Guild News Changes
As some of you guys may notice in this edition of the News, we are making some small changes here and there about how we do the news to make it more interactive and fun for you guys, our readers. We've had a lot of fun brainstorming ideas, and have more stuff coming in the future as soon as we plan it out fully, but we hope you enjoy them as much as we have! And look forward to any future changes. If you have something you'd like to suggest, you can always PM Guru and we'd love to take a look at your idea. Enjoy!
For this installment of our the the GM interview, we decided to try something a little different. We wanted to focus on the Arena since many people are curious about this particular style of Roleplaying but unsure where to start. Lillian sat down with Rilla (who is well known around the Arena as Fighter and for his WoTW tournaments) and GrievousKhan (a well known fighter) to discuss the Arena from their perspectives. We hope you enjoy the results.
We really appreciate all the time that the interviewees put into these interviews, be sure to let them know if you enjoyed it. Want to re-read one of these great interviews again? They are all put into this thread for easy locating.
We are actively looking for GM's to interview so if you know of one you'd love to see interviewed please PM their name to
Lillian Thorne.Lillian How long have you been RPing, specifically in the arena?
Rilla Four or Five years. On Guild for almost 3.
Khan I've been participating in the arena since the start of October last year, it was through the group Warrior's Den Lyzan made
Lillian Rilla, so did you start in Arena style RPing?
Rilla Not exactly, I started in what would be considered Free here and watched some people fight and decided to join in after I got my character established somewhat.
Lillian So do either of you have a preference for Arena or regular RPing?
Rilla I prefer the Arena, only if it has a story behind it. While I like normal fights, I'm much more invested in a Arena fight with a story than I am a regular RP(Aside from Allaria). It's what I'm good at.
KhanWell in terms of Arena I usually only join anything more story based, but I prefer to some levels, Regular RPing, due to the fact Arena RPing get's far to competitive.
Rilla Yeah it does, some people are dicks, honestly. But I suppose they know that.
Khan And I grew up on Regular RPing
Rilla I grew up in a mix, most of the storylines I was in/started involved a shitton of fighting
Khan Funny fact: My first RP's in this site were action romance style (believe it or not)
Rilla I knew you liked cybering. ;D
Lillian Is there a big difference between GMing a regular thread and an Arena thread?
Rilla To me? Nah, the only difference is, you deal with a lot more cocky people than you might in a normal RP thread, but that's the nature of the Arena, people are cocky. That, and you aren't really GMin' a Arena thread unless it's a tournament, generally if it’s just between two people, you just talk things out no one is really in charge past the initial 'This is the fight I want' stage. If it's a tournament, there is still no big difference, get the sheets, accept/deny the sheets, and have a good time keeping everyone in line and not going over the normal Cocky-Arena Guy/Girl bounds.
Khan Well, I personally have never GMed a Arena RP, at least not on a scale of a tournament like the one Rilla has started twice now, closest thing would be starting a few short matches, In terms of Normal RP's it may depend on the type of RP but I don't think there is a large difference aside from the fact in the arena you have to be more careful with 'cheating' while in a normal RP you don't have to worry about such things as often, as it is, generally, not competitive (not counting Nation RPs and special game type RPs, etc)
Lillian So how do you deal with the OOC Drama and the cheating?
Rilla I do it simply, as much as we talk about people being dicks, they are generally receptive to having to change things. Drama is always a constant part of the arena, mostly in jest. However, when it goes past that, you can generally tell them to chill out, and have both sides explain their side of the story. Also, having a judge does help, one that is agreed upon by both parties. It also helps that both parties KNOW the rules being used. But, generally, they'll be down to change their posts if they have too. As for cheating, it's just a matter of proving it and stating your point. If you think you're being cheated, then you CAN be awarded the match, or you both can just drop the match and pretend it never happened. As a tournament runner, however, I personally have the contestants provide me with several bits of information, so I can make proper judgments. If someone is cheating, constantly, they can be booted or disqualified. Though, very few actually cheat in tournament play or in a big enough way to warrant it.
Khan In terms of the arena you can usually avoid allot of trouble with proper 'screening' of PC's Sheets, (Like Obvious Op powers like time bending and the like) as for cheating within a battle as Rilla said having a Judge would be a major help, lucky in my cause at least I have seen little drama in OOC
Rilla Ah yes, you do have to screen the character sheets; otherwise people will try to slip something in against the rules: teleporting, superforms, time/space/reality manipulating, etc., etc.
Lillian Can you explain the differences between the tiers?
Rilla Basically, it's just how strong the character is. Humans, for instance, generally fit in the first three of them
Khan Well more powerful, beings, dragons for instance or super human would be mid-tier
Rilla Someone like Bruce Lee, would fit in like Tier 2, maybe Tier 3, since he is a martial arts master Mid-tier is where a lot of people in Guild's Arena fit, with magic and what not. Past Tier 6, it generally gets into the time/space manipulating up until you are ping ponging galaxies around with your pinky
Khan Pretty much anything over 7 tier would generally be anything from Dragon Ball Z type characters to god-like beings that can wipe out a galaxy
Rilla We don't get a lot of fights at that level on Guild, because of how much douchebaggery that can come with it.
Lillian I was just going to ask.
Lillian So is the lower level easier to RP/GM or is it more an issue of the players themselves?
