Acquired from <lj user=Guipago>

I want you to ask me something you think you should know about me. Something that should be obvious, but you have no idea about.

Ask away. Then post this in your LJ and find out what people don't know about you.

Hee hee, I just thought of a neat add on to the Abunai game!
I call it Ping
Now instead of throwing something and warning the target, you throw something that bounces at the target and then yell ping when it hits (like a submarine.) Wish I'd thought of this when Rube and I were rooming together.

I'm thinking about pulling ut of Nanowrimo this year. With the Pigfucker in office other things seem more important. Also all of the stories I am hyped about continuing are not eligible for Nanowrimo since I've already written sizeable chunks of them. I will keep posting things in the private part of my journal though.

So folks, on Tuesday 50% of the eligible adults voted, and half of them voted for Bush.
Next time you are in a crowd, look at the guy in front of you, look at the lady to your left, look at the guy on the right. Now look at yourself. Are you a pigfucker? If not then the odds are good that the other three are.
I will not be gracious about this thing.
I will not accept.
I will not work with this regime any more than the republicans worked with Bill Clinton.
If they can be obstructionists and cheaters, well, so can I.

We will not step aside for your demolition of the constitution.
We will not step aside for the establishment of a Evangelical Protestant Theocracy.
We will not accept the disenfranchisement of minorities and traditionally liberal voters through litigation or through intimidation.
We will not allow you to gain crontroll over our bodies, minds, and souls.
We will not allow you to fight a war in our name wothout justification, bolstered by lies, and maintained through silence.
We do not accept that this nation has the right to stand alone against the world when the world is advising moderation and restraint.
Mr. Bush you are not a uniter, you weren't a uniter 4 years ago, you, your party, and your puppeteers have gone out of your way to be a divider for the last 4 years and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
I dedicate these comming years to make sure that your type of vileness is not inflicted upon the American people again for as long as I shall live.

So with the country in the hands of madmen and pigfuckers who have already shown a vested interest in repealing the constitution, I'm gonna start using PGP for my emails. this is not a today or tomorrow thing, more of a in the next few weeks sort of thing. I'll let you know when it starts and we can exchange public keys, preferably by snail mail.

So, november one, first day of nanowrimo. Get to pop out 2000 words a day for 25 of the next 30 days. It's what I ought to have been doing for the last 600 days, so I guess his is just a warm-up.

I'm hoping that next time I have money the drug store still has the Hershey's Symphony minis.

Not much else. I'll be posting my progress on this thing in the private lounge hopefully daily.

Have I mentioned before that republicans are scum? Yes? Well, let me reiterate. Republicans are scum.
Click the picture for the story.


It's Walky is over. Wow. I've been reading it (or its predecessor Roomies) since about as long as I've been reading webcomics. Well, another one in the dead pile I guess. (There is going to be a twice weekly series of new roomies comics for the keen spot in syndication thingy though.)

Just thought I'd share.

Best what-ever-the-hell-this-is-Evar

Nerd Porn Auteur
by Ernest Cline

I've noticed that there don't seem to be any porno movies
that are made for guys like me.

All the porn I've come across
was targeted at beer-swilling sports bar dwelling alpha-males
Men who like their women stupid and submissive
Men who can only get it up for monosyllabic cock-hungry nymphos
with gargantuan breasts and a three-word vocabulary

Adult films are populated with these collagen-injected
liposuctioned women
Many of whom have resorted to surgery and self-mutilation
in an attempt to look the way they have been told to look.

These aren't real women. They're objects.
And these movies aren't erotic. They're pathetic.
These vacuum-headed fuck bunnies don't turn me on.
They disgust me.
And it's not that I'm against pornography.
I mean, I'm a guy. And guys need porn.
"Like a preacher needs pain, like a needle needs a vein,"
Guys need porn.

But I don't wanna watch this misogynist he-man woman-hater porn.
I want porno movies that are made with guys like me in mind:
Guys who know that the sexiest thing in the world
is a woman who is smarter than you are.

You can have the whole cheerleading squad,
I want the girl in the tweed skirt and the horn-rimmed glasses:
Betty Finnebowski, the valedictorian.
Oh yes.
First I want to copy her Trig homework,
and then I want to make mad, passionate love to her
for hours and hours
until she reluctantly asks if we can stop
because she doesn't want to miss Battlestar Galactica.
Suma cum laude, baby!
That is what I call erotic.

But do you ever see that kind of a woman in a contemporary adult film?
Which is why I'm going to start writing and directing Geek Porno.
I shall be the quintessential Nerd Porn Auteur.
And the women in my porno movies will be the kind
that drive nerds like me mad with desire.

I'm talking about the girls that used to fuck up the grading curve.
The girls in the Latin Club and the National Honor Society.
Chicks with weird clothes, braces, four eyes, and 4.0 GPAs.
Brainy articulate bookworms, with MENSA cards in their purses
and chips on their shoulders.

My porn starlets will come in all shapes and sizes.
My porn starlets will be too busy working on their PhD to go to the gym.

In my kind of porno movies the girls wouldn't even have to get naked.
They'd just take the guys down to the rec room and
beat them repeatedly at chess
and then talk to them for hours about Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle
or the underlying social metaphors in the Aliens movies.

Buy stock in some hand cream companies
because there is about to be a major shortage.

And I'm not just talking about straight porn. Oh no.
There should be fuck films for my nerd brethren
of all sexual orientations.
Gay nerd porn flicks with titles like "Dungeons and Drag-queens."

This idea is a fucking gold mine.
I am gonna make millions,
because this country is full of database programmers
and electronics engineers
and they aren't getting the loving they so desperately need.
And you can help . . .

If you're an intelligent woman is interested in breaking into the adult film industry,
and if you can tell me the name of Luke Skywalker's home planet,
then you are hired.

It doesn't matter if you think you're overweight or unattractive.
It doesn't matter if you don't think you're beautiful.
You are beautiful. . .
And I will make you a star.

Alana looked into the pool and examined her reflection. An attractive young woman with a well-developed figure, perhaps just out of her teens, looked back at her. She looked at her soft face framed by long, auburn hair. She was young and vibrant, only a careworn look deep within her gray eyes evidencing the responsibilities and troubles she bore. She shook her head and a smile flashed across her face. She saw great things coming for the people of Virdis Sede, assuming that they could overcome the troubling times she saw ahead of them.

A dark shadow fell across the pool, bringing her reverie to an end. She looked up at the intruder, a formless body of darkness, a tangible wave of evil. Her eyes flashed with anger for a brief moment. She took a deep breath and calmed herself. "So Territh, you have become bold. You come into Vita Hortus unbidden and unannounced. I suppose that this means that you are unwilling to reconsider. Do you realize that others stand with me? We will not allow you to destroy Virdis Sede, and if you continue to attempt to usurp our power there, we will destroy you, and the balance be damned."
A deep and terrible voice arose from within the darkness, "You always were a stupid bitch. You know you can't stop me. If you had the power, you would have destroyed me long ago. This conversation is proof of your powerlessness. I knew better the moment I entered your domain and you didn't resist me. You are pitiful. I offer you one last chance to join me. Otherwise you will die beside the other fool gods of Virdis. Will you force me to destroy you too, mother?"
Her eyes again flashed for a moment. She hissed, "you lost any right to call me 'mother' when you abandoned the paths of light. The darkness has swallowed you as it can swallow only a god. I will never join you; I will not become a traitor to all that I hold dear. You care naught for the living, nor do you care for anything good in world. You are wrong on one account, though. I do have the power to destroy you. I refrain from using it only because of the consequences to the people of Virdis Sede. Now be gone before I forget why I have held my wrath for this long." With this, the garden fell silent, and Alana was surrounded in a swirling veil of power. Raw power crackled and flashed across her white skin and upon her crimson robe.
The darkness coalesced into a humanoid form, reminiscent of her son of old. "Mother, when we next meet, I shall rip out your heart and devour your soul. Gather then your forces and hope that they survive the next few years. I do not like the way that things have been going recently, and I plan to change that. Old debits are going to be repaid, and I fear that you will not survive the reckoning. Stop me if you can. I will await you at Arx Pravis." Territh waved his hand and a rift of darkness appeared in front of him. Through it could be seen a landscape more alien and horrible than any madman's nightmare. "Be warned, I will not stop until all of Virdis Sede is mine, and you, mother, will not be spared." He stepped into the void without looking back.
Alana shook her head sadly as the rift closed. So this was to be it then. The mistakes of the past were finally catching up with her. She shook her head sadly. A war of the gods meant that many innocents were going to suffer and die. As the goddess of healing and birth, she would be greatly affected by the suffering to come. She closed her eyes as a single teardrop rolled down her cheek. Suddenly she spoke, "Ah, my dear friend, you know that you play a dangerous game. If you were any other, I would take offense in your presence. You must know that here, in Vita Hortus, even you cannot hide from me. Come out. So, you heard what Territh had to say? Where do you stand? Will you work against the evil that he plans to unleash upon the world, or will you ignore it and thus be a part of it?"
A small sparrow flew around Alana for a moment, until she extended her hand. The bird landed on her hand and bowed to her. It took off again and landed next to her. A moment later, there was a raven-haired woman sitting at her side. Her eyes were green, her face small with a dark complexion. She looked at Alana for a moment, seemed to consider something for a moment, shook her head sadly, and kissed Alana on the cheek. She said in a deep, melodious voice, "So now I am 'my dear friend?' There was a time when we were much more than that. You know where I must stand in the conflict to come. We spoke about this when you first saw the signs of this conflict. I cannot take a side in this battle unless attacked directly. While you may dislike your son-"
Alana growled, "He is no longer my son. He ceased being my son the day he turned from the light."
"While you may dislike Territh, you must admit that he is not insane, just evil. He will not attack my followers, nor will he do anything to disrupt the power of magic. He will not do anything to cause his followers to be denied the use of magic. Will you be attacking me? Would you be willing to forgo the power of magic? If not, then don't ask me to deny it to him. I cannot do that, even for you. You know the rules as well as I do. I can no more take a hand in this conflict than you can turn your back on it." She placed her hand on Alana's knee, and gazed at her. "You are still beautiful. Come, let us forget about all of this for an hour or two."
Alana grabbed the goddess's hand and removed it from her knee. With a sadness that had the weight of the eons behind it, she shook her head. "Rebecca, though I will always love you, we can never go back to how things used to be. I cannot, at least. Why don't you go back to Ragnor or Duek?"
A look of hurt showed on Rebecca's face, "My dear, yes, it is true that I have enjoyed the company of both of them from time to time, but it is you I want now. Any way, Ragnor is such a beast, and Duek is so boring. Anyway, why not forget about your son for now. I would not see you harmed in this fight. Can’t you pull back? I have seen… "
"No. Not now Rebecca. I cannot afford to forget about Territh. I don’t want to know what you have seen, and I will stop my son, even if it destroys both of us. Who do you suppose will side with him? Vilch and Jafak, of course, but do you think that Xennoia will? How about Ragnar, which way will he go? There are too many variables. You cannot side with me? There are dark days ahead for both god and mortal." Alana reached out and touched Rebecca's cheek softly. "You should leave. If you will not help me, then you are only in the way." Alana stood up and turned her back on Rebecca. Thus she failed to see the tears on the goddess of magic’s face as she left.

