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Messages - Zazie Rotten

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General Discussion / Re: Should Quest Areas Be Opened
« on: October 30, 2019, 01:42:22 pm »
There are a few things that cannot really be listed as simple poll options, but here is what I believe should be available:

1. Even if quest areas are not available or opened up to non-instanced players, please provide exploration areas that touch on similar themes. The graveyard in Southbank is a good example, where an undead-hating character can go knock some loosely-contained brains around. I do not know if there is a quest area there, but perhaps keep one mausoleum as a quest and set up another that is open to explore for the same level range.

2. Some safe roads. I understand that the world is dangerous, but it seems counter-intuitive that bandits, wild animals, hags, and troglodytes would band together to jump any poor soul that dares to wander too far east of the farm lands of Hadrian. The roads should be somewhat safe in most places that you travel; shortcuts would be dangerous. Another example is the area north of Sullivan's Port; why are there so many hostile goblinoids right outside of Sullivan's gates, when they know they are just going to get butchered by some vaguely irate minotaur or bloodthirsty gnoll that passes by?

3. Non-hostile exploration and lore zones. Along the same lines as the safe roads, there are surely some places that are simply too hard to get to or too far away from any possible profit or raid. Scenic areas, completely abandoned tombs, gorgeous caverns (until you go too deep and wind up in the Underdark), and other such locations would be wonderful to have and can serve as potential roleplay scenarios as well as free territories for DMs and EMs to spice up an adventure a la random encounters. That usually-empty elven ruin might one day be home to a group of hapless grave robbers hoping that other looters that got there first left something behind. These areas would also make for wonderful story locations and server lore; surely that same elven ruin could have once been a bustling trade village where the elves first taught the Netherese magic before they discovered the Nether Scrolls, and they abandoned it shortly after out of fear of mankind's hubris. Or maybe it was just a former outpost that watched the hordes of the orcs before it was overrun some day. Lore!

It is just a few ideas to open up areas that do not require the slaughter of dozens just because someone wants to travel.

General Discussion / Re: Should Quest Areas Be Opened
« on: October 27, 2019, 09:54:50 pm »
There should be separate, non-instanced versions of the quest areas. It allows for roleplay and it can be done easily enough by not spawning chests and treasure troves in those zones. It also allows people to farm areas when there is no one on, because this is not exactly a high-population server. A lot of us just sit around waiting for someone to exist in the same time zone.

Journals & Backgrounds / Zazie's Diary - VIII
« on: October 25, 2019, 01:48:41 pm »
It had been quiet for a few days. No knocking on the door; no visitors; no guests. Zazie closed her eyes and tilted her head back to slump against the leg of the dinner table she sat beneath. Her diary entry had been scratched out four times, never sure how to start it, before she had finally managed a proper one on the fifth try. There was a cold comfort in the fact that she had expected things to go exactly the way that they did, but she still felt woefully quiet. A diminutive voice teased her with quiet hopes and the promise that there was still a chance, but she quelled the thought as fanciful imaginings.

Quote from: Zazie
After centuries of experiencing the same thing over and over, I would have thought that I would be relatively immune to disappointment by now. There is a self-deprecating humor to be found in my continued notions of romance. Each time someone claims to be interested in me, they disappear or cease showing up when I return the interest. I had offered a dinner date, a chance to properly get to know one another, and I have not seen her since. It hurts a little more than I hoped that it would, but rejection always seems to find a new way to sting me.

I suppose that is my fault for daring, though. Taking risks never seems to work out for me. I think that I prefer Relic's way of rejecting me; he does not lie to me and claim to be interested. It is not pleasant, to have no hope for success at all, but it is comfortable. Or perhaps I have just become used to the bitterness of wanting what I cannot have, of wanting what does not want me.

I need a distraction. I am going to try once again and see if there are any individuals interested in an expedition or a dig.

I will keep my expectations low.


The halfling pulled her knees up against her chest and rested her cheek upon her knees. She had always been told that chocolate was a sure way of battling such a negative mood. She only wished she had the appetite to try...

