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No mind to think,
No will to break,
No voice to cry suffering-
Born of God and Void.

Most Recent Posts

Location: Westwood, Indiana, USA

Alja was talking but Graves wasn't present. His eyes were glazed over and he was looking out over the cistern, into the pool of swirling water where he'd nearly drowned. That nearly avoided fate wasn't what was on his mind, however; it was where his mind had taken him when he lost consciousness. This wasn't the first time it had happened. Wasn't the first memory he was dropped into.

'Why do I keep goin' back home?'

Home wasn't something he thought of much. That place was better left dead and buried. A mire. It was a mire that trapped him in the muck and kept him from going anywhere. Andrew thought he'd crawled out of it when he got his own place, even if he was still stuck in the same dead end job he'd gotten after high school in the same dead end town that'd taken so much from all of them. He thought he'd buried it and moved on, but ever since the Glitch it'd come back. It had visited him twice, now. Was it back to try and drag him back into the mire once more?

Something metal clattered against the wet stone beside him and Graves jumped out of his skin. "Shit." He breathed, looking down at the knife and then up to Alja. Color rushed to his cheeks. He'd totally forgotten she was standing right there. And she'd just saved his skin, too. Was he really brought so low by a couple'a bad dreams? Shake it off, big man. You've got work to do.

"Sorry, yeah. Thanks." It wasn't much, but any old blade would do for now. He doubted there'd be much more need anyway; that rat must've been the mother. Too big not to be. That did leave the question of where her nest had been, though, as they hadn't seen head nor tail of it in all their time down here. Wasn't looking forward to keeping up the search- he'd had just about enough of this place.

"You, uh...didn't have to do that." He sniffled. "Thanks for stickin' your neck out for me. Lotta people wouldn't do that."

Location: Westwood, Indiana, USA

The rain fell hard tonight. It drummed against the old pickup's roof, loud and barking and never ceasing. Started hours ago and hadn't let up since, even into the dead of night. Driving in this- in pitch black- was anxiety inducing. Made his heart beat to the falling of the rain. Drenched him in sweat as much as water. Misery. Irritation. This shouldn't be on him- shouldn't be his responsibility. First bell would sound in less than six hours and Andrew hadn't gotten a lick of sleep yet.

Roads this far outta town were either gravel or dirt, and the latter was nothing but mud pits at the moment. Made getting out here a royal pain in the ass, but he'd finally done it. He pulled into a poor excuse for a parking lot where a dozen other cars already lingered. Through his water-logged windshield he could just make out the shape of the warehouse, and the glow of multi-colored lights from inside. Even outside in the rain and thunder he could hear the muffled beat of music. This was definitely the place.

Slinging a ratty jacket over his shoulders Andrew slid outside, instantly soaked. Jog up to the front door. A handful of people were standing under a makeshift awning of old pipes and layered tarps. The largest of them- a boy several inches shorter than Andy but twice as large- cocked his head at Andrew's approach. They argued for five minutes before Andrew finally drew twenty bucks of gas money from his pocket and slapped it into the bouncer's palm, shoulder-checking him on his way inside.

No time for this. Shouldn't even be here.

Warehouse is packed to the brim with people. Can't even walk without slithering through sweat-soaked, half-dressed bodies. It stinks of sweat and too much cologne. Music is thumping in his skull- too loud, can't think straight. How was he supposed to find his brother in this packed sardine can? Why should he even have to?

If William wants to waste his life why should Andrew stop him? Nobody else was going to. Nobody else cared enough to now that Anna was out of the picture. Maybe they had the right of it. Maybe he outta turn his ass around and let Will drown in his own mistakes.

Feel something splash against his head. Look up, nothing. Roof looks fine. Why was he still getting wet? Try to keep moving. Legs getting heavier. Pain splaying through his body down to his fingers. Head starts to spin. Faces become distorted, unrecognizable.


Someone was calling out to him. Voice was familiar, but that didn't make sense. That wasn't supposed to happen- that wasn't how this memory goes. Sharp pain in the back of his head. Something building up in his throat.

'I'm...somewhere else.'

