Lightstar was the next to go down, as one splinter that had embedded in a bookshelf branched out to pierce his shoulder.  Fleur caught him before he could land on top of more of the bone needles.

Hmm. Do I joke about Fleur-de-Lis from MLP or Fleur Delacour from Harry Potter…

Brandish shifted her footing, and the slivers of bone that scattered the ground around her shifted, some reshaping into starbursts of ultrafine needle points, waiting for her to step on them.  She knew from experience that they would penetrate the soles of her boots.

It really seems like Marquis was the kind of villain you should probably try to fight from a range.

Lady Photon fired a spray of laser blasts in Marquis’ general direction, tearing into bookshelves, antique furniture and the rack of wine bottles.

Yeah, like, this is exactly what I’m talking about. His power is well suited for near combat and setting traps close by. These lasers and the like are the attacks you should probably be focusing on.

Marquis created a shield of bone to protect himself, expanding its dimensions until it was taller and wider than he was.

Even if he can do this.

To be fair, I suppose that would leave it all up to one or a few members of the team, with the rest being largely unable to act.

Last night, I bought and installed Worms: WMD, but didn’t have time to play it. I did, however, have time to start making some teams.

Yes, the Undersiders sound like English policemen. None of the other voices fit, I didn’t want to go for the generic ones, and with this being the team I’ll most likely be playing the most, I decided to go for the funniest one. And hey, ironic contrast!

The Arctic Explorer actually voice fits the Nine more than you’d think. Better than Artist, even – you’d think that one would fit them from the name, but it’s, well, based on Bob Ross.

(Homestuck spoilers in the one below)

Shame there weren’t any bed-like gravestones.

The names are from Round Trip’s MLP in a Nutshell series. I blame the fact that “Twilight Sparkle” wouldn’t fit the character limit.

(I ended up using Big Mac for the eighth slot instead of a character whose inclusion would make sense because that character’s involvement would be a spoiler for someone I might end up playing this team against. Also because I love Big Mac’s name in MLPiaN.)

Check out this post. Wildbow talks about his life on reddit. This explains so much about Taylor’s school experience. No Worm spoilers

This sounds interesting. I’ve frequently wondered about how Wildbow’s life shaped this story.

Let’s take a look.

Redditors who have opted out of a standard approach to life (study then full time work, mortgage etc), please share your stories. What are the best and worst things about your lifestyle, and do you have any regrets?

Well, the title is already intriguing.

Hermit writer here.

Born hard of hearing, went to a regular school. Struggled in middle school. Struggled in high school. Kids who were in my class in kindergarten were in my classes all the way through to grade ten, with the elementary/middle school and high school being a stone’s throw from one another.

I kind of knew about the hard of hearing bit already. I can’t find the ask that told me about it, though (it was probably before I stopped using screenshots for asks).

So far this sounds relatively normal, except for that part. But I’m guessing he’s going to elaborate a bit on the struggles surrounding his school life and hearing problems?

In grade 10, after years of bullying and a peer group that had established who was ‘in’ and who was ‘out’ when I was knee-high, tired of struggling, I was walking down the halls and I found myself wondering when the last time I’d even opened my mouth in school was.

Oh wow.

I stopped dead in my tracks, just paralyzed by loneliness. I asked myself what the point was, couldn’t come up with an answer, resumed walking, went out the side door of the school and went home.

This clearly parallels a few of the last times we saw Taylor at Winslow High.

The start of me just not going to school for that entire year. Nobody noticed.

Damn. He really did write all that from experience. It took a while for Taylor’s absence to get noted, too.

Taylor’s absence getting noted at all actually seems like a fantasy compared to this.

I got caught at the end of the year, did the same thing the next year, got caught only at the end.

What the hell sort of attendance routines did this school have? Clearly not good ones.

Ended up going to an Alternative school (Self study), proved to myself that I had it in me when I got 3 years of studying done in 8 months, won two awards… and then had to go back to my old school for what was essentially grade 13, where I struggled.

Huh. Well done.

People learn in very different ways. Some people can do this much more effectively than learning in a group. Some people are like me and can’t make themselves keep up the effort required to self study, or learn better from lectures than reading.

Some people learn by observing their surroundings while flying.

I worked retail and found it fine. But family wanted me to go to University and figure myself out.

I’m currently working retail, taking a break from the educational system and buying time to figure out what to study.

I went to University and I struggled.

Guys, I’m sensing a theme here.

I spent a long, long time trying to figure out why I struggled, why I was tired all the time, and it took a kind of confluence of events before I realized what should’ve been obvious. I found the social stuff hard and I was exhausted after a day of listening because I’m severely to profoundly deaf.

Oh yeah, that makes a ton of sense. It’s like how focusing is exhausting when you have trouble doing that, how reading without glasses you need tires out your eyes and brain, etc.

