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August Life

First of all, apologies for a couple of weeks absence. Empire as always was fun, but draining and there was so much politics going on this time that I was busy the entire weekend despite planning on having a more relaxed weekend, but that’s always how it goes.

Since then, I’ve hit an energy low, culminating in being ill and off work yesterday. It was one of those things where you have low level background illness, but you have a full weekend of stuff lined up, so you just ignore the illness, and then as soon as you stop it catches up to you and slams into you.

On the other hand, I have been doing a lot of cool things, so I’ll just catch you up with some of them.

Empire Forest

Photo Credit – Charlotte Moss

Empire

So, only a three day event but that just meant everything was packed into a shorter time frame:

  • Started the weekend with a combat linear for my mages. Got to beat up an ice giant, and we rocked it!
  • Got invited to a banquet in the summer realm (which was really tasty roast)
  • Found out there what the linear had allowed an Eternal to do and caused drama – whoops!
  • Culminated in one of the Eternals getting super mad (that part wasn’t me) and flipped her food across the entire table!
  • Record length conclave sessions
  • Didn’t die during battle
  • Attempted to join mage coven and was prevented by yet more drama
  • A meteor is crashing into the Empire and one of my nation persuaded conclave to vote to crash it on our territory, striaght onto the Vallorn – TERRIBLE IDEA
  • Spent a good day running around undoing that decisions
  • Got that decision undone and it is now crashing somewhere much more sensible

So yeah, that was an interesting weekend. Bring on event 4. See above for a really cool photo taken by the brilliant Charlotte Moss of me striding through the forest. As far as I remember this was at the start of the battle on Saturday and the guy that you can just see under the tree tripped and hurt his ankle so I was making sure he was okay before going back to join in the battle.

Adara Cropped

Adara

Long Weekend

So I had a five day weekend the next weekend. I was supposed to be going somewhere, but due to drama and funding issues, cancelled those plans and had a lovely five day weekend just relaxing at home. Boyfriend was also off, which was nice, although his cats were a nightmare, bless their little derp faces.

Mostly what happened then was a lot of roleplaying. Monday was Princess, and Princess continues to be great. The GM is encouraging me to write a lot of fan fiction about it and my character, and I am happy to supply him with that. I have my special snowflake thing and a friend who’s visiting for the entire month came in and played a DPC (directed player character, somewhere between an NPC and PC) to help us with plot. It was fun!

Friday we then started up D&D again!!! The last time we played that was in January sometime, and we had the break because we hit level 11 and changed tiers. Admittedly we filled the gap with a Star Wars game, which was fun, but I had missed D&D so! Playing my hot-headed Ardent, making the bad decisions, getting talked down and round into the sensible thing and then running off straight into the terrible mist of death was so much fun. That, and our paragon path powers are amazing!

Orange Belt

NAMA August Graders

Last Weekend

So, Saturday during the day I clean the flat because people will be coming round and I’ve been putting it off for weeks and weeks. That was exhausting, but did mean that I didn’t have to stress about it when I went to my party in the evening. We saw Suicide Squad – enjoyable but messy is my official verdict – and then went for Nandos which is always fun in a large group. then back to mine for board games.

Sunday had to get up early so that I could go and grade for my next Taekwondo belt. As you can see from the photo above, I passed – First Class Pass! Although I was so nervous (and this is the ill as well) that I didn’t sleep the night before and my instructor said that she could tell I was practically terrified because when I did my Kata (set routine of moves) I was so wooden. Admittedly, I was, because brain weasels kept telling me I was failing. Silly brain weasels, I did fine. I now have an orange belt.

Straight after that I went to IoD to roleplay my changeling and werewolf. I was so tired I gave the last game of the day, Mage, a skip. And since I was grading I turned up late to the first game. But that was fine, that character’s a bitch so I can be exhausted in character and just avoid responsibility and doing things. Werewolf was the issue as the STs once again find new and interesting ways to cause my character feelings and yank her chain around. She went from confused to lamenting to lust to terror to rage to determined to full on lethal damage and hurt to extraordinarily upset and convinced that she’s got to break up with her boyfriend. Seriously. All in one game. I love the STs. And hate them. Mostly love though.

Birthday Dragon

Birthday Dragon

This Week

Of course because I was putting off my ill when I did all that, waking up on Monday was fun and after calling in ill I spent most of the day sleeping. Sleeping is great. Eating not so much. Back in work today but my boss has said if I feel particularly bad I can probably go home. Hooray for summer holidays and college being so quiet it could be called dead.

Tomorrow I do have the day off though because it’s my birthday! Hoping that if I take it really easy today then I can enjoy myself tomorrow, but actually I don’t have to leave the flat and I have some presents to open and I can have a super chill day, which’ll be nice. The legion pre-patch is live and awesome and I suspect that my partner is upgrading my computer with a couple of new bits as my present so I’ll probably play that. Might also see if I can get the N64 working and blast from the past with Pokemon Snap. Maybe some sushi. It’ll be chill and great.

I also have some fun things lined up for this weekend, so as long as this illness starts going away, I should be having a pretty good week overall 🙂

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Eberron – Breakout

Bit late this week, however I am going to Empire this weekend, so I won’t be able to post anything else until Monday at the earliest because I’ll be in a field running around being a mage and things.

So what I have for you today is quite long, to kind of make up for that. And also because it came out long. It’s a fiction piece about my character in the Dungeons and Dragons campaign. Why? Because it’s going to start again in a couple of weeks and I am so excited to be playing this character again, and we’re resuming just as the entire country of Cyre has been wiped out by this weird mist – so many feelings! And writing this fiction is helping me to remember and get back into the headspace of the character, it has been seven months since we last played. Enjoy.

Her arms were twisted behind her, held tightly between two stony-faced guards. Stripped of her armour, weapons and anything else that they thought could be a magic item, Adara had been left bare foot and dressed in only her shift and leggings, which was not a good position to be in overall.

Still struggling against the grip, she was hauled through the darkened corridors that led down to the dungeons. Strangely, Adara found that she was missing the jovial banter with the guards that she had been able to have whenever she had been in detention in the army. Which had happened several times, she didn’t deal well with authority some of the time, which made being in the army a somewhat odd choice. She’d had her reasons. Of course, those reasons had long since died, along with the fog. Now, there were other thing to fight for.

The guard walking in front of the three of them took a bunch of keys from his pocket, and opened up one of the dungeons doors, a solid wooden affair with bars set into small window. With a large amount of force, the two guards hurled her into the small room. She landed on her feet, but before she had finished turning around, the door slammed shut and was locked, the guards leaving without a word.

