Glen Progress and Miracles

The Giant’s Glen is coming along fairly nicely. I have about 20 pages written so far, and notes on all the characters. It’s just a matter of finding the time to flesh out everyone.

Artwork for this one will be a little slower to obtain. Normally I use a stash of stock art that I obtained earlier this year. This time I’m working with an artist who does some beautiful work with dolls, and we’re taking them out to photograph them in different places around Boston. We did the first photo shoot about two weeks ago, and will do another later today. We’ll probably need a third one to finish things off. We might do another in October just to get some changing leaf colors in there, but I’m anticipating having the descriptions ready before then, and I’d rather post early and update images later than delay everything until October.

In other Exalted news, the first official supplement came out recently, Miracles of the Solar Exalted. I read through it over the past few days, and it’s quite good overall. I have a few quibbles, but nothing that would keep me from recommending it to anyone running a Solar game. The commentary on each charm is really great, giving insights into the design process, rules interactions, or even just the developer’s brain space. Totally worth the $4.

My favorite in terms of flavor and simplicity is probably Poised Lion Attitude, which allows you to argue with someone at the same time that you’re fighting them and not have the clash of swords drown out your argument (i.e. you don’t take flurry penalties). Great for both wise-cracking fencers and monologuing war machines.

There are also several more knockback-oriented charms, from Archery to Brawl to Presence to a sweet Thrown/Brawl combo. Don’t get into fights on a narrow ledge, people.

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End of Demon City Project X

And that’s the end of Demon City Project X! I hope you enjoyed it. It was a lot of work – probably the most difficult setting I’ve written so far. I also learned a lot about what makes things easy or hard for me to write, and what helps me dig into a character and really get at their core.

There will be a brief intermission while I work on the next setting. Hopefully this intermission will genuinely be brief, and not the nearly three months that this last one took.

Until then, here’s the preview:

In the far northeast, in a quiet valley, the people live with the footprints of giants. Houses and huts are built beside tremendous structures from a bygone era. Snow and nature spirits dance alongside bridges that once supported more than mere mortals.

The gigantes left their lands long ago – but they also left their curios. Here in the shadows of giants and the fringes of the Wyld, a giant girl’s playthings have come to life. Some are here to protect the people of the glen. Some are here to take advantage of them. Still others would prefer to purify them.

They may be dolls, but their stories say that they are more, too. What secrets will you find? What strange allies will you gather, here in the Giant’s Glen?

Soma – Ameria, She Who Reviled Form

Soma 500

Blood Type:

Backstory

Soma met Ameria in a dream.

None of the other students here have met their demons. None of them even dream. Soma, however – Soma the overlooked, Soma the unseen – was exhausted one day and snuck into an unused classroom. It had mats on the side of the wall – perhaps it was once for kindergarteners, who take naps during the school day. She pulled two down and curled up across them and fell asleep.

There, Ameria talked to her. Ameria, daughter of Raiokon and the Formless Void, who had the sensibilities of the void and Raiokon’s bitterness. Ameria met with Soma and told her: We should not be here. We should not be at all.

You are overlooked because you are judged, and judged worthless. They see your body, your mind, your actions, and they ignore you like trash. This is because the world is awful. The Contorted Blocks are a lie in physical form. If we end the lie, we end suffering.

Ameria tore the veil from Soma’s eyes. Soma was able to see the world as it truly was. The Green Sun hung overhead. Her nose filled with the scent of brass and vinegar. She saw that she had no parents, no family, no friends in this world. She saw that the city’s people were shadows and the teachers just ghosts.

And Soma said: Yes.

Now there is no Soma, no Ameria. There is one body that holds both creatures and longs for all the creatures and things that have form to end.

Class Schedule

Dropout

Intimacies

Soma: Soma loves the rush of controlling people (major). She’s started with Anna, Rui, and Olivia. Eventually she’d like to have as many people as possible beneath her thumb… right before she gets to see them all pay (defining). This world is pathetic and terrible, and everything must change forever (defining).

Ameria: Ameria is disgusted (major) by Degata, Destiny’s Raiment, who clings to form and predestination so strongly. She scorns (major) Rishimoro, the Queen with the Coral Heart, for similar reasons. Rishimoro doesn’t even realize how badly she has fallen into the trap of self-definition. For Kettering, He Whom the World Denies, however, she feels a deep lust (major). He is a possible convert to her way of thinking and being, and she knows that he has looked at her in the same way.

Capabilities

Soma/Ameria can take the form of any of the nondescript beings of this world – a teacher, a student, a shopkeep, a wolf. Soma’s old self is gone, as forgotten as it was forgettable. Ameria never had physical form.

Soma is an excellent manipulator. She hides her own motivations while expertly picking out what everyone else really cares about. Then she goes right for the jugular. Anna resents everyone? Soma tells her she’ll show them all. Rui wants to be normal? Soma says she’ll make sure everyone gets treated the same, so no one has to deal with what he went through. Olivia thinks everyone could benefit from the kind of change she went through? Soma agrees. She won’t try to be your best friend; that’s just suspicious. Instead, she’ll let you start the revolution yourself. She’s not the boulder, she’s the person who pushes it downhill.

Ameria allows Soma to see what is most attached to its own nature, and what strives to become other. Soma can see this the way you or I see physical size, or feel the wind on our skin. When things or people want to change, Ameria makes their path easier. An acorn yearns to sprout. Ameria gives its shell the first crack. A teenager reaches for rebellion. Ameria gives them the willpower they need to lash out. Someone wants to enjoy a taste they have never experienced, to stop being alone, to lose a reputation. Ameria dispenses curses and blessings alike to smooth the way. She never stays around afterward, though. The changing is important. Being afterward is optional. Only change should be eternal.

Treat Soma as a battle group rather than as an individual. Successful attacks against her reduce her Magnitude and generate just one point of Initiative.

Questions

  • How can I destroy the Contorted Blocks?
  • How many people can I kill or control before someone figures out it’s me?