Game Night, Session 10. On the Road(?) Again

Armed with the little bit of information from Mert, Fang, Bran and Theren get moving again.  They know they need to find a way into the secret library in the Welandar castle back in Welandar City, but Bran wants to complete the task he set for himself – to return the Ironstar battleaxe to the family in Lon-Kar.  It’s agreed to do this since they can reach Welandar City from either Piketon or Lon-Kar…

With the decision made to go to Lon-Kar find the Ironstar family and then to Welandar City to seek out the secret library, Fang, Theren and Bran plan to leave Mert’s cabin and head back to Piketon to pick up their repaired cart, new mule and the gear and things contained in the cart.  They are hoping to find a boat to give them passage to Lon-Kar rather than having to travel overland.

Before they leave, Theren asks if Mert will give him the materials he needs to perform a ritual for summoning his familiar.  The requirements of the spell were recently revealed to him on his scroll, but he had not found anyone with the necessary material components all in one place to buy and/or borrow for the ritual.

Mert has no problem with this and gives him what he needs.  So, Theren goes down to the lake shore alone for about an hour to summon his familiar.  Theren has an idea about the type of familiar he wants.  He had read about a creature called a pseudodragon in his studies with his mother and decides that is what he wants to summon.

A little over an hour later, Theren returns with a small dragon-like creature flying circles over his head.  It does not look quite natural, though, to be sure.  It is like a pseudodragon, but with 3 eyes on its head and many more on its wings.

Theren Familiar option 2

Perhaps Theren’s Eldritch magic had something to do with it?

After a quick exchange of farewells and Mert telling them she is always available to help if she can, the group head back along the lake shore to Piketon.

In Piketon, the group splits up to get business taken care of faster.  Theren goes to Pike’s Tooth Inn to return the scroll he had borrowed from there (it contained a symbol that matched their sigils for no apparent reason other than Bran Touchwater must have written it there).  Fang goes to the stable to retrieve the repaired cart and the mule he had purchased.  Bran goes back to the blacksmith to see if the supplies that Berault claimed to contain a set of blacksmith’s tools has come in and let him know that he is travelling to Long-Kar.

Theren returns the scroll to Bran Touchwater and apologizes for making him uncomfortable.  This seems to put things between the group and Touchwater on better terms.

Fang goes and picks up the cart and mule.  The stable owner even threw in a couple of supplies for the mule.  Fang then heads straight for the wharf to find a boat to take them to Lon-Kar.

Bran reaches the blacksmith shop and speaks with Berault Stormbringer.  He lets the Dwerg know of his plans to return the battle-axe to the Ironstar family and asks if the supply shipment containing blacksmith tools came in.  Unfortunately, the supplies had not arrived yet due to bad weather on the south side of the lake, so Bran will have to find tools elsewhere. Berault gives Bran a coin with the Ironstar family crest stamped on it with instructions to tell the family leader that Berault vouches for him.  They bid each other farewell, and Bran heads to the local garrison.

At the garrison, Bran lets the garrison commander know that there are, in fact, Krell in the area.  He tells the soldier about the fight he and his group had and that he believes there is a war chief and likely more Krell.  The garrison commander thanks him for the information and starts working to prepare for problems.

The group meet up at the wharf.  Fang’s luck finding a boat to take them to Lon-Kar has not been good.  Pretty much all the barges large enough to take them and their cart have just arrived and have no plans for departure for, at least, a day.

Whether by chance or the man’s curiosity about the newcomers, Captain Fisk overhears their conversation and steps up to offer them passage to Lon-Kar on his fishing boat.  After a little negotiation, they agree to leave within an hour.

They sail for a little over 3 days without incident (other than Theren’s seasick issues) and pull into the small dock that is used by Lon-Kar.  Up on a hill about a half day’s walk they see Lon-Kar.  It’s a walled city as best they can tell at this distance.

So, next time they get to explore Lon-Kar, a city of mostly Dwerg.  It should be interesting to see how Bran makes out with the return of the battleaxe from that blacksmith who was murdered by Slythis.  Will be rewarded somehow?  Will he have made an ally?  Catch the next Game Night post to find out 😉

As always, if you like what you’re reading here, let me know with a click of the like button.  I welcome feedback, so don’t hesitate to leave a question, comment or both.

