[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Tuesday, 2020-10-27

World Of Warcraft Wallpaper

Filed under: Art,Gaming — bblackmoor @ 11:44

Happy Halloween! Here is some World Of Warcraft wallpaper, if anyone still does that. 🙂

WOW Ahnkahet 01
WOW Altar Of Damnation
WOW Amber Hibernal
WOW Black Rock Depths Throne Is Mine 01
WOW Black Rock Depths Throne Is Mine 02
WOW Black Rock Spire 01
WOW Den Of Mortal Delights
WOW Essence Of Order
WOW Frostfire Ridge 01
WOW Garrison 01
WOW Hellfire Citadel
WOW Nerubian Lower Kingdom Entrance
WOW Netherstorm 01
WOW Netherstorm 02
WOW Netherstorm 03
WOW Old Azshara
WOW Pandaria 01
WOW Pandaria 02
WOW Pandaria 03
WOW Serpentshrine 01
WOW Shrine Of Othaar
WOW Utgarde Keep
WOW Ysera In Valsharah
WOW Zangarmarsh 01

Sunday, 2020-10-11

Figli gets a haircut

Filed under: Gaming,Writing — bblackmoor @ 13:44

This is one of a few in-character World Of Warcraft blog posts I wrote in the early 2000s and posted to rp-haven.com. The author of this is Figli Brassboots, a gnomish warrior, like his father Fugli before him.

Click the thumbnails for larger images with more details.

May 17, 2009, “Figli gets a haircut”

Figli Brassboots

“What can I do for ya, bub?” ze goblin said.

“I am needing ze haircut!” I said.

I am needing ze haircut!
I am needing ze haircut!

“I got what you need!” ze goblin said with great confidence. “Hop in da chair.”

Today ist ze day! Today I meet with ze representatives of ze Commonwealth, a guild devoted to ze honest pursuits and ze protection of ze innocent peoples. But first, I need to be making myself presentable, und zo I am going to get a haircut!

“Hokay!” Und I hopped into ze special barber chair.

Ze goblin tugged und combed und re-arranged mein hair, und zen spun me around to see.

“Whatcha think?”

Zis is much too shaggy.
Zis is much too shaggy.

“Nein, nein,” I said. “Zis is much too shaggy. I am needing more structure.”

“Structure, huh? You got it, bub.”

Ze goblin tugged und combed und re-arranged mein hair, und zen spun me around to see.

“Whatcha think? Enough structure?”

I am needing not so much pointiness.
I am needing not so much pointiness.

“Zis is haffink ze structure,” I said, “but it is much too pointy. I am needing not so much pointiness.”

“Less pointy, huh? Okay, pal, I got yer meaning.”

Ze goblin tugged und combed und re-arranged mein hair, und zen spun me around to see.

“Whatcha think? Better?”

Very aerodynamic!
“Very aerodynamic!”

I looked in ze mirror, and pondered.

“Zis is better, ja. Very aerodynamic! But I am thinking I am needing more hair on ze facial region. I am haffink ze interview of ze utmost importance, und I must have ze appearance of a gnome of a most sincere und serious nature.”

“Oh, okay. I got ya now. Serious. You got it.”  Ze goblin tugged und combed und re-arranged mein hair again, und zen spun me around to see.

“Whatcha think? Serious enough?”

Mein head ist cold!
“Mein head ist cold!”

“Ja ja, zis is serious,” I said. “But mein head ist cold! I am needing more hair on top of mein head.”

“Oh, okay,” ze goblin said. “You shoulda said that before. I know whatcha need now.”

Ze goblin tugged und combed und re-arranged mein hair, und zen spun me around again to see.

“Whatcha think? More hair on yer head.”

Mein head looks like a bird!
“Mein head looks like a bird!”

“Zis is no good,” I said. “Mein head looks like a bird!”

“Like a boid, huh? Okay, pal, I get yer meaning. I’ll trim it it up for ya.”

Ze goblin tugged und combed und re-arranged mein hair, und zen spun me around again to see.

