Posts Tagged ‘Fantasy’

They Always Travel in Packs

Writing | Posted by davidludwig
Nov 12 2018

Here’s one I wasn’t expecting, I got another Thursday Threads Honorable Mention! How cool is that? Check out the prompt and other entries over at Siobhan’s Blog, or go straight to the winner’s post for the judge’s insights and the winning tale! I’m glad I got back into Flash Fiction, even just sticking to my entries that get recognized is giving me new content for this site until I sort out a longer term plan like Niar Saga or Lost Girls’ Society from before. Without further ado, here is a tale from my New Team Neoshieldfront continuity in 249 words;

Lucy squeezed the grip of her dagger, senses scouring the field for what had set her on edge. The air was fresh, the sky blue and the birds were singing. So many damn birds. Most of her tribe liked to brag about how tough you had to be to live in the desert; but it seemed much tougher to her to live in this pastoral setting.

It was the grass. The grass had set her off, again. Lucy sheathed her dagger with an angry sigh. She trained her skills to a razor edge, able to detect every foe even in perfect darkness. Being so completely surrounded by living things was unnerving. What was the point of so much life?

If Lucy could best her mother or her father in combat she could ascend to command of the tribe. She was sick of waiting. She had thought her father would be the easier option, softened by years of plenty. But she’d barely had a moment alone with him.

She dropped her face into her hands despairingly as the stampede of footsteps broke into the grass line. A chorus of voices shouted her name over and over. Then they had surrounded her. They always travel in packs.

“Lucy!” the eldest of this pack declared. “Our moms said you can take us down to the swimming hole!”

The greatest warrior of her generation knew when she set out that she had a lot of half siblings; but this was just too much.

Let It Go Metal

Writing | Posted by davidludwig
Nov 07 2018

I won another Menage Monday over at Cara Michaels’ site! I have to say I was pretty inspired to learn (as one of the prompts) that there’s a male vocal metal cover of “Let It Go”, so definitely go over and check out the prompts and other entries if that catches your interest as it did mine. And without further ado here is another winning Flash Fiction of 246 words fleshing out my Fantasy Fighter story.

The view from the penthouse isn’t so different from my castle. My companion disagrees, and that’s not so different either. I am still looking down on a world I can’t touch, that exists in my shadow but is largely unaware of my existence. I do appreciate the silk suit though. I think I will make more of an effort regarding my appearance going forward.

My companion, on the other hand, was just as resistant to what our host picked for her to wear as we both were to coming in the first place. I had warned him that she was a biter. Hopefully he doesn’t require too many stitches.

By this time our forest should be ablaze with autumn colors, and I know my companion feels impossibly far from her kin. It’s an illusion. A thousand kilometers from our point of origin and I’m no closer to others; so it stands to reason that my companion is no further.

The window in the next room opens. My companion steps out over the ledge, catches a gargoyle on the way down then descends the tower’s exterior until the next rooftop over is within range of her prodigious aerial talents. Those talents being among the reasons our host recruited her, I hope this comes as no surprise to him. Mostly I hope I won’t be called on to retrieve her.

I have decided to fight for our host’s cause. As for my companion, I’d rather let her go.

Thursday Threads Week 337

Writing | Posted by davidludwig
Nov 04 2018

It was a good week for me for Flash Fiction! After the Menage Monday win I also got Honorable Mention over at Thursday Threads. You can check out the host, Siobhan Muir’s site for the prompt, rules and other entries here–or just skip to the judging and the winning tale here!

For here it seems like as long as I’m going to show off my honorable mention badge I might as well post the story that won it too–the 249 word story of a Sentinel I created for Zensara Studios’ Unity Table-Top Role-Playing Game, who does not appear themselves in the story.

The Fell Tormentor twisted its head around, trying to work out the kinks. A massive yawn revealed all four rows of razor teeth in its double jaws. One more village to harvest and it could finally get back to the warmth of the Pit. Finally one of its Grim Captains came shuffling back, with a few extra breaks in his limbs from the look of things.

