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  1. PG-13 The Uncharted Land

    Corine was sure her heart skipped a beat when she fired. She felt as if time slowed to drag the nerve-wracking moment longer than she could stand. Holding her breath, she focused on the bolt as it sailed through the air. It was faster than anything she'd tried to move before, but she couldn't afford to miss. She reached out to it with her mind. Once she felt it, as sure as she felt her arm attached to her body, she stared unblinking into the boar's eye. A gentle nudge was all the bolt needed. Finally, mercifully, it struck its target. The boar squealed in agony for only a moment, and then all was still. Corine dropped to one knee and steadied herself on her crossbow. The adrenaline was wearing off and fear crept over her. There will be more, she thought. Once the crowd started to form, she forced herself to her feet and did all she could to mask her emotions. She was barely aware of Aer and Jynx's conversation. The crew dragged the boar back to camp, and Aer approached her. “Nice shot,†he said. Corine was taken aback, partly from being nervous that someone would notice she was shaking, and partly out of surprise that Aer would compliment anybody. “Oh, that? Don't thank me! Thank this little beaut!†She held the crossbow before her and wore a goofy smile. Her voice was louder than she intended. “I mean, I built it, so I s'pose you could thank me...but, really, it did all the work! Just gotta line the sights and hold it steady. I'm no marksman without it! Hah...†Her face turned red. Yep, she thought. I sound exactly as stupid as I think I do. “Let's, uh, get back to camp.†She turned around and tried not to make eye contact with anyone on the way back. ******* Corine spent the next few hours cutting down trees and sawing logs. She drafted some crew to assist her and made sure they avoided any trees bearing purple fruit, yellow moss, or anything else out of the ordinary. She soon found that most things on the island were not ordinary. Trees normal in appearance left stumps with swirl-patterns instead of rings. Some resisted the crews' axes with the hardness of stone. She even spotted a metallic-looking rock that melted in her hand when she picked it up. She used the remaining daylight to direct the building of a wall. She insisted it be done before sunrise of the next day. Crew tied logs together, lifted them into position, and buried their bases deep in the sand, all while Corine gave orders with steadily decreasing patience and coherency. By nightfall, the first side – the one being built where the boar had come – was not even halfway done. Eventually, Corine began dozing on her feet, only to awaken just in time to catch herself from falling. She groaned. Her stomach growled loud enough that some of the workers turned their heads. “What?†she barked. “Never mind that!†She pushed on the wall. “It's still not steady. Anchor it here.†The crew moved to where she pointed. She rubbed her eyes. “Wait. Sorry. I meant there.â€
  2. PG-13 The Uncharted Land

    Corine stayed near the front of the scouting group, keeping her eye out for danger. She helped clear a path by cutting thick plant-growth with her machete, but often hesitated to do so. Old, retired explorers told stories of the undiscovered lands. Most were thought to be either mad or simply trying to scare children. Regardless, grisly tales of man-eating plants had stuck in Corine's mind. Wherever she could, she sheathed the machete and moved the plants aside. She didn't want to touch them, but she didn't need to. She would reach out her hand and her mind, and the plants would slowly move aside. This was safer, she decided, but the looks from the crew made her question whether it was worth it. Those looks brought back memories. The short trip was interrupted by gunshots. Aer wasted no time getting back to camp. “Wait!†said Corine. “We need to stick together!†It was no use; if Aer had heard her, he didn't let on. Corine cursed under her breath. Half of the scouting party followed Aer. Sol led the rest back, and Corine stayed with him. “Whatever is happening,†she said, “we've gotta be careful. We're no help to anyone if we rush into danger.†They broke through the treeline to find Aer riding a giant rock-boar. “Like...like I said. Careful.†Somehow, her voice lacked conviction. The remaining scouts immediately split up. Some took up arms, some hid behind trees, and some found themselves being chased along with Jynx and the other crewmembers. Corine's mouth was dry. They had barely arrived. She had tried to steel herself to face the beasts of the island, but this? This is...a monster, she thought. She didn't even have the presence of mind to ready her crossbow. A rock struck the boar's snout. Corine realized it had come from Sol, standing just feet away from her. The boar charged, and she dove for cover. Luckily for her, its sights were set elsewhere. Sol scrambled up a tree, and the boar circled him, watching with hungry eyes. “It stopped charging,†said Sol. “Someone please kill it now before it learns how to climb. Please.†Corine took a deep breath to steady her heartbeat, then rushed to a nearby tree. She leaned to the side and took aim. “Aer! Turn it this way!†She flipped a mechanism; a bolt clicked into place, and Corine locked her sights on the boar's unprotected eyes. It took all of her willpower to keep her finger from shaking as it hovered over the trigger. Once she saw an opening, she fired.
  3. I didn't intend for there to be an order. Because of my schedule, I've only had time to post after everyone else already has. I say post whenever you want as long as you're considerate and don't leave anyone behind.
  4. PG-13 The Uncharted Land

