Archer

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Archer last won the day on December 17 2018

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2,416 Steel Inquisitor

About Archer

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    Hi! To quickly get in touch with me, summon me on the TUBA discord or ping me in a post. If you contact me through other means, I will likely not reply to your message until the weekend. Have a nice day!

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  1. Happy birthday! In lieu of a gift, I've made a donation of 200C to the DIStressed ChildRens EvacuaTION service in your name. ;) Have a good one! 

  2. "I already tried that," Kingston griped. He yanked on the nearby handles to demonstrate. With a low creak, the doors slid open. "Huh, you must have activated the unlocking aon. Good work, Jake."
  3. Kingston took the opportunity to disengage from John's inconvenient observations and raised his hand. "I agree with my buddy Eiran, the first step is getting to the wild section of the archives. Also, don't deep reference materials need to be reviewed every hundred years? If we're meeting up now, that means the orders for this expedition were probably sent out a few weeks ago. So you should keep your eyes out for something dated late Alla to early Newcagus from a decade prior. Easy!" He was proud of himself for having successfully gleaned the purpose of this meeting from the surrounding conversations. He was also intrigued. If I can find this document, they'll have to let me into the guild. He approached the door that marked the entryway to the lower levels. "If I'm right, and I'm quite confident that I am, these Aons are here as a reminder to everyone not to carry open flames beyond this point. And that one over there roughly translates to 'write a will before entering'. Then that one below says to file it using one of the three approved cataloging systems. Kelsier's in a kilt! You're all lucky I'm here, this is shaping up to be a dangerous adventure. Oh well, time to get going!" The Smedry held up both hands and pushed mightily on the two doors. They didn't budge. Had he actually been able to read aonic script, he would have noticed that the glyph in front of his face simply read 'PULL'.
  4. Tion squeezed his eyes shut, knees slightly bent, waiting for that disconcerting moment when- WHOOOOOOOOMPH. The soft tinkling of the brook beside him was replaced by a commanding roar of flowing water. The god looked around him. A few meters beside him, a grand river pushed past, headed down the gentle slope he stood on. His eyes followed its path to where it was headed. Rather than snake about, the water flowed straight, cutting deliberately through several small hills for at least a kilometer. He lost track of then, but a glance beyond told him where it was headed: the broken city of Decien. The war had taken its toll on what had once been the shining gem of the Ta’e’lioan empire. Its once commanding skyline of strong walls and mighty houses was shattered. Their vantage point wasn’t the best for seeing the entirety of the settlement, but from what he could see of its outer regions, the Nomads had struck some decisive blows against the defenders. Speaking of which… he checked back on where he was standing. The area was mostly empty field. It was half grass and tiny wildflowers, half trampled dirt. He could see one point where the soil had been piled into short walls. A closer look revealed a fair amount of litter strewn about: cast off strips of cloth, metal pieces half-buried in the mud, one or two sharpened sticks. There were no bodies in sight, nor bones. The animals will have gotten to those already. There was also a region of blackened earth, heaped up a bit to cover up the shallow mass grave that would lie beneath. They stood on a battlefield. And a recent one, at that. “It can’t have been a month since there was a skirmish here,” Tion mused. “We’re too far away for this to be a main site of the fighting, but you know how those Ta’e’lions get about- sorry, I meant to say that they were likely trying to defend their water supply.” “It’s all a moot point now anyway. Welcome home, by the way! How ya doing?”
  5. Kingston accepted his Shamefiller's Lenses back from John. "They're memory aids. Nostalgia's Lenses, they're designed to make anyone they're targeted at remember-" Eiran interrupted, depositing a blade at his feet. "Swords are not for kids," he told him sternly before turning away. The Smedry was the picture of genuine confusion. "Then why in the Survivor's name are you giving this to me?" Allence chose that moment to show up too. Kingston kicked the sword with his toe to slide it towards him. "You're late, but I snagged you something from the armory. As we all know, this mission is going to be dangerous." He directed his remarks to the entire ensemble. "We are gathered here today to make TUBA history! I have been assured by some rather worried looking technicians from the third floor that what we are about to do has never been successfully attempted before. Therefore, we must keep our wits about us and our guild-issued swords at the ready. To quote the company manual on inspiring pre-event speeches, 'A good cook makes cookies! Have each other's back or be baked! It is better to die than to diet! Release the pineapples!'" He scratched his head of curly brown hair. "I have no idea what that means either, I kinda skimmed the manual while looking for a page with a map last year."
  6. Tion answered without really thinking about it. "Oh, anywhere really. It's been a while since I visited Decien, if you can manage it! I wouldn't say no to somewhere nice and flat: a valley, or better yet, someplace by a river so I can, ahem, complete my business." Water continued to drop down his leg, pooling around his feet from his interrupted bath.
