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1 mo ago
Current I will not celebrate mediocrity. I will not worship empty shells. I will not listen to worthless noises. I will not subject myself to selected predictable choices. I will not be bought or sold.
1 yr ago
I've seen a person change his face like other's change their clothes.
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2 yrs ago
... The struggle between modeling, painting, writing, and creating... Oh what is a failure to do.
9 likes
2 yrs ago
Well... I think it might be time to start painting again...
2 yrs ago
Did you ever have so many hobbies you can't figure out what to do? Feeling uninspired...
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The tile rooftops of the Talos District entertained Enathrae for only a short while. The soft soles of his specially crafted leather boots easily bending over the curvature of the clay tiles, allowing him to remain steadfast in his pace. The urban setting soon surrendered to the arboreal furnishings of the arboretum that grew to the west of the city proper. Trees taller than most of the buildings in the city grew in a close-knit collective perhaps no more than a few square miles. While the surface was groomed with paths and well taken care of topiaries, the trees grew together as if stretching out for the haunting touch of like beings. It made the perfect path. The Dunmer leaped from one branch to the next, his trail marked only by the fluttering leaves and the scattering birds. Soon, he would stop.

High noon had crested over the few spires for the College of Whispers, their shadows only nigh existent with the sun so very high above. The pale bricks made in an age that had long since been forgotten had shone brightly, unhindered until the shadows slowly consumed them. The windows that were once open to the world around them were now shut, locked. The scents of alchemical concoctions and newly casted spells had become an afterthought ingrained into the now tattered tapestries. Despite the illuminating sun, the College seemed dark. The campus grounds once teeming with life were not speckled with but a few dim shadows wandering from one task to the next.

Enathrae descended from the branches. Soft were the steps of his feet as he hit the cobblestone walkway that encircled the academy. His steps were silent as he crept toward what appeared to be the main entranceway. A grim, ebony door ripe with age that had seen more greatness pass through its archway than the Hall of Valor. Yet, there was something strange about that door. As the gleam of the sun passed through the trees, painting the building in a vibrant glow the door remained enshrouded in shadow. An ominous cloud lingered over the portcullis, reverberating with magical energies across the strings of the aether like the strings of the lute heard in the distance.

“What business… do you… have here,” inquired a soft voice?"

The voice was but the remnants of a whisper. A gentle annoyance carried on the breeze. Or the faded memory of words passed echoing through the trees of the arboretum. Yet while the words seemingly came from a distance, Enathrae felt a contradictory notion. Was the voice real? Did it exist amongst the environment, emanating from some terrestrial being?

“What BUSINESS… do YOU… have here?”

No. It was a distant voice, but Enathrae knew it was closer than its creator had hoped he would. The voice was whispering from the depths of his mind, a place well beyond his typical excursions and a place that was quite easily accessible by the nominal power of this place, the College of Whispers. The Dunmer extended his arms, stretching his fingers as if attempting to feel his way through the power of the aether that carried the Magicka being used against him.

Enathrae’s fingers began to curl as if tickling the ivories on a piano. His hands twitched as if resisting the pull of some unforeseeable grasp, pulling him towards the door. Closer and closer the Dunmer stumbled as he tried to resist the force. But this unseen extraterrestrial force was powerful, more powerful than Enathrae had the pleasure of ever encountering before. His soft-soled leather shoes were not designed to provide the traction required to resist his unseen captor.

The gravel stirred beneath his feet, disturbed by his struggle. But the dust did not come from his steps. Sand and dirt stirred in the recesses between the stones that made up the cobblestone walk. It danced and swirled into tiny cyclones that were pulled toward the Dunmer, yet further away gathering before the doorway enshrouded in shadow. The sand coalesced into the shape of a single humanoid being its arm outstretched as if to grasp the mer.

But Enathrae was cognisant. His struggle was just as much mental as it was physical. However, he was trained. He was trained in the art of acting and reacting to arcane interference with his plans. He did not fall slack to make the magician work harder. He did not fight back to tighten its encumbrance. Enathrae moved swiftly, jerking his arms in a circular motion to exploit the lag Magicka experienced when combating the physical.

As the Dark Elf pulled free from the magician’s grasp, Enathrae deflected the now formed arm. A robed arm at that, clad in dirty grey cloth that was now thrown out wide. But the creature’s body did not budge. With a wide defensive opening, Enathrae thrust his offensive arm forward, his palm turned up. The strong and sturdy heel of his palm snapped outward like a flash of lightning.

