Ahoy. The name is Mikom. I do 3D modeling, rendering and just general design. I'm a person who over past few years has taken a great interest in formulating ideas in 3D space. Ideas are my trade in many ways yet I also lean towards the practical. I have worked on several mods and game projects though modeling for games is not my first area of expertise. Here on ModDB/IndieDB I keep an eye on the Humor Satire Parody group, I follow the modding community and watch game productions that have peaked my interest. Feel free to go through my blogs or image gallery if you want to get a glimpse of what I do. As always, have a nice day!
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter can only be described as an interactive, narrative driven vision of beauty telling a horrific tale that will grip you until the very moment the story ends.
From the moment crime detective Paul Prospero comes into this world, the Vanishing of Ethan Carter will strike you with its visual beauty and eerie atmosphere. Be it a stain of blood on the ground or a distant sound on the wind, you'll never feel completely safe in Red Creek Valley.
The first thing that came to my mind when I jumped into The Vanishing of Ethan Carter was that it did not look like an Unreal Engine game, especially not Unreal Engine 3. This is a technical achievement all on its own by the developers. The draw distance alone as well as lush environments show that The Astronauts succeeded where many AAA developers failed miserably. Naturally there are no loading screens.
Granted, the game requires a pretty powerful PC to run which is where I think the game has its biggest flaw. The game is decently optimized and I personally was getting solid frame-rates in outdoor areas with most of the settings set to High.
Is The Vanishing of Ethan Carter a game? No. Just as with many other "games" in this not-so-well-defined genre (like Dear Esther for example) The Vanishing of Ethan Carter only comes close to being a game during the crime scene investigation... let's call them puzzles.
It is a narrative driven experience which focuses on the story and immersing you in the world. It does so very well because it doesn't have guns or well defined gameplay mechanics such as skill trees and weapon upgrades. It will tell you it won't hold your hand and this is quite true.
This approach means you will have to figure out the mechanics for yourself and you have to do so in order to advance the story.
The crime scene investigation mechanic works in such a way that you have to find and restore objects to their original location and then linking a chain of events together by playing them back in the right order. This is where your supernatural powers come into play. My first experience with the crime scene investigation mechanic was for the most part looking around and clicking on objects it will draw your attention to. The way it does that is by hovering texts above the object in question. When you click on said text it shows you a thought process that in turn gives you clues as to what you are looking for.
It is a way of informing you what to do while not ruining the immersion with a HUD notification or by pausing the experience.
If only more game developers would take that approach.
Story-wise the game will show you various events that you access through investigating crime scenes. While you can solve each of the mysteries in whichever order you please, the main story doesn't start coming together until you have solved at least half of them. Finding stories left by Ethan in the world will give you an idea of what is really going on and while there is a big twist, I think most people will have realized it long before it actually happens. If they payed enough attention to the stories, newspaper cut-outs and other minor clues that are left around in the world for you to find.
I would love to give more of an example but the story is hard to write about without giving away major (or minor) spoilers. I will say though that the writing is very good, I never had any problems with the dialogue although the voice-acting didn't always fit.
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a great addition to my Steam library and while I got it on sale it is in my opinion worth the 19 Euros that it currently costs on Steam.
I want to see more games like this and I want to see what The Astronauts come up with next.
Thanks for reading and have a nice day!
During the winter sale on Steam, a friend of mine bought me DayZ (quite a generous move considering it wasn't even on sale). My net-speed had been capped at the time but with the shift of the month and indeed the new year (happy new year by the way) I got a chance to download the new and improved DayZ experience.
I'll explain my thoughts and ideas about the current state of the game as well as my experience with the buddy who bought me the game.
DayZ has come a long way since I first launched the mod. I still remember my first experience in the game. It was probably better than most and I was very optimistic.
I had gotten some decent loot, plenty of food, an AK-47 with ammo and had managed to avoid all zombies thus far. Things changed when I ran into another player. He said he was friendly, he asked for directions and as I pointed North I turned my back on him. The last thing I remember hearing was a gun-shot like noise as his axe impacted with my back.
