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!

 

The Secret War Between Refrigerators & Ovens

…it’s a very slow war, but full of vicious taunts

Still playing catch up on the Doclopedia posts. I think these two bring me current or maybe one ahead.

Winker is still hanging in there and mostly sleeping and mostly not eating on her own.

The Doclopedia #209

Lawmen: Deputy Mark Lindale

Deputy Lindale has been a sheriff’s deputy for 7 years, but he has been a mutant since puberty. He’s way faster, stronger and tougher than any normal human. As you might imagine, this has sometimes come in very handy on the job.

Even though he has been tempted to become a masked vigilante, Mark has resisted. He figures living one life is enough of a pain in the ass. Besides, masked vigilantes have a terrible benefits package and the job often ends in death.

Mark is 32 years old, single and ruggedly handsome. He doesn’t have any one steady girl, a fact his mother reminds him of frequently. His dad just gives him a thumbs up. When he’s not driving a police cruiser, Mark is riding his Triumph motorcycle through the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Mark has met exactly one other mutant in his life, the world famous serial killer Buddy Ray Cutter. Buddy Ray has the power to move at three times normal speed, which helped him elude the police and butcher people in record time. What it didn’t do is protect him from one of Mark’s punches. Now Buddy Ray is in prison…until he figures out how to escape. Mark knows this and has pretty much decided that if Buddy Ray does escape, he might have to go vigilante after all.

 

The Doclopedia #210

Lawmen: Chief Constable Wilfred Tilden

Wilf Tilden is the head cop in the small village of Bogsby. Located “a good two day’s walk from anywhere interesting”, Bogsby is the center for weirdness in Great Britain. Strange shit happens there with great regularity. Ghosts, aliens, strange animals, werewolves, mad scientists, monsters…sooner or later, they all visit Bogsby.

Fortunately for the locals, Wilf will have none of this supernatural carrying on disrupting things on his watch. With the aid of his 2 junior constables, Viv and Peter, he investigates things straightaway and sorts them out. In some cases, this can be as simple as helping an alien gas up their spacecraft with liquefied sheep dung. Other times, a foul creature from the nether regions must be captured or destroyed. All in a days work for C.C. Tilden.

When he first took this assignment, 20 years ago, Wilf would file reports to Scotland Yard, but after a few years, they asked him to stop. It seems they didn’t want to know what was going on if it involved anything paranormal. On the other hand, Wilf has struck up a very active email friendship with a U.S. FBI agent.

Wilfred Tilden is a man of average looks, standing 6′ 2″ tall and weighing 190 pounds. He has light brown hair, brown eyes and wears wireframe glasses. He is married and has 3 adult children and 2 grandchildren. In his spare time, he likes fishing and gardening.

It should be noted that Wilf, while not completely fearless, is very hard to scare. Additionally, after 20 years at this job, absolutely nothing surprises him anymore.

 

 

AFTER THE CHANGE CAME

A Day (Or Three?) For Wizards

I’m told that I’ve been gone since early in the morning on Tuesday, but it didn’t seem that long to me because I WAS IN WIZARD TIME! For those of you who have never been yanked out of your regular life and summoned to a Wizard’s home, time does not pass the same there. I would have sworn that no more than three hours passed.

Anyway, I had breakfast and a meeting with four Wizards who informed me that I’ll soon be joining a couple of other Speakers for a diplomatic mission in a location I’m not at liberty to disclose just yet. I argued with them, but arguing with Wizards is like pissing into the wind.

Shit! So much for taking a few weeks off. Well, at least the breakfast was good.

A Night For Overdoing Things

Oh man, am I ever hammered! Also, filled up with tasty barbecue and pie. Our Community Center had a big wingding today/tonight (that would be yesterday, actually, cos it’s after midnight) and Grace & I attended. Actually, the whole family attended because Roscoe & Lily were there, too. Oh, and our friend Avis was there, cos she came to visit us for the weekend. Avis is a Traveler, which is a pretty rare type of mutant who can go through a door in one place and step out a door anywhere else on earth. If there is a door there. And if she knows there is a door there.

Anyway, we all ate and drank (ok, Grace doesn’t drink alcohol and Avis had like, one beer and Lily doesn’t drink alcohol and Roscoe only really likes single malt scotch, which there was none of) and danced and sang and did all sorts of fun stuff. Mostly, I’m so hammered because out neighbors Dave and Shelly (who are Brewer Gnomes. Surprise!) brought a couple of kegs of Dave’s Bad Dragon Porter, which is just about strong enough to get a troll shitfaced.

