The Great Problem - Round 1: Castle Paradox

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The Great Problem - Round 1: Castle Paradox

Post by Quaetam on Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:30 pm

Ten men stood in a void, at once together and worlds apart.  They were in a room that was not a room, a hall that was not a hall, in a place that existed but should not.

One was distinct, an aura of import and power around him.  The others stood at attention, shadowy heads raised as they absorbed the words of their Executive.  Soon, their business had concluded.  One by one, the men nodded to each other in understanding, and left, opening doors that did not exist, crossing passages that scattered them across space and time with a singular understanding.

Behind them, their leader stood alone, awaiting their return.  

The preparations were complete.  Bets had been placed.  Soon, the battle would commence.


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Welcome to the Great Problem, a Grand Battle for the Problem Solvers.  I am Quaetam, your host.  

To participate in the game, it is your first task to create a character worthy of taking part in the game, and contribute to the overall narration as your character proceeds.  This is a text-based collaborative storywriting RP - and a writing competition.  Think of yourself as contributing to an ongoing story, not as if playing a tabletop RPG.

The battle will take place across multiple worlds, or Rounds.  Each round will proceed until a character is killed, at which point the survivors will be transported to another location to continue.  

This battle has a twist, however: Here, the pen is mightier than the sword:  Your character's survival will be primarily based on the following factors:

  1. Your ability to write well and compellingly.
  2. How well developed and interesting your character is.
  3. How much you and your character contribute to the story in a meaningful manner.

The character submission form may be seen below.  Keep in mind, that your created character must be original; it must be your own.  You cannot use a character someone else created, or blatantly rip off a concept that already exists - although it is okay if you are inspired by an existing concept.

There are several rules that you should be aware of in this game:

  1. When posting, unless specified otherwise, you must post in your own color.  Your color must be unique, distinct, and readable.  My color is this color.
  2. Any posts that are not in the context of the game should be made in spoiler tags.
  3. You may control another player's character in your posts. If either I or the person who created that character deems your post too out of character, you will have to edit or delete it.
  4. Obviously, you can't kill characters in your posts.  
  5. In order to reserve a post slot and prevent getting ninja'd, post RESERVE in bold letters.  After you post RESERVE, your spot is hard reserved for an hour.  
  6. Don't focus on making short posts, and don't be afraid to write large conversations or action sequences containing more than one character if they benefit the plot.
  7. Rounds will proceed until either I, or all living players, feel it is time to move on.  
  8. Each Round's end, I'll work with the dead players to decide who dies next.
  9. By default, I will write the finishing post for each round - However, if the players have a compelling idea, I'll forfeit that right and let them finish the round.

The game will start Saturday at around noon Pacific Time (that's EST - 3 hours). Have your characters designed and posted by that time.

Character Submission Sheet:
Spoiler:
Username: 
Character Name: 
Gender: If Applicable.
Race/Type: Anything goes here: human, alien, animal, robots whatever.  
Color: Your color for your posts.
Weapon: Does your character fight with something?  Mention it here.
Abilities: Any other special powers?  Remember, your character's survival depends primarily on your own abilities to write and to advance the story, not the ability to overpower / outwit opponents or outplay them.  
Description: What does your character look like?  Describe their personality and how they act.  
Biography: Where was your character from? What is their background? What were they doing before being sucked into this story? Remember, this can be expanded via character development.


Last edited by Quaetam on Sat Sep 05, 2015 3:15 pm; edited 13 times in total
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Table of Contents

Post by Quaetam on Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:39 pm

Players:
Akerlyn: Lazi
Benedict: Step Lively
Leviwulf: Eric Thonius
Quadrangledreality: Luin-dar
Td260: Marcus
TheTJ: Brett Vyron
Viero: Victoriana
Zerovirus: Rarie

Rounds:
Round 1: Castle Paradox:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


Last edited by Quaetam on Sat Sep 05, 2015 3:17 pm; edited 15 times in total
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Re: The Great Problem - Round 1: Castle Paradox

Post by Benedict_SC on Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:00 pm

Username: Benedict
Character Name: Step Lively
Gender: Female
Race/Type: Ghost...?  
Color: #E58500
Weapon: N/A

Abilities: Selective tangibility. Which is to say, she decides what parts of her body are solid, and which pass right through matter. She can also temporarily extend this ability to objects (hence why she's able to wear clothes.)
It's useful, but it's got limitations- when fully intangible, she can be blown around by stray air currents, not having mass. In order to walk around like a normal human, she needs to make at least the bottom of her feet solid. Likewise for picking up objects- gotta have real hands. In combat, it's defensively useful, but there's only so hard you can hit if you only weigh as much as your fist, which means leaving herself temporarily vulnerable if she wants to attack. It's useful, but there's a lot of tricky caveats she's yet to fully master.

Description:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Step is, to put it mildly, a gigantic troll. When nobody can touch you unless you want them to, and you can't be held in any jail cell, and you don't have much in the way of a moral compass to begin with... you do whatever the hell you want to do. And what Step wants to do, in so many words, is "fuck with people". She got bored of haunting houses and pretending to be a ghost a while ago, and has taken to wandering around the country making people's days more surreal in whatever way possible. She's easily amused and is just about constantly cackling at people's misfortune.

Biography: One day she got hit by a car and died! Probably. She remembers getting hit, and some guys in black suits getting out of the car to take her to the hospital, but then she lost consciousness and woke up in the middle of the road where she got run over. She's not sure whether she's a ghost- ghosts typically can't turn solid, eat food, get injured, or feel hunger- but she's been too distracted by the wide new world of pranking possibilities to investigate her condition in earnest. She's been burgling grocery stores for sustenance and infuriating the police for a few years now!


Last edited by Benedict_SC on Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:41 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Re: The Great Problem - Round 1: Castle Paradox

Post by Leviwulf on Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:34 pm

Username: Leviwulf
Character Name: Eric Thonius
Gender: Male
Race/Type: Half-Elf
Color: #AC1D1C

Weapon: While having lost his ability to cast spells on his own, Eric is capable of creating devices that can cast spells based on his technical and magical knowledge, while currently limited to early level pathfinder spells and steam-based technology, as the game progresses his skills and knowledge will expand based on what he's seen and interacted with.

Abilities: Advanced knowledge, capable of on the fly technological disassembly and reassembly. Experienced in trap location and the creation of weapons and armor, as well as an advanced alchemical knowledge. He is also in possession of a Handy Haversack Pack, containing various items and tools of that may be of use to him.

Description: Long length white hair which is often covered in soot and ash from his technological mishaps, he stands at an above average height and has an extremely lean build. While most people frown upon his type of experimentation, he believes the risk is well worth the reward. He believes in making the world a better place, and while his methods are indirect he believes his experimentation could change the world.

Biography: Born in Wati, the half-city, thousands of years after the initial opening of the pyramids, Eric found himself practicing magic at a very young age. While most didn't unlock their magic potential until their late teens, Eric cast his first spell at the age of 8. He was taken in by the Wizard's Guild and put on an advanced track to help control his powers. After several years Eric remained the most promising wizard adept at the guild. He was placed on several high profile assignments, and while exploring one of the ancient ruins he lost his ability to use magic, along with his memory of what happened in the temple, and his entire party.

Eric became obsessed with the ancient temples and the technology within. After a fair bit of experimentation and practice, Eric realized that while he could no longer cast magic on his own he could still create devices capable of casting magic spells, and even better, he could combine spells he once knew to create even more powerful devices. He continued to explore the temples, looking for answers as to what happened that day, but after one too many experiments went wrong, the Wizard's Guild chased him out of town. With nowhere else to turn, Eric began to make his way across the dangerous countryside to The Shining City, only to find himself in these games instead.


Last edited by Leviwulf on Sat Sep 05, 2015 2:20 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Great Problem - Round 1: Castle Paradox

Post by Zerovirus on Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:47 pm

Username: Zerovirus
Character Name: NINTH ARTIFACT LIBRARY OF THE SEAT OF THE EMPYREAN TETRAGRAMMATON, or Rarie
Gender: Female
Race/Type: Amethyst
Color: 990099

Description:
Rarie is a subspace armory contained inside an amethyst amulet. Inside her armory are four unique pieces of equipment, which she can loan out and retrieve back into the amulet at will. Rarie cannot activate her armory items herself, but she can move by hovering and speak to others.

Rarie's amulet is a single piece of flawlessly shaped amethyst, absolutely geometric and orderly down to the very last molecule of its crystalline matrix, as if it sprung into existence with inherent perfection. It flickers with a light which corresponds to the cadences of her voice. The amulet is slightly tougher than normal amethyst due to its flawless molecular configuration, but only slightly.

