The GIFs that Keep on Giving

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If you don’t mind, allow me to tell you a story.

One of my first jobs out of college was at a mutual fund company.  We worked on east coast time, so I’d slink into the office at 6AM, sleepwalk through most of the day and be done by the afternoon. Still, while the atmosphere felt laid back it was imperative we made some attempt to stay sharp. The department handled corporate accounts in excess of $10 million, so while the work was incredibly easy, we weren’t allowed to fuck up. Cash transactions equivalent to the GDP of small nations could end up ruined if I failed to correctly place a decimal point. So there were a few who found it incredibly nerve-wracking.

Then there was my co-worker Dennis, whose car reeked of weed and Sublime CDs yet somehow kept its owner completely odorless. Every morning I’d watch with envy and respect as he settled into his chair like an old man in his favorite recliner, preparing to watch the game. Then he’d squint at his spreadsheet with a confused look on his face, shrug his shoulders, hit play on his iPod and proceed to execute $100 million buys like he was selling Funyuns at a gas station. When I asked him how he managed to remain lucid while smoking bowls every day, he put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Not every day bro. Some days I just jerk off.”

I immediately pushed his hand away from my shoulder. Dennis didn’t seem to notice.

“What a time we live in,” he’d say, staring at a GIF of tussling cats, “this shit is mesmerizing. Can you believe this is the same machine that I watch my porn in?”

“Hopefully not at work.”

“And pretty soon computers are gonna be mobile. I’ll be able to call my dealer and call in sick while watching teens work out their daddy issues. Shit, ten years from now it’ll probably suck my dick too.”

Dennis was hardly an oracle. After all, it’s 2014 and cell phones still don’t have a BJ function. That and the shift toward mobile computing devices was mostly predictable. He also didn’t anticipate we’d all get laid off in six months when the company moved to the Midwest to save money. He was right about one thing though. Cat GIFs are mesmerizing.

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Ghoul Teeth

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She showed him what passed for a smile. The kind of smile that would make brave men flinch. There were gaps wide enough to hold a cigar and chips sharp enough to slice them, but technically it was nothing more than that. A smile.

Now, one could be forgiven for confusing it with a set of piano keys, an awkward grimace, or even a display of malice, but given the context, the most scientifically accurate interpretation would be to label it ghoulo-sapien cum ridet, a smile.

Nevertheless, as smiles go, this one would not find its way into any dictionary definition, stock photo, or billboard selling high quality toothpaste. No, this was hardly what you would call the Platonic ideal of a smile.  It was, as its wearer was fond of saying, anatomically incorrect. A great big nest of teeth.

But it lit him up all the same.

Trailers and Teasers – Hope Lies

“Howdy stranger. Take a seat by the campfire, we got plenty of room.”

The girl tips her cap and smiles. Both the fire and the invitation are warm enough, but the man to her right doesn’t seem too happy about it. His stare stretches for thousands of miles, far enough to see the back of his own head. It’s bald and dirty, with a scar running across the middle like a zipper.

“Oh, don’t pay him no mind. He ain’t much for talkin’. But, if you make trouble, he’ll put two…”

The girl makes a peace sign with her fingers, before pointing them at her head like a gun.

“…in your skull.”

I tell her I’m not here to make trouble, waves, or even conversation. All I want to do is rest my aching feet. The girl sympathizes. She tells me her soles are so worn not even Jesus can save them.

Maybe it’s the pun that makes my shoulders relax, or maybe it’s her southern charm, but I drop my knapsack on the dirt with a great big thud. Guns, ammo, and whiskey spill onto the ground like a diary.

“You starting a war, sheriff?”

Maybe.

“Then you’re gonna need a good deputy.”

Maybe I will.

“The name’s Hope,” she says, breaking the silence. “Hope Lies. Funny name, I know. German, I think. The lying part, not the hope.”

I ask her the obvious. Well, does it? Does “hope lie?”

I don’t know,” she says, “You’ve been traveling these wastes. Why don’t you tell me?”

Cats of Arkay

2013-04-12_00014Untitled-2Amira dropped to a crouch in the soft snow.  The unfamiliar akaviri armor weighed her down, but not so much that she couldn’t work with it.  Her tail twitched as the blades of her opponent scissored a flea’s length over her head.  Her ears barely flattened in time to avoid a vicious clipping.  The young khajiit had spent a sizable portion of the last few weeks on the road – on a pilgrimage of sorts – in preparation for the duel she now faced.  Her opponent had spent far longer in mastering the same techniques, and it showed.  The other khajiit was fluid, and near-flawless in her deadly dance.  And the akaviri armor she had stolen from her murdered mentor didn’t seem to weigh her down as it did to Amira.

