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Warcraft Resources for D&D 5e

Man, this is one of those projects I just look at and think "Did I really do all of this?" I've definitely got lost in this do...

Monday, November 7, 2016

Snippet: "The Fireweaver"

Inspiration, especially in writing, is a really weird and often frustrating thing. I wrote this snippet of a novel I intended to write almost two years ago, in the world my cousing and I created, Shaarzahn. I stumbled upon it today and am amazed at how intriguing it is. It draws me in immediately to the story and I'm dying to read more. I don't remember writing a lot of it. I remember having an idea, but not enough of one to assemble into an entire novel. Why did I stop writing? What made me stop where I did? Why can't I ever finish what I start? It's frustrating for me to find such radiant and pure gems buried in the sand, but gems that I know will likely never be cut into the shape they need to be to live their potential as refined, sparkling cut jewels. Well, at least I have material here in case whatever muse first whispered this story's beginnings to me ever chances to return.

- - -

R
ali An-destan drew his camel-wool cloak closer and shivered. It didn’t seem right to be up this late. Whether or not Zalir was smiling on him at this time in his life, he still felt the lack of the sun-god’s unmistakably powerful rays of sunlight. And being forced to remain not only awake, but outside, during the dark, cold night of the Kharazim desert was… unsettling, to say the least. The moon was out, but its light was cold, foreboding… like the sun-god’s jealous brother who could only mimic the glory of true sunlight.
            “Here they come,” said Hizan. Rali looked to where his friend was pointing. Sure enough, in the distant cold moonlight was a cloud of dust being kicked up by the hooves of four or five horses. Their riders were dark—black shadows against the bluish night sand, almost like extensions of the black of night itself. Rali felt a pang of fear shudder through him, but he tried to cover it.
            He looked at Hizan, trying to lighten the darkness with a smile. “No turning back now, right?”
            Hizan smiled back, but Rali could see fear behind his eyes. Hizan was a couple of years older than Rali, and a couple of inches taller. His own cloak pressed tightly against his bald head as he looked back toward the riders. “I guess not. You scared?”
            “Yes,” said Rali.
            “Me too,” admitted Hizan. He looked back at the dust cloud. The riders were already slowing, even though they were still a hundred or so yards away. “Do you think they see us?”
            Rali pulled out his long knife and a lump of flint from his pouch. He struck the two together, making brief sparks illuminate the air. The riders paused for a moment, then sped up again toward the two men.
            Rali pocketed the knife and flint, then closed his eyes, trying to swallow his fear. Why was he so jumpy? He had been through much more terrifying ordeals than this. Some of them in the past few days. And he had handled them beautifully, like he always had. Perhaps this was more of a “dread” sort of ordeal, though. Acting on impulse was always second-nature to Rali, but this stewing in impatient dread of what could happen was much worse.
            The riders finally arrived, stopping in front of Rali and Hizan. Rali closed his golden eyes once more, imagining himself in an alley, facing another thief. Time for talk. No fighting even… at least, he hoped not… just talk. He could handle that. He opened his eyes.
            One of the riders dismounted. His head was wrapped in a black camel-wool scarf, and he had an equally thick and dark vest over a linen tunic. His arms, however, were bare, and golden bangles shone in the light of the desert moon. Two unsheathed swords also shone, one at each hip, as well as a single orange gem on a golden chain around his neck.
            “Shouldn’t you be leaving the night watch to the Tibaa?” the man asked in a high, raspy voice.
            “They cannot be trusted,” said Hizan carefully, “for they shun the light that must be embraced.”
            The rider nodded at Hizan, then extended a hand to clasp his wrist. He reached to Rali, who shook it, nodding. His hand felt rough, as if it had been grated on rocks. Or perhaps scarred by holding the wrong end of a sword many times.
            The other riders dismounted. It turned out there were five of them, and they formed a sort of half-circle around the two men. They were dressed in cloaks, more like Rali and Hizan, except for their choice of black attire. They each also had two swords at their waists.
            “Hizan An-Tosif?” asked the head rider. Hizan raised his hand and bowed respectfully. “And Rali An-destan?” Rali mimicked the gesture.
            “Who do we address?” asked Rali, hoping he was acting the way he should.
            “You address Sharoh, the first-chosen of Zalir, brother,” said the head rider. “You will learn the names of these your four other brothers in time. For now, we must talk business. But first, shall we sit?”
            Rali looked at Hizan, who seemed relaxed. He tried to relax as well as they all sat cross-legged on the sand. They each pulled their cloaks up beneath themselves as they sat.
            “Now,” said Sharoh, removing the scarf from his face. “You know why I am here. I am here to bring you into the horde of the sun-god.” Sharoh’s face looked as rough as his hands were. He had a black goatee, but some parts of his chin were scarred where no hair grew. “I have heard of your… inexperienced thefts in Ptaliram, which is why I sent Zalir’s second-chosen to reveal to you my intentions to recruit you. The question is, why are you here?”
The two men hesitated. Rali spoke first. “We wish to accept your recruitment, sir.”
Sharoh’s golden eyes flashed at Rali. “There is no sir,” he said as Rali’s spine turned to ice, “but Zalir.”
“Yes… brother,” said Rali.
Sharoh smiled, the fire in his eyes immediately gone. “You wish to accept? Fine enough, but why? Why leave the town of your birth, your houses you call home, your thieving routes, your reputations? Surely you’ve worked hard to become the clandestine thieves you are. You have avoided the capture of the amin, or else you would be dangling from the ropes on the Tree of Thieves right now. As far as my men have gathered, you aren’t even suspected or wanted men. For all the amin knows, you are upstanding citizens who do good for the community.”
Hizan spoke next, leaving Rali relieved. “You flatter us, brother, but we are not as silent as you say. The amin is indeed suspicious of us, and were it not for your timely arrival, we may have been making our last few robberies before being strung up.”
The head rider smiled. “Ah, so it is out of desperation that you accept my invitation?”
“N-no! That is…” Hizan fought for words.
“What he means is, Zalir be praised that you have come to take us to our next station in life,” said Rali. “It truly is by providence’s hand that this opportunity has presented itself.”
Sharoh nodded assent. “Perhaps. It is common for Zalir to shine upon those who hide in the shadows. Perhaps he has seen it fit to bring us together for mutual benefit.”
Hizan nodded, bowing his head again.
“What, brother, is this mutual benefit?” asked Rali.

