AS Afflatus: Issue Twenty-Eight

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AS Afflatus: Issue Twenty-Eight

Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:17 pm

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If you are a new reader of the Afflatus, welcome! This magazine is meant to be interactive with our members, meaning submissions, suggestions, and nominations are encouraged! For each contribution to the Afflatus, points will be awarded to the house! Through this magazine, we aim to provide tips and inspiration as well as updates regarding the site. To make a submission, you can do so by using this form or even posting directly to the thread.

Submissions that are meant to be shown for the next issues are: Dear Stag, Featured Writing, & Anonymous Compliments/Critique.

Afflatus Contents: Title Post, Updates, Dear Stag, Writing & Life Tips, Character Interview & Prompt, Member Corner, Featured Writing, Adventure Story, Activity Center and Anonymous Compliments and Critique.

Current Staff/Team Members: Thunderofthedrum, Commander Shepard, Snow, Ichor, important, Cas, Smamm, morningstar, Deer, Kami, Blue, Cerise, sylver, gold. Here is our team page.
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AS Afflatus - Issue 28 - Updates

Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:17 pm

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100 Days of Summer: The 2019 100 Days of Summer event has closed! If you haven't already, go check out the results announcement and join us in congratulating everyone who participated. The event area where user threads are can be found in the EVENTS area of the forum, under the year 2019.

The Rest of September: The rest of September was intended to be a rest period for everyone. If you didn't participate or the summer event didn't wear you out, you can always participate in the afflatus, social media event, and you can check out your house area to see what else there may be going on. If your house has no activities currently, see what you and your housemates can come up with for ideas!

Social Media Prompts: If you're feeling the 'post-100DoS blues', a list of prompts has been posted on the Social Media to tide you over until NaNoWriMo... check it out here if you're interested!
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Staff Changes: Some changes in staff have been made as you may have noticed. Please check out the announcement for more details!
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Issue 27 Totals:
x Halcyon - 415
Vipera - 165
Sagacitas - 335
Amaranthine - 50
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AS Afflatus - Issue 28 - Dear Stag

Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:18 pm

Dear Stag, can you give me stationary recommendations? I'm going back to uni and I want to know what I should fill my pencilcase and desk with!
- Anonymous Kitsune
  • Hi!

    Going to uni is certainly fun! I think that really depends on what subject you are studying - I'm doing a humanities, so I can certainly give advice for that side of the spectrum!

    The first thing that I would find really useful is a laptop! It's technically not stationary, but for taking lecture notes if you type fast like me, it can be really useful. It doesn't need to be super hi tech or anything, just something that can load a word processor!

    Another necessity I'd think is folders, I really like to have my essays in the same place so I can access them and learn from them, which always stays on or around my desk when I'm working! If you also like folders, the best kinds are either three ring binders, which keep your stuff super safe, or presentation folders, which have a bunch of pockets inside them already to put things in! Staplers and holepunchers are also good if you work in folders; it makes it far easier to put your notes together before putting them in a folder!

    Something else that is essential is lined paper; whether you're just drawing something up, making notes, or writing an essay, lined paper is super important! I purchased a pack of 5 pukka pad paper sets for around £20, and it's still lasting me now. I'd really suggest getting a large amount of lined paper, if possible; it will last you a long time! It might also be worth getting some plastic wallets that can go in a ring binder; these will ensure your paper is protected and doesn't get too damaged.

    I also really like notecards or revision cards; I find when I'm summarising work down into the most significant of points, they are fantastic to study off of! A stack or two of those helped me massively throughout a lot of my exams and study times! Likewise, I find post it notes super useful. Whenever I'm studying in texts, I find post its with my thoughts on the easiest way to condense information. I stick 'em in textbooks, on my walls - everywhere! They're a really great thing to have around.

    For actual pens, I either use biros or my fountain pen. I find that my fountain pen makes my handwriting look way neater, and, since I refill it from a bottle, it's pretty eco-friendly! I also really like biros; they're less likely to smudge, and you can use highlighters on them. If I'm making pretty notes, or planning an essay, I'll use a biro, some felt tips, and a pack of highlighters. That way, I can really organise my thoughts in a neat and colourful way. If I'm in class or a seminar, I use my fountain pen, because in those cases I don't really highlight anything anyway.

    Generally, making sure you have a lot of pens is a good thing - the worst thing for me is being in the groove of an essay and having to stop to hunt for the closest pen that works! Mechanical pencils are also fantastic; that way, you don't need to hunt for a sharpener. I prefer to annotate in texts with a pencil, and a mechanical one makes it incredibly easy to work without needing to stop every so often!

    If you're the kind of person who really likes colour coding your notes, I'd really recommend getting zebra mildliners, or any kind of highlighter that comes in a million colours! Matching those with a black pen and some colourful fineliners can really make notes look pretty! For me, making my notes pretty was never the priority (extremely evident when my notes were so poor my teachers could not read them, lol), but I know some people work amazingly well with neat and colour coded notes.

    Your uni room might have a cork-board for you to pin up notes or other such things on your wall! Be sure to get some pins/thumb tacks so that you can utilise this space! If you don't, grab some whitetack! It's less likely to leave greasy marks on walls, but still helps you affix things up! If you want to hang up really large or sturdy things (like maybe a world map?) I'd suggest grabbing some command strips, since they also don't leave marks on the walls! Likewise, masking tape is also really good, as it also won't take the paint off the walls!

