Desmond Favored Brunettes In Stews

… but for curries, he preferred redheads

 

The Doclopedia #74

AD&D Monsters As Characters: Lola the Night Hag

 

Mayor Lola is everything a Night Hag is not supposed to be: Beautiful, kind, caring, Lawful Good and a vegetarian. No wonder she was banished from Hades! She left when she was very young, after redecorating an entire section of the place with smiley faces and glitter.

After several years of traveling about and doing good deeds in the lands outside those of Men, Lola had developed quite a following of misfit creatures that are usually called monsters. She insisted that they behave peacefully and respect one another and darned if they didn’t do it! Deciding that they needed a home to call their own, Lola chose the remote and long abandoned village of Oak Hill. Soon after, they had repaired things, built several new buildings and installed Lola as the “Mayor for Life”.

Lola works hard to keep things running smoothly and personally welcomes each new citizen that wanders in from outside of town. She meets once a month with the Town Council to discuss village business and also teaches art classes at the village school. In recent years, she has made trade agreements with a few far off human villages, which has greatly benefited all concerned.

Lola is married to Armand the Were-Dog (under the full moon, he turns into a Golden Retriever) and they have two adopted children, Tommy (a young Orc who was banished for being a nerd) and Francine (a sweet little girl Gnoll).

In her very rare spare time, Lola enjoys singing in the town choir, reading stories to her children and tossing a ball under the full moon for Armand to fetch.

Pan Fried Panfish

…I tried pan frying Bowlfish, but they kept rolling around

STUFF!

1: I could get used to this new schedule, even if it does mean working 6 days a week.

2: Hey, Tea Party, listen up! If you break off from the Republican Party and go balls out third party, I’ll donate $100.00 dollars to help your cause. I know several other Democrats who would donate at least that much. Go for it!

3: The odds of me going to GenCon in 2011 are looking better every day.

4: In case you didn’t know, the large order of onion rings at Fuddrucker’s is really large. Also, they are delicious.

5: In case you were worried, you’ll be glad to know that both of my Canine American Princesses are still very spoiled.

6: I’ll be staying all the way through until Monday morning at Dundracon this year. If you are attending, I could probably be persuaded to run an RPG session or two. I’m thinking maybe Over The Edge or Pulp Era Horror.

7: Our regularly scheduled Doclopedia post will be up soon.

Lactating Lucy

…no, really, she is.

 

The Doclopedia #73

AD&D Monsters As Characters: Grug the Goblin

 

Ya know that cranky old neighbor man who always yells at kids who walk past his house? Well, here is Oak Hill’s version of him

Grug, or “Ol’ Man Grug” as the neighborhood kids like to call him, lives in a modest little house on 120 Ochre Jelly Street. He lives with his wife, Mokli (a very pleasant goblin lady, by all accounts) and their pet blink dog, Blinky. Their four children have all grown up and moved away.

Grug is 5 foot tall, greenish gray skinned and pretty typical of an 89 year old goblin who wears bifocals and pants with suspenders. On a good day, he is a cranky old sod. On a bad day, he is a mean old bastard.

Grug spends most of his time tending his garden (he specialized in roses), mowing his lawn and yelling at any neighbor kids who get within 20 feet of his property. His favorite phrase is “Stay the hell away from here, you little hoodlums!” Sometimes you can find him in the back yard fixing things or picking zapples from his zapple tree, but mostly, he’s out front on Kid Lookout. He has been known to chuck rotten zapples at kids, but his aim sucks.

In his spare time (which is generally after dark when the kids are in their homes) Grug enjoys playing checkers, drinking hard zapple cider, talking about “the good old days” and generally being a cantankerous old fart.

Horrible Moon Mice

…they eat your hair while you sleep

The Doclopedia #72

AD&D Monsters As Characters: Bronwyn the Yeti

 

Bronwyn, or Bronny as her friends like to call her, is Oak Hill’s blacksmith. Given her height of 8’3″ and her enormous strength, blacksmithing is a pretty easy job for her. Of course, she does have to keep her hairy body wet, so as to avoid fires.

Bronny also uses her metalworking skills to create lovely wrought iron artwork. Her work is in high demand and her porch and stair railings are a fixture of all the nicer homes in town.

Actually, her artwork isn’t all that is in high demand. Bronny herself has several suitors, including Ed the Ogre, Dr. Azkorak the Centaur and Lucius the Brownie (gotta give young Lucius an A for effort). So far, when asked about who she fancies most, Bronny just giggles and blushes. She’s really quite a shy young lass.

Bronny shares a house with her best friend, Maxine the Lamia, and Bronny’s pet Dire Wolf, Skippy.

In her spare time, Bronwyn enjoys hiking, dancing, playing with Skippy and sewing.

The King Of The Jungle Was Also The Queen Of The Jungle

…and his treehouse was just faaaaabulous

The above title is based upon a real Halloween situation from the early 80’s.

 

The Doclopedia #71

AD&D Monsters As Characters: Ollie the Otyugh

 

Nobody knows what Ollie did before he came to Oak Hill, but he certainly couldn’t have been a horrible cavern dwelling monster like most Otyughs. Ollie is a very pleasant, if a bit odoriferous, fellow who is always smiling and greeting everyone with a pleasant hello. It is suspected that Ollie might be some mutant strain of Neo-Otyugh, but nobody knows for sure. Whatever he might be, Ollie is a good friend and an upstanding community member.

Once he arrived in Oak Hill, it didn’t take long for Ollie to find his place in the community: down in the cesspool/garbage pit. As Ollie likes to say “What you cast off is my buffet!”. To say that he is happy with his job would be the height of understatement. Ollie can be found in the cesspool most of the time, but he does like to come to the local inn (after a good long shower under the local waterfall) to participate in sing a longs and catch up on local gossip. He also enjoys a good game of checkers with Slim the Slime over at the general store.

