A Womban

A womban is someone who gives birth to the future generations: a vessel of life, her womb stretches and contracts like a silk cocoon.

Her value determined by the House – cooking in it, cleaning it, caring for it, birthing it.

She is borne to scrutiny of other womben. Man may dictate and oppress, but nothing survives under the familiar eyes who watch her. She must hold hands with the same whimmen who pierce her palms with an embedded needle, clasping ever so tightly.

The womban, already assigned a worth from the moment she is born, until she rends her abdomen, is no longer useful.

When other womben complain of wombaches, when their House wriggles and prepares for the next guest, another womban is ransacked, stripped of her clothes, her belongings, left on the streets to rot, and many womben pass her by.

They scorn her, with those familiar eyes.

So she knocks on her House. She politely excuses herself for her disturbance. She hesitates knocking twice. But there is no fear when she tells it through the broken glass:

“We’ve been through a lot, but you can’t live here anymore. When I lose you, I’ll lose a part of myself. I’ll lose a part of my identity. I’ll lose the respect of other womben in this world. But if I lose the rest of myself, then my worth means nothing. Take it, and I will find my own.”

And so she leaves, her House barren, her worth the lowest of the low, but she does not look back.

Who Knew a 3-Hour Long Raid…

…could actually be pretty fun?

Never mind a 3 hour long EE Deathwyrm!

So a couple days ago or so, I had been posting for some raids on Meredithium/Seraphemia. Of course, the moment I switch to Sera, things start to look a little ugly… it did not help that Sera was already nearly half the DPS of the group, so the DPS red flag was frantically waving once Sera was out of the picture.

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It was really rough… Conquest achieved though!

 

While I was happy with Sera’s performance in LH Shroud, it usually is a bad sign. Normally, I don’t have to worry about putting that much DPS but I think group composition, in all of the raids we were running that night, just was not cut out for it.

Afterwards, we had ran a DOJ and FOTP, which were mostly fine. Once we got to EE Deathwyrm, that was the interesting kicker.

I personally am not super familiar with the mirror puzzles like Andy and Psy are, but I’m definitely catching on and learning. This run, I was able to get through them fairly quickly, and there was not too much pressure as we had someone else shadow me to learn it, and the rest of the party either did not know it or did not really care that I was sort of taking my time. At the same time, I also had to explain the raid and what I was doing over voice chat to someone else who was totally new to the raid. Despite these, it was manageable and I think I explained to the extent that I would like, even for the end fight as we shrined up. However, our luck with the intersection rooms (we got Jump + Red/Green Light) was a foreshadow for the things to come…

As soon as I try to assign roles, it was very strained as I only have Koko to depend on as a capped character with actual DPS. Thank goodness he was on his rogue, or else I am not sure if we would have even succeeded! I was at first our tank, and Koko was going to drop off the Kulds. Thing is, neither of us ended up with the same roles at the end of the raid. In retrospect, I think I should have been more aware of our group composition and capability, and organized roles a bit better.

Almost immediately after a few folks head into the shadow realm, the group starts falling apart. Because of the separation between our healers and the others, the few who entered through the portals ended up wiping, without even being able to kill the beholder and helmed horror. I got a tell from Tala about the situation, and so I had to rearrange positions to the worst possible scenario: our new guy, the Favored Soul caster, was in charge of tanking the dragon. In my mind, I had to give the role to him because not only was he spending SP to heal me, he was also capable of DPSing the dragon down, so it would be more efficient that way if he took the dragon himself, freeing my position to go help elsewhere, where he would not be able to due to being new to the raid. Despite being new, he was the only option. Of course, there were little things I noticed about his tanking method; he was in the spawning corner by the south lever which made it slightly harder to tank, while he could have been tucked away in one of the column crevices across the southern wall. When I advised kiting if he was taking too much damage, he almost immediately died. To which I kind of felt bad bringing up that idea in the first place.

Moving on, he took charge of the dragon’s agro, but there was also the other issue of Kulds not being properly dropped. For about 70% of the fight, Kulds were a major issue, and I ended up having to grab agro and hang from the stone ledge – which was highly inefficient. Our poor healers (aside from me when I tried) – one Favored Soul and one Cleric – had to drink so many potions to keep us alive. Towards the end I tried to reimburse, but no one would accept! Haha. Anyways, the Cleric was often away for a majority of the end fight due to getting stranded in R/G room for a while, but they eventually came back. While they did a superb job healing us, I often had to call out for them to heal me or Mez, so I felt like it was a bit hard to delegate that without sounding bossy or anything. Of course, they were so very kind in doing as I asked!

