Tough times

I’m still playing less than I used to and haven’t felt much like blogging; real life is kicking my butt pretty hard. I really want to get some playing time in for ALL my characters soon – lately it’s been Jall and Vic with a bit of Even and Discordette – but in the meantime, a few thoughts on life. Unfortunately the person who inspired these thoughts isn’t likely to ever read them, but at least I’ll get them off my chest.

Everybody’s different, but being different doesn’t mean someone is good or bad. Whether you’re a hero or an ass has nothing to do with your religion, skin color, age, or sex. It’s the choices you make, the actions you take or choose not to take, that show whether you’re a hero or an ass.

Any ass can tell lies. Heros are the ones who face up to the truth even when it makes them look bad.

Any ass can dodge issues they don’t want to face up to. A hero deals with conflict.

Any ass can boost his (or her) ego by making fun of other people. Heros know that meanness says more about the person dishing it out than the person taking it.

Any ass can produce children. The heroes are the ones who put their childrens’ needs ahead of their own and make it a priority to stay involved in their childrens’ lives.

Any ass can get drunk, high, gamble away a fortune, or sleep around indiscriminately (often making kids that they don’t really care about or bother to support, financially or emotionally). Heroes have the decency and maturity to not only know their limits, but respect them.

Any ass can break a heart. Only a true hero can mend one.

So if you’re sitting around getting drunk and playing the video game you bought with the money that should have gone to child support while you laugh about how you played someone to make them love you and then played mind games with them because you thought that made you a better person… let’s just say you’re no hero.

And one more thing… you have a daughter. Women tend to be attracted to men who remind them of their fathers. Think of the way you treated me. Now think of how you’ll feel if your daughter falls in love with a man who treats her the way you treated me. How will you feel about that man? That’s how you should feel about yourself.



Last night I noticed that I was just 40 Turbine points shy of being able to afford another adventure pack, so I checked my favor-farming toons and discovered that Liai had just one “real” quest under her belt (the intro one doesn’t count). Two Korthos quests later, she passed five total favor and got the 50 points since she’s my first and so far only toon on Ghallanda, and I had 360 DDO points just clamoring to be spent.

I debated a bit – Reaver’s Reach would be great for Even, although I don’t have any other toons high enough to get any use out of it yet; and Necro II was tempting since I already have Necro I. But I’ve wanted to run Chronoscope for a really, really, REALLY long time, so it wasn’t really much of a decision to pass up Reaver’s and Necro II for the Devil Assault pack.

WOW, did I ever make the right choice! Even ran Devil Assault ages ago on a pass and I loved it, so – even though I SHOULD have gone to bed – I got Jall out and went in on normal. As she’s been doing lately, she cruised, got some nice if not overly memorable gear, and so I decided to try it on hard. Yes, I know it jumps from a level 6 quest on normal to level 12 on hard, but hey, Jall’s level 12 and she’s been kicking butt, right?

Well, that had to end sometime, and it ended during the first wave of DA on hard. Being a glutton for punishment (as well as a chronic insomniac), I decided to see what Even made of it on hard. She didn’t have any serious problems, but it was far from a cakewalk. I’m looking forward to trying it on elite with her, but definitely not solo.

Tonight, though, I signed on a bit early for me because I was itching to do Chrono. I nearly decided to try it with Jall first, but I wasn’t too sure about her being able to solo it, and for my first foray, I really wanted to go in by myself and get a feel for it so I wouldn’t hold up a party. Besides, Even needs more playing time.

I wasn’t expecting to dance easily through a solo attempt on a raid quest, even though it was a level 6 quest and Even’s level 19, but DANG. It was quite a challenge! I didn’t realize that hirelings aren’t allowed in raids, so it was TRULY solo; Even doesn’t even have the capability to summon a pet.

I started out with her +5 Crippling Rapier of Pure Good since the beginning of the quest includes a warning to use good weapons against the devils. It got to be a pain switching back and forth between that and her Vampiric Fury Blade, though, and when I realized the vampiric blade was doing at least as much damage as the rapier, I said heck with it.

The really cool thing about vampiric weapons is that every time you hit something, they heal you for 1 HP. That doesn’t sound like much, but when you’re swinging like crazy in a crowd of monsters, especially if you pop a haste potion, it REALLY adds up. That blade kept Even’s health pretty much full; any damage she took from the devils was easily made up by her hitting the various archers and casters and stuff.

