Oct. 22nd, 2017 12:04 am
zhelana: (Marvel - Dancing Groot)
[personal profile] zhelana
What do you want to do with your life?

I always wanted to teach. When that turned out to not work out for me, I decided I'd collect information and teach it at SCA events. lol. I don't know that I have any other grand plans. I'd like to do a road trip of the northwestern part of this country because 5 of the 6 states I've never been to are up there. Finish out the country. Maybe hit every continent, too. I think I only need Australia and Antarctica to do it. Getting to Antarctica may be a trick.

the rest )
dorchadas: (Great Old Ones)
[personal profile] dorchadas
Dramatis Personae
  • Serjant Thierry Renault
  • Soldat Jean Dupois
  • Soldat Michel Beaumains
  • Soldat Christophe Pressi
  • Soldat Etienne Babin
14 Prairial, Year 2
Five eventful years had passed.

Dupois had spent years being alternately expelled and redrafted into the army and now spent nights at the bottom of a bottle. Renault had a long talk with his wife about their future, and had reluctantly thrown in his lot with the Revolution after initial thoughts of fleeing with that émigrés. Beaumains, who had stormed out to take the tennis court oath, was once again a proud member of the army now that it served the people. Babin had left the army to spend time with his son, returned to his home in Occitan, and lived there for a while, but eventually rejoined the army. Pressi also remained in the army, but after Comte Benoit had been guillotined, he spent much of his time with Melodie.

Once again the group was at the catacombs, helping guard the entrance as carts bring in bodies of those killed in La Terreur, with orders to let no one in. It was the first time they had seen each other in years, and they made awkward conversation in the hot summer night until six carts arrived. There were no priests this time, but the lead cart has several passengers wearing sacks on their heads with eyeholes cut in them. With them was Citizen Rigeau, chalk-white, in a high-collared jacket, and Beaumains noticed a mottled patch of skin at his neck as his head shifted. He ordered the passengers to unload, and they picked up skulls and began work. The party dispersed the crowd at Rigeau's order, and then began to guard the entrance. Rigeau pointed at Renault and asked where he knew him from, and after being reminded of the affair with Pfennelik, he smiled wolfishly and entered the catacombs.

Unnerved by the parade of workers and more than half drunk, Dupois reached out to try to grab the sack off a worker's head. They did not expect what they saw--the head of Comte Benoit, carelessly stitched to the head of a thin woman's body and lolling bonelessly over its shoulder. As the party cried out, the cart drivers ran screaming into the night and the monster attacked. It smashed a fist into Dupois and Renault stabbed it right through the heart, which didn't slow it at all. Babin took a mighty swing and sliced off an arm with his axe, but again the monster wasn't slowed. Beaumains bowled it over and stabbed it in the head, which stopped its movements. They all stared at it, took a swig of Dupois's bathtub liquor, and plotted. The "workers" returned, ignoring the party and doing their work, and the group grabbed lanterns from the carts and entered the catacombs behind them.

The catacombs were pitch black, but the workers didn't acknowledge the party in any way. At the third side tunnel, the workers turned, and the party followed down to a corridor lined with skulls, each skull with an odd mandala carved into the forehead. The more recent ones were not yet skulls--they were the severed heads of the guillotined dead, with the mandala carved through the skin down to the bone. In the distance was a distant phosphorescent light, illuminating bone dust swirling in the air. The swirls grew stronger and stronger, lifting teeth and bone bits into spirals in the air. Beaumains and Babin cried out, and ahead of them a dry chuckle echoed.

They advanced further and saw Rigeau, sitting and carving something into a heads but as he saw the light he stood and walked toward them with his eyes black pools of stars. He taunted them, saying he was amused that the overthrowers of Pfennelik had discovered him. He told them he was "ensuring his power" when asked what his business was, and then asked if they were cowards, and Renault drew his pistol. Rigeau took a swing and missed, and when Renault shot him there was no effect. They struggled, and as they did Rigeau's shirt ripped open, revealing a jigsaw pattern of flesh across his torso. Babin noticed that they were skull tattoos, and that when Dupois hit him, one mandala on a skull in the walls vanished. Renault took hold of Rigeau and attempted to strangle him, but it brought forth nothing but a smile. Dupois smashed his lantern on Rigeau, showering him--and Renault--in glass and flaming oil. Renault stepped back as Rigeau lackadaisically put himself out.

