dusk strike

Dusk, Behind the Admissions Building

[My offer still stands. ~Nerd]

The ways back
Are the ones you guard most jealously.

Take this,
For example:
The paved walk
(Mica glinting
In the tiger lily sun)
Behind the old admissions building
Is yours for you walk it
Every day,
Your half-secret road
Along the hillside
From the dining hall
To home.

There, where the strange seems familiar:
Throw a bag
Of oddments - dessicated
Mango, almonds, cornflake crumbs -
Watch the dust of
The crumbling rock candy
Arc and sparkle
To adorn the grass,
An odd thing to find yet somehow
More mundane than
The same old dew,
A gift (freely given)
For a lone black-feathered sentinel.

Others
Guard this way back, too.
You do not know
Who they might be guarding it from,
But the lone one of the black and beady eye
Seems far, far more watchful than they:

They dance at their posts sometimes,
A flicker of white-violet in the tiger lily sunset,
Scents of holly and mulch like bitter rain,
Whispers of air and darkness,
To tempt, to turn, to call and cajole,
Hoping that one dusk-bright evening
You
Will stop, throw off all unnatural things,
Abandon your plodding daily guard
To brave the liminal spaces,
Walk a path (different, unpaved,
But with the same glints of mica)
To somewhere else,
Whirl until your feet are tatters
But your soul is free
And you hang there, caressed by unseen hands,
Whispering “I love you”
Into the mist.

[Some Random Nerd]

2

“(y/n).” You turn around at the sound of Jack’s familiar voice, immediately putting the clothes you were hanging on the clothesline back into their basket.

“Hi, Jack,” you smile. “Romeo, Crutchie.” You nod to each in turn. “What can I do for you?”

Romeo grins and steps closer to you. “The question is: What can I do for you, sweetheart?”

You roll your eyes and reach down, picking up the clothes basket. Then you shove it into the younger boy’s arms. “You can finish hanging these clothes.” The flirt’s smile falls, but yours doesn’t. “Thank you, Romeo.”

Jack and Crutchie snicker as their brother gets to work. “Seriously though, what are you doing here? Boys aren’t allowed here after dark, and it’s nearly dusk.”

“We’s organizing a strike!” Crutchie exclaims, rocking on his good foot as he grins.

Your face falls. “You’re what?”

Jack catches sight of your worried expression, and he taps his friends shoulder. “Hey, Crutch, why don’t you go help Romeo for a second, huh?”

The boy goes without a complaint, and you smile. Crutchie has a heart of gold. Jack pulls you slightly away so you’re just out of earshot of the two other Newsies.

“Pulitzer raised the price of papes,” Jack starts.

“Yeah, I know, I heard,” you reply. “But are you sure this is something to go on Strike for? Did you try to-”

“Reason with him?” Jack finishes for you. “Yeah, we did. Old man wouldn’t even see us. So yes, we’re going on Strike.”

Despite your worry, you nod. “Alright. So why are you here?”

Jack grins. “What, I need to have a reason to see my best girl?”

You blush. “No, but you do need a reason to bring your friends.”

He nods. “Alright, ya got me there.”

You brush your hand against his, but don’t take it. As much as you’d like to. If one of the other girls saw you, you’d be kicked out of the factory’s lodging house and onto the street. “So what is it?”

He takes off his hat like he does when he’s nervous, and blows on his hands. “I need to know you and the other factory girls are with us.”

“I don’t understand.”

“This Strike goes beyond just us newsies. This is about all of us; about all da kids that gotta work for a living too young, and never even got a chance ta do anything else. Especially when their work isn’t even fair.” He takes a step closer. “So, if it comes down to it, I need to know that you’re with us.”

“Well, you know him with you.” You smile, and he smiles back. “And I know some other workers that will be, and that will be able to talk others up. I’ll go around to some other factories too.”

Jack takes your hand, and you let him. “You know you’re amazing, right?”

You smile. “I try.”

“Laundry’s done!” Romeo yells, and Jack lets go of your hand quickly. He and Crutchie walk back up to the both of you. “We got an answer?”