It’s great to go to these community things…much better that it was back during the pre-Change times. Nobody talks politics or any of that shit and all the food is organic and everybody is ok with everybody else, pretty much.

Ok, I’m off to bed. Any spelling corrections were done by my Computer Guide, Sin. Did I ever tell you that Sin (short for Sindell) was my school roommate for 7 years? And a swell guy? And a drag queen starting about year 4? But straight…hoo boy, was he straight…and the chicks dug him! Boy laid more pipe than a plumbing contractor. Women dig a hot looking guy who could rock their world AND give ’em makeup and fashion tips. Oh, and his real name wasn’t Sindell, it was Ian. Great guy. Sucks that he died, but at least he’s alive in cyberspace.

Ok, really off to bed now. More bloggage sometime soon.

 

Spinning Straw Into Adamantium

…if Marvel had written the fairy tale

The Doclopedia #208

Lawmen: Inspector Nick Douglas

Nobody wants the Faerietown beat. Dealing with Pookas, Brownies, Elves, Gnomes, Sprites, Trolls and the dozens of other species of faerie that live there is enough to make a cop give up and become a farmer. Which is exactly why Nick got the job. The brass was hoping that he’d say “screw it” after a few weeks and leave the force. The brass were wrong.

Instead of letting the faeries make him crazy (he has 2 ex-wives for that), Nick learned everything he could about them. Before long, he had trusted contacts among the faerie community and was busting crooks right and left. He even got a commendation from the King of Faerietown. Of course, he did make some enemies, but that’s what cold iron bullets are for.

Meanwhile, the human bosses in the police force and city force are trying to deal with Nick’s new found celebrity, much of which he owes to newspaper columnist and close friend Gabe Castillo. There isn’t a week goes by that Nick doesn’t get at least a few lines in My Town: Day & Night. This drives Police Commissioner Anderson crazy.

Nick Douglass is 5’11” tall, weighs 185 pounds, has black hair and brown eyes and walks with a slight limp. His favorite radio show is “Dragnet”, his favorite drink is scotch on the rocks, his favorite food is Chinese and his favorite gun is a .45 automatic. Nick lives in a small apartment with his cat, Abigail.

 

 

AFTER THE CHANGE CAME

An Evening For Posting Long Articles From 10 Years Ago

The following entry is from a series of articles I did over the years that appeared in the Times of Luna. This one was the first and appeared in 2000.

The First Year

It has been just over a year since Magic came (returned?) to the planet Earth and, for those first 5 days, to the Moon. I have been asked by Ms. Kohladi, the editor of this fine publication, to write a few words about both my own experiences when the Change came and the general effects Magic had upon the world.

To begin with, the quick story of where I was when that first Wave hit.

My wife (Grace) and I, plus a recently adopted Basset Hound puppy (Roscoe) and white American Longhair kitten (Lily), were camping in the back country of Glacier National Park. It was our last night there before moving on to the big GenCon gaming convention in Milwaukee on Labor Day weekend, which was happening at the same time as the Chicago World Science Fiction Convention. Some people think that having that much geekery in one part of the world is what brought magic back, but I’m not one of them.

We were just drifting off to sleep when we heard and felt a strange noise all around us. It was like a very quiet and sped up version of somebody popping bubble wrap. Then our skin began to tingle. Grace and I sat up and exclaimed the same profanity, Roscoe began whining, Lily started to meow and things got very strange very quickly.

I could see Grace, whom I was facing, but I could also see myself from her vantage point, both of us and Roscoe from Lily’s point of view on Grace’s shoulder and a similar view from Roscoe’s position at my side. This all happened very quickly, but during that time I could see my wife’s skin turning green, my own hair turning a bold metallic red, my eyes turning yellow and we could all hear each other’s thoughts, which can be summed up as “What the hell?”

I’m told that the First Wave lasted all of 30 seconds, but it sure seemed a whole lot longer to us. When it was over, my wife was a Green Lady, I was a Mutant who could speak with any creature that had an advanced enough language and Roscoe & Lily had gained intelligence equal to Grace and I (which is pretty good, if I do say so), plus the ability to speak via telepathy. Plus, Grace & I were 18 years old again and pretty weirded out. Happy, but still weirded out.