Rarie is motivated to collect weapons and armor. When she encounters a piece of equipment she judges to 'hold great potential', she will attempt to acquire it. If the item is already owned by another, she will attempt to trade one of her current pieces of equipment; if the item is not obviously owned, she will simply take it and leave behind a random piece of equipment from her armory in the same place, for some other lucky person to find. In any case, if Rarie successfully acquires a new item for her armory, she will affix her amulet-self to the newly acquired item and begin empowering it. At the end of this process, which can take anywhere from an hour to several years, the equipment will have been reshaped into the shape of the piece of armor traded away, and acquired a new and unique powerset.

Predicting what might catch Rarie's eyes is inherently difficult; whatever methods she uses to appraise any weapon or equipment, they've been inscrutable thus far. Rarie has, historically, taken a liking to all sorts of things, from the crown jewels of kingdoms to dollar-store halloween masks.

As a personality, Rarie is cheerful and kind, and has a strong faith in the universe's inherent beauty. Rarie is excited to go to new places, always happy to have the chance at encountering more items with 'great potential' that she can uplift into artifacts of legend.

Biography:
Created by the Lord Transcendent of the Heavenly Empyrean Macrocosm, Rarie was made as a birthday gift for the Lord's only son, intended to be a suit of armor that constantly improved and upgraded itself.

Unfortunately, before she could be properly given, her creator was deposed in the chaos of a political coup in the Empyrean.

Rarie was looted from the ruins by a band of scavenging ophanim, and sold through illicit channels, and has since passed through multiple macrocosms and microcosms in an unpredictable adventure through the universe. In that time, she's produced uncounted numbers of legendary weapons and armor, and left behind a literal trail of treasure behind her. Why, perhaps some of the items held by other characters in this story were first empowered by her, a long time ago!

Rarie sometimes wonders if her intended owner is still out there and looking for her.

Abilities:
The powers of the four current items in Rarie's armory are elaborated upon below. There's a lot of stuff, so if you're not into reading detailed powers you can just read the tl;dr instead.

Left Gauntlet:
The Left Gauntlet, at first glance, appears to be a sculpture of a human hand, down to the individual pores and hairs, silver at the open end and gradually fading in a gradient to salt at the fingertips.

The bearer of the Left Gauntlet can teleport instantaneously to any location within line of sight. The activation of this power creates a duplicate of the bearer in the exact same position from which they teleported away, which looks exactly like the bearer, but is in fact a thin hologram projected over a statue of salt, which evaporates upon touch or naturally after three seconds. (No telefragging.)

The Left Gauntlet is activated by Salt. Leaving the Gauntlet in seawater is the easiest method of fueling it, but tears or even other saline biological fluids will function. In the worst-case scenario, the Left Gauntlet will draw on the electrolytes of its bearer to fuel itself; most baseline humans only have enough salt within them to fuel three or four teleports before their nervous system shuts down entirely.

If the bearer has been blinded, the Left Gauntlet cannot be used.

Right Gauntlet:
The Right Gauntlet is a rose-gold gauntlet, inscribed with radiant sigils and rubies.

The bearer of the Right Gauntlet can project a 'Flaming Sword' from the gauntlet. This supposed sword is, in fact, a portal to the surface of the sun, shaped in the vague shape of a five-foot long broadsword. As such, the sword produces massive amounts of thermal energy; even without being hit by the sword itself, the heat of the solar surface will set most conventional materials near the Sword on fire and/or melt them into slag. As a continuous passive effect allowing the bearer of the Right Gauntlet to effectively wield this power, the bearer is completely immune to external thermal influence; they will never feel overly warm or overly cold.

The Right Gauntlet is activated by Blood. Any sort of blood will work, as long as it's in a liquid state. Unfortunately, beings killed by the Sword tend to be rather... dry, so alternative methods of procuring blood from enemies must be utilized.

The Sword cannot be summoned at night, or in dimensions that lack a clear and present sun.

Left Greave:
The Left Greave is made of copper wire covered with verdigris. Exposure to metallic objects, however, turns localized parts of the Left Greave back to polished copper.

The bearer of the Left Greave can create powerful magnetic charges on both their own body and surfaces they contact with the Greave (even surfaces that cannot normally hold a magnetic charge). The most common utility of this is to let the user run up walls and along ceilings, but there are of course many other unconventional uses for such a power. (For example, the user could charge the ground and their own body with the same charge, causing a powerful repulsion force to occur and throw the user into the air.)

The Left Greave is activated by Metal- the heavier, the better. Left alone on the ground, it will leach trace metals from its environment to recharge itself. For continuous usage, it is recommended that the bearer keep vials of lead or steel dust on them.

Right Greave:
The Right Greave is a masterfully-sewn boot of blue silk and leather. It always somehow has a loose strand of silk hanging out somewhere, which constantly wavers in a breeze undetectable to any but the greave itself.

The bearer of the Right Greave can create powerful constraining forces between particles of gas which are unobstructed by solid objects, to turn thin air into solid but invisible walls. This allows the user of the Right Greave to conjure walls for defense, as well as create invisible pathways leading through the sky. (The air-walls created have the structural strength of granite, but are unaffected by gravity. The air-walls must form flat surfaces; conjuring invisible spikes or blades out of air is impossible. )

The Right Greave is activated by Breath- in this case, the breath of its bearer. The bearer of the Right Greave must hold their breath to maintain conjured air barriers; if they take a breath, all conjured air barriers up to that point dispel themselves and return to being regular gas.

The Right Greave is obviously useless in vacuum conditions.

tl;dr: Teleportation powered by salt, a solar-plasma lightsaber powered by blood, magnetomancy powered by metal, and air-solidification powered by holding your breath.



Last edited by Zerovirus on Sat Sep 05, 2015 10:24 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Great Problem - Round 1: Castle Paradox

Post by Vivienne Vexx on Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:38 pm

Username: Vivienne Vexx

Character Name: Victoriana

Gender: Female

Race/Type: Half Demon Half Human

Color: Blue

Weapon: dual wields Katanas and her tail

Abilities: All she has is her sizable proficiency with her swords and some combat abilities with her tail.

Description: Victoriana is a women that towers over most others standing at 6'4 with neck length white hair, red eyes, and three red diamonds circling the bottom of her left eye. She is dressed in long white robes with red along the ends of the different pieces of fabric. She has a prehensile tail and small nub horns coming from her head. 

She tries to be as collective and calm as possible as it takes a majority of her concentration to keep from giving into her demon urges. Meaning even though she is able to control them, if she loses concentration while something is annoying her she'll most likely snap at them until she is able to regroup her self and take back control. She wants nothing more than to help people and will try to find solutions to problems that help everyone without anyone getting hurt. She has various triggers that would set her off a lot easier than most others (which will remain secret until brought up in RP) And even though she wants to help people she sometimes gets a bit too enthusiastic about protecting people and either overprotects the victim or hurts the criminal far more than she was intending.

Biography: She was born into a family of normal humans in a town called Terma when her mother succumbed to a desire demon. Leading to her giving birth to Victoriana. Victoriana grew up with her mom, brother and sister. Due to her demon birth though she was doomed to be the black sheep of the family in both her appearance and her behavior as she was still just a child and thus had no control over her urge to bring harm and suffering to people. This was not a problem when she was younger but as she got older she started to want to be treated like anything other than a mischief making monster. And as the years went on she started to hate how she was born and began to wish she was just born as a normal human. Though as much as she wanted to fight the urges she still didn't know how to so she caused more and more trouble as she became a more able person as she got older. Eventually until it came to the point where she was not only kicked out of her own house. But her own town as well when they deemed that she was finally able to travel on her. It was then that she swore to the stars that she would learn how to control these urges inside of her. After many months she came to the city of Tormic and in that city she found that there lived another half human half demon just like her. This women's name was Anya and she was able to properly show her methods and teach her how to suppress her inner demons Several years later she eventually managed to become a guard of Tormic. (The rest will be explained in game)

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Re: The Great Problem - Round 1: Castle Paradox

Post by Quaetam on Thu Sep 03, 2015 10:11 pm

Quick update, everyone! TheTJ, an experienced player, has been added to the game, bringing our total to 9 players and 8 Rounds.

The game will still be starting on Saturday.
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Re: The Great Problem - Round 1: Castle Paradox

Post by quadrangledReality on Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:16 pm

Username: quadrangledReality

Character Name: Luin-dar (But mostly goes just by Luin)

Gender: Male

Race/Type: Suthay-raht Khajiit (the most common race of Khajiit, as you would see in Elder Scrolls 3-5)

Color: #999966

Weapon: As for physical weapons, he will mostly fight with his sharpened claws, but can summon an energy bound bow or dagger when needed.

