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1 mo ago
Current I’m birfday
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2 mos ago
Discord is down and it is driving me absolutely insane. But at least I've got Dragon Quest XI to keep me entertained :)
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2 mos ago
It has been so long since I've actually done play-by-post role-play. I'm excited to get back into it. :)
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Bio

I like cake and steak and vidyajames.

Also, does anyone else notice how many other users have a misspelling of the word "videogames" in their biographies?

My steam name is Colonel Canada if you want to play Crusader Kings II or Europa Universalis IV or Team Fortress 2 or something.

Most Recent Posts

[quote=@Lightning Fast]

Location: Deep in the woods...




Ferris wasted no time in following Natalie’s advice, hesitating only for a moment to make sure that she was following. Ferris was too afraid to do any sort of fighting as he ran: although his hand made a grabbing motion towards the ax strapped to his back, it was shaking too much to wrap around it. He simply kept running, hoping to hell and back that the monsters wouldn’t catch up with them.

Once they had made sufficient distance between them and the beasts, Ferris turned back to his buddy. “Natalie, are you okay?! Did they hit you?!” Ferris seemed extremely panicked for someone so physically imposing, as though the slimes had been twelve feet tall and covered in spikes. “Are there any chemicals or something that can mess with the slimes’ form? Like, to make them dissolve? I didn’t pay attention in chemistry class...”

@Majoras End
What kind of dice should I use? D20?


I was told D20, even = good, odd = bad

Location: Deep in the woods...




Ferris’ trip through the woods had become considerably more pleasant now that Natalie was accompanying him. It was nowhere near the first time they’d traveled this area together, and Ferris had known Natalie since she’d moved here. The woods were her domain as much as his, and though Ferris said precious few words to her, he liked to think they had an unspoken understanding as fellow people of the wilds. The lumberjack was no good with a weapon, but had keen eyes and made for a decent spotter. He did look away before Natalie started shooting, though.

Fear of firearms-related accidents aside, Ferris felt a great deal safer with Natalie around. Living on the edge of the woods meant that Ferris was usually the first to see any odd goings-on around the area, and Ferris could swear he’d been seeing ghouls and monsters. “I heard a rumour about werewolves in these woods. I didn’t really believe it, but there’s something around here...” Ferris trailed off, going from speaking to Natalie to muttering to himself. “... something monstrous. And spooky.”

It wasn’t a while until Ferris started to hear a mysterious, gelatinous noise, accompanied by what sounded like the snapping of twigs and crunching of leaves.

Ferris watched in horror as the blob creatures began to shamble towards he and Natalie. Quaking with fear, he screamed out, hiding behind and instinctively grabbling the shoulders of the comparatively smaller huntress. “DO SOMETHING, NATALIE!” The massive woodcutter’s ax he’d received from his father was noticeably still affixed to his back. Clearly, Ferris was too paralyzed by fear to do much of anything. Except cower and scream.

@Majoras End

Location: the Wheeler Residence --> the Forest Shrine deep in the Woods



Every day, Ferris rose at the crack of dawn - sometimes before if the sun was being particularly shy that day. His father used to say that it was best to get one’s work done as early as possible. “You’ll have all the energy you need if you rise with the sun,” he’d say. Ferris had been working twice as hard as usual as of late. This was the only time of year when the sap of maple trees could be harvested en masse to turn into delicious syrup, and it was the first maple harvest that Ferris had to do without his father’s help.

The maple harvest kept the Wheeler family occupied for most of the late winter and start of spring. Ferris’ mother Isa spent hours distilling buckets and buckets of sap down to its sticky usable form as Ferris brought it in from the woods. In a good year, they would have enough syrup to sell not only to the town, but the rest of the city, more than making up for the drop in firewood demand that accompanied winter’s thaw. It was the success of the maple harvest which decided whether the Wheelers would be able to afford things like new tools, and if they would have a fund saved for emergencies. Freddy had broken his leg four years ago, and it was the maple fund which had permitted Ferris to continue working eight or ten hours rather than twelve or fourteen. The year after, his mother’s spice and flower garden was torn apart by agitated wild animals, and the lack of a maple fund meant that they had to sell one of their cart horses to reseed and repair it.

