Doc Tempest VS The Killer Cloud

…From the March, 1953 issue

The Doclopedia #510

Sort Of Cool Magical Rings: Ring of Snowballs

What good is a ring that can shoot out fist sized snowballs 30 feet, you ask? Well, they are good for putting out fires, distracting fire based monsters, cooling you off in hot climates or just as a source for meltable snow to provide you with water.

What it looks like: Crystal ring etched with snowflake designs.

The Doclopedia #511

Sort Of Cool Magical Rings: Ring of Facial Hair

If you need a quick shave or a quick disguise, this is the ring for you! At your command, it will adjust the length, color and amount of your facial hair. Go from clean shaven to a long grey beard in the blink of an eye. Don’t like grey? Make it black, brown, blond, red…whichever natural colors you do like. This ring will also work on women, although in most cases, their facial hair will be much softer than a man would have.

What it looks like: Woven from assorted colors of human hair, then lacquered until hard.

The Doclopedia #512

Sort Of Cool Magical Rings: Ring of Refreshment

This ring is simple: It can store up to a gallon of any single type of beverage, which will maintain the exact temperature it was at when poured into the ring. True, ale is the most popular beverage poured into the ring, but you can have milk, wine, brandy, fruit juice…even water.

What it looks like: Gold and silver ring with cups and glasses engraved on it and a pitcher on the front.

Not In This Issue: Corrupt Politicians, Quilting Patterns Or Cole Slaw Recipes

…sorry, quilters

The Doclopedia #508

Sort Of Cool Magical Rings: Ring of Bathroom Quickness

It never fails: there you are, in the dungeon, and you need to answer the call of nature. Not too difficult to do if you’re a guy just taking a leak…unless you’re all suited up in armor. And no matter your sex or what you’re wearing, if you have to take a dump, things get bothersome and potentially dangerous, because you just know that right in the middle of things is when that roaming monster is going to show up.

But, with a Ring of Bathroom Quickness, you can do everything from start to finish at 20 times normal speed! From unbuckling your belt to pulling up your pants can take just a few seconds of time as far as the outside world is concerned, but for you, things move at the normal speed. Get done doing your business and then get back to exploring! Please note that the ring cannot be fooled, so don’t even try to use it for speedy movement at other times.

What it looks like: Ivory ring with three tiny rubies set in a triangle.

The Doclopedia #509

Sort Of Cool Magical Rings: Ring of Food Seasoning

Typical rations for any party of adventurers generally taste like crap. Even if you’re out doors and can catch some fish or hunt some game, there usually isn’t much in the way of seasoning. Fortunately, this ring will season everything you eat so as to make it taste great. Big chunk of jerky and some hard as hell biscuit for dinner in the dungeon? The Ring of Food Seasoning will have that jerky tasting spicy and that biscuit sweat and buttery. Of course, the texture doesn’t change, but it will taste so good, you won’t care!

What it looks like: Silver ring, engraved with runes and images of food.

No Devils Here!

…despite the rumors you’ve heard.

Today, we start a new theme on the Doclopedia: Sort Of Cool Magical Rings. You know, rings that do fairly useful stuff, but aren’t in the same class as the One Ring or a Ring of Fireballs.

The Doclopedia #506

Sort Of Cool Magical Rings: Ring of Clean Feet

This wonderful ring will ensure that no matter have far you walk, no matter what you walk through and no matter what sort of footwear you wear, your feet will always be dry, clean and nice smelling. Believe us, at the end of a day looting a dungeon or tramping around a big city or walking into the home country of some Dark Lord, you’ll appreciate having nice clean feet. For that matter, your traveling companions will appreciate it even more.

What it looks like: Gold & onyx ring with a foot symbol engraved on it.

The Doclopedia #507

Sort Of Cool Magical Rings: Ring of Simple Juggling

Even if you have no talent as a juggler, this ring will allows you to juggle three ordinary objects perfectly. Please note that swords, hand grenades, cats and watermelons are not “ordinary objects”. Also, juggling perfectly means no fancy tricks and no partners.

What it looks like: Braided copper wire with an opal set in it.

Communist Squirrels Scandalized My Basset Hound

…and she is not easily scandalized

The Doclopedia #503

The Potawango Island Bestiary, Part One: Flower Headed Land Jellyfish

From the notebook of Dr. Thaddeus Silkmelon:

This island is full to overflowing with rare and beautiful creatures, but today we were privileged to view one of the rarest and most beautiful. The Flower Headed Land Jellyfish is rarely seen even by the natives, since it usually stays in the forests of the interior. Measuring from 3 to 6 feet across and 6 to 10 inches thick, this creature floats along a few dozen feet above the ground with its long string like tentacles hanging below it. The “head” does indeed look like a huge flower made up of translucent petals with an opalescent sheen. In general, it eats flying insects, but will also devour any small bird or bat that is unlucky enough to get caught in those tentacles. It is said that the creatures poison will paralyze a small bird in seconds.

At first, the one we saw was merely floating with the breeze, but as the wind picked up, it altered it’s course by using the petals as sails until it was running across the wind and then into the forest. My, what a wonderful creature!

The Doclopedia #504

The Potawango Island Bestiary, Part One: Variegated Marching Roses

From the notebook of Dr. Thaddeus Silkmelon:

Potawango Island is a place where the line between plant and animal is often blurred and this morning, we observed a sterling example of that. It was just after breakfast and I was taking a post meal stroll with Abner, Miss Abigail, Pagoona and Percy. We had just crested a small rise when we saw the most beautiful group of rosebushes lit up by the morning sun. They were of the variegated type of rose, in this case bright yellow flowers were streaked with crimson. Abner had just begun to explain that these were a floribunda variety when the lot of them began to move. As you might expect, this stopped all conversation.

Below us, 36 rosebushes slowly marched by in 6 rows of 6. The movement was in perfect cadence and they seemed to be heading towards a small pond in the distance. I asked Pagoona about them and he said that he had only heard of them in legend. As the story goes, groups of these roses will march to good soil or a water source, then stay there for a day or two. After that, they are on the march again. Sometimes, or so the legend goes, great numbers of them will gather together and march past one another for days. Nobody is sure why this happens.

And to think that our day has barely begun!

The Doclopedia #505

The Potawango Island Bestiary, Part One: Butterfly Winged Skunk

From the notebook of Dr. Thaddeus Silkmelon:

Our activities for the day have been brought to an abrupt and odoriferous halt. As I write this, most of our party are nude and covered in a paste made of various plant extracts that Pagoona has kindly provided. Our clothing is being burned.

We encountered a skunk.

But not just any skunk, oh no, for this one can fly about using large butterfly type wings.

