A place wherein this Dwarven Cleric can share his love of maps, dice, miniatures, and all things involving gaming and general geekery--not to mention the occasional witty non-gaming observations--whilst escaping from the humdrum existence of his routine Terran existence.

Hail and Well Met, fellow traveler! May my Stronghold provide a place for enlightenment and amusement, and somewhere to keep your dice dry. Enter and rest awhile.

21 March 2014

On Ladyhawke and the Firing of Paralegals

To paraphrase Etienne Navarre, "This firm has never known dishonor...until now."

[Aside: Yeah, I know what the original line is: "This sword has been in my family for five generations. It has never known defeat. Until now." It just doesn't exactly fit the situation. End aside.]

My paralegal has been with me for a dozen years. The firm first hired her to answer phones, and she's learned and progressed until, well, frankly she's my office manager now. She knows her stuff. She's good at what she does.

I almost fired her today.

I spent a few hours this morning trying to find a reasonably priced legitimate copy of Ladyhawke on DVD. Not Blu-Ray, DVD. It ain't easy. Everything I could find online was either bootleg, "fair" used quality, or prohibitively expensive. I vocalized this grief and anguish to my paralegal.

She scoffed.

More precisely, she made a "PFFT" sound and then said, "It's not that great a movie. I'm not surprised you can't find it. I AM surprised that you WANT to find it."

My blood roils again just typing those words. You see, it was one of my favorite movies in the 80s. I remember seeing it as a teenager in the theaters. It's one of those movies, like Princess Bride that is often quoted at our game table. And my paralegal? She's not much younger than me, maybe five years. She's a gamer who worships at the altar of World of Warcraft and who played D&D in the past.

And she scoffed at this movie.

There's no accounting for taste, eh?

I've decided to leave it up to my readers: do I fire her for this? or do I just write a note for her personnel file? The poll is up on the right-hand side of the page, just below the "War Cry Generator," and my Followers list. Go to it. Let me know what should be done with the paralegal.

20 March 2014

Who's Who: Saeharil Nighthealer [NPC]

Saeharil Nighthealer’s half-human heritage has “gifted” her with a less-than-Elvish build. She tends toward the paunchy, taking after her father, but inherited her mother’s porcelain skin. Her eyes bulge, just noticeably, like her father’s, but they are the color of amethyst, like her mother’s. She keeps her ash blonde hair close-cropped, and tends to leave it “as it is,” with it often appearing matted and disheveled. No one is quite sure of the genetic origin of her enormous ears.

Her father, Geeth Liontrade, was once known as “Lord Liontrade” and owned a sizeable estate in the Fireguess Valley. He had inherited his title from his father, who had it from his father, and so forth for nearly ten generations. Geeth was well-loved by all who knew him; at least until his dalliance with an elf maiden named Sehlarith became public. The birth of a child will make such things known, after all, especially in such racially-charged environs such as Fireguess Valley. He was run out of the Valley on a rail, with Sehlarith and the infant Saeharil in tow.

The family became people without a people as they searched for a new home. Sehlarith’s people found her distasteful for her choice in partners and shunned the half-breed child. Meanwhile Geeth was ostracized for having “betrayed” his race and viewed with distrust. There, too, the half-breed child was seen as less than human. The little family wandered from town to town until they found themselves a small piece of unclaimed land near Oxbadger Creek, where they settled. Geeth developed a reputation as a sheep herder and lived out his days raising sheep and selling wool.

A childhood accident left Saeharil without a right arm, and burdened by constant feelings of fear (especially of bodies of water) and helplessness. Becoming a cleric of Eravel has helped quell these feelings, but has not eliminated them completely. She harbors resentment and ingratitude toward her father, angry at the loss of the family’s reputation. As a “half-breed” she has felt this loss even more strongly, she believes, than has her father, having lost all of the protection his title and lands could have provided. Of course, she doesn’t acknowledge that his dalliance–and her birth–is what cost the family the reputation.

Her human grandfather was one of the few people who did not blame Saeharil for her existence. Even though he never spoke to her father again, he loved Saeharil and would have died for her. She learned from him a love for words and a talent for paper-folding. He nicknamed her his “Jabberwock” after an ancient, mythical creature, because of her constant chattering and talking, often to inanimate objects. His love for her inspires her to this day; this love has carried her through some dark times.

