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The Way of Moderation has ended (page 566)

Posted Aug 9, '11 at 8:14pm



6,889 posts

Me eyes are melting...


Posted Aug 9, '11 at 9:23pm



5,809 posts

I feel like a smarticle for not really reading it and instead skimming it so I don't really think of it.

Besides, I've been writing stropXcen's for years. I just have to taste not to announce it!



Posted Aug 9, '11 at 10:28pm



11,104 posts


Besides, I've been writing stropXcen's for years. I just have to taste not to announce it!

Cen is currently laughing his butt off at me because the above passage happens to not be StropxCen, but StropxLeon.

I want you to give him something else to think about.

After we've finished with this current chapter.

Posted Aug 10, '11 at 3:26pm



11,104 posts


Right. I'm updating. I'm not going to tell you that I spent a long time writing an update only to realise that I was actually rewriting something I'd already written. I like this version better anyway <_< It's more in tune with... future plans.


Mission Failed

"No! It's too soon!"

Strop looked up, aghast, as raindrops splashed on his nose. In the one second it took for his brain to process this development, the clouds stopped hesitating, and in the next moment he was soaked to the bone. So too was Devoidless, and Dragonmistress, who had frozen, seeds of salvation still in her hand, poised to throw into the great inferno below.

But the inferno of the Free Market was already changing. The billowing black clouds of smoke had turned white as great plumes of steam replaced ashes. Before their eyes the fires were dying, as were their hopes.

"ABORT THE MISSION," Strop screamed at DM and Devoidless.

"But the fire isn't out yet!" DM protested. "We still have time!"

"No, that's not it!" Gesticulating wildly, Strop struggled to rein his brain back in time with his mouth. "The fumes won't do anything. Only the rain from the clouds that carried those fumes!"

Even as the rain pounded down heavier and heavier, DM stared blankly at Strop, blinking droplets of water out of her eyes. "You mean to say... why would... but what was the point of all that?"

"I- I-..." Strop's mouth gave up. "I'll tell you later, if we live!"

"Excuse me," Devoidless grunted. "If you wouldn't mind telling me what we're doing now then?"

Strop took a deep breath. "The pills won't work properly in these conditions, they'd be wasted. Keep them for another time."

DM, understandably, still looked confused. "What time is that?"

"I don't know!" Strop shouted in exasperation, for the umpteenth time that afternoon. "I don't know."

As the rain beat down on them, the only sound left was the waves of rain striking the dragon's wings as they beat upwards. Everywhere below, confusion reigned. The cobblestones became slimy and slippery, and the debris and dust from ruins mixed with the running water and mired everything in layers of sludge that stuck to legs and sloshed around as everybody waded in to do battle, and soon, the sounds and cries of mortal mudfighting reigned. Fighting, Strop thought. But isn't everybody supposed to be at the Ar-

The three thought the same thing at once, and collectively their breaths caught. "The other mods!"

Devoidless didn't even need any telling. In an instant his wings were folded, and he rolled into a headlong dive.


Asherlee gnashed her teeth, "Will it ever end!?" With a roar, she threw her arms up, driving an entire line backwards.

Still panting heavily, Dank leaned on his hammer and watched the raiders pick themselves up and charge in again. "Guess it's just certain death then." Great splashes and trails of droplets arched through the air as shockwaves rippled outwards from his hammer. As his name suggested he was perhaps the only one left who might actually have been strengthened by the rain, but even he looked overwhelmed, his eyes staring vacantly even as he fought on.

"I'd rather not die, thank you!" But even as she said it, the cold of the wet chilled Zophia, stiffening her muscles, slowing her down even as she flailed with her brush. The paint was diluted and streaked, washing off and undoing her work, freeing her opponents to claw at her and try to rip her brush away. But since the handle itself was so slippery that she herself could barely grip it, her assailants all slid straight off, stumbling and falling over themselves on the pavement. "We need a plan!"

"There is no plan," Dank murmured. "Not anymore."

Zophia tried to shut his words off, scrabbling for her palette, only to find that she had run out of paint. A raider, who had snuck into the blindspot, reared up, club poised to strike, but was miraculously knocked back with a glassy thunk.

"Moe! You flew!" Zophia couldn't help but point out the obvious.

"I can't control it very-" Moe paused a bit, wobbled, then clattered to the ground. "Well. And it's as best as I can manage. But, at least this way, I could die not being a burden anymore."

"You're thinking about something like that at a time like this!?" Dank spluttered, but he was cuffed on the back of the helmet by Asherlee, who promptly spoke over him. "We'll get through this. We have to live."

"That's all very well and good," Dank piped up from under Asherlee's suppressive cover, "But how do you propose we survive this?"

Asherlee looked at the raiders, now close enough to see the features of their expressions, even as each one was another member of a faceless, restless mob of wanton rage. Their eyes burned with a hatred beyond all comprehension, multiplied by the thousands of disparate wills that bundled into one. In the face of all this, Asherlee shrugged. "I dunno."

And with that utterance, the four lowered their weapons, not even thinking what might happen next, not even thinking to await death, but simply to wait, come the inevitable, or miracle.