“What’s taking so long?” The Tormentor growled.

The Captain saluted as best he could with his dangling arm.

“We encountered resistance… We’ve been hammering them, but we can’t get through…”

The Tormentor dropped its face into one of its talons. Leave it to ghouls and zombies to be impeded by mortal soldiers.

“How many are there?”

The Captain hung his head. “There’s just one.”

“You said you’ve been hammering ‘them’.”

“We can’t tell if they’re a boy or a girl.”

“Boy or a… How young is this lone defender?” The Tormentor’s eyes flashed dangerously.

“Almost twenty winters! Probably…”

At least the Captain seemed to understand the severity of his failure. Since the masters complained about harvests coming back in too many pieces, the Tormentor had tried to leave the actual work to its minions.

“They can’t possibly cover the entire village! Just surround them!”

“We did, but they built up the village walls with our fallen.”

“How many of us are left?”

“Just the two of us are left.”

The Tormentor grumbled darkly. This would not be a good return to the Pit.

Menage Monday 2×05

Writing | Posted by davidludwig
Oct 31 2018

Super Excited to be able to say that I won a Menage Monday challenge! My entry pertains to the Monster Mash entry I did for the blog hop and can be considered to take place after it. Thanks to Cara Michaels for hosting and Ruth Long for judging! There were some good reads this week, so for the other stories and the prompts (Menage Monday always has 3–this time a picture, the phrase “not an option” and the song “I Put A Spell on You”) head over to the challenge page!

2×05 Champ

David A. Ludwig | @DavidALudwig

For use of prompts and story impact. There was so much STORY packed into these 152 words and the PROMPTS were seamlessly tucked into the action. I found myself wishing there was more to read.

The winning tale:

“Where is the demon?”

Mifuyu woke in darkness, smothered by the stench of burnt flesh and stinging ache of returning to her body with fresh injuries. The last thing she remembered was a knock at the door, and a man’s voice saying ‘room service’. That could have been months ago. She hadn’t been so naïve as to hope she’d awaken in her hotel room, but this situation was definitely worse than usual.

The agent jerked Mifuyu’s head back by the hair. “This doesn’t end until you answer my questions.”

The involuntary medium looked up at her tormentor with resigned eyes. But when she tried to speak she couldn’t make a sound. She couldn’t even open her mouth. Why couldn’t she open her mouth?

BECAUSE YOU’RE MINE.

“You will tell me where the demon is.”

Mifuyu watched the interrogator light a propane torch. The demon was still here. Telling was not an option.

 

I left comments on all of the other entries for the Monster Mash challenge, but even after multiple attempts some never showed up. If someone wants my response to an entry for a flash fiction challenge I participated in, you can be sure I had one–but I guess trouble shooting the comment side of internet posts is enough outside my wheelhouse to call 2 attempts enough.

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

Kingdom Royale

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Dec 10 2012

Well, as I get ready to buckle down and delve into Arel Wars 2–with the intention of writing the strategy guide as I go this time–it seems time to discuss other offerings by the company, Gamevil. Unfortunately, I don’t have much good to report. Arel Wars wasn’t nearly what it could have been–it should have been amazing but small easy-to-fix problems reduced it to okay, which is fine since the game was free, but I still wish it had been worth putting money toward since I would have very much liked to.

That said, as far as I’ve discovered Arel Wars is by far Gamevil’s best effort. Other of their titles I tried lacked even the promise that Arel Wars should have lived up to, and most of them were so bad they didn’t stay on my phone for even a day and thus don’t merit a review.

Kingdom Royale is an interesting middle ground, whose place on my phone is probably going after this review but managed to at least engage me for a time.

Kingdom Royale has an amazing design aesthetic to it–which sadly is all the further too many iPhone Apps seem to bother going–and in the vein of Arel Wars is an all out fantasy war game. I didn’t catch what the storyline was since they give you about one second to read a whole screen of text and I couldn’t find any way to go back to it–but I did catch that there was one and that seemed cool.