But Amira’s opponent was brash, reckless, and arrogant in her ability.  Blasphemously so in many cases.  Amira had dealt with such foes before in the form of the dragons whose souls she had taken to herself like the Mother Cat took her kittens.  She had decided that this being an honor duel, she would not call forth the shouts that now defined her to the people of Skyrim.  As she raised her off-hand blade in a circular motion, deflecting a strike to the head, she wondered at what point she had begun to develop ethics.  From the corner of her eye, she caught sight of two figures standing off a ways from the duel.  Both were khajiit, like Amira and her opponent.  One was older and wore a monk’s robes.  The other was younger, with a somewhat bluish hue to his fur, and a somewhat fidgety, worried expression.  To their credit, neither looked about to interfere, though the younger of the pair was obviously making a great deal of effort to restrain himself.

And then her attention was called back to the battle.  Her knowledge of the stances of the Way of the Nine was not comparable to that of her opponent, but in terms of skill rather than technique, she was the better – a fact which only served to infuriate her opponent as the fight went on.  What had started as smirking, sneering disdain had progressed through cold, murderous determination to snarling, bitter fury.  And while her opponent was still focused, it was a bit too much for her own good.  Amira paced herself, calling upon the lessons she had learned over the course of her pilgrimage, and the blessings each of the Divines had offered.  The last was that of her opponent’s mentor – the dead Blade who had bade her take up the work of disciplining the errant pupil.  Long ago, the opponent had murdered her mentor, discarding him when she felt she had learned all she needed to know.  Disdaining him and his reliance on the Gods, she had also discarded the core that her sword techniques had been founded on.  In another life, perhaps another time, Amira might have been that kitten.

In the here and now, though, she was the opponent’s executioner.  The opponent surged forward at her, but this time, Amira advanced to meet the blades with her own.  The four lengths of sharpened, curved steel met with a calm-shattering crash, and caught upon each other.  The two khajiit duelists now found themselves locked face to face with each other.  Whiskers flicked, and muzzles flashes hissing grimaces of mutual disdain.  Amira could practically hear the Drums of Arkay pounding in her head, though in time, she would reckon it was merely her own heartbeat, thundering inside her, and guiding her will and blades.  Amira, despite her smaller size, was the stronger, and stooping slightly, shoved the opponent backward in a sudden jolt.  The opponent was caught off her footing and stumbled backward for only a half-second before righting herself.

By then, it was too late.  In the half-second she had been knocked back, her swords had gone out to her sides as she involuntarily sought for balance.  She she pushed herself up from her knees, Amira’s blades caught her through the chest from a higher angle, driving through the chestplate of her armor and forcing her back to her knees.  A hiss of rage and pain echoed through the still, frigid night air.  Gathering her balance, Amira backed up, removing her weapons from her opponent’s torso.  As she did so, Amira thought she could hear the Drums of Arkay fading from the background as calm began to restore itself.  She stared at her opponent, and her opponent stared back, a mixture of hatred and incomprehension flickering in her eyes.

The opponent spat at Amira, but it was a weak effort.  The blood-laden spittle stained the snow at Amira’s feet, and the opponent laughed bitterly.  The eyes were glazing, even as the opponent struggled to live just a bit longer.  They fell to the ground, now laden with the blood from both duelists – and the tracks marking where their movements had taken them.  With her strength waning, the opponent studied the tracks with the desperate intensity of a doomed soothsayer.  Her swords dropped from her near-nerveless fingers as she tried to paw at the tracks in dying frustration.

“Blast!” the opponent snarled. “I almost had it this time!”

She tried to rise, but her legs seemed not to work.  Amira had to restrain the urge to offer her opponent a hand up.  But by this time, the opponent had no care for anything by the tracks in the snow, which were already being eradicated by the wind.  Blood poured from the wounds and onto the snow around the opponent, and she gave another hacking cough.  She briefly glanced up at Amira, eyes unfocused, and clambered, tottering, to her feet.

“…I… I could see it in front of me!  I just… just need to re… retrace the…”

The opponent tried to move one leg, as though initiating a kata, then stumbled and fell face-first into the snow, and moved or spoke no more.  Only her tail flew lifelessly in the wind.  Amira felt a certain pity for her slain opponent.  After all of this effort, the corpse had utterly obliterated the tracks they had left.  She felt it was a very undignified end for a warrior.

