Took up a comic-making challenge with some pals! We worked under the prompt: “He never ceases to amaze me”.
This one takes place after Yurio & Otabek left the Russian cafe in that one official art. I don’t write in the speech bubbles of my comics all-too often (don’t have a lot of confidence in my handwriting) but I really like how my penmanship in this one turned out~
Context: I am DMing a group of players through an amped-up version of the Death House from Curse of Strahd. This is meant to be a one-shot mini-campaign where many (if not all) of them will die, so I’m doing my best to make things as dangerous and scary as possible, including playing creepy music which has them all on edge. The group has made it to the third floor of the house and found two doors, one locked and one unlocked. This takes place after they fail to open the locked door.
Player 1: So the other door is unlocked, right?
Player 1: I go to open the door… 13 for perception?
DM: As you look around your notice this room is mostly empty save for a desk with a large iron key on top of it. There is also a window on the far wall and sitting on it as a porcelain doll with a faded yellow dress. It’s eyes seem to follow you.
Player 1: Nope! Fuck that! I close the door.
Player 3: But the key! What if it unlocks the other door?
Player 1: Ugh, fine. I open the door again.
DM: You see the same scene, but the doll is no longer on the windowsill.
Player 1: Uh, perception 17 to see where it is?
DM: You cautiously pure around the room, looking for any signs of a faded yellow dress, however seen nothing… Until you look down.
Player 3: NO.
DM: Yes. The doll is standing by the partially open door, looking up at you with blue glass eyes.
Player 2: I roll to fucking punt it across the room! *rolls a 2*
DM: You take a step forward and go to kick the doll with all your might… only to have it grab your boot with its tiny porcelain fingers.
Player 2: HOLY SHIT! BURN IT! BURN IT!
Player 1: I ROLLED A 15 TO CAST FIREBOLT ON THE DOLL!
DM: You hear a high pitched shriek echoing from the room as the doll’s head explodes into flames, it’s worn yellow dress catching almost immediately. You watch in abject horror as it releases its grip and stumbles back. As its hair burns away, its glass eyes roll upwards to look at you before beginning to melt back into its porcelain skull.
Player 3: NOPE! I roll to slam the door shut!
DM: The door slams shut without a problem and the screaming stops abruptly.
Player 1: Guys… we still need that key…
After some argueing about whether or not getting the key and potentially unlocking the other door was “worth all this horror movie bullshit”, Player 1 again steps up.
Player 1: Okay, I open the door again and get a 14 perception.
DM: The first thing you notice is an eerie silence followed by the distinct smell of sulfur and burning hair, and lastly you see the remains of the doll. Her body is charred black, her hair has burned away along with the clothes she was wearing, and the sockets which once held blue eyes are empty, yet somehow you still feel as if you are being watched. She sits upon the desk, holding the iron key in her lap.
Player 1: FUCK IT, I’M GONNA SPRINT IN THERE, SNATCH THE KEY AND GET THE FUCK OUT AS FAST AS I CAN!
DM: Roll me an athletics check.
Player 1: 19?
DM: You do so easily, slamming the door behind you. Congratulations, you got the key.
Queue having to take a 10 minute break as the DM laughed about their reactions and everyone shared their mutual terror of babydolls, agreeing that after this all was over they were going to burn the whole house down.
The clouds that threatened rain earlier in the day have subsided, bunching themselves cosily near the horizon as though they’re aware that what Laurent needs more than anything else is a good sunset to serve as a backdrop. Laurent sits in the grass near the edge of the headland, looking down onto the dark sand of the beach. The water shades abruptly from turquoise to teal a few hundred metres offshore, a meandering divide that becomes less and less distinct as the sun creeps down.
Part of the reason Laurent has been so strict with the show’s budget is that he’s been determined, all along, to produce a finale that is truly spectacular. Sunsets over the ocean aren’t exactly easy to come by, on Australia’s east coast, and it’s an irony of geography that the nearest west coast belongs to another country entirely.
But that makes it better, Laurent thinks, gazing out over the vista of Te Henga. Crossing the sea. The romance of destination.
“I don’t suppose you’d be prepared to give us a hint,” says a voice from behind him.
Jokaste steps up next to him; Laurent has to tilt his head to take her in. Her hair is braided back, one plait forming a headband and the others looped intricately into a knot at the back of her head. She’s wearing a long flowing dress of pale lavender, just a shade away from overtly bridal, and it somehow manages to accentuate the porcelain of her skin instead of calling out unpleasant pink or yellow tones. Laurent makes a note to give someone in wardrobe a bonus for that.
