Memories of Connor's Adventures

Orlando the Adventurer pulled a Scimitar from beneath his Robes and smiled...

Monday, 28 November 2016

Short Fiction: Eug-en's Journey

Title: Eug-en's Journey

"Deer!" Eug-en hurled his spear taking down a doe as the herd emerged from the cover of the increasingly thick forest brush at the base of the hill like an explosion of startled game birds and raced out across open gravel scattering from the intruders.
"It appears," The spear-impaled doe screamed in pain to no avail as Eug-en raced forward to bend over it long enough to cut its throat. "we eat tonight."
"Well Old One?" Eug-en splayed its belly open emptying the internal organs from the carcas. "What do the organs tell us?"
The Auger walked closer until he could kneel down and examine the organs. A nick in the intestine revealed a green leaf pulp.
"No signs of sickness." The Auger rubbed it in his fingers. "They have been eating green plants with good water."
"Good." Eug-en continued to gut the carcas wondering which direction the plants lay. "We will need it."

Eug-en squeezed the grass stalk into his mouth for every drop of water and sugar and pulled another grass stalk seeking its moisture. The Deer had eaten heavily leaving little. They had obviously arrived hungry and thirsty from somewhere out there. Eug-en looked out across the horizon. It was definatly dry out there. Eug-en considered taking the north route around the great mountains. At least there would be forest.
"It will be a difficult crossing," The Auger scraped at his rectum with a rock seeking to remove any dregs. "We will need to move at night."
"I think we should go North around the great mountains." Eu-gen longed for forest rather than the barren way to the South that promised heat, thirst, and the unfamiliar.
"No. We go South." The old one spoke up. "There are forest demons up North that would kill, skin and eat us both for simply trespassing on their lands."

Storm clouds broke against the far side of the barrier that divided the morning from the evening and Eug-en watched as lightning illuminated every peak.
"There! Do you see it?" The old Auger pointed at the mountains. "The way the lightning lit this side of that peak?"
"Yes!" Eug-en struggled to see anything in the dark but he had seen the light of the storm flash against the mountain. "What does it mean?"
"There is a way through the mountains there."

The mountain lion pounced from its hiding place hurling itself at the two intruders. It had learned that speed and power were all it needed to make a quick meal of any prey.
"Move!" Eug-en spun instantly with a large rock snatched from an easily reached shelf smashing his fist sized weapon against the skull of the predator halting its roar and inflicting instant suffering while the weight of its collision of both predator and man drove Eug-en back against a boulder.
"Haaagh!" Eug-en screamed with pain and rage as he took up his rock and smashed in the beast's skull until it was most certainly dead. "Light a fire old man. I need to rest awhile."
Eug-en passed out against the carcass of his deceased opponent.

The stink of the lion carcass and the pain of the night's encounter still with him, Eug-en scratched his itching ballsack to provide what little warmth from the morning cold it might enjoy staring at the old Auger tossing his prized bones about on a piece of fine scraped leather that he normally kept concealed. Was that the scull cap of the Auger who trained him?
"Well old man," Eug-en sniffed at his hand and was repelled by the characteristic scent of it. "What do the bones say?"
The old Auger concealed the bones in their cloth.
"If I catch you standing on my shadow again," The Auger struggled to his feet with the aid of his staff. "I will add a bone to my collection."
Eug-en snatched up his fire hardened spear and resisted the urge to drive it through the old one. How often had the old man walked across Eug-en's shadow? More often than he would have killed another for. He valued the man's guidance as his father had before him but his habitual contempt in return amounted to disrespect. Eug-en set aside his anger growling at himself for the weakness.
Men are not threatened by the disrespect of others. Eug-en flexed his fingers into the palm of his hand testing the tightness of the tendons.

"Where do we go..." Eug-en cut his question short and pointed at the Smoke rising skyward in the distance. "What is that?"
The Auger began the slow descent down the rocky slope carefully weaving his way past boulders from the mountains above him. "That," The Auger looked at the black smoke rising from the edge of the world. "is where we are going."
Eug-en followed slowly making every effort not to stand on the Old One's shadow.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Short Fiction: Rikard's Gamble

