Sunday, January 31, 2021

That Stuff That Nerds Read (GLOG Superhero Setting, Character Creation)

    The year is 2013, President John Edwards has just won his reelection, and you have superpowers.

    You live in fabulous Bayport, NY. In some worlds this is a small town like many other small towns on Long Island; in yours it is a decaying industrial city of a hundred-thousand souls (and twice as many people, HA!).
    Plagued by organized crime, ground under the boots of vicious corporations, "protected" by an ineffective police force held together by corruption and graft, Bayport is the perfect city for an up-and-coming superman to make a name for themselves.

    The first supermen were veterans of the Great War. They were regarded as urban legends by the people of the era, who still received most of their news from weekly papers, until Boltcutter arrived on the scene. He was as fast as an automobile, and hit harder! Nothing less than a bursting shell could pierce his skin! He could clear a city block in one leap! With his sidekick Concrete Lad (who gained his powers by falling into liquid concrete) he fought Hitler, Mecha-Hitler, Ultra Mecha-Hitler, and the Son of Capone. As more supermen appeared on the scene, and Boltcutter grew in renown, vigilantism was effectively legalized at the federal level by the passing of the Othello Act. Thus was born the second generation of superheroes.

    As the Cold War between the first- and second-world continued into the 70s, supermen became more and more essential to the effort on both sides. They likewise became more popular, and many supermen of the period were made into household names by their media presence and pop culture appearances. But as this was happening, the world became darker. What defenses are there against a man who can read your mind as he walks by you in the street? How do you fight someone who can predict your decisions before you decide them?

    Obviously, with supermen. More and more emphasis was placed on individual people (and their individual caprices) to ensure the defense of the nation, industries rose to capitalize on what powers they could, countries became more reclusive, more secretive, and less trusting, and the walls closed in.

    By the 90s, when Boltcutter died, the future wasn't what it used to be. Supermen were corporate assets, or arms of the military-industrial complex (to whatever degree those were different things). World governments were paranoid and hostile. Urban areas were swarming hives of violence and degeneracy; rural areas were scarred by industrial exploitation, super-powered feuds, or open war.

    By 2013 things are looking grim. In America major corporations operate almost entirely outside of the law. Times are hard for the common man. Most people live paycheck to paycheck, or meal to meal. There are still opportunities in the world, but it just seems like there's less than there should be, you know?

    Well, in the end it's like Boltcutter II (CEO of MEGA®️Weapons) likes to say: "Shit into one hand, wish into the other, and see which hand fills up first."

Hey That Sounds Cool, How Do I Be A Super Guy?

    I'm glad you think so and I'm glad you asked. The main concern for being a super guy is having super powers, which I will now explain:
    The powers of a superman fall into eleven categories: Brawn, Durable, Martial, Think, Perceive, Create, Shift, Fly, Zap, Weird, and Ace. These categories exist "in-universe" and are used by supermen-hunters to calculate how expensive their hits will be.
  • Brawn is those powers related to physical strength. PCs with Brawn 1 have strength scores of 18.
  • Durable is those powers related to physical robustness. PCs with Durable 1 have constitution scores of 18.
  • Martial is those powers related to physical skill and ability. PCs with Martial 1 have two scores of 15 of their choice.
  • Think is those powers related to knowledge and mental fortitude. PCs with Think 1 have intelligence scores of 18.
  • Perceive is those powers related to senses beyond or besides human norm. PCs with Perceive 1 have wisdom scores of 18.
  • Create is those powers related to the permanent creation of matter.
  • Shift is those powers related to a non-human form, whether permanent or changed into temporarily.
  • Fly is flight, whether through levitation or jetpack feet or giant metal wings.
  • Zap is those powers related to the projection of force, whether through telekinesis or laser-eyes or fire breath.
  • Weird is those powers related to ignoring rules. This includes invisibility, intangibility, self-teleportation and things of that nature, but also many powers which don't fall under any other category.
  • Ace is those powers related to changing the rules. This includes reality-warping, mind control, powers which affect other powers, and most other things really frightening to consider.

I Didn't Understand That At All, And It Doesn't Sound Fun?

    Yeah I know, I have not thought of a good way of presenting it. Perhaps "an eleven-category descriptive (not prescriptive) point buy system for generating supernatural abilities of roughly equal power, compatible with your basic d20-like games, with a Worm flavor." It is fun though.

What If You Had Some Examples?

