Oki

List of Important NPCs I'm working on by Code Names
Hints at things in your Immediate Future

Quilts: Almost done
He Who Always Walks In Front: Do final check
The Fencer: Probably needs restating,, check if his race has an alt that’s better for the build
Cape and Cowl:
Sassy and Smiling: Need to check the edits
Chipmunk: Same as S&S
Inhabitant of the 100 Acre Wood: I think he needs to be made
Swamp Stories: Fuck I need to build her
What’re You Buyin’?: Need to Build/Maybe I don’t?
Uncle Ruckus & Biff’s Bastard Child:
Things that Will make Thoorin wish he was Alive:
The Warrant, The Cool Drink of Water, The Cherry Pie:
What Does this Button Do?:
Nomad Blanks:
Tinker, Twiddle, BOOM!:

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Thoughts

Why do we fight? You’re strong. I can recognize that. I respect that.

Still, as one whose hands have been stained red, I have to wonder…

Have you been forced to make that choice?

Are you ready for that if the time comes?

It’s not the same as to slay a beast or a monster. It is something that will follow you forever.

Are you prepared for that responsibility?

Are you still innocent?

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The Abyss

Darkness.

I don’t know what happened. It only took a moment, and suddenly there was nothing around me. No light, no sound, nothing. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t see.

I’m certain that was where it would all end.

Still, as long as I have any strength left, I have to fight, don’t I?

So I struggled.

I kicked, I rammed my head into it.

I could feel myself being dragged through the darkness, but I kept on, and somehow…

It stopped.

And I was in a sea of earth, dragged to a current I could not control.

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Awakening

“I am the Winged Wolf,
Long as I continue to draw breath, I will continue to protect those around me.
It doesn’t matter if I’m outnumbered
It doesn’t matter if I’m bloodied, my weapons stripped away from me, or I stand by my own,
I am the man who will not give up.
I am steel unbending.

Still, I thank you all, because without your support I would not be able to go this far.

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Why?

You’d think it would have been a difficult decision, but it wasn’t. I may have been a failure of a student, who’d gotten myself exiled, but I’d learned that you can never measure glory against a life.

It was easy to give it up. Painful, maybe, but easy.

Besides, I’m no good as a substitute parent.

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Deja Vu
At death's door

It was all I could do to raise the alarms. That’s what I’d thought. I saw the first corsair dragon ram into the medical tent, and my blood ran cold. When I turned and saw the second, my feet began to move before I thought about it. Using all the training I had, I moved forward to put myself between the charging monster and those inside the tent.

As its teeth went into my side, everything went white. I could feel it again. I was conscious, but there it was… Like all those years ago, death’s specter loomed overhead.

Three years ago

Damn this heat is unbearable.

It was all most of us could say or think as we trudged through the swamps. True, the signal had gone up to say that the mission was completed, but we’d still had to deal with all sorts of nasty beast on our way in, and now on our way out as well.

We were battered, bruised, and I’m certain more than half of us were dying of some illness that we’d no want to speak of. Still, at least this hell was almost over.

That’s when I saw it. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him. A giant of a man, standing at least ten feet tall, was barrelling to one of my allies, giant club in hand. Even in my shape, I rushed forward. I don’t know what I was thinking, only that I needed to act.

In an instant, I was between them, and I felt the most incredible pain I had in my entire life.

For a moment, all was white.

