Hippie out

30 May, 2013

Just a quick note, this time.

I have finished my little speaking-stick. Tongues, once per day, for about an hour, on whomever holds the stick. I had to explain it twice, and they asked me “So, what do you do with it”, to which I replied that I had told them how it worked, and how they organised their meetings to take advantage of its magic was not my problem.

You know, it’s rather answered for me something that used to be a puzzle – where do all those odd little one-off magic items come from? The doors that open themselves, little flying whistles, you name it. The answer is: people like me make them. Obvious in retrospect, really.

Actually … I think I may have screwed up the base price of the item. Calculated it for a 2nd level spell rather than a 3rd level. Oh well.

Rainor had a long talk to the oak in the center of the manastery. Then, speaking-stick in hand, we had a chat to one of those insectoid things. They have a hive mind, and were not really much help. All we really got was that it would be worthwhile talking to the vine that has come through the portal.

So Rainor chatted to her (why her? It’s what she identified herself as, and it’s not for us to judge) and all we really got there was that she was physically plugging the portal to whatshername’s pocket plane and was not inclined to let us through.

We went back home, at a bit of a loss, and then back to the arena for some more dreams. This time, one of us dreamed of an attack on Wyvern Bridge by giant worms. One of them broke through to where we were, and then an alarm came from the castle – Wyvern Bridge was under attack.

We teleported. I could have worked on the spell of Greater Teleport, but instead I have been working on Limited Wish. I still can’t teleport eveyone at once, so we split into team elf and team shiny – I took Rainor and Rainen and what do you know wound up miles away (we need to organise teleport targets for all the cities – a circle with a distinct pattern for each).

But, I managed a second casting and got it right this time. Team shiny were fighting some giant worms. I stayed out of it – flying and invisible, firing scorching rays. A nasty moment when one of us was swallowed whole by one of the things, but we killed it quickly enough for him to cut his way out.

Fun aside, we are really at a bit of a loss. I don’t think I can manage a Plane Shift, and even if I could I’d need a key for the particular demiplane we are looking for. We have collected some items from various creatures from this plane, but blowed if I know what we should do with them.

I’d have to say, at this point, that whatshername is winning. At this rate we will have to abandon the capital and leave it to the fey.

PFS – On Hostile Waters

24 May, 2013

DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT PLAYED PFS SCENARIO #3-11, The Quest for Perfection, Part II: On Hostile Waters.

Khadem Aleghedh, dispatch 6

So haven’t blogged games 1-5 for this character. Meh. I also didn’t collect enough notes to fill in all the names, but after writing this I’ll have a better idea of what I need to keep track of to do this. Until then, I’ll have to put (?) all over the place to indicate that Khadem would have kept better track of this than I did.

Journal of the Journey to Swallow’s Nest, Khadem Alegdh, Pathfinder level 2

(insert date here)

At the order of Venture Captain Amara (?) we set sail from (?) on (?) down (?) river to Swallows Nest, where we are to meet (?). We transport a scared braid of considerable power, and were also directed to take delivery of a quantity of incense from a local tribe, which would hail us along the way.

Our party numbered (insert party here) and seemed a capable group.

(insert date here)

Today, at an hour after midday, we were attacked from the shore by a small group of tribesmen on horseback, armed with bows. Our group numbers only one decent archer, and we were sitting ducks on the narrow river. Our boat has no fortifications to speak of – not even a gunwhale (just a railing). The tribesmen targeted the tillermen, who at the time were myself and (?). To compound our difficulty, the attack was executed at a particularly difficult stretch of the river, and – the tiller momenterally lacking a firm hand – the boat hitched up on snags and sandbars, throwing us about the deck, (?) falling overboard.

The tribesmen continued to attack as we struggled to regain control of the boat and to rescue our colleague overboard. Our archer engaged their leader, hitting him with several arrows (although I was lucky enough to get the final shot). One more shot downed one og the other tribesmen, at which poit the entire group disengaged and fled.

The rules for what happens if the tiller is unattended were nuts – you’d think that a flat-bottomed riverboat starts bucking like a bronco the moment someone lets go of the tiller. It was like the bridge of the Enterprise. I have to assume that in the module, this particular section of the river was dangerous.

We recovered from the leader of the tribesmen a curious box with a snake insignia, which we have not opened. I rather suspect there’s a snake in it.

