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Written by ArmandChascour in portal Gaming

Further Adventures in Pathfinding: Session Eight

In which our heroic monk is hustled back into jail with the other prisoners.  

The paladin triumphed in his battle with the guard captain, so everybody was cleared of the charges.  The guards said they were holding the paladin pending some paperwork.  They let the party go free and recover their gear.

Not the monk.  They said they'd hold him a few days more for resisting arrest.  I thought, OK. 

The rest of the party met up.  They visited the Archmage and our wizard received a magic staff/sword as a gift.  Then they headed back into town for a public execution.

My monk and the guard captain were taken onto a stage.  The captain was executed for losing a trial by combat, over my protests at the barbarity.  Then my monk was brought forward and charged with resisting arrest, mayhem, and murder! Seems one of the guards I knocked over died of a concussion.  

I said I wanted a trial, and I was told this was my trial. I said I wanted trial by combat, and I was promised trial by axe.  The rest of the party was ready to stop the execution. I figured I was lawful, so I asked if I could say goodbye to my friends.  I was told I had no friends.

At this point with the axe overhead I decided I could pray to my god, Irori, the monk god.  The DM told me to go ahead and give the prayer.

"Oh Irori," I said, "I'm the only one out here who worships you, so that should count for something.  Also you saw how Iomedae came through for her paladin, so you should step up and deliver."  

The DM rolled and didn't like what he got.  He told me a bolt of lightning struck the guard with the axe, slaying him.

After that I decided to fight back.  The party started casting spells from the crowd, but four mages at the corners of the stage were creating an anti-magic field.

The party rushed the stage.  There followed a prolonged melee between four mages, five guards, a wizard, a gunslinger, a sorcerer, a witch, a cleric, a slayer with a crossbow arm, and two monks.

The gunslinger, the slayer, and I couldn't hit a barn with anything we rolled.  The witch was the real destroyer in the party, throttling people with her long hair.  Magic worked once you got on the stage.  She dropped three of the five guards with her hair, one after the other.

One of the mages got thrown off the stage, lucky him.  One got taken out with a firebolt to the face, another got hewn with an axe, and a third got beat down with a quarterstaff.

The party had to pull out all the stops, with many dark secrets revealed.  The sorcerer owned up to his Abyssal bloodline and started slashing with fiery claws.  He used a staff of Vampiric Touch on a guard, disintegrating him in a spray of blood.  The wizard had to use his Infernal healing.  We all agreed it was good the paladin wasn't there watching.

All through the fight my monk tried to intimidate soldiers into giving up, but it was no good, they refused to surrender.

Finally it was done, the last guard fell down.  We were many of us injured and the sorcerer was at 0 hit points.  He was healed a bit.  There was an argument about what to do next.  The DM pulled out a small hourglass and gave us three minutes realtime to decide what to do.  The bulk of the party decided to remain in town and rescue the paladin and the fighter. 

The cleric of Sarenrae and the sorcerer decided to set fire to the execution stage, I guess out of frustration.

We had to roll for stealth and since everybody beat a 10, nobody ran into the contingent of 10 guards running towards the public square.  The jail was abandoned, and we found the paladin in a cell.   We loosed him and my monk was freed of his manacles, and then we picked up the fighter drinking in the tavern.  We left town to run after the gunslinger and the slayer, who booked for the forest as soon as the fighting was over.

After the battle, I decided my monk is still lawful, since he was resisting a police lynching, but he will offer to surrender to the King only.  I think it's a split hair, because he's probably wanted for bounty and is more likely to be facing mercenaries than a royal emissary.  I guess he has to work on saving the world first, and then beg for a royal pardon.

It wasn't until I woke up the next morning that I realized we set fire to the stage, but didn't drag off any of the unconscious guards who were lying on top of it...so we're probably wanted for ten murders now.  

Should be interesting.

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Written by ArmandChascour in portal Gaming
Further Adventures in Pathfinding: Session Eight
In which our heroic monk is hustled back into jail with the other prisoners.  
The paladin triumphed in his battle with the guard captain, so everybody was cleared of the charges.  The guards said they were holding the paladin pending some paperwork.  They let the party go free and recover their gear.
Not the monk.  They said they'd hold him a few days more for resisting arrest.  I thought, OK. 
The rest of the party met up.  They visited the Archmage and our wizard received a magic staff/sword as a gift.  Then they headed back into town for a public execution.
My monk and the guard captain were taken onto a stage.  The captain was executed for losing a trial by combat, over my protests at the barbarity.  Then my monk was brought forward and charged with resisting arrest, mayhem, and murder! Seems one of the guards I knocked over died of a concussion.  
I said I wanted a trial, and I was told this was my trial. I said I wanted trial by combat, and I was promised trial by axe.  The rest of the party was ready to stop the execution. I figured I was lawful, so I asked if I could say goodbye to my friends.  I was told I had no friends.
At this point with the axe overhead I decided I could pray to my god, Irori, the monk god.  The DM told me to go ahead and give the prayer.
"Oh Irori," I said, "I'm the only one out here who worships you, so that should count for something.  Also you saw how Iomedae came through for her paladin, so you should step up and deliver."  
The DM rolled and didn't like what he got.  He told me a bolt of lightning struck the guard with the axe, slaying him.
After that I decided to fight back.  The party started casting spells from the crowd, but four mages at the corners of the stage were creating an anti-magic field.
The party rushed the stage.  There followed a prolonged melee between four mages, five guards, a wizard, a gunslinger, a sorcerer, a witch, a cleric, a slayer with a crossbow arm, and two monks.
The gunslinger, the slayer, and I couldn't hit a barn with anything we rolled.  The witch was the real destroyer in the party, throttling people with her long hair.  Magic worked once you got on the stage.  She dropped three of the five guards with her hair, one after the other.
One of the mages got thrown off the stage, lucky him.  One got taken out with a firebolt to the face, another got hewn with an axe, and a third got beat down with a quarterstaff.
The party had to pull out all the stops, with many dark secrets revealed.  The sorcerer owned up to his Abyssal bloodline and started slashing with fiery claws.  He used a staff of Vampiric Touch on a guard, disintegrating him in a spray of blood.  The wizard had to use his Infernal healing.  We all agreed it was good the paladin wasn't there watching.
All through the fight my monk tried to intimidate soldiers into giving up, but it was no good, they refused to surrender.
Finally it was done, the last guard fell down.  We were many of us injured and the sorcerer was at 0 hit points.  He was healed a bit.  There was an argument about what to do next.  The DM pulled out a small hourglass and gave us three minutes realtime to decide what to do.  The bulk of the party decided to remain in town and rescue the paladin and the fighter. 
The cleric of Sarenrae and the sorcerer decided to set fire to the execution stage, I guess out of frustration.
We had to roll for stealth and since everybody beat a 10, nobody ran into the contingent of 10 guards running towards the public square.  The jail was abandoned, and we found the paladin in a cell.   We loosed him and my monk was freed of his manacles, and then we picked up the fighter drinking in the tavern.  We left town to run after the gunslinger and the slayer, who booked for the forest as soon as the fighting was over.
After the battle, I decided my monk is still lawful, since he was resisting a police lynching, but he will offer to surrender to the King only.  I think it's a split hair, because he's probably wanted for bounty and is more likely to be facing mercenaries than a royal emissary.  I guess he has to work on saving the world first, and then beg for a royal pardon.
It wasn't until I woke up the next morning that I realized we set fire to the stage, but didn't drag off any of the unconscious guards who were lying on top of it...so we're probably wanted for ten murders now.  
Should be interesting.



