Quicksilver Noir

Marko closed the car door and made his way through the crowd of people gathered outside the towering apartment complex that had been quarantined by yellow tape. Inside, his partnet was already standing amidst the crime scene.
“Genieveve.” Marko intoned his greeting without giving it too much thought. His eyes were already transfixed on the scene, mulling over the contents of the darkened room.
“What do you make of it, Marko?” Said the young quicksilver. 
“Have you wver noticed that mortals have a smell?” Marko remarked.
“Of course. Fear, sex.. it all has a smell on them.”
“Did you know they also have a scent when they’re about to kill someone?”
“What does it smell like?” Geneiveve questioned, turning her attention to the man.
“It smells like rain. As if a storm is coming to wash everything away.”

Why people aren’t drawn to you – The Art of listening.

What makes a good listener?

A good listener doesn’t listen to respond. They listen to learn.

“Listening” is not just “hearing”. It’s asking good questions that help you understand the other person.

Some guy’s girlfriend tells him “I don’t like it when you tell me how to do things. I feel like you’re judging me.”

“I’m not judging you.” he said. “It was just a suggestion.”

He was not listening.

Regardless of how he experienced it, her experience was that he was judging her.

A bad listener focuses on explaining his own experience.

A good listener focuses on learning about the other person’s experience:

  • “Which part makes you feel like I’m judging you?”
  • “Was it what I said, or how I said it?”
  • “How would you like me to make suggestions in future? Or would you prefer it if I didn’t make suggestions?”

A good listener improves the way he relates with the other person by learning how they think. Learning what’s important to them.

A bad listener learns nothing.

At an interview for a sales job I was asked “How will you bring us 10 new clients in your first month?”

I didn’t have an answer prepared. I panicked and blurted out the usual ways of reaching new clients. It was an empty, generic answer.

I was not listening. Any monkey could’ve rattled off that list.

When the interviewer asked that question what he really wanted to know was: “Does this guy know what he is doing?”

A good listener would’ve unpacked the interviewer’s question and learned what the interviewer was looking for:

“You know I haven’t really thought about specific strategies. What’s your biggest bottleneck right now in getting new clients on board?”

A good listener aims to understand deeply.

A bad listener misses the point.

Noteworthy Daemons

s2The Alabaster Dragon

Though not a dragon in the truest sense of the word, the Alabaster Dragon is indeed the manifestation of light resonance that stemmed from the dragon’s righteous victories and wars against the Shadows of Eldorande. It is a massive creature described as a mountain of pure white. Thunderous in its movement and terrifying in countenance. It resides within the northern territories, and among the snow and ice of the north, it finds itself capable of concealing itself from any who may hunt it. It considers itself to be the only true Dragon, and hunts the Shadows of Eldorande with mindless zeal. It actively despises and devours creatures of dark resonance, the void, shadows and any creature who opposes his actions.

Netch

These relatively common daemons stem from the dark resonance of gluttony. They are created when overindulgance is too abundant. Where those who would eat oo much do so at the expense of those woho have little or nothing to sustain them. Their resonance creates a yellowed, leathering skin in its host. The host’s body swells and the skin rips, creating pus-filled boils in the skin that constantly ooze and leak, causing their skin to take on a constantly wet sheet. Their bellies enlarge and distend outward, sometimes ripping open as well to reveal the entrails inside. Their jawbones unhinge and dangle downward, revealing teeth that are garled and curled razors. They are capable of spewing acidic bile at their enemies in an effort to digest them where they stand.

Skuttlebugs

These beings are created in dark alleys and roadways where those who walk can never be sure if they will make it to the other side. The Skuttlebugs typically take one of two forms. The first is the one that is mostly encountered by mortals. They first appear like pitch black cockroaches that move along dark alleys and roadways in swarms. They scatter and disappear into cracks and crevasses when any light is shone upon them. If closely examined, they will be seen to be bugs, indeed. Save that their legs are likehuman fingers, and their faces are like a grotuesque mix of human and roach. These are typically formed from small spirits who have resided in the resonated areas for too long, and can even be a pure manifestation of that type of resonance. The second form of a Skuttlebug is created when the resonance of these places infuses into a mortal. Their bodies compact to just under four foot in height. Their skin sloughs and folds in upon itself, darkening to a pitch blac coloration giving them the appearance of wearing a cloak that shows none of their true form. The bones within their fingers are revealed by this and the Skuttlebug is overcome with the desire to grind them against the hard roadway and walls. This causes their fingerbones to become like knives. The only part of their face that can be seen are the sickly grin full of flat yellow teeth.

