Sunday, April 14, 2024

Update on the 3D Printable Files of the Ships and MGT2e LIFEPOD is 1.5DT

 Update on the CE Mneme RAIDER - Open source Creative Common Ships anyone can use and share without worrying about the IP. 
Thanks to Charles Jamer C. Pangindian for the creation! Charles is from the Industrial Design College of saint Benilde and chose to help out creating 3d printable versions of our ships for internship. 














Mgt2E TL9 1.5DT Lifepod 




Visualization in terms of how this looks like in terms of floor plan. Note that Mneme Ships grid on the ships are at 0.75m squares. In the Philippines, our passageway requirement for fire safety egress is 0.6m, so space is enough for people to pass through in a mad dash for the exits. 


Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Change of Direction - Progress and Updates

1000 frames out of around 2200 frames so far, left to render without an optimized RTX 3070 NVDIA didn't install properly. At night I'm using our AI research PCs for rendering Blender Animations of some of the ships.  This would crash my Ubuntu RX 550 PC and will make my RTX 980 Windows 10 PC unusable. 








It took 48 hours in an Ubuntu 22.04 NVIDIA RTX 3070 to render this. 


Changes and Plans

  • Budgeted Projects with the ability to break even after 25 units sold. Instead of trying to continuously update a book until its such superior quality like the mneme Space Combat. The book only made less than 400usd and I spent around 2,000usd making it. The material is awesome but according to a friend its too complex to use - so I will work on making 5-10usd books that will easier and hyper focused on making ready material for peoples games. 
    • The animated renders of the 300DT Habitat (60m diameter) will help sell the book and I hope to make video detailing what people are getting when they purchase our 10usd book. 
    • Editable Maps (PPT) made from the 3D model. Of different Ship variants 
      • 1-map of the Original as it is Found in MSC (mneme space combat) but made of a Blank Unfurnished version of the Ship with no Interior Walls. 
      • 1-map of a Variant - made of Blank + Tokens
      • of course the Blank map and Tokens are available when the Referee or World Builder want to remake the ship. We made it you can do it all with just PPT or Libre Office Impress or Google Slides. 
    • Renders of Ship Specifications - we will make a large booklet of renders of the ships. at least 10 pages but we hope we can make it that there is about 20 pages of renders. 
    • Tokens you have of different colored variants of the ships - so that the Referee can differentiate them. 
    • The Blender Model. 
    • and STL and 3mf File for the 25mm scale minaitures. 
  • Text and Content is me talking the science and operations of the Ship - how I would apply it with the context of Economics, Business Operations, 
    • MGT2e is what a friend Ian would call "The biggest gorrilla" so to ignore that I get requests for MGT2E conversions of my ships is not good business sense. 
    • Its not like I'm already burried in So many IT and Engineering projecs and personal projects and of course being a family guy - so now I have to take on Reviewing the Dynamic Drop down sheet I made for MGT2E's complexity problem.  I just have to execise some judgement on how much complexity I'm going to take on. 
    • HABITAT book is the next book and the current detail of the outline is the following: 
      • Book with 30 pages
        • CE STATS and operating details. 
        • MGT2E STATS (using my dynamic dropdown JS google sheet) to reduce the overhread and to make it easier to clean up. 
        • Sample Crew for CE/MGT2E stats. 
      • 1x Ship Layout that is BLANK with png assets inside a PPT (power point/google slides/impress file - so you can CUSTOMIZE YOUR SHIP EASILY!!!). I realized this would be the NEXT STEP. 
      • 1x Ship layout of ORIGINAL ship but with the PNG files used to populate the ship. 
      • 1x VARIANT Layout. to show how a variant can be done, and another template for Refrees and worldbuilders to tweak. 
      • Blender Model!!!
      • Attached wll be +10 renders/pictures for the people who do not have time or resources to render it themselves, that cannot be found in the book.  
  • We can render Schematics Blue prints now. Just need to invert it to white and on a blue background. 




Sunday, April 7, 2024

Blood Magic - and Modern Medicine

 Blood Magic is the ability to reshape chemical signals and control micro organisms. Blood magic gave the ability to taste, smell, and feel things in the biochemistry of another person and within one’s own body. 

Blood magic in the setting is supposed to be equal to that of our modern medicine, except that the tools are hacked aka “shaped” into your body. The reason why it takes a lot of embryos to produce one elf or a blood mage capable human was creating the “Labratory Controls” in them. 

The assumption is that: What if we had, placed within us, a biological lab that allowed us to control micro organisms and produce compounds and enzymes and protiens that will signal and manipulate other organisms. This magic was not “telekentic” where it moved items using the mind - it depended on Chemical and Biological signals - thus using bodily fluids. 

Bodily fluids is key for the use of this magic, and that each human had a LAB inside them to produce this chemical triggers is a key limitation of the setting. You can say that the “summoning Magic” is the true magic - unless the “Summoned Memories” is actually from a database of sort. then everything is actually Scifi. 

Magic as Science, specically magic abilities as something programmed into a Transhuman - human descendant is an old theme I wrote about before. First I though of quantum effects that would make it possible to allow for Telekinetic control, but that magic became difficult because it required energy that we could not metabolize. 

Blood magic where the premise is that mages were labs, and they could influence others through their magic would be better. With adequate preparation, someone can use Blood Magic to make someone stronger, faster, or even smarter - it just took time and shaping. And of course what happens when you force change in the body would be cancer. 

In a scifi setting, humans with built in biological labs would be very adaptable even if technology would collapse. As long as some survived to adapt, they would be able to apply the necessary changes needed to modify the entire species in that predicament.  

Biological computers designed to rebuild themselves - as their schematics are saved in genetic code is much easier than the Sophon in the Netflix Adaptation of the 3 body problem (photon sized supercomputer and AI ). propelling seeds near the speed of light and surviving the deceleration is not as complex. Creating terraforming biological infrastructure with such would be far simpler, and then linking all these worlds with Quantum Entanglement - would be order of magnitudes easier. Heck transfering memories and consciousness so far away would be easier- and rencoding them and then making the consciousness transfer seemless would be an easier near FTL way to teleport. 


 



Sunday, March 31, 2024

3 Body Problem Reflection and my own Writings

My problems with 3BP. I really like the series - of course, I understand the need to make events that will trigger the plot to move forward. I think its a great story and recommend people to it, of course like my wife, its not for everyone. 


 
Unfocused Alien Contact Signals: We questioned the plausibility of contacting aliens with unfocused signals, noting that signals degrade over distance, similar to light from distant stars. The challenges in communicating with distant spacecraft like Voyager illustrate the difficulties of maintaining signal integrity over vast distances.

Stability of Trinary Star Systems: We discussed the depiction of a closely packed trinary star system in the "Three-Body Problem" and its potential for chaotic gravitational interactions. In reality, stable multi-star systems like Alpha Centauri are far apart, reducing the likelihood of the stars colliding or disrupting each other’s orbits. if they are that close together it will create Accretion Disks as well as either throwing away another star or Stellar collisions in the time scale of billions of years. 

Resource Abundance in Star Systems: We explored the idea that advanced civilizations wouldn’t need to invade other star systems for resources, as a single star system, like our Solar System, contains ample materials for supporting trillions of lives across space habitats and infrastructures. Check out Mneme World Generator and how we explored how much resources are in the world and the odds of having enough stellar mass. 

Complexity of the Sophon Concept: We critiqued the complexity of the Sophon, an AI the size of a proton used to hinder Earth's scientific progress, as overly intricate. Given the Trisolarans' advanced technology, simpler and more direct methods of achieving their goals seem more plausible. 

Assumption of Perfect Coordination in Extraterrestrial Civilizations: We touched on the "Dark Forest" scenario's assumption of homogeneous, perfectly coordinated alien civilizations. We noted the need for acknowledging heterogeneity within civilizations, suggesting that internal divisions and slower, varied responses to discovering life might be more realistic than immediate destructive actions.

I don't need aliens wanting to kill me and humanity to give me existential dread - just the existential dread of Elite wanting to Exploit, Economies, Mobs, Markets and Industries acting like Fickle Gods. and the frustration of people giving up, and enabling these horrors. Of course the part that has me engaging is the people who choose to do what they can, to reduce the over all suffering while discovering the errors or ignorance of their ways.  

Writing my own Scifi - as well as helping Students create their Start ups, and using my position for Win Win strategies to disrupt the degenerate Philippine Tech industry is a particular kind of writing. Particularly that of a project manager, teacher, and problem solver.  I would probably more successful in my problem solving and teaching than to make anyone interested in the framework I teach and use - so that technology is applied in a way to eliminate problems for society as a whole - and the memetics that frame the sociopathic thinking that hinders innovation. 