The odd thing was that we, and in fact nobody on Earth, panicked. This was in part due to everybody having gained knowledge of what they were now (for example, Grace knew everything there was about being a Green Lady, while I knew all about my Mutant powers), but it also helped that the Wizards popped into our heads a few minutes later and told us what was going on. That part went pretty much like this…

We are the Wizards of Earth and we want to give you a quick rundown of what just happened. Magic has come to the Earth and most of the Human race, as well as many of the more common animals, have been affected. Many of the races and creatures of myth, legend and story are now real. Some people can cast spells, some are mutants who possess a single magical power and some are just plain humans. We also made all of you over the age of thirty 18 years old again, so as to have a nice young population. We’ll tell you more in the coming days, but until then, just go on about your business and welcome to an exciting new world.”

Not exactly the detailed report most of us would have liked, but it did have a very reassuring effect, so the four of us, at least, went back to sleep.

I’d like to take a moment here to explain to you fine space folks that Wizards are wonderful folks but, in most cases, oddballs. A few might even be called crazy.

After hiking back to our pickup truck the next day, we started driving to Milwaukee as we had planned. We stopped at the first gas station we came to for fuel and to make phone calls. The gas station owner was a troll, but a rather friendly one who told me that he and his family would soon be giving up the gas station for a farm. Many trolls are farmers and darned good ones, too.

Phone calls let us find out that most of our family members had become gnomes, with the exception of those who had become giants (my sister and brother in law), Mages (or, in the case of my cousin Wendy, a witch), centaurs (my brother, Kelly, and my cousins Randy and Rob), Mutants (my sister in law Lauren, a couple of cousins) or other New Races (my brother in law, Steve, is a werewolf and my niece Molly is an elf ). A few remained human (both my nephews and my niece, Megan) and everybody seemed to be ok, or at least what passes for ok in our families.

Over the course of the next few days, we also learned that…

A whole lot of humans turned into gnomes. On the order of a billion, to be exact. And when they breed (just the one time for most couples) they have from 4 to 6 babies. My

mom recently gave birth to 5 babies, 3 boys and 2 girls. This massive increase in the gnomish population is offset by the fact that they don’t hit sexual maturity until they are about 25, they will seldom live past 60 and only about a third of them will reproduce. Still, that’s a hell of a lot of gnomes. Good thing they are so darned happy, friendly and productive.

The Magic had an influence that included the Moon, so the Wizards had got to work building huge domes and L5/L4 colonies and…well, I guess you folks know all that. Suffice it to say that before the Magic retreated back to just covering the Earth and a bit beyond our atmosphere, Luna went from a population of 32 at the International Moon Base to a population of 6,000,000, counting the colonies and the various space stations. All of them were human, including both of my nephews

Much of what built the lunar colony up came from the great cities and other human constructs here on Earth. The wizards just recycled all of the materials from cities, dams, military bases, vehicles, etc into nicely separated piles of raw materials, then used those to make what they needed. After they were done with the Moon, they rebuilt things here on Earth where, I should point out, the human population went from 6 billion to about 750 million. Even with all of that building and stuff, there are still huge piles of materials from steel to concrete to wood to glass sitting in thousands of warehouses just waiting to be used. When Grace and I built our large 12 room farmhouse, the cost of materials came to about what you’d pay for a good cow. Labor was just a bit more expensive, thanks to our gnomish kinfolk.

While science was still with us, much technology had been changed or just rendered impossible. Computers were now organic and alive and had to be fed every few weeks. Ours is a vegetarian. Nuclear weapons were gone and even if you could have built one, it wouldn’t work due to Wizardly Decree. Petroleum products were limited and will eventually disappear entirely, but solar power was much more efficient and cheaper than ever before. Cars were still around and didn’t look much different, but the got great gas mileage. Buses were now alive and looked like strange mixes of buses with dogs, cats or rabbits. Trains were also alive and looked like some strange offspring of a train and a multi legged lizard. All of them were very friendly, comfy to ride in and fast. People really took to travel by bus and train and in a few months, they became the most popular form of travel..