Title: Rikard's Gamble

"The game is dead-eyed molly," Rikard sat at the table with a pair of dice balanced on the back of his left hand and smiled as he emptied a pouch of its gold into a large wooden bowl at the table centre. "And the buy in is ten gold royals."
"Not a farmer's game tonight." Franz of Armstead dropped in a pair of Thyatian Platinum pieces into the pot instantly raising eyebrows. "Found them in the mud under the docks on Fogor Isle. Just the two." At the suggestion of freely availiable coins a few patrons slipped out through the door into the night.
"And there go half your patrons." Leaf Beatenbow laughed at the desperation of men as he dropped ten gold coins of varying nations into the bowl. "My gold is as good as any."
"I'll be representing the farming guild tonight Tavern-master Rikard." Farmer Miklos surrendered a mix of gold coins to the bowl belonging to various owners currently crowded in the room. "If you dont mind us buying in."
"I take anyone's gold," Tomin Creary deposited his coins. "so long as they are offering."
"Sorry I'm late." Eben Rhily smiled, pulling up a chair as his gold coins dropped in the bowl. " I believe my gold makes the pot sixty."
Everyone nodded and stared at Rikard expectantly as he lifted the dice and dropped them across the table.
"House rolls first." Rikard swore as the dice settled on a pair of 'ones'. "Dead-eyed molly."
"I'm next." Franz retrieved the dice and invoked a blessing as he unleashed the dice. A safe roll and franz breathed a sigh of relief allowing the elf at the table to claim the dice. "No cursed dice tonight."
"I am a leaf on the wind." Leaf rolled the clay destriders across the wood only to watch the second pair of 'ones' appear for the evening. "And a dead leaf it is."
"Dead-eyed molly." Farmer Miklos rolled his turn and smiled at having remained in the game. "Cheer up, I hear Elves live forever."
"Not so Farmer." Tomin rolled safe. "That would be dragons."
"You are both wrong." Eben Rhily rolled safe. "Only the Immortals live forever."
"Wrong on all counts." Franz reached across the table for the dice and dropped them again for a safe roll. "Anyone hear of the Rain of Fire?"
"I heard a Story written by a dragon." Miklos rolled safe. "It ended with...and the sky burned with infernal rain and all the kingdoms fell."
"I heard a kobold rhyme. There was a Dragon Egg so dark and evil, he ruled the world without hatching." Tomin rolled safe. "and something...I forget the rest...but it mentions a bad rain."
"Pity." Eben Rhily rolled safe. "It sounded interesting."
"Hah!" Franz rolled a one and four. "Not as interesting as me winning."
"T'is interesting though." Miklos a one and five. "these different tales of a rain of fire."
"Not relevent at the moment though." Tomin rolled a six and two and smiled at his fortune.
"I hear Bargle was seen near Threshold."
"Lets not curse the dice with talk of that villain shall we." Eben rolled two and two and looked at Tomin. "The last thing we need is to start rolling pairs."
"Indeed." Franz winced at the rather close call of a two and a one. "They punched through into a forgotten dungeon beneath the Tarnskeep."
"Bloody dungeons are everywhere." Miklos rolled a four and three. "Can hardly dig in a field without falling through into one."
"So," A one and two tumbled from Tomin's hand. "what did they find under Tarnskeep?"
"Probably undead." The group looked at Eben as though he had spat on lady Aleena as his five and three settled on the table. "What?"
"They found a stairs going down." a pair of ones appeared from Franz's roll. "Bugbear shit!"
"That's dead-eyed molly to you." Miklos fetched up the dice and released them on the table for a pair of sixes. "shit."
"Nasty." Tomin rolled a pair of two. "looks like its catching."
"Lets hope not." Eben rolled a four and three. "You were saying you cant dig a field without finding a dungeon."
"Aye. Vigo across the river broke through into one just this morning." Two and two. "Got him self a nice stone cellar now."
"Any doors or stairs?" Tomin dropped a four and six. "Might be worth a look in the morning."
"Beware!" Eben said the word in a scary voice rolling a four and one, drawing the gaze of every superstitious man in the room. "Sorry."