The Drums of Arkay had ceased in her head by now, and Amira felt she could breathe again, though it hurt.  She had been scored by several wounds from her opponent’s blades before the end came.  Without the focus and adrenaline of combat, the young khajiit fell back, exhausted onto her haunches in the snow.  She was aware of the shade of the opponent’s mentor, congratulating her and saying something about the Gods.  She muttered something suitably heroic and complimentary, but would later be unable to recall what it had been.  Too, she was aware of the presence of her travelling companions, Inigo and Qa’Dojo.  It was the monk who reached her first.  He muttered some parable under his breath as he worked to staunch the bleeding, but Amira wasn’t really listening, merely being comforted by the soothing presence and voice.

“Can she move, monk?”  The voice was somewhat nervous and impatient, trying to hide its evident worry with quiet, urgent bravado.  Inigo’s face swam into view, but any direct inquiry was interrupted.

“She’ll be fine, my young friend.  She has just engaged herself in a very stressful, draining experience.  Give her a few moments to right herself.  If you want to be helpful, dig into one of our packs and hand me some of those potions, yes?”

Amira’s head was beginning to swim.  She had been wounded often and badly enough in Skyrim to know this was the sign of deep wounds and blood loss.  The opponent had not been completely outmatched, and the cuts she had made had taken their own sweet time to start bleeding out.  Her vision darkened and she feelt her jaws being coaxed open by shaking hands.

“I should have shot that mangy furball in the back of the head.”  Inigo was grumbling, sounding angry with himself.  As long as Amira had traveled with him, she had come to know of his miserable bouts of self-hatred.  Absently, she chided herself for getting carried away when she had known her companion was in such a fragile personal state, but there was nothing to be done, now.  She tasted… red… and warmth in her mouth.  It wasn’t the taste of blood, but something that was foul on the tongue… but seeped into her being.  Her vision, dimmed to darkened shadows brimmed over with deep, healing crimson, and slowly began to come back into focus, fading in and out while the potions did their work.  The snow was falling again, and absent-mindedly, Amira flicked her tongue out, catching a few snowflakes and lapping them up in an exaggerated manner.  Something in the motion must have struck the right nerves, because Inigo’s worried, fidgety motions were replaced with a short, cleaning burst of hysterical laughter.  Qa’Dojo looked between Amira and Inigo and tsk’ed quietly to himself, but his whiskers twitched with faint amusement, all the same.

“Stay laid down for a few moments more, little kitten.  Let the potions do their work.  Inigo will sit with you while I tend to the body of your fallen foe.”

The blue-furred khajiit’s ears flattened in annoyance.  “I say we leave that evil thing for the beasts.  It was honorable of our friend to engage her so, but I do not think she is overly worthy of courtesy now.”

Qa’Dojo shrugged.  “Perhaps, but it is not to honor her so much as it is to honor our friend.  Perhaps we should ask Amira herself, yes?”  The older khajiit glanced down at Amira.  “What do you think, hm?”

Amira’s head was no longer swimming.  She glanced over at the body.  Not even the tail moved anymore – the tip had become stuck under one leg somehow.  All life had fled the body by now.  All that was left was a dead, furry… thing.  Amira slowly guided herself to a sitting position.  “…her name was S’Vashni.  Give her whatever proper rights you can.  She may not deserve such courtesy, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t obligated to give it just the same.  No reason to go developing bad habits, especially when it comes to mercy.”

She glanced over at Inigo, and caught his expression.  It was the look of someone who was duly chastened, but it didn’t stay for long.  Nonetheless, she felt he had understood.  She extended a hand to him, and he pulled her up.  Qa’Dojo said nothing, but went quietly about his work.  Amira allowed Inigo to guide her to a sitting spot on a fallen log, and tried to relax while he collected the fallen blades – hers and S’Vashni’s.  Inigo handed Amira’s blades back, then held up those that had been S’vashni’s.

“I’ll hold onto these for now, if you’ll permit me.  You’re already weighed down and still wounded.  I’ll turn them over to you once we get back to Breezehome.  Is that alright?”  Amira nodded, and Inigo took a few moments to fashion a back-sling for both of the scabbarded blades.  Once this was done, he sat down on the log next to Amira.  For a time, there was companionable silence as the younger khajiit watched Qa’Dojo do his work.  At length, Inigo spoke again, perhaps still nervous and wanting to fill the silence.  “So…  Not exactly like sitting at a table at the Bannered Mare, hm?”

Amira chuckled, though even that still hurt.  “The service is just about as good.  I don’t think Saadia’s much of a waitress.”

