Master Detective Miko And The Demon Monkey

…more fake anime

Here’s the final entry for Tiny Folk Week. Next theme: The Undead.

The Doclopedia #218

Tiny Folk: Badiban Storyteller

Nobody knows exactly how old Badiban Storyteller is, but most agree that he is at least 300 years old. That is pretty amazing, since the average Tiny Folk person only lives to about 75. Still, folks have been hearing Badiban tell his tales since shortly after the Tiny Folk came to America and that was just over 300 years ago.

Badiban looks about 40. He has long blond hair, blue eyes and tanned skin. He dresses in suede leather and has a backpack in which he carries all his earthly belongings…including at least one volume of his “Book of Tales”. When he arrives at a Clan’s home, the people feed him and give him lodging in exchange for hearing his stories. He never stays for more than a few days, then he is off on his never ending journey.

Or is he? In fact, my children, Badiban is not one person, but anywhere from 18 to 32 members of Clan Badiban. The home location of the clan is somewhere in the Colorado Rockies and no other clan even suspects its existence. The clan was founded 300 years ago to chronicle the history of Tiny Folk in America. The various Badiban Storytellers all look quite similar and generally spend about 20 years on the road before retiring. There are thousands of volumes in the Tales and new Storytellers are always in training.

 

After The Change Came

A Day For Dinosaurs

As we all know, the Council of Wizards did a whole lot of stuff back in the weeks right after The Change. They set up the Towns & Cities, they created the Lunar Portals, they helped everyone adjust, etc, etc. All great works, certainly.

But in my opinion, their best act was to bring back the dinosaurs.

Not ALL of the dinosaurs, of course, but large and stable populations that live in areas well protected from incursion by humans and other pests/potential protein sources. Those dinosaur habitats often have upwards of 50 species living in a single area that measures 30 or so miles on a side. Webcams allow us all to see these sanctuaries any time we like, sometimes from a dino point of view, but it’s not like seeing the real thing up close.

Once in a while, the Wizards will gather up a few dinosaurs and put them on display for we puny humans to gawk at. Such a display is going on here in San Francisco today. The are 18 species of dinosaur here, including a Carnotaurus and a humongous Seismosaurus. Man, that is one bigass hunk of plant eater. As is often the case in these displays, the triceratops is getting a whole lot of attention. Of course, if there were any sort of velociraptors here, they’d be the stars, but there aren’t any.

Anyway we had a great time looking at them and we even got to pet and pose for pictures with the above mentioned triceratops.

Fun Fact: A triceratops who is calm and not feeling threatened is about as gentle as the average cow.

And going back to my mention of the Lunar Portals, I will soon be posting the emails I sent to my nephew Zach (who is a Life Support Specialist up on the Narnia L5 colony) back when The Change was all new and shiny.

We will be leaving San Francisco in about 2 hours, heading out for Yosemite, where we’ll spend the night. We’ll all get back to Casa Cross about 6 pm tomorrow, where we’ll spend a day resting up before going to SacCon.

A Night For Apologizing Drunkenly

Yes, yes, I’ve been away from here for a few days. The trip from San Francisco to Yosemite took a strange turn when, upon our arrival at Yosemite Village, I was whisked away by the hotel management and asked to mediate a disagreement between the Giants (who live in the high Sierras, including Yosemite) and a group of Mountain Trolls from the Coast Range who have crossed the Central Valley and set up shop near Yosemite Village.

Quick note: Unlike most regular trolls, Mountain Trolls are huge, stupid and violent.

Long story short: I talked to both sides for several hours until a Mountain Troll decided to knock me about 30 feet into a pond. At that point the Giants, knowing that my sister Rosie and brother in law Mike are Giants, stopped playing nice and beat most of the Trolls half to death.

I then spent the next day drinking glass after glass of truly nasty tasting healing draught that Grace made from plants and who knows what else. Bear shit and toadstools, for all I know. It did work, however, and I’m all healed up. I doubt the Mountain Trolls can say the same, but fuck them anyway.

Anyway, we arrived back here at the farm Thursday afternoon and all proceeded to rest up for SacCon, which actually started today, but really starts with parties on Friday night.

