aqua fortis

Friday, November 26, 2004

Geeks Gone Wild, Finally Caught Up

I'm going to finish catching up on our adventures, and I'm going to do it right now, so that I can whip out a large eraser and ready my character sheet for additional marginalia.

After discovering that Jibber—formerly Eretria's critter—was gone, we forged ahead to the King's Quarters, where we found nothing at all but debris…until all three doors opened at the same time and admitted 6 ogres. The mayhem! The melee! Dru shot arrows, Delyth sickled (yay, finally got to use my Druid sickle), Wilwarintari (Wilwarindil's nubile nymph sorceress) shot a Cold Ball, Sahel summoned an Astral Construct, and Dipsie sent out a Fireball—SOP for us, DOA for ogres. Ha. Anyway, here are two direct quotes from that battle—quotes that, if they don't life in infamy, will die in obscurity:

Ross, to Dipsie (Rob) in reference to Wilwarintari's Cold Ball (a skill dependent on Charisma) being more effective than Dipsie's Fireball (a skill dependent on Intelligence): "She's more of a babe than you are a genius."
Dungeon Master Mike: "Son of an Ogress!"

That being said, there was much healing and some treasure after the ogres were dispatched. We then followed one of the adjoining passages to a giant chasm with a rope bridge across it. On the bridge was a freaked-out and emaciated goblin, who we rescued using Sahel's telekinesis—during which the bridge went out. The goblin gave us the scoop on the rest of the cavern, and after sending him on his way we flew across the chasm.

From a distance, we saw four ogres who were herding and/or abusing goblins, so we stealthily attacked them. Highlights of this battle included dubbing one of the ogre miniatures "Monkeynut," and watching Sahel psychically dominate two of the ogres to attack one of their buddies. Dipsie bet Sahel 20 gold pieces that one of them—a green figurine—would win, after which Sahel held back that particular ogre. However, our demon ally sided with Dipsie and killed the other ogre. Apparently power is corrupting us; I guess that's what happens when your characters are chaotic…

To be continued!

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Geeks Gone Wild, Delyth Style

I have so unbelievably much updating to do re: our D&D adventures, it isn't even funny, but I've been so occupied writing the conclusion of my novel (still not quite done) and playing Paper Mario 2 that I haven't sat down to blog until now. But I need to do it today, because we're playing again tomorrow and I'm running out of margin space on my character sheet (which is where I keep my cryptic notes about what happened).

So: here's what happened. This covers a span of a few days' worth of gaming. We were still in this weird grimlock hideout and we went to check out the visitors' quarters, where we found a demon in a hot tub and decided to negotiate with him. I forget why. But Lurch (not his real name--a random animated, armored statue who follows us around for some reason we haven't figured out) hates demons, so we discussed putting Lurch into a Portable Hole (which is just what it sounds like). We weren't sure how to accomplish that besides attaching the hole to a board and whacking him over the head with it, but apparently that's what we did. Poor Lurch.

Then we went to take on our archnemesis, the hobgoblin Naroo, but he was already gone and had left us a lovely little present--a golem with nasty faces under his skin. We whupped the golem and found Naroo's journal. Apparently hobgoblins don't keep exciting diaries, because I didn't write anything down about it. But then we found some grimlocks and mindflayers in another tunnel, so we fought them, during which the demon was stunned. Ambivalent allies that we are, we discussed just killing him while he was out, but decided against it. However, we then found out that Jibber--a small animal companion with the party--was gone. There were signs of a scuffle, but no tracks.

I'll leave it at that for now, and hopefully I'll have time to finish freeing up my margins tomorrow morning.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Add It Up

The collaborative project Rob and I are working on--a limited-edition artist's book with etchings he created in response to my short story "Mathematics"--is currently on view (in prototype form) at the Prospect Gallery, located in the Prospect Theatre Project lobby, Modesto, CA.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Three Times and Counting

Today I experienced for the third time the irritation (and benefit) of somebody thinking I look a lot younger than I actually am. Yet again, this was an incident in which I answered the front doorbell and a door-to-door salesman asked, "is your mom or dad home?" I always have a really strong compulsion to inform them that a) I am in fact the homeowner here, and b) I have no clue whether my mom or dad are home since I have not lived with my parents since 1997 (since 1993 if you count college, when I lived away from home 8 months of the year).

But, common sense won out again, and I said, "No, they're not here, sorry" (not exactly a lie), and the guy just told me to tell them that So-and-So stopped by selling Some-Product-or-Other. I have to say, if people are going to persist in irritating me by thinking I'm some 10+ years younger, then I'm sure as hell going to take advantage of it. You just lost a potential sale, buddy.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Geeks Gone Wild--The Blogtastic Return

Here's why I haven't posted in a while--I was out of town, plus (as referenced below), before that, I was working in a Wastewater Treatment Facility located approximately at the intersection of an orchard and another orchard, kitty-corner to a ranch and down the road from an almond sheller. That gives you a rough indication of how far beyond the outskirts of town I've been commuting.

