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Sigil Warden

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  1. I was talking about Starbucks giftcards and firm handshakes, I dunno what you're on about... 😐
  2. Current Working Profile Name: Ergo Tech Enhanced Agent, Unit T - 'Unity' Race: Human (Augmented) Sex: Female Age: 28 Apparent Age: 22 Eye Color: Red Height: 5' 7" Weight: 155lbs Build: Athletic, Leggy Passive Abilities/Skills: Augmented: Unity has become something beyond human: an 'aug'. Her body contains several physical and neurological augmentations of a cybernetic nature. Due to her figure and occupation, the vast bulk of these are nearly undetectable to the naked eye, and some are even invisible to biometric scanners. A full list of augmentations can be found in their own section. Designer Genes: Kept for months in a state of half-consciousness, Unity has undergone the first successful large-scale gene sculpting performed on an adult human in Absalom, altering her at the genetic level across nearly all of her biological tissues. She has become the perfect woman... or so Ergo Tech would claim. A full list of genetic modifications can be found in their own section. Acrobatics: As a career thief specializing in escape with high-value objects, Unity is both athletic and agile, capable of performing Olympic-level feats of gymnastics and parkour regularly, even in the absence of protective mats. Her ability to perform them under stress is well-honed - typically meeting with success unless directly physically interfered with by some outside agent. Sound of Silence: Inexplicable to all study, magical or technical, Unity is perpetually muted in word and deed. All sounds she makes are made at half the decibel value they would normally, making her incredibly quiet. The drawbacks to this are readily apparent, as she can rarely muster a normal speaking volume, and often speaks at a low murmur or even whisper. Rogue Exemplar: Unity first began her training as a saboteur, an agent for the royalty abroad. Hiding in the shadows is second nature to her, as is the art of the ambush. Lux Et Luminum: Whenever fighting in a brightly lit space, be the light natural or artificial, or even the result of an opponent’s ability, Unity’s hardlight abilities increase in durability to near indestructibility. Equipment: Gangnam Style: Unity eschews full armor in day-to-day wear, instead simply wearing whatever seems most fashionable for the environment. When expecting trouble, however, she wears one of several variations on the Fleeting Shadow armored bodysuit. Street Wear: Street Wear 2: Street Wear 3: Urban Wear: Club Wear: Fleeting Shadow: Blur and Contrast: Two mildly enchanted daggers, made of high-carbon steel. Their enchantments allow them to maintain their edge indefinitely, as well as heavily resist material shock that would otherwise break, shatter, or bend them. Upon striking a living target, they temporarily affect the victim's vision with their namesake distortion. Premiere: A cutting-edge crossbow, designed and supplied to Unity by the lycanthrope super-soldier ZEAL, this marvel of engineering combines stealth, penetration, and ease-of-use into one compact package. Mounted on a bullpup-style, collapsible stock, the recurve spring-steel lathe and braided cable-and-pulley system provides unmatched power for a weapon this size. The standard loadout carries 4 penetrator quarrels and 2 broadhead quarrels for armored and unarmored targets. Electric Grapple: Equipped with a retracting, motorized winch system, this steel-cable grappling hook can be deployed from the hip and activated via thought. It can raise or lower its payload at about the same speed as Unity can run on level ground. The grapple head allows for both active anchoring as well as passive friction-based locking. It has a maximum length of 60 feet. Active Abilities: St. Elmo's Fire: Despite her extensive augmentations, Unity retains her supernatural ability to conjure hard, electrically charged constructs made of light. The creations may take any form she desires, but not exceeding 2 cu. ft. in volume, and cannot contain complex, self-actuating parts. They possess the same hardness and durability of her daggers, and may be conjured in any visible spectral band of light, giving off a corresponding glow with the strength of a bright lantern. Intrinsically possessing an ionic charge, Unity may discharge it, destroying a construct to deliver the energy within to a target or object of her choice. Lastly, with concentration, she can focus the hardlight to manifest in the infrared or ultraviolet spectrum, but this is no longer instantaneous, and restricts her to a single object of one cubic foot or less. Atmospheric Lighting: Unity's uncanny ability to evade detection is assisted by her ability to affect the ambient lighting, color, contrast, saturation and even apparent texture of her surroundings at will. She may dim or intensify both artificial and natural sources of illumination, drain the color from surrounding objects and people, alter and blur the apparent image fidelity of natural sight as well as recording devices, over-saturate hues into nauseating patterns, and even completely drain a location of all surface detail into a sterile, smooth monochrome. This effect varies in scale but is always local, affecting only those actors and objects interacting with her surroundings directly. Radical experimentation and genome alteration have suppressed or superseded all other supernatural abilities Unity once possessed. She is, forevermore, an altered being. Augmentations: Cybernetic Neural Interface: Includes selective nerve signal activation/suppression, parallel processing wetware CPU (calculations, trajectory predictions, information processing), eidetic memory of recorded information, wireless communication receiver and thought interface. Pharmaceutical Micro-Doser: Synthesizes, carries, and administers an array of performance-enhancing and mood-stabilizing agents, as well as adrenal suppressants and dopamine response enhancers. Adaptive Immune Nanomachines: Supplemental immune response via nanosurgeon robotics, localized control over cytokine and histamine responses. Aids blood filtration. Synthetic Inner Ear Mesh: Carefully maintains superior hearing fidelity in conjunction with enhanced brainstem communication, allowing for micro-adjustment of joint alignments for impeccable balance on all surfaces while static and in motion. Synthetic Tendon Fibers: Cutting-edge material technologies strengthen existing tendons with high stress tolerance fibers to retain integrity even under destructive strain. Fiber-Optic Spinal Bypass: Bypasses fight or flight nerve responses to act before fear can take effect. Currently malfunctioning - does not prevent FoF response, only supercedes it. Can result in unit performance outside of parameters and emergency shutdown. Integrated Optical Augmentation: Wavelength selective lenses and retinal sensitivity. 