Welcome to the thoughts of a Dwarf. This intrepid site is designed primarily to allow a place where I can store all of my writings, be it stories or poems or illogical philosophical rants. I hope to be able to provide interesting reading material for my friends and the random stranger who somehow gets sucked off course and finds this sight. Feel free to comment or even request stories. The more inspiration that I have, the more I can explore the limits of imagination and using literary works to rest for a moment from the tedious demands of reality.

In the beginning, I will be uploading many of my already written works. Though most of them are written for the gaming website Achaea.com, which is a text based MUD that I have been playing since 1998. My current main character in Achaea is the Dwarven Paladin known as Goryllin. His viewpoint is used in many of my current stories, as I draw upon his life and his world to create the science fantasty realities in which my story characters dwell.

Achaea is a medieval setting fantasy world, filled with Dwarves, Humans, Trolls, and many more fantastical races and professions. It is a living and breathing world in that every player has a chance to change the world and its direction. It is a player driven roleplay enhanced realm where combat, life, death and yes even taxes are all a part of the experience. We wouldn't mind having you drop by for a visit and pint of ale, if you do visit please send Goryllin a message and he will be glad to help you.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Half Author/ Half DM - All Nerd

As an Author - you are in full command and control. You decide what each character is doing and what he or she think and feel. You dictate how they respond to situations and can use your amazing powers to make storylines meet and arcs come together. The characters can be clueless and miss things that your audience catches, or they can be intelligent and make the wise move in a sea of bad ones. 

As a Gamemaster (also known as Dungeon Master or DM) you are in ... some command and control. You are the storyteller, responsible for the plot and keeping things moving. Responsible for giving players a reason and incentive to keep playing and providing them with stories, characters, and antagonists to interact with and react to, so that they continue to develop and grow and play the game. You lose control of a set number of characters that are played by the others in the game, those feelings and emotions and actions are controlled by the players and you just have to go with it and have the world react and bend to them. Being a GM (gamemaster for those who got lost) that tries to make the players bend to the world generally just leads to frustration for both sides and a very short game. It is much tougher to be a DM, but in some ways it is easier because some of the content is generated by others and you don't have to decide every single decision and dictate every single action.

I am trying to do both, at the very same time -- in the very same world.

While I enjoy the aspect of creating a world for Novels at the same time as being the storyteller or gamemaster for a RPG in that game… it does lead to a lot of headache and effort that I just can’t seem to summon lately.

The weekly arguments with players who want to rule the world without effort and to endlessly defeat any bad guy they run across is a constant drain. It is absolutely insane how I can go from thinking that I am best gamemaster on the planet for my slick storytelling and way that I got the entire party involved to the next week wanting to be done with it all and never have to try to please these stinking selfish players every again.

It doesn’t matter how many times you tell a player that the world is harsh and mean that most people die at a young age and that they are already overpowered and have the best armor and weapons and skills and stats compared to anyone in the world --- they still want more! At heart, every gamer plays just to win. That is the driving force behind why we play in the first place, so we always try to find the cleverest best way to defeat a situation and we must always win and come out on top.

It is funny how playing a console game never brings the level of frustration that a tabletop RPG elicits, in the latter it always seems like it is our own ideas that are being shot down- not just a command we chose out of a generated list of possibilities.

To my current players - bear with me. I have to change the world often as you veer off in unknown directions and disrupt my carefully placed applecart. And please understand that the world sometimes won't just stop and let you have what you want when you want - I haven't experienced that in life and our current game is based on reality and not strictly fantasy (like Dungeons and Dragons or some other games that come to mind).

To my readers - join in and encourage me. It helps so much to hear ideas from my friends and those who read what I write. I may tease and joke when you do mention something, but inside it helps so much. 

To the future!


I have become daunted by my own story.

The stakes have risen so much, battlegrounds extended, the plot skyrocketed. And now to be able to fully grasp and pull everything together in the correct sequence and keep things enjoyable for all… I have to spend entirely too much of my time documenting and translating some of my previous notes into something useful and easy to combine into an actual situation and metric.

While I may be able to remember in my head that I had this character betray his faction and run this direction, when it comes time to actually interweave the faction story arc, will I remember who he spoke to and who was in town at that time?

I dislike having to retroactively go back into my story and generate the names of the nobles and etc who would have witnessed events and thus reacted to them but I forgot that originally. So I am trying to plan out each Noble House and all of the people who serve it and where they are and keep up with those people as each week advances plotlines and the RPG game that we are playing in this world also advances things.

However, the task of keeping all of that noted, generated, reasoned, logicked, backgrounded and the like is so daunting. My mind actually shuts down and runs away and then I am left feeling very upset with myself because I know that I should be working on this and keeping things in easy progress or I will lose my place and my head. Knowing that doesn’t seem to be adding to my willingness to sit down and put everything together and push it over to the computer instead of being in 2040592 hand written notes (a possible exaggeration there).

Oh, what to do? What have I done to myself?

Not only do I need to get approximately 357 characters, backgrounds and plotlines together but I also have another 17 organizations within the Kingdom that I have to develop their plots and reasoning and desires and activity. The world can’t just stand still since the protagonists are in a little town instead of interacting with the world.

Star Wars 7!!!

Ever since meeting the beautiful lady that has become my wife, my life has taken a very sudden and drastic Star Wars nerd turn.

She enjoys Star Wars so much, that I happily stowed my classy geek and went full out to learn and experience more Star Wars in my life.

Since that time, we have watched every Star Wars movie, played every Star Wars game, played various Star Wars roleplaying games - SAGA is still the best!, journeyed forth into the expanded universe and created a Star Wars Library of our own...