* * *

Samuel caught the ball, and tossed it to a child with dusky brown hair and a freckled nose. The little boy was surprised, both that the older kid had thrown the ball to him, and that he had caught it at all. He watched for a moment as the other team’s members all started to head for him, and then took off for the goal. His own team was following, trying to keep in positions to aid Jefferie in scoring. None of them would have given the ball to him, but who were they to argue with the strange tall, older kid who was visiting the orphanage. Everyone there had liked Samuel since he had shown up and offered to help Sister Francis with the kids for a few days. He had exciting tales of cities all over the Lenthasian continent, and knew how to play, unlike most of the other adults that they had meant. It helped that he had grown up in an orphanage run by the Sisters of Alana, and seemed to know all of their problems.
This game of ball had been his idea, and he had asked if he could have first pick for teams. He had surprised everyone by using his first five picks to choose younger players, all of who were usually among the last kids picked for any game. Then he had picked Kelly, a tomboy in her early teens, and Wayne, the kid who was studying magic. His last pick had been Grug, the half-orc who was always getting into fights. The other team had been a little worried, because they assumed that he must be incredibly good at the game to play with such a weak team, but then he had not done anything on the field, except the occasional interception, pass the ball along to the kids, and shout encouragement to his team. He had called timeout early on and had talked with his team, and from that time on, they had kept within two points of the other team. The smaller kids would often dart in and out among the other team, confusing them, and occasionally even holding the ball. Kelly was playing as well as she usually did, but she did not have too put up with the teasing she usually got from her own teammates, and Grug was playing almost purely defense. It seemed that whenever they were about to get the ball from one of the smaller kids, Grug was suddenly there, looking down at whoever was about to try to take the ball, and grinning his half-fanged grin. Wayne had scored two times himself, and was flushed with excitement.
Samuel smiled at Jefferie’s pell-mell run down the field. He was pretty sure that he could win this game with his team, and even if they didn’t win, they would be proud of their accomplishment. Sister Francis had spoken with him about the way that Grug, Kelly, and Wayne had been treated by many of the children at the orphanage, each one an outsider in a group of outsiders, though only the older and bigger children made fun of Grug. Samuel took it upon himself to make those three feel special about themselves, and decided that a game of (name)ball would do the trick.
The game was going well, and Samuel, who at five feet three inches tall, knew all about the advantages of being short, was able to capitalize on those advantages in his direction of the younger team members. They were playing to thirty points at a point a goal, and his team was down three points at 23. If he could get Grug and Kelly to score a few more times each, the game would be in the bag. Suddenly there was a loud cheer from the far end of the field. Samuel looked down the field, and saw that Jefferie had scored. As soon as the team had calmed down a little, he called another time out. “Jeff, Hank, Kelly, Wes, Grug, Nick, Wayne, Peter, come here. I want to talk to you for a moment.” In a few minutes, the whole team had circled around him. “Good game guys,” he started, and looking at Kelly’s face he added, “and girl. I know we have played hard, and some of you have to be as tired as I am. I just want to discuss a little bit of strategy. We need six goals to win this game, though to keep the score as close as it has been is a victory in itself. ” With this there was a general murmur of agreement. ‘Actually, I would like to see us score just five more times,’ he thought to himself, ‘No one would say we had done poorly, and the other team wouldn’t have to deal with the shame of having been beaten by a bunch of little kids.’ Here is the plan. Grug, Kelly, I am counting on you two to get most of the rest of our goals. I don’t want any of the rest of you risking getting hurt, and I’d like all of you younger kids to try to keep the other team confused. Three of you guard one of their players, preferably one that isn’t in any particular danger of scoring. By the way, grate goal Jefferie.” The little kid beamed up at him. “Wayne, could I ask a favor of you?”
“Yeah, sure coach,” the skinny youngster said, his face lighting up.
“Okay, come over here, the rest of you get back in position.” After the team left, he said, “Wayne, we can beat them. They are still off balance, and surprised that we are doing so well. I would like, though not too actually win.” Wayne’s face registered a moment of confusion. “Wayne, think about it for a moment. Not counting you, Kelly, Grunk, and myself, the average age of this team is just about ten. On the other side, everyone is at least your age, and the leader is almost sixteen. If we lose, you guys still get the status of having played such a good game, but if we win, the players on the other team will never live it down.”
“Okay coach, I think I see what you mean.”
“That said, I want you to score our last point. When they reach twenty nine points, I want you to keep just a little bit to the rear and left of me.” I’ll run the ball down the field, and hand it off to you when there is only about twenty feet to go.”
“`k coach. I can do that. Thank you by the way.”
“No problem, and don’t mention this to the younger kids… they wouldn’t understand.”
“Not a problem, I understand. I think that if I tell Grug, I will wait until you are not present.”
Wayne walked back to his position, and Samuel called time in. The team scored three goals before their opponents gained another one. Then in quick succession their team scored, and the other team scored. Then he “accidentally” missed a pass to Grug, which allowed the other team to gain another point. He apologized to his team, and offered to try to run the next point in. They agreed enthusiastically, and he was off. He kept an eye on Wayne, making sure not to keep too far ahead of the boy, while calling on all of the evasion skills he had developed as a thief in Silver City. He managed to avoid most of the kids trying to stop him, until he ran into a pair of older kids almost exactly ten feet from the goal. With out even slowing, he threw himself to the left, and tossed the ball to Wayne. The two kids trying to stop him were too intent on trying to stop him to notice that he no longer had the ball in his hands. They went down in a pile as Wayne ran pas them to get the point. The last point of the game was won fairly by the other team, who had finally come to terms with the size of their opponents.
After the game, Samuel bought the kids back across town, and then excused himself. Kelly, Wayne, and Grug all asked if they could come with them, but he insisted that they stay behind. He insisted that he would only be gone for a few hours, and Sister Francis agreed that they really shouldn’t be wandering around Imaslan.
Samuel had several reasons to go alone. He was trying to learn the streets and alleyways of the city, so that he could escape pursuit if needed. He was also looking for a few targets for his larcenous skills. He was looking for wealthy merchants, preferably those who had more money than
style, and who obviously cheated those they dealt with. He was also hoping to bring a little something back to the children.
Earlier that day, he had asked Sister Francis how many children were living at the orphanage. There were nearly fifty children there, and he was hard pressed to come up with something that he could afford that he could get for all of them. He finally decided on elven candies. He spent the better part of an hour looking for a shop that sold them, and finally found one near the docks. The proprietor was an elf, and she had candies from around the world. She had a wide selection of little candies selling for a Copper Knight each. He pulled seven Platinum Royals out of his purse, and asked if he could a thousand of the cheap candies separated into fifty bags of twenty, and one of the spun sugar sculptures that sold for a Golden Crown each per bag. The elf behind the counter wrote down his order, and then told him that five Royals would pay for everything he had requested. He said that he knew, but that the last one was to split between a tip and the fee to have the whole thing delivered to Samuel, care of Sister Francis at the Great Mother’s orphanage. The woman smiled at him, and said, “No youngster, you keep that last coin, and take five Crowns back. I give a special discount to the children from the house of Alana. You are going to make a lot of children very happy tonight, though I dare say that this Samuel, and Sister Francis are going to want to kill you. May I ask your name, so I can say who it is from?”
“Well, actually, I’d rather not have my name on this particular package, but if you must know, I am Samuel.”
The elf smiled at him and said, “I’ll have it there by sundown.”
Samuel winded his way through back streets, testing his knowledge of how the town was laid out. After much twisting and turning, he reached the orphanage. He was just in time to see a porter leave the gates. He increased his pace, and walked through the gates of the orphanage. He said hello to a group of children playing some game on the front steps, and went into the building. When he saw Sister Francis, he smiled and bowed, “Sister, I was wondering, did a package for me happen to arrive while I was out?”
The motherly priestess laughed, “Yes, in fact, several large boxes just arrived for you. Might I enquire what it is that you are having delivered to my orphanage?”
“Well, you see, it is sort of a surprise, you know, for the children. Just a little something I thought they might enjoy, a sort of farewell gift.”
“Wait a moment, you are leaving us so soon? The children are going to miss you. It is hard for them to relate to me, and I am thrilled to have someone closer to their own age here to help them. Sometimes there are just things they don’t feel comfortable talking the staff and me about, and you are so good with the kids. I was hoping to offer you a position on staff. I know the pay isn’t wonderful, but it is a good job, and the children really do love having you around.”
Samuel sighed, “I know, but I am not quite ready to settle down yet. There are too many paths for me to take before I can stop. Perhaps in five years I will be ready to repay what the Great Mother’s Orphanages have done for me, but today I feel I need to see more of Verdis Sede.”
“I thought the wanderlust was strong upon you. Please take care of yourself. I would like for the children to be able to see you again someday. Where will you go next?”
“I am not entirely sure yet. I have spent my life in the Silver Barony. Perhaps I will go see other lands. Someday, I would like to see the western lands, to sail on the Sea of Xiath, to see the elven court, to experience the marvels of underground Sede Isnis, to watch the sun set on the vast peaks of the
He handed them out to all of the children of the orphanage, making an effort to try to remember each child’s name. That evening, there was a light rap at his door.

