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Don't Split The Party!

I've recently re-discovered the delights and hilarity of playing Dungeons & Dragons, and I feel the need to ramble on about the meet yesterday and how wonderfully we managed to screw the DM over!  Oh, and this could be a long one.

We're currently playing a Ninja based game, where everyone is sneaky and there's quite a lot of back-stabbing going on.  The party was sent to assassinate an evil knight that lived far away (except from me, because I joined a week later), and they decided to look around for information about the castle and then meet up at a set time and place in a weeks time, or when they had learnt what they needed to know, they would meet up sooner.  This might have worked in theory, but the hitch was that everyone had a Hat of Disguise, allowing them to change their appearance to anything they liked.  Yes.  I know.  They forgot what each other looked like and spent the whole week learning...not a great deal.  Apart from there was a secret entrance up the toilet chute and that the castle may or may not be filled with poison gas.

I was then sent to figure out what was taking them so long, and arrived to find about 10 golems peering through a doorway, and hearing lots and lots of fighting, and assumed I was in the right place.  Using my own ninja skills, I snuck past the golems and went to a corner armed with my magic Sharpie (which allows me to create any inanimate object I choose, until the pen eventually runs out of ink) and drew myself a door through the wall.  Now, everyone else at this point was using somewhat exotic measures to try not to breathe in the gas - either by holding their breath or using a Portable Hole.  They also seemed to ba having severe problems with a 40 odd foot high golem taking up most of a room.  No problem.  I made myself a gas mask, disguised myself as a golem and wandered on past, making a door within a door to get to the others, who had somehow managed to succeed in killing the knight and were now proceeding to steal the loot and stuffing the dead guy in a bag of holding.  We escaped back through my series of doorways and returned back to the Ninja HQ.  Or at least the other two did.

The party leader had somewhat neglected to tell me that at the castle he had managed to incur the wrath of The Inevitable - a very big, very powerful golem that was able to find anyone no matter where they hid.  And guess who I was partenered with for the journey back?  Being the back-stabbing git that I was, I just drifted away on my magic carpet back to HQ, drinking tea all the way whilst he fled for his life.  I still managed to arrive after everyone, because my carpet had a speed restriction og 40ft per turn, and by the time I got there, everyone was attempting to give a report to the leader - Shredder (yes, I know.  But it had to be done...ok?)

Of course the Inevitable then had to come and crash the party, declare that the party leader was going to die, unless someone could give him a very good reason not to.  Cue Insane Troll Logic.  Somehow we managed to confuse it into giving the leader a Quest instead of death, (and here's the best bit) which entailed that because he killed the knight in the castle, who was building an army that would invade this city, kill thousands of people, lead tyranically but bring peace and order to the land, he had to take the place of the knight and build an army to invade the city and bring peace and order to the land.  Oh, and any day he did not do something towards his quest would take him one step further towards his death.

Cue the back stabbing!  Our esteemed Shredder then ordered us to surround and kill the leader...and most of us did, but hey, I'd been paid already and helping a tyrant looked like fun and I'd get to kill things.  I have no idea what went through the other person that turned rogue too, but I can only assume that it was something along the same lines. Cue splitting the party!  We legged it out of the building and back towards the castle, hijacking a horse on the way out, because this was not the time for scenic travel.  But oops, our esteemed leader has managed to get himself poisoned, so it's off to the village healer with me (and the other one just went to the pub), who just about buys my logic that he fell in a patch of poison ivy and thorns that was inhabited by a purple worm, but I wasn't there, I just found him afterwards.  The healer then tells me of a temple where I can get the luckless git healed up, which is overheard by the remaining ninja and Master Shredder.

Cue: The Trap.  Shredder fills the temple up with ninjas disguised as monks and sends the remaining ninja (who is a monk) to modify our memories so that we regain our loyalty to Shredder and forget all about helping the leader become a tyrant!  We turn up at the temple, also disguised as monks ourselves, with our esteemed leader stuffed in his own bag of holding with the other corpse, asking to speak to the leader, who my fellow rogue convinces that they are father and son.  After meditating, we persuade them to take us to the antidote, and he attempts to sneak it into his bag of holding so we can leg it out of there, because something doesn't seem right.  Unfortunately he failed on his sleight of hand, and 'the only cure' smashed into a thousand pieces.

