Category: I'm a Geek


So, here we are again, my friends; back with another post. I’d been working on a few other things  to post for you all, but this idea presented itself and, frankly, it was a lot more fun. So, as most of you know, I’m a huge fan of Neil Gaiman and his work and have been ever since I read American Gods almost ten years ago. So, of course, when I heard of HBO’s plan to produce an onscreen adaptation of one of my favorite books of all time I began to speculate, on my own, who might fill the roles of the characters I had come to love and, well, love to loathe. Yeah I know, this casting is not as likely to happen, but this cast would be, to me, perfect.

 

Shall we get started? I think so… And now…MY DREAM CAST!!

heeeeeeere we GO!!

heeeeeeere we GO!!

Shadow Moon – as played by Jason Momoa

maybe shorten his hair a bit and he will be good to play the "man-sized hole in the world"

maybe shorten his hair a bit and he will be good to play the “man-sized hole in the world”

Shadow is described as kind of dark but kind of not (I believe the actual description is “Cream and Coffee Colored”) He’s a ex-convict who has the “don’t fuck with me” look as well as the kind of heart that is vulnerable, uncertain, and empty enough to be melancholy. Having seen Jason as Khal Drogo in HBO’s Game of Thrones, we know that he can do “I’ll fucking kill you if I have to” as well as emotional enough to love his wife so much that her death leaves him feeling empty inside and then a mix between excited and disturbed enough to be shaken by her presence.

 

Wednesday/Odin – as played by Jeff Bridges

Look at him...no. LOOK at him! Honestly, if this man does not look like Odin to you, then I'll need a bottle of Sake to cope...

Look at him…no. LOOK at him! Honestly, if this man does not look like Odin to you, then I’ll need a bottle of Sake to cope…

He’s been “The Dude”, He’s been Kevin Flynn, he’s been Rooster Cogburn, and he’s been Obadiah Stane. If these roles alone don’t prove that he has what it takes to play the vulgar, manipulative, charismatic, and ambitious con-man and Norse Pantheon All-Father who hires Shadow to be his muscle and help him recruit for a crazy insane war.

 

Laura Moon – as played by Candice Accola

Loving wife, undead killer bodyguard, she works for me! Oh yes!

Loving wife, undead killer bodyguard, she works for me! Oh yes!

Laura Moon, Shadow’s Wife, dies in a car accident at the beginning of the book. Due to a chain of events that I won’t spoil for those of you who haven’t read it yet, she comes back from the dead as Shadows killer guardian. Snapping the necks or brutally ripping apart the bodies of those who would hurt her still living husband, she still holds just enough emotion to tug at Shadow’s heartstrings, even going so far as to call him a man-shaped hole in the world. Watching Candice play a teenage sometimes-homicidal vampire on the CW’s The Vampire Diaries as well as listening to her voice, she seems to me to be the obvious choice to play the only woman allowed to call Shadow “Puppy”.

 

Low-Key Lyesmith/Loki/Mr. World – as played by Kevin Bacon

Low-Key Lyesmith aka Loki the Lie-smith

Low-Key Lyesmith aka Loki the Lie-smith

Low-Key Lyesmith was a man of many faces: Philosopher, Convict, Driver, Co-Conspirator, Cold Bloded killer, God in Spook’s clothing. Reading the Novel, I came to the realization that Low-Key was actually Loki at the same time that Shadow did. Having seen the many faces Kevin wore in the X-Men: First Class movie, I’d love to see him wear the mantle of the Asgardian Liar.

 

Hinzelmann – Ian Holm

from Bilbo to Kobold. I think so!!

from Bilbo to Kobold. I think so!!

Hinzelmann is the little kind old man from Lakeside who drives Shadow around in his old clunker “Tessie”. He seems a whimsical old man, telling stories about his family and the history of the town. Unbeknownst to the town, he is Hinzelmann the Germanic Kobold who has been sacrificing young girls of the town year after year. I’ve been a fan of Sir Ian since his performance in The Fifth Element and even more so after his turn as Bilbo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings films, seeing him go from sweet old man to scary “What the fuck just happened to his face, holy shit is he going to eat Frodo?” guy, I honestly think that he would be perfect for this role.

and this, kids, is why we don't do the drugs...

and this, kids, is why we don’t do the drugs…

 

Moving on… Samantha Blackcrow – as played by Allison Scagliotti

She's got the look and the attitude as far as I'm concerned.

She’s got the look and the attitude as far as I’m concerned.

Sam has fire, Sam has spunk, Sam is awesome! From the moment she’s introduced hitching a ride with Shadow to the point where she plants a kiss on him that tells everyone else in the room to rightly “Fuck Off”, Samantha Blackcrow has been one of my favorite characters in the entire book. Anyone who’s watched the hit show Warehouse 13 and has seen the character of Claudia Donovan can see that Allison is basically playing Samantha Blackcrow with a really kick ass job who got the hell away from Lakeside and maybe changed her name after everything!

 

Easter – As played by Christina Hendricks

That's right people, THIS IS EASTER...THIS!!! Okay, sorry, I'm done with that, just had to get it out of my system

That’s right people, THIS IS EASTER…THIS!!! Okay, sorry, I’m done with that, just had to get it out of my system

Easter is sweet, sassy, voluptuous, and has a matronly-yet-sexy-as-hell energy to her. At least, that’s how I interpreted her description in the novel. What? Isn’t that what you got too? After listening to the full cast audiobook version of this (which I highly recommend), and watching her performances in the awesome cult series Firefly (Yo/Saf/Brig anyone?) as well as her voice acting roles in All Star Superman and Family Guy. (And I can’t be the only one who remembers her from MTV’s Undressed) I mean, come on, look at her!! She has the look, the presence and the voice to absolutely kill in this role.

 

Bilquis as played by Monica Bellucci

Yeah...I mean, just look at her!

Yeah…I mean, just look at her!

YES! YES! I know, Bilquis only appears all of twice in the book, but that doesn’t mean that she shouldn’t appear in the film and be played by someone amazing. Bilquis is sexy, sultry, and will eat you alive…literally! (If you haven’t gotten to that part of the book yet, you will and your mouth will DROP!) Watch the Matrix Reloaded and the Matrix Revolutions (yes, I know of what I ask, just bare with me here) and check out Monica Bellucci as the exile program Persephone and note the raw sexual energy just oozing from her at every word or glance. Got it? Good. Let’s move on.

 

 

Mad Sweeny – as played by Dennis Leary

You want to see him fight Shadow in a bar...you know you do...

You want to see him fight Shadow in a bar…you know you do…

Mad Sweeny is many things: a loudmouth, a drunkard, and a gambler among them. He’s one other thing as well: a leprechaun. Who better to portray the loudmouth redhead who gets into a barroom brawl with Shadow than someone who is used to playing loudmouth crazy people. (at least, as far as I’ve seen, anyway) I think he’d be absolutely perfect.

 

Czernobog (and later, Belobog) – played by Mickey Rourke

 

      UK Premiere of 'The Wrestler'

The entire time I read this book, his was the face I saw and the voice I heard when I read Czernobog (and later, Belobog). Ever since I heard his Russian accent in Iron Man 2, whatever doubt I had about him as this character vanished! Plus, I want to see him play checkers with Shadow.

 

Mr. Nancy/Anansi – Robert Guillaume 

robert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I first remember him from the 80’s sitcom Soap (I am NOT old), and then from his role in Benson. But everyone remembers him the most as the mystical advisor to King Mufassa in The Lion King, Rafiki. Hearing him pull of the accent and knowing he has the ability to play a bit of a smart-ass jokester that can be deadly serious if need be. I can’t think of anyone else, really, to play Mr. Nancy. (And can make appearances in Anansi Boys) I mean, seriously, can you see anyone else in the checkered suit and lemon yellow gloves, rocking the patios? No? I didn’t think so. NEXT!

 

Mr. Ibis/Thoth –Tony Shaloub

Talent Names - Tony Shalhoub

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, so I’ve seen Monk. I LOVE that show. It’s awesome. So when I read Mr. Ibis and his mannerisms, I thought of Tony Shaloub immediately. I can’t see anyone else playing the calm but fidgety ancient Egyptian undertaker with a penchant for storytelling.  Gee, I can’t imagine why! Speaking of ancient Egyptian undertakers…

 

 

  Mr. Jacquel/Anubis – Idris Elba

Yeah...this guy gets a gif...cuz this guy was very nearly the Doctor...so RESPECT!

Yeah…this guy gets a gif…cuz this guy was very nearly the Doctor…so RESPECT!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really could not think of anyone else to play the weigher of hearts/souls than this man. He has the look, the voice, and the damned moxy to don the role of the God turned mortician/coroner. Plus, his first appearance is as an actual talking black jackal. Who doesn’t want to see that??

