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About Rushu42

  • Birthday January 15

Profile Information

  • Member Title
    Looking Up
  • Gender
  • Location
    The Twilight Zone
  • Interests
    Learning all about this wide, weird, and wonderful universe we find ourselves in. And making self-referential About Me pages.

Rushu42's Achievements



  1. A few years ago, some members of these forums formed a puzzlehunting team for fellow fans of Brandon Sanderson, dubbing ourselves the 17th Shard in honor of this website. We started doing puzzles, and basically haven't stopped since - we even wrote our own puzzlehunt in 2021, themed around fantasy books - you can find our announcement for that here. Well, we've grown a lot as a team since then, both in numbers and in skill. Our team isn't just for Sanderfans anymore, and neither are the puzzles that we write, but we still feel a connection to the website that originated our team. So we're returning here to announce our second puzzlehunt, Shardhunt*! You can find our website here: https://shardhunt.com/ Wait, I have questions. So what is a puzzlehunt, anyway? A puzzlehunt is an event where people gather in teams to solve a set of puzzles together. A puzzle can take any form, including crossword puzzles, logic puzzles, wordplay, math, and more, but in every puzzle your goal is to extract a string of letters, usually an English word or phrase which is the answer to the puzzle. As a point of reference, picture something somewhat akin to an escape room, but entirely digital, and with harder puzzles. Puzzlehunts also contain metapuzzles, which are puzzles that require the answers of previous puzzles to solve. Each puzzle in a round of the puzzlehunt will feed into a metapuzzle, and solving that metapuzzle completes the round. Who are you guys, again? Not all of our writing team have been on the forums, and those of us who are aren't super active anymore, but you may recognize @Rushu42 @MetaTerminal @Exalted @Moonrise and @MiToRo94 among our puzzle authors! How should I solve this hunt? We strongly advise forming a team of 8 (or more) people who are going to be active throughout the hunt - puzzles are easier in groups! How does this hunt compare to the last one that you wrote? Our last puzzlehunt was a small affair, for about a dozen teams, and aimed primarily at people from this community. This hunt is significantly larger in scope - we predict that we'll have a few hundred teams, from the general puzzlehunting community - and much harder. We have a couple beginner-friendly puzzles in the opening round, but it gets harder as it goes along. It's also longer, with about 30 puzzles in total. Is this puzzlehunt directly Sanderson-related? I can't reveal any spoilers about specific puzzle content! However, the story of this hunt does not have any connection to the Cosmere, or other Sanderson books. I have questions about hunt logistics. Specific information about the hunt itself can be found on this page of our website: https://shardhunt.com/rules. If you have more questions, feel free to send a message in this thread! Happy puzzling, everyone! *Because this hunt is open to a much broader community than our previous Shardhunt, we've decided not to confuse people by calling it Shardhunt 2. Instead, our previous hunt is Shardhunt 0, and this is Shardhunt 1.
  2. ~Aln, the Alleycity~ Aln's memories were slipping away, like water through a sieve. Like the rain that had begun to fall on the Alleycity, dark clouds now obscuring the previously clear sky. She'd wanted this. She'd risked her life for this. But now that it was here, now that the Forgery was really breaking, Aln felt a deep, sudden grief. Years of dinners with her brother and his fiance, watching him proudly display his mostly-functional new fabrials, of staying up into the early hours of the morning with Folorian, mugs of tea cooling at their elbows as they laughed at what passed for statistical analysis in the latest oculatory research papers from the Free Kingdoms, of watching her fledgling guild build itself into a real community, were fading, replaced with... what? A mostly finished thesis and an emptiness in her soul? How broken I am, she realized with a building desperation. How long as it been since I've called someone a friend? Since my university advisor? My brother? My long-lost sister returned from the dead, and all I could feel was panic. For how long have I been ignoring my own loneliness? She knew the answer to that question. Suddenly she was on her feet, in the rain, running as fast as she could back toward the Alleyverse Post. Energy crackled in the air around her, filling her with storm and power. At each step, the world around her was different. Buildings were shifting places, roads were rerouting themselves, and she even saw a young man simply blink out of existence - but she hardly paid any attention. She had a horrible fear that if she were too slow, she would forget the Forgery entirely, and would let herself fall back into her still little world. She would let Folorian drift away. The Alleyverse Post building was still there, stubbornly unchanged. At least, she thought it was unchanged. Had the font been different before? It was like trying to remember the details of a dream. She knew she didn't have much time before that life was gone. She yanked open the door and burst in, eyes searching immediately for Folorian - her best friend, a stranger - but she stopped. In the middle of the room was a tall, very grey figure. A Lifeless, it looked like. "Um," was all she had the composure to say. @mathiau @18th Shard