Inigo chortled a bit at this.  “Coming back from the brink of death with a horrible humor.  That’s one thing I have always admired about you, my friend.  But don’t go scaring me like this again, yes?  I don’t exactly have that many friends left in Skyrim, losing my best one…  I’m not sure I could accept this.  Who else would put up with my observations on how many useless knick-knacks they carried around, or how the local Nords haven’t figured out a toilet more advanced than a bucket, hm?  You are my friend, and I… I am glad to know you, to share in your adventures.  I don’t want them to come to a sudden end because you had to do something on your own.”

Amira felt somewhat uncomfortable at the way Inigo had begun to pour himself out to her.  Not because she thought he was love-stricken.  She was well aware that there was no attraction between them, but at some point, she and the azure khajiit became close-knit.  When she had found him in the Riften jail, he had recognized her as someone he had shot and betrayed.  And she had not recognized him at all.  She had no recollection of him, although it was not surprising, as there were several gaps in her memory directly prior to being arrested for illegally crossing the border between Cyrodiil and Skyrim.  She had forgiven him, had accepted his help, despite some trepidations of a setup.  And he had followed her since then.  As she had grown in confidence and responsibility, so too had Inigo begin to shake off the guilt and self-loathing that had caused him to retreat inward.  His hands shook a little – trembled, really.  Amira could practically see his thoughts turning towards the Skooma that he had given up, but confessed a remaining desire for.  She reached out, took him by the wrist, not hard, just firm enough to get his attention.  She grinned, flicked her whiskers once, twice.

And just like that, they began to laugh as the snow fell once more.

The Windhelm Incident

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The following is an oral history of the little known Windhelm Incident, which resulted in a number of injuries to prominent members of the court, and the controversial imprisonment of the Dragonborn and her faithful squire. According to those involved it took place in the year 4E 201, months after the dragons returned to Skyrim. 

Ulfric, Jarl of Windhelm: It was at the end of Sun’s Dusk, if I recall, a few months after we escaped Helgen. I was giving an impassioned speech, and in the corner of my eye I see the Dragonborn, followed by some young cub, marching toward the throne. It wasn’t unusual. Many great warriors have heeded my call to purge the land of the Imperials, and I assumed the Dragonborn was no exception.

Hjoromir, Squire to the Dragonborn: So the Dragonborn is muscling her way past the guard, and I’m trying to keep up while sifting through my coin purse to make sure Sadri didn’t short us. To be honest, I didn’t even hear what Ulfric said that made the Dragonborn so mad.
 
Jorleif, Steward to Jarl Ulfric: I remember Jarl Ulfric was really getting into it. He said something like “I fight for the men I’ve held in my arms, dying on foreign soil!”  That’s when I saw the Dragonborn grab the poor boy by the collar and point at the Jarl. I still don’t get what set her off.
 
Dragonborn, Savior of Skyrim: It actually wasn’t anything Ulfric said. I just didn’t like his face.
 
Galmar Stone-Fist, Stormcloak Commander: Sure, I heard her make the order. I didn’t expect the little snowback to do it though. Greener than an Elf’s britches, that one.
 
Jorleif: We all thought it was a joke, and a poorly conceived one at that. Ulfric is the Jarl of Windhelm. Not even the Dragonborn has the right to treat him like an infant.
 
Hjoromir: I know exactly why the Dragonborn issued the order. True heroes like us are paragons of justice. Jarl or not, Ulfric murdered the High King.
 
Dragonborn: Again, I didn’t really care about the consequences. Did a Jarl deserve better? Maybe. But did that face need to be punched? Absolutely.
 

Hjoromir: It wasn’t hard at all. I just pictured my father was there, licking Ulfric’s boots. I imagined the look on his face when I shoved him aside and punched his precious Jarl in the mouth. I probably spent too much time thinking about it, because Ulfric realized something was wrong.

Ulfric: The cub’s face was flushed with rage. I’ve seen it before from the peasant folk who’ve fallen victim to Imperial propaganda. As soon as the boy raised his fists, I blessed him with the words of my forefathers.

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Yrsarald Thrice-Pierced, Stormcloak Officer:  I was just on my way out of the war room when I heard Jarl Ulfric unleash his shout. I rushed over to see some poor sod flying across the hall. Literally. Flying.

Jorleif: I tell you, I’ve seen Jarl Ulfric use his shout before, but the way this boy tumbled like one of my niece’s dolls….Ha! I nearly burst at the seams laughing.