They attempted to flee, but as they did Rigeau made a gesture and the skulls in the passage collapsed, so they fled down the side passages into the dark. Rigeau's laughter followed them until they heard a voice telling them to follow if they want to live. They caught a brief glimpse of a nightmarish wolf-like face and then fled into tunnels filled with corpse-dirt, down a sudden fall that seriously injured Renault, and into the dark. Through the sealed depths of Paris, medieval to post-classical to Roman, to the dining room of a Roman villa filled with ghoulish monsters dining on headless corpses. They rose up, snarling, but the ghoul leading the party meeped at them and they went back to their repast.

Through an opening in the far wall, past more tunnels and shafts, they eventually emerged in the Luxembourg Garden. The ghoul mounted a dirt mound and grinned at them, and then pulled out a limb, began eating, and explained. He said that Rigeau meant to deliver the world to "those who dwelt Outside," that he had added symbols to the guillotines that delivered those who died to the "Throne of Azathoth," and when it reached ten thousand dead, the Eye of Azathoth would open and Paris would be engulfed. Dupois asked how to kill Rigeau, and the ghoul said that normal means would be impossible--even crushing the bones, the dust would remember. He did say that he had seen Rigeau consult a black book with brass bindings, and that it may have the means of his destruction. It wasn't in the catacombs, but it may be in his house. With no further questions, the ghoul jumped into a hidden hole and was gone.

Finding his house was not difficult, but it was surrounded by buildings on all sides and there was no oblivious entrances but the front. No lights burned within, so Dupois picked the lock and the party entered. They explored the house cautiously, finding nothing on the first floor, but in a room upstairs they found a room containing the Skinless Pope from Pfennelik's estate, a desk with a ledger on it, library shelves, a locked cabinet, medical texts, and other esoteries. Inside the cabinet were books from Pfennelik's cellar, which Beaumains took. Babin examined the ledger, finding a bunch of three-letter codes with totals, that Renault recognized as the totals of the sacrifices that Rigeau was making. The count stood at 9946. They had only a few days. The party searched the room, but it was Renault who found and took the book with brass bindings.

The book was in Latin, titled De Summum Vacuum, but Babin spoke Latin and began to read. He soon found he was unconsciously rotating the book, though he put it down at the urging of the others. He said it would take about twelve hours to study. They made an effort to cover their traces and fled, reconvening and resting in Babin's apartment. Babin read the book, discovering notes on Aztec rituals to "Azottotal," and a note by priests that such rituals were evil and would deny heaven to those who dwelt on earth. Only the willing sacrifice of one who has heard the "Music from Beyond" could stop it. The group thought, and then remembered Dietrich Zann and his music.

They briefly considered consulting the secret police but decided against it due to the danger. They eventually decided to look for his companion Celine, the woman who had been dressed as King Louis, in the red light districts of Paris. After Beaumains attempts at questioning went nowhere, they simply bribed some prostitutes to tell the party where the woman is. By the time they learned, it was nearly midnight, so they went to the attic tenement in the morning. After some brief panic from others in the tenement as soldiers march through their building, they find the attic and knock. When Celine recognized them, she grabbed a cudgel and began screaming, and only Babin's quick words kept things from coming to blows. She invited them in, into a barren tenement room with a single bed, a shattered violin in the corner. She revealed that Zann had a job with the orchestra, but lost it. He was obsessed with the violin, dangerously so, and eventually she smashed it. Since then, he only stared into space, not speaking, playing music that only he could hear on an invisible violin.

Babin spoke to Zann, who repeatedly said that he must "get it out." That the music was done, and he must play it. Celine was strongly against it, but Beaumains convinced her that playing the music might cure his obsession. The party needed a violin, and decided to break into the old orchestra and steal one. Using their authority as soldiers, they found a dusty violin, then debated what to do. They eventually decided to bring Zann to the orchestra again. Celine demanded that she be allowed to come, and they eventually agreed, though they kept their son away. Renault watched over him, while the other three entered with Zann and Celine. As soon as Zann had his hands on the violin, he immediately began playing. The sound grew, filling their ears and minds, as though the instrument had a hundred strings. The theatre's walls crumbled, revealing a starry night sky, and Beaumains and Dupois's ears began bleeding. One by one, the stars went out and they were surrounded by the unreverberate blackness of the abyss. They heard screams as from far away and the sound of unseen wings, until they mercifully passed out.