    If your notes are more of a collage, scissors and glue would probably be really helpful! Same with stickers, washi tape, and other decorative items. If you like making your notes pretty and eye catching, these are really good things to buy!

    Another item to consider is a mini whiteboard and whiteboard pens; in school, I always used the whiteboards in every classroom. Whilst at uni, though, I noticed that whiteboards were quite rare. Thus, having my own to make notes on was wonderfully convenient for me whilst making notes.

    Those are all of the suggestions the staff and I came up with; I hope they're helpful!!



I am being invited to a Halloween party. What are some Halloween-based party trays or treats that I can bring?
- Anonymous Wyvern
  • Halloween parties are always super fun, and there are a lot of options out there depending on the time you have as well as what you have at hand!

    If you're shorter on time, or just want something easy, try sticking with a simple Halloween-themed store-bought mix and spicing it up with some simple decoration! Halloween-themed decorations are also an option -- with the season fast approaching, there's sure to be shops that will sell such items for the holiday! Some shops even sell pre-decorated Halloween treats if you're super low on time!

    You can always pull ideas for decorations (whether it's for some cookies, muffins, or whatever takes your fancy!) off of Pinterest, Tasty, and Tastemade just to name a few! There are a lot of fun ideas floating around the internet: treats that are shaped and designed to look like severed fingers, spiders, or even eyeballs!

    If you have more time on your hands, you could even get a hold of a classic/family recipe and put your very own twist on it to suit the occasion, whether it's altering the flavourings or the decorating!

    I hope that helps - have fun at your Halloween party!
Dear Stag, what's the best laptop to get on a budget? I digitally draw and my old laptop I used stopped working.....
- Anonymous Kitsune
  • Hi! I love digitally drawing too! I'm going to separate this into a few budget sections, so that it works depending on the money you have! I used to draw on my old laptop that was <£200, with a bamboo tablet that I found for real cheap. For getting down to the basics, it was a good system, but I recently upgraded to a HP envy, which has a touchscreen and a stylus so that I can just draw on it straight, which is a lot of fun! Most of the stuff I looked at was 2 - in - 1 laptops, since usually for their price they are brilliant, and are - in my opinion - brilliant for digital art, but there are a few non-convertible laptops in the lists too! Also to bear in mind, I am in the UK, so some of these links will send you to UK amazon etc.

    Drawing tablets

    If you're looking for a tablet to add to a laptop, the one I always wanted was the Wacom Intuos pen and touch. They've updated their line since, but the current equivilant is the Wacom Intuos Small, which will cost you around £60/$75 dollars. They come with the equipment to run drawing programmes, so if you want something that can plug into pretty much any computer, these are the best. I have a Wacom Bamboo, which is very old! Usually, I'd suggest buying a drawing tablet new, if possible. It means the pen is less likely to have worn down, and sensitivity will be at its best!

    Stylus for a convertible laptop

    If you want a convertible laptop, they don't always come with stylus'. My laptop came with the HP tilt pen free, which has worked brilliantly for art over the past year! It has a really long battery life after a charge, is really sensitive, and overall really fun to draw with! It is pretty pricy though, so unless you buy a computer that comes with it like I did, I wouldn't suggest it as a budget option. If you are after a HP stylus, they also do make the HP Pen, which is about half the price of the tilt pen, and, as far as I can tell, exactly the same thing!

    My friend uses the Wacom Bamboo Ink pen, it is around $80 but again, is a really good option if you get a convertible laptop. It comes with bonus nibs, and, if your pen happens to break, I know that their customer service is fantastic!

    Another fantastic option is a capacative stylus! These have the little rubber nubbin thing (I'm not sure how else to describe it) that reacts with the touch screen of a laptop. These can be a fantastic affordable option for digital art; I've used them myself and they are really brilliant, especially when you can often find them for under $10!

    Whilst browsing, I came across this list on Amazon with several different kinds of stylus, so you should be able to find something for your needs!

    Laptops themselves!

    $0-$200

    - $0 - obviously, finding something for that cheap is near impossible, but a brilliant way to get systems cheaper is to either buy them second hand, or wait for black friday. My laptop was a Christmas gift and was purchased at an insane price slash on black friday! Likewise, many companies will entirely refurbish a laptop and resell it for a profit; many systems will be good as new after a little bit of a fix. I'd really recommend having a look through ebay/craigslist/any PC website to have a look at any of their second hand/fixed up offers. Refurbishing is a brilliant way to get a good deal and give a laptop a second life!

    - Hp Stream; this is the only laptop I have been able to find, really, sub $200. I believe the intention of it isn't much beyond streaming. I've not used one myself, so I can't really comment on its uses for digital art!

    $200-$400

    -Asus Chromebook Flip; My old Laptop was an Asus and it was a beast, if a cheap one. Some places say you can get this laptop for under $200, but I'm putting it here since this was the only place I could find it where you could actually purchase it. I think the price depends on the speed of the processor? It boasts free cloud storage, a convertible feature and 9 hours of battery life!

