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About Mace

  • Birthday 01/24/1986

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  1. "Do you know what the most important part of being a businessman is, son? Oh sure, being smart, educated about the subject, and able to read other people is important, but most importantly is the ability to look them in the eye and have them thank you for your generosity when you've taken the clothes off their back in a deal." The Harriman family is known in the United States as coming from the railroad tycoon Edward Henry Harriman, and since the 1900's they have been known to produce businessmen of outstanding caliber and ability. When conspiracy theorists think of the "New World Order" and the families that often sit at its table to pull the strings of the world from behind the curtain, the Harrimans are always near the top of their list, and there is good reason. Known for their tutelage of the younger generations and the expansion from the railroad to various forms of media, stock brokering, and even many charity businesses, the Harriman dynasty is one of success where failure is not tolerated. Thankfully, Noah didn't disappoint. Diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder, his disregard for others' concerns did seem to put him squarely in the running for the sort of person who was destined to succeed in business. It was his grandfather, however, someone who had the disorder as well, that helped him understand that the "condition" from which they suffered wasn't necessarily something bad. It wasn't a horrible diagnosis not to think too much of others simply because in the business world every man and woman had to look out for themselves most of all. Becoming sympathetic or charitable was a weakness, and only created a need to give away what was struggled for and earned for the sake of others who could not do so themselves. Of course, this lesson came with a very special caveat. "Remember boy, that doesn't mean you never help out other people. The best way to convince them you're not going to take them for everything they have is to convince them you're the one losing out on a deal. You learn to act like a saint and every Tom, Dick, and Harry will be praising you from the pews." The truth of most of Noah's life is not shared with anyone, for as uneventful as it was. Instead what he does speak of quite often is growing up feeling alone and isolated by his name and his family. He wasn't allowed to take part in many things that involved him too much with children from public schools, and while he did make outstanding marks in his own classes, his free time was often relegated to work or study. The misinformation often culminates with just why he was here in South Zagoria in the first place: Charity. Knowing that the country was starting to recover after the civil war, one of Noah's businesses, a Harriman family subsidiary that worked with developing nations and offered to improve their infrastructure, contacted different people in South Zagoria, offering help with the rebuilding of more high-importance buildings and offering supplies at a low cost to expedite the rebuilding process, even at what seemed to be a loss for him. Of course with the coverage that South Zagoria received, and what travel was beginning to flow through in its resurgence, his original plan had been to take advantage of the rich and entitled who came to see the "war-torn" country recover, and know that it was himself and his family who had helped such a thing take place. It was a trip to try to push his own work and make an appearance for the sake of the people his talks were concluding with that had left him stuck in South Zagoria when the infection hit. The insanity that the world was plunged into didn't quite affect Noah, however. This was, just as he had been taught, an opportunity. He saw the result of what a vicious and violent life led to every day upon the side of the road, being feasted on or rummaged through by scavengers, and he possessed the skills and the subtlety to do something else, something that would cement the name of the Harrimans in the heart of those he met should they ever come out of their situation alive.
  2. There was a shuffling and shifting audible as the dead air was oven taken by a broadcast, the sound of a man groaning in a way that was either from a massive hangover or being run over by a V3S muted for a moment before the southern tenor began in a slow and slightly wobbly manner. "Howdy folks. With the recent events I'm uh...Ugh. I'm going to be slowly moving my workshop and supplies closer to Sin City in order to start supplying people with leather and whatever else I can scrounge up in the area. For those who don't know me, I am Mason, or just Mace. Though I've been called Leatherman and Rainbow too if you're not sure. I do take requests, but this is mostly just an announcement to let people know to look out for me in a few days time. Actually getting everything to a new location and ready to work is going to take some time. To those who don't remember me from the heyday of the little trader's camp in Stary Sobor, I can make jackets, vests, pants, the American pants, though...Well, that's going to cost extra. I can make hats, backpacks, and moccasins, as well as some small water skins and some smaller, custom bits. Some examples of things I've made in the past were book covers, rifle slings, axe slings, belts of various thickness. Anything else that isn't incredibly complex can be discussed in person. As far as what I need or what you can bring me for trade, I'm always looking for pelts no matter what animal they come from as long as they're in good condition. Try to get the whole pelt off in one piece without a lot of holes, that sort of thing. Leather working kits, usually found in workshops and garages, and often in little leather containers are always useful since my own tool set can get worn out quickly with higher production rates. Sometimes I also accept shotgun shells or other various things I might need, and if you can't find either of the former I'm always welcome to discuss prices. You should be able to tell who I am by the fact that I'm wearing an orange boonie cap and probably carrying a backpack in my arms in addition to the one on my back. Don't be afraid to approach if you need anything. When things are set up I may also try to take requests for things to scavenge in the area, and while I'm no wizard if you need something and just can't find it I'll see if it's in my little bag of wonders. Stay safe everyone. I'll try to catch any questions on here that I can if you have them, though admittedly I'm probably going to lie back down for a bit first. Look forward to helping out." The radio message cut out somewhat abruptly with the sound of more shifting, more than likely the speaker getting back into whatever bed he crawled out of.