Journals & Backgrounds / Zazie's Diary - VII
« on: October 19, 2019, 04:30:50 am »
Each bite was tasteless, an unrecognizable mouthful of mush so flavorless that she barely felt it on her tongue. It was simple sustenance, room temperature, some manner of oatmeal plainly soaked and cooked in water, only to be left in a jar until its heat had faded. Zazie hardly noticed each bite, and that was precisely how she preferred it. Someone that had mastered the body might think the substance flavored by imagination, by force of will so great that it tasted however she wanted it to, for who would subject themselves to the blandness of every spoonful she shoveled back?

The pen in her other hand continued its work uninterrupted. Every scratch of ink was another line in her geometric handwriting, yet another word upon yet another page within yet another book she had written. Some day, this would join the other hundreds she had upon her shelves...

Quote from: Zazie
I have heard little stories and jests about angels and devils upon a man's shoulder, each one seeking to pull the heartstrings of a man's conscience one way or another. It is usually a moral dilemma that is presented to the man, wherein he avoids self-harm and allows some evil to be fall another, or takes it upon himself and spares another. Upon my right shoulder stands the automaton of logic; upon my left stands the strangest slaad I have imagined. My dilemma is a matter of logic versus chance.

I have spoken to the glitterknight about myself. Logically, I should not take that risk. I do not know him very well, and while I would like to trust him, I very much doubt he will share my moral code or understand my perspective. There are many things that he might learn that would put me at risk; I would happily accept another public accusation of necromancy before I let him share any of my truths. A part of me wishes to take the chance, though; to speak with him, to share and open up, to see if I might find a kindred spirit. There is more than just the surface level of oddities that we share between us.

It is an unpleasant dilemma. Do I remove him? Do I take the chance? I have never been willing to serve anyone; it is ironically hypocritical of me to serve my own interests. I think I would like to risk it. I do not enjoy being alone; I do not enjoy waking up to silence, or coming home to an empty abode. I do not enjoy walking through the town and finding no one to talk to that does not abide by some manner of pre-written dialogue cues. How are you? Where are you from? What are the generic details of your life? What do you do now? We are now friends, enemies, or rivals; only impulsive emotions will rule our relationship from this day forward, and never shall we act as adults and reach a compromise or find forgiveness. Life has no value when it dares stumble before our bloody blades.

I will take the chance.


Knock thrice, then twice. The hollow thump of knuckles rapping at her doorway alerted her to the very visitor she had been writing about...

Crafting Discussion / Re: Treasure Hunting for Fun and Profit!
« on: October 16, 2019, 12:37:38 am »
So far, they have only spawned for me in the Eastern Farms. I have never had one spawn anywhere else. The orcs/goblins that spawn on me are easy to slap around and would only be a threat to an unprepared character of level 6 or lower, really.

The treasure is typically worth about 1,000-2,000 gold, so I personally think it is worth it for the time, but I have no idea what they would be like in more dangerous areas or other zones.

Journals & Backgrounds / Zazie's Diary - VI
« on: October 14, 2019, 11:38:28 pm »
Zazie's hands pulled at the collar of her robe, determined to open it wide enough to fit around her head as she tried to redress herself. The rose hue that had stained her cheeks earlier in the day had returned in full, but naught was behind it but embarrassment anymore. The halfling ran her hands through the waters of a washing basin, then stared at her deadpan reflection in the mirror. Dark eyes stared back at her, though even she was able to see some of her own tension lifted from her shoulders and countenance. As she ran her hands through a towel to dry them, her attention drifted aside, towards the diary she had left open.

Quote from: Zazie
Norani, I think she said. An arcanist, a necromancer, an inventor by local definition. A vampire! She has invited me to cuddle up against her cold, lifeless corpse, and some demented part of my finds that all too intoxicating a thought. She was blunt: immeasurable pleasure, rapture amidst new experiences. I do not usually find an interest in women, but I think that I shall make an exception if she invites me. Golden hair, a smile that would bewitch a devil, a laugh like honeyed muse manifest. I cannot help but wonder what things she would show me. It is strange to have the interest of someone so much younger than I am, but I suppose I do not look as old as I truly am.