Rilla Well, kinda both. The lower levels are easier to handle because you don't have to deal with MY MAGIC CAN DO DIS AND DAT. But as you increase in level, that starts to come up, hence screening the sheets. Once you get to level 7+, logic is pretty much thrown out of the window more and more as you go up in level. I prefer to GM level 4-6 since I like magic and I can handle that level of what they can and can't do.
Khan I believe so yes, at least in my case and from what I saw from the last high tier tournament, some people seemed to have a hard time making a truly 'high' tier PC
Rilla It's opposite for me, some people I've seen have a hard time scaling their character properly for what they want to do. Especially when they get into unique magic and such. I come from a place where it got to the point people were manipulating any and everything they could to get as close to god-modding /without/ god-modding. Cells, time, eat-all energy, etc., etc. At that level, while you can combat it, it just gets tedious. "OH I DID THIS AND THAT TO YOU HARHARHAR" Irish is from the same place.
Khan I see
Rilla To be fair, I've had my share of higher tier characters too.
Lillian So is the OOC wrangling part of the appeal? Some people seem to enjoy it.
Rilla If by wrangling you mean the jib-jab that goes on in there, yeah, especially for bigger things like tournaments.
Lillian That is what I meant.
Rilla But I think that's the case for any RP; if you are having a good time in the OOC, you're more inclined to stay in it, then leave it. WOTW has over 102 pages of OOC stuff, and the tournament(IC matches) only started an hour ago
Khan I would say so for sure, Sometimes an OOC can actually help keep an RP alive, from what I have found
Lillian Well that is certainly true in most RPing, interesting to hear it translates to Arena
Rilla Go in talk a little shit, back and forth, and you know you're interested. Brag a bit, tell your opponent they are going to lose, it hypes you up.
Khan A chatroom can even be a bigger drive to keep an RP alive, (specially for NRP's or D&D type of RPS)
Rilla I should probably make one for WOTW. Eventually.
Khan Their generally made for when the OOC gets flooded (which ours kind of gets)
Rilla What almost kills mine is the IRC sometimes, especially if people argue in it.
Lillian So do either of you have a preference for a tier?
Rilla I prefer 5 or 6. Not limited to just hand to hand (though you can have a level 6 hand to hand character) and not unlimited in what you can do. Some structure, not too much. A lot of my characters are based around that level, if not above or below for scaling purposes.
Khan I find I much prefer anything from 3-6, I have had little interest in anything higher than that
Lillian is that preference for GMing as well?
Rilla I have some characters that exceed it, but I don't use them. And yes, whenever I run Way of the Warrior, the highest a character can go is 6, and the lowest is, of course 1, There is actually a level 1-3 character in WOTW right now.
Rilla Khan.. yep
Lillian So what is the benefit or detriment to playing a lower level character in such a rp
Rilla Lillian: The benefits is not having to worry about the bullshit magic can spit out and having an actual fight, where you have to be close to do damage But the detriment is you HAVE to be close, and you are limited in what you can do. You have to plot out your moves; if you're swinging with your right hand, you have to actually know what you're doing and not bullshit it, otherwise, you'll get messed up and potentially lose.
Khan ^ Generally one would pick a lower tier PC due to it being their "comfort" zone, or might want to give themselves a challenge
Rilla If you aren't comfortable playing it, it's better to not do it, unless you WANT to get comfortable with it.
Khan As well, in my opinion, I find it is more interesting to see that kind of combat and since it requires more skill, it is also more rewarding to read
Lillian So which would you both say matters more? Higher tier or a skilled RPer?
Rilla Skills, definitely. Anyone can make a level 10 character and start running roughshod over everyone and everything
Khan skills, Absolutely
Rilla There is a guy, who won the biggest Arena RPing Tournament, with what amounts to maybe a level 3 character, A swordsmen, if I remember correctly.
Khan In some cases you might find when someone makes a much higher tier they are using it as a kind of "crutch" due to lack of said skill
Rilla That's why I choose level 6 and below, it helps to get your skill up in a broader range
Lillian Do you find that real life skills aid in success in the arena? I see that many people trot out martial credentials when they are in the Arena.
Rilla Actually, they can be a big help. When I'm in a hand to hand fight, I try to act out the moves(When I'm alone), so I can see how they'd work as opposed to throwing shit at the wall and seeing if it sticks. But, you have to remember, just because YOU have that training doesn't mean your character does and that's what some people forget. They'll have a novice fighting on par with a master if the opponent doesn't say anything
Khan Oh yes, for example, Lyzan has allot of real life experience in fighting due to his background, a player called Tasuke has some real martial experience
Rilla I, on the other hand, have none. Aside from a few fights in the neighborhood
Khan Another example, I have learned some basic sword fighting, and it is quite easy to spot someone trying something they say in a movie or game, 'X' like chops for example with duel sword wielding PC's, I personally think that is one of the reasons I do fairly ok even with my lack of expreince in arena fighting.
Lillian Do people hold that against you or has your reputation kept you above that?
Rilla Some people will hold it against you, but I've generally been able to bullshit my way through it(Either in a fight, or talking. ;D) I've had people want me to teach them H2H due to how well I do.
Lillian So do you think people who are martially inclined in RL are drawn to the arena?
Rilla I don't think they are more inclined, but they are definitely better suited for it. Since they know what to do, and how to do it. I think more people who aren't martial experts are more drawn to it, due to how much they don't HAVE to know.
