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1 yr ago
Current Leaving for a 9 day Geology Field Camp. I will be offline until I get back on the 28th, but I may not get to catching up with stuff I missed until the 29th. See y'all in a few days.
2 yrs ago
Going camping in the middle of nowhere to do geology stuff. I'll be back Sunday evening.
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2 yrs ago
Out of school for the summer! Woot!
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3 yrs ago
Going dark for a few days. I have a major project for Paleontology due Tuesday morning, and I'm nowhere near done with it, so I'll be away until I get that done. See y'all in a few days.


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Milo Thomas

Milo was lost. This fact was as plain as the nose on the young boy's face. No matter what direction he looked, everything that he could see looked exactly the same. It didn't help that he was only four feet tall, and that if he would actually stand up straight. His poor posture took his actual height down a few inches, and this short stature meant that he couldn't see very far in any direction. He looked around, seeing nothing but the same field that he had been in since waking up in this strange world. None of the soldiers or other strangers were anywhere to be seen, and Milo guessed he had probably been forgotten. The other strangers had fought against the kobolds. Milo had run away. It was all he knew how to do. He couldn't fight, and so he ran. That had always been his life. But now, he was hopelessly lost in some strange world with no idea what to do or where to go. Perhaps it had been foolish to run like he had when those kobolds broke through the lines and came after him, but it was either that or try to fight them and likely get killed in the process. His self-preservation instincts were still very much intact, and thus he had chosen the option that offered, in his estimation, the greater chance of survival, however temporary. Unfortunately, this option had now left him lost and forgotten, and so he was likely to die anyway, just slightly later than he would have if it had been at the paws of the kobolds. Once again, he wondered why he had been brought to this world if only to die a second time.

As Milo pondered these thoughts, he saw a figure fly up into the air. It looked like a human, but Milo had never known a human that had the ability to fly. Maybe things were different in this world? Maybe he could jump into the air and fly? He really didn't want to test that in case he couldn't fly and merely ended up crashing and hurting himself. And anyway, the flying person may not have actually been flying - Milo had only caught a quick glimpse of the figure before it fell back below the horizon, after all. Then the ground shook slightly, and Milo looked around to see what new terror was approaching. At first, he could see nothing, and then he saw one of the strangers from earlier rush to him. This was the same one that had promised to protect him. She had also promised to find him again just before she left to fight the Kobold Lord. Judging by how relieved she looked to have found him, that was the very reason she was coming this way. The woman asked Milo if he was hurt, then looked him over for injuries herself before he even had a chance to say that he was fine, aside from being hungry. She had then proceeded to apologize to Milo for leaving him behind, even though Milo had really been the one to leave her and the others behind when he ran from the kobolds; swore to protect Milo, which she really didn't need to do; and asked him to come back to camp with her. Milo took the hand she offered as she asked for his name. "M'name's Milo, Princess ma'am," he answered as they began walking back towards the site of the battle against the kobolds. It seemed all danger had passed from the area for the time being, for which Milo was grateful as he really didn't want to run into any more kobolds or whatever else was around in this field that might want to kill him.

Given the existence of fist weapons (which I had never considered) would it be acceptable to modify Milo's Brawler skill to allow the use of fist weapons (essentially Fist Weapon Mastery)?
Or they at least find a huge chunk of it missing and wonder what happened.
I think it would be funnier if the knights find her gorging on the Kobold Lord. Way too awkward.
But would Run Away work if he's not running away from anything? I did specify that it's purpose is to aid in escaping from battle, so I'm not sure it would work in this case.
I'm worried Milo is about to get left behind, will see the bubbles floating into the air, and will start running after them crying, "Wait for me!"
Milo Thomas

Milo was running as fast as "Run Away Level 1" could carry him, though he wasn't truly sure what it did or how it did it. If he thought to examine what was happening while this skill was active, he would realize that he was not only running faster than normal, but he was also stepping around and over obstacles that he didn't even notice existed. But he was too busy running away to take note of this. If this had been London, and if Milo were running from someone who meant him harm, he would have darted down the nearest side street, slipped down an alley and quickly lose his pursuer in the labyrinthine paths of the ancient city. Unfortunately for Milo, there were no side streets or alleys out here that he could slip down, nor was this London where he knew just about every twist and turn so well he could slip away practically with his eyes closed; to escape the pursuing kobolds, he just had to keep running out in the open and hope to outpace them.