I lament that I cannot see through her robe, just as I am hesitant to shed my own. She would turn away from me, I am sure of it! Few things are so grotesque as what she would lay eyes on. It took all of my willpower not to have her sweep me from my feet and bring us away to her tower so that we could indulge whatever whims struck us. Trade tales of our lives, perhaps dine - given the chance, I would have my meal be whatever sweet nectar I could win from her.

Please knock on the door after I have surrendered to my fantasies. I do not want to embarrass myself in front of you, my lady!

I am now aware of what is meant by the mesmerizing presence of vampires.


The halfling closed her diary and steadied herself with a breath. Even as she dragged the quill and ink through what she had written, she read each word, each one a hammer that drove the spike of humiliation deeper and deeper into her fragile dignity. She felt the lingering warmth below her navel and the newfound levity in her steps. Her knee trembled when she put weight on it, and even now her toes wanted to curl. One more time would be fine, right?

An hour later, Zazie pushed through the front door of her home and voyaged through the swamps. The chill rain beneath the blue aura was certain to ruin her mood.

Journals & Backgrounds / Zazie's Diary - V
« on: October 14, 2019, 03:05:37 pm »
Zazie turned her head aside and buried her nose into the crook of her right arm. Three, two, one; the pitiful squeak of a sneeze broke the near-silent ambience of the swamp house. Outside, frisky crickets chirruped and giant frogs croaked, but few other sounds made their way through the petrified wooden walls of the old hut. A half-dozen half-empty bottles and as many bowls of spices were laid out on the countertop of her kitchen, each one spilling a pungent aroma into the air, and a puddle of golden-amber palm wine threatened to stain the wood if she did not wipe it up soon. With a sniff that offended her senses again but spared her the unpleasantness of a running nose, Zazie turned back to the arrangement. Her left arm was nearly wrapped again.

She pulled the fine linen gauze taut around her wrist, then looped it around her palm once, twice, before she went for a second layer. The bitter sting of natron - salt ash - irritated her and left an itch that she could not scratch, but it was a sensation she had long become accustomed to. With the fresh bandages in place, Zazie turned her arm to pin the loose end of the strip until she could grab a proper clasp, a plain, nearly flat thing that reminded her more of a hair barrette. All that remained was to wash away the acrid stink of the alcohol, salt, herbs, and other resins she had used in the process. She tipped a bowl of bay leaves and cinnamon into a clay mortar, then brought its matching pestle over to begin crushing the spices into a fine powder.

The halfling could not help but lament how much time she had spent on treating her wound. It had been almost two hours since she had returned home and started the process, but she was nearly finished now. With the bay and cinnamon ground into fine powder, she sprinkled pinches along the re-wrapped limb before palming the bandages to rub the sweeter scent into the cloth, over and over until the white linen had taken on a subtle red-brown hue from the powdered mixture.

Process complete, Zazie stoppered the bottles and covered the bowls with cloth and twine to save what remained. Her black pajamas had been dusted with a myriad of colors, but a round of laundry would see that remedied.

Quote from: Zazie
Some nights, I wonder what kind of madness or inspiration held me in its arms when I built my calling stone. Eight tablets and a divining bowl, constructed from my very own treasures; I do not know why I built it, and hardly remember any more about its construction than simply polishing the damages edges so that everything would fit together. I do not even know how I know that it is a calling stone. Perhaps it is a name I have scraped up from some deep recess of my memories.

It is as an altar, though. I find it a suitable place to leave offerings to the Goddess, though it is just as fitting a place for other communes. I have watched with fascination as an offering has been taken apart, piece by piece, and sent away, where the blank tablet shines with hieroglyphs. I have placed a blade over the bowl and found it held aloft by the magic of the stone, its enchanted runes alight, while runes and sigils on the tablets themselves lit up as well. I have thought about taking it apart to see what I did to create this device, but I will wait. Perhaps I scribbled a note for myself somewhere.

I have been regretting its construction, though. At night, I will hear whispers, and I am certain it is the calling stone. I cannot understand them; mere noises that hush when I dare to investigate or think to peer around the corner. Yet my rest has been wonderful when my heart stops panicking and my body surrenders to sleep! My dreams are vivid and I recall them in the mornings with perfect clarity. My nightmares, too.

My biggest regret is that I made it so tall.