In his spare time, Ollie enjoys crocheting, hunting for swamp rats, cooking up those same swamp rats and volunteering for the town watch.

Brains, Breakfast Of Champions!

…well, champion zombies

The Doclopedia #70

AD&D Monsters As Characters: Snord the Bugbear

 

Snord was always a bit smarter that most of the other bugbears in his tribe. It was this very intelligence that eventually got him kicked out of the tribe and chased into the wilderness. Seems the bugbear boss man knew a potential threat when he saw one. Unfortunately for him, Snord was able to poison his wine just hours before getting chased out of town. Like we said, Snord is smart.

After many days of wandering aimlessly through the wilderness, Snord happened upon the village of Oak Hill. As was their way, the other misfit monsters welcomed him and then gave him a job to do: baker’s apprentice. Snord took to the work and now, 3 years later, has become the village baker. His breads are the envy of other villages and his cakes have been known to make strong beings swoon with delight.

Snord has recently been seen keeping company with Olivia the Troll. They make a cute couple, assuming one uses the loosest possible definition of “cute”.

Snord is 8 feet tall, has tawny brown shaggy fur, long pointed ears and big green eyes. He usually wears a pair of cloth pants and an apron. Both of these are often covered in flour stains.

In his spare time, Snord enjoys fishing, dancing and listening to the Storyteller.

Splendid Lily And The California Kid Go To Vegas

…on somebody else’s nickel

The Doclopedia #69

Pigs Is Pigs: Fred Finster, Wereboar

 

In 1993, while on an ill advised vacation in rural Georgia, Fred Finster, age 30 and an insurance salesman by trade, was attacked by a huge wild boar. The creature managed to bite him several times before being shot by a local hunter. Mr. Finster was taken to a local hospital in serious condition. He was stabilized, then airlifted to a better medical facility in Macon, where doctors commented that his wounds weren’t nearly as bad as they had been lead to believe.

Two days later, Fred left the hospital and Georgia with not the slightest trace of a wound.

One week after that, back home in a suburb of Boston, Fred Finster changed into a 700 pound wild boar and went on a rampage that left property damaged, pets terrified and three homeless men & a 17 year old drug dealer dead. The police blamed it on gang activity, even though they had no explanation why or how a gang ripped up 9 peoples yards and apparently ate several hundred pounds of vegetation. CSI reports that huge porcine hoof prints and boar hairs were found at every location and on/near the murder victims were not made public.

It didn’t take Fred long to figure out that waking up filthy dirty and bloody, along with muddy hoof prints morphing into his own footprints, equaled deep shit with him in it. After calling in sick to work, he cleaned himself and his house. After that, he went to the library and read up on lycanthropy. After that, he got in his car and drove way out into the woods in a state park.

He awoke the next morning about a mile from his car. The ground for yards around him looked like it had been rototilled by a dozen drunken gardeners. Trees as thick as a 16 inched were toppled over and not far away he found a park rangers hat. Under it, he found the rangers head. He couldn’t find the rest of the ranger.

Since that day, Fred has worked as a traveling insurance investigator. He found out that he only turns into a wereboar for three days out of the month, during the full moon, so on those days, he goes way out into the wilderness where he usually can’t hurt anyone.

Fred had tried to kill himself 37 times, starting with silver bullets, but nothing he has tried kills him. He’s saving up his money for a couple of diamond bullets which he will have blessed by holy men of all the major religions.

The Doclopedia #65

Pigs Is Pigs: Iron Ham

 

Name: Porky Stark
Species: Pig
Beliefs: I must fight evil using my power armor. I must lay off the booze. I must try to get Pepper in the sack.

Porky Stark was a gazillionaire playboy and inventor when one day, some Evil Terrorists blew up his lab. Porky lived, but had a piece of shrapnel lodged in his butt. It was impossible to remove, so Porky said “Screw this! I’m gonna build some power armor and kick the ass of every Bad Guy I see”.

And so he did and does.

A Box Full Of Eyeballs And A Bottle Of Pineapple Juice

…not real eyeballs, but still, ewwww!

The headache that stopped me from posting yesterday is still here, so only one post today. I’m hoping to do two tomorrow.

The Doclopedia #68

Pigs Is Pigs: Pigmaylion

 

When he was a much younger man (well, he was 68, but he’s a hell of a lot older now) and freshly famous for his near single handed defeat of the Skudoran Hordes in the War of the Four Crystals, the Wizard Dyb VanElp made a very foolish wager.

Fueled by foolish pride, newfound celebrity and liberal consumption of wine, Dyb announced to the King, Queen, assembled Court and especially Wix VanOte, the High Wizard, that he could cast the Resounding Bell of Plenty spell in under 6 months time. Since that had never been done before (it usually took at least 8 months) and since Dyb was being very seriously considered to replace Wix, the older wizard offered a wager: if Dyb could indeed cast the spell in 6 months, Wix would give up his position and his estate to Dyb. If, however, Dyb should fail, then he would accept banishment to the Isle of the Great Statue for a period of 300 years. Wix figured that by then, he’d be dead and Dyb could return to annoy the next High Wizard.

To reduce a long tale to the basics, Dyb failed to cast the spell in the allotted time and was taken the 1,000 miles out to sea to the island. There, after being properly ensorcelled with the spell that would keep him there, he began exploring. He found a modest home, livestock and gardens. The rest of the 5 mile long island was hilly woodlands and meadows. Over it all towered the 500 foot tall statue of some ancient humanoid from which the island got its name.

For the first few years, Dyb spent much of his time tending his gardens & animals, exploring the island and continuing his magical studies. This took his mind off his isolation, but eventually he did yearn for the company of a woman. He was far too distant to teleport one and he figured he was about 1,000 years of sexual deprivation away from making a deal with a demon for one, so he decided he’d have to make one.

