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10052017 - I changed my mind, I'm sticking with chapter 49 as is. Three reasons for this: A. it would be enormously disruptive, a lot of wasted work, and a lot more work to redo it; B. I already had the plot in my mind for the next chapter or two, and I would have had to change that too; and C. it's my story. I've had unpopular chapters before, but I didn't try to scrap those (revisions are okay and expected). Of course, I value your input, dear readers, and I take all that I receive into consideration

Sorry for the fuss, folks, and thank you again for reading my story :worship:

06052017 - chapter 49 is no longer canon, and has been removed from the main gallery. it can still be found in the first drafts subfolder, but is marked as obsolete. chapter 48 part 3 is being revised, and until that is finished, it too is no longer canon. thank you for your understanding and assistance in the matter :pray:

so, how soon will a replacement chapter 49 be ready? I dunno, it took me 3 months to make chapters 48 and 49, so I think 1-1/2 months would be a conservative guess, not including the time required to redo chapter 48 part 3 to erase all references to the Drow stuff that apparently didn't work. let's get back to Quzayshehir and what's happening there

and how do I know it's not working? chapter 48 part 1 and part 2 continue to have readers, at 5 views each today. how about part 3? zero. remember when part 3 had as many if not more views than parts 1 and 2? not any more. part 3 has fallen behind by 39 views, because there has been almost none over the past week. and yet people keep reading parts 1 and 2. bizarre.

in any case, I am truly sorry to those who really like BBRB for screwing it up. and as always, thank you very much for reading my story :worship:

John "Basileus Ioannis"
04052017 - chapters 48-1 and 48-2 had about 25-26 views today, but 48-3 through 49-3 had between 2 and 4 views. I think that narrows it down to something going wrong in 48-2, as in that's where you bit the apple, found the worm, and chucked the rest of the apple. so I can imagine readers feel drawn in by 48-1, expect 48-2 to be more of the same, and when it isn't, interest wanes. I gotcha. so I'll focus on where the train wrecked in 48-2, and redo from there :writersblock:

right, cursory read-thru conducted. the first half of 48-1 is Pana and Chawinda being joined by Viturhimin, and the second half is Slesk and Haergrim's dad arguing about the failure of the Band of the Pine commandos. hmmm, I might have been mistaken, there's no Gemma, Haergrim, Mundhelm or the others on board the Quzayshehir at all :omfg:

now the first half of 48-2 is Gemma, Haergrim and Mundhelm's party getting off of Quzayshehir. the second half is a lengthy chat between Pana, Chawinda and Viturhimin about the history of the Drow. ah, is that it? lots of dialogue, somewhat boring and confusing with all those names? or is it indeed Mundhelm and the gang that turned out the lights? :confused:

I sure hope some of you take the time to give me feedback...even one word, like TL;DR, or something... :pray:

03052017 - very interesting. it has been a month since chapters 48 and 49 were posted, and chapter 48 looks to have been quite the hit. part 1 has garnered 361 views, part 2 got 362, and part 3 364 views. that's an average of 12 views per day. I'm glad so many folks took a look at my story! :worship:

but chapter 49 bombed. it tanked. it blew chunks. it sucked green donkey dongs. part 1 got less than half, at 151 views, or barely 5 views per day. part 2 got only 27, and part 3 barely 19, both less than 1 view a day. a whole month of elapsed time kinda takes the "still reading" factor out of the equation. which means folks really didn't care for it. since it's gonna be quite a while before I run these two chapters through a read-and-review site, unless some brave soul is willing to let me know just what they didn't like about chapter 49, it sounds like a primo candidate for a re-do, huh?

of course, to re-do it, I need to know what I did wrong. nobody's leaving critiques neither. so if y'all could do me a favor, and drop me a line in the next few days about what you DIDN'T like about these 2 chapters, so I'd know what to fix? otherwise, I'm amputating chapter 49 and saying ta hell with the tour of the Drow wonderland. because obviously I screwed it waaay up :stare:

not to make a pun off the title of this journal page, but I had a bit of a health scare at the end of March. after a couple days in a hospital, involving a minor procedure and a fistful of prescriptions, I'm pretty much running on all cylinders again. I mention this because since I had wrapped up both chapters right after I got back home, maybe I wasn't in a right frame of mind, and you sensed it? I mean, I'm too close to the trees to see this forest. I like Drow, I like how they're dangerous, sometimes wicked, and sexy. but like the combat scenes, some readers (nay, a whole lot of readers) might have found how I portrayed them distasteful. or maybe it was how Pana got polymorphed into a Drow, which I went into some detail about. or how we left the falling Quzayshehir arc behind as we concentrated on Pana's adventures underground. or maybe they were too revealing of Drow society, and they're more popular the less we know about them. whatever the reason, if you're dissatisfied, that makes me dissatisfied

please help me out here, and leave a comment/critique on chapters 48 and 49 over the next few days. by this weekend, I'd like to scrap chapter 49, and revise chapter 48 part 3 to redirect the story on a more relevant line. knowing what to hack off would be a plus. thanks in advance for your help

John "Basileus Ioannis"
03042017 - the watermelon is passed :faint: sweet Lolth's fuzzy butt, what started as one chapter months ago got bigger and bigger until I had two chapters' worth. I do sincerely hope you enjoy the encounter with the Drow. I strove to make my Drow unique, which ain't easy what with such prolific Drow subjects out there, like D&D Drow, the manifold books, and of course webcomics like Drowtales (which I highly recommend for its nearly 16-year-long production run and massively involved world, dynamic script, more characters than some small countries, and of course the awesome art). but BBRB is not a fanfic per se, so I had to roll my own. naturally, this is influenced by D&D insofar that it uses D&D races, rules, spell names, etc. with artistic license modifications to fit my story. due to the popularity of Drow, I seriously considered avoiding taking this trip into the vast underground realm. but it's like that departmental box of pizza that some kind soul paid for. diet, shmiet, it's FREE FOOOOOD! :chew: I hope you like it so far, and if you don't like Drow (what, really?), well, just pretend they're orcs. smexy orcs ;p

05042017 - alrighty. so Pana and Chawinda ended up getting sucked into Viturhimin's teleportation field, and they now find themselves where they didn't quite expect to be. some readers may wonder why Pana didn't say 'forget the guided tour, take us back yesterday!' it's actually a good thing they didn't, because by that time, Mundhelm and his party were no longer there, and the Quzayshehir is in no condition to re-board (it's busy falling for the ocean in pieces). in case you haven't figured it out yet, with the masks with round eyeholes and the black outfits, Viturhimin's Skibbyen is mostly crewed by Drow (the Vindbrugers aren't, but they're also in cahoots with Viturhimin). as Mundhelm explains, when he slammed the gateway to the Elemental Plane of Air shut, and the Vindbrugers still inside the mechanism didn't come out, it means they ended up on the other side. at least they won't suffocate (but food and water might prove problematic...poor Vindbrugers)

as I said earlier, there are so many Drow stories out there. so if you read them, and see familiar things, it is purely accidental, as I haven't read the Salvatore books. my knowledge of Drow come from D&D itself, Drowtales, Norse mythology and that Thor movie. I think anyone who's played the way-old module D3 The Vault of the Drow would be inspired by the fantastic cave-world of those Drow (albeit that was for 1st edition rules). I don't think those Drow used spiders as draft animals, but I could be wrong :shrug: Drowtales is surprisingly bereft of spiders, there is a small one which was a lap spider pet, and a slightly larger one that one Drowling wore like a backpack, but overall there are nearly zero spiders. those Drow also don't worship Lolth after all D&D references were retconned out. my Drow are more like the D&D version, but Lolth isn't a demon living on a plane of the Abyss. if anything, Lolth was a proto-elf who died and rose to godhead at the whim of the apparently one god (please don't draw parallels with real world religions, for God's sake :pray: )

another thing: why do my Drow royals have jumbo racks? :confused: Drow tend to be these wiry, lean things, so why the almost-comical hooterage? well, it is a matriarchal society, and I figure they closely associate their queens and the empress to motherhood. besides, they're a lot of fun (heh, eggplants...) ;) and fit in to the reproduction-obsessed Drow culture. for 46 chapters, we had only seen Chawinda and her near-twin Sialkot, and neither were buxom. they are built wiry and lean, which works for their rogue/assassin character classes. but by the time you're old enough to be a matriarch, I guess they get progressively bigger? I wouldn't ask a Drow about that, you might just get stabbed for your trouble...