We were just returning to our base camp from an afternoon of collecting insect specimens, when we noticed what we at first took to be a huge butterfly near the kitchen area used by Mrs. Hardapple. The wings were huge, easily 4 feet from top to bottom and half that in width. The coloring was not unlike that of a Tiger Swallowtail, vivid yellow with black veining. I was beside myself with joy and had the others start circling around it with the mist net we had brought for collecting bird specimens.

We were just about to throw the net when, fortunately for our food stores, the “butterfly” moved quickly to a small bush some 20 feet away. It was not until we were all rushing it that I noticed that the body of the creature was that of a skunk, not any species of butterfly. Alas, it was too late, we were upon the poor beast and it did what all skunks do when threatened.

I do not know in which direction it fled, because I was too busy choking and gagging. I do know that Colonel Orpington possesses an unparalleled knowledge of curse words and Miss Abigail is not far behind on that count. Fortunately for us, Mrs. Hardapple, Pagoona, most of the natives, Percy and Fanny were spared the skunking. As for the rest of us, I can only hope that our foul perfumage does not frighten off the animals we came here to see.

Baking Bread On Mars

…it really rises well there.

The Doclopedia #502

The Potawango Island Bestiary, Part One: Vampire Ducks

From the notebook of Dr. Thaddeus Silkmelon:

There exists on this incredible island a creature that is strange even by the standards we find here. When I first heard of it, I scoffed at the idea. Too ridiculous, I said to our native guides. Surely it must be a creature created solely to frighten naughty children. But I was quite wrong in my assumptions.

Vampire Ducks do indeed exist.

Late last night Pagoona, our head guide, took me too a clearing in the Great Woods where a heard of Cerulean Wombats had bed down for the night. Within minutes of our arrival, we saw about a dozen black and red feathered ducks emerge from the forest. This variety of ducks was of the upright standing nature that one finds in the common Indian Runner breed. However, no Indian Runner ever had those red glowing eyes or that beak tipped with two small razor sharp fangs. I must say that I am very glad that Abner Porkwaffle was not with us, as I am very sure this would have caused him to have a bad attack of nerves.

We watched in fascination as each duck slowly crept up to a sleeping wombat (which, I might note, outweighs even the largest Vampire Duck by 250 pounds or more) and gently nipped it on the ear or ankle. Then, the ducks lapped at the blood until their stomachs bulged. I would guess they drank perhaps a pint and a half, on average. When they finished, the ducks walked back into the forest with Pagoona and I following from a discreet distance.

Pagoona whispered to me that the Vampire Ducks fed on many large quadrupedal herbivores, but never on carnivores or humans. They also seldom fed on the same creatures more than twice in a week. So far as Pagoona knew, Vampire Ducks have no natural predators. He knew nothing of their reproductive habits.

We followed the ducks to a large hollow tree with a crack on it just large enough for each duck to squeeze through. They all entered the tree and Pagoona told me that we must wait for sunrise before proceeding further.

Come the rising sun, we ventured over to the tree and Pagoona reached in and pulled out a duck. He kept it in the shade, saying that the sunlight bothered them, though it would not kill them. Naturally, the first thing I did was to confirm that these ducks were indeed living creatures, not some form of undead as the legends about vampires state. The heart was beating, albeit quite slowly, and there was a pulse. The body temperature seemed a bit low and the duck was in a deep state of slumber. I took a blood and feather sample, then we replaced the strange fowl into his bedchamber.

I have made up my mind that before I leave this island, I shall learn much more about these Vampire Ducks, including where how and when they breed.

We Support Gay Abortions!

…Huh?

The Doclopedia #501

The Potawango Island Bestiary, Part One: Farting Marmosets

From the notebook of Dr. Thaddeus Silkmelon:

As we walked through the jungle today, we disturbed a rather large colony of small Marmosets. These beautiful little creatures were a soft grey color with white paws and a while chest and stomach. They could not have been more than 6 inches long, with slender tails of equal length.

They soon realized we were not a threat, and so resumed their hunt for fruit and insects. However, when Percy, my dog, rejoined us after having stopped to answer nature’s call, the Marmosets reacted in a wholly unexpected manner: they began to fart.

Now, one or two of these creatures passing gas would have had little or no effect, but having nearly 50 of them doing it all at once was indeed an unpleasant situation. Soon, we were all gagging, choking and retreating. Even Percy, who is not one easily deterred by foul odors, left the area.

When I pursue further study of these creatures, I shall wear a proper gas mask.

The East Pidwin Fish Watchers Journal

…with a circulation of over 40!

The Doclopedia #500

Five Hundredth Entry: Alternate Doclopedias

Since the very essence of our Doclopedia is covering subjects from many alternate universes, it stands to reason there should be other Doclopedias. Here are a few of them.

The Doc Doclopedia: This version covers only those people of interest who use the nickname “Doc”. Since it comes from a world where pulp type heroes are still going strong in the 21st century, there are a bunch of entries.

The Dark Doclopedia: This one has only entries of the foulest, most malign sort. The Doc Cross who created is a well known worshiper of Elder Gods and other strange beings. If you were to read even a small part of it, you would go quite insane.

The Erotic Doclopedia: The Doc who wrote this one decided to look only at sexual practices across the multiverse. It’s a real eye opener, you bet. Did you know that Klingons have no term for “rough sex”?

The Feminine Doclopedia: There are, of course, female versions of Doc Cross. Most of them are quite homely and all of them are a bit mental, but one has written a very interesting version of the Doclopedia, with a point of view as feminine as this one is masculine.

The Doc Cross Doclopedia: Yeah, you guessed it, this one is just about the various iterations of Your Humble Narrator. Not quite as mind roasting as the Dark Doclopedia, nor as hormone stimulating as the Erotic Doclopedia, it is nonetheless suggested for readers over the age of 40.

The Dog Doclopedia: As we’ve seen in our Doclopedia, there are countless worlds where dogs and/or cats rule the roost. On at least one of them, there is a canine version of Doc Cross. His Doclopedia is written from a decidedly doggish point of view.

The Dociverse Doclopedia: In the universe where Doc is the big deity on the block (hey, DOCiverse?), they call this book “The Holy Bible”. Every religion uses it, because there are no Non-Docian religions. Doc don’t play that game.

The 14 Things You Should Never Tell A Vampire

… #6: “You look a bit pale”

The Doclopedia #499

The Potawango Island Bestiary, Part One: Screaming Hyrax

From the notebook of Dr. Thaddeus Silkmelon:

Poor Abner, I fear that this expedition has so far not been as pleasant as he hoped. Late this afternoon, as we were setting up camp in a large clearing, we spied a group of animals that I am sure are relatives of the Rock Hyrax, Procavia capensis, that are so common throughout much of Africa. Aside from a slightly broader chest and wider mouth, they fit the description perfectly. They were basking on roscks and seemed to have no fear of us as we approached.