“Yes, I have been a bit vague about it, haven’t I?” said Sharoh. “I accept your reasons for joining, and will now explain. In the palace, in the Grand City, there is a man who Zalir sees fit to dispose of. He has grown fat on the money of those who serve him, but his real sin lies with the Tibaa.” 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Relic Story: Mr. Arrow

I stumbled upon this as I was looking through my old WordPerfect documents. It's not a bad story for a thirteen-year-old. The actual metaphor for the entire thing being a computer is a tad clumsy, but I like the pacing and flow of the plot. The inspiration from the story comes from my family's computer's tendency of basically never working. The CD Rom was always having issues, and at the time of this piece, we had a virus or Spyware on our computer. The ending is a reference to my brother Redge calling my uncle, a computer wizard, who walked him through the steps of eliminating the virus.


Mr. Arrow

Mr. Arrow walked up the stairs into the main desktop. Many doors lined the walls, and each had a label. He pulled a list of instructions out of his pocket and read his task again. He wiped the sweat from his brow and walked past several working processors. They greeted him, but he paid them no heed.
Finding a door that read “Port C,” he slowly made his way into and through its corridor. After reading his instructions a few more times and following the directions through the winding maze, he found himself in a room with no more hallways branching out from it. Nervously, he began to root through the crates surrounding the walls. He noticed one that was blotched and reddish, as if someone had spray painted red paint on it, and began to search it. Suddenly his heart skipped a beat. He had found it! A large black card that read Spy-Warehouse Inc. As he pulled the card out of the crate, a red sticky film peeled off that had been attached to the inside of the crate. Mr. Arrow wiped the card on his shirt and turned it over in his hand, reading the details of it. All of a sudden, as he walked slowly towards the door, absorbed in the details of the card, he bumped into a Motherboard executive.
“Just what do you think you’re doing?” the huge, red-faced executive boomed in his face.
“This card shouldn’t be here,” Mr. Arrow said, trying to cover his nervousness.
“Excuse me?”
“It was not imported here by normal means,” Mr. Arrow explained. “Mr. Norton thinks it may be corrupting the factory. In fact, it was spreading reddish film all over the stuff in—”
“It’s not your responsibility. If you think we have corruption in the factory, you should speak to an executive like myself,” the massive man growled. “You could be banished for coming in here without proper authority.”
“But sir, I had to act quickly. Why, if something like this went unfixed, the entire—”
“Let me see that card!” the executive’s muscular arm snatched the black card from Mr. Arrow’s hand. The executive read the details over a couple times, then he chuckled. “This is an important file. I wouldn’t dream of having this file gotten rid of. In fact, Mr. Arrow, while you’re here, make copies of this and have it distributed throughout the factory.”
He handed Mr. Arrow the card and walked away.
Mr. Arrow reluctantly went to the copier in the corner of the room and made two copies. He put one in a crate, and was surprised to find out that it began to excrete red liquid on the other files, crossing out certain words to change the instructions completely. He took the copies of the card and dashed out of the room.
As he began to find his way out of the complex, a voice crackled on the intercom, “Illegal access at Port C / Documents / MyFiles...” and began to list the path at which Mr. Arrow resided. He tried to open the door up a level, but the handle jammed. “Let me out! Let me out!” he cursed, jangling the handle. Executives began running out of rooms with pistols.
“Put down the card!” they yelled, but Mr. Arrow pulled out a portable cutting torch from his pocket and began to burn open the door. Screaming in anger, the executives began firing bullets in Mr. Arrow’s direction. Luckily, Mr. Arrow’s optic boots allowed him to zip around the room, dodging their shots. When they all stopped to reload their pistols, Mr. Arrow found enough time to break the door down. He dashed out into the main desktop, fleeing his pursuers.
“Get out of my way! Stop the executives!” he yelled to the processors, who obeyed him and began to fight the executives.