When they awoke, Beaumains and Dupois realized they could still hear the music, and would, locked into their minds, forever. Babin's fingers were numb, and when Reanaut entered, Zann's son clapped his hands and said, "Again, papa! Again!"

Babin pointed out that he was only one surviving who had heard the music and so the sacrifice would have to be him, and with some reluctance Renault agreed. In the middle of a letter to his son, as Dupois began ranting about the king, they realized that they could sacrifice Dupois instead. Renault brought him to the police and denounced him, and Dupois was swiftly found guilty. His execution was scheduled for within twenty-four hours, and they went to talk to the ghoul and report what had happened. It said that they should lure Rigeau to a deserted place, and the party decided to lure him to the catacombs. Renault put out the call for Pressi and others for the help that he men's they would need.

The next morning, Dupois was led from the prison to the guillotine, through the streets of Paris. Dupois's dog followed him, barking futilely, until the blade descended with a final thunk.

Streets away, the party followed Rigeau through the streets at a distance. Hugel moved past him, revealing the book with brass bindings, and Rigeau took the bait and they led him to the catacombs. Hugel ran into a room with the rest of the party and eleven ghouls, and as the blade descended elsewhere--as Dupois stood in the Court of Azathoth and released the Music from Beyond--Rigeau entered and shrieked, the skulls on his body shrieking in unison, and blood burst forth and showered the party. Pressi leveled his musket and fired, followed by the rest of the party, and then ghouls fell on him, and Citizen Rigeau was torn to shreds.

The Festival of the Supreme Being took place as scheduled on 20 Prairial. In addition, the guillotine was moved to the Faubourg Saint-Antoine. On 22 Prairial, it was moved to the barrière du Trône. And on 10 Thermidor, Robespierre was led up the steps of the guillotine, and with his death ended La Terreur.

Comeuppance gotten!

This section reminded me of a bit of Ken Hite's gaming advice, which is that games should be set in the real world because it has a richer, more detailed history than any fantasy world ever could. A game set during pre-revolutionary France always carries the knowledge that the Revolution, and with it La Terreur, is coming. Call of Cthulhu has the same aspect that makes the World of Darkness so fun. It's set in our world, but with a secret layer that the game space occurs in.

This was originally a game run at Gen Con for backers of the Horror on the Orient Express Kickstarter, and when it was done, the players voted to make it available to other kickstarter backers. I'm glad we got to it before the end. I knew Rigeau was evil from his first appearance, though I admit I thought he'd be a member of the Brotherhood of the Skin trying to get Pfennelik out of the way.

This scenario does indicate a problem with the CoC world, though. If it's possible for single individuals to conduct rituals that destroy the world, why is the world still here? Surely someone somewhere would have succeeded by now. The investigators can't win every time, after all, and if the bad guys only have to win once...well. Still, we did win, and that counts for something.

76F - 55F : Sunny

Oct. 21st, 2017 08:52 pm
zhelana: (potter - alone)
[personal profile] zhelana
This morning started out a little rough. I rolled out of bed half an hour late. Then I went to the new parking lot for zoo employees and volunteers, and I couldn't figure out where it was. The only lot I found was being barricaded off by someone else's car. I wound up deciding to go to the Cherokee lot that we're not supposed to park in anymore. It was better than no-showing, right? So I got there, and I checked in with Sarah who asked if I had parked in the new lot. I was like "I tried, but I couldn't find it" she was like "it's okay, I was actually going to seek you out to tell you this since you're my only disabled volunteer that if you have handicap plates you can still park in the Cherokee lot." lol All that stress this morning for nothing. Although admittedly it may be better to park in the lot with a shuttle than have to walk in from street parking. Unless the shuttle is small and cannot take my walker? IDK.

