Previously, in Trip's Life...

30 November 2002 - Saturday

In the afternoon, Chrisber and Christy lured Dave and I over to entertain them. We watched the hill-climber episode of Junkyard Wars (and yes, Cathy Rogers is pretty darn cute), played the new Cheapass game, Cube Farm, and vegetated through a couple rounds of Fluxx. It was sort of like entertainment and sort of like relaxation, and no one was savaged by Velcro.

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Words today: 1299. This is sort of breaking my rule against counting stuff on this page, but I don't see why the AQoJ writeup shouldn't count when the Sovereign Powers writeup does, just because it's in-line instead of linked.

Extra words for tomorrow: 0. Go me!

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29 November 2002 - Friday

Amazon Quartet of Justice Vb: "Moradin's Morningstar"

Previously: Our Heroines have returned to the ruin city to rescue the dwarven scholar and possible key to the dead god's resurrection, Darrin. They haven't found him, but they found a cave below a temple, the entrance recently excavated, and explored it until they ran out of spells, at which point they returned to their hidden camp on the outskirts of the ruined city.

Just after dawn, when Alyra and Fresa are on watch, a glowing magical portal appears in the middle of the campsite, and two goons leap out, grab Stephen, and drag him into the portal! The guards and Amaryllis (who has just woken up) leap after him, into a ruined courtyard beneath an unearthly storm. The supernaturally fast kidnappers escape with Stephen through another portal at the far end, covering their escape with magical darkness. The closure of that portal sucks in two people from a completely different place, although the darkness makes that unclear at first. The situation does not come to fireballs, however, and the two newcomers introduce themselves as Lydia, a priestess of Kord (god of righteous strength), and Stefan, her partner in crushing temples of evil. They were engaging in their chosen profession when the explosion of the defunct evil altar precipitated them into what Amaryllis believes to be a pocket dimension.

There is no obvious way out, Alyra and Fresa only have the gear that was on their persons, and Amaryllis is still in her nightgown.

As if that weren't bad enough, a dozen and a half stirges stoop from the clouds, piercing everyone with horrible probosces and sucking out their vital juices. The soft-bodied stirges are quickly slain, but not before most of the party is a little shrivelled, and Alyra is badly drained.

While restoration spells are being argued over, a horde of ogre and human zombies emerges from the ruins at one corner of the courtyard, and the ghost of a dwarf from those at the opposite corner. Fresa, discerning that the ghost was a paladin of Moradin (her god, chief god of the dwarves), goes over to parley while Amaryllis roasts the zombies and Alyra and Stefan slice them up.

The ghost reveals that he died on a quest to recover the Sacred Morningstar of Moradin, which is hidden in this pocket dimension (which he has held together through force of will while waiting for someone non-evil to show up and complete the quest). If Our Heroines (and Hero) can retrieve the artifact, he can send them back to their places of origin when he lets the pocket dimension evaporate. Lacking any other means of escape, they agree.

The ghost shows them to his body, and wills his equipment to them, to assist in the completion of the quest. His armor is better-enchanted than any in the party, so Fresa takes in, and his equally-good warhammer is wielded by Alyra. His potions are just enough to restore all the damage done by the stirges, and Fresa takes the wand of Protection from Evil.

After quaffing and explanations (and an embarrassing incident where the ghost's horrible wailing sets Alyra to flight and Stefan has to wrestle her to the ground), the ghosts leads the party down, down, and still farther down, through corridors filled with traps which Alyra and Stefan mostly avoid. A misstep conjures some air mephits, but Stefan and his Whirlwind Attack make short work of them (though Amaryllis's nightgown is ruined and she has to borrow Stefan's cloak), and the room full of undead is equally little trouble.

Finally they reach the doors that the ghost cannot pass, which slam ominously shut behind them. Amaryllis tries to decipher the meaning of the animated carvings on the phosphorescent walls, but the only information she gets before the others drag her away is that the dwarven tomb the Amazons once explored might be related to the problem of the dead god.

Another missed trap summons a band of quasits to bedevil the party, but they aren't much more hindrance than the conjured mephits. The room filled with chains hanging from the ceiling and swaying from no visible cause gives the party pause, but they continue on and are not assaulted until they are well down the chain-hung corridor on the other side of the room. The chain-fetishist devils from the lower planes are the worst problem faced so far, but Amaryllis limits their reach by melting away chains with fireballs, and Alyra with the paladin's warhammer and Stefan with his greatsword blessed by Fresa get one down and hack it to bits while Amaryllis's acid arrow dissolves the other one.