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Written by ArmandChascour in portal Gaming

Further Adventures in Pathfinding: Sessions Five, Six and Seven

The party added a barbarian bounty hunter, a kitsune witch, and a drunken monk to the party.  We journeyed out of town towards a major suspect in some ritual killings.  I, the sober monk, did the menial chores of the expedition, which was to have greater consequence later.

We caught up to our suspect after slaying a dire wolf and rescuing her cubs, which were distributed among the party as pets.  Our suspect claimed to have no idea what we were talking about, and we tended to believe him.  We also believed his little child friend, Timmy, was the one responsible for the killings, with the sinister help of some fey from the forest.  We insisted the suspect return to the city with us to help solve the killings.

From here it got a little chaotic.  The paladin decided we should help the suspect to a few free drinks, then question him further.  The drunken monk decided to dose him with some narcotics, and that put him right out.  We were carrying him home when an alarm went up over the latest murder: little Timmy's father, killed like the others.  

We dumped our suspect in the street next to the corpse, and turned both over to the guard.  We heard where Timmy lived, and we went to that house.  A search disclosed a secret tunnel in the basement, and a bedroom full of sinister teddy bears.  Everybody who touched the one-eyed bear took damage, but the fighter started laying into it with the wizard's cold iron longsword, and slew it.  

Meanwhile the paladin led the two monks down into the basement after Timmy.  Timmy cast a darkness spell.  Fortunately my monk had trained to fight blindfolded (spent a feat taking Blind-Fight) so he wasn't fazed by fighting the invisible.  Timmy ran away through the secret tunnel.

So now everybody but the gunslinger was in Timmy's house either stumbling around the basement or upstairs stomping the teddy bear's ashes or running away from the terrible teddy bear.  Suddenly the gunslinger sees Timmy running away down the street.  He figures a shot will slow the kid down, and bring the rest of the party outside. So he fires.

Natural 20.  The GM ruled it was a lethal head shot.

The fighter tells the gunslinger to take it on the lam, and the fighter and the wizard go with him.  They spend all night talking him through shooting a kid.

The paladin and the sorcerer, the drunken monk and the witch, and the warrior girl with the crossbow in place of an arm spend five minutes getting a story cooked up that will keep us out of jail.  I was very quiet, and when they were ready, I reminded them that my monk had taken a Vow of Truth.

We all got arrested over the protests of the paladin, and everybody said the fey did with some phantom teddy bears.  Nobody saw who killed the kid, because we weren't in the street.  Finally they grill the monk.  I said I didn't know what was going on, and I didn't know where everybody was.  I said Timmy had killed everybody and attacked us in the basement.  I said I carried the tent and did the chores, and I worked for food, and the others wouldn't want me to answer for them.  I said they should blame the fey, and that one of the teddy bears took over my mind once.  All this was true.

The captain said he didn't believe in the fey, and we all went to prison.  The sober monk found a lockpick but broke it in the lock.  The kitsune transformed into a fox, and tried to run, but was caught and put in a small cage.  The paladin was bawled out for cussing and banging on his door.  My monk yelled that he needed a new lockpick because his broke.  They rushed into my cell, and the monk managed shove past them and run upstairs before he was grabbed and blackjacked by six guys.

The paladin decided his oath to Iomedae would lead him to demand trial by combat, which was eagerly accepted by the captain.  All of us were dragged to the arena.  The wizard, the fighter, and the gunslinger, trying to act natural, decided to attend.  The wizard decided to help the paladin with magic.  The fighter tried to rally the crowd against the captain, but failed, and threw a torch into the arena at the captain.  Two guys with blackjacks went to arrest the fighter, and they traded blows.  The paladin found it heavy going in the arena, despite having a flaming sword ignited by the fury of his god. He ran over to the wizard, who attempted to cast Enlarge Person on him, but found there was an anti-magic field around the arena!

  My monk attempted to escape but fell over a barricade and took nonlethal damage.  At that point my ride arrived and I had to leave with my face in the dust and the fate of the paladin in the balance.  I'll post more once more happens.

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Written by ArmandChascour in portal Gaming
Further Adventures in Pathfinding: Sessions Five, Six and Seven
The party added a barbarian bounty hunter, a kitsune witch, and a drunken monk to the party.  We journeyed out of town towards a major suspect in some ritual killings.  I, the sober monk, did the menial chores of the expedition, which was to have greater consequence later.

We caught up to our suspect after slaying a dire wolf and rescuing her cubs, which were distributed among the party as pets.  Our suspect claimed to have no idea what we were talking about, and we tended to believe him.  We also believed his little child friend, Timmy, was the one responsible for the killings, with the sinister help of some fey from the forest.  We insisted the suspect return to the city with us to help solve the killings.

From here it got a little chaotic.  The paladin decided we should help the suspect to a few free drinks, then question him further.  The drunken monk decided to dose him with some narcotics, and that put him right out.  We were carrying him home when an alarm went up over the latest murder: little Timmy's father, killed like the others.  

We dumped our suspect in the street next to the corpse, and turned both over to the guard.  We heard where Timmy lived, and we went to that house.  A search disclosed a secret tunnel in the basement, and a bedroom full of sinister teddy bears.  Everybody who touched the one-eyed bear took damage, but the fighter started laying into it with the wizard's cold iron longsword, and slew it.  

Meanwhile the paladin led the two monks down into the basement after Timmy.  Timmy cast a darkness spell.  Fortunately my monk had trained to fight blindfolded (spent a feat taking Blind-Fight) so he wasn't fazed by fighting the invisible.  Timmy ran away through the secret tunnel.

So now everybody but the gunslinger was in Timmy's house either stumbling around the basement or upstairs stomping the teddy bear's ashes or running away from the terrible teddy bear.  Suddenly the gunslinger sees Timmy running away down the street.  He figures a shot will slow the kid down, and bring the rest of the party outside. So he fires.

Natural 20.  The GM ruled it was a lethal head shot.

The fighter tells the gunslinger to take it on the lam, and the fighter and the wizard go with him.  They spend all night talking him through shooting a kid.

The paladin and the sorcerer, the drunken monk and the witch, and the warrior girl with the crossbow in place of an arm spend five minutes getting a story cooked up that will keep us out of jail.  I was very quiet, and when they were ready, I reminded them that my monk had taken a Vow of Truth.


We all got arrested over the protests of the paladin, and everybody said the fey did with some phantom teddy bears.  Nobody saw who killed the kid, because we weren't in the street.  Finally they grill the monk.  I said I didn't know what was going on, and I didn't know where everybody was.  I said Timmy had killed everybody and attacked us in the basement.  I said I carried the tent and did the chores, and I worked for food, and the others wouldn't want me to answer for them.  I said they should blame the fey, and that one of the teddy bears took over my mind once.  All this was true.

The captain said he didn't believe in the fey, and we all went to prison.  The sober monk found a lockpick but broke it in the lock.  The kitsune transformed into a fox, and tried to run, but was caught and put in a small cage.  The paladin was bawled out for cussing and banging on his door.  My monk yelled that he needed a new lockpick because his broke.  They rushed into my cell, and the monk managed shove past them and run upstairs before he was grabbed and blackjacked by six guys.