General Discussion / Re: Death System Changes -- Please read and respond.
« on: October 14, 2019, 02:31:42 pm »
I would agree with SamB's idea, if this vote is still going on. The death system is not terrible, but losing a level can be, especially when it happens because of a spontaneous difficulty spike in the questing area and subsequently takes away your ability to do that quest because you are now too low to get in. It is even worse for spellcasters, especially wizards, because a lost level means that any spells that they have scribed during that level are now lost since they are "reset" to the previous level.

Journals & Backgrounds / Zazie's Diary - IV
« on: October 13, 2019, 05:46:57 am »
The halfling pushed the book aside. It mattered little how many times she set the quill to the page; she could not decide how to begin her entry. She rested her head back against the chair she sat on and cast her gaze around the room. This was not her home, but it certainly felt as though she were; spiraling tendrils of light rose from discs in the floor and held globes aloft at four points from the chamber. The center of the room was dominated by an alien, arcane dais that seemed a place to hold something in stasis, or summon it. A glossy, glass screen stood before her, its curving design suggesting that it required tentacles to operate it.

Zazie reached out to run her fingers across the panel and furrowed her brows. Thin stains suggested that it had been covered in a sticky mucus, once upon a time; a bit of damage seemed to have left the device inoperable, though it was just as likely that she had simply been unable to understand it enough to activate the thing. She stood at the crossroads of impatience and curiosity, where she was too eager to linger and learn, yet frustrated by the lack of an immediate answer.

She lifted the book back into her lap and set the quill to the page once more.

Quote from: Zazie
These past days have been excessively bothersome. A needless trial, a dozen secrets discovered and kept, and every soul around me splintering into tribal barbarity once more. Such is the way of adventurers, I suppose; they are much the same no matter where I travel. At the very least, I have found something fascinating and woefully rare: an abandoned illithid complex.

It appears to be in a state of ruin. I can only assume that the former inhabitants were forcibly evicted from the premise, though that alone is a surprising thought. It appears to be safe enough at the moment; the adventurers have torn through this place with little regard for the locale. They are more concerned about their brooding. Disappointing. Still, I do not mind being abandoned here. There are a few slaadi locked in a room and unable to leave, and I have tried to ask questions from around the corner, but the imprisoned creatures only babble inane nonsense. I am sure it makes sense to them in some way, but I do not know what to make of 'rughrak appleshoe hesstia'sleem dozh durak moose wa desu.'

I am not even sure if I transcribed that properly.

It might have been a spell, now that I think about it. It would explain the flashes of light and the screeching of frustration that the bars remained in tact. Regardless, I find the structure itself to be fascinating. I have only seen one other illithid structure before, but it was a simple trading post on the outskirts of a subterranean port, and its sole occupant was unwilling to discuss anything except business matters. There seems to be a loose purpose to the majority of the structure, however; the lower floors are something akin to a dungeon meets arena meets luncheon. Specifically, there appear to be a number of dining halls and lounging areas on the main floor, though each houses a trio of cells along its walls, where I have found blatant evidence of former torture and defilement of bodies.

Duergar, I think. The bones are fairly pronounced, stout, and sturdy, and the skulls are thick, but cracked where their gray matter has been extracted. Some of the messes are relatively fresh, but I think it may simply be the influence of the slaadi dwelling here; they need to eat, too, after all. The walls themselves seem to be interlaced with a rotten, organic substance. I think it is gray matter, though I may be mistaken. I cannot imagine what else it would be though.

The upper floor is a greater conundrum. My current assumption is that it was something of a command center. There are few fortifications to suggest it was the heart of any complex, but it may have been a forward outpost. I have found signs of a central brain or elder brain chamber, but it has been collapsed under rubble. It is entirely possible that the outpost was abandoned because of the adventurers themselves. I will look around a little further and see if I can narrow down the purpose of this location before I depart.

Mere hours later, Zazie slumped against a small wooden table in the Hadrian town square. Her cloak no longer had its fine trim, its edge and small holes scorched into it. Her hair was a frazzled mess; soot stained her hands and cheeks; and a few lacerations and bruises had been crudely patched up by inept bandaging. The ashes on her forehead gave her the false appearance of furrowed and angry eyebrows, but the truth beneath the explosive makeup was the usual deadpan that had become her day to day countenance. She rolled the quill slowly along her fingers, reluctant to write again, though she knew she had to.