    “Let's see how many of us make it to say goodnight.†Corine couldn't think of a response to Aer's comment. Though the crew was in a celebratory mood and she herself felt a weight lifted from her shoulders, her gruff colleague had a point. Soon, the crew of The Seer would be facing unknown dangers. Corine let the thought sober her. She would need a clear mind to do her part in making the mission a successful, non-fatal one. As the boats were made ready, Corine remained lost in thought. She was shaken from her reverie by sudden fluttering and a sharp squawk. “rahh – time to leave –†“Mother of–!†Corine locked eyes with Uloo. She sighed. “You've gotta stop sneaking up on me...†Jynx had run off, and Sol and Gareth were joining Aer in his boat. Corine rubbed her eyes. “Well,†she said to the parrot, “I suppose sleep can wait. We'll have to keep that lot outta trouble.†She returned to her quarters briefly to gather the essentials, all of which she had set aside along with a backpack far in advance: clean water, rations, a basic toolkit, a torch, some rope, a machete, and an auto-loading crossbow she had built herself. This model lacked the rapid-fire capabilities of earlier prototypes, but it hardly ever jammed and she had only injured herself with it twice; a marked improvement. With her equipment in tow, she headed out. ******* Corine was the last of the four commanders to arrive on shore. Immediately, Jynx had to be stopped from eating mysterious island fruit. “Off to a good start,†Corine muttered. More crew arrived on boats. Corine turned to face them. “All right, men,†she said. “Secure the area. We'll camp here. Post guard and don't let anyone or anything near. We need firewood, and see what food you can scrounge up.†She quickly glanced over her shoulder at Jynx. “And try not to poison yourselves.†They grunted affirmatives and set about their jobs. Some of the louder men took over giving orders. Others dared their fellows to try a bite of the purple fruit. A few even unsheathed their weapons and placed bets on who could land the biggest prize. “Remember!†said Corine, “If anything lives here, we don't fight what we don't need to!†No one seemed to hear her. She shook her head and turned to regroup with the others. “Time to scout.†She drew her crossbow and held it over her shoulder.
  5. PG-13 The Uncharted Land