Most of us stopped at a distance of about 20 feet, but Abner, having had less than the best of encounters with some of the local wildlife, hung back another 20 feet. After about 10 minutes of the Hyraxes being rather bored with our presence, Abner came forward with the intention of snapping some pictures, which he did at ever decreasing distances. The basking creatures did nothing but sit there. Emboldened by this, Abner got within 3 feet of one big male right in the center of the group. He snapped several excellent close ups and was almost done when he sneezed due to some dust.

Upon hearing his sneeze, every one of the Hyraxes took a deep breath and then began to scream exactly like a terrified woman, but much louder. Poor Abner nearly jumped out of his skin, unsure of which way to run. When he finally did begin running, he tripped over a rock and nearly fell on a Hyrax, which set them all off on an even ghastlier sort of scream. By the time Abner made it to where the rest of us stood, he was filthy, shaking like somebody with palsy and unable to hear very well. He also had great difficulty speaking coherently.

Once back at camp, I administered a strong sedative and left him in the care of Miss Abigail. I do hope this will not prevent him from photographing more wildlife, since he is so very good at it.

The Incredible Giant Dwarf

…he’s like, 6 feet tall

The Doclopedia #498

The Potawango Island Bestiary, Part One: Colorful Feathered Tree Pigs

From the notebook of Dr. Thaddeus Silkmelon:

Another wonderful day on this wonderful island! This morning, we (myself, Abner, Miss Abigail, Mrs. Hardapple, Smiffy, Colonel Orpington, seven of our ship’s crew, five natives, Percy and Fanny) set off for a fortnight of exploring the interior highlands of the island. It has proven to be an excellent day for walking and we are making good time despite my cataloging 14 new species of flora & fauna so far.

Certainly the most interesting of these were the Colorful Feathered Tree Pigs. While I am sure that they are not in fact Sus, they do bear a marked resemblance to them, once one gets past the feathers and the four toed feet that allow them to climb with great speed and agility.

The feathers come in a veritable rainbow of colors and are each about as long as my thumb. They cover the entire body with the exception of the face, which is typically pink and piggish looking. The aforementioned feet have two of the toes pointing forward and two pointing back, much like a chameleon. We watched at least thirty of the pigs, who look to weigh about 30 or 40 pounds each, scurrying about in a group of fruit trees. It would seem that the young are precocious, since we saw several tiny babies climbing along behind their mothers.

We saw no nests, but our guide told us that the pigs nested in the deeper woods in huge Tangled Oak Trees. When we return from the highlands, I shall investigate this.

My Life Among The Dogs Who Like To Bother Writers

…at least they’re usually cute while doing it.

The Doclopedia # 496

The Potawango Island Bestiary, Part One: Six Legged Hamsters

From the notebook of Dr. Thaddeus Silkmelon:

Our camp cook, Mrs. Hardapple, has informed me that we need to move our provisions into stouter containers due to encroachment by the ever hungry and devilishly fast Six Legged Hamsters of Potawango Island. These wee beasts, just a bit larger than ordinary Syrian, or as they are more often called, Golden Hamsters, are darker in coloration and, as the name implies, have six legs instead of four. This allows them great speed, which has so far confounded the efforts of both Mrs. Hardapple’s cat, Fanny, and my dog, Percy, in catching any of them. Not surprising since the hamsters can reach 40 miles an hour on level ground and can turn on a dime.

Like all hamsters they place large amounts of food, primarily seeds and nuts, into their cheek pouches to take back to their burrows. In our case, the food ranges from bread to beef jerky. Mrs. Hardapple, never an overly genteel woman, has taken to cursing in languages other than American English. We shall try devising some traps to try and alleviate her frustration.

The Doclopedia # 497

The Potawango Island Bestiary, Part One: Singing Crabs

From the notebook of Dr. Thaddeus Silkmelon:

I am informed by Abner and Miss Abigail that they have discovered another new species here on the island. In this case, it would seem to be a large species of land crab that is capable of singing! Oh, will the marvels of flora and fauna on this island never cease amazing me?

As Abner tells it, they were walking along the trail that leads to the so far unexplored highlands when they heard the sound of a barbershop quartet singing “When We Stroll Under The Apple Trees”. Upon closer inspection, they say a group of 24 of the large land crabs gathered around a Puddingfruit bush. While most of them ate, a foursome was singing various popular songs from about 30 years ago. Miss Abigail noted that they were in perfect harmony and did not miss a word. She also took note of their color, a swirling of deep blue and deep green and the fact that they looked to weigh between 5 and 10 pounds each.

After a short while, when the crabs had paused, Abner began singing, “When The Yanks Come Home!”, to see if the crabs would imitate him. Like I did upon hearing the era from which they were first singing tunes, Abner surmised that they must have learned these songs from The doomed expedition of Captain Grackle and Professor Thubbley.

Sure enough, after hearing Abner run through the song twice, the crabs began to sing it. Abner, never shy about exhibiting his vocal talents, then spent the better part of 90 minutes teaching them a great many popular songs, as well as a few of our old college fight songs. I’m also told that Miss Abigail taught them a few hymns and at least as many slightly bawdy songs.

Tomorrow, I shall go see them myself, taking our own Captain Booly with me so as to teach the crabs many songs popular with sailors.

Dog Fun!

…with fun dogs!

The Doclopedia #494

The Potawango Island Bestiary, Part One: Albino Pygmy Walrus

From the notebook of Dr. Thaddeus Silkmelon:

The very southernmost tip of Potawango Island is the breeding ground of the Albino Pygmy Walrus, an incredible creature that is not only much smaller than the better known version, but as a species completely albino. Aside from the lack of coloration, they behave in all ways like ordinary walrus, but seldom top 500 pounds.

In early spring, they come to the beaches by the thousands to give birth to their pups, then mate. All of this is quite typical walrus behavior, but there is one exception. The Albino Pygmy Walrus exudes an odor that smells remarkably like gardenias and seems to repel both biting insects and predatory animals. Indeed, despite the delightful scent it has for our human olfactory nerves, it will, after a few minutes, cause us to feel ill to our stomachs. This was first noticed in our party by Abner Porkwaffle and myself as we observed them. I know understand why our guide, Pagoona, kept his distance from them.

Once we got beyond the effect of the scent, I felt better quite quickly. Unfortunately, Abner had an attack of nerves and had to lie down in his tent until lunch time.

The Doclopedia # 495

The Potawango Island Bestiary, Part One
: Leaping Turtle

From the notebook of Dr. Thaddeus Silkmelon:

Once again, poor Abner Porkwaffle, my oldest and dearest friend, has found himself on the bad end of an encounter with the fauna of this island. He is lying down just now and being tended to by Miss Abigail Saltgrass. Hopefully he will be hale and hearty again by dinner time.

