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Powers-Comic-Book1

Hello and greetings my geeky cabal. I apologize, once again, for my absence. Life, as it likes to do, has been getting all up in the way again.

Nevertheless, we are all here now, and we’re here to be nerds, yes?

I agree, Doctor!

Let’s be ridiculous!!

I’ve been catching up on my comic book reading (because I LOVE them), and I came across a series I had originally thought I had been done with, mostly because I thought it had been abandoned, but I honestly should have known better.

Yes friends, I’m talking about the amazing comic by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Michael Avon Oeming: Powers.

For those of you who have not had the chance to read this comic, OMG GO AND GET THIS SERIES NOW AND READ IT, FOR IT IS FULL OF AMAZEBALLSNESS!! (yes that is a real word…that I totally made up)

Now, that’s done, let me tell you a little bit about this series:

The title follows a pair of Chicago homicide detectives, Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim, who, having just been partnered together, investigate super-power related murders.

Yes, yes, you guessed it, superheroes are running wild in this story and, apparently, dropping like flies. Hell, someone has to solve these murders, right?

Now, some time ago, it was announced that FX was casting and producing a Powers television series.

Due to some recasting and re-writing of the pilot script, the show has been put on a bit of a hiatus (That’s what the internet said, anyway), but since I’ve gone and fallen in love with the series again, I figured that I’d cast this thing myself.

Due to the insanely huge cast of characters we meet throughout the series, I’ve just done the casting for the main roles we’d see during the first story arc: “Who Killed Retro Girl?” Which would be the introductory story arc of the show’s first season.

See? I’ve got this all figured out!

My version of the show would be aired on HBO. If you’ve read the comic, you’d never ask me why

I’d have the scripts penned by Bendis, because, honestly, who knows the material better than he does?

The show would be directed by Greg Beeman from the Heroes, Smallville, and Falling Skies.

Okay, lets get started!

"That Championship Season" Broadway Opening Night - After Party walkerc

Christian Walker – Played by Jason Patric

- I know, I know, this is the same casting from the original FX casting, but I really love this actor from his role in The Lost Boys. For anyone not born in the 80′s who hasn’t seen this at some point….STOP right now. Go and watch that movie, then come back for the rest of this!        Now that we have gotten that over with, look at the drawing and then look at him. He’s got the look and the severity to pull off the role of the former super-hero turned Homicide Detective.

claire-holt-2 deena pilgrim

Deena Pilgrim – played by Claire Holt

- People who haven’t seen her in The Vampire Diaries might not get my choice for Deena. But Claire Holt has everything that Deena Pilgrim has: sex appeal, the aptitude for physicality, and attitude out of the wazoo!!! I’m not sure I can think of anyone else to go from Klaus’s troublemaking mean-girl original vampire sister to playing the ass kicking rookie detective with entirely too much to prove! to herself and her new partner. (Even though he never really requires proof.) She just needs a bit of a haircut…

kristen-bell-epicuren-pumpkin-enzyme-peel retro girl

Retro Girl – played by Kristen Bell

- So, initially, K.B. was my first choice to play Deena Pilgrim; I mean, she’s cute, she’s short, and boy does she have a mouth on her (See Heroes and Forgetting Sarah Marshall). However, going through the casting process I came to the effervescent character of Retro Girl and could think of no one to play the most popular character in the Powers universe. Granted, you’d see her initially in the first episode as the murder victim that would kick off the show’s first arc and then through the rest of the series in a series of flashbacks, her bubbly personality and overall awesomeness would shine through.

Chi_Mcbride-3 captain cross

Captain Cross – played by Chi McBride

- I personally love this actor from Pushing Daisies, where he played a private investigator. Since every cop drama needs an ass-kicking, no-nonsense, hard-ass police chief/captain, Chi is my perfect casting, seriously. If there’s any doubt of this check him out in Pushing Daisies, Boston Public, and as Nick Fury in Ultimate Spider-Man.

tucker DHL

Doctor Tucker – played by David H. Lawrence XVII

- I’ve been a fan of David’s ever since he appeared on Heroes as the creep-tastic Puppet Master Eric Doyle, so he was my first choice to fill the role of the good doctor. I think he’s got the range to pull off the neurotic, completely out of his depth coroner. His conversations with the detectives would be awesome.

pg-24-james-franco-obama 1878552-kutter

Detective Kutter – played by James Franco

- James has the scruffy pretty-boy thing going for him. After his performance as the smarmy Harry Osborn in the Spider-Man films (well, at least the 2nd and the one that we don’t talk about), I think he would be able to amp up the level of smarmy for the role of Kutter. (and have you seen him in General Hospital? Well, I haven’t but I hear he plays quite the asshole. Get em’ James!!)

MV5BMjE4NTAyOTkyOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzI1NjM1Mg@@._V1._SY314_CR3,0,214,314_ Triphammer

Henry Cohen/Triphammer – played by Jack Coleman

- I became a big fan of Jack during his run on Heroes as “H.R.G.” (The Man with “Horned Rimmed Glasses”) later revealed to be named Noah Bennet. His performance in the role is why I nominate him for the role of the hard ass Iron Man of this universe. He’s already got the “do whatever it takes to get the job done” experience, he’d be perfect!

MV5BMTk3NTczODg1OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDY0NTUxMw@@._V1._SX214_CR0,0,214,314_ Calista

Calista – played by Mackenzie Foy

- So I know what you’re thinking: “Isn’t this the same kid that played the creepy half-breed girl in the last Twilight movie? Also, how do you know that?”

No one worry about that.

Anyway, she’s a cute kid who would be awesome as the little girl Christian saves in the first arc, spewing obscenities and dreaming about Retro Girl. Also, she’s about the right age.

Tricia-Helfer-2 Zora

Zora – played by Tricia Helfer

- Whether she’s in the role of Battlestar Galactica‘s “Caprica Six” or she’s voicing the hilarious A.I. “EDI” from Bioware’s Mass Effect series, Tricia has the looks and the intensity to fill out the role of the super powered, vizor wearing Zora. Also, she’d look super hot in the costume.

MV5BMTI2MTc5OTQ0M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjY1Mjg4Mg@@._V1._SX214_CR0,0,214,314_ Ted Henry

Ted Henry – played by Bruce Boxleitner

- One word for you here: TRON!!! Seriously, with a voice as recognizable as his, I can seriously think of no one else to fill the role of the host of the series’s late night news/talk show “Powers That Be”. Honestly, with a voice like that it isn’t too much of a stretch to see him go from the one who fights for the user to the man that does and says whatever it takes to bring you the latest breaking news on the super powered elite.

MV5BMTU3NzM5MjUwMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNDM2NDky._V1._SX214_CR0,0,214,314_ johnny royalle

Johnny Royale – played by Ray Liotta

- if there is anyone on the planet more suited to play the calm, collected, teleporting Gangster, then I don’t care. Seriously, look at this guy’s resume, entirely too much gangster cred NOT to play this role.