    That's a surprisingly good idea, voice-which-follows-me-and-ceaselessly-complains. Let's look at some examples of past characters:

Foresight — one-sigma. Perceive I, Zap. A nursing student by day, his costume was spare scrubs with hundreds of googly eyes hotglued on. Played up a "precognition" angle, but his powers were the ability to perceive time much slower and to project spasm-inducing nerve-rays from his eyes. Combined, these made him seem like a kung-fu master. Also used his powers to cram studying in between superhero exploits.
Barrietta — one-sigma. Fly, Zap.  Explicitly described to me as "that one girl from Young Justice with the forcefields". Technically had the power to create damage-absorbing forcefield fences, but only ever flew around and shot at people with a normal gun.
Slugger — one-sigma. Brawn 1, Martial 1. Wore a baseball uniform and carried a composite baseball bat. He lasted for one session before his fellow heroes zapped him with a brainwashing ray they stole from a cult leader and then tried to beat him back into normality with a wooden bar stool, killing him.
Snakecharmer — one-sigma. Martial 1, Zap. Raised in a circus, was a master of throwing knives and juggling and could control light metal objects at a distance of a hundred feet or so. Used a length of razorwire as a telekinetic grappling tool. After being shot by a cocaine cartel, Massive Damage rolls took his leg off and the player quit in a huff.
Sinkeda — two-sigma. Brawn I, Durable I, Martial II. Could run on walls for 30' at a time and threw big knives with +8 to-hit. Costume was a doofy sweater and a champion belt, both lined with hidden pockets/holes for the dozens of knives he kept strapped to his body.

   These are examples from the lower bounds of power, appropriate for level-1 PCs and their enemies. Here's an example at the other end of the scale:

Supercarrier — four-sigma. Brawn III, Durable ב, Martial I, Weird. Hits like a train, difficult to kill like a train. He can "hold on" to air and swing around like an acrobat. Jumpruns very fast. Smashes.
    "Hits like a train" sounds like hyperbole, but it is not. Supercarrier weighs well over one-thousand kilograms in his socks and can accelerate to 200mph over the course of forty feet. His blows do not crush you; they aerosolize you. One shoe goes this way, one shoe goes that way, and the rest of you is reduced to a rapidly expanding cloud of damp particulate matter. Poof.
    He wears an additional two-thousand kilos of tungsten-steel armor. This is not to protect him, because he is a Durable ב. He shrugs off any weapon that a human being can operate. The weapons that threaten Supercarrier are the kind which are launched by a human, or by two humans with two separate keys and a big red button. The armor is just to give him more inertia and a place to slap a bumper sticker that says I DON'T BRAKE FOR LAWYERS.
    Like many carrier-class supermen, he wears a long-range GPS tracker in case he falls into the ocean so he can be recovered with a big crane like a chunk of the Titanic.
    Supercarrier can't fly domestic. He needs to be chunked around like a payload, and there are special silos in Kansas to fire him up on the tip an ICBM. Think of him like a fifth branch of the U.S. military: Supercarrier isn't as versatile as, say, the Marines, and can only be in one place at once, but he could kill as many Marines as he could catch and they probably wouldn't have any way of stopping him.

Combat and Such

    I'm going to end this post in an unorganized sprawl of miscellaneous rules, so buckle up. These were written for 5e originally; characters get one "action" and one "bonus action" every turn. All ballistic weapons have exploding damage dice (if you roll maximum damage, roll the dice again and add the sum).

    Recoil (noted RX, where X is the value) is the minimum strength mod required to effectively use the a gun. If your strength mod is too low, you suffer a to-hit penalty equal to the difference. Ignore recoil if the gun is mounted securely, -1 effective recoil for a long barrel and a stock, -2 for holding the gun in two hands.

    All guns cause a ricochet on a natural 1. Roll a d6. On a 1–4 no one is hit, on a 5 the shooter is hit for 1d4, and on a 6 a random person in the area is hit for 1d4.

    Magazines and speed loaders cannot be refilled during combat.

