beccatoria: (atris vs nihilus)
Next, my auction video. Noelia_G won and gave me the brilliant idea and song choice.

Title: You Told The Drunks I Knew Karate
Video: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Audio: You Told The Drunks I Knew Karate // Zoey Van Goey
Summary: Finn is drunk and on a ladder.



Direct download available here. RightClickSaveAs. 58 megs approx.

Cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] vidding and [community profile] vidding

Other vids available here.
beccatoria: (the last airbender)
Next, my actual Premiere for the Premieres show!

Title: Run Boy Run
Video: Avatar: the Last Airbender
Audio: Run Boy Run // Woodkid
Summary: Aang: fight or flight?



Direct download available here. RightClickSaveAs. 82 megs approx.

Cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] vidding and [community profile] vidding

Other vids available here.
beccatoria: (batwoman: blood on the snow)
OMGS I had three vids premiering at VidUKon this year, so I'll be posting them one a day for the next three days! First up, a vid I made for the Vampires show - What We Vid In The Shadows, VJ'd by [personal profile] charloween!

Title: Motherland
Video: Byzantium
Audio: Motherland // Natalie Merchant
Summary: Faceless, nameless, innocent, blameless: free. You tell me what that's like to be.



Direct download available here. RightClickSaveAs. 75 megs approx.

Cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] vidding and [community profile] vidding

Other vids available here.
beccatoria: (vid all the things!)
*RE-EMERGES FROM THE WILDS*

Hey all of you! :D

So, [personal profile] lithiumdoll and I are putting together a Vidding 101 panel for VidUKon and we need your help, good people! You don't have to be planning to attend - if you might be there via VirtUKon, or read the notes online afterwards, we'd love to hear from you!

Very briefly, it'll be a mix of practical advice on the basics of how to make clips, how to put clips on a timeline, etc., all using multiplatform free software as far as possible.

The second half is gonna be a more subjective section where we're hoping to answer audience questions and put together some stuff that will be of interest to you guys. So if you have any big questions you'd really like addressed in this panel, we would REALLY like to hear from you!

The post is here: http://vidukon-cardiff.dreamwidth.org/27490.html

It's gonna be great! :D
beccatoria: (vid all the things!)
Hey guys. So uh, yeah. *glances around sheepishly* I haven't been here in a really long time. BUT. But. I do come with news:

I'm up for auction for VidUKon this year, so if anyone would care to bid on me (or one of the other five awesome vidders who volunteered - buffyann, jagwriter, LithiumDoll, Llin and meivocis), here is the link:

http://www.vidukon.co.uk/convention/auction

Bidding ends Sunday, 7 Feb at 8:00pm GMT (which is like 3:00pm for you people on the East Coast, I think).
beccatoria: (the legend of this chick)
Behold, I have written a ten thousand word essay on the Legend of Korra and its multi-season trajectory. Because apparently that's how I roll. And how long it takes to write down everything I think. But also: fair warning - this is an essay. I'd love for you to read it, but for real, take your time.

The Legend of Korra: Deliberately Deconstructed



When The Legend of Korra finished, late last year, I was left with the strange sense that I had watched a show completely, and deliberately, dismantle itself. Much was made of that final iconic shot of Korra and Asami leaving for the Spirit World, in what was, honestly, the queerest “platonic” moment I've seen on television since Xena managed to stage a PG-rated dance-orgy. It was (to its credit) both obvious and unavoidable, but it was also the capstone to a much wider-ranging set of choices designed to destabilise accepted narratives. This would be worthy of exploration under any circumstance, but I feel it is particularly fascinating given how much of it appears to be in direct reaction to the events of Book One: Air. While I've seen countless shows begin with promise, only to fall foul of hegemonic expectations, I'm not sure I've ever seen one begin carelessly and then spend three seasons systematically and critically dismantling its initial premise.

 

Avatar: the Last Airbender )


Book One: Air )


The Opposite of Aang )

 

The Bridge Between Worlds )

 

The Death of Aang and the Age of Korra )

 

Build Yourself a Metal City and Build Around the Vines )

 

Post-Industrial Political Revolution )

 

On Earthly Bodies, Enlightenment and Sin )

 

Korra Alone )

 

There's a collision at this intersection )

 

The Legend of Bryke )

 

Love )
beccatoria: (elisa maza + her leather jacket)
Wow, so VidUKon happened (HI EVERYONE!) and then I was like, wow, I can take a week off, sleep, chill and then get on with my fabulous life of leisure. Except then I got some more freelance work and an offer to temporarily go full-time at my regular job in a different department and Kev started reducing his medication which meant he was in a kinda fragile state and tl;dr OMFG you guys, it's tiring! Actually the first few weeks I think I got through on adrenaline. It's just been the last few where I've felt like a brick wall hit me. I'm pretty sure I'm just adjusting. Still, props to all you regular working people. Soon I shall be just like you: more tired and slightly less poor. (Oh god, the extravagant things I'm going to buy with the money! New glasses! House insurance! Such things, my friends, such things...)

