swarm of the dead

Monthly TBR || April 2017

The Books:

  • Swarm by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti
  • Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys 
  • Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour 
  • We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
  • Quidditch Through the Ages by J.K. Rowling 
  • Beginner’s Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions by Six de los Reyes (not pictured, because I have the e-book) 
Nightmare Curse

What you need:
-square piece of paper
-scissors (optional)
-pen or pencil, I’d recommend red
-a paper cup, toilet paper tube, or something disposable
Recommended ingredients (you can taylor these to your own needs):
-dirt
-bugs or cobwebs
-dead or rotten anything (plants, bugs, food)
-blood, spit

Instructions:
1. Create a heart, either by cutting the paper into a heart shape, or looking up some origami
2. Write the victims name in the middle, you can write a sigil here if you want too
3. Leave this out overnight and channel all you your negitive energy into it
4. You can skip this step, but next I “drowned” it and envisioned them having nightmares of drowning
5. Next your going to want to envision things that they will have nightmares about while you do the next couple of steps. Rip the paper to shreds so that they may dream of animals tearing them apart
6. Put the paper shreds into your container. Pour the dirt on the so they will think of suffication amd claustrophobia
7. Put the bug or spiderweb in so they may dream of swarms of spiders or maggots eating them
8. Put in the rotten or dead plant, pr whatever you chose, so they may think lf death
9. I happened to have a stone that absorbed my bad dreams, so I put it in there to release them unto the victim
10. Next, close and crush the container so they will not escape
11. Finally, throw this in a trash can do they are doomed to be surrounded bye filth, alone, and surrounded by darkness. You may want to take out the trash after this

10

Smile/Silence in the Library parallels

Cait likes to tell gross stories. She’s hilarious
Our table got a tale about a dead creature swarmed and surrounded by ants in a cheap hotel in Kathmandu where they paid extra to have their own bathroom. Another table got a story about filming the dinner party in “Paris” with real food but it took 3 days to film instead of 1 and the food got super gross and stinky by the 3rd day
😂🤣😂🤣❤️

historyofamanda  asked:

"This is impossible." Shakarian!

“This is impossible,” Garrus murmured. A map of Menae sprawled in front of him, the dull red of Reaper-controlled regions pressing against the silver borders of the remaining Turian outposts.

Palaven hung heavily in the sky. Even though his back was turned, he could still feel the stares of the dead swarming across space and lodging themselves in his shoulders.

“I need someone,” said a voice in the distance, and Garrus felt as though his heart was bursting and compressing at the same time. He cautioned himself that it might not be her, even though he had no doubt that it was. “I don’t care who, as long as they can get us the Turian resources we need.”

Garrus’s eyes turned from his map to his sniper rifle. He took a slow breath. Maybe impossible was too strong a word.

12x14 The Raid

Aubrey’s Challenge: Write a fic about each episode in season 12.

Word Count: 1885

Version en Español  –  PREVIOUS EPISODE

Originally posted by jensen-jay

“I have sort of… been working with the British Men of Letters.”

Mary’s declaration gave Sam and Dean pause, but it absolutely knocked all of the breath from your lungs. She was working with those monsters?

“You, um… what?” You were sure Sam was having flashbacks to the time he spent with Toni, and the torture he endured. But no one knew about the similar flashbacks you were having. No one in this room knew about the time you spent over seas.

Keep reading

Permed

“Is recorder on?”

“Yeah it’s on.”

“Recording?”

“Yup.”

“Live feed or..?”

“Nah it’s just recording. We’ll edit this out later.”

“Really?”

“Probably not.”

“Fine, let’s just get started then.”

“Please state your name for the record.”

“My name is Professor Mohammad bin Hukukk”

“What is your profession?”

“I am a professor of Xeno Culture at New Harvard University.”

“Was this your profession during the Texar-Hakara war?”

“No, no my profession was a Orbital Drop Trooper, Sergeant, First Terran Marines.”

“Can you give us an explanation of what your job entailed?”

“We drop in, we fight our way out.”

“You took part in the fighting?”

“Yes.”

“During the assault on Rygel Nine, were you with the Marines?”

“Yes, yes I was.”

“Can you describe it for me?”

“Long. Muddly. Bloody.”

“Come on Professor Hukukk, you can do better.”

“You’re making a documentary?”

“Actually we’re making a movie. We want it to be as close to reality as possible. From what we’ve heard even the folks back at Galactic Studios won’t need to embellish much.”

“How much sway do you have with the studio?”

“I’m a Senior Producer.”

“That didn’t answer my question.”

annoyed sigh from off camera

“I have a lot of influence. I’m pretty much in charge of this production.”

