The Nighttime Dragon


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Chapter 3, the conclusion of Arnd and the First Winter, is finally done!

Here’s a snip:

On the first day of Spring, Ailin woke with the dawn and the loud cracking sound of the ice in the river breaking apart, followed by the rushing noise as the water began rushing to make up for the time lost while it was frozen. She rushed outside, seeing that nearly all of the snow had melted, and that the first shoots of the brave flowers were poking up through the last of the winter’s white.

When Auntie Nem finally woke, somewhat later than that, she found that the table was already set for breakfast, and that Ailin had not only decorated the house with fresh flowers, but also prepared their morning porridge. Surprised and pleased, she asked the young girl, “To what do I owe this wonderful surprise, Ailin? It is not like you to rise early and do work without being asked!”

Giggling, the girl eagerly lead her grandmother to her place at the table and then plopped herself down on her chair. “I want you to finissh the story of the First Winter! The snow and the ice are going, and you promised if I was good you would tell me!”

Auntie Nem laughed and then nodded, beginning the tale between spoonfuls of porridge.

“The Great Hero had faced a terrible trial just to get where he was, but that was nothing compared to his meeting with the Nighttime Dragon itself…

You can find the whole thing over at deviantArt!

Introducing Nepenthe


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Nepenthe Starbound

Name: Nepenthe

Age: ?? (She doesn’t keep track since she took to the stars, somewhere around 20 years if you forced her to guess)

Race: Floran

Favorite Color: Purple

Favorite Flavor: Meat she hasn’t tasted yet

Favorite Planet: <points randomly to a star> “One in that ssysstem! Floran sshall go find it!”

Personal History:

After sprouting on some distant, unnamed backwater planet, Nepenthe had to fend for herself. Arid deserts where the temperature reached 150 degrees Fahrenheit, soupy jungles with 95% relative humidity and an ambient temperature of 110 degrees, wide salty oceans, boiling freshwater lakes full of acrid runoff… a paradise for a survivalist, an excitement-seeker, an explorer. Rarely did she encounter other intelligent life there; primitive tribes grown savage by the pressure of the vicious local wildlife and explorers on their last expedition were the most common. She taught herself to hunt with vine snares, poisoned thorns, and spears of sharpened greenwood. She ate anything she could catch at first, finding that each new flavor was a magical experience… and the second tasting devoid of pleasure. Her restlessness joined with her voracious appetite and drove her to travel farther and farther from the ruined laboratory which held her spawning-vine until after eighteen years, she discovered that there were no new places and no magical flavors left on her world. Her despair at this, the emptiness inside, found her staring up into the stars for hours or even days at a time, imagining what those motes of light might be, what strange creatures lived up there…

And then one day a ship came. A pair of Apex explorers found the planet. Perhaps they were seeking supplies, or perhaps something in that vine-covered, ruined building she spawned in had called them there. She didn’t know; didn’t even think to care about why and how and who. All she could think as she raced through the jungles to their landing-site was that her wishing had finally come true. She found the ship in a clearing, one of the explorers tending to a small fire and the other in the jungle, looking for something. Seeing a creature she had never before tasted or even imagined drove her into a frenzy and before his screams had even reached the ears of his compatriot, she had already speared him, rent him limb from limb, and half-devoured him. A new flavor after years of emptiness… she was in ecstasy. And there his companion found her, her leaves wet with his blood and her vine-whips still binding his severed appendages. Perhaps she would have escaped if she hadn’t been violently ill at the horrific scene, or perhaps one of the venomous plant-beasts that roamed the jungles would have gotten her instead. Hearing her retching, Nepenthe turned, bound her, and fed on her as well, frenzied and joyous.

She knew that this ship would take her to the places she had dreamed of. She climbed aboard and somehow, instinctively, she sealed the door and activated the launch procedure. As her tendrils danced across the control panels, she finally wondered:

How do I know how to do this? Why am I filled with such certainty that this is where I should be?

The launching jets burned away a chunk of foliage and revealed, for a short time, an old, scarred metal sign, lettering in an old Apex dialect barely readable, though the only creatures to see them before the jungle reclaimed them were vine-hounds and thorn-beasts.

Botanical Sapience Research Facility 3

Quarantine Level Black

Extreme Danger

It took her nearly a year to reach her first new planet, the ship’s warning klaxons screaming that it was low on fuel, air, and water. In that year she found the ship’s records system, an encyclopedic collection of botanical research data from a multispecies scientific research initiative. She taught herself to read in three sapient languages, and then using the interstellar radio, learned to speak. Arriving at a planet that was, from the records, life-bearing and harboring exciting new meats (and fuel, too, though she barely registered that at first) she prepared herself for her very first trip down to an alien surface. Stepping into the ship’s space-to-surface transporter, she could barely contain the shivers of excitement that rippled through her limbs as she imagined the ways she could finally sate that gnawing hunger…

For a time, at least.

