I'm here, I'm just... out of things to say. Don't know what to do. At this point it feels like I'd pretty much have to purge the majority of the player characters to give the RP a chance to move forward, and... I guess I'm still hesitant to do that. Particularly since one of the characters that'd be purged is the exact one I'm currently depending on to reactive the Zerul City-group...
I guess I'm just tired of trying again and again to get things moving.
Last night, when I was once again lying sleepless in bed, I found my mind wandering as it is wont to do, and my thoughts - as is often the case - turned to The Prophecy. I pondered the various plans I have for the future of the RP, the characters and creatures yet undiscovered or barely elaborated on yet, I lamented the fact that it seemed like none of it would get to see the light of day... and suddenly, I had an epiphany. The kind of ground-shattering realization that ensured I got no rest that night, and which has stayed on my mind all day until now, when I finally have the time to sit down and share this monumental discovery.
I am the fucking GM.
Rudimentary, I know, yet something I conveniently allowed myself to reduce to insignificance. I knew I was the GM, obviously, but last night it dawned upon me that I'm the freaking GM of The Prophecy, who's run the damn show for years. I allowed myself to be placated and pacified by the fact that other players have been here since the beginning, that characters have grown and lived, that people have gotten invested in them and that their stories all matter. I persistently told myself that everyone involved in this RP have lives of their own, and that I needed to respect that and make room for them regardless; that even if I could kick a player or a character, it was worth a great deal of distress to avoid doing so.
Allowed. Told. Needed. Could. Was. Past tense.
Obviously people have their own lives, can be busy, can be delayed... But when damn near half a year goes by, there's no excuse short of death or total incapacitation. I have been content for way too long to just sit on my hands and wait, telling myself that there's nothing I can do, that the players aren't posting and that I can't run the RP without the players. I have been stuck thinking that "we agreed", "I promised" and "the plan is". Fuck that. The RP resumes at any cost.
We have heard nothing from Nessa for ages, so I can only presume that she has truly made her departure from the RP. Since it appears to be extremely difficult to permit Aemoten to meet the Zerul City-group, that's no longer in the cards. Plans: gone. It pains me, but Aemoten and Thaler are out of the picture. Outta here. No one has posted anything in the scene with Jaelnec's group, either. Either this changes immediately, or drastic measures are taken in hand with them, too; depending on player attendance, total removal of those characters - including Jaelnec and Olan - are options not beyond considering. I haven't heard from Ashgan in forever. If he doesn't show up now, Jillian and Gerald's story is at its end as well. If he's here, the show must go on, and it's time to introduce his second character. In case you lost count, that's three of my own best and most precious characters that I'm currently dangling off the edge of a cliff, willing to sacrifice all of them for the RP.
Finally, there's the Zerul City-group. Rhaevnn, Merc and yoshua, who have exhibited the patience of saints. I hope you are all ready, and that you have a preference in terms of what your characters will do next, because it's time to get things moving. I can make stuff happen early next morning, letting the future come knocking on I'on's door, or I can let your characters reassemble first.
If anyone takes issue with any of this, let me remind you that I am the fucking GM, and that this story will continue. I'll gather an entire new cast of players if I have to, but so help me, I won't let this RP die.
It's a new day, and a new year on the horizon. Time to get shit done.
Still around. Uh. I would request that I'on get at least a night of sleep (5-8 hours at least). Beyond that, feel free to knock at his door (a normal knock wouldn't wake him at this point tbh. He's pretty damn tired).
If you'd like to not drop one of your characters, I could always have that mage/sorceress character I discussed with you and Shien (in passing and in some detail) show up. Use her as an NPC/NJC for a bit till I have a proper CS for her (as I do still want to play her tbh).
