October 13, 2019, 11:51:23 PM

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Messages - J.R. Darewood

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1
I'm trying Dauntless. It's a bit a monster hunter-like mmo that got released recently. No idea if it is any good yet since I just started. :p

As for my skyrim playthrough, I'm grinding through the thieves guild quests rn. I want to finish these and the assassin guild before moving on to the expansions.

I do the thieves guild almost every time I play! What expansions are you doing? Are you on PC? Have you installed any quest mods? I've done Moonpaths to Elsweyr, various pieces of the snow elf stuff in Qaxe's Questorium, Bruma, Clockwork City, Grey Cowl of Nocturnal, and a few others.
Going vanilla right now for blank experience. Excepting two mods from their cash shop that were being given away. (materials and nyx hound).
I have all the xpacs but so far I'm only doing mainland. After thieves guild and dark brotherhood I will do dawnguard and dragonborn.
Will definitely do moonpaths in my next playthrough but still looking for mods otherwise. Feel free to recommend your favourites :p

Bruma was meh.  I think the crime settings glitched because everyone in the province tries to murder me everytime I go there and they're constantly sending bounty hunters and I don't even remember what I did. It's not letting me do the speechcraft/guild things either to chill it out, and all NPCs seem to be affected, not just guards.

Clockwork city won a bunch of awards.  It was cool. Qaxe's has a ton of cool stuff I keep randomly discovering.  Rebuilding Helgen is supposed to be really awesome too.

2
I'm trying Dauntless. It's a bit a monster hunter-like mmo that got released recently. No idea if it is any good yet since I just started. :p

As for my skyrim playthrough, I'm grinding through the thieves guild quests rn. I want to finish these and the assassin guild before moving on to the expansions.

I do the thieves guild almost every time I play! What expansions are you doing? Are you on PC? Have you installed any quest mods? I've done Moonpaths to Elsweyr, various pieces of the snow elf stuff in Qaxe's Questorium, Bruma, Clockwork City, Grey Cowl of Nocturnal, and a few others.

3
Yeah.  I didn't read the novels, but I played in the Ravenloft campaign setting once. 

4
Writers' Corner / Re: How do you keep your characters realistic?
« on: October 06, 2019, 01:14:29 PM »
Erm. @J.R. Darewood: What exactly is deconstructionism?

@JMack sorry I just saw that you posted this back in July. Sorry I missed it I think at the time I was running around Peru and embroiled in some sort of unpleasantness here which might possibly still be lingering on me like a bad smell....

At any rate, "deconstructionism" is typically related to existential philosophy (ie. the deconstruction of reality and truth), but  in the context of this discussion (uhhhh that happened in 2014) we were talking about deconstructing tropes, specifically the hero trope.  Grimdark for example might take apart the noblebright hero trope exposing the underlying ways that heroism is *constructed* thereby inducing a sense of "realism".  So deconstruction is basically about taking apart/undermining/questioning etc social constructions we usually hold to be a given (the knight in shining armor, the divine right of benevolent monarchs, or anything really--pick your poison)


5
Haha my problem is the opposite of a blank page. I've got lots on my mind... Like a long list of scenes to add... Then o think up 100 extra versions. Then I get overwhelmed by how far my brain is ahead of my fingers (while waffling agonizingly over every choice and every possible avenue) and I get overwhelmed and don't write.

This month I added like 5-7000 words of new scenes throughout my WIP. But today I was busy cutting and pasting pieces of a proposal into forms and spending hours on budget spreadsheets... Which I guess is technically writing but not the fun kind

6
Writers' Corner / Re: "She said"
« on: September 27, 2019, 04:23:01 AM »
I thought this was a  "That's what she said" joke thread.  ;D

As to OP, I find he said, she said to be lazy and mundane. Prefer something which conveys emotional content whispered, growled, snapped etc etc. Gives insight into speakers emotional situation additionally.

He said she said is just redundant and you may as well ignore that and let it be implied.

I've heard (quite a few times) that you're absolutely supposed to just use said. But that's usually from the same people who hate prologues and adverbs and omniscient POV and fun and basically all the joys of life soooo...

I'm with @Bender here. As a reader, I typically come across "said" overused and colorful variation *under-used* for my tastes at least. I've almost never seen variation overused.