Khan I believe it does to a degree, as allot of fighters in the arena I know have some RL experience. But I also find people who just like action movies and/or games are just as inclined
Rilla I WANNA X-CHOP DAT ASS
KhanYou know I facepalmed so hard when you did that in the lobby post?
Lillian so not being a video gamer, you'll have to tell me what an x chop is?
Rilla LOLOLOLOL. I did it because it looked funny, he was never going to hit Liaison. It's basically crossing your weapons across your chest and attacking like that
Lillian ahh, ok.
Khan Which I would never recommend, but you see it allot in holly wood
Lillian I imagine it would be hard not to hit your weapons together
Khan And ppl like to copy it allot (despite the fact it goes against the very purpose of having two swords.) Which is to defend with one and attack with the other, but am probably getting off topic
Lillian it happens
Rilla I will X chop the shit out of you. xD
Rilla COME HERE KHAN LEMME X-CHOP YOU. ;d
Lillian So what was the greatest RP fight you ever witnesses or engaged in?
Rilla I, honestly, forgot the name of it. I've been trying to find it on and off for years. It was a truly amazing fight, and was one of the reasons, the main one, I decided to get better than I was at Arena fighting.
Khan Ohh, that is a tough one....But...I would have to say, the fight I witnessed between Lyzan and Catto Bates
Rilla As for been in? I'm quite partial to all my fights with Draigh(David), and my friend Anth; I grew up fighting with them online, and we all just got better together. There was also this 'Epik' Four-way I was involved in. Also, yes, that fight Khan mentioned, despite it being in the first round I believe, it was purely amazing. It's probably the best fight on Guild, at the moment and definitely could have been the final rounder.
Khan The one between whiteglint77 and Sikako was also very good
Rilla Glint and Sikako are very good fighters.
Khan Wish I had the link to the fight though it was one of my favs
Lillian So what was it you liked about these fights? What made them so good?
Rilla The depths and how well they played them. They didn't try and do outrageous stuff (Catto Bates/Lyzan), they just played their characters the proper way
Khan I think those are two good examples
Rilla It read good, so you weren't confused throughout it, they put enough detail in it so you knew what was happening and didn't need guess work
Khan And having some character development is also a good element
Rilla In the fights I've been in, that I liked, it was the story behind them. Fighting for something, and not just fighting to be fighting.
Khan For example going into proper depth of how your PC realistically would feel at the moment, etc
Rilla And how they would react to what's going on, without seeming like it was just perfect for them to do that. Lyzan and Aspserer did fall into that trap in their match. Everything the other did they had 'seen' before and knew how to counter; so it became more of one up, then it did a fight.
Lillian That was the last tournament wasn't it? I was following that one.
Khan Ya, but such things happen in fights even to the best of us, especially when 'winning' is the main goal.
Rilla Yes it does
Lillian So what do you love about the Arena?
Rilla The competitiveness. In a normal RP, generally everyone is on the same page, trying to help get to the same goal. In the arena, you're competing to get that goal, if it's a normal fight or you're trying to make the best story you can. It's a lot harder, imo, to be in the arena, than it is to do a normal RP.
Khan Well I have come to like it simply due to the fact it is much more, well, competitive
Rilla everything is constantly changing. The same strategy won't always work time and time again
Khan You generally don't get to focus so strongly on combat in a normal RP, and they are generally less time demanding too (Tournaments aside)
Rilla A lot of my fights, I don't try and have a time limit(Tournaments excluded) I like to be able to take my time doing a posts, get my thoughts right, before just posting.
Lillian So how would you suggest an interested person, new to the arena get started?
Rilla Read up on some fights, talk to a couple of people and request a practice fight. People treat jumping in like a do or die situation, when it's really simple. Just gotta be careful who you get to train you.
Lillian So a mentor?
Rilla More or less, it doesn't even have to be that; just someone who'll run through a fight with you
Khan I think one of the best ways would be getting some one more experienced to teach you some of the basics, or joining a group like Warrior Den
Rilla Yeah, WD is a good place to go for help
Khan Also easier to find someone your level to fight with,
Lillian So any other good advice you would offer that new person?
Rilla Don't try and overdo it. If you don't know how to play at level 6, don't get into something you can't handle. Also, don't listen to what people say about the arena. A lot of the time, it's people who aren't in the Arena who say it's bad, or whatever. If you want to try it, try it, if not, don't.
Khan And, above all, don't feel discouraged if they lose their first match, like any skill you only get better at it with time,
Rilla Who knows, you'll probably be a lot better at it than you think. Oi! Take everything in stride, we talk a lot of shit, but really don't mean any harm by it.
Khan And of course have fun, arena fighting can be some of the most exciting and rewarding RPing one can do. An experience all the more enriched due to the many writing styles of the many players that frequent the arena threads.
Lillian Lovely. I think that's all I've got. Have you two anything else you want to add or touch upon?
Khan Nah, am solid
Rilla Uh, Check out Way of the Warrior II - Blood Shed. It promises to be the best tournament on Guild, and you can see prominent fighters like Rilla, Sikako, Wind, Yoshua, Guru, as well as horrible ones like Khan. ;D fighting it out to be named the best. Plus the stories going in and coming out of it, should be amazing. ;D
Title: Wolf Country: Four Packs
In a wilderness near a new human suburban development wolf packs run freeish.... Confined by their territories with boundaries enforced by the biggest and baddest. Four clans walk beneath the moons.