"Catch him! Don't let that little bastard get away!" At these words, Samuel knew that it was time to run. Apparently the merchant was more observant than he'd thought. He took off at a sprint down the road, muttering, "Jafak protect me." under his breath. A dozen or so blocks later, he glanced around to see if he was being followed. He slowed to a stop, confident that in his headlong rush down the busy street, he had lost any pursuit that might have existed. He quietly slipped into a dark, narrow alley, eliciting a few odd looks, but nothing compared to what his mad dash down the boulevard had.
As he winded his way through the back ways and alleys of Imaslan, he pulled out the purse he had lifted from the wealthy merchant's belt. It was filled with Silver Xanders and a handful of Golden Crowns. It would be possible for him to live well off of this take for months, if he weren't going to use it to help the temple of Alana's local orphanage. Samuel felt it his right and duty to take the money from the pockets of fat slobs like the merchant he had just robbed and place it back into the hands of the poor people who they took it from. After all, it was due to the rigid merchant's guild in town that his father had died a poor, sad man and that he had been a burden upon the resources of the Great Mother's house.
There was a snap somewhere behind him, but he discounted it as the noise of a scurrying rat or a stray cat. A few moments later as something hard and heavy fastened itself on his right shoulder, he decided that perhaps that had not been the wisest of decisions. He tried simultaneously to shake off the object and to run, which should have worked. In any sane situation, it would have worked. A quick glance at his shoulder told him that this situation was not sane. On his shoulder was a hand. The hand was huge, easily large enough to palm his head. The hand was attached to an equally huge arm, which he could only assume was attached to a person of gigantic magnitude.
While he was observing these facts, his body was also trying to run. In this, it was rather spectacularly unsuccessful. While it is true that his legs and body were willing and able, he had not dislodged the hand from his shoulder, and his shoulder was an integral part of his body. As things stood, his body and legs attempted to move forward, but merely ended up pivoting around a point somewhere behind his right collarbone. It was at this instant that the owner of the hand decided that perhaps it would best to keep his feet off of the ground, so the hand tightened its grip ever so slightly, and the arm it was attached to raised itself a good foot straight upward. The result was that Samuel looked rather like a rag doll being swung about by a large child.
Samuel's captor, still holding him in the air, turned Samuel to face him. Samuel looked him up and down and noticed several things, which together caused him to lose control of his bladder muscles. The person holding him was at least seven feet tall, a good 400 pounds of muscle. His large face held only one eye and a scar where the other should have been. His hair was a light blonde, and his eyes a dull brown. With a vague sense of unreality he noticed an interesting point about the man's arm. At its widest, it was thicker than Samuel's leg. He considered kicking the large man in the groin, but decided that this might end up causing him to become broken.
He was about to speak when the large man said, "Deryl, is this the little man you wanted?"
From out of the shadows, a short, lean man with a long, rat-like face spoke, "Yes, I think he is." Deryl stepped out of the shadows, revealing sharp blue eyes. He cracked his knuckles and grinned. He looked Samuel over for a moment, his eyes all a twinkle, malice written on his face. "I don't believe that I have met you before. Are you a member of Spyder's Web?"
Samuel thought it over quickly, trying to decide what the correct answer would be. He had just come to town and was rather ignorant of the local underworld’s power structure. He assumed that Spyder's Web was a local thief’s guild, but he was not sure if these two belonged to it or to a competitor. He figured it would be best to be agreeable. If they belonged to Spyder's Web, they might leave him alone if he claimed the same, and if not, perhaps he would be able to "sell out" his supposed allies. "Yes, I am a member of Spyder's Web."
Deryl looked at him apprehensively, and then said, "Hold him against the wall, I need to check." The large man swung Samuel against the wall so hard that his vision began to swim. Deryl pulled out a wicked looking knife and grabbed his arm. He slit the sleeve all the way up his arm, and examined Samuel's arm intently. At this, Samuel realized that perhaps he had chosen the wrong answer. "So, not only are you working with out the permission of the Web, but you are misrepresenting yourself as a member. We can't allow that. Hold him tight for a minute." At this, the large man shoved Samuel against the wall one more time, hard enough so his vision went blurry. He was unable to think straight, and the world refused to stop spinning. He tried to shake it off, but his eyes wouldn't focus. This had been a fine introduction to Imaslan.
Deryl began to spin the knife between his fingertips, and advanced with an evil grin on his face.

* * *

Sir Aerick Barnabus, knight of the Silver Rose and trusted lieutenant of Baron Xander Fabian was in the last place that the good Baron would have expected him to be. It had been many years since a knight of the Silver Rose had been in a temple dedicated to Territh, at least willingly or peaceably. Usually, in fact, the members of the Order of the Silver Rose were expected to destroy such places upon finding them. By all rights, Sir Barnabus should have been searching for the altar, slaying everyone who was walking about the temple free. It should have been a glorious day for the Knights, one of their most respected members earning his fame in victory or death. Instead, it was one of the Order’s darkest days, though as yet, only one member knew it.
Sir Barnabus was an older man, his long, gray hair belying his physical strength. He had not worn the heavy plate of his order in five years, though he could in an emergency. The leather armor he wore was designed to make him appear shrunken, though if the truth be told, he was in almost as good shape as he was a decade ago, when he was still regularly taking to the field. He had seen sixty-five winters under the sun of Virdis Sede and they had not made him a soft man. His life was marked by a series of grave disappointments, ones that had left him bitter. From his early days as a squire when he was courting the favor the lady Kristie Adronack but lost her to Xander's father, to recently at the council, where none of the council members cared about proper protocol, and where the Baron was implementing new policies that were eating away at the power of the nobility, he felt that he was the only one who could see the problems. Sir Barnabus had always been ambitious, assured of his place in history, and unwilling to allow anyone to take that from him. He now saw all that he still cherished fading, that young whelp of a baron trading the future of the realm for the dreams of some stupid populist movement. All told he was bitter and disappointed, just the sort of man that Territh, the god of betrayal, delighted in most.
He was sitting at a small table with the wiry high priest of Territh discussing his plan to overthrow the baron and destroy this growing populist movement. He had outlined his plans to overturn the barony and declare himself king. Enias quietly listened to Barnabus's plans and plots, occasionally suggesting he try contacting this orc tribe or those brigands. Into the late hours of the night they discussed the particulars of a coup d'etat. Finally Enias spoke, "This is all fine and well planned, but where do I fit in? Territh does not offer his aid without gaining a benefit. You would never have come here unless you wanted something more than tactical advice from me. What do you want the church of Territh to do for you?"
"I merely want your support in the overthrow of the baron. I want my armies to ride under the blessings of Territh. Who better to turn to in the overthrow of a Liege lord than the god of Betrayal?"
"I will think on this. Return to your little villa, and my messenger will find you when I have decided." Enias stood up and snapped his fingers, at which two black figures stepped out of dark niches in the wall. "Please escort Barnabus to his horse." Enias walked out of the room through an ornate wooden door in the eastern wall of the meeting room.
The two figures flowed forward with a grace that was not human. All that could be seen of them was their skeletal hands. They stood behind Sir Barananus and patiently waited for him to stand up. When he did, one stepped in front of him and beckoned him forward. They silently walked with him through the underground halls of the temple of Territh, until they came to a large, smoky room full of chanting figures. At this room, one of the figures stopped for a moment to bind a heavy black piece of cloth around Banabus's eyes, an action that he did not protest, even though the thing's hands were as cold as death. He knew that to follow the path ahead of him with his eyes wide open was to vomit if not to lose his sanity or his life.
The front creature grasped his hand, eliciting a gasp of surprise mingled with pain. Barnabus clenched his teeth, determined not to cry out, or even worse, faint. He immediately felt an insistent tug on his now bitterly cold hand, and began to walk. Eventually, he was guided into the seat of a windowless carriage, and the doors were bared from the outside. His companions were gone by the time he managed to make his hand work well enough to remove the blindfold. He spent the rest of the trip to the small inn outside of his estate rubbing his hands together, trying to recover the feeling in his right hand.
The coach pulled to a stop, and the doors unlocked. Sir Barnabus let himself out of the coach. The moment his boots touched the ground, the coach dissolved into a swirling, gray mist. He looked around for a moment, and then walked up to the inn. The Five-eyed Fish was a small wayfarer's stop along a minor trade route through the barony. Its primary benefit to him was, other than the occasional serving girl that he brought up to his estate, in its proximity to said estate. He decided that it would be a good idea to stop in for a mug of ale to chase away the lingering chill of the temple of Territh, and after all, there was a new serving girl that he had yet to bed. She had large brown doe eyes, long blond hair, and a figure to kill for. She had perhaps a little bit too much spunk for her own good, but he would enjoy breaking her, and in the end, she would be his as often and in as many ways as he wished. He would have to show her the benefits of submitting to a lord of the realm. She might just provide him with a few hours of diversion.

