Epilogue – Happy Independence day!

Happy Independence Day, everyone (in the USA, at least)! Here’s a preview of my novel/novella.

This scene is currently the epilogue to the story. Some brief notes:

Hodran: Raccoon-people
Horos: Fox-people
Madchildren: Psychic constructs with incredible psychic power
Copai: Slave race to the Horos. Not sure what they look like yet, but I’m leaning towards either humans, or cat-people.

I’m scheduling this on June 23rd, since I won’t be at home for this update. Enjoy anyway! 😛

Spires of steel and glass raked into the skies outside her window, jutting out over the horizon for as far as she could see. Lightning arced regularly from building to building, an eldritch storm in a jungle of steel. Sometimes she could notice a building shifting into a new position, to better send or receive the great bolts of energy. There was a palpable sense that the city itself was thinking, feeling with every burst of lightning. More importantly, however, was the sense that every last inch of it was dangerous. This was a city of conquerors, and it looked the part of a dangerous weapon.

At the same time, however, the city was a sensory assault. Bright, vibrant colors that inferior races may call ‘garish’ covered the city below. A neon green building here, a deep scarlet tapestry there. She liked that the most about this city – there was some new decadent delight for her senses everywhere she cast her eyes.

Lucia sipped from her wine, smiling as the arcs of lightning continued to strike outside her window. Divinity itself and nothing less.

She continued to watch the sight for a time before turning back to her room. It took up an entire floor of the building on its own. Gold was inlaid on the marble floor in a whorled pattern. Tapestries depicting various debaucheries adorned the walls, and a mosaic depicting the planet in a hand of steel was at the other end of the room.

A slight tingle ran down her spine, but she ignored it as she strode to her bed. It was long enough for two of her and wide enough for five, and the deep violet of royalty. The frame itself was gold. Real gold, appropriately.

How vain.

“I deserve far better.” She smirked. “So which is it? Am I speaking to a piece of you, or the whole?”

“Cryptic as ever, madchild.” She muttered, grabbing a bottle and an empty glass from her nightstand. She poured it a glass before immediately pouring the wine on the tile. It never hit the ground. “To what do I owe the pleasure?” She growled dryly.

Capric is dead.

“Good.” She growled, sipping her own drink again. “The fool wouldn’t know knowledge if the lady herself explained it. Why do you care?”

We don’t. We killed him.

She cocked an eyebrow at that. “Didn’t know you cared that much about incompetence.”

We don’t.

“Why are you wasting my time with this?” She said coldly. “I was having a delightful evening.”

Watching lightning storms, yes, how riveting.

Sarcastic bits of an elder gods’ consciousness. Now I’ve heard everything.

Not yet you haven’t. One of the Hodran managed to harm a piece of me.

She stopped drinking. “…Really.”

It turned the piece’s psychic power against it, and wielded it as its own strength. Such a thing should not have been possible.

“The Hodran have a god of their own. Perhaps he intervened? Rewrote the rules?”

…There was… a touch of him, yes. But the Lady or the Madgod would surely have intervened in such a case.

“I am not in the habit of understanding the motivations of our divines.” Lucia responded, her eyes glazing over again. “Perhaps there was something more precious to them. Last I checked, the lady’s stance amongst her peers was… less than perfect.” She shrugged and stood.

Whatever the case, we’re afraid this has become too complicated to delegate to lesser beings.

“Agreed.” The Horos smirked, rolling up her sleeves. “I shall go personally.”

She stopped, her smirk instantly gone. “Excuse me?”

The Hodran have found a way to come here. They will attack this city, soon.

She stood stock still for a moment, thinking.

You shall deal with them here. I shall handle Hodra.

“It’s the Horos’ mess, we’ll clean it up.”

The Madchild didn’t leave. She waited a few moments before her laughter rang through the cavernous room. “Very well, you may handle Hodra yourself if you’re bored.”

Boredom is an emotion for lesser beings.

“If you like.”

It was gone. Lucia clapped her hands twice and two Copai servants entered, their eyes wide and fearful.

“Fetch my coat. I have raccoons to skin.”

Venting on an attempted stabbing

I should emphasize that what I’m about to tell you has all been put together from second and third hand accounts. This is not a story, this is not a joke, and I did not schedule this beforehand.

… Okay, so at the lodge place I’m staying at, every night there’s games hosted behind the arcade room. Mostly sand-bag tossing and beer pong. The latter is basically a drinking game where you throw the ball into the beer and make someone else take a drink.

