I'll talk about it tomorrow, I guess.
Things that I would love to blog about...if it wasn't 7:45 am after I stayed up basically all night on an extended play-date with my girlfriend. And added stuff, too. (Basically fleshed out all of the Nine Hells.)
I'll talk about it tomorrow, I guess.
So let's blog about the story idea I had yesterday!
I envisioned it as a manga-styled (probably not literally right-to-left, but art-style, plot, the everything, stereotypical shonen manga) story, and named it 'SirPlus' (because while I imagine that pun is known, it's not something I think would be an actual story's name, whereas Surplus, the title that I'd otherwise want, would almost certainly be taken), after the titular character's eventual codename.
So to describe this story, I need to give some background info. The main inspiration is YuYuHakusho, with a significant dash of InuYasha but with sides of various other series which feature things like Ki or an equivalently-named body energy source.
The idea spawned from wanting to run a series featuring five energy types--and this being a stereotypical shonen series, yes, the protagonist can, eventually, tap into all five of the energy sources (and his codename derives from his ability to do so, thanks to a commonly-used reference chart for the nature of the five energy types).
The five energy types are as follows:
Holy Energy, considered the opposite of Demon Energy, has a few requirements. The user must be pure of heart (but mind you, 'pure of heart' has a very very loose definition; a chivalrous pervert can still be considered pure; someone who is pure evil is still pure; a well-intentioned extremist with pure intentions counts, and so on and so forth).
You must learn how to use Holy Energy while you are currently alive. (Mind you, you can use it if you've learned it even if you are dead; if you were a spirit who was through any means given a 'living' body, you can then learn it while using this body even if said form is only temporary.)
You cannot be a pureblooded demon; no demon can ever learn holy magic. Heck, while means of becoming a demon (though rare) may exist, if someone knows how to use Holy Energy, they cannot become a pureblooded demon. To become one, they'd have to give up their Holy Energy capacity altogether.
And finally, you must have training in how to use Energy--usually, this is easiest done if the energy you are training in is Spirit energy, but Body energy is just as commonly used (mostly because Body energy can be learned by literally anyone with training whereas Spirit energy has some requirements of its own).
With the exception of Kekkaishi, Shrine Maidens, and Holy Monks (each of which is a special exception because they use a specific variant of holy energy), this energy type is not inherited genetically. You can be born the child of a Holy Energy user and be unable to use it; you can be born the child of a family who nowhere in their family has anyone ever used Holy Energy and yet have the capacity to tap into it; you can be surrounded by Holy Energy users and never learn it yourself; you can have never ever ever encountered a Holy Energy user in your entire life and yet still pick up how to use it.
Literally any non-demon can use it, so long as they meet the specified criteria; pure of heart, currently alive, not a pureblooded demon, and trained in how to use Energy (so basically, Holy Energy is almost never the first of the five energy types learned unless you're a Kekkaishi, Shrine Maiden, or Holy Monk).
However, in spite of this capacity of anyone being able to learn it, it is the least-learned type of energy out there of the standard four. Its primary users are the Kekkaishi, Shrine Maidens, and Holy Monks, who learn it as part of their family legacies. (You don't need to be born into one of those three to take it up, but it is certainly much easier if you are born into a family of one of those three. You also aren't required to use that specific form of Holy Energy. Someone who is the child of a Kekkaishi can learn customized Holy Energy magic which doesn't involve Kekkaishi barriers at all.)
Kekkaishi, Barrier Warriors (who have an approximately equal number of active female and active male members), are mostly defensive. Their barriers can purify evil within them (which also gives them minor healing abilities, a frequent attribute of Holy Energy), but otherwise it takes creativity to use them offensively. Creating small spear-like barriers; crushing someone between two barriers; creating a barrier and removing the oxygen from within to asphyxiate those within; creating a barrier and exploding something within to create a contained localized explosion, etc.
Shrine Maidens (who are mostly, but not exclusively, female...though they are still called Shrine Maidens even when male and wear the Shrine Maiden clothing regardless of gender) are mostly offensive. They have limited healing abilities and are very skilled at detecting evil, finding weak points in enemy's defenses, and offensive usage of magic, mostly through either enchanted physical arrows (these are more powerful) or outright pure energy arrows (these are less powerful but have unlimited ammo and don't require lugging around a physical bow/quiver).
Our protagonist's mother is a semi-retired shrine maiden. She no longer travels across the country (something active shrine maidens are expected to do), but she still helps out at her shrine, around town, and trains the next generation of shrine maidens. Our protagonist refused to take up the family tradition, so isn't trained in shrine maiden holy magic, but he is trained by her in how to fight, skills he'd later transition into his own style. (He ends up using customized Holy Energy eventually, although it is not the first Energy type he learns even though he's obviously known about it his whole life.)
Holy Monks (who are mostly, but not exclusively, male) use a balance of offensive and defensive applications of their holy magic. They use charms, they use enchanted staves, they use holy fists/elbows/knees/feet, can launch some energy attacks, ward against attacks especially from evil, purify evil from an area, etc.
All three have plentiful membership and all three have similar tendencies. Some stay local, to help out around the town, whereas others roam around the country (even world), helping out others, and it is expected for them to protect, to heal, to ward against evil and so on and so forth.
All three also happen to have been taught and learned that while a fair share of their enemies would be demons, demons are not inherently evil nor are all evils in the world originating from demons and are quite aware of what their fellow human beings are capable of, both the good and the bad.
But speaking of demons...
Demon Energy, on the opposite side of the spectrum from Holy Energy, is innate to anyone with demon blood in their veins. It is also exclusive to them. There's not much more to say than that. Only demons can use it, and every demon inherently uses it. Obviously, some demons use it more than others, but every demon has the capacity to use it to at least some degree.
Spirit Energy has similarly complex requirements to Holy energy. The user must have died--but mind you. This death doesn't require you to currently be dead. Clinical death counts. And, yes. That loophole you probably just thought of? It is exploited. If you are dead for less than a minute, it still counts as a death even if you are immediately revived.
Because this aspect of spirit energy is known and well-documented, it is commonly exploited in fact. Obviously, unlocking it via this method is considered dangerous (there's always the risk the revival fails), but it is still an oft-used albeit slightly dangerous method of unlocking this energy type for use.
In extremely rare cases, near-death experiences (especially accompanied by some combination of: latent untapped body energy potential, extremely strong presence of Spirit Energy in the area over a sufficiently long period of time, a brief comatose state accompanying the near-death experiences) can unlock it.
Spirit Energy also takes training to unlock and master. One need not unlock another type of energy first to use it, but it's certainly easier to learn spirit energy if you know how to use a different type of energy first. It is also much much easier to learn if you are a spirit, especially in a currently-not-in-a-living-body state.
Mind you--spirits who have obtained a living body don't magically lose access to their spirit energy; once unlocked, it's unlocked permanently even if you're well and truly fully alive the entire time.
Life Energy, on the opposite side of the spectrum from Spirit Energy, is never used by anyone even though almost anyone can use it. The 'almost' comes from it having a pretty simple restriction: its user must currently be alive, thus, spirits can't use it (and thus why it's considered to be on the opposite side of the spectrum).
Only a spirit sacrificing a revival method can use it without consequence; only a spirit with a currently-living vessel can use it, but doing so drains the life of the vessel. Life Energy is, simply put, sacrificing your lifespan. All beings, even demons who have lived for millenia, have a lifespan, and using life energy shortens it. It is irreversible; it is not something which you can just go use and then try to replace by using a different energy method (say, a demon trying to use a demon power to maintain their immortality).
