Tuesday, August 15, 2006

"Now You Will Pay For Your Lack of Vision!"

[Begin close-up of Flaine Gilgahar playing his masterwork mandolin. He addresses the camera.]
Remember those good ol' days in the 1980's when your DM could get you on simple oversights like not having a rod to probe your way through a trap-infested corridor, or not having a potion of sweet water to dilute the poison you just breathed in, or not having flint and steel to ignite the webs that you knew housed a bunch of giant spiders... well, you don't have to go back to the hallowed '80's to relive such innocence.
You just have to be at our last adventure. Lemme tell ya what happened...
[Zoom away from Flaine Gilgahar playing a masterwork mandolin in the Tipped Tankard Tavern, as he plays a familiar tune. The scene now warps and shimmies to reveal a new scene showing a sweat-laden party of adventurers going through a lava tube covered in webbing. The warping now stops and the voices of the party become clear.]
[Dramatis Personae: Brian P. as Flaine Gilgahar; John H. as Ix, cleric of Pelor; Shake as a fighter/wizard, Mike C. as Link and Mishka (a downgraded Mishka from what I understood), and Audrey P. as Laurel the draconic sorcerer.]

"Webs. Great." Ix sighed as he peered closer about the tubular walls. "No doubt we'll have to burn them."
"Okay." Flaine replied.
Everyone else went through their backpacks and pouches.
"You have got to be yanking my baptismal chain!" Ix cursed. "NO ONE has ANY means of LIGHTING a freakin' WEB!?!"
"I do believe the feather on your helmet is on fire." Flaine said.
"No shit, Sherlock. It emits light, not heat." Ix explained.
Flaine frowned, "Then why in the ninth Hell does it flame?"
"BECAUSE IT LOOKS COOL!" he replied.
Shake's character shook his head, "Well don't look at me. I don't have any ignition spells."
"Where's Laurel? She can light this whole corridor up." Flaine said.
"She's still in Cauldron, obviously." the cleric of Pelor intoned. "Didn't you light up Aeloc's web spell at the Lucky Monkey a few days ago?"
Flaine said, "Yes, Ix. With my last tindertwig. I didn't resupply when we reached Cauldron."
Amid Link's chuckles one could hear Flaine decry: "This is total bullshit!"
With heads hung low, the party returned to Cauldron to procure tindertwigs, flint and steel and alchemist's fire. I needn't explain to you the elation felt by John P., our DM, at this time.
[Zoom to close-up of John Peterson's slight chuckle which turns into a laugh, then a guffaw, then a full-blown mu-ha-ha-ha. At this time have ILM superimpose a demon's laughing visage on John's face then back to John's normal face.]
[Fade to scene of Flaine Gilgahar strumming a sad lay with a slow, descending tear rolling down his face. Editors note: please add flames and smoke to background from the muhaha afterward, including Flaine's scene.]
It was at this time that we were ambushed (if that can be possible in a two-way lava tube) by a couple of ettercaps: fierce humanoids who spin webs with their asses and spray them on their victims. Yeah...real fun.
[Quick switch to the party in the midst of combat with the ettercaps. Close up of Ix covered in webbing from one of the ettercaps spinnerets.]
"Pelor damn these foul creatures!" Ix yelled. After escaping the web, he lands a powerful blow to the ettercap with his mace, killing it.
"I'd help, Shake, but I'm stuck." Flaine managed to say while struggling with the webs sprayed on him by another ettercap.
Shake did him in a couple rounds later.
"To Cauldron!" Link declared.

[Voiceover of Flaine while showing outside scene of the mercenary recruiting office in Cauldron. Various people of various races are shown entering and leaving the building. Then Ix, Link, Shake and Flaine enter with a purpose.]
VO: We felt it was in our best interest, considering the lack of fighters in our party, to hire a mercenary from the local guildhouse. Of course the potential candidate had to meet our stringent qualifications...

[A half-orc fighter enters the room and sits on a wooden chair before Link, Flaine, Ix and Shake.]
Ix: Name?
Half-Orc: Is it important?
Flaine: Not really, but humor us.
Half-Orc: Borgaz
Ix: Do you hate ettercaps?
Borgaz: What?
Flaine: You have to hate ettercaps.
Borgaz: What are ettercaps?
Flaine: They're spider-like humanoids that shoot sticky webs out of--
Ix: That's enough Flaine.
Borgaz: I hate spiders!
Ix: That'll do. Check. Looks like you're hired. Congratulations.
Link (aside): Do we know this guy's alignment?
Ix: I cast a spell earlier. He's clean.

VO (Flaine): Thus did we enter the lava tube again; this time with another fighter in tow. We left a message for Laurel to meet us in the tube. We had no idea where she had gotten off to.