MV5BMTc1NDUzMzM5MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzY1OTYyOQ@@._V1._SX214_CR0,0,214,314_ the Wolf

The Wolf – played by Vincent Cassel

- I’ve honestly never seen anything that this guy has been in, but look at him. He looks both creepy and insanely intense. I think he’s pretty solid in this role and I’d love to see him under the green light of a “Drainer”. I would say more about this character but as River Song would say:

Spoilers

yes ma’am!

aaron-taylor-johnson-keeps-mum-about-his-film-roles_GB jja

John Jackson Stevens – played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson

- Yes, Kick-Ass himself. He’s got a nerdy awkwardness that, under a certain light, could be pretty creepy. Stick some glasses on him and give him an obsessive kind of psychosis, and here you have the villain of the first arc in the series!

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

And there we are, friends. I know I’ve left out some characters, but I felt that I got the more important ones of the first arc. Hopefully FX will actually pull the show together for the public to see, but I won’t hold my breath until I hear something one way or the other.

In any case, that’s it for now! If you like it, have characters you want to comment on/add or even if you don’t agree with any of my choices: comment, subscribe, like, and sound-off!!

If you have any suggestions as to what my next Casting Call should be, comment to your heart’s content.

Until the next time.

DFTBA

That’s right! Give it on up!!

So, something happened no long ago that I’ve been sitting on, until today.

I’m seriously about to burst with the excitement of it all, I feel like Sandal from the Dragon Age games and I kind of want to run around the house yelling “ENCHANTMENT!!”

So, I recently came upon a really cool website called Nerd Like You. It’s what you might expect: a site written for nerds by nerds, like many others out there on the web. Except…

This one really hit me though. The level of enthusiasm, the writing styles of the many writers, and even the name of the site itself, struck a chord with me. I read as many articles from the site as my brain could handle (that’s a LOT, in case you’re wondering) and I fell in love with the site and its staff of amazing writers.

So I did what any self-respecting nerdy blogger would do.

I wrote to the editor and inquired about writing for the site.

Here’s where it gets awesome.

As it turns out, Susie McBeth, the editor for Nerd like You, had also come across my blog (Yup you read that right, THIS one!) and was hoping to invite me to write for them as well!

I frelling leapt at it!!

Seriously, My brain is still happy-dancing, which makes it hard to focus on writing, one could imagine.

Well, all of that to say, my first article for Nerd Like You posted this morning and I’m super proud of it! Check it out if you like and also, seriously, check out the other AMAZING writers for the site.

Now don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere, I’ll still be brining you guys some amazing awesomeness here. I haven’t abandoned you. I LOVE you guys!

 

Anyway, I hope you enjoy your day and I’m going to go and do some more of the happy dancing stuff from before.

 

“ENCHANTMENT!!!!”

(okay, I couldn’t help myself that time)

 

So I’ve been horrible at keeping up with writing out the synopses of the adventures of the Dungeons and Dragons party of Barrel and Hammer, so I’ve decided upon another avenue to keep up with the colorful cast of characters…

INTERVIEWS!!

So, my general thought is this: I start out with a series of intro interviews with the Player Characters and then, after every session, do a group interview session based on the adventure we’re running and where they are at that point in time.

I imagine that there will be a ton of hilarity to ensue.

Seriously, just looking at a party like this makes me want to talk the stuff...

Seriously, just looking at a party like this makes me want to talk the stuff…

Here’s where the hard part comes in…I’ve never conducted an interview before, so I’m kind of lost on what to ask these characters.

Here’s where you come in.

While I’ve posted something similar on my Facebook page, I am also bringing my question to you, my followers. What kinds of questions should I ask? What kind of questions would you like to be asked if you were in an adventuring party?

Leave a comment and your questions just might get included in the interview.

Until then, May the Dice roll ever in your favor!

So, after hearing about and refusing to play any of the Pokemon games or its multiple (and I mean 我的天阿, there are SO MANY of them!!) clones, rip-offs, and crazy-pants alternate versions of it, I slowly began hearing of a new new game franchise being added to the mix.

Now, I watched Pokemon, and Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Digimon when I was younger. I even tried watching Card Captors or whatever it was called (someone help me out with that one), but couldn’t really get into any of them. Pokemon was fun and hilarious at times, but the only characters that resonated with me were the actual Pokemon themselves, and there seemed to be few episodes dedicated to them.

Though, I do vaguely remember one episode where the pokemon were the central characters but they still spoke poke-speak (Is there another name for that language where they all just say their names in odd-damn-ball ways? There has to be, right?)

What is he saying?? Is it Pika-nese, Pikachian, Pika, Pokenese, Pokemonian? WHAT ARE THEY SAYING???

What is he saying?? Is it Pika-nese, Pikachian, Pika, Pokenese, Pokemonian? WHAT ARE THEY SAYING???

Anyway, when the video games came out for game boy and all of its iterations, I didn’t really hold much interest in it. It sounded like so much work; running around, capturing these (mostly) cute little creatures and forcing them to fight for you to prove that you’re the best trainer alive. For some reason it just didn’t appeal to me.

Then came Skylanders Giants. Now, I admit, I was super skeptical of this game at first. It seemed like it was a knock-off of all the other “collect creatures and make them fight for you” games, so i wrote it off. Then I started hearing about it on two fronts:

My dear friend, Jesse, who has a nephew who is just silly over the game; and My sister-in-law, J.J., who has a son…also pretty silly over the game and has been doing his best to convince me to get the game myself. Well as of my birthday: Mission Accomplished, Aiden.

Mission Accomplished.

So, for all of you who haven’t heard of this game before (because you don’t have kids or live in a cupboard under the stairs) let me explain what makes this game so brilliant.

Hey, I get it. It's hard to get your gaming information when THIS is where you live. Sorry, Harry!

Hey, I get it. It’s hard to get your gaming information when THIS is where you live. Sorry, Harry!

So, when you buy the game with the starter pack it includes the game itself (available on MULTIPLE platforms, but we’ll get to why that’s awesome in a sec, be patient), but it also comes with a PORTAL OF POWER (just imagine that being said by the booming voice of James Earl Jones…oh yeah…):

This looks pretty cool. It glows even!!

This looks pretty cool. It glows even!!

What the hell is that thing for? Oh, I’m getting to that. Wait for it! You also get three figures. Which Figures you get all depend on what platform you buy it for, mostly. You plug in the portal to your console, power that bad boy up and then start the game.

Now I won’t get too much into the story, but suffice it to say you are fighting an evil Palpatine wannabe named Kaos who seems to want to take over the world and laugh like a crazy person. Normal villian-type stuff, sure. Enter the Skylanders, the heroes of this world. It is your job as “Portal Master” to make sure that the Skylanders are able to enter the world and defend it.

How do I do that? I thought you’d ask that! Here’s where the figures I mentioned come in. When you place any of the figures on the PORTAL OF POWER (and yes, I am going to keep doing that) that figure then materializes in the most insane, chezy, catch-phrasey way within the game itself.

Each figure has its own abilities and attacks based on the elemental family it belongs to. There are eight elements altogether: Earth, Air, Fire, Magic, Water, Life, Tech and Undead and while you might think that each elemental family might have a gripe with the others, there doesn’t appear to be anything like that in the game.