There were several instances where we were close to a full wipe, about a total of 3 or so. Being separated from the main group did not help things when we were trying to destroy the real phylactery – and DPS was very slow so it would take a very long time. At the first instance, when we were getting overwhelmed by too much trash, I called it as the raid leader to retreat and recuperate – grab as many soulstones as you could, raising the important people (healers), and run.

For future reference… never linger if you are outside on the temple floors. Aurgloroasa dragged us back maybe 2-3 times, and people were so befuddled. However, I had noticed that two folks in the shrine room remained there – so I told folks to retreat there as fast as possible. Sure enough, we finally regrouped there safe and sound, waiting out our many death penalties and rebuffing to the best of our abilities. During the hectic tanking, I had also bought SP potions too, which I reluctantly purchased (although looking back on it now, I have no qualms anymore).

One instance I clearly remember was when we all wiped but the two in the phylactery room and I almost knew we were going to have to give up then. But right then and there – lo and behold, they got the right phylactery! A new surge of hope shot through me, and we were all so happy. We desperately tried to revive each other, and regrouped once more.

To wrap the story up, I actually enjoyed the raid, in a twisted way I suppose, haha. The thing is, we were all so determined to make it through, even though there were so many close calls. No one dropped or commented negatively that “we couldn’t have done it” – because if we had, I think we really couldn’t have. There is that certain psychology in gaming and groups. But it was that persistence that drove us to grit through, and we certainly paid the resources for it. It was not the cost that mattered, but the experience; and somehow, I managed to yet again lead through a raid that may have been bitterly painful, but still ended in a successful completion. Almost never does that ever happen – the last I recall was an EE FOT raid years ago.

After the raid, I went to sleep easily, thinking back fondly upon it. Another favorite part about the raid was that we were so resourceful – very rarely, do we get to utilize a challenging near -stalemate in any quest or raid that requires us to stop and take a moment. The fact that our SP was in jeopardy (despite SP pots from the store) caused us to be more resourceful and tactful; a couple of us used our Xachosian Eardweller to create some SP munchies, I used my stack of GH scrolls to pass buffs to everyone, and our Fighter even used his Eternal Wand of Cure Minor Wounds to patch up folks in the waiting time. Honestly, this is the sort of experience that was reminiscent of the pre-MoTU days, or the “Golden Era.” And it’s made me realize, I love to be resourceful and the thrill of “barely surviving” is what I love about this game at its core.

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Running these raids lends me to know more about myself as a player, honestly. And you know what? I’m extremely stubborn towards success, almost to a fault, yet somehow these near impossible situations, seem possible.

Keep up the Good Fight.

Seraphemia’s Lineage

So I was thinking about this during class and just couldn’t pin down one exact lineage for Sera, as weird as that sounds. This will be my brainstorm/finalization platform!

Originally, I didn’t go too far into detail about her lineage, other than that she was 1/4th Aasimar (mother being an Aasimar herself while the father was pure Human). But now, as I come up with her appearance (since bloodline is so important to the final look in determining what traits she will have), I thought maybe I should settle this once and for all! 😀

She definitely needs to carry some kind of primary celestial archon + human blood in her veins, but I was thinking of having a small percentage of inheritance from certain races like ghaele or solar celestial, high elf (eladrin) or fey, and avoral celestial. So why these in particular?

  • Brilliant topaz/gold/amber/caramel eyes (solar)
  • Petite, fairy like figure/height (high elf, fey)
  • Feathers in her hair or as eyelashes, covering shoulder tops (avoral celestial*)

*This trait could be inherent in some Aasimars, but the feathers in the hair particularly was something I was thinking of.

These are just simple, singular qualities that I could just tack on the whole Aasimar spiel, but I felt like it would be kind of cool to map out a more intricate bloodline. While she would be regarded mostly as an Aasimar/Human, this would play more into the whole idea of loss of identity and thus the search for it. I also like the idea of a blended bloodline than just a one singular, pure race, making her ethnically ambiguous which plays into the idea of “universal beauty” or something like that.