But yeah, I'm with Rhae and you. Let the show go on! Can't wait to see what we get into next ^_^
Ehh... I guess this is it, then? I know Nessa did say a couple of times in the past that we could take over Thaler, but I don't think I'd feel entirely comfortable playing her, and it probably isn't much different for you, either...? I *could* e-mail Nessa just to make extra certain she's really gone, but I don't really hold much hope for anything coming from that. I did figure she'd return soon when I last talked to her. I'll post the actual timeskip-post when I'm home - it's in a text file on my main workstation, not here. It's sat there for a while since, well, I haven't really been able to figure out how we could feasibly continue from there with Nessa out (and ... some other things we might discuss in private, but not here)... At this point there is no way Aemoten would agree to leaving Thaler behind. Maybe rewrite the end of the timeskip-post to be slightly more ambiguous while I'm at it. I suppose we could have Aemoten alone meet Jaelnec one more time the next morning ... have him let Jaelnec know the four of them (Aemoten-Thaler-Etakar-Beatrice) will travel south to meet up with an old friend of his, or at least said friend's people. Or something. Might make more in-character sense than just having them evaporate without leaving a trace. Or, heck, I suppose we could have all of them, Jaelnec, Olan, Domhnall and Iridiel travel south (Angora will have to go somewhere else ... planned was where Gerald/Jillian go), if those characters are to be written out, too. It'd probably be at least a couple of weeks just traveling for whoever goes there. (Otherwise I'll see whether I can get Legion to collab a bit ... say this week. By 8 AM on 11th of December my time.) I kind of suspect Olan would stick with Aemoten/Thaler, anyway... Not sure why Jaelnec would stay behind, but ... I guess it's for Jaelnec to figure out what he wants to do, and why, not for me. Domhnall will just go wherever Iridiel goes. As that path (them all going south) would eliminate all of my current played characters, I guess my next course would be write up a character sheet for one Yanin Glade (derivative of Janin Galeid, who is actually from the same world as Aemoten, and even met him; he'd essentially be his own Rodorian equivalent) and plop him down some bar in Zerul City. Probably whatever one the rest of the Zerul City bunch is. (Might bring him in even if it is only Aemoten and Etakar who are departing.) I still don't like the idea of crossing out my current characters like so (death happens, even coincidental death, but ... rendering them into some kind of universe holes people shouldn't know exist, but carefully avoid?), but ... well, what can I do at this point. Koraakan will stick around whatever happens; what happened, happened.
In case it wasn't clear from my previous post I don't want to do this, but I just realized that we can't just keep hoping that "soon" will finally come. I don't simply erase characters from existence, either, even if they are written out of the story; every character abandoned by its player is still around in one way or another (though some more intact than others... a certain character abandoned mid-fight, for instance, is less than recognizable at this point), nor would I simply cast any characters purged during this attempt at reviving the RP into the abyss. I might not elaborate on what happens to them, but they still exist.
And yeah, sounds like a plan.
As for the Zerul City-group, you can do that if you prefer, yoshua, as long as it gets things moving. I will have to introduce one of my characters regardless, I feel, but I suppose it doesn't have to happen as the first thing of the day. It'd be no trouble, either; I have (and have had for a long time) a couple of characters standing by in Zerul City that'd have been potential recruits for the party once they got there anyway, one of which unsurprisingly is the previously-acquainted-with-I'on Thomas Remdal. Who could conveniently point the three of them in the right direction to continue the other groups' quest, if such became necessary.
See, I get the sentiment, Legion, I really do... and I really don't want to say what I'm about to say because I know it's going to come off very harsh, but for the sake of the RP I feel that by now, with how things have been going, I have to toughen up a bit. Let's look at the probability of your statement of not getting time off to write for the RP from a mathematical standpoint.
Let's presume that the length of a post is 2000 words. This is in the high end and well above average for most players, but for the sake of the argument let's just presume that your next post would have been longer than average.
Next is typing speed in words per minute. An average person typically writes at around forty words per minute, but that's just typing. Then you have to think about what you write, possibly do some research here and there and read and reread passages of previous posts, which all take up time. On the other hand, much of the thinking is done passively while doing other things, so it doesn't necessarily take up a lot of writing-time. For the argument's sake let's say you use half the time you work on your post actually typing, and say that your real typing speed would be around 20 words per minute.
2000 / 20 = 100 minutes for a post. Because I've thought ahead, I'll just go ahead and convert that to 100 * 60 = 6000 seconds.
Now, for simplicity's sake let's say that it has been exactly half a year since your turn came up in the RP. That's 6 * 30 = 180 days (would actually be 183 because the number of days in a month is stupid, but I'll disregard that for now).
6000 / 180 = 33.3333 seconds per day. Let's round that up to 40, because why not, it's a prettier number, makes room for unexpected circumstances and doesn't really change my point.
Now obviously no one is going to spend forty seconds a day writing something, but are you telling me that you don't even have - on average - forty seconds of free time a day? I can't say that isn't the case, but shit, that's seriously unhealthy if it is. It's harsh, I know, but I hope you realize just how improbable it seems to me that you've actually been that busy... and if you have, you have bigger problems than me moaning about posts. Now for the big question, though: do you see anything in your future that promises to change this? Because unless your circumstances change so that I can expect you to be more active than... well, that, I can't really justify letting you set the pace.
I am still here and although the patience has faltered to near zero a couple of times, I am still willing to carry on as normal with Ixion. With what'll happen with the Zerul group, we'll have to talk about it/see what happens, but I'm up for anything.
*rubs temples* Jack, this is why we made an agreement to carry Legion's characters until his circumstances change, remember? Which is why I'm writing the next post there, too (the collabing bit is just because writing dialogue for another person's charater(s) is awkward, even when I mostly know what they'll do/say already).