Battered and low on magic, Our Hero(in)es decide to hole up and rest for a while, but after about four hours, the stone surrounding them begins to creak and shiver ominously, and Alyra and Amaryllis both receive dream sendings, apparently from Solara, telling them to get moving.

At the end of the passage is a flight of enchanted steps, leading up to a door. Alyra and Stefan determine that only every other step is worn, so any traps there are bypassed, but the door is trickier. Fresa finally convinces it to open by announcing herself as a priestess of Moradin and brandishing Stefan's blessed greatsword at it, but she is the only one it allows to enter.

As Fresa lifts the Morningstar from its altar, the whole place starts to disintegrate. She leaves an offering of gold, grabs up the book also on the altar, and runs for it.

Outside, crevices have opened up in the ceiling, dropping coins and gems onto the party. Amaryllis conjures up a bag and catches the loot as they run. Fresa does the Blessed Sword Trick again at the doors that slammed shut earlier, and they make it back to the surface before the pocket dimension vanishes. The ghost thanks them and opens portals, which the two groups hurry through, followed by a spill of debris as the ghost goes to his final rest and takes the pocket dimension with him.

Each group arrives moments after they left, with gold spilling around their feet from the vanished portal.

* * *

I thought about The Transmundane all the way home, but I haven't come to any firm conclusions about how to write myself out of the corner I've written myself into.

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Words today: 0. Extra words tomorrow: 600.

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28 November 2002 - Thursday

Roborally! Dave won! But I did okay, despite having to flee the table once to avoid the smell of bacon.

Yummy yummy food! Everyone won, except maybe Tammi and Terri and their spice who spent the whole meal in the kitchen fighting with overly-brined turkey! Some people appeared and disappeared and disappeared and appeared, but by the time dinner was served we had Sherilyn, Al, Robert, Katie, Joshua, Sherilyn's sister Tammi, Tammi's husband(?) Royce, Tammi's friend Anita, Sherilyn's other sister Terri, Terri's guy (whose name I never caught), Joel (a Sacramento gamer), Ayse, Ken, Marith, Dave, and a space parasite.

There was much bloating.

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Words today: 0. Extra words tomorrow: 400.

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27 November 2002 - Wednesday

Words today: 0. Extra words tomorrow: 200.

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Now there is zooming to Roseville and food and AQoJ!

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26 November 2002 - Tuesday

Boy, some scary people have web access.

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However, I have certainly known guys who, in such a situation, would have been quite capable of thinking to themselves, "Dang, she's hot; I'd sure like to go to bed with her" -- and then, in the same mental breath and with the effortless ease of long practice, discarding the observation as utterly irrelevant, since obviously that would never happen... all the while being completely oblivious to the fact that the girl is offering just that.

Ross TenEyck, on r.a.sf.w

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Hey, I'm not oncall anymore! Cool!

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336 words. Not very impressive, but more than 199!

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And 284 more makes 620.

Dialogue is a good way to suck up lots of screen space without actually using a lot of words. Fooey.

dialog by kit (Wed Nov 27 12:49:26 2002)

OTOH, dialog is fun and easy to write! (well. I think so anyway. i'm the one who sweats blood over a paragraph of description, though._

Re: dialog by Trip (Wed Nov 27 14:14:01 2002)

Sometimes it's fun and easy, anyway. If it's not, that's probably a good sign that I don't have a good handle on one or more of the characters involved.

I sweat blood over description too! I just don't begrudge it. Lots more where that came from. :)

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25 November 2002 - Monday

Today: 382 words so far.

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And 436 more, for a total of um damn it's hard to get these shoes off 818 words today.

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24 November 2002 - Sunday

I appear to be back on the writing-some-words-every-day regimen. Arbitrarily, 200 words a day. This page doesn't count, but pretty much anything else does.

Today: 978 words. Go me.

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Tonight's fortune: "Beauty in its various forms appeals to you."

go you! by kit (Mon Nov 25 10:05:47 2002)

Go you! Yay Trip! Writing is good! beam

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21 November 2002 - Thursday

On the way back from anime, Dave figured out why Crest of the Stars is so slow: because it avoids as many anime cliches as it can, everything has to be played out in full; the usual abbreviations don't work.