So far, the con has been great. My friends Peter and Brian co-GMed a Pulp era adventure with me. Peter ran the beginning third, Brian the middle and then I ran the trilling climax. It was pretty sweet. I mean, dude, ZEPPELINS versus NAZI ROCKET MEN!

Right now, I am in the Rockin’ Rocket bar on top of the convention center hotel. There are about 250 gamers in here dancing and singing and generally having a ball. Daniel, boyfriend to the lovely and talented Avis, is joining me in trying various tequilas. We are about to take shot #8, I think. This might take awhile because he is Mage (with a Mage’s high resistance to alcohol) and I, as part of the whole mutant diplomat package, have a high resistance to all poisons. But for science, we’ll keep drinking. We are both lightly buzzed. Or maybe drunk. Whatever.

At the same time, Daniel, Avis, Mary, Spike, Lori and several others are helping me plot out a world & quests for QuestWorld. The non drinkers (all three of them) are taking notes for me. Should make good reading when we all sober up someday.

Anyway, back to creating quests and partying. More blog-o-rama later.

A Day For Saying “Yeah, That’s MY Wife!”

My hangover was much less than I expected this morning. Still, I’m moving a bit slower today, so as not to cause my head to fall off.

High point of the con so far? My Sweet Angel, Grace, riding in on Skooskorix, the Official Dragon of SacCon. Skoos is a big girl, even among dragons. 310 feet from nose to tip of tail. And half again that in wingspan. Thankfully, she’s about as sweet tempered and friendly as anyone you’ll ever meet.

So, I’m of to be part of the always popular “Gaming Before The Change” seminar, followed by a good old fashioned dungeon crawl being GMed by Peter. After that, there may be purchases made in the Dealer’s Room.

Walk Like A Carthaginian

…nope, doesn’t have the same catchy sound

WooHoo, Wednesday post is up way early!

The Doclopedia #217

Tiny Folk: Ehdan Underbarn

Ehdan and his clan, the Red Rooster Clan, have lived on the Yoder family farm for well over 150 years. While some of the clan live beneath the farmhouse, most of them live under the huge barn. Life on the farm means hard work, but there is also great comfort and plenty of good eating.

Although the Tiny Folk raise many crops and animals of their own, they still harvest some things that the Giant Folk grow. Most notably, they gather up corn, soybeans, apples, tomatoes, peppers, squash and eggs. They also trade goods with other clans in the area, generally at the Spring and Fall Harvest Festivals.

Unlike many Tiny Folk who live in towns and such, Ehdan and his Clan often do little things around the house and farm to help the Giant Folks. Ehdan is particularly fond of sorting through the nuts, bolts, screws and nails in the workshop and putting them into neat piles. The farmer thinks his kids are doing it.

Recently, the Ehdan and his brothers have figured out how to milk a goat (no easy task for such small people), so now they don’t have to steal milk from the milkhouse to make cheese. Now if they can just figure out how to kill, butcher and transport a hog in a single night, they’ll really be doing well.

Ehdan has long red hair, green eyes and a rather big pair of ears. He is married to Roobah and they have 5 children.

 

AFTER THE CHANGE CAME

A Night For Going To Bed Very Late, But Happy.

The barbecue party was hella fun and there was less flesh left on that pig than if it had been dipped into a pond full of piranhas. The festivities went on until about 7 PM, then everyone that wasn’t actually staying at our house went home.

And then it was GAME TIME! We busted out boardgames, card games, online games and RPGs. I ran a short TOON game for Peter, Holly, Mary, Avis, Miranda and Roscoe, then we joined Spike and several other folks for three rousing games of Kill Doctor Lucky!, Settlers of Catan and the newest edition of the Race Across The World card game. The new edition includes cards that abduct you to Wizard Time and one card that throws a Dragon Breeding Zone in your way.

On the online game front, I joined Doc Mystery (one of several guests who arrived just after my last post went up), Lori Curley (ditto), Peter, and Grace in playing through two of the new QuestWorld: Showdown dimensions. These were the “Cowboys & Amazons” world and the Robin Laws designed “Doomed Planet” world. Both were very well done, with Cowboys & Amazons having a much lighter tone and 4 pretty easy quests. Doomed World only has 2 quests, but they’re pretty damned hard and the second one has a time limit or you’ll die in a super volcano eruption. At some point, we’ll all get back together online to tackle a few more worlds. I’m told this edition of QuestWorld has at least 16 worlds up front and maybe 7 more that you can stumble upon if you do quests in the proper order.

