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Everything posted by Sean Cassidy

  1. Sean's stomach churned, and it wasn't just hunger after still being in the process of turning his new morning workout into a habit. He stood in a knot with his family, his father's hand a firm pressure on his shoulder, his mother and sister standing on Jack's other side, both in dark dresses with wan faces. His left leg tingled with pins and needles up to his hip, as though it was asleep, and his hands were balled into fists. The sun beat down, hot, remorseless, almost accusatory in the clear blue sky. His slacks, years old, were tight across the hips and under the black button-down he'd borrowed from his dad - the sleeves rolled up several times so they didn't cover his hands - there were trickles of sweat, back and front. Sean's jaw was clenched, eyes squinted to slits in the effort of retaining a stoic expression, but it was obviously a thin façade. With all his issues, plus a father who endured everything with blue-collar aplomb, Sean had learned early not to cry in public, and ingrained as it was, it was still a near thing. He's shed his tears in private. As a boy who looked like a girl, and had only grown more so with puberty, growing more curvaceous than most, he'd suffered. But he hadn't ever suffered much in the way of actual loss. The Cassidys were a small family in Toole County. Now anyway, generations past, there had been many more. Sean had an uncle on his dad's side he'd never met and knew next to nothing about, and his mom had a sister who visited once a year with his two cousins. His mom's parents had passed away before he'd been born and he could barely remember his grandmother on his dad's side. The only funeral he'd gone to was his grandfather's, when he'd been ten. But his grandfather had been going senile for a few years before, and his passing had, in some ways, been a relief. Charlie's death hurt. A link ripped out of the small circle of friends Sean had been surprised and blessed with finding himself with. Charlie had been there when he'd first started DMing RPGs. Always interested in the story and developing his character, Sean could always rely on Charlie to engage with any plot hook he laid out to get things going when the game started to wonder or go completely off-track. With his interest and training in drama, Charlie had helped Sean expand his storyteller's voice, as well as how better to structure the narratives of his games and campaigns, even if it was to go against convention. Now Charlie's life story was cut short. As were all the stories of the lives he might have played on stage or on the screen, all the characters he might have played in their shared games. It wasn't one life, one friend, gone, but the multitude he could have been. With learning about their powers, and the secrets buried in Shelly, an unconscious part of Sean had still seen it as a game, fighting monsters with psionic powers, where bad things could happen, but they weren't ever final. Until they were. Life wasn't a game, but both eventually ended. They had found the Dark, but one of them had lost before they had even fought. It wasn't fair, Coiled through the hurt and loss was a nauseating shameful guilt. Not-Cody could have taken any one of them, and the result likely would have the same - one of the Radiant going dark under terror and violence. Forcing himself to look at it logically, with his lifespan cut dramatically and uncertainly short with an equally uncertain recourse, if one of them had to be sacrificed to the Darkness, it should have been him. But shortened life or not, Sean was relieved, relieved, it hadn't been him. He wouldn't wish it on any of his friends, but he wasn't ready to die yet either. And it felt wrong, it felt perverse, to be standing here, watching Charlie's casket being lowered into the ground and covered with dirt and being grateful he wasn't one the in it. Devin spoke and more guilt piled up on Sean's hunched shoulders. He just couldn't bring himself to. What if he broke down in front of everyone? Charlie certainly deserved it, especially as the embarrassment would be only in Sean's own mind. And even if it wasn't, so what? But what if they saw his guilt, his relief, that he was still alive when Charlie wasn't? No. With the service coming to a close, the Cassidys went to pay their respects to Charlie's parents. Eyes downcast, he murmured a few awkward words of condolence with Charlie's father - Lucius Cole had never been comfortable around his son's intersexed friend. Sean was more at ease with Hannah Fuhrman, who'd always been kind to him when he'd gone over to Charlie's place, to just hang out before gaming or working on something for school. His mouth dry, voice ragged, Sean didn't even hear his parents' or Laurie's words. The Cassidys ambled disconsolately towards the parking lot. Sean took a deep, scratchy breath to collect himself, giving his leg a surreptitious shake every other step, trying to jostle it awake. His mother stepped up beside him, giving her odd son a one-armed hug. "How are you doing, hon?" Carolyn asked sympathetically. "Fine," Sean claimed, then immediately amended, "Not good. It cou-" ld have been me. "I'll be okay. I just need some time, mom." His mother gave him a look like she could read his thoughts. It didn't help that Sean knew there were people who could read thoughts. "It's not wrong that you're still alive, Sean. And it's not wrong to be grateful that you are." She smiled sadly at his sullen frown of disagreement. She nodded towards her Corolla. "You want to come with us? We can come back for your car later, or tomorrow." "No. No, it's okay," Sean assured her, reluctantly stepping out of her embrace, making a small flicking gesture towards the dark green Grand Cherokee parked a ways down the other lane of the lot. "I'll drive myself. I... need a bit of time alone. I'll meet you guys at the reception." Jack and Carolyn watched their son shuffled down the lot towards his vehicle. Laurie watched him too, then her parents. "I'll go with him." Before she'd taken a step after her brother, she was stopped by the outstretched arm of her father. "Give him this, Laurie, time to work things out after the service. We'll catch up at the reception, and if he needs us for more, we'll be there for him at home. He might fight monsters for real - and God knows I wish never expected to say that - but the ones inside are just as dangerous. And in the end, no matter how much support you offer, those ones, you have to fight alone."
  2. Across the room from Cassandra and Beth, by the back wall, Cade sat down next to Sean, who had graciously once again agreed to help him study in his weaker areas. Cade wasn't dumb, but he wasn't a genius like Jason or Sean. A lot of things came easily to him, and he quite liked history. Mathematics, however, was a weakness, as was chemistry. Cade sighed. "I wish I understood all of this a bit better on my own, that I didn't have to keep bothering you to help me with this Sean." Cade was a bit preoccupied with what had happened at lunch, but it was done. "Thanks for this though. I've got to at least do decently academically to continue with everything else. You've always been able to help me get it enough to do that." There was no boasting, no mocking tone, The big Montana teenager meant it, and as far as guys went, Cade had always treated him normally. "Not a problem, dude," the buxom boy said, glancing up from blithely typing on his laptop to flash Cade a quick grin. "Always happy to help a friend." Sean had set himself up with a semi-circle of electronics on the table. Laptop in front of him, for the day's homework. Wacom Tablet between him and Cade, set up to scrawl equations to help his big friend. And his phone on his other side, discretely keeping track of how ReGenesis was doing, occasionally replying to questions or comments, and sending out his own. Most people would be distracted, but bouncing from one thing to another kept Sean active and animated. Sean TAed a computer class at Shelly High, but mathematics had always come so easily to him that, at first, trying to help Cade with it had been frustrating. Even if he didn't fault Cade not being as swift as he was with working through a problem, or not remembering a particular equation, Sean couldn't see how it wasn't obvious to Cade how to figure it out. It had taken him a while to understand Cade - and most people really - didn't see numbers and equations he way he did, which in part was why the logic and artistry in coding came so intuitively to him. Through trial and error and online research, he'd learned how to teach Cade math, or at least various techniques to figure out what worked best for him, instead of just giving him the answers. Doing so had ended up helping him improve as a TA in Computer Applications too, when his fellow students weren't scoffing at or ignoring the oddest boy in school, anyway. Sean flitted between his own homework and helping Cade with his. He'd broken down the bigger problems into smaller ones, with tiny hints along way, stepping stones for Cade to follow towards the overall solutions. Showing his work had always been tedious, but Sean could see how it helped a teacher see if a student understood how to find an answer. Cade working at his deliberate pace, Sean noticed he was somewhat preoccupied. "You okay, man?" "No, I'm not," Cade said quietly. "I've been thinking about a lot of things. Realizing some truths and my own failings." He sighed. "We've been friends a long time Sean. I know you said not to get involved, but looking back on it, of everything you endured, I can't help feeling that I should have done more to help you out. You've been a great friend to me, always there, and I haven't." It was something that had bothered Cade for a long time. "I am your friend, and I did what you asked, but I still feel I should have tried to stop it." His voice was low, keeping the conversation between the two of them. "You always help me, and I can't really think of too many times where I returned that favor." He had put a stop to a some incidents over the years, ones he just couldn't ignore, but by and large, Sean had said he'd handle things, and Cade let him do it his way. Cade had gone to him for help far more than the reverse. He still was. This was very uncharacteristic of Cade, he seldom admitted when something bothered him, especially like this, though over the years, Sean was perhaps the only one who knew that things did bother him. Sean looked at Cade askance. He was a curious guy, but he didn't like prying into his friends' business, being of the opinion that if they wanted to share something, they would. Probably an outgrowth of his own stubbornness of not wanting to be seen as weak, as less than he was, finding it hard to ask for help, wanting to manage things on his own, if he could, even if he had friends willing and suited to help. You know, if he wanted to inexpertly psychoanalyze himself. He was working on trying to improve himself that had nothing to do with these fantastic capabilities they had found in themselves. "Cade, friendship isn't some ledger where we tally everything up and see if we're even," Sean said, his sweet voice somber. He shifted awkwardly in his seat, guiltily thinking about Jase for just a moment, unable to stop himself from wondering if with his... genetic wiring, that was exactly how Jase saw relationships, and if the ledger became too unbalanced... Sometimes, Sean worried he wasn't actually that good of a friend. "Those are business relationships. I'd be a real dick if I didn't help out a friend with something that was so easy for me. Long as neither side find the friendship completely one sided, that's the thing, right?" Sean took a deep, self-reflective breath, then planted an elbow on the table, chin resting in his hand. He began doodling on his tablet. "Making things unnecessarily harder on myself isn't on you, Cade. We're good." He arched a wry brow at the much larger boy. "I'm one to talk, but you might try not bottling everything inside. Sometimes, let people see that something bothers you, see you angry or upset. In some cases, the squeaky wheel does get the grease, and that isn't always a bad thing." On his tablet, he began doodling a quick football, with lines and numbers, and had to restart when his hand began to tremble, turning it into an indecipherable scrawl. "Let's see if relating a math problem to sports will help with retention." Cade nodded. "Yeah I know. It's just how I've been raised y'know." He smiled "Still, you've been a great friend Sean, and if there is actually something I can help you with, just ask." He turned his attention back to the math problem with a sports theme, and watched. Once he was asked to solve the equation, he did so, in half the time that he would have done so normally. "It's that easy?" he asked quietly Simply changing the approach had seemed to help, even if it did put a slightly heavier burden on Sean, forcing him to think that way. "Why did we never think of this before?" "You didn't play football before." Sean answered him smartly. Cade chuckled. "Yeah, guess I had to go full Jock..." The next few problems saw a repeat of the first, Cade's ability to answer vastly improving if he could visualize it in some way using his sports knowledge. Thankfully Cade played a variety of sports, so there was more options to pull from. The clacking of Marissa's heels (hooves?) echoing in the hollow halls of the school announced her arrival yards before she actually entered the room. Books clutched tightly to her chest, she stormed in like a she was ready to confront the world with a huff and fierce attitude. "Maybe if you weren't such a colossal asshole." "Says Mayor Bitch of Lazy Bitch Town." Without missing a beat Devin strolled in behind her fuming and just as much on fire as his twin sister. "Language," Ms. Forster addressed the two of them with stern look that almost begged them to test her, but there was the faintest hint of a smirk on her lips and a glint of amusement in her eyes. "I understand siblings fight, but there is a time and a place and this is neither... sit down, both of you." Devin rolled his eyes and sighed, giving his books a disruptive toss on the table so they made as much noise as humanly possible. Marissa spun her head so fast in an effort to ignore their being chastised that her hair whipped, and like her brother she sighed and found a table as far from him as she could from her brother and sat down. "Sooo, for Homecoming, you and Maris-" Sean started to say to Cade, but as if her mere name was a summons, there came a clacking, a rapping, on the Study Hall floor. Sean glanced over his shoulder and shook his head minutely. He might bicker some with Laurie, he and Teagan had more or less ignored each other, but he didn't know any siblings who were as contentious and yet there for each other as the Jauntsens. "Hold that thought, Cade, gotta see Devin for a sec." Sean leaned over and fished a stack of papers from his satchel on the chair next to him. With another sheet of paper folded over them to keep them together, Cade couldn't make out what there were, save for some bits of colour at the edges. Rolled up loosely in his hand, Sean hopped off his chair and headed over to where Devin slouched in his seat. Noticing that Kat had come in while he'd been working with Cade, a wide grin spread across his face as he veered towards where she was sitting with Andrew, almost a skip on his step. He leaned in from behind her, and confirmed, "Dark Blue." "Sean!" Kat almost squeaked, whirling around with an almost guilty expression on her face. "Sorry, Kat," Sean apologized, believing he'd startled her. "Didn't mean to interrupt. I can show you later, if you want, 'less you want to keep it a surprise?" He gave Andrew a nod, the other boy once again wondering about Red-Head Sex Cults for a moment. "Andrew. I'll leave you two to it." Sean tilted his head towards Devin. "I was just passing by." Sean sat down at the table across from Devin, laying his sketches flat and sliding them towards him, slim fingers smoothing the edges that had been crinkled by Jauntsen's casual care. "Here's your drawings back, man. Made some good copies with the Faculty printer. Thanks again. When I get around to DLC or expansions for ReGenesis, or a new game, can I fish you for some ideas or concept art?" Cade couldn't help but notice the entrance of the twins, even as Sean had been about to ask about his homecoming plans with Marissa. Watching Sean make the circuit from where Kat was sitting with Andrew, getting a surprised look for whatever he said, and then moving on to Devin. He couldn't hear what was said, and he looked back over to Marissa. She didn't even spare him a glance, and he sighed. He'd fucked up twice already today, and he wondered if a third time would be the charm, or a total strikeout. He didn't know what to say to Marissa, she'd already shot him down, so maybe it was best to just leave her be. He turned back to his work, which he admit he probably wasn't going to be able to focus on. He let out another sigh.
