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The Hummingbird

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About The Hummingbird

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    Genesaris Board Leader
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    Writing, drawing, reading, sleeping
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    Expert Charcoal Wielder, Conte Crayon Adept, Surveyor of Acrylics

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  1. That moment when someone insults you like only your emotionally abusive mother did and claim they weren't doing exactly that.
  2. Master Jerdosa hauled Valanus up, holding him still as a mage, the one who had cast the blinding light, rummaged in a backpack. A length of thick rope was brought out, and Valanus’ arms were tied to his sides, the cord knotted so tight and secure it cut into his flesh. Jerdosa’s four companions watched him, sneering as their leader looked over a map, roughly yet expertly drawn on papyrus. Folding it, Jerdosa snapped a command. Mounting their horses, the group headed deeper into the desert. A brisk pace was set, with breaks taken to water the horses and hydrate themselves. Valanus however was given nothing; Jerdosa reminded him that he was bad and had to be punished. Stiff and hazy with pain and thirst, Valanus only nodded numbly. It was true, after all. “You’re such a bad boy,” Jerdosa murmured as his group checked their waterbags. He traced the handle of his whip over Valanus’ cheek. “I love you, and you do this. What am I to do with you?” Then sun was beginning to set, and the burning heat of the desert had long since spiked and was beginning to soften when the oasis came into view. It was a bright, comforting splash of green against the gold and white of the sand, which slowly melted into harder ground and patches of grass. Sparse trees appeared rooted around a still, clear pool of water. The oasis was small, but the vegetation was plentiful here. No humans had populated the area; there were only a few birds and fish. The tired horses were tied under a cluster of trees close to the water. Valanus was bound to a tree as well and was given a small sip of water that served only to enhance his thirst. Jerdosa patted him encouragingly on one shoulder. “Falio, watch my slave,” Jerdosa ordered lazily. He tossed the mage a small knife. “Make sure his feathers are cut. Don’t be too careful. You three, come with me. We need to… well, let’s keep that a surprise for our Little Bird, hmm?” The men, joking amidst themselves, followed Jerdosa and soon vanished behind a grove of trees, leaving Falio alone with Valanus. The mage stepped close to Valanus and studied him with a surprising amount of sympathy. “Sorry, kid,” Falio sighed. “Turn your head, will ya? This’ll be easier if you cooperate.” Obedienty, Valanus turned his head over and downward, exposing the small, ragged feathers growing from the nape of his neck. Falio stepped close and began cutting them away, letting the small, bluish-black plumes fall to the ground. “Jerdosa’s kind of a bastard,” Falio said idly as he worked. “But I guess you already know that, eh? He was talking about sending you back to Level Eight. Hey, don’t look so scared, kid. It’ll only be for a few weeks. Are you crying?”
  3. Above, the sun blazed with merciless heat. It glared down upon the desert sands like the eye of some ruthless god, watching the desolate landscape littered with the ruins of an ancient city destroyed long ago. Made of limestone, brick, and red marble, the topped towers and crushed temples resembled the skeletons of massive beasts, crushed and scattered across the golden earth. Like a mirage, their images shimmered in the heat, threatening to vanish at any moment. Panting with thirst and exhaustion, Valanus ran, stumbling across the rocks and sand on weak legs. He was barely able to support his own, emaciated body, but all that was on his mind was not his hunger or his thirst, or the pain of the bleeding wounds covering his body. No, it was the chance of escape, the slim chance that his pursuers might not follow him here. He had heard of this place, the Velhatien Desert. How it was haunted with the ghosts of those who died here, how Fire Elementals and other infernal beasts roamed these inhospitable lands. How the living died from thirst, or wandered lost for days, or were killed by the monsters who made their lairs in the sandy dunes. It was suicide, hoping to survive the desert alone, without provisions, hoping to find one of the rare oases that spotted the desert in long intervals. Weak as he was, it was death. But it was all the hope he had. He slowed, stopping, hand son his knees as he fought to breathe against the blistering heat. Though he dressed in nothing but a rough, brown robe it was still tempting to throw even that off. He pulled its scratchy fabric, loosening it against his skin that was slick with sweat. That was when he heard them. The snorts and whinnies of horses, and the shouts of commands of mounted riders. Crying out in despair and terror Valanus broke into a run once more. The ruins! He could hide amongst the ruins – surely they might give up there. But if they had followed him this far… There was a flash of light, brighter than even the sun. His vision was suddenly blinded with white, and he was knocked to the ground. He scrabbled against the sand, trying to rise when a shocking burst of pain across his back shoved him back down. He maoned. His eyes, squeezed shut, opened slightly, finding boots in front of him. A hand, smooth and long-fingered reached down, grasping his chin and lifting his head up. Valanus stared into the smiling green eyes of a man he knew only as Master Jerdosa. “I told you….” Jerdosa whispered, “not to try escaping, Little Bird.” “Master…please…” Jerdosa straightened, unleashing a whip tied to his waist. “I don’t want to do this, Little Bird. But you leave me with so little options.” He smiled again, uncoiling the leather tail. Behind him, other men, four of them, dismounted from mares and stallions, laughing at the fear that flashed across Valanus’ face. Valanus cringed as Jerdosa raise his arm. Twenty-five times. Valanus screamed as the whip struck his back, the leather tail digging into his flesh like a monstrous claw, tearing bloody rifts in his skin. The sand turned red benaeth him, and the pain left him a vortex where he was aware of nothing but the pain that left the whip wet with blood. “Say, it Little Bird.” “Please…” “Say it.” “I… I love you, Master.” “I love you too, Little Bird.”
