This is my... I hesitate to call it a portfolio. It's where I put things that need to be put; coding fixes for people, guild bits and bobs, a running commentary on my life because you know someone might be interested. Maybe. But probably not. Ho hum.
My main site is Beetle, the lovely behemoth of a creation that is designed to help you and your layout needs. I offer premades, requests, backgrounds, and tutorials. Beetle operates under an open policy of no rules and optional credit.
The newest of the sites is High Society, a community site. It's aim is to bring together the coding and graphics community to work together on collabs, give each other advice and ideas, and generally be awesome.
Working Title is my writing page, containing my own stories and poems as well as various requests. Request a character piece or short story, a site blurb, a critique - anything and everything writing is found here.
My Art Page doesn't have a fancy title. Whup. It's just a page where I dump all my art. Browse at your leisure and let me know what you think. Requests and trades are maybe open; send me a note and I'll see how busy I am.
Samitan marshalls the Minion Army, so expect a touch of Lutari bias on my adoptable page. I currently have aishas, cybunnies, draiks, gelerts, gnorbus, ixis, kougras, kyriis, lutaris, lupes and unis. Requests are closed.
Since pretty much all of my pets' pages have been summarily shanghaied for running sites, their characters and art are grouped onto my Pets Page. Role plays are open, or just take a gander and laugh at my convoluted plots.
- Avatar hunting - hard
- Stamp hunting - easy
- Site themes - hard
- Site trophy - medium
- Game trophy - hard
- Creative trophies - ultimate
- Pretty painted pets - ultimate
- Look'it my shop - ultimate (just!)
- Layout maker - ahaha waaay beyond super ultimate
- Artsy fartsy - we count art and adoptables? I have a lot
- Writers block - ultimate
- Times editor - Super ultimate (and I have a ten part series that's currently being held over too, whoop)
- The fairest beauty - hard
- Site owner - How many sites does Beetle count as? :P For real though, hard (Working title, Beetle and High Society)
- The creator - yes
- The door crasher - gawd, I don't know? Beetle is pretty big. And pretty old. But I don't have any counters and the Neo ones only go back so far. Definitely ultimate, maybe super ultimate?
- Dice-a-roo - yes
- Battlemaster - haha, yes I do this every day without fail
- Shop upgrade - yes
- Give away - yes
And now, in September, CQ's got back to me with the held over message - which is a win in my book! Just fingers crossed it'll go in time for the 50th issue.
So! If you like stories about pirates and stories about treasure (intrigue! Betrayal! Plots! A pair of very badly named delfin!) and you don't want to wait for it chapter by chapter in the times, then friend, I have a story for you.
- Changed the class names of the images - sorry if dead and vacant meant something important, I was struggling to keep track of what was what! I've used background-image for dead and main-image-part for the three section of vacant. The eyes divs I've replaced with divider and the cube and story are completely gone, because I couldn't work out what they related to?
- Split the main image into three parts: the top part, finishing just under the words you open your eye, the bottom part, starting just above the word transcendental, and the rest in the middle part.
- Made each section sit after the previous section down the page rather than using absolute positioning to fix where they sit. This allows them to move when the images resize and change height so that everything follows on naturally.
- Created a div called divider which makes your dark blue bar across the page with code rather than using an image (just saves a bit of loading time!)
- Changed your sitely and origin to each have half the screen rather than specifying a width for each one
- For the text part of the main image, I've created a div called poem which contains both the text and the repeating middle part of the main image. I've used text-align: center to make the text centered, and the div will stretch to match the height of the text.
- Inside poem is a div called main-image-middle-section which contains multiple copies of the center section of the image. These sit one after the other exactly like a tiled background would, and are set to z-index: -1 so they sit behind the text.
- Poem is set to position: relative and main-image-middle-section is set to position: absolute - this means that:
- When I set the position of top: 0; left: 0 on main-image-middle-section, it will go to the top left corner of poem and not the top left corner of the page.
- Because main-image-middle-section is absolutely positioned, poem won't expand to fit in the images - the height of poem is determined only by the amount of text inside.