Except for the bosses. The big dude in the bank wasn’t TOO bad; it took a long, LONG time to kill him, but he didn’t do any really bad damage. The Orthon in the Steam Tunnels hit harder (damn magic missiles) and gave her a few tense moments, but she still dispatched him without a whole lot of trouble.

And then came the end boss, that conjoined Abishai thingy – HOLY FREAKING CRAP. If it had been JUST him without the devils he kept summoning, it would have been hard. Having to deal with the devils whilst trying to kill this thing that was taking very little damage from either the vampiric blade or the rapier while dishing out plenty of damage to Even – yeah, that was… fun. No, really, it was, even though she did die once.

But that was cool, because unlike most quests where if you’re soloing and you die, you have to start over, Even just got teleported back to the little area outside the Rusty Nail and the Steam Tunnels. There’s a rez shrine there, plus both rez and rest shrines in the tavern, so a few minutes later she was headed right back into the fray.

It was a little disheartening to see that Mr. Conjoined Abishai Devastator had healed the damage she’d managed to do to him, but by just plugging away, she finally wore him down and killed him. Very nice loot too, even though she spent an inordinate amount of time running all over the Marketplace trying to rescue everybody for the optional (I think they were hiding from her).

I’d been chatting with a couple of my Emerald Dragons guildies during the end part of the quest, and when I finished, one of them mentioned that he’d like to run it to go for some of the named loot. I got Jall, he got his Favored Soul, we filled up a party and off we went on elite.

It amazes me that 12 people who mostly don’t know each other can actually work pretty well together. There was one guy who got a bit confused and got separated from the group – he needed a couple of rezzes and a LOT of healing – but everybody was cool about it. I was very glad to be mostly standing behind everybody else dishing out heals and a few buffs in between firing a crossbow at bad guys. It was a lot tougher on elite with a lvl 8-12 group than it was on normal with lvl 19 Even, even though we had 12 people, but I think it was more fun, too.

One of our party members passed me two greater mnemonics early in the quest – GREAT guy, did a great job on the mobs and tried to pass Jall the Gem of Many Facets he got in the end chest. I was SOOOO tempted… but the guy who needed all the healing had already said he was hoping for the gem, and Jall already has a Pearl of Power X and a Voice of the Master, plus a Globe of Imperial Blood in her bank for when she hits lvl 13. And besides, I have a feeling I’m going to be doing Chrono a LOT now that I have the pack, so I gave up the gem to him. Can’t complain, Jall now has the Envenomed Cloak and the Helm of Frost!

In case you were wondering about my new guildie’s heart of wood, he passed it to Jall to sell. After asking around and being told that a million and a half plat was the bare MINIMUM it would go for, I tried posting in the trade channel but got no response, so it’s on the AH (Thelanis) with a 1.25 mil starting price, no buyout, 72-hour auction. I love this guy’s attitude – he told me to take whatever I needed from whatever plat it sells for and give the rest to anyone who needs it. I have no intentions of keeping any or giving any away; I’ll keep it for him until he levels up high enough to hold it all, but the thought was very much appreciated! It’s a good feeling to have such a team player in the guild. 🙂

Emerald luck

Jall cruised through Sykros’s Jewel tonight with nary a close call. I’m so proud of her! Even always had a hard time with the kidnappers at the end (I remember once making her run and hide while I put up the LFM to get some help – don’t tell her I told you).

That put her just four total favor short of 900 and 25 more DDO points, so I started pondering what else to do. As I was standing there in the Marketplace looking through her adventure compendium, I got a tell from a level 2 fighter asking if he could join my guild, so I sent him an invite and welcomed him to the Emerald Dragons fold.

I was feeling pretty confident so I headed off to Anvilfire Inn to pick up Stormcleave Outpost from Alciana d’Deneith. I briefly considered going in on casual – yeah, it’s a lvl 8 quest and Jall is lvl 12, but she’s kinda squishy, it’s a tough quest and she was soloing. But in the end I went for normal because I didn’t want to finish and find out casual only gave 3 favor.

Once again she astonished me, cruising through with ease. Through about the first five groups of mobs, she still had some of her bonus HP from casting Aid on herself. She was dealing plenty of damage and taking very little. The only snags she ran into were having to make two trips to get all the supply containers (I need to figure out how to clear some inventory space for her) and not being intelligent enough to activate one of the runes. Everything else – piece of cake.