“Not yet…” I forced myself to step forward. He was injured too, but nowhere near badly as I was. “You’re coming with me!!” I shouted, my left hand forming a fist and swinging hard and wide for the side of his head. As I did this, all my energy escaped me, and I fell into the swampy muck below me. My last sight was the giant’s blood from his temple as he also fell.

~~~

I forced myself into focus. Not dead yet. Okay. This would have killed me on that day, I’m certain… But I’m alive…

“You listen here… I am Loren Greenbrook, the Winged Wolf.” I gripped my saber in my right hand. “You ruined my hunt… And now you’re attacking my home?” My hand raised up. “DIE!” Two sweeps. The first was wide, but it struck home. The second though, hit right through the creature’s hide.

The grip it had on me loosened as it fell, but I was still standing.

I turned to face its compatriot. You’re next.

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a slashed journal page

the top portion of this page seems to have been torn away as though by some sort of claw

…and here I was thinking it was strange travelling with Smoke Bison…but these guys are something else. Find one of them semi lost with no idea where he’s going, though knew where he was…and we get back to find them the victim of a chimera attack. I split off to try and track the thing while the trail was still fresh.

the next part seems to be some updates about the hunt, curses on how hard it is to track a flier, notes on temporary landmarks he made where the trail seemed to split

finally found the thing as it’s decided to try for round two on that caravan. Already had that guy from before at its paws. I dove in and tore open the things back…but this was not how i planned the fight to go…he was ready for a fight. It didn’t help that those caravaneers couldn’t aim and almost shot me. At least their shaman had some sense about her.

but apparently they’ve had death dogs, sun lizards, four flavors of illnesses, a frozen frog, a squnk, a giant angry…bug…man and spirits both helpful and …questionably benign. So much happens here, I’m not sure what to think about it all….not that they trust me to heed my advice…medically or otherwise.

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Reminiscence
Musings of a Soldier

Considering the trials and tribulations of the past few days, I think it is only fitting to say something about my thoughts on everything that has been going on. I won’t pretend to be selfless about this. It’s all about me. My diatribes, my rules. That said, I guess I should start with the other day. The first chimera attack… True, we weren’t doing well before it, but… Well, it was one of my failures, to not raise an alarm, to sit back and watch, unsure if I was seeing friend or foe before me. I feel like an embarrassment in all this. Even when the damndable thing began to strike the caravan, I was still too slow to act.

It was others who paid the price. Inari, who I’d taken considerable amounts of time to talk with since my arrival, and her elder son, Nakamura, were both nearly killed. It was through some miracle that I was able to pull her out from under the crafting wagon, and that Annina had been able to rescue the elder boy from all but certain death. I think at this point, that I remembered the words of my first mentor, the ornery old coot. Vividly, I remembered Ironfoot, after brutally beating a whole class into the ground, telling us this when we asked why:

“Why do I do this? Why do you wish to protect others? Those who are strong have a responsibility to protect those who are weak. I stand over you as a mountain, something unsurmountable, because that’s what I need you to be. An unsurmountable peak that defends those under your care, and also, so you can defend yourself, and to raise others, so that they, too, can defend those under theirs. We do not stand alone.”

I guess I’d forgotten that point. Maybe it was the absurdity of a mountain that didn’t even crest three feet tall, or one that I could so easily lift and toss aside, even as a child. Not that he’d ever let me.

Still, I think that was what led me to see that pathetic and frightful child, weeping and having wet himself with fear, and not help but empathize with him. The fear of losing a parent may have resonated too much with me. I still remember my mother’s crying smile as she left me in a back alley, telling me she loved me, and wanted me to live.
When Inari was finally awake, I asked her if I might teach her son. I suppose it’s both my inability to properly articulate my thoughts, as well as how painful a choice what I’d asked was, that led to her viewing my question with derision. Truth being, in her position, I think I would have done the same. For someone who would ask that of a near stranger… It’s simply laughable. And it led me to realize how little I’d been learning of these people in our dealings.

Of course, the illness had begun to strike before I could truly take the time to try and focus on resolving that, and this whole place has been thrown into a panic as a result. Between the stress and my callousness while working to replace the weapon I’d favored, I suppose I just let my own duties and decisions go to hell too. I certainly upset a few people between then and today, and am simply amazed I didn’t end up on the other side of Cree’s wraith for it all. That said, I suppose the next big nail that led me here was the sheer frustration that was this morning.

Charlie’s damndable tobacco kept getting at me, and I guess that’s what led to my being completely blindsided by the chimera’s return. I was completely overwhelmed before I’d even been able to defend myself, and it’s nothing short of a miracle that I was able to survive at all. The knot that had snagged in the wound, I think it’s a sign that the Stormzerker still wants me to do something yet, but I’ve simply no idea of what it is. Maybe the flashes I saw as I fell unconscious may have been what it was, though.

I saw Graham and Ironfoot, those who I could consider my mentors… I think it’s a sign. Once I’d regained footing, I decided to redouble my efforts. I’ll become better all-around so I can maybe become a teacher and superior like those who’ve taken me this far.
That’s probably what led me to speak to Inari once more. Even as her younger son’s sickness persisted, and even though I’d failed her and others on so many levels, she still gave me a chance. She told me once more of the完璧に庚申, her so called road to perfection… I’m not sure it’s an ideal that I can believe in, but… I’ll see. It’s like a credo I’d heard among some of the legions, to push beyond the limits we had and become better. I feel as if perfection may be greedy, but I could not simply turn her down when she’d told me of the fact that she was willing to consider me in spite of the failings I’d presented to her of late.

So I decided to take it as a test of arms. I suppose it started with something simple, some blocks and strikes, but the more I moved, the less I even felt I noticed about those around me. Inari had simply faded to the background, and all that stood before me was a phantasmal opponent. I thought back to everything that had brought me to that point. The humiliations that I’d both dealt and been dealt that had caused my exile from Calva, the fights in the swamps, where I’d barely been able to even make any difference by my own. Fighting as a faceless drone during that great offensive… Meeting Sargeras and facing numerous defeats at his hands, the almost fruitless defiance I’d put forward against the ageless snake, Ziggy… Thoorin’s death before my eyes. The near deaths of my fellow travelers before my eyes, and then my failure when the chimera struck once more. Every single one of these events and failures coalesced into a single enemy before me, one that was shaped just like me. I think at least five minutes passed as I faced down this embodiment of my own weakness that threatened to overwhelm and consume me… By the time I finished, and the world returned to me, I was covered from head to toe in sweat, and breathing harder than any time I could remember.

And she accepted the offering of my show of strength. Truth being, I think Inari is the consummate teacher… Perhaps that’s her goal. She says that the path is to become perfect at whatever one attempts, so I suppose that’s really no surprise. The bitterness of my past still left a bad taste, and for now, I do not know why, but… I bowed before her, and begged her to teach me. I think, that at this moment, all I want is to grasp some small bit of that shining light, to become the mentor that those of my past pushed me towards… Maybe that’s what Stromyr reserved my life for.

I’d say more now, but… I think I hear something… Anazat, what the hell are you doing now?

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Ballad of Old Shuk
A children's rhyme

He trots about in the dead of night,
Ashukashuka,
baying in the fog that causes a fright,
Ashukashuka,
Beware his eerie Green Light,
Ashukashuka,
Or your family may not survive the night…
Ashukashuka
Howl

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Visions 1

All I hear is that beat,
It is not the drums of a festival, or the flutes of a fireside tale,
It is the sound of footfalls crushing our world, it is the music of our own destruction.
It marches like ants across the dust, in steady lines that have no beginning and no end, no head and no tail, an eternal convoy of ceaseless demolition.

They grind us away and leave me polished to nothing, they pick me and all I know clean until we are smooth and nothing anymore.

They scavenge the world that is left to them, carrion beasts picking apart what remains.

I do not know if I can look upon my home anymore with hopeful eyes. Whenever I see the grass sway I can never be sure if it is the breeze, or the ants marching onward. When I hear a noise, I can never be sure if it is the storm or the drumbeat of the end marching on. I want to run to the second world, and hope that this vision never finds me before I reach that endless journey.

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