 

Bast – Rosario Dawson

one word...MEOW!!

one word…MEOW!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, I’m going to be honest here: I haven’t seen her in nearly enough things, but everything I have seen her in, I love her in. She definitely has the look to give life to the cat goddess that lays claim to Shadow during his time in Cairo. Seeing her performance during his dream sequence would likely be amazing!

 

Media – Amanda Palmer

Yes! That's all I'm saying...

Yes! That’s all I’m saying…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After seeing the voice of the Dresden Dolls and actual wife to Neil Gaiman pose as the character in the 2013 Literary Pin Up Calendar, there is no one I would rather see look out from a television at Shadow and as “Hey, you ever wanted to see Lucy’s tits?” Followed by a quick redition of “Coin Operated Boy” (Maybe)

 

Chad Mulligan – Nathan Fillion

Yep, you know you want to see it!!

Yep, you know you want to see it!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If there is anyone who can be the confident, friendly, somewhat bumbling chief of police in the sleepy town of Lakeside; it’s Mr Fillion here. I know the ladies will love seeing him in a police uniform, and he would fill it (and the role) out quite well.

need  say more, here?

need I say more, here?

Mr. Town – Jack Coleman

This is a man who does sinister and mysterious very well!

This is a man who does sinister and mysterious very well!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, so, in this case, all I have is his role in Heroes to go on here, (and by Heroes, I only mean the first season as far as he is concerned) but I can’t see anyone else as the charismatic, but mysterious, and slightly infuriating agent/errand boy to the new Gods. Trust me, the dude can do smarmy like it’s his job.

 

Mammoth God (Voice) – Keith David 

888457-keith_david

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You know him as Goliath from Gargoyles, as The Arbiter from the Halo series, and as The Shadow Man/ Dr. Facilier from The Princess and the Frog. He has a penchant for playing Dark or Ancient things. So who better than to play this forgotten God who enters Shadows dreams to share pertinent information that might not make sense at the time but seriously comes in handy later.

 

Technical Boy – as played by Jonah Hill

cov-jonah-hill-011312-300_267_356_c1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So last up is my pick for the God of Modern Technology. The last couple of times I read this book I could only ever hear Jonah Hill’s voice as this character. He’s got the chops to give the snark, insecurity, and overblown sense of entitlement we’d come to expect from this character. He also still looks just young enough to play the role. Seeing him turn a certain Old God into roadkill would be both satisfying and rage inducing.

 

So there it is, friends: my pick for what I would consider to be the principle cast for this series. More characters would of course be brought in, but (for me at least) these are the ones worth paying attention to. Did I miss anyone?

Do you think I got some or all of the casting wrong?

Sound off! Let me know what you think.

Until my next post, friends (and hopefully you won’t have as long of a wait this time), be good, be safe, be awesome to one another, and don’t let the muggles get you down!

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Powers-Comic-Book1

Hello and greetings my geeky cabal. I apologize, once again, for my absence. Life, as it likes to do, has been getting all up in the way again.

Nevertheless, we are all here now, and we’re here to be nerds, yes?

I agree, Doctor!

Let’s be ridiculous!!

I’ve been catching up on my comic book reading (because I LOVE them), and I came across a series I had originally thought I had been done with, mostly because I thought it had been abandoned, but I honestly should have known better.

Yes friends, I’m talking about the amazing comic by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Michael Avon Oeming: Powers.

For those of you who have not had the chance to read this comic, OMG GO AND GET THIS SERIES NOW AND READ IT, FOR IT IS FULL OF AMAZEBALLSNESS!! (yes that is a real word…that I totally made up)

Now, that’s done, let me tell you a little bit about this series:

The title follows a pair of Chicago homicide detectives, Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim, who, having just been partnered together, investigate super-power related murders.

Yes, yes, you guessed it, superheroes are running wild in this story and, apparently, dropping like flies. Hell, someone has to solve these murders, right?

Now, some time ago, it was announced that FX was casting and producing a Powers television series.

Due to some recasting and re-writing of the pilot script, the show has been put on a bit of a hiatus (That’s what the internet said, anyway), but since I’ve gone and fallen in love with the series again, I figured that I’d cast this thing myself.

Due to the insanely huge cast of characters we meet throughout the series, I’ve just done the casting for the main roles we’d see during the first story arc: “Who Killed Retro Girl?” Which would be the introductory story arc of the show’s first season.

See? I’ve got this all figured out!

My version of the show would be aired on HBO. If you’ve read the comic, you’d never ask me why

I’d have the scripts penned by Bendis, because, honestly, who knows the material better than he does?

The show would be directed by Greg Beeman from the Heroes, Smallville, and Falling Skies.

Okay, lets get started!

"That Championship Season" Broadway Opening Night - After Party walkerc

Christian Walker – Played by Jason Patric

– I know, I know, this is the same casting from the original FX casting, but I really love this actor from his role in The Lost Boys. For anyone not born in the 80’s who hasn’t seen this at some point….STOP right now. Go and watch that movie, then come back for the rest of this!        Now that we have gotten that over with, look at the drawing and then look at him. He’s got the look and the severity to pull off the role of the former super-hero turned Homicide Detective.

claire-holt-2 deena pilgrim

Deena Pilgrim – played by Claire Holt

– People who haven’t seen her in The Vampire Diaries might not get my choice for Deena. But Claire Holt has everything that Deena Pilgrim has: sex appeal, the aptitude for physicality, and attitude out of the wazoo!!! I’m not sure I can think of anyone else to go from Klaus’s troublemaking mean-girl original vampire sister to playing the ass kicking rookie detective with entirely too much to prove! to herself and her new partner. (Even though he never really requires proof.) She just needs a bit of a haircut…

kristen-bell-epicuren-pumpkin-enzyme-peel retro girl

Retro Girl – played by Kristen Bell

– So, initially, K.B. was my first choice to play Deena Pilgrim; I mean, she’s cute, she’s short, and boy does she have a mouth on her (See Heroes and Forgetting Sarah Marshall). However, going through the casting process I came to the effervescent character of Retro Girl and could think of no one to play the most popular character in the Powers universe. Granted, you’d see her initially in the first episode as the murder victim that would kick off the show’s first arc and then through the rest of the series in a series of flashbacks, her bubbly personality and overall awesomeness would shine through.

Chi_Mcbride-3 captain cross

Captain Cross – played by Chi McBride

– I personally love this actor from Pushing Daisies, where he played a private investigator. Since every cop drama needs an ass-kicking, no-nonsense, hard-ass police chief/captain, Chi is my perfect casting, seriously. If there’s any doubt of this check him out in Pushing Daisies, Boston Public, and as Nick Fury in Ultimate Spider-Man.

tucker DHL

Doctor Tucker – played by David H. Lawrence XVII

– I’ve been a fan of David’s ever since he appeared on Heroes as the creep-tastic Puppet Master Eric Doyle, so he was my first choice to fill the role of the good doctor. I think he’s got the range to pull off the neurotic, completely out of his depth coroner. His conversations with the detectives would be awesome.

pg-24-james-franco-obama 1878552-kutter

Detective Kutter – played by James Franco

– James has the scruffy pretty-boy thing going for him. After his performance as the smarmy Harry Osborn in the Spider-Man films (well, at least the 2nd and the one that we don’t talk about), I think he would be able to amp up the level of smarmy for the role of Kutter. (and have you seen him in General Hospital? Well, I haven’t but I hear he plays quite the asshole. Get em’ James!!)

MV5BMjE4NTAyOTkyOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzI1NjM1Mg@@._V1._SY314_CR3,0,214,314_ Triphammer

Henry Cohen/Triphammer – played by Jack Coleman

– I became a big fan of Jack during his run on Heroes as “H.R.G.” (The Man with “Horned Rimmed Glasses”) later revealed to be named Noah Bennet. His performance in the role is why I nominate him for the role of the hard ass Iron Man of this universe. He’s already got the “do whatever it takes to get the job done” experience, he’d be perfect!

MV5BMTk3NTczODg1OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDY0NTUxMw@@._V1._SX214_CR0,0,214,314_ Calista

Calista – played by Mackenzie Foy

– So I know what you’re thinking: “Isn’t this the same kid that played the creepy half-breed girl in the last Twilight movie? Also, how do you know that?”

No one worry about that.

Anyway, she’s a cute kid who would be awesome as the little girl Christian saves in the first arc, spewing obscenities and dreaming about Retro Girl. Also, she’s about the right age.

Tricia-Helfer-2 Zora

Zora – played by Tricia Helfer

– Whether she’s in the role of Battlestar Galactica‘s “Caprica Six” or she’s voicing the hilarious A.I. “EDI” from Bioware’s Mass Effect series, Tricia has the looks and the intensity to fill out the role of the super powered, vizor wearing Zora. Also, she’d look super hot in the costume.