So I repaired, sold, transmuted stuff and mailed off essences and collectibles to Even. Also picked up a few things for Victaurya, so I signed her on to get them. The new guy who just joined Emerald Dragons posted in guild chat asking if anyone could help him with questions about an item.

Now, ComicRelief, sit down and take some deep, slow breaths. Seems my new guildmate, fresh off the boat from Korthos, decided to run The Kobolds’ New Ringleader… and looted a +3 Greater Heart of Wood. He linked it so I could see for myself, and sure enough, he’s got it.

We checked the AH to see how much they were going for, but there were none listed. So I asked on the trade channel and – aside from the dipstick who tried to offer me 5 copper – the responses were well in excess of 1-2 MILLION plat.

I think he’s going to keep it in his bank for now. I’m not sure what level you have to be to have that much plat (he’s F2P, not sure if that makes a difference), and being lvl 2, a +3 heart of wood isn’t that big a deal yet. I suggested he hold on to it until he levels high enough to either be able to have that much money, or to know which feats are working for him and which aren’t so he’ll have a better idea what he wants to change. He’s already talking about buying the guild a bigger airship.

I already felt kinda lucky because Jall pulled a Silver Flame Hymnal and a Fragrant Drowshood from Ataraxia’s, and Discordette pulled a small Eberron dragonshard from Searing Heights, plus Even found some good armor at a good price on the AH (for Jall, not herself, but Even handles the financial end of things). And also because when Vic was standing at the bank in the Harbor tonight, a very nice lvl 16 fellow rogue handed her four sets of +5 Thieves’ Tools and refused payment for them.

I didn’t even come close to my goal of running at least one quest with every one of my toons this weekend. I never got off Thelanis, and Jall and Discordette are the only ones who got actual playing time. Must work on that! I need to get Vic levelled up to at least 10 so she can pull some gear out of her bank to use and sell/transmute/pass on to Discordette or guildies her current stuff. Her bank slot and inventory are both pretty full.

They grow up so fast

It seems like just last week, Jalliria was very much the “weaker sister” of Even. Part of that, of course, is because Even’s got quite a few levels and a fair amount of playing time on her.

Another part is just a matter of class – Even, being a pally and sort of an intimitank, can kick some butt, whereas cleric Jall is more of a sit-back-and-heal toon.

Even’s been my go-to girl almost from the moment I rolled her. Jall was originally my “secret” toon, the one I used when my boyfriend was playing HIS “secret” toon so we could get some playing time alone together.

So it seems weird now to be taking Jall on quests that Even did recently, and sometimes still finds challenging.

What’s surprising is how well my squishy little cleric is doing. Her main weapon is a +4 Shock Khopesh of Pure Good that I bought for 25K from a fellow guildie (not one of my “regular” bunch) because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings; he claimed to have paid 50K for it. It’s not a bad weapon at all, although I think 25K was WAY overpriced (if he really paid 50K, he got rooked).

It seems to suit her, though. Over the last week or two I’ve been grinding her through Searing Heights and Red Fens with an occasional house quest or two thrown in as the mood strikes me. Last night she was just a bit shy of leveling to 12, so I thought, “What the heck, let’s go to Ataraxia’s and see what happens. If nothing else she should live long enough to get some XP from slayer and explorer.”

Even was around level 11 the first time I took her to Ataraxia’s, and she went with three or four guildies. We had some trouble, including a brutal wipe up at the lighthouse. But Jall had finished S/R/E in Searing Heights and I needed a break from Red Fens, so off we went.

And… WOW. Armed with a lvl 11 fighter hireling and a summoned bearded devil, Jall proceeded to astonish me by cruising fairly easily around Ataraxia’s. Scrags, duergars, feral razor cats – she did some serious damage with that overpriced khopesh of hers while not dropping many hit points herself. In fact, possibly the biggest problem she had was the giant rust monsters because they broke some of her gear.

As I was marveling at the way she was performing (and trying not to think too hard about the fact that she probably did a lot better than Even in the same area at that level), I found myself outside Scrag Cave, home of Dulk.

