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Messages - merrychase

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Suggestions / Add Darkness to Astrologian Known Spells
« on: February 20, 2023, 09:02:47 PM »
I suggest Astrologians get Darkness added to their known lists - this pairs nicely with their access to ultravision and mass ultravision and seems an appropriate bit of magic for them to have access to.


Screen Shots & Obituaries / Rin of Oldflowers
« on: February 06, 2023, 03:20:43 AM »
Rin of Oldflowers

I created Rin in a hurry in order to get in on NND et al's Oldflower player faction back in December 2021. She was originally speced to be a loyal, witchy but wise advisor and confidant of Audrey Oldflowers.

Backstory: Rin was a foundling in the Cradle of the Baleful Stillborn, she was rescued by the beggar Farrell, snatched away from the shrine before the werewolves could come. She lived for a long time in the woods, caring for the children and mongrels they could retrieve from the shrine, and surviving with the outcasts like Molossus and the less cruel and warlike mongrels. That is how she came into contact with the Oldflowers, as they were midwives to the woe-formed, and would bring the unwanted children of the ward into the woods.

Much Loved by the Moon: Waiting in the bushes by the cradle, as the Moon looked on to horrible scenes of savagery and neglect, hoping for her chance to dart out and grab the child before the wolves came - that was the core of The Moon being in her deity field. It wasn't exactly a religion - more a concept. That no matter how bad it was or alone you were, you could look up, and the Moon would love you. The ideal of unconditional love was what shaped and drove Rin's moral composure. It boiled down to
1.) Every living thing was worthy of love
2.) That man's love was ephemeral and fickle, that it ebbed away exactly when you needed it the most, and that this was the role and place of divine, superhuman, love - that someone hated, despised, and alone was the person who most needed love. So Rin's love/regard would grow in inverse proportion to how much another person was hated.

Overtime this elaborated into pacifism, peace-making, and of course gardening. She came to resemble something like a Quaker, and did in fact change from True Neutral to Neutral Good. (This, and also a nod to one of my favorite writers, is why I used ArsAmatoria player name with this character.)

Sketch of her Lived History:

But, one of the very rewarding things about this character is that her lived history became the real "back story." She started life as a retainer in the ward, but that was exploded spectacularly when Manfred Japes and Orza waged war on the Oldflowers (Rin would eventually commission a song from Milton to try and mock Manfred). This led her deepening her druidism, and she was inducted into the Lost Oaths faction by Tiktika Strawtoss. Overtime she became the Groundskeeper and a sort of quiet leader of a sect of the Druids. She made it her goal to end the enmity between druids and the ward, and this was why she was frequently meddling in politics; and subverting retainers and houses with her druidism. She also had a vision of a peaceful, largely democratic utopian community in the Ponds, and this was why she wrote the Book of the Commons.

Eventually meddling led to The Named Men and ring running, since one of the goals of that was to get Brie Cesme and Sorcha out of reach of the knives of Orza (after Brie's declaiming and accusing Manfred). She didn't feel like her goal of ending enmity between the druids and ward was accomplished yet and that there was still need for a Groundskeeper and to stop Fimbulvetr, so she returned after reaching Bazeel. She and Tiktika then became involved in the effort to enact Phelan's change, and they eventually succeeded. Many of the events of that she included in her Book of Metamorphosis. This was also the period where some elements of the ward were cracking down on druids. Titika would die in a chance encounter, however the planting of the grove did stand out as a sort of minor but mixed victory of her goal to create peace.

After that, there was an internal conflict among the druid faction as it split among the Courts of the Seasons, and there was a period of what was a sort of civil war, mixed in with efforts to aid the Recondite. It was when Rin was very much on the outs with many of the other druids that she found a white stag. Those antlers Mathans would eventually take from her storage and were used to conclude the Winter Court/Fimbulveter glamour.

Eventually though through many other twists and turns, because of her love for her adopted daughter Mebril, she was persuaded to go with her to try and meet the King.

Some special thanks and mentions
Mebril Blackhearth (Ramc): Could write pages about all the things these two went through. Mebril started out as a project to subvert Moonspear but overtime became her adopted daughter and protegee and person she cared most about. Rin was the one who gave Mebril all her tattoos after teaching her how to change form.