MV5BMTI2MTc5OTQ0M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjY1Mjg4Mg@@._V1._SX214_CR0,0,214,314_ Ted Henry

Ted Henry – played by Bruce Boxleitner

– One word for you here: TRON!!! Seriously, with a voice as recognizable as his, I can seriously think of no one else to fill the role of the host of the series’s late night news/talk show “Powers That Be”. Honestly, with a voice like that it isn’t too much of a stretch to see him go from the one who fights for the user to the man that does and says whatever it takes to bring you the latest breaking news on the super powered elite.

MV5BMTU3NzM5MjUwMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNDM2NDky._V1._SX214_CR0,0,214,314_ johnny royalle

Johnny Royale – played by Ray Liotta

– if there is anyone on the planet more suited to play the calm, collected, teleporting Gangster, then I don’t care. Seriously, look at this guy’s resume, entirely too much gangster cred NOT to play this role.

MV5BMTc1NDUzMzM5MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzY1OTYyOQ@@._V1._SX214_CR0,0,214,314_ the Wolf

The Wolf – played by Vincent Cassel

– I’ve honestly never seen anything that this guy has been in, but look at him. He looks both creepy and insanely intense. I think he’s pretty solid in this role and I’d love to see him under the green light of a “Drainer”. I would say more about this character but as River Song would say:

Spoilers

yes ma’am!

aaron-taylor-johnson-keeps-mum-about-his-film-roles_GB jja

John Jackson Stevens – played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson

– Yes, Kick-Ass himself. He’s got a nerdy awkwardness that, under a certain light, could be pretty creepy. Stick some glasses on him and give him an obsessive kind of psychosis, and here you have the villain of the first arc in the series!

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

And there we are, friends. I know I’ve left out some characters, but I felt that I got the more important ones of the first arc. Hopefully FX will actually pull the show together for the public to see, but I won’t hold my breath until I hear something one way or the other.

In any case, that’s it for now! If you like it, have characters you want to comment on/add or even if you don’t agree with any of my choices: comment, subscribe, like, and sound-off!!

If you have any suggestions as to what my next Casting Call should be, comment to your heart’s content.

Until the next time.

DFTBA

That’s right! Give it on up!!

So, something happened no long ago that I’ve been sitting on, until today.

I’m seriously about to burst with the excitement of it all, I feel like Sandal from the Dragon Age games and I kind of want to run around the house yelling “ENCHANTMENT!!”

So, I recently came upon a really cool website called Nerd Like You. It’s what you might expect: a site written for nerds by nerds, like many others out there on the web. Except…

This one really hit me though. The level of enthusiasm, the writing styles of the many writers, and even the name of the site itself, struck a chord with me. I read as many articles from the site as my brain could handle (that’s a LOT, in case you’re wondering) and I fell in love with the site and its staff of amazing writers.

So I did what any self-respecting nerdy blogger would do.

I wrote to the editor and inquired about writing for the site.

Here’s where it gets awesome.

As it turns out, Susie McBeth, the editor for Nerd like You, had also come across my blog (Yup you read that right, THIS one!) and was hoping to invite me to write for them as well!

I frelling leapt at it!!

Seriously, My brain is still happy-dancing, which makes it hard to focus on writing, one could imagine.

Well, all of that to say, my first article for Nerd Like You posted this morning and I’m super proud of it! Check it out if you like and also, seriously, check out the other AMAZING writers for the site.

Now don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere, I’ll still be brining you guys some amazing awesomeness here. I haven’t abandoned you. I LOVE you guys!

 

Anyway, I hope you enjoy your day and I’m going to go and do some more of the happy dancing stuff from before.

 

“ENCHANTMENT!!!!”

(okay, I couldn’t help myself that time)

 

So I’ve been horrible at keeping up with writing out the synopses of the adventures of the Dungeons and Dragons party of Barrel and Hammer, so I’ve decided upon another avenue to keep up with the colorful cast of characters…

INTERVIEWS!!

So, my general thought is this: I start out with a series of intro interviews with the Player Characters and then, after every session, do a group interview session based on the adventure we’re running and where they are at that point in time.

I imagine that there will be a ton of hilarity to ensue.

Seriously, just looking at a party like this makes me want to talk the stuff...

Seriously, just looking at a party like this makes me want to talk the stuff…

Here’s where the hard part comes in…I’ve never conducted an interview before, so I’m kind of lost on what to ask these characters.

Here’s where you come in.

While I’ve posted something similar on my Facebook page, I am also bringing my question to you, my followers. What kinds of questions should I ask? What kind of questions would you like to be asked if you were in an adventuring party?

Leave a comment and your questions just might get included in the interview.

Until then, May the Dice roll ever in your favor!

So, after hearing about and refusing to play any of the Pokemon games or its multiple (and I mean 我的天阿, there are SO MANY of them!!) clones, rip-offs, and crazy-pants alternate versions of it, I slowly began hearing of a new new game franchise being added to the mix.

Now, I watched Pokemon, and Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Digimon when I was younger. I even tried watching Card Captors or whatever it was called (someone help me out with that one), but couldn’t really get into any of them. Pokemon was fun and hilarious at times, but the only characters that resonated with me were the actual Pokemon themselves, and there seemed to be few episodes dedicated to them.

Though, I do vaguely remember one episode where the pokemon were the central characters but they still spoke poke-speak (Is there another name for that language where they all just say their names in odd-damn-ball ways? There has to be, right?)

What is he saying?? Is it Pika-nese, Pikachian, Pika, Pokenese, Pokemonian? WHAT ARE THEY SAYING???

What is he saying?? Is it Pika-nese, Pikachian, Pika, Pokenese, Pokemonian? WHAT ARE THEY SAYING???

Anyway, when the video games came out for game boy and all of its iterations, I didn’t really hold much interest in it. It sounded like so much work; running around, capturing these (mostly) cute little creatures and forcing them to fight for you to prove that you’re the best trainer alive. For some reason it just didn’t appeal to me.

Then came Skylanders Giants. Now, I admit, I was super skeptical of this game at first. It seemed like it was a knock-off of all the other “collect creatures and make them fight for you” games, so i wrote it off. Then I started hearing about it on two fronts:

My dear friend, Jesse, who has a nephew who is just silly over the game; and My sister-in-law, J.J., who has a son…also pretty silly over the game and has been doing his best to convince me to get the game myself. Well as of my birthday: Mission Accomplished, Aiden.

Mission Accomplished.

So, for all of you who haven’t heard of this game before (because you don’t have kids or live in a cupboard under the stairs) let me explain what makes this game so brilliant.

Hey, I get it. It's hard to get your gaming information when THIS is where you live. Sorry, Harry!

Hey, I get it. It’s hard to get your gaming information when THIS is where you live. Sorry, Harry!

So, when you buy the game with the starter pack it includes the game itself (available on MULTIPLE platforms, but we’ll get to why that’s awesome in a sec, be patient), but it also comes with a PORTAL OF POWER (just imagine that being said by the booming voice of James Earl Jones…oh yeah…):

This looks pretty cool. It glows even!!

This looks pretty cool. It glows even!!

What the hell is that thing for? Oh, I’m getting to that. Wait for it! You also get three figures. Which Figures you get all depend on what platform you buy it for, mostly. You plug in the portal to your console, power that bad boy up and then start the game.

Now I won’t get too much into the story, but suffice it to say you are fighting an evil Palpatine wannabe named Kaos who seems to want to take over the world and laugh like a crazy person. Normal villian-type stuff, sure. Enter the Skylanders, the heroes of this world. It is your job as “Portal Master” to make sure that the Skylanders are able to enter the world and defend it.

How do I do that? I thought you’d ask that! Here’s where the figures I mentioned come in. When you place any of the figures on the PORTAL OF POWER (and yes, I am going to keep doing that) that figure then materializes in the most insane, chezy, catch-phrasey way within the game itself.

Each figure has its own abilities and attacks based on the elemental family it belongs to. There are eight elements altogether: Earth, Air, Fire, Magic, Water, Life, Tech and Undead and while you might think that each elemental family might have a gripe with the others, there doesn’t appear to be anything like that in the game.

You also have two different kinds of Skylanders; you have the original type as featured in the prequel game, Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure (yeah, remember him, PS One fans? well….he’s back!), and you have Giants. The Giants are each the leaders of their respective element types and have been kind of missing for a while (though, how one could miss them I’ll never understand, they’re pretty distinctive…and huge!). The Giants are able to move through obstacles the other Skylanders can’t and access areas that are not within reach of the others.

Plus they look really bad-ass!

So bad-ass! Also...I don't think that there's any amount of "Clear Eyes" that can help him...

So bad-ass! Also…I don’t think that there’s any amount of “Clear Eyes” that can help him…

The gameplay is pretty cool too. You unlock more attacks to upgrade your skylander as you go, making them more powerful and pretty much more badd-ass. One of the cooler things about this is that, rather than saving all of your progress to the console itself you save your character’s progress to the figure itself thanks to NCF (near field communication) technology.