Mr. Arrow found the door that read “Recycle Bin” above it, and sprinted inside as fast as he could. He quickly dragged the cards into the bin amongst the other useless files inside and pushed the button that said Empty.
A robotic voice inquired, “Are you sure you want to delete these 62 items?”
He quickly punched yes and waited for it to empty.
To his dismay the voice said, “Cannot delete ‘SpyWare.exe’. Access is denied.”
He cried out and grabbed the cards. As quickly as possible, he ran into the main desktop and looked for the doorway that said “Add/Remove.” Finding it, and gratefully acknowledging the processors’ detaining the executives, he ran in.
He quickly accessed the inventory list of everything in the factory, and found “Spy-Warehouse Inc. files.” When he activated it, a large crane pulled all the cards from Spy-Warehouse Inc. into the large vat in front of the list. He typed in REMOVE, but the programs persisted. “Are you sure you want to delete the files from SpyWare?”
YES
Are you sure? If you remove these files, you will not receive the benefits it gives.
Suddenly Mr. Arrow became aware of a beating on the door behind him.
YES
Removing SpyWare will make it so you will not have the benefits such as
l free Internet access
l improved CPU usage
l etc.
Proceed?
YES
Last chance to change your mind. Delete SpyWare?
YES
Mr. Arrow’s heart began to pound as another reading came up and the door began to give way.
The benefits of free Internet access, improved CPU usage, and etc. will be deleted. Continue?
YES
At last, the computer gave in.
Deleting...21%
The door’s hinges popped out, and angry voices began yelling through the hole between the frame and the bent door.
44%
Mr. Arrow tried to prop things against the door, but he didn’t have much time.
67%
“Give us the card!” murderous voices shrieked.
82%
Mr. Arrow knew it wasn’t long now until the executives could get in. What was worse, they were beginning to shoot and cut at the door with their weapons.
100%
FOOMPH!
All of a sudden, a deafening explosion rattled the entire factory. The vat that the files were in had combusted, and particles of the files were beginning to float upward into nothingness. The files were deleted. The viruses had not corrupted the computer.


The executives suddenly snapped into their wits as the door came crashing the ground. They all began to retch horribly, and the vomit on the ground was red. It dissolved into pixels, which the wounded processors began to automatically take into the Recycling Bin room.
Realizing what they had done, the executives apologized profusely. Obviously, the virus had corrupted them, as well as the files.
A hologram appeared in the room. It was Mr. Norton.
“Well done, Mr. Arrow,” he said warmly. “The viruses were deleted, and my team is now going to begin fixing up the infected files. Thank you for saving the computer.”

“Is that it?” Redge asked into the phone.
“That should do it,” Scott told him.
“Alright. Thanks again, Scott,” Redge said gratefully.
“No problem.”
 Redge moved the mouse, and Mr. Arrow clicked on ‘Restart Now.’ the computer would be all back to normal soon.


THE END