📚 docs

main
Christopher P. Brown 3 months ago
parent 8e0b431a8c
commit 487bd79992

@ -0,0 +1,7 @@
Copyright 2022 dozens <dozens@tilde.team>
Nazis and terfs can fuck off.
CC BY NC ND
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Contact the author for exceptions

@ -1,18 +1,30 @@
note: this readme is spoiler-free. but the contents of this repo are not. if you are one of my current players, proceed at your own peril.
# BASEMENT QUEST
the kids in the basement are gonna play some rpg in on the listserv
the kids in the basement are gonna play some rpg on the listserv
## about
this is an iteration on my usual pandoc static site generator
this is an iteration on my usual pandoc static site generator, with---as usual---just a sprinkling of m4
## getting started
you will need:
- pandoc v2.19.2: markdown to html and rss
- m4 v1.4.6: macros. currently used for generating statistics in `about.md`
- (optional) just v1.4.0: a command runner. optional, because you can just manually run all the commands in the justfile.
read the justfile or run `just` to see what commands are available.
## order
## page order
instead of relying on literally naming files `0001-me-first.md` and `0002-me-second.md` so they are concatenated in the correct order[^order], this repo introduces `basement.order`
in the file, you can `ls ./**/**` to list all files, and then order them in the way that is most pleasing to you
in the file, you can `ls src/**/**` to list all files, and then order them in the way that is most pleasing to you
NOTE: you will of course need to update `basement.order` each time you add a document to the source.
NOTE: you will of course need to update `basement.order` with the new docoument path every time you add a document to the source.
[^order]: this is the strategy i employed in *forest*. it worked okay, but left something to be desired. namely, the flexibility to insert new files at random locations, or to rearrange existing files, without having to rename a bunch of files. i'm not sure this current solution is the best one. but it is an improvement i think. <https://git.tilde.town/dozens/forest/>
@ -20,9 +32,9 @@ NOTE: you will of course need to update `basement.order` each time you add a doc
documents are markdown with yaml frontmatter. they are compiled into:
- html with spoilers for game ref
- 'public' html sans spoilers for players
- rss feed for syndicated documents
- `www/spoilers.html`: html with spoilers for game ref
- `www/index.html`: 'public' html sans spoilers for players
- `www/rss.xml`: rss feed for syndicated documents
## metadata
@ -32,8 +44,8 @@ fields:
- title (string): title of the document. mostly for rss item id
- created (date): date of creation. probably needs to be in `date -R` format.
- updated (date): date of most recent update. mostly of rss. probably needs to be in `date -R` format.
- public[^bool] (bool) (optional): spoiler-free content
- updated (date): date of most recent update. mostly for rss. probably needs to be in `date -R` format.
- public[^bool] (bool) (optional): is this spoiler-free content appropriate for public consumption?
- syndicated[^bool] (bool) (optional): should this document be included in the rss feed?
example:
@ -54,6 +66,14 @@ syndicated: yes
you can define macros in `/macros` and then include them in your documents to be expanded while building.
i arbitrarily adopted a "zxMACRONAME" naming convention because an all-caps macro name is *probably* safe, but is even safer with a random `zx` in front of it.
i arbitrarily adopted a "zxMACRONAME" naming convention with a 'zx' namespace because while an all-caps macro name is *probably* safe, it is even safer with a random `zx` in front of it.
also it gives you good autocompletion if all your macros have the same prefix / namespace.
i just recently learned about m4 frozen state files, and have started using loading state from `macros.m4f`
<https://web.mit.edu/gnu/doc/html/m4_14.html>
there are only marginal improvements to build times because of this; the slowness comes from expensive system calls, not from a massive amount of macros.
but so, if you add macros or make changes to the existing ones, you will need to run `just freeze` prior to rebuilding.

@ -57,7 +57,7 @@ up:
assets:
rsync -vup assets/* www/
# build public, spoilers, and rss
# build public, spoilers, assets, and rss
build: spoilers public rss assets
# watch for changes
@ -68,7 +68,7 @@ watch:
open:
open www/index.html
# do some writing
# watch and open
dev: open watch
# build and upload

@ -5,123 +5,6 @@
<title>BASEMENT QWEST</title>
<link>https://tilde.town/~dozens/quest/rss.xml</link>
<description>Friends having ADVENTURES! Huzzah!</description>
<item>
<title>28</title>
<author>dozens@tilde.team (dozens)</author>
<guid isPermaLink="false">28 - Sat, 29 Oct 2022 08:36:51
-0600</guid>
<pubDate>Sat, 29 Oct 2022 08:36:51 -0600</pubDate>
<description>
<![CDATA[
<h3 id="00028">00028</h3>
<blockquote>
<p><sub><em>a new player enters the chat</em></sub></p>
<p>Gabs had a good life. Her little devil children were all
grown adults now, and she no longer wanted to toil away
running a business. When she initially shuttered her little
tavern, she thought she might just retire. She made it two
whole years of working in a garden, occasionally seeing
grandkids, and reading romance novels. She eventually decided
she needed a vacation from her retirement and traveled to a
nearby port town. She was sure to find something fun to do
there.</p>
<p>Gabs eventually sees Inquire Within, and the smell of
debauchery wafting from within made her miss her days
gossiping at her tavern. She enters and orders a terrible
drink and listens and watches.</p>
<p>Hearing the tales being spun by Mister Three-Fingered, she
decides, “I’ve never been on a ship, that’s something that
sounds exciting!”</p>
<p>Half-drunk and eager for something exciting, she will join
on the journey!</p>
<p>Gabs is a lanky older half-devil lady who is here to
schmooze and have fun!</p>
</blockquote>
<p>~</p>
<blockquote>
<p>Meta: a warm welcome to the latest member of our tea party!