When the moment finally came, her hand trembled. Annoyance, frustration, disappointment. The public locale was hardly fit for any emotional displays, though. A single, quiet breath brought her bandaged hand steady once more, and she began to write again.

Quote from: Zazie
The adventurers abandoned me in the illithid outpost and did not bother to clear out its halls. In the upper floor, a trio of death slaadi awaited, one of them lording over the other two. Below, in the chamber I described as an arena, I found a tanar'ri general, a balor lord, bound within its walls; and outside of the structure, a beholder, a beholder mage, and a manticore awaited, perhaps eager to lay claim to the compound now that the slaadi and drider threats had been removed. My battle with the balor was almost anticlimactic. The beast fell much easier than I expected it to, only to explode in a shower of fire, which has scorched my clothing and nearly cost me my eyebrows, were it not for my quick reflexes with my cloak.

The beholders, too, offered little proper resistance. Enough of them remained when I had finished with them that I was able to acquire a few samples of each. Flesh, blood, an eye from one of their stalks, and even the torn optical nerves of the mage. I also took one of the manticore's spikes from its root; I am interested to know how such creatures replenish their supply so swiftly. If nothing else, it would be nice to know more about their biology, should I run across any more in the future. I wasted few minutes too many, and the balor's detonation damaged much of the arena, which has irritated me more than anything else about this.

My preference for living, though, kept me from overstaying my welcome down there. Knowing that creatures were already eager to lay claim to the compound only stirred me to depart sooner, though I think I shall return over the next few days to try to acquire a few charcoal sketches of the architecture, or perhaps even attempt to activate the devices that I found in a few of the chambers.


The halfling snapped the book closed, stashed it in her bag, and departed the town square. The lack of familiar faces was maddening; if silence and solitude would be forced upon her, she would enjoy them under her own conditions: comfortable, in the confines of her own home...


Journals & Backgrounds / Zazie's Diary - III
« on: October 07, 2019, 12:08:59 am »
The brown aura that encircled the moon tainted the night sky with a myriad of sickly hues. The stars glittered and shone bright, only to wink out of existence beneath the veil of the aberrant weather. Zazie sat on the wooden porch of a home she did not own, tucked beneath the warmth of her own cloak, and gazed at the sky. In the distance, she heard the anguished wails of a creature twisting and transmogrifying, its flesh and bone churning beneath the mystical horror of the painted moon. She dimmed her lantern, so as to avoid any unwanted attention as she settled back against the door of her hopeful purchase.

The book on her lap was opened to a page. Its previous entry was little more than illegible scrawls and mad scratches of ink scratched from margin to margin, though enough space for at least a paragraph remained on the bottom of the page; Zazie set her quill to the paper and began anew, each letter nearly geometric in design.

Quote from: Zazie
I have been thinking about the foreseeable future. With Relic absent, I am in need of a new protector, but there are no viable prospects. I do not have anyone that is particularly concerned about my safety, nor does anyone have a vested interest in my future, as Relic did. That was something that I appreciated about him the most: we shared a common goal, and through that goal, my guilt and his hate both faded, and we became true friends.

There is another northlander here, a quiet man of few words. Powerful, but I do not know him well. Other adventurers in town do not seem to provide much in the way of being relatable, either, besides the strawberry hero that I wrote about before. I have had deeper and more stimulating conversations with the ogres and creatures of the monstrous port than with most others. I find it slightly strange that so few are interested in mundane academia. There is no fascination for history or scholastic pursuits; too many would rather claim that their studies of the arcane somehow makes them smarter than anyone else.

The arcane is very interesting, I grant that, but their unchecked ambitions will inevitably bring ruin upon this empire. It seems to be a common flaw among the race of men. Mulhorand, Unther, Illefarn, Illusk, Netheril - I suspect all of them will crumble beneath the burden of their greed for power. I have seen such ambition destroy men, women, and children alike, and my own ambition has ruined me.

I suppose it matters little, in the grand scheme of things. People will survive and life will go on, until someone's ambition ends the cycle.