“Whatcha think? I took it in on da sides and da beard.”

Zis is perfect!
“Zis is perfect!”

“Zis is perfect!” I said.

Und zo, I paid ze goblin his gold, und alzo gave him a generous tip for his efforts of such an extraordinary nature.

I am ready for ze interviewing!

Figli, arrival in Exodar

Filed under: Gaming,Writing — bblackmoor @ 13:23

This is one of a few in-character World Of Warcraft blog posts I wrote in the early 2000s and posted to rp-haven.com. The author of this is Figli Brassboots, a gnomish warrior, like his father Fugli before him.

Click the thumbnails for larger images with more details.

August 8, 2008, “Arrival in Ironforge”

Figli Brassboots

To mein dearest sister Migli,

Hello from ze draenei land! After meeting ze friendly draenei women in Ironforge, I was very curious to see more of zese giant people with ze horns und ze horse-feet. Und zo, I went to ze island of their city, which is being called Exodar. Exodar ist ze very unusual city! It is all glowing und sparkly und is mostly made of stone, but is being made from crystal alzo. One of ze most unusual traits I am seeing is ze transparent floor, which is allowing you to see where you are going before you get there! It also allows you to wave at friends, which is nice, but most people do not look up, und zo are not waving back.

Hello! I am up here!
Hello! I am up here!

Ze draenei city is being lit very brightly, but you will not see torches! Zis was being a great mystery, but ze draenei I ask about zis are not understanding my question. Und zo, I am haffink to investigate into ze nature of ze draenei lighting system. After much exploration, I make a discovery — ze draenei city is powered by ze magical wind chimes! Apparently, zis power source is so vigorous, it can light ze entire draenei city all by itself! I am thinking we need one of zese wind chimes for Ironforge, und maybe Gnomeregan, alzo!

Ze magical wind chimes!
Ze magical wind chimes!

Ze draenei city is being a wealth of valuable minerals. Mein battle chicken, Kluckenspeil, is helping me to find zese minerals on many occasions, but he is not very good at ze mining. Even zo, I let him peck at ze stone und let him think he is being ze help to me. He is a good chicken.

Kluckenspeil is good at finding ze minerals!
Kluckenspeil is good at finding ze minerals!

Ze draenei peoples are haffink many enemies in their new home. One enemy of ze draenei is ze bear people, which are being called firbolgs. Some of these are fighting ze draenei, but zis is because ze draenei dropped pieces of crystal all over ze place when they came to ze island, und ze crystals are being poisonous to ze animals und ze plants in ze manner much like what I have heard about Gnomeregan. I am thinking zis makes ze draenei having problems much like ze gnomes, but without haffink ze dwarf friends to be taking them in! Zis makes me want to be a help to them, und zo I am performing ze investigations und solving ze problems for them und things of zis nature.

Zo anyway, ze firbolgs are some fighting ze draenei, but some are wanting to be friends. The bad firbolgs are also fighting ze good firbolgs. I learned zis when I was asked to rescue a pincess from ze bad firbolgs. Ja, a princess! You can be imagining my surprise when I rescue ze princess und discover she is a firbolg, alzo. No princess kisses for Figli!

Zis is ze princess?
Zis is ze princess?

Some of ze draenei enemies I haff seen before, like ze pink elfen. I do not know why ze bad pink elfen are attacking ze draenei und summoning up ze monsters und demons und other things of a most calamitous nature. I help ze draenei with ze finding of a leader of ze bad pink elfen, und they gave him a trial und decided to kill him. Zis is puzzling me for several reasons. First, why are they haffink a trial for zis pink elf, Matis, when they are not haffink trials for ze other pink elfen, whom they are just killing? Also, I am thinking I do not understand ze draenei systems of ze legality und ze judiciality, because all they did was to say to ze pink elf, “You haff been found guilty, und we are to be killink you in ze morning!”, but I was not seeing ze evidence or ze formal accusations or ze back und forth und back und forth such as is ze case in ze gnomish courts of judicious decisioneering. But maybe they are haffink zis when I am not looking, maybe. Anyway, ze pink elfen was definitely one of ze bad pink elfen, because he was spitting und saying things about enslaving ze magical wind chime und torturing people und other things of a most vicious und malevolent nature.

