Posts Tagged ‘Characters’

Monster Mash 2018

Writing | Posted by davidludwig
Oct 17 2018

Okay, I’m going to take a shot at this longer period and higher word-count flash-fiction challenge. If anyone else wants to get in on it check out the details at Laura James’ website.

A Halloween/Monster/Horror related story of 500-750 words inspired by Annie Lennox’s “No More I Love Yous” song. Weighing in at 743 words including the title, I present;

No More

The gilded iron doors to the underground club had been knocked off their hinges into the decadent entryway. Red drapery and dim light masked the spilt blood from sight, but did nothing for the choking stench of violence and fear. It was nothing Aphrodite hadn’t seen before. She pushed her regret at not arriving sooner to the back of her mind.

Her cerulean cane in one hand and trusty pistol braced on top of that, she advanced as quickly as prudence permitted. She was immediately engulfed by agonized groans of the dazed and wounded patrons. Hellish shrieking came from deeper still into the bowels of this temple to sin. The veteran agent only had one target here, but she’d been in the business too long to assume that meant only one threat.

Aphrodite dropped to a knee behind the balcony railing and averted her eyes from a sudden intense blaze. On the dance floor below, an Asian woman—just a little too big for her gore drenched school uniform—had also rolled out of the way of the fiery blast. Even as the club returned to its discreet ambient lighting, the woman’s shadow thrashed around like a crazed animal and the woman gave another unearthly shriek. Mifuyu Shizuka, Aphrodite’s target, was apparently still possessed by the demon the crazed medium had stolen from Aphrodite’s best freelancer.

“Kill you! I’ll kill you!!!” Mifuyu howled as she rushed a buxom Grecian business woman across the dance floor.

The Greek smiled coldly. “This should have been between us. I will make you regret harming my patrons.”

The club owner’s leathery wings spread as she materialized a whip of brilliant flame to drive her assailant back out of range. Aphrodite cursed. Things just got a little too interesting. As shadow and flame clashed cataclysmically below, Aphrodite holstered her side arm and set down her cane. Taking her rifle from her back, she braced it on the railing and debated who to aim it at.

The crazed medium ducked and wove in repeated attempts to outflank her opponent with her autonomous shadow. Eruptions of hellish fire kept the fiendish club owner safe as the battle destroyed the dance floor. With a practiced sigh, the agent squeezed the trigger and ended the fight.

Thirty minutes later paramedics were removing the last of the patrons. Aphrodite sat back to back with the owner in the middle of the shattered dance floor. No wings, horns or tail were evident on the owner anymore—not even any tell where they had come from.

“Thank you,” the owner leaned her head back against Aphrodite’s. “for your help.”

“Hhm…” Aphrodite ran her thumb over the silver ball head of her cane.

“My name is Melantha Karahalios, by the way.”

“I know.”

“Oh… Then it was hard for you deciding who to shoot? I really thank you then.”

“She hurt one of my men. Badly.”

Aphrodite tucked her chin in, and Melantha lowered her head too. There was silence. The dark haired succubus glanced over her shoulder at the platinum blonde human.

“I have been a big fan of your career from the beginning.” Melantha offered.

Aphrodite clenched her jaw, “Then you should have known better than to try to end the world.”

Melantha shrugged with a flourish of her manicured red nails. “That was months ago. Besides, I couldn’t very well get out of it. You know how it is; demons and contracts.”

“You’re still on the list.”

The demon’s wings emerged long enough to pull her to her feet with a single powerful flap. Aphrodite glanced back at where Melantha had made sure to leave her left leg to keep the agent from falling backward.

“Well, thank you for clearing the club first. Shall we dance?” Melantha reached down a hand to help Aphrodite up.

Aphrodite looked at the proffered hand a moment before shaking her head.

“I’m tired.”

The human collected her rifle and slung it back over her shoulder, rising to her feet with the help of her cane. Her succubus companion tittered happily with a gesture to the backlit bar up the stairs.

“In that case, can I buy you a drink?”

Aphrodite felt a twinge of longing for her fast living hard drinking youth.

“Maybe… tea.”

She would carry on as she always had another day. For now, she would indulge a well earned respite. The two women ascended the stairs together, sisters for an ephemeral moment.

#ACHARACTERWHO

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Sep 30 2018

I was rather inspired by @erikadunn_ ‘s September Character Design Challenge on Twitter, since I absolutely love characters. So even though as a writer rather than an artist I didn’t feel like I was exactly the intended participant for the challenge (though I can’t find it anymore some of the art particularly by Erika herself was amazing) I still decided to participate in my own way. My personal twist on the challenge was I wanted to see if I could do it without creating any new characters, and I felt like my roster of characters was deep enough to have a shot at that. Ultimately I fell a little short and the process was more difficult than I originally anticipated even though I planned to dodge the hard part by not making any new artwork.