The paladin decided his oath to Iomedae would lead him to demand trial by combat, which was eagerly accepted by the captain.  All of us were dragged to the arena.  The wizard, the fighter, and the gunslinger, trying to act natural, decided to attend.  The wizard decided to help the paladin with magic.  The fighter tried to rally the crowd against the captain, but failed, and threw a torch into the arena at the captain.  Two guys with blackjacks went to arrest the fighter, and they traded blows.  The paladin found it heavy going in the arena, despite having a flaming sword ignited by the fury of his god. He ran over to the wizard, who attempted to cast Enlarge Person on him, but found there was an anti-magic field around the arena!
  My monk attempted to escape but fell over a barricade and took nonlethal damage.  At that point my ride arrived and I had to leave with my face in the dust and the fate of the paladin in the balance.  I'll post more once more happens.








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Written by ArmandChascour in portal Gaming

Starting a New Pathfinder Adventure

I've relocated to Phoenix and started a new adventure as a monk.  I waited a few sessions to see if I'd stick with it, and that's a definite yes!

Our GM, Jay, is very supportive about allowing a full-rounded backstory.  Prior GMs I've had wanted us to stick to the books, but Jay allows me to invent a noble House Urduki who trains its servitors in kung fu and secret sign language.  This should be awesome fun as I will offer to instruct the rest of the party in my sign language.

I'm playing an exile from the island of Jalmeray who killed a man in a tournament.  While on ship we came through a bizarre storm and the stars changed.  Jay allowed this story to explain why a monk from Golarion ended up on his special planet.  My time on board ship explains why I've taken Profession: Sailor and Craft: Rope.

I speak and read Vudrani, and Common is my second language (third counting the sign language). I've stated I can't read Common yet, but I'll probably start reading that at level 4.

Pathfinder richly rewards you for choosing a human adventurer.  The skill points and feats pile up for a monk.  With Jay's ready permission, I've taken 4 vows of Poverty, Cleanliness, Truth, and Fasting.  My ki at level 4 will be more than double what it would normally be.  I'm also a Monk of the Lotus, which won't mean too much before level 6, and Disciple of Wholeness, which will kick in with healing powers at level 4.

We started at Level 1 and I'm already at Level 2 after four sessions.  It's been tough with Jay's schedule fluctuating each week, but he figures he can regularly get Fridays off from now on, and we should have the whole party along for the adventure.  I joined after the first few adventures.

The party has found an artifact stolen from an Artifact House in Clearriver.  We've been hired for 5000 schmekels to retrieve it.  It turns out it's one-third of some doomsday artifact which will be joined in two weeks at the Blood Moon to real bad trouble. It's not clear what kind of trouble, but from the Abyssal babble scripted on it, it's probably demonic.  We've journeyed to a coastal city to verify the other third they have there is still safe.  It is, but two of the students of the Mage's College have gone missing and an expelled necromancer is gone and his house was a murder pit of ritual sacrifice.  The Archmage has loaded up the party with (low level) magic items -- except the Monk who swore a vow of Poverty-- and asked us to keep after the search for the Artifact.  He's sending a long distance message to the desert stronghold where the last third is kept.

We've got a fairly large party if we can all meet together at one time.  We have a rogue, a cleric, a wizard, a sorcerer, a fighter, a paladin, a monk, a gunslinger, a fighter with a crossbow for a prosthetic arm, and we're adding another member next session.  Normally five or six of us have been able to attend the Thursday sessions.  They're all good role-players and none of that crazy I'm-evil-gonna-slay-my-companions nonsense, so we all seem to work together.  Jay is GMing for the first time but he's got a good sense of rhythm and keeps the action flowing right along.

Our paladin is eager to advance and get his special paladin mount: a lion. Jay's going for it, so it should be fun.  The paladin sees his character as something like Batman-- dark and menacing, but good-- so it will be fun to see him as something of a K9 team.

The monk is learning the Crane Style train of feats.  It allows for less of a penalty to fight defensively - a (-2) to strikes instead of (-4) -- and a (+1) bonus to Armor Class.  By level 7 I'll take Crane Riposte which will cut down the penalty to (-1), and by that time I'll have Weapon Focus: Unarmed Strike so its (+1) bonus to unarmed strikes will mean I  can fight defensively with no penalty at all.  At level 5, Crane's Wing will give me another (+4) to Armor Class.  I plan on taking 3 levels of Acrobatics by level 3, so I'd gain another (+1) dodge bonus to Armor Class.  At level 4, the monk can add (+4) to Armor Class as a swift action using a ki point, and gains a (+1) to Armor Class as a class bonus as well. This means by level 3, fighting Crane Style, my Armor Class would be 19; at level 4, it will be 24, and by level 5, it will be 28.  I'll be carry a fat (-2) penalty to hit until level 3 however.

I need the boosts; so far my monk has been sliced up by the town drunk and bitten by a wolf.  I got the wolf with a critical hit.  Jay called on me to describe the action on my critical hit, so I said I did an axe kick to the spine.  Highlighting the critical hits is a nice touch that makes combat rounds more fun. The gunslinger said he was cooking the wolf meat for breakfast and rolled a 1; the GM was merciful and said he just burnt it badly. I said I had taken a vow and couldn't have any.

 Our last session had no combat at all, just roleplaying investigators and customers.  Our cleric got a massive XP boost by rolling a 20 on Diplomacy and talking the blacksmith into a discount for the paladin's half-plate.  He gave a speech about saving the world and everybody the blacksmith cared about.  I like that we can advance by straight roleplaying as well as hack and slash.

I'll post more about the sessions as we go; we should play on Friday if Jay can swing his schedule.

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Written by ArmandChascour in portal Gaming
Starting a New Pathfinder Adventure
I've relocated to Phoenix and started a new adventure as a monk.  I waited a few sessions to see if I'd stick with it, and that's a definite yes!

Our GM, Jay, is very supportive about allowing a full-rounded backstory.  Prior GMs I've had wanted us to stick to the books, but Jay allows me to invent a noble House Urduki who trains its servitors in kung fu and secret sign language.  This should be awesome fun as I will offer to instruct the rest of the party in my sign language.

I'm playing an exile from the island of Jalmeray who killed a man in a tournament.  While on ship we came through a bizarre storm and the stars changed.  Jay allowed this story to explain why a monk from Golarion ended up on his special planet.  My time on board ship explains why I've taken Profession: Sailor and Craft: Rope.

I speak and read Vudrani, and Common is my second language (third counting the sign language). I've stated I can't read Common yet, but I'll probably start reading that at level 4.

Pathfinder richly rewards you for choosing a human adventurer.  The skill points and feats pile up for a monk.  With Jay's ready permission, I've taken 4 vows of Poverty, Cleanliness, Truth, and Fasting.  My ki at level 4 will be more than double what it would normally be.  I'm also a Monk of the Lotus, which won't mean too much before level 6, and Disciple of Wholeness, which will kick in with healing powers at level 4.

We started at Level 1 and I'm already at Level 2 after four sessions.  It's been tough with Jay's schedule fluctuating each week, but he figures he can regularly get Fridays off from now on, and we should have the whole party along for the adventure.  I joined after the first few adventures.

The party has found an artifact stolen from an Artifact House in Clearriver.  We've been hired for 5000 schmekels to retrieve it.  It turns out it's one-third of some doomsday artifact which will be joined in two weeks at the Blood Moon to real bad trouble. It's not clear what kind of trouble, but from the Abyssal babble scripted on it, it's probably demonic.  We've journeyed to a coastal city to verify the other third they have there is still safe.  It is, but two of the students of the Mage's College have gone missing and an expelled necromancer is gone and his house was a murder pit of ritual sacrifice.  The Archmage has loaded up the party with (low level) magic items -- except the Monk who swore a vow of Poverty-- and asked us to keep after the search for the Artifact.  He's sending a long distance message to the desert stronghold where the last third is kept.