Stormcloak Guard: I don’t think it was being flung that was the worst part. It was when he hit the wall. His bones made this horrible crunching noise that made us all shudder.

Galmar: At that point, I didn’t give a mudcrab’s uncle about the boy. It was the Dragonborn who posed the real threat.

Hjoromir: I’m sure it might’ve looked bad, but I was in complete control. I had actually anticipated Ulfric would use his shout, and I needed to properly gauge its effects to know how to counter it.

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Jorleif: To the boy’s credit, he got up, eventually. In fact, I was so busy watching him struggle that I didn’t notice the Dragonborn had drawn her bow.

Galmar: I don’t know what that fool Jorleif was doing, but he would have only gotten in the way.

Yrsarald: Needless to say we had our hands full with the Dragonborn. But for some reason she was content to stay on the defensive. It was almost like she was waiting for the boy to get back up.

Dragonborn: Yeah, I was watching Hjoromir the whole time. The shout itself wasn’t nearly as bad as the collision, but it still wouldn’t have been enough to kill him. I just had to hold the guards off until he got his second wind.

Galmar:  How long was the boy down? How should I know? No one was paying attention to that idiot.

Ulfric: The Dragonborn may be strong, but even she is no god. So I called upon mighty Talos for aid, and asked that he smite these fools who defiled the Palace of the Kings. I listened for a reply, when I heard a voice call my name.

Hjoromir: Yeah, that was me. A true hero never hits a man in the back.

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Hjoromir: Now, at this point I’d studied Ulfric’s movements, and I deduced that shouting exhausted a great deal of stamina. If he used his shout on me, he would be on the defensive for the next minute or so. That would be my best chance to finish what we started.

Ulfric: The boy was like this annoying fly who kept buzzing around my ear. A pest. So like a fly I swatted him away.

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Hjoromir: The shout wasn’t nearly as effective the second time. Not only did I brace myself for its impact, but I also realized that like any voice, it’s only effective so long as you can hear it. That’s why before I challenged him the second time, I reached into a nearby fruit bowl and stuffed a grape in each ear. Clever, I know, but I’ve always maintained that a warrior’s greatest asset is his mind.

Ulfric: It wasn’t that I didn’t have the energy. I could’ve killed him, but he didn’t deserve a warrior’s death.

Hjoromir: Ulfric was even more tired than I anticipated. He could barely hold his axe above his chest. In fact, he didn’t look tired. He looked old.

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Hjoromir:  In the end, I didn’t put my full weight into the punch. Maybe I felt pity for the man my father loved so dearly.

Galmar: I was standing right there, and Jarl Ulfric didn’t flinch. Hmph. I’m not sure the boy even hit him.

Ulfric: The boy missed. Now that he’s free, I imagine he will return to his village and boast to his friends about the day he struck a Jarl, but it will not be the truth.

Jorleif: To be frank, I didn’t get a very good look. There was so much going on, it was hard to tell. It was definitely close though.

Dragonborn: There’s no doubt the kid landed the punch. Just barely grazed Ulfric’s chin. Sure, he was beaten mercilessly afterward, but he did it. I was impressed.

Jorleif: We were all surprised when the Dragonborn laid down her weapon. It was as if she was waiting the whole time for the boy to hit the Jarl.

Ulfric: I couldn’t execute them. The Dragonborn could still be of some use. I simply needed to convince her that our cause was just. Nonetheless, her actions could not go unanswered. A week in the Bloodworks seemed like an adequate punishment.

Dragonborn: It was worth it to see Hjoromir punch him in the face.

Hjoromir: My father told me a lot of stories about Ulfric. How he drove back an army of Forsworn invaders, and shattered the High King to pieces with his voice. But when I met him in battle, I realized that despite all the talk, he was….well, he was just another man.

A Lute in Winter

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LindenLaurel byline

I have a lot of feelings and I am going to tell you about them.

I have never, not once, in two years of playing Skyrim, played with followers. All of my Dovahkiins have explored, fought, adventured, lived or died absolutely solo. Talking to any of the NPCs offering to follow just never made me want to have that annoyance. It’s hard enough watching for traps for myself, and what if they get in my way? And having to make sure they’re still behind me and not stuck on the other side of a mountain or cliff? Ugh. No thanks. Me, myself, and I are plenty.

Until yesterday. Until this mod.