Type to you later…

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And We’re Back! Game Night Session 6

So, Session 6 went off last night.  It was a bit shorter than I had hoped, but things went well.  Some of this might be a bit of recap from my mention of session 5 in a previous post, but there is definitely more.  And I have to go into creative mode again… you’ll see.

Bran, Theren and Fang made tentative friends with the merchant and his son and guards.  They decided to share the camp site in spite of Fang’s best efforts to deter the merchant group from staying with them.  The merchant was not hiding that he thought there was an opportunity to collect a bounty for this murderer that Fang had mentioned.  Again this was in spite of Fang emphatically telling the merchant that there was no bounty.  Fang also didn’t mention the “nature” of this murderer, either… like the fact that Slythis was a possessed goblin that was transforming into something else and becoming more powerful with every kill he/it made.

The evening started out pleasant enough.  Now that there was some mild trust between the two groups, small talk and stories were exchanged over a good meal.

The watches were set as both groups prepared to sleep for the night.  A member of the merchant group (guards and merchant’s son) decided to partner up with a member of our group for each of 3 watch shifts.

The “fun” begins with Theren sensing the presence of the dagger.  He wakes the rest of his group and a chase through the woods begins.

Unfortunately for the members of the two groups, Slythis is very illusive until…

One of the merchant guards wondered a distance off the road into the woods.  A few minutes later, Fang, Theren and Bran track him down and find him scared and bloodied next to a tree.  Theren confirms that the dagger feels close.

They discover that the merchant guard’s wounds were essentially superficial cuts… just enough to make things look bloody, but with no real harm.  Slythis was toying with the guard… to prove his abilities and power???

Then they spot Slythis running through the trees a fair distance from them, and he’s heading back toward the road.

The group get the guard to recover from his scare enough and race back to the camp.  They hope they cut Slythis off and maybe run into him for the fight they have been wanting on.

But no such luck.  Slythis manages to not be found and does not attack the camp.

After things calm a bit, the merchant asks questions, especially after seeing the state of his one guard.  Bran, Fang and Theren decide to “spill the beans”.  Theren uses his newfound telepathic ability to “educate” the merchant with everything the group has learned and experienced concerning Slythis.

After nearly passing out from the shock, the merchant completely understands that Theren, Bran and Fang are truly after this thing for reasons well beyond a simple bounty.  This prompts him to offer his services in the best way he can conceive… pass along information.  Bran instructs the merchant to let the garrison commander in Braiton know what is going on.  The merchant promises to do so and leaves with the rising sun.

This next day is spent planning and preparing for an encounter with Slythis.  The group hopes that the reduced numbers will motivate Slythis to be more bold.  They had come to realize beyond much doubt that he must, in fact, be possessed by an entity that made its home in the dagger.  His behavior has suggested a “dual nature”.  It was the only thing to explain the murderous behavior coupled with the lack of desire for direct confrontation with the group – his true target.  The goblin part would be the sly cunning actions that worked to avoid anything or anyone potentially more powerful… like the group.  The entity in the dagger that calls to Theren and taunts him appears to be the psychotic rage and necromancer part.

Their insight turns out to be spot on.  Before the sun completely sets, a man riding in a small cart pulled by a horse is attacked just up the road from the camp in plain sight, but just out of reach for the group to be of any help.  They watch as the cart is flipped and catches fire from a lantern that was sitting next to the cart driver.  Slythis downs the horse in the “usual manner” – slitting its throat.  He then pounces on the man and kills him in the same way.

The group took what advantage they could despite having to watch the man and horse die from a distance.  They advanced up the road to confront Slythis, and Slythis was all too “happy” to oblige in his enraged and psychotic state.

The fight went quickly.  Bran made good use of his bow and then his halberd once he could close the distance to melee range.  Theren stayed back and used his warlock magic to try and bring down Slythis.  Fang had shape-shifted into a black panther (as a druid, he can do that) and took advantage of the additional four-legged speed and agility of a cat.  He made constant lunges at Slythis, and then finally pounced on Slythis.

