Out of character interlude – magic item

Two in one week? what a rip-off! I’m the worst. For a refund of your money please send me your bank routing and account number along with your SSN and mother’s maiden name. You may see a small withdrawal from your account, followed by a large withdrawal – this is part of the refund process. Do not be alarmed.

Ela’s Cerulean Sign Tattoo

The Cerulean Sign grants a +3 resistance bonus on all Will saving throws made against effects that originate from aberrations.  Grants a +3 luck bonus to Armor Class and on all saving throws against attacks from aberrations, this bonus doubles against evil aberrations.  The bearer of the Sign is immune to any attempts to possess or exercise mental control over the target.

The bearer of the Sign can banish a Great Old One (no save), but doing so causes the tattoo to utterly consume their life-force, killing them instantly.  There is a 50% chance that a wish, miracle, or true resurrection spell can restore the being that invoked this power to life. Check once for each destroyed creature. If the check fails, the creature cannot be brought back to life by mortal magic.  No other form of resurrection magic has any chance of working. 

Out of character interlude – the 2000 year old man

As of yesterday’s post, excluding out of character bits, the Ela narrative has surpassed 2000 pages. That’s a lot of words for one thing. Some would say an insane amount. Seems like a good time to take stock. Also I’m too lazy to write anything “good”.

I remember back in the 90s when I was basically doing this same thing – writing about a solo campaign – and Word would stop after 200 pages or so. That was all it could handle. I had to start a new document several times. So we’ve really progressed as a people – now obsessive weirdos can write thousands of pages about their pretend adventures.

I changed that character’s name a lot so I don’t remember it but she was a werehyena Paladin I know that. She was so, so, troubled and tragic she was. I wonder what it is about playing D&D for the first time that makes you want all your characters to be sad emo Vampire the Masquerade rejects. Or maybe that was just me.

At the height of my Ela fixation I had written more than a month ahead, which was nice because I didn’t have to write every day if I didn’t want to and I could still post every day. I’ve been day for day for a while now, and I admit I’m losing some steam. It’s almost like writing about a solo campaign gets old after 19 months.

Part of it may be my other blogs. When I started blog #3 I considered that I should take a break from everyday Ela posts but I didn’t. I probably should though. I’m worried though that if I stop posting every day I’ll trail off altogether. I have a thing about that. But posting every day on ONE blog would be plenty – and by plenty I mean more than anyone wants.

It’s curious to me that blog #3 has 97% less followers than this one but usually has more views. I mean I know most of the followers on this blog are bots, but still. My other blog is an easier read and probably has a broader appeal but I wonder if a lot (speaking relatively of course, a lot being like 10) read it a couple times and never follow.

I guess I really have nothing to say other than I’ve written a lot of about Ela. Officially.

Out of character interlude – magic items

I was accused of being “a little down” last night. I denied it but maybe it’s true because I don’t feel like writing anything today. But I am required to by the terms of my probation so here’s some magic items Ela picked up. You know, in case you still play an outdated version of an RPG that’s getting blown away by 5th edition D&D and you’re not satisfied with the 17 zillion magic items that already exist. As a special treat they have no prices or requirements to make them!

Remember the card game Rage? I do. It was great.

Blessed Robes

+5 Armor bonus to AC

When struck by a critical hit or sneak attack, the wearer can spend an immediate action to negate the critical hit or sneak attack (similar to the fortification armor special ability, but without requiring a roll). The damage is instead rolled normally. This ability functions once per day.

Melee weapons wielded by the wearer strike true against evil foes. The weapon is treated as having a +1 enhancement bonus for the purpose of bypassing the DR of evil creatures or striking evil incorporeal creatures (though the spell doesn’t grant an actual enhancement bonus). The weapon also becomes good-aligned, which means it can bypass the DR of certain creatures. (This effect overrides and suppresses any other alignment the weapon might have.)

Vampire Hunter’s Cloak

The wearer gains a +2 resistance bonus on all saving throws against negative energy and level drain, and whenever he makes a Fortitude save to recover from a negative level, he may roll the save twice, taking the better of the two results as the actual result.

Once per day, the wearer can target an undead creature with a halt undead effect (Will DC 14 negates) as a swift action.

The wearer can infuse a single melee weapon she wields with the purifying light of the sun as a swift action for up to ten rounds per day. These rounds do not need to be consecutive. While a weapon is infused with the sun, it deals +1d6 points of damage to any undead creature that is susceptible or vulnerable to sunlight, such as specters, vampires, and wraiths. A weapon infused with sun strike sheds illumination as if it were a sunrod.

Macendamandel 16 Year 888 (New Imperial Calendar)

In retrospect pissing off a timeless incorporeal sorcereress that can attack me in my dreams any time I fall asleep was not the wisest course of action.  All I can say in my defense is that it seemed like a good idea at the time.  I don’t know for sure that she can kill me in a dream but all the evidence I have suggests that she can.  I really need to figure out something in regards to that because staying awake all the time and or dosing myself with brain damaging narcotics regularly are not long term solutions.  In novels I hate more than anything when they have chapters that are dreams or the characters are doing stuff in dreams – maybe this is some kind of cosmically ironic revenge for hating all those authors that do that.  Do you think the characters in the books know that they’re being written?  And if so how do they their feel about their authors?  I know if my life was a story the person writing it would be top on my list for people that need to die in agony.

