Thursday, April 13, 2006


Meeting in Bloodfoot Palisades

Was there an earthquake? I can't believe I forgot to check. Nels missed three days of work to keep an eye on the situation. Supposedly, you can tell if you see the edges of paper curl up. I must not be doing it right.

"My notepaper will not stay flat," my character (the falconeer) said once he hoofed it up the hill, out in the biting wind. He clutched tightly to his jerkin, rubbing it to keep warm. The graphics were superb. I should splurge and get the goggles. "I mean, am I supposed to be flattening this stuff back out? Or does that just piss off the tectonic plates to no distant end?"

Nels' character (the chancellor) looked up from a parchment, whereon is written a spell he was memorizing. "Dear brother, what thinkest thee? I have said, and repeated, in no uncertain terms, that the boilings of the Earth do awake this very night. Behold the very quickness in mine eyes. Dost thy blood not quiver at the sight?"

I was on my office computer, he at home on his Burroughs V-A machine. We found a spot on the outskirts of Grimalkin to meet, deep inside Bloodfoot Palisades, an online roleplaying game. I'm only on for a few moments, when things get slow back in reality. Where I volunteer at a lamp restoration center.

"Well, how does it work?" I asked, pressing the hotkeys which scan the sky for my bird of prey. "If the paper curls, there's an earthquake. But if it doesn't curl, then there's no earthquake. And if the paper curls into a roll, that must be a massive earthquake, the sort where you die first from whiplash, then from crushing."

"Be at ease on the matter," spoke the chancellor, stroking his chin with a single, fat, jewel-encrusted finger. And, furthermore, laughed. "Dear one, brother of mine, how it amuses me to see you so concerned in matters seismological! Oh, the paramount valour expressed in every nerve! Thou art a portrait of solemn fright! Dear, dear. How great the stakes must seem to a mere falconeer. Even now, thou hast let thine worry possess thee, thy tremble has stayed thy senses, and now I have captured thy falcon!" My old friend and humble bird, Myrgrepphin, alighted on the chancellor's white hair, wearing a new mole of betrayal just to the left of his beak. The chancellor handed me his parchment and, written upon it, were the hotkeys which scan the sky for his associates' birds of prey.

Softly, I spoke, holding aloft my gauntlet, "You've been with me these three long years, Myr, will you not come to me?" But the bird looked away, quite caught up in a great fantasy of his new life of power.

"Come, let us enjoy victuals," said the chancellor, just as a great mob of ogres swept up the concourse of the hillside and slaughtered us. The chancellor deflected a few maces with his broadshield, pivoting perfectly along the balls of his feet, so great was his agility and deft distribution of weight. But this was a party of fourty ogres, hungry, unfed by their players, reeking of urine, and not their own urine but quite obviously the urine of dragons who had been their tormentors. Now these ogres had their first reign of freedom and fell upon us. I just laid still and let them rip me in half.

I scurried to log back in and clicked hurriedly through the sign-on screens, emerging in the Inn of Jory Sobgoblin and, at once, I dashed through the tables, spilling a midget's froth of mead, but soon out in the bustling courtyard. I paid for a steed and bolted back out to Grimalkin, clicking the mouse rapaciously until the chancellor and I were back on the hill again, out in the biting wind.

"Come, let us enjoy victuals," said the chancellor. And though I was completely out of breath, as the rumble pak on my mouse sorely indicated (making it very hard to walk,) but I trounced behind he and Myrgrepphin and we split a lamb between us for a quarterlunch time feast. When I left the game, I made sure to change the settings so that the rumble pak would, from now on, be triggered by my character's sexual organs rather than by his aerobic intensity. When in the Palisades would I ever be running while aroused?

Incidentally, I am NOT Nels' real brother. He makes it sound that way, doesn't he? I know it. But no, he married my sister Quinn. They actually used to play Bloodfoot Palisades together and they rode bareback together over the Cliffs of Whitemire, beyond the fertile vales where the ocelot doth play, and were the first to ford the great river Rothwyll, which is eventually where they settled, right there beneath the dam (they built the dam,) bearing five young and establishing a reputable tannery. Until Nels pushed her off a cliff during battle "as part of a greater strategy."

So Quinn ran off, she left Nels and moved to Boston. Who can blame her, she paid four-hundred gold for those red boots. And there were numerous virtual bracelets involved as well. I've heard she plays Senatorial Alliance now and has earned a congressional medal. Good lord, but not of honor, of something else. Aptitude or something. I haven't spoken to her in ages. I really don't want her to use Robert's Rules of Order against me.