Happy belated Azuriversary to Scraftato! <3 <3 <3
@Ravey: Is it because winter has fewer bugs? 8D
Currently this week is filled with term project stuff. I'm attempting to make a program that arranges sheet music, and setting everything up is quite maddening.
Jun 28, 2017 Posted in: PokeCasual Clubs
Jun 28, 2017Herro, Rei! I guess I'll give you some stuff to practice on. :DPosted in: The Bazaar
>Text font: Na/A
>Size: Whatever works, but please keep it <=200 px in height
>Style: Whatever works - will probably end up scrapbook and/or texture though
>Colors: Whatever works
>Other: Have fun!
Jun 28, 2017Scanning over Kayn's moves, the one word that pops into my mind is "overloaded." This is scaring me. D:Posted in: Other Clubs and Clans
Also there was a mention of untargetability, which is also scary.
Jun 27, 2017I love this idea, and I've sent some more songs of my own! It's always nice having a listen to stuff that's not always what I usually keep playing in the background.Posted in: Entertainment
Jun 26, 2017I'd like to give a HUGE shoutout to Jaye (Aiedail) and Jialin (Spotlight) for all of their help with the Maia mega-post! Jaye did an amazing job writing that poem and adding some descriptions to the main framework of the post, and Jialin provided some extremely helpful feedback on Jaye's and my writing. They are da reel MVPs. <3Posted in: The Campfire
Jun 26, 2017Maia laughed lightly as she watched Eliora's reaction to her surprise greeting. "I could tell who you were as soon I saw the Solis ring," explained the priestess. "The General told me that you were wearing it, but enough talk. Let's get to the temple, where I can speak in a private setting."Posted in: Original
The Ninth Brigade and Maia walked the rest of the way to the city's subway line while making small talk, riding the train to the final stop, the temple's station. When they exited the train, they were only a few hundred feet away from the entrance to the Maris Temple.
The brooding exterior of the great temple consisted of tall, rigid walls of golden stone bricks, seemingly capturing the bright sunlight into their depths, with a set of sweeping stairs leading to the columned set of double doors in the front. The doors resembled ancient sentinels, guarding the secrets of the temple, proud and silent. A timeworn image of the Maris crystal itself was carved with a mysterious blue ink into the oaken doors, distinguishing the building from its twin, the Solis Temple, that stood impassively next door. Aside from the station and both temples, an expanse of uninhabited beach and ocean surrounded the immediate area. The waves crashing against the shore were the only sounds in the vicinity, giving the illusion that the only things that existed were the tide and the temple.
In sharp contrast, the vast interior was dimly lit with luminous azure and amber flames, flickering softly into the darkness. Small amounts of sunlight filtered into the area from a skylight high above the ancient rafters. Sweeping arches, hewn from some kind of stone apparently taken directly from the ocean floor, marked the many possible hallways that one could follow into obscurity, with the Maris's main chamber lying straight in front of the soldiers behind another set of foreboding oak double doors. Maia, however, ignored the rest and led the Brigade lithely through the bordering hallway on the left into a side room.
This shadowed chamber was her main office, which consisted of a highly disorganized desk, covered with many lengths of yellowed parchment; a gigantic bookshelf filled with numerous relic-covered volumes, dust clinging to each cover as though they guarded some sinister secret; a dark mahogany coffee table, covered with years worth of scuffs and pit marks; some richly-upholstered couches with various colored cushions lying scattered; and a counter stacked haphazardly with various mysterious herbs that no member of the Brigade had seen before, not even Lex himself.
As the Brigade sank into the comfortable couches and chairs and chatted lightly among themselves, Maia immediately turned on a modern electric kettle and threw some leaves, herbs, and honey into a teapot. She then set eight small china cups onto a tray and poured the newly-made tea into each of them.
"Have some tea while I explain," she told the soldiers with a smile. "You'll be listening for quite a while. It's got lavender, chamomile, and a few other special herbs mixed in."
Each travel-weary soldier, especially Eli, eagerly accepted the offer of generosity. After Maia had put away her tray, she cleared her throat turned to the Brigade once more.
"I'm sure that you are aware of the Solis Eaters' presence," began Maia, whose statement was met with many nods.
"Unfortunately, Lumen is not alone in their troubles, though they tend to encounter the nastiest enemies," she continued. "The creatures have been causing problems wherever they can sense the Solis. I fear that the Solis Eaters’ unusual activity may soon disturb the slumber of Aubade's ancient Mythos, which you may have read about in children's storybooks."