“A test…”

Enathrae’s hand trembled as it met the resistance of what felt like a stone wall. The tremor that followed the sting of pain sent a shiver down his spine. His mind was drawn blank with what followed. With the force of Volendrung smashing into his chest, the Dunmer was thrown backward. His arms and legs thrown forward by the force of his abdomen hurling back, away from the enshrouded door. The air pulled from his lungs was replaced with the burning sensation of suffocation until his ass hit the cobblestone. His head rolled backward alongside his arms as he tried to protect his vital points from the impact. Rolling backwards the Dunmer tumbled down the few stairs that lead up to the platform where the College sat.

“You have NO BUSINESS here…”
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With his arm hidden beneath his cloak, the adolescent turned a stern eye towards the shapeshifter. He was not mad, but merely uncomfortable discussing such matters even privately. If anyone had known of his plight they would certainly respond with hostility. All of the possibilities had played out in his head. Of course, this wasn’t the first time he had thought about the ramifications of his desire to act so brazen and caste away his covers. He was not fond of deception, nor was he entirely good at it. The resulting decision would be solitude. He would ostracize himself away from prying eyes, remaining alone - at least, for the most part.

“It doesn’t hurt at all. It feels normal....ish,” Xander turned towards the door to meander down to the common room. “Just have to keep a little more room on my side is all.”

Xander moved through the doorway, specifically walking very close to the jam. His arm swung back and his torso jerked as the bony protrusions on his arm ricocheted off the wood. They left noticeable dents; however, the damage on the wooden frame was nothing more than aesthetic. His gate quickly shifted to one of youthful exuberance, with a sullen teenage underscore. Happiness and glee would not breach this boy’s sour visage.

Xander’s head jerked forward. His cheeks puffed out as he tried to keep the food he was chewing locked behind his lips. A pale fist pounded his chest as he tried to regain his breath, and dislodge the food that had been caught by his surprise. His eyes wide Xander coughed over his plate of breakfast delights.

“Are you crazy!” Xander choked out perhaps a little too loud to not draw attention before returning to panting whisper while he tried to catch his breath, “Are you crazy, Rio?"

The young man leaned in closely, “you can’t talk like that in here… in any where… in front of people… I mean.” Xander whispered trying to remain inconspicuous. He finished up the last of his meal. “I’m going to wait outside. You join me in a bit, when you’re ready.”

Xander pushed himself from the table and placed his spoon upside down on his plate. The universal sign for a finished meal. A few coins were placed on the table beside it and he slowly meandered away. His head darted to and fro as is admiring the owner’s choice of decorum, but it still looked rather queer. He was anything best inconspicuous. Perhaps odd, but relatively unnoticed nevertheless.

On the outside the air was crisp. The grass still visibly moist with the morning dew as reflected by the swiftly rising sun. Xander found a spot on the porch, overlooking the well worn thoroughfare that lead north along the river. There were already a couple of folks making their own journeys. With his one good arm the boy ran his hand through the flat black of his hair.

“We’ll head north.” He spoke to himself, turning to look at the door to await his partners arrival.

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Xander contemplated Rohaan’s words. The dirtiest, most nasty thief within the confines of Errandil. He considered what he had been taught in his small hamlet. It was not comparable to the education one might have received in the capital of Orthreloth or even one of the larger towns. However, he had known a little bit about the world. Perhaps not the particulars of individuals and their reputations but at least the more common understandings of that world. At least regionally, the Men in Cloaks were the most notorious in the Kingdom. But they rarely traveled far beyond the capital’s walls. When they did it was merely to entertain the criminal element in another larger city. What fun could a thief have in a hamlet? More oddly, what fun could a notorious thief have on the road? Xander could not figure out such a concept. For he had not the experience of a more well traveled adventurer.

Xander contemplated Rohaan’s words. The stories of shapeshifters were not so far from the unknown, at least in the folklore. Devourers of the lost and weary, stealers of naughty children, the haunters of a land when scavenging the dead. It was often told that Shapeshifters would often prowl the remnants of battlefields, the belief was that they were better able to relate to the dead and dying than the civilized beings of higher society. If the presumption was still held that this was the case, why would Xander still be alive? He had nothing to offer. He would not allow himself to believe his mission was a pipe dream, but reality would have to set in if some advancement was not made quickly. At the very least he was still a child, and had the attention span of such. He needed progress and regardless of what Rohaan would tell him, true or otherwise the man had offered his assistance and he would take it with Sarah in mind.