  3. Everyone had gone to sleep, just like always, and he could hear the soft breathing as he passed by the cabins, making sure doors were closed and that none of the zombies outside that he slowly felled seemed cognizant of the fact that potential meals were only meters away. The emotions that ran rampant through the camp just before everyone else finally collapsed from exhaustion only left him feeling more conscious. It wasn't that he was more awake, as it seemed more and more the things he saw when he closed his eyes were beginning to show as shifting and flitting shapes at the periphery of his vision, the very thought of which unnerved the heavy set man to the point that he shook his head to dispel such thoughts. There was still a lot of work to do, and as he continued in the quiet patrol around the buildings every step seemed to bring about a recollection of yet another thing he had listed, promised, or simply expected of himself, and the weariness that seeped into his bones was met with snarling ferocity as he forced his body to press on. His gait was defiant, shunning the thought of rest as he lurched and pushed himself toward the edge of the nearby body of water that was his target for the night. Hunting had been, for the last two days, a bust. He knew that while many of the people around could garden and cultivate what they needed it was undoubtedly a slow and focused task that wouldn't give them the kinds of results that needed to be seen by the time others rose to enjoy breakfast. Even an off-handed mentioning of feeding the people there felt like some vow that he could not bring himself to betray, and though his eyes were heavy and lidded he slumped onto the shore of the small lake and shrugged off his pack. The world faded in and out of blackness as his eyes closed time and time again, a little longer every blink only to be forced back open. He couldn't keep this up. Could anyone? How long could he last? The only answer he could bring forth was an incomprehensible snarl at himself, his own weakness as he brought his right hand up to strike against his own jaw in a sudden, eye-opening smack that left the flesh beneath his mask and beard stinging while he unpacked his rod and the bait he had collected earlier. With his jaw throbbing from the force of the hit, perhaps just a bit more than what a "normal" person might be capable of, the line was cast out with the quiet, almost silent "plop" of the baited hook sinking down toward the bottom of the lake with the tasty morsel. Even such a simple task seemed much more difficult as he continued to push sleep from his mind. The grotesque and malformed dreamscapes that had waited for him in the rare moments he closed his eyes never allowed him any true rest, so why indulge them? If sleep was to be nothing more than his own mind finally free to harvest the malefic fruits his poisoned thoughts sowed throughout the day, he would skip it all together. Even the soreness radiating from his jaw wasn't enough to stop his head from dipping forward only to jerk upright as soon as he felt the lowering of his guard and the gradual acquiescence that his body tried to grant his mind without permission. Time and time again he felt himself drooping forward, growing slack only to jerk into awareness and rigidity again, though it took more effort each time until finally he dozed against the rock beside which his small expedition was set up. It was impossible for him to hear the zombie approach. What could have easily been heard by anyone conscious, the snarling, howling zombie had spotted him and, with a keen enough sense of predator instinct, realized the slumped figure was a potential food source. The slope that it barreled down didn't offer the best footing, however, particularly after the rain that had soaked the camp earlier. Uneven, frenzied steps led to a sickening crack as one of the creature's ankles turned completely to the side, leaving it in freefall where it came to smash against the back of the sleeping man, jostling him awake and throwing them both into the frigid waters of the lake in the middle of the night. Water rushed down his throat and tried to fill his lungs as he gasped from the surprise and the shock of cold seeping into his bones, only to realize that it hadn't been some careless accident, the zombie atop him clawing and swiping, pushing him under and thrusting its face at him, saving him from having his nose bitten off only because of the way it slowed as it hit the surface of the water and gnashed blindly at the man beneath the surface. The water was almost completely opaque to Mason as he thrashed about beneath it, the pack that he prided always having a solution to a situation in now dragging him down the slope from the shore with its weight. His lungs were already on fire, barely filled with breath before his world was nothing more than darkness and the deathly cold that gripped him and left him wanting to scream or gasp, to seek some sort of relief, even if he knew better. Time barely passed for him, his body pumping its own cocktail of chemicals into him to push him into action, making every second seem like an eternity. He fought to wrench the zombie's body away from him, shifting the weight with the aid of the water, though before he could even process it a familiar sensation rose, and the voice that had been so quieted by what he had believed was a truly enjoyable day spoke again through the frantic scrambling for survival. "You could give up. Nobody would have to know. You could just drown here and it would all be over. You should be thanking me. It's a way out." With every strain of his barely-responsive muscles to drag him up above the water the voice hissed its displeasure, but it was different this time. What had been derision and loathing now sounded sickly sweet. "This is what you wanted and you know it. A bullet to the brain is preferable, but drowning probably isn't as bad as you always thought. The cold will help make it quick. Think about it. You never have to worry about finding food, about being chewed on by wolves. You never have to fight and struggle just to live another day in this shit world. Even if there's nothing after it, isn't this what you always secretly hoped for? Just give in." His breath escaped him, bubbles slipping out from his mouth as he felt the fire in his chest as his lungs demanded respite. Would it have been so bad? Why did he have to be the one to do this? Surely they were more than capable of taking care of himself. The voice had often said he was nothing more than a coddling nuisance to them, what if it was right? The doubts had caused him just a moment of pause, the desire to sob and let the water fill his lungs palpable for just a moment before he closed his eyes and broke through the surface of the lake, dragging himself out of the inky pool and dragging his axe from its place on his back while the zombie spluttered and flailed its way back toward the shore. Twisting the weapon around, the pick head was brought down into the back of the zombie's skull, hooking into it with a sickening crack, using the weapon as leverage to drag the body out of the water and up onto the shore far enough away to keep the waters as clean as possible. Mace dropped the axe, still lodged in the zombie's skull, desperately gasping for breath and coughing to try to clear his lungs as he fiddled with straps, latches, and buttons to begin dropping his gear onto the floor, sheets of water pouring off of him from the soaked leathers. With just his flint knife in hand, and a rare moment of immodest nudity to make sure he wouldn't freeze to death too quickly, he began to slowly and clumsily drag his half-frozen limbs across the ground, his shaky and uneven footing leaving him lurching not unlike the creature he'd just killed toward a tree to try to get what he needed to start at least a small fire. "And you wonder why you're a failure. You don't even have the decency to die properly."