speaking of stabbed, my belief is that Drow as a culture might lean evil, but not every Drow is that evil. you saw that in a compare and contrast in chapter 47 part 1 between Vijya Durandesh, who wanted to save the High Elf children, and her sister Radica, who thought children make a fine snack. some Drow did indeed go nuts due to the famine (as Radica might have), and welcomed eating intelligent meat. but others (like Vijya) find the practice abhorrent. it's like how some Drow like spiders, while the commoner Drow don't like them. just another aspect that makes it hard to stereotype them as a race

oh, and the last scene of chapter 49 part 3, heh. that little spider has a lot of personality for a minor role. maybe 'talking spider' will prove to be a major player, who knows. btw it's been years since I've read Charlotte's Web by E.B.White (nope, haven't seen the movie), the spider's dialogue is meant as a nod to that book. while not explicitly referenced, I also liked another old book Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien (the rats had an elevator...AN their nest) :omg: 

will add more later. as always, thank you very much for reading my story! :worship:

John "Basileus Ioannis"
03032017 - first of all, chapter 48 is being a bear. just when I think I'm making progress, I realize that there are scenes that need more fleshing out, so I go back and flesh out. that adds pages. so now I'm pushing 26 pages on Word, which is more than four parts at 6 pages per part, and I'm nowhere near finished. it might end up getting split into two chapters, so I'll try to nail down the first half and get that up as chapter 48 soon. a quick synopsis: Pana and Chawinda are now geographically separated from the rest of the party, who are on the doomed Quzayshehir and gotta get off of it while making sure it makes it out to the sea and doesn't just go splat on Doushehir. the story toggles between the two groups, I'm trying to keep them concurrent which adds to the difficulty factor :faint: yes, Bas is a masochist. I do hope you enjoy them when they are posted

now, are you a budding writer yourself? or a veteran wordsmith with volumes under your belt? all writers probably want feedback, but sometimes it's like pulling teeth. thus, here's a great opportunity for you, a group dedicated to giving and receiving critiques, called ReadThine-ReadMine :iconreadthine-readmine:. here is a write-up by group leader :iconduchesseofdusk:

Hey :wave:

you like to write but receive no or only very little feedback on dA?
You'd like to change that and wish for elaborate comments and critiques on your literature deviations?
Then this group :iconreadthine-readmine: is the right place for you!

In this group we exchange literature critiques on a regular basis.
The concept is very simple: You submit one of your texts and receive feedback by other group members. In the same time, you read the works of other members and give them feedback. We have regular reading rounds lasting about 7 weeks. That  means in these 7 weeks group members read your text and give you elaborate feedback. You, on the other hand, read the works of other members and leave them a critique. Afterwards you submit your next text and the next reading round starts.
If you don't have enough time, don't worry. We have a delay list for this purpose. You stay on that list until you have enough time to actively participate in the group again.

We accept literature deviations of all kinds like poems, prose and comics/ graphic novels. Mature Content is allowed as long as you mark it according to the rules of dA.

Interested? Then pay us a visit and look at the rules over here:  
Quick Start Rules for new members
The Rules - English
Die Regeln - Deutsch

Any questions? Simply leave a comment here below the journal or send a note to the group :) (Smile)
here is the link to her journal: Literature critique? Yes always!Hey Hi!
you like to write but receive no or only very little feedback on dA?
You'd like to change that and wish for elaborate comments and critiques on your literature deviations?
Then this group :iconreadthine-readmine: is the right place for you!
In this group we exchange literature critiques on a regular basis.
The concept is very simple: You submit one of your texts and receive feedback by other group members. In the same time, you read the works of other members and give them feedback. We have regular reading rounds lasting about 7 weeks. That  means in these 7 weeks group members read your text and give you elaborate feedback. You, on the other hand, read the works of other members and leave them a critique. Afterwards you submit your next text and the next reading round starts.
If you don't have enough time, don't worry. We have a delay list for this purpose. You sta

as you can see, they currently handle deviations in English and German. it's a nice group, after you join and critique one deviation, you can start receiving and giving critiques every cycle. are you more comfortable drawing your stories? no problem, we critique drawn stories! can't finish assigned reading before the deadline? no problem, there's a delay pool! do you suffer from delusions of grandeur, and want to take over the universe? no problem, write or draw about it! :D (see what I did there? heh)

so if you're a lonely writer wondering why folks won't say something, say ANYthing, throw me a bone here, I know you're reading it because the read counter keeps going up but comments are at is your answer: :iconreadthine-readmine:! :squee:

also check out :iconwriteandread:, another critique-giving group (one critique exchange per month), they currently handle English language deviations only. your peer reviews await, go forth boldly, writer! :w00t:

John 'Basileus Ioannis'
15012017 - apparently dA redid their Gallery. besides having to use the Submit Art button from my Front Page's Newest Deviations gadget instead of within the Gallery to upload my deviations, the new Gallery appears to be hiding several of my deviations. I've sent tech support a message, hopefully this will be resolved within a week. in the interim, when you reach chapter 41 part 2, please use the links I provided in the descriptions field to go on to chapter 41 part 3, then the links on that to reach chapter 41 part 4, thanks

I'm about 60% finished with chapter 48, I'm hoping to finish it this weekend but don't hold me to it. chapter 47 ended with a bit of a cliffhanger, as Pana and Chawinda disappeared along with Viturhimin. Mundhelm tried but failed to find them on the Quzayshehir, which is still falling towards Doushehir, so they're going to have their hands full for a bit. so where did they disappear to, and how will they get back safely? if the so-called Avatar took them somewhere, what will they face? just what is he an Avatar of? and what's with him dropping that bombshell about the races of elves? is he just covering his butt, excusing his atrocities, or is there truth in what he said? if the latter, there's hella implications there...

remember a while back, when I talked about the Blackstonians and Hannetzbirgers and their religions? I think that was chapter 2 or somewhere. anyway, remember that the Blackstonians worship dragons who created the world and fought against horse-riders, and the Hannetzbirgers worship horse-riders who created the world and fought against dragons? And only one of these two can be the truth, yet clerics on both sides gain priestly spells from their deities, therefore both sets of gods must be true? how can that be?

almost the same story with the drow and the high elves...the drow worship Lolth, whom the high elves claim was an elf who became a demon. the high elves worship several gods, but Viturhimin just said that these gods, and Lolth, are all one being, and believing that they're separate is a lie of convenience. we haven't seen clerics from either side yet, so we have yet to find out if the 'avatar' is full of crap or not, so stay tuned! :thumbsup:;)

John "Basileus Ioannis"
01012017 - wishing all of you peace, good health and good fortunes in the new year and many more to come! :squee:


edit: chapter 47 is finally up, some months became a 4-parter. I tried so hard to get this out before the end of the year, but I just couldn't. so let me give you a teaser...

part 1 starts with Mundhelm finally being able to contact the High Elfin capital, and we get a view of the biggest ship-city. Viturhimin plans his next move as he gives the Drow army a chilling instruction. we meet the Drow commander, who isn't too happy about the orders. the part ends with a vignette on what's happening to the High Elf survivors of the Drow invasion

part 2 starts with a conversation between Mundhelm and the grand vizier Slesk (remember him?). next we drop in on Pana's parents, worrying about their daughters. the High Elves send a recon patrol over the conquered city, and we meet a High Elf Sherif in a small town who spots Viturhimin's ship-city flying, which helps the High Elves figure out where he is headed

part 3 starts with an undesirable outcome of Mundhelm's plan. Pana and friends go down to talk with Seven, Slikkepind and Blaesende down in Mundhelm's conference room. while there, new plans are drawn up, and Pana has a surprise for everyone

part 4 starts with the new plans being put in motion. in the process, our heroes find out things ain't right with Viturhimin's ship. the end of the chapter has a combination of a reveal about the High Elves and the Drow, and somebody goes missing!