Anyway, that's why I've been so horribly absent except for intermittent political rants on twitter. I haven't been on tumblr at all for months.

Point is - I'm really out of touch with what's up with you guys so HI, and HOW ARE YOU, and if you posted anything really important in the last month, I probably didn't see it and I'm sorry, but LET ME KNOW about it?

In exchange, here are some things I have been thinking about recently:

Steven Universe! )

Ant-Man! )

Politics! )
beccatoria: (the legend of this chick)
Title: Republic City
Video: The Legend of Korra
Audio: Atlantic City // The Gaslight Anthem [Springsteen Cover]
Summary: Everything dies, baby that's a fact. (But everything that dies, some day comes back.)



Direct download available here. RightClickSaveAs. 83 megs approx.

Cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] vidding and [community profile] vidding

Other vids available here.
beccatoria: (elisa maza + her leather jacket)
OH MY GOD YOU GUYS I'M SO SORRY I'VE BEEN SO ABSENT. I mean, I'm never the most frequent of posters, but for real the last month and a half has been nuts. Like real-life stuff, and organising VidUKon (in a week and a half!) and also making a trailer for part two of the Kickstarter Comic Project I helped out with last year.

So first of all - LOOK YOU GUYS! I made the video for this, so you should all, you know, check it out:

PRESENTING A KICKSTARTER PROJECT WHAT I HELPED WITH.

My So-Called Secret Identity - it's kind of a reimagined what-if take on the Batgirl archetype set in the 90s. You can read the first four issues online for free.

In other news, where to even start? I'm behind with everything. Reading, telly, comics, music composition, correspondence, everything.

I want to talk about Steven Universe. I want to finish the 10k word Legend of Korra essay I wrote after it ended and has been sitting, 95% done, unlooked at, for weeks. I want to finish the vid I need to make so I can release the other vid I've already made. I want to make sure I don't forget all the musical stuff I realised I still knew last year. I want time to play more games. I want to talk about my discovery that minimum requirements for PC games seem to be largely bullshit. I want my work to stop demanding data with absolutely no error tolerance when I'm dealing with a huge, complex database, thousands of records at a time, and a lot of the information was input by temps who lacked appropriate training.

But whatever, I'm alive, if you're reading this, you're alive, in a week it's VidUKon and I'll see loads of cool people, and then maybe I'll have time for some of that stuff from that list up there... ;)
beccatoria: (johnny the astronaut)
Title: Blue/Pink
Video: Steven Universe
Audio: Blue Lips // Regina Spektor
Summary: Human, Gem. Boy, Girl. Blue, Pink.

PASSWORD: vidses



Direct download available here. RightClickSaveAs. 80 megs approx.

Cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] vidding and [community profile] vidding

Other vids available here.
beccatoria: (vid all the things!)
Hey guys!

I'm in charge of a Superheroes vidshow for VidUKon this year! My aim is to make it awesome. So obviously I'm going to ask all you awesome guys to help me create a shortlist of vids to include.

My goal is to root it in self-identified Superhero stuff but also to reach out to other things that don't necessarily self-identify as capes and costumes heroics, but clearly draw on those archetypes.

So I'm soliciting any and all suggestions!

Though I'd be super, super grateful for suggestions that aren't for either Marvel or DC because that's a lot easier to find.

To help this process, I brainstormed some fandoms that fit under either "Actually Superheroes!" or "Oh Come On, They're Superheroes!" I want to try and make sure that the latter category isn't just "action heroes", so feel free to question, challenge or suggest stuff in the comments even if you don't have a specific vid to rec (though obvs, omgs, I hope you do!)

Actually Superheroes!
DC (duh)
Marvel (duh)
Kick-Ass
Watchmen
Hancock
Krrish
Judge Dredd

This list is as complete as I can make it, so if I've missed something PLEASE let me know!

