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tcdale

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About tcdale

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    Belgium
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    BG, SOA, TOB; D&D (3.5), roleplaying in general, zombie / post-apocolyptic scenarios, webcomics, writing, reading, Alice in Wonderland, American McGee's Alice, philosophy, languages, fitness/healthy living

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  1. tcdale

    Crumbling Down

    Welp -- the time has come! Crumbling Down is officially over -- epilogue and all. Here's the epilogue. So long, everyone (at least as far as Crumbling Down goes)! Hope you enjoyed!
  2. tcdale

    Crumbling Down

    Okay, boys and girls.... this is it. The last official installment of Crumbling Down. (ahem. other than the epilogue, which will be coming next Monday, the 22nd of February) So, yes, Crumbling Down Chapter 17 is now complete. For those of you who have already read the first part, part 2 begins on page 13. This marks the end of the battle for Suldanessellar -- and for Cassie's soul. It doesn't turn out quite she expected.
  3. tcdale

    Crumbling Down

    Crumbling Down, Chapter 16 ("Suldanessellar"), part 2 has been posted! For those of you who have already read part 1, the second part begins on page 14. Rating/Warnings: This chapter: rated R. Whole story: Rated R. Contains sex, boys and girls, so only click if you're an adult. Summary: Cassandra and Imoen arrive in Suldanessellar, only to find that the elven city is not the idyllic paradise it once was. The aftermath of Irenicus' attack on the city brings back painful memories for Imoen. Notes: I'm posting part 2 early (normally I update on Mondays) because next week is going to be Hell for me. If you want to read Crumbling Down from the beginning, you can start here. Excerpt: "Imoen?" Silence. Cassandra continued down the hall. The lights here had been extinguished; her vision shifted to greyscale as the darkness enveloped her. A small sound caught her ears from somewhere ahead: the soft rustle of cloth against stone. "Imoen?" The rustle stopped, but not before Cassandra had found the source. A small open archway led into a small rectangular storage room. It was empty save for a few bags of flour and potatoes stacked against one wall. At the far end, huddled into a corner and with her knees drawn up to her chest, sat Imoen's familiar robed form. "Im?" The mage nodded shakily but didn't look up. One slim arm rose to wipe her eyes. "Yeah. Here." "You okay?" "Yeah. Yeah. I just—" Her voice quivered with barely contained emotion. She drew her legs tighter to her and let out a trembling sigh. "Sorry. I'm sorry." Cassandra approached slowly, kneeling down next to her sibling and gently raising her chin. The playful grey eyes were now filled with tears, and Imoen's chest rose and fell unevenly with unseen sobs. "Hey..." Cassie pulled Imoen into her arms. "There's nothing to be sorry about. Nothing at all." "I just—just that room, that woman—" Imoen buried her face against Cassandra's shoulder, drawing in long, ragged breaths to try and quell the tears. "And that little girl... Suddenly I was back in that cage and I could just see him, y'know? I could see him and the knives and…and…" "Sssh." Cassie pressed her lips to Imoen's forehead and rocked her gently in her arms. The mage's small frame had begun to shiver with a mixture of fear and despair. "It's okay. He's not here; he'll never touch you again. I swear it." The tears were flowing freely now, soaking through the cotton of Cassandra's tunic and staining her skin with hot, bitter saline. "I don't know if I can do this, Cass," Imoen whimpered. "If—If I see him... if I really see him... I can't do this. I can't." "Yes you can. You're strong, Im. You're stronger than anyone I know." ==================== Crumbling Down, Chapter 16, part 2
  4. tcdale

