The Deeds of AbyssalEros. Activity Report 2021 – Part 7

Today, in the seventh (and likely last) part of my activity report, I will talk about worldbuilding and developing background stories for the Trinity-verse.

As those of you who follow the Society of Lust know, I have created the Trinity-verse based upon our own world. However, to make this world more thrilling and different, I changed the history of this twin of our earth.

The earth of the Trinity-verse is geologically and geographically mainly identical to our world. ‘Mainly’ because the sovereign archipelago state of which the metropolis of Trinity is the capital is not part of our reality.

It is from this city that will play a significant role in the lore of My Life with Laura that the Trinity-verse takes its name from.

Or may I have even a more secret agenda? Why is the capital of that still unrevealed archipelago called Trinity in the first place? Could there be more behind that name?

And those of you who now think it could have something to do with one of the monotheistic religions of our reality are totally wrong. I will not tell you more at this point, as it will be spoiling you. Therefore, I kindly ask you to wait a bit more until everything is revealed within the unfoldings of My Life with Laura.

From a chronological point of view, the Trinity-verse is similar to our own time. However, in the past of the Trinity-verse certain historical events did not occur that influenced our own world’s developments up to the present day. Therefore, the geopolitical situation of the Trinity-verse can hardly be compared with ours.

As you might know, I am a “former” historian, and while many historians disdain it, I often ask myself, “What if?” concerning certain historical events. This is also called “Counterfactual history.” While it is not the same as “Alternative history,” they still have a lot in common. However, while the former is “a method of historical research, [that] explores historical events with an extrapolated timeline in which key historical events either did not occur or had an outcome different from the historical record,” [Source] the latter is far more known outside historical debates and also more entertaining in the form of fiction.

I only point that out because I try to use what I learned throughout my long historical studies to create a plausible alternative timeline for the Trinity-verse by changing certain key historical events or removing them altogether from it. Naturally, the world of the Trinity-verse and its alternative history is still speculative fiction, but I try my best to make it as plausible as possible.

Once again, I hope you will forgive me for not saying too much on this topic, as I intend to have you, the reader/player of the games set within the Trinity-verse, discover the rich lore by yourself. Unearthing this lore and pondering its consequences for the plot will be a significant factor in My Life with Laura. And I really do not want to spoil you in advance.

However, I can tell you that one of the key elements I changed has to do with a particular Egyptian pharaoh and his religious policy, while another key event is a political one of ancient Roman history. In my conviction, these and a few other minor changes would have caused a chain reaction that would have altered the flow of historical events.

Problematic with that approach is as farther down in history you make changes, the greater the diversion from our timeline becomes, and the less accurate or predictable following events become. My alternative history is just that, a fictional one, and while it is, at least for me, closer to the “Best of all possible worlds,” it is certainly not the best, as that would just mean a boring utopia with no stories to tell.

The changes I have made led naturally to a hugely different geopolitical world, which means that most countries and beliefs we know from our world are either hugely dissimilar or do not exist in the Trinity-verse. This is neither a political statement of mine nor any form of discrimination. But if you are either a prude or a hard-line nationalist, I am sure you will not be happy with my world.

As you can imagine, I have a lot of notes, outlines, diagrams, and rough maps that I’ve made over the years to help flesh out the background and lore of the Trinity-verse. After all, I need to rewrite more or less nearly 3,500 years of history and politics.

Unsurprisingly, this task is by far not done yet, as it is a colossal undertaking, but I have already more than enough material to fill several booklets. However, I have already enough suitable material to make the world and its history believable and unpredictably interesting as nothing will be, as you might assume. Initially, you will not notice any differences compared to our world, but soon enough, you will stumble upon clues that the Trinity-verse is indeed different. How much you will find out yourself while you delve inside the story of My Life with Laura.

Sincerely yours,

The Deeds of AbyssalEros. Activity Report 2021 – Part 6

Welcome everybody to the sixth part of my activity report. Today, I will tell you about my fantasies of omnipotence and my glee to torture innocents.

I am just joking. In fact, today, I will talk about being a roleplaying gamer and game master for most of my life, what it means to me, and why it is part of my activity report series.

I have been a role player since the classical D&D red box — and a game master since not much later when the second first German RPG was published in 1984 (and yes, I own the original „indexed“ box). Aside from that short period — okay, it was not that short, as it lasted until 1989 —with Das Schwarze Auge, known in English as The Dark Eye, I later came back to AD&D with its second edition, where I discovered my lasting love for the Forgotten Realms by Ed Greenwood.

