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The Way of Moderation has ended (page 566)

Posted Apr 5, '12 at 7:13am

kingryan

kingryan

4,165 posts

GALLILEO!!

I knew it wasn't over! Muhahaha!

Will this round have more user input or just you guys doing stuff?

 

Posted Apr 5, '12 at 9:33am

Strop

Strop

10,823 posts

Moderator

There'll be a round of emails over the Easter break. Being on a subspecialty ward and being lucky this time means I don't have to cover over the weekend. Thank god.

I had a tough day today, mainly because we were trying to rush things (and well you know. Trying to rush patients is always bad), so I discharged a couple of patients and admitted a couple of patients and one of them in particular will be a challenge for the staff... I was flat out all day and didn't eat lunch or drink, so by the time I handed over to my consultant I was all "well he's going to be a handful over the long weekend..." and she immediately finished with "but it's not going to be your problem."

...ahaha... ha... yeah she's right. I pity the covering staff.

Anyway, so you guys may expect a mass email, as well as some more story, within the next four days.

 

Posted Apr 9, '12 at 10:18am

Strop

Strop

10,823 posts

Moderator

As promised, more story. So apparently, the battle is over, everybody landed in hospital, and everything is...

http://i438.photobucket.com/albums/qq105/strawpony/Way%20Of%20Moderation/12-1.png

Welcome Back

It was a desolate scene. Under a sky that was just starting to clear, the light of the sun had not yet begun to return, so the swathes of ruins and rubble sat in a cold, damp gloom.

The band of moderators and a faithful few that had ventured out from their hiding places trudged onto the Main Road and stopped dead, taking in the sights of the cobblestone path punctuated by house-sized craters, bricks and broken glass and splinters of wood strewn through puddles and mud, along with bullet casings, shafts of arrows, a multitude of rusting swords and pieces of armor and various kitchen appliances. There was even the occasional burnt out frame of a tank, and the fuselage of a fighter plane, lodged firmly into the ground.

Nobody spoke, they merely huddled together, steam rising from their breath. Each person had something, many things they could have said, but if there was a time for a gathering to descend into a hubbub of conflicting thoughts, it was not now. There was no place to hold such an occasion anymore, for the Freemarket was no more than a vast expanse of charred kindling, and the Atrium had been completely rubbled.

From deep in the cover of the crowd, somebody shifted. Around them the curtains of the ranks parted, until everybody stood around the emerging figure. The knitted scarf was no disguise from the pointed ears and the black one-piece ninja suit. Strop was back on duty, though as to the scope and the direction of what he would do next, nobody, least of all him, knew. And so he too surveyed the wreckage in the same mesmerized silence.

Without the customary fanfare, nobody had noticed the unicorn-drawn carriage, in its full royal trim, draw up behind them. Nobody noticed the knights flanking the doorway to the carriage, nor the billowing skirts hitched up so as to avoid the muck and the grime that covered the floor. It wasn't until the occupant of the carriage had walked through the parted crowd to stand directly behind the ninja horse, that the stillness was finally shattered.

"Wow," Carlie, Queen of the land of ArmorGames said.

In a panicked flurry, everybody flung themselves on the dirty wet ground, prostrating themselves at her feet. Carlie looked slightly mortified, dropping her skirts and gesticulating at everybody on all sides. "No, no, please, everybody rise."

Slowly, in confusion, everybody rose, except the one ninja horse kneeling directly in front of her, head bowed. "Your Highness. I most deeply apologise for my failure. I take full responsibility and wi-"

With an outstretched hand, Carlie stopped him. "Whoa Strop, hold up a minute. What exactly have you failed?"

Strop opened his mouth to speak, but so many ideas crammed his brain at once that he froze. Finally he lamely offered: "My duties as a moderator."

"And in what way?" Carlie raised her eyebrow expectantly.

Again, Strop's mouth refused to move as he willed it, until he admitted defeat and shook his head. "I don't know."

Offering Strop her hand, Carlie suggested, "Maybe we should leave such things for later. Now won't you stand?"