Once the gaming was over, most everybody went off to bed. Me, I sat up a bit longer chewing the fat with Avis and Spike, but now it’s off to bed. It’s a good thing we can sleep on the train, because I’ll be up again in a mere 5 hours.

 

 

A Day For Riding A Train, Albeit Not A Crazy One

I was torn from the arms of Morpheus at 6:00 AM by my house elf/gentleman’s gentleman, Ben, telling me in his Alec Guinness sound alike voice that I should “awaken and greet the day”. I told him to piss off. He then snapped his fingers and I was in a cold shower. There are times that I hate house elves.

And since I’ve been asked before, yes, his name is taken from Ben Kenobi and no, he will not under any circumstances say “Use the Force, Luke”. I’ve tried a hundred times to get him to.

Anyway, after a loud scream and a fast shower, I was dressed and sitting at the dining room table sipping tea and watching various friends wander in. Grace, as always, looked like she had been awake for hours and was smelling like new cut hay.

Fun Fact About Green Ladies: They always smell great, like some sort of flower or herb or other vegetation.

Once most everyone was present, Annie produced the huge and varied breakfast, then she and Ben left for their annual day off. I’ve often wondered what House Elves do at the Hoedown, but never thought to ask. Might be better not to know.

Once everybody was fed, we schlepped our baggage out to the bus stop (1/4 mile from the house) and caught the Anibus to the train station. Today’s Anibus was Rudy, our regular catbus. He’s a very dependable fellow and usually shares the route with Cisco, a bunnybus.

30 minutes later, we were in what passes for “downtown” Sacramento and a few minutes after that we were on the #3 Valley to Coast Loop Express and heading west towards the coast just north of Bodega Bay.

The trip was delightful, with great scenery and great company. Near Sonoma, we saw a pretty big herd of land whales, with the big bull measuring at least 50 feet long. Once the train was running along the coastline, we saw several sea serpents on the beaches, this being the birthing season for them.

We got into Mendocino at about 1:15 and it was time for lunch, then a bit of sitting around on the ocean facing veranda of the Mendocino Hotel. Now it’s time to round up the troops and stroll around town, with stops at the various candy makers, wine tasting rooms and craft shops.

The bloggage, she will continue later.

 

A Night For Reporting In

Since I am about to collapse from exhaustion, this will be a quick update.

We are in San Francisco until tomorrow afternoon. Springfest is going on here and we’ve visited maybe 14 neighborhoods, all of which tried to feed us to an early grave. The pastries in the Fae area of the Noe Valley probably took 10 years off my cardiac life.

My old friend Jim Hong took all of us on a tour of Underground Chinatown. It was by turns fascinating, creepy, funny and scary. Also: Chinese Dragons? Surprisingly sentimental about the old country.

Several of us guys tried our hand at Hill Surfing, which is like snowboarding without snow on steep ass San Francisco streets. I’m surprised that we all survived with only minimal bruising. Not a surprise was the fact that no women gave it a try.

Time to hit the bed. More bloggage soon.

 

Tales Of Brave Ulysses S. Grant

…it’s a reference to a song by Cream

Here is Tuesday’s Doclopedia post, late, but still on Tuesday.

The Doclopedia #216

Tiny Folk: Zini Googler

Zini has always been fascinated by the high tech gadgets of the Giant Folk. At first, her fellow Zoo Dweller Clan members thought she was a bit daft, but nowadays they hold her in high regard. You see, Zini is plugged into the Net.

About 3 years ago, Zini and some friends managed to “acquire” a top of the line laptop computer. With a bit of work (and a “borrowed” corporate credit card), Zini was soon online and accessing all sorts of entertaining and informative websites. True, she has to use “push poles” to work the keyboard…and sometimes drafts her boyfriend into helping push keys…but she has become an invaluable part of her clan.

Over the years, Zini has amassed tons of software and peripherals. She is also active on several discussion boards and keeps a blog. Recently, she has discovered a secret website founded by another high tech loving Tiny Person. In fact, there are nearly 50 Tiny Folk worldwide who are online and posting to the site!