I hope you find this chapter enjoyable (and worth the wait). in the end, it was hard to stop writing, as I've already got in mind what's gonna happen next. but hey, it's 5:50am on New Years Day, and your friendly neighborhood Bas has to get some sleep. thanks for reading my story (and this journal), I hope you like it. I wish all of you a happy and prosperous New Year! :wave:

John "Basileus Ioannis"
12252016 - and a third tag in two days ^^; again by :iconladyalluvia:

1. You have to post ALL the Rules. (done! :D )
2. You CAN'T say you don't do tags. (I haven't ;) )
3. You have to legitimately tag 13 people. (nope :D )
4. You can do tag Backs (sure ;) )
5. Be Creative with the title no I GOT TAGGED things. (I added Christmas to the title! :rudolph: )
6. You Will have to make a journal entry. Don't do it in the comments unless you are talking about the Q and A. (done! :D )
7. 13+ people will have to answer the question you ask them (can't ;) )
8. Make at least 13 or more questions. (won't :D )
9. If you don't finish in the timeline of a week you will have to do something that they say like draw them art.  (Just ignore this rule... I don't want to force anyone to do anything). (that's good ;) )
10. most important of all.. Have Fun! =3 (always! :D )

My questions: 
1. How will you spend Christmas?
Bas: well half of it on my butt in front of this computer already :typerhappy:
2. Do you have a decorated tree?
Bas: at work, yes, we stopped doing trees at home (long story)
3. Do you like soft slippers? :) (Smile) 
Bas: mmm soft slippers... :woohoo:
4. How many gift and holiday cards did you send this year?
Bas: about the same as last year, I think :santa:
5. What is your favorite flower?
Bas: morning glory :flowerpot:
6. Do you like children?
Bas: sure! :cuddle:
7. What is happiness for you?
Bas: Felicitas es parvus canis calidus (happiness is a warm puppy) :arc:
8. You come into a new apartment, everything is white and plain colors. Would would you do first to decorate it?
Bas: get the cable modem hooked up :rofl: j/k, my bookcases cover my white walls :library:
9. Do you know people who feel sick by seeing blood?
Bas: yeah, ME! :backstab: :faint:
10. Favorite candy?
Bas: hmmm...gummi bears :gummybear:
11. If you owned a million (money) what is the first thing you woudl buy?
Bas: only a million? a Nissan GT-R NISMO in Pearl White, then a down payment on a house
12. Favorite ice cream?
Bas: vanilla (hmmm, starting to see a pattern here...) :lick:
13. Which house-chore do you hate the least?
Bas: taking out the trash :ambulance:
14. If you had the conditions would you get a pet monkey? :) (Smile)
Bas: nah :no:
15. Favorite dessert? Pixel: Yummy Ice-cream
Bas: eclair :idea:
16. ready for New year?
Bas: no...way too much work left to do! :work:
17. Any decisions made for it yet?
Bas: nope, I tackle problems as they occur :batman:
18. What kind of calendar did you get?
Bas: actually, none yet (me late this year) :noes:
19. Doesn't this game look nice? :) (Smile)

Bas: neat! :star: I like the smooth motions as they gallop and fly, and pretty backgrounds
20. Did you see the new way of blasting off for Team Rocket in Pokemon Sun and moon? :D (Big Grin)  Being kidnapped by a giant teddy bear? 
Bas: ha, really? no more twinkle in the sky?

Thanks for the tag, :iconladyalluvia:! :wave: If I have the time later, I'll add my questions and victims! :coffeecup::D

John "Basileus Ioannis"
12232016 - well, it is the season of giving...and two friends tagged me! :faint: so let me answer here:

first one, by :iconaliana-chan:...usual rules: answer the questions, tag more people afterwards (I'm gonna hold off on that until I have more time), tag-backs are allowed (really?), have fun doing it (always :D ), and create a neat title. so here goes...

 Queskin time!!!!! :D (Big Grin)

(Queskin? :confused: )

Colorful questions: >:3

1. What are the color of your eyes? :stinkeye: 
Bas: medium brown, like chestnut ^^ 
2. If you could have any color of eyes, other than the color you currently have, what color would you want them to be?
Bas: ooo...I like all kindsa colors, I'd like to try them, green, hazel, black, even red (like a Drow)
3. Would you ever want to permanently have your hair dyed a certain color?
Bas: that would be neat (I get tired of black), but something unnatural, like fire engine red, neon blue, emerald green...
4. What's your favorite color? Lily's Rainbow Box 
Bas: it used to be emerald green, but lately metallic brownish-greys like pewter look nice
5. What's your least favorite color?
Bas: I'm not too keen on Pepto Bismol pink, as it clashes with almost everything I own
6. Have you ever had a pet goldfish before?
Bas: yep, several when I was a little kid
7. Do you like food coloring?
Bas: sure, as long as it doesn't discolor your this one cupcake I once had with green frosting :stare:
8. Have you ever seen a double rainbow in person before?
Bas: yes, it was awesome! ^^
9. Are you wondering why all of the questions so far are about color?
Bas: hmmm? now that you mention it...
10. Are you actually colorblind?? O_O
Bas: nope, I'm pretty good on telling shades and hues (I used to paint miniatures, you see...)

Food questions: Hamburger Bounce

1. What's your favorite type of CHOCOLATE ?
Bas: ooo, I like Milka too...and I like all kinds...milk, dark, even white!
2. What do you like to drink the most? 
Bas: green tea, hot now that it's cold out, iced in the summer...but coffee in the morning (me coffee zombie)
3. What do you tend to eat on thanksgiving?
Bas: lots...I eat lots...parking lots, grassy lots, muddy lots...j/k, I prefer turkey and stuffing ;)
4. What is the sugariest thing you can remember eating?
Bas: Japanese traditional candy called Kompeito, it's literally flavored sugar in little star-shaped lumps
5. What food do you hate with a burning passion? (Or, you know, just, don't really care to eat?)
Bas: Thai sour soup...the taste and flavor stuck to my tongue for hours...later I heard they use ants XP
6. What was the weirdest thing you've ever ate before?
Bas: no no no, no ants! XP weirdest thing would have to be tripe in Puerto Rican looks and tastes funny
7. Now ladies and gentlemen, The most commonly asked 'tag' question of all time, i give you, what is your favorite food!!??
Bas: ooo, toughie...I have to say teppan-yaki with marbled Wagyu beef...sooo good... ^^ 

Fun stuff! I am a dummy! 

1. What are your top three favorite video games of all time?
Bas: Civilization III, Neverwinter Nights 2, Steel Panthers MBT for Windows 
2. Would you consider yourself a fun person?
Bas: nah...too many of my interests are solo, lately on the computer in my Operations Center
3. What are your thoughts on DragonQuest/Warrior?
Bas: DoraKue 1 rocked a$$...the music was addictive, both the opening theme and the wandering around theme
4. Do you have any new art projects that you're currently working on?
Bas: all the just takes long periods of solitude with no stress, and that's hard to come by :cry:
5. What is, (in your opinion) the silliest emoticon on DA?
Bas: :icontuzkiflailplz:
6. What are some of your favorite TV shows?
Bas: ImagineNation on NHK World, The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, and anything on Toonami on CN
7. Have you ever been in, or to, a musical before?
Bas: to a musical, yes...last one was the Barbershop Quartet featuring all sorts of old scenes
8. What do you think of, when i say the word, "MASK"?
Bas: yeah, it used to be Jim Carrey's The Mask, but lately it's been JoJo's Bizarre Adventures
9. Have you ever played a game called, 'Stealing the diamond?'
Bas: can't say that I it a jewel heist, or baseball? :D
10. What do you have fun doing?
Bas: reading books and webcomics, writing stories, seeing movies with friends, my hobbies
11. If you could turn into any mythical and fantastical creature EVER for about a day or two, what would you turn into?
Bas: I'd turn into Nyan Cat and pester my friends...for hours...nyahaha! :3
12. Have you ever thought about the consequences of what it'd be like if the world had real life pokemon to catch and collect?
Bas: I would probably have to find Ash Ketchum and fight him :stare: j/k, I'd be all over my Psyduck! ^^