Elder Scrolls Online


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So I’ve been really enjoying Elder Scrolls Online the last few weeks.

It has just the right combination of things that I love from the Elder Scrolls series (exploration, character customization, tons of clothes, awesome lore and setting) and things that I love from MMOs (lots of people, RP, playing with friends.)

It’s basically what I hoped it would be. There’re a few things that could be better (aren’t there always?) but overall, it seems to be making a strong showing.

Let me introduce to you Brielle Shadowlorn; alchemist, assassin, thief, and vampire queen:

Brielle Shadowlorn

Also, I’ve been working on a comprehensive collection of the various armor styles in the game, to use as a reference for folks interested in customizing their appearance. While there’s not yet a system to transform equipped gear into a different appearance, there’re some great gear manager addons which make it a snap to dress for the situation, whether it is combat or a dinner party!

That thread is over here:

‘s all for now!

Eulogy for a Spaceship: Republic Fleet Firetail ‘Zephyr’


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First, let me introduce what I intend to be a regular feature here, ‘Eulogy for a Spaceship’. I keep a number of various ships fitted for player-versus-player combat, and I try to make sure to learn from every engagement. As happens to anything used in combat, all ships are eventually destroyed; they deserve recognition for their faithful service, with links to the Battleclinic Killboard record of each fight. So, without further ado, the first Eulogy:

‘Zephyr’, Republic Fleet Firetail

Firetail - ZephyrThe Firetail is one of my favorite hulls, and this ship was an excellent example of why. Fast and agile, it could chase down and pounce on most other ships. Its small size and agility meant that it could orbit very close and very fast, and its excellent tracking meant that it would take advantage of that by maintaining an extremely high angular velocity.

‘Zephyr’ had a number of successful engagements:

Bunny Sando’s Thrasher and Capsule, total value: ~2.6m ISK

Bunny SandoThrasher 731x731

Thrashers have excellent tracking and a huge amount of damage potential, but suffer from the inability to fit much in the way of a defense; the key to killing one in a frigate is to get close fast and outspeed their tracking, because even with their tracking bonuses, their larger signature radius means that you can apply more of your damage potential than they can. That strategy worked well here, and the destroyer wasn’t able to hurt her very much.

agurina’s Federation Navy Comet, total value: ~34.5m ISK

agurinaFederation Navy Comet 871x871The Gallente Navy’s cognate to the Firetail, the Comet also has high speed and agility. Much like the projectile weapons that the Firetail uses, its hybrid guns have two varieties: railguns and blasters. Railguns are typically long range weapons, taking advantage of the extremely high rate of fire and accuracy to compensate for their lower damage. ‘Zephyr’ had two advantages in this fight: its speed and ability to close rapidly kept the railguns from hitting very well, and its Energy Neutralizer was able to drain the Comet’s capacitor and disable its primary weapon. Ultimately, this proved fatal to the opponent.

CapsulaMortem’s Tormentor, total value: ~11.4m ISK

CapsulaMortemTormentor 704x704The Tormentor is one of the Amarr Empire’s basic frigate designs. It is capable of high damage output, and its energy weapons use less capacitor than many similar ships. However, it suffers from a lack of tracking speed, and as with the hybrid weapons of the Comet, its damage can be nullified by draining the ship’s capacitor. Further to the detriment of this particular ship, its active armor tank also required a high amount of energy. Thus, its power sapped and its guns outsped, it quickly turned into a brilliant explosion and a cloud of debris.

Gennesu’s Breacher and Capsule, total value: ~2.9m ISK

GennesuBreacher 820x820The Breacher is the Minmatar Republic’s primary frigate-sized missile platform. Its ability to launch many rockets or light missiles in rapid succession make it quite dangerous to many ships. However, the Firetail’s small size and high speed make it quite resistant to the damage dealt by those weapon systems. Without a particularly hardy defense, the Breacher quickly broke apart under Zephyr’s guns.