The young boy, with his arm still concealed stepped towards his door. It would not be unbelievable to think that if Rohaan was indeed the thief he had proclaimed to be that he could pick a lock without leaving a trace and subsequently lock the door. But to Xander it was not futile to check. The young boy examined the lock in the bright light of the morning sun shining through the window behind his new partner. It was locked to say the least with no exterior proof of its tampering. The boy unlocked it and checked the opposite end when he opened the door. It too was clean.

”Impressive… Xander whispered before turning around to address Rohaan openly. “We are tainted by one and the same.”

The young man abruptly unveiled his left arm, the cloth of the cloak hanging limply from his elbow. A quick shake and the cloak broke free from the abnormality with a small tear. What he had presented was an arm no longer than his other. But it was markedly different. What appeared to be an armor moved with the fluidity of flesh, the dark exoskeleton like scales haunted by hints of a crimson flow pulsing beneath the flesh of the underside of his forearm. Xander maneuvered his arm in a manner that would allow Rohaan to appreciate the design of the exterior armored spikes without any apparent loss of dexterity

”If you are a shapeshifter, Yggdrasil has cursed us both. But at least you seem to have a grasp on yours.

Xander turned away from the shapeshifter, concealing his arm beneath his and meandered down to the common room a head of the man. He wouldn’t protest a nice breakfast before moving on but he certainly had been in a better mood last night.

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Greetings,

A man wishes to not be so formal, but I see an issue that I think we should address publically mainly because I would like to see where everyone stands without having to hunt through the Discord chat. With regards to these collaborations, why are afraid to write for non player characters that other people introduce? More to the point <description of eyes?> Why should we not just describe the eyes? Sure, Chrononaut might have a specific idea but this is collaborative writing, not just on the etherpad but on the forum in general. Should we not feel free to elaborate where others have left details out?

Discuss?
The Glandrathar Forest




From the shores of the Cherafir River, which runs the forest’s western edge it appears nothing but the scene of a beautiful painting full of life and enshrouded in shadow. In essence, that is exactly what it is. Old growth timber, perhaps not the oldest in the land but certainly sustained nevertheless. It is home to babbling brooks, rolling streams, poorly worn game trails, and perfect for an exhausting hike to the other side with relative ease. Predator and prey function as they do everywhere boasting coyotes, smaller bear species, the occasional nightblood and a slew of other forest predatory species to combat the populations of rabbits, squirrels, and deer.

This temperate forest is quite common throughout Errandil with the trees being primarily deciduous, characterized by tall, broad-leafed, hardwood trees that shed brilliantly colored leaves each fall. These forests experience varied temperatures and four seasons, although winters in this area do not often bring below freezing temperatures but the summer does bring higher heat and humidity. Rainfall also varies, averaging 30 to 60 inches annually, allowing for soils that are well developed and rich in organic matter. They also provide habitat for a wide variety of smaller mammal species, including squirrels, raccoons, deer, coyotes and black bear and many bird species, including woodpeckers, owls, and hawks.

Animal products are in fact some of the most prominent exploits from those who choose to forage in these woods. Animal bones make perfect arrow shafts, their pelts for various clothing options and of course their meat for sustenance. Of course, for the vegetarian aspects of one’s diet some fruits, vegetables, and spices are able to be found here as well. It is the typical picture-esque profile of a forest ecosystem.

However, moreso amongst the Glandrathar Forest than any other is the density of the population of the true forest or wild elves. It is true that elves do exist beyond the borders of any wood but it is quite rare. The Glandrathar wild elves protect the wood as with any other woodland realm, if only more lackadaisical. That is to say, they will allow outsiders to enter the forest and partake in the woods bounty; but abuse of that ability is when the wild elves will enforce their version of justice upon the guilty. Their villages are not seen to directly alter the environment, but their presence is often noted when large hunting parties or gatherings of what they as hostiles move through the forest.
The Night Bloods




The oldest legends in the history of Errandil, those stories still found on cave walls and stone tables suggest that every being that roams across the land, flies in the sky, or swims under the sea have at least a few drops of the dark blood. Legends of yore suggest that in the beginning the blood of those existing on this realm were pure and even consecrated by the breath of Yggdrasil. Times were peaceful. Man and animal lived side by side in a symbiotic relationship that allowed resources to remain in abundance. Most importantly, it allowed for every living thing predator or prey to live in harmony across the land of Errandil.

