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Messages - Jubal

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Forum Games - The Beer Cellar! / Re: Word Association
« on: Today at 12:53:32 PM »

Forum Games - The Beer Cellar! / Re: Word Association
« on: Today at 10:21:36 AM »

Forum Games - The Beer Cellar! / Re: Word Association
« on: December 10, 2023, 04:51:40 PM »

Forum Games - The Beer Cellar! / Re: Last Post
« on: December 10, 2023, 10:26:18 AM »
If? You risk, sir, sounding glib: examples of such hypersensory beings are many, I say, many! Even the humble wibulnib could pick up such an evocation of sound.

Thus I win both the argument and the thread!

Forum Games - The Beer Cellar! / Re: Word Association
« on: December 10, 2023, 10:23:05 AM »

Forum Games - The Beer Cellar! / Re: Last Post
« on: December 09, 2023, 11:43:36 PM »
Someone as can hear wi' good additional inhuman senses, says I.

Forum Games - The Beer Cellar! / Re: Last Post
« on: December 09, 2023, 05:01:48 PM »
Flies buzz and so detecting aurally your win ought to be easy.

Stories and AARs / Re: Birth of a Lich
« on: December 09, 2023, 03:04:37 PM »
Right, some very overdue thoughts!

I like the scene as a whole, the description is good and and the narrative in general worked well for me :)

I think I'd maybe want to build the Ester/Lilith relationship a bit more before the reveal, possibly have some more flashbacks and memories involved? I think the "I was never the theological prodigy you were.... they instilled within me a disgust of my own being." section might need to be cut up a bit to make those points sharper, right now it feels a bit like a narrative dump, I'd like it to be more directed, given more actions/gestures towards Lilith, or something else to better emphasise Ester's fragile state of mind. Ester's dialogue might want to be a bit simplified given that, or you might want to call out the fact that she's speaking in a very full and rehearsed-sounding style for someone who also seems to be on the edge of a breakdown, perhaps another sign of the necromantic coaching.

I wonder if the tension between the Direct and the Higher could be made more direct? They're very clearly doing a good cop bad cop thing, intentionally or not, and giving us some idea of whether they're doing that as a team or whether their different approaches are getting different responses from Ester is something I'd like more of.

Disgruntled may be too soft a term for the feelings of the paladins at the end? I feel like this might be worse than "kinda grumpy" on the reaction level!

Very minor thing, but comma before a term of address so "Identify yourself, mage," etc would be better, the small pause helpse identify and add weight to the term of address. I'd also maybe make a couple of bits of the dialogue a bit more direct e.g. "the Ester I knew would never do that" might be better expressed as a "You know me! You're not like this!" Moving dialogue to a staccato as characters get more desperate I think might help amp up the desperation and panic involved here, if that's the vibe you want to get out of the scene (which was the impression I got).

More generally I'd like a little bit more visuals that take in the surrounding room - I liked your initial description of it but you could scatter in a bit more about the space in general: shadows on the wall from what the characters are doing, a scorch mark from the fireball, what the texture and colour of the stone is, how the magic sigils are reacting to what's going on, whether it's dry or damp, and things like that.

Anyhow, hope that helps as a bunch of random thoughts! Always keen to see more of this stuff when you have time to write any of it :)

Forum Games - The Beer Cellar! / Re: Word Association
« on: December 09, 2023, 09:42:01 AM »

Forum Games - The Beer Cellar! / Re: Word Association
« on: December 08, 2023, 11:09:10 PM »

(Yes, I know that's not where Devizes is, but it was the first thing that came into my brain anyway)

Forum Games - The Beer Cellar! / Re: Last Post
« on: December 08, 2023, 05:02:49 PM »
That is barely a pun, more of an amorphous wordplay blob. Stern words, I know, but it's important you face the enormity of your crustacean related misdemeanours.

Also I just discovered that hexapods like Insects are actually a subgroup of crustaceans as broadly taxonomically concieved and nothing makes taxonomic sense in my head any more.

Forum Games - The Beer Cellar! / Re: Last Post
« on: December 08, 2023, 04:26:35 PM »
You can't stop raw notability the like of which is gained by winning this thread with a new post.