Honestly, it’s a little surprising that I haven’t (explicitly) met a hard of hearing character in Worm yet. Maybe later? Oh wait, there was that deaf waitress at the villain pub in Hive.

Beyond that, the ‘path’ just isn’t for me. The systems and institutions just grind me down. The idea of a 9 to 5 is death to me. These things are built and streamlined for the average person, and between disability and a fairly extreme degree of introversion, I’m far from that average.

That is very fair. There’s definitely a brand of ableism in that system.

In the end, I stepped off the path. I’d been writing a thing online as a side project and the reception was good, so I decided to leave school earlier than planned, use the savings I had, stretch things as far as I could, and work when I could (with a family friend when he needed the help and had the cash to spare, doing some landscaping, drywall installation, house painting, all prepping houses for sale in a boom market) to stretch things further.

This would be too early for that thing online to be Worm, right?

It just occurred to me that I have no idea how old Wildbow is.

And I wrote as seriously as I could while people close to me told me that I didn’t deserve to ‘get lucky’ and have the writing work out because I hadn’t seen University all the way through, or openly expressed doubts and disappointments.


Fuck that noise. Writing is tons of effort!

But you know, it worked out in the end. I wrote the equivalent of 20 books in 2.4 years, wrote another 10 for my next series in the ensuing 1.2 years, and I’ve kept up a similar pace over the last 7 years and two months.

Especially when you’re this coddamn productive!

That’s 8.33 books a year!

I started writing mid- 2011, left school at the start of 2012, went full-time-paying-the-bills in 2014 with an income around minimum wage. I moved to a small town (no car, nothing fancy) that same year. I’m now closer to the average Canadian wage. It’s been two chapters a week (2.5 if crowdfunding money is enough) since the beginning.

Oh, I suppose that means it would be Worm after all.

When was this written… huh, yesterday? Well, that explains why this hasn’t been sent to me before.

Writing being Wildbow’s only/main income makes me feel even more right about my decision to set things up so that some of the money from my Patreon goes to Wildbow. It’s not that big a portion of his income (apparently average Canadian wage is 986 CAD or 755 USD per week, and I chip in with about 3.26 CAD or 2.50 USD per week), but it’s something.

My reality: I can go a week or two without really talking to anyone that isn’t a cashier.

Sounds a bit lonely in the long run, but as a fellow introvert (or maybe I’m an ambivert, in the systems where that’s actually a thing), I get it – it also does sound pretty good. Especially if you’ve got internet people to casually interact with at your own leisure.

Every two months or so I go to a relative’s to dogsit while they’re on vacation or to see someone for their birthday, and that gives me most of my fill of socialization and companionship.


I don’t have a car, so it’s usually walking or taking the train to another city, and using public transpo there. I subsisted on a rice and beans diet for a good stretch, one $15 video game bought in a year, and my level of expenses hasn’t really risen that much from that point. I eat better and buy a couple more things, but nothing major.

So I guess this would be somewhere between average and reserved?

I don’t know. Being Norwegian spoils me on these things.

60%+ of what I earn goes to savings, which gives me security when my income could fluctuate or disappear at any time.

Oh, that’s smart. I suppose writing would be a bit of a risky business, what with writer’s block, audience fluctuations, sudden drops in popularity because something you wrote didn’t go over as well as you thought it would, etc.

My schedule is entirely my own, which usually amounts to 2.5 15+ hour workdays a week and another 5-10 hours a week spent managing community, finances, and exchanging emails with tv/movie studios, publishers or startups.

I was going to talk about the long but few workdays, but tv/movie studios excuse me what

Is a TV series version of something Wildbow wrote (Worm or otherwise) a serious possibility right now?? 😮

Best things – I love what I do. I love creating, I love my reader’s tears, I love my readers being horrified.

This is really important. You gotta enjoy what you do.

I get to make monsters and be surprised by what my characters do. Many of my fans are just the absolute coolest people – people I’m now insanely glad to have met and include in my life. There’s amazing fanart of my work out there, music, people have gotten tattoos. Tattoos. That’s insane.

People have permanently, painfully painted their appreciation of your work into their bodies, Wildbow!

The bad- I’m an online content creator, and it’s impossible to convey just how toxic the toxic elements of a fandom can get and how negative the negative aspects can get, and how much it can affect you.

That is true. There will always be a toxic side, and I can imagine works like Worm would attract a lot of the edgy sort.

I’ve seen 20 online content creators either break down or remark on the effect it has, and it’s wholly accurate- and my audience isn’t even ~that~ large.

Yeah, it doesn’t take that many people to start brewing fandom sides like this.