This is a short post to help smooth the temporal jumps between
the recent narratives so far. As Inky reaches the deck, they
see Gabs approaching from the other side of the ship as well,
and flashes them a grin in greeting. After listening to the
captain petering on about the glorious days of the now sunken
ship below, while tinkering with the bell’s tentacles — being
rewarded with a mild zap and marginally better fit for the
effort — Inky turns to the party. “When you’re ready.”</p>
</blockquote>
<p>You reach into the tank and discover that grabbing a
breathing bell takes some finesse. They are very slippery! But
you get the hang of it and make a ladle out of your hands and
scoop one up.</p>
<p>“Okay now!” laughs Three-Fingered Gerald. He gives you a
wink, but it’s easy to miss because of the eyepatch. “Don’t
put it on until right before you jump. It won’t be able to
breathe for you until you’re in the water. And this!” he
continues, fitting a heavy, padded vest around your shoulders,
“will carry you down.” It is a vest of many pockets, each one
holding a small dense sandbag the size of your hand. “When
you’re ready to come back up, just start dropping ballast,
right?”</p>
<p>You hop up on the ship railing and pull the breathing bell
on over your head. It immediately contracts and squeezes and
hugs your head like a second skin, and its stubby little
tentacles grab hold around your jawline, and it feels like you
have a wet plastic bag clinging to your face, and you think
you might have made a grave mistake. Resisting the urge to
panic, you push off the railing and jump overboard. You are
briefly air born and then profoundly waterbound, crashing
through the surface of the sea into the briny soup below.</p>
<p>The oxygen starts to flow as the breathing bell begins to
do its job. As you sink, you feel as though you are floating
through space, entering another world.</p>
<p>After a while you start to hear voices arguing in the
distance. As you get closer, two large shapes start to come
into focus. The first is a hulking, hairless merbear. Top half
(hairless) bear, bottom half fish. The second figure is a
tardigrade the size of a large merbear. It has eight jointless
legs, each tipped with four sharp claws. It wriggles and
wobbles like jelly as it gesticulates.</p>
<p>“No, I am the true Bear of the Sea! I am called a Water
Bear, after all!”</p>
<p>“Hornswoggle and poppycock! It is I who am the Bear of the
Sea! I am half bear after all! You’re just some kind of
segmented nematode or something.”</p>
<p>The tardigrade quivers with indignation. “I’ll have you
know I’m a panarthropod, thank you very much. And this is the
ideal physical body! You may not like it, but this is what
peak performance looks like. I’ve lived under the polar ice
cap, and in a sulfurous mountaintop hot spring. I’ve traveled
through the vacuum of space to the moon! Have you ever been to
the moon?”</p>
<p>“Why don’t you go be the Bear of the Moon then if you like
it so much!”</p>
<p>“You’re just as much fish as you are bear, are you sure
you’re not the Fish of the Sea?”</p>
<p>“Are you sure you’re not the Blob of the Sea, you too many
armed bowl of jelly?”</p>
<p>“Hey! Hey, you there!” The arguing quasi-bears have spotted
your slow descent. “Come, yes, float slowly this way! You must
settle an argument for us! Tell this slightly mammalian fish
that I am the true Bear of the Sea!”</p>
<p>“The Bear of the Sea must be at least ‘slightly mammalian’
you egg-laying scientific curiosity! You, tell this cousin of
a barnacle that I—the mighty merbear—am the true Bear of the
Sea! Say this and I will guide and protect you on your
journey.”</p>
<p>“No! Would you like to visit the moon? Say that I,
tardigrade, am Bear of the Sea and I will introduce you to my
moon friends!”</p>
<p>“He had to make friends on the moon because nobody on Urth
can stand him!”</p>
<p>“You’re just mean, you know that?”</p>
<p>You are still quite some way from the sea bed, and there is
no sight of the SS RSS.</p>
<p>WHAT DO YOU DO</p>
<p><a
href="https://framalistes.org/sympa/arc/tildepals/2022-10/msg00023.html">www</a></p>
