Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Campaign With No Name - Feb 9th

As the Warlord and Drow had gone for a swim, Mouse and Chuck entertained themselves by sitting around on the stairs and then exploring the tower for anything they might have missed the first time. The other two had been gone some time, and they were carefully examining the mouldy remains of books in the library for anything still legible when they heard footsteps on the stairs - coming down from above.

Hiding behind the door, they waited until the footsteps stopped outside, the door swung open and....Dungeon Master walked into the room. He looked round and spotted them, and then, as if the incident where he was their captive until he escaped never happened, proceeded to tell them the Warlord and Drow had been captured by some Kua-Toa and would soon be executed. He then failed to dissuade them from mounting a rescue mission - his insistence that they should go and "get revenge" on the Magus instead was duly ignored as Chuck at least didn't quite trust him. Funny that.

With some difficulty, they managed to swim through the tight passageway and emerge gasping for breath in the flooded cavern. They followed the tunnel above ground to a T-junction and, with no clue as to which way the others might have gone, decided to left-hand map. Sneaking along, they soon spotted a couple of Kua-Toa carrying spears ahead, with what seemed to be the Warlord's in front, just disappearing round a corner. After debating whether to just attack or not, they decided to follow them for a bit.

Meanwhile, the Warlord and Drow had indeed met some Kua-Toa upon reaching the t-junction. As neither side immediately attacked, the Kua-Toa instead, jabbering in some language neither of the two characters understood, gestured for them to follow them. They pushed and poked and led the two down the tunnel to the right. While the Drow began to wonder whether the Kua-Toa thought they'd taken them prisoner, they emerged into a large cavern with several other of the fishy humanoids and were led to a crude tent. Inside they were given a possibly drugged drink and the Kua-Toa leader talked to them using a magic stone to translate into Common. Due to several misunderstandings, he concluded they were idiots obsessed with fish, but offered to take them to meet his god. They explained their other friends couldn't make it through the watery tunnel, and it was agreed that they would accompany the team sent to explore the last fork in the tunnel system to see if it led to the surface.

Sure enough, it did, albeit through a steep sink-hole that the Warlord was able to fly up through but would have been difficult to climb up. However, just as they were discussing going up to fetch Mouse and Chuck (and Cat of course) from the Bloodtower, those very persons spoke up from the shadows behind them and said "Hello!" Although they were annoyed that they'd had to swim when they didn't need to, the party were at least all together again, and happily not dead despite what Dungeon Master had said.

They accompanied the Kua-Toa group as they made their down to their home, travelling through the deep caverns for a couple of days. The Kua-Toa mostly stuck to side passageways once they got deeper, to avoid "trouble" they said, but one "awake period" the leader came to tell them that they needed to go on "the King's Highway" for a bit. It dawned on the party that they really were in the Underdark now. Despite the King's Highway's reputation as a treacherous path full of murderers, they had little trouble until one narrower part where, suddenly, chaos broke out and the party found themselves stuck between masses of fighting Kua-Toa, and facing a Blood Ooze.

The Ooze hurt badly, not least because it sprayed necrotic and poisonous blood everywhere whenever it was hit, and attempted to drain the blood from anything that stayed too close. But the party rapidly took it down, giving it little opportunity to hurt them. The Kua-Toa were less lucky.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Plans, Schmlans

The problem with making plans is sometimes the spoon thief comes and gets in the way. (In case you haven't read The Spoon Theory, go read it now. It works for mental illness just as much as any physical one. And sometimes I remember I'm actually ill, and not just lazy.)

It's been less than a month since I mentioned some of my plans for this year so maybe I shouldn't be judging myself too harshly, but I do seem to have run aground already. The daft writing project (using Celtx) has been dropped due to the ongoing problem I seem to have when it comes to writing fiction - failure to think of a plot. You just need to glance back through the last few blog posts to notice that I haven't managed that many reviews, and most of my posts have indeed been about my game or whining about life.

I have made little progress in brushing up my linux skills and haven't even made a start on learning Python or any other language. And while a few things have been put aside to be taken to charity shop or tip, there's still along way to go.

But the biggest problem was my really crazy idea which has indeed proven to be as daft and hard to manage as I expected. Mostly because I've utterly failed to write any form of explanation that I can send to people. So mostly I've just failed to fill in online surveys, Eagle nominations and competition forms, and abandoned my resolve to switch banks; all with the intention of emailing someone and then trying again but apathy and writer's block got in the way. And I now have a job application form to send off, with the gender question on the equal opportunities monitoring form left blank, and no idea what to say in the accompanying letter, or who to address it to, or even whether to send one at all. Not that I expect to get very far with the job anyway, but I don't want to completely screw up my chances of even being considered by coming across as something of a loon. Which is just pure cowardice I know, but there. I'm not going to cave just yet though. I'm leaning towards just sending in the application, and working again on a letter to send to the employer pointing out the problem with their form, but whether I'll ever manage to write that letter or not I don't know.