  4. You have far too many strengths, and not enough weaknesses. Your character's regeneration ability is absurd given her many other strengths. Regaining a limb is acceptable on the surface, but within minutes of losing it is ridiculous. Your weakness is, as Ran said, not anything anyone could know, and thus is rendered obsolete. I would take Metty's advice and tone things down - way down. I myself play the avatar of a god, and he would not be capable of taking on your character (not to mention, I tone him down even further when he's outside a certain range of his homeland). It is true you are allowed any type of character, but if you want partners, you will have to accept that you have to give yourself boundaries. "I can do everything except blow up a universe" is not s sufficient boundary, if you get my meaning. Your character's main problem is she (he?) can do just about everything. This works against you as quests and storylines would be boring as they would provide no challenge: enemies and obstacles would just completely roll over before you, and believe me, that gets really old very fast.
  5. Truth! I laugh when people complain about the graphics, cause I remember Atari, and I also remember when old SNES games were the shit, dude. It's amazing how much games have progressed since then.
  6. Nier is brutal... mostly cause of the no-save feature during the entire opening sequence. I died, had to start all over. Again. and again, and again. Finally I just put it on Easy, rolled through the opening until I got to the first save point so I could get off the computer for a bit. I can switch the difficulty back later. The game definitely tries everything; old-school shooter, side-scroller, bird's-eye view (think Diablo) and normal third person exploration (like Fable), all in the most desolate landscape ever full of murderous machines. It's a good, entertaining game so far, I just wish I could save when I want.
  7. @Off Topic I understand this very well, but I responding in the literal sense because, to me, he was speaking literally and suggesting Hell as a literal place of suffering. I may have been mistaken; but, I see what you're saying. I think a lot of the Bible is symbolic, such as the prophecies presented in the New Testament. It is up to each individual person to discover what these stories mean to us, and how to live as God meant for us. I do not think we are meant to live dismissing other beliefs, or condemning others for differing opinions for this particular God - But I digress. My personal opinion has little bearing here.
  8. I might get them to live in another home. Sending them to endless cruelty in Hell might be overdoing it. Of course, it depends on what your definition of Hell is.
  9. If you really loved someone, would you send them to endless suffering in Hell? Just because they believed in something else? Just because they didn't go to the same club you did? Because you gave them the option to make their own choice in what they believed in? What if God is all-knowing, in that he knows all possible paths the future might take? That is, there is more than one future possible, and he, being infinite and unlimited, knows all of them, including the futures that are most likely to happen as well as those most unlikely?
  10. Just installed Neir: Automata. Stoked to play it. I just gotta pull an 8 hour shift and D&D tonight before I play it. Some people were giving it really bad reviews because of display issues and graphics and shit. I see no problem when I start it up, at least, but other problems remain to be seen. My computer should be able to run it like it's nothing, and while there were people who had problems, there were others who had no problems. Hope for the best, expect the worst!
  11. The ocean breeze washes over me As cold and ruthless as that trembling sea. How long will you stand here at my side? As overwhelming as the indigo sky? Hand in hand we are here far apart. Our friendship tastes sour and sweetly tart, Though it has lasted for generations gone, We sing of loneliness in a sorrowful song. What a sweet tune it is – what a blood-rushing tone! It chills me and sears me to the deepest of bones. The stars shine, I look up with glad gaiety - The winds shift, and they shake, the skeletal trees. The lark its high tunes, its soft lullaby, You know I’ve sung with the same sad sigh. Look - how narrow the Strait at the pearly gates! Can I gain entrance in this sinful state? Can we enter together, though we’ve betrayed one another? Can we forgive, when we silently suffer? Only God knows, only He can see, How we love each other with hate so freely. You stand worlds away, and I feel like a fool; You’ve hurt and used me like a soulless tool. But I too have a heart, I too have a mind And you have scorched both, time after time. Can we hope for more, can we hope for less? Only the same time can tell, and slowly test. But now I say to you, with a heart full of despair, Let it be known, let it hang in the air. When the strongest of ships fall, And life answers death’s call, When we all feel that something’s amiss, And the dearly departed seal your fate with a kiss, When the light fades at last, And we are all done with fate’s task, When the mountains crumble and the water runs dry When the fire runs rampant and for mercy we cry And the Savior steps forth and the Rapture has come I’ll love you still, and love’s never done.