    Light, medium and heavy are as in standard GLOG (⅓ 1d6 damage can be thrown, 1 slot 1d6/1d8 damage in one or two hands plus strength mod, 2 slots 1d10 damage in two hands plus strength mod).
    Automatic guns expend 1d10 rounds in an attack with +1 to-hit. You can expend another d12 rounds for an additional +1 to-hit. They reload as semi-auto.
    Double-Barreled weapons have two barrels each holding a shell. You may fire or reload a barrel with an action or bonus action. Firing both barrels gives advantage to the attack.
guns cannot be used in melee range.
    Pocket weapons have no encumbrance cost. Advantage in melee range.
    Revolver weapons reload from a speed-loader with an action. If you don’t have a speedloader, you can reload 1+[dexterity mod] chambers with an action.
    Selective weapons can be treated as automatic or semi-auto.
    Semi-Auto weapons fire once on an attack, and reload from a magazine with a bonus action.

    Some armor grants bonus Armor Class making you more difficult to hit, others grant Damage Resistance applying a penalty to every damage die, others just give you Ablative Hitpoints and are wrecked before your actual hitpoints are touched.

Simple Melee:
  1. Club, $2, light
  2. Folder Knife, $5, light, pocket
  3. Brass Knuckles, $15, light (+1 to-hit in melee, can't be thrown)
  4. Baseball Bat, $20, medium
  5. Hatchet, $30, light (1 slot, +1 to-hit with thrown attacks)
  6. Machete, $20, medium
  7. Sledge, $30, heavy
  8. Maul, $50, heavy
  9. Battleaxe, $300, heavy

Simple Ranged:
  1. Glock 9mm, $300, 1d6, R1, ammunition, semi-auto 10, 20/60.
  2. Glock 10mm, $800, 1d8, R2, ammunition, semi-auto 10, 30/90.
  3. .38 Special, $200, 1d6, R1, ammunition, pocket, revolver 5, 20/60.
  4. Colt .45, $400, 1d8, R1, ammunition, revolver 6, 30/90.
  5. 20-gauge shotgun, $250, 2d4, R3, ammunition, long, double-barreled, 60/180.
  6. 12-gauge shotgun, $350, 2d6, R4, ammunition, long, semi-auto 5, 60/180.
  7. M1911 (.45), $500, 1d8, R2, ammunition, semi-auto 7, 40/120.
  8. 10/22 (.22), $200, 1d4, R2, ammunition, long, semi-auto 20, 80/320.
  9. Armalite (5.56), $600, 1d6, R3, ammunition, long, semi-auto 15, 80/320.
  10. Derringer (.22), $200, 1d4, R4, ammunition, pocket, double-barreled, 10/30.
  11. Stungun, $50, 1d12 non-lethal Lightning, DC 18 con save for no damage, 20/60