We've got a fairly large party if we can all meet together at one time.  We have a rogue, a cleric, a wizard, a sorcerer, a fighter, a paladin, a monk, a gunslinger, a fighter with a crossbow for a prosthetic arm, and we're adding another member next session.  Normally five or six of us have been able to attend the Thursday sessions.  They're all good role-players and none of that crazy I'm-evil-gonna-slay-my-companions nonsense, so we all seem to work together.  Jay is GMing for the first time but he's got a good sense of rhythm and keeps the action flowing right along.

Our paladin is eager to advance and get his special paladin mount: a lion. Jay's going for it, so it should be fun.  The paladin sees his character as something like Batman-- dark and menacing, but good-- so it will be fun to see him as something of a K9 team.

The monk is learning the Crane Style train of feats.  It allows for less of a penalty to fight defensively - a (-2) to strikes instead of (-4) -- and a (+1) bonus to Armor Class.  By level 7 I'll take Crane Riposte which will cut down the penalty to (-1), and by that time I'll have Weapon Focus: Unarmed Strike so its (+1) bonus to unarmed strikes will mean I  can fight defensively with no penalty at all.  At level 5, Crane's Wing will give me another (+4) to Armor Class.  I plan on taking 3 levels of Acrobatics by level 3, so I'd gain another (+1) dodge bonus to Armor Class.  At level 4, the monk can add (+4) to Armor Class as a swift action using a ki point, and gains a (+1) to Armor Class as a class bonus as well. This means by level 3, fighting Crane Style, my Armor Class would be 19; at level 4, it will be 24, and by level 5, it will be 28.  I'll be carry a fat (-2) penalty to hit until level 3 however.

I need the boosts; so far my monk has been sliced up by the town drunk and bitten by a wolf.  I got the wolf with a critical hit.  Jay called on me to describe the action on my critical hit, so I said I did an axe kick to the spine.  Highlighting the critical hits is a nice touch that makes combat rounds more fun. The gunslinger said he was cooking the wolf meat for breakfast and rolled a 1; the GM was merciful and said he just burnt it badly. I said I had taken a vow and couldn't have any.

 Our last session had no combat at all, just roleplaying investigators and customers.  Our cleric got a massive XP boost by rolling a 20 on Diplomacy and talking the blacksmith into a discount for the paladin's half-plate.  He gave a speech about saving the world and everybody the blacksmith cared about.  I like that we can advance by straight roleplaying as well as hack and slash.

I'll post more about the sessions as we go; we should play on Friday if Jay can swing his schedule.
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Write a warning to your younger self
Written by ArmandChascour

Funny You Mention It

Marc and I were talking about going back in time to meet our fifteen-year-old selves and kicking our asses for being snot-nosed punks.

Then we remembered our dads would be twenty-five years younger, and we'd be old enough to hit.

We'd have ID proving who we were, but that wouldn't save us.

"Ya growed up to have a glass jaw! Get up!"

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Write a warning to your younger self
Written by ArmandChascour
Funny You Mention It
Marc and I were talking about going back in time to meet our fifteen-year-old selves and kicking our asses for being snot-nosed punks.

Then we remembered our dads would be twenty-five years younger, and we'd be old enough to hit.

We'd have ID proving who we were, but that wouldn't save us.

"Ya growed up to have a glass jaw! Get up!"
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You see an online job offer for a hired killer. Write a resume ensuring you get the job.
Written by ArmandChascour in portal Horror & Thriller

Dear Sir or Madam

I am interested in your hired killer opportunity.  I have attached my resume as a Word.doc file.

I have had twenty years experience with increasing responsibility as a manager in retail.  I believe I have given satisfaction to all my previous employers and can provide references if you request.

I would like to explore the hired killer opportunity.  I have the qualities of initiative, preparedness, and a callous disregard for the mass of humanity that I think will be of great use as a hired killer.

I understand that I am making a career shift, so I believe my salary should be negotiable.  My last salary as a manager was $45,000.00 per year but perhaps we should consider a piecework approach to compensation.

I am immediately available to start, but I do have a necessary dental surgery scheduled in June, so perhaps July 1 would be a better start date.

I am eager to travel but do not want to relocate from the metro area.  I hope that is satisfactory.  

Thank you again for your consideration,

I. P. Freely

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Written by ArmandChascour in portal Horror & Thriller
Dear Sir or Madam
I am interested in your hired killer opportunity.  I have attached my resume as a Word.doc file.

I have had twenty years experience with increasing responsibility as a manager in retail.  I believe I have given satisfaction to all my previous employers and can provide references if you request.

I would like to explore the hired killer opportunity.  I have the qualities of initiative, preparedness, and a callous disregard for the mass of humanity that I think will be of great use as a hired killer.

I understand that I am making a career shift, so I believe my salary should be negotiable.  My last salary as a manager was $45,000.00 per year but perhaps we should consider a piecework approach to compensation.

I am immediately available to start, but I do have a necessary dental surgery scheduled in June, so perhaps July 1 would be a better start date.

I am eager to travel but do not want to relocate from the metro area.  I hope that is satisfactory.  

Thank you again for your consideration,

I. P. Freely
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Simon & Schuster is one of the world’s leading publishers and we are always looking for fresh new voices. Write a story, chapter, or essay about whatever you like. The 50 best entries will be announced by Prose and read by our editorial staff for consideration.
Written by ArmandChascour in portal Simon & Schuster

Paladin

He woke the way he liked to wake, to the call of a male quail with the sun already over the mountain, and breakfast already laid out on the kitchen table.  He had his fill of thick wheat and oat cakes with clover honey and fierce black coffee and grilled ham and scrambled eggs with Cholula hot sauce and crisp potatoes, and then he went into the den to see if any jobs were offered.

There was one email.

He read it and considered, then told his housekeeper that he'd ride some before leaving for the airport.  He went to the stable to saddle Belle.  

He disliked taking any jobs in California.  It was a bad state, and that was before you considered disarming yourself.  But as he savored the Montana air as he rode, he realized that he was pricing  himself out of the regular west.  There just weren't that many civilized places that could pay $10,000 for a job.

So he flew into San Francisco and sent the reply email from the airport.

The client was Fred Nahon, somebody in electronic security.  "You come well recommended," said Nahon, as they shook hands in his living room.  

"By whom?" he asked, looking over the professionally designed room.

"Bert Gomez, at Defense," said Nahon.  "Said you were something in CentCom during the war." 

"I was," he said.  "But you don't seem to need anything in that line."

"What is your line?" asked a male voice from the corridor behind him.

"I do odd jobs," he said.  

"Will, this is Paladin," said Nahon.  "Will is my partner."

"I'm not sure I want to shake hands with a legend," said Will.  "What do you do for $10,000, Mr. Paladin?"

"If I understood your email, you're missing your son," he said.

"Jacob's run off," said Nahon.  "He's done it before.  What I want is not just to find him, and bring him back.  I want him to stay."

"I'll need to know more about it," he said.

"Jacob is seventeen.  About two years ago he decided he wasn't going to tolerate a gay family.  That was how he put it to us. He's got some friends down near Pismo Beach.  I'm sure that's where he's run off to."

"And the problem is, getting him to be agreeable," he said.

"What's your opinion of gay marriage, Mr. Paladin?"  asked Will.