That is the harsh reality of DayZ. Bandits are common and you should trust no one. Play with friends if you want to trust someone.
The Stand-Alone release of DayZ. Let's start by saying that it's still and alpha. Many aspects will and should be changed. The current performance of the game is poor, acceptable if you have played the mod but poor by any other standard.
Gameplay is functional though feedback from how your character experiences and interacts with the world is still limited.
On my first run in the stand-alone I was all on my own and spawned in Novy Sobor. I headed towards the airfield and got some decent loot. I crammed by backpack full and set off to new adventures.
Unfortunately my character died of starvation before an hour had even passed. This was not the mod where you could carry as much loot as your backpack can carry and still run for kilometers without eating or resting.
My second run started pretty much exactly the same way. I once again spawned in Novy Sobor and headed up to the airfield. That's where things went differently though. At the airfield, many things had gone down since I had been there thirty minutes ago. I found a dead survivor, completely kitted out with guns and magazines. All his magazines were empty though and he had clearly been looted by whoever killed him.
I picked up most of his gear but was more selective this time about what I could carry. Luck had it though that the moment I went into the ATC, I found an entire box full of ammo, ammo compatible with my M4A1 and magazines. Upon loading the gun with ammo I set out feeling confident and quite lucky.
The very next day I met up with Roaches in Gorka, the friend who bought me the game. This is our story. Me and my friend Roaches had been teaming up surviving for three days in a row now. We had been looting smaller villages and towns further in-land. After a successful run through Berezino (a town by the coast) we decided to keep heading south along the coastal line.
It was mainly an uneventful trip, Roaches and I were both decently kitted out. He had a good stockpile of food and a pistol. I had my previously mentioned M4A1 assault rifle.
We found a bleeding man along the way sitting in the middle of the road. Though I kept my weapon fixed on him all the time we decided to help him out and Roaches gave him some bandages.
The man did not pick it up and after a short while we decided to leave him to his fate.
We continued south, it was mid day and the sun was glaring in our eyes as we headed further up-hill.
When we arrived at the small village of Kamyshovo, we discovered a dead body lying in a house, stripped of all possessions. As I looked outside I only just observed another person disappearing among the houses. I pointed out to Roaches we had better be careful. We searched two houses at the edge of the village with me keeping a watchful eye towards the coast then decided to leave the rest of the town alone.
We proceeded further along the coast, towards the town nicknamed "Elektro". I expected there would be players there so we stayed away from the main road leading into the town. Instead we took another way, around the "Elektro-hill" and down past the fire-station.
Looking through all the houses we could find no sign of proper loot. It was clear we weren't going to find anything in the outskirts.
As we headed further into the town I heard some shots. Then we heard them again. I rounded a house cautiously and immediately saw the body of a dead player in the middle of the road. We went into an apartment building, both completely on edge, sharpening our nerves of steel.
Upon exiting the building we heard another couple of shots. In a move of foolishness or call it bravery, I set out towards the place where I thought I had heard the sound. Roaches followed behind me.
I could not quite pin-point where the shots where coming from but then I got a brief glimpse of the gunman. He had a white clown-mask on and an assault rifle. He had the high-ground but I had the drop on him. I instinctively raised my gun and fired a suppressive burst. He ran. I pointed Roaches in the direction of where he had been.
Instead of running after him, which meant going down the hill and losing the high-ground I had won by my initial burst, I decided the best move would be to flank around going further up and around the hill.
Roaches and I searched the hill but could not find him. Upon coming back though from the far end of the shrubbery I spotted the gunman atop the hill, ready to fire. I alerted Roaches to his presence as I fired another burst towards his chest. He opened fire as well and bullets were flying past my ears as I ducked left towards some bushes. In a desperate move I turned around and fired my gun at full auto, I could hear Roaches firing his pistol, the gunman fell.
Miraculously I had not been hit a single time and neither had Roaches.
