September 23rd, 2012


"They Have a Cave Troll..."

Yesterday was fordmadoxfraud's Advanced Dungeons & Dragons campaign, Stories Of Our Youth, played in the basement of Bar Reis. I have to say, as a venue Bar Reis has been a really great spot; we've been pretty undisturbed. A nice use of Third Spaces! You've got beer, you've got a neutral location, worst case scenario is that some group of people play pool in which case your just have to share the problem. I hope we can convince them to keep opening it up on Saturday afternoon; when the weather gets cold, I don't know how much luck we'll have. Then again, that presumes the weather will get cold; game was on the first day of Autumn, but remember last year's lackluster winter? Alright, enough of that. Let's talk about game! Last session we played we managed to dilute the ooze-poison, but not stop it; we planned to sneak out of the dungeon of Illfarin, rest, & then break back in through a secret door again in the morning. Stepping out, we heard commotion near the entrance, which we were right above; imagine the gates of Illfarin set in the sheer cliff of a hill, & us on top of the hill. My character Curulókë peeked over, & saw the army of orcs, goblins, trolls & ogres that we'd seen approaching. Following the shouted orders of some orc general-- Curulókë speaks orc & they were calling him "Direlord," less like a title & more like a name-- the army was about to shelter in Illfarin to prepare to fend of the attackers from Waterdeep-- the cavalry that James' character Oney had spotted & that Curulókë had guided to the orc army with his bagpipes. The ogres had winched the massive gates open, & the goblins & orcs had plenty of time to prepare for a siege before the Waterdeep forces arrived.

Not one to spoil an opportunity, Curulókë made a sneak attack on Direlord! Whap, whap, two arrows, as you please. Running up, Alicia's character Aeryn finished him off-- as Curulókë took an arrow to the shoulder & the ogres began to climb the cliff face! Up on the hill top (clip clip clip!) came Radarless' character-- he was reprising his role as the human paladin Hadrian, who we call The Black Rider. Then a lot of Keystone Cops shenanigans happened; we hadn't quite decided if we were running from the ogres or fighting them, so it was disorganized. I was down to half hit points-- single digits-- so I was assuming running back into the secret hatch into Illfarin...but things didn't go that smoothly. First, Oney-- the elf ranger-- had to make an animal empathy check to tell Hadrian's horse to go meet our horses in the hills & chill out till we reclaimed them. This is the first campaign I've been in where that "animal friend" thing has really mattered. Second, skycornerless' elf fighter/mage Vigda was mystified by her magical egg artifact; the trolls had some kind of mind-controlling girdles on, & she thought the egg might control them, so she ran around the fight concentrating on the egg, as the Black Rider tried to protect her. Aeryn jumped down the hole & was caught by Curulókë, who swung her around in a dance move & got a kiss on the cheek. The ogres, meanwhile, were rolling terribly, thank heavens, just twos & threes & misses. Only one connected, rolling a d12 on Hadrian. Spooky; a d12 could one-hit kill me. We shot some arrows out of the hatch & then an ogre died & toppled onto it, covering it. Curulókë was able to brace himself on the ladder & shoulder it out of the way, & popping up from cover-- hidden by his cloak of elvenkind-- he finished off the last ogre. An arrow in each eye, since that is apparently my signature finishing move.

Aeryn & I looted Direlord's body-- a magic ring & some gold & plate mail which we gave to Hadrian-- & it was back under Illfarin, without a rest. We've been escorting Llewelyn, the bastard brother of the Duke of Dagger Falls, & he'd made a break for it, but we found him talking to the dwarves we encountered at the first secret entrance to Illfarin. We're elves, we know all the secret doors. All of them. This time, Hadrian gave the magical dwarf armor to the dwarves. Hey dwarves, you basically hold us up everytime we meet, but the Lawful Good members of our party have no problem responding to your use of violence as a tool of coercion by giving you priceless artifacts with nothing in return. Alicia said "this is our worst nightmare." It is true! We're two thieves with a Lawful Good character, a Lawful Good paladin with a paladin's code & a ranger with a ranger's code, though to be honest the ranger's code is basically just one of being "Good" not "Lawful," so it isn't so bad. As far as Curulókë's concerned these dwarves gave up any right to respect when they initiated our relationship from a position of threats. Aeryn is smart enough to pick one of their pockets-- the gnome illusionist the dwarves brought for arcane support-- & steals his spellbook. Yes! Score. She trades it to Vigda for the magic spade, & we part ways with the dwarves, finally. Alright, they did cast cure light wounds on me, so they aren't all bad, but a first-level spell for tens of thousands of gold pieces worth of treasure is hardly worth it! (I'm not normally the greedy PC, so I'm trying it out.)