Zini’s current project has been to adapt a Blackberry keypad to interface with her laptop, thus making life way easier for her. See, she got the information on how to do it from a website…

AFTER THE CHANGE CAME

A Day For Getting Things Ready And Making Con Plans

Since I’ll be very short on time for anything but running around getting things ready for our out of town guest arrivals tomorrow (one of whom, Avis, is here already to help out, what with “travel time” being pretty much meaningless to her) and the big barbecue bash on Saturday, this will be a short post. Mmmm…barbecue…pig in the ground tomorrow night, baby!

Anyway, I have a few minutes for answering email (which I am days behind on) and making a couple of notes here…

1: Sin has found a bunch of my old web postings from just after the Change, so I’ll be putting them up on here from time to time. Looks like they are mostly from the day before Change Day up to a couple of days after Halloween, 1999.

2: Grace and I have our con schedule laid out and it looks like this…

SacCon (Sacramento): I’ll be there straight through from Saturday morning through Monday afternoon, plus the Friday Night Pre-Con party. Grace will be there from Sunday morning on.

Denver Gamefest (Denver, Colorado): The whole family (Grace, Lily, Roscoe & I) will be there.

QuestCon (San Francisco, California): Roscoe & I will be there.

Kaiju Con (Tokyo, Japan): (The whole family, plus several friends)

Origins (Baltimore, Maryland): (The whole family, plus Joneses)

ArcataCon (Arcata, California): (Just me)

AdventureCon 10 (Cork, Ireland): (The whole family, plus friends)

WebCon7 (London, England): (I’ll be at the live portion in London and Roscoe will be at the live gig in San Francisco, but we’ll both be connected to the estimated 3 MILLION attendees worldwide via the internet and Dream Draught)

GenCon (Milwaukee, Wisconsin): (The whole family at the bestest con EVER!)

WorldCon (Seattle, Washington): (The whole family, though Grace will be leaving on Saturday afternoon on Green Lady business)

Games Weekend (Austin, Texas): (Grace & I, plus several other Hobart alumni. This is the annual school gaming con.)

SacCon 2 (Sacramento, California): (The whole family, plus friends. After this one, I sleep for about a week.)

WHEW! Whole lotta conning & traveling there.

A Day For Partying!

It’s all about the friends, family and party time here at Casa Cross today. We have about a dozen friends visiting, plus my parents, my gnomish brothers & sisters, my brother Kelly, my cousin Wendy (who is a witch), my niece Molly, assorted aunts & uncles and a lot of other folks.

The pig won’t be coming out of the barbecue pit for a couple more hours, so everyone is just hanging out. Dad, Uncles Carl & Robert and a few other folks brought musical instruments and we are being serenaded with country & western, blues and rockabilly music.

Annie & Ben are preparing a lavish spread to accompany the pig. They have the day off tomorrow, even though house elves hate taking days off. They’ll be at the big House Elf Hoedown over at Clear Lake.

From where I sit, I can see Grace, Wendy and a couple of other women talking about medicinal herbs…Spike Y Jones, Roscoe, Peter Hildreth and our neighbors Linda & Shanira discussing recent world events…Kelly (who is a zebra striped centaur) giving rides to squealing masses of children…Mary Jones, my Aunt Amy, Holly Hildreth, my mom and Lily all commenting on the music…and many others doing everything from dancing to playing boardgames to just sitting back with a cold beverage.

Tomorrow, all of our visitors will join Grace and I on the train to Mendocino. After a day and night there, we’ll take another train down to San Francisco for a couple of days, then back here by Thursday afternoon.

And now Miranda Jones has asked me to dance with her, so I’m outta here.

 

Spice In The Ice Cream

…mmmm, chili & lemon flavor

AFTER THE CHANGE CAME

An Early Morning For Posting More Old Writing

Another piece I did for the Times of Luna, circa 2003.

Of Wizards & Mages

You folks on the Moon, lacking Magic as you do, have a bit of confusion about the differences between Wizards and Mages. This piece is going to help you out with that.

At the basic level, it boils down to two main points: the amount of magical power they can control and how “normal” they act. Believe me, while there are some strange behaving Mages out there, they aren’t anywhere near as peculiar as the average Wizard.