- I've set poem to be overflow: hidden which means that any of the images in main-image-middle-section that appear below the bottom of the text will be cut off.
- Finally, I've included one more div in poem called main-image-fade. This is a picture of just the stars, fading from solid at the bottom to transparent at the top, and it makes sure that there's no mismatch between the middle section and the bottom section (for example, an eye or a larger star cut in half). Like main-image-middle-section it uses absolute positioning to always be at the bottom of the poem div.
The basic premise
A potential guild member comes across a mysterious object that promises to lead to an adventure. They can choose to take the object (join the guild) or ignore it (be redirected back to Neopets).
If they take the object and join the guild, they are transported to a space ship stranded in the middle of space. This ship will be the basis of the guild pages, with different areas of the ship corresponding to different pages (see below for ideas).
The plot / activities follow a storyline that revolves around exploring the space ship, finding out why it's stranded, fixing it and eventually navigating it to land in Neopia where the next stage and the next land can begin.
Join guild - a strange object that promises an adventure.
Guild webbie - the bridge of the space ship, including captain's log (news and updates) and the central ship computer (explaining how the guild works)
Members page - not sure. Maybe the dining hall where everyone gathers and introduces themselves, maybe crew records, maybe even living quarters (can adapt this to tents / houses / etc for other lands). Contains an introduction for each member and a record of points / achievements (guild badges?)
Activities page - a ship wide tannoy announcement directing all available crew members to whichever area of the ship would suit the current activity
Wishing well - the on board replicator system
Avatar lending - the maintenance bay, where every surface is covered in bits and pieces of something that needs fixing and you can always borrow a spare screwdriver or two
Adoption centre - the med bay or a wing of the ship dedicated to cryogenically frozen pets we assume were the original crew members
Graphics - observation deck, where every wall is glass and the wonders of the galaxy are laid before you
Any page that is run by a specific person can be changed if they want. If, say, the person running the lending program would rather their page was set in the engine room or the simulation deck or anywhere else, that's easy to include.
Potential plot / activities
Again, all subject to discussion with Vee; these are just initial ideas.
Registration - submit profile to the member's page
Being the technologically advanced ship that this is, all crew members have their own personal droid assistant to accompany them at all times. It's even equipped with the latest chameleon circuit technology, so it can hide as a petpet when crew members are planet side and need to blend in. Submit a profile to the members' page to be assigned a droid that will keep a record of your achievements while on board the ship.
Explore the ship - visit all the guild webpages
There's some sort of runic script written into the walls of the ship, but you aren't sure what it means. Maybe if you explore the ship you'll be able to work it out. Visit each area of the ship and keep a record of the symbol in the bottom left of the page; when you think you have them all, send them in (or decode them or some sort of puzzle) to receive your achievement.
Diagnostics! - discover why the ship is broken down.
Some sort of puzzle here? The ship is stranded in space and can't move, solve the puzzle to work out why.
Pass me the wrench - fix the problem with the ship
Potentially this could be a customisation activity (you need to get to a panel on the outside of the ship, best make sure your suit is space-worthy. Submit your best space themed customisation for this activity) or even a graphics one? Maybe draw the missing parts for the engine, or do a button-collage style graphics activity to fix the broken engine?
Steady as she goes - fly the mended ship to Neopia
This could be a points based activity to power the ship, like sending scores in a certain game or collecting a certain junk item that conveniently happens to be what the ship runs on or something like that.
So those are the initial ideas; what do you think?
Please feel free to follow as closely or as loosley as you like!
Detective Conan is a detective based manga written by Gosho Aoyama and spanning more than 800 chapters at the last count. It ties in to a second, earlier series by the same author called Magic Kaitou, and has both an anime - subbed and dubbed versions available - and an English translation under the title Case Closed.