 

  1. A character who is a 3 inch tall warrior = Roberia, the Arms Master for the Seelie Court of Terra (the same world as Horera from Lost Girls Society) is a fiery pixie with a blade for every occasion. She has an all-offense fighting style and struggles to relate to defensive fighting styles. While my fairies and pixies are more in the 1 to 3 foot range, Roberia was 3 inches tall during her childhood and already a warrior then.
    1. Class: Arms Master
    2. Pro-nouns: She/Her
    3. Species: Pixie
    4. Orientation: Bi
    5. Strengths: Passionate, Blade Mastery, Loyalty, Positivity
    6. Weaknesses: Impulsive, Blunt, Masochism
    7. Likes: Fighting, weapons, blood, dancing, her sister (Althea)
    8. Dislikes: Waiting, Cowardice, Cruelty
    9. Aside: With the number of fairy-like characters in my portfolio, I was actually surprised to realize I couldn’t come up with any warriors who were 3 inches when full grown–my smallest full grown warrior was 4 inches but I couldn’t find my notes on him, though the healer and the mage in his group were both 3 inches. Also, posting the pictures I could scrounge up on Twitter I realized I had a serious over-representation of my blonde characters which I had not intended. So maybe I should have used Roberia’s brunette apprentice, Giselle, instead of Roberia herself.
  2. A character who is a chef = Chef Chatte, a bio-engineered cat-girl associated with the bio-engineered bunny-girl maid, Coneja. One of two results of a mad scientist’s experiments that didn’t come out completely monstrous in nature, Chatte is nonetheless capricious and completely self-serving and her ambition is to one day eat Coneja. When the scientist was alive, Chatte was his personal chef, now she prepares meals for Coneja and the task force deployed to clean up her creator’s various secret labs.
    1. Class: Chef
    2. Pro-nouns: She/Her
    3. Species: Catgirl
    4. Orientation: Only interested in Coneja, and even that may only be for literally eating her
    5. Strengths: Cooking, reading people, taking advantage
    6. Weaknesses: Aloofness, Irritability, Lack of Discipline
    7. Likes: Coneja, Food, Games, Catnip, Alcohol
    8. Dislikes: Obligations, Getting Wet, Cockroaches
    9. Aside: Yes, her name can be interpreted as naughty–so was the scientist who created her. Also, I’m shocked how much trouble I had coming up with a Chef character, I have since remembered more and am certain I have many.
  3. A character who has really long hair = Yoshiko, the maid of a reclusive old man who willed a cursed comb to her that brought her hair to life, gave it a mind of its own and made it very long. Her own desires for life were quiet and comfort, but her animated hair is much more ambitious resulting in Yoshiko being dragged by her hair into adventures she never wanted.
    1. Class: Wandering Maid
    2. Pro-nouns: She/Her
    3. Species: Human/Kejourou
    4. Orientation: Straight (especially her hair)
    5. Strengths: Diligent, Patient, Observant, Empathetic, Magic Hair (strong, flexible, etc.)
    6. Weaknesses: Overly accommodating, uneducated, non-athletic
    7. Likes: Fluffy beds, lazy afternoons, tea, company
    8. Dislikes: Conflict, stress, pushy people (and hair)
    9. Aside: Yoshiko is actually a role-playing character I have multiple variations on depending on the setting she’s used in, from different cultural heritages to different causes for the animated hair including alien abduction.
  4. A character who has really strong thighs = Gregory the Black, a muscle-bound and wild looking sorcerer and partner of a cool swordmaster. Gregory’s appearance and mannerisms can frighten others without him meaning to, but really he’s a big softy and actually the voice of compassion in his adventuring party. When he needs to unwind or de-stress he finds inner peace by body-building.
    1. Class: Sorcerer
    2. Pro-nouns: He/Him
    3. Species: Human
    4. Orientation: Gay
    5. Strengths: Calm, Analytical, Physically Fit, Magic
    6. Weaknesses: Intimidating, Can’t hold his liquor, Loud
    7. Likes: Tight bodies and clothes, summer days, star gazing, academics
    8. Dislikes: Ignorance, Pain, Being Helpless
  5. A character who only wears one color = Emathyst Flower, a pleasant and airy elf barbarian with a strong sense of spirituality. She allows herself to be moved by spirits both literal and figurative in her attempt to live her best life and allow others to do the same. Her skin, hair and eyes are all shades of purple and by no conscious choice on her part Emathyst tends to dress in that color as well.
    1. Class: Barbarian
    2. Pro-nouns: She/Her
    3. Species: Elf
    4. Orientation: Mostly Straight
    5. Strengths: Physical Strength and Endurance, Empathy, Spirituality, Insight
    6. Weaknesses: Air-headed, academics, socialization
    7. Likes: Spirits, nature, pleasure, people
    8. Dislikes: Spite, the undead, control
    9. Aside: Emathyst is the role-playing character I have created in the most different systems and I have yet to find a system I can’t make a satisfying iteration of the character for–which is very fun for me. Even my most thematic characters, including Emathyst, tend to include accent colors in their outfits instead of literally only wearing one color. The actual picture is her Valla incarnation for Zensara Studios Unity TTRPG (see below). In retrospect I should have gone with one of my superhero characters and fallen back on the classic hero/secret-identity are distinct characters for this particular prompt.