Mil Blita (Cisco): Rin and Mil were sisters and survivors, an incredible partner for all the ups and downs of the Druid faction for over a year.

Jacho, Aldo, Haggahwhisp, Daniel (Diablo): Reluctant enemies, wide eyed converts, betrayals, unlikely friends, silly banter, deep discussions about ethics or conspiracies of the rings. We covered a lot of ground, Diablo!

Audrey Oldflowers (NND): Rin thought of Audrey as the best example of what a noble should be, and was why she never really considered herself as an outsider or anti-peerage - there was always people there worth the effort.

Bristol (SgtWombat): I was thoroughly entertained playing the judgmental mother-in-law, and constantly condescending and under-estimating Bristol who was portrayed with perfection.

Wethyr Haremarch, Sykes, Myldewl (Glyph): You play other worldly outriders really well -- all your nature folk or rebels were a joy to interact with.

All my ring running groups: Taban, Tiktika, Earc, Sorcha, Albert, Brie, Jacho, and then Dela, Calli, Mebril and Boots -- it takes a lot of effort (and no small amount of scheduling) to go and do those things, thanks for sharing your stories and helping me tell Rin's.

And also Lalena (94Hippie): Blushing Lalena, the Killdeer, made me smile

Also Ironsides, Skagg, and Abala for what was a very memorable last session!

The Look

Here's Rin's stat line and levels. For feats she had Stealthy, Luck of the Heroes, , Blind fight, Knockdown , and improved critical for scimitar

And here's a lot of screenshots!
A fight in the Folly against a Storm

I really like coming up with nicknames - here's Emmett Who Laughs at Spears

By hook or by crook, Oliver Merryweather

Wife for a Knife - A song Rin commissioned and Milton's finest work if you ask me :D
The Moon loves all not loved by man, and so I say to ye, thout art loved still.
Even just thinking about ye makes me shake with Winter's chill...

Manfred, Manfred, behind my Groundskeerper's Shed, Gimme a chance I'd show you my old flower,
Gazing in your eyes a day passes in an hour...
Each moment we're apart meaves me asour...

Manfred, Manfred, behind the Groundskeeper's shed,
Buck peerage Tradition and marry me instead.
A fair Lady i'd make of a bombastic groom,
You touched by Blood and Me by the Moon.

I tell you true, without japes and without pause,
My cheeks fluster thinking of your Orzan Bear Paws.
What better way to celebrate life?
Who better to serve as dutiful wife?
If you'd do me the Honor, my wonderful knife.

...As the line seems rather barren,
 a Joyous life we'd be asharin',
you touched by Blood and me by the Moon,
oh please send me answer Soon...

As so many shake and acower-rin,
I find myself standing here wholly hanke-rin',
heart aflutter-rin,
girlish hopes awonder-rin,
your secret admire-rin'...


The death of Typherion. Rin also saved Aldstan's life when he lost to Typherion earlier, and so for that reason, despite Moonspear paladin zeal, he never went after Rin for being a druid to repay the debt.

Backing Belmore - two druids flanking the noble woman. Meddling in politics.

Some druid inductees, I really enjoyed running rites/ceremonies, and I did more than a few over the year.

Wethyr Haremarch was a great foil/complement to Rin.

Some misfits about to do some ring running - Oliver shared his story about the Grim Groat curse

Brie's brush with infernalism followed her into the Rings!

Walk in the Woods with some legends

Rin eventually persuaded Jacho to join the druids

Rin was suspicious of Sverri from first gloss, still, the guy had style

She was pro-spring, and did eventually see Fimbulvetr's end

This is Rin and Fran, who for a brief while were roomates and fast friends

Answering one of Owlstone's riddles

Daphne and Rin ended up on the same side of a few issues. Reluctant but useful allies.

Rin disguised herself as a black jack and spirited away Tik's body while the ward erupted into violence during her execution. Tik was the last PC Wise One.

This would also lead immediately to Wesley quitting Moonspear and Ring Running, a silver lining to a very tragic event for Rin

Rin was married. She was bought at an auction in a planar bazaar. Her husband was a 12 foot tall elephant demon. They lived a life together, and his dying act was to send her back through time.