    The crew gathered above deck with impressive expediency. Corine watched with a smile as some took their posts, some rushed to the bow to get a better look at the land before them, and others exchanged jokes and excited chatter. Some even emerged from the galley with mugs of ale. Corine couldn't blame them for celebrating; the weeks had dragged on, and she was starting to forget what it felt like to walk on solid ground. She was so wrapped up in her thoughts that she didn't notice the bizarrely-colored parrot until it was practically in front of her face. She started at its greeting, stumbled back and barely stopped herself from falling. She regained her balance and dropped to her knees as she tried to slow her racing heart and a laugh rose up from below. She gave the gawkers a sour look, got to her feet and put her hands on her hips. “Hey, you layabouts!†she yelled at the men with the mugs. “This thing won't sail itself! Get to work, and do it sober!†“Aye, cap'n,†said one of them mockingly. “Watch yer footin' on the way down.†The drinking crew laughed and dispersed. Corine sighed. The ship lacked a proper captain, but she had been placed in charge of the mission alongside a few others. Mostly, she directed maintenance, though she had the authority to command anyone but her equals. The commoners had made it clear from the day they set sail that they didn't respect her position. Still, land was approaching and there had been minimal issues during the voyage. That was all she could ask for. Below her, the other leaders began to gather. Corine slid down the ladder to join them. “Mornin', everyone!†she said as she approached. She glared at the parrot. “Mornin', Uloo.â€
  6. Can you change the name of this topic so it's easier for other people (namely mods) to identify? Oh, and a note on characters. I don't think bios are necessary to post, but I have one for my character and I think they should at least be kept for your own reference. To clarify magic in this world, it's something few people are born with and manifests as a major power and a minor power. Major powers are broad categories that let you do various undefined things (for example, mine is "innate machinist"), and minor powers are thematically similar abilities that give you slight conveniences (mine is weak telekinesis).
  7. The first rays of dawn spread across The Seer. The sound of waves crashing against her, day and night, never quite faded to the back of the mind, but the inexperienced crew found themselves getting used to it. Most were asleep below deck, leaving only a few to see to the ship's operation: the navigator squinted through the morning sun, a few riggers sat dozing while they awaited orders, and Corine Selwyn climbed to the crow's nest. She leaned against the guard rail and wiped a calloused hand against her brow. The chill of morning did little to cool her from the night's work. It had been her duty to board up leaks, check the integrity of the sails, direct the riggers, make sure the riggers didn't fall, and continually write reports that crewmen lacked the knowledge to write themselves. Still, she smiled as she looked to the horizon; the journey would soon be over, and then the real job would begin. She decided to give the ship one quick, final look over before getting some sleep. She closed her eyes, knelt down and placed both hands palm-down on the boards of the crow's nest. Starting with the bow and working back, she felt with her mind for any areas in need of repair. From her perspective, the world was hazy, colors lacked definition, and she could feel each creaking board and wave against the hull. Finding nothing out of place from her last inspection, she stood and opened her eyes. For a moment, she thought she imagined it. She blinked and held up a hand to shield her eyes from the sun. There was no mistaking what she saw in the distance; they must have been further ahead of schedule than she thought. A grin crossed her face. “Land ho!†she shouted.
  8. Basically, yes. I was away for most of the weekend, so I didn't get a chance to start the RP. I'll get to it as soon as I can. I don't know if editing this post will bump the topic, but the RP is here: http://www.surreality-rp.com/topic/140-the-uncharted-land/
  9. I was thinking a world somewhere between Game of Thrones and Avatar: The Last Airbender with a focus on exploration, survival, and building things. The PCs are leaders who can control some form of magic (I haven't thought this part through yet), and the hirelings will be vanilla soldiers, workers, medics, etc. Generally speaking, what we encounter and what we're capable of is left up to whim. Creative fantasy creatures are encouraged, but we can have more conflict than just fighting. I guess the only rule I'd like to have is not to contradict story elements introduced by other players.
  10. This is amazingly close to what I had in mind. It's an exploration game that would start on a ship. The PCs would be officials serving a kingdom, sent on a mission to explore, chart, and begin colonization in unknown land. There would be supplies on the ship and hirelings to help with menial tasks, but all of the decisions would be up to the PCs. I would have nothing planned for what we would find there; that would be up to whatever feels right to the players and would advance the story. I was just going to put the finishing touches on my character before posting it.
  11. Exactly the attitude I like to see! I'm absolutely up for some RPing. I'm more into fantasy than sci-fi, but I do like space. I have some notes on a fantasy RP I've been planning, so that's an option, but I'm curious what other people have in mind. Also, I'm a student. I should mention that.
  12. Video Games General

    I've been playing Papers, Please. I can honestly say this is the most engaging, terrifying and heartbreaking game about stamping passports I've ever played. This makes me so happy.
  13. Thanks for the welcome posts, everyone. You guys and gals seem pretty great. ^_^ Haha. I've heard a lot of writers say that about their first novel. Like I said earlier, it's a great learning experience. It would be great if the people behind NaNo organized an editing month. I knew a local group of writers who took part in NaNo and put together their own editing event in March. I tried mystery-themed urban fantasy twice, war-themed medieval fantasy once with no unnamed characters (that one got bloated and meandering quickly), and I have notes from a bunch of other short-lived projects and random ideas tucked away somewhere. It's been a while since I tried to write anything - I've been shifting my focus to other areas of study, plus I'm focused on my career right now - but I intend to get back into it the way I got into it in the first place, through roleplaying.
  14. I don't really know anything about Valkyrie Profile, but I think FF9 is a better game than a lot of people give it credit for.
  15. I have! I've done it three times. The first time, I wrote the worst novel in history. It was a great learning experience. The second and third times, I gave up halfway through and just made notes for the rest of the month. I look at it as a way to practice rather than a way to write something that could be published. I'm out of practice, so I might give it another shot this year. Pretty much all kinds. What appeals to me most about fantasy is the detailed worlds, which is a staple of high fantasy, but sometimes high fantasy describes the world for the sake of the reader and not through the actions of a character, which I find boring because no matter how detailed a world is, things need to happen in them. I guess I could just say "I like fantasy that's written well," but that's not much of an answer. Neat, someone else played Galatea. :) I've played around with Inform7, and, well...what it's capable of is really impressive, but "time-consuming and mentally exhausting" describes it pretty well.