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20 November 2002 - Wednesday

Another doctor appointment in the middle of the day, so the stupid STUPID VTA creatures (Hi, Ray!) don't let me get to work before or after in any reasonable way. But at least my eyes have been pressurized and illuminated and all. And the afterimage from the illumination is like looking through a circle of blue cellophane, which gradually turns brown and fades out.

Also, they were giving out flu shots in the front lobby when I came out, so I stopped and got one, like a good little diabetic.

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Oops. I appear to have bought 8 DVDs. Oh well.

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Everyone should give money to Marith and Ayse for the BAMM Mug-a-Thon!

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18 November 2002 - Monday

Bleah. I'm on call again.

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Tokyo Tower was kind of slow, but since Christy was sick, Chrisber was tired, and Adam had had to fight traffic on the way down, perhaps that's just well. Nevertheless, many atrocities were committed against mushrooms, and dwarves were mind-controlled, so it wasn't a complete loss.

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17 November 2002 - Sunday

Observe how I slept way in and played Sovereign Powers all afternoon and went grocery shopping and now have done only a teensy bit more to prepare for Tokyo Tower! However, I think I am now prepared enough to wing it tomorrow. I can always add bonus carnivorous mushrooms, after all!

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16 November 2002 - Saturday

Observe how I have not done anything to prepare for Tokyo Tower on Monday! Doom!

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Observe how I have eaten at Chef Chu's and purchased two books that I hope will be good, but still have not done anything to prepare for Tokyo Tower! Doooom!

Tonight's fortune: "You have a natural grace and great consideration for others."

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Observe how it is very late and I am going to bed and I have done only a tiny bit to prepare for Tokyo Tower! DOOOOM!

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15 November 2002 - Friday

Doctor appointment at the awkward time of 9:30, so no going in to work for me. (By the time I could get back from Santa Clara and then wait for the busses to Bumfuck Nowhere Industrial Park to start running again, I'd be getting in to work at like 14:00, which is just not worth.) Working from home is not very productive, but it's not clear I would be much more useful in the office, so I decline to feel guilty. Much.

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Yummy Thai food! And I scored a copy of the new d20-based Traveller for Chrisber and read through it over dinner. It retains considerable Traveller nature, despite having levels and classes.

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14 November 2002 - Thursday

Walking to Whisman Station Anime is much more pleasant when it's not raining. But my new shoes appear to be eating through my right anklebone. Hmph.

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13 November 2002 - Wednesday

Today is REGIS-DAY!

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12 November 2002 - Tuesday

Hmph. I hate it when my job requires me to actually do stuff. (Okay, it's not like I can complain, since I got last weekend, and will get this weekend, which at least some of my cow orkers won't.)

There was a sort of party thing to celebrate the New AltaVista, but I managed to mostly avoid it.

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Today is the day of fondling my ThinkGeek loot! In addition to my five new Megatokyo shirts, I got a thing which is clearly of similiar spirit to Zomes, but with the POWER of MAGNETISM! Also, I have Frigits, which stick to my fridge and channel marbles back and forth and round and round! And they also use the POWER of MAGNETISM!

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I have already lost half the marbles that came with the Frigits under the fridge. No one is surprised.

Fridgits by Lynx (Sat Nov 16 14:00:43 2002)

Got some. Haven't lost any yet, heh. They're amusing.

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11 November 2002 - Monday

This is just plain cool: Gaiman, Foglio, and Howarth all in two pages.

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Kit says I can be an honorary Alaskan! Yay!

(The reasons for this are too silly to go into here, which a quick gander through the archives should show you is saying quite a lot.)

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Wheee! My big box of Thinkgeek stuff has arrived! However, since this is a Millbrae day, I can't conveniently get it home to play with until tomorrow. Oh well, they say delayed gratification builds character.

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Millbrae went okay. I begin to think I'm not as much of a loser as I thought. Actual evidence is still lacking, though.

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On the way home with my bags of Diet IBC Rootbeer, I encountered Ayse and Ken, who were sneaking up on an apartment as it loitered unawares at the waterhole just on the other side of Rengstorff! Woot!

*giggle* by kit (Mon Nov 11 13:03:59 2002)

That's pretty silly, all right. laugh

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9 November 2002 - Saturday

Amber High School today, sans Jim (off canoodling with the goth chick observed at Ayse's party). And this is probably CZR's last session for a while, since he has a new chick who is not merely non-scheduling but actively anti-scheduling.

