• Graded • The Doran Chronicles - Doran Souls III

How a board game turned into a drinking game.

Atop a stony plateau overlooking the lands of central Idalos, and growing wealthy from the gem stones pulled from the rocky soil, Etzos is a bastion of independence; firm in its belief that man should rule Idalos, not be servants of the vain Immortals who nearly destroyed it. But can the many factions set aside their conflicting agendas and see this through?

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Finnegan O'Connor
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The Doran Chronicles - Doran Souls III

Sun May 13, 2018 1:56 pm

Doran Souls III

19th Ashan, 718

“Are you sure you aren’t obsessed?” Finn peered over the game board Zipper had made. It was an early prototype still, essentially a flat board with lines and squares painted on. Naturally, the remaining Doran figures played a vital role in her latest business venture: Doran Souls, a family friendly board game. In this game, each player was granted ten Dorans to attempt the treacherous journey to Oscillus, hindered along the way by Xiur’s many minions. Hope was a fickle thing and so the fate of each player’s Doran rested largely in the hand of what Zipper deemed to be one of the greatest evils ever invented by mankind: dice rolls.

She never trusted chance. She never trusted a whole lot of things, of course, but the very idea of chance was one thing she seemed to take even more personal offense to.

They sat on opposite ends of a rickety table in Zipper’s garden, though calling it a garden would be an insult to trash heaps. Still, the air was fresh outside and the morning sun smiled down on them while a chorus of morningbirds lended their voices to the sky. Finn didn’t quite remember how she’d managed to persuade him to play, but he thought the stack of cookies and fresh juice on his side of the table might have something to do with it.

“Your turn,” he muttered after he’d advanced his first Doran five squares.

“Oh, oh, I see how it is.” Okay what did he do to peeve her off this time? “You’re that type of player. I see.” She shook her head. Shook it in a way that made it seem like he had betrayed her and sold her off to Tagley. “My own brother.”

“My own sister,” he answered with a wry smile. “A shrewd game master. Who’d have thought…” His eyes danced across the board a few times before a screwed up frown marred his forehead. “Alright,” he sighed as he rested his chin in the cup of his hands, “what’s my mistake?”

“Not a mistake; a state of being forged by a culture of rampant illiteracy.” she said. “I haven’t done my opening narration yet all you see is a game, a game, a game. This is cunt’s etiquette.”
Reviewer note

As always this thread was written in collaborative fashion. There's no godmodding here. Both authors have given each other permission to write each other's characters.
Last edited by Finnegan O'Connor on Sun May 13, 2018 2:57 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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The Doran Chronicles - Doran Souls III

Sun May 13, 2018 1:57 pm

Doran Souls III

19th Ashan, 718

“Oh.” He removed his Doran from the board and trained his gaze on his sister who, even in the early morning, still managed to look impeccable. Never a stain on her clothes, not even a loose strand of hair or a bit of dandruff or a chipped fingernail. He wondered how she managed. One of her magic tricks perhaps. He hadn’t spotted a mirror in her house yet, which was also precisely the reason he looked her opposite in every way. Sleepy-eyed, wrinkles in his clothes, his hair sticking out in every imaginable direction like an angry porcupine, at least he’d trimmed his fingernails or she wouldn’t have let him have his juice, or the cookies. “I’m all ears,” he said with the monotonous enthusiasm of a Doran.

“So, um, uh.” she started.

“Great start,” he yawned. “Now can I roll?” He shook the dice in his hand but waited for her mark, just like he had in that strange dream a few trials ago.

“Boy.” she said tersely. He nearly choked on his juice. Not that choking would’ve been so bad, but rather spraying the juice out over the board through his nose, that would’ve been very bad indeed. He could scarcely begin to imagine Zipper’s fury if he infested her handiwork with germs out of his nose, no less. Fortunately, he managed to keep it all in, even though he looked little flushed by the end of his silent struggle.

“Can’t we,” he started as he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, “skip the opening narration?”

“Then it’s just gambling. You abandon narrative context to play a pointless game of chance. You don’t know what you’re fighting for.”

Typical Zipper. He’d begged her to tell him a bedtime story so many times. He’d learned to count far beyond the capacity of any other seven-arc old orphans just so he could remind her how often she’d declined him the next time he asked. Her answer had always been no. “No it’s childish,” she’d say. “Bedtime stories are for cunts,” she’d say. But now, now that he had zero interest in her stories, now that he was all grown up and no longer required teddy bears or cuddles or stories, now she insisted on telling one, now she bribed him with juice and cookies, maybe she’d offered a teddy bear too, but he’d already accepted at that point, just to be rid of her incessant whining.