I realized I tend to make all the females in her lineage as the celestial blooded as opposed to the father, which might be more of a bias on my part. Not sure if I want to keep it that way as it doesn’t really matter which side gets the celestial blood, but maybe would be cool, even mystical, for trivia bit – similar to how all females in my family are born in January (winter babies, yeah!!).

I even wrote up a spreadsheet detailing the lineage. Here is the chart detailing the basic lineage tree. I may go back and make further changes (this is why I can never be a writer – I change my mind way too much and its hard to fit it into the story once its already written LOL). While I wanted to do the math and calculate the exact percentages of celestial/other blood types, well, math is math. 😛

Reclusion

I used to be unbelievably outgoing when I was younger.

When I think back, its nostalgic, but I think some people would think its weird. I used to be friends with an old lady and two middle aged mothers, my sister and I. We’d go over to their apartment and clean for them, or walk their dogs (surprisingly, two of them both had dogs, and one of them had a Persian cat and a ton of fishes). Jan was the name of the elderly lady, and I can’t remember the middle aged mother, but her son was in the same grade as me when I was in middle school. I guess we’ve been hanging out with them since then, until we moved away during the freshman year of high school.

We met Jan when she was walking her two Pekingese dogs (Andy and Amanda) one day and we instantly fell in love with them. They really were so adorable, its too bad we didn’t have cameras or phones “back in the day.” We’d often allude them as ourselves; Amanda was the feisty one like my younger sister, and Andy was more of the calm yet derpy one like me. One day, Jan showed up less and less – she was taken care of by her daughter who was around her late twenties or early thirties, I think. She always had problems with her knee, and she was going into surgery soon. I remember they’d always let us walk her dogs before all this happened, but when I think about it now I imagine they were immensely grateful that we would always come over and walk their dogs. I think I remember them asking us formally if we could, and we were delighted to help. Its funny because we were dense as kids, and so we didn’t ask for payment. I think it was better that way – Jan wasn’t an employer, but our friend. I can’t remember every detail, but certain memories are still vibrant.

They didn’t tell us anything, probably because they felt we were too young to understand or something. I wish they did, because at times when I muse in my past memories, I wish I had known so that I would understand it later in the future. Even now, I still don’t know where they are anymore and where they have gone. Back then, to me, email was not used so much until later on. To talk to them and catch up after all these years would be beyond amazing. Still, I am sure just as I think about them at times, they might remember us fondly (hopefully, we were crazy kids).

I did call Inga’s mother once and we both talked for a while. Inga was really young, much younger than us – I think she was maybe 6 or 7 when I was maybe 13 or 14? I can’t remember. But these friendships were genuine – perhaps in ulterior motive, we just wanted to be around pets since we could never have one of our own, but over time in my childhood we would “explore” the apartment complex and meet so many great people – that place was the place where I grew up in and that was our world.

I remember Kelly, the girl who was maybe 3-4 or so years older than us. She was very mature and crazy in a reserved kind of way, and was kindhearted to hang with us, who probably were kids in her eyes. It’s amazing to me how I was not affected by the age gap stigma, but as I’ve matured, I’ve realized how much I’ve changed, even when its not outwardly.

A wave of memories overflow me as I type these words, I can be very nostalgic at times. I remember so many good and happy memories of my sister, my childhood friend Mary Lou, and all the embarrassing ones too. Both the good and the bad, I look back favorably. Sometimes, in my quiet world of thoughts at night, I would like to express many important themes regarding my childhood in art, somehow.

Up until now. The change is unbelievable – I am no longer the kind of person to reach out to anyone in real life. I’ve always been shy, but the person I am today rejects and dislikes any form of real life social contact. My sister always gets on to me about not spending more time with her, and there is usually a sinking feeling, no, maybe more of a sigh, when someone asks to go hang out. Its not the people themselves that I dislike company – I’ve become nearly entirely reclusive. More and more each day, I am paralyzed by laziness and anti social tendencies, but I’ve never thought of it as a bad thing. I’ve always been comfortable within my own bubble, plugged in to electronic music, and typing away, whether to chat with online friends or expressing my thoughts here. In such a loud, bizarre, chaotic world, music sweeps me away from outside distractions, and games immerse me from any stress nagging at me. That doesn’t mean I don’t think about important things and neglect them, but if I did not do this, I think I would be hypertensive because I am the type of person constantly thinking about things. When I am immersed in this new world of mine, to me, it almost becomes an artistic expression – the stories that I make up for my characters, the expression of my true self here, even the tedious list of things to do in DDO – everything is what gets me so passionate about this game, blog, whatever it is that I love doing. I can only dream I could make a living by truly following my artistic conduct.