"Didnt have any doors." A pair of ones reduced the number of players to two. "Bitch."
"Dead-eyed molly," A five and three granted Tomin another chance. "Thats her name."
"I might be up for exploring a dungeon." a one and four spared Eben from poverty. "How about you?"
"Pass me the damn dice!" Tomin Creary eyed the pot filled with the wages of several men who had gone home penniless this evening as his hand closed around the dice dropped into his palm. "If you think I am going home penniless like those poor sods you are in for a rude surprise."
"Come on my lovely!" Tomin unleashed the contents of his hand and the ceramic dice tumbled across the heavy timber table jarring and flipping against the edges of its uneven timbers until they halted, each a single upward facing mark.
"Dead-eyed molly!" The voice of his sole remaining opponent exploded with joy at the victory. Eben Rhily smiled and reached out across the table for his winnings. "Thank you gentlemen for a lovely evening."
"Not quite yet Rhily." Tomin reached into the folds of his cloak and pulled a piece of paper from the hidden pocket that had kept it safe tossing it on the winnings. "One more hand."
"What might that be when its not being a scrap of paper then?" Eben considered the scrap of paper. It was old. Thats all he could tell as he reached out to examine it.
"Its a title deed to some land." Tomin grabbed Eben's hand preventing him from touching the document.  "The dice." Tomin pulled his hand free and considered the man. He could very well be bluffing. That sort of thing had happened before and it always ended in violence when the bluff was exposed.
"All right." Eben picked up the dice and allowed them to tumble from the palm of his hand across the table, his eyes fixed on the man across from him until they no longer made the characteristic sound of dice on wood. His opponent gritted his teeth indicating Eben's winnings were safe. "Your roll I believe."
"Best not get too settled Rhily," Tomin retrieved the dice and with a spill of his hand dropped the dice getting a good roll. "I never loose my land."
"I have enjoyed a winning streak all night." Safe. "You on the other hand have lost once already."
"The only way is up." Tomin rolled a five and four. "and you are due a comeuppance."
"Perhaps," Eben rolled a three and a one. "but not tonight."
"I know so." Tomin rolled a one and two. "Your roll."
"Matter of time." Eben rolled a four and two. "just a matter of time."
"Still," a pair of fives tumbled from Tomin's hand. "Vigo's cellar is a thought."
"Agreed." three and one landed on the table. "We can take a look after I win."
"You mean after I win." A pair of ones and the game was over. "Damn."
"Dead-eyed molly." Eben snatched up the land title and unfolded it. The Seal of Baron Sherlane declared the holder of the paper owner of fifty acres north of Lake Windrush including an old stone barn. "Bloody Hel, thats a good piece of land."
"Aye." Tomin already felt the loss. "It is."
"Drinks to my good fortune Tavern-Master!" Eben dumped a handful of his winnings in front of Rikard and began dumping the remaining coins in an empty pouch.
"Drinks all round it is." The crowded tavern cheered at the prospect of a free drink as Rikard got to his feet and headed for the bar.
"Well then gentlemen." Eben leaned forward across the table. "It seems we can investigate this doorless stone cellar of Farmer Miklos's aquaintance at sunrise, move on to exploring these stairs discovered below Tarnskeep if the Baron is of a mind to allow us after lunch, and retire for the evening to my fine stone barn north of Windrush with a mind to camp out under the stars and cook some fish." Eben looked across their faces. "What say you?"
"Aye!" They nodded in unison rapping the table top, and Franz smiled as the singing mood washed over him.
"I knew a lass named molly." Leaf next. "but she had naught but eyes for you." Miklos took the third line. "A cruel love if ever there was," Tomin took the fourth line. "as she took your gold and flew." A thunderous aplause rose from the patrons drowning the tavern.
"Now," Rikard dropped drinks on the table as Eben noticed a problem. "How do we get across the river?"

