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The Thunder Tyrant

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About The Thunder Tyrant

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  • Birthday 11/19/1989
  1. I, Henrietta

    Tancred caught the flashlight with his free hand and the shield shifted on his arm. He thumbed the switch and an incandescent beam of light shone forth from the crystal lens that capped one end of the torch. Adjusting the straps of his shield and pointing the illumination down into the hole, Tancred leaped down. He dropped from pipe to pipe where they protruded from the wall -- nearly twice as thick as his thigh, they were easy enough to perch on -- and after a few short descents, he was on the ground behind Noel and Sabiya. He turned eastward and followed after Sabiya. He loped along with long, easy strides, his shield bucking on his arm. Once the warning lights came on he extinguished the flashlight and tucked it into his belt. The runes on the walls meant nothing to Tancred -- he didn't even recognize them as runes, never mind the fact that he could scarcely make them out. The illumination from the emergency lights was weak and wan, but it bleached out the runes' light enough that they didn't catch his eye. From afar, they simply looked like part of the walls. He didn't give them any attention, fixed as he was on finding the child. He kept track of Sabiya, who was ahead of him, and spared furtive glances upwards to make sure there was nothing looming above them. A thought nagged at the back of Tancred's mind. The group that remained after the attack, whether unconscious or awake, was smaller than it had been during the tour. Tancred was hardly an expert on insurgency tactics, but it didn't take any rigorous amount of thought to put two and two together: the attackers had been in the room, part of the tour group. They might still be, at that; there might be some in the group above that had been attacked by their fellows with the express purpose of remaining behind. For all he knew, Sabiya, Noel, or any of the other adventurers trekking through the guts of the building might have been part of the plot. He remained silent on the matter, however, and focused on the task at hand. Broaching the topic, bringing up the possibility that there might be conspirators among them, would only slow things down, and time was one thing that they lacked. Tancred doubted there was any way to uncover the truth as it was; the attack had been too sudden and there was a dearth of evidence beyond the darts and the kidnapped child. By the time they figured it out, if they solved the puzzle at all, the conspirators would be long gone and the child with them. The best course of action -- the only course, in Tancred's mind -- was to plunge ahead. If there was a traitor ahead or behind him, then that was a bridge to cross when the time came. The task at hand was all the mattered, and until they found the kidnappers, there was nothing to be gained by needless rumination.
  2. All true murder-hobos want nothing more than loot and XP.
  3. Hell's Gate [civil war]

    @supernal Go ahead and have the next person post; internet is being spotty at the moment. Sorry about that, didn't find out until I got back from work this morning.
  4. Hell's Gate [civil war]

    It might be better for @Chouette to go first -- I imagine with everyone else jumping right in and Tancred getting a flashlight from the guard, he's probably in the rear, and if Sabiya is going to notice the runes first then that'd probably flow better. If BFC doesn't have time to jump in, then I can go ahead and swing a post. @supernal
  5. I, Henrietta

    Tancred listened to the question and answer between Noel and Henrietta, but most of it -- Henrietta's ruminations in particular -- passed over his head. Her unspooling answer made it plain just how little he knew about the topic of magitech and golemancy in particular; like a musician who has learned their notes and scales, only to be confronted with keys and notations that show just how little they truly knew; like a climber standing at the top of a hill only to realize they've yet to ascend the mountain. When darkness descended and armor plating descended to shutter across any avenue of escape, Tancred drew the round parma shield off of his back. He met the quiet hiss of flying darts with the shield, drawing down into a kneel and protecting his face with the expanse of wood and steel. Darts thudded into the shield's face, wasting their soporific payloads. Other darts plinked against his leathern and steel breastplate, or caught in the thick cotton-and-leather layering of his jinbaori. Tancred shook himself free of the projectiles and found himself unharmed, if only by virtue of the panoply he wore. It took him a second or two to realize that the little girl was missing, and his guts curdled at the thought. Tancred considered himself neither especially callous or empathetic, but it took the supremely craven to stand idly by, unfeeling as stone, when a child was in harm's way. Even Tancred, in his serene and unseeming way, could be unsettled and bristled by that particular notion. Without meaning to, he had drawn the enormous pistol from his the holster at his hip, holding it loose in his left hand. Crafted from black steel and glimmering crystal, the magitech firearm bore two barrels, over-under, each sized for rounds more fitting a high powered rifle than a self defense weapon. The ronin strode over to the gaping hole carved into the floor and peered down into the darkness. It completely obscured any hint of what laid beyond; he lacked any preternatural sight to speak of. All the same, in those subterreanean tunnels laid Tancred's way. Or the way he knew best, at any rate. The Takeda walked their path resolutely to death. It was only through accepting one's own death as an inevitability that a warrior -- even a ronin like Tancred -- could fulfill the tenets of their code. He wore his death like a mantle across his shoulders, ready to shuffle off the mortal coil when ever necessity demanded it: dying without gaining one's aim was a dog's death, but living without aim was a fate far worse. Tancred turned back to the guards. "Give me something for my eyes and I'll go. I can't see in the dark."
  6. Hell's Gate [civil war]