“Then I want your personal assurance that the names and places I tell you won’t be changed. These men deserve that, and much more besides.”

“You have my word.”

“I want a copy of this transcript immediately after the interview.”

“Fine. Can we please move on to what I came here for?”

“Alright, ask away.”

“Professor, tell me about the lead up to, and the battle at, Rygel Nine.”

“As I said I was with the First Marines. Specifically with Third Company, Second Battalion.”

“The infamous Riley’s Rangers.”

“The very same. Our CO was Captain Hank Riley. Tough old bastard, like a father to every man in that Company. Underneath him were the three Lieutenants. Jacobs, Stern, and Gibbs. Gibbs was a First Lieutenant, second in command of the Company. I was transferred to them two weeks before drop. Just enough time to learn the names of the Captain and Lieutenants, get used to my unit, then suddenly we’re in orbit over Rygel Nine. Texar-Hakara world. The first of their original worlds we were invading. Earth was… she gone by that point. Burned by the bugs. Some of the men talked quietly about what their plans were for when they went home. Most considered that bad luck.

"I was sitting with my squad when Captain Riley gave us his speech. Hold on I brought a recording of it…”

a new voice enters the conversation, only the slightest hiss of static mars the audio file

“Men, today we’re dropping into enemy territory, real enemy territory. It’s fortified and they’re waiting for us. We have never dropped onto a world like this before. All Texar-Hakara are to be considered armed and dangerous until the local hive mind is taken out. That’s our job. We’re Riley’s Rangers for a reason. We drop into the meanest parts of enemy territory to do the most damage. That’s what we’re doing today. Stick together, work with your squad. You’ll come out of this just fine.”

the voice stops, as does the faint static

“When Marine Shock Troops drop into enemy held territory the CO sometimes plays some heavy metal or hard rock or something to get the men pumped up. It works too, wipes away some of the fear. Just enough so that the men can still function as they strap themselves into what is essentially a big bullet, that’s going to be fired out of an under powered railgun directly at the planet’s surface. Captain Riley always played Hard Corps . Old song, but damn good. The Captain came on, told us he’d see us on the other side.

"The Captain never made it down. Anti-air took out the command pod on the way down. Captain Riley and Lieutenants Jacobs and Stern were wiped. Never even heard a peep. Thankfully SOP said Gibbs had to be in a different pod, and he was.

"Lieutenant Gibbs took command. Good man, solid. Exactly the right guy to replace the Captain in combat. He got us up, armed, and organized, and he did it fast. My squad was on the far left flank with the rest of First Platoon. Our job was to hold the line and secure an exit line for Second Platoon, who would be handling the assault on the hive mind.”

“Is this where things started to go wrong?”

“Things started to go wrong when the goddamn brass decided that they wanted to drop us in the wrong place, at the wrong time, in the middle of a goddamn Texar-Hakara staging ground.”

“Jesus.”

“Damn straight. The first we realize that we’re in the middle of another grand cockup is when Third Platoon got hit by fifty Texar-Hakara warrior drones. They took sixty percent casualties in an hour. We were told to reinforce them and dig in while First Platoon scouted the area. First platoon got jumped two hundred meters out, every last one of them dead, including Lieutenant Gibbs. Now I’m in command of what we can only reasonably call ourselves an over-strength platoon. And we’re smack in the middle of a staging ground for the Third Hakaran Army.

"We radioed for support, and of course the nearest supporting elements were five klicks away. Through the largest concentration of Texar-Hakara on the continent. And we didn’t even have a direct line to them, because we were supposed to be linking up with another force twenty klicks to the north, and our communications were only keyed to Orbital Command and transmit a confirmatory ping to other Terran forces. Originally it was intended to keep us beneath the radar, so to speak. To allow us to get close to the hive mind without giving away our position. Instead what it did was effectively cut us off from the rest of the Army. Orbital was too busy to relay our messages for us.

"I was working with our tech guy, Corporal Swanson, to bypass the block on the radio when the first wave hit us. We knew the Texar-Hakara were out there, and we’d dug in feverishly. We weren’t equipped to hold the line against hundreds of enemies, but each soldier had been issued the standard anti-tunneling package. Slam a spike into the bottom of a foxhole, and the SATUFP, Strategic Anti-Tunneling Unit for Fixed Positions, shoots out thousands of nanomite cables throughout the ground, sets them firmly in place, connects them, and runs a million volt current through them. Try and tunnel into the foxhole, and you get an ugly zap. It had forced the bugs to engage us on the surface, and we set up a few some meters in front of our position. It was a good way of encouraging the bastards to come up in front of us.