But on to more immediate concerns than death by madness from enforced sleep deprivation or terrible dreamtime slaughter.  Once night fell the scute (still not sure that’s what this boat is called) kept on slowly drifting downriver but the crew didn’t drop anchor or move to the shore – a few people stayed up to make sure that the boat didn’t run aground or get tangled in anything but they kept moving.  And I stayed awake with them even though I was more tired than a choirboy at a whorehouse.  Remember that magic ring I had before that made it so I never needed to sleep?  I wonder now if that’s what made so that to this dream woman can get to me.  Maybe it messed up my dream energy or something. 

Once we were into the deeps of the Lodge Forest, but before the sun was up, I produced a rope and grappling hook from my secret storage and tossed it into a cluster of bushes on the north shore.  I gave it a tug to make sure it would hold fast, but it seemed like only a second before I was being pulled by the movement of the boat anyway.  Seems like we’re moving very slowly, but I guess fifty feet isn’t that long of a rope.  Since it was as good as it was going to get in the half of second I had to think about it I slipped overboard into the water.  I was shocked by how cold it was.  The night was pleasantly neither warm nor cold but that water felt like it was a good twenty degrees colder than the air.  Explain that.  I stifled an involuntary gasp and started pulling my way to the shore with the rope – and it’s a good thing too because that current was a lot stronger than I anticipated. 

Dragging myself to shore was the easy part, pulling myself up onto the bank was a good bit harder.  In the darkness I hadn’t realized how steep it was and my sodden clothing felt like it weighed fifty pounds.  I had just about resolved to let out some of the rope and try father downstream when I finally managed to climb up the muddy bank and into the bushes – displacing some frantic animal that dashed off into the night.  I lay there to catch my breath for a moment and then striped off my wet clothes, wrapping myself in a cloak from my secret pocket and wringing them out before hanging them over my arms to hopefully dry as I moved about. 

If I know where I am (doubtful) and remember the geography of this area (dubious) if I head straight east (which is unlikely) I should emerge from the woods to find the road to Ardint or Tybhurst which I can follow on to Three Rivers.   I wasn’t sure how much of an effort Lady Missplitter and her pipehead minion were going to make to chase after me so I figured I should move as fast as possible while I had a lead on them.  Which wasn’t very fast honestly.

 In town I have a knack for moving around quickly – cobblestone, broken pavement, dense crowds, slanted roofs, rain-slicked stones – these things hardly slow me down.  In an urban environment I move like smoke.  But whenever I’m in a benighted (I’m not exactly sure what that means but it sounds correct in this context) place like this I trip over every tree root, I put my foot in every hole, and it seems like every plant in the universe is sticking to my legs or hitting me in the face.  Augrim told me once that the key to moving through the forest at night is using your peripheral vision.  I’ll put this in the running for most useless advice against such gems are “think about people who have to worse than you” and “just don’t give up”.

After an hour or so of stumbling and falling through the woods I decided sunrise would be coming soon anyway so it would be best to stay put until it was light out.  I leaned against a tree because I didn’t dare sit down – I was sure that I would be asleep as soon as my shapely ass touched the ground.  I beat my clothes against a tree and then hung them on some branches, switching out cloaks for a new dryer one.  I still almost feel asleep even just leaning against a tree.  To keep myself engaged I started studing closely whatever I could see in the dim light of pre-dawn.  Never before had leaves and sticks seemed so interesting.  What really woke me up is seeing a fire though.  A friendly band of Kostelos tribespeople is just what I needed. 

I pulled on my damp clothing and proceeded with all stealth towards the firelight – just in case.  As I got closer though I saw the red uniform of a Vieland soldier.  I thought for a moment that it might be a Kostelos warrior wearing the jacket of a Vielander killed in battle but I crept a little closer and saw that was not the case.  There was one Kostelos sitting up by the fire, an older man with a shaved head and dark tattoos across his scalp and face, but the rest of the men slumbering and sitting about were all Vielander army.  Incongruously my first thought was disapproval for their lax discipline – lighting a fire behind enemy lines?  Good way to get yourself killed.

Then a much more troubling thought bubbled to the surface – what if they weren’t behind enemy lines?  Surely the front line couldn’t have advanced this far north could it?  Where the border with Vieland is in the woods was never well known, but surely they couldn’t just be lost could they?  Maybe they’re advance scouts of some kind but scouts would be smart enough not to lite a beacon right?  Although now that I think about it I never heard anything about the Kingdom patrolling the woods.  Maybe they’re not concerned because there’s no one looking for them.  What the Hells are they doing here?

My plan was to wait for one of them to wander off to take a leak, take him by surprise, slit his throat and take his clothes and boots.  Most importantly the boots, say what you will about Vieland but they know their way around . . . whatever tools a cobbler uses.  The first part of the plan worked great – one of the soldiers totally went to take a piss.  It was everything after that that failed.  I don’t claim to be the best cutthroat in the world but I’ve got a pretty good technique I think.  It didn’t do me any good this time though, as soon as I came up behind him and grabbed for him he had a hold of my wrist and was flipping me over his shoulder. 