So, Wizards wield enormous magical power, especially when they work in groups, which they often do. Wizards can raise and lower mountains, turn a desert into a lake, shrink a 300 foot long dragon down to the size of a mouse or bring an extinct species back to life using whatever living animals they choose (most of the dinosaurs alive today are the spawn of chickens turned into dinosaurs 11 years ago). Wizards can teleport, read minds, control the weather and do all manner of other miraculous things. They are almost totally immune to poisons, disease or other things that kill mere humans. They will live at least another 2 or 3 centuries.

And they are all screwy as a Daffy Duck cartoon. How so, you ask?

Before the Change, they were almost all writers (especially science fiction or fantasy), artists, actors, game designers, comedians, scientists or, oddly enough, librarians. Some of them had been dead for several decades. After the change they were all a bunch of rather hippie looking young folks who wore outrageous clothing, had wildly colored skin/hair/eyes (and remember, I’m a yellow eyed Mutant) and adopted new names like “Wizard Bongo Longo” or “Wizard Kilimanjaro” or “Wizard Trixie Pixie” or “The Wizard With No Name” or “Wizard Robotix”. Now, I have spent much of my life hanging out with gaming and science fiction geeks (including several of the Wizards before the Change), so I’m pretty well acquainted with strange and idiosyncratic people. Wizards win the gold medal in that competition.

Which is not to say that Wizards aren’t nice folks, because they are, but you can’t go expecting a whole lot of normal behavior from them. They do things their way and you have to adapt to it.

One other thing about Wizards: when they are in their Wizardly realm (some sort of pocket universe, I’m told) they live in Wizard Time, which is way different from our good old dependable time. The first time I was summoned before a group of Wizards to discuss how I was going to mediate a peaceful end to a war between Orks and Weerloos, I spent two hours in wizard time. When they teleported me home, I found that I had been gone seven minutes. My next visit to Wizard Time, I was there for a day and a half, but when I got home, I found that four days had passed. A friend of mine went to Wizard Time for six hours and came home an hour before she left! Not wanting to cause a paradox, she snuck out her back door, hid out until she left, then went home. So, Wizard Time is just as strange as the Wizards are.

Mages are nowhere near as strange as Wizards, although there are some doozies out there. Most Mages have pretty ordinary names and dress in a fairly normal manner, although they all seem to like wearing hats and brightly colored sneakers (said the Mutant who owns nearly 1,000 bandanas and hasn’t worn any shoes except red Converse high tops in the last 50 years). They live in our regular time, but their homes are often pretty odd looking, if you can take the word of a Mutant who lives in a house substantially off the norm. My best friend’s boyfriend is a Mage and his house looks like a giant cheeseburger. Inside, it is mostly decorated in what I like to call “Early American Diner”. To be fair, he does cook a hell of a cheeseburger,

Mages have much less power that Wizards, but even so, they usually know a dozen or so fairly powerful spells. One of our local Mages specializes in both Healing spells and Reshaping spells. She makes a pretty good living healing people and reshaping raw materials into whatever form you’d like. She fashioned all of the oddly shaped windows (and their frames) that my wife and I have in our home.

Mages have a high resistance to poisons and diseases, but only a slightly greater than normal healing factor where injuries are concerned. Most of them will probably live 150 years or so. Almost all of them have familiars with whom they can communicate and draw certain powers from. Daniel, the Mage with the cheeseburger home, has a red fox named Opie as his familiar.

While many of the New Races have some magical abilities, only a few of them can match the versatility and power of Mages. The only ones who even approach Wizard level power are Green Ladies (when they act together) and, if she really exists, the Faerie Queen.

I hope this piece has answered some of your questions and I’ll see you back here in the Times next week.

A Day For Taking A Ride

My Sweet Little Pacific Blue Whistling Duck Of Love has suggested that today would be a fun day for a ride and a picnic, so we shall be on our way soon. Sirroco (Rocky) and Bellflower (Belle), our mules, are saddled up and waiting. Roscoe, Lily and a picnic basket the size of a bale of hay are coming with us. Apparently our house elves, Ben and Annie, think that we might not be back for a week or so, since that basket has enough food to feed 20.