It was early this afternoon when young Smiffy, cabin boy on our ship and now general errand boy for the expedition, came to tell us that a large group of turtles seemed to be migrating from the Little Forest to the Pink Swamp, so called because of the massive bloomings of Pink Lemonberry flowers one finds there. Well, never having seen a turtle migration, we were quickly off with Smiffy in the lead.

When we got to the proper location, we saw between 200 and 300 turtles, most about the size of a pie plate, moving slowly through the short grass. I noted that these turtles had, in addition to their bright green shells, rather muscular legs. I took many notes as Abner went around in front of them to get a few photographs.

He was snapping away with his trusty Brownie when from behind the turtles came the roar of a male crocodile in the river that cuts through the Little Forest. Upon hearing that roar, the entire group of turtles leaped a good 15 feet through the air. They did this several times and unfortunately many of them collided with Abner. Some of the frightened reptiles even bit him lightly or defecated on him. Within moments, however, the entire herd was gone from our view into the swamp.

Once Abner calmed down enough to stop yelling, we returned him to the camp where he now rests. Fortunately, his camera was undamaged, so we should have excellent photos of the turtles in mid leap.

No Time For Teddy Bears!

…time is money and we can’t afford to frolic!

The Doclopedia # 492

The Potawango Island Bestiary, Part One: Man Eating Oysters

From the notebook of Dr. Thaddeus Silkmelon:

Today, while walking near the windward shore with Miss Abigail Saltgrass and Mr. Abner Porkwaffle, we spied a large number of oysters in a small shallow lagoon. They were of a large size, easily as big as a dinner plate. Their shell color was odd, being rather pale yellow and they seemed to have some growth protruding from their shells on either side. Quite odd, but soon to get much odder.

Abner had just joked about the amount of chowder one might get from a single one of them when two of the brutes leaped from the water and attacked him! One clamped it’s shell on his left calf and the other had him by the left hand. The growths we had spied on either of their shells were revealed to be long thin cords that were deeply rooted in the sand. Using them, they were trying to pull poor Abner, who was quite distressed by the situation, into the water.

In short order, two more had attacked him, one on his right arm and the other on his right ankle. Fortunately, Miss Saltgrass had retrieved from her handbag a large knife and commenced cutting on the anchoring cord of one of the oysters while I held onto Abner so as to keep them from pulling him into the sea. As the first cord was cut through, the oyster emitted a loud honking sound and all of them let go and were quickly back where we had first seen them.

Abner’s injuries were mostly of a bad bruising nature, but his nerves were quite frazzled for some hours once we returned to camp. This was not made better by our Native friend, Pagoona, telling us that we were lucky to have escaped. Apparently, these particular oysters are carnivorous and will eat any creature that strays too near their bed. Once pulled under the water, the creature drowns and the oysters release a chemical that quickly causes the body, including the bones, to liquify, thus allowing them to consume the nutrients via filter feeding. Quite marvelous, really, though I did not say that in front of Abner.

The Doclopedia # 493

The Potawango Island Bestiary, Part One: Waltzing Pheasants

From the notebook of Dr. Thaddeus Silkmelon:

I was returning from my morning walk with Percy, my trusty bull terrier, when we saw a most astounding sight. This was in a small clearing in that bit of woods that the natives call “Nevanto” and we have christened “The Forest of Flowers. We had stopped so Percy could smell a tree and I noticed about two dozen pheasants of a type I had never seen before. They were smaller than the Chinese Ringneck, with lovely metallic green and blue feather scattered among a background of brownish red feathers. Their tail feathers were short and carried in a fan style like a turkey. Hens were of a duller shade than males, but had bright yellow legs and feet where the males had dark brown.

As I watched, the males and females paired off and then the males all began a rhythmic bass thrumming sound. Within moments, the females began a more soprano thrumming and I realized that together, the pheasant couples were thrumming out a waltz beat. As taken aback as I was by this amazing event, I was nearly bowled over when the pairs began to waltz about in a circular formation. This went on for about five minutes, after which, the thrumming stopped and each pair of birds flew off together into the underbrush on the far side of the clearing.

Truly a wonderful sight to see, especially since any one of those pheasants was a far better dancer than I.

It’s My Party And I’ll Re-Animate The Dead If I Want To!

…not a top forty song.

Here’s the last post for the Stuff You Need! theme. Tomorrow, I’ll start one that I’ve wanted to do for a long time: The Potawango Island Bestiary. See ya then, folks!

The Doclopedia # 491

Stuff You Need!: Primitive Cave Dweller

1: Fire! Fire good, until fire get out of control, then caveman in big trouble.

2: Woman! Woman very good, except for sometimes during month when woman get very scary.

3: Small rocks to throw at other cavemen who stare too long at your woman.

4: Club to smash heads of small animals or cavemen who can dodge small rocks.

5: Animal skins to wear and stay warm. Remove from animal first.

6: Spears to stab and kill big animals that you can eat or big animals that can eat you.

7: Dogs! Dogs probably as smart as caveman, plus warm to sleep next to.

Two Thousand Posts?

…HOLY CRAP!!!

When I moved from Live Journal over here to WordPress, Grace moved all of my LJ posts onto this blog. As of this post, I have done 2,000 blog posts since March 6th, 2004.

Except that, technically, that’s wrong. See, I had a BlogSpot blog before I was on LJ, and while some of those posts got re-posted on LJ, most did not. And now I have another Blogger blog for my fiction blog, so in reality, this is closer to my 2,200th post.

But this is my main blog and 2,000 is a swell round number so screw it, I’m going with 2,000.

To celebrate, I told readers to ask me anything about myself. Surprisingly, a few actually did. Here then is the big Q & A.

From Jeremiah Reed: Greatest Grateful Dead show you have ever been to? If you can remember!!!

This is a tough one, because I think I’ve seen the Dead about two dozen times. I’m sure the best show was one of the New Years shows. I do recall seeing them at Winterland in the summer and the place was hotter than hell. At one point, several chicks went topless and that added to the festivity.

From Avis Crane: What is the most memorable thing you did or that happened to you while you were in the service?

Well, although getting speared with the pol cue on Guam was memorable, so was the mad drive from San Diego to Seattle to get there in time to meet our ship and the time a bunch of us drove up to Reno to a brothel. I think that the most memorable event of my military career took place when I went to a Jethro Tull concert at the Cow Palace in San Francisco and a young lady seduced me right there in the crowd about 10 feet from the stage while Ian Anderson was singing “Hymn 43”. I’m pretty sure he saw us, too.

From Alan Portman: Would you do it all over again?

Not all of it, but a damned big chunk of it, preferably with no ex wife and fewer encounters with agents of the law.