Title: Knights of the Lily
It's been nearly a hundred years since the last of the Knights of the Lily died, and the legacy of their heroism is still sustaining the peace in the kingdom of Llyrynwen. But a hundred years is a terribly long time, and the peace is now near ready to break in about a dozen different ways at once.
But that's probably no concern of yours, being that you've somehow been caught up in the black arts of necromancy. At this point, it hardly matters whether you actually studied the arts or were falsely accused by the Inquisition, whether you lost a family member to the Inquisition or they stopped you paying a necromancer to bring one back, whether you were an undead horror willingly raised or whether your corpse just happened to be the one an amateur necromancer decided to practice with.
Whether or not you've died before, there's plenty of people who want to kill you and make it stick. Maybe you're running for them, or looking for them, or maybe whatever it is that got you on the wrong side of humanity just happened five minutes ago, but something's brought you to the town of Erynshire even as the local Inquisitors are out in force, seeking to round up a few heretics to put the fear of necromancy back into the hearts of the peasants on the eve of Saint Erec's Day, which commemorates the death of one of the twelve Knights of the Lily.
Probably this celebration was more festive before ritual execution was made traditional.
Title: Red Scarf Hymnal
The Red Scarf Hymnal is a character-driven RP with an emphasis on horror, survival, and adventure. It takes place in the real world, but far in the distant future where a series of arcane cataclysms has killed off most of the human race.
Featured Interest Checks
Title: A MIB RP!!
GM: Jones Sparrow
Title says it all... I'm thinking about some pretty cool story, characters, it won't have a true plot, except for the MIB's main purpose: to regulate and take care of any aliens that are on the planet earth!
you could be an alien, a random citizen that keeps getting into the mess, or an agent (new or old)!
If you're interested, let me know by posting, or PMing me!
Title: Picking Up The Pieces Of The Space Apocalypse
Hey, captain! I've got a job for you, and it's a big one. I sent one of my scavengers down to investigate a rumor I'd heard of a cruise ship (aquatic, not space-going) the Old Federation still floating around on Sirius VII-B. They used to call it Tropos back then (did you know that? My secretary says it's common knowledge, but I just found out), real popular vacation spot before some change in the atmosphere made the air toxic.
This scavenger goes down there with a breath mask, thinks he's hit the jackpot, a whole ship full of pre-war luxuries to be sold off to the highest bidder, hidden from plunderers for decades because no one thought to check and make sure Tropos didn't leave anything behind when the atmosphere was poisoned. But instead my scavenger got killed by guard bots. All he had was a bog standard sidearm, didn't stand a chance.
I hope you realize both of the implications here. Number one, I've got to pay for the poor bastard's funeral, which means I need a pretty hefty pay-day soon, and it's hard to get that on a 5% finder's fee. More importantly, the power's still on. Forget pre-war trinkets, we're looking at pre-war batteries. If those bots are still running this long after Tropos was abandoned, they must be running on Deutrion. Even one of those batteries could power a modern city for a month! Or a dreadnought for about six minutes, but we'll see whether the civic or military types bid higher.
Meet me at our conference spot in the Sirius system, I'll give you the exact coordinates of the ship on Tropos. Don't send any messages 'till you get here. Even at the highest encryption level, just sending this is a bit of a risk. If someone else finds out about this before we've got it secured, we'll be looking at competition, and that's the last thing we need here.
-John "SynthSeek" Maker
I'm going to call this one Space Apocalypse for short, even though it takes place decades after the actual apocalypse. The idea for Space Apocalypse first formed while watching Star Trek and Firefly on Netflix. I really liked the setup of having a team working together on a spaceship. They had a home base they were in about half of the episodes, but could also visit strange and exotic locations. You can have close-quarters fire fights and fist fights on the surface (or on the ship, or on someone else's ship) and also tricky maneuvering like the Millennium Falcon going through an asteroid field (even though Star Wars wasn't really like this at all except for that one part of Empire Strikes Back where everyone was on the Millennium Falcon together for like an hour). Also, because the basic premise revolves around a crew, it immediately lends itself towards party-based roleplays (as opposed to some genres, which typically work best with lone protagonists and have to be finangled with to work a party into things).
Title: The Good Life, neo-noir for criminals
Tuesday, November 3rd 2085
Parole officer said to keep a journal once I got settled in. I’m in a decent working class area. The garage I was set to work for is just a short walk away. The apartment is decent, one bedroom, one bathroom, kitchen and a view of the street below. The street stays pretty busy but I like the sound. It’s been three years since I slept in a real bed, in a real room and lived in a real home. No more cell, no more guards or watching my back. I did my time, paid my debt to society and now it’s my turn to fall into the ranks of countless blue collar workers who do their job and go home. It’s all legit. No cutting corners, no lies and no deception. I don’t even have a gun anymore, but I have no need for one. I’m a regular, a harmless nobody putting in work for his due and proper and it’s all within the law. I’m living the rest of my life without stepping on anyone’s toes and staying out of trouble. That’s the way it should be, that’s the good life.
That’s not how things go in this city, not for me. How am I supposed to sit down and agree that this is the right kind of life to live when I know how easy it is to muscle my way to some easy money. How am I supposed to agree with good government bullshit when I know I can make more than the mayor with a few good friends and some guns. I had things set up perfectly. I took what I wanted, muscled anyone that got in my way and paid tribute to those who let me go about my business. The only reason I ended up behind bars was because we were doing so damn good and people couldn’t stand it. Now I’m given a clean slate and I’m expected to just walk away? I can’t do that, this life is all I know, it’s what I live for and it’s what I’m best at. I’m only 27 and I’m not going out like a one hit wonder. It’s time to get a crew together and start pulling jobs that make people take notice. It’s time for the good life.