    Will do. I'll write up a post tonight and throw it out in the morning.
  7. I, Henrietta

    Tancred peered up at the golems on display; first the military model with its over-long arms and top-heavy, gorilla body, then the educational golem further on ahead. He listened quietly while Henrietta rattled off their specifications, their tasks and capabilities. Tancred stood on the leftward fringe of the group, nearest to the display cases, and each time the girl rushed on, she brushed past him. He looked back into the crowd and saw a spectrum of expression, ranging from awe and excitement to fear and -- something curdled and sour, like contempt or disgust. The ronin felt no particular way about the golems. They were uncommon in his homeland. Not unheard of, and not a complete rarity, but certainly not as prevalent a presence as in Hell's Gate where they seemed to trundle and march around every corner. He had first heard whispers of discontent regarding the thinking machines among the elves, who saw them as some kind of aberration, a gross misuse of mana and magic. Tancred, wholly lacking in arcane talents, felt somewhat bemused by the elves' indignation. For being unnatural, the golems operated with a certain semblance of efficiency. He remained silent when Henrietta asked for questions. He had come onto the tour at the behest of the ambassador who suggested -- insisted, even -- that Tancred take the tour. He knew Tancred's tenuous circumstances; the Welandi exile lacked any sense of grounding. Like a leaf on the wind, he had been blown into Hell's Gate, and he lacked any roots to hold him down. He sought a way -- his Way -- through the world, and Licinius had believed that Tancred might find it at the tour. Tancred, for his part, remained unconvinced. He didn't know much about sorcery, and he knew even less about engineering. Magitech took knowledge of both, most especially complex magitechnical mechanics like golemancy. A tour of the militia patrol routes would have been better suited for him, or a recommendation for para-military duty through one of the various contractor corporations that helped service the Gate's considerable need for manpower. He didn't see much purpose in coming to the tour, but Licinius's belief had been sincere and in good faith, and Tancred saw no reason to turn aside the ambassador's aid. If it came to nothing, then at least he learned something about Hell's Gate. Hefting the straps of his shield to settle its weight across his shoulders, Tancred followed along with the rest of the group and split his attention between Henrietta and her crowd of listeners. Had he seen a pair or two of pointed ears among the others?
  8. [quest] Seeking the Way

    Tancred stood at the docks and watched his uncle's airship ascend, the kamon of Clan Takeda emblazoned in gold and emerald on its sides. The rush of air from its take-off tugged at his jinbaori and his hair, pulling stray strands out of his ponytail. The long ride from Weland to Hell's Gate -- a last gesture of affection from a favorite uncle -- had given Tancred ample time to contemplate his situation. He would likely never return to his homeland nor see his another member of his clan. He bore the Takeda name, but that was it; the familial emblems had been ground off of his panoply and left him without liege or lineage. He knew the exile was long in coming, had known since the day his younger, full-Welandi brother had been born. Tancred expected to feel some sense of loss, a hollowness that might catch and drag on the wayward winds. Instead of loss, he felt the crackle of excitement in his bones, buoying him up on a current of energy just as the air-ship lifted upwards on an gust of wind. He balanced his yari against his shoulder and turned. Scintillating spires reared up around him, dividing the horizon over and over again so that the bright blue of the sky alternated with the silver of metal and shine of glass. The unreality of the sight struck him still for a moment. Weland was no backwater watering hole, but its splendor of stone and wood struggled to compare with the sheer magnitude of Hell's Gate. The city didn't live up to its name -- or, rather, the name didn't live up to the city, which evoked imagery of abyssal pits, brimstone and black stone. Tancred fished out the neatly folded letter of recommendation from inside his coat. The lord of Clan Takeda had wrote it for him, as reward for the familial service he gave despite his impending exile. A second piece of paper fitted into the first. The words -- Seek Miles Alzado in Tower Secunda, Level Seven. Freelance liaison for local militia. Give him the letter. -- were scrawled across the paper in plain Common. Tancred looked up from the letter and back at the city's expanse spreading out before him. He had work and he had weapons. Now he only needed to find out which among the glittering forest of towers was Secunda.
  9. Are those drums I hear? A civil war