“Yes indeed,” Her voice dropped an octave in what she must have thought was a cool, gravelly sort of voice, the kind a wizened narrator might use. It just made her sound even more like a serial killer that he still kinda suspected she secretly was. “It is called Doranthric, where the transitory lands where the greatest Dorans converge. The pilgrims that come here speak of the old words: the Dorans wake as the gong rings, finding new life and new purpose from their hallowed thrones.” She picked up a tiny figurine that looked like a Doran - if his mother had made love to a squid instead of a regular human being. “Saint Doran, the Deusphage.” She picked up a whole bunch of figurines this time, ten maybe twenty in total. “The Council of Dorans, the Hope breakers.” She picked up up a third Doran, this one about twice as tall as the average Doran and adorned in silver-plated armour. “And the reclusive lord of the shattered capital of Rynmere, King Doran the first. Yet,” she lifted up a finger. “These prestigious Dorans from their timelines rejected the call and the gong sought out lesser Dorans, weaker Dorans, Dorans who did no more than kill Xiur in their worlds. They sought out you.” She reached out across the table and tapped his tiny Doran piece. “Do you have any questions?”
Last edited by Finnegan O'Connor on Sun May 13, 2018 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Doran Chronicles - Doran Souls III

Sun May 13, 2018 1:58 pm

Doran Souls III

19th Ashan, 718

“Only one,” he said. During her entire explanation his mind had inexplicably wandered back to the ruins of Orimar and the mysterious rhyme chalked onto one of the murals there in a childish font. “What’s a premature ejaculator?”

“This,” she said in a very, very low voice. “Is serious.”

It seemed to be some kind of joke among adults. Last time he’d asked Patrick the mage had almost died laughing and now Zipper, of all persons, was declining to answer. How peculiar. He felt as though he’d touched upon some great conspiracy, one he was hellbent on solving one day.

“I think I got it,” he said. “Can I roll now?”

And then the four dreaded words came: “Explain it to me.”

“Well there’s a bunch of different Dorans and they’ve all got their special powers and stuff,” he summarised with a shrug. “I don’t remember what the squid one does though.” He pointed at what was supposed to resemble King Doran the first. In his defense, Zipper hadn’t mastered her craft just yet and though the figurine was clearly a Doran, it looked more like a drowned Doran than the Boy King Doran of Rynmere, first of his name. “No, wait.” He sat up and examined his tiny Doran. “This is the squid one, right? Does it have tentacle powers?”

“No, Saint Doran is an alternate version of our Doran who feasted upon Xiur’s flesh after slaining him-”

“Slaying,” he corrected.

She opened her mouth, closed it, opened it again. She didn’t even rebut him. The thought of him correcting her on something must have stunned her into a trills-long coma.

He seized the chance to roll the dice and get the game started, whether she wanted to or not. “1 and 6 makes 7,” he said. “So, I can move him seven squares ahead, right?” To his dismay the seventh tile on the board was marked with a strange and ominous symbol. As he looked more closely he noted that most tiles were. It seemed as though the adventures of the Dorans would be rife with challenges and horrific events scribbled onto a stack of “event cards” placed at the center of the board.

“Watch out for the other Dorans.” she said, deciding the best way to move forward was to completely ignore what had just happened. “If you stray too close, they could attack you. You’re in Council territory now,” she said, gesturing at the stack of Dorans. “Draw a card.”

He did as told and picked up one of the dread event cards. You’ve strayed into an Emean sub-dimension, only a roll of matching eyes can save you from taking five steps back!

“Alright,” he muttered, showing her the card. He rolled again and, as expected, placed his Doran five steps back a trill later. “Your turn,” he said as he handed her the cursed dice.

“Oh, I’m not playing.” she said matter-of-factly. “I’m here to enrich your experience with pain and misery upon your Doran.” she rolled her own die - and he noted that there was nothing to say what HER rolls meant. She landed on a five. “You encounter a council scout, one of the servitor legions of the Doran Council. He is within 5 squares of you, hasn’t moved an inch, but he clearly sees you. What do you do?”
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Zipper
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The Doran Chronicles - Doran Souls III

Sun May 13, 2018 2:01 pm

“I uh,” he scratched his head. “You haven’t told me my options… can I choke him with my tentacles?”

“That’s-” she stared down and her eyes narrowed. “When did you replace your token with Saint Doran? You’re just a regular Doran trying to pave your way to greatness.”