I’m not sure where we’ll ride to, but since we live just 2 miles from the Ring Road, I’m thinking we’ll head into the outlands that used to be Orangevale and Folsom. I may take my fishing pole along, since the river is running high and that means the Giant Perch are active for about a month before heading out to sea. I’m sure Annie would like a few 10 pounders for the freezer.

We have no great plans for the rest of the week, but come Friday night we’ll be entertaining several guests from out of town who will be doing some sightseeing before we all head off to SacCon next Saturday. Naturally, I’ll be at the con, although Grace will miss Saturday due to having to put in an appearance at the Magefest in San Jose. Those mages, they love the Green Ladies…and the Dragons, since Skooskorix will be there (and is, in fact, Grace’s transportation back to Sacramento on Sunday morning).

And now, I am off to ride a mule, eat great food, go fishing and then dally in the tall grass with a fair maiden.

 

The Olive War Incident

…after which, our mothers actually breathed fire

The Doclopedia #214Tiny Folk: Captain Modan Wanderer

Captain Modan Wanderer, a member of the White Rock Clan, is also the most legendary explorer of all the High Mountain Clans. He has traveled many hundreds of miles in his career and his maps have proven invaluable to the Tiny Folk. He has battled many hungry animals, birds and insects. He has even infiltrated Giant Folk buildings in search of supplies. If he was a human, he’d wear a fedora and his last name would be Jones.

The Captain is a man in his mid 40’s with long brown hair, a large mustache and bright blue eyes. He is well built and ruggedly handsome. There are precious few women who would not welcome him into their homes…and their beds. Despite all of these feminine attentions (which he does take advantage of), he has not yet chosen a wife.

When he is on an expedition, the Captain is usually accompanied by his team of 6 associates, the Searchers. The whole team rides well trained ground squirrels and carry bows and swords. Expeditions often last for 6 months or more and the risk to life and limb are very real.

Rumor has it that the Captain has decided that his next expedition will be to the ocean, which is over 100 miles away and would require a voyage down the Great River. The trip back would take at least 10 months.

AFTER THE CHANGE CAME

An Early Morning For Posting More Old Writing

Another piece I did for the Times of Luna, circa 2003.

Of Wizards & Mages

You folks on the Moon, lacking Magic as you do, have a bit of confusion about the differences between Wizards and Mages. This piece is going to help you out with that.

At the basic level, it boils down to two main points: the amount of magical power they can control and how “normal” they act. Believe me, while there are some strange behaving Mages out there, they aren’t anywhere near as peculiar as the average Wizard.

So, Wizards wield enormous magical power, especially when they work in groups, which they often do. Wizards can raise and lower mountains, turn a desert into a lake, shrink a 300 foot long dragon down to the size of a mouse or bring an extinct species back to life using whatever living animals they choose (most of the dinosaurs alive today are the spawn of chickens turned into dinosaurs 11 years ago). Wizards can teleport, read minds, control the weather and do all manner of other miraculous things. They are almost totally immune to poisons, disease or other things that kill mere humans. They will live at least another 2 or 3 centuries.

And they are all screwy as a Daffy Duck cartoon. How so, you ask?

Before the Change, they were almost all writers (especially science fiction or fantasy), artists, actors, game designers, comedians, scientists or, oddly enough, librarians. Some of them had been dead for several decades. After the change they were all a bunch of rather hippie looking young folks who wore outrageous clothing, had wildly colored skin/hair/eyes (and remember, I’m a yellow eyed Mutant) and adopted new names like “Wizard Bongo Longo” or “Wizard Kilimanjaro” or “Wizard Trixie Pixie” or “The Wizard With No Name” or “Wizard Robotix”. Now, I have spent much of my life hanging out with gaming and science fiction geeks (including several of the Wizards before the Change), so I’m pretty well acquainted with strange and idiosyncratic people. Wizards win the gold medal in that competition.

Which is not to say that Wizards aren’t nice folks, because they are, but you can’t go expecting a whole lot of normal behavior from them. They do things their way and you have to adapt to it.

One other thing about Wizards: when they are in their Wizardly realm (some sort of pocket universe, I’m told) they live in Wizard Time, which is way different from our good old dependable time. The first time I was summoned before a group of Wizards to discuss how I was going to mediate a peaceful end to a war between Orks and Weerloos, I spent two hours in wizard time. When they teleported me home, I found that I had been gone seven minutes. My next visit to Wizard Time, I was there for a day and a half, but when I got home, I found that four days had passed. A friend of mine went to Wizard Time for six hours and came home an hour before she left! Not wanting to cause a paradox, she snuck out her back door, hid out until she left, then went home. So, Wizard Time is just as strange as the Wizards are.