Naturally, I played and/or game mastered a lot of other systems, and I collect a lot just for the fun of reading them. But the Forgotten Realms, with all its subsidiaries, like The Horde, Kara-Tur, Matztica, and Al-Qadim combined with Planescape, Spelljammer, and Ravenloft, is and stays my all-time favorite.

In this thrilling mix of settings, I created a campaign in the mid-‘90s, which started right before the Time of Troubles in the year of 1357 DR.

After all those years, this campaign is still going on. But, unfortunately, we had a very long break because of all the issues life imposed upon all of us, and not to a small degree because of my mental breakdown.

When we resumed playing irregularly a few years ago, we switched first from AD&D II shortly to D&D 3.0/3.5 and then to Pathfinder. We also tried out D&D 5. But meanwhile, we use a custom rule mix of the Pathfinder system ported to fit the Forgotten Realms setting how it was before D&D 4). And yes, we totally ignored D&D 4 (rules and Realmslore) and do the same with the actual D&D 5 rules and lore, as we regard them rather as a form of HeroQuest Enhanced instead of being a suitable TTRPG system for our tastes.

Initially, we started to play in the world of Golarion from the Pathfinder setting, as our group is hugely reduced in strength compared to the good old times when we were between 6 to 8 people around the table. We used that time to get ourselves comfortable with the new system; however, my players and I were never thrilled with the world of Golarion, as it just sucks. Eventually, my players, who are also my lifelong friends, nudged me to continue our campaign in the Forgotten Realms, of which I was a long time opposed. I was opposed to that idea as we stopped our campaign around 2005/2006 with 7 players right before a climactic event, and I feared that continuing there would spell certain doom to them. Especially as we still had issues with understanding some rules — mainly because the translators of Pathfinder into German often had no clear understanding of the rule mechanics and apparently at times also had problems understanding the English text. At the same time, they generally lacked the skill to write coherently in German.

After I figured out that most rule issues are based on bad translations, I started to translate the rules myself and declared my translations to overrule any official German rule texts. I fear, in the end, I will have translated most of the rules, so fucked up are the official German translations.

Playing again in the Forgotten Realms also means I need to rework many a spell (mostly renaming them) and many a monster (either by recreating unique classical D&D monsters with Pathfinder stats or using the Pathfinder stats of monsters known in both systems, but with the monster description of the original D&D (Forgotten Realms) version, as those also suck in Pathfinder). Not to mention that I need to convert whole pantheons and their clerics and priests with their powers from D&D 3.0/3.5 to Pathfinder.

As you can see, these alone are massive undertakings, and I still have not talked about all the time needed to work myself back into the lore of the Forgotten Realms and our campaign after so many years.

Unfortunately, we started to resume our campaign right when the pandemic emerged in 2020, and thus we had not much time to seriously play yet. But, on the other side, that gave me enough time to get back into the material, and meanwhile, my players tell me that I am on a good way back to the glorious day of being the best game master they ever knew. I am trying my best to fulfill their expectations – and mine.

I love torturing them with my devious imagination, scaring the shit out of them with my adversaries, stealing their breath with intriguing adventures, and intoxicating them with fantastic plots.

Being a game master is my devotion as much as being a writer — and to be honest, for me, there is no clear distinction between them as I spin tales with both pastimes. And I love to tell stories! My own character is not by chance a bard.

You can imagine, I spent a lot of time reading and preparing the last two years, and doing so inspired my creativity and gave me itches to write more fantasy stories — once more.

As, hopefully, the pandemic is lessening its grip, we resumed playing every second Friday for a while now, and we have a lot of fun doing so. But that also means I need parts of my spare time to prepare those game nights, time that I cannot work on the projects for the Society of Lust or on the content for The Realms of AbyssalEros. However, as being again a game master inspires my creativity, you will eventually profit from it, too. Promise.

Sincerely yours,

The Deeds of AbyssalEros. Activity Report 2021 – Part 5

I know I bragged about my contest entries — images and stories — last time. And I hope you took no offense at it, my friends. However, to be able to achieve those successes, I needed to work hard to improve my skills. And that is precisely what I did most often in my spare time last year.

As you know, while I write since my earliest childhood, I had mental health issues for many years and have not taken up the pen for a very, very long time because of that. It felt at times that I needed to relearn everything, but I tried my best — and still try — to improve to offer you the stories lurking in my mind. And scare the shit out of you with them, make you horny like a perv on sex drugs, or just make you have a good time.

I am by far not as good as I once was, yet. And I am only talking here about my German writings, not my English translations, which is another skill I needed to reclaim and enhance. While English was never a problem for me — I prefer to read my novels in English, as official German translations proved to disappoint me more often than not in the past — I have never written much in English since I left school ages ago.

