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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    Varus had been questing for a long time on the road, journeying from place to place in search of the Other and of ordinaries in need of assistance. With his skills in Tracking and Survival he had found lost goats and children, led a group of citizens to hunt down and arrest a band of desperados (one, whom he identified as Other, he had killed on sight), and weathered some rain and hail. Now he had found a peaceable little village in a meadow on the shoulder of the forested hills, much like many other villages of the land, and he looked forward to getting a few day's rest with all the customary comforts that were accorded for free to a visiting paladin.

    The village had a tiny shanty smithy, a couple dozen small cottages, a few big barns, a granary, and an ox-mill for grinding barley into flour. A burbling stream ran down the slope from the forested heads of the hills past the village meadow and down into the forested waist of the hills again. Dozens of goats and sheep grazed the meadow. The scene was bucolic.

    The woman confronting Varus, however, was not feeling placid. She was irate. "She put a curse on my son!" she exclaimed, waving her hand toward a dilapidated cottage over by the verge of the forest. "She's an Other, I tell you. With dark powers! My son hasn't walked straight since she caught him in her vegetables last week."

    Rules
    The Paladin RPG

    Characters
    Spoiler: Varus (UselessBlob)
    Show

    Flesh: Might 4 Fortitude 3 Reason 2
    Light: Courage 2 Insight 2 Wisdom 2
    Dark: Fury 2 Pride 0 Intimidation 1
    Abilities: Arms (greatsword), Tracking, and Survival

    Equipment: two handed sword; white tabard; traveling clothes; a few coins; a few day's food; a waterskin


    Setting
    Spoiler: Mythic Hispania
    Show
    I'm going to use Google Maps for the locations of population centers, and for walking travel times, but the populated areas will be much less populous than in the real world, and the borders of the Iberian peninsula will be like the edge of the world - nothing and no-one beyond there, other than beasts and fish. Also, "imagine there's no heaven, ... no religion too." The Order is the only arbiter of morality, morality is enforced mainly by little kings, and the moral code is pretty sparse.

    Spoiler: The Laws
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    Suffer no Other to live. Protect the ordinaries. Obey the kings of the land. Obey the head of the Order. Do not harm the ordinaries. Do not lie. Do not steal.

    Spoiler: The Great Law
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    Do not kill an ordinary.
    Last edited by Tibbius; 2020-04-01 at 09:13 AM.
    On a pause from play by post.
    "I started imagining a world in which we replaced the phrase 'politically correct' wherever we could with 'treating other people with respect', and it made me smile."..."I know what youíre thinking now. Youíre thinking 'Oh my god, thatís treating other people with respect gone mad!'" - Neil Gaiman
    CRAWLERS and Fusils, Swords, and Alchemy! Long reign the Queen!

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    Varus was feeling rather irritated at the moment. False Other reports about strange old women living at the edge of town were a dime a dozen in small villages like this one, and everyone knew children made up stories in order to get out of trouble. Regardless, he would be remiss in his duties if he did not make at least a cursory investigation.

    "Calm down madam, please. That is a serious accusation you are making. Why don't you tell me the whole story, starting with why your son was trespassing in a vegetable garden?"

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    The story has a lot of venomous comments about cranky old ... women ... but the gist is that there's a community garden, the strange old woman's plot is next to this lady's plot, and their bean bushes are intertwined so that her son picked some beans from the old lady's bush. Which was strangely productive compared to everyone else's plants this summer, the mother of the befuddled boy adds mysteriously. She stops talking and plants her hands on her hips, chin high and elbows out, staring a little down her nose at Varus:

    "So whatcha gonna do, sir knight?"
    On a pause from play by post.
    "I started imagining a world in which we replaced the phrase 'politically correct' wherever we could with 'treating other people with respect', and it made me smile."..."I know what youíre thinking now. Youíre thinking 'Oh my god, thatís treating other people with respect gone mad!'" - Neil Gaiman
    CRAWLERS and Fusils, Swords, and Alchemy! Long reign the Queen!

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    "I am going to do my duty and investigate these claims. May I see your son? If he has been afflicted with some manner of curse, I may be able to break it." Varus didn't really believe that he had been cursed, since it seemed rather risky for a genuine Other to use Dark Animus on something so petty. Still, he knew a thing or two about injuries sustained when foraging, and hoped that it was merely a sprain. The village did not look to be wealthy enough to be equipped with antidotes for spider bites.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    "He's out in the meadow stumbling around," said the mother severely. "They make fun of him now." Her posture and expression suddenly softened and her voice broke. "Do you think ... do you think you could fix him? Even if it's not a curse?"
    On a pause from play by post.
    "I started imagining a world in which we replaced the phrase 'politically correct' wherever we could with 'treating other people with respect', and it made me smile."..."I know what youíre thinking now. Youíre thinking 'Oh my god, thatís treating other people with respect gone mad!'" - Neil Gaiman
    CRAWLERS and Fusils, Swords, and Alchemy! Long reign the Queen!