Meeting with some druids

One of the labors of Ser Hulbert Wolfson

Rin was also a big supporter of Pavlina and her desire to end winter

This was the final meeting between Geriand and the last of the Sunpurse inside a fungus folk grove deep underground. When given the choice, Rin elected to break the circle and sacrifice the Willow so that the Grove could be planted.

The transformation of Phelan, Mai and Geriand

Diethard was another of Rin's successful converts. Here he is learning about the ley and the changeling curse and Rin's mission of peace.

I liked running up the mountain with a pal, and Diethard was a fun companion to take up there.

Yes, Rin and Diethard feared this pit fiend :D

Rin taught Mebril and Diethard how to change forms

Some elements of the ponds weren't enthusastic about her ideas about good governance.

Bit of Recondite Lore she got to see when doing a dangerous mission for them

This is Rin and Mil making peace with each other after fallout from the Druid civil war, of which they were on opposite sides.

Eirikir was always in Rin's corner through thick and thin - and also these sorts of moments with players really made all the effort worth it

RwG's creepy blood mage

Rin got a lot of people to give changing forms a shot, including the phlegmatic Boren.

Valiants doing a bit of spying on Orza for the Druids.

Summer Court characters. Totally appropriately we never really were able to organize. Too chaotic :D

Lalena was another one of Rin's beloved pupils

The rare white stag. Unfortunately this came after the breaking of the circle, so she couldn't ascent to Wise One. However Mathans, Bartley and two others ambushed her in her room. Rin narrowly escaped with her life, but lost the antlers since they were in storage.

I really like arranging meetings in the grove and for a brief time Rin was making headway as an open changeling using the grove as a neutral place to make inroads towards her mission of peace. Dela and Rin ended up having many goals in common and would eventually ring run past Bazeel with each other.

Hanging out in the grove, writing her histories

Daphne and Grace talking about how to best counter the Nothing

Glyph wanted to run prince. It did not end well. However, Rin was a survivor, and lived through as soul survivor on more than a few tough encounters through rings 99-1.

Haggahwhisp did betray Rin, stealing the last Dryad Tear item from the Students (Monstrous Regen per day faction key) but he did it to try and save her life from Valmoira. He would often try and warn her away from danger.

I liked paling around with Haggahwhisp, running up and down the rings -- perfect complement to have spooky sorc to travel with and fight monsters

Rin swore to be Solomyn's sister no matter what, after the two of them braved the tunnels beneath 94 for the recondite, and they had to drag out their companions through the gauntlet to safety.

Rin and Hog had a great little arc - when she first met him she threatened him because he was clearing away druid plants, but he later came back and gave her a bouquet of flowers and they become pals and went on adventures


Elaine was one of the Wise Ones -- I think this was an NPC most people overlooked in the Ponds, but she was actually alot like Rin.

Rin and Valmoira bury the hatchet inside a glamour of winter.

Fighting Gnipir with Haggahwhisp and others

Rin and Mebril got away from Winter Court war band, but it wasn't a clean break. Fernando and others suffered for it

But Rin and Fernando ended up growing closer because of it, he even took to wearing a green scarf. He had a great take on the sacrifice of Phelan, and was I think a convert

Rin was a silent partner in Bartley's school of magic!

Rin and Doukas ran quite a few quests together! Though something started smelling fishy about the time he started wearing his new armor....

Rin and Nyx in the summer court.

A meeting between sisters on opposite sides of a conflict

In the end, Valmoira and Rin made peace, and Valmoira wanted to join the grove of Phelan as her last act. She would unfortunately die the next day

This was when Rin and Hauk came to understand that they were in some ways, opposites, but respected each other's role in the world

A pixie for the girl with the pixie cut

Rin made an effort to subvert the Sparrows, though with mixed results, they wouldn't go after the druids even at some urging from Rubies, but they didn't abandon the count

Mebril's also a wizard.

*X-files music*

Embarrasing Keithen and also conjuring Tricksy, Rin's most potent ally. (Who she tragically had to kill :D)

Album cover for Mil and Rin's band

Rin had a habit of finding things people left behind

Dust up with some necromancers

One of the boys

A very tense wait.

