Path of Exile Talent Competition
Hope you enjoy the story, exiles!
Searching for Charisma
“Everything dies,” I said to the Templar. It wasn’t much of a conversation starter.
“True,” the old Templar said. “But Exile, not everyone has to die immediately.
He pointed at my chest. I looked down – even the flickering of the nearby candle was brighter than my old amulet.
“That amulet is older than I am,” said the Templar. I looked around at the other patrons at the Lioneye’s Watch Inn. The Ranger sitting at the bar had a glow of light resting on her chest – the only shiny piece of equipment on her. In fact, most of the patrons had some sort of a glow.
The Templar leaned back in his seat. “What you need is some Charisma to make that amulet shine.” The other fighters sitting around the table murmured in agreement at his pronouncement. “And for that, you need to pay a visit to Cassia.”
I signaled to the barkeep to get the Templar another cup of mead. It had taken nights of listening to his stories (some of them not quite as interesting as he seemed to think) in hopes that he would share even one piece of information that could make my fighting days easier. This could be it. The golden liquor did its magic – his story flowed, and before long, everyone was hanging on his every word, including myself.
The next day, as I wandered in search of battle, I reflected that some of the old fighter’s words were hazy, and regretted that third glass of mead. His story was long and intricate – he talked about Cassia’s rivalry with Piety, and her amazing machines; one of which was used to beat back the blight that threatened all of Wraeclast. As I rounded a corner, I heard humming of a sort. And there she was – standing in front of her strange machine, just as the Templar had described.
“You there, Exile!” I shifted uncomfortably under her gaze – while it’s true I felt a little plucky in my +1 to minion gems helm (my golems had nodded their appreciation when I put it on), I knew that my armor was less than shiny. She explained the workings of the machine and the blight. My golems and I prepared for battle.
As the battle got underway, I was thrilled at the thought that I might finally have an exploit to share at the inn – or at least, have fabulous loot and a shimmering amulet to impress!
The battle raged – the blight was difficult to fight back. Cassia kept shouting “Devine power” in my ear, which didn’t help my hangover at all. In the end, the monsters were defeated. I proudly wandered the bloodied field, searching for this mystical bounty of magical oils that would transform my amulet. I looked carefully through my loot and realized that all I had were Clear and Sepia oils.
“But I needed Golden…” I whispered to Sister Cassia.
She looked at me – and shrugged. “I really don’t care, Exile.” And then she turned away, dismissively, and began humming her Templar tune. As I ported to Lionel’s Watch, I heard her say, “Get a better map, Exile.”
My really bad attempt at Act II - Forest Encampment
I won't have time to finish this before the competition ends so I'll just post my crappy WIP for maybe a laugh or two.
I wrote a poem, inspired by POE, its characters, its stories, and ultimately, "The Eternal Cycle of Sin" (working title). Will eventually post it on my poetry page, instagram.com/stagrouge. Hope you read it aloud, and enjoy.
Let me tell you the tale
Of a young woman who alas
Had wandered off the dusty trail
On a cold arid night, amidst the sands she’d found
A lamp of ancient make and crescent shape
Which to her became bound
Within it hid a Genie
"Three wishes" he said
"I shall grant thee"
First, she wished for gold
To be blessed with a treasure
None could have foretold
And thus the Genie abode
Made her rich beyond measure
Till in sunlight she glowed
But as the days turned into years
She feared her wealth would out last her
And be passed down to another
So she wished for eternal life
That her beauty shall never fade
That her days with vigor be rife
And for a while so it became
Filled with strength and unafraid
She stayed elusive to death's flame
Having achieved health and fortune
She meant herself to become wise
And use the third for other’s boon
Yet time came by and away went
She dreamt of more, of something else
And soon enough, her resolve bent
The world became unfamiliar
She put in earth all that knew her
And she cried out, who would love her ?
A bitterness engulfed her heart
She’d seen what fate awaited her
Life eternal, yet torn apart
So, she wished for glory and fame
For her deeds to be recognized
And for people to sing her name
And for a while, so it had come
Hailed and celebrated she was
Throughout every known kingdom
A great many things she did
Saved lives and ruled with justice
Shaping a world of evil rid
Yet no devil is as tricksy as greed
And as she sought every splendours
Her own darkness grew without heed
And so came that woeful day
Sanity gave place to vanity
And she fell whole in a ravenous decay
She laid waste to the lands
Raised swords against the innocent
Drew blood from countless hands
She rose ever more rapacious
Her name cursed and banned
Ever richer and infamous
And when all kingdoms to her swore
When every People had bowed down
She turned to the lamp once more
"I wish to die" she said calmly
"Three wishes" countered the Genie
"Not one more shall I grant thee,
For now, you have become Greed
You own everything and nothing
And never shall you find relief
You have become Death
For you too are deathless
Never shall you be rid of grief
You have become God
For you are known and feared by all
Yet your true name and soul are lost"
So she despaired, and turned to sand
All devouring and ruthless
She became a desert, endless and grand
Her lands were buried in the dust
Her tales and lies were left to rust
Her fate forgotten in Time's drape
Til naught was left within the dunes
But a single, lonely lamp
Of ancient make, and crescent shape
on Mar 2, 2021, 7:53:22 AM
Baseado em fatos reais...