Adara let out the sigh that she had been holding in and straightened up, stretching out her arms, shaking out her copper hair into something resembling neatness. They had not been gentle in manhandling her down here. But so far so good. In the dungeon, now to see if their intelligence was good.

She went over to the door and inspected it – quite a good set up, she couldn’t see the mechanism of the lock at all from this side, the hinges were also on the outside of the door, and the surrounding wall was made out of stone and looked far more solid than the wooden door, which in itself was impressive.

Coming back from the door, she sank into a sitting position in the middle of the room and focused on her breathing. Once calm, she could reach out, and let the currents of the surrounding emotions wash over her, feeling out for the presence of other people in these dungeons. And there were quite a few, each one a small beacon against her senses. Fear, dread, anger, hopelessness, there was much of that present here. But in small pockets, there were feelings that reassured her for the wellbeing of her countrymen, especially as she felt a familiar presence a few cells over.

“Who’s there? Were you just brought in?”

Adara smiled, “Hello General.”

“Who? I know your voice,” there was hesitation in the voice, but she could feel the strain of hope starting to rise in his feelings.

“I should hope so, I’ve been running your errands for some years now.”

“You were in the army?”

“Under Milton Wallace.”

“So there are other survivors?”

“Many more than your probably thought. Parts of the Army, traders who were out of the country, civilians living on the edge of the land, the Prince and his retinue.”

“The Prince lives?”

“Yes, he does,” Adara smiled as she thought about the dark haired man with a degree of fondness, “He’s gathering survivors, getting aid. The King of Breland has let us set up camps in his land, and Oargev is trying to persuade him to let us have some land permanently.”

There was a heavy sigh from down the corridor, “It is good to hear that there are other survivors. It’ll make this hellhole more bearable.”

“Hold that thought for the moment. Do you know of any others in here?”

“Of course there’s more of us in here you red-haired whore! Those of us that they didn’t slaughter and turn into undead have been rotting in here for months! I’ll give them endangered species.”

Adara sighed, “Naturally,” she said more to herself than anyone else. Well, the dragoons had had horses, getting out fast kind of was their thing.

Undoing the laces on her tunic, she could slip a hand down her front, and fiddle under the binding she was wearing, and ease out the ring that had been hidden down there. They had been very thorough in their search, but they hadn’t gone so far as to strip search her, and thus the ring had remained hidden. The opal gleamed at her, even in this dim light, from the wrought black metal of the setting. Wiggling it around, she fit it on her finger, and allowed herself a passing admiration of how pretty it looked there. Shame they would probably have to give it back, but for now, she could stand up, still extending her senses out so she could track the people around her.

Riserr was a seething pool of anger, and General Tinshy was a wild mis of exhaustion, exasperation, but a tiny current of hope buoying him up. That tiny current was beginning to spread around to other people that had heard the conversation they had had, and Adara could hear one thing in particular spreading.

“The prince. The prince is alive,” whispered from cell to cell around the entire dungeon.

It was only a couple of hours later, although it was slightly hard to tell given that the only light was from lamps down the corridor, that a pair of guards came down, slowly walking past the doors and peering into each one, clearly on patrol.

Adara leant against a wall with her hands pressed into her back. A casual pose, and she felt the eyes of the guard linger on her only momentarily before they moved on.

Turning the ring around on her finger, she raised her head and focused on the backs of the guards, disappearing out of the narrow view of the barred window and triggered the ring. The world disappeared, and then reappeared a moment later, with her out in the corridor, doors either side and the backs of the guards in front of her.

Silver light exploded around her as her feet touched the stone floor, the radiance of her power blinding down the corridor. The left hand guard stumbled forward, collapsing onto his knees as the right hand one staggered but didn’t fall over.

Darting forward, she stripped the guards sword from his belt, and then turned to face the right hand guard as he struggled to free his own weapon, slicing up and across his chest as her psionic power came round to bear, and both of them staggered further, a ringing in their ears as she turned their own emotions against them.

A short thrust into his lower chest, more than enough to hurt, probably not enough to kill, her power echoed around them again, and both guards collapsed, the left one on the floor where he had fallen, the right hand one slumping against the wall as she removed the sword.

Quickly searching the two of them, she found the bundle of keys that she was searching for and stepped down the corridor to unlock the door she had located the general behind. He looked up at her, his salt and pepper beard a lot more salty than the last time she had seen him, but there was a gleam in his eyes that she knew was new.

“Adara.”

“Ready to leave general?”

“The others…?”

“We’re hardly going to leave them here are we? Here,” she worked the ring open and shook half the keys off it, “you work with these ones, I’ll take the others.”

The general stood up, taking the keys with one hand and clapping her on the shoulder with the other. Between the two of them it didn’t take too long to go around the cells in the dungeon and open up the doors, letting their fellow Cyrans out. The two guards were stripped of their possessions and placed in one of the empty cells, the few weapons they had on them passed around to the people who could use them best, made harder to decide since almost all the people imprisoned here had been in the military.

Adara came up to the last door and leaned against the wall, looking in at Riserr.

“Well? Are you going to unlock me?”

“I don’t know. I haven’t decided how offended I am about you calling me a whore.”

“You’ve been called worse.”

“By you, no less.”

“Riserr! Swallow your pride, apologise and let’s get the heck out of here,” Tinshy didn’t look overly impressed, with either of them really, but it didn’t bother her as she swung the key around on her finger and watched Riserr grind his teeth.

“Fine. My apologies, you are not a whore, harlot, tramp or any other synonym of the word.”

She looked at him for a few more seconds, feeling the insincerity warring with desire to leave in him, “Eh. Good enough.”

And she unlocked the door, closing her eyes as she felt a different presence in her mind.

“Now what-“

“Shush,” Adara said, listening to the voice in her head and carefully composing her response.

“You-“

“I said shush,” she silenced him again as she sent her reply before opening her eyes again.

Riserr looked aggravated, but he usually did, so she ignored him and started moving in the direction of the exit to the dungeon, “Look lively lads and lasses, time for us to make a sharp exit from the dreadfully dreary place, wouldn’t you say?”

“As much as I’m in favour of that, they do have a reasonable number of guards, and we are underarmed.”

“My dear General, did you really think the rest of my team would just let me get captured?”

The timing was beautiful as from above them, they heard the muffled sound of an explosion and a thump, which was probably the doors to the garrison being opened in a non-subtle fashion.

She gave him a faint smile, and used the keys on the door to the dungeon, spotting two  guards down the end of the corridor. Signalling that to the people behind her, she crept up behind one of them and with another flare of psionic energy, ran him through as he started to turn to the small noises of people behind him.