    - Acer Chromebook Spin 11; The battery life on this laptop isn't the best, but for £279, it looks pretty fantastic! Even more impressive, it comes with the stylus in the box - and a Wacom one, at that! It's also meant to be incredibly rugged, so should survive most things thrown at it.

    - Asus Vivobook Flip; This one also comes with a stylus! Reviews say that it's a fantastic laptop for students, has a pretty good battery life (4-8 hours!) and is very speedy!

    $400-$600

    - Dell Inspiron; This is another laptop with a good battery life. It also boasts a 1080 resolution screen, which seems to be fantastic for art. It's lightweight, and can run Mac OS if you so choose! This is a refurb listing, so if you aren't interested in purchasing a refurbed unit, don't purchase from this specific listing!

    - Lenovo Yoga; I've only ever heard good things from Lenovo! The line comes very highly commended for artists, so I'd certainly suggest giving this a shot!

    - Microsoft Surface Go; This is technically a tablet, but it comes highly reviewed! The unit on it's own is around $400, so you'd need to buy a stylus and the keyboard cover thing to go with it, but supposedly the pen is very very sensitive, and the unit itself is both lightweight and convenient!

    $600-$800

    - HP Pavillion; The one I've found is the new model, but I do distinctly recall the older one being less than £400; the new one is £550 (Around $670). Either way, I've heard only fantastic things about this laptop. It's got some brilliant features, and a very responsive touch screen!

    - HP Envy; This is my laptop, so if you want an actual in depth review of it (I am worried about bombarding you with too much information!) then just PM me (Morningstar)! To summarise, I've had it for about a year now, and it's just astoundingly good. It's taken me through school, it's got a fantastic battery life, drawing on it is as smooth as possible. I am in love with my laptop, but I did shop around and I have used other, way cheaper machines to fantastic effect too!

    I really hope some of this suits your needs! If not, feel free to PM me, and I don't mind doing a little more digging. There are also some wonderful reviewers on youtube and the rest of the internet, so if you want to do your own research, finding some hands-on laptop reviews might help inform your decision; that's what I used to compile this list!


Dear Stag, Sometimes I am in need of giving one of my coworkers feedback about their work. They are really trying, and I can clearly see that. So when I have to give a lot of negative feedback, because something needs to happen differently as they did, I feel bad. Do you have any tips on how to approach situations like these?
- Anonymous Unicorn
  • Hi! I asked the staff, who have provided lots of different advice!

    This first method does depend on the type of work being done, but you could create some sort of reference sheet in regards to the work being done. That way, the worker can look back to it and utilise it as a guideline, instead of having to rely on you immediately. That way, they can try to amend their own mistakes from the reference sheet, and that makes it less likely for you to provide negative feedback! This doesn't work for every type of work being done, but it can be really useful!

    Another really good way to address situations like this is a 'compliment sandwich'! You start by describing something well, then something they could improve on, and then something they did well. That way, you aren't just providing negative feedback, but a mix of positive and negative! It might also be worthwhile to write out talking points, so that you can address everything at one time, rather than going back and forth.

    A nice gesture is to say to the worker "If you're ever unsure about something, don't be afraid to ask me/ another colleague for help/advice! We're here to help you to settle into this job/help you with these new tasks." Sometimes employees just become overwhelmed with the work at the start of a job, and are unsure of how things work initially. By offering them help, it makes it far more likely that they will approach you for help, rather than awkwardly trying to figure out what to do on their own, and making mistakes.

    It's also super important to approach the matter in a calm, constructive and respectful matter. Don't make things personal; it doesn't do anybody any good. Further, it's best to give negative feedback as it's happening, rather than after. People get overwhelmed by criticism if you 'stockpile' it, and load it on them at once. By giving criticism in small doses when it happens, you can not only ensure that there is less of a negative effect on the person, but it also means that you can step in and show them how to do things right at the time - the person is less likely to feel like they're left to figure things out on their own.

    Make sure to communicate; ask them why they're doing what they are doing - it makes it easier to find out what the problem is, and what needs to be explained again. By understanding their way of thinking, and the reasoning behind their actions, it makes it easier to fix the problem! By saying something like "So, can you show me how you would do this task?", you can observe them and see where they are secure/insecure, and give them that immediate 'negative feedback' so it's perceived as an 'aid', not criticism.

    A final point is to allow them to explain themself, if they want to. That way, they feel like you care about them and their work. Patience and empathy is very important when working with others. Asking questions that allow for self evaluation - "what could we have done different/improved on?" - is also good, as some people know that they've done something wrong, but also a small nudge to figure out how to improve. Providing an option to 'work together' on an 'improvement plan/solutions' makes people feel better, and more appreciated.