Accessories and Gadgets:
  1. Speedloader, $10
    Allows one to reload a revolver quickly in combat. Same price for any revolver.
  2. Magazine (handgun), $20
    Ditto, “handgun”.
  3. Magazine (long gun), $30
    Ditto, “long gun”
  4. Mounted Laser Pointer, $20
    Increases effective range of a gun by 10', visible to others.
  5. Holographic Sight, $300
    Increases effective range by 50%.
  6. 7x Zoom Scope, $300
    Swap around effective/maximum range.
  7. 100 feet of rope, $15, ⅓rd slot
    Some rope. Nice nylon stuff, holds a ton.
  8. Grapnel, $20, ⅓
    A big spiky hook thing. Attach it to a rope to climb buildings.
  9. Flashlight, $10, ⅓
    Bright light to 30', dim light to 60'.
  10. First-aid kit, $20, 1
    Heals 1d4 HP on a successful skill check, or 1 HP on a failed check. One use.
  11. Handcuffs, $50, ⅓
    Like standard manacles.
  12. Football pads, $200
    +1 AC, can be painted in your colours easily.
  13. Calling card (200), $5
    Branding! Leave your logo at the scene of your brutal beatings.
  14. Booze, $2–20
    Gives you a point of drunkenness.
  15. Street clothing, $20, 0 or 2
    Full set of non-suspicious clothing.
  16. Dark clothing, $20, 0 or 2
    Full set of dark black and brown clothing. Advantage on sneak checks while in darkness, hard to explain if people catch you.
  17. Bulky clothing, $30, 1 or 2
    Full set of heavy clothing in multiple layers. +1 AC, -2 to sneak or climbing checks.
  18. Snowboarding helmet, $40, 0 or 1
    Kind of makes you look like a dweeb.
  19. Airsoft mask, $15
    Conceals the face. You can put a logo or something on it.
  20. Fencing helmet, $50, 0 or 1
    Hard to hear things while wearing it. Conceals the face.
  21. Set of lockpicks, $80, ⅓
    Lets you attempt to unlock standard locks with skill. Locks have varying DCs
  22. Binoculars, $150, ⅓
    Eight-times zoom. Very handy for spying.
  23. Pack of cigarettes, $10
    Contains 20 cigarettes. You receive a +2 bonus on any skill check made while smoking. Make a DC10 Constitution save against addiction when smoked. If failed, the save can be made again at the end of a long rest.
  24. Trailcam, $150, ⅓
    Records video and audio when it detects motion. Admissible in court.
  25. Spray paint, $2
    Mark your territory, or spray people in the eyes.
  26. Rat poison, $10
    When ingested, pass a DC18 Constitution save or take 2d6 poison damage from internal bleeding. Acts within 10 rounds.
  27. Crowbar, $15
    A crowbar. Advantage on Strength checks where the crowbar could reasonably help. Counts as a Club.
  28. Lighter, $3
    Makes flame.
  29. Knife-proof gloves, $50
    Definitely makes you look badass.
  30. Skiing gloves, $100
    Your unarmed attacks have +1 to-hit and damage.
  31. Bulletproof Vest, $500, 1 or 2
    +2AC, DR1, 8AH against ballistics. Bulky and suspicious.
  32. Gascan (2 gallon), $3, ⅓ empty 2 filled
    Can hold other things than just gasoline. Not too suspicious when carried around in daylight.
  33. Gasoline (gallon), $5
    Bring your own can.
  34. 50 feet of duct tape, $2
    Some tape. What do you want me to say?
  35. Ballbearings (1000), $70, 1
    1000 stainless-steel ballbearings. Hit someone with them, or spill dangerously.
  36. Flaregun, $100, 1
    A flaregun. 10/30 range.
  37. Flares (10), $20, 1 slot for 10.
    Some flares. Deal 1d4 damage if they strike somebody, set things on fire, make a lot of light and a little noise.
  38. Green laser, $15
    A laser pointer, colored green. Can be used to signal allies or distract enemies. Functions just fine in daylight.
  39. Walkie-talkies, $30
    A pair of walkie talkies. Comes with a recharging stand. The battery is good for a few hours and the signal is good for two miles. Not secure.

Friday, January 22, 2021

The City of G_d and the Unfinished World

    Here's your chart, you're a cleric now.

    "As the ship began to sink, and the sharks grew closer, the passengers were struck with wild fear. Each responded to this fear in their own way.
    Some broke open kegs and barrels, and as the alcohol mixed with the rising saltwater they fell onto all fours to lap it up like dogs. Some turned to their brother- and sister-passengers to comfort them in the last hour. Some drew swords and vowed to leap into the sea and face the sharks like men. A few sat on the deck, plucking at musical instruments, swearing that the Captain and his officers would return, and ignoring the lifeboats disappearing into the distance. Others, strangely silent, slashed at their own flesh to offer their blood to the sea, as if they would summon their Captain back. Still others ransacked the cabins for clues they swore were hidden within. Still others threw fistfuls of water over their heads, crying out "If we dig fast enough we can reach the bottom before the sharks!"
    I stood on the gangplank and called out to the maddened host. "Do not fear!" I said, "instead, let us disembark to the reef we have struck, for in the distance I see the lights of civilization!" Speaking thus I gestured.
    They ignored me. I left the ship alone."

        - from Beyond the Sea, a castaway narrative

    "Where now are the princes of the nations, who lorded over the beasts of the earth, who made sport of the birds of heaven, who heaped up the gold in which the common folk put their trust, whose possessions were limitless, who anxiously schemed over money and unseen doings?
    "They are dead, and in Hell, and some others have risen to their places."

A Selection of Religious Texts
  1. the Magolg par artenbrar, how the world began and where it went wrong
        So He tore Ka with his long gold fingers,
        cut him, scarred his body with Pale marks.
        So the Heroine threw herself over her creators body.
        “Crude thing; creation is miserable, and existence is the worst thing for you.
        “Hope often deceives.”

        So He took the heroine in his long gold fingers,
        broke her, threw her body into the Darkness
        that was unrevealed by the gold-forge light,
        and swore he would not again leave or permit
        further master craft.

        And he worked, and He watched, and she waited.
        And Ka, as Magolg slept in the cool tree-shade
        shaped new master craft the world had not seen.
        This new thing had bones of steel and was clothed in wood,
        with sharp edge...