You also have two different kinds of Skylanders; you have the original type as featured in the prequel game, Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure (yeah, remember him, PS One fans? well….he’s back!), and you have Giants. The Giants are each the leaders of their respective element types and have been kind of missing for a while (though, how one could miss them I’ll never understand, they’re pretty distinctive…and huge!). The Giants are able to move through obstacles the other Skylanders can’t and access areas that are not within reach of the others.

Plus they look really bad-ass!

So bad-ass! Also...I don't think that there's any amount of "Clear Eyes" that can help him...

So bad-ass! Also…I don’t think that there’s any amount of “Clear Eyes” that can help him…

The gameplay is pretty cool too. You unlock more attacks to upgrade your skylander as you go, making them more powerful and pretty much more badd-ass. One of the cooler things about this is that, rather than saving all of your progress to the console itself you save your character’s progress to the figure itself thanks to NCF (near field communication) technology.

What does this mean, you ask?

Well it means that you can take your own figures, with all of their saved data, to the homes of anyone who happens to have the game and their own PORTAL OF POWER (told ya) and play with your character there. There is also a battle mode of the game that allows you to play, head to head, with someone who has their own saved skylander.

Here’s one of the more genius things about this game, though; and I dare say that this is what has helped the success of this franchise: Toys.

I mean, sure, the game is colorful and fun to play; it’s like a lighter version of Diablo marketed to young children.

And, yes, Patrick Warburton does a hilarious job in voice acting as one of the supporting characters in the game (spoiler, no spoilers!!).

oh alright, but this is the ONLY spoiler you get!

oh alright, but this is the ONLY spoiler you get!

The awesome and genius thing about this (and parents might roll their eyes at this) is the figures. Any new content, be it playable characters or landscapes, are accessible by purchasing figures and other toys, and believe me when I tell you there are a LOT of them. There is nothing in the way of downloadable content, but lots of toys that kids go bananas over. (I own five of them, myself) I’ve stood shoulder to, er, waist with several young gamers, all clawing and begging for new Skylanders toys. (seriously, it’s quite the site. I don’t think I had ever been so afraid for my life…or my non-existant cotton candy…kids still eat that, right?). What’s more awesome is that there are so many of these toys that there will always be more characters and content to add to the game.

Is Skylanders Giants the uber addictive gateway game for kids and adults that everyone makes it out to be?

Yes.

Will kids be talking about this for the next few years?

Likely.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, Eye-Brawl and I have our eye on some baddies in need of pummeling!

(Yeah…that was a terrible joke…remind me never to do that again…in this post…)

 

Good morn or evening, friends…

So I have a confession to make to you. Something that I’ve had to confess to myself recently.

I am afraid.

Scratch that.

I’m frelling Terrified.

So very afraid...

So very afraid…

Fear has been ruling my life in some way for a very long time. Likely since before I realized, during my college years, that I had been living with Depression (which, I’m sure, has played its own part in all of this). I have, very recently, decided that this can no longer be a factor in my life. I will not live in fear. I refuse it. I reject it!

“But Sphinx, you seem like you have it together. What could you possibly be afraid of?”

Well, curious reader, a number of things. Many of these fears have been present ever since I was a wee one. (yeah, I just said “wee one” like I’m Scottish. My last name is Duncan. I’m allowed. )

Lets go down the list of them and then break down why these fears can no longer be a valid thing for me:

1. I’ve been afraid, for the longest time, of failure. That if I try, in any way, to pursue my dreams that I will fail; and not just fail, but fail in a way that is absolutely devastating and impossible to recover from. This fear has, honestly, kept me from accomplishing entirely too many of the things I have dreamed of doing. My Music and My Writing, namely.

There is an underlying fear there that is the cause of this.

2. I’m afraid that, deep down, I am a Charlatan and that someone will find out and point at me and laugh, and that all of the universe will laugh with them and I’ll want to crawl into a hole somewhere and cry myself to death.

phony

Seriously, who wants this guy showing up at your door?

- note: I don’t know that one can actually cry one’s self to death, it’s unreasonable, I know, but try telling that to the nagging voice in my head that points and laughs at me on occasion.

I know that this is a stupid fear. I know that I am talented. I know that I have worked hard to cultivate and improve upon that talent. I know, I know that I am what I have always believed myself to be. I also know that if I don’t pursue my dreams and try to create the kind of life I dream of that I will die inside and be unfulfilled for the rest of my days.

No one wants that. I would become a bitter, horrible person.

Or a Congressman. [Shudders]

Yet this stupid voice in my head tells me that I’m not good enough, and because that fear is using my voice to project itself, it’s very hard not to pay attention. I know. I get it.

And I seriously need to kick that voice in the balls and get over it.

Here’s a fun one:

3. I am afraid that I have, or will, at some point become undesirable to my wife.

This one is stupid. I know this, but it also stems from an old and long standing issue I’ve had with my self-image.

It’s crappy. I have a crap self image and I always have.

I’m sure it stems from all of the crap I had to deal with from some of my peers growing up. (Mainly the girls – Hell’s Bells that was a shit time) I’m the kind of person who takes things to heart, especially back then when I felt like no one really liked me in that way. (oh the stories I could tell you on that subject…[sigh])

It’s so strange, the things that stick with you and carve an impression onto your psyche.

I look at my incredibly gorgeous wife and I have to ask myself: “How the hell did I luck out and get her?” Seriously, I’ve asked that. I often wonder what miracle I performed in a past life that I land someone as Gorgeous as she is. There are times when I still feel like she is so out of my league and that one day she will realize that and run for the hills. Or Taye Diggs. Damn that Taye Diggs and his boyish charm and captivating smile!

You stay away from her, you beautiful man, you! You can't have her!

You stay away from her, you beautiful man, you! You can’t have her!

I tell her about these things and she gives me her best “for a genius, you really can be an idiot” look. She assures me that, while she finds Taye Diggs to be an attractive man (DAMN YOU TAYE!!), I am sexier by far. And she makes me smile and blush and all of that and I feel assured that I have married myself an amazing woman.

But I still don’t feel any more attractive. Not to myself, I don’t.

Stupid voice in my head.

Stupid years of that voice being fed by myself and other people.

I am working on changing that, and kicking that voice off of real estate that can be used to be more awesome!

One day soon, I will feel less like a freak and more like an attractive human being.

Don't look at me. I'm not sexy enough...

Don’t look at me. I’m not sexy enough…

4. I’m deeply afraid of failing as a father.

This is a huge deal for me. I’ve never been a dad before (unless you count the co-raising of my little sister and she turned out alright, I think) and I’m terrified that I will so or say something, especially during her formative years that I can’t change and that will scar her for life.

More than that, I never want to have the kind of relationship that my father and I had before I moved out. I felt like I was being antagonized and attacked on so many levels. I felt like nothing I could ever do would make him proud of me or even accept me as I was. I felt like I was being pushed away so hard that it eventually led me to moving out before the situation could escalate the way I was always afraid it would.

I’m glad that things eventually got better and that my father and I are on great terms now, but those memories, especially one in particular, are burned into me.

I never want to make my daughter feel like that.

I would rather die a hundred thousand deaths than have her ever feel the way I felt.

This was something I had vowed to never do ever since then. She will never go through that. Ever.