  7. Tion found the soap where Sagitta had indicated. He also found the bowl, and put the bar inside of it. Then, out of habit, he repeatedly smashed his fists into the soap until it shattered into tiny flakes. The he procured a vial of white liquid from his coat and mixed it in to create a frothy mixture reminiscent of sea foam. They hadn't had a bath in weeks, they could probably find some more soap by the next time they'd need it. Removing his clothes, the god stepped into the water, moving to an area where it naturally pooled to a standstill. It was cold, but refreshing. Carefully, he dumped his solution onto the surface of the liquid, mixing it around with his hand. As expected, a mass of soapy bubbles formed. Content, he lowered himself down and closed his eyes to enjoy the sensations on his skin. In the distance, seabirds squawked, fighting over food. The river trickled slowly, flowing over his toes. Three or four fingerling fish swam by, following the current. Bzzzzzz. Bzzzzzzz. On the shore, his phone vibrated. "Thom's ***!" he shouted, bursting out of the water. Frantically, he scrambled over to his things, diving to put his coat back on. Soap clung to his legs as he jumped to pull on his pants. "Sagitta, grab your things! Make sure you're physically touching them, okay? I asked Reality to get us where we're going, he might do it any second." He thought back to the last time Thomas had helped them, when he'd teleported them without warning from the countryside to the city in a heartbeat. Somehow he knew the nuances of reality well enough to move people from a distance. Clever guy, Reality. I hope he hasn't gone too insane.
  8. "I have a Talent for misspelling things," Kingston answered instinctively. "I have a terrible time telling people about it because I don't actually know how to write the word 'misspell'. I know there's at least two G's somewhere in the middle, but I can never remember if they're before or after the L." He paused to nod at Zokora and his companion. "Nice music spren! I expect she'll sera-nade us later to keep our spirits up while we... bake? I'm sorry, Ko from the ovens told me to come here and help out, but didn't quite specify what I was to be doing. By the way, has anyone seen my keycard? I think I dropped it somewhere around here, or maybe it was at the festival." He turned back to John. "My grandfather had a Talent for losing things, I think I've inherited some of his bad luck. He eventually lost his mind and was declared certifiably insane! Poor fellow, he was the first Smedry to ever show any signs of craziness. The rest of us spend our time more intelligently, engrossed in academic pursuits like glass tinting, as I mentioned before. To answer your previous question, the sands make a very specific colour that's almost impossible to replicate with paint or pigments, although I suppose faking it's worth a shot in a pinch. I just keep a decent supply of lenses on hand at all times, ordered in from the homeworld." "This one's made with aluminum frames to counter any allomantic attacks." He handed his pair of Shamefiller's Lenses to John for him to inspect. They appeared to be just glass and plastic.
  9. “I’ve known quite a few Smedrys in my time, we tend to attract each other. Remind me to tell you about the one I met who later became an Epic. He had a talent for being bad at metaphors, if my memory serves. Lovely fellow, we were in the same comedy troupe for a while.” Kingston considered trying to tone down his power to give the researcher some chance of learning something. He could do that, if he concentrated. Otherwise his sentences naturally twisted to become the opposite of what he was trying to say. He could also embrace it, upping the effect, but he liked to use that sparingly. It made him uncomfortable to manipulate people like that. “Anyway, Talents are easy enough to wrangle once you get the hang of it. The horror stories you hear about people using them accidentally are mostly among amateur practitioners. I’ve had mine under control for years; I hardly ever act out a scene based on an audience prompt when I don’t intend to these days. Its just something I keep in my back pocket for when I want to impress my friends with my cool powers. Its like being a piano player: a great crowd-pleaser, but only usable in certain, highly-specific circumstances.” Kingston took off the pair of glasses he was wearing, revealing a second pair beneath them, their frames cleverly designed to make them stackable. He cleaned them on the hem of his shirt, polishing the dust off ritualistically. “As for these, they’re not necessary to access the full spectrum of powers, but they make a convenient focus. Their tint is what’s important. I know it sounds contradictory, but invisible light comes out of our eyes and is bent by the lenses to create the desired effect, be it an external area of effect beam or a modification of our own auras. It’s quite easy to pick up, especially when you’re on a roll and stack a few of them to up your power. It’s an interesting field of study that I keep meaning to study in depth sometime, what’s your interest in it?” (Author’s note: If you haven’t read the Alcatraz series, please remember that this is all a heap of lies.)
  10. “Mm. I do wonder how Last is connected to all this. I’d love to have a chat with that… whatever he is.” Tion nodded at the proposal. Now that she mentioned it, his skin was starting to feel uncomfortable as the sun rose in the sky. A bath sounded good, but he didn’t much feel like making plans right now. The rest of the meal was mostly eaten in silence, not exactly the kind that comes from weariness, although that was part of it. It was a comfortable lull of two people who didn’t feel the need to make small talk, deep and contemplative. Eventually, he slapped his knees and creaked to his feet. “There’s a stream that feeds into the water about an eighth-mile that way. Watch for the snare I set up there, it should be obvious enough in the daylight. Go! I’ll clean up here. Have a nice long wash veteran, you’ve earned it.” The god petered about for a few minutes, smothering the fire and washing up the utensils with some sea-water. Fresh water would be better for it, but he didn’t want to disturb Sagitta. He also took the opportunity to check on his flip-phone. Despite the battering his body had taken, as usual, it was in perfect condition. A blinking notification informed him he was still eight-hundred years overdue for an update, but he’d never figured out how to connect to the WiFi to do that. Nor had he ever learned what ‘WiFi’ was. He tapped out a text to Thomas. By Intensity’s island, Cahayn shore side. Want to go to taelio. Will trade help for the sour dough starter I made last century. -Sensation. On screen, a wheel spun lazily for a second, then the message disappeared into the ether. Figuring he’d given the lady enough time, he then went to check how Sagitta was faring. And if she had any soap he could borrow. His best ideas always came to him while he was bathing.
  11. YOU GOT RID OF YOUR KETEK :o 