  6. A character who is inspired by your heritage = Ethan White is the prince of a secret kingdom which has carried the ideals of Camelot into the modern age, and is foremost among his kingdom’s order of Rune Knights–whose martial and mystic training put them fully on par with super heroes. As Silver Knight, Ethan personally is able to keep pace with even the greatest heroes in the world. I consider it fair to say Ethan and the Rune Knights were derived from my European heritage, even though that wasn’t a particularly conscious choice at the time.
    1. Class: Rune Knight
    2. Pro-nouns: He/Him
    3. Species: Human
    4. Orientation: Straight
    5. Strengths: Physical and Mental training, swordsmanship, magic, confidence and determination
    6. Weaknesses: Arrogance, simplistic world-view, tries too hard
    7. Likes: Adulation, beautiful women, accomplishments, summertime
    8. Dislikes: Criticism, being wrong, arrogance in others
    9. Aside: I came up with Silver Knight in elementary school, along with the larger story he’s actually only a side character in. He and his Rune Knights have changed more than any other part of that story from initial conception, and are almost certain to change further before actually being ready to release into the world.
  7. A character who is studying alchemy = Xevin Sannonel, a Valla diplomat to the Human lands during the Golden Age of Unity, who became fascinated with Human science including alchemy and has studied it ever since. He’s a hobbyist, but with a keen mind and hundreds of years of study he’s an extremely talented hobbyist. He was marrying a human woman named Ginny when The Cataclysm struck; slaying their wedding party, turning Ginny into a Shade bound to Xevin, and necrotizing Xevin’s flesh.
    1. Class: Driftwalker
    2. Pro-nouns: He/Him
    3. Species: Valla
    4. Orientation: Bi
    5. Strengths: Experience and insight, patience, endurance
    6. Weaknesses: Depleted vitality, absent minded, Ginny’s undeath
    7. Likes: Science and technology, loves Ginny, life
    8. Dislikes: Desolation, suffering, loneliness
    9. Aside: Since I created him for Zensara Studios’ Unity Table-Top Role-Playing Game, Xevin is one of my most recent characters and one I had the good fortune of being able to commission a picture of from @gchoule on Twitter.
  8. A character who is grumpy = Anastasia Heavenrent, the immortal Dark Hunter is very grumpy. Like, she is seriously never happy. She should have died performing a demonic ritual to impress a guy, which did claim the lives of her family and the guy, but instead she was the sole survivor and imbued with supernatural powers. She has spent centuries fighting battles she doesn’t feel are hers to try and atone for her past but has never even considered forgiving herself for what she’s done.
    1. Class: Dark Hunter
    2. Pro-nouns: She/Her
    3. Species: Immortal (once human)
    4. Orientation: Straight
    5. Strengths: Experience, Power, skill, focus
    6. Weaknesses: Makes bad choices, resentful, distrustful, mean
    7. Likes: Red wine, dark chocolate, roses, hot baths
    8. Dislikes: People, herself, damnation
  9. A character who has a replaced body part = Cinder the Entropist, an Afflicted War Priest of Aluvane who follows her own philosophy of purging flame. She is grim and silent with a troubled past. Her eyes and vocal chords have been replaced by mechanical substitutions due to the Phage–which has since mostly settled in her bone marrow requiring steel grafts to reinforce her spine, limbs and right hip.
    1. Class: War Priest
    2. Pro-Nouns: She/Her
    3. Species: Afflicted
    4. Orientation: Asexual
    5. Strengths: Keen mind, mechanical enhancements, fire and healing magic
    6. Weaknesses: The Phage, perpetual outsider
    7. Likes: Fire, justice, meditation
    8. Dislikes: Cold, darkness, swimming, conversation
    9. Aside: Like Xevin above, Cinder is a character for Zensara Studios’ Unity TTRPG who I was able to commission a portrait of from G.C. Houle.
  10. A character who smells nice = Sheya Dinah, the human mercenary from the frozen northlands of Niar appearing in Niar Saga. Living in a harsh icy climate, constant training and fighting for a living can all be very hard on the skin. Sheya takes care of her skin with a special lotion she applies twice daily, and as a result has a very pleasant floral scent that has suffused her skin. Though after particularly gruesome battles she doesn’t always smell nice.
    1. Class: Fighter
    2. Pro-Nouns: She/Her
    3. Species: Human
    4. Orientation: Straight
    5. Strengths: Disciplined, Strong, Agile, Tactical
    6. Weaknesses: Cynicism, magic, the supernatural
    7. Likes: Training, relaxing, warm fires, soft furs, weapons
    8. Dislikes: poor planning, surprises
    9. Aside: In the course of Niar Saga, Vixie actually notices Sheya’s good smell.
  11. A character who has a bowl cut = I actually have to take a miss on this one. I have a villain from a one-shot Sailor Moon BESM Adventure I ran in junior high named Nezunite, but I don’t have any notes on him and honestly he wasn’t that developed a character to begin with. Bowl-cuts are officially under-represented in my character roster (and here I thought I had a pretty amazing range and quantity of characters!)
  12. A character who is a bard = Lysander Devonwilde, a human bard from a prestigious family of sword dancers in the world of Niar a generation after the events of Niar Saga. He never had the mastery of sword dance the rest of his family attained, but was quick to master the basics of a range of disciplines and truly excelled at music and story-telling. Ultimately he ran away from home to pursue his own path.