  2. Who Is He and How Shall We Know Him? - a helpful pamphlet

  3. Seven Black Antlers - apocalyptic poetry
        From those who dwelled by an ancient sea
        rose prayers like incense constantly:
        "Thou art hidden, Father! We
        fain would see thee nod!
        Make the skies all blood below thee!
        Though it kills us, we shall know thee!
        ANSWER US, O G_D!"

  4. Abbadon, Our Shieldbearer - a work of excited angelology
        And he has wings too, and they are totally bitching. They glow in the dark and he can shoot his feathers out, wachow, and they do a million damage.
        He has six wings, actually. They are all equally bitching. Two of them are upside down and he uses them to fly upside down. They are one mile wide and two miles long, because he is tall.
        He also has guns.

  5. Motifs on Man - it's ok if you don't "get" it
        [long complicated piece of musical notation, apparently intended to be played with guitar, trumpet, pipe organ, cello, stomping feet, bassoon, triangle, panpipe and 24 cannons]
  6. Death's Mysteries Revealed - an exciting title for a very mundane work
        But that's not all: Ms. Christie gave the trumpet solo to none other than Agatha Guess. That little shitstain couldn't play a solo if you put a gun to her head (I will pay you 30p. (my entire allowance) to put a gun to her head and make her play a solo). As for how Ms. Christie can tell the difference between the trumpet players and the cries for help coming from her sandy vagina, this honest son of the Church cannot say.
  7. Mother Guide my Pen - a mystic-erotic text banned in every G_d-fearing country
        I knew then that I had lost you,
        once and for all,
        and the world was turning inward
        as the leaves began to fall.

        And the red myrtle petals sprang up
        like blood out of your shoulder.
        And I will never grow any wiser,
        but but I will grow much older.

  8. the Fire Testament - words that burned through the land
        Jovan said: When someone spoke ill of me to others, I took it bravely. I would still speak well of them. This made us both liars.
        Jovan said: Not a single person in the world deserves your help. not a single person in this world deserves kindness. If we only gave those things to the deserving, we couldn't even give them to ourselves. We would wizen like smoked meat, turn yellow like old fat, and sit in a dark corner until we died of hunger.
        Jovan said: A prideful man is often a man having his ego stoked by someone who will brutally humble him eventually. Remember this in the interest of charity.
        Jovan said: There is a certain type of person who is capable of attaining something resembling sainthood in order to spite someone else and this is the type of person who scares me most.
  9. Fear Death - a warning and a promise
        AND HE FOUND IT,
  10. I Have Been Behind the Stars - an unlikely travelogue
        And this is what I learned: we are here to eat each other alive.
  11. Lead Them Out - the recitation of a killer-of-men
        Aeshe (pbuh) taught me that it is preferable for the sun and moon fall from the heavens and crash to earth, and all the seas be boiled away, and all the world be reduced to less than nothing, and every life end in the most extreme suffering of merely physical destruction, than that one human soul, I shall not even say be lost, or commit a great sin, but rather, tell the lightest and most convenient lie, or raise their voice against another with unjustified anger.
  12. Careful Dissection of a Living Soul - an unusual medical treatise
        You will own many pairs of shoes over the course of your life. When one pair is worn out you will buy another. Many times. You outlive them all. And then, one day, you die.
        From this we conclude that Man is immortal.
  13. Ways and Means of Destroying the Dead, the Evil, the Heretical and Other Scourges You May Encounter - a handbook every paladin appreciates

  14.  I Will Be The Last - in the end sanity is a restriction like any other
        So what do a man like the Magian in the Magian is like? And what does G_d like?

        Here is the answer to that question. For the Magian is to be made immortal: the immortal, that is, the incarnation of G_d.

        So what would you find a living soul who could be in - the living soul of a sleeping soul, the spirits of a living soul where the soul is not lying, the mind, the mind, the mind, the mind, the mind, the mind, the mind, the mind, the mind, the mind, the mind, the mind, the minds, the minds, the mind, the minds, the mind, and, the intellect, and the mind(s) - a living soul (with the living soul of a sleeping soul, the sleeping soul where a dead soul where the soul is not lying, the soul.

        What would a Magian find in a living soul and in a living soul, a sleeping soul?

        Though not a living soul.
  15. The First Vision - some were not meant to be here
        To the last
        my untruth was truth to others;
        my injustice was justice to others.

        Where they saw reasons to die, I saw reasons to live.
        Where they saw reasons to live, I saw reasons to die.
        I would have killed those they saved,
        and I would have saved those they killed.

