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7 Trains
Items  (Transports)   (Campaign Defining)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-26 11:33 PM


8) Street Car:



Newbie: “Wait that was my stop, I thought this stopped…”



Local: “Oh no darling, between 4:47-6:59 the Green Line is an express. You wanted the Purple Line.”



If you want a snap shot of a city this is your train. Sometimes they are subways, sometime they're elevated trains, sometimes they are electric trolleys that move through automobile traffic on rails buried in the concrete. Boarding these trains is no special trick. Any mook with local coin can buy a ticket or token, some cities don’t even bother charging. So what separates this train from just any ordinary train? There are no Strangers on this Train, unless that stranger is you. The people on this train may not know each other by name, but they now each other by feel. If your whatzit is on this train then the trick to making the hand off smoothly or meeting your contact discretely will be blending in with train’s daily passengers.



9) Circus train:



That fist-fight on the over pass goes from bad to unbelievable worse when wrestle your opponent over the railing and on to this train. You could land in car full of lions, tigers, bears or elephants, and those vicious beasts are the passengers that won’t lift you wallet after they gut you.



The circus is full of desperate showman, ruthless capitalists, and discarded outcasts. It should be a community full of danger and promise. These train cars are the inner sanctums of a group that is both extremely public and deeply secretive. This is the place that they strive hard to keep private and personal. The circus won’t be happy to find people snooping or stealing, but they might be sympathetic to fellow vagabond or showman. The only thing you can be sure to find on a circus trains is something that people are willing to spend money to see.



10) Toxic Train



General: “Mrs. Secretary, I have 500,000 millions tons of the deadliest most evil compounds ever known to man sitting in an aging weapons depot in New Jersey that your president just de-funded. And the only place that can dispose of that stuff, really disappear it, is in Arizona. Here is the Map Mrs. Secretary. If we get a clear track and follow this path we put this stuff to bed in a month.”



Mrs. Secretary: “Oh no general, Ohio and Pennsylvania are swing states, if they find out we shipped this through their country side, certainly not Akron. Oh no no no, we send it through Maryland, then Virginia, but stay away from the beltway during rush hour…”



This train is a government’s dirty secret. It could be carrying radioactive material, chemical weapons, mutagens, aliens, or just death. The route of this train is irrational and political. It will be hard to track if that is what people are trying to do, but alternatively it may show up were somebody won’t expect it. It will be guarded, but not too well staffed because this train’s route and cargo is on a need to know basis only.



11) Maximum Overdrive-Train



Little Girl: “Grandpa, is it true people made the trains and use to ride in em.”



Grandpa: “Heck! Use to be they wouldn’t run without us shoveling coal down their gullets and constantly tugging at their innards with wrenches and levies.”



Little Girl: “What happened?”



Grandpa: “Trains got smart, trains got mad.”



In this hellish steam punk fantasy-scape the trains were the most powerful tools man ever made until they got smart and jumped their tracks. Now the trains are man’s worst enemy, and possibly man’s new overlord. These long steam engine driven trains have steam plumes that be seen for miles as they cross the desert. They are mile long and move in flowing s curves like snakes gliding across the sand. They come to towns demanding water for their boilers and taking goods and material for their cars. They threaten the town with ferocious and ear cutting whistle like roars, before they chug their way over to the water tower. If the town doesn’t comply, then the train crushes the town and moves on until it finds a town that will comply or it dies trying. Trains don’t die pretty either. Capturing a train like this would be worth quite a bit as her box cars are full of plunder.

