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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in The Universae of the Chessypig's LiveJournal:

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Monday, November 26th, 2012
9:50 am
[chess]
I suspect this might be it for now; it's over 60k, so I've proven whatever obscure point I wanted to prove by winning NaNoWriMo again, and I'm not convinced I can write Flembic politics well enough to do the establishment of the Lady Leticia D'Urbey and the founding of the Nightsea line. Maybe next year :-)

Smoke on the HorizonCollapse )
Tuesday, November 20th, 2012
11:21 pm
[chess]
I appear to have won, or something. Shame I'm only 2/3 at best of the way through my outline...

Diffuse and Restful (running total: 56056)Collapse )
Sunday, November 18th, 2012
1:51 am
[chess]
Thursday, November 15th, 2012
12:29 am
[chess]
Monday, November 12th, 2012
11:14 pm
[chess]
12:04 am
[chess]
Saturday, November 10th, 2012
12:18 am
[chess]
Thursday, November 8th, 2012
11:52 pm
[chess]
12:52 am
[chess]
Wednesday, November 7th, 2012
1:30 am
[chess]
(finally wrap this section up and can get back on the main sequence, maybe...)

Too Many Tracks (running total: 20893)Collapse )
Tuesday, November 6th, 2012
12:39 am
[chess]
Monday, November 5th, 2012
12:07 am
[chess]
(and then they decided to have an Adventure because my outline wasn't long enough already)

A Worthy Individual (running total: 15085)Collapse )
Sunday, November 4th, 2012
1:07 am
[chess]
Friday, November 2nd, 2012
11:18 pm
[chess]
12:04 am
[chess]
I might have accidentally slipped and attempted NaNoWriMo with my hideously self-indulgent enormous backstory for my Maelstrom LARP character. I would also be interested to know if it is at all comprehensible by people with only the faintest idea what a Maelstrom or a LARP is, though :-).

A Single Thread (4763)Collapse )
Thursday, December 1st, 2005
10:49 pm
[chess]
The Girl In The High Tower
In a tower, there was a girl.

It was a tall tower, a white tower, carved of marble; its roof-tiles were silver and its window-sill whitewashed. There was one window, right at the top, and one door. The door was made of wood, and it was brown, and the handle was brass. The grass was neat around the tower, apart for the neat hedge of thorn-brush encircling all but the door. The thorn-brush was not high, or especially mighty, and it was neatly trimmed in a box-hedge shape.

It was not the tower, or the hedge, that kept the girl there.

Inside the tower, there was mainly staircase. At the very top of the tower was the single room in which the girl lived. (She did not ask where the toilet's plumbing led. It was safer not to ask, and smelt vaguely of ozone, so she suspected some form of magic.) There was a bed, and a desk, and a chair by the window; on the other side of the room from the desk was the wardrobe, where new, clean clothes appeared on the rail and food appeared on the shelves, and rubbish disappeared from the floor, whenever she closed the doors and pretended that it didn't exist for a while. The drawers of the desk had paper and pens, pencils and erasers, even rulers and paints and more exotic things when she thought of it. A pair of blackbirds arrived every morning with the post, knocking on the window as they struggled with their burden; she had recieved several offers of rescue, but had declined.

She didn't know if the door was locked or not. Nobody came to the island, as far as she could see. The window was on the opposite side of the tower from the door. There could be a whole city, a continent behind her. But she never heard anything but birdsong, or smelt anything but nature, so she had no reason to doubt her privacy.

She didn't remember her reasons for coming here. Perhaps she had been forced. Perhaps she had come of her own free will. Perhaps she had built the tower herself. It was a quiet and a simple life, and she could ask for nothing more. Occasionally it occurred to her that she ought to feel lonely, but she had her letters and she had her dreams. Once she had found a stuffed rabbit in one of the shelves of the wardrobe, but after a few weeks she had put it back, and the next morning it was gone. She felt as if she should miss it, but she didn't, really. She had trouble feeling anything, really. But it didn't matter. She was safe here, safe and happy and well-fed. People out there liked her. They enjoyed her poetry. They were inspired by her pictures. Sometimes they asked for another novel, but she wasn't sure she was up to that, not yet.

She still cried herself to sleep, sometimes. But on the whole, she was happy, and that was all one could ask of life, wasn't it?

One day, her correspondants assured her, she would age and die, and some of them claimed that her life would have been wasted, locked in such a tower as she was. But it was strange: sometimes her correspondants seemed to age, and sometimes they died, but she just went on.

Around the door was a concrete lintel, and around the top of the lintel it read:
Give her the glory of going on, and still to be.

Current Mood: depressed
Tuesday, July 19th, 2005
7:41 pm
[chess]
Simple Human Kindness
Somewhere, out there in the darkness, a child is crying.

No. Don't listen. You won't be able to hear it. But I can.