Personal stuff O_O 

1. Do you get offended by other people being offended?
Bas: it depends...if my friends, probably...but my default reaction is, never be too easily offended
2. Are you feeling uncomfortable that i'm now asking personal questions, that i most likely do not deserve true answers to? XD
Bas: of course not ^^
3. If some random person came up to you and told you that you're living life wrong, and that you had to change your lifestyle right then and there, how would you feel about that, and what do you think you would do in that situation?
Bas: "Ah, thank you for your guidance, have a nice day" (voice trails off as I walk away..."what a kook...")
4. Will you please describe to me what the shirt you are wearing as you are typing this questionaire looks like?
Bas: why do you think I am wearing a shirt now? perhaps I ripped it off in glee at your question! :happybounce:
5. sexdrugspoliticsombamacaretriggergunsapplepiemercabadstuffpunsidkallthethingsthatmakeyouoffendedinonesentance? (oh boy....)
Bas: you misspelled obamacare ;p
6. Do you realize that the "sentence" above is supposed to be a joke? :P (Lick)
7. Do you celebrate Christmas?
Bas: yes, but I try to keep it secular (I once gave a Muslim friend a gift for New Years...he gave me a nice shirt! ^^ )
8. Are you personally offended by puns?
Bas: only if there's no butter, I like my puns with butter ;p
9. Can you even lift bruh???
Bas: I'll bench you, you just watch (pretends to go fetch his gloves as he wanders off)
10. What country do you live in?
Bas: California...yes, we seceded, din'cha know? j/k ;)
11. What drawing are you the most proud of to this day?
Bas: I drew a neat cartoon of Ariel transformed into a tiktikki stuck in a toilet (check my front page, a ha ha!) XD
12. Have you ever been commissioned before?
Bas: I became Captain of my Law Enforcement Explorer post, does that count? ^^
13. Do you ever personally as a person personify things and make them persons? :P (Lick)
Bas: I talk to crows...when they caw at me, I say "Yeah, that's what I said...but they wouldn't listen to me neither" :nod:
14. What are your opinions on opinions?
Bas: like bellybuttons...some people have one that sticks way da hel out there, mine is an inney
15. What are the color of your eyebullseye? XD (Eyeballs.....)
Bas: lol white...Aliana-chan, you cray-cray! :D
16. What age were you the most happy at?
Bas: 16-18, when I met my best friend in high school...we'd play RPGs and Risk all weekend long! ^^
17. What is one of your fondest childhood memories?
Bas: my summer vacations in high school, coming here to California with my parents
18. Do you think you will be successful in life?
Bas: I am the most successful at being Basileus Ioannis, and I'll fight any pretender who thinks otherwise! j/k! ;p
19. On a scale of 1-10, (1 being the lowest, 10 being the highest) how competitive do you think you are?
Bas: 5, unless I'm driving, where it rises to 10 if the SOB just cut me off then slowed down :stare:
20. What do you think differs, between the tag that i just made, to some of the other tags you have seen?
Bas: it's much, much longer than any tag I've had to do before! :faint:
21. Maybe you've never been tagged before???? O_O
Bas: reading comprehension is a lost art...AH JUS' SAID...j/k j/k! :D it has been a while, years now ^^;

Thanks for the tag, :iconaliana-chan:! :wave: I understand these were your friend's questions, but it was fun! Yeah, let me hold off on tagging others for now...

Okay, second tag by :iconladyalluvia::

1. You have to post ALL the Rules. (done! :nod: )
2. You CAN'T say you don't do tags. (well you CAN, I choose not to ^^; )
3. You have to legitimately tag 13 people. (ah, no I don't, sorry :no: )
4. You can do tag Backs (oh, I see how it works...if you do all new questions, yeah? :idea: )
5. Be Creative with the title no I GOT TAGGED things. (I can still edit my title to "I GOT TAGGED", you know :stinkeye:)
6. You Will have to make a journal entry. Don't do it in the comments unless you are talking about the Q and A. (done! :nod: )
7. 13+ people will have to answer the question you ask them (see # 3. above :no: )
8. Make at least 13 or more questions. (I'm starting to sense a fixation with the number 13 :confused: )
9. If you don't finish in the timeline of a week you will have to do something that they say like draw them art.  (Just ignore this rule... I don't want to force anyone to do anything). (*pffft* AHAHAHAHAHAHA! :rofl: who comes up with these rules?)
10. most important of all.. Have Fun! =3 (of course! :D )

Questions by :iconladyalluvia:
1. One thing you hate and can't change?
Bas: the way life has become infinitely frustrating and complicated since childhood :faint:
2. If you lost time to do all your hobbies, which hobby would you give up first? 
Bas: plastic model building, since I've pretty much run out of time to do it anyway :shrug:
3. Prepared presents for your loved ones for this holidays?
Bas: yes, a few :santa: :rudolph:
4. Last time you donated for charity?
Bas: took part in the Toys For Tots campaign a week ago :cuddle: 

5. Do you believe in astrology?
Bas: not as much as my mom, who swears by her horoscope book :reading:
6. Favorite hobby?
Bas: writing :typerhappy:
7. If you could chose any job on world, what would be your job?
Bas: emperor :mwahaha: 

8. Why did you watch me?
Bas: because we both write, and you're an interesting person :thumbsup:;)
9. If you could talk with your pet, what would be the first question you ask it?
Bas: "You hungry?" :chew:
10. Are you a pessimist or an optimist?
Bas: both, as in "I'll never afford that car...but hey, I got this lottery ticket" :crazy:
11. Favorite disney movie?
Bas: Rogue One? :diny:
12. Favorite video game?
Bas: Civilization III :earth:
13. Black or white color?
Bas: black...although both are hard to keep clean, people won't notice if you pee your black pants ;p

Okay, no tags for me right now, sorry...if I have time, I'll come up with some questions and victims :plotting:
Thanks for the tag, :iconladyalluvia:! :wave:


John "Basileus Ioannis"
11172016 - hmmm...I just realized that I've been doing the date wrong for some's supposed to be DDMMYYYY, but I've been backsliding to MMDDYYYY (I hear that's an American quirk?). but I digress...

still working on chapter the interim, since it's been exactly one month since chapter 46 went up, I've decided to examine the statistics, and found something interesting. readership/views for chapter 46 as of 16 November:

Part 1 of 3 - 230 views, or 7.42 views per day
Part 2 of 3 - 231 views, or 7.45 views per day
Part 3 of 3 - 164 views, or 5.29 views per day

okay, I've seen this before, and last time it evened out over time. also, it appears to be in line with chapter 45, which had an average of 230 views per part after one month. so maybe some folks haven't finished? but then shouldn't part 2 be smaller than part 1? and why such a big difference on part 3, where we finally meet the Drow? are folks not interested in combat? or is it the Drow? I wish I knew...please don't be afraid, dear readers, speak up and let me know, or things ain't gonna change until a revision comes along (and revisions left off at what, chapter 30? that's something else I need to work on...)

ah, part 3 also had a mature filter due to violence/harsh language, could that be it? nope, chapter 45 parts 1 and 2 both had mature filters for the same thing. so combat doesn't seem to be it either. what's going on with chapter 46 part 3? :confused: maybe part 2 is so boring, some folks gave up? :shrug: I'll have to look into that...