My only saving grace was that he was clearly expecting a heavier attacker and put too much “oomph” into the flip maneuver, which caused him to stumble forward off balance as well.  This allowed me to get my legs around his head (not like that) and latch onto his one arm with my body.  We fell to the ground clumsily locked together.  He tried to go for his dagger with his left hand but we were pressed together body to body too closely for that and he resorted to some awkward punches.  His angle was all wrong through and there wasn’t much force behind them.  I figured I had a pretty good stranglehold on him with my legs but once he gave up on punching he pulled my legs apart (not like that) without too much effort.  He managed to call for help shortly before I pulled his dagger out his belt and stuck him through the roof of the mouth with it – I don’t know a ton about skulls but I don’t think there’s anything protecting your brain from below.  He certainly went down fast enough to make me think his brains had been splattered.

I scrambled away from the body and quickly took on the appearance of a Kostelos woman, screaming as a couple soldiers ran into sight.  I started babbling at them in Kostelos and pointing into the forest.  None of them seemed to understand but tattoo-head was there soon enough to translate, a strange weapon that was a combination of a buckler and a short blade strapped to his arm.  I told them that I had been running from Uncle Pongracz and came across the soldier, who struggled with the old man of the woods and ended up dead before he ran off.  Uncle Pongracz is a boogeyman of Kostelos legend – an outcast whose solitude drove him mad and turned him into some kind of immortal trickster being that carries people away for unknown reasons.  But probably not any reasons that would bode you good. 

Tattoos didn’t quite believe me but he didn’t not believe me either – the soldiers on the other hand thought the entire thing was superstitious nonsense.  I always find it odd when people dismiss tales of monsters and undead creatures as silliness since there are in fact all sorts of real monsters all over the place.  Why would you believe in manticores and chimeras but draw the line at hodags and skinstealers?  It makes no sense.  Why is one monster more “real” than the next?  I suppose most people haven’t been exposed to as many abominations as I have but still, I mean dragons – everyone knows there are dragons.  So open your minds a bit huh?

The soldiers agreed that clearly I couldn’t have taken away Witter’s own knife and killed him with it being a weak and powerless woman,  but they weren’t about to believe that Uncle Pongracz did it either.  They questioned me further with the tattooed man translating but I stuck to my story, much to their frustration.  One soldier suggested that I was a spy, which was roundly mocked – who would trust a Kostelos spy?  And a woman to boot?  Another suggested that regardless they couldn’t let me go to tell anyone they were there but a compatriot of his pointed out that there was no one I could tell that mattered.  In the end the general agreement was that I was just a crazy outcast – not unlike Uncle Pongracz ironically. 

A sergeanty looking fellow asked Vulture Claw (which is the name of the Kostelos apparently) what they should do with me.  His first suggestion was that they kill me, irrespective of whoever I was it was the safest way to go.  They balked at the idea of killing an innocent woman in cold blood – which is quite noble for soldiers (maybe) behind enemy lines.  Clearly the Kingdom propaganda about the rapacious violence of Vielanders isn’t quite accurate.  Vulture Claw suggested in the alternative that I be taken as a slave and given to his son as a wife.  They didn’t care for that idea.  He finally said that they might as just let me go then.  The Vielanders didn’t like that idea either. 

(translated from Kostelos) “Why are you helping these chiftik?”

He gave me a sideways look “The Kingdomers have killed my people, why should I not help their enemies?”

“You think these will treat us any different?”

“I won’t live to see the day their wars end, I no longer care, I seek only the blood of the Kingdomers.”

“What about the rest of us?”

“Our people are doomed, the only seek vengeance now against the tribe-killers, anyone who does otherwise is a fool.  Silence your wagging tongue now woman.”

The final decision was that they would take me with them.  I hope that it’s someplace close since my disguise ability only lasts for a couple of hours.  Although maybe that depends what waits me wherever they’re taking me – perhaps I shouldn’t be so eager to get there huh?

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Funds: None

XP: 1,190,751

Inventory: None

Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane, Piltis Swine, Rince Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle the butler, Alice Kinsey , “Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Claire Conrad, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror, Eedraxis,  Skin-Taker tribe, Kartak, Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family, Androni Titus, Greasy dreadlocks woman, Lodestone Security, Kellgale Nickoslander, Beltian Kruin the Splithog Pauper, The King of Spiders, Auraluna Domiel, mother Hurk, Mazzmus Parmalee,  Helgan van Tankerstrum, Lightdancer, Bonder Greysmith, Pegwhistle Proudfoot, Lumbfoot Sheepskin, Lumber Consortium of Three Rivers, Hellerhad the Wizard, Forsaken Kin, Law Offices of Office of Glilcus and Stolo, Jey Rora, Colonel Tarl Ciarán, Mayor Baras Haldmeer, Rindol the Sage, Essa, eyeless hag, Baron Saltwheel, Baron Harmenkar, Colonel Tarl Ciarán’s wizard soldier, Victor, Beharri, Cebuano, Mayor Eryn, Chimera Trading Company, maker of the manacles, Calvados Eure, Law Offices of Lampblack and Brimstone, Peronell Missplitter

If you like Ela the Expert you’ll be wildly indifferent about Amazing Grace!

I’ve decided that sitting in a computer chair for 10-12 hours a day is not enough! So I’ve started a second blog (third but the other one is super secret – you can tell because I’m mentioning it).

