Category Archives: Entertainment

Things that tickle my side, quickle my pickle, and just generally make me laugh. Some things may be original fictional pieces, some may be just parts of my day. Either way, it’s all about getting a good laugh!

Aeries – from the writer’s perspective

As a dungeon master for an ever changing set of characters in a continuously evolving story line, set in a home-brew campaign in the Dungeons and Dragons (4th edition) setting, I’ve watched anxiously, patiently, and with great anticipation as my players would crawl through dungeons, save the princess, purchase homes, escape death, and continue the pursuit of their endeavors. What an exciting time for most of my players’ characters, but a tragically terrible demise for others; not every character would live past the fictional tales of their player’s actions. The decisions that my friends would make, watching their characters either flourish or faint, would keep me entertained for weeks on end, like a never ending movie. I liked that about the entire endeavor of being a DM. It was as if I had the rare opportunity of being part of a great story that no one else in the world has ever heard, and I got to write it with my friends. What an awesome collaboration to be part of. There were times when I realized that I needed to influence the game with my own design, and sometimes my own characters. Certain moments of the story would only develop and mature correctly with non-player characters that I would use and dictate to help the story move along, or to help the players in a time of need, or to dispatch them from their mortality, when necessary. It was anything but brutal and beautiful, all at once. The one character I never ended up using in a game was Aeries. At first, he had become a maligned image of myself, in some respects. I twisted him into a dark character that would only be hell-bent on the retribution and revenge because of the loss of his only son. When I realized his loose association with my own dark feelings and emotions I realized I needed to cut the cord of the character I had birthed through pen and paper. From here, Aeries collected dust for some time before I even thought about him again. Eventually, he found his place under my pen, his story continued again, his pursuit renewed, his vigor restored, and he was more angry and pissed off than ever. It was an unstoppable gravitational pull toward my anger and fear that began to feed his own character elements, his decisions, his reactions, his tears, and his strength. I decided that I couldn’t make an evil character, but a lawful good character with an inner darkness would suffice. Something that pulled his strings tightly, keeping him on his toes and always looking over his shoulders and around corners for the answers to the questions he would constantly ask himself.

One of the key elements of Aeries’ story is his pursuit of self-justice, not to be confused with justification of his actions or decisions, which he never feels he has to justify anything because of his inner lawfulness. Born with an innate ability to perceive the justifications of his peers and adversaries he draws upon this inner voice that calls out to him as he listens to conversations, and at a young age, decides to use this information as basis for his own actions.

I guess he has a little bit of justification, but not in the traditional sense.

This inner voice had always eluded my own understanding. I tend to side towards logic and black-white hard lines when it comes decision making and natural understanding of the world around me. I rarely allowed myself to think that there could be a metaphysical side to the world I lived in. Recently I’ve been aware that there are some aspects of life that do in fact influence our perception of life from the metaphysical realm. I have always had an inner voice, telling me what’s right, helping me decide what’s right and wrong, not that I’ve always listened to the voice. I drew from this experience to create Aeries’ perception of discernment that would help him to win great battles with ease, speak easily with people of great power such as kings and queens and even the sages, influence crowds of his opinion, but most importantly to see the truth in others when they would lie to him. It was this discernment that he would rely on for many conversations with adversaries and even his so-called friends that would betray him from early on in his life, although he sometimes regrets calling on the truth from his friends when he would point out their lies because if he had just lived with the lies his friends would tell him he would at least have had people around instead of living alone. It becomes easy to fear everything around you when you find yourself alone, in the dead of night when lying to sleep, or even under the noon day sun in a crowd.

Sometimes fear is fueled by emotions beyond our control: rejection and abandonment to name a few. Once fear has taken hold of a heart it becomes the driving force behind all decisions and grows from a nuisance to become a gargantuan monster that can kill, maim, destroy, from the inside. This is Aeries’ greatest battle. His fear becomes his greatest enemy, but an ally that he must learn from in order to prevent the destruction of the world around him. Unfortunately this dance with the devil could become Aeries’ destruction. As they say in the kitchen “play with fire you’re bound to get burned.”

~B

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A day with me

Instead of writing a “how to” style piece, I’m just going to update you guys what I do in a day. I’ll start tomorrow when I wake up and stop keeping track when I go to bed. Stay tuned tomorrow! I will update every 6 hours with as much detail as I feel necessary, though I expect to turn over a few rocks throughout the day. Should turn out entertaining…
~B

“Icewind” Dragon model painting progress

As I continue to paint the dragon model for my Warhammer: Fantasy tabletop game army, I realize I thoroughly enjoy painting the little figurines as it reduces my stress, focuses my attention, and allows me to creatively explore my inner child’s painting skills.

My inner child likes to paint, I’ve found.

That being said, there’s fewer things to do but post pictures of the progress! Let me first fill you in how this model comes in the box, why I chose the colors I did and finally how I plan on approaching the rest of the model.