    1. Class: Bard
    2. Pro-nouns: He/Him
    3. Species: Human
    4. Orientation: Straight? Possibly bi.
    5. Strengths: Fast learner, Jack of All Trades, music, charisma, empathy
    6. Weaknesses: Struggles to master trades, too modest, low confidence
    7. Likes: Songs, stories, heroes, new experiences, travel
    8. Dislikes: Stagnation, intractability, bullies
  13. A character who is a mermaid = I don’t actually have a name for the character yet, but she is in love with the catgirl pirate-captain, Caitlin Kinnery. Ever since Captain Kinnery rescued her from a fisherman’s net the mermaid has been in love with the captain and pursues the captain across the seas. For her part, Cat Kinnery is very interested in the mermaid’s tears of pearls but doesn’t exactly return the mermaid’s affections. The mermaid is a passionate do-gooder and environmentalist and believes deep down the captain is a good person too.
    1. Class: Activist
    2. Pro-nouns: She/Her
    3. Species: Mermaid
    4. Orientation: Lesbian
    5. Strengths: Stronger than she looks, motivated, observant, agile in water
    6. Weaknesses: Easily frightened or flustered, vulnerable out of water
    7. Likes: Caitlin Kinnery, sunny days, calm seas, pretty shells
    8. Dislikes: Men, loud noises, violence
    9. Aside: Cat N. Kinnery is the protagonist of the story and the mermaid is more of a recurring side character, and has a rival for the captain’s affections in the form of a human male treasure hunter.
  14. A character who looks like spaghetti = Kirby Koosh (I think that was his name), the prince of an alternate dimension accidentally shunted into the human world where he ended up on zany adventures in the company of the goofy Justin the Concurer (yes, that’s how he spells it) and his Heroes-For-Hire (basically a Guardians of the Galaxy level band of misfits). Kirby is bouncy and exuberant and in Earth gravity is practically capable of flight, plus the elasticity of his body makes him nearly impervious to blunt trauma. This is a character based on a Koosh ball I played with as a little kid, so I’m not really going to try and fill out more information on him because frankly I’m pretty proud of the fact that my roster of characters already had one that “looked like spaghetti” at all. The team also included the adorable Squeeze-Me-Mouse and a head in a ball that I think was called The Great Sorcerer.
  15. A character who is inspired by a flower = Dandy, one of a bouquet of petals (flower based fairies) who joins the Seelie Paladin Edmund Garrison on his quest to save the world of Terra. (Edmund being a companion of Horera from Lost Girls’ Society) Dandy and his sister, Rosie, actually accompanied their eldest sister, Lavender, in joining Edmund–but Dandy and Rosie, who are practically joined at the hip, do believe in stopping evil before it can make it back to their home.
    1. Class: Lesser Fey Ally
    2. Pro-nouns: He/Him
    3. Species: Petal (fairy)
    4. Orientation: Asexual (as is Rosie, though Lavender is Pansexual)
    5. Strengths: Napping, sleep magic, calm
    6. Weaknesses: Small and physically weak, confrontation, naturally passive
    7. Likes: Sleep, comfort, cuddling
    8. Dislikes: Stress, responsibilities, anger
    9. Aside: as far as specific character origins go, the petals are entirely a result of my building Edmund as a 3.5 Edition D&D paladin and looking for what fey allies he could have in that system. I hadn’t heard of Petals before 3.5 D&D. Also, given the balance of who I actually had pictures of for Twitter, I chose to stick with Dandy as another blonde rather than one of his siblings for another female–a male based on a flower felt more clever anyway.
  16. A character who has funky socks = Nadine Foster from Lost Girls’ Society, a skilled hunter from the post apocalyptic paradise of Eden. Her entire outfit is scavenged and cobbled together with her own special touch, and while her mismatched boots particularly stand out her socks are similarly eccentric.
    1. Class: Archer
    2. Pro-nouns: She/Her
    3. Species: Human
    4. Orientation: Unexplored leaning Straight
    5. Strengths: Keen senses, sharp judgment, agility, confidence, precision
    6. Weaknesses: Wants to impress others, little interpersonal experience, bossy
    7. Likes: Panoramas, her dad, excitement, pushing herself
    8. Dislikes: Negativity, being alone, boredom
  17. A character who never eats vegetables = Marth, the half-dragon Minotaur from my super hero series, Maze Warrior. A strictly carnivorous minion of evil who doesn’t even like ice-cream and never questions his Boss, not even a little bit. Same story as Ethan White and the Rune Knights and has in fact fought Rune Knights in his past and lived to tell of it.
    1. Class: Muscle
    2. Pro-Nouns: He/Him
    3. Species: Minotaur (half dragon)
    4. Orientation: Asexual (more interested in eating and fighting)
    5. Strengths: Physically strong and resilient, breathes and resists fire, stubborn
    6. Weaknesses: Simple, impulsive, hot-headed
    7. Likes: Meat, Strength, Fighting, Simplicity
    8. Dislikes: Cold, Thinking, Feeling
    9. Aside: Spoiler Alert = He ends up responsible for his precocious younger half-sister.
  18. A character who always eats vegetables = Zelis Aasiarn, an elven druid and the spiritual leader for her people in the world of Niar. By elven standards she is young, but very wise and ends up the most mature member of the next generation of heroes after Niar Saga–though she often longs for a care-free youth that was denied her growing up in an age of crisis. She is a strict vegetarian, and in fact at times subsists off the energy of the universe, though she has a great love of fruits and vegetables–especially those not native to her southern home region.