“Poison then? Don’t tell me regular Doran doesn’t have poison…”

“He doesn’t. He-”

“Well your game sucks then. He should have poison at least,” Finn huffed. She wasn’t going to change the rules, not unless the change would be in her favour, that much was certain. “Fine. What’s his strength at?’

“Roll for perception.”

Finn picked up the die and-

“No. Wrong dice. The bigger one. The one with twenty.”

Finn rolled his eyes instead. This was going to be a very long, very boring morning if things kept progressing at this snail’s pace. “I have a better idea. We arm wrestle. If you win, I’ll play your game until you’ve perfected it, free of charge,” he motioned toward the cookies. “But if I win…” He paused a moment, then a smile came to his face. “If I win, you’re going to drink all those unopened bottles of wine in your cellar that you bought for your non-existent boyfriends”

“What wine-” Something hit her. Something she had clearly forgotten but remembered. “That stupid emean-spawned bitch’s gift,” she muttered. “Are you giving up so soon, Fi? Even with a simple game?

Simple game?, he muttered internally. He had glimpsed her rulebook and what he saw was not the definition of simple. Or even game. It read like a lawbook, except law books were more entertaining. Her definition of fun leaned heavily towards tedious, bureaucratic torture. She didn’t know a game even if the lice on his head played kickball on the surface of her eyes.
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The Doran Chronicles - Doran Souls III

Sun May 13, 2018 2:02 pm

“Think you’re going to lose?” Insulting her pride seemed a good way to ensure that she’d accept the challenge. She had always been bigger, taller, and stronger than him, yet somehow he felt confident that things would be different this time. A lot had happened in the past arc and the gruelling training regime Gangui had bestowed on him had ingrained him with new confidence in his strength. If Doran was a five in strength, then Zipper was a four and he, well, he hoped he could manage a little over four.

“I offer you a challenge of mental stimulation and all you want is a contest of brute force, Fi.” She shook her head. She shook her head condescendingly. “Why?”

“Oh, I don’t know, maybe it’s just that voice you did. Makes my fist itch.” His fist wasn’t the only thing that itched. Once again he idly scratched his head before rolling up his sleeve and putting his elbow down on the table (taking care not to damage the board or any of the Dorans in the process).

“Come on.”

She narrowed her eyes.

“I must decline.”

“Okay, I’ll wash my hands first.” He returned a bit later and dared her to decline him again as he sat down opposite her.

“You know I don’t actually have a tub in my house.”

“I know. You’re very dirty. Come on,” he lightly punched her shoulder. “It won’t kill you.”

“You have lice. When is the last time you combed your hair?”

“Uh-”

“Have you ever combed your hair?”

“How is this about my hair now?”

“It speaks to your sense of hygiene.”

He slid a casual hand through his hair, patted it down some, then smiled. “There, all fixed. Ready?”

“A bandage, not the cure.”

“If you win I’ll let you comb it.”

“Again: decline.”

“Oh I get it. You’re afraid of touching men, is that it?”

“Your taunts are worse than your hygiene.”

“Coward.” His eye fell on the game board and a wicked grin came to his face. “Alright, I’ll drink the wine then. Would be a shame to let it sour as much as you. Besides, I don’t think I can sit through your stories without.” He stood up from the table and headed back inside.
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The Doran Chronicles - Doran Souls III

Sun May 13, 2018 2:03 pm

The door that blocked the cellar closing on him told him he had managed to inch his way towards something. That she hadn’t blocked his path with magic told him something else. No, she’d made the effort to come to the door and shut it before he could step inside.

“Ok...” he said as he turned to face her. “What else are you hiding in there?”

“A Few hundred dead bodies hidden beneath the floorboards.” His eyes must have widened because she said, “That was a joke.”

He wasn’t so sure about that.

“It better be,” he mumbled. All things considered he was making progress. At least they weren’t playing Doran Souls (her working title), a bookkeepers game, anymore. “I’m almost fourteen now,” he reminded her (she seemed to have lost count at twelve), “I can drink.” That, he considered, would be a much more interesting game. Heck, anything was, but now that he thought about it he couldn’t remember ever having seen his sister drunk or even slightly inebriated. In some people, alcohol simply amplified the worst, but in other whole new personalities could emerge. It was worth a gamble to see what effect spirits would have on his meticulous sister.

“Your gambit is pointless,” she said. “I can’t drink.”

“Yeah, well, I guess I’d win that game too then,” he smirked. “Honestly this is getting a little tired now, what with me winning everything… Can’t you, you know, undo that?”