He had, years earlier, given most of the animals he was not going to eat (horses, goats, pigs, ducks) the power of speech and human level intelligence. He had noticed that pigs were by far the most human like, so he selected a young sow and began his enchantment.

It took 4 sleepless days and nights of spellcasting and a half dozen potions before he was successful, but there before him finally stood a beautiful young woman, whom he named Pigmaylion.

She stood 5’6” tall and had long black hair. Her eyes were very dark green and she was quite shapely. Her skin was a bit pinker than an ordinary human might have, but it enhanced, rather than detracted, from her beauty. She had a melodious voice and loved to sing and dance. She also enjoyed coking and eating, but did not partake of alcohol.

She was a very fast learner and within a week was the mental equal of any educated woman Dyb had ever met. She was an equally fast learner when it came to the boudoir, much to their mutual pleasure. Eventually, she told Dyb that she would like to study magic, something he was more than glad to hear. She learned the Art as fast as she learned everything else and showed a natural talent for potions and enchantment.

Things went wonderfully for that first year, but on the anniversary of her transformation, Pigmaylion became a pig again. The change, which Dyb had no explanation for, lasted three days, at which point she became human again. This happens every year and the couple has learned to live with it. She was, of course, still able to speak, so she and Dyb could at least have their usual spirited discussions.

After some years, they had children, two boys and two girls. When they grew of age, Dyb created a boat to take them to the mainland for a proper education and the chance to live among human society.

A bit over 200 years later, Dyb was released from his obligation and he and his wife left the island. Wishing to avoid any notoriety, they settled in the small kingdom of East Pidwin, where they lived another 200 years before finally dying on the same day of old age.

The One About The Seven Hour Bike Ride With The Asian Lady

…it wasn’t like you think…well, not entirely

A short request: POST COMMENTS!!!

The Doclopedia #67

Pigs Is Pigs: Ginger, Maxie & Zonk

 

In the year 2185, the colony starship “Spirit of Earth” left on a trip to another solar system that is 235 light years away from Earth. Seeing as how the ship could only reach 20% of light speed, it’s going to be a long trip. Fortunately, the 50 mile long, 10 mile wide cylinder was built to allow the 10,000 colonists and their descendants to live inside a very Earth-like world. There are many different terrains and climate zones and a wide variety of flora & fauna.

Keeping this all functioning properly is the job of the human scientists, the several AIs built into the ship and the 35,000 autonomous robots that do much of the real dirty work. Three of these are robot pigs named Ginger, Maxie and Zonk.

Ginger is the smallest of the three and usually acts as the eyes and ears of one of the maintenance AIs. She is also the fastest and the best climber. When needed, she can operate under water.

Maxie is the middle pig in size and can extend robotic arms that can use a wide variety of tools. His eyes can fire welding lasers. He is the robot most likely to be assigned to interact with ordinary humans.

Zonk is twice as big as Maxie & Ginger put together. His specialty is moving heavy things, collecting samples and digging. He looks a lot like an African Warthog.

On their off time, the three robotic pigs enjoy acting just like real pigs, downloading entertainment feeds (robot version) and discussing why humans act the way they do.

The Care And Feeding Of The Portuguese Love Python

…I’m bad…so bad

The Doclopedia #65

Pigs Is Pigs: Brenda, The World’s Smartest Pig

 

In 1997, on the Earth just next to ours, geneticists at the University of California at Davis injected a sow and a boar with human genetic material in the hope that it would raise their intelligence to near human levels. The results were disappointing, but not entirely bad, so the bred the two together and then injected their offspring. Of the 6 piglets born, all were somewhat smarter than the parents except for the runt, a little sow named Brenda. She was way smarter than her siblings. In fact, she was way smarter that the humans around her, one of whom was a Nobel prize winning biologist.

The more they tested Brenda, the more amazed they were with her capacity to learn and use her knowledge. Inside of a year, they were communicating with Brenda using software based upon the type used by Stephen Hawking, but vastly improved by Brenda’s suggestions. Six months later, Brenda was equipped with two mentally controlled robotic arms of her own design. By now, the former runt weighed in at 300 pounds and was 6 feet long from snout to tail.

At any given time, Brenda would have 5 or 6 projects in the works, in fields as diverse as biology, computer engineering, psychology and chemistry. She became an international celebrity and appeared on all the talk shows as well as hosting her own highly rated program on the Science Channel. Naturally, she was an ardent supporter of animal rights, although being a natural omnivore, she was not against eating meat (which rather pissed PETA off, but nobody really cared), with pork being the exception, of course.

Despite the government putting a ban on raising animal intelligence, Brenda and her human colleagues did it on the sly and with a good deal more success than the initial scientists had. They raised the intellect of hundreds of mammalian and avian species, then quietly released them into the wild with the goal of protecting the environment. This worked out very well indeed, but is another story.

At the ripe old age of 45, Brenda retired and spent her remaining days writing. Oddly, she specialized in complex murder mysteries, most of which were made into VRE (Virtual Reality Experiences).

Upon her death at age 60, Brenda was responsible for a restored environment, about 2,000 technological advances, all of the bases & settlements off Earth, cures for cancer and many other diseases and, of course, the vast reduction of the human populace and the establishment of the Worldwide Trans Species Government.

 

 

The Doclopedia #66

Pigs Is Pigs: Porkchop, A Boy’s Best Friend

 

On Earth 7A, a plague killed off all of the domesticated dogs in the world in the year 1620. Needing something to replace dogs in their lives, people tried breeding foxes and wolves and other Canids, but unfortunately, whatever causes them to rapidly evolve into protodogs also made them susceptible to the virus that was still in the evironment.

And then somebody gave pigs a try.

