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Futuristic Arcadian Dreamers OOC

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YohhananArbuckle

New Member
Let's see... for the evil twin, this druner (wow I have to give him an alien-y name already) may either do some insurance work for him, buy products off him for convenience/security or just rub elbows with him whenever they move in the same circles. I doubt he'd disapprove much of all the rumours/facts of how Octavius got that position.

On the other hand, his two co-workers do want him dead, and in a moment of bold recklessness might contact a contract killer to do it (though to be honest they're unreliable and would probably fold on the payment, or regret it when they realise they might not be able to get to his savings once he's dead).

(Let me know if I'm misinterpreting either of them or if their planned outlines have changed since :v)

Either way, he's got money squirrelled away that would certainly be useful for somebody. I can't see him being thrilled about other Dreamers knowing that he's one, though, so he wouldn't go seeking them out and would definitely be uncomfortable if meeting one.
It seems like if you're a criminal business tycoon like Octavius you'd want to have some criminal business partners to go along with that. Like if {{BUG_MAN}} and friends can move money around and not raise eyebrows and keep their mouths shut they probably could do some work for Octavius, either for his company or on the DL for him personally. And since they're not principled allies or anything like that you can imagine any number of things making them switch sides. Maybe Octavius tries to put them on ice?

YohhananArbuckle YohhananArbuckle Is it fine if I omit some things in history? Like an important person or something, nothing that would affect other people.
Yeah that's fine, if there's a detail you want to hold back for narrative oomph reasons go ahead.

Alright, I've gotten a bit lazy and I think six pages is enough for feedback before I get back to adding more or fixing whatever should be fixed. I made a doc for the CS and six pages is a little much to be posted directly anyway, so down below will be the link to the doc. You don't need an account to check it out, I'm pretty sure.

Top line is that this is approved. The only direct suggestion I would make is to rewrite the Motivation section to provide a full recap and clear mission statement, since it'll be hanging out on the main thread front page without much color surrounding it. Just like "looking for my friend, who was kidnapped and brought to PG with me a long time ago." Take it or leave it though.

I like how ethereal and graceful the picture is and how... not those things Callista is.

Regarding the stinging venom, I think an aggressive or security conscious Gelari could use the miracles of science to outfit themselves with some weapons grade toxins, if they felt the urge. I am imagining systems that inject nanobot payloads or artificially efficient venoms designed to defeat countermeasures. Maybe the Gelari spend less time cooking up stuff like this than everybody else. If they're generally nice maybe they'd try to think of a way to make the stinging... good? Or therapeutic? That could certainly be sold to bizarre rich people as An Experience.

Is Callista in some sense a human child inside her dream? Does she realize that?

It seems like it initially makes sense for Noivian's and Blemmigan's characters to know one another or to at least have a very unpleasant meeting, so I think we should try to think of how our characters could meet. Since you are based out of a bad part of PG and have been looking for a missing person for some time, I think it's plausible that the Association has realized you might have a lead on the Dream Cult (I added a section about Dream Cults to the end of the lore page) it is trying to stamp out in the area. Maybe your missing friend has in some way run afoul of them? You could demand quid pro quo assistance from Olly when he comes knocking for intel, and he'd probably just go with it instead of raising a big authoritarian stink as long as it wasn't a totally crazy ask.
 

Ambiloquous

Graphic Fanatic
Top line is that this is approved. The only direct suggestion I would make is to rewrite the Motivation section to provide a full recap and clear mission statement, since it'll be hanging out on the main thread front page without much color surrounding it. Just like "looking for my friend, who was kidnapped and brought to PG with me a long time ago." Take it or leave it though.

Sure, that’s fine. Half the stuff I put in is somewhat unfinished or lazily written because, well, I’m lazy.

I like how ethereal and graceful the picture is and how... not those things Callista is.
Pfft aye. I feel like all our characters aren’t the most known stereotype for their species.

Regarding the stinging venom, I think an aggressive or security conscious Gelari could use the miracles of science to outfit themselves with some weapons grade toxins, if they felt the urge. I am imagining systems that inject nanobot payloads or artificially efficient venoms designed to defeat countermeasures. Maybe the Gelari spend less time cooking up stuff like this than everybody else. If they're generally nice maybe they'd try to think of a way to make the stinging... good? Or therapeutic? That could certainly be sold to bizarre rich people as An Experience.
That’s... a good idea. Something to think on. Hrrm, I’m split on which way Callista leans.

Is Callista in some sense a human child inside her dream? Does she realize that?
Oh yeah. She doesn’t particularly like it, but it also reminds her of her goal. It was supposed to be based off of her friend and her tales of the old Amazon (I’m just gonna assume it still existed then or something). So it makes sense that the only image she has of Micael was of a kid. That’s also where the Portuguese nicknames come from.

Since you are based out of a bad part of PG and have been looking for a missing person for some time, I think it's plausible that the Association has realized you might have a lead on the Dream Cult (I added a section about Dream Cults to the end of the lore page) it is trying to stamp out in the area. Maybe your missing friend has in some way run afoul of them? You could demand quid pro quo assistance from Olly when he comes knocking for intel, and he'd probably just go with it instead of raising a big authoritarian stink as long as it wasn't a totally crazy ask.
Cool stuff. I’ll check that out (again, because I forgot, it seems). Callista’d definitely have a finger in that. And yup, she may try to nicely convince Olly to assist her endeavours.
 
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YohhananArbuckle

New Member
Sure, that’s fine. Half the stuff I put in is somewhat unfinished or lazily written because, well, I’m lazy.
The perfect is the enemy of the good here! I am dithering somewhat myself because I try to get all this stuff completely in a row before I start. Probably better to just get launched and iron things out as we go.