With that, Strop stood up, still wanting to say something, but not knowing where to begin. It then occured to him that apart from the heavy weight he felt upon his shoulders, the last thing he actually remembered was a grotesque pastiche of the city being ravaged by battle. His colleagues being overwhelmed and coming back and being overwhelmed again in a never-ending sea of enemies. Slightly panicked, he started looking around as if it would help. "Where's everybody else? Have you seen Dank? Zophia? Moe? Asherlee? DM?"

"We're right here," Asherlee called out, stepping forward alongside Dragonmistress.

"Guys, you're okay!" Strop said, obviously relieved to see a couple more familiar faces.

"Okay enough anyway," DM said, hefting her right arm. Strop felt an additional stab of guilt as he realised that it was in a sling. "We could be much worse."

"This place, however," Asherlee whistled low and long as she saw the extent of the damage with her own eyes. She then turned to Carlie. "Your Highness. Is this going to delay... things?"

Carlie folded her arms, one hand covering her chin in thought. "I was just wondering about that. I mean... it's gonna take a lot of work."

Strop scratched his head, sure that he was missing something in this conversation. "Uhm, delay what?"

Carlie was still musing. "And it wouldn't be right unless everything was at least back to normal for the citizens too. After all, it'll be an open invite to all citizens of AG."

DM added: "Not to mention that the castle, while still standing, will require restoration too."

Inside his head, Strop's gears were churning. All the things he had observed that made him suspicious but that he had ignored due to his preoccupation with the cursed tournament were coming back to him... it was all starting to add up, but without the last piece of information the sum wouldn't form a whole. At last, he cleared his throat. "Excuse me, Carlie, what are you planning?"

Carlie looked at Strop innocently. "Planning?"

Strop put his hands on his hips. "Yes. Planning. Between your leaving this town for no apparent reason, and Asherlee and DM arriving without even telling me for however long before the whole invasion happened, and these little slips of the tongue they've been making, I daresay you're planning something else."

The three ladies turned to each other, and faint strains of deliberation could be heard from amongst them. "Do you think we should tell him... I don't know, is this really the right place and occasion? ...well it's always the occasion but it's a matter of whether it's even possible to have it here now... maybe it'll give everybody some determination to repair the city..."

Strop cleared his throat again: "Didn't we have a talk about administrator transparency not too long ago?"

"Alright, alright, I'll tell you." Carlie turned to Strop and flashed a big grin. "We're planning a wedding. I'm getting married."

Everybody's jaw dropped open.

When Strop had rehinged his jaw, he had the presence of mind to respond: "Congratulations your highness. Who is the lucky groom?"

He already had suspicions as to whom Carlie would marry. While not a widely known tale, the legend of Carlie's introduction to the fledgling land of ArmorGames was one as important as the legend of the founding of ArmorGames itself. For were it not for a budding romance from a time long before even Beta, ArmorGames might not even have existed, let alone had a queen.
On cue, there was a whinney and the thunder of hooves coming to a sudden stop. A man dressed in a green adventurer's tunic and matching feathered cap dismounted and stood beside Carlie. Among others, Strop immediately recognised him from the almost mythical tales of many a bard, but even being one of the few to have ever met him some years before, when the city was just a fledgling village, Strop had quite forgotten how tall he was.

"I'd like to introduce John, my fiance."

http://i438.photobucket.com/albums/qq105/strawpony/Way%20Of%20Moderation/12-2.png

"Hi everybody," John said, flashing an understated, but self-assured grin. "Good to meet you."

"It's good to se-" Strop started but the shocked silence from the crowd around them was suddenly shattered by an uproar as people realised that one of the unseen legends had appeared in their midst. John and Carlie quickly found themselves bombarded by questions and exclamations and requests for autographs.

Crawling out from underneath the stampede, Strop, Asherlee and DM dusted themselves off. "Well, that settles it then," DM remarked.

"I guess we'll have to rebuild everything first," Strop sighed.

"Silly horse. Was there ever any doubt?" Asherlee teased, punching Strop on the arm.

"No, it's just..." Strop paused, and then shrugged. "Yeah no we have a lot to do."

"Come on then," DM beckoned him with her riding crop. "You're needed at the hospital. And there's somebody I think you ought to see first."