I love wrestling. I can’t explain why exactly. I don’t even watch it much anymore because there was too much behind the scenes stuff coming out about how horrible the business is. And because ROH isn’t that good anymore. And because NXT isn’t that good anymore. And because I’m too lazy to go to live shows much anymore.

So my new blog is about a woman trying to make her way as a greenhorn tenderfoot in the world of wrestling. And also magic. Because why not?

Even with WordPress dummy mode on I still can’t make the site look great. I’m working on that, but it has some sweet art! If you have any tips on making my site not crappy please let me know.

If you like wrestling or if you like magic or if you like crappy writing or if you like following blogs and never reading them in the hopes that they’ll follow you back or if you’re a Russian bot check out https://cultissuchanuglyword.wordpress.com/

Great name , terrible URL eyeball feel!

Forty bucks weeknights

Out of character interlude – Let’s blog

It’s not in my nature to participate in things being the resentful misanthrope that I am, but I’m trying to turn over a new leaf and be less Crabapple McSourpuss so here we go.   Thanks for nominating me jernahblunt and a tip of the cap to the creator Renee’s Corner.

Here are the rules.

Rules of Let’s Blog

Mention the creator of the award and the blogger who nominated you.

Copy paste the rules.

Answer the 10 questions sent by the nominator.

Write your 10 questions for the nominees.

Nominate 5 bloggers for this award and let them know via comment on one of their posts.

Keep the thumbnail as the thumbnail of this post.

Answer your own questions.

First I answer the questions –

  • When did you first decide to make a blog?

Not sure exactly, 2003 maybe.  Depending on what you call a blog maybe even before that.  I was on a dating site and I saw that it had a place where you could blog as well – which is pretty weird for a dating site.  I had nothing much to do at the time and I like writing so I started putting stuff there.  It did not fit in with the other blogs at all, but some people liked it.  Not very many but some. 

  • How long did it take for you to figure out what kind of content you wanted to make?

I’ll answer this for my current blog since my older blogs were a random mish-mash of whatever I felt like writing.  As I have mentioned I stole this idea from Dave the Commoner.  The gang and I were sitting around the table before or after or during a D&D (Pathfinder, but you know) game and my pal was saying that he was to start a blog like Dave’s about a warrior.  I said that we should all do it for each of the NPC classes, I was joking but one of my classic “bits’ is doing something that I was clearly joking about.  I picked expert because commoner and warrior were also taken and I thought adept and aristocrat were too “easy”.  

  • Do you find blogging to be satisfying immediately or did you need to put some time into it before you got invested?

I find writing to be satisfying, the blogging part is not really important to me.  I fully expect that no one reads much of this, I just like writing it.  Or at least that’s what I tell myself, clearly if I didn’t really care if anyone read my stuff I wouldn’t post it in the internet right? 

  • Have you ever written an article that you found to be exhausting or stressful?

I was prepared to say no and move on, but thinking about it made me realize that it’s not true.  Some of the posts were Ela gets the shit kicked out of her or is just humiliated make me wonder if what I’m doing is harmful to society.  Which sounds grandiose since at best a couple people read this, but it makes me wonder about myself and what kind of person I am if that’s what I write.  I used to comfort myself by saying “well no on reads this anyway” but a friend pointed out that doesn’t matter – someone who writes something terrible still wrote it even if no one read it.  Thanks for that . . .

  • Aside from blogging, what do you do to unwind?

I tricked my girlfriend into liking board games – good ones like Agricola and One Deck Dungeon not crap like Risk.  I read a lot (especially now).  I used to play RPGs before covid.  I also watch TV.  For some reason that’s like a shameful thing to admit even though most people do it a lot.  It’s weird. 

  • Is there a subject you consider yourself highly knowledgeable on?

No,

  • If you could re-write one article that you’ve done, which one would it be and why?

I’d re-write everything, all of these posts are rough drafts at best.  But to answer in the spirit of the question I’ve already re-written the first post once and I still don’t like it.  The wording is still awkward and clumsy. 

  • What is a story you think everyone should experience? (Movie, game, book, anime, whatever)

Just because I read it recently I’ll say Madam Fourcade’s Secret War.  I don’t go ga-ga for true stories like some people do, but there is something to be said for reading a crazy amazing story and stopping occasionally to think “this actually happened, people actually did this.”  It’s kind of a downer because there aren’t a lot of happy endings for spies in occupied France, but it’s a story about real heroism, the kind you hope you have inside you but also hope you never find out that you have inside you. 

  • Would you rather live in a sci-fi world (with spaceships and aliens, stuff like that) or a fantasy world (with magic and fantasy creatures, stuff like that)?

Sci-fi, which a cop out answer I suppose because I say that because it’s essentially the real world.  We do have spaceships, they aren’t very cool yet but they’re getting better.  A sci-fi world would make sense to me.  Living in a fantasy world sound awful.  Ogres and dragons and shit?  No thanks.  Plus they’re all kind of based on the real world several hundred years ago.  I don’t want to live before toilet paper. 

  • How much time do you spend exploring your imagination?

I don’t really know what this means, which probably means not enough. 

And now I ask the questions! (and also answer them because the rules say so)

  • How much is too much?

Too much is never enough

  • Why are you crying?

