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News Archive

Past articles from the newsbox on my home node.


5/05/05 Starting a page for logs of my nascent JungleBook game.

4/22/05 I revised a number of hearthstones which I'd grown dissatisfied with.

  • Air: Stone of Fog (power+)
  • Earth: Virgin's Tear (power+), Fly in Amber Stone (power-)
  • Fire: Stone of Purifying Flames (usefulness+), Essence Torch (addressed special case), Gem of Virtue's Bright Beacon (tiny clarification)
  • Water: Gemstone of Essence Undertow (power+), Tear of Drowning Sorrow (power+)
  • Wood: Stone of Rejuvenating Passion (totally altered), Jewel of Selfless Love (new mechanics incorporating PG material)
  • Abyssal: Stone of Fear (power-)
  • Lunar: Stone of Startling Reorientation (tweaked mechanics, description), Faithful Phantasm Stone (renamed from Chimera Stone to avoid collision with canon terminology), Lunatic's Gem (power-, made more interesting)
  • Sidereal: Anchor Stone (power+, made more interesting)
  • Solar: Promise Stone (tweaked mechanics), Jewel of the Immaculate Heart (tiny clarification)

3/12/05 New(ish) character, new(ish) picture.

Also new blog; the old one is where you should go if you want "content." The new one is where you should go if you want to stalk me and/ or occasionally hear about things you probably won't care about.

Hi. Any chance of more stories after TheBeggarGods? I'm dying to read more. - Voidstate
I've actually had much of Maresuki's story planned out for a while now, but for various reasons have not written them down in narrative form. I'd like to do it eventually, but probably won't get to it for a while. Laziness aside, I have RL stuff which needs doing before the end of the month. _Ikselam

2/22/05 Posted the hearthstones seen a month or so ago on the WW forum, bringing the total up to 200. There probably won't be any new ones for a while.

  • Air: Azure Tether Gem, Crystal Bubble, Stone of Many Tongues
  • Earth: Sludge Stone
  • Fire: Firefly Gem, Gem of Hunger, Wildfire Rumor Gem
  • Water: Gem of Dissolution, Gem of Consequences
  • Wood: Blood Reservoir Jewel, Stone of the Living Sheath, Kudzu-Calling Orb, Entangled Roots Gem
  • Lunar: Blind Spot Gem
  • Solar: Gem of Brotherhood

12/29/04 I finally got around to posting the backlog of hearthstones I had accumulated over the past couple months. All of them have been seen elsewhere previously; the ones you don't recognize from CrunchRelay were posted to the WW forums at some point.

  • Air: Tiny Screamer, Gem of Puzzles, Crosswind Jewel, Eye of the Tornado, Gem of Dreamer's Leap, Orb of Leafless Winter, Jewel of the Immortal Mind.
  • Earth: Gem of Smooth Marble, Jewel of Protean Nomenclature, Dancing Crane Egg, Forge-Belly Nugget, Marathon Gem, Eye-for-an-Eye Gem, Fly in Amber Stone, Gizzard Stone, Crystal of the Frozen Moment
  • Fire: Gem of Fiery Catharsis, Gem of the Feverish Muse, Stone of Rhymes, Gem of Burning Exorcism, Lust-Kindling Gem, Heavenly Soul Incense Gem, Stone of the Burning Soul
  • Water: Band of Thieves Gem, Duck's Back Stone, Mourner's Orb, Shimmering Scales Lure, Breaking Heart Gem, Sounding Stone, Stone of Diamond Tears, Traitor's Heart
  • Wood: Maggot Gem, Vintner's Gem, Wombstone, Gourd of Rebirth, Homunculus Egg, Insidious Worm Stone
  • Abyssal: Deathmask Gem, Stone of Two Worlds, Gem of the Whistling Void, Voice of Oblivion
  • Lunar: Wolfpack Gem, Twisty Fate Gem, Devourer
  • Sidereal: Birthstone, Gem of No Mind, Gem of Cryptic Guidance, Reconciler's Gem
  • Solar: Gem of Binding Judgment, Sunning Stone, Stone of Hours

My next project (to put off forever before finally buckling down and doing it) is to go through and revise those of my hearthstones with which I am unsatisfied. That and write PotW -- though I suspect more people care about the HearthStones than WBM, these days.

You can also see a new illustration I did a couple weeks ago.

10/07/04 RecentChanges is back, so I am, too. I'm still going to be putting some stuff -- possibly non-Exalted-related -- on charwiki, since it has some features which enable it to do certain things better / more easily than ExaltedWiki can.

In the meantime... CrunchRelay! WBM! Go and do them!

I also drew a new picture a few days ago. This one is in color!

9/27/04 Since the current state of ExaltedWiki is creeping ever closer toward "nonfunctional," I'll be posting any new stuff I come up with on this other wiki, as well as copying over most of the old stuff. The stuff I have here will remain here, but don't look for anything new until and unless RecentChanges starts working again.

9/14/04 I'd been meaning to do this for a while, but only now mustered up the will to sit down for the hour or two it took to slog through: MeritFlawIndex.

9/11/04 Hey Ikselam, how do you pronounce your name?
~ Shataina

The smartass response to this question is that my name is usually pronounced "RAH-jer." Ikselam doesn't really get used a whole lot when I'm communicating by voice, but if it did, it would be "ICK" like what you say when you have a booger stuck to your finger, plus "salaam" like what you'd do when greeting one of your Muslim brothers. _Ikselam
Aha. Good to know. Everyone who was guessing loses; your pronounciation was entirely unforeseen. Nice work. <grin> In the meantime, out of random curiosity, is it a nonsense word or actually derived from something?
~ Shataina
My real name is at the top of the page. "Ikselam" is derived from it in a fairly simple way. _Ikselam

8/14/04 Posted a new picture. This one is pretty lazy in terms of composition and stuff, but I think it ended up looking pretty good.

8/14/04 Gotta write this down before I forget. There needs to, somewhere, sometime, be a scene where characters enter or leave Yu-Shan, and find that the gate guardians are the Three Billy Goats Gruff.

7/26/04 Need to come up with a better name than IkselamGodBloodGame.

7/19/04Ikselam/GameProposal is up; go look and see if you might be interested.

Also, anyone who actually frequents my page should go and read TheT's stories. They are very entertaining, and well-written, with a great "old-school" fantasy style.

7/15/04 Note to self: write upIkselam/GameProposal for that GodBlooded game I talked about on WoDIRC the other night.

Past Ikselam/Archive)

7/07/04 Wrote up some new SolarOccult Charms. They'll probably be reworked at least once before I consider them final.

6/30/04 Drew a picture of dissolvegirl's character from ScrollAndSwordCircle. See it here.

I've also started a new game-type project, CrunchRelay. If you like coming up with crunch, give it a gander!

6/29/04 I put up some thoughts about how to make combat slightly more rational. CombatPlus is still in the very-rough-draft stage, so feel free to chime in with comments.

I have all these ideas for Charms and HearthStones lying around; I may attempt to get some of them written up before the end of the week. I should also write down what I thought about the PlayersGuide, seeing as I've finally finished the darn thing...

6/19/04 I drew my first Lunar Exalted tonight. It was surprisingly effortless to do the tattoos and stuff. As usual, it's posted on my blog.

6/16/04 Well, I finished AB: Earth about a week ago, so now you get to hear my reactions to it, now that a month has passed since its release and my opinions no longer have immediate relevance!


