Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Hoody hoo!

Behold the Ninja Smiley
Today I went I wound up gaming somewhat unexpectantly. I know, for those of you who do not roleplay, my writing about my experiences may seem...well...geeky. But hey, it's been a weekly ongoing creative outlet for twelve years now. That's pretty impressive.

I have a character who is...hmm...how should I put it...a rather mixed bag. She is one of the youngest of the various characters...she's now 24, and has been assigned to our base of operations--Arkham, MA, a town that doesn't really exist except in movies and comics and stories that give a nod to the author H.P. Lovecraft, who created the city and the Miskatonic river valley, among others--for about three years now. Tessa is from Quebec, a rather serious, devoted young woman who from an early age wanted to devote herself to service to the Light, and so studied to be a nun. Persuaded by an aunt who headed a convent in Montreal, she took some time to live out in the 'real world' before taking final vows. At eighteen she found herself at college, studying art, and with a certain amount of natural charm, made several friends. Over one of the school breaks they decided to go camping in the north, where they ran into a band of cultists (in Call of Cthulhu, there are always plenty of cultists). Several of the kids went mad in their experiences. One young man, who had begun to date Tessa, was killed. This qualified as the experience that sent Tessa across the world to Aegypt for training as a Guardian. Martial artists, they have physical and mystical weapons to save humanity from the horrors that lie in the depths of earth and sea, from other dimensions, or the stars themselves.

I won't go into an involved background right now. Suffice to say that over the years Tessa has had to 'loosen up' a bit. She's taken up with an Australian Guardian named Raleigh, initially out of curiousity and necessity (bad to be a virgin when you battle evil cults) but somehow, despite her best efforts to keep a no-strings relationship with him, they both fell head over heels in love. She recently went away for four months of training, and during that time discovered she was pregnant. This was a shock; female Guardians have a sort of 'mystical birth control' they practise, that's 99% reliable. But there's always that 1%, you know. :) Ironically, the pregnancy seems 'meant' to happen. The team was sent ahead in time to save the world from 'yet another apocalypse' and in the process Raleigh was killed. They managed to do a sort of 'Back to the Future' thing by writing a message to be delivered to the team leader at a future time. Raleigh survived, and only Tessa remembered that he'd died. The baby was conceived that night.

Now Tessa is back and, despite some awkward moments, things seemed to be going well. She had decided to go ahead with the pregnancy and not expect anything in terms of a committment from Raleigh; his free spirit was part of his attraction, and she thought this was the better part of valour. The Guardians tended to take care of her own; she knew her daughter would be taken care of should she die, and she was pretty sure Raleigh would want to be part of her life. Meanwhile, Raleigh, who responded to the news by going and getting into a drunken bar brawl, came around and by the time Tessa got back to Massachusetts, he was ready to propose. She tried to put him off, not wanting him to marry her just because of the pregnancy, and he pulled a 'don't you want me' sort of thing that led to her agreeing. So now, they're trying to plan a fairly quick wedding. There's a priest on board with their plans and the mom and company secretary are planning the show. Mom's figured out about the pregnancy, but keeping thing's mum from the Dad. I don't think I ever conceived Tessa as going in this direction; that's the great thing about interactive stories; the characters take on a life of their own through those interactions.

So that was where everything stood until today, when I got an unexpected adventure sprung on me. I thought we were free and clear until after the wedding. No such luck. The couple wound up going to visit a friend of Raleigh's two days before the wedding. The friend had an adopted child who turned out in actuality to be one of the 'Ancient Midget Nazi Shamans' (the title of the adventure, from a adventure collection called Blood Brothers. These are little mini-adventures based off of B-movies. The title's been in our database for years, taunting us, and it finally was a good time to run it. Unfortunately, it's a sort of Lord of the Flies meets Children of the Corn story, where the supposed children are running around a suburb slaughtering families at Thanksgiving, and we're trying to stop them. We've almost succeeded--I'm down to 12 of the little buggers, which is pretty decent for a woman who's five months along in a pregnancy and dressed for a fancy dinner. I got their leader, but not until after Raleigh was hit with the infamous 'fry Stephen Hopkins spell'--Bill, if you read this, you'll know what I mean. It's a nasty 'cook you from the inside out' thing that every cultist seems to get when they sign up and which attacked the character of one of our former players, Bill, lots. Raleigh's hanging on by a thread, blistered, blackened, etc. Have I mentioned this is two nights before the wedding???? And Tessa's been chomped on by midgets and had one water gun of battery acid she couldn't dodge. So, there's no telling if the wedding will go on as planned, or if the groom will even survive to get married. Tomorrow we should be able to finish the adventure, and Brenda will be playing, so she'll have a character to help.

There's another adventure in that book called 'The Honeymoon from Hell' set in the Florida Everglades. I'm just doomed. See why I like Buffy so much? I can relate. It's like a soap opera from one apocalypse to the next that keeps you on your toes. It's great entertainment.

I went to the Farmer's Market this morning and got a few things, including some paw-paws (a native tree with a tropical-tasting fruit), tomatoes, and Amish pumpkin bread. I found out that when the weather gets colder they're going to be setting up inside Victorian Square, a sort of renovated-older-buildings-cum-specialty-mall downtown. Yipee!!! Got a late start on the game, so I didn't get home until after 9.30, so I'll wait till tomorrow for laundry. I did get a roll of quarters, though.

Earlier I did some funky setting changes (temporary, thankfully), so I could back up this site. You can find out how at Blogger's Help. It basically throws all of your posts into one very, very long page you can then save. Since I've been blogging for 2 years, that's pretty substantial. I want a backup, but also, I'm working at indexing this site with categories (not the cutesy ones you find on some blogging software, but useful ones). Funny, I seem to be a weirdo who does better the hard way. I code HTML in NotePad, for crying out loud. I just find it easier than dealing with quirky programs. So, although I'd like to use something nifty to automatically catalogue this site, I haven't found what I'm looking for yet, so I'll do it the old-fashioned way. Be patient, though. There's a lot to sift through.

Okay, I think that's enough for tonight. Happy weekend. Type to you later.

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