---

Leave Out All the Rest

The feeling of dreading arriving at work and everything that entailed was a relatively new one to Strop, fledgling doctor as he was, but it was one that felt old already. But as he tentatively trod upon the threshold of Armor Hospital, the queasiness gripped him to the very core, almost paralysing his legs.

"Come on, we're not there yet!" Feeling very much like a traitor being brought before the tribunal, flanked by the military police in Asherlee and Dragonmistress, Strop was dragged by the arms through the main corridor. The hospital still bore the deep scars of the battle that had taken place within its walls, including the treacherous pitfalls and traps that Thoad had left behind. Thoad, who had vanished almost without a trace, and had yet to be seen after the battle, like so many others who had yet to be accounted for. The ledgers had to be filled, eventually, but there was only so much time to do it in. With that thought, Strop squared his shoulders. "Right, who was it you wanted me to see first?"

That was as far as he got before some bright spark spotted him and yelled that the doctor was in the house. In an instant he got a taste of what Carlie and John had experienced earlier, except instead of questions and autographs, he got demands and drug chart rewrites.

"Ease up," he yelled, in vain. "The ward round needs to be orderly!"

Somehow, Asherlee and DM managed to herd the crowd to one side so they could usher him into the ICU broom-cupboard, and then stood guard to prevent the crowd from completely imploding the walls of the room. But it didn't stop the clamouring from outside causing a hubbub and general compromise of privacy.

Strop peered into the room, wondering who it was who would require his most urgent attention, and his heart nearly stopped. For in amongst the tangle of wires, tubes and beeping monitors, was a very large, brown, furry, bear-y body.

http://i438.photobucket.com/albums/qq105/strawpony/Way%20Of%20Moderation/12-3.png

"Klaus!"

At first, the bear didn't move. After several moments of silence, the head stirred, and groggily lifted.

"I thought I said already, it's not Klaus, it's K1aus!", the bear said, pointing to his very cracked laser goggles. Strop grabbed the goggles and wrenched them off his face amidst feeble protest.

"Klaus, you idiot, I don't care about those things now. Just open your eyes."

Slowly, Klaus' eyes opened just a crack. "Oh, all my glorious fans! And if I'm not mistaken, the biggest fan of them all, my dear Stroppy!"

Sighing, Strop folded his arms and studied the bear. The numbers on the monitors didn't seem good, at least, as far as Strop could tell. He wasn't so sure about bear physiology. But bedside examination was far more important, and it took but a single glance to tell that Klaus wasn't in a good way. "Klaus, why?" was all he could come up with.

"I thought we went through that already," Klaus grinned wryly, before coughing, wincing, and grabbing his chest.

"No, I meant why did you have to crush us both with McFisty? And why am I still okay, and you're... you're like this? ****it Klaus, why?" Strop's fists clenched and he slammed them down on the side of the bed. "We're friends, man, why did you have to go and do all this?"

"I told you," Klaus croaked, "I didn't do all of it. I didn't even do half of it. All I did was set the ball rolling, and you all did the rest. It was magnificent."

"That's beside the point you *******," Strop snarled. "But we can argue about that later. For now I gotta-" He stopped as Klaus planted a furry paw on his arm.

"It's too late for me, Strop," he said. "I'm dying."

Strop's eyes widened. "No you're not. Don't be ridiculous." But even as he denied it, he could see the numbers on the monitors dropping. Heart rate, blood pressure... Klaus was probably in severe shock from internal bleeding, and Strop knew he had to move fast. "Don't you dare. I'm going to get some gelo*."

"No... no!" Klaus' grip turned vice-like, and Strop nearly fell over as he was yanked back. "Be a real friend, stay here, listen to a dying bear's last wish."

Strop tried to shake himself free once more, but without conviction. Gritting his teeth, he pointed at the nearest nurse, who immediately ran off, then turned back to Klaus. "I won't let you die on my watch, but shoot."

"It's about Klaus," Klaus murmured. Strop glanced at the monitors again, worrying that he was becoming incoherent. "Klaus... he was permanently banned from AG."

"I know that, Klaus." Strop said.

