✏️
⚶ I got here as fast as I could. What's the matter?
⎉ Blit came over to show me this new chimera form thing he's working on, and Syl showed up!
♈ Wait, how do you know Syl?
⎉ Vesta and I are adoptive siblings, right?
♌ Yes…?
⚶ Syl is our youngest brother. He's been missing for years.
⎉ Even the Corps couldn't find him, but…
♈ Are you sure it's him and not just someone with the same name?
⛎ *grins*
⚶ No, I think that's him. But how? And why is he a snake?
⎉ I think we might be able to find out.

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Another picture of Vesta, running in a hurry to get somewhere. Her adoptive brother Vidrio sent her a message, asking her to get to Lamppost Island as soon as she could. She has no idea what the problem could be, but it sounded urgent.

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Sketches of Vesta, since I felt like drawing her some more especially with how unsatisfied I was with the last few. These came out pretty well, though. A range of moods and levels of simplification. I think her design is pretty stable. But there are larger questions now - who is she, really? Where does she fit into the larger scheme of things? What's been keeping her from taking the role she deserves?

Been thinking about content warnings. They're definitely a useful system, and I like the culture that's developed around them, but I'm left with some questions…
Is there an exhaustive list of what can/should be CWed? Could there ever be one, or are there just too many kinds of things someone might object to? Would handling the most common cases be enough, and if so, what would those be?

🔠
Added more characters. The old box-drawing things are gone because tile graphics will handle those now, and in their place I've added more symbols. Also a bunch more international characters; we're caught up with Latin-1 now and have pretty good international compatibility, since all our diacritics are done with overstrikes.

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No one in particular - just felt like sketching a dog-person, and this rotund guy came out. Simple sword, simple armor - he's a low-level soldier, whoever he works for, but he has ambitions of someday being something more respectable. Someday. Today is not that day, and for now he's stuck on guard duty.

Was momentarily worried when Blit took off on his own to go visit some kind of neon-lit cyber/metropolis, but it was all good. He’s just visiting family; he’s at Blitz’s home of Cosmic Circuit to learn things about how to get energy everywhere it’s needed fairly and efficiently. I do think they’re family; there’s a strong resemblance there and their names line up well. Leo is spending time with Carmina in the meantime, staying cozy and doing research of his own.

🔲
Just for the fun of it, I made a pixel Neena in the same pose.

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Neena has been taking it easy for the past few months. Work has resumed a comfortable rhythm again in her body-sculpting studio in Elseways and there hasn't been a lot else to worry about. The Corps sometimes get her in as a consultant, but she keeps enough free time to herself to get some quality relaxation time in.

🖥️
More fun with text rendering - arbitrary 2- or 3-high stacks of ASCII characters within single cells. This is more useful than it sounds; I've already changed the FPS display to use a single "FPS" 3-stack.

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B: Is it a good idea to let Syl take control like this? I can't see where we're going.
L: Neither do I, but I trust it'll be interesting.

Syl can't speak, but is the emotional center of the trio, always curious and in search of new experiences. This isn't the greatest shape for this kind of exploration, and it'll probably take some work to find a better one, but for now this backward handstand is how the trio gets around when Syl wants to lead.

🔠
XenoTerm progress - it now loads and positions images in a much easier way than what I was trying before. Keeping with the lo-fi feel, this is how big a 32x32 square comes out looking. This was a needed step. The next will be the ability to link screens together HTML-style. There's a server-client architecture in the plans somewhere; right now all I've got is a client, but this is going to get bigger.

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A lot of chimeras you might see out there have a trio of heads up front - lion, goat, and dragon - and then the snake tail. This is seldom a good idea, because dragons can overpower anything they get added to and what you get out is just a dragon with extra bits. If Blit and Leo ever attempted to join up with a dragon, something like this would be the result - everything subsumed into the more powerful shape. Blit and Leo are carefully balanced, and adding more to them would throw that off.

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Leo comes from a place where lions like him are expected to be fierce and loud and huge and regal, and he just isn't any of those. Leo's fully grown, he's just small; he'd just rather spend his time reading and daydreaming, and this gives him a kind of carefree innocence even into adulthood. Blit wishes Leo were more assertive and Leo wishes Blit could relax more, but the two of them together fill each other's gaps well.

The reason for this (and the reason I was holding off on naming the snake) is that I wanted them to make a nice anagram all mixed together.
"I'm Blit, Leo, and Syl" = "Beyond All Limits"
...which is a good motto for someone learning to be less constrained by rules, to take nothing for granted, and to always know that the world is bigger than anyone can comprehend.

I take that back. Leo is Leo. Syl is the snake's name. I mistook one for the other, but Syl has always been the silent sensitive dreamer. Leo is also quiet and small, but the two are different from one another. I need all three.

Syl - short for "Sylvester" - is Leo Leyendas' real name. He rarely speaks (he can, he's just very shy) and is physically much smaller than other lions are, being naturally about the same size as Blit even when the two are separate. As more of his story becomes apparent I'll let you know more.

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Blit and Syl - formerly Leo, but delving into his own past has revealed some more about who he really is, and I'll get to that later - experiment with adding all of their limbs to their shared body at once. It's cramped and more than a little clumsy, but it's the kind of thing they can get better at with practice. The snake head is taking more interest in the process, though, and might have some input here too.

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"I thought I had a map to everywhere in the city, but this says you're from a coordinate that doesn't exist."
"I came through Underville."
"...oh. That needs the -real huge- map."

Patch has taken over running Nexus Center now that Blit is off discovering himself, and Gray Mouse has somehow found his way in. Gray's got a long journey ahead of him, but at least the Bitkin are friendly and can offer him room and board while he figures out where he's going next.

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More chimera sketches. One of Blit and Leo as joined together as possible (this form doesn't have a name yet either), and then just the two heads doing expressions. I didn't know how much of an impact the idea of Blit being the "goat" half of a chimera would have, but it's made a ton of sense.

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The official server of the City of Elseways.