This big guy I never saw and don’t know the name of (we’ll call him ‘Frank’) was doing pretty well in the game’s last bit and starts talking trash to his opponent (we’ll call him Leo). As the game went on, Frank and his mom continued to trash talk Leo and apparently it got pretty nasty. Then Leo told them off (something along the lines of telling Frank’s mom that she didn’t “know what the fuck she was talking about”) and Frank got pissed and tried to start a fight. Leo refused and tried to back off, and Frank tried to punch him anyway.

Frank’s mom got between them and tried to call Frank off, Frank shoved her down and grabbed a knife off of the table left over from dinner (not really clear on when he got the knife, I just know he got it at some point during the fight). He makes a few swings but then drops it. Leo yells out that he had a knife, and… I’m a little unclear on how the fight broke up, but I think Frank’s friend showed up and pulled him off.

This place is supposed to be relaxing and peaceful.

My bro, a ton of my friends and the girl I got a crush on were all there.

No one was hurt. Thank god.

But that is still not fucking okay.

I’m sorry to burden you all with this. But I gotta tell somebody.

God damn me, I should have been there… I don’t care if I couldn’t do anything, I should’ve… I dunno.

*sigh* Thanks for listening.

Book Update

It’s been a while since I’ve provided you with an update on my book, so I thought I should give you all a quick update. I have an excel spreadsheet that marks how complete each scene is within the current draft. The scenes are marked as follows:

Unneccessary? : 2 (These scenes serve no real purpose and will probably end up either being cut from the final version or heavily revised)
Unmarked/Not begun: 7 (These scenes ARE planned out, but I haven’t started writing them yet)
Complete: 2 (These scenes are scenes I’m perfectly happy with at this point. They’re not necessarily the scene that will make it to the book, but they’re pretty close)
Complete, needs work: 4 (These scenes require some work before they’re ready, but still manage to go all the way through without TOO bad of a screw-up.)
Partially written: 7 (These scenes are not done yet and require not only completion but editing work to be done. These all have what needs to be done marked next to them, but are too varied to mention)

So roughly a third done, a third not yet begun and a third that needs work in this current draft.

One other announcement: I’m going on a trip with my family over the next week, during which I won’t be able to get much writing done for this blog. I’m planning on scheduling one of the two completed scenes above for Friday, and the Friday after I’ll be home to complete another short story for all y’all.

I’m mostly letting you know so I can be open with you guys. You’re all awesome, and I’m glad all 2 of you read this when it comes out.

*tilts hat* See y’all later.

An Open Letter to David Goyer

Dear Mr. Goyer,

I’ll keep this brief.

DC is ashamed of it’s heroes. Many people, including you, seem to believe that superheroes need to shirk off the childishness of the comic book age and embrace dark and gritty realism and false maturity. The kind of fake-ass ‘maturity’ that turns Man of Steel into a grey, lifeless murk where Superman absolutely must kill his first villain, and then in the very next scene smiles brightly while someone makes a joke about how sexy he is. And yes, it IS false, despite your protests to the contrary.

Marvel embraces its own ludicrous premises and runs with them. They decided that the best way to attract an audience is to charge into the comic book silliness of superheroing with wild abandon. The kind of abandon that turns the Guardians of the Galaxy (one of those so-called D-Listers you seem to despise so much) into an actual movie. Any dumbass can make a Superman film and sell it for millions – Guardians features a TREE that can only say three words, and a raccoon who’s dating an otter.

And one of the stars of Doctor Who – who the fanbase liked, by the way – shaved her head and painted herself blue to get into that movie.

See, maturity is not when you decide to grow up and act like an adult – maturity is when you decide for yourself what being an adult actually means and hang whatever anyone else thinks. DC’s acting the part of an adult, Marvel’s being an adult.

That’s why DC is tanking and Marvel is currently all but printing money.

I’d have also pointed out the obvious, but by the time you read this you’ll probably have been told what’s wrong with your comments on She-Hulk a dozen times over, and I don’t feel like being redundant today. (Also, I am quite possibly the LEAST qualified person on this planet to talk about gender issues)

Sincerely,
David Louis Burton
A guy who once used the name ‘Bullsbomb’ and currently goes by ‘HalfTangible’

PS. Wait, if the only people who have heard about Martian Manhunter are lonely comic nerds who will never get laid why do you know so much about-…. think i just answered my own question there.

PPS. And Martian Manhunter is no sillier a name than Superman or Batman.

Script for Let’s Play Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos Part 1: The Talking Bird

I wrote a script for my Let’s Play here after three or four attempts to improvise failed miserably. Here’s the script:

Hello everybody, I’m HalfTangible and this is my playthrough of Warcraft 3, Reign of Chaos. If you don’t know what Warcraft is, well A), how did you get here, and B) Warcraft 3 was a High Fantasy RTS released back in 2002. It was the sequel to Warcraft 1 and 2, and is in my humble opinion one of the BEST DAMN GAMES THERE IS.