The hero of the series is a teenaged detective prodigy by the name of Kudou Shinichi, a self-professed Sherlock Holmes fanboy with striking similarities to the fictional detective. He is cocky and arrogant, but his deductions are sound and his knowledge is encyclopedic. None of this saves him from being poisoned and left for dead after witnessing a shady deal in the opening chapters of the first book. The poison malfunctions - instead of dead, Shinichi is trapped in the body of a small child, and this is where our story opens.
Under his six year old alias and with the help of an old inventor friend of the family, Shinichi solves crimes and tries to track down the mysterious men in black that poisoned him. He is 'adopted' by his best friend, Mouri Ran, and must at all times hide his identity from her - and from everyone around him. As luck would have it Ran's father is a washed up private detective, and Shinichi ends up solving crimes by proxy through him. The knockout dart and the voice modulating bow tie that his inventor friend made him prove useful here; 'Sleeping Mouri' is famous as playing the fool until he suddenly swoons and, looking almost unconscious, lays out immaculate deductions with merciless efficiency.
And so it continues, for 800 chapters and more. Many of the arcs are formulaic; a crime is committed, the clues are put forwards, Shinichi solves it and makes a grand deduction speech via Ran's father explaining exactly how the perpetrator did it. However, they are very rarely repetitive, with each crime as well thought out and inventive as the first. They are at times convoluted and often rely on specialist knowledge that we as the audience can't be expected to have, but they are in theory solvable. In reality I only ever solved a very few before Shinichi did; it would be nice to have had more of a chance here, though the complexity of the crimes doesn't detract from the story.
New characters are introduced sparingly but often enough to be interesting. The cast does eventually grow quite large, though secondary characters appear infrequently enough that the core cast is easy to manage. The characterisation of these secondary characters is excellent, creating a richly diverse range of personalities for Gosho to draw from. The arcs in which they appear are often the best.
The main cast is well rounded and character development is definitely present. Our main character, Shinichi, must learn very fast that he cannot be as freely spoken as a child as he was as a teenager and his growth as a person is rapid and marked. It is not all positive however; as a child he must be manipulative and devious to get his way, and deceit becomes a safety net he is unable to let go of. He is at times faced with very difficult choices and his struggle to do the right thing - and the consequences he suffers for his continued lies - are excellently portrayed.
However, some other characters of the main cast seem contrived. They are forced into unrealistic choices, their own development secondary to Shinichi's story. Ran, his childhood friend, is a prime example here - at the last count it was three years that she's been waiting for Shinichi to 'come back' and resume their relationship. Any time she does make progress, for example in seeing through Shinichi's alias, she swiftly back tracks into the state of blissful oblivion she was before. It's infuriating.
Likewise the plot itself drags and fails to advance. It can easily be tens of chapters between moments when the central plot advances and Shinichi learns more of the men in black. By 800 chapters we still don't have a bead on them, though we've been introduced to several members by now. We believe that immortality is involved, which makes no sense at all given that this is set in the real world. It's hinted that Shinichi's mother has something to do with it, and that maybe someone in the organisation planned for Shinichi to be deaged. Evidence of suspicious science experiments has been found.
... And that's about it. I eventually stopped reading for exactly this reason; the filler arcs are fun, the character development of Ran's father in particular is somewhat heartbreaking and brilliantly done, the crimes are flawlessly constructed and always consistent and accurate. But the plot. doesn't. move. The teasing glimpses we get are too short and too teasing. They go beyond whetting our appetite and leave us frustrated and losing interest. The information is too sparse - trying to flick back over a hundred chapters to see who exactly Vermouth is and why Shinichi is so shocked to see her is just not ideal. What little we know of the plot suggests that there's a gripping crime thriller waiting to happen, but it never does.
The reasoning for this is easy to see - the author is having too much fun with the status quo. Whether it is a money spinner or whether he truly prefers creating and solving crimes to advancing the plot, Gosho Aoyama is deliberately stunting character development - in Ran and, at times, in Shinichi - that would move the story on and is dribbling in only enough plot that he can claim there still is one.