6/15/04 The wiki rises again, more powerful than ever before. Thanks to DaveFayram for getting things running again.

I'm sort of fiddling with even more HearthStones, which may be popping up in the next couple days. I also drew a picture of my character for willows' ScrollAndSwordCircle game; you can see it on the blog.

I also read Aspect Book: Earth (thanks, Domino!), which I liked; I'll probably post a mini-review sometime reasonably soon. I continue to slog my way through the Player's Guide; MailAndSteel was a complete mess, and I'm really dreading the MartialArts chapter. I have no idea when I'm actually going to finish reading the darn thing.

5/08/04 Last night, I was chatting on IRC, and had a mini-argument with DaveFayram and haren about stunts. Their position was basically that two-die stunts should be given out pretty frequently; I disagreed. On the way home from work today, I suddenly realized why my instinct is to be less generous with stunts than most people seem to be: it's because I want to give awards just for doing a stunt, even if the associated action fails. Obviously, if the award only occurs when the roll actually succeeds (e.g., your stunted attack only recharges motes/willpower if you actually hit), as per the actual rules, it's not particularly unbalancing, because there's a non-negligible chance that your roll will fail. My problem isn't that I'm stingy -- it's that my tendency is to be too generous!

I remain leery of granting generous stunt bonuses to actions which use perfect-effect Charms, though -- since you know HGD will never fail to parry an attack, you should need to stunt harder with it in order to get back that willpower point.

5/02/04 I did an illustration for the ExaltedBeachVolleyball team consisting of my and Dissolvegirl's characters. Yay!

4/29/04 Last night, BogMod, Telgar, Jydan and I playtested ExaltedBeachVolleyball on IRC. It rocks harder than Led Zeppelin IV! Visit Discussions/ExaltedBeachVolleyballLeague and sign up to enter your character in the league championships!

I'll probably post the log of the playtest later tonight, or tomorrow.

4/21/04 Chapter six of CtS has been posted. I'll probably get to updating the cast and plot pages tomorrow.

4/15/04 After a lengthy hiatus, I have posted a new drawing.

I'm also finished with Blood & Salt. It was very good, much better than Halta or Outcaste. There was not really anything I disliked about it, aside from a couple of nitpicks: reprinted powers/loot, Dukantha too powerful (Essence 8? C'mon). The use of Solar Charms to represent Lintha GB powers didn't really bother me.

Overall, I liked the An-Teng section best. It's a setting which just begs for PCs to come busting in and do stuff; it has all manner of instabilities, quirks, and outright failings which would be easy to parlay into a spiffy-keen storyline. I also just liked the general feel of it.

Lintha were okay. They did not blow me away with coolness, but it seemed like they could make an interesting addition to certain types of games. I liked how their island was actually an insane, slowly dying demon.

Having finished that up, I'm now working my way into the Player's Guide. I'm up to the Thaumaturgy chapter. So far, my feelings have been ambivalent. Merits and Flaws are something I'd wished would stay out of Exalted; I've had far too many bad experiences with them in the past (mainly in Vampire) to think of them as a force for good, and honestly, very few of the ones presented in this book did anything to alter than perception. There weren't a whole lot of truly awful ones, but none of them really made me sit up and say, "Golly gee whiz, this rules!"

Aside from my negative past experiences with them, I think Merits and Flaws are a bad idea in general. They tend to bring the whole minmax sensibility into creating character quirks, which I think is a bad thing. You start getting into the mindset that in order for your character to be in love, you've got to buy True Love; in order for her to have a Lunar ex running around, you've got to have that particular Merit. If he's a huge muscleman, you need to buy Huge Size. If he's short, it entitles you to extra points. If he's superstitious, that's also extra points. And so on. I don't really have a problem with assigning point values to outlandish supernatural benefits and drawbacks, but I think assigning point values to personality traits (and even some physical traits) tends to have a negative effect.

Moving on, the God-Blooded chapter was okay. It's not how I would have done them. Specifically, it really puts the lie to Merits and Flaws being an optional system. When a certain type of chargen is framed in terms of Merits and Flaws, they are no longer optional. I can see why it was done, but I don't agree with the decision to actually call the GB (dis)advantages "Merits and Flaws." Semantic games, I know; it still would make me much more comfortable with GBs if they were divorced from a system which I consider highly problematic.

The splats themselves seemed reasonably well thought out. I think Ghost-Blooded are a dumb idea, but I'm pretty sure that, like Alchemicals, it's something I won't have too much trouble accepting in the long run. My major quibbles with the chapter, aside from the one noted above, were twofold:

  1. Max Essence = 3. Why? We've been told before that it was 2. All that increasing it to 3 does is make Half-Castes capable of learning almost every printed Exalted Charm, and allow GBs to learn Sorcery (which I suspect may have been the reason for the change). I don't think this was a particularly good idea.
  2. Fae-Blooded. I don't care that they exist, or that they get super-kickass powers, or that their super-kickass powers take up more space than anyone else's (although I'll have some words to say if actual fairies turn out to construct their powers in terms of Merits and Flaws). What I do care about is that every other book so far has referred to the Fair Folk as "fey," not "fae." It's an annoying inconsistency which shouldn't have made it past the editor.

Despite my disagreements with some of the choices made in this chapter, it was competently executed. I'd have certainly done it differently, but it is by no means without value. Unlike Merits and Flaws, I'm more likely to take GBs than to leave them.

Doubling back, way back, all the way to the point where the book is closed... I thought the cover was pretty neat. Specifically, I thought the two foreground characters were spiffy. Heysha's phenotype is not even close to achievable in the real world, but it works for me because she's a Snake Totem, and being skinny with extra-long legs makes her look serpentine. Shado likewise looks nifty with his cloud. The background is kind of colorless for my taste, but since it's in the background, I can ignore the fact that it looks like a Quake level.

The character sketches on the inside cover were also pretty neat. Interior art has so far been okay. I haven't seen anything which really jumps out at me, for good or for ill.

Overall, I suspect my feelings about this book will be neutral. The reason for this is that it's mostly crunch, and I just don't care about crunch all that much. It'll be useful, but it'll be useful in the same way that the Dungeon Master's Guide is useful, not in the way that Blood & Salt, or Scavenger Sons, or even the various fatsplats are useful.

4/03/04 About 1/3 of the way through Blood & Salt. So far, my reaction has been very positive. An-Teng was really excellent, and Lintha seem okay so far.

I'm holding back on really delving into the Player's Guide until I finish B&S. I expect that I'll complain about the plethora of Merits, Flaws, and Martial Arts. I may also complain about the way Infernal Exalted are shaping up, for somewhat different and slightly more subjective reasons. When talking about the Dragon King bit, I will probably make a Dinosaurs v. Robots joke.

I blogified another sketch; this one isn't finished. I just kind of threw it up there for the heck of it, since the pose wasn't really working out, and I couldn't come up with a good costume concept. I got an idea for another picture today, but it might be a little complex for my current skill level to handle. We'll see.

I should probably sign up for another WBM part pretty soon. It seems we're in a slow spell, and the two stories which already have several parts seem to be reaching points where they need to move out of "beginning mode" (where new characters and plot twists occur every episode) into "middle mode" (where the story starts consolidating into a main groove, and relies more on developing what's already there).