Although obvious to more experienced pathfinders, I might note the following:

  • As always, the role of the cleric was crucial. Without him, we would without question have had fatalities, including myself.
  • Ranged capability is indispensible when travelling through open areas and overland. A group of swordsmen can investigate a dungeon, but the cannot safely travel road or river without cover.
  • When you make camp, consider defensibility. This is trained into us, but we did not translate the lesson – did not understand a boat on which we would be travelling for weeks as a “camp”. We were hindered by the need for secrecy, but even (say) a carpet or cloth over the railing would have provided concealment, from which we could have fired at liberty.

(insert date here)

Today we were hailed from shore by the tribesmen from whom we were to pick up the incense. After pleasantries and hospitality, the shaman informed us that there had been a snag. The sky-gods, it seemed, had disapproved of the sale of the incense by putting on a lightning storm the previous day. After considerable diplomatic efforts (mainly on my part, although by no means entirely), we managed to persuade the shame that the cause of the Pathfinder Society was a noble one, and that the delivery of the incense could proceed.

Brother (?)

I am pleased to report that we have made contact with the (?) tribe and spent a pleasant evening being regaled by them by a variety of stories. Please find attached both my and (?) best recollection of the substance of these stories and accounts of various mythic personages, the smoking of the hookah (which despite appearances does not appear to be at all narcotic) ,as well as one or two notes about various faux-pas which agents of freedom should be at pains to avoid when dealing with these men in future.

Yours in Freedom, Democracy, and Violent Extrajudicial Death to all who oppose Freedom and Democracy.

(insert date here)

Today, a customs-house at a chain across the river, manned by (?). I am certain that they are looking for the braid, but we managed to conceal it. After some bowing and scraping and payment of a “tax”, we were permitted to continue.

(insert date here)

Today, while proceeding though a narrow canyon with near-rapids, we were attacked from the cliffs above by a tribe of arboreal goblins. The boat, predictably, became stuck on the walls of the canyon and began to swing sideways, in danger of actually stuck fast across the current. While the rest of the crew engaged in the difficult work of freeing the boat, I kept the goblins occupied with my bow, drawing their fire – which mainly consisted of rotten fruit and excreta. Rather a lot of it, really. And not all that much fruit towards the end

At the kind insistence of my fellow pathfinders I spent several minutes being dragged behind the boat in the river and appear to be none the worse for wear, although the same cannot be said for my outfit.

(insert date here)

Today, we reached lake (?).

(insert date here)

Today, we were politely attacked by a military vessel – a galley. We felt that we had no hope of making any sort of resistance, and so we hove to and were searched. The captain found the box of incense but not the braid. She confiscated the entire ship and its cargo, but we had reached our destination, and managed to retain possession of the incense by insisting that it was a gift.

In retrospect, it occurred to us that the galley was manned by slaves, not by soldiers, and that we could have taken the few soldiers aboard. Although, obviously, loss of the boat is not an ideal outcome, nevertheless everyone understands that this mission is dangerous and the boat could have been lost in any one of a variety of ways on the journey so far. As it stands, we have completed the river journey successfully (with a military escort into port, no less), have not attracted undue attention, and are in an ideal position to continue with the rest of our mission.

I fully anticipate success.

Dungeoneering With Eunice

21 May, 2013

I missed the first two weeks of the campaign and then another week due to illness, so this week was the third week of play for me. I have not blogged the enchanter or yarn world. This week we woke up in a cavern underground, after mushroom spore dreams from last week.

Dear Diary,

Today I woke up underground. Or I’m dreaming that I’m underground – I really don’t know because things have been topsy-turvy since I went through the portal. I’m probably really laying on my bed at home on death’s door with a fever or something, but it feels real here.

So I woke up and there’s Grumdorf and the man with the shovel and all the others who I haven’t really met yet and they told me that I was unconscious from breathing mushroom spores. And we are trying to find the Drow, although I really don’t know why, because I read that drow are elves who are very dangerous and evil and live underground. So there was a passage going back to the surface and a passage going underground and I said well if we are trying to find drow then we should go downwards and everyone was arguing and here was a cave-in so we all had to go down the down passage anyway.

Daniel, Andrew and I think Brendan and a couple of others are dicking around, playing “but what’s my motivation?” So Alix pulls the “rocks fall, everybody dies” trick.

So we go down the passage for a while and its dark but I have my magic torch and other people have torches, too. Then some more rocks fall and we are split into two groups. It’s me and Mr Shovel and an elven archer and [Drewf’s character] and there’s too many rocks to lift so we have to continue on but I tell everyone that if we keep a hand on the right-hand wall then we will find our way back.