        And I saw how G_d, if brought to earth,
        must act out what He saw and thought,
        and could not long live in this world of men
        and act among them side by side
        without destroying them.

        And I saw that the dust is for crawling, and Heaven is for flying.

  16. The Sun Has No Sun In The North - the testimony of a wanderer
        And every evil word I had spoken, and every evil thought, and every evil deed I ever did, awoke and cried "This Quest is not for you." And I lifted up my eyes and found myself in a land of sand and thorns, and was thirsty even unto death.

        And on I rode, and greater was my thirst, till flashed a yellow gleam across the world; and where it smote the plowshare in the field the plowman left his plowing and fell down before it; and where it glittered on her pail the milkmaid left her milking and fell down before it.

        And I knew not why, but thought "The sun is rising," though the sun was high in the sky where it had always been.
  17. The Final Word - the opposite of a suicide note
        You seem to think that the Way
        is a trap laid on the road for the unwary
        around which you may walk by the use of your eyes and cunning.
        You believe this, and view our misfortune as G_d does,
        as a man looks down on an anthill his horse has trodden,
        and you see how every difficulty could have been avoided, with a little care
        and you pass on into life.
        But one day the Way will approach you too,
        wearing the face you have seen in still water.
        Or you shall sit in your chair by the fire, old and weak,
        and a strange guest will suddenly appear, like an old friend,
        in the comfortable chair next to yours,
        and you shall remember that strange guest,
        and you shall read the message in his eyes.
  18. Days After - notes from the death of a messiah
        "The world grows too beautiful around me: colors take strange shapes; some fearful, some fair and clear, and now I hear, as through a door ajar, scraps of the endless soliloquy of G_d, which moves, like a mask, the lips of Man, if Man is very silent.
        "They were right.
        "No flesh shall look upon the Lord and live."

  19. Aeshe(pbuh) in his Youth - an attempt at a biography
  20. Manual of Strikes, Blocks and Battle Cries with the Ringsword - they say Nosam himself was taught from this
        For becauſe men deſire to find out a true defenſe for themſelves, therefore they ſeeke it diligently, nature hauing taught vs to defend our ſelues and art teaching how; and becauſe we miſſe it in one way we chaunge to another. But though we often chop and change, turne and returne, from guard to guard, from fight to fight, in this vnconſtant ſearch, yet we neuer reſt in anie, becauſe we neur find the truth. And we therefore neuer find it becauſe we neuer ſeeke it in that weapon where it may be found.
  21. The Voyages of Brendan the Wanderer - possibly metaphorical
        Brendan soon after selected from his whole community fourteen monks. Taking these apart, the venerable father Brendan retired with them into an oratory where he thus addressed them:
        "Dearly beloved fellow-soldiers of mine, I request your advice and assistance, for my heart and mind are firmly set upon one desire; if it be only G_d’s holy will, I have in my heart resolved to go forth in quest of the Land of Promise, about which our brother Barinthus discoursed to us. What do you think? What is your advice?"
        But they, well knowing the purpose of their holy father, replied in one voice: "Father-abbot, your will is our will also. Have we not forsaken our parents? Have we not slighted our family prospects? Have we not committed into your hands even our very bodies? We are, therefore, ready to go with you, whether unto life or unto death, our only consideration being that such is the will of G_d."

  22. On the End of Things - when there will be no more
  23. Journeys in the Lands of the G_ds - the much-anticipated sequel
  24. Alden Spoke to Me Last - though that must certainly be a lie
        The sky stank with the smoke of the bodies which rose to hang over the road like the shadow of a giant. Birds did not sing, though dawn had broken. The town was as still as any graveyard. To someone waiting by the fires it would seem like the world had ended, and there was nothing at all to do but wait for night to fall one last time.
        Then a figure disturbed the haze. His stride was swift, and his heeled boots clattered like hooves on the stones of the road. He wore a black coat that fluttered with feathers set on strands of golden wire. His eyes were green, and they shone with light undimmed by the smoke.
        Those eyes were set on the town. For a moment, I thought he would pass by with no more notice than the other travelers. Then the stranger stopped, and without turning asked "Where are your parents?"
        I pointed to one of the stinking piles but said nothing.

  25. Unnamed Text - from an unknown author
        On the road Death was obedient to me,
        until he saw you waiting at the front gate, and you smiled at me,
        and in wrathful envy he ran ahead of me
        and took you apart from me
        into quietness.