This was the time to get some gear. I told Roaches to loot the body, to take all he could carry while we still could. I nervously danced around, looking right, looking left. Guarding the loot. Another survivor appeared, he had a red motorcycle helmet and appeared armed though had not readied his fire-arm. He was cautiously approaching us, I raised my weapon and took aim. I told him to back off. He said he would do so but sounded untrustworthy. As Roaches finished looting the corpse of the bandit we had shot earlier, I went back to take a look myself.
Roaches took watch. The bandit had a ton of ammunition, some food and plenty of other good loot. I took what I could. At that point Roaches pointed out the guy in the motorcycle helmet was back. He did the same thing I did, told him to back away. This time he didn't seem very convinced though and instead of backing away he slowly started moving towards us. Roaches told me to stop looting, worried the motor-cycle helmet man may attack. I concurred and suggested we hide the body and leave.
We went back up the hill, we had seen enough of Elektro. But on the road leading out of the town bullets started hitting the ground at our feet, we were once again under fire! Luckily this gunman was not very accurate either and we broke into a sprint along the road. Then I saw him running among the trees, the man with the motor-cycle helmet. Knowing it was him who had fired the shots I raised my gun and in a single burst shot him dead, he fell to the ground.
Once again the looting game began. As Roaches sat exposed looting the corpse I nervously kept watch. I did not bother looting this person myself and Roaches and I moved off. Elektro was not a hospitable place.
Unfortunately at this point our luck ran out. Another bandit was hiding in the bushes and shot my friend right in the gut at point blank range. Roaches bravely fought him off and killed him where he was lying on the ground. Then Roaches fell. I was not sure if he was alive or dead. Was he breathing? He was unconscious. I bandaged his wounds knowing it would be practically impossible for him to recover from his wounds. As he collapsed before me, I ran off, scouting the area for more bandits, this was not a great place to be incapacitated in, on the Elektro hill by the side of the road. Then he spoke to me.
He had suffered great a loss of blood and his vision was blurred. I headed back but heard gunshots. My friend not being in a state to realize what had happened, had been gunned down by two ruthless bandits. As I approached my friends corpse, I saw one of the bandits running away among the trees.
What would I do now? I had lost my friend, my companion. The two bandits who killed him were still around, I could go after them. But I decided against it, revenge would have to wait. There is only so much one man can do so I turned around and ran, I ran as fast as I could away from Elektro and the Elektro hill. I ran away from the bandits, the loot and away from Roaches' dead body.
That is how the DayZ standalone is. Currently it is a mess of banditry, beginners and lag.
Would I recommend you buy the game? Not as such no, though if you're a long-time DayZ player you may enjoy the simplicity of the current state of the game. It goes back to the early days of the mod and maybe it will make you feel somewhat nostalgic.
That's it for this blog. I may post some more DayZ stories at another time. Have a nice day!
Listen to this while reading, hopefully some of you will get the reference:
What have I been up to these past few months? Well not much to be honest. Not on here anyway.
ModDB is a lovely community that pretty much runs itself and I have had very little time to contribute lately.
I had another game production going. Something not as ambitious and with a small team. Just me and one other in fact. Together we had managed to make a decent start. It would have been a game where you explored the world we would have mapped out, no story as such and nothing other than large-scale asset creation that would have truly been a challenge.
Unfortunately this didn't really work out. My partner mysteriously disappeared without a trace about two months ago. At the time we had been working on the game for about three to four months.
Later I found out he had other projects he had promised to work on. Perhaps things got to much for him. Who knows. I do not blame him, I simply see it as a mystery.
With him gone and nobody to take his place there was little I could do. Keeping up the entire production of a game all on my own was something I could not do...
...but what have I done since? I made some models, which can be found in my gallery by the way.
Here are some examples:
In other news ArmA III was released last month. I'm quite impressed with what they have managed to accomplish with that game. A huge performance increase with better graphics, better controls, improved animations and another set of huge maps that stay true to the ArmA franchise.
Mod support has always been a key feature in the ArmA games and ArmA III already has a whole bunch of them. Most were already started when the game was still in alpha.