What does this mean, you ask?

Well it means that you can take your own figures, with all of their saved data, to the homes of anyone who happens to have the game and their own PORTAL OF POWER (told ya) and play with your character there. There is also a battle mode of the game that allows you to play, head to head, with someone who has their own saved skylander.

Here’s one of the more genius things about this game, though; and I dare say that this is what has helped the success of this franchise: Toys.

I mean, sure, the game is colorful and fun to play; it’s like a lighter version of Diablo marketed to young children.

And, yes, Patrick Warburton does a hilarious job in voice acting as one of the supporting characters in the game (spoiler, no spoilers!!).

oh alright, but this is the ONLY spoiler you get!

oh alright, but this is the ONLY spoiler you get!

The awesome and genius thing about this (and parents might roll their eyes at this) is the figures. Any new content, be it playable characters or landscapes, are accessible by purchasing figures and other toys, and believe me when I tell you there are a LOT of them. There is nothing in the way of downloadable content, but lots of toys that kids go bananas over. (I own five of them, myself) I’ve stood shoulder to, er, waist with several young gamers, all clawing and begging for new Skylanders toys. (seriously, it’s quite the site. I don’t think I had ever been so afraid for my life…or my non-existant cotton candy…kids still eat that, right?). What’s more awesome is that there are so many of these toys that there will always be more characters and content to add to the game.

Is Skylanders Giants the uber addictive gateway game for kids and adults that everyone makes it out to be?

Yes.

Will kids be talking about this for the next few years?

Likely.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, Eye-Brawl and I have our eye on some baddies in need of pummeling!

(Yeah…that was a terrible joke…remind me never to do that again…in this post…)

 

Happy Gallifreyan Regeneration Day

Hello, my peoples!! (I really need to come up with a better term of endearment for you all)

Since I don’t celebrate the Holiday of Easter and I honestly don’t really feel like making any Zombie Jesus jokes…

 

…okay…okay, you twisted my arm. I’ll make just the one!! Sheesh!!

Trust me, I could have gone a bit farther than this...I REALLY could have. The day is still early yet!

Trust me, I could have gone a bit farther than this…I REALLY could have. The day is still early yet!

In any case, keeping upon the theme and excitement of the continuation of my favorite show, I have renamed today Gallifreyan Regeneration Day, in honor of the man from Gallifrey who has time and time again rescued us from the clutches of the Dalek, Cybermen, and the Silence.

How, you ask?

Excellent Question.

I’d like to share a video with you of all of the Doctor’s regenerations over the 50 year history of the show. The man has changed his face a total of ten times in his adventures in saving the  universe. Here’s a good look at them all. Remember, regenerations should only be performed by experienced Time Lords. Do NOT try this at home, kids.

Well, unless you happen to BE a Time Lord with two hearts and a fancy blue box that’s bigger on the inside.

Have a safe and happy Regeneration Day.

Or, whatever it is you happen to be celebrating today!

Catch you guys later!

 

So, happy Easter, or Ostare, or whatever rite of Spring-renewal-ness you all are celebrating at the moment. I know, I know: It’s been way too long since my last posting and “where the hell have you gone?” and “where’s the latest on the D&D adventure you’re running, are you still even doing that?”

Answers:

1. I Haven’t gone anywhere, not really. I just have been really lazy and not motivated to post at all. I realize that this means that no one gets to read the stuff I think up and want to talk about and I’m sorry about that, I truly am. Sometimes life just gets in the way…or I get in the way…or Skyrim…yeah, we’ll blame Skyrim.

Sorry buddy. We still have great times together and someone's gotta take the fall for this. We'll always have Solstheim!!

Sorry buddy. We still have great times together and someone’s gotta take the fall for this. We’ll always have Solstheim!!

 

2. I know, I know!! Yes I am still running that campaign, and yes it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything of note. See above reasoning for that. Don’t worry, though, I haven’t been completely slacking off. I have prepared a comprehensive synopsis of what’s happened since the last time you heard from your heroes. In fact, after tonight’s session, I plan to add to it and post it, finally. There. Happy now?

Seriously though, I do miss you all and I want to get myself back to a pace where I am writing regularly again and with life as it has been the last month or two and then going forward, I should have plenty to write about, be it in my own life or just commenting on something ridiculous I happened to see or read or hear somewhere.

Which brings me to this post in particular.

My Birthday is in a week and a day.

Just look at this suave looking motherfraker right here! Give this man some cake!!

Just look at this suave looking motherfraker right here! Give this man some cake!!

[waits for the screaming applause…still waiting…]

I’ve been fortunate enough to have been able to cling to this beautiful insanity of a planet for the last 32 solar revolutions.

Here’s the part where I get all Ray Lamontagne on you, and get into how I “never learned to count my blessings. I choose instead to dwell on my disasters.” True to my usual form of birthday-time introspection self deprecation blah blah blah, yakety smackety.

Except, I’m not going to do that.

Not this time.

No! None of that! you hear me? you cut that out right now, Mister!!

No! None of that! you hear me? you cut that out right now, Mister!!

I admit that there has been some rather crap moments throughout the year, I have to say that there have been some crazy moments that I happen to be pretty frelling proud of. So I think I’d like to talk about those.

1. I’m still frelling ALIVE!!

– Yes, that is totally a thing and if you don’t believe me, just ask anyone who is dead. Go on…I’ll wait.

Seriously though, getting to remain on this planet, with my wife and little girl (she’s 3 now. Can you frelling believe that? I know! I’m still having a crazy time wrapping my head around it.) is a huge blessing. If you are a believer in a spiritual path or not, being alive and having a family that loves you and that you love just as much is something to take a second and just feel amazingly grateful for. So there!

2. I’ve made considerable progress in the writing of my Novel.

– This is a project that I started a little over a decade ago. It has been through so many changes and iterations that I honestly thought I would never ever sit down and finally write out any lengthy amount of it.  Thanks to participating in NaNoWriMo, I’ve finally put some permanence to the world I’ve created and have written enough that I can’t turn back now and change things. I have to see it through and I WILL.

Just keep writing, just keep writing, just keep writing, writing, writing...

Just keep writing, just keep writing, just keep writing, writing, writing…

Even if I still haven’t thought of a title yet…details! Minor details.

3. I’ve become a DM. (Dungeon Master)

– This is a title I never thought I would take on, having been such a fan of the player aspect of Table Top RolePlay, but after playing with a couple of groups and getting my own ideas about what would make for fun experiences for players, it felt like a natural progression. The campaign I’m running is full of intrigue and insanity, and the players in the group are incredibly intelligent and strategic. We are constantly keeping each other on our A game and I’m having an absolute blast with it! And I haven’t killed any of my players…yet! [queue ominous soap opera music]

It's not fancy. it's not crazy. But it's mine, and it has Legos!! D20s and Legos FTW!!!

It’s not fancy. it’s not crazy. But it’s mine, and it has Legos!! D20s and Legos FTW!!!

4. I am expanding my circle of friends.

– This might not seem like a huge deal to some, but I can be a bit of an introvert and if I get myself in with a group and feel comfortable with them, I tend to stick with them for a while and not really let go. With the job change and just the general meeting of new people, this has changed a bit. I’m in a Pathfinder game group with some guys that I work with and I’m having a great time. I still hang with my other friends, they’re not going anywhere as far as I am concerned, but I am having fun and making new friends.

5. I’m in a really fun place, Musically.

– This is a more recent development, as I’ve been in a bit of a dry spell as far as my music goes. Through my best friend Christopher, however I have connected with a great group of musicians, Christopher included, and are calling ourselves the Gentlemen of Leisure. We’re not a musical group as such: think of the Fueled By Ramen or Soulquarian groups. We’re a musical collective of like-minded individuals spanning across varying genres of music that have come together with a purpose: To create the kind of (good) music we want to listen to and to provide help for each other in our separate musical projects.

These are a bunch of Sexy BEASTS!! Especially the one with the hat and cane! I hear he's one hot and awesome nerd-type-person!

These are a bunch of Sexy BEASTS!! Especially the one with the hat and cane! I hear he’s one hot and awesome nerd-type-person! Actually, word on the street is that they ALL are!

We Just recently had a meet up here in Tacoma about two weekends ago, and, in three days, we’ve recorded tracks (unfinished, but great starts) for 5 songs that we’ve written. Two of them written by myself. On top of that, I’m writing a song for a track produced by one of the group members that will (once finished) be the new theme for this blog. (as they share the same title, I figured “why the hell not”).  It will be a nerdcore hip hop song. (tee-hee-hee)

Disclaimer: I am not a rapper. I just rhyme a lot. (see what I did there, huh? Huh? Riiiiiiiight?)