This is multiplied by the fact that writing is lonely as a profession (I know too many writers who can’t even talk to their life partners about their work) and it can be hard to find perspective or balance as you take it all in, when you don’t have people to communicate with.

Robert Jordan used his wife as a beta reader or editor of sorts. She was there to tell him when something he wrote didn’t quite come across, to make up for the fact that he couldn’t tell. After all, he knew what he meant by that one line.

On a similar note, some casual dating would be nice, and living in a small town for economical reasons doesn’t leave me with a large dating pool, and at this point I’m not even sure if I could or should inflict myself on someone.


There are way too many people who think like that. I hope you find happiness with someone who sees you for the good bean you are, Wildbow.

I’m healthy, groomed, I can hold a conversation, I’m just pretty set in my introverted ways.

…relatable, though.

But still, I’m pretty sure there are people out there for us, who not only tolerate but appreciate the introvert lifestyle.

Hell, both of my crushes have been very introverted, even compared to myself, so I know those people exist because I’m among them.

On another, less social note, there is the fact that as an online content creator, you can’t really take breaks. Or you can, but it costs. Consistency and frequency of updates are god, and a hiatus is a death knell.

No wonder he criticized me on this that one time. In his situation, it matters a lot.

I don’t even know what an effective vacation would entail, because I feel like finding my stride again would cost more than I gained from having the break. So it’s been seven years and two months without a vacation, writing a short book every month.


You deserve so many props, Wildbow.

…at some point here I started talking to Wildbow, just like I do to Taylor and other Worm characters. Well, at least this time there’s actually a chance he’s going to read this sometime, if he hasn’t dropped my blog.

I just hope he doesn’t think it’s weird that I’m liveblogging his life story.

It makes for a very strange sort of burnout, when I love it so much, I can still regularly put out some great work to acclaim and praise, but am nonetheless worn down around the edges.

That does not sound healthy.

No regrets. This is me. This is what I’m built for.

As long as you feel it’s right for you, this is good. 🙂

I could do with less negativity from some fans and getting regular good nights of sleep (the deafness comes with insomnia by way of terminal tinnitus),

but both of those just come with the territory.


I feel you on the sleep front (ADD has its ways of messing with your ability to fall asleep too), but tinnitus sounds like a particularly annoying way to be inflicted with it.

I’ve been telling family for the last year that I’ll move to a city with more going on than (as my elderly neighbor phrased it) drinking and meth, where there’s classes to take, a possible dating pool, and/or activities that could break me out of my hermit shell… but my current apartment is amazing and cheap, with the nicest landlords ever. It’s just in a do-nothing town. I haven’t found anything remotely competitive, even taking ‘cheap’ off the table.

I’ve lived in small-ish towns all my life. It’s pretty nice, especially as an introvert.

So that’s where I’m at.

Thank you, Wildbow. This was an interesting read. I feel like I know you a bit better now. 🙂

(Again, if you’re reading this, I hope it wasn’t too weird to see me liveblogging this.)

Just to check, I tried bringing bugs into the hallway.  The smoke was still present, if thin.  They still died, just a little slower than before.  I returned them to their previous location.  No use wasting them for nothing.

“Skitter,” he called out in a sing-song voice.  With the acoustics of the hallway, I couldn’t pinpoint his location.  “Aren’t you going to reply?”

This is reminding me of Discord’s introduction in MLP:FiM, where he starts out as a disembodied voice ringing through a castle wing.

Jack actually reminds me somewhat of Discord in general, now that I think about it.

Just as I was trying to locate him, he was attempting to do the same for me.

Seems like it, yeah.

At least hallways aren’t great for Jack’s power, unless you end up stuck in a long one with him.

I decided to give him what he wanted.

“You’re pathetic, Jack.”

Olly olly oxen free!

I’d intended to provoke him, and I’d succeeded.

I suppose someone who wants to be remembered for greatness and impact doesn’t take kindly to being called pathetic.

I’d also intended to pull the silk cord taut as he stepped into the hallway, tripping him.


And… you’d… succeeded?

No, I suspect she didn’t.

Instead of opening the door, he leaped through the open window in the upper half of the door, tucking his knees against his chest.

Pfft! What an exit!

He landed with a short roll, spotted me, and slashed.


I brought my arms up around my face to protect it.  The feeling of the silk cord’s weight dropped to virtually nothing as the slash cut it.

Oops. Well, at least your face is intact.

“Ah’m sorry,” he said.  “Ah’m on edge.  Ah’m spooked.  Ah can’t calm down.  Ah shouldn’ta said what ah done.”“And you can’t stop thinking?  I feel like that, all the time, and I have for a while.” “They had Aisha.  So much ta what ah’ve done, ah done ‘cause ah wanted ta s’port her.  Make up fer […]

Honestly most of Brian’s detractors are arguably fans who wish he wasn’t boring and wanted to see more of him. He’s the most mundane of the group (Taylor’s time with him was basically mundane shippyness) and due to being so reserved we have to piece his past together. Just a consequence of being around a show stealing cast tbh.