In the big bad city of Crawston, you can make good money working for bad people.
Role Playing Discussion
Interesting discussions are always going on, come join in and chat about our mutual hobby
Dasbochit has created a thread to discuss some of the moments you had during your roleplaying career that really made you laugh. Be sure to head on down if you get the chance and share some of your funniest roleplaying memories.
RPG has a lovely Gallery section that doesn’t see enough encouragement and attention. If you have some scribbles lying around or some art you’d like to share start up a gallery and show people what you can do outside of an RP! While you are there take a moment to offer some encouragement and insight in another user's gallery, maybe they will return the favor. If you'd like your gallery to be featured be sure to send a PM to either Lillian Thorne or Guru.
Art Gallery: Art Tutorials and Guides
Sgt Sarcastic has open up a guide for those who wish to indulge and improve their artistic skills or to learn something new. So if you're wanting to have some tips on how to start being an artist or if you're an artist and have something to share, do drop by her gallery.
Writing Gallery: One Thousand Words
Kanami has written a poetic piece of writing in the gallery which revolved around emotions and mystery. Check out his writing style and don't forget to leave some feedbacks.
Don’t forget about RPG’s Official Monthly contests: Artists of the Month & Writer of the Month, the prize is a nifty colored user title not to mention the glory. The contestants work really hard and put out some outstanding work. Stop by and check it out and while you are there don’t forget to vote and comment on the contest entries. The more votes and comments, the more satisfying the victory is! The contests could always use more people. If you want to get involved and send in an entry, please see the Contest section of the site for rules and directions. Remember the more, the merrier!
This month's theme for WOTM is Friendship and is accepting entries until June 15th.
This Month's theme for AOTM is Life vs Death and is accepting entries until June 18th.
May's WOTM Casual Winner: Sil
Beautiful, Lonely Music
Color flickers across the mind like strands of light, barely visible, yet some of the most beautiful things ever seen. Ghosts in the night, shimmering as if there is nothing else in the world. Bright colors; blue, green, yellow, hints of red...against a sky of black darker than night.
That is the first sight as the cello sounds its brilliant melody, sad and lonely in the evening air of the empty house. Though his strong fingers play, his arm pulling back and forth slowly to let the tune filter through the walls, his blind eyes see not, and his ears hear not. He is in his own world, seeing those beautiful colors, hearing their voices as a world begins to appear before him. There are no names to this world; simply music. Beautiful, lonely music.
A meadow appears with soft grass as high as his waist swaying in the light breeze. The dark sky is now lit with a beautiful silver moon that seems to smile upon him. Flowers begin to bloom, white petals opening to reveal the magic of the night. Wisps of a brilliant, shimmering blue begin to soar to him happily, singing the same tune he now plays through the walls of the empty house, touching his face: his lips, his nose, his ears, his cheeks...and his eyes. Those sightless eyes that can now, somehow, see.
How is it possible?
Is it that beautiful, lonely music?
He steps forward, smiling as the sights are taken in. His hands brush along the tips of the grass that sways before him like a pool of gentle caresses. Just as he remembers. The moon casts a haze of silver that blocks all things evil in the night. And standing strongly before him, beckoning with open branches, is a grand willow, high and mighty. Nothing can be better. It, too, dances to that beautiful music. That music that brings the sights of night.
The cello plays higher, stronger, than before. The wisps follow behind him as he takes another step, and another, towards the great willow. As he steps ever closer, the branches seem to dance with the same ghostly colors that began this journey. As if the tree is not just a tree, but a creature all its own. The weeping branches begin to sway and dance like a great ghost as the door to the empty house opens, then closes gently, and footsteps travel beside him to let gentle fingers brush his cheek. His fingers continue to dance across the frets, making more of the beautiful, lonely music.
Then, those steps make their way a few paces over, and she seats herself at the grand piano, closing her eyes and beginning the harmony to his own music. As the keys begin their sounds, her eyes close, and the colors begin to form in her own mind. Not like his - ghostly and transparent - but more colorful, full of life. She sees them better, but does not hear them. Though her fingers dance like magic across the heavy keys, she will never hear their grand sounds. She will only feel them...only see them.
And yet, that music blends so perfectly.
Those vibrant colors begin to take shape, and she is suddenly within his world, staring at that ghostly tree. The tiny wisps make their way to her now, smiling and singing the harmony to his tune in perfect unison as they touch her as they did him. Her lips, nose, cheeks, eyes...and her ears. She can hear, if only for now. And as the music drifts to her, carried upon the wind, she cannot help but smile and follow towards the tree.
For her, this tree does not look like a ghost. Instead, it is a creature of wisdom, glowing almost like a star, smiling with a timeless gaze at the sky.
How is it possible?
Is it that beautiful, lonely music?
She manages her way to him, touching his hand as their music dances in the nightly wind. Together, they make their way to the tree, seeing the same thing in two different perspectives. Two minds...together as one.
The music slows, separates into two melodies that seem to intertwine as their fingers do. The branches of the great willow brushes against their skin in a caress that makes them both smile, separately happy, neither truly realizing the other is there. Together, yet alone.