]]>
</description>
</item>
<item>
<title>26</title>
<author>dozens@tilde.team (dozens)</author>
@ -772,242 +655,78 @@
</description>
</item>
<item>
<title>23</title>
<title>22</title>
<author>dozens@tilde.team (dozens)</author>
<guid isPermaLink="false">23 - Sat, 22 Oct 2022 09:36:52
<guid isPermaLink="false">22 - Thu, 06 Oct 2022 07:38:24
-0600</guid>
<pubDate>Sat, 22 Oct 2022 09:36:52 -0600</pubDate>
<pubDate>Sun, 16 Oct 2022 10:15:14 -0600</pubDate>
<description>
<![CDATA[
<h3 id="00023">00023</h3>
<blockquote>
<p>Why no, we don’t mind much about competition, certainly
nothing wrong. Can’t imagine someone to put all of their eggs
in one basket, especially when whatever it is they desire is
so valuable.</p>
<p>That said, our benefactor must be pretty eager to get these
crystals if he’s willing to send out team after team. I mean,
we’re team 43, that’s a lot of people to pay and a lot of
eagerness to find these crystals. Why is that? What benefit
are these shiny rocks to them? What even is their purpose in
retrieving them?</p>
</blockquote>
<p>“Oh, no no no, child,” Blavin titters as he takes a sip of
his ever-present martini. “You must understand, the Benefactor
is a singularly dedicated collector, and has been for ages!
There are—and have been!—many other retrieval teams, yes. But
not all of them have been for the crystals. And some of them
were formed, active, and disbanded long before you or I
arrived on the scene.” He winks at you conspiratorially.</p>
<h3 id="00022">00022</h3>
<blockquote>
<p>I would postulate, based upon the magical wards we had to
bypass, the cadre of gaurds that needed to be dispatched, and
the gigantic moth monster that rested beneath it, that these
crystals aren’t meant to go anywhere.</p>
<p>Now I’m not trying to point fingers here, morality is many
shades of gray, and it isn’t really my job to suss out what
you’re doing. But I’m a curious sysorceor, and when I see a
chance to learn I seize upon the moment. There’s something
here you’re not telling us, and I for one and keen to know
it.</p>
<p>Inky gathers up the teacups, trying to remember a few tips
about reading tea leaves from a forest fae they had met a few
times while foraging and who had insisted on giving lessons to
any wanderersby. (Of course he was just being a hospitable
host to thirsty travellers and certainly not because he
delighted in the confused expressions on their faces the
entire time.)</p>
<p>Turning the cups left and right, Inky gradually sees a
web-like hub, a looping line attached to an I-shaped apparatus
on one end, an abacus, a wide building (possibly a stadium or
arena), a feline animal resembling a tiger or lynx, and a long
feather. Feathers and beads are commonly added to small
trinkets with simple animal designs and sold as lucky charms
at the market … an auspicious sign?</p>
<p>Or it should be. Inky’s thoughts circle back to the little
glass pebble, after returning from the market with, among
other items, more vegetables than they could possibly eat in a
month excluding the beatfruits. Inky still hasn’t decided
whether accidentally finding out about being cursed — by a
potion, the irony! — counts as an auspicious event. One of the
produce vendors and attendant at the market had casually
mentioned the proximity to the next full moon while Inky had
been looking over the leafy greens. Several blatant attempts
to boost sales later (“Them barley’s hoppin’ good fer tea!”),
the vendor revealed that their little grandson Harry had “got
the weres” as a toddler and his parents had found a
strange-looking glass marble in his mouth, much like the one
inside the bottle hanging from a chain on Inky’s vest, and
wouldn’t they like some more tomatoes for a blushing
bunny?</p>
<p>From further inquiries, an ink depot on the opposite side
of the city confirmed they sold Flat 12 potions as inks many
years ago when showing off transmogrification through letters
was a popular pastime, but had ceased carrying them due to
limited range, lack of demand, as well as the bottles’
tendency to randomly break or their contents to fizzle out.