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. Archer

      Archer

      uhhhh *memory reboots* A Modest Proposal (but Not the Cannibalism Kind)

    3. Archer

      Archer

      and thank you, you are most kind!

    4. AonEne

      AonEne

      Gotcha, I wasn’t sure if it was that one or TUBA 

  12. Doubly happy birthday! I hear the Phillipines is comprised of a lot of islands. A ridiculous amount. Easily well more than thirty. So many that if one went missing, no one is likely to notice for a while. My question is, may I borrow an island for the weekend? Pleeeeeeeease?
  13. Kingston felt like a man at a party who’d lost the friend he came with. He pounced on the opportunity to engage John in conversation; it made him look like he belonged. He reached out his arm for a handshake, but the other man pulled out a notebook and started scribbling, so he not-so-smoothly pretended to smooth out his hair instead. “I don’t mind talking about myself at all! Would you like to hear about my juggling skills, amateur chess playing, or, and I’m especially proud of this one, expertise in ballroom dancing? I’ve trained with some of the best traditional box-steppers of my home planet…” As he rambled on about his made-up dancing ability, he peeked at John’s notebook. It was a mess of symbols with no immediately discernible pattern. He was about to dismiss it as the scribblings of an eclectic when he spotted one set of lines that bore some resemblance to the shorthand his librarian trainers had drilled into his mind when he was a pre-teen. It was a heavily modified version, but it was definitely language, or at least memory prompts. He could tell John was tiring of his intentional misinterpretation of the question, but not enough to give up. Shame. They both knew what he really wanted. “And that’s why I never got into ballet. Besides, my Smedry powers probably would have interfered with my aspirations to join the competitive circuit. My abilities first manifested at about the age of two. I inherited them from my mother, who was also a Smedry by birth. She had a knack for dropping things. My talent is different, I have the gift of being bad at improvisational comedy. And yet, it is my passion.” He stared longingly into the distance for a moment. “Pardon me, I’ve just noticed your interest in my Smedry powers, what more would you like to know?”
  14. “I swear, he returned down the left hallway. I was guarding it that day, I remember smelling the burnt cookies on him.” “That was the guy before him. You were on the right that time and sent him down the wrong way.” “Did not. I always check-” “Look, a customer!” Discarding his costume as he went, Kingston rounded the corner of a lovely brick alleyway to come across a dead-end. A pair of ramshackle, wooden doors was recessed into the wall that blocked his path. They were cobbled together out of pieces of old crates and sections of plywood. Hanging over-top of them was a hand-painted sign, reading TUBA™ Fire Exit No. 4*ꟸ̽**, under which was an absurd amount of legalese disclaimers in fine print. Simultaneously, an eye-level hatch in each door was slid to the side to reveal the faces of two disheveled men peering excitedly back at the Smedry. Under their overgrown beards, they appeared to be twins. “Hello! Welcome to the twenty-first reserve-” “-distribution point for baked goods! May we take your order?” Kingston was momentarily stunned by their exuberance and hedged. “Oh, I don’t have any money on me at the moment.” “That’s okay! We don’t have any baked goods!” “The supply runs stopped months ago. It’s just a thing we have to say.” Right. He assessed the doors. If the directions he’d followed to get here were correct, this was one of the quickest ways for him to get into the TUBA headquarters. Trouble was, he had no key-card, password, or any form of identification that would mark him as a guild member. So he was going to have to bluff his way through. “My name is Drakon He'Stan, under-secretary to Chief Chocolatier Stormrise. I assume you received the memo regarding my business here?” The twins snapped to attention. “A pleasure to meet you, sir!” “Though no memo was received! Nothing’s been received since that friendly courier dropped off a set of death threats last week, but that seems unrelated, sir!” “Ridiculous, I’ll make a note to sack the man in charge of the inter-office mailing system. I say, the backlog problem in the North stacks just keeps getting worse, doesn’t it?” He sighed dramatically while the guards behind the doors bobbed their heads in agreement. One of them surreptitiously brushed the cookie crumbs out of his mustache. “Well then, on with the official inspection then. I just need to sign off that the passage through to the main hall is in good condition. Which door leads there?” The twins looked at each other. “Well