You nod at him. “I’m with you. And I’ll do my best to make sure others are too.”

They all smile. “Let’s go, then! We still gotta go ta Brooklyn,” Crutchie smiles and hobbles quickly back to the main street.

Your eyes widen and you ask: “Brooklyn?”

“Yeah,” Jack breathes, rubbing the back of his neck. “We gotta see what Spot Conlon says.”

“Yay…” Romeo growls, trailing after Crutchie slowly.

You take Jack’s arm. “Brooklyn ain’t a good place, Jack.”

“I know, but luckily the King of Brooklyn and I are buddies. I’ll be fine.”

You sigh. “Alright. Now get going, so you’re home at a good time.”

Romeo grins. “Yes, mom.” Ignoring him, you wrap your arms around yourself as they leave.

“Boys!” They all turn around, and you wave half-heartedly. “Be careful tomorrow.”

Happy Birthday Feyre Darling..

The Winter Solstice Festival was one that Rhys had always loved,  but now there was another reason for the High Lord to celebrate, for it was also Feyre’s birthday. Though he’d  noted over the preceding week that she was seemingly disinterested in the preparations, Rhys had started making his own plans. He had to, for as High Lord of the Night Court his presence was expected at both the Court of Nightmares and the Court of Dreams.

There had been times when he would also have received an invite from The Winter Court since the festival was the centrepiece of their wheel of the year, but after what had happened under the mountain with the Winter Court children, he was now persona non grata there. His mouth twisted with a bitter pang at the memories. He wanted to find a way to heal that wound, but now was not the time.

It was customary for the High Lord to attend the Court of Nightmares at dusk for the lighting of the Bael-fires that would see them through the long night, and the beginning of their dark revels, which since they quickly descended into gross excess meant he could slip away, under the pretence of enjoying his own private rituals. That odious task done he would speed to Velaris for moonrise and the Festival of Lights. The city would turn out all it’s lights at nightfall, relying upon the moon alone for the next few hours while they feasted. Then at Midnight, the citizens joyously rekindled everything again, signifying the return of the Sun and the rising cycle of nature towards Summer.

In preparation, the people decked everything in many-coloured lamps, candles and decorative glass icicles and snowflakes, which sparkled on every tree and from the house eaves to honour the Winter and better reflect the lights. The whole city became a vibrant garden of glowing colour and sparkling crystal, with the denizens of the Rainbow outdoing themselves in displays of creative magic and artistry.

Gifts would then be given to family and dear friends and the nights revels truly began. The music and dancing went on until dawn when the whole town would wait in hushed awe to see the first rosy light of the sun breaking over the mountains.

It was considered especially lucky if it snowed that night and this year it did.

Magic was used to slow the snowflake’s melting or to swirl them in dancing zephyr-like shapes about the squares. Rhys wondered if Feyre would deign to use some of her water-magic to create something interesting, but it seemed that she did not share his enthusiasm for this festival.

Rhysand would leave for The Court of Nightmares in a few hours. He had not wanted to put Feyre through another dumb-show there but he’d hoped she would enjoy the sights of Velaris. Going up to their room to dress for the occasion, he found her sat upon the bed, knees pulled up to her chest and a frown deepening on her brow.

“ I’m sorry I have to do this Feyre, you know I’d much rather spend all the evening here with you, especially as it’s your day.” He offered.

“ Doesn’t matter” She muttered.
“I don’t want to go out anyway. I can see it all from here, and what’s the point, I’m just not feeling it. You go.. enjoy it. I’m not going to be good company so I’ll be better on my own tonight.

That stubborn set of her jaw, he knew all too well. It would be useless arguing with her but Rhysand hoped still that the sheer wonder of it would tempt her out despite herself.

“Darling.. if you’re sure ?” He asked. No answer but a sullen nod.

“ Very well,  I’ll attend to my “duties” and see if you still feel the same when I come back. I know this day was never something you celebrated.. but everything else has changed.. why not this too ? “
“ Hmmph.. that’s about as likely as you giving up wearing black!” She retorted. “ It’s just how I feel. Just.. let it pass Rhys.”