As we know, even the dumbest pigs are a good deal smarter than the smartest dogs and the smartest pigs are as intelligent as the average chimpanzee. This means that it did not take the porkers long to realize that if they helped humans out, life could become pretty sweet. Thus was born the pet pig. In under a century, they were fulfilling pretty much all of the roles dogs once had.

Now we flash forward to 1959 and the premiere of a television show based on the books and movies about Porkchop, “A Boy’s Best Friend”. The series starred Ronnie Howard as Tommy Dayton, Andy Griffith as his father Roy, June Lockhart as his mother Betty and a young sow named Wendy as Porkchop, the beloved family pet and constant companion of Tommy. Each week, Tommy and Porkchop would get into funny and/or mildly dangerous situations from which the pig would extract them. On some shows, Porkchop would come to the aid of Roy, Betty or any number of neighbors (most often Reverend Parker, played by Don Knotts).

“Porkchop, A Boy’s Best Friend” ran for 12 years and won 15 Emmy awards, including 3 for Wendy herself. The series finale, which saw Tommy heading off to college with Porkchop tagging along, was the highest rated television series of all time and held that position until the famous Doctor Who/Star Trek: The Next Generation crossover episode in 1997.

Wendy passed away at the Motion Picture & Television Home For Acting Animals in 1979, at the age of 22. Her direct descendant, Abigail, starred in the 1999-2008 revival of “Porkchop, A Boy’s Best Friend”. Wendy has a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame and her hoof & snoutprints are preserved in cement at Mann’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Ron Howard, who went on to become an Academy Award winning director, named his eldest daughter Wendy in her honor.

Sparkplugs In Your Pocket

…no, I don’t know why

I’m going to be making a few changes to how I do the 365 posts. Starting in a week or so, I will do some posts that span two weeks and cover a single setting. So, I might do a steampunk setting wherein I describe 5 people, 3 places, 2 events and 4 things. I suspect that most of these sort of posts will be a bit shorter than the ones I normally do, but given my well known verbosity, that is not a certainty.

As far as subject matter for the regular weekly 365 posts go, I have more than a years worth, but I’m always open for more, so suggest away. Just be aware that I may interpret your suggestion differently than you imagined.

On the PDF front, I’ve decided that it will have 77 entries and a “directors commentary” on every page. But no illustrations. Price still uncertain.

Beers For Fears

…or did I get that wrong?

 

The Doclopedia #64

Pigs Is Pigs: Atomic Hog

 

In the early 1950’s, fallout from nuclear testing fell on the hog farm of Mr. Dudley Calhoun of Winslow, Arizona. A few months later, among a standard looking litter of 8 piglets, there was one that grew much faster than the rest. In just a few weeks, it was nearly as big as the mother sow. Farmer Calhoun, thinking that he had a prize winning hog on his hands, started feeding the young porker all it could eat.

The problem was, it wanted to eat him. And one day, when the hog was about the size of an Angus bull, it did just that.

In fact, the hog not only ate the farmer, but his wife, 5 children, mother in law, brother, hired hand and all the other livestock on the farm. This vast influx of protein acted as a catalyst and caused the hog to grow to the size of a large elephant. It also gave the giant pig atomic fire breath and super tough hide.

In no time, the atomic hog was destroying farms, ranches and out of the way gas stations and stores. Local police called in the FBI, who in turn called in the military. The hog was cornered several times, but wiped out it’s attackers while taking very little damage. By the time the military withdrew, the hog was twice the size of an elephant…and growing.

Eventually, scientists were able to get the atomic hog to eat truckload of sweet potatoes that had been heavily dosed with radiation. The chain reaction that followed reduced the hog to a large pile of ashes. Once more, the world had been saved!

The Box Full Of Money And What Maggie Did With It

…I mean, after she called her ex husband to gloat

 

The Doclopedia #63

Strongholds: Dog Hill

 

From the notebooks of Duke Shepherd (as read by Professor Toby Basset)

A few years after the Fall of Humanity, when things were still pretty dicey for everyone, including Dogs, we left the Ranch in our thousands, then separated into smaller groups of 400 each. Dr. Rendell and Dr. Brogofsky had drilled us on the plan until we had it thoroughly memorized, so my group knew that we were headed for Oregon. Things went pretty well, all told and we only lost 6 Dogs and 5 Apes along the way.

Once we got to our assigned area, we began building The Hill. Using every resource we had…the Apes, our telekinetic “hands” and our own muscle power, we moved the heavy concrete pipes into position and connected them. Then we mixed and poured the concrete for the rooms. Finally, we covered it all with soil, leaving only three entryways.

And then we did it all over again for the next five levels.

Once The Hill was finished, we put a half dozen Apes to work planting grass and flower seeds on it while the rest of the Apes and most of the Dogs started building the perimeter wall. Now, at first the wall was just made of posts and wire, but after a few years, we got a really tight thicket of thorny vines going and anything bigger than a fox was never going to get through it. The two gates were made from strong woven wire and steel rebar. Even a rampaging bull couldn’t get through it, and I ought to know because one chased me and I barely got in ahead of him.

Guards patrolled both inside and outside the fence 24 hours a day. We had a watchtower on top of The Hill and it was constantly occupied by an Ape and at least one of the smaller breeds of Dog. We could see for nearly a mile and a half on clear days. Of course, this being west central Oregon, there are quite a lot of not so clear days.

Over time, the settlement grew and the gardens and flocks of animals provided most of the food we needed. Still, hunting patrols brought in a good amount of game, whose populations were rebounding now that the human population was a tiny fraction of what it had been and most of the human towns and cities were recycled by the nanowave.

Once things settled down, we began our assignment of rounding up the now quite primitive humans so we could watch over them. Life went on and The Hill was our home, now and forever more.

Further comment by Professor Basset

And so here we are class, four centuries later. The Hill is now five hills, plus numerous outbuildings, barns, storage areas and farms. The old hedge still stands, but now the moat and several new fences have added even more protection from the wild creatures and the odd roving band of defective humans.

