As I pour through stats …

To the person who searched for “Avernum 4” registration key: c’mon, man, throw “Jeff”: some change. He makes good games, and he’s essentially a one-man show. (Well, one and a half.) It’s 25 bucks. Certainly you can save up your allowance for a couple of weeks, eh?

Great waste of time

If you’ve never tried it, try the “Blades of Avernum”: game. It’s a role-playing game that’s not too big on graphics, but _very_ good on plot. This game, based on the Avernum series (which, in turn, is a remake of the Exile series), is broken up into different scenarios. The game itself comes with four good ones, and anyone can create new scenarios with a free scenario editor. Some third-party ones are pretty good.

At any rate, I’d like to ask any future scenario designer to refrain from making a character who has most of the following characteristics:

* is heavily clad
* says “mm mmmmmmm, mmmmm” a lot
* gets killed
* people respond by saying some variation of “you bastards!”

It’s getting old. Really old.


Fuzzy brains

Dear Diary,

My head is still swimming from the Umber Hulk, so pardon me if this is all jumbled.

We found the drow cave after some time. I remember taking out a scout in a tree (now that I can go through the Plane of Shadow a short distance I can do these things a lot more easily). We pumped him for info and then turned him into a rabbit. (I love adventuring with this TTC(Tinker Trading Company).)

Then Shadow found a drow priestess and she MFing hit him with a beam of searing light. Argh! I wanted to kill her but the party decided she was worth more alive and incompacitated. So she’s tied up in a tree bound in a state where she can’t cast spells. Once we’re done with her …

But here’s the part that’s got me all fuzzy-headed. I scouted out a monster, but it seemed to know exactly where I was. I couldn’t hide from it. Then it let out this … well, I guess it was a noise and I’ve gone all fuzzy. My compatriots tell me that I tried to attack it and it hit me, I guess that’s where this wound came from. Well, that Nigel really knows how to fry things, and he and Rock took the thing out quickly. They keep talking about how they’re surprised at how tough it was.

Well, we’re in this cave, and there’s this door that tells us to KEEP OUT in dwarvish. I personally don’t want to know what’s in there, but once one of our clerics heals Shadow (that’s a story in itself … a Priest of the Morning Sun healing a Shadow! Ha!) I think we’ll send him in to see what’s there. And there’s all these drugged slaves, including two halflings and a bullette(!) in a cage.

We’ve a lot of work to do, and I’ve got to get this fog out of my head.

April 10, 1373 DR

Dear Diary,

Well, I have to say, this TTC is a weird bunch. Apparently they met up with some friends and even some strangers like this weird gnome named Badl who likes to turn into a tiger and who keeps an ape as a pet. Well, I guess an ape isn’t as weird as a freakin’ _shadow_ as a pet, but still. And a flying cat, well, that’s kinda strange. And there’s this Nigel guy. He really likes fire. I mean, _really_ likes fire. Almost too much.

And there’s this grim guy named Berol, who wears black. Actually, it’s a cool outfit, but the holy symbol spooks me out.

So, anyway, Whitten teleported Rock and me to this city of Sessuadra, which the elves abandoned and is now a refuge for the god of the dead. Before we met Berol, a nasty naga tried to kill him. She was accompanied by Hill Giants and a huge giant (Gray Renderer). Between the fire blazing from Nigel’s fingers and shimmering balls called from Whitten, Rock’s blades, Badl’s claws, and my sneak attacks, the horrific monsters were dispatched quickly. Oh, and Shadow slowed that huge giant down good.

And you know what’s weird, there’s this guy named Adric who, well, the only way I can explain it is that he calls out to his god and it makes everybody stronger. I mean, I hit with much more accuracy and might than I used to. I kinda like it.

Well, anyway, there’s this halfling Alec we are supposed to find. We think he’s being held captive in the underground camp of some opportunistic drow. He’s important to some prophecy concerning mass death, according to Berol. So Whitten and Nigel teleported us to this clearing deep in the forest, and Badl tries to find a bear to talk to. We get overrun with these weird monkeylike things, but Nigel, well, he set a bunch of things on fire and cackled evilly. And Whitten made the grossest mess with his balls of sound tearing their flesh to shreds. Rock chopped, and I kept picking them off with a crossbow. Adric called up this weird shield, which apparently protected him and Rock from the fire that Nigel kept making. Something in that boy scares me.

