Posts Tagged ‘Chiaroscuro’

Rebuilding the Sand Castles

April 2, 2011 3 comments

It started, simply enough, with a question: What might be a draw for veterans of OtherSpace to return?

I thought about Saga Point rewards, but that just smacks everyone who has stuck with the MUSH through thick and thin right in the face.

Handing out special Action Cards occurred to me, but that’s just something else worth Saga Points and, again, would insult everyone else.

So, then I started getting away from thinking about what I should use for bribery and instead I pondered: What drove them away in the first place? Read more…


31 Days of OtherSpace: No. 4 – “Raven’s Remembrance”

March 4, 2011 Leave a comment

“I never imagined I’d live to see such a thing.” Solas Creek, the plump proprietor of the Lightholder Tavern, stood on the wooden slats of the pub’s front porch, toweling off a pewter mug as he watched the strongbacks pulling on the ropes to bring the statue to its full height of twenty feet at the heart of the crossroads.

The bronze sculpture depicted a gaunt figure in sleek robes, a widow’s peak above a sharp nose and an icy gaze. The figure’s left hand dangled at his side, while the right hand stretched forward, holding a stone orb.

“Good he can’t drop it now, ain’t it?” quipped Bartle Seed, a peasant working on his third mug of wheat wine.

Solas sighed, shaking his head. It had been more than three years since that day when the Crown Regent of Fastheld, Zolor Zahir, vowed to deliver the realm from calamity and instead tumbled, smashed the magical relic he carried, and created some kind of mysterious energy rift that consumed him along with dozens of other Fastheldians.

All dead, presumably.

Thus far, only the Regent seemed worthy enough to merit an Imperial remembrance.

“It’s the boy’s doin’, they say,” Bartle added.

The barkeep frowned. “Don’t sit right with me,” Solas said. “We lost a lot of good people that day. That black raven’s to blame for much grief.”

“Oh, I dunno,” Bartle replied, gesturing toward the statue with his mug. Some wine sloshed over the rim, splattering the porch. “Give the plaque a look.”

Solas spared a brief scowl for the mess the patron was making, but then complied. He walked down the steps and crossed the central square below Caryas Hill under a warm Huntsmoon sky. As he approached the statue, a broad-shouldered worker moved aside to reveal the brass plaque affixed to the marble pedestal.

The message of remembrance on the statue commissioned by young Emperor Talus Kahar XV: “WATCH YOUR STEP.”

That got a wicked grin from Solas Creek. “Oh, he’s gonna do fine. Just fine.”


Classic Chiaroscuro Log – “The Arkadys”

July 15, 2010 Leave a comment

This real-time collaborative storytelling scene took place in 2003 online on Chiaroscuro. I played the role of Arkady.

Residence (Silkfield)

The spiraling stone stairs lead from the receiving hall to this cavernous, chill chamber of torch-lit stone shadows. The walls are festooned with the twisted visages of sneering, leering and snarling gargoyles with horns and fangs and wildling claws, gazing down on those who inhabit the residence as if prepared to pounce.

Jamot Seamel, first master of the Brooding Keep, carved the exquisite sculptures from gray marble taken from a quarry in the River District and, in the third year of marriage to Anae Nillu, had his vassals install the sculptures as a ward against the Shadow’s Touch. In the fourth year of their marriage, shortly after Anae celebrated her nineteenth birthday, one of the sculpted gargoyles cracked and fell from its stone perch as she strolled beneath it.

The blunt force of the marble form did considerable damage to her head, but the blow was not instantly fatal. She lingered for six weeks while the healers ministered to her, and while Jamot struggled to keep hope and faith against the misery of realizing that what had been meant to protect his beloved, created by his own hand, had felled her.

A gap exists in the circle of gargoyles – the fallen sculpture never got replaced in this chamber that became known as the Sorrow Vault.

Arkady yells, “Fat Arkady! The Shadow take you, keep your bloody hands off that gargoyle!”

Standing near the top of the stairs, the stout form of Arkady waggles a beefy finger at a particularly obese younger version of himself, who is trying to grab at a gargoyle perched on a pedestal. Other boys, ranging in age from toddler to teen, move among the gargoyles. Some boys are tall. Some are short. Some are skinny. A couple are fat. Some are hairy. Some are hairless. All seem to be just a step away from getting into deep trouble with the older man. “Now, I mean it! Hands off the sculptures! This is why we have nothing nice, lads!”

Chamber doors fling open and out staggers Jafron. Barefoot and with mussy hair, the noble frantically buttons his silken shirt before spotting his new guests. His face is crimson in an instant and he freezes mid-button. An instinct from deep within suggests to the soldier that if he should remain perfectly still, and make not so much as a whimper, he shall go unnoticed.

Arkadia brushes her unbound hair back over her shoulders as she hurriedly steps out of the suite *right* behind Jafron, almost running right into him. She tugs at her clothing and tries to cast a quick, reassuring smile toward the nobleman, but her own face is rosy with heat. There’s a glimmer of mischievous merriment twinkling in the girl’s green eyes, however. “Papa! What are -you- doing here? And with the -boys-!”

There seems to be no trace of merriment in Arkady’s face as he reddens and turns toward the sound of the whooshing doors, the blurted inquiry of the woman. Distracted from critiquing the gargoyle-handling by his sons, Arkady growls, shaking his finger at Arkadia. “We come to take you back, Arkadia.” He narrows his eyes, lowering the finger and glaring at Jafron. “M’lord, I mean no great offense, but she is yours in service to the house – not in service to your base needs. I hear things, down low where we are, and it bodes ill. I come here, and I see it for myself. Have you no fine ladies to bed, that you must soil my only daughter? An abomination, you are, m’lord, I must say it, I cannot keep my tongue. So, me and the little Arkadys come callin’. If you be a man of honor, you’ll release her, free and clear.”

Read more…