I have been playing around with ArmA III since the alpha when I did a (sort of) review of the game. After the launch last month I have been playing around with some of the new features in the game. These new features include UAVs, more weapons and the huge 270 square kilometer Altis map.
Another neat little feature is the camera function. I've been taking some shots while in the editor:
Other than having played some ArmA III, my games-to-play list is still annoyingly long and has games like Alan Wake, ArmA Tactics, Guns of Icarus Online, The Showdown Effect, Red Orchestra 2, Sleeping Dogs, War of the Roses and the whole X-game trilogy, among many others on it.
Yet I still find myself more drawn to taking pictures in ArmA III than actually picking up one of the titles above and playing it.
I will try to post blogs more often but this is it for this blog. Have a nice day!
PS check out the Admiral Plays: Sir, You Are Being Hunted:
So it happens that a game I own on Steam called Faster Than Light has mod support. Naturally, any game that has spaceships and easy mod tools is just begging for me to mod it.
So why not start with some ships I've already made:
Naturally I started with the Athena. The Athena battle refit is a perfect fit for this game being both heavily armed and yet small enough to fit the screen of the game.
At this point I should probably explain a little what the game is about. It is a space exploration game where the point of the game is to outrun the rebel fleet with their invasion plans (sounds familiar?). You, as part of the federation however also have the obligation to cause as much havoc around in the universe as you possibly can as well as interfere with daily life wherever you can, yes, this game is a lot like Star Trek.
Partially the appeal of the game is however micromanaging your ship. You have the ability to act as a sort of overlooking god (or HAL 9000 if you will) where you can send crewmen to their deaths while doing all you can to protect your ship.
An example of such a situation would be having a fire in the aft cargo bay, now you could just send a crewman over with a fire extinguisher but that means risking the lives of your precious crew. Usually the favorable action in such a situation would be to simply open the cargo bay air locks and let the vacuum of space deal with the fire.
Having this sort of classic sci-fi approach to space exploration is probably the best thing about the game. Going back to mods for a bit though.
Here is The Bronco, a fierce vessel with an impressive crew. This was proving to be the main challenge of modding the game. How do I make all these huge ships in FTL form without making them extremely overpowered in game terms?
Well, I suppose I kind of failed there. This ship in many ways is quite overpowered especially with upgrades.
Even so, I as the maker of the mod have no responsibility whatsoever to make these mods "fair" to the game... nope.... non at all...
Moving on to this last little ship:
If you're at all familiar with my spacecraft (which I do not expect you to be) then you will no doubt recognize this as an M-class Explorer. This is the M60 A.C.E turned into what I would say is the smallest possible ship in the game. Engines, Life support, Weapons, Shields and the pilot have all been shoved into their individual little square rooms. This ship with a standard crew of 2 is by far the most fun ship I've made so far. Sure it's a challenge but with an impressive arsenal this ship can hold its ground while dodging just about anything fired at it.
So what else is new? Not much really. The Steam summer sale robbed me of probably 60 or so gigabytes of space.
This does mean I got some great games though. This list includes Alan Wake, Hitman: Absolution, Primal Carnage, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, Sleeping Dogs, Tomb Raider (2013), Max Payne 3 and more.
About Max Payne 3, the only game of those other than Primal Carnage (really fun) and FC3: Blood Dragon (overrated) that I have actually got installed and played. It is a fantastic game, showing that Rockstar studios all over the world can still produce that level of professional games where so many other major developers fail.
The writing, story and acting is all top notch. The gameplay is... well in comparison adequate but good nonetheless.
Is it a personal favorite of mine? Not really, however I admire the game for how well made it is and that's something I rarely say about a game.
On a sidenote, 30 gigabytes for 9 hours of gameplay? Couldn't you have scraped of maybe 1/3rd of that Rockstar so I could keep some of my SSD space?
Ok, so that's it for this blog. Have a nice day!
I've been playing Planetside 2 for a while now and there were something I found the game lacked. One of those things was a proper battle rifle (or scout rifle as they're sometimes also known).
So, me being the creative pain in the ass that I am, thought I'd show those developers why they should put this into the game.