Ze bad pink elfen ist being judicially decisioneered
Ze bad pink elfen ist being judicially decisioneered

Ze most ferocious enemies of ze draenei are ze snake men being called ze naga, und are definitely ze most ferocious creatures! Many times, I am haffink to fight ze hardest I have ever fought! But do not worry, I am always being careful und am using ze superior gnomish tactics, und zis is why I am always winning in ze battles!

Ze naga is ze most ferocious creature!
Ze naga is ze most ferocious creature!
Ze gnome victorious!
Ze gnome victorious!

Ze naga are haffink ze interesting statues. I think it is being ze naga queen, or maybe ze naga goddess, or something of zis nature. I would like to ask them about zis, but they are not ze communicative people. Still, it is ze most artistic looking statue!

What does she feed her hair?
What does she feed her hair?

Near to ze draenei is ze most astounding monster of all: ze ghost of ze dragon from times long ago! I was not believing zis when I am first being told it, but then I went und looked for myself und discovered it to be true! Unfortunately, I was not being careful enough with ze sneaking, und ze ghost dragon wanted to eat me, even though he was ze ghost und does not need to eat anymore — certainly not gnomes! So I was haffink to kill him again, although when he is remembering that he is already dead, he will be very annoyed, I am thinking! But I am long gone by then. Papa did not raise any stupid gnomes!

Figli ze dragon re-slayer!
Figli ze dragon re-slayer!

I am saving ze best news for ze last. Ze draenei are riding great beasts of ze most extraordinary und gigantic nature, which are being called elekks. They let me ride one of the elekks on a temporary basis so that I could carry important messages to many draenei in different places on ze island. Zis was an experience of ze most exhilarating nature! Ze draenei in charge of ze elekks is saying that when I have done many favors for ze draenei und proved I am trustworthy and a friend to ze draenei peoples, that I can have an elekk to ride for myself. So I am working very hard now!

Ze mighty elekk!
Ze mighty elekk!

I must to be wrapping up zis letter, because mein ship has arrived for taking me to Ashenvale, where ze draenei und ze blue elfen are needing ze help of brave gnome warriors. I will be writing again soon!

Sailing away until next time!
Sailing away until next time!

Your brother in love und respect,
Figli, son of Fugli

Saturday, 2020-10-10

Figli, arrival in Ironforge

Filed under: Gaming,Writing — bblackmoor @ 16:56

This is one of a few in-character World Of Warcraft blog posts I wrote in the early 2000s and posted to rp-haven.com. The author of this is Figli Brassboots, a gnomish warrior, like his father Fugli before him.

Click the thumbnails for larger images with more details.

November 17, 2007, “Arrival in Ironforge”

Figli Brassboots

To mein dearest sister Migli,

Zis has been ze most productive week! I have been practicing mein warrior skills with ze slaying of ze wild animals. Here I am with ze wolves, after being attacked by an entire pack of ze dangerous beasts!

I am ze wild wolf killer! Grr!
I am ze wild wolf killer! Grr!

I have also been with ze mining of ze minerals und such like from ze mountainous regions. As papa always said, there is more to a good gnome than ze killing und ze drinking. One must also have ze worthwile profession for to be making ze money for to provide for ze safety und security of ze family.

Here, I am mining ze copper. Hard work!
Here, I am mining ze copper. Hard work!

Have you heard ze name of Rejold Barleybrew in ze Brewnall Village? You will soon, I am thinking! He has what he thinks will be ze best stout ever, using ze shimmerweed, und he came to ze son of Fugli to assist him in zis endeavor. As it happens, ze shimmerweed is grown by ze trolls on Shimmer Ridge. Kill trolls, und help a brewer make ze perfect stout at ze same time? Where do I sign up!