The model is made of pewter and comes bare metal, also it is in pieces that must be assembled to the owner’s liking and then glued with model glue, the kind you would use on a plastic car model kit. There is no base coat so you must first either spray or brush a basecoat on the model. I typically have been spraying all my models with a flat black base spray paint for the sole reason that my models have been darker colors, because they have been slightly sinister in nature: dragons, orcs, goblins, night goblins, trolls, and dwarves so far. Dwarves aren’t generally sinister, however, because they are a ruddy skinned group of short tempered miners, I decided dark, muddy, muddled colors would work best anyway, so flat black primer shall work indeed!
Getting back to my dragon, I knew I wanted a darker colored dragon, and that any bright colors I used would have to be toned down a bit. After assembling the dragon, which comes in about 6 pieces, depending on the arrangement/selection of the buyer, I waited overnight for the glue to dry, just to be sure.
No, not really. I think I did give it a solid 4 minutes though, and after the glue dried I gave it a quick play test, to see if the dwarves could hold their own against a dragon. They did well, I would like to report. I would like to say they did well, but it is a dragon, after all. He scorched their mining butts.

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I chose a dark blue color because in my game I decided, since I don’t have any elves in my armies lineups (well, not officially), that maybe he could be some sort of cobalt dragon that the dwarves woke up when they stumbled upon his treasure. This would leave the dwarves in quite the predicament, since they are already locked in war with the night goblins who just received reinforcements from a local orc army. But, since I did purchase a few night elves for a fun painting project I was thinking I could use the elves as a sell sword ragtag group to balance the power a bit, especially since the dwarves have no innate magic abilities, save for the rune maker, which costs (I think) upwards of $75 at the local gaming store. Ouch. No thanks, my dwarves will just be brutes. Of course, the night elves will be painted a similar color as the dragon and could have ownership of the it, provided the balance of power is somewhat close. I won’t argue about a 150 point difference, it’s about skill at that point.

For those of you who are reading this going “What the heck is he talking about?”, just know this: it’s a table top game where you assemble armies of miniatures (like G.I. Joe…but tiny) and all the different mini’s have different stats (health, attack strength, defenses, etc) and a point value. Then, when you are ready, you battle your opponent’s mini’s. You build your army based on an agreed set of points, using each mini’s point value to determine how many mini’s you can use. The points try to help opponents build well rounded armies so that everyone has a chance of success. It works, generally, and I’m happy with it. There are, of course, house rules that can be applied. This makes the game interesting…

As far as how I envision the rest of the model, I see the face being just as dark as the rest of the body, but I want to use bright eyes, of course. Pretty standard, I guess. I played with the idea of dark eyes, but I don’t want it to look too much like a “death” dragon, a dracolich or something of that nature. Maybe just a deep purple eye would be a good balance….I guess we’ll both just have to wait and see! Hope you enjoy the pics, lemme know any suggestions you may have or if you think it’s garbage, or if you’d possibly like to see more. I have a troll that I’m particularly proud of.

~B

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The Aeries in me

Brace yourself, you who has taken from me. You will not know the day that I will come for you. The day will turn dark when I come and you will be fraught with fear, you will walk aimlessly, searching for refuge. The ground will shake ceaselessly when my inner Aeries prepares for war and he will fight for blood, for justice, and for vengeance. I will let loose my dark energy and allow him freedom to do his will. There will be no remedy, no ceasing, no one will come to your aid, no one will allow you to call them “friend” for fear of their own life. Your iniquities will feed the inner Aeries hate and he will stop at nothing until you are destroyed, emptied of life.

Prepare your defenses because in due time your walls will come down and your city will be breached. I will call upon the earth and command her to give up your bulwarks and towers. The cornerstones you’ve laid into the ground, which have held up your halls that housed the parties and grand luxuries you’ve become accustomed to, will fail and your protection will be laid bare and powerless. Your guards will become senseless and have no strength to fight back, they will become sick with the lies you’ve spread through your body. The lies that you’ve held onto in hopes that you will one day be able to justify yourself. Whence the day arrives that the truth will be exposed; then on that day, your allies will flee and will forget that they had anything to do with you. They will run to the hills and seek refuge in the camps of the nearby forests and mountains, but they will run in vain. They will have no where to go, they will meet their end. Doom waits for them at the end of the cold night, at the end of my dark fury.

But as for you, I will reserve my anger. My rage. My vendetta. I will expel all my energies into removing any pleasure you’ve ever had. You will no longer be able to tell night from day, your senses will become grayed, you will no longer care for the luxuries that you once embellished upon yourself at my expense. Your only concern will be for your life which is what should have been your greatest concern since you met me.
Above all, I will return my son to my side. Your demands for gold are being ignored. A ransom will not be paid. Why waste the gold? You’ll soon be dead anyway.

ÆRIES’ letter of warning to the Ki’naer

Morning?

A sound? What sound is that? That’s not the sound associated with this dream? I’m asleep and this is my dream, where is this sound coming from? Could a tow truck or other large tractor trailer type vehicle be backing up outside my window? Could my phone have reverted to some annoying ring tone I may have downloaded to annoy others? …no, this is much more annoying! What could it…

oh no

It’s my arch nemesis! Old Mr. Alarm Clock!

How did he find me here? How did I become prey to his evil plot? These questions and more race through my mind as the evil doer laughs. He has bound me and pulled me from my home, Dreamland. How did this happen? I thought I had him figured out. Am I becoming lazy? Have I lost my keen senses? What will happen to the world if I can not fight this demon?

He just stares at me with that big dumb grin on his crooked face. I reach for him but even as I grasp him he continues his melody of chuckles and giggles. I want to throw him at the wall, see all his insides spill out on the floor and throw them away. But…but I can’t. You see, we are locked in an eternal battle, Mr. Alarm Clock and I. Even if I did find a way to snare him, I could never bring him to his knees.

…to be continued

~B