the pretender

Sing as their bones go marching in, again / the need you buried deep / the secrets that you keep are ever ready / are you ready? 
Matt Bragg/Gavin Free
Suicide Mention and Dissociation 
~1000 words

It was strange for Gavin. When he was younger he was so sure of what he liked. Stars glittering in the sky, his best friend Dan, playing pretend, and being independent. Gavin knew who he was and he loved it. No one was going to boss him around and nothing could bring him down. At least, that was until everything went to shit. It started with Dan and him arguing. Gavin wanted to follow his father’s footsteps and become a pickpocket and a hacker. Dan wanted to make an honest living like his mother and join the military for a little while. They argued and argued until one day Gavin found out that Dan had enlisted and was leaving in a week. It was the worst week of Gavin’s life. He hated Dan, but he didn’t want his friend to leave. He feared Dan would die there and so… Gavin did something bad.

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I always liked how New Vegas companions weren’t really romanceable. You could flirt with them, but even then they clearly had specific likes and wants. Arcade was gay. Cass was bisexual. But there was never a LOVE ME dialogue option. Every character was dealing with their own loss and difficulties and didn’t build their lives around the courier. Why would they. The courier is some random asshole who walked up to them a week prior and said “hey wanna fuck shit up.”

It’s almost like they were actual carefully constructed characters and not hastily thrown together cliches that would marry you after you pickpocketed all of Diamond City.

The fairy of buttons

Our Rogue (who plays a small 16 year old human girl, and manipulative little mongrel) was in a small country inn and had sneaked up to try and pick pocket a drunk at one of the tables.

He proceeds to roll a nat 1 at slight of hand.

Me (the DM): You find a piece of moldy bread in his pocket and the man wakes up to stare blearily at you.

Rogue (IC) :Uhh….Hullo. I’m a fairy. 

(He rolls 18 on deception.)

Drunk (DM): Oh! Okay. I will keep your secret.

Rogue (OOC) :I push his head back onto the table, and tell him to go back to sleep.

DM: He’s now asleep.

Rogue (OOC): I try and pickpocket him again.

(Rolls a 14)

Dm: You find a few coppers and some buttons. The drunks shirt is a few buttons short and you assume they fell off. You done yet?

Rogue (OOC): ….Can i try and sew them back on his shirt?

(A few minutes while we discus this. The group decides he has to pass a slight of hand throw and a deception throw. The first to sew the buttons on and next not to get caught by anyone in the bar.)

He rolls a 17 on the deception, and then a nat 20 on the slight of hand.

After a few seconds of stunned silence I say,

Me (OOC): Congratulations. You have just successfully sewed the buttons you found in the drunk man’s pockets back on his shirt while he was asleep in the bar without anyone in the bar noticing.

Rogue (OOC): I wanted to make sure he believed I was a fairy when he woke up.

TES Birthsigns As Stupid Shit That Happens in Elder Scrolls Games
  • The Warrior: Stabbing a giant bull netch to death with a cursed fork because a mad demon prince told you to.
  • The Mage: The Scroll of Icarian Flight
  • The Thief: Pickpocketing people's clothes.
  • The Serpent: Cliff Racers
  • The Lady: The Lusty Argonian Maid
  • The Steed: The Incredibly Murderous Unicorn
  • The Lord: The Naked Nords
  • The Apprentice: Quietly drowning new recruits in the well with a ring so heavy they sink to the bottom.
  • The Atronach: Unwittingly instigating the destruction of an entire city and the surrounding island district.
  • The Ritual: Shooting the sun out of the sky because you're a sensitive vampire who's easily sunburned.
  • The Lover: The Adoring Fan/Cicero
  • The Shadow: Getting tricked into murdering your family and work colleagues.
  • The Tower: Getting knocked into orbit by a giant.

Because @artsyfalafel and I had a conversation, and this came out of it. 