Once gone, it is gone. It will shorten the time you have alive, permanently. It is finite in its supply. It is a measure of last resort, to be used only when you are ready to give up your life in a last-ditch effort to well and truly fight to the bitter end in defense of your objective. It cannot be forcefully used. It cannot be coerced out of someone. If you were, say, controlling the body of someone you wouldn't be able to kill them by making them use life energy. It requires conscious, deliberate, fully willing, thought to use as a measure of last resort, where you have pushed yourself to your limit and need a final push to actually accomplish the job.
As a consequence, unlike other energy types, it usually cannot be drained from others. (Energy drainers are in of themselves fairly rare, but they exist. Yet none of them can drain life energy. Well, almost none of them...) There's a minor exception; an antihero character (might be a rival to the protagonist? Not sure yet about that) can drain it...but only from those who consent to the drain. He tells them that he can fight, he can save them, but that they need to, say, give up one year of their life to do so and asks them if they accept; only if they do does he have the ability to use their life energy in the amount quantified.
There'd also be one vampiresque villain biting the neck of a victim with the ability to drain it--but only if the victim has absolutely no defense, no way of fending off the attack. No training, no resistance, no awareness, and no incredibly strong latent energy of any type.
The protagonist only uses it once, but it was a very notable instance.
The final type of energy, Body Energy, also called Ki Energy, is something literally anyone can learn to use. Everyone has it; everyone can use it. There's no restrictions; there's no limitations. All it takes is to train in it, or to be innately gifted with it and exposed to a sufficiently large trauma as to forcefully unlock it. (And for obvious reasons, the former is far more common than the latter and is the preferred method.)
None of these energy types are limited in what they can do; the only limits to them are the aforementioned requirements to be able to use them in the first place. They can do literally anything the user wants them to, provided the user has both the sufficient reserves of the energy (again, none of these energy types exist in unlimited quantities for a person; everyone has a finite supply at any given time) and the sufficient training in mastering what they want to do with it. (If you want to launch a fireball, you can't just spontaneously think 'launch a fireball' and it'll happen; every technique you use is something you need to train your body how to learn how to use.)
Now, there is a bit of a 'trump triangle' to energy types. Holy will, usually, be able to overcome Demon energy. Demon energy will, usually, be able to overcome Spirit energy. Spirit energy will, usually, be able to overcome Holy energy. But these aren't hard rules so much as general guidelines of "all other factors equal, one energy type has a slight advantage over the others".
For what it's worth, Ki is mostly neutral to all three but could potentially overall be at a slight disadvantage; Life energy is mostly going to have the advantage over all three but harvesting it is not going to guarantee victory.
Now it is worth mentioning: you know how in basically every single anime show ever, each and every single person has different moves and techniques? How they are customized to the individual; some series may have some standardized techniques and some series may have characters who trained together using at least one of the same moves while having personalized unique individual moves to not be completely identical; same principle applies here.
Energy, regardless of type, is highly customized to the individual. Each and every individual learns their own techniques. They name their own moves, they discover the motions for their moves on their own, they learn how to channel the energy and how to shape it to do the desired effect, all on their own.
They can also be taught by another how to do it, by being trained by them. Seeing it done, going through the motions of it being done, and so on and so forth until they learn how to accomplish the technique.
Thus, while there are standards, while some abilities (e.g. Kekkaishi/Shrine Maiden/Holy Monk ones) are standardized, most powers are unique to the individual. And even said standard abilities? Can be modified/customized by an individual, quite often, to somehow mold them differently from their original form/shape.
So these energies both simultaneously are and are not "magical do anything" energy types. You can do anything that you have trained yourself to be able to do. Shoot a spear of energy is something that if you trained how to do you can do, but if you wanted to spontaneously shoot a spear of energy, good luck. Create an energy shield is something that if you trained how to do you can do, but if you desperately needed to defend against an incoming attack and shouted 'shield!' without having actually trained yourself in how to create a shield...good luck.
This training isn't just mental, nor is it just physical; it is a combination of both. You need to actually practice, you need to actually learn, you need to actually figure out how something works, in order to do it. And skills don't instantly transfer from one energy type to another (with the exception of life energy which would never be used if it didn't have this ability setting it apart from the other four; nobody's going to willingly burn off their lifespan to train in how to use it, obv). You can't practice a skill using demon energy and then try to use that same skill using spirit energy; to pull off that skill using spirit energy, you need to practice using it with spirit energy and figure out the difference.
Mind you. Once you learn how to use one energy type, it's usually not that hard to transfer this knowledge into applying a different energy type. If it took you ten years to learn Ki, it might take you only ten weeks to figure out how to use spirit energy techniques that are similar to your body energy ones. But it is not an instant "it's active, therefore I can transfer one to another".
The main advantages to having access to multiple types of energy are as follows:
-As mentioned, certain energy types can have the edge over other energy types, situationally. So knowing how to use multiple types allows you to respond in the way most likely to give you the advantage.
-Certain energy types are more easily suited for certain skills than others. While every energy type can do what the others can, certain energy types have easier times doing specific tasks (say, forming an energy blade) than others do.
-The body only stores a finite amount of every given energy type at a given time. You don't have unlimited body, demon, holy, spirit, or life energy; they are a resource that is depleted and needs to be restored with rest and recovery.
...However. It's not "your body only stores a certain finite amount of total energy"; it's "your body only stores a certain finite amount of each energy type".
So basically, having access to two energy types doubles your energy pool; three, triple. Four, quadruple. All five, you can fight until you drop dead from expending your life energy which would presumably be the last to be fully depleted.
I wanted to make a story based around that concept.
What I came up with was that the protagonist was the son of the aforementioned Shrine Maiden and, secretly, unknown to him until much much much later in the story, the demon Rakan. (His father's actively involved in his life. Has a part-time job, is involved in housework, and the like. So the reason it's not known isn't because his dad's not around; it's just that his parents never told him that he's half-demon and never told him about his demon lineage so while he knows about his mother being a semi-retired shrine maiden, he has no clue that his father's a semi-retired monster.)
Rakan is...well, the pioneer of the Demon Bullet and Demon Blade techniques (the protagonist's first techniques were ki-based versions of these techniques); for centuries, he's been known for his rampages where he slaughters and literally devours humans.
He derives no pleasure from consuming human flesh, nor does he need to in order to survive. (He can live just fine off of normal food.) However, whenever he consumes human flesh, he gains a temporary huge boost to his power...and 1/100th of this boost is permanent so if he were to consume 100 humans he would effectively permanently boost his power as much as he would temporarily from a single serving.
He does like to fight opponents who put up a fight. Mind you, 'putting up a fight' does not translate to 'can actually threaten him'; usually when he went on his rampages he'd find the people taking up arms against him and shred them to pieces slowly. Enjoying the hunt, in a sense. And if someone tried to just...not fight him, he'd find a way to incentivize them into doing so.
In his own words he fully admits that while demons are not inherently evil, he is. (Well, mostly. He's under no obligation to his wife not to commit such acts. He never promised not to, he was never asked not to, she never instructed him not to, but out of love just chose to not do so anymore. Not because it'd be preying on her kind. Just because it seemed like a romantic gesture to him. He's got no intention to start eating humans again, but he didn't change his morals or anything of the sort. In his own words, "I fell in love with her, not the human race she belongs to.")
It'd have been fully possible for him to increase his power by nonlethal methods: consuming recently deceased corpses (they need to be fairly fresh for him to get the power), or even taking nonlethal bites out of a person (which even with the best of healing abilities will leave a scar, but which is easy enough for him to do). He killed humans because he thought it fun to do.
This earned him a lot of titles.
Rakan the Devourer.
Blood Bullet Rakan.
Demon Blade Rakan.
Lord Rakan. (The title demons, particularly those who consider themselves his servants, call him.)
Ninth Hell Rakan. (Basically, the ninth demon to be considered so powerful as to be hell on earth.)
Rakan the Slasher.
The Striped Tiger.
Crescent Heavenkiller Rakan.