Feet give out. Hit the floor, hard. Vomit comes crawling out of his throat. Tastes like sewer water.

Location: City Sewers -- The City-State of Thorinn, Aetheria

Graves's eyes shoot open, a splurge of bile and water spilling from his gullet. He let out a groan, rolling onto his belly. Blink the shit from his eyes. Get a handle on the situation. They were somewhere else now, though still in the sewers. Somewhere lower in that labyrinth if he were to take a wild guess. Alja was splayed out on the ground next to him, as exhausted and soaked as he was.

'Guess you're the reason I'm still breathin'.' He mused to himself, thankful it wasn't someone more unbearable. Push himself up onto his knees, take a moment to breathe. Gotta get his bearings. His arm felt like shit again. Looked like his sword had gotten lost in the flood. Shit. Rael was nowhere to be seen. Those kids and Kalie were gone, too.

"Any idea where we are?" Graves asked between sputtered coughs.
Alrighty, folks, here's the skinny: This first leg of the game is fairly freeform. You're going to have time to interact with your fellow players as well as the various NPCs around Heiseina. Some of you have been given plot hooks to pursue in this period- if you so desire- and you can approach those however you wish! If you want to keep them to yourselves or spread the word to everyone, that's wholly up to you. To everyone else, I encourage you to reach out to your fellow players and discuss interactions. If there's a particular NPC you want to speak to, I can handle that as well!

Once I feel like this section has reached its natural conclusion, I'll get the wheel turnin' for the next bit.

Sunlight climbed over the western mountains in the wee hours of the morning. Creatures like monkeys crossed with dogs scurried forth from the crags to scream with the rising sun, their voices a horrific noise that might be mistaken for a human's cry if not for a certain, monstrous quality to it. The light pressed on passed the mountains, dipping down to reach for the Mumbling Wood with a tentative touch. Its rays bounced off the frost-covered canopy of the forest, frozen after last night's rain. Trees gave lazy groans of greeting to one another as they shook awake. Spirits crept out from their holes and hovels to bask in the sun's presence, appreciating its much needed yet fragile warmth; these last days of winter had dragged on for far too long for their liking, and the Yokai were getting restless. As the sun crawled into windows and peaked through door frames, it wouldn't be long before the folk of Heiseina came creeping from their own homes as well. Its journey would end in Kama's Lake, where its twin descended into the reflective water to shine just as bright as the one in the sky above.

Within the sleepy village figures begin to appear. An old man, eyes still heavy and red, steps outside his door with a giant sack in his hands. Reaching within he produces a handful of roasted soybeans, tossing them out into the street in front of his house. A neighbor on the opposite side of the road chucks them from the safety of her window; perhaps never even leaving her bed at all. Just about everyone would join them soon enough- those with the common sense to understand the Yokai and the bad fortune they can bring down on the disrespectful.

"eight weeks," the old man grumbles, his voice like the rasp of rocks grinding against rocks, "eight more weeks of winter! Salt the shimmer, I told Takamori- told him that girl was no good."

A broom cracked him over the shoulder, causing him to shout in a mix of pain and surprise. His wife lowered it to the ground, still rubbing the sleep from her eye. "Pull the turds outta yer teeth. What if the lady heard ya gobbin' off? If she was willin' to do her own kin in-"

"Balderdash! T'was the hag that did them in. That dumb, poor girl couldn't get a tanuki to scratch its scrotum. We never had long winters when the shrine maiden was around. I remember this one autumn, perhaps twenty years ago, when..."

And on and on they went as Heiseina slowly, gradually dragged itself from its restful sleep and set about preparing for today's festivities. This marked the first day of a week long celebration of winter turning to spring, culminating in the Dance of the Serpent- when Miorochi is meant to awaken and take to the sky, tearing the cold from the air and begin the changing of the seasons. The week would see the village gathering to eat, dance, compete in games and go through all number of religious rituals to bring good fortune on the year to come. Broken relationships would be fixed, old enemies would make amends, and newborns would be blessed at Miorochi's shrine.