"Shaddup, LISTEN!" Klaus pulled Strop in closer. "You gotta listen. I don't have long left, so this is my last wish, okay?"

"Klaus, just hurry up and get on with it before you actually die."

"OKAY. Well... I know you have your duty as a moderator, but as an old friend, I want you to promise me something..." Klaus took a ragged breath. "After I'm gone, I want you to forget the wrongs I've done... I want you to unban Klaus."

Strop shook his head, "Klaus, I can't do that, I'm just-" Klaus dragged him so close his face was almost mashed against Klaus' chest.

"STROP. Can't you do it for me? It won't even mean anything, since I'll be dead. But it's just so I can rest in peace..."

At this point, the nurse tapped Strop on the shoulder, and held up a few bags of gelo. With his free hand, Strop helped the nurse prime the line and hook the bags up, with a short directive to "squeeze it in stat, this is a bolus." He turned back to Klaus. "Right Klaus, I'll think about it. Now lemme go and just concentrate on staying a-"

Klaus shook his head. "You never listened, Stroppy. You can't know what's good for everybody if you can't even respect your best friend's dying wish."

"No, Klaus, you're not dying." An insistent dinging went off on the monitor, and then another. Strop glanced at the nurse and she shook her head at him, expression grim. "No, Klaus, YOU'RE NOT DYING!" The heart rate was at forty beats a minute, then thirty five, then thirty...

"Goodbye, Stroppy," Klaus said, his head sinking back onto the bed.

"Okay, I'll do it! I'll do it, Klaus, just don't die!" Strop scrambled as far as he was allowed to squeeze the bags. Heart rate of twenty beats a minute and dropping... the blood pressure was already unreadable. It was probably a massive internal haemorrhage, who knew what kind of injuries Klaus had sustained from the battle, it was near a miracle that he had lasted this long. But now if anything he needed a whole team of surgeons and anaethetists and Strop was no surgeon. In fact, Armor Hospital was no hospital, and this blasted ICU was no ICU, it was a god**** broom cupboard and there was nothing he could do, in this moment, to save his friend. "Don't die, you *******!"

"Remember," Klaus said, barely at a whisper, "I love you."

There was a pause, then he added: "No homo."

Then Klaus stopped breathing.

The chiming of the alarms turned to an incessant whine as the monitors flatlined. Behind them, an uproar broke out as Asherlee and DM combined their powers to restrain the clamouring crowd at the dour.

The nurse turned to Strop and held up her hands. "Do you want me to commence CPR?"

Strop waved her down. Wordlessly, he reached up, and shut the monitors down. It was then that he noticed that a complete silence had befallen the scene. He placed his hands over Klaus' brow, and closed his eyes.

"With your passing, you leave behind your transgressions. Rest in peace, Klaus." He then folded his hands over his chest, and bowed his head. Subconsciously, everybody around him did the same.

Klaus sat up.

"Well, that was easier than I expected," the formerly dead bear remarked.

"KLAUS!??!?!?!?!?!?" Strop gaped, bowlegged from the shock.

"Back in brown, baby! None of those stupid K1aus business anymore!" he flashed his ****iest grin and a giant thumbs up. "I gotta say doc, you're a miracle worker!"

"WHAT IS THIS I DON'T EVEN!" was the limits of Strop's eloquence, such was the sudden turn of events.

"God help us all," DM dryly remarked.

"Hey, hey, see this scar?" Klaus quipped, flexing his arm. "You wanna know how I got it?"

"#%*@&^$!" was Strop's reply. At least, initially. When he had recovered, he cracked his knuckles ominously and stared down at Klaus with a glare that could only be matched by Asherlee.

"Klaus, I'm so glad that you saw fit to return to the land of the living, so that justice might be appropriately served for the ruin that you have instigated in your hubristic folly."

"Aw Stroppy, what are you talking about? You totally said my ban would be revoked!"

Strop held up two fingers. "Two things. First, as a moderator, I don't revoke permanent bans. Second, you're under arrest on the charges of circumventing said ban. Actions performed by yourself covered by this charge won't affect your judgement. As per our administrative constitution you will be trialled in a closed court. You may lodge an appeal directly to the administration if you object to the original charge as laid by a moderator."