  4. Link to the source of punishment (report/post): Not available. For a bit of context the original final warning was posted in 2015 and reinstated after I contacted the admins noticing that my warning status had been cleared during last year's nominations for "of the year" awards. Why the verdict is not fair: Perhaps Rolle can remember, or any of the staff who were here at the time, but I was given supposedly a "permanent" final warning until it was shown that my attitude had improved. I don't dispute the verdict that some punishment was warranted, but considering that the only trouble I had gotten into until that point officially on the server was a 3 point warning for a snarky remark in a forum, I think the "permanency" of the verdict is unfair, though I think final warnings were still fairly new around that time? At least in an official capacity. Additional statements/comments explaining your point of view: So, since receiving the updated, I suppose you could call it, final warning in December, I've not actually been able to actively hold down three months of steady playtime. This is due to medical issues, surgeries (Nothing major, don't worry), recovery, etc. and some bouts with depression. Since I have only a single appeal I was hoping that my attitude in the intervening time since the original punishment, and contributions to the game and community could stand as a testament that I have (And do) put in the same sort of effort that I've always put in to try to make the game a better place for people I come across. What would you like to achieve with this appeal: At the very least the removal of the "permanency" of the final warning in hopes that I've adequately shown the sort of change that wanted to be seen by the staff, though preferably the removing of the warning all together. What could you have done better?: Though this might (Again) not be something everyone remembers, the reason for the original final warning included some reactionary and vitriolic exchanges between me and other people in the community, and while I don't consider them personally worthy of the severity of the punishment, it nonetheless is something that I've been working on in real life. It's easy for me to say I believe the actions were out of line but still not completely out of the realm of feasibility, but the fault does ultimately lie with myself. In that regard what I could have done better is what I'm doing now, and not being quite so zealous and fervent about the goings on of a game online or the people in it. Thank you for the consideration. This is something of an odd bird of an appeal I know, if it's even possible at all, and if it isn't, hey, no biggie.
  5. He awoke to the almost omnipresent twittering of birds in the trees, the rays of the noonday sun piercing through the half-broken windows in the small camp bunk and stirring him just enough to elicit an irritated grumble before finally acquiescing to the tugging of the world to draw him from his bed. Despite his reluctance to move because of just how comfortable the thin, worn-down mattress was upon its fragile frame, creaking away at the barest hint of movement from him, the portly man still rose and began to dress himself for the day ahead only to pause when he heard the sounds of others about. His time actually spent in the camp itself was sparse, as he often did his best to busy himself in one way or another. There was always game to hunt for food and hide, fish to catch, or supplies to scavenge in the surrounding towns. Unbeknownst to even the doctors that ran the small compound he had taken regular trips up north after hearing one of them speak of the nearby town of Nagornoe as "overrun by wolves" to help clear out the looming threat as best he could. The constant drive to work, to do something and let the others enjoy themselves still tugged at the back of his mind, but as he heard so many familiar voices it seemed to fade; His worries, his insecurity, the constant, looming shadow of his failure and the toll it would take upon those he saw after, it all seemed just slightly less sharp and harsh as he pulled on his well-worn leathers and slipped on his pack and the bright orange boonie cap he'd come to adore. When he had finally amassed the mess of equipment and tugged the second backpack into his arms, the squared, rotund man pushed his way out of the cabin and began to look around, immediately noticing the girl known as Vivi at the water fountain with her brother. He'd never gotten the man's name, but the last time they had spoken he had been looking for his sister. They'd only exchanged a few words, but he remembered the severity and worry that had tinged them. It was good to see them together, and as the girl noticed him she smiled and waved in his direction, her light, pixie-like voice calling out to him, though he only waved in return and gave a greeting while moving to check on things in the tents. "Huh, looks like there's plenty of food for once." The initial inspection had surprised him perhaps more than anything else. Where Ace had been working on cultivating smaller crops, the tent was stacked with salted and dried meats, rations, canned food. It was the first time he could ever remember seeing it looking better than when he had last checked in. Though he hesitated, at the sight of the wealth of spoils that loomed in front of him, he actually found himself in a rare moment, taking a few strips of jerky for himself to enjoy before continuing to see if there was anything that might be needed for his inevitable trip into town. Time and time again, whenever he opened the tents it seemed as if there had been some spontaneous wealth of materials before him. Pristine medical supplies that still smelled faintly of that unmistakable hospital disinfectant were piled next to the lodge, boxes of bullets and even a few of the rarer firearms he'd seen and heard talk about were stacked on top of one another in another of the tents. It was one of the few times that Mason had ever found himself with nothing to do. He could still go and add to the stockpiles, but everything seemed to be in