Figli ze troll slayer!
Figli ze troll slayer!

Having made a reputation for myself in this fashion, I was summoned to Ironforge, to meet with ze dwarves! This is ze opportunity I have been waiting for! I wasted no time, packing up mein armor, weapons, und my tinkering kit, und heading to Ironforge!

My first view of Ironforge
My first view of Ironforge

Ze entrance to Ironforge is most impressive. There is a statue there of ze most extraordinary proportions. I believe it to be a dwarf king from before ze unpleasantness und ze separation of ze dwarven kingdoms. Personally, I think when someone builds a statue of such immensity, that they are compensating for something, maybe. I have not shared this theory with my dwarf friends, because I am thinking sometimes is best to be keeping ze thoughts inside of one’s noggin und not to be spilling them out all over. You see? I do listen to mein sister’s advice some of ze time!

My, he's a tall one!
My, he’s a tall one!

Ironforge is a city of ze most extraordinary size. It is nearly as large as Gnomeregan, I am thinking, although I have never been to Gnomeragen myself, so this is just a guess. In ze center of ze city of is ze Great Forge. Here I am next to ze Great Anvil. Behind me you can see ze Great Blacksmiths making ze Great Iron Horse Shoes und other items of a most extraordinary nature.

This is one big anvil!
This is one big anvil!

All around ze Great Anvil are vats of ze molten iron used for making ze weapons und armor und other metal items for which ze dwarves are famous. Here I am standing next to Brombar Higgleby, who is asking me not to stand so close to ze molten metal. It would appear that every day, as many as sixteen people fall into ze metal und are fried like so much crispy dumplings. This is being a great nuisance to ze dwarves, und makes them quite grumpy, as ze bones are leaving ze calcium in ze metal und it making it not so good for ze refining.

Say hello to Migli, Brombar!
Say hello to Migli, Brombar!

Ironforge is ze city of a most cosmopolitan nature. I have seen people of all races here, including some which are new to me. Here you can see me having ze conversation with two very interesting giant women, who stood on this corner for all of ze time I was in ze city. I was curious why they stood there, und so I introduced myself und said I was new to Ironforge. They were most friendly, und explained that they were part of ze welcoming commitee of Ironforge. They offered to show me around ze town. Unfortunately, zis service required ze payment based upon ze elapsed time of ze tour, und my funds were insufficient for even one hour. Even so, they were most understanding, und said when I have more money that I should come back und they would both be happy to show me ze best time in Ironforge for ze price of just one of them.

I am meeting friendly draenei
I am meeting friendly draenei

Not only am I meeting with ze friendly welcoming persons, I am also meeting with people of ze most significant rank und prestige. How prestigious, are you asking? How about ze king of ze dwarves, King Magni Bronzebeard? He has a very large chair called ze “high seat” (again with ze compensating, ja?), und allowed me to stand next to him! I wanted to try sitting in ze “high seat”, but King Magni said that this would not be permitted because of safety regulations.

Wave to Migli, Magni!
Wave to Migli, Magni!

If you think King Magni was ze person of ze most prestigious nature, wait until you hear my next meeting! It was High Tinker Mekkatorque! Yes, I am not kidding! We discussed items of a most significant nature, und he told me of his current research into ze scientific devices und such like. I did not understand most of what he was saying, but it all sounded very impressive und scientific, und I am inspired to follow in ze footsteps of this great gnome und become ze master engineer, myself.

I am meeting ze High Tinker!
I am meeting ze High Tinker!

After meeting people of such fame und importance, you might think that there is nothing else to see in Ironforge. Nothing could be further from ze truth! Ironforge is a city of great accomplishments und most artistic nature. Here I am on a dwarven panzerwagen. It is pretty big, but somehow I thought it would be bigger.

I am ready for my driving lesson!
I am ready for my driving lesson!

Ironforge also has a large library und museum. Here I am in ze library. There was a room with shelves all ze way to ze high ceiling. Dwarves sure do like to read!