7
@isos81 yeah I always used shin protectors. My roommate used to roll his shins with a bat to strengthen them, and I've seen ppl kicking trees for the same purpose. You gotta use wraps and keep your wrist in the right position, but yeah practicing that sport is sorta like flirting with injury at all times

8
General Discussion / Re: Motorbikes
« on: September 25, 2019, 05:13:43 PM »
If it makes you feel better, a friend of mine (an engineering student) was working on putting together a new bike from the pieces of others, for like 2 years  He was emptying out the gasoline tank (into the driveway) and his roommate lit an empty can on fire with a match and was kicking it around, which ultimately caught the trail of gasoline, and lit the whole bike on fire, which he wheeled out of his garage and ran back and forth from inside to throw water on it with a bowl.

He also dropped my bike every time I lent it to him, so there's that.

Sorry to hear you're having so many problems!!! I feel pretty accomplished. I fixed the hydrolic system on a tractor yesterday (zero mechanical prowess here, just brute force and the observation that my uncle had completely ignored the color coding of the tubes), but now i have hydrolic splatter permanently in the crotch of my shorts.

9
I've made some serious changes with my life.
....

Besides, I've started intermittent fasting. I only eat between 12 and 4 pm.

My god, that would kill me.


Now, I wake up at 6 am. Drink two full spoon of apple cider vinegar (mixed with water but still disgusting).


That would also kill me.

I'm done with kickboxing for now (my bones need to heal) and starting to either yoga or climbing.

Just curious, @isos81 did you injure yourself kickboxing? I'm slowly getting back into my kickboxing routine after having a hip rotation issue (sitting for long periods of time is what kills me). I do a combination of lifting and stretching designed to straighten back out the spine

10
Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Black Leopard Red Wolf
« on: September 20, 2019, 04:44:01 AM »
It's really f**ing good, once you get used to Tracker being bitter and violent and lashing out at anyone and everyone near him.  I have to fight with myself *not* to read this book when i have so many other things to do.

@Eclipse In answer to your question:

Nighteyes and Saraband because they were in the thread, cupi because she wasn't.

More specifically, its a book with a very literary appeal, and i thought it might help cupi cross over a bit. I think of Lanko as mired more centrally the genre. (Also, she responds to my summons and Lanko doesn't.) It's not a book I would have picked for you either, eclipse, but it's not as bad as Beyond Redemption, from what I've heard of it, and while the main character spends his time pretending not to care about things, will all of his macho posturing, but deep inside really does care so its very grimy, very dark, but not grimdark in that there are no redeemable qualities to any of the characters.  You also have no idea what is true or not as he's speaking to an inquisitor about people he may be trying to protect.

I would say this book is more like Toni Morrison's Beloved crossed with a touch of African Alice in Wonderland but Alice is a hard-boiled PI looking for a missing child she doesn't care about with a band of adventurers half of whom she's banged at one point.

11
Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Black Leopard Red Wolf
« on: September 11, 2019, 05:10:07 AM »
I'm probably going to hit this piece by piece over the next year b/c I'm kinda busy, unless i get pulled under.  But damn it's GOOD!!!!

On the first page: "I smell the dried blood of executed men: I hear their ghosts still screaming. Your bread carries weevils, and your water carries the piss of ten and two guards and the goat they fuck for sport. Shall I give you a story?"

Can there be a better line than that in the opening to any book ever? I'm only 2 or 3 chapters in and we've got murder, infanticide, female circumcision/genital mutilation (depending on your perspective), domestic violence, rape, child molestation, beastialty, fratricide, idk even know what else I lost count.

On the minus side, I know I will struggle with this book just because the MC is so utterly repulsive. It's why I struggled quite a bit with Jorg despite loving Mark Lawence's writing style (I really enjoyed Jalan however, I guess I can stomach some kinds of terrible people more than others... like i enjoy deliciously evil, especially when they're an antagonist but damn sometimes I really have a hard time with utterly repulsive protagonists). Anyway, the cool thing is that while this is certainly grimdark, it's not monotonous depressing grimdark, it's more like defiant angsty grimdark.   Still i don't like him.  At all.

Also, first person usually irritates the hell out of me, but here he actually uses it really well.  The idea is that it's a story being told by a prisoner, so first person fits perfectly with the conceit, especially since you're going to get another POV in sequels so there's some cool unreliable narrator stuff to parse out over time.