Caedmon SilverFalcon’s Atron and Capsule, total value: ~1.9m ISK

Caedmon SilverFalconAtron 891x891The Atron is one of the most common frigates in the Gallente Navy. Its populatiry and ready availability are the best explanation for this quite under-equipped specimen. Taking a ship into a warzone with so many empty equipment slots essentially guarantees its destruction, and this was not an exception.

bp nagazie 2’s Rifter, total value: ~5.7m ISK

bp nagazie 2Rifter 832x832Fast, agile, and sporting a relatively high number of weapons, the Rifter is the mainstay of the Minmatar Republic’s frigate fleet. This particular specimen was equipped with heavy armor and larger guns than Zephyr, which proved to be its undoing. It was unable to keep up or to bring its weapons into position to get any damage applied to her, and it too burned quickly. Most of the value in this particular engagement was in its cargo hold, rather than attached to the hull.

bp nagazie 1’s Bantam, total value: ~88,000 ISK

bp nagazie 1Bantam 776x776There isn’t much to say about this engagement except that a ship with nothing equipped to it really shouldn’t be in a warzone.


Vorgat Zog’s Condor, total value: ~8.5m ISK

Vorgat ZogCondor 851x851The Condor is similar in design intent to the Breacher, though its Caldari designers favor solid construction and strong shields rather than the Minmatar’s focus on speed. This particular ship was also equipped with a secondary defense, electronic warfare equipment that impeded the opponent’s ability to track its movements with their guns. Unfortunately for him, Zephyr’s excellent tracking was far in excess of that needed to hit it and so it buckled quickly under the barrage.

Total victory value: ~67m ISK

Total loss: ~23.2m ISK

Final ratio: ~3:1

Sadly, there isn’t much to learn from Zephyr’s final engagement; her destruction was more due to inattention on the pilot’s part. Undocking in the border system of Aranir, she was nearly immediately engaged by between five and ten enemy pilots and quickly destroyed. If any moral can be taken, it is to be prepared at all times for the enemy, even when you expect to be safe.

That’s it for today. Remember, keep your eyes open and your guns warm!




I neglected you for too long, my poor blog. Have some pretty pictures.


What the title says!

"His Light shields us from harm, and our faith in the Emperor never wavers. Charge the cannon and return fire!" - Unknown Ship's Captain, Final Words

“His Light shields us from harm, and our faith in the Emperor never wavers. Charge the cannon and return fire!” – Unknown Ship’s Captain, Final Words

It holds the life of one, but it is so easy for another with knowledge to drain it.

It holds the life of one, but it is so easy for another with knowledge to drain it.


Go see the other things I made at !


The Ice In The Sky


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Part two of Arnd’s wintry tale is up on my dA! Here’s a snippet:


Several days later, most of the ponds and streams in the forest had completely frozen over. Once the weather cleared, the morning air was cool and still. The old woman brought her young charge out to skate on the ice for the very first time. After a wonderful day of exploration and exertion, the pair returned to the small house and sat down to enjoy a stew of small game and root vegetables. As they finished their meal, Ailin looked up at her grandmother and said, “Auntie Nem, I wanna hear more of the story about the hero and the winter!”

Auntie Nem laughed and cleared the cookware away, letting the cauldron of stew keep warm over the hot coals in the fire. “Alright, child. I think you’ve earned the next part with the help you gave me in preparing this wonderful stew.” She settled herself in her rocking chair, spread a blanket over her knees, and leaned close to the fire.

“After a long and lonely climb, Arnd reached the shores of the Heavenly Sea…

The rest over on deviantArt!

The First Winter


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Ok, so. I should have posted this a while ago, since the story’s been up on my DA page, but we have some storytime!

Here’s the intro, then my DA page has the rest!

The wind that cut through the woods howled sadly and scrabbled at the small cottage, trying with its claws of ice and breath of frost to get inside and smother the small fire within. Inside, the young girl sitting near to the fire jumped in surprise and looked fearfully at the window, suddenly wondering if the noise was something more than the wind. On a wooden rocking chair in the corner, her grandmother laughed quietly and then leaned forward. “Ailin, dear, would you like to hear a story?”

The girl looked at the window for a few moments longer before turning to the old woman. “Yes, please Auntie Nem! I love your stories.” Amused at how quickly she seemed to have forgotten her fears, Auntie Nem sat up straighter and took a deep breath. Collecting her thoughs, she leaned toward the fire and began to tell her story.

“Long ago, in the time of the gods, the very first winter came upon the land…

Goodnight, Cthulhu


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I present, without further ado, a poem inspired by a Cthulhu pie and the desire to… improve… 18th century nursery rhymes.

Sing a song of madness,
An Old One never dies.
Four and twenty Shoggoths
Baked in a pie.

When the pie burst open,
The guests began to scream.
Wasn’t that a wicked dish,
To complete Dagon’s scheme?

Lord Cthulhu sleeps in R’leyh,
And sees us in our dreams;
Nyarlathotep babbles in the dark,
And feeds upon our screams.

The cliff-ghasts now are flying free,
Hunting for fresh meat;
And if they catch you dreaming,
Your doom will be complete.