such supply that he questioned if it was even necessary. Standing in front of the nearly overflowing tents, he brought a hand up to scratch at his bearded chin beneath the simple face mask he wore, only to hear the tinkling trill of the young girl beside him. "Mister Mace!" The sweet, smiling face of the girl had been a welcome change to many of the dour expression he often faced and tried to help soften with his help, and he had done his best to make the girl a backpack she would enjoy, attempting to help her just as he did Robbie and the other younger boys and girls that he had met. However, it wasn't the soft, delicate girl he was met with when he turned to face her and give her his attention, at least not entirely. She still wore her red hat, the red shirt, and he could see the stained leather straps of the pack he had made for her, but as soon as he focused his attention on her he realized just how wrong this truly was. The girl's face was a ghastly mockery of what the sweet child looked up at others with, the same in shape and look save for the fact that it looked as if many of her features had been sliced off. Her smiling moth was now an open maw, lipless save for the flapping and wriggling strings of meat that flailed and did their best impression of lips atop the yellowed, cracked teeth. The girl's nose and eyelids were similarly severed, not cleanly or proficiently, but with what looked like some crude and almost blunt instrument, leaving protruding bits of cartilage poking from the holes in the center of her face, and the bright, icy blue eyes he so often saw with wonder or curiosity now larger, lolling about in their sockets but always focusing on him. Stumbling back, he nearly kicked at the child, or whatever it was that masqueraded as her, letting out a yell of surprise that he hadn't even seemed to notice, and that had only drawn more attention to him. Kazimir, the girl's brother, lumbered forward and stood behind her, his face similarly mutilated, as if they were made into grotesque masks to mimic one another. "What is going on?" No, he knew that was what the man had meant, but it wasn't what he had said. The heavy Russian accent had come out in a series of grunts, punctuated by a clacking of the bare mouth's teeth, deepening the cracks inside them, sending splinters of the bones into the girl's hair as Mason stumbled over himself in turning and dashing around the tents toward the front of the lodge that had served as the main area that people congregated around. Throwing himself into the door with all his weight, he grunted as it cracked open and sent him sprawling across the stairs that were immediately before it, only to see that the voices he had heard, jubilant and raucous in their laughter, had paused. Barely able to catch his breath, he lurched forward, his clenched fists slamming the door closed only now to realize he'd lost the secondary bag he always had with him, though it didn't matter, what mattered was trying to figure out what was going on. "It's Mace!" The announcement had drawn his gaze toward the group sat neatly around at the tables provided, but before he could find the words to try to explain to them what was going on, they spoke again, the same voices, just as enthusiastic and eager as they had ever been to see him. "Is that Mace?" "Hey, Mace!" They seemed too numerous to be there, but he saw them all. Seated in the room that seemed to shift and stretch its dimensions as he changed his view of it, the four simple tables that he had remembered the last time he had been there stretched on beyond where his lackluster vision could even recognize, but he knew they were there. He heard the voices of every person all at once, as happy as they had ever been to run into him in the middle of some zombie-infested town, complimenting him, recalling the moments when he felt the selfish, prideful swell of his chest at the praise they lavished on him for his help, but it wasn't right. When he finally seemed to focus upon them, each of them had their own disfigurement, their own wretched and gruesome transformation, to the point where some were only recognizable through the sounds their slack or missing jaws uttered against all meaning or sense. Nearest to the door, dressed in the same white garb he'd been wearing just hours before, Mace noticed the voice of someone who seemed relatively normal, someone who hadn't spoken up, and who he lunged at to try to rock some sense into. "Eurus! We have to get out of here." As soon as his fingers grasped at the younger man's shoulders, however, he slumped to the side, a widening cut showing across his side where Mace had clipped him with an axe during a fight with a zombie while they were hunting. At first it only seemed to grow larger until he could see fat and muscle twisting and tearing itself away, blackening with necrosis and sloughing off, causing the wedge-shaped wound to split across his stomach, his body soon snapping in two as his spine was severed, his upper half toppling to the floor as the rest of the innumerable voices continued the saccharine words he'd so fondly remembered before. He couldn't tell if he was breathing any longer as he turned and slammed his weight back into the door with enough force to break it from its hinges, tripping down the stairs and falling onto his side across the grass and onto the asphalt of the cracked road just outside. There had been some faces, some voices absent, and as he clawed his way to his feet Mason's hurried steps sent him sprawling over the broken and uneven stone pathway that led to the medical building, but even as he put what he knew were meters and meters behind him the voices never faded, and the loving, encouraging words seemed to bite and gnaw at him like wolves at his heels. "Taryn, Rose!" "We're operating. Come in." The odd juxtaposition in the words of the woman who had answered him hadn't settled in but he had no time to spare and in his rush he found himself throwing open door after door and slamming them shut behind him. This wasn't the clinic that he knew and had peered at, it didn't share its makeup with