    Crumbling Down

    Crumbling Down, Ch 16, pt 1 has been updated! You can go read a nice chunk of 14 pages if you want Summary: Cassandra and Imoen arrive in Suldanessellar, only to find that the elven city is not the idyllic paradise it once was. Irenicus has returned to his homeland, and no one will escape unscathed. Excerpt: Imoen had seen a lot of forests in her day, and this was certainly no forest. It had some superficial similarities: the tall, densely packed trees that blocked out most of the sunlight; the musty, shadowy undergrowth that was almost eerily bare of grass and shrubbery. But these were towering verdant giants, not trees; the undergrowth was a carpet of tangled, knotted roots ranging from finger-thin cords to immense, meter-thick monsters. The canopy of interlaced branches was so thick that they blotted out all but the most determined sunbeams. Despite it being near midday, it was as dark as twilight. The hairs on her arms prickled in response to the instinctive unease. This was no forest – it was an ancient, primeval jungle as old as Silvanus himself. In the corner of her eye, Cassandra was also taking stock of the situation. When she spoke, her tone was less than pleased. "This isn't Suldanessellar." Imoen rolled her eyes. "Duh." "You said we'd be in the city." "Teleport isn't one hundred procent accurate. I said I'd get us within a stone's throw of it." Cassie knelt and plucked an acorn from the ground. A single, sharp throw sent it hurtling into the air with velocity that only Bhaalspawn strength could achieve. Both of them fell silent as it vanished into the air. It fell to the earth somewhere in the jungle, but the eventual sound of impact was lost in the distance. Cassandra turned her accusatory gaze on her sister. Imoen bristled defensively. "Pessimist." --------------------- Crumbling Down, Chapter 16, part 1
  5. tcdale

    Crumbling Down

    Thanks for letting me know. I went over, registered, and posted a little. My $0.02 for keeping the Imoen fandom going. [Edit] I got in touch with Lord M. He's restored the old forums and is going to wipe them clean in the next week or two to clear out all the spam. So, yeah, save anything that's still there as soon as possible. There will be some upcoming announcements regarding the mod as well. Some *important* upcoming announcements, so if you're in any way a fan of the Imoen mod, stay tuned to either: http://imoen.blindmonkey.org/forums/ [The Forums] http://imoen.blindmonkey.org/news.htm [The News Page] [/Edit] And now back to Crumbling Down
  6. tcdale

    Crumbling Down

    Eh... the whole Imoen forum is empty, empty, empty. Last time I checked it was just full of spam. I don't bother posting there, even though Crumbling Down is based on the Imoen Romance mod. I don't think anyone reads it because it's so flooded with spam. I talked to Lord Mirrabbo about two years ago and he swore he hadn't given up on the mod and it was "almost finished", but I haven't heard anything since. I suspect neither has anyone else. I think the TOB portion of the Immy romance is just flat out dead.
  7. tcdale

    Crumbling Down

    Chapter 15 ("Before the Storm") of Crumbling Down has been posted in its entirety. Enjoy! Rating: PG, for this chapter. Excerpt: Imoen was curled up on Cassandra’s shoulder, her eyes open and thoughtful in the darkness. Underneath her cheek was a slow, steady heartbeat and the soft weave of Cassie’s shirt. The warrior’s chest rose and fell in a deep and peaceful rhythm. “Y’asleep?†Imoen queried softly. There wasn’t any answer, and she hadn’t really expected one. The weeks without sleep had exhausted Cassie’s spirit, if not her body. A few hours earlier the fighter had finally given in and asked, almost apologetically, if Imoen could bewitch her. Short of shaking her half-to-death or hiring a dwarven chorus, Cassie would sleep until morning. Tomorrow would bring change, and that change was gnawing away at Imoen’s stomach. After dinner they’d discussed the options and reviewed their plans of action. They knew where Irenicus was going: a single word, buried among Bodhi’s memories, and now embedded in Imoen’s head. Suldanesselar. Elhan had mentioned it in passing as well. The elven army was small: the wild elves that inhabited the city did so only during the autumn and winter seasons, and even then not all tribes were willing to give up their nomadic life. Repelling the drow assault had demanded nearly every available man. Elhan had been all too aware of Suldanesselar’s vulnerability. So had Irenicus. What exactly the madman was planning, wasn’t present in the memories. Why he was so set upon the elves’ destruction likewise escaped her. His conversations with Bodhi during her possession of Imoen’s soul had been infrequent and vague, relying on an unspoken context that the siblings shared and that needed no overt discussion. Irenicus’ hatred was directed at Ellesime, a name he spat with disgust. Bodhi had found this amusing, that Joneleth – the name she knew him by -- let his heart be twisted so easily. Love’s flame had not only burnt Joneleth, but charred him to the core. Irenicus was no name, but a title. The Shattered One. Even Bodhi had feared Irenicus. That thought, more than any other, kept Imoen awake.
  8. tcdale