And now comes the exciting news of the Star Wars movie finally coming to fruition!

We are both disappointed at the direction that Disney decided to go in distancing itself from the Expanded Universe (now labeled the Legends), however ... Its Star Wars!!! Who can't be happy to see anything related to Star Wars? (Erh.. besides the Ewok movie that is).

And so I forward you to this wonderful post by IGN which breaks down the announcement of the Cast of the next movie, which is a tremendous step in actually getting this movie made so I can spend all of my time and money on it. Woohoo

Star Wars 7 Cast

A loosening of the Guard (and my tie)

When I first started this blog, I intended it just to be an area where I can post my short stories or transcripts as I get up the energy to translocate them over to this media. I didn't intend for much of an audience and I definitely wanted it to be a little aloof and not include my personal thoughts or information and be strictly for writing.

However, I find that I do not post much here when it is just about writing. A lot of my writing is done elsewhere, and not on the computer and so I find myself lacking the desire or energy to go back over something and type it out and then put it into a blog post. Plus, I am a true and total nerd or geek and thus have a ton of interests and things that interest me that I would like to share in the hopes one or two more people might have a giggle or an interest.

So, this is fair warning that going forward you may be subject to many random posts (or none at all, oh my) on various subjects and not neccesarily just stories.

If you object to this change, feel free to let me know in the comments - but that means you would have to actually read this blog first and from the stats on my dashboard, I know there is almost know threat of that. HA!

Also, I am much more active on twitter- so feel free to follow me there.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

What the heck is Corvali?

Recently I posted a few short little posts about some characters and events that are unconnected to anything else I have posted on this blog. My apologies for not explaining first.

Let me introduce you to Corvali - my current love afair with a new fantasy world that I am creating. This world is serving multiple purposes, currently I am working on writing a series of Novels based on this characters and also running a roleplaying game based on these concepts. I have some family and friends assisting me by playing the roleplaying game to help me flesh out the characters and the world. It is amazing how many new concepts you can come up with when you are staring at people who are demanding answers to why they can't do this or that. I have found that doing this simultaneous is both awesome and terrifying.

By having a weekly deadline (we play the game at least once a week), I HAVE to push myself. No laziness or stepping away from the creativity board, instead I must think and come up with ideas and advance the plotline. Otherwise, there are people who could actually beat me up! No author has faced that threat in quite some time, ha.

Plus having real live people react to a plot development can really help you see just how silly it is that your main character has a talking sword that likes pizza. So scratch that idea. It really does help sometimes to let someone else do the talking and thinking, allowing the players to try to solve a riddle sometimes gives me a new avenue for the novel characters to use -- and allows the evil villains more ways to spite our intrepid heros.

Corvali is my imagination running wild into an area I always wished someone else had already delved and provided to me. It is a fantasy medieval timeframe world... but things just work slightly different than our own history. I use the term medieval to help place our modern minds in the right demeanor and technological reference. But not to actually use the real history or way the world works, not every maiden is blushing or easy to be taken by the first Knight in shining armor.. etc.

There is no magic in Corvali, so don't expect monsters and wizards and fantastical creatures. Instead the world lives and breathes, the people react and move and have thoughts and feelings and desires just like you and I. There is a big difference though, the world of Corvali is much more dangerous than ours, with the average lifespan barely crossing the 40 year threshhold. So expect plenty of danger and death to be available to characters hated and beloved alike.

Stay tuned for further updates and I will try to explain the situation and the world in more detail soon

An Ominous Warning

Thunder rumbles from a distant point, but no rain clouds show in the sky. Blinking against the blinding glare of the sun, a young guard shakes his head ponderously in confusion before realizing that something else was making that noise. Turning to peer up the road, he takes a few moments to confirm that he is hearing hoof beats approaching at a very furious pace. Bewildered, he mutters to himself “The Squire and the Baronet’s people are all at the Baronet’s manor... Who else rides a horse around here?” and then decides it would behoove himself to actually do the duty that got him assigned to this gate.

Stepping out in front of the gate, he swings the heavy wooden planks closed and signals to his companion to actually climb up and man the watchtower in case it is an enemy making all of that racket. Shifting a bit to settle his clothes, the young man squares his shoulders and attempts to appear fierce as the first glimpse of the approaching animal and rider appears around the curving path. Dirt erupts in a rolling wake of splatters as the heavy horse careens dangerously along the narrow path and heads directly towards the nervous guard.

Summoning every last bit of courage he can find in his skinny frame, the young man licks his lips and calls out a challenge. Stammering, he attempts again while trying to figure out if he should draw his sword or just run. Luckily he is not alone and the guard now atop the watch tower fires a warning arrow into the dirt alongside the rider’s trajectory. Taking a timid step back, the gate guard feels a great sense of relief as the rider rears back on the reins and the horse begins to slow. In what seems like an eternity in the widened eyes of the guard, the horse slowly pulls up and slows the galloping approach to end with a snort close enough to lick the sweat off the man’s brow.

With a quick flourish, the rider drops from the horse and sneers at the presence of the guard. “Messenger Dispatch, you fool” he exclaims as he spits on the ground in disgust. “Have you lost your wits?” The guard stiffens at the insult and imperiously demands to know “Messenger from whom?” as sternly as he can manage. For all of his bravado, he receives a scornful look and a vicious retort “Are you daft? It doesn’t matter from whom, I come here just to warn this town of major events. And if you want to be the reason that your town is not ready for the King, then so be it.” And with that, the messenger turns and acts as if he is about to mount his horse and depart.

Wait, wait, wait.” The guard hastily exclaims as he realizes just how important this visitor could be. “Uh, you have any papers to show who you are?” he asks and sheepishly explains “We have a lot of anxious people in