From Diane Russom Harrison: If you could change one decision you made in your lifetime, what would it be and why?

I would not have joined the United States Navy in October of 1972. From that stemmed many “learning experiences” that I could do without.

From Reine Harrington Carter: If you had a do-over, what would you do?

Toughest question of all, that one. Thinking it over, there was a point one evening when I was in High School that I would change by turning right instead of left while driving my car. That simple thing would have made the next full year or more much better and no doubt would have lead to me being richer than I am. Or I’d be in prison. Whatever.

This Week’s Episode: Gertie Sends Floyd To The Store

…to buy a ham

The Doclopedia # 489

Stuff You Need!: Dungeon Raider

1: Bravery and determination!

2: The Wizard’s Guild’s list of Class Three Wizards that have not yet raided a dungeon. These young practitioners of The Art are fully approved for use of spells up to 5th level and are surely an asset no adventuring party can do without.

3: Financial backing, because all of the equipment you’ll need is not cheap. Fortunately, the Wizard’s Guild has many members who are not only willing to finance a dungeon raid, but can offer extra incentives to explore certain dungeons and retrieve agreed upon items. Contract terms will vary from Wizard to Wizard and may require your signature in blood.

4: Either an experienced thief (cheap to hire, but somewhat untrustworthy) or a Dwarf engineer (expensive, but totally honorable and good in a fight) because those trapped doors, rooms, hallways and treasure chest won’t disarm themselves.

5: Some sort of healer. While various types of clerics have been popular in the past, the new “doctor/chemists” are becoming quite well received. The downside is that their forms of healing are not as fast as those of a cleric, nor do they fight nearly as well. The plus side is that they don’t need to meditate or pray and you don’t have to constantly hear about how great their god or goddess is.

6: Hirelings and/or henchmen, because you’ll need somebody to tote your equipment, prepare your meals and fall behind when you are running like hell away from some terrible monster.


7:
Healing and resurrection potions, in case something happens to your healer.

The Doclopedia # 490

Stuff You Need!: Criminal Mastermind

1: A lair, hideout, sanctum, laboratory or general headquarters. Popular locations include islands, mountain tops, undersea cities, old subway tunnels, abandoned factories and lost cities in the jungle.

2: Good diction, for making long speeches and monologues while you have your archenemy tied up or trapped.

3: One of the following: a white cat, an eye patch, a facial scar, a missing hand replaced by a mechanical one, a mask, facial hair or a bum leg.

4: Hundreds of goons, thugs, mooks and lackies. Ability to shoot straight or fight hand to hand is optional.

5: A smokin’ hot girlfriend/mistress, with a preference for tight, sexy and/or minimal clothing.

6: A lethal assassin, hopefully with some physical flaw that makes him scarier ot tougher.

7: A plan for world domination and the device necessary to carry it out. Please be advised that nuclear weapons are so last century. The modern mastermind would do well to look into deadly viruses, nanotechnology or massive computer hacks.

It’s All Fun & Games Until Han Shoots First

…which he did, George, and you know it.

The Doclopedia # 487

Stuff You Need!: Pulp Adventurer

1: Gadgets, lots and lots of gadgets hidden all over your person. Probably not good to think about what might happen if you get in an accident and they all go off at once.

2: A team of buddies who will drop everything to chase bad guys all over the world with you. Naturally, none of them can be married.

3: Cool methods of transportation, including, but not limited to: Big fast cars, small fast cars, boats & ships of all sizes, airplanes, autogyros, airships, motorcycles, submarines, personal locomotives and jet packs.

4: Money. Like, lots and lots of money. Sources could include Aztec, Mayan or Inca gold, lost pirate treasure, an unknown diamond mine, a warehouse full of gangster loot or a lost gold mine.

5: A totally cool headquarters and/or a hidden laboratory. The cool HQ should be right in the heart of a major city, but the hidden lab can be way to hell out in the boondocks.

The Doclopedia # 488

Stuff You Need!: Planetary Scout

1: A good dependable spaceship, preferably one with plenty of room for yourself, a crew and a whole bunch of supplies. Oh, and an excellent communications system, because you’ll be out on the frontier and you may need some help from time to time.

2: A ray gun of some sort, preferably with settings that go up to “Disintegrate That Motherfucker!”

3: A good and loyal crew, including at least one alien scientists, a scrappy young ensign and a wisecracking engineer.

4: A scout vehicle for use when you land on a planet. Could have wheels, could hover, could fly, but it damned sure better be fast enough to outrun huge alien creatures or hordes of pissed off aliens.

5: A robot or two. You can decide if you want a smart talking one or a dumb one that only knows like, six words.

6: A good force field on your ship, for when things go south on you and you need extra protection.

Just Run And Don’t Ask Questions

…oh, how many times have I had to say that?

WooHoo! New Doclopedia theme starting up today, my little friends! Enjoy!

The Doclopedia # 485

Stuff You Need!: Steampunk Secret Agent

1: If you are a gentleman, your government issue walking stick. It will contain a sword or dagger, a compass, an 18 inch breathing tube and the ability to fire six .32 caliber rounds. Some walking sticks might contain other items.

2: If you are a lady, your government issue rings (1 with compass, 1 with 3 poisoned needles), Chinese fan (razor sharp edges), cameo broach (3 smoke capsules), and “cleavage gun” (to be hidden therein, 4 shot .22 caliber derringer).

3: Miniature steam powered spiderbomb. These will go in a straight line (including up walls or across ceilings) for up to 150 feet, then wait 10 seconds before exploding with the force of two sticks of dynamite.

4: Membership card in the International Adventurers Club. You would be surprised at the doors this will open.

5: A good pocket watch, preferably with a watch chain that can serve as handcuffs or garrote.

6: Government issue 9mm pistol and ammunition that can (and should) include normal, incendiary, tracer, explosive and paralyzing rounds.

7: Lockpicks, miniature camera, telegraph key & connecting wires, acid vial and difference engine codebreaker. All concealed in commonly carried objects.

8: Robot detection spectacles. Due to the recent rash of robots made to resemble humans, these are now standard issue.

The Doclopedia # 486

Stuff You Need!: Paranormal Investigator

1:The New Complete Guide To The Paranormal”, now available for e-readers, tablets and smart phones.

2: 20 megapixel, all weather, digital still/motion camera with instazoom, Rocksteady motion compensator and “all light” capability.

3: Orange Computers Opad 4 tablet with satellite linking and ParaNetwork interface.

4: At least two cell phones with fully charged batteries.

5: Handheld psi wave detector.

6: Specimen collection kits for ectoplasm, ET and cryptid samples.

7: Mark 7 Spengler-Stantz ghost traps.

8: Anti cryptid personal spray. (still in beta testing)

9: Good quality comfortable running shoes.

