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The Way of Moderation has ended (page 566)

Posted Dec 20, '12 at 11:08pm

nichodemus

nichodemus

13,239 posts

Knight

No but really, every time I try to gear up for the home stretch I seem to make the home stretch longer, and it takes me months to even find an appropriate window of time to bang out the next segment D:


Well, just take your time, and hope when the Forum wipe comes, this thread is preserved!
 

Posted May 15, '13 at 10:00am

kingryan

kingryan

4,439 posts

*pokes with a stick*

 

Posted May 16, '13 at 10:16am

Strop

Strop

11,085 posts

Moderator

Hey, no bumps! xD

I acknowledge this series appears orphaned. It is not, it is merely a Schedule Slip. It's a particularly notorious phenomenon when out of the 200+ scenes in this work, there are only maybe four or five left. Don't worry. We will not let the series die.

(However I am currently trying to balance my work with everything as I am now a rural medical registrar studying for physician exams and Cen has a masters thesis to write... I'd hasten to add that this isn't an example of Creator Breakdown so much as because it is me hosting the project we were never all that good at meeting deadlines... anyway...)

No seriously I am very close to finishing the next scene, there's just this persistent bugger of a segment that just doesn't work. Once that's ironed out we'll struggle on. My "distraction drawing" on the other thread should be considered evidence for, as opposed to the contrary :P

 

Posted May 25, '13 at 5:33am

Xzeno

Xzeno

2,354 posts

Linking TVTropes isn't an update.

Good to hear how it's coming, though. Tell your girl I said hi.

 

Posted May 25, '13 at 8:37am

Secretmapper

Secretmapper

1,783 posts

Oh god no. Mercy to our pitiful souls Strop!

I actually think it was one of your post that made me start going there :) / :(

 

Posted Jun 2, '13 at 9:53am

Strop

Strop

11,085 posts

Moderator

Guys I am sooooooo sorry.

The WoM is closed forever.













LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL psyche. I've been twiddling and trying to adjust this scene for yonks. Things get more difficult the closer to the end you get. That's why so many projects seem to die right before the end. But it would be super lame to let the it die. It is also kind of lame that I took six months to update this next bit, and even more so that I'm releasing it in two halves (the second half needs pictures)! Especially since we're planning to rewrite this once we're done, but that's another matter entirely.

Go back to page 557 in case you don't (and you won't) remember what's going on. Otherwise, read on:

---

This Is It

It really was. Standing on the stage of the Amphitheatre with a panoramic view of the stands, was the perfect position to reflect upon things that had passed when about to commence the closing ceremony to the Way of Moderation Tournament. Approximately a year later and everything was almost exactly as it was back at the opening ceremony, except there were still giant cracks in the stone foundations of the Amphitheatre, a great deal more than that still left to fix outside, and a far smaller crowd than the hundreds of thousands who packed the venue the first time around.

This was just fine by Strop, who found himself virtually alone in his duty to "finish things off", so to speak. It was unreasonable to ask Cenere to be present for this occasion considering what had happened, or whatever was happening in his life. He had told Strop himself, after all, adding "just finish the bloody thing so we can go back to our lives," before slamming the door and hiding himself under his blanket, (not necessarily in that order, it happened so fast). It was also unreasonable to ask any of the other moderators to take a break from either recuperating, or helping rebuild the city. Those were entirely more important, useful things to do. But this was a task he had to do anyway, because nonetheless there were people waiting on him to do it.

Or was there really? Behind him stood the eight... no, not even eight, The Bullman had completely disappeared with not even so much of a whimper and a "I'm not worthy of being a hero", and Thoad, well... all anybody ever found of Thoad was his helmet. And there was no telling how many of the rest of the candidates were still around, or whether they lost interest as soon as they left the tournament. Strop guessed there would be little reason to stay on after leaving, especially not now, with everything that had happened.

The scars ran far deeper than splintered wood, mortar and flesh. This resounded the most in Strop's mind as he began to speak to the audience in the Amphitheater. "Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you all for coming today...

"Obviously, a lot has happened in recent times. Conflict and battle have ravaged this land, changes and an uncertain future face us now. It was ambition, courage, hope and unity even against impossible odds that helped us survive. And so this occasion is to celebrate those qualities, the qualities that bind us as a community and shall remain the cornerstones for the future.