Back then, a Dog could expect to live perhaps 22 years and our Hands could barely lift a half pound rock. Now, some of us are living to nearly 50 (which, I assure you, is no picnic) and our Hands can easily pick up things as heavy as 5 pounds. The Apes, always longer lived than us, are significantly smarter now. We have many conveniences that those Dogs of old would have loved to get their hands on.

So never forget your roots, young pups, and perhaps give a thanks now and again to Duke Shepherd and our founding fathers and mothers.

A Stoat, Floating On A Moat With A Goat In A Boat, Chewed On An Oat And Decided To Vote

…man, I love doing those

 

The Doclopedia #62

Strongholds: The Safety Dome

 

The Australian government had more time than any other when the dead started rising up and eating the living. Since the Zombie Rising started in the northern hemisphere (Kyrgyzstan), Australia had time to stop all air and sea travel into the country and prepare for the worst.

By the time the zombie plague hit the country, they had managed to build the largest structure in human history, the Safety Dome. A mile across and a quarter of a mile high, the dome is made of a steel frame, carbon fiber netting and thick tempered glass. Outside the wall is a ½ mile wide circle of concrete with regularly spaced gun turrets that stand 30 feet tall and are entered only by underground tunnels from the dome. The turrets have machine guns and flamethrowers. The very top of the dome has a heliport and three helicopters. Two of these are military gunships, while the third is a large transport vehicle.

No zombie has ever made it even halfway across the concrete.

Inside the dome, the 10,000 residents live both above ground in two apartment towers and underground, where pretty much everything else is. Most of the surface area is given over to growing food and food animals. Deep wells bring in plenty of water. Life is not bad in the dome, once you accept the fact that you can never leave.

See, in the rest of the world, the humans that survived hid deep underground in government survival facilities designed during the late Cold War period. They sealed themselves in and the zombies cannot sense them. But the Dome does vent air to the outside and that air has the smell of humans in it. Apparently, zombies can pick that smell up even over thousands of miles, because waves of zombies are still coming ashore (nothing eats zombies, including sharks) and heading for the Dome. True, half of those zombies fall apart before they ever get to Australia (because zombies that don’t eat regularly start to decay), but enough get to the Dome to keep the gun turrets and choppers busy every few days. Additionally, the zombie virus lingers until the last scrap of zombie flesh has rotted away.

So the domies go about life awaiting the day (about 3 to 5 years from now) when the last zombies finally die off, at which point they are going to wait 20 more years before going outside to explore. If the zombies and the virus are gone, then they’ll leave the Dome. If not, it’s back inside for another 40 or 50 years.

Chocolate Covered Love

…Mmmmmm

 

The Doclopedia #61

Strongholds: Justice Island

 

In 1964, when the federal government closed Alcatraz Federal Prison, it sold the island to the well known superhero team Defenders of Justice. Almost immediately, the team began removing all traces of the previous buildings on the island and building their new headquarters. With such powerful heroes as Miraclo, The Green Titan and Miss Magical, the construction went fast. While the buildings went up, other team members (Doctor Science, Golden Ghost) worked on building many defensive security gadgets. Other members of the team (Blonde Blur, Catgirl, The Tank) took care of furnishings and supplies.

When the team was done, a very space age looking red white & blue building was located in the very center of the 22 acre island. A landing strip ran the length of the island and security towers dotted the perimeter. Unseen by the public were the very extensive underground facilities, including a submarine pen, a missile silo, a small nuclear power plant, extensive laboratories and several holding cells.

Within days, the first villains (The Mutator and Fantasmia) attacked, but were quickly defeated. This set a pattern that lasted for until the present. About 4-5 times a year, villains, alone or in groups, would attack the island and the Defenders of Justice would kick their asses. The closest any of them ever got to actually destroying the facility was when The Atomic Assassin and the Chaos Cult actually managed to blow up about half of the headquarters building before getting turned to stone by the recently installed Medusa Gas dispensers.

Despite (or perhaps because of) the regular battles, the island is a very beloved site to Bay Area residents and tourists from all over the world. It is also one of the top ten most photographed places on earth, especially during a battle.

Mrs Wangdoodle Wears A Red Dress Into Town

…and the locals were scandalized

 

The Doclopedia #60

Strongholds: Murkhold

 

When the King Of All Orcs decided that the Orc Nation needed an impregnable fortress, he set his people to work building it in the middle of the Murkwaste Swamp. It took 22 years, the lives of 2,785 orcs, a couple of dozen wagon loads of gold and the combined efforts of 33 orcish shamans, but it finally got built.

Murkhold is a medium sized castle sitting at the center of a walled island that measures a mile across. Within those walls is a fully populated town surrounding the castle. The tops of the are constantly patrolled by orc warriors, but it’s really just a formality, because the swamp is the real deterrent to attack. Any enemy would have to pass through a dozen miles of disease ridden, creature infested, booby trapped and magically protected muck & mire. Additionally, the skies above are constantly alive with everything from piranha birds to deathbats to Bluzortivax, the resident adult red dragon.

Even if some aggressor made to to Murkhold, he would find the 8 foot thick stone walls magically hardened, the orcish archers dead shots and the ballistas mounted every 30 feet throwing deadly sharp masses of rock. Inside the walls, there would be several thousand pissed off and heavily armed orcs, plus a fair number of troll mercenaries. Inside the castle proper are the elite Royal Guard, a dozen Combat Shamans, trained scorpion wolves and a spell that slowly saps the strength of any non-orc who enters it.

Upon finding out the hard way how well defended the orcs are, the Five Kingdoms did the only thing they could do: They cleared the land for a mile around the swamp and put out large patrols that have orders to kill any humanoid that emerges from the swamp. The orcs still manage to get in and out, but only in very small groups moving very fast. The King Of All Orcs has plans to someday mount a large attack, but at the present time, most of his subjects are ok with just staying put.