Undercover Cats

…posing as dogs

The Doclopedia #484

Seven Questions About…: The Dungeon Of Terrible Doom

Where is the Dungeon of Terrible Doom located?

The World Famous Dungeon of Terrible Doom is conveniently located just 53 miles from the town of North Border. Situated in the lovely wilderness of the the Drokmount Wilds, the dungeon lies under the ruins of Hardimir Castle and the town of Trovin. The entrance has been clearly marked, so as to make it very easy to find.

How many adventurers have perished there?

Exact numbers are not possible, but estimates put the total at around 1,895 over the 300 year existence of the dungeon.

How many have survived?

So far, 9 survivors have been accounted for, most within the last 123 years. Of those, 4 retained enough sanity to give a very good picture of what the first few levels of the Dungeon of Terrible Doom is like.

How many levels are there to the dungeon?

We are certain that there are at least 6 levels and, if the ravings of a madman or two are to be believed, it goes down for at least 5 more. Of course, the dungeon also connects to a natural cave system and, according to legend, the underground realm of the Stone People.

What is the worst known monster so far encountered?

Well, “worst” is rather subjective, but we should put the Great Slime Thing, the Dragon of Darkness and the Plague Dwarves as some of the most dangerous and terrifying creatures that call the dungeon Home, Sweet Home.

Is there really enough treasure there to take the risk?

Well, the smallest bit of treasure yet brought out, a diamond the size of a hen’s egg, was found in the pocket of the crazed barbarian Sornak. The largest amount of treasure (a sack full of gold, magical rings and a scroll of seven spells) was estimated to be worth $900,000.00. It was in the possession of J’Ome J’Ilgun, the J’Anki wizard. J’Ome was, by the way, the sanest person ever to escape the Dungeon of Terrible Doom. He did spend several weeks constantly repeating “Thank the Gods for the Speedy Movement spell” and avoiding any foods of a red color, but he recovered fully. He now lives a life of luxury on Brightsea Isle, the spot on our planet that is farthest from the Dungeon of Terrible Doom.

I think my friends and I will give it a go. Any suggestions?

The North Border Merchants Guild, in association with the Wizards League and the Adventurers Guild, have prepared a pamphlet detailing all of the information so far learned about the Dungeon of Terrible Doom. A related pamphlet, “So, you’re going to delve into a dungeon?”, contains a handy checklist of both essential and highly recommended equipment that you’ll need. The North Border Merchants supply you with everything on the list and more.

One final thing: the Dungeon of Terrible Doom is suggested for very experienced Adventurers with a party of at least eight individuals, with a minimum of two wizards and two healers/clerics. At least one wizard should know the Instant Retreat spell and that same spell should be on at least three scrolls carried by three party members.

Goats In The Room Of Shoes

…on the Magic Bus

The Doclopedia #483

Seven Questions About…: Doc Tempest

What makes Doc Tempest so special?

Doc Tempest, like many of the astounding heroes & villains of our world, is a member of another branch of the human species, one that began to show up around 2,500 BCE in various parts of the world. By and large, these “New Humans” are stronger, smarter and possessed of better senses than ordinary homo sapiens.

When did the first Doc Tempest appear?

Technically, the first known case of anyone in the family using the last name “Tempest” would have been in 1634 when the pirate known as “Captain James Tempest” began attacking British and French ships. The first actual “Doctor Tempest” was William “Will” Tempest, who started his adventuring career in 1880 and who was the first Doc Tempest to begin having his adventures retold in in a magazine in 1884.

There are many unproven rumors that members of the Tempest family have been active in fighting crime prior to 1880. Some examples are the White Rider who operated from the mid 1660’s to almost 1702, the globe trotting master of disguise Miss Mystery and the terror of the British army during the War for Independence, the Masked Patriot.

How many Doc Tempests have their been and were they all really doctors?

There have been 8 Doc Tempests so far: Will, Jack, Nick, James, Kelli, Sean, Sally and Chris. In fact, all of them have been doctors, but only three of them were medical doctors. Two were engineers, one was a biologist, one was a parapsychologist and one was a chemist.

Are the stories in Doc Tempest Magazine and the graphic novels all true?

Yes, although at times names and dates have been changed. At other times, various governments have requested changes or even censorship of some of the stories.

Who were Doc Tempest for the longest and shortest times?

The longest running Doc Tempest was the second female Doc, Sally Tempest. She was active for one month shy of 30 years (October 1999-November 2029). She retired due to “getting too old for this shit” at age 55. The shortest term as Doc Tempest goes to Jack Tempest (June 1889-June 1906) at just 7 years. He was badly injured by Chinese sorcery just a couple of weeks before the great San Francisco earthquake. He did not die, but lost the use of one arm and eye.

Where does he get those wonderful toys?

All of the Doc Tempests have had access to incredible wealth and that means that they can afford armies of scientists and skilled craftsmen to build the gadgets, devices, transportation and equipment they need.

How much is the Tempest Foundation worth?

Nobody really knows, but in 2025, Forbes magazine guessed at a trillion dollars. Sally Tempest would neither confirm or deny that figure, but did say it was a very good guess.

Adventure Module J-1: The Temple Of The Death Cow

… it features many bovine undead

The Doclopedia #481

Seven Questions About…: Pirates

Why should I become a pirate?

Yarr, matey, th’ pirate life is th’ life o’ freedom! Why would ye be wantin’ some clerky type o’ job, sittin’ in some buildin’ all day, when ye can have th’ freedom of a good ship sailin’ hither an’ yon, lookin’ fer treasure?

What is the pay like?

As fair a question as might be ask’d! Yer pay is reckon’d on a part of th’ take from any fat merchant vessels we capture. Th’ fatter the pig, the larger yer slice o’ the bacon!

What chances are their for advancement?

Why, lad, there be excellent chances fer advancin. Folks is always leavin’ an’ dyin’ and such. Yessir, a smart young feller might just work his way up t’ Cap’n after awhile.

What will my primary job duties be?

Well now, that depends on what yer good at, don’t it? You can figger on doin’ deckhand duties or maybe workin’ in th’ riggin’ fer starters. Of course, th’ cook might need help an’ there’s the gun deck too. Naturally, there be the boardin’ ships an’ lootin’ t’ be done.

What is life like onboard ship?

Oh, there be th’ workin’ an’ stuff, but ye’ll also have time fer drinkin’ an’ gamblin’ an’ sleepin’ an’ drinkin’.

Are women able to be pirates?

Well now, ma’am, there sure are a right net full o’ wimmin pirates, but I’m obliged to point ye towards Cap’n Anne over there fer any further questions.

Where might I expect to go while serving aboard a pirate ship?

Well now, young feller, ye might end up anywhere. The Carribean, the African coasts, Asia, all over th’ Pacific…why, ye could sure ’nuff see th’ world! Now, why don’t ye have a wee bit more rum an’ think about signin’ on?