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Short Stories Test - elevenlabs Text to Speech PART 1

In eleven labs I got a 80% discount, so I got 30mins of audio reading for 1usd, it will be 5usd/mo next month or if i choose to upgrade it will cost 11usd. Testing the waters, like my books, it may have some interest but not enough to make it viable. I guess with my spending on my hobby statistically I can keep trying many other things and will hopefully be lucky OR most likely “Survivors Bias” where I’m one of the many people who kept trying and have normal lives. 


The amount of things I’ve tried and failed. Yikes. I’ll just add this.

I kept it a sperate Channel called Shortstories because It will have a lot of mature themes so I dont want all my other works to be taken down. 
 

Eleven labs at the 5usd/mo tier has a commercial license… of course its not like I will make money off of this. My target is around a 50 people who like it and would support it with subscribing and comments. Enough to justify spending 20usd/mo to get 2 hours a month of Eleven Labs services. 

What an expensive hobby: having nicco make ships and writing books, and now writing isekai that no one may read lolz. 

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Freedom of such a Low Bar

There are so many favorite parts writing this - 
1) Is that I can do the same structure I would write for an adventure: NPCs, motives, inertia of the setting and society, and what unlikely but inevitability happens. I like working on fundamental motivations and elements of a character and winding them up to run around in a setting. I like how characters interact and change the world.
In a typical isekai i’ve been consuming they work of the “Hero vs Demon Lord” Trope. Evil that is oversimplified and easy to hit. I’ve grown past that power fantasy because of my Job - if I still think in oversimplified morality - i cannot be effective in my job. I would see end-users as the enemy and it doesnt help as a system thinker. I still think there is evil, like the ton of corruption in the Philippines and the Industry, its just that navigating my immediate surroundings - and problem solving daily - seeing someone as a “Minion of Evil” or a good guy isnt helpful. 
 
2) Its the closest to running a game. Writing is what a GM who is not running a game doing. Especially when they’re filling out what the playerss will be doing. 

3) Writing about relationships and how brains work. I love writing how science works. In an Isekai, there are really good medical and engineering iskeai (“I was reincanted as the Villanes  but was a doctor in the real world, but originally came from this world as the villaines”, “I was a reincarnated surgeon in Ancient China?” “I was a reincarnated rural doctor in this fantasy world where healing magic is only handled by humans”. Writing how someone behaves if memory and attention is far greater than that of a normal human - that they are not filled with uncertainty and their processing time is not limited to biological limitations. How someone feels when they dont have fear and uncertainty about their station, past trauma, nothing to prove abotu their self esteem etc… to have the inner peace of a monk who spends 4-8 hours a day rewiring his brain meditating and not being controled by their fears and impulses.  

4) the fight scenes - fight scenes writen by someone who used to Spar, fight in Kali tournaments,  play war games (milsim) airsoft as a SCOUT (the role where you have to improvise and operate far from any support and have to be faster and have more stamina than everyone else; in airsoft scout is the most physically demanding because all the other roles would be as physically demanding in real world combat conditions and is largerly removed because of airsoft). I’m gamer who played athletic hobbies with other gamers - that you can be a NERD and still be athletic, know enough about strength training, biomechanics, etc… That I love learning about climbing, gymnastics, archery, horsemanship, etc… I want to write an Isekai where people will see someone who is passionately crazy about these things. Its still an iskeai and you shouldnt take it too seriously, but at the same low standard - you can talk about it like a obsessive compulsive person. 

5) The magic system, systems in general, is another thing. You can say: the Power Systems - how Priest Kings work in City States of the First Empires (5000-1000 BCE), where there is Magic - giving the priest king longer lifespans and more physical power. Blood magic - or Biological magic - the ability to control and influence cells, bacteria, viruses, and their behavior - as well as magical version of modern medicine. the most key here is stem cells and the ability to draw from these for rejuvenation - and the use of menstral blood and embryos for magic.  Control of women and reproduction is an aspect of this story when the magic system finds embryos, eggs, and menstration valuable. Particularly since its a scarce resource. 

6) Objectification and Slavery is a topic tackled in most isekai. Slavery and Serfdom in the Philippines lasted well into the 20C and you can see the vestiges in our culture. Particularly in the generational gap and mindset. I like writing about how TERRIBLE it really is, as my favorite writers who like Miles/Christian Cameron, Bernard Cornwell, and others made it out as BAD and why their protagonists were enslaved and came to hate the institution. A lot of Isekai is pro-slavery, as a Punishment and a common practice. 

As a History buff writing an Isekai who has the basic expected education about the history of slavery (particularly American Antebellum), and that of the Philippines and the Spanish enslavement of Indios - I dont want to glorify it like most iskeai. 

7) Fan Service.  Romance and Intimacy is something I want to write, its actually encouragement of my High School teacher regarding these kinds of stories that made me have a hope to one day write… of course my geekiness about History and TRPGs that made me want to write more, as well as my favorite Writers. But I do like writing about romance and intimacy.  Exploring relationship dynamics - dispelling illusions about Harems - and what healthy Polyamorous relationships look like - and the work and circumstance of such. Particularly when there is no Taboo about sexual education. Being a former catholic and having had my sexual education  DURING my teens when my grandfather explained all the science regarding it and during College experimenting with girlfriends and having pregnancy scares - I really hated how terrible it was. Philippine Sex education is terrible. Of course I dated a lot prior to my meeting my wife and gamed how dating works in the Philippines - realizing how certain personalities fit - and how co-dependency works (as a married man with kids) would be a fun thing to write. 

Its Funny that in the setting Elven men - transmute their sexual drive into magical energy leaving them Asexual. Imagining “Post nut clarity” all the time. Imagining a race of men who are always having “post nut clarity”.  It changes the dynamics - a lot - this is the “ideal man” to many women… forgetting that that man doesnt exist and a completely asexual man - is a disinterested man. That such men without any drive - means intimacy is shared experience - and if they can relate with other men more than they have deeper relationship with those who share their experience. But since gender roles are different with blood magic - “One of the guys” happens to be female or male. You can say the main driver of relationship are roles and responsibilities - those who can share their roles and responsiblities determine who you would hang around more of. So for our protagonist - those who do scouting and are in the thick of intelligence gathering and dangerous circumstances would be his spouse.  

Ruining the Harem narrative by giving the women more depth. Yeah that would be fun - there are a TON of Isekai where the harem are filled with damsels and so much so that why write that? Right now in the hundred or so iskeai on my playlist - this is the trope and everytime there is a harem this is the outcome. Of course men attracted to damsels in distress - is not the dichotomy. Men attracted to women who have shared related challenges and strengths is an alternative way of telling a story with many female characters around a male character. The way not all female friends are trying to fuck their charming male friend. 

when men have 24/7 post nut clarity - their expectations change - a narrative experiment of “what if men can just switch their sex drive off.”  their decision regarding partners and raising children are totally weird - it doesnt even mean a traditional family unit. Elves can use regular humans as surrogates and can manipulate genetics to have multiple donors to an embryo (since we can do that now) - What determines a family is really at least two people who love each other enough to support a household with an intent of bringing in a new generation… a lot of my Scifi writing is about families when technology overcomes biological and economic barriers - i get to play it out in an Isekai. Men with 24/7 post nut clarity are not “Easy” anymore.

Elven vanity - so elves had the most extensive blood magic genetic alterations. being an elf is born out of humans that have extensive modifications - and a natural talent in making these modifications. the escalation reminds me of Asia’s obsession with Education, Status and Appearance - the amount of plastic surgery we do and dangerous beautification medicine.  Elves having reproductions like IVF using many embryos and consolidating the genetic materialinstead of discarding it, using the stem cells to augments the offsprings abilities that cannot be passed down as genetic material is facinating to write about. Transhumanism elements in an Iskeai . 

Then there are the humans and the materiarchs with more limited blood magics acting like the benejeserets. And the many schools of blood magic. 
Then of course magical energy purely a metabolic process. meaning calories determine a lot of magical power and subtle usage is best. 
describing hyper dexterity of elves, if bone and muscle mass mattters for strength what is the “magic” of someone who can perfectly predict and control their center of gravity and flexibility (if you watch the flexibility strength youtubers and martial arts youtubes) - what does it look like fighting an elf who has 5-10x the reaction speed. 

Of course the kind of humans you can create when various blood magics can create anabolic steroids, and maintain the performance of Priest kings and Noble warriors. The armor, weapons, and feats of human ability they can take. Then of course blood magic on domesticated animals: Pack Goats, War oxes, Thoroughbred Horses, Angus or Wagyu beef, Hunting lizards, Rocks (Giant birds), etc… 

Blood magic creating the races - dwarves, orcs, goblins, Trolls, and giants. A fighting scene with a Troll would be fun to narrate, how would you fight +3m tall creature 16-30 tons. Imagining the oxygen metabolization of such an animal (the biological bottleneck) - imagine a giant Algae swamp and below sealevel high oxygen (30% Oxygen, from the regular 20%) environments - allowing for giant animals.  (oxygen is heavier than nitrogen).  


Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Short Isekai March 27 2024 part 3

 PART 3

Wren struggled to pronounce her name, Irilia, who gazed at him as if their souls were entwined by a long-shared history. Her recognition became apparent when she addressed him, “Kaleen, sunspouse. Is that you?” His response, tinged with confusion, was, “Sorry, do I know you?” The realization dawned on Wren that this body and its memories were not solely his, and this woman had played a significant role in his counterpart’s life. Her graceful acceptance of his confusion pained him, as her smile reached her lips but not her eyes. “May I know your name, sir?” she inquired, resigned yet composed. “I remember being called Wren. Who are you?” he asked, seeking her identity. As they reintroduced themselves, Irilia revealed their past as former spouses, separated nearly twenty winters ago, their progeny now establishing their own families. Alongside Irilia were Thiria and Dashil. Thiria, slighter in stature, bore the marks of fatigue and pain yet retained an undeniable beauty reminiscent of models or actresses from Wren’s past, aged ambiguously in their twenties or thirties. Dashil, while not as striking as the others, had a youthful resilience etched in her features, distinguished by intense brows, dark lips, and a narrow chin. The other two, more human in appearance yet still striking, were Sain and Thine. They were shorter, reaching only to Wren’s collar, with long, curly hair and vivid, round eyes—Sain’s hair a reddish-brown, Thine’s jet black. Their features, rounder and less angular, contrasted with the elfin elegance of the others, set against their darker, sun-kissed skin. Wren, whose mind was usually scattered in the presence of attractive women, found an unsettling clarity now. This lucidity rendered him asexually detached, save for an inexplicable draw to Irilia. His former awkwardness and obsessive pedantry were absent, replaced by a quiet, attentive demeanor. Engaging naturally, he noticed Sain and Thine’s reactions brighten, their pupils dilating with interest as he focused on their words. The intrusive thoughts that once besieged him were now absent, replaced by a serene concentration and self-assuredness. Observing Irilia and Thiria, Wren discerned subtle nuances in their aura, gleaning meanings from their sparse words. Dashil, slightly less refined, hinted at her half-elf heritage through subtle subordination to the elfin women—a detail Wren noted passively, recalling only when necessary, as evident as distinguishing a tree by the shadows of its leaves. Sain and Thine exhibited profound reverence towards the other three women, a sentiment amplified by the care and recovery magic they received. They learned survival and healing under the tutelage of their more experienced counterparts. To Wren, Irilia and Thiria exuded the charisma of actresses, yet in matters of camp logistics—its care, protection, and security—they commanded with authority, orchestrating the tasks and strategies needed. Wren found himself acting instinctively on cues from Irilia, puzzled by his own responses, yet her fleeting smiles in his peripheral vision suggested a shared past, rekindling briefly in their cooperative glances. Thiria and Dashil were more direct with their needs, requiring explicit communication with Wren, who proactively sought to understand their requirements. In contrast, Sain and Thine’s needs were more nuanced, demanding attentive inference from Wren to affirm the value of their contributions. Wren took on the role of scout and provider, securing game, water, and materials for self-bows and arrows, while also ensuring the camp's safety from predatory animals. Irilia and Thiria, leveraging their experience, guided the group in essential survival skills—from setting up camp to self-defense techniques. Wren came to realize that the scissor lock move, pivotal in his combat success, was a technique he had learned from Irilia, a relic of their shared past. Efficiently, Wren repurposed the captured mail into vests for three of the women, while adjusting boiled leather cuirasses to fit the others. Thiria, regaining her strength through blood magic, necessitated an increased calorie intake for the group. They discreetly altered their elven features to blend more with humans, sacrificing some efficiency for anonymity. Their martial training intensified, with Sain and Thine assimilating blood magic to maintain parity, their efforts visibly depleting their physical reserves. Their journey led them north-westward towards Asthoros, driven by Irilia and Thiria’s need to uncover the slavers' knowledge of their village and the summoning ritual. Dashil, Sain, and Thine, though initially hesitant, were galvanized by the resolve of the elfin women. Amidst the underlying fear and trauma of the ordeal, the group was aware of the slim odds of traversing back 2000 kilometers to their origin. Irilia, concerned for her grandchildren's safety from potential slaver raids, prioritized their security and education. Thiria, fueled by a desire for vengeance, gathered toxic flora for her burgeoning arsenal, while Irilia concentrated on nurturing the skills and knowledge of the younger women. The transition from wilderness to civilization was marked by the gradual thinning of the dense woods into managed woodlots and copses, signifying human cultivation. The sparse, deliberate arrangement of the trees gave way to a broad stone road, approximately five to six carriages wide, by Wren’s estimation. Their group, cloaked in heavy garments and makeshift armor, resembled a band of armed militia, with the women disguising their forms to appear more like men. As they progressed, the signs of civilization intensified—fires flickered in the distance, and the mingled scents of smoke, cooking, and urban life grew stronger. Before them stretched a formidable wall, towering ten meters high and five meters thick, dominating the horizon. The skyline was punctuated with the slender forms of minarets and temple spires, alongside residential spires adorned with bells and lamps, casting a welcoming glow. The ambient sounds of prayers, bells, and gongs mingled with the bustle of travelers, creating a lively cacophony typical of a city’s heartbeat. Approaching the southern gate, they were greeted by the imposing figure of a patron deity sculpted above the entrance: an ox-man with sprawling horns akin to those of a Guar or Aurox, merged with the lower face and hands of a man, large enough to encircle three or four adults. Wren’s tactical eye quickly assessed the city’s defenses—kill holes strategically positioned along the wall housed archers, their bows strung with iron-tipped arrows at the ready. Observing the flutter of armor in the breeze, Wren discerned it to be primarily boiled leather, tinged with discoloration where metal lamellae were integrated for enhanced protection in vital areas. This detailed description aims to vividly capture the initial encounter with Asthoros, blending elements of ancient civilization with the strategic considerations of its defenses, and setting the stage for the rich historical and cultural tapestry that defines the city. Asthoros presented an unexpectedly pristine appearance, its streets paved with stone, indicating the city’s affluence. Wren deduced that the substantial stonework hinted at a prosperous urban core, eager to witness its scope. He noticed the self-mending qualities of the pavement, where cracks seemed to have seamlessly closed, speckled with quicklime—evidence of a Roman concrete-like material in use. The streets, designed with a subtle incline, directed rainwater towards efficiently engineered drains, where work gangs were actively removing accumulated sludge. Beside them, neatly arranged, were stone and ceramic perforated tiles, ready for road maintenance. The city’s aroma was surprisingly fresh, more akin to contemporary metropolises than the medieval city-state Wren had envisioned. Beyond the broad main roads, residential buildings lined the thoroughfares, interrupted by narrower alleys at regular intervals. Architecturally, the streets were dominated by multi-storied structures, rising to about five levels, supported by robust arches and columns that formed arcades. These covered walkways provided sheltered pathways, bustling with the activity of beasts of burden and carts. The area around the arcades buzzed with perpetual construction and renovation. Building materials were systematically arranged and secured, signifying ongoing repairs and enhancements. The auditory landscape was a blend of continuous carpentry and the clamor of street vendors weaving through the arcade, their calls melding with the city’s soundscape. Open toilets integrated within certain side streets displayed a raw aspect of city life, where the daily routines of eating, drinking, and socializing coexisted. Wren observed the perforated stone underfoot, indicating an elaborate network of canals beneath the streets, linked to these public facilities. He noticed the strategic flow of water through these channels, moving steadily towards the south and west of the city. A notable establishment was a public bath, situated near inns, taverns, and a travelers' guild, creating a hub of activity and services. Inquiring for lodging, Wren learned of a Hospitia located in the city’s western part, illustrating the structured and accessible amenities Asthoros offered to its inhabitants and visitors. The playful yet mischievous children attempting to pilfer their belongings offered a lighthearted diversion. Irilia, Thiria, and Wren were quick to spot these youthful antics. While Irilia navigated the path ahead, Thiria mingled along the crowded edges, and Wren, ever watchful, trailed the group. The bustling crowd necessitated louder communication; Wren spoke in codes instinctively shared with Irilia and Thiria, while Dashil translated for Sain and Thine, aiding their understanding. As they acclimated, they actively engaged in the discourse, with Wren elucidating the urban landscape—identifying thieves, slavers, and gangs scouting for victims. As they immersed themselves in the city’s rhythm, the group, especially Dashil, Sain, and Thine, adeptly modified their accents to blend in. Irilia and Thiria facilitated this linguistic adaptation, reinforcing the correct pronunciations and accents. The exploratory exchange of new words and their nuances enriched their understanding, with each member contributing insights into the locals’ usage and intonation. Wren’s acute vision, capable of