The point of all of this is:

– Yes, I am getting older (I-AM-NOT-OLD, I-AM-NOT-OLD, IAMNOTOLD!!!)

– No I am not where I thought I would be when I was 20. (Globetrotting, living in the lap of luxury, screaming adoring fans and groupies, huge frak-off house, cameras flashing wherever I go, yadda yadda) Here’s the thing though: I’m okay with that. Hell, I’m happier that my life worked out the way it did and not the way impetuous, starry-eyed, 20-year-old me dreamed that it would. I’d be a very different (and way less awesome) person for it. Current, about-to-be-32 (gulp) me would likely want to punch what could have been 32-year-old-rock-star-me dead in my theoretical face…with a chair…

Can you imagine being smacked by this thing...seriously, OW!

Can you imagine being smacked by this thing…seriously, OW!

 

Or, he could have turned out just as awesome as I have. We’ll never know. What I do know is that I don’t want any other life beyond the one I currently live…well, okay, one or two things can change. I live comfortable in the knowledge that my life, no matter how strange, no matter how geeky, no matter how everyday it might seem; is a pretty good one, and I’m happy to have survived another year, clinging to this ball of rock and atmosphere spinning around a bright yellow star.

 

Happy Birthday, Kid.

 

Now, if you’ll excuse me: I’m going to prepare for my game night, and sing the Doom Song!!

Come on! Don't sit there and act as if you didn't know this was coming! It totally was...just sing along already!!

Come on! Don’t sit there and act as if you didn’t know this was coming! It totally was…just sing along already!!

 

Oh yeah, I can imagine that you notice a change in the background and Icon and whatnot. It’s in celebration of the continuation of this season of Doctor Who on tomorrow! Are you guys ready? I’ve been ready since Christmas!!

Geronimo!

When last we left the crew of the “Barrel and Hammer” they had just acquired an ancient schema from an ancient and nearly forgotten House Cannith forge for their beautiful but mysterious patron, Lady Elaydren d’Cannith. In the process, we learn that Hamilcar’s bodyguard, Bolgor, is actually a Warforged wearing an arcane glamour that facimilates (I may have made that word up) human skin, (and, oh yeah, did we mention that he’s the little brother of the Lord of Blades? Yeah. That happened too.)

In the weeks that have passed since their successful quest, they have been running their mildly popular tavern, employing the halflings they defeated in the Rat’s Market and enlisting their leader, Rory, as head of security.  They have also made many trips to the House Sivis message station, seeking word from lady Elaydren. As of yet, there has been none, and they, each time, return disappointed.

Part 1: Sharn

– The Message Station

It’s another rainy day in the City of Towers, the thunder rolls in the distance and the rain cascades steadily. As our friends approach the message station expecting more disappointment, they notice that the door to the small structure is hung open at an odd angle. As the lightning flashes, they are able to see one of the door’s hinges has been forcefully removed from the frame.

Bolgor turns his head quickly as he hears a groan coming from the station. “Guys…there’s someone still in there.” He draws his sword, the rest of the party following his lead and drawing their own as well. Hamilcar stops for a moment and closes his eyes, mind scanning the building for life.

“There’s no one else in there, just the one and she’s barely conscious.”

The group, still weary, enter the message station, clearly in disarray. “Well, this place has certainly had itself a thorough ransacking.” Vit remarks, scanning the room and gingerly stepping around the broken objects littering the floor. As he steps behind the counter, he spots the Gnome clerk, lying atop a spilled shelf of scrolls and parchment sheets. She moans as he rests his hand on her head. “Blow to the head. Knocked out.” He mutters, then looks over his shoulder. “Harjonger. We got a Gnome down, lad.”

The Paladin, is there in seconds, kneeling , with Vit, beside the Gnome. He places a hand on her head and mutters softly. “Th’ light of Nesumnee restore ye.” There is a soft glow and a low hum that thrums the air around them and then fades.

The Gnome’s eyes flutter open and she jolts to her feet. “The Messages!” She cries out. “I have to check the messages!” She bounds around the shop, opening and closing drawers and checking shelves and hidden compartments as well.

Othello, still checking the shop, spots a scattering of rounded sling stones, and a set of footprints made in ink. He growls low in his throat. “Kobolds!”

Bolgor finds another ink-made footprint, something erupts in his mind and an image of a warforged in a red cloak appears and is, just as suddenly, gone. “A Warforged was here as well.” He sighs, then looks as his own hand, covered in the arcane glamour that creates the appearance of human flesh. Vit and Horjongr nod and sit the Gnome clerk down,

“Can you tell us what happened here?” Vit asks as Horjongr gestures for Bolgor to keep an eye on the door.

The Gnome rubs her head gingerly as she looks them over, finally recognizing the group. “I…I know you folk! Sure, you’re in here every couple of days. Well, I was minding my own business, you know, tending the shop and all, when a group of about four…no, six Kobolds charged in and just attacked me here. They pinned me to the counter and the others started to go through my things here. Oh, look at the mess they’ve made!” She cries, tears welling in her eyes.

“It’s alright lass, they’re gone now. Tell us what happened next.” Horjongr urged.

The clerk nods. “Well, that’s when a large man, I couldn’t see him well, but he seemed about human-size, he comes in with a deep and rumbling voice. He belted orders at the Kobolds and they followed him without question. Goodness, they all but yelped in fear when he spoke to them. He was asking for…oh, dear.” Her face pales a little and her look becomes apologetic. “He was looking for any messages that were addressed to you.” She gestured to Horjongr and to Othello as well. “It was the most amazing coincidence, that I had just transcribed a message for you from the speaking stone.”

Othello joins the trio on the floor and they all exchange looks, Hamilcar stands with Bolgor, a hand on his shoulder, as they keep watch. “What then, Miss?” Othello asks, his knuckles cracking as his fingers formed a fist.

The Clerk shrugged. “I must have looked at the scroll I was holding, because the next second he snatched the scroll with one hand and then hit me with the other.” She gingerly rubbed her head on the spot where she had been struck. “That’s the last thing I remember.”

Horjongr took a deep breath, his brow furrowing. “Do ye remember what th’ message said?”

Othello places a hand on the Dwarf’s shoulder. “It’s of no use, man. Sivas clerks are trained to transcribe and then forget.” He holsters his gun, giving the clerk a warm smile. “That about right?”

The clerk nods, but suddenly her face becomes a bit brighter. “Oh, but I can remember who the message was from. It was the Lady Elaydren d’Cannith.”

———————————————————————–

 – A Call for Help

The heroes leave the message station, having adequately compensated the Gnome clerk for her trouble and misfortune. Harjongr finds the nearest City Watch guard and gives him some coin to send a detail over to the station to secure and defend it.

As the group make their way into the rainy streets and towards their tavern, a blur of feathers rockets out of the cloud-filled sky. As it circled the group once, Othello recognizes the animal.

“What the?” He exclaims, nearly bumping into Bolgor. “It’s a giant owl…”

Before he can finish, the owl drops the satchel it carries in it’s talons and then streaks off into the air.

Hamilcar, uses his powers to catch the satchel in mid air and sends it to Harjongr, who opens it to find a scroll inside. he reads:

Adventurers,

The normal means of communication seems to have been compromised, so I have sent this special messenger to personally find you and deliver this letter.

You served me once before, and now I need your help again. Time is short. I feel that our enemies have discovered me and are closing in.

Meet me at the Broken Anvil tavern, where we first discussed heirlooms and job opportunities. Act quickly, for I believe that we are all in terrible danger.

Your Patron,

Lady E.

It is Vit who speaks now, “I think it’s safe to say that we shouldn’t waste any time. Let’s go!”

The five arrive at the Broken Anvil shortly after, noticing that the tavern is strangely empty, save for a women in a worn brown cloak. She raises her hand as the group enters, causing it to glow with white fire as if ready to cast a spell, then causes the fire to die. She pulls back her hood and, despite her disheveled hair and the dirt covering her face, she is no less recognizable as the Lady Elaydren.

Rosie, the innkeeper, runs from the kitchen to check on the noise, but is waved away by Elaydren. As she walks back into the kitchen, she spots Othello and gives him a warm smile before darting behind the door.

“Quickly, Quickly!” Elaydren calls out to them in a strained voice, beckoning the group to her. Vit And Harjongr motion for Hamilcar and Bolgor to keep watch on the door. The two nod their consent and move to the main floor with weapons drawn. The remaining three approach Elaydren, Vit keeping a wary eye about them.

Vit speaks first. “My lady, are you alright?”

“Thank Olladra that you’re here. There is no time to waste.” Elaydren exclaims, lifting a leather backpack from the floor and placing it on the table. It looks very nearly empty, but she draws the trio’s attention back to her. “Look, there is no time to explain.” Her eyes are full of fear, darting from the group to the door and windows and then back again. “Instructions, gold, and supplies are all in the pack. Take it and go, quickly. The letter in the left-hand pocket explains everything, but you must go now! You must trust me, if you are able to accomplish this task, the reward will be vast.”

