Here are a few of my favorite things: Nintendo, Penny Arcade, The Legend of Zelda, Mario, Pokemon, Harvest Moon, Fallout, Dungeons and Dragons, books, dice, Professor Layton, Shadow of the Colossus, Minecraft, and so much more. I'm going to talk a lot about video games, I sincerely hope you don't mind.

Newest paper sculpt project!

Sonic Screwdriver trio for my friend's birthday.

An interview with Adam Harum of Transolar Galactica.

They achieved their Kickstarter goal, and now the world gets more of their award winning sci-fi comedy!

Doctor Who themed lip balm!

Brought to you from Earthtastic! and A Bit of Geek.

Minecraft paper sculpt!

My submission to the Mojang community art contest. Watch the video!

A TARDIS desk lamp!

Instructions and babbling on how to make a TARDIS lamp from foam core!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Appreciation number one - Beedrill!

IRL if I saw a giant hornet with huge stingers for front arms, 
well there's not enough space here for me to describe just how 
completely horrified I would be.
Sprite from

Important disclaimer!!: This is entirely my opinion! If I have insulted or forsaken one of your favorite Pokemon then I apologize and invite you to tell me why I shouldn't have overlooked it! :D

The original Red and Blue versions provided very little variety (and even fewer strong Pokemon) in the beginning two towns. It was Normal Pokemon as far as the eye could see, and none had a particularly great advantage; barring, of course, your beloved Starter.

Enter the Viridian Forest, and there you would find your first bug Pokemon! While Caterpie eventually became the much cuter Butterfree, Weedle became the immensely more powerful Beedrill! 

Beedrill is lightning fast and learned Fury Attack almost right away. Before your Pokemon adventures brought you to extreme and exotic locales, Beedrill was an invaluable asset to your party of six.

Generally I never kept my Beedrill all the way to the Elite Four, but it most definitely played a vital part in my progress!

Bee (see what I did there?) sure to check back tomorrow for another favorite of mine!


Monday, January 30, 2012

Original 151 appreciation week! (Pokemon, of course!)

Sprite sheet by 'Ghost Crabs' from

For the next seven days I will be sharing my favorite Pokemon from the original 151 set, and I will do my best to explain why I favor them so strongly! Of course for some of them I can't 100% guarantee an explanation other than, "Look how cute they are!" because that's just how I am sometimes.


The appreciation week has wrapped, so for ease of viewing I'll go ahead and list/link each entry here!
7. Beedrill
6. Vulpix
5. Diglett
4. Lapras
3. Venonat
2. Dratini
1. Oddish



To kick things off I will first entertain your eyes and hearts with the following 151 love dedications! I wouldn't mind having a few of these things myself.

::: 151 Pokemon minimalism in the form of Pokeballs.
More work on his deviantArt.

::: Ever wanted the original Pokemon on a shirt? Now is your chance!
You can buy this bad boy over here.

::: I couldn't resist posting this "Bidoof'd" original set. Too hilarious.
See the brilliance on this deviantArt page.

::: Lastly there is this typographic piece featuring the original Pokemon. 
You can download the full file over here!

This should have sufficiently whetted your appetites, so hopefully you'll check back tomorrow and join me as I share the first Pokemon on my list! Are you a fan, too? I'd love to know your favorites!

-MJ the grass-type favorer 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Photo Spot 2

::: Who doesn't love a little Spider-man and MJ?
spider-man and mary jane

::: Super cute illustration of Wonder Woman. It'd be so cute as a real dress.
wonder woman dress

::: Ballpoint illustrations completely blow me away.

::: This Wolverine is terrifying.

::: I love The Monarch and Venture Bros.
the monarch

::: Probably my favorite Calvin and Hobbes inspired piece.
nbc community calvin and hobbes

::: I like this art style.
superman and lois lane

::: Such gorgeous textures! Plus, foxes are adorable.
fox painting

::: What a lovely visual :3
boy and girl holding hands

I hope you enjoyed this weekend's round up :)


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saturday Link Spectacular 2

::: Special 'The Muppets' level for Little Big Planet!

::: UP house pincushion tutorial.

::: Gamer Print, full of awesome gamer shirts and prints.