Yes, John – I’m aware that that only works for simply-connected planar graphs. Eunice is 14, ok? Maybe younger.

And we come to a room and there’s big goblins in it and there’s a prisoner who is sort of a human dog-person (he’s called a Gnoll) and he’s a prisoner and there’s a fight and then we finish and we release the gnoll and he is very happy and he comes with us. Oh and I found a diamond but if we want to find our way back we will have to ask for help and maybe bargain, so I gave it to the shovel man.

“Shovel-man” – sorry dude, it’s embarrassing but I haven’t gotten everyone’s name down yet. Anyway, he has the best diplomacy. In-game justification is that Eunice doesn’t really have much of an idea of the value of money, and she has a streak of cunning from her low origins.

And we go further on and we follow the wall and there’s a big insect thing and everyone fights it and I push it away.

Umber Hulk, but way nerfed.

And then we come to a big room and there is a pool of water and some frog men. And there is a long fight and we are winning, and then all the frogs go back to a silver tree and start croaking and chanting and the tree catches fire. And I don’t know what the tree will do but its probably bad so I lift some water from the pool onto it and it goes out and the frogs dive into the pool and swim away.

Eunice’s daily is “Telekinetic Lift”. Lift a willing ally or an object of up to 400lbs. That’s about 160l, or 32 american gallons of water. Maddie (the DM) totally didn’t see that coming 🙂 . Neither did the bullywugs. It’s why I picked telekinetic flavour for my psion – it has potential for fun.

And that’s what happened today.

Introducing Eunice

20 May, 2013

Good Games season six. I joined the new game a couple of weeks after it started. The party needed a controller class, and no-one was playing a female, so I built Eunice dump. Oh, and we also needed someone with thievery.

Here’s her backstory.

Eunice Dump (Nicky) is fourth generation nouveu riche.

Old Henry Dump, her great-grandfather, made a fortune in the urine industry and his descendants have been trying to get rid of the smell for the past hundred years. Eunice’s parents (Zebidiah and Elizabeth Dump) married with the usual exchange: his money, her title. Or her connections, at least. Zebidiah was made Baron of Aldergrove, and with the exception of her debut in town and other short excursions Eunice has been a virtual prisoner out the back end of nowhere in the manor on the estate.

Naturally, none of the nearby nobility will have anything to do with her, and she is forbidden to fraternise with the commons, so had grown up more or less alone under the eye of her various governesses. Eunice has psionic talent (requiring some very expensive governesses, as the power is telekinetic), and in daydreams inspired by various books styles herself Mysteria, Princess of some ill-defined and far-off land. (Bishay, from beyond the Javra mountains. Eunice doesn’t realize that she is way, *way* too white to come from there.)

But blood will tell, and within this dippy 15-year-old girl is the soul of a street urchin. For years she has been escaping her rooms for years with a combination of telekinesis and instinctive thievery, exploring the manor – its libraries and old dungeons – and sometimes even wandering outside, particularly at night (because acquiring a tan would give the game away).

Earlier today dressed in her exploring gear (leather vest from god knows where over a lace-trimmed empire-line dress and slippers) she found a closet in one of the many, many attics, and decided that it was actually a magic portal to a strange place full of adventure. She picked the (actually rather basic) lock on it and lo and behold there was indeed a portal inside it. A real, actual, unmistakable magical portal humming and crackling with arcane energy. What should she do? Well – what would Princess Mysteria, mistress of the psionic arts do?

She stepped through …

Henry Dump, of course, is Terry Pratchett’s Harry King. The portal was courtesy of the mad wizard Halaster, as we are doing undermountain as far as I know.

Crunch-wise, Eunice is a telekinetic psion. Her background (imprisoned) gives her thievery as a class skill, and she has taken the psionic skill feat. I picture her picking locks about 50/50 bobby-pin and telekinesis.

I made her human and took the “extra at-will power” option. This means she has three at will powers, targeting Fort, Reflex and Will. Booyah. Although 4th ed is a bit lean on cheese, a telekinetic has a power which – as a free action – can slide an opponent 1 square. No save, no nothing. An orb of Forceful Magic makes this two squares. The feat (insert feat name here) allows her to do it twice per encounter. Not bad. As I have spent feats on it, the DMs have also permitted me to use Far Hand and thievery. Far Hand also allows her to use consumables on allies without having to be in melee, and I like consumables.

I suppose she’s a bit of a re-run of Switch. But there you go.