It is not all bad; his handling of the ever growing cast and each character's development is masterful (helped by the fact that he has all the time in the world to devote to them). His endless supply of inventive ways to get away with murder is somewhat alarming, but make for a very engaging read. His writing and art style themselves are easy to follow and strike a good balance between simplicity and artistic style. As a collection of detective short stories and innovative crime solving, Detective Conan is unmatched.
As a plot-driven series, it's exhaustingly long and frustratingly pointless.
This ice giant is found in the mountains of eastern europe and is a fickle thing. He is responsible both for deadly avalanches and for sheltering lost travellers or sending an early spring to save a frozen community.
Lichs can be many things, so long as that thing is undead, evil, and at least partly magical. One of the most common types of lich is a sorcerer or wizard who delved into magics just a bit too dark, just a bit too dangerous, and ended up twisting himself into something inhuman and decomposing. They are highly intelligent, somewhat immortal, and very bad news.
8. Leshy (Leshi?)
A leshy is a shape shifting forest spirit that can take on the form of any forest creature, though he most commonly prefers plants. He is tied to his forest and can appear as a towering oak in the center, but is tiny enough to hide under a leaf when he ventures to the edges. Leshies are trickster spirits and can often be found stealing equipment or leading woodsmen astray, but they usually deliver their victims back to safety once they've had their fun.
The king of all beasts, an enormous unicorn that lives on the holy mountain, so large that the ground trembles when he walks. Unlike his delicate equine cousins, the Indrik has the body of a bull and the legs of a deer. His head is that of a horse, but the horn is set very far forward, like that of a rhinoceros.
6. Lindworm (lyndwyrm)
Closely related to wyverns and dragons, lindworms are enormous, bipedal serpents. They are highly venomous and highly dangerous, and are of the genre of dragons that require maiden sacrifices to keep them placated. The most famous and largest of the known lindworms is Jormungandr, the world serpent, that in Norse mythology wraps around the world and bites its own tail. Should it ever let go, the world would surely end.
A favoured questing prize, but one with a dark twist - firebirds bring bad luck. They are a brilliant orange red colour and just one tail feather is enough to light a whole room, but should you attempt to keep one caged you will find every roll of the dice going against you. A common story is for a young hero to find a feather and be sent out in search of the bird; if he listens to the birds warnings and leaves it free he will be blessed, but if he is greedy then he will suffer the firebird's curse.
4. Black Dog or Padfoot
Best known as being the alternative form of Sirius Black, a Padfoot is in fact a much older legend. In general, it is a ghostly, demonic dog with glowing eyes that either causes or is an omen of death. However the south of England has a more benevolent take on them, with Black Dogs guiding lost souls into death and even acting as a protector of the living.
A peryton is a creature with the head, torso and front legs of a stag and the wings and hind legs of a bird. The shadow it casts is human shaped. Legends vary about the peryton; in some, it was once a man who became twisted by evil. In others, it is a malevolent predator. In my favorite ones, it guides dead souls to the afterworld. Either way, the peryton is an omen of death and destruction best avoided if you have any choice.
On the land, kelpie appear as horses. However, follow one to the water and you will see their true form in their reflection: that of a ravenous, twisted monster. Of course by this point it's probably too late; you're going to be drowned, and you're going to be eaten. Shame. The kelpie's power is in its bridle, so you're only hope is to take the bridle and thereby subdue and capture it before it drowns you.
Selkies originate in celtic myths, usually as beautiful young men or women. In the water they are seals, but they take off their skin to bathe on the land and dance under the moon. Stories tell of people stealing a selkie's skin to force them into marriage, or of tragic romances where the selkie must return to the sea and leave their partner heartbroken. Some legends claim selkies have power over storms, but these are rare.
And let's counter balance that with a land Sohini has masterfully crafted (with increasingly unrealistic suggestions from yours truly, this is what I do). It's a shifting desert where the sands are alive, and the rivers, and the shadows... And the sun and the moon are at war and whoops there goes an army of zombies, howdo. You thought this road led to a city? No no, friend, this road leads to certain death.