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7 Trains
Items  (Transports)   (Campaign Defining)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-26 11:38 PM
We are now at 11 trains. Go to Comment
7 Trains
Items  (Transports)   (Campaign Defining)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-26 11:40 PM
just saw your atomic train, yeah I snagged that for number 11. Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 12
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-16 09:29 PM
Borokhula is my favorite character so far. You done more for him in half a page than you have for any other character thus far (the chapter 3 re-write does do more Botari and her father however). What I thought you did really well her was put us in the room with Borokhula and put us n Borokhula's head. I am going to try this in the next scene I write. That was a nice scene, only one quip, that I think will really help the scene.
"much to the annoyance of Donoi though Donoi dared not show it" so here we break away from the limited third person and get view of Donoi's inner dialog. It kind of us takes us out the scene, but it is not necessary Borokhula is so observant that he would no doubt know what Donoi is feeling and what he dare not show. Any nice scene, maybe you can pump up the foreshadowing when Botari saw Donoi in the previous chapter. Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 12
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-17 11:20 AM
Don't try to avoid this switching perspective thing if you are doing it on purpose than just go with. Me picking on perspective is only slightly less pedantic than those sad petty folk who with a smug pride and aplomb pick on grammar (you are not one such person). Joyce Carol Oates, who I am told is a great writer, and indeed I do find her short fiction very effecting, will flip perspective dramatically. And don't get me started on Neuromancer, and who's voice is telling that story. But my point is having the eye of the third person omniscient perspective float around the page with the action is not a bad thing. I don't think you should avoid it. I do suggest that you think of that shifting perspective as kind like a character in the room or spotlight following the action. When you move the perspective take some time with it. Ask why the perspective is taking a moment to peel this persons thoughts back or if moving the spot light too quickly will cause the scene to loose focus. Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 12
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-16 09:40 PM
second scene is pretty strong too. But I assume it is deliberate that you left on the actual meaning of the thought message and I think that is a nice touch. Not quite sure on the perspective here. We we get Botari's thoughts and some of the other character as well, but not all the characters. Also I can't forget that Botari now has the mind of elderly woman and that her council and thoughts should be wiser and drawn more from personal experience than the other characters. But other the flow and content of the character is strong.

Minor suggestion, I wouldn't have had my meeting in ger or yurt. Those things are paper thin and you can't always see who is on the other side. I have slept in a yurt camp before, you can have conversations at night with the person in the next yurt without raising your voice. Go to Comment
Hobbit Chair and Eat Racing
Systems  (Societal/ Cultural)   (Specific)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-16 08:14 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ypyy3VGsmF8

But if you really hate hobbits, please consider making them your replacement for goblins. You could take everything hobbity and twist it towards malevolence. No unlike the town council in "Hot Fuzz". Go to Comment
The Broken Peace
Plots  (Discovery)   (Single-Storyline)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-15 08:24 PM
Ah the old goblins aren't really monsters it is we that are the monsters trope. One of my favorites, and this particular post is a straight forward idea presented in as bare bones outline. i like the climax in which the character will have to fight a bunch of bugbears, being that they have only encountered a few vicious ones so far. Nicely done. Go to Comment
The Broken Peace
Plots  (Discovery)   (Single-Storyline)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-29 07:24 AM
That is funny Go to Comment
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-15 08:24 AM
First, Thanks for the comment!
Second. No, it is not finished in as much as there will be a follow up posts. I have modeled this on Moonlake's "Return of the White Deer" posts. It is a different style of posting, and I am never sure how to vote on it either.
Third: I would love some proof reading thanks for asking! But I am trying to take a risk with some of the spoken dialog, and make that a little inaccessible, oddly phrased and poorly worded at times. But other than the spoken dialog if the grammar or spelling is off or there seems to be a word missing then it is likely a true error. And there are likely a lot of them, Go to Comment
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-15 05:39 PM
Write what you know Go to Comment
Drofor's Grotesquery
Items  (Art and Music)   (Cursed)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-14 11:33 AM
I really liked this, I thought the titular painting was well described and the ideas presented here are promising. The paintings are dangerous, unpredictable and not well understood (in world), that fact plus the tale described above is a great prologue for a personal adventure. However, the story itself works as an interesting anecdote without a need for expansion in as much as it gives the reader a new avenue of imagination. I also thought the world building was strong. You seem take a type of bronze age mythology (living with a god for a generation century) and mix it with late renaissance or enlightenment type sensibilities and material culture; Balls, Art Collection, Oil painting on canvas, Money Driven Economies. The theme of the tale has very dada-esque/surrealist quality, because there seem to be a clear distance between the the reality of the mind and reality. I enjoyed that as well. But in addition to the style of the world you unpack these painting with a lot of other interesting tid-bits regarding secret cults with orgy rituals, rivalries between ancient and newer gods and so on. Again, impressive and nicely executed.