The sea of raiders parted, blown violently apart by an unseen gust. The streaks of rain scattered, waves of droplets pattering against the facades on either side of the street. Then a black cloud swooped down, sending bodies scattering, before sliding to a stop directly in front of the four.

"Get on!" Dragonmistress shouted.

Wordlessly, the mods stared at each other, then made a break for it. Ungracefully they struggled atop the great dragon's spines, and promptly fell over as Devoidless launched himself into the air. Everybody sat back up, gripping whatever they could as he flapped, hovering menacingly over the street of people who glowered back.

"Since everybody is still awake, I take it the plan didn't work," Moe suggested. Strop hung his head.

"Yes. We've failed our mission."

"I never would have thought," Dank snorted. "We failed, but somehow we're still alive. So is there a plan B or are we all doomed?"

"Does it involve burninating everybody here while we still can?" Devoidless asked, blowing a few small licks of fire at the more daring punters among the largely cowed crowd who had seemingly never been so close to a live fire-breathing dragon.

Strop rubbed his head. "No, no, no. AG isn't doomed. Not yet. Not while our castle still stands. But that castle is in danger now, because the courts are gone, and as soon as people figure out that they can cross through there, then we'll have trouble."

"Defend the castle huh?" Asherlee stretched her broad shoulders, then tilted her head back to look at the endless black and the falling rain. "It sounds like another last stand in a series of last stands doesn't it."

"At least we can hope that we survive until the administration arrives," DM said, unconvincingly. "At least, assuming they saw the distress signal."

Even in the chaos that enveloped them, they shared a single moment of clarity, the reflection on the irony behind the whole tournament and its course, and the problem that they faced but no longer felt capable of containing. In that moment, the true nature of their problem was revealed, a nature beyond anything that the Way of Moderation could ever have hoped to address.

"It's simple, really," Strop concluded. "Either we survive, or we fall. Until we find out, we'll just do what we can."

"Agreed." DM reined Devoidless around, pointing him in the direction of the castle. Even as some of the raiders tried to follow, and others fled, they set off towards the courts, half-hoping to see the end of the day, and half-dreading what might otherwise happen.


I had my team set up.

14 fish men, all armed to the teeth with weapons, weapons as far as the eye could see, amazing, deadly...

well, truth be told, there are only about 27 fish-men total, and the weapons and armor were made of fish-bone and seashells and some limestone. honestly, we were a sorry looking bunch. Plus, we had been partying for about 4 months before we even tried to get this together. Squid ale s great stuff.

But if fish-people were anything, they were resilient! They could adapt to any situation, and my peeps here were gonna do the best with what they had.

I led the charge. "Charge!" I yelled to my charge.

Silently as possible, all my fishy comrades grouped together behind the raiders, weapons at the ready. Once we were in range (with the group of raiders taht was for some reason still in the forest after these four months), I yelled the signal.


Now, what you may not know, is that fish-bone, when tempered in a certain way that only fish-people know about, is a ctually a very tough substance. Extremely, really. Which is one reason I can take such a beating, seeing how I have fish-bone.

And, ho boy, you should have seen us out there. Bone arrows piercing the chests of evn the biggest internet-tough guys, Fish-swords knocking cavalry off their horses and bleeding to death on the soft ground.

And then there was me. Because I'm awesome. I was at the front lines, no armor, no weapons, just me. I was raping out there, literally.

Because raping doesn't always mean what one thinks it means, it just means "to dominate," pretty much.

So I was dominating.

Like usual.

"Men! Hold your attack!"

The scene was grisly. Dozens of fallen raiders, all within a few hundred feet of the town gates.

"...we... we've done it!"

The cheers roared through the forest.

But... wait... "HEY!" GET BACK HERE!"

One scout managed to escape towards the gate. I chased, but the little bugger was fast. He climbed the gate and opened it up before I even got a chance to catch him.

And what I saw was horrifying.

"Chrissakes..." The whole of ArmorCity was under attack.

"Hey, uh, Manta, I don't think that did anything."


I stood shocked, mouth agape. All I could think to do was ask the only person I could think of who knew what was happening what the hell was going on.



There's one more scene I have to write, then after that... uh, guys. When's that collab coming?


Posted Aug 10, '11 at 6:15pm



1,674 posts


is it too late to submit my part on how the hermit survives?


Posted Aug 10, '11 at 9:38pm



11,104 posts


Definitely not, submit to the email as usual!


Posted Aug 11, '11 at 5:21am



4,437 posts

Oh my gosh.

It got updated!


Posted Aug 11, '11 at 2:13pm



48 posts

Oh my gosh.

It got updated!

And if it doesn't update again within a week Round (Sixty)Nine and a half: Playing Doctor will update instead. Then I'll start on Thoad/Crimson.

Posted Aug 11, '11 at 2:15pm



2,354 posts

In Zahz's defense, this update was basically something we already chose not to read because it was too long, so it hardly counts as a full update. I mean, it's more upgrade than update.


Posted Aug 11, '11 at 3:30pm



14,025 posts


Then I'll start on Thoad/Crimson.

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