Cat Caught a Mouse … in a sense.

So, not too long ago I mentioned that my cat caught a mouse and I would post something about that on some later date.  Well, that day is here.  Here we have our two feline frenemies, Roxy and Wyatt.  Roxy, the fawn-colored, Siamese mix, is the focal point of our sorry tale of betrayal and woe today.*

Together in a rare moment of congeniality.

So I was working on something (I forget what) on my laptop, which I took out to the living room.  I have a desk there where I often write or edit while watching old movies or Youtube or whatever with my husband at night.  I got up to go do something and when I came back I found this charming situation.

My poor mouse!

It seems, according to my husband who witnessed the dark deed, Roxy jumped from the couch to a chair to the floor as she often does.  (She’s pretty agile all things considered.)  This time, however, she sort of used the corner of my desk as a springboard from the aforementioned couch to the aforementioned chair, and well, my mouse found itself in the soup, or rather my glass of soy milk.

Good as new along with its trusty back-up friend.

I figured my mouse was a goner.  Besides being in the soy milk, I have knocked it off my desk so many times that I had to put a piece of tape around it to keep the housing from falling apart.  But my husband, who is our resident Household Chief Technology Officer, thought it could be saved.  He dried out the mouse, did various other things to it – both arcane and mundane – and then even put a brand new piece of tape on it.

Much to my delight and amazement my old, soy milk-logged mouse was as good as new.  Heck, better than new, because it was cleaner and now had fresh batteries.

Thanks Roxy!

“You’re welcome, anytime, mortal,” Roxy says.

As you can see, Roxy was very concerned about the mouse situation and one of the/her human running about waving its arms and making high pitched, fluting noises (not chirps) and then running off into the kitchen.  All in a days work for our resident alpha Siamese.

Gold Cat Clip Art

So, quite a bit going on outside of cat-based shenanigans.  I have another book on the way, where some of my poems found a home.  I’ll post that when I get the author copies in the mail.  Also working on my next D&D game, which will be this Saturday, January 25th, 2020, and I visited a couple of local mystic shops here in Santa Cruz where I had a good time with such things as getting a tarot reading done, learning something about using a pendant (or wedding ring on a hunk of hair, perhaps, or whatever) for divination, and so on.

Be well until next time.


* Roxy has quite a vocabulary, ranging from polysyllabic, fluting chirps to the (my personal favorite) deep, echoing howls where if you are going about the house in bare feet you’ll feel the tingle of cat vibrations resonating up through the floorboards.

The Dragon Egg Gazette: Issue 1

The Dragon Egg Gazette

Issue 1: January 17, 2020

NB: To anyone wondering what by the Emperor’s left <redacted> this is all about:  Greetings, imperial scum.  I recently started running a D&D game and thought it might be fun to keep track of the public parts of the campaign and my inveterate world building with a sort of in-character “newspaper.”  So The Dragon Egg Gazette is born and now I turn over the reins to that precocious (and maybe a little precious) dragonborn and elf duo, Biri and Thulunil.  


From the Editor’s Desk

Welcome to the inaugural issue of The Dragon Egg Gazette!  My name is Biri of Dragon Egg … of course.  I prefer to be called Wondermist by my friends, and I’m the editor-in-chief.  This newspaper is my required Outside Project for school and I’m really excited about it.

If you would like to contribute an article, please let me know in the comments.  You can also contact us through the email on the About page.  If you contribute articles at least once in awhile, I’ll list you as a contributing editor!  You can leave your letters to the editor in the comments too, and we just might print yours.

To business.

This is a really awful map of The Enchanted Forest.  They should get a cartography teacher so someone can make some decent maps, but for now this will have to do.  Who even knows if it is accurate?  You can click on the map for a much larger version, but I’m not responsible for broken crystal balls!

Yep, here be dragons.

In the next issue we’ll learn a little more about some of the towns and places like The Giant Statue and The Haunted Bridge!


The Dungeonmaster’s Corner

by Ann Wycoff

I just started running a Dungeons & Dragons (5e) game after taking many years off from roleplaying.  So far I am enjoying reading through the new books.  I see they brought player character “backgrounds” back from earlier editions so your alter ego was a tinker, tailor, soldier or spy before he was a protagonist.  The player comes up with, or rolls for, a personality trait, and some other basic stuff like a flaw or an ideal they have.  In return the character gets in-game benefits.