"And holy mother of god did they come up in front of us. Hundreds of them came charging out of the forest, no warning, no sound except the clicking of their legs and their blasts of plasma. We had entrenched defenses, some light plasma machineguns, and the rest of us had laser carbines, plasma grenades, the usual outfit. It was a brutal fight, they kept coming even when they should have been dead. We mowed them down by the dozen, and they swarmed over the bodies of their dead. We started to take casualties as they got closer. Their accuracy was shit, but the hive mind keeps them on task, and their sheer weight of numbers often carries the day.

"It got to hand to hand at one point. They were just coming faster than we could shoot them. Vibroblades and Power Armor versus rock hard chitin and mandibles. Four Privates were MIA after that, just too ripped up to be positively IDed or POWs, the bugs were still taking prisoners at this point. Power Armor can stop a lot, plasma, lasers, bullets. Knives just bounce off. But bug mandibles have crushing force the likes of which our suits just can’t handle. I was hunkered down with Private Tulman and Corporal Swanson. We’re pouring fire into the bugs. Tulman’s Plasma MG is really what kept them off us. Then they swarmed over their corpses, and on top of us. Swanson got ripped apart. Three of them grabbed on and pulled. He was screaming and swearing and shooting to the last, but he died bloody. Tulman lit those three up the second Swanson’s vitals went flat. One of them jumped on me. These things are ugly up close. They look like short ants. Two main body pods instead of three, six big legs, six beady eyes, spikes everywhere, a plasma rifle attached to the underside of the head. I stabbed into the eyes with my combat knife. Despite what some idiot writers will tell you, a nanometer edge on your blade just makes it that much easier to break. It doesn’t matter if it can slide through titanium, in combat you’re not cutting titanium, you’re fighting a living being that is going to be moving, and when your edge breaks off, you’re dead.

"I was a Sergeant. I had a responsibility to be better than my men. Cleaner, smarter, tougher, meaner, and everything in between. Part of that is having your gear perfectly stashed and equipped. So when I say my knife had a perfect edge on it, not too thin not too dull, I’m not kidding. I stabbed straight through that bug’s eye and into its bug brain. And that bastard kept coming. So I shoved my plasma pistol up against it’s torn up eye and pumped six shots into the brain. It collapsed halfway through cutting my arm off. The connectors to my left arm were shot. My helmet’s HUD was flickering in and out and the faceplate was cracked. I was bleeding, not a lot but a little. And the bug had shredded my injury suppressants, so it hurt like hell.

"Most of my men weren’t much better. We couldn’t take another wave like that, but moving was damn risky. The way I saw it, the bugs knew we were here. It was only a matter of time until another force came by to wipe my three quarter strength company off the face of the universe. So we had two options. Stay and die, or leave and die when we ran into a bigger bug patrol. The men made their voices clear. They were prepared to die. And the way they saw it, they had a better chance of killing more bugs here than they did moving around. So we hunkered down. We piled up bug corpses to use as sandbags. We stripped the bodies of our comrades for parts and ammo. We envied the bastards actually.”

“I’m sorry?”

“We envied them. By this point in the war-”

“Revival tech.”

“We traded the Yungling for it. Standard issue on every fleet ship. Upload your neural patterns, and when your body died you got a new one, right off the printer. Commercializing DNA sequencing, one thing the twenty first century did right. As soon as those bastards were confirmed KIA, they were regrown. A hour later they were safe and sound back up on the ship. Dying isn’t fun, I’ll tell you that. But there’s a certain peace that comes from knowing it isn’t final. More likely to throw yourself on a grenade and save your squad. More likely to hold the line against impossible odds, or volunteer for a suicide mission. Best thing to ever happen to the human war machine.

"We hunker down, shore up our defenses, and we kill another group of bugs that wanders by. Fifty odd insects in that one, all dead. Along with fourteen men. Quarter strength now, about fourteen of us total. We keep doing the same thing. Kill a few bugs, a few of us buy a ticket back up to the ship. It gets to the point where it’s just me and Tulman left, out of an entire company. But we’re surrounded by bug corpses. Must have been two hundred at least.”

“Four hundred thirty.”

“I’m sorry?”

“Official after action report says at this point it is estimated your Company had killed four hundred and thirty bugs.”

“Never read it.”

“It was declassified sixty years ago, when revival tech went public.”

“Wasn’t interested in reading it. Dying isn’t fun, and remembering death… it changes you.”

“I’m sorry, please continue.”

