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Everything posted by Darkniciad

  1. Wow... I guess I won't be cutting and pasting anymore after the forum update. I just looked in on this and realized all of my apostrophes and quote marks are getting mangled. Must be the curly quotes. I should probably turn that off in Wordperfect anyway. That would solve the problem here, and they're automatically changed to straight quotes most places I post anyway. Might take some getting used to in Wordperfect, but I'll get over it.
  2. Just finished with a nightmare of an infrastructure update. If you've tried to come here over the last few days, you undoubtedly came across all kinds of broken links and errors. I think I've got all that solved now. Unfortunately, all of my pages are going to have to be tweaked to function again. That means my work listings and everything else on the public side will be down for a while. All of my backend tools are also down, so I'll have to do manual database entry if I manage to get my muse in gear and release any new work. ( Not that anybody would be able to see it with the public pages down ) The forum needs massive tweaking, because it's a brand new version, and my old hooks and templates don't work anymore. Same for the blog, because the updates there made the theme I was using defunct. RRs blog escaped the horror because it was using a theme compatible with the new infrastructure.
  3. Just going on record here to say that I believe the Sharon Carter depicted in Falcon and Winter Soldier is our introduction to the evil Skrull faction that we'll see play out in Secret Invasion.
  4. The one thing I can promise is that I'm always working on it. Even when there aren't words going on paper, I almost always have a few minutes each day where I'm working through how the various threads of the story are going to play out, and refining them. Believe me, I hate that it's languishing unfinished just as much as ( if not more than ) everyone else. I changed my whole posting philosophy because of that to never post a single word of any story that I haven't already penned "The End" for, with the exception of SOTM itself.
  5. Okay, finally had a spark when I opened up Ch. 21, so I just spent several hours reading back through SOTM ( skimming the sex scenes ) to get myself acquainted with where I was, and wrote the next scene. It's a brief one, but it's forward progress. Caught a one word ( name ) error in a previous chapter. I had originally given Turner a different name, and apparently didn't notice that I'd actually named him before coming up with the better ( and more appropriate ) name for him. I'm just going to leave it. It's a single mention a couple of chapters before the character even becomes truly relevant, and I hate to put in an edit everywhere for something so tiny. Ditto for naming the prostitute that broke in Matthias in a chapter of SOTM, even though I didn't recall doing so. It contradicts "Breakin' in the Boy", but I'm going to leave it as well. If someone calls them out, I'll just have to accept getting caught in a mistake. LOL That thread I thought I left dangling wasn't dangling as much as I thought. It is something that needs to be addressed soon in the storyline, but not something that has as much urgency as I believed it did. I'd mused where that thread was going far in advance, and for some reason, I thought I was farther along in writing that plotline than I actually was. Where it is right now is fine until it feels natural to pick it up again... Which actually feels like this chapter, because Ebonar is going to want to get something done while Zoraster is following his obsession. Anyway, I'm back up to speed, and making at least a tiny bit of progress. We'll see how long it lasts. I'm in a later-than-usual surge of writing. With the boy out of school, I didn't have as much time to sleep as I usually did during my end of the year time off. Took me a lot longer to get caught up. Unfortunately, I'm back to full time now at the first of the year, so I hope it doesn't cause me to fizzle out. Cross your fingers.