“-and the daguino was COMPLETELY overcooked!” the old man at the table next to them spat, his saliva literally landing on the alien servers face. “I DEMAND a refund!”

The server nodded hastily, eyes wide, and rushed off to the kitchen area, leaving the man to grumble to his wife about using the restroom.

Lance popped up from his seat with a bright smile on his face, dropping his napkin next to Keith and clapping his hands together. “Be right back, guys. Gotta use the little paladin’s room.”

“Just go to the bathroom, Lance,” Shiro muttered, not even looking up from his menu.

Lance shot the table a set of finger guns and darted out of sight, towards the back of the restaurant that Coran had told the paladins about. “Anyone else think that old guy was being totally unreasonable?” Keith grumbled, glancing at the table next to them and wrinkling his nose.

Pidge grinned and glanced down at her menu, eyes sparkling mischievously. “Oh yeah. Total asshat.”

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Casting Glamours

What is a glamour?

Stemming from the old Scots word, a “glamour” (always spelt with the British “ou”, as we are referring to the spell not the trait) is a kind of magickal spell or enchantment that a person casts upon an object, a person, or themselves to confuse, bewitch or obscure the senses of other observers. For instance, a pickpocket may use glamours as a means of assisting in the avoidance of detection, and a secret Witch may use a glamour to hide their spell supplies. Glamours are also one of the primary spells that the Fae Folk use to hide their presence, and also to make mischief and cause harm to intrusive or blundering humans who offend them. 

Why have I never heard of this before?!

Probably because it’s not very flashy and, by its very nature, it’s centred around concealment. Glamours are very powerful, very useful spells, but they don’t involve love or money or luck or happiness and so they tend to be overlooked by most novice or self-taught Witches. They’re also quite hard to perfect, and so many more experienced Witches give up before they have mastered them.

They are simultaneously very simple spells to perform, but very difficult to perfect, as they require significant effort of Will and a lot of practice but if you achieve a true glamour it can be one of the most powerful spells in any Witch’s arsenal. It’s also worth noting, however, that glamours do not conceal things from machines. Machines like metal detectors, security cameras and proximity detectors don’t have minds, and as such they cannot be fooled by magick that affects the mind and how the brain perceives senses. They also work poorly on animals, especially cats. Do not try to fool a cat with a glamour. Dogs are often confused by glamours, but generally see through them with time, and snakes and lizards are completely immune as far as I can tell (since their minds are not concerned with things that glamours affect).

OK, but how do I cast a glamour?

The first step is, as with all spells, to decide to do it. Decide “I am going to cast a glamour”. Know it in your soul, know that what you will do is magick, it is a glamour, and that it’s purpose is to hide yourself. Glamours on yourself are generally the easiest to start with, because they are the easiest kind with which to tell when something needs improving. 

Secondly, you must visualise strongly - and I mean REALLY strongly, let it consume your being - the purpose of the glamour. Fill yourself with the knowledge how how it will work, what it will do, how it will work. If you are looking for a glamour of imperception, whereby you attempt to make yourself hard to see by convincing the minds of people around you that you are utterly uninteresting and forgettable, fill yourself with that. Let to complete and utter truth of that ring through your head; 

“I am forgettable, I’m not even here. You don’t remember me, I’m utterly boring, I’m just another part of the background. Everything about me is empty and dull. There is nothing here”

And similar such truths. Let your Willpower make them true, let their truth fill the world around you through the strength of your visualisation.

Thirdly, sustain it. This is the hardest step, but a glamour will only last for as long as it is sustained and remembered. If you are visualising a glamour on something that moves or changes (such as yourself) this can involve literally constant reinforcement - never ever stop thinking those reinforcing statements and pouring all your Willpower into them. For objects that are more static, for instance a chest containing spell supplies, this can simply involve a period of refreshment every evening whereby you place your hands upon it and refresh the enchantment you’ve placed upon the chest, reminding it of how completely ignorable and boring it is, reminding it that nobody will open it because nobody will care enough to try, that nobody will notice it because it’s so dull it’s not even there. 