Bob, The Incredible Macaroni Man

…he could shoot cheese sauce from his fingers

 

The Doclopedia #59

Strongholds: Hard Luck Station

 

Located on the jungle planet Ks’rrk, Hard Luck Station is where they send the toughest and most expendable Space Marines. It’s cramped, poorly supplied and the next nearest Terran Alliance outpost is 68 light years away. It’s also the most vital listening post in the entire Alliance because it’s not in the Alliance, but 48 light years inside the Reskid Empire.

The Planet: As stated above, Ks’rrk is a jungle planet. Only very near the small polar caps will you find a thin band of temperate woodland…and the Reskids have mining camps there. The rest of the planet is either ocean or land covered in lush and incredibly deadly jungle. The Reskids hate the place, having evolved on a planet of mostly deserts and plains. The atmosphere is quite Earthlike, but very humid. The average daytime temperature in summer is 100 degrees with 95% humidity. In the rainy season, it can rain nonstop for 3 months at a time. In winter, the temperature drops to around 90 with humidity around 80%.

The Base: Hard Luck Station is a highly modified experimental Phase Ship. It is located inside a cave in the equatorial mountain range of the western continent. The Phase Generator was disassembled immediately after landing to provide more living space and allow for reconfiguration (once combined with the also dismantled Jump Drive) as a highly unstable Wormhole Generator. A wormhole with a lifespan of around 2 hours is generated about once every 7 months. Wormholes are the only way anything gets in or out. Passage through the wormhole is done using preprogrammed cargo pods.

The station has a crew of 32, all of whom are Space Marines. Half of them are tech class and the rest are armored infantry. Since the listening that the post does is via microstations that resemble asteroids and wander all through Reskid space, the grunts have to go out every once in awhile and adjust the receiving discs. Since the word Ks’rrk is Reskid for “certain death”, it is unsurprising that a Marine is lost every couple of ventures out. Sometimes, many more are lost, especially if the Hell Apes are migrating. Since only unmarried orphans are accepted for duty on Hard Luck Station, nobody back home asks any questions.

The Donut Hole At The Center Of The Universe

…it’s honey crunch coated!

 

The Doclopedia #58

Strongholds: The Castle Of Uul Zadir

 

It is written that when the bandit sheik Uul Zadir ek Zadaffa decided that he finally wanted to settle down, he found that his legions of enemies (including the Caliph, whose 5 daughters had all been relieved of their virginity by Uul Zadir) were not inclined to let him live in peace. He found this most annoying.

So it was that he sent out word among the common folk, the slaves, all of the people who loved him, that he required a worker of magic to assist him in settling down. Soon, the gifted one known as Hoon Joziss came to him. Hoon, it seems, had access to a very powerful qubodi, one of the Other People that live just beyond our sight. Hoon explained that he could persuade the qubodi to create an impregnable castle and grounds, well hidden from enemy eyes, if Uul Zadir would just perform one small task: Go up into the Skyhold Mountains and find one of the very rare white snow apes that lived there. Once found, he had but to persuade the ape to urinate unto a golden flask that Hoon would provide, then return said flask to Hoon, who would then give the qubodi the go ahead to build the castle.

And so, Uul Zadir went into the far off mountains with 30 men and returned 6 months later with 15 men and a golden flask full of snow ape urine. True to his word, as all honorable (but not necessarily honest) men are, Hoon set the qubodi to task and in 3 days, Uul Zadir stood looking at a castle that dwarfed anything any Caliph had ever dreamed of. It was, to be honest, a middling sized walled city. In a circle around the castle and extending out for at least 3 miles, there were green fields and light woods, with homes for farmers and clear running streams that started at the edge of the fields and ran into 4 small lakes at the compass points. Uul Zadir was pleased indeed. A single road extended from the castle gate to the outer edge of the green.

And then, my friends, the whole thing faded away and reappeared in the middle of the desert known as the Black Oven of the Gods. At first, Uul Zadir was furious at having his lovely castle placed in the center of the most inhospitable place known to man, but then Hoon asked him exactly which of his enemies he expected to see come here for him first.

This gave the bandit sheik pause, since in truth he could not imagine anyone being foolish or brave enough to venture into this hellish place. He allowed as how Hoon had made his point.

Then Hoon asked if he was perhaps overly heated and would like some cool water.

Uul Zadir laughed then, because he noticed that here, on the lands around the castle, it was merely a warm spring day. Looking out into the desert, he noticed that the air was blurred by the heat coming off the black sand.

But how, he asked Hoon, would anybody get here to help populate his castle and lands?

Hoon said that they should walk a bit down the road, and so they did. At the edge of the green lands stood two large pillars, each topped by a statue of Uul Zadir. As they passed between them, they found themselves not stepping out onto the black desert, but onto a small side path that lead to the main trade road from Koshim to Decastor. Looking back, Uul Zadir saw only a wagon wide path that lead between two large white stones.

No enemy of Uul Zadir would ever be allowed to pass through the gateway, Hoon explained, but the people who loved the bandit sheik would find quick passage to a better life.

Again, Uul Zadir laughed, long and loudly. He told Hoon that he could, if he wished, dwell in luxury in the castle for all of his days, wanting for nothing. He also said that any qubodi that wished to visit him would be welcomed as a visiting sheik and treated accordingly.

Over the next several weeks, many thousands of people made their way to Uul Zadir’s castle. Many of his enemies, hearing of it’s location, rode to the edge of the Black Oven of the Gods, but none seemed to want to venture in.

Meanwhile, Uul Zadir had decided that he needed some wives and, as it happened, he knew just where to find five sisters who would be more than wiling to live in his castle.

But that, of course, is another story.

Sunflower Soup

…I’m pretty sure it’s not real

Hey, let’s take a break from 365 posts and read some STUFF!