the countless others in the small country, but he didn't care. Mace pushed forward, and with every set of double doors he pushed through the peeled and rotting paint seemed just a bit brighter, as if it were finally close to some semblance of safety and sanctuary from the hell he'd found himself in. It wasn't until he breached the final doors that he stood inside a surgical suite that no hospital in South Zagoria could possibly have. He could hear the soft hiss of a ventilator, the beeping of a heart, and a large amphitheater-style room where each of the malformed people that he knew, the people he cared about and did his best to help now stood in attendance. I the center of the room, beneath the blinding glare of an overhead light stood the two women, dressed in medical scrubs. All at once they looked as if they were elbow-deep in gore and yet it wasn't as immediately horrifying as the rest of what went on around him. The masks and scrub hats made identifying the pair from one another difficult, though both urged him forward with a single bloody hand, latex gloves soaked and somehow filled with a thick and almost congealed mess of blood and ichor that sloshed around their dexterous fingers and onto the ground around the table that they worked on. Despite it all, Mason felt a sense of welcoming, of belonging as he approached, his eyes slowly adjusting to the blinding glare of the light so that he could see just who it was that lay upon the slab that had drawn so much attention. Where he had recognized the people before, and even as he peered up into the windows where they stared down he could see the faces of the people he'd known, no matter how twisted or monstrous they had been made by the unknown butcher that had taken such pride in molding them into distinct, unique horrors, what lay before him was not so easy to immediately put a finger on. At first it seemed like nothing more than some great mass, a fleshy tumor that roiled and shifted beneath its thin outer layer, pumping the thick mixture that filled the doctors' gloves across itself. It was formless, faceless, and yet it writhed as if it held some frenzied animal that fought and clawed its way about to the opening it had been given. "Mace." It wasn't a distinct voice now. The glass of the operating theater had dulled the voices of the onlookers into a muffled thrum but the thing that called his name was unlike them. Male and female, young and old, he looked at it and saw from the cavernous wound that belched and heaved its fetid contents. He had expected something to emerge, a demon, a monster, anything that would have made the horrifying but the cacophony of discordant speech soon settled until a sort of call-and-response dialogue began, the wound itself moving to bend and purse like a putrid pair of drooling lips. "Mace? It's so good to see you." "She's dead because of you." "Is that you Mace? I wondered where you went." "It always happens like that." "Are you okay? I'm sorry you got hurt." "Affection, care, poison, death." Suddenly the women leaned forward, grabbing at the edges of the wriggling incision to rip it open, splitting the bulbous sac open upon the table, showing that within the tide of bile, blood, and whatever other forsaken fluids that gushed forth there was one final thing in its depths: A gnashing head that writhed and rolled about, the left side of it shattered down to its eye socket, though with the pulsing mass of brain matter that still seemed to quiver unnaturally within and the vicious way it hissed and howled he could only make out a single word: "Failure." He let out a gasp as he opened his eyes, the sight of the cracked rafters of the ceiling overhead and the smell of rain-soaked grass filling his senses, along with the fact that the only light that seemed to stream through the half-broken window came in sporadic beams from a waning moon high in the sky. He didn't need to reach up to feel the beads of sweat running down his brow, a few even stinging his eyes before he could wipe them away. Rolling onto his side, Mason let out a groan as he shifted and did his best to get comfortable, his mind still racing with the vivid scenes playing over and over again, from the idyllic landscape to the monstrous aberration that had spoken to him. Even now the song of the birds was quieted, replaced by the snarling and groaning of infected beyond the fence. No matter how he tossed and turned to try to find some semblance of comfort it seemed all too elusive, until finally he heaved a weary sigh and pushed himself up onto the edge of the bed, his bare feet settling down beside his heavy boots in the process. The heavy man leaned forward, sniffing and wiping at his face with his hands before pulling his glasses on and beginning the laborious task of securing everything he needed. If sleep was going to elude him, he could at least continue on with the sisyphean task he had put upon himself. Minutes later he stepped into the rain-soaked night and adjusted the pack in his arms, trudging past the cabins of others safe and asleep, eyeing the stocks and tents that looked more and more bare before turning onto the road. Even if he could never prove the voice wrong, he would damn sure try.
  6. Mace

    The Riptide Collective

    I'm waiting for a report to come up with "Attempted KOS: Robbie pushed me off the slide." I can see it now and it is glorious. Edit: Also, just to be a bit more on topic, seeing all the great role-players in this group I'm really looking forward to actually getting it sit down and have a chat with them.
  7. Mace

    To any and all - North Bound

    The crackle of the radio coming to life was overwhelmed by the heavy, wheezing breath of the man behind it. "Whew. Hey...Doctors. I'm slowly making my way up north. I've got some medical supplies that I'll be happy to donate to the cause. I can't promise anything amazing, but you're welcome to what I've got. I'll see you soon enough, as long as my legs don't give out. Stay safe." With little fanfare the transmission cut out again, undoubtedly so the winded man could continue his trudge northward.