That seems REALLY hard, is there a simpler way?

The short answer is, no. This is why glamours are often quite unpopular - despite their obvious power and usefulness, the sheer effort of Will that goes into the construction of a glamour, and the amount of practice you need to get really good, can scare off a lot of Witches from truly persisting. Those who need glamours are often the only ones who are really any good at them - the best glamour-caster I have ever known developed her skill during her life as a pickpocket, when she used glamours to avoid getting caught. The simple fact that she has no criminal record attests to their efficacy! But, it took her a very long time to get that good, and most Witches simply don’t care enough to try.

However, I urge you to do so! It’s such a rewarding skill, even if only so that you can be the undisputed champion of paintball and laser tag in your friend group because nobody ever sees you in the shadows. 

So there you are! The ancient, powerful, and mostly-overlooked art of glamours! I hope this helped all you lovely Witches!

– Juniper Wildwalk



…Pickpocketing Percival Graves.

Quickly picking the man as a target, you acted distracted and bumped into him.

“Oh,” You say, grabbing his wrist by his watch. “I’m so sorry, sir.” You turned quickly to leave, getting yourself lost in the crowd.

Percival looked as you disappeared for a moment, since your appearance stirred him a bit. Getting out of his daydream, he felt his wrist where you had your hand.

“Really?” He looked at his wrist again as if to make sure. His watch was long gone. “Damn.”


Modern Day Greek Gods

He’s that infamous high school dropout, the one that keeps the people of his small-town origins entertained for years. He’s the runaway at sixteen, the boy who saw opportunity in a forgotten stack of twenties and took the first train out. He’s the kid that pickpockets at carnivals, the daredevil who robs convenience stores with clown masks and toy guns. He’s the fastest kid you’ve ever met, the one who set all of the track records at school, the one that the cops can’t catch. He’s the kid who runs messages between gangs because he enjoys being the middleman. He’s the boy who will drop everything to help an old lady across the street. He’s the boy who steals from a candy shop so that the crying little boy on the sidewalk can have something sweet to brighten his day. He’s the kid who has big dreams to travel the world, who puts pins in his maps and connects them with threads because there’s an order that he has to visit them in. He’s the kid who takes what he can and survives off the laughter he leaves behind.

Here is another OC of mine. He’s called Trick.

He comes from a long line of magicians, although he doesn’t have any family left. A few generations ago, his direct ancestry split from the magicians, so he doesn’t even know where to find them if there are any left.

He’s not very good at doing many tricks although he can pull off a few. He is the type of person to only do what he is confident in and struggles to grow. He ends up following Bae for the length of the story. He looks up to her and is jealous of her strength and ability to take action. 

In the beginning, when he meets Bae, he acts as a sort of guide for her. He fakes confidence for her and tries to take her through the country. She realizes he isn’t very brave, but grows to appreciate him anyway and encourages his efforts. 

I drew him wearing his performance clothes. He normally wears stuff that doesn’t stand out, but after travelling with Bae for a while, he dons these quite normally so he can be noticed. Bae and Trick sort of ground each other throughout the story. The two consider what is best for the other. She begins to see him as a little brother or younger companion that needs support and guidance.

Here are my other OC’s from this idea I like to daydream about:

Bae   Rhyne   Verai   

“What if he snips the zombie’s pockets too well and his pants fall down?”
“Oh god please no. Imagine the horror of being flashed by a zombie.”
“It couldn’t be that bad.”
“Is it a negative status condition if we’re mentally traumatized by the sight of rotted zombie dick?”
“I love you man but I’m not risking zombie penis ptsd so that you can have 2 extra gold coins before the fight starts instead of after.”

-another player and I discussing the possible consequences of our thief (who had been having a night full of nat 20’s) using a knife to pickpocket a zombie in the room. Our DM was very disappointed in us.