John "Basileus Ioannis"
11072016 - sorry, BBRB chapter 47 is still being written...not editing, written. and something I noticed is that almost every scene change involves at least one new named character. it's driving me nuts...I can roughly estimate at least eight now, with as many unnamed extras, and one named bird. unlike the High Elf sergeant who barely survived a handful of paragraphs at the end of the last chapter, these might prove to be long-term characters. it's gonna be like having teeth pulled to keep all their threads straight...why do I do this to myself? just run with what you've already got in play, Bas...Y U add nu OCs? :shrug: 

it was then that Bas realized that he was a masochist. no, no cutting, no sitting under waterfalls in your skivvies, just mental. see what I mean? that mental image of Bas in tidy whities is gonna give him nightmares :stare: but I digress...

so, in compensation for the delay (read: bribe), a, trailer, of what's going on. as of right now, Quzayshehir hasn't reached Doushehir yet, but Vatishehir is now airborne, and in contact with Alfler'vashqenti (the capital). folks are having difficulty figuring out where Viturhimin is and where he's headed. if they could only figure that out, the Vatishehir could go there instead of the capital, but because of the delay in taking off, I doubt they could head them off...

some things that came as an "aha" moment: the Vatishehir and Quzayshehir have identical Vindbruger plants for flying, but the former probably weighs half of the latter thanks to having shed the outer districts while crash-landing off Albi Aula. that means, it should be able to fly faster than the rogue Skibbyen. but have the Vindbrugers ever tried flying just the center district? :confused:

oh, and High Elves don't all live in the five ship-cities. There are still smaller population centers, and I figure they'd be more traditional than these new-fangled cities made of stone. also, smaller towns would probably be run by a Sherif, sort of a combined mayor and provost marshal, although a town might have both a Sherif and a mayor, with separation of duties

one last thing: names. half my "research" ends up being names...I'm sticking to modified Ottoman Turk titles for the High Elves, as well as the names of the Skibbyen, but High Elf given names (and some spoken words) are modified from Danish, Norwegian, or Icelandic (Icelandic was also borrowed for the Frost Giants of Albi Aula). for the Drow I've decided to use modified Hindi (title/name formats are easy enough to follow). but remember Chawinda and Sialkot? those are Pakistani towns in the Punjab region where battles were fought, so I took a look at Urdu and Punjabi. but these proved a challenge, so the Drow will have more or less modified Hindi names and words for my sanity, sorry :pray: and please don't take offense at borrowing words for my various fantasy races, I promise not to abuse them (overmuch). I've already deviated quite a bit from the D&D definition of High Elves and Drow, and when their story is told, you might find some surprising things about my Dark Elves (you've already seen a bit of the "darker" side of High Elves)

okay, that's all I'm gonna leak right now...back to the writing... :typerhappy:

John "Basileus Ioannis"
10162016 - three and a half months late, BBRB chapter 46 is up. so sorry, I've been blitzed as of late. so much storyline in my head, but so hard to put it to keyboard. *deleted rant*

edit: wow I guess fatigue put me in a hella funk last night. sheesh. let's focus on the latest chapter. part of what made it difficult for me to write this chapter was my forcing the Vatishehir down within the anti-planar-travel dampening field, it was gonna be a time-consuming pain in the ass to get a million-plus-ton floating city far enough out to sea to get flying again. at least the Vindbrugers and their magic powerplant weren't hurt

speaking of which, since Quzayshehir was going to have this special weapon that can disable said powerplant, I had to think what the effects would be. see, Gyneyshehir is one of two High Porte ship-cities that don't have Vindbrugers, so they can't fly. you might recall that I said they have five of these Skibbyen: one each in the west (Vatishehir), north (Quzayshehir), south (Gyneyshehir), and east (Doushehir), and the capital (Alfler'Vashqenti) in the middle. these were built well after the Disaster of the Gates, as it took the High Elves about a hundred years to clear all the demons out of the realms. this was the impetus that transitioned the High Elves from an arboreal-dwelling race to an urbanized one, as the majority of the High Porte elven population now lives in these five population centers

also as described in-story, the capital has grown well beyond its city walls, making it difficult to fly without wrecking a lot of stuff, probably causing casualties. the Vindbruger academy is there, where newly minted "ghosts" train for their job, and as they graduate, they are fed to the two flyable Skibbyen, Vatishehir and Quzayshehir. the other two, Gyneyshehir and Doushehir, have the infrastructure, the powerplant, but don't have Vindbrugers assigned to allow them to fly. it is assumed that in the case of an emergency, the academy staff and students can make one or two of them fly, but probably not all three at the same time

where was I? oh yes, Gyneyshehir. heh, even my journal suffers from my scatterbrain. anyway, so the city can't fly because of the lack of Vindbrugers, but the powerplant is there, and I assume the link to the Elemental Plane of Air. well, Viturhimin knows enough of how these plants work that hitting it with his special weapon would cause massive interplanal disruption, which happened

I had been deliberately vague about how the Vindbruger powerplants allow the Skibbyen and their component ships to fly. the "chimney" I describe is not an actual vent, but a direct access to the powerplant to allow the air manipulation to take place, and presumably there are other such ports arranged around the ship-cities, but this one on the top center is the most accessible from directly above. see, normally this isn't a problem, because the plant is not susceptible to damage from debris (no moving parts) or fire/electricity/cold (it's a different element altogether). I suppose someone could cork it up with a large enough obstruction, but there are many such ports, plugging one up isn't going to disable a flying city several kilometers across. but hit the plant and its planar link, or shove the whole works into an anti-planar-travel field, and it becomes dead weight

so, if any readers think Viturhimin isn't who he should be, that he's an imposter, should be convinced that no, the Serrasqer is the real deal, and he knows his Skibbyen intimately. if then, what da hell is he doing? and why is he in cahoots with their traditional enemies, even if he was always soft on them? the pieces will start falling into place over the next chapter(s), so please stay tuned (I promise to work harder to get them out in a more timely manner!) :pray: and as always, thank you very much for reading my story! :worship:

John "Basileus Ioannis"
06252016 - BBRB chapter 45 is up, in three parts. I really tried to get this done earlier than the last few. Sorry that they're pretty long. Somehow it always ends up being some ungodly hour of the night when I get them up, so I forget to mention things in this journal at first. Like right now :confused: Will add more later

As always, thank you for reading my story, I hope you like it :worship:

John "Basileus Ioannis"

06262016 edit - this chapter was a bit more of a pain than usual, as I ended up writing it out of sequence. the fight between the Eladrin and the frost giants came first, which required some research on Ghaele spells. Slikkepind and Gudrum were pretty evenly matched strength- and hit point-wise, but she had a bit of an edge on hit dice and therefore feats. like what I had to do to "grow" the Eladrin, I had to extrapolate Grimmur Icefang the winter wolf. at full hit dice, he was gonna be too big to be Gudrum's steed, so it was a bit less than max HD. now his breath weapon...I looked at another creature with a breath weapon, dragons, and realized breath weapons scale with HD. extrapolating that, it seemed that while Gudrum's Frost Brand 1d6 cold damage wasn't that useful against the Eladrin's resistance to cold 10, Grimmur's 15 HD breath weapon was gonna do 10d6, halved by dodging = 5d6, for an average of 17.5 HP of damage, less 10 resisted leaves 7.5 HP of penetrating damage. I might have overplayed how much it hurt, but it wasn't crippling at all

oh, while I'm at it, apparently I overstated Grimmur's length, I'll have to change that to 26 feet (by my extrapolations, 32 feet was for a max 18 HD winter wolf). so not quite barn-sized, more like a double-decker bus ;p and probably less than 10 tons, but not by much, so I'm leaving that. no effect on the story itself, though

some might question why a CG Eladrin would kill a helpless opponent. first of all, the opponent was given two opportunities to surrender, but wouldn't. second, he gave every indication of not willing to go peacefully, even when his wolf's life was on the line. speaking of said wolf, don't feel too sorry for him, he knew what he was doing too, he was not an innocent animal

and the writing-out-of-sequence...the crystal "call" with Mundhelm, King Aldred, and Queen Ellsweth was rewritten at least three times. originally it was just Mundhelm, Gemma and Haergrim who get the call, and I had the Eladrin call in with the news. then the king and queen joined them. but if the Eladrin talked with Mundhelm, then they'd know what happened to the Vatishehir too early. so Myrddin called them instead, leaving the revelation for later (they were busy)

the inspiration for Saragudra Jarlsdottir was Midna, though not that small (she's about 9 feet/2.75 m tall). as Morgrippa attested to, her dad might have been Gudrum, but her mom is a that she got her height from, and one that is a good strategist. until Saradrachim is introduced, you can look it up in the Monster Manual to guess which demon (hint: six arms) ;)

and yet again, we catch a glimpse of what Chawinda's family was like. I've deliberately avoided getting into the Drow and the Underworld, because that's well-trod ground by many writers far more skilled than me. I might expound on her family life more as time goes on, but we probably won't be going spelunking in-story any time soon...or maybe we will...stay tuned ;p