At first I kind of wrinkled my nose a little at all of this.  After all, back when I played I walked to the game up hill both ways in the snow (remember, I’m from Maine and couldn’t cast Fly then) and wouldn’t dream of playing a character with less than ten pages of history and background.  I certainly didn’t need to be bribed with free skills.

Anyway, I thought about it some and had a change of heart.  Now I like the idea.  As a DM I really enjoy world building to the point where I make up stuff that the players never learn about and I know they never will when I make it up.  I also enjoy at least some of the players having ties to the world outside of just “the party.”  I’ve found that there are some players, who I cherish as kindred spirits, who also enjoy a similar style of play.  For the ones that don’t, I have learned over the years not to force things.  Enforcing your play style and preferences on people is bad enough when players do it, but worse still when the perpetrator is the DM.

So what I’m going to do is provide in-game benefits for belonging to certain groups.  If you don’t want the benefits, you can happily ignore the group.  The benefits aren’t so great that your character is completely gimped if he doesn’t have them, though he may be inconvenienced.  That’s cool.  Some people will probably sort of go along halfheartedly with my nonsense to get the benefits while others will find they can tolerate (or even acquire a taste for) a bit more of the kind of thing that keeps my DMing energy levels high.

With that in mind I present the following, which serves as the starting point of the games I’m currently planning on running.  I made no attempt to balance it with the Player’s Handbook backgrounds since everyone has the opportunity to start with this background.

Unicursal hexagram 100 wide

 Dragon Egg Special Arbor Service (SAS) within the Militia

Skill Proficiencies: Perception, Survival.  If you gain these skills from another class, you may substitute one or two other skills.  Athletics, Animal Handling, and Nature are common ones.  If you want something else, make a reasonable justification/case of why your character might have that skill and I’ll say yes.

Tool Proficiencies:  Rudimentary to basic knowledge of Dragon Egg legal code.  General proficiency with riding and use of canoes and small rowboats.

Equipment: A good, green uniform cloak, wet and cold weather gear, two badges of office (a green dragon hatching out of an egg).  One is plain for the field, the other fancy for in town.

Notes for Active Members

  • Authority to enforce Dragon Egg town justice on or around the settled areas and roads claimed by Dragon Egg. Other groups within the Enchanted Forest may look upon you with favor or enmity based on being in the SAS.
  • Your pay is enough to live reasonably comfortably so that you don’t have to account for mundane expenses between adventures.
  • You will probably be allocated resources, such as healing potions and the like to help with your adventures. Unofficially, you can keep whatever you don’t use unless it is rare or valuable.
  • You are part of the militia chain of command, though the SAS is viewed as an elite force. Also, you are viewed as part of a “special force” within this elite force and command usually involves a light touch.
    • Episodic Game: You’ll be given missions to complete each session.
    • Sandbox Game: Instead of missions, you will have a lot more leeway with the assignments because you’ll do the jobs other people don’t want to. After all, there may be better warriors out there but how many of them are willing to do the stuff that PC’s do without flinching?  Think about it.

Enchanted Forest as seen via Fly spell.  Click for larger version.

Did You Know?

by Thulunil Ummair

That a dragonborn’s ability to exhale poison gas begins to develop around the age of 12 to 13, and boys and girls take part in secretive rituals to mark their passage from childhood to becoming adults?  During this time a boy’s comb grows larger and fuller while girls of course develop their adorable cheek spines.

Did you also know that dragonborn consider it insulting to call their children “spawn,” or “a brood?”  They also object to their eggs being called a “clutch” or compared to chicken or goose eggs.  We elves don’t mean anything bad by it and we keep saying stuff like that by accident because of the translation of certain elvish words that are part of the Dracosindarin language.  I think everyone should just get over it and not be so thin-skinned.