Today was Boo at the Zoo, at which there is music, activities for kids, and trick or treating. I was responsible for passing out candy to kids who came trick or treating to my seat. Can I just say, what happened to "Trick or Treat?" More kids came up and said, "Can I have some candy please?" than actually came up and said "Trick or Treat." Although the most frequent response to seeing me was to open their candy bag and stand there silently. I gave each kid one piece of candy, and the ones who said, "thank you" got two although it very rarely actually happened. But good manners should be rewarded so if a kid said thank you unprompted I gave them extra candy. At least until the candy nazi came and sat beside me. She wouldn't even give kids another piece of candy if they'd already gotten candy from me. She was like "Just one!" I was like "bitch, did you buy the candy? (no, she was a volunteer) it's halloween. Give the kids their sugar rush." We wound up having plenty of candy, so there was no reason to be stingy.

Anyway, this was a lot of fun and I didn't even look at my watch until 2pm (it ran 11:30-3). I thought it was supposed to run until 3:30 but they shut down at 3, and I left. I got home and Kevin said Todd, Tara's husband, had been by to put up blinds, but they were the wrong size. I'm not sure how this has happened to him twice since he did measure, but whatever. Then around 4, Tara, Todd, and Todd's daughter showed up. Todd and his daughter moved the trash to the curb so they can more easily pick it up when they get a truck, and then built my bookshelf. Tara cleaned the kitchen. I talked to Tara while she cleaned. You guys, Tara cleaned the stove, and now it turns on all by itself without a match! Apparently all it needed was to be cleaned! I can cook all by myself now! This thing hasn't worked since before we moved in.

Todd and Tara left a bit after 7, and I went to take a shower.

Did I tell you guys how the infants I worked with when I worked at a preschool are graduating high school this year? Yeah, I feel old. lol. That was my first college job. Before I even had an LJ.

Also, my parents did end up extending an invitation to Klepto to come to our Thanksgiving. So that was nice of them :)


Oct. 21st, 2017 04:42 pm
zhelana: (Gilmores - rebel)
[personal profile] zhelana
What’s your favorite song? What does it say about you?

We didn't start the fire by Billy Joel - I like it because when I was little I would listen to it with my dad on the way to school and he would explain one more thing to me each time we listened until I knew what most of the song meant. Though admittedly I was still learning some of them in college.

the rest )

(no subject)

Oct. 21st, 2017 10:02 am
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
I am jumping on the bandwagon for The Good Place with both feet! Philosophical discussion with disasters! Veronica Mars and Ted Danson and a lot of other excellent actors in a whacked out version of the afterlife.
It is wonderful!

80F - 51F : Sunny

Oct. 20th, 2017 08:09 pm
zhelana: (Games - Girl On Fire)
[personal profile] zhelana
Today was a total waste. Tara was supposed to come at 1. She texted and said she'd be here at 2. Then at 3 I texted and asked where she was. She got back to me at 4 and said she'd be here at 7. It is currently 8 and she's asking me what I want to eat next week, so I assume she's not coming over today. She wants to come tomorrow, which will be fine except Kevin will have to deal with her on his own, and I won't have a cell phone on me to be called home. So... Oh well.

Anyway, I read on the internet, reading some of the more modern research about Khazaria. I think they ignore too many things in trying to say "no it never happened" - ok then explain all the burials with Jewish symbols? And explain why all the names are Jewish names? Sighs. Some people's children. There's just too much evidence that it did happen, even if it is what passes for evidence of stuff that happened over 1000 years ago.

NaNoLanta chat is becoming active. But there is a Sushi and a SushiSandwich and I'm not sure if they're the same person or not.

That's about it for the day. I've mostly been bored and tired. Even when I woke up from my nap I was tired. I've done a lot of wandering from room to room today.


Oct. 20th, 2017 12:10 pm
zhelana: (potter - hermione pissed)
[personal profile] zhelana
If you could have one person alive today call you for advice who would it be?


Oct. 20th, 2017 11:53 am
zhelana: (Games - Katniss)
[personal profile] zhelana
What do you worry about the most?

Kevin's health

the rest )
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
From TED: Multipotentialities.

I wish someone had sorted this out about 40+ years ago... but at least it's out there now.

UI improvements

Oct. 19th, 2017 12:02 pm
dorchadas: (Default)
[personal profile] dorchadas
What do you know, they actually listened.