the funeral scene also demanded some thought, for racial peculiarities. I mean, what would High Elves do with their dead? certainly not bury them intact, too much danger of necromancers. so what would they do with cremains? probably spread them in natural areas, unmarked (families would know which glade is important to them). see, they're more focused on the spirit, the memories of their lives, and not the "crude matter" of the flesh :yoda: 

finally, I wracked my brain trying to figure out how they were going to get a multi-million-ton earth-and-stone battleship moving out to sea, to get out from the dampening field so they can fly again. the paddle wheels was the only thing I could think of, as sails would have been ridiculous. having to use materials on board the Skibbyen, I thought stone wheels and paddles. but I thought, hey, the elves work in wood a lot, and have tons of spellcasters on board, so wooden paddles. ultimately, I realized, why do they need the wheels themselves? if you're gonna turn them using magic, why not just turn the paddles? as it is, the broad side of Vatishehir will be over 15000 feet/4630 m long. with 20 feet/6.1 m of freeboard, the paddle wheels should be about 100 feet/30.5 m in diameter, spaced 50 feet/15.25 m apart rim to rim, so each flank would hold a hundred paddle wheels. the magician's estimate of 12 kph/7.5 mph/6.5 knots may be a bit optimistic, but they only need to go 20 km/12.5 miles, so we'll see how that turns out (npi, because they have to turn due east)

06272016 edit - whoa...I wonder why parts 1 and 2 only got 9 reads, but part 3 got 20? :confused: I wonder if it's the mature filter on the first two. it's only a moderate filter, you can just plug in a birthdate to bypass it. or is it because of the writing on part 3, with all the protagonists together, and no combat? I suppose fighting can be a turn-off for some critique giver even wanted to see more rrromance :heart: (Gemma offers to write some :wave: but Pana reminds her she's busy with protagonist things :shakefist: )

07032016 edit - don't worry, I'm working on chapter 46 already OMG MOAR POEMS! and it looks like the three parts have evened out at over fifty reads, thanks a lot readers! :worship: (although why part 3 was that far ahead of 1 and 2 is still a mystery :sherlock: ) in any event, now that Pana and Gemma's teams are together, we will not be toggling back and forth as much, unless they get separated again. alrighty, back to the mill...btw, to all American deviants, have a Happy Independence Day! :flagus:

07042016 edit - sorry, there's an unexpected delay on chapter 46. after several pages, I didn't like how it was going, how the protagonists had very little camera time or dialogue. so I am redoing it...these things happen, I apologize for the delay.
06122016 edit - prayers for the victims and their families of the Orlando Florida massacre earlier today :pray: Peace

06052016 - holy dragon poo...BBRB chapter 44 in three parts is finally up, sorry for the delay. there's a new style to the story, where we quickly transition from different sets of characters in distant locations. we have Mundhelm going by eagle to speak with the king and queen of Albi Aula (with a cameo of Gemma and Haergrim in a non-speaking role), we have Pana and Chawinda who have to stay aboard the Vatishehir, we have our two Eladrin at the battlefield of Croyden Wood (explaining where Myrddin went), then we have Jarl Gudrum and his frost giants Gelaende-ing across the Albi Aulan countryside, even a brief moment with the three squadrons of Roc bombers already in the air. that's a lot of moving parts to keep track of, to keep the timeline as straight as possible! :faint:

also, more seems to happen in this chapter than in other chapters, with a big reveal that will have an impact across the known world. I tell you, this big reveal was in the pipeline for months, and certainly there's gonna be more to that than this chapter, or this part of the world even. it also starts to tie together some of the loose ends that became evident over the last half of the story

again, I apologize for the delay, and I hope you will enjoy this chapter! :worship:

John "Basileus Ioannis"

06062016 edit - the scene where Pana and Chawinda wake up in their stateroom is like an executive summary of a longer scene that got cut from two chapters ago. I had written a scene where Mundhelm shows them to their room, ooo how awesome is this room, look there's a bathroom with a real bath, etc. including a servant who shows them how the toilet works, all that good stuff. but the chapter was already too big, and by value the scene was a "that's nice" piece rather than "plot-centric" so it appears here as a brief "good morning" scene. hopefully that will also not offend anyone who might be sensitive to their relationship, as it is

re: Jarl Gudrum and his army. a little over three hundred frost giants seems low for the main force, but I figure one giant is easily worth more than a squad/section of human soldiers (obviously not a squad of Myrddins or Eladrins), which is about ten humans, so if you multiply say 350 by ten or fifteen, you get around 3500-5250 human equivalents. that's still small compared to say Sauron's army of 10,000 mostly orcs that came pouring out of Mordor, but that was like whacking the hornet's nest with a stick. I think Saruman's army at Helm's Deep is closer in size, so it's still a substantial body of troops

also, why'd they have to go due east, then due south? why not go diagonally, or follow the river? besides the fact that the river bends this way and that, the main reason is command and control. moving 350 mostly-chaotic-evil frost giants cross country requires orders to be kept relatively simple. since you-know-who got whacked, it became that much more necessary to keep things as clear as possible, so heading straight for the woods around the fens, then turning 90 degrees south and follow the woods is the best thing Gudrum could do under the circumstances. following the hills at first was relatively easy, but likewise it was easy to follow them too far! ;)

and no, there was no way that Gudrum could have foreseen the effect of the High Porte forces...he's never fought them before, hell he didn't even know they existed. besides, he calculated (correctly) that the Royal Dragon Force would be drawn into the fight at Croyden Wood, that's why he sent all his white dragons there. even if the Spitfire Squadron doesn't get wiped out, they would be exhausted by that battle and probably wouldn't be able to redeploy in time to intervene against him. also, side note: these two battles aren't the only ones, as the owl patrols had discovered. the other diversions would have tied down the bronze dragon led Hurricane Squadron along the coast, perhaps even the silver dragon led training squadron up north.

finally, the Skibbyen. it was inspired by Queen Millenia (1000年女王), an old Toei anime (movie, I didn't catch the tv series) where Earth and the planet Lar-Metal pass by each other every 1000 years, and the titular Queen is a native of Lar-Metal who watches over the humans of Earth. well, this upcoming close encounter is going to be the last one, as Lar-Metal is on a trajectory to get lost in a black hole or something, so when the natives wake up from their thousand-year-long hibernation, they decide to wipe out the humans and jump planet. the Queen says "ta hell with dat noiz" (in much more Queen-like way, of course), choosing to defend the humans who she had overseen for the past millenia against the evil plot of her own people, the Lar-Metallians. but as the planets get close, there is geological catastrophe unfolding on Earth. to save as many humans as she can, Queen Promethium II (so pretty) has built a "Noah's Ark", where a cylindrical chunk of earth nearly two hundred kilometers across containing millions of humans, all sorts of animals and plants, and the crypts of the past Millenium Queens safely underground, rises up out of the devastated Earth and goes flying. even Lar-Metallians, who are vastly ahead of humans in technology, are stunned at the size of Promethium's "ark". a big battle breaks out, some Lar-Metallian rebels and the spirits of the past Millenium Queens go off to fight the invasion fleet, killing the chibi-sized witch-empress of the Lar-Metallians and defeating the invaders. in that fight on the witch-empress' ship, Promethium is mortally wounded, and the end of the movie is a very moving funeral scene. you can see the movie on YouTube (here is where the "Noah's Ark" takes flight, it's badass y'all!) :teevee:

anyway, inspired by, but not quite the same (nowhere near as big, probably about three or four miles in diameter, and the surface buildings aren't deserted ruins), a Skibbyen is not an unarmed "ark" but a battlegroup of warships. the left and right sides can be detached and can fly as escort ships, leaving the center which would look like an immense battleship or aircraft carrier. the escort ships have to stick near the central ship, because the Vindbrugere are located in the center (so they "fly" the escorts huh?). aaand that's all I'm gonna say right now...stay tuned for more!