“Next wave is about a hundred of the six legged freaks. They come at us like bats out of hell. Tulman dies quick, plasma to the face. I’m left manning the plasma MG with one hand. It clicks dry, no more charge. I can’t change the ammo by myself. It’s made to be completely operable by one man, but one man with two working hands. I charge up four plasma grenades, prime them, slap them onto two ammo boxes for the plasma MG, and run full tilt at the bugs. I jump on top of one, and the box blows. Plasma everywhere, burning the hell out of everything and everyone. That’s when I died.

"I wake up on the UHS Washington DC. She was named after the battle in the old earth capitol, back when she represented the United… Statues I think it was.”

“United States.”

“That makes more sense. Anyways, that was my part in the Battle of Rygel Nine.”

“Nothing else?”

“Nope.”

“Nothing about the awards you received?”

“They were after the fact.”

“You received the Medal of Honor for recording the deaths of over twenty men. Without that they might not have been confirmed KIA, and never revived.”

“I did what any man there would have done for me.”

“Thank you Professor, that’s all I have.”

“Don’t forget these names, those men that were torn to shreds by the Texar-Hakara, the ones that were MIA? If you can’t be confirmed as KIA we can’t revive you, having two of the exact same person in the universe, the exact same memories, the exact same fingerprints and DNA. Same loved ones, same bank accounts. What do you tell the one that turns out to have been a POW for ten years. Sorry, there’s another one of you that’s been with your family the entire time? No, no we can’t do that. They were permed.”

“Permed?”

“Permanently killed. Permadeath. Never revived. Privates Rodger P. Ackleman, Reginald Puller, George H. Killroy, and Yassah B. Hukukk.”

“Any relation?”

“My son.”

Kalithan

Setting

Mordeadus - homebrew

Country

Kalithan

Race

Human,vampires
Note: Vampires are playable in this setting.

Terrain

Vast rolling fields, thick blood birch forests
Note: Blood birch appears to look like regular birch except instead of white and black bark, they have red and black bark and a deep red blood sap.

Vampire clan - The Kalithan

They are a clan of slick talking vampires who run a large scale thief guild across the continent with many sub thief guilds under their wing

Patient and smooth but very greedy, they come off as charismatic and charming.

Vampire Abilties

Counts as undead vs turning
They do not eat or drink
Immune to poison/disease
No CON bonus to hit points
D12 hit points per level
Damage resistance 1/blunt per 4 class levels
Vampires cannot be healed with healing spells and instead ,regenerate 1 point of damage a day per level
Healing/holy deal double damage
Sunlight deals D6 damage per round.
Note: Because vampires are overpowered compared to someone playing a human, consider awarding less XP to vampires per encounter.

Blood Pools

Each vampire has a blood pool which they use to live and grant themselves abilities.
If a vampire’s blood pool reaches 0, they die and turn to dust.
Every day a vampire loses 1 blood point automatically.
Every vampire has a number of blood points in their pool with a maximum number of 10 plus 2 per class level.
To gain 1 point in the blood pool vampires must drink blood from a human, draining 1 CON point from their victim per blood point which the human can regenerate at a rate of 1 CON a day.
If the victim reaches 0 CON, they die.

The Kalithan Specific Vampire Abilities

To create a Kalithan vampire, a human must be drained of blood, given 1 Kalithan blood point and then have a 500 gold piece gem destroyed in their honor.

Kalithans get plus 2 DEX and CHA and minus 2 CON and STR.

Anyone who becomes a Kalithan vampire loses all previous classes and replaces them with thief levels.

Using 1 blood point heals 1 hit points per class level
Using 2 blood points can increase open locks, diplomacy, pickpocket, move silently, set traps, hide, climb or tumble by 2 for the Kalithan’s remaining blood pool in rounds.
Using 2 blood points can increase their DEX or CHA by 2 for rounds equal to their remaining blood pool.

Clan Culture

The Kalithan group together in clans called guilds. They love treasure, gold,jewelry, magic items anything of value and will con, cheat and steal their way to get it.

They will always try to get the better bargain in a deal, get the highest percentage of a treasure and are not above stealing from their own friends.

Within the clan is the vampire who owns the most treasure who is at the highest station with every member being one enormous haul away from ruling the nation.

Kalithans will use their charisma to get close to someone and then take what they want from them when their guard is down.

The clans strongest vice is smoking tobacco gathered and harvested from the farms. No vampire is ever caught without a pouch of tobacco because it is bad manners to not end a deal or conversation with a smoke.

Settlements

The plains are sprawling with failing cities and towns of run down building and beggars. Out in the country, the region is dotted with a numerous small ranches and farms with the people more well-off.

The forests tend to be wild with few inhabitants except for a few logging villages that exist on the border.