*suggests that you do the next bit of CtS* I would step in and write something for one of the two longer stories myself, but I feel like my hand was in those too recently for that. What's your position on storyline branching? (That is, the creation of multiple alternate continuations of a storyline, which are independent, rather than the "parallel components of the same storyline" matter that you actually have discussed in your guidelines.) - willows
I also think I should probably sign up for CtS, but to be honest, I have no idea where the story is going, or where it should be going. I'll probably try to sit down sometime this week and just bull my way through an analysis, but until then, I'm reluctant to touch it.\\

My position on alt-uni branches is that they should probably be avoided. Unlike same-continuity branches, it's really easy to construe (and conceive of) an alt-uni branch as an implicit criticism of the part it "replaces." A focus on preventing/replacing "bad parts" instead of trying to go with the flow was, I feel, one of the things which killed Improfanfic. \\ _Ikselam

The reason I ask is that I'm impatient to write, hate scripts, and don't want to wait for Dim to finish his CaKe part. I suppose that my impatience could be interpreted as an implicit critique of Dim's writing in general, which is harsh critique indeed. I can only hope that we all trust each other to make our critiques explicit, and assume that the rest do the same. At any rate, I'll think about whether I should add to one of the other stories in the meantime. - willows

I saw your signup for CtS. Vaya con dios. --dissolvegirl, as always, mercenary sounding-board for hire

3/28/04 I finished reading the Outcaste book today. Overall, it was okay. The quality of the writing was good overall, and there were some interesting ideas. There was a recurring proofreading error, where "lead" was used instead of "led," but at least I didn't see a lot of its/it's mistakes. There was also that one artist who got kind of nipple-happy (yeah, I, uh, read Exalted supplements for the articles, really...).

Lookshy: This was my least favorite chapter. All of my major gripes about Halta also apply to Lookshy. It's a military dictatorship -- but wait, it's also a meritocracy! Everyone has to serve in the military -- but they don't mind! Even the serfs are happy and content with their lot! There used to be corruption in the bad old days, sure, but then a secretive cabal of altruistic patriots contrived to assassinate all the bad officers! Yeah. I hope that someday, we get an Exalted supplement which details a large, sophisticated nation which is not an enlightened meritocracy (and is not the Realm). At least they don't have talking animal friends...

I also was not a huge fan of the Lookshy crunch. It felt too technological, too much like the author was just directly porting over sci-fi tropes and replacing all instances of "laser" and "atomic" with "Essence." Surely Essence cannons could have been made more interesting. Surely the power armor could have been jazzed up somehow. A lot of the Magitek stuff just felt wrong to me, too much "tek" and not enough "magi." Oh, and Craft(war) is... well... it's a bad idea.

On the plus side, the Charms weren't bad, and the basic idea of Lookshy is fairly interesting. I wouldn't have even had much trouble with the way its society was described, if any hint had been given that it had failings.

Eos and Ossissa: Someone on the WW board said that this felt kind of like the writeup of someone's Exalted campaign, and I'm forced to agree. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though. It would have probably come off better if it had actually been presented as a semi-freeform adventure, like Spirit Exiles of the Western Ocean (my favorite part of ToT). I liked how the Wyld was transforming the characters into archetypes, instead of physically mutating them.

The characters' stats were kind of out-of-control. Ossissa has Essence 6? Also, as noted above, I think the material would have benefited from giving the characters some kind of loose dramatic framework within which to exist.

Forest Witches: I have mixed feelings on this one. It's very well-written, and very atmospheric. However, I'm not totally comfortable with something this postmodern existing within Creation; one of the things I like about Exalted is that, to date, it's been pretty modernist. Truth exists, reality is fairly objective, and hardcore fairy-tale logic usually only operates in places where, you know, fairies actually live. This place feels like it should be a Wyld domain.

From a more in-game viewpoint, I think that the Sea of Mind and the Mist are evils which must be destroyed. The area the Forest Witches frequent is too heavily informed by its nightmarish, nihilistic origins to be a force for good. And the Witches themselves are, not to put too fine a point on it, delusional jerks.

So I don't really know. The fact that the material provoked an emotional response from me (beyond the likes of "these artifacts are teh suck") makes me think that I should place it in the "good" category.

Appendix: No strong feelings one way or the other on this one. It's fairly straightforward, somewhat dry stuff dealing with how outcastes in general do their thing. Some good info on how the Dynasty handles non-Dynast DBs, and a pretty good overview of what kinds of stuff outcastes are likely to be up to in each cardinal direction.

Conclusion: This book did not r0xx0r my s0xx0rz, but neither did it suck. There are some things in it which I think are really neat, and others which I think are really dumb. There are things in it which I would have thought were really neat had they been presented in a slightly different way. In its current state, I'm lukewarm. It's a solid addition to my Exalted shelf.

On to Blood & Salt, which I may even manage to finish by the time my Player's Guide arrives.

3/21/04 Posted a bunch of new HearthStones:

  • Air: Gem of Wind Dragon's Breath, Gemstone of Perfect Clarity, Stone of Flexible Thinking
  • Earth: Guardian Gem, Loamstone, Resolve-Strengthening Essence Nugget
  • Fire: The Hot Potato (improved!), Essence Torch, Smeltstone
  • Water: Heart-Echo Jewel, Gemstone of the Mazy Mind, Barnacle of Instant Success
  • Wood: Gem of the Preening Peacock, Budding Gem, Seed of Riotous Life
  • Celestial: Stone of Bodily Perfection (Solar), Lens of Beguiling Mystery (Lunar), Ghost Lantern (Abyssal), Stone of Harmonious Conjunction (Sidereal)

It occurred to me earlier today that it could be cool/fun to start coming up with Manses for all of these stones. It also occurred to me that this might make a fun collaborative project. If anyone would be interested in helping to create short Manse writeups for my hearthstones, let me know. (This could also be easily extended to other people's HearthStones, too, if they don't mind.) I have what I think is a pretty good idea for link format; if there's interest, I'll demonstrate it sooner rather than later.

Well, I know there's at least one manse at Locations/AThousandAndOneManses that uses one of your hearthstones.. --dissolvegirl

Man, I've totally lost track of what wiki content is available. I went ahead and linked to that Manse from the Stone Potato.\\


3/18/04 CaKe chapter is up. I ended up spending literally all night working on it; it turned out substantially different, and longer, than I'd expected, but audience reaction so far seems positive. Now I just need to do my state taxes, wikify HearthStones, think about a picture, and go to bed early.

In other news, I yesterday bought Tupac Shakur's album, Strictly For My Niggaz. (Considering that I'm as white as the snow which covers my home state of Vermont for roughly a third of the year, this purchase may be the single most ironic act of my entire life.) I don't generally appreciate gangsta rap, but "Holler if Ya Hear Me" is one of the best pump-up songs I've ever heard. And while Tupac does his share of glorifying violence and crime, there at least appears to be more to him than empty materialism and rote machismo. It's kind of depressing to think that he was only one year older than me when he was murdered.

Now that I think about it, it may be that Tupac may have been a very indirect inspiration for the character of Five Tears of Forgiveness, in my CaKe part. Not so much his personality or lyrics, which are pretty obviously (in game terms) those of a Zenith Caste Solar, but the expression he has on a number of his album covers (and on the poster for the recent movie biography).

On a more fun and wacky note, try this. This week's Onion also has an article about the U.S. Secretary of Defense's martial prowess.

3/15/04 Rocky going on CaKe part. I have a pretty complete outline, but am having trouble building up steam on the actual story. The old "visual thinking" thing making trouble for me again (no doubt aggravated by recent forays back into the world of visual art). I also squandered my free time last week, allowing myself to be distracted by HearthStones and wang (hm... should archive that thread before it vanishes...). I'll do my best to have something by Wednesday night, though.