Oh Come On, They're Superheroes!
Commander Shepard
Olivia Dunham
The Avatar (as in The Last Airbender and Korra)
Buffy Summers
Lara Croft
Ghostbusters
Blade
Jedi characters in Star Wars
Xena
Knight Rider

This list is both arbitrary and incomplete and mostly designed to act as a starting point. I'd also note that the focus of vids in this list will probably matter more. Wonder Woman is always going to be identified as a superhero. A vid about Buffy could focus on a lot of things other than her superheroic attributes.
beccatoria: (johnny the astronaut)
So FIRST, oh my god, the VidUKon auction was an amazing success! We raised almost £250 including £111 for RAINN. So that was pretty fantastic. Many thanks to the vidders (buffyann, LithiumDoll, jagwriter78 and purplefringe) and all the bidders!

Also, I finished this a while ago but I should probably post it. I'm not sure it's as epic or successful at evoking a particular tone as my string quintet, but I'm pretty happy with it in the sense I feel I started cracking the use of accidentals for some deliberate dischordant...ness. Plus, a wild key change appears!

I do think I probably should have not been quite so minimalist with the left hand obsession with repetitive thirds, though. Oops?

beccatoria: (vid all the things!)
OKAY SO, firstly I apologise for my absence. I had really high hopes about improving my posting schedule, and really I feel a little cheated, because I HAVE been doing stuff I'd like to be posting about. I finished a vid! Except I didn't post it because I'm worried I won't have another ready in time for VidUKon. I finished another musical piece! Except I didn't post it because I didn't want to post music twice in a row. I wrote epic Legend of Korra meta! Except I didn't post it because it's a gigantic beast of an essay and it's not actually finished yet. But...I had more than vague aspirations, is what I'm saying. I was sort of being productive.

Also VidUKon! BIG NEWS!

Firstly, we have a scholarship. It is for free attendance, Saturday evening dinner and accommodation (on the basis of sharing a room) for one non-UK resident, with preference going to European applicants. If we receive additional donations they will go towards the recipient's travel costs.

We very much encourage self-nominations, so please take a look!

Secondly, we're doing auctions! This is very short notice so we're looking for sign-ups THIS WEEK.

I know that might sound intimidating, but here are some reasons it's not:

- The deadline is going to be June 1, that's a full month after the Premieres deadline. Loads of time!

- Our goals are modest and specific. We're looking for, like, £15 to fund fancier badges, £30 to buy some USB sticks to digitise the library. That sort of thing. There is no performance pressure here!

- 75% of anything over £100 will be donated to RAINN, so if you DO want to sign-up on mass and attract giant bids, then it'll be in the name of good deeds!

Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know.

Plus, you know, con registration is open generally, and if you can't attend in person, you can come to VirtUKon, where we put as many of the vids online as we can (they go live with the shows), as well as streaming a number of the panels, etc. After the weekend the playlists go live for everyone, but some of the panels are likely to be up during the weekend only.

You can check out our site to see what last year's looks like.

YAY VIDS!
beccatoria: (johnny the astronaut)
Okay! So it's been a while since I posted about my musical adventures. Not because I haven't been working on it (well actually I took a pretty long break to play Dragon Age: Inquisition, but I'm back at it now) but because I've been...simultaneously working on a few things and not really finished with any of them. My original plan was to post this, along with another piece I mostly finished but am trying to go back and polish a little and a piece I'm currently working on but is a bit stalled. If I do that, though, who knows when I'll be brave enough to post anything, so screw it.

I give you 20 Strings, a piece for string quintet in C Minor.

It's my attempt at a sort of minimalist style so there's a lot of intentional repetition and slow builds because, well, I like that sort of thing. Hopefully you will too. Or at least not think it sounds terrible.



I'm...actually kind of happy with this because I feel it's long enough it feels complete, but also feels consistent throughout. (What I'm working on at the moment, for instance, I'm quite pleased with on the one hand because I feel I'm getting the hang of using accidentals and some chromatic harmony, but I've got a tonal shift in the middle I'm not entirely sure works).

I do think I should have bitten the bullet and put bow markings in. I didn't because Musescore can't play them back properly and I was all GRR MINIMALISM FINE FUCK IT everything will be bowed! But whatever I'm not actually a hipster, I should've put them in for completeness. On the other hand, it's a piece made up of layered repetitive phrases so I think most people would guess correctly where to put 'em.

Finally, for some reason, the custom soundfont I use with Musescore didn't include a viola so I'm stuck with the default viola sound which is a) not great and b) clashes with the custom stuff so, with deepest apologies to the viola, which is a beautiful instrument, the audio here is three violins and two cellos.

I think that's everything.