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Board Games: Yellowdingo

Divide the cards between players and place a single move piece on the all out card. Each player in turn laying down a card and moving the move piece to the card.
The game ends when the all in card traps the move piece and the game restarts or all cards are down and the final player moves the piece to their card.
If you loop onto a previous card you dont need to lay down a card and can simply move the game piece.
When laying down a card all connections must match in direction.

The player with the all out card plays it first.

The player with the all in card can force a game restart.

Something you can print off and play. most cards will be six, one is two, one is three, and two are singular.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Building on Ideas: That first city

The most influential city in human history will be the very first city we built. Sure cities have been bigger and snazzier since that first one but that first city defined the way cities are for every city that followed. We might never know its name, nor where it was, but we know it existed. 
What do we know about that first human city? Not Rome, nor Athens, nor Jerusalem, nor Babylon but they all have aspects of it.
Apart from Sel- which means settlement you can go through the full pie list and extract phonetic subgroups...
The ul phonetic evolved into al-, el-, il-, ol-, ul-. All the protoindoeuropean words that have this group describe a site of significant occupation for a particular subgroup within protoindoeuropeans. 

Wel: to see, to wish, to turn/roll, to tear/pull 
Walso: post 
wal: to be strong 
volcae: celtic tribe name 
tolkw: to speak 
tel: to lift, support weight 
swel: to eat/drink, to shine, post/board 
stel: extend, to put/to stand refering to object or place 
spelgh: spleen 
spel: to split/break off, to shine, say aloud/recite 
skwalo: big fish 
skel: to cut, to be under an obligation, crooked refering to bent body parts 
silo: silent 
Sel: human settlement, of good mood, to take, to jump 
sawel: the Sun 
sal: salt, dirty gray 
pule: gate 
Populus: people 
pol: finger, to touch 
pilo: hair 
phol: to fall 
pelis: rock, cliff 
pele: flat/to spread, citadel/fortified high place 
Pel: dust/flour, pale, to fold, skin/hide, to sell, to thrust/drive/strike, to fill 
ol: to destroy 
obhel: to sweep/pile up 
Molko: skin bag 
melodh: elevation 
Mele: to crush/grind 
Meldh: to speak words to diety, lightning 
mel: soft materials, darkish colour, a limb, strong, bad, wool, to decieve 
kolei: glue 
kelewo: bald 
Kelp: to hold 
kelb: to help 
kel: warm, to strike/cut, to shout, to cover/conceal, to drive/set in motion, to lean/tilt, grey/black/dark, prominent/hill, to prick, to decieve/trick 
gel: form into ball, bright 
elkos: wound 
el: elbow, red/brown, to go 
duellum: war 
Dhelg: to pierce/needle 
Dhelbh: to dig/excavate 
dhel: a hollow 
dhal: to bloom 
del: long, to count, to split/carve, to drip (fat) 
Bhelgh: to swell 
bhelg: a plank/beam 
bheleu: to harm 
bheld: to knock/strike 
bhel: to shine/flash/burn, to blow/to swell, to thrive, to cry out/yell 
Bel: strong 
aulo: hole 
athal: race/family 
Angelos: messenger 
alu: in words related to sorcery, posession, intoxication 
alek: to ward off/protect 
albho: white 
al: beyond, to wander, grow/nourish, to grind/mill, all

Plant, animals, foods implying region 
salik: willow 
pteleya: tree 
Pippali: pepper 
Moulo: moly (a plant) 
Melon: any tree growing fruit 
Melo: small animal 
melit: honey 
melg: to rub off/to milk 
Malakhe: a mallow (a plant of pink or white flowers) 
Kolem: grass reed 
elaia: olive 
kaul: stalk/stem 
Hule: Forest 
Abel: apple

So its a citadel on a high place with cliffs overlooking or near the sea with large fish (perhaps sharks, whales). They worship gods (possibly a god of lightning, and a goddess of the underworld). They have sheep for wool and fine leather cloth, buildings of post and timber beams and wooden thresholds. 
Plants common here are fruit trees including apple and olives . There is a forest nearby with willow, moly.
Food stuffs: pepper, honey, milk they mill grain for flour.
Relations with others: They traded with and argued violently with others.

Potential archeological locations include troy, gibraltar, athens, jerusalem...they all share commonalities inherent in the idea of that original city. A place of common shelter and trade. A fortified citadel above cliffs. A centre of religious belief.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Short Fiction: The Tower

Title: The Tower

Ming Ming watched her Father's Chief Financial Officer slip out of her father's office to clean himself in the bathroom before he could return to the company Christmas Party as she wrangled her underwear over her knees and up under her skirt. The office seemed to have absorbed the smell of their moment together in a way that would irritate her father to no end.

Han washed himself. He didnt need to smell of the Daughter of his employer when he returned to the christmas party. The noise of water flowing from the tap masked the emergence of a shadow from the air vent overlooking the room. The knife sliced the artery on Han's neck spraying the bathroom in a distinctive red as he struggled with the hand over his mouth.

Tran pulled the trigger on his handgun, the silencer preventing the sound from echoing with any great significance. The security guard, distracted by kickboxing on a small screen, slumped backwards dead. Tran pulled the radio from his coat and turned it on.
"Secure." Tran set the radio aside and searched the control board for a particular button and pushed it releasing a security door granting entry to a dozen heavily armed leather clad shadows in black skimasks.

Ming Ming lifted a glass of champagne from the tray and walked toward her father. His minions stared at her inapropriate clothing choice and drunken stumble that cost her a shoe heel and distanced themselves from the walking career embarassment headed toward Director Chang.
"Father..." Ming Ming investigated the tight fitting suit hugging the groin of the Chief of Security in her father's shadow with her eyes and concluded he was keeping a present for her that she would open later.
"Karl," Director Chang locked eyes on his drunken daughter. "It is time my daughter was returned home."

The Terrorists rode the elevator to the thirtieth floor and stood silently as the doors opened revealing people occupying a grand hall, the christmas party oddly paused, the attention of the room focused on a screaming girl in an inapropriate skirt taking her rage out on the Director of the company.
Tran van suk raised his pistol and fired as he exited the elevator ahead of his team.
"Attention everyone!" Having executed the chief of Security attempting to escort the girl from the room Tran changed the room dynamic from one of public shame to one of sheer panic.  Men and women fled the great hall, making use of every corridor radiating from it seeking refuge from the fresh hell now evolving behind them.
Director Chang stepped in front of his daughter proving that he still cared enough to place himself in harms way for her. The leader of these terrorists seemed bemused at the Director's gesture of parental responsibility.
"Chang Li," Tran raised his pistol and pointed it over the director's shoulder at the inappropriate girl. "Who is now in charge?"
Director Chang looked at his paniced employees being coralled back into the hall.
"You are in charge." Tran smiled.
"Very good." Tran shifted his gaze to the Director's daughter. "Problem child?"
Chang narrowed his eyes at the inappropriate topic as Tran alluded to some degree of interest in the matter.