Hopeful Eight plus one

The Nothing wasn't through with Nyx though, no matter how far we ran

Leisure suits

Everyone hated Oliver, but Rin loved as the Moon does, so she had to love him all the harder for it

Daniel really wanted to solve Agartha. We gave it the ol college try

A head to head with some mongrels

For each new form they learned, Rin would tattoo intricate nature scenes and designs inspired by the encoutner onto her pupils, part of the lesson was, in the end, there's no hiding what you've learned. Keithen for example had a very harrowing journey through the Mongrel woods as a deer being hunted by his fellow Glitt. Mebril would of course be kicked out of Moonspear eventually for her dabbling with changing forms.

Earc also faced the music for his sentiments towards Rin and the druids.

The Named Men - a really wild ride through the rings with these characters

Boots and his Harem

Fishing in the ponds

Rin once bought a man back from the dead.

Bristol and Rin were so different, but oddly saw eye to eye on alot of things. Though events led to her breaking a promise she made with him, she instead decided to keep the faith with Mebril

Mebril and her mom

Taking a soak!

Sitting in the big chair. Rin voted as the sunpurse retainer in two different council meetings! An active particpant in ward politics and an open druid! This drove Mebril crazy as she was sure Rin was going to end up murdered at these meetings.

Despite all her associates, Rin spent countless hours alone, exploring the world

Rin and Jacho waged guerrilla war on the Velstrans for awhile and would eventually help Mebril seize the Keep. Here is Rin terrorizing Grace in a fish related incident

The Groundskeeper hut was at various point quite the hub for outcasts

Rin tried to redeem the Patriarch, afterall, by the end he was the most hated man in the world, and so she had to love him. It nearly cost her her druid powers.

One of my all time favorite shots. So much character in these stupid little cartoons we make.


The Loot - I had some custom pieces on Rin, which were great. However, I am a bit of a completionist, so I ended up collecting quite a few things over her life. So I'm going to do the full catalog here so you can see how I put it all together. Rin was never an overhelming force, but you better believe she was going to have the right equipment for an given situation. Also I really enjoyed hunting down and finding items to help other people get the things they wanted. She was quite the accomplished treasure hunterer.
Carried this the entire character. It was her only thing from Audrey so she treasured it

Rin wasn't actually very good at changing! She needed level 10 to get wildshape (Druid 5), but she did have alter self available so she could shift if she wasn't max level

Rin had 15 magic bags and spent 99.9% of her life encumbered. About half she bought, half she found.

Here is Rin's animal companion :D

This is the sword she got from her husband. Also that planar encounter is probably my all time favorite DM run quest. Skagg and Ironsides had me in stiches for most of it! The perfect mix of grim and whimsy that EFU gets right. And Rin even got this crazy funny story about how she got married to a demon out of it.

This shield was crafted by Yelena of the Recondite herself as payment for aiding in a dangerous mission, perfect for my sneaky barbarian build


DI Gear - so with all this she could manage 25% physical DI, not bad for a level 5 barbarian! The cloak was a gift from Eirikir

Of course

Her armor, something from the druid shop you can no longer get. I think it really fit her vibe.

This is why she almost never had the helmet appearance - she was wearing some fertility earrings :D

Here is some of her faction gear - she was for sure the last Willow Mask, and one of the last two druids to have the symbol of the ancient

Journeyman Dungeoneering Set

Grey Wrap of Shadows - Earc gave this to Rin after I believe killing Ink Claw

This is a fantastic looking item with a great story and history, inherited from Tik the Mighty, Rin's first druid mentor. Had some great per days and immunities on it. Everyone always asked why she wore it in the underwood. 1.) The remember the mushroom farmer who was one of her best friends 2.) immunity to bewildering from grove spiders

I had three of these - so she could keep up PfE at no cost!

She was a Deep Caravan Member

And an instructor (Per day CL 10 Owls)

I usually had the dancing in the Wind Set on with Rin for the extra AC and reflex.

I also had four of the boots, so she had 20 per day charges of exp retreat for when she needed to make fast time. She escaped many many fatal encounters by being fast.

Flametwister set. The per day flame weapon was a nice little perk

I had three of the boots. I always wanted to see if i could get three flame twins out to ruin someones day. Alas, no good opportunity presented itself.