“No.” Yes. He saw the little flicker of yes in her eye.

“I’m a transmuter too, you know.” Truth was, he didn’t know if that had much to do with it, but he could pretend to be more knowledgeable than he was. He’d gotten rather good at pretending lately. “Not only can you change it, but you will, and we’re,” he put his hand on the door handle, “going to clean out your cellar.” Whether he referred to the bodies or the wine remained a mystery.

“Get back here, Fi.”
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The Doran Chronicles - Doran Souls III

Sun May 13, 2018 2:04 pm

“Not a chance.” He’d already stepped into the dark. Didn’t even bother to find a lantern, simply conjured a small flame to the palm of his hand. The flickering fire cast eerie shadows in what was surprisingly large basements. A hundred bodies wasn’t within the realm of possibilities, but half that number just might fit. “I do hope you’ve got glasses,” he called from downstairs as he found what he’d been looking for. Four magnificent bottles of the finest red. It would have to do.

“I don’t.”

He reemerged with all four bottles under his arms. There was something akin to desperation in her eyes, maybe she hoped he’d trip on the steps and let them all shatter on the ground, but he didn’t. She’d protest, she’d say there were no glasses nor a cork opener, maybe she’d even claim to dislike wine. None of it helped. The bottles landed safely on the table outside. He offered her one final chance to escape the looming bottles as he put his elbow back on the table.

“Challenge still stands.”

She seemed… well, not angry. No, that was a lie. She always seemed angry. But she didn’t seem as angry as he expected her to be. Bewildered, a little exasperated, but merely angry. Not apoplectic. She looked at the bottles as if they were some alien thing she never seen before, then looked back at him.

“There’s no challenge in swatting a fly, Fi.”

She just needed one more little push, a gentle shove in the right direction. “Do it, or the Dorans get it,” he grumbled, leaving it to her imagination if he’d set them on fire or would elect to blast them with an ether missile, as they’d practiced.
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The Doran Chronicles - Doran Souls III

Sun May 13, 2018 2:06 pm

“Not the Dorans.” she mouthed the first three words, well, wordlessly. Okay. He got her. This was as close as he could get her to something resembling playful with him. “I suppose I must defend my precious creations.”

He had called her a four on the a scale of 10 in his head. But when they squared up, his hand grasping hers, he was surprised by how much larger his hand was than hers…. Which was her whole thing. She was deceptively strong for someone who spend so much time doing paperwork. This wasn’t going to be easy. Frankly, he wasn’t sure he could beat her-

He beat her.

She barely resisted as he slammed her hand down, the Dorans jumped up in startled surprise but thank fuck no one of them tumbled down onto the dirty, dirty ground. That would’ve spelled the end of Zipper’s surprisingly decent mood. She didn’t throw it, judging by the shock on her face. Maybe hadn’t thrown all of her flabby arms into it either, but he couldn’t see any reason why she’d want to lose. No, she would never ever let him win.

Guess paperwork didn’t account much for training the arms. He wondered what hurt more, the force with which he’d brought her arm down or the stab to her pride. Unlike her he wasn’t one for cruelty and didn’t make a big fuss out of beating her so easily and instead handed her one of the bottles. “Drink.”
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The Doran Chronicles - Doran Souls III

Sun May 20, 2018 3:04 pm

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Finn


Knowledges
Socialization: being amiable to Zipper
Discipline: putting up with a grouch and a dull board game
Etiquette: It’s rude to skip the opening narration
Etiquette: It’s rude to ask about premature ejaculation
Intimidation: threatening to maim the figure Dorans
Linguistics: correcting Zipper’s speech
Defiance: conjuring a flame to light a dark cellar
Strength: beating Zipper at arm-wrestling

Loot: N/A
Injuries: N/A
Renown: N/A

Points 15

Zipper


Knowledges
Discipline: Not using magic to stop Finn
Endurance: Getting your hand slammed painfully into a table
Intimidation: Trash-talk
Intimidation: Pretending to be a serial killer
Negotiation: Delay tactics
Negotiation: Making excuses
Strength: Engaging in an arm wrestling contest
Strength: Neglecting strength training
Strength: Overestimating your power
Strength: Slamming the door shut

Loot: N/A
Injuries: N/A
Renown: N/A

Points 15

Comments: Hello! Sorry for the wait; I'm a jackass.

Good stuff, as always... though I question "slamming the door shut" as a strength knowledge, but I gave it to you. :lol:
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