On the other hand, I wasn't sure if I'd be able to even write this post, having failed to last week when I first thought of it. So maybe it'll take time but maybe I'll get there in the end. Same with the other plans, I guess.

Monday, February 7, 2011

That Was The Weekend And The Weekend Before That

Missed last week's weekend round-up due to depression running off with all my motivation, so this will have to do double duty. In reverse order,just to be awkward.

Last night was Being Human night, and it was good. Zombie was effectively scary, gross and surprisingly moving in the end. Despite my initial dread at a "werewolf baby" storyline, George and Nina won me over in the end. Damn me for being so easily manipulated by TV. I'm less fussed about Mitchell/Annie - it'll only end in heartbreak when she finally finds out the truth about the Box Tunnel killings. Also watched Becoming Human which was good, albeit short, and while it was fairly obvious the bully wasn't going to be the killing the poltergeist act was well done and Matt moves from being a pathetic victim to a slightly scary powerful being bent on revenge. Mostly, though, I love Adam's out-of-date pop culture references (Rentaghost, Bergerac). Kids today, no culture....

Sunday afternoon we wandered round town a bit and popped into Games Workshop to ogle the models, but managed not to buy anything. Before that the SO tidied and sorted some things out so downstairs looks a little less like a junk room while I read Bad Science and tried not to get stressed out about tidying, sorting etc.

Saturday evening, the SO and I settled down in front of Quantum of Solace (which was good) with wine and chocolate biscuits and brandy butter. Then we played a game of Zombie Fluxx which involved more taking off of clothes than it would have done if we'd had company or less wine. Earlier that day we went to our local library for the first time since joining a couple of years ago and got three books out each (have no idea what the borrowing limits are, but a book a week seems like a reasonable amount to read). I got Bad Science, a Tom Holt novel and a book about the battle of Fulford. Maybe I'll do reviews when I've finished them.

The weekend before had also ended in me watching Being Human and Becoming Human. That Sunday had mostly been spent recovering from the busy two days beforehand, as Saturday evening we had friends round for chilli, booze and boardgames. The depression was starting to kick in and I struggled with playing Ticket to Ride for the first time, but that was more due to my mood and indecisiveness than the actual game, which was good fun and I didn't actually do too badly. Earlier we'd gone to visit Nana and take Benjy for a walk, after having brunch as Wetherspoons and before dropping off my mum at the train station.

Mum had been staying to babysit while we went to a house cooling party Friday night. I think I mentioned before that a couple of friends are breaking with tradition and actually leaving York instead of staying here forever like everyone else we know. It was a good night, cider, snacks and people I hadn't seen in ages. I even came away with West Wing DVDs as they had spare box sets of seasons one, two and seven.

So, busytimes.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Campaign With No Name - Feb 2nd

After a restful night in the sleeping quarters of the Bloodtower, the party continued to explore the tower, heading down past the "ground" floor where they first entered. The next floor down consisted of a library and a dining room. A careful looting rewarded them with an antique map, scrolls of Consult Mystic Sages, Anthem of Unity and Detect Treasure, some residuum and several spiders. A collapsed staircase led directly to the flooded kitchen below which the Warlord investigated before deciding it would be easier for the non-winged party memebers if they all went down via the main staircase.

The stairs ended in waist deep swamp-water which filled a large hall with double doors on the outside wall of the tower, as well as a door through to the kitchen. On reaching the bottom of the stairs, they noticed several things begin to swim through the water towards them. The Warlord charged one (or at least waded towards one and poked it with his spear) and discovered they were ghouls. As the other adventurers were still making their way down the stairs, the ghouls quickly surrounded the Warlord and grabbed him, their claws digging in deep. The Drow splashed into the water and cast a large spell to push the ghouls away, then Chuck immobilised a couple of them while Mouse starting picking them off (with difficulty, as using a greatbow in deep water is not easy). A couple more came into the room from a corner, but a Storm Pillar helped deal with them. The fight was short, but still hurt a little.

After deciding there was nothing worth looting on this floor, being mostly underwater, the Warlord found a narrow tunnel leading down and investigated it. It was a tight swim and he started running out of breath before managing to surface in a large rocky cavern dimly lit by phosphorescence. A large tunnel led straight down through the water, but another above water looked more inviting. He went back to persuade the others they should explore that way. The Drow followed him, struggling with the swim a little, but after one look at the cramped hole, Chuck and Mouse decided to stay behind as they were not good swimmers, and Cat was refusing to come down off the stairs altogether.