Until the time of the Long Night. It has been centuries since the flaming hand of Yggdrasil tore through the sky, angered by some slight that had gone unnoticed by the inhabitants of the land. The land trembled in the wake of a great wind that rattled the mountains and ripped the leaves from their branches. On that day the sky turned from a brilliant cerulean to an ominous fiery red that would swiftly be replaced by a terrifying darkness that would spread to encompass the horizons in all directions.

Life had ceased to exist as it was previously known. The ground slowly disappeared beneath a blanket of grayish-white death. The sustenance that the herbivores found in abundance swiftly disappeared. As the predatory animals found their prey becoming more and more scarce, they turned to supplement their diets with the meat of men who has found a difficult life of survival as the environment continued to dramatically change. However, no matter how difficult existence became life had done as it always did. Life had found a way.

What had broken through were daemonic monsters with a thirst for survival in the form of destroying any sign of life that they could feed upon. No one is sure of where these “nightbloods” originated from as tales account of their arrival around similar times like they had merely sprung up from the ground. They were bred to hate the life lived by more peaceful creatures. These “nightbloods” were born so viciously that they would even go so far as to render their own arm from the body just to see another’s suffering.

A true “nightbloods” appearance varies with regards to multiple characteristics. They can be shorter than a dwarf or taller than a man, thinner than a child or as heavy as a horse. The color of the flesh or eyes vary like sunlight through a stained glass window. Their tongues can be pointed or forked. Their noses upturned, smashed in, or elongated. The ears pointed like elves, or flat as if that of a serpent. They typically maintain a human appearance but have been seen to sport additional appendages such as arms, bony protrusions, or even what appears to be the beginning of an avian evolution from their backs. No matter their goblinoid appearance when cut their blood is always the same. As black as the night sky or deepest subterranean ravine.

It has been seen in recent times that even presumptively healthy and mundane individuals are capable of hosting traits of the night blood. This is often seen with those who survive an attack by the Nightbloods, subsequently having some cross contamination where the night blood begins to slowly take over the mundane body. These people will slowly begin to show signs of contamination such as an alteration in skin color of a hand or near the infection site. The longer ones’ exposure the more outward symptoms they will show. However, it is readily understood that a cure for exposure to this night blood is nigh existent.

Finally, it is important to note that night blood in and of itself is believed to be an arcane substance. This is to suggest that the viscous, black fluid contains some sort of magical essence that may or may not have various applications. What has been seen is that carriers of this blood do maintain some level of innate arcane prowess. These magical attributes do not always present themselves physically. It may simply be seen as an ability to heal swiftly, or deny the magics of an attacker. But with those few that can manifest a physical example of this prowess can be a very destructive force on their own laying waste to opponents with fire balls and magical lightning (just to note some of the most common practices). When surrounded by a band of allies, these Nightbloods can be a death sentence.



Tevira

She is a legend among sailors, rumored to be the queen of the sea. Of course, few actually believe she truly exists, but the legend of Tevira and other mermaids is a tradition as old as sailing itself. As the stories go, she is a marvel to behold, with hair like night, eyes like the dawn, and skin like fine porcelain. The legends vary about what color her scales are, according to the region. Some say they're dark blue, some say they're a deep green like crushed pine needles. Others say black and iridescent like the back of a beetle. All say that she is captivating, beyond compare, and mesmerizing to watch.

Sailors around Errandil have a deep love for the myth of Tevira and sometimes will wax poetic about supposed encounters heard 'from a friend of a friend'. Some tales speak of sailors being mysteriously saved after being tossed overboard by wild seas. Some tales tell how the arrogance of a cocky sailor would anger the mermaid and cause such wild storms. And yet there are tales that describe seasoned seamen, stout in body in mind, suddenly leaping overboard on foggy nights, claiming they were following a melodious tune. They were never seen again.

More practical men will attribute these tall-tales to dolphins or other whales that might take an interest in people, the fickle weather of the open sea, and spoiled rations driving men mad. Others are convinced that Tevira is out there and was sent by Yggdrasil to govern the seas. The truth is not known.

Tevira is known for both being benevolent and cruel, just like the sea itself. She is considered to be a true neutral entity with motivations of her own and little real care for the fate of Errandil's seagoing folk. Depictions of Tevira are common as figureheads on ships.