1.4-4x magnification. Spectographical surface analysis of material states and chemical composition. Active recording capabilities. Integral Heads Up Display (HUD) connected to CNI. Genetic Modifications: Improved Muscloskeletal Density: 10-15% density increase across most operative muscle tissues, 5-8% bone density increase. Optimized crystalline lattices ensure peak skeletal stress response. Bodyfat Redistribution: Altered natural fat distribution and consumption mechanisms to strongly favor aesthetic and limb/core performance considerations. Tactile Nerve Cluster Proliferation: Targeted nerve receptor saturation for improved response to tactile information in extremities, nasal epithelium, lips, genitals, mammary glands, and abdomen. Collagen Regeneration: Groundbreaking natural re-synthesis and repair of collagen structures, allowing full recovery of injured joints, tendons and ligaments, as well as epithelial elasticity rejuvenation and visible de-aging. Counteracts the constant strain of gravitic pull on unsupported fatty tissues, prominently in the breasts and buttocks. Cell Nucleus DNA Redundancy: Redundant anti-tumor repair and self-destruct mechanisms in at-risk and rapidly replicating cell regions. Enhanced Digestive Tract: Fine-tuning of digestive response to food, natural synthesis of phosphoric acid. Heightened permeability of small intestine and increased generation of intestinal mucus and smooth muscle contraction in rectum and sigmoid colon to allow near-complete recovery of nutrient and water content of meals. Respiratory Volume Increase: Near-optimal gas exchange through aveolar restructuring allows for significant performance increase in strength and duration of aerobic activity without physically expanding the size of the lungs further. Liver, Kidney, Bladder, Uterine, and Endocrine Function Boost: New biological mechanisms for hormone regulation, egg release, protein generation, and toxin filtration allow for reduced quality of life impact from feminine biological processes, as well as improved muscle and brain function. Rapid synthesis and distribution of lactate dehydrogenase allows for tireless anaerobic activity for hours given sufficient caloric intake. Stemcell Sculpting: Removal of existing minor deformities and non-aesthetic defects in body symmetry. Active cache of non-differentiated cells housed in pancreas allows eventual repair of internal tissue damage as well as reabsorption of scarring. Targeted Follicle (De)Saturation: Increase of scalp hair follicle frequency to roughly 1,500 hairs per square inch. Significant depopulation of body hair to near complete non-occurrence, except in the nose interior and middle ear.
  3. Money is not the only form of payment accepted in Absalom... 🤐
  4. Ah for sure I'll give you a shout when its underway! Thank you so much for the kind words and support, I really hope I can get a nice cozy den of miscreants together. :3 As a brief aside I regret having to drop the intended expedition in UM so suddenly, maybe at some point I will come back to Eolan and that idea in a different form... but the current situation really shoved my life sideways, as I am sure it did for most.
  5. I apologize in advance for the rambling nature of this post. Firstly, an announcement: Absalom is officially OPEN to all. What does this mean? Well, I'm trying something a little different than the usual fare here, and carving out a comfortable nest among all the tagged quest threads and setting backgrounds. I intend for Absalom to be a roleplay hub that sees activity pushed by its own momentum, just like the fictional arcology itself - with writers and characters in close proximity and actively engaged with each other all in one place, instead of scattered between a dozen threads. Fear not the clutter, but embrace it, as a specific sub-plot or storyline is easily marked with a little text header atop your post - its as easy as that! And if you -don't- have a particular plot in mind, that's fine too! Absalom is as much a setting and story-generating framework as it is a 'real' place, and what good are locations if they aren't used to interact? Do you just want to socialize in-character with no agenda? Head to the clubs, open one of your own... its all possible. It is a sandbox - a gritty, sci-fi sandbox with knives at the bottom. Bring your friends! To put this all into context, I am a refugee from Gaia Online, along with several others that have made Valucre their second home. Some habits die hard, and in the hiatus of a good friend of mine, I have, at supernal's urging, taken over the helm of this project. In that respect, Absalom is a little bit of both schools of thought - I intend for all events that occur within (barring blatant destruction or disrespect to the setting) to be canonical within the city. At the same time, I have several plot threads that can be taken up by creative minds in a more traditional format, albeit posted within the Hub instead of elsewhere. This includes an exciting new prospect: The Ergo Tech Expo, to be hosted in the great arcology! Details are still in-progress and will generate its own separate interest check, but for now, suffice it to say that this event will serve as the capstone of the new stewardship of the location and everyone that roleplays in Lagrimosa is welcome to attend, be it as a vendor, exhibitioner, or merely a tourist or investor. So, what IS Absalom anyway? Well, its your dream come true and your worst nightmare at the same time. Inspired equally by mainstream cyberpunk, the setting also draws heavily on political concepts that I find fascinating to explore, such as anarcho-capitalism, libertarianism, and dark themes such as rampant exploitation, social orders enforced by peer pressure, arms races, lack of morality, and so forth. A much more detailed account is to be found in the Overview thread: here . If futuristic dystopia, or the byzantine contract-bartering of hyper-capitalist bankers sounds like a good time to you, give Absalom a look! And if you are the seedy sort seeking safe haven, noone looks much into the Suburbs... its own little hive of scum and villainy beneath the glistening behemoth above.