    Imagine are a Black Mask novitiate. You were given your first mask after taking your oaths, allowing you to see the angels which flit about the world on sacred and forgotten errands. One such angel follows you around and whispers into your ear.
    "Look," she tells you, "that man is a murderer. Look, that one is a rapist. Those two are adulterers. She is a poisoner. He is a tax-collecter. That one cheats at dice. In a moment, the shopkeeper will look away and the shady fellow will grab a fistful of his coins".
    When you complete your training you are taken to a secret room where the veteran clerics are. "She lost her eyes to a dragon's poison fire" whispers your angel. "His right hand is fake; trapped by himself in the mountains he amputated it a with a heavy stone."
    "These freaks cannot be trusted. Violence and pain have riven them like lightning-struck trees. The horrors of their lives have scarred their bodies and minds. Be ready to kill them, if it comes to that."
    An old woman holds out a sword, and tells you: rejoice, the world is full of evil. You take it.
    She offers you a last blessing, and tells you she will likely never see you again — unless she buries your corpse, or must hunt you down as a madman.

    "The Master was mild, and yet dignified; majestic, and yet not fierce; respectful, and yet easy."

    "The Master said, 'I enlighten only the enthusiastic; I guide only the fervent. After I have lifted up one corner of a question, if the student cannot discover the other four, I do not repeat the lesson.'"

    "The Master said, 'If the superior man's words be good, they will be responded to at a distance of a thousand miles; how much more so in the nearer circle! Actions proceed from what is near, and their effects are seen at a distance.'"

    "The Master said, 'It is fitting to hold the young in awe. How do we know that the generations to come will not equal the present?'"

    "A student came to Aeshe (pbuh) and complained: 'Master, I have an ungovernable temper. How can I cure it?'
    'You have something very strange,' replied Aeshe. 'Let me see what you have.'
    'Just now I cannot show it to you' replied the other.
    'When can you show it to me?' asked Aeshe.
    'It arises unexpectedly,' replied the student.
    'Then,' concluded Aeshe, 'it must not be your own true nature. If it were, you could show it to me at any time. When you were born you did not have it, and your parents did not give it to you. Think that over.'

    "A student of Aeshe used to think thrice before acting. The Master, hearing of it, said, 'Twice is quite enough.'"

    "The Master said, 'Do you think, my disciples, that I conceal anything from you? I do not. There is nothing I do that is not shown to you; that is my way.'"

    The Master said, 'I do not wish to speak anymore. Does Heaven speak? The four seasons run their course and all things are produced, but does Heaven speak?'"

    - from The Third Edition of the Sayings of Aeshe, the universal text. Listen respectfully and change your life.

Well That's All Fine but I Want Some Real Answers!
    Sure, I'm your blogger. What do you want to know?

What is this Nonsense Anyway? I am Confused and Frightened.
    This is an exercise in toneposting, written for clerics in my Unfinished World setting (or any character really, but this post is mostly about religion). Hopefully after reading this you will, if perhaps not know more, then understand more about your cleric's role in the world.

Why the Big Blogpost?
    Well, lore is complicated and confusing and I would like something to point new players to when they have questions about Magolg, Ka, the Brothers, Aeshe (pbuh) and his disciples, and the many heresies of the Unfinished World.

I Read All this Shit but Did Not Learn Any More Information About Magolg, Ka, the Brothers, Aeshe (pbuh) and His Disciples, and the Many Heresies of the Unfinished World.
    Oh, I don't really like exposition dumps. Makes me feel boring. "Hey captive-audience-of-players, here's my 300 pages of elfs fanfiction!"

So Instead of Actually Explaining Things You Wrote this "Explanation" which is Complete Fucking Gibberish?
    I really don't like you.

I Don't Care About Your Cosmogony! Tell Me More About Hot Babes with Jumbo Knackers (Real) (Prank Gone Wrong) (2015 Remix)
    Too bad dipshit, because we're ending this with a slushpost of surreal religious and pseudoreligious content.

  1.  “For behold, the days are coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.' Then they will say to the mountains, 'Fall on us!' and to the hills, 'Cover us!' For if people do these things when the tree is living, what will happen when it is dead?"

  2. I'm going to walk the pathways of the ancients
    I'm going to let my name be known
    I'm going to see the wild haunts of this world
    And carve a place out all my own

  3. The woods decay, the woods decay and fall,
    The vapours weep their burthen to the ground,
    Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath,
    And after many a summer dies the swan.