I am officially Bitter at people who prioritize sex over gaming.

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The game went pretty well; we got to the Dark Satanic Mills where the evil machines are produced, so now we can get some idea of what preparations we need to make for the assault. Also, Omar's girlfriend, pawn of the evil mind-mage, now knows about the Shadow of vampires. We don't think they'll have any interest in stealing it, though.

I think Tia is sort of a failure as an Amber character, though. She's not grasping or paranoid or spiteful enough. I think it's because she had a reasonable up-bringing, and has a flexible world-view that Amber fits right into, so she doesn't feel a need to pick at the cosmology.

Oh well. Maybe she'll be eaten by vampires.

Post-gaming dinner was at a new (to us) Chinese restaurant conveniently located a couple of blocks away, which turned out to be pretty okay. We avoided the Crystal Pig Knuckle, though.

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It's terrible! Marith has become one of those people who wanders around with a cell-phone grafted to her ear! At least she doesn't use it while driving; I'd have to disown her, because the next step after that is an SUV.

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8 November 2002 - Friday

It's still raining, and still windy, and my shoe still has a hole in it. So does our building, apparently, which is bad because we have a machine room on the first floor, which is below ground level except at the very front. I thought only sailors had to bail.

On the other hand, it's Friday!

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W00T! I made it onto the Top Twenty list in TBG! I am at the 90th percentile! Go me!

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I have successfully resisted buying no fewer than three d20 products! I have successfully bought not one but TWO pairs of shoes! Go me!

Splut.

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7 November 2002 - Thursday

Today is TAMAGODAY!

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Soggy parasite! Not only does my left shoe have a hole in it, but there is too much wind for an umbrella and my hat is rather concave upward. Hmph.

Cowboy Bebop, Maho Tsukai Tai, and Crest of the Stars all continue to be much as they have been. If I had brought the right disc, we could have started watching Himiko-den, but I didn't, so we watched the first OAV of Saber Marionette R instead. The setting was sort of similar to Saber Marionette J, but the plot and character designs and all were surreally different.

On the way home, there was almost no rain, just surprisingly uncold wind, so that was okay.

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6 November 2002 - Wednesday

Hey, look, more laser cannon!

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Hmph. No one likes me, so no Wednesday Night Fun for me!

And I spilled almost an entire bottle of pickle juice over my desk. :(

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5 November 2002 - Tuesday

It's Guy Fawkes Day! Time to explode your favorite center of bad legislation! Or er maybe just burn people in effigy on the beach.

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4 November 2002 - Monday

Bleah, Monday. But at least I got the links to Angie's Halloween pictures and added them to last Thursday's entry. They are also reproduced here for your convenience: Pictures! Pictures! Pictures!

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Despite my snivelling, Tokyo Tower did go off more or less as planned. The monsters couldn't roll for crap, so I added a carnivorous purple mushroom and everything was okay. Treasure, acclaim of the populace, LEVEL UP!

Highlights of the session: Tani talking to rats, Toji cleaving the horrible yuck-monster nearly in twain with a single mighty blow, Mariko doing no damage to either of her friends.

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2 November 2002 - Saturday

I spent all day sleeping, or at least dozing brainlessly, so really all I did today was hunt down Marith, go to CZR's, dismember pomegranates, and lie around during the Ayseday party. I didn't even get to give presents, since the stupid STUPID UPS creatures still have them. (And one of them duplicates one CZR gave her anyway.)

It was a mighty slaying of pomegranates, though! I waded thigh-deep in the gore of my foes, rending and slaying! The bones and hides of the fallen were stacked high! Muahahahahahahaha!

I did not get to practice any talking-to-people stuff, since there were only two people at the party I didn't know, and one of them was a moderately unpleasant goth chick (part of Jim's harem, I think) who I didn't want to talk to anyway. The guy she dragged along was okay, but not really one of Us.

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1 November 2002 - Friday

I need more shirts. Megatokyo needs money. There's an obvious match here. Unfortunately, ThinkGeek is involved, which leads to extraneous spending of money on random widgetry. Oops.

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Yummy sushi with Dave, Ayse, and Ken, but then I paid for it by having to watch people eat Cold Stone icecream in front of me. Hmph!

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