Bao kicked open the bathroom door revealing a bloody red slaughterhouse. A red soaked drunk occupied the only toilet seat as though it were a throne.
"You!" Bao pointed his machine gun at the drunk, prodding him with the barrel. "Wake up!"
The faceless corpse tumbled to the floor breaking all doubt in Bao's mind.
"Shit." Bao backed out of the bloody crimson bathroom and pulled the door closed. It was a problem. Bao grabbed one of his men.
"Guard this door." Jook San was prepared to argue the situation but Bao insisted. "Just guard the door." Bao walked back toward the hall. Tran would have to be told.

The shadow emerged from the bloody camoflague and walked across the blood soaked floor of the bathroom to the door silently sliding it open to reveal an armed guard.

"You will provide the codes to your computer," Tran groped Ming Ming's thigh to the displeasure of her Father. "or your inappropriate daughter will be given to my men."
Bao loomed near Tran's ear.
"We have a problem." Tran lifted his hand from Ming Ming's Thigh and put the barrel of his gun under her chin. "What sort of problem?"
 "Its one of the hostages." Bao cleared his throat. "One of the hostages is dead."
"Did I not make it clear," Tran turned to face Bao. "that the hostages were to be taken alive?"
"Yes Sir." Bao looked at the girl with the gun awkwardly jammed against her throat. Tran regarded Bao for a moment. If there was a problem it was a serious problem.
"All right," Tran released the gun from Ming Ming's throat. "Show me."
Bao turned toward the hallway that would lead to the bathroom and Tran followed.

"It appears to have happened before our arrival." Bao looked about for Jook San as he pushed open the door. "I left Jook San guarding the door."
A second faceless corpse occupied the floor of the bathroom.
"Its Jook San." Bao rolled the corpse and having checked the body looked about the bathroom. "His weapon is gone."
Tran nodded in anguish. This was a problem.
"Take Li and Pao and sweep this floor locking it off," Tran left the bathroom. "and when you are done clear the floors above us as planned."

Tran returned to the hall. Someone had evicerated an employee of the company and one of his own men unnoticed. What the hell was going on?
"Fuck!" Tran pointed a gun at Ming Ming Chang and walked forward until the barrel pressed against her teeth. "I want the codes Director!"
Ming Ming flinched at the pain of the gun pressing against her face.
"I cant give them to you," Chang shook his head at the ultimatum. "I dont know the codes."
"Bullshit!" Tran snarled at him. "Now give me the fucking codes."
"My father is telling you the truth." Ming Ming screamed the words. "A courier from our London Office is always present to deliver the new codes."
Tran turned his pistol on Director Chang and pulled the trigger. The Director collapsed to the floor.
"Father!" Ming Ming collapsed on the corpse of  her father and grappled with his unresponsive body in a desperate attempt to awaken it from whatever nightmare they were sharing. "Oh no."

Pao pushed open the door to the stairwell. The temperature difference between the stairwell and the rest of the building was distinctive. He welcomed the warmth that seemed to flow down through the stairwell from somewhere above.
"Stairs are clear." Pao looked back into the hall as Li and Bao entered the boardroom. A blade sliced an artery on his neck and Pao was pulled backwards off his feet into the stairwell, his weapon firing randomly into the boardroom.
The corpse of Pao and shadow slipped over the edge of the railing and free falling down the well about which the stairs tightly spiralled.

"Li?" Bao pushed at his companion's corpse rolling the dead weight aside and examined the body. Li had taken the hail of bullets that had come for them both. Bao clambered to his feet and moved cautiously to the stairwell.

The shadow sliced off Pao's face adding the mask to its collection and retreated to the air vent leaving the corpse to be discovered.

"Did you get him?" The walkie talkie skwalked with the voice of Tran. "Bao?"

"Li is dead." Bao looked down over the stairwell railing, the spray of Pao's  blood painted everything in a fine spittle. Pao had come to rest on the stairs a few floors down. Bao slowly descended the stairs, his gun searching for a predator he knew was there...somewhere. "Pao is also dead."