1: Happy Birthday to Robin D. Laws!

2: My dogs are clean, sweet smelling and huggable after baths last night. They will stay this way for about 3-4 days, then will get less sweet smelling and huggable, although we will still hug them.

3: Aside from the aches & pains that come with our ages, the four of us are in pretty good health.

4: We are eating large amounts of tomatoes from the garden, thanks to late season temps in the 80s & 90s. Of course, this has stopped my fall veggies from growing until it cools down, but hey ORGANIC HEIRLOOM TOMATOES!

5: If I can, via some sort of miracle, come up with the $$, I’ll be going to GenCon next summer. I will need at least 1 room mate and I’m hoping airfare drops or I’ll need to drive with at least one other person.

6: I’m reading “Pirate Latitudes”, the last novel by Michael Crichton. So far, it’s pretty darned good.

7: It has been nearly a year since my gaming group has been able to get together, so I have nothing to report on that front.

8: California state employees are finally going to get off the nearly 2 year long furlough Fridays that our dipshit governor forced on them. They will not get any of the pay back that they lost. I hope that asshole Schwarzenegger gets hit by a truck.

9: Once the weather cools off a bit, I’ll begin digging up plants I want to keep and killing off the rest as a prelude to The Great Garden Redesign of 2011. I intend to photo document this gardening madness on Facebook.

10: Remember my reference up above to needing $$ for GenCon? Well, as part of the plan to raise those $$, I’ll be making up a PDF of expanded and all new 365 People, Places & Things entries. I’m thinking about 42 entries, plus other fun stuff. More info on this around January.

And now I must do huosehusbandry and Dog daddery before heading off to work.

I’ll Have A Vodka Martini Shaken, Stirred And Slapped Around A Bit

…take that, James Bond!

It’s Strongholds week!

 

The Doclopedia #57

Strongholds: The Ultimate Safe House

 

The actual name of this place is Field House, since it resides in a 10 acre field not far outside a major city. The people who live nearby know it as “the old Higgins place”, since it was first built by a farmer named Higgins back in 1904. As far as the neighbors know, it now belongs to a nice couple named Jones who work in the city and mostly keep to themselves.

The house itself is fully armored, including bulletproof glass and baffles in all the vents and the chimney that will actually toss grenades and such back outside. There are 60 cameras on the exterior of the house that are manned 24/7 by a team of 6 agents. Another 4 agents man the various weaponry built into the exterior of the house. These weapons include machine guns, gas vents, lasers, smoke dispensers and guns that fire taser darts.

The grounds have another 40 cameras and an array of weaponry. There are also thorned vines that contain natural toxins, remote controlled pit traps, tubes from which angry hornets can be released and a few of the trees are actually robotic in nature and can grab a person and then shock him unconscious.

Needless to say, the perimeter fence can be electrified.

In the highly unlikely event of a siege, there is a tunnel that comes out 2 miles away in the barn of a rundown old farm. An armored and tricked out 1970 Corvette or 1964 Mustang are available for quick exits.

Inside the house are comfy bedrooms, a great kitchen and pantry, closets full of clothes and disguises, three bathrooms, a large living room, a library, an armory, a complete secure communications center and a fully stocked bar. The three level garage contains a dozen varied cars & motorcycles. Another underground area houses the 24 agents who work here.

Junior Muskrat Gets All Confused

…after 2 beers down at the Dew Drop Inn

Here’s the final post for Things That Blow Up Real Good week. Next week, the theme is: Strongholds

 

The Doclopedia #56

Things That Blow Up Real Good: Jadrian Love Bombs

 

About 11 thousand years ago, the extremely violent warrior species known as the Jadrians conquered the 3 other sentient races on their planet, then conquered the other two inhabited planets in their solar system. For several centuries, they were content to expand their population and play overlord to the slave races. But once they invented warp drive capability, they sent out scout ships to a dozen more systems. Five of those ships never came back and six more reported that they had not found any planets that supported life. But ship #12…they found Earth.

While the Jadrian soldiers were out surveying the local humanoids, the support crew, made up of slave races and a few Jadrian scientists, was checking out the local flora and fauna. One species they found particularly interesting was the ape we call the bonobo. They were intrigued by the fact that these apes resolve most conflicts not by aggression, but by sexual contact. This really got the scientists thinking.

You see, nearly the whole scientist caste of Jadria were actually descended of Jadrians and the very closely related, yet smarter and more pacifist, Widrians. The initial cross breeding was thought to have just produced smarter (but smaller and weaker) Jadrians, but there was more to it than that. The scientists were not nearly so warlike as pureblood Jadrians , although they hid that fact from the warrior caste.

Anyway, these scientists started thinking about a culture based upon love and sex. They thought it was merely an interesting idea, a mental game to play. And so it was until just a few weeks before the survey ship was supposed to leave. It was then that one of the Sedibri (a warm blooded reptilian slave race) found that if you ate a certain type of local fungus, you would have mind expanding hallucinations. Being interested in this, one of the scientists tried some. But what only made the Sedibri have a nice hallucinogenic trip caused the scientists to experience a temporary, but enormous increase in his mental power.

Suddenly, and for about three hours, he was able to find the answers to all sorts of scientific problems. He wrote down a plan for a much more efficient warp drive, solved several problems in the field of physics and started building a teleporting device. Not to be left out, all of the other scientists partook of the mindblowing fungus. They advanced most of Jadrian science by at least 50 years before the effects wore off, but their biggest idea was the one they had been tossing around for weeks: How to create a society of love, peace and sex. The answer: Love Bombs.

The Jadrian Love Bomb is a mix of quantum physics, chemistry, genetic manipulation and psionic activity. When a Love Bomb bomb goes off, every sentient creature for 50 miles in every direction undergoes a change. That change is pretty much from what ever they were before to a peace loving horndog. Bomb goes off, everybody starts fucking. Wonderfully simple, really.