  8. "You've been so kind." "Are you sure you don't want anything back?" "Thank you so much." To those who knew him, Mason was the charitable sort. Carrying around his extra pack he often described himself as a traveling merchant or a simple tradesman doing what he could to help make the lives of others more comfortable. It wasn't as if he could do much in this new world in all honesty. Learning to shoot rifles and shotguns on his grandfather's land when he was a child and the archery lessons he'd taken from the people who had helped him when the outbreak had started left him with enough knowledge in how to protect himself from the natural world and the zombies that now infested it, and everything else had been the result of a ravenous hunger for any sort of knowledge, no matter how mundane, he could pick up, whether it be in conversation, from television, books, or the internet. "No, no it's okay. I'm a simple man, I don't really need much." The same answer was given time and time again to the point where it was almost a reflex whenever he was offered compensation for his work. His own needs were met easily enough with what game he could hunt, or fish he could catch. He knew enough about water to boil and purify what he had with him if need be, and given his rotundity earlier in life, he knew how to cook quite well if he did say so himself, which offered him and those he often sat down with some modicum of comfort in the little slices of peace they carved out of the chaos for fleeting shelter. There was always a warm fire ready to be brought to life, good food only a few minutes away, and plenty of supplies for those who found themselves in need when they crossed his path, and more often than not he'd part ways with a smile visible despite the mask as his cheeks shifted and his voice carried a more joyous lilt to it. He pushed himself to be the consummate survivalist not so that he could see the world through whatever tribulation, mundane or divine, that had come to them, but to try to get as many other people through it as he could. To him, however, the world worked a bit differently, and his own work within it was laughable. As a sane, rational person at one point he understood to some degree at least some of the thoughts that came and went in the quiet hours of the night when he lay awake and stared at the stars. He knew the feelings that he had for himself, his efforts, and the work he had done was not as useless as that nagging, niggling little chitter echoed in his brain, but that didn't make it easy to ignore. He had found himself sleeping less because of it, never wanting to try to lie down and face the whispering that gnawed at the back of his mind without distraction. Even if he knew better, the only way to make it seem as if he were helping was to do more. His legs were heavy, his pudgy, squared frame slumping forward with the weight of the pack he carried with him more and more until he could find some solace in unconsciousness, in the blissful rest that only utter exhaustion seemed to bring. Every small trinket that he found, every cache of bullets tucked away inside a tea pot in a cabinet, or secret stash of canned food he could save for himself while giving away what was undoubtedly more nutritious and nourishing, it never silenced the voice, it never made the feeling go away, that he was only doing what he had to. Even in what generosity he tried to show, it laughed and hissed that he should be ashamed, that any stranger would do twice as much and ask for half in return. He did what he could, and his body bore the scars of trying to protect others from whatever rabid monsters shuffled and howled in the darkness, and some had shown him genuine kindness in return. A simple man didn't need any more than that, and in those moments of good conversation, of laughing and joking, he forgot about the whispering, the feelings that he could otherwise never escape from. For a moment, a minute, an afternoon he could feel as if what he had done had mattered, that he had helped to keep people alive and in good spirits while staring down the maw of inevitability. To just feel normal, or what anyone might consider it in this day and age, was more than anything he felt he had the right to ask for in return. And in the nights that followed the voice was quieted, but it always returned to gnash and writhe about in his head and twist every bit of happiness he had felt. He hadn't done enough, or they had only endured his niceties out of pity or annoyance. There wasn't anything that anyone like him could do to ever better their lives. In the vitriol that coagulated in his thoughts, despite every ounce of effort he had put into the simple mission that had subsumed his life in the new world there was one word that always burned itself in his mind in his times alone. Failure. It said far worse things, but for some reason that one word branded on his soul stung the most. It reminded him of the horrible things he'd done. It questioned why he was still alive when far better people had died long ago, those who could truly help the world rebuild or find some semblance of sanity. And yet, despite the writhing darkness that urged him on and, in his weaker moments, taunted him to turn the gun he'd kept for his own protection on himself with promises of it being the only thing he could possibly do to truly make the lives of others better he persisted. He pushed on and, as always, welcomed every new face with the soft southern drawl. "Howdy. Do you need anything?" Not a hero. Not a champion. Not even a warrior. Just a simple man with a simple goal. And simple men don't really need much.
  9. Mace

    New character.

    When it comes to new characters, particularly for people who don't know what they want to make, I always give a few suggestions: Don't marry a concept before you know you'll be comfortable with it. Run a few scenarios through your head, try to look at the character concept as a few words or a short sentence that defines the character on the most base level before you put any detail into it. An example could be Harry Potter "A young boy just learning he's a wizard" just so you have a gist of what it is you're going to be building on. Is this concept appealing? Is it something you'll be able to stick with? Is it a one note character? If the concept is "A guy who memes a lot" that may sound funny and be interesting at the time of conception but the staying power of the character is related to what you feel like you can do with it. Now obviously that concept can be made into something that's fun, deep, and moving as a person, but it's probably best to stay with something like, as Graipy said "A priest who has lost his flock." The next thing is that everyone should probably go about answering the 20 (Or really 19 since one of them doesn't apply to this setting) questions for character creation. They help immensely to flesh out a character and give you an idea of how to create something with a sort of skeletal structure. Instead of just being an amorphous blob of ideas you end up with a character that has a backbone, morals, views, and ideologies. 20 Questions for Character Creation Now at this point you have a character, but it's not quite polished to the point where you would be proud to put it out into the wider world like a character in a book that could be read by thousands of people. This is where, especially in a game where VOIP is present and used quite a lot, you can get use out of practicing, running yourself through some exercises, basically just role-playing with yourself as the character to get a handle on their mannerisms, to test drive the answers you gave for those 20 questions and see if anything clashes, to give yourself some imaginary set pieces and to walk through them and get into character properly. A really simple example of this is "You run into a person on the road" and gauging how your character reacts. What does he look for? Use the answers and build something even if you have to sort of "play" both parts yourself to get a better grasp on how the life of the character comes through. What if the person is wounded? What if they're being chased by a zombie? What if they're starving and begging for food or water? Running through simple scenarios and doing it seriously, as if this were something you were doing with a group of people and you were trying to give your best as far as RP goes, can help with making any character something that people will want to interact with. So why did I divulge all that without answering the question first? Because mundanity can be interesting, and it can even be part of what makes a character interesting to interact with. I'm not suggesting that's exactly what you should shoot for, but the care you put into making the character, more than the central concept that originally defines them, matters more to the final product in my opinion. A simple, pious man can be more intriguing than a devout priest, just like someone who used to work at a sawmill can be more interesting and engaging in RP than a soldier or a psychopath. Instead of asking for a color of clay to sculpt with, pick something that appeals to you and focus on making the sculpture the best it can be, and you'll see the color doesn't impact it as much as you might think. That said, good luck and I hope you do find something that you enjoy playing.