Also holding back on the HearthStones; I thought up the Hot Potato, so now I have to come up with another stone for each element. I like to keep the numbers balanced. I will probably start putting them up as soon as I triumph over my WBM part.

-The wang was the best thing ever. :) Good luck with your CaKe. I've got nothing going on.. ever, so if you need a sounding board, you've got my email. --dissolvegirl

3/11/04 I've made up a new batch of HearthStones, which I will wikify in the next day or two. I also seem to have reached breakthrough for my CaKe part; it came in the form of a costume concept which floated into my still-groggy head this morning as I woke up. Pretty wild, huh? No I just gotta start writing the thing. Hopefully I'll have a day off between now and Wednesday. Also gotta come up with a concept for another sketch.

Note to self: Telgar's game is tomorrow. Hopefully he won't cancel due to school concert, as happened last week.

3/7/04 Another picture is up. I did this one all in one sitting; for the last couple, I did the rough one night, then inked it the next.

2/28/04 Blogified another picture. It also looks like I will be playing in Telgar's online game, barring catastrophic misadventure, which will hopefully be fun. I'm familiar with a couple of the other players from the forum and this place, which is a plus.

I think I speak for everyone (or a great deal at least) when I say 'Woo! Have fun!' If I had Fridays off and knew irc better I would've tried. -MidKnight

2/23/04 This whole "having a hobby you never actually do" thing is getting to me. Working out some way to start playing again might not make the winter of my discontent into glorious summer, but it would sure be a start. I wish I had a regular work schedule so I could do an online game. I wish all the roleplayers I know didn't live in Vermont. I wish I had "real" people to talk about role-playing with, instead of just names on a screen. I wish...

Hplovescats said something to the effect of "dude, you're being really grumpy" on the WW forum today. It was something I'd been noticing for a while. It seems like I now spend all my time snapping at fanboys or making curmudgeonly remarks, and very little talking about stuff that I like, or making up new things. It's easy to blame other people for this -- they worship Neph and Rebecca too much, they don't seem interested in ideas I think are cool, they just want to complain, they hate puppies and baby seals, whatever -- but I think it really is me. I hope it's just a mood swing or something. I'd hate to think that I've fallen out of love with this hobby and am just sticking with it out of rote habit. Over the past year, I've played a grand total of, like, two sessions of any kind of real-life RPG, which totally sucks. I would really like to have a group, even if it was just an IRC channel or something, but I'm running into the "not willing to stick neck out and make it happen" problem which has been way too endemic to my life's endeavour so far.

This is in danger of becoming a general-purpose mopefest, so I'm going to stop there. Summary: feeling depressed, blame lack of self-actualization in general and lack of gaming group in particular. Need to get out more, or something.

In other news, it looks like TheMyriadOfShades has scheduled his WBM part, so I won't have to bug him about it like I'd been thinking I might. Go forth, good people, and sign up.

Speaking of writing, this seems like as good a time as any to respond to the "why aren't you doing the Lexicon?" questions which have been cropping up from time to time. The reason I'm not doing the Lexicon mainly stems from the fact that I haven't been doing it from the start. If I wanted to do it properly, I'd need to review a lot of the stuff that's up there now, since I haven't been following it as it went up. I'm also just not in the right frame of mind for it. This has little to do with me being more melancholy than usual; whenever I think about contributing, something about the format just clashes with the way my creative process is currently functioning. So I may not ever actually contribute, even though part of me would like to (if only to prove to myself that I'm not just subconsciously boycotting it because I'm grumpy that people "don't have time" for a WBM part, but somehow manage to constantly fill in Lexicon entries).

The existentialism here tonight is thick enough to stick a fork in, huh?


2/18/04 Another drawing is posted to the blog.

2/15/04 More pictures up: an Eastern barbarian who's been there since the 10th, and Jei Pen-Yen, whose name may sound familiar if you've perused my rank two Artifacts or this Circle idea.

If Jabberwocky or anyone else is interested in doing more coloring, and would like outline-only versions of any or all of the entries to date, email me.

2/9/04 I've decided that I should start drawing again. So, in an effort to whip my rusty artistic skills back into shape, I'm going to try to finish and post a sketch every couple of days. It's likely that a fair number of them will be Exalted-related; today's is.

Cross-posted on the WWMB, but... I was bored and figured I'd color something. Your practice was close at hand, hence this. I figured I'd get some practice out of it myself -- I'd like to work with more vibrant colors, but it was much easier to stick to a low-impact palatte. At any rate, keep up the good work. _Jabberwocky

In other news, another WBM part is up! Go and read it! Then sign up to write your own!

2/3/04 Incubus' new album came out today, and I bought it because they are my favorite band. I'll need to listen to it a couple more times before I can form a complete opinion. It's certainly different from their previous albums (which is pretty much par for the course), but I can't yet fully quantify what makes it different. I think the fact that they traded in their bassist has something to do with it; it also has a different emotional vibe to it, more earthly as opposed to the airiness of Morning View (and to a lesser extent, Make Yourself -- which I actually didn't like the first time I heard it, but is now my favorite Incubus record).

In other news, I finally got around to fiddling with the actual blog DaveFayram set up for me. It is at www.lensmen.net/blog/ikselam if you feel like reading a story about a killer spider robot's efforts to understand CSS.

Movable Type is so evil. I can never get MT blogs to display reliably on my box; the lines of text are always too close together (like, not "unattractively close", but "ascenders and descenders tangle" close) and they disappear when I try to scroll. Sad. - willows

Hey, when's your birthday, big R? Domino

Monday. February ninth.\\ _Ikselam

1/24/04 Hey Ikselam, why haven't you joined in the Lexicon? It's lots of fun! - Quendalon

Partly because I was busy with other projects, partly because my idea for "A" (amaranth) was a) too easily confused with an existing entry and b) didn't really want to come together in the first place. I may eventually join in. Just as you will eventually join in WBM, I trust?

WBM looks pretty cool, but I've concluded that the wordcount makes it too much of a time and creativity investment for me to handle. I have my hands full just keeping up with my session write-ups. The Lexicon is much more my speed - it's just little snippets that I can put together in a free half hour at work, rather than a huge chunk of text that'll take up hours of precious free time, of which I have much less than I'd like these days. - Quendalon

I had this idea that there could be a 'prose poem' version of WBM. Not quite the magnitude of Nobilis microfiction, but, like, a page or so per chapter; something that could have a very short turnover rate and be easy to jump in and out of. The distinction between it and the Lexicon, o'course, would be that the bits would have explicit continuity; you could pretend they were, say, translations of a poetic saga. - willows

1/15/04 Story starter is up on WBM. Now go and sign up! This bugger took much more effort than it should have, so I'll, like, totally run amok through Tokyo with my psychic powers if it turns out to be for naught.

Note to self: Go to bed. Now.

1/05/04 Threw together a front page for WhirlwindBrushMethod. I hope to have a story starter up by the twelfth of the month.

1/01/04 Happy New Year, everybody. If last year sucked for you, I hope the coming one is better. If it rocked, then rock on.

12/25/03 Hey, Incubus is coming out with a new album in February! It'll be just in time for my birthday. Right on!

12/24/03 It's about 1.25 hours until Christmas day in the Eastern time zone. Remember, boys and girls: love and peace make baby Jesus smile! Even if you don't celebrate Christmas, or care about baby Jesus' emotional state, you've gotta admit that love and peace are pretty swell. Do me a favor and spread some around before the year ends, a?

