Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Beholder haiku

All too many eyes
Spying, peering, watching close
The beholder blinks

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Oracle?

What I owe you now is a expanded map of the known world with Landess. If you go back to Treyjack before continuing, I owe you:
  • Org chart for the Treyjack city government (for Gammy)
  • Any further information from Belina
  • Any further information from the temple of Odin
  • Item descriptions

What I need from you:

  • If you leveled up, new stats please
  • List of items for identification - Gammy gave me some, but I know you have others
Also, I am willing to answer any questions you might have about the temple type thing you were in last night. You have one day to explore it (if you choose to do so), while Gammy gets his identification spell back, you go through the treasure, etc. If you want to spend longer investigating the building, let me know.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Tora writes his father: the Green Dragon II

Such things as I have seen offer no me rest. As I meditate, the myo of our teachings flees my mind and is replaced by haunting pictures of new truths I have seen. When last I wrote to you, I spoke of Honor and Courage among companions. I felt myself superior to them somehow, perhaps based on our Shinju-Ryu training and tradition. But Father! how many of our monks can jump 10 spars into the air and land on the head of flying dragon? How many could maintain such a footing, much less the courage to attack a flying Dragon from atop its back? How many of our archers would deliver their arrows at such a creature from underneath it?

I have seen mages walk beside Tigers whose eyes know the deaths of many foes. I have seen a magnificent tiger grow to an impossible size by magic. Thus strengthened, it took down a giant man-thing made of the stone from which the sword-makers wring the strongest iron. I have seen men so small that we would step over them without notice, pull artifacts to stay the Hand of Chaos out of the dark iron fist of Evil.

We entered the pit I mentioned in my last letter. I allowed mages to cast spells on my very skin that rendered it like stone. We moved through a long passage to a steep cliff, deep in the ground. While most of us fixed ropes and climbed down laboriously, the monk Drako walked down the cliff as on flat ground. How can such magic be wrong in battle? How can making oneself vulnerable during a long climb, and tired at the end of it, be lacking in honor? Honor? Hah! One man with a sword is not Honor! That truth lies in how that man wields his sword for his companions, his country, and even his world! We teach our young wrong, Father! We do them an injustice!

We found a huge room 20 spars high and more than 100 spars across in every direction. In that room waited a Green Dragon who attacked us from above, with a choking cloud of stinking air, without even sounding his attack! All of the fables, all of the stories – lies! This foul creature fought with no Honor - back-stabbing son of a lizard-whore! He used his magic to turn the tides of battle. We had no choice but to use magic to repel his advance. Never have I seen Nature's forces lash against each other so. No dragon he, this cowardly scum-spawn summoned water of such force as to fill the room with 3' of water nearly instantly! 20 by 100 spars, Father! The roar of water as it entered the cavern was deafening. He sought to drown us rather than face us in combat!

When I think now of the dragon mark I have placed upon my brow – I am sickened to think that such creatures were once revered and even worshipped by our people. Our own school conjures the name of such foulness. I will be quick to assume a new mark – a noble Tiger to vanquish the black wyrm I errantly set upon my own brow.

While the monk crashed his Iron Fist technique into the beast's hide, I fired Grandfather's bow using magical black arrows with silver runes. Their power against Chaos made the wyrm scream as the fletchings disappeared within his chest. The skills you taught me as a child are no lie, Father. I am humbled to think how many times I missed with the arrows from the school's armory, but the shots that needed to count did. As you warned me, I still hurry too much on my second and third shots. Perhaps one day I will be worthy to follow in your foot-steps… forgive me, Father, for my failures in this battle. I will do better, I will practice more fervently… chou ma zhiang etizh no zhou.

Dazed and attacked, the vicious beast flew headlong into a wall. Even so, it remained in the air until it's wing was broken by the monk's well-placed blows, and several more arrows pierced its cursed hide. It fell from the air, dead, but landed directly on top of one of our party, and she had been standing in more than half a spar of water! She was trapped underneath and would surely have died there, had not the tiny mage magicked her to the surface. You might call such retreat cowardice, but that's not what I saw, Father. There was no knowing who or what might wait for them on the surface, yet he did not hesitate to take her there. He saved her, even though he has little thought for other than himself outside of battle. Her death would not have served Honor, and it certainly wouldn't have helped in our fight against Chaos. Fara is a powerful warrior-sage. She speaks many languages - more even than Brother Takahashi.

As I stood surveying the battle scene, the other mages attempted to stem the tide of water still rising in the cavern. Drako began telling me that the foul beast was not truly dead – but looking carefully, I could see no movement. Still he was insistent, so I climbed on top of the beast to gain a better striking position. Then it did start to move. More treachery! It reared up to attack the Tiger! Just as in stories of the Beginning of the World – only this time I had a chance to even the battle. As I prepared to strike, I saw something I would never have believed possible. Drako rammed his fist through the Dragon's eye and killed it! He killed the dragon bare-handed, Father. Not even you could manage such a feat. No one from Shinju-Ryu could have done it. How is it that another tradition is more powerful than ours? Is what I have been taught all lies and arrogance?

Drako searched beneath the water's surface and found the beast to be wearing rings and an amulet. Once these were removed, the creature no longer stirred. But to be sure, we wielded the ancient Metal King's power against him and caused his carcass to explode into the filth and muck from which it came. We had now only to swim through a depth of a half-spar of water to the door. But from there was a distance no man would be able to swim underwater. Not unless he were a fish.... It was here we had help of a different sort.

Father, take your ease as you prepare to read this next passage, for I have news for you which will doubtless take you unaware. I have been traveling with us someone you know, and for whom the school has searched in vain. I speak of Birodo, Father. She came into my sight some time ago. She has power the Monks know not, Father, and she is fierce in battle, if but a little of her blood is drawn. I protect her from such injuries as I am able Father, for none were left alive after the first time I calmed her with the flat of my blade.

I know you will think it shameful that I have not executed her for running away. I will not apologize for that. She has a part to play in the war against Chaos, and I would not so willingly cast aside an ally. I have seen some of what is coming, Father, and we need her, and others like her. We are sometimes too harsh on those we feel wrong us, I think. Especially those of our own people. Surely you can see Father, we need all of our people working together, not living in fear of making mistakes. The school MUST ease the ban on women becoming monks. There are many at Shinju-Ryu who ARE qualified and must be allowed to stand the tests – men and women.

I will write more of Birodo later, Father. But understand this, I will not allow her to come to harm. Especially at the hands of those of our people who cannot see past the blinders that Tradition has placed on them!

I have more news of dragons to tell… more treachery and lies and deceit, though I fear it is not all on their part. Know this however, dragons can assume human form and walk among us. They have their own plans for this world, and we do not figure highly in those plans. I would be amazed now to find that any dragon is a noble creature – they so treat their own kind as to be Gortzian Slavers.

Please convey my respects to Mother, and place incense on Grandfather's shrine in the main Dojo. His spirit lives on inside my bow – I am sure of it.

May Peace with Honor favor your sword.
Your attendant son,


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The magic identification spell is sputtering...

Just a note guys - still haven't gotten the list of items you wanted IDed. If I don't get it before I log in on May13th (that's this Saturday), an oddity of magical fields will descend upon said objects rendering them unidentifiable.

Similarly, if I don't get updated character information before I log in on May 20th (that's next Saturday, the day before the game), your level, equipment, etc. will revert to whatever I have on my last character sheet from you, erasing all experience awards and treasure gathered to date. I don't need the whole hairy deal - just your new level, new treasure/equipment, and anything relevant to leveling up (hit points, etc.) - just the NEW stuff, in other words.