With the addition of more people, the scuffle was over quickly, and more weapons were handed around.

“Which way’s the door?”

“That way,” Adara pointed, “But I plan to go and find the armoury if anyone cares to join me. I’d imagine that’s where my equipment, and yours if you had any on you, is.”

Riserr looked thoughtful, “I would like my sword back.”

Tinshy shook his head, “I’ll be heading straight for the door, with the rest of these people.”

“Milt should be heading up the force, with our squad and a few others. Find them and they’ll get you out and away on back to the rest of our people.”

Tinshy clapped his hand on her shoulder, “I expect to see you catching up to us.”

“No fear of that. Go on, scoot,” she waved them off even as she turned around and started to go in the opposite direction, Riserr following after her.

“Any idea where we’re going.”

“Not really. I can guess based on the construction of the garrison.”

“Fantastic.”

She laughed at the level of sarcasm in his voice as they moved through the garrison, searching down corridors and in doors, until Riserr waved her over and signalled that there was one guard in there.

Bursting through the door, Riserr’s charge did not go as he intended, as the guard was not surprised, instead grabbing a hammer that lay next to him and smashing it into his face.

“That the best you can do?” Adara said as she feinted low then straightened up, going for his shoulder, scoring a glancing blow but it was enough to psionically open him up for another attack. Too bad Riserr was still scrambling around on the floor and couldn’t take advantage of it.

The guard gave him a short kick, but went for her, the hammer smashing against her purloined sword, and she found it impossible to grip as he twisted the hammer around and caught the blade, flinging it across the room.

Catching his chin with a punch, she was still able to call upon her energy, turning her abilities to defence, of both of them as the guard turned and attempted to smash the hammer into Riserr’s skull. The flare of energy as the hammer hit the shield rang out, and the guard turned back to Adara as she looked around for a nearby weapon, finding nothing on the table nearest her, and shield too big for her to grab on the wall.

He came in close, and she ducked under the hammer, only to have his free hand grab her by the throat and slam her back into the wall, knocking the shield over.

Struggling with his fingers as her air supply was cut off, her psionic energy flare, try to find a weakness in this man’s mind as she delivered an apparently useless kick to his armoured knees, doing nothing but scraping some skin off her foot.

He twisted the hammer round in his hand and brought it back, then let out a sigh, his fingers going slack, the hammer dropping to the floor with a loud clunk as he slumped over.

The fey blade slipped out from his back as Cale turned his silver eyes over to Adara, who was coughing, regaining her breath.

“You cut that close.”

“Took me a while to find you,” he turned his head and looked down at Riserr, who was struggling to get back to his feet, “Really?”

“As much as I try to not admit it, I’m not really a horrible person. Couldn’t really leave him there.”

“Even if all he’s good for is falling over? Really, you have to wonder how he can ever get on his horse.”

“Bite me, you pointy-eared git.”

“Still with the insults. My my, what terrible manners,” Adara said, deliberately stepping on him as she walked into the centre of the room.

“Your spear’s in the locker over there. We could use you in the fight downstairs.”

“I thought you’d never ask,” Adara said, opening up the indicated locker and smiled as she saw her silver spear gleaming at her, “Hey gorgeous, you and me have a date with some very disagreeable Karnath downstairs.”

 

 

Dragon Oracle

My latest kickstarter arrived! Jessica Feinburg did something a bit different to her usual book and cards, and instead made an Oracle deck out of her artwork!

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I of course sprung for some extras, book and clockwork card expansions, and that lovely playmat that you can see beneath all the cards. It’s gorgeous, and I look forward to using it for other card games as well ^_^

As well as the deck of cards, it comes with reading guides (those cards down bottom left) to help you do some readings with the cards. And helpfully, all the cards have their meaning written on the bottom, no need to have to keep referring to a tiny little booklet!

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Needless to say, I am very happy with this latest kickstarter, and I plan to do a fair few readings with it. And I’m sure I can use it as a prop in one of the games I play in since I play a Seer, which should be lots of fun.

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This is the back of the cards and the design on the playmat – super gorgeous!

Ideas

Sorry about no dragon post last Friday. As predicted on Monday, Pokemon Go is taking up a lot of my time. Including that which I would spend writing, and basically doing anything else. Even with all the server troubles over the weekend. So before I attempt to get back on track with what I schedules myself to be doing, here’s my dragon Pokemon. Currently, the only Dragon type (apart from its evolutions) in the first generation.

Dratini

My Dratini!

Now onto the actual writing topic. Today’s post comes from a conversation I had last night. The actual conversation revolved around the Princess the Hopeful game that me and the partner play in. My character has recently done something quite unusual, and there’s going to be a lot of, not consequences as such, but certainly aftereffects. Because I was thinking so much about that, I had a dream about my character the other day, in which another Princess had a crush on my Princess, a third Princess wanted to do the thing I had done so we were investigating ways for her to do that, there was a fire and a burning building, a big baddie, and some other stuff, hard to remember exactly what but it was a cool dream. I then went on to outline the things I had been thinking about since then, and the ways in which this dream had developed into a sort of story in my head. Not one I think that will happen in the game (well, maybe some parts of it will) but as I was talking about this, my partner went ‘Wait, you dreamed all of this?’ to which I responded ‘Well, not all of it. It started with the dream and since then I’ve just been thinking about it, kind of day dreaming really, and it’s progressed from there.’

And that was what got me thinking about this – my ideas for stories and how they develop. As just mentioned, dreams are a fairly common starting point for me. I’ll dream about something, part of it will really stick in my head (I dream most nights and can remember a fair chunk of them the next morning usually, it’s handy) and then I’ll keep thinking about it the next day.

DreamDreams I have in the last week include getting stuck with the children of a friend after she died, the Princess dream, and a dream where I needed to steal colouring pencils from a witch. I kind of find this a little bit, what the word, recursive? Because dreams are meant to be the way in which you process, store and deal with events from the real world, but my dreams rarely are entirely mundane. That, and I get so many ideas from them, that if they are simply reflections of the real world, then I am getting ideas from my memories which is stuff I’ve already seen but I don’t get the idea until it’s presented in dream form. I’m probably grossly overthinking this, but it always seems a little odd to me. Not odd enough to stop using them as starting points.

Of course there are other starting points. Dreams is my most common, but sometimes I can just have an idle thought in the middle of the day, I can overhear something someone says or does in conversation and that can have a bit of a spark. But given that I write fantasy, I tend to find my inspiration in the most fantasy steeped setting, and for me that is my dreams.