    Assuming I keep my boots on the ground with my current writing projects, I'll find some way to work Tancred into whatever happens with Hell's Gate.
  10. I am a shaved gorilla; AMA about fitness & nutrition.

    So, to put an update on this: I've recently started a weight cut to get ready for Dragon*Con in September -- and because I bloated up a bit more than I expected in the past few months. I'm aiming to go from 270ish to about 230-240 in that time. My entire diet is loosely summed up in four meals: "Dinner" -- eaten at work, several (3-6) hours prior to training. 12 oz chicken = 400 calories, 80g protein 1/2 cup rice 2 cups broccoli Post-workout shake: Gold Standard Whey 1 scoop 1 cup Fairlife milk, skim dextrose 2x servings "Breakfast" -- first solid meal post workout. 4 eggs 1 cup black beans 1/2 avocado/guacamole "Lunch" -- last meal before bed, second meal after the gym. Whey, 2 scoops cottage cheese, 1 cup Greek yogurt, 1 serving 1 serving matcha powder Supplements: Vitamin D, B12, multivitamin, fish oil, and a pro-biotic for gut health. Overall, this comes up to about 2600-2700 calories, and around 260 grams of protein, maybe 200-230 grams of carbs, and a decent amount of fat. This is a fairly basic approach to eating, and I'm breaking my own advice by over-relying on whey protein. Once you break it down, it's not really as much food as it looks, and there's nothing particularly exotic except for the dextrose -- which is just fast-digesting carbs -- and the matcha powder, which is high in antioxidants. Training wise, I'm weightlifting four times a week and I do one or two "full time" cardio sessions. Outside of those, I also do cardio after lifting to get in more activity. I'm not doing anything revolutionary, either.
  11. I am a shaved gorilla; AMA about fitness & nutrition.

    There's nothing wrong with machines; it's just that they're very muscle/movement specific, so they don't always offer a lot of utility until you get an idea of what you're doing. For lifting, there's numerous starting programs. I don't like to give specific recommendations without really knowing a person's background more fully, and that's something that tends to fall along the lines of "personal training" rather than general advice. Find one that sticks to the basics of compound movements (squat, deadlift, overhead press, bench press, etc) and doesn't have you doing a lot of complicated set-ups.
  12. I am a shaved gorilla; AMA about fitness & nutrition.