    Crumbling Down

    Well, well, well... It's that time of year again, and I thought I'd try to spread a little Christmas/Solstice/Saturnalia/etc. cheer. So, I proudly present... The Crumbling Down Christmas Special! A short, light-hearted look at what Imoen and Cassandra do on their days off. Totally not related to the main Crumbling Down plotline (although there MIGHT, just MIGHT be a few hints at what's to come). Enjoy, and see you guys in a week or so
  9. Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum! (That is: hi!) I'm revamping my website and just got all of Crumbling Down transferred over. I'm in the process of transferring over the comments, and I was wondering -- would anyone be terribly upset if I took the comments made *here*, and re-posted them on the website in the appropriate chapters of CD? If you mind, please drop me a note before December 27th (that's two weeks). Otherwise, I'll assume you're cool with it, and copy them over. If I do copy them over and you change your mind later (or you didn't read this before 27 Dec), let me know and I'll remove them again.
  10. tcdale

    Crumbling Down

    We're back! Crumbling Down, Chapter 14 ("Bodhi"), part 2 was finished just on time (about 2 hours before the deadline)! It's the final showdown with Bodhi... and it's not going to be an easy fight. Excerpt: “I am so fucking sick of you.†Bodhi’s pale alabaster visage solidified before her. The vampiress’ hand was locked like iron around the warrior’s throat, the other securing Cassandra’s sword against the wall. The damage the Slayer had done to her at their last meeting was gone but clearly not forgotten. Her full red lips, usually so quick with a sly comment, were contorted in rage; her dark seductress eyes showed nothing but hate. She pulled her foe away from the wall and then slammed her into it again. The impact jarred Cassie hard enough to rob her of both thought and breath. She tried to lift her sword: it rose a trembling few inches before Bodhi forced it down again. “I don’t know which is more annoying,†the vampiress hissed. “The fact that you keep showing up, or the fact that you just won’t die.†There was no point in having a sword if you suffocated before you could use it. It tumbled in the ground with a metallic clang as Cassandra switched her grip to the vise around her throat. “I should thank Irenicus for ruining my little surprise with the wraiths, though,†she continued. “My fault, really. They can’t rot a soul that’s not there.†“One on one this time?†Cassie grated between clenched teeth. One slim, dark eyebrow arched. “Hardly. You brought friends, and so did I. I’ve spent the last month turning every tramp, vagabond, and whore into servants of my will. Weak, but they’re still more than a match for your tin-can paladins.†“The light—†“The light? You mean your cleric’s little glow?†Bitter amusement curved the rich scarlet lips. “So I lost ten or twelve. I have more. And if you think that wraiths are the worst thing I have in store for you, Cassandra, then you are very, very wrong.†Full text
  11. tcdale

