Accidental swag, unexpected adventure

Broccoli and banana

I was lucky enough, on my recent trip to New England, to make a stop in Needham, Mass., and tour Turbine.

‘Twas a very fun trip, and I got to meet a number of devs. Sadly, the banana and broccoli weren’t part of the swag I got, although I must’ve had a jewel of fortune going ’cause I pulled some nice stuff, including a hoodie!

And there was one little item I was definitely not expecting to get, and one that I’m pretty sure no other DDO player has received. But there’s some back story here, so bear with me.

Being an adventurous sort of adventurer, upon completion of my tour followed by lunch (Williamsport needs a Chipotle, dammit!), I noticed that there is a very nice park across the street from Turbine HQ. There’s a trail that goes all the way around a lake. I figured this would be a great spot to stretch my legs and get some pics.

I was not planning on questing. I mean, c’mon, I was in, y’know, REAL LIFE. So I was figuring on a casual saunter with plenty of photo breaks.

But then… but then… well, you know what they say. You can take the adventurer out of the adventure, but you can’t take the adventure out of the adventurer. OK, they don’t really say that, whoever “they” are. It just fits the story to say that they say it.

I heard barking. I heard yelling. And then a medium-sized canine-type monster came bounding up to me.

I stood my ground. He seemed friendly enough and didn’t seem inclined to try to flank me. Shortly thereafter, two adventurers happened along. I’m guessing they were barbarians, although I didn’t know that at the time.

“Is this your canine-type beast?” I asked.

One of them replied, “No.”

I looked at the canine-type beast. “Well,” I said to him, “you’re clearly undergeared, seeing as how you have no leash.”

(I should mention here that for one thing, there were “All dogs must be on leash” signs all over the place, and for another, anyone with an Int higher than 4 should know that, signs or not, no dog should be off leash in an area that’s clearly a habitat for waterfowl.)

“Someone’s probably searching for you,” I added, thinking to myself, “Yes, someone who is clearly not a rogue, because their Spot and Listen both seem to be 0.” And I took hold of the beast’s collar, believing that I was doing its owner a favor.

The two barbarians began to walk away.

The canine-type monster decided to follow.

At top speed.

With my fingers hooked in his collar.

Have you ever wondered what Improved Trip would feel like if you were on the receiving end? I’m betting it would be a lot like the canine-type beast jerking me off my feet and dragging me along the ground for a couple of yards. Turns out he DID belong to one of the barbarians, the one who hadn’t answered at all when I asked if the dog belonged to them.

The trail around the lake was relatively flat in most places, but was covered in dead leaves, bark, small stones, and of course, dirt. My right hand was pretty scraped up, including one good-sized patch that was missing a chunk of skin but had replaced it with trail debris. There was a similar patch on my arm, and assorted little dings elsewhere on my hand, wrist, and arm. And I could feel that my knee was also banged up a bit, but my jeans weren’t torn so I figured that wasn’t too bad.

The two barbarians, or maybe they were warlocks, or maybe just dropouts from adventuring school, proceeded to yell at me about how they were watching their dogs (in the meantime, a second canine-type monster had bounded up) so there was no need for them to be leashed, and generally seemed perturbed that I would dare suggest such a thing. And then they stalked off rather quickly.

I walked on a bit further thinking the gouge on my hand was the worst of it… and then I felt a tickle on my elbow. I thought it was a bug or something, so I swiped at it with my other hand… which came away covered in blood.

You can’t really get a good look at your own elbow, although I tried. And there was a LOT of blood. “The blood vessels are really close to the surface there,” I told myself. “It’s probably not nearly as bad as it looks.”

But I thought I should probably try to at least clean out the trail dirt. And then I realized that, in real life, I have absolutely no self-hjealing. NONE, I tell you! I’d put my wallet, keys, camera, and phone in a little camera bag, and left everything else locked in the car. I had nothing first-aid-y AT ALL with me.

But I was nearly halfway around the lake, so I figured it would be just as long to turn around as it would be to keep going. And so I kept going. Once I finally made it back around to the start (with a short detour to get more pics of a snake that may or may not have been a water moccasin), I headed for the ladies’ room (luckily for me, there was one in the public area of Turbine HQ) to assess the damage.

Well, now I had soap, water, and paper towels, anyway. Jerry, aka Cordovan, was nice enough to bring me some stuff from their first aid kit as well. I never put any points into my hjeal skill, but I figure that was worth at least a +8.

But the worst of the dirt and gunk was still pretty embedded even after an extended period of vigorous washing followed by scrubbing with an antiseptic towelette. Thanks to Cordovan, I now had a couple little packets of antibiotic cream plus bandaging supplies, but I didn’t want to use that stuff until the wounds were clean.

Then some kind woman who happened upon me with my elbow under the faucet told me that there was hand sanitizer in a dispenser in the lobby.

Have you ever poured nearly pure alcohol in a gaping wound? Yeah. NOT FUN. But rather effective once I could feel anything but the infernal burning. The sanitizer was dispensed as a foam, which did a surprisingly good job of foaming the debris out of the wounds. I washed them out one more time, applied the antibiotic cream, slapped the gauze over my elbow, taped it up, and thought that was the end of my adventure…

… and it mostly was. Until I got home and realized… I still have the roll of tape.

I know other DDO players have visited Turbine HQ. I know they’ve gotten swag. But I bet not one of them has EVER pulled a Roll of Adhesive Medical Tape.

Yep. I win the swag war!

(Note: A week and a half later, there is still some gunk embedded in my hand. The elbow wound is finally starting to close and probably should have been stitched. And I really wish I’d put some points in Hjeal and hadn’t dumped Dex!)

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Filkin’ Around: Umber Hulk Eyes

 

Update 31 hits tomorrow! YAY!

