Archive for the ‘Profusion’ Category
Just a collection of reference pics for a future minor character – the son of a genetically uplifted horse, who commissioned a bunch of magogeneticists to give her foal a horn. She wanted him to be special. That's also why she named him Moonflower Etheriel Bliss. *facepawheaddesk* Mares.
These following are all pics of one cremello chap and right for colour, but I don't know that he'd be the right breed/build. (I know the horses in this setting are roughly Percheron-derived, but I haven't the expertise to recognise one if it came up and ate a stick at me.)
Here's a pic that I particularly like (source unknown; the url on the picture is sadly domainsquatted now, so I can't find out any info about it), although this might be overdoing the feathers. You know, just a tad.
And finally, amusement courtesy of Second Life, because whatever daft idea you come up with, someone is bound to have done it before in Poser…
I'm keeping this one separate from the coming photo-fest because I wanted to ask:
(Bear with me if this sounds like a weird question. I don't understand visuals of people. Especially humans, anyway. I'm autistic, it's a thing.)
Reason being, I'm totally feeling him as a young Suitov, but that's obviously down to my own tastes and I get confused by hair anyway, and established fact that I don't want to contradict is that Suitov's a normal, quite pretty, masculine male. Anyway, this guy in the photo looks pretty unambiguously male to me, so I want input from some neurotypical eyes.
How old does he look to you, anyway?
We've been listening to a radio adaptation of At the Mountains of Madness. As it stands, I've lost interest in proceedings just at the end of the info-dump (more than an episode long, i.e. getting on for a quarter of the programme in one stretch). I may finish listening to find out what happened to the missing dog, but I think I can call my HP Lovecraft curiosity sated.
Definitely needed a more permissive adaptation to be workable as a radio drama, and I speak as someone who's usually a rabid book purist.
The realisation that my fiercely, actively atheist dragons make Great Old Ones look quite soft and vulnerable isn't necessarily conducive to easy sleep. Heh.
Fortunately those don't take an active part in any of our cooperative writing shenanigans, except (potentially/sketched in) for providing a MacGuffin to an already-OP protag.
Speaking of the writing group, Drupal experiments for our next-gen site are continuing with steady success.
Currently percolating in my mind is that I don't know to what extent I can make the edit form present fewer options to J. Average Member. Dumbed-down isn't really Drupal's natural state of affairs, and after all, the alternative solution was unpopular because it too was excessively complicated to use.
I'd like it to auto-fill and perhaps even hide options where it can, on the basis that not every member will be leet or want to get to grips with Drupal's books/blocks/nodes jargon. Indeed, I'd rather play down Drupal's involvement, at least to a casual visitor, in case it'll discourage any hacking attempts.
But the design and theming of Drupal is a whole mad mountain I'll only climb when I come to it.
Great dream. (Not the one close to waking, in which I thought a parcel had arrived, but it was actually someone returning my mother's scarf and gloves, which a wayward child had hidden before we left their office. That was dull.)
This is just about how it happened while asleep, so it's not particularly polished or sense-making. It does have a canon-ish feel, though.
The Trials were a huge event, treated with all the fervent interest of a sporting tournament. Vassals of the war nobility swapped notes on the performance of their lords, while those of house nobles also had their favourites and league tables; bets were placed among friends in pubs up and down the country, and so of course there were also bookmakers setting up stall around the capital cities.
The sixteenth Suitov warlord – unranked and untried at the barely-adult age of fifteen, but considered by true connoisseurs as a possible wildcard thanks to distinguished, if atypical, breeding – was hanging around one of these stalls incognito. It amused him to hear the chatter and to see the odds posted for his friends and rivals. Seeing his designated emblem and colours posted up was still an odd sensation. Gold and black, gold and black… how melodramatic. And he hadn't collected his new uniform from the tailor yet.
He'd hung around long enough to attract the attention of the bookie, a large voksin lady of equatorial complexion.1 Opting to play it dumb, Suitov asked her "So these ones with the larger numbers pay you more if they win?"
"Yes, my dear, if they win."