    I hope this advice helps!
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AS Afflatus - Issue 28 - Member Interview

Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:18 pm

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1. Does your country have any Halloween traditions? If so, what are they?
2. Do you have any particular favourite Halloween traditions?
3. What’s your favourite Halloween treat?
4. Best spooky song?
5. What’s your favourite Halloween movie?
6. Are you dressing up this year? If so, as what?
7. What’s your go-to Halloween costume?
8. Have you ever carved a pumpkin?
9. What’s your favourite holiday?
10. What do you like the most about Fall/Autumn?
11. Do you like scary movies?
12. What’s your go-to scary movie? (if you don’t like them, what’s your regular go-to movie?)
13. What’s one of your fears?
14. Have you ever been to a haunted house? Was it fun?
15. Do you believe in aliens? Why/why not?
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AS Afflatus - Issue 28 - OTP Interview & Prompt

Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:19 pm

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1. What would be their couple costume?
2. It's movie night! What kind of movie would they watch together?
3. Do they buy presents at Halloween?
4. How do they celebrate Halloween?
5. What are their secret talents?
6. Who is considered to be the 'scaredy cat'?
7. Do they trick or treat kids?
8. Which one goes over the top for Halloween, and which one very much doesn't?
9. Which one went trick or treating until they were twenty one, and which stopped when they were twelve?
10. Which one would be off to a racy Halloween party, and which would be herding the kids around trick-or-treating?
11. What is their favourite Halloween movie?
12. Do they have a Halloween tradition?
13. What do they get more excited by? Halloween or Christmas?
14. Do they decorate for Halloween?
15. What's on their Halloween playlist?

x Prompt x
Pick one (1) of the two prompts.

"Hocus Pocus"

or

"Think about a plan. Execute the plan. Expect the plan to go wrong. Throw away the plan." - Leonard Snart, The Flash
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AS Afflatus - Issue 28 - Member Corner

Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:19 pm

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Anonymous Kitsune wrote:This is important. Everyone should have the recipe for Roast Potatoes. This is the one I follow! I love them!
  • I agree; roast potatoes are a brilliant food! Thank you for sharing your favourite recipe <3
Anonymous Wyvern wrote:hello there! A few afflatuses back (I think it was July), for the member activity, we had to create characters based off of a scenario or plot (the last one was based on a fallout). can we do something similar again in the october edition? something halloween or supernatural based such as witches, ghosts, etc? something dark and spooky?
  • Thank you for your suggestion! I thought that was such a brilliant idea that I did indeed make the activity a spooky 'create a character'. Go have a look!
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Do you have ideas as to what you would like to see here? Don't be afraid to share through our google form!
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AS Afflatus - Issue 28 - Featured Works

Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:20 pm

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Waldeinsamkeit by Kami
Hidden text.
The cattle were rather inquisitive when it came to autumn's arrival. The vibrant forest surrounding their pastures had been dyed in wonderful shades of red, orange, yellow and brown. And, even though the grass was still lush and verdant, it was not enough to keep the herd from growing more interested in the woods. But they were a group and didn't venture out on their own. Where one went, the others followed. Since not one of the lot was courageous enough to pull away from its family, they remained in the meadow, gazing longingly at the autumn forest, dreaming about exploring it one day.

But there was a curious little bull present in the herd. He was an unusual little critter; fearful and easily discouraged from acting on his wishes, that bull was known as Devren. Not as friendly as most of the ones in the herd, he wasn't exactly prone to fitting in due to his somewhat unusual appearance. A coat as black as a starless night and a golden ring pierced through his nose. And yet, he wanted to prove himself as an audacious young creature, who had enough guts to move away from their herd and go into the forest that everyone earnestly longed for. But, the others could just shake their heads in amusement, quietly huffing at Devren's daydreaming; no matter how beautiful, the woods were a dangerous place for defenceless cattle like them.

Yes, he was a coward. But, the desires to be respected and liked among his own brethren was more powerful than any fear could ever be. And one day, when their caretaker had already wandered back to his cottage, Devren proved that he wasn't as useless as everyone believed him to be. With joy in his steps and a spark of determination in his black eyes, the young bull moved fastly towards the edge of the woods, knowing, that if he was to dawdle for just a second, his already non-existent courage would immediately dissipate into nothingness. And so, he walked until the meadows were forgotten all the way behind him, completely hidden by the vibrant trees and the sea of colour. Only then did Devren stop and admire the beauty. It felt excellent.

There was a certain allure to being on his own. That feeling of solitude was enticing and unusual; while Devren didn't want to be away from his herd for too long, listening to the trees whisper around him was fairly calming. There was no one to lecture him about being different, even though he could not see anyone else around him, to begin with. And even if he would have to return to his herd soon enough, Devren liked being in the forest. It was nice.

With a pleased moo escaping his muzzle, Devren roamed around the forest until nightfall, more than pleased by the fact he had been blessed with that chance to explore the colourful forest at his own leisure. For once, he felt completely at peace with himself and the oddities that moulded him into this intriguing animal he was. The young bull came back only after the sun had already disappeared over the horizon, trotting up to his herd as if nothing of importance had happened, disappearing every day until winter came and there was nothing great about the woods. For autumn made them special.
prompt 53: apostasy by python regius
Hidden text.
Ellis kept glad cing to the boy at his side, a soft, barely there smile on his lips each time. A certain spring in his step lightened them as well his other features, a rare occurrence. But he had done what Vic asked, or rather, had hinted at asking, and for once, there was no guilt to plague him when he handed over his card for Elliot. Well, no immediate guilt. The entire situation had been born of his cheating, but what was done was done and there was no going back. Ellis hadn't decided quite yet whether be wanted to go back or not.