  3. Lunch (Devin and Sean) Sean shuffled into the cafeteria, cooler bag over his shoulder, his well-worn red sneakers heavy on the tiles. After just starting an exercise regimen with Lilly this morning, throwing himself into participating in gym class like he hadn't ever before had been stupid. He felt wrecked. And famished. Breakfast had been quick and meager this morning, and while he usually brought lunch from home, today it didn't feel like enough. He decided to grab something from the cafeteria to make up for the calories he'd burned. Maybe some fries or onion rings. Note, if you're gonna be working out before school and actually running during phys. ed, pack a bigger lunch. Slipping into line and ignoring the few snickers and looks he got, Sean caught sight of Devin. Recalling Devin's earlier offer of helping with Homecoming and Kat asking him about what he was wearing for it, Sean nodded to himself about asking if they could go this weekend. And I'm gonna need new athletic shoes. His mouth twisted into a self-deprecating frown as he glanced down. And some new sports bras. The Shefit was holding up, thanks to how customizable it was, but it was getting tight, and he'd outgrown his others. Sean got his carton of fries, but when he looked around, there was no sign of Devin. He huffed, but if the teleporter had his phone - and was still at school or at least nearby - the technophile could track him down. Sean found Devin already haunting his next period art class, hunched over one of the large tables. Sean was about to barge in after him, maybe see if he could surprise him, but didn't even finish the thought before reconsidering. After what happened to Jase, and everyone being on edge, that was a horrible idea. Sean knocked on the door, and when Devin looked back over his shoulder, he waved. Devin seemed to sigh, then gave a nonplussed jerk of his head. Sean slipped in and took a seat next to other boy. He started setting out his lunch, his movements stiff and tight. Devin glanced up from what he was working on and stared at the freak. Sean's rich scarlet hair was disheveled and half his pale face was reddened, textured marks from what his was hit with still visible. "What happened to you?" Devin asked as he went back to his paper and pencils. "All for One dodgeball," Sean admitted, stretching his jaw and unwrapping his sandwich. "Too many balls to the face." Devin's head came back up and Sean's eyes went straight down to his sandwich as soon as the words were out of his mouth, other half of his face doing its best to match the first. "Fuck. Can we pretend I just grunted instead?" “It’s your world, Cassidy,” Devin said with an uninterested shrug. He tilted his head a bit and looked at his current work, a dark and macabre piece that appeared to be Not-Cody standing atop a pile bones and baying at the sky as the broken Fellowship were all mutilated and dying at his feet. While a bit dark for Sean’s tastes, one thing was still certain and that was that Devin was one hell of an artist. It was hard to believe that the ex-bully turned world saver had any measurable talent besides being a dick, but Devin had proven to have so many layers. “I’m just living in it.” He finished before slashing his initials in the lower corner with a practiced stroke. He picked up the art to place it in his portfolio and Sean could see the numerous other drawings he’d done, mostly of the Fellowship and the various times they’d all been hanging out together, but he couldn’t get a decent look before Devin had tucked his newest piece and closed his folder. “So, what do you want? Computer lab is down the hall.” Sean peeled his eyes away from trying to get a better look at the other pieces in Devin's portfolio to stare at him in disbelief. He'd given a Jauntsen a straight line like that, and Devin hadn't even watched it roll pass his feet. More than anything else, that proved to Sean how hard Devin was having it at home after the not-far-from-disastrous meetings. "I know where the computer lab is," Sean said with a roll of his eyes, expressive voice exasperated. He finished a bite of his roast beef sandwich, then ate a fry. He nudged the cardboard carton a bit more between him and Devin, a silent offer on a waft of fried oil, salt, and vinegar. "And it's our world, not mine, dude." There was particular poignancy on Sean's tone. They'd just gone to a different one, to defend this one, and save the girls. "We're all living in it. Sharing it. Trying to make our own way, our own place, in it." Devin just stared, eyes dark and flat in the face of the feminine boy's inclusive sentiment. Sean squirmed uncomfortably under that silent gaze. Yes, he was certainly learning there layers to Devin, like onions and ogres, but he'd still been bullied by him for years. A terse Devin was some how worse than the verbose one. "Erm, yeah, okay. I was talking some with Kat, first period, and stuff got 'round to Homecoming, and..." Sean snagged a pair of fries, scarfed one down, then shrugged one shoulder self-consciously and pointed vaguely towards Devin with the other. "Well, I dunno if you're grounded or whatnot. " Or how you could even be grounded... "But you mentioned helping with giving me a clue - okay, clues - about getting ready for Homecoming, and I was wondering if you'd have time for that this weekend? Not quite the last minute, but it's getting close. I barely have something appropriate for tomorrow, the funeral." Devin was silent for a long moment. His glare was judgmental, to the absolute least, as he silently assessed Shelly’s future chai boy. Without a word he stood up, which Sean nearly flinched at as it meant Devin might just pop him between the eyes for whatever reason passed for ‘a good one’ in the floating limbo Devin called his mind. Instead of whopping him though, he reached into his bag and pulled out a large yellow folder, the plastic kind designed for more durability, and it was stuffed to capacity with frayed edges of paper in a manner that looked like the contents were just tossed in after class and carried off. With a ‘thump’, he sifted and sorted, his fingers walking along page edges as Sean made out that all of the drawings inside were either of Shelly High, the gymnasium in various states of decoration themes, or their assorted friends sketched out in a variety of styles. “There we are,” he mumbled softly as he pinched a small stack of papers and laid them out on the drawing table. It was Sean. Six drawings of Sean on six different sheets that displayed him modeling six different styles. Two were even a bit more feminine but tactfully still expressed that Sean identified as male (or so Devin assumed). There was no mistaking it though, Sean could tell it was him, like Devin had captured everything about Sean’s feature from his dimples to his sometimes-lazy hairstyle, he even caught the curvature of his smirk and proportions of his breasts accurately. “To say my sister is ‘controlling’ when she plans a gig would be the nicest way to put it,” he said to the technophile. Like Sean, he was looking at the different sketches of Sean in his possible Homecoming outfit styles. “She plans for everything, even what her guests are going to wear.” Sean gave him a look at the ‘her guests’ comment. “Best not to think too hard on it,” he replied. “All of these are planned from currently existing fashion I stole from the internet. It’s all designer labels, but don’t sweat the cost, we got you.” “Devin, I can’t-” The thought of Devin spending money to pay for Sean’s Homecoming didn’t sit well with him. Sure, the Jauntsens were rich, but that wasn’t an excuse to just let them always pay for everything. “You won’t.” Devin said calmly. “My sister still has a bag full of money in her closet she won for risking her neck for you ingrates. She and I agreed that using that to cover any already unpaid Homecoming accessories for you guys would be a good start. Also, that bag is supposed to go to you, so you can fix up your loft like you wanted and the Fellowship can all have a place to hang out all secret hideout-like. Your dad is probably the only one in Shelly that could work magic with it, so, it’s for you guys.” He swept his hand across the sketches. “So? Which one speaks to you?” "I..." Sean pushed aside his lunch and set out the sketches in two rows of three, large eyes wide as they went from one to the next, his sandwich forgotten in his hand. "... wow." Sean could sketch well enough, was better at technical drawings, was spectacular with digital art and animation. With the digital tools and software at his disposal, it was easy to keep proportions consistent across multiple pictures and poses. Devin had done all that, proportions and features perfectly replicated among three views per page, front, back, and 3/4 profile, all done freehand. Even the finest details, shading, and the impression of texture followed each contour flawlessly. He flicked a disconcerting sidelong gaze towards Devin for a moment, wondering for a moment just how discerning and precise the Jaunting One's spatial sense was. Can he 'see' through clothing? Devin certainly seemed to be familiar with his build, because he was depicting it with uncanny accuracy, across multiple angles and viewpoints. "When did you this?" Sean mused absently, leaning down to get a closer look at a finer detail, raised embroidery on a white outfit, more suggested by shading than drawn outright. Devin shrugged nonchalantly and Sean shook his head. If he had to do something like this by hand, it would take him a thousand years, and that for something not as good, just something he would be satisfied - enough - with. He done work with styles and outfits of various aesthetics, for pictures for NPCs and PCs for his roleplaying games and for video games. Admittedly, they were usually more fantasy, sci-fi, or some mixture in nature. He tried them out on all sorts of physiques, to see how they looked, to check for clipping issues and the like. He hadn't ever played digital dress-up with himself. Devin caught a shift in Sean's expression, not quite epiphany, but at least a certain realization. In the drawings, he looked good. Objectively, Sean could admit he had features and a figure that were considered attractive by the majority. But looking at Devin's drawings, that didn't mock or exaggerate or distort his appearance, but rendered it in true likeness and to advantage, this was one of the first times Sean was looking at himself and thought he was attractive. The black double-breasted suit with a dark charcoal shirt was the most conservative, only the patterned turquoise and jade tie adding a pop of colour. With his hair clipped a bit shorter and neater than he typically wore it and the way the suit subdued his curves, it made him look about as androgynous as he ever would. Sean kind of wished he had it for the funeral tomorrow rather than a pair of slacks that barely fit from when he was twelve and a shirt burrowed from his dad. Conversely, the dark red outfit seemed to emphasize everything rather than downplay them. It kind of reminded Sean of Travolta's suit from Saturday Night Fever, except for being burgundy with a bit of white instead of white with black, and much, much closer fitting, the collar open wide to reveal more than Sean had ever done publicly. And platform shoes had a distinct heel. If I wore that, let's see if Kat would notice Courtney at all! It was a brief, spiteful thought, but still made colour rise to Sean's face. He rather liked the green checkered vest and pants, with the metallic sheen to the fabric, but couldn't help but think others would see a leprechaun with his hair and modest height, sure if he wore it, Devin would present him with a short-brimmed hat to go with it. The grey plaid suit was fine, neither wowing him nor displeasing him. The other style that seemed to embrace his feminine features was a fitted cream Nehru jacket with golden buttons and a salmon shirt, patterned with raised satiny white embroidery of dragons and other fantastical creatures. Sure, he liked graphic tees and hoodies, and it was more subtle, but he wasn't sure about it for his first, real suit. The outfit his eyes kept gravitating back to was the dark blue one, the colour pretty much what he had in mind when talking with Kat during first period. It neither emphasized nor constrained, but simply acknowledged his pronounced hourglass figure. The mandarin collar and minimalist aesthetic with fine, subtle pinstripes and crisp edges evoked a masculine sensibility. The teal shirt seen through the deep, narrow V flattered his eyes, several buttons undone relieving the formality, while revealing a hint of pale cleavage, pairing his masculine identity to his feminine appearance. The smirk and swagger Devin had added to him gave Sean a brash self-assuredness rarely seen, except when talking about or playing video games or other technological areas. Sean piled up the sketches, neatly squaring the sheets of paper, then tapped the one he left on top with a firm finger. "This one," Sean said in a mixture of diffidence and certainty. "I like this one." "Good choice." "Thank-you for this. Really." Sean's tone was genuine, no hedging or typical doubt he had for his former, long time tormentors, the Jauntsens. His jaw tightened as he added, waving a hand to include his home. "And for the other stuff, for The Barn." It was much harder for him to accept the money to upgrade The Barn, and it had less to do with its provenance than who it was coming from. At least, it was not only that. The Jauntsens were loaded and it felt close to charity. He didn't need their charity. But the offer wasn't about him, it wasn't even really about the money, but about Devin and Marissa and how they felt they could contribute. He did have ideas for additions and renovations for The Barn. A full kitchen for one. Some of the holographic tech if he could snag if from the project. There was still a lot of space that wasn't being used in the converted barn. It wasn't like the place was The Watchtower or The Batcave or whatever, but he did like hosting gaming nights, and having a place they could gather and just hang out or relax that they could call their own was certainly appealing. "If you have some ideas for The Barn, I hope you'll share them, Devin. You don't, like, need a teleportation circle or something, do you, to make sure you don't interpose yourself with someone else when jaunting someplace people often frequent?" Sean didn't really think it was the case that Devin needed an open place to 'land' as it were, but after too many gaming systems and movies, better to be safe than sorry. Held up stack of sketches and looked back and up at the taller boy. "Can I keep these?" "You can make copies," Devin replied with a bit of no-nonsense in his tone that caught Sean off guard just slightly. He sounded so serious, and so far hadn't made a single quip, joke, or tossed in an insult. "It's my art," he explained. "I'd like to keep the originals. Just have them back to me by study hall, okay? Don't worry about frayed edges and all that, I mean, look at this folder." He held up the yellow folder and it was stuffed with papers that were no longer perfectly smooth. "And, as long as we're spending that asshole's money on having a good time," he shrugged, referring to Enterich. "I don't care what you do with the place. Once I'm familiar with a place, my Seeker Sense accounts for some small variations in the environment, like people, or moved furniture, placing close to my intended target, so no. No need for a teleportation circle... whatever the hell that is." "So, you and Kat for Homecoming, huh?" The fact that Devin wasn't trying to be funny, or had shown any signs of being close to a good mood, was unsettling. "Just friends, or are you looking to impress her? Maybe make it a little more?" After recovering from Devin's quick rebuttal and offer to let him make copies, Sean gave him a curt nod. He could understand wanting to keep the originals. It was well beyond obsolete now, but Sean still had the first computer he had assembled himself. He opened his messenger bag and carefully slid in the sketches on top of his laptop to keep them flat and smooth. His sister knows what a beholder is, but he doesn't know about teleportation circles... Devin's explanation about how his power worked had Sean wondering if Devin subconsciously tapped into something like the holographic principle of the universe to avoid any teleporting mishaps. He'd have to mention it Jase, see if it might fit their growing theory of neotic unity. When Devin mentioned Kat and his intentions, Sean couldn't help but give him a sharp look. But he wasn't teasing, mocking, disparaging. Didn't even make a sarcastic or insulting comment. Just direct, almost serious. Sean wanted to look away to hide his thoughts, but that would just make them more obvious. Bitterness, doubt, tentative hope, failed nonchalance. "I asked her to Homecoming as a friend, yeah," Sean admitted. "But I was thinking maybe if I can catch her attention some there, maybe she'd say yes to a real date, after." While I still have time... He'd asked a girl out once before, but it hadn't gone well. At all. And after all she'd gone through in the last few days, he wasn't even bitter about it anymore. Well, not much. He gestured negligently down at himself with the remnants of his sandwich, his tone and the curve of his mouth wry. "I don't have girls falling all over for this, but Kat doesn't seem off put by it. She's kinda kooky, but cute, and we got on well enough the few times we hung out..." “Kat can’t even catch Kat’s attention, Sean.” It was obviously a joke, but he delivered it so flatly that for a moment Sean considered that Devin might be serious. “But I get what your saying.” “Look, little bro,” Devin leaned one elbow onto the drawing desk and shifted his attention fully to Sean. Maybe it was a slip of the tongue, maybe Devin didn’t notice it, but Sean did. With no humor or harassment, he’d referred to Sean as his ‘bro’. “Bit of advice, completely unasked for, I know, but here it is: you’ve already caught her attention.” “Cassie agreed to go with me as friends, but she knows I think she’s beautiful and fun and that I’m attracted to her.” He said, ticking off fingers as he counted. “Does she? And, in fairness,” Sean interjected. “You’re attracted to every g-“ “Aaaaand, furthermore,” he spoke over Sean’s observation like a F-150 over a line of empty aluminum cans. “She likes me too. She might not have a crush on me, but she’s attracted to me. My point is, that a girl doesn’t agree to go out with a guy, even as friends, if there isn’t something already there. It might fizzle into nothing, or it might be exactly what you’re hoping, but don’t fret over getting her attention, man. You already have it.” “Put worried, no-confidence Sean to bed for an evening and be the Sean who literally stood at the mouth of Hell and offered it a breath mint.” He slapped Sean’s shoulder. “You’re a good dude, Sean. Kat would be a lunatic not to fall for you. Doubly so once we get you the hook up for the dance.” He inhaled, rather proud of himself at mentoring young Sean on his journey into large-breasted manhood. Turning back to face his drawing table, something occurred to him. "Oh, also, I think she's fucking Courtney, so you might wanna look into that. I know you and C-Dawg are not exactly on good terms, so I thought you deserved to know where her lips had been lately." Sean's face scrunched up in a scowl at the mention of Courtney. She might have more issues than National Geographic, but Sean still wasn't ready to forgive her, let alone forget all the shit she'd caused him. Still, he didn't have a right to gatekeep who Kat decided to associate with. "I..." Sean coughed, then ate one last fry, leaving the few remaining as they had grown cold. "... suspected they've been spending time together." Admittedly, spending time together and spending time together wasn't the same thing. He hadn't really thought it had gone that far, or maybe hadn't wanted to think it had gone that far. "I might be somewhat biased in what I think about it. About her." He pitched his voice into the haughty tone he used for self-absorbed, condescending noblewomen. "But I shall be magnanimous in overlooking Kat's error in judgement in regards to her associate." Sean sighed and started to quickly consume the rest of his lunch after a glance at his phone, noticing how close it was to the bell ringing. "I don't get to pick Kat's friends. If we start turning into something more, well... I guess I'll - we'll - figure stuff out." The idea of getting along with Courtney was about as palatable as taking a cheese grater to his tits. It was possible he had a few of his own issues. He tapped his messenger bag. "Seriously, dude, thanks for this." He waved a hand, encompassing the general conversation. "And this." Jason Bannon might have been his best friend, and they had talked some about relationships on the trip to Great Falls on Monday. But he couldn't quite picture a talk like the one he was having with Devin with Jase instead. Odd. Weird. A little sad. Some guilt that he didn't understand Jase as much as he thought he had. "So, Saturday then? Sunday?" Sean asked. He gave Devin a sidelong glance. "Gotta say, you're a lot easier to talk with when you aren't stuffing me in a locker and putting on the-" Was it an act? "-being, uh, extra you." "Or your error in judgement for your lack of association." Devin flipped the script a bit. "I know you don't like her, and I know why, but people can't heal and become better if we don't give them a chance. My sister and I can talk from experience. We're still making amends little by little." "I just wasn't aware if you knew or not, and I didn't want you two to get close and then be blindsided later by Kat's choice of a side-piece. You know, avoid the whole 'keeping secrets from me' drama." He waved his hands about in a dramatization of an over-reaction. He leaned forward and cupped Sean's cheeks in his hands. "And the Fellowship doesn't deserve 'extra Devin' right now. 'Extra Devin' is a treat and you've been naughty and are in time out, but seriously," he let go and stood his full height in front of the smaller teen, "If you need me, I'm always around, dude. Just shoot me a text this weekend whenever you have time and we'll go get you the hook up. Either day is fine." Sean stood up as well, shooting a scowl up at Devin as he scrubbed his cheeks with the heels of his hands. He hadn't ever liked it when his mom did something similar, hated it when his grandmother had pinched his cheeks. He wasn't enthused by Devin taking the liberty, help notwithstanding. "Cool. I'll aim for Saturday then, if nothing else comes up. With Shelly and stuff lately, who knows, right?" He cleaned up the detritus of lunch, brushing the table free of any crumbs. "'Preciate the offer, but gotta say, when a teleporter says he's always around, it can be a bit... ugh." Sean gave an ostentatious shudder and grin, before growing more somber. "On the Courtney front, I'll keep your words in mind. But you guys have been making amends. I'll waiting for her to make some steps that way before I think 'bout stretching out a hand, 'kay? The scars still hurt." The warning bell rang. Sean bit into the crisp, sour Granny Smith apple he had kept out, holding in his mouth as he slung his messenger bag and cooler bag over his shoulder. He finished his bite of apple and started hustling for Biology. " Dammit! I'll seeya 'round, man." "Gotta say, when a technophile with complete control over every phone, computer, and camera says I'll see you around, it can be a bit..." Devin drawled in fair imitation of Sean's previous comment. "I'd never!" Sean smirked to himself, giving Devin the finger over his shoulder, around his apple, before slipping out into the hall starting to fill with students rushing for their next class. Almost never. Hardly ever. And a couple times I regret.
  4. First Period: Chem Class (Kat and Sean) Hand on the combo-lock, Sean glanced over his shoulder at the accented voice penetrating the cacophony of the halls right before the bell rings. Tinny music came from the earbuds around her neck. "Morning, Kat," Sean replied, trying to smile around a yawn. Strong, slender fingers spun the dial on the lock with habitual ease. There was a soft click, then Sean grunted as he gave the lock several vigorous tugs before it opened. It was the same lock he had used since grade seven. It spun easy, but stuck sometimes. Still stiff from his unaccustomed morning activity, he yanked open the dented, green locker door - his head, Chet's help. "Already got your books? Bell's 'bout to ring for Chem." So saying, Sean reached up for the textbooks lined up neatly on the top shelf. He pulled out the thick chemistry textbook, but suddenly his slim hand seemed to lose all grip strength. The scarlet haired technophile gave a high pitched yelp as the corner of the textbook bounced off his prominent chest. His free hand flailed wildly as he tried to catch it, his other hand occupied with his thermos of coffee. Failing, he raised a knee to catch and slow the textbook's fall and give him another chance to collect it, but instead he ended up kicking it. The textbook slammed against the row of lockers, then slid along the linoleum for a few feet, before bumping into a pair of shoes. Sean sighed, his face almost as red as his hair, giving his hand a betrayed glare as he shifted and stooped to collect his book. "Sorry," he muttered apologetically to the person the shoes belonged to, the , buxom beanpole Kimberly, who gave the more endowed boy a commiserating smirk. Sean straightened up and stuffed the textbook into the satchel on his hip, next to his laptop, and turned back to Kat, nodding down the hall towards Chem class. "Mornings, right?" The petite French girl hid her smile behind her hand. "Mornings." She acknowledged. "I still need to get my books, I'll catch up." Turning around, she bounced off a rather large Senior, squealed, apologised and corrected her trajectory. A couple minutes later, Kat and her Shelly Sherpa entered the classroom, the buxom boy leading her to his desk on the side as she waved at a couple familiar faces. Reaching out for a chair, she settled her textbook on the table and slumped into the chair, empty eyes over surly features. The name Leviathan had come back to her mind, but she still couldn't figure out when she'd heard it. It has to be recent, she thought, wrestling with the morning fog seeping through her thoughts in disorder. If it had been for her, she'd have had a whole gallon of coffee. A voice brought her back to the land of the living, and she turned to Sean. "Wha?" "Ms. Lafferty said page 57," Sean said quietly, sliding her a pair of protective goggles and a set of plastic gloves across the black composite of the desk. He hadn't done the assigned reading yesterday, but he had read the textbook at the beginning of the year and remembered what was written. "It's just litmus paper tests. Not hard. Did this in previous years science classes. Guess we have to wait till later in the semester before we get to do exothermic foam reactions I guess." He nodded towards his thermos of coffee before slipping on the goggles over his eyes. The gloves went on with a snap. "Help yourself to some coffee if you like. I already probably had more than I should." He rolled his slender shoulders, then tilted his head to one side, then the other, trying to work out the tightness, then started setting up the experiment, making sure he kept a proper distance between himself and the various flasks and beakers. There had been... incidents before where he had inadvertently knocked things over. He didn't want a repeat. These solutions weren't particularly dangerous, but why take chances? Last time, fire had been perilous close to being involved. Kat stifled a yawn as she put on her PPE and Sean gave her a curious glance. "Didn't sleep well last night, Kat? The meetings didn't go well, sure, but they were still better than the Blight." "Bad dreams," she replied, shrugging. She opened her book to page 57, giving it a quick read. Nothing new. She realised these second Junior year classes were going to bore her to death. "So we're just dipping paper into acid? That's pretty basic..." She gave him the side-eye. "Get it?" Sean nodded at the mention of bad dreams. They all we certainly entitled to those, not just to due to the last few days, but the last few weeks. He'd had his own, but he tried to keep the inquisitive expression from his face. If Kat wanted to share, she would, if she didn't, she wouldn't. "I do use chemistry puns," Sean admitted wryly. He turned from his review of the worksheet to arch a dark red brow at the slighter redhead. The corner of his lips twitched with the effort of keeping a straight face. "But only periodically." He measured out the next substance in proportions according to the worksheet, gave it several brisk swirls with a glass mixing rod, then slid the flask over to Kat. A whirling tendril still reached halfway to the bottom of the yellow-tinted liquid still whirling in front of the girl. "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate." Kat gave the flask a funny look, wrinkled her nose, and, true to her earlier statement, grabbed a strip of litmus paper to dip it. "That's a mean-o acid." She said, comparing her strip to the scale, and noting the result. "I've been meaning to ask." She bit her lip for a second, and glanced at her friend, wagging another piece of paper in his general direction. "What are you gonna wear for Homecoming?" After a short pause, "...Designer genes?" Sean's pretty face scrunched as he groaned. If his genes were anything, they were defective, not designer. "That is just... just awful, Kat. Are you made of sodium and chloride?" He waggled his brows. "Because I feel a-salt-ed. Huh! Huh? How does that feel?" The petite French girl wrinkled her nose once again, her lips stretched into an irrepressible smile. "That's... hm... humerus. You've got nerve!" Sean blew her a raspberry then leaned over to see what Kat had written. "Horrible, just horrible. I concede to this punishment." Mechanical pencil scritching on paper, he copied the results in his own notebook, chewing on a lower lip. "But for Homecoming, uh, y'know, with everything that's been happening, I hadn't actually given it much thought," Sean admitted. "I know, I know, bad sherpa, but I haven't gone to a dance or anything like Homecoming before. I figure I'm gonna go this weekend, get some dressy pants and coat, and a nice shirt, or something." And hopefully have time to get them tailored to fit, if he even could find something on short notice in Great Falls. Really gotta talk to Devin 'bout this. Sean glanced instinctively around for the exasperating teleporter, though well aware he wasn't in the same class. "Probably in black or dark blue, I guess? Erm, unless you've already got something picked out? And want to match more, but it isn't necessary. This is just Homecoming, not prom." "I never went to a dance either, to be honest." She replied. "I'm thinking I'll wait till Friday before ransacking Great Falls." A coral lock slipped in front of her eyes, and she played with it for a while, leaning on her elbows. Dark blue, huh? she thought. That'd look great with his hair. Mine however... She glared at the lock she was fidgeting with, the color beginning to turn bland, a paler carrot. Emerald? Or a pastel green? Pastels look nice with my blonde. She shrugged. "Okay." Kat said on a light tone. Maybe she'd ask Marissa. Although she couldn't forget the words exchanged at the Jauntsens' the day before, they didn't mean she couldn't make friends with the Evil Queen of Shelly. Sean knew he was already pressing for time to get ready for Homecoming, and hearing his sister and other girls talk in passing through school, it was worse for girls. He considered which of the girls he knew who might be able to help Kat. Lona and Sara were gone, and he hadn't known Clara that much. Autumn, Cassandra? He glanced over to where they were sitting with Jase, giggling. Lilly? No, just like him, there was an obvious choice... "Don't wait too long, like I'm doing," Sean suggested. "Might be slim pickings, this close to Homecoming. Maybe scrounge up a shopping sherpa. Tess, maybe, or... Marissa..." Kat's pale brows rose up at the close echo of her thoughts, and Sean shrugged sheepishly in response. "I mean, if anyone can find you a dress and the right shoes on short notice-" "I know Homecoming is next Friday, Mr. Cassidy," Ms. Lafferty said, her tone dry, as she passed by, checking on the progress of her students. "But please leave the talk of dresses and shoes for after class? Or at least, until you've finished the experiment?" A twinkle the teacher's eyes and a bare curve of her lips eased the teasing reprimand. Sean was a great student, if perhaps occasionally distracted by his phone or class work not always on his laptop when the class didn't take much effort on his part. "Yes, Ms. Lafferty," Sean muttered, ducking his head, focusing intently on his notes as faint colour rose to his pale cheeks. Kat glanced away to conceal her amusement.