He went back to attempting to memorise the wall of colour, jingling a coin or two in an attempt to allay her impatience.
"Perhaps you should stop messing about, child, an' go ahead and put a bet on yourself, hmm?" suggested the bookie.
Suitov let loose a genuine laugh. "Ah, you've caught me out. Yes, I think I will."
1 She also talked in a rather cute Caribbean accent in my head.
I think he made quite a tidy profit on this deal too.
He may have been treated as an obscure nobody among the nobility, bitchy as they are, but Suitov underestimated how distinctive a young man with strong atavistic Nordic features is going to look among the gambling classes. Especially when said young man is given to wandering around outside the safety of the walled palace gardens, yakking with beggars and ruffians.
It takes the poor evil sod a little while to adjust to being a 'celebrity'. I'm not sure he ever gets used to it.
In which (three short updates) we see a little glimpse of Young Suitov's values. Wait, he has what now?
Suitov was currently standing at the top of the steps, in the early morning light, raking the gravel of the driveway. This was accomplished without touching it physically. When one is fifteen and a new mage, one tends to do things the flashy, inefficient way for the sake of it.
One Dog Night continues. (I really need to find a better name. They've been together for, what, a couple of days now, and the story's continuing for at least another couple.)
N.B. There is an overlap of a sentence at the end of some posts. That's just to do with where I break off writing. Will be fixed in a final edit.
Anke (who's currently tinkering with PmWiki in a quest to get us an integrated system on which to run Profusion 2.0 – yay Anke!) reminded me of this quotation from Suitov:
If I lived in your era, I'd be – in the chess club. Editor of the school magazine. Head of the drama society. Picked second last for cricket and rugger, just ahead of the asthmatic girl in bottle-end glasses. But I live in my own context, and I'm employing what are essentially Phys Ed teachers to shout my troops into order. If you don't find that boggling, you're stronger-minded than I.
Which I'd completely forgotten writing, but it strikes me that yes, of course he would say "rugger" (a very posh-schoolboy way of saying "rugby").
Anyhow, current Pro members, you may be able to test the working version soonish, whenever Anke's ready.
"You look ill, Rige," Lottir understated.
"Really? Where does it show?" asked Lord Suitov of Applestone, who was sweating bucketfuls, trembling slightly, breathing so hard he was almost panting, and apparently undecided about whether or not to throw up.
Just about universally requested by my readers, when I asked what I should post more of, were fiction excerpts. That made me happy, so here you are.
In this one we get to see both more of Suitov as a young man, and more of the drawbacks of those atavistic Nordic genes of his.
It's not particularly hot here at present, but I've had the image of… well, what he does at the end… in my mind for a long time.
An important step in making sure you have a rounded character instead of a Mary Sue, or so I've read, is making sure your little puppet is not omniscient, isn't correct about everything and is sometimes pretty failtastic at telling important information from unimportant.
Recently, in the interest of characterisation and hopefully the occasional plot idea, I've been mentally listing ways in which my characters are wrong about other characters. I don't mean factual things here, but rather those impressions that you form of people for whatever trivial reason and, thanks to confirmation bias, are hard to dislodge.
Some of them are secret for the sake of spoilers (although, for the record, even Suitov thinks Weft is gay), but here are some examples.
Suitov is wrong about:
Malfina: "It's a pity her gameplan for her life could never involve me. I gave up asking her the question; I imagine she was bored of hearing it."
Jaina: "She is emotionally fragile and I have to protect her. She couldn't cope with knowing about everything in which I'm involved; I'm not sure I could rely on her understanding."
Basaltine: "He will come to regret giving up his lifespan to match mine."
Sebastian: "The man is a ridiculous fraud playing a game of his own devising and not caring a whit for those around him. Sounds like a lot of fun, actually."
Himself: "I am not 'evil'. I am not cold-hearted. I feel as deeply as others do. That nickname 'Iceheart' is just a silly reputation on which I capitalise. I do have principles, some of which I will not break for any reason."
(Suitov has quite a balanced personality overall, and is intelligent and well-informed, but that doesn't protect him from sometimes being plain wrong, sucka.)