Resonance and Daemons

Fortunately and some might say unfortunately for the mortals of Eldorande, resonance seems to have a sort of motive. A mind of its own that tends to reflect the intent of the actions that created it. In that sense, darker, baser resonances have a need to control and command. Dark resonance seeks to manipulate and destroy. Because of this simple fact, dark resonance has a desire to change and control the world around it. This is why the change into a daemon is so fickle. It is also why resonance created by the good of mortals is so rarely seen creating a daemon of its own. Light resonance has no need to manipulate, dominate or destroy. It simple is. It acts in accordance with the good of all things, and no good comes from the manipulation or forceful change of mortals and the world at large.

Motivation and consideration of personal performance; or How Gary Gygax encouraged me from the grave.

You know, when it comes to luck, I often feel that on a personal level, I have very little. Maybe even to the point of “if it weren’t for bad luck, I might have none at all.” Granted, I am fortunate in many other ways. As Bruce Lee once said, “Do not pray for an easy life. Pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”That quote is one that has definitely helped to keep me sane through many downfalls in my life.

As with anyone else, I tend to be my own biggest critic. So one day, in trying to motivate and encourage myself to continue the business of designing games as the owner of Higher Grounds I decided to watch a few Youtube videos on management, entrepeneurship and owning a business. One of the things I wound up coming across was Tai Lopez.

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Now, I know what you’re thinking. This guy is a fraud, right? Most people think that about him and to a certain extend, I might agree that this guy is a prolific scam artist. The thing is that if you listen to some of his videos, a lot of the stuff he said is very insightful and motivational if you look past the condescending, egotistical, “pay me” attitude. One of the things he mentioned is that you need a mentor. And this struck a nerve in me. I’ve never really had a mentor. Basically, to sum it up, he said you need to look at someone who is where you want to be and learn from that. It makes sense. Someone else is already where you want to be. So I thought about that.

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Enter Gary Gygax.This guy made a life from making games and having the kind of fun that he wanted to have. He is considered the father of modern RPG games, and is certainly the father of Dungeons and Dragons. With Gary, I had found my mentor. So what’s the issue with that?

He died in 2008.

The best I could do with this is look at his life from known information and try to see how he did it, what he did and when. I founded Higher Grounds in 2015 and published Warsong in 2016. I’ve hired my first employee and right now, I’m working hard to make a life out of designing video games and run a business inside the gaming industry. Gary Gygax founded TSR at the age of 35 years old after running a few clubs and designing games without really making any money off of it. TSR kickstared his life and he moved forward from there. Comparatively, I am 33 and I am where he was at about 34 or 35 years old. This was profoundly encouraging for me. If I am following in the footsteps of my business mentor, Gary Gygax, I am definitely on the right path. Reading about his life and studying where he came from and how he accomplished a monumental feat of bringing D&D to the living rooms of families all over the world really put me in the right mindset to do the same for my business and my game. Reading about Gary Gygax showed me that I needn’t be discouraged. I don’t need to feel like I’m too old to make this happen. Gygax’s life has encouraged me to understand that I, too, can make this a reality.

And for that.. Thank you, Mr. Gygax.

Let my discovery be a lesson to you. If you’re reading this and you’re feeling discouraged, like it’s too late to start or you just think you can’t? Remember my lesson. Gary Gygax came from nothing. He was a scrapper as a kid and just wanted to make a life for himself playing the games that he loved. And he succeeded. So can you. It’s never too late.

72 Hours Left.

wskickstarter

We’re WAY behind in our Kickstarter campaign for the Fate Master’s Guide and we REALLY need your help to make it happen! Check us out and get some books while you can!

As a side note, you can officially grab yourself a PRINT HARD COVER COPY of the Warsong core book! Check it out!

 

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