::: How to build a TARDIS, a fun and entertaining video with a beautiful finished product.

::: Someone in Louisiana really hates pajamas in public.

::: A page dedicated to antique typewriters!

::: Exciting new information about the plot for Amazing Spider-man.

::: 'Still Alive' 3D printed record for a kids' record player

The internet is so full of weird and wonderful things.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Books that I should have read long ago - A Wrinkle in Time

a wrinkle in time
Funny enough, my book cover didn't look like any of these. [source]

'A Wrinkle in Time' is probably the strangest book I've ever read (as well as one that is commonly banned). That's a bold proclamation, but I feel that it's true. I was consistently perplexed and lost through the entire thing; well, really until the last two chapters.

Is that bad? It's supposed to be a children's novel; It was just so fantastical and out there that my mind was constantly boggled. None of the characters felt particularly believable to me, either. That didn't really mattered though, because I greatly enjoyed the book. Toward the end I was reading so rapidly that I was in danger of skipping over entire lines, I was just so anxious to know what was going to happen.

A few years ago I took the time to get my hands on some novels that are staples of high school literature, but that I had somehow managed to miss: 'Catcher in the Rye', 'The Great Gatsby', and 'Wuthering Heights'. 'Animal Farm' and 'Catch-22' are still on my list. That was the start of my "books that I should have read long ago" crusade.

the giver
I hadn't heard of 'The Giver' until a friend lent it to me over a year ago.
It is a beautiful book, and is commonly banned in middle schools.

I really enjoy taking the time to catch up on things, and I aim to do so with no shame; people are simply late to the game sometimes! Because of the similarity in name, while reading 'A Wrinkle in Time', I was reminded that I have yet to read 'Rip Van Winkle' as well! The list continues to grow.

Does anyone have an absolute staple that they want to make sure I have read/will read? I've been told many times that I should read Fahrenheit 451. It's on my list!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sundance 2012 is on, and 'Safety Not Guaranteed' sounds great.

This year marks a lot of firsts for me, and one of them is paying attention to the Sundance film festival. Plenty of interesting movies come out of it, and it's high time I followed the excitement.

A preview write-up of 'Safety Not Guaranteed' from the festival has been posted over at slashfilm, and everything about it sounds extremely promising and fun. Allow me to give you a little recap!

Who remembers this?

safety not guaranteed ad

It's a real ad from the newspapers, and it has been circulating the web for a long time. Is it a joke? Did anyone respond? Where is the ad-writer now? 'Safety Not Guaranteed' aims to (fictitiously) answer some of these questions in this "time travel relationship dramedy" - slashfilm. The film is set in Seattle (the in-film ad is changed to Ocean View, Washington), and a few magazine employees have been sent on assignment to talk to the guy who wrote the ad.

"Was it a joke? Or is the guy crazy? Intern Darius Britt (Aubrey Plaza) is sent in to try to uncover the true story. Darius joins Kenneth Calloway's (Mark Duplass) time travel mission and forms a friendship with this seemingly delusional man. With Government-style suited men in hot pursuit, Darius is unsure if she has been implicated in something illegal or if Kenneth is actually telling the truth. And Darius has gotten too close to Kenneth to betray him or know for sure" - slashfilm, Peter Sciretta

Sounds interesting, right? I have been amused for sometime with Aubrey Plaza, having watched her in Parks and Recreation for the last three seasons, and I look forward to seeing her in a new role! Time travel films are a lot of fun, and any film set in Seattle is a hook for me! I wonder if this one was actually filmed in the city? I certainly hope so!

seattle skyline
Seattle is gorgeous. More films should be made there.

Is anyone out there a regular follower of Sundance? It'd be so cool to go next year and get to see such an array of films ahead of time. It would be that much cooler to see them eventually hit the big screens, too.

Although, this reminds me that in 2006 I was privileged to see a pre-release of the film 'The Standard' in my film critique class at WWU. I've always wanted to see it again, and I wonder if it ever managed to make any sort of splash in the industry. Just a little side note!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tell me what you like!

Hello and good morning, dear readers! My corner of the internet has a lot of exciting things brewing, and one of them is a quest to expand all of my interests! Would you like to help me out?

penny arcade book
I highly recommend 'The Splendid Magic of Penny Arcade', as well
as everything else seen in this photo. What would you recommend?