Oh yeah. She doesn’t particularly like it, but it also reminds her of her goal. It was supposed to be based off of her friend and her tales of the old Amazon (I’m just gonna assume it still existed then or something). So it makes sense that the only image she has of Micael was of a kid. That’s also where the Portuguese nicknames come from.
I think it can make sense to assume that humans managed to conserve some small slice of Amazon, but that environmentally conscious ones would be aware of just how much had been lost before people grudgingly acknowledged that maybe the home world shouldn't be stripped entirely bare of saleable natural resources.

Cool stuff. I’ll check that out (again, because I forgot, it seems). Callista’d definitely have a finger in that. And yup, she may try to nicely convince Olly to assist her endeavours.
Because current events are too depressing to make playing an amoral law enforcement/government agent type guy seem fun, I'm rewriting Olly to be a much nicer person working within the framework of a much nicer organization that is opposed to a lot of what the Association stands for. He will be an easy sell on helping out.

My new idea is to have him be a part of a Dreamer organization called the Silver Arrow, which was put together for the express purpose of stopping Dreamers from preying on people weaker than themselves. This means they have a strong dislike for Dream Cults, and that they tend to attract people who are bothered by other forms of injustice as well. Patronage by wealthy Dreamers (and secretly neighboring governments that would like to see the Association become a better international citizen) means that the organization is at least as powerful and well funded as some of the private corporate armies that exist in the Association.
 

Ambiloquous

Graphic Fanatic
My new idea is to have him be a part of a Dreamer organization called the Silver Arrow, which was put together for the express purpose of stopping Dreamers from preying on people weaker than themselves. This means they have a strong dislike for Dream Cults, and that they tend to attract people who are bothered by other forms of injustice as well. Patronage by wealthy Dreamers (and secretly neighboring governments that would like to see the Association become a better international citizen) means that the organization is at least as powerful and well funded as some of the private corporate armies that exist in the Association.
That sounds sweet. Every character and/or group here is super depressing negative and then there’s Olly and his organization. Maybe Callista can finally be less of an arse after all this.
 

YohhananArbuckle

New Member
That sounds sweet. Every character and/or group here is super depressing negative and then there’s Olly and his organization. Maybe Callista can finally be less of an arse after all this.
Come on Callista, stop being 11 lbs of unadulterated jerk.

I posted my character sheet in the profile section! Let me know if you're curious about anything and I can try to explain further.

How's everybody else's profiles coming along? I will try to get the introductory post for the main thread up this weekend.
 

Ambiloquous

Graphic Fanatic
How's everybody else's profiles coming along? I will try to get the introductory post for the main thread up this weekend.
Err, it’s... coming. Since the one sentence descriptions in my CS haven’t bashed yet, I’ll leave them be. I’ll add to it as the role play moves, hopefully. I’ll just buff(?) up the motive and that should be good to go.
 
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maeday

Bread goblin
Hi, all! I've been reading along but not quite able to respond, work has been pretty crazy! Profile is coming along, hoping to get it posted by the end of next week (or get a basic skeleton version out sooner.)

Really enjoying everyone's profiles so far though, excited to get going!
 

YohhananArbuckle

New Member
Just finished working on mine and just posted it as well.
Your profile looks good Auda, you are approved.

The only thing I would suggest you think about is who specifically is encroaching on your character's home world, if the Association is willing to help it is likely somebody who isn't aligned with them. It could be wildcat settlers who broke off from the Association, or an advance party from a hostile non-Association civilization. In either case significant elements in the Association would be gung-ho about keeping the Kalik's free and beating the hell out of a rival.

Hi, all! I've been reading along but not quite able to respond, work has been pretty crazy! Profile is coming along, hoping to get it posted by the end of next week (or get a basic skeleton version out sooner.)

Really enjoying everyone's profiles so far though, excited to get going!
Hey Maeday, glad you're interested! Take your time on getting a profile up, I know real life tends to get in the way.

What were you thinking of playing/what did you have in mind for your Motivation? I'm always excited to hear about new characters.

I've posted my CS, but if there's anything off about it, there probably is, do tell me.
Nothing off with it! The only thing I'd think about is why somebody who has been missing for years might be related to a Dream Cult cropping up. There are a lot of reasons that that could be so - Olly will ask and we'll want Micael to have a clearly defined tie-in to everything. Unless it's meant to have a very sad ending he is hopefully neither running nor a member of the cult.

-------

Blemmigan Blemmigan Noivian Noivian You guys still in? Profiles coming along?

I will work on that initial post today but it might be a Monday/Tuesday thing. I am busy enough that I have to do some bonus weekend work to stay ahead of things.
 

Ambiloquous

Graphic Fanatic
The only thing I'd think about is why somebody who has been missing for years might be related to a Dream Cult cropping up. There are a lot of reasons that that could be so - Olly will ask and we'll want Micael to have a clearly defined tie-in to everything. Unless it's meant to have a very sad ending he is hopefully neither running nor a member of the cult.
Oh yes. I wasn’t sure about what you wanted for the Dream Cult, in terms of what they do or their motivation or whatever, so I didn’t specify. That’s assuming they have a reason other than to collect followers... or maybe they’re just collecting followers.

If they’re just your average dream cult (is that even a thing), there’s only one reason Micael’d be there. As a cultist, willingly or unwillingly, I guess. Maybe she got nabbed by some gung-ho cultist trying to open her eyes to their uh object of worship and never went back because if she wasn’t a believer, she wasn’t allowed to leave? Er, or she could be related to a cultist and slipped in the cult to try and get them out? There few reasons why one would disappear for years, unless they were stuck in place they couldn’t leave or they couldn’t contact others in case of stuff.

I think I’ve used up my brain juice for this morning, so do you have any ideas?
 

YohhananArbuckle

New Member
Oh yes. I wasn’t sure about what you wanted for the Dream Cult, in terms of what they do or their motivation or whatever, so I didn’t specify. That’s assuming they have a reason other than to collect followers... or maybe they’re just collecting followers.