"I said I was coming back, didn't I?" Ellis answered to Vic's thanks when they were seated in the car. This had already been established, so Vic's continued fawning was unnecessary, although not unappreciated. Ellis was more distracted by the continued mess in his car. The usually pristine car was now cramped with boxes in the back, with items overflowing or haphazardly hanging over the sides. Blankets were stuffed in the crevices, and a pair of underwear that had fallen was lying on the floor, a dusty door print neatly outlined across it. Eli hadn't given him much time to pack, and now that he had his necessities in his new place, he didn't know what to do what the rest. If the boxes didn't sit in his car then they were going to sit in his apartment because he didn't have a dresser yet, and he'd rather them be out of sight a majority of the time.

Ellis made no mention of the state of things when he pulled away from the curb, nor did he give any explanation about where they were going when he didn't take the usual route to his home - no, Eli's home. His fingertips drummed against the steering wheel, a clear indication that he was agitated, but the neutral gaze he gave Vic when he would glance over indicated he wasn't necessarily agitated with Vic. Did he tell Vic now? When they got to the apartment? Had he already guessed?

It was more fun to watch Vic squirm, even on a good day, so Ellis chose to wait. Would Vic trust him enough not to freak out when they pulled up to a rather run down apartment building? Ellis didn't wait to see before pushing open his door and walking around the front of the car to Vic's side.

Ellis thought it likely Vic wouldn't believe him if he tried to say he'd broken up with Eli now, so he offered his hand instead and led him into the building. It wasn't the worst, but it certainly wasn't what Ellis was used to. The flourescent lights flickered in the hallways and the stairs creaked under their feet, and when Ellis pulled out a key to unlock a door, he had to jiggle the key roughly in the lock to get it to turn. He ushered Vic just inside the door before closing and locking it again behind them. The inside of the apartment was tiny compared to the house he had lived in. The sink dripped constantly, the tiles were peeling up in the corners, and the living room consisted of a couch set against the wall. At least there weren't any unidentifiable stains on the carpet.

Ellis sighed heavily when the door was securely closed. He shrugged off his jacket before looking down at Vic. "Well, I did it," he said shortly, as if this was enough explanation for everything. When he realized it wasn't, he raised a hand to rub almost awkwardly over the back of his neck, gaze sliding from Vic to look at anything else. "Broke up with him, I mean. This is my new place."
⚔ ━ anger by important
Hidden text.
Leleea didn't drink often. She found solace and distraction through other means on any other day, but today was harder than most. "Tasheer," she slurred, waving her hands to the brewer as she leaned over the bar. "Please tell me you're not out." Her eyes lifted lazily until they came to the khajiit, her offering him a smile.

"This one believes you have had too much already." The Altmer scoffed, giving a soft whine. Tasheer continued to stare at her before sighing, slipping several large bottles across the counter. "Fine. But this is the last Tasheer will give you. Once they are gone, they're gone. No more. You are already pitiful." Leleea immediately brightened up, grabbing the nearest bottle of moon sugar double rum, pouring it into a glass.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you, Tasheer. I love you. So, so, so... so much. I could kiss you." She gave a weird chuckle at that, head shaking before she took a sip of the sickly sweet drink.

"Did you purchase a room? This one does not believe you can get home like this." Leleea bobbed her head in answer, lazily pointing out the innkeeper.

"Mama Mizarr is very kind to me. Almost as kind as you are! He doesn't mind listening to me. I own the suite." She didn't have to drop a single drake for it, either. "Might... Can I take these back with me?" Tasheer gave her a nod, immediately moving over to the other side of the counter to help her.

"Please. It is best that you are safe in the comfort of your home whilst this... inebriated." Strong arms scooped underneath hers, helping her make it to the door of the Sugar Bowl.

"See the door?" she muttered, pointing out the Suite straight across the overpass they were walking on. Tasheer simply grunted in acknowledgement, leading her across the way and helping her get the door open. "Thank you, sweet baby," she cooed, giving him a kiss on the cheek, full bottles clinking together in her grasp.

"Come back in the morning to see Saizeh. She has the best cure for hangovers. This one thinks you will need it after tonight. Bright moons light your path." With those words, Tasheer left her, closing the door to her small inn room behind him.

Leleea climbed into her bed immediately, setting the bottles down on the stand at her bedside, trying to chase away the dizziness. Now that she had no need for decency, she removed her tunic and slumped over on the sheets, flicking the lid of the bottle off and taking a swig straight from it. Her gaze briefly travelled to the desk that was situated across the small space, her expression turning sour despite the sweet lingering taste of moon sugar in her throat.

Emotions had never been the necromancer's strong point. Anger was always a dominant feeling: she could never express sadness as just sadness, it coming out as fits of rage instead. She had always been hot-headed and short-tempered since she was a child, but given that she was stripped away from her parents before she had a chance to emotionally mature, she never really grew out of it. Given the situation and hardships she was forced through as well, it was no short wonder how she hadn't ended up in prison or executed. Well, sure. She'd landed herself in a cell a few times, and paid off bounties more than anyone, but at least she wasn't being sentenced for it. She just... never learnt her lesson. Ever. Besides, she figured, after everything she'd endured and got back up from, anger was better than tears, better than grief, and better than guilt.