discerning minute facial expressions and body language from afar, became an asset, though Sain and Thine needed blood magic to achieve similar perceptual clarity. This ability earned appreciative glances from the group, particularly from Irilia, whose subtle gestures of satisfaction stirred something in Wren. Their interaction with the locals, marked by genuine assistance and gratitude, further integrated them into the city's fabric. At the Travelers’ Guild, Irilia prioritized gathering intelligence, where a reception desk offered structured assistance—a setup Wren amusingly found clich├ęd yet functional. The group settled in, with Thiria facilitating the order of boiled water and tea, negotiating terms with a vendor paying her dues to operate within the guild’s premises. The ordering system was intriguing: small wooden cards, each bearing a symbol representing the menu items, were placed in a lockable device showcasing the top card. A distinctively colored card could be inserted to modify or cancel the order, a detail Wren noted with interest. Thiria handled the transaction, providing change, as the group delved deeper into discussions about their surroundings. The timely arrival of their order paralleled the intensifying conversation, highlighting their integration into the city's dynamic environment. . Wren meticulously dissected their forthcoming actions, teaching Sain, Thine, and occasionally Dashil—who masked her curiosity—about his observations of the city's populace. He distinguished the various professions and gauged the economic strata, deepening his understanding of the girls' past by correlating these roles to their native village professions. He observed the city’s wealth, reflected in the exorbitant costs of sustenance and accommodation, a challenge for the women to meet in terms of bronze and silver. Thiria returned to the group with hot water and a distinctive snack: cakes seared between iron plates, filled with sweet beet jam and coated in savory lard. In a discreet gesture, she removed the herbs she had been masticating from her mouth, blending them into the tea. Wren, observing this action, recalled instances during their journey when Thiria would subtly spit into their beverages. The new context here was her spitting into boiled water, a process that intrigued Wren, considering the potential for residual flavors or sediments in the water. Wren’s grasp of Thiria’s magic deepened with this observation. He realized her abilities in manipulating plant properties, neutralizing toxins, and purification didn't just involve external application but required her to internally generate the necessary reagents or ingredients. This method, while perhaps unsettling to some, showcased Thiria’s adept control over microorganisms and her capacity to enhance or alter flavors and chemical compositions through her inherent magical processes. Thiria’s interjections in Wren’s discourse not only clarified details but also led to enriching exchanges that elevated her status as a wise and enigmatic figure among the women. Even from a distance, Wren, alongside Thiria and Dashil, managed to grasp fragments of Irilia’s dealings with the clerk, including the discreet exchange of coins and the clerk's profuse apologies to other customers. The involvement of Sain and Thine in the conversation, drawn by Irilia’s strategic and charismatic interaction, instilled a sense of confidence and intrigue. Dashil’s interest in Irilia prompted Thiria’s description of her as a diplomat, which Wren quickly nuanced with intelligence connotations. Thiria amended her description to scout and agent, hinting at a shared history with her husband, Kaleen, her gaze fixed on Wren to emphasize the need for discretion. This revelation nearly made Wren choke on his too-hot tea. His effort to swallow the scalding liquid painfully underscored his obliviousness regarding Irilia, juxtaposing his intellectual acumen with a personal blind spot concerning his "sundered-spouse" and her clandestine prowess. By the time Irilia rejoined the group, they were already indulging in their third order of snacks. She seamlessly integrated into the gathering, beginning her meal with an air of nonchalance. Thiria, maintaining the guise of casual conversation, subtly sought confirmation of the details discussed with the clerk. Irilia, while focusing on her food, provided confirmations and clarifications, revealing she had secured an audience with the guild master and the possibility of obtaining endorsement letters, particularly for favors that might leverage their unique abilities. Wren, taken aback, noted Irilia's use of seduction, especially her implied offer to assist the clerk and her partner with conception. This rare display of forwardness not only underscored the gravity of their situation but also hinted at the necessity for such intimate persuasion to ensure their mission’s success. However, the casual atmosphere was momentarily disrupted when Dashil subtly averted her eyes, signaling an unseen threat. Wren adapted, tuning out the ambient noises to concentrate on the sounds filtering through a one-sided perforated barrier, enhancing his situational awareness. Irilia and Thiria, sensing the shift in Dashil’s demeanor, engaged Sain and Thine in light-hearted dialogue, a strategic move to soften their collective body language and dispel any suspicion of their alertness. This subtle dance of words and gestures underscored the group's adeptness in the nuanced art of spycraft, where every action, no matter how trivial, was a calculated step in their covert operations. Wren chastised himself for not sooner grasping the breadth of Irilia’s wisdom, which she patiently imparted through tales of their shared history and the lurking threats they faced. During their journey to Asthoros, in the scant hours of rest at night, she unveiled the intricate world of blood magic and its practitioners. Wren learned of the Matriarchs, Priestesses, and Witches: the Matriarchs, who collaborated with nobility to refine talents and abilities, even altering embryos to sculpt flesh; the Priestesses, who wielded magic for healing and affliction, capable of manipulating the body’s fabric to heal, harm, or immobilize; and the Witches, who exerted their influence over beings and nature, crafting potions and commanding thralls. Irilia’s insights into the world of warlocks and blood mages, and their comparative lack of power next to the moon-empowered women, captivated Wren. Despite his elven acuity, he felt a profound attraction to Irilia, an allure that transcended mere physical appeal. His mind, woven with myriad threads of focus, allowed him to dissect his reactions and thoughts meticulously. He was drawn to her, ensnared not just by her physical beauty but by her seductive intelligence and the way she seemed genuinely engrossed in his words. Unlike his past life, where his attractions often led to simplistic reactions, here he could perceive the layers of her allure, recognizing the calculated charm she wielded with effortless grace. This attraction, however, did not manifest in the usual distractions; instead, it sharpened his attentiveness. Wren’s interactions with Irilia, and indeed the other women, were characterized by a keen charm and thoughtful engagement. His interest was genuine, driven by a desire to learn and understand, rather than any physical or emotional need. This detached yet intensely curious approach made him remarkably charming, his allure amplified by his self-control and analytical mind. Wren’s realization of his own vulnerability to attraction, despite his intellectual detachment, added a layer of complexity to his character, showcasing a man who could be the epitome of self-control yet candidly acknowledge the simple human folly of attraction. Irilia’s breadth of knowledge, as she disclosed, came not only from her own experiences and the final confessions of the dying but also from the narratives of western traders. Her ability to extract memories from those on the brink of death hinted at a darker aspect of her past, suggesting a willingness to end lives when necessary. This revelation should have alarmed Wren, yet his intrigue with Irilia created a blind spot, his judgment clouded by an inexplicable draw to her. The information she shared with Wren was comprehensive enough to offer a clear framework for understanding, yet it was crafted to avoid overwhelming him, allowing his own judgment to navigate the complexities of their environment. Their conversations, though rich in information, were interspersed with moments of tension, where Irilia momentarily seemed to anticipate a counterargument, a habit stemming from her interactions with Kaleen. This dynamic hinted at a historically fraught and intense relationship, where open, unfiltered exchange—although rooted in truth and mutual understanding—may have led to past conflicts and misunderstandings. This underlying strain, coupled with their deep connection, created a paradoxical interplay between familiarity and distance. Irilia, facing a man reminiscent of her once beloved husband yet devoid of their shared burdensome history, found herself in a quandary. The potential for a new beginning with Wren, a man echoing Kaleen's essence but unmarred by previous transgressions, offered a tantalizing yet fearful prospect. This nuanced interplay of emotions and memories underscored their interactions, revealing a complex tapestry of love, regret, and the enduring search for truth within the shadow of their shared past. In the room they rented, they took meticulous measures to ensure a pest-free environment, burning herbs and lining their beds with spice deterrents before succumbing to sleep. The allure of the city’s baths was strong, but the need to disguise their true identities and origins took precedence. Despite being nestled within the city's heart, the wilderness's silence was replaced by the incessant nocturnal activity of Asthoros, where the sounds of persistent labor pierced the night. Irilia departed first, with Wren trailing discreetly a hundred steps behind. She rendezvoused with Sana, the clerk, whose personal tales of loss after her third child added a somber note to their nocturnal journey. Their passage through the city was a silent dance of shadows, navigating a labyrinthine route that belied the dangers of nighttime strolls in the sacred city. Sana’s familiarity with the locale allowed them shortcuts through private properties, her apologies met with understanding nods from the accommodating owners. Wren, unable to follow Irilia’s