September 17 2009

  • Brendan
  • Erevan
  • Valandra
  • Morcadiss
  • Sir Geoff the Pantsless
  • N

We left last, allowing the dwarves to carry Trevia further ahead. As we exited the tunnel, we saw a bridge ahead of us. We debated the merits of pinning the goblins at the exit of the cave, but decided to press onwards and cross the bridge. This was fortunate, as, through some sorcery, the goblins sealed the exit of the caves and caused an earthquake, which would have crushed us with falling debris, had we not continued. Bloodied and tired, we decided to press onwards, as there was no place to rest in the storm. We split off from the main party of dwarves, to present two targets to the goblins, in case they followed us. Gwyn and Uschi continued with the main body of dwarves. I am concerned that the goblins appear to have unrestricted access to whatever the sought in the mines. Perhaps the dragon will deal deal with them, or the other dangers that lurk in the depths.

Further ahead, we found a single tree repeatedly being struck by lightening. Erevan, with his amazing perception, and Valandra, with her ludicrous acrobatics and tree climbing, led us straight to the tree that was being struck by lightening. Rather than being confronted with some hideous foe, we came upon a halfling, apparently tied to the tree and getting zapped by lightening, much to his (apparent) amusement. Thoroughly baffled, we asked Valandra to climb up the tree and investigate. After narrowly dodging a lighting bolt, Valandra made it up to the top and spoke with the hafling. He seemed delighted to be being struck by lightening, never having been so before, and invited valandra to join him (she declined). Shortly thereafter, and much to this new character’s disappointment, the lightening moved on. N untied himself and joined us at the base of the tree. I was disappointed to not hack down the tree, which I thought would have been a worthy use of my urgrosh, but I’m happy to be on the road back to Stonefast.

We continued towards where we believe Stonefast to be, having located a convenient road. During our journey, we came across a merchant caravan. I strode out to meet the merchants, as I am not fond of subterfuge, and even their hired thugs were weaklings. Unbeknown to me, Bubba snuck over to the wagon which had a pair of pants suspended over it, and Valandra snuck into an unoccupied caravan and began to loot it. Rather than accompanying the merchants to Stonefast, which would have made sense and not left us exposed in the wilderness, we bandied talk about…. (to be continued)

Dear Diary:

So this was like the best day of my life, and stuff. It started out pretty normally; I had tied myself up to the top of a tall tree on the mountainside ‘cuz I realized I didn’t know what it felt like to be hit by lightning, and Master Sinjin said I shouldn’t do things to cats I didn’t want have done to me, so I thought it would be a great idea to get a little zap or two. Well, the bad news was I only got struck once before the storm moved off, but the good news was that a cute rogue named Valandra climbed the tree too and asked if we could hang out. I said cha – of course! Valandra was traveling with some old dudes named Sneezy and Dopey and stuff, and they said I could go with them. I said whatever.

That night, I wanted to talk to Valandra about the stars and fate and how we’re all little gnomes in walnut shells with tiny tissue paper sails floating down the stream of life, but she was sleeping. So I decided to trade my flute and crowbar for her daggers. I left my gifts in her dagger sheaths so she’d be sure to find them. That was the end of the day just before the best day ever.

The next morning Valandra and I and the other geezers set off down the road. One of the older guys is an Eladrin, and he’s OK. He knows a few tricks, like pulling rabbits out of hats and stuff, but he wears a dress…not that there’s anything wrong with that. Anyway, we eventually came to some merchant caravan. This guy by the name of Gorse was all freaked out because his wagon wheel fell off. I’m like, dude, entropy! You ever heard of preventive maintenance? And he’s like, Gools is gonna get me, I’m a goner, I might as well kill myself now and get it over with. Gools is gonna rip my head off and suck my brains out my nose because he’s the baddest brigand in the woods, waah, waah, waah. Sheesh, what a nut job.

Anyhoo, Gorse had these cowbells tied on his wagon. Maybe Gools is scared of cowbells. And I’m thinkin, I gotta have more cowbell, so I liberate one and now I started my own percussion section. This cowbell will make a nice accompaniment to the bongo skins I picked up earlier. I can’t wait for a chance to groove with a couple Drow brothas on the street corner, just chillin and feelin the groove, knowhatI’msay’n?

Not long after, we realize Gorse has a daughter (Sara Luna, emphasis on the Luna) traveling with him. Obviously if you’re scared of a head-ripping brigand bad guy, the first thing you do is get out your three-wheeled wagon covered in cowbells and drag your only daughter through his back yard. While Valandra the Fair was helping herself to the merchant’s coinpurse, we noticed a cargo crate with a couple holes drilled in it. I pushed a few bugs and worms through the holes ‘cuz we could hear something inside, and I’m thinkin, if it’s Gools, he won’t want to suck my brains out if he’s got a full stomach. Then the geezers get in some kind of trouble and the caravan guards get all huffy, and everybody’s got that eye-twitching forehead-vein-bulging thing going on just like Master Sinjin used to do when I practiced my spells in his chamber. Sneezy starts to put the wagon wheel back on, so the guy in the dress and I start taking another one off. Meanwhile, Valandra deftly unlocks the chains securing the crate, and this is where it gets good. Out pops this handsome guy—he looked just like mom described. When he said his name was Sir Geoff I knew my search was over. I finally found daddy! See, diary, I old you. Best. Day. Evar.