I’m cutting onions, I’m making a lasagna for one

  • Are you ready to trust robots?

Yes, but that doesn’t mean have full confidence in them.  I’ve been led to believe (by insurance industry propaganda) that if we instituted driverless cars with the technology we have right now today automobile deaths would be reduced by half.  People would still die but not as many.  When it comes to robotic automation people seem to want perfection/zero mistakes, which is odd because people are colossally fallible.  A robot that can do it better should be good enough, but it’s not.  I suppose it’s the illusion of control.  Such as, I take the stairs because I hate elevators, but way more people get hurt or killed falling on stairs than by malfunctioning elevators.  I know this intellectually but I still hate elevators and always take the stairs because there’s another part of my brain that doesn’t like logic and says “Other people might trip but YOU won’t.”  Extra funny because I tripped on the stairs at school in HS and got fucked up once.  And another time at work.  And I only got trapped in a malfunctioning elevator once.  2-1 in favor of elevators and yet I still take the stairs.

  • Shouldn’t we know better by now?

We do we just don’t act on it.

  • If countries were people, which country would be your best friend and why?

My best friends are standoffish and a little bristly and reluctant to allow new people in.  Once you crack through that hard chocolate shell though it’s pure nougaty goodness.  So I’ll say . . . . China before the rise of communism? 

  • What conspiracy are you the closest to believing?

Of course I don’t believe in any of them being the rational and logical person that I am.  Of course not.  But the one that I almost maybe could believe is that JKF was killed by some element of the CIA on the orders of someone in the government because they were worried he was going to pull out of Vietnam (Marilyn Monroe joke here) and they really thought that communism was going to spread across the land and destroy everything. 

  • What small insignificant thing makes you unreasonably mad?

When someone makes a right hand turn from the right lane into the left lane when I’m in the left hand land trying to make a legal turn into the left lane. 

  • Does that commercial for AT&T 5G where Lily from AT&T talks about sourdough bread kind of make you want to destroy the entire world and everyone in it?

Yes, but then the other day I saw a story about how people were dummying up fake sexy photos of her and being jerks so then I felt bad about hating that commercial so much.  Which is an unreasonable as hating it in the first place. 

  • What animal gets you Darwin award for best evolution?

I’ve been told that I can’t pick humans, so I’ll go for the bombardier beetle.  An insect that can spray scalding hot oil on your face?  That’s some messed up impressive stuff evolution.  Runner up to the flying snake.  A snake that can jump is crazy enough to begin with and then you add in flying!

  • Why do people get so mad at squirrels for eating bird food when squirrels are a hundred times more interesting than birds?

I guess because there’s only one kind of squirrel (as far as I know) in each area.  You can’t have a book of different kind of squirrels and check them all off as you see them.  I saw a squirrel sitting on a branch holding a small notepad once.  Outside of work I saw a squirrel dragging an unopened 12 pack of hotdog buns down the sidewalk.  Those things are delightful.  I’ve never seen a bird do anything remotely interesting.  Sure, sometimes squirrels peg me with nuts while I’m mowing the lawn, but that’s also amusing in a way. 

Now the hard part, because I don’t really interact with anyone – the five nominees.  Sidenote all their websites look better than mine.  

dabdownjack – this guy does a variety of rules light solo play-throughs, British?

ann – Gaming and miniature painting

ethanmcintyre – Gaming and comics, also anime if you’re into that

1somniac – One of the only shadowrun blogs I’ve ever found, also is good

rashead – Gaming and origami and music!

Out of character interlude – mailbag

I’ve had several blogs over the years, one of them was read by as many as SIX people.  One thing I did on all of them sometimes was answer my mail.  Those were always the posts that no one liked.  So why not bring that tradition back?  I’m too lazy to do any “real” writing today.

Helen, a 30 year old dental hygienist from Carbondale writes –

“You’re writing sucks.”

 That’s not a question but thanks for stopping by!  Also you used the wrong your. 

Danny, a 26 year old government politician who enjoys going to the movies, working on cars and meditation writes –

“Why do you suck at writing so badly?”

I think it should be bad instead of badly – that sentence as constructed means that I am bad at sucking right?  The easy answer is that I never learned how to write properly.  I took creative writing in HS but things didn’t really work out.  One time the teacher said “you need to learn how to write dialog” and I said “okay can you help me with that?” and they gave me detention for “sassmouth”.  Another time I got in trouble for “making stuff up”.  In creative writing class.  Another time she gave me a note saying I was a bad person because I wrote a story about vampires and vampires were “satanic”.  I think she presented this as a note because you’re not supposed to talk about religion in school.  I never thought I had a shitty education until I met my GF and she was aghast at all my stories like this. 

Another answer is that writing is hard.  To write something good you have to really work at it – you have to edit and re-write and edit and re-write some more.  To write something good you have to go over it so many times you grow to hate it.  No thank you.  Also you have to have talent. 

Esther Greenway a 40 year old former personal trainer, bus driver, painter, and golf instructor writes –

“I would like this story if the main character was a man.”

That’s not a questions but thanks for stopping by! 

Drako Pinkish writes –

“Ela is a terrible character, women won’t act like this.”