However, during a recent interview, Galadriel Ummair, Dragon Egg teacher and noted linguist and arcane archer, stated, “While it is true that many elves can sometimes be insensitive of our dragonborn friends’ oviparous sensibilities, we must try to do better, for as any wizard knows, ‘Words have power.’  After all, we elves don’t like dragonborn calling us ‘Ears,’ in reference to what they, and some humans, see as overly large ears with the characteristic sharp helices.  Indeed, dragonborn do not have visible ears at all.”

This writer would like to point out that his girlfriend and editor of this newspaper says that his ears are his “cutest feature,” and I say the same about her cheek spines.  I do agree that words have power and that it costs nothing to be kind to one another, but they should still get over it.  Thanks for the quote, Mom!

Coming Attractions

  • Feature article on a new group of constables in the Special Forest Service.  Hopefully we can get some quotes or maybe even an interview.
  • The Dungeonmaster promises to write about some of the points of interest in the Enchanted Forest.  Maybe even some of the ones marked on the map with little skulls!
  • Did you know in ancient times there was a vampire king to the south, who tried to invade the Enchanted Forest?
  • Possibly some interesting art from a talented human artist from another plane!

Staff

Biri “Wondermist” of Dragon Egg, Editor-in-Chief
Thulunil Ummair, Assistant Editor
Ann Wycoff, Contributing Editor
Your Name Could Be Here!

An SAS Dress Badge

 

Classified Ads

  1. Goblin family looking for situation in Dragon Egg.  We are skilled at most farm tasks and have excellent references.  Ask for the Gloo Family in East Egg.
  2. Looking for help raising barn.  You would need to provide team of horses.  I have good pelts, liquor, and a few low quality gems for trade.  Some might be arcane.
  3. I represent a dwarven concern interested in the excavation of certain, forgotten burial sites.  There is some question of the site causing harm to the forest both by attracting undesirable elements and by the presence of certain energies or forces within the catacombs themselves.  Who knows what effect errant and misunderstood magic is having on the ecosystem.  Leave a message at Levar’s Eyeballs, West Egg or reply to the Gazette.
  4. To whoever has been stealing my chickens.  Stop now or beware.  I know who you are and I know that in a few months you wouldn’t want to find yourself holding a changeling.  Keep stealing my chickens and we’ll see if we can make that happen for you.
  5. Our father disappeared near Ogre Hills.  It is feared he is senile and cannot take care of himself.  Reward for return.  Contact via Dragon Egg Gazette.

Scary Snippets Christmas Edition Released

I’ve had a bounce in my step for awhile now what with getting some of my very short fiction out there in the world.  One of those putting-bounce-in-my-step moments was placing a short story called “Turkey Day” with the good folks at Suicide House Publishing for their holiday offering Scary Snippets: Christmas Edition.*

I received two copies of the book the other day and am looking forward to reading it.  All of the stories are very short (hence “snippets”), between 100 and 600 words.  Naturally, being a Lady of Chaos Undivided I went for excess and made sure I used all 600 words.

Reindeer is tired of being used as a book rest and thinks duck needs to take a turn.**

Monsters and mayhem, by a goodly number of authors, include such things as cannibalism (tasty presented of course), Yule Cat, Revenge of the Christmas trees, and I am pleased to report that mine wasn’t the only story with zombies.

I must confess that my zombies were an oblique feature rather than the main attraction of Turkey Day.  One possible theme for my story might be that people are just a little too hard to impress these days and it’s a damned shame.  Whatever the case, I’m one of those people (currently anyway) who usually looks for a theme after I’ve finished my work rather than when I’m writing it.

Bird thinks the Thanksgiving Day ones are the scariest for obvious reasons!

In other news, I was the dungeon master for a Dungeons & Dragons game yesterday, which went pretty well.  I haven’t DMed in many years and I was a little nervous going in, but everyone said they had fun and are looking forward to once again visiting the Enchanted Forest, so I’m pretty pleased.

Finally, I have a sorry little tale (pun not intended) about my cat catching a mouse.  That will be for next time.  I hope everyone had a nice holiday.

Christmas Bird Clip Art

*  Suicide House Publishing has since changed its name to Nocturnal Sirens Publishing.

** My mother made the little clothespin angel, which I thought was cute, and put it in this year’s Christmas box.  Thanks, Mom! 🙂