He then adds the icing on the cake by tipping out the unconscious form of the leader (who we had bluffed we didn't have with us), and the corpse of the knight.  Using troll logic once more, we are sent out to find the herbs to make another cure, whilst the ninja-monk modifies the memory of our leader, making him forget his quest and that he learnt to master a bow (just cause).  Meanwhile, we were ambushed by a large group of ninjas, who really didn't like me and bludgeoned me round the head about 6 times just to make sure I was properly unconscious, whilst my partener in crime used the acolyte as a shield, eventually being bundled and knocked out.  Both of us were dragged back to the temple to have our memories modified, but just for once I managed to not roll a natural one (having rolled about...7 so far that session) to keep my memory of the meeting with The Inevitable, but not knowing what it was that he told our leader to do.

Next session we're swapping Ninjas for Pirates, and I'm reaaaaaaallly going to have fun with the backstabbing in that one!

Spring Cleaning!

I haven't posted on here for a while - but looking over my blog has mad me realise how my depressive cr*p and ranting there is in this place that's meant to be full of insane drabbles and off the wall essays.  So I've had a quick tidy up!  There are still a couple of bits here and there, but that's more to remind my own brain of where it's been and why it's not going to go back there in a hurry.

There will be writings here again, I'm just indulging in my other hobbies, like costume sewing, gaming, socialising and procrastinating!

Oh, and actually doing some real cleaning too!


It's Time...

I'd like to say a massive thank you to everyone who's donated so far!  As of this morning I've raised £150, which is not bad for a crazy lady's last minute idea!  I'm currently in the process of getting ready for today's exploits of doing my weekly shop dressed as Luna, then walking around the high street as the same.  When I get back, there will be pictures, but here are the ones that I took from fencing last night!   I couldn't take many because the wig and the robe were against Health and Safety, so these photos are 'posed'

((Edit:  Links broke when I moved the folders, so will replace them...sometime))

A Funny Little Notion...

I've been contemplating for a while about doing something for Red Nose Day this year, just because I could.  I'm not much of a supporter of charity, but being entertaining in the name of things is what I have a reoccuring habit of being good at.  And tonight and idea finally struck me, like a miniature lightning bolt. 

I was seeing what my Luna Lovegood costume looked like all together, as all the bits arrived this morning, and I thought "How funny would it be to go wandering around Sainsburys and my local high street dressed as Luna?"  Now, I'd quite happily do this normally, but I thought it would be a nicer idea to see if people will sponsor me for it.

So the question is this:  Will anyone donate so much as a pound to see me wander around a supermarket and the middle of a chav infested town dressed as Luna Lovegood? 

Of Cookery and Things...

Right, I've made a new blog.  Don't panic, I'll still be rambling at everyone over here as well, but I decided I needed/wanted a home for all my cookery recipes, so I made one.  Here it is----> http://lettuce-eat.livejournal.com/  Feel free to go have a nose!


(All content is copyright: Kirstine Heald)

Who's that Ugly Bugger in the corner?


For every hero, there is a villain. For every daring rescue a dastardly plot. It creates the balance between good and evil, giving people a focus point to rally against, to boo and hiss at in a cheesy Christmas pantomime. A storybook villain is the person everybody loves to hate, someone to direct negative emotion towards without a hint of guilt, because you know that whatever he does, he's not going to win. Just the same as everyone needs a hero, there must also be an opposite, or having a hero is pointless. There must be someone to create the plight from which the hero must rescue his damsel.

Without the devious schemes of the bad guy, there is no plot, nothing apart from vomit-in-a-bucket cute romance to keep the reader engaged. Villains must exist, if not for just giving the hero something to do, instead of just wielding a sword and looking dashingly handsome. It's not just fairy tales that need this karmic balance, it's any story ever written. It's incredibly difficult to connect with a character if everything goes so astonishingly well for them all the time. Torment and turmoil is what gives a character depth, makes them believable, like they could exist in our own lives. People remember these 'heroes' because they had someone opposing them, kicking them up the backside when they weren't looking, not because they rode a white horse and had some fancy sword skills.