After testing the first bomb on the ships crew after the ship was on robo-pilot for home, the scientists (who also had stashed away about 150 pounds of the “smart fungus”) built 20 more bombs. When the ship landed back on Jadria Prime, they set them off, thus gaining control of the Imperial City and much of the land around it. Then, after initiating many other scientists to the smart fungus, they build thousands more bombs. In a few weeks, Jadria was one big horny love fest and was sending ships full of bombs to the rest of their home system.

Now, thousands of years later, the Jadrians have converted 22 other systems to their way of thinking. A fair chunk of space is chock full of what at least one species calls “Space Hippies”. At rate they are expanding, the Jadrians will get back to Earth around 2023, so you might want to stock up on condoms and lube.

The Book Of Marvelous Adventures For Daring And/Or Foolish Young People

…which would cover most of them.

 

The Doclopedia #55

Things That Blow Up Real Good: Geeberite Boom Discs

 

Until the Solar Alliance scoutship James T. Kirk landed on the planet Geeber 2, the native sentient race had fought their wars with fairly conventional early gunpowder era weapons. But after the Kirk left, they found something a couple of crew members had lost: a frisbee.

At first, the Geebers just had fun throwing it around, but the warlike race soon started thinking that the flying disc might have other applications. They carved a few dozen out of light wood and began to experiment with them. At first, they tried attaching blades, but that threw off the balance. Then they tried lighting them on fire, but throwing a flaming disc is hard anyway, but even harder when your body is covered in long silky hair.

Finally, the noted war scientist OoomOmmOmoo found a way to attach a disc of boom powder to the frisbee and make sure it would explode 20 seconds after having the fuse lit. Additionally, he invented a throwing device that could propel the disc much farther than anyone could by muscle power alone. When they exploded, the blast would send out burning pieces of wood that could easily ignite hair or boom powder.

In short order, the “Boom Discs” were tested during a raid upon the GaaDooBaLa clan. They caused much death and destruction and were declared a success. Later, the discs were made slightly larger and fitted to blast out iron shrapnel or chunks of white hot EeeEee rock, making them much more deadly.

Of course, other clans got the secret and soon the air above any battle was filled with flying discs of death. Eventually, after 50 years or so, some brainy Geeber figured out how to make rifles and pistols that fired razor sharp mini discs. Alliance observers have bets going as to when they’ll figure out how to make a disc delivery system for an atomic device.

Bionic Tongues

…you can have one for 2.25 million dollars

The Doclopedia #54

Things That Blow Up Real Good: Ixote Fruits

 

On the planet Velshan 4, in the area known as the Great Savoon Valley, you will find Ixote trees growing in vast numbers. The trees have a fairly columnar shape and grow to an average height of 100 feet tall. The side branches are seldom more than 6 feet long and are covered with small glossy green leaves. The trunk is a bronze color with thin smooth bark.

The tree grows quickly, attaining full height in about 30 years. After that, the tree spends another five years building up sugar reserves in tennis ball sized nodules on the roots. Once it has enough reserves built up, the tree blooms. The flowers come 1 or 2 to a branch and are tubular in shape. They range in color from very pale yellow on the lower branches to increasingly bright shades of yellow, orange and red as they go up the tree. The effect is quite beautiful and, coupled with the wonderful coconut/apple scent of the flowers, makes the tree a must see for visitors to Velshan.

Once the flowers have been pollinated by either Giant Red Bees or Sweemee Birds, fruits begin to develop. The fruits grow larger than a basketball and are prized for the thick pulpy flesh that lies just beneath the rock hard and thorny shell. Harvesting of the fruit is only done safely for about a 4 day period, just before the shell turns from grey to black. After that, the pulp inside begins to undergo a chemical change and produces gases that build up enormous pressure within the shell. After about a week, the fruit falls from the tree and upon hitting the ground, explodes with a loud boom and a shower of thorny shell fragments, the small amount or remaining pulp and small round seeds. Anything within 60 feet of the fruit is in danger of being hit by this shrapnel.

After the first fruit explodes, the shockwave causes more fruits to drop, which in turn cause even more to drop. An Ixote tree will usually drop all of it’s fruit in less than 10 minutes. It sounds like a raging cannon battle is being fought.

Once an Ixote tree has fruited, it will keep on fruiting every year for about a dozen years, then stop fruiting, drop all of it’s leaves and die off in less than a year.

The Rare & Beautiful Pole Dancing Lemurs Of Potawango Island

…the male lemurs love to watch them

The Doclopedia #53

Things That Blow Up Real Good: Ruduborian Heat Bombs

 

The first thing that the Sol Alliance team found out when they met the Ruduborians was that the centauroid amphibian race did not think like humans or most other races when it came to science and the laws of physics. In fact, just listening to them explain why you could, in fact, build a bicycle that could go faster than the speed of light, drove 4 Nobel prize nominated physicists insane on the spot.

The second thing the S.A. team learned was that the Ruduborians used their skewed view of the universe to actually build things that should not be possible. Case in point, Ruduborian Heat Bombs.

Using nothing but a small cylinder filled with sand, a few circuits that gave engineers nosebleeds and headaches to look at, the local equivalent of a pint of horse piss, a glass and copper shell and a clockwork timer, the Ruduborians build bombs that produce very intense heat, but no light, no concussion, no flame, no by products (even on the subatomic level)…nothing but 1,100 degrees of heat over a 100 foot radius.

Apparently, the Ruduborians used these bombs to defeat a chickenlike race that shares their planet and is now confined to a few small islands. When asked how the bombs (which are about the size of a 50 gallon trash can) could possibly work, they eagerly explained.

Three more of the team went insane hearing the explanation. Five hours later, the S.A. Team left the planet, which is now under a Class 9 quarantine.