"I don't know," he said.  "I don't know you.  You're not trying to be very likeable, and I don't hardly know Fred.  If you think I'm going to offer an opinion as an abstract, you're mistaken."

"All right," said Nahon after a pause.  "What do you think of our problem?"

"I think I can wrangle it," he said.  "There'll be some expense, and I'll need payment up front."

Pismo Beach was bleak as he remembered it.   A good place to hole up and contemplate your own self-righteousness.  On the way down he tried to remember being seventeen.  It hurt.

He found the beach house with four cars in front of it, which was a good sign that they were all there.  He rang the doorbell and waited politely.  A girl answered the door.  

"Hi," he said.  "I'm here to ask Jacob to lunch."

"Jacob's not seeing anybody right now," she said.

"If it's alright I'd like to ask you all to lunch," he replied.  "Just so you're all with him while we talk."

"Wait here," she said, and shut the door on him.  He waited fifteen minutes.

She came back to the door.  "Sorry, but he doesn't want to come."

"You know Jacob's under eighteen?"

"You're not his parents."

"Yeah.  But I'm not going to leave before we've had a talk.  You might as well come have a free meal with me.  Otherwise I'll just stay here til he comes out.  Once I waited three days for a man to come out.  I doubt Jacob can last that long.  I mention his age only to let you know it's pointless you calling a cop."

She said "Wait here," again, and was gone for half an hour.  She came back to the door.  

"Where you want to meet for lunch?"

"The Blue Sea Cafe on Elder Street.  You seen it?"  She nodded.  "OK.  I'll leave now and the rest of you meet me there.  Deal?"

"Deal.  You leave alone and Jacob rides with us.  He don't get in your car."

"He won't."

Jacob was a sturdy kid with brown hair and slate-blue eyes.  The girl and two other boys were with him.  "Order what you like," he told them.

"I'm not going back," Jacob told him.

"Why not?" he asked.

"I don't approve of fornication and sins against God.  That's what my father's life is.  I won't condone it.  I won't support it."

"Do you think that will convert him?"  

"That's up to God.  I can't save him.  I can only save myself."

"I wanted to meet you Jacob," he said.  "I wanted to get to know you a bit better." 

"Why? Aren't you going to try to drag me back?"

"That's not my job.  I'm being paid to have you go back voluntarily and stay."

"Then you're going to fail," Jacob said confidently.

"What are your plans when you turn eighteen?"

"I think that's my business," said Jacob.

"It's a tricky thing, Jacob," he said.  "There are several ways I could go about this job.  One way would be to offer to put $3,000 in a 529 account.  Do you know what that is?"

"I have one."

"That's not a whole lot, but if you're enterprising enough to spend wisely, $3,000 will be a good start towards a degree."

"I'm not for sale." Jacob stared at him fixedly.

"Good of you," he said.  "I said that was one way to go about it.  Another way would be to ask if you remember your ASVAB scores?  I can get you coaching on your MOS of choice by an E5.  You'd go in that much better prepared."

"Strike two, mister." 

"That's it for me then.  I'll just earn my fee by introducing you to the Reverend." He raised his hand and beckoned to an Army chaplain sitting at a corner booth.

"Jacob, this is the Reverend Captain Elliot Sharp."

"Hello, son," said the Reverend.  "You don't mind that I know something of your troubles, do you?"

"That my father lives in sin?"

"Most of us have sinners for fathers.  But the Book says, " Honor thy father and thy mother" without limitation, you know."

"That's the gimmick?  That you Bible-thump me back home?"

"The gimmick, Jacob, is that you have ten more months of your legal minority.  You can spend it estranged from your family or you can spend it being tolerant of those who love you, letting them help you find what you want to do."

"That's my business," said Jacob.

"So it is," agreed the Reverend.  "And it's also the burden of those who call themselves your family.  You may think that doesn't amount to much, but the Bible says otherwise."

"How much are you getting to give this speech?" asked Jacob.

"I'm not getting anything.  I thought it a good opportunity to get it off my chest.  I've had it on my mind for some time now, since my son was killed."

"Captain Sharp is Stateside on bereavement leave," he said.

"My son, Ryan, wasn't as old as you are, but he was headstrong.  Unfortunately he was a libertine, and determinedly unrepentant.  I didn't approve of that.  Distantly, as I was overseas.  I've had time to think, and I think, the family tie ought to be respected.  As much as I love my service, I should have been more focused on my own son.  Have some sympathy with your father, Jacob.  I think you can be said to owe him that much."

"Was Ryan gay?" asked Jacob.

"Yes," said the Reverend.

"If you could have him back now, unrepentant, unchanged, would you?"

"No," said the Reverend.  "I don't ask God to resurrect the dead like that.  I pray that He forgives them."

"That makes no sense," said Jacob.

"How many friends have you buried?" he asked Jacob.

"None," said Jacob.

"How about you?" he asked the other teens.  The girl nodded.  "Does it make sense to you?"  She nodded again.  "See," he said.

The Reverend said, "I think I've said my piece.  I'll go now."  He left.

Jacob said, "I won't go back. I've made up my mind."

"Well then do me a favor," he said.  "Tell your dad so over the phone from that booth.  And tell him I'll return the $10,000."

"He paid you $10,000 to bring me back?  That's crazy.  All you did was talk at me."

"No.  He wants you to come home and stay home.  But personally, I think you're too much of a man to be swayed back into childhood.  You can tell him I said that too."

"You're going to let it go at that? Just give up $10,000 to let me stay here?"

"That's your business," he said.  "But as you've made your decision, I'd appreciate it as a favor if you'd make the telephone call now."

Jacob went to the phone.  "Fred Nahon.  It's Jacob Nahon.  Yes... Dad! I saw your man.  He says he'll return the $10,000...Listen, if I come back to San Francisco I want my own apartment...We can talk about that..."

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Simon & Schuster is one of the world’s leading publishers and we are always looking for fresh new voices. Write a story, chapter, or essay about whatever you like. The 50 best entries will be announced by Prose and read by our editorial staff for consideration.
Written by ArmandChascour in portal Simon & Schuster
Paladin
He woke the way he liked to wake, to the call of a male quail with the sun already over the mountain, and breakfast already laid out on the kitchen table.  He had his fill of thick wheat and oat cakes with clover honey and fierce black coffee and grilled ham and scrambled eggs with Cholula hot sauce and crisp potatoes, and then he went into the den to see if any jobs were offered.

There was one email.

He read it and considered, then told his housekeeper that he'd ride some before leaving for the airport.  He went to the stable to saddle Belle.  

He disliked taking any jobs in California.  It was a bad state, and that was before you considered disarming yourself.  But as he savored the Montana air as he rode, he realized that he was pricing  himself out of the regular west.  There just weren't that many civilized places that could pay $10,000 for a job.

So he flew into San Francisco and sent the reply email from the airport.

The client was Fred Nahon, somebody in electronic security.  "You come well recommended," said Nahon, as they shook hands in his living room.  

"By whom?" he asked, looking over the professionally designed room.

"Bert Gomez, at Defense," said Nahon.  "Said you were something in CentCom during the war." 

"I was," he said.  "But you don't seem to need anything in that line."

"What is your line?" asked a male voice from the corridor behind him.

"I do odd jobs," he said.  

"Will, this is Paladin," said Nahon.  "Will is my partner."

"I'm not sure I want to shake hands with a legend," said Will.  "What do you do for $10,000, Mr. Paladin?"

"If I understood your email, you're missing your son," he said.