The waif set the book aside as the ink began to dry. A hand ran down the side of the flameless lantern, beckoning it to be little more than a glowing green coal within its frosted glass, barely a hint of light provided. The swamp had fallen dark. Monsters clashed in the distance; she recognized the guttural throaty calls of bullywugs determined to bring down something else. By the sounds of it, an aberrant otyugh, twisted by the locally-named sunplague.

Zazie pulled her legs in close and buried her face in her knees. She would wait until the darkness passed and the screams fell quiet...

Crafting Discussion / Re: Treasure Hunting for Fun and Profit!
« on: October 05, 2019, 08:56:30 pm »
I have triggered the trap both times. It does 1d2 damage of every damage type available, but both of mine have been in the Eastern Farms with saving throws to negate the energy damage types. A "resist elements" wand is plenty to resist most of the damage and leave you short of only about 5-10 HP.

Journals & Backgrounds / Zazie's Diary - II
« on: October 03, 2019, 05:18:56 am »
Knock thrice, then twice. The halfling sat in the small corner where the footlocker had been pushed up against the bed. A narrow gap beneath the bed frame presented a shadow to crawl within, where even the sickly, vile green of her dimmed lantern could not reach. Zazie's legs were pulled up close, the armored layer from her dress discarded somewhere near the door's frame. The bolt latch and the thumb-turn lock were both set in place to prevent any intruders, and the chair of a desk was wedged up beneath the knob and angled to catch the floorboards if anything tried to force its way in. No windows were available in the room, but that was a detail that she preferred in any place of rest.

The heavy plodding of a drunk staggering up the stairs stirred her from her thoughts. Three clunking steps, then half a dozen more as the drunk spilled himself down the stairs along the corridor. Zazie's attention sank back to the book in her lap. It was nearly too dim in the room to write, but the subtle slip of a quill into the inkwell beside her, and the scratching of its tip against paper, persisted anyway.

Quote from: Zazie
I do not remember the last time that I felt welcome, or felt that I fit in anywhere. Certainly I can recall the comfort of my guardian's embrace when we would travel and he would take pity on me, but after only a few shy weeks apart from him, I cannot help but wonder how much of that sense of comfort was a delusion of my own making. Did he do it because he truly felt bad for me? Cared for me? Was I very pitiful? I like to think that it is any of those reasons that he indulged that most basic, primal need for skinship. Perhaps even he felt as lonely as I did, as our years passed by like a candle burning beneath a brazier's flame.

The people of this country speak of welcoming and friendship, but do not seem to understand the very concept of either. They scheme and plot; they tell of their relationships as if they were better than they truly are; yet they hide their insecurities and flaws even near the ones they claim to trust. This is not a foreign concept, or limited solely to the race of men, but I find it most common among them and those that share their blood. Even my guardian was unwilling to be open about all things; he was often embarrassed or ashamed of his emotions, believed that men were supposed to be unflinchingly bold, never weak, never helpless. Perhaps I pitied him?

I miss what he and I shared, however. I miss loyalty; I miss honesty. There is one man in this country that I find to be a kindred spirit, and I do hope that the Goddess has written a kinder ending to our story than the other stories I have been a part of, but I will expect naught. If not a shared story, then I hope his ending is a happy one. I look forward to our conversations any time they may happen, and I find in him a protector spirit that I do not find in anyone else. He is not honest with others, but he is honest with himself, and that is far more than can be said of anyone else in this country that I have met.

I only wonder if I am being too rash. My solitude is maddening; my loneliness, depressing. Am I reaching for a light in the gloom, only to be devoured by the angler that lurks beyond its mesmerizing glow? That very familiar part of me insists that this is true, but the logic shared between my heart and mind both condemn my anxiety's foolish notions.

And another part of me simply asks that I enjoy my life, as I have always done; savor this experience, and think back on it fondly when it is over.


How many hours had passed? Each word had been a slow scrawl, eked upon the pages letter by letter in the scant luminescence of the lantern's light. When at last her name stained the page, the halfling looked to the door again, and to the yellow glow that made its way through the gaps around the door. No shadow waited for her; no footsteps sounded down the hall. Only the muffled, distant snoring of an overindulgent man rumbled its presence, an obnoxious brassy note punctuated by hapless gasps and the creak of a bed struggling to support large, rounded body rolling around.