    Generally speaking, it's difficult to do both at once. Not impossible, but doing both generally requires a tightly disciplined dietary + exercise regimen. That being said, you can usually build strength or muscular endurance while leaning out with a decent diet; you just won't see mass gains most of the time. The particular "how to" for either of these topics depends on numerous factors: your training experience, your current bodyfat and fitness levels, whether or not you've already been dieting or how long you've been doing a specific form of training. There's a lot of potential topics to touch on when tailoring diet and exercise for someone, so in lieu of going for super specificity, I'll touch on the two topics in (very) broad strokes: ON FAT LOSS You'll note that I'm using the phrase "fat loss" instead of "weight loss." This is because weight loss implies dropping weight regardless of where it comes from. This is usually less of a fitness idea and more of a inaccurate "general health" idea that a lot of people have. The fact is, in almost every situation barring the extreme, you don't want to lose weight, you want to lose fat. You might weigh less after losing a certain percentage of fat; you might not. Ideally, from a health + fitness perspective, you want to retain as much muscle as possible. Just watching your weight plummet on the scale isn't indicative of progress -- indeed, it can often mark a problem in the form of over-dieting. So, some general notes on fat loss, operating on the assumption that no changes to diet or activity have been implemented: 1. Find your basic caloric intake requirements. You can google "Calorie calculator" and find numerous variations; most of them will come out to the same thing, give or take a few hundred calories. That is your target for the time being. 2. Examine your current diet. Commit to doing two things from hereon out: minimize your processed food and processed sugar intake. That means minimal fast food, minimal candy, minimal soft drinks. If you can cut them out completely, that's ideal, but even a severe reduction is better than nothing. Up your water intake. A gallon of water a day is good. 3. Develop a list of healthy foods you like across four categories: protein, fat, carbohydrates, and vegetables. For protein, things like chicken (breast, thigh), turkey, beef (the leaner the better), eggs, fish (fatty fish like salmon or tuna preferably), whey protein powder*, or pork are all good. For fats, you have stuff like avocado, nuts, specific oils (coconut, extra virgin olive oil, a few others), flax seeds, chia seeds, and a few other source of healthy fats. For carbohydrates you have rice, quinoa, couscous, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and various "breads" (actual bread, tortillas, flat bread, pita, etc). I separate vegetables from carbohydrates because vegetables provide helpful micronutrients, not necessarily carbs in the macronutrient (that is, calorically dense) sense. For vegetables, you can have pretty much anything green, but especially cruciferous (broccoli, cauliflower, kale) or dark leafy (spinach, mustard greens, etc) veggies. I include fruits under the vegetable label, although I personally only eat one or two fruits regularly (blueberries and mangoes). 4. At this point, you can either go the simple route or the slightly more complicated route: either develop a menu of foods/meals that you can eat every day, six days a week, or develop a rotating menu of meals. I eat the same stuff six days a week. Not everyone can, and that's not a problem if you plan for it. You want to develop your daily eating towards a rough mix of macros. For ease of convenience, we'll go 40/30/30 carb/protein/fat. What that means is that 40% of your calories should be carbs, 30% should be protein (approximately .75g to 1g of protein per lb of body mass) and 30% should come from fat. While there's a lot of low-carb diets out there, I'm suggesting a 40/30/30 ratio because most people aren't prepared to deal with low carb early on. So, a lot of my meals are real basic. Chicken breasts + rice + broccoli. Eggs + black beans + guacamole. Sweet potato + parsnip hash with ground beef. A big salad of cabbage + spinach with a heavy helping of tuna. Greek yogurt + oatmeal + whatever else I want in a bowl. I'm not the best for recipes, because I eat purely for function. The easiest thing to do is to mix and match your carb and protein sources. Swap out chicken for fish, normal potatoes for rice, quinoa for yams, etc etc. For ease of consumption and preparation, I'd say prepare your food with the intent of eating that particular meal 2-3 days in a row. So have chicken + rice 2-3 days in a row, then swap to fish + yams if you want. Again, I don't really do this: I eat pretty much the same shit, day in and day out, with minimal differences. You ask me what I'm eating for dinner on any given day, and 9 days out of 10 it's chicken breasts and rice. 5. Start exercising. Obviously I prefer weight training. When I do cardio, it's High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, which you can Google. This is something that's somewhat individualized; some people love lifting, others prefer cardio. In my opinion, steady state cardio (walking or jogging) is not effective for fat loss or athletic performance and shouldn't be done unless you have an injury or are geriatric. Try to be active four-ish days out of the week. Three at minimum. ** 6. If this is your first time exercising + dieting, you'll probably notice some initial fat loss and strength gains just from eating @ your basal requirements. This is because most people either a) over eat or b) eat diets with really poor macros, so their body responds positively to the changes. 7. Once your fat loss stalls, simply cut 500 calories, primarily from your fats and carbs. ON GAINING MUSCLE Do everything outlined for fat loss, except instead of cutting 500 calories, add 500 calories, preferably in the form of healthy carbs and protein. *Whey protein is an excellent source of protein for a diet. However, you don't want to over-rely on it, so I suggest most people stick with 1-2 servings. This largely depends on your size, tbh. The smaller you are, the easier it is to get by without whey. **I could go into a lot of the details about maximizing strength vs mass vs whatever in regards to training programming, but that's a very long-winded topic, and there's numerous websites (such as T-Nation) that discuss it at length in ways that are much more intelligent and well-developed than I can offer at the moment. That should cover most of it. I'm rambling a bit, but I think I hit most of the major concerns.
  13. I am a shaved gorilla; AMA about fitness & nutrition.