(That and complaints about the overly persistent effects of
said contents on unsuspecting recipients long after the fad
that inspired them had faded led ink traders to shun the
were-hare potions.) In contrast, the Mountain Range potions
were far more stable and instead of shapeshifting, had the
ability to stave off the cold under frigid temperatures,
though its effects would likely be less enduring. Like the
Flat 12, the Mountains are potions, but one in particular of a
sparkling deep blue hue became its signature colour among ink
enthusiasts.</p>
<p>Sipping a cup of turmeric tisane in a late night tea ritual
for one, Inky supposes it hasn’t been much different since the
accident than the jars of preserves and the “Now with 25% more
celery!” labels on them. While immeasurably better than
spontaneously combusting into burnt popcorn, it would be best
to keep a Farmers’ Almanac within reach. Who knows when a mail
order cure-all tonic will come in handy in the middle of
Nowere?</p>
</blockquote>
<p>“I wouldn’t worry your wizened old brow about it,” Blavin
chuckles, sloshing his drink. “The Benefactor’s concern is
precisely the same as yours! These items are of enormous
cultural and historical significance, to say nothing of their
well of concentrated arcane energies. They’re dangerous just
sitting out there in the world. Who knows who might come
across one and use it for nefarious purposes.”</p>
<p>Yam’L’s eye widens and it seems to shudder at the mere
suggestion of evil.</p>
<p>“Did you say this one was in the hands of a giant moth?”
Blavin shudders with revulsion. “My word, man! Do you really
think such an overgrown insect is an appropriate guardian for
a beloved and dangerous cultural icon such as the Ginnarak
Crystal? Surely not!”</p>
<p>“No,” he sits back with a satisfied smile, “I think we must
all agree that they are safer in the public collection of a
competent and benevolent curator. Then everybody can enjoy
them safely!”</p>
<blockquote>
<p>META: I’m gonna preface the sword speech with this to make
it quicker to write</p>
<p><strong>Y’aml</strong><br />
I like what you’re putting down here, this guy is DEFINITELY
evil. Nobody asks loads of people to steal things for them
without being evil. I say we stab him, nice and good, right in
the gut. Maybe 6 or 7 times. I’m positive nobody will mind.
Evil people steal things, we saw that inky creature stealing
things from that vault, definitely evil. (singsong) Evil evil
evil, stab stab stab, make the evil go away with every little
stab~</p>
<p><strong>Corraidhin to Y’aml</strong><br />
Dear sysadmins, once again, inky is not evil. They were
borrowing something that had been cast on the ground,
abandoned. Giving a tea set a good home is far from evil. But
you might be onto something about this Blavin fellow, but we
can’t just stab someone in a busy pub! Besides you’re a sword,
and stabbing someone in a pub is the job of a dagger. So
unless you can transform into the Dagger of Y’aml I think
we’re out of luck here.</p>
</blockquote>
<p>Yam’L gets a curious look in its eye at the suggestion.
“CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!” it cries directly into your mind. It
squeezes its eye shut and trembles with intense concentration.
With great effort, the sword shrinks itself down to the size
of a dagger, shunting its extra mass off into yamlspace.</p>
<p>“There!” it says breathlessly, opening its eye wearily.
“Now, Hardy Bear. You promised..” it continues, its eye
glinting with growing ferocity. “Let’s. STAB. THE HOBBIT!”</p>
<blockquote>
<p>While the wizard pressed Blavin about the crystal’s
secrets, Inky let their attention wander slightly around the
table.</p>
<p>They had agreed that Master Corraidhín and Jarrod, being
most wise and well-spoken, would question Blavin about the
crystal before they set off on their next mission. The party
had also befriended the duck unofficially dubbed their
marketing manager after the fluffy little creature had trailed
Inky all the way back to the Milk Market. Said creature now
occupied a small office to one side of the building complete
with a fountain, feathered up pillow and all the rummy worms
it can eat. Inky had tried getting the duck to communicate
with words by making them little croutons etched with letters,
but the only ones they would gobble up were Q-U-A-C-K.</p>
</blockquote>
<p>Your marketing manager moves into its office at the Milk
Market and seems to really be enjoying itself. It joins you at
Blavin’s table at Lucy’s Basement, cleaning its feathers and
chortling merrily to itself.</p>
<p>You and your tablemates take turns feeding it croutons and
bits of soft pretzel, and it seems very happy and content with
that.</p>
<blockquote>
<p>A familiar prickle, but passed quickly — Inky had gotten
used to the glares directed at them by the sysorceor’s
gleaming sword and resisted returning the stare with an
eyeroll. Watching Stabby eyeing up their case manager over
Master Corraidhín’s shoulder reminded Inky of a conversation
they had overheard a few evenings ago between two pale coffin
sleepers about a new product from the hemogoblins that was
said to quench the thirst for longer than the leading brand.
They might be able to find some at the town of Plasma, which
sits by the Hartlands on the way to the shipwreck. It seems
the milky blood pudding could do with some improvement.</p>
</blockquote>
<p>You note on Blavin’s map that the Hemogoblin region is
indeed on the way to the shipwreck. At least, it’s not that
far out of the way. You reckon their synthetic blood product
would indeed be a much better substitute for the real thing
than the milk you’ve been feeding the thirsty sword thus
far.</p>
<p>Or, at the very least, you’ll get a new variant of the
blood pudding recipe you’ve been working on!</p>
<blockquote>
<p>Maybe someone else’s mood will be improved in the meantime?