Nary a knock had come tonight. She had expected as much, at least; it made the disappointment that much easier to ignore.

The book was closed quietly, its leather binding wrapped and shut once more, before she crawled her way beneath the bed, where her belongings had been gathered against the far wall between floorboards and banister. She buried her face into the pillow filched from atop the bed, pressed her back against the wall, and waited for her thoughts to settle down and permit her to sleep.

Journals & Backgrounds / Zazie's Diary - I
« on: September 28, 2019, 06:16:53 am »
Many were the days that Zazie spent tucked away in whichever room she could afford. Since arriving in Hadrian, she had settled into a humble suite within the town, a bustling little place known as the Sailor's Coin. Her chamber had a bed that could fit a dozen of her with room to spare; the dresser was many times larger than she was; and the desk was something far too tall to be serviceable to her in any standard capacity. Other decorations were relatively sparse, however, which she preferred. A single plant stood by the door, but the remainder of the room was nearly barren, and even the quilts upon the bed were a dull, faded green.

It was on the edge of the bed that Zazie found herself this night. A plain black button-down shirt and matching linen pants were all that adorned her frame, loosely draped on scrawny shoulders and tied at the belt-line to avoid falling past bony hips. All of it hid the assortment of soiled bandages from her own attention and allowed her to focus upon the quill in her left hand, the inkwell balanced on her opposite knee, and the book situated in her lap. After some thought, she sets the quill to paper and begins to scratch out her slow, small-lettered penmanship.

Quote from: Zazie
There are not many things that I miss from home, but the weather in this town leaves much to be desired. As I understand it, the auras that permeate the sky and cloud the sun and moon each cycle are a recent, magical aberration. There was a comfort to the unchanging cycle of the scorching sun and the chilling moon drifting across the sky. In these lands, the sun offers no particular warmth and instead transmogrifies man and beast alike into a wretched series of abominations colloquially referred to as sunplague victims. The sky here is even inclined to raise the dead upon a whim, or change colors to present other effects entirely.

These lands have not been awful, though. I find the majority of the adventuring populace pleasant to converse with. They are all around generous, though the region itself is rife with a powerful pro-human sentiment. Very few non-humans seem to get by outside of the adventuring community itself, though half-breeds and mixed-bloods seem to be mildly more accepted. Those with magical talents also seem to be more heavily favored. There are a series of tomes that influence summoning; these have an effect on wands and scrolls. I will have to look out for them and see if there are any interesting tricks I can do with them.

There are a series of ruins that I would like to look into. One of them is near the monster's port; another is covered in far too much fire and lava for me to investigate any time soon, especially alone. I will attempt to arrange some expeditions, but I think I should attempt to locate someone willing to serve as an exclusive bodyguard. It would be nice if they shared my passion for academia. I have not met anyone that shares my interests yet, though perhaps I will try describing my endeavors in a different way. I think sharing stories about my previous expeditions may spark interest.

The people around me are ambitious, too. Perhaps I can use that to entice them. I will have to research local history and myth to see if there are any artifacts worth pursuing. That may gather the assistance I need to sate my curiosity about the local ruins.


With the diary entry complete, Zazie closed the ancient volume, stoppered the inkwell, and cleaned the tip of her old quill. She grabbed a pillow from the bed and slid down from the mattress. Her pace was assisted by a small shovel, gently set upon the ground each time she took a step so as not to damage the floor with that makeshift walking stick. The bed was too wide, the chamber too open, to sleep in alone. It was disconcerting being in such a place without companionship; it was the quiet confines of a small place like the desk that she truly found most comfortable, and tonight was no different.

She pulled the chair out just enough to allow her to slip beneath the desk, before she nestled down into a corner, curled up beneath the table, with the pillow hugged against her chest. A single, muffled syllable was otherwise lost into the cuddled cushion, though the magical lantern that lit the room dimmed obediently to that of a meager night-light that bathed the room in a tender green hue. Zazie closed her eyes and set her back against the cool wall. It might be a few minutes before her overactive mind surrendered to sleep.