While I happen to have a wide range of interests and hobbies (video games, board games, reading [comics, manga, novels, short stories], crafting, movies, tv shows and tabletop games), I am always very interested in the expansion of those hobbies. That's one thing so splendid about this very blog; I get to try new things and share my experiences with everyone else!

However, I am only one person! My keen eyes and fingers only have so much reach on the great wide internet. And that is where you come in. Please share with me your interests and 'highly recommended' items in any of my given hobby categories. If you have something you think I'd like that happens to fall outside of my current interests, well I'd love to hear that too!

One of my goals is to fill my life with many interesting things, and another is to always be sharing that with other people. You can all help with that, and I would be extremely thankful!

So go ahead! Tell me your favorite thing. I'm listening!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Movie adaptation of 'Wallflower'

I read 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' in high school at the recommendation of my best friend. I loved it greatly, it was a special sort of book. It has been between eight and ten years since I've read it, and I remember very little of it. I do remember how it made me feel though: alive, not alone.

The book is full of wonderful, relatable quotes.

A cursory glance at my bookshelf tells me that I've misplaced my copy. There are a few bookshelves in the house though, so hopefully it's just in the living room. In light of the upcoming film I'd really love to reacquaint myself with the full story.

Stills and behind the scenes photos of the filming are circulating around the web, and everything looks pretty good so far. The author, Stephen Chbosky, is a part of the writing and directing which generally bodes well for the big screen.

A still from the movie. (source)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is set to release sometime this year; I really wish I could find a set date, but IMDB only lists '2012'. I can imagine it being a late summer release, but more likely a Christmas release. It really thrills me that Emma Watson is one of the main stars, I really do like her and am anxious to see her in a role other than Hermione.

Who else is excited? :D


Monday, January 23, 2012

To be as smart as Sherlock.

Holy moly, are you all watching BBC's Sherlock?! I hadn't heard of it until just a few days ago, and at first I was hesitant to give it a try (no idea why). Within the first few minutes I was absolutely hooked.

Me giving my best Sherlock impression, I'm just so inspired.

'Sherlock' is a modern day reboot of the classic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle tales. My grandmother is fond of Sherlock Holmes and of other mystery type novels, and has often encouraged me to read them. I've always harbored a secret worry that the language and writing style would prove disagreeable in my mind, and I would be unable to enjoy the stories.

I had a similar concern when my initial interest in reading Spider-man developed, which is why Ultimate Spider-man is so perfect; a modern day re-telling makes it much more accessible for the changing times and writing styles.

But anyway! 'Sherlock' is so badass. The filming style is gorgeous and quite interesting. I especially enjoy the cuts/transitions between scenes. The feel is very dark and moody, which is appropriate for a premiering episode that centers on a string of suicides, but it still manages to steer away from being overall depressing and constantly serious.

Sherlock and Dr. Watson frolicking about London. [source]

The characters have been very well translated to modern day scenarios, and I am impressed with the deep mysteries in the face of technologies such as cell phones and internet. There were a surprising number of laugh inducing moments, and plenty of serious reveals that conjured up a legitimate visceral response. 

The first ten minutes of the show had me flabbergasted as to how Sherlock knew everything that he did; one of the worst things about a good book/movie/TV show is when there is no way for me to suspend my disbelief. I really only need one hook to go, "Well, I guess that could be real...", and I was afraid that this show would fail to deliver on how Sherlock could be so astonishingly perceptive. I was greatly pleased when the writers incorporated a seamless and entertaining way of "seeing" what Sherlock saw. 

If you have Netflix, then you are in luck because all three of the 90 minute episodes for season one are available for instant watch. Season two is finished as well, but those aren't on Netflix just yet. Just a few days ago a third season was confirmed, but the author doesn't think filming will start until early next year seeing as the two main stars are currently filming Hollywood movies.

Have you watched Sherlock yet?


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Photo Spot

A little gathering of fun photos from the web this week :)

::: If Ocarina of Time graphics looked like this, then King Dodongo would have actually been scary.