Mages are nowhere near as strange as Wizards, although there are some doozies out there. Most Mages have pretty ordinary names and dress in a fairly normal manner, although they all seem to like wearing hats and brightly colored sneakers (said the Mutant who owns nearly 1,000 bandanas and hasn’t worn any shoes except red Converse high tops in the last 50 years). They live in our regular time, but their homes are often pretty odd looking, if you can take the word of a Mutant who lives in a house substantially off the norm. My best friend’s boyfriend is a Mage and his house looks like a giant cheeseburger. Inside, it is mostly decorated in what I like to call “Early American Diner”. To be fair, he does cook a hell of a cheeseburger,

Mages have much less power that Wizards, but even so, they usually know a dozen or so fairly powerful spells. One of our local Mages specializes in both Healing spells and Reshaping spells. She makes a pretty good living healing people and reshaping raw materials into whatever form you’d like. She fashioned all of the oddly shaped windows (and their frames) that my wife and I have in our home.

Mages have a high resistance to poisons and diseases, but only a slightly greater than normal healing factor where injuries are concerned. Most of them will probably live 150 years or so. Almost all of them have familiars with whom they can communicate and draw certain powers from. Daniel, the Mage with the cheeseburger home, has a red fox named Opie as his familiar.

While many of the New Races have some magical abilities, only a few of them can match the versatility and power of Mages. The only ones who even approach Wizard level power are Green Ladies (when they act together) and, if she really exists, the Faerie Queen.

I hope this piece has answered some of your questions and I’ll see you back here in the Times next week.

A Day For Taking A Ride

My Sweet Little Pacific Blue Whistling Duck Of Love has suggested that today would be a fun day for a ride and a picnic, so we shall be on our way soon. Sirroco (Rocky) and Bellflower (Belle), our mules, are saddled up and waiting. Roscoe, Lily and a picnic basket the size of a bale of hay are coming with us. Apparently our house elves, Ben and Annie, think that we might not be back for a week or so, since that basket has enough food to feed 20.

I’m not sure where we’ll ride to, but since we live just 2 miles from the Ring Road, I’m thinking we’ll head into the outlands that used to be Orangevale and Folsom. I may take my fishing pole along, since the river is running high and that means the Giant Perch are active for about a month before heading out to sea. I’m sure Annie would like a few 10 pounders for the freezer.

We have no great plans for the rest of the week, but come Friday night we’ll be entertaining several guests from out of town who will be doing some sightseeing before we all head off to SacCon next Saturday. Naturally, I’ll be at the con, although Grace will miss Saturday due to having to put in an appearance at the Magefest in San Jose. Those mages, they love the Green Ladies…and the Dragons, since Skooskorix will be there (and is, in fact, Grace’s transportation back to Sacramento on Sunday morning).

And now, I am off to ride a mule, eat great food, go fishing and then dally in the tall grass with a fair maiden.

Blue Oatmeal

…a colorful breakfast

The Doclopedia #213

Tiny Folk: Shumi Mouseherder

Shumi Mouseherder is a member of the Falling Leaf Clan. Her clan lives high in the mountains on the edge of a meadow. They have lived there for nearly 150 years. Like all of the Tiny Folk, Shumi is only 6 inches tall. Well, ok, 5.75 inches tall in her case. Other than that, she and all the other Tiny Folk look pretty much just like humans (or as they call us, Giant Folk).

Shumi is, as her name implies, a mouseherder. Tiny Folk mice are different from the mice we know. They are more than twice as large, have longer fur and are much calmer and slower moving. Mice are raised mostly for milk and fur, but they also provide meat and hides.  Shumi manages a herd of 20 mice with the help of her sister, Skomi, and their trusty watchchipmunk, Boncha.

Shumi is 16 years old and has white hair and green eyes. During the long days of tending her herd, she often thinks up stories, which she writes down at night. One day, perhaps, she will be known as Shumi Storyteller.