She looked at their amused faces and frowned, irritated by their reactions. "These Mythos are very different from the stories that your parents made up," she scolded. "Leviathan, Ivernus, Phoenix, Hyperion, and the Wili are truly deserving of their mighty myths. They are the creatures of legend, yet they are still resting upon this earth." A look of apprehension crossed the white mage's face for a moment, and she paused, as if trying to give honor to their names before continuing. "The Mythos are becoming restless as the crystals begin to weaken. They are definitely not to be trifled with, and none can be defeated without aid. Only the crystals themselves can save you from the Mythos' wrath."
Now that she had appropriately chastised them, the Brigade's expressions sobered, but Maia pressed on further.
"Yet Lumen cannot afford to spread out its forces at this time to aid the other cities, lest they leave the main Solis underprotected," she told them gravely.
"General Moore has tasked you with something impossible for eight people to accomplish." She seemed to be unimpressed by the Brigade before her, but even more so with the General himself. "He seems to underestimate how much power it takes to slay the tougher monsters and potentially some Mythos, so I’m glad that he sent you to me. As it stands, Lumen's army would have to double in size to rid Aubade of every known Solis Eater."
Eliora's eyes narrowed as she attempted to make a comment, but as much as she struggled, no sound came out.
"I’m sorry," said Maia, pursing her lips in guilt. "I silenced you with the tea I made, so that I could talk without interruption." She shook her head in anger as she recalled some past injustice. "Nevertheless, you may ask me your remaining questions once I'm finished."
The Brigade's members looked at each other in static shock while Eliora simply glared at Maia, who looked nonplussed. She smiled softly at each of them before continuing her speech.
"Anyway, as a priestess, I know a potential solution to this predicament. The six crystals are the source of magic, and you could possibly harness that power in order to strengthen your own." She nodded at this statement, as if affirming to herself what she was to say next.
"First of all, any mage can amplify their spells and learn new ones if they pray to the crystals," she explained blankly. "Black mages strengthen their powers at every crystal, while white mages take energy from all Solis shards. With the help of the crystals, mages can learn legendary spells that most would aspire to learn in a lifetime within minutes."
She paused briefly, examining their faces for signs of comprehension. "If the records I received are correct, this would apply to Callum Merric and Lexard Rollul."
Callum did not reply to Maia at all, while Lex simply stared at Maia. She merely smiled at them, as if expecting those exact reactions, before she spoke again.
"However, not only the mages can benefit from the crystals. In fact, the military's aptitude test coincidentally does a nearly flawless job at sorting people to the classes which tend to receive 'callings' from certain crystals." The Brigade took this particular piece of information with raised eyebrows. "Upon touching the specific crystal, a person will undergo a unique trial to test their worthiness of receiving the crystal's power."
Maia then paused again, showing the slightest amount of hesitation, before she spoke her next words.
"As is my duty, I will now recite to you a poem that has been passed down from each head priestess before me. The poem gives details that match the exact types of people who should stand before each corresponding crystal and roughly describes each trial you will face separately. It's the cleanest translation we have struggled for, taken from one of the ancient passages from the creation of Aubade itself."
Maia wavered for a moment, gulping nervously before she recited the legendary poem, known to her by heart from her mother before her, to eight strangers for the first time.
"Enter, slyest heart, and hear the crystal’s call
The flowing Maris waits inside the ocean’s wondrous hall
As the water passes smoothly over river stones
A hero must adapt to purge the grudge within their bones
Enter, restless heart, and hear the crystal’s demand
The jeweled Aella stands at heights surpassing other land
As the wind blows freely from whichever way it choose
A hero must take flight above the clouds and pain diffuse
Enter, steady heart, and hear the crystal’s beckon
The stony Terra sleeps and heals, awaiting a strong weapon
As the earth lies balanced, e’er harmonious with the sky
A hero must stand tall and proud and unafraid to die
Enter, fiercest heart, and hear the crystal’s cry
The bright Pyralis lingers hotly ‘neath the sun thereby
As the fire dances lithely to its heart’s content
A hero must be ardent and not ever once relent
Enter, purest heart, and hear the crystal’s cheer
The vivid Solis watches o’er the city that lies near
As the light gives blessing to the mortals down below
A hero must outshine and tame the world’s most fearsome foe
Enter, unfazed heart, and hear the crystal’s plea
The hateful Tenebris guards Aubade from sheer disaster’s spree
As the shadows always follow stars along the night
A hero must endure to beat the toughest of all fights
Now listen to the crystals’ truths, and heed my warnings giv’n
A great reward awaits for all the heroes that are driv’n
Beware, the ones who wish for pow’r with vapid, empty hearts -
Death haunts the souls who fail the tests and tears them all apart"
The Ninth Brigade didn't need any silencing tea to create the utter speechlessness that covered the room as they tried to comprehend what Maia had just read to them. Even the brightest among them were baffled by the ancient poem's mysterious omens.