  6. Just thought I'd write a post about some of the stories that are moving in the background, since it takes so long to complete most of the stuff I post as Dark and Les. I learned my lesson from the difficulty I'm having with Sisters of the Mists ( which is always getting some attention, even if it's only brief little spurts or reading back through previous chapters to refresh my memory ) and I'll never release any part of any story that isn't already complete on my hard drive. First, I have a significant portion of "Gates of Enchantment" complete. This is the second Darkni history story, following "Facing Destiny", and is a big part of the the foundation for the bridge between the history stories in "Nobles by Deed" prior to the freeing of Egoria, where the companions become the nobles of the country they set free from the tyrrany of Draxnia. I haven't been in the correct frame of mind to write the next scene ( sex ) but once I'm in that sort of mood, I hit the heart of the action afterwards. More information about that story can be found in the thread about bridging the gap in Nobles, and the thread with the preview of Gates. Second is a new story I've mentioned a few times, "One Whore's Town". It is a follow-up to "Lowborn" taking place a few years after that story, and following Betty, one of the three prostitutes who struck out to start their own brothel at the end of that story. It's about 2/3 into its third chapter right now. I started that particular chapter a couple of days ago. I honestly have no idea how many chapters this one is going to be. I know the general plot beats, and where it ends, but a lot of the middle is writing itself as the characters interact. It's a lot like Lowborn in that respect. Lowborn took years from first word on paper to release, so I can't even begin to guess when this one will be complete either. There's a thread with a preview for Chapter 1 here on the forum. Third is "Queen of the Wood" which has made a lot of progress this year. Usually, I lose my drive as the possibility of releasing the story by Earth Day dwindles. This year, the story feels a lot more focused in my head after some changes, and it's still moving along. Much like Gates, I haven't been in the right frame of mind to write a sex scene that's next in the story beat, so the last few days it has moved to the back burner of what I consider active WIPs. Other than that, it still feels as if its on track. I have the next two stories in the "Ancient Peoples" series worked out in my head. The first is called "Tangled Coils" and will introduce Nagas to the world, as well as the first Lamia who isn't the Queen or her sister. Following that will be "Beneath" which will introduce Krakens, and actually be a two part story where Aris isn't the protagonist, but only has a cameo role. His part of the story will be part 2. The next story in "The Fey Folk" is in progress, and is geared toward the current "Love the One(s) you're with" contest on Lit. So, provided that story keeps moving, it should come out soon. Those stories have all been shorter tales anyway, and this one will fit right in with the rest. I've covered Sylphs, Fairies, and Gremlins so far. This story will introduce Brownies into the world. With such a variety of stories on the active WIP list, I've only been sneaking in the occasional RR story ( most of them microfiction of late ) when a particularly strong idea strikes me. It's tempting to dive into those short, sex-heavy, and often tongue-in-cheek stories that don't require much thought or planning. There's also the fact that it's my most popular pen name, and the gratification of the feedback is a boost. It slows down production of my more involved works in these names, but it's also a necessity. I need the boost of that feedback every so often to keep me going, and I don't really spend a lot of time on any one story, so it balances out once a long story as Dark or Les finally goes gold. I also have a few real world stories as Les that have been percolating. One is of a similar theme to one of my recent micros, where a man and an escort form something of a more significant relationship during their sessions, and eventually end up breaking out of their self-destructive lifestyles to find something better with each other. Another is a story where a guy and his first girlfriend meet after years and years. They never went beyond a little heavy petting before she got tempted by some older boy with a car, and becomes the town's go-to girl for easy sex. They never really broke up, she just sort of went wild and left him behind. When he moves back to town after a bitter divorce, she's deeply depressed because she's outgrown that wild, sex-crazy phase, and now she can't find a meaningful relationship because of her reputation. He still feels a little hurt by her running off on him all those years ago, but he still has feelings for her, and they end up being exactly what the other needs.