Abilities: Proficient in many magics concerning Conjuration and Illusion. Able to summon unholy creatures, bind souls to objects, and even summon portals to other planes of existence for a short time (although the latter uses up quite a bit of energy). Hell, he can even summon pieces of armor to himself for a couple minutes at a time on a single spell, though he usually limits this to gauntlets so he can block weapons with his fists and still be able to move around in lighter armor or clothes. He can also use illusion magics to make himself turn invisible, create the illusions of vicious beasts (when low on energy for summoning them, or perhaps as a first defense), or to be perceived as a certain gender/race/form to anyone who looks at him. Oh yeah, being a cat person and all, he can see better in the dark than most other races.

Description: He's a grey cat guy with black spots and stripes. His eyes are a bright cyan, and his body is rather slim, but not malnourished. No, he steals plenty to keep himself nourished.

Biography: He grew up in poverty, learning the trades of thievery to survive, how to hide, how to pass by undetected, and when that was impossible, how to convince others that he belongs where he doesn't. Of course, luck sometimes wasn't in his favor, and he ended up in jail a few times...

This gave him a lot of time to focus on escape tactics, how to pick a high level lock, how to smuggle, how to allude the watchful, and how to find other ways out of situations when nothing else worked. But of course, all of this is a learning process and he was caught escaping his cell the first couple times he tried. He was beaten by guards, and generally treated badly in prison. Of course his third try to escape was successful, so he stowed himself away to the libraries of the towns, researching all he could on the magic of conjuration and illusion, knowing if he could master these, he could escape from nearly any prison.

A year later and he could summon portals to other dimensions, temporarily, and summon a few lesser, but still wicked creatures from these dimensions to do his bidding. Though, his nearly constant studies tolled his mind. So much knowledge is usually learned over the course of several years, yet he forced himself to learn it within a year, his personality changed to that of slight madness, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Once he considered himself proficient enough in his magics, he stole again, but let himself get caught. He stowed a lockpick away in his fur, picked his cell open, and found the two guards that were assigned to his cell a year earlier, the ones that treated him so badly. But instead of killing them, he decided to pay them back in a much more humiliating way...

He used a charm spell to make himself appear as the dream girl to each of the guards, such an intoxicating sight would make them abandon all reason, as their minds were not quick enough to catch onto the magically enhanced trick. He led them back to his cell and flirted with them, getting them to close their eyes with the promise of a surprise. When the guards opened their eyes, they had found themselves locked in the cell, Luin nowhere in sight. However, who WAS in sight was the other guard, both of them hit with a charm spell, both of them thinking they were with their dream girl. Their coin purses were gone, but they didn't care, they had more important business. Like getting it on with their dream girl in the cell with them.

Once the spell worn off and they had realized their night of passion was with each other (complete with a heartfelt proposal and everything), their minds shattered. They couldn't stand to even look at one another, they eventually had to quit their job as guards because they couldn't stand the prison anymore.

Satisfied with a fulfilled grudge, Luin went on to be quite the successful thief, but most of his thefts were oddities. Some gold, some jewelry that he could fence, but mostly he stole cheese. Great wheels of the most delectable cheeses! He stole enough finery to keep himself slightly wealthy, but if cheese were gold, he would probably be one of the richest men in the land!

His worship of the Great Skooma Cat, Sheggorath, aided in the control of his madness, and in the creation of his favorite piece of enchanted armor: A hood that when pulled over his head, would invoke the power of the Madgod, turning him stark raving mad until he took the hood off again.

His armor is made of darkened leather, and sometimes appears to embody darkness itself, as it is infused with a slight touch of illusion magic. It really only works in the shadows though, too much light and the spell fails.


Last edited by quadrangledReality on Fri Sep 04, 2015 10:10 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: The Great Problem - Round 1: Castle Paradox

Post by Akerlyn on Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:33 pm

Username: Akerlyn
Character Name: Aker Lazi
Gender: Male
Race/Type: Human?
Color: #7bb2ff
Weapon: None

Abilities: Lazi has practiced endlessly on a martial form that bends forces of the universe, however the name of this form is simply an unspoken word meaning Balance in an English tongue. Similar to Buddism and Taoism in beliefs and practice, Balance is a transcended version that allows for the user to have the power of the universe as a weapon. With simple motions the user can simply summon a gust of wind, to something more complex like a seemingly invisible force field. Like magic the strongest abilities require the longest 'incantations'. There are however many rules to Balance that must be followed in order to do anything so as limitless as it is, it's absolute power can only be used by those who follow it's teachings absolutely.

Description: A man draped in cloth, standing about 5'11''. Very little is actually revealed of his physical features when clad in his robes. The clothes on him cover him entirely save a small opening for his eyes and an occasional flash of the sandals he sports. Though difficult to see his eyes are even harder to determine the true color as they appear to be chromatic, with every color surrounding his pupil. The clothes around him leave many questions about his physique but it would not be too far fetched to say his body is a fairly average is not a bit on the skinnier side. The sandals are normal leather sandals, nothing really interesting about them. His skin tone seems to be a tan if not darker hue then white, but from only seeing his feet its hard to tell.

Biography: Nothing is truly known about Lazi's birthplace or his life growing up, though in the earliest points of recorded history there are some mentions of mysterious figures that could resemble him. He has always wandered from town to town, city to city, land to land, simply spreading the message he was taught. No matter where he goes though he always arrives at a place that needs help that he is more then happy to give. He is always seemingly where he needs to be and when people need him most. Though as sporadically as he seemed to have arrives he leaves at some point. Whether it be right after solving the problem he walked into, or staying even years at a place he will just leave. His previous location before the game was at a fair sized trade city that was under siege. After brokering peace between the opposing factions he remained in the city for 3 months before taking a boat out to sea with just himself and enough food for four days before vanishing.

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Re: The Great Problem - Round 1: Castle Paradox

Post by Quaetam on Fri Sep 04, 2015 10:26 pm

Hey guys - just realized I did the timezones backwards. The round will now start 4 PM EST so I don't have to wake up at 9 AM.
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Re: The Great Problem - Round 1: Castle Paradox

Post by TheTJ on Fri Sep 04, 2015 10:54 pm

Usernam: TheTJ
Character Name: Brett Vyron
Gender: Male
Race/type: Human Shadowmancer
Color: #FF0000
Weapon: Knives, shadow constructs, and a single pistol

Abilities: Brett has the ability of Shadowmancy which allows him to use shadows as weapons or become fully shadow himself and enter into Shadow-space. Each object and surface may cast a specific entry into shadow-space, though the locations of two shadows may vary between planes making Shadow-space an effective shortcut system if you know your way around. This plane has no air however and can only be traversed safely with your own air supply. Brett is also well versed in using his blades and can be quick as thought if he needs to.

Description: Brett is a balding middle-aged man in his early forties with the beginnings of a goodly-sized beer gut. Wearing black slacks, a black sports jacket, and a white T-shirt he would almost look like an old Hollywood producer if it weren't for the large thick grey cloak he wore over it. Brett is friendly enough to everyone he meets if the situation calls for friendliness and a smile comes quickly to his rounding face, though it never quite seems to touch his sharp grey eyes.

Biography: Brett started a life of crime young when as a boy he had tried to pick the pocket of a man who turned out to be Vincent Algrete, leader of the local mafia family. While being chased by Vincent and a few of his men, Brett accidentally activated his shadowmancy for the first time. Long story short Vincent learned of Brett's abilities and when he finally tracked him down it wasn't for revenge but for a job offer.

For the next 25 years Brett worked closely with Vincent, robbing banks, spying on suspicious characters to ferret out a mole, and of course frequently being used as the mafia's hit man; all the while building up his power and proficiency with the tools of his trade. A few years back Vincent suffered a heart attack and had passed on the reins of the family business to his son. Rather than take orders from someone half his age Brett decided to retire, which at 40 was a pretty decent age to get to as a hitter. Brett now mostly spends his time reading, or doing the crossword, or robbing some priceless antiques... Either to place in his own private collection he kept with him in shadow-space, or to leave them in odd places for his amusement. He once left an original Picasso hanging on the wall of a motel in place of some 5 dollar thing from Walmart.


(Sorry if this doesn't seem fleshed out, I had more but lost it and had to retype)

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Re: The Great Problem - Round 1: Castle Paradox

Post by TD260 on Sat Sep 05, 2015 12:16 pm

Username:TD260

Character Name: Marcus

Gender: Male

Race/Type: Human Adept

Color: #006600

Weapon: Marcus favors a Longsword. The one he currently wields he bought from the Blacksmith in his village before setting out.
Abilities: As an Adept, he has a base level of control over the raw elemental forces of creation. His powers specifically lie towards the earth/fire typeage.