But what about afterwards? Once I have that idea, how does it develop? Time and thinking, are the basic ingredients. I’ve done a lot of reading, I’ve written a fair few novels now (even if none of them are close to publish worthy) so I know various events and actions and plots that can happen. Choosing which one does happen? Well, often I’ll go through several different ideas for the same scene, think about it, imagine it, play it out in my head multiple times, and then settle down on the idea.

Take the Princess dream from above. I know that there was another Princess, and there was a fire. So, going on from the fire, I have the idea that it would be cool to have her lose one of her arms and have it replaced with living metal (it makes sense within the setting, she is in the court associated with the element of metal) whilst everyone else thinks she’s dead and goes after the big bad. So that’s fine up to that point, but then comes the big reveal, the whole classic ‘she isn’t actually dead’ thing, and that’s where I’ve gotten to – how is that going to play out?

Ideas 2I have several ideas, from jumping in from the balcony/roof, to just walking through the door, to she was actually found in the fire by the big bad and doing it from that angle. How is it going to resolve? No idea. I may or may not write this down as a sort of fanfiction thing, at which point I would need to choose, but right now I’m experimenting with the ideas. I’ll take one of them, spend some time imagining it and playing it out in my head, how the character would react, what they would say, what are the feelings going on around the room, how can it develop from this point and all those sorts of things. And eventually, one idea will suggest itself to me as more of the right way of playing that scene out and that’ll be the one I write.

And this process pretty much goes for all of my novels. Start with an idea, think on it for a while, write it down, think of it some more, come back with new ideas and edit those in, and repeat until I think I have a story. That last bit has yet to happen to a point I am satisfied with for most of my novels, but I’m certainly getting there. It’s a looping process, but it works for me. And I certainly enjoy visualising all the scenes in my head, it’s one of my favourite parts of writing.

Pokemon Go!

Okay, I know I said that Monday’s/the early week was going to be a time for writing posts, but Monsieur Chuck Wendig didn’t post up a fiction challenge last week, I sort of have an idea for a writing related post but it’s not all that developed, and yet another hurdle has come up as a time sink, in the form of the explosively popular new game Pokemon Go.

And considering I spent my A to Z challenge this year talking about all things Pokemon, I can’t not talk about the game now that it’s out. Well, sort of out in some places and unofficially obtainable in other places, yes I did in fact cave in but it’s Pokemon! How could I not?

PokemonGoLogo

For those of you that haven’t heard or do not know, Pokemon Go is a AR (Augmented Reality) game played through a mobile device such a phone or a tablet. It uses real-world information such a location and your camera to superimpose Pokemon into the real world, at which point you can walk around and catch the Pokemon, thus working towards completing your Pokedex. Pretty simple Pokemon premise – catch them all – finally meets the real world.

Of course, it is a little different to the games that are played on the DS and the like, mainly because it has to be, the mechanics of those games don’t work so well for the mechanics of walking around holding your phone. But the way they have implemented it is amazing.

So, you load up your game, you customise your avatar and you choose a username. Nice, but make sure it’s what you want because there’s no way to change this at a later date (wish I had known that at the time, I’d like to change my avatars clothing, but, hey, not a big thing). It then works out where you are, puts you down in the real world, and three Pokemon spawn up around you. You might have guessed – Squirtle, Bulbasaur and Charmander. (As a side note, I have since learned that you can get Pikachu as your starting Pokemon. If you run away, as in physically run away through the real world, from these three, then they catch up to you. Do this three of four times, and eventually a Pikachu will spawn alongside the three of them. Pretty cool!). The game teaches you how to catch a Pokemon, gives you a bunch of Pokeballs, and then away you go!

Second important thing – Pokestops. These are real world things which are flagged up in the game as point on the map. When you get near them, you can tap on them, and they’ll give you items. Pokeballs, Greatballs (I levelled up enough, finally!) potions, Razz Berries and the like, this is how you get your items (you can also buy them for real money, but mostly you should get enough items by visiting these points) and they also give you a bit of XP to level up your Trainer Level. I think these are pretty cool, since they always tie into real world things, like murals, cool wall arts, plaques, interesting buildings and the like. There’s like a sentence which explains what it is, snippet local history as it were, but mostly I just get them for the items and the XP!

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Levelling – you as the Trainer have a level. You get XP by catching pokemon, evolving pokemon, battling gyms and just generally playing the game. As you level up, you can bump into rarer and rarer Pokemon, and you get better items. I’ve just hit level 12 today, and I now have access to great balls. No idea yet if there is a cap or not, but the increase per level in now a flat rate, rather than increasing, so I only ever need 10,000 XP to level. At the moment at least.

Pokemon levelling is a bit different. Especially from the games. Rather than a level, every Pokemon has a CP rating – Combat Power. It will have a minimum and a maximum, and you can raise this up by feeding them dust and candy. Dust is generic, candy is specific to a Pokemon and it’s evolution chain. So Squirtle has Squirtle candy (Wartortle and Blastoise will also use Squirtle candy) and Caterpie has Caterpie candy. You get both of these by catching the Pokemon, 100 dust and 3 candies for each catch (candy will be appropriate to the pokemon you catch. Caught a Magikarp? 3 Magikarp candy obtained.) Evolving a pokemon is also done with candy. Depending on how rare the Pokemon is, and what stage in the evolution chain, it may take 12, 25, 50 ore more candy to evolve them. The most I’ve seen is Magikarp to Gyarados, which takes 400 candy. Going to need a lot of those…

It’s a fairly simplified system (once you get used to it) but it works really well for the mobile game. Basically, it means that you just need to get out there and catch a lot of Pokemon, the same type of Pokemon, to get the evolutions and complete your Pokedex. Oh, and there are Eggs. Eggs also drop from Pokestops and you hatch them by walking. An Egg will need 2km, 5km or 10km to hatch it, so yes, I’ve been doing a lot of walking.

Last mechanical bit are gyms. There are three teams – Instinct Yellow, Valour Red and Mystic Blue, each symbolised by one of the three legendary birds Zapdos, Moltres and Articuno. These are for Gyms battles. Like Pokestops, Gyms are locations, and when you claim a gym, you claim in for your team. If you are in that team, you can bolster the gym by putting your Pokemon in there (up to the gym maximum, which you can increase through battling) and if you’re one of the two opposing teams, you battle it to try and knockout their Pokemon and take the Gym for yourself. It’s the part I’m least interested in, and I haven’t yet got the hang of the battling system, which is a mix of dodging, hitting and then a special move which for the life of me I can never get to trigger. But, it is fun, and my friends certainly like doing it, so I usually go around and shore up the other gyms for my team. Blue forever!