Thanks to:

  • Domino, for being my RL pal. I need to write him a letter, or something. Damn straight!
  • DaveFayram, for setting up this neato-spiffy website for me to fool with.
  • Guybrush, for hosting my stuff on his website.
  • Quendalon, for being interested in HearthStones!
  • Balthasar, for being interested in Infernal Exalted!
  • Anyone else who ever comments on the Exalted stuff I constantly spew out!
  • Geoff Grabowski, and all the other people responsible for Exalted.
  • China Miéville, whose novels were head-and-shoulders the best things I read all year. Jim Butcher, whose novels were some of the most entertaining things I read all year. Neal Stephenson, for a most excellent and picaresque portrayal of the Age of Reason. William Gibson, for showing that he's still got it.
  • Alan Moore, Chris Bachalo, Barbara Kesel, and the other artists and writers whose comics I've enjoyed.
  • OutKast, Ryan Adams, Electric Six, Pearl Jam, Blackalicious, Incubus, Rage Against the Machine, Rush, and every other recording artist whose music I enjoyed over the past 365 days.
  • My family, for being functional, and generally a bunch of cool cats.
  • The people I live with, for being fairly responsible and well-adjusted. And for owning friendly cats!
  • My co-workers at the record store, for being a pretty agreeable lot.
  • All those last-minute Christmas shoppers who didn't freak out at me over the past couple days.
  • Pat, Esther, Tom, and all my other good friends who don't play Exalted, and are almost certainly not reading this.

12/22/03 So I get on the subway with my bag of groceries, right? And as the train pulls out of the station, this dude standing across the car from me starts preaching, I mean like good old-fashioned born-again tent revival stuff. Two minutes later, when we arrive at my stop and I get off, I see this guy dressed up like a pirate. It didn't look like he considered it a costume.

This world is so fricking cool.

12/18/03 I watched The Storm Riders last night. Very Dragonbloody. At first, I was unimpressed by the corny CG effects, but by the end, I had concluded that they added to the overall experience. My favorite part had to be the very first lines:

Young Cloud: Father, do you have a name for this sword?\\ Cloud's Dad: It's called "The Ultimate Sword." It's the best sword I've made in my life!

That, and the fact that the Shaolin monk looked like he belonged in a gay bar.


I was feelin' like I was on the outs with my Muse\\

Like I come home at night, find another man's shoes\\ Under her bed, felt like inspiration's dead, \\ Just sittin' there trippin' on existential dread\\ But then one-two, a sudden epiphany\\ Like the fists of Ali right-left it's hittin' me\\ Splittin' my skull, knockin' ideas out my head\\ Like the birth of Athena, gotta seize 'em and spread\\ 'Em out to be seen and critiqued once they're read\\ Just lay down the ink like it's butter on bread\\ So now I'm takin' some time, whippin' shit into line\\ I'm gonna take it and shape it\\ Break it down like an enzyme

12/12/03 Despite note to self, still reading MegaTokyo. Shit!

12/10/03 Note to self: stop reading MegaTokyo. It's just not worth it anymore.

12/02/03 I've had some partially-developed Circle ideas sitting around forever, and I figured I'd put them up in unfinished form. Perhaps someone will be able to draw inspiration from them.

Ikselam. I sent you an email on the nature of this wiki page. Did it arrive? If so, a "yes", "no", or "maybe, let me consider it" would be appreciated. :) -- DaveFayram

Yeah, got it. Thinking about it. Will have decision on Friday. Sorry for not responding promptly... kind of frazzled these past couple days. Tired.\\ _Ikselam

12/01/03 Since man does not live by role-playing games alone, I went out and spent some money on comic books. I bought collected editions of Promethea and Steampunk. Both make use of some unusual and visually interesting layout and design techniques. I think I like Steampunk better; it's less pretentious, and the deliriously baroque illustration style makes me remember a dystopian steampunk fantasy setting I outlined a couple years ago, while riding a combined black mood and creative burst (this is also one of the reasons I like the novel Perdido Street Station so much). I remember that at one point, while I was talking about the project with my best friend, he showed me a Steampunk comic. There exists the distinct possibility that I had glanced at the comic some time previously, and that it was one of the subconscious inspirations for my ideas. Don't know.

  • I just bought Mieville's King Rat for a dull train ride. I don't think I like it as much as Perdido Street Station, but it has thus-far filled my thirst for something baroque, and the modern London setting is an interesting slate for Mieville's work, especially parallel to the dark fantasy setting of New Crobuzon and thereabouts. I debated getting The Scar, but the combo deal for it and Perdido on Amazon seemed like a better idea. ~Jabberwocky

King Rat is good (I could practically hear the jungle/techno soundtrack going in the background), but The Scar is the best book I've read all year. I really like it. I unfortunately don't have a cute one-liner description of it, like I do for Perdido Street Station ("Alien meets Charles Dickens").\\ _Ikselam

11/19/03 I bought the new Star Wars game (new for PC, anyway), Knights of the Old Republic. The good news is that I'm only an hour into it, and it's already pretty hot. The bad news is that there's a bug associated with my motherboard which causes severe, intermittent lag. But more good news: I can work around the bug by forcing software sound.

On more salient fronts, I'm working a pretty grueling schedule next week. Hopefully I will have the good sense to not attempt to maintain a strong online presence during that time. However, I'm increasingly conscious of the fact that I haven't really produced any new Exalted content for a while; I'm going to make an effort to put up some actual stuff by Christmas. Probably, I will start filling in the Infernal section. Can't have FourWillowsWeeping upstaging me!

11/15/03 If you have not seen this fan-made video for the Electric Six song "Gay Bar," and have enough bandwidth that your modem won't break down in tears trying to download a large video file, do yourself a favor and watch it. It features everyone's favorite President, George W. Bush, along with his pal Tony Blair, and is absolutely hilarious.

It is, indeed, hilarous. See also the Terrible Secret of Space video - location, unfortunately, unknown to me. domino

11/13/03 Well, sent in my entries for the Player's Guide contest. Seventy-five words is not a lot... also had trouble coming up with a decent concept for a male Solar. That'll teach me for spending so much time looking at girls. I can come up with a dozen interesting designs for female characters in five minutes, because I have a very good empirical grasp of what makes women look interesting (every heterosexual male does). Not so hot with men -- I blame it at least partially on the fact that women's dress clothing tends to be much more interesting than men's. Girls get to dress up like peacocks; boys are stuck looking like penguins. And not those cool penguins with the yellow tufts on their heads, either. I toyed with the idea of a Sephiroth/Allen Schezar-style prettyboy, and a blind monk, but neither of those is particularly original.

My hypothesis is that around 75% of submissions will describe pretty girls. I am interested to see if it will prove correct.

There was something else I was going to talk about here, but I can't remember what it was. Maybe it was how much I like Ryan Adams' new album (it rocks!). I don't think that was it, though. Crap!

I doubt your hypothesis. I find it more likely that the majority of character will describe badass males stemming from the tendancy for players to play someone like them but cooler and the ratio of males to females in our hobby. But hey, I'm interested to see the results also. domino

11/10/03 After monkeying with WEP settings on my new router for a while, I am back online. I'm WiFi, baby!

