can do the kind of magic that I can do. It’s why Ramiel has mistaken me for an Incarnate. I'm the product of a whole page's worth of magicians and mystics choosing others of the blood. I didn’t really know what to expect when we tried it with B’s name… but by then he was really curious. I’m used to using that knife on myself. So many rituals call for the blood of the caster that you get over being squeamish very quickly when you study Dark magic… But Diary, it was HARD using it on him. Even though he told me it was alright, and that I had his permission, I still felt like I was breaking that promise I made never to hurt him. But, in the end, I did it. His father’s name was Vincent and his mother’s name is Vel’mara. And in his father’s family? A bit of red lightening. My psychic is a descendant of the Mu, Diary, and I’m… pleased by that. For a lot of reasons, beyond it meaning that maybe, some day, I could teach him magic. It does put him at some risk from the zealots who want to complete the contract, but the same could be said of over a billion other human beings on primal Earth. I already have to worry about a LOT of things wanting him dead, anyway, so it’s not like adding a whole faction of my own people will really change anything. It still seems like half of the goons we run into start their conversations with some variation on “We’re going to murder you, B”. He just seems to have that effect on people… -k ((Player’s Note: *laughing* Okay, so yeah. I had some “extra” images featuring Kai’s favorite psi-dude that just hadn’t fit into her other scrapbook entries. The kids’ experiment with the book that Azuria insists on calling the Codex of Bloodlines seemed like a good opportunity to post them. XD))
  14. I do wonder why the Stealth was removed...
  15. Beating Romulus and the Talon’s army wasn’t the end of it, though, Diary- Imperious and the others decided to send the cause of all of this madness… a certain artifact, in which Mot had been embodied... far away from Cimerora. Their seer and our Dream Doctor had foreseen that it ought to go far into the West, to what we all three knew would become Paragon. To what *I* knew would be the ruins of Oranbega, where the ghosts of the old ones would seal it away. They sent a very brave man named Marcus to do this, with a fleet of ships that reminded me of Karnaim. They were just regular ships, of course. Not artifacts. Not of the Skybound. But they were warships… and they had something of our airship's bearing. That didn’t save them from the kraken that Mot sent to destroy them, or from the Talons who came to claim their crews. By the time we arrived, only Marcus’ own ship remained, but he was determined to continue and to complete his task. Touching his soul as he left was… a moment of revelation, Diary. I *recognized* him. Or… at least a part of him. When I said that the Sentinel was not entirely of Mot nor of the Pantheon’s spirits, I didn’t know what the other part of it was. What made it feel different. And now I do, and I really wish I didn’t, because when the time comes to destroy that creature once and for all, I don’t know if doing it will free what shadow is left of that brave man’s soul or if that’s going to be the final end of it. I know what has to be done, but Diary... It's going to be so much harder now, knowing who he was. When we left Marcus and went back to Cimerora, we found it in flames. History tells us that it was simply lost… Like little settlements have been for as long as people have built them. We three know the truth. That time wasn’t to blame. It was the Talons who had done it. I can’t call our trip into the past a victory after that, but it gave us more information to use in the present, and if we can keep Cimerora’s fate from happening to Paragon? I also can’t consider it a failure. Back in the present time, we had one more lead to follow… The Dream Doctor told us that the Tsoo had an artifact that might be useful. A thing that they called the God Slayer Sword. Scirocco decided to help us, even though that involved having to convince the Tsoo to give up their information through less than diplomatic means. Tub Ci was not the naturally sharing sort, no matter how good or how common our cause. None of us were surprised to find out that our quest was once more going to end in a sea of Talons, either. The Dream Doctor himself came with us, along with my boss, and a fellow named Protean. I’m not sure that he was the best or most faithful ally we could have chosen, though. I remember meeting him in the Isles once and not being impressed. Luckily, he didn’t seem to recognize me. It also seemed inevitable that we would finally meet the another true monster. The Mother Keres. That THING, Diary… “The worst of a bad lot,” Tav said when I described it to him… But that really doesn’t even begin to describe it. We beat it. We had to… But I don’t like the price we paid. I’ve spent a lot of time in Dark Astoria now, and I’ve learned how to keep Mot from influencing me too strongly. Amtes’ idea WORKS, Diary. If I can keep my focus, I *can* defy that place. But after we were done with the Mother Keres, I realized that that protection isn’t free. The mental discipline… the control over my own mind that I’ve always valued so highly… and the insensitivity to psychic and emotional forces that’s it’s always given me… have insulated me from the realities of what others face. That ignorance bit me. Very hard. I knew that the Talons were a problem for B, and that Mot’s influence was painful for him. I’ve done everything I can to keep him safe in spite of that… I built the strongest ward I could to protect him… But… It’s mostly been for nothing. Because I have no idea what I’m up against. Because, as he said, I was not capable of understanding. Not what it was like to endure that creature’s attacks, or its death. Or Mot. Or any of it. It’s my nature to try to find solutions, but all I had managed to do was make it more obvious that I had completely failed. That hurt. More than I could really figure out how to explain to him in that moment. Because HE is my focus, Diary... The determination to protect him? The hope that I could? The faith that I had made some difference? THAT is what's kept Mot out of my head. To learn that I'd accomplished none of that was... Something I still haven't found the words for. So… I told him that I wanted to understand. That for me to hold my focus, I NEEDED to. He had to show me. I said that if I *knew* what it felt like to him, then maybe I could do better. He asked how I thought he was supposed to be able to do that, and I reminded him that he can’t ONLY read my mind. He can project. Thoughts, emotions, ideas… That’s why we can think the same thing, or do the same thing, or follow the same wrong tunnel when everyone else goes the other way without saying a word to each other about it. That isn’t me reading his mind. That's him projecting his thoughts to me, rather he means to or not. That sort-of lead to… not really an argument, but maybe… some discussion that wasn’t entirely rooted in agreement. It turns out that what I’d suggested is probably possible, but he’s very nervous about even trying it. I trust him, Diary. Completely. Mind, heart and soul... But he’s afraid that he’ll hurt me if he tries a projection that strong. Praetor Tillman and her predation on the Praetorians made an impression on him. He doesn’t want to risk a loss of control, or his own abilities doing anything to me like what she did to her "children". I understand that... Why he's afraid. I really do. But I also can’t help but feel like this is all something very important. Something that I HAVE to learn if we're going to share this path. We talked about that, and other things, for quite a while after we came back from Astoria. About choices, and how sharing things that deeply might change us. How soul magic and psychic ability would play off against each other if things went wrong. How it could all end in disaster. Red left us in the middle of all that, saying it sounded like something we had to work out for ourselves, even though I thought she might still have good advice to give… Red has seen a lot in her time, and the insights that come from experience are always valuable. But… even left on our own, I think we did, finally, come to a conclusion. It’s going to be a complicated thing, and maybe a dangerous one. It may, in the end, turn out to be a few steps... or maybe even more than a few... beyond what either of us ever thought we would be prepared to take. To my mind, it is worth that risk. But there has to be some time to reflect... Some time to make sure that we know what we’re getting into. (B would probably laugh here and say “You mean aside from each other’s heads?”) But... Sometimes life requires a leap of faith. -k
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