He insists "most of those titles I earned by killing some dude who had a few of his own"--
Said person those titles were earned by killing? A demon by the name of Ivan the Unkillable, AKA, The Unslayable Serpent, AKA, DragonGod Ivan, AKA The Hand of Heaven. (He was later revived and thus, is still actually alive. Still, the act of killing him was enough to be worthy of attention.)
Ivan was a demon considered powerful enough where if he were so inclined he could've been powerful enough to be a Hell--and only wasn't one because he was actually fairly saintly in that he was a genuinely altruistic demon with no ulterior motive, a down-to-earth demon who was friendly and amicable...just, immensely powerful. (And is half the reason why people know demons aren't inherently evil even though quite a lot of demons are.)
Rakan insists that the only reason he was able to pull it off was that he had just fed on an entire city's worth of people and thus was at the absolute highest possible peak of his power, and in his own words, "I thought he was just some schmuck who objected to me slaying a city; if I had known who he was, I would've run."
Rakan certainly didn't help his reputation when, after the aforementioned event, there was a conference held in the afterlife on whether to hunt him down and kill him due to him being such a large threat. Rakan killed himself (after setting up a revival mechanism so that he'd be brought back to life) in order to invite himself to the conference and offer his viewpoint explaining the matter.
This would basically be akin to party crashing in on heaven when you're Lucifer and saying, "Yo, God, sorry about the mess I caused downstairs, but it was an accident, I swear; I came here to apologize for the misunderstanding." He said that the city slaying was done as an experiment, he found it boring, he promised he would never do something on that scale again, explained he had no intention of challenging people like Ivan, and promised to do them a favor so long as they didn't put out the kill order on him.
He got what he wanted; they decided not to put out the kill order on him...by instantly on the spot classifying him as the Ninth Hell--threats so dangerous that nobody is to try and kill because they are just that dangerous. (He later paid off that favor simply enough; they asked for him to be present in a place, which convinced one of the other nine hells to negotiate rather than fight as they were originally going to until Rakan was there.)
He also said that he would mitigate the damage he'd do by continuing to do what he was already doing: hunting down demons (particularly evil ones) of notable strength and killing them, so that they wouldn't menace people. He had ulterior motives for this, of course; not done out of any sense of altruism, but simply done to seek a challenge, in that he wanted to have some good fights against opponents he knew he could beat but which he'd still have some difficulty in bringing down, where it wouldn't be easy to massacre them.
So he is, as far as demons go...rather noteworthy, rather notorious, both by spirits and by other demons because of his actions over the course of centuries of carnage and mayhem.
The protagonist inherited his father's powers, albeit dormant. As he is half-human, his demon powers passively grow stronger with time without him needing to consume human flesh. (He can consume human flesh to gain that immediate power spike and 1/100th of said power spike permanently being added...but as he's no desire to partake in cannibalism, for obvious reasons, opts not to.)
There's a tradeoff, though. Our protagonist is a really big eater who needs to eat a ton of calories to fuel said demon powers. In fact, when activating his demon powers, he consumes his own body fat and looks unnaturally muscular as a consequence when using his demon powers. He has the power to surpass his father quite easily, it's just that in his current state he can only use his demon powers at their fullest for a limited amount of time as a consequence of currently requiring that consumption of his own body to activate them.
Mind you, that is not a normal demon trait; it is a trait specific to "newblood" demons, where their demonic powers can only be activated by a trigger mechanism of some sort. His trigger mechanism just so happens to be his father's trait of consuming flesh. Given enough time to develop, he'd be able to use his demon powers without the need to consume his own body flesh, and consuming his own body flesh would be an optional thing done to give his demon powers an immediate power boost.
I guess I should talk about the world the setting takes place in.
In this setting, demons have faded in and out of common knowledge. Sometimes, they're out in the open and everyone knows about them; other times, they're in the shadows and very few humans are "in the know". In the current modern era the story is set in, people are slowly transitioning from a long period of the former into the latter; demons aren't completely out in the open, but they're less and less secretive.
There's not an unlimited number of afterlives, but there is a very large number of afterlives for dead people to go to; they will go to the afterlife most suited for them. Some could be described as 'hell', most would be described as some form of 'heaven'. There's a transitionary realm between our world and said afterlives, where there's a collective bureaucracy of spirits who help make the transition of spirits into the afterlives easier.
The existence of spirits is not public knowledge, but it's a bit of an "open secret"; basically everyone who uses energy or is closely tied to someone who uses energy has some awareness of spirits' existence. They are, after all, heavily involved with the world.
Usage of ki is something everyone knows about, though. Everyone knows how ki works; everyone knows ki exists; everyone knows what ki does, and so on and so forth. Not everyone learns how to use it; in fact, most people don't. But it's a thing that everyone knows about.
Martial artists are a big thing, as are organizations that travel across the world. Some official, some unofficial, some international, some by country. Militaries and Police Forces usually have many members trained in the usage of at least one form of energy; Detectives with powers investigating usage of powers are a thing; etc.
The setting would, obviously. Have Loads And Loads of Characters. Some muggle, most not; some who start muggle and gain powers, most who were already using energy of one form or another at the beginning of the story. (Our protagonist starts off not having any, but very very very quickly learns ki, as the need arises.)
There's probably more details to the story than these, but this is most of where the idea came from.
It's a big project and you can maybe see why I wanted to make it. I really love the idea.
For a start, I thought of a really freakin' cool story idea which is ready to blog about, but which I should probably be more lucid to attempt to blog about. I did well in TFT today, both gaining points in ranked and also winning a match in unranked. I even performed adequately in League itself! I had to be carried pretty much, but I still managed to hold my own well enough in the games I won. Wasn't the best on my team, but helped contribute to the win both times.
My one regret for today: the day is over. Like, I did a nice workout this morning; I didn't have a hard time at work; I thought of a good story idea while at work; I had fun playing games once home from work; literally the only bummer about the day is that the day is at its end.
I've been up for 19.5 hours, and even though it's only just past midnight (12:30), I'm dead tired. I want to stay up longer. I want the day not to end. I want it continue. I want to still do stuff. But I'm just...out of energy, both physical and mental. And for most tasks, emotional. Doing the stuff I did was great, but it was also draining and I don't think I can handle any more of it for a while.
So I guess it's to bed with me.
Not just any birthday, mind you. The last official "you are now an adult" birthday by legal standards. Everyone knows about the eighteen-year mark; everyone knows about the 21-year mark; some regions have other age marks for adulthood but those two are the famous ones.
Yet what they don't tell you is that there's a third: the age where you can no longer be covered by your parents (on insurance, etc.). I'm not quite sure that's as universal (the age might differ in different countries and some countries might lack that restriction altogether), but here in the good ol' US of A, that age is 26. My age as of today.
So by the last standard in existence legally, I'm technically an adult. Sure don't feel like one tho.
Anyway, I have no clue when this is scheduled for, but APPARENTLY, to celebrate my birthday, the plan's to go to an arcade sometime vaguely soonish. My main hesitation is, I don't know if I'm expected to pay for my playing. If so, I don't want to spend my own money and it seems like a bit of a waste for me to go and do nothing but watch. But if someone else fields my bill--or rather, coins--heck yes I'll try it out. If not, well...I'm a cheapskate scrooge who hordes money.
I may or may not have more to talk about later, or maybe I expand on the above. Right now, I'm writing this up to be typed later, because I'm at work. There's an hour's gap between when I finish my TKD workout and when I start work, a gap I normally fill with browsing the internet (well, kinda; browsing one site specifically) on my phone.
There's just one problem:
My phone charger died/quit working. It was working two days ago on Sunday, but quit some time between then and now. Natural consequence of this?