stealthy shortcuts, opted for the illuminated public streets. His journey was fraught with danger as he encountered gangs emboldened by the night's cover, testing their luck against the city's defenses. Wren's acute senses picked up the distant clamor of conflict, the sound of a javelin thwarting a thief's efforts at forced entry. The activation of a nearby spire signaled the city watch’s alertness, casting light on the immediate area. Navigating through the chaos, Wren deftly avoided the gangs now scattering in panic. His defense was swift and non-lethal, using the falchion's blunt end to incapacitate with broken fingers and wrists, a measured response that avoided life-altering harm. His actions, while forceful, were a testament to his control and strategic approach to confrontation within the bustling, perilous nightscape of Asthoros. Wren discreetly followed Irilia, finding a vantage point on an adjacent structure where he could observe without being noticed. From his perch, he overheard Irilia engaging with Sana and her husband, Timon, discussing the intricacies of blood magic and its potential to aid in conception and pregnancy. Timon detailed the guildmaster's availability and the bureaucratic process for their upcoming audience and documentation. The conversation shifted to the delicate topic of fertility assistance, with Irilia confirming her capabilities in blood magic, leading the couple to believe she might be a blood mage or matriarch. The discussion took a personal turn as Timon expressed concerns about their difficulties in conceiving. Irilia, with patience and expertise, outlined the blood magic procedure, explaining that it could enhance the viability of the pregnancy outside of Sana’s natural cycle. She described how the process would require a substantial contribution from Timon, as the magic involved would strengthen the developing embryo for a full-term pregnancy. The scene unfolded with a sense of ritual and reverence as Irilia prepared to utilize her abilities to aid the couple. The night progressed through phases of rest and rejuvenation, punctuated by the sounds of a deeply personal and transformative process. From his concealed vantage point, Wren intently observed the events, his thoughts oscillating between the present and memories of his past life with Irilia. He subconsciously bit his lip, a reaction to the intimate echoes of shared history and the realization of the proceedings below. As the hours unfolded, marked by the rhythmic cadence of life-creating efforts, Wren’s reflections deepened. He acknowledged the extraordinary power of blood magic in shaping and creating life, paralleling the scientific processes akin to modern fertility medicine from his original world. The sounds emanating from the room—gentle murmurs, the rustle of fabric, and intermittent soft exclamations—acted as poignant reminders of his past experiences with Irilia. They had once shared such moments, immersed in magic and mutual vulnerability, weaving the fabric of life with their united intent. Wren realized that Irilia was selecting the most viable embryo, a process reminiscent yet distinct from the practices of his original world, where excess embryos might be stored or discarded. Here, Irilia employed her magic to reintegrate the unused material into the mother, enhancing her capacity to sustain the pregnancy and reducing the likelihood of complications. The ritual of blood magic was grounded in the physical realm, necessitating direct contact, with Irilia’s bodily fluids playing a crucial role in facilitating the physiological transformations required. This laborious night, filled with Irilia’s meticulous manipulations, revealed the depth of effort involved in such magical interventions. Wren pondered whether elfin conception typically demanded such a triadic collaboration or if it was reserved for instances fraught with difficulty. The night's events offered a glimpse into the exhaustive and intricate nature of blood magic, its impact resonating deeply with Wren’s understanding of their shared past and the complexities of life creation. As the night waned and they left the couple to their rest, Wren observed the toll the ritual had taken on Irilia. “She would get sore, and I had to help him out. He is a very willing man and faithful husband,” she remarked, her voice devoid of irony, aware of Wren's awareness of the bedroom activities. “Unfortunately, his health and diligence have made him not as robust as some men,” she added, locking eyes with Wren, an unspoken acknowledgment between them. “You don’t have to explain to me,” Wren interjected softly. “You mentioned you were sunspouses. Decades have passed, and you've had other partners. One of them died protecting you while I... I ran.” “Yet I feel the need to explain,” she countered, brushing her hair from her face, her eyes lingering on his, just a tad too long for casual notice. “I’m not Kaleen. You shouldn’t feel obligated to explain,” Wren responded, his gaze unwavering, absorbing the intricate features of her face. “Yet I see some of his mannerisms in you, a stranger who doesn’t know me,” she mused, halting her advance, her lips barely moving in a silent confession that Wren easily deciphered. Her subtle flirtation seemed out of place to Wren, who, devoid of his former insecurities, could dissect the intent and hesitation behind her actions. Irilia’s gaze, intense and questioning, seemed to ponder aloud, "Why do you act like when we first met, as if you were Kaleen?" This moment of vulnerability and reflection highlighted the intricacies of their relationship, bridging past and present, and revealing the deep undercurrents of connection and confusion between them. ==== Dashil, Sain, and Thine have formed an unexpected bond, shaped by the shared trauma of witnessing slaughter and enduring loss. Wren, with his attentive and empathetic nature, made them feel valued, treating their words and experiences as significant. His demeanor was that of an ideal companion, focused on aspects of their lives that brought them comfort and ease. Thiria and Irilia served as guiding figures, embodying the roles of mother, elder sister, and even father, offering wisdom and gentle discipline, reminiscent of the soothing presence of a nurturing parent during night terrors. Thiria’s incense offered more than just a fragrant ambiance; it dulled the sharp edges of fear and memory, evoking a childlike vulnerability in the women as they sought solace in her presence. Thiria reminisced about the days when her children, and later her grandchildren, would find comfort in her embrace, echoing the warmth and security Theel once provided. Her musings on Theel’s love and protective nature highlighted a profound connection, one where the roles of comforter and comforted seamlessly intertwined, revealing the depth of familial bonds and the enduring nature of love. Thiria, amidst the quiet of the night, carried the weight of her memories, particularly of Theel, whose death was a vivid tapestry of courage and brutality. She witnessed his fierce battle, where it took an onslaught of adversaries to overwhelm him. Despite being outmatched, Theel fought with a tenacity that was both awe-inspiring and heart-wrenching. Thiria saw the desperation in his attackers as they struggled to subdue him, finally resorting to spears and savage blows to decapitate him. This gruesome end, while horrific, underscored the profound love and determination Theel had for her, a memory that, although painful, shaped the indelible image of him in her heart. Theel’s hands, rugged and calloused from years of labor—constructing, gardening, and smithing—were a testament to his life’s work and his strength. Yet, those same hands were capable of gentle caresses, intimate expressions of love and desire that transcended the passing of time. Their frequent moments of closeness were not merely acts of physical love but reaffirmations of their deep, enduring bond. Even as they aged, their connection remained vibrant, fueled by mutual need and affection. Losing Theel was not just a personal tragedy for Thiria but an existential void. His absence left a palpable emptiness, a silence where once there was the comforting presence of a partner who had been her other half. For Thiria, an elf with a long span of years and a wealth of memories, Theel’s loss was not an event to move past but a profound alteration of her being, a shift in the essence of her existence. His love and sacrifice were imprinted in her soul, a reminder of their shared journey and the unyielding strength of their bond. The poignant memories of Theel stirred Thiria in her sleep, causing tears to stream down her cheeks. Sain, awakened by the silent echoes of Thiria’s grief, observed the sorrow etched on her face, illuminated by the moonlight seeping through the window. This wasn’t the first time she had witnessed such a display of pain; the night had often revealed the hidden depths of Thiria’s loss. Moved by the sight, Sain reached out, her actions tender and protective. She brushed away the tears with a soft kiss, a whisper of comfort in the heavy silence of the room. Wrapping her arms around Thiria, Sain pulled her closer, offering a silent embrace that spoke volumes, a promise of shared strength and unspoken understanding in the quiet hours of the night. Thine's dreams, usually haunted by visions of her sister combating slavers, were less intense this night, though the echoes of conflict lingered. Sain's slumber took her through the unfamiliar streets of the new city, mingling with memories of her father and brothers; her heart ached for her mother as she instinctively clung tighter to Thiria. Dashil experienced a jarring interruption in her dreams, reliving the moment her elfin father fell to the slavers' blades. The potency of Thiria’s magic seemed amplified within the confines of the room, offering a stronger buffer against the nightmares than the open wilderness had allowed. The sharpness of the past traumas, while not erased, began to dull, the immediacy of those horrific memories fading as time under Irilia’s and Thiria’s nurturing guidance wove a tapestry of healing and stability, aiding the women in navigating their grief. When Irilia and Wren returned, they gently roused Dashil to unbolt the door. They joined the somber yet comforting huddle, with Irilia nestling close to Wren, enveloping him in a tender embrace. His weary senses barely registered the closeness, drifting between the realms of wakefulness and sleep, enveloped in the shared warmth of their gathered presence.



Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Short Isekai March 26 2024 part 2

PART 2The salt enhanced every flavor. Wren opportunistically gathered familiar herbs reminiscent of basil, oregano, thyme, and long peppers, blending them into the tiny wooden flask he had acquired from the slaver. He found edible roots, their smells and appearances triggering his appetite. Occasionally, he encountered odd clusters of three or four plants that didn't seem naturally placed, including a type of edible stalk, a fruity vine, and clusters of edible seeds. Wren would thoughtfully rearrange the leftover seeds in areas he believed conducive to their growth in the forest. Within a few days, he repaired the bow—a fine self-bow with an unusual pattern in the wood grain and a thick handle nearly as robust as a staff when straightened. He unstrung it and dried it in a smokeless fire pit. Next, he sharpened the falchion and hammered out the nicks in the blade to achieve a smooth edge. He then remade his short stone spear, replacing its head with the iron spear, resulting in a weapon as tall as he was, rather than its original length, which was three hands taller than Wren. He replaced his stone axe with the metal one, featuring a small axe blade the size of his hand affixed to a heavy haft adorned with patina-covered copper rings and bands. Upon returning to the slavers’ camp, Wren slowly deciphered their movements. His newfound bloodlust unveiled a different perspective, making him aware of previously overlooked clues, such as the definitive arrangement of seats and positions in the camp, more telling than mere step counting. He observed the impressions of beds and the locations where the slaves relieved themselves, noting the slavers' negligence in allowing the slaves to sleep near their waste. He pondered whether this indicated a decline in discipline and morale and whether it would lead to the slaves being positioned further from the camp or if the slavers would exert the effort to guard them and establish proper latrines. Disturbingly, he detected the presence of blood mixed with semen, his sharpened senses picking up on the grim details. He could track them, a skill honed by observing the shadows and deducing the time of day to infer cardinal directions. Wren distinguished the smells, separating the animal, filth, rot, and mold of the forest from the humans' scent and his own. Closing his eyes, his mind visualized the terrain's flow, the wind, and the weather patterns. He appreciated, in a way that only age could afford, how the stormy weather would aid his pursuit. Their onagers and pack goats would struggle with the uncertain footing as they moved northwest. A thought nagged at him: why was he overwhelmed by the notion of human waste and disease emanating from that direction? Was there a city or imperial capital nearby, a place where slaves turned into coin? They hadn’t bothered to retrieve the molding and wet leather cuirass of their fallen comrades. Wren pondered the psychology of his quarry, now that he had experienced killing them. His thoughts often returned to his edge alignment, frustrated by his inability to cut cleanly. He practiced his swings whenever possible, recalling stick fighting where edge control didn’t matter, and old fencing concepts that taught him about center and lines, tensing and then relaxing his muscles, itching to strike a small sapling. He resisted the urge to leave a trail, needing to adapt to his new, lighter, and stronger body's perceptions. The hand axe, throwable and now secured behind his waist, had a makeshift cover made from leftover boiled leather to prevent accidental injury. Practicing with the bow staff was impossible as he neared the slavers. It took only three days to catch up, moving swiftly and hunting en route. He secured the bow staff and arrows to his largest drawstring bag, lamenting the lack of time to snipe with the bow—such an attack required more preparation and practice. His arsenal of spear, axe, falchion, and buckler would suffice, especially after figuring out how to sling the buckler on his left shoulder for two-handed spear use. The ambidexterity of his new body fascinated him; he could easily switch the axe haft to his left hand and the falchion to his right, storing the falchion at his waist while moving through the brush. The spear, however, was cumbersome, constantly occupying his hands and risking leaving marks unless he carefully rested it on a tree or rock. As Wren neared the slavers, their scent grew distinct from the last two cold camps. He detected illness among them; three slavers were sick, and some showed signs of dysentery. Noticing one slave's tracks had vanished without finding a body, he surmised the individual was still too valuable and likely carried by an overburdened pack-goat. Observing discarded items like clay and wooden flasks and leaf packings, he realized they deemed these utensils unworthy of saving. Wren wondered, "Do they think I’m hunting them? Or are their relationships so transactional that they don’t care if the others die?" Wren pondered the circumstances of their capture. How had the slavers found them? Why were they there, and what was their purpose in taking us? Were they expecting us those months ago? The details were hazy. Whatever had transpired, it was unexpected for the slavers; they lingered, searching for something. He questioned the logic of spending two months on a mission just for slaves—slaves like him, with distinct elfin features. Were they deemed valuable enough to warrant such an expenditure? And why were the men considered less valuable than the women? These idle thoughts were interrupted as night descended, and Wren began to eat salt-cured dried rodent meat, flattened into improvised jerky. He sensed their presence, deducing it from the sounds of insects and the pungent smell of human waste as the slavers took their evening break. Wren detected the aroma of their fires and noted the eerie silence of insects downwind from the smoke. Positioned north of their camp, with the wind blowing from the south, he observed their need for light, their cookfires casting a revealing glow. He observed the slavers taking turns on one of the slaves, venting their frustrations. The commander had seemingly abandoned any pretense of discipline, indulging in the service of a slave. Wren's eyes caught sight of her, a figure of defeat and resilience, her beauty marred by bruises, her intense grey eyes capturing the moonlight, reflecting a deep heartbreak. From his vantage point in the tree canopy, nearly half a minute's run away, he watched. He wondered if, in her despair, she could sense his presence as he observed another ill slave being removed from the pack goats and shackled in iron chains alongside the others. Counting the enemy, Wren noted 20 slavers, three clad in leather cuirass, and one donning a sleeveless mail shirt with leather pauldrons. There were eight slaves in total; previously, he remembered, there had been more, with slavers outnumbering them twofold. His mind flashed back to their bindings and the sigils glowing in the darkness upon his arrival in this world. The buckler, bow staff, larger satchel, and quiver would be cumbersome in the impending confrontation. He watched the leader converse with the enslaved woman, wishing he could discern their words, yet knowing his priority was to identify a vulnerability. His heart twisted with disgust and pity at the sight of their mistreatment, particularly when the woman, attempting to console the other slaves with a gentle touch, was violently reprimanded. The slavers appeared to derive some perverse satisfaction from her compelled interactions. One, armored, took a wooden rod and struck her on the thighs. While her bruises were not visible, her agonizing cries pierced the night. Edging closer, Wren could finally grasp their conversation. Astonishingly, he understood their language. The commander's harsh discipline continued as he demanded she use her healing abilities for his men, berating her for wasting her powers on the slaves. Through her tears, she pleaded, "We are more valuable unbroken." The commander’s laugh echoed cruelly as he retorted, "You’re right, but still heal my men. Or teach one of the bitches to use their blood magic to heal them. There should be enough seed in them to heal twice as much." As Wren observed the brutal abuse of the women, the terror and helplessness that had initially overwhelmed him upon arrival—and the subsequent rage of seeing the men slaughtered—merged into a formidable tide of hate and anger. The sight of an elfin woman, enduring her agony with a heart-wrenching cry, crystallized his fear into something dark, terrifying, and furious with bloodlust. His heart pounded fiercely, and his breathing deepened, as if he were sprinting at full speed, yet he remained still, every sensory detail magnified. The night seemed to brighten, the moon and stars overly vivid, and every detail around him became excruciatingly clear, making the slavers’ movements appear painstakingly slow. With stealth born of this heightened awareness, Wren noted each silent step he took on the uneven ground, the surrounding darkness illuminated by the intense campfires, draining the world of color. Having abandoned his pack, and now without his spear and axe, he advanced, seizing a long knife from a nearby slaver. In a desaturated world, he moved with lethal precision, his spear slashing through the neck of one slaver, then retracting to deliver a deep, fatal cut to another, who had been deceived by the presence of his comrade. Alerted by the cries of the wounded pack animals, the slavers’ attention was drawn away, allowing Wren, already circling to their flank, to remain unseen. The men, their night vision compromised by their own torches, were blind to his approach. Wren capitalized on this advantage, his superior night vision enabling him to navigate the shadowed terrain with ease. He launched his axe, striking a guard on the flank, the weapon embedding deep into bone. Swiftly drawing the stolen long knife, Wren executed a series of rapid strikes, aiming to collapse lungs and silence cries, moving through the shadows like a wraith. Amid the flickering chaos of the firelight, Wren danced through the ranks of the slavers, his exceptional night vision dissecting the battlefield. He exploited the blind sides of the regular humans, their eyes ruined by the bright torches and fires. He targeted their legs, shins, and knees, then charged through the camp, evading predictable, low swings, and leaping over them with a flip, slashing at eyes and faces mid-air. Landing, he felt the earth buckle under him, yet remained agile, swiftly cutting down the next line of slavers. His falchion cleaved through hamstrings and calves, predicting their movements, and as they recoiled in pain, Wren struck decisively at their necks. The knife, although missing its intended mark, gouged deeply into a shoulder, while his falchion, more familiar in his grasp, opened a lethal wound on the side of another neck. Amidst the turmoil, a slave seized a moment of defiance, snapping her head back to shatter the teeth of the slaver behind her. Turning to face her assailant, she found his front teeth missing, likely embedded in her skull, and in a surge of desperation born from enduring months of abuse, she wrapped her chained hands around his neck and sank her teeth into his carotid artery. The ensuing chaos spurred the other slaves into action, fighting back fiercely. However, two of them fell under the slavers’ brutal counterattack—one’s face was crushed with a hammer, another stabbed as they attempted to rise and scream. Wren’s breathing deepened, drawing in the acrid mix of smoke, blood, and filth permeating the camp. Deciding it was time to end this, he dashed towards the source of a commanding voice, his powerful strides tearing through the earth, hurling clods of soil with each step. Within moments, he was bearing down on the commander, who had adopted a high overhead guard. The commander, confident in his reach and experience, swung his sword down in a swift arc, believing his skill superior to that of the perceived escaped slave. However, Wren had anticipated this very move, observing the shadow of the descending blade, poised to cleave his skull. Wren had baited the commander into overconfidence, hurling his long knife and falchion directly at the commander’s face. The experienced leader managed a barely sufficient parry of the knife, then, in a desperate move, redirected his entire momentum to block the falchion. Exploiting this, Wren launched his foot forward, meeting the commander’s face while flipping upside down, his entire weight enforcing a scissor lock around the man’s head. This unexpected assault knocked the larger commander backward, allowing Wren to seize and wrench one of his arms, using his aerial momentum to disrupt the commander's balance and control. Locked in a scissor grip, Wren tightened his legs around the commander's neck, applying a deadly choke, while using his arms and body torque to fracture the other arm. As the commander, overwhelmed, dropped his sword to support his faltering neck, time seemed to slow for Wren. Amidst his rage, a part of him coldly calculated, observing the commander’s struggle, applying precise leverage to snap the bone. With the commander unable to guard his neck, Wren executed a swift, torso-driven movement, amplifying his leg's force to fatally twist the commander’s neck. Seizing the sword and long knife, Wren executed a feint with the sword, skillfully tossing it to the nearby slave while simultaneously dodging a riposte from an attacking slaver. He exploited the opening as the slaver’s cuirass lifted during a high guard maneuver, plunging the knife into the exposed waist area. The woman barely caught the sword, her initial shock giving way to a grim realization. As another slaver launched an attack at her, Wren relentlessly stabbed him in the kidneys, ensuring both incapacitation and excruciating pain. The slave, wielding her new weapon, struck the guard’s face with unrefined, yet effective, force, resulting in a gruesome wound. As Wren’s perception of time normalized, he took in the full extent of the woman’s suffering—her bruises, her haunting gray eyes. In this moment of clarity, he noted that ten guards were still combat-ready, albeit disorganized. With several forceful swings of a spatha, he decapitated the commander, raising the severed head to challenge the remaining slavers, “Do you still have fight in you?” Their resolve faltered, and in their desperation, they attempted to take hostages. Wren, with precise aim, hurled the spatha at a slaver adjacent to a hostage-taker, ensuring the woman remained unharmed. The sight of the sword embedded in his comrade’s face distracted another slaver long enough for a woman to bludgeon him to death with a hammer. Wren, his voice strained, announced, “Now there’s eight.” Fear and the reality of their plight set in, prompting some to flee, while others collapsed from their injuries. In this chaos, Wren, conserving his strength, allowed the women to exact the vengeance they had long been denied.