::: Adorable running Mario!
Can't find the source! If you know it, please tell me!

::: Beautiful scenes from Link's first adventure in Ocarina of Time.
View more amazing pieces here.

::: I'm glad that Creepers aren't this detailed in the game.

::: So precious.

::: Baby adult, baby adult! Yoshi and Mario go way back.

This has been video game centric, but that's just how the pieces fell this week. You can expect a wider variety for future Sundays!


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saturday Link Spectacular!

It's Saturday, which means it's time for me to share some great links that didn't make it to their own posts. I hope you enjoy!


::: A fabulous Legend of Zelda NES mod

::: Skyrim for my calculator might actually cause me to enjoy math

Totally bitchin' giant rendition.

::: Sweet Kingdom Hearts edition 3DS

::: Now you can have a bearskin rug... from teddy bears

::: Even a zombie hater like me can find the charm in these family car stickers


Have a great link you'd like to share? Please leave it in the comments so that the rest of the world can be presented with its greatness!


Friday, January 20, 2012

Megaupload shut down. Where will the files go?!

Actually I don't care where the files will go. There are a lot of options for people looking for a Megaupload replacement. I care about the site being shut-down though. Yesterday the FBI, the freaking FBI, and the Justice Department yanked Megaupload off the air and arrested four employees (including the CEO) on the basis of copyright infringement.


I completely see how sites like Megaupload create an environment that would be conducive to transporting illegally downloaded files, but a lot of people use it for completely legitimate reasons; myself included! Can the company help it if their customers use the service improperly? What would that kind of control even look like? Can you imagine a website that forced users to provide proof of ownership over any and all files that they wished to transfer to other people?

The lines from government responsibility to corporate responsibility to morals and ethics and what is OK to share and when one shouldn't share and 'if I bought it it's mine to share' and pro-SOPA and anti-SOPA and 'The Giver style control to make sure citizens make the "right decisions" ' (because really, the government can't control everything that every person does, and if they try to then we're headed toward some '1984' nightmare) cross and dance and blur in front of me and it makes my head spin.

I'm sorry for that run-on sentence, but that's just how jumbled it is up in my brain.

A bragging statement from Anonymous on their progress. 
(grabbed from here)

My biggest reaction to this whole thing is definitely because of Anonymous. They retaliated rapidly and forcefully, effectively shutting down ten (at the time of this writing) government and copyright restricting websites: RIAA, MPAA, US Copyright Office, FBI, and the French Copyright Authority are among them.

I don't know how many people are part of Anonymous, but their actions impress and scare me. They seem to stand for the protection of the internet, and they also have the power to literally bring it to its knees.

This is the future. It's every bit as crazy as the movies promised it would be, with way too much government interception.

I'm not comfortable with this.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Brick Force - FPS and Minecraft love child

Have you seen Brick Force? It's a free to play shooter, but you create all of your own environments like in Minecraft. Upon watching the video I went, "Minecraft plus LEGO plus Counter-Strike equals Brick Force". Sounds interesting, right?

Now you can throw bombs at those pesky other players. 

It certainly looks interesting, and I know that I appreciate the mashing of multiple genres. For one, I really love Minecraft, but I'm terrible at Counter-Strike. Well, I'm terrible at just about any FPS. There was a period of time during late and post-high school where I attended LAN parties, and Counter-Strike wad the game du jour. I spent my time panicking and spraying bullets in wide arcs, hitting no one and eventually being killed with a knife.

But Minecraft! Minecraft is fun and safe for me, and since Brick Force incorporates a Minecraft aspect, I'm thinking it's the sort of shooter that I would be able to handle. The little characters look like LEGO men, which is great. Overall it feels harmless and that is perfect for someone who doesn't fare well in realistic first person shooters (me).

This song is great.

It would be fun to build a map that looks like my house, then I can run around and shoot people in my own home. Seems like good practice for self-defense, right?

Brick Force is set to release spring of this year and is currently in Beta. It's going to be cross platform too, which is an awesome feature. Visit their website to sign up for the Beta!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The amazing activity of paper sculpting

Paper art. Paper craft. Paper sculpt. It has many names and, no matter what it's called, it is awesome. It's also something that I'm greatly interested in doing!