Entrance through the Lava Tube - Take Two.
[Far shot of the party moving through the lava tube, encountering the webbed walls.]
"Alright, dammit. Let's light this candle." Flaine said, striking the tindertwig and throwing it into the webs.
Poof. The webs ignited and dripped away with a blue flame reminiscent of some spirits he drank at the Tipped Tankard. But this alerted a couple more ettercaps which we took care of easily enough. Their damnable webs that they spun on us were always a hindrance, however. Laurel joined us and got to see firsthand what these ettercaps could do.
We made our way to the turnhouse on a cliff overlooking a small subterranean lake. And everything would have been fine, except that there were four human guards on duty.
"It's them!" they commented loudly, "Get those bastards!"
It was quite an uneventful battle. We had no problem dispatching them to their afterlives, except that in so doing we used up quite a bit of resources. And most of us had enough experience to advance to the next level. So guess what? That's right - up we go topside.
[Roll footage of jubilant party leaving lava tube... again.]
After we leveled up, we got some more potions and consumables and made our way back into the lava tube. We encountered no impediments en route to the turnhouse. But one thing did kinda stand out...
"Uh... I see the blood stains of our last battle, but where are the bodies?" Link asked.
"Oh oh." I mumbled. "That's not good."
Ix investigated the scene then turned to face us, "Well, wherever they took the bodies, they must have ended up in the turnhouse. Let's go." Just as he turned to make his way to the turnhouse, a lizard-scaled woman armed with a strange sword appeared behind Ix and struck home her venomed blow. "You killed my LOVER!" the strange woman screamed.
We tried to slay her for such a cowardly attack on our priest, but she evaded us, turning invisible and fleeing our vengeance.
Ix was weakened by her strike, but waved off our assistance. "Keep moving. I don't think we've seen the last of her." he said.
"Who the hell was that?" Laurel asked.
Link answered her, "She said we killed her lover, I wonder if she was referring to that tatooed woman who served the Triad."
"Heh, heh." I chuckled, "A lezzie yuan-ti. Hell, if we'd known that, I would've spared the tattooed lady and ordered an immediate demonstration of their love."
"Great, Flaine. Now you're a bard pervert." Laurel added.
"I heard it's a common prestige class. Ask Mondavi." I retorted.

I must apologize at this point for not completing this blog entry. In truth, this is so old and I have forgotten so much and another game has occurred since, that I cannot continue. I can promise no more synopses of our gaming sessions due to the fact that I have very little time to spend on such pursuits. Again, my apologies...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A Change in the Weather...

Yeah, it's been rather hot lately, but that's not the weather I'm referring to.
I am finally employed.
Precision Imaging Solutions gave me a call and told me to start Aug 21st. I get a blackberry and a laptop. I'll be making more money than I made at Rite-Aid and get paid 47 cents a mile since I'm using my own vehicle. All in all, a sweet deal. So, next week I'll be in LA getting trained in Hewlett-Packard laser printers.
And I'll be a human being once more...
Couldn't come at a better time, either. Things are looking mighty tight around here.

Well, some good had to come my way because a few days after my birthday (July 27) my Axis and Allies collection was completely stolen from my car. Over $350 of miniatures disappeared overnight in front of my house. I was seriously miffed for a day, but the next day I felt better about it. After all, it was just a bunch of plastic pieces. Big deal!
Last week, after vowing never again to restart my collection, I did. I purchased over $100 of miniatures and started the process over again. I did this for three reasons. 1) If I didn't continue following my passion, the thief would have won. And I refuse to let him win. 2) If Stephen Dukes can rebound from an Axis and Allies minis robbery, so can I. and 3) I now have a job and can afford the investment.
So there ya go!

I have been working for Hobbytown USA in Tracy since July 31st. It only pays $8/hr and it's for four days a week, but it's something. At least until my training in LA begins. During that time I picked up Risk: Godstorm (a board game) because my brother took a liking to it. Then when I brought it with me to my parents' place last week, he refused to play it. I think I've had enough. The next game I'm gonna buy will be Goa. I played that game Thursday night with Ken Campbell and I thought it rocked.

Speaking of boardgames, John Peterson, John Hunter, Rob Coulson and I played Mare Nostrum last Saturday (in lieu of an abortive Axis and Allies tourney) and we had a real good time except that we had to quit at a critical point in the game due to time constraints. John P. played Greece, John H. was Carthage, Rob was Egypt, and I was Babylonia. I was spreading like a virus across Asia Minor while Egypt and Greece were both warring with me for Fish and Perfumes. LOL.
Today, we played again, but Rob Coulson couldn't make it so Mike Culberson joined in the fun. This time Babylon was out. I ended up playing Rome while Mike played Egypt. Rome and Greece butted heads while Carthage and Egypt made out like bandits in trade. By the end of the game, Carthage had the upper hand as he owned two heroes and a wonder. Greece could have stopped him, I think, but, again, we ran out of time and had to hand the victory to Carthage. I made a lot of mistakes this time around and vowed for a rematch. John P. said he would like nothing more than to finish one game of Mare Nostrum.

We played D&D on the 22nd of July and I have not yet composed a synopsis of the events. At this rate I will most likely forget everything that happened. But so much has been happening to me in my real life that I haven't had time to put thoughts to paper (or blogsite). Hopefully, I will tonight.
Well, that's the news from the western front. I hope this training and this job works out well for me. I shall remain positive in the weeks that follow.
Until again....