I’m not a great strategist, which is part of my chagrin at having to write the Arel Wars strategy guide, so simple effective strategies really appeal to me. In this regard I am very much a fan of Kingdom Royale’s double-layered Rocks-Paper-Scissors mechanic. In true RPG style, your units are defined by a combination of their race and class.

Orcs beat Humans, who beat Elves, who beat Orcs–but also Melee beats Range, which beats Magic, which beats Melee. That seems to me like enough to be really interesting to play with–say an Orc Melee unit against an Elf Ranged unit would be a fairly even match against each other or against a Human Magic unit, but reverse the classes in the first pairing and the Orc gets curb-stomped. Those sorts of mechanics are really fun for me to play with, and figuring out the troop roster to take into any given battle, who assign to guard duty and how many of each unit to keep in reserve makes me happy.

Even better, you don’t have to choose a faction when you play! All players have access to all three races and can produce and maintain troops as they see fit. I don’t mind having to choose a faction, and admittedly my play style heavily favors my elven units, but the completionist in me really loves the idea of being able to get everything–every unit, every structure–on a single play through. So I play elves whenever I can, but sometimes having exactly the right unit for any given job is immensely satisfying.

Now, Kingdom Royale is one of those resource oriented games where the passage of real time–whether you’re in the game or not–is required to build up the resources to build your structures and produce your units. That’s not an inherently bad thing to me, it can be nice to come back with a sense of progress after leaving your phone alone for an extended period.

Unfortunately I believe the actual implementation of resources in Kingdom Royale is one of its unforgivable gaffs. That’s right, I have good things to say about the game but this will not be a positive review over all.

The first three resources you work with are Gold, Wood, and Food. Gold is used in everything you do–and is proportionally easy to come by. Wood is used more heavily in the construction and improvement of structures and fortifications, while Food is significant to the production of units. All three of these resources are actually quite well handled–frequently used but easy enough to come by. Another thing the game does right is the general store in your secure home area where you can exchange one resource type for another if you need something other than what you’ve got in a hurry.

The next three resources I liked in concept, Sapphires associated with Human units, Amethysts with Elven units, and Emeralds with Orc units. These are a little harder to come by and later upgrades demand quantities that can be difficult to collect, but early in the game you can secure sources of Sapphires and Amethysts safe from seizure by other players so even if holding and taking ground against others is proving difficult you can still get the resources you need given enough time. No such luck with Emeralds. The first source of Emeralds is a little further in to the game, and is hotly contested enough I was never able to hold it long enough to have any pretensions about building any sort of meaningful force of orcs. I would have been fine with this, but even humans and elves start requiring some Emeralds once you begin producing 4th level units.

The final three resources are the ultra rare, Diamonds, Opals and “Crowns”–with the latter primarily being obtained by paying real world money into the game. The balance of supply and demand for these resources seems fairly reasonable to me, but I’ll never get far enough in the game to say whether this holds true to the end. I’ve got a sinking suspicion it doesn’t.

See, the difficulty of obtaining Emeralds–one of the core three gem types–throws the whole economy out of balance even before factoring the exponential price increases that far outstrip any sort of resource income I could envision having achieved.

I love the character design of the units, and find the sound from music to effects to voices spot on for the game. I even discovered that it is possible for a unit to gain experience and become more powerful–without you having to spend half a day training the entire unit type, or just buying the next level up of the race/class combination. This is an awesome touch that really lines up with my preference for developing an elite team with as few casualties as possible.

Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that there’s virtually nowhere to train your units up. The storyline missions are all only played once before moving you on, and the enemies become stronger faster than your units can–and I have yet to meet a player who just offers up their fodder units for you to train on and then take their land. Also, when on offense–as you will generally be–your units can be killed and then are gone along with potentially the vast amount of resources spent producing the higher level ones.

Your main keep has a hospital where defense units, or offense units who weren’t actually reduced to zero health, can recuperate over time. If there were better odds on a unit being sent to the hospital rather than killed then even in loss a player could build their forces up and do better next time–but as it actually stands when you lose you lose big.