But seriously, guys, I'd love to know what you think. I'm sort of new to this and not entirely sure where I'm going with it. I don't actually know almost anyone else who's into composing stuff. It's hard to know what it would sound like outside of my own experience. It's not really like when I got into vidding and there was a ready made community of enthusiastic people of varying skill levels, you know? As far as I can tell "composing" fandom is super hardcore people who understand...a lot more than I do when it comes to musical theory.

But, I think I like doing this. So. Onwards.

(ALSO ALSO, festivids went live this weekend! I haven't had a chance to watch that many vids, though, cus I suck. I will try to have a recs post up before the reveals, though!)
beccatoria: (diana of themiscyra)
So listen, guys, I usually like to wait a little longer before recommending a run of comics, basically just because, well, comics. Those things go off the rails in big ways sometimes. But honestly, based on what's out so far, I really think that Genevieve Valentine's Catwoman run (which started with #35) is worth looking at, even though there are only three issues and an annual so far.

Here's my pitch:

Selina Kyle, convinced this is her ninth life, looking for redemption as a Gotham mob boss, selling her soul in pieces against a beautifully non-sexualised noir backdrop of business suits, shadows and late-night phosphorescent streetlights, splashed against a charcoal, pencil-sketched palette.




Here's my slightly more detailed pitch, including the backstory of how she got to be in such a situation (because, of course, it was in a different comic) and slightly more about Catwoman's rejection of Batman than is really necessary for a series where he's a minor supporting character, but 1) I am all about people rejecting Batman and 2) I'm trying to keep spoilers for Valentine's run to a minimum and sticking with the type of stuff you might get in a blurb, so I need SOME way of explaining to you why this run has such a perfect set up.

NO BUT REALLY JUST READ IT. )

Also featured: police investigations, tense relationships with newfound cousins, every single mobster assuming she's there to take the money then cut and run or that she's "too soft", and angry, angsty, accusatory talks with Batman on balconies.

Also featured: quotes from Elizabeth the First, Caterina Sforza and the Pillow Book (because it is as necessary as the Art of War.)

Also: Genevieve Valentine apparently writes award-winning steampunk novels? I mean, I haven't read anything else by her, but come on, that's just cool.

(No but seriously read it already.)
beccatoria: (the legend of this chick)
So, the Legend of Korra finished last month and it was actually pretty awesome. Over the course of the series I felt it made up for a lot of its first season missteps, even if the fact I know the first book was written to standalone means I am unwilling to say that everything wrong with it was intentional. But yeah, overall, it was a great wrap-up and while I have a few reservations - things I wish they'd done slightly differently - don't we always? I feel far more joy.

I feel like the whole series - all four books - deserves an epic review post, meta and all sorts, but for right now I kind of just wanted to address one piece of criticism I've been seeing because I think it's worth some attention.

Forgiveness, compassion, anger, justice and suffering. )
beccatoria: (commander space jesus)
HELLO PEOPLE!

Okay firstly, I am really sorry I fell off the face of the internet a bit (well except twitter: timesuck of timesucks). There were a couple of reasons, some realworldy, some Dragon Age Inquisition-related, but I'm back now. I've also been trying to pare down this review post for like...a week and I've finally just given up.

So this is ridiculously long and serves as much as an archive of my feelings for the future as something I expect anyone to actually read all of, but I have tried to segment it in ways that are sensible and I encourage people to skip to the bits that interest them rather than trying to read this...novel. On Christmas Eve. ;)

Anyway: The Main Event.

How I Feel About The Setting In General. )

Technical Gameplay Stuff. )

Faux-Open World Exploration: The Best-Worst Thing? )

The Story! The Actual Plot of the Game! )

Cassandra: my darling. )

Solas, Sera and (Not Really Welsh) Elves. )

Vivienne, the Mage-Templar Conflict and Inquisition's Villain Problem. )

The Qun, The Bull and Krem. )

At which point, I have thought all the thoughts and said all the things. Though if anyone has any other things they would like to talk with me about, I would definitely be up for discussion in comments even if it has nothing to do with anything I wrote above.

BOOYAH.
beccatoria: (diana of themiscyra)
Title: Apple Candy
Video: DC Animated
Audio: Apple Candy // Ben Lee
Summary: I want you, and I want him. [Wonder Woman/Superman/Batman OT3]
Vidder's Notes: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, [personal profile] chaila. I'M SORRY IT'S LATE BUT NOW THE WHOLE WORLD KNOWS YOUR our SECRET SHAME.