Considering his chosen apparel, a suit of velvet so dark that it seemed to eat the light that fell upon it, and a crown of glittering jet, he sighed.
Not going to plan at all so far.. maybe he should cancel the fireworks that would write her name in giant sparkling snowflakes across the harbour and the surprise party he and Mor had set up..

He said nothing more, but brought her a mug of her favourite tea, and kissing her cheek, Rhysand High Lord of the Night Court swept out into the dusk, and prepared to strike awe into the other half of his kingdom.

When he returned, Feyre was nowhere to be found. He reached for her through the bond and found only that her adamantine defensive walls were well and truly up.
“Oh fuck. “
Where would she be?
Finding Mor, she confirmed that Feyre had stormed out of the town house about an hour ago, when they brought her the cake.

“ Since she definitely doesn’t want to be out on the town tonight, I think she’ll be somewhere secluded.. like the cabin maybe ?”

It was a possibility. At least he hoped she was there and not out in the woods somewhere.

He should have taken her reluctance as a final answer, but his own desire to celebrate her day, her existence in his life, had gotten in the way. He needed to apologise, but she was most likely not in the mood to hear it. But wait a minute.. maybe something she’d said earlier, might break the ice he could feel from her end of the bond.

It was true, he hardly owned anything that was not black, or midnight blue, or richly dark. But magic was a wonderful thing.
A few minutes later he was outside the door of their little cabin, feeling very uncomfortable, but hoping the gesture would at least make her laugh. Anything to see her smile at him again.

@humblefun

freshly paved roads and the smell of tar, sapphire skies, crunching leaves whistling off the sidewalk, shiny black boots, the smell of fresh peach blossoms, cityscapes from a distance, going out to eat with people but hiding in the bathroom because you feel lonely anyways, being immersed in a story, glimmering candles at dusk, winter air striking your lungs, the taste of pomegranate between your teeth, midnight stars, sinking into bed at the end of the day, wispy sunsets in December, falling asleep in the wavering sunlight 

sins a plenty
fdtd, seth x kate; nc17, ~3800 | for shewhodestroysthelight

She splashed cold, bitter water onto her face to wash away the last flecks of blood and gore from her cheeks and opened the bathroom door. Seth was sitting on his bed, scrubbing his Hawaiian shirt over his face to remove the residual remains of the blood. He tossed it into a heap on the floor with a disgusted scowl. He hated those things. That’s why Kate always made him wear one.

“Thought you were taking a shower,” Seth muttered. His tattoo, those black curving lines, licked up his arm to his shoulder, like a dark flame. Kate had seen them often enough to feel intimately familiar with them but she had never touched them before.

And now, with all this left over adrenaline, she decided maybe she would.

read more

Announcement: VHS Fansub

So here at Starglitch Games we’ve been pretty quiet since announcing “Project Greenwood”. The setting for the game has been scrapped but the work for it has not gone unused. Some of the work has been co-opted into a project we’re contributing to but not at liberty to talk about, and some of it has been absorbed into a project that is still under dev by myself and Ryven Cedrylle along with a lot of fun stuff we’ve been working on since spring..

This project is currently titled VHS Fansub, and it’s a love note from myself and Ryven to the anime and video games we both loved growing up, based on the Archmage Engine made by Pelgrane Press and Fire Opal for the fantastic tabletop game 13th Age.

The material for the book is still in development but here’s what it will include once we’re done.

Classes

We have five classes under development, many of which are ready for beta testing (keep an eye on this blog for beta test info). Our classes are the following