@Mercinus3, are you still pissed at me? I'm unable to tell. Mostly because you've not responded to me for a while.
@Mercinus3, are you still pissed at me? I'm unable to tell. Mostly because you've not responded to me for a while.
What makes you suggest that I was pissed off with you? You just caught me at a bad time when we last spoke. That plus my desktop has been useless at starting up Skype if you've been trying to contact me. Besides, you did make a lot of good points then so there's no reason for me to get angry over it.
In the latest post, Angora makes mention of something called the Firm. I thought I'd extrapolate some information about the Firm here.
In essence, the Firm are a business of organised crime. The Firm aren't your regular thieves, thugs, highwaymen, etc. These are men and women who prefer the business side of crime and leave the dirty work to their underlings. The Firm primarily work in Zerul City and the surroundings, and focus on activities such as smuggling, protection rackets, illegal gambling dens, brothels, and assassinations. No, they are not an organisation of Robin Hoods, but nor are they completely senseless murderers and thugs. This is sophisticated organised crime at its highest levels, similar perhaps to the American Mafioso families of the East Coast, or the Yakuza. The Firm have codes of honour, loyalty and brotherhood (or sisterhood, both genders are welcome).
The leaders of the Firm aren't known to the government. They stay in the deepest, darkest shadows, dealing with very few cases and preferring to delegate to their captains in the field. It's thought that the Firm operate even in the highest echelons of civil government, with plants, informers and 'bought' men and women passing information on in exchange for money, protection and access to services that would otherwise perhaps be unavailable. The Zerulic City Guard, too, has been infiltrated extensively, and oft-times turns a blind eye to the Firm's activities - at least those they witness. Executions of mass murderers, rapists, thugs? Often the Firm dealing with its own. Think of it as a Thieves' Guild... only much more insidious and present in many aspects of society that Thieves' Guilds perhaps avoid. That merchant in the street you saw selling wares perhaps a little bit cheaper than his competitors? He might be subsidised with smuggled goods by a low-ranking captain of the Firm in exchange for protection and cuts of the profits, or word on the street. That barkeep that seems to listen all the time and keep his mouth shut? You never know, he might be in the Firm. The robber who robbed you at swordpoint of what little you own and who ends up dead a few days later, with your belongings and a little bit more returned? Courtesy of the Firm.
In addition to the usual smuggling, racketeering and general crime malarkey that the Firm are involved with, they are also responsible for a large quantity of magical item trafficking in and out of Zerul, often masqueraded as legitimate business transactions. Zerul City, of course, is home to large quantities of mages and magical knowledge, and it's only reasonable that some of these magical talents also work in the Firm. Essentially, much of the magical knowledge within the Firm is used to defend it from prying eyes on the outside, whilst also maintaining a firm and iron-shod grasp on matters and the traffic of information into and out of the city. In addition, magic can also help the Firm in other ways - body disposal, identification, interrogation, execution - all of these can be hastened with the correct and appropriate application of a touch of magic.
So who are actually in the Firm? Collating the lists I have made, and what little the government likely knows about those involved, here is a run-down of who's who in the Firm.
A Detailed Analysis of the Nature of Crime - The Firm in Zerul
- GRAND CAPTAINS' CIRCLE -
Grand Captain Harold Nystrom: 59, M, Human. Reportedly the seniormost of the Grand Captains of the Firm.
Grand Captain Danil Serrin: 77, M, Human. Head of the Serrin family, masters of the river docks.
Grand Captain Fastolf Dramburgh: 50, M, Human. Dramburgh is apparently Grand Captain of the Cleaners.
Grand Captain Elme Arnowik: 58, F, Human. The only female on the Grand Captains' Circle, Grand Captain of the Dens.
Beneath the Grand Captains are the true workhorses of the Firm; the Captain-Juniors. These are the ones you're likely to see signing death warrants, protection rackets and other dealings - anything above these and you're in seriously high-level crime. Generally, it's thought that each family has four or five Captain-Juniors in their employ.
Nystrom: Captain-Junior George Nystrom: 48, M, Human. The nephew of Harold, and reportedly second-in-line to the Nystrom family. Captain-Junior Leon Nystrom: 40, M, Human. Son of Harold, Captain-Junior. Rivals with George. Captain-Junior Stewart Nystrom: 44, M, Human. Brother of George. Considered to be a financial whizz, in league with the Arnowiks. Captain-Junior Alexander Nystrom: 37, M, Human. Brother of George.