I had a brief meeting yesterday where reps from the database software company told us about upcoming changes. Most importantly, there will be an option to filter by state instead of everything going into a giant slush pile and getting served up to me. No longer will I need to use Excel sheets to keep track of all the states with problematic records. That alone will save me something like 6-8 clicks per record, or thousands of clicks per day. They're also going to add persistent UI settings so that I don't have to change a couple settings for every single record I look at, saving me another few hundred clicks. You'd think that saving UI preferences would be standard, but I'm familiar with large enterprise projects. I'm amazed they're including it at all when it wasn't in the initial build.

Maybe I'll eventually even come to like the new system. Emoji kawaii flower

(no subject)

Oct. 19th, 2017 02:20 pm
zhelana: (Marvel - Iron Eye)
[personal profile] zhelana
Finished this week
Hit the target with 4 arrows at 30 yards
Score more than 24 points on a RR
have a clean office (Thanks Tara!)

Progress this Week
Score 3 Royal Rounds (Scored 2)
Go to 30 meetings (it was supposed to be dance but we didn't get up critical mass to dance and just sat around talking)
Attend archery 20 times
Post 100 Situations Prompts
Clean off desk
Clean off the table
30 new kiva loans
Read 30 Jews Wikipedia page (Karl Marx)
Listen to 90 podscasts
Read the bible


Oct. 19th, 2017 02:10 pm
zhelana: (Default)
[personal profile] zhelana
Describe the best day of your life so far.

It's funny because the best day of my life is probably my wedding day, but I honestly don't remember much of it. I remember my dad walking me down the aisle and seeing the photographer and Kevin, and I remember saying I do, and then the champagne started. I remember thanking Lowell, who owned the restaurant we got married in, and I remember a stuffed cheetah. But... most of it is gone.

the rest )
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Not entirely well yet, but couldn't wait to post these:

Excessive force: A judge has ruled in favor of children who were handcuffed in school.

For being at Standing Rock to cover what was happening, Amy Goodman was charged with "participating in a riot." The judge in the case has thrown it out for lack of probable cause.

Museum visitors who match the artwork.

Remember the case of the girl who was raped at 12, had the child, and then a judge was giving her rapist custody? The judge in the case has reversed his order and will not do it now. And there are apologies from the DA's office. Apparently nobody told the judge until afterward about the guy's two previous "sexual offense" trials, one of which resulted in jail time?


Tearing the fabric of patriarchy -- looking at Weinstein and others through the precise wording of law, not victim-blaming.

The power of shamanic art.

What is left of America as we knew it is disintegrating.

And, copied from Facebook:

From a friend's page:
Distracted by taking a knee, the imminent nuclear war with North Korea, the loss of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty with Iran, the elimination of federal civil rights for Trans people, and Russiagate?
The GOP has slipped in some new bills.
The following bills have been introduced (Sept-Oct):
1. HR 861 Terminate the Environmental Protection Agency...
2. HR 610 Vouchers for Public Education
3. HR 899 Terminate the Department of Education
4. HJR 69 Repeal Rule Protecting Wildlife
5. HR 370 Another attempt to Repeal Affordable Care Act
6. HR 354 Defund Planned Parenthood
7. HR 785 National Right to Work (this one is devastating to the working class ... it ALSO applies to Union members)
8. HR 83 Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Bill
9. HR 147 Criminalizing Abortion (“Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act”)
10. HR 808 Sanctions against Iran
Renew your resistance.
Contact your House Representative.
COPY. PASTE. SHARE. Don't let your guard down; the GOP is utterly without morals or simple human decency.

71F - 46F : Sunny

Oct. 18th, 2017 11:01 pm
zhelana: (Rent - Dignity)
[personal profile] zhelana
I woke up before noon because Tara was supposed to come at noon. She showed up at 2. I was cranky. She finished off my office today, which is good. And her husband got the furniture out of our house - however, it is now sitting in our yard instead of going to the dump like she originally promised.

She left around 6, and I went to the SCA meeting. I was the first one there, and it was dark and locked up. Sooner or later (like half an hour later) people started to show up, and opened the room, and we had a business meeting about Castle Wars, and then just chatted for a while.

We went to Imperial afterwards, but they were out of my sandwich so I got falafel which might have even been better.

What are you reading Wednesday?