Here are my ideas:
I've been working on these for the past couple of weeks but work limited my time so I mainly worked on them in the weekend.
Now, with this project finished, I'm free again to build other models. And by other models, I mean spaceships, loads of spaceships.
Have a nice day!
Scrap any previous news of a computer upgrade. I decided to go ahead and build myself a whole new one. Since the motherboard and HDD of my old PC were both acting up, I figured it was time for a real upgrade.
My new computer has a 650w power supply unit from Corsair, powering a motherboard from Gigabyte and is packing an i7-3770K and an overclocked Gigabyte Geforce GTX 680 (also known as the Windforce Edition).
I call it: STEALTHGLADOS.
At first she did have something of an overheating problem, mainly due to the stock Intel heatsink and fan being of very poor quality. As a result I was forced to get a new CPU cooler. I went for the Corsair H70 Core Liquid CPU Cooler.
Full specs here:
Case: Coolermaster Centurion 5 II BLACK.
PSU: Corsair HX650
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z22X-UD3H (LGA 1155)
CPU: Intel i7-3770K (OCd at 4.1 Ghz)
CPU Cooler: Corsair Hydro H70 Core
RAM: 2x 8GB Corsair Vengeance (16Gb)
Graphics Card: Gigabyte Geforce GTX 680 OC "Windforce" Edition
Storage: 2x 500 GB Samsung SSD
Now for some epic gaming and modeling.
Additionally, if you're a Rainbow Six fan like me. Check out this terrorist hunt video I did: RSV2 Oil Refinery
That's about it. Have a nice day!
I started upgrading my PC to make it work better. It had started to start up really slowly, windows took forever to load folders and performance in my favorite games wasn't perfect either.
So now I'm upgrading my PC a little. I've just put in a new 500GB SSD in my computer, reinstalled Windows on it and... wow. This thing boots faster than my LCD screen turns on. This means I now need to write in my password in the dark (when I hear the windows sound after start-up). If I'm fast enough, it even logs in before my screen finally turns on. lol
After that I installed the latest drivers for my graphics card and bloody hell; all of a sudden I can run Far Cry 3 at max settings (at 1080p) with better performance than I had before. That just shows you, always have the latest drivers installed.
I also used a professional color calibration tool to improve the way I view images on my screen. Wow, what a difference in clarity there is all of a sudden. The colors all look so much more natural now. No matter what you're looking at. I highly recommend trying this out if you know someone with such a tool.
After that however, the upgrading of my PC took a turn for the worse when my 2TB harddrive started failing. Strange noises and read errors made me panic and I ordered another 500 GB SSD to use in my PC. It arrived the very next day and is now sitting comfortably in my PC providing me with a combined 1TB of SSD Space.
This does mean though that my two SSDs now have a combined value of almost half what my PC originally cost. As a result, any further upgrades may have to wait.
In other news, I did a video review of a game I've been playing for a few weeks now called PlanetSide 2:
That's about it. Have a nice day!
Every year I write a blog summing up the events of the year here on ModDB, in real life and just anything that affected me in the world of gaming/modding/modeling.
This year it's safe to say I have plenty to sum up but I will try not to make this a boring blog to read.
First off there is the modeling. 2012 for me started out with models like the Athena, Lamborghini Alado, Axonn and Toa Ihlire. Many hours went into the building of these models and they are still among the best of my collection. I must say, not a bad start of the year.
However, in anticipation for Mass Effect 3 (a series I got to like a lot the previous Christmas) to come out I bought Skyrim. Skyrim was an unusual game as it (much unlike Mass Effect) tried to give you a story through making you do quests in whatever order you wished. I was not impressed.
I didn't start liking Skyrim until I started modding it with with the Creation Kit and I spent many hours having a lot of fun with that. But this fun was not to last, because a week later or so the disappointment that was Mass Effect 3 got released.
It can be discussed how the ending was bad and that the BioWare writers were a total bunch of fruitcakes but that has nothing to do with the fact it plain and simply killed my love for Mass Effect. I still like it, especially the previous two games, just not as much as I did before.