  5. Sean, Week of Labor Day/Ep. VI: Off-Camera: Working on his video, and now the follow-on support stuff now that it's released. Possibly exercising more, working out some. School and After-School Vignettes: Wednesday: Thursday: No school. Charlie's funeral. Friday: Meeting with EA Rep Brad Stanton after school at the Country Club Saturday: Sunday: TBD: As discussed in Discord, a story or scene involving Cass and Autumn talking to Sean about the physiological and sociological realities of his unique, uh... "circumstance" would be awesome (Wednesday, possibly, maybe Cass has the idea for a story for the paper?) Talk with someone, current idea is Autumn or Lilly, about getting into shape, or at least somewhat more athletic, so sudden wild exertions aren't quite the strain. Get Devin's help with prepping for Homecoming (Saturday or Sunday?) Talk with Sophia again, and meet her RPG players Get the Fellowship (and Devin and Marissa) together - sans parents - at some point to admit the severity of his genetic conditions and why he thinks he has to go to Site B.
  6. Now available in Advance PDF from DriveThruRPG: The Adventures of Teen Tomorrow for Trinity Continuum: Aberrant! Tomorrow’s Heroes Today! The Adventures of Teen Tomorrow introduces you to the world of 2028, where superhumans known as novas have risen to prominence, changing the world with their Quantum powers. Team Tomorrow, a group of superheroes, are among the most popular and well-liked novas on the planet. Young novas hoping to join the ranks of Team Tomorrow attend Team Tomorrow Academy as a team colloquially known as Teen Tomorrow. This Jumpstart adventure follows Teen Tomorrow on a training mission gone awry when their instructor starts behaving recklessly. The Adventures of Teen Tomorrow brings the superhero action to your table with all the rules you need to assume the roles of Teen Tomorrow and jump right into play! The included adventure is designed for 3-6 players. The Adventures of Teen Tomorrow includes: A brief overview of the setting of Trinity Continuum: Aberrant and the role Team Tomorrow plays in that world.A complete adventure set in the world of Trinity Continuum: Aberrant for the Storyguide to run with 3-6 players.All the rules you need to run the enclosed adventure. Six ready-made characters, so you can jump right into the action! Crowdfunding Update Squeaks in the Deep launched 24 hours ago on Kickstarter! Squeaks brings the Underground, and its mice and rat species, to the Realms of Pugmire. We funded to 100% in under four hours! We’re currently at $24,116, or 161% of our $15K goal, and have almost a full month to go. We’ve reached the following stretch goals: Squeaks Guide ScreenSqueaks T-shirt Did you miss one of our previous Kickstarters? The following Kickstarted products are still open for preorders via BackerKit: Scarred Lands: Dead Man’s RustScion: Scion: DemigodScion: Scion: Dragon and Scion: Masks of the MythosThey Came from Beyond the Grave!: They Came from Beyond the Grave!Trinity Continuum: Trinity Continuum: Adventure!Legendlore: LegendloreWorld of Darkness: WoD: Ghost HuntersMage: The Ascension: Technocracy ReloadedMage: The Ascension: M20 Victorian AgeChronicles of Darkness: Deviant: The RenegadesChronicles of Darkness: Hunter: The Vigil 2nd EditionChronicles of Darkness: Mummy: The Curse 2nd Edition Community Spotlight The following community-created content for Scarred Lands has been added to the Slarecian Vault in the last week: Your product could be here! Have you considered creating your own to sell? The following community-created content for Realms of Pugmire has been added to Canis Minor in the last week: Morty Corgi’s Acid ShantiesYour product could be here! Have you considered creating your own to sell? The following community-created content for Storypath has been added to the Storypath Nexus in the last week: Your product could be here! Have you considered creating your own to sell?
  7. Sean's face screwed up in anger as he jumped to his feet and glared at the Jauntsen twins, his chair skidding behind him. "Wow! Really?! Telling everyone earlier would have changed exactly what, guys? We know as much about Todd as we do Cassie's father, which is they're at Site B. That's it!" With turning away from them, he pointed emphatically at Annette. "Until we actually knew where Site B was, maybe a floorplan, it didn't seem-" Sean cut himself off, went to slump down in his chair, but caught himself right before falling on his ass. He pulled his chair back and plopped down into it, crossing one arm and pinching the bridge of his nose, trying to collect himself, knowing he was getting worked up. The Jauntsens sure weren't going to be happy when he told them his personal reasons for needing to go to Site B, away from the parental units. But he didn't want this meeting to devolve into the same mess as at the Jauntsens' place. "Look. I just learned about Todd Sunday night. Monday, we had Not-Cody to deal with. I could have mentioned it Tuesday at your place, but well, we know how that went. So I'm bringing it up now, when it looks we're actually going to make progress on going to Site B." Carolyn placed a comforting hand on her feminine son's shoulder, but Sean wasn't in the mood to be mollified. He turned his large, jade and turquoise eyes on the representative from the Aeon Society, but if Annette was disturbed by the outbursts, she gave no sign of it, simply giving Sean a nod. He tried to fight down the dubiousness he couldn't help but feel and turned back to Devin and Marissa. "And something else, why do you think going to Site B is just going to be a rescue mission? As your fond to point out, there are proper authorities here. Yeah, we have our reasons for going, but I'm pretty sure Aeon and Branch-9 want their Site back that Dr. Klein - or whoever he might actually work for or with - stole from them. We're a force multiplier, sure, and a counter for whatever super stuff they might have there, but we don't have to go alone this time." His eyes cut back to Annette. "I hope."
  8. Brushing away a drop of sweat with the back of his hand, Sean let go of psionic hold on Devin's phone, letting the holography fade. It wasn't that easy to do, not when the device wasn't designed for 3D projection. Now, if the Project or Aeon would let me get a close look at the tech... but it was only an idle thought. He couldn't help but feel rightfully castigated by Lilly's outburst. He could throw up excuses - like how she'd always been so physically and athletically impressive that he hadn't worried what might have happened to her, or that he'd been distracted and wrung out after the encounter in the Blight - but they were just that, excuses. He'd hunched his shoulders and mouthed a sorry to Lilly, though he knew it was too little to make up the lack of concern. Sean felt no guilt at not going to bat to have Laurie stay. He was almost invariably going to tell her anyway, but their Dad was still their Dad. Having told their parents practically everything already, he hadn't paid much attention to their expressions, looking at the other parental units and having to focus to make the holographic display. If Sean had, he might have noticed the grave look Jack and Carolyn had shared when hearing about the 27 year cycle once more, and could have reasoned that the elder Cassidys deciding what Laurelei could hear was a way to grab at a hint of control in a situation the blue-collar family was way over their heads in. With the talk turning to Site B, Sean straightened in his chair, more intent now, almost quivering with anticipation. He couldn't help it, despite wanting to keep it cool. He hadn't doubted Jace's resolve, but after the Jauntsen twins' talk about not being a part of the fellowship - despite their claims about still being in it all together - the relief he'd felt when Devin said he'd be going regardless was palpable. Cassandra's father was a top priority, but it wasn't the only top priority. Not for him, regardless of how much of a douchecanoe it made him feel. "Cassandra's dad and what Coyote said isn't - or shouldn't be the only reason we have to go to Site B," Sean added after Annette said she'd tell them what she could about Site B. The buxom boy could feel Jase's incisive green gaze turn his way and he licked suddenly dry lips. Sean looked around the table, at his friends, his comrades in arms. He'd have to tell them - he would tell them - his reason for wanting, needing to go, but not the parental units, not Annette, Aeon, Proteus, Branch-9, and whoever else was listening, though they might know depending on what Dr. Cook had told them. He gave Jason the minutest shake of his head. "I talked, well, chatted online, okay, it's more like we were in the Matrix, with someone else who's a captive at Site B. One of Dr. Cook's, erm, band? Todd Asper. He made the effort to contact me, via technokinetic voodoo, begging for my help. He can do some of the stuff I can, and the assholes at Site B are forcing him to work for them, essentially overclocking him to destruction. And he told me, showed me, some of the other stuff that's going on there." Sean's pale face had a faint greenish tinge to it, recalling the encounter in cyberspace and the desperation in Todd's digital plea before he was yanked away. "It's pure, amoral torture, any means to achieve their ends. Even if we didn't have personal reasons to take down Site B, it's something we should do anyway, being the ones the best chance to do it."
  9. Sean stared at his phone, head cocked in curiosity, having just finished a call with Brad Stanton, a rep with EA. The guy had been affable, enthusiastic, and maybe just the teensiest bit cagey with why he wanted to meet. Brad had known about Annwn, and had clearly played it from the way he talked, so his reasons might not just be about ReGenesis. Sean knew his curiosity wouldn't be sated without at least meeting the guy, so he had agreed to his offer of a business dinner at the Shelly Country Club on Friday. The only time he'd been there was a kid, when he'd tagged along with his dad when he'd been on a job. Sean had no illusions about appearing super professional or anything, but he didn't want to look like a complete schlub or the archetypal antisocial neckbeard, as it were. He'd have to see what he could scrounge up, probably reusing most of what he'd gotten for Charlie's funeral. While answering questions and comments on his game page, Sean tracked down Turing to give him a long needed good brushing and clipping of nails. His grey cat had been keeping himself scarce since Sean had used him as a test subject for one aspect of his powers. Turing accepted the brushing with dignified condescension. Sean didn't think he was forgiven yet. On the ReGenesis front, everything seemed to be going okay, though he had to firmly deny answering any questions asking about plot or hints for the game. He did have to walk one guy through the settings on his rig so that he could actually play the game. Sean wasn't even sure how the guy managed to mess up his computer that bad. Dinner was a rushed mish-mash, everyone finishing off leftovers from the last week as Sean went over what was going on. He had actually told his parents, well, his mom, anyway, almost everything, except for Jase's, er, heritage, and what Dr. Cook had told him, and he didn't explain about those now either. But he did add when they'd learned about Enterich. Laurie looked riled and scared and annoyed that she was scared. Carolyn looked concerned, Jack grave. The one bone of contention was when they started debating if Laurie should come to the meeting. Sean mentioned he was pretty sure no one else wasn't bringing siblings who weren't directly involved. Laurie stepped into his brother's personal space to leverage every inch of height she had on him, glowering down at him and grounding out she was directly involved - hell, Devin had even jaunted her to New Zealand. And other than Cade, nobody else even had a sibling who wasn't directly. Jack Cassidy reluctantly admitted Laurie had a point, even if he had to take a calming breath to avoid thinking what his youngest daughter and the Devin boy could have gotten up to in a foreign country. Sean and Carolyn had exclaimed, 'What?!' in various tones of surprise, concern, and totally not envy (Tolkien completely overrated). Laurie blushed, in embarrassment, self-recrimination at her blunder, and determination not to kept in the dark 'for her own safety'. The Dark was the danger in the first place! ~~+~~+~~+~~+~~+~~+~~+~~+~~+~~+~~+~~+~~ The Cassidys rode to Marias Medical Center in Jack's work truck, a drive they had done often enough over the years due to Sean's medical condition. The atmosphere was more somber this time though. Walking through the Medical Center, Carolyn stopped to exchanged words with some of the staff she was friendly with, despite the exigency of the meeting they were there for. Sean slipped away to see how Sophia was doing, feeling a sense of shame and contrition. He was more than glad they'd been able to save her and Tawny. But it hurt that it had taken the depravity she'd suffered at Not-Cody's hands and the lost of Charlie for him to want to get over the painful grudge he'd held onto since she'd turned him down. Tired and wan, Sophia still offered him an exhaustedly snarky smile edged with traumatic experience, mildly surprised it wasn't one of the Jauntsens poking their head back in. "If you ask me out, I'm still gonna say no, Sean." Sean chuckled ruefully. "I'm not here about that." Sean ran his hands through this sun-touched crimson hair. "Just started to realize it's not good for me - or anyone else - to hold onto grudges and bitterness. Not with everything that's, y'know, going on." "Uh-huh." Sophia's sunken eyes brightened as she sat up a bit more in her bed. Smile edged towards a smirk. "And what about Courtney?" "Fuck Court-!" Sean sucked in a sharp sigh. He let it out slowly. "Look, it's a work in progress, okay? Just stopped by to see how you were doing. Not sure how long you'll be here, but thought I'd offer you a copy of my new game to pass the time." He tapped the laptop sitting at Sophia's side, an invisible digital spark passing through his fingers to the machine with a push of effort. "And if you want - not sure how my D&D game is going to go now, what with 'stuff' - I can fill in as guest DM for you for your group-" "My Irregulars. Holmes." "Better than The Fellowship," Sean admitted wryly.. "Anyway, offer's on the table while you recover. And after too, if you just need a break, or want on the other side of the DM Screen. What you running now,?" "I'll think about it," Sophia said, before talking more animatedly about her campaign, grateful for the distraction. Sean interjected with his own questions and comments, unconsciously delaying going to the meeting. There was history between them, and new and not pleasant experiences, but for a moment, it felt almost like old times when they had been friends and co-conspirators in RPGdom. Until his mother found him, giving his shoulder an insistent squeeze. She gave the girl a sympathetic look and regretful look. She knew Sean and Sophia had had a falling out. Though not knowing the particulars, she had a few guesses. "I hope you are recovering well, Sophia, dear, but I'm afraid I've got to steal my son back for something rather immediate." "Thanks, Mrs. Cassidy. I'm getting tired again anyway." She looked back to Sean. "I'll send you a link to my gaming notes. I'll listen to any ideas or suggestions you have, even if I don't take you up on the offer." "Alright. Later, Sophia." Heading towards the meeting, Carolyn idly asked her son, certainly not prying. "Offer?" "Mom!" Sean rolled his eyes. "It's just gaming stuff. God! She was dating Charlie." Carolyn blinked, feeling more than chagrinned at the revelation. That was a blunder. Her chagrin didn't relent when the Cassidy contingent entered the meeting room and found they were the last to arrive. Discomfited, she went around the table, making introductions to any she hadn't met before, Jack Cassidy taking it in his more habitual laconic stride. He worked for all sorts of folk. As long as they didn't try to cheat him on payment and treated his workers with a base modicum of respect, he could deal. He exchanged a few brief words with Ian Keane, seeing if he needed any help with flipping or fixing up a house, while Carolyn remarked on how good Gar was looking, and how trials could bring out the best in someone. Then the Cassidys took their seats between the Jauntsens and the Bannons, Jack next to Carl, followed by his wife, Laurie, and Sean next to Jase. "Apologies for running late," Carolyn said sincerely, though she didn't offer an explanation for why. "If we haven't missed the opening round, how shall we start?"
  10. Our annual free brochure is now available in PDF on DriveThruRPG: Onyx Path 2021-2022 Publishing Brochure! Dare To Walk The Onyx Path This brochure contains: An intro letter from Rich Thomas, founder of Onyx Path Publishing, that describes the Onyx Path business model and how the company is moving forward with new projects.A look at the Onyx Path Publishing projects by game line.Art previews from upcoming books and more! An Onyx Path Con Update We’re currently in the middle of this year’s Onyx Path Virtual Gaming Con! Check that site for more information on this weekend’s panels and actual plays. While we normally make announcements during the “What’s Up With Onyx Path?” panel later today, Matthew is not going to be able to make it, so Rich gave him permission to spill some beans about projects he’s working on during the Opening Ceremonies. The full name of the upcoming “They Came From [CLASSIFIED]” is…. They Came From [CLASSIFIED]. It brings the unique style of the They Came From! games to the 1960s spy genre. More information can be found in the brochure.The next game in the Trinity Continuum is Trinity Continuum: Aether. War of the Worlds, Sherlock Holmes, extraordinary gentlemen exploring strange other realms. Let the speculation commence! Those seeking more information might want to join us for the Trinity Continuum panel later today at 4:30 pm EDT, or the They Came From! panel on Sunday at 10:00 am EDT, both on our Twitch channel.