Welcome back, hombre - Balthasar

Yo. Domino

11/08/03 I saw the new Matrix movie the other day. It was decent. I can't say I liked it as well as the previous two (yes, I liked Reloaded; I left the theater all pumped up and not at all disappointed). This was mainly because almost all of the action took place in the real world, which has always been my least favorite portion of the Matrix universe. Some of the dialogue was a little weak; there are several points where mortally-wounded people gasp out melodramatic last words before expiring -- still, it's nowhere near the level of Star Wars' or Titanic's romantic dialogue. The pacing could also have been tightened up a little, maybe.

However, all in all I thought it was pretty good. The effects were good; although I think the Sentinel design is silly, and the power-armor design is even sillier (no armor for the pilot!?), the big apocalyptic robot battle was pretty well done. The big Smith v. Neo fight was okay; it wasn't beautiful like the flying fight scenes in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but I didn't think it looked foolish (for the most part). I liked the bullet time shot where Neo's fist spattered the raindrops.

Mostly, I liked the ending. I liked it because it was plausible, and because it involved major sacrifice. I was glad that the scriptwriters had the guts to say "no" to a pat, happyhappy conclusion. I was also glad that although the ending was somewhat ambiguous, and left some threads hanging, it still had a sense of finality to it. I doubt there will be more Matrix movies. If there are, I will think twice before seeing them.

One last thing that I liked was the composition which played during the end credits. I think techno with Latin chanting is pretty sweet.

Sanskrit. Asato Maa Sadgamaya is the beginning of a terribly inappropriate hymn, "lead me from the unreal to the real, lead me from darkness to light, from death to immortality..." I thought it was creepy anyway. - FourWillowsWeeping

Ah, I stand corrected. I was wondering why there was a Sanskrit consultant listed in the credits; now my question is answered. Out of curiosity, why do you say "inappropriate"? The lyrics you quote seem fairly appropriate to me.\\ _Ikselam

Does this mean you are once more internet-enabled? Domino

It means that I have the day off and my roommates are out of town, so I have the computer in the living room (to which the DSL cable is connected) all to myself.\\ _Ikselam

11/05/03 I moved to a new apartment and got a job. The good news is that this means I now have income. The bad news is that I don't have an internet connection in my room at the moment; this, in combination with the fact that I'm working full-time, means that I expect to be fairly scarce online for a while.

Sans internet-on-demand, I'm finally biting the bullet and slogging through Thief. It really is quite Exalted-y, in its own little way. It is safe to say that I would never make a good Night Caste, though. Why doesn't Garret have the good sense to pack a repeating crossbow that fires explosive bolts, or some kind of energy weapon? I mean, it's not like he ever goes on an adventure that doesn't involve him being attacked by hordes of zombies, burricks, restless spirits, Hammerite zealots, fire elementals, craymen, giant spiders and God only knows what else. Stealth, schmealth, I say the guy's just unprepared.

10/18/03 Ikselam/ThaRealGhettoShiznit. Word.

10/16/03 Well, the Red Sox managed to once again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I guess the apocalypse can hold off for another year. Too bad, though; they were doing really well right up until the 8th inning when they held off switching out Pedro Martinez just a couple pitches too long. And I really don't like the Yankees.

10/14/03 I went and saw Kill Bill tonight. It was pretty good, for a two-hour fight scene. Uma Thurman certainly got very good mileage out of that Glorious Carnage Typhoon + Artful Maiming Onslaught + Agony-Savoring Spirit combo (used in conjunction with the ever-useful Crimson Banquet Method and Eye of the Tempest, naturellement). Normally, the buckets of blood and gory dismemberment would have turned my stomach, but the whole spectacle was so over-the-top that it became morbidly humorous instead. The gonzo stylistic flourishes helped, too, and I most certainly appreciated that Quentin "Maestro of Mayhem" Tarantino realizes that the basic laws of physics function differently in Japan.

Overall, though, the movie was kind of like Mirror Flag (to use a geeky Exalted simile): all flash, no substance. Perhaps the second episode will remedy that. Perhaps not. I think it's unlikely to address my most basic problem with the plot, namely that I find tales of cold-blooded revenge to be, ultimately, tawdry and dull.

10/13/03 Sat down and finished the Sidereals book next to a Civil War memorial in the park. Nothing really jumped out at me, for good or ill. The Colleges were interesting, and would probably be useful for people who want to put regular astrology-with-a-lowercase-A in their games. The Storytelling section didn't really open up new vistas, I think mainly because Sidereal society is a lot like Vampire society in some pretty important ways, and I have spent a lot of time thinking about Vampire plots in the past. I felt that the roll-dice-to-generate-destiny tables were kind of unnecessary, but I guess stochastic plot works for some people (not me).

My assessment: Sidereals are right up there with Abyssals in terms of being straitjacketed into certain character types. I'm not all fired up to play one, or to run a Sidereal game, because it would be depressing to be a Sidereal. I now know why Sad Ivory is noted as feeling so lonely in her character writeup.

On the other hand, the Charms (with the notable exception of the Super MA) are fun, and all the stuff about Yu-Shan was a real hoot.

  • Nara-O seemed very familiar. It's quite similar, in both personality and appearance, to one of the planetary Incarnae from Rage Across the Heavens (Uranus or Neptune, can't remember which).
  • I liked the God of Ruins (can't remember his name off-hand... something like "Ashur," I think), mainly because his picture was badass. Yuan-ti SMASH!
  • Favorite god name: Black Puppet Mask.
  • Favorite Maiden: Saturn, far and away.
  • Favorite scripture: The Maiden and Her Shadow. Runners-up: the Eternal Maiden and the One-Handed Maiden.
  • Favorite Charm in a tree I thought was completely ill-conceived and out-of-control: Convulsive Displacement Infectious Atemi. Jigsaw Organ Condition made me smile.
  • Cyclops Visor Ninja would totally beat Spiky Knife Ninja in a fight. No contest.
  • Shepherd of the North Star is really bland. I can't figure out why he's on the cover three times.
  • Crimson Banner Executioner looks really cool, especially on the cover where he's going like HWAAAH! with his sword. Ninja, please!
  • Whatsisface, Spiky Knife Ninja, is too angsty for me to take seriously. I also don't care about him because I was hoping for a perky, peppy Saturn Caste mascot whose job definitely does not involve killing people.
  • While May Blossom does have an interesting hairstyle and costume, that doesn't really excuse the fact that she commits one of the most overtly evil acts seen so far in Exalted flavor text.
  • Iron Siaka comes off as a stereotypical dyke, but is nonetheless very likeable. She has the most personality of any of the sigs. Her name was ill-chosen, though; the close similarity to Ebon Siaka caused some cognitive dissonance.
  • Chejop's fiction piece didn't hack me off nearly as bad as Lilith's. Frigging Lilith.
  • Even if Lilith didn't get Ahn-Aru, Sad Ivory would still be in deep shit for killing another Sidereal.

On another note, since it was raining yesterday I did not read Sidereals. Instead, I finished up AB: Air. I really liked Kes; he seems to have his heart in the right place, he's a Slug fan, and he and his wife obviously have a great deal of genuine affection for each other. So what if they're both drug-addled gay swingers? I'm also amused that one of their benders resulted in the accidental creation of a Gateway-playing AI.

The other characters were also likeable enough, aside from Cathak "Blandy McBlandbland" Meladus. As a side note, I really liked E.J. Su's illustrations for this book. I find the look of good pencil shading extremely pleasing.