Dulk and I go way back. Even could NOT solo him; the darn brute heals himself too quickly. No matter what you throw at him, he zips himself back up to full health in seconds. But I figured I had nothing to lose, and I had a FvS hireling to try to keep Jall healthy (the fighter expired and I lost him when I went into the resort spa to repair her broken gear).

I should have checked Jall’s mana before I went in. She was down to about 20 by the time she killed off the last “normal” mob and braced to meet Dulk. I’d been half hoping he wouldn’t be there, but no such luck; since he was, I wasn’t about to leave without at least giving him a run.

This was where I got to loving Update 9 in a hurry. That whole “Echoes of Power” thing that regenerates mana back up to 12 SP – WIN. With Roshan the hireling keeping Jall healed (although Dulk did surprisingly little damage to her), she was free to use those 12 SP on Glyph of Warding and Deific Vengeance to supplement what her fancy khopesh was doing to Dulk.

Still, he’s – well, Dulk. She’d hit him, he’d heal himself. Over and over and over. It was starting to look like a stalemate. In desperation, I posted the LFM asking for help to finish him off.

One intrepid soul answered right away and joined the party. He was still on his way through the wilderness – a bit disappointed that, “You didn’t leave anything alive!” – when something happened to Dulk.

I’m not sure what. Did he run out of mana? Did he get depressed because the floor of his cave was littered with the bodies of his scrag buddies? Did he just feel sorry for Jall and decide to give her a break? Did he go afk for some chips and a beer?

I may never know, but what I DO know is that even before my newly-recruited party member got to Scrag Cave, Dulk was suddenly lying dead at Jall’s feet.

It was an eye-opener. I remember Even trying to solo Dulk and calling in a guildie for help and STILL not being able to take him down. I remember her dying many, MANY times when she first started soloing Ataraxia’s wilderness. And I remember her utterly wiping the first time I ran Reclamation solo with her.

I hadn’t been planning on trying either of the two Ataraxia’s quests solo with Jall; I just figured she’d never be able to handle it. But tonight I got to thinking about her finishing off Dulk and thought maybe, just maybe, she might be up to the challenge.

So I headed for Mineshaft IV and Reclamation (it was closest to where I was). Thought of going in on casual and figured, ah hell, no guts, no glory, and picked normal instead.

And once again, she cruised. Never even a really close call, all the way to the end. She killed the foremen, she killed Scour, she killed Detritus, she killed the overseer.

Unfortunately she didn’t get the end chests because there were still about half a dozen duergar ganging up on her after all the bosses were dead, and her new level 12 FvS hireling Tanya picked that particular moment to go charging up the corridor, refusing to return when summoned. I tried to charge Jall after her so they could keep each other healed while they finished off the duergar, but that didn’t work; they just kept tripping her up too fast for her to try to hit them and heal herself. I assume they were doing the same thing to Tanya since her HP dropped like a lead brick and she never made a move to heal herself.

So Jall completed the quest successfully and then got killed – hey, it’s still a victory. In hindsight, I think she was still close enough to the shrine that she could have made it back there to rez herself, but I was so pissed at Tanya I didn’t think of that until after I’d released.

So tomorrow night, maybe I’ll try Sykros’s Jewel with her. If I remember right, Even always had an easier time with that than with Reclamation.

Speaking of Even, I had her trade some plat for a Gianthold pass from a trusted acquaintance the other night, and the slayer bonuses got her what she needed to level up to 19. I also ran Trial by Fire with her looking to get the ONE point of Agents of Argonessen favor she needs to get to 75; too bad I forgot I ran that ages ago with some Emerald Dragons guildies, so Even’s still at 74 favor with the Agents.

It was kind of embarrassing; I went in on casual because I wasn’t feeling confident at all, and everything was disgustingly easy. She didn’t even need her hireling – in fact, having to use her mana to give buffs to the hire made him more of a liability than an asset. But… I have no, and I do mean NO, sense of direction. I tend to get lost easily, and Trial by Fire is kind of confusing to begin with. So Even killed everything and then started running around in circles trying to find the way to the end boss.

According to DDO Wiki, there’s a crack you have to drop through. Even has no problem dropping through cracks. It’s FINDING the cracks that gives her (well, me) problems. It was getting pretty late and I wanted to work on her slayers before I signed off and lost access to Gianthold (her pass had expired by then), so I turned to the trusty LFM and recruited a couple of kind souls to help me find the way out.