About this time, Gorse realizes that Luney Luna has wandered off after professing her undying love to dad. Slut. Dad starts chatting up my Valandra, but I guess if she’s my step-mom, that’s cool too. It almost happened too, because all of a sudden, everyone’s talking about getting married, and whether it’s going to be dad and Lunacy or dad and Valandra or maybe both. I selflessly volunteer to marry Valandra, but nobody hears me, so I pick some flowers for her instead. Conveniently, everybody heads over to this cottage in a clearing not far from the wagon. I checked out one of the bedrooms – it has pretty springy beds. They were a lot of fun to jump on. But then the plug in the reality bathtub gets pulled out and all the sanity runs down the drain. Valandra was outside trying to get married to dad, but another Valandra was also inside the cabin on one of the other beds. At first I thought my prayers were answered, I mean, Doublemint twin Valandras? Sha-wing! But then we realize that one must be an imposter.

I realized that I knew exactly which one was the Faux-landra because the real one must still have my crowbar and flute. Sure enough, inside Valandra was the real one. But then outside Valandra kissed dad with one of those gross let-me-give-you-a-tonsillectomy kisses. The cry went up that she was attacking, and I leapt into action to protect dad, blasting at her with my most powerful attack. Dumb-ass dad does the Here-I-Come-To-Save-The-Day routine, leaping in front of Fauxlandra to intercept my prismatic ray, and catches a glancing blow in the hoohas. Like something right out of The Kingdom’s Funniest Home Ballads. Needless to say, dad was immobilized for quite a while afterwards.

Fauxlandra reveals herself as a succubus, and I’m thinking, time to form a line behind me, ‘cuz she looks pretty good even if she isn’t the real thing. But then the caravan guards are al huffy like, ooh, she-loves-me-more-and-now-I-have-to-stave-your-skull-in-with-my-heavy-implement -so-I-can-have-her-all-to-myself. Obviously knuckle-dragging products of a state education. Next, brave Valandra is bewitched by the suckypuss and commanded to attack us, but does not pose a real threat because she’s armed with just a flute. Then the suckypuss figures out what time it is and bewitches Grumpy instead, and commands him to charge at the guy in the dress. Whoo-ee that old dwarf whalloped dress-guy from here to Tuesday and halfway back. He won’t be pulling any rabbits out of his hat for a while after that hit.

I decided it was time to light up the bother-guards with some zappedy-do-dah, toasting the first one and singeing the others. The suckypuss kisses dad again while I polish off the remaining brothers with another zapperoni. Out of nowhere, and uncharmed, Sneezy whallops the suckypuss but good. She flies up in the air like she’s gonna escape, but then dress-guy flings a few magic missiles at her and she swan dives like a Dragonborn dirigible in a thunderstorm and makes an impressive crater in the ground with her head.

In her final moments, the suckypuss tells dad she’s been following him for years, taking the form of different women to, um, you know with him over hill and dale. Her final insult is to shape-shift into dress-guy and make kissy faces at dad. Dress-guy gets all bent out of shape at this, and turns her inside out with his magic missiles. I guess the suckypuss must have touched a nerve with dress-guy and the homo-erotic smooches. But it’s like, dude, it’s OK with us. Besides, we already knew. I mean, you wear a dress, dude, it’s not like you’re being discreet. Once the suckypuss croaked, she turned into some dusty 80-year-old hag. Must have been her natural form. I think I saw dad throw up a little, but then he swallowed it so nobody would notice.

Turns out the suckypuss has some gnarly loot. Valandra picked up a poisoned dagger. Next time she sees some random guy, she’ll be like, if my hot looks don’t kill you, my dagger will. Yeah! And I pulled off her gloves. They go up to my shoulders practically, and they’re really elegant, like formal dinner gloves. I just need a long cigarette holder and opera glasses to complete the ensemble. I’m like, oh dahlink, you and Biff just have to join Muffy and me at the club on Saturday. You just must!

The grumps got into some shouting match with the merchant about what to do next, but after things settled down a bit, Sneezy said we’d escort him to Stonefast. I wonder how fast the stones there really are.

On the way, I’m looking forward to spending time with dad. I hope he teaches me how to go fishing and all that other cool dad stuff. The fun is really beginning now!

September 17 2009

a study of mortality rates in imaginary populations steveb