  4. I have shut my windows.
    I do not want to hear the weeping.
    But from behind the grey walls,
    Nothing is heard but the weeping.

    There are few angels that sing.
    There are few dogs that bark.
    A thousand violins fit in the palm of the hand.
    But the weeping is an immense angel.
    The weeping is an immense dog.
    The weeping is an immense violin.
    Tears strangle the wind.
    Nothing is heard but the weeping.

  5. Time’s fingers bend us slowly
    with dubious craftsmanship,
    that at last spoils whatever it forms.

  6. Heaven was pitiless.
    It sent down confusion and separation.
    Earth was pitiless.
    It brought me to birth in such a time.
    War was everywhere. Every road was dangerous.
    Soldiers and civilians everywhere
    Fleeing death and suffering.

  7. A travelling monk asked an old woman the road to [city], where there was a popular temple supposed to give wisdom to the one who worships there. The old woman said: "Go straight ahead." When the monk proceeded a few steps, she said to herself: "He also is a common church-goer."

    Someone told this incident to Joshua, who said: "Wait until I investigate." The next day he went and asked the same question, and the old woman gave the same answer.

    Joshua remarked: "I have investigated that old woman."

  8. Some students do not realize the true man in a mask
    Because they recognize ego-soul.
    Ego-soul is the seed of birth and death,
    And foolish people call it the true man.

  9. the sword that kills the man is the sword that saves the man

  10. sa·ma·dhi
    noun: samadhi

    a state of intense concentration achieved through meditation. In Hindu yoga this is regarded as the final stage, at which union with the divine is reached (before or at death).

  11. For out of the first lattice
    are the red lands that break.
    And out of the second lattice I see
    a sea like a winding snake.
    But out of the third lattice
    under low eaves like wings
    is a new corner of the world
    and another side of things.

  12. All your abandoned things
    Once-fine vestments, statues with wings
    They have their uses, every one
    Let me slither across them in the sun

  13. Wasted farms, deserted cabins, lone chimneys marking the sites where dwellings have been destroyed by fire, and yards, gardens and fields overgrown with weeds and bushes are everywhere within view. The traveler soon ceases to wonder when he sees the charred remains of burnt buildings, and wonders rather when he beholds a house yet standing that it also did not disappear in the general conflagration. Such was the terrible intensity of the recent war...

  14. We sail, we sleep, we scry by land
    We dig a pit beneath the sand
    A place to keep the sun at bay
    At dark we rise and find our way
    With our faithful companion by our side

  15. Number 1. I'm gonna this song again. Number 2. I'm gonna do this song again all the way up your ass. Number 3. I'm gonna fuck your ass up like in a car crash. Number 4. I'm gonna fuck you up like a g_ddamn accident. Number 5. Jesus is the answer!

  16. Sheer through the turban his wantons wove him,
    Clean to the skull the Deliverer clove him;
    And the two hosts reeled at the sign appalling,
    As the great king fell like a great house falling.

  17. "The bravery of a rattlesnake begins and ends at its tail."

  18. Nosam used to tell his pupils about an old woman who had a teashop, praising her understanding of the Way. The pupils refused to believe what he told them and would go to the teashop to find out for themselves.

    Whenever the woman saw them coming she could tell at once whether they had come for tea or to look into her grasp of the Way. In the former case, she would server them graciously. In the latter, she would beckon to the pupils to come behind her screen. The instant they obeyed, she would strike them with a fire-poker.

    Nine out of ten of them could not escape her beating.

  19. The applause of listening senates to command,
      the threats of pain and ruin to despise,
    to scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
      and read their history in a nation's eyes,

    their lot forbade. Nor circumscribed alone
      their growing virtues, but their crimes confined;
    forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
      and shut the gates of mercy on mankind.

  20. And I thought, "I will go with you,
    as man with G_d has gone,
    and wander with a wandering star,
    the wandering heart of things that are,
    the fiery cross of love and war
    that, like yourself, goes on."

I think that man is like a god
Who faces you, and sits by you,
And listens to your gentle words,
And to your silver laughter. But I —
My heart explodes within my breast;
One timid glance, and all my voice is gone,
My tongue breaks, and a subtle flame
Races below my flesh, my eyes
Refuse their sight, my hearing is gone,
Cold sweat clings to me, and I shake
From head to toe, my skin the color
Of grass: I am about to die, I think...