Anyway, I have an unbelievably long waiting list of things to blog, so I'll start with the most outstanding of these--the Geeks Gone Wild adventures. When we last left off, Rob and I had missed a session, but very little had in fact been accomplished the day we were gone (a fairly commonplace occurrence). So we were still fulfilling this favor for some goblins--I really can't recall why--by clearing a cave system that had been overrun by Grimlocks, which are like eyeless (but not blind) goblin-creatures.

These grimlocks had a whole warren of caves, and naturally we decided to check out the monster pens first. But instead of monsters, we found a number of pits housing deadly plants called Dread Blossoms, which feed on corpses. Apparently the Grimlocks were raising these Dread Blossoms, but we made rapid work of them by remaining far away from the pits themselves and dropping things on them, like fire. Unfortunately, this battle attracted some Stone Singers, which are nasty creatures which sing at you so that you have to make a saving throw. We of course attacked them, and one of them Melded into Stone--hey, that's my territory!--so I decided to try Transmute Rock to Mud, which apparently expels the victim and, if properly executed, um, executes it. Unfortunately the latter did not happen, and I was quite disappointed.

But we beat them anyway, and decided to go on to explore the Mushroom Cavern, symbolized on our gaming surface by a conveniently mushroom-shaped Alice-in-Wonderland saltshaker. The next thing I wrote down is "fight zombies in poop room," which I think means the mushroom cavern. We bombarded those zombies with an owl Delyth, an Embiggened Will, Magic Missiles, arrows, and flames until they ate shit and died. Oh, I almost forgot--we also used one of Sahel's Astral Constructs (a.k.a. a large green Poketoken), which some of us affectionately refer to as an Asshole Construct, offending the delicate sensibilities of some of the gaming group. In any case, we killed them zombies, but not without some hurt of our own, so much healing took place before the end of that particular part of the adventure.

So that's that...stay tuned for more Geeks Gone Wild. And in the meantime, buy the Geeks Gone Wild t-shirt! I wish I could say I was responsible for the preceding link, and the shirt, but I'm not--link courtesy of Corey, and t-shirt courtesy of some damn genius who apparently thought of it before I did.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Quote of the Day

This one, courtesy of Tanita, is disturbingly prophetic.

"When a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental--men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand. So confronted, the candidate must either bark with the pack or be lost...All the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre--the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."
--H. L. Mencken, in the Baltimore Sun, July 26, 1920

Monday, November 08, 2004

Moral Values and Stuff

I overheard the following disturbing conversation at work* today--a great example of the "moral values" so important to the Bush-electing public:

Employee #1: Did you hear about this guy who was so distraught about Bush winning that he killed himself at Ground Zero?
Employee #2: Well, we probably didn't need him in our society anyways.

How very empathetic. I'd like to counterbalance that bit of ugliness with something much more heartening. Why not pay a visit to It's the best thing to come out of this election, so far.

*I've been working for the past week-plus at a temp job at the Secondary Wastewater Treatment Plant and Composting Facility for the City of Modesto, apparently a stronghold for the Central Valley working man. And I do mean man, as I am one of two women in the entire facility. And I thought IGN was estrogen-deficient.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

You Take the Good, You Take the Bad...

Oh yeah...Right now, on ABC Family, the Facts of Life Reunion movie (which I just learned is not new but was released in 2001--so much for the thrill of discovery). Must...spend...time...productively....

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

And Another Thing

Check out Ben's latest entry on his blog, Who Digs Ben--a rare political rant, and very well-written, -thought-out, and -argued. Explains, from a Republican's perspective (albeit a reasonable, centrist, and, dare I say, liberal one), why the current administration is bad. Click on 11/01/04.

Kill Your Television

I'm really getting depressed. It's not just the mind-numbing, low-paying, slightly skilled labor; the way-too-early mornings; or the incessant sneezing which had better not be heralding a cold. It's the prospect of not having sufficient funds to move to Canada in the event of a Bush emergency, which would raise my personal terror alert level to Infrared (meaning: Out of the Way, Brain About to Explode). Perhaps I could try to flee across the border as an illegal alien, dodging Mounties left and right. I could beg for political asylum. I could found a commune and declare it a sovereign nation. I could try to win that private island they keep talking about on the TV commercial. These are all sounding pretty good right about now. And there I was feeling mild elation all day at actually getting my "I Voted" sticker this time, and hoping that my wearing it might guilt some apathetic person into going to the polls.

I realize nobody in their right mind is reading my blog right now for their political updates or any kind of updates, but here's a really cool, interactive, dynamically updated election map from the BBC.