* * *

Garash felt an excitement that he hadn’t felt in years. Last night the old shaman Haduka announced that it was the god’s will that their tribe begin marauding again. The signs were all there. The star that fell three nights ago, the defeat of a band of invading humans, a surplus in stolen livestock, and the lights that rippled across the sky. It was time for the Broken Horn Orcs to come out again. This time they had the blessing of the nameless god. It would be a glorious slaughter, with much plunder and perhaps even some human slaves at the other end.
He offered a silent prayer of thanks to the god for bringing him this final chance for combat and glory. He was not a young orc, having seen almost 45 winters, and he would soon be unable to go out with the tribe’s raiding parties. If all went well, then he wouldn’t have to be reliant on his worthless brood for their scraps in his old age. He might even become chieftain.
A mocking voice came to him from out of the darkness of the tribe caverns, “What are you thinking about old man? Personal glory? Ha! You won’t be allowed in the war bands, you sad old fool.” A young orc stepped into the light of his cooking fire, a malicious smile on his face. Garnash groaned inwardly. It was Adasen, the eldest son of Chief Kekule, an ambitious young orc who had hated him since Garnash had been his teacher in personal combat. Now, at the age of seventeen winters, Adasen was at his prime, and as cocky as hell. He had no respect for his elders, and only pretended to pay homage to Kekule when his father was near. Garnash remained sitting, his arms casually slipping behind his back.
The younger orc looked at him, and decided that this refusal to rise to his none-too-subtle challenge was yet another sign of the old fool’s weakness. He continued to needle Garnash, hoping to get a rise from him. He almost chocked when Garnash suddenly arose and was holding a particularly nasty elvish knife just above his left kidney. Garnash hissed, “do not think that just because you are the son of my chief, I will refrain from killing you. Though I am not as quick as I once was, my days in the gladiator pits beside your father have not yet entirely left me. Do not push me too far young one, or I will wear your ears upon my belt.” With that, the reached down and touched his belt, drawing Adasen’s eyes to a collection of ears second to none with in the Broken Horn tribe.
“Remember well little fool, that neither I nor your father taught you everything that we know. If you are as stupid as you seem, you will end up dead before the fight against the humans begins.” As he finished speaking, he suddenly snaked his foot behind Adasen’s leg, and gave him a shove backwards. The young orc started to tumble to the ground, but in an amazing display of agility managed to turn his fall into a handspring that brought him back into a ready position for combat. As if by magic, he had a short sword in his hand.
“Old man, you are not the only one with a few tricks up his sleeve. I have learned many things since you were my teacher, several of which I am quite eager to show you. Who knows, perhaps I will cut you a new smile.”
“You are a cocky little shit, aren’t you? Even so, you are not worth my time.” Garnash turned his back on Adasen, and began to walk off. At a sudden sound behind him, he dropped to the floor, just before a nasty-looking throwing knife passed through the space that his spine had previously inhabited. He chuckled, “Impetuous little pup. So you want to finish this? Let it be gone. I invoke the right of Blood Trial. I will meet you in the common chambers this evening at the rise of the moon, and before it sets, I shall present your earless head to your mother. Now go and enjoy your last few hours of life.”
Adasen blanched momentarily, but then a grin spread across his face, his lips pulling apart to expose his tusks. “I look forward to this night old man. Your sons will die by my hand, and your women and your daughters shall become mine to do with as I please. I suppose though that I should not dirty myself with the sluts that you call wives. Instead, they shall become the common whores of the tribe, used by those too lowly to have their own women. You have doomed not only yourself, but your family.” With this Adasen walked off.
Garnash growled to him self for a moment. How much did he owe his ‘family?’ All but a few of them were truly worthless to him. The first women he had ever claimed as his, and the only one he had ever loved was long dead by human hands, his only child by her, Cera, had left the tribe at the age of twelve. The rest of his offspring cared not weather he came or went, though he mused that Cera might not hold him in any particular regard either

* * *

The sun had settled down behind the western mountains, plunging Riellian Valley into darkness. The shining spires of Ethanus castle went dark with the loss of the last rays of the sun’s darkness. Several hundred pinpricks of light sprang into life across the valley’s floor as its inhabitants lit their watch fires. Suddenly, as the darkness deepened, there was a flare of light in the center of the valley, not the warm orange glow of a fire, but the harsh blue and silver of magicraft. Ethanus, the Citadel of the Platinum Wyrm, sprung back to life as ancient dwomers took effect.
Local legend had it that the first of the Ethanus family, Stephen Ethanus, had hired a great mage, just which one changing with the teller, to enchant his fortress so that it would shed a holy light across the valley to protect the people over whom he had assumed leadership. His had been an era of peace and prosperity for the people of Riellian Valley. But tonight not all was well within the castle...
In a small formal meeting room just past the front doors of the main keep, a tense meeting between a diplomat of the Ethanus dynasty and a party from Jedik had been going on since the early hours of the morning. The Jedarian party was being rather less civil than was seemly for a party of diplomats trying to negotiate a continued peace treaty. Their rudeness could have been attributed to arrogance. After all. Their country’s military was several times the size of the Platinum Guard. It also was a calculated thing. Sir Barnabus had ordered them to give him a reason to send troops into Ethanus, his southern neighbor.
A short, nasty looking man had just finished presenting a rather lengthy and insulting set of demands on the behalf of Jedik. “So, what is it to be, mister Formasien? Is your country willing to admit the errors of its ways so that there might be a lasting peace between us, or will the women of Ethanus spurn our request? We ask only for what is rightfully ours. I believe that ceding your Thalen Marches would be an important first step in demonstrating your good will and desire to advert further conflict.”
Ceril Formasien was a man in his sixties with steel gray hair and dark brown eyes. He had been a sellsword and mercenary in his youth, and to this day, he kept in fighting trim. Whenever he was in the castle, he was up with the dawn, drilling the militia. He was in excellent shape, and if he had begun to slow down due to age, still there weren’t many men who were his match with a sword.
While he had been a rash youth, quick to take insult, years of service with the former Baron Ethanus had helped to temper his personality. While the Jedarian diplomat’s words would have once been cause enough for him to kill the man where he stood, they had no effect upon him, except perhaps to put a hint of a sparkle in his eyes. He smiled briefly, and shaking his head, said, “Ah… you still completely lack the gift of diplomacy Dullsword.”
“That’s Brightsword, and you know it Formasien,” snapped the shorter man.
“Oh, you know I have a hard time keeping track of all of the inconsequential family titles that your master sold. Now where was I? You can quit preening and stuttering, Smallspear. Oh, yes. I really don’t think that my Lady Ethanus would even consider ceding any of the lands that her family has protected over the years, especially to Barnabus.”
Brightsword puffed up in anger, “That’s Sir Barnabus.”
“As I said, milady won’t cede an inch of ground to you. Now, If Lord Fabien were to approach us with a reasonable offer, I am sure we could come to terms, but you and I both know that your master doesn’t want his lord to have anything to do with this. You have been trying to provoke a war ever since Lord Ethanus passed away. I suppose you thought that milady wouldn’t be up to the task of defending her country. Well, until you can speak for Lord Fabian, I believe that this discussion is over.” With this, Ceril began to stand up.
“I have never been so insulted in my life. You pompous fool, do you realize what it is that you are doing? Do you wish for war between our two nations? I am sure that Lord Barnabus will agree that this insult cannot go unavenged. I believe that you might have just plunged us into war.” With this the diplomatic party gathered their belongings and swirled out of the meeting hall.
When the door closed, Ceril sank back into his chair. He sighed, and the spoke to the air, “Is that what you wanted Alison? It is now only a matter of time before we are at war with the dragon. Also, our poor diplomacy shall be the talk of the imperial courts.” The wall off to his left shimmered for a moment and his employer stepped forward.
Alison Ethanus was relatively unremarkable upon first glance. Perhaps a little short for a human, her figure wasn’t spectacular, her hair was long and dusty brown, her complexion sun darkened, her face was smooth, her chin slightly angular, a legacy of her father, and her nose was crooked because of an incident while she was wandering the land at seventeen. While not particularly beautiful, she was loved by those who worked for her, and was popular among the pesants of the valley.
Though she had not inherited much of the Ethanus family’s famed looks, she had a full share of their intelligence and bravery, the qualities that had allowed her family to forge and defend their kingdom on the edge of a hostile nation. She had grown up in Riellian Valley and had worked alongside the people who she now ruled. Her childhood had been spent gathering a working knowledge of her people’s lives, and she knew many of them by name. By the time she was fifteen, the farmers and peasants of Riellian Valley considered her their princess even though her father claimed only the title of baron, and as importantly, thought of themselves as her people. This was one of the things that had allowed her to keep her little barony together, even though the orcs to the west had invaded almost immediately upon her father’s death.
She walked over to her old sword master and said, “By Rebecca’s spheres, I hope that I asked you to do the right thing. Many of my people are going to die in the next few months, but I cannot see any other course of action. Aerick must be stopped.” She closed her eyes for a moment and continued, “What the goddess told me only confirmed what I had already suspected. If Virdis Sede is to survive the times to come, than the conflict must start in a particular manner. The darkness is as strong as it has ever been, and those who would stand against it are all too few. I want every man, woman, and child in the valley to be in this castle or out of the country by the end of the week. If all goes well, we can yet save something of our people.”
“With your command, it is done.”
Alison’s eyes flashed in anger for a moment, “Please! I need some one who will treat me as a person, not some mystical figure or royalty. Even the people I used to get in trouble with as a child have become distanced. It is not like taking on this mantle of rulership has made me a different person.”
Ceril smiled. “Now, now, Allie, don’t get your feathers up, you know I was just kidding. Gods, the trouble you used to get into. I sometimes wonder how you have managed to survive for the last twenty-five winters. As for your people, your plan seems good to me, and though I know you hate having to place the Platinum Guard in peril, each and every one of us will gladly lay down our lives. Remember, we do it not just for you, but for our people, for the country. That is what soldiers do.”
“You don’t think that you are going to be part of the defensive?” Alison asked incredulously.
“Of course I am. You need your best to have any hope of pulling this off, and I am your best. I risk only my life in the defense of these people. You risk your soul.”
Alison looked down at him in alarm, and pursed her lips. “Old friend, I would rather have you at my side during the ritual. There are dangers in some of the castings that are best met by a warrior. I do understand though that you wish to lead your men into battle. At least, get your son out of the valley. Where is the little hellion?”
“I think that he is watching over your little Samantha. Last I remember, that little ball of deviltry had convinced you to let her go out and see the land first hand. At least you let me to have Alex keep an eye on her. It is probably keeping him from getting in trouble, like a certain seventeen year old I happen to remember was not too long ago.”
“He’s seventeen already? “
“It happens fast.”
“Wasn’t he just in diapers?”
“Not too long after you were my ladyship.”
“Well taken”
“Shall I send one of the guardsmen out after them?”
“No, not yet. The delegation will take a day or two to get home. We have probably a week before the fighting begins. Does Alex wish to serve my family as his father has?”
“I don’t see that he is ready to be an arms master yet, and I happen to like the one you have now, thank you very much little Allie.”
“That is not quite what I meant.” I will not push him to become a retainer of my family. I was just wondering if he had expressed any desire to do so. It just so happens that I have a new position I’d like to try out, and your son fits it to a tee.”
At this Ceril closed his eyes for a moment. “I am not sure, he has the wonderlust I had when I was his age. I am not sure he would be willing just yet to commit to serve the kingdom. Ask him though. You and I both know that he is a little too familiar with you, and will not take your question as a command. By the way Allie, what position did you have in mind for my son?”
“Well, you see, I would like Sam to go see more of the world, to go and see it not as a princess of the Platinum Wyrm, but as a traveler. Alex seems to be able to take care of himself, and is more than capable of keeping Sam in check when she gets out of hand. I am going to send her away incognito, no matter what, but I would feel better if Alex would go with her as a body guard”
Ceril sat silently for a moment, trying to integrate what his queen had just told him with his view of the world. He had been trying to think of a way to get Alex to leave the kingdom, all of which had seemed to be doomed to failure. He knew his son, and had been unable to construct any argument that he felt would have a chance to convince his son to leave the kingdom when it was threatened, but this one just might do it. “Milady, I think that I will send out a guardsman to find them after all. This is a matter I’d like to see resolved immediately.”
“Now who is it who is always telling me that I should be patient?” Alison asked innocently. “ We can get them in the morning. Let’s not waste the time of a guardsman though, I have a new toy I wanted to test out, so I gave it to Samantha. I should be able to see her, and give her a message. Get some sleep Ceril, we start early tomorrow.” Alison placed her hand on the diplomat/swordsman’s arm for a moment, and then was gone.
She traced an intricate pattern in the air. A sliver line appeared in front of her. She grasped it, and pulled, opening what seemed to be a window in midair. In it they saw Samantha, a little girl of seven, with her mother’s hair, but with the promise of becoming beautiful in not too many years. Currently she was crouching at the side of a road looking at something. Alison moved her hands and the focus shifted to the spot she was so intently studying. There was a small, winged elfin creature sitting on the side of the road. Suddenly it looked up, seemingly straight at Alison, blinked a few times, and then whispered something to Samantha.
Alison pulled back her hands to enlarge the scene, and once again they could see Samantha. Her face was sparkling with a smile, and she looked up at her mother. “Hello mom, just a second.” She nodded to the sprite, and it cast a spell. “There, now I can see you too. What is it?”
“Dear, you are gathering interesting friends.”
“You mean Eldrich there? You aren’t the only one who sets bodyguards on me. At least this time it is Alex, instead of one of the Lord Captain’s less interesting servants.”
“Harrumph, I want you to tell me about any of the guards who I have assigned to you who has been less than entertaining!” Cecil exclaimed in a gruff tone, with a hint of a smile on his face.
“Why? So you could get them in trouble? Nah, uncle Ceril, I wouldn’t want them to get in trouble just because you made them come and entertain a little girl, namely me,” with this, a bright smile flashed across her face.
“Sam, dear, just where is Alex?” Alison demanded.
“Mom, don’t worry, he’s just over there,” waving over her shoulder. “He is giving me some space while I talk with Eldrich here… Wait, where is Eldrich? You saw him, didn’t you mommy?”
“Yes honey, I saw him, but that is how the fey are, look away, and they’ve disappeared. Would you tell Alex that I’d like to see both of you at the castle as soon as possible?”
Samantha’s face lost its smile at the seriousness in her mother’s voice. “At once mommy, we’ll be there by dinner time.