"Fuck!" Tran pointed at Saka and Bato indicating to both to join Bao in the hunt for their growing problem. The pair abandoned their position and hurried down the hallway that would take them to Bao.

The body of Pao came slowly into view as Bao descended. The now faceless corpse had bled out on the stairs, what little blood he had emptied here. Bao noticed a smear of Pao's blood around the air vent through which his killer had slipped away. He had access to any floor. Bao approached the air vent cautiously, his gun raised. He needed only kneel down and sliding into the vent, look up and down. Bao reached out to support himself with a hand and then thought better of it.

The body of Pao fell head first down the air vent failing to make contact with anything other than vent, vanishing into the distance.
Up. Bao climbed the stairs wary of a foe that was certainly now headed up.

Saka checked left noticing the corpse on the floor of the board room.
"Its Li." Saka left the body returning to Bato.
The two men reached the stairwell to find Bao climbing toward them.
"He is using the Air vents." Bato and Saka turned pointing their weapons at the air vent next to them, pulling it free. A bloody trail stained the Air vent.
Saka leaned foward to look down the shaft.
"Wait." Saka ignored Bato.
"Empty." Saka began to back out when a shadowy hand with a blade sliced the back of his neck killing Saka. Bao ascended the stairs past Batu and Saka and headed for the next floor hoping to catch the killer.
"Fuck you bastard." Bato unleashed a spray of bullets that simply penetrated the walls of the Air vent.

Bao reached the air vent on the thirty-first floor pulling the grate aside.

Bato could only watch as the corpse of Saka was dragged forward into the vent. Somehow this shadow had slipped past him. Bato leaned in to watch the body of Saka descend the shaft.

Bao fired down past the corpse of Saka at the descending shadow only to realize his mistake. Bao reached for his walkie talkie.
"Batu and Saka are dead." Bao released his walkie talkie. "Fuck."

Ming Ming smiled at the words on the radio only to have Tran grab her by the throat.
"I grow tired of the foreplay you bitch." Tran turned toward the remaining hostages, and having selected a target, fired. "Now who is killing my people?"

Chao sat at the security desk watching kickboxing as he indulged in the contents of the bar fridge in the security break area that now occupied his work space.
The sound of a second heavy object bouncing off the duct walls of the air vent in its descent came from behind him. Chao looked at the distant door to the building. It was clear for the moment. He could investigate the air vent.

From the warmth of an old blanket in the dark of the poorly lit street Jet watched the man in black leather, a chocolate bar in his mouth, stand up and walk to the back of the illuminated lobby to the grate of an air vent. Jet watched as the man in leather pointed his gun with his right hand and pulled the grill open with his left and then bowing down, entered the vent. The corpse in black leather fell backwards spraying crimson across the lobby from a neck wound and bullets randomly across the room shattering the glass windows. The sound of gunfire audible to the street. The corpse was dragged back into the vent by its feet leaving a bloody trail for all to see. Jet struggled to his feet and walked down the street away from what was happening as quickly as he could.

The elevator began to descent from the thirtieth floor. Tran released his hand from Mei Mei's throat and grabbed at his radio.
"Chao?" Tran released the radio walking slowly toward the elevator. Tran watched as the express elevator stopped at ground floor and after a while it began its upward ascent. Tran signalled his remaining men into position and waited for the elevator to arrive.

"Bao." The radio squawked with Tran's voice. "Express Elevator is coming up from the lobby. Chao is not responding." Bao walked quickly toward the hall abandoning his position in the stairwell.

The elevator chimed and the doors slid back revealing three faceless corpses in black leather.
"Check them carefully." Tran signaled his men forward. The hostages screamed at the sight of three faceless corpses in the elevator.
 "Silence!" Tran van Suk pointed his weapon at the distressed hostages and looked at Bao. "Take the hostages up to the roof."

"All of you up." Bao pointed his gun at the hostages and waved it in the direction of the hallway. "To the stairwell."

Ming Ming Chang moved to be with the other hostages but was grabbed from behind.

"Not you." Tran grabbed the back of her neck and the billion dollar flower withered at his touch.
"Dong," Tran looked at the hacker dragging the corpse of Director Chang into his office. "This better work."

"Up the stairs," Bao pushed at the hostages. "To the Roof."
Bao followed them up the stairs and out onto the roof, the wind gusting at better than twenty kilometres an hour across the crowded helipad. Bao walked to the edge and looked down. Police vehicles had gathered at the front of the building.
"Tran!" Bao clutched his radio. "Police are here." A kick to his back and Bao fell forward descending with a scream into a police vehicle which imploded at the impact scattering officers.

Bao would keep the hostages on the rooftop. Tran signalled the remaining men.
"It is time."

