How 11/21/16 D&D Session ended..

Conclusion…

 

Though your eyes are bound against the bright light of the surface, some light form the sun stabs through the cloth, stabbing into your brain like ethereal daggers.  Though the light must be very bright, there is no warmth to it.  You can smell burning sulphur and decay, the ground slick and spongy beneath your feet. Perhaps most alarming of all though, is the sound.  No birds sing, no insects buzz.  As you emerge from the shattered mine tunnel, the utter, complete silence batters you, almost knocking you back.  The sound of your own steps, as you shuffle through the boggy ground is muffled to be nearly imperceptible, and the air is so very, very thick.

 

As the sun sets, you carefully, slowly remove the bandages protecting your eyes from the light of the surface world, wincing even at the dim twilight from the stars and rising moon.  The world you left, just days ago, when you went to investigate the claims of the dwarves and gnomes, is gone.  Just over the horizon, in the direction of Centerholm, a sickly greenish glow flickers, reflected on the clouds hanging in the sky.  The sky itself looks gangrenous, with a yellowish green cast to the stars.  You trudge toward town, taking in the devastation of the land around you.  Some trees are burnt to cinders, some are blasted, yet crackle with electricity, as if they’d absorbed a lightning strike and are gradually releasing the energy back into the air.  You pass a farm, where the fields have decayed to a foul smelling sludge, and the livestock are dead, as if partially dissolved in acid.  The one sign of life you see is a barn cat in profile, which mewls evilly, then turns toward you, revealing half of its face warped, sprouting tentacles where its whiskers should be, the eye on that side glowing with a pustulent yellow light.

 

As the road carries you to within sight of Centerholm, the source of the flickering glow is revealed.  Shattered buildings lay across the streets, while green flames die down in the ruins of some of the houses.  The spires and central tower of the library stand shattered, thrusting into the sky like the talons of the dead, clawing their way out of their graves.  Nothing moves.  Nothing breathes.  Nothing cries out for help.

 

You cast around the wreckage, and manage to find a room that has not been completely collapsed.  You salvage enough from the wrecked town to lay down some bedding and make camp for the night, resting your weary bones.  As you bed down and drift off to sleep, not even bothering with keeping watch, you hear the sound of great leathered wings overhead, and a loud thud, as something very large comes to ground.  A mournful, sad cry of rage shakes the walls of your shelter as whatever it is roars its sorrow over the devastation.  You rush outside, weapons in hand, and see a massive dragon in the center of the town square, the firelight reflecting green from its bright golden scales, tears of flame falling from its eyes to burn the shattered flagstones below.  It turns its massive head, the size of a wagon toward you, and opens its eyes, sapphire irises with pupils glowing the pure white of a winter’s full moon, and prepares to speak.

DragonDick

Back to “Reality”

Our return to the land where the veils were falling, and the beginning of our characters becoming dual-classed, starts in tonight’s game.

Here’s the intro (by my husband):

You wake,  stone cold and hard against your back, a moment of claustrophobic panic passes as you realize you are not, in fact, buried alive.  You move, weakly, muscles soft, joints stiff from untold time, sleeping in your cell. You brush your hand across the top of your bare head, and some kind of fibrous material lets go of your scalp, and you feel some of it pulling away from beneath your skin.  You crawl out of your alcove, so see your friends emerging slowly from theirs.  You get yourself to your feet, achingly, slowly, and are buffeted by a wave of hunger which brings you back to your knees.  Only through sheer force of will do you mange to stand.  It is cold.

 

As you regain your senses, you find yourselves in large, open cavern, shaped like an ampitheatre.  What little light there is comes from glowing blue cave mosses and sickly yellow luminescent slime dripping down the walls, casting the cavern in a dim, gangrenous light.

 

The cavern looks to have been carved from the bedrock, with a long, 10 foot wide path spiraling out from a 40 foot area in the center of the room.  Along this spiraling path around the cavern, are equally spaced horizontal alcoves, each one approximately 3 feet in diameter, dug approximately 8 feet into the wall of the cavern.

 

In the center of this place, a large, broken, glass cylinder, leaks a viscous, foul smelling fluid.  The floor of the central area below you is covered about 6 inches deep with it.  When the cylinder was intact, this fluid supported the weight of a large brain, sprouting tendrils of nervous tissue out from the vessel, and into each of the occupied alcoves.  That brain now sits, tilted between the bottom of the tank and what remains of its wall.  Even now, you can see it decaying, desiccating where exposed to the air, dissolving where still submerged in its encephalic fluid.