As if on cue, the windows all burst and the front doorway is thrown open. Six small figures leap in through the broken windows of the tavern.

“KOBOLDS!” Othello shouts, drawing his gun and focusing his powers into his weapon.

As he does, a seventh figure, much larger and broader in size, and wearing a dark hooded cloak. He carried a large gun upon his arm, which he aimed and fired immediately…at Lady Elaydren.

The bullet strikes her in the shoulder, and she ducks behind the table in searing pain. She immediately casts a curative spell on her self and then launches a lightning bolt at the hooded figure, striking him in the face and burning the hood away from him.

It is Bolgor who recognizes him first. A series of memories flooding into his mind:

 – he stands before a group of warforged, untested, untried in battle. It is his job to train then, to make them ready for the days and nights of bloodshed that are sure to come. They must fight and fight well to honor the house that created them all. Bolgor will make certain of this. Cutter, the youngest of his brothers stands with the group, as well as … –

“Cutlass!” Bolgor almost hisses, drawing his weapon.

The Gun-armed warforged looks at the Glamoured warforged and laughs. It is a disturbing laugh that comes from his un-moving mouthpiece. “Well, brother, I did hear that you had taken in with some weak-fleshed errand boys. I did not take you for a flesh lover, but I suppose much has changed.”

“Odd.” Bolgor spoke now as Hamilcar moved forward to help his friend. “I always thought you were impressionable. Now you’re a Zealot for a mad, bloodthirsty warforged.” The words were out of his mouth before he could stop himself, memories still flooding his mind. “Can’t say that I’m that surprised, little brother.”

Cutlass’s eyes glow bright red with anger at the jibe and he launches himself into an attack. Bolgor, with the help of his friends, make short work of the Warforged and a couple of the Kobolds as well. Harjongr pauses once Cutlass is felled to speak to the remaining Kobolds.

“Ye’ were obviously under the forced employ of th’ warforged here. If ye’ continue in this way, we’ll be forced to destroy ye’!”

The remaining Kobolds look at each other nervously, and then break out into a run and flee the tavern.

Elaydren moves from behind the table, grabbing a sword from one of the fallen Kobold bodies. “More of these assassins may show up at any moment, my friends. All of the information you need is in the left pocket of the backpack. Take it and go! Get out of the city as quickly as you can!” without hesitation, Elaydren darts out of the tavern and disappears into an alleyway.

Vit takes a hold of the backpack and opens the left pocket, drawing forth a folded up letter. He opens it and reads it aloud to the group:

My friends,

The object you recovered for me from the ruins beneath Sharn is a schema, a piece of a pattern used to create items both mundane and magical. I have learned that another schema connected to this pattern was being studies in a secret Cannith workshop in Cyre, called Whitehearth. I wonder if this research is tied to the Day of Mourning?

Parts of my own house seek this pattern for evil purposes and I do not know whom to trust. So I turn to you. I need you to travel to Cyre, find the workshop, and recover the second schema.

The location of the workshop was a closely guarded secret lost when the patriarch of House Cannith died in the Destruction of Cyre. you must travel to the House Cannith outpost in the town of Rose Quarry in Darguun to recover a record of all of Cannith’s hidden workshops.

In Rhukaan Draal, find a man named Failin in the Bloody Market. He can provide you with transport to Rose Quarry. From there, travel into the Mournland to find Whitehearth and the second schema. It is an admantine plate in the shape of a diamond, about the size of a human’s palm. Once you have retrieved it, return to Rhukaan Draal, where I will meet you. Succeed and I will see to it that you are well rewarded for your courage.

Lady E.

Vit places the letter back into the pocket and them opens the remaining pockets for his comrades to inspect.

Impressed by all of the equipment, Bolgor takes a step back. “Well, she certainly seems to have thought of everything.”

Harjongr looks curiously at the vials of holy water. “S’pect we’ll be encounterin’ some nasty black magic as well.”

“Well I take it we should likely figure out how we’re going to get ourselves to Darguun, and quickly. For all we know, the assassins could already be on to what we’re doing.” Hamilcar suggested, leaning back against a table.

The party, all in agreement, take to the task of researching their travel options.

Air travel, as it turns out, is out of the question. There doesn’t seem to be any Airships, Privateer or otherwise, that can make the trip to the Goblin nation right now.

So their Choices come down to the House Lyrandar galleon and the House Orien land travel by Lightning rail.

Noting that the land travel will take them much longer than any of them would like, the group agrees to the option of Sea Travel by House Lyrandar Galleon, and make plans to depart Sharn immediately.

Part Two: Darguun

Oh no! Skeletons!!

AAAAAWWWWW YEAH!! It’s “Bootsy” Baby!! OW!!!

 

Hey everyone sorry for being so late with this, but things have been a little busy and with the next part of our campaign saga starting tomorrow night, I figured that this would be a good time to let you all know how the first part of this saga ended last friday! Enjoy it!! 

 

When we last left our heroes, we saw them defeat Rory, the halfling rogue, and his band of halfling ruffians. Having befriended the surviving members of the group and gaining their loyalty, the crew of The Barrel and Hammer tavern (led by the goblin, Skakaan) make their way to valve cluster E-213.

Sharn Sewer

The goblin showed them down the narrow path leading deep into the tower. The stench of the mold and sewage alert them to how close they all are to the sewer. For reasons unknown, Vit was not able to accompany the group, but an Elf Seeker by the name of Elros had been nearby and witnessed the battle in the Market. Sensing the need from the group, he traveled down into the sewers with them, hoping to reach the Valve cluster. As they enter the sewer, Elros notes that they are not alone and Skakaan flees back up to the surface.

Not moments after Elros’s observation, a crossbow bolt streaks over their heads and a pair of Warforged appear from the shadows of the dark and dank sewer. Only one of them speaks. “You have the Provost’s Journal.” It stares pointedly at Bolgor. “Give the book to us, and we will allow you to live to see another day.”

The other Warforged speaks then, a sinister smile spreading across it’s metal face, “Refuse, and we will make your deaths slow…and painful!”

Harjongr tried reasoning with the duo. “Look, what is it that you want with the book?”

The Warforged Attackers eyes blaze in the dark. “That is only for our master to know!” They wage their attack upon the group, soon joined by a trio of Razorclaw Shifters, that savagely launch themselves at the party. Contending with the warforged, who seem to vanish and reappear to strike at will at them; and the shifters , who mindlessly attack Bolgor and Horjongr; the party must also avoid the random movements of the sewer valves which either shoot gouts of flame or a sudden column of steel. Caught by one such column, Bolgor and “Wolfie” (his Direwolf Mount) are knocked over, his mount landing on top of him.

Seeing Bolgor’s dilemma, the two Warforged laugh, “Serves you right, you pathetic Flesh Traitor!”

“What the hell?” Bolgor cries out in response. “Why do you keep calling me that?” Soon he is up again, and begins to attack alongside his comrades as they bring down each of the attackers. The lead warforged, finally falling, opens his chest and releases a clockwork dragonfly, much the same as the one the Warforged “Cutter” released in Sharn. Before the group can move to catch it, the machine jets away, back up the stairs from which the party had just come.

Elros looks over at the rest of the party. “This kind of thing happen to you often?

Othello, holsters his guns. “More and more, lately.”

The crew move forward through the tunnel, coming to a door lined with arcane symbols and intricate metalworking. Hamilcar notices that, in the center of the door, is fixed a piece of worked metal in the shape of the ancient house Cannith seal. The same one that covers Bonal’s journal. Harjongr fishes out the journal and moves it to the doorway to compare the two. As he does, the two symbols glow brightly and the symbol on the doorway begins to unweave itself before bursting into a magical fire. Within a few moments the door slides open, revealing the way into the Ruins of Dorasharn…

The Ruins of Dorasharn

The group moves into a passage that is completely consumed by darkness. In a brilliant move born of foresight, Othello puts on and activates his Darkvision Goggles. Through the psychic link granted by Hamilcar, his darkvision is granted to the entire party.

Upon passing through the tunnel and entering the chamber, the group is assaulted by a swarm of angry, shiny, black beetles. They are easily destroyed with the use of one of the many fire bombs that the group purchased before their journey. However, the assault does attract the attention of a horde of giant rats that ambush them as they progress through the ruin. Our heroes manage to corral them all into a corner and end the threat they pose just as easily.