I am getting ze library card
I am getting ze library card

Ze museum has artifacts from ancient times, from even before ze evil elves betrayed ze good elves und made ze continents to be broken und ze ocean to be filling in ze middle. Here is an ancient elf artifact called ze “astrolabe”, a kind of medical instrument for ze woman parts.

This looks most uncomfortable!
This looks most uncomfortable!

Ironforge is also home to ze most remarkable piece of ze gnomishg engineering, ze Deeprun Tram. Unfortunately, ze tram area is infested with ze rats und other vermin. I helped ze tram personnel with ze cleanup some, but after a while I got so tired that ze rats ran right up to me und squeaked at me in a most disrespectful manner. I am thinking of maybe bringing dynamite next time.

Ze rats have no fear
Ze rats have no fear

Ze tram station has numerous platforms for ze embarking upon. Here I am pointing down ze tunnel. Ze tram is coming from that direction.

Ze tram tunnel is that way
Ze tram tunnel is that way

Ze tram goes to a place called Stormwind. I took it, but I was ze only person to do so. I discovered why this was when I arrived. Ze far end, this Stormwind, is a place of extreme danger! There were skeletons und dead bodies everywhere! I am a brave gnome, but papa did not raise any dummies. I got on ze tram und returned to Ironforge in a most immediate fashion. Perhaps when I am a mighty gnome warrior who has killed all of ze trolls, I will return to Stormwind und I will find what has killed all of these peoples und I will chop it up!

Stormwind is too dangerous for Figli!
Stormwind is too dangerous for Figli!

Und so I return to Ironforge, und find a nice clean room in a nice friendly inn. Here I am, relaxing with ze good dwarven ale, with my fellow warriors, safe und sound.

A well deserved ale!
A well deserved ale!

Your brother in love und respect,
Figli, son of Fugli

Figli, ze troll slaying begins

Filed under: Gaming,Writing — bblackmoor @ 14:04

This is one of a few in-character World Of Warcraft blog posts I wrote in the early 2000s and posted to rp-haven.com. The author of this is Figli Brassboots, a gnomish warrior, like his father Fugli before him.

November 2, 2007, “Ze troll slaying begins”

Figli Brassboots

To mein dearest sister Migli,

Ze adventuring is progressing well, und I am already meeting with ze brave warriors of ze Alliance. I have met with ze dwarf Lorith und ze good elf Arasminna, und I have been accepted into the warrior guild. I told them of papa und his legacy as a great troll slayer, und I think this was the deciding factor in my favor. They also complimented me on my new pink shirt, und then we fought a ghost which was missing his head. I would say that this was a very good meeting.

After I was accepted into the warrior guild, I was finally permitted to kill the trolls! Unfortunately, ze trolls are much taller and more difficult for ze chopping than I realized. I was forced to run away from them, many times, killing only a few of ze terrible monsters. Fortunately for me, I met another brave gnome warrior named Nosbren, und he and I made a most excellent team! We went into the den of ze trolls, und chopped so many of them up that my chopping arm was sore. Papa would be so proud!

Nosbren is being a bachelor, who is also from ze mountains, like us. I mentioned to him that I have a sister named Migli who is an excellent cook, und he asked to meet you! So I think perhaps you may be having a suitor very soon. I am planning to ask him to dinner with us, und I will let you know what day to be expecting us.

I am keeping my promise, and dressing warmly, and eating often, and drinking plenty of beer. So please do not worry.

Your faithful brother,
Figli

Tuesday, 2019-12-17

Replace white background with transparency in Photoshop

Filed under: Gaming,Software — bblackmoor @ 13:48

I use a lot of found images in my online RPGs, to help set the scene. Sometimes, the image is almost, but not quite, what I want. Cropping, healing brush, and clone stamp solve most of those problems, but once in a while I find the perfect image… but it needs something more complex to make it what I want.

