Featured Post

Warcraft Resources for D&D 5e

Man, this is one of those projects I just look at and think "Did I really do all of this?" I've definitely got lost in this do...

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Theater: Only the Dead Die Twice

I found this in an old folder from my Sophomore year in high school. In my speech class, we listened to part of an old radio horror show, and at a certain point pressed stop. The teacher told us to finish the story on our own and then perform it later that week (along with two made-up commercials). This is the result of our collaboration. I'm pretty sure I did most of the work writing it, and I played the part of Alec Craig when we performed it in class.

If you want to hear the setup for this story, I found this as the actual radio show this is based on. It's weird to hear this now after all those years. We listened to the show up to the 13:57 point, and then made up our own story from there:


Radio Jingle

Radio Caster: Welcome back to BS–94.7 59er. We now return to “Only the Dead Die Twice.”
(car noises)
Johnny: So there I am. Sitting at a red stoplight, out in the middle of nowhere. I’m still wondering: what am I doing? Is the money really worth it? This has already been risky business from the beginning. This body’s creeping me out...  It always seems to disappear when I’m about to get busted...
(more car noises for about 10 or 15 seconds)
Radio Caster: Wow, folks, what’s gonna happen? Will the light ever turn green? Stay tuned after this message to find out!
Radio Jingle

Radio Caster: Are you sitting at home alone?
People: Yes...
Radio Caster: Not willing to move?
People: Yes...
Radio Caster: Have you been watching the same channel for six hours because you can’t get up to reach the remote?
People: (How does he know?)
Radio Caster: Sounds to me like you guys could use some adventure!
Jason and Austin: (random crap about not liking to have adventures, eventually leads to a huge argument)
Radio Caster: Avoiding adventure, eh? For more ways to torture yourself, buy John Bytheway’s How to be Totally Miserable. In stores now!
Radio Jingle

Radio Caster: And now, back to our program.
Johnny: When will this freaking light turn green already?! There are no cars anywhere near here!
(coffin creaks)
Johnny: What’s that?
Alec: Is she here?
Johnny: Who? I thought you were dead!
Alec: Shut up! I’ll explain later! Where’s Vera?
Johnny: She’s not here, she said she’d meet me at the cemetery. Now will you tell me what’s going on?
Alec: Vera’s crazy... I can still hear her voice...
Vera’s voice: The plan’s perfect, Alec! By faking your death, we can use your insurance money to run away to Italy! It’s brilliant — ha ha ha haa!
Johnny: What? You did all this for the insurance money?

Alec: Yeah, it sounded like a good idea at first — she would pretend to kill me, then hide the money in this coffin until we get out of here...  but she got carried away...  she’s insane now! Crazy! I could hardly recognize her — let’s get out of here. Don’t go to the cemetery! We’ll go somewhere she’ll never find me! Now quick! Turn around – I’ll give you half the money if you do exactly what I say!
Johnny: Alright, here goes...
Alec: LOOK OUT!
(Truck honks, screeching brakes, crash, shattering glass)
(brief pause)
Radio Caster: Johnny dead and Alec for real! And all by a random eighteen-wheeler! What will happen next? Stay tuned!
Radio Jingle

(Graduation song humming in background)
Annie: Oh my gosh, Timmy! We just graduated! Can you believe it?
Timmy: I guess not.
Annie: What are you going to do now?
Timmy: I dunno.
Annie: Are you going to go to college?
Timmy: Maybe.
Annie: You mean you don’t even have any goals?
Radio Caster: Not setting goals: One of the top reasons for being miserable in John Bytheway’s How to be Totally Miserable! Buy it today!
Radio Jingle