  6. Is there a demand for locally sourced tabletop gaming? I am up to GMing perhaps.
  7. Presently only the Main Hub thread is open for posting of new plots. All new visitors are encouraged to post here instead of making a new thread. If posting for a specific quest/plotline, please include the name in your post header. Thank you! ABSALOM AUTONOMOUS ARCHITECTURAL ECOLOGIC ZONE 'The Free City' Geography The Architectural Ecologic Zone - the 'Arcology' - is a colossal megastructure comprised of scintillating agri-domes, elegant spires, and graceful monorails - encompassing a microsociety of about twenty thousand souls, and myriad chattel. Its towering heights lord over the desolate remains of a once pristine alpine forest, the only point of light in the sprawling wasteland. Holographic advertisements loom over the churning industry of the surrounding badlands, acclaiming the virtues of this jewel of self-sufficient civilization. Organization Absalom is divided among its shareholders, with the position of owner and leader granted to the majority stake. While some maintenance of the overall structure is maintained by the owner, individual levels and wings of the arcology are the responsibility of their private Holders. As such, interior aesthetics of one area may vary drastically from another. Because the fundamental right of a citizen is property, those that own no property, or whose property, including their life, is rendered forfeit by incurred debts, are stripped of citizenship and relegated to servitude and slavery until such a time as the debt is repaid. In reality, however, because a lack of means to protect one’s assets is commonly considered forfeiture, even those completing their contracted enslavement often immediately find themselves back in bondage just to be able to feed themselves. Free citizens, but whom own less than 1% of the arcology, are a fragile middle class that dwindles daily, and are only replenished by new arrivals to this futuristic ‘utopia’. Government and Politics Contracts rule all but the most informal of exchanges. Because there are no non-private adjudicators, private middlemen almost inevitably favor the party with greater influence in disputes regarding these contracts, making justice a hopeless pursuit for most. When adjudication fails, squads of private security forces are deployed, leading to brief but incredibly violent shareholder turf wars in which one party will attempt to seize the assessed debt it feels it is owed. The common result is total seizure of assets, to cover the ‘cost’ of the operation, and subsequent enslavement. Somewhat paradoxically, the average day is relatively peaceful and secure for the bulk of the arcology’s denizens, as the threat of wholesale destruction and the ubiquity of high-powered personal weaponry make most sane people strongly reconsider the use of physical force, or attempting an unlawful act. Nonetheless, criminal elements do exist, inseparably entwined into the fabric of the ultra-capitalist society, functioning as yet another tool for ambitious holders to undermine their peers. The spirit of the city's founding was based on the anarcho-capitalist ideal of the Non-Aggression Principle - the idea that the supreme right of a free man is complete dominion in his own affairs so long as they do not tread on the right of another to exercise the same. In practice, like many utopian ideologies, this often boils down to who has the bigger gun. Nonetheless, remnants of this spirit continue to persist in the legal contract morass of Absalom's laws, and the sight of heavily armed citizens going about daily business, or debt slaves selling their bodies in public is both common and praised. The Holders comprise the effective ruling class of Absalom. Collectively, they own over ninety percent of the structure, with free citizens owning the remaining eight or so percent between them, which includes personages such as company CEOs, celebrities, and other independently rich individuals. The Holders are even richer - moguls that command monopolies on industries, services, or goods, raking in profits from several corporations or broad swathes of rental properties. A vanishing few members of the middle class have the deed to their own apartment or business, who the Holders usually allow to remain unmolested to give the impression that the founding myth of Absalom continues; allowing an enterprising soul to pull themselves to a place of worth in society. Everyone else is a servant or slave, whether by debt or choice. They live in Absalom but hold no political power, having no say in decisions that affect them. Women fall into this demographic with near total certainty - even those that are well-off and seemingly independent are kept in that luxury by powerful men. Chauvinism is not merely common in Absalom but almost universal - it is understood that the weaker sex by nature desires policy that is ruinous to free enterprise and free association, and thus is disenfranchised at every opportunity. Nonetheless, the enigmatic Lady of Absalom, Spaide, who 'rules' as majority owner... seems perplexingly untouched by this attitude. Technology and Magic Power generation forms the spearhead of Absalom's technological development, its ever-hungering industries and wasteful lights needing a boundlessly increasing supply of electricity. Six immense nuclear fusion reactors, each housed within one of the support columns holding up the entire structure, currently provide power to all, including the leeching underbelly that clings desperately to their onerous, oppressive warmth. Advances in material science and nanomachinery recovered from the husk of the Sarcophagus has allowed a general eschewing of chemical propellants in both civil and weapon engineering applications. Sleek monorails ride super-conducting rails, jetcycles accelerate using state-of-the-art ionic plasma engines, and wireless mechanical devices of all sorts carry incredibly sophisticated, energy-dense batteries or capacitors. Coupled with the relative fragility of many luxury areas, personal armaments in Absalom strongly favor melee and directed energy solutions, manifesting in a wonderfully creative array of absolutely batshit crazy close-range weapon platforms, from arc-sabres that weld metal on contact, to pneumatic spike-hammers and plasma torches. Despite this, projectile weaponry continues to be regularly employed outside the megastructure, and is common among more heavily armed mercenaries and security forces, taking the form of rail or gaussian accelerated slugthrowers. Magic, too, has its place in Absalom, though is largely underutilized with the exception of a few interested parties. Still, new arrivals with magical abilities or items will find they largely continue to function as normal, and the sight of a corporate magus in action is a memorable encounter indeed. Foreign Relations Absalom's foreign relations are currently still formative, but are generally cordial. The owner recognizes that national governments, even those with inferior technology, command resource monopolies that a neofeudal city-state cannot hope to match in open conflict. Trade and diplomacy are conducted openly to import what little the arcology cannot produce on its own, and to market its own products far and wide. Military The Arcology’s armed forces consist chiefly of the private security forces