They dance through the soft grasses as the wisps take up the tunes they play through the empty house. The silvery light begins to fade as darkness once more begins to take over. Slowly, the great meadow becomes nothing more than that grand tree swaying in the breeze. The wisps slowly begin to disappear into the darkness, becoming nothing but color and sound. Ghostly for one, lively for another. Then, as if it is nothing but a memory, the tree, too, begins to fade into a bright color that sways to the ever-slowing music. They disappear from each other, never truly acknowledging that the other was there until it is too late, becoming nothing more that that beautiful music that fills the empty house. Blackness takes over once more. He becomes sightless; she becomes soundless but for those strong fingers.
And yet, that music continues to play. Once more intertwining into one lonely tune. Never do they miss. And when the tune finally closes, they both let out a sigh and begin again, once more entering a world all their own, together, yet alone.
How is it possible?
Is it that beautiful, lonely music?
May's WOTM Advanced Winner: PlatinumSkink
So, all I see is this land that stretches so far. It is a large universe, with so much content. It contains many different worlds, endless amount of people, countless geographic areas and places. I see warriors strutting around looking colorful. I see agents, going on their top secret missions. Large battles take place over and over, magic and laser-beams blasting all over the place. Mechanized human-like suits battle it out above some planets, wishing to gain supremacy over their enemies. Ordinary soldiers and generals repeatedly fight it out. Schools are spread out far across the worlds, and inside them countless dramas, romances and otherwise unsuitable action scenes including ridiculously young people fighting are commonplace. Magic and technology mixes without shame, but not all people know about the other despite living right next to the other. Also, over there is a forbidden corner you should not visit unless you are 18+. Really.
Every single one of these people in this universe has a story to tell. It is not any story like the ones you could share yourself, as almost every one of them is unnatural. Those that are not are almost all impossible in your world for reasons yet undisclosed. Even those living somewhat normal lives can probably outperform most in our world in the amount of drama in their lives. Always, there is some trouble, some problem, some conflict. Some love interest that got into trouble, some villain wishing different from the person, some emotional struggle to regain control of fate. And the stories repeat themselves, over and over. That… is part of this universe. More people drop in all the time, but very few people in this world note the new arrivals. The only ones that seem to mind are those that arrive at the same time with each other in the same part of the world. It can be so confusing…
Then there is another department. A department filled with more realistic faces, people someone could have seen before in life. In this department, one can see the faces of people one have seen all before. Relationships, past events, imagined future events, all can be seen here. A frequently visited place, here one can find all the experiences of a real life, and those one can imagine happening. Friends, family, acquaintances, enemies. All of them, rushing around in a large chaotic plain recreating the situations of the past. Tons of information, all here, ready to be collected whenever necessary. It will always be here. No matter how much time passes, somewhere deep inside the scenes still remain. This goes for both this department and the highly unnatural department. As long as the energy from the mind still holds strong, these worlds will stay intact.
A past friend of mine calls out my high-school nickname as I close the door to the department of real memories. That is not the world I wish to lose myself in at this moment. No matter how blissful doing so would feel at this moment, that is not the purpose of my mission. I closed the door to the real world, and I turn to face the other one, the world which represents my fantasy. It is grand. No amount of words can describe everything in this world. This is the department I draw on when creating, imagining and acting out characters in other worlds. They are my creations and the creations of other people. I influence and create them as I please, but one rule remains forever. I can never delete. I cannot erase worlds or characters I have once created. That is why the weapon of the enemy is so powerful. Why it is so potent. It is a poisonous memory, a poisonous fiction. It corrupts my mind, and destroys me using my memories. And memories cannot be deleted. Even when imagined in another form, it only changed shape. But this… is beyond that.
“Colonel? Colonel, are you alright?” The question came from outside. The scientist of the Outer Mind Infiltration Department, OMID, or just the “mids” as they are called, is currently standing over my not quite asleep body. As I am not asleep, I can hear his voice clearly. Well. I heard that the transition into this world using the technology at hand would be hazardous, but is asking that question really worth it? I mean, I cannot respond. Everything that happens right now, is in my imagination. I am imagining walking around in a universe filled with all my memories, dreams and visions. I can interact with it, and so I can do something about the problem. Currently, trying to move muscles will only happen in my imagination, and as such won’t affect the real me. But since I cannot respond, that is the confirmation that I am alright.
“Good. It appears the transition went flawlessly. Alright, you know what to do. Seek out something that does not belong in there or don’t make sense. I know it sounds difficult, but do your best.” Easy for you to say. I would claim I don’t remember half of what I am seeing here. And yet, this mind takes in everything. Everything that I would claim I don’t remember yet would come back when I am reminded of it. And I am. Over and over, I am reminded. Yes, those soldiers over there are from that movie. Yes, those girls are from that show. Yes, those warriors are from that game. And those characters gathered over there… are mine. I created them myself, and they are currently interacting with their own worlds. I have to leave them there, because they should be there. No use trying to search for anything here, because as soon as I imagine anything it will show up right in front of me. What I’m seeking… I won’t remember, and as such I must seek it.
