There's a cool essay in Tor's latest email to their mailing list:
Narnia’s Mouse Knight: Reepicheep and the Dual Nature of Chivalry by Matt Mikalatos. Clicked through and saw that there a whole bunch of essays related to a Chronicles of Narnia re-read over here.
Last night's D&D session went well, I think. It was supposed to be a one-shot, but we started a bit late so we'll continue on Sunday night. Like I said in my last post I'm running a module out of Uncaged Vol. 1.
The story so far: a former mermaid guard, Lily, hires three people to help her. An tabaxi assassin on his first job, Blackpaw; a tiefling druid out for fun and profit, Candela, and a pirate who may or may not have gambled all her money away and needs to get solvent FAST, Tam. Lily is out to save a bard named Sanger, a redhead whose voice stole her heart and imagination away.
Lily was on her usual underwater patrol, a word that I couldn't remember for the life of me last night, when she heard Sanger singing her ballads on a caravel, for the delight of a noble named Heks Vand. During the bard's performance, a sudden storm hit the sea around the ship, and it went down. Both the noble and the bard were in the water and Lily had to make a choice: save the bard with the beautiful voice, or a noble she didn't know. She saved the bard, bringing the woman to the shore before slipping back underwater. Her elder sister, tired of all of Lily's moaning about the bard found out through her connections where Sanger lives, right near the shore Lily left her. Lily decided to go to the shore where she left Sanger, hoping against hope that the bard would be looking for her as well.
When she got to the shore, Lily found a witch instead, who promised her legs in exchange for a voice. Lily, well-versed in sign language seeing as she and all her friends and family live underwater, agrees. As sharp pain takes over her tail, the witch reveals himself to be none other than Heks Vand, the noble she chose not to save. As a consequence of her choice, Heks decided to punish her with keeping her onshore, making the water around them turbid and impenetrable, as well as abducting Sanger to rip her tongue out and sacrifice it at the full moon... twenty days from then.
With two days to the full moon, Lily had only one lead scraped from days of living off the street and building her underworld connections. A man named Loper, servant to Heks Vand. She and her hirelings caught him after a short roof chase where Candela masterfully knocked Loper out with a ground to air stone missile. Blackpaw helped bring the unconscious Loper, Tam, and himself down to the street, with only Tam's sprained finger to show any effort on their part. They extracted the information about Vand's safehouse, robbed him of 3 gold, and immediately went to confront the man and save Sanger while Lily stayed to turn Loper in, to the police.
After a few missteps that ended with them chilling in a community pocket garden (it's super cute with overwatered carrots, a big rock where the kids of the neighbourhood pressed their painted hands on it to like, mark it as THEIR garden, some nice shrubberies, a kid with an expensive watering can...) that the DM had to conjure up out of wholecloth to help Tam regain some hitpoints, the trio penetrated the lair of the witch.
Candela, with her innate knowledge of Abyssal, found evidence of demon summoning in what seemed to be Loper's quarters. They went further into the house avoiding further traps with Blackpaw's keen senses, discovering an alchemical laboratory with distressing amounts of dried organic matter on the table, a beautifully-appointed library where Tam had a whiskey while Blackpaw found and kept two cigars (worth a gold apiece), then finally... a large circular room filled with a summoning circle, strange candles, and manacles.
It was there that they found an empty cage. Lily caught up to them then, following the trail that they had taken through the house. Just as they were beginning to fully understand the true nature of the situation they were in, four skeletons came out to defend the home!
And that's where we stopped for the night.
DM-ing over Discord was easier than I thought it would be, but it might be because my friends are very patient and don't talk over each other. I did have some trouble managing all my files; usually, I have a laptop and some papers laid out, but since I was keeping Discord, the module, and some references all on one screen I kept clicking the wrong window!
I'm less scared of DM-ing online now. And since this is only the first week of the quarantine, I may have more chances to do it.
We ended a little later than I wanted to, but I dropped off fairly quickly. I peeped into Animal Crossing before I went to sleep and got this cute photo of my character looking out over the island.
This morning I woke up at 7:30, exactly on schedule. Mum and I didn't get to have dinner last night because she dropped out while I was playing D&D, and I was too sleepy to do anything about food. Thankfully I had a plan for today's breakfast. I'd been saving these two pieces of wholegrain bread since Monday, trying to get them dry. We'd finished the loaf already last Wednesday, but I wanted to make them into French toast. And today was the day.
Mum had hers with cheese, ham, and syrup, but I decided to make mine look a little cute. I spread a little brie on the bottom layer, put some syrup between a slice of ham, and topped it off with more French toast. It was really good. But I think that the bread should have been soaked longer than the fifteen minutes I did, so that it could be even more custardy. I don't think the photo is nice, but it tasted great.
After breakfast, I settled in to play a little Animal Crossing so that my food would go down.
Mum was watching CNN International and made me pay attention to a news segment about a family of seven, four of whom had ended up dying of COVID-19 after they all got infected after having dinner together. All the hair on my arms stood on end.
We turned off the TV and I played more Animal Crossing to settle my suddenly upset stomach.
The dogs and I had a good time chasing each other around, but I made the mistake of starting the fun at 11:30. I don't know if you guys have heard, but amihan's over and it's officially summer. The dogs sensibly quit after 20 minutes, and I, the human being, pushed onwards and marched around the yard for another ten minutes. According to my watch, I covered a whole kilometer with and without the dogs and even if it could be a misreading, I don't care I was a boiled lobster. At least the dogs had the sense to go into the shade and drink water when they were tired.
1. NPR Music released their Austin 100 playlist. It says 100 but it's really 150 songs at 6 hours and some change worth of content. I need new music so I'm excited to go through the whole thing and learn about some new artists. We have three more weeks and I am already tired of all the playlists I have.
2. N.K. Jemisin's new book The City We Became is coming out next week, on the 24th. I have no idea what it's about because I'm hoping to get into it pure, without any expectations. A friend of mine's already read an ARC and she says it's amazing though. And I have enjoyed all her previous books, with an especial love for The Broken Earth Trilogy, that won THREE CONSECUTIVE HUGO AWARDS.
3. You may have seen this amazing video on Twitter already, which shows how to get full coverage during handwashing. But I was AGOG.
Mum went rogue and ordered a bunch of lasagnas from Va Bene Pasta Deli in BGC. They've already arrived, still warm and split into single portions, and I think that's probably enough pasta for the next few weeks. We'll probably eat some for dinner. I didn't even know they were still open, let alone delivering during an island-wide quarantine, but here we are. I like their veal cheek pasta usually, and I think I'll treat myself to that when the quarantine's over.
That's pretty much it! Nothing else on the docket for this lazy Saturday afternoon than more Animal Crossing and reading a book.
See you tomorrow.