Whatever emotion she was trying to find at the bottom of the bottle, all she would ever get in return was rage. And that okay.
a poem. // drowning in the sea. by ᶜˡᵒᵘᵈ
Hidden text.
Every once in a while I can't help, but drown in the sea
and when I reach the surface I ask myself, who is she?
It starts with a whisper and it ends with a scream.
I always think it's a sea, but it's only a stream.

I can't help shutting down people's cries.
But every time I do a piece of me dies.
I often feel what others feel.
I'm a fixer, what I do is heal.

But why do I give everyone my all?
Why do they only watch me fall?
It's at night when I am the most weak.
Company is all I ask, it's all I seek.

Its when I'm alone there's a battle in my head.
I listen to everything that's being said.
I tell myself that this is something I can tame
by myself, but it always ends the same.

Who lifts you up when your down?
Who's there when you can't help, but drown?
tw: drugs | oxygen | 2/7/19, 12.30. by Cas
Hidden text.
thud thud thud thud thud thud thud thud thud thud thud thud
oxygen
oh breathe, breathe, breathe, breathe.

roll eyes... let me know you're here for me
tingletingletingletingle strum me play me see me be me

bleeding onto the street, bleeding into my heart
tattoo your name on the pavement of my arms

far.... far,... far.... far..... far.... far.....

swirling, swirling, high
let me go let me fly
higher than i ever have before
always falling, never hitting the ground

needle point
belt tight
squeeze me, please me,
and say goodbye.
the poetics of a moron by Cas
Hidden text.
(1) horatio

You say Hamlet deserves a choir of angels,
but really, that is you.

He doesn't deserve your unwavering loyalty,
Hamlet cares only for himself.

I would drink the poisoned cup for you my lord,
in a heartbeat, I'd join you in hell.

What ho, Horatio, the noblest of men, the only one
I know, who could put up with Hamlet's shit.

I send my love (and pity) to you, wishing,
you could be mine.

Alas, I know, Hamlet is the one who
is entrusted with you heart.

But should you ever come back to Wittenberg,
I'll be there, waiting, with arms wide open.

Horatio, Horatio, Horatio, Horatio,
You're amazing and ILY SO MUCH OK
the leaves turn several different colours, and so do the bodies in your neighbour's basement. by trophyboys
Hidden text.
A shiver went up the woman's spine as she passed by a mysterious house. It's iron wrought fencing contained all of its secrets, only letting whispers of rumors to escape through the wind. The house stood proud and tall, despite it being so heinously out of place in the neighborhood it was in. Everyone that dared to pass by it always did a double take, unable to answer the question of who lived in the house. Countless neighbors stuck small letters of invitations to cook outs and block parties onto his fence, yet they all went unanswered, thrown away and taken out in the trash within the blink of an eye.

Aliyah passed the house every single day on her way to the store, yet even she couldn't answer who owned the house. The neighbors all had rumors surrounding the lanky mysterious man they'd all barely caught a glimpse of. Nobody was certain about him - some believed he was a blond, some believed he was a ginger, or even a brunet. It got to the point where they argued about the true hue of his eyes. Nobody had seen his blond locks and how they fell to his shoulders, or his piercing deep blue stare. Nobody saw his silk suits and the devilish grin to match. He was a mere rumor. At this point, nobody truly knew if there was a person that lived inside the house.

However, one thing let everyone know that the house was occupied. The garden. It was always luxurious, a stone marble gazebo and fountain clung to its core. One thing was certain, whoever lived there had money. All the older women of the neighborhood loved to spread gossip of it being a nice, attractive, young, rich (preferably single) man living in the house - though it was nothing but a pipe dream until they could confirm it.

Rose bushes decorated most of the garden. The neighbors had dubbed it 'the Garden of Eden,' behind the man's back, snickering about how proper and snotty he must be. Nobody with that much money who paid attention to detail couldn't be anything but a rich snob. Beautiful light pink and white petals decorated each bush. Their sweet smell littered the lawn, yet it was nothing but deceiving. Each bush had dozens of roses, threatening to protect each bud with its own life if it had to. And despite the fact that Autumn was looming toward, his garden remained perfectly green. Trees surrounding were already starting to change color, leaves threatening to spill over and fall. But his didn't. Each leaf was green, the few trees he had in his garden still perky and bright.

Aliyah found herself lost in thought, admiring the beauty, unable to look away. Eden, as it had been rather nastily dubbed, was entirely breath taking. It was like that of a movie scene or a magazine photo - totally unbelievable. However, as her eyes focused back on the marble gazebo, she froze. In it stood a man, tall and blond - as one of the descriptors in the neighborhood had cried. He was standing in the gazebo totally alone, fingertips tracing against the cold surface. She felt terrible for staring, but she couldn't take her eyes away from his frame, lips agape. It was like the rumors were finally coming true, everything putting reality into perspective.

As he finally noticed her stare, she found herself entirely embarrassed. The man only looked toward her with a calm smile, but panic ensued within her chest. She felt her heart rate pick up, actual heart threatening to pound out of her chest "Hey, neighbor!" She nervously called to him, waving her hand in an embarrassing action she wished she didn't do. Instead, she wished she would've kept walking.