sir, if you don't know, we’re really not supposed to say…” “We can tell you that one of our doors leads to the main floor while the other-” “-leads to certain death! For security purposes.” Kingston sighed, for real this time. “Can I at least have a hint before I take a fifty-fifty chance of dying on my way to drop off these forms?” “Yessir! Rule Seventy-four dash Nine, Subsection Cee clearly states that in the event that a member forgets which passageway is the correct one-” “-you may ask us one of us guards a single yes or no question pertaining to the matter at hand.” Kingston tried to peek past the men for any hints of what was in the hallways behind them. “I knew that, yes, I definitely did. And just to jog my memory, which one of you will only tell the truth and which one of you will only lie?” They blinked in unison at him. “We’d never thought of doing that.” “Seems like it would make the whole process a trifle bit trickier, wouldn’t it? But then-” “-it would be more secure. That’s a good plan, Mister He’Stan!” “We’ll do that from now on.” Moving up the door of the left, Kingston inspected its handle. It was well worn, its metal shined by the touch of hundreds of hands over the years. “It’s not as easy as it sounds, you know. Here, step out and I’ll give you a necessary demonstration.” Obligingly, the guard cracked open the door and traded places. “If you want to lock it, sir, I keep the key in my boot.” “But we usually just leave it open, in case there’s a fire.” Kingston waved off their concerns. “That won’t be necessary, lock inspections are completed by outside contractors these days. Now, despite my usual candor, I’ll play the liar and you be the truthful one.” He watched through a window in the dividing wall between the two hallways as the other man nodded. “Ready, Tim! Ask away! I’m the honest one, just so you’re aware!” He received a thumbs up. “Thanks Tom! Now, tell me, yes or no-” “Is this the right door? No it’s not!” “Well that settles it then, I’ll use the other.” Tim opened up Kingston’s doorway and shook his hand. “Thanks, mister, you’ve been a big help. I reckon this will significantly decrease the number of assassins we mistakenly let through. Not that it’s more than one or two a week, it’s just, you know. A bit embarrassing.” “Just doing my job. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to do a furnace inspection before I clock out for the day…” “Oh, no problem. Main kitchens are just down this path to the left, then right. Can’t miss ‘em.” Smiling, Kinston nodded to the two of them and set off down the hallway. As he strolled, he could hear the men resume their bickering. “Tim, I thought the kitchens were to the right, then left?” “They are. But I’m the lying guard now, aren’t I? I have to practice. Wait, wasn’t it right, then right again?” “No, there was a left in there somewhere…” Void it. After a few minutes of confused wandering, Kingston ended up in a room with a grand door decorated in scores of aonic symbols. As he tried to gain his bearings, he sidled in and tried to look like he belonged.
  15. Morning came with the smell of roasting meat. The warmth of a small fire bit through the cool seaside breeze, crackling and sizzling with every drop of fat that fell. Thick smoke billowed up from it, nearly concealing the rabbit Tion was cooking on a make-shift spit. He had piled together a stack of wood that had drifted ashore, pieces of their ship that he was feeding into the flames. Beside it lay whatever else he had been able to salvage that morning: a coil of rope, a metal grate, and several smaller knickknacks. “Wake up, soldier. It’s almost ready. I’m hoping the seaweed will infuse it with a salty taste, but if not, I’ve got some spices you can dump on it…” The god fiddled with his fire, careful not to burn any parts of the animal. He was smiling, but his eyes were dark and distant, reflecting the dancing flames. “I owe you an apology.” He went silent for a minute, rotating the rabbit another quarter turn. “I should have known that trip was ill-fated. He didn’t used to be that bad. Really. At least, not to me. He’d always try to get at me a little bit, but it was easy enough to counter. Just a game really. Staves off the boredom.” “But, things have changed. I’m not as strong as I used to be. So, I’ve decided to be more careful. Not for my sake, but for yours.” The god pulled the stick out of the fire and set it aside to cool. On it, the little rabbit had blackened, though its fur had already been striped, leaving just the stringy red meat. Two nubs of bone were visible protruding out of its forehead, near where its ears had been. “You can have some now, if you want. I need to wait for it to cool. Save your leftovers, we can use them as bait later. Cahayan fish is really quite delicious. Then we need to talk about how we're getting you home.”