Ferris was laser-focused on the maple harvest this year, but would be tapping the trees alone. His legs still ached from yesterday’s work, particularly now that the family’s horse was too old to pull Ferris’ lumber cart. “It’s just a bit of fatigue, Ferris,” he said to himself, “It’ll be over soon, and you’ll have enough to buy a new horse.” Of course, that is what he had told himself for the last four mornings in a row. He desperately needed a break, but knew he couldn’t take one. Ferris got out of bed and began an intense routine of stretches to prepare himself for the day, glancing around at his room as he did so. It was far smaller and simpler than where his parents slept, but newer, better-insulated and less prone to a leaking roof. He slept on a small single bed next to a wooden nightstand he had made for himself, with an old desk and computer in the corner. Ferris really only used the computer to keep track of the town folks' orders for wood, furniture and repairs.

Ferris exited his room and walked into the main kitchen and living area, where he saw his mom resting her head on the counter. She had fallen asleep doing her half of the maple rush’s work. Careful not to wake her, Ferris began to fry up the last four eggs in the fridge alongside some old baked beans from a few days prior, and placed two pieces of bread in their toaster. It wasn’t a big breakfast, but the sausages they’d once enjoyed as a side had become somewhat cost-prohibitive. He placed half of the food onto his own plate, and the rest onto another one for his still-sleeping mother. Frowning at the relatively meagre portion, he moved some of the food onto his mother’s plate before covering it with a bowl to keep it warm. I bet if I ask nicely, Nat will take me hunting later. We can have fresh venison tonight. I can tough it out until lunch. His lunch was still in the fridge, having been made days before: a bowl full of hearty chicken and vegetable soup. He poured it out into a pot to heat it up, then into a thermos to keep it warm.

When Ferris opened up his lunch pail, he found a small note left there by his sleeping mother.

I know it’s been rough lately, but things will get better soon. I can feel it.


Love, Mom.


The message was punctuated with hearts, and it appeared as though she had snuck a tupperware with a small maple-flavoured cake into the lunch box last night. It made Ferris smile. Here he was, almost twenty-one years of age, and his mother was still leaving notes in his lunch box as though he was in elementary school. Before leaving, Ferris gently lifted his mother off of the kitchen stool and carried her over to the living room couch, then laid an intricately-patterned quilt over top of her. Isa stirred slightly, but seemed more comfortable once she had settled.

Ferris was already finished with his breakfast and out of the house by the time the mayor’s message got there, and so didn’t actually get the chance to hear it.

Maggie was in her usual spot on the porch when Ferris went outside. Ferris greeted her with a pat on the head, causing her tail to start wagging. The old dog didn’t move around much these days, but her presence was comforting. The bird she had recently befriended was busy eating at its feeder, although would likely resume its sitting inside Maggie’s fur once breakfast was over. The area immediately outside the Wheelers’ cabin was not thick with trees, as Freddy had cleared them long ago to make room for the lumberyard and connect the place to the town’s road. Just beyond that, however, the area was covered in small saplings. The Wheelers had a long-time policy to replant any trees which he cut down not directly adjacent to the main roads. Family tradition had been very clear: “People have their place, but so too does nature, and you ought to respect it.” When Ferris took from nature, he wanted to make sure that it had enough left to regenerate its own bounty.

Of course, BigCo’s clear-cutting teams did not necessarily live by the same policy. There were a lot more cut stumps on the landscape as of late, and to find good forage one now had to venture deep into the woods where monsters were rumoured to gather. Ferris usually only travelled that far out to pay tribute at the family’s forest shrine, or if one of the town’s hunters was with him. He tried not to think about the changing landscape for now: it was time for the maple rush!