The Doclopedia #482

Seven Questions About…: Humans

Are humans smarter than we are?

Humans smarter than cats? Hahahahaha!

How easy is it to train humans?

Despite the fact that humans are rather dim bulbs, they are surprisingly easy to train. You do need to remember that they need constant reinforcement, but if you keep it up, you can train humans to do quite a few things.

Why do humans eat vegetables so often?

While we all like the odd veggie from time to time, humans do seem to eat quite a lot of them. Some cat scientists think this may be because humans are somehow related to cows and goats, although a larger group thinks they are related to dogs, which would explain quite a bit about their odd behavior.

Why can’t humans understand our language?

Again, humans are not very bright. Additionally, they seem to rely mostly on sounds and some facial expressions. Scent, stance and tail position seem to play no part in how they communicate.

How the hell do they manage to walk on just two feet?

Honestly, nobody knows, but doesn’t it make you a bit nervous and queasy to watch? Like they will fall down any minute or something.

My human does not tend to me often enough. What should I do?

Most experts recommend shitting in their shoes, sleeping areas or food areas. Loud yowling and clawing up the furniture can also be effective.

What the hell is up with humans & dogs?

Ahh, the age old question. Beyond the fact that they have similar social structures, we can only assume that stupid attracts stupid. Isn’t it a good thing that cats rule the world?

Handsome Joe Meets Santa Claus

…and gets a bags of bones for Xmas

The Doclopedia #479

Seven Questions About…: Our Alien Overlords

Where did Our Alien Overlords come from?

From a star system 129 light years away. They rule that system and four others.

Why did they destroy so many of our cities?

Because we dared to fight back, plus, they just don’t like cities much.

Do they really eat humans?

Yes, yes they do. Humans are tasty and nutritious food for Our Alien Overlords.

Why must we work so many hours each day?

Because otherwise, you would not get fed or housed or given medical care. Besides, 16 hours a day is not that long of a work day.

When people are gathered up for transport, where are they being taken?

Some are shipped to the new colonies on Mars, but most are sent back to the Alien Homeworld as pets or, more likely, food.

Why don’t our Overlords harm nonhuman animals?

Our Alien Overlords have very strict religious and cultural rules about needlessly harming non-sentients. Additionally, they are not very tasty and a few (dogs, pigs, kangaroos) are toxic.

Will Our Alien Overlords ever leave Earth?

No, now shut up and get back to work. You still have 14 hours left.

The Doclopedia #480

Seven Questions About…: The Steam Titan

Who invented the Steam Titan?

That great inventive genius out of Indiana, Professor Fred Chummler, inventor of the Tunnel Boring Tank, the Sky Village and the Trackless Locomotive.

Where was it constructed?

The outer shell of the Steam Titan was constructed at the Gary Metalworks in Gary, Indiana. Parts for the interior works were made in places as far away as Texas, New Jersey, Oregon, California and Vermont. Most of the weaponry was built at a secret location and almost all of the revolutionary punch tape programming was done at M.I.T. Like the weapons, the top secret steam boilers were built in a secret laboratory.

What is it made of?

The outer body of the Steam Titan, which stands 150 feet tall, is constructed of an amazing alloy called Starkonium, a creation of Mr. Augustus Stark. It is far lighter than steel, yet many times stronger than any other metal. It is quite difficult to make and is very expensive. It is nearly indestructible.

What can the Steam Titan do?

Besides being able to move in any way a human body can, the Steam Titan is also capable of traveling underwater for up to 24 hours at a time. It can function effectively in steaming jungles, blistering deserts or frigid arctic wastes. It can be used to patrol areas that previously required hundreds of soldiers and their equipment. It can also be used to explore new areas where civilized man has not yet gone.

Is it self aware?

Oh no, it has no self awareness. Those few times when it has acted a bit peculiar are just the result of momentary hiccups in the machinery or programming, Professor Chummler assures us. Any semblance of self awareness is due solely to advanced programming.

What are those weapons on it?

The Steam Titan comes with an amazing array of weapons with which to guard America and her interests. These include .50 caliber machine guns, rocket launchers, flame throwers, gas canisters and Professor Chummler’s ingenious sound wave cannon. The latter weapon can do many things, from merely stunning a human to blasting a hole through a brick wall.

Is the Steam Titan safe?

The Steam Titan is 100% safe. It has been encoded so that certain commands, when issued by certain people, must be obeyed. For even greater safety, the number of people who know these commands has been limited to four, and none of them know all of the commands. Take our word for it, when the great Steam Titan goes into actual duty tomorrow, nothing will go wrong.

Chapter 379: In Which Our Hero Lures The Church Police Into A Clever Trap, Then Rides Off To Brag About It And Drink Port

…fie upon those Church Police!

The Doclopedia #478

Seven Questions About…: Bags Of Many Things

What exactly is a Bag of Many Things?

A Bag of Many Things is exactly that, a cloth bag about the size of a pillowcase that you can pull all sorts of things out of. These bags are quite common in the Tooniverse.

How many things can a Bag Of Many Things hold?

In theory, they can hold an infinite number of things, but in reality, most can hold no more that 1,384,297 things.

How is a Bag Of Many Things different from a Bag Of Holding?

First off, Bags of Holding are almost always found in the Dungeonverse. Secondly, a bag of holding has a rather limited interior volume, something like a 5 foot cube. Finally, you can only take out what was previously put into it.

On the other hand, Bags of Many Things can hold enough stuff to fill a large warehouse and they come pre filled.

Why is it so hard sometimes to get exactly what I want out of the Bag?

Most likely because you are a big dummy. See, getting what you WANT out of a Bag of Many Things is easier the smarter you are. Therefore, nitwits and feebs have a lesser chance of getting the item they reached in for. But cheer up! See, you ALWAYS get something out of the Bag, and if you are stupid enough, you’ll think what you pulled out is what you wanted in the first place.

I put a box of Portable Holes into my Bag Of Many Things and later, everything was gone. What
gives?

Well, you maroon, it’s obvious that everything fell out through the holes, isn’t it?

I’ve heard that there are specialized Bags Of Many Things. Is that true?

Oh yeah, you bet! A few examples would be: Bag of Many Spy Things…Bag of Many Yard Sale Things…Bag of Many Gardening Things…Bag of Many Explosive Things…Bag of Many Tool Shop Things

Where can I get a Bag Of Many Things?

Ask your friendly neighborhood Animator, or, if you prefer, steal one from some dimwitted dolt.

It’s All Fun & Games Until You Piss Off The God Damn Batman

…at which point, he kicks your ass all over Gotham City

The Doclopedia #477

Seven Questions About…: Women

What is the difference between Women and breeder units?