After that horrible business, I set out to see if there was any other game series that could beat Mass Effect for fun and story. Like this I came to play Deus Ex Human Revolution, a game with a similar approach to story telling and gameplay but without the disappointing ending. I liked it a lot but this hunt eventually led me to Rainbow Six Vegas 2, recommended by MattmanDude. Little did he know how much I would like this game and I never found anything better.
After having played so many games, I finally went back to modeling. I made models for my Space 3000 universe, spaceships of epic proportions. Then I moved on to colonizing Mars, one of my most ambitious projects.
It was also around this time the Source Filmmaker came out and I took the time to learn that tool, it was fun but eventually I ended up not finding enough uses for it so I went on to doing something else. This other something was Star Trek online.
For a short period of time there was nothing else that I did, I've never really been a Trekkie but I've always liked the Star Trek universe and if I do recall correctly, I had also rewatched all of Star Trek The Next Generation right before starting to play Star Trek Online. That might have had something to do with it.
This is already late in the year of 2012, and after me having reached many ranks and gained many ships in Star Trek Online, my interest started to fade.
It was also the time of the Steam Autumn Sale and there was one game in particular that sold surprisingly well. This game was ARMA II (Combined Operations), a military simulator game developed by Bohemia Interactive. Naturally when a game with such a specific target audience sells so well, you know there is more to the story than good marketing and a good price cut on Steam. It should also be noted I didn't actually buy ARMA II Combined Operations on the Steam sale but shortly after the sale when I was finally persuaded by the very same thing that made the game so popular on Steam at the time. It was off course DayZ, the zombie modification game that was so hugely popular. I started playing DayZ and it caught me just like it caught so many others. The game was a perfect example of how a game can make you panic without cheap horror tricks or monsters (other than zombies).
The survival aspect of the mod was by far the best. It really made me wonder why this had not done before. Take away respawns, 24 hour daylight and add the elements of hunger, thirst and cold and all of a sudden a game becomes a 100 times more realistic than one with high definition graphics.
I played DayZ for many weeks but somehow I also found the time to get back to modeling and make spaceships. I started out with some Star Trek models, no doubt because of me having played so much Star Trek Online. These models, the USS Neptunae II (B) and the USS Caesar, caught a lot of attention and there was a sudden demand for my models. I agreed to make some models for members of the clan I was in (the JSSG).
This turned out to be a great idea, as a result I made some spaceships of great variety like the Attaque, the Centaur, the Bronco and the Ironheart.
Now after continuing a bit more on these models and working together with the rest of the JSSG on a mod, we get to this month, December 2012. What could possibly have happened this month? Well for one I got a job and I finally posted the Tale of the Rakas, a story I started on almost a year ago.
That is the whole year as I remember it, kind of... Naturally there is this end of the world thing but since I wrote this on the 23rd and since you will most likely will be reading this either a few days later or even next year, I suppose it's safe to say the world didn't end after all. Big surprise...
Part 3 of the Tale of the Rakas is still being written and the illustrations are still being made. You can check out the previous two parts here.
So that's it for this blog, and this year. As always, have a merry Christmas, a good new year and have a nice day!
Ihlire didn't know much about the island apart from what she had heard from traders and travelers. The closest village was supposed to be a day's march if she stayed to the main road that went from the southern part of Raka to the northern part.
She was heading south.
After a couple of hours walking, she spotted a matoran was sitting at the side of the road next to a broken wagon. He was fiddling with some tools, accidentally dropping them now and then.
"What's the matter?" Ihlire asked
The matoran looked up.
"Oh nothing I cannot fix." The matoran said sounding unsure.
"You obviously need a new wheel for your wagon" Ihlire pointed out.
"Why yes, I do. But you don't see any lying around here do you?"
"No need to get angry, if you like I can send someone back with a spare wheel when I reach the next village" Ihlire said while looking down the road.
"Well they won't have any in the village, but there is a cottage a little further along the road. They know me and will send someone back if you tell Juriin sent you."