Dong brought up the mainframe. Protocols regarding transfer of codes appeared. Dong pulled the scanner from its drawer and pointed it at Director Chang. The software scanning his eye recognized him instantly as being deceased. The computer alerted London automatically that Director Chang was deceased and began transfering access to his daughter Ming Ming.
"Sit." Tran pushed Ming Ming into the seat in front of Dong allowing him to complete a scan of her eye. "Good girl."
Dong continued through the codes transfer app. Dong's phone pinged with a message.
"London courier code retrieved." An explosion from the hall. "Just in time." Tran dragged Mei Mei from the chair out into the hall leaving Dong alone.

Dong shut down the computer and hoisted his mirror mainframe off the floor and returned it to its case to the sound of some compressed air cannon firing from the hall. Their exit strategy had activated. Dong walked quickly to join his compatriots.

Tran's men waited, each in harness. The one closest to the window locked on a cable that anchored itself through the door of the elevator and the distant rooftop of a second building.  The others followed stepping out one after the next.
With all his men on the cable headed to safety Tran could only watch as machine gun fire from the roof top cut through them and they reached their destination dead.
"We have a problem on the roof." Tran pulled his gun and headed toward the stairs that led up to the roof top. "Prep the girl."

Dong pulled the tranquilizer gun from his case and injected Mei Mei who collapsed unconcious. Dong pulled a black bag sufficient to take a human and laid it out next to her body watching Tran vanish around a corner.

Tran Van Suk made the slow ascent up the stairs to the roof top helipad as he grasped his gun. The wind tore at Tran agressivly as he emerged from the stairwell.
The helipad was littered in faceless corpses. The hostages were dead. Bao was gone. And so was the killer. In the distance a police helicopter flew toward the building.
Time to leave.

Dong lifted the human parcel and hooked her to the line allowing her to slide out the window. He watched her slide down the cable into the distance and turned to retrieve his computer case. A naked woman soaked in blood standing inches from him slashed his throat. Dong toppled backwards out the window and fell toward the street below.

Tran van Suk entered the hall to the sight of a naked and blood soaked woman allowing Dong's computer case to slide down the cable to its destination. Dong was gone. She turned to look at him. It was Mei Mei. Tran raised his gun and walked forward closing the distance.
"All ours..." she smiled at him examining him closely allowing him to come closer.
Somehow she was in league with this other killer. "Drop the weapon." She threw it aside and showed him the palms of her hands. Tran grabbed her by the throat and she submissivly put her hands behind her back.
"Who are you working with Mei Mei?" The woman brushed her face against Tran until she reached his ear and whispered.
"Mei Lin." Tran jerked back and Mei Lin made use of the opening and slashed his throat with the knife she kept between her cheeks. "My name is Mei Lin."
Mei Lin disarmed Tran and having pushed him down to the ground sliced off his face to add to her collection.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Tango Neutralized: That other borderwall is looking good about now

Apparently The Canadian Immigration website just crashed. And here we were planning to unify Australia, Canada, and New Zealand and elect our own President. Obviously not quick enough.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Mystara at War: The Propaganda War

The forces of the Master had taken the Darokin city of Akesoli in a day and there had been no warning. Their forces overwhealming. The populace fleeing on the boats in Akesoli's port. Now the real war began. A war to convince the nations of the Known World to rise to the challenge.

"Did you hear? They fed the halflings of Akesoli to their humanoid troops. Skewered them on long spears and cooked them by the dozen over bonfires while the city burned."

Why would the folk of Karameikos or the Dwarves of Rockhome even care what is happening on the far edge of Darokin?

"Let the merchants of Darokin take care of it. They have money to hire mercenaries."

These are not one Nation under God...they are very different people separated by hundreds of miles and months of Travel. By the time the Characters reach Karameikos to warn Duke Stephan the Cities and Forts of Western Darokin will be over-run. The Allies of the Master will pour from the Broken Lands long before anyone realizes the Orcs are allied to the Master.

"Defend Darokin? All troops are headed north to halt the Humanoid Advance down the Streel Plain. Darokin will fall undefended. The Republic will be occupied in three months. Defend Darokin? We need to I hear Alphatia is nice this time of year."

While Propaganda in a magic using world would involve crystal balls to provide real-time Access to proof of intelligence, most will not stand in a cue to look at halfings being roasted. It would take the big screen TV or cinema equivelent to encourage that kind of personal sacrifice.

It took six months by ship for word of the American Civil War to reach Australia. The propaganda in local newspapers expressed outrage at Lincon's actions.

