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The Way of Moderation has ended (page 566)

Posted May 24, '11 at 9:24am



10,822 posts


Most excellent. We're still missing Efan, but now I'll be able to move on.

NEXT UP: the final Checkpoint before the fateful battle!


Posted Jun 5, '11 at 11:16am



10,822 posts


It has come to my attention that tomorrow is the 2nd anniversary of the opening of the WoM tournament... I admit that I would have liked to be much further along than we are now. I was also going to drop a huge update but between the final week of work in which my colleague suffered an unexpected emergency and had to take leave, travel and now leave (for my sister's wedding) I haven't had much access to internet.

Fortunately you can expect a bumper update tomorrow. It'll be picture-light as I've been doing most of my work on my lap, but it will also advance the story more than I've managed in any one go for the past six months!

After that I SHOULD be able to email everybody I need to about where they come in. And then **** gets real!


Posted Jun 5, '11 at 7:14pm



4,349 posts

Sounds awesome, though it has also come to my attention that I am most likely going to be graduating from high school before this whole thing ends which for some reason I find kind of funny. I honestly didn't expect to find myself writing about this on an alienware desktop when I started. Regardless real life keeps getting in the way and that's understandable.


Posted Jun 5, '11 at 10:04pm



2,158 posts

And then **** gets real!

Little scares me more than unrealistic ****.


Posted Jun 6, '11 at 4:20am



12,941 posts


Dear WoM (thread), congratulations on the amazing delay that has caused you to grow into a full 500+ pages thread with two years behind you, and a huge number of views.
I would have made you cake, but I am far too lazy right now for that, so probably not.
As many of the other involved with you, you can be sure that I had no idea you would grow this... mature, and two years is more than any other thread would have been allowed in most cases, especially with the lack of feedback at times.
To think that you should have been done and over with by Halloween, then Christmas, then summer, then October, then January, then today is... perhaps a little too optimistic, now that I think about it. But that is how it is, when you are young and naive.
Either way, I congratulate you on your anniversary-slash-birthday (though the idea was birthed a lot earlier... Jeez...), and hope you... live long and, or, get a conclusion soon.

For the thread/WoM!


Posted Jun 6, '11 at 8:01am



4,164 posts

Happy Birthday WoM (thread),

It seems like yesterday when I first wrote on your pages (page 7 by the time I got back from my camp or something...I don't know, I have a go at you back there for something Strop)...thinking that you would would be just like the MWT but awesomer.

Back then, I was fifteen. So young, so naive. Wtf that was 2009 and I was in year 10! Gosh, now I'm in year 12 and doing exams and stuff.

We must also remember our great host-thingos/people/animals...we'll go with things...who have been running (putting it off) all this time. Without them this whole thread would not have happened.

So yeah, lets find a conclusion.

Happy Birthday WoM :)


Posted Jun 6, '11 at 2:46pm



10,822 posts


Happy Birthday WoM! I had something in the works for you but that'll have to wait just a little while because I was working on something more important... THE UPDATE!


In the previous installment: the moderators had some kind of plan, but struggled to reach the Armusement Park. Strop detoured to cut a shady deal with Hermit, but caught up with them to find most of the people of AG disheartened, but reassuringly safe.

The Value of Folly

Statistics never lie. They may be omitted, misinterpreted, or even misleading but data is as data always was: raw information. The Aristocrat Alley may have stood as the pinnacle of the individualistic desires of the aspiring AGer, but the truth of the matter was that it was the figures that nobody cared about that spoke the strongest. In fact, most of the deeds and happenings in the city at its prime, had nothing at all to do with the exchange of currency.

And that was why the Armusement Park was the location of choice for an evacuation in an emergency such as this. Being utterly unproductive, it had been completely overlooked in the raid. Now, though, it had taken on a new life as a refugee camp. The vast expanses of grassy greens and trees just starting to regain their cover had been swamped by tents, people and animals, all looking lost and forlorn as they milled around in disorganised swirls. The occasional motivated person flitted from place to place trying to be helpful... but the doldrums were just too overwhelming, and those bright sparks were swallowed up in a sea of malaise.

To this scene the moderators eventually arrived, convening at the top of a small hill that overlooked the entire park. Stealthily, a scaffold was set up, some canvas thrown over the top, so they could look out without being looked in on. Perhaps they were even trying to wall themselves from the oppressively despondent air that gripped the place.

Huddled around a single lantern, the silent six sat, twiddling their fingers. For seconds, minutes, so uniformly did the moments pass that it was impossible to tell, they didn't utter a word. Occasionally, one would lean over, peel the flap of the tent aside, peer out, then look back in.

Finally, the dwarf broke the silence. "What happens if he doesn't come?"

The Dragonmistress hunched defensively. "He will. There's no way he won't hear my call."

Dank seemed to engage in some internal struggle for a moment, before peering out the flap in the tent again. "I don't mean to be a downer, but you do realise that time is run-"

A meaty hand shot out. "It's okay, Dank. We know. But we have to be as patient as we can for now," Asherlee reminded him.

"But the rains..." Dank trailed off into meaningless gesticulations.

"If it makes you feel any better, I can try again." The Dragonmistress sighed, bringing a small metallic whistle to her lips.