Enough of the various attacks hit their marks, and Slythis was slain.  Fang and Bran had some injuries, but none were life-threatening.

As the adrenaline wore off, Slythis’ body was examined.  He was no longer a small grayish-yellow skinned goblin.  Instead he had grown to nearly the size of a human or elf.  He had bony protrusions down his spine and along his arms and legs.  His face had become a thing of true evil.  The skin had been stretched over very pronounced cheek bones.  The jaw hung slack.  The teeth had grown jagged.  Slythis had become something from a nightmare.

Down to business.  Fang looked at the dagger and saw that it was “fused” to Slythis’ hand.  So, he drew his scimitar and lopped off the dead creature’s hand.  Avoiding touching the dagger – out of concern of something similar happening to him, Fang scooped up the severed and and dagger into a sack.

The dagger, itself, is a vile looking thing.  It appears to be made entirely of bone.  It is stained with the dried blood of the many victims Slythis attacked with it.  Its point is sharp, and the edges are jagged.  The handle is too obscured by the hand to see well.  But the closer examination shows that the hand’s skin had truly grown into/onto the handle of the dagger.  Slythis could not have let go of the dagger.  It was like they had merged.

It was also noted that when Fang removed the hand with the dagger, Slythis’ distorted body visibly shrank a little.  It was as if the removal of the dagger removed some of the… vitality??? from Slythis even after death.

So, a thunderstorm rolled through the north Texas area, and we had to cut our session off right there out of concern over losing power.  Session 7 is scheduled for next Sunday.  I will try to post the happenings as quickly as I am able.  I hope you’re still enjoying the “story” as much as I am telling it.

As always, let me know what you think.  Ask questions.  I will answer as much as I can, so long as I am not giving away “spoilers” 😉

Type to you soon…

Post Race Report

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We done good… mostly  😉

12 Hours of Bathurst (see my previous post)… Well, we could have done better.  We qualified 6th position out of 51 cars.  The race team was feeling pretty good about this.  We were confident that we had pace and skill enough to keep the car in the fight for the entire 12 hours.  The truth is that should have been the case.  We were looking at a top 5 finish given our pace and consistency… until

This time it was my turn.  One of the others had a misstep at Daytona.  I guess it was my turn to make things more “challenging”.  I was at the end of my second stint and was getting too comfortable in the car.  It bit me.  You see, the simulation has day/night transitions.  These transitions occur in real time over the course of an endurance race like this 12-hour race.  We started the race before sunrise in cool temperatures.  A cool track means good grip, and you can do things in the car that you can’t do as the track gets hotter.  Now that would not have been a big issue accept for the fact that I let my confidence turn into comfort in that virtual race car.

I was at the end of my second stint, and the sun had come up in the simulator about 90 minutes previous to my “mishap”.  The grip on the track and the tire wear took advantage of my lack of attention.  I over-steered a turn and got up on a curb.  At over 100 mph, hitting this curb “upsets” the car.  I tried to catch it, but the tires must have gotten a little air under them from the bump.  So, I suddenly had no grip and could not steer.  An instant later, the front tires grabbed asphalt.  That would not have been a problem except for the fact that I was trying to recover my misstep.  I had over adjusted my input and it basically “launched the car into the opposite wall.

Broke Merc Bathurst 020919

Yep, that crumpled “beer can” you see is because I got too comfortable rather than keeping my focus razor sharp and paying hyper attention to the changing conditions.  I thought I knew what to expect since I had already done one stint, but that had been a couple hours previous (we were swapping during each pit stop).  So, the sun was higher in the sky and the track was warmer.

After about 20 minutes in the pits, the virtual crew was able to do some repairs.  The car was drive-able, but we were about 2 seconds a lap down on pace because of aerodynamics and handling issues.

We got back out on the track in 27th position with about 8 hours to go.

Our 3-man team drove that recently converted “hooptie” for 8 more hours.  I even had 2 more stints in the car.  We dodged another couple of accidents.  We raced a couple of cars.

We finished 8th.

It was not the top 5 we thought we could get, but a top 10 finish was nothing to sneeze at.

Between this and Daytona (24 hour endurance race), we decided that this one was more fun.  It was.  It was harder work because of the substantially more technical track.  Maybe we are gluttons for punishment… real or virtual.  But we felt like we got more out of it.