(A special thanks to @BlackFridayRule for his contribution.)
@Carantathraiel

A man sees no reason one could not submit a character sheet. After a short review of the work, it should be easy for one to jump right in.
Lycanthropy




Across the land of Errandil, night blood is spilled as the tide of darkness washes over the land. The blood of these daemons acts as a poison, desecrating the land with its taint. It takes many days for the bodies of beasts to biodegrade and break down into a form that is worthy of being devoured by the planet. The ecosystem has a pleasant way of recycling the death and decay of past existence, turning it into change for new life. But when the planet tries to recycle the corruption of the night blood, strange things begin to happen.

In many settings, Lycanthropy exists in many different ways. In Errandil it seems quite convoluted. The scavengers of Errandil feed upon the corpses of the fallen indiscriminately. It could be a man, a beast, their own kind or even a night blood - food is food when scavenging. Some creatures are not strong enough to resist the taint of the night blood, the poison strangling the creature’s natural blood cells until death. However, sometimes a creature is strong enough to withstand the taint, their own blood coalescing and mingling with the night blood. In this way, their body slowly changes as any other being tainted by the night blood. But it is when that tainted creature draws blood from a sentient humanoid, that the disease of lycanthropy is contracted.

In the beginning, the infected has little control over their lycanthropic rage. Specifically, it is a rage in that the infected has little control over how they conduct their time during the change. They will change under specific circumstances, typically based on their emotional or physical being but the precursor to the change is not limited to something so concrete. It could be a specific time of day. A certain phase in the lunar cycle. Or maybe a specific weather pattern. However, over time the change becomes less painful and more natural, slowly granting the user some control while under the rage of the transformation. But still, no control over the transformation itself.

As time goes on, the infected finds themselves visited by a figure enshrouded in shadows either through sleeping dreams or daytime hallucinations. However those visions come to the afflicted party, they provide the lycanthrope with the general location to begin their pilgrimage. Through this pilgrimage, or so the stories go they find an amulet of unknown origins or varying makes typically common copper with a central ruby. It is suggested that the amulet itself provides the lycanthrope the power to control their transformation but others believe it is the journey that makes afflicted find control.

The origins of these amulets are unknown. The marking is all that remains the same between the various shapes, material composition, and present jewel. It is obvious through what little research has been done that they are made by the same being. But no arcane scholar has been able to crack the connection between the amulet and the lycanthrope or the amulet and the creator as every chance taken backfires with nearly grave circumstances.
The Hamlet of Pyre




The Hamlet of Pyre was built near the southern border of the Kingdom of Duringham. As it is told, a group of nomadic people were attacked by those inflicted with the darkness while traveling north to seek protection within the Kingdom. Suffering severe casualties, the tribe scattered in all directions. However, those who remained in the area to fight off the darkness and survived constructed a massive funeral pyre of the dead that was said to have burned to see the light of seven new days. The light shone so brightly against the night time sky that it gained the attention of those who had fled and drew them back together to honor the dead in their ascension.

That same pyre is still the center of the hamlet to this day. Encased in stones found on the banks of the river the surrounding land, the people of that time held the pyre in high regard as a shrine to the people who sacrificed their lives so that they may live. The Pyre grows with every death as funeral rights include the cremation of the body, a collection of the ashes which are then spread amongst the stones of the pyre before a new stone is added.

The hamlet is quiet, even on the not so typical day. It expands haphazardly from the pyre at the center where one would find establishments such as the blacksmith, the tailor, and the inn. These buildings function as both businesses and homes for their proprietors. There are other homes in this hamlet proper, but they are relatively few. As one moves further out from the hamlet proper, they will find the homes clustered together in small groups of two or three each with their own family but collectively maintaining a portion of farmland in a sort of commune.

At any given time there are only two guards on duty and they maintain the hamlet proper. Rarely do they patrol the farthest reaches of the hamlet’s jurisdiction, typically only when requested by those who live beyond the hamlet proper. Because of its small size, the guard also very rarely patrols by night doing so only upon request of the ruling lord. However, upon an order of conscription by that same lord and army of around one or two hundred can be gathered to fight on varying levels. They are responsible for maintaining their own weapons and what little armor they can afford as well as training to a competent and combat ready level.



The ruling Lord, Sir Orsin Daremyth was a knight in the King’s royal regiment, charged with protecting the King when outside of the castle beyond the responsibility of the King’s Guard. After the death of the last Lord, he was gifted the position for his bravery, loyalty, and responsibility in his duties. For him, it is mainly a retirement position. A place for him to pass. His modest manner is present amongst the buildings of the hamlet proper, distinguishable only by the size in comparison to those buildings around it. He is charged with making the important decisions of the hamlet, which are few and far between. He is kind-hearted, just, and fair with a penchant for second chances.
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