PokemonGoStarters

So, that’s the game explained in some detail. My thoughts and feelings? I love it. Like, really, really love it. That’s not to say there aren’t issues, the servers are a bit up and down, because the company didn’t expect it to be so popular so they’re doing a bit of firefighting at the moment, and the official release has been delayed in Europe (I, like a lot of people, am playing through a mirror) because of this. There are also some bugs, including one which means the Pokemon you are battling in the gym gets to 1HP, and then stays there, which is a driving factor behind me not really getting into the gym part of the game because it’s no fun to waste all your potions because of a bug.

The game is a huge drain on the battery life of the phone, and it doesn’t track things properly (like the distance walked for hatching eggs) when it’s in sleep mode, so you kind of have to keep it active the whole time. I can get about 2.5-3 hours from a fully charged phone, but I’ve already missed out on some nice Pokemon (there was a Scyther near the bus stop last night) because of a dead battery. But, this one I can fix by ordering a charger pack, which should be here sometime this week.

Now for the positives – I have done more walking in the past weekend than I can remember doing for a long time. Possible Empire/LRP levels of walking around, which is saying a lot. Motivation is high, and I really do want to get out of the house and go look for more Pokemon.

My friends are playing it as well, and as has already happened over the weekend, small group of us can get together and go walk around town, making it easier to track down Pokemon as we split off into different direction and then shout to each other when we find them. That, and we bump into other people, usually strangers who you’ve never met before, but who are also playing the game, and have a little chat. That rare pokemon is over there, caught anything nice today, gyms battles, I just feel like I had a bunch of small interactions that I wouldn’t have had without the game, and they’ve all been positive and it’s just great to feel that sense of community with other people.

And finally – I GET TO CATCH POKEMON! Me! My own pokedex! At the moment it’s only the first 150, but I hear there are plans to expand that out to the other generations at some points, trading will come in as well, and I have no idea what might be happening with the legendaries, but I can’t wait to see. In the meantime, I’ve got about 50 Pokemon in my Pokedex, including a Dratini! My next big thing is to get a Growlithe, and then evolve both of them up! I can’t wait to get back out there and catch more!

PokemonGoVulpix

My Vulpix!

Dragons Race to the Edge Season 3

Season 3! Came out very a fortnight ago and it’s great! Admittedly, I don’t know if there’s anything that the series could do to make me think that it isn’t great, but I really enjoyed it. I will say right now there are going to be some spoilers. I’ll try and coat things in generalities, but some stuff will slip out.

DRTTE ViggoSo, we start with a twist surprise, and old enemy turning out to actually have a change of heart! And the new enemy, oh my dragons the new enemy is kind of scary, and dangerous, and really, really clever, which is so nice to see. It’s someone that even Hiccup has trouble pitching his wits against! And just when you think he might have figured him out, bam! Turns out the guy was thinking six steps ahead of them the whole time. Just, so very well done that evil genius.

People and dragons from previous series turn up, along with the customary new dragons introduced, although it’s not quite one an episode as it was with other series. Still, the imagination and creation of these new dragons is amazing, and it’s great to see what they come up with next. I quite liked the episode where Gobber meets Grump (the dragon he has in the second movie), it’s very sweet.

DRTTE BuffalordSpeaking of old people, Heather! I always like seeing her, and the interaction between her and Astrid. Easily the most competent people in the team. Well, Hiccup and Toothless as well. But having the girls be the main combat force? Excellent.

Overall, I really enjoy this next instalment of the series. 13 new episode in total, and there will be a season 6, so I’m just ready and waiting for that. How do I know there’s a season 6? Well, for one, the internet tells me there will be, and two – they end the series on this AMAZING CLIFFHANGER. Seriously, it pains me that I will have to wait dragons know how long to find out how that’s going to resolve itself, let alone all the other stuff from the series.

All in all, I am very happy, and there is yet another dose of dragons in my life.

Writing Projects

Right. So. Been having a tiny bit of trouble with the writing lately, as I have mentioned. Flash fiction challenges are going some way to getting me back into the swing of things, however, flash fiction is not my novels, and I probably should be working on those.

In the continuing interests of picking back up writing in a proper fashion, I am going to list (read: ramble on a bit) about my current writing projects, which are all my novel projects. I do this in the hope that actually listing out what I could be working on will help my brain to transition back onto working on them. That, and given that I have quite a few projects on the go, this isn’t a terrible thing to do from an organising point of view either.

 

LightningArchmage

1st Draft – Completed.

Story has been split into 3 parts (It might turn out to be a trilogy, it is getting to that length)

2nd Draft – Part 1 Completed. Part 2 Started. Part 3 As yet untouched.

So, Archmage. It’s a beast of a thing at the moment, and I did a lot of work on it during the first couple of months of the year, but then I finished re-writing the first part, and sort of never got into the swing of re-writing the second. Well, there’s like 5,000 words in there. What I think I need is to find a suitable beta reader (or poke my beta reader into actually reading the first part) and then so some blocking out of what happens in scenes and then tweak them so rather than just editing each chapter as I come to it, I edit the higher level structures of the book. I’m pretty sure Part 1 is going to need another re-write, so that seems like the sensible idea. It’s just hard since I’m a pantser, not a planner, but the story will be better for it.

 

black wingsBlack Dawn

1st Draft – So terrible it was abandoned

1st Draft (Take 2) – Started

So Black Dawn was the novel I wrote for my first ever NaNoWriMo. I’ve learnt a lot since then, and I can safely say that what I wrote back in, 2011 (man, old feeling) is a pile of crap. But, the characters were there, and the setting had something, so it went into the drawer for a while, and now I’ve got a shiny new plot and setting tweaks and I think it can work now, I just need to write it. I’m, let’s see, a couple of chapters into starting this. It’s been a very on off sort of project.

 

magnificent_mazeEidetic

1st Draft – In Progress

This was last years (2015) NaNoWriMo project. And it was going well, I got to 75K words, it wasn’t too hard to write. Except, then November finished, and I haven’t even really looked at it since. Not entirely sure why, but, I think I started to see holes. I know what I want to happen in the second half/ending, but, there’s a few holes between where I got up to and that point, and I’m not sure if it’s a satisfying story, and I just seemed to lose the point of it a little. I’m certain that actually it’s not as bad as I think it is, and there is life in the novel, I probably just need to re-read it, and then think about the plot in a little more depth before I continue writing it.