We retreated to the room with the golem-- there is a stone golem programmed to attack anyone who doesn't know the password, but we do know it-- & we say "blech" & spend the night there, resting up. We mess around with our magic items a little bit; no idea what the ring does, but the stone is bringing a presence up from the deep recesses of the dungeon. An earth elemental, that is our guess. There is a room here, a fountain that had been filled with the radioactive green slime. It had knocked Curulókë out last time, but now that the water is diluted, we want to check it out; Curulókë hopes there are duplicate fountain controls here. Hadrian blesses the water, & lo & behold he can enter it unharmed. Curulókë is, not surprisingly, knocked out again. Aeryn takes the chance to peek below his veil; Curulókë looks like...young Vincent Price? That is what I decide on the spur of the moment, anyway. True enough, under the fountain there are back-up controls; with Curulókë's couching, Hadrian sets them to "slime off, clean water on" & then disables them, as the main controls were disabled. I don't know if that makes it permanent-- there may be a third control station-- but nice work, if I do say so myself. Mission accomplished, sort of. & with that, we hear frenzied fighting-- goblins & orcs versus the golem!-- & a troll makes it past the room & we see him burst into where we are &...tune in next week! It's a cliff hanger!

Weekend Update With Seth & Amy.

Alright, quick recap of life, the universe & everything. Let me see here, Thursday was covered, I watched Adventure Time with Terra & failed at getting sushi for Jenny; that is about it. Friday! Alright, we haven't touched Friday. I had lunch with Cherise, who is sadly leaving the company. She's not going far, so I think we can continue our periodic lunch dates, so it isn't the end of the world or anything. After work I walked down Broadway with Matt & . We stopped in Kit Marlowe & Co. to say hello to fordmadoxfraud & ended up kidnapping him! We ended up at Botanica, which is a dive bar I used to go to like, twice a week six years ago or so. That is weird; I'm not sure why, but there you go. Anyhow, it hasn't really changed at all, not a jot or iota. We met up with Jocelyn on the way there & shortly after we arrived Kat showed up. We had a few drinks & then headed over to Kat's apartment, where Jocelyn's friend Ariel met up with us. We hung out there for a while; eventually Matt had to duck out to go meet Katy, which I wanted to be a part of, but instead I ended up going home. Jenny had said I shouldn't stay out late, but I took that to mean "so we can hang out" but she didn't mean that; she stayed out till really late playing beer pong at work so I ended up just watching more Adventure Time till I was to sleepy to wait up any longer.

Saturday was pretty alright, too. I got up early with Jenny & we went to Daisy's for breakfast while the cleaning guy was working on our apartment. Oh, I guess that bears a little more context! So, ranai moved out of Spare Oom & back to Queens. Now we've got that room back so we can turn it into our den of iniquity. Or fill it with sewing supplies & Oubliette stuff, actually. Miniatures & fabric & whatnot. When breakfast was over, Jenny split for her weekly massage-- luxury!-- & I went to the gym. I put in an hour & a half, but with three patches of cardiovascular work, which "counts" but isn't really pushing it, you know? I didn't want to go too hard, since I just got over being sick, & I plan on going today. I felt much better, though, afterward. I came home, took a shower, & headed out to go play AD&D. After a nice game-- I'm proud of the dead ogres but more proud of killing the orc chieftain & fixing the fountain-- I came home to find Jenny babysitting Olivia. That was fun; I picked her up by her wrists & ankles & called her "hog tied" & she liked that. She also liked hiding in the closet, which we expected she'd think was scary. What wasn't expected was her meltdown: Jenny put a temporary tattoo of a mustache on the inside of her forearm & Olivia did not like that. She was sobbing, horrified, even after Jenny got it off with rubbing alcohol.

We went over to Kira & Nino's for dinner-- Kira made lamb, with a sauce & a salad made out of our CSA vegetables-- & Olivia was even more mystifying. She was over it, & didn't seem afraid of mustaches; she related the events really clearly, too. "Monicai brought two bottle." Well, I did, I brought the rubbing alcohol & nailpolish remover. I was just grabbing bottles! Weird detail, but accurate. Anyhow, after we left there Jenny & I came home & watched some of The New Normal. That...that show is really weird. One of the main characters is just a huge homophobic racist? Which they condemn, but still, weird. Also the surrogate mother is like, in really dire straights? & the gay couple have...plausible discrimination against them? It is...that show is weird. I agree that Modern Family has a fairly sanitized worldview-- the problems are "sitcom problems," not real issues-- but I'm not sure if The New Normal's style of surrealism interrupted by the ocasional slur is the solution. It was...uncomfortable, but mesmerizing? Verdict is still out; we watched like, three episodes, but I'll check back to see how I feel. Now it is Sunday, huh? Just starting; all we've done is drink coffee, I had some corned beef hash & eggs, & we watched Saturday Night Live. Joseph Gordon-Levitt hosted; the march of history is weird. Who would have expected that the kid from Third Rock from the Sun would be universally well regarded? Anyhow, the hip-hop fashion show-- "The Finer Things"-- was my favorite sketch, probably because, well, just for the record, if that was a real show? I'd watch it. I always like it when hip hop artists get famous & then make songs that aren't about the streets at all. No kidding Will Smith-- when he bothers to rap-- is all like "I am cool, I do cool things, na na na, rap song!" Yeah, Will Smith is not, in fact, hardcore. "Keeping it real" entails, you know, real life. Like, hey Jay-Z, you are super rich, have a cool wife & a daughter. You do not have ninety-nine problems, because you have a ton of cash to make problems go away. You do have a wife & daughter though, but I would advise that you not call them misogynistic slurs. Keep it real!
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