  11. Now available in PDF and print-on-demand from DriveThruRPG, and in traditional print from Studio 2: the Trinity Continuum: Aberrant rulebook! “Novas routinely and cavalierly seem to ignore things like the conservation of mass and energy, the laws of motion, the square-cube law, and many other guidelines used to bring predictability to a chaotic cosmos. For all the talk of ‘quantum entanglement’ and ‘fundamental forces,’ one might as well say that novas are, for all intents and purposes, using magic — or selectively editing reality to conform to their wishes.” — From Gods Among Us: Novas and the Future of Humanity Trinity Continuum: Aberrantis a game of superpowered adventure in the near-future of the Trinity Continuum. In 2018, novas — people with superhuman powers — first appeared following the explosion of a space station high above Earth. Now, 10 years later, thousands of novas have transformed the world, using their extraordinary powers to fight crime, clean up the environment, invent new technologies, and create wonders. The presence of novas has also caused problems, and some fear the powerful individuals — first called “aberrants” — due to their unpredictable powers and impact they have on the world around them. Still, love them or hate them, people can’t get enough of novas, and being one is a ticket to instant celebrity, fame, and fortune. Some highlights of Trinity Continuum: Aberrantinclude: Details on the super-powered novas and how they fit into the Trinity ContinuumUpdated Storypath rules and character creation information for novasDozens of character biographies to quickly populate the world of 2028Storyguide advice on how to run Aberrant in a wide variety of tones and sub-genres Also available in PDF from DriveThruRPG, and in print from Studio 2: the Trinity Continuum: Aberrant Storyguide Screen! The Trinity Continuum: Aberrant Reference Screen and Document contains all the charts and important info a Storyguide could need. About Trinity Continuum: Aberrant: Trinity Continuum: Aberrantis a game of superpowered adventure in the near-future of the Trinity Continuum. In 2018, novas — people with superhuman powers — first appeared following the explosion of a space station high above Earth. Now, 10 years later, thousands of novas have transformed the world, using their extraordinary powers to fight crime, clean up the environment, invent new technologies, and create wonders. The presence of novas has also caused problems, and some fear the powerful individuals — first called “aberrants” — due to their unpredictable powers and impact they have on the world around them. Still, love them or hate them, people can’t get enough of novas, and being one is a ticket to instant celebrity, fame, and fortune. Crowdfunding Update Exalted: Essence launched on Kickstarter two weeks ago, and hit our funding goal within the first 13 minutes! That makes it our fastest-funding Kickstarter ever, beating Exalted 3rd Edition’s previous 18-minute record! We’re currently at $256,086 of our initial $35,000 goal, or an incredible 732%, thanks to our 3017 backers. With two weeks to go, we’ve already hit the following stretch goals: Essence ST ScreenPillars of Creation: The Essence Companion: more Universal Charms, Evocations, Hearthstones, warstriders. Scattered Lotus Petals: Martial Arts (Single Point Shining Into the Void, Golden Janissary, Celestial Monkey, more). Enemies of the Chosen: Antagonists, demons, fair folk. Eight Directions Atlas: more locations. Creation’s Chosen: More Solar, Lunar, Exigent, Sidereal, and DB Charms. Storytelling the Chosen: ST advice and adventure hooks. Beyond Creation’s Chosen: More Infernal, Alchemical, Getimian, Liminal, and Abyssal Charms. Games of Divinity: more on the cosmology and deities of Creation. Lintha Expansion. Other Antagonists.Essence Jumpstart and Ready-Made CharactersBacker T-shirtEssence Adventure: Two scenariosEssence Digital WallpaperEssence VTT Token PackEssence Novella by Lauren RoyNerdyKeppie bag opportunity Did you miss one of our previous Kickstarters? The following Kickstarted products are still open for preorders via BackerKit: Scarred Lands: Dead Man’s RustScion: Scion: DemigodScion: Scion: Dragon and Scion: Masks of the MythosThey Came from Beyond the Grave!: They Came from Beyond the Grave!Trinity Continuum: Trinity Continuum: Adventure!Legendlore: LegendloreWorld of Darkness: WoD: Ghost HuntersMage: The Ascension: Technocracy ReloadedMage: The Ascension: M20 Victorian AgeChronicles of Darkness: Deviant: The RenegadesChronicles of Darkness: Hunter: The Vigil 2nd EditionChronicles of Darkness: Mummy: The Curse 2nd Edition Community Spotlight The following community-created content for Scarred Lands has been added to the Slarecian Vault in the last week: Fenrilik: Friends and Foes of the FrostlandsYour product could be here! Have you considered creating your own to sell? The following community-created content for Realms of Pugmire has been added to Canis Minor in the last week: Pugmire: Good Dogs of Harmony AcresYour product could be here! Have you considered creating your own to sell? The following community-created content for Storypath has been added to the Storypath Nexus in the last week: Scion: Reconditioned 2: The SequelYour product could be here! Have you considered creating your own to sell?
  12. "Well, I... did not know that," Sean admitted in a drawn out, nonplussed tone, a hand on his hip. "'Bout her helping me at school with the cheerleader uniform thing, I mean." He turned to look out the patio doors, his pale cheeks pinking faintly. He'd noticed looks at school, irate or disgusted, but they weren't much more than the usual and he hadn't connected it to him wearing a cheerleader's uniform for a few hours. Embarrassing for bit, for him - and he certainly hadn't cared for the skirt - it hadn't occurred to him it would have affronted anyone else, beyond people seeing the over-endowed feminine looking individual who identified himself as a guy in a skirt for the first time. It wasn't fair! He had God-Damned psionic powers, had fought other-dimensional monstrosities - and won! - and still had to deal with this shit! He hadn't even seen it coming, but Marissa had and was already doing something about it. And he had treated Marissa poorly, in her own home. He could say Marissa was doing it for her own benefit. Having to be in proximity to the rest of the Fellowship, she wanted to upgrade their social standing to something worthy of being in her presence, so her own didn't suffer. Or to make it feel like they owed her. Whatever her reasons, she was making an effort. And he wasn't. He let his uncanny eyes linger on the workout and gymnastic equipment beyond the patio doors for a moment. He had followed Devin and Autumn outside, though he had slipped back in before they had turned around when the door bell had rung. If he couldn't bring himself to ask Jase or Cade to help him exercise and get into better, or at least healthier, shape, he could never bring himself to ask Devin. He had had a vague notion of asking Autumn, but inadvertently eavesdropping on the two of them, it seemed almost perverse that it sounded like Marissa would actually be the better one to ask. Ugh! No way! Sean's slender shoulders tightened, then slumped as he turned back to Devin. "You might be..." He sucked in a breath, his nose scrunching up as he grimaced and corrected himself. "You're... right, dude." Anything else was an excuse. Maybe a valid excuse - her actions had led to his best friend being shot multiple times, come on! - but excuses nonetheless. Also... making nice, Marissa might be less inclined towards urging an accident his way, however unintentional. As though dragged out of him, Sean added with a glance up towards the second floor, "I think I owe your sister an apology. A thanks, too, I suppose..." Marissa looked at the door to her room as Autumn, giving a bit of an eye roll at the audacity of Autumn giving her fashion advice… before she looked back to the mirror and put her hair back up the way she had it and gave it her best duck-face to adequately appraise the style. She permitted herself an approving smirk as she side-eyed the door once again. “Don’t tell me that,” Devin said while nudging his head towards the upstairs. “Tell her. It’s been a rough weekend, for everyone. We’re all still a bit on edge and we’re not really at a point where we know how to handle each other… I know you’ve had a shit time in your life, given,” he motioned to Sean as a whole and his combination of feminine and masculine qualities. “All of that. We haven’t been the best people, but we’re trying, dude. We both are… it might not always look like it, but we are. Cut us some slack, yeah? Now, if you feel you owe her something… don’t talk about it, go handle your business.” Sean passed Autumn on the stairs, instinctively turning sideways to give her more, a rueful expression crossing his face as he stopped. The staircase at the Jauntsen Residence was more than wide enough for two to walk abreast. Autumn tilted her head questioningly and Sean sighed. "Don't you hate it when a Jauntsen has a valid point?" Marissa had slid into her boots, put her hair up and was now working on her eye make-up as a painter might meticulously add every color with one graceful brushstroke after another. The knock on her door distracted her from he reflection in the mirror. Devin wouldn’t have bothered knocking, his entrance would have been a theatrical number complete with some of ‘s’up ho’. She sighed, a bit annoyed at the interruption (but then again, she was always annoyed). “Enter.” As Sean entered her eyes narrowed in suspicion as to the reason for his visit. IT seemed largely out place for him to dare venture into the lair of the beast as in the past he seemed to treat Marissa like she was two Not-Cody’s, a swift kick to the junk, and one pants-ing worth of embarrassment all wrapped into one and better left avoided. She turned in her chair to face Sean, crossing a suede sheathed leg over her knee to give him her full attention. “Admitedly I was expecting Cade, or even Cass,” she huffed and rolled her eyes. “Alright unknown quantity let’s hear it. If you’re here to file a complaint about something I’ve done to betray you or your family… the line forms at the bottom of the pool. I’ll be with you as soon as possible. By ‘soon’, I mean ‘never’, by ‘as possible’ I mean ‘I won’t bother’.” A smirk curved Marissa's maroon lips as despite himself and his habitual thoughts about Devin's twin, she caught Sean's eyes flick from her own to her crossing legs and back, clearly disappointed in himself, but not regretting the sight. He slowly raised his hands in surrender. At least she isn't petting a white cat... "No complaints, I swear." Mouth pursed as though he'd just bitten into a lemon suggested more that he did still have complaints, but they weren't for here, not for this moment. "Not here, not now, anyway," he admitted wryly. Letting his hands fall to his sides, his eyes slid from hers once more, to glance around the room. He had entered with his eyes down initially, as though in case he might have caught a look at something he shouldn't have. He had expected Marissa's room to look like something belonging to a Twitch or TikTok Thot, probably messy, maybe with some strategically place brand name accessories scattered about to show off on her streams. Instead, it was pristine, and very, very Disney Princess. It could probably cause cavities. He straightened his shoulders and strained for every fraction of an inch of his modest height, meeting her eyes once more. "I came to... to apologize," he said, forcing it out in a rush. "Devin mentioned, sort of, what your doing for me at school. I didn't know, but thanks for that. And while you were not an ungracious host, I was an ungracious guest. Whatever else you did, intentional or not, that's the truth." A deep inhalation. Of all people, her?! At least she ain't Courtney! "I'm sorry for how I acted today and towards you, when it seems you've been trying help me, in your way. If there's a favour I can do you in turn, just ask. Er..." His jaw tightened in an uneasy grin at what he had just offered and to who. "Please don't make it too embarrassing or painful please." Marissa listened, even giving him a look that dared the young man to judge her choice of bedroom decorations. Throughout the bookshelves in her room, ended by a cute plushie animal of some sort, were all manner of novels. The Shannara Chronicles, the Wheel of Time series, All manner of R.A. Salvatore novels, all the Percy Jackson books and even the Shadow Hunters series all lined her walls on high shelves, well outside his reach, and even she needed to tippy toe to reach them. While she never claimed to be a nerd, she possessed a serious love for high fantasy and supernatural romance literature. “Sean,” she started. Her voice was soft and calm now, devoid of the initial defensive sarcasm she was quickly becoming known for. “Look, don’t worry about it, okay? It’s not like I was the greatest to you in the past, so for what it’s worth, I understand. Does it irritate me? Sure, a bit, but only because you are surrounded by people who were willing to die with you and you still seem to refuse to let yourself trust us, at all.” “You don’t owe me any favors,” she said plainly. “We’re supposed to be friends, right? I know, I suck at this whole friends thing, I don’t trust easily, I’m defensive, opinionated, gorgeous,” she waved her hand in a gesture to swat away all her words. “We both know I could go on, the point is, you don’t owe me anything for helping you with the school thing. According to the internet, friends are supposed to get one another’s backs, right?” “I know it’s easy to think I’m some ice queen who would slit my mothers throat to be the next Kardashian. That’s simply not true, well, maybe her hammies or something, I don’t know… again, the point is, Sean is that I have limits to my cruelty. I’m mean, yes. However, there are lows that even I will not stoop to, for example: destroying someone’s life simply because they are gay, or fat, or a particular ethnicity… or are a transvestite, to name a few.” She smirked at him and winked. “This town is full of closeminded bigots and religious bible thumpers who have spent their lives making yours a living hell.” “Marissa,” Sean interjected. “You and Devin made my life a living hell.” “Well, certainly,” she admitted freely with almost a tone defensive pride. “But we didn’t’ single you out, is my point and it wasn’t because of who you were, we just needed you and others to remember that we were better than you because we were more popular… and prettier… with money.” “I… can’t,” Sean tried to formulate a response to that, but Marissa wasn’t infallible as it was just hard to grasp how she could grasp it. “You know you almost pushed Connie Vasquez to commit suicide last year, right?” “Of course, but it wasn’t because she was fat or gay, which she obviously is,” the lovely brunette pointed out. “Wait,” Sean interjected. “Connie’s a lesbian?” “Duh,” she rolled her eyes at Sean. “Sean, you can only get so big and to the point where no man is going to want you that you’re eventually forced to try your own brand. Don’t you pay attention to anything at school? I did it because she bumped my shoulder in the hallway and didn’t say she was sorry, so rude.” She scoffed and accompanied an eyeroll with a disgusted shake of her head. “I digress… what I’m trying to say is that we’re friends now, maybe not particularly good ones, but friends. That means Devin and I have your back. You don’t have to worry about bullies anymore or dealing with the crap this town shovels at you. You want to wear women’s clothes, I’m all for it, help yourself to my closet, whatever Tawny hasn’t looted and pillaged you’re welcome to give it a go, I support you.” She stood from the chair she was sitting in and approached him, her heels making her even taller than her usual five-foot eight height. Autumn had hit the target though, between the sweaterdress, the thigh high suede boots that left only a few inches of leg visible, and her hair up, she looked like some Bond girl… or villain. Looking down at him she cupped his cheeks in her hands and held his head to face up to her in a usual show of jovial friendliness and familiarity. “So, stop being an asshole, kay?” Several quotes about riding tigers and what could happen when trying to get off them ran through Sean's head. Marissa was a tiger. And she certainly didn't have man-hands - she lacked the skintone, but with the sweaterdress and boots, he couldn't help but think, Lana. Thank the Gods he was wearing loose jeans. It was a testament to her charm and presence that he hadn't flinched away when she'd cupped his face, having grown reserved with physical contact and affection as he'd developed, but he slipped free now. Easier to talk and he was starting to get a crink in his neck with her so close, is all. Really. Why did all his friends have to be taller than him? "I'll try," Sean drawled. "I've been burned too many times to not be wary. Like you, I don't trust easily either. It's gonna take me a bit to get used to the nicer sides of you." "Bitch." Friendly smirk. "All my sides are my good sides." Sean snorted, but it wasn't in denial of her claim. "If I have to stop being an asshole, you have to stop being a bitch." Marissa's eyes narrowed and Sean blushed, taking a step back. "I mean, you aren't being a bitch now, at this moment, not really, not towards me, anyway. I meant, in general, turn down the dial, some, on the bitch meter. It'll help make this friends thing go smoother." Marissa didn't precisely harrumph, but she gave the impression she did without making an sound. He considered mentioning Jase, but thought better of it. All things considered, this had gone much better than he imagined it would. "Right. Anyways. Not sure 'bout raiding your closet," Sean remarked dryly, "we don't exactly have the same body type, but maybe I'll ask for some fashion tips some time." He might still think of himself as a guy, but he had grown to accept his appearance. Could even take pride in it, at times. Losing the 'bet' to his sister had been a way to force himself to see what it was like to present himself another way and show that he accepted what he looked like to others. Marissa shrugged nonchalantly, smirk widening a trifle. "Depends how much attention you want, Sean." "Not that much," Sean assured her. Though imagine the looks at Homecoming... Would Kat prefer something like that? I have more than Courtney to- He shook the idle thought away and held out his hand. "Pass me your phone." An imperiously arched brow. "Please?" Marissa snatched her phone from her vanity and handed to the boy. Sean stared at it, his multi-hued eyes almost seeming to glow and after a long moment, he gave a self-satisfied nod and handed it back to Marissa. "There. You have an app called Elbows now." "Elbows?" "Gets you to the front of the line, online, when something new and in limited quality drops. It only lets you get one, though." Marissa studied him, phone in hand tapping her thigh. "I said you didn't owe me a favour." "It wasn't a favour," Sean replied, rocking on his heels, hands stuffed in the pockets of his hoodie. "I have the same app on my phone. Wrote it before all this psionic and terror mojo. Just thought you'd like it." “Very cool,” she nodded her head while looking at the screen of her phone. “Thank you.” She leaned down and he found her lips pressed to his cheek in a soft kiss to show her appreciation. She turned to inspect her lipstick in her mirror, looking back at Sean through his reflection. “But no go on the ‘stop being a bitch’. It’s sort of my thing. I’m willing to offer you a ‘less of a bitch’ deal, but only when I’m not fuming angry at the lot of you because I know somewhere out there is a tree tirelessly producing oxygen for you and I feel you all owe it an apology.” She sat back down, setting her phone on the vanity’s surface and returned to doing her eyes. “The offer doesn’t extend to your bestie, however…” she added as she carefully applied her eyeliner. Sean's mouth opened to protest on Jase's behalf, but closed it before voicing a word. Marissa wasn't going to budge on this and he knew Jason, at least well enough, that he most definitely wasn't right now either. Lips pressed into a tight, crooked line, he nodded as he lifted one shoulder in a shrug. "Fair enough, that's between you and Jase. I'll take deal with the condition I can be a bit of a butthole when you are being more rather than less of a bitch. Unwarranted, of course." "Acceptable," Marissa murmured, not turning away from inspecting her efforts at touching up her applied glamour. "Done and done." There was silent pause that discomfited Sean while seeming to not affect Marissa in the least, but he didn't really have more to say. "Later then. Guess I'll see you this evening. Hopefully it won't be as bad." "Hope." There was something suspiciously like a grunt. "Don't be absurd. Good-bye, Sean." Sean turned to go, but right before he slipped out her bedroom door, he added softly, "Real or not, try not to hurt Cade too much, 'kay?" He closed the door behind him with a gentle click before Marissa could respond, and hustled down the stairs. Faced the tigress in her den and came out with all limbs and protuberances intact. Huzzah. After that, how bad could Site B be? He gave Devin a short wave as he sauntered pass the kitchen. "Later, man. Your sister and I are good now. I think. Hit me up if you want a copy of ReGenesis, and I'll hook you up." Then he was out on the veranda and shuffling towards his car. On the way, he pulled out the card Max had handed to him and flicked it against his palm. He had a call to make before the meeting between the Fellowship, the Parents, and the Project. With a bit more positivity, he was planning with success at Site B.
  13. In which Eddy and Matthew talk with Jack Berkenstock of the Bodhana Group about using tabletop RPGs in therapeutic settings. What is the Bodhana Group?Therapy through the game, not about the gameLots of talk about RPG safety toolsUsing safety tools to start the discussion, not stop itConvincing people to use safety toolsJack’s origin story as a multitude of AirdalesWhat do you want to see at Onyx Path Con? Links: The Bodhana Group (and social media): https://www.thebodhanagroup.org/Save against Fear: https://www.thebodhanagroup.org/about-the-conventionGame to Grow: https://gametogrow.org/RPG Research: https://www.rpgresearch.com/Script Change RPG Toolbox: https://briebeau.itch.io/script-changeWizards, Warriors and Wellness: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/268200/Wizards-Warriors-and-Wellness–The-Therapeutic-Application-of-Role-Playing-Games&affiliate_id=548232Exalted: Essence Kickstarter: http://kck.st/3vsbUGvOnyx Path YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheOnyxPathOnyx Path Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/theonyxpathOnyx Path Discord: https://discord.gg/5uckcBk
  14. Picture: Type: WallpapersDisplay Mode thumbnail: LargeTitle: Van Richten's Guide to RavenloftImage :
  15. Now available in PDF from DriveThruRPG: Storypath Tasty Bit: Zeus! We Just Wanna Talk! for Scion 2nd Edition! Zeus! We Just Wanna Talk! is a lighthearted scenario providing an inciting event to bring Hero-level Scions together into a Band. It can kick off a chronicle or simply be a fun one-shot. Existing Bands can also enjoy the scenario with minor modifications. Just like “we just wanna talk” can change meaning depending on how it’s said, this adventure’s goal can shift depending on what tack the characters choose, from a dark tale of vengeance to a slapstick comedy to an earnest attempt to talk Zeus into mending his ways. Regardless of what the Scions aim to do, they’ll have their work cut out for them. Zeus didn’t survive thousands of years with as many enemies as he has through luck alone. Over the course of the scenario, the characters meet each other as strangers in an escape room. When the activity becomes deadly serious, they learn that they’re all Scions, with at least one common foe. They track down Hera, who provides them the means and opportunity to confront Zeus in a bar. The Scions sneak into the bar and come face to face with the Sky Father, forever changing their fates. This PDF is part of the “Storypath Tasty Bits” program, where every month in 2021 Onyx Path offers a small product that ties into one of its Storypath games. Check in every month to see what’s coming next! Sales The D&D Setting Sale includes 60% off the collected Yugman’s Guide to Ghelspad for Scarred Lands! Check out other Scarred Lands material in this sale too! Crowdfunding Update Exalted: Essence launches on Kickstarter at 2pm EDT Thursday the 27th, just a touch under 24 hours from now! Did you miss one of our previous Kickstarters? The following Kickstarted products are still open for preorders via BackerKit: Scarred Lands: Dead Man’s RustScion: Scion: DemigodScion: Scion: Dragon and Scion: Masks of the MythosThey Came from Beyond the Grave!: They Came from Beyond the Grave!Trinity Continuum: Trinity Continuum: Adventure!Legendlore: LegendloreWorld of Darkness: WoD: Ghost HuntersMage: The Ascension: Technocracy ReloadedMage: The Ascension: M20 Victorian AgeChronicles of Darkness: Deviant: The RenegadesChronicles of Darkness: Hunter: The Vigil 2nd EditionChronicles of Darkness: Mummy: The Curse 2nd Edition Community Spotlight The following community-created content for Scarred Lands has been added to the Slarecian Vault in the last week: Your product could be here! Have you considered creating your own to sell? The following community-created content for Realms of Pugmire has been added to Canis Minor in the last week: Your product could be here! Have you considered creating your own to sell? The following community-created content for Storypath has been added to the Storypath Nexus in the last week: Scion: Divine IdentitiesScion: Divine Bundle [Phase One]Your product could be here! Have you considered creating your own to sell?