    1. Class: Druid
    2. Pro-nouns: She/Her
    3. Species: Elf
    4. Orientation: Pansexual
    5. Strengths: Patience, Wisdom, Empathy, Agility, Nature Magic
    6. Weaknesses: Isolated, lonely, takes too much on herself
    7. Likes: Bird song, sunshine, berries, peace
    8. Dislikes: undeath, contagion, failure
  19. A character who has a gap in their teeth = Afraid I have to take a miss on this one as well, it’s just not something I tend to think about and thus do not have established for most of my characters. The ones who do have their tooth spacing as an established trait do not have gaps. So this could be considered a diversity failure on my part, but I also feel like I have enough characters who could have gaps in their teeth I’m more surprised than troubled by this miss. Also, I almost certainly have characters with missing teeth that I’m just not managing to think of.
  20. A character who wears too much jewelry = My first response is “What is this ‘too much jewelry’ of which you speak?” Honestly, I think a lot of my characters get pretty decked out given the opportunity. Nadine certainly would, and Cat N. Kinnery mentioned in the above mermaid entry certainly has a lot of jewelry and wears a jeweled eye-patch. I’m also pretty sure I have characters with cursed jewelry who personally consider the one-piece “too much”… So while I’m positive I have someone I guess I have to take a miss since I wasn’t able to think of them.
  21. A character who has an embarrassing hobby = Geralda Whitewhisper, an extraordinarily powerful elderly Afflicted Mystic who writes slash-fic and makes puppets of her acquaintances and historical figures. Eccentric, enigmatic and drawn to the player characters in my current campaign of Zensara Studios’ Unity TTRPG.
    1. Class: Mystic
    2. Pro-nouns: She/Her
    3. Species: Afflicted (still sees herself as Human)
    4. Orientation: Pansexual
    5. Strengths: Magical power, intelligence, experience, personal drive
    6. Weaknesses: Overconfident, physically ailing, over extended
    7. Likes: Relaxing in luxury, writing, puppets, winning
    8. Dislikes: Getting dirty, explaining herself, losing
  22. A character who is very old = Nikki Harridan, is very old and a powerful ice sorceress of the evil race. She lived over a century before being cursed into a man-eating wolf for more than a millennium, and has only returned to humanoid form in the last century when the reincarnation of an ancient holy-man broke the curse. Since then she has been reinventing herself and enjoying the changed world. Nikki looks young and is quite vain about her appearance, but little fazes her because of just how much she’s seen.
    1. Class: Sorceress
    2. Pro-nouns: She/Her
    3. Species: The Evil Race (they have had many names across history and different cultures)
    4. Orientation: Pansexual
    5. Strengths: Ice Magic, experience, endurance, flexibility, ferocity
    6. Weaknesses: Hedonism, isolation, guilt
    7. Likes: Extremes, pleasure, surprises, people, herself
    8. Dislikes: Being alone, killing, shortsightedness, responsibility
    9. Aside: Actually derived from a Shining Force III character, but she’s been through enough iterations I don’t mind calling her mine now. I actually don’t think the character she was based on was particularly old.
  23. A character who is a witch = Orsen Blackthorne is a boy witch with a bear-cub familiar. He comes from a long line of distinguished hedge witches and is the first male to inherit the power in his family’s history–which makes the heirloom garments a bit uncomfortable for him, so he often just wears bear pelts to match his familiar. He has a good heart and is the soul of his adventuring party, a healer and supporter in many senses of the words.
    1. Class: Witch
    2. Pro-nouns: He/Him
    3. Species: Human
    4. Orientation: Straight
    5. Strengths: Empathy, Balance, Faith
    6. Weaknesses: Naive, Young, Shy
    7. Likes: Helping people, being useful, magic, his friends
    8. Dislikes: Public Speaking, being a boy, injustice
    9. Aside: One of four characters that turned into a party that turned into a story when I was familiarizing myself with the Pathfinder role-playing system.
  24. A character who has a lot of tattoos = I feel like I should have a selection for these, including members of Cat N. Kinnery’s crew (ah! In fact I’m sure her windcaller does have a lot of tattoos! I could have used him) but the one I was able to come up with I actually haven’t named yet because the story she’s for is still in a fairly rough conceptual stage. But I do call her The Tattooed Lady, the antagonist of the series with an interest in collecting all of the mystic Inks that have mysteriously appeared in the world granting power to those who possess them. Her objective can of course only be accomplished by forcibly taking the Ink from those who possess it, and she is the only character known to have multiple Inks.
    1. Class: Guardian
    2. Pro-nouns: She/Her
    3. Species: Human? Probably.
    4. Orientation: ???
    5. Strengths: Relentless, Powerful, Knowledgable
    6. Weaknesses: Lone Wolf
    7. Likes: Power, Ink
    8. Dislikes: ???
    9. Aside: I have a little more figured out about the protagonists, including the main character who is “the fastest girl in town” with a tramp stamp that turned out to be one of the mystical Inks and grants her super speed.