Monday, March 25, 2024

Short Isekai March 25 2024 part 1

 I've been consuming a lot of manga recapped and wanted to try it out. I wonder if the story is good enough for someone to draw. This kind of thing would knock out 2-3 hours a day, something I can do everyday but it doesn't make money. Seeing how many light novels get published I wonder what are my odds?   my knowledge of martial arts, milsim, outdoorsmanship, logistics, low-tech technology, and science would be those light novels where the protagonist solves puzzles and problems - not just uses force and violence. The subtle and clever use of special abilities that are not overpowered. as well as applying game theory as how challenging and sophisticated other adversaries are when they think and solve puzzles too. 


Audio (using elevenlabs AI tools)

PART01-01

PART01-02

PART01-03


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PART 1

Wren breathed heavily, his feet and shins screaming with deep bruises and cuts from the relentless shrubs and thorns. He had been running for what felt like a quarter of an hour away from the slavers. His heart raced, and he moved forward, trudging along the broken ground, crouching low with his back hunched. He kept his head and eyes below the shrub line, unable to see if they had turned back, silently hoping they couldn’t hear him. Each footfall seemed noisy, yet he knew that certain sounds didn’t carry far. Unlike the snapping of dry twigs, the ground beneath him wetly crunched with roots, rocks, and damp, rotting foliage. He carried a stone-knapped axe, a thrusting spear, and an atlatl, all of which had survived the rain and the rough handling of his escape. His attire was a worn, patched flax linen tunic found in a burned-down village. Linen cloth, scavenged and repurposed as a hood, sleeves, and leggings, shielded him when he dove into the brush for cover. His belongings included a repaired drawstring bag, a wallet hidden under his shirt and around his neck, and two mismatched pouches at his waist. He also had wooden and copper flasks, each containing a liter of water, but no metal tools or weapons could be scavenged from the village. Half an hour later, Wren dared to look back, his mind a whirl of dread and paranoia. Thrust into this hostile world over a month ago, he clung to the hope that his skills from war games might save him. His attention sharpened when he spotted a slaver standing foolishly erect by a tree, mistaking it for concealment. The slaver's gaze swept over Wren's area, his body relaxed, showing no sign of recognition. Memories flooded back of Wren's arrival in this world, with others, only to fall into the hands of slavers. The slavers, captivated by the women's beauty, ignored him amidst the chaos, darkness, and rain. Brave men were swiftly subdued; Wren could only watch as the captors bickered over their human spoils. The memory of that night—fraught with fear, weakness, and confusion—haunted him. It was particularly disorienting because he remembered being engulfed by the bright light with his friends, only to find himself stranded among strangers in this new world. It felt miraculous that Wren had survived; he realized he shouldn't have been able to run with such endurance or at the frantic pace he had managed. His discovery came when he encountered puddles and running streams: his body was entirely different. He appeared elfin, feeling the strange pointed tips of his ears with his fingers. His vision was markedly improved, allowing him to see far better than ever before. The shock was intense as he observed and recognized details sharply—the faces of the slavers, the features of the deceased. He couldn’t recall his past clearly but surmised this must be akin to his youth's vitality when he could run and fight with boundless energy. The clarity within him stirred, guiding his movements as in his days of live-action role-playing and war gaming with friends. He possessed the speed and decisiveness of youth, unmarred by the toll of age. Fatigue vanished as he navigated the underestimated sheer cliff face, reading the slavers' movements and sensing their growing frustration. Fearing a fatal fall, he spared only a cursory glance at the precipitous incline before pressing close against it, closing his eyes, and listening intently, hoping to discern the slaver’s retreat. After an hour of silence, he deduced their reluctance to pursue him down the hazardous slope. Wren then ascended, his past bow and climbing training awakening his upper body strength, allowing him to reach up to each handhold with determined pulls. In moments, he scaled the cliff and observed the slaver squad, now weary and retreating. He noted their sinewy frames, the bruises and cuts marking their limbs. The wind carried their scent to him, mingled with the impending rain, placing him advantageously downwind. His enhanced vision allowed him to scrutinize their faces and postures, identifying limps and signs of fatigue. Among the four, he spotted the straggler, assessing their vulnerabilities. As the sound of approaching rain filled the air, Wren sensed the impending downpour. He swiftly navigated around, the dark, rain-heavy clouds enveloping the scene. Driven by the urgency, he dashed towards the slavers, aiming for a large tree nearby, strategically positioning himself. The rain turned the forest into a cacophony of sound, making the ground treacherous and muddy. Despite their caution, the slavers' aches led to slips and falls. Seizing the moment, Wren descended upon the most fatigued slaver who had fallen to his knees, driving his spear down into the man's collarbone from above. The victim was rendered speechless, unable to draw breath as the stone spear lodged firmly. As Wren contemplated retrieving his axe, he noticed the dying slaver's short falchion and buckler. He quickly appropriated these weapons and advanced on the next foe, who had turned in shock towards his fallen comrade. Wren hurled the buckler at the slaver's face, causing a cry that alerted the others. In a swift, brutal motion, he slashed the slaver's knee and shin, following through with a body tackle that sent the man tumbling to the ground. The two remaining slavers turned, one brandishing a sturdy iron spear, the other hesitating with a bow. As the spearman lunged, Wren's youthful body reacted instinctively, his enhanced vision capturing the prelude to the slaver's thrust. Wren felt a flashback to sparring with eager, albeit untrained, youths, as he intercepted the spear with his falchion, aiming to sever its wooden shaft. The impact sent a numbing shock through Wren’s arm, yet the blade bit deeply, disarming the slaver. In one fluid motion, Wren closed in, his arm hooking the slaver's shoulder, his foot slipping between the man's legs. Drawing from his extensive judo and jiujitsu training, Wren executed a precise hip throw, propelling the slaver directly into the path of the bowman. The unexpected collision forced the bowman to falter, just long enough for Wren to maneuver around the spearman and destabilize the bowman, who, struggling on the slippery terrain, misfired his arrow. Wren, seizing the moment, reached for the nearest weapon— an arrow from the bowman’s spilled quiver. With a swift motion, he drove it into the bowman's chest, finding a gap above the pectoral and forcing it between the ribs. He twisted the arrow, pushing deeper, aiming to compromise the archer’s thoracic integrity and induce a fatal collapse of the lungs. Wren's assault left the bowman gasping for air. Rolling off him, Wren's hands scrambled, seizing a stone as he propelled himself into a sprint towards the Spearman. A wave of desperate violence surged through him. He clipped the spearman, who was struggling to rise, sending them both crashing onto the rocky ground. Pain shot through Wren's hand as it met sharp rocks, but he didn’t pause, rolling atop the spearman to pummel his face with the stone, targeting the forehead and jaw with ruthless efficiency. Mid-assault, Wren's enhanced peripheral vision caught a shadowy movement—the crippled slaver wielding an axe. The slight prelude to the slaver’s swing gave Wren just enough time to hurl the stone, striking the attacker's face with a bone-crunching impact that sent teeth scattering. Detached, Wren observed the chaos he wrought, his heightened senses dissecting every detail, every shadow. This sensory overload triggered a flood of memories and thoughts, yet Wren remained focused. Rising to confront the axe-wielder, he slashed upwards at the axe-slaver's face, then turned his blade, moving in a downward arc towards the spearman in a smooth, clean motion. His forceful strike lodged the weapon deep due to imprecise edge alignment, failing to deliver a clean cut. Wren seized the spear, still embedded with his falchion, and thrust it into the bowman attempting to escape, his equipment abandoned in panic. As the rain intensified, soaking everything, Wren felt his heart pounding, adrenaline fueling his actions. He scavenged the battlefield, collecting weapons, the fractured spear, and swapping for better shoes and pouches. His acute senses navigated the muddy chaos, swiftly locating valuable items. With the storm masking his movements, Wren assessed the wind and rain patterns, intuitively choosing paths where erosion would better conceal his tracks. He vanished into the storm-swollen landscape, leaving the scene of fierce confrontation behind. Hours passed as he continued to run. His fingers and limbs wrinkled, Wren found a dry spot to rest under a rocky outcropping shaded by large trees. Erosion had carved out a nook where only rocks and soil remained. He washed his wounds with the stream of rainwater created by the tree, striving to remove the grit embedded in his feet, elbows, and hands. The terrain grew more treacherous, and he hoped the slavers were ill-equipped to track him to this refuge. Unwittingly, he dozed off, awakening to the warmth of a new day, surprised to find no signs of infection despite the numerous wounds and the strain on his immune system. Experiencing fatigue without illness was a novelty for him. The clarity of his senses only fully dawned on him as the desperation and frustration of constant flight ignited a desire to confront his pursuers. Bloodlust sharpened his perception, making every detail starkly visible. He could see viable routes up a tree and scan for followers. Before he knew it, he was perched in the tree, surveying the terrain he had traversed, perhaps more than 10 kilometers away, discerning subtle movements and the occasional glint of metal. The urge to engage, to test his limits in combat as he had never before, unlocked latent abilities he struggled to comprehend. A mantra in an unfamiliar language filled his mind, and he whispered it, attempting to extend his vision further. The chant ceased abruptly when he recognized the pangs of hunger and exhaustion. His gaze landed on wild fowl and rabbits, hinting at a shift in priorities. Wren realized that survival in this strange world entailed more than just evasion—it demanded adaptation and confrontation.