There. That whisper of grass. That was a sparrow, dying. For it has been given to me; to hear the fall of every sparrow, the cry of every child who was ever brought close to despair. It was a gift, freely given and freely taken, for once I was a monster, and not of your kind.

You see, I took a girl into my house. Her name was Josephine, Josephine Sutton. I told her to leave her bra and her panties in her house, and come to me. She was cold, and alone, and desperate for simple human kindness. I had none. I was a monster. I took her and I broke her, and then when she had stopped screaming I broke her again. But she was empty before I found her. They're always the easiest to find, the easiest to gather up, the empty ones, but they were no use to me. They have already had their share of pain; they have nothing left to offer the world. Or at least, not in the service of a monster.

I left her body in the woods, and sent another girl to find her. This wasn't the same kind of girl; not an empty one. Just curious, gifted with a sense of adventure too large for the quiet suburban existance she had been born to. The cries of horror and revulsion as she came across Josephine's body served me well, that night.

Yet perhaps Josephine was not so empty as I had thought, or maybe some other angel or demon happened past. Whatever the cause, when the other girl had calmed down and phoned the ambulance and the police, Josephine drew in a ragged breath, and lived again. The other girl's tears of joy, naturally, undid all of my good work.

Yes, good work. There are reasons for monsters to exist, although I would not expect you to understand.

It was that night that the angel came to me, and offered me this gift - that I would hear the cries of every weeping child, and the fall of every sparrow. Irritated at the losses of the day, and intriegued by the possibilities, I accepted. But I had not realised that the gift came with a promise; as the angel placed its glorious hand upon my unworthy head, I felt it, sharp and quick as a switch. With the gift, the angel had given me the gift of hope beside it, and I would never reach the pits of despair.

So now I walk amongst you, the purpose of my life defeated; and so I am one of you, because it is your lack of purpose that defines you. Yet I am immortal, and I hear the fall of every sparrow, and the cries of the children, forever.

I wonder what I shall do when the last of you is dead. Will the loss of children and sparrows break this curse which is upon me?

Current Mood: cold
Thursday, July 14th, 2005
9:09 pm
[chess]
Waiting For The First To Fall
Once there was a girl who walked through a magical land with rainbows in the sky and fluffy bunnies everywhere. The people were all dressed in bright colours, and they danced and talked amongst themselves with beautiful voices; they sounded like a cascade of silver bells falling down a perfect, jewelled waterfall, and indeed there were many perfect, jewelled waterfalls, the kind that you can sail over in a cute raft made of fallen wood and not get hurt. There were mushrooms, and pixies, and unicorns; the world was young and full of magical promise.

The girl had golden-blonde hair in two plaits, and a bright blue frock to match the calm blue waters of the land's many sky-reflecting lakes, but she did not dance, or even hop and skip. She had her head down, looking at her feet, which were encased in perfect ruby sandals, and she was walking, slowly, each footfall a titanic effort such as this world had never seen. And she was crying, and where the tears stained down her cheeks they washed away the perfect peaches-and-cream colouring and left behind only grey. The grass was marked by her passing, a darker green than the rest in a trail with drops of deep and unending grey, like a trail of blood.

For the most part, the people ignored her, because nobody likes the sad; a few tried to strike up a conversation, but it was as if they were not there, and those standing in front of her were not pushed aside, but instead just felt this terrible, unstoppable inevitability, that they would move from her path before she needed to intersect it.

And the people talked, and chattered, and laughed, and every now and again one would sneak a glance at the girl, and they would say, "Oh, she's so *young*," and they would pretend that it was pity, but in truth it was relief. For while the girl still lived, the sorrow of the world was safe on her shoulders, and there would be no need for them to bear it.

As of yet, the grass healed behind her, for the world was still young, and full of magic; as the years passed, she grew old and frail, and a few watched her more cautiously, and began to wonder amongst themselves - who would it be? Who would take upon themselves the burden of the world, when she was gone?

It was a fine day in Fall - for the seasons still turned, although the death of winter was but a small one, covered neatly and decently in a crisp blanket of snow - when she stumbled and fell, and before she could hit the ground there was a group assembled, and one who dove out and caught her. Her chocolate skin still glowed with health thereafter, her growing hair tying itself neatly into braids, but for the grey streaks of the burden she had taken upon herself. And those who had been her friends spoke not of it any longer; for a brief period one or other of them would take it upon themselves to tell the news of the day to her, but it scarcely seemed relevant any longer, and her unresponsive sorrow drove them away.

"And what will become of us," said some, "the day when there is nobody to catch the fallen? What will become of us when none will take this burden upon themselves?" So they gathered the people together, and they made a pact between them, that if there were no other, they would take it upon themselves; and they went far and wide in search of more who would take this solemn pledge.

Yet in their enthusiasm to spread their message to lands far and wide, they did not mind the girl, who was yet young; and so she slipped, and fell, and none was there to see her go. But her body left a stain upon the land, which took it up within itself, and out from that place did the colour leak from the land, although not all of it, not so much as with the tears themselves.