* * *

The freeship “Dawn’s Trader” sailed into the sunset. Her crew was content, for the trip had been easy. The weather out of Imslan has been excellent, and their cargo would fetch a high price in the western markets. Every member of the crew would receive a share of the profits from this voyage, and they were anticipating landfall. To make things even better, the passengers that the ship had picked up in Imslan had not been any particular trouble, and one, the lady bard with the red hair, was companionable and friendly, and on her first day aboard had taken a turn at scrubbing the deck. That night, she had sung them an old sailing tune that she claimed was from the elvish empires of five millennia ago, and which none of them, at least, had heard before, and then lead them in a few rounds of some of the more bawdry tunes to be heard in the taverns of the waterways of the world.
Nicole “Flametop” Kennison was enjoying her time aboard the ship. Other than a single incident with one of the sailors, the trip had been fun. Brian, his name was, and he had decided that her companionability was an invitation to do as he wished. She had been forced to poke in the nose him rather harder than she liked, and then stomp on his toes to convince him that she wasn’t interested. And after all, she was a good sport about such things. She enjoyed the attention, and was quite capable of taking care of herself. She hadn’t even spoken of the incident with the captain, and had helped Brian to cover up his limp so that there wouldn’t be any questions asked. She had even volunteered to do his deckside duties that afternoon, though he didn’t take her up on it. He had designated himself as her protector on the ship, though she was afraid that she might end up having to save his ass a time or two because of it.
She was pleased with the crew’s reaction to her rendition of Lliodlan fe Darnith, a truly ancient song. In her travels, she had yet to meet an elf who could remember it. She had learned it from one of the immortal members of the fairy court, a sea sprite named Lilly that she had rescued from a lacedon. As for the other songs that she had sung, well her master had always said, “Nicole, m’girl, you should always know your audience. Know them before you ever see them, and let them hear the songs that they have heard all their lives. Do your research right, and they will love your music even if you smelled like a harpy and sang like a goose.” Though he had been dead for almost two years, she could still call up his voice, his face, and his advice when she needed it, and it always served her well.
Nicole loved the life of a traveling minstrel. Her feet were not meant to remain in one place for long. Not like her mother, who was content being a seamstress for her whole life, or her father, the smith. She remembered the arguments that they had when she told him that she was going to leave to study with Master Brant. While she had received a few letters from her father since then, she was not sure that she would be welcome home anytime soon. “Oh well, girl, you knew the price you paid when you took this path. Back to this sunset.”
As the sun sank toward the horizon, the sky became more spectacular with each passing minute. The sky was a brilliant orange that was reflected in the water. As the sun sank closer to the horizon, it became larger, and the orange hue became more intense. The orange began to shift toward a lighter pink as the sun got lower and lower, until it was entirely below the horizon, and the stars began to show. As the darkness began to engulf the world, the sailors lit watch lamps, and everything sank into the evening routine.
Only after the darkness over the ocean was complete, did Nicole notice how cold it had become. The wind was steady from the east, but without the light of the sun, it seemed to enter into her very essence, sparing nothing from its chill inspection. She wrapped her arms around herself, and got up. With a slow stretch to make sure that everything was still working after sitting motionless for so long, she began toward her cabin. She had a small room in the aft side of the craft, paid for by her agreement with captain Evans to provide entertainment for the crew on occasion. It was nice not having to worry about her lute getting wet on deck, and she appreciated the small privacy that the small room provided her. She made her way across the slightly shifting deck of the ship, stopping to chat with this crewmember and that passenger.
She regarded a man in a deep black robe, sitting in the lotus under the mainmast for a moment, and then walked on. “He is one to watch on this voyage,” she thought to herself. She had noticed a small tattoo on his left ankle earlier in the day, and it had been flitting around the edge of her mind all day. She thought that she had recognized it, though she could not say from where. The black robes could mean any number of things, from declaring that he was a necromancer from the school of Magikraft in the Old Empire, to being the traditional garb of an initiate in many of the churches of the mainland, to him just happening to like wearing black. She shook her head, `stop jumping at shadows Nicky,” she thought to herself, and walked on.
She made her way across the deck once more, but this time she was lost in contemplation. In the last year, she had traveled over a good portion of Lenthas, and everywhere the signs were dark. Towns were not as friendly as they used to be, the trade routes had more and more bandits on them, the humanoid tribes were too active, and tensions between nations, at least on the continent, was reaching a breaking point. She had not been able to discern a focus or a cause, and more than once she had wished that she had access to a larger information base. “Oh well, maybe it is just my imagination,” she told her self as she opened the door to her room.
Nicole undressed quickly, a task made easy by the fact that she wasn’t wearing all that much. The day was hot, and she had been warned against wearing armor on the ship, lest she fall off and drown. She put on a nightgown, just in case she should have to get up suddenly in the night, and got in the hammock that had been strung up for her. She had been on ships more than once with master Brant, and she had quickly learned that a solid bed was not the best place to sleep. She shut her eyes, and in seconds, was rocked asleep by the swaying of the ship.