  10. Because I'm a sucker for this sort of thing I do have some suggestions: If you want to have one of the founders liken himself to Odin with Mimir's well, there is a sacrifice of the self (Similar but distinct from the sacrifice Odin made upon Yggdrasil to learn the meaning of runes) in order to drink the water of Mimir's well and be given knowledge. A very easy way to correlate this into a character's story is to have them lose something (Odin gave an eye as a pledge and sacrifice) that could lead them into a sort of religious awakening. A near-death experience that resulted in this physical loss, no matter what it is, and which could arguably even be the loss of someone close, someone that was unable to be defended, who tried to help only to be killed, could easily be seen as a similar loss of something instrumental in everyday survival. The other thing I would do is revamp it to say that Ragnarok isn't coming, it's already come. Thor and Jormungandr wrestle, Odin struggles with Fenrir, and humans, whether chosen and returning from Valhalla, or those simply left upon the world in the wake of it beginning, are left to deal with the "armies of the dead" said to come with Loki when he breaks his imprisonment, riding upon Naglfar with the Jotun Hrym. The end times are now, and even if you aren't an einherjar it's your duty to fight, it could even be the thought of the person that the people who are left in the world are the einherjar, and that perhaps the understanding of the eddas was not as complete as one might think. The symbol is interesting, but I would think, depending on how you go about it, it could be seen as odd simply because Fenrir is more of a recognizable figure in Norse mythology than Odin's wolves Freki and Geri (Who I'm assuming are the inspiration). If I were going to suggest something different, however, I might go with the traditional Aegishjalmur (Helm of Awe), or Vegvisir (the Runic Compass) either as the whole of the symbol itself, or as a basis/backdrop to what you might want to put over it. Mjolnir is a popular choice as well particularly if you want it to be something more devoted to Odin. The only sticking point with me is the introduction and focus on fire, which I can't recall off the top of my head being tied in too deeply to any of the AEsir or even the Vanir, even if we only really see remnants of them in Frey and Freyja. Fire, Muspellheimr, it all rings a lot closer to Surtr, who's supposed to come in when everything is finished and sort of wipe the slate so that the gods that escape can start a new world, but if you're going to have this be something that focuses on, essentially, being part of Ragnarok and the warriors for the AEsir in place of the einherjar, whether it's believed literally or figuratively, the fire motif serve better if it's toned down and not made into such a central theme. That's not to say you can't include it, or the idea of mass graves and zombie killing, I just don't think it would fit very well into the idea of such a group stylistically, but it's not like you can't put your own flair on it. Looking at what you have, I would put the focus more on the tenacity and stalwart nature of humanity. We're survivors, warriors, we make up the chosen of the AEsir to go to battle with them in Ragnarok, and if we're at war with the undead, it should be something unifying among everyone. There are bound to be squabbles, but actually putting up a "Kill the zombies, not each other" initiative with this Norse flavor makes for an interesting sort of PvE group, and then there's all the fun you get to have in the drinking and retelling of tales like one might expect in a Jarl's longhouse. It's got potential, and it's an idea that I find appealing, so I hope you do work on it and make it something great, with or without taking my ideas into consideration though. Good luck.
  11. You know you've got it made when you have your face on a can of (I think it was) beef stew My ship, the Undine, that I'm still waiting for them to implement so I can rule the coast again and help people out And because it's a warm memory, one of the devs snuck an easter egg into the DayZRP mod for me on my favorite weapon. Sadly I'm not one to take a lot of screenshots, which I regret looking back on all the fun I had on the server back then.
  12. "Well listen to you." The voice belied the smile on the speaker's face at the sound of the woman's voice. "Good to hear you're still around too. I am actually already close to the area so I might head in and see what's going on. Hope to see you again soon, and you stay safe as well. I've already got some food cooked up so we'll have a nice meal and catch up."