 

MechanicaMechanica Awakening

1st Draft – Completed

1st Edit – In Progress

Another NaNoWriMo book. To be fair, I do a lot of writing in NaNo, it’s only this year that I have seriously started to concentrate on stuff outside of that month, from editing to new material. This one, I wrote the first draft and it’s the first one where I feel like the 1st draft isn’t going to be a million miles from the last draft. It felt complete, rounded, and sure it needs some editing, but the story is there. (Personally, I have a distinction: Re-writing is when there are still plot holes and major writing left to do; Editing is for when the story is there and only minor tweaks need to happen. Mostly at the moment I am re-writing rather than editing, but, that’s because I know most of my stories aren’t finished yet) I did start, was working on it last summer, but again, fallen on a back burner a little bit. I was also doing this editing by hand, which was probably a mistake. I think it’d be easy enough to pick up again.

 

fantasy-pharmacyQuiet Poison

1st Draft – In Progress

One of the few novels I have not written in NaNo. Actually, I only had the idea for this one at the start of the year, so it’s the newest idea that’s actually been written down. It’s going in scenes at the moment. So I find a bit of the book I want to write, write that particular scene, and then when I’ve got enough of them I’ll work out how to string them all together. It’s a very fun project, with intrigue, assassins, relationships, death, and an awesome setting I’ve been crafting with my sounding board. He’s great. This is the one I should be writing, or at least the one I feel I should be writing, because there’s a kickstarter I backed where you can have your words printed on a scarf and this is the project that might actually come in under the limit of 40K (I’m a fantasy writer, novels run long for me typically) but I do actually have to write it up to that much. It’s on about 25K at the moment.

 

Supernatural

Draft – ???

Bit of an odd project this one. It’s the first novel I ever wrote, when I was 14. It was, complete trash, as might be expected of a first ever novel attempt, let alone one written at a young age. But, the main character never went away. There’s, well, there’s ideas and scenes, but nothing that I would call a solid plot, so it’s hard to count this as anything resembling an active project, but she’s always there, in the back of my brain.

 

And that’s it for active projects. Or, you know, projects on the backburner. I have a lot of other ideas for novels (Court of Ice, Firebird, Shapechangers) and other projects that keep me writing but aren’t novels (mainly fanfiction type things, or me fluff writing about my characters in various games. Werewolf, princess, D&D). It’s been good to remind myself of them. Maybe now I can actually go and write something on one of them.

Friday came and went, and with it, another Flash Fiction Challenge from Chuck Wendig. This time, he gave us 1,000 words and the theme of Insomnia. Apparently, he’d been having a little trouble sleeping when he came up with this week’s theme, so I can see why he choose it. For my piece this week, I’ve tied it into a tabletop game in which I am currently playing – Princess the Hopeful. I mention it a bit here, and considering that these magical girls often stay up late and give up sleep to protect the world and attempt to have a normal life, I though that this was the perfect theme to explore that a little bit. So Lucy/Aegis is my character (name changes happened), and this is a tiny extract from her life as a Princess, fighting to forces of darkness.

tired_warrior_by_nenee

Insomnia

Lucy was still up, sitting with her back against the sofa, coursework spread out on the table in front of her. A yawn cracked her jaw open, and she rubbed her eye, but even as she indicated sleep, she had no intention of seeking her bed tonight.

“Lucy?”

A tiny, tired voice came from the doorway through to the bedroom. Lucy looked up, and a smile of warmth came across her face as she spied her sister. Putting her pen down, she easily climbed to her feet, and crossed the short distance to room.

“What’s my little princess doing awake, hey?”

“Had a bad dream,” Imogen’s face looked a little sad, as she rubbed her eyes from the light still on in the living room.

Lucy reached down, easily picking her sister up and settling her on her hip. Imogen snuggled her face into her shoulder as Lucy gave her a reassuring hug.

“Was it the same one as last time, with your teacher?”

“Different one. You were there. And the monster was there. And the monster was trying to eat me, but you wouldn’t let it, so then it ate you instead.”

Lucy closed her eyes, letting the words fade along with the stab of emotions that they had brought forward. She turned her head and kissed her sister’s head, “I promise. No monsters are going to eat you.”

“What about you?”

“No monster are going to eat me either,” she kissed her forehead again, and then walked into the dark bedroom, quietly so as not to disturbed their brother, who was sprawled out over his thin bed.

Settling Imogen back down on the bed, Lucy tucked the duvet in around her, and paused on the edge of the bed, smiling down at her sister.

“You coming to sleep soon?”

“I’ll come when I’m finished princess.”

“You’re never finished.”

Lucy smiled, “Seems that way sometimes,” she leaned forward to kiss her sister a final time, “You go back to sleep now. Have a nice dream, for me, okay?”

“Okay,” her sister was already mumbling the words, eyes closing. It was nice to see her slip back into sleep so easily, as Lucy quietly got up, and slipped back out into the living room.

Another half hour went by, pen scratching away at the coursework, until her phone vibrated on the table, and she flicked a glance at the screen. Time to go to work.

Hood pulled up, trainers on, Lucy slipped out of the front door, careful to lock it behind her, before she slipped out into the dead city, dark and creepy as midnight approached, only the occasional unbroken street lamp throwing out golden light against the black of the night.

She met up with her fellows just outside Utopia’s place. Ray was bouncing on the heels of her feet, and Flora was running up from the end of the street, ponytail bobbing wildly as she assumed she was late.

She skidded to a halt by them, doubling over, slightly out of breath, “Sorry….I’m…late.”

“It’s fine Flora, you aren’t late,” Utopia reassured her.

Lucy reached out a hand, stroking the head of the red panda that was sitting on Utopia’s shoulder. Elisa purred slightly under the touch, but then shook her head, and frowned. As if it was unbecoming for a shikigami to receive such attention.

“I think I’ve got a lead on the darkened we’re chasing. Might have a place he uses as a hide out,” Elisa said.

“Is Devlin coming with us?” Lucy looked over at Utopia, who, predictably, turned a faint pink colour at the mention of him.

“Ah, no. He’s sitting this one out.”

“Willingly, unwillingly, or did you tire him out?”

“Aegis!”

Lucy grinned at her, and then let it drop.

“Come on you two, stop teasing each other and let’s go!” Ray had already Transformed, her magic settling over her to form the familiar cloak from which she would pull the exact item that they needed at the time.

Lucy, closed her eyes, and felt the customary weight of her armour settling on her, the plates shifting as she rolled her shoulders, easy to move in, but still offering her that protection she needed, as she made the slight mental shift from Lucy to Aegis. It wasn’t a big difference, but there was something about being Transformed which leant itself to her Princess name.

