Bombaata the Kushite

**Bombaata, Shaman of Lotus Claw**
For three weeks the shaman waited for the return of his Chief and Chieftess. They had gone north for a Hunt but never returned.  What had happened to them?

The mysterious shaman, Bombaata, did not know but he guessed that they were gone, disappeared somehow *or dead.*

Still, Bombaata didn’t worry about such things for he knows that Jhebbal Sag blesses The Hunt and that soon there would be an omen.

Sure enough, the omen came in a striking display.  It was three buzzards circling over the mesa, and not very far away.  The two must be Khaleme and Shu Hua, but who was the third? Bombaata had no idea at all that there were, in fact, three persons under the circling carrion that day.

“Dead dead birds omen,” said Bombaata to himself as he meticulously cleaned the Shrine and cared for the animals in their small grove, “…there will be a new chief…” 

And since there was no chief when Gonzo and Heidi appeared out of nowhere looking for refuge in the Savanah Grove, Bombaata immediately gave them the Chief’s hut to stay in.

 

more feels and the RP

It’s me, it’s definitely me.

I own the way I feel and do not blame others when I am living my best self.

I do feel in the RP in the context of our community.  It’s intentional. I allow myself to feel more purposefully, thoughtfully, and deeply than I do in RL.

Most of the feels I can notice and document fairly easily. I note the hard feelings like agony/grief/anger/sadness when a beloved PC or pet dies, and I note happy feelings like joy/accomplishment/esteem when my character participates in saving the day, or when one of my antagonists is able to pull off some nefarious plan.  

Other feels, the elusive type, are harder to notice and name but have a potentially greater impact on player experience.  I have observed two of these so far.

1. The simplest of these so-called “elusive feels” is an ongoing desire to be included inside the “in-group”.

“Feeling like an outsider I take steps I need to take to in order to feel like I am part of the group,” is written in first-person because the steps have to be active every day, there is no past tense for them.

An “in-group” is defined as a group that an individual psychologically identifies themselves as a member.  The “out-group” is everything else.

In-group examples include family, church, university, sports teams, and professional associations, but these traditional examples do not include the ubiquitous notion of “online” community, or rather “groups”, to which an individual might psychologically identify themselves as a member.  It is this case of online in-group/out-group dynamics that most piques my interest as a researcher and as a self-identified community member.

Nevertheless, I do not dare get into the details of the theory as it is applied to the very many diverse in-group/out-groups sets that exist in the land of Discord.  Much less do I dare to get into a smaller sets of diversity that exists in our own Conan Exiles Discord server and game.  I will no doubt undertake this task in the future, but not today.

Okay, leaving that aside for now, here are the steps I take to cultivate a feeling of belonging and membership to our specific “in-group”:

  1. I bring my fully authentic self (along with disclaimers 😉 ) to the group,
  2. I practice generosity as much as possible IC, despite the disposition of the PC,
  3. OOC and IC, I praise other people’s creativity,
  4. I (try) thank each person who chooses to spend their RP time with me.

Eureka!  I found again what has always been: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!” — I’m selfish — I want people to do all those things for me and in some sense, these steps may be the sum total of what it is to be a member of any group.

2. But I also know the feel of discontent that trickles in from stubborn dreams about the unique personas embodied inside our character creations.  This feel, more universal and iron-willed, is fundamental. 

It derives from the anxiety we all share in the collective knowledge that one day our RL uniqueness will fade into the blackness of death.  Our fantastic creations are in this light a bid to raise ourselves above this simple death anxiety and become a version of ourselves wholly different, one who does not fear death as we mere mortals do in the most secret places of our hearts.

Facts.  But how we deal with it in the RP when we are not in the leading role (as we most often aren’t in this game 😉 ) is what makes the difference between community membership success feels and community membership failure feels...

….And although there is much more to be said about existential angst, OOC emotion, and role-playing characters, I am ending this blog post here…

Thank you.

-Zod

 

Sir Fons, the Skeleton, and the strength of Asgard

When Sunshine arrived at Najima,
Sir Fons did espy a
Skeleton so dark! “Ah!
This frame of decay
With glowing blue sword, a
Thing of the night, Nay!
It will not stand before Day!”
he did say.

Then the Skeleton waved and muttered,
“prepare thy body for the fodder
of Yog!” It sounded like “chitter chitter”.
Thus Seeing and hearing; thus feared
of injustice, Sir Fons bravely charged.
And Joining the strength of another
From Asgard and strong as a brother,
they piled up the bones on the paver.

“Thank you good sir, you saved my life!”
said the maiden Sir Fons had joined in the strife.
But the noble Sir Fons, honest and right,
Humbly replied as a Knight,
“It was not I alone, but you and I,
We together shone a bright and martial light!”
Then when greetings were over and things were all right,
They both rode Sunshine, into the night.

 

 

 

 

 

Retrospective Theodora

More and more it had become apparent to Theodora that the greatest threat, the one most likely to thwart her plans (or even to kill her!), was her mistress, the one she had bonded herself to.

She also knew that she felt something like love for her.

That her heart had warmed and was not cold enough.  That her mistress did not feel the same way about her. “She seems to only think of me as her property to be controlled,” thought Theodora.

But Theodora felt safe to be her own vicious self inside the envelope of strength the mistress provided and was not ready to give her up, “not now, maybe not ever”.

“Why I am so attached to her and why do I long for her?” Theodora asked herself as she brooded inside her tower, trying to think of ways that she might break her bond, and then free herself from this clear and present, dangerous, barrier to her goal.

Her mistress could control the impulsive and sadistic side of Theodora, the side that most reflected the essence of who she was.  But the mistress could not control her lust for revenge and her relentless pursuit of it had corrupted her mind and twisted her spirit into something that could be sated only by more wealth and more power.

Theodora’s Notebook Page 12

How has it come to this? Now I fear that she will come and murder me if she finds out about the Vulna wine and sale of it. She said she would.

I will go and visit the Derketo sisters at the Divine Dream and ask about the festival, and about whatever happened to the Vulna sister who was captured there.

I wager the sisters to be sisters, and my absence from Apepthys will buy me time until I and my accomplice can make arrangements with the Necromancer, and see what comes of it.

And why not? If I cannot reach my goal as part of the Resistance, then perhaps Xaltutan can help me…

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“Ding an sich”

We’re exiles that’s what we are,
We lonely and happy forgotten
Are collected here.

Our thing-in-itself is a refuge
From the “real-life” tragedy
Spiraling around us.

Aye, the world is on fire
But we lonely and happy
Forgotten don’t care.

I mean… we do care, but
We lonely and happy forgotten
Don’t make a fuss.

It’s more than enough to deal
With this world of ours, this
Transcendental ideal.

So we solve our problems,
Happy, Lonely, forgotten,

or not.

 

 

 

 

 

Largess

I want to share with you
the happy things
and the view.

A picture of it, say…
of the hills
and that way

I try to do my part.
Radical.
Buried in my heart.

A picture of it, say…
of the cars
and that way

I try make them start.
Beautiful.
Rumbling thunder art.

A picture of it, say…
of the cottage
And that way

I try to keep it clean.
Not spotless.
But it is our Spring.

I want to share with you
the happy things
and the view.