Right at that very moment they were alerted to a sudden outburst of screams and cries from outside. Fearing the worst, they rushed out of the tent and saw thousands upon thousands of people, their eyes and pointed fingers glued on a rapidly growing black mass in the sky. At first nearly indistinguishable from the storm clouds from which it emerged, it soon became apparent that this mass was far blacker, more sinister, more positively evil than any cloud could ever be. And when it coughed, and blew a giant plume of fire that singed the hairs of many an AGer, there was no more doubt as to its identity.

The horned Western dragon, Devoidless the Ancient, landed directly on top of the mod tent, crushing it into the hilltop, settled on his scaly posterior, and took a drag of his cigarette.

"You guys make too much noise, you know?" was all he said.

"Well how nice of you to show up," Dank grumped, obviously remembering their previous meeting. "Did you finally get over yourself?"

"Say, I think I've gone a bit deaf in my old age," Devoidless shot back, "Was that the wind I heard?"

"Is that a tear in your eye?" Dank pointedly asked.

Devoidless did not reply, but a quivering slowly became apparent. It originated from his lower lip, then migrated to his whole jaw, then neck, then sholders, until he looked like his own seismic tremor. Then he threw himself wholly onto the Dragonmistress.

"I thought I'd never see you again!" he choked out between sobs. "The first time you called I thought I was hearing things!"

"You were, you big lug," DM said, chuckling a little as she attempted to fend off his crushing embrace. "You're never out of range of my whistle." Strop couldn't help but notice that despite her words, DM's expression was that of relief.

"And Asherlee too! That makes two of my favourite people in the whole wide world!" Devoidless suddenly dragged the lot of them into a giant group hug, where they all suffered each others' BO, plus abrasions from the dragon's scaly plates.

"If you please," Dank interjected, extricating himself. "Everybody is staring."

"Yes," Moe added," I expect they want us to say something, now that we've been noticed."

Indeed, the spectacle of their reunion had drawn the attention of most, if not everybody at the park, meaning some hundreds of thousands of people were now staring at them (or at least looking in their general direction trying to figure out what they were looking at). Each and every one of those people looked on, hoping for some direction or anything they could latch on to other than the thought of impending doom.

"Well," Zophia shrugged. "We should at least tell them something." With that remark, she raised the 'fone to her mouth and cleared her throat. "Ahem." Then she announced:

"Hi guys. This is the one safe place left in the whole city. Stay put until the trouble dies down."

Then she clicked off the 'fone. The announcement, predictably, was met with a large round of confusion.

"Well, what else was I supposed to have said?" Zophia protested, before finally rolling her eyes and clicking the 'fone on again.

"What I mean is, we have a plan. But it's dangerous out there so the best thing for you to do would be nothing. We'll let you know when it's safe again."

Then she clicked it off again. "Guys? We do have a plan, right?"

Strop scratched the back of his head. "Well, seeing as 'voidy has returned to us in our hour of need, we can proceed, I think."

"Proceed with what?" Devoidless asked.

"In case you haven't noticed," Strop waved his arms around, "The city's in a spot of bother. We're going to save it."

"And we need you because we can't leave this place without getting swamped by rioters and looters." Zophia chimed in.

"Wait a minute," Devoidless growled. "I don't like the sound of where this is going."

"That's right!" DM announced. "You're going to be our taxi."

"I'm a dragon!" Devoidless immediately objected. "Not a-" He stopped just as quickly when DM whipped out her whip. "You're not going to make me do that are you?"

The great dragon Devoidless bowed his head. "No, mistress."


Arms folded and slumped against a tree, Nill had been silently observing the spectacle of the moderators at the Armusement Park, and their eventual departure on the back of Devoidless. She wasn't particularly impressed.

"I can't believe they'd ignore the users like that," she muttered to herself. "Whatever happened to people power?"

That said, one glance around the perimeter of the park said it all: there wasn't much power in the people. Not the way they were, anyway. This served only to infuriate Nill further. How could everything crumble so badly in the face of one emergency? That a change in circumstance could change a people so thoroughly, she could not accept it. All that it would take would be their attention and some choice words, and they would be well on their way to seizing their fate from the jaws of death. Only it would be all the harder for the fact that, in her current state, she was not a moderator.

But she didn't need to be.

A young man passed by her field of vision and she did a doubletake. He looked more alert, more motivated than most of them, and she could have sworn that he was asking people if they needed help. One man among hundreds of thousands offering help was nothing more than a drop in the ocean, but if they could be organised somehow... thinking about it some more, she realised that she recognised him as a contestant in Strop's godforsaken tournament that arguably caused every single trouble she could think of at this moment. Not just that, but a contestant who had made the final four. Surely there was a resource just waiting to be tapped!

"You, yes, you!" She pointed directly at him, and he looked up, surprised. "You interested in helping out? There's something I need you to do."


Here you have it, the stirrings of a people-powered response! I shall send through some emails to touch base (because I lost contact for a while), and will continue updating throughout this week as much as I can. After all, you'd be wanting to see what this vague and risky plan of the mod team is, wouldn't you?


Posted Jun 6, '11 at 5:00pm



3,006 posts

it's the wom's birthday?


i've never watched anything grow from birth like this.

it's... rather rewarding.


Posted Jun 7, '11 at 7:23am



10,822 posts





Yeah, seriously dude. You haven't been around in this thread since months ago.


Posted Jun 7, '11 at 8:33am



4,164 posts

*pokes Manta*

Nice writing Strop, rather eloquent in parts, which I liked.

Will watch the email inbox.

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