Description: Towering above his fellow villagers at 6'6", Marcus has brownish blonde hair and striking green eyes that he always takes great care to match with his outfits. His youthful face is never without a smile, nor is his back ever devoid of a cape. He feels the two together make him look dashing.

Biography: From a young age, Marcus listened to stories of Heroes- and he was fascinated by them. The age-old tale of a Hero, setting out from home with naught but a sword on his back and a spring in his step gripped him like nothing else. As he grew up as a child, it was always a battle of good versus evil, an exploration of ancient ruins filled with perilous traps and dangerous beasts. Even as he grew, and the children around him played less and worked more, he never managed to lose the notion that there were Heroes in the world, and he was one of them; a fact only confirmed when he discovered he had the ability to cast spells that his fellow towns-members could not. At that moment, he began to save his money; on the morn of his Seventeenth Birthday, he bought a sword from the village Blacksmith and set out into the world, determined to find fame, fortune, and to vanquish any villains he found along the way. He went to bed one night, alongside a riverbank as the fire burnt low- and awoke in a void filled with other people.


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Prologue

Post by Quaetam on Sat Sep 05, 2015 3:13 pm

In an instant, all was dark.

With a sudden, senseless shift, a new set of figures appeared in the void.  Disoriented, the candidates examined their surroundings. Where had they gone?  They were surrounded by a monotonous infinity, an expanse with no visible surfaces or defining features.  

One figure, a heavyset, middle-aged man, found himself shaky on his feet, unable to get his bearings.  Another, slim and tall with pointed ears and soot-covered hair, glanced sharply at the others in the void, curious and calculating.  Yet another swelled with pride, eager to begin this strange, otherworldly adventure, as a fourth fought against a sudden urge to lash out, as if violence would buy her freedom from this prison without walls.

She was not wrong.  

Another figure appeared in the darkness; a floating man wearing a dark suit.  His features were wreathed in an obscuring, animated shadow.  That veil was not enough to hide an aura of immense power and authority, projected almost callously across the endless expanse.  

“Hello, my friends, and welcome to my Grand Battle.  I am the Executive, your host,” the figure boomed.  Its words were unusual but strong, backed with an ethereal vehemence that rendered them absolute and unavoidable – or perhaps menacing, “You are here for one purpose, and one purpose alone: To fight to the death in a tournament across worlds – to pit all your might, your valor, and your precious wits against each other until only one is left standing.”

At this a few of the figures recoiled in shock – at least one admitted a sense of pleasure at the thought.  Some opened their mouths in protest, but found their voices mute, their words unattainable in the void.

“In a few moments, you will be released into your first battleground,” continued the Executive, his voice quiet and brooding, before returning to full volume: “Before then, however, I believe introductions are in order!”

The dark man approached one of the contestants: It was a man draped in numerous, heavy layers of an ancient cloth.  Though his face was obscured, a pair of amalgamated, chromatic eyes shone clearly through the darkness – eyes that glistened not only with color, but with an intelligence beyond reason.

“Lazi, the ancient and legendary Aker, chosen for his wisdom.  Lazi has walked untold miles in his travels, spreading a message of peace, charity, and enlightenment.  His abilities and philosophy center around the idea of peace - how will he fare in a game of war?”

The Executive continued, turning next to what appeared to be a small girl, with wild orange hair, and beat-up old clothing.  As he approached, she wavered, her skin and clothes becoming steadily translucent.  He smiled, and waved a hand: her form and appearance vibrated, rippling like water in a broken lake.

“Step Lively, selected for her mirth.  Step has long since met a mortal end in her homeworld, but continues to persist, living off others in an endless forage for sustenance and amusement.  Her life has become an undying quest for amusement – what such purpose will she find in these games?”

Next to be selected was the thin, tall man with the pointed ears.  His hair was covered in soot, and he wore a heavy backpack stuffed with unknown objects.  He showed no sign of trepidation at the Executive’s approach – among calculated caution, the half-elf bore a look of interest and amusement.

“Eric Thonius, pride and embarrassment of the Wizard’s Guild of Wati, selected for his curiosity.  Once a prodigy in the great arts of magic, Eric lost the core of his powers in a tragic accident.  He has since turned to technology, delving into his experiments and creations, exploring ancient temples for the artifacts of old.  How will he cope, knowing that he may never return to his work?”

The fourth contestant was certainly less usual: an anthropomorphic bobcat, a feline with the build of a human.  He wore luxurious armor of darkened leather - armor, the others noted, that seemed to fade in and out of focus among the blackness around them.

“Meet Luin-dar, khajit, chosen for his wit.  Once living a life of poverty, Luin is a self-made man.  Forced to fend for himself, Luin’s sharp reflexes and proficiency in illusory techniques made him a master burglar.  He has built a vast and renowned fortune, known throughout the land.  What such fortune can he find in these games – where reputation means nothing, and the only finality is death?”

The Executive approached another human – this one more plain.  Tall, with dirty-blonde hair and striking green eyes, this human carried a longsword on a back-sheath.  He swelled with visible pride as the dark man approached, a wide smile breaking across his face.  Some of the others noted he seemed to flex the muscles in his crossed arms.

“Ah, Marcus… a human fighter and self-proclaimed hero, chosen for his determination.  He spent his childhood regaled with tales of the noble, selfless legends of old – and has trained in the hopes that he would one day be counted among them.   But where will heroism be found here, and what tales will he live to tell, in a game built on murder?”

Next was the middle-aged man from before.  He bore a frown on his balding head, clearly unhappy with present circumstances.  Many a contestant could see why: this man was by no means in good shape, sporting a fair, round belly. He wore a thick, grey cloak over a sloppy white T-shirt.  Several of the others contemplated he’d be the first to go.

“Brett Vyron, retired hitman, thief, and spy, chosen for his ambition.  Brett once worked for a fearsome mafia don, slowly eliminating his foes and worming his way into a position of power.  When his boss and personal friend succumbed to a heart attack, Brett chose to retire, and live out the rest of his life in peace, taking up several hobbies.  Long past his prime, does he lack the skills to survive in these games?

Seventh was a tall woman, clearly of a different breed.  Small horns protruded from her forehead, and her left eye was encircled by small, brilliant red diamonds.  Her skin took an unnaturally light tone, perhaps matching her pure, white hair.  The creature wore a striking fabric robe lined in red, a tail protruded from the back.

“Victoriana, a half demon of tragic birth, chosen for her regret.  Ostracized since a young age, the demon grew within her, spawning an incipient budding of hate and jealousy.  One day she lashed out, committing a terrible, unforgiveable sin.  Her life has become a daily struggle to forgive, to forget, and to fight the urges that would forever lose her on a dark path.  How long can she resist among the bloodshed of the games?”

The final contestant was an oddity – the Executive smiled politely as he registered the other contestants’ surprises.  It was a beautiful, amethyst pendant, suspended by a force of its own in the void.  The crystalline structure entangled in the necklace captured the focus and attention of every inhabitant of the void – their eyes drawn inexorably to its symmetry, its grace, and its perfection.

“Rarie, ninth artifact library of the empyrean tetragrammaton, chosen for her faith.  A sentient amulet, created by the Lord Transcendent as a gift for his lonely heir.  Following a disastrous coup, Rarie has passed through many hands, acquiring artifacts of great power in her journey, buoyed by an undying faith in the good of the world.  What faith, what hope can she find in these games?

At last, the strange man retreated to the center of the circle, and spread his arms:

“How will you live; will you see your precious home world again?” the voice recounted, straining with a hint of passion, of joy, “What will you do to survive?”

“These questions, my friends, are your Great Problem,” the figure concluded, “Live, and you will be returned home.  Die, and may your death be a glorious one.”

With those final words, there was a loud, reverberating crack, as if the Executive had struck a match – and the contestants were blinded by a flash of light.

They came to their senses in another world, in the courtyards and grounds of a great, sprawling castle.  To some, this was a familiar sight, and a reminder of home – while to others, the world was as alien as the void.  

{Castle Paradox} came a voice, unbidden and without form.  It was the Executive, his words reaching their ears from place unknown, {A place of sorcery… and secrecy.  In this keep once practiced a great magician – but humanity has seen this place abandoned in a great war.  Many secrets lie buried in its halls, waiting to be found – while others were meant for no eye to see.}


Round 1: Castle Paradox
Spoiler:
The first round takes place in a classic magician’s castle, abandoned after a terrible conflict.  The castle contains roughly what you’d expect to find in a magician’s keep, from an enchanting tower, to great libraries and a grand hall, to dungeons and servants quarters.  In particular, the mage who owned this castle focused on paradoxes: oddities that should not exist, from endless stairways to perpetual motion and endless hourglasses.  