Caucasian Prosopography Project / Re: Updates & New Devlog
« on: December 08, 2023, 03:00:07 PM »
Well, I got a PhD out of all this. So, what next?

This certainly isn't the end, it turns out - at most the end of the beginning.

  • I've got another publication hopefully coming out next year, focused on the Zakarid and Orbeli dynasties - more on that as it comes.
  • I still have to publish the database. This is still a big job away from being done, I should cross-check a lot of my current rather ropey data and ensure I'm up to date with the set of sources I've used. But one of my PhD supervisor's programmers has done a lot of work on dockerising my database syste this year, so that hopefully puts the database in good stead to be available in 2024 sometime.
  • The thesis will want to be turned into publications, probably plural - my expectation is that I'll want to hack the methods section into a series of papers, with the body of the analysis turning into a monograph with a newly written attached narrative history.

This is all a disconcertingly big job, but at least I won't get bored any time soon :)

Forum Games - The Beer Cellar! / Re: Last Post
« on: December 08, 2023, 02:34:14 PM »
A win as sweet as sugarbeet. Let the trumpets sound for the victor!

Letters and letter-carriers

Information movement is key to any society and to possible quests or games within it. As such, some notes on how it works in a Kavyne context.

People across many societies do write letters, but papyri and parchments aren't cheap options - most of the time, messages will be memorised and carried by whoever is deemed trustworthy and travelling between places. In some cases, a short letter giving an official instruction or charter will be accompanied by a much longer memorised message. For more important messages, leaders will send a trusted servant of their own rather than entrusting it to a merchant. Long-distance information movement is largely a matter for merchants, travellers, and the elite - most people simply get information about nearby areas via herdsmen or local traders walking to markets and any information about things further afield is transmitted via the most literate local individuals (priests, lords, heirophants, monks, etc).

Letters, being a little expensive, can be matters of status, often written in order to show off or make an impression, and perhaps also to be displayed - indeed, writing a physical letter can be a favour to a minor local subordinate, giving them a way to show off a higher leader's favour. The Heirophancy uses lead or occasionally even silver seals to enclose documents, and coloured ribbons and inks are common across different cultures: the Alasian and Cenican high kings tend in particular to use a reserved-for-royalty deep blue dye. Generally letters are written on parchment (in the north

Merchants are generally trusted as information carriers, but this varies by culture and by merchant - those with predictable routes who make regular annual journeys are often trusted much more than total strangers. Around the Dragonfly Sea in the Heirophancy, Palictara, Tullactara, Dulshan and Camahay, the Order of Whisperers are monks who are often particularly highly trusted, much more so than traders. Alasians . In the Dwarf republics, the republics share a common postal service, with each city-state maintaining their part of a wider network of runners and beacons. In parts of the Heirophancy there are also networks of stables for information riders, but these are solely for use by the Heirophants and thus for religious, bureaucratic or military post.

People have some ways of transmitting more secret information: basic codes like caesar ciphers are known but mostly used by larger armies around the Dragonfly Sea with access to significant papyrus resources. More commonly, code words or phrases to double-check identities are common, or regular and pre-arranged meetup places, to make it harder to simply impersonate a messenger. This also makes the use of trusted servants or regularly present traders more reliable: being already known to all parties, they are much harder to impersonate.

Implications for interacting with message carrying

Travellers and adventurers often aren't the most likely people to be entrusted with a vital message or letter, because they're unlikely to be well known to the people in question (exceptions if they are or can reliably pose as a Whisperer), but they might well be hired as protection for someone who is being so entrusted.

The use of memorisation as a norm for message carrying means that those who wish to intercept a message (as opposed to an official document) usually need to take the messenger alive. This provides an additional layer of difficulty when doing so - besides the issue of persuading the messenger to hand over such information. Guards, in particularly high secrecy messages, might be instructed to kill the messenger over and above letting them fall into the wrong hands.

The use of metal seals in the heirophancy adds a possible additional type of plausible clue - unlike a wax seal, a lead seal cannot easily be destroyed even if the document attached to it has been cut open or stolen, so if it was pulled off in a hurry this might be a useful lead on a mystery of some kind.

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