It would be nice, though. to keep the car less damaged for the duration of one of these races.  Maybe next time

Stay tuned for the 12 Hours at Sebring 😉

We Made It…

iRacing’s 24 Hours of Daytona

The #13 Delta-V Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 car gridded P15 in class on this past Saturday morning. The green flag dropped on a rolling start that entered turn 1 cleanly for the entire field. Alan, Adam, JR and I took turns driving this beast around Daytona International Speedway’s road course for 24 hours as quickly as possible. Our goal? Finish in as high a position as possible in the GT3 class.

We finished in 8th. It was a hard earned 8th position for sure. The car did not look this clean and this free of damage at the end. Mistakes were made and we paid the price in a loss of top speed and a reduction in handling capability. We had to learn how to drive the car again after a couple of on-track “altercations” had changed the handling of the car. The virtual pit crew could only repair so much, and we, the drivers, were stuck with the remaining damage.

But pushing through fatigue in the middle of the night, trying to stay focused, in general, while making the same turns over and over again and dodging the traffic in the form of classes of cars that were much faster than us were signs of our determination and desire to endure to the end.

It would pay off, though.

No, it was not a spectacular ending. No, we didn’t win… even if we had, there was no trophy (maybe an “atta boy” from other drivers) to be had. There were just memories and the satisfaction that we had taken our hobby of sim racing to the next level and drove our team car – like those in real life – from the day through the night and back to the day. And at the end, we finished the race with the car in one piece (mostly) as a team.

Where Was I???

So, I got that race in the other night. 144 minutes in a 5-speed manual with two pit stops. I started in 22nd position (out of 22… don’t ask) and finished in 10th. I felt pretty good about the whole experience. It was fun getting back into my virtual race career on iRacing. I’m looking very forward to running in the iRacing 24 Hours at Daytona race next Saturday. Delta-V Racing will consist of 4 drivers that will attempt to get the Mercedes GT3 car around the track as quickly as possible, as many times as possible in a 24-hour period. If all goes well, and our pace is quick enough, we should finish quite well in the GT3 class next Saturday.

There’s other stuff that’s been going on. In particular, a lot of time is being used to work with a new puppy that we’ve had for about a week. Koji is just shy of 4 months old. He is a Sheba Inu. Interesting little gremlin. Needless to say, he is keeping us busy around here with all his needs and our desire to have him house broken and not requiring constant supervision. I will say, though, that he is damn smart and catching on to “the rules” quickly. I’m not what you would call a dog person, but he’s pretty cool. The rest of the family finds him to be quite the treasure.

I’ll keep this short – time for Koji to go outside again ;-P I’ll try and post again soon.

Vegas and other Shtuff

It’s been a bit since I verbally assaulted my followers on this here WordPress thingy. You’re welcome… ;-P

So, I just got back from a short trip to Las Vegas.  I’m still wondering at the fact that it had been 7 years since my last trip there.  Anyway, the wife and I met up with my best friend and his wife for a 4-day vacation in Sin City.  My buddy grew up out there, so his interest in being on The Strip is much reduced.  That makes the trip even more fun.  We did more than just hang out in casinos and lose money.  We did that, too, but we did a little more.

My buddy has family out there still.  So, we spent some time with them.  We did some shopping at one of his nephew’s favorite places.  We went out to dinner at some pretty good “not-on-the-strip” restaurants.  It was a pleasant experience, in general.

We went to Mount Charleston National Recreation Area just outside of Vegas.  That was a great time. We did a short hike to the top of Cathedral Rock that, in about 1.5 miles, had about 1700 feet of elevation change.  It started at 7000 feet, so the air was a little thin.  There was a lot of huffing and puffing to say the least (plus we’re all a little out of shape… well spherical is technically a shape).  It provided some pretty awesome views.

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All in all, a good little vacation.