Saeharil now lives in Coldtreath and maintains a temple dedicated to Eravel, the Sun Goddess and the Goddess of Prophecy.

Saeharil Nighthealer CR 9

Half-Elf Cleric 6 / Fighter 6
Chaotic Good Medium Humanoid
Init: +3
Senses: Low-light Vision; Listen +6; Spot +5
Languages: Common, Elven

AC 17, touch 10, Flat-footed 17
hp 72
Immune: Sleep
Resistance: Enchantment +2 save
Fort +11, Ref +3, Will +11

Speed: 30
Melee: Mace,Heavy +1 (mithral): +14 (1d8+5)
Full: Mace, Heavy +1 (mithral): +14/+9 (1d8+5)
Space/Reach: 5/5
Base Atk 10; Grp 12
Special Actions: Turn Undead
Combat Gear: Chainmail (mithral) +2; Mace, heavy +1 (mithral)
Spells Prepared: (CL 6)
3rd — (DC 17) Dispel Magic; Extended Bull’s Strength; Prayer; Searing Light*
2nd — (DC 16) Delay Poison; Hold Person; Spiritual Weapon; Summon Monster II; Heat Metal*
1st — (DC 15) Bless, Bless Water, Entropic Shield, Obscuring Mist; Endure Elements*
0 — (DC 14) Cure Minor Wounds; Detect Magic; Detect Poison; Light; Purify Food & Drink
*Domain Spell. Domains: Protection; Sun

Abilities: Str 14, Dex 11, Con 13, Int 11, Wis 18, Cha 12
Feats: Armor Proficiency Heavy, Armor Proficiency Light, Armor Proficiency Medium, Blind-fight, Cleave, Combat Casting, Extend Spell, Great Cleave, Improved Initiative, Martial Weapon Prof, Power Attack, Shield Proficiency, Simple Weapon Proficiency, Tower Shield Proficiency, Weapon Focus (Mace, heavy), Weapon Specialization (Mace, heavy)
Skills: Climb 2, Concentration 8, Diplomacy 3, Gather Information 3, Heal 7, Intimidate 4, Jump 1, Knowledge (History) 2, Knowledge (Planes) 2, Knowledge (Religion) 2, Listen 6, Ride 1, Search 1, Sense Motive 7, Spot 5, Survival 4
Possessions: Combat gear plus Ring of Protection +1, Potion of Clairvoyance, Flask (x3) Holy water, Chalk, Holy symbol, 14 gp, 3 cp.

**Many thanks to A Terrible Idea’s TCP Character Gallery for the image.

19 March 2014


Well, It's been two weeks since I last checked in. The burnout from 31 straight days of blogging is fading. And what have I been doing? Let's see....

Well, I took great advantage of the GM Day Sale over at DriveThru RPG. Also took advantage of a referral over to Noble Knight Games...thanks Pat at Under Seige for THAT little referral. GRIN. My DM is prepping a new campaign for us and complained about not having enough gnolls...so that was another little purchase. Accordingly, I've updated my "Year to Date Purchases" page. What I haven't added to my Purchases page is all the Tarzan, Conan, and other OOP titles I've picked up in my used book store hauntings.

I'm gearing up for the A to Z April Challenge. I performed a similar random rigamarole as last year (I think--I couldn't find my spreadsheet from last year, so I had to start from scratch) and I actually have all my letters filled in with topics and names. Of course, as in years past, I reserve the right to change topics and names throughout the month to accommodate writer's block the creative spark.

As far as the real-life, personal stuff.... The nearly-eighteen-year-old is continuing to cause grief and drama. (This one is available to sale to the highest bidder.) The firm is still struggling. Ebeneezer ran it further into the ground that he disclosed, and every month new revelations continue to occur. Advertising would be key, but without money to even feed my family (my staff gets paid first, after all) it's difficult to look at advertising options. Of course, if any of my readers have any marketing or advertising experience, I'd love to chat and pick your brains. And yes, I say this in nearly the same breath as discussing recent purchases. I will confess freely that I've done some denial/depression buying to somehow ease the stress.

And that's about it for life at the Stronghold. I've got some various ideas percolating that I hope to share with you soon.
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