Ferris went to work, pulling the cart himself as he went between the maple trees, collecting the last of the season’s sap from the taps that he’d left out. With fifteen dollars and a free afternoon, even an amateur could collect easily more than a gallon. With dozens more taps and buckets, well, let’s just say the maple rush usually took a few trips.

It was not uncommon for a single round of collection to yield hundreds of gallons of sap... which was good, since it took about forty gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup. The limiting factor for syrup production wasn’t the amount of sap Ferris could bring in; it was the labour-intensive process of separating out the water. All of the machinery at the Wheeler House was quite old, either bought second-hand or purchased upwards of fifteen years ago back when the town was still thriving and Freddy was reinvesting his money from law practice into the old family property. Thankfully, enough of it still worked to process sap, although Isa sometimes had to boil it down using a big black cauldron when the distiller was acting up, hence her current exhausted state.

Even after the labour costs and the costs of heating the sap, quality syrup was worth its weight in gold. Thankfully, Wheeler’s Organic wasn’t just quality; it was the best in the region, if you believed the slogan on the bottle. The Wheelers, especially Isa, were accomplished cooks and bakers. They provided Root River and the surrounding area with syrup, as well as maple cakes, maple toffees, and even maple liqueurs.

After the sap collection was done and over with, Ferris left the sap outside with the syrup-making equipment, then loaded his lumber cart with the saws and axes he’d need to collect firewood. He needed to take a short break first, however: the hauling of so much sap had exhausted him. Ferris’ favourite place to relax, aside from at home with his mother, or at the Red Bridge with his best friend Ollie, was the ancient and serene shrine to the Harvest Goddess deep inside the forest. He had a small wooden carving of the Harvest Goddess that he had made himself, its base having been inscribed with a rune for each of the four elemental harvest sprites. Ferris was pleased with his craftsmanship, but lamented not having anything more valuable to give.

The shrine itself was simple: a stone monolith surrounded by flowers, erected who knows how many generations ago to act as a gathering spot for the forest spirits. It was inscribed with a simple message: “May the Harvest Goddess bless these woods with her tremendous bounty. May we take care of the land as the land takes care of us.” Even though nature’s bounty seemed to shrink every month BigCo continued working, Ferris still had hope. Kneeling down in front of the statue, Ferris placed his wooden carving down along with one of the delicious maple cakes his mother had made for him. He then repeated the prayer on the monolith, and added a few lines of his own: “... I know you’re still out there, Goddess. A lot of people have stopped believing, but I haven’t. I’ll do my best to keep this place safe from the bulldozers, and keep the shrine tidy. And if my dad is still alive out there, please keep him safe. And if he’s not... tell him that I love him, and that I miss him every day.” Ferris allowed a single tear to fall onto the engraved stones below, then wiped his eyes and steadied himself. He had no time to cry; there was work to be done.
The perception among younger mutants was that the Silvermist Academy contracts all involved some sort of fighting. This was far from the truth. There were many ways even the most pacifistic mutant could aid the academy’s causes, and although Shimon didn’t much care for the academy, he would take any excuse to get outside. Perhaps it was an effect of his growing mutation, but these days Shimon relished any time he got to spend in the great outdoors. The Underground Garden was a wonderful place for a tree-creature to make his home, but deep down Shimon couldn’t shake the feeling of artificiality. No matter how similar the earth felt, no matter how rich the soil was and how well-hydrated his roots were, Shimon felt constricted.

One does not usually think of plants as having instincts, but Shimon felt as though he had been neglecting his. A tree was supposed to grow taller, reach the sun and spread its leaves far and wide. If it were up to Shimon, he would return to the little village outside Prague where his family and friends lived. He would increase their harvests and the harvests of everyone in Bohemia, and then travel east to Poland. He would see Prague and Krakow and Warsaw and then do it all again until his limbs grew too large to move without exhaustion, then plant his roots permanently in his hometown, providing the village with all the food they could need and moving only to protect it if they came under threat of pogrom.