It might be a few hours...

Journals & Backgrounds / Zazie: The Law of Entropy
« on: September 27, 2019, 04:38:25 am »
Name: Zazie sa Nehanakhten
Nicks: Zazie Rotten, Gothling, Sandrat, Dustling
Race: Halfling
Jobs: Archaeologist, academic
Faith: Nephthys
Concept: https://ibb.co/RQY7Hy2
Theme: The Gift of Sight, by Peter Gundry - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xz4E0LQpWo0

Even at a glance, Zazie is a strange example of her kind. With sun-bronzed skin and jet hair, she hardly looks like most of her more nomadic kin. The left side of her body is covered in geometric black brands, though these are typically covered by her apparel. Her left arm is perpetually wrapped in bandages, and she carries a small limp that subtly favors her left leg. The right side of her body is wholly unaffected by whatever ailment or injury she suffers. Her posture is that of someone that is unable to find a good night's rest, typically bearing a slight slouch of exhaustion, and her expression matches it, with small circles beneath her dark eyes.

Her clothing is typically a spontaneous assortment of things, though they all maintain a single commonplace feature: they are comfortable. Whatever oddities might be attached or used as accessories, they never create any discomfort for the halfling, or they are otherwise practical, with many pockets or places to set her belts and satchels. There are three items that she will always be seen with, no matter where she goes, unless her equipment is taken from her: a lantern, a shovel, and a tome. Each of these seems to have a special place in her heart, though her unchanging, deadpan presentation would never admit it.

Of the smaller physical details, her physique is what might be expected of an underfed halfling. She is scrawny, with little in the way of muscle mass but plenty of flexibility. She would be lucky to claim three feet tall on her tip-toes and might weight twenty-five to thirty pounds dunked in a pool of thick tar. Her voice is soft-spoken, with an unaccented, clinical method of speech, and an unflinching monotone pitch. While she might catch a few eyes for those that enjoy the malnourished egypto-goth girl vibe, the sickly-sweet odor of formaldehyde and herbal chemicals might turn a few noses away, as the soiled, low-quality bandages that adorn her arm are often soaked in the stuff.

In a word, strange. Zazie presents herself as a deadpan and expressionless academic, and it is not far from the truth. Though she is not wholly emotionless like some manner of automaton, Zazie has greatly repressed her emotions to the extent that even in moments of extreme fear, sadness, or joy, she offers only dim examples or commentary. Where a normal soul might laugh, she states that it was funny; where someone might grieve, she simply retreats into silence and solitude. Even at the height of terror, she is likely to shuffle along at a hurried pace and share only a monotone 'aaaah.'

Of note, Zazie seems unperturbed by most things. She worries little about day to day struggles and is disinterested in heroics or villainy. She maintains an air of apathy, though she will freely speak of things that stir her passions or interest and fascinate her greatly. Beyond apathy, she also maintains a sense of melancholy or fatigue, though she insists that nothing is amiss. Anyone speaking with Zazie would be quick to discover a genuine academic, and those that dig deeper would find a free spirit unbound by any interest in laws and a solitary romantic too enamored with the idea of romance to properly pursue its possibilities.

Background Summary
Only a few scant details have been offered about Zazie's background. Born in some desert dominion beneath the cruel tyranny of some god-king, Zazie was never bound by the yoke in her life, and eventually escaped the boundaries of that dire nation. She has hinted about the presence of a tutor within her life's tale, and has spoken often and fondly of a bodyguard that she was separated from prior to arriving in Hadrian.

However, extracting details about Zazie's life seems to boil down to a few particular points: she is an archaeologist, unwilling to submit her freedom to authority or hierarchy, and has been one for much of her life. A bold soul might think to steal one of the journals or diaries she always keeps with her; others might simply ask. Of particular note is that for someone that looks so young (barely escaping the clutches of adolescence, judging by her body type), she often proclaims herself to be so very, very old. Many of her belongings and much of her knowledge has very clearly been collected over a long period of time, and dozens of her books appear to have been written by her own hand.

She has stated that her "Goddess" is the Mulhorandi protector of the dead, Nephthys, though she rarely refers to the Goddess by name.

More details will be added to this section as people pry into her past...

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