In honor of the occasion, all sorts of decorations were strung from roof to roof, up and around poles, or painted along the cobblestones of the road. Papers dragons were a common sight on top of other imagery of life and spring: colorful bundles of flowers were strung together, cornucopias of fruits and vegetables, and most common were the beans. Hundreds upon hundreds of roasted soybeans being scattered, eaten or spread to make crude shapes. Soybeans were thought to drive away the spirits that brought bad luck.

Unlit lanterns hang via strings running from nearby roofs to the radio tower in the town's central square. Inside them are some of the only electric lightbulbs in the entire valley, wired together and tracing down the tower's side and disappearing into a hole carved into the tinkerer's workshop. More unnatural light shines from behind the curtained windows and under the doorway. Keen watchers might have noticed a similar phenomena on their way home for the previous night's rest. It wasn't unheard of for Anayo to work all throughout the night, though never as often as over this last month. Curious, though, is the lack of mechanical whirring or banging.

Near to the shore of Kama's Lake, where the Takamori Estate stands tall and proud, its master meditates in the early morning light. Only one of his students managed to drag herself out here so early, though whether or not she was focused on her inner harmony or struggling to stay awake was yet to be seen. Kenji, despite his age, was as sharp and energized as either of his nephews or his niece. He'd already run the full length of the lake's walking path in the time it took most of the village to drag themselves from their beds. With slow, measured breaths, he took in the morning as he always did.

Yet Fumiko knew the old man well enough to know something was different today. There was an ever so slight tremble in his hands that he was trying and failing to calm. A deep furrow along his brow seemed to form and disperse every fifteen or so seconds, as if he had worries he could not quell. Kenji took a final exhale and let his eyes slide open so he could look to the horizon. Some imperceptible thing clouded his ordinarily cheery gaze, like a grey sky hours before a storm.

"How I wish I could remain in this moment forever." He muttered. His voice was a river, deep and meandering. "Time marches on, however, and there is much to do." He turned his head just so he could catch Fumiko's gaze. "And I'll be delegating a great deal of it to you, Fumiko. I hope you're up for it! Come, walk with me, and we shall talk." Kenji stood, beckoning her to follow him as he began to pace down the manor's steps and into the gardens that surrounded the estate.

"First we must ensure the noon performance is ready. I trust Miss Hayashi is prepared, but it is always best to double check." Kenji lifted a finger, wiggling it a bit- his usual sign to 'note that down' that he gave whenever he was delivering a lesson. "Head over to her abode and ensure everything is ready. Give her any help she needs setting up. She is the opening act of the day, so the tone must be just so. Even the slightest misstep could have disastrous consequences for the rest of the week's mood!" Perfection was impossible, yet always demanded- that was the Takamori code. Yet even as he spoke he seemed...distracted. His vision still clung to western mountains, where the sun rested atop those stony peaks.

Near silent paws patter up old stone steps. They stretch, turn and twist along the hill at the edge of town, passed small shrines covered in offerings, flowers and trinkets of all sorts. Those paws are quiet, yet they're quick-- quick as lightning. They bound up three steps at a time, nearly slipping on wet, broken stone in their hurry to reach the peak.

When the fox finally reached the hill's zenith, where an archway led into the shrine proper, it dropped what was in its mouth and began to make a racket. Its odd yips could almost be mistaken for language, but even as an animal the urgency in its noises could not be mistaken. When the shrine's cartaker finally emerged the creature nudged the object it had carried and dropped to the floor: a scroll case. Kitsune were said to be the messengers of the gods, yet...those were only stories for children. Myths passed down from the ages. In reality they were a bunch of aimless tricksters whose only purpose was to spread mischief...right?

But there was the scroll case. And inside, a message:

<Snipped quote by Cybermaxx>

Not really any comments/concerns for this one, aside from the same bit about how he was abducted - assuming that the final paragraph was to be taken literally. Mostly just curiosities like does he wield a triangular or circular shield and did he and Peggy actually have a life together considering he didn't die? But the latter can obviously be revealed in the IC.

Less literally, more as an overly flowery way to say 'and then he was away'd.' Can cut it out pretty easily.