As he was running, he heard a howl of despair. Milo stopped and turned toward the sound. He had left the battle far behind, and his small stature granted him no favors in being able to see what was going on over such a distance, but he did see something shoot up and then fall back down in the distance. Milo couldn't tell for sure, but he thought it might have looked like a head? Maybe that woman who had been cutting off the heads of kobolds with that red rope had done the same to the Kobold Lord?

As Milo considered these things, he took stock of his surroundings once more. He seemed to be utterly alone. The kobolds that had been chasing him, the reason he had been running in the first place, were nowhere to be seen. Had he actually lost them? Or had they fled when their leader fell? Or were they just too far away for Milo to see and would appear again to attack him before long? Milo wasn't sure which scenario was true, but if they were just going to show up again soon enough, Milo didn't want to hasten the encounter by running back in the very direction that he had left the monsters behind. And now that the adrenaline was wearing off, Milo realized how tired he was from the running, not to mention still hungry, having not eaten anything since waking up in this strange world. Luckily for him, the other strangers were taller than him, and thus able to see farther in this vast, flat expanse, so as long as Milo stayed above the top of the grass, he should have a chance of being found. But Milo had no idea how much distance he had covered in his run, or how far away from the others he truly was. Still, he was lost, and he didn't want to risk running into those kobolds that he had been running from again, so he would just have to wait to be found. He just hoped that whatever found him first was friendly. He didn't want to have to run away again.
With the fight being over, does that mean that all the other kobolds are either dead or have run away? Because last we saw Milo, he was running away from a few that had gotten through the lines.
As the kobolds attacked, Milo was surprised to see some of the other strangers jump into the fray. He was even more surprised when he realized that these strangers were not only holding their own against the monsters; they were outperforming the trained soldiers in killing the wolf creatures. He also noticed one of the strange puppets running amongst the soldiers, picking their pockets as deftly as any street urchin in London. Milo remembered his friend Jack was particularly skilled at lifting anything of value from its owner, and only Milo's familiarity with such actions allowed him to recognize the same movements being performed by the puppet. Chaos was all around, and Milo didn't know what to do. He couldn't fight (or at least the scraps he had gotten into back in London had always ended badly for him), and he didn't have any other useful skills aside from running away, which wouldn't do him much good since all around was a vast field that was apparently infested with monsters, so if he did manage to escape these kobolds, he would likely end up getting lost and killed by some other monster. Maybe this was Hell after all? Not exactly fire and brimstone like the preacher talked about every Sunday, but it was certainly frightening enough with so many monsters wanting to kill them.

As Milo was processing all this, one of the other strangers approached. Milo felt his legs tensing to run, but before he could, she knelt and put an arm on his shoulder. Her reassuring words and charisma caused Milo to relax, and he gave her a small smile. "Thank you, ma'am," he said as he watched the battle progress from bad to worse.

The knights were falling to the kobolds far too quickly, and even though the other strangers were joining in the fight and doing as much against the monsters as ten knights, it still wasn't enough. And then came a howl that chilled Milo to the bone. Whatever had made that sound, Milo didn't want to find out. Suddenly, his eyes were back to darting around in fear, looking for any gap that he could slip through to get away from this terror.

It looked like all the other strangers were joining in the fight in their own way. Even the puppet that had been picking the pockets of the soldiers had returned to the side of the other puppet and the young man that seemed to be their master (just how that relationship worked, Milo wasn't sure, but the young man was certainly the ringleader of the trio). Milo was left all alone in the middle of a battlefield with no useful skills, and the monsters still seemed to be getting the best of them. The other strangers seemed to be focusing on the huge monster that had just appeared on the battlefield: a giant version of the wolf monsters that were assailing them. And as the strangers shifted their focus to this larger threat, the smaller ones began to break through the front lines, beyond which Milo was alone and vulnerable. The monsters, the carnage, the noise, the strangeness; it was more than Milo could bear. And so, he did the one thing he knew best: he ran.

