Frog Newtons

…it’s an accquired taste

I’ve missed a couple of days doing Doclopedia entries, so here are five new ones on the theme of Locations, Locations, Locations! The Smells Like Toon Spirit theme got cut short, but the remainder of it will be added in when the whole thing goes into the website archive.

The Doclopedia #198

Locations, Locations, Locations!: The Silver Dollar Saloon

As saloons go, the Silver Dollar is pretty swanky. This swankiness is made possible by the many ways the management finds to separate miners, cowboys, farmers, drifters and other folks from their hard earned wages. Booze, gambling, sporting ladies…the Silver Dollar has them all.

The downstairs of the saloon is dominated by the 25 foot long L shaped bar and the stage where a small band often plays and dancing girls dance. The rest of the downstairs is given over to tables, including those used for faro, poker, roulette, dice and other games of chance (“chance” being used here in a more or less jesting way). There is a large back room used for storing booze and a small office where the saloon owner counts his money.

Upstairs, it’s all about cribs for the working girls. There are 16 rooms, most of them fairly small, and a door leading to the back stairs, in case a quick egress is needed. The ladies are generally prettier than average and charge reasonable rates.

Unknown to most people, there is a trapdoor in the storeroom. It leads down to a tunnel that extends to a stable 150 feet away. This tunnel can be used for smuggling goods in or people out. The saloon owner is a silent partner in the stable.

Restroom facilities consist of a pretty fancy multi-user outhouse behind the saloon.

 

The Doclopedia #199

Locations, Locations, Locations!: Red Beach Island

This is a smallish island, 7 miles long by about 3.5 miles wide. As the name implies, the beaches are composed of a rusty red sand. This sand comes from the iron rich rocks that are found all over the island.

The tallest point on the island is The Dome, a mile wide hump that rises 550 feet at it’s center. The Dome is, like much of the rest of the island, covered in grasses, ferns and miniature redwood trees that seldom reach more than 80 feet tall. There are numerous old lava tubes running partially or fully through The Dome. Many of these are home for bats.

There are several spring fed creeks on the island, one good sized lake and two large ponds. No humans live here, but wildlife is plentiful. Deer, birds of all kinds, foxes, giant tortoises, land squids, several types of rodent and quite a few reptiles & amphibians are to be found throughout the island. Most have little or no fear of humans. The most dangerous creatures on the island are jaguars, but they are very secretive and hard to find.

The western side of the island has a small natural harbor and several groves of fruit trees. On the whole, this island would make a great re-supply stop or even a hideout for those adventurers that need such a place.

 

The Doclopedia #200

Locations, Locations, Locations!: Ed’s House

Ok, so Ed is the one guy that adventurers always need to go see. Maybe he’s an occult expert or a biplane pilot or a warp drive repairman or something else. Regardless of his skills, sooner or later they will have to go see him.

Ed’s house is a modest 2 bedroom place in a pretty nice working class neighborhood. Since Ed is a bachelor, it’s probably not a prime example of good housekeeping, but it’s not a pigsty either. Besides the two bedrooms (one of which has been converted into a storage room for…stuff) there is a kitchen, a dining room, a bathroom, a living room, a basement and an attic. The tools/books/equipment of Ed’s profession are all over the house.

Since Ed is used to dealing with adventurers, you can bet that there is also a closet full of weaponry somewhere in the house.

 

The Doclopedia #201

Locations, Locations, Locations!: The Restroom On The Edge Of Forever

Technically, it’s restrooms, since it affects both a ladies and a gents, but still the name is kept singular.

As you’ve no doubt guessed, those in the know can enter these restrooms and, by saying or doing the right thing, open a portal in time and space (well, space being that of the surface of Earth). Generally speaking, the trip into the past lasts between 2 and 7 days.

Visually speaking, the restrooms look like medium sized examples of their kind. They are always quite clean and the soap in the dispensers always smells of lemons.

 

The Doclopedia #202

Locations, Locations, Locations!: Hannigan’s Tavern

Located on a corner in a working class section of The Big City, Hannigan’s is the kind of place were the average Joe can stop in for a couple of brews after a hard day at work. The radio is usually set to a baseball game or a comedy show and there’s free pretzels or peanuts at the bar.

The layout is simple…the main room is a 30’X65′ rectangle with booths on one side, the bar on the other and tables & chairs in between. A long hallway connects the main room with (in order): men’s room, ladies room, broom closet, office, store room and “meeting room”. The meeting room is generally used for Hannigan’s weekly poker game, but sometimes it gets used to stash people in trouble. Not criminals, just folks who find themselves in danger from bad guys.

The decor of Hannigan’s runs mostly to dark woods, bar signs and medium level lighting. The place has seen better days, but it’s not a dump.

Open Mon.-Sat. 11 am to 2 am and Sunday from 1 pm to 12 am.

 

The Doclopedia #203

Locations, Locations, Locations!: The Steel Sky Fortress of Shandar Khan

Imagine a mighty fortress, measuring nearly a half a mile on a side, with a castle in the center that stands 250 feet tall. Now, make the whole thing out of enchanted steel, set it on a round disk of earth a mile across and 300 feet thick and set it to floating in the sky at an altitude of about 3 miles and then cloak it so that it’s invisible and silent. THAT is the Steel Sky Fortress of Shandar Khan.

At any given time, the fortress has roughly 3,500 beings living on it, many of them human. There are soldiers, slaves, apprentice mages and support folk. The fortress has room for horses and other riding animals, which are used by the soldiers when a raid is called for. Sewage and other wastes are processed magically back into fresh water and fuel for the furnaces.

Shandar Khan generally allows the fortress to travel randomly on the winds, but is fully capable of ordering it to go anywhere he wants. Since the merest sight of it is terrifying to most sentient creatures, he seldom needs to let loose his troops.