  • The Shounen, the powerhouse punchmans fighter inspired by shows like Dragon Ball, Naruto, Inuyasha, and other shows. The Shounen can throw around powerful ki techniques, wields a variety of martial arts stances, and can ramp up the devastation it dishes out by charging up her aura in combat.
  • The Shoujo, the magical transforming warrior. Based off shows like Sailor Moon and Card Captor Sakura. The Shoujo can transform into one of three different drive states at any time in combat which drastically alter her appearance and the function of her basic attack. She has a Healing Light ability which can soothe the wounds of allies. The core function of the class is the Destiny Tarots, a deck of cards with abilities that trigger off a number of events that can transpire at any moment in battle. The magical effects of these cards are significant on their own, but are greatly improved if the Shoujo is in the Drive State which that card is tied to.
  • The Trainer, the dynamic duo of determined destruction. When you make your Trainer you don’t build your character, you instead build a monster which you send into battle on your behalf. This class is inspired by the Pokemon franchise, focusing on the relationship between a trainer and their primary monster. The Trainer is a battlefield tank that can soak up damage from enemies and keep them tied and engaged to it with a variety of Ringside Maneuvers, laying down the hurtin’ on anyone that tries to get loose. Over the course of a battle the Trainer and his Monster slowly build up Connection with each other,
  • The Corrupted, a shadow-powered fighter that draws inspiration from the shadowy EDGY characters from various sources, especially the villains of Season 1 of Sailor Moon. If you had a bitter and solitary OC with soundtrack by Evanescence when you were 14, this is the class to make that character in. The Corrupted alternates between lashing out with the shades of powerful monsters and its deadly Dusk Strike attack, and once per day it can imbue the animus of a monster into an inanimate object to create a powerful ally for a single fight.
  • The Raider is a quick and cunning warrior who relies on quick wits, agility, and a bag of unique tools that seems to hold way more items than it really should be able to. The raider is at home with both a sword and board or a bow and arrow, but it always has a special preference for one or the other. The Raider is primarily inspired by the various iterations of Link from the Legend of Zelda series, but draws secondary inspiration from other heroes and scoundrels like Finn the dog, Jake the human, and the legendary thief Lupin the 3rd. If you want to play a canny adventurer who always has the right tool for the job or ONE MORE explosive handy, this is the class for you.

Archetypes

Archetypes have the same purpose as Races in a traditional fantasy game. Archetypes represent your character’s personal history and origins, and how that contributes to their unique presence in the party, both on and off the battlefield.

  • The Primal - The Primal is a character whose history is tied in a brutal upraising, either as a member of a warlike race or in the deep wilds of the world. Your heritage might originate from another world, or as a scion of a more local supernatural being.
  • The Reborn - A reincarnate hero from the past, born to life again either as the result of an old foe rising again or a new threat that the world has deemed you necessary to combat. Occasional flashes of wisdom and memory from your many past lives are your key to success.
  • The Experimental - As an artificial life form you may look perfectly normal or utterly alien, but what you are could very well be the next phase of life on this world. The Experimental is nothing if not adaptable, able to adjust its physical structure to meet new challenges.
  • The Mascot - Tiny, cute, adorable. Cheers on the team. Your bubbly personality and enthusiasm for life is a boon to everyone around you.
  • The Roboid - An artificial helper who has been reconfigured to battle for the hope of the future. Some Roboids are visibly mechanical, some appear human, but their mechanical innards make them capable of feats that their flesh and blood allies can never truly imitate.
  • The Grim - You were once a servant of evil, but either the turning cogs of fate or your own internal tale of morality has put you on the side of adventurers which once would have been your steadfast foes. Still, just because you’re working with them doesn’t mean you have to like them. Fools.
  • The Displaced - You originated either in the distant past or the far off future, but a twist in the fabric of reality has resulted in you being unexpectedly hurled into this era. Your far off knowledge occasionally comes through in a crucial pinch, but the way your presence occasionally stretches time to give you an extra moment to breathe is all it takes to turn the tide of combat.
  • The Chosen - You were once a normal kid, in a normal town, with a normal life ahead of you. Then the Big Day took a turn for the unexpected, and if it weren’t for you stepping up to the plate things might have gone very, very badly. While you may not have the decades or training or ancient heritage of other adventurers, you have gallons of grit and determination that even the playing field.

The Setting

Much of the Greater Setting is still in the early stages of being written, but we’ve developed a set of Iconic NPCs that the heroes can tie into their backstory, and either boost or hinder their futures.

