The same forces that make Jolene popular with readers function in universe for her as well.
Those of you who steadfastly refuse to use any of the many social media outlets I make myself available to you with, who are also brave enough to return to a site with malware warnings, might well be curious about what happened. The short version is that it was a hoax. My host’s ad system was hacked in a very small window of vulnerability by an attack that makes it look like sites affected are infected with malware when they are not. It targeted Chrome users specifically and since Google owns most of the internet the warnings spread out from there. It was a deliberate attack meant to harm one, or many, people who use the network. This is the information as I understand it. There was never any danger. In fact I never even got a warning on a single one of my devices. Had no one said anything I would be completely unaware of the attack even now. I have no idea why that is. Generally I use IE and Safari and I guess they don’t give two fucks what Chrome (or Firefox) thinks about things.
Google reviews problems like this in order of popularity. Meaning that Questionable content had its warning taken away waaaaay before mine. I think my warning finally expired after about a day and a half, give or take. The security problem was patched and that type of attack is, as far as I know, unlikely to work again. So that’s what all that shit was about. For the most part the ads I run are safe but every so often someone has to dick it up. If ever the site does do something fishy try to get a screenshot and don’t do whatever stupid thing the ad tries to get you to do. Like the one that tries to get you to upgrade your flash player… Don’t do that. The site should never do anything apart from show you a comic. If it tries to do anything else be sure to let me know. Alternately you can contact Hiveworks on their twitter feed (Or whatever else they use. I only use twitter and email though.) Ultimately that’s who I will contact so if you want to leave me out of the loop feel free.
Now, before the last crash you could have just switched over to the dotnet version of the site, but it remains destroyed and will remain that was for as long as it takes for some family issues to be sorted out. In the event that something goes wrong here are a list of places you can contact me.
The deviantart isn’t a good place for news, but you can contact me there. The facebook links are essentially the same thing, but one is my personal account but since I make no distinction between my personal life and my work it doesn’t matter what one you use. Twitter is great because you get to enjoy my puns and other various droppings of wit. Tumblr will likely become the fallback position if anything ever really fucks the website over. At least until such time that I can fix the spare. The email is just my email. The old site account quit working so I just started using the Hotmail backup I made. It’s also my messenger name so if you want to chat on it go ahead. I figured out a long time ago that the best way to prevent stalkers was to let people talk to me for about 5 minutes. Just long enough for them to realize how tiresome and irritating I am “in person”. I am much better on paper than in practice. I seriously will talk to you and god forbid you catch me in a chatty mood.
Anyway, I always try to make myself as available to you guys as possible. If anything ever goes wrong there’s all these ways to contact me. So, go ahead on.
The room was quiet beyond quiet. It was little more than an empty square of stone. It was cold, dry, and a film of grit covered the floor. No person had been in this room for years without count. It seemed almost a crime to disturb it. In spite of the fact that the room was ventilated it was agreed that starting a fire was a bad idea. Niona produced a small lantern. That glowed with a small blue flame. It became their only light source.
The idea of going without a hot meal didn’t please Julius, but the three party members who had started the quest with an idea of what was going to happen had though to bring food that didn’t require cooking. Niona, whose pack was the most burdened, seemed to have tried to pack for any eventuality. How she lugged the thing around without withering beneath its weight was beyond him. Hard breads, biscuits, cheese, dried meats, candy, jellies, jams, among other things were set out on her blanket for the group to enjoy. The nature of the food caused them to eat in silence for most of the meal. The sounds of their consumption reflected back and around the walls. They were all feeling uneasy about staying in the claustrophobic space, but no one said so. By the end of the meal all save Niona seemed jaw worn by the act of chewing the difficult food. Julius couldn’t help but wonder if her prominent teeth had magical properties beyond her smile.
Eventually Niona began making nervous small talk. Her familiarity with Alina and Regalius made it hard to continue finding topics so increasingly her attention turned to Julius. The others were not only glad to have attention drawn from themselves but also to learn more about their untested party member.
“Have you lived in the city all your life?” Niona asked
“No, I came there after my village was sacked.” Julius replied morosely. “It was the first place to be attacked and bore my family name.”
“I knew I’d heard that name before!” Alina exclaimed, leaning forward quickly. “They say it was the first time anyone lay eyes on the Skeleton King.”
“I don’t know if that’s true,” said Julius “but less than ten pairs of eyes lived to tell the tale, including mine.”
“Did you get a good look? What was he like?” Regalius asked, unable to maintain his air of arrogant dissinterest.
“He was just a boy as far as I could tell.” Julius replied, his responses sounding more and more distant with each question. “He could have been my age. Maybe younger, but men bowed before him as though he was a god. They obeyed without question. We had no idea what was happening until it was too late.”
“A boy?” Regalius scowled. “I thought he was called the Skeleton King because he was one. That’s what I’ve always heard.”
“That was the only time he appeared on a battlefield, or so they say.” Alina explained. “I’ve seen reports from most of the survivors, even they don’t agree on what he looked like. I doubt he he wandered into the town and declared himself Skeleton King and started ruining the place.”
“You’re right.” Said Julius “He didn’t get that name until later. When he started sending the reanimated into battle instead of men. He was only the Skeleton King retroactively. I don’t think even his closest minions know his true name. If they did they never spoke it.”
“How could you know that?” Regalius asked with a hint of accusation in his voice.
“I was guarding the shrine when he wandered into town.” Julius relied, emotionless. “The only person to actually face him in combat.”
“Nonsense!” Regalius exclaimed. “I don’t believe a word of it!”
“No one ever does. That’s why I quit telling the story.” For a moment Alina locked eyes with Julius. Deceit made no home there. Regret, perhaps, sadness… but not deceit.
“What did he want?” Alina asked.
“I think he thought our shrine held a weapon, but whatever secrets it kept they died with my family.” Julius explained. “I wasn’t old enough to learn them. He had already killed most of the town before he thought to ask anyone what you were supposed to activate the shrine… and I didn’t know. He beat me nearly to death trying to get me to tell him, but I couldn’t.”
“I’ve been to that shrine.” Alina said. “The alter is still there, intact.”
“Yep… I still don’t know how to open the damn thing.”