"Jacob's run off," said Nahon.  "He's done it before.  What I want is not just to find him, and bring him back.  I want him to stay."

"I'll need to know more about it," he said.

"Jacob is seventeen.  About two years ago he decided he wasn't going to tolerate a gay family.  That was how he put it to us. He's got some friends down near Pismo Beach.  I'm sure that's where he's run off to."

"And the problem is, getting him to be agreeable," he said.

"What's your opinion of gay marriage, Mr. Paladin?"  asked Will.

"I don't know," he said.  "I don't know you.  You're not trying to be very likeable, and I don't hardly know Fred.  If you think I'm going to offer an opinion as an abstract, you're mistaken."

"All right," said Nahon after a pause.  "What do you think of our problem?"

"I think I can wrangle it," he said.  "There'll be some expense, and I'll need payment up front."

Pismo Beach was bleak as he remembered it.   A good place to hole up and contemplate your own self-righteousness.  On the way down he tried to remember being seventeen.  It hurt.

He found the beach house with four cars in front of it, which was a good sign that they were all there.  He rang the doorbell and waited politely.  A girl answered the door.  
"Hi," he said.  "I'm here to ask Jacob to lunch."

"Jacob's not seeing anybody right now," she said.

"If it's alright I'd like to ask you all to lunch," he replied.  "Just so you're all with him while we talk."

"Wait here," she said, and shut the door on him.  He waited fifteen minutes.

She came back to the door.  "Sorry, but he doesn't want to come."

"You know Jacob's under eighteen?"

"You're not his parents."

"Yeah.  But I'm not going to leave before we've had a talk.  You might as well come have a free meal with me.  Otherwise I'll just stay here til he comes out.  Once I waited three days for a man to come out.  I doubt Jacob can last that long.  I mention his age only to let you know it's pointless you calling a cop."

She said "Wait here," again, and was gone for half an hour.  She came back to the door.  
"Where you want to meet for lunch?"

"The Blue Sea Cafe on Elder Street.  You seen it?"  She nodded.  "OK.  I'll leave now and the rest of you meet me there.  Deal?"

"Deal.  You leave alone and Jacob rides with us.  He don't get in your car."

"He won't."

Jacob was a sturdy kid with brown hair and slate-blue eyes.  The girl and two other boys were with him.  "Order what you like," he told them.

"I'm not going back," Jacob told him.

"Why not?" he asked.

"I don't approve of fornication and sins against God.  That's what my father's life is.  I won't condone it.  I won't support it."

"Do you think that will convert him?"  

"That's up to God.  I can't save him.  I can only save myself."

"I wanted to meet you Jacob," he said.  "I wanted to get to know you a bit better." 

"Why? Aren't you going to try to drag me back?"

"That's not my job.  I'm being paid to have you go back voluntarily and stay."

"Then you're going to fail," Jacob said confidently.

"What are your plans when you turn eighteen?"

"I think that's my business," said Jacob.

"It's a tricky thing, Jacob," he said.  "There are several ways I could go about this job.  One way would be to offer to put $3,000 in a 529 account.  Do you know what that is?"

"I have one."

"That's not a whole lot, but if you're enterprising enough to spend wisely, $3,000 will be a good start towards a degree."

"I'm not for sale." Jacob stared at him fixedly.

"Good of you," he said.  "I said that was one way to go about it.  Another way would be to ask if you remember your ASVAB scores?  I can get you coaching on your MOS of choice by an E5.  You'd go in that much better prepared."

"Strike two, mister." 

"That's it for me then.  I'll just earn my fee by introducing you to the Reverend." He raised his hand and beckoned to an Army chaplain sitting at a corner booth.

"Jacob, this is the Reverend Captain Elliot Sharp."

"Hello, son," said the Reverend.  "You don't mind that I know something of your troubles, do you?"

"That my father lives in sin?"

"Most of us have sinners for fathers.  But the Book says, " Honor thy father and thy mother" without limitation, you know."

"That's the gimmick?  That you Bible-thump me back home?"

"The gimmick, Jacob, is that you have ten more months of your legal minority.  You can spend it estranged from your family or you can spend it being tolerant of those who love you, letting them help you find what you want to do."

"That's my business," said Jacob.

"So it is," agreed the Reverend.  "And it's also the burden of those who call themselves your family.  You may think that doesn't amount to much, but the Bible says otherwise."

"How much are you getting to give this speech?" asked Jacob.

"I'm not getting anything.  I thought it a good opportunity to get it off my chest.  I've had it on my mind for some time now, since my son was killed."

"Captain Sharp is Stateside on bereavement leave," he said.

"My son, Ryan, wasn't as old as you are, but he was headstrong.  Unfortunately he was a libertine, and determinedly unrepentant.  I didn't approve of that.  Distantly, as I was overseas.  I've had time to think, and I think, the family tie ought to be respected.  As much as I love my service, I should have been more focused on my own son.  Have some sympathy with your father, Jacob.  I think you can be said to owe him that much."

"Was Ryan gay?" asked Jacob.

"Yes," said the Reverend.

"If you could have him back now, unrepentant, unchanged, would you?"

"No," said the Reverend.  "I don't ask God to resurrect the dead like that.  I pray that He forgives them."

"That makes no sense," said Jacob.

"How many friends have you buried?" he asked Jacob.

"None," said Jacob.

"How about you?" he asked the other teens.  The girl nodded.  "Does it make sense to you?"  She nodded again.  "See," he said.

The Reverend said, "I think I've said my piece.  I'll go now."  He left.

Jacob said, "I won't go back. I've made up my mind."

"Well then do me a favor," he said.  "Tell your dad so over the phone from that booth.  And tell him I'll return the $10,000."

"He paid you $10,000 to bring me back?  That's crazy.  All you did was talk at me."

"No.  He wants you to come home and stay home.  But personally, I think you're too much of a man to be swayed back into childhood.  You can tell him I said that too."


"You're going to let it go at that? Just give up $10,000 to let me stay here?"

"That's your business," he said.  "But as you've made your decision, I'd appreciate it as a favor if you'd make the telephone call now."

Jacob went to the phone.  "Fred Nahon.  It's Jacob Nahon.  Yes... Dad! I saw your man.  He says he'll return the $10,000...Listen, if I come back to San Francisco I want my own apartment...We can talk about that..."
















































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Written by ArmandChascour

The New West

The hills behind your house reminded you of the intro to M*A*S*H, which you learned was because it was filmed forty miles to your west on the same latitude.  You were looking at bald hills of Southern California with much the same terrain as Malibu Canyon.

You saw the trails a mile away, clawed by dirt bikes through the chaparral. You saw them exercising and heard their droning engines.  Sometimes you even heard the loudspeaker of the deputies in the copter ordering them off private land.

You tried to attempt the track up the east slope of the mountain a few times, but found it so steep that you needed both hands and your feet to climb.  The graded track of the west slope was easiest and you even saw track teams from the high school using it.  Even the powdered dirt and sand of the central route up the valley was better than the east slope.

Your parents are going to sell the house and you won't have a base at the foot of the mountain anymore.  You decide to climb it for the sixth time.  You are damn fool enough to do this at 4:00 a.m. in the light of a full moon.  After you get stuck in a fifteen foot barranca with nothing but moonlight, you decide to wait for some daylight.

You suck at your canteen of water and rest on a rock.  The moon sails down into the sky.  The valley is shades of grey and black in the moonlight.  You have spent nearly an hour tramping across the fields, passing wide of some homeless people sleeping in their cars under a tree, you are at the foot of the western slope.