Obviously...with my phone on for two days when it's a years-old phone that gets close to death within 24 hours of being uncharged...the phone itself died. It'll be fine once I get it recharged for a few hours, going from 0% batter to 100% battery, but that'll require a new phone charger, one that I currently obviously lack as the current one failing me caught me off-guard. (I suspected it'd eventually need replacing because of the exposed wires. I didn't suspect it'd need it so soon.)
That having been said...while I'm writing this blog out of boredom, I don't have any real topic to discuss (also, because I'm writing larger letters today, I'm running out of room on the paper). The story I want to blog about has its notes at home and I've nothing new to add to said notes. A new story isn't ready for a blog just yet; I'm still fleshing out the concept (short version: villain protagonist in a superhero setting, and trying to write a villain protagonist who ISN'T a Well-Intentioned Extremist, isn't secretly good, is just an actual villain but not motivated by typical villain ambitions of greed, revenge, or power, with the power set to allow for them to get away with it while not being story-breaking).
So I just don't have access to anything right now.
I've got like almost two dozen videos that I want to watch.
I've not been playing many League games even though I have quests that'll expire soon and I want to complete them.
I've not been playing ranked TFT games as much as I want.
I've not been blogging with the blog entries on the stories I want to blog about.
And I have dozens of obligations beyond that.
I'm not going to be able to go to tae kwon do tomorrow from a combination of having basically-a-blister (it looks like a blister but was not a blister; I went onto the guard stand with a perfectly healthy foot and then by half-way through the rotation I looked at my foot and suddenly there was torn skin on my heel, so what probably happened is that I scraped it hard against the wooden chair) on a day where we were supposed to run (running and blisters, bad mix) plus me just generally not feeling well.
Which means in an area I am already incompetent in (physical fitness), I'll be falling even more behind because I can't do what I need to do to stay in shape.
So much I'm not doing, that I need to do.
...But then I forgot, and ended up playing Teamfight Tactics all day long. (Oops.) In my defense, I had a good excuse; I was both trying to advance my quests forward (which takes a ton of games) and trying out the new system (they revamped a lot of things in 9.14) and trying out the ranked system.
By the way, combining the three...not the best of ideas for obtaining a good rank. Between unfamiliarity with what the best comps would be in the latest meta (needing to relearn everything...or as it turns out, not very much to be honest) and going out of my way to make comps that weren't the most ideal but would fulfill the requirements, I ended up initially placed in Iron II.
I've since advanced to Bronze IV, but my LP is so ridiculously/dangerously low that I could be demoted back into iron in any case of having bad random rolls.
And make no mistake, the game still is random. Riot games improved it. You almost always get at least one drop from a wave...but it's "almost", not "always". Furthermore, said drop? Can be gold...which is utterly worthless...especially when instead of an item which could be more valuable than twenty gold, you end up with a consolation prize of...one. gold. piece.
Basically you still need to get lucky on what items you get.
This also applies to the carousel. You need to, if near/at the bottom, be lucky with what's on it; you need to, if near/at the top, hope that the people below leave you something you want and/or that there was nothing on the carousel that was gamebreaking.
Items, or a lack thereof, still drive a significant part of the game.
And then there's the rolls. You can't get by with any combination of mostly-T1-synergies; you can't get by past the earlygame with non-synergistic T2s. To do well in a match, you need T2s that happen to have good synergies...which...requires luck.
There's some skill involved, sure, but right now a single bad game can knock you down for circumstances out of your control, which kinda sucks.
I'm most of the way to the final Beta reward (well, final that I know of, anyway); if I completed the current quests I have, I'd have it! But since that'd require at least ten games...it'll have to wait.
I'm going to bed now instead.
...Or. At least.
Let's WRITE a proper blog entry today. I'm writing this at work; there's only about a 20% chance I end up POSTING it today, with only a 30% chance I even end up posting it at all. (If I don't post it the day of, odds are fairly high I don't post it at all.)
But I've gotta try.
You know why?
...Because today, I worldbuilt an ENTIRE WORLD. One with 11.5 races in it, an entire history of a continent, cultures for each of them, myth and lore for some, biology, magical rules, even the UNIVERSE BEYOND THE WORLD THE STORY TAKES PLACE ON.
Multiple characters (I've thought up about a dozen or two) and basically the plot from start to finish. I even have a name and a half for the protagonist! (The protagonist renames himself Dmitrius; I've got an idea for the type of original name for him, but it's not set in stone. I wanted something 'kinda mundane, but not incredibly mundane, a name you'd expect to see from a fantasy character that's not too out there and still realistic', the likes of, say, 'Tristan' which is the working name I have for him even though I tend to overuse the name Tristan in my stories or names similar to it.)
All of this originated from the most innocuous of all things; during work, I got a song stuck in my head. Didn't even hear the song played; I just thought of it randomly and then it kinda just resonated in me for a while.
...Specifically, the lyrics,
"Nobody knows what it's like,
To be the bad man,
To be the sad man".
Which got me thinking about Villain Protagonists. They're a dime a dozen, even the specific breed of Villain Protagonist I thought of; not someone with a fundamental physical need to be villainous (think like "needs to feast on human flesh" types of literally-can't-not-be-a-villain), not someone forced into villainy by circumstances (think like "needs cash from villainous acts to get by"), but rather, someone who CHOSE to be a villain, even knowing that being a villain would suck.
Someone who doesn't do evil because it feels good and quite the opposite knows it feels bad. Someone who doesn't do evil because of some petty reasoning but who has an actual ambition beyond a stereotypical villainous goal like conquering, greed, revenge, etc.
Someone who goes into villainy knowing it wouldn't be easy, knowing it wouldn't be fun, knowing it wouldn't be guaranteed to work out and failure would be very realistically an outcome...and yet in spite of knowing these things, willingly and deliberately embarked into villainy ANYWAY.
I've always loved those sorts of stories, and while I know the concept's far from unique, I wanted to take my shot at my own spin on the concept, and it all kinda snowballed from there. Some things I decided right away; while options like a webcomic might work, I kinda wanted to use the narration method of literature, of writing, for it, in part because I developed a unique narration style for the story--one I've used similar before but never quite this one.
More specifically, a mixture of present tense and flashback past tense; a mixture of the Villain Protagonist's first person perspective, and biased/detailed/subjective third person perspective (as opposed to unbiased/distanced/objective third person; the difference between the two is that biased/detailed/subjective gives insight into characters' minds in spite of it not literally being inside of their heads; even though you're not reading things from their perspective, you still have a bias where things come across as if they were being shown from that character's viewpoint).
I had a good concept for the kind of content I wanted in the story. It would show his feelings (how much he hates what he's doing, pretty much, chronicling how he's miserable and in spite of being really dang good at the whole villainy thing as a natural who has the act down pat, he hates every single minute of it and despises every act he's doing, but keeps doing it because of his objective, his goal), while also showing what he's doing:
Fighting, then killing, former friends...and after all of those are dead, fighting, then killing, genuinely good people who he knows are genuinely good people. Not "jerks with hearts of gold", not people who look nice but who have secret bad sides, not people who have any real character faults...except for one; unfortunately, due to their altruism, they stand in opposition to his end goals.
They are literally just genuinely, seriously, legitimately nice folks, unambiguously so, and he slaughters them when they get in his way, because they are in his way and he needs to remove them in order to accomplish his plan.
Flashbacks would help detail his rise to villainy, his goals, his motives, and even his plan, chunk by chunk, section by section. We'd only very very slowly learn bits and pieces of what motivates him, what drives him to villainy (save for the tagline, which we'd get immediately, foreshadowing/hinting at the full extent of his plan), with us only getting the very final part at the very end of the story and letting it all fall into place.
The least-spoilery version that I can share with you (I don't want to give the actual full version in this blog because no joke, I might actually write this story because it's just that good to me and spoilering it in this blog months/years before I write it would kinda ruin the big plot twist/reveal): he aims to break the setting's Medieval Stasis (oh I need to talk about that, patience, I will below in a sec); I can give some more details below on that but not too much.