By nature villains fall into three categories – the big, the scary and the downright ugly. But in this case, big does not necessarily mean a seven foot giant with beefy arm muscles and a brain the size of a peanut. When the evil fairy godmother turns into a towering black dragon, equipped with flame jets that can toast a city with a sneeze...she goes from plain creepy to big and scary, someone who you'd normally go to great lengths to offend, if you didn't like everything turning a dull soot black colour. Then you get those who are scary looking, like the Ugly Sisters - imagine how many mirrors they must have smashed during the course of Cinderella. Yet if they weren't so visually displeasing (or narcissistic...or vain) then people would not take such great delight in despising them. Just like Prince Charming is 'naturally' blessed with blonde hair and blue eyes, the ugly sisters need to be covered in warts, have a huge nose and built the wrong shape - wicked people always have some sort of defining feature that marks them as evil. If they didn't, how else are we meant to know that they're the antagonist? It's not like the name gives it away at all...

There was a knock on the door, and when Snow White opened it, there stood a tall and beautiful (if not a tad pale) lady with an air hostess smile. 'Would you like a bite of this nice, rosy apple?' The apple was indeed rosy, in fact glowing with an almost radioactive air. Perhaps she should have coated the apple itself in chocolate, not the voice behind it. 'I think I'll pass.' Snow White replied. 'My mother told me to never accept gifts from strangers, and I've never seen stranger than you.'”

And door to door salesmen wonder why they always get their briefcase shut in the door. If the Queen in Snow White's story had not changed into the guise of the fragile little old lady, then she would not have been the only villain to successfully kill the hero in a Disney movie.

But there is a fourth, more understated type of villain. Those that are in need of sympathy and pity, not cajoling and name-calling, the ones that bungle along, trying to act evil but are about as successful as the dwarves were in doing the housework. Think about the Big Bad Wolf for a moment. All he wanted was a lunch time snack, and some psychotic woodsman saw fit to chop off his head. He was only hungry! You wouldn't go up to the slaughter house and take a lamb, spouting some nonsense that he couldn't be eaten because he'd be missed by his mother. But it's a persons life that weighs more in the balance against killing a hungry animal. Humans, especially children, always mean so much more than a creature without a voice, because we are one of them. By making a wolf out to be a slathering rabid monster, it becomes perfectly justifiable to chop its head off when it presents a danger to one of the children. It's the same in every species, that protective instinct that makes a victim into a target – the bad guy.

Disney's just as bad – take a glance at Captain Hook, with his comically floppy hat, corkscrew moustache and crooked namesake on his hand. He was never designed to be taken seriously. Peter Pan made a mockery out of one of the biggest threats in history, portraying piracy as nothing more than a song and dance, and painting Captain Hook to be the Bruce Forsyth of the seven seas. Yes, he was just a little bit cuckoo, but people like that should be given nice padded rooms with a pleasant view, not fed to a ticking cartoon crocodile. Men of his (apparent) age shouldn't be gallivanting around on a pirate ship, hunting down Pocahontas' twin sister and chasing children in fluffy jumpsuits, they should be sat in front of a crackling wood fire, feet nestled in a pair of carpet slippers, slurping at a cup of tea. He tried his best to be evil, bless him, but he should leave it to the experts.

(To be continued)

~ This is property of Kirstine Heald, anyone who attempts to steal it and use it as their own shall find their attempts met with pain, frustration and a black eye caused by my cat wielding a frying pan.

It's just occured to me that I really need to learn how to manage myself...I've known for a few days now that the water was going to get cut off on tuesday whilst they replace the pipes, so I made a nice little list of things to do tomorrow.  Then I decided I wanted to go to the Broken Drummers discworld meet that night, because I've never managed to make it to one before now and I probably won't be able to from this month onwards because I work monday nights usually.  Of course I completely forget that in total it takes about 2 hours for me to get to anywhere in London from the moment I leave home - 20 minutes into town during rush hour, an hour on the train, then another 20 minutes on the tube to get to Edgeware Road, where someone's going to meet me and make sure I don't get lost.