But then there was the human side of him. Trees might not be social creatures, but humans definitely are. Shimon yearned to feel like part of a community again, and would never get that if he simply stopped suppressing his growth, acting no differently than any other plant. If he stayed just outside the school and rooted himself in the courtyard, he would certainly get more sunlight, but he would also be apart from the thing he missed the most while he was underground: people. This would be especially true in the winter. So instead, he gathered up the contracts he intended on completing: three in total. Perhaps by completing contracts in lieu of his normal hibernation, he could send some money back home to Bohemia... assuming his family was still alive, of course.

The first was less a contract and more a hastily-scrawled note from the Academy’s kitchen staff, requesting that someone from the Garden help to restock their pantries. One of these requests came every two weeks or so during weather like this, and Shimon had helped with them several times before. It would not take long.

The second one was simple, something that Shimon had done dozens of times before. In the winter or during times of famine, villages would send out requests to local lords and institutions for aid. Some of the more desperate ones would even send for aid from mutants. He’d dealt with the tiny village of Whitewood before, and they had treated him fairly (although with extreme caution). There was a rumour that the mayor’s daughter was a mutant studying at the academy, but it was just that: a rumour.

The last, while not difficult in the traditional sense, tested Shimon on a more... personal level. It was not a difficult mission. A harsh winter has killed off the vital medicinal herbs used to dull pain for surgery, treat illness, and heal burns and infections. We require a mutant with the ability to heal, or give us the ingredients we need. The contract’s mission was not an issue: it was the folks giving the assignment. Monks or no, Shimon instinctively distrusted any representatives of the church. Their schools and monasteries were harmless enough, but their knights and priests thought of mutants as despicable devils. Still, most peasants had no other means of accessing medical care, and completing this contract would almost certainly save lives. Sighing, he gathered up the papers and stuffed them in a hollow wooden cavity in his torso, then sealed its opening with vines. These were all jobs he could technically complete without even leaving the Academy, though. Shimon thought about taking on a fourth contract, something a bit more... adventurous.

The words of Dante echoed in his mind, however. Me, a fighter? Preposterous... But Shimon’s new acquaintance had a point. Shimon’s new body was, if nothing else, well-suited to violence. His skin was now bark, and could shrug off the hardest of blows. He could regenerate any injury given enough time, and he could pulverize any knight who dared stand against him no matter how heavily-armoured. The Academy would not waste my time with a small contract. They would give me something that they would risk losing a less hardy mutant on. His mind still had doubts, and yet his roots betrayed them, as he returned once more to the counter where an old man with glowing eyes sat, pouring over contracts and distributing them to various mutants. “I want one more contract. Something more... action-oriented.” It was almost as if the words belonged to someone else.

The man monitoring the Board simply shook his head. “We have nothing that suits you, for the moment,” he replied. The same person had been managing contracts at the Academy for as long as anyone could remember, to the point where some simply referred to him as “Board Man”.

“Nothing? That’s unheard of,” Shimon replied, confused, “Surely you must have--”

“Sorry, Shimon, but there’s been a bit of a drought lately,” Board Man explained, “I heard you talking in the corner, and I doubt anything I have will really interest you.” He placed what few combat contracts he had on the table. As Shimon looked through them, he was disappointed to find that the assumption the Board Man made was correct.

“I... see. Thank you, Board Man,” Shimon mumbled disappointedly, “I don’t know how you manage the load of this job.”

Board Man smiled. “So long as Board Man gets paid, Board Man will do whatever the Fates ask of him.”

...

It took Shimon under two hours to complete the three contracts with food and herbs grown in the garden, courtesy of his mutant powers. He handed off satchels of herbs and baskets of freshly-grown fruit and veg to outbound couriers along with the paper copies of the contracts. In exchange, he was given a portion of the promised reward; the rest went to the couriers, with a small amount for insurance should someone successfully intercept the packages. Given that the couriers were also highly-trained mutants, this was unlikely. Even if Shimon had been denied his adventure, perhaps it was for the best. He needed training if he was going to use his sheer size and strength in a real fight.