Weft is wrong about:
Sebastian: "He can do anything! Everything he says is true. In fact, I'm not worthy to hang around with the servant of a goddess. I wouldn't be surprised if he despises me."
Nico: "She has an irrational grudge against my organisation. Either that or our enemies have been telling her lies. She thinks I'm weak and she probably despises me."
Jaina: "She luuuuuurves Suitov so much that she won't listen to anything against him. They could never be happy together. I try to warn her off and she despises me."
Himself: "I'm worthless. Anything I try to do on my own initiative will end disastrously. Everyone I ever love will die horribly and it's my fault. I ruin everything I touch and I deserve to be despised."
(Classic example of an attitude problem saying more about the perpetrator's attitude to himself.)
Basaltine is wrong about:
Sylvie: "She could be my girlfriend. It could so work! We'd be awesome!"
Ferrl: "And she could be my girlfriend too. I'm her type!"
Helmine: "She so wants me!"
(Basaltine has a definite advantage in nosing out lies and motives, but hey, even a doggy character needs silly self-deception. A good-natured and hopelessly optimistic doggy personality provides that in spades.)
With help and prompting from Anke, I've made our IRC channels private so we don't get any more botlike people (or personlike bots) coming in, saying "/me *" and then disappearing.
They didn't really bother me, but hey, if I can spend minimal effort removing a negligible annoyance, why not?
For those who don't know, the Profusion channel is on irc.starchat.net, channel #proelium (for legacy reasons). I also maintain #profusion on the same server. Drop in. It's not members only.
Turns out you can't create multiple accounts on a Drupal site using the same OpenID identity (including if you stay logged in to your OpenID provider while trying to create/log into another account).
This is a Good Thing for Pro 2.0. We'll be enforcing the "one account, many character sub-accounts" model. You won't need separate accounts1, and they won't be allowed.
This isn't how it's done among the old Viners who liked to pretend to be different people, but we're more about openness (no secret admin accounts, for example) and ownership of our own work – which is why our copyright rules are as they are. I try to keep those values in mind when making decisions.
1 This software limitation does mean that I can't easily create a separate superuser account, as would be recommended practice, but I'm used to using messageboard software with the same limitation…
- Wow, science: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8297467.stm I thought every schoolchild knew the Romanovs had haemophilia! Ra ra Rasputin. #
- Damn, Obama, don't you dare peak too early now. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8298580.stm #
- Graze are trying to win me over with pecans and honey cashews. Bam, headshot. #
- UK fruit and nut lovers, try http://www.graze.com – natural food to your desk. Use this code to get a free box: MDNP1VFL – please RT! #
- Wondering "Has this section already been reviewed, or did I just code it incredibly well in the first place?" From clues, I think latter… #
- Cannot stop listening to http://bit.ly/Xgqx6 – which is particularly stupid because I should be heading home. (wakawaka) #
- I've been saying to the cat things like "Well, you've had a good innings". You should see the look of terror on its stupid face. #
New character. Like her?
- #vss Mags sheathed her rapier and mopped her brow. Her groaning opponent staggered off. He'd hoped her offer of a workout was a euphemism… #
- #vss The perfect marriage. They never spoke; Mags led his troops; he entertained her mother. She'd met his lover. He didn't know about hers. #
- #vss Mags was a mediocre Rockaferry player, but did all right provided she could play as White. Or cheat while her opponent bought drinks. #
- #vss Her cackling laugh earned her the sobriquet 'The Magpie Countess'. Mags obliged by dressing in black and white and laughing often. #
Three new shortish updates since last post. I'm going for little and often so I don't lose the momentum.
In this update:
- The perennial disorganisation of genius!
- Find out what Mistake considers important enough to swear on!
- And, lots of lovely murder!
"And don't try telling me she's suddenly discovered her maternal side, 'cause she hasn't got one."
A little background material for Profusion. >:)
(SPOT THE SUITOV!)
We didn't really get into the 'gang war' plot very much; it ended up being a kind of backdrop. Still, it all helped me flesh out Offwhite City and its attitude towards its penal colonies.