“My sister had another dream tonight.”

“Oh?”

“A monster was trying to eat her, but then I got in the way and it ate me instead.”

“Hm. Given the level of potential reality in that, I’m starting to believe that your sister might be a Beacon.”

“Certainly possible. If not now than in the future. She is only five after all.”

“True. In the meantime, we’ll work on not getting you eaten by the big bad monsters.”

Aegis smiled, “Out of all the things I think the darkspawn will do, eating me is not my biggest worry.”

The night was long, and active, as the four of them chased the darkened and his darkspawn minions through the city, herding him into an area that it was safe for them to fight him in.

Flora was frowning as she looked over the clawed wounds in Aegis’s side, her bracelets sprouting flowers as she attempted to magically heal the wound.

“That’s about as much as I can do, sorry Aegis.”

She grimaced as the wound were touched again, “S’fine. I can hide this without too much trouble. I’m just glad for once they didn’t go for you.”

Flora gave her a sympathetic smile as Aegis let her sword and shield and armour evaporate, changing back into her mortal appearance, hoody and sneakers not at all beaten up from the night’s activities.

Lucy quietly slipped back through her front door, the clock on the oven blinking that it was four in the morning at her, as she padded through into the bedroom.

Both of her siblings were still asleep, and she let out a sigh of relief as she stripped down, lying on the thing bed next to her sister’s.

Even though she had college in the morning, and even though she had been running all over the city, tiring herself out, when her head hit the pillow, her eyes remained open, looking up at the ceiling, images and memories flooding through her head.

It wasn’t uncommon for this to happen at night. The memories of failure, the worry of the women who was behind all of this, pulling the strings on her puppets. And most of the fear that something would happen to her siblings, that she wouldn’t be there, that she would fail to protect them if she was.

Lucy sighed again, turning her head to look at her sleeping sister.

As long as she lived and breathed, she wouldn’t stop fighting for them. No matter what.

Almost Dragons

For this week’s dragon post, I thought that although finding some nice pictures of dragons would be excellent, I wanted to write something about dragons, since I haven’t done that properly since my ‘Dragons of the World’ series at the end of last year. So I rummaged around a little bit and came up with today’s topic – almost dragons.

What do I mean by that? It struck me that in a fair few novels, stories and other media that are around, you can have dragons, but you also have creatures, often small ones, that are related to dragons, but not dragons.

SparklingExamples: In the Dragonriders of Pern has fire-lizards, arm length miniature dragons (which the dragons are rumoured to be bred from), Natural History of Dragon series by Marie Brennan has sparklings, again, tiny creatures that resemble dragons but often highly debated as being related to them. The Penneykettle dragons from The Last Dragon Chronicles by Chris d’Lacey are different from the dragons of the old tales.

Of course, these are different from pygmy, tiny, nano, or just generally small or juvenile dragons. Dragons come in a large variety of shapes and sizes. For instance, in How To Train Your Dragon book you have nanodragons, which are almost too small to be seen with the naked eye, and in the TV show you have Fireworms, Smothering Smokebreaths, and Terrible Terrors, but despite being small, all of them are regarded as dragons.

So what’s the point of them? I always viewed almost dragons as some sort of bridge, whether narrative, or biologically, or socially. A narrative bridge would be that you meet the almost dragon, and successful interaction with it can lead you to the larger dragons, or there’s some plot device that the almost dragon fulfils that the dragons don’t. I’ve got, well, a couple of ideas for dragons novels in my head, and they do use almost dragons. The ones in my current idea are almost exactly like dragons, except tiny and they don’t have the elemental breath. I’m also hesitant to write a dragon novel, because I love dragons so much and when I do write the novel I want it to be something I’m really proud of. So, that’s mostly in the background right now.

fire lizards menollys broodBiologically, there’s a few stories where dragons evolved from almost dragons, or almost dragons have some sort of genetic link to dragons. Dragonriders of Pern is a good example of this without going into too much detail. Social links sort of cross over with the narrative stuff I mentioned above, dragons are usually intelligent, and almost dragons are often less so, but good interactions with them lay ground work for future interactions with both types.

Actually, having said about novel ideas, I do have an idea where there are almost dragons, and the dragons (or dragon, singular, as is actually the case) can change their size, from the almost dragons, up to the size of mountains, so they can blend in with the almost dragons when they need to. Size changing seems like a cool mechanic to explore as well, and allows for greater plot movement, because if you were the size of a mountain, then there’d only be certain times where that’s useful.

Before I ramble on too much, I’ll finish there. But can you think of any other book or shows or movie that employ almost dragons in them? I’m sure I’ve missed some, and I love getting new books recommendations.

So, to get back into the swing of writing, I’ve being doing some more of the flash fiction challenges. Just 1,000 or 1,500 word things. Helps get me back into the pattern of daily writing because none of my ongoing projects are speaking to me right now and I know I should be writing because I’ve been having a terrible month in that regard. To help with this I went back through the archives of one Chuck Wendig and pulled out the Friday challenges. I hadn’t been keeping up with them until this week, but they were still there and the inspiration still stands, so I’ve been doing a few of those. And I just kind of liked what I came out with today for this one, so I thought I’d post it.

New plan for the blog is a Monday/early week post about writing and a Thursday/late week post about dragons. That’s my minimum that I’m aiming for, so if I get more than that, I’ll call it a win. Look out for a dragon post tomorrow or Friday as well. But, without further rambling on by me, here’s some more flash fiction.

Must Contain a Map

                Iva finished one last symbol, and then reached out to drop her quill back into the pot of ink, she’d clean it out later. Making a ‘come’ motion with her fingers, the tiny fire sprite rolled over, settling onto the stone weight in the corner before it flared up slightly, waves of warmth spreading out over the roll of parchment, the ink drying out, a rippling effect outwards from where the sprite sat.

She sighed as she leaned back, yet another request for a map completed. Looking around the oddly shape room, there were maps, both finished and unfinished, hanging up all around, the walls only seen in a few places now that their business was booming.

The fire sprit chirped at her, and she looked back down to the map as it rolled away. Carefully, she rolled it up into a tight scroll, then rummaging around in the single drawer under the desk, finding a ribbon to tie the map up with.

A thud, a jingle, and floor gently shook underneath her. Good thing she had finished the map when she did, not least because the dragonborn was the customer who has requested this rush job.

Petting the fire sprite, she exited the room, scroll in hand, and went down to the main shop area, giving her cousin a quick head ruffle as he hid behind the doorframe, eyes huge at the massive creature that stood in the middle of the shop.

“You did say a rush job would mean three hours,” the deep, rumbling voice said.