  16. BECAUSE THE EXALTED: ESSENCE KICKSTARTER IS THIS WEEK! Ahem. Sorry for shouting. I’m just so thrilled to finally be able to give everyone the time for the Exalted: Essence KS: May 27th at 2pm Eastern US time! We’ll get into more detail on what’s in EX:Essence in the weeks to come, and, as usual with our KSs, we’ll be releasing the finished text during the course of the campaign so that backers will have the whole darn thing after the KS is over. Or, at least, the ESSENCE of it! Hoo ha! But today, I just want to mention that the need to create this project isn’t a need to replace Exalted 3rd‘s core. It’s not even a 3.5 edition. Over the years, we considered and rejected both options. Either of those two options aren’t really what we want EX:Essence to be. What it was designed to do is to give new players a chance at an easier and less intimidating on-ramp to the Exalted 3rd play experience. Because let’s face it: that is one honkin’-big core rulebook. And it was never designed to be somebody’s first TTRPG. EX3 was designed to open up the setting and fix a bunch of the systems problems inherited from previous editions. Which resulted in a really big book that built a lot of interlocking system “stuff” in order to cover a lot of concerns the original team had based on their years of experience. And the thing is, that “stuff” is not insurmountable, or even un-fun, particularly for experienced Exalted fans – but even if you are new to the game, it’s not necessarily a deal-breaker. We have a healthy audience for Exalted 3rd who are well-served by the game as it was designed, and we’re not at all interested in taking that away from them. But it does look like an awful lot to get into when you look at that 650+ page core. M20 Rich Bastards’ Guide art by Emmanuael Desiati So, Exalted: Essence is here to provide a lighter experience and an easier entry point to the epic panoply of Exalted 3rd. Not a “rules-lite” experience, which is pretty subjective anyway, but lighter in terms of the rules in the core. Plus, with the Kickstarter campaign, we’ll be offering both a Deluxe version as we have with the EX3 core, and the Dragon-Blooded and Lunars “fat splats”, for those who want to keep their collections in sync, but also a traditionally printed hardcover that we are hoping the KS will help us to get into stores. And of course, there will be PDF and PoD versions, too. Basically, a lot of ways to enjoy it – without breaking your back as you haul the rulebook around now that gaming in person may be a thing again! I also hear that all of the named Exalted types will be presented in the book as playable EX: Essence character types, and have been created with their later appearances in Exalted 3rd in mind. So, there’s that, too! If you don’t want to wait until Thursday for a real example of Exalted: Essence play, our friends at Vorpal Tales are running an Essence game that should run each Tuesday throughout the KS campaign and starts on Tuesday night, the 25th, at 9pm EDT on Twitch: twitch.tv/theonyxpath Exalted: Essence team leader Dixie Cochran will be playing in that game, and I hear that the group is extremely varied in terms of which kinds of Exalted will be featured! Like He-Man meets the Groovy-Ghoulies varied. There’s a reference to Google, if ever there was one! With the second Onyx Path Virtual Gaming Convention coming up in just a few weeks now, we have nicely done up lists for both our Onyx Path Panels, as well as our awesome Actual Play games. Check those out below in the Conventions section. And we still have a whole bunch of regular online games that folks can sign up for: https://startplaying.games/search?convention=6098297a57626800073595b4 Now, you’ll notice that those games have all different prices set for joining. This time around, we left that up to the individual game runner, which is why they vary. The thing to bear in mind is that your fee not only handles the payments to your game runner and the set-up costs, but benefits our friends at the Bodhana Group, one of our favorite charities! We’ve done pretty well with raising funds for charities during previous online conventions, and we’re really hoping to send the Bodhana team a little something to help them out in their efforts to use tabletop games as therapeutic tools. Hunter: The Vigil 2e art by Alex Sheikman Another Essential Monday Meeting: Speaking of KS’s: M20 Victorian‘s extended BackerKit pledging period is coming down to the last day to pledge as a “Backer” because we extended that into BK. After this Tuesday evening you can “pre-order” but you won’t be able to receive Stretch Goal rewards and other backer-only perks. So, if you want to be counted as a KS backer in those ways, please head over now: https://victorian-mage-ttrpg.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders The first part of our weekly Monday Lunch Meeting is devoted to “big picture items”, the sort of topics that aren’t just about a single book or game line, but which involve company-wide issues, concerns, or triumphs. This week we reviewed our current special efforts that fall into that category, like the Scion TV show is one of those, and spent a lot of our time making sure everyone was up to speed on those. As I may have mentioned in previous weeks, the lack of in-person conventions left us with some extra wherewithal to move forward on a couple of different fronts that will hopefully allow us to connect with even more folks interested in our game worlds than ever before! Just a brief note that we have a trio of sales running across DTRPG right now: Yugman’s Guide for Scarred Lands is in the D&D Settings Sale, there’s more Scarred Lands discounts in their own sale on the site, and we’ve got fiction titles in the Dark Fiction Sale. Links to all of these are in the DTRPG section below! Whew! Finally, speaking of things that are going to be sold, this Wednesday is our latest Tasty Bit PDF. As you might recall, the Tasty Bits are smaller projects that we think folks would like, but which aren’t enough to fill up a whole book by themselves. Technocracy Reloaded art by Andrew Hepworth This week, we have Zeus! We Just Wanna Talk! This is a starter scenario, an adventure, a bit that could be added into your regular Scion games. It addresses one of the tough parts of using ancient mythology in a modern game – some of the gods as presented in the myths were real a-holes, and Zeus is really out there in the lead in that regard. What we want to do with this is to allow your gaming group the room to deal with Zeus’ prior actions as you see fit. Do you want to confront him verbally? Physically? If you need something from him, how do you get it? Can you even shame Zeus? Or does your group have a different approach based on your reactions to his misdeeds. There’s opportunity for a lot of “characterful” roleplaying with this sort of situation, as well as a chance to consider how to deal with what sort of stories were tied to these mythic figures, and how we would tell those stories today. So really, a very focused-in aspect of Scion for your group to explore. And if you want to, just before you clock Zeus with a haymaker, lean in and whisper in his ear: Many Worlds, One Path! BLURBS! Kickstarter! The Exalted: Essence KS starts this Thursday, May 27th, at 2pm Eastern US time! Onyx Path Media! This week: The Trio talk crowdfunding: Kickstarter and Indiegogo and others all get a look! Plus, their personal experiences using crowdfunding and how that all worked out! As always, this Friday’s Onyx Pathcast will be on Podbean or your favorite podcast venue! https://onyxpathcast.podbean.com/ Find our latest “What’s up with Onyx Path?” panel over from TryItCon on our YouTube channel, right here: https://youtu.be/1-Vhw3tkDKM All badge proceeds went to the Helen Keller Foundation and the first $1,500 in ticket sales were matched and donated as well! Please donate to the Helen Keller Foundation right here: https://helenkellerfoundation.org/ For anyone new to our media section, you can find us running and playing games over on twitch.tv/theonyxpath pretty much every day of the week! Plus, if you’d like your games hosted there, just get in touch with Matthew Dawkins using the contact link on matthewdawkins.com. Please check out our attached media schedule for the impressive number of videos on our Twitch channel this week! Come take a look at our YouTube channel, youtube.com/user/theonyxpath, where you can find a whole load of videos of actual plays, dissections of our games, and more, including: Chronicles of Darkness – The Wyrd West – Ep. 1 – https://youtu.be/obEAczzDSzk Scarred Lands – Dead Man’s Rust – Red Scar Players – Episode 8 – https://youtu.be/CEGCtVJSqjc Exalted – Tomb of Dreams Jumpstart – Episode 2/2 – https://youtu.be/D4IEhLZW7_U They Came from Beneath the Sea! – Party Beach Creature Feature Jumpstart – Episode 2/2 – https://youtu.be/2BKwwZUl6A4 Realms of Pugmire – The Secret of Vinsen’s Tomb – Episode 2/2 – https://youtu.be/WUZrrztgJ2Q Vampire: The Masquerade – Styx and Bones – Table Goth – Ep. 1 – https://youtu.be/rSqidHTd91I Trinity Continuum – A Quantum Leap – Ep. 2 – https://youtu.be/MeDVP_Gh61c Subscribe to our channel and click the bell icon if you want to be notified whenever new news videos and uploads come online! Come enjoy a character creation session for They Came from Beneath the Sea!, run by our very own Matthew Dawkins! https://youtu.be/_M1QrCHCyaw The Story Told Podcast are back with the new season of The Fall of Jiara for Exalted! United in purpose, the Dragon-Blooded confront the Lunar wearing the face of the Prince of Jiara: https://thestorytold.libsyn.com/fall-of-jiara-43 A Bunch of Gamers continue their Werewolf: The Apocalypse chronicle here. After some relaxation the packs have once again thrown themselves into the political struggles of the Sept of the Sacred Stone. The tensions between the Children of Gaia and Older Brother are as high as ever and a new, or possibly old, player has started to insert themselves into the grand game. The possible identity of this mysterious player sends shivers down the spines of the packs as they struggle to keep peace within their own home: https://abunchofgamers.podbean.com/e/werewolf-the-apocalypse-episode-69-rest-and-recovery/ This is episode 70! McStabber Studios ran a fantastic, short Werewolf: The Apocalypse chronicle, which you can find in full right here: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNJbJLVC_ivyey8o7JigAo-FNG9C66vNN The Exaltcast continues its fantastic show introducing you to the wonders and horrors of the Realm and its various inhabitants. The next episode is Where Fire Marches to the Sea – the Southwest – https://www.exaltcast.com/2021/05/18/where-fire-marches-to-the-sea-the-southwest/ – Between punishing seas and also punishing deserts sits a string of kingdoms and peoples balanced between natural and supernatural threats in Creation’s Southwest. Monica and Chazz talk the Caul, pirates, and Exalted beach episodes. Over on ExalTwitch they’ve been running some amazing games of Exalted, and even have a show wiki for viewers to follow along! ExalTwitch: Academy is set in The House of Bells, a prestigious school for Dragon-Blooded Exalted of the Realm to train in the ways of war. The chronicle follows three young Dragon-Bloods as they try to prove their worth to their fellow students, their Houses, and themselves. Their most recent VOD, Episode 18 (“Battleflag”), is here: https://youtu.be/EwCcE-6eevo The playlist for the series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Zb3M2x8PJk&list=PLsZP95-GZNa0ynoCIVyliNF5rypCHvh0M The show wiki, with synopses, character descriptions, etc: RPGClinic Wiki | Fandom Wards & Witchcraft reach Session 22 of their amazing Mage: The Awakening chronicle right here: https://youtu.be/eY_s_hujqMY The cabal has brought a supernal powerhouse to the Thyrsus councilor’s parlor. The witches must fight for their lives against the Black Knight yet again. Can they save Parallax’s new in laws and also a cake? Please check these out and let us know if you find or produce any actual plays of our games! We’d love to feature you! Electronic Gaming! As we find ways to enable our community to more easily play our games, the Onyx Dice Rolling App is live! The dev team has been doing updates since we launched based on the excellent use-case comments by our community, and this thing is awesome! (Seriously, you need to roll 100 dice for Exalted? This app has you covered.) Virtual TableTop! Two Virtual Tabletop adventures: the Gauntlet of Spiragos and the Dagger of Spiragos for Scarred Lands on Astral TableTop and DriveThruRPG! Scars of the Divine War, which ended less than 200 years ago, have still not healed. One such scar is the Chasm of Flies, a rent in the earth created when the titan Spiragos the Ambusher was smote down by one of the young gods, Vangal the Ravager. Now, the Chasm is inhabited by spider-eye goblins and their spider allies, but it is also thought to be the resting place of powerful artifacts from that elder age. Astral TableTop is the easiest way to play any tabletop RPG online, free. Astral already supports popular systems like D&D and Pathfinder, and Astral can support virtually any tabletop roleplaying game. Get started quickly with built-in support for most popular game systems. Whether you’re brand new to TTRPGs or a veteran tabletop gamer, Astral‘s ease-of-use and built in automation is designed to streamline gameplay. Build your own adventure, or choose from pre-generated game kits like Gauntlet of Spiragos and Dagger of Spiragos. Create character sheets, craft maps, or just jump right in to connect with your friends and start your adventures! On Amazon and Barnes & Noble! You can now read our fiction from the comfort and convenience of your Kindle (from Amazon) and Nook (from Barnes & Noble). If you enjoy these or any other of our books, please help us by writing reviews on the site of the sales venue from which you bought it. Reviews really, really help us get folks interested in our amazing fiction! Our selection includes these latest fiction books: Our Sales Partners! We’re working with Studio2 to provide our traditionally printed books out into your local game stores. Game stores can order via their usual distributors, and can also contact Studio2 directly. And individuals can check out our projects via the links below! You can pick up the traditionally printed Pugmire and Monarchies of Mau main books, screens, and the official dice through our friends there! https://studio2publishing.com/search?q=pugmire Now, we’ve added Chronicles of Darkness books such as Changeling: The Lost Second Edition products to Studio2‘s store! See them here: https://studio2publishing.com/collections/all-products/changeling-the-lost Scion 2e books and other products are available now at Studio2: https://studio2publishing.com/blogs/new-releases/scion-second-edition-book-one-origin-now-available-at-your-local-retailer-or-online Our Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition books are also available from Studio2 in the US: https://studio2publishing.com/products/vampire-the-masquerade-chicago-by-night-sourcebook Here’s the link to Studio2‘s part of the Scarred Lands Sale! Studio 2:https://studio2publishing.com/collections/scarred-lands Looking for our Deluxe or Prestige Edition books? Try this link! http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Onyx-Path-Publishing/ And you can order Pugmire, Monarchies of Mau, Cavaliers of Mars, and Changeling: The Lost 2e at the same link! And now Scion Origin and Scion Hero and Trinity Continuum Core and Trinity Continuum: Aeon are available to order! Here’s the link for IPR‘s part of the Scarred Lands Sale! IPR: https://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Deals-and-Specials/ As always, you can find Onyx Path’s titles at DriveThruRPG.com! D&D Settings Sale at DTRPG (spotlight on Yugman’s Guide): https://www.drivethrurpg.com/featured.php?promotion_id=May2021-DnD-DTRPG Other Scarred Lands titles discounted:https://www.drivethrurpg.com/promo.php?manufacturers_id=4261&filters=0_0_0_0_0_100086 The Dark Fiction Sale at DriveThruFiction: https://www.drivethrufiction.com/special.php?manufacturers_id=4261 On Sale This Week! On Wednesday you can walk into a bar and say “Zeus! We Just Wanna Talk!” as the new Scion Tasty Bit elbows up with a PDF version available on DTRPG! Conventions! Because dates for physical conventions are subject to change due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, we don’t yet have a list of upcoming physical conventions. Instead, keep an eye out here for more virtual conventions we’re going to be involved with! As announced, the 2nd Onyx Path Virtual Gaming Convention will be coming to you live starting Friday, June 11th and running until Sunday, June 13th (including a special post-con Jackbox gamefest Sunday night hosted by Dixie)! The GM Sign-up Page & Code of Conduct for OPP Con are now live: Code of Conduct:https://intercom.help/startplayinggames/en/articles/5208570-onyx-path-code-of-conduct GM Sign-up:https://intercom.help/startplayinggames/en/articles/5217651-onyx-path-virtual-gaming-convention-2021-faq Here are some listings for our planned panels and Actual Play sessions: And now, the new project status updates! Development Status from Eddy Webb! (Projects in bold have changed status since last week.): First Draft (The first phase of a project that is about the work being done by writers, not dev prep.) Exalted Essay Collection (Exalted)Tasty Bit: Car Lifting Competition (Scion 2nd Edition)Panopticon Novella (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant)Scion: God (Scion 2e)With Great Power (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Redlines Dragon-Blooded Novella #2 (Exalted 3rd Edition)Tome of the Pentacle (Mage: the Awakening 2e)The Hedge (Changeling: The Lost 2nd Edition) M20 Lore of the Traditions (Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)Apocalyptic Record (Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition) Second Draft No Gods, No Masters (Scion 2nd Edition)TC: Adventure! Jumpstart (Trinity Continuum: Adventure!) Development Contagion Chronicle: Global Outbreaks (Chronicles of Darkness)Kith and Kin (Changeling: The Lost 2e)Adversaries of the Righteous (Exalted 3rd Edition)Wild Hunt (Scion 2nd Edition) Manuscript Approval Post-Approval Development Many-Faced Strangers – Lunars Companion (Exalted 3rd Edition)Exigents (Exalted 3rd Edition)Once and Future (Scion 2nd Edition) Editing Lunars Novella (Rosenberg) (Exalted 3rd Edition)The Book of Lasting Death (Mummy: The Curse 2e)Dead Man’s Rust (Scarred Lands)M20 Victorian Mage (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)Mission Statements (Trinity Continuum: Aeon)The Clades Companion (Deviant: The Renegades)CtL2e Novella Collection: Hollow Courts (Changeling: The Lost 2e)Heroes in a World of Horror! (They Came From…!)Dystopia Rising: Evolution Fiction Anthology (Dystopia Rising: Evolution)Prometheus Unbound (was Psi Orders) (Trinity Continuum: Aeon)Legacies of Earth (Legendlore)Scion Fiction Anthology (Scion 2nd Edition)They Came From Beyond the Grave! Jumpstart (They Came From…!)Across the Eight Directions (Exalted 3rd Edition)Monsters From the Crypt! (They Came From…!) TC: Aeon Novella: Meridian (Trinity Continuum: Aeon)Exalted Essence Edition (Exalted 3rd Edition) Crucible of Legends (Exalted 3rd Edition)The Devoted Companion (Deviant: The Renegades)Proteus Nova Compendium (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant)TC: Aeon Novella: Dawn (Trinity Continuum: Aeon)Tasty Bit: Pets (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Trinity Continuum: Assassins (Trinity Continuum Core)Saints and Monsters (Scion 2nd Edition) They Came From Camp Murder Lake! (They Came From…!)Contagion Chronicle Ready-Made Characters (Chronicles of Darkness) Trinity Continuum: AnimaTales of Depravity! (They Came From…!)They Came From [Classified]! (They Came From…!) They Came From [Classified]! Jumpstart (They Came From…!)Realms of Magic and Mystery (was Terra Incognita) (Scion 2nd Edition) Trinity Continuum: Adventure! core (Trinity Continuum: Adventure!)Vigil Watch: The Kelder Mountains (Scarred Lands)Ghost Hunters Jumpstart w/RMCs (WoD 20th)The Paranormal Investigator’s Handbook (WoD 20th) Post-Editing Development Masks of the Mythos (Scion 2nd Edition)They Came From Beyond the Grave! (They Came From!)Scion: Demigod (Scion 2nd Edition)Scion: Dragon (Scion 2nd Edition)Player’s Guide to the Contagion Chronicle (Chronicles of Darkness)N!ternational Wrestling Entertainment (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant)Dearly Bleak – Novella (Deviant: The Renegades)V5 Trails of Ash and Bone (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition)V5 Forbidden Religions (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition)Squeaks In The Deep (Realms of Pugmire)Novas Worldwide (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) They Came From Beneath the Sea! Jumpstart (They Came From…!)Tasty Bit: Les Fantomes (Trinity Continuum) M20 Rich Bastard’s Guide To Magick (Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary) Indexing Mummy: The Curse 2e Art Direction from Mike Chaney! In Art Direction Scion: Dragon (KS) Masks of the Mythos (KS) Scion: Demigod TC: Adventure! (KS) M20 Victorian (KS) Dead Man’s RustM20 Technocracy Jumpstart Exalted Essence (KS) – Wrapping up last KS graphics tweaks.V5 Forbidden Religions TC Mission Statements TC Aberrant N!WE M20 Technocracy Dossier/CompanionHundred Devils Night Parade Squeaks In The Deep (KS) – Wrapping up KS graphics. TC Prometheus Unbound They Came From Camp Murder Lake! Realms of Magic and Mystery Saints and Monsters TC: Anima (KS) – Art progressing. TC: Assassin In Layout Spiragos Collected Adventures Hunter: The Vigil 2e – Josh fighting his computer woes while working on it as art trickles in.21-22 Onyx Brochure – looking good so far. WoD Ghost Hunters (KS) – putting together the layout.Legendlore M20 Rich Bastards Guide – Over to Charles, art is all in.They Came From Beneath the Sea! Jumpstart – Over to Andrea.V5 Trail of Ash and Bone They Came From Beyond the Grave! – Final art coming in. Players Guide to the Contagion Chronicle Proofing Mummy 2 – In Indexing.TC: Under Alien Skies – Wrapping this up.Heirs to the Shogunate – At Paradox for approval.TC Aberrant JumpstartDeviant Screen – To Paradox for approval. At Press Aberrant – KS fulfillment finishing up. TC: Aberrant Screen – KS fulfillment finishing up.M20 Technocracy Reloaded – PoD proofs ordered from DTRPG. Contagion Chronicle Jumpstart (Chronicles of Darkness) – PoD proofs arrived.Vigil Watch Compiled – PoD proofs on the way. Mummy 2e ScreenDeviant – Waiting on printer specs. Today’s Reason to Celebrate! Today is the birthday of Queen Victoria! You know, of the Era. And really, since so many ideas came out of her era, that’s really what we’re celebrating. Steampunk and Ripper conspiracies, magical societies – the list of elements we use in TTRPGs that grew out of the period of her rule is pretty long and seminal in our creative spaces. We are most definitely amused!