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    Varus felt slightly ashamed for his attitude. She was obnoxious and prejudiced, but she was mostly just a mother worried about her son. His duty was not to judge, but to help.
    "I will not lie, I don't yet know. Curses can be broken and bones can be set, but if he has an infection, my knowledge of treatments is rather limited. I'll have to see your son's leg to give you an answer." With that, he left to look for the boy.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    It's not hard to find the boy - among the dozen preteens playing tag in the meadow, he's the slower one who lurches while he runs. It doesn't seem like his friends are ostracizing him, so whatever mockery they've been making was more likely gentle teasing than serious bullying.

    It is difficult getting his attention. He's obviously more interested in playing than in talking with an adult, and he's probably also embarrassed at being singled out among his friends.

    Varus feels awkward with the idea of chasing the boy down, but after calling "Erbil! Erbil! I want to talk with you a bit!" and getting no response, he's not sure what to do.
    On a pause from play by post.
    "I started imagining a world in which we replaced the phrase 'politically correct' wherever we could with 'treating other people with respect', and it made me smile."..."I know what youíre thinking now. Youíre thinking 'Oh my god, thatís treating other people with respect gone mad!'" - Neil Gaiman
    CRAWLERS and Fusils, Swords, and Alchemy! Long reign the Queen!

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    Varus wracked his brain trying to think of ways to attract the attention of a typical village boy. What do they like? Playing games, obviously. Girls? Maybe not yet. Fighting? Maybe... of course!

    Varus unsheathed his blade, letting it shine in the sun, and proceeded to perform his daily exercises. If there's one thing that boys found interesting, it would probably be real life weaponry.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    Quickly, the boys veered away from their flight-and-pursuit to gather in a crescent formation gazing at Varus' exercises. He counted eleven of them, varying ages and shapes and colors, from about eight up to about twelve. The gimpy one resembled his mother, dark wavy hair and green eyes with an upturned nose. Aside from the problem with his left leg he appeared to be healthy and cheerful, shoving back and forth with one of his friends.

    Varus moved through the first and second forms while he thought about how to start a conversation with the boy Erbil.
    On a pause from play by post.
    "I started imagining a world in which we replaced the phrase 'politically correct' wherever we could with 'treating other people with respect', and it made me smile."..."I know what youíre thinking now. Youíre thinking 'Oh my god, thatís treating other people with respect gone mad!'" - Neil Gaiman
    CRAWLERS and Fusils, Swords, and Alchemy! Long reign the Queen!

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    Varus hadn't thought this approach all the way through. He had their attention, but how could he get Erbil to talk to him? The boy might be spooked if he got singled out too quickly, so he needed to think of something that would include the whole group.

    "Greetings, boys!" he proclaimed. "The Order is always looking for strong young lads to join the fight against the Others. Who here thinks you have what it takes?"

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    Now that they had his attention, the flock of boys began to chatter eagerly at Varus. They had many questions, all about his travels and what he had seen and who he had met, what was it like to get knighted, how did you get knighted, was there a special school for knights and what did you learn? One question jumped out and brought a pause to the whole discussion. Erbil asked it, hesitantly but firmly: "So do you have to kill the Others?"
    On a pause from play by post.
    "I started imagining a world in which we replaced the phrase 'politically correct' wherever we could with 'treating other people with respect', and it made me smile."..."I know what youíre thinking now. Youíre thinking 'Oh my god, thatís treating other people with respect gone mad!'" - Neil Gaiman
    CRAWLERS and Fusils, Swords, and Alchemy! Long reign the Queen!

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    The question stopped Varus cold. The answer was clear cut, but something about the way the boy asked it made him start to sweat a bit. Could he have befriended the old lady? If so, she probably wasn't an Other, but the annoying thing about them was the fact that they're usually virtually indistinguishable from the ordinaries. Some learn to fake kindness and manipulate the ignorant in order to hide themselves, but is that the case here, or is it a misunderstanding?

    "Yes, boy, we do. The Others are people who have gained dark and unnatural power from killing another in cold blood. They become monsters in human skin, and they will do whatever they can to kill more. It is our solemn duty to end them as quickly as we can, before they hurt anyone else. I've been told of a woman in the village that some suspect of being an Other, but I have to make certain so I do not slay an innocent. Do you know her?"

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    Varus' inquiry fell heavily on the group of boys, who turned quiet and serious and shuffle-footed. They all looked awkwardly at each other but not directly at Erbil. Erbil, meanwhile, looked at his feet and wiggled his bare toes.