Serrin: Captain-Junior Stephen Serrin: 57, M, Human. Dockyard worker leader. Has been reportedly siphoning funds for his own personal use. Captain-Junior Laura Serrin: 57, F, Human. Sister of Stephen. Has network of informants in the merchant docks, often in league with S. Nystrom and E. Arnowik. Captain-Junior Danil Serrin II: 50, M, Human. Strongman of the Serrin family. Father's right hand and alleged heir. Runs many brothels in the docks. Captain-Junior Ambrose Serrin: 48, F, Human. Daughter of Danil Serrin. Head of the dockyard's "escort services wing"... whatever that means.
Dramburgh: Captain-Junior Ian Dramburgh: 46, M, Human. Brother of Fastolf. Captain-Junior Glenn Dramburgh: 40, M, Human. Nephew of Fastolf. Involved in goldsmithing and precious metal smuggling with Kelenwyn. Captain-Junior Erik Kelenwyn: 40, M, Human. Goldsmith, blacksmith, jeweller. Not a Dramburgh, though married one. Regularly tests gold samples for the Firm. Captain-Junior Andru Dramburgh: 30, M, Human. Son of Fastolf and heir to the Dramburgh family.
Arnowik: Captain-Junior Seane Arnowik: 45, F, Human. Gambler, card player and cad extraordinaire. A common sight at upper-class parties and events. Captain-Junior Juan Arnowik: 42, M, Human. Financial regulator, often works with Kelenwyn and S. Nystrom in financial matters of the Firm. Captain-Junior Willem Arnowik: 42, M, Human. Security professional, ex-military. Runs a variety of protection firms, both legal and non-legal. Captain-Junior Fredrika Arnowik: 33, F, Human. Works with brother Willem in security and defence.
With the Captain-Juniors are their own networks of contacts, usually run through their second-in-commands; the Firm calls them Cons. Who these Cons are is currently unknown, but it's estimated that each C-J has at least one Con, if not two or three.
Occasionally, people displease the Firm in manners that cannot go unpunished. In times of need, the Captain-Juniors send out a call for assistance in dealing with these matters - these individuals are known as the 'Cleaners' in some circles, and the 'Hunters' in others. According to what limited information the civic government has on the Firm's internal workings, their official title is the former - perhaps the latter is a colloquialism, given their job. The Cleaners' task is to hunt down and eliminate those who pose a threat to the Firm's dealings, for example through drawing too much attention to their activities or threatening to inform on the Firm's inner workings. The Cleaners have an array of targets that they are paid handsomely for, and the Cleaners often have small crews of their own to deal with body disposal. The Cleaners are perhaps the most shadowy of the organisations in question, though their activities have the most obvious effects. In essence, the Cleaners are the police of the Firm - cleaning up those who are too dangerous to have around.
Known Cleaners: Angora Kelenwyn: 19, F, Human: Daughter of Captain-Junior Erik Kelenwyn, the youngest of the known Cleaners. Also an expert in seduction and infiltration. Henry Thaw: 25, M, Human: Thaw was reportedly behind the assassination of several high-level informers within the Firm. Charlie Thomas: 39, M, Human: Known for his expertise in body disposal. Thomas and his waste disposal crew have been seen at the sites of murders. Hargo Stensen: 48, M, Human: An expert at assassinating magical foes of the Firm. Xavier Mansworth: 42, M, Human: Mansworth is a contact with the City Guard - by day, he guards the walls. By night, Mansworth is a Cleaner. Victoria Smethwick: 35, F, Human: Rumoured to be behind the knifing of several murderers. Cassidy Lawrensworth: 22, F, Human: Known in the Firm to prefer the jobs of rapists over all others - perhaps raped earlier in life?
Hello Jack, and hello Prophecy players. I bring shame; I don’t know how else to put it. I messed it up, again, hard, and the shame that came with it made me even more petrified of coming online and doing you the least decency of explaining myself or at least quitting in a formal, rational manner. It’s what I should have done. By rights, I should have months ago, but I didn’t and there is no justification for it, none that can justify it in any manner. But it’s not right to treat you this way. You’re great people. You’re great friends. You’ve shown me patience and a readiness to forgive I did not deserve, and I squandered it more than once. I cannot amend this state of affairs, but I can at least come out and break the silence that I veiled myself in so thoroughly.
I think it’s best if I quit the roleplay. I’ve a lack of interest in it at this point, I have trouble finding the motivation to write anything at all to be frank, for any roleplay, and there is no point in continuing a charade of persistence when I know full well I won’t be able to keep up and would just fall into inactivity again. That won’t do anyone any good.
I’m not sure what else to add to this. I want to say thank you for the good times we had, and thank you for bearing with me through the bad. I want to say sorry, profusely, for making the same blunder every god damn year. You didn’t deserve it.
So that’s a farewell for the time being. Most of you should know how to contact me, for all and sundry should you desire. For everything else, that’s it; I’ll be off to find some answers as to whether or not I still want to write, and how I go about defeating my inner demons.
Good luck and all the best for all of you and this roleplay!