"YOU CAN'T DO THIS," Klaus shouted. "There are witnesses here! The people love me!"

Strop squared his shoulders and turned away. He grabbed a chart and started scribbling something on a form. "This bear is a danger to both himself and others. I'm authorising the use of physical and chemical restraints. He will be reviewed daily by the psychiatrist liaison until such a time as he is transported to a more secure location."

"WAIT!" Klaus was nearly hysterical now. "DON'T YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW I CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD?"

"No." Strop's answer was as resolute as his stride as he pushed his way to the door, and back into the corridor of Armor Hospital.

* gelofuscine: reconstituted plasma substitute. Derived from cow cartilage.

---

Okay, Alt, Crimson, Frank, Gantic, Goumas, Hermit, Kingryan, Manta, Mav, Pixel, Thoad, Xzeno, go check your email. And stay tuned on this page, coz there's gonna be more updates this week!

 

Posted Apr 10, '12 at 9:12pm

Strop

Strop

10,823 posts

Moderator

also, hot darn guys, I was gonna offer a special prize to anybody who could get me a screenshot of the 2,222,222th pageview, but in the last 12 hours we seem to have shot way past that! That's 8000 views in the past 12 hours alone.

Anyway, I will probably update tomorrow, as the next scene is ready to go but I have to finish the pictures and I'm busy tonight.

Some of you have emailed me back, the rest of you HAVEN'T!!! DO IT NAO!!!!!!!

 

Posted Apr 11, '12 at 5:13pm

Hectichermit

Hectichermit

1,152 posts

:P after the destruction the hospital survives...indestructible hospital X| wait won't this make the ninja horse who is also a doctor extremely rich? :(.

hmm wheres that crazy guy offering cheap drugs to solve problems ...

 

Posted Apr 12, '12 at 6:55am

Strop

Strop

10,823 posts

Moderator

You know Hermit, that's a very good point. Let us discuss this development and what happens after via email!

Update will happen at some point, pictures still being drawn.

 

Posted Apr 14, '12 at 8:19am

Strop

Strop

10,823 posts

Moderator

Right! So Klaus is alive and well, albeit shackled to a hospital bed. And the town is still in ruins.

---

A New Hope

Like forest creatures emerging from a season long hibernation, the many good folk of Armor City who had fled to the Wilderness had begun to emerge from their hiding places in earnest. Streaming through the rubble that used to be the front gates, they blinked owlishly amongst the ruins, they milled around, seeing all that had become of their homes and their livelihoods. But there was one thing that each of them realised that frigid morning. Under the faint rays of the sun filtered by the rainclouds, after all the chaos and despair had given way, there was hope. It was a hope that began as the sounds of terror and battle had been drowned out by a godalmighty thunderstorm of Biblical proportions, followed by the eerie silence of rain.

Even for, or maybe especially for the brave desperate citizens who stayed to fight, nobody really knew what had happened, or how. All they knew was that in a blazing moment of lightning, many had seen, standing knee deep a swathe of unconscious bodies on the main road, the grim visage of Dan McNeely in full battle armor, flanked by those wraiths whose arms shaped ArmorGames itself, the Developers. But everybody knew that was impossible, for it had been years since they had last been seen at all, and there was the further rumour that they were working on a different, even bigger project, or even projects, but by this point nobody really knew what anybody was talking about. So it was assumed that, since some people had confirmed the presence of Queen Carlie, that it had to be her doing, since, even in absence, she had been the official administrator of the City itself.

A sudden fanfare blared through the streets of Armor City, shrill, piercing, yet voluminous and overpowering. It filled every single street within the walls, it made the loose rubble on the pavement dance. It was as if a whole brass band was playing directly into a soopahdoopahawesometasticmegamegafone.

Strop switched the 'fone off, and removed his earmuffs before stepping back into line with the other moderators. Standing in single file along where the Atrium used to be, they fidgeted as they watched the citizens, their curiosity piqued, streaming towards the tiled clearing in droves.

"I hope you know what you're doing, Strop," Dank growled as he cast his eyes yonder at the pile of rubble that used to be the Armor Academy campus. "After all that has happened they're just as likely to lynch us as listen to us."