Warcraft was developed by Blizzard Entertainment, who you’ve probably heard of before. They developed Starcraft, World of Warcraft and Diablo, all good games in their own right. Warcraft originally only had two factions: the human Alliance and Orcish Horde. However, in the third installment this expanded to include two new factions: the Undead Scourge and the Night Elf Sentinels. Each faction has their own unique strengths, weaknesses and playstyle, which we’ll get into when we start up.

[Go into the Campaign screen]

We’ll be playing through the campaign on Hard mode, because I am a bit of a masochist. Now, before we begin, a couple of things to note.
One, I tend to slur my words and trip over myself a bit, for which I apologize.

Two, this game is told mostly through gameplay and cutscenes, but there are occasional full-on cinematics such as these here. I originally tried to record the cinematics for you to set the mood properly, but the game client and Fraps crashed when I attempted to do so. So I’ll be putting the cinematics up on my channel and probably link you to them here – turn on annotations and I’ll put ‘em up.

Third, while I have played it a lot, it’s been a few years, and I am hilariously bad at this game. I intend to see this through to the end, however, and I promise not to show you all the times I get my butt kicked.

Maybe one or two, for the lulz.

So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

[Start – Change to second page]

Hello Thrall!

“What kind of nightmare was that?”

Ha! Wish my Nightmares were that awesome.

[After the cutscene]

Yes, Thrall, play along with the talking bird. Truly, the voices in one’s head never lead you astray.

Now, I’ll try not to talk over plot-relevant scenes or voiced events like that.

However, in case I do, I have turned on subtitles for your convenience, as you may have noticed once the narrator started talking.

If you’re familiar with Starcraft, Dota, or any strategy game, you’re probably familiar with what all he’s saying here: left click to select, left click and drag to select a bunch of units, double click to select all units of that type, etc.

[Gets to the Horde Camp]

I’ll get more into Thrall’s backstory during the orc campaign proper, but here’s what you need to know for now: Thrall is the current Warchief of the Orcish Horde, the main Orc faction, as well as chief of the Frostwolf clan. As you may have read already, he’s a Far Seer, the Orc faction’s spellcaster hero. Heroes are absolutely critical to Warcraft, and we’ll get to why here in a little bit.

[Finds the grunts]

Wait, so this guy singlehandedly united all of the orcs under his banner and he has three BASIC TROOPERS as his honor guard?…Not even upgraded basic troopers, either!

So yeah, this is the orc grunt. As I said, grunts are the basic foot soldiers of the orcish horde. Now, each faction has their own strengths and weaknesses, and the Orc’s main strength is how powerful their units are. They’re usually more expensive in terms of resources, but their raw strength makes up for it.

[List stats]

For comparison, the human footman does 12-14 damage and has 420hp. But enough blathering, let’s move on.

[Gnolls]

“to defeat this foul creature-“

Oh yes, the gnoll. Truly, the hyena-person is the most evil of abominations.

For the record, we later encounter a monster sewn together from different corpses, demons, racists, and the cult of the damned. BANDITS are fouler than these jerks.

[Thrall levels up]

Okay, this is why heroes are so central to this game. Your units are powerhouses, but they can’t shoot lightning from their hands. Heroes in this game level up with kills and become absolute powerhouses at high levels. The max level is ten, but the campaign limits your hero to a certain level per mission, presumably to keep the level’s challenge.

[Go after the Murlocs]

The Murlocs and gnolls here are called creeps – hostile creatures that basically exist for xp fodder. They’re not actually part of any faction, they’re just jerks who attack whatever’s there to attack.

[Nightfall]

OH NO! NIGHTFALL! WE’RE DOOOOOMED! DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!!!

Yeah, so this game has a day/night cycle, which I find incredibly cool. Units can’t see as far at night, and the night elf faction gets all sorts of special powers at night, but we’ll get to those.

[Ogre]

Yeah, this doesn’t happen with every creature. If we weren’t already running so long I’d show you the mud golems on this map. Seriously, this is supposed to be the prologue. Let’s hurry this up.

So, quick summary: at the bottom right corner of the map there’s a small area with some golem creeps. They don’t sleep at night, which is pretty much all they’re here to do: show that some creeps don’t sleep at night.

[After talk]

Spirits? Oh, that explains it. He’s not crazy. He’s a drunk.

So yeah, that was the first mission of the prologue. Next time, we rally the Horde and bring them all together in one place. And nothing at all will go wrong. Nothing at all.

This is HalfTangible, signing off.