Oct. 18th, 2017 12:02 am
zhelana: (Original - Snowman)
[personal profile] zhelana
What are you reading?

One Way or Another by Annette Laing - No progress this week.

The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow - No progress this week

Isaiah - So I think maybe what this is is a collection of unrelated prophesies made by one guy? I've also seen some verses that look familiar, although translated a little differently than I've previously seen them.

Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean by Edward Kritzler - No progress this week

Darth Paper Strikes Back by Tom Angleberger - Just started this. It looks cute. It's basically a story about a kid who makes an origami Yoda on his finger, and then that finger starts knowing things in advance, but then he gets suspended from school for threatening a girl with this origami Yoda and his friends have to rescue him.

Kids Pick the Funniest Poems by Bruce Lansky - Most of these poems are worth a chuckle, I think, but I don't know that they are actually the funniest or anything. Jafar doesn't get the humor.


Oct. 18th, 2017 12:01 am
zhelana: (Gilmores - cry)
[personal profile] zhelana
Who are you closest to?

My mom, probably.

the rest )

68F - 45F : Sunny

Oct. 17th, 2017 10:42 pm
zhelana: (Games - Rue)
[personal profile] zhelana
I woke up inexplicably at 8 this morning. Actually, it's not so inexplicable; it's a hypomanic episode. But that's neither here nor there at the moment. I got online for 2 hours and then went to read at the elementary school. While I was waiting for Jafar (I got there at 10:17 for a 10:40 reading time because I thought it was 10:30, and also, didn't have to wake up and drag ass for a few minutes while I woke up) the leader of the thing mentioned she had 3 kids whose mentors had just never shown up. The kids were told they were in the program and then their mentors never showed up. I asked if any of them had lunch shortly after Jafar, and was told that one of them had lunch exactly two minutes after Jafar. So I volunteered to read to this other kid, too. I read from the book of poems that Jafar picked, and he asked why they were funny since the title of the book labels them the funniest poems. I wonder if he understands anything I say to him, because these were some funny poems. I wound up explaining the punch line to him a couple times, but then it seemed like if you have to explain a joke it isn't very funny or whatever, so I tried to just talk about the poem a little. He seemed to understand, but still wasn't getting the humor. I dunno.

After Jafar went back to his class, I was paired with a young man named Jayden. Jayden is in 5th grade and enjoys video games and reading. Unlike Jafar he was able to tell me several books he enjoyed reading, and immediately picked out a chapter book that looked good to him (something like Darth Paper and the adventures of Origami Yoda). He said he's a big Star Wars fan and can't wait for the next movie to come out in December. I like this kid :) We read for a little less time than I read to Jafar, because Jafar brings his own lunch, and Jayden had to go through the lunch line and buy lunch. But that's okay, we still were able to read a good bit.

I came home and tried to nap, but Tara started texting me asking me if there were a good time she could come over to measure our windows tonight. I texted Kevin to find out for sure that he'd be home, and then told her she could come by after 6:30, but she'd have to talk to Kevin as I wouldn't be there. At that point I wasn't sleeping, so I got up and had 2 hours to do productive things. I cleaned up the rest of the stuff Tara put on my desk, so now it only looks as bad as it did when we started. Then I refreshed LJ and proceeded to 1. take a picture of my cat 2. make plans to make plans 3. take a can of dog food away from my dog and 4. absolutely not read lj.

The alarm went off and I packed my laptop up and went to my therapist appointment. We talked about Tara, our new furniture, and my making plans to make plans, and suddenly she looks at me with a look of horror and goes, "you're bipolar, aren't you?" And I'm like "yes" and she starts reading a list of questions off her computer and comes back with "I think it's safe to say this is a hypomanic episode." Then she asks me what my list of triggers that I know mean I need to go to the hospital are, and says she'll contact my psychiatrist for me. Yep. I told her I wasn't too worried about needing the hospital because I haven't since I started the geodon, but she made me list out symptoms that I would accept as signs to do so anyway. But it basically boiled down to "if my husband tells me to," and I'm not telling him he has that power. lol.