It is technically possible to alleviate the deficit of any resource (Emeralds being the prime offender) by building structures dedicated to harnessing that resource on a limited number of vacant land plots within your secure home area. Unfortunately, Sapphires, Emeralds, Diamonds and Opals all require Crowns to build their structures–unlike the others that can be built with in-game resources. Since the game never convinced me it was worth money, and I burned crowns on unit resurrections while I was still learning the game, getting a reasonable supply of Emeralds is out of the question for me, and thus so is advancing through the game.

The challenge curve is the last problem with the game I think is worth mentioning–because between the rapid scaling of challenges and the rapid scaling of costs I found it completely inconceivable that I could ever really get anywhere in the game. If the Player versus Player element happened on a separate map and resources gained on the regular map were retained, or if there were at least a secure source of Emeralds that would be different. But as is I reached the 12th area of Payro with the first real boss enemy and found that no combination of units I could produce could stand up to him without devastatingly high losses (Spoiler Alert: You have to fight him more than once in that area) that would take days of play for me to recuperate from.

So I was stuck unable to get the resources I needed to build up my forces, unable to advance the single-player storyline, unable to complete the side-quests (which advance in difficulty as rapidly as the core missions), and unable to defeat other players in such a way that I gained more than I lost. So at this point the only thing I can do is log in and collect resources from my safe sources, and that just isn’t fun at all.

The good news is that since playing the game is free, there’s no real reason not to try it for yourself and form your own opinion if you think it even might be different from mine–plus you can benefit from my folly and spend your crowns getting an Emerald mine in your home area rather than on unit healing/resurrection.

I give the game 3 of 5 stars–similar to Arel Wars. I’m certain there’s something there, I love the aesthetic and I definitely feel it actually is a game–I just can’t seem to find the way in to it. One difference is that Arel Wars could have easily been a 5 star game if they’d bothered fixing what I felt were obvious errors… Kingdom Royale could probably get up to 4 stars if they fixed their wonky resource availability/expense balance, but getting all the way to 5 would take serious work and require more story and character for me.

Legend of the Cryptids

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Nov 26 2012

I know I teased you about it before, but now I’m going to actually talk about Applibot’s “Legend of the Cryptids”. You can also refer back to my review of Mobage’s “Rage of Bahamut” because they are essentially the same game. The quick version, for those uninterested in the long version, is that there is a genre of casual game out there based around social networking that as I understand it began on Facebook. I managed to avoid the genre there, but have been suckered in no less than four times on my iPhone. The best of them are gorgeous art-collections burdened by unnecessary and uninspired “gameplay”, and this is the category the likes of Rage of Bahamut and the various of Applibot’s applications fall.

Now, the long version;

A quick note before I really dig into my review, as an actual gamer I am clearly not the target audience for these internet based social abominations. I try to divorce that from my review of the application as a matter of fairness–someone who is severely lactose intolerant isn’t the first place to go for a solid cheese review. So when it actually comes down to my star rating at the end of the article I will here–as I did with Rage of Bahamut–give the application an additional star beyond what I think it deserves as a way of compensating for my bias.

Conceptually, “Legend of the Cryptids” is brilliant. It has a lush fantasy world crafted for it, and a more than adequate storyline for any casual gamer moving through it. Like Rage of Bahamut, the name of the game is collecting cards and trying to build your ideal deck. All the mechanics are essentially the same, if you’ve played any game in the genre you can pick up any other one without difficulty. So rather than repeat my Rage of Bahamut review here (you can follow the link at the top of this article if you want to see that one) I’m going to just touch on the differences.

The first difference I noticed in Legend of the Cryptids is that it features decent music and sound effects–which really enhance the game experience. It’s nothing fancy, but still something I frequently found myself grateful for.

Now, it has been a little while since I’ve played now, but Legend of the Cryptids did have one major disadvantage as compared to Rage of Bahamut–though one I’d attribute to being a younger game. The user-interface and menu schemes were often clunky and lacking the smooth navigation afforded by RoB’s many links and buttons. This is something that could easily iron out over time, and maybe already has been–but I did waste a lot of time navigating between menus in LotC where I could have simply used the ‘back’ button in RoB.