As these thoughts ran through his mind, Shimon arrived in the mess hall carrying what could have easily been two-hundred pounds of various vegetables and spices in large burlap sacks. I will go to the training center after this. Maybe. Perhaps I will replant myself in the garden for another day or two instead. My classes are all down there anyways... Shimon had to take these things slowly, after all. Or maybe he was just making excuses for his lack of progress. He did eventually reach the kitchen to drop the food off. He glanced around the hall, lamenting how he used to enjoy cooking and eating so much, two things which he would never be able to experience the same way again. Sighing, he sat down on one of the mess hall benches, silently wishing for a return to the normalcy which had been stripped away from him years ago...
@Majoras End

Given how much time my character also spends in the forest, I'm hoping Natalie and Ferris can figure out what the heck is going on in the forest together. xD
Aw darn. I guess I can't fault you; eight players is a lot if the GM is going to be involved with crafting the story, and it seems like you've got some pretty cool stuff planned.

That's okay, I hope everyone has fun. Send me a message or tag if anything changes. :)
Shimon examined his reflection in the artificial pond below. He watched as needles began to pop out from the mossy bark covering his arms and his old leaves started to fall away. I am never ready for winter... he thought to himself groggily. The heat no longer bothered Shimon, but the reduced sunlight and dry air would wreak havoc on him if he did not adapt. Years of personal experimentation had taught him that in the winter, when subzero temperatures made it necessary to preserve more water and the sun was not as bright, needles were simply better than leaves. He would be able to make it through this winter without his usual extended hibernations, although to be frank, such sleeps didn’t bother him. The underground garden was comfortable enough, and he was used to lying in soil reading or slipping into a gentle plant coma, sometimes for weeks at a time.

This year would be different, though. While Shimon was fortunate enough to have developed his powers under the guidance of other plant-oriented mutants and instructors, his classmates had all begun to set out on contracts of their own, leaving the garden lonelier than normal. That, and Shimon wasn’t really a fan of the fiery hearths people tended to gather around when it was cold out. Christmas celebrations made the matter even worse, as he could scarce walk a few feet without some stranger trying to string decorations on him.

Shimon had been strictly limited in the sorts of contracts he was allowed to take for two reasons. First and foremost, he had perhaps expressed one too many times his desire to return to Prague, and that meant there was a hypothetical risk of him leaving. Shimon did his best to convince them otherwise, stating that to try and cross England, let alone all of Europe, would be suicide for such an easily-identifiable mutant, but this did not assuage their second fear. Shimon was brutishly large and frightening to peasant folk. Pitchforks and torches could easily be brought against him or the Academy if things went south.

There was an unspoken third reason the Academy sought to hide Shimon’s presence from the King, although they would never admit it. Shimon tried his best not to think about that.

I will leave the garden. I will not spend an entire season alone in here. Elohim give me strength. The hulking green creature stood up to his full height, loosening his roots’ grip on the soft ground. He felt a slight sting as he ripped himself from the earth, shaking off the clumps of dirt that were still attached to his legs as he walked in the direction of the garden’s exit. A few mutants observed him leaving, nodding and expressing their approval at his new pine-like appearance, but all seemingly too busy to strike up a full conversation. They are not unlike me, but they are luckier. Most of them can hide their marks. The others are at least the right size for a world of humans.

Walking through the halls of the Academy reminded Shimon just how much the world wasn’t made for someone like him. It made him feel freakishly huge, claustrophobic even. He desperately wanted to be in nature, to have a reason to leave the school grounds, and so for the first time in what felt like months, Shimon visited the board, hoping to secure a contract that made good use of his natural skills... and hopefully one where his inability to hide his mutation would not be a liability.
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