Before setting out for their meeting with Blavin, Inky slipped
into the kitchens downstairs and left the empanada chef a
trick-and-treat. A plate of honeyed breadfruit and ghost
pepper tapas sat on an icebox atop a new pair of Blueberry
oven mittens with a pattern of tiny smiling green turtles.
Tucked inside one mitten was a slip of paper (regrettably
inedible) that simply read “BACK SOON :)”. A tapa recipe,
which included a note on adapting the toppings for pan frying,
was printed on the reverse in neat blocky letters and
sandalwood ink.</p>
</blockquote>
<p>Enrique wakes in the middle of the night to start baking
the next day’s breads and empanadas. He frowns thoughtfully
when he sees yet another mysterious gift from across the room.
Again? What little elf must have taken up residence in his
shop? But his face cracks into a smile when he sees the
presentation and the oven mitts. And the smile becomes a
bonafide grin when he tastes the fare and finds the
recipe.</p>
<p>He taps his chin thoughtfully with one green claw as he
skims the note and looks through his pantry. He chops some
veggies and starts pan frying them.</p>
<p>Later, when the oven dings, he smiles to himself as he
pulls on the new turtle pattern oven mitts and opens it.</p>
<p>&gt; A) MORE QUESTIONING, OR B) TIME FOR SHIPWRECK?</p>
<p><a
href="https://framalistes.org/sympa/arc/tildepals/2022-10/msg00008.html">www</a></p>
]]>
</description>
</item>
<item>
<title>22</title>
<author>dozens@tilde.team (dozens)</author>
<guid isPermaLink="false">22 - Thu, 06 Oct 2022 07:38:24
-0600</guid>
<pubDate>Sun, 16 Oct 2022 10:15:14 -0600</pubDate>
<description>
<![CDATA[
<h3 id="00022">00022</h3>
<blockquote>
<p>Inky gathers up the teacups, trying to remember a few tips
about reading tea leaves from a forest fae they had met a few
times while foraging and who had insisted on giving lessons to
any wanderersby. (Of course he was just being a hospitable
host to thirsty travellers and certainly not because he
delighted in the confused expressions on their faces the
entire time.)</p>
<p>Turning the cups left and right, Inky gradually sees a
web-like hub, a looping line attached to an I-shaped apparatus
on one end, an abacus, a wide building (possibly a stadium or
arena), a feline animal resembling a tiger or lynx, and a long
feather. Feathers and beads are commonly added to small
trinkets with simple animal designs and sold as lucky charms
at the market … an auspicious sign?</p>
<p>Or it should be. Inky’s thoughts circle back to the little
glass pebble, after returning from the market with, among
other items, more vegetables than they could possibly eat in a
month excluding the beatfruits. Inky still hasn’t decided
whether accidentally finding out about being cursed — by a
potion, the irony! — counts as an auspicious event. One of the
produce vendors and attendant at the market had casually
mentioned the proximity to the next full moon while Inky had
been looking over the leafy greens. Several blatant attempts
to boost sales later (“Them barley’s hoppin’ good fer tea!”),
the vendor revealed that their little grandson Harry had “got
the weres” as a toddler and his parents had found a
strange-looking glass marble in his mouth, much like the one
inside the bottle hanging from a chain on Inky’s vest, and
wouldn’t they like some more tomatoes for a blushing
bunny?</p>
<p>From further inquiries, an ink depot on the opposite side
of the city confirmed they sold Flat 12 potions as inks many
years ago when showing off transmogrification through letters
was a popular pastime, but had ceased carrying them due to
limited range, lack of demand, as well as the bottles’
tendency to randomly break or their contents to fizzle out.