  7. A preview of the beginning of "Gates of Enchantment" ( completely unedited ) which contains the first of many, many Easter eggs for other stories, and ends on the beginning of another. Feel free to point out the Easter Egg if you know it =================== Darkniciad stood outside what would soon be a school of magic for those of lesser means. He shook the hand of the wizard who had built it, after spending several days with him. “I must thank you for your hospitality,” Darkni said. The older man – about the same age as Darkniciad’s father – responded, “No. No. It is I who must thank you. The advice you have provided will do much to advance my dream.” Darkni countered, “As the spells you have taught me have done much to advance my own studies.” They both chuckled as they unclasped hands. The older man said, “It seems we are at a stalemate in this contest of gratitude.” “Ah, but there must always be a victor. To that end...” Darkni reached into the satchel slung over his shoulder, and withdrew a silken pouch that clinked with the unmistakable sound of coin. He held it out to the other wizard. “Please, I cannot accept such a generous gift,” the other wizard said. “But you will,” Darkni said, pressing the pouch into the other man’s hand. “It will accomplish much more in your purse than in mine.” “I...” Darkniciad waved his hand and said, “I will not take no for an answer. Use it well, that I may find your school thriving, when next I pass this way to share discoveries in the Art with you.” The other wizard weighed the pouch in his hand and said, “I suspect that even were I to refuse, this pouch would somehow find its way here again.” “Most astutely observed.” Darkni clapped his hands, and said, “And so, this contest is concluded.” “Though which is the victor? The giver or the receiver?” “A victory for us both, I would say. Fare thee well.” “The gods speed you on your journey,” the elder wizard said. “And you to your dream.” With that, Darkniciad turned and took the first step on that renewed journey. He walked down the narrow, tree-lined road, enjoying the morning air and the songs of birds. It had taken a year, but finally, he had found and properly trained those who would take up his duties within his father’s business. And so, he was free to pursue his study of the Art. The discovery of the fledgling school and its master was but the latest taste of the welcoming nature this land had for one of his chosen path. His steps now carried him to Destindale, the heart of magical studies within the Protectorates of Armand. Though he would enter light of purse, after the gift to the school, that should be easy to remedy. A city the size of Destindale would certainly have messengers who could deliver a letter requesting more coin from his account at home, and counting houses to make good on the returned letter of credit. There might even be one with magical means to expedite the process. What coin he retained would be sufficient to see him through a week, so long as he sought out reasonably priced accommodations. Daydreams about what he would find in the city carried him through the miles. He had heard of two schools of magic, shops that catered to those who practiced the Art, and common folk who appreciated the benefits of magic, rather than fearing it. He was so caught up in his musings that he nearly missed the sound that brought him up short – a feminine whimper, rapidly stifled.
  8. After a barrage of likely spam registrations, I've managed to get a captcha up and working. If you have any problems, get hold of me through Lit, SOL, or Lush. If you're the person who already did that and you're still having issues, drop me another line and I'll just manually add you while I deal with fixing it
  9. Apparently, something was buggered up with my Captcha. I'm working on that, but in the meantime, I've made it possible to register without it.
  10. Just looked for the first time in a long time. In 2016, 5038 spam registrations were blocked by the primary spam blocker. In 2017, they must have been slacking, because I only got 4995. In 2018, they came back in force with 7366 blocked registrations. Last year, it was 9349. Already up to 11 for the year since midnight.
  11. Here's a little ( completely unedited ) snippet from the first draft of Ch. 01 of "One Whore's Town". I'm not sure how long it will take to finish it, but the second chapter is already up to a couple thousand words, and moving along nicely. =================== Betty checked her figures one last time. It had been a good night at Alice’s Kip. The new girl had certainly attracted some attention. She’d worked the whole night. Betty suspected that the poor girl would be walking bowlegged after that marathon. She was trying to prove herself, but she might have overdone it a bit. The other eleven girls had done brisk business as well. It was a far cry from five years earlier, when she, Alice, and Cammie had arrived on their brave venture to Windsholme – which they’d nicknamed Stingy Pussy at the time. Cammie still took on a few men and the occasional woman who came in looking for sport, but Betty and Alice hadn’t made their living with their legs in the air on the regular for a couple of years. Their clothing was more often stained with ink than cum. The old Kip was now their private residence and office space. The new Kip was a beautiful two story house with eight rooms that had real plastered walls, so men didn’t have to listen to fellas rutting in the next room. Betty was rather proud that their brothel was nicer than the Cat – where they’d first plied their trade – and even rivaled some in Fightershaven. It was only half their business. Lots of girls with few options had shown up over the years, and not all of them were cut out for whoring. At first, Alice had put them to work cooking and cleaning for the working girls. Some of those girls were fine cooks, and many were pretty enough to ply their bodies, but simply didn’t have the temperament. Inspiration had struck one evening as the three friends recalled the harrowing journey that had set them on the path of independence. The assassins who had been paid to kidnap and murder them – out of revenge for a powerful man’s bruised ego – had used an eatery as a front for their hideout. Betty had