If you needed to go where trains or buses couldn’t go, you could travel by airship (huge zeppelin like craft), Wizard Portal (nearly instantaneous and fairly inexpensive, but not widely available), teleporting (if you are brave or just like taking risks), seagoing ship (like buses and trains, they are alive and have a sort of giant turtle look) or the new solar powered airplanes (slow and, at that time, expensive). Jets airplanes were gone, but if you could get on good terms with a Dragon, they might give you a lift. Most Dragons can hit about 400 miles per hour. Not very comfy on long trips, but great for short hops.

The Wizards cleaned up the environment and restored many ecosystems, including the restoration of thousands of extinct or endangered species…including dinosaurs in some limited areas. A ban on most ocean fishing still has 2 years to go, at which point most fish populations will be booming. The climate, once on the verge of man made change for the worse, has begun stabilizing.

In most areas on land, the enchanted borders (Ring Roads) of Towns & Cities are mostly there to keep out large predators, both normal and magical. In California, where I live, that mostly means the no longer extinct California Grizzly Bear, which are huge (largest non-magical land carnivores on Earth) and always hungry. Awe inspiring to look at, but I’m glad they can’t come roaming through my back yard.

As you might expect, with fewer humans around, things like government, the military and religions took a big hit. Truth to tell, most of them pretty much collapsed. Like gardening, politics was always local and it became truly local after the Change when most Cities and Towns were created. The need for a Big Daddy government just wasn’t there. Oh sure, here in the US we still have a President, Congress and Supreme Court, but they don’t really have much real power. Mostly, they just meet for a couple of months and ask people what we think they ought to do. By and large, we encourage them to create National Parks or overturn laws that either don’t apply anymore or everybody ignores anyway. It works out pretty well.

As for religion, in some areas the religious fundamentalists that still survived rejected the entire Change as the work of Satan or America or whatever other thing they could point a finger at and cling to hating. Because of this, there are places in the southern United States, Arabic Africa and Eastern Europe where the fundies took over entire Cities and drove out everyone who wasn’t a “normal human”. They reject Magic and pray a lot and mostly do not trade with the rest of the world. The Wizards, having a wicked sense of humor and not a whole lot of sympathy for fools, often appear in these Cities and do a bit of magical mischief. The fundies hate that. Most of these places are will slowly die out because the young people will start to leave

There isn’t much need for a military when folks can band together to fight a threat on the local or regional level. It also helps that such threats are very rare. As in, so far, none. Well, ok, we sometimes have to deal with ogres or giants or other folks who get liquored up and rowdy, but it’s no big deal.

The single biggest thing to change the world was the one two punch of the New World Wide Web and the new worldwide (worldswide, I should say, since you Loonies also use it) monetary system. I’ll write a whole piece on the NWWW and computers soon, but let’s talk about how the manure hit the fan when actual money went away.

As you know, at the start of the fiscal year (on Change Day, August 29) everybody gets their monetary account reset to 100,000 credits. No more, no less. Spend all that in a month or two and you are seriously hosed. But then, that would be very hard to do, since housing is cheap or even free and if you have no food, your neighbors will feed you. Oh, you need to EARN money, because in a couple of more years, things will reset so you only receive what you earned the year before…except that you still can’t have more that 100K in your account on August 29th. Additionally, we all giv up 5% to the General Fund, which covers all the things taxes used to, like infrastructure repairs and such. All this is still driving the few remaining Libertarians nuts, which is pretty fun to watch…almost as much fun as watching the few remaining Republicans in elected office looking for rich people to suck up to or a war to start. The Democrats are just kind of sad, since nobody needs social programs or the like anymore.

Earning money is actually pretty easy. The internet and our computer guides are making it easy for anybody to write and sell books, games, movies, music, television series, etc. You can also sell other items easily by advertising on the Net. My mother, who is a Gardener Gnome, has just started up a seed selling website and in the first month has earned 3,500 credits. Nowadays, everyone is an entrepreneur, which is is why there are so few large companies. Why buy your hamburger from some chain when there are plenty of small local food vendors? Ditto clothing, tools, whatever. It also helps that the herd mentality humans used to have is dead because, hey, it’s a mixed herd now.

One last note on money: Aside from gnomes, house elves and a few other races, most of the New Races do not need or want money, they trade for what they need or, in the cases of the more savage races, take it by force. An example of this trading would be the fact that I recently traded 5 dozen duck eggs for a couple of cases of Trollish beer. Both of us got a good deal and went away happy. Such trades happen every day

In future articles, I’ll go into more depth on some of the subjects I touched on in this one. I hope you enjoy them.