So there we are, the last two lands for the world building challenge. Has been so much fun. May have to keep world building. Wonder if Brightvale would mind if I started messing with the geography and introduced a subterranean ancient city beneath Hagan's castle.
Want to read all of the worlds? You can find them under the series section of my writing page. Go forth and enjoy. (Or come fifth and win a toaster).
The sun's feathers are a brilliant, brunished gold that ripples and changes with each moment. However, there are three feathers on the back of his head that are dull - one crimson like the shifting sand, one black like the river of the dead, and one white for the blazing fire. Legend goes that the moon chases the sun across the sky and tries to take these feathers from him, for without them he will surely fall before her power.
What remains the same is that her hair is bound. The cord is whisper soft and flows like water, but it doesn't break and it has no knot to untie. She has not revealed the meaning of this, but her preists believe that she will unbind her hair when the sun spirit finally sleeps - and perhaps then it will do more than gently shine?
This is the only breach in the city walls that stand exactly twelve feet high at all points. A shade spirit is bound above the doorway and fuels concealment spells that hide the city within from prying eyes and roving spirits.
The 250th avatar was the Petpet lab - Oops avatar (thank you Squishy, your sacrifice will be honoured) and I will happily say that that's it, that's me done. 250 is good enough for me.
And the link back button is made by the simply splendid Mika of Landscape:
Emma's what? All. All is Emma's.
And! A new piece published on the writing page: The Enchanted Isles. Doesn't it sound nice? Doesn't it sound lovely and happy and shiny and all things good in the world?
Ahahaha no. The Enchanted Isle are the home of the fae, and these faeries don't play nice. If you think they're starting to play nice, turn around, hit the red button, run away. Or try. The fae have a history with mankind, and it's not a history of sharing and caring - because really, where's the fun in that?
But guys. Guys I am one avatar away from the magical 250. Come on 10th article in the Times, you've got this one. (Just one minor issue - what do I write about???)
These are King Penguins and sea lions in Tierra del Fuego, and also some shots of the Perito Moreno Glacier up near Calafate which is where I am now. The Penguin colony was on a remote windswept bit of land and I swear, it was so windy it was impossible to walk straight.
And that Glacier? It's 70 meters tall, just so you know.
So Klick has a forest populated by elves, and they dislike people abusing nature. Or mining. Or being unnatural, or coddling the weak, or trespassing on their lands. Clearly the elves were crying out for a sprawling, mechanical mess of a city to set up camp on their borders, populated by technology-wielding, nature-exploiting cyborgs. The people are plagued by copper rot - ther bones are literally turning to copper as they age. Naturally they took one and one and ended up with the concept of upgrading themselves and possibly their neighbours too. Sharing is caring, you know.
so much fun. so much.
I think my favorite theory is that King Altador is evil and totally masterminded everything to cement his popularity and therefore his power. Because, seriously? All of the history books are erased, and when they come back they include phrases like: In a single action, Altador demonstrated his hallmark humility and sincerity and The heroism of Altador cannot be described in a single event.
I mean, come on guys. This is golden stuff.
Follow links to read my conspiracy ramblings on Meridell, The Haunted Woods & Evil Altador.
The story itself is a sweet little thing. Does anyone know the Mousehole Cat? It's a Cornish folk story about a fisherman, his cat, and the great storm cat. I loved it when I was small; I've adapted a version of it into a bedtime story for Bannok and Samitan in Bedtime Stories
(I am so good at naming things, I really am)
This one was created with the talented Shade - it's a veritable floating paradise, complete with rainbow-strewn waterfalls, sky whales frolicking everywhere, a turtle covered in apricot blossom, and the cutest flying squirrels you ever did see.
And dragons, did I mention the dragons?
Let's start with an arid, wind blasted salt plain so dry that nothing will grow there. Add poisonous volcanic gases, sand storms that strip you to your bones, and crystal-lined magma chambers that would make you pass out from the heat. (this is actually legit, look up the Cave of Crystals in Mexico).
And then let's send people into exile here. Because we can.
Low opacity backgrounds from TKM backgrounds
Page background image from HD Free Wallpaper