But the fear still remains.

look at her! Who wouldn't want to do everything possible to give this kid a happy life?

look at her! Who wouldn’t want to do everything possible to give this kid a happy life?

5. the last fear that I will divulge is the fear of being insignificant.

Let’s face it: as much as I might say that my writing and my music is more for me than anyone else, I want to be heard, I want my writing to be read. I want to be validated as an artist and a writer.

Hell, I want to feel validated as a person! I want fans, I want followers, I people to see me on the street and say “Wait, you’re that guy! You’re awesome.”

You know…or something to that effect.

In the end, I know that what I am doing is and will be seen by people. I know that I am not insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

But there is also that part of my brain that notices all of the less than stellar art and music and literature out there and how amazingly popular they all are. How can I compete with that? What hope is there for me when the likes of Nikki Minaj [shudder] and Justin Beiber [wretch] are idolized.

There is a simple answer to this. One that I am recently coming to after careful consideration:

I am not in competition with them. I am not in competition with any of them.

As James Brown would say: “I’m just gonna get up and do MY thang!”

James sure knew how to do his thang. Yeah...he did it well too!

James sure knew how to do his thang. Yeah…he did it well too!

I guess the point with this one is that, while maybe Rock Star status might not be for me, I’d settle for recognition if only at the level of cult following (yeah, I get that even reaching for that is a bit of a much, but I’m allowed, right?). I want to feel like I matter in the world, like I make an impact somehow with my writing and my music. Of course the first step in that is simple: I need to DO IT MORE!

The more I write/perform/record, the more content there is for people to find. I would really like to be found…and liked. That, I think, would be nice.

I just hope that it’s not asking for too much.

These are just some of the fears that have been controlling my life from the backstage of my mind. They are all valid in their own right, but at the same time they are fears that are conquerable.

They are fears that exist only in my mind, and I refuse to be ruled by them anymore.

Why am I sharing this with you? You wonder.

Well, a couple of reasons come to mind: Firstly, because it’s good to get them out. Talking about them, getting these thoughts and fears out in the open, also gives me the opportunity to plan ways to conquer them. Gives me a space to reflect on them and remember why they need to be conquered.

Secondly, because I like you guys. This blog is about me sharing things. I can assume that you all deal with fear on some level yourselves. It’s nice to have that solidarity, even if it’s silent. It’s good to know that one is not alone when dealing with things they fear.

You’re not alone either.

And now, because I find it appropriate on a nerd blog to include it, the Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear from Frank Herbert’s Dune:

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.

Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

This will be my new mantra.

Thanks for listening, friends.

Catch you next time.

Happy Gallifreyan Regeneration Day

Hello, my peoples!! (I really need to come up with a better term of endearment for you all)

Since I don’t celebrate the Holiday of Easter and I honestly don’t really feel like making any Zombie Jesus jokes…

 

…okay…okay, you twisted my arm. I’ll make just the one!! Sheesh!!

Trust me, I could have gone a bit farther than this...I REALLY could have. The day is still early yet!

Trust me, I could have gone a bit farther than this…I REALLY could have. The day is still early yet!

In any case, keeping upon the theme and excitement of the continuation of my favorite show, I have renamed today Gallifreyan Regeneration Day, in honor of the man from Gallifrey who has time and time again rescued us from the clutches of the Dalek, Cybermen, and the Silence.

How, you ask?

Excellent Question.

I’d like to share a video with you of all of the Doctor’s regenerations over the 50 year history of the show. The man has changed his face a total of ten times in his adventures in saving the  universe. Here’s a good look at them all. Remember, regenerations should only be performed by experienced Time Lords. Do NOT try this at home, kids.

Well, unless you happen to BE a Time Lord with two hearts and a fancy blue box that’s bigger on the inside.

Have a safe and happy Regeneration Day.

Or, whatever it is you happen to be celebrating today!

Catch you guys later!

 

So, happy Easter, or Ostare, or whatever rite of Spring-renewal-ness you all are celebrating at the moment. I know, I know: It’s been way too long since my last posting and “where the hell have you gone?” and “where’s the latest on the D&D adventure you’re running, are you still even doing that?”

Answers:

1. I Haven’t gone anywhere, not really. I just have been really lazy and not motivated to post at all. I realize that this means that no one gets to read the stuff I think up and want to talk about and I’m sorry about that, I truly am. Sometimes life just gets in the way…or I get in the way…or Skyrim…yeah, we’ll blame Skyrim.

Sorry buddy. We still have great times together and someone's gotta take the fall for this. We'll always have Solstheim!!

Sorry buddy. We still have great times together and someone’s gotta take the fall for this. We’ll always have Solstheim!!

 

2. I know, I know!! Yes I am still running that campaign, and yes it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything of note. See above reasoning for that. Don’t worry, though, I haven’t been completely slacking off. I have prepared a comprehensive synopsis of what’s happened since the last time you heard from your heroes. In fact, after tonight’s session, I plan to add to it and post it, finally. There. Happy now?

Seriously though, I do miss you all and I want to get myself back to a pace where I am writing regularly again and with life as it has been the last month or two and then going forward, I should have plenty to write about, be it in my own life or just commenting on something ridiculous I happened to see or read or hear somewhere.

Which brings me to this post in particular.

My Birthday is in a week and a day.

Just look at this suave looking motherfraker right here! Give this man some cake!!

Just look at this suave looking motherfraker right here! Give this man some cake!!

[waits for the screaming applause...still waiting...]

I’ve been fortunate enough to have been able to cling to this beautiful insanity of a planet for the last 32 solar revolutions.

Here’s the part where I get all Ray Lamontagne on you, and get into how I “never learned to count my blessings. I choose instead to dwell on my disasters.” True to my usual form of birthday-time introspection self deprecation blah blah blah, yakety smackety.

Except, I’m not going to do that.

Not this time.

No! None of that! you hear me? you cut that out right now, Mister!!

No! None of that! you hear me? you cut that out right now, Mister!!

I admit that there has been some rather crap moments throughout the year, I have to say that there have been some crazy moments that I happen to be pretty frelling proud of. So I think I’d like to talk about those.

1. I’m still frelling ALIVE!!

- Yes, that is totally a thing and if you don’t believe me, just ask anyone who is dead. Go on…I’ll wait.

Seriously though, getting to remain on this planet, with my wife and little girl (she’s 3 now. Can you frelling believe that? I know! I’m still having a crazy time wrapping my head around it.) is a huge blessing. If you are a believer in a spiritual path or not, being alive and having a family that loves you and that you love just as much is something to take a second and just feel amazingly grateful for. So there!

2. I’ve made considerable progress in the writing of my Novel.

- This is a project that I started a little over a decade ago. It has been through so many changes and iterations that I honestly thought I would never ever sit down and finally write out any lengthy amount of it.  Thanks to participating in NaNoWriMo, I’ve finally put some permanence to the world I’ve created and have written enough that I can’t turn back now and change things. I have to see it through and I WILL.

Just keep writing, just keep writing, just keep writing, writing, writing...

Just keep writing, just keep writing, just keep writing, writing, writing…

Even if I still haven’t thought of a title yet…details! Minor details.