    Crumbling Down

    Chapter 14, part 1 has been posted! (A week late, since my computer ate my memory card last week.) Excerpt: “Hey. Stay with the group.†Cassie’s voice drew them both to attention. The others were advancing into the chamber beyond, holding the magelights aloft as they examined the surroundings. Imoen hiked her robe up and jogged over. The soft clink of Ajantis’ armored form followed her. The chamber was empty. What few belongings had once been here were now smashed beyond recognition. A second set of doors, this one badly damaged and patched, blocked the exit at the other end. It looked as if a small tornado had struck them: bits and pieces of wood had been ripped away; jagged splinters ringed the edges. Even the wood that was intact showed signs of heavy damage: dents and gashes from some unknown assailant who had tried to force their way inside. The crypt’s inhabitants had done their best to repair it. Pieces of wood, ranging from rough, newly hewn elm to soft, half-rotted beech, had been nailed in place over the worst of the damage. It was a patchwork of colors and grains: a ramshackle attempt to make the door once again bar the path. Despite – or because of – the shoddy repair work, the door wouldn’t be nearly as hard to move as the twin colossuses behind them. Imoen quirked an eyebrow. “Do you see that?†“The door?†“The flashes.†Cassie returned her look with confusion. “Flashes?†Small, scintillating flashes of metallic grey moved across the door. A flash here, a glint there – it was far too random to be the reflection of the Dawnseeker’s light. Light reflections would remain constant, moving only when the source did; these jumped around sporadically, like steel fireflies darting back and forth. “Sec. I’m gonna check it out.†She approached it cautiously, studying both it and its surroundings with a practiced and skeptical eye. The last thing she wanted to do was walk into some sort of arcane or necromantic field. There were no other signs of magic: no runes, no tale-tell scent of components, no spilled powder or dust. The flickers of grey continued; the closer she came, the larger they seemed to become. Soon they had grown from fireflies to oranges. Small points of detail were visible: line, dots, textures, all of which vanished too quickly to make out a pattern. Perhaps a malfunctioning illusion? “Im?†She glanced back. Cassie hadn’t moved – none of them had – but the tight press of Cassie’s lips betrayed her concern. “I’m fine. Just gimme a sec.†Her gaze returned to the door, focusing on the flashes. Her mind automatically fetched out repeating pieces and tried to fit the puzzle together. No one cast an illusion just for the fun of it. At least, she’d never met anyone else who had. If she could figure out what it was supposed to be, perhaps she could figure out what Bodhi had planned. Rivets. The small dots were rivets, set against dark grey. Imoen’s brows furrowed. Metal. Rivets in metal. The surrounding walls were stone; the illusion wasn’t meant to hide the exit. Her fingers reached out automatically, almost unconsciously, as she tried to put her finger on it. Perhaps just an iron door? Seeing metal instead of old wood would certain discourage intruders from just barging through like a herd of cows. The door was cold. Cold, hard, and smooth. Her eyes widened as she jerked away. “Trap!â€
  12. tcdale

    Crumbling Down

    And.... you guessed it! Chaper 13, part 2 is posted! Chapter 14 may or may not be on time. It's in-progress, but we had a sudden sickness/death in the family the last two weeks, and so I'm behind schedule. Excerpt: “Why do guys always assume that women are nothing but trouble?†Imoen complained as they walked. “Who reshelved the entire ‘Alaundo’ section of the Candlekeep library somewhere else?†Cassie countered. “That’s not ’cause I’m a girl. That’s ’cause Candlekeep was boring.†“And putting stinging nettles in Albert’s robes?†“Oh, c’mon, he deserved it. And he overreacted. It wasn’t that bad.†“Throwing every mop you could find in the lake so you wouldn’t have to clean the cellar?†“Okay, okay.†Imoen stuck out her tongue again and gave Cassie a gentle shove. “But it’s not like you were an angel, either.†“You were a bad influence. And besides, I’m also a girl, so it doesn’t disprove the ‘women are trouble’ part.†“Fine. So girls are trouble. But guys are bigger trouble. I mean, seriously: Molahey, Tazok, Sarevok, Irenicus? Kidnapping and killing ranks a bit above reshelving books.†“Good point.†Imoen huffed out an annoyed breath. “So why don’t people ever crack jokes like, ‘Oooh, look! A guy. Everyone knows that guys are murdering, lying jerks. Ha ha!’†“C’mon, Im, you’re taking it too seriously.†Cassie wrapped her arm around Imoen’s shoulders and gave her a few short, playful jostles. “So what if guys laugh at you? That just makes it all the easiest to pick their pockets, doesn’t it?†“I guess. Still, it’s not fair.†“When life starts being fair, let me know.â€
  13. tcdale

    Crumbling Down

    Crumbling Down Chapter 13 part 1 ("Friends and Enemies") is now posted! Cassie and Imoen return to Athkatla to confront Bodhi a third -- and final -- time. That means calling in some favors...and making some threats.
  14. tcdale

    Crumbling Down

    And Chapter 12 part 2 is up! As of yesterday, even! No spoilers this time, save to say it was appropriately in the Halloween spirit of things!
  15. HUNGARY WINS! Bioware is second place. Hungary says their winnings will go to charity, and some beer.
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