Architecture Style

Kalithan vampires

Each guild lives within a villa built in the center of each city. The villa is built of polished white stone and blood birch with dark red clay tile roofs.

The insides tend to be a maze of false tunnels, hidden rooms and doors with many halls lined with traps keeping intruders at bay.

Secret tunnels run behind walls used for peeping on guests through holes cut into paintings. Secret doors are hidden behind bookcases and cupboards leading to a system of tunnels that run to the sewers in the city.

Human

The people build with blood birch leaving the bark on the wood for texture and design.

The rooftops are made of dark brown clay towers with the poorest using straw tied into bundles.

Clothing Style

Kalithan vampires

They wear leather tunics and leggings often with vests and caps. Leather belts holstering knives and daggers run across their arms, legs and chest and most have a pipe placed in an open loop on their tunic.

Humans

Both women and men tend to wear dark colored dyed leather tunics and leggings of browns, blacks and maroon.

To cover for the cold, they wear black furred cloaks held closed by leather strips knotted through loops. Very few wear dresses.

Every human citizen of Kalithan is required to wear a blood birch bead necklace or bracelets. The blood birch jewelry is crafted by the Kalithan vampires and have their guild crest scratched into the beads. This is a symbolic sign of being owned, the necklaces being collars, the bracelets akin to shackles.

If any citizen is found to not be wearing their beads ,they are stripped and flogged with a second offense being death by hanging. If any non citizen is found wearing beads, they are killed outright.

If any sub-thief guild, more on these in issues, finds someone who is not a Kalithan citizen wearing the beads, they are tortured and killed with their head being sent back to the Kalithan guild whom the beads belonged to.

Religion

There is no central religion.

Government

The Kalithans rule over the people as dictators. The guilds together form one massive guild that stretches across the entire nation with their sub-factions extending to every nation on the continent. The richest guild has the height of power, ruling over the nation while the other guilds each have control of their city and surrounding lands.

The Kalithans keep the riches of their guild deep below their villas hidden in the maze of tunnels and guarded by legions of undead and beasts with no human ever allowed to see the extent of their wealth.

Penny pinching, the Kalithans rarely spend their money to improve the quality of life for the humans instead rather having them live destitute in squalor than spend a copper to raise the standards of living.

Being a thief guild, they have no reason to steal as they only need to collect taxes to obtain the people’s gold and treasure. However, they do tax everything, having the highest tax rates on the entire continent.

The Kalithan clans squeeze as much as they can from the people to the point of almost collapse, letting the citizen keep just enough to buy clothing and food and repair their shelters.

Anyone who lies about their wealth or hides it is punishes severely with beatings, whippings and even being skinned alive. This has created a local saying, “Better to eat the dirt then have no teeth.

Economy

The nation has few exports except for some small crafts traded independently by small business, merchants and tobacco.

The main import is stolen treasure gathered by the 100s of sub-guilds throughout the continent. The main resource the nation produces is steer hide and tobacco. The ranches and farms employ most of the unskilled labor and it is what keeps the peasants from going completely broke and homeless.

The steer ranches provide the people of Kalithan with most of their protein and clothing material and the tobacco farms the main crops.

These two industries are under the protection of the Kalithans, being one of the few things the vampires put money into, hiring troops of Glongia mercenaries, they pay them to keep an eye on the ranches and farms looking for theft and poachers, having full authority to punish those caught in the act.

Issues

Sub-clans

As the Kalithan branched their influence to other nations, they either allied themselves or killed rival thief guilds. As a result, now the Kalithans are the only thief guild on the continent with others always being sub-guilds.

A sub-guild, usually being human, must pay a tithe to exist or be wiped out.

The sub guild is the lightning rod, the fall guy in the region they exist. The Kalithan, having no wish to start a war - a government finding out their citizens are losing half their wealth to a foreign thief guild who is also the heads of states would lead to a lot of wars very quickly - never run a sub-guild themselves instead staying far away, keeping their hands clean.

The only proof the Kalithan run these sub-guilds are humans who have confessed or shipments of gold sent to Kalithan that have been intercepted.

Some sub-guilds do become greedy or have grown tired of foreign powers controlling their black market and sometimes guild wars do break out. In cases like that the Kalithan will hire Glongia mercenaries to wipe out the leadership or request other sub-guilds take over.

The average foot thief just getting their lock picks dirty will know their guild is the tip of the iceberg, but rarely ask how far it goes, knowing the things in the dark should stay there.

Blood Gremlins

There is a vampire race of gremlins that feed off of blood to survive.

They live in swarms and will drink anything with blood, humans, animals and even vampires, becoming like locusts devouring anything they can come across.