If they’re just your average dream cult (is that even a thing), there’s only one reason Micael’d be there. As a cultist, willingly or unwillingly, I guess. Maybe she got nabbed by some gung-ho cultist trying to open her eyes to their uh object of worship and never went back because if she wasn’t a believer, she wasn’t allowed to leave? Er, or she could be related to a cultist and slipped in the cult to try and get them out? There few reasons why one would disappear for years, unless they were stuck in place they couldn’t leave or they couldn’t contact others in case of stuff.

I think I’ve used up my brain juice for this morning, so do you have any ideas?
At the start of the story, what is known is that they worship a Dreamer calling themselves Polyocules. There have been scattered reports of a Dreamer in the area who seems to be running the cult and can conjure a crystal fetish that continuously conjures up hostile apparitions. He is dangerous because he's a Dreamer but overall the Silver Arrow and the Association regard him as a middle of the road threat. Something that needs to be addressed but nothing existential, as long as you're prompt.

If someone she was close with/previously being held captive by fell in with the cult, it makes sense that she'd have to be along for the ride. In that case she'd be a totally innocent captive.

She could also be smuggling goods to them as a means of surviving, or she could have been close with Polyocules. The (minor) spoiler is that he also seems to have gone kind of nuts along with his followers, so she'd find herself in a spot that was previously good turning quite bad. I haven't thought much about who exactly this cult leader was before he started the cult up, so if there's an interesting backstory that could be made there it would work.
 

Ambiloquous

Graphic Fanatic
She could also be smuggling goods to them as a means of surviving, or she could have been close with Polyocules. The (minor) spoiler is that he also seems to have gone kind of nuts along with his followers, so she'd find herself in a spot that was previously good turning quite bad. I haven't thought much about who exactly this cult leader was before he started the cult up, so if there's an interesting backstory that could be made there it would work.
I’ve thought about the smuggling or business relationship idea, but it doesn’t seem like that it wouldn’t be a good enough reason to stop contacting someone forever, specially since if they’re still interacting with the outside. I couldn’t think of anything for them to be unable to contact a friend who has no ties to anything significant at that point in time.

As for being close to the Dreamer... That’s some delicious angst you’re going for right there. 👀 But also, I’m too lazy to think up a relationship backstory. The CS has already used all my creative brainpower for this RP, so I think I’m just going to go with basic got roped in cult and oh look isn’t that crazy aunt May? Or something.
 

Blemmigan

How right they were.
Hello, sorry. I've been a bit out of sorts lately and neglecting role plays because of it. I've got to drag myself out of this slump or I'll miss this thing which I'm definitely interested in.
But feel free to give a time limit, and if I don't get read up & submitted before then, clearly it is Not To Be. Or if things look bad I'll bow out and let you know.
Ideally I can get back to writing though, for this and others. Aaaaa.

Gotta read through the CSs as well to try and think of some appropriate (potential) ties for {{BUGMAN}}.
...Okay, so he does have a suitably insect-clicky alien-sounding name. The CS is partly done but that's from a while ago so it will need updating.
 

YohhananArbuckle

New Member
I’ve thought about the smuggling or business relationship idea, but it doesn’t seem like that it wouldn’t be a good enough reason to stop contacting someone forever, specially since if they’re still interacting with the outside. I couldn’t think of anything for them to be unable to contact a friend who has no ties to anything significant at that point in time.

As for being close to the Dreamer... That’s some delicious angst you’re going for right there. 👀 But also, I’m too lazy to think up a relationship backstory. The CS has already used all my creative brainpower for this RP, so I think I’m just going to go with basic got roped in cult and oh look isn’t that crazy aunt May? Or something.
It is kind of angsty idinit. Tis a silly place, let's not go there.

Hello, sorry. I've been a bit out of sorts lately and neglecting role plays because of it. I've got to drag myself out of this slump or I'll miss this thing which I'm definitely interested in.
But feel free to give a time limit, and if I don't get read up & submitted before then, clearly it is Not To Be. Or if things look bad I'll bow out and let you know.
Ideally I can get back to writing though, for this and others. Aaaaa.

Gotta read through the CSs as well to try and think of some appropriate (potential) ties for {{BUGMAN}}.
...Okay, so he does have a suitably insect-clicky alien-sounding name. The CS is partly done but that's from a while ago so it will need updating.
It's alright, as you can see I am also doing some foot dragging of my own. Life comes at you fast.

Update is I am diligently chipping away at the opening post now - will hopefully have something up soon. I am busier than anticipated and the last few weeks have just not been fun have they?
 

Blemmigan

How right they were.
Hello. I've still not been that great (and time passed by really quickly when I didn't notice... sorry!) but uh... if this is still going then I've written some of the CS. Right now everything I write seems... kind of lacklustre, but I figured that the best way to get over it is to write anyway until things start being back to something I'm happy with.
So even if I missed the boat, writing this is GOOD. Thank you for giving me an excuse to finally get back to it!

Will put it here for perusal/suggestions. Not sure about the Dreamer powers, it went in a different direction to what I was expecting, so I'd probably need to tweak them and also give him something a bit more... action-y. I think I was going for "how can I make being a Dreamer even WORSE for him?" in terms of what druners value.

Still missing skills (he is not built for physical combat, aside from being intimidating physically, so brainpower it is) and augmentations (probably just language/access/connectivity). Not totally sure about the motive.
Weirdly it was the appearance I got stuck on the most... but yes. Am updating as I go.

Also, yes, bugman has a suitably insect-clicky, shamelessly alien, x-k-q-z-v-abundant name that I will inevitably spell incorrectly at least once.

Name: word-smallest-t.PNG v'ksk'rk
Vocal approximation: Vixkrik
Age: 52
Species: Druner

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Description

Appearance: Like others of his kind, Vixkrik has the appearance of a large arthropod, with six pairs of "arm" limbs along the part of his body which stands upright. Each hand has five digits for manipulation, although the lower four are kept tucked against the body most of the time. The lower four limbs are larger and sturdier, enough for his lower body to balance the upright torso and move with ease, the overall shape of his body forming an S with a more elongated tail.