"Very well, I will do that." Ihlire said.
"Good!" The matoran called Juriin said. "Just follow this road until you see a path that leads into the forest to your right, follow that path up for a short while and you'll find the cottage there. Ask for Arcour."
Ihlire continued along the road.
She found the path leading up the cottage and followed it up. Several trees were cut down next to the path suggesting someone recently worked here.
After a short while she saw the cottage. There were some tough looking Corae standing outside, she thought they might be forest workers.
They spotted Ihlire walking up to the house.
"Hey, what are you doing here?" One of them asked.
Ihlire walked up to him.
"I'm looking for Arcour. A matoran called Juriin sent me; he has some problems with his wagon."
The Corae who addressed Ihlire first looked at his mates.
"So, Juriin sent you to us?"
"Yes." Ihlire answered.
"Well lucky him, we were almost thinking we would have to sit here all day listening to Urcas talking about his Kolhii exploits."
The other three Corae picked up their tools and positioned themselves around Ihlire.
"If you will please follow us." He said.
"Who are you? Ihlire asked.
"Oh, Arcour is the name. Bandit and bounty hunter."
"I'm no use to you, bounty hunter."
"We shall see about that." Arcour said. "Put her inside."
They dragged her into the house putting her in the cellar and locking the door behind them.
Ihlire sat on the floor in the corner. She was very frustrated. How could she have fallen for such an obvious trap?
For hours no one showed up and she began to wonder if they were just going to let her starve to death in the cellar.
The next day she heard two of the bandits say Arcour was leaving them while dealing with some other business. They did not say what.
Living alone is said to be a pain, but lying in a cold cellar unable to move with three bandits outside the door was worse. Ihlire thought about this for a bit, then she started freeing her left hand. She was rubbing the rope against a protruding piece of stone in the wall.
When she finally had freed her hand, she scribbled something in the dirt.
"Living alone is said to be a pain, but lying in a cellar unable to move with three bandits outside the door is worse"
But now she had one hand free, she started untying the other, and then her feet. When she had completely freed herself she looked around at a possible exit. The door looked solid enough. She tried kicking it, it didn't move. Then she looked at the window, it was a small hole with some roots used as bars. It occurred to her this was not a very good cell. She started pulling at the roots until they came lose one by one. It was getting dark outside and she heard the bandits mumble to each other above her. She took the chance. She squeezed her thin body through the hole and pulled herself up underneath the second window above her. If she stayed crouched, they wouldn't be able to spot her, she started moving along the wall, slowly but quietly.
When she got out of sight of the window, she went around the back and found a small shed, inside it was her tool and some other simple weaponry. She took her tool but accidentally knocked down one of the axes, it fell to the ground with a slight thud. She stood absolutely still, listening to the slightest noise that might be made by three angry bandits slowly getting up to check out the noise. This didn't happen, instead one of them yawned really loudly inside the house.
Ihlire sighed and walked outside but with her tail she knocked down three other tools on the opposite wall, they fell down with three loud metallic clangs.
Part 3 - Coming Soon
The sound of running echoed on between the rocks. A figure fled into an alcove only to find it was a dead end. He ran back seeing the two shadows that had been following him, he quickly ran in the opposite direction.
Click to view full-size
There was a light at the end of the tunnel; the figure ran out of the cave into the light of day revealing a matoran. He was almost out of breath. The matoran started running towards the village but a dark figure was visible in the distance coming towards him on the path.
He went the other way, running up a barely visible trail up to the mountain. He ran through some bushes and then quickly came to a halt; a giant drop had revealed itself before his feet. Standing on the cliff he had no idea what to do, he turned around. Three dark figures emerged from the bushes. There was a scream, then silence.
Ihlire was having a hard day. The chief of her village had once again given her a task that would take her a whole day to complete on her own. She was walking along a path in the jungle just outside her village carrying a large sack of rocks. It was her task to supply the burial grounds with ceremonial rocks to cover the dead.