    "Uh..." he said. "You mean ... Old Ana?"

    Varus heard one of the boys gasp. "She's no Other!" said another. "She cures fevers," said a third.

    "I don't think she's an Other," Erbil said, finally looking up to meet Varus' eyes. His own were watery and his voice trembled. He pouted. "She yelled at me, and then I hurt my leg, and then my mom got mad at her..."
    On a pause from play by post.
    "I started imagining a world in which we replaced the phrase 'politically correct' wherever we could with 'treating other people with respect', and it made me smile."..."I know what youíre thinking now. Youíre thinking 'Oh my god, thatís treating other people with respect gone mad!'" - Neil Gaiman
    CRAWLERS and Fusils, Swords, and Alchemy! Long reign the Queen!

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    Varus knelt down. "I saw you were limping earlier. May I take a look at your leg?"

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    The boy's left knee was red and swollen to the touch below the hem of his tunic. Next to the right knee, it appeared a bit larger. He clearly had trouble carrying weight on it; yet, being a boy of about ten, he couldn't stand to sit still and rest it. He winced and whimpered as Varus gently probed the injury.
    Spoiler: OoC
    Show
    Not sure whether Varus has an ability relevant to this task ... even "Survival" seems a bit off from medical diagnosis. I'll check the rules for what you might want to roll ...
    ... phaf ...
    ... the rules direct you to roll Might (if we consider this an "active" inquiry) or Fortitude (if we consider this "passive"). Neither of those makes sense. I could go with, "roll Insight." But that would do a lot of violence to the rules. Can you think of a way that Might or Fortitude might be applicable to this task?
    On a pause from play by post.
    "I started imagining a world in which we replaced the phrase 'politically correct' wherever we could with 'treating other people with respect', and it made me smile."..."I know what youíre thinking now. Youíre thinking 'Oh my god, thatís treating other people with respect gone mad!'" - Neil Gaiman
    CRAWLERS and Fusils, Swords, and Alchemy! Long reign the Queen!

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    Spoiler: OoC
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    or maybe the problem that Varus doesn't have a Fleshly attribute to suit this task, is a feature of the rules?

    Posit that Varus understands the metaphysics of his situation. He knows that his Might and Fortitude won't help him here, and that his Reason is only useful in social settings ... but if he burns a point of Insight, that will buy him one die toward attempting diagnosis, which is a Hard task that will require 2 successes (a 6 on the one die). Two points of Insight will significantly increase his chance of success. Now he faces a difficult choice!
    On a pause from play by post.
    "I started imagining a world in which we replaced the phrase 'politically correct' wherever we could with 'treating other people with respect', and it made me smile."..."I know what youíre thinking now. Youíre thinking 'Oh my god, thatís treating other people with respect gone mad!'" - Neil Gaiman
    CRAWLERS and Fusils, Swords, and Alchemy! Long reign the Queen!

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    Spoiler: OoC
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    Can't Paladins detect Dark Animus? Or does that only work at the time it was used? Also, I think Reason might be applicable in the form of asking questions to narrow down possibilities.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    Spoiler: OoC
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    Seems like Animus detector only works during an active use. Won't detect lingering traces.

    You're right, Reason does seem applicable. This is a medium task (not easy) for reasons that probably will become apparent.
    On a pause from play by post.
    "I started imagining a world in which we replaced the phrase 'politically correct' wherever we could with 'treating other people with respect', and it made me smile."..."I know what youíre thinking now. Youíre thinking 'Oh my god, thatís treating other people with respect gone mad!'" - Neil Gaiman
    CRAWLERS and Fusils, Swords, and Alchemy! Long reign the Queen!

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    Varus asks the boy various questions about how he feels and what plants or bugs he might have come into contact with that day.

    (2d6)[4][4](8)

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    It's a frustrating experience. Varus can tell the boy is evading some issue, but he's not outright lying. There's no malice to his evasion, either. He's trying to protect someone, maybe himself. All of his actual answers are matter of fact: he saw some wasps, didn't get stung; got into a spider's web, didn't get bitten; stayed well away from the snake den in the woods ... Indeed, there are no signs of any sort of bite or sting on the knee. It does feel a bit wobbly compared to the other one.
    On a pause from play by post.
    "I started imagining a world in which we replaced the phrase 'politically correct' wherever we could with 'treating other people with respect', and it made me smile."..."I know what youíre thinking now. Youíre thinking 'Oh my god, thatís treating other people with respect gone mad!'" - Neil Gaiman
    CRAWLERS and Fusils, Swords, and Alchemy! Long reign the Queen!