The prose starts with higher mind style than it finishes with and there are few rough patches. Examples
"The self-portrait was the first which many of them saw, and in the centre of the ballroom there was a ravaging, raping mess of bodies. In the middle was the hostess herself. She gave birth to a baby girl..."

The shift of time from the orgy to the birth of the girl here is not clear between these two sentences. It becomes clear later but at this point you have the character in the middle of an orgy described as a "raping mess" giving birth to a child.


"The shadows are recognisable as being the arms of Voorm-Sotha, the shadow spider, who was an enemy of primitive humanity. It is believed that Voorm-Sotha was a fairytale, though his appearance in a painting by the Ascarya should cast suspicion on that.

The strangeness of this painting comes in when taking a look at history. Voorm-Sotha, if he existed at all, would have existed thousands and thousands of years ago. Drofor, however, is still alive. But Drofor was not yet alive when Kala painted this, three hundred years ago."

These two paragraphs run all over the place with regard to tense and perspective. Go to Comment
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-13 10:40 AM
The assumption must be that the catalytic fields require less energy than is released by the reaction. Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 11
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-11 09:33 PM
So Temujin believed her? Do you want it to be ambiguous what she told him here or did you mean to communicate that Botari explain that she is possessed by the spirit of an elderly woman that was married to Temujin's genocidal doppleganger from another dimension.

So was this their first time?

Any risk of getting pregnant?

Also did you intend to communicate prior to this whether or not this dimensional jumping was planned? Was the Botari from the other dimension also possessed by a Botari from another dimension and so on like a mirror turned in on itself? Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 11
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-12 05:22 PM
"Clarity: are what you wrote conveying what you meant to say?" Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 11
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-13 08:33 PM
Wasn't the bride test her going out on the Steppe and her groom having a year to find her as proof that he was worthy or they were meant to be together? Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 11
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-16 09:19 PM
Moby Dick is worth it, it is surprisingly funny book.

Treasure Island...I can't remember if I finished it either, required reading grade school.

But Cup of Gold is fun pirate adventure book, written by the world's greatest fan boy. Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 11
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-12 08:20 AM
Again you have a very jarring pacing to the work, the ambush is already forgotten...

Why are you leaving the conversation out of the story? This is in a sense their first meeting so what she says and she responds to him is very important.

Consummate means sex in a romantic context, so you got to be very clear if you are using the consummate here to mean only a kiss. Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 11
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-13 04:01 PM
Back to the ambush, I get the point of it. It establishes two things; one it re-affirms how dangerous the steppee is. (Nothing good ever happens when these people leave their Gers) and it brings Botari into the group in manner that both establishes her as important and powerful, but also something of leader. But the one point in which you mention the ambush in part 2 is just to say that it really had no consequences. Thus, without consequences the scene has very little weight and very little drama, two horses and several people are killed or injured and the gang moves on.

Is this lack of weight to these action a statement you want to make about violence and killing on the steppee, as well the personal value these young boys place on the lives of their horses? If it is then well done: Violence and killing are as light an action as skipping a stone across a pond and your horse can be replaced with a thought.

But do we even need the ambush?
Yes the ambush does give Temjuin and Botari meeting some structure and really forces them together, but I think it would be more daring to present the scene as somewhat awkward or at least romantically daring. She has reversed the Bride Test here, that could be cool.

Just one 15 year old girl (who believes she is possessed by the spirit of a 15 year old boys wife from another dimension) asking a 15 year old boy to love her is dramatic enough! Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 11
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-16 08:39 PM
The second scene in this chapter appears to carry no meaning or arc. The characters appear to have no interest in what is going on. They are not trying to obtain anything from the interactions,there is no conflict in the interaction and there is very little characterization in the interaction. I found the bits about Crunalan and Mongol culture, how they were similar and how they differed, interesting. If you want to go off on little pontifications about scenery cultures in these chapter, like the inbetween chapters in Moby Dick or Cup of Gold (Steinbeck's under respected pirated adventure novel) ,I think you should embrace these thoughts. Go to Comment
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