"You have most likely know the administration's, and my comments on this Tournament. I won't dwell on this point longer, except to say that I hope it does not detract from the acknowledgement and appreciation of the display of the finest qualities one could wish for during this tournament, as well as in the recent conflict. Several of the candidates, as well as many others who were not candidates but became inextricably involved in the tournament, distinguished themselves in the service and defence of our city. To this end, we have a few awards that I would like to present, though even this would not do justice to the many that I do not mention now, even seated amongst you.

"Without further ado then." Strop gestured to his right before he realised that Cen was not standing beside him. So he leaned over and picked up a pennant from the pile he had set up. "First, I would like to pay homage to one of our most experienced veterans for his tireless," (at this point he stifled a cough), "service to the community, despite having to retire from the tournament due to health concerns. Even so, his unwavering loyalty to Armor Games had him pick up his quill in its defence when it needed him the most. I therefore present the 'Pen is Mightier' award to King 'Since Beta' Ryan!"

The customary applause followed, and after a delay in which somebody sharply elbowed King Ryan back away, he shuffled on stage from the left in a daze, shook Strop's hand with his right hand, took the pennant with the left, and shuffled off stage right.

"Next, in this world of aspiring superheroes and warriors, I would like to highlight the virtues of the common man. And by common I don't mean dull, or boring, but rather all the dreams and concerns that we all live day to day. When it comes to the tournament, I now know why I've been going about this all wrong. The reason everything fell to pieces was because we were trying to achieve dreams. This world doesn't need selfish dreamers, it needs people who appreciate what they've been given and what they can give back.

"So the next award I'm giving to a man who represents the virtues of the common man, an alchemist who was determined to change his lot and aspired to become a teacher, and through seeking and seizing opportunities and persevering is well on the way to passing on his inspiration to a younger generation. So I award this pennant to 'The Everyman', Goumas!"

Much unlike the somnambulant King Ryan, Goumas was rather more enthusiastic about his accolade. Strop swore he could see tears as Goumas accepted his award.

"Now we move to those who stepped up to become commanders and generals for a day. Without their initiative and leadership, it would be safe to say that Armor Castle, and the entire city, would have fallen. It was with no small amount of gratitude that we witnessed the fruits of their growth from the trials they faced for several months.

"To the leaders of the Air Force that countered an airborne threat we were otherwise utterly defenceless against, save for archery and a single dragon, I present the 'Salvation from Above' award to two once-rivals turned comrades, Pixel and Frank!"

Both Pixel and Frank smirked wryly as they casually ambled across the stage and accepted their pennants, and exchanged cursorary and somewhat unnecessary polite words with Strop.

"Many months ago, I dubbed this young participant a Wrecking Ball because of his sheer destructive power and recklessness, (yes recklessness)," Strop turned to hiss at Manta, whom he had obviously been referring to, as an aside. "(Now stop glaring at me like that.) But even in his willingness to charge headlong into combat, he exercised discretion and displayed charisma in galvanising an entire tribe to assist in the front lines. The title ought to be rectified, and so I award the 'Fists of Fury' to the kickboxing fishman, Manta!"

"BOO-YAH!" In sharp contrast Manta punched the air and jump kicked his way to Strop, then held his pennant aloft like a prize-fighter picking up the coveted belt. "Keep at it carp-boy," Strop remarked. "You did your father proud."

"Only a small portion of Armor Games is devoted to the study of magicka, but it is a powerful tool for building. Not just building things to do things with, as in the final line of defence against giant mutant trolls, but also the building of teams, and friendships between very different people, again between former rivals . The 'Magic is Friendship' award is jointly awarded to the child prodigy, and the esteemed veteran, Chill and Crimsonblade!"

In a subtlely choreographed flourish, Chill slid across the stage, skating over a layer of ice that formed just in front of his feet, followed by Crimson who hovered on one of his trademark coded boards, swooping their pennants up as they passed, and sweeping around behind Strop until they were back where they started.

"This award is a tribute to the shy guy, who means well and acts with goodwill, but never stepped forward to promote themselves. That is to say, not until the crucial moment, where a hidden, but bountiful courage and fortitude proved pivotal to our defence. Thus, the 'Lurk Less' award goes to the citizen whose role may have seemed minor, but without his efforts we would have faced a vastly different future: Maverick!"

Several hands propelled Maverick towards the stage, where he swayed, slightly overwhelmed, before slouching in a futile attempt to hide himself in his cape. Strop clapped him strategically on the back, forcing him upright with a quiet reprimand: "Stand tall, man!" before he hurried back off-stage.