As they deal with the rats, Wolfie and Othello break away from the rest of the group for a little scouting. Wolfie gets an uneasy vibe as they approach a ruined old temple. Othello takes out the long gun he purchased and looks down the sight and into the room, using Wolfie as a shield. He discovers a small magical pool inside of it and wanders nearer. Satisfied that the room is free of any possible threat, he examines the room and the pool itself and learns that it is part of a healing fount. Moving back into the range of Hamilcar’s psychic link, he informs the rest of the party of the fount and they, having just defeated the last of the giant rats, all move to the temple room to partake of the waters. The two dwarfs storing some in a vial (oh yeah, Vit has come back, paid Elros 250gp, and relieved him of his post) to take with them for later.

The group soon come across another room with admantine double-doors that bear, you guessed it, the Ancient House Cannith seal. Horjongr touches the old journal to the door and waits…

Nothing happens.

After some observation and scrying on the doors, they discover that the doors are spell-sealed and fortified by an amazing lock system that, unfortunately, none of the gang have the skill to unlock. As they check around the outside of the room, they notice a gaping hole in the roof and, after skillfully climbing the wall, Othello is the first to enter it.

The room turns out to be the ancient foundry that the party had been sent to find. As he looks around the room, he notices three pairs of glowing eyes staring back at him from the shadows.

They are warforged doggies…er…woof?

Three warforged dogs step forward, a collective metallic growl vibrating from the trio.

Wisely, Othello leaps up the wall and back through the large hole and onto the still intact portion of the roof, where the other heroes have begun to gather.

“Uh, guys…metal dogs down there.” He speaks as the Vit and Horjongr make it up onto the roof. “They don’t look very friendly at all.”

Horjongr looks down into the room, the dogs look back up at him, almost quizzically. “Well, what we need is in that room. I’m bloody going down there.” He leaps through the hole and onto the floor. All three dogs converge around him…

…and all three dogs sit where they stop, not moving, just staring. An occasional robotic whine escaping from one of them.

Horjonger takes his hammer and smacks the nearest dog square in the jaw. The dog’s face clangs, snaps backward, and then turns to look at him again, doing absolutely nothing.

“It’s fine lads!” The Dwarf yells to his comrades. “They won’t harm you, come on down!”

Vit and Bolgor follow Harjongr into the room, leaving a wary Othello and Hamilcar looking down into it from the rooftop. The moment their feet touch the ground, the Iron Dogs leap at them, snarling and biting. Othello starts shooting at them from his perch on the roof and Hamilcar lends the group Psionic aid in the way of his Telekinesis. The only one of the trio on the ground not being attacked, is Harjongr.

It takes him only a few moments into the fight to understand why. “The Book!” He calls as he smashes his hammer into another Dog. “They won’t attack me while I carry the book!”

“Well goody for you, Mate!” Vit yelled as he smashed through one of the Dogs with his hammer. As the dog fell, deactivated, a small rectangular rod expelled itself from it’s head. Vit looked at it curiously and then went to aid his friends, reaching Bolgor just as he was finishing off another of the constructs. A triangular shaped rod, emerging from it’s head.

“I got this one.” He wipes what looks like oil from his blade and dusts away the metal shavings from the dog he had just felled and they both turn to aid Harjongr, converging on the last of the metalllo-dogs and rendering it scrap metal. From this dog’s head a circular-shaped rod emerges the only intact piece of what used to be a metal dog. The Trio examine the rods as Othello and Hamilcar descend onto the floor, satisfied that they have quelled the threat within the room. As the two wander over to the rest of the group, Hamilcar notices the forge/furnace unit in the room.

“Hey, isn’t this what we’re looking for?”

The others look over as well, and a wash of excitement washes over the entire group at their find. They do notice, however, four depressions, evenly spaced atop the forge. A Pentagon, a triangle, a rectangle, and a circle. Othello walks over and examines the forge with Hamilcar. Together, they discover that the depressions fit the rods that emerged from the Iron Defender dogs.

Bolgor gave a look of confusion. “But, there were only three of them!”

A Quick look around the room revealed the pentagon rod, trapped underneath a large bit of the collapsed roof. Vit, Bolgor, and Harjongr work together to lift the rubble and collect the rod. They all move towards the forge and reach to start inserting the rods when Othello stops them with a “WAIT!!”

The rest of the party turn to look at him in confusion.

“The forge is rigged. You have to put the rods into the slots in a particular order, or else a magical kind of fail-safe will activate.” He explains

“Any ideas as to what the fail-safe might be?” Harjongr asks, warily.

“None.” Othello replies. “But, honestly, do you really want to know?”

Recognizing his point, the others decide to heed his advice and try to figure out what the correct order placement might be.

They start with the Triangle rod – click. And they are safe

The Rectangle rod – click, safe again.

The Pentagon rod…click, once more.

The party insert the last rod into the forge and hear the sound of something slowly shutting down, followed by the sound of something else retrieving power. There is a series of clicking sounds and a hidden vault emerges from behind the forge and opens, revealing a few gold ingots, some silver and gold pieces, a few healing potions, a potion for mage armor, an old and dusty map, and an admantine plate in the shape of a seven-pointed-star.

The schema!

They also notice that the spell-locked doors are now open.

Triumphant in their victorious find, the party begins to leave the foundry when a flaming crossbow bolt whistles just past Bolgor’s face and into the wall behind him. Before anyone has a chance to question where the bolt came from, another flaming bolt thumps into the ground just in front of Othello’s feet.

From across the room, a large Warforged carrying a large sword and a crossbow emerges from the shadows. “Weak fleshed FOOLS!” His voice booms across the distance. “Here, you will face Saber, greatest of the devoted followers of he who is the LORD OF BLADES. You will throw down the schema and walk away.” There is a bit of a gleam in his red-gem eyes. “This day does not have to end with your blood on my hands.”

Saber…yeah, that’s his real name

Othello draws his gun as Horjongr speaks up. “There’s no way you’re getting your hands on this schema, lad. You’d best be the one to walk away.”

Saber laughs hard. “You think you pose a threat to me?” He glares at all of them, stopping at Bolgor. His red-gem eyes glowing brightly with surprise and sudden rage. “YOU!” He throws down his crossbow and points a metal finger at him. “You dare side with the weak fleshed peons? You FLESH TRAITOR! You will be the first to taste my blade!”

Once again, everyone turns to look at Bolgor, who holds a look of utter confusion upon his face. “I have absolutely no idea what this thing is talking about!”

“Liar!” The Warforged shouts. “But it does not matter, I gave you your chance. Now! You will all…”

Vit raises his hammer to the sky. “CHARGE!”

No quarter was drawn. Before Saber had a chance to raise his sword, the party had torn into him to the point of barely being able to stand. He managed a good swing of his sword upon Horjongr, who staggered back at the ferocity of the blow.

In the end, it was Bolgor, himself who delivered the killing blow, sinking his blade deep into Saber’s chest. Saber looked him in the eyes and spoke one last time. “It would…be you…to end me…brother!”  A final flail of his sword landed a solid cut into Bolgor’s face that slashed in a diagonal line from just below his eye to the other side of his chin. As he pulled his blade from the fallen Warforged, he realized that he could feel no pain from the wound. Thinking it just a scratch, he turns to his friends who all gasp in shock.

Horjongr tilts his head as he takes in Bolgor’s face. “Well…this certainly explains a lot.”

Vit’s eyes go wide. “Nine Hells, man…”

Othello, for the first time, is speechless.

But it’s Hamilcar’s face, a mix of shock and horror, that causes Bolgor to worry. “You can’t be…you just can’t be…”

Bolgor looked at them all in confusion. Othello mimed at his face. Bolgor lifted a hand to his own face, feeling where the skin had tore from Saber’s final blow. Where the skin had parted, he felt something cold and metallic. Almost on queue a sudden flash of memory…

Bolgor stands on a massive battleground in the middle of the night, a large sword in one hand and a mace in the other, blood dripping from both. The old crest of house Cannith was etched upon his armor, and the colors of the house adorned his armor as war-paint. A large war forged soldier, also wearing the crest and colors of Cannith, is beside him. This figure’s armor is adorned with many blades along his back and his face, his eyes burn white in the darkness, but his face is as calm as a warforged is able to manage. The large worforged places a massive hand on Bolgor’s shoulder. “Fear not, little brother. You fought well today. I have faith that this war will be over soon and we will be as free as the humans that created us.” 

Bolgor feels a swell of warmth from the place he feels his soul must dwell, and he looks at his older forge-brother and nods. In doing so he is able to see the reflection of his own warforged face looking back at him from one of the face-blades. “That will be a good day, my brother.”

psssst...he's the bad guy

That’s right friends, the Lord of Blades is Bolgor’s Big Brother!! Take that!!

Bolgor snaps out of the memory, looking at his hands in horror. “But I’m…but I’m…I’m human!” His voice is low and scared.

Horjongr, in an act of mercy, lays hands upon Bolgor’s face and heals the faux-flesh, once more concealing his true form. Bolgor weakly nods his thanks, a wave of melancholy washing over him. Hamilcar keeps his distance from Bolgor as the party leave the ancient ruin and make their way back to Sharn.