I walk past worlds of my own past, worlds which others have created and I have experienced through various media as well as worlds I have created myself. This trip could be holding a great backlash through sheer nostalgia, as I watch the little childish cartoons of my youth jumping around trying to humor their viewers. They succeed. I smile stupidly at them before turning to look around more while my imaginary legs keeps carrying me onwards. I walk through space while watching giant ships and lasers fly by, I walk through forests with elves ambushing opponents with arrows and spells and I walk through schools where people are chasing each other for humor and romance. To my right, I see two very old characters of my own, talking. They were supposed to get indulged into a romance with each other at some point in the story, but I never got there. I smile mischievously as I instantly correct the wrong by making the guy confess immediately while adding a day or so of gathering courage. The girl blushes, and is left speechless. A few moments later I leave satisfied, while in the background the two ancient lovebirds of my past imagination shares their absolutely first kiss.
“The poison is spreading. You must hurry up.” Alright, alright. I know. By infecting my imagination and adding memories it can turn me into a horrible person. I don’t understand exactly how it works, but I remember the records of past incidents. How people suddenly became murderous, how they started believing in horrendous ideals and what occurred afterwards. Truly, a rightfully horrible weapon. Illegal is only the first term to describe the use of it. Luckily, we had discovered the terrorist hideout and taken them into custody, ending their reign of terror. However, they did not let themselves get captured without first presenting us with a last surprise. I… took the brunt, saving most of my companions. Now, however… I am trying to do what so many have failed to do before. I am trying to save myself from the weapon.
Suddenly, I notice something wrong. I passed a world, a school, but in it… was a tragedy. The characters were killing each other, and sadness wreaked havoc. Insanity grew, and problems arose. Nothing solved it, and the entire story ended with the death of everyone. I would have missed it as just another poor memory, had it not been for the fact that I remembered who had created that show. It didn’t make sense. Those childish idiots would never have created a story like that. It was wrong. And yet, I could not possibly imagine how it would otherwise look like, as that was how my brain remembered it. It also remembered the positive critique about the happy little love-story. That… was not what I remember. Something is wrong. This tragedy… is not supposed to be here.
And yet, this was not what I was seeking. I was seeking something I had no recollection of whatsoever. This was a memory, something I remembered despite how wrong it was. This… was the effect of the weapon. This effect… was what it was trying to do with my department of real memories. I find myself on the verge of tears, remembering this tragedy that the writer never wrote. Such a horrible tale. And yet, I cannot deny that it is a very well written story. The scenario for the insanities, the backings of the kills, the underlying motives and interests… In a different use, this weapon is a masterpiece. It had created a new story, a tragedy, from scratch in the place where I should have remembered a happy tale. My praise to the creator. However, I cannot allow it to do the same to my real memories. If it can do this to these happy characters, I don’t want to know what would happen if it got ahold of real memories. It would be horrendous. It has already been horrendous to past targets. I cannot allow this to happen.
“… I can’t help you, because I don’t know how it looks like in there. But, I believe you should return to protect your real memories if you’ve discovered any twisted imaginary worlds. I am sorry to say, but your imaginary worlds cannot compare to the worth of your real memories.” Shut up. I know that. But… if this thing reaches the works that are my own… they will be lost forever. The original will not be out there, ready to be watched or read again. But, in any case. That poison will try to reach for my real memories, not my fantasies. These are collateral damage, fantasies that my opponent crossed on the way. I’ve gone too far. I turn back, and run. I must catch up to it, and stop it.
I curse my ineptitude. Or maybe, I’m cursing the speed of the poison. It seems to have a taste for destroying things on the way. No, that studio would not kill that character in the first episode. No, I remember clearly reading a comment about those two’s beautiful love in that book, and yet now I remember them never meeting due to one of them having a premature death. And I remember from blasted real-life history that Hitler did NOT win World War 2, stupid poisoned history-based movie!
And that… I saw something. It was my own character, an energetic girl in school who ends up in a dimensional war against people from other worlds due to her best friend being a container for a portal to other worlds. But, the friend died in the struggle, and a dimensional rift opened killing everyone on Earth while she became forever trapped between worlds, trying to escape to a real world but only does so by opening dimensional rifts that destroy the worlds she tries to go to. I would not make that kind of story. You dare change my own character’s history, without changing my love for the character? This means war.
I cannot stop it. It reaches too far. One by one, the stories fall for the poison. I can no longer cope with seeing what is obviously not the truth. I run, giving up what I treasure the most. I had to save myself. Once again reaching the door, I find my own memories undisturbed in the other department. But when I turn around, the entire fantasy world lies destroyed by the poison. This is it, huh? Very well. I will defend this door with all I have.
“*******.” I hear my name being called. It is a voice I slightly remember, yet cannot place. I look in the direction. It is a small girl in a school uniform. Straight purple would-be unnatural hair flows down on the sides of her hair, an inborn shyness is visible in her face. Identifying me after a moment, tears start flowing and she runs to hug me. She does so, crying my name over and over. She’s Ayami, one of my first creations, and one of my most loved ones. In fact, currently my most loved one, as she has survived the poison. She knows my name because I have often let her stray from her actual world to see me in my imagination. I guess that was what saved her.
“I-I’m so scared. Wh-what has happened to this place? I d-don’t understand. I don’t understand!” She cries out. Understandable, as her world is currently… a great tragedy. I gently pat her head, while keeping a steady look-out towards the world.
“H-hey. These are your worlds. C-can’t you just turn them back? If not just… create another one, one that looks just like it did before?” I would if I could, but unfortunately the poison twisted my original memories of the places. I cannot restore what I don’t remember. There is no way.