Completed two universal save rings

Completed two elemental rings

Had two of these -- lotta uses out of this to snipe some far range damage. It is how she downed Manir Torr actually was hitting him with one of these as he was trying to get away at Near Death

I'm a sucker for per day items, even if mostly useless. Here's her spooky lantern.

I liked grossing people out with these. Help remind everyone that Rin was a witchy lady

Magic weapon per day is a godsend for a caster/melee mix that doesn't get the spell. Had two of these

Cure critical healing once a days -- really helped conserve purple ash. Had two of these

Inherited from a fallen comrade. Some jerky

She had some tricks up her sleeve

Dagger for fighting undead

She got this very early on after fighting a storm in the folly, and let me tell you, I used that per day invis a million times.

Here's her slot gear -- as you can see, I really got as much as I could out of those five druid levels, and she was usually walk around with every stat boosted! (wisdom from item per day, OWTL from item per day)

If she had to solo a tough monster, she'd get out two insect clouds, magic fang, greater magic fang and usually rage

Rin's polymorph cloak. Minotaur form slaps!

Search kit, could manage a +17 I think with zero skill investment if paired with dungeoneer kit

Death save kit. For those times where you just can't fail

And she had a ring or necklace for nearly any situation :)

She took her gardening seriously, always carried around a pouch of useful herbs and seeds

Her sling and her pouch of many different types of ammunition. I stand firm in my opinion that sling is the best ranged option for a non dedicated range fighter since its so light and you have so much utility with ammunition times

One of her most iconic items :D


And finally...
This is a tiny bit of a spoiler...
Really, you sure you want to know?
Not too late to turn back...
you really do want to know don't you.
Rin's not dead :)

Screen Shots & Obituaries / Re: Mebril Blackhearth, the Jack Rabbit
« on: February 05, 2023, 07:36:13 PM »
I took great pleasure in the hundreds of scenes, conversations and jokes our characters shared. 10/10 Ramc, really touching depth and texture, so many highs and so many lows. I saw Mebril go through a lot of development and changes - and one I for sure took great relish in was bratty teenager scamp being lead astray by old strange witchy woman to beloved daughter and mom pair who survived multiple trips through hell together.

Screen Shots & Obituaries / Re: Linden Blanque - The Blanque Slate
« on: February 03, 2023, 08:19:16 PM »
Thanks for all the hours of fun!

Suggestions / Re: Replace Slay Living on Druids with Drown
« on: January 23, 2023, 09:17:32 PM »
Yeah its a powerful necromancy spell that does potentially facilitate some cheese, so removing it strikes me as rationale

and I agree with what I think is the implied premise here: as a powerful necromancy spell, its appropriate to attach to its use some evil necromancer stigma, which therefore makes it inappropriate for essentially all druids as they're usually imagined (and probably alot of clerics too!).

As an offset other than drown, could give baleful polymorph a minor tweak upwards. (e.g. require touch attack, but remove the DC malus? maybe add in some features for different spell foci?)

Screen Shots & Obituaries / Re: [Pitra Schneider: The Broken Mirror]
« on: January 22, 2023, 08:39:03 AM »
Had a blast playing with Pitra on Constance! Part of me thinks things would have been way different had she had her french maid with her!

Suggestions / Re: Remove Buyable Crafting Feats
« on: January 14, 2023, 09:51:03 PM »
There is for sure an upside for these being fairly accessible feats; there's a straight forward way to put consumables in the hands of characters so they can do the hard/fun/dangerous things all the while doesn't need to be a big hit to what feats they might take.

On the other hand to RwG's point, alot (though not all) of the transaction part of this hardly even qualifies as roleplay.

So maybe something middle of the road would work.

Imagine you can still easily access the feats, but your throughput is throttled, if you are a lone brewer, you are capped at how many things you can brew efficiently. something like you can make 5 potions efficiently, and after that it starts to becomes steeply more costly, with some decay/cool down. Simultaneously, let's say there's a small, limited number of items or workbenches (licenses?) which eliminate this cap, and allow you to more efficiently mass produce. These scarce resources than could be locked behind factions or perks, or otherwise be the objects of competition for those that want to make money large scale as merchants.

