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Archive for November, 2009

So, Pentaros is set on checking out Ren’s house, Israfel is bored, so decides to go with him, and Cedrick, the Paladin, decides to come along. The funeral for the sheriff was last night, and the ceremony occured without much fanfare. The witch woman has blinded herself, after saying something cryptic, and Israfel failed at finding Betsy. Rila has also been missing for almost a full day, and nobody has noticed yet.

Ren’s House

The party heads over to Ren’s house, fully expecting him to be there. He was not at the inn that morning, and the party did not pass him on their way there. So they are surprised when nobody answers the door. Israfel, being the sneaky rogue that he is, tries to open the door, only to find something is preventing it from opening more than a crack. His curiosity peaked, he and Pentaros circle around to the nearest window, while Cedrick tries to force the door open. Peeking through the window, this is what Pentaros and Israfel see:

Not shown: Porn. Lots and lots of porn. Really, that's all that this guy has in his house, besides booze.

Deciding not to disturb the scene any more than necessary, the two Eladrin decide to use their magic fey wild step, and phase into Ren’s house.

The Death Scene

Examining the body, it seems that Ren has decided to kill himself by creating a makeshift noose out of a belt. He looped one end around his neck, and the other around the doorknob, and then just plopped down on the floor. Ren is still holding a bottle of rotgut in his right hand. On the other side of the door, Israfel hears Cedrick inquiring about the situation, but decides to ignore him for the time being. While Israfel goes around looking for treasure clues, Pentaros examines the desk, hoping to find a suicide note of some sort. What Pentaros does find is porn. A lot of porn, all seemingly written by Ren. About halfway through the sheafs of porn on the desk, there’s a short story about how two men find and rape and beat up and possibly kill a woman named “Iris.” The description of “Iris” is strikingly similiar to Rose. Israfel finds nothing of interest, and they both leave the house. On their way to the inn, they run into Rila, freshly back from being locked in the smoke house. Rila quickly recounts what happened to her at Jilad’s.

After She Woke Up

After getting out of the smokehouse, Rila headed into the hut. There was no trace of the woman or child there. It was like they were never there. Rila searched the hut, but it seemed like all trace of them has been removed. Well, except for a small carved toy, in the shape of a star, that had fallen under the bed. Rila, thinking about the woman, realized why the woman in the chair looked like Rose. Confused by what this all could mean, Rila decides to head back to the town and report her experiences. The party, hearing this, decides that it’s time to confront Rose and , and get the truth once and for all…

TO BE CONTINUED

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Now, in addition to being a DM, I’m also a sort of newbish roleplayer as well. So maybe I’m entirely off base with this. But I feel the need to write on this while I still remember, and before NaNaWriMo starts to devour all of my free time today. It’s easy to roll a character, decide what skills you want him or her to have, and start playing. It’s harder for me to make that character fun to play. What has worked for me in the past is to pick one defining trait for the character early on, don’t tell anybody else about it, and do my best to reveal that trait to the other players. This worked out well for my current character, Bimbi, the halfling paladin. Okay, I admit I was trying to make a slightly over-the-top character with her. But above all the ridiculous of a halfling (named Bimbi, not bimbo, thank you very much) follower of Kord, I decided Bimbi would really, really like fighting and really like her axe. That’s not to say that Bimbi hates people, she’s very friendly, but Bimbi never, ever backs away from a brawl if she can help it. Furthermore, she’s traveling with Pentaros, an Eladrin warlord. So I also, for good measure, decided that she followed him everywhere, kind of like a lost kitten. Even knowing two very basic things about her, and how she would react in certain situations, gave me a good starting point for the character. It’s also the stuff comedic and dramatic gold are made out of. But that will be for part two. Don’t worry, I’m going to finish describing the events of Murder, Most Foul, but real life interferes with me writing more than about 250 words at a time. So, I figure more consistent, bite-sized updates are better than radio silence from me. Until next time, folks.

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When we left our party, things were horribly split, I was trying to juggle several plot threads, and about half the players weren’t doing much. Did I mention this was my first time DMing?