Having been abandoned in a great war, many of the critical chambers are locked and bolted – and sealed by magic.  But the castle is riddled with secret passages, and hidden places: All is not as it seems here.

What will you find in its depths?


Last edited by Quaetam on Sat Sep 05, 2015 7:37 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: The Great Problem - Round 1: Castle Paradox

Post by Akerlyn on Sat Sep 05, 2015 3:48 pm

With a cool breeze blowing across the walkway, Lazi opened his eyes to the Castle towering over him to his right and a garden to his left that extended to a hedge maze. The message from the Executive spelled a ominous omen for all who were in this game and gave Lazi a very unsettling feeling. He decides that all he can truly do at the moment is to get a feel for the land he has been taken to. Though the foreboding feeling that came from the maze kept him moving towards the castle. He figured that he would just look for a way inside the castle or someone outside.

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Re: The Great Problem - Round 1: Castle Paradox

Post by Benedict_SC on Sat Sep 05, 2015 4:17 pm

Well, this was bullshit.

Step had been causing a really spectacular traffic jam downtown. Everyone who stopped at the red light had their engine quietly sabotaged by a hand reaching up from beneath the ground, leaving a four-way intersection completely stopped up for no reason anyone could figure out. Road rage was her favori- no, not her favorite. Her favorite was screams of terror, best extracted from schoolchildren in dark and scary places. But road rage was pretty damn good times.

They'd all been starting to pop their hoods and stare at the identical disconnected wires in confusion. It was going to be great! How could all these cars suddenly break down in the exact same way in the exact same place? Who knows~? It's a mystery!

She didn't get to see their reactions, though. She'd been whisked away by some magical stuffed suit, who proceeded to give everyone long, flowery introductions and told them all to kill each other. "Selected for her mirth"? Not "selected for her awesome ghost powers"? What was this about?

The part she was really upset about was the killing thing. Not that she was afraid- she was totally invincible as long as she wanted to be- but like, ew. Dead bodies. No thanks.

Still, the setup did inject some useful paranoia. Everyone would be afraid everyone else would want to kill them, so they could be played off each other with that. She'd have to get all... talky, though. Try to trick people with words, instead of staying out of sight and bamboozling them with impossibilities.

Speaking of impossibilities, the roof she found herself on was not, strictly speaking, a roof. It seemed like it ought to be a cone shape, on top of the parapet, but while she could make out the ring and the point, the roof in between the edge and the tip didn't... seem to... connect. Like it was a totally different shape, disguised as a cone, somehow. The shingles were pointing in directions that shingles shouldn't point, exactly, if they were tiling a roof. She was looking at them and she couldn't figure out what she was looking at.

She broke one off. It was a square, but it wasn't really a square. It felt more like a little pyramid-shaped thing in her hands, despite what her eyes were telling her. She wasn't sure how, yet, but she was going to figure out a way to mess with someone besides herself with it.

Enough of that. She jumped off the roof.

What she'd intended to do was let the front of her clothes be solid, and drift lazily to the earth that way. And... she did, but she also didn't. She fell, but she fell sideways- spiraling swiftly around the castle, as if blown in circles by a wind that didn't exist. And then she fell up, spiraling towards the sky, whipping past vaulted arches and great stained-glass windows at speeds that didn't make any sense. Even if- agh, she couldn't think straight, she was getting dizzy- even if- if, what, if gravity had been twisted up in knots? Even if that were happening, she shouldn't have been falling that fast.

Down again, still spinning. She could see a couple of shapes in one window she kept whipping by- two people inside the castle seemed to be talking with each other, until- oh, damn, one saw her as she flew past the window. She couldn't see who it was in there- too dark. She could see a few candles inside, not bright enough to illuminate the shapes. On the ground- the ground that was tantalizingly out of reach- she saw a robed figure by a hedge maze, looking up in confusion. Stealth was not going super-duper well.

She saw a flag- a banner of some kind, whipping in the wind. It was close to her orbit of the castle walls- if she could turn off her clothes, negate the mass, reach out...

She snagged the flying banner and immediately gravity- or whatever wasn't gravity- returned to normal. She fell towards the roof- and through the roof before she remembered to land- and hit the floor of a small library with a half-pound thud.

She rubbed her feet. Decided she'd need to find another way down.


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Re: The Great Problem - Round 1: Castle Paradox

Post by TheTJ on Sat Sep 05, 2015 4:58 pm

Brett's eyes cleared from the blinding flash and he found himself standing in a small library. The room was at least 400 square feet and the bookshelves reached up to the roof, some 15 feet above. Curious, Brett ambled over to the nearest shelf and pulled out a book at random and flipped through the pages. It seemed to be written in English, but many of the passages and illustrations were complete gibberish to him. Closing the book and checking the cover Brett saw that this books was called "A study of the magical properties of cryptobiological creatures, Vol. VII"

Brett nervously put the book back and glanced around him again, not sure whether or not he was being watched. This place fell completely outside of his experience. Sure, he had some strange powers himself, but that had always put him at the advantage. In this place it seemed like more or less everyone was on par with him. Unless they're stronger Brett thought to himself with a shudder. If that were the case he'd better play things smart if he wanted to survive.

He paced the room thinking to himself. It was a habit he'd picked up when he found himself in a tight spot with no one else to talk to. Sometimes simply getting your thoughts out by talking things through, even to yourself, could do a world of good.

OK, this situation isn't as bad as it might appear.

"Oh no?" He asked himself,  "And how exactly is it not so bad, eh?"

Well, for one, everyone in here is probably in the same boat as yourself. Pulled out of their lives from who knows where and dumped into this... Grand fight thing? Whatever it's called.

"OK, but I'm pretty clearly not on my A game right now. Maybe if I'd done this some 15 years ago I'd be on top of things, but as it stands smart moneys on me being out early on.

Right! Brett's thought back at himself. If you think that, so will just about everyone else. If they think you're a shoe-in to lose, they won't worry about you at all...

"...And if they ignore me long enough I may just make it through this." Brett finished the thought aloud."But I can't just wait this out."

Oh, why not? I think you can avoid being found pretty easily.

"Yeah, until one of those people who ARE in their prime find me and take me out. I might make it a few rounds without too much trouble, but say one of them eventually corners me in a well lit room."

OK, OK, point taken... You'll just have to team up with the other poor-unfortunates.

"OK then, who's a candidate? I mean, you got to figure most of them to have some powers at the very least."

Well, there was the ghost girl, the young knight, the man in robes, the techno-wizard, that half-demon lady, the cat person, and the necklace thing.

"Well, demon lady is right out. I'll play nice and offer a team-up if I run into her, but it'd be best not to run into her."

Brett continued to pace as Step Lively shot past one of the library windows incredibly quickly and went completely unnoticed by him. He continued to run through the list.

"I don't know about the necklace thing, I can try but it seems... a bit too odd. The Techno-wizard and the Robes guy both seem like they'll have some heavy-duty tricks up their sleeves if everyone has powers like I do."

So the rest are who we should focus on. Try to set up an alliance with as many of them as we can.

"OK, so now we have a plan. Let's try after that knight. From what was said about him I doubt he'd attack someone offering him no violence. I should pro-"

He was cut off by the ghost girl crashing through the ceiling and landing only three paces ahead of him.

Or I could try starting with her. Brett thought to himself.

He waited for her to stand before clearing his throat alerting her to his presence. When she whirled around to face him he wore a disarming smile. "Hello there. I'm afraid that with the suddenness of the past 5 minutes or so I completely missed your name. I'm Brett Vyron." He extended a hand a made an effort to widen his smile just a bit more. He'd have to wait for her reaction and play it by ear from there.


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Re: The Great Problem - Round 1: Castle Paradox

Post by Leviwulf on Sat Sep 05, 2015 6:41 pm

Eric blinked twice, his vision fuzzy as his eyes adjusted to the low light in the strange room. All around him were stairways, some upside down, some sideways, and some hurtling off in directions he was sure couldn't have been crafted by hand. The room must have at least been 15 stories tall, and could easily fit a house in its width. He calmly took in his surroundings, searching for traps or other signs of life, all the while taking off his bag and rummaging through it. After a moment of searching he pulled out a small device, which to the normal user would seem like a failed attempt at a magnifying glass.

After slinging his backpack back onto his shoulder, Eric activated the device and everything through it turned a bright glowing blue, which began to dim as time went on. After a short time only a few blurry blue areas were showing through the device, everything else appearing normal. He peered through it, thoroughly examining as much of the castle as he could while remaining aware of his surroundings. There were several moving blue blurs, those must have been the other captives. While they could be sources of useful information, none of them were close enough to make his way to quickly. He continued scanning until he picked out a blur that seemed relatively close.