It must be my luck, or lack of. No sooner had my new party members joined than I noticed a passageway with a glittering collectible and some intact barrels. I try to always get all collectibles and smash all breakables, so I knew I hadn’t been down that way before. Sure enough, it led right to the crack, I dropped through, we all ganged up to kill the boss in about two seconds, we looted, we finished out.

Now that Even is freshly levelled, I need to seriously think about lesser reincarnating her. I thought I was prepared – I’m SO not. I tried using a character planner but my computer doesn’t like the damn thing and keeps locking up on me when I use it. Pity, because it seems to be exactly what I need to get her new life all figured out.

What with grinding XP on Jall and taking a night to level Even, my other poor toons have been sadly neglected. My goal for the weekend is to run at least one quest on every toon – we’ll see.

Caveat emptor

Just a short (for me) post right now, got a much longer one in the works. I’ve been sadly neglecting most of my toons except Jall, but more on that in the promised looooong post.

A few nights ago I was surfing the AH when trade channel chat caught my eye.

“wts pit restart guide pst w/offer”

Seriously? Someone is trying to SELL a Pit restart guide? The same guide that Vargus d’Deneith GIVES you just for taking the quest? The same guide that is NO help whatsoever in completing the quest (although it’s good for a laugh)? The same guide that has absolutely no real purpose and is worth NOTHING? The same guide that I’ve trashed DOZENS of times because I didn’t want it cluttering up my inventory space?

Yep. That same guide.

I don’t know if the guy sold it, or for how much if he did. But let this be a lesson – if you don’t KNOW what an item is, DON’T PAY FOR IT. Ask somebody. If you see something in the AH or on the trade channel and you’re not sure what it’s for, but you think it sounds really cool and you simply MUST have it, for crying out loud, don’t shell out half your plat to get it.

I’ve seen a lot of mostly useless things – people selling the Tear of Dhakaan shards for thousands of plat, for example. If you bought one, guess what? The only thing you can do with it is turn it in to the collector in House P for… 10 plat each. That’s ten, T-E-N, not 10K.

Same with gems. I can turn in a whole bagful of gems and if I’m REALLY lucky, I MIGHT get 100 plat out of it. Yet I see gems – ordinary gems, not crafting gems – going for thousands on the AH.

Maybe there are a lot of washed-up used car salesmen running around DDO who have nothing better to do than try to rip other people off. Or maybe it’s a corps of endless monkeys chained to endless typewriters – well, computer keyboards – who just happen to be putting all kinds of basically worthless crap on the AH for outrageous prices.

So anyway…

*looks around furtively and opens the flap on her trench coat*

“Psst… wanna buy some masterwork arrows?”

Movin’ on up

Ain’t real life great? My DDO time has been a bit limited lately due to getting busy in pesky RL and to the weather – yes, really, the weather. First it was several days of severe thunderstorms that chased me offline; once the wind starts blowing, my Internet connection is about as reliable as a hireling. And then it was several days of pure, relentless HEAT. We’re talking 90+ degrees. This room has a west-facing window so it really heats up as the afternoon wears on… and oh yeah, it has NO AIR CONDITIONING. Aside from being worried about the computer overheating, I’m worried about ME overheating.

When I’ve been online the past week, I’ve been mostly playing Jall trying to get her levelled up. I’d only had her out to Searing Heights a few times, and never for long; now she’s completed the whole S/R/E chain with a lot of help from some Emerald Dragons guildies and never has to go back there.

Her guildies were a huge help to her in Red Fens as well. She’s got Fathom the Depths on elite – that was kind of cool; she sucked for most of the quest until we went after the optional gelatinous cube at the end. Actually she still sucked against him, ran out of mana and couldn’t heal fast enough and everyone EXCEPT her died – BUT. She had no rezzes to bring her party members back but kept plugging away at the thing with her crummy DPS while tossing herself a Cure Mod every time her SP regenerated to 12, and occasionally using Radiant Servant for a bit of healing every time that regenerated as well. She got down to single-digit hit points, no mana, no positive energy bursts left… and somehow she hit the cube where it gelatinously counted and killed it.

There was much rejoicing, for as it turned out she had a nearly-forgotten Raise Dead scroll in her inventory and thus was able to rez the other person in the group with rez power, so everybody got the chest and piles of gold.