 

Around the ampitheatre are dozens of bodies.  Some lie in groups, some solitary, sprouting bolts from crossbows.  Here and there, are remains that have been rendered unrecognizeable, blasted  against the walls, shattered against the stone.  A great battle has obviously been fought, with terrifying weapons used by both sides. Illithid and Drow corpses account for most of the carnage, though smaller, dark skinned, eyeless humanoids are scattered here and there.  The bodies that remain in the alcoves are largely untouched, but for one section, which has been completely emptied of its occupants.

StartFragmentYour arms and equipment have been taken from you, you are clothed in scraps, barely enough for decency but not enough for warmth, and you are starving and cold.  Your first priority is warmth, then food, then surviving the trip back to the surface, and Centerholm.  Anything beyond that is, for now, wishful thinking.

Come on over and “watch” us play if you like, beginning 7pm EST
Click here for Tribizzle’s Stream

D&D Dreamworld Begins 1-17-16

When last we saw our courageous champions….
The party saw the mage who had joined our party have his brains sucked out. We all fell into a stupor and in fits and spurts of consciousness became vaguely aware that we are somewhere “other” some strange cavern ridden with alcoves in which we have been stowed-with something attached to our heads…
BUT, we don’t remember that…or who we were…or what we were doing. The DM has asked us to create new characters. Same stats, new class.

So, here’s what we DO know about our new reality:

“Each of you has grown up in the regions around Hillsfar, on the southern edge of the Moonsea.  As you all came of age, you gravitated toward the city from your villages and farms, seeking your fortunes, gradually coming together as an adventuring group.  While you are registered and authorized to operate along the southern coast of the Moonsea, you are currently indentured to the City of Hillsfar.  There was an incident involving a Merchant House and some Zhentarim and some double crossing, mistaken identity stuff almost a year ago where the City had to intervene on your behalf, to prevent your summary execution by that Merchant House.  You have been non-voluntary agents of the City since that day, with your freedom almost at hand.  There is one last task ahead of you, before you are granted autonomy once again.

The City of Hillsfar has been actively engaging with the Dalelands in securing the trade routes around and through the Cormanthor Forest.  They have each agreed to maintain small settlements one day’s journey apart, for the use of caravans and other travellers along the established roads.  Several days ago, travellers stopped arriving on the Western road into Hillsfar, with reports of the nearby settlement having come to some misfortune, making the road impassible.  You have been assigned the task of investigating the way-village, and if within your abilities, reclaiming it.

The settlement is one day’s journey along the western road, within sight of the ruins of Zhentil Keep, the site of a long ago battle between the forces of Cyric the now imprisoned god of Strife, and a local resistance made up of the peoples of the surrounding areas.  That battle was many years ago, before most of you were born, and the ruins have been quiet, besides the occasional visit by treasure seekers and adventurers.”

__________________

Who we were and are now

For those of you who have been watching us play, the party is made up of:

My husband Rob is the Dungeon Master. The stories are his.

Jainella Milner the Dragonborn Druid —> Neelba Jellybottle the Forest Gnome Cleric

Bob the Human Barbarian —> the Paladin who isn’t showing up today

Alwyn Connor (Josh/Dragxis) the Elven Fighter —> Alwyn the Wood Elf Monk

Selena Meyer (9of12) the Human Bard —> Bettie Hearthsage the Halfling Sorcerer

Bizzle the Human Ranger —> Monkizzle the Wood Elf Monk

Nala (sweetandspicay) the Dragonborn Sorcerer —> Nala the Dragonborn Ranger

Dice Pouches!

Well, the dice pouches I had on commission at the #LCBS (That’s Local Comic Book Store for those of you who aren’t that brand of nerd) finally sold. Apparently, folks are asking for them now! I took some in today and the owner bought All 4! This pic is before I got all the drawstrings in:

4pouches

I also made my son Fletcher’s. He is starting a D&D club at school and wanted a purple one:purplepouch

Tribizzle said he wants one, even though he doesn’t have real dice (yet…he’s so hooked on D&D now it’s only a matter of time). I suspect he’ll fancy the silver dragons…

Dungeons & Dragons

So, Rob (my husband) and I have been using roll20.net to play D&D with some folks we met online for a while now. Crazily enough the DM was from PEI (where Rob’s from). Unfortunately that gentleman had to bow out after a few sessions and hasn’t been able to return.

Well, Rob stepped up and has been running a fine campaign. A couple of our original gamers are still in with us, 2 are folks we met in World Of Warcraft that live out in the western US I believe. One is a streamer I invited late one night (he’s from England), another is his buddy from Ireland.