  3. ~Various NPCs, the Alleycity~ It was a clear, cloudless, windy morning, just the kind that Sevar liked. He found himself whistling as he walked to work, mind running happily through the inventory of his flourishing bakery. It was going to be a good day, he told himself. And he believed it, until he heard someone scream. There was a crowd gathered on the street corner ahead. He thought there was a newspaper kiosk there - yes, look, people were holding copies of the Alleyverse Post. He could see the man who'd screamed, now - he was sitting on the ground, eyes wide, feeling desperately at his chest. Sevar pushed his way into the crowd. "What's going on? Is there something in the news?" Instead of answering, the lady next to him just handed him a newspaper. He dug in his pocket for a coin to pay her back, but she shook her head. "They're free today." Her voice was strangely hollow, and Sevar felt a dreadful anticipation building in the pit of his stomach. He didn't want to look at what the woman had given him, and yet he felt, somehow, that he needed to. The first page was almost blank. The only text was printed, plainly, in the very center of the page. The information in this newspaper is true, but it is also dangerous. This is not a prank or a hoax, no matter how incredible it may seem. Do not read on unless you are prepared for your life to change. Sevar opened the newspaper, and felt the world fall out from beneath him. *** Torenat knew that he should be worried about Aln. He hadn't seen his sister in weeks, not since that night at the festival, not since her guild had been attacked, not since the hospital exploded. Why wasn't he out searching the streets, or calling everyone he knew? How could he sit in his home while his sister was missing or dead? And yet... something about this felt right. Normal. Aln was off someplace dangerous, and he was at home, messing with his fabrials. He had a strange sensation that he had been living in a dream. The city that he knew so well had taken on a fantastical quality in his mind, until he could hardly imagine how he fit into it. His thoughts kept drifting back to Roshar, familiar scenes interspersed with unsettling daydreams of backwards storms and a towering city of stone. Unless the Alleycity was the daydream, and those the reality... He didn't know. The one certainty that he could cling to, like a leaden anchor in his stomach, was that either way, he was a coward. ~Aln, the remnants of the Scholar's Guild~ Aln stood in front of the wreckage of what had once been her home. Someone, she didn't know who, had put up yellow caution tape, but that hadn't stopped the more enterprising of the city from making off with a decent portion of her belongings. The structure itself didn't seem in danger of collapsing further, though, so she unlocked what was left of the door and let herself inside. She hadn't told anyone she was coming here; she'd wanted to be alone. Maybe that was risky, with the DA theoretically still looking for her, but she doubted that she was their top priority at this point. The city was waking up now. You could see it in the faces of the people you passed, even feel it in the air, like the pressure drop right before a storm. The world was returning, slowly but violently, to reality. Pel, she said softly in her mind, Do you think we did the right thing? "What is 'right', Aln?" Can't you give me a straight answer for once? In his way, Pel said nothing for a long moment as he thought. "You acted in a way that you believed was moral. You adhered to the oaths that you made. If you are looking for reassurance or absolution of fault, I know of no authority that can provide that. You made a choice, and we shall see the consequences." Strangely, his words settled something in her, some conflict that had been warring in her mind since her memories first returned. "Well," said Aln aloud, "I don't know that this Forgery would have lasted long, even without my interference. The truth has a way of being found out." And she sat on the broken piece of an armchair in her shredded library, and watched the world change.
  4. Guild or Organization Name: The Scholar's Guild Members (3 minimum): @Rushu42, @mathiau, @NerdyAarakocra, @18th Shard [I'm pinging the people that I've recently been in contact with that are interested in the Guild. We've had other members in the past, and are always looking for more, so please let me know if you want your name on this list! Employees of the Alleyverse Post can decide whether or not to be official guild members as well - let me know.] Purpose/Mission Statement: The Scholar's Guild is dedicated to free trade of information and the general increase of knowledge. Description: Though primarily a research organization, the Scholar's Guild is also active in various educational initiative and publications, including the production of the Alleyverse Post, the Alleycity's most widely read newspaper. How to contact: IC, swing by the Scholar's Guild building or send a message to Aln. OOC, PM @Rushu42 (or another guild member)! What do you plan to do: After participating in the fall of the Forgery, the Guild is now engaged in efforts to rebuild the city. The Guild has also become committed to the discovery and distribution of information outside of the control of the Dark Alley, and will using the Alleyverse Post for this purpose.
  5. "Perhaps we can find a way to present it as a choice," Aln said thoughtfully. "We can't fully explain the danger without exposing people to it, but we can place a warning on the first page. If the residents of the Alleycity continue to read the paper despite the warning, then it is their decision to choose truth over safety, rather than ours. It's not truly an informed decision, but it is possibly the best that we can do." @mathiau @Ashbringer
  6. Doubt twisted in Aln's insides like a knife. She had accepted the fact that she and Folorian didn't see eye-to-eye on the Forgery, but the risks to the people of the Alleyverse were very real. "Of course I'm not sure," she said. "I don't pretend to understand the motivations of the Dark Alley; I am simply gambling that their actions will remain consistent with the past. If we get this paper widely distributed, we are placing them in a situation where they have no choice but to be revealed; either by the fall of the Forgery, or by their own attempts to cover it up. In the past, it seems that the DA has preferred that the Alleycity remain largely intact, so I am hoping that they will not respond with widespread violence." "It's- it's not a decision we have the right to make, truthfully. But I'm not willing to leave the city in this state, unaware of the danger in its midst. Perhaps we can try to find a way to minimize the damage."