She did The Last Stand with the same people but elite was a bit too much for her to handle as far as healing. Hard went pretty well though (she’d soloed it on normal earlier). She’d been in the Fens just enough to get all the explorers before, but this week she also made serious dents in rares and slayer (I’m too lazy to log back in to see how serious; I think she’s at 400 slayer and might need a rare or two). She still needs Claw of Vulkoor, but she’s gonna wait for guildies or other help – I tried to take her through it solo on normal and those little red scorpions hit her HARD. She might have made it anyway if she hadn’t decided to fight the optional skelly, who hit like about a hundred of the little red scorpions and was not at all impressed by her turn undeads or positive energy bursts. Should’ve gone into sneak mode, put the hireling on attack, and looted like crazy while I was still alive to loot – ah well, hindsight and all that.

She’s up to level 11 now, and I’d really REALLY like to get her to at LEAST 13 (14 would be better). Meanwhile I’ve been having a blast playing Azida late late LATE at night (after it cools down a bit and after I’ve checked in with my Thelanis buddies). OK, so arcane archers aren’t really supposed to run around with greataxes being all melee – she’s not half bad at it. She’s closing in on finishing Korthos; just needs Sacrifices and Redemption on elite, hasn’t done Misery’s Peak at all yet and needs about 250-ish more to finish out 750 slayer. She got some serious help tonight from a couple of her Destiny guildies – ran Sunken Sewer, then ventured into Cerulean Hills for the first time and pretty quickly got herself all the explorers, all but one rare, 200-plus slayer, and Where There’s Smoke on normal (nice doggies, good doggies, have some ham and don’t attack the orcs, doggies).

Where There’s Smoke gave both Azida and her paladin guildie/party buddy enough XP to level – YAY, they both got to lvl 4 and got mana for the first time! Then it was bedtime for the guildie; Azida tacked on a solo of Recovering the Lost Tome to round out her night before visiting the ranger trainer to do the leveling.

It’d be nice if there was a way to transfer stuff between your toons on different servers. Azida still has only about 1K plat and hasn’t looted anything of note yet. If Even could send Azida, say, 5K, she could get all tricked out with cool ranger gear (and better armor – her +2 chain shirt ain’t so great).

Speaking of Even, she’s as usual sitting around not doing much, but the other night I was going through her mail when one of her fellow Montians posted in guild chat looking for a rogue to do Xorian. It took a few minutes to finish cleaning out Even’s mailbox – all my other Thelanis toons send their collectibles and essences to her – and I thought maybe it would be fun to run Xorian with Vic. Luck was on my side; the party leader didn’t have a rogue yet and was more than happy to wait for me to log Even off and get Vic on.

There were several deaths – including a couple of mine, stupid chaos orbs – but wow, we had a great time! SUPER group, lots of chatting, a real effort to make sure nobody got left behind. The party leader was stupendously good, and I hope I get to run with him again. I felt bad for our cleric; she was only lvl 7, and that’s a really tough quest to run level-appropriate with one healer. She still did a nice job; most of the deaths were one-shots from the orbs and there was nothing she could do, but the real reason I felt bad for her was that one of the orbs hit her with something and she lost two wisdom points, so we missed out on a rune because the rest of us – well, I guess we just weren’t wise. Still, the XP was great and the loot was pretty fine as well (I think one guy got a strength tome).

I’d love to know how people find time to play gazillions of toons. I’m having trouble keeping up with my nine; I haven’t been on Sarlona or Orien at all in probably a week. Not to mention it’s been almost a week since I blogged here! Which leads me to my last thought for tonight, which is now “this morning.” I was thinking of posting some DDO fan fiction from time to time. The very term “fan fiction” used to make me cringe; it seemed like nothing but soppy stories about tragically orphaned but incredibly beautiful/brilliant/powerful/etc. girls who singlehandedly saved innocent children from grisly fates whilst simultaneously beating the living crap out of giant fire-breathing monsters and fending off advances from lecherous trolls.

Unfortunately that’s a pretty accurate description of a lot of fan fiction, but that doesn’t mean it ALL has to be like that. I’ve been kicking around an idea for a story about the first time I soloed the Pit on Even and wondering if I should expand on it and post it here.

Mostly now though I need to think about getting some sleep, perchance to dream about winning another lesser heart of wood. *grin*