3. I’ve become a DM. (Dungeon Master)

- This is a title I never thought I would take on, having been such a fan of the player aspect of Table Top RolePlay, but after playing with a couple of groups and getting my own ideas about what would make for fun experiences for players, it felt like a natural progression. The campaign I’m running is full of intrigue and insanity, and the players in the group are incredibly intelligent and strategic. We are constantly keeping each other on our A game and I’m having an absolute blast with it! And I haven’t killed any of my players…yet! [queue ominous soap opera music]

It's not fancy. it's not crazy. But it's mine, and it has Legos!! D20s and Legos FTW!!!

It’s not fancy. it’s not crazy. But it’s mine, and it has Legos!! D20s and Legos FTW!!!

4. I am expanding my circle of friends.

- This might not seem like a huge deal to some, but I can be a bit of an introvert and if I get myself in with a group and feel comfortable with them, I tend to stick with them for a while and not really let go. With the job change and just the general meeting of new people, this has changed a bit. I’m in a Pathfinder game group with some guys that I work with and I’m having a great time. I still hang with my other friends, they’re not going anywhere as far as I am concerned, but I am having fun and making new friends.

5. I’m in a really fun place, Musically.

- This is a more recent development, as I’ve been in a bit of a dry spell as far as my music goes. Through my best friend Christopher, however I have connected with a great group of musicians, Christopher included, and are calling ourselves the Gentlemen of Leisure. We’re not a musical group as such: think of the Fueled By Ramen or Soulquarian groups. We’re a musical collective of like-minded individuals spanning across varying genres of music that have come together with a purpose: To create the kind of (good) music we want to listen to and to provide help for each other in our separate musical projects.

These are a bunch of Sexy BEASTS!! Especially the one with the hat and cane! I hear he's one hot and awesome nerd-type-person!

These are a bunch of Sexy BEASTS!! Especially the one with the hat and cane! I hear he’s one hot and awesome nerd-type-person! Actually, word on the street is that they ALL are!

We Just recently had a meet up here in Tacoma about two weekends ago, and, in three days, we’ve recorded tracks (unfinished, but great starts) for 5 songs that we’ve written. Two of them written by myself. On top of that, I’m writing a song for a track produced by one of the group members that will (once finished) be the new theme for this blog. (as they share the same title, I figured “why the hell not”).  It will be a nerdcore hip hop song. (tee-hee-hee)

Disclaimer: I am not a rapper. I just rhyme a lot. (see what I did there, huh? Huh? Riiiiiiiight?)

The point of all of this is:

- Yes, I am getting older (I-AM-NOT-OLD, I-AM-NOT-OLD, IAMNOTOLD!!!)

- No I am not where I thought I would be when I was 20. (Globetrotting, living in the lap of luxury, screaming adoring fans and groupies, huge frak-off house, cameras flashing wherever I go, yadda yadda) Here’s the thing though: I’m okay with that. Hell, I’m happier that my life worked out the way it did and not the way impetuous, starry-eyed, 20-year-old me dreamed that it would. I’d be a very different (and way less awesome) person for it. Current, about-to-be-32 (gulp) me would likely want to punch what could have been 32-year-old-rock-star-me dead in my theoretical face…with a chair…

Can you imagine being smacked by this thing...seriously, OW!

Can you imagine being smacked by this thing…seriously, OW!

 

Or, he could have turned out just as awesome as I have. We’ll never know. What I do know is that I don’t want any other life beyond the one I currently live…well, okay, one or two things can change. I live comfortable in the knowledge that my life, no matter how strange, no matter how geeky, no matter how everyday it might seem; is a pretty good one, and I’m happy to have survived another year, clinging to this ball of rock and atmosphere spinning around a bright yellow star.

 

Happy Birthday, Kid.

 

Now, if you’ll excuse me: I’m going to prepare for my game night, and sing the Doom Song!!

Come on! Don't sit there and act as if you didn't know this was coming! It totally was...just sing along already!!

Come on! Don’t sit there and act as if you didn’t know this was coming! It totally was…just sing along already!!

 

Oh yeah, I can imagine that you notice a change in the background and Icon and whatnot. It’s in celebration of the continuation of this season of Doctor Who on tomorrow! Are you guys ready? I’ve been ready since Christmas!!

Geronimo!

Sphinx Akashaa Duncan:

I seriously think that there are people who need to read this. She speaks much truth.

Originally posted on Lucy’s Football:

I was a skinny kid. Photos of me from back then are all pigtails and smeary glasses and I’m usually covered in mud. And I’m sometimes brandishing things like frogs or buckets of mucky water, for whatever reason. I probably had a plan for those buckets. Maybe I was going to put the frog in them. I don’t know.

Then puberty hit. You can’t fight science, people. I come from hearty peasant stock on both sides of my family. Dad’s side are all, in his words, “built like tops – big on the top, skinny on the bottom.” (I attempted to explain to him that’s not exactly how tops work, and also we don’t spin very well, but he was all “WE ARE LIKE TOPS!” so who am I to argue with him?) and my mom’s side are all built like the Goddess of Willendorf. Curvy doesn’t even begin to…

View original 3,293 more words

So many of you know that I am participating in the absolutely amazing National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo. I’m taking this as an opportunity to write the novel I have been conceptualizing for the last decade and have been too damned chicken-shit to commit to.

The goal: Finish my novel by the midnight of Nov 30th with no less than 50,000. (More than that will be amazing)

The novel is for all intents and purposes my go at writing the first arc of an ongoing urban fantasy series.

The novel itself doesn’t have a title yet, but I am sharing with all of you my opening chapter. I hope you all enjoy it and I appreciate your support.

Without further ado, Prelude in Holy Shit Minor

____________________________________________________________________

My chest felt like it was going to explode at any moment now, it burned so much. I kept moving though, kept running. I ran hard under the eerie glow of the twin moons, and the shadow followed – oozing and slithering. My feet, aching and throbbing, beat a rough tattoo into the softened earth beneath me. I could feel the air whistling past me as I rocketed myself between the trees and brush and across the dark forest.

I could hear the low and hungry growl of the shadow-thing dogging my steps, and I knew it was gaining ground on me. More terrified than I should admit to being, I ran harder, gritting my teeth with my effort, grunting as the branches and brush scratched my face. I could feel the soft and warm trickle of blood as it flowed easily from a wound and down to my jawline. I could also hear the low rumble of what sounded like laughter coming from the thing behind me. I fought every instinct to glance behind me at it, far too afraid to look into that darkness and falter, too afraid of what that thing would do to me if I looked back for just a moment.

You will not survive this, Windwalker… Came a dark and hollowed whisper from behind me. The voice reverberated inside of my mind and I shivered involuntarily at its assault upon my psyche. …you will falter, you will suffer, and then…

         My throat dried as I came to the end of the path, a path that led me to the edge of a cliff, I didn’t stop, I couldn’t….not this time…

….ah! You will be MINE!!

I launched myself off of the cliff and began to descend to the forest below. In mid fall, I twisted myself around in time enough to see the shadow-blob-thing stop at the edge and shudder. I smiled and gave the shadow a parting gift.

