Friday, December 19, 2008

102nd Skeptics' Circle

I haven't exactly been astute at keeping up with it, but the Skeptics' Circle is still going strong, as shown in their 102nd meeting.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Magna Faire

So, I’ve had a couple of days to recover from Magna Faire, and I think I’m ready to expound a bit.

Let’s get the bad out of the way first. COLD!

Rebecca and Kaitlyn came down with me for this event, their first. I suppose I could add to the “bad” list that the directions to the site were not particularly helpful. I really should ignore the directions and make this trip from memory; the directions they used to put in the flyers were much better. Anyway, we arrived at about 9pm, unpacked, put on some vaguely period garb, and made our way to the hall to meet up with William and Juliana, where Juliana and I put in some time practicing our dance for the A&S competition.

The next morning, I armored up for the Baronial fencing competition. As usually seems to be the case, I was doing quite well in the warm ups, but not so well in the actual competition. My first fight of the tournament was Jean-Michele, who I did, in fact, defeat. My second fight was Ysabel, who defeated me. Two rounds and out, it’s a familiar tale. Of course, this was designed to be a very “quick and dirty” tournament so the Baroness, Margery, and her successor, Katherine (who would be invested in court that night), wouldn’t have to stay out in the cold very long. Thus, it was a single-round, single-elimination tournament with “wounds” retained between bouts. Harsh.

I didn’t have time to stay for classes or pick-up fights in the afternoon, as I had to go clean up and change for the Performing Arts competition. Juliana and I danced Gracca Amorosa for it, which is a fun, fast Italian dance. The floor turned out to be a little more slippery than I expected when wearing my dance slippers, and I nearly wiped out on the first turn. That made me a little nervous for the rest of the dance, and I can see it in the video (which I’ll get posted at some point). I don’t know what score we got for the A&S competition, but we did win the performing arts category in the Magna Faire competition (which is judged by the other entrants in the category, not a team of dedicated judges).

Court saw the investiture of Baron Killian and Baroness Katherine and the elevation of Simon the Wayfarer to the Order of the Pelican, among other sundry awards. And Her Majesty Gwendolyn referred to herself as the “Snow Queen”. Cool.

Kojin presented a feast inspired by the countries of the Danube river, which went quite well. He even made green beans edible, which is a most impressive feat. The meal included some of his home-made mustards, and my sinuses were extremely appreciative of the clearing out.

A really marvelous revel, run by Adriana of Tor an Riogh (which I hope I spelled right) followed the feast. I wish every event had a big dance revel like this in the evening. There was quite a bit of teaching going on, but I really can live with that if it gets people to participate. Many thanks to all my lovely dance partners.

More pictures over at my Flickr page.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Party Win

Another long dry spell, another D&D post. Hopefully Magna Faire will generate something more substantive, but in the meantime...

The D&D game has kind of rebooted since the partial party kill, some of my players just didn't have that much interest in the first place, it seems, so I've got a new party of three characters working in essentially the same setting.

And they're learning.

Sent into the forest to find an abandoned wizard's tower (shuddup... it's an oldie but a goodie), they tried breaking through one entrance only to see some odd, multi-colored light through the crack under the door. In an epic moment of cautiousness, they backed off and tried other entrances. Eventually one of them climbed a wall and removed a bar from the inside, and they started moving back into the fort. They found a door with a genuine lock, which the party rogue handled without difficulty. They also found a flask of something together with some spearheads, so they assumed the flask to contain some kind of weapon poison.

Working their way in further, they got into the main tower and found the source of their multi-colored lights, a glowing blob that started whacking away at them with pseudopods. After just a couple of rounds of pounding the blob with assorted weapons, they quickly realized their blows weren't doing it any harm, and Aislinge (played by Juliana) put two-and-two together to come up with the idea of putting the contents of the flask on their weapons to see if that made a difference. Ding! A dagger coated with the oil from the flask made pretty quick work of the glowing blob.

They're learning to see a plot device when it's thrown in front of them. That was a good session.