The action was instinct after so many run-ins with street urchins and chimney sweepers that were desperate enough to beat another of their own to within an inch of their life for even a single shilling. Milo simply turned and bolted before his brain had even fully processed what was happening. As his feet carried him away from the advancing monsters just as fast as they could, that voice in his head spoke up again.
Run Away Level 1 acquired!

Run Away Level1!? Milo thought as he continued to run. What does that even mean? He risked a glance back and realized that the kobolds that were pursuing him were falling behind. Is that what Run Away Level 1 does? he wondered, hoping for some sort of explanation from the voice in his head, but the voice had been rather short on explanations, thus far, so Milo wasn't going to hold his breath for an explanation this time. He just kept running.
Milo Thomas

The first thing Milo felt upon waking up was surprise that he was waking up at all. The last thing he remembered was lying in bed, coughing and barely able to breathe, with his parents by his side while the doctor announced that there wasn't anything more he could do. Milo was dying, and nothing could stop that now. His parents had spent their last few pounds hoping for a miracle, but it wouldn't come. The doctor showed himself out while the grieving parents knelt at the side of their dying son. Milo remembered the kind, careworn face of his father, always so strong, now breaking down into tears as he gripped Milo's hand tightly, as if his strength could anchor Milo's soul in his body and keep him alive. He remembered his mother, her rough, calloused hand stroking his hair gently as she sang him to sleep. Milo couldn't remember if he ever did fall asleep or if he just kept coughing and hacking until his lungs finally gave up.

But, strangely enough, Milo was alive. Maybe his parents had received their miracle. Milo was alive, and his lungs felt as strong as they had ever been, not clogged with soot like they had been when the doctor had seen him. "Mother," he began as he opened his eyes.

The sentence died in his throat as he realized that this certainly wasn't his home, and his parents certainly weren't with him. It was at that moment that Milo understood that he most certainly had died. But then, was this Heaven? He pulled himself to his feet to see a broad field extending in all directions as far as his eyes could see (which wasn't very far for someone who was barely four feet tall). It was pretty enough, and it looked cleaner than London. The air had an odd scent to it, which Milo assumed was what clean smelled like, but he couldn't be sure as he had never before experienced it. If this was indeed Heaven, it didn't look anything like what the priests at church had talked about with mansions and streets of gold and pearly gates. But it certainly wasn't Hell with fire and brimstone and tortured souls everywhere. Purgatory, then? He couldn't remember any clear descriptions or explanations of what Purgatory was like. But this didn't match the descriptions of Heaven or Hell, but he was absolutely certain that he was dead, so this must be some sort of Purgatory, or the priests and bishops at the church didn't know what they were talking about.

As his mind tried to process this, he looked down at his body, surprised to find out that it was clean. He still looked emaciated, which made him immediately feel hungry, but all the filth that had covered his skin was gone, revealing skin that had become nearly transparent so that every vein in his body could clearly be seen. He ran a hand through the tangled hair on his head, surprised to find that no soot came off on his hand, or any fleas or lice that had once called his scalp home. Whatever process had brought him to this place, it seems that only his body and clothes had made the journey, and the filth and beasties that he had carried with him back in London had been left behind. Oddly enough, he did not regret their loss. In fact, the feeling of being truly and completely clean was so novel to him that he almost jumped for joy because of it.

That emotion was quelled quickly when a second survey of his surroundings informed him that he was not alone. Six other people (and two puppets?) were in the field with him. They were all bigger, older, and stronger looking than him, and Milo suddenly felt very afraid. The other people hadn't seemed to notice him yet, and that was good, but he didn't want to take any chances of that changing, and so he crouched low in the grass, barely keeping his head high enough to observe the others while they hopefully continued to not observe him.