hired and outfitted by the aggregate of the Holders. However, the owner separately employs a full company of mercenaries loyal to herself, as well as a fleet of 200 semi-autonomous armored drones that can rapidly deploy anti-riot ordinance as well as lethal munitions if necessary. Lastly, in case of imminent invasion, the arcology can muster the Free City Militia, consisting of the Holders themselves, outfitted with fantastically futuristic power armors, exo-skeletons, and astoundingly devastating weaponry - the best money can buy. Economy Absalom's economy is a complicated mix of services and goods. It's a lucrative locale for companies or governments to contract out the labor necessary for product manufacture, being that labor is so cheap and available here due to the prevalence of indentured servitude. In a way you could say that the Free City's biggest export is labor. Workers of all sort are exploited within the territory of Absalom. Factory workers, laborers, programmers, service clerks, and sex workers are the most common types. A sizable portion of the population is under some contract or another, often of indentured servitude, binding them to a term of unpaid service. These terms, and by extension the people for which they are made, can be bought and sold. In the sprawling slums that comprise the hinterlands around the main tower there are dozens of industrial sectors dedicated to the processing of raw materials. These factories are populated largely by the lowest caste of people, and as they are indentured, their labor is sold cheaply. Sexual gratification is its own commodity, and gratuitous sexualization pervades society at nearly every level. Moving within the tower, scores of programmers, accountants, salesmen, craftsmen, etc are bought and sold from one corporation to the next. The trade of indentured servitude contracts is common with workers that have special skills. Another practice is for companies to own nothing but these contracts, selling or renting the rights to various corporations as freelance indentured servants. Absalom produces high tech and completed goods. Anything from portable electronics, to medical prosthesis, or even fully functional life auxiliary Androids. These kinds of goods are what most companies in Absalom sell abroad for money and goods. The main import of the city is raw materials and food stuffs, as these things are difficult to find or produce. If you can dream of something and there is a way for that thing to be manufactured then you can probably find it in Absalom. Just don't think about the exploitation that built it and you can sleep easy. History The origins of Absalom are hardly a secret. While the average citizen might not be aware, anybody who goes out of their way to research the subject will quickly run across local folklore. Absalom is not a nation, not in the sense that a traditional nation is. Rather, having no actual governing body, it is a microcosm of individual organizations attempting to live in proximity. It is generally agreed between corporations that a certain respect for common law is necessary, but why do all of these groups choose to operate here? The reason is simple, and it has a name: The Sarcophagus. The Sarcophagus is a structure that exists buried deep underground at the very heart of Absalom. The only portion that exists above ground is a vast open hole - a hole over which the main body of the city is suspended. It has been speculated that this structure, The Sarcophagus, is actually a ship from some unknown space faring civilization that crash landed in the wilds of Lagrimosa in ancient ages past. Nobody knows for sure how it got there. Back when the city first formed, it was occupied by tomb raiders and grave robbers who went into the opening to look for treasure, and what they found was both wondrous and terrifying. The Sarcophagus was filled with autonomous machines, hyper advanced technology, unheard of metals, and most perplexingly it was also stuffed to the brim with the living dead. They aren't Zombies, so to speak, but rather their organic components have been commandeered by the very technology that built their home. These early adventurers waded into the depths of The Sarcophagus. Those lucky, or skilled enough to return came back with tech that had previously been unheard of. It was these few who began the very first corporations of Absalom. These days, ventures into The Sarcophagus are rare and dangerous. It is less profitable than it was in the beginning as an understanding of most of the tech within has been reached. With the ability to replicate much of the tech laying inside, it's seen as a net loss to send people there, even if they do return alive. Even so, it is estimated that a mere five percent of the structure has been explored with untold miles of corridors and chambers laying unseen beneath the wasteland below, and around Absalom. Locales/Points of Interest Fatal Seduction - As one of the few non-incorporated businesses in Absalom, this club has a reputation for having a little bit of everything, if you are bold enough. Exotic dancers grace the stages day and night, with private booths and lounges for more intimate interactions. The open bar is financed by a hefty cover fee, and robust security ensures Ryker Albrecht's investment remains profitable. Although the kingpin rules supreme in his establishment, it is also completely devoid of any recording devices and thoroughly padded with sound-absorbing wall panels, making it one of the safest places to conduct 'business' in the Free City... as long as you don't mind the head-pounding music. The Pantheon - The name a callback to pagan temples of old, the Pantheon is the slang term for the casino and game levels of Absalom, most notably the row of establishments all owned by Dual Face, Inc. On-site attractions include complimentary accommodations on sufficient chip buy-in, table and card games, slots, horse and jetcycle racing, five-star dining, nightly shows, and more! Stay as long as you like, and if you win big, your stay is immortalized on the golden obelisk in the central avenue. Just remember, the house always wins in the end... The Suburbs - This is the mocking name the citizens of Absalom use to refer to the slums that sprawl underneath and around the arcology. Polluted, stinking, irradiated and miserable, the rotting underbelly of Absalom is host to the poor souls of Absalom who have lost everything to debt. A hollow facsimile of life above can be found in parts, with flickering neon lights advertising grimy sex clubs, back alley medical clinics, and dive bars, surrounded on all sides by heaping shanty towns and mountains of junk and trash. It is perpetually swelteringly hot, a byproduct of the obscene heat and noise pollution from above. Why would you come here? Penthouse Park - The highest tier of Absalom is its sky-jutting spire, encompassing about a hundred or so apartments for the absolute wealthiest citizens of the Free City. Its hanging hydroponic and levitating gardens lavishly surround the twin open-platform lifts that ferry the most important personages of the city up to their slice of heaven. Perpetually illuminated in the sick haze of the air surrounding Absalom, its piercing beacon can be seen as far as Predator's Keep on a clear night. Access to this area is incredibly restricted, and only the most important of