(That and complaints about the overly persistent effects of
said contents on unsuspecting recipients long after the fad
that inspired them had faded led ink traders to shun the
were-hare potions.) In contrast, the Mountain Range potions
were far more stable and instead of shapeshifting, had the
ability to stave off the cold under frigid temperatures,
though its effects would likely be less enduring. Like the
Flat 12, the Mountains are potions, but one in particular of a
sparkling deep blue hue became its signature colour among ink
enthusiasts.</p>
<p>Sipping a cup of turmeric tisane in a late night tea ritual
for one, Inky supposes it hasn’t been much different since the
accident than the jars of preserves and the “Now with 25% more
celery!” labels on them. While immeasurably better than
spontaneously combusting into burnt popcorn, it would be best
to keep a Farmers’ Almanac within reach. Who knows when a mail
order cure-all tonic will come in handy in the middle of
Nowere?</p>
</blockquote>
<p>You see a complex vision in the bottom of the jade teacups,
and learn a little bit about the inks you found.</p>
<p>You grab a copy of the Farmers Almanac to keep on hand.</p>
<p>On your way back from the market, a small duck waddles onto
the sidewalk and starts following you.</p>
<pre><code>・゜゜・。。・゜゜\_o&lt; QUACK!</code></pre>
<p>It is small and yellow and cute, and has a little floofy
tuft of feathers on the very top of its head.</p>
<p>You see a complex vision in the bottom of the jade teacups,
and learn a little bit about the inks you found.</p>
<p>You grab a copy of the Farmers Almanac to keep on hand.</p>
<p>On your way back from the market, a small duck waddles onto
the sidewalk and starts following you.</p>
<pre><code>・゜゜・。。・゜゜\_o&lt; QUACK!</code></pre>
<p>It is small and yellow and cute, and has a little floofy
tuft of feathers on the very top of its head.</p>
<blockquote>
<p>Meta: one of my best friends name is Kevin, so I find it
extra amusing that the sysorceor is named Kevin.</p>
@ -1268,5 +987,286 @@ scp sysorceor.guild:/home/corraidhin/chest milkbase.alpha:/home/corraidhin/chest
]]>
</description>
</item>
<item>
<title>28</title>
<author>dozens@tilde.team (dozens)</author>
<guid isPermaLink="false">28 - Sat, 29 Oct 2022 08:36:51
-0600</guid>
<pubDate>Sat, 29 Oct 2022 08:36:51 -0600</pubDate>
<description>
<![CDATA[
<h3 id="00028">00028</h3>
<blockquote>
<p><sub><em>a new player enters the chat</em></sub></p>
<p>Gabs had a good life. Her little devil children were all
grown adults now, and she no longer wanted to toil away
running a business. When she initially shuttered her little
tavern, she thought she might just retire. She made it two
whole years of working in a garden, occasionally seeing
grandkids, and reading romance novels. She eventually decided
she needed a vacation from her retirement and traveled to a
nearby port town. She was sure to find something fun to do
there.</p>
<p>Gabs eventually sees Inquire Within, and the smell of
debauchery wafting from within made her miss her days
gossiping at her tavern. She enters and orders a terrible
drink and listens and watches.</p>
<p>Hearing the tales being spun by Mister Three-Fingered, she
decides, “I’ve never been on a ship, that’s something that
sounds exciting!”</p>
<p>Half-drunk and eager for something exciting, she will join
on the journey!</p>
<p>Gabs is a lanky older half-devil lady who is here to
schmooze and have fun!</p>
</blockquote>
<p>~</p>
<blockquote>
<p>Meta: a warm welcome to the latest member of our tea party!
This is a short post to help smooth the temporal jumps between
the recent narratives so far. As Inky reaches the deck, they
see Gabs approaching from the other side of the ship as well,
and flashes them a grin in greeting. After listening to the
captain petering on about the glorious days of the now sunken
ship below, while tinkering with the bell’s tentacles — being
rewarded with a mild zap and marginally better fit for the
effort — Inky turns to the party. “When you’re ready.”</p>
</blockquote>
<p>You reach into the tank and discover that grabbing a
breathing bell takes some finesse. They are very slippery! But
you get the hang of it and make a ladle out of your hands and
scoop one up.</p>
<p>“Okay now!” laughs Three-Fingered Gerald. He gives you a
wink, but it’s easy to miss because of the eyepatch. “Don’t
put it on until right before you jump. It won’t be able to
breathe for you until you’re in the water. And this!” he
continues, fitting a heavy, padded vest around your shoulders,
“will carry you down.” It is a vest of many pockets, each one
holding a small dense sandbag the size of your hand. “When
you’re ready to come back up, just start dropping ballast,
right?”</p>
<p>You hop up on the ship railing and pull the breathing bell
on over your head. It immediately contracts and squeezes and
hugs your head like a second skin, and its stubby little
tentacles grab hold around your jawline, and it feels like you
have a wet plastic bag clinging to your face, and you think
you might have made a grave mistake. Resisting the urge to
panic, you push off the railing and jump overboard. You are
briefly air born and then profoundly waterbound, crashing
through the surface of the sea into the briny soup below.</p>
<p>The oxygen starts to flow as the breathing bell begins to
do its job. As you sink, you feel as though you are floating