To those who have never before encountered a druner, his face is perhaps the most surprising thing to encounter, particularly as it stands roughly six and a half feet off the ground, towering over some smaller species. Even when calm, and the mouthparts are closed, the sheer non-humanoid shape of them can be unnerving. When eating or frustrated, the jaws open, and as with all druners would be capable of inflicting a nasty bite, though it would be incredibly unseemly to do so. They are not a dangerous species, and besides: the translator that Vixkrik wears over the lower half of his face hides his mouth.

(Note: I pictured the face/mouth setup as being similar to a devil's coach horse (with closed and open jaws—don't click the latter if you're scared of insects!—but with smaller mandibles.)

Their bodies are also covered in a tough exoskeleton and chitinous plates which is difficult to damage more than superficially, particularly on the main trunk. The face and end of the limbs are easier to injure, and they are more susceptible to poisons and nerve damage than might be expected. They have vestigial wing cases, but no functional wings nor ability to fly, which must have been lost when they grew to a certain size. They have a good sense of smell, but prefer texture to taste. Hearing without augmentation is not as good as most species, with a range focused around the chitterings of their own languages. As for eyesight, their two eyes give them an excellent field of view, and though they prefer dim to bright light, it's not enough to really limit them in a multi-species society.

Like most of his species, Vixkrik finds clothing neither necessary nor practical, but has embraced the habit of engraving and inlaying his carapace—in some places with gold, no less. Back home this would range from arrogant to ridiculous, but here it seems to be ordinary or expected, even amongst the few other druner he encounters who have adapted to this way of life. Engraving one's carapace is commonplace (and only lasts about a year on adults, until the next moult), but using gold to inlay or tip the mandibles would be reserved for great historical figures.

Personality: Druner are social creatures by nature. They are also intelligent, perceptive and precise when compared to other species on average. And Vixkrik is all of these things... but when compared to others of his kind, not exceptionally so. Between his pride and the circumstances of his hatching marking him for great things, he was unable to accept this and remain on the planet he was hatched, and so left it to begin a new life amongst beings of lesser intellect. Or, as told himself, to make his own way in the world, without having to be constantly reminded of his siblings' successes.

Being on Port Gladys has gradually smoothed out his morals and warped his sympathies. It's not that he is particularly unkind, rather that he is wary of being taken advantage of, and far more aware of the importance of putting oneself first. But he likes to be liked and respected, and even if he doesn't think that somebody is sincere in their intentions, he will enjoy their company for what it is. But if he doesn't know or see somebody, then they might was well not exist.

He often has the tenancy to miss the bigger picture, focusing on the detail. He would focus on untangling the threads in front of him without even being aware that he was unravelling a tapestry. When he does take notice, what's really happening can be overwhelming and out of his control, and he would much rather either ignore it, leave, or find somebody else to fix the issue. In more recent years he's realised the value of throwing money at a problem to make it go away. So long as his core values are safe (so long as the numbers keep adding up), he has somewhere safe to retreat to, and the rest of the world can be detail.

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Background

History: Vixkrik hatched in a golden brood: one of sixteen hatched out of eighteen viable eggs total, named for the passing resemblance to 1.618. Golden broods are rare enough to be considered auspicious, and those with a sense of superstition believe the sixteen will achieve great things. Often they do, although perhaps that is a side-effect of constantly being told of their potential.

But he is not one of them: intelligent, but not far above average for a druner, if at all. Many of his siblings went on to become respected members of society, undertaking important research in particle physics, developing technology, and in at least one case, becoming the planetary representative for their species. They had the capabilities, but most of all they had the ambition to believe that there was something special about them.

Some of this may have taken root in Vixkrik's thoughts, but he still left, hoping that it would clear his head. He got on well with people of all kinds, and enjoyed talking to them and understanding them, so found that he did not miss being around other druner. If anything, he was relieved that his previously-mediocre abilities were suddenly impressive. So it was that he came to Port Gladys with no specific plans but an attention to numerical detail, and quickly found work as an actuary. Calculating risks by unpicking the threads of probability that ran throughout the world... it was easy and obvious, and he would have been content to stay there were it not for two things.

Firstly, he spent a lot of his time alone, or with a few others who stumbled over the work which came so naturally to him. Those who came looking for insurance or loans spoke to his superiors, and those superiors often used Vixkrik's delicate calculations to rob them blind. Which was bad enough, but secondly, his employers were growing rich off his work.

Druner are not naturally drawn to money: wealth is in acquaintances and the proof of hard work, and hard work in itself is worth nothing if it doesn't help others. But Vixkrik had been in Port Gladys long enough to learn what money could do, and how desperate people could be to get hold of it. So he left, and he along with an anonoki and a hamaedron began his own insurance company, Arcadian Assurance, this time feeding off the rich and careless instead of the desperate. Anything from personal islands to expensive augmentations to genetically engineered pets, all unnecessary belongings carefully calculated for risk and value for those rich enough to pay anything that appears on an officially stamped invoice.

Perhaps they told themselves that they were doing good, or more evenly distributing wealth. But Vixkrik's moral compass was largely thrown off by apathy towards those he didn't know, and the two others seemed more interested in growing rich and careless themselves. They spent, augmented and gambled too much, and gradually became less interested in the work that paid for it. They argued and fought between themselves, and more than once Vixkrik had to intervene. They were a little scared of him: partly because of his size, but mostly because he was the one keeping the money flowing in, with his expert tweaking of statistics and barely-noticeable skimming of funds. They knew he had plenty of money stored away, but had no way to reliably betray him and get to it. But the thought that one day they might... that was the probably the only thing which kept the two co-owners from killing each other.