Alright so not much in the way of tech here, but I can feel the magic in this place, whoever created the illusions in this castle must have been an extremely powerful wizard.

Eric smirked as he began climbing the stairs, heading towards the closest glowing blue blur through the lens, hopefully there would be a direct route to whatever the device he was heading towards was. He wasn't about to let some stupid wizards take control of his life again. He'd wasted too much time on dealing with them in the past and he wasn't about to play their games for some stupid form of entertainment. If experience had taught him anything it was that everything in the universe, be it magical or not, had a weakness that could be exploited. He was going to find a way out of this game, one way or another.

Unfortunately for him, I've got experience dealing with powerful wizards.

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Re: The Great Problem - Round 1: Castle Paradox

Post by Akerlyn on Sat Sep 05, 2015 8:56 pm

Another locked door. After circling the castle a couple times, it seems as the layout changes consistently. Lazi was at a loss for a way to enter this behemoth of a building. He always could get to the places he needed to be so he wasn't in any rush. However that player back in the void was highly concerning. Without a clear way in and the unnerving feeling coming from not only the maze but the forest surrounding the castle, Lazi decided he had to get inside soon. Maybe he could go in through the same way that girl did, though that seems like that was a case of chance rather then an actual opening...

There is seemingly no other way. Lazi makes his way over to the front of the castle, "Forgive this intrusion," he whispers to himself. His cloak starts fluttering, as he shifts inside of it. Lazi's hands push against his armor of cloth as his gestures, concealed, create an air around him and clashing again the magical forces soaking the castle. He centers his figure and calms the air around him with the completion of his setup. Though against his better judgement he resolves to enter this castle and find this player. Lazi motions his hand out from his robe, revealing that his hand is faintly glowing. As his hand nears the door the glow quickly escalates into a burning light, cutting through not only the darkness surrounding this eerie castle but through the magic itself. By the time his hand reaches the door Lazi's hand glow starts to swallow his entire being itself. The magic around the castle was closing in on him, as if the castle itself was living being.

Alas though Lazi has entered.

Though at what cost? As Lazi takes a look at the arm he used to open the door, covered in burns and almost charred. He will need to rest if he wants to heal this injury. Lazi looked around and figured he was now in the foyer. A large open room with two grand staircases wrapping around a large pillar to presumably the upper floors. A few large door frames that look like they continue to another part of the castle, but the strong magic being even worse in here, he knew that they probably lead on infinitely. The weirdest part about this fairly innocent room though is the ceiling itself. Rather the lack there of one. The castle seems to extend infinitely with stairs and more entrances above. As Lazi gets taken in by the astonishing feat that this castle seems to embody the pain catches him reminding him about his arm. He decides, though as trivial as it might be, he should wander around till he finds someone or a place that someone won't be likely to find. Lazi starts to head to a room to the right before something attracts his attention.

It seems as if someone has found him. He turns to the stairs and looks to the under side of the grand staircase.
"I know you are there, please come out. Shall we talk?"

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Re: The Great Problem - Round 1: Castle Paradox

Post by Zerovirus on Sat Sep 05, 2015 9:00 pm

Rarie floated down the pitch-black passageway she'd appeared in, and hummed a tune as she went. She knew that it'd attract the attention of anybody close enough to hear- but she was completely okay with that. In fact, in some ways, being noticed was exactly what she wanted.

Plus, humming would cause her amulet to light up as a side-effect, which was nice. This place was too dark, in her estimation.

As she went, she pondered.

Rarie understood on an intellectual level that she ought to be rather scared, even if she didn't really have the requisite emotional circuitry to feel a properly primal terror instinct. It was, after all,  a scary situation run by a scary person. What sort of awesome power could capture so many diverse individuals from so many diverse Macrocosms like this?

The only person she thought might be able to do something like this was her creator- but, of course, she knew that the Lord Transcendent she served had died long ago. Even gods could be slain; nothing was eternal, not on the earth and not in any heaven known to her. That thought would have made her a bit sad, but she didn't really have the ability to feel sorrow, either. What she did have, though, was an incredible capacity to feel wonder.

And feel wonder she did; though the rough grey stone of the corridor seemed absolutely nondescript to mere vision, her advanced senses permeated the walls and revealed far more. The material, on a molecular level, was a mix of literally every mineral she knew about, from salt to ruby to feldspar and chalcopyrite. Somehow, all these disparate substances were bound together into this singular grey substrate, like a rainbow of dazzlingly colorful paints mixed into a dull grey.

Dullness, from beauty. A near-miraculous achievement of sorcery, used to simulate mundanity to the extreme.

Rarie was beginning to understand what the strange voice had meant, naming this location as the Castle of Paradox. A pity that none of the bricks that made up the wall seemed to have any Potential, whatsoever; she'd have loved to see what Deific Devices made out of the strange stone would manifest like!

She floated on in infinite patience, waiting for someone to hear her humming and find her.

For Rarie knew that she needed a partner; she didn't have the soul necessary to wield any of the Deific Devices she carried with herself, and without those she was nothing more than an elegant but easily shattered piece of amethyst. She was confident that she could barter an agreement amenable to both of them; the Deific Devices she held could be insurmountable edges in combat, and her capacity to produce more and more weapons as time passed made her an incredible resource for anybody to possess.

Rarie wondered who would be so lucky as to be the first to meet her and gain great power from it, by chance. Aker Lazi seemed like a suitable choice, as did Step Lively. Peace and laughter were things she could agree with- but she wouldn't turn down anybody she met; not even the half-demon. Rarie had deliberately chosen not to be judgmental, long ago.

Ahead- was that the sound of footsteps?

Rarie's excitement was soon consummated, as she emerged from the underside of a massive staircase, and came face to face with a man veiled almost completely in folds of cloth. Aker Lazi.

"Hello!~" sang Rarie cheerfully. Yes, this would be satisfactory!

Ignoring the look the man gave her, she continued easily with the offer she'd well-rehearsed in advance.

"Would you like to make a contract with me and become a Deific Devicer?"

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Re: The Great Problem - Round 1: Castle Paradox

Post by Akerlyn on Sun Sep 06, 2015 12:52 am

"Deific Devicer?" Lazi responded. The presence that Lazi had sensed turned out to be the gem from the void. Lazi thought it was nice to meet someone rather then no one, even if it was not the one he was looking for. He turned to the amulet who seemed very happy to have met some one as well.

"Why, yes a Deific Devicer is the one who wields, well me!" the floating gem cheerfully responded. "I have 4 armaments that I can loan to you if you accept the contract. You could use them to help fight against the others. I do sense that you don't have any weapons on you so this would be a very beneficial arrangement for you. Plus if you find any items with Potential i can upgrade myself to become even stronger!" the gem said to sweeten the deal.

"So will you accept the contract and become a Deific Devicer?"


The little gem seemed very happy to have run into Lazi so early on, plus she did make a very nice offer. There was a problem though that this little gem probably didn't truly consider, but Lazi thought this was still a fortunate encounter nonetheless. "It would seem that you are happy to run into me, however I believe we should introduce ourselves first. I am Aker Lazi," he said taking care to not expose his terribly burned arm to his new acquaintance, when he bowed before the crystal before him. "Its a pleasure to me you..." Lazi said, gesturing to the amethyst, hoping to provoke a reply.

"I am, the ninth artifact library of he empyrean tetragrammaton known as Rarie. Though I do find these customs of introduction amusing, I would like to stay on topic of the contract." Rarie offered.

Lazi thought for a moment and responded, "Before I accept this contract, may ask a few questions about the nature of the agreement?"

"Of course."

"By accepting you will only allow me to use your weapons correct? And as long as I supply you with weapons of Potential you will stay bound to me?"

"This is the nature of the contract, are those not acceptable terms?"

"They are acceptable"

"Then you accept?"

"There is something you are not telling me though. Avoiding in fact. What happens when I give you an object of Potential? As you do not wish to talk about the matter it is a weakness, no?"

Rarie carefully responded, "It is a slight draw back. When integrating a new piece of equipment, I have to leave behind the previous item and it takes time to completely convert the new item."

Lazi took a few moments to consider the offer before responding. "I can accept those terms as long as you let me decide when to use your power. I do have a few ways I can defend myself and I would rather not reveal a powerful ally until it was necessary, I will still help you find something with Potential for you to add, just allow me to decide whether or not to risk you in a fight."

Though Rarie found such a stipulation quite puzzling to accept, she could agree happily as she would still receive the items and Potential she would desire. Upon accepting she continued with the finalization of the contract and added for the contract to be complete she would need to be worn by her new user.