"I see you're admiring my garden," The velvet baritone of his voice seemed to take her aback - like she was putting everything together. However, the young woman was still speechless, awkwardly stuttering as she tried to explain herself. Yet, she couldn't come up with anything.

When she was finally able to push passed the feeling that she was going to swallow her tongue, she uncertainly met his gaze, trying to mimic the same calm composure he had, failing miserably. "How could I not? It's absolutely beautiful," Her voice was still breathy as she tried to rid herself of the shock and nerves.

"If you've got the time, I'd love to give you a tour," She was amazed at how collected he was. He seemed to immediately fit with all the whispers of his appearance. He was well kept, certainly plentiful with money. He fit well with the scene around him, physique reminiscent to the Greek statues that would look absolutely perfect scattered throughout the land. Yet, all she could do was shake her head to his offer. "Excellent," His baritone purr nearly sent another shiver down her spine, though he seemed to take no mind of it, offering her his hand after he opened the black iron gates. She could've sworn his secrets were already pouring out of it, far less mysterious now that she was able to put a face to the gossip.

She immediately took his hand, somewhat confused at the gesture. Something so simple sent her heart racing. It was almost like the man was living in a totally different decade, a totally different century. His garden was so new yet so archaic. He was like a character in his own fairy tale, living out an old fashioned life in a modern century. Aliyah's head was spinning as she followed him in the garden, mind running totally absent before she could ask his name.

Slowly, they made their way to the all too familiar roses she liked to stare at. He pointed out each color, bending down to pick one. A quiet crunch sounded before he posed the rose close to her nose so she could smell just how sickly sweet it was. "For you," Doing what she was told, she graciously accepted it.

Going through the garden left her truly speechless. When they headed toward the gazebo, she finally let out an audible gasp. It was even more gorgeous close up. Though her mind finally started to roam what his house must've looked like. If the garden was so lavish, the inside must've been much more. And it seemed like he could read her thoughts, piercing gaze staring right through her. "I suppose you're wondering what the inside looks like, hm?"

Without another word, he led her back to the front of the garden, walking across a few stones as the beautiful carved exterior graced her presence with its beauty. She'd seen the front of the house every time she'd passed by, but there was something so intricate about it now that she was up close. He gave her a few moments to take in the luxury before he opened the front door, exposing the gorgeous interior to the outside.

"Oh my," She couldn't help herself, eyes lighting up as they adjusted to the dimness of the house. She nearly jumped when the door locked behind her, though she immediately pushed passed it, wanting to take in the house for its true beauty.

Though she soon realized her hand was still locked in his hardened grasp, and she looked down. "I'd like to start with the basement, and then shall we make our way up?" Again, she meekly nodded, following him blindly. She would never be so naive to walk into a stranger's home, and she would've cursed herself for doing this if she would've been thinking straight. But, she continued without a second thought, allowing him to pull her around the house. Her eyes followed his hands as he dug in his suit pockets, pulling out a set of keys. The golden metal was raised toward a door, to which she presumed was the basement's, and it fit perfectly into the lock, clicking as he opened the door. "After you."

The stairs were so dark that she could barely see a thing. Aliyah could only make out each step, unable to look toward the end of the stairs. However, the same sickly sweet scent from the rose petals flooded her nose, and she finally let out a deep breath. She felt almost too comfortable in his presence already.

She heard footsteps behind her, so she kept going until she didn't feel anymore steps, blindly moving her arms so she wouldn't bump into anything. But, all of a sudden, the lights turned on, making her shut her eyes as they once again had to adjust to the brightness. The basement was already a ways brighter than the rest of the house, and she saw the same lavish interior. Nothing came as a surprise to her. The basement was lined in such precious velvet. A couch and a daybed were on one side, some paintings and a statue posed around the room.

But, as her eyes traveled to the other side of the room, she felt her vision blacken, tunnel vision almost hitting her.

There were bodies slumped on a couch. She knew that definitely wasn't something she was supposed to see. Nearly feeling sick, the thought and curiosity of whether they were alive or not didn't pop into her head. Some of them were a pale porcelain, others a sickly green, almost black with decay. And all of a sudden, everything felt all too real, like it clicked in her head. His garden never changed colors, his house was too perfect, he was too perfect, everything. Yet, the only thing that changed color on his properties were the bodies stowed away where nobody could see.

"Shall we continue upstairs?" He asked innocently, taking her hand once more.
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morningstar
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House: Vipera

AS Afflatus - Issue 28 - Activity Center

Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:20 pm

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A kingdom has ruled that any supernatural being is unlawful, and thus must be destroyed. The kingdom becomes fractured, with supernatural beings going into hiding to avoid the many hunting parties, and some humans rebelling against the cruelty of their leader. However, on Halloween night, the powers of the supernatural beings increase tenfold. They, in turn, hunt the humans. The war is bitter, with both sides harbouring heavy losses.