* * *

Samuel was surprised to wake up. The last thing he remembered was being pinned against a wall by one thug and another one coming towards him with a knife. In fact, he didn’t remember any of what happened next, and that bothered him deeply. He tried to look around, but was unable to see anything. The tried to use touch to determine his condition, but his arms didn’t seem to want to respond, in fact, he wasn’t sure he could feel his body. He wasn’t in pain, that wasn’t bothering him; it was more the fact that he didn’t feel anything. The tried to speak, and that didn’t work. He thought to himself, ‘what exactly did that gods forsaken bastard do to me?’
Suddenly his existence was overwhelmed by sound and light. The light was as all encompassing as the darkness was, but the sound was different. It was around him, in him, it seemed to define his existence. For a while he merely basked in its presence, deep, melodious warmth. Suddenly he realized that the light he was seeing was actually another manifestation of the sound. Then he started trying to figure out what it was.
He decided to try speaking again, and was surprised to hear his own voice, “I think I am awake. Could you please explain exactly what is happening?”
“I suspected that. Why don’t I remember dying?”
“Er, thanks, I think. That brings up another question; who are you and where am I?”
“Uh, yeah… thank you, sort of… I take it you are a god?”
Everything fell silent, and he was alone again. He felt a slight tingling sensation, and he wasn’t where he had been anymore. He looked around, only a little surprised that the world had features again. He was standing in the middle of a vast garden on a small stone path. He looked behind him, but the path did not continue.
He shrugged and walked down the path, looking at the trees and flowers along his way. He looked at himself, and realized that he could see the garden through his body. He sighed, “I guess I am supposed to follow the path,” and began walking. The path wound through beautiful sets of flowers and trees, seemingly from all over Virdis Sede. Every once in a while he was tempted to linger at this flower, or that grove, but decided that he was there for a purpose, and that he should get it over with. Ahead of him, in the distance, he saw a young woman sitting on the edge of a marble pool.
As he walked forward, he was struck by a feeling of familiarity that he couldn’t place. He wasn’t sure what it was, but he felt that he knew this woman. Her hair was long and a beautiful reddish-brown, her skin a shade darker than his own, her body untouched by time or disease. She was looking into the pool, and he couldn’t see her face. While he could see through himself, he realized that she seemed as solid as the rest of the garden. Well, most of her was as solid as the rest of the garden. Most of her clothing was made of some gossamer material that seemed to be spun of the wind itself. Though it hid very little of her body, somehow it didn’t bring sex to mind. Instead, he felt a great urge to cherish and protect this woman. He blushed for a moment, realizing that he didn’t have the first notion as to who she was.
He was about to say something to get her attention, when she suddenly looked up and smiled. Her face was pretty, though not spectacular, but her eyes stopped him in his tracks. He looked into her eyes, and everything else disappeared. Her two gray eyes seemed to be tunnels into eternity. They seemed to smile, and in them he could see a great love for everything. They had seen everything, they knew all he had been, all he was, and all he could be, and still he did not feel uncomfortable. In an instant, he knew who he was looking at, and was rather surprised. “Goddess?”
She looked at him for a moment more, and then said, “Yes, Samuel, it is I, Alana.”
He fell to his knees in front of her, “What am I doing here? I turned my back on you over the years. There has been a mistake; I am not one of your faithful. I… am a thief.”
“There, there little one, don’t cry. I know all about your life. Just because you asked Jafak to protect you and aid you while doing things that I find distasteful, does not mean you are his. You never turned away from me my son. I admit that I generally dislike thieves, but you never stole to harm people, and I am aware of your donations to my orphanages, even if the matrons there are not. You did what you could to live, and to benefit those around you. Now, that is not to say that I am entirely pleased with your choices, but you are mine.”
“How can I see you? Sister Emily said that a mortal, even a mortal spirit could not look upon you, or any of the gods.”
“She was right. I have manifested here as a mortal. What you see around you is not Vita Hortus, but a mere shadow of it. And she wasn’t entirely correct… As a mortal gains power, he becomes more able too see the gods. When you looked upon me, all you saw was a bright light. There are some, though, who can see me as I am. Enough of these little matters. There is a war coming Samuel, a war between the gods. I need help. By the ancient traditions, I am not allowed to act directly on Virdis Sede, but there is much that needs to be done. The people of your world need to be guided and protected, lest they all fall to my son. Would you aid me in this cause?”
“Goddess, how can I? I don’t have a body.”
“Don’t worry, I can give you a body. You won’t be mortal anymore, but you will be able to help protect the world.”
“What can I do? I am only a sneak thief, I am no warrior to be able to fight the hordes of Territh.”
“That too shall be taken care of. I will see that you gain the power you will need. And it is not your ability in combat I need. I will need a messenger, a courier, and you will make a good one. Before you make a decision, I want you to know that this is not a job without risk. You will be much more difficult to harm than you were as a mortal, and you will gain an array of powers that should be useful, but there are things worse than death for one such as you would be, and the servants of Territh are particularly adept at devising new ones.”
Samuel shuddered, imagining exactly what could be done to a person who couldn’t die.
“Also, just because you won’t be mortal, doesn’t mean you can’t be destroyed. I want you to be careful.”
Samuel closed his eyes, “My goddess, I will do what I can.”

* * *

“Cera, behind you!” A gruff voice bellowed. With reflexes that were the product of eight years of protecting herself from various members of the “civilized” races she spun and parried the gnoll’s attack with her greatsword. Her reflexes had been developed in her sometimes-desperate attempt not to kill those who had assumed that she was a mindless brute, fit only to be killed. The opponent she had turned her back on grinned, his fangs slipping out over his lips, and began to chuckle. He thought his opponent adequately distracted, and prepared to strike her down. He raised his longsword over his head, and was about to bring the blade down into her spine. At the last moment Cera spun, bringing her sword about in a tight circle as she ducked into a crouch, only to reverse the movement suddenly, except this time, she held her sword before her. She felt her opponent’s flesh part across her finely made blade. Her first attacker looked down in shock to find that she had split him up the midline. He died before she finished her swing. She flung herself to the side, just in time to watch her new opponent’s blade pass in front of her nose.
She hated fighting gnolls. The dogmen were smart and brutal, and preferred long weapons that gave her more trouble than they should. Damned things had ambushed her and Devon at the end of a long day’s hike through the plains of Ugant, a pleasant little county in the northern reaches of the Silver Barony. She still wasn’t entirely clear why the dwarf had agreed to take on this task for that pompous nobleman back in the village, but it seemed that they were going to earn their pay.
The gnoll she was fighting swung his halberd in an overhand chop at her head that she caught on the blade of her sword. She countered with a slash at his muzzle that he sidestepped more easily than his seven-foot frame should have made possible, and spun his weapon in a quick arc at her shin. She was intent on the blade, and was shocked when the hilt smashed into her leg. A little too late she realized that this gnoll was holding his weapon wrong, more like a staff than a halberd. She grimaced in pain, but realized that nothing was actually broken, and got ready to meet his next attack. The blade flashed out at her stomach, but when she tried to parry it, it was gone again, and the hilt was moving toward her head. “Damn, you are good, snaggletooth,” she growled at the gnoll in his guttural language as she threw herself backward to avoid the blow. She jumped up and swung at her opponent’s weapon, hoping to use the mass of her sword to snap it in half and disarm her foe, but the gnoll realized what she meant to do and spun the halberd out of the way at the last moment. He returned the favor, smacking the flat of her sword with the blade of the halberd with such force that her arms went momentarily numb.
“Heh, you aren’t bad yourself, for an orc,” the gnoll growled while attempting to slip the point of his halberd through the opening her numbness had created. She leapt back just in time, the point leaving a scratch in her leather overcoat. “Why do you fight with that dwarf scum?”
She sent an arcing slash at his midriff, “Not that it will matter to you in a few minutes, but Devon and I are going to take care of a little problem the local humans have been having with an ogre.” The gnoll managed to turn the blade at the last moment, and it merely thunked against his armor. She drew back a step and raised her sword in a stance that she had found comical when it was first used against her. Her gre

I love my dogs

but I do wish they were a little less bound to tradition. Every morning, mom brings them out once or twice between 5:30 and 7:00. Then she leaves to bring my brother to school. Then they get on his bed and start growling at eachother and barking at me until I bring them out again. Oi, and they are very big on the whole Pavlovian response thing. Certian actions, movements, and words convince them that they need to pee.

I woke up this morning and my brother had left the light on. I swear he does it on purpose. When he gets up (at least for the time being) it is plenty light in our room to see ane even to read by, but he turns the light on anyway.
Oh, and I woke up and mom has already left for Michigan. She's doing a shoot up in the Copper Harbor area on the upper penninsula. I want to go places, but for now at least I'm here watching the shitheads, I mean dogs.

Oh, and recently most of my friends have dissapeared from the face of the internet. I'm not taking about you Pope G, or you Ness, but a number of the people I turn to for random talks on various subjects are gone. In most cases I'm torn between being thrilled because they have gotten something really great (like new well paying jobs in their areas of expertise) and being sad because they aren't here to talk to me . In other cases, they are just gone, drifted away (well, some have walked steadily away, but that shit happens) over time.

I have a shiny metal ruler with a cork backing. That's kind of cool. It'd be even cooler without the cork, but it is still pretty cool.

You should read Schlock Mercenary Howard could use more readers so he can sell advertising and occasional pieces of merchandise. He's quit his job at Novell and is trying to make a go at the professional web comic artist thing.

It is a little-known fact that Issac Newton neither discovered nor invented the laws of physics. He could not have invented them as they were already there, and to credit him with discovery is too much as well. What good old crazy Issac did was compiled the observations and theories of the natural philosophers of his time, threw out the stuff put forth by the Aristotelians, and found where the connections were. He had to build a new tool to show that the connections were there (and there is a valid question as to how much of that was his own origonal work) but he essentially took the theories that explained what was already there, pinned them together, cut out the unneeded parts (initially with a butcher's knife, later with a scalpel) and put them in a useful form. The equations are just the face of his work, they tell you in numbers what trality tells you in spins and impacts and curves and stillness.


Is there anything more dispicable than a single issue voter?
You know who I'm talking about, the guy who believes in trickle down economics, political controls on science, paving the wilderness, eternal limitless growth, stealing from tomorrow to enrich today, legislating morality, Iraqui ties, wars without exit strategies, cutting funding for vocational education, and the justice of imperialism because the candidate who favors both happens to be for backalley coathanger abortions. (You'd be amazed how many people in my area are in favor of coathanger abortions.) Of course, that isn't the only type of single issue voter, but among the middle class it is the most common. After all, the folks in the top brackets have a good reason to be in favor of trickle down economics, and it isn't that it ever does any good for their poorer neighbors.
My personal favorite is tha anti-legal-abortionists. If they have half a brain in their dim little heads, they realize that neither candidate will do anything about abortion, but in the brilliant glow of their own moralism, they refuse to even look at other "moral" issues.
Gah, too disgusted to type. Scuzzballs.