Well, diary, we’re off to find the drow cave. Apparently those weird monkey things (gibberlings?) came from that direction, so we set off in a few minutes. Wish me luck.

And this is much better than finding lost ponies. All the excitement!

Summer, 1373 DR

Dear Diary,

Oh, what a difference a year makes! I tried adventuring in Thentia, but somehow I just didn’t _mesh_ with the adventuring parties. And what a pittance they pay! Sheesh, go rescue a pony with an amulet of health who strayed north into orcland and get paid 20 gp? What are those idiots _thinking_? Well, we rescued the pony and brought it back, but those jackasses didn’t even want to pay us. They thought it was a fucking charity or something. So we kept the amulet.

Well, to make a long story short, I needed something _greater_. Some better adventurers, and some better adventures. Well, I headed to Mulmaster. I mean some freaky shit goes on there, so there might be great adventures there?

Well, not really. But at least I got some leads. Some grim looking bard (he sang very sad songs) told me of a great adventure I could go on. Apparently there is this mantle deep in the Cormanthor forest south of the Moonsea that grants its wearer great power in working with shadow. Apparently you can even go to the Plane of Shadow and travel great distances in a short time. And the Tinker Trading Company, which is a silly name for an adventuring group if you ask me, apparently has adventured a lot in this area. So, this weird guy name Ima Liar pointed me toward Elventree.

And guess who’s a member of the TTC. Fucking Whitton. Or Whitten. Yeah, that guy who promised to flood the sewers of Phlan with holy water. How bizarre. He kept asking me about dopplegangers, and I was about to leave, but I really really wanted to go on this adventure and they seem like my best shot. And Wheaton, er, whateverhisnameis is cute, too. His nature boy friend Rock or Roc or Rok or whatever is kinda weird, but I have to say that he looks like he could take down whatever monster gets in his way. The only problem is, where is the rest of the TTC? Don’t they have a cleric? Where’s the healing? And I’m the rogue? How weird. Well, who cares! Tomorrow I’m off to the Cormanthor forest!

Summer, 1372 DR

Dear Diary,

I finally made it to Thentia! The Melvauntians were on to me, and they almost caught me. Fortunately, some of Zephyr’s promises about this path are coming true. I stepped into a shadow, and popped out the other side of the Melvauntian wall by night. The police had no idea what happened, and by the time they found out, I was halfway to Thentia.

Well, that’s a lesson. I don’t really think I’m cut out for this thievery crap. I mean, it’s interesting every once in a while because you meet interesting people, get their stories, and get a souvenir or four. But, really, it’s _boring_.

So I’ve done some soul searching and decided what I want to do. I want to be an _adventurer_. I don’t know where or how, but I’m going to start.

But first, I’ll need to get some accommodations and maybe a job.

Summer, 1371 DR

Dear Diary,

I called my first pet today! I call him Slim Shady. Get it? He, being incorporeal, is very slim. And he’s a shadow and therefore shady. Ok, bad joke but Slim Shady it is.

So, Melvaunt is still fun. I heard news that that Whitton, er, however the hell you spell it has left Phlan. Apparently he muttered something about orc hordes, said the mayor’s job was boring, told his lieutenant to take over, and poof! He was off.

Well, I have to be very careful in Melvaunt. I’m getting quite a reputation as a dancer, and people I think are starting to get suspicious. I’ve resorted to disguise when I’m stealing, and that’s throwing off the police and nobles, but I might just be doing it a little _too much_. Actually, come to think of it, that feeling is coming back. You know, I don’t really like stealing, but it’s what I can do for a living. I mean, I’m a good dancer and people tip me a lot for it, but I could barely pay for the rent anywhere other than the slums.

I thought I had an opportunity to leave the other day, and I auditioned for a troupe, but they turned me down. They said they liked me, but they didn’t like my “style” or something like that. At any rate, I’m getting that feeling again. Like I’m a fish out of water.