Radio Caster: We now return to “Only the Dead Die Twice.”
Bubba: It happened again... .driving past an intersection and some idiot drives out when the *beep*in’ light’s red! Tried to swerve, but I hit it and it rolled off the side of the road.
  Hello? Are you guys okay? Oh my crap... they’re dead! And what’s all that money on the road?
  I better call the cops...
(beeping telephone buttons)
Bubba: Hello?
Steve: This is Lieutenant Steve Maxton, emergency please?
Bubba: Hi. It’s me.
Steve: What did you do this time, Bubba?
Bubba: A hearse ran a red light out here on 15-9er south and I hit it.
Steve: (sigh) Not again! How many survivors?
Bubba: They’re both dead.
Steve: You’ve got to stop doing this, Bubba. We can’t keep bailing you out over car wrecks. (Sigh) I’ll be right there... .did you say a hearse?
(Telephone clicks, hanging up)
Bubba: Whoa! There’s a lot of money all over the road... I still owe liability to the Johnson family... poor Timmy, he’s the only one left. I’ll just take it before Maxton gets here...
(truck drives off)
(fade siren sounds in)
Maxton: Yup. It’s the same hearse, same guy...  And this guy’s ID says he’s Alec Craig, the guy who supposedly got murdered earlier today!... Strangest case I’ve ever seen... Load these bodies up, boys. We’ve got a long night of interrogating to do today...
(sirens fade out)
Radio Caster: Thanks for joining us for “Only the Dead Die Twice.” Tune in tomorrow for the new episode “The Dungeons will Cry.” This is your Radio Caster for BS–94.7 59er.

Radio Jingle

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Tale of Nicrodh

Okay, this piece is very interesting in my opinion; when I was in 3rd Grade, I was obsessed with WarCraft II, and made a custom campaign (or rather, series of individual maps, since you couldn't exactly do a campaign back then) called The Hard Lands. This was essentially a fanfiction (I know, don't judge me) of the lore of WarCraft as I could understand it at age eight; mostly, though, I just looked at the different units available on the map editor and made up my own lore about each one.

The following is a story that takes place in the Hard Lands, but as far as I can tell, it's completely irrelevant to the campaign's storyline. Judging by the name "Aegryn," as well as the overall style of this story, it's clear I got the idea for this out of the Alliance backstory in the WarCraft II manual. It's got some really weird story elements in it that I can't even figure out now (see "abomination of the castle of Alterac," "33,000-year-old Greek urn," "jeweled skillet," and "four Dolaemons"), but I remember being very proud of it, I'm glad I discovered it. It's very interesting to see how my imagination worked back then. 

If all goes well, I'm going to try and remake the old Hard Lands campaign on WarCraft III this year.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy the irrelevant Tale of Nicrodh.
___

The Tale of Nicrodh

M
y name is Aegryn. I’ll tell you about my son, Lordaeron, and a few other things about the Hard Lands. When I came to Lordaeron, about forty years before the great abomination of the castle of Alterac, I married a young maiden named Christina. We gave birth to a baby boy and named him Nicrodh. He grew up to be a very strong man. He was as strong as two of the ogres at the Death Wasteland.
On the night of his seventeenth birthday, we were holding a celebration for him becoming a paladin, when suddenly, Branata, the king’s evil wizard, slammed open the door. He had killed King Aglis. He suddenly started polymorphing all of the soldiers and friends of Nicrodh. Nicrodh ducked and Branata polymorphed one of Nicrodh’s most valuable antiques: a 33,000-year-old Greek urn. Me and Nicrodh escaped just a hair away from being polymorphed. We were sad to destroy our own tower, but we had to slay Branata, so we destroyed the tower with fire. Now, Branata was blind and didn’t know that we had escaped, so he was destroyed. Lothar, who was the new king, was pleased with us, and gave us medals. He also gave us our own runestones.
The next night, Nicrodh was looking at his runestone out his window, when suddenly, he had a vision. He was walking in the Stromgarde forest, when skeletons began to come from all directions. Then, Dolaemon himself came flying up above him. Nicrodh pulled out his humongous sling. Dolaemon threw a burning blade at Nicrodh, but it hit his sling. The rock caught on fire, and Nicrodh fired so hard that Dolaemon didn’t even know what hit him. Then, the vision stopped.
He went and told me about it. I asked my butler about the vision, and he said that it was true. It was. About six weeks later, we went to Stromgarde to get another urn for Nicrodh, when the exact same thing happened that was in Nicrodh’s vision! The first Dolaemon was destroyed, but there were four more Dolaemons to kill. The first one was usually brought back to life by Gul’dan and healed by his ally, Turalyon.
Me and Nicrodh got his urn and went back to Lordaeron. When we got home, Christina was gone. Only blood was left on the floor and her jeweled skillet was dented into the picture of Aglis on the wall. It was quite a sight, and so we went to search for Christina. At first, we thought one of Bozo’s servants attacked my wife; but on the way to Gilneas, which was my first choice for suspects, I found a sword soaking with blood in a little grove of trees. The sword looked like Lothar’s, but when I looked closer, it looked exactly like Turalyon’s sword! Turalyon! That’s who it was! I knew where his castle was, so I set off.