Searching for a nice picnic spot

19 May, 2013


Forgive me for not writing sooner. I have … I have been down a strange road.You may have heard rumours, that I was dead, that I was alive, that I had changed. Many of them true, it grieves me to say. But at the end, I could not betray my friends, and the god had no further use for me. From it all I have learned little, I think, but an abiding respect for those who deal with the gods. Many mages dismiss those who dabble in the holy and profane. Not I, anymore. I have stared over the lip of the abyss, nearly fallen in. Such beings – it awes me that any mortal could traffic with them. And yet so many do. I will leave them to it.

As to Freedonia, the tale is more simply told, if no less dire. We seem to be the epicenter of a major incursion from the first world. And no mere planar concurrence, soon to pass; but an organised attack by a powerful noble among the fey. The duchess, or queen, or whatever is fated to die by a certain sword which we have in our posession. There have been large scale occurences around the kingdom – vast whirlpools in the lakes, armies of small twig men. Every night our capital is buffetted by nighmares, and these nighmares pull summoned creatures into our reality (I belive it’s a gate rather than a summoning, as the corpses of the creatures are left behind if they are slain, but this is a technical point).

As the nightmares seem to attack the more prominent citizens, we the court have taken to sleeping in the arena, that the commons might not be harassed by what our dreams pull in from the first world.

But we have hope from a curious quarter.

We have found a children’s book – Zutteger’s Picnic. Although oddly dreamlike and altered, the events in the book match the events in the real world. That is: this author seems to have written out some sort of prophecy. The childrens book descibes the whirlpool, describes the army of twig men. It describes an icy graveyard, which we found in our mountain range. Most of all, the book centers around a hunt for a crow (who had stolen his spoon). In all of these dreams we have been having, the image of a crow, or great black bird, is always in the backgound. I believe that this bird is she herself – the fey queen (or duchess, or whatever) that we face.

So we have been traipsing around the kingdom, trying to match locations to the events in this children’s book. Happily, I have grown skilled enough to cast spells that makes this a great deal easier.

These days we Shadow Walk to a hex on the overland map, and Teleport back to Fort Tuskwater. Switch teleports half the party, and Kevin (not his actual name – Bevis’ paladin) uses a Helm of Teleportaion to teleport the other half. If we need to move around, Rainor rides Rainen, Kevin rides his Kirin, and Switch does a Phantom Steed for everyone else, which flies and lasts 28 hours. Getting from A to B is not a challenge for a 15th level party.

If anyone follows my blog, we have missed out a bunch of real-world stuff. Scott has gone to Wollongong, Bevis has returned. But in game they were both playing paladins, so it has been pretty seamless, there. Andrew has switched from playing Duke Jope to playing a sorcerer and a cohort dwarf oracle of Desna. Switch had been looking for a cleric of Desna for some time what with the whole Zon Kuthon business. Currently Andrew is playing Jope again, as the large-scale narrative kinda centers around the duke.

So. The book describes a waterfall, and we have tries a couple of locations in the kingdom to find it. We went to the Shrike Cascade, which were inhabited by these odd centaur-fey things. I used my new spell: “Freezing Sphere”, and it was most fun. These things were quite nasty, actually. Not a problem for me, as I was Flying at the time, but they nearly killed Fiver (the Oracle of Desna).

This party is juuuust about getting to the point where D&D becomes a little silly. Everyone seriously kicks ass. Switch dropped two Freezing Spheres (14d8), a Chain Lightning (14d6) and a quickened Fireball (10d6), oh and then some Scorching Rays to mop up. Remeber – Arcane Trickster with sniper goggles. Three scorching rays, each one doing 4d6+6d6 sneak attack +12 if the target is within 30′. And a rod of Quicken Spell, so she ges off two of those.

Meanwhile Rainor is smacking these things with the Bow of Herne (bane human and fey), Jope is being Jope, and Kevin is using a lance with Spirited Charge and some sort of abilty that effectively transmutes it into cold iron.

These things were aquatic fey with some nasty, nasty abilites, but the Freezing Sphere turned the entire waterfall to ice six inches thick. Which kinda fucked it up for them. Oh, also they conjured a mist granting them concealment, but both Switch and Fiver have Greater Dispel Magic.

To give them credit, they did nearly kill Fiver with some sort of poisoned wave of water ability.

After this, we were thinking of visiting the other falls upstream to the north, but really these fey would be doing something more spectacular. So went instead to the river that feeds Lake Silverstep. Pretty, but nothing there. We went to the waterfall behind Vordakai’s tomb. Not as pretty, and nothing there either.