"The next award goes to a non-contestant, but through his deeds he changed the course of the history of this tournament. At first we thought it was little more than madness inducing mind-altering substances, but were it not for this herbalist's services and heroism in AG's darkest moments, it is well probable that the mission to save this community would have ended before it began. Ever present, ever confusing, inextricably tied to the events within and without the tournament, is your MVNPC, Hermit!"

As unkempt as always, Hermit emerged from a shrubbery (or maybe he was the shrubbery), saying something which Strop imagined was just as incomprehensible as it was drowned out by the applause of the crowd. He then proceeded to wrap the pennant around his head, fashioning it into a bandana everybody looked on bemusedly, before disappearing back into the shrubbery that, by now, seemed to be equal parts of his clothing as well as bits of scenery he happened to pick up as he walked.

Strop took a deep breath before continuing, and the crowd hushed to an unnatural silence, anticipating what must come next. "This brings us to the obvious award that everybody is waiting for, the MVP. It is difficult to explain exactly what this award stands for, or to justify it being awarded to any one candidate for an act of heroism moreso than any other, for everybody I award today, including this candidate, distinguished themselves with indespensible, irreplaceable service to the land of AG. Perhaps the only way I can say it is that this award goes to the candidate who, through their way of life, reflects the true meaning of the Way of Moderation. This candidate, simply by existing within his nature, without altering anything, flowed with circumstance, without regard to pretenses or hubris. Some may accuse him of quackery, others of sheer luck over skill or substance. Others may point out that with his acts of justice came acts of villainy. I too found myself being confronted by this candidate, having to reassess my notions of justice and the law of this land, having observed his progress through the stages of the tournament, might I even admit at this point, despite my efforts to vet the candidates to my preconceptions of lawful, just candidates. For better or for worse, we are all richer for having met this strangely capabable, paradoxical force of nature."

There was a pregnant pause.

"The MVP of the Way of Moderation Tournament is Leon McAcid."

The arena dissolved into the roar of several thousand voices, applause and stomping. Into the center stage Leon McAcid, once a deranged gnoll trader, now the deranged anti-hero of the moment, strode, his (specially polished) gauntlet raised to grasp the moment, causing the audience to burst out into a chant: "LEON! LEON! LEON!" Cape billowing impressively in a non-existent wind, he bared the breastplate bearing his seal, then magnaminously bowed his head to gaze at Strop with his characteristically toothy grin, even while the chant continued.

"It has a nice ring to it, won't you say?" Leon smirked.

Unsure what to say, Strop merely handed the gaudy MVP trophy to him. Leon stood there, expectantly. With the crowd still chanting his name in adulation, it was at once clear both who controlled the proceedings at that point, yet who the onus was on to respond.

Finally, Strop found the words: "Leon... the battle brought out the best in you. I'm not sure whether that's a good thing or not, I suppose you would say it just is. Whatever may be the case... you were there when we needed you most. And you have my thanks for that."

"That's sweet of you." Leon was still grinning. "But I think the people want to hear from you now."

Strop glared at Leon. "You're not making this any easier."

Leon kept right on grinning. "That's not in my nature."

Strop resolutely turned his back on Leon, and walked to the front of the stage, thumbing the 'fone. "Ladies and Gentlemen, these are all the awards that conclude the Way of Moderation. However!" he hastily pre-empted any surge of protest, "As for the question of who should be next elected to the position of Moderator..."

Around him, everybody continued chanting "LEON! LEON! LEON!" The sounds boxed him in, pressing at him from all sides, beseeching, expecting, demanding him to make the pronouncement. But he knew it would be impossible, and the only thing more difficult would be telling this rapturous audience.

---

 

Posted Jun 2, '13 at 10:07am

Xzeno

Xzeno

2,354 posts

LEON! LEON! LEON!

 

Posted Jun 2, '13 at 10:17am

Strop

Strop

11,085 posts

Moderator

LOL for a minute my post looked like all I was doing was telling Xzeno to shut up. I forgot that putting in those slanty-eyed signs is parsed as formatting modifiers.

Anyway as I was saying, if you want some background, here's the paltry set of updates from the last year or so, that way one mightn't be quite... as lost?

 

Posted Jun 2, '13 at 10:19am

nichodemus

nichodemus

13,239 posts

Knight

My god no, it has ended. :/

 

Posted Jun 2, '13 at 10:30am

Strop

Strop

11,085 posts

Moderator

Actually no it hasn't. We're trying to get it finished before the 4th birthday though, which is like, in 3 days...

 
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