Screen Shots & Obituaries / Re: Heron, Songlark of the Eastern Wind
« on: December 12, 2022, 06:34:25 AM »
I really enjoyed playing with Heron; really hit the mark with this one. Thanks for all the fun.

Preparing for adventures!

Turning princes into frogs

Keeping an open mind

Picking a fight with some bonecollectors

Fateful visit from the librarian

I really enjoyed playing with Meryl. A very compelling mix of lightheartedness and tragic themes. Always elevated the roleplay.

And I appreciate the nonstandard barbarian strats :D well done!

Screen Shots & Obituaries / Re: Igor Morozov, Master of Monsters
« on: November 14, 2022, 06:35:23 AM »
Well done!

Suggestions / Re: Make Peerage PVP free between retainers and non retainers
« on: November 09, 2022, 07:08:03 PM »
The pvp rule boundaries with regards to peerage and other areas is not ideal, but it is rational for both setting reasons and practical reasons.

This suggestion strikes me as stemming more from sour grapes than well considered improvement.

The server is big, and so much of it is pvp-free that giving some characters more latitude to initiate single-party consent pvp without some balancing change could, overall, decrease the quantity and quality of roleplay and character interactions.

As for the complaint about some characters avoiding or minimizing exposure to pvp in NPC populated areas, that could very well be explained by in character reasons, e.g. those characters were forewarned about such a plot. But, even if its not, frankly it could say just as much about you as it does them as role-players. I would rather strive to have a conflict of this type be something all involved players can see as engaging, worthwhile, consequential, and consistent with the characters  and their interactions - and barring that, at least sportingly fair. This may be one reason why retainers are incentivized to engage in formal duels with honor stakes and so forth, rather than drive by shootings in the checkout line.

I really do think if players of retainers put their minds to it, they can come up with lots of other things to try or do in the sort of situation you have described; and indeed both examples in the past, and those offered in this thread are worth considering. Besides, being quick to subdue or kill people may not cement a character's reputation as a lawful authority figure of the realm. Currently, that does seem to me to be something a character has to establish and maintain, rather than be granted by membership status alone.

Suggestions / Re: Remove Peerage doorkeeper or make Peerage non-PvP
« on: October 18, 2022, 07:41:26 PM »
Moving it inside the peerage might be a happy middle.

That is, the PVP rule boundary (a concept that may be necessary, though is not exactly natural) could remain where it is, since attacks by the doorkeeper's transition are not the only reason fights do occur in that area of the map. Though as you point out those occurrences because of the sendings are probably the most frequent and have a relatively high risk for generating rule violations/grievances/cheese.

And there's precedent for such an arrangement, e.g. Ticker had that, and the Drill to some extent has it, other doorkeeper in the rings have it.

Like you say, the issue isn't pvp free areas leading out to doorkeepers, or pvp not-free ones; both exist. Its a combination of it being frequently used and in an area where the distances make it prone to those sort of situations occurring where it can start but not finish because of the rules.

Doesn't address what I see as some of the less than ideal customs and practices around sendings, but that's probably a harder problem!

Screen Shots & Obituaries / Re: Haggahwhisp, the Visitor
« on: September 30, 2022, 05:18:28 AM »
A very textured character. Terrifying, mighty, uncanny, insecure, gullible, curious - he came alive from the screen, a very human portrayal . Credit to the form. Really enjoyed all the hours we got to play.

So many screenshots, but somehow this one seems the most fitting.

Screen Shots & Obituaries / Re: Fernando de la Vega, a simple ghost.
« on: September 26, 2022, 04:28:48 PM »
Not many characters that can pull off such a wide range: Fernando had plenty of light-hearted moments, but also deeply moving tragic ones. A joy to play with. Bravo.

Why did the man in black have a scarf of green?

Snow pressed on new lashes, flogged by Orzans for keeping the wrong company.

He was also a teenage mutant ninja turtle

Fig. The. Bastard.

Here's a shot of Fig helping the Druids and Sunpurse with the transformation of Phelan (not a great shot but proof!).

A week later he was burning down the Groundskeeper cabin (what a legend).

Glad we got to play together and also lock horns. I really enjoyed Rin and Fig's grudging respect for one another.

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