But we had another lead. Up at cloudarc is some sort of portal to the fey realm, and Zack Jackson (Have you ever heard of him? Professional vandal pretending to be an archeologist) saw something inside that matches one of the scenes in Zutteger’s Picnic. So we headed there.

The mythal still defends the place, so we had to ascend on foot. I had never been there, you know. It’s a temple, a monk temple. Plain food, and people practising martial forms. There are creatures here (I am writing this from the temple) which, well aparently there’s a bit of a history. They were evil things under the control of the fey when his Majesty cleaned it out, and now it seems they are not. I don’t know what they are. Insectoid, but not Thri-Kreen. They tend the plants and practise the monk fighting forms, but they and the Kobolds are not able to communicate at all. I’m making a speaking-stick for them (tounges once per day – should take me about two days to do). Perhaps its not actually a good idea, maybe they’d be better off learning to coomunicate in their own way. But, well, I’ll make it anyway.

Rainor is hanging about, doing monky things. Koans and whatnot (what do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back?). The other two, I’m not sure. I imagine Jope has found some alcohol, and Kevin is busilly trying to convince the monks to be fanaticlly dedicated to a god, which just isn’t going to work, you know.

Oh, I should mention.

I have finally done as I have been meaning to do ever since our heirloom fell to me to bear. I have added an enchanment on top of the other enchantments he bears – Freedom of Movement. I would have loved to add to his power to grant additional spells to his wearer, but honestly it’s a bit beyond me and all things considered this enchantment might be a better choice. Since the first Verdant was – well – like me, it seems that whoever of us bears this ring will always be getting into scrapes. Dimension Door twice a day would have been an option, too (always pack two – one to get into trouble, and one to get out of it). But I think I have done the right thing.

You honour your house, Verdant-daughter. You honour me. I shall bear this gift of your power for as long as I and your house endures. When the time comes, pass me to another. I am not yours to keep forever.

Dwarf Fortress

8 May, 2013

Negotiations were tense.

No – scratch that. Negotiations were at an impasse. Both sides issuing thinly veiled threats.

No – scratch that. One side issuing thinly veiled threats. James Fletcher du Morn, make that Prince James, had come to hammer out an agreement with Fath Tulonkul of Sansuatir. A large dwarven mine and fortress. It was not going well.

“You see, Fath”, he said with sneer and no honourific, “human armies are vast. Why, any of out neighbours could overwhelm your little fortress. It may be true that one dwarf is worth two men, but what can you do when yo face an army of a dozen men for every dwarf? And our armies are even greater than those of our neighbours. But a small tribute will keep you, your family, and your people safe from such nuisances.”

Civilisation is and always has been a protection racket. Even the gods play the same game. In our own reality, we have a god named Jehovah, who’s scam is to not throw you into hell to be tortured unceasingly forever if you will worship and obey him. All he wants is your eternal soul. Charming.

“Aye, Prince James”, Fath Tulonkul replied, “but no human army would be fool enough to attack the dwarves. Why, even if you win, you lose.”

“Oh really?”, sneered the prince. “I place little credit in these myths of dwarven secret weapons. You have nothing but steel, which is fine, but not enough.”

And so, in the veiled and indirect language of diplomacy, the threat was made. Show me this secret weapon of yours, convince men not to attack, or I will go ahead and do it.

“Secret weapon, is it?”. Foreman Tulonkol considered. He was backed into a corner and knew it. “Aye. Secret enough. Call me overdrmatic, but merely the knowlege that we have this weapon would be fatal, if it were to escape. You be a military man, I see. D’ye have a man in yer party ye trust? A man good with numbers? Knowledgable in affairs – trade, management ‘o the kingdom? A man who can keep a secret? Ye’ll not want this noised about, trust me. I’ll show ye, then ye’ll know the whole truth. And if ye do not understand it, your man will.”

Prince James tried to judge the foreman’s intent, but his face was inscrutable behind his cursed beard. “Very well. I would see this terrible weapon of yours. Geoffrey! Attend! No, I need no guard. We are guests.” He did not make threats to assure his safety. A ruler must not be seen to care for it.

The foreman called for torches, as human were effectively blind in the dark. “We are going to stock room nineteen.” The other dwarves reacted, startled, but swiftly composed themselves. “Intriguing” thought the prince. He and his factotum descended, down into the depths of the mountain, to see this fearsome weapon.