To facilitate this idea, I brainstormed a setting; my answer--a High Fantasy setting:
Medieval-level technology (by and large at least; mostly swords, bows, and the like augmented by magic, runes, and magitech), augmented by magic (specifically, two different types--casting magic whose most proficient users of the 'civilized races' is the elves, and rune magic, whose most proficient users of the 'civilized races' is the dwarves, with humans and gnomes being a middle ground using both in the form of magitech).
There would be multiple clichéd races (the aforementioned loose affiliation of "allied"/good/'civilized' races; Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, and Humans), and the setting would be on a single content they all share space on.
Said continent is more or less a Pangaea-shaped continent. Think 'combined land mass and variety in geographical features of North America and South America'...but with it being the comparative size to the whole world of Australia.
I need better words for that. Imagine that the landmass of this continent is 16.428 million miles². However, imagine that instead of the total size of the world being 196.9 million miles², the total landmass of this setting would be 1089.115555555553 million miles².
Or thereabouts. (My math might be horribly off here if I didn't do the process correctly. Basically, Australia's landmass is 2.97 million miles squared, and the landmass of the earth is 196.9 million miles squared; Australia's landmass is 1.50837988826816% the total landmass of the earth; divide the combined landmass of North and South America by that number, 0.0150837988826816, and you should get the comparative mass of the planet this setting takes place on. That, or I completely and horrifically failed at math forever.)
Basically what I'm saying is, their planet is huge, but all of life as the civilized races know it exists on one continent; they've never ventured into the ocean beyond to explore the rest of their world even though they have calculated the total size of their world and know that their continent is only a mere fraction of it. (And yes, canonically they do in fact have full other continents in existence which have just never been explored and are total unknowns to the sentient/sapient life on the continent.)
But really, one of the first things I developed--and the thing which makes the whole setting fall into place--is the story's slogan. If it were a webcomic, it'd be the webcomic slogan; if this story got a TVTropes page, it'd be the page quote, etc. It's the driving message, opening the book and yet echoing throughout, constantly referred back to. Not exactly the most original of slogans, but apt all the same:
"Sometimes, the world needs a villain."
And that slogan needed justification.
Why would the setting need a villain?
There had to be both 1: A solid reason why the medieval stasis developed in the first place (short answer, people became placated after having won a war), and yet also 2: a reason why it was a Very Bad Thing to have happened in the first place, which our Villain Protagonist, Dmitrius, felt the need to become a villain to fix, to break the status quo.
And that I can go into without it being a spoiler because this is just background lore, setting details which prop up the narrative and are important to the fundamental plot but which don't give any of the crucial details away. Stuff that helps people explore the world but which you don't necessarily need in the book itself (even though it will all be in the book itself).
What I came up with?
Basically, the "good guy" races, AKA, "magical humanoids"--the aforementioned Humans, Dwarves, Elves, and Gnomes--long ago triumphed over their traditionally-cliched-"evil"-counterparts. (In this case, an alliance of Orcs/Goblins/Hobgoblins/Kobolds/Ogres, who are "magically impaired humanoids" incapable of using EITHER runic OR casting magic, and who instead relied on technological advancement.)
In this setting, the traditionally-cliched-'evil'-races were not in fact evil, and no, they were not portrayed as evil, either. Everyone knows that they weren't. They regret that conflict arose, war broke out, differences couldn't be settled, and ultimately the only peace to be had was the seeming extinction of the five magically impaired humanoid races.
And no--the Medieval Stasis of the setting is not because those races were the only ones developing technology, as you might expect the cliched answer to why there is a Medieval Stasis to be...although their absence is part of the reason why the Medieval Stasis developed in the first place.
Monsters are all-but extinct (only one race of monsters is known to exist and they are an endangered species whose sightings are incredibly rare and are meticulously hunted down and exterminated promptly) and no threats exist.
People aren't unified into one "allied nation"; people aren't unified into four kingdoms one for each race; for the most part, while small kingdoms that rule a few cities exist, by and large, individual cities govern themselves and are otherwise unaffiliated. There's no alliances to be had, because there's no wars, no pacts, to be made. They've never had a need to form them, to form a grand unified nation, because they never have a need to fight with each other; there's an eternal peace.
Resources are bountiful; space is plentiful. Religious beliefs do differ, but these differences are a matter of academic debate rather than driving jihads/crusades. Basically, while the people have some sense of not being completely defenseless (because they still know that there are threats which, however unlikely, could menace them), they just have no need to fight each other, no need to really break the peace.
That's not to say there's no fighting at all, no squabbles, no violence whatsoever. Crimes happen, people fight even with weapons, clash with each other in skirmishes, but these things never escalate too far because they can be settled without the need for it.
With the level of magical/technological knowledge the races have, each race has basically doubled their natural lifespan. Humans to 150, Gnomes to 200, Dwarves to 500, Elves to 1200. And with the level of healing magic/runes/magitech available, pretty much nobody dies of anything other than old age. (Which, mind you, is one of the reasons why fighting's not very common. There's not really a drive for revenge because nobody dies to be avenged in the first place; there's not really a point in fighting to the death when it's basically impossible to kill each other.)
For all intents and purposes, it looks like a utopia, but the Medieval Stasis is, in large part, because it is so 'perfect'. Nobody has a need to advance things further than they were when they won the war. Nobody has a need to invent anything new, because their every need and want can be met now.
While there are passionate individuals who love adventure and exploration, there's no actual need for them to do those things aside from thrill-seeking; while there are those who like the challenges of furthering theories of magic, the abilities of casting magic and rune magic and hybridizations of the two have been explored to the point of being science, and past a certain point that science can't really advance much further because every breakthrough that they could plausibly have made, has already been made, and they have no paradigm shift to force a change in their perspectives.
And our villain protagonist's goal is to break that altogether, for reasons that you start the story not knowing. All we get to know is exactly what I said; the story slogan. That he genuinely believes the one and only way to succeed at his goal, to break the stasis, is for there to be a villain...and since nobody he knew of was exactly volunteering to fill the role, he took it upon himself to play the part and enact his agenda.
He started his crusade by slowly gathering the forces of the hidden world.
His first ally: a Minotaur. Minotaurs are the aforementioned last monster race in existence. In this setting, monsters are just as intelligent as the magical (and for that matter, non-magical) humanoids. They are brilliant, smart, cunning, deadly monsters who can be bipedal or quadrupedal...but this comes at a tradeoff.
Minotaurs, as all other monster races were, are magically-inept, just like the non-magical humanoids. That means that all magical spells to facilitate communication with them won't work. Magic works on them. So you can communicate to them. But you can't receive any feedback from them. No telepathy/mindreading, no empaths reading their emotions, nothing.
They have no real hands to speak of (they have hooves), so they are incapable of using any form of technology, really, even basic tech like a sword or ax. Combined with their inability to use any form of magic, that means they are limited to their innate natural physiology (which is, admittedly, more than enough on its own; they are basically monstrous bulls capable of bulldozing through rows of people and of maneuvering on either all fours or on two legs and instantly switching between the two).
They have a language of their own...but the problem is. They are utterly, physically, completely and entirely, unable to speak the magical-humanoid language (for simplicity's sake let's call it English). With training, they can understand it. They can be taught to understand what's being said when someone is speaking English, but they have a fundamental physical inability to talk back in it. And due to said magical ineptitude, no spells can translate their language into English.
Vice-versa is also the case. With training, someone can understand what they are saying when they speak their own language. But no humanoid can actually speak their language. This meant that there was an obvious, basically-unsolvable communication barrier between the species, and when they met, conflict naturally arose.