The streamer Tribizzle has started streaming our Sunday night (8EST) games. It’s loads of fun, we draw (terribly) our encounters. This is a flying ship we were using for a while:Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 10.13.08 PM

It’s been interesting to see the variety of reactions to it. Some folks are like what the HELL is this?! and leave, others get nostalgic for when they used to play tabletop RPGs (I’m sure we have contributed to some boost to use of Roll20.net), and some people have become interested enough to seek out and find their own games. One of those people is playing IRL now, and joining us online this week!

Anyhow, there’s a handful of stream followers who are actually looking forward to watching us now. I’m posting now to get them some info, and get it to others who are asking a lot of questions in the stream chat about the world we are playing in and what has happened so far.

I don’t use this blog much, so pardon me if the formatting is lacking. Continue reading

Culinary and Parenting

Arts, that is…
Firstly, I should say that I am a good cook. I’m not trying to be arrogant, or going on the word of my friends and family. I’ve taken prizes in a couple of recipe contests, so I feel I’m allowed to go ahead and just say that now.🙂

I LOVE to cook. It has ritual purpose for me, nourishing my soul and my mind and my heart-along with those around me, as well as my family. It’s artful and adventurous at times. Exploring a new cuisine can lead you to the most interesting places; literally, as in an asian or indian market for instance. Also figuratively, as you try new flavors and combinations of flavors. Then there’s growing ingredients! I don’t know if there’s anything as satisfying as a cook to wander around through your garden(s) with a basket and then come back into the kitchen and create a meal from it’s contents.

So, why is my family picky? How have I become the short-order cook I’d have never thought I’d allow in my home? I’ve resorted to “sneaking” fruits and vegetables to my youngest! AHHHHHH!

It’s my husbands’ fault.

Okay, it can’t be completely his fault. However, he is a picky eater, and makes faces about trying things, etc. (heavy sigh here). Dear Husband eats lots of things he didn’t when we met, so I accomplished something there-but I truly believe that his example has NOT helped with the diet choices of our youngest son, who just happens to look like a clone of him. I wonder at the genetics of it, considering the subjectivity of taste and texture-and I give that more credit than I ever would have before I became the parent of three boys who are so different from each other.

My eldest son is the “best” eater. Nutritionally, and in reference to variety. He’s mostly vegetarian. I also spend more time teaching him to cook than with the others….but it’s about time and I’m starting with my middle boy now-and I hope it helps the youngest to also participate. Somehow I doubt it, though. My middle son at least tries everything. He’ll even try something again another time! He is overweight, but is the one who doesn’t like sweets and likes his salad with no dressing. Go figure. My youngest….well, the best we’ve done with him is stopping him from throwing a tantrum about a vegetable being put on his plate. He’s still far from eating them…or fruits, which is just SO strange to me. He likes hot dogs and chicken nuggets and salami and chocolate milk and sweets and chips and fries and  is skinny as a rail. Here’s another interesting thing…I said I “sneak” him stuff? Well, I used the Sneaky Chef cookbook for ideas, but he  knows it’s in there and eats the stuff no problem. He will BRAG to his friends about how his moms brownies have spinach and blueberries and wheat germ in them!

Won’t touch a blueberry or spinach to save his life though.

…and Dad won’t eat brownies anymore for fear of what I’ve put in them.

I used to be against the sneaking, figuring it would undermine their EVER getting used to the foods and their textures and thought it was better to just keep trying to re-introduce things and new things. Well, the boy does better (he’s hyperactive) when I give him vitamins and “sneak” supplemental nutrition in to his diet. So, I’m doing it….and hopefully some more things will make it from his plate to his mouth as he gets older.

We garden together. My middle son sweetly chose to put a stevia plant in his garden (he and the little guy each had their own little raised beds this year-one did food, the other just wanted flowers) . “I’m gonna save you some money Mom!” he proudly exclaimed!

The kids help me with coupons in the store. It’s like a little scavenger  hunt to match the products, and opens up the opportunity to talk about what is “good for  you”, and teaches them to shop wisely and plan meals around sales.