Quem nunca morreu para o boss e perdeu o loot.
The Unknown Exile
I sit in the bar, drinking my mead, fresh from the streets of Oriath. The bastards didn’t know it was me they were toasting. The ‘saviour of Oriath’ indeed! Bastards. I can’t take it any longer, so I toss the keep a quick coin and duck out. The idiots will be singing that stupid song again soon, and I don’t think I can take that. I might end up killing someone, and...well that’s what got me exiled in the first place. It’s a bloody damn strange world out there, and despite the fact that killing that ugly bastard of a god Kitava freed this town from his hunger, I’m no bloody hero. Saviour? Not even in the question.
I spend the night wandering the streets of Oriath as more drunken idiots celebrate their freedom, and of course, the biggest celebrants are the idiots that paved the way for Kitava to take over in the first place, yelling loudly about how deluded the cultists are! As if we don’t all know which nobles and other bootlickers were first in line to join the cult.
I know I’m drunk too. Innocence preserve me, I don’t think I’m drunk enough. How drunk do you need to be to forget slogging through the bowels of the never sufficiently cursed beast? I don’t think there’s enough alcohol available. On the other hand, I’m willing to try. As the night wears on and I stumble from bar to bar, I find myself staggering back up to that same cathedral rooftop where I’d shattered Kitava's heart.
When that Blackguard Helena shows up and sits next to me, also reeking of alcohol, I lean into her for warmth and comfort. She presses back just enough to let me know it’s okay. We sit for a while, and we watch the sunrise. Despite the mead, wine, ale, and beer, I’m wide awake. Of course, the last time I slept the nightmares were vicious, so I can’t see myself wanting to sleep. Maybe ever again. I don’t know.
The sunrise is gorgeous, but...my heart isn’t feeling it deeply. Helena whispers, “Want to talk about it?”
I don’t. Not really. But I start talking anyway. “When I got exiled to Wraeclast, I didn’t think it would end like this. All I wanted was revenge. Or something. I don’t bloody know. I mean really, who wakes up and says,’ I’m going to kill a god today’? Then finding you in that dungeon was horrific. I don’t know how you can sleep?”
She’s silent for a while, then says, “I don’t always. It’s why I found you tonight. I was wandering the streets, and I saw movement up here. I figured it had to be you. Who else would come up here?”
“It’s crazy, but for some reason, I find this more peaceful than the damned city. All those idiots celebrating the ‘saviour’ of Oriath. And who do they think that is? Some damnable knight out of legend with a flaming sword! Or maybe the greatest priest of the ‘true’ god that has ever come from the Templars? I’ve heard so many people claiming to know me or to know my friends that I want to puke. I had one gal tell me--to my face!--that she had been the ‘Saviour’s’ lover for more than a year. I laughed at her and left. Seemed safest.”
Helena looks sad at that but then perks up. “Have you spoken to Kirac?”
I gaze at the horizon for a while. Kirac had, in fact, spoken to me, but I didn’t want to talk about that. Not right now. The man seemed driven and determined. All I want right now is some peace and quiet. A quiet place to fish and drink. A shack on a quiet river where there are no monsters. A generous supply of alcohol. And maybe a lover. Maybe.
I tell Helena this, and she looks sad. “That sounds really nice, doesn’t it. I could come...well...if you like…”
I put my arm around her shoulder and squeeze, not trusting my voice for a minute. “Of course I’d like that. But...I think maybe I don’t get that option. Kirac was really insistent, and then...”
She nods. “I get it. I do, but...maybe we can just spend a while pretending we don’t have to bend to duty or destiny. That we’re free from all that for now.”
“I’d like that too. Maybe you know a good place we can hide out for a few days before I get back to Kirac?”
She smiles. “Of course. It’s not even that far…”
We stand--slowly, as we haven’t burned the alcohol out yet--and make our way to the place she knows. It’s cozy and quiet--despite the noise in the streets. We have a nice bottle of wine, and the larder seems well stocked. She shows me around, saving the bedchamber for last. We kiss, and tumble into the bed. Eventually, sleep comes, and for the first time in a long time, I think we both sleep without nightmares. Solace isn’t necessarily what we found, but it’s close enough.
It’s close enough.
Last edited by TheeImpaler on Mar 2, 2021, 11:22:59 AM
on Mar 2, 2021, 11:08:49 AM
I've made 22 cards based on the Major Arcana of Tarot. Every card is a fully illustrated individual piece and they all relate somehow through lore and aesthetics to the meaning/imagery of the classic tarot cards.
Here's a link to all the cards in high resolution:
Hope you guys like it :)
on Mar 2, 2021, 4:00:20 PM
Wow, these are gorgeous! Love the style and the themes are on point. My favourites are the Zana, Envoy and Veritania ones.