PASSWORD: vidses

Apple Candy

Direct download available here. RightClickSaveAs. 70 megs approx.

Cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] vidding and [community profile] vidding

Other vids available here.

beccatoria: (londo loves it!)
SO. Earlier this week I discovered an amazing programme! It is called Musescore and it is a free, open source, platform agnostic (Windows, Mac, Linux, even BSD) programme that lets you score music and play it back.

I mean, it's not perfect - the default soundfont (what the instruments sound like) wasn't amazing, so I downloaded a different one, and playback has some limitations as it was initially implements as more of a "checking" service than a way to create a final product. But it's pretty freaking good, and the piano, particularly, sounds fairly authentic.

YOU GUYS. This programme.

This is just a fucking AMAZING demonstration of the democratisation of information and creativity and education on the internet.

I decided to compose something. I haven't done that since I was about 16 and doing my GCSEs, and I remember back then not having the musical skill to play it properly on the piano so only half understanding how it sounded til my teacher could help. But then, of course, she couldn't stay with me for long, so I was back to guess-work and swearing. I remember working out minor/major triads mathematically (how many half steps...?) on paper. And just...generally things being harder. Like trying to look at a giant mural with a match for light.

Now we have this website which over the course of a few evenings reminded me of all the basic music theory I knew and had forgotten in an easy to understand, bite-sized way, and then provided fucking TOOLS like CHORD CALCULATORS and CHORD PROGRESSION GRAPHS to help me.

And now, fifteen years later, building off a rusty recollection of I, IV and V chords going well together and a bunch of TOTALLY FREE SHIT FROM THE INTERNET, I have composed a song! And...like, you guys, I think it's good?

I mean, I have to be honest, I was raised in a culture that focused more on music than most. I was lucky that I was able to have subsidised group lessons (and a year or so of private ones) for most of my childhood. I had the chance to play in orchestras. The fact I can read sheet music (however haltingly when it comes to Treble Clef) is an enormous advantage here. I'm not saying that I came at this out of nowhere.

But...but GUYS. It's like the first time I made 10 seconds of vid and just had to rewatch and rewatch and rewatch.

I simultaneously feel like I have uncovered a great, sleeping talent, like, holy shit, I CAN DO THIS? I CAN COMPOSE MUSIC? I AM MAGIC. HOW. HOW AM I DOING THIS. While at the same time wanting to run around screaming at everybody to wake up because if I can compose music this means you can too! Like this great, hidden secret that's been concealed from us and that I want to share with everyone.

So I present to you:

A Song in E Major for People with Large Hands because it's full of 10th intervals which I shouldn't really have used probably



So, uh, yeah.

Hopefully those of you who've seen me exploding over twitter don't think I oversold it too much. Half of my excitement is the high of successfully finishing it.

But, um, I guess yeah. I'm proud of myself - I think it sounds pretty good for a sort-of-first-attempt-in-fifteen-years.

I hope you guys like it too. All 81 seconds of it.

<3
beccatoria: (atris vs nihilus)
Okay, so, I rarely talk about this here, but I regularly play tabletop RPGs. Loads of different stuff over the years - White Wolf, D&D, Mutants & Masterminds, Homebrew Wackiness. The point is, pretty much every Sunday, me and my husband and a few of our friends spend the day gaming. (For the uninitiated, I'm basically talking about Dungeons & Dragons - that game where you sit around with paper and dice pretending to be Elves and Barbarians, fighting Orcs and selling treasure.)

There have been times when our games have been irregular. While we were in Korea, we didn't game at all, and while K was very sick we went for months between games sometimes. But for the majority of my adult life, this has been a weekly ritual. And two of us (K & Addy) I've known since I was 18. I'm 31 right now.

The reason I don't talk about it much isn't lack of enthusiasm. I mean, like everything else, it waxes and wanes, but you don't devote most of your Sunday to a thing you don't enjoy. It's because the best metaphor I've heard for RPG games is that it's like sex: you can't do it with anyone in the room who isn't participating because you start thinking about how dumb you look. Add into that the fact that we're talking about stories and characters and situations that none of you have knowledge of or investment in, and me squeeing about the latest plot twist in my decade-long RPG game becomes a rather one-sided interaction. And if you did think it was cool, what then? It's not like when you indulgently listen to a friend rant about their favourite TV show for six hours, where there is at least the possibility that you'll find it intriguing enough to go off and watch it.