through space, entering another world.</p>
<p>After a while you start to hear voices arguing in the
distance. As you get closer, two large shapes start to come
into focus. The first is a hulking, hairless merbear. Top half
(hairless) bear, bottom half fish. The second figure is a
tardigrade the size of a large merbear. It has eight jointless
legs, each tipped with four sharp claws. It wriggles and
wobbles like jelly as it gesticulates.</p>
<p>“No, I am the true Bear of the Sea! I am called a Water
Bear, after all!”</p>
<p>“Hornswoggle and poppycock! It is I who am the Bear of the
Sea! I am half bear after all! You’re just some kind of
segmented nematode or something.”</p>
<p>The tardigrade quivers with indignation. “I’ll have you
know I’m a panarthropod, thank you very much. And this is the
ideal physical body! You may not like it, but this is what
peak performance looks like. I’ve lived under the polar ice
cap, and in a sulfurous mountaintop hot spring. I’ve traveled
through the vacuum of space to the moon! Have you ever been to
the moon?”</p>
<p>“Why don’t you go be the Bear of the Moon then if you like
it so much!”</p>
<p>“You’re just as much fish as you are bear, are you sure
you’re not the Fish of the Sea?”</p>
<p>“Are you sure you’re not the Blob of the Sea, you too many
armed bowl of jelly?”</p>
<p>“Hey! Hey, you there!” The arguing quasi-bears have spotted
your slow descent. “Come, yes, float slowly this way! You must
settle an argument for us! Tell this slightly mammalian fish
that I am the true Bear of the Sea!”</p>
<p>“The Bear of the Sea must be at least ‘slightly mammalian’
you egg-laying scientific curiosity! You, tell this cousin of
a barnacle that I—the mighty merbear—am the true Bear of the
Sea! Say this and I will guide and protect you on your
journey.”</p>
<p>“No! Would you like to visit the moon? Say that I,
tardigrade, am Bear of the Sea and I will introduce you to my
moon friends!”</p>
<p>“He had to make friends on the moon because nobody on Urth
can stand him!”</p>
<p>“You’re just mean, you know that?”</p>
<p>You are still quite some way from the sea bed, and there is
no sight of the SS RSS.</p>
<p>WHAT DO YOU DO</p>
<p><a
href="https://framalistes.org/sympa/arc/tildepals/2022-10/msg00023.html">www</a></p>
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<title>23</title>
<author>dozens@tilde.team (dozens)</author>
<guid isPermaLink="false">23 - Sat, 22 Oct 2022 09:36:52
-0600</guid>
<pubDate>Sat, 22 Oct 2022 09:36:52 -0600</pubDate>
<description>
<![CDATA[
<h3 id="00023">00023</h3>
<blockquote>
<p>Why no, we don’t mind much about competition, certainly
nothing wrong. Can’t imagine someone to put all of their eggs
in one basket, especially when whatever it is they desire is
so valuable.</p>
<p>That said, our benefactor must be pretty eager to get these
crystals if he’s willing to send out team after team. I mean,
we’re team 43, that’s a lot of people to pay and a lot of
eagerness to find these crystals. Why is that? What benefit
are these shiny rocks to them? What even is their purpose in
retrieving them?</p>
</blockquote>
<p>“Oh, no no no, child,” Blavin titters as he takes a sip of
his ever-present martini. “You must understand, the Benefactor
is a singularly dedicated collector, and has been for ages!
There are—and have been!—many other retrieval teams, yes. But
not all of them have been for the crystals. And some of them
were formed, active, and disbanded long before you or I
arrived on the scene.” He winks at you conspiratorially.</p>
<blockquote>
<p>I would postulate, based upon the magical wards we had to
bypass, the cadre of gaurds that needed to be dispatched, and
the gigantic moth monster that rested beneath it, that these
crystals aren’t meant to go anywhere.</p>
<p>Now I’m not trying to point fingers here, morality is many
shades of gray, and it isn’t really my job to suss out what
you’re doing. But I’m a curious sysorceor, and when I see a
chance to learn I seize upon the moment. There’s something
here you’re not telling us, and I for one and keen to know
it.</p>
</blockquote>
<p>“I wouldn’t worry your wizened old brow about it,” Blavin
chuckles, sloshing his drink. “The Benefactor’s concern is
precisely the same as yours! These items are of enormous
cultural and historical significance, to say nothing of their
well of concentrated arcane energies. They’re dangerous just
sitting out there in the world. Who knows who might come
across one and use it for nefarious purposes.”</p>
<p>Yam’L’s eye widens and it seems to shudder at the mere
suggestion of evil.</p>
<p>“Did you say this one was in the hands of a giant moth?”
Blavin shudders with revulsion. “My word, man! Do you really
think such an overgrown insect is an appropriate guardian for
a beloved and dangerous cultural icon such as the Ginnarak
Crystal? Surely not!”</p>
<p>“No,” he sits back with a satisfied smile, “I think we must
all agree that they are safer in the public collection of a
competent and benevolent curator. Then everybody can enjoy
them safely!”</p>
<blockquote>
<p>META: I’m gonna preface the sword speech with this to make
it quicker to write</p>
<p><strong>Y’aml</strong><br />
I like what you’re putting down here, this guy is DEFINITELY
evil. Nobody asks loads of people to steal things for them
without being evil. I say we stab him, nice and good, right in
the gut. Maybe 6 or 7 times. I’m positive nobody will mind.