What I LOVE about the book is how rich the voice is.  Marlon James really delivers both his worldbuilding and his characterization seamlessly through voice.  I really wish i had a fraction of his talent.  It's absolutely beautifully done, and makes for an engaging and absorbing read, enjoying the gondola ride despite the fact that it's the sewer of humanity he's taking you through.

Also I really like the way he writes sex.

Anyway, so far this is definitely up there in my top reads of all time.  I'm excited to hear what you think @Saraband @cupiscent and @Nighteyes

12
General Discussion / Re: Motorbikes
« on: September 11, 2019, 04:41:02 AM »
Update.

My MuZ Skorpion was written off by the insurers and I was low balled on the insurance for the bike. The reason is they are rare enough for none to have been sold in the 60 days prior to the accident (this is how long Ebay keeps sold information now) on Ebay, Auto Trader, GumTree et al. So I got about 2/3 of what I was expecting. As a low end Glasses guide price was used.

 My legal cover employed by my insurers are uninterested in resolving this and my insurers are saying not our problem so I guess I am out of pocket there. I have bought the bike back and will rebuild it although the bike shop that is the only supplier of parts has seen what I am after and can source about half of it. Note to self chase em up Tomorrow.

I went for a medical today relating to the crash and the doctor believes I have cracked my  right fibula, X-rays to follow. Kinda makes sense as I stopped a care with that leg.

I went for a short ride after and went back across the same roundabout I was hit at a little disconcerting but manageable. I pulled into the local Mc Donalds and had a taxi cut me up then try and back over me. Things got a little heated at that point but there were bike cops and a Police van in the garage opposite as well as two bikers taking an interest at a table 3 meters away so he got back in his taxi and went away.
This is the first time I have actually been back on a bike for no reason and it was really strange.

@Rostum sorry man!!! That's awful.  I hope your x-rays come back with nothing worse than a bruise.  Crossing fingers here.

Meanwhile, Ebay just doesn't sound like the most professional way to make an assessment. What about KBB? (Kelley Blue Book)  I'd put some more pressure on and see what happens.  A roommate's friend who had been lent my car while I was out of town got into a fight with a trucker in a parking lot and the guy just drove into my car and totalled it. They wouldn't cover it until i got into town and raised some hell.

Also, re: the McDonalds thing.... drivers are an extra sort of crazy.  Being surrounded by metal just brings out the a-hole in people. A friend once saw a motorcyclist almost get run over by a reckless driver, and then the motorcycle chased the car down to start kicking their door angrily while riding high speed on the freeway....

Anyway, take care and I hope your leg recovers and your pocketbook recovers too.

13
General Discussion / Re: If your were a D&D character what would you be ?
« on: September 05, 2019, 12:57:00 AM »
If I were a character... wow I have no idea probably a chaotic good bard of some sort.  But I actually just joined a new D&D campaign for the first time in aaaaages. 5e is crazy different from back when I played 3 back in the day.

My character is Manny the Magnificent Medium and Master of the Mystic Arts. 
He can't actually do any magic because he's a fake psychic. (He's got a +7 deception, which was actually very useless in our campaign in a dungeon fighting gelatinous blobs of stuff I think one was called "black pudding" they are very hard to deceive)
His class is Rogue, Background is Charlatan, race human.
My friend is a half-elf ranger background criminal who's main enemy is human and grew up in sewers and is a bounty hunter/hired killer, but made of out of the ranger class not the rogue class because he has a pet rat.

We decided to combine our backstories and I actually wrote a short story about a few days ago, I almost added some weather to send it in to the last contest, but I felt like that would be cheating since I wrote it without weather first. Here's a first draft in spoiler tags if you're curious:

Spoiler for Hiden:

One Thousand Coins
 
Manny the Magnificent Medium and Master of the Mystical Arts had just finished reading the palm of Agnes the widow in his shadowy candlelit corner of the common room when the bounty hunter stepped in the tavern.  Gusts of wind entered as he did, causing the candles of the room to shudder apprehensively. Rivulets of rain dripped off the man’s scarred face, his dark grey leathers, and his wicked, knotted sword.

The man surveyed the room, with a mix of practiced wariness and unrestrained menace before making his way to the bar.  Manny cocked his ear.  “…Cru…” that seemed to be his name.  “…searching…” what was he searching?  Manny pondered the clues he was able to glean until, to his surprise, the man got up and walked directly to his table.