My new Dunmer was passing through Riverwood with a chip on her shoulder. Thanks to the Alternate Start mod, I imagine she was attacked on the road by racist Nords/Imperials and left for dead, and had to struggle her way back to safety and society. With coin in her pocket and food in her belly for the first time in weeks, finally recovering from Witbane AND Rattles AND Rockjoint thanks to dirty water and fending off beasts by hand for days, and tentatively accepting the kindness of the family of the soldier she’d saved on an accidental discovery of a ruined Helgen– she met an eager young Nord named Hjoromir. He talked a lot and smiled a lot; and she passed him by, annoyed at his energy and sunny attitude. She had things to sell and a life to carve out again after it had been beaten out of her.

But then she kept running into him. He was still chipper, still smiling, and she had to give it to him that he was hard-working. Eventually she asked after more than his name. She heard when he talked about his family, but she listened when he so offhandedly mentioned his disapproval of the racist traditions of his father.

Slowly the young man becomes endearing, and she keeps an eye out for him as she settles into the town, slowly building up the supplies she knows she needs to move on. His dreams of adventure strike a chord with her; as though her heart were a lute left out in the winter, and the strings froze stiff and tuneless as stone. But then Hjoromir comes like a child heedless to the chill of the snow, and plucks the taut, frozen strings until finally they thrum; shaking off the ice that had held them mute, and the lute remembers what it was made for.

When the Valeriuses ask her to return their stolen ornament, the Dunmer shoulders her pack and steps onto the road. And there is Hjoromir, smiling and greeting her as he walks, no doubt to Alvor’s smithy to work. She surprises herself when she asks him to come along with her. And more when she turns right back around to buy the boy some proper armor. The septims that were so hard-won and now so jealously hoarded, are spent easily for the young man and his dreams. “I can invest in this boy,” she thinks, as she pushes a steel battleaxe into his hands. And a mace. And a cuirass, and boots, and bracers, and a fur cloak for good measure because the mountain slope will be cold, even for a Nord. She does not think how everything she wears was salvaged from corpses; none of it new, none of it paid for, and none of it truly hers. She does not think about “why” because there’s Hjoromir again, as they walk, talking about dreams and she can hear him smiling without looking. He is full of thanks, thanks for her, and she tells herself she’s investing in one less racist bigot, one more good soul, and maybe that’s all it is.

But when bandits are at their feet and she checks for any green around his gills, all she finds is a smile– and he acts out a story from his mind of the dragon Numinex and a damsel in distress. She has to jump back when he swings the battleaxe with a flourish, retelling a showdown that never happened with more animation than any bard she’s heard. She feels something against her cheek, and realizes she is smiling, too.

Ads and Anniversaries

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In less than a month, the blog will be a year old. One thing that’s been helpful is that unlike my previous failed websites and misadventures, this badboy is self-sustaining. I installed WordAds in December and despite a few misplaced commercials – there was once a half-naked woman under a post about Zora’s female empowerment – they’ve generally been rather benign.  I’m not entirely enthusiastic about the placement, however, as they take away from the gravitas of certain posts – but there’s no changing that apparently. In any case, while the revenue is still rather piddling, it’s enough to pay for the domain name and the various upgrades I’ve purchased.

I’ve also added a partner post section in the sidebar that is essentially for paid advertisements and will feature sponsored links. I doubt I’ll get much more of these, but just having one sponsor was a coup, especially considering how non-invasive the blog post/link is.

Some other news and notes:

• The Wiki is still not up to date. It’s a long grind. I have no idea how Blauwvis managed to do all those tables, but without her I feel like a cripple.

• Additional Tags – I’ve added a storytime tag, because I want to write more word sketches in addition to working on the mod, which is entirely dialogue-centric.

• Anna Castiglioni has started her own blog for her companion mod, Anduniel.

• As for the mod, I’ve mostly been working on super follower commentary. I made a new quest, but decided to scrap it. Some of the characters I liked, so I might use them for something else. At this point though, there’s no reason to add quests just for the sake of adding them. Quality over quantity.

• I don’t know when the release of Fallout 4 will be, but I’ve decided to throw some lines together in preparation. Again, it’s kind of therapeutic to get away from fantasy and drop a few F-Bombs here and there. Here’s Damien Lacambra providing a sample:

• Lastly, I’m considering altering the theme because I don’t like how the comments nest. They sort of tab everything to the right until your comment gets squeezed into the corner and looks like a scroll bar made of letters. Good for Tetris, bad for reading.

• I want to contact some artists about making alternative or straight fan art of characters, maybe even commission it using extra funds from the site if the artist is professional grade. Or maybe hold a contest of some sort. Although right now the mod just isn’t notable enough to garner that kind of attention.