  • The Demon King - An ancient evil, trapped in his dark castle by a powerful shield. Although he is restrained to his eldritch fortress, his minions are free to come and go as they please and seek out new ways to torment the world and eventually set their master free.
  • The Eternal Senpai - Delusional being that lives in a dreamlike demense of mundane urban living, she sends her lovecraftian Talent Scouts out into the real world to find exceptionally skilled youths to join her in the repetitive fantasy of the adolescence she never truly had.
  • The Twins - A brother and sister who have developed the power to steal the energies of monsters and develop them into unique tools and tricks. Their genius and natural flair for the dramatic has turned them into overnight rockstars, although nobody has really stopped to question what their real motivations could be.
  • The Master of Honu - The mysterious ancient sage who is considered to be the world authority on martial arts, philosophy, and magic. Or he could be a very old and clever con artist, depends on who you talk to. Regardless of what he is he’s cultivated one of the most exclusive academies in the world on the remote Sapphire Islands, and his advice is regularly sought by leaders the world round.
  • The General - A tactical genius who is the leader of the CDF (Coastal Defense Force), directing the majority of the continent’s military might toward protecting oceanic trade routes and the mainland from the enormous and destructive monsters that dwell just off the continental shelf.
  • The Key - An eternally youthful child who is the earthly vessel of some great and terrible power, gifted with the unique ability to heal any affliction, but there’s always a catch. The first thing is finding her mountain home, which never seems to be in the same place twice. The second is that anything gained has a cost, and that cost will stick with you for the rest of your life.
  • The Future Queen - A beautiful and stoic refugee from a terrible calamity in the far future, come to the past with a section of her capitol city in order to divert the distant disaster. She must exercise a light touch in what she chooses to change and alter, lest she inadvertently create a Timecross Singularity.
  • Grandfather Youkai -  The eternal enemy of the Demon King, the self-proclaimed defender of mortal life. Although he is a demon of immeasurable power himself he acts as a boon for good and a great priest to other demons and monsters, always bringing in new followers from both the dark side of the world and from the mortal side. He also goes out of his way to minister to those of his kin that have been targeted by the Twins, helping them adjust to life as mortals.

Why Kickstarter?

The main question I see is: If so much of the game is going to be finished before the Kickstarter, why are we doing a Kickstarter to begin with?

Well, honestly because we want more out of our project than what we can do by ourselves. With just myself, Ryven, and a few of our friends helping us out for free we’ve managed to make some really good player material, most of which is ready for testing, and can put together a fun setting and a bestiary. In fact we plan on doing exactly that. We do this during our spare time though, and to do everything we’d like in this project it would take us a few years to accomplish everything. And frankly, there’s plenty that we can do that we aren’t necessarily the best choices for. We’re not artists, we’re not editors, we have no experience doing layout work or planning pagecounts and wordcounts. We can write and develop fun stuff all day long, but to make a practical published book requires a lot of experience and know-how that neither of us have.

On top of that we really want to have a rich and fleshed out setting with tons of player hooks, historical information, settings and locations to explore. We want an expansive bestiary full of engaging monsters tied with every icon to throw for DMs and players to enjoy. We want a full starte adventure in the core rulebook, we want gorgeous art and a layout that makes everything easy to read. We want all that wrapped up in a fun hardcover package that you can pick up at your friendly local game store. For that we need to hire people, and to hire people we need more money than either of us have. So that’s why Kickstarter!

How long?

Well, if everything goes as planned we’ll have the core material for players done by New Year’s and ready for playtest, maybe even sooner! If you’re interested in helping us out with the playtest stay tuned to this blog, we’ll be posting updates as they become available and will eventually have our playtest material up and ready to go!

mexican suns
from dusk till dawn, seth x kate; pg13, ~1800 | shewhodestroysthelight

They found a wad of cash rolled up in the glove box, multicolored scraps of paper that flutter in Kate’s grip. She spent the next twenty minutes counting them.

“Two hundred fifty seven thousand pesos and some change.”

“How’s your math, little lady?” Seth had flunked senior trig. He’d flunked mostly things, honestly.

The strip of skin between her brows furrowed as she counted it out in her head. “That’s—that’s twenty thousand American dollars?”

Considering how he’d had thirty mil strapped to his side about three hours ago that wasn’t much, but it wasn’t bad.

read more