Wednesday, March 20, 2024

50% Sale Poster March 2024

Hi everyone ,
Letting you know about the sale at game in the brain of our products https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/publisher/17858/Game-in-the-Brain from march 15 to march 31
The product description has the links to the discount code and you can access the codes via qr code.
Discount codes:
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse.php?discount=931161849e
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse.php?discount=9765a77d6a
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse.php?discount=975ccb01d2


Friday, March 15, 2024

Lack of Hard Scifi Habitat Books - is this an opportunity for Game in the Brain.

 So, Nicco and I are nearly done with the 60m diameter habitat. The ball was in my court for double-checking the dimensions - I would make an object that would be as big and check the volume since it would make the scale accurate. Nicco will then proceed to make a denser map that would be friendly for people using VTT like Roll20. We downloaded the Roll20 map-making guidelines.

Delays were caused by having chills and fever March 8 and only getting antibiotics March 11. Today is my last day of antibiotics. 

There is going to be a 1-month learning curve as I teach Nicco how to use the dynamic lighting in Roll20 and test if both our PRO accounts can be moved back and forth, or if he just has access to my pro account. I’m not sure how this will work out.

If you’re new here, Nicco is the artist making the 3D and 2D materials in Mneme. He is also my co-writer and editor for background material, and he leads the writing projects like our unreleased adventure “2-Parsec.” I have the same skills as Nicco as we were “barkada” (close friends group) in college gaming and strangely had similar-looking styles. He continued to do art working in corporate communication and media (presentation decks), and I was roped into the family business being the IT head. I typically do the R&D, but Nicco did the R&D to create the geometry nodes that allow us to create the ships easily (People have access to these same geometry nodes since they have access to the Blender files), but as a friend said: the skill level to use your material is too high - it has to be more accessible. Nicco is not just an artist, he’s also a hard sci-fi guy who would do the math given the opportunity. 

In the Game in the Brain, I guess what would sell based on what I would want and the market doesn’t have. For example, our products, if you look at them, were based on the gap in the market and what I believed is needed to have a great experience playing Cepheus Engine.

In the habitat, I did the calculations and requirements, Nicco created the drafts and I would examine them. Typically that would be double-checking his calculations and compliance with the ship stats. I’m not too strict because I pay for the rework. I advance everything, if the book doesn’t sell (it’s sold only 23 copies, I need about 100 to be close to break-even or possibly 200 copies when I give sales… Like today) I absorb all the costs. I don’t buy games as much and cut back on other things to pay for improving Mneme.

Anyway, when a friend, Jay, pointed out that our games are not too accessible, I got to thinking - would people be interested in a 5000 dton habitat? 10 rings of 60m diameter, that would be a 100m long ring with a 2000DT tender able to jump and resupply. Imagine a ship with a fuel cable that unspools to skim on a gas giant, the fuel cable is 100m long for every dton allowing standard hull-type ships to stay in the thinner atmospheres - note that this is to allow more area for the ship to catch atmosphere for fuel, as you need tens of km of spool to properly mine a gas world.

The book is probably going to be 40-50 pages with tiles for rooms. It will have 1 ship, but 3 sample interior setups. There will be Roll20 maps with dynamic lighting.

The product is a 5000DT (3000DT) habitat that can be placed in any location that needs a lower tech (TL7-8 or in GURPS TL8-9) habitat. If it will be hard sci-fi Traveller like Orbital 2100 then this will be ubiquitous. The economics of the habitat and its tender will be noted as this determines the economic potential the PCs will encounter.

Images of a habitat nestled in an asteroid being formed to shield it would be the most common, as well as it naked behind the moon with a powerful magnetic field. With 3000DT it can hold 300-600 people, what kind of economic unit is 300 people or 60 families? Imagine the fuel tankers through or around the habitat. Nicco and I will have fun detailing it, but the question is, will it pay off and will people like such a product that it will be bought? 

I’ve been mostly wrong every time, none of the projects every hit break even. While I still do this even if it’s not break even and because I want such a product to exist. Where else can you get the 3d Models of the ships and all the editable tools you need to detail and customize our material? Cepheus Engine exists! it took a decade for people to catch on. You’ll notice I’m juggling my JS studies along with the other studies even if I’m sick right now, having little sleep because of my cough. 

I guess I have to come up with a free product: Running Cepheus Engine hard sci-fi, as well… answering all the questions regarding this. Being the Quality and Safety Officer, being in charge of our Maintenance and on the board of our Building - and seeing how safety, engineering, and maintenance is done in other companies - I would love to detail this - trying o predict how it would work out. I would love to make Engineering, Maintenance, Operations, and Automation fun and accessible the way learning so much about it in Games and Real life and filling in the gaps. I would love to gamify life for people so they can win-win. Having an electronics start up - I would love to translate it into low key adventures - so that students and starting adventurers can have better options - as they have a more structured framework to approach the industry. Of course I have to be lucky enough to have an engaging product - that my flaws dont obscure our strengths. 

What do you think? We are open to feedback!