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    Spoiler
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    The book says I can activate my Animus attributes once for free in order to reroll, so I'd like to use my Wisdom.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    Spoiler: OoC
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    Sounds good. Go for the re-roll please.
    On a pause from play by post.
    "I started imagining a world in which we replaced the phrase 'politically correct' wherever we could with 'treating other people with respect', and it made me smile."..."I know what youíre thinking now. Youíre thinking 'Oh my god, thatís treating other people with respect gone mad!'" - Neil Gaiman
    CRAWLERS and Fusils, Swords, and Alchemy! Long reign the Queen!

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    A subtle glow lit Varus' eyes as he called upon his Animus to show him the truth. Animus was best used to augment one's natural abilities, so he didn't know how effective it would be, but without a doctor this was the best shot they had at saving the boy's leg... or his life.

    (2d6)[4][6](10)

  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    With a flash of Insight, Varus realized that his questions might have been too leading - too pointed. Taking a quick breath, he asked: "Tell me everything that you did yesterday."

    There was a lot that went on in a boy's day, and Erbil told the tale hastily and in a pressured way. Two key points jumped out: he had been reprimanded by Old Ana, and then he had run away into the woods and gone to climb on the strange old haunted tower, where he fell off and twisted his knee. He had been afraid to tell his mother what had happened because he knew he wasn't allowed at the tower, so instead when he limped home he had focused on the yelling by the old lady. It had been a few days since then and his knee wasn't getting better. Ordinarily, Old Ana would be the go-to for a thing like this, but since Erbil's mom was mad at her, that wasn't going to happen.
    On a pause from play by post.
    "I started imagining a world in which we replaced the phrase 'politically correct' wherever we could with 'treating other people with respect', and it made me smile."..."I know what youíre thinking now. Youíre thinking 'Oh my god, thatís treating other people with respect gone mad!'" - Neil Gaiman
    CRAWLERS and Fusils, Swords, and Alchemy! Long reign the Queen!

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    Varus was glad that he was finally getting somewhere. Whatever the affliction was, it started with the old tower he had not been made aware of before. Speaking of which... "Haunted tower? What do you mean haunted? No, hold on, first things first." Varus then went on to lecture Erbil about telling the truth and taking responsibility for his actions.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    Spoiler: OoC
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    What tone does Varus use for his remonstration? Gentle? Firm? Stern? Severe? Angry?
    On a pause from play by post.
    "I started imagining a world in which we replaced the phrase 'politically correct' wherever we could with 'treating other people with respect', and it made me smile."..."I know what youíre thinking now. Youíre thinking 'Oh my god, thatís treating other people with respect gone mad!'" - Neil Gaiman
    CRAWLERS and Fusils, Swords, and Alchemy! Long reign the Queen!

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    Spoiler
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    Firm. He knows that the parents should be the ones to discipline children, but he needs to get Erbil to understand that he has put both himself and Old Ana in danger by not telling the truth.

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    As Varus explained to Erbil the fault in his actions, and how to do better, the other children looked at each other uncomfortably before drifting away toward the village. The stranger with his big shiny sword no longer was entertaining; instead he was a little bit scary.

    Erbil began to tear up. "Old Ana's usually nice," he said softly. "I feel badly that I blamed her. I didn't understand how dangerous it was. She helps everyone in the village when we're sick or hurt. She grows the best vegetables! ... I guess I should tell Mommy that I lied, so that she stops being mad at Old Ana."
    On a pause from play by post.
    "I started imagining a world in which we replaced the phrase 'politically correct' wherever we could with 'treating other people with respect', and it made me smile."..."I know what youíre thinking now. Youíre thinking 'Oh my god, thatís treating other people with respect gone mad!'" - Neil Gaiman
    CRAWLERS and Fusils, Swords, and Alchemy! Long reign the Queen!

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    "Indeed you should. Now, tell me about this tower you were climbing. Where is it? Why do you call it haunted?" By this point Varus had become pretty certain that there was no Other involvement with the situation, but the Order had to be ever-vigilant.

    Spoiler
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    Are the Unliving still a thing here?

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Default Re: Sword of Heaven - Game Thread

    "I ... can show you the tower," said Erbil. "It's hard to give directions."

    The sun was bright, and a few brilliant clouds drifted across the placid blue sky. It was a beautiful late summer morning. The shade of the woods upslope, where Erbil pointed, looked cool and refreshing. Varus was a bit heated after his exercise.
    On a pause from play by post.
    "I started imagining a world in which we replaced the phrase 'politically correct' wherever we could with 'treating other people with respect', and it made me smile."..."I know what youíre thinking now. Youíre thinking 'Oh my god, thatís treating other people with respect gone mad!'" - Neil Gaiman
    CRAWLERS and Fusils, Swords, and Alchemy! Long reign the Queen!

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