  17. Sean leaned back against the kitchen wall next to the patio door, arms crossed, mouth tight with anger and frustration, and a vague, but burgeoning sense of panic. Marissa had strutted away, Jase had gone the other way and left, Autumn following the former and Kat the later, and now Cassandra was on her way out too. They'd taken down Not-Cody, there should have been victory, maybe even a sense of bonding, and yet, since then, it was not much unraveling as being shredded to pieces. He'd been quiet, not by intent, but attempting to see things from Marissa's perspective, and feeling like anything he really wanted to say would just be throwing gasoline on the flames. He tried imagining himself in her place, his family threatened and pressed to compromise his friends. Sean wanted to believe he'd never would have betrayed them, not given them a warning before it was too late, not even by accident like Marissa said. The anger he felt certainly seemed to him like he wouldn't have. Jason had been shot - in the head! - as a result of Marissa's actions, because she didn't trust the Fellowship. Yes, Sean was sure she hadn't meant for it to happen, but it couldn't simply be brushed away. How were the rest of them supposed to put any trust in Marissa after this, especially since she didn't put any in the rest of them? Yes, he would admit Jase had done some, er, dubious things, that Sean would admit privately he'd have been far more dubious about if Jase hadn't been a close friend, but he had never actually felt threatened, in real danger, by something Jase had done. He did by Marissa. If she had had said his name instead of Jase's, and the Marshall's had pulled him over on the way to school... And even more infuriating, Marissa had a point. Apart, they were easier prey for the Not-Cody's and Enterich's and who know what else was out there. Striking at Site B would be a lot harder without the Jauntsens. The feminine boy's lips writhed at the pure self-interest at the thought, but unable to deny it. He could just imagine Marissa's vicious smirk if she could have read that thought. As Cassandra started to head out of the kitchen, Sean pushed himself off the wall and walked over, leaning on his forearms on the island as he looked up across it at Devin. "Marissa does need friends," Sean echoed Devin's earlier statement, "but that needs to be built up going both ways, dude. I'll admit, I haven't tried on my part. And right now, gotta tell you, I'm finding it hard wanting to even try. She thinks of us as losers and fuckups without any ambition. Has she even tried to find out what ours might be? She practically just said she'd do it-" Voice rising as he got worked up, Sean bit off the rest of what he was going to say. What he heard wasn't exactly what she meant, probably, just as what she'd heard wasn't exactly what Jase had meant. Probably. "Fuck. Feels like Enterich has pulled off a real Xanatos Gambit. Any which way your sister's encounter with him could have fallen out, seems like he'd benefit the most." Sean glanced up towards Marissa's room, then around the kitchen at the fracturing group. "For better or worse, Marissa and Jase are the strongest personalities in our dysfunctional group, and it seems Enterich has gotten them on opposite sides of the same intransigent - stubborn - coin. Whatever Marissa learned from her encounter with him, I think Enterich got more, he-hmm..." Sean trailed off, eyes widening as a new, worrying thought occurred to him. There was at least one ancient entity mucking around with them, why not another? "Marissa said those asshole Marshals were threatening your family, then 'invited' her to a meeting with Enterich. You guys haven't said why you are in Witness Protection, don't know if you know why or if your parents have told you why, but you think there's any chance Enterich arranged that whole situation in some way?" He scratched his head, fingers going briskly through his vibrant red hair, then nodded at Cassandra's back. "Cassie can see things, backward and forward. Seems like something that could fall into a Fear Demon's wheelhouse, to find out what they feared, what they fear for the future. Not saying Enterich can do the same exactly, like he knew what you - we - would become. But maybe he had an, I dunno, an inkling, and set up something that could be to his future benefit. There has to be something more than just using threats over whatever landed you all in Montana for Enterich to approach Marissa. With dirty Marshals in his pocket and who knows what else, if all he wanted was information on us, feels like there would be other ways to go about it."
  18. Now available in PDF and print-on-demand from DriveThruRPG: Children of the Blood for Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition! Do you know who considers faith among the dead a trivial concept — or worse, a new one? Dullards and con artists. These vampires want you to believe that religion is a new phenomenon among Kindred. They want you to believe only vampires on the periphery subscribe to the worship of higher powers or seek a greater cause. They want you to believe this, because they want you to feel alone, without purpose, and disconnected from our true, spiritual — no, God-given — heritage and destinies. They’ll make you feel this way, and then they’ll be your friend, your only confidante, and they’ll have one hand in your pocket while the other measures your ribcage for the stake. Do not trust these people. Trust us. Trust me. I didn’t survive for as long as I have through mundane means, through lack of conviction, or by fooling myself into believing there is nothing greater than myself in the world. Join me, and I can show the truth. I can be your friend and your confidante. There may be sacrifices along the way, but I promise, it will lead to your enlightenment. Children of the Blood includes: A broad selection of new SPCs to introduce into your stories as antagonists and supporting characters, with many linked to strange and dangerous cult organizations — some new for Children of the Blood, others expanding concepts introduced in Cults of the Blood Gods and Forbidden Religions.Ready-made characters for players, along with coteries for them to form, allowing you to take material from this book and immediately play with it.New Bloodlines, Loresheets, Merits, and Flaws, all available to help expand your playable options in a chronicle of Vampire: The Masquerade. Sales We’re running a Scarred Lands Sale! Get discounts up to 50% from Studio 2, Indie Press Revolution, and DriveThruRPG on select Scarred Lands material until May 24! The D&D Setting Sale includes 60% off the collected Yugman’s Guide to Ghelspad for Scarred Lands! Just about everything Scarred Lands which isn’t in the above sale is in this one! Crowdfunding Update Did you miss one of our previous Kickstarters? The following Kickstarted products are still open for preorders via BackerKit: Scarred Lands: Dead Man’s RustScion: Scion: DemigodScion: Scion: Dragon and Scion: Masks of the MythosThey Came from Beyond the Grave!: They Came from Beyond the Grave!Legendlore: LegendloreWorld of Darkness: WoD: Ghost HuntersMage: The Ascension: Technocracy ReloadedMage: The Ascension: M20 Victorian AgeChronicles of Darkness: Deviant: The RenegadesChronicles of Darkness: Hunter: The Vigil 2nd EditionChronicles of Darkness: Mummy: The Curse 2nd Edition Community Spotlight The following community-created content for Scarred Lands has been added to the Slarecian Vault in the last week: Your product could be here! Have you considered creating your own to sell? The following community-created content for Realms of Pugmire has been added to Canis Minor in the last week: Your product could be here! Have you considered creating your own to sell? The following community-created content for Storypath has been added to the Storypath Nexus in the last week: Your product could be here! Have you considered creating your own to sell?
  19. In which Eddy, Matthew, and Dixie discuss the games they’ve been playing lately and come up with some recommendations! Eddy is low key highIs gaming at the table coming back? How lockdown interferes with gaming.The stresses of appearing on cameraSherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective – Carlton House MysteriesDixie’s Games: Squeaks in the Deep, Cyberpunk RED, Changeling: The Lost, Good SocietyEddy’s Games: D&D Descent Into Avernus, Thirsty Sword Lesbians, Sentinel ComicsMatthew’s Games: Pendragon, V20 Dark Ages, World Wide Wrestling, Cthulhu by Gaslight, Call of Cthulhu, Mouse GuardDixie’s Video Games: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Genshin ImpactEddy’s Video Games: Also Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic!, Mario Kart, Octopath Traveler, Disco Elysium, LEGO Video GamesMatthew’s Video Games: Blasphemous, Super Mario Maker 2, Immortals Fenyx Rising Links: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective Carlton House Mysteries: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/223931/sherlock-holmes-consulting-detective-carlton-houseSqueaks in the Deep: https://www.realmsofpugmire.com/Cyberpunk RED: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/333585/Cyberpunk-RED?affiliate_id=13Cyberpunk RED with Vorpal Tales: https://vorpaltales.com/vt/tag/cyberpunk-red/Changeling: The Lost: http://theonyxpath.com/category/worlds/chroniclesofdarkness/changelingthelost/?affiliate_id=13Changeling: The Lost with Tom Murr: https://youtu.be/r_Pgpld3ez4Good Society: https://storybrewersroleplaying.com/good-society/?v=79cba1185463D&D Descent Into Avernus: https://dnd.wizards.com/products/tabletop-games/rpg-products/baldursgate_descentDungeon in a Box: https://dungeoninabox.com/Thirsty Sword Lesbians: https://www.evilhat.com/home/thirsty-sword-lesbians/Sentinel Comics: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gtgames/sentinel-comics-the-roleplaying-gamePrince’s Gambit: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/223907/Princes-Gambit-Card-Game?affiliate_id=13Pendragon: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/165085/King-Arthur-Pendragon-Edition-52?affiliate_id=13V20 Dark Ages: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/144495/Vampire-20th-Anniversary-Edition-The-Dark-Ages?affiliate_id=13World Wide Wrestling: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/338750/World-Wide-Wrestling-Second-Edition?affiliate_id=13Cthulhu by Gaslight: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/100929/Cthulhu-by-Gaslight?affiliate_id=13Call of Cthulhu: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/150997/Call-of-Cthulhu-7th-Edition–Keepers-Rulebook?affiliate_id=13Mouse Guard: http://www.mouseguard.net/book/role-playing-game/Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: https://www.starwars.com/games-apps/knights-of-the-old-republicGenshin Impact: https://genshin.mihoyo.com/enDisco Elysium: https://discoelysium.com/Immortals Fenyx Rising: https://www.ubisoft.com/en-gb/game/immortals-fenyx-risingOctopath Traveler: https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/octopath-traveler-switch/LEGO Video Games: https://www.lego.com/en-gb/gamesBlasphemous: https://www.team17.com/games/blasphemous/Super Mario Maker 2: https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/super-mario-maker-2-switch/Onyx Path YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheOnyxPathOnyx Path Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/theonyxpathOnyx Path Discord: https://discord.gg/5uckcBk
  20. Although our illustration above, by long, long-time WoD artist Ken Meyer, Jr., isn’t really all that funny or punny, and only sort of a mime, that’s kind of the point today. A lot of our game lines are pretty serious. They’re about catharsis and dealing with (un)life in an unfair world. We have extended that range over the years and have created game lines that allow a wide range of play-styles and expectations. Really, we have touched on a range of genres, and those genres tend towards particular moods and sets of themes. We try and stay within certain parameters that are within that genre and our take on it within a game line. I used to call it the Doctrine of Appropriateness when discussing what visuals, artist styles, and graphic design elements we’d use. Even the coolest visual wouldn’t do well for a line where it didn’t sustain the overall look for that line. That still works when looking at everything that goes into a game, I think. You can see that overall thematic attention when looking at Pugmire‘s core book, for example, since that’s a good example of us creating a game from scratch. In Pugmire‘s case, Eddy and I worked hand-in-hand (paw-in-paw) to determine how to deliver a lighter and family-friendly playing experience. The writing, the delivery of that writing, the design and art chosen, all work together towards that experience. (Even if there are some deep and mature themes under the surface!) Similarly, each of the They Came From…! games has a particular aesthetic that plays off of the genre it is spoofing. There’s a whole ‘nother blog post in there about how to write funny without making a TTRPG impossible to take seriously – and leave oxygen for the players to actually be the funny ones and funny-makers, so remind me about that and I’ll go into it another time! Which I guess brings me back around to the “funny” MMN blog titles I make up each week. Every week, week after week, month after month, year after year! Next year I can say decade after decade…gulp. Mostly, I enjoy a bit of word-play, mostly foolish, and since this is my direct weekly place to talk right at ya’ll, you get a silly title each week. Just like our range of game lines, though, these MMNs are pretty important to me, and the crew here, and even though the antici…………………..pation can be nerve-wracking when folks are waiting for a project to progress, we do take our transparency with the Progress Reports seriously. Basically, we have fun, can be funny, and at the same time we’re really committed to what we’re doing. Here’s a line I think nails what I’m saying here, and I’m paraphrasing: We’re serious about what we do, but not necessarily about how we do it! Exalted: Essence Solar Splat Art Some KS items: we’re hoping to get the Exalted: Essence Kickstarter page over to Paradox this week for their OK, and also we need to submit to KS for their OK. We’ll let you know but unless everything happens perfectly (and quickly), we won’t be starting any KSs next week. But sooooon…. Looking at a KS reward ship-out that is finishing up, I wanted to share an excerpt from the latest V5 Cults of the Blood Gods Backer Update by our Crowdfunding Concierge, James Bell, concerning the difficulties that our outsourced fulfillment partners went through: I wanted to get James’ words out here because they underline what I’ve been letting you regular readers in on since last year; the effects of everything that happened in 2020 continue to be felt. Here, specifically, and around the world. Hopefully, we are actually coming out of these repercussions, and things can return to what passes for normal here at Onyx Path. But we don’t know all of what that means right now, do we? Dynamic Dixie is hiring editors as fast as she can review their work, and Mirthful Mike is bringing on more graphic designers to get the books laid out once that edited text is done, but we still have a huge backlog of projects that collected during sequestering and Covid, and everything that made making our stuff so much harder to do. I’m hoping that we will be “regularized” by the end of the year, because we sure do have some great projects waiting in the wings that you’re going to love – but first we need to get all the current games and books through the pipeline and into your hands! They Came From Beyond the Grave! art by Brian LeBlanc Punny You Should Ask About the Monday Meeting! We talked about the TryItCon this weekend, the 14th – 16th, and I just heard today as we pinned things down, that we will have a What’s Up With Onyx Path? panel at 2pm EDT on Saturday the 15th. Hope a bunch of you can stop in for the panel and even try a few games ala the name of the con. More info in the Media section below, including details of the charitable contributions that will be made with its proceeds. The full schedule is here: https://tabletop.events/conventions/tryitcon-2021/schedule#?query= Which of course led right into discussion on the progress of our very own Onyx Path Online Con in June – here are some links to the Code of Conduct and for a GM sign-up list. Please do consider signing up as we’re looking at some great games already planned that we’d love you to be a part of. Code of Conduct: https://intercom.help/startplayinggames/en/articles/5208570-onyx-path-code-of-conduct GM Sign-up: https://intercom.help/startplayinggames/en/articles/5217651-onyx-path-virtual-gaming-convention-2021-faq We are planning on having some great in-depth panels for our game lines, and have a few reveals slated, or at least some serious teasers! (Both, really). We also hope to have our new online brochure ready to debut there during the con, but prepping for our upcoming KSs diverted a bit of time and effort from the Brochure – so we’ll see! Which naturally led to more sales and marketing stuff, including that we are doing another three-prong sale: this time it’s the Scarred Lands Sale – with PDFs and PoDs on sale at DTRPG, and hardcover physical books on sale at both Studio2 and IPR. Scarred Lands is a hugely popular game setting for our Twitch-playing friends and we have a delightful amount of games and Actual Plays and info-sessions up on our YouTube channel. Check them out if you’d like to know more! Heirs To the Shogunate art by Gunship Revolution As James noted above, we’re still seeing all sorts of delays in shipping processes, so I let the team know that even though I had ordered PoD proofs for three different books weeks ago, I don’t have them yet. But, you know, they could show up at any point. We noted that while we feel like we put up a notice with the PDFs we put out asking for errata specifying that we don’t want pgXX corrections, folks still seem to want to include them. Not sure where this is coming from, but seriously, we don’t want them because if any of the other errata fixes change the text to such a degree that some of it flows from one page to another, then we have to redo all the XXs anyway. And if we miss the fact that a page-shift has occurred…Hoo Boy is that ugly. So seriously, we appreciate the attempt to help, but please check to see if we’ve specifically said that we don’t want that – most of the time, we do have a reason for those sorts of restrictions. Folks mentioned both the big pile-up of projects but also the much reduced listings in the phases before Editing – why is that? It’s a combination of secret projects that we aren’t announcing yet, and holding off on green-lighting too much stuff while the logjam continues. We have a really big list of projects waiting in the wings, and we sure do want to show you those – but we also have a ton we need to finish! Which is not the worse situation ever, but it is an out-of-balance one and we want to get it fixed! Then we can better take you to all of our: Many Worlds, One Path! BLURBS! Kickstarter! Like I mentioned above, we’re still pulling together the graphics in order to get the approvals for our next couple of crowd-funding campaigns. More when we have it! Onyx Path Media! This week: The Terrifically Terrible Trio chit and chat and dish and gush all about what they are playing RIGHT NOW! Insights, rants and raves, all that good stuff! As always, this Friday’s Onyx Pathcast will be on Podbean or your favorite podcast venue! https://onyxpathcast.podbean.com/ TryItCon online is running a number of OPP games the weekend of May 14-16th and has open seats still available for Changeling: The Lost, Beast: The Primordial, Dark Ages Fae, Demon: The Fallen, Demon: The Descent, Changeling: The Dreaming, Mage: The Ascension, Mage: The Awakening, Exalted, Trinity Continuum: Aeon, and Vampire: The Requiem and Masquerade. The full schedule is here: https://tabletop.events/conventions/tryitcon-2021/schedule#?query= All badge proceeds are going to the Helen Keller Foundation and the first $1,500 in ticket sales are being matched and donated as well. For anyone new to our media section, you can find us running and playing games over on twitch.tv/theonyxpath pretty much every day of the week! Plus, if you’d like your games hosted there, just get in touch with Matthew Dawkins using the contact link on matthewdawkins.com. Please check out our attached media schedule for the impressive number of videos on our Twitch channel this week! Come take a look at our YouTube channel, youtube.com/user/theonyxpath, where you can find a whole load of videos of actual plays, dissections of our games, and more, including: Squeaks in the Deep Playtest – https://youtu.be/fdcLhg7vO2s Trinity Continuum Jumpstart – A Quantum Leap – https://youtu.be/cBQZZec5T2A