In Legend of the Cryptids rather than the “Gods”, “Demons” and “Humans” classification of Rage of Bahamut, the factions are divided as “Water”, “Fire” and “Forest”–which in theory I believe still has a nice rocks-paper-scissors mechanic (and is still a legitimate, if incomplete, classification system based on the Chinese 5 Element approach). Though in practice I didn’t observe any strong tendencies when it came to interactions between the factions, or even necessarily what cards ended up in what faction.

As with RoB, LotC has absolutely gorgeous artwork and more than a little pin-up quality teasers. These are well distributed over the factions, so don’t worry that by picking one faction or another you’re missing out on cheesecake. This does, however, bring us to something I think LotC does better than RoB–and that is card evolution.

Duplicate cards can be combined into more powerful forms as in Rage of Bahamut–again carrying forward a percentage of the stats of the base cards that increases if those cards are at maximum level. However, unlike RoB, only one such combination is necessary to get a card to its ultimate form. This makes evolution a much easier process, and greatly decreases the risk of developing a suboptimal final card as the result of impatience or lack of resources.

One area that I’m afraid LotC loses out to the more developed RoB, however, is the in-game events. LotC seems to constantly have events going on, which gives new players no time to ease into the game through the regular campaign and regulars no chance to recuperate from the more intensive demands of a live event. Events are great for mixing things up, and will generally be a player’s best shot at getting really good cards, but I think LotC would benefit from some downtime between events. The actual quality of the events is actually quite good, merely their constant presence becomes exhausting and leaves no resources for pursuing the regular game.

Before giving my final review I’d like to highlight a couple points that apply to all of these collectible card online social networking games.

  1. They promote an abusive play environment in that deck quality is the primary determiner of victory in player versus player matches–so there’s no point fighting other players who might be able to beat you if you can get what you want from a player you know can’t beat you–and players need to attack and steal from each other to complete treasure collections.
  2. The value for money isn’t there, the return for In Application Purchases of additional cards and items isn’t worth what they cost–unless you put a high price on getting to be the abuser rather than the abusee in regards to the first point.

That said, Legend of the Cryptids is a glorious art collection with a little story and some nice touches that make it every bit as good as Rage of Bahamut. It isn’t my genre of game, and I intend to avoid the genre like the plague now that I’ve become more familiar with it than I could have ever wished, but if you’re the sort of person this game is meant for (interested in art, extremely simplified “gameplay” and somewhere to just burn an excess of time and money that perhaps can’t be collected for the larger investment of a real game) then Legend of the Cryptids is a good example of the genre.

I give it 4 stars, because as a free application that it is perfectly possible to get through without ever spending any money–if somewhat painful–it does deliver a lot of content for potentially no cost.

Now if games of this sort were $6 Art Collections (or maybe $0.99 per release collections) without the burden of sadistically abusive excuses for gameplay then I think I’d enjoy them and have actually put money toward them–something I’m thankful I’ve never done.

If you want a taste of the art and the game you can check out the excellent wiki for Legend of the Cryptids, a superb resource for anyone looking to get into the game. I’d also like to mention Monster Maestro–which will not be receiving its own review and has already been deleted from my phone–and the new Galaxy Saga both also from Applibot. The company knows its genre, and if unlike me you are not put off by the genre then you can expect a very similar experience from any of their products. And if you’re in it for the artwork, the only reason I can think of to be in it, then the variation between the three will allow you to find the art niche that works best for you–with Cryptids being fantasy, Monster Maestro being basically Pokemon/Digimon/whatever, and Galaxy Saga being science fiction.

I’d further like to mention that Applibot does a good job of cross-promoting their products, and give quite handy rewards in each game for progress made in the others–that’s how I wound up with Monster Maestro on my phone even though I didn’t want it, and actually don’t regret the time I spent on it.

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