"I'm aware of that," Strop said, his eyes unwilling to meet with anybody else's. "But we're under instructions, so we just have to hope everything falls into place now."

"It's not like all of the mods are even here anyhow," Zophia mumbled, poking the ground with a stick. "Nobody's seen Nill since we ordered the evacuation to the park, and Moe's still..."

"It's okay," Asherlee cut in, her face grim. "All Moe needs is a bit of rest. There ain't a brain in a jar as capable as that in all this land."

A crowd started forming, and pointing the occasional finger at the group, wondering what was going on. By instinct instilled by the long held natural order, they started sorting themselves into rows and sitting down, leaning on bits of rubble where the benches used to be. Up above, a black silhouette circled, lazily flapping its great leathery wings, drawing further attention to the spot.

"Over there!"

This time, the royal train was unmistakable in its official capacity. The finely embroidered royal coach, in resplendent blue and white trimming, glided over the potholes and the rubble, drawn by two unicorns that seemed to barely touch the ground. Behind them was another coach, flanked by many cloaked figures, each riding their own unicorn. A hushed murmur went over the crowd, as it waited, transfixed by its approach.

The moderators spread into two lines, and the royal train came to a halt between them. There was a pause, then as if on a hidden cue, the carriage doors opened and the flanking riders dismounted from their unicorns. From the carriage emerged a man wearing a crown, and long flowing cape in royal trim, covering battle armor emblazoned with the crest of Armor Games. It was a strangely familiar battle armor at that...

http://i438.photobucket.com/albums/qq105/strawpony/Way%20Of%20Moderation/12-4-1.png

A sudden cry went up in as much question as it was recognition. "McNeely!" "McNeely!?" The cry echoed and gathered volume as more people took it up, until the place reverberated with a uniform roar.

Dan McNeely, founder and leader of Armor Games, bemusedly scratched his soul patch and placidly waited for the crowd to calm down. When it hadn't after several minutes, Strop decided enough was enough, handed him the 'fone, and slipped his ear muffs back on. Then he gestured. "As you please, your Highness."

Dan studied the 'fone for a moment, before finding the trigger and activating it. "Greetings to you all!" he tried.

Almost instantaneously the crowd was silenced, so Dan resumed. "I am glad to see this many people safe and well. Thank you for gathering to this place. We know that you have many questions about what has happened, and what will happen, so we, the administration, will try to answer them for you."

The crowd started firing up again, so this time Dan held his hands out, quelling it. "We have a number of statements and announcements prepared, so I will ask you to bear with us while we read them out." He scrabbled around and produced a wad of papers, which he proceeded to squint at.

"First, regarding the recent battle, we can officially announce that Armor Games is now safe. There may be a few rogue elements on the loose but on the whole it won't be long before they're rounded up and brought to trial."

There was a mixed silence, in the moderation team's experience, surmised to be due to a mix of confusion, indifference, and utter awe at being even in the line of sight of the great administration team and the moderators all at once. Oblivious to this, Dan read on.

"We will also conduct a full investigation into the events leading up to the  incident. For the time being, though, we are thankful to the moderation team who tirelessly fought to protect the community even in the most difficult of circumstances. Our thoughts also go out to those who were lost while defending our home. We shall hold a service in their honour at a future date."

There was a smattering of applause, which was almost suppressed by the furtive glares some of the team were shooting the moderators. Even in their rank and file, some of the moderators subconsciously inched away from Strop, who in turn subconsciously hung his head.

"At this stage, I would like to announce a very special project that we have been working on for a while, but wanted to wait until definite progress was underway to tell you."

For a moment, the crowd hushed, instinctively knowing that if the administration themselves would venture out from wherever they were, after years of absence, this something must indeed be monumental, even world changing. The way Dan was gesturing, and the way that the caped figures that flanked him were walking towards the center, it had to be a big announcement.