Although they do resemble women, breeder units are not entirely organic. Many parts of them have been replaced with cybernetics. Unlike Women, breeder units recognize the superiority of men and know that their primary concerns are producing male babies (except when new breeder units are needed), tending to the home and giving their bodies willingly to men when asked.

What makes Women such fierce fighters?

Women are fierce fighters because they have the power of Satan and Liberalism coursing though their whorish veins.

Where should young Initiates go when Women attack the citadel?

Initiates to manhood should go to the Safe Rooms until the All Clear signal goes out. Young men are like a drug to Women, a drug that they constantly need to try and get to help them live their sinful lifestyle.

Why do the Women hate us so?

From even before the Righteous War, some Women have hated men who held our beloved and Godly Conservative views. They are mostly lesbians and atheists now, hating us even more than before because we live in the glory of God.

What do the Women do with males they capture?

The exact nature of their depraved treatment of Godly men is Restricted Knowledge, but it is almost certain that they subject them to sin and degradation and possibly eat them afterwards.

Sometimes, when the Women surround the citadel and pose in the nude before attacking, my mind grows all fuzzy. Why is that?

It is another of their sick liberal magicks, granted them by Satan or possibly a Clinton! Should you feel this way, you must run and lie with a breeder unit until you have cast the terrible lust from your body!

If, as the High Rulers say, we are superior to women, why do they always win in a fight and why are their numbers growing while ours dwindle?

What you speak is heresy! Report to the Re-education Center for proper mental realignment!

Buy Whore Bonds

……wait, what?

The Doclopedia #476

Seven Questions About…: Dragons

How many types of Dragon are there?

Dragons come in four basic types: the Woodland Dragon, the Sea Dragon, the Mountain Dragon and the God Dragon. There are some variations among the four types, but these variations are not great enough to be called new types.

The Woodland Dragons, which are never more than about 8 feet long and are the only Dragons that can actually fly, have Marsh and Desert variants, which differ mostly in coloring and what they feed upon. Woodland Dragons are the least likely Dragons to harm a human or other sentient race.

Sea Dragons grow to lengths of 50 feet or better and live an amphibious life. They are totally able to breath air or water and mainly come ashore to breed, rear their young and hunt for land animals. Variations are the River and Lake Dragons, which grow slightly smaller, but come onto land more often.

Most people who see a large Dragon are seeing a Mountain Dragon. They can reach lengths of up to 120 feet and are able to glide, but not actually fly. They also have both poisonous breath and the deadly flame breath. Variations include the Hill Dragon, the Cave Dragon and the Glacier Dragon.

Nobody has seen a God Dragon in over 260 years, but they are out there. At lengths nearing 500 feet, they are terrible engines of destruction, when angry, which they often are. Since every God Dragon is very distinctive looking, there are no variants.

Where do Dragons live?

Dragons can be found in all parts of the world except the polar regions and the Great Red Desert. On the island of Glebniar, the only Dragons you’ll find are a small form of Woodland Dragon that seldom grows to more than 4 feet long.

Are Dragons intelligent?

Yes, but how intelligent depends upon the type. Woodland Dragons are at least as intelligent as an ape, while Sea Dragons are probably no smarter than dogs. Mountain Dragons are as intelligent as humans and can speak our languages. God Dragons are exceptionally intelligent and it is only their anger and inability to work with others of their kind that have kept them from ruling the world.

Do Dragons really eat people?

Mountain and God Dragons enjoy the taste of sentient flesh and have been known to kill thousands of people in some areas. Sea Dragons often kill sentients, but almost never eat them. Woodland Dragons have never been known to kill or eat sentients.

Are Dragons resistant to magic?

Only God Dragons are truly resistant to magic, although Mountain Dragons can be tough enough that it takes powerful spells to hurt them.

Do Dragons have any natural enemies?

Yes, they do! Many creatures have been known to eat Woodland Dragons when they can catch them. Sea Dragons that stray into deep waters are often eaten by giant sharks, killer whales and krakens. The main foe of the Mountain Dragon is the Mountain Giant, who enjoy Dragon meat. God Dragons have only two enemies: Sentients in large enough numbers to kill them and other God Dragons.

What should I do if I encounter a Dragon?

If it is a Woodland Dragon, just stand still and allow it to go away. Sea Dragons will usually not attack you if you run away or, if in the water, you just float and do not cause a commotion. If you encounter a Mountain Dragon, try to run into a very thickly grown over section of forest. If you meet up with a God Dragon, then just kiss your ass goodbye.

Gyrating Marsh Rats Ridiculed My Turkeys

…then they stole their lunch money

The Doclopedia #474

More Cats & Dogs Living Together: Al & Lou

Al and Lou, despite their names, are both females. Al is a Savannah cat and Lou is a Rotteweiler and they live on an Earth where magic has begun to return, canceling out technology and giving rise to monsters and strange races. Most normal humans have retreated to non-magical areas, often abandoning pets when they left. So it was with Al & Lou, whose owner fled when her husband morphed into an ogre. Fortunately, the two pets were in the back yard and were able to escape into the wider world.

Since then, Al & Lou have traveled together through lands magical and mundane, where they have all kinds of adventures. During one close call, they barely escaped from a band of hungry orcs by leaping into a magical pond and swimming like hell. Since that day, Al has been able to teleport short distances and Lou can double her size for up to 10 minutes. Both of them seem to be fairly immune to magic and they can communicate via telepathy.

Recently, Al & Lou have taken up residence with a family of gnomes. They offer protection, companionship and, in Lou’s case, a creature to ride. In return, the gnomes offer a warm place to live, regular meals and children to play with. Al & Lou are thinking this might be a good gig to settle down in.

The Doclopedia #475

More Cats & Dogs Living Together: Goldie & Walter

Unlike many of the other dogs & cats we’ve covered, there is nothing strange about Goldie, the Golden Retriever bitch and Walter, the grey & black tiger striped male cat. They are good friends, but otherwise, pretty ordinary.

It’s their humans who are, well, “special”.

George Logan is the dad of the family and he is pretty clueless as to what’s going on around him most of the time. In the “using gardening tools” category alone, Goldie and Walter have saved his life & limb several times.

Mom of the house Anya is very easily distracted and forgetful. Once again, the two pets often save the day by getting Anya back on track.

Son Ted is 12 and likes to invent things. Often, these things are an early death waiting to happen, so the family pets must step in to keep Ted alive.

Sister Melanie is 9 and likes to go off exploring. Goldie & Walter have saved her from becoming lost about 100 times.

Between the four of them, they run the two pets ragged trying to keep them all in one piece and the home functioning. At night, when the family is asleep, Goldie and Walter, who have learned how to open the refrigerator, eat well, then rest up for the next day.