Stairs stairs stairs, they descended what seemed a mile, and may have been. Prince James and Geofrey’s legs ached from treads just a little too shallow for one step, a little too deep to take two at a time. But wonderfully well made, and broad, and populated with dwarves scurrying up and down. They came to an archway without even a door. “Here we are”, said foreman Tulonkol, “stock room nineteen”.

Beyond was gold.

Gold, gold, gold. Palletloads of gold ingots. A kingdom’s – an empire’s ransom in gold. Neatly stacked. Each bar hallmarked and numbered in dwarf script. More gold than either the price or his factotum ever dreamed existed in the whole world.

“Now you two just sit for a moment and look your fill, because I know that whats in this stockroom is what your pretty threats are all about, and then I will explain to you a little about how the world works.”

The prince recovered first. Despite appearances, he had been trained in a hard school. “Now look ye at all this gold. First thing ye need to know is: we have assayed that stuff ye use in yer coins. It’s about one third gold, the rest mainly copper. This stuff is pure. We adulterate it to match before we trade with humans: you humans have never seen pure gold. So look at this lot and triple it in yer mind’s eye.”

“We dwarves mostly have no idea why ye humans value this shit like ye do. It’s heavy, it’s soft. The only thing about it is that it doesn’t corrode – which makes it useful as a cladding, it’s pretty, it’s an unusual colour for a metal, and ye think it’s rare. Now Geoffrey: ye are a trader, ye have a chest ‘o coins under yer bed. What was it worth an hour ago? What is it worth now that ye have seen this? A lifetime of yer accumulated work – I could replace it with a bar or two off that pallet there.

Geoffrey paled. “I see yer beginning ter understand. There’s enough in this stockroom to buy yer whole kingdom five times over … but here’s the thing: if we tried to actually do that, it wouldn’t work now would it? Because people would change their ideas about what gold is worth. Not that it would matter to you, because what is in your treasury right now would become worthless within a week of people knowing just how much of this stuff we have down here.”

“Now, you’ve been making threats. All pretty and disguised, but threats all the same. Armies and whatnot. Well you listen to my threat: if you do anything even half as stupid as beginning to mass an army anywhere near this fort, we will load this stuff into saddlebags, put them on oxen and horses, and drive those animals into your lands – the gold free for the taking. A river of the stuff. Your kingdom will collapse, because ye’ll be unable to buy the loyalty of yer barons.

“But I see his highness is unconvinced. So let me put it this way:

“If ye bring an army against this fort, we will mold this stuff into half-pound darts, tip them with steel, and catapult them by the bucket into yer troops. Now you think, yer highness, you pay yer troops -what – two silvers a day? What will happen to their order and morale when we do that?”

And now the prince paled.

“Those darts will kill a lot of men. The ones that are left will be scrabbling about in the wounds of their brothers, looking for the gold. They’ll fill their pockets with it and then they’ll run home to spend it. They’ll never forget their shame. Yer army will be broken for a generation or more.”

“And, of course, we could always simply start shipping this stuff to yer neighbours. We wouldn’t even have to be obvious about it – just arrange for our traders to give better terms to theirs. Ye can shift a surprising amount that way.”

Foreman Tulonkol paused for a bit. “Well, there it is. There’s yer secret weapon. What do ye say to all that?”

Geoffrey, still stunned at the implications, blurted “we can switch to sterling for coinage…”. The foreman shook his head and replied, “would ye like to see what’s in stock room twenty-seven?”

The prince was silent. Shocked and angry, his mind replaying the scene of his men deaf to orders, scrabbling about in mud and blood for the gold. Foreman Tulonkol said, “If ye’ve nothing more to ask, we can climb back up. But before we go,” he took an ingot from a pallet, “this is dwarf gold. 99 percent pure. The real stuff. Want it?” Geoffrey reached out, and then recoiled as if he were about to touch a snake. “That’s the spirit!”, said the foreman. “Shall we go?”

The prince turned to his factotum. “On pain of death, for you and whomever you reveal this to, you will never speak of this.” The factotum nodded. “I understand, your highness.” Then they turned and ascended the stairs in silence.

And the guitar, too

4 May, 2013

Just sold the guitar and everything else. And damn the dude that bought it reminded me of someone. Seemed to know what he was on about. He bought his 5150 (I didn’t have power amp) to test the gear. Played better than I ever did. Checked all the buttons – volume pot on the JMP1 was noisy. Everything else – no worries.

So – big bare spot. I’m buyin’ me a chair.