"If you complete your trials, each of you will have the ancient power - a gift from the crystals themselves," Maia said proudly. "Your newfound strength is necessary to face the enemies that lie ahead, and your assignment will become a highly feasible task as a result of your struggle." She frowned for a moment and then mentioned the last part of the poem, warning the Brigade lest they forget the crystals' danger. "Remember, however, as the poem warns, that if you fail your respective trial, the crystal will take your life, disappointed by your weak will."
"I'll give you the rest of today to take in all of this information," concluded Maia, bowing. "I hope I didn't bore anyone. Please meet here tomorrow morning at nine so that I can guide the mages through their first prayers."
♢ Key Locations ♢
Jun 26, 2017Rialto, the Seaside Metropolis. Cynics often call Rialto the City of Division instead, referencing the stark contrast between the city's grimy, crime-infested ports and gleaming, pristine resorts.Posted in: Original
As the mag-lev holding the Ninth Brigade entered Rialto with incredible speed, Eliora watched as the glimpses of street markets, fishing piers, and merchant ships zoomed by her window. The ports were the side of Rialto that only native residents stepped upon, save for the occasional clueless tourists basically asking to be pickpocketed by wandering into that half. When Eliora was young, she, like any vacationer with half a brain, had always stayed in the resort area with her family, frolicking in the waves with Lucian or reading a novel while relaxing to the ocean's whisper.
Phantom be still in my heart
Make me a promise that
Time won't erase us
That we were not lost from the start
"Still Here" by Digital Daggers
From what Eliora could remember, the city didn't look like it had changed much since she last visited five years ago. The only thing that truly changed between that time and now was Eliora herself. At age eighteen, she didn't look forward to entering Lumen's military academy shortly after the summer ended. Staying in Rialto for a week with her parents that time was almost like saying one last goodbye to carefree days. Now, at age twenty-three, serving Lumen was her life. Rialto was no longer a vacation spot for her; instead, Eliora took the city as almost strictly a matter of business. Eliora sighed and shook her head, smiling slightly at Ianthe, who still had a gleeful look of childlike wonder on her face as Rialto's ports passed by.
The train slowed down for the final time, smoothly transitioning to a stop at Rialto's main outdoor platform, which was located almost exactly at the port-resort divide. The doors slid open, and soon, the train's passengers came to life, scrambling for their bags and jostling each other as they exited the train. As Eliora stepped outside with her bag, she quickly claimed an empty bench and waited for the rest of the Brigade to gather by her spot, donning her dark sunglasses to shield her eyes from the sun's rays. One by one, familiar faces popped out of the cars, recognized Eliora, and reconvened until all eight soldiers were ready to make their way to the subway.
It was strange seeing everyone in casual attire, as Eliora almost never met with any member of the Brigade outside of their normal duties. The other soldiers looked so relaxed, as if they weren't going to be destroying Solis Eaters or even thinking about them for the rest of their lives. The only exception to this was Callum, who seemed to be bored out of his mind already.
Cenzo, on the complete opposite end of the interest spectrum, looked completely ready to party on the beach. He was wearing khaki shorts with a button-down shirt as blue as his eyes. The shirt would have suited him well if not for the hideous tropical floral patterns that covered it.
Eliora partially lowered her sunglasses to shoot Cenzo an unamused glare. She was never proud of anyone who dressed like that in her Brigade. As Cenzo neared the bench where she was sitting, Eliora commented bluntly, "That shirt is a ****ing travesty."
"I'm taking some time to relax!" said Cenzo in response.
Eliora took one last judging glance at the shirt, rolled her eyes, grabbed her bags once more, and motioned for the Brigade to follow her.
"So Lex, if I remember correctly, the subway's just two blocks straight ahead and a turn to the right, correct?" asked Eliora to the Rialto native. While she was relatively certain of the subway station's location and usually unmotivated to talk to Lex, she wanted to make sure that it hadn't changed in the past five years.
"That's right," answered the deep-voiced white mage proudly. "Rialto's good for keeping transport close together. Easier for the tourists, I suppose."
"Cool, so it's the same as when I last visited." Eliora paused for a moment, trying to remember what else she wanted to ask Lex. "By the way, do you know anything about Maia?"