10/11/03 I read the Super MA and Astrology section (up to the part where it starts talking about the Colleges) down in Copley Square. I was doing okay all through Charcoal March of Spiders. Then I got to the Prismatic Arrangement of Creation and things went steeply downhill. I have serious issues with that tree, and even more so with Citrine Poxes of Contagion. All of these trees also become extremely stupid when Elder Sutras get involved, because that almost completely mitigates the debilitating cost associated with many of the really cataclysmic powers included in them.


  • Most of the left-hand side of the tree actually didn't cheese me out too much, consisting as it does of a series of fairly bland, though powerful, combat adders of various sorts. I can't say as much for the right-hand side, or that silly bit about growing HearthStones in one's head.
  • The entire tree has a serious problem with redundancy. Charm obsolescence occurs at virtually every level; as you progress up the tree, you don't get too many new effects. Instead, you get Charms whose effects are just combinations of the preceding Charms, and more effective to boot. This is bad design.


  • My problems with this tree can be summed up in one point: the damn thing isn't a Martial Arts tree. It's a Medicine tree. There is no reason for any of these powers -- except possibly the final "I kill everyone for miles ahead of me" move -- to be MA instead of Medicine. Especially the curative ones. Yes, I am aware of the standard justification for this kind of nonsense, and I think it's bullshit.

I have some problems with certain CMoS powers, too, but they really pale in comparison with my disappointment in PAoC's lousy structure and the sheer madness of CPoC. On a side note, Violet Bier of Sorrows seemed perfectly reasonable to me. I think its selection of signature weapons is too generous, but that's about it.

Astrology, on the other hand, seemed okay. It requires a ridiculous amount of work to implement, both in and out of game, so I'm not really all that worried about anyone abusing it.

Only about 45 pages to go. I am interested to see how (and if) the Storytelling section addresses my concerns about Sidereals participating in stories which involve interaction with anyone besides other Sidereals. I mean, geez, I'm getting the impression that they're even more limited than Abyssals, which is really saying something.

Comment here:Ikselam/Discussion101103

10/10/03 I sat by the reflecting pool by the Christian Science building and read the Sidereal Charms section (except for the super-MA stuff). They, uh, don't really have many tricks, do they? The only thing that really bothered me about these Charms was a couple of the Endurance ones whose prereqs didn't quite make sense -- the scene-long one with better benefits has lower prereqs than the reflexive instant one whose effect isn't nearly as good? Other than that, everything looked okay to my not-particularly-hawklike eye. The little sutras for each Ability were very cute.

I'm actually kind of concerned by the fact that Sidereals' bag of tricks is so limited in size. I haven't done the number-crunching yet, but it seems like there'd be a very real danger that with 12 starting Charms and so few Essence 1-2 Charms per tree, it would be difficult for a Sidereal to come out of the gate strongly specialized in anything, especially given the stringent chargen rules which predetermine your starting Ability spread to such a great extent.

I stopped reading two Charms into Charcoal March of Spiders. I will save the MA for another day. I actually came to a realization: I do not really care about Martial Arts. The prospect of new styles no longer excites me. It's not like I've become disillusioned with them (although ever since DB, design decisions have been made regarding MA with which I strongly disagree); I'm just overloaded. Oh look, more wacky-k3wl MA powerz -- move along citizens, nothing to see here. I especially don't care about the super-MA, because it's impossible to seriously discuss them. They basically exist in a vacuum, because there are so few essence 4+ Charms with which to compare them. So I can talk all about how they're too powerful/notpowerful enough/just right, and it won't mean anything. The only meaningful conversation I can have about them is whether or not I think they are good ideas, which doesn't ultimately matter.

Quendalon interjects:Ikselam/Discussion101003

Skipping back to cute Ability "scriptures," tk421 made up this tongue-in-cheek one in a post on the WW board exhorting people to share their Sidereal character concepts. I thought it was one of the greatest things ever.

Scripture of the Chargen-ing Maiden
Once there was a maiden...\\

...who created characters all day long.\\ She did not roll a single die.\\ She did not once write the word "katana."\\ She did not fill a single dot.\\ A man asked why she made characters and never gamed.\\ "To play the game is to create," she said.

10/9/03 I went out to the Commons, sat down under a willow tree, and read up to the Charms chapter in Sidereals. The Bureau of Destiny wasn't quite as hilarious as the rest of Heaven, at least until I realized that it's the celestial equivalent of Microsoft (sort of like how the elemental courts in GoD were really Usenet).

I am not yet sure what I think of Arcane Fate. It bothers me that it is that difficult for Sidereals to have meaningful relationships with... well... anybody. But it puts me in something of an ethical bind, since Arcane was one of the things I was hoping would be in the book; I should have been more careful what I wished for, I think.

Almost time to start slogging through the crunch. That'll be a chore and a half.

10/8/03 Arnold Schwarzenegger is now governor of California. Wild.

Today's crimefighting team:

He's an old-fashioned Catholic sorceror whom everyone believes is mad.\\

She's a strong-willed Buddhist mercenary married to the Mob. \\ They Fight Crime!

I seriously believe that They Fight Crime should become a network TV show. The gimmick would be that although the crimefighting team changed every couple weeks, the characters would always be played by the same set of actors, who would just rotate through the roles of "hero," "heroine," "villain," "henchman," "victim," "police chief," and so on.

Later: I purchased the Sidereal book, took it down to the wharf, and read through the first chapter while the sun set. So far, I am amused. Based on the gossip that's been flying around online, I expect to have some serious misgivings about the crunch, but so far the fluff is pleasantly goofy.


10/7/03 I spent the weekend up in Vermont, attending the wedding of a friend from high-school. It was a pretty nice time, even though I discovered that my allergy to the family cat is actually much more intense than I remembered it being. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that he had also ballooned to approx. 1.5x his size at the time of my last observation, and thus had more surface area, causing a greater volume of hair to find its way off his body and into the surrounding environment.

Prior to that, I went to a student animation festival at a nearby art school, along with my best friend (who studies there). I liked the shorts which didn't really attempt to have a point beyond "hey, check out the neat stuff I can do with clay." The other ones made me feel old and jaded (neither of which I am, really). It reminded me of when I was a sophomore, and was embarassingly passionate in my beliefs.

Having declared an end to my HearthStones project, I'm taking a break from intense Exalted projects for a while. I'll putter on my Infernal project (IkselamInfernal) some, no doubt, but it is time to pay some more attention to real life matters, esp. finding a job.

Put up a list of alternate explanations for the disappearance of theIkselam/ScarletEmpress.

10/1/03 Added new HearthStones:

This brings my total up to 101, a good stopping point. Time to work on some other projects.

9/24/03 Added new HearthStones:

DaveFayram apparently pulled the Gem of True Seeing off the WW forum and posted it here before I got around to it. That was really disorienting. For a minute, I thought I must have been editing the wiki in my sleep -- either that, or I'd done it while under the influence of some potent drug I couldn't remember taking.

9/22/03 Added new HearthStones:

  • Abyssal: Stone of Wraithly Substance, Gemstone of Murder, Stone of Fear, Stone of Spirit Shackles, Apathy Stone, and Nightwalker's Gem. HearthStones/IkselamAbyssal.
  • Lunar: Cuckoo's Egg, Stone of Universal Compatibility, Chimera Stone, and Lunatic's Gem. HearthStones/IkselamLunar.

9/21/03 Added new HearthStones:

  • Wood: Blubber Stone, Gem of 1000 Heavenly Perfumes, Gem of the Prickly Cactus, Stone of Rejuvenating Passion, Aloe Stone, Surgeon's Stone, Gemstone of the Mother Bear, Peerless Predator's Gem, and Jewel of Selfless Love. HearthStones/IkselamWood.