So, what’s the point? The point is that kids can really teach us a lot. Maybe one of the most important things is that any of the ideas you had about anything might just be wrong. Don’t think that the solutions that work for you will work for other parents. Don’t think other parents’ solutions are going to work for your family. Food, and Motherhood, are Arts in this sense. You can buy a cookbook, but it’s not gonna make you a great chef. You can buy all the parenting guides and join all the Mommy/Daddy sites in the world, but it’s not gonna make you the best parent ever. The best you can do is the best you can do. Cooking is easier, it’s simpler science and just some practice to get to be able to passably execute recipes. You don’t HAVE to be creative and adventurous to put a good meal on the table. What do we need to do to be good parents? Teach. Even when it doesn’t seem they’re getting it. Holding them down and forcing them to eat good things can be a tempting idea (yep, I’ve considered it). Not giving them anything else until they try it? Ehhhh, depends on the age, and the child’s demeanor (my youngest will go a full day without eating and then I caved). Bargaining for treats? Didn’t believe in that either, but I’ll admit I’ve tried (nope, didn’t work). Consider that things look, feel, taste, smell different to your little individuals. Try and plan things for as little “short order” as possible, cause that really is not fair to the cook and I think teaches them that it’s okay to be selfish and demanding. On that note, teach them to make a few simple things (our little guy can make his own peanut butter sandwich) so that you can pull a “you don’t want to eat what we’re having, you’re on your own” once in a while. It might not work to encourage kids to try anything (hasn’t with the youngest here), but it feels good to say!!!

I’ll tell ya that my kids notice the “junk” the other kids at school take to lunch, and have thanked me for getting them “real” juice/milk (yep, even the youngest). My middle guy planted carrots, stevia, jalapenos, green beans, and radishes in his garden this year. My eldest goes out to harvest things from the herb garden, and helps me with dinner. He was even getting creative cooking for his brothers when I was at work over the summer!

So, keep teaching. Someday they’ll get it, or at least some of it. They’ll get the right thing when their wife/husband sends them to the store, if nothing else. (seriously, so many people don’t know Miracle Whip from Mayo, or Butter from Margarine!)

Here’s a link to a recipe to thank you for your patience reading this rambling entry:

Butternut Coconut Soup

Political Theatre

-November-End Scene-

If  you haven’t been involved in politics AND theatre, let me clue you in that they are similar endeavors in many ways.

You need a cast, and a crew….definitely an excellent director. Improvisation has it’s place, but there is a balance of control over the body of the production that is critical to keeping a coherence for the sake of  your audience and their involvement. The other end of that scale is cast and crew being satisfied that they are heard and appreciated so that you get the best out of them.

Then there are less esoteric comparisons. In the last push before the Election/Show, long hours on the phone making calls and knocking on doors = losing your voice and living on energy drinks and cough drops the same way that evening after evening of rehearsals and running lines does.

There is a Post Show “depression” for lack of a better word. The let down isn’t even necessarily related to how well you have done as much as the lack of purpose once the work is done. Strange mix of relief and longing and the feeling of “never again” that you know isn’t probably true.

So, here I am in the throes of wondering if I continue. Wondering how.

I have been told in the past I’d be happier working on a campaign (as compared to the party politics I’ve been immersed in for some years now). I still don’t know if that is true. I need more time removed from it; but I do know that I don’t feel the giddy addiction of being bitten by the “campaign bug” that I’ve heard professionals describe happening to them. I’m not sure if I would feel differently if I’d been in a different position. Time will tell if I am ever again offered the opportunity, and whether I will take it.

I will say I am happy with my reviews🙂

I’ve had kind words of encouragement from sometimes surprising sources. A couple of messages online, and even on my voicemail (I was NOT answering the phone on Nov. 3rd!!!) from folks who are diametrically opposed to myself on the political spectrum were kind enough express condolences on the results and tell me that they appreciate my hard work. Building bridges like that is very gratifying.

I got a message from someone who worked here on the Obama campaign who must have read my mind-encouraging me to not give up, assuring me there was only so much I could have done, and reminding me that I’m setting a good example for my children.

My immediate “boss” told me I did a good job, he was proud of the work I did.

….and there are still folks expecting me to keep on moving forward; I am loathe to let them down.

My family needs me at home more. The kids need me at school more. I need to do something about fostering friendships in my life. Politics started as a replacement for a social life-but it never burgeoned into one.

I need to make more jewelry, and find a venue in which to sell it so the hobby can at least support itself-and help me connect with my own creativity and with other creative people so that I have relationships not based in the business of politics (which is almost exclusively what I’ve got these days). I hope Rob gets more gigs, because that is also a great way to meet like minded folks that I miss SO much since “The Fret” is gone.

So, this is a start. I’m writing. I used to write a LOT, creatively. Perhaps writing about politics will be my next undertaking – LOL, as if I didn’t have enough to do.

Thanks for reading. Thanks to those of you who have given me kind words, and volunteer time, and moral support these last 6 or so years, and especially these last 5 months.

Now….I should probably figure out how to link my etsy here…hmmm….