dignitaries or guests can ever hope to experience the nauseating level of luxury within. For the fortunate few servants and slaves that find employment in these areas, life is as good as any citizen's, if not better. Canon Presently only the Main Hub thread is open for posting of new plots. All new visitors are encouraged to post here instead of making a new thread. Quests/Plot Hooks Lagrimosa ErgoTech Expo - Ergo Tech, the foremost biotechnology and brain-machine interface developer in Absalom, is gearing up to host a one-of-a-kind technology exposition open to investors, scientists, foreign dignitaries, and even mundane citizens for a 'nominal' fee. Covering two weeks of exhibitions, other entities are welcome to rent out convention space to display and sell their own products as well. New technologies of any kind are eagerly welcomed, though of course the focus is Ergo Tech's own specializations. All convention pass holders will enjoy complimentary housing for the duration of their stay, as well as access to the vast array of other entertainment available (on their own dime, of course). This is a two, possibly three part quest that will encompass applications to display or visit at the convention, social interactions and dalliances in and around the convention halls, and of course the expositions themselves. Corporate sabotage and secret stealing are the order of the day, so come prepared to defend your intellectual property (or steal someone else's)! Difficulty: Varies, up to 10 players Weekend at Sonny's - Sonny, a notorious philandering rock star, has died of a drug overdose days before his life insurance policy matures and becomes claimable. Either as his agents, or outsiders posing as groupies/fans, maintain the facade of his continued lifestyle for at least two days, then claim the insurance money without being tossed in jail for fraud. Difficulty: Medium, 2-3 players Survey of the Barrier Peaks - While the Sarcophagus is a nightmare landscape all on its own, its massive bulk shaped the surrounding land in strange and unstable ways during its ancient impact. As (expendable) surveyors, head out into the blasted hills surrounding Absalom and take seismological, meteorological, and radiation readings at six different points, all while battling the hostile environment and aggressive, mutated wildlife. Additional rewards available for a detailed map of the findings and surrounding region. Difficulty: Hard, 2-4 players Delving the Sarcophagus - Absalom has two kinds of tourist traps - the shining, never-sleeping nightlife of resorts, casinos, brothels and clubs - and the existential terror that constitutes that yawning crypt below the megacity: The Sarcophagus. Anyone can enter, no questions asked... but no one will go looking for the return of your corpse, either. If the technological treasures within still entice your bottomless greed, by all means, head into the endless deeps. Difficulty: Extreme, any number of players. [This is an on-going plot hook for solo players or groups and actively GMed. Contact @Sigil Warden or @Spooky Mittens for assistance.] Completed Plots
  8. Dungeon Crawl Classics is a gem that I cannot praise enough. It is the very essence of old style ttrpgs.
  9. Welcome! I'm somewhat of a transient myself but in the event that you are interested in such a thing, Absalom is open to dystopian cyberpunk plots and characters. We've put a little unique spin on the concept and I will shamelessly plug it because I am proud of the baby thread. I hope you enjoy your stay on the site and find what you are looking for foremost, of course!
  10. Listening with rapt attention to quite certainly everything but Cyril's words themselves, Unity stared at the wizard with the dreamy scrutiny of a high-school sweetheart. Her eyes wandered over him shamelessly between indulgent sips of her beverage, and by the time it was empty she realized she'd been looking at him in silence for the better part of a minute; well after Cyril had stopped talking. She blinked slowly, and with the realization, an ever-so-slight pink hue crept across her cheeks. She crinkled the now-empty can playfully, and set it on the counter, suddenly avoiding his gaze. "I'm gonna have another." she asserted, and in busying herself with opening up the refrigerator again she had time to play back what he had said internally. Comprehension flashed into her bright eyes, and as she cracked the second seltzer she sighed again with a burden of self-pity tinging her voice. "Just a regular monkey in a cage to be poked with sticks by every passer-by. And then they act surprised when I fling shit back." Unity mustered the courage to look at the handsome stranger again, the very same tormentor from her analogy, but her gaze sought sympathy, not reckoning. "Experiments, simulations, test runs... from the moment I woke up from the operating table I've been on one continuous time trial. This.... this is the first time 'home' since the two hours they gave me to put my things in here two weeks ago." She paused here, drowning the lament in alcohol. When she resurfaced for breath, all threads about the nature of Cyril's study of the marionettes were gone. The matter was personal again, and there was a sense of longing working its way into her chest that was distracting. Unity set aside the can, and instinctively moved closer as her hand traced the edge of the stone countertop, the cool surface contrasting with the edge of the wavering envelope of body heat that she was now but a half-step from entering. She had entered the man's personal space easily, naturally... in the way that only a woman could. "The computer knows me better than I know myself. They changed.... everything. Am I even still me? I have nothing to compare it to." Raising herself to tiptoe, the rogue leaned out and away, bending back over herself until the faintest creak of cartilage and metal stopped her a hair away from letting her loose cutoff shirt from slipping up off her straining bosom... and then recovered, a rueful smile on her lips. "I've always been flexible, but I don't even know what being off-balance feels like anymore... as if there's someone else inside pulling strings while I decide what to do. And its not just that... my face, my body..." She trailed off again, tracing her finger along her cheekbone as if that would somehow illustrate the point better. "I know this isn't what I used to look like. It's still me, it's still my face... but also not. I feel it, I recognize it, but..." Her gaze met his and, though wavering with a sheen of saline hanging precariously across her pretty eyes, kept it for a long time. "I think I need time to reattach myself. To explore every... every little bit of me." Her breath was quicker now, her fingers fidgeting about the rivets of her low-rise jeans as her thumbnail scraped the edge into surrendering a few strands of fabric. She was unbearably close and yet she still dallied on the precipice of the cliff she wanted to throw herself down headlong. "Since... since I'm already your test subject... do you want to... ah..." The shapely thief's pure ivory teeth pressed firmly into the swell of her lower lip, muffling the raw audacity. "... do you want to try out the rest of me?" @Spooky Mittens
  11. Absalom is gonna come kick your ass for founding a utopian cyberpunk city instead of a dystopian one in the same backyard.