    Just touching on a few things: 1. Low fat isn't generally a health issue. What I mean is that fat is hugely -- wrongly, more importantly -- vilified in the common perception of "healthy" eating. While it's true that you do want to watch your intake of certain fats, fat in general is not an especially problematic nutrient. Obviously, some forms of fat are bad and should be avoided or minimized: fried foods, for example. I won't go so far as to argue that butter is a health food (although I know some people who would), but I will say that most unprocessed sources of dietary fat have received a bad rap in the past. 2. Low fat can be difficult because most dietary sources of protein also contain fat. This is true even of vegetarian or vegan sources of protein. The reason why this is problematic is that most variations of a healthy diet will be "high protein" -- if not in objective fact, then most certainly in relation to the diet promoted to the public. 3. Low sugar is reasonably easy to achieve. Just avoid the use of pre-made sauces and you'll avoid the lion's share of easily-consumed sugar. It goes without saying, but avoid liberally sprinkling your food with sugar or drenching it with honey and you'll probably be fine. I don't really have a lot of meal "ideas" because I come from a classic bodybuilding background of "eat the same shit six days a week" and my go-to meal is chicken and rice. I can point out a few possible recipes/ideas, though. 1. Chili. If you don't own a slow cooker, change that. You can make chili using any variety of beef you want (I prefer leaner variations myself, usually 90/10 or leaner), but you can also make chili out of chicken or turkey. Speaking from personal experience, turkey chili is pretty delicious, and is a nice alternative if you're trying to keep red meat out of your diet. At a glance, I like the sound of this recipe because it includes beans. Depending on where you live (especially in the U.S.) putting beans in chili is a sin from a culinary perspective. But if you're eating for health or fitness, then culinary traditions can pretty much go fuck themselves, IMO. Beans are a great source of fiber, and help pad out the calories in the chili. If you want low calorie then cut them I guess, but I'd prefer to keep them in. Then again, I eat beans on the daily, so. 2. While I don't follow a paleo approach for a variety of reasons and wouldn't necessarily recommend that anyone do so, I do find that a lot of paleo recipes are either pre-built to be healthy, or can be made healthy with a few tweaks. Most of the tweaks involve cutting the amount of bacon or animal fat being used for cooking, or changing the cooking methods (baking and grilling are the best methods of cooking meat from a health perspective, IMO). Like I said, I'm not much of a "recipe" sort of person. I know the basic macro- and micro-nutrient sources that work for me, and I tend to work with those without much large scale variation. Finding a lot of various recipes can be good if you want to develop a week-to-week "menu" though. I can look into some other websites that provide solid recipes and edit them into this post.
  14. At the suggestion of @King and @deadcasketburied, I'm throwing up this thread to act as a sort of repository for questions and answers -- anyone on the Valucre Discord knows that I like to wax poetic about food and lifting, and centralizing some of the topics that come up there will do two things: a) minimize having to repeat information by putting the answers in a readily available area and b) give me some ideas as to what people are most curious about regarding fitness and nutrition. One of my projects for this year and the next is to develop a comprehensive guide to proper nutrition and healthy eating, so this thread will hopefully help me direct my research and reading while also allowing me to help people with questions, concerns, or curiosities. I don't have a degree in nutrition or in sports science, but I do enjoy studying exercise and nutrition, and I've trained off and on (more off, admittedly) for about seven years. @Albireo, @Ran Iji, and @Corban can attest to the fact that I know, at the very least, how to get results as far as exercise and diet are concerned, in lieu of said degree(s). Topics I can/will answer on (in terms of most to least focus): 1. General diet/nutrition concerns. 2. Sports nutrition/Specific dietary protocols (paleo, ketogenic, vegetarian, how to cut weight, how to gain, etc). 3. Health/Sport supplementation. 4. Training methodologies (rep ranges, training routines, discussions on volume/frequency, training for specific purposes like strength gains or athletic goals). Topics I won't answer about: 1. PEDs of any kind (weight cutting agents, exogenous hormones, etc). This is less for legality and more for health reasons; there's no reason to discuss these kinds of topics outside of very specific frames of reference. 2. Retooling/Rating diets. The reason for this is threefold: a) I don't know your goals or your habits, b) I don't know your dietary restrictions or preferences and c) This is generally time consuming and ergo more of a paid service. 3. Rating exercises. While I'm happy to discuss whether or not certain exercises are beneficial for particular goals (e.g., what does barbell overhead press provide vs what does dumbbell overhead press provide), I won't try to rate/weight/rank exercises as "better" or "worse" because exercise is enormously individual. What's a terrible exercise for me as a 6'4'', 270 lb individual with two herniated discs in my lower spine might be great for you, so it wouldn't do for me to direct you away from that exercise.
  15. Takeda, Tancred

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