Between: 16.6

*finds himself looking at a list of eldritch invocations for D&D 5e warlocks*

[D&D 5e Warlock invocation]

Cloak of Flies

Prerequisite: 5th level

As a bonus action, you can surround yourself with a magical aura that looks like buzzing flies. The aura extends 5 feet from you in every direction, but not through total cover. It lasts until you’re incapacitated or you dismiss it as a bonus action.

The aura grants you advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks but disadvantage on all other Charisma checks. Any other creature that starts its turn in the aura takes poison damage equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of 0 damage).

Once you use this invocation, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Hi, Skitter!


First up, we have a series of reactions to H_ngm_n (from LHC, if I’m not mistaken):

Scissorskinesis is such a good power, aaaa!!!!

Glad you like it!

I think I went a little too basic on Shear and Potence’s powers, both having some form of object-specific telekinesis, but I think scissors was a fun choice of object. To be fair, I went basic partially because I didn’t expect either of them to actually stick around much as interesting characters, and I knew from the start that things were about to go badly for one of them.

“curses and cutting words from Shear” eye sea wut ewe did ver

Yeeeah, if you didn’t expect that kind of joke in my writings, I question how well you know me. 😛


…like I said. Things were about to go badly…

Sorry. (Not sorry.)

“I like you, lady, even if you do keep killing my friends.” POTENCE YOU ABSOLUTE JACKASS

Absolute jackass is a good phrase to describe Potence.

Ooh, it’s that parahuman supremacists launching terrorist attacks to deliberately cause triggers idea you’ve floated a few times before! 🙂

Yep! I figured Eris needed antagonists, and I had that idea lying around, so why not mash them together?

Yeah, you should probably do a straight retcon of the scene to some non-BB city – it’s actually a surprisingly good scene for a first draft from someone starting out who’s only read a fraction of the story, but BB is already so crawling with major villain factions in canon, and fanfic is so overly focused on it, that it would definitely be fitting/the right choice to pick out a different city for what you’re doing. What you’re doing is really neat, btw! :3

Thank you!

The biggest problem with placing it in Brockton Bay post-Nine is justifying the Ascended – who are semi-nomadic – choosing to go to a city where crowds seem likely to have a lower density of sleepers who haven’t already been triggered by Bakuda, Purity, Leviathan, the Merchants, the Nine or the other consequences of the havoc each of them have caused.

Though the population is high enough that you still can’t expect everyone who has the potential to have been triggered yet.

(I don’t personally trust that the “potential” is an actual thing, but the characters do.)

But since posting H_ngm_n, I have thought a fair bit about that issue, and I think I’ve come up with a solution. It’s a bit of a stretch, though, requiring Ascendant to either go along with Minus’ whims (Minus has his own reasons for wanting to go there, though those reasons would help out the team) or to not have done his research on the Undertravelers. It also raises the question of why Minus didn’t come along with Shear and/or Potence.

In either case, though, if I do decide to stick with them being in Brockton Bay at the moment, I can easily get them out of there soon and have Eris follow.

Speaking of Minus, I’ve also given a lot of thought to him and his power. I really like the power/specialty* I’ve designed for him. I hope you will too, whenever I stop being infuriatingly cryptic about it.

(*: I’ve determined he’s technically not just a Tinker, but his other power and his Tinker specialty go hand in hand and would each be fairly useless on their own.)

Other asks!

…well, okay, this first one might be part of the H_ngm_n reactions above. I have no idea.

Message to the screener/others, in rot13 to help ensure it doesn’t get to Krix because spoilers: V’z ernyyl ybbxvat sbejneq gb Xevkjryy yrneavat nobhg gur Snyyra, tvira gur qvfgvapg fvzvynevgvrf orgjrra gurz naq uvf Njnxrarq.

Translate here.

Worm is a JoJo reference because Siberian is a Stand.

Sounds about right! 😛

Regarding that tweet about fusing together all the bugs of the world, I decided to do some math. If someone was to take the combined mass of every arthropod on Earth and fuse it together into one enormous black widow, said spider would have a mass of about one gigaton (one billion metric tons), and assuming it magically kept it’s normal shape, it would have a length of about 66.85 astronomical units (1 au = 1.496×10^8 km = distance from the Earth to the Sun).

Wait, what?

The mass, sure, that makes sense, but shouldn’t this kind of thing increase the density? How does fusing a volume of arthropods that is significantly lower than the earth’s volume result in a spider that could reach from the Sun to, well, Eris*?

Do black widows have a lower density than the density of all the arthropods (including the empty space between them), somehow? I’m pretty sure that’d make them float like helium balloons, if they were even solid enough for the air to have anything to push upwards.

In any case, the idea of fusing creatures together on an interplanetary scale reminds me of moles.

(*: Specifically, a little short of Eris’ semi-major axis, 67.781 AU. In practice, Eris has a high eccentricity, its orbit taking it between 37.911 and 97.651 AU from the Sun. Aaand there’s my justification if I ever feel like giving my Eris some eccentric character traits.)

My reaction to flying insects big enough to buzz before reading Worm: Fear, body contraction, slight flailing, evacuation if possible.

My reaction to insects bugging me now: “Quit it, Skitter.”

(A good example of how correlation is not necessarily causation.)

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