  12. Silent and still, Ryzerus watched Gabrela as she stepped forward. Closer and closer she stepped until she was directly before him. The fire burning in the sconces hanging from the walls flickered, and the crimson light played across her pale flesh and hair. The combination drew the illusion of a slight blush over her cheeks, and set aflame that hair, highlighting every golden strand. Her molten eyes burned too, intense, radiant… and Ryzerus felt the touch of something he had never before experienced. He wondered at it, but he did not have a chance to wonder long, much less identify it. Gabriela was speaking then, laying out a plan that intended to return her to her rightful station. A plot that could fail, or backfire, or twist its intended outcome into a debacle of such magnitude it could utterly destroy her. But it was a plan that could succeed too – forever painting the Devil an eternal portrait of evil and treachery and dark schemes. A portrait of him… and to him, her. Such was the conclusion to their deadly game of love and somber trust. Ryzerus stared at her unblinking as she dared to reach out and touch him – he who had defiled her on sacred grounds. Her fingers gently and fearfully ran down his cheek. In her hair, the black rose trembled at their close proximity to one another with his magical aura spiking in response. If he had any less control over his own power, the sudden rush of energy would have knocked her back. As it was, he leashed and restrained it. “I will owe you a great favor.” Her fingers slowly withdrew. He smiled, though said nothing. Then she spoke her oath, her deadly pledge. He stood, abandoning the throne that bore his weight so gracefully. His voice came, low and stern and strangely respectful. “I see you have grown, and in such a short time, my Queen. My Black Queen. I will do as you ask, but be warned – once you retake your throne, you can never leave it again. And I am not responsible for the cruelties that will befall your usurper son.” His wings spread behind him, the gray of old ash, mingling with rich shades of sable brown and deep bronze. His wings swept over his body, and there was a flash of silver light. For a moment Gabriela would catch the image of a mighty condor before that too was gone. All that remained was a lingering voice echoing in her mind, repeating his promise. If you need me, use the rose.
  13. Pressed against the wall, Andreio listened to the familiar sounds of chaos and impending death. Bullets raining through the air, crashing against the protecting walls – the explosion of a thrown grenade – the cracking and breaking of solid stone as the angel broke in twain – the gleeful cries of the twins that turned into curses and shouts as the grenade erupted and smoke and debris and shards of metal and stone flowed across the room… It was beautiful. "Make quick work of these little shits, Andreio.” The Black Adder drew his other gun. Then he moved. He hit the floor in a roll, letting loose a hail of bullets into the rolling fog. The twins, though confused and disoriented, were already moving as well, rolling across the bed and using the broken fountain as a barrier. Both parties were essentially blind however, and no bullet found its intended mark until the mist cleared, leaving Andreio, Mishel, and Mikel in partially obstructed view of one another. Mishel, handling one of the two golden submachine guns, fired. Mikel reloaded. Andreio dashed across the room, narrowly avoiding the stream of bullets. Mikel fired as Mishel reloaded. Andreio, firing as he ran, slowly but steadily made his way closer to the shattered fallen angel whose battered wings the twins fired beneath. The twins were yelling now, cursing him and each other. Suddenly two hail of bullets came from the Andreio’s left and right. He rolled straight forward, hearing the sound of rounds colliding with one another as they split the air. As he rolled upright he felt an impact in his left shoulder, and then sharp, stinging pain. Red blood formed, the bright color mingling with his coat that was now riddled with holes. Mishel was laughing, her right hand holding the offending gun as her other hand kept firing the submachine gun propped against the statue’s arm. No doubt she expected Andreio to fold and die. But she did not know the Black Adder, and she did not know Andreio had felt pain before. And the twins had made the mistake of over-indulging simultaneously. There was a brief pause in their attack as the struggled to reload, and Andreio was not idle. His lean, lithe form flew to the statue, his foot hitting the angel’s twisted head now on the floor. He catapulted over the ruined statue, bypassing the rounded bed altogether and landed in the cushions of feather-stuffed clouds, right between the twins. His arms crossed over the other and fired. Mikel fell flat on the bed as Mishel took a bullet in in the chest. Andreio twisted as the sister died, his gun spinning and hitting Mikel in the face. Mikel spat a mix of a curse and a scream that was cut short as Andreio kicked him off the bed. The Black Adder lay across the bed, his uninjured arm hanging languidly off one side, the gun pointed at Mikel’s stained and dirty heart. Mike spit on Andreio’s face. BANG “Twenty-one seconds,” Andreio said, wiping the blog of saliva off his cheek. “Hm. I’ve done better.”