“St-stop kidding me! Y-you hold ultimate power over this place! I’d… I’d do anything for you… with you…” A slight blush covers my face. I loved her so much that I imprinted a pretty large crush from her to me as well. There… had been an embarrassing amount of times when I indulged myself with her in my imagination. Guess the Ayami that I am meeting here remember those times. Unfortunately, my powers over my own memories are fairly difficult to control. It is like trying to forget a nightmare. It can’t be done so easily. I wonder what the mids make of my blush. Hm, better not think too carefully about it.
Don’t worry, Ayami. I’ll protect you. Even if I fail to protect the entire rest of this world, I will protect you. This poison will not corrupt my memories of you as it has of everything else. No matter what, I’ll hold you precious. No evil memory will be able to touch you.
I pat the little girl, while smiling at her. With teary eyes, and a smile of relief, the little girl looks up at me and tightens her grip on my imaginary self. Really, am I doing this all over again? Protecting her from some great evil? I’ve done it so many times in the past. Will I do it once again, but this time for real? What an ironic twist. Very well. Come at me, great evil. I will defend this girl, as I always have. I’m used to this scenario by now. Come at me! Claim me! Attempt to and find yourself destroyed! As long as I am protecting this girl, I cannot be defeated!
“We are losing him. The poison has started to inflict the source. Prepare to nullify.” … Eh? How… am I being lost? I mean… I haven’t seen anything. Nothing unfamiliar that could be the poison. How am I supposed to combat something I’m losing to when I don’t know what it looks like? I look towards the door, and quite rightly, something appears to try to use its power to break through, a great purple mist. But… the source of that energy must be close. But… the only thing here is…
My heart sank. It was so obvious. Of course the poison would take a shape in which I would not recognize it at once. If it can manipulate my memories, why could it not manipulate itself, a poisonous memory? In the end… the poison gave itself away by inflicting too much damage. Only the cover it relied on remained. I turn my head towards the girl hugging me, leaning her head towards my body while crying with a satisfied expression of relief. Ayami… blasted poison, why would you do this to my Ayami..!?
I hug Ayami. She’s surprised, but she answers. It is her lover hugging her, after all. However, she probably hears me sobbing. “Wh-what’s the matter? Stop crying, you are scaring me.”
I’m sorry, Ayami. I could not protect you.
I send the signal.
“There it is! The colonel sent the signal! About damn time! Initiate the pulse! We are going to extract this!” I hear in the background how gears turn to motion and machines start up. I mark Ayami, and let go of her. Ayami herself, a figment of my mind, stares at me as I silently supply her with the knowledge I now hold. She needed to know. Ayami, acting in character, recoiled.
“N-no. That… that can’t be. I wouldn’t… I…” She starts to fling her arms around and shake her head in desperation. Then… her energy disappears, all too quickly. “… I… I must leave, then.” This… this is the case. All record of the girl Ayami has to be extracted from my mind. Then it will be destroyed, since it has been turned into a poison. Ayami, crying in fear of what comes, puts on one last brave expression and looks at me.
“Th-then… I guess I’ll… be happy that you will survive…” I’m sorry, Ayami. “B-bye…” The childhood imaginary lover spins around, sadness obvious in her eyes, and runs away from me. As she runs, her legs and arms gradually fracture as she splits up, then it goes over her body, and lastly… her head. I never get to see her eyes a final time.
Ayami left me… Aya… A… I don’t remember her name… I don’t remember… huh? What don’t I remember? All I remember is all these incredibly depressing tragedies. What..?
“Welcome back, colonel.” I come back to the lab, the machines which brought be to my inner world shutting off. “It was touch and go there for a moment, but you pulled through. Congratulations, colonel. You’re fine!” The gleaming smile of the scientist brings me no joy. Something is missing. While I maybe won’t kill myself or anyone else, I’ve lost something of great mental importance. I thank everyone on the site for their aid and find myself congratulated by my colleagues. I force a smile, and meet them all with the promise that I won’t leave.
I go home, my imaginary world in pieces. I guess at least something good has happened. I can become a seriously awesome tragedy author. Tired and sad from all the tragedies aflame in by brain, I get in and sit down at my computer. As it starts up and I insert the password, I warily stare at the screen, wondering if I should seriously start writing down these tragedies. I could become famous with these. But is that what I want? I warily glance over the desktop, feeling little energy to do anything. My imaginations, my worlds, they are gone. I’d have to make new ones, because I could never recreate them. There is no way I’d…
Suddenly, my eyes spy a folder. It is right there on my desktop. It is called “Stories”. I miss the mouse the first time I try to grab it, I must have moved too fast. I double-clicked around the folder a few times, I must be too excited. The folder finally opened. They’re there, row upon row of word-documents which titles I remember, but contents are entirely different. All of them are significantly more happy tales. The creator of them is… me. I glance over all of them, happy to see them, but among them there is a name I don’t recognize. Ayami. I quickly open the search bar and seek through my computer after said name. The results… stun me. So… many documents..? Hope shine through my depressed heart as I see the many, many documents piling up. I can’t make heads or tails out of the names of the documents. They seem to be the names of chapters. Grinning to myself, I pick one of them. A several page story is opened up, and from the file-size I can tell that the others are just as big. I grin to myself. I get to experience reading these pieces for the first time ever, despite being the writer myself. How amusing.
Well then, I better get reading. Oh, yes. I have a lot of reading to do~~
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Next Guild News: June, 22nd 2012