When I reached the castle, it was nearly dusk. I knew a shortcut to the dungeon. We went there. I saw Christina locked to the wall. I pulled out Turalyon’s sword and with one quick hack, the lock broke. I took Christina and went through the secret passageway. It took all night, but when Nicrodh, Christina, and I got home, there was great rejoicing in the land. Nicrodh was back, and was now a paladin! But his next adventure was just around the corner…

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Salt Halt + Project-palooza Challenges!

It's February, which means it's another project month for me! Last year's was the Beat the Sweet Challenge, which gave me the idea for this year's:

SALT HALT!

This isn't as extreme as not having any sugar at all whatsoever like last year, mainly because it's impossible (and probably unhealthy) to cut out salt completely. So it's somewhat lukewarm, but for me, who's got much more of a salty tooth than a sweet one, it will definitely be a challenge.
The rules are as follows:
  • No chips, pretzels, Ramen noodles, salty crackers, or anything else that has high sodium.
  • No adding salt to anything, ever, except for when a recipe needs a pinch of salt for baking purposes (Basically, if it doesn't help the recipe set up and is just for flavor, nix on it.)
  • General healthiness-feeling, cravings, and energy levels will be documented daily. Weight would also be a fun thing to measure but I don't have a scale.
  • It will go for one month, starting today, February 2nd, and ending on March 2nd.
Last year was somewhat of a disappointment, since I just tortured myself for a month without sugar or treats and never felt any healthier or more energetic. Since salt is something different altogether, it will be interesting to see if that extra hydration lends me more energy, lower blood pressure (whatever that feels like), and maybe even helps me to appreciate the flavor of food without salt. Again, we shall see! That's what these project months are for.

Since this project month is somewhat less exciting, it will be a double feature. The other project for this month will be...

PROJECT-PALOOZA!

I know, I hate the suffix "-palooza," too, but it had to be given some kind of a name. Yes, this month will also be one where I eliminate time-wasting distractions, and focus instead on the many projects I'm working on! Without games in the way to play, I'm sure several of my "on-the-shelf" to-dos will get some attention. My brother is also doing this challenge with me, so it'll be fun to collaborate and keep tabs on each other. Here are some rules:

  • No single-player computer games, especially the most addicting one, Hearthstone (except to get to rank 20 for the season. No sense missing out on a card back). Map editors are an exception to this, as this counts as working on a project.
  • No Facebook after 8:00AM, except for useful things like updating Word Lore or Knight Guy, sharing inspirational posts, or uploading photos. No looking at Buzzfeed lists or other external links that people or groups share. I'll be enforcing this rule with the Chrome addon SiteBlocker.
  • No YouTube, except for inspirational videos, tutorials, or other useful videos. No clicking on any videos on the sidebar after watching said videos. Uploads are allowed.
  • No recreation or project work until I've read a chapter of the Book of Mormon.
  • Do work on projects! I will be putting a list of projects to do on my desktop that I can consult whenever I'm bored. I'll be putting specific effort on working on Alfred and the Cavern of Time, my personal history, and Knight Guy.
  • I will be making note of how much work I do on each project (time, amount) and report it at the end of the challenge.
Well, there you have it. Let 2015's project month begin! You can expect lots of updates this month because of the nature of this project. I collected a lot of material over Christmas break. So excited!