  12. To Be Immortal "So there is a man underneath all that armor." The girl padded into the kitchenette, pausing to poke at the heap of discarded plating just long enough to demonstrate the laws of inertia on her chest up close, before swinging around Cyril and popping open the fridge herself. "We have naturally sparkling mineral water Vitialis from up in the mountains bottled in glass... and you get the boxed crap that tastes like paper." Unity chuckled. "Suit yourself, but I'm going to have something a bit more interesting." She was a big fan of carbonation - it was one of the first experiences she keenly remembered upon her arrival in Absalom. The way the bubbles tingled the mouth, and refreshed the palate... and most importantly, the way they seemed to make consuming absolutely ludicrous amounts of alcohol far easier. That latter part was definitely high on the agenda, because for all the seeming ease with which she had invited Cyril to have a chat, she actually sorely dreaded admitting what was wrong with her. The best way to do this, short of chugging the whiskey from the liquor cabinet, was a tall canister of some fruity pre-blend alcoholic seltzer. Lightly sweet, nearly six percent ethanol by volume... She grabbed two, and slid one to Cyril across the counter. "In case you change your mind." Tsss. Tt-chak! The rogue took a long, indulgent quaff, savoring the mouthfeel of the beverage to an almost uncomfortable degree, before sighing in satisfaction. Her smoky eyes settled back on the muscular wizard awkwardly standing around, and she flared her nostrils in amusement. "Relax, guy. In this apartment, we're friends. Or will be, as soon as I have a bit more of this Ivory Talon..." She took another long sip, but her eyes still hadn't left his chest. "We both owe each other explanations, so I guess I'll start." Unity scooted closer, sliding along the edge and leaning against the counter in a more affable conversing distance. "You asked me in the elevator why I didn't run. The answer is..." She sighed sadly. "I'm not sure. I couldn't. Everything they've done to me... I don't know how it all works. It felt like someone else was inside my head, doing things without me knowing. I'd like to say it all happened so fast I don't even remember... but I don't even have that excuse." She shuddered, and her right eye lens contracted, the faint image of a camera replay visibly reflected in her iris. She shook it away fiercely, and aggressively attacked the seltzer in her hand. "I can see myself fighting and passing out as many times as I want. Even if that number is zero." Unity looked at him again, her brow creased into a frown. "I know what adrenaline is, what it does... this wasn't that. I wasn't just focused on that weird... plastic... thing. It felt like everything was on fire, like if I didn't stab it right now.... rightnowrightnowrightnow.... I was gonna die. It was certain. I've never been more certain in my life." Unity took a moment to catch her breath. "I was so certain... right up until I woke up in a strange bed. And now I'm not certain of anything; not until you tell me what the hell you were doing down there with me." @Spooky Mittens
  13. How do you guys plan to reconcile the predetermined losers persistently advancing OOCly over their ICly victoriously opponents? Writing the underdog as sympathetic is such a literary cheat you may as well have started them halfway to the finish line.
  14. It was hard not to crack a small smile at the boyish way Cyril reacted to her catching him looking, and indeed the shapely thief found that she didn't mind... perhaps even more so than usual. She chewed the inside of her lip, briefly considering how on earth she was finding it appropriate to show off to someone she should have detested. This wasn't simply a matter of good looks, even if they definitely helped it along. No... there was something else going on, and the more Unity thought about it the more immediate the desire to have some time to thoroughly inspect just what the hell they had done to her, in private, became. But the invitation had already been offered and rescinding it now would just sour both of them, so instead she continued her stroll along the pedestrian street, occasionally dipping out of the way of a maintenance trike or other residents. The walk, though fairly brief, was long enough to create a mutual silence punctuated only by occasional, surreptitious glances from the rogue to see if he was still looking at her. Admittedly, the bundle of her stuff tucked under one arm dampened the sex appeal but she also hadn't worn flats in so long that it felt like her hips were just naturally trying to replace the rolling step of heels she was accustomed to. Temporarily satisfied with this explanation, she made no attempt to further suppress it. Her flat wasn't fancy enough to be equipped with a direct bio-metric scanner - instead the lock operated off of a chipped access card that held a digital version of that information. She'd taken to the concept pretty quickly - not having to fiddle with physical keys was already a massive improvement to her, and also satisfied the ever-gnawing knowledge that she was not the only skilled lockpick in the world. She bustled into the place, practically tugging Cyril in after her. The place was neat, clean, crisp... hardly lived in, in fact. The decor was spartan, but tasteful, with the dominating theme contrasted dark purples and blacks with white set pieces. The living and kitchen area formed one, largely continuous space, separated only by a counter, while the bedroom was recessed behind a proper wall and flanked by a well-kept interior hydroponic garden on either side, complete with softly babbling water feature. "Make yourself at home." the thief suggested, and kicked off her sneakers at the door, before dumping the lot of her things onto a chair that looked like noone had ever sat on it. "I think there are beverages in the cooler panel... didn't really get a chance to see what though. I will be right back...." She smiled at him sweetly. "Just going to quickly refresh myself." And odd statement from someone who had emerged from a hot shower less than an hour previous... but of course she wasn't 'freshening up', she was putting on some baseline makeup. Nothing fancy, this time... just enough to bring her already intense eyes to an absolute smoldering pool of desire. That is to say - 'presentable', in her mind. She wasn't quite done yet, though... rifling through her air-railed drawers, she found a nice black thong to rock under the snug low rise of her pants, the straps pulled high on the waist, and replaced the loose blouse with a t-shirt she'd grabbed from some show and roughly cropped at just below the bust. That should be nice and casual for the evening - she wasn't planning on going anywhere. Briefly, Unity frowned at her phone on the nightstand... it was showing several missed calls and notifications. It... could wait. She mussed her hair a little, and went to rejoin Cyril in the living area, the concern already fading as she went. @Spooky Mittens
  15. Just a heads up that my posting is postponed until shit settles down enough IRL that I don't have to keep my head on a swivel 24/7.
