Posted by: lordkyler | July 7, 2018

Radiance II: Part V – Homecoming

Previously: With the help of Officer Daniel Van Weir, our heroes managed to track down his sister Ophelia, who had faked her own kidnapping in order to escape her father, the uncooperative chief of police. Now reunited, Ophelia and the agents head to Daniel’s apartment to discuss their situation…


Five figures moved quickly through the dim streets of uptown Quill, unconsciously forming a defensive cluster around the smallest member of the group. Thanks to the efforts of the three agents, Ophelia Van Weir was finally coming home to her family – but not to her father.

“My apartment is just ahead, across from the library,” Daniel gestured with a nod, voice low.”Ophelia can stay with me for the time being. I… well, I was so focused on finding my sister, I haven’t given much thought to what comes next.”

Niku made a sympathetic noise. “I imagine it’s going be messy even in the best case. Unless there’s some way to reconcile with your father–”

Ophelia and Daniel scoffed in unison.

“-you’ll probably have to leave the city, at the very least,” Niku concluded. “You can’t hide her forever.”

Daniel sighed. “I’m afraid you may be right, but it isn’t as simple as it sounds. I can hardly pack my bags and abandon the family when Ophelia is supposedly missing. It would raise far too much suspicion, and my father trusts me little enough as it is.”

“Let’s not discuss this until we’re secure,” Vera said, glancing over her shoulder surreptitiously. “Anyone could be hiding out here.” Read More…

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Posted by: lordkyler | June 23, 2018

Fun With Sketchup – Eusphyra Class Cruiser

Struck by random inspiration, I decided to take a few hours and model a spaceship based on (and named after) the Hammerhead Shark. Since it’s all symmetrical, I probably could have saved a significant amount of time by using mirrored groups, but… oh well. This is a relatively simple model, but it was a lot of fun to make, and I quite like how it turned out.  Check it out!

Dun dun...

A simple view without textures. The resemblance to a Hammerhead should be immediately apparent, especially on the bridge at the front. I adapted dorsal and tail fins into cannons, and the pectoral fins into fighter bays. The matching cannons on the bottom break from the original shark design, but make a lot of sense for a space ship. An alternate design could lower and reverse the rear cannon, but in this case I wanted to focus all fire forward.

I really like these sort of views when drawing on graph paper.

A composite view showing some simple textures from basic angles.

Read More…

Posted by: lordkyler | June 22, 2018

Progress and Previews – Summer 2018 Status Report

As I announced in April, my creative efforts had to be temporarily put on hold while I dealt with college work and other issues. However, I am happy to report that I have finished the semester, and while the runway has been a bit bumpy, I am now back to my regularly scheduled flights of fancy.

Over the past few weeks, I finally finished a novella-length entry for the “Apocalyptic Anthology” I’ve posted about previously, and I’m quickly getting caught up with the Radiance RPG writeup series, which you should see posted soon.

As soon as that’s complete, I will be diving into the delayed Short Story Week entries as promised. I will be posting them as they are completed, rather than waiting to release them all in one week – after all, I wouldn’t want to keep you in eternal suspense like certain authors might be inclined to do. Assuming I can keep myself reined in, I hope to deliver them in fairly short order.

And now, in compensation for my tardiness, I present a brief teaser of this year’s upcoming entries*:

  • Every Man an Island: Already done! Read it here!
  • Past Away: A druid banished from her society for practicing alleged dark arts is suddenly the only one who can save it – but will she?
  • Saccharine Swift’s Confectionary Wonderland: An old man on a quest to find a whimsical magic candy from his youth uncovers a dark secret.
  • Win Stupid Prizes: A contest winner calls customer support after finding her prize contains an oddly specific “lifetime supply” of their product.
  • Syren: An alternative take on paranormal romances such as Twilight.
  • Gentle Into Night: The final members of humanity reaches its last hope at a new home, only to find it already occupied… and with no chance of cohabitation.
  • Whodinnit?: A wealthy man seeking to pass on his fortune awakes to find all of his guests murdered, and must deduce which – if any – were innocent.

Stay tuned!