I presented it with the one fingered salute…

…With both hands.

Yeah, the shadow thing didn’t really appreciate that.

It shuddered, once, and two dark tendrils shot from its, well, whatever you want to call it, and skewered me through both shoulders. A current of unimaginable pain welled up and set my body ablaze pretty much instantly. For a few seconds I was blinded from the pain and all I could see was white,

Then I saw things I didn’t want to.

I saw my mother, my adopted mother, arguing with my adopted father. The only family I had ever known was tearing itself apart. I watched her walk out on my dad and me, never to be seen again.

I saw my ex girlfriend, all fire and fear, staring at me as if I were an abomination, before running out of our apartment and leaving me alone, never to be seen again.

I saw my city, my hometown, ravaged by the great grandmother of a storm. Watched it then tear itself apart with rage and fear while I was helpless to stop it.

Last, I saw myself, alone and in the dark.

My vision cleared and I saw the shadow again, but now it had taken a shape that resembled something human-ish and androgynous. It stood on the edge of the cliff with its hands outstretched to me, it’s index fingers extended into the tendrils that now impaled me by the shoulders. I grit my teeth to the searing pain as I watched a wide fanged grin appear where there hadn’t even been a face before. The shadow-person lifted me up slowly and retracted its finger/tentacles so that I was brought before its face, its putrid breath became my only distraction from the pain in my shoulders.

Honestly, I would have preferred the pain..

The shadow tilted its head at me. You are an intriguing one, young mageling. Strong willed beyond reasoning. Even now, you resist me. You have a great potential for power, yet you struggle and suffer needlessly. I saw its tongue, long and writhing, slide over its fanged teeth and then flick itself in my direction as if to taste me. I have tasted your pain, boy. Your suffering is potent, the wine from which your tears are simply the spilled droplets. I could take this pain from you, feed on it so that you feel it no longer… Its voice began to resemble something sly, something that craved, even desired… I could bind my gifts with your own and we could be so…wonderful together…just…accept me into you and release me from this hell.

          I blinked at the shadow’s words, teeth clenching from the pain in my shoulders. “So you mean to say…” I spoke through my teeth “…that you want to, what, bond with me? You want to engage in a symbiotic relationship because you claim to be compatible with me, is that it?”

The shadow being shivered a bit and its smile grew wider, more eager, more desperate. It leaned in closer to me. If it had a nose we would have been nose to nose. As it was, we were nose to, well, teeth. Yessss! It hissed excitedly. You and I should be one…together…complete… It generally started to remind of of all of the films I had seen involving crazy ex-girlfriends, just freakier.

“You have got to be out of your dark, little mind.” I grunted at it. “Every comic I’ve ever read gives examples of why deals like this are a damned terrible idea. No way!” I spat blood into the things face, where its eyes should have been.

You DARE refuse me….Changeling?? The thing growled at me, unhinging it’s jaws and expanding them, causing its face to appear even more monstrous than before.

“I would rather die, shadow.” I growled at it through my own teeth, still clenched tightly.

Yes…I can see that’s true, changeling. Would that I could, your wish would be verily granted. Alas…this it said with a disappointed hiss in its voice. …I cannot end you here. Know this, boy: I will enter your world, I will find you there, and I will make this offer to you again. You would do well to accept me, changeling. Because I promise you this: dismiss me again, and I will utterly destroy you; body and soul. THAT will be your destiny!

             I took a deep breath and stared the shadow in its blank face, the blood I had spat at it dripped from its, now extended, jaw. “And you, Nightmarish Shadow, can Fuck right OFF!!”  I kicked myself away from it, feeling the sharpened tendrils cut into me again and then leave me as I tumbled backward and into the brush below.  As I fell, I could see the thing shift into a four-legged creature that appeared to have the shape of a headless bear with several writhing tentacles flailing about as it roared in anger and frustration.

I will have you, Windwalker…one way, or the other…

             I tumbled through several tree branches before I was finally able to move my arms enough to grab on to one sturdy enough that it might hold me.

It didn’t.

I landed hard on my shoulder, dirt and grass and flowers smashed into my face. There was the shock of pain and then the world span about me as I lay there, eyes shut tight against it all.  After a few moments, or maybe an eternity, I managed to push myself up onto my hands and knees, despite the throbbing and stabbing protests of my shoulders where the shadow impaled me. Blood dripped onto the soil next to my hands and I pushed myself up so that I sat on my feet. I looked at my shoulders and wasn’t surprised in the slightest by what I saw.

The white robes that I always found myself wearing in this place were stained with blood at the shoulders,  where a gaping hole in the cloth, which was either linen or silk, sat just below each collarbone. I rotated my shoulders a bit and winced a bit at the pain, though it did seem to be fading or even numbing itself away.  I took a long and deep breath and closed my eyes. What in the hell was that thing? What, exactly, did it want to possess me for?

I opened my eyes again and surveyed my surroundings. I was in a clearing…or a glade of some kind that seemed to be obscured from view by an archway made of tall and impossibly old trees. As I looked around further, I found that the trees practically surrounded me. It wasn’t an archway. It was a dome, a gorgeous dome of trees colored in wild greens and purples and blues. It made this place look familiar in a way that I could not grasp, but I knew that I had been here before. When? Why?

It was then that I noticed the pond a few yards from where I knelt. It was a shimmering crystal blue pond, surrounded by orchids, lilies, and windflowers. It made me think of the musical Hair. I didn’t know quite why, but I couldn’t look away from it. I was transfixed with it and couldn’t turn away.

It didn’t help that it started to call my name.

It was more like a whisper, in a voice that was clearly female. I couldn’t explain how I knew that, I just knew that it needed me, it pulled at the core of me and I could not ignore it. I crawled over to it, my heart racing, my breath catching, ignoring the pain coursing through my shoulders and arms. My mind raced in anticipation: her voice was beautiful and promised to belong to someone equally beautiful…

Man, did I need a girlfriend!!

I finally made my way to the edge of the pond and looked down into it.

“Oh, you’re here!” the voice responded happily. “I didn’t think you’d come.”

I blinked.

I blinked again.

Then, to be certain, I looked away from the pond and then looked back again.

A beautiful woman, appearing to be in her mid twenties, was staring back up at me from under the water. She had a beautiful heart shaped face that you just felt compelled to cradle in your palms. Her almond-shaped eyes were a bright and intense shade of green and her mouth was a ruby red bow, full and smiling. I couldn’t help but wonder what it would feel like to be kissed by her.

Her eyes suddenly widened, as if she heard my thought, and she smiled a wide and wondrous smile that lit up her cream colored face. I could feel my face warm and my lips curl into a smile just as wide.

And then I noticed something when I looked at her hair.

It was red, the deep kind of crimson red that you don’t see in natural human hair, but you do see in cartoons, dye jobs, and in blood, and it looked to be shoulder length. That, however wasn’t what I noticed about her, wasn’t what diverted my attention from her absolute beauty.  Well, it was part of it…

The other part was that her hair was on fire. It was underwater, and it was on fire.