When the people learnt of this, they were afraid, and sought to comfort one another; they went to the place where the girl had fell, and called out in loud voices to whatever powers there may be, that they would take it upon themselves, all of them, any of them, as long as this blight came out of the land. But slowly, surely, there was no more fruit on the trees, and hunger is a terrifying force in a man. They ate grass; they ate the pixies and the fairies and the unicorns; and some looked hungrily at one another.

But one who had known the girl, and gone in the dead of night, where the moonlight and the starlight had twinkled merrily on the land (although now the darkness was more foreboding, and full of nameless evil), and whispered of the world to her, took fruit which she had saved from eating, and put it in the ground, and from it sprang a tree with a dozen more. In her, the salvation of the world rested, for by the time her tree had grown and fruited, there was no fruit left in the land.

Of course, her tree was torn down, her fruit hungrily devoured, and then her very body; and this is why we sit, the three of us, hungrily watching over this fire we have made, each knowing we could kill the other, waiting for the first to fall.
Wednesday, January 26th, 2005
6:57 pm
[chess]
The Saga of the Cutting Remark, Prologue
They had promised him that they wanted toast.

It had been several years, now, since they had taken him from the last set of bastards that had kept him; he could tell you the exact number of seconds, of course, but as it would only be subjective time it was all a bit meaningless, really. Apparently the captain had been drunk the day he named the Cutting Remark, which wasn't surprising as he was always drunk. But not, the toaster reflected glumly, on alcoholic toast. It wasn't that he was not up to the task. In desperation he had offered it once, and the power supply was certainly correct for the job at hand. Spurned, he had been; spurned once again, in a long life of rejection.

Now the captain was jabbering excitedly about some tower or other, gesturing with all thirty-two tentacles in such a way as to slither uncontrollably about the deck. It sounded like one of *those* missions.
Thursday, October 28th, 2004
2:27 pm
[chess]
Timeline of the group:
10 years ago: Bunch of people decided that running around in the forest hitting each other with fake swords was cool. Obviously the bad guys were orcs and goblins and the good guys were humans and elves.

Soon enough people started asking 'why', and someone came up with the idea that instead of just having 'because we're good and they're evil', the fundemental 'good' and 'evil' forces could be represented in different kinds of magic; and that most people would have some of both. And someone came up with the twist that this time 'evil' magic was the one that was good for healing, so everyone wanted it even though it was 'evil'. Except elves are always different to heal in LARP, so they were healed by 'good' magic, and had no use for 'evil' magic.

Immediately there was some politics; elves didn't like 'evil' magic. Except people wanted to run parties with evil magic and elves, so only some elves didn't like it. And they all couldn't do it, to balance things out a little, but they were *really* good at 'good' magic. So we could have some NPCs who set up conflict about 'evil' magic, and some semblance of plot.

Once there started to be plot, there needed to be some other things; organisations and kings and geography. To keep it simple the group decided that there was some force dedicated to wiping out 'evil' - and to make sure they didn't mind 'evil' magic too much, they didn't much care about their means as long as the job got done. To keep some tension they didn't much care about the safety of their minions - the PCs - either. And of course there were forces in the world that *did* mind 'evil' magic, so you could have people who weren't really evil plotting against the players to give some kind of 'we need to talk to them' and also 'do we throw our void-mage to the dogs or do we kill lots of people who are just soldiers like us' situations.

Eventually someone decided they should come up with a proper cosmology, and hit upon the idea of using the concept of creation from the Bible - that everything was without form and void, and then there was Stuff. Except 'stuff' was a bad name, so they called it Form. So everything was made from Form, and it was the agent of the good magic, but Void was the magic of flexibility (but also evil and the darkness). Bits were gradually added and made more coherant by the refs as they were thought up (or required for cool plot devices, like dragons).

Then there was an influential player, who swiftly became a ref, from another group of LARPers, and they had a proper country with a king and everything. Soon enough the group decided they wanted one, so the Refs went away and thought about it, and came back with a first draft of Calathar. Threatened by the Star and Moon Elves from the south, the desert nomads from the east, with the bucolic but competent Souton sitting smugly on their west and the enigmatic Luarin with its wonders and its great mage-king to the north, there was plenty of plot.

Nobody can really point to when the focus switched from Calathar to Luarin; it seemed that there were more and more cool ideas to do with the Dark Elves, the mountains were a convenient plot device and Calathan adventurers far too often were found north of their northen neighbour, and people just liked playing the Luarinites, who were more varied and less constricted in background, dress and culture. Also, Luarin was tolerant of beastkin and all strange creatures who could behave in a civilised fashion, and LARPers like there to be plenty of oppertunity to play weird stuff, whereas in Calathar weird stuff was tightly controlled because Void-casters otherwise tend to kill lots of people with failed experiments.
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