In this case, I found this illustration of a Pathfinder alchemist goblin, but I wanted the background to be black instead of white. So I looked for a tutorial on changing this in Photoshop, and found this one on StackExchange. The basic technique is to use the original image as its own layer mask. I’ll create a duplicate of the layer, desaturate and invert it, pasting the greyscale result into the original layer’s layer mask.

I start with my flattened image.

I then Desaturate the image.

I then duplicate this layer, Invert it, then select and fill white areas until everything I’d like to be opaque is white, and everything I want fully transparent is black. This was tricky, because I want the smoke translucent, but the goblin itself to be opaque.

Now I press CTRL+A to select the entire image, and CTRL+C to copy the combined greyscale result.

I then selected the layer with my original image, made sure nothing was selected in my image, and selected Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All to create a layer mask on my original layer.

I then ALT+Clicked in the layer mask icon to enter direct edit mode, then pasted the greyscale image I had just copied into there.

I then clicked on my original layer to exit the layer mask direct edit, and tada, I have my semi-transparent goblin.

Now I just add a black background layer, and I am done. It’s not perfect, but it will do for my purposes.

Wednesday, 2019-02-06

Ethnographics of a fantasy world

Filed under: Gaming — bblackmoor @ 23:21

So here’s something weird that I have never thought of before. I am planning to run a fantasy game in the next month or two, and have been contemplating various setting options. One that seemed to pique the players’ interest was what I described as an “Asian slurry” fantasy world (ASFW from here out) — a not-Earth mixture of various Asian myths and legends, with an overlay of the anime version of China and/or Japan and/or Korea.

The premise of the game is that the PCs are transported there from our world (something like the Thomas Covenant books or the Doomfarers Of Coramonde).

So I am thinking of this, and it occurs to me: there is a virtually zero chance that all of the PCs will have what we generally think of as Asian features. I don’t think I have ever run a modern day game with more than one PC with Asian ancestry. So these visitors from another world will look strange and different to the people of ASFW.

I’m not sure if this is a problem or not. At first I thought it would be, but now I am thinking I might be able to tie that into the background of the game. Maybe they aren’t the first round-eyed strangers from another world to have visited ASFW…

Now for the weird thing. This — the difference in appearance between the population of a fantasy world and the PCs-from-another-world who arrive there — has literally never crossed my mind before. None of the other fantasy settings I was thinking about sparked this thought. Mentally, I just populated them with the same melange of Europeans of varying swarthiness with a sprinkling of Arabs and Africans, such that any PCs from our world would blend in with the population with little effort (at least until they start talking).

I don’t have a conclusion to draw from this. I just thought it was weird.

Friday, 2018-03-16

World Of Warcraft 11th anniversary

Filed under: Gaming — bblackmoor @ 08:00

On this day in 2007, I signed up for World Of Warcraft. I met some amazing people… Artisania, Slade, Liore, Shivae, Kolja, Teledriath, Iloam, Heulwen, Kharris…

Those days are gone, but I’ll always remember them, and the people that made them great.

Thursday, 2017-12-14

Fantasy characters vs superheroes

Filed under: Gaming — bblackmoor @ 10:41

Thinking about characters and games, and how my favourite long-term characters are mainly superheroes. Why is that? I have had fantasy characters I’ve loved, but they don’t have the longevity that superheroes do. I think there are a couple of reasons for that.

medieval Avengers (thedurrrrian)

First, fantasy characters are almost always tied to a specific fantasy world. More than that, even: a specific fantasy world being GMd by a specific person. You can make up the same character more than once for different settings or different GMs, but they really aren’t the same character.

For superheroes, it’s not like that. If the game system is the same (and in my experience, most people stick with one superhero game system for years and very rarely change it), you can drop a superhero from one game into another with minimal fuss. The genre makes that a trivial exercise: the hero moves from their old campaign city to a new one, or gets recruited by a new team, or at worst, gets sucked into a vortex and arrives in a new version of Earth. For a superhero, that’s just a typical Tuesday.