  16. Eolan pondered the man at length, her moonstone eyes drifting over his roughed, dirtied appearance. There was much to divine in the way Crowley carried himself. The sudden summons excused the dishevelment and grime, perhaps, but his flippant, snarky demeanor was profoundly vexing. Even when serious, it seemed the entire encounter was only a step removed from a jest. It was a stark contrast, and might well have served to disarm all but the most hardened of wills. For all her imperious, serene grace, the elf visionary found herself unable to maintain the full brunt of her aura... and likelier than not, it was precisely the general's intent to elicit this crack in the mask. Her hip shifted out, relaxing just enough to indicate that she accepted the manner of this parley. "As you well know..." Her chiming voice strained, pausing a moment to avoid choking on the words. "...elvenkind remains on the brink of extinction. Our magic, too, wanes into nothingness." A gesture of the Pharos in her right hand spilled a shimmering image onto the polished floor, wavering and crackling like a flame. Indistinct at first, it began as the orb of a burning sun, illuminating the groveling figures of tiny humanoids. "We are the last blessed of the ancient Light that came with us from distant shores. It is in this Light we seek salvation, we and ours. And yet, we can only grasp but a single beam of radiance. It must be cultivated..." Eolan's breath quickened, as if merely speaking of the Light made it swell within her breast. "...cultivated, tended, and... empowered. Mere supplication is insufficient." She had been focused on the image projected from her staff, and reluctantly returned her gaze to the human. "We know your impatience - how does this concern the realm of Man? The blood debt, which screams to the heavens, is justification, but not reasoning. No - we would have something which lies in your realm." The star occluded, a great haze diminishing it until it was scarcely visible, as a caldera of black char rose from the floor, belching out smoke. Faint pinpricks of red light glinted from its slope in hairline fissures. "Mount Egon. Whispers of the crystals which spring forth from its slopes in great numbers, each burning with power. As the elements are but spectra of creative Light, we would study them, and claim them, if they are sufficient to the task of our re-awakening." Glancing behind, she smiled sadly at her dutiful guards and entourage a moment, sighing. "For all our will, we lack the means to travel to Misral and brave its foreign forests and blasted lands. To that end, our request is men, means, and conveyance to reach this place. One could ask no dearer price than the blood of our kin for this, already paid in full." Eolan's brow creased, introducing the first and only wrinkle into her disquietingly smooth features. "Further... as ill news travels faster than aught else, we know of the resurgent Legion and their rebellion. We recognize in their aims the very same doom that has been brought upon us before. If Man is truly come to his senses, he will act to reverse his atrocities by squashing this ember that is already smoldering on that distant shore. If, on this expedition, both goals may be advanced, we would be agreeable." With a tap of the crystal base, the projected image vanished, wisping away into the air. "Independent, stubborn souls have a spirituality that holds up to our Will to see our people restored. If you know of aught persons such as those seeking employment, we would have them also."
  17. I have now. It was off, and I have no recollection of turning it off... 🤷‍♂️
  18. I am embarassed to admit that I forgot Valucre doesn't auto-subscribe you to threads YOU POSTED YOURSELF, so I was sitting around thinking there still weren't any replies. That mistake has been rectified, and I posted. Anyone involved should now have enough info to at least get a bit of an idea of where they might begin entering the thread. I will do my best to avoid dragging out this initial interaction too long, however I did want to have my initial reveal to be suitably grandiose.
  19. As one, those possessed of sight recoiled, bristling as the face of doom emerged from the shadows. Truly, there was not a one among them who did not know the face of he who had brought ruin upon elvenkind, even though they owed their lives to never having met him in person. His jovial, casual attempt to disarm the gravity of this sin was just a final insulting benediction over their funeral pyre. It seemed the mysterious dignitary's guard were all of the same mind, as the only restraint over their tensed fingers drawing enchanted steel was the word of the shrouded figure within the lavish palanquin. And yet, in the tense silence, no such order was forthcoming. "My Lady, it... it is..." The figure bowed its head slightly, words hardly more than a whisper at first. "I know well the Hand of Death. Woe and weal come equally in the swift changes of men's hearts. I would speak with him, if this is what the King of Men deems all we deserve." "Surely there is another way...?" "Delay not, for my time has come. Release me." "Y-yes, My Lady." Wary eyes still cast towards the Oathsworn general, a pair of attendants slid aside the brass screen with pulls of two great tassels, parting it to reveal the occupant in closer detail. A clearly female form, by the slightness of the silhouette, draped in a dense, layered textile of white embroidered in cerulean, the only visible portion of the living being beneath pursed lips of light, glossy pink. Webbed across her body ran a bewildering net of knotted ropes, the bindings immobilizing her to such a degree that it was quickly apparent that indeed the only area free to move was her neck. Her arms had been bound up behind her, clasped together in reversed prayer, whilst her legs were bound in bands into a supplicant kneel upon the seat cushions. With solemn reverence, two bare-chested elven men lifted her from the conveyance like an inanimate relic, placing her hesitantly upon the unyielding stone floor. It was with even more trepidation that they set about undoing her bindings, which proceeded in complete, funerial silence, save for the occasional feminine intake of breath. Fully uncorded, the woman within rose as her servants fell back, shedding her mantle like a flower in bloom, and revealing her full majesty. A faint light broke forth, playing out in fractals across the walls, reflected off the gloss of her skin. Whereas the elves of the retinue were exemplary specimens of flesh, the elf unveiled to the Oathsworn general and guardsmen was scarcely real, as if the personification of an ideal woman rather than a creature of the mortal coil. Her pale bosom swelled spectacularly above an impossibly narrow waist, and her wide hips led the gaze to ivory legs