“May I sit?” Cru asked, but it clearly wasn’t a question.

Manny adjusted his black turban pinned into place with a fake black opal broche just above his forehead, before offering a welcoming smile. "Manny the Magnificent Medium and Master of the Mystical Arts. How may I be of service?"

Cru regarded the magician a moment through narrowed eyes. He took a sip of ale as he settled into his seat.

“But wait, perhaps I should tell you why you’re here, my dear friend Cru.”

Cru’s eyes widened and his mouth opened slightly. Before he could respond, Manny waved over the barmaid.

“Please, have a drink on me. It’s the least I can do.” Manny’s eyes fluttered across the man’s worn clothes and muddy boots.  His nostrils detected the air of a man who hadn’t seen a bath in at least two days.  “The spirits told me you’d be travelling a great distance, in dire need of my help.”

Cru downed his ale in one gulp and slid the full cup Manny had ordered in front of him. “Your help?”

Manny leaned forward, looking deep into the man’s eyes. "I sense a deep yearning within you. You are searching, always searching for something."

"Well, yes.” Cru raised a surprised eyebrow as he took a swig.  It was quite strong.  Manny had good taste. “Wow. I am, in fact, seeking--"

Manny closed his eyes, his hands moving strangely as if to massage the spirits from the air. "...someone special?"

"No."

"Someone once very close to you, now passed beyond the veil..."

"No."

"She's--" Manny peeked open one eye, rapidly noting Cru's sour wince and crossed arms, "--I mean he's here to help you find ...a... deeper purp--"

"No."

"Purp-perouse, perouse your future fortune!"

"Peruse a fortune?"

"Death, you know, often garbles grammar terribly."

"Well, I do need to get paid.”

“Of course! You’re seeking a jo--"

“Aaron.”

“Aj…ron?” Manny cocked his head, eyes squeezed shut.

“I’m a bounty hunter. I'm seeking a man by the name of Aaron."

Manny's eyes fluttered open. "Aaron?" he said, again, licking his lips.

"Yes, Aaron."

"There are many Aarons, but perhaps I could... ask the spirits about uniting you with the man you seek..."

"Uniting isn't what I'm about," the man said darkly, "and I'm asking you, not the spirits. The barkeep says you're the man to talk to. You must see loads of people in your trade, find out all their secrets. He's got jet black hair...."

Manny tucked a strand of jet black hair back into his turban.

"...a scar on the back of his left hand..."

Manny adjusted his gloves.

"...and a signet ring that looks like this..."

Manny peered at a drawing of the symbol of House Ishaine, his fingers involuntarily padding the vestment pocket he had stashed his signet ring.

"Dashingly handsome?" Manny asked.

"Uh, perhaps--"

"Please, have another drink," Manny said, waving over the barmaid.  "My treat."

Cru obliged, gulping down the last of his present mug. The ale was quite good here, and he already had quite a buzz. "Do you know this guy or not."

"And, uh, why might you be searching for this Aaron fellow?"

Cru's hand slid reflexively to his sword hilt, his face twisted into an evil smirk. "That's between me and my client."

"You know, my services are quite… an advantage… in the criminal world.  Missing husbands, children, pets... corpses. None can hide from those beyond the veil. In fact--"

"Have. You. Seen. Him."

"That description does... ah... sound familiar..."  Manny motioned the barmaid over for yet another ale.  Cru nodded thanks, quickly downing the rest of his current mug as the woman set down a full one to replace it. How many had he had now?  Four?  Five? He was feeling quite good.

Manny smiled.  "Ah! The rugged intensity, the dark leather, all the... scary weapons.  You are the perfect picture of a bounty hunter! How could I not answer your questions?"

Cru couldn't help but smile at the compliments.  He almost forgot that Manny hadn't, in fact answered the question. He did his best to drop the smile.

"Yes, yes, my dear friend Cru, I do have some clues for you but please indulge me a request!"

"A request?"

"Yes, a request.  Please...”

“Please what?”

“Take me with you!"

"Take you with me?"

"Gods, my talents are wasted here, helping lonely widows commune with their impotent dead husbands...."
Cru raised an eyebrow suddenly wondering how far Manny's services to widows went exactly.

"I can't tell you how exciting it would be to have some adventure for a change! And what a team we would make! You, the intimidating bounty hunter that can't be refused, and me, the socially suave companion--"

"You mean smarmy."