I think I disappointed my mom the other day.  I had to tell her I was not heading to my home town for Thanksgiving this year.  My daughter wants to be home for Thanksgiving.  She has been away at college since about March.  She stayed there over the summer for some classes, so there was no “home for summer” for her, either.  Part of me feels bad for not being Home for Thanksgiving, but another part of me is looking very forward to having my daughter at the house and generally having a relaxed Thanksgiving holiday.  I try to get Home as much as I can, but things don’t always work out that way.  With time off limitations and the desire to do other things besides only visiting my home town when I do get time off, sometimes I have to make hard choices.  I promise to be there for Christmas 🙂

On a different – and definitely brighter – note, I am making my return to iRacing in December. For those that don’t know, I decided a few months ago to take a break from my virtual racing career.  I was getting burnt out.  I needed to get away from it and allow myself to relax a bit.  I was stressing myself more than I should over a game.  Yes, I said game.  In spite of it being a killer simulation, it is still a game.  I was getting so concerned about getting good (for me, anyway) results, that it was becoming a job and losing the fun factor.  Don’t get me wrong it’s supposed to be “serious” fun, but still fun.

So anyway, I was asked by a buddy a week ago if I would team up with him for a 2-hour mini-endurance race he was setting up for his online racing league.  Even though I was not planning on doing anything sim racing related until after the first of the year, it didn’t take a whole lot of thinking to go for it.  It felt good when he reacted so positively to my acceptance.  On top of that, the team endurance events are probably my favorite form of racing, sim or otherwise.  I really am looking forward to it.

Finally, I wanted to make sure I acknowledged my followers.  I’m up over 30 followers now.  It feels good to have an audience.  I appreciate you guys taking the time to read my gibberish here.  Let me know if you want more of a particular type of my gibberish.  I’ve still got my Mind the Shadows thing rattling around in my noggin.  I’ve been putting some thought into my fantasy story idea, too.  The bottom line is I love to get feedback and the thoughts of others on things.  I really enjoy the “likes” and comments, so keep them coming.

Thanks for hanging out and giving me a read 🙂

The Pain of Good Times

So, I’m sitting here in an odd state of mind.  First and foremost is the pain in my shoulder.  It’s a nasty ache with some heat in it.  My shoulder is not happy.  It is repaying me for… good times.

The second thing on my mind is a result of the first – the good times.  My shoulder’s lack of “happiness” and subsequent desire to make me suffer is based on the fun (yes, I said fun) I have had over the years while on my mountain bike.  That includes the injuries oddly enough.  Some good stories have come from those injuries.  I guess that’s what you call irony?

I dislocated my shoulder several years ago while screwing around on my bike in the alley behind my house.  I was goofing off in the taller grass when I hit something that launched me over the handlebars.  As I sat up, I realized that my shoulder did not feel right.  Fortunately, the adrenaline rush from the crash kept me from feeling the pain I was supposed be experiencing just then.  Anyway, the “not feeling right” coalesced into the realization that it was not in its socket.

As the sick feeling of that realization came over me, I involuntarily… shrugged?  I moved/contracted the muscles around my dislocated shoulder.  I guess that it was not that far out because it slipped up and popped back into its socket with an audible pop.  I wondered at that very moment what had just happened.  What an odd sensation…

My vision darkened for a few seconds as I sat there waiting for my conscious self to catch up with what had just happened.  Again, the adrenaline must have staved off some of the pain, I suppose.  But I gave myself a few more minutes to just sit there and figure out how hurt I really was and make sure that passing out was not going to happen given the signs.  I tentatively moved my arm and was rewarded with essentially no pain.

So, I drug the bike and myself back to the garage.  I went inside to let tell the wife what had happened.  I wanted her take on it since I was not feeling any real pain and I could move my arm and shoulder around like normal.  I had heard a few bad things about dislocations and wanted to make sure that I was alright.  By that time, I’m pretty certain I had calmed down, so I was not being relieved of pain by an abundance of adrenaline – I thought I should have been practically dying by then.

Nonetheless, the wife and I agreed that I should keep an eye on things.  But since I wasn’t really hurting and I could move my arm, I should just carry on.

That was many years ago…

Since then I have come to realize that the injury was more a long term thing.  Now my shoulder periodically aches (sometimes pretty bad, like now) to remind me that I have done stupid things to my body in the name of having a good time.  This reminding I receive tends to happen during big weather changes.  I wonder if Fall is around the corner…

Ah, the pain of good times 🙂