  25. A character who has a lot of piercings = I’m certain I must have one, though I know I don’t have many, and I’m afraid I just wasn’t able to think of one. Cat N. Kinnery’s crew seems like another place I should have one, or one of my more BDSM inclined characters perhaps… Just not thinking of anyone. So have to take a miss.
  26. A character who has bad taste in fashion = Seriously, I’m sure I have one… So really I think I should have all of these without creating any new characters (a character who looks like spaghetti should have been the hard one, and I was able to think of the koosh ball character!). Almost want to accuse Audrey from Lost Girls’ Society, but she knows she doesn’t have good fashion sense and so compensates by mostly sticking to her school uniform… So, taking yet another miss. Sadly.
  27. A character who has acne = Ben Gravesyte, the son of an infamous galactic villain and the villain’s top minion. He’s got the usual troubles of teenagers, compounded by the fact that his family is living in exile on a planet light-years behind their home galaxy in science and technology and his father’s arch-nemesis retired to the same planet to keep an eye on them. Acne is just another insult to the injury that is his life.
    1. Class: Nerd
    2. Pro-nouns: He/Him
    3. Species: Human
    4. Orientation: Straight?
    5. Strengths: Technology, critical thinking, good memory
    6. Weaknesses: Cynical, physically inactive, low confidence, awkward
    7. Likes: Animation, gaming, fandom, technology
    8. Dislikes: Sunburns, his dad, Earth, himself
    9. Aside: The hero (his dad’s nemesis)’s daughter is actually Ben’s best friend and they bonded over their disillusionment over Earth and nostalgia for their parents’ home galaxy.
  28. A character who loves cheese = Bobbi Jo Cinder, the succubus mechanic. She fled the underworld because she was unwilling to drain the life-force from mortals, and on coming to the mortal plane discovered and fell in love with machines and cheese. Machines allow her to make a living and get by without revealing her demonic nature, and cheese is her comfort food that makes her feel better when she’s down and also useful for suppressing her demonic hunger–which she has, as yet, never given in to.
    1. Class: Mechanic
    2. Pro-nouns: She/Her
    3. Species: Succubus (shh! Don’t tell anyone!)
    4. Orientation: Her hunger is pan, but since she fights it she doesn’t see herself that way
    5. Strengths: Anything mechanical, cute, strong willed, helpful
    6. Weaknesses: Demonic hunger, holy power, distractions
    7. Likes: Machines, cheese, clear winter days, long scenic walks
    8. Dislikes: Evil, malice, conflict, grabby people
    9. Aside: I have big plans for this character, which may never be realized but are fairly likely to appear on this site if they are.
  29. A character who is a paladin = Adora Templesworn, a sacred prostitute of the Goddess of Love. She travels the world bringing love and succor to those in need. Her fulfillment in helping others means she rarely needs to think of herself, as her own needs are often met by meeting the needs of others–although when her own needs are not met she is the last to notice. She is strong and gentle, simple and wise, as well as a shield and inspiration to those she meets.
    1. Class: Paladin
    2. Pro-nouns: She/Her
    3. Species: Half-Elf (half-human)
    4. Orientation: Pansexual
    5. Strengths: Physical strength, endurance, compassion, people, defense, holy power, pleasure
    6. Weaknesses: Over extending herself, too selfless
    7. Likes: Omelets, Mead, Summer
    8. Dislikes: Eating octopus, coffee
    9. Aside: Paladin is my favorite character class, I have so many of them it was incredibly hard picking one. So of course I went with a blonde female because that turned out to be my unconscious theme for this challenge. Though really I picked her because she was my first 5th Edition D&D character and part of the learning curve on 5th Ed resulted in a suboptimal build choice (turns out I could have dumped Strength on a 5th Ed Paladin to buff Dexterity and she would have been more optimized) that has since become too important to the character concept to let go of. She’s embarrassed by her muscled build and lack of flexibility compared to the other sisters of her order. Also, I definitely think that Paladins would make excellent prostitutes because of their disease immunity and abilities to lay on hands and cure diseases. Just need the right patron.
  30. A character who is ready for Halloween! = Definitely going with Mirro of Kerri’s Creatures for this one. She is an ancient entity that appears as a young girl, loves being called a witch, and is fascinated by hands–which she collects. She loves witches, monsters and anything spooky and lives in a tailor-made reflection of Kerri’s haunted house. When Mirro comes to party, every party is Halloween as she finds the spooky and unsettling just too charming to resist. She has in fact been barred from party planning since her gory birthday bash for Kerri’s crush, Oliver, sent the birthday boy fleeing the premises.
    1. Class: Witch? (if you please)
    2. Pro-nouns: She/Her
    3. Species: Old One (they have many names)
    4. Orientation: Fluid
    5. Strengths: Patience, Spatial Manipulation, Raw Power
    6. Weaknesses: Inhumanity, lack of empathy
    7. Likes: Hands, her best friend Kerri, people, monsters, anything strange
    8. Dislikes: Boredom, making obvious mistakes