The hint of day comes to the eastern horizon.  The sky is now changing to a hue of blue. Time to get moving again.

You miss the pole that marks the start of the western trail but find it again by circling back.  Now begins a steep slog over very broken rock.  This was nearly a road three years ago.  What happened?  You worry about twisting your ankle up here. Your phone doesn't always work.

The valley of the south face of the mountain is like a giant figure 8.  The eastern, western, and central routes up the valley meet a third of the way up.  A single trail winds around the upper curves of the valley like an S ending in the peak.

You find the trail is badly eroded up its entire length.  At some point it was able to handle a station wagon, because there's the wreck of one high on the mountainside, but in places you have to climb on all fours to get up the trailside.  The closet pole you have taken as a stave comes in handy more than once.  Your knees regret this trip.

The peak is nothing but a sandy lot with low scrub all the way around.  You meet people climbing from the San Bernardino County slope.  It is easier, they say.  You vow to try that next.  You will find it isn't hardly possible for you, but that's in the future.

Now to return down, in blaring sunlight.  You resolve to visit the east slope.  The lines of the trails are not so sharp.  As your knees protest, you ease your way down the trail head to the junction of the three trails.  You remember twenty years ago when you ran down this trail to beat the setting sun.  You are not as young as you once were.

The east trail is not as visible as it used to be twenty years ago.  Coming down the spine of the 8 you lose it, in fact.  You have to traverse a rockfall with your stave without any sign of a trail.

Now you have reached the point on the eastern peak where you recall a very steep descent to the cliff by the old van in the barranca.  You see the barranca, you seen the eucalyptus trees where the old van was, you see the cliff below you where dozens of shooters emptied shotguns and AK-47s and AR-15s and once, at least, a .30-06 rifle into the van.  You collected the shell casings as a boy.  What you don't see anymore is the trail down.  You take your bearings on the cliff below and begin your descent through the sagebrush.  It becomes apparent, standing in what was once the trail, that the sagebrush is evenly spaced throughout the hillside.  There is no more trail down the eastern slope.  You are blazing a path down a seventy-percent grade based on twenty year old memories.

When you tell this story later, you say you got stuck and died up there.  You tell it straight and wait for people to catch on that you are fibbing.

But the Lord is good to you and there is still a grade, not a drop, and you stagger onto the sandy path back down the valley.

You hear, years afterward, that they are actually grading the slopes again to build houses twenty-six years after they gave up when the 1991 recession hit.  Your whole memory of the valley will be as forgotten as the eastern trail.  It is the Old West now.

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Write a story in SECOND PERSON, which is using second case pronouns ( you, your) to write a story. 50 coins to the best written story!
Written by ArmandChascour
The New West
The hills behind your house reminded you of the intro to M*A*S*H, which you learned was because it was filmed forty miles to your west on the same latitude.  You were looking at bald hills of Southern California with much the same terrain as Malibu Canyon.

You saw the trails a mile away, clawed by dirt bikes through the chaparral. You saw them exercising and heard their droning engines.  Sometimes you even heard the loudspeaker of the deputies in the copter ordering them off private land.

You tried to attempt the track up the east slope of the mountain a few times, but found it so steep that you needed both hands and your feet to climb.  The graded track of the west slope was easiest and you even saw track teams from the high school using it.  Even the powdered dirt and sand of the central route up the valley was better than the east slope.

Your parents are going to sell the house and you won't have a base at the foot of the mountain anymore.  You decide to climb it for the sixth time.  You are damn fool enough to do this at 4:00 a.m. in the light of a full moon.  After you get stuck in a fifteen foot barranca with nothing but moonlight, you decide to wait for some daylight.

You suck at your canteen of water and rest on a rock.  The moon sails down into the sky.  The valley is shades of grey and black in the moonlight.  You have spent nearly an hour tramping across the fields, passing wide of some homeless people sleeping in their cars under a tree, you are at the foot of the western slope.

The hint of day comes to the eastern horizon.  The sky is now changing to a hue of blue. Time to get moving again.

You miss the pole that marks the start of the western trail but find it again by circling back.  Now begins a steep slog over very broken rock.  This was nearly a road three years ago.  What happened?  You worry about twisting your ankle up here. Your phone doesn't always work.

The valley of the south face of the mountain is like a giant figure 8.  The eastern, western, and central routes up the valley meet a third of the way up.  A single trail winds around the upper curves of the valley like an S ending in the peak.

You find the trail is badly eroded up its entire length.  At some point it was able to handle a station wagon, because there's the wreck of one high on the mountainside, but in places you have to climb on all fours to get up the trailside.  The closet pole you have taken as a stave comes in handy more than once.  Your knees regret this trip.

The peak is nothing but a sandy lot with low scrub all the way around.  You meet people climbing from the San Bernardino County slope.  It is easier, they say.  You vow to try that next.  You will find it isn't hardly possible for you, but that's in the future.

Now to return down, in blaring sunlight.  You resolve to visit the east slope.  The lines of the trails are not so sharp.  As your knees protest, you ease your way down the trail head to the junction of the three trails.  You remember twenty years ago when you ran down this trail to beat the setting sun.  You are not as young as you once were.

The east trail is not as visible as it used to be twenty years ago.  Coming down the spine of the 8 you lose it, in fact.  You have to traverse a rockfall with your stave without any sign of a trail.

Now you have reached the point on the eastern peak where you recall a very steep descent to the cliff by the old van in the barranca.  You see the barranca, you seen the eucalyptus trees where the old van was, you see the cliff below you where dozens of shooters emptied shotguns and AK-47s and AR-15s and once, at least, a .30-06 rifle into the van.  You collected the shell casings as a boy.  What you don't see anymore is the trail down.  You take your bearings on the cliff below and begin your descent through the sagebrush.  It becomes apparent, standing in what was once the trail, that the sagebrush is evenly spaced throughout the hillside.  There is no more trail down the eastern slope.  You are blazing a path down a seventy-percent grade based on twenty year old memories.

When you tell this story later, you say you got stuck and died up there.  You tell it straight and wait for people to catch on that you are fibbing.

But the Lord is good to you and there is still a grade, not a drop, and you stagger onto the sandy path back down the valley.

You hear, years afterward, that they are actually grading the slopes again to build houses twenty-six years after they gave up when the 1991 recession hit.  Your whole memory of the valley will be as forgotten as the eastern trail.  It is the Old West now.

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Tell me a story: About someone who is trying to get the courage to tell someone they can't remember their name.
Written by ArmandChascour

Assist

X was getting married so M and V and J and I went to Santa Barbara to witness.  All of us were in our best suits (I wore trunks and an undershirt for the drive and changed in the bathroom) and we hung out together as we had since high school.

Somehow, and boy did J let us know it was awesome, some woman interrupted our conversation to start talking to J.  We were there early as possible -- X moved parishes a year ahead to be able to marry at the Mission itself-- so we had a good two hours for chat.

She didn't have much to say to the rest of us.

She walked off to greet her friends, and J said, "Oh yeah! I'm totally in sync with this girl and I don't even know her name!"  as if that really was a great place to be.

She came back, to talk to J, and time came for M and V to go stand with X.  J and this girl went to sit together in church.  

The ceremony lasted over an hour and they were together the whole time.

M and V and J and I met at the front of the Mission again and J said, without her there to hear, "We're gonna drive to the reception together! And I don't even know her name!"

She came back and stood next to J.  By then I'd had enough, so I said in a loud voice, "So who are you, and why are you here?"