The magical humanoids knew that monsters were smart and had human intelligence, but they had no way of knowing that they weren't just "smart, dangerous beasts", so in this sense yes magical humanoids did in fact categorize a not-really-evil race as 'evil', but in this case it was backed up by basically their first meetings eons ago. Both could recognize the intelligence of the other, but not understand anything else about them, and past a certain point both sides just fell into the roll of "automatically try to wipe out the other".
Dmitrius managed to use the Freetalk spell (after using a 'hold person' spell to ensure the minotaur didn't run away--Dmitrius started the engagement when he deduced that 'hold person' only works on sentient, sapient lifeforms and thus confirmed that, yes, Minotaurs are in fact intelligent enough to be communicated with) to bridge the gap.
What's the Freetalk spell? Literally "Talking Is A Free Action" given an actual justification in the setting. It's the spell that even non-mage adventurers back when adventurers were a commonality learned because it allowed for conversations spanning hours to take place in the matter of only seconds. People couldn't move while using the spell beyond making communication-essential gestures (like pointing to something, for instance), but it allows for conversations to happen.
Dmitrius basically taught the Minotaur how to understand English (he deemed the minotaur smart enough to pick it up and that it'd be faster for the minotaur to learn English first than for him to learn the minotaur's language first), and once the Minotaur understood his English, the minotaur was able to walk Dmitrius through, very slowly, how to understand the minotaur's language, allowing for them to speak to each other in their own language and still hold conversation.
He began gathering the surviving minotaurs, pointing out that if they didn't do something they'd be on their way to extinction within 100 years and even if they outlived that expectation, expansion of the humanoid magic users would ensure their extinction within the next 300 years; he knew that if they wanted to survive as a species, they needed to change something and he began convincing them.
With them contacted/located, he asked them about the non-magical humanoid races, on the theory that they were not in fact actually extinct and were simply far, far more well-hidden and scattered. He was right.
The thing about Orcs, Goblins, Hobgoblins, Kobolds, and Ogres is that the five used to be a unified kingdom. They had one ruler, and were a coherent nation. One single grand supernation from this super-alliance of technological innovators.
But disputes between them and the four magical humanoid races elevated, tensions rose, and war broke out. The four magical humanoid races, in spite of previously not having been unified (and after having won the war, no longer being unified), did in fact unify to stand a chance against the mighty kingdom and though the war waged for hundreds of years...they did eventually emerge victorious.
This victory wasn't because their magic was superior.
It wasn't because of internal strife.
It wasn't because of them being smarter/better or anything like that.
It was a simple matter of two factors when combined together, basically boiling down to atrophy.
The non-magical humanoid races had a few advantages over the magical humanoid races. They learn much, much, much faster than the magical humanoid races; they breed in the span of a couple of months rather than almost a year; when breeding they breed dozens of offspring rather than just one or two; they're hermaphrodites so they aren't limited in reproductive partners.
But there's a tradeoff; they live for a much, much, much shorter span of time. Their average life expectancy is an average across the five races (some shorter, some longer) of 20 years; with their technology, they can extend it further to 30-40, but they are still much much much shorter lived than their magical humanoid counterparts.
There's also the simple matter of experience and logistics. With their vast numerical superiority, you'd think they'd be overwhelming...but the problem is, those increased numbers require an increase in resources to maintain...and in the aftermath of combat, that's more bodies who need medical treatment.
To put it simply: in the aftermath of any given battle, every single magical humanoid involved that lived through the battle would not only live, but also be able to get back into top fighting form, living to fight another day.
In the aftermath of any given battle, not every single non-magical humanoid involved that lived through the battle...would end up living. It was simply impossible to rescue them all from death, and even if they were saved, it wasn't guaranteed that they wouldn't be crippled.
In the span of 80 years, you'd have a single magical humanoid general square off against 8 non-magical humanoid generals. That disconnect in leadership, in experience, in continuity, was disastrous. They had built an empire, but in the atrophying state of warfare, the transitions between leaders wasn't smooth, whereas on the side of the magical humanoids, they had all the time in the world to smoothly transition from one leader to another.
Another way of thinking about it: the non-magical humanoids were very very quick to learn as individuals, but as a species were quite slow to learn; the magical humanoids are very slow learning as individuals, but as a species could learn far more efficiently the ever-changing nature of total warfare.
Dmitrius offered them a return to their homelands, a return to the state where they used to be, pointing out that with him at the helm and with the help of all his gathered forces, they would be able to overcome this shortcoming, especially when given that their opponents, placated by such a long-standing peace, would have since forgotten in their stagnation the way of war, whereas them in their harsh living conditions have continued to advance and now have technology far beyond what they had the last time the races clashed.
There is one more race that Dmitrius gathers to his cause: the Dragons. Dragons used to dominate the land even before the days of the non-magical humanoid empire. In fact, it was a combined alliance of all humanoids, magical and non-magical alike, that brought the dragons (helped by internal strife with the dragons, as the dragons were all greedy and selfish to a fault) to extinction.
Or rather, so it was believed. The truth: dragons are immortal, not dieing of old age at all. Every female dragon died, so they are incapable of hatching dragonlings, of laying eggs and birthing a new generation of dragons; the current dragons alive are the last there are, but they still exist. They're just all male and can't procreate.
Dmitrius offers, in return for their services, the help of the non-humanoid breeding pits to create female clones of every single dragon alive. Obviously, the male dragons can't mate with their own clone (it'd basically be like matiing with your sister; incest and all of that, not exactly great for the long-term survival of a species), but basically...there is enough genetic diversity across the dragon species because essentially none of the surviving male dragons are closely related to one another that any given male dragon can mate with basically any other male dragon's female clone.
A male dragon mating with a different male dragon's female clone wouldn't produce any problems because the other male dragon's female clone would have sufficiently different genes from the male mating with her that their offspring would be viable.
Granted, dragons take a hundred years to reach mating age (one of the reasons why they got to extinction range in the first place), but given they are literally immortal, a hundred years of serving Dmitrius's agenda is well worth the revitalization of their race to them. Which is a big deal, because dragons are...well. DRAGONS.
Like, three times the size of a humanoid. Breath fire. Scaled, hard to puncture skin. Winged fliers. Lots of sharp teeth and sharp claws. Most skilled magic users of all in both runic AND casting magic. DRAGONS.
And Dmitrius makes them his allies.
Dmitrius has one more ally up his sleeve as well, but one of his own creation.
Long ago, necromancy was thought to have gone extinct because the magical humanoid races thought necromancy was an abomination which kept the souls of the living from moving on to the afterlife. Dmitrius doesn't know if that's true or not (there's no proven afterlife, there's no disproven afterlife, there's no proof that souls suffer when made undead, etc.), but he honestly doesn't care; the utility of having an undead army is simply too much of one for him to ignore.
There's a minor limitation; necromancy only works on the four magical humanoid races' corpses. He can't revive, say, a dead dragon; a dead orc; a dead minotaur. But he can revive en masse a massive army of Undead servants, and does precisely that.
That's basically how he ends up beginning his ascent to villainhood.
There's probably more I'm forgetting to share, but that's all I can think of at the moment.
It's a really good idea, I think.
Like I said, I thought of basically everything.
Only thing I really lack is the story's name and the world/continent's name. (I'm thinking that in spite of the world not being just the continent, that they would name the continent and world one and the same. Because in spite of knowing that their world is more than just their continent now, at the time it gained its name, the two were considered one and the same. Whole, evolving knowledge, and all that.)
And I know that typing this out is cutting into my already-technically-below-six hours of sleep.
And I know that this'll force me to type out an entry tomorrow before midnight, because this is an entry for the 22nd past midnight when my prior entry was before midnight so if I changed the date of the blog it wouldn't archive correctly forcing me to leave it as the 23rd even though for all intents and purposes this is a second entry for the 22nd.
And I know that I am sick and should be asleep.