AFTER THE CHANGE CAME

A Very Early Morning For Saying “What The Fuck Just Happened?”

In the 12 years since the Change, I have seen some very strange shit. In the 10 years that I have been a diplomat, I’ve spoken to some very strange beings. In the 57 years I’ve lived on this planet, I’ve done some very strange things and seen even more done by others.

But over the last 6 hours, I have been subjected to full tilt crazyass strangeness of a near head exploding level. I am told by the Wizard who used to be a cranky ass and deliberately shit stirring, yet brilliant, science fiction (among other genres) writer, that we (myself, Miss Wei and Mr. Livingstone) did “a hell of a good job”. However, if you asked any of the three of us what the hell we did, we couldn’t say. I mean, I’m the guy who once brokered a peace agreement between a tribe of Weerloos and a hive of 2.5 million Jewel Bees, but I’m fucked if I know what we hammered out last night.

And even if I knew exactly what we did, I couldn’t tell you. Silence Bond and all that.

Anyway, my head and throat hurt and I’m going to get some rest before getting up for a 9 course breakfast and a Wizard Portal home.

More bloggage later.

A Day For Hanging Out At Home

First off, late last night a spell wore off and I realized that the memories I had of that supposedly screwy meeting the other day were, in fact, all false. The actual diplomatic undertaking was complex, but not goofyass strange. Unfortunately, even the real memories are fading and I’m still Silence Bonded, so the whole deal is a story I’ll probably never be able to tell.

Anyway, most of last night and all of today were times for relaxing here at the old homestead. Last night we watched a couple of vids, including the newest episode of “World Tour With Stephen Fry”. That one had about 20 minutes devoted to the Potterites in England and America, the two most rabid groups of that strange cult. The piece was made funny more because of what Fry did not say in response to the Potterites squirrelly rants.

Today, we all slept in late, then had a truly epic breakfast prepared by our house elves. After that it was mostly action packed lounging about mixed with puttering and goofing off. Somewhere in there we had lunch and after that I think Roscoe might have gone off to visit a lady friend. I do know Grace and I had a relaxing dip in the hot tub. Lily did what cats do best: she slept pretty much all day.

And tonight we are watching more vids, including “MechaNazis”, a pretty cool little vid out of Europe (Russia Sector) that has excellent CGI effects.

The Rare And Beautiful Orange Tongued Swamp Turtle Of Potawango Island

…they hum operatic arias at night

We end Lawmen Week with the cuddliest cop of them all.

The Doclopedia #212

Lawmen: Detective Ted E. Bear

 

 

At the Butte Valley Day Care & Pre-School, Ted E. Bear is the cop who gets the scum off of the street. Dolly hookers, action figure gangs, rowdy wind up robots or stuffed toy mobsters, Detective Bear is on their asses like poop on a diaper. He’s tough, dedicated and quick with a pop gun. Sure, he doesn’t always play by the rules and his boss, Captain Fuzzyduck, gives him a hard time, but he gets the job done.

Detective Bear stands 18″ tall and weighs 2 pounds. His fur is dark brown and has a few spit stains. One of his eyes is brown and the other is a black button. He lives behind the big toy box in a space he shares with his girlfriend, Princess Bear. His favorite drink is Pedialyte on the rocks.

 

AFTER THE CHANGE CAME

 

A Day For Not Moving Around Much

I was powerfully hung over on Sunday. Grace was gone on some errands most of the day, so I just lay in bed pretending to be a dying man. By about 2:00 pm, I could think about food without getting woozily. By 5:00 pm, I was ready for a hearty meal of crackers, water and more water.

Yes, I know I could have called in a Healer or even a properly bespelled Mage, but I’m old school and think we need to pay for our sins…especially the sin of drinking too fucking much.

A Night For Travel And Diplomacy

The last couple of days have mostly seen me just hanging out at home doing the gentleman farmer thing with the help of my gnomish brothers and sisters. I’ve done some online gaming and chatting, too.

Tonight, I leave by Wizard Portal (my third favorite way to travel) for some sort of very secret Wizard hosted negotiations with people or beings that I’ve never met before. Two other Speakers, Miss Wei and Mr. Livingstone, will be there as well. If I’m allowed to, I’ll give a report on all this later.

And there are only 17 days left to the official start of Con season!