She laughed and we introduced ourselves.  I don't remember whether I repeated her name out loud but I should have.  I guess I like to be helpful.

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Tell me a story: About someone who is trying to get the courage to tell someone they can't remember their name.
Written by ArmandChascour
Assist
X was getting married so M and V and J and I went to Santa Barbara to witness.  All of us were in our best suits (I wore trunks and an undershirt for the drive and changed in the bathroom) and we hung out together as we had since high school.

Somehow, and boy did J let us know it was awesome, some woman interrupted our conversation to start talking to J.  We were there early as possible -- X moved parishes a year ahead to be able to marry at the Mission itself-- so we had a good two hours for chat.

She didn't have much to say to the rest of us.

She walked off to greet her friends, and J said, "Oh yeah! I'm totally in sync with this girl and I don't even know her name!"  as if that really was a great place to be.

She came back, to talk to J, and time came for M and V to go stand with X.  J and this girl went to sit together in church.  

The ceremony lasted over an hour and they were together the whole time.

M and V and J and I met at the front of the Mission again and J said, without her there to hear, "We're gonna drive to the reception together! And I don't even know her name!"

She came back and stood next to J.  By then I'd had enough, so I said in a loud voice, "So who are you, and why are you here?"

She laughed and we introduced ourselves.  I don't remember whether I repeated her name out loud but I should have.  I guess I like to be helpful.
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Written by ArmandChascour in portal Comedy

Keep On Truckin

I was pushing my dad's wheelchair down Main Street opposite the Riverside County Courthouse, which is a pretty quiet street and had just been freshly paved.  I shifted my grip on the handlebars and noticed the chair kept rolling without my push.  I held my hands off the grips and it kept rolling at about 2 miles per hour.  I stepped back from the chair and it kept moving forward.

So I walked off to the side and talked with Dad as he rolled gently downhill.

It took him about three minutes to realize nobody was holding his moving wheelchair.

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Written by ArmandChascour in portal Comedy
Keep On Truckin
I was pushing my dad's wheelchair down Main Street opposite the Riverside County Courthouse, which is a pretty quiet street and had just been freshly paved.  I shifted my grip on the handlebars and noticed the chair kept rolling without my push.  I held my hands off the grips and it kept rolling at about 2 miles per hour.  I stepped back from the chair and it kept moving forward.

So I walked off to the side and talked with Dad as he rolled gently downhill.

It took him about three minutes to realize nobody was holding his moving wheelchair.

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Written by ArmandChascour in portal Stream of Consciousness

Black Coffee in a Steel Cup

I first used a steel cup in the Boy Scouts, packing it on my belt like a prospector.  That was a conical cup and I miss it.  I think I donated it to a coworker's son with much of my camping gear.

Fifteen years later, working at a call center, I had my cups stolen off my desk.  In a huff I went out and bought another steel cup.  This one is cylindrical and holds about twelve ounces.  My cup became quite famous and nobody stole it.

You drink your coffee black out of a steel cup, because coffee with cream and sugar still tastes like it came out of a steel cup.  There is something business-like about coffee from a steel cup, as hot as you can stand it.  It is not coffee drunk for the fun of coffee.  It is coffee because you need it.

A Civil War vet once wrote a book called "Coffee and Hardtack" about camp life with the Union army, and they drank their coffee the hard core way: burn beans in a skillet, beat them into dust with a rifle butt, then boil them in a pot of water.  You scoop out a tin can's worth, leaving a third of the can empty to help it cool.  That is the kind of coffee that helps you walk into rifle fire.  Our modern way of life prevents us from having this kind of coffee, unless you have a garden or something where you can easily throw aside a potful of coffee grounds.

I am having a dollar store bag of coffee, brewed strong because I killed a bag, in my steel cup.  When you drink very hot black coffee out of a steel cup, you are not going to savor the flavor difference between Somali and Nicaraguan beans.  You are going to get caffeinated.  It is the sort of coffee you refuse to small children.  It must harm them somehow.  They're not ready for this level of coffee. Sorry.

I had a writing assignment to do for a friend and I got up at 3 a.m. to do it, and had my coffee, and now I'm writing about coffee because what else is there to do?  I miss these old mornings spent writing while under the influence of too much caffeine.  In college I used to write A papers all night long and when I got them back I couldn't remember writing them.  Now that was some good coffee.

Of course this coffee takes its toll, and bitter experience hath shewn that you can't stomach enough coffee to keep you going twenty-four hours.  If you can get a couple liters of Mountain Dew, pour it between glasses rapidly to get the carbonation out, and that will hold you.  Or, if you're really gonzo, like I was when I worked graveyard shift at a hotel, you can get four venti Americanos with an add shot apiece. That's twenty shots of expresso.

I should mention I had a heart attack at thirty-seven.

I'll stop with this pot of coffee.  Maybe I'll have the last cup in a ceramic mug with half-and-half and sugar, like I was going to enjoy it.  For now I have my steel mug and black coffee and my memories.

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Written by ArmandChascour in portal Stream of Consciousness
Black Coffee in a Steel Cup
I first used a steel cup in the Boy Scouts, packing it on my belt like a prospector.  That was a conical cup and I miss it.  I think I donated it to a coworker's son with much of my camping gear.

Fifteen years later, working at a call center, I had my cups stolen off my desk.  In a huff I went out and bought another steel cup.  This one is cylindrical and holds about twelve ounces.  My cup became quite famous and nobody stole it.

You drink your coffee black out of a steel cup, because coffee with cream and sugar still tastes like it came out of a steel cup.  There is something business-like about coffee from a steel cup, as hot as you can stand it.  It is not coffee drunk for the fun of coffee.  It is coffee because you need it.

A Civil War vet once wrote a book called "Coffee and Hardtack" about camp life with the Union army, and they drank their coffee the hard core way: burn beans in a skillet, beat them into dust with a rifle butt, then boil them in a pot of water.  You scoop out a tin can's worth, leaving a third of the can empty to help it cool.  That is the kind of coffee that helps you walk into rifle fire.  Our modern way of life prevents us from having this kind of coffee, unless you have a garden or something where you can easily throw aside a potful of coffee grounds.

I am having a dollar store bag of coffee, brewed strong because I killed a bag, in my steel cup.  When you drink very hot black coffee out of a steel cup, you are not going to savor the flavor difference between Somali and Nicaraguan beans.  You are going to get caffeinated.  It is the sort of coffee you refuse to small children.  It must harm them somehow.  They're not ready for this level of coffee. Sorry.

I had a writing assignment to do for a friend and I got up at 3 a.m. to do it, and had my coffee, and now I'm writing about coffee because what else is there to do?  I miss these old mornings spent writing while under the influence of too much caffeine.  In college I used to write A papers all night long and when I got them back I couldn't remember writing them.  Now that was some good coffee.

Of course this coffee takes its toll, and bitter experience hath shewn that you can't stomach enough coffee to keep you going twenty-four hours.  If you can get a couple liters of Mountain Dew, pour it between glasses rapidly to get the carbonation out, and that will hold you.  Or, if you're really gonzo, like I was when I worked graveyard shift at a hotel, you can get four venti Americanos with an add shot apiece. That's twenty shots of expresso.

I should mention I had a heart attack at thirty-seven.

I'll stop with this pot of coffee.  Maybe I'll have the last cup in a ceramic mug with half-and-half and sugar, like I was going to enjoy it.  For now I have my steel mug and black coffee and my memories.
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