      Another great pic by Marshintire, this time for the Phoenix Dawn Command game.

Motivation Monday Mixer

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Apr 08 2013

Please forgive the digital dust–things have been busy and I actually still don’t have time to bring the site back up to date as I’ve been meaning to. Eventually things will be cleaned up and a regular update schedule will resume, but for now I can’t even hazard a guess when that will be.

However, while I have a Monday free I will take advantage of it to submit an entry to Monday Mixer & Motivation Monday–hopefully they don’t mind the double submission, but even if they do it was a good exercise and fit in the time I had available.

 

OLD HEROES

If I could erase one memory it would be the caldera battle—a story carved clearly into my flesh. They say we glorious few stemmed the tide of destruction and saved the world, at terrible personal cost. I didn’t just lose my hand, my eye, or my friends. What you actually lose in a sweltering hopeless slaughter like that is an esoteric essence known only to old heroes.

Coming to the brasserie for frosty ale was a mistake. I put in public appearances when I can. I’m a symbol to the people—I remind them of those things they cherish in themselves, even though most days I have none for myself.

The raging burn of my right stump makes me truculent and ill inclined toward pleasantries. It’s time to return to my demesne, soak my keloids and imagine asking the smith to forge a sheath that didn’t rub so much.

 

150 words

@DavidALudwig

Monday Mixer: November 5

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Nov 05 2012

Okay, with Menage Monday finished and Motivation Monday on hiatus, I have made my first foray into the Monday Mixer–partially to keep the creative juices fresh by writing something other than my National Novel Writing Month project which has yet to go well.

So without further ado, I bring you;

 

TIDINGS

Saint Nicholas’ skyscraper pierced the earth like a heaven sent spear, to the euphoric adulation of peoples far and near. From atop the imposing monolith, the holiday harbinger watched the world and judged. Few suspected perfunctory good deeds no longer sufficed to get off the Naughty List. The Saint’s mandate had changed.

The masses burned on their own sinful coals the first Christmas after the coming. People feared God again, recognized the inadequacy of maladroit attempts to live as He commanded. Offerings and sacrifice resurged; pilgrims crossed the icy tundra to the estuary where the North Pole had landed.

The greedy dealt in terms they understood, bringing gold and jewels. The poor appealed to the Saint’s jovial nature, offering holly, verbena, and other decorative plants. The desperate turned to sacrifice, foisting their sins on a goat, a piglet, lamb or even house pet.

All the while, Nicholas watched and judged.

 

 

[trying for Over-Achiever with the entry, since I saw no reason not to]

150 words excluding the title

National Novel Writing Month!

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Nov 02 2012

Okay, so National Novel Writing month is officially here AND I’m officially participating this year. Missed my word target for the first day, and am on track to miss again this second day–putting me further in the hole–but I see the weekend through Tuesday as my real opportunities to make up for scheduling conflicts Wednesday through Friday. With any luck that’ll be enough to get me through to the 50,000 words by the end of the month.

So no treats for you this week with me so far behind already–but my plan is by next Friday, maybe earlier, to have an excerpt from the novel to share with anyone who’s interested. Potentially following up with other excerpts as the month goes on. If I could get some discussion regarding what sort of excerpts you’d like to see from my work in progress, that’d be great information for me–right now I’m thinking character introductions for windows into the core cast.

Then, if anyone feels like helping develop the world of Niar, I’m realizing that having me come up with every single town and city in the world is unlikely to be ideal. So I’d like to open up the possibility for anyone who feels like flexing some creativity and then donating the effort to come up with town and city names for the World of Niar, so that when I’m referencing locations it doesn’t sound like the same individual came up with all of them–even if the story never goes to locations I didn’t come up with, having them in the world will still enhance it. Plus in the event that this novel, or Niar Saga from this site really take off it might be kind of cool to have your location on the official world map. Maybe? I’d like that sort of thing.

On the topic of reader interaction though, thank you everyone who has voted in the current poll! With all the spambots assailing the site and looking for a way in (there is NONE, they all have to go through ME) it’s hard to feel like the page-view counter is representing real traffic, but as of this posting I know there are four people who have looked at my site and cared enough to interact with me. That means a lot.

So thank you.

Artless Halloween

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Oct 31 2012

So I’d like to open by saying that I’d intended to include art with this entry, but it appears that the bizarre failure of my laptop over a month ago now is going to plague me for the rest of the life of the computer. Had to get a new user profile because the old one will no longer log in, and apparently my tablet doesn’t work with the new profile. So no drawings from me anymore.

It’s probably fixable, but I’ve already exhausted the options I know how to do and have other things to spend my time on–which is where this update was going after the art anyway.

Two of my stories have been published in Super Flash Fiction, and I encourage you to head on over and check that out if you haven’t already. Subscribe for future issues or even submit your own dynamic stories or artwork.

The bigger news is that I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month starting tomorrow (November 1)! I’m officially in this year, and I’m going to finally finish a novel! Sign up if it interests you, or just cheer me on/pester me about my progress! The goal is 50,000 words by the end of the month.

It’s likely to consume my free time in November, though I’ll try to keep updating this site–though you can expect most if not all of my posts to be NaNoWriMo related.