I must have looked alarmed, because her expression changed and she said my name again. “Listen to me, love. There isn’t much time! That thing is breaking down the veil between its prison and your reality and will get in. You have to stop it, somehow.” her voice sounded distant, as if carried over the wind from some far off place, but it sent a shimmer of bells alight within me and I felt several things at once: joy, desire, and a longing that felt like it had always been there, though I had never ever felt anything like it. “Woah!” her eyes grew wide and curious. “Did you feel that?”

All I could do was smile and nod and mutter “Mmm-hmm…”

She laughed and I knew that I could live a full and complete life, sustained by that sound alone. I saw her reach her hand up towards me and it rose from out of the shallow pool, slender and alive and beautiful. It touched my face and sent a feeling like molten fire through me. Well, you can actually replace the fire with pure molten desire and need and yearning. She caressed my face and down my jawline and pulled me into a warm and beautiful feeling that I almost completely lost myself in. My eyes started to blur, but I could see her face slowly rising above the surface of the water to meet mine.

My lips met hers and I thought, at that very moment, that I had died and had somehow made it to paradise, or that I had become paradise, or that her lips were paradise. Hell, they had to be. No kiss, no kiss in the whole of recorded human history, could have ever been as completely amazing as that one kiss at that very moment. I could feel her other hand at my chest, at my heart, burning…almost like…but the thought was interrupted, because the kiss suddenly became more perfect, more amazing. I wondered briefly if this was the way that gods kiss, then I concluded that I didn’t care. No kiss could ever compare to hers. It was like the core of the universe had found its way inside of my chest and then exploded, all of the heat and fire and hope of all of creation seemed to well up and expand inside of me.

Needless to say, I did not want it to stop.

Our lips parted after what seemed like the lifetime of several hundred stars, and we both breathed raggedly, as if the kiss was an act of lovemaking. In a sense, it had been. She stared up at me, the tips of her hair floating in the air as if they were still underwater, and still aflame, burning brightly. She smiled up at me and I smiled back. “Wow!” she said, her voice still sounding so very far away. “that was…very unexpected. Amazing, but unexpected.” I could see her checks were beginning to flush and my own face warmed when she bit her bottom lip.

“Yeah….wow!” was all I was able to say, my heart burning and pounding in my chest.

Her smile suddenly became wickedly delighted. “I really shouldn’t…aw, fuck it!” and she put both arms around my neck, pulled me to her lips, and then pulled me head first into the pond with her.

*                     *                          *                          *                           *                            *                    *                   *                       *

To be continued…

When last we left the crew of the “Barrel and Hammer” they had just acquired an ancient schema from an ancient and nearly forgotten House Cannith forge for their beautiful but mysterious patron, Lady Elaydren d’Cannith. In the process, we learn that Hamilcar’s bodyguard, Bolgor, is actually a Warforged wearing an arcane glamour that facimilates (I may have made that word up) human skin, (and, oh yeah, did we mention that he’s the little brother of the Lord of Blades? Yeah. That happened too.)

In the weeks that have passed since their successful quest, they have been running their mildly popular tavern, employing the halflings they defeated in the Rat’s Market and enlisting their leader, Rory, as head of security.  They have also made many trips to the House Sivis message station, seeking word from lady Elaydren. As of yet, there has been none, and they, each time, return disappointed.

Part 1: Sharn

- The Message Station

It’s another rainy day in the City of Towers, the thunder rolls in the distance and the rain cascades steadily. As our friends approach the message station expecting more disappointment, they notice that the door to the small structure is hung open at an odd angle. As the lightning flashes, they are able to see one of the door’s hinges has been forcefully removed from the frame.

Bolgor turns his head quickly as he hears a groan coming from the station. “Guys…there’s someone still in there.” He draws his sword, the rest of the party following his lead and drawing their own as well. Hamilcar stops for a moment and closes his eyes, mind scanning the building for life.

“There’s no one else in there, just the one and she’s barely conscious.”

The group, still weary, enter the message station, clearly in disarray. “Well, this place has certainly had itself a thorough ransacking.” Vit remarks, scanning the room and gingerly stepping around the broken objects littering the floor. As he steps behind the counter, he spots the Gnome clerk, lying atop a spilled shelf of scrolls and parchment sheets. She moans as he rests his hand on her head. “Blow to the head. Knocked out.” He mutters, then looks over his shoulder. “Harjonger. We got a Gnome down, lad.”

The Paladin, is there in seconds, kneeling , with Vit, beside the Gnome. He places a hand on her head and mutters softly. “Th’ light of Nesumnee restore ye.” There is a soft glow and a low hum that thrums the air around them and then fades.

The Gnome’s eyes flutter open and she jolts to her feet. “The Messages!” She cries out. “I have to check the messages!” She bounds around the shop, opening and closing drawers and checking shelves and hidden compartments as well.

Othello, still checking the shop, spots a scattering of rounded sling stones, and a set of footprints made in ink. He growls low in his throat. “Kobolds!”

Bolgor finds another ink-made footprint, something erupts in his mind and an image of a warforged in a red cloak appears and is, just as suddenly, gone. “A Warforged was here as well.” He sighs, then looks as his own hand, covered in the arcane glamour that creates the appearance of human flesh. Vit and Horjongr nod and sit the Gnome clerk down,

“Can you tell us what happened here?” Vit asks as Horjongr gestures for Bolgor to keep an eye on the door.

The Gnome rubs her head gingerly as she looks them over, finally recognizing the group. “I…I know you folk! Sure, you’re in here every couple of days. Well, I was minding my own business, you know, tending the shop and all, when a group of about four…no, six Kobolds charged in and just attacked me here. They pinned me to the counter and the others started to go through my things here. Oh, look at the mess they’ve made!” She cries, tears welling in her eyes.

“It’s alright lass, they’re gone now. Tell us what happened next.” Horjongr urged.

The clerk nods. “Well, that’s when a large man, I couldn’t see him well, but he seemed about human-size, he comes in with a deep and rumbling voice. He belted orders at the Kobolds and they followed him without question. Goodness, they all but yelped in fear when he spoke to them. He was asking for…oh, dear.” Her face pales a little and her look becomes apologetic. “He was looking for any messages that were addressed to you.” She gestured to Horjongr and to Othello as well. “It was the most amazing coincidence, that I had just transcribed a message for you from the speaking stone.”

Othello joins the trio on the floor and they all exchange looks, Hamilcar stands with Bolgor, a hand on his shoulder, as they keep watch. “What then, Miss?” Othello asks, his knuckles cracking as his fingers formed a fist.

The Clerk shrugged. “I must have looked at the scroll I was holding, because the next second he snatched the scroll with one hand and then hit me with the other.” She gingerly rubbed her head on the spot where she had been struck. “That’s the last thing I remember.”

Horjongr took a deep breath, his brow furrowing. “Do ye remember what th’ message said?”

Othello places a hand on the Dwarf’s shoulder. “It’s of no use, man. Sivas clerks are trained to transcribe and then forget.” He holsters his gun, giving the clerk a warm smile. “That about right?”

The clerk nods, but suddenly her face becomes a bit brighter. “Oh, but I can remember who the message was from. It was the Lady Elaydren d’Cannith.”