He watched as one of the men approached another and the other began speaking in gibberish, or at least it was gibberish to Milo for all he understood of it until suddenly,
"Translator Level 1 acquired!"

Milo wasn't sure what had happened, but suddenly he could understand what the other person was saying. Feeling guilty for eavesdropping, Milo shifted his focus away from what the other man was saying to contemplate the more immediate problem: Where is he and what is going on?

"Welcome to Kairelith. Your new life begins here. Please accept the goddess Kaireth's blessing as a commemoration of your arrival."

Well, that answered one of those questions, but it also made a thousand more come to life in his brain. He also felt a strange, indescribable sensation wash over him for an instant, but when it was past he could tell that somehow, something about him was now different. He wasn't entirely sure what was different, just that something was no longer the same as it had been before the strange voice began speaking to him.

"Decide your path. A second chance was given to you by the merciful goddess, use it wisely."

"If that voice speaks to me again, I'm going to have to give it a name," Milo thought as he looked across the field once more. There were no paths anywhere that he could see from his still crouched position, and he didn't remember seeing any when he had been at his full, unimpressive four feet either. In fact, everything had looked basically the same in every direction: green grass and blue sky extending to the horizon. If the field was truly so vast, there would be no way that he could just strike out in a random direction and have even a prayer of getting anywhere before collapsing from exhaustion and starvation. Some second chance this was: dropped into the middle of a field with nothing but the clothes on his back. It seemed more like a death sentence, and he had already died once. Why had he been brought here if only to die again?

This was as far as Milo's thought process went before things happened to disrupt those thoughts. Several orbs of light suddenly appeared in the sky and popped, turning into men and women clad in strange armor that reminded Milo of what he had heard about knights in the Middle Ages, though he had never personally seen such knights or the armor they wore. But Jack, a street urchin who had been a friend of Milo's, claimed to have once sneaked into Buckingham Palace and seen such suits of armor lining the halls. Milo had never really believed the story, but the suits of armor that Jack described did look similar to the ones he was seeing on these soldiers now. That, however, was completely irrelevant to the situation at hand. What was relevant was the fact that these soldiers suddenly surrounded Milo and the other people that had appeared here. Milo's flight instinct immediately kicked in, and he looked at the soldiers, looking for any gap in the line that he might be able to slip through, hoping that his small size and obviously frail build would cause him to be overlooked, especially as one of the soldiers accused them of being spies. Milo knew what happened to spies, and he had no desire to be hanged, especially for a crime he hadn't committed.

Just then, one of the women in Milo's group stepped forward to try to diffuse the situation, dropping the name of Kaireth - the same name that voice in Milo's head had mentioned - presumably in an attempt to gain favor with these soldiers. This didn't have quite the effect that Milo would have liked, but being taken for further questioning was better than being assumed to be spies and hanged, though Milo was still trying to be invisible and looking for gaps that he might be able to slip through and thus avoid either being assumed to be a spy and hanged or being taken for further questioning (which might still end in him being hanged if his answers (of which he had none) proved unsatisfactory). But even if he did manage to escape from these people, what would he be able to do on his own? He would be right back at square one being lost in a vast field with no hope of getting anywhere before collapsing from exhaustion and/or starvation, and then he would die. Again.

These musings were cut short as an explosion struck one flank of the soldiers and pandemonium ensued. Apparently, they were being ambushed by kobolds, whatever those were, and the leader of the soldiers apparently assumed that Milo and the others were somehow responsible for this. Then Milo saw the kobolds, and he had a decision to make: did he want to take his chances with the kobolds on his own, or did he want to take his chances with these soldiers, the leader of which seemed to assume that he and these other strangers were the source of all evil in this world. Milo quickly decided that being hanged unjustly was a better alternative than being torn apart (and likely eaten) by wolf monsters, and so moved a bit closer to the other strangers as the soldiers closed ranks around the group.
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