About Ren, The Sheriff and Chuck the Deputy

Pentaros (whose name I’ve been misspelling all this time. Whoops), decides to put on his detective cap and find out more about the people involved in the case. He starts by interviewing Chuck. It becomes clear pretty early on that Chuck is a bit slow. And by a bit, we’re talking borderline “Of Mice and Men” territory here. He mentioned that he went to the Sheriff’s office to get the key to his house from his brother, but it was noticed earlier that his house doesn’t have a key hole. He is pretty upset about the whole his-brother-being-dead thing, especially since it seems that Chuck hero-worships his brother. Even with that, a couple of interesting pieces of information pop up: 1) Chuck thought the Sherriff and Rose were dating and in love, and 2) Ren makes his living as a writer. His curiousity piqued, Pentaros decides to interview Ren at his house the next day. Right now, it’s time for the funereal service for the Sheriff. The party doesn’t learn much here. Everybody is pretty sad that the sheriff is dead, and nobody says anything out of place. Everybody gets some sleep, ready to tackle this mystery with fresh eyes. After all, nothing else bad could happen, right?

TO BE CONTINUED (Because I’m taking a short break from my NaNoWriMo project to update. Go me!)

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I revised the first section that I wrote. But it’s not all bad, because now I don’t hate my story, *and* I added to my word count!

My opening, now revised (I promise I won’t touch it again until December)

The first time I saw the pale girl was in her garden. I was eight years old, and I still believed in ghosts and ghouls and monsters. It was easy to do so. Our town had a rich history of haunting, and ghost stories were casually exchanged like cookie recipes. The town lent itself to that, with old half-timbered buildings, crumbling row-houses and, in the middle of it all, the Old Johnson Place. The Old Johnson Place was a large house, a mansion by kid standards, three stories high. Unlike the rest of the houses, it was gated off, separate from the other buildings. It was imposing, built out of blackened stone and dark wood. Even the vines that curled up the east side of the building seemed to be a darker, more sinister shade of green. The wall surrounding the building was made of a stone that was originally white, but had, I was convinced, turned black from the residual evil of the home. This is where she lived. I never saw anybody go in, or out. I didn’t understand about servant entrances at the time– I just knew that the main gate looked to be rusted shut.

One of the older kids in town must have noticed my interest in the old Johnson place, for he told me its grisly story. Old man Johnson was a successful man, having built up the factory that employed most of the town. He had a very beautiful wife that was much younger than he was. From their marriage, they had three beautiful daughters. As the daughters grew up and got married, they also came to live in the mansion that their father built. For a time, they were all happy, the sounds of dances and laughing children filled the halls. From here, the details would change, depending on who was telling the story. The most common permutation back then was that Mr. Johnson, after a hard day at the factory, came home to find his wife sleeping with the butler. Something inside him just broke at that moment. He grabbed his wife’s bumbershoot (which, as children, we imagined was some sort of rifle), and murdered both the unfaithful wife and butler. His lust for violence whetted, he proceeded to systematically kill his three daughters, five of his grandchildren, and all of the servants with the bumbershoot. As he surveyed the carnage that he wrought, he decided that he would keep his loved ones close, where they would never betray him. Using a dull knife, he skinned them all and made a suit from their skin.  After this gruesome task was finished, he dressed himself in his new outfit, put his wife in her wedding gown, and carried her to the fountain in the middle of the town. On getting there, he then dropped her flayed body into the fountain, causing the pool to turn red. When the police appeared, he seemed almost reasonable about the whole affair. He smiled softly at the sheriff, said, “the ’b-word’ is dead. She‘ll never hurt me again.”  and then slit his throat from ear to ear.  Remember, I was eight. We didn’t say bad words back then.

(Okay, I still kind of hate it, but I’m not going to give up in disgust now.)

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November is National Write a Novel Month! I’ve always been like, “man, I should do that,” but then I just kind of forget about it. But this year… this year I’m putting a good faith effort into it. I might not make it, but at least I’m going to try. ❤

I have a vague idea based on a dream I once had, but I’m not sure if it will become any good. I hope so? The first 1000 words aren’t very good, truth be told. But it can only get better, right?

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