And I know that this'll mean the last thing I see before sleeping will be the unhealthy light of the computer (when before this whim hit me I HAD done a bit of a pre-bed digital detox which prevents that).
This is not a blog I'll remember by the time that I would blog tomorrow. I wouldn't blog tomorrow morning even IF I remembered this, and I wouldn't remember it by the time I got home from work most definitively.
I had this brilliant idea before falling asleep--in fact, it was the idea I was going to use to fall asleep.
Like most of my best ideas, this idea originated from the darker side of my brain. No, seriously. A fair share of my best ideas originated from the dark recess of the inner monster my mind is capable of producing. In this case, it's barely scratching the surface; light perversion is healthy enough and not really that dark so not really monstrous although that's only because of the direction it ended up turning.
I was expecting the idea to probably lead my mind down the road of things like rape, torture, the like--which is, yes, dark. But my mind surprised me...because it didn't. Instead? Well it still started off with the potential to go down that road, but didn't actually take it.
The basic idea that popped into my head was, (pardon the incoming language but this is verbatim the thought driving the idea and is something meant to come directly from the mind of a teenager who would use such language) "What if an average teenaged guy made a wish, that was actually granted, to 'have a female me that I can fuck'?"
You can probably understand why I was expecting that to take a darker turn--it's not like that's the sort of thing which doesn't already exist in hentai. Similar premises are actually staples thereof. (Yes I read hentai back in my teenage years. No, I don't anymore, but not because I don't want to; my reasons for not doing so now are purely because teenage me didn't care about infecting my computer with viruses whereas adult me is paranoid and that quite literally is the only reason I DON'T still do it...and I admit even then I take peeks using google image search in incognito mode, just making sure to not actually VISIT any site. Which I imagine isn't entirely risk-free still, but is probably significantly LESS risky than going to the sites. MY POINT BEING. I know from experience that similar stuff appears in hentai because I've actually read hentai with similar.)
The thing is...it snowballed out into an entirely different direction. This being the average teenaged guy, he was someone who I imagined as, while stupid enough to have made that wish and not realizing the consequences of it enough to not make it, after having faced it realized what went wrong and not take advantage of it, having more of a "my god what have I done?" moment upon realizing that someone with all his memories, thoughts, and feelings, was now standing in front of him, as a girl.
And as he's heterosexual, he realized very quickly that outside the influence of magic, she wouldn't be attracted to him; outside the influence of magic, she would potentially not even be a 'she'.
And the story I imagined would mostly follow her, albeit having him as a prominent character, as s/he would go about life after having been created.
...It was a brilliant idea.
I really really really liked it.
...But it was about this time that I realized.
...Isn't that basically Ellen from EGS?"
And I let out a great big siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiighhh.
I DO think the idea didn't come from EGS at all. Had absolutely zero influence on its creation or evolution at all.
I think I came up with the idea separately, and had I not read EGS, I'd have had proof that any resemblances were purely 100% entirely coincidental.
...But since I HAVE read EGS, and keep up to date on it no less...there's the lingering doubt of maybe I did subconsciously get biased by it and end up making an almost clone of her, just as a different take.
Was worth a blog entry at least.
And now if you don't mind I'm only getting five hours of sleep now so need as much of them as is possible to be actual sleep.
It PROBABLY won't be as good as if I had made it on the day of.
Yesterday, I had a really good vision.
A gorgeous absolutely awesome vision.
It was a picture of a super form that is technically speaking canonical to Red Hood Rider...but which is only canonical in the sense of "it is something that happens in the canonical future of the Rubyverse...after Red Hood Rider has ended."
Because the super form I imagined takes ten years' of magical experience, minimum, to build up the 'magical strength', so to speak, to not suffer from magical fatigue from so much as attempting it. And seeing as how Red Hood Rider ends when Ruby's 18, not 26-at-minimum, that means that it won't actually appear in the story itself. (Unless I like...randomly show a picture of the future in the series at some time. Which, mind you, with an oracle play, is quite possible. But like...while it's possible, I just have no current plans to show that sort of thing.)
This form, which I am dubbing "Elemental Ruby", is basically her ultimate of ultimate forms...because in this form, instead of channeling her power through weapons (even her Black Ruby form channels most of its power through her claws which count as a weapon) or innate powers of a form, she is directly channeling her power through herself.
This is a power we DO canonically see her, briefly, use a small form of...and the consequence is that she suffers a magical fatigue burnout from the attempt--because weapons make it easier to channel innate rider abilities. Each of the elemental riders, when you think about it, does this. Ruby, her bows (mostly); Sally, her bazooka; Hannah, her staff; Gary, his sword and shield; Vili, her dagger; D.D., her wand/her sword; Whitney, her guns/knives.
The only one who doesn't use a weapon is Amy, but she has her vampiric nature as a channel (where, basically, her base powers are 'light-based counterparts to innate vampire powers that usually are darkness'), and, she is a semi-magical creature inherently (whereas Ruby is not inherently magical; she's just as artificially magical as any other rider or any other vampire).
Basically, channeling powers especially elemental powers is much, much, much easier if you do it through something beyond your body, because if you use your body directly...you run into the problem of exhausting your innate magic very very very very very very quickly. This innate magic is a little like a muscle; you flex it when you use magic and stress it when you use a lot and magical fatigue is basically when you sprain it from having used too much.
So over time you can do it...with lots and lots and lots of practice and experience using magic. Thus, why the form takes ten years minimum, no cheating, to obtain. And thus, why the form while technically canonical in that it definitely is a thing that happens in the future of the Rubyverse, won't appear in Red Hood Rider itself, which spans the course of two years total.
But as for what the form is, beyond basically allowing Ruby to use all of the aspects of Darkness and Light simultaneously (for how broken that is, well, I know I've written blogs on darkness-element's brokenness and feel like I did one for light, too, a few years ago)...
...It is the coolest image I've ever imagined.
On Ruby's right arm, there's swirling, twisting tendrils of black darkness, which create the aesthetic of a hybrid between a skintight suit and a bulky spiked gauntlet. These tendrils form sharp, long, boney fingers. At the tip of these fingers are red claws. The only part not imbued with this swirling mass of darkness? The palm, which is a swirling mass of crimson energy, spinning in a vortex. On the back of her hand, opposite the palm, rests a red gem.
When this formation reaches her shoulder, it spreads out to be a hybrid between black-feathers and black-tendrils to form an incredibly long, gigantic wing-like shape, which flows like a cape, pointing backwards with the effect of a perpetual wind, while still being movable/manipulable. (The closest example I can think of is the main female ghoul from Tokyo Ghoul who's a fragile speedster, but even that doesn't capture the effect I'm going for exactly.)
On Ruby's left arm, you get bright yellow masses of strings flowing each and every direction. Hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions of small, barely visible, long, energy strings (think monomolecular razor wire) flowing each and every direction, but many of them loosely forming constructs out of pure light. Mirroring her right hand, the back of her left hand has a white gem on it.
These strings are shaped similarly to the tendrils on the other side, so that results in a sort of skintight golden suit/rounded (as opposed to spikey) gauntlet formation, which continues all the way up her arm. (Both of these don't end at the elbow like a gauntlet would, but continue up to the shoulders where they branch out.)
Predictably, the left shoulder has a white light/feather wing hybrid, mirroring the right shoulder; incredibly long, gigantic, flows constantly, like both the tendrils on the right and the strings further down the left, constantly moving, shifting, changing exact form/position, but being malleable, an effectively cape/wing hybrid thing, pointing loosely backwards.
These wings are, more or less, combining the best of her arcangel super form's abilities, by allowing her to have the wing weapons of them, yet critically, having them not attached to her arms (which are thus, free, to do different things) while still permitting them to be used for both flight and barrage of abilities.