In the beginning, I wrote all posts and announcements in German and then translated them into English; but now I write them all in English from the very start. I even started to write short stories in English, but I still prefer to write them in German first, where I am more skilled.

I am constantly reading grammar books and books about writing in German and English to improve my skills. And also, my translation works for Tora Productions helped me evolve, especially my English.

All I can hope is that you, my friends, like what I write and want more of it.

In contrast to recovering my writing skills, I needed to start by scratch with digital arts. So not only I needed to learn to use DAZ Studio and 3D rendering with all its quirks, but I also needed to teach myself everything about postwork and how those tools work. I also taught myself a lot about color theory, design, lighting, and composition within the last year. And while I am by far not done with that, as I am constantly learning and discovering new stuff, I like my travel so far and enjoy using my skills to make 3D images — lewd or not — with newly aquired knowledge.

I read a lot of books I collected over the last two years and watched a lot of tutorials and courses about many a topic related to 3D arts and rendering, too many to list them here.

I still need to learn to use Blender to use it in my workflow, but so far, I lacked the time for that. Hopefully, I can change that this year, as I really need to learn to make my own environment to give the Trinity-verse the flair, I want it to have.

I will keep you updated with my venture into learning in the times to come. Stay tuned.

Sincerely yours,

The Deeds of AbyssalEros. Activity Report 2021 – Part 4

While I gave you a report about my translation works last time, today I will sum up my contributions to last year’s contests.

However, I will start already with December 2020, when I miraculously made first place in the 2020 3D Holiday Contest with my image of Santa’s Moonlit Pipe Dream and also made second place in the 2020 Writers Holiday Contest with my story, The Long Silent Night. I tell you this once more because I closed the year of 2021 with a follow-up story, The Annual Winter Fair of Elves, Gnomes, and Dwarves, which won first place in the 2021 Writers Holiday Contest.

In February 2021, I partook in three 3D art contests at Renderosity, the 3D Dolls Contest, My Greatest Catch Contest, and Pin-Up Poster Contest. Astoundingly, I managed again to make a place, namely the third one in the 3D Dolls Contest with the image Master of My Universe. My contributions for the other two contests were My Greatest Catch and Cybernetic Burlesque.

In March 2021, Renderosity held an Animals & Creatures Contest, wherein I made third place again with my image, An Evening at Monsters’ Rest.

In April 2021, I joined two more contests at Renderosity, where I made third place once more with my image, Disappearing Humanity, at the Invisible Human Contest. But apparently, I am not that funny, as my contribution to the Funny Contest, Twiggy the Bouncer, had to stay outside the victory party.

In June 2021, I contributed my entries to the Watercolor and the Charcoal Contest of Renderosity. My contribution, The Black Guardian, made third place in the first one, while my contribution, The Lions, did not impress in the latter.

In July 2021, I partook with my image, Into the Dragon’s Lair, in the My Pet Contest, without success.

In August 2021, I sent the girls from My Life with Laura into the Swimsuit Contest with the image, Full Volley Fun, and contributed an illustration, The Prison of Venus Infernalis, for the Triptych Contest; both without success.

In September 2021, I contributed to two more contests, the Nostalgia TV Contest and the Film Noir Contest. Unfortunately, my images for them, The Adventures of Bloody Vicky and The Most Intimate Case, in that order respectively, failed again to catch any prizes.

In October 2021, I joined the fray of the annual Halloween contests with entries for the 2021 3D Halloween Contest: Los Días de los Muertos and the 2021 Writers Halloween Contest: 2 Sentence Horror Stories. My image entry, The Melancholic Chasing after Long-Lost Things, showing Tizia from the Trinity-verse, failed to climb the post, but my Horror Story entry, Void, made the first place.

In December 2021, I also joined the annual Holiday Contest with an image and a story contribution. That I made first place with the latter, I already told you at the beginning of this report; my image entry, Remembrance of Gramps, for the 2021 3D Holiday Contest: December Around the World was not so lucky.

Throughout the whole year, I also partook at every single contest at Slushe, and while usually most of my images got featured on that site, not once did one of my contest entries got featured, and thus my entries stayed unnoticed. However, I will not be bothering you again, how that eventually led to me letting Slushe behind me. If you want to know more and have not yet, check out parts 1 and 2 of this activity report series.

As you see, I was quite busy testing my skills in competitions, using those contests to force myself to improve. And I hope you can see my evolution and stay with me to see what I will come up with next.

Again I reached the second page of my report, but luckily I also reached the end of this part. Thus, see you next time.

Sincerely yours