Evil people steal things, we saw that inky creature stealing
things from that vault, definitely evil. (singsong) Evil evil
evil, stab stab stab, make the evil go away with every little
stab~</p>
<p><strong>Corraidhin to Y’aml</strong><br />
Dear sysadmins, once again, inky is not evil. They were
borrowing something that had been cast on the ground,
abandoned. Giving a tea set a good home is far from evil. But
you might be onto something about this Blavin fellow, but we
can’t just stab someone in a busy pub! Besides you’re a sword,
and stabbing someone in a pub is the job of a dagger. So
unless you can transform into the Dagger of Y’aml I think
we’re out of luck here.</p>
</blockquote>
<p>Yam’L gets a curious look in its eye at the suggestion.
“CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!” it cries directly into your mind. It
squeezes its eye shut and trembles with intense concentration.
With great effort, the sword shrinks itself down to the size
of a dagger, shunting its extra mass off into yamlspace.</p>
<p>“There!” it says breathlessly, opening its eye wearily.
“Now, Hardy Bear. You promised..” it continues, its eye
glinting with growing ferocity. “Let’s. STAB. THE HOBBIT!”</p>
<blockquote>
<p>While the wizard pressed Blavin about the crystal’s
secrets, Inky let their attention wander slightly around the
table.</p>
<p>They had agreed that Master Corraidhín and Jarrod, being
most wise and well-spoken, would question Blavin about the
crystal before they set off on their next mission. The party
had also befriended the duck unofficially dubbed their
marketing manager after the fluffy little creature had trailed
Inky all the way back to the Milk Market. Said creature now
occupied a small office to one side of the building complete
with a fountain, feathered up pillow and all the rummy worms
it can eat. Inky had tried getting the duck to communicate
with words by making them little croutons etched with letters,
but the only ones they would gobble up were Q-U-A-C-K.</p>
</blockquote>
<p>Your marketing manager moves into its office at the Milk
Market and seems to really be enjoying itself. It joins you at
Blavin’s table at Lucy’s Basement, cleaning its feathers and
chortling merrily to itself.</p>
<p>You and your tablemates take turns feeding it croutons and
bits of soft pretzel, and it seems very happy and content with
that.</p>
<blockquote>
<p>A familiar prickle, but passed quickly — Inky had gotten
used to the glares directed at them by the sysorceor’s
gleaming sword and resisted returning the stare with an
eyeroll. Watching Stabby eyeing up their case manager over
Master Corraidhín’s shoulder reminded Inky of a conversation
they had overheard a few evenings ago between two pale coffin
sleepers about a new product from the hemogoblins that was
said to quench the thirst for longer than the leading brand.
They might be able to find some at the town of Plasma, which
sits by the Hartlands on the way to the shipwreck. It seems
the milky blood pudding could do with some improvement.</p>
</blockquote>
<p>You note on Blavin’s map that the Hemogoblin region is
indeed on the way to the shipwreck. At least, it’s not that
far out of the way. You reckon their synthetic blood product
would indeed be a much better substitute for the real thing
than the milk you’ve been feeding the thirsty sword thus
far.</p>
<p>Or, at the very least, you’ll get a new variant of the
blood pudding recipe you’ve been working on!</p>
<blockquote>
<p>Maybe someone else’s mood will be improved in the meantime?
Before setting out for their meeting with Blavin, Inky slipped
into the kitchens downstairs and left the empanada chef a
trick-and-treat. A plate of honeyed breadfruit and ghost
pepper tapas sat on an icebox atop a new pair of Blueberry
oven mittens with a pattern of tiny smiling green turtles.
Tucked inside one mitten was a slip of paper (regrettably
inedible) that simply read “BACK SOON :)”. A tapa recipe,
which included a note on adapting the toppings for pan frying,
was printed on the reverse in neat blocky letters and
sandalwood ink.</p>
</blockquote>
<p>Enrique wakes in the middle of the night to start baking
the next day’s breads and empanadas. He frowns thoughtfully
when he sees yet another mysterious gift from across the room.
Again? What little elf must have taken up residence in his
shop? But his face cracks into a smile when he sees the
presentation and the oven mitts. And the smile becomes a
bonafide grin when he tastes the fare and finds the
recipe.</p>
<p>He taps his chin thoughtfully with one green claw as he
skims the note and looks through his pantry. He chops some
veggies and starts pan frying them.</p>
<p>Later, when the oven dings, he smiles to himself as he
pulls on the new turtle pattern oven mitts and opens it.</p>
<p>&gt; A) MORE QUESTIONING, OR B) TIME FOR SHIPWRECK?</p>
<p><a
href="https://framalistes.org/sympa/arc/tildepals/2022-10/msg00008.html">www</a></p>
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