I went from there to the write-in with Klepto, where we had planned to make plans. We made those plans, which basically are for two write ins, one on the streetcar trolley getting off 4 times and going to different coffee shops, and basically crawling around the city for several hours to different places. The other is doing the same thing on one of the train lines going from Doraville to the Airport and back north again. Then we planned a write-in for the 1st, since no one else had, and we both wanted to try to get off to a strong start. We also started to plan a TGIO party for December. We thought about making it a write in (it's spending some time at a coffee shop that has cats from the local no-kill shelter that you can play with, and adopt if you want to, but we decided people might be too distracted by the cats to write, so we decided to do it as a TGIO instead of a write-in). That pretty much took all our time, and 10 minutes before the store closed, I was like "well, let's not make them kick us out," and we packed up and left.

I also found out Klepto doesn't have family for Thanksgiving. Her dad's family doesn't speak to her because other than her father (who died) himself, they are all racist, and her mother is Chinese. Her mother works at the airport, so she doesn't have the day off since planes still fly on Thanksgiving. So I texted my mother to ask if we could invite her to our Thanksgiving dinner. Of course, my mother is in France, and it was 2:15 in the morning when I texted her, so I don't expect to hear back for a while. Especially since she's on a cruise ship and will probably have her phone on airplane mode until the next port. I imagine my mother will say yes, since she seemed a little put out that Audrey's girlfriend's mother wouldn't invite Kelly to their Thanksgiving last year and left my sister alone on the holiday.

I came home and started talking to Kevin for a while, but he got distracted watching some giant robots fight each other on the internet, or something. so I came back out here and studied for my bat mitzvah, and now, I dunno what I'm going to do. I hope to sleep at some point, because Tara is coming tomorrow. Not super early like Monday, but still at like noon, which is before I naturally wake up. And she'll be cleaning my bedroom, so I can't even nap while she's here.

a short break

Oct. 17th, 2017 08:08 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
I'm dealing with stomach flu that is keeping me up nights. Not fun. Today I slept like a rock -- until noon. I'm starting to feel better -- but I have no real concentration.

So I'm not doing links again until I feel competent. I used all my competence for today in posting my Stage of Fools story.

But I am reading whatever y'all write, and glad of it.

*hugs flist*

[WotMK: Hexcrawl] Session Thirty-One

Oct. 17th, 2017 08:52 am
dorchadas: (Warlords of the Mushroom Kingdom)
[personal profile] dorchadas
Dramatis Personae:
  • Shining Star, mandragora sorcerer-priestess of Nyahré.
  • Father James, human disciple of the pidgit-folk.
    • Hundred Wings, Father James' familiar spirit bound into a bodies of dozens of ravens.
  • Willow, human treesinger raised in Taira.
  • Amos Burnham, a human from Earth.
  • Elaphe, a chuzan junior member of the Black Rose.
The party rode down the ramp around the pipe and spoke to the tower town guard, who waved them through after making they bound their weapons in their sheaths. Elaphe tied an elaborate knot shaped like a rose, causing one guard to take a step back, but then they were allowed to enter. They were in a crowded square, with a tea house on one side under the sign of a roaring lion next to a large public notice board, which Amos immediately went to look at. In Floral, Muskalan, Sarasan, and other languages the party didn't speak among them, there were calls for companions to go into Etemenanki and find treasure, advertisements for businesses, and a call to find a missing child. There was a notice for mercenaries to come to Fontina, and a note half-pasted over it warning mercenaries away and saying that something suspicious was happening there. They took note of a bounty on some gigases that were lairing west of tower town as well as the standing bounty on putting the dead to rest in the ruined parts of the city, and then entered the tea house.

It was quickly obvious that they'd fit right in. The ceilings were high and there was a roaring fire in the center of the room. In the back was a blonde human woman, drinking by herself, and to the left of the entrance were two kremlings and a heavily-muscled frog person playing some sort of dice game. Two starfolk were drinking next to the fire, while a couple tables over a man dressed in a toga with feathered white wings and shockingly purple hair sat with his head in his hands. And behind the bar, wiping down the surface, was a lynel.