I don’t think a character has to be realistic to be interesting.  Also that’s a pretty broad statement that I don’t know if I agree with.  There’s probably some women that are like this – definitely some fictional women anyway.  It’s not typical behavior sure, but who wants to read about normal behavior?  Also, and I realize that this is a cop-out, but in fantasy writing is there any reason to expect people would act anything like what we think is normal? 

DJ Wario; Making music. DDR whore. Basically Wario. I wanna see your make believe; writes –

“What is this called erotic, there’s nothing erotic here.”

Good news, I changed the name a while back.  I thought it would be funny to called it the Erotic Endeavors because it was not erotic at all.  No one thought it was funny.  Also I got some gross messages about how my blog could be more erotic.  I guess the joke was on me.  I shouldn’t call those people gross I guess, they were just trying to help.  By being gross.  What’s DDR?

George Parker, a 32 year old ophthalmology student writes –

“Sites is horrible, I can’t even read it.”

Yeah, web design is clearly not my thing.  I tried to make it look okay.  Several people asked for archives so I added that as best I could but I don’t think it’s helpful at all.  I’ve heard that it’s super messed up on a mobile device.  I tried to fix that but what do I know about mobile apps?  Nothing.  Wouldn’t it be “hilarious” if paid someone a bunch of money to make my site better?  No.  It would not.  Also to make this even funnier I work in IT.  I know that lots of people in IT don’t know anything about web design, but to an outsider it makes it funnier because it’s all computers.  Also I don’t know shit about computers. 

HTW 35-year-old kitchen assistant and aspiring life coach writes –

“Is this a solo campaign?”

I never thought of it like that until I was a year in but I guess it is.  Or more accurately maybe it’s a narrative using Pathfinder/D&D as inspiration for writing prompts.  I bend the rules somewhat because of the representative nature of combat in Pathfinder/D&D and also because if you go by the rules as written Ela’s Bluff is so high she could pretty much convince anyone to do anything so I tamp that down.  It wouldn’t be very interesting if everyone just did whatever she said all the time.  Not that it’s interesting now, but you know. 

Kristin Roxy, artist and mother of Brent writes –

“Why is Ela called to as an expert when she’s a rogue?”

She started out as an expert.  I had thoughts about sticking with just expert levels all the way through but that would have been somewhat dull. 

The Tallnet; semi-professional sports person, I’m feeling 22!#swiftie, spread kindness like glitter, sparkles, TN notice x3; writes –

“This is offensive to women.”

That’s not a question but thanks for stopping by!  Also I hope that that my writing is not offensive to most women.  I don’t mean to be offensive.  Not sure that matters though.  What’s TN notice x3 mean? 

Mantelderith 29 Year 888 (New Imperial Calendar) Part 3

I don’t know a lot about magic and I already know more than I ever wanted to.  If there’s one thing we can agree on it’s that magic is for losers.  That being said here’s what I do know.  You say some special words and you move your hands in a special way and you think real hard and then someone across the room (or even farther away) dies.  That’s magic in a nutshell.  Given that how the Hells did anyone ever figure it out?  So there’s this energy in the universe that’s invisible and intangible and in no way detectible unless you already how to use it.  And this energy can be used to affect things in a way that is also undetectable.  And you manipulate this energy by speaking words that no one speaks and moving your hands in ways that are unnatural and wishing real hard.  This is impossible for anyone to come up with on first principal.  So how did it happen?  How did something impossible to learn without someone else already knowing it and teaching you become one of the fundamental pillars of our society?

Elfs claims that they knew magic and taught it to humans.  I call bullshit on that because elfs claim they did everything first and taught it to humans.  If you ask me the defining characteristic of elfs is cultural narcissism.  Elfs tend to be taciturn (at least around the ‘lesser’ races) but once you get them talking all they have to say is about how great everything used to be before humans and dwarfs and reptilians screwed everything up.  Their magic was more potent, the threats the faced were more dire, their food more tasty, their art more beautiful, their sex more spiritual and fulfilling, etc.  They did everything first and they did it better.   I don’t believe it, but if it is true that elfs knew magic and taught it to the other races that has to be by a huge margin the worst idea they ever had.  That’s like teaching chimps how to use crossbows – you’re for sure going to get hurt out of the deal in more proportion to any benefit that you could reap.  Why would elfs teach the most destructive and awful plague on this land a skill that’s main use seems to be setting shit on fire and killing people?  Explain that next time you’re in masturbatory reverie about the old days elfs.

Regardless that notion obviously doesn’t explain anything anyway because how did the elfs know magic to teach it to anyone else?  I reject outright any notion that they somehow figured it out from scratch.  I suppose the most likely culprit is that a demon brought the knowledge of magic into the world.  The Gods created everything so they surely knew about magic and how it worked, and demons are like their unruly children or something (theology isn’t my strong point) so they must know about it too.  Probably what happened is some wily demon took on the form of a comely elf maiden with big melons (which is not a good way to disguise yourself as an elf maiden but you know how demons are, they can’t help themselves) and sneakily and subtly nudged the first elf magicians into figuring out how it all worked.  And over time the horrors of magic were unleashed on the world.  It’s the only theory that makes sense if you ask me.  Which you are.