Lazi understood the simple instruction and removed his hood, revealing his aged face to Rarie. An older man maybe in his 60s or even 70s, he looks as if he has aged a great deal although he still retains something of a youthful air. As if was a young man stuck into an older man's body.

Rarie floated down over the Lazi's head and found a resting place on his shoulders and around his neck. Oddly enough, to Rarie's perspective, Lazi seemed to get a slight bit older after the contract was completed. Though he tried to pass it off by asking an opinion of where to go from her, he seemed to be tired from the interaction. She offered the new party explore the base floor of this large castle, and without further delay they both proceeded further into the Castle of Paradox.

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Re: The Great Problem - Round 1: Castle Paradox

Post by Quaetam on Sun Sep 06, 2015 1:05 am

Spoiler:
Great work so far everyone.

Akerlyn, I gave your latest post a quick edit just to paragraph it since for whatever reason it came in as a block of text.  No other changes were made.

Additionally, td260 has edited his character sheet as he promised.  It is located here: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].
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Re: The Great Problem - Round 1: Castle Paradox

Post by quadrangledReality on Sun Sep 06, 2015 1:43 am

A bit peeved to be snatched out of existence right as he was reaching for a delectable slice of cheese that he had spent the better part of an hour sneaking around a castle trying to get to, Luin was quite delighted to find himself in the middle of the kitchen of the strange new castle. He quickly found the room that acted as storage for all the food, now mostly full of racks of bones on hooks and rotten skins of fruits. The smell of decay loomed in the air, but he noticed something was off about the racks of bones and decayed skins of fruits.

After close examination, he figured that the decay was not assisted by rodents or other scavengers. But no time to worry about that now, this castle was obviously one of wealth, and with wealth, cheese, and with cheese, wealth! Looking around the room, he came to an intricate, sealed crate with a lock on it. Based on the smells coming from it, he could tell that this crate was used to create a dry environment for aged cheese, and with no rodents to disturb it, surely the cheese has been aged to perfection!

Luin took out a lockpick and started going to work on the lock, making quick work of the tumblers, raising each to the sheer line with a small *click*. Five pins later and the lock gave way to his skill. Opening the crate, he found most of the goods to be rather, too aged and inedible, but one wheel was magnificent! Cheddar, aged to perfection, surely the work of a master cheese chef! He quickly stowed the wheel in his bag, which he had enchanted by a member of the mages' guild with a spell that altered the inside to be of infinite space, but kept the items easily accessible.

Satisfied with his haul, Luin decided to seek out the main hall of the castle in hopes that he might be able to meet with the other members of this game. As he stepped out of the kitchen, he found himself staring at a long, straight hallway, though it didn't quite feel right, too magical to be normal. Deciding to test the hallway out, he took out a single piece of gold and chucked it down the hall, watching it twist and seemingly levitate before striking a wall for no reason, as if gravity meant nothing to it. He chuckled to himself, muttering "This one thought he would never see it in practice..." as he recalled reading about how illusion could in theory be applied to an alteration spell to create illusions that also affect the physical world.

He thought for a bit, knowing he could not inverse the alteration, but he soon realized he could learn the nature of the illusion, and sort of follow this nature to determine how to navigate through the halls unhindered by the strange magic. Carefully, he stepped into the seemingly straight, surprisingly twisted hall, his understanding of the illusion spell allowing it to appear normal to him, or at least the immediate vicinity would appear normal (places more than 10 feet from him still appeared to him to be mangled). As he walked forward, he noticed a sloped drop-off appear in the seemingly straight corridor. Beyond him, he could see the corridor continue straight. He couldn't help but grin at the trap and wonder how many people had lost their footing and taken a tumble to the 'wall' beyond. As he explored, looking for the main hall, he jotted down a careful map of the true layout (or at least the altered layout) of the halls, noticing a distinct spiraling pattern to them, sometimes leading elsewhere, sometimes looping into themselves.

After a bit of wandering and sketching in his journal, he found himself at an intricate door. He opened it to find a main hall, beautifully decorated in riches and tapestries. In the middle stood a long, intricate table. This room was one of the few that had been touched very little by magic, and the large door at the far end seemed to indicate that this was, in fact the main hall and entryway, a place to host guests and display wealth. Luin decided to wait around, and sit at the table to sample some cheese, waiting for anyone else to show up.

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Re: The Great Problem - Round 1: Castle Paradox

Post by Vivienne Vexx on Sun Sep 06, 2015 8:40 am

Victoriana had been in the middle of a relativly normal day up to this point while she helped to patrol the city. She had been walking a long dong her usual route while she saw a fight break out between two rather large men that broke out in an alley.

"You two! Stop this fighting right now!"

So she quickly rushed in to break it up when a punch flew out from one of the guys and landed her square in the jaw. Which led Victoriana to jump on the guy to subdue him and end it, but it did not much good. The other guy still tried to get at him while the guy Victoriana had pinned had started to wail on her face so he can get up. With not only every punch the guy threw at her, but also every kick the guy gave the the other, Victoriana became more and more angry. Ultimately leading to much less control until she shouted at the top of her lungs. far louder than any human voice could go.

"ENOUGH!"

The booming sound made the standing guy step back but before he could get much farther, Victoriana slammed him in the gut with a punch of her own,the guy fells flat on his back. She turned back to the one she had pinned who had also stopped suddenly and before he could get any words in the, raged filled women took a completely different persona when she gave into her instincts as she ruthlessly started to pound his head punch after punch. For a good five seconds of straight hits to his head it was now covered in blood before she realized what exactly she was doing. When she did finally regain a hold of her senses she stood back up and stared at the damaged that she had caused. It has been a long time since she had fallen victim to her instints like that and it truly horrified her. But before she could even say a word, her world went black.

"Wh-Where am I?"

She saw the figure known as The Executive introduce himself and explain where she was and what she would have to do if she wanted to get out of this with her life. She was almost struck speechless by this and the combination of still being in shock from her earlier actions as the figure finished with what he was saying and sent her to a castle court yard. As Victoriana surveyed her surroundings she went back into her thoughts.

"...I was picked because of my regret? Surely there are plenty of people with regrets!...But probably not with regrets like mine..."

Letting out a deep sigh, she was now utterly depressed. But while at the same time not wanting to just be a sitting duck for everyone else, so she decides to set off towards the castle.

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Re: The Great Problem - Round 1: Castle Paradox

Post by Benedict_SC on Sun Sep 06, 2015 2:44 pm

"Hello there. I'm afraid that with the suddenness of the past 5 minutes or so, I completely missed your name. I'm Brett Vyron."

This guy was holding out his hand. Wh... huh? A trap, probably. This guy was a spy, or a thief, or something. That's what the Executive had said, right? He'd be trying to control the interaction, that's what he'd be doing. No way.

She walked up, but didn't take his hand. "My name?" she asked. "Whaddaya wanna know that for? Do you just ask people their names?"

Brett paused. She... what?

"Sorry- I- what? I was just-"


"Didn't you hear it before? Or were you snoring through the intro, like me? Seems weird that you're asking what my name is, don't you think?"

"Hey, now. A lot was going on, back there. I'm not trying to mess with you, honest. Just slipped my mind, is all." He smiled.

She grinned. "Kay. Kay Brockton." Before he could react, she reached out and shook his outstretched hand. Hopefully that didn't constitute some kinda binding magical deal, or whatever.

Brett frowned. That didn't seem right. He had heard everyone's names, but he hadn't heard that one. It started with an S, didn't it? He didn't remember a Kay... maybe he'd misheard? No, she... she was screwing with him. Had to be. ...Didn't make sense to try to call her bluff, though. Not yet, before figuring out why she'd lie. Smile went back on.

"Nice to meet you, K-


"So did you want to kill me, or what?"

Throw him off balance. Don't let him control the interaction. If he feels like he's on solid ground, find a rug to pull. That's how to hold on to power, she thought.

His smile faltered again. "Whoa! No, no! Don't get the wrong idea, little lady! That's not what I'm about."

"Eh? Didn't you hear the boss guy? Or were you really not paying any attention? You want to kill me, right? That's how you win!"

"That's how you win if everyone else is braindead, kid. Have you seen some of these guys? They look like they're no strangers to killing, and the last thing I want is for them to think I'm a threat." He chuckled. "No, no- I'm thinking... how should I say, a team-up?

Step threw back her head and laughed wildly. She watched his face, though, and just as he was about to react...

"Liste-"

There. Stop him in his tracks. "Team up?! Hahaha, wow! Really?! What makes you think that I won't just stab you in the back the second you're not paying attention, huh?" She'd have given anything for a knife to brandish, to drive her point home. Still, it'd work.