“You do know who he’s going to choose, don’t you?” she says.
“Don’t get me wrong, love, I’m going to miss you. Who is going to force feed me coffee every morning? Who will laugh at all my jokes? What if I kill our plants? I mean, I think I’m okay with the succulents but we’ve got herbs now. That’s a lot of pressure.”
I snorted. “I think you can keep the mint and parsley alive for a few weeks.”
“I don’t know, Bee. The basil always gets a bit wilty when it sees me coming but it perks right up when you’re around it.”
As a gay man, I really love gay books and here are some of my favorites:
The Nightrunner Series by Lynn Flewelling; This is easily my favorite series I’ve ever read, and it consists of seven books and a short story collection. The story revolves around two spies, who are both bisexual (although the word does not exist in the universe in which it is set). It’s a fantasy setting that is incredibly fleshed out and, thus, feels very real. The two main characters begin as teacher and protege but, as the story progresses and they are on more equal footing, they become lovers. There is a large cast of multi-dimensional characters, a well-developed story, and lots of action and political intrigue.
Bonds of Earth by G.N Chevalier; This one takes place right after WWI. The narrator is a gay man who fought in the war and was scarred by it. His life mostly revolves around sexual pleasure as a means to forget about his experiences. His uncle finds out that he’s gay and forces him to leave New York and his job in a bath house there. He becomes a gardener on an estate that houses a reclusive man, who was badly injured in the war. They do not get along to begin with, but with some coaxing from the housekeeper’s granddaughter, they are brought into each others’ orbits and are forced to work together. The narrator worked in a hospital helping wounded soldiers and he uses his experience to help the man who lives on the estate and their relationship progresses the longer they spend time together. The story is very sweet and shows the characters bettering each other.
Immortal Quest by Alexandra MacKenzie; The story take place in modern-day London, but with the edition of secret immortal mages. A detective encounters a thief who claims to know the detective from the detective’s past lives. He also claims he’s an immortal mage who is 500 years-old. The mage asks for the detective’s assistance in helping him contain an evil mage who he’s accidentally released. The detective begrudgingly comes with and, slowly, recovers memories of his past lives. He’s been reincarnated many times and the mage has kept track of him through each life. He sometimes remembers his past lives and sometimes not. There is a lot of humor in this one–the mages are almost all stockbrokers, if I remember correctly, because they’re used to serving the rich and powerful, and have magic that is basically useless with modern technology. The characters are sarcastic and snarky but at the same time complement each other well.
Malachite by Kirby Crow; This one takes place in a matriarchal world in a society that consists of only criminal and outcast men. (I was not so keen on the idea at first but I was convinced as I read it.)
Being a society of all men, men have relationships with each other. The story is told from three men’s perspective, two of which are former gang members who were forced into their gang as children, and the other who is much younger and the son of the most powerful man in the city. The former gang members used to be lovers and together brought down the gang which they were once a part of. They have since parted ways but there are many hard feelings between them. One has worked his way up in society and is engaged to the son previously mentioned, and the other spends his days drinking and having sex and thinking about his previous lover. The character relations are really great and the world is captivating, plus there is a polyamorous relationship between three men. Also, Tris is one of my favorite characters from anything ever.
The Fire’s Stone by Tanya Huff; Another fantasy novel that’s a pretty typical fantasy quest story. There are three main characters–a thief, a prince, and a wizard who happens to also be a princess. The prince and princess are betrothed but neither wants to be with the other. The three end up together by fate and go on a quest to retrieve the stone which was stolen from the prince’s kingdom and which is the only thing keeping the volcano in the city at bay. The story includes an asexual princess and two men who are attracted to men. There’s a decent amount of world-building, which I liked, and the story is very fast-paced.
“When you said you were going to Tokyo,” Haruka finally broke the silence, and Makoto was happy to find he had been wrong about the power of the human voice. “I was confused… I just thought we’d stay together after graduation. No other alternative was a possibility. Then in Australia, I realized why the thought of you leaving terrified me.” Makoto closed his eyes and pulled in closer to Haruka. “And where did all that stuff about smothering come from? You never smothered me. Sometimes, I stayed in the bath too long… because I knew you’d come and pull me out.” [x]
i’ve decided to start drawing out another one of my gemsona’s story and since i’ve been thinking about citrine’s a lot i decided to do her’s. this is going to be citrine’s but also smoky quartz’s story because a lot of citrine’s past has to do with smoky quartz