The swarms are created by fat queen imps who can lay dozens of eggs a day with each eggs only taking a week to hatch. Killing a queen does not ensure the death of the swarm, once one queen is dead, a new one will form within days from the survivors. Not much is known how this occurs but most wizards tend to agree it is the magical nature of the creatures with some sort of hive connection that alerts the swarm a new queen is needed.

Dangerous to the villages, farms and ranches, sometimes swarms can grow to such sizes even the cities and vampires fear their numbers. Wihtin the citie,s they are like vermin and constantly hunted down. The gremlins mostly feed on the rats but do often feed on the sleeping as well, even making their way into the villas.

On the countryside, they live in giant dirt mounds similar to red ant hills with even a slight disturbance of the nest bringing out the entire swarm.

Travelers have been known to have been attacked at night on the roadside and entire cattle herds have been wiped out.

To deal with the threat, the Kalithan do what they never do and offer rewards, from imp heads making a few copper, destroyed nests dozens to 100s of gold and queen sacs making platinum. The Kalithans  even hire Glongia mercenaries battalions to sweep the forests and plains regularly, destroying nests and having kill teams search the sewers daily. Still despite the efforts, the blood gremlin infestations seems to be growing, suggesting something more than breeding is causing them to appear.

No one knows how or where the blood gremlins started, but everyone does agree they are spreading with nests now being found on the borders of the Vierillim, Allvien, Lycanthrope forest and the Storm Plains. If not stopped, it is reasonable to assume the blood gremlins could sweep across the continents, eventually wiping out entire ecosystems even civilizations.

I got 1,150 words in the public version of the post before I realized there will be no public post. There are too many references to unposted events that go way back into my childhood and too great an exposure of something that has literally shaped my very thoughts. After the Boneyard self-insert fanfic event, I am not as liberal with my public words anymore.

I know most of you followers look at my journal as a fictional/inspirational series, but what I post on my main is very real and very personal to me. I will not harm myself to bring y’all entertainment anymore.

So, what I will speak of:

  • The Swarm are both earthen spirits and the Dead, in a way that will make sense to certain Tumblrites but I haven’t the druthers to directly ask. (So I’ll just mass-read their blogs instead looking for needles in haystacks.)
  • Another piece of me has been recovered. One that the Swarm has been holding on to for fucking decades, but was not able to reconnect me with until my waking self was in the right mindset and preparation to receive it back again.
  • Rummer John’s long game can be measured with fucking generations.

Everything else is for me to write down on paper and contemplate privately. Hell, I’m not even sure I’m going to put any reference to this on the main.

Eyes of the Swarm - Lore pt. 4 (The Emperor is Dead, Long Live the Emperor)

This post is a part of Eyes of the Swarm, my and @zlukaka​’s visual novel in development. Comments/inquiries on this will be totally make our day!

The third lore post left off on some questionable alliances being formed, so we’re picking up from there! If you’re just starting - go here (all this is still taking place before the beginning of the game, a sort of backstory).

While all parties agreed that Kron had to go, how to get rid of him and formalize the take-over was unclear. Vra was afraid that Otto was going to backstab him and usurp the throne, so instead he plotted the avatar’s demise with Nathan (he needed his scientific help). He did brief Otto on their general idea, because they could use his assistance in the coup, but Vra didn’t want to keep him fully in the loop, too afraid Otto would cross them if he knew all the details.

Meanwhile Belgar and Otto made their own secret arrangements, attempting to manage the situation from a more rational perspective. Since they were better at spying (and Belgar pestered Terry to keep him updated on Nathan’s doings, since the god was in both their head’s at once), they kept mostly up to date with Vra’s and Nathan’s plans. It’s worth to mention here, that Nathan was always very aboveboard and virtuous and the only reason he didn’t tell Belgar that Vra approached him, was because he thought his paladin would be outraged at the idea of such a cooperation and wouldn’t agree to it even for the greater good (Belgar always conducted his shady dealings in secret, so Nathan still believed him to be the incarnation of righteousness, and Terry let it stay that way). 

Vra didn’t want to just destroy Kron - he wanted to take his powers, and this way, force the Swarm into making him its new avatar. To achieve that, he asked Nathan for help with adapting the disintegration weapon that was one of his most terrifying inventions - and although Nathan hedged this deal with several conditions and safety measures, he still thought the fact he agreed to assist with redesigning the thing was very shameful for a hero of the Realmsguard - one more reason not to tell Belgar (he did end up telling him everything before they ambushed Kron, because Terry was tired of them hiding things from each other).