"So-"

"And don't call me "kid"! You know how rude that is? I'm twent- oh, it's the backwards baseball cap, isn't it? It's always the hat. If you're going to try to win me over, you gotta respect the hat!"

"You want to know why I think I can trust-"

"Haha, NO! Come on, dude! Were you born yesterday? I mean, even if I don't decide to score a quick win by planting something sharp in your ribcage, why should I trust you? You want to go around, pretending I care about if you survive, looking for the best time to strike before the I can? D'you know how that ends?"

She was out of buttons to push. It was time to let some words in edgewise, to try to uncover some more.

"Hey, slow down. Think about it, alright? There's six other people to watch out for, and all of them are scarier than us." He paused, to see if she'd object. She just giggled, so he continued. "You seem pretty confident, but whatever you've got up your sleeve, you can't be sure it's enough to handle all of them. The odds of one of those magical people having something that'll mess you up... think about it. You don't want to attack early, in a game like this. Attracts attention you don't want."

She laughed some more at that. "Not" wanting attention... ha ha ha!

"All I'm proposing is that you and I agree not to attack each other. You don't have to promise to help me with anything- we just stay off each other's list, and then we each have one less person to worry about."

More laughter. "One less person to worry about? Wouldn't I also have one less person if I, say, shoved you over a railing while your back was turned and no one was watching? That seems like it'd be easier to me." She chuckled darkly. "If you think I've agreed not to kill you, you'll lower your guard, right? That'll make it that much easier for me to take you out. So... sure! Let's team up!"

She was a cocky little thing, he thought. He considered contesting that- telling her that killing him wouldn't be as easy as she made it out to be- but no. No reason to let her think of him as a threat. The Executive had graciously refrained from describing him as anything other than a run-of-the-mill mob hitman, and "past his prime", at that. Better to appear harmless.

"...Okay, then. Pleased to make your acquaintance, Miss..."


"Brockston."

Definitely fake. It'd been "Brockton" earlier. Why lie about that, anyway? Everyone had heard her name already- odds are most of them remembered. What was she up to?

Push him out of his comfort zone a little further. "So! Who do we want to kill?"

That was unexpected. "Uh- hmm. Let's... how about we focus on not getting bumped off, first? I don't know how comfortable I'd be with going on the offensive so early- not without knowing what I'm up against."

Booooooring! "Awwww! Come on! What, you just want to hide in this dusty old library until someone else does the dirty work for you?" She made an exaggerated gesture and faked a yawn.

Brett grinned. "No, no. I was thinking more... recon."

Right. Time to get him moving, then. Deny him time to plan. "Cool! Time to go, then!"

She immediately grabbed the doorknob and walked out the door to the library. He'd follow, she was sure. Follow her into...

A huge, circular room. A railing around a ring looking down onto the lower floors, ringed by rooms and corridors. The overlook was... she wasn't sure why she'd thought there was a railing. The ring was made entirely of staircases, bright white and gleaming marble, all spiraling down in the same direction. But... not in the same direction. Looking down, she could see the stairs all tangled up, going in impossible directions. Which one would really make it all the way down to the ground floor? If she picked one and slid down the banister- a tempting thought- would she get lost in four-dimensional space?!

...And where did that Brent guy go?


Last edited by Benedict_SC on Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:48 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : fixing some typoes)
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Re: The Great Problem - Round 1: Castle Paradox

Post by Zerovirus on Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:11 am

"So, Rarie. What exactly constitutes an object of 'Potential'? Do you see anything on me that might fit in that category?" asked Lazi, as the pair climbed the ornate staircase.

Lazi's quick agreement had been quite relieving to Rarie; she was fully aware that, if the first person she met refused to ally with her, there would be no rational reason not to destroy her and in doing so prevent her from giving a potential enemy a power boost. Rarie hadn't expected things to go that way, anyways, but she was happy to avoid that particular fate nonetheless.

Rarie was quite satisfied with her new Devicer. The man seemed calm, controlled- disciplined in intensity and cohesive in form, as if each action he took were the first step of a new martial art of his own divising. And he didn't treat her like the end-all be-all of his powers. Did he suppose his own powers to be enough, in this strange place?

Entirely possible. After all, if those that surely watched even now would bring someone here, surely they would make sure those they brought could take care of themselves.

"Well," chirped Rarie happily, "There's a long answer and a short answer- and the short answer is that I have no clue! Potential... it's in all things, to greater or lesser extent. Entropy wears the universe down, bit by bit, and Potential is the spirit within objects which seeks to defy this. And I don't really see anything on you with great Potential, sorry."

"An unfortunate truth," sighed Lazi. "I take it, then, that Potential opposes the world's inevitable slide into chaos in some way?"

"Yup! But even more than that- Potential is the force of the cosmos that opposes diminishment, the soul of the universe and greatness itself! Potential is present in everything- from the dirt under your feet to the air you breathe to the rocks and trees standing from the ground. All things have an inner soul, an anima, a wishing-heart that wishes with all its strength that it could be more... how did my creator describe it? More... 'beautiful, more perfect, more elaborate, stronger, brighter, livelier, more joyful in the radiance of the sun'. Isn't that a beautiful thing?"

Rarie could see it- the Potential in everything around her. Even now, she heard the quiet singing of the animas all around her. Lazi's robes were humming a song about sprouting spiral patterns and soft silken textures. The railing Lazi's left hand was gripping for support was wondering aloud whether it could become stronger and better-affixed to the staircase, to better serve the purpose of supporting those who reached towards it.

It wasn't particularly strong Potential, though, compared with that of her current equipment, and so she ignored it.

"It is indeed beautiful, Rarie. So, when you upgrade a weapon, you are using this Potential as the source of power?" The staircase made a rather sharp turn onto the ceiling; Lazi just kept walking blithely, trusting to the strange gravity of the place to keep him dignified..

"Mmm..." Rarie paused. "I might not describe it like that! Potential isn't like the coal you burn to power a steam engine. Potential is infinite in its love and splendid in its beauty, and neither of those things can be destroyed. I don't know what power fuels my existence and allows me to do what I do, but as long as it's there I'll keep doing it. That's what my creator told me!"

Lazi nodded; she felt it in the shifting of her chain around his neck.

The staircase, at some point, had subtly shifted in geometry such that it was heading horizontally across an unspeakably tall cylindrical chamber. Above, a strange pale light shone down on endlessly crisscrossing strata of staircase-bridges spanning the chamber. Below, the chamber's floor, if there was one, vanished into an endless darkness. Stained-glass windows were interspersed haphazardly, in all sorts of angles and configurations, across the walls of the chamber.

None of this particularly bothered either of them as they made their way across the room. All knew already; the castle was Strange, with a capital S.

As they went, at a question's prompt, Rarie explained in detail to Lazi how her four equipped weapons worked. The man seemed uninterested in wielding the burning solar sword afforded to him by the Right Gauntlet, but expressed fascination with the others- the magnetism treads, breath-sealing boot, and teleportation gauntlet- and questioned Rarie extensively on interesting utilities for such items. As Rarie described the things she'd seen past Devicers do with them, she reflected that Lazi seemed rather disinclined towards violent weapons as well as artifacts of sheer raw power without subtlety.

As Lazi continued to climb the strangely intersecting web of staircases, he and Rarie heard a voice from above. A thin but needley voice, bouncing off the walls of the circular chamber-

"... You want to kill me, right? That's how you win!"

"It seems there are others above us, Rarie," said Lazi. "Shall we go and meet them, if you're not averse?"

"You're the boss, Devicer. I go where you go; it's your call."

"...And don't call me "kid"! You know how rude that is?.."

"It seems that they're getting off to a poor start, unfortunately," Lazi sighed. "I hope they don't hurt each other before we can arrive."

"...easier for me to take you out. So... sure! Let's team up!"

"Or maybe they could just team up immediately after you were so worried about them! What a surprise.~" Rarie giggled as they passed through another one of the chamber's space-bending doorways that connected the webwork stairs to each other. "I think I recognize the voices. The loud one is-"

"Cool! Time to go, then!"

"Yes, that's definitely Step Lively. She seems quite capricious. I believe I saw her clinging to one of the conical tower roofs, when we all first appeared in this place. If so, that would place us quite high in the castle- if such logic can be applied to this place." He paused, then spoke again but in a hushed voice. "To ensure your secrecy, I recommend that you remain quiet while we are in contact with others, Rarie."

"Good idea, Lazi. Good luck!" With that, Rarie went quiet, her flickering inner fire slowly fading away to nothing. Lazi nodded, and tucked her into a fold in his robes.

With that, Lazi stepped out of the shadowed gateway, revealing himself to the orange-haired girl peering down from the edge of the wall above.

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Re: The Great Problem - Round 1: Castle Paradox

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