Months ago I stumbled across Cameron's work (pretty sure I've mentioned his stuff before, and I know I linked you to him because he's the guy who hosted free advertising in December and made me a great avatar!) and was instantly impressed and awed. He does these fantastic portraits that are so detailed and fun.

My first thought was, "That looks so fun, and I'd like to try that". So I did.

A close-up of the Koopa shell I did for my nephew's birthday card.

The first thing I made was a birthday card for my little nephew. He loves Mario (takes after his auntie :D) so it seemed like a good first try. It was challenging and extremely rewarding and I immediately wanted to make something new.

I've been thinking about character portraits, vignettes and scenes related to gaming and other appropriately nerdy materials. Does that sound interesting to everyone? I'd like to do some really stellar work and then sell limited edition prints. Thoughts?

Paper crafting has been slow and plodding on my end, but also filled with inspiration: Rob Ryan does intricate scenes that blow my mind. So delicate, so detailed. And words! Words are not easy.

The most thrilling discovery was via a friend, and it is Brittney Lee. You want amazing? Paper art? Mixed media? Content that you love? Then go to her. I am in loooove.

Go, and be amazed. (source)

I go to her blog and stare slack jawed at my computer. Her work is gorgeous, and all I want to do is drop every responsibility I have and create art just a quarter as amazing as hers. She adds flare that I never would have dreamed of. So inspiring.

What kind of characters would everyone want to see? I know what I want to make, and I also want to hear from other people! I'm sure that there are great ideas that haven't crossed my mind :D


Monday, January 16, 2012

Protesting SOPA on Wednesday

You may remember my post from a while back about SOPA/PIPA, and the horrible things it could/would do to the internet. If you missed it, then check it out here.

I bring this up again because the evil beast is still at large. Hearings for the bill went on in December, but have been postponed until this month (for the full rundown, check Wikipedia).

As a show of protest against SOPA, I will be joining a multitude of companies/web sites in a blackout day. Wednesday, January 18th, pages across the internet will be censored, or pretty much gone, for a full 24 hours in a demonstration of SOPA's full extent.

I don't want to see this everywhere I go online. (source)

Please help protest SOPA and PIPA by contacting your local congress people (this will help you), and by going to this page, which is full of a variety of ways to have your voices heard.

Voting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 24th. Not much time left to act.

Thank you!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saturday Link spectacular!

The internet is full of so many wonderful things. I put up a new post here everyday, I tweet interesting links and my thoughts, I tumbl fun pictures and blips. And yet I still come across things that I want to show to you. That I have to show to you! My overwhelming love of sharing sets in and I go, "This is too neat to take the gamble that other people have seen it on their own; they must see it".

To that end, I've been thinking that it would be fun to do a weekly link page wherein I share some of the great things I've found that didn't fit into a tweet, tumbl or blog post.

Sounds good, yes?


::: This Spider-man/Drive mash-up by artist Nick Felvidéki. An unusual pairing, and quite wonderful! He is also selling signed prints of his work.

::: A graphic novel prequel to the story Labyrinth following the tale of how Jareth came to be the Goblin King? Count me in!

::: A multitude of high profile sites, including Reddit and possibly Wikipedia, are joining in on SOPA protesting on January 18th. The pages will be "blacked out" or essentially shutdown, presenting a very real image of what the web will look like should SOPA/PIPA pass.

::: This burst of good news showing that the widespread efforts to stop SOPA/PIPA have caused supporters of the propositions to begin "tiptoeing back". 

::: These obnoxiously great Breaking Bad Valentine's Day cards made by Beth. Be sure to go to her tumblr, they're all fantastic!


::: Mapstalgia, a tumblr that really plucks at my heartstrings for some reason. It's comprised entirely of hand-drawn-from-memory maps of video game levels, and it's all user submitted. I've been considering doing one myself of level 1-1 from Toejam & Earl.

This is a pretty short round-up, and I'll do my best to make sure future weeks don't get ragingly out of control, but for the most part these will probably be longer!


P.S. Don't forget that I posted episode 2 of my vlog yesterday! :D

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Bit of Geek vlog Episode 2 is here!