The reason behind Belgar’s and Otto’s team-up was more practical. Otto knew that somewhere in the process of destroying the avatar, Vra was going to try to get rid of him as well, and he didn’t want to risk getting permanently offed or crippled (he tried to explain to Vra that their interests were aligned - that he never wanted to be the ruler of the Swarm - and that there was no need for this backstabbing but he saw Vra didn’t really believe him) so he struck a deal with Belgar. He asked to be temporarily connected to the Realmsguard’s resurrection system, so that when Vra killed him (at this point, he was so reconciled with it that he actually made that a part of his own plan), he would come back in one piece. In return, he promised Belgar to smooth-talk Kron into showing up in the right place in the right time, making sure that Vra’s and Nathan’s plan plays out without a hitch, and also assured him that should they succeed in taking over, he would keep an eye on Vra (who was good at science but otherwise not learned in politics and rather trigger-happy with his powers - not a very promising ruler material), to make sure they could work out a sustainable relationship with the Realmsguard after Kron was gone. 

During those encounters Belgar found out a few rather shocking facts about Otto, that also reinforced his resolve to help Otto survive and steer the new empire in an orderly manner instead of leaving it in chaos after Kron’s death (Otto on the other hand, did not want to kill Vra and become the only leader, which would have been preferable in Belgar’s opinion, so that was not an option). One of those facts, was that Otto was able to sort of communicate with the Swarm, and that as he claimed, the Swarm was not as malicious as it seemed to be, and that the empire’s policy did not need to be as aggressive. The other fact was that Otto was… well you’ll find out soon ;)

And so, Nathan helped Vra rework the weapon. The primary concern was that the previous weapon that Vra created years ago (it was at first designed to be portable and its purpose from the very start, was to assassinate Kron) was imperfect. Namely, it gave its wielder not only the powers of the disintegrated victim, but also bits of their personality. Vra and Otto found that out first-hand when Kron had them test the weapon on themselves to punish them - the bond of the pilot and fighter whose powers they took messed them up a little (and since the heroes had been lovers, was also what made them originally start being fond of each other… in certain ways). Vra had since reworked the weapon into a more or less stable version but it ended up having to be permanently fixed in one place (disintegration chamber). He was unable to remove the flaw from the portable one. Nathan, with Terry’s assistance, helped Vra make the weapon flawless and portable (element of surprise they needed), as well as to ensure it could be used on someone with such immense power as the Swarm’s avatar. Reasonably worried that Vra would keep the weapon and start using it on the Realmsguard, Nathan made sure to attune it only to work on Kron, and to install a self-destruct mechanism so that Vra wouldn’t have the time to copy it.

In the end they were ready. Belgar joined Vra and Nathan and together, they carried out an attack, while Otto, having played his part in luring Kron where they needed him, was killed by Vra, as he expected. He didn’t mind dying and giving Vra his dream triumph in the slightest.

Now came the real moment of truth. Kron’s powers were an amalgam of the possession by the Swarm, and powers of realmshifters (both the Realmsguard and their own beastriders) he disintegrated and absorbed with the help of Vra’s inventions over the years. And as long as Vra was certain that the weapon could extract the additional powers, the Swarm had a will of its own, and it was uncertain whether it could be forced to possess him against its will. Before Vra attempted this, Nathan had asked Terry (who had once been a part of the Swarm…) about this, and Terry was tentatively optimistic. He said Vra seemed… more interesting than Kron and that the hive would probably share that sentiment in the end. They gambled everything on that.

And it worked. The Swarm possessed its new host, and Vra emerged triumphant, and thankfully, without a split personality. He had an outfit already prepared for the occasion and made an epic entrance in the headquarters like;

Everyone who tried not to acknowledge his rule, was dealt with one way or another, and that night Vra went to sleep victorious and accomplished. He was the sole, unquestioned ruler of the Swarm. 

Until someone showed up first thing in the morning;

Before Vra managed to do anything stupid, Otto made a little harmless presentation of power. And then, he calmly explained to Vra (who was finally compelled to actually listen) that he never wanted half of Kron’s power, because… he didn’t need it. 

He was already an avatar. Had been since the very moment Kron made him his advisor (Otto had been sacrificed to the Swarm and rejected by it the same way Kron was, but he kept his powers secret, preferring to manipulate the situation from safe distance). Now they were both avatars of the Swarm. (Belgar knew what Otto was, and that it was going to end that way when he agreed to help).