superlatively long. Dainty hands and feet seemed almost pixie-like as she stretched out the cramp of her confines, tapering like that of a doll. An ungodly volume of shining blonde hair tumbled in braids every which way, one of which crowned her pretty head in a diadem of golden flax. Like her brethren, she was barely clad - delicate jewelry of silver clasped ephemeral drapes of fully transparent silk over each breast, and a vanishing chain of the same held a singular pennant of cloth no more than a blade's width across suspended over her loins, its hem kept from trailing the ground only by virtue of the towering steeples of her metallic, heeled sandals. Further decorative skirts of aquamarine silk draped over the upper arms, while a second pennant, about a handspan wide, descended from a jointed silver band affixed just below the bosom to flit about in the slightest breeze. A pair of jeweled strictures pressed into the meat of each thigh, decorating them and drawing the gaze even as they forced her to perpetually stand with one slender leg before the other. In this, and the playful refraction of dozens of tiny crystal jewels dangling from her silks and accessories, was her only respite from hungry eyes. Haughtily, she motioned once, her stretches completed, and the withdrawn servants once again came forward, one dutifully running his hands over the body of his Lady, smoothing all of her raiment into place, as the other brought forward her Staff. And what a sight that was, beside its bearer! A towering pillar of crystal tourmaline about a haft of silver, the head a rioting spire of aquamarine, topaz, and crysoprase. Its core practically burned with Light, pulsing and beating like a living heart. As her fingers curled about the implement, a great change came over the assembly, radiating outward from the elven maiden's feet in a tangible, rolling front that whipped the stale air up in a brief rush of exhilaration. For the humans, too, it was as if the true face of majesty had revealed its benevolent countenance upon them. The elf before them was a goddess, her radiance like that of the stars themselves in the abyss of the night that was their dark hearts. One could stare at the sun more easily than to hold the gaze upon her resplendent form. "Behold, I am... revealed!" When she spoke, her words drew from the breath of those around her, chiming upon the air - soothing, disarming, inviting - even if the words themselves were anything but. "It is with regret that I must petition that which is Anathema for aid... but the vision is clear. I will not be intimidated by you. Thus, you may know me as Eolan, Ys Symarron. Will you treat with us... General Crowley?" @Wade
  20. Insincere, as expected, but at least he had said it. What came next though - that pressed her consciousness fiercely even as her lower brain functions directed her gaze out into the complex to determine which way she needed to go from here. The man had a point. Why hadn't she run? For a moment, it seemed very much like the stupidly obvious solution Cyril had presented it as - right until the first wisps of memory from the Sarcophagus wriggled out from under the rock they had been shoved under. No... it hadn't just been that simple. Unity made to step from the elevator, pausing on the threshold, keeping the automated door open despite its mild protestation. She had to explain, somehow, that she wasn't just stupid. Turning, her hip cocked against the frame, and she returned her gaze to Cyril's face, her expression humbled by the question. "I... This is not the place to explain." Okay, well that was suitably mysterious, and mildly provocative, actually... here she had been lamenting not feeling like herself and then out of nowhere she got that little flirty sass back into her posture. That would have been fine as is... but then her stupid female lizard brain just had to keep going. Her head tilted against the frame coquettishly, and her choppy bangs fell over her eye, wreathing it in suspense. "We can talk about it at my place... if you want." Her lips parted slightly. Oh gods, what the hell am I saying? He's terrifying, I don't want him in my apartment... Then she shrugged, lifting herself off the doorframe and strolled out into the broad corridor. "Or stay, it's whatever." She strolled off to the right... Ergo's blocks were not too far. This gave an excellent view of her best asset flexing in its taut fabric prison as she retreated - that wasn't her fault though. Don't roll your hips, don't roll your hips, ohmygod I'm rolling my hips what is actually wrong with me...!! @Spooky Mittens
  21. Unity's lips parted in a huff of exasperation at his comment. In an instant, any sense that Cyril harbored a modicum of guilt or sympathy over what he had done vanished into thin air. His callous, almost mocking response soured the rogue's face into a scrunched-up expression of mild disbelief. "Saying 'I'm sorry' might be a good start." she retorted abruptly, and turning, looked around her, debating whether she wanted to place her things in the corner and free up her hands. She wasn't confident in her ability to actually confront the man physically, but that little worm in the back of her consciousness kept warning her she was treading on thin ice. She compromised by wedging herself further into the corner and glaring at him instead. "Or... you could begin by telling me why you tried to have me killed, if taking responsibility for being a dick isn't your 'thing'." @Spooky Mittens
  22. A good place to get a better grasp on what's what in Ursa Madeum is here: And then to get up to speed with the civil war arc: Wade or Csl might be able to assist you further. I admit that I am no expert either - this is my first foray into this corner of Valucre. But as I understand it, characters from outside Ursa Madeum are discouraged from bringing any of their baggage, be that mental or literal, with them to Ursa Madeum, as the place is mostly isolated as a self-contained little microcosm of fantasy.
  23. The thread happens in the context of the civil war arc (or more accurately as sort of a prelude to it), but there's very little in the way of extensive fighting planned. That may change if circumstances dictate but this is very much a thread in which we contend more with each other and the environment than any clearly defined enemy. There is going to be a lot of talking. Eolan is in Andalusia to procure funding and support for her expedition to Mount Egon - your participation should be in the vein of an explorer, not focused on the civil war itself except perhaps tangentially.
  24. Yes there's about two dozen all told. And as for her being a big deal, well - An initial reaction of 'who the fuck is this' is well warranted. More about her will be revealed as I go, so don't worry!
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