Of course Vixkrik knew this. And of course they knew that he suspected them. So he took care to never be alone with them, to divide and hide his funds and make sure that they would be obviously inaccessible in the event of his death. To make sure he was always seen. To keep track of his co-partners as much as he could, while also trying to stop them from doing the same to him. To plan vacations to coincide with his moult, when he was most physically vulnerable. To try not to let his caution fester and become paranoia, by never, ever saying a word about his suspicions to anyone, just accepting it as another part of this life.

Overall in life, he is successful, but not in any way that the druner society would find worthwhile: he has applied his knowledge to nothing useful or innovative. But Port Gladys has changed him enough that he doesn't care, and finds satisfaction in what he has achieved despite what he knows his siblings would say.

Some time ago, he started Dreaming.

No, he had been Dreaming for a while now, recurring dreams which happened more often until they pushed out everything else in his head while he slept. But druners had never thought much of Dreaming: it interfered with the belief that the world is a closed system, and ultimately solvable. All actions have consequences. All is harmony. But Dreaming... it made no sense, and druner society as a whole had silently, instinctively agreed to ignore it. They could concede, politely, that it existed for some people, but to them it was not worth thinking about. There had been no druner who Dreamed, after all. Or none that they knew of.

So it took a while for Vixkrik to put a name to what was happening, or at least to admit it to himself. And, like the rest of his kind, and like his attitude towards problems as a whole, he did his best to ignore it. He thought that he met another Dreamer, once, and he left as soon as he realised what was happening, perhaps even before this other Dreamer had taken a good look at the visible half of his face. That was another reason to move in the circles of the rich and decadent—these were people who tended to focus on the physical and the present, not waste away time in some other world. They tended to be lax with augmentations, personal details, tracking and sharing data, too: how else would everyone know what they had? So it was easy to know everyone's business long before you ever had to meet them.

It was a world he had grown comfortable with navigating. So long as he could carry on surviving within it.

Motive: The Arcadian Assurance Company, which he has spent so much of his time running and managing, is threatened by his two co-owners wanting to kill him for the money and run. He is secretive about his life, to try and prevent them from finding a way to kill him (poisoning, or physical attack during his upcoming moult) or accessing any of his bank accounts. As it is now, his death would render them untouchable. The more time passes, the more he thinks he ought to have the two of them killed first...
And along with that, he's just starting to realise that his Dreaming might be useful, though he's wrestling with his personal and cultural beliefs about Dreamers too much to fully embrace it.

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Capabilities

Skills:
Intellect - As is common for druner, he is clever, quick and well-educated. Combined with his connections, this makes him fluent not only in book smarts but the social politics of the upper classes, constantly predicting the risks of scenarios and people around him. However, it is tempered by his tendency to simply ignore the things he doesn't like or consider important. It's been a long time since he first came to Port Gladys, and he's dismissed what it's like on the streets, or how to navigate the shadier parts of the city.
Specifically, his talents are in mathematics, finances and statistics. He was also able to understand and write Basic quite well before getting augmented, though he is of course completely unable to speak it.
JNetworking - (See "holdings") At least at the moment, Vixkrik has enough of a presence and reputation (and is recognisable enough) that he knows most people's businesses and locations of their assets, can get into upmarket places, or cash in favours. Amongst the wealthy, anyway.
Strength - Or, more accurately, intimidation and a tough carapace. He is neither armed nor trained in fighting (after all, in his current life he doesn't need to be), with his natural appearance enough to deter people who don't know him, and potentially balance out his ignorance and carelessness with the more openly seedy underbelly of Port Gladys. But, if absolutely necessary for him to discard his dignity and fight, he could probably hold his own for a time, assuming that the people trying to take him down have no experience with how tough a druner can be.
Druner tendencies - Despite having lived on Arcadia for decades, he is still comfortable in dark or close spaces like where he was raised. He is suited to seeing in dim light or hiding in small spaces (that is, small compared to his size). He would also be capable of carving a tunnel through the ground, although this requires both bare soil (increasingly rare in the city) and a good enough reason to suffer the indignity of digging in the first place. (That's for children who don't know how to behave in proper society. We have perfectly good rooms and corridors to use without destroying the place.)

Augmentations:
Translator - He wears a translator over his mouth, covering most of it. This picks up the sounds and movements in real-time, converting it into Basic speech that can then be translated further (if necessary) by the listener's personal software. As druner speech relies heavily on mouthpart gesture, it works far better than basing it off sound alone. Without it, others would still be able to use their own software to translate what they heard, but it would be far less accurate (and hardly professional if discussing precise business terms).
It also has the added effect of hiding his mouth from those either not used to druners, or not comfortable with seeing it while they're deciding to entrust him with their finances.
He can eat and drink while wearing it, but it's not ideal, so if eating alone (or amongst those who don't care about niceties or precise language) he will remove it.
Internal augmentations - A host of practical augmentations that it would be stranger not to have for someone in his line of work. An implant for understanding other languages, including reading and writing them. Microchip markers which allow him access to his private rooms and personal accounts. A short-range link to mentally access his important notes from a file, which can be loaded with the relevant data before a meeting and allows for a more professional handling of conversation than physically referring to a screen.
Hearing - Druner auditory range focuses on higher frequencies and quieter sounds than most, and living in a city with dozens of other species made this irritating enough for him to have it altered. It was simple enough to widen the range—a procedure that's normally part of a specialist or military sensory upgrade—and when combined with his natural capabilities, it gave him hearing far above average. It's an augmentation that wouldn't be suspected for an actuary (particularly if somebody knows nothing of druners), and he is happy to let people be ignorant to it, and allow him to overhear conversations they are trying to hide.

The only noticeable alterations to Vixkrik's body aside from the translator are aesthetic: he had the option for further convenient augmentations, but found that he was unwilling to change himself any further from being purely druner. Despite having left his home planet and people behind to start afresh, he still has pride in what he is. Perhaps it's easier to have that pride when there are few others of his kind around to be compared to, and he is no longer considered average in ability.
So, he engraves his carapace with striking grooves on his head and upper torso, and has had a few other minor cosmetic changes that most other species would not even notice or find important. So no other increased senses, no greater strength, no resistance to poisons or tougher carapace or anything that might be useful to somebody with a more dangerous life.