Most of the time, Khan is studying and plotting in his castle and leaves the day to day operations to his right hand man, Evross Xorr, a damned powerful Wizard in his own right.

 

The Doclopedia #204

Locations, Locations, Locations!: The Old Dark House

The Old Dark House is not just an old dark house, you know. Oh no, it is something much creepier and much more dangerous. It’s a haven for monsters, crazed killers, ghosts and other things that bump in the night. Or even bump in the light of day.

The Old Dark House moves around every few years. When it does, it transforms to look like the old dark house whose place it occupies. Then, it sits and waits for victims to enter it. Well, ok, it does allow the odd serial killer or werewolf or zombie out now and again, just to shake things up, but mostly it just sits and waits.

Inside, this homicidal home looks pretty much like any old abandoned house…if a cannibal cult lived there. Additionally, the ODH is strange in that it is much larger on the inside than the outside. In particular, there are lots of hallways and stairways and the basement has at least two levels, with 6 to 12 rooms in each level. Once in awhile, just for fun, the ODH will open up a Hellgate or a dimensional portal in one of it’s rooms.

As you might imagine, getting into the ODH is a hell of a lot easier than getting out. Destroying the ODH is absolutely impossible. What really gets destroyed is the original old dark house. The Old Dark House merely teleports itself to a new location.

 

The Doclopedia #205

Locations, Locations, Locations!: The Duck & Rose Pub

The Duck & Rose is located at #3 Dwarvenhammer Lane in the village of Pine Grove. The pub has room for about 60 people, although it rarely sees more than half that. There are tables and booths and the bar runs the entire length of one side of the main room. The staff is friendly and the general atmosphere is one of good times.

But the pub has a couple of secrets. The owner, Hazon Dakes, is a trafficker in rare and hard to find magical items. Since said trafficking is forbidden by decree of the Queen, he asks and gets a high price for his wares.

The other secret of the Duck & Rose is that in the back most basement storeroom, behind a rather large crate marked “Dried Fish”, is an entrance into a tunnel system. The tunnels run all over beneath the small town and connect with some natural caverns. If you follow these caverns down, they will eventually lead you to the demon world of Demara. So far, nobody has ventured down that far.

Winker Updates

From Yesterday

Our sweet Winkerdog is home from her stay at the vets office. She responded somewhat to the meds the doctor gave her, but is still a very sick dog. We are giving her diuretics for the fluid build up and another med for her blood pressure. None of that will cure her, but we are hoping to give her a decent quality of life for however long she has left.

From This Morning

Winker is still not eating, but she has taken some water this morning. Aside from a couple of trips outside to pee, she has just been sleeping.

From This Afternoon

Winker is doing much better. She has gotten up and walked around several times, including going outside to do her business twice on her own. Best of all, she has been eatingm first when I fedd her fingersful this morning and later on her own. About 45 minutes ago, Grace brought home a bunch of canned and wet dog food and Winker ate about half of a 3.5 ounce container.

She is still drinking lots of water and she seems a bit disoriented sometimes, but that’s ok. When she ate the first little bit on her own, Grace & I both cried. I’m feeling much more optimistic about things now, which is good because last night I slept for shit due to heartburn from hell caused by nerves.

From Now

She has eaten a few more times and walked around a bit more. Things seem to be improving. Me, I’m suffering the ravages of being stressed out for 3 days, but I’ll live.

Sad News

Our dog, Winker, is at the vets office right now and it looks like her problem is congestive heart failure. They are giving her meds to clear her lungs. Please spare some good thoughts for our baby.

My Life Among The Insane Children

…all of whom I am related to by blood

The Doclopedia #197

Smells Like Toon Spirit: The Headless Horse

There are two very important things that you need to know about the ghostly equine known as the Headless Horse: He’s really a very nice fellow and he does have a head.

You see, because he’s a sweet natured horse, he doesn’t want to do really scary things that frighten ordinary folks. On the other hand, he thinks that bad guys need something to fear so they will stay away from his home town area. So, one night, he made just his head invisible. It scared three burglars so bad that ran down to the police station and turned themselves in to Officer O’Lemur. Since then, the Headless Horse has become something of a ghostly crime fighter.

When he’s not putting the fear into crooks, the Headless Horse hangs around in the hills and fields outside of town. He often gives free rides to the local ghosts and he has even been known to help living horses pull heavy wagons.

When al of him is visible, the Headless Horse looks like a very healthy Appaloosa stallion.

Dragon Pie

…first, you’ll need a medium sized dragon

The Doclopedia #196

Smells Like Toon Spirit: The Spirit In The Anvil

Let’s face it, in the cartoon universe, there are lots and lots of anvils. Anvils are the number one item to drop on an unsuspecting nitwit, ranking far ahead of the number two item, pianos. No matter what size your target is, be it blue whale or paramecium, there is an anvil of just the right size.

And then there is that one regular sized anvil that is haunted by the spirit of some poor schmuck that got konked by it. That spirit can cause the anvil to do all sorts of things. For example…

It can cause the anvil to freeze in mid-air and be completely immovable until the target is far away and the anvil dropper is standing under it trying to figure out what the heck happened. At that point, it drops and konks the would be konker.

It can cause the anvil to fly through the air, chasing whoever the spirit wants to konk.

It can make the anvil too heavy to lift.

Or, it can make the anvil float into the sky while the person holding it screams in terror. At about 10,000 feet, it goes back to its normal weight. Note that the anvil always lands on the person who was holding it.

It can cause the anvil to multiply by a factor of 300, thereby causing a rain of anvils. That is never a good thing.

The Spirit of the Anvil may have other powers, but you’d have to be an idiot to go investigating that. Fortunately, the cartoon universe has no shortage of idiots.