Our stories are largely unrecorded, except in memory. We speak to each other about them. We are a fandom of four. But there is something magical in it: a television show written, scripted, acted, purely by us, for us. When we are disappointed or upset with it, we can talk and change things. The themes and storylines we care about get developed. The characters we care about get the narrative attention. When thing go badly, it sucks monkey fuck, but when things go well it as artistically valid and creatively collaborative as anything I've ever seen.

I need to stop, at this point, and explain something:

We do not play Dungeons & Dragons "properly". We do not, generally ever, go down into cave systems and try to solve logic puzzles, try to outmaneuver little models on square grids, and note down the exact experience point value of everything we killed. We do not play RPG games as board games with some extra descriptive flourishes. I do not mean that as an indictment of board games, I just mean... What we do is on a much further point along that spectrum. If you have played White Wolf game systems, our approach fits much better into that model.

We tell stories.

More accurately, K tells stories. I feel self-conscious, seeing as I'm married to the dude, (and seeing as the fawning GM's girlfriend is one of tabletop's most staple misogynistic stereotypes), praising him so unequivocally. But seriously. For a long time I aspired to be a writer, or at least more of a writer than I am now. I can do words. I know from brutal, personal experience, that plots are fucking hard. Not for him though. Or at least, you'd never know it.

He tells these incredible, intricate, complicated, beautiful stories. He makes these huge worlds for us to explore and takes into account the characters we've created. He spends hours doing preparation each week. Like thematically, he writes us arcs, without telling us, for us to experience and react to and maybe resolve differently than he expected. He's not rigid about it; when we surprise him, he is elated. When the dice throw us for a loop and let us succeed or fail unexpectedly, he works out how this will add a new, interesting wrinkle to the fabric of the story. He once sat on a plot twist for ten years.

I feel guilty, sometimes, that he doesn't write stories for everyone to read - that his preferred artistic medium is so unshareable. But he says it's honestly what he prefers; his favourite hobby. So I guess I should just feel lucky instead.

The reason I'm writing this right now is that we just finished a game - The Monk's Tale. We started it over a decade ago. We didn't play it solidly for that time. In fact, there was more than one hiatus of several years. But we always came back to it in the end. It became unkillable. It became reflective of who we were. During that time, friends turned out to be terrible people, friends who were wonderful people left us for terrible reasons, we made new friends, we changed, we had crises of faith, we were angry, we got better.

It sounds lame to say it, but it helped us through some weird times. The places the story didn't quite fit together anymore or where people were acting out of character just...became like scar tissue. Like a textural reflection of the time and place and people we were with when that part of the story was being told. Like testimony.

A story we told each other over the course of 12 years and all the moods we were in when we told it.

My character's name was Skai. When I started playing her I knew two things: she was a necromancer and a social worker. She was sensible. She was friendly. She was not dramatic. By the end she was a batshit glorious half-Succubus ex-Prophet who apprenticed herself to a disgraced Paladin and swore she only upended her society's entire social and religious structure as a by-product of her quest to kill the Nine Horsemen of the Apocalypse with a bow she stole from the Fairy King. It was a quest to kill her brother, or at least, the monster he would become if she didn't change the future. A future that might have arisen from her decision to make herself half-a-devil, which she did to protect herself from him before she knew he was her future-brother, corrupted by a future-devilish-her.

She brought a pantheon of powers to its knees in a fit of pure rage. She helped convince a machine to become a god. She became terrible at human interaction. Lonely, maybe. Uncertain she still was able to love anything honestly (except her daughter).

She collected lovers like sea-shells - though it was her soul that was hollow; that promised oceans and delivered echoes. People died for her (how terribly, romantically dramatic) and worse (unromantic, undramatic, unfixable - tragedies in all their banal cruelty). In the end she was left with a deposed cartographer prince and her lost friend's betrayed fiancee: the boy she couldn't couldn't control and the girl she wouldn't. A man who drew maps and a woman who guarded gates, and I suppose you'd need both to find and keep her heart.

That's where I left her.

I have played this character my entire adult life.

And now I'm done. I think that's a milestone worth marking. Even if it makes me shift a little awkwardly in public.

It's okay, though. None of us felt it was right to end it all, so we're going to start a game about the Next Generation. On both a meta and non-meta level, we know we can't possibly top a 10 year game of Good vs Evil for the fate of the Planes of Existence. So we decided it was obvious. What would the children of famous heroes do? Knowing they can never escape the shadow of their parents' heroism?

DROP OUT AND BECOME THE GREATEST ROCK STARS OF ALL TIME.

That's right. We're all playing Bards. All of us. It's going to be amazing. And completely different.

The game is dead. Long live the game.

June 2016

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