Chapter 386: In Which Our Hero Is Pursued By Greeks, Wins A Major Bet And Climbs Mount Danger

…he won 2,000 florins on that bet

The Doclopedia #207

Lawmen: Marshall Bart McKain

U.S. Marshall Bart McKain is about 90% of the law in Arizona Territory. Most local sheriffs are either cowards or crooks, so Bart has alot of bad guys to deal with. Pretty nice that he likes his work, eh?

Bart is a 6’4″, 325 pound man of mixed Irish & Mexican ancestry. He’s a damned good shot with a rifle and even better with a pistol. Bart is an even tempered man most of the time, but when his temper pops, look out!

Bart owns a small ranch up near the Navajo Nation, but he travels all over the territory on his horse, Jack. Often, he travels with his old pal, Dusty, a man of many words and not enough personal hygiene.

 

 

A Day For Recapping Yesterday And Making Sausages

Roscoe and I had a hell of a walk yesterday. 32 miles, all told and much of that was through the oak forest that covers what used to be Rancho Cordova. We saw many rabbits that Roscoe barked at, but declined to chase. He said that the bunnies on that side of the river were just too damned fast, plus, what the hell would he do with one if he caught it? We also saw about a zillion squirrels, many birds (including a couple of parrots, several firehawks and what I’m pretty sure was a fairy crow), a couple of foxes (one of them a red fox) and a small herd of cattle. If we had walked south a couple more miles, we might have seen some elephants (who settled there after all the zoos and animal sanctuaries went away during The Change), but we mostly strolled along the river road.

When we finally got home Grace was watching a movie on the big screen and the house elves were cooking up dinner. Roscoe crashed in his room and I vegged out playing Nine Kingdoms (a strategy game I give a big thumbs up to, by the way) on the terminal in the den. Later, we ate dinner and then Grace and I watched some of the new 30 minute episodes of Spider-Man. After that it was bedtime.

Today, I’m off to help my dad and my gnome brothers make sausages.

Mmmm…sausages.

A Day For Not Blogging Overmuch

Just a quick post before I finally head out the door to do about 57 errands.

My father, brothers and I made about 150 pounds of various sausages yesterday. The boys (all age 9) did a fine job helping while dad ran the grinder and I mixed up herbs, spices and stuff to toss into the various mixes of meats. About half of the sausages are in the smokehouse now and the rest are in our freezers. Grace and I will be busting out some pork/goat sausage with spring herbs tonight. MmmmMmmm!

Despite asking for 6 weeks off, I am beginning to get little vmails asking if I might have “just a few hours” open to mediate this or that. Since anything taking just a few hours probably means teleporting somewhere (and I REALLY hate teleporting), I’ve told Sin to answer all such inquiries with a polite “Not a chance in hell! Call back in 6 weeks!”.

Gotta go. More bloggage later

Here, Hold This Jackhammer For Me

…it was a TOON game, so things went badly for the holder

.

NOTE FROM THE FUTURE (November, 2019): I don’t know why I didn’t post about Winker sooner this month, but she really recovered well once the pills the vet prescribed kicked in. She was 90% her old sweet self and would live almost exactly one more year.

.

Ok, I owe y’all (and myself) some Doclopedia posts, so here we go with Lawmen Week.

The Doclopedia #206

Lawmen: Marshall Galzea Ovir

Galzea Ovir is the daughter, granddaughter and great granddaughter of lawmen & women. So well known is her law enforcing family that many criminals just give themselves up if they hear that she is after them. Galzea has been Imperial Marshall of the Greenwood district of the Marposian Empire for 5 years now and the crime rate has plummeted.

Galzea is a 5’4″ woman of mixed human/elvish ancestry. She keeps her greenish blonde hair short and usually wears mithril armor. Her favored weapons are a longbow for distance and a broadsword for close up work. Besides being an extremely proficient fighter, Galzea is also a third circle wizard and a rather talented theif. She usually rides a well trained gelding horse named “Storm” who has been taught a number of useful tricks.

When traveling around her district (which is 200 miles across from east to west and 90 miles from north to south), Galzea is often accompanied by her deputy, Quilosh Dhuul, a Siriptan axemaster.  If she needs more backup than Quilosh can provide (and that is a rare event), she will bring along Kanday Blayze, her best friend and a wizard of the seventh circle.

