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Medieval Automail

My brother has a Pathfinder character he’s very proud of that can throw a punch from 40 feet away. The mechanics that give him his range are native to the game, but the in-game flavor text for the various stacked abilities has been swapped out for a steel prosthetic with a telescoping forearm. Some of you who dabble in prop-making may see where this is going.

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Freelance Witch

Everyone in the States knows that if you need a witch, you can’t do better than Emerson Shrike. Not if you want to hire domestic, anyway. There’s a guy out of the Czech Republic people talk about like he’s the second coming of Merlin, and Lady Jabang, who works out of her grove in The Gambia, draws clients from all over the world, but if you want to avoid navigating the mess of international witchcraft trade law, you go with Emerson.

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Creative Writers and Action Sequences: a match made for marriage counseling

Why space battles, fated duels, and cavalry charges never read as well as you picture them in your head

After setting the stage for this heart-pounding action sequence for thousands of words it’s finally time to get it down on the page. By now it has been choreographed down to the side-glance and you can describe it beat for beat, so you do, but when you read back through it’s all wrong.

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Kill Your Darlings and Other Excellent Writing Advice I Hate

After years of tough love from teachers and editors, we all find ways of following all that great advice without it making us crazy.

The line is always about how a writer is their own harshest critic, but we’re usually fans of our own work as well. The same cannot always be said of an audience. That’s why the people who want writers to succeed are often the bearers of hard truths such as, “I know, that line is really cool, but it doesn’t work here,” or, “I get the joke, but I don’t think you noticed that it’s also actually very racist.” Here’s what I’ve learned about taking that tough love in the spirit in which it was intended.

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The Whispers of the Wind

Havim, the Wind God

Since the beginning, Havim has never been known to take shape. His voice, that of a young boy, around 8 or 9 years old, has often been heard by young children. He worries for kids left on their own and often makes it his business to look out for them, which has led to the formation of the Good Listeners over the millennia.

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“A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while, he knows something.”

~ Wilson Mizner

The Good Listeners have been traveling the roads for as long as there have been people, and they go everywhere. This is because wherever there are people, there will be children who are alone, overlooked, or abandoned. Despite their difficult circumstances, such children are not alone. Havim comes to them as a voice on the wind. He warns them of danger and helps them to keep from getting lost, and so children alone and in need of help learned to become Good Listeners.

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The Shrine

A boy and his mother were on the road, traveling to see the boy’s father, who had, by necessity, taken work in another town. After many hours they found themselves on less commonly used paths. The road wandered wildly between the hills, with grasses growing in the path and young trees beginning to encroach upon the roadside. The fork in the path, when it came, was a welcome landmark, showing they had remained on their route and not wandered down some well-beloved hunting track instead. 

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“Where Did That Dinosaur Come From?” And Other Bothersome Questions

World-building is a beloved pastime in speculative fiction, and dedicated faux-cial scientists like J.R.R. Tolkien have constructed such complete compendiums that there is always an answer to every question, but despite our hunger for the minutia of our favorite fantasy worlds, it isn’t always as necessary as one might be led to think.

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