The first known account of a human doing magic is close to six thousand years old.  As they say it a woman named Eireyene appeared in the “court” of an old warlord and is said to have decapitated a bird and then put the head back on and brought the bird back to life.   It’s also claimed that she made a small pebble disappear into a cup.  I’m no magic expert but one of those things seems way more impressive than the other.  The problem is that there’s magic and then there’s sleight of hand – did she really do anything or was she just a con artist with some quick fingers?  I can do some much more impressive tricks just with fast hands and some fancy patter than any apprentice wizard with “real” magic can.  I would imagine that at first wizards were all show, but slowly over time they learned how to do the real thing.  There were would have been an interesting bit in the middle of that evolution where wizards did know some real magic but were primary doing shit like pulling rabbits out of their hats.   What a life huh?

All of that isn’t terrible helpful to think about though when a wizard appears out of nowhere to kill you by draining the heat from your internal organs.  Martialla and I were heading towards the fort and we saw that the dwarf was kind enough to be coming out to meet us.  This is what’s known as a distraction.  I’ve developed a very keen sense of danger, it’s pretty difficult to catch me off guard, but there’s not much you can do when an invisible wizard who was standing stock still is waiting to blast you.  Unless maybe you have a good sense of smell.  The fellow who appeared on our flank was short and had a red pointy mustache that was wider than his head.  Was it magic that held the mustache out like that or wax?  Or magic wax?  We may never know.  He was wearing a green tunic but to make sure you knew that he was a wizard he had goggles and a staff as well, not to mention a bat hanging off his shoulder.  Fucking big one too.

When he cast his spell Martialla leaped out of the way like a jackrabbit – she has a real knack for avoiding deadly spells.  I on the other hand was completely flatfooted, I’m pretty sure I would have died right then if not for my Greatcoat.  All that would have been left of old Ela is a freeze-dried corpse.  Maybe I could have become a mummy with my body that well preserved.  But instead some normally invisible sigils on the fabric flared to life and the magic parted around me like water around a boulder.  I said a silent prayer to Kozilek thanking him for giving me the wisdom to purchase such a fashionable garment.  I think they were expecting to take us both out with that massive first strike – instead Martialla retaliated with a blast of flame herself – although the fellow with the yard-long mustache didn’t seem to be hurt by it at all and she missed the dwarf in front of us altogether.  It wasn’t a great endorsement for the combat effectiveness of magic.

This wasn’t helped by the fact that the dwarf hurled a volley of glowing green magic energy at me which was absorbed harmlessly by my Brooch.  Oh for three on the magic attacks so far.  Wishing that I had a crossbow or any decent weapon I retrieved a rapier from my secret pocket and moved up (advanced I think they call it in military terms) on Mustache.  Martialla conjured and flung a molten orb at him but it also seemed to do nothing – for a wizard fight there was a whole lot of nothing going on.  With a curse she gave up on sorcery and drew her rapier.  Some wizards learn spells that conjure creatures to fight for them and shield them, some learn spells that protect them like armor, this guy must have focused on murder spells only – which is fine as long as your murder spells do their thing.  Martialla and I pincered this guy and carved him up like a holiday ham.  The dwarf was shooting fire at us and the bat was flying around annoyingly, but it didn’t amount to much.  In about ten seconds we had punctured Mustache fifty times it seemed and that was the end of him. 

We turned to the dwarf and he did something I’ve never seen a wizard do – he ran.  With his feet.  He didn’t snap his fingers and disappear, he didn’t jump on a flying carpet, he didn’t summon a giant eagle to ride on, he didn’t fly off impossibly, he just kicked up his feet and ran.  Martialla and I exchanged a glance.

“Huh, will you look at that.  Now I really wish I had a crossbow.”

“I don’t think this guy is nearly as good a wizard as the other fellow.”

She was proven correct as she sent out a tendril of fire that burned him alive.  Or rather burned him to death.  Do those mean the same thing?  He was turned from life to death by being burned – lets’ say that. 

“Who was that other guy?  Where did he come from?”

Martialla peering at him “I think that’s the wizard that was attacking the caravan – he must have been surveilling us and that led him to this other guy and they hit off and decided to kill us together.”

“Sure, it’s a tale as old as time.  Where the fuck are the half-elfs?  They’re supposed to deal with this guy.”

“I think they’re busy.”

Martialla pointed away from the town (such as it was) to where the caravan had set up for the night – and where the four brave heroes were currently in the process of fighting off a rampaging horde of goblins.

I clapped my hands together “I told you, I fucking told you it was going to be goblins!”

“That’s is a LOT of goblins.”

“Eh, they’ll be fine, they’re only goblins.  Let’s go see what this donkey-faced son of a bitch was up to.”

We headed into the fort – which was really more of a medium sized watch tower than a fort in my book, and as I said it wasn’t in the best shape.  But as they say, any fort in a storm.  There was a “great” hall and beyond that a storage room that had been converted into an evil lair of evilness.  There was a summoning circle chalked on the floor, candles, incense, runes on the walls – the whole nine.  There was a book of magic looking nonsense propped open in the corner – I guess that’s why it was taking so long, the first time you summon a being from the depths of the Hells you probably want to make sure you do it right.

“Well this is disappointing, I was hoping for something new and interesting.”

Martialla scuffed out part of the circle with her boot “Wizards are nothing if not predictable.  Looks like he was trying to summon a hellhound.”