But Otto had no desire to be the ruler, he was more than happy to let Vra have the throne and all the perks and burdens that came with it (like being the primary target of the next coup, should any beastriders get ideas). But not all the influence. He stated that from now on he was going to be Vra’s advisor, and his spokesman and demanded that Vra officially proclaim him as acting in these roles. Otto argued that it wasn’t going to be a bad arrangement. Vra needed him - Otto was the only known person able to actually speak to the Swarm and sort of understand what it wanted, he had been paying the Swarm visits for years. He wouldn’t stand in Vra’s way, not much, if Vra played by his rules.

As much as it pissed Vra to see Otto alive and making demands, it turned out his power was equal to Otto’s (and Otto had his powers for way longer), and he couldn’t quite get rid of the man. He tentatively agreed to Otto’s terms…

And so began a new era of the Swarm’s empire, with the primadonna scientist on the throne, and his advisor making the policies from the shadows. They found little ways everyday to get on each other’s nerves the and they lived happily ever after;

Just kidding :P This will be continued in the next lore post next week.

Thank you for reading! If you got this far, please tell us what you think! It will totally make our day and motivate us to keep working :3

And if anything made you curious to know more - please ask, we’d love to answer your questions (possibly with some pictures too) <3!

how hard we hide

My head is swarming tonight with the hiss of restless ghosts.

The dead don’t care. They flee the light in the usual ways. No one ever stays.

Only memories remain, insane in the way they replay over and over again,

Desiccated histories that droop and hang like parched skin over brittle bones,

And how we assume the moaning guise of their lies with such ferocious ease,

Desperate to momentarily pretty please away the sad and lonely inside.

It’s insane how sincerely we hope. It’s insane how hard we hide.


~The Mystical Lion

There’s one point where Joinville talks about how they hadn’t received supplies in awhile and a lone galley reached them with the captain saying it was the sole survivor of a convoy of 80 ships that had left the Crusader base at Damietta and that this was to be the last convoy that would be sent because the Mamluk forces totally controlled all channels and canals in the Nile and they had hoped the fleet of 80 ships would able to supply the army for a long period of time (especially since as far as the people in Damietta knew the Crusaders were on the verge of taking Cairo and would be well supplied) and Joinville just paints this bleak picture of everyone in the army realizing they have no food and they just started eating pack animals and after that stray dogs and cats (even though it was Lent) and at one point they managed to catch a large amount of eels that were swarming on the mounds of floating dead bodies in the Nile

Zombie Crops

Grapevine paranoia, floating anger phobias, a swarm of

dead old crusty tusks and pests that leave tracks

like lovers should but

needles do

here are ten cool reasons to lose your identity

here are the top five reasons death is an unzipped shirt

vines sympathize with algae, but you can’t even visit

your mother

there’s a certain art to

remaining buried

there’s a common spark

to the seeds that

never grow

it just

doesn’t show

asongincomplete  asked:

7,8,&9 for the not usual ask thingamabob

7: Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of a bees?
well, with a bear i could play dead and unless it was hungry or a mama. but i would have a better shot at outrunning bees. also, many more barriers are effective against bees. so i say it depends on circumstances. 

8: Do you have freckles?
yes.

9: Do you always smile for pictures?
it’s a pretty well ingrained habit, so almost always. 

Questions not usually asked

Damned

DON’T OWN THE PICTURE.

You hated your life.

Not to say you were going to commit suicide or anything, but, you hated every breath you took.

Every blink of your eye.

Every step you made, you hated.

Because the world hated you just as much, if not more, than you hated it. And everyone in it seemed to hate you as well. You weren’t a bad kid, not by any means. You always did whatever was asked of you and your reading and writing were wonderful as well. But no one seemed to care.

Your mother had you out of wedlock and was being shunned by the village because of her mistake, and she takes it out on you every single day. And the kids have been ruthless as well. Always picking on you, knocking your things out of your hands and calling you names. Now, your mother wasn’t physically abusive or anything like that, but she constantly went out and left you alone, never giving you the love or affection she should. Leaving you to the wolves that waited outside in the cold.

One thing about you that scared everyone in your village was your odd eye color. They say the Gods cursed you with them so that everyone knew you were a bad omen. Your nickname around town was ‘jag-eun manyeo’, or Little Witch. There were days you couldn’t go outside because of the children waiting for you to come out so they could taunt you. Normally your mother would force you to go out and 'play’ with them, even though she knew well what it meant to go outside with them.

“Oma… Please… I don’t want to go out there with them, they’ll hurt me…” You’d say. Her cold, dead eyes would gaze at you as she’d respond.

“Let them. Let them hurt you all they like, you killed me long ago.” Her ice-filled heart could no longer feel the maternal bond you two supposedly had.

The older you grew, the more you accepted your miserable life. But… Something bright came along that you had no idea could exist for someone like you…

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