*Titles and contents subject to change. Tales in Progress assumes no liability for broken promises. Please don’t steal my ideas. ®©™. Side effects may include…

Posted by: lordkyler | April 11, 2018

Announcement – Short Story Week Suspended

To anyone out there who might be eagerly awaiting my annual series of short stories, I’m afraid I have some unfortunate news. When I first started the tradition of posting short stories during the week of my birthday, my working hours were rather different, and – more importantly – I was not yet attending college. Given that this week is fast encroaching upon finals, I find I simply do not have the time to write fiction at the moment.

But don’t fear! Once this semester is finished, I will be free of college for at least the summer months, and I intend to devote significant time to writing. I have already determined what the remainder of this week’s short stories will be, and they are first in my docket for writing and release. Other project will follow – some of which you will see eventually. If you simply can’t wait to see more of my work, why not check out my serial fantasy series, The Legend of Lithra? The fourth book (prewritten) is wrapping up soon, and while it could use some polish, it is my best and most ambitious book to date.

Enjoy!

Posted by: lordkyler | April 9, 2018

Every Man an Island – Short Story Week 2018

The process of waking up from cryostasis was growing uncomfortably familiar.

Theo gasped, feeling the burn in his chest as he breathed on his own for the first time in… how long has this cycle been? Anything longer than a few days required the same protocols, making it impossible to tell time from biological processes alone. The gap in his memory seemed brief, as though he’d only laid down for a quick nap, but his body ached like he’d been running marathons, and the symphony of symptoms that accompanied cryosleep – nausea, dizziness, fatigue – made it hard to think about anything. He would feel fine in a few days, but by then, it would be time to go back under.

Taking a moment to center himself, Theo listened to the familiar hum of machinery, savored the chemical tang to the air, explored his muscles as if for the first time. Sometimes, in these first few moments after waking up, he wondered why he still bothered. He was shackled to a dream that had long since died, clinging to a hope as faint and distant as the stars. If not for the mission, he would have ended it all a long time ago. But, inevitably, duty called him back from the brink, kept him going for one more cycle. One step closer to his goal.

The earth was lost, but he could still save humanity. Read More…

Posted by: lordkyler | December 23, 2017

Radiance II: Part IV – Of Traps and Trains

Previously: In an attempt to win Governor Abbot’s cooperation, our heroes decided to investigate the kidnapping of the local police chief’s daughter, a young inventor named Ophelia. After a little detective work and a meeting with her older brother Daniel, they realized that young Ophelia had actually run away, and is likely hiding in a nearby railway graveyard. Even after learning that Abbot may be working with the Anarchists, the agents decide to keep their word and meet with Daniel to find his sister… without scaring her away again.


Following the investigation at Cyrus Martin’s manor, the three agents made their way back into town, riding with a very satisfied Ernie. The rain had stopped by the time they reached downtown, and since it was already late afternoon, Niku, Sarah, and Vera determined the best course of action would be to get a bit of rest before their meeting with Daniel Van Weir at the trainyard that evening.

They found a passable diner, where Niku tried unsuccessfully to flirt with the waitress, and Vera made a quick trip to the hardware store, realizing she was short on rope. They spent the rest of the time napping in a nearby park. It had been a long day already, and tonight wasn’t likely to be any easier. Best to rest and recharge their mana while they had the chance.

When the sun was low in the sky, they hitched a ride on trucks and passing trains until they reached their destination: a large yard housing all the detritus of a major shipping hub. Rusting engines, decrepit freight cars, and every other bit of metallic and mechanical scrap in the region – old trucks, crashed planes, and even a decommissioned tank that might have come from the Great War. Massive heaps of scrap rose around the far edge of the facility, like a miniature mountain chain overlooking a ruined city. Read More…

Posted by: lordkyler | December 9, 2017

Radiance II: Part III – Mad Martin’s Manor

PreviouslyAfter facing a hostile reception from Governor Abbot, our heroes decided to investigate a kidnapping in order to get on her good side. After investigating, however, they found that she may have run away instead, and have agreed to meet her brother at sundown to find her. In the meantime, they are continuing their primary investigation: discovering which of the three Governors is working with the dreaded Anarchists. Governor Martin – the head of financial matters – is next on the list. 


 

Niku, Sarah, and Vera walked down the street at a brisk pace, trying to put some distance between themselves and the minor debacle at the Van Weir house.

After a few minutes of silence, Sarah piped up. “We should get some horses or something. Governor Martin is a long walk away.”