Holdings: One of three owners of the Arcadian Assurance Company, along with an anonoki (Ona-ti) and a hamaedron (Crimaron), who have since been more interested in taking the money and running rather than continuing with the business. But Vixkrik being the brains behind the operation means that he works hard to keep it going, still bringing in more business from their offices overlooking the harbour in the richest part of Port Gladys.
So he has plenty of money stashed away in various protected accounts, and also has many connections with the rich, and enjoys moving in extravagant circles, being just polite and trustworthy enough to make these people feel that they aren't being ripped off. While not living as lavishly as his two squandering co-owners, Vixkrik is a known presence at several restaurants, clubs and social gatherings.
Of course, if the company were to fold, and if he were to survive it, there would be a lot of very wealthy, very angry people ready to turn on all three of them.

-
Dreaming

Dream World: The Gloam
Dream Avatar: The Hermit

World

The gloam is dark, and anyone else one would have only the vague sense of emptiness, a vast, featureless plain only slightly blacker than the grey sky above. The Hermit is well-suited to seeing in dim conditions (perhaps he dreams memories of caverns and tunnels), but he still carries a staff from which hangs a lantern, the white light inside casting a circle, which sways as he walks.

The ground constantly moves, rolling and rippling, and illuminated it is not solid at all, but the surface of a vast sea. The air is always still, the sky is always empty of moon or stars, and the sea is without smell or sound, barely cold or wet at all, and the Hermit's footsteps hardly make a wave.

He cannot sink. The staff cannot pierce the surface, and the lantern cannot be extinguished. He has tried, only once, to kill the glim-light, but it seems to be neither bulb nor flame, only something constant and slowly pulsing white within the glass, suddenly blinding if looked at directly. Out here, it is the only light there is, and the things beneath the waves are drawn to it. They reach out in dozens of alien forms, fingertips or tendrils or claws brushing the surface of the water from underneath, bleached by the glare like bloated corpses. They cannot or will not answer his questions, but some of them reach specifically for him, as though desperate to be pulled from the depths.

Some of them, the Hermit remembers (from the other life, the one he dreams about), but they vanish and sink before he can look again, and outside the circle they may as well be invisible.

He cannot rest here, so he walks, leaving pleading faces and hands in his wake.

There are islands in the gloam, but they are impossible to see until he feels solid ground beneath his feet, and they seem to drift randomly on the water. Sometimes he can hear them: the sighing of the tide against sand, or the echoes of sound from the places themselves.

Most islands are small, bordered by sand which feels sharp as glass after the nothingness of the water, but they are a welcome change from the void. It always feels as though he has been wandering the sea for months, and each time he believes that he might never find land again. Perhaps they wait until he has almost given up before appearing, or he is able to summon them in a way he cannot control.

The lantern shines brighter on land, just for a moment, and when it fades and he opens his eyes again the glass is dark and empty, and the scene around him has changed completely. He is somewhere in his other life, with people that look familiar to the sleeping part of his mind. That part knows, too, that he's watching the recent past, or near future, or present.

To the Hermit, the scenes are random, but it is better than the sea, so he stays and listens without understanding, a visiting ghost that none of the others notice. More recently he's learned that he can move amongst the scenes, opening doors, manipulating computer screens, searching through bags, and the scene ignores him completely, snatching things from his hands and returning them to their rightful places if it would interrupt the sequence. The part of him deep inside his mind is always looking for something, information, but it is quiet, nothing more than a whim, and sometimes he ignores it.

The scene always ends eventually, and the room or area is left empty, or littered with motionless players that have come to the end of their purpose. Leaving the scene is easy: using any door or walking away from the centre (however far away the boundary might look) will cause the place to decay, buildings crumbling, plants growing wild, people and animals turning to dust. Everything dims again, and finally the lantern relights, leaving him standing in the middle of a ruin surrounded by black water, as though it had been standing there for a thousand years.

There is nowhere else to go, so he steps back onto the sea.

Avatar

The Hermit is identical in build and natural features to Vixkrik, but without ornamentation, engravings or augmentations. He does not speak (there is nobody here to talk to), but can understand the languages in every scene even without a translator.

His only possession is the lantern, which hangs from the end of a heavy wooden staff as tall as he is. It appears to be iron and glass, the light inside modest but seeming bright in the gloam. The light source is impossible to make out, leaving only an impression of something shining white, pulsing slightly, suspended in the air within. It hangs by only a simple metal ring, but never falls, even if the staff were to be swung, and the Hermit knows to never leave it behind.

The scenes he visits almost always involve people that Vixkrik knows or would recognise, though they may be set in places he has never been, and always they are conversations or events that he is not a part of. He has no control over what the scenes will be or who will play a part in them (at least, not at present), and due to the malleable nature of time within the Dream, they may even be happenings from in the near future. He cannot influence events: though he can temporarily manipulate and search the environment to explore it, it always quickly returns to how it was, and none of the players seem to notice any difference.

As far as he knows, he has never seen another Dreamer in these scenes, and it is unknown if they would act like everyone else, or if they would somehow be aware of his presence.

Vixkrik's influence over himself as the Hermit is more of a suggestion, navigating a dream which is not quite lucid. When he wakes, his knowledge of what he saw and heard is often hazy, filing itself away in his memories without record of where it came from as though he refuses to truly believe it.

Undoubtedly this lack of true connection between his awake and Dreaming selves is due to Vixkrik's disconnect with the notion of Dreaming as a whole, and denying his own part in it. Were that hurdle to be overcome, the two of them would likely merge and allow him greater control over his avatar, and potentially further abilities.