"Well, she's the youngest priestess ever, and certainly good at her job. Her mother was the previous priestess, and she picked up a lot of her skills from her, I assume."
Lex shrugged before continuing. "She's also one of the best damn white mages on record, with a mastery in both healing and warding before I even learnt the Cure spell. Aside from that, most everything else I know is public knowledge."
"All right, thanks for the information," concluded Eliora curtly.
Eliora began to form an image of Maia in her head. So she's young, she thought. Probably thirty? Considering how old most of Lumen's priests are, that's probably a good estimate.
The Brigade passed by a teenage blue-haired girl who was sitting on a wooden bench with her nose in a book. The girl looked up for a moment, distracted by the sound of the soldiers' footsteps, and returned to reading once more. Soon enough, the sign for the subway appeared in the distance.
Wow, nothing really has changed about this city, thought Eliora as she grabbed her right hand and fidgeted with her Solis ring for a bit. Even that ratty sign-
"Hello, Eliora," chimed a soft, feminine voice from behind the group.
Eliora let out an unladylike yelp, stopped in her tracks, and turned around to see who had called her name. It was that blue-haired bookworm whom the Brigade had walked by a few seconds ago. Suddenly, the dots connected in her head as she attempted to figure out why some stranger would greet her out of nowhere.
"Maia," whispered Eliora in shock. "How did you know my name?"
Co-authored by Spotlight and Flo
Cenzo (Spotlight) and Lex (Flo)
Ianthe (Aiedail), Callum (Light), Cenzo (Spotlight), and Lex (Flo)
Jun 24, 2017Once I got a drawing tablet for my smudges, I never went back. Probably one of my most worthwhile recent investments, and it was only about $65 or so. It makes smudging feel a lot more natural, and the pressure sensitivity makes lines much easier to draw and manipulate.Posted in: Other Clubs and Clans
Drawing, on the other hand, is something that I don't think I can really get into these days. I drew for fun at times until around the tail end of middle school. Then when art classes didn't fit into my schedule in high school, I sorta just stopped and couldn't really pick it up again. I wasn't bad, but I just didn't have the time to learn all of the more advanced concepts anymore.
@Michelle: I get what you're saying too. I'm still trying to get back into the swing of things as well since I always make stuff much less frequently when I'm in school. Though I sometimes just open Photoshop when I'm stressed and make something. Last time I was bored and angry at someone, I just went on a GFX spree and made two pieces (one of which was decent, the other which was a request I really didn't want to do) in one day lol.
I'd suggest to keep pressing on and making something whenever you have a good idea of what you want to do. Enter MAC and SotM any time you have any bit of inspiration, even if you don't think that it will be that good. You are your own worst critic, but you just have to keep practicing!
Jun 24, 2017Posted in: PokeCasual Clubs
OMG HI HUBERT. Are you gonna rejoin the Rift?Quote from Lugialord »Summer weather in general ಠ_ಠ
I'm just not really a fan of either extreme. I guess I prefer the cold slightly more because you can curl up in comfy blankets.
Jun 23, 2017I'll need to see your license and registration, please... (Have you gotten in trouble on the road before?)posted a message onClean record over here. Never been pulled over or received a violation for anything on the road. :)Posted in: General Chat
Jun 23, 2017Entries:Posted in: Contest Hall
Last voter: Bijou
Jun 23, 2017Posted in: Contest Hall1. The number of votes that you are allowed to have changes depending on the number of entries. The calculation that I'm using is total entries divided by 5 (rounded up).
Welcome to the SotM Voting Phase! This is the thread where you can vote for your favorite entries that were submitted during this month's Entry Phase.
This month, you have 1 vote!
The following are the criteria that you should consider when placing your vote:
-Relevance to theme
-Technical difficulty (how much effort was put in)
What to avoid judging by:
-Render choice (the character displayed)
-Style (smudge vs. c4d, etc.)
-Presence or absence of text
2. Please don't try to influence someone else's votes or rig the competition in any way. Keep things fair!
3.Once you vote, that's it. You may not edit your vote or post more than once while voting is still going on unless you are adding a vote in months when more than one vote is issued.
4. You are not allowed to vote for yourself.
5. To be eligible to vote, your account must not have been created at the time of the voting stage. This is to prevent cheating with alts. Even if your alt is eligible, remember that I can check your IPs if I feel that any vote is suspicious!
6. Cheaters will be punished as seen fit depending on the degree of the offense.
Jun 21, 2017We've had lots of rain and thunderstorms over here for the past few days. The weather seems to reflect my coding despair. 8DPosted in: PokeCasual Clubs
How has everyone been doing today?
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