06142016 edit - I did a quick calculation based on the circle of fire scene compared to Google Maps, and the diameter of the "Noah's Ark" is actually about 180 kilometers/just over 110 miles, spanning from Mount Fuji in the southwest to Kasumigaura Bay in Ibaraki prefecture to the northeast, from Chiba prefecture in the southeast to the border of Saitama and Gunma prefectures in the northwest, encompassing the lion's share of the Kanto Plain. actually, if it was exactly circular, Mount Fuji wouldn't be on it, but I think Toei took artistic license in including the holy mountain because of its visual significance. in any case, almost twice as big as my previous estimate...the Ark is friggin' huge!:omfg:
05032016 - BBRB chapter 43 is up...gaaah, I can't believe it took me a month! One thing I have to say: I've never really played a Mage before, so there was a hella lot of research on spells, including range, damage done, how many per day, that sort of thing. You know, Myrddin's a swell guy and all, but I don't think I'm gonna go through that again :faint:

Also, hard to keep in mind how fast the giants would be advancing...they have a normal move of 40 feet per round, at a hustle they move 80 feet, and at a full run they can do 160 feet per round. They start out the chapter at a walk, then they hustle to Croyden Wood, then break out in a run after the spells start flying. btw they're all Warrior class, I decided they didn't bring any offensive spellcasters WHICH IS A GOOD THING FOR THIS WRITER I TELL YOU :stare: 

Not to give too much away, but...unlike humans and giants that don't grow in size as they advance in levels, some monsters gain hit dice, and grow larger the more HD they have. Yeah. So I had to calculate that based on known facts, like how tall they are at default, at what level they go from one size category to another, then extrapolate how tall they'd be at a given hit dice. btw, Slikkepind and Blaesende are not the comic duo you thought they were. I TOLDJOO, BUT NOOO, NOBODY LISTENS TO TIM THE ENCHANTER! :D

Finally, some serious dragon combat...I had to include the POV of folks on the ground when a dragon fight breaks out up above. I was influenced by the "AH-60 DAP" video on YouTube, where some Rangers are illuminating a target with a laser range finder, and the DAPs fly right over them blasting the indicated target with miniguns, 30mm, and rockets. The Ranger cameraman gets smacked in the face by falling hot brass (probably 7.62mm, or he wouldn't be laughing about it later). I figure, dragons tangling it up right above you, them scales gotta go somewhere, right? ;)

Also, my apologies to English folks if I totally bolloxed up the Cockney accent of some participants...I tried doing research to make it as authentic sounding as I could, I hope you get a kick out of it regardless! As always, thank you all for reading my story! :worship:

John "Basileus Ioannis"
04032016 - chapter 42 of Bad Blood Runs Black is up. since this chapter takes place aboard Serrasqer Mundhelm's flying ship-city, it may seem boring that there's no change in locale. but it's also Pana's sleuthing episode, where she's trying to piece together what caused Gemma's airship to end up all the way out in Albi Aula. suspicions are hard to put to rest, but the fact that all the testimony is given by High Elves, who aren't supposed to lie, make things easier for her...or does it? :sherlock:

I've been warned about too much extraneous details before, and I sure hope the reader doesn't get the impression I'm just showing off Captain Nemo's fantastic submarine. I am trying to explain how a freakin' city can fly through the air, and how that application could have been used against the missing airship. again, this also has to tie in with Gemma's time line on the ground. seeing as how the frost giants have begun their latest offensive against Albi Aula's human population, and we have boots on the ground (in the form of the two Eladrin), things will be picking up pace pretty soon! :eager:

while writing the scene with the Eladrin, I became acutely aware that some readers might be rolling their eyes at the comedic duo, wondering if Slikki will stop being stereotypical female eye candy airhead and Blaesy will be anything more than frat house bro. when they do swing into action, I'm hoping you will be pleasantly surprised. remember, as I keep saying, don't let their antics fool you! :highfive:

some may find Pana's repetitive mistrust of the facts as they are presented to her boring. the evidence seems pretty plain that the High Porte didn't try to off Gemma and Haergrim. so why is her high priestess sense still tingling? and does Mundhelm have something to do with this all? or was it...Chawinda, in the study, with the statuette? DUN DUN DUUUN... :stinkeye:

one last thing about Slikki and Blaesy's t-shirts: I was watching political news on TV, and thought about putting a "Make A Merry Car Great Again" logo on his shirt, and "Feel Da Bern" logo on hers, but I thought better of it because it might cause people to be pith doff. so the logos were changed...but obviously, the pair had visited a county fair in Oh-Mah-Haw and picked up some nommage there... :chew:

as always, thank you for reading my story, and I pray that you find it enjoyable! :worship:

John "Basileus Ioannis"
03262016 - BBRB chapter 41, in four parts, is up. holy dragon took me 24 days to finish this? chapters can't take this much time. there seemed to be a learning curve at almost every step, from the ships in part 1 to proper address for an archbishop. by the way, this chapter is STILL the same day in-story as when Gemma and Haergrim left on the airship in chapter 36 part 4! :crying: imagine that...shortly after dawn, you get on board. a couple hours later, the bridge blows up. a bit later, you survive a close encounter with a cyclone. two and a half hours later, you crash-land on Albi Aula. by noon, you meet a druidess. early afternoon, and you're flying on a freakin' dragon. by evening, you're (blanked) in a (blank). just after sunset, you end up (blanked) in front of the (blank) and (blank). sonofamother...

oh, and I am now two chapters behind on my plot skeleton, meaning each chapter is taking longer than they should. 'best laid plans' and all that, Robert Burns...or paraphrasing von Moltke, 'no plan of operations survives the first contact with the enemy'

I'm just glad to have passed this watermelon. I tried shortening it, I really did. but the pieces, there's only so much I could cut and still keep the story coherent. maybe a little less about the dragons...but that's background for Sol, and simplifying it wouldn't be doing him or the other dragons justice. same with what happened on the ground. see, the problem is that I added unscheduled characters into this chapter. Abercrombie, Laurentius, even Ellsweth were unplanned. oh sure, those roles were needed, I was going to have an existing character do some of it. the latter in particular I found was necessary, because soon into the chapter, I realized almost all the characters were male. wussup widdat? :stare: so a powerful female role was necessary. the first two are playing the 'schmuck' roles, and after Sybille, Rilthien and Sialkot, I didn't want another female playing the antagonist. change things up, you know?

to be honest, there was a female antagonist earlier that got written out of the script as redundant: Sergeant Treloar had a lady boss who was going to play a significant role, interacting with Gemma. but as Fiach Dubh played a bigger role as a protagonist, and with the impending departure from the Portus Dubris area, that role became unnecessary and got cut from chapter 39. the interaction with Gemma was done by Laurentius in this chapter instead (and more indirect, his interaction being with Myrddin instead of directly with Gemma). she may still appear in chapter 43, but since the invasion has begun, and our Eladrin pair might show up then, who knows...

I hope you enjoy this chapter, and the coming chapters, of Bad Blood Runs Black. as always, thank you for reading my story! :worship:

John "Basileus Ioannis"

p.s. the take-off scene at the end of part 1 was written weeks ago, but seems timely for Easter for the kids to go treasure-hunting in the grass! ;)
03192016 - chapter 41 of BBRB is coming along...had some difficulty, I was several pages into it when I got the bright idea to add a different scene at the start, and well, it took some bloody research on D&D rules for ships. after struggling with that, I chucked the Players Handbook (ships seem to have gotten short shrift in 3.5, there was a LOT more material in 2.0) and went with house rules. hope you like it when I finish it...

btw I write each chapter en bloc, then split them into shorter parts; that's why I'm not posting one part of a chapter, but they tend to come in whole-chapter sets of parts (usually within a few hours at most)

an unrelated topic: I was over returning llamas for llamas, and found that most people don't seem to reply to 'thanks for the llama' comments, and many even specify 'do not thank me for llamas etc.' from now on, I will return llamas and +Watches, but I probably will not leave a 'thank you' comment. now +Favs and critiques/comments are a different animal altogether...I really appreciate it when people respond on my work, and I'll try to reciprocate in some way :nod: but for llamas and +Watches, here is a collective THANK YOU for your generosity! :worship:

also unrelated: the Bank of Basileus went out of business last year, I have no Points to give, sorry :shrug: if you're looking to get a Core membership or to commission folks, may I recommend

in any case, if I had money, I'd probably be buying a Wacom tablet and learning how to draw using PaintTools SAI or something, instead of writing (which is free) or playing ChibiMaker (which is also free). for Roman/Byzantine history buffs, Bad Blood Runs Black is my "egg crown", you see? ^^