During the war he primarily wielded the heater shield, which was simple steel and found more value as a symbol for the troops to rally behind than as an actual weapon. A couple'a months before the armistice, though, a final engagement with HYDRA led to him pilfering the round one- made of an alloy with all the properties we know and love. It was meant to be wielded by the Nazi's own version of a super soldier that never came to fruition. There's a heavy dosage of irony in using it how he does these days.

Avoiding specifics? Sort of. They were together for a number of years after the war but before Steve went on the run. He wants to go back to her but knows it'd only endanger them both; there's no way to keep up the fight and be together with her at the same time. Carter's older now and time hasn't been kind. Steve's lifestyle would almost certainly be the end of her.

You all have characters that are pretty martial arts focused with leadership skills. Nomad, Batman, Sabretooth, Old Patch, and Dark Web. If you wouldn't mind, can you take the time to describe to me how you envision the character's role inside and outside of combat? Otherwise, I can only see them as their archetypical roles, which makes them all fairly similar.

Wellll ain't that unfortunate. In this timeline Steve Rogers is much more of a brawler than in the comics. All he's got to work with is his military training, which was much more focused on tactics and weaponry usage than strict hand to hand. Augmented speed and strength, combined with the shield, make him very dangerous to normal humans. Things get trickier against more skilled or stronger opponents who can cancel his strengths, forcing him to be a bit more clever in his approach. Steve takes advantage of his shield's strange properties and his environment as much as possible, and he's not above pulling a gun when things get messy enough.

This Rogers is not a superhero, he's a soldier. Its a philosophy that'll inevitably lead to him bumping heads with his teammates whenever he starts barking orders or asks people to make uncomfortable decisions. He's' not one to sacrifice his principles- ever- but there's a naivety to the cape-and-tights types that gets on his nerves. Plus, to be honest? All this shit that's going on is totally overwhelming. The man comes from a universe where he's the weirdest thing walking around. And now he's fighting aliens and jumping through dimensions. He's as out of place alongside these super types as mainstream Rogers is in modern times.
Gonna work on that secondary character concept in a bit. Got a few other games I owe posts to.

Its longer than I intended it to be, but I shaved down a couple'a superfluous paragraphs. Felt like it was necessary to give context to the world's biggest change- that is, fascism's overwhelming victory in WWII- as the world's history informs this version of Steve a lot. If you want another eight hundred words of bad alt. history hit me up, I guess, lmao

Location: City Sewers -- The City-State of Thorinn, Aetheria

The fight was over before it'd even begin, torn apart by a pillar of frozen death. A burst of healing energy from one'a the chumps they'd rescued ran through Graves' shoulder: bones were set, tendons reattached, skin stretched and scarred over. And the pain dulled in a wave of foreign adrenaline.

Over too quickly. No time to savor. Irritation.

"Couldn't start with that?" Graves grumbled to Alja as she went to check on the lowbies. He regretted his tone even as he said it.

Fate would deem it the last thing he'd say to her. A rumbling like the growl of a giant filled the tunnels. It may have started distant, quiet, but it grew cacophonous in just a matter of seconds. Somebody was shouting but their voice was lost in the storm of onrushing water. No time to get out of the way. No time to haul ass to one of the side tunnels. Just long enough to stare ahead and wonder where it would sweep him away. He'd drown, right? Drown in shit water and wake up in his shitty apartment just long enough to go brain dead? It was kind of a hilarious image... in a macabre, terrifying sorta way.

Take in one last breath. Turn bad shoulder into the water- already fucked anyway. Shut eyes, tuck chin to chest. All he had time to do before he felt it slam into him. Water moving that fast was less like a liquid and closer to a concrete wall. It knocked all the air out of his lungs in an instant. His shoulder dislocated again. Feet left the ground, and he was spinning. Dragged backward for several seconds before he felt his weight jerked downward by something else- gravity. Free fall into the unknown.

A disgusting rush of sewer water filled his mouth just as everything went black.
On a more serious note, though, I’m ruminating on a Steve Rogers as Nomad concept in a time line where the Axis won WWII and the U.S fell to Fascism. Some real Man in the High Castle shit, if ya dig me.
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