Give it a watch! :D

-MJ, Duchess of Cheese

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A stand for your 3DS. Some people are pissed, apparently.

Just a quick note here, because I'm feeling a little agitated myself.

Apparently the project head for the upcoming Kid Icarus Uprising for 3DS announced earlier this week that the game will come bundled with a stand to hold your system. Giant Bomb's article says it's Japan only, while My Nintendo News and AndriaSang don't specify a region.

So why am I agitated? Is it because Nintendo now has another peripheral for their 3DS? Because it comes bundled with a game only? Because, if it is released separately, there's no price point stated? Because a handheld system shouldn't have a stand? No, none of those are it.

If you read the Giant Bomb article and scan through the comments on My Nintendo News and AndriaSang, you'll see a ridiculous amount of hostility toward Nintendo and any potential person who would find value in a stand for their 3DS.

Who hasn't experienced hand cramping while playing?

Why is there so much negativity? The irony of a holding stand for a handheld system doesn't escape me, but that doesn't mean that there's no value. I play my 3DS in a wide variety of places: airplanes, cars, waiting rooms and also at home. Imagine the audacity I must possess to play a handheld game system at a table or counter, while sitting, and allow my brain to think it'd be nice to have the system propped up in front of me.

Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but is it necessary to be so mean about it? Sometimes my hands cramp up and it makes it difficult to play my 3DS (nerdworld problems), that doesn't mean there's something ridiculous about me for wishing for a solution to this "problem". I don't think so, anyway!


How do we all feel about the Wii U?

The internet has really been buzzing with Wii U news over the past few days. Admittedly, since the announcement at E3 last June, I haven't been following any released news very closely. Most of it seems to be technical specs, which I don't care about, and as far as I have seen there's been very little said about upcoming games.

But! With CES in motion, and the Wii U being spotted there, information is in renewed percolation. I keep reading quotes from Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Amie that the company will be releasing new information through the whole year, not just at large events such as CES and E3.

That's pretty good news, because even though I understand the thrill of a big announcement it's also obnoxious to not get anything else for months on end.

How does everyone feel about the Wii U? I recall feeling pretty jazzed about the prospect of a new Nintendo system (fangirl over here) and all of the amazing new features it would bring. After the initial excitement from the demonstration of the controller I was left wondering what it would actually be like to play games using the giant tablet-like thing.

*Da da da daaa*- wait, what is this?

I know it's not necessarily easy to see past the "gimmick" aspect, but Nintendo always comes through. I know that I really love playing my Wii games and incorporating the motion controls. Shaking fruit from the trees in Animal Crossing with a simple wiimote waggle is intuitive, and (exhausting as it may be) slashing and punching with the wiimote and nunchuck in Skyward Sword is satisfying and feels natural. Well, as natural as I can imagine battling with a sword and shield would be.

The Wii U controller is so bulky though, and the article I read from Wired comments on the weight of the system itself, but not of the controller. Will I have to constantly be holding the controller up? Will it have a kickstand so I can keep playing but maybe rest my arms? How close can I hold it to my face? Does it need to be extended to arms reach? What kind of range will it have? Will it still work accurately if I want to lay propped on pillows and keep playing? How much will it hurt if it slips from my hands and hits me in the face?

Nintendo, I have a lot of questions.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Under the inn, through the sewer - part 3 of 3

Hey! Make sure you've read parts one and two!

Welcome everyone to the exciting conclusion of my most recent session of Dungeons and Dragons!

After many tense rounds of trying to escape the sewers, our mighty band of adventurers took a moment to enjoy fresh air, grass and an absence of humanoid monsters. The sun rose merrily over the landscape, sparking flashes of light along the dew dropped green blades.

My barbarian and the ranger secured the now-closed manhole cover, first with fire and then with heavy boxes. By happenstance we popped above ground within the castle courtyard, and we could taste the thrill of a mission accomplished (not to mention a warm bed to sleep in)!

Foreboding hand of the DM.

Our party was greeted by an eager stableboy who was quick to provide room and board along with an assurance that after a days' rest we could meet with the high magician. 

The next morning we entered the great hall of the castle and there stood Owren, the high magician whose favor we were bidding. It was sweet victory to have delivered the temporary party members to safety, away from the enemy soldiers and the hideous vomiting rat people.