John "Basileus Ioannis"
03022016 - sorry for the delay, chapter 40 of BBRB is finally up. *whew* it is a bit bigger than I had hoped...not big enough to warrant a four-parter, but average of a little over six Word pages per part, about 19 pages total. spent today hunting down stray pronouns for Seven, aka Yaegermaskine Two Seven Seven Kay, the Kolyarut Inevitable. before Pana realizes what it is, I tried to maintain the illusion by using male pronouns (he), whereas after she figures out what it is, pronouns become objective (it). also cleaned up a couple weirdness, like using "appeared" almost twice in one sentence in part 2 (it must have been late), and when Seven backs up Pana's statement to Mundhelm in part 3

some might consider Seven as a bit deus-ex-machina (the pun will be forgiven), but it plays a necessary role. I mean, Mundhelm already doesn't trust the humans, there is no reason for him to trust what Pana has to say. having an Inevitable vouch for you, with its constant Discern Lies power, is good...having said Inevitable working for you as your agent is mashing the thumb on the scale. the way Mundhelm appears to sincerely warm up to Pana and even Chawinda may be a direct result of Seven's report on what it saw and heard in Hannetzbirg's capital

now, some of you D&D folks may be questioning the selection of Mundhelm's field agents. the two Eladrin, being chaotic good, make sense for a high elf to hang with. but a lawful neutral Inevitable? as Pana surmises, Mundhelm actually found it roaming around in Hannetzbirg territory that the High Porte army occupied. those familiar with Inevitables know that they only speak the lingo of the first target, and otherwise only converse in Abyssal, Celestial, and Infernal. fans of Kolyaruts may be a bit miffed that Seven didn't get the chance to use its full range of abilities, especially its Vampiric Touch, but let's just say it's a good thing it didn't need to! also, while not explicitly stated in-story, Kolyaruts also have Sense Motive, which is abstracted into its ability to discern that no one it spoke to was lying to it (but was slow to catch Pana's sarcastic remark...I don't know where these things come from, but man I cracked myself UUUP! :D ). since nobody tried pulling a fast one on it, Seven also didn't have to use Suggestion, or his sword, so no harm, no foul. some aspects I determined, like its height (Kolyaruts are medium size, so I made it about six foot), its inability to teleport autonomously (Mundhelm's people teleported it into Hannetzbirg), the fact that magical healing spells don't work on an automaton (my house rule), and its armor being gold lamellar instead of banded armor. its name I also figured would be a serial number, being a denizen of Mechanus, and probably impossibly long, so Mundhelm initially called it what it is (Yaegermaskine being Danish for "hunter machine"), but humans being humans, they look for easy to use nicknames, hence Pana preferred to call it Seven. the Kolyarut doesn't give a rat what non-Mechanusians call it :shrug:

oh, and our friendly Eladrin duo...they apparently are riding something, probably a big rig truck made by Blaesende's whirlwind function. the "OH-MA-HAW" has nothing to do with Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, it's actually from C.W. McCall's song "Convoy". after the last refrain, the narrator Rubber Duck calls on his CB radio, "Pig Pen, what's your twenty" meaning "where are you", and Pig Pen replies in disbelief, "Omaha?!" (see the Wikipedia entry on Convoy (song) for the backstory on that). the 'kudu horn' sound is like a Vuvuzela, a loud buzzing sound like "BWAAAH" which is Blaesende yanking on the chain over his head to honk the air horn. I continued the CB angle by having Slikkepind close with a "ten-four good buddy". I'm thinking now that these two MUST appear in Albi Aula in some capacity, that's too funny a shtick not to...heh... ;)

John "Basileus Ioannis"
02212016 - sorry for the delay, but all three parts of BBRB chapter 39 are up. it turned out to be more difficult than I had imagined. first of all, I had to bone up on topography and weather in a certain part of the world I wasn't familiar with. second, juggling four languages in one chapter: Hannetzbirgisch, Albi Aulan (based on Latin mixed with Welsh), Druidic (based on Irish Gaelic), and Sylvan. third, a lot of moving parts that had to mesh nicely for a smooth, believable transition. part of this chapter was inspired by Silence Over Dunkerque by John R. Tunis (a good book, I highly recommend it), part by the 1975 movie The Hindenburg (George C. Scott, Anne Bancroft, and Charles Durning as the captain), and a nod to the 1981 movie Excalibur (Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, and Nicol Williamson as Merlin) to help bring this strange chapter to life. I hope you like it

other things caused me to reach for the one point, thinking ahead to the next few chapters, I thought about changing the setting to be snow-covered. after rewriting part 1, I started researching weather, and found that the average low temperature in the place that this was based on doesn't dip below freezing in winter. that suited me fine, back to green grassy fields then! that also had to mesh with the fact that it wasn't snowing back in Hannetzbirg, even though it is a bit further south latitude-wise. if anyone's been keeping track, it's always been relatively dry and snow-free in Hannetzbirg, and time-skips are in one-year increments, so we've been missing mid-summers and mid-winters. in book two, Blackstone was in springtime, so we saw some snow, but we didn't get to summer before we left there. I predict we'll be seeing snow again...

also, these three "countries" of Blackstone, Hannetzbirg, and Whitehall were the three subdivisions of my gaming world I designed when I was in high school. as originally designed, they were inspired by Russia, Germany, and England, but very darn loosely. Whitehall was the least developed when work was halted, so unlike the other two, I'm having to do a lot more research to get Whitehall (Albi Aula) right. back then, there was no "dead empire of the humans" as a common origin point, the "countries" were built up autonomously like the ones in the old world of Greyhawk (Oerth) setting

by tying the three to a great migration, it complicates things...a lot of parallels can be drawn from real world history, while a lot by necessity has to be circular-filed. part of that is because I don't want my Albi Aula to be a copy of England...there's been enough fantasy stories based in England with English speakers, I wanted one that is similar but not readily identifiable as England. even if I wanted to, what period of England would I base it on? Roman Britannia? Anglo-Saxon/Danelaw England? Norman Britain? in the end, I decided that will become evident in the next few chapters! mwahahahahahahaa! :D

John "Basileus Ioannis"

p.s. thanks to those who looked at my chibis, and especially to those who +Faved them! :squee: you've inspired me to keep making the characters in my story, I really appreciate it! ^^ and thanks also to those who are reading my story, I certainly hope you find it enjoyable! :worship:
02082016 - went back to ChibiMaker 1.1 to make a few more Chibi versions of my characters, but perhaps these might be the last, as they don't fit the nature of the story (and they have little traffic). I guess I'll stick to writing...

Just watched my favorite old movie, Patton, on TCM. George C. Scott, Karl Malden, and more old tanks and equipment than you can shake a stick at (M24 Chaffee, M41 Walker Bulldog, M47 and M48 Patton, M3 halftracks, and M37 howitzer motor carriages). Too bad they didn't have any real Shermans and Panzers, most of those are post-war designs used as surrogates, some of the tanks changing sides during the movie with different paint jobs. Got an eyeful of the German Heinkel He-111s (Spanish-built CASA 2.111s...those are supposed to be level bombers, Junkers Ju-88s would do strafing work, but I guess they couldn't get any flyers). American fighters were painted green like P-47 Thunderbolts, but the noses were too skinny, might have been T-6 Texans.

I gather that the Spanish military provided most of that hardware...seeing the early model M48s were a particular treat, although one stuntman who was supposed to fall down as the tank rolls over him fell wrong, he fell on his SIDE and I saw his shoulder catch a couple of the torsion bar housings, that couldn't have felt good :stare: Those extras were probably provided by the Spanish Army, or there'd be hella lawsuits over that. Just seeing infantry scurrying around and falling down so close to moving tanks raised the hairs on my neck, I tell ya. Nowadays you'd CGI the hell out of that kinda stuff, back then it was live

Oh, and the acting wasn't shabby neither ;p

John "Basileus Ioannis"