And that’s it from me for now! Happy Halloween, and sorry about the lack of artwork… Wait… Maybe I can fake something even without my tablet…

Haha! How’s that for drawing with a mouse in Paint?

 

Happy Halloween!

Diabolical Deeds Wrap Up

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Oct 29 2012

Well, that’s the end of ‘Timony’s Diabolical Deeds Challenge, hopefully the tales were enjoyed here and on the other participating sites–but in the event that you missed it get over to ‘Timony’s site and check out the prompts and participants.

‘Timony Souler – Our Challenge host, and the one who will always be significant to my online writing persona because of challenges like 7 Sins and 7 Virtues that got me started on Flash Fiction in the first place. Undaunted by stringent word counts and difficult/obscure word prompts, ‘Timony delivers strong sensory fiction on a consistent basis–when not waylaid by real world demands. My favorite of her contributions to her own challenge this time was Day Two’s “The Promotion” because sometimes it’s just nice to observe a demon who really values their work.

Lisa McCourt Hollar– Host of the #55WordChallenge, and incredibly vivid writer whose horror stories actually scare me in spite of just being words on a page (or screen), which is an accomplishment because I normally refrain from delving into the genre deeply enough to be affected like that–her words and characters pull me in even when I’m wary of what they’ll reveal. It was her second entry, “Dangerous Games”, that I’m going with as my favorite in this challenge because on top of her usual richness of characterization and setting, there’s a little something sexy there too.

Meg McNulty– A writer I met early in my flash-ficiton experience and regular for ‘Timony Challenges, Meg brings a richness of history and context to her writing that is absolutely compelling. Her second entry, “The Cave”, is especially good this time around because of the balance of fantasy and horror that make it feel like anything could happen.

Jeffrey Hollar– Another longtime contributor to ‘Timony’s Challenges, and another impeccable horror writer–he can almost always capture the dark in life or in people in a way that will turn the stomach or make the skin crawl, but when he feels like it can deliver real fun, whimsy and comedy as well. And, surprise surprise, it was the second entry again that most captivated me. How did everyone else do such a good job with Calu? “A Night Out” really provided a setting and characters I’d love to see more of, even casually with no particular plot line.

Mark Ethridge– A regular on the Flash Fiction scene, this is his first ‘Timony Challenge. His words are poetic and invitingly original, and this time around I think he really gained steam as he worked his way through the challenge. My favorite entry was actually his 4th Entry, “Sthenno”, but a lot of that is favoritism for the strong female lead and Greek mythology, I would argue that his final entry was even stronger.

Stacy Bennet-Hoyt– Another regular from the Flash Fiction circuit, yet newcomer to the ‘Timony scene. Sort of a hidden character since she missed the sign-up deadline but participated anyway, and delivered her usual flash brilliance and power with each entry. Choosing a favorite among such strong entries was hard, but I’m ever so slightly favoring her 2nd Entry, “Calu”, because she gets the sexiness that others captured and also taught me a new word I intend to start making use of.

 

And to my knowledge that’s all the entries. If I missed anyone, let me know and I’ll remedy that.

 

Diabolical Deeds 5: Zagan

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Oct 26 2012

[Previous Deed]

Zagan

Scooping her satiny black cat into her arms, the girl let out a relieved sigh. With Stheno unconscious they were finally together and safe again. Scratching the back of her cat’s head, the girl turned out to grin at the zoic wonders of the cedar forest.

Her reverie was cut short upon noticing the great winged bull winking at them. Her cat tried to wriggle out of her arms—but she held him tight.

“You ought to be ashamed, Blackie! The spiritual zymosis he started you on is what turned you into a cat in the first place!”

 

 

 

And that wraps up ‘Timony’s Diabolical Deeds Challenge. Probably not my best showing in a ‘Timony Challenge, but you can look forward to my summary of the rest of the field on Monday–which altogether should make for some good seasonal reading. Feel free to check out the links to the other participants ahead of time, over at ‘Timony’s Site.

Diabolical Deeds 4: Stheno

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Oct 25 2012

[previous Deed]

Stheno

With Humbaba dispatched, the girl was upset to find her cat had run off during the fracas. She didn’t have to go far, however, to hear a sibilant voice sussurate dire promises pertaining to lunch. A scaly gorgon held the helpless feline pinned with brass claws, and lowered her grinning face of sharp fangs wreathed in writhing red vipers to biting range.

“Unhand my kitty!”

“Of course, I’d be pleased to switch up for something more substantial.”

The gorgon released her saccadic snack and faced the girl, who pushed up her sleeves and went to work.

Diabolical Deeds 3: Humbaba

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Oct 24 2012

[previous Deed]

Humbaba

She had to shade her eyes, raising an arm against the heavenly brilliance of the cedar forest. How strange a thing the sun seemed, after even a brief time in the chthonic depths.

A feline yowl brought surging habromania that turned the girl’s hair and eyes golden. Then she saw the lion-headed behemoth menacing her poor cat!

“To enter the forest of the Herrenvolk is verboten!”

The giant breathed a torrent of flame and, more terrifying to his victim, raised floodwaters with his roar.

“Get away from my kitty!” The girl suffused her palms with death’s dark glow.