Willow ducked out to invoke a quick ritual and returned, his skin shining and flower petals falling from the air around him, and bargained for their stay. The lynel was unmoved by his beauty, however, and they handed over the money for a week's room and board as well as stabling for their mounts. After a quick dinner and ice-cold mushroom beer chilled by the lynel's touch, Elaphe went up to their room to rest, Father James went outside to earn some cash through palmistry, and Willow went over to talk to the winged man. He blearily looked up when Willow approached and gladly told his story: his name was Hemah, and he said he had been cursed by a "vegetable wizard" during in invasion of the "kingdom of the sky," and in response he had been exiled. He hadn't found anything that could break the curse and eagerly seized on Willow's suggestion that he could help, and he called Shining Star over. She quickly determined that the curse on him was not demonic in nature and couldn't easily be broken with her sorcery, but thought that it might be worth asking the starfolk.

As Hemah slumped back onto the table, Shining Star bought drinks for the starfolk and introduced herself as a priestess of Nyahré. One of them spoke Muskalan, and excitedly--and slightly drunkenly--greeted her. In response to her questions, he said he was just a farmer, but that Kimé, the other starfolk, was a guardian-in-training and may be able to help. They gathered around Hemah, but Kimé's efforts were also in vain, for now. Shining Star asked the lynel about libraries, and he said there were various private libraries in tower town and their best bet would be to ask a sorcerer, so Shining Star made a note to do that in the morning. She bought another round of drinks, and as thanks, Kimé cast a spell that cleansed her of all the dust and grime of travel.

As Hemah continued his melancholy and Shining Star talked with the starfolk, Amos slipped out to walk the streets. He saw mostly shops and residences, though he took note of the building with a blazing sun and sand as well as the faerie, the universal symbol for a healer, on the shingle. The neighborhood had the feel of a boom town, all excitement and hope, and it wasn't as run-down and fearful as Rockfort or Gyere had been. He nodded at Father James as he passed him, and eventually made his way back to the tea house.

While he was gone, Willow took a seat at the back of the bar with the woman. After he introduced himself, the woman questioned him, asking him something in Latin, and then asking if he was from Egypt or Libya, and who had been the tribunes when he left. After some back and forth, Willow established that he was from far in her future, from a land beyond "The Pillars of Hercules," and she said that she had been born to freed slaves and made a life for herself in Egypt until the conflict between Marcus Antonius and Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus forced her to flee. She lost her way in a sandstorm and wound up in Agarica. She said her name was Valeria, and Willow suggested that Amos had an interest in her. She took it in stride, and Willow took his leave. She also briefly talked to the lynel and learned that, while lynel do not give their names to those outside their tribe, people called him Old Lion and he thought it was fitting.

After meeting up at the tea house, the party went to sleep. The next morning, Father James's wounds burned with a dull ache and red lines were extending from under the bandage up his side, so he knew he needed immediate medical attention. Amos told him about the healer he had found, and after breakfast, the party left the tea house to attend to their missions. Shining Star and the two starfolk went to find a library; and Elaphe, Willow, and Amos went to a market to get appraisals on the Imperium coins from the ziggurat and the crystals they had found in the vampire's lair. Elaphe also bought some potions from an alchemist that promised to increase the senses.

Father James went to the healer after borrowing some money from Elaphe. He attempted to ingratiate himself, but the healer, a white-furred chuzan with shining golden eyes, was incredibly brusque, poking him in the wound, shutting down all his attempts at conversation, and demanding full payment up front. When Father James paid, the healer ordered him onto cot and began chanting. His hands glowed, stronger and stronger, until it filled the room and Father James could see the veins in his eyelids, and the the pain in his wound suddenly vanished. A few more incantations and flashes of light, and the wounds were almost entirely healed. Father James thanked him, but the healer hurried him out and, with a quick "Tell your friends!" closed the door behind him.

Next time, Etemenanki! Or maybe hunting gigases, since Elaphe's player is keen on that. Anything that's corporeal, without a lot of supernatural might, and will bleed when he stabs it.

I like the games that take place in larger cities because they let me show off more of the cosmopolitan nature of WotMK. I deliberately tried to avoid the D&D approach where everyone lives in their isolated kingdoms and there's no cultural exchange or immigration. Tower town especially is an adventurer's dream with a giant megadungeon right next door, so people from all over come there. Like fallen starfolk--Shining Star's player has made it a mission to get them back to the Star Road--or frog people.

I've got a map of part of the tower I've been waiting to use for over a year, so I expect the party will go hunt gigases. We'll see!
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