“I did, although you did ask for a very complicated job Dagnath, I’m sure it will done soon.”

“Now, in fact,” Iva smiled as the dragonborn and her Uncle Aldrick, “The map that you requested sir, finished but a minute ago.”

Dagnath took the scroll from her used delicately used one claw to untied the ribbon, rolling out the scroll so he could examine it.

“Excellent detail, a very fine map indeed.”

Iva came him a small smile of appreciation, then moved back, letting her uncle, who looked a little relieved at her timing, take over to manage the business part of the transaction.

As she was turning to walk back to her work room, she noticed a human, male, curiously examining some of the maps that were framed on the wall, examples of what they could produce. He was wearing cloth, not quite robes, but she recognised some of the symbols and paraphernalia hanging from his belt. An arcane caster of some kind.

He twitched slightly, and then looked up, noticing her watching him. Iva ducked her head away, not wanting to be rude, and gave her cousins another head ruffle as she went back up to her room to resume work on another map.

Sunset came, throwing long shadows over her work, and Iva decided to stop, putting her pen down, before stretching her arms up to the ceiling. The tiny fire sprite, which kept her company, rolling around the desk most of the time, was given a tiny lump of coal, good to keep it occupied for the night, before she left the room.

Leaving her family to dinner, she kissed her uncle’s cheek as he wrestled with one of the twins over the ladle, and left the shop, walking into town.

Stopping by her usual bar, she picked up a bottle of sweet wine, and exited out into the cooling air, walking along her familiar path to the outskirts of town, and up the hill, to the forest of the natural landscape around the town.

Here she could drink her wine in peace, and she could look over one side to see the town sprawled out beneath her, and on the other, the tamed expanses of nature, growing darker as the sun disappeared beneath the horizon.

“Mind if I join you?”

Iva looked up, blinking as she recognised the arcanist from the shop, earlier in the day, “Uh. No. Not really.”

He flopped down on the grassy hill, sprawling out as he relaxed, “Nice confluence up here.”

“Sorry?”

“Confluence. Place where magical rivers join up with each other? No?” he frowned, “Sorry, thought you were a caster, you’ve got a pact after all.”

Iva looked down at the back of her hand, where an invisible symbol was etched onto the back of her hand, “Oh, no. That got done for me by a sorcerer in town. And it’s just to the smallest fire sprite you could ever meet. Kept happy with firewood, otherwise I’d never maintain it. I’m not a mage at all, or anything else really. Just a commoner.”

“A commoner who makes exceptionally good maps.”

She shrugged, “Have to earn money somehow.”

He smiled, “Quinn, by the way.”

“Iva.”

“So what brings you up here Iva?”

“The view. And it’s quiet. Well, normally. Ah, sorry, that probably came out wrong.”

Quinn smiled, “No offense taken. Adventurers, by our very nature, tend to intrude on things.”

“You’re with the dragonborn, Dagnath?”

“Aye, I’m with him. And a few others as well, of course.”

“Going up to the Phirith region, yes?”

“Well you did draw us the map.”

Iva gave a small smile, “The city up there is meant to be spectacular, surrounded by water on three sides, they’ve never had a drought, the architecture is astounding, I’ve seen pictures,” she paused for a second, “I’d love to visit someday,” she said quietly, internally anticipating the next question.

“Tied down with the family?” Quinn looked over at her sympathy on his face.

Iva blinked, and looked over at him, startled by the lack of the typical response, “Not tied down per se. Well, yes. But I love them, it’s no burden to stay here.”

“Your uncle runs the shop, but you make the maps? I guess even if you wanted to take a holiday that would mean less, even no money being earned.”

“There’s a small backlog of standard maps, but mostly the custom work and the rush jobs bring in the most money. And everywhere I’d want to visit is pretty far away,” she studied him a little closer, “You know, this isn’t how this conversation with adventurers usually goes.”

“Oh, I can imagine. ‘Well why don’t you? Just up and leave, it’s easy.’ That sort of thing?”

Iva nodded.

Quinn smiled, and shook his head, “Adventurers are funny people. And I know the irony of saying that as one myself. We don’t really have the ties that normal people have, family, jobs, friends. Well, okay, that last one is a bit of an overstatement. I have lots of friends. But, getting up and walking out the door into the wide world? Yeah, not as easy as people think.”

“Not everyone wants to either. I mean, I’d love to visit places, but, I love my family, and I like my work, I do. That, and going around, killing monsters, camping out, actual down to earth adventuring? Yeah, doesn’t sound like my cup of tea.”

“It is really exciting. About twenty percent of the time. Seventy percent is travelling and camping and moving, and the other ten percent is trying to find money to buy all the things we need to keep living and adventuring. Honestly, I have no idea why I still do it.”

Iva looked back over him, and there was a smirk on his face as he talked, looking up at the stars.

“Liar.”

Quinn grinned at her in response. Then shifted forward, and drew a symbol in front of him, “Name a place.”

“Sorry?”

“A place you want to visit. Name one.”

Iva blinked, “Uh, Oresmitt.”

“Haven’t been there, pick again.”

“Brulon then.”

There was another symbol, and a shimmering surface expanded over the grass in front of them, resolving itself into an image of a city.

Iva felt her mouth fall open slightly, leaning forward on her knees as she examined the city from, well, it would be the point of view of Quinn’s memories she suspected. She could see the stout building’s that were typical of dwarven architecture, a pub on every street, sometimes two, and lots of the smaller sized humanoids bustling about, flowing around the viewpoint as it moved around the city.

“Might be second hand visiting, but I think it still counts right?” Quinn still had the grin on his face as Iva looked up at him.

“Yeah, it can count.”

Quinn hadn’t been to everywhere in the world, mostly the northern and north-eastern parts, but that was still a view that she’d never had the chance to have before, and she was ecstatic as he showed her his memories of the various places he’d visited.

Midnight had drawn near, and the bottle of wine had been drunk, as they walked back down the hill to the town again.

“Thank you. Really, that was…so nice of you.”

“Nice?” Quinn laughed, “I’ll take nice.”

Iva ducked her head and blushed, then looked over to him again, “I know you said you’re going tomorrow, but, if you ever do come back this way, look me up again. I don’t suppose I’ll have gone anywhere. And, well, I’d love to see your memories of Phirith.”

Standing on tip toes to reach, she kissed him on the cheek, and then turned away to walk back to the shop.

“Count on it!”

Iva smiled to herself, without turning back as Quinn called out after her. If he really did come back, then she was looking forward to more second hand visiting.

map_of_eltar_by_fragless

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