  14. Even before August turned away to seek the healer’s unwilling aid, Shakarri turned herself. Swiveling on one heel she stalked away, hands clenched into tight fists, her anger at a boiling point. It came close to choking her, but worse still, that anger swelled as she realized her rage at August also mixed with a disquieting fear born of a source she could not identify. It was confusing, and that in itself infuriated her. She strode away, every movement sharp and savage and even the elite hunters avoided her as she sought out August’s temporary abode. The small cabin the Knight-templar had been granted loomed ahead. It had three rooms – a lobby for visitations and guests, a small privy sweetened by wild growths of herbs, and a bedroom. It had been given to August soon after he had returned with Ylva, a gesture of congratulations and of great, if unspoken, respect. Most Kethlerins had their own cabin, even though a number slept outside on roughly made bedrolls if not the grass alone, and implied that August had been at last fully accepted among the hunters. Seeing the cabin usually made her glad. She flung the door open so hard it smashed against the other side, loosening one of the wooden hinges. It slammed behind her with equal force. For a moment she stood, glaring at nothing and everything, and was unable to keep still. she paced back and forth, breathing harshly. She spied a bowl of unfinished stew sitting quietly on a table. It flew across the room and collided with an unadorned wall before tumbling to the ground, sending bits of cooked venison across the floor. A candle sconce was next, and then a pair of decorative antlers. Both soon lay broken, though the antlers required a firm stomp to completely snap in two. Feeling slightly better, Shakarri marched into the bedroom – the room, as he dared called it – and sat on the mattress. It was stuffed with grass and feathers, the fabric dyed a becoming blue and the pillows a matching indigo. She was still wearing her bow and arrows, and considered all the ways she could murder August with them. He would pay for his idiocy; she would see to it. The sun was setting by the time he returned, patched up by an irritated healer who treated him to long lectures about abusing himself and wasting her time. By that time, Shakarri had come up with quite a few creative ways to kill him.
  15. Ryzerus smiled as Gabriela revealed his true identity. On the surface it appeared pleasant, but both queen and maternal servant would no doubt know of the knives that lay beneath. He turned his golden eyes on Eluvië, and his smile widened as she slid backwards and the bold green of her eyes dimmed to pale yellow. He had been hoping for exactly that kind of reaction, and seeing it brought him a feeling of pure delight. Relaxing further into the throne, he closed those eyes and breathed deeply, drawing in the chill air of the great stone chamber. For a long moment, the queen’s questions concerning her homeland and its denizens floated in the air, unanswered. Ryzerus was so still, and so calm, that one might think he had fallen asleep. Little did anyone know that after generations of the deep slumber all High Lords fell heir to, Ryzerus found sleeping further to be highly distasteful. No, he was listening, and after a time his golden eyes opened to narrow slits. ”Ah, yes. Orisia.” His fingers wove together, tapping idly on the back of both hands. His eyes widened and he looked to the side, his stare penetrating the walls of the throne room, looking far away into the distant alleys of memory. When he spoke again, it was not to answer her questions. “Do you know what my brother Zenahriel was doing in Orisia, during your murderous son’s coronation? He was going to meet your treacherous king and formally withdraw the High Lords’ support of the DuGrace family and their – your – land. Luckily, meeting you threw him into such a rage he left without doing so.” He sighed. “I’s been hard getting information from him, but I discovered a few things. King Lucis the Murderer is currently being troubled by Umbra’s Sanguinar army. Led of course by Raphael, your cousin, if I am not mistaken. Most intriguing. It appears they are ready to march at a moment’s notice. However, your cousin has also publicly adopted little Blackberry. Pardon, Raspberry. Your beloved daughter. Meanwhile, your charming Dollya has vanished. Quite interesting. “Now, as to your existence… word travels fast, my little queen. If Orisia’s populace has not yet heard about you being very much alive, they will soon. It will be only a rumor, at first, dismissed as wishful fantasy… but then, as it spreads, it will become fact. And just as I warned you, you will never be left in peace.” He suddenly leaned forward, his eyes bright. “Now it is my turn. What are you going to do?”