 

Conclusion

At the Broken Anvil tavern Lady Elaydren, stunning in her glammerweave gown, beams with elation as Horjongr passes the schema to her. She raises her tankard of Mead to the entire party. “You have my thanks,” She speaks enthusiastically. “and the thanks of my House.” She looks over at Bolgor who sits alone, still in shock over his self discovery. “Will he be alright?” She whispers to the rest of the party.

Vit, takes a swig of his ale. “He’s taking the whole not actually being human thing pretty hard.” He whispers. “Granted, it does explain a lot.”

Hamilcar’s eyes flash with anger. “How could he not know?” He glances at Bolgor for the briefest of moments. “Did my father know about this?”

Othello puts a hand on Hamilcar’s shoulder. “Calm yourself, nephew. I’m certain there is an explanation for this, but let’s not dwell on this now. Let’s celebrate our victory.” Hamilcar nods in compliance, his mood somber.

Elaydren, unfazed by the outburst, happily drains her tankard and stands. “My friends, I must go.” She drops a bag containing the remaining gold for completing the assignment and smiles at them all. “If you care to, periodically check in with the House Sivis message station. I shall leave word for you when more work becomes available. Until then, I bid you a good night.” She tucks the schema into a satchel and hands it to her bodyguard, and the two of them depart the tavern, leaving the party to what merrymaking there is to be had.

 

To be continued…(in Shadows of the Last War

 

 

So the word on the street right now is that your friend and mine, JossWhedon, after the success of The Avengers, has not only been locked into the

X-Factor Investigations

film’s much anticipated sequel, but he has also been said to be contributing to a live action Marvel Comics television series.

This leads us to why we’re here today: While there are a few of Marvel’s IPs that are worthy of the Television treatment, I submit my own request in the form of this entry for a comic that I have, over the last few months, have developed an overwhelming affection for.

X-Factor.

In it’s current incarnation, the book follows a smaller group of former X-Team members who, not long after the House of M business and the subsequent de-powering of 91.5% of the mutant population (also known as the Decimation or the more popular term “M-Day“), move into Mutant Town and form their own Private Investigations Agency. This results in a series of incredible ensemble stories that, to me, would make for a seriously gritty, almost Film Noir series that really knows when to be serious and when to say “Fuck off! Let’s all get silly for just a little bit!” With its engaging storytelling, its constant barrage of clever one-liners, and its attention to each character in the ensemble puts this comic at the top of my list for needing the Television Series treatment, and not the way that silly Generation X pilot went either (remember that? I’m having a really crap time trying not to remember).

My incarnation of the show would take place from the POV of James Madrox, the “Multiple Man” and would take a very Burn Notice take on the narrative. Quirky, funny, and occasionally dark and gritty…with Mutants.

So let’s get started, shall we?

Misha Collins

James Madrox

   Misha Collins as James Madrox aka the “The Multiple Man” – Having only seen him from his Comic-con footage   and other videos from youtube (I’ve only just started watching Supernatural), Misha has the wit, humor, and looks to pull   off James. From what I hear of the character he plays on his own show (he plays an angel called Castiel), he also has the    seriousness and introspective ability to pull off his darker moments. Honestly, I’m also interested to see how he handles the distinct personalities of each of his duplicates (or “Dupes”).

 

 

Zoe Saldana

Monet St Croix

Zoe Saldana as Monet St Croix aka “M”  She has the look, the attitude, and the physique to pull off the super-strong, super-bitchy M with an almost scary amount of accuracy. Honestly, is there any other choice here? No? I really didn’t think so.

 

 

 

 

Siryn

Gemma Arterton as Theresa Cassidy aka “Siryn” (later known as “Banshee“) Outside of her roles in Prince of Persia and Clash of the Titans, I honestly don’t know anything about this actress. Looking at those two roles, however, I honestly can’t think of a better actress to don the red hair and sonic scream as the only daughter of Sean Cassidy (The original “Banshee”). I think she’d deal with the arc involving the death of her father with all of the emotion it’s due. Plus, she looks like she could break Jaime’s fingers. (read the comic, it’ll make sense)

 

 

 Allison Mack as Rahne Sinclair aka “Wolfsbane” Okay, so I have a soft spot for Allison, so sue me, but she has this odd innocence about her that makes me want her for the role of Rahne. She’s innocent, but can be absolutely vicious in her werewolf form. Seeing Allison take both the sweet and vicious personas as Chloe Sullivan on Smallville, makes her my shoe in here. Plus I want to here her Scottish accent.

 

 

 

 

 

Santiago Caberra

Julio Richter

 Santiago Caberra as Julio Richter aka “Rictor” This is a Character that, for me, wasn’t hard to cast at all. Whenever I read the comic, Rictor would always be voiced by Santiago in my head. Watching him on “Heroes” and “Merlin“, it’s obvious that he has the chops to play the  emotionally damaged, temporarily de-powered mutant.

 

 

 

 

Strong Guy… still a little too on the nose with the name

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Guido Carosella aka “Strong Guy” Even with his “way too on the nose” name, there isn’t anyone else I would cast in this role. The Rock, in my mind, fits this role perfectly. I would love to see the dynamic between Dwayne, as this character, and the rest of the characters especially the <not allowed to show this as it will spoil the story> that happens when <or this> and then <this too>.

 

 

 

Chloe Mortez

Young Layla Miller (age 15)

 Chloe Mortez as Layla Miller (age 15) This actress, known most for her role as “Hit Girl” from the movie Kick-Ass, is the only actress capable of filling the role of the girl who “knows things”. Her steely but quirky personality would be fun to watch if interpreted by this young lady.

 

 

 

 

 

Amber Heard

Layla Miller (Adult)

Amber Heard as Layla Miller (Adult) aka “Butterfly”. I only really know her from Pineapple Express, but She seems to be a perfect fit (at least looks-wise) to play the Layla who grew up in the dystopian future. Honestly, I think the “M” brand would be pretty sweet to see on her.

 

 

 

 

 

Jared Padalecki

Longshot (Mojoverse)

 Jared Paladecki as “Longshot”. One of the Stars of the series Supernatural and formerly of Gilmore Girls (guilty pleasure of mine), he would bring equal amounts of seriousness and whimsy to the Transdimensional, four-fingered, walking pheromone.

 

 

 

 

 

Gaveedra Seven

 Jensen Ackles as Gaveedra Seven aka “Shatterstar”. Yet another member of the Supernatural cast graces my list. Mostly because I find it hilarious to have the duo who play brothers on their own show to play father and son on my imaginary show. They’d even have matching star-shaped brands. C’mon and tell me that’s not funny, I dare you!

 

 

 

 

Andrew Lincoln

Alex Summers

 Andrew Lincoln as Alex Summers aka “Havok” The Starjammer and less-serious super Summers Brother would be portrayed by the star of AMC’s The Walking Dead (See? Already with the comic book cred) and cast member of the Brit ensemble film LoveActually (one of my favorite films ever). Just dye his hair blonde and he’s all ready to be well…not Scott.

 

 

 

 

 

Erica Durance

Lorna Dane

Erica Durance as Lorna Dane aka “Polaris” Erica already has a ton of Comic-cred after her portrayal of Lois Lane on the CW’s Smallville. Give her Magnetic superpowers and green hair, and a sexy badass you shall make!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Katee Sackhoff

Valarie “Val” Cooper

Katee Sackhoff as Valarie Cooper Katee Sackhoff, that’s right, Fraking Starbuck, has just enough “don’t fuck with me” to perfectly pull off the agent you don’t want to fuck with! Plus, I want to see her go toe-to-toe with Misha as Madrox.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peter Dinklage

Pip Gofern

Peter Dinklage as Pip Gofern If you really need a reason why this is awesome beyond just looking at the pair of them, then you seriously need to check out Game of Thrones and get back to me with your apology. This man is AWESOME!!

 

 

 

 

 

Christopher Eccleston

Damian Tryp

Christopher “The Ninth Doctor” Eccleston as Damian Tryp Sr. and Jr. We’ve seen him as the Doctor, we’ve seen him as Destro in that horrible G.I. Joe movie, but I think he’d be absolutely amazing as the immortal rival of X-Factor and the head of Singularity Investigations

 

 

 

 

 

James Marsters

Pietro Maximoff

James Marsters as Pietro Maximoff aka “Quicksilver” We know him as Bad Guy turned good guy “Spike” from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, we know him as another Bad Guy turned good guy as various versions of Braniac on the series Smallville. Who else would be able to pull off the indecisive speedster son of Magneto?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, there we are, my dream cast. If you like it, have characters you want to comment on/add or even if you don’t agree with any of my choices: comment, subscribe, like, and sound-off!!

If you have any suggestions as to what my next Casting Call should be, comment to your heart’s content.

Until the next time.

DFTBA

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