———————————————————————–

 - A Call for Help

The heroes leave the message station, having adequately compensated the Gnome clerk for her trouble and misfortune. Harjongr finds the nearest City Watch guard and gives him some coin to send a detail over to the station to secure and defend it.

As the group make their way into the rainy streets and towards their tavern, a blur of feathers rockets out of the cloud-filled sky. As it circled the group once, Othello recognizes the animal.

“What the?” He exclaims, nearly bumping into Bolgor. “It’s a giant owl…”

Before he can finish, the owl drops the satchel it carries in it’s talons and then streaks off into the air.

Hamilcar, uses his powers to catch the satchel in mid air and sends it to Harjongr, who opens it to find a scroll inside. he reads:

Adventurers,

The normal means of communication seems to have been compromised, so I have sent this special messenger to personally find you and deliver this letter.

You served me once before, and now I need your help again. Time is short. I feel that our enemies have discovered me and are closing in.

Meet me at the Broken Anvil tavern, where we first discussed heirlooms and job opportunities. Act quickly, for I believe that we are all in terrible danger.

Your Patron,

Lady E.

It is Vit who speaks now, “I think it’s safe to say that we shouldn’t waste any time. Let’s go!”

The five arrive at the Broken Anvil shortly after, noticing that the tavern is strangely empty, save for a women in a worn brown cloak. She raises her hand as the group enters, causing it to glow with white fire as if ready to cast a spell, then causes the fire to die. She pulls back her hood and, despite her disheveled hair and the dirt covering her face, she is no less recognizable as the Lady Elaydren.

Rosie, the innkeeper, runs from the kitchen to check on the noise, but is waved away by Elaydren. As she walks back into the kitchen, she spots Othello and gives him a warm smile before darting behind the door.

“Quickly, Quickly!” Elaydren calls out to them in a strained voice, beckoning the group to her. Vit And Harjongr motion for Hamilcar and Bolgor to keep watch on the door. The two nod their consent and move to the main floor with weapons drawn. The remaining three approach Elaydren, Vit keeping a wary eye about them.

Vit speaks first. “My lady, are you alright?”

“Thank Olladra that you’re here. There is no time to waste.” Elaydren exclaims, lifting a leather backpack from the floor and placing it on the table. It looks very nearly empty, but she draws the trio’s attention back to her. “Look, there is no time to explain.” Her eyes are full of fear, darting from the group to the door and windows and then back again. “Instructions, gold, and supplies are all in the pack. Take it and go, quickly. The letter in the left-hand pocket explains everything, but you must go now! You must trust me, if you are able to accomplish this task, the reward will be vast.”

As if on cue, the windows all burst and the front doorway is thrown open. Six small figures leap in through the broken windows of the tavern.

“KOBOLDS!” Othello shouts, drawing his gun and focusing his powers into his weapon.

As he does, a seventh figure, much larger and broader in size, and wearing a dark hooded cloak. He carried a large gun upon his arm, which he aimed and fired immediately…at Lady Elaydren.

The bullet strikes her in the shoulder, and she ducks behind the table in searing pain. She immediately casts a curative spell on her self and then launches a lightning bolt at the hooded figure, striking him in the face and burning the hood away from him.

It is Bolgor who recognizes him first. A series of memories flooding into his mind:

 - he stands before a group of warforged, untested, untried in battle. It is his job to train then, to make them ready for the days and nights of bloodshed that are sure to come. They must fight and fight well to honor the house that created them all. Bolgor will make certain of this. Cutter, the youngest of his brothers stands with the group, as well as … -

“Cutlass!” Bolgor almost hisses, drawing his weapon.

The Gun-armed warforged looks at the Glamoured warforged and laughs. It is a disturbing laugh that comes from his un-moving mouthpiece. “Well, brother, I did hear that you had taken in with some weak-fleshed errand boys. I did not take you for a flesh lover, but I suppose much has changed.”

“Odd.” Bolgor spoke now as Hamilcar moved forward to help his friend. “I always thought you were impressionable. Now you’re a Zealot for a mad, bloodthirsty warforged.” The words were out of his mouth before he could stop himself, memories still flooding his mind. “Can’t say that I’m that surprised, little brother.”

Cutlass’s eyes glow bright red with anger at the jibe and he launches himself into an attack. Bolgor, with the help of his friends, make short work of the Warforged and a couple of the Kobolds as well. Harjongr pauses once Cutlass is felled to speak to the remaining Kobolds.

“Ye’ were obviously under the forced employ of th’ warforged here. If ye’ continue in this way, we’ll be forced to destroy ye’!”

The remaining Kobolds look at each other nervously, and then break out into a run and flee the tavern.

Elaydren moves from behind the table, grabbing a sword from one of the fallen Kobold bodies. “More of these assassins may show up at any moment, my friends. All of the information you need is in the left pocket of the backpack. Take it and go! Get out of the city as quickly as you can!” without hesitation, Elaydren darts out of the tavern and disappears into an alleyway.

Vit takes a hold of the backpack and opens the left pocket, drawing forth a folded up letter. He opens it and reads it aloud to the group:

My friends,

The object you recovered for me from the ruins beneath Sharn is a schema, a piece of a pattern used to create items both mundane and magical. I have learned that another schema connected to this pattern was being studies in a secret Cannith workshop in Cyre, called Whitehearth. I wonder if this research is tied to the Day of Mourning?

Parts of my own house seek this pattern for evil purposes and I do not know whom to trust. So I turn to you. I need you to travel to Cyre, find the workshop, and recover the second schema.

The location of the workshop was a closely guarded secret lost when the patriarch of House Cannith died in the Destruction of Cyre. you must travel to the House Cannith outpost in the town of Rose Quarry in Darguun to recover a record of all of Cannith’s hidden workshops.

In Rhukaan Draal, find a man named Failin in the Bloody Market. He can provide you with transport to Rose Quarry. From there, travel into the Mournland to find Whitehearth and the second schema. It is an admantine plate in the shape of a diamond, about the size of a human’s palm. Once you have retrieved it, return to Rhukaan Draal, where I will meet you. Succeed and I will see to it that you are well rewarded for your courage.

Lady E.

Vit places the letter back into the pocket and them opens the remaining pockets for his comrades to inspect.

Impressed by all of the equipment, Bolgor takes a step back. “Well, she certainly seems to have thought of everything.”

Harjongr looks curiously at the vials of holy water. “S’pect we’ll be encounterin’ some nasty black magic as well.”

“Well I take it we should likely figure out how we’re going to get ourselves to Darguun, and quickly. For all we know, the assassins could already be on to what we’re doing.” Hamilcar suggested, leaning back against a table.

The party, all in agreement, take to the task of researching their travel options.

Air travel, as it turns out, is out of the question. There doesn’t seem to be any Airships, Privateer or otherwise, that can make the trip to the Goblin nation right now.

So their Choices come down to the House Lyrandar galleon and the House Orien land travel by Lightning rail.

Noting that the land travel will take them much longer than any of them would like, the group agrees to the option of Sea Travel by House Lyrandar Galleon, and make plans to depart Sharn immediately.

Part Two: Darguun

Oh no! Skeletons!!

AAAAAWWWWW YEAH!! It’s “Bootsy” Baby!! OW!!!

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