Second, fantasy characters almost always exist on a “level” spectrum. A typical fantasy character changes a LOT from Day 1 to Day 100, with new powers, more potent abilities, better equipment, and so on. There are fantasy game systems that don’t have this continual power inflation, but in most cases, a fantasy character that’s been played for a year is virtually unrecognizable from how they started out.

For superheroes, it’s not like that. In most game systems, a superhero starts out more or less fully-formed. A speedster, a vigilante detective, a flying armored alcoholic… they don’t change that much, even after a decade of play. Sure, they get a bigger base, they fly a little faster, maybe pick up a new power or two, but the core of the character doesn’t really change.

That’s why I have superhero characters that I have played for *decades*, and could easily play again. Could I do that with any of my most beloved fantasy characters? No, not really. They are tied to a specific time and place in a way that superhero characters really aren’t.

Thursday, 2017-11-02

Shadow unmasked

Filed under: Gaming — bblackmoor @ 16:15

Three years ago today, the cat finally escaped the bag: my “halfling” rogue character got outed as a human! I got to use every dodge and half-truth I had thought of before the whole truth finally came out. I had a lot of fun, and the other PCs were gobsmacked that Shadow the fifty-ish male halfling had been a tween-age female human the whole time I had been playing “him” (about a year and a half)….

Shadow (Rhiannon Leigh Wryn)

We were in the very first town in the entire history of the campaign that had even a single halfling in residence. The dwarf barbarian, Elifonsah, who had been suspicious of my character for a while for reasons he could not quite articulate (other than Shadow (my character) “seemed to be hiding something” — which is true), could not help but notice that Shadow (at 4′ 6″) was a good foot and a half taller than any halflings we see.

Shadow: “I’m tall. So? Focus on the mission.”

Elifonsah: “You’re a giant. You’re practically as tall as I am.”

Shadow: “It was that boon that the celestial gave us. I told you it made me taller.” (In fact, the boon did increase Shadow’s Strength by 2, to 12. Each of the party members got a +2 to a random stat. Elifonsah got +2 Intelligence.)

Elifonsah: “Uh huh.”

Later, when we split up to gather information about the mystery that brought us to this town, Elifonsah took this as an opportunity to find and question the local halflings on how one could tell a halfling from a non-halfling, other than by height. He learned that halflings (in this game) have somewhat elongated heads (when compared to humans), and slightly pointed ears. Shadow, of course, wears a hood almost 24 hours a day.

When the group met up again, Elifonsah grabbed Shadow’s hood and pulled it back, revealing a ponytail of hair on a human-shaped head that had round, human-like ears.

Elifonsah: “Ah, ha!” he shouted triumphantly. “YOU ARE NO HALFLING!”

Shadow: (shrug) “Yeah, and? I never said I was a halfling. What are you even talking about?”

Elifonsah: (blinks) “… Wait. What? No! You said… I am sure we… ”

Elifonsah: (to Coenrad, the human sorcerer) “We knew he was a halfling, right? He TOLD us he was a halfling, right?”

Coenred: (puzzled) “Well, I thought he was a halfling… I.. thought he said that. Didn’t he say that?”

Elifonsah: (to Shadow) “You said you were a halfling!”

Shadow: (calmly ) “No, I didn’t. Why would I say that? Have you been drinking?” (It is well known that Elifonsah is a drunk.)

Elifonsah: “No! Yes! That doesn’t matter! You’re not a halfling!”

Shadow: “Let’s say I’m not a halfling. So what? What difference does it make?”

Elifonsah: “Then what are you!”

Shadow: (indignant) “What am I? What are you?”

Elifonsah: “What am I? I’m a dwarf!”

Shadow: (satisfied) “Well okay then.”

Elifonsah: “What? No! What are you!”

Shadow: (indignant) “What am I? What are you?”

Elifonsah: “What am I? I’m a dwarf!”

Shadow: (satisfied) “Well okay then.”

Elifonsah: “STOP THAT!”

Shadow: “Stop what?”