Her feet have, overlayed over them, each an automatic crossbow construct, acting as boots. (These allow her to do the "wall jump in air" effect where characters bounce in the air--mind you, she can already fly, but this allows her to shoot forward in directions. Which also gives her incredible movement speed boosts and also one hell of a kick. But that's beside the point.)
Her shins are layered in the bolts basically lifted from her arbalest armor super form, allowing her to use the abilities from that form, and to continuously reload her crossbows on her feet. (For those keeping track, this gives her six avenues of attack potentially; legs, arms, and wings.)
Her thighs are layered in overlapping black blades, taken from her blood staff. (Her blood staff's blade portion has the blades be about the length of a thigh, by my estimate, so this blade-armor works perfectly here.) This basically hybridizes her inherent vampiric abilities with said arbalest armor. Said blades can be telekinetically launched separately from the bolts (that's an ability she has with her blood staff; she can throw it and telekinetically control its trajectory and this is the ultimate extension of that ability), but she can also launch the blades using the crossbow for extra power/momentum behind the shot.
On her back, there's nothing. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. From just above her butt (by about as much as her normal shorts) to her shoulders...there's absolutely no clothing. A completely and totally exposed back. (She's wearing a dress, and backless dresses are a thing which exist. What she's wearing incorporates one of them, by using the Bleach logic of "anything she'd wear would be blow off by her own energy", more or less.)
On her torso, she's wearing a strapless (and, yes, backless) dress (the dress can be red, black, or white; it's red by default). However, said dress in the middle at the top has the V-neck shape. (Strapless dresses tend to be flat, like this - , but this dress would be like this \/.) Which, yes, is mostly for extra cleavage. (Adult Ruby likes to be sexy and to some extent show her assets off; it's one of her more impulsive/vampiric traits which by the time of the future she has made peace with and come to more or less accept as a part of her.)
I realize you can and do have dresses with a V-neck; I realize you can and do have backless dresses; I realize you can and do have strapless dresses; I realize that combining all three is probably impossible in real life, to which I say: Ruby has magic, rules of reality's clothing quite literally mean nothing to her.
Anyway, said dress extends to about mid-thigh; on both of the sides, she has the inverted-v gap, the split, the slit, whatever it's called (my lifeguard shorts have them and I know that this is a thing that exists on some actual skirts and/or dresses), to allow for increased flexibility/mobility.
On her face, her right eye is blue; her left eye is red. She doesn't have a mask, per se, but she has swirling light energy flowing like water surrounding her right eye, and energy darkness dancing like flames over her left eye.
Her hair extends down to midway down her shins--half-black, half-light-brown. And by "half-black, half-brown", I don't mean "one side brown, the other side black". I don't mean "top brown/black, bottom half black/brown" (the kind of aesthetic that you'd expect from a dye job left to grow out). I don't mean a zebra-like effect down each strand of hair (basically a more extreme version of the previous).
I mean "every other strand of hair being a different color"--not literally, of course. But I mean "every other pencil stroke of hair alternating between those two colors". So pretty close. Basically, for it to be visibly alternating, quite rapidly, between the two colors.
It is literally the most gorgeous, the most amazing image that I have ever envisioned and I love it.
...The problem is.
I'm not a good enough artist to make it.
For a start.
I'd have to draw Ruby as 26 years old. Not as easy as it sounds.
I'd have to nail the hands--given these were the detail that gave me the idea in the first place, they are what I can envision clearest, but they are also what would be the hardest to do. Not just because hands are difficult, but because capturing a "still" of the image, especially when it'd take multiple "camera angles" for me to show off the entirety of the effects I describe, make it impossible for me to draw.
I'd have to nail the wings/capes--this is something that is a never before seen effect. Nobody has made the exact thing I have in mind, to my knowledge. No reference images. And, again. Same problem of trying to capture an object in motion, in a "still", while still portraying that continuous movement.
My weakest point in drawing people is their legs, and the level of detail I'm requiring is insane for them, but all that said...this part is probably the easiest part, aside from needing multiple "camera angles" to capture the crossbow-boots to their full effect.
The face is something that is incredibly hard for me to get down. The effect there is one which is crystal clear in my head but when I try to think of "how would I convey this effect in a drawing?", I come up blank; how could I convey that this is energy, not a physical mask? How can I convey that it's basically my unique take on "energy flowing out of the eyes, just...not directly out of the eyes"?
And then...for all of this...how can I convey this without color? Well, obviously, I can color this image, but even without it...how can I convey these effects without relying exclusively on color to pull them off?
I know for a fact that if I TRIED to draw this and just went "I'll use colors to pull off these effects"...I'd hate the drawing(s). Because it just...wouldn't be effective. It needs to work in pencil. I know it can in theory. In theory, it's possible to do what I am aiming to.
In practice, I'm just not good enough yet.
Which is where a little frustration comes in.
...But since I actually made an entry yesterday, if I made this entry yesterday, it wouldn't have archived properly given that I'd have been writing it at 6 am. (It'd have appeared before my first entry in spite of being written chronologically after the first entry.) I coulda technically just not moved the date and done it at 6 am and technically called it a blog for the day, but I hate doing that especially as it tends to restrict when I can write a proper blog for the day (it forces me to make the entry before midnight, because after midnight when the entry was posted at 6 am means the only way I'd get the chronology right is if the after-midnight entry was even later, e.g. 7 am).
Last night I continued my bingereading habits with a comic I picked up through much the same source as the last times I've done so. A wiki walk through TVTropes starting on EGS's TVTropes Trivia page for image links. Incidentally, the webcomic I ended up for itself HAS a TVTropes page image to its credit, one that I'm actually surprised ISN'T EGS; it has the current page image for Dude Looks Like A Lady (which EGS's Tedd is usually who you'd expect to hold the championship of that over).
This comic would be, to save you the trouble of checking the TVTropes page (also said image could change over time and probably will), Dubious Company. A comic about wannabe-Pirates, pretty much, who're needless to say slightly inept at their chosen profession, to say the least.
Quite the humorous series and was well worth the read. The text-based epilogue pretty much sums up the cast. (I'm paraphrasing a non-spoiler part of it, no worries.) Where a few of the characters are good people, but the main pirates are just...people. People who do good things, people who do bad things, just people. Who love to drink rum. Lots, and lots, and LOTS of rum. (They're pirates. Even if inept ones. Basically the entire reason they're pirates is to drink as much rum as they want to, which is to say, more rum than they'd ever be able to get their hands on.)
Writing this kinda reminds me of the sort of thing I used to do a lot; there was a time where, when I did basically nothing but read lots of webcomics, I wrote long essays of glowing praise to obscure comics I had found that few others were aware of. Or even sometimes, I'd write long essays of glowing praise to not-so-obscure comics I had found that were pretty popular but which I wanted to show my support for in the best way I knew how.
This review isn't even close to what sorts of essays I used to write, but did remind me of that trend I had. I miss doing that. Just...talking about the works of others which I enjoyed, and referring them to others, so that others can see if they like it a much as I did. I'll often give them warnings about any pitfalls about the comic, things which might be valid criticisms of it, and I will acknowledge shortcomings of the comic which I wish were better, but I'll still end up saying that if you can look past those flaws/issues, that there is some genuinely good entertainment/enrichment to be had from the reading experience.
It's something I just loved to do, to show my love and support to people who did what I failed to do. Write, and draw, a comic. I just...hold a ton of respect for webcomic artists/authors, because. Well. They did what I dreamed of doing, only they did it better than I did, in some form or another. It could be art. It could be characterization. It could be atmosphere. It could be worldbuilding. It could be length. It could be in setup. It could, and often is, more than one of these. Heck, it can be all of them at once, or maybe it's something inexplicable which I didn't list above.
They did something that I ended up failing at, and didn't fail at it.
It should be little wonder why I read so many webcomics.
Just your average blogger.