  13. The tell-tale crackle of the man's radio broke the dead air on the frequency, followed as usual by the soft, southern tenor. "Vince, hope you do the same. And to you, and everyone else, I'd like to say that, thanks to some friendly people that I've done a bit of fishing for, I actually have a bit of leather finished up from my last batch that had been worked on before my workshop was brought down by a wandering herd. I figure that, with the new frequency, the new faces, and the new traveling work I'll be doing, I ought to get a fresh wave of introductions out of the way first. The name's Mason, or just Mace, and you've probably seen me around walking in the leather clothes I've been making since before the chill set in last year. Because I have some spare leather, I'm willing to make some clothing or simple accessories like a backpack or waterskin, for those who are interested. I'm always looking for leather working kits to help with the work, and a barrel of my own so I don't have to rely on anyone else's generosity. It also seems there's no shortage of damn wolves out here to keep me in pelts for a while. So what is it I'm offering? Leather jackets, multi-pocketed vests, pants, moccasins, even some simple bucket hats, and as I said before, backpacks and water skins. Just for the sake of coming down on specifics, all of my clothing is double-layered and available to be padded with whatever material you like. I like to use some of the shredded clothes I find as insulation during colder months, or if I'm doing something out at night on the coast. I try to keep everything adjustable, able to be loosened or tightened to fit most frames, since I'm not quite good at making bespoke garments, yet. If you need something don't be afraid to tune in and let me know, or look for me out and about. I'm usually wearing my leathers, or a pink raincoat, and I found a nice, bright orange boonie cap now that it's getting warmer again and my ushanka is getting sweaty. I'm also offering leather working lessons, as well as basic survival lessons and a few other things I happen to have snippets of knowledge about." The air went silent for a moment, giving the speaker a moment to take a drink before continuing. "Stay safe out there. If you need help I'm happy to do what I can. Take care folks."
  14. There was a moment when the channel flickered to life, followed by another of dead air. Finally, after a small pause, the crackle and whine of what must have been a less-than-new radio breaking through, a soft, quiet tenor speaking over the band. "Howdy folks. If you know me, I'm glad to hear you're still alive. Here's hoping the warm months are easier on us than the cold was. If you don't, well, I'm coming out of hibernation soon. I'll see about getting some of my survival lessons back on the waves for folks who might still need them. Stay safe, keep bundled up even if it is a bit warm, and remember we're all still human." The simple, short transmission cut off without any great fanfare besides the apparently signature farewell of the speaker, leaving the message as a small blip in the day of those who might have caught it.
  15. "Mace!" The familiar voice rang out as the leather-clad figure trudged through the woods with his latest catch dangling from a line over his shoulder. Artyom, as he had come to introduce himself, had made a stunning recovery after a few days, and the ranger had done everything he could to help make sure that the man had a varied diet and as much nutrition as possible to make up for what he had lost during the time before they met. The hunched, emaciated figure that flinched at every sound stood tall, taller than Mason now that there was time to appreciate the difference between them, with short black hair and, thanks to their recent travels together, a new outfit that better served to protect him from the cold weather. "Hey Artyom. Let me get these fish cleaned and I'll get lunch ready." His string of carp was lifted up at that as he made his way over to a spot in their campsite where the work of actually cutting up the meat wouldn't create too much of a mess, though he had barely taken two steps before his friend's hand had found his shoulder, causing him to turn and glance up at his face to realize that, upon closer inspection, there was something somber in the man's gaze as they caught one another. "No, this is important." The Russian accent that Artyom possessed, subdued as it was with his skill in speaking English, had grown more prominent, a foreboding portent of just how uneasy he felt. The rotund figure paused and cast a paranoid glance in either direction, scanning the trees around their camp, trying to deduce what had spooked his friend so, only to have the Russian accent return with the same, terrified voice. "I saw some people today while I was down in town. You had wanted me to see if I could find some bits of metal, remember?" There was hardly time for an answer before he continued, speaking over himself with tears welling in his eyes. "There were people there, a lot of them, carrying guns and when they saw me they...They took everything I had except my clothes and chased me into the woods. They kept shooting to draw the, the things and were yelling at me to run." Mason's brow was already furrowed, and the look of concern knitted deeper on his features, or what was left visible of them given the mask he wore and the cap atop his head. The string of fish was left discarded in the grass as he closed the distance between them, hands coming to rest on either of Artyom's shoulders in the most reassuring way that he could, releasing him only long enough to draw the bit of cloth from around his face to better reveal the endearing, reassuring smile that had curled on his features. Despite the long, patchy beard that was split in various parts and left bare for the scar tissue that covered him, he still did his best to help lift the man's spirits with the expression, and as he spoke, he took great care that his tone was as soothing as possible. "You're alive, Artyom, and that's what matters. Whatever they took we can find or make ourselves, and what they did to you was horrible, but you made it out okay. If they're going to be in the area, then we pick up and move. No different than trying to keep yourself away from where a pack of wolves are making their territory. We'll be just fine." Even though it seemed as if the man was reluctant to agree, his head dipped in assent while the gloved hands of the bundle of fur and leather squeezed him reassuringly, finally bringing him into a hug. "Let me clean up these fish. We'll have dinner, save a bit for the road tomorrow, and we'll work on packing up things tonight. We can sleep in the tents and they'll be the last things we get ready before heading out early, try to get the slip on anyone that might be in the area. If we go west there's another water source, we can go around that, settle on the west side and keep an eye out for a few days, see if they actually want to try to chase us down or if they were just flexing muscle in their 'new territory.'" Though he had barely realized it, it was just now that Mason felt the squeeze of Artyom's arms around him, returning the hug with a slow, unsure nod before pulling away and wiping at his face. They had a plan of action for now, and as the embrace ended Mace took a moment to give his friend a pat on the shoulder and a reassuring nod before hoisting the line of fish back up and over his shoulder. "That's mostly worry for later, however. If you want to build up the fire I'll get these cleaned and we'll take care of what needs to be done first." They had a plan, but would it be that simple?