Scion – Become as Gods – Wrap-Up – https://youtu.be/LS-MBcM0R1I Changeling: The Dreaming – Yours to Keep – Episode 2 – https://youtu.be/loWeNrxxPM0 Deviant: The Renegades – A Cautionary Tale – Episode 17 – https://youtu.be/rqDWzs3eyGs Vampire: The Requiem – Reap The Whirlwind – FINALE – https://youtu.be/kRLhzeZVJgY Squeaks in the Deep – Virtual Horror Con Playtest Episode – https://youtu.be/UZPnV9Obg_0 Subscribe to our channel and click the bell icon if you want to be notified whenever new news videos and uploads come online! If you’re fans of Exalted, you’ll want to check out https://swordofcreation.net/. Sword of Creation is a brand new forum for the Exalted community, aiming to let conversation breathe and give a platform for people to showcase their homebrew, art, podcasts and other fan content. They’re aiming to run regular contests for fan works and for the launch of the site they’re even offering $20 prizes for the best homebrew and character designs people have to offer. The Story Told Podcast are back with The Fall of JiaraExalted recap! This is one of the best Dragon-Blooded chronicles around, so please give them a listen: http://thestorytold.foolsmoon.ca/fall-of-jiara-act-2-recap A Bunch of Gamers continue their Werewolf: The Apocalypse chronicle here: https://abunchofgamers.podbean.com/e/werewolf-the-apocalypse-episode-69-rest-and-recovery/ This is episode 69, so you know it’ll be nice. Caffeinated Conquests has been running a superb They Came from Beneath the Sea! story over on their Twitch channel. Give them a follow and enjoy their hilarious roleplay!https://www.twitch.tv/caffeinatedconquests McStabber Studios run a whole hell of a lot of our games over on Twitch, so here’s one of their YouTube playlists for Wraith: The Oblivion: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNJbJLVC_ivx1SSy-J_PoeN9Aa6UWYDnA As a lot of people talk about not knowing how to play Wraith, this would be a good place to start! Ekorren continues their excellent Exalted 3rd Edition series over on YouTube! You can find their latest video – on Making Better Stunts – right here: https://youtu.be/tOSHES7Ycm8 The Exaltcast continues its fantastic show introducing you to the wonders and horrors of the Realm and its various inhabitants. The next episode is for Holistic Battle Understanding – https://www.exaltcast.com/2021/05/07/holistic-battle-understanding-commanding-armies-and-ships/ – Exalted often has a demigod square off against a Deathlord, but what about lesser encounters like an Exalt vs several dinosaurs, the Brides of Alhat or maybe several boats? Monica and Chazz talk mass combat, triremes and reducing people to statistics. Over on ExalTwitch they’ve been running some amazing games of Exalted, and even have a show wiki for viewers to follow along! ExalTwitch: Academy is set in The House of Bells, a prestigious school for Dragon-Blooded Exalted of the Realm to train in the ways of war. The chronicle follows three young Dragon-Bloods as they try to prove their worth to their fellow students, their Houses, and themselves. Their most recent VOD, Episode 16 (“Torn”), is here:https://youtu.be/rV01PMNWF8o The playlist for the series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Zb3M2x8PJk&list=PLsZP95-GZNa0ynoCIVyliNF5rypCHvh0M The show wiki, with synopses, character descriptions, etc: RPGClinic Wiki | Fandom Wards & Witchcraft continue their wonderful Mage: The Awakening chronicle which you can watch right here: Hah-nah’s Life force meet the hand of Death. A tense conflict of wits and lightsabers ensues. Stay tuned until the end for a special message! https://youtu.be/rX1kc-Nfig8 Please check these out and let us know if you find or produce any actual plays of our games! We’d love to feature you! Electronic Gaming! As we find ways to enable our community to more easily play our games, the Onyx Dice Rolling App is live! The dev team has been doing updates since we launched based on the excellent use-case comments by our community, and this thing is awesome! (Seriously, you need to roll 100 dice for Exalted? This app has you covered.) Virtual TableTop! Two Virtual Tabletop adventures: the Gauntlet of Spiragos and the Dagger of Spiragos for Scarred Lands on Astral TableTop and DriveThruRPG! Scars of the Divine War, which ended less than 200 years ago, have still not healed. One such scar is the Chasm of Flies, a rent in the earth created when the titan Spiragos the Ambusher was smote down by one of the young gods, Vangal the Ravager. Now, the Chasm is inhabited by spider-eye goblins and their spider allies, but it is also thought to be the resting place of powerful artifacts from that elder age. Astral TableTop is the easiest way to play any tabletop RPG online, free. Astral already supports popular systems like D&D and Pathfinder, and Astral can support virtually any tabletop roleplaying game. Get started quickly with built-in support for most popular game systems. Whether you’re brand new to TTRPGs or a veteran tabletop gamer, Astral‘s ease-of-use and built in automation is designed to streamline gameplay. Build your own adventure, or choose from pre-generated game kits like Gauntlet of Spiragos and Dagger of Spiragos. Create character sheets, craft maps, or just jump right in to connect with your friends and start your adventures! On Amazon and Barnes & Noble! You can now read our fiction from the comfort and convenience of your Kindle (from Amazon) and Nook (from Barnes & Noble). If you enjoy these or any other of our books, please help us by writing reviews on the site of the sales venue from which you bought it. Reviews really, really help us get folks interested in our amazing fiction! Our selection includes these latest fiction books: Our Sales Partners! We’re working with Studio2 to provide our traditionally printed books out into your local game stores. Game stores can order via their usual distributors, and can also contact Studio2 directly. And individuals can check out our projects via the links below! You can pick up the traditionally printed Pugmire and Monarchies of Mau main books, screens, and the official dice through our friends there! https://studio2publishing.com/search?q=pugmire Now, we’ve added Chronicles of Darkness books such as Changeling: The Lost Second Edition products to Studio2‘s store! See them here: https://studio2publishing.com/collections/all-products/changeling-the-lost Scion 2e books and other products are available now at Studio2: https://studio2publishing.com/blogs/new-releases/scion-second-edition-book-one-origin-now-available-at-your-local-retailer-or-online Our Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition books are also available from Studio2 in the US: https://studio2publishing.com/products/vampire-the-masquerade-chicago-by-night-sourcebook Here’s the link to Studio2‘s part of the Scarred Lands Sale! Studio 2:https://studio2publishing.com/collections/scarred-lands Looking for our Deluxe or Prestige Edition books? Try this link! http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Onyx-Path-Publishing/ And you can order Pugmire, Monarchies of Mau, Cavaliers of Mars, and Changeling: The Lost 2e at the same link! And now Scion Origin and Scion Hero and Trinity Continuum Core and Trinity Continuum: Aeon are available to order! Here’s the link for IPR‘s part of the Scarred Lands Sale! IPR: https://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Deals-and-Specials/ As always, you can find Onyx Path’s titles at DriveThruRPG.com! Here’s the link to DTRPG‘s part of the Scarred Lands Sale! DTRPG:https://www.drivethrurpg.com/saleguide.php On Sale This Week! On Wednesday we’re going to be offering a new batch of TShirt designs for CofD game lines like Vampire: The Requiem 2e on our RedBubble store! Just in time for Spring and Summer! Conventions! Because dates for physical conventions are subject to change due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, we don’t yet have a list of upcoming physical conventions. Instead, keep an eye out here for more virtual conventions we’re going to be involved with! As announced, the 2nd Onyx Path Virtual Gaming Convention will be coming to you live starting Friday, June 11th and running until Sunday, June 13th (including a special post-con Jackbox gamefest Sunday night hosted by Dixie)! The GM Sign-up Page & Code of Conduct for OPP Con are now live: Code of Conduct:https://intercom.help/startplayinggames/en/articles/5208570-onyx-path-code-of-conduct GM Sign-up:https://intercom.help/startplayinggames/en/articles/5217651-onyx-path-virtual-gaming-convention-2021-faq A collection of World of Darkness podcasters are putting together an online convention called TryItCon the weekend of May 14th-16th geared towards trying new games – including a lot of ours! We’re also setting up a few Onyx Path specific panels right now – more on those when we have the times! TryItCon is this weekend and has open seats for a bunch of our games: https://tabletop.events/conventions/tryitcon-2021 More info about both these conventions in the Media section and the blog itself, above! And now, the new project status updates! Development Status from Eddy Webb! (Projects in bold have changed status since last week.): First Draft (The first phase of a project that is about the work being done by writers, not dev prep.) Exalted Essay Collection (Exalted)Tasty Bit: Car Lifting Competition (Scion 2nd Edition)Panopticon Novella (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant)Scion: God (Scion 2e) Redlines Dragon-Blooded Novella #2 (Exalted 3rd Edition)Tome of the Pentacle (Mage: the Awakening 2e)The Hedge (Changeling: The Lost 2nd Edition) M20 Lore of the Traditions (Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)Apocalyptic Record (Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)TC: Adventure! Jumpstart (Trinity Continuum: Adventure!) Second Draft No Gods, No Masters (Scion 2nd Edition) Development Contagion Chronicle: Global Outbreaks (Chronicles of Darkness)Kith and Kin (Changeling: The Lost 2e)Adversaries of the Righteous (Exalted 3rd Edition)Wild Hunt (Scion 2nd Edition) Manuscript Approval Once and Future (Scion 2nd Edition)Exigents (Exalted 3rd Edition) Post-Approval Development Many-Faced Strangers – Lunars Companion (Exalted 3rd Edition) Editing Lunars Novella (Rosenberg) (Exalted 3rd Edition)The Book of Lasting Death (Mummy: The Curse 2e)Dead Man’s Rust (Scarred Lands)M20 Victorian Mage (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)Mission Statements (Trinity Continuum: Aeon)The Clades Companion (Deviant: The Renegades)Yugman’s Appendix: People of Ghelspad (Scarred Lands)CtL2e Novella Collection: Hollow Courts (Changeling: The Lost 2e)Heroes in a World of Horror! (They Came From…!)Dystopia Rising: Evolution Fiction Anthology (Dystopia Rising: Evolution)Prometheus Unbound (was Psi Orders) (Trinity Continuum: Aeon)Legacies of Earth (Legendlore)Scion Fiction Anthology (Scion 2nd Edition)M20 Rich Bastard’s Guide To Magick (Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary) They Came From Beyond the Grave! Jumpstart (They Came From…!)Across the Eight Directions (Exalted 3rd Edition)Monsters From the Crypt! (They Came From…!) TC: Aeon Novella: Meridian (Trinity Continuum: Aeon)Exalted Essence Edition (Exalted 3rd Edition) Crucible of Legends (Exalted 3rd Edition)The Devoted Companion (Deviant: The Renegades)Proteus Nova Compendium (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant)TC: Aeon Novella: Dawn (Trinity Continuum: Aeon)Tasty Bit: Pets (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Trinity Continuum: Assassins (Trinity Continuum Core)Saints and Monsters (Scion 2nd Edition) They Came From Camp Murder Lake! (They Came From…!)Contagion Chronicle Ready-Made Characters (Chronicles of Darkness) Trinity Continuum: AnimaTales of Depravity! (They Came From…!)They Came From [Classified]! (They Came From…!) They Came From [Classified]! Jumpstart (They Came From…!)Realms of Magic and Mystery (was Terra Incognita) (Scion 2nd Edition) Trinity Continuum: Adventure! core (Trinity Continuum: Adventure!)Tasty Bit: Les Fantomes (Trinity Continuum)Vigil Watch: The Kelder Mountains (Scarred Lands)Ghost Hunters Jumpstart w/RMCs (WoD 20th)The Paranormal Investigator’s Handbook (WoD 20th) Post-Editing Development Masks of the Mythos (Scion 2nd Edition)They Came From Beyond the Grave! (They Came From!)Scion: Demigod (Scion 2nd Edition)Scion: Dragon (Scion 2nd Edition)Player’s Guide to the Contagion Chronicle (Chronicles of Darkness)N!ternational Wrestling Entertainment (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant)Dearly Bleak – Novella (Deviant: The Renegades)V5 Trails of Ash and Bone (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition)V5 Forbidden Religions (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition)Squeaks In The Deep (Realms of Pugmire)Novas Worldwide (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) They Came From Beneath the Sea! Jumpstart (They Came From…!)Tasty Bit: Zeus We Just Wanna Talk! (Scion 2nd Edition) Indexing Mummy: The Curse 2e Art Direction from Mike Chaney! In Art Direction Scion: Dragon (KS) Masks of the Mythos (KS) Scion: Demigod – All notes out to artists. Still need to lockdown 1 more artist for Pantheons. They Came From Beyond the Grave! – Sketches coming in. TC: Adventure! (KS) M20 Victorian (KS) Dead Man’s RustM20 Technocracy Jumpstart Exalted Essence (KS) – KS graphics almost finished.V5 Forbidden Religions TC Mission Statements TC Aberrant N!WE – Talking with artists. M20 Technocracy Dossier/Companion – Starting on this.Hundred Devils Night Parade Squeaks In The Deep (KS) Players Guide to the Contagion Chronicle TC Prometheus Unbound They Came From Camp Murder Lake! Realms of Magic and Mystery Saints and Monsters TC: Anima (KS) – Reaching out to artists for the two different art styles. TC: Assassin In Layout Spiragos Collected Adventures Hunter: The Vigil 2e – Josh working on it as art trickles in.21-22 Onyx Brochure – looking good so far. WoD Ghost Hunters (KS) – putting together the layout.Legendlore – revised text coming in end of week.M20 Rich Bastards Guide – Over to Charles, art is all in.They Came From Beneath the Sea! Jumpstart V5 Trail of Ash and Bone Proofing Mummy 2 – In Indexing.TC: Under Alien Skies – Wrapping this up.Heirs to the Shogunate – Dev Proof changes being input.M20 Technocracy Reloaded – Errata gathering from backers. TC Aberrant JumpstartDeviant Screen – To Paradox for approval. At Press V5 Cults of the Blood Gods – KS fulfillment finishing. Aberrant – KS fulfillment started. TC: Aberrant Screen – KS fulfillment started.Contagion Chronicle Jumpstart (Chronicles of Darkness) – PoD proofs ordered. Children of the Blood – PoD proofs ordered. Vigil Watch Compiled – PoD proofs ordered. Mummy 2e ScreenDeviant – Need printer specs. Today’s Reason to Celebrate! 17 years ago the edge of Infinity book for Scarred Lands was released. Which is all well and good, it’s sort of a nod to Planescape but for SL, but the important part and why we celebrate, is that it is our own Impish Ian A. A. Watson’s first published TTRPG writing! Good going, eh!
  21. 1:30ish - 4:00, Bunnee's Even without grey or black-hatting, you could learn a lot about someone online, using purely public and legal resources, if you knew where and what to look for. Brad Stanton seemed legit from everything Sean could see, his digital history showing no signs of being faked or just popping into existence from nowhere. Graduated from the Haas School of Business at Berkeley - not on schoolship, seems his parents made bank before the dotcom bubble burst. Social media accounts were remarkably apolitical, only a little ostentatious with flashing wealth. Seemed like a guy who liked his fun, fast cars, travelling to exotic locales, and maybe a bit of a foody. Certainly liked girls, but didn't come across as a crass, perpetually drunk fratboy. Sean was curious how Brad had heard of him. He could have seen some of his YouTube videos on the making of ReGenesis, he supposed. Did Brad think he could nab II and its IP and Game Engine for a sweet price before Sean got a big hit? Or did he or someone in EA realize the potential he had and was looking to crush or co-opt a possible future competitor before he found his footing? Finishing his lemonade, Sean flicked the edge of the business card with his thumb. He had no intention of selling, of course - even before all the weird, he had ideas of how he wanted to work in the industry. But he couldn't help but be intrigued with what Brad was offering. Sean kept the booth until school ended, continuing his watch of the Let's Play, keeping an eye on the metrics of ReGenesis, answering a few more questions and responding to a few more comments. There was a deep sense of satisfaction that there didn't seem to be any bugs - on his part - found yet, nor any issues with installations. A few people asking if and when it would come to Apple or consoles, which Sean stayed firmly non-committal about, and even more so about multiplayer. That was an idea for the future, like, after graduation - if he had that time. That required more infrastructure and maintenance. Four o'clock came surprisingly quick, Sean letting himself be distracted until his phone chimed with the warning notification he had set earlier. He packed up his stuff quickly, finished up his last glass of orange-lemonade, crunching down on an ice cube, then dashed for the door, giving Max a wave goodbye in passing. 4:20, Casa del Jauntsen Sean had used the excuse of having to rush to be rather sparse on the details when Laurie asked him what was going when he drove her home. It didn't go well mentioning Jase had been shot, but was fine. People were rarely fine after being shot, but well, there it was. He was nebulous about the full reason for the gathering at the Jauntsens, partly because the situation was... nebulous itself, everything not as it seemed. And if he'd told Laurie his and some of the others suspicions, she might have insisted on coming too. Sean parked his deep green Grand Cherokee, which seemed more worn and dingy than it actually was against the pristine landscape of the Jauntsen estate. Red sneakers sauntered across the white walk as Sean looked about on his way to the front door. The place looked exactly like what a West Coast family with too much money would get if they moved to more rural Montana, or rather, as a vacation home or something. Before the start of the school year, Sean would never have expected he'd ever step foot on the place. He hesitated for a moment at the large double doors, then pressed the door, fancy little tune sounding. A moment later, he could just make out the pounding of feet, the one of the doors swung open to reveal Devin standing there. The curvaceous boy couldn't help but tense up as he looked up at the taller boy, recalling all the times Devin had Simon Phoenixed him into lockers or worse in years previous. True, Devin seemed to be trying to change, to make up for how he had acted, but then again, Sean had never stepped into Jauntsen lair, and to him, especially after what had happened this morning, Marissa was still a very suspect wild card. Devin scoffed, rolling his eyes at one of his former victim's wariness. "Come on in, dude, nothings going to happen. Give MJ a chance to make her case before judging her." "S'why I'm here, to give her that chance," Sean said, making a conscious effort to relax. He was totally judging her already though, and he suspected Devin knew, going by his snort as he turned around and waved Sean inside. As he folowed Devin inside the ranch-style... well, manse, he muttered, "Hope we don't end up regretting it." He tried to be blasé, but the place screamed expensive, and Sean couldn't help but looked around. He'd help his dad on some of contractor jobs. He been in big houses, fancy houses - okay, two houses - but none of them had been like this. It was almost antiseptically clean, looking practically staged, ready to appear in Architecture Digest, just waiting on the photographer to show up. It also had a somewhat impersonal vibe, not quite like a hotel villa or something, maybe AirBnB-ish. Very few family pictures or knick-knacks or bric-a-brac from what Sean could see. There was stuff, tasteful even, but the place still felt spartan. Sean took a step into the kitchen behind Devin and stopped. He hadn't intended to be one of the first to show up, but the only ones in the kitchen besides Devin was Kat... and Marissa. Effortlessly gorgeous, and even more dangerous than she looked. He'd seen how far she'd thrown on of the things on the Otherside, and she might be working with the one who had sent assassins after Jase. She'd been terrible to him and his sister, and it was still an effort to pull his eyes off her. Inside the long sleeves of his hoodie, his hands balled into fists. "Hey, Kat," he said by way of greeting, giving the slight girl a friendly, subdued grin, before giving Marissa a neutral nod, schooling his features with imperfect success. "Marissa."