To celebrate U31, aka “Gnomework,” and the fact that WE’RE GETTING UMBER HULKS!, I thought a filk might be in order. After seeing the glowy umber hulk eyes in this preview video, I thought “Bette Davis Eyes” as performed by Kim Carnes would make a good filk. I used a karaoke version for my interpretation.

Lyrics are in the video captions – if you can’t see them, make sure you have captions enabled!

I was originally going to just use a screenie and paste the lyrics in the body of the post, hence the small image size on the video – I just couldn’t be arsed to go back and enlarge the images after I decided to go with a video instead of a still shot.

And yes, I DO already want umber hulk creature companions…

Filkin’ Around: Dragon Bane (She’s a mother, all right)

 

Paladin Even is probably the toon I play the most simply because, as long as I’m actively trying to stay alive (and sometimes even when I’m trying to die), she’s nearly impossible to kill. But when I was looking for something to livestream earlier tonight, I decided to bring a different toon, because I didn’t think the world needed another video of Even farming wraiths in FoT.

So I grabbed Trici, my seriously underplayed but totally adorable lvl 16 gnomificer, and took a look at her adventure compendium. “Aha,” I said to myself, “she hasn’t run Mired in Kobolds yet. That should be fun!”

And fun it was… until the end. After mostly cruising through hordes of kobolds, Trici just wasn’t quite up to the challenge of a bunch of self-healing casters, plus their melee friends… and oh yeah, Varath, that big dragon who really wanted gnome hors d’oeuvres. It wasn’t until her third re-entry that she finally dispatched them – only to find herself face-to-face with Sinvala, an even bigger dragon who happened to be Varath’s mother. Sinvala was NOT happy about the death of her offspring, and NOT interested in hearing Trici explain that it was all in self-defense. She was, however, VERY interested in turning Trici into a soulstone.

What can you do when your adorable gnomificer becomes dragon bait? You can filk, of course! So I wrote a little ditty about Trici’s experience in Driftwood Mire. Sadly, no lyrics with the video, because I couldn’t find a suitable karaoke or instrumental version of “Renegade” by Styx. Hopefully you’ll know the melody well enough to sing along – if not, well, that’s why I always link the original!

 

 

          Dragon Bane

Oh, mama dragon, run for my life from your big sharp pointy claws
Spiked plants have put an end to my running, they just tear me all to shreds
Oh, mama dragon, hear me a-cryin’, I’m a gimpy little gnome
Fire breath is rainin’ down on my head and I won’t last very long

My time is up, hit points are down
She’s finally killed me
No dragon bane, it’s such a shame
This quest is just silly

Release now and go away
Get revenge another day
On the dragon mom

Oh, mama dragon, sorry ’bout your son but please don’t bite off my head
Hire won’t heal enough keep me alive, now I’m for sure totally dead
Scary mama dragon, hear me cryin’, I’m a gimpy little gnome
Fire breath is rainin’ down on my head and I won’t last very long

My time is up, hit points are down
She’s finally killed me
No dragon bane, it’s such a shame
This quest is just silly

Release now and go away
Get revenge another day
On the dragon mom

Oh, mama dragon, run for my life from your sharp, pointed, scaly claws
Fire breath is rainin’ down on my head and I won’t last very long

The unfolding drama…

 

Oh, Harry, what have you gone and gotten yourself into now?

When last we’d seen Harry, aka Arraetrikos, we’d beaten him almost to death in Phase 5 of Shroud. But we didn’t kill him – no, we just banished him back to Shavarath.

We get to find out what happened to him once we reach Shavarath ourselves and step into the Tower of Despair. Our Harry, it seems, has taken up with a succubus consort by the name of Lyrilith, and he’s told her… a few things he shouldn’t. Lyrilith, when not exhorting adventures to save her harder, went straight to First General Horoth with the info. And the General was not amused.

ToD is one of those raids I’ve run so many times I’ve lost count. It and Shroud are still among my favorite quests in the game. They’re quintessential DDO to me, and I love how the storyline carries over from one to the next.

Most of the ToDs I’ve ever run start with one or two people running in and killing the couple of mobs in the first part. Then one person goes down and pulls the lever while everyone else stands around buffing, chatting, dancing, or doing nothing.

Every once in a while, I like to be the one on lever duty so that I can watch “the unfolding drama” as Horoth shrinks Harry down to itty-bitty baby size and turns him over to the Judge and Jailer. It’s a few minutes of questing time with nothing to do, to be sure. But it’s entertaining and immersive.

From there, you rescue a kindasortabutnotreally grateful Harry from the clutches of the Judge and Jailer, defeat Nythirios and his shadowy minions, and finally face Horoth, who calls upon our old buddy Suulomades when his hit points start dwindling.

Before he summons Sully, Horoth has probably my favorite typos in the game: “Soliders of Shavarth.” What is a “solider?” What is it solider than? Is it the solidest? If not, what is solider than a solider? And what happened to the other “a” in “Shavarath,” or is “Shavarth” a plane that’s solider than “Shavarath?”

I’m not a typo snob, but editing is what I do for a living. So I notice this stuff. And while there are a number of typos I REALLY wish would get fixed (why do the Milders live in Midler Farmhouse? Why is it “AN planar shard?”), I’ve come to enjoy Horoth’s call for support, in all its typoed glory.

Anyway. Slvr and I duo’d ToD last night, just for the heck of it. We took an incredibly long time, mostly because after the Judge and Jailer, we had to rely mostly on Even’s DPS alone – Slvr didn’t have cold absorb for Nyth, and realized once we were well into the quest that he also had never made Boots of Anchoring for his druid. And Even’s DPS is acceptable at best. She went through a couple of pots so that she could keep spamming Consecration and Energy Burst for more damage, but hey, it was ToD, so it was totally worth it.