This wouldn't be too bad if I didn't also have this lovely big list of things that cannot be put off, or at least most of it can't be put off.  I suppose I could not make my friends the sticky toffee pudding I promised her for her birthday last week, but I'm not that mean.  Besides, I like baking...so I might cart the stuff to work with me tomorrow and make it while I'm there and save me dirtying up the kitchen at home summore.  Oh yes, I also have work tomorrow, after a long weekend of freezing to death in the cold half of the kitchen and the Chef refusing to give me something with sugar in during a 7 hour shift because I'd forgotten to bring a chocolate bar.  Well excuuuse me for needing to keep my blood sugars up!  Oh, and I also have work first thing on tuesday, and a singing lesson straight after that...

Please excuse me whilst I go bash my head against a wall...


Picking my Brain

...Up from off the floor, cleaning off the dust and the cat hair and removing a loose feather from my masquerade mask.  I know I'll lose it again within the hour, but I feel like putting it to some sort of use for 20 seconds, even if it does mean boring everyone else have to death.  Ah well, nevermind.  Worked for Marvin.

Lots of strange things go on in my brain, like how an army of vampiric citrus fruits would hold the pears to ransom in a local superstore, or perhaps the terror a hamster fitted out with a pair of grandma's dentures would cause.  My imagination is a very dangerous place to step foot in, tread carefully, and mind the knives.  It's always a very busy place, but after the battering I put it through a couple of weekends ago, it's also quite a tired place to be, no longer propped up with copious amounts of caffeine and slightly wilting around the edges.  It's about this time of day when I feel like curling up and going to sleep, but if I do that then when it's actually time to go to sleep, I'll stay up reading until late, then be twice as grumpy.  Thus explaining the ramble on here to wake meself back up again.

Has anyone noticed that after a while, the days just seem to blend together?  I was convinced that I had both my singing lesson and fencing club today.  Nope, I get to go play legalised stabbing tomorrow - insert evil maniacal laughter here.  But the singing lesson was fun, and I have pretty much confirmed my suspicions that I can sing like a man, reaching a lower C in the scales...and yet then singing an upper B?  I don't think my teacher saw my surreptitious inhaling of helium beforehand...honest!  She's also given me a different song to practice, yet another sweet and soppy one: "On My Own" from Les Miserables.  Next time I'm going to have to insist on something hilariously cheesy and spend the time dancing around the room like a demented penguin.

Anyway, that's all for now folks!

Swings n Roundabouts

It's been a long time since I've burnt/cut/hit my head on something/fallen over at work, but now I have another one to add to my collection of "Things to be avoided".  I had to break up a big heavy bag of muscovado sugar and I chose the 'bash it on the table til bits fall off'.  So, big bag of sugar, corner of a metal workbench, some rather over-ethusaistic and violent bashing..."ow!"  My finger had gotten in the way.  So now it's twice the size it should be and a lovely purple colour.  That'll teach me...

Ah well, it was fun while it lasted, got rid of a bit of the stress.  No pain, no gain.  Just not too much more pain please world, otherwise this determined optimism will be replaced by a desire to hide in a box and hibernate until the world makes sense again.

" When life gives you lemons, throw them at the mean people and hope it gets them in the eyes" ~ Well in that case, pass me a basket of lemons and a small cannon...

Silver Linings Part II

Thou shalt not fall headfirst into the pit of Angst, but instead jump spritely over and yell "F*** You!" into its depths...

For some reason my body mounted an all out rebellion against me, and I've now got to remember that 10 cups of tea in a row is not a good idea...on the plus side, I lost nearly a quarter of a stone at the weekend ^____^
My hours have been cut at work so that I'm barely making part-time hours, nevermind full-time, but that now means I have time to sit at home and sew costumes - and bake my friend a batch of birthday muffins for monday!
I went and gave the Ex his stuff back yesterday, but on the plus side I now have something I can sell and get money from as he gave the small amount of stuff I'd given him back too.  So if anyone's interested in buying a still in its plastic complete boxed set of hard backed adult cover versions of the Harry Potter series, let me know!  Oh and I refused point blank to give back the expensive knives I got for my birthday and the straighteners I got for christmas, as well as an amber bracelet.  I may be a high speed velocity ball of fury, but I'm not stupid.
I also have all the pictures of the weekend to look and laugh at, which gained me one new nickname (The Enigmatic Tart) and a perfect description (High Velocity Bundle of Crazy)...sounds like my LJ might be due for a name lift at this rate!

So now I feel perfectly not-ill, happy as my cat when she plays fetch and pleased that everything's looking up!  Long may this strange optimism continue!