  22. 12:20, Nuclear-powered Trailer Sean glanced up from his phone towards the sun that was just starting to slide from its zenith. With his gifts, he could look at it without risking damage to his eyes, and to his vision, the sun was far more than just a yellow-white blob in the sky. It was a dancing, coruscating tapestry woven from the gamut of the electromagnetic spectrum. The sight had helped him model alternate types of vision - through technology or mutation - to ReGenesis, instead of just using the standard greenish darkvision. He had it, of course, but he had more, too. The voluptuous boy stood up, hands going to knuckle his back and stretch the strain from sore muscles when he paused, heterochromatic eyes widening in surprise as he looked down at himself. The lingering aches from facing Not-Cody and the deluge of monstrosities in the Blight had faded away unnoticed during his time of self-reflection and under the sun. He interlaced his fingers and stretched his arms over his head, then rolled his shoulders. Nothing, no strain, no pain. What remained was a faint, subtle, almost electric, thrum of health and vitality. It felt somewhat akin to the feeling of increasing and accelerating the bioelectric synapses in his brain when he overclocked it. Much, much, milder, to be sure - he wouldn't even have noticed save for the sudden realization of the absence of pain - but analogous. Were the scope of his powers starting to broaden- - his stomach gave a muted growl of warning hunger. Well, it was pass the start of lunch period. Sean brushed off the seat of his pants, gave one of the watching - but unseen - cameras a small, two-fingered salute, then began strolling back to his car. 1:30ish, Bunnee's A cheek resting on a fist, the crimson-haired electrokinetic dipped a crispy sweet potato fry in the small tub of paprika garlic aioli, his eyes on his tablet sitting on the chipped laminate of the booth table at Bunnee's. He was up to 87 units sold, creeping closer to triple digits. Tiny in comparison to AAA games selling millions of copies at launch, but he didn't have the advertising budget of the big publishers - just his own efforts online, and he was only releasing as digital downloads on PC. He could have cheated, Sean supposed, but he had pushed all his time and unfair advantages on finishing the game and getting it out there, rather than word of it getting out there. Besides, he didn't have shareholders he was beholden to, he didn't mind the game finding its audience over time. As long as it did find an audience. A quarter of a club sandwich remained on Sean's plate, next to the few remaining sweet potato fries he was absently finishing. A wireless earbud was tucked in his ear as he had continued to listen to IrønBjørn's playthrough over lunch, while occasionally responding to questions and comments on Steam and the II pages, YouTube, Twitter, and Reddit. Either he was getting used to IrønBjørn or IrønBjørn was getting used to ReGenesis, but the Streamer seemed to Sean to be far more engaging and entertaining than he initially had been. With perfect timing or perfect serendipity, just as Sean finished the last sweet potato fry, Max showed up to replace his near empty glass of orange-lemonade for a full one. Sean looked up his tablet to nod his thanks, expecting the well-endowed waitress to give his plate a questioning glance, silently asking him if he were done. Instead, she slid herself onto the bench seat across from him. Sean blinked, cocking his head in inquiry. "Shouldn't you be in school, Sean?" Max asked idly. "Probably," Sean admitted in a drawl. He shrugged. "Not feeling it today. Charlie. Other stuff. Skipping a day ain't gonna hurt." He ran a hand through his hair, then frowned in self-recrimination as he picked up his phone. "I should probably tell my mom before the school calls." "I get it," Max agreed with a nod. "I've been hearing things-" "Only half true, at best," Sean interrupted hastily. "I won't ask which half." Max shot him a wry smirk. The busty waitress had always treated him well, treated him as he wished to be treated without ignoring or overlooking how he looked, and for that, Sean was grateful. It did help him accept his appearance rather than be shamed for it, and it helped her with earning bigger tips from him. "Just don't make a habit of it, right? At some point, somebody might end up calling the Sheriff on you for truancy." Sean rolled expressive eyes. That would be something, with what he knew and what the Sheriff knew, coming to get him about truancy. "No promises, Max." Sean smirked back and tapped his tablet with a forefinger, a joking tone in his voice. "I just released a new video game. Might end up a big, fancy indy developer making bank. Who says I need school?" "Yeah, about that. That's why I'm taking a minute to sit down with you, Sean. There's a guy been asking around about you..." Sean froze, almost dropped his phone, and stared wide-eyed at Max, thoughts of the assassination attempt on Jase shoving itself to the forefront of his thoughts. "Wh-who's looking for me? What he look like?" "He looks like he's from California, blond, kind of a surfer dude with a well paying job in tech somewhere. Wears an expensive suit but doesn't look stuffy in it. Drives the kind of fancy, ostentatious car the Jauntsen boy would drive if he drove a car instead of a bike. You can't miss it." "What he want?" For answer, Max pulled a business card from her apron and placed on the table in front of Sean, the rich cardstock making a crisp slap on the laminate. Sean leaned forward to read the card. It stated: Brad Stanton, EA Talent Acquisition, Senior Technical Recruiter, followed by an EA business email and a phone number. The business card looked expensive with a touch of gilding. Very American Psycho. Sean hadn't been sure people even still used business cards. "Huh." "He was looking for 'Sean Cassidy'," Max said, "for a 'mutually beneficial and totally sweet business deal', but I don't think he knows exactly who you are, or what he's expecting." "Why didn't he just email or send a private DM?" Sean wondered, more to himself than to Maxine as he picked up the card. After the debacle that was his attempt at streaming on Twitch, he kept personal information tight online, but he had business accounts for Intersectional Interactive on various social media sites. It might be conceited, but Sean had always assumed he'd get a call from a big AAA video game publisher or developer. He just hadn't thought it would be so soon. Certainly not the day he dropped his second game. He was thinking at least after his third, maybe longer, unless ReGenesis ridiculously blew up. "I got the feeling Brad thinks a personal meeting will make his offer, whatever it is, more appealing." Max gestured at Sean's tablet. "How's the game doing? Think Mr. Brad Stanton is here about that?" "Maybe?" Sean hedged. It's not like he had a ton of viewers and subscribers on his YouTuber channel about the making of ReGenesis and video games in general. He supposed he could have garnered some interest because of Annwn. But there was no way anyone would be interested in a new, untested IP. Then sent Marshalls, like real ones even if they were corrupt, after Jase. It would make sense to send a rep from a big video game publisher after him to put his guard down. "I'll have check this guy out online, see if he's legit. Thanks, Max." Sean waved the card then stuffed it into his satchel. I'll have to talk to mom after, too. Carolyn Cassidy might only work part-time as an account from home, mostly keeping the books for her husband, but she'd also helped her son set up his business. She was the closest thing Intersectional Interactive had to a CFO. Not like he'd ever sell anything to a company like EA. "No problem." Max stood and gave Sean a quick smile before heading back to the counter. "Just when you sell your game or company for big bucks, don't forget your favorite waitress at your favorite diner, okay?" Sean laughed, a genuine, feel good laugh. He hadn't had one of those in what felt like forever. "I won't." He took a sip of his orange-lemonade then picked up his tablet, minimizing the stream. Let's found out who this Brad Stanton really is...
  23. Sean's Jeep ground to a halt and he blinked, realizing where he was. He pulled the keys from the ignition, a finger through the keyring as he held them in his fist and leaned back in the seat. He'd been driving aimlessly, not sure where to go, sure he didn't want to head back to school or back home yet. But he hadn't expected to end up here. He sighed, rubbed his fingers through his rich red hair, then climbed out of his SUV. His scuffed red sneakers shuffled across the old bridge to the improvised party ground Sara and Jase had cleared what felt like forever ago instead of just several weeks. Sean looked about as he walked through it. It didn't feel so much as abandoned as reclaimed, few signs of the party that had taken place here. A few logs used for improvised seats. Scattered stones that might have been used to ring a fire pit. Very little litter. Summer parties like that hadn't been something Sean had much interest in. Truth be told, he still didn't. He'd come at Jase's urging, mostly. It seemed like all the craziness had started here, this was where it had begun, where the lives of the Fellowship had irrevocably changed. Sean felt his eyes grow tight. Where for at least one of them, it had led to an early end. And it suddenly felt like a really dumb idea that he'd come out here, alone, in the middle of nowhere, just after one of his friends had been targeted for assassination. Well, it wasn't quite the middle of nowhere. He frowned, then shrugged, and began ambling down a faint path through the trees and up the hill, dirt and gravel pattering down behind him on the occasional steeper slope. The technokinetic sensed the recording devices - or rather, their signals - before he saw them, let alone the old abandoned trailer. He could turn them off, or spoof them so they wouldn't even acknowledge him, but what was the point, Sean thought. He didn't particularly care if the Project knew he was poking around about here. He continued up the hill and through the screen of trees into the clearing. A part of him was mildly surprised to find the trailer still there. Shifting his vision into a different spectrum, he could tell the miniature fusion reactor was still there too. Seems like the Project didn't have time to collect this stuff with everything else happening. He paused, then shrugged again, and continued towards the trailer. The metal steps shifted under his weight, the foot biting into the dirt. The door creaked open at a touch. The trailer smelled musty, but not as bad as it first had. It didn't seem to have been disturbed since the others had collected the files. Sean climbed inside, idly looking around, though he didn't expect to find anything that had been missed the first time around. He did have the weird radio back home, still trying to figure out how it worked. He was beginning to suspect its retro appearance was just a false front hiding the real components that gave it seemingly near infinite range. Maybe it worked using quantum entanglement? He was as interested in the fusion reactor, though he would feel better studying that in more controlled circumstances. He could do something about the radioactive rays it was emitting, but still... radioactive. His phone vibrated and Sean smirked to himself as he nabbed the message through the air. His digital chicanery seemed to be working, someone in the Project monitoring the area alerting others that he was there. Good. He pulled out his phone, swiped to a page. 66 total sales for ReGenesis. 69, 70. A slight uptick as the sun climbed towards its noonday peak. After poking about the trailer for a bit, Sean took a break, sitting on the top step. It was funny. Jase had just started revealing his mental acumen at school instead of flying under the radar, and here he was, barely able to care about school. Not just today, it was getting hard to even consider thinking about school for the rest of the year with everything else going on. Even his ideas for college, if he even decided to go, were shifting. It felt like something so far away, especially when it was possible he wouldn't be alive to go. And now, there was potential it wasn't just his own fucked up genetics that might end him. He couldn't see why Enterich would only target Jason, unless Marissa really did have something to do about it.
  24. Sean's fingers drummed agitatedly on the wheel as he drove Cassandra back home, his jaw tight with anger as he nodded when she pointed the way or told him where to turn to get to her place. That utter bitch! kept scrolling through his mind. Personally, Devin had been a greater devil to the intersexed boy than Marissa had been, if only because they had interacted more often. But since all the psionic shit in Shelly started, he seemed to be making an effort at making amends. He even seemed to regret his prior actions, some at least. Marissa, not so much, at least from what he'd seen, but she hadn't appeared to be actively hostile. He'd barely recognized her when he'd seen her in passing at the hospital. Sean never even had an inkling Marissa would do something like hire hitmen to target Jase, or make some sort of deal with someone who had sent those Marshals after Jase, or whatever she'd done. Whatever she'd actually done, it was still a betrayal, especially after what the Fellowship had gone through together in facing down the thing Cody had become and the Thing behind him to rescue Sophia and Tawny. Whatever else, the meeting tonight was going to be explosive. She'd better not squirm out of any consequences with her silken words this time. He also couldn't help but feel another spike of guilt. While Jase had been recounting his encounter and Cassie had been doing her thing rewinding time in her mind's eye to find out how the encounter had been incited, Sean had been tapping into the communication network of the Marias campus, and thanks to the listening devices, into that of the Project's base hidden below. Being able to psionically grant himself better than admin access was pretty awesome, way more discrete and efficient than mundane hacking. He should have tapped into all the major authority or emergency agency comm lines. He should have mirrored everyone's phone when he had voodooed them. He might have had a hint of Marissa's duplicity. But digital snooping aside, Sean did believe people had a right to privacy. He didn't want to play Big Brother. More to the point, keeping himself open to every electromagnetic signal and communication flying by would drive him to paranoia and insanity. Then again, was is paranoia if someone was out to get you and your friends? The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk ground to a stop outside the Allen household. The head of a German Shepherd nudged aside the curtains and peered at them through the front window, tongue lolling. Sean smiled tired at Bacon, giving the dog a two-fingered wave. He still preferred cats, himself, but he could understand the appeal of dogs. His smile turned contrite - walking and running with a dog every day would have helped him with cardio. Cassandra hopped out of the Jeep SUV, nudging the door closed with a hip, then giving the hood a rap with her knuckles. "Thanks for the ride, Sean." "No probs, Cass," Sean replied. "If you need another, in case biking it is too far, text me. Might have been good for me to keep up the biking, but, well, car. I... I don't know where I'm going now. Just... I need to puzzle this out, but don't want... y'know?" "I get it, man, I do. Trust me. I'll keep the offer in mind. See you tonight, I guess. Unless, well, something else happens before then." Cassandra gave his car another rap, gave Sean a nod, then turned around, fishing out her keys. Bacon's head disappeared and Cass smiled, almost hearing the skittering of his paws as he raced towards the front door. Sean waited until Cassandra was pushing open the front door before putting his vehicle in gear and driving away. Not that he was sure where he was even going. Home? School? Back to Marias, in case Jase and/or Autumn decided to take pre-emptive action, and whether to help or forestall. He didn't know. For now, he just drove with the potential for the situation improving when he didn't have a destination in mind. Last night, they had won, and not even a day later, it felt like they were already losing.
  25. Core Values Achievement: When Sean really sets out to make something, he wants it to have an impact, whether personal, or on a grander scale. From something as simple as the satisfaction of putting together a well working drone or helping his dad on improving the Barn, to seeing his players engrossed and having fun during a gaming session, to having a video game being well received, both in acclaim and with sales. Creativity is the process, Achievement is one of the measures of how successful the process is. Failure is something to learn from, to push towards future success. Autonomy: Sean has his pride. The middle child often left to his own devices, and an outsider at school - at least initially - Sean learned to rely on himself. If he really needs help, he'll ask for it, but can't help be affronted or irritated when others just assume he needs help with something he can do himself, even if its something he might struggle with, such as when Lilly went to put his bike in the back of her pick-up. He prefers having control on anything he's working on, so that he doesn't have to worry about others making a mistake that he has to fix. This lends itself to taking effort to delegate even if doing so would be for the betterment of all. Psionic powers make a massive difference, but his video games could be even better if he'd been willing to seek out more help. Creativity: Sean takes great comfort and enjoyment in building things, creating things. Programming a video game, writing a role-playing game campaign, making art and music for his games, building a drone or sweet gaming PC, putting together a spectacular Halloween costume, baking a new pastry, and more, he immerses himself in turning his ideas into reality, most for his own interests and amusement, partially as a means of escapism from his personal issues and problems. And if other have fun, that is a very awesome bonus. However, Sean can get lost focusing on his creative pursuits to the detriment of more pressing concerns, such as group training for an encounter with an entity of primeval darkness, or still working on a D&D campaign when half his players are gone and psionic powers are a real thing. Knowledge: Sean loves taking things apart and putting them back together, and trying to figure out how stuff works, tangible and intangible alike, like new software or helping Jase in figuring out the fundamentals of nascent neotic science. It's a companion value to creativity when making something new with his own take and/or personal stamp on it. That curiosity can also lead him to searching into places he doesn't precisely have leave to do so, causing him to see things he probably didn't want to see in the first place or to get otherwise distracted. Loyalty: Bullied and mocked by many, Sean doesn't make friends easily, but family and the friends he does have he holds dearly, willing to go to bat for them, and help them however he can. However, taken to an extreme, this can result in him overlooking the questionable actions of those he holds close or not holding them as accountable as much as he should. He also tends to nurse the hurt from those he feels have betrayed him or done him wrong, especially if they haven't done anything to make any sort of amends in his mind. Other Values Inner Harmony: Intersexed, and even an outlier in that small demographic, bullied, mocked, and teased for it, Sean has had a very difficult time how he perceives himself and how others perceive him. It's a turbulent river, and it might a life-long struggle, but he wants to find the balance, the acceptance of who and what he is, even if he doesn't know what that quite is, yet. Developing psionic powers has added new ripples to that river. Integrity: He might fudge things here or there, try to paint things in a better light at times or keep things to himself if he thinks its for the best, but Sean thinks of himself as relatively honest and truthful. Holds himself to a high standard in his professional pursuits, whether building a website, a computer, or a video game, he doesn't stint on effort, materials, or design, and gives a full service, not trying to squeeze out every dime, and he expects the same in turn. He hopes he'd have the wherewithal to resist accepting a ludicrous buyout from a company he holds in low regard, say if one of his games turns out to be a breakout hit, but doesn't honestly know. He can say he'd turn it down flat, but there could be an awful lot of zeroes... The guilt and shame he felt when he buckled to bullies and either did their homework or fudged their grades was real and stabbed deep. How he looks and how others treat him about it and how he reacts or is resigned to it also tangles his certitude and integrity. Help Society: Sean would like to see some of his achievements and goals make larger impact than just the satisfaction he gets from them, particularly in areas of great interest to him. He loves video games and tech, but in many cases, innovation is being stifled and greed growing rampant. It might be modest in the grand scheme of things, but if he could help improve the video game industry, it would be one of his proudest moments. And as he designs and makes more things of significance - if he does - and the dangers and threats the Fellowship encounter, the scope on how he might help society at large will develop. Leisure: Components of Economic Security and Time Management are rolled into this. It's not that Sean wants to earn all the money and have all the control, but enough to keep him in comfort, make sure his parents have an easy retirement, and have the time to pursue his hobbies and interests, which in turn he hopes he can make his livelihood. Having fun doing what he enjoys and getting paid for it, one feeding into the other. Recognition: Achievement is a personal measure of success, Recognition is a measure of success from others, and he values that, but really, Sean wants to be able to point at something and be known for that instead of only being known as the boy that looks like a girl with big tits.
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