I was going to post about something, but I don't know what.
But I found a substitute.
"Helsinki bank executive slapped with $18,000 speeding ticket for 19mph over limit because Finns levy fines based on income."
That's the way to do it. They make their fines a percentage of their income, thus affecting everyone much more evenly than the way we do it. None of this Bushy "Protect the rich" crap.

on a different note

Well, I guess you can forget Poland now. They are pulling out of the Coalition of the 3rd world sycophants, Great Britan, the USA, Austrelia, Spain, and Poland.

In other news, I am now registered to vote in the county where I currently live. Not that it really matters since this state is well in the idiot's camp, but at least there will be one more voter against him.

road blocks

Well, I said I'd post about the cousins today. Problem is that I didn't get around to working out a few little parts about them, like what they look like or what their home system is like. I got stuck on some work that I was doing trying to redo some work I've done before and lost about the Sarthaki, mostly working out the size of the core of the planet as well as the size of the mantle. It is a fairly simple project, but my algebra skills are a little rusty. Too many years of solving systems of equations by just plugging them all into my TI89 and telling the graphing function to find the intercepts. Lost the calculator a year ago, still haven't bothered to relearn the stuff I've forgotten. Here's the situation.

The Sarthaki homeworld has a radius about 1.73 time that of the Earth, and a surface gravity 1.2 times that of Earth. You can get the gravity of a planet with the formula Gp=Rp*(Pp/Pe) Where Rp is the radius of the planet, Pp is the density of the planet (I use grams/cm^3) and Pe is the density of the Earth. this time I know Gp, Rp, and Pe (1.2, 1.73, and 5.5g/cm^3). Solving for Pp, we get a density of about 3.8 g/cm^3. Now a rocky planet like the Earth has two major components: A metal (iron) core with a density of about 10g/cm^3 and a rocky mantle/crust complex with a density of about 2.5 g/cm^3. On Earth, the core is about 55 percent of the radius of the planet (and if you knocked off all of the lighter surface material, the gravity at the surface of the core would be about 99 percent of the gravity at the surface of the Earth, but that isn't too important.)
This is where it gets a little fuzzy.
To get the sizes of the two layers, we can use this equation:

3.8= (10*m+2.5*n)/(m+n)
m is the volume of the core and n is the volume of the mantle.
in our case, m+n is approximately 21.7 (it is exactly 1.73^3*pi*4/3, and the units are Earth radi cubed)
At this point, there is a choice. Do I solve the equation as it stands, or do I abstract it out a little further first. If I were using a calculator, I'd definately go the next step because it puts everything into a single variable.
we have:
n= (4/3*pi*1.73^3)-m (n is a spherical shell with a m sized hole.)
so the equation becomes this monstrocity

3.8= (10*(4/3*pi*b^3)+2.5*((4/3*pi*1.73^3)-(4/3*pi*b^3)))/21.7

To solve, I would plug in the equations
into the grapher and aks for the intercepts.
which would give the radius of the core.

Not that any of this is horribly important stuff since I already have the average density and the surface gravity, and the radius, but I do like to know these things.

But since I was working on that (and playing Sim City 2000) I didn't get anything done with the Malar.
I do have a fair amount of social and some historical information, but it needs at least their gross anatomy to round it out, and I am not even sure what sort of world they live on.

more stuffes

So, yesterday I wrote a broad swath of history that left us a billion years in the past. The next billion years were an interesting time.
A billion years ago, your ancestors had already worked out the trick of using oxygen to digest each other. They hadn't quite managed the trick of moving about on land yet, and most of not all of them were struggeling with the whole multicellular organisim thing.
A billion years ago, almost all of the lifebearing planets within of the galaxy were in a similar state. Most of the worlds with higher lifeforms had been sterilized by one of the combatants in the great war "just in case."
The Aldoni came back from their extragalactic retreat to find everything they had known dead and more importantly, no sentient specuies to shepherd into maturity. There was also a great big hole in the center of the galaxy where their hyperdrives wouldn't work.
As a race, the Aldoni don't really have an expansionistic drive at all. They picked a nice round number of dead worlds to rebuild (fifty if you were interested) and settled down to wait. Generations were born and died, though some few picked immortality in the form of personas transfered to the Aldoni Worldbanks. Some of them are still there, playing teacher and librarian.

Of course, that's not what I'm here to talk to you about today.

Today I want to start talking about the various intelligent races that are of import to this particular slice of galactic time.

Of most interest to you and me are the members of humanity. Throughout the centuries covered by the timeline, the descendants of Terra have become a bunch garrulous divisive noisy cantankerous mean lot. They are also capable of over coming all of that to make some really wondrous advances and leave spectacular monuments to why one shouldn’t just destroy all of the sentient life forms in the galaxy. Pretty much the same as they are today, but on a bigger scale. Also, you may want to notice that we are not unique in those attributes. Pretty much anybody who has survived a couple billion years of undirected evolution and formed a group society is going to need those traits. That’s about all I have to say about them today. You know what a human is. I’m assuming that you belong to the club.

I’ve already mentioned the Aldoni. They are watchers and guides. They have a tendency to try to be puppet masters as well. This has gotten them in a little trouble from time to time and eventually lead to the end of their position as the most powerful race in the galaxy. That is what they were designed for though, so it is all good. They haven’t changed much in the billions of years since they were created. After all, they didn’t go through the whole genetic evolution lottery and came pre-equipped with the desire and the tools maintain stasis. It also helps that the majority of Aldoni that are born are born not from sexual coupling but computer aided design. They have an incredible suite of skills and talents, a fine control of their body systems that is not present in any of the evolved races, and the ability to exist in any one of dozens of physical forms. They are also not very creative, at least technologically. There is no general physical description of an Aldoni. If they are incapable of reforming their body into a given shape through an extended act of will, they have the biotech to do so artificially.

Next on the list are the Sarthaki. They are the second most important race in humanity’s early history. They evolved on a heavy water world circling close to a G8 star. With a surface gravity 1.2 times that of Earth and an atmosphere rather a bit denser than ours, their homeworld is a wet hot place. It has about three times the surface area, but less than half of the land, and most of that is in a belt of mini continents and large islands straddling the equator. It also has a ring system that was created by two retrograde satellites passing within their world’s Roch’s limit. The Sarthaki themselves are descended from a smallish pack-hunting arboreal reptiloid. They tend toward aggression and their governments tend to be small. Their rings formed relatively recently. The first one did so some 45 million years ago. The second did during their early nuclear age. The devastation almost knocked them back to the Bronze Age. The planet’s ecosphere was badly damaged by repeated debris impacts as the moon fell apart. This provided an impetus for the Sarthaki to form a single world government in order to best use their resources to reverse the damage. Two hundred Terran years after the near collapse of their ecosphere, they had a thriving warm planet again. Four hundred years and they had colonies around other stars. This was about three thousand years before we made it into space. They did not lose any of their territorial instinct or their aggressiveness, and when humanity expanded out of the 20 light year radius “protected zone” mandated by the Aldoni, the Sarthaki wasted no time starting the first of Humanity’s interstellar wars. They won, though they were stopped far short of Terra. Later wars with humanity did not go so well for them which forced them into a grudging respect that lead to them becoming some of Humanity’s closest allies during the Horde Wars.

Tomorrow I’ll talk about the Malar and their cousins the Mabalan. I’m off to do some math to design them a planet.

from the journal of <lj user="guipago">

*sighs* I was a single (also correct) answer away from Otaku, Gamer (RPG), and SciFi Geek

Math & Science Geek
Math/Science Geek

oh, and also

Got the check from subbing last week. I can now pay off the last of the non-loan money I owe oregon state university. And then I can get a transcript or three. Whoot.

head's up

along with background information I'm going to start posting short stories and (especially) fragments of short stories that use this stuff for a background. Since I hope to clean up/finish and publish them one day, I'm gonna have to put them in entries open to the mutual friends list only (since I use my friends list to track a couple journals, like Howard Taylor's. ) (You should read his comic by the way. He's decided to go pro with it and would like extra readers. Oh and it is damned funny with a good story line. And I haven't seen him miss a day since I started reading it.)
If you are one of my live-journal-less friends who happens to read this from time to time and you want to see the stories I am posting, let me know, and I'll e-mail them to you when I post them.