Dream Powers:
It's worth noting that these are, at the moment, potential powers, or possibly activated unintentionally due to the disconnect between his waking and Dreaming self.

Stepping backstage: Instead of visiting a scene by searching through the gloam, Vixkrik can slip "backstage"- the world continues as normal, but as though he were the Hermit, nobody can see or hear him until he returns. He can spy, eavesdrop, search files, rifle through belongings as he would in the Dream, but cannot permanently influence anything, nor be influenced in return. He also cannot take anything back with him, other than knowledge of what he has seen, and as soon as he steps back into the waking world, he is noticeable and part of it again. To anyone watching, he would blink out and in of existence, though the "vanishing" is less likely to be noticed than the reappearance.
There is the potential here for him to take others with him backstage, though they would also need his help to leave.

Interval: Similar to being backstage, but one step further: he disconnects from the waking world enough that time is frozen in place around him. It does not last for long, and requires constant sheer willpower to keep time stopped throughout, making it less useful for focusing on finding information, and better for getting away, or buying time to think.

Perception: Loneliness: not the sheer helplessness of a druner alone, but something vast, eternal, and accepted, a quiet wisdom. A sense of loss without grief. A hundred pairs of hands underwater, fingertips barely pushing through the surface, trying to grab hold, close but all too far away.
 
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YohhananArbuckle

New Member
Noivian Noivian don't sweat it man, if you're busy you're busy. I know it took a while to get this going.

Blemmigan Blemmigan Welcome back! You have not missed the boat, I am like 60% of the way through the opening post and in a place where I'm excited to wrap things up and let folks start.

W/r/t your profile, I like all of it! I think as you fill it in it will be good to go. I am making Olly have a contact in the city who is an Arrow ally that is a fantastically wealthy ex-augmentation surgeon named Maria van Zijl. She would likely run in the 'right' circles to know your Druner, so that might be a good in for Olly and Vixkrik and Callista to wind up having the same or at least a similar bad time.

I think the Gloam is really cool, and there's a collective unconsciousness aspect to it that could be used to unravel one thread of what Dreaming actually is, if we ever get to the point where we're offering explanations of the 'truth' of the matter. Euler's dream makes him think that he is seeing an outcome in some vastly different universe, Vixkrik's dream implies something else. Varied and conflicting implications are a big part of what makes it all so hard to understand.

His jaw is disgusting but exactly what I was imagining, so that's perfect.
 

Blemmigan

How right they were.
Blemmigan Blemmigan Welcome back! You have not missed the boat, I am like 60% of the way through the opening post and in a place where I'm excited to wrap things up and let folks start.

W/r/t your profile, I like all of it! I think as you fill it in it will be good to go. I am making Olly have a contact in the city who is an Arrow ally that is a fantastically wealthy ex-augmentation surgeon named Maria van Zijl. She would likely run in the 'right' circles to know your Druner, so that might be a good in for Olly and Vixkrik and Callista to wind up having the same or at least a similar bad time.
Whew! And excellent... not that I'm in any way a fan of making things as inconvenient for characters as possible (I lied smoothly). If she's wealthy then Vixkrik will definitely know of her at least, or have tried to drum up business with her. I'm also thinking that there won't be many (or any?) other druners in those kinds of circles (it's quite uncharacteristic for them), which would make him recognisable even to those who can't tell giant bug people apart. So potentially not good.

But yes! I have posted the completed CS finally, so let me know if anything doesn't sit right.

Also: the anonoki and hamaedron who co-own the business, I've not developed them at all (and the names I gave them were just to make things easier), unless I write more about them in an opening post to set the scene... but yeah, they'd be free-control NPCs if they ever were relevant. May as well get that stated!

I think the Gloam is really cool, and there's a collective unconsciousness aspect to it that could be used to unravel one thread of what Dreaming actually is, if we ever get to the point where we're offering explanations of the 'truth' of the matter. Euler's dream makes him think that he is seeing an outcome in some vastly different universe, Vixkrik's dream implies something else. Varied and conflicting implications are a big part of what makes it all so hard to understand.
Thank you! Yeah, my thoughts were that... the Gloam at least is very ambiguous and malleable, possibly more of a gateway than a Dream world in its own right. With "the backstage" as well, it seems not quite part of dreams or the waking world... which would fit with Vixkrik's doublethink-denial towards dreams, and may be what caused his dreams to be like that in the first place.

But yes, it's definitely open for... becoming something else or being used for anything, particularly if the presence of other, more powerful Dreamers can alter it in some way or use it for their own ends.

His jaw is disgusting but exactly what I was imagining, so that's perfect.
I'll have you know that he's probably very handsome by druner standards.
 
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YohhananArbuckle

New Member
Whew! And excellent... not that I'm in any way a fan of making things as inconvenient for characters as possible (I lied smoothly). If she's wealthy then Vixkrik will definitely know of her at least, or have tried to drum up business with her. I'm also thinking that there won't be many (or any?) other druners in those kinds of circles (it's quite uncharacteristic for them), which would make him recognisable even to those who can't tell giant bug people apart. So potentially not good.

But yes! I have posted the completed CS finally, so let me know if anything doesn't sit right.

Also: the anonoki and hamaedron who co-own the business, I've not developed them at all (and the names I gave them were just to make things easier), unless I write more about them in an opening post to set the scene... but yeah, they'd be free-control NPCs if they ever were relevant. May as well get that stated!

Thank you! Yeah, my thoughts were that... the Gloam at least is very ambiguous and malleable, possibly more of a gateway than a Dream world in its own right. With "the backstage" as well, it seems not quite part of dreams or the waking world... which would fit with Vixkrik's doublethink-denial towards dreams, and may be what caused his dreams to be like that in the first place.

But yes, it's definitely open for... becoming something else or being used for anything, particularly if the presence of other, more powerful Dreamers can alter it in some way or use it for their own ends.

I'll have you know that he's probably very handsome by druner standards.
No issue with the posted profile, I am still working on the opening post and realizing that I have just gotten out of practice writing. I'll try to get something up soon.