“Are you fucking kidding me?  All this trouble just for a Gods damned hellhound?  Not even a proper demon?  He was going to sacrifice a human life so summon a mean dog?  I can get you a beast of fighting dog fifty gold.”

“You’ve gotten pretty jaded about deadly monsters, a hellhound is a little but more than a mean dog.  The village of Foraleese was destroyed by a single hellhound.  Longshoeu was very nearly destroyed by a pack of hellhounds as well.”

“Any village that can be wiped out by a wolf with firebreath deserves to be wiped out anyway.”

“I think you’re being unfair but I don’t see any reason to argue this with you.”

“All I’m saying is that if you’re going to go through the trouble of human sacrifice it should be for something worthwhile.”

“I think you’ve lost some respective.  I mean didn’t you convince a guy to sell his soul for a sword that was barely even magic?

I sighed “I never should have told you that, you always throw that soul selling stuff back in my face.  I was in a tight spot, what was I supposed to do?”

“Not condemn innocent souls to eternal damnation to save your own skin?”

I frowned “Innocent?  Innocent of what?

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Behind the curtain: If the spell resistance of the Greatcoat hadn’t worked the Cone of Cold would have killed Ela.  Just for fun I rolled the dice to see what would have happened and she failed the save too lethal damage and then failed the stabilization rolls as well.  I’ve been pretty faithful to the die rolls, but now that I’m a year and a half into this narrative/solo-play/whatever I’m a little more invested.  I wonder what I would do if Ela dies.  The easy answer is that Martialla could have someone cast Raise Dead on her, but that’s too cheap.  I’ve considered a lot of options, I think what I would do is start a new story with Ela in a new setting – pulp adventure maybe?  Or maybe I could just sell the domain name to one of the many English Language Arts groups out there.  If I cared about/thought about anyone ever googling my site I definitely would have given Ela a different name.  There aren’t a lot of good lady names that start with an E though.  Eleanor the Expert?  Erica the Expert?  Elizabeth the Expert?  Emily the Expert?  Doesn’t sound quite right.

Funds: 47,040 platinum, 25,750 gold

XP: 1,190,751

Inventory: Hat of Effortless Style, Tankard of the Drunken Hero, Ela’s Dazzling Garment, Belt of Physical Might +4, Ring of Urban Grace, Black Marketers’ Bag (5), Tidy Trunk, Whiterock Family Ring (Ring of Binding), Ela’s Elegant Boots, Ela’s Extravagant Necklace, Brooch of Shielding, Headband of Subtle Misdirection, Antiquarian’s Monocle, Ela’s Stately Greatcoat

Noble’s outfit (5) collegium ring,  pocketed scarf, wrist sheath, signet ring (2) assortment of fake signet rings, silver chain set with moonstones, gold and emerald ring (2), garnets (700), gold necklace with jade pendant, ivory combs, tax collector’s badge, gold bracelet with ivory inlays, silver necklace set with rubies, gold earrings with jade inlays, silver and gold brooch, silver necklace with ruby pendant, disguise kit, covenant ring, tiny diamonds (26), Saryah Phidaner gown, masterwork thieves’ tools, onyx (55) personal signet ring, tiara, masterwork red and black long greatcoat, Turnbill blade of first forging (one of three), darkwood and platinum music box, silver bracelet set with bloodstones, platinum ring set with fire opal, silver and moonstone bracelet, holy symbol of Kozilek, dwarf journal

Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane, Piltis Swine, Rince Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle the butler, Alice Kinsey , “Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Claire Conrad, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror, Eedraxis,  Skin-Taker tribe, Kartak, Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family, Androni Titus, Greasy dreadlocks woman, Lodestone Security, Kellgale Nickoslander, Beltian Kruin the Splithog Pauper, The King of Spiders, Auraluna Domiel, mother Hurk, Mazzmus Parmalee,  Helgan van Tankerstrum, Lightdancer, Bonder Greysmith, Pegwhistle Proudfoot, Lumbfoot Sheepskin, Lumber Consortium of Three Rivers, Hellerhad the Wizard, Forsaken Kin, Law Offices of Office of Glilcus and Stolo, Jey Rora, Colonel Tarl Ciarán, Mayor Baras Haldmeer, Rindol the Sage, Essa, eyeless hag, Baron Saltwheel, Baron Harmenkar, Colonel Tarl Ciarán’s wizard soldier, Victor, Beharri, Cebuano, Mayor Eryn, Chimera Trading Company

Out of character interlude – You have no power here Gandalf the Grey!

I don’t know if anyone actually reads this or if they do if those readers cares about me as a human man beyond the baseline level of feeling your average non-sociopath has for all living things. But if there are such people after 441 days of daily postings I missed the past couple of days because the great state of Iowa, where I live, was flattened and I have been without power. By which I mean electricity. Also the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events but that’s always true.

They’re calling it an inland hurricane – which is clearly nonsense. I know the signs of Rodan flying overhead. Rodan the colossal, prehistoric, irradiated species of Pteranodon not the French sculptor François Auguste René Rodin. Nothing much happens when he flies overhead.

Anyway, barring a cruel joke of some sort it seems like service has been restored to my area and I’ll be back at it tomorrow. If anyone is reading this. If you are hello! If you aren’t hello anyway!