"I prefer 'persuasive if you desire an alternative."  Manny waved over the barmaid once again, and Cru readily accepted his hospitality.

"How much is this client paying you?"

Cru knew he should remain silent, but answering felt easier, and the alcohol felt so good... "I charge 5000.  For a kill of this caliber."

“This Aaron must be quite the villain! Whatever did he do?”

“He was born.”

Manny frowned, confused.

“You might have heard that the elderly blonde Duke and young blonde Duchess of Ishaine lost her child at the age of two?”

“Such a tragedy.”

“She dumped him in a sewer.”

“Oh.”

“He had black hair and olive skin.”

“That seems a rather extreme preference for hair color….”

“You know who had black hair?”

“Uh… no.”

“The stablehand, the doorman, the Ambassador of Qui, the Duke of Reynarr, and the Prince-Heir of the entire damn country, all of whom had met… privately… with the Duchess near the month of conception.”

“Oh my.”

“Obviously, should he be related to the prince it would be a disaster.”

“Of course.”

“But such a man will be a tough quarry.”

Manny nodded, eyes wandering in thought.

“I too was an orphan raised in the sewers. He will be hardened. Tough. A man of the streets.”

Manny raised a well-trimmed eyebrow.

“He will know everything about pain, about survival, and nothing of fear.” He pounded his chest drunkenly.

“A worthy adversary indeed. I can’t imagine that hardships the made you strong enough for such a task.”

The night wore on, and five drinks became five more, until eventually Cru stopped counting. In slurred words, he poured out the pain of his childhood. Manny’s eyes were expressive and sympathetic, his arm wrapped around Cru’s shoulder as he shared in each and every trauma.

“…After I bashed his face in with a rock, I tried to strangle him with a garotte made from twine but I wasn’t quite big enough so I forced his head down into a puddle of sewage until he drowned.”

Manny nodded in sympathy. “And you were how old?”

“Twelve.”

“Wow. It must have been hard,” Manny intoned earnestly, “that first time.”

“Oh gods no. He was the fifth, I think. Or something.  Maybe seventh…? But yeah it was hard. He was tall and pretty heavy.”

The tales went on until two in the morning, when Manny gripped Cru’s hand, wet with spilled ale. “I vow to help you find this foe.”

“You do?”

“Yes. We will earn your bounty together.”

“Togesshher…” Cru slurred suspiciously.

“For a third—”

Cru’s eyes narrowed menacingly.

“A quarter—”

Cru’s lip curled.

“A fifth…

Cru nodded drunkenly.

“… of the fee.”

“It’ssss a deal.” Cru squeezed Manny’s hand before slumping, unconscious into Manny’s lap.

Manny gently lifted the bounty hunter’s head onto the table. Gods what a mess. It wouldn’t be hard to kill the man now. Much harder, of course, to explain the body, but certainly doable. However…. one thousand coins! That he could certainly do something with.

No, it would be much wiser to find some unfortunate rugged man of the streets (or better yet a fresh corpse) with olive skin and jet black hair and ensure that the signet ring made its way onto his fingers. No more bounty hunters, and more money than he could scam in months. “Yes, my new friend,” Manny said, gently patting Cru’s head, “the spirits tell me you are the answer to all of my problems.”

Cru snored loudly into a puddle of his own slobber, oblivious to how close he had come to death.

Manny the Magnificent Medium and Master of the Mystic Arts smiled. “What a tremendous team we will make.”


14
Fantasy Movies, Comic Books & Video Games / Re: Anime Thread
« on: August 14, 2019, 01:31:47 AM »
FMA Brotherhood is my favorite
Watched the Last Airbender back in the day too.
Tried out Deathnote, Inuyasha, Naruto, and Sword Art Online, Ghost in the Shell, Elfen Leid, but just dabbled in those.

been having a hard time getting into new anime. I tried with Castlevania but just couldn't do it.

Mangawise, my fav is Gantz\

15
Henry Powder and the Darkwood Dale

In this 5th installment of the Henry Powder franchise, Henry and his friends are sent to the Darkwood Dale for Detention by the nefarious professor Scar-Lett Beumbridge and her angry scar.  Will they get out of detention, or will they be eaten by the ravenous hypo-griffo-nora ?  The eclipse is coming, and only time will tell.

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