  7. "Coffee would be much appreciated, thanks. And - thank you for trusting me." Aln turned back to focus on Acacia, who had already begun sketching a mockup of the front page. "You're not bothered by what I'm asking, then?" Acacia shrugged. "I didn't understand most of what you were talking about, but it sounds like these DA folks are the evil librarians of this world. Sounds like messing with their plans is a no-brainer." Aln nodded, grateful. Storms, Pel, I really hope we're doing the right thing.
  8. Aln paused, framing her thoughts, as Pel spun slowly beside her. "You are correct. The world that I remember was, in. many ways, a cruel one. The ever-present threat of the Dark Alley led to a city often plagued by fear and violence." "But," she continued, "these things still exist today. They are simply easier to ignore. Over the past several days, I have twice nearly been killed by denizens of the alleys. Had they succeeded, I have no doubt that I would simply have been written out of the WorldForgery, and you would have continued your life unaware that there ever was such a person as Alanis Sheneth. Is this safety, or merely the illusion of bliss that is afforded by ignorance? I understand that it is often easier to turn a blind eye to the world's horrors, but given a choice between the easy lie and the difficult truth, I will always choose the truth."
  9. I have a question about the new character sheet that's specific to my character, if any mods could help me out. I would consider Aln's scholarship/intelligence to be her major merit, because that's the skill that her character is built around. But, obviously, 3rd oath Knight Radiant is also a major merit. Her bane does interact with her Radiant powers in a way that makes them less powerful - but I'm not sure if that's enough to downgrade it to a normal merit, since that'll only apply in some scenarios. Do I need to tweak this power balance, or does the fact that these advancements were previously approved mean that I can keep both merits?
  10. Aln met his eyes. "I don't just believe it. I remember it." She pointed at the pictures decorating the papers - great birds of flame circling above a crumbling skyscraper, strangely twisted beasts running through the streets, a figure seen at a great distance hanging in the sky, hand outstretched over the city - and they fuzzed into stormlight for a moment. "These are no 'doctored images'. These are lightwoven recreations of my own memories, memories that every resident of the Alleycity should share. Our collective history was rewritten by beings that treat our lives as their playthings. Somehow I managed to slip through the cracks of their WorldForgery, but the majority of the Alleycity is still under their control. I believe that the 'folklore' you study is the last remnant of our true history bleeding through into the stories we tell." "I hope that you will be willing to believe me. I understand that this is quite a bold claim to swallow, but I have sworn myself to seek truth - I may be mistaken, but I am not deliberately lying to you. This is perhaps the greatest deception in the history of the world, but this newspaper and these images may have the power to take it down. I only apologize for the risk that this forces you to take."
  11. If you want to be focused on research, you're also welcome to join the Scholar's Guild. It might be easier to be a subsection of a larger guild than to try and get other players for something so specific. Up to you, though! New guilds are fun.
  12. Acacia Smedry was getting tired of her job. It's not that she was bored, not really - there was always plenty of weird news to go around. It's just that that news had been getting a lot less fun. It used to be that the most unsettling reports they got were of flying cats or strange patches of greenery in alleys. But now there was talk of an explosion at the hospital, of strange creatures glimpsed in alleys and sewers, of people vanishing, of an attack at the Scholar's Guild. Heck, on that point, Acacia's boss had apparently vanished. Who knew if she'd even have a job much long- Acacia's feet fell off her desk. "Al- Ms. Sheneth?" "Aln is fine," said the guild leader, pushing open the door to Acacia's office and promptly tripping over a poorly placed stool. She seemed physically unharmed, despite the torn and dirtied state of her clothing, and she clutched a sheaf of papers in her hands. "What happened to you? We're printing a story on the Scholar's Guild attack right now; we thought you were-" "Cancel it," said Aln. "I have a very important edition for you to run. How quickly can you have this to the press?" Acacia took the papers and started flipping through them. "The Dark Alley? 'Voidus'? No offense Aln, but did you get hit in the head during that attack?" "It's not a conspiracy theory," she said. "I have proof - or at least very compelling evidence - that our reality has been altered by a SoulForgery on a grand scale, enacted by a group of incredibly powerful and secretive demigods. I have a way to counteract this Forgery, but it requires the use of this newspaper. Will you help?" "I- what?" "Unfortunately," said Aln. "I may have to ask you to just trust me on this. I don't know how much time we have before the beings who attacked the Guild find me again, and it's very important that these images get distributed." Acacia blinked for a moment, then shrugged. "It's still not weirder than some of what my cousins ask me to do. I'll get my team on it, and we should be able to have this out on the streets in the next day or two." She stuck her head out of the door and hollered, "Hey Bell, get in here! We need to get these papers formatted for print ASAP!" @Arlin
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