A Mirror or Pool of Scrying large enough to 'educate and inform' large numbers is required. Otherwise it will take overwhelming numbers of Refugees to cause the distress and panic in the populace and government that recruiting an army requires and the prospect of half of the Republic of Darokin pouring through the mountain pass at Dukes Road Keep would be a shock to the system.

Counter information from the Allies of the Master will create panic simply by using real intelligence. Imagine a disguised Bargle or other showing Traladarans the sight of Thyatian Troops marching on Karameikos and suggesting they are comming to occupy Karameikos and raising Traladaran Troops to hit them from Dymrak Forest. Delay them long enough for the Duke to realize that the real enemy is east not west. The sight of Traladarans massacred by Thyatian Allies will add to the counter propaganda.

In the aftermath the surviving populace will hate whoever they were told to hate. The bigotry of future generations sewn.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Creature Catalogue: A better Dragon

All dragons are Born from eggs and as they hatch and grow they evolve through varying colours until they reach adulthood becoming gold dragons. Unfortunatly they cycle through neutral and chaotic dragons first.

Younglings: HD 0-8

Hit Dice - Colour - Breath Weapon - talking - spells
As host     Shadow  none                        20%    read magic
1d8            white      cone of ice              30%    1 first
2d8            grey        cloud of ash            40%    1 first, 1 second
3d8            black      line of Acid             50%    2 first, 1 second
4d8            chrome cone of glass            60%    2 first, 1 second, 1 third
5d8            green     cloud of chlorine   70%     3 first, 1 second, 1 third
6d8            blue       lightning bolt          80%    3 first, 2 second, 1 third
7d8            red         cone of fire              90%   4 first, 2 second, 1 third
8d8            gold       gas cloud                 100%  4 first, 2 second, 1 third, 1 fourth

Level - experience - colour - alignment - claw / tail / wing / bite
0                 0xp     shadow  as host   parasite
1    100000xp      white      chaotic    1d4 / 1d6 / 1d8 / 1d10
2    300000xp       grey       neutral     2d4 / 2d6 / 2d8 / 2d10
3    400000xp       black     chaotic     3d4 / 3d6 / 3d8 / 3d10
4    700000xp       chrome   neutral   4d4 / 4d6 / 4d8 / 4d10
5    800000xp       green       chaotic   5d4 / 5d6 / 5d8 / 5d10
6   1000000xp     blue         neutral    6d4 / 6d6 / 6d8 / 6d10
7    1100000xp     red          chaotic    7d4 / 7d6 / 7d8 / 7d10
8    1500000xp    gold        lawful      8d4 / 8d6 / 8d8 / 8d10

Zero Hit Dice Shadow: Its hatchling form is little more than a dimensionally phased parasite that will attatch itself to a host. The host now casts a deformed shadow while the hatchling absorbs 50% of experience from the host as its earned. Any dragon shadow that can talk can read magic from any scroll or spellbook. This is bad for wizards and elves who dont want spells read straight from their spellbooks but great for other classes and races looking to indulge in spell casting.

Artefact crafting: A dragon with ten thousand xp to burn can enchant a 1pp Artefact (a dragon egg capable of producing a hatchling) with no powers and a penalty and handicap.

Board Games: Dead Eye Molly

Dead Eye Molly is a gambling game I created for my D&D campaign. Now your PCs or just you and your friends can indulge in dead eye molly. I suggest several dice and about fifty currency cards. This will descend into chaos when the currency is swapped out for christmas gifts to decide who gets everything and they turn out to be socks with pompoms.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Obscure Reads: The Voynich Manuscript

Thought I might look at the Voynich Manuscript. Thoughts by scholars on the plants were they were fakes but they look a lot like plants from Madagascar. I recommend google image search of madagascar plant life if you care. Most look like they are images of plants being regrown from rootstock and yeah. Someone visited Madagascar.

Space Fall: Launching ONeil cylinders from Earth

Thirty two billion cubic feet of hydrogen will lift a million tons to the edge of space. The problem is materials. A shell of 4142 carbon alloy steel is already just under thirty six million tons at a centimetre thick. Lets say we reduce that to titanium of tin-foil thickness inside a structural frame of titanium and add rocket motors and fuel of a few hundred thousand tons to push it to space and land on Mars. Thats a rocket up the middle twelve saturn fives high.
Material strength requirements are the problem. We may need to resort to electric fields to strengthen the hull. But you know why thats a problem. The Hindenberg built an electrostatic charge that grounded. Then it started burning. Thats not what you want around twelve saturn five rockets wrapped in thirty two billion cubic feet of hydrogen.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Startrek Beyond: a review

Just watched Star Trek: Beyond. Here is the only relevant message it carried:

See you at Startrek 4.