 

AFTER THE CHANGE CAME

A Day For Returning To The Blogosphere

Yes, friends & neighbors, after 3 years of no blogging and precious little internet activity (or gaming or writing or anything not involving international/interspecies relations) at all, Uncle Doc is back with a new blog. Gaia willing and the creek don’t rise, I should be blogging a few times a week for the next few months. My old blog got lost in the web somehow, but my computer guide, Sin, tells me that he’ll get it archived again Real Soon Now. I’m not holding my breath.

So, to get everybody back up to speed, I’ll post an introduction this time and then on my next post I’ll tell the “Second Honeymoon Story”, mostly to let the younger folks know from my very personal point of view how we all got this way and also because most of my good friends really like hearing it.

Anyway, the inevitable Introduction.

I am…

…57 years old (but when The Change came, my body got reset to about 18, so I’m now looking 30)

…male

…a Mutant (I’m a Speaker)

…of Irish, Portuguese, Scottish and Native American ancestry, in that order.

…married (36 years now, to Grace, who is a Green Lady)

…a Dad to Roscoe, a Smart Dog and to Lily, a Smart Cat

…a brother (first to Rosie and Kelly, then after the Change to Hank, Bob, Violet, Pansy and Merle)

…a son (to Bill and Gerry, who are young Gnomes now)

…a graduate of the Hobart School for Young Ladies and Gentlemen (even though I’m neither of those)

…a native Northern Californian (a fact I am both proud and rather smug about)

…a gamer (all sorts of games, but mostly roleplaying, computer or board)

…a game writer/designer (but nowadays, isn’t everyone?)

…a writer (ditto)

…an Official Diplomat for a wide array of local, regional and continental governments (because there are like, only two other Speakers in all of North America. Also: not nearly as glamorous a job as you might think)

…a movie buff (all the movies ever made are on the internet now? See you in a year or ten!)

…a big fan of science fiction, the old pulp adventures, humor and horror (see the above statement about movies, but swap books for movies)

…an avid birdwatcher. I used to be an avid gardener, but when your wife is a Green Lady and your mom is a Gardener Gnome (NEVER call them “garden gnomes”!), you start feeling inadequate.

…an uncle (8 times over, not counting my honorary unclehood to friends children)

…a pretty damned good cook, when our House Elves will let me in the kitchen

…a tea drinker (especially Gnomish Gold and good old Oolong)

…a beer drinker (especially Guinness Extra Stout and Wild Wizard Ale)

…a redhead (lifelong, but now a really metallic red that sets off my yellow eyes, or so I’m told. Both are part of the whole Mutant package)

…a dedicated con goer (Grace and I go to at least one con per month, from the small & cozy local SacCon to the really big ones like GenCon and WorldCon.

…a pretty funny fellow (according to friends & family)

 

A Day For Hating Fools

Ya know, like most everybody, I like Gnomes. They’re helpful and hardworking and fun as hell to hang with. Also, much of my family gnomed out during The Change, as did pretty much everyone else’s families.

But April Fools Day is like their species holiday. They just go nuts with pranking. Simple pranks, elaborate pranks, just plain goofy pranks…they do ’em all and in my family and my neighborhood, I seem to be the Grand Prize Pranking Target.

This year, even my normally serene and earth motherly wife got in on the act (shoes glued to the floor, bathroom turned into a jungle), as did my supposedly loyal children (leaking tea mug, whoopie cushion)! I can’t even imagine what my parents, siblings and other relatives have planned for me.

And it’s only 9:00 in the morning.

I think I’ll start drinking early.

A Day For Recovering

I seem to have over indulged on the scotch yesterday, as I’m feeling less than 100% today. Around 34%, actually.

All of the April Fools wackery has been undone, including the spell that kept causing my pants to fall down to my ankles, so all is right again here at the farm. Hank even moved the chicken house to a better spot before he removed the legs from it. The chickens seemed pretty thankful for that. My mom swears all of my clothes will be their proper colors in a day or two.

Grace has some big mental conference with the Ten Thousand today and Lily doesn’t feel like going out, so Roscoe suggested that he and I go hiking. I think we’ll go walk along the American River and maybe cross over the Sunrise bridge into the oak woods to the south. I’m thinking I’ll take along some cheese and sausages for us to snack on. Plus iced tea. Gotta have iced tea.

More bloggage later.