She walked under the shadow of an overhanging cliff; she looked into the jungle to her right and noticed the shape of a matoran lying on the ground. She put down her sack and walked towards the body, the matoran was dead. Ihlire looked around and then up to the cliff, there was nothing there.
She picked up the body and started going back the way she came.
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When Ihlire arrived in the village there were many horrified looks. She kept on walking until she came to the chief's house. She put down the body in front of the door and left.
Ihlire went back to her sack of rocks still lying next to the path and continued on to deliver it to the burial master.
When she came back to the village later that day she was met by two guards, they grabbed her on either side and dragged her to the main square of the village.
The whole village was waiting including the chief and the master of the guard.
"Ihlire..." The master of the guard began.
"I know what this is about" Ihlire answered. "That matoran I found earlier today. Fifteen of us have disappeared so far, all found dead the next day and yet the chief is not willing to send for help. Why is that?"
"You are right off course Ihlire" The chief said. "This mystery needs to be cleared up. This is why I've started an investigation to deal with this problem."
"What good will that do?" Ihlire asked.
"We believe the demon attacking our people is one from our own village" The master of the guard said looking very harshly at Ihlire. "As it turns out, we were right. This horrible demon has walked among us for many years..."
"You know who it is? Ihlire asked surprised.
"Yes" The chief answered. "We have a witness. Come forth Gerrin and tell us all what you saw."
The matoran known as Gerrin stepped forward looking nervous.
"It was her" He said pointing at Ihlire. "I saw her push him down from the cliff"
Ihlire remained quiet.
"You committed this horrible act of murder and you shall be punished accordingly" The master of the guard said looking away from Ihlire and at the crowd gathered before them.
The villagers (mainly made up of matoran and Corae, the same race as Ihlire) started whispering to each other.
The guards escorted Ihlire, who had remained quiet since the announcement of her crime, to the village dungeon.
She was put in a cell. Ihlire was very unhappy with the situation but she was hardly surprised, it would have been easy for the master of the guard to have bribed Gerrin to tell a false story.
The next day Jiri, a friend, came to visit her in the dungeon.
"They are letting you go" Was the first thing she said. "The master of the guard announced just now that the witness has vanished and that no further evidence was found."
"It can hardly be as simple as that" Ihlire replied.
"No" Jiri answered. "The punishment for causing mistrust and spreading fear in the village is exile. You will be banished and cast out of the village on the condition you will never return. That's what the master of the guard said."
"So I can never come here again? But this is my home; I wouldn't even know what to do in the outside world." Ihlire looked frustrated.
"You are lucky you made it out of this mess alive, don't think you can get a better arrangement than this.
Shortly after the guards came to fetch her and she was taken to the chief's office. He was sitting on his stone chair looking at a chart.
"You are never to return here again, ever." He said. "Do you understand?"
"You may collect whatever things belong to you and then the guards will escort you out of the village."
"What about Jiri?" Ihlire asked.
"You are not allowed to speak to any of the villagers" The chief said. "You're getting a mild punishment for your crimes, if it were up to me I would have thrown you of that cliff along with the rest of the matorans."
"What do you mean?" Ihlire asked horrified.
"You figure it out on your own" The chief said as the guards pulled Ihlire back towards the door. "I have no time for this anymore." He whispered.
The master of the guard waited outside.
"Come and see me when you've collected your belongings, two of the guards will then escort you far away from the village." He said.
Ihlire walked towards her small house. Jiri was waiting inside.
"I'll walk with you for a short while" She said.
"Thank you, I appreciate that." Ihlire answered.
Ihlire looked at her bed, her table and the small altar in the back of the house, wondering if she would ever miss it. She picked up her tool looked around one last time and then stepped outside, Jiri followed.
"I was told to report to the guards when I was leaving but what's the point." Ihlire said. "Let's just go."
Ihlire and Jiri walked out of the village on the main road. They kept walking for a few hours until Jiri turned back. They said their good byes.
"Be careful in the village, don't trust the chief more than you have to." Ihlire warned.
"I will watch my back." Jiri said with a faint smile.
From now on Ihlire was traveling alone.
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