9/19/03 Added new HearthStones:

9/18/03 Added new HearthStones:

  • Air: Stone of Fog, Coldstone, Gem of Intuitive Reaction, Gem of the Virtuoso's Voice, Cloudwalker Stone, and Jewel of the Mind's Eye. HearthStones/IkselamAir.
  • Earth: Stone of the Immovable Mountain, Stone of the Indiscriminate Goat, Statue Stone, Virgin's Tear, and Stone of Invincible Will. HearthStones/IkselamEarth.
  • Fire: Berserker's Gem, Thief-Burning Stone, Fever Stone, Gem of Burning Focus, and Gem of Consuming Rapture. HearthStones/IkselamFire.

9/13/03 Added theIkselam/MadTeaParty and a bunch ofIkselam/LittleGods, updated MartialArts/ThousandDemonStyle to the most current version, and posted some more content for myIkselam/PerfectCircle. Also posted some three- through five-dot Artifacts I'd had lying around for a while. I will probably change the Scarab of Unparalleled Health around a little before I'm totally happy with it; any comments are welcome.

Today's crimefighting team:

He's a superhumanly strong albino card sharp from the 'hood.
She's a virginal nymphomaniac widow who don't take no shit from nobody.
They Fight Crime!

9/10/03 Spent the last week moving to Boston. Plus: have faster internet connection, am in closer proximity to... well, anything. Minus: must now find job in unfamiliar environment. Current mood is one of guarded optimism.

My current Exalted endeavour is a massive Infernal Exalted project (IkselamInfernal). Hopefully, parts of it will be ready for release within the next month or so. Why, you ask, am I doing an Infernal project when I have on numerous occasions vehemently declared my opposition to the very idea of such a thing? The answer is because I do hate the idea of Infernal Exalted, and based on the scanty existent information, I am 99% positive that I will hate whatever they end up being. So I'm going to try and define a version that I do like. And hey, if I'm not ridiculously dilatory, I can have my version out long before WW's, so there will be a much longer grace period before I have to reconcile it with canon. We'll see how this turns out.

9/3/03 Ikselam -- I hope this is where you want us posting comments. Anyway, I just wanted to compliment you on your nifty Deathlords. They were some of the coolest characters I've read. And thanks for your comments on my page too, you've helped out a lot! --AlladAlhazred

Glad you liked them! Which was your favorite? _Ikselam

8/25/03 Added a few new HearthStones:

  • Earth: Oil Stone
  • Water: Crystal of Deep Passion, Gemstone of Essence Undertow, Tear of Drowning Sorrows
  • Wood: Breadstone, Orb of Animal Magnetism, Jewel of Nature's Blinding Beauty
  • Abyssal: Blood-Lust Jewel
  • Solar: Sunspark Gem, Infallible Sanctuary Stone, Stone of Sun's Beneficence

Also made some minor alterations to the Jewel of Spirit's Delight and the Gem of Still Water.

8/24/03 Ikselam, I just wanted to note that you rock. And that your Solar Lore Hearthstone Charms are the best. tree. evar. - Quendalon

8/22/03 Got a couple of new hearthstones that I'll put up sometime soon. Kind of lost momentum on the artifacts (Quendalon started making hearthstones, which renewed my enthusiasm in that area), but I've still got the list and do plan to finish them up at some point in the near future. Also need to format and post the revised 1001 Demon Style, and polish up and post the supporting info for my Perfect Circle. Also need to write up the story that's been kicking around in my head for the past month or so... but before I do that, I need to spend some time playing with my friend Jabberwock, who is up for the next couple days visiting.

Here is a crimefighting team to distract you from the fact that this update is basically just me writing a note to myself as a reminder to do stuff:

He's a deeply religious ninja rock star looking for a cure to the poison coursing through his veins.\\ She's a provocative goth traffic cop with an incredible destiny.\\ They fight crime!

8/20/03 I posted the Solar Circle Ikselam/PerfectCircle) which was my first major Exalted project (and probably still the most involved one I've ever done). There's still a bit more content to put up, but the five characters that form the heart of the project are all formatted and posted. Of all the Exalted stuff I've generated, this is the thing of which I am most proud.

8/17/03 Posted some more content.

More artifacts coming soon.

8/16/03 I finished Pattern Recognition today. The reason I'm noting this is that the author's note at the end was dated exactly one day short of one year ago: August 17, 2002. It gave me an odd feeling of... I don't know... synchronicity, I guess would be the word.

Working on a huge raft of artifacts; I'm at the point where I have this big list of names and powers, but need to go through and flesh them out. I'm done with the level ones and about half the levels twos, and I feel like the rest will complete themselves rapidly once I get over the hump I am currently struggling to surmount.

8/15/03 I FUCKING HATE GROUND HORNETS! I cannot wait until the sun goes down, then I'm gonna go out and fucking Rain of Doom those bastards back to whatever insectile hell vomited them forth. Revenge... REVENGE!!

Update:\\ Went WMD on the hornets, added new Charms:

  • Melee iaijutsu
  • Various Dodge
  • Some combat-oriented Awareness
  • Some fine-arts Craft

Find them at Charms/Ikselam.

I just had a recent run-in with some ground hornets myself. Nasty little buggers. The swelling in my ankle has only just going down from being stung on my Achille's Tendon on Tuesday. It appears that Brake/Carb cleaner works wonderfully as bee killer - a fact that apparently everyone but me knew until Tuesday. The added bonus is that if it isn't enough to just squirt the little buggers, you can get out your lighter and invoke the Aerosol Flamethrower Method. -- Shoggoth

I'm just thankful I still have that tube of prescription-strength steroid cream I got as a result of the last time I got stung. _Ikselam

8/14/03 I formatted and posted a bunch of Charms today, including:

  • An arsenal of Brawl Charms
  • Some Lore Charms having to do with manipulating hearthstones
  • A few very powerful Stealth Charms

You can find them at Charms/Ikselam. Comments and questions are, as always, welcome. Especially on the Stealth, since those are the ones I'm least satisfied with.

In other news, I bought William Gibson's new novel, Pattern Recognition. It has to do with advertising, fashion trends, and internet memes, and is set in the present-day. It is pretty good so far; it's grabbed me more than any of his work since Neuromancer. There's one short passage (on page 4) that almost perfectly articulates why I prefer forums to chat:

...right now there are three people in Chat, but there's no way of knowing exactly who until you are in there, and the chat room she finds not so comforting. It's strange even with friends, like sitting in a pitch-dark cellar conversing with people at a distance of about fifteen feet. The hectic speed, and the brevity of the lines in the thread, plus the feeling that everyone is talking at once, at counter-purposes, deter her.

One of the characters also has this great theory about jet lag: it is obviously due to the fact that one's soul straggles behind when one uses high-speed transit, and has to spend a day or two catching back up to one's body.

8/12/03 I am going to be in Boston for a few days, so I will be pretty scarce online until next week rolls by. I hope to see lots of new material (and users) here when I return!

Hi Ikselam! Could you please put up your Brawl charms, they really are incredible. ^_^ - BrokenShade

8/10/03 Earlier tonight I watched CitizenKane for the first time. That movie is off the hook.

The movie is based off a real guy named William Hearst, he built an amazing house thats been turned into a state park, it is within reasonable driving distance from where i live http://www.hearst-castle.org/ -Killed