I had the idea to have Dr. Van Zijl ask Olly to look into the murder of a friend who was a high end art dealer. Is that something your character or his bad coworkers might have been involved in? I think the idea is for Olly to start making inquiries that cause discomfort in Vix's social circle. That way all of our characters wind up crossing paths relatively soon. And poor Olly has to try and do two dangerous jobs at once.

I do like the idea of Vix trying to spy on Olly with the Gloam, but instead seeing his Avatar and them both being like ???. I might change up Olly's dream to make it have more pizzazz, not sure how yet. I figure it doesn't matter until he's on record slinging his powers.

Would Druner even have ideas about one another being handsome? It seems like it's probably not relevant if you're a species that doesn't have really have a concept of romantic relationships, because they serve no biological purpose.

Hope everybody had a good fourth of July! We made pizzas on the grill.
 

Blemmigan

How right they were.
No issue with the posted profile, I am still working on the opening post and realizing that I have just gotten out of practice writing. I'll try to get something up soon.

I had the idea to have Dr. Van Zijl ask Olly to look into the murder of a friend who was a high end art dealer. Is that something your character or his bad coworkers might have been involved in? I think the idea is for Olly to start making inquiries that cause discomfort in Vix's social circle. That way all of our characters wind up crossing paths relatively soon. And poor Olly has to try and do two dangerous jobs at once.
No worries from me! I'm not super active right now, but I refresh once a day to see what notifications I have.

That could definitely work! These two co-owners are mainly just defined as "going a bit mad with wealth and power, and squandering it". So, running up debts, flashing cash, making promises they can't keep, trying to get money by any means necessary as they try to not depend on the business they're simultaneously trying to sell (basically wanting the cash rather than bothering to stick with it and work hard with their own substandard abilities). In my vague thoughts, the hamaedron is more cunning and manipulative, willing to shake hands with some dastardly types, whereas the anonoki is more hedonistic and lazy, probably spiralling more into drugs and gambling and not caring about specifics so long as there's money.

So the former could definitely drag the latter into getting mixed up into that, for promise of splitting the cash with other people. Vix wouldn't be interested (partly because he doesn't need the money, partly because he definitely doesn't need the adverse attention), but he'll be wanting to protect the business from any negativity. And also, he'd be drawn into it by association with the other two, should it ever come out. Which may accelerate his decision to get rid of those two while he can, protecting his reputation, his income and his life's work while his two legal co-owners "go missing". And if he does start looking into arranging murders himself, Olly's attention would mean it's a very unfortunate time for him to start.

I do like the idea of Vix trying to spy on Olly with the Gloam, but instead seeing his Avatar and them both being like ???. I might change up Olly's dream to make it have more pizzazz, not sure how yet. I figure it doesn't matter until he's on record slinging his powers.
One thing about the nature of Dreaming (that I'm assuming) is that it's very flexible and intangible, so there's the potential for it to shift as the plot demands character grows and learns. Always more pizzazz! Especially if one or more Dreams start blending into each other, elements of one show up in another due to relationships/communication/interference?

Though mainly I do like the idea of "right okay let's try and focus on this guy... wait who is this??" and general associated confusion with encountering another Dreamer.

Would Druner even have ideas about one another being handsome? It seems like it's probably not relevant if you're a species that doesn't have really have a concept of romantic relationships, because they serve no biological purpose.

Hope everybody had a good fourth of July! We made pizzas on the grill.
Okay, fair :v
I did picture them as having most of the race incapable of reproducing. So less "good-looking" in that sense, but still having certain features seen favourably by others: associated with intelligence, trustworthiness or leadership by sheer virtue of being aesthetically pleasing or familiar. Minor surgeries to smooth out any inconsistencies, things like that.
And descriptions of that would probably be translated to others as "beautiful" or "handsome", as socially it would have the same positive connotations, despite the literal meaning being slightly different.
I mean... I mean I just like the idea of somebody looking at that kind of face and swooning.

Glad you enjoyed! Pizza makes most celebrations excellent... er.
 

YohhananArbuckle

New Member
First post is up!

I decided to stop worrying and just get us started. Ms. Hardinel is a Hamaedron art dealer that was murdered - Olly doesn't know it yet but the goons responsible were directly or indirectly Vix's compatriots - we can work together on fleshing that out. Maybe Vix realizes that his buddies are acting even sketchier than normal and starts to dig into it a bit himself?

Also Ambiloquous Ambiloquous as promised initially there is a big friendly guy who doesn't know what to expect headed your way.
 

Blemmigan

How right they were.
Honestly just from the first post, the tone/theme is exactly the kind of thing that I'd sit and read a book of.

Anyway yes. Hello! While the cult investigation is going on at a charming pet store I will try writing something that beautifully ties bugboy in with the rest of the story. And those infamous co-owners (as well as decide and solidify what exactly they're up to and how competent they are at it).

So the cult leader killed the art dealer, but on somebody else's orders? Using his miracle-disembowelment powers. Either one of Vixkrik's associates is involved with the cult, or they've struck some kind of deal with them in exchange for the use of his powers for their own ends. Perhaps they're responsible for supplying funds or property or connections in exchange for his powers- they see a powerful Dreamer and think they can control him with money. And of course, all of that leaves a (hastily covered up) trail leading to the company.
...Which I quite like, if only for how much of a bad idea that would be for them to do, and I'm assuming it'd wind up with them not having as much power over the deal as they thought. Or just not having a complete picture of what they're dealing with, and who might be investigating.

But that would depend the nature of the cult leader (or whoever killed Ms. Hardinel, if it was someone else and I managed to get the wrong end of the stick). Or perhaps the deed was carried out by a cult member with some (unpredictable) aspects of the Dreamer power imbued upon them by the leader? To make the link a little less direct. Again, depends how that mechanic works exactly.
 

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