and it begins

Okay, first things first, I guess I will begin by painting a little corner of the big picture.
The universe is, as far as we can tell, about fifteen billion years old. For the last ten of those the big cluser of stars and gasses that we call the milky way has been a happening thing. In the first couple billion of those years 99 and a lot of more nines out of every hundred atoms in the cluster were either hydrogen or helium and essentially all of the remainder were lithium or some other really light element. (Actually, I can't remember if lithium is stable enough to have been even a trace component of the stuff left over from the first year or so of the universe. I know one of the ultra lights wasn't.) Well ten billion years ago, that big ole cloud of dust started to coalesce into stars, mostly big ones made almost entirely of hydrogen and helium. Not a lot to work with if you want to deal with living things. But they did start fusing that hydrogen and helium into much more interesting elements, like lithium and nitrogen and carbon and oxygen and really all of the elements on the periodic table up to and including iron. After that though they pretty much stopped. You see when you slam two nuclei together and create a third, larger nucleus, it takes a little bit of energy and gives off a little bit of energy. If you are making things like neon or sodium or carbon, you are putting out more energy than you are using. On the other hand, when you slip over the line from iron to cobalt, suddenly it is takning more energy to form the new atom than is liberated by the formation.
All of those intersting things like Nickel and copper and gold and zink and uranium are formed under other conditions, like when a star explodes. None of them were in the first set of stars to form in the galaxy and very little was avaliable for the second set. There are a fair number of stars left over from this era, though they are mostly smallish. None of them were good places for life to develop and the few that did get lifeforms circling them never developd technological socities. On the other hand, those second generation stars did have at least a small chance of having a planet capable of supporting technological civilizations, though they were still metal poor worlds. On the other hand, even a small poor world has a lot of metal in it. The second generation of stars began to form about a billion years after the galaxy started condensing, though they didn't really start lighting up in large numbers for several billion years after that. But with the formation of a few star systems with more interesting elements than mere hydrogen and helium, you got the potential for life and thus sentient life.
The first races to reach out into the cosmos found themselves mostly alone. The first races to start moving around through it were able to spread out for quite a long while before they ever found any planets with life, much less other intelligent beings. This lead to the creation of massive star-spanning empires. Fortunately for us and all of the other species that popped up around third generation stars, most of the early races eventually signed a treaty that forbade them to settle planets with indigenous life. By that point in time a few hundred million ecospheres had been terminally disrupted, and not every race agreed to the treaty, but at least it offered potentially developing races a chance to evolve.
The galaxy was a relitively peaceful place for the next billion or so years. Even if you have the time and energy to travel between the stars, if you are doing it at sublight speeds you aren't going to be doing a lot fo fighting. A dozen sublight empires arose and settled the dead worlds of the galaxy. Even if you were the ultimate xenophobe, there wasn't a lot you could realistically do about it over those distances. Five billion years after our galaxy accreated, that was the state of reality. Over the next four billion years various sentient races evolved on the protected worlds within the domains of the various galactic empires.
Only two of the origional races are known today, both extinct. The Aldoni speak of two of the founder races, though they name them only "The Creators" and "The Nemesis." About a billion years ago, the creators designed the Aldoni as a servant race. They were created from the ground up, not based on any other biological system in the galaxy, with none of the evolutionary baggage inherent in coming from a cell line that has spent the last three billion years being the baddest badasses on the planet. Their instincts and urges are all aimed at their roles of overseers and guides to emerging races throughout the cosmos. They are also superb diplomats.
Well, about six hundred million years ago, one of the younger races with a (relatively) bizarre psychology proved the wisdom of allowing other races to develop undisturbed. They developed stone tools and then metalworking, pottery and cities. They had an industrial revolution, though their chemistry rushed ahead of their physics, biology, metallurgy, and engineering. They struggled to reach the space age, made the jump to another star system and were inducted into galactic society. And were given access to the learnings of the Creators. Well a thousand years later they came up for breath and with their unusual thought methods came up with something spectacularly new. They invented the hyperdrive. Within ten thousand years, everyone had them. Within a million, there was a galactic war. By the end of the war, there were two empires, the Nemesis and the Creators. A few of the Aldoni were sent away to a small star cluster beyond the edge of the galaxy. The Nemesis created their own warrior races (of which the Horde was one) while the Creators tried to stop them. As the fight went on, the outer worlds were systematically destroyed if they had sentient beings. The Creators despaired and created a permanent 30,000 light year sphere hyperspace deadzone that included all of their worlds as well as all of the Nemisis worlds. Then they started blowing up stars. In the end they were all dead and the Aldoni came back to a silent galaxy.

I'll give more background later.


Well, it is October, so I have a month to consider if I want to do the NaNoWriMo thing. If I do, then I want to have a chunk of the setting set out before I start. I'm planning on using my Earth's Empires setting, somewhere between the first wave of slower than light colonization and the collapse of the first Terran Empire. Here's a rough timeline of that era:

2226-2242 Spaceways Unlimited constructs forty automated Interstellar probes and 8 colony ships. The probes mass low enough to use gravetic propulsion. They use a bussard ramjet style fuel collection system. The Probes are launched in 2230, and each one is set to visit two star systems. The Colony ships are waiting for destinations. They are used as long term closed systems laboratories in the interim.

2227 the survey ship arrives at Alpha centauri

2232 The survey ship reports no habitable planets around Alpha Centauri. They are continuing on to Epsilon Indi, an estimated trip time of 21 years.

2251 the survey craft arrives at Espilon Indi

2250-2300 the probes begin reporting in. 80% report on their first star, 50% report on their second star.

2250-2300 Colony ships begin launching.

2263 The Survey Craft reports that Epsilon Indi has a habitable planet, and that they have decided to colonize. They claim the world in the name of Spaceways Unlimited.

Launch Dates (when a probe arrives at one of these systems, a colony ship is launched directly to it within a year):
2257 Epsilon Erandi Probe 7, 10.5 LY, .5C, 21 years

2260 Tau Ceti Probe 1, 11.9 LY, .5C, 23.8 Years

2264 Epsilon Indi (More colonists + Supplies) 11.83 LY, .5 C 23.66 years

2265 Procyon 2 Probe 21, 11.41 LY, .5C, 22.82 years

2277 Van Mann’s Star Probe 1, 14.37 LY, .6 C 23.69 years (While a probe did pass near this system, colonization was accidental, the result of a malfunctioning fusion plant. VM’s Star is a white
dwarf, a star past the end of the main sequence.)

2278 Sigma Draconis Probe 3, 18.81 LY, .68 C, 27.66 years

2278 Delta Pavonis Probe 28, 19.92 LY, .7 C, 28.46 years

2284 82 Eridani Probe 21 19.77 LY, .7C, 28.24 years

2320 First contact with Aldoni Trade Craft.

2325 Terra buys 45 Blacbox Hyperdrives, 33 of those are bought by Spaceways Unlimited. Limited to travel within a 20 LY sphere of Terra. Granted “Protected Culture” status as long as humanity remains within a 20 light year sphere.

2326 a Spaceways Unlimited Research facility is destroyed. They were trying to open one of the Aldoni Hyperdrives.

2345 Now all five Spacefaring races in the region are known to humanity.

2350 Humanity now possesses 200 planets within 20 lightyears of sol.

2355 All Spaceways Unlimited colonies are given independence on the condition that they use Spaceways craft for all of their transport. Spaceways is essentially the banking system of the human sphere. They are the major Exchange interface with the outsider races.

2400 Humans build proto-type Hyperdrive

2420 First long range hypercraft launched

2420 Aldoni warn humanity about coreward deadzone, a sphere with a radius of approximately 15000 LY where the Hyperdrive doesn’t work. It was created by one of the elder races before any of the current races were more than bacterial scums on CO2 worlds.

2440 Humanity now spans nearly 550 worlds.

2440 Sarthaki demonstrate the pleasures of protected society status by taking three human fringe worlds.

2440-2460 First Interstellar War. Humanity loses almost half of its worlds.

2460-2480 the weakened Terran League licks its wounds and begins rebuilding. Human Intelligence begins infiltrating the captured worlds in order to gain and edge on the Satharki.

2480-2620 Humanity fortifies its worlds, begins to spread again, several important Sarthaki tech are stolen, The Terran League becomes the Terran Empire

Year Zero of the Empire, The Terran Empire is recognized by all of the interstellar races but the Sarthaki. The Sarthaki respond to the declaration of the Empire’s borders by taking three new worlds. At the third world, the Imperial fleet shows up in time to stop the attack. With the blunting ot the Sarthaki Aggressive, they Aknowledge the new human government.

Year 0-15 Hostilities are mounting between the two races, and several disputed systems are patrolled by ships from both fleets.

Year 16 the Terran Warship ISS Justice comes upon a Sarthaki Heavy Taskforce preparing to bombard one of their captured colonies to suppress a local rebellion. The Justice’s captain opens fire upon the four superior ships, managing to destroy three before it is destroyed itself. The Sarthaki destroy all of its life pods and bomb the colony anyway. Both empires declare war on each other within 2 weeks.

Year 16-125 The Second Interstellar War

16-35 the various fleets Jockey for position

35-120 The war is fought mostly by fleets in planetary space. The worst fighting of the war occurs during these years. The Terrans manage to recapture nearly 200 of their stolen worlds, leaving only 20 in Sarthaki hands. The Sarthaki Fleets retreat back to their decreased borders.

120-125 The Terran fleets begin their assaults on the last Sarthaki held human colonies. To the horror of the fleet, as the Sarthaki retreat they use nova bombs on the planets they were defending. Only three of the 20 worlds are saved. 12 Sarthaki colonies are captured within the recaptured region.

125-600 The Terran Empire rebuilds and begins expanding into unclaimed space. Scientific missions are sent to the Deadzone. Humanity possesses 1200 worlds in a sphere roughly 100 LY in radius. Confrontations with the Sarthaki are usually bloody, but never quite break out into war.

605-610, the Third Interstellar War. This time the Sarthaki attack another empire and humanity sends its fleets to help ward them off. Their attack is stopped before they can capture even one planet.

600-800 The worlds colonized by humanity are maturing, and several gain independence. Several small governments form, all of which maintain close ties to the Empire. Several Alien worlds Join with the Empire.

800-1100 The Empire and the Sarthaki make peace, humanity continues expanding, the only race not to have worlds as members of the Empire are the Aldoni.

1106, The 4 races form a Confedration

1110, the Aldoni dissapear, scout ships bring back tales of smoking blasted cinders where their worlds used to be.

1112, the Horde begins its invasion of the Confederation.

1113 Things aren’t going so well. A few Aldoni refugee craft make it into Confederation space. They say that the Horde was one of their greatest enemies 20,000 years ago. They had thought them defeated and confined until they rose again to destroy them.

1118 The combined might of the four races along with the technologies of the Aldoni are managing to hold the Horde back, barely.

1119 there is a great massing of the Horde fleet, a push toward Terra. The confedrate fleet falls back before it.

1120 The Horde Fleet arrives within 4 light years of Terra and prepares for a final Jump. Humanity Sends its allies away, tells them to get outside of a 75-lightyear radius of Sol.

1120 Immediately after the Horde Fleet Jumps, Terra broadcasts a warning, saying that a new Dead Zone, 75 LY in radius is about to form. They estimate that it will be stable for no more than 300 years.

1120 The Deadzone Forms Most of humanity falls silent. The Horde Fleet is nearly Destroyed, but both races must rely on STL tactics.

1120-1420 The worlds on the rear side of the Deadzone lose contact with everyone

Tomorrow/Today I'll start working on things like descriptions of all five of the space fareing races (not the Horde) and other similar things as well as throwing out story ideas.