Elifonsah: “You’re messing with my head!”

Shadow: “I really don’t think so.”

Elifonsah: (to Coenred) “He’s trying to confuse us!”

Coenred: “I think it’s working.”

Elifonsah: (to Shadow) “You’re no halfling. I want to know what you are.”

Shadow: (exasperated sigh) “What if I was a half-halfling? A — what would that be? Quarterling? — What if I was a quarterling? Would it matter?”

Elifonsah: “I’ve never heard of a half-halfling!”

Shadow: “Delgoro is a half-orc. Leannan is a half-elf. Why not a half-halfling?”

Elifonsah: (to Coenred) “Are there half-halflings? Is that a thing?”

Coenred: “I, uh… I really don’t know. I’ve never met one.”

Shadow: “You never met a halfling before you met me, either.”

Elifonsah: “YOU ARE NO HALFLING!”

Shadow: “I never said I was. I just said you hadn’t met one.”

Elifonsah: (to Shadow’s best friend Nigel, the human cleric in his fifties, who joined the group with Shadow a year and a half ago) “Did he say he was a halfling, or not?”

Nigel: “I’m… not… sure.”

Elifonsah: (to Shadow) “I want to know what you are. How can we trust you? You’re keeping secrets!”

Shadow: “Oh, you don’t have secrets? Really?”

Elifonsah: “That’s not the point! You’ve been lying to us!”

Shadow: (offended) “I have never lied to you.” (This is a lie.)

Elifonsah: “I want to know what you are, right now.”

Shadow: (pulls down face mask, which normally covers Shadow’s face from the nose on down) “Fine: I’m a human, okay? But I am the same person I was yesterday. I am just as good at stabbing people now as I was before.”

Elifonsah: “You’ve been lying to us! How can we trust you!”

Shadow: “Pfft. I could have killed you a dozen times over if I wanted to.”

Elifonsah: “Aha!”

Shadow: “‘Aha’ what? I didn’t!”

Elifonsah: “You are sneaky!”

Shadow: “That’s my job! I go into danger first and then come back and tell you about it! I keep you safe!”

Coenred: “That is his job. He’s the scout.”

Elifonsah: “Nigel, did you know about this?”

Nigel: “Well, yeah.”

Elifonsah: “For how long?”

Nigel: “Always, ever since I met her.”

Elifonsah: (indignant) “Always!”

Elifonsah: (shocked) “WAIT, WHAT!?!”

Elifonsah: (to Shadow) “WHAT ARE YOU!?!?!?!”

Shadow: “I already said I was human.”

Elifonsah: “And female?”

Shadow: “Yeah, duh. (pulls sword) Do you have a problem with that? Because if you do, I will cut you into tiny pieces.”

Elifonsah: (to Coenred) “SEE? SEE? He… she…. she’s threatening me!”

Shadow: “Why do you even care? I do my job. I am just as good at stabbing people now as I was this morning. What difference does it make??”

Elifonsah: “You’ve been keeping secrets! How do we know you don’t have other secrets? How do we know we can trust you?”

Shadow: “I saved Coenred. I helped save Leannan. I’ve fought with you since I was this tall.” (holding up hand to her chin) “What else do you want?”

Elifonsah: (still skeptical) “I guess that makes sense.”

Shadow: “Good. Now can we get on with the mission?”

Elifonsah: “Wait. If you’re human, how old are you? You’re really small for a human.”

Shadow: (shrugs) “I dunno. Why does that matter?” (Shadow is 12, but she does not know that, or even what her birthday is. And she’s small even for a 12-year-old.)

Elifonsah: “Huh.”

Shadow: “Are we good now? Can we get on with the mission?”

Elifonsah: (sullen) “Yeah. I guess. (pause) I need a drink.”

I am leaving out some stuff where Efilonsah was asking Nigel about how he and Shadow met. Short version: Shadow was an 8 year old street orphan, Nigel was bleeding to death, and Shadow dragged Nigel to a temple. They’d been together ever since.

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