Owren greeted us warmly and instantly began negotiation talks with the man Gorathos, the main point of our collective protection. He had valuable information that could help end the war happening in the region of Azo, and Owren required cooperation to bring peace once again.

We stood in the great hall observing the exchange, when suddenly time stood still. Within our frozen bodies we could see that Gorathos was still mobile, and his voiced boomed around the hall. He was with the enemy! The hot sting of betrayal ran through us, and we were powerless to help when Gorathos lashed out at Owren with a magical chain, binding him into place.

His assistant, Ellywick, was also on the side of evil; she set to work conjuring a massive stone gorgon, terrifying to behold with three constantly moving faces. Moments before Gorathos's time ran out, he summoned five obedient zombies. They effectively blocked the path between us and him.

Green die = gorgon. White dice = zombies. Terrifying, trust me.

In that moment we rolled for initiative and the real battle began. We effectively hacked and shot our way through the zombies and to Owren while Ellywick began another spell and Gorathos slashed at Owren. Before too long the path was clear, and my bloodthirsty barbarian went straight for Ellywick and the gorgon.

As arrows flew and our sorcerer shot missiles, my magical flaming great axe took down Ellywick with one hit and rendered her unconscious. The party's collective attention turned to Gorathos and the gorgon.

The paladin and I, full of half-orc ferocity, spared no strength in attacking the gorgon. It retaliated with a wide reaching blow that knocked everyone nearby to the ground. As we struggled to our feet to finish the fight our enigmatic ranger nocked an arrow and, with one smooth breath, sent it soaring into Gorathos. Before the filthy betrayer could register what had happened, a second true arrow struck next to the first, and he was dead.

Once back to our feet, the paladin and I readied our weapons to bring down the stoney beast. We didn't have a chance though, because our handy sorcerer cast three well aimed missiles into the creatures head, exploding it on impact.

Thus the battle was done, the wrong-doers brought to justice and Owren freed from the bonds that held him.

What will happen next in the region of Azo?


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Under the inn, through the sewer - part 2 of 3

Be sure to read part one first!

When we left off our heroes were in quite the situation. Kobolds and zombies to the front, enemy soldiers behind. And in case you've forgotten, they're in a nearly pitch black sewer with seemingly no means of escape.

It'd be really inopportune to roll a "2" right about now.

After a near-failure of a spot check, the party discovers bars stacked on the nearby wall that look suspiciously like a ladder. Another look around reveals a circular disc far up on the ceiling that, with any luck, would be a manhole cover.

Time is ticking quickly as we take a small moment to deliberate: who should climb the ladder? Unanimously, my strength-ridden barbarian is chosen; after rolling a natural 20, she silently moves toward the rungs. 

Unfortunately, because moving silently didn't make her considerable bulk invisible, the zombies took notice. As they began their disgusting, moaning drudging toward the party, we all rolled for initiative and I began to scramble up the ladder.

"Sure hope I remembered to put ranks into 'climb'!"

As the rest of the party entered battle with the onslaught of zombies and kobolds, my mighty barbarian repeatedly slipped down the latter after a series of embarrassing rolls. The only upside to the situation was that some kobolds appeared at the sound of the enemy soldiers' clattering, and so they were being held up in their own altercation.

When at last I reached the top of the ladder and the manhole cover, I gave it an almighty push but it didn't open. My party members below were backing toward the base of the escape route, a few enemies creeping closer. Two of my fellow adventurers had already begun to climb.

Our mighty sorcerer staved off a complete invasion by casting a line of grease between us and the zombies and kobolds. Our well-aiming ranger turned the grease into a wall of fire with his ever so handy flaming arrows. 

Two rounds of battle later, with everyone else finally climbing up, and I still had been unable to successfully roll high enough to enter freedom. It was with the eventual help of our shady ranger that we were able to make it to fresh air and the world above. 

The Lich King raged in disappointment, his newly raised zombies now without targets. We had finally escaped the horrors of the sewer, and we collapsed in joy and relief. It was time to head to the castle.

In my mind it looks a little like this.

Don't miss part 3 tomorrow, it's quite the shocking ending!


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