That makes sense.

There’s something similar going on in the MLP fandom, where Applejack keeps coming last in Mane Six popularity polls, in part because she’s often the straight mare of the group, the reasonable one (though Twilight gets her share of that role too).

And in the Homestuck fandom, I don’t see people saying John Egbert, who starts out as an audience proxy and often ends up as a straight man towards the ridiculousness of other characters, is their favorite human kid very often. (I do like him, though. He’s a relatable dork.)

“Clockblocker managed to tether Mannequin in place.  Crawler freed himself from the same trap by tearing himself in two against the immovable object.  It was Piggot who managed to keep Crawler in the blast area.”

Tearing himself in two… that’s actually a pretty creative use of Crawler’s power.

But how did Piggot do it?


“She had Weld pass on a message, telling Crawler what we had planned.  He was so tickled at the idea that we would be able to hurt him that he stayed where he was while the teams made their retreat.”

Pfft. Nice.

“Just like that?”

“Apparently so.”

“If he survives-”

“He didn’t.”

Woo! The big guy’s down!

The rest are less likely to have made it than Crawler was. Even Jack, with his maybe-plot-armor. We may have stamped out the Slaughterhouse Nine here, most chaotically.

The only word for it was chaos.  I could hardly pick out the individual effects as they mingled.

I think I just implied that “chaos” wasn’t chaotic enough.

A cloud of yellow-green smoke being pulled into a spiral around a vortex, which was causing the section of the library that had turned to glass to shatter and implode.

Hm, is one of the effects based on Shatterbird? Although it was glass (apparently one of the bombs turns things into it). Lots of bombs can shatter glass.

The vortex sounds like a tornado bomb of some kind. Possibly based on Stormtiger’s power, if all of Bakuda’s more interesting bombs have to be based on someone.

Not sure who’d contribute the smoke.

There was a flare of brilliant mixed colors I could barely look at, frying a scattered assortment of boneless, faceless, fleshy monsters.

Legend’s power?

As for the monsters, are those created by one of the bombs, or creations of Bonesaw? Leaning towards the former because Taylor can see or otherwise sense them and there’s no mention of metal on their bodies.

One monster made it four steps before being turned to dust.  Where the dust touched, more dust was created, until the vortex expanded enough to start pulling it all in, stopping what might have been an endless chain reaction.

Sounds like the middle of the vortex is a super bad place to be right now.

I could see time slowing in one spot, I could see pavement heating into a liquid in another.  I could see one area that was serene, untouched, a bubble where a newspaper that had been scattered on the ground was flapping violently with the movement of air.

The serene, untouched area – is that legitimately untouched, or did Bakuda actually manage to make a bomb based on Scion?

Heating into a liquid sounds like the result of Sundancer’s power. Bakuda would just about have time to make that between Sunny coming to the city and Bakuda’s defeat. Though there doesn’t seem to be a sun at the center of the heating.

Half a building was annihilated by the flash of an explosion, and it toppled into the midst of the bomb site.  In seconds, it was obliterated and chewed up.

It says something about the chaos here that it’s genuinely possible that “chewed up” is literal.

The effects spread and expanded all down the street, a stripe of this madness three blocks wide, extending into the midst of the blaze from the previous bombing run.


I kept to the cover of nearby buildings, and I flew erratically, so Jack wouldn’t be able to hit me if he saw me coming.  I was getting more used to flying Atlas.  I wouldn’t have said he felt like an extension of my own body in the same manner as my swarm.  He felt more like a prosthetic limb, or how I imagined a prosthetic limb might feel like.

Sounds apt, considering that he’s a custom addition to the swarm.

At first, it would be clumsy, every action requiring some level of careful thought and attention.  Over time, it would become more second nature, a learned skill on my end.  It would never match up to the real thing, but I could deal.

That seems about right, yeah.

Already, I was getting more used to correcting orientation and keeping him level in the air.


We set down on a rooftop a distance away.  There was a shed with a doorway that led into the building’s interior, and we headed there to take cover.


My Little Boney, My Little Boney

Ahh ahh ahh ahh…
My Little Boney! 

I used to wonder what my flesh could be
(My Little Boney) 
Until Bonesaw shared its magic with me 

Big adventure, tons of fun

Her beautiful art, pow’rful and strong

Sharing kidneys, it’s an easy feat

And Amy makes it all complete!

You have myyy (My Little Boney)

Do you know you’re all my very best wooooorks?

I just realized I removed the one reference to vital organs that was already in the original lyrics.