"First off, you may know that our Queen of the City, Her Royal Highness Carlie, has announced her betrothal to one of the members of the Order of the Developers. This said, I'd like you to meet the Development team in full, as we have a few new members to introduce to you today."

http://i438.photobucket.com/albums/qq105/strawpony/Way%20Of%20Moderation/12-5-1.png

The crowd gasped as one, as the cloaked figures reached for their clasps and whipped them off, revealing their faces. Immediately among them the citizens recognised the tall, dashing John. Some of the veterans even recognised his contemporaries, the likes of Joey Betz, who had been there since nearly the beginning. In the corner of his eye, Strop could see a certain magical quill scribbling furiously.

The excitement generated a buzz that quickly lifted the heaviness of the atmosphere as people started speculating on the new faces, as well as the purpose of announcing this right here and now. Shortly, Dan answered their questions: "This development team has been tasked with a new milestone in the history of our great land. They have been working on the planning of a new city. A city that will eventually replace the one that we are currently standing in."

There was a moment of flabbergasted silence, and then an uproar. There were exclamations of joy, dismay, questions and arguments all at once. The moderators looked at each other and shrugged. There wasn't much point in trying to bring proceedings back to order. Over the top of everything, Dan kept reading from his papers.

"Of course, we would not neglect the repairs so desperately needed by this city. For that very purpose, as Queen Carlie will be vacating her post, we have appointed one of our new developers to be the overseer of this city while we rebuild."

One of the developers stepped forward, and the crowd hushed again. There was no directive, there was no order or even threat. But from the new man's imposing bulk emanated an even more imposing aura of authority, the authority vested in him to rule the city and the ability and intention to start exercising it from the first instant.

http://i438.photobucket.com/albums/qq105/strawpony/Way%20Of%20Moderation/cormyn-1.png

When I first sketched him, Cormyn preferred to be drawn in the kind of contemporary clothes he usually wears, what a rebel.

"Hi everybody, I'm Cormyn. We have a big task ahead of us, so let's work hard together." With that he raised a meaty fist.

The crowd erupted. For the first time in a while, there was certainty beyond any reasonable doubt, no more stalling, no more questionable schemes. There was an intent and power as serious as the internet, and with that, people's hearts united stronger than before.

The moderators all turned and shook hands with their new commander. Strop felt a weight lift from his shoulders, as did the other moderators. "I guess this is what we really needed, after all," somebody muttered. It didn't matter who, for they all felt the same. In the background, a triumphant chant started up as people started streaming off in various directions, suddenly inspired to begin the clean-up of AG post-haste. The royal carriage was loaded again, and the train prepared to set off for Armor Castle.

Strop found himself standing beside the open window of the lead carriage. "Your Highness..." he called for reasons beyond his comprehension, hoping as much as he didn't that somebody heard him.

"Yes, Strop," Dan's head poked out of the carriage.

"About that inquiry... if I'm found guilty of any wrongdoing, I will accept whatever recommendation results from the inquiry."

Dan's reply came without hesitation. "I'm sure you did the right thing. After all, we have great faith in our moderators."

And with that, he ducked back in, and the carriage moved off, leaving Strop standing there, reflecting on what he had done, and the Way of Moderation.

---

Note: anybody who can identify all of the developers in the double spread (click on the pic if you want to view it somewhere you can see the whole thing at once), gets bonus points. They're not great portraits and I apologise profusely to everybody portrayed in it, but they should hopefully be recognisable enough.

I have been corresponding with a few of you via email. We're not up to a point where anybody has to write anything, and for those of you who have said you're too busy, we'll cover for you (lazy bums. You ain't got nothing on my workload!!!)

 

Posted Apr 14, '12 at 2:55pm

Cenere

Cenere

12,941 posts

Knight

So close to finish. It's funny, because this last stretch is going to be the hardest part to finish. Not because we are crying manly tears at the departure, we really are not, but because about three years of story has to be crammed into this here on chapter.
As if nothing really matters.

(lazy bums. You ain't got nothing on my workload!!!)

This is why you were supposed to finish this before graduating.
:D

 

Posted Apr 14, '12 at 3:57pm

Maverick4

Maverick4

3,707 posts

As if nothing really matters.

I see a little stilleto of a man.

 

Posted Apr 14, '12 at 5:07pm

Tobisper

Tobisper

403 posts

wow one of Strops fine works I guess?

 
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