suggested that they open one, having the girls cook and serve. It was Alice’s stroke of genius that made all the difference, though. During the day, the serving girls were dressed conservatively – though their dresses still emphasized their curves and legs. At night, those same girls wore gauzy gowns with deep necklines, short hemlines, and slits up to the hip. Heaven’s Table did brisk business with men who were more keen to look than touch, for whatever reason. The food and wine were good enough to attract travelers even without the display of female flesh. It was Cammie’s idea to only serve wine, so as not to compete with and anger the local tavern keeper. Betty didn’t need to do the sums for the Heaven, because Hannah took care of it. She had been the first to join the three friends in the brothel, and had proved she had skills other than humping in time. After only a brief stint taking care of the day to day operations at the eatery, it was obvious she should be running things fully and permanently. The increase in travelers – and thus coin – had earned the block of buildings at the edge of town and the people who occupied them a measure of acceptance. One other highly unusual factor had contributed to their success. As the Heaven attracted travelers, they decided to turn away local husbands and boyfriends, and instead counsel them in ways to entice their women to spread their legs with sweet, unexpected gestures. The local women no longer glared at them as if about to form a torch-wielding mob, and some were even friendly. With the sums finished for both establishments, Betty calculated her cut of the profits, added it to her tally, and smiled as she closed the books. She’d finally reached her goal. Alice looked up from the letter she was reading when she heard the heavy, leather cover thump shut. “You’re done already?” “Mmm hmm. Good day at the Kip and the Heaven.” “Don’t know how you do it,” Alice said, giving a shake of her head, and then a chuckle. “I want to pull my hair out within a couple of minutes of looking at those books.” “I enjoy it a little. Having everything come up right is satisfying. Besides, Hannah does half the work.” Alice nodded. “You know, I think we may need to cut her in on things instead of just paying her a salary. She’s too good to lose already, and she’s getting more savvy every day.” “Sounds right to me. Ask Cammie when she wakes up tonight. You should probably start pushing Cammie to do a little more on this end of things, if she ever wants to strike out on her own too.” “Too?” Alice lifted her eyebrows and asked, “So, you’re ready to set up your own place?” She hadn’t actually meant to let the news slip that very moment, but since the cat was out of the bag, Betty answered, “I’ve saved up what I think I’ll need, and I have an idea of where I could go.” “Good for you!” Alice said as she stood and crossed the well-worn wooden floor to her friend’s desk. She leaned down and hugged her. “So, where were you thinking?” “There’s a town about two days from here to the east called Hard Creek. Barely more than a farming village, but it’s not far from where one of Pompeil’s men says is going to be a major trade route soon. There’s apparently some kind of melon they grow out toward the coast that’s becoming popular in the cities.” Pompeil Harrold was a merchant of significant wealth and renown from Freeland, who had been caught up in the kidnaping plot because he was visiting the brothel when it happened. He recommended that his men seek out the services of the network of brothels the Kip was connected to, as part of the debt he felt he owed to those who had helped him escape that nightmare unscathed. “Pomp doesn’t seem to be wrong very often. Sounds like a good idea,” Alice agreed. “Get in and established before things kick up.” “That’s what I was thinking. I thought I might go there and have a look-see, though.” “And borrow a couple of girls to see how stingy the women are with the pussy around there?” Alice asked – knowingly. “I was thinking about Jan and Lana.” Alice pursed her lips and nodded. The two girls had been working long enough for the new to wear off, but not yet long enough to have a large regular clientele. Being new again in a different place would be good for them, and for profits. “I think they might actually enjoy a change of scenery.” “And Ghent, to watch over us?” Betty asked. A crooked grin spread across the blonde madame’s face. “You’re sweet on him.” Betty rolled her eyes. “Last I noticed, nobody’s been sleeping in your bed here for weeks.” Alice actually blushed. Olan was an older widower who had built the most recent house on the block for the girls working the Heaven, when the existing accommodations had grown crowded. Something had sparked between them during that time, and he’d asked her to step out with him. Eventually, she’d started spending the night at his place, and that had evolved to practically living there. “He’s good for you, I think,” Betty said. Alice gave a dainty shrug and said, “He’s good to me. And he’s funny. He makes me laugh so hard I can’t breathe sometimes.” “Ghent too,” Betty admitted. She shook her head and chuckled. “Listen to us. Two old whores acting like smitten little girls.” “May as well enjoy it while it lasts. Take him with you. The girls too. You can use one of the wagons, and take whatever you need. When?” Betty considered the preparations she would need to make and suggested, “A week?” “That will give me some time to get used to the idea of dealing with these for a while,” Alice said, and then saluted the leather-bound ledgers with a raised middle finger.
  12. Had a flash of inspiration today for a story about five years after Lowborn, centering mainly on Betty, one of the prostitutes from that story. She, Alice, and Cammie have manage to build something of an empire in Windsholme ( which they called Stingy Pussy ) with not only a large brothel, but an eatery, their own private residence, a separate house for the prostitutes that work for them, and a large house for the assortment of orphans they've taken in as workers, or simply because the girls couldn't turn them away. Betty has developed an itch to strike out on her own, as was more or less the plan for all three of them eventually. She's been researching, and found a really small town without much going on about a day's ride away from Windsholme, which is near a couple of major trade routes. What she doesn't know is that there's already a lady of the evening who claims it as her own. It's called "One Whore's Town" and the tagline is "It's not big enough for the both of them." I do love my wordplay. No idea when it will be finished, but I've put my notes file together. No doubt it will get worked into other stories, at least at an easter-egg level.
  13. Thought I'd post a topic about this, and the progress that's being made toward bridging the gap in "Nobles by Deed" there's always been a big old hole in the middle of the timeline there. There's a group of stories taking place early in the life of the characters, and then a group of stories after they've freed Egoria. I feel that the early stories for all the characters need to be told, in order to fill in that gap. One trilogy with Darkni is already in progress, beginning with "Facing Destiny". The second story in that trilogy "Gates of Enchantment" is in progress now. The third story is called "Something Familiar". Those early Darkni stories ( taking place a few years earlier than the other Nobles history, because Darkni is the oldest of the companions ) contain a great deal of world history, as well as Darkni's. "Facing Destiny" fleshes out the origins of the Great Crater, where Fightershaven is situated. "Gates of Enchantment" is delving into the history of the Protectorates of Armand, where Danica and Devan are from. Lots of Easter Eggs for the Arts Ardane stories in "Gates of Enchantment". "Something Familiar" will take place in the Western Baronies, where Zoraster is from and "The Forge" resides. That trilogy sets up Darkni for a story where he teams up with Mindblind. Simultaneously, there's a new Thakkor and Alicia story that's going to happen. Those two stories will end in the same taproom of the same inn, and are the launching pad for "Rage of a Goblin King" ( Still a working title, but one that's seriously growing on me, despite it being only one word off from a Raymond E. Feist title ) Rage is where most of the companions first meet and team up to free Normandal from the grip of a goblin infestation. The lessons they've learned and the forces they've gathered push them toward a grander, and more dangerous quest — facing down the forces of Draxnog to free Egoria from his talons. Once I tell that story, the bridge is complete. "King Thakkorias" takes place shortly after the freeing of Egoria. I still need to flesh out the other companions with history, though. Saggitariad has appeared in only the briefest cameos within Danica and SOTM. Vladamir only brief cameos in "Lowborn", Danica, SOTM, and Blackhawk Hall, though I do establish a critical element or two of him there. I believe I've nailed down the early history story for both of them. Those then need to be followed up with "Growth" stories that push them closer to where they are at the time of Rage. I'll likely write a history story for Saj's wife Carol Darkholme as well. Darkni's wife is covered in Rage. Then there's a later story after the freeing of Egoria, taking place even earlier than "King Thakkorias" about Saj and his wife called "A Thief N' the Knight". It takes place as they're journeying from the capital to take over as Duke and Duchess. There's another Arts Ardane story as well. Prior to Rage, Devan is the first of the Ardane sisters to meet Zoraster. Just thought I'd post this up, so everyone knows that there is a plan to bridge that gap. It won't come quickly, as anyone who follows me knows, but it is creeping that way. I'm constantly opening SOTM and trying to get back into the right frame of mind to continue that story as well.
  14. Got a little frustrated, trying to think of scenes to put in there to solve my time zone problem in Ch. 21. Certain scenes need to happen at night, so I need to pass time. I also need to figure out new ways to end other scenes, because they don't pass enough time. In the end, I decided to put it away and work on a few other things. RR shorts, and the follow-up to "Serpentine Destiny" for example. Now, I decided that stepping back into the world from a different angle might be the thing to get me going. So, I started working on the next story in the Darkni tales that are eventually going to lead to the hole in my timeline where my characters free Egoria. This tale is called "Gates of Enchantment" and it shows the beginning of several important elements of Darkni's eventual power. It's also absolutely rife with Easter Eggs. Only 1600 words in, there are cameos from four characters from various Arts Ardane stories, and numerous locations. It's primarily set in Destindale and the surrounding region. There are even more Easter Eggs to come, as the storyline has ties to elements of "Kampar's Wand". It's also going to provide some deeper history for the Protectorates of Armand. There are ties to Darkni's lineage, and those are going to lead into the story that follows this one. Despite all that, this story is also going to have plenty of hot sex, and a lot more action than the previous Darkniciad tale as well. It's flowing well, and waking up my thought processes to Danica's world again, so that should bode quite well for getting back to work on SOTM.
  15. SOTM Ch. 20 is finally in the queue at Lit. It will go in the queue at SOL for as close to a simultaneous release as possible. Reworking that timezone error I caught and getting the next chapter back into forward motion.
  16. Bloody hell... Apologies for the lack of updates ( and lack of progress ) I have finished a couple of steps on the Ch. 20 edit, but it's been a nightmare. First, after a couple of months of not getting enough hours to even survive on, I'm getting slammed with long hours at work. Then there's dealing with my taxes. Then there's a ton of stuff I need to do because my disabled son has turned 18. That's been eating up my time more than anything. Lawyers, court, social security. The list goes on and on. One good note is that his disability checks will put a stop to me struggling to make it through the end of the year once they start coming in. It will cover a lot of stuff for him that I've been paying, allowing me to put aside rainy day money again. Plus, he needs a new bed, and always needs new clothes, etc. I should be getting enough to make those upgrades without wondering whether I'll be teetering on the edge of broke, as I have for the last several years. I'm finally out of the most time-consuming stuff, with the final social security bit finished earlier today. I may need a few days to wind down, but hopefully I can get back to work soon. I knew this was going to be an adventure, but I had no idea just how much time it was going to eat up, or that my work hours would be limiting that time on top of it.
  17. Had a lot of junk going on, so I'm still working on the Ch. 20 edit. I think I almost have the time-difference on Ch. 21 worked out in my head. I'm having to change some transitions, because I need the Brandon scene to be late in the evening, and the time difference from the Danica scene it transitions from doesn't work. It's earlier than a normal day's stopping point for Danica and Marlena, which makes it even earlier back home. So I need to change that transition completely, and modify several other scenes as well.
  18. Working on the edit of Ch. 20. It's a long chapter, so it's taking a little while.
  19. I think I've finally figured out how to tweak SOTM 21 to fix the time discrepancy I caught myself making. No time to actually implement it this morning, but I'm making notes so I can get to it later this evening. ( and free up headspace to plan what's next while I'm at work today )
  20. http://www.literotica.com/s/sisters-of-the-mists-ch-19 It's live at Literotica!
  21. SOTM 19 was approved to go live in the wee hours of the morning tomorrow at Lit. I'm going to go ahead and submit it to SOL this evening, so it will have a more or less concurrent release. There are a huge number of stories coming in to Lit right now for some reason. Two and half pages of new stories yesterday, which is crazy. I know to submit the next chapter on Sunday or Monday instead of Tuesday now, in order to avoid having it hit on Saturday. Unless, by some chance, it does really well coming out on Saturday, which I doubt. Weekends are usually ass on Lit.
  22. Changed my mind LOL I'm going to go 6 hours and tweak based on that. I think it will make inconsistencies in earlier chapters less obvious. I can explain most of that away by weird hours kept at the Manor. Will also make it easier to tweak 20, and reduce, but not eliminate, the difficulty of adjusting 21, which has the most explicitly stated frames of time that are critical to the narrative.
  23. Whew... 19 is okay. The time in most of the scenes is ambiguous enough. I've established the time difference in earlier chapters, but never nailed it down. That leaves me some room to play with. I think I'm going to set things on a 12 hour difference. Morning at home, Evening in the east. That makes it reasonable for the morning and evening contacts to not wake anybody up or keep them up. There will be some off bits in earlier chapters, but I think they'll be minor enough so that only someone paying extremely close attention will notice, and I can always edit the earlier chapters later if necessary. That's what I'm going to move forward with as I edit 20 and tweak 21.
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