Sometimes I surmise and try to explain why I’ve become this way. Maybe my life, that didn’t seem as traumatic as I thought it was, shows in its own psychological form. In that case, would that mean I’m a weaker person that I thought I was, and that all this time I have been putting up a facade? There are these deeper thoughts I wonder about randomly. All this time, I’ve never once thought of my being changing (which to others apparently is dramatic) as a bad thing. I had already subconsciously and gradually accepted the reclusive part of me, as it was the type of person I have always been deep down. There was a reason why I was always considered quiet as a kid, that I’ve always preferred thinking to myself. My mind was the only safe place when people would reprimand me, or when I was emotional (in both good and bad terms). I remember strongly that I would always whisper to myself, which has stopped after my older sister pointed it out and I would have to mentally stop myself ever since, thinking it was a bad thing. Of course, when she started doing it, I reverted right back, but not as much as I used to. Ahh, the psychology of social ethics.

The definition of “fun” back then is surely, not even remotely the same as I would define it today. I think a lot of people would not understand me on what I think is fun on what seems to be an addict’s ritual. I’m a repetitive person until I burn out, when it comes to music, grinding in game, etc. I wonder if I would ever stop playing DDO, and sometimes I do get tired (as I am right now, definitely burned out from constantly reincarnating). But all in all… I am truly passionate about DDO. I know there is a difference between fanaticism and passion. However, they are the same to me when it comes to things I love, and I am sure that is how other people may view their interests too, with a sort of fanaticism that we cannot help. I guess it’s just a matter of deeming whether their interest is ethically right or wrong – I know that some things aren’t right to be fanatical about of course (this is for you political/philosophical peeps). Perhaps that is how the others view me.

My thoughts are always random, but I find that artistic. It’s kind of how I set up this blog to be as a ramble spot, but I know that can be annoying for those who read traditional blogs. It reminds me of dreams, which I vividly remember most of them on the day I wake up (of course I forget the ones after a while) – both spontaneous but coherently fluid enough for comprehension. I’ve always been the type of person to muse a lot on my dreams and nightmares, and maybe that has even translated into my thoughts and how I organize them in regards to my experiences and the world around me.

In the end, I may be completely different a decade from now, just as I was a decade ago. My friends and family may love or hate me then. It can be scary thinking about this, but identity has always been such a huge question to me. I’ve always followed in my older sister’s steps, but I’ve never made enough tracks to identify in my own footsteps. I loathe thinking about the future in regards to my education and future life in general, so much that I sometimes almost wish I don’t have to worry about the future once and for all. Of course, I wouldn’t go that extreme in actuality, but I hate it that much. Because of this, this has been one of my top prayers for when I do pray (forgive me!), but the answer is still unclear after all these years. This is where I am at my weakest. Even when I am inspired (which I have been lately) by pieces or art or the like, it appears that I am too far in this sort of inner paralysis to do anything that I would want to do but cannot.

“It is a long way forward,” but I am trying! Even if I’m taking snail paces, the realization of all of these as of recently is my starting point. The lagging pace in my gaming time in DDO recently has sparked something for me, and thus this frustration of these thoughts were poured forth. The frustration of not moving forward in both life and DDO. For the first time in forever, I wanted to draw. And now, before I fall asleep, I wanted to write about this. I have the worst habit of doing that. But hopefully, I’ll be able to change that and make room for other things than DDO – I want to.

The biggest inspiration that got me thinking about this, writing about this, fighting about this, was Porter Robinson’s Shelter. My sister showed it to me and at first I was impressed mildly, but after watching it over and over and over again on my own, the isolated world there was what resonated with me and all that was happening. Maybe in the future, I won’t be lagging behind as much, sleeping in as much, and putting forth my real motivations to action.

The hardest thing I struggle with: putting thoughts into words, words into action. I am but a hollow shell, really.