Create a character for the given scenario. They can be any species, and either on the side of the kingdom or the rebellion. The form should include:

1. The basics (name, age, gender, etc)
2. Personality traits (can be brief description or list three positive, three negative, three neutral)
3. Character's role and species (are they a human rebel? a werewolf that hunts the humans?)
4. Brief history (can be bullet points)

Max of two characters can be created. Each character made will be 15 points for a grand total of 30 points possible. We hope you enjoy this activity!

Post on the thread!

Have suggestions for future activities? Don't be afraid to share through the google form!
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morningstar
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Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:32 pm
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Location: wherever the food is
House: Vipera

AS Afflatus - Issue 28 - Anon Compliments & Critique

Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:20 pm

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Anonymous Kitsune wrote:A huge shout-out to gold and sylver, who have easily become one of my favourite people to salt together with about the issues of life. As well as two of my favourite people to discuss capitalism and kinky shit with. Lots of love to both of you, you're doing a marvellous job as attendants and I hope to keep on pushing this new friendship to infinity and beyond! ♥
Anonymous Kitsune wrote:Sending lots of love to Cas and Smamm, who have made the Sagacitas house a much more welcome place to stay and help out the Keeper with providing new forms of entertainment and other good things to keep the foxes interested and alive. Thank you for being so hard-working with everything; the new additions to the board are superb and we couldn't ask for a better trio of people taking care of the nerd house! ♥
Anonymous Kistune wrote:I don't know if anyone has done this yet, but I wanted to praise Commander Shephard for stepping into the well deserved role of admin - they are an asset to the site!
Anonymous Unicorn wrote:We've never talked, but Aporia seems like a really nice and wonderful person. You also have a writing style that's very pleasant to read!
Anonymous Unicorn wrote:I just want to say that I think morningstar is doing a great job at putting the afflatus together! I can imagine it is hard to take over and I just want to say you are doing a very good job. Please keep going like this!
Anonymous Unicorn wrote:I am so glad to see that vintage. is back from their hiatus! I am happy to see old partners return. I have always enjoyed writing with vintage and I am thrilled to be able to continue writing with them! Their writing is wonderful and I am always happy whenever I see them online. They're just awesome <3
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morningstar
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AS Afflatus - Issue 28 - Reminders & Point System

Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:21 pm

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Just a couple of reminders for the Afflatus! x
1. Any entry submitted through the Google form is worth 5 points. Things that will be submitted through the Google form are:

xxxxxxxa. Dear Stag submissions
xxxxxxxb. Prompt Suggestions
xxxxxxxc. Featured Works Nominations
xxxxxxxd. Anonymous Compliments
xxxxxxxe. Member Corner Submissions
xxxxxxxf. Question Submissions
xxxxxxxg. Suggestions/Questions for the Afflatus or site

2. Dear Stag can feature anything you want to ask. This can be writing tips, life tips, advice, and so forth. Keep in mind that the Afflatus is posted once a month, so things that need to be answered urgently are not best to submit. Additionally, we are not professionals, so heavy matters should be discussed with a trusted adult. We will do our best to answer each submission every issue, but may have to save other matters for later issues.

3. Dear Stag submissions should be submitted by the end of the second week of the month, so that there is enough time to provide an adequate response to the submission.

4. The Featured Works segment can feature anything from the site. Roleplays, characters, art, personal writing. When submitting a featured work, please include the member's url, the url to the post and post title, and state what it is that is being featured. I will notify users that their work has been featured.

5. When submitting an anonymous compliment, please include username and link to their profile. I notify these users after each issue is posted so that they know they've received a compliment and it makes it easy to track them down in case usernames are changed!

6. When posting submissions to the thread, please make sure the name of the submission is in the title. So, if it's a character interview, please mention that in the title. If it is an activity, please put that in the title. However, it is not a big deal if it is forgotten, though it can clear up any potential confusion.

7. Please post each submission to the thread in separate posts. This makes tallying points much easier.

8. Remember, you can post up to two (2) character interviews/otp quizzes per issue and only one prompt per issue.

9. You are welcome to submit anything to the Member Corner, within reason. Book reviews, recipes, and anything else you can think of. Not everything will be able to used, but will certainly still count for points and saved for future use! The Member Corner will also be used to address any feedback received through the Google form.

10. At the end of the month I will post the following on the thread: "Any posts made after this will not count towards points." I will be trying to stay consistent with this and plan on doing this on the last day of every month by 11:30 PM CST time. Please note that if this doesn't happen for a day (or more) then you can assume it's fair game to submit more things to the thread, since it is likely taking some time to get the next issue out. The Google form, however, will be closed the night before the next issue.
x Points System x Through Google Form

Dear Stag Submission ……………………....................................... 5 points
Featured Works Nomination ………………................................... 5 points
Future Prompt Suggestion ………………...................................... 5 points
Compliment Submission ………………......................................... 5 points
Member Corner Submission ………………................................... 5 points
Character Interview Question Submission (min 5) ……........... 5 points
Member Interview Question Submission (min 5) ……............. 5 points
Feedback Submission ……………….............................................. 5 points

Through Thread

Character Interview/OTP Quiz Submission ………… 10 points
Member Interview Submission ………...................… 10 points

Prompt Submission
0-500 words ………………………. 10 points
500-1000 words ………………….. 20 points
1000-2000+ words ……………….. 30 points

Activity Participation - will vary depending on level of difficulty
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