Niku raised an eyebrow at that, glancing at the factory smokestacks in the near distance. “I don’t think we’ll find many carriages in this district,” he said. “But maybe if we get to a bigger street we can find something.”

Taking a slight detour, they did indeed find something – or rather, it found them. As they reached one of the main streets, a cheerful horn beeped from behind, signaling the arrival of a battered black taxicab, one of the older steam models.

As the agents stared, a man with a ruddy face and a tweed cap leaned out the window, gesturing broadly. “Mornin’!” he called. “Need a lift? Soft seats, reasonable rates!”

The three agents shared a glance and promptly piled in, barely closing the doors before they were in motion, racing along the cobbled streets. Taking a puff of his cigar, the cabbie gave a little wave. “I’m Eddie,” he announced. “Where can I take you, guv’nor?”

“To the Governor’s, actually,” Vera said, rolling down a window to siphon the smoke away. “Martin’s Manor.” Read More…

Posted by: lordkyler | August 20, 2017

Radiance II: Part II – Loose Cannons

Previously in the Radiance RPG: Our not-so-secret agents arrived in the town of Quill to battle against an Anarchist cell and investigate rumors of corruption among the council. After encountering opposition, the players decide to curry favor by searching for the kidnapped daughter of the local police chief. While fishing for rumors in the underground, our heroes ended up splashed by some conspicuously illegal substances, and have just run afoul of a patrolling officer…


“Hold right there!”

The three agents halted, and Niku took a step backward, but Vera stopped him. Fleeing was just as likely to cause problems as solve them. He stepped forward instead.

“Evening, officer,” he said, genial. His grin still bore a faint trace of light from the magical cocktail he’d had earlier.

The man was having none of it. “What’s the meaning of this, then?” he demanded, using his nightstick to gesture at the glowing stain on Vera’s shirtfront.

“We’re, uh…” Kinu trailed off, and Vera nudged him. “We’re confederate agents,” he admitted.

The officer stared skeptically, his scowl only increasing further as they provided proof. He was a young man, with somber features, dark hair, and pale complexion. His badge – Vera noted – named him as Officer Van Weir, a name that seemed strangely familiar.

“So you’re the ones they’re talking about, eh? Perhaps you can explain what these late-night libations have to do with your mission here? I’m sure Governor Abbot would love to hear your reasoning.” Read More…

Posted by: lordkyler | August 13, 2017

Radiance II: Part I – Agents of Fate

You can read the introduction to this arc here.

Every week, a train dutifully makes the journey from the city of Isolation to Quill, the crossroads of Fate, carrying goods and approved passengers. Today’s train, however, carried some very particular cargo.

In a private car at the very back of the line, two women and a man played cards, though they have some difficulty agreeing on the rules. Each of the three were very different in appearance and temperament, but all carry themselves with assurance, and wear badges proclaiming them as confederate agents.

The man – a burly Oqidan named Quidetto Yamahara but known to most as Niku – goes over the details of their mission as he shuffles the cards under close scrutiny, Over the past few weeks, this region has suffered numerous attacks from a local cell of Anarchists, an international group of terrorists. Each cell has their own leaders and agenda, but are united by an overarching philosophy, and often share information and resources.

While obviously cause for alarm, skirmishes of this scale would typically be relegated to the local militia, not requiring the attention of specialized and elite agents – agents authorized to use the forbidden arts of magic. In this case, however, local informants have recently discovered a shocking conspiracy: one of the three council members overseeing the city of Quill has turned traitor, and is colluding with the Anarchists.

Unfortunately, they do not know which of the three is responsible. The three agents, under the direction of Agent Yamahara, have been ordered to investigate the matter and authorized to arrest the offending council member. Read More…

Posted by: lordkyler | August 5, 2017

Radiance Returns!

At the urging of my recently returned brother, I am pleased to announce that the Radiance RPG is now back in session! Once again, I am taking up the role of the GM, and while we are continuing in the same setting, we do so with new players, new characters, and a new adventure. See the post linked above to learn more about the world of Radiance, and check out my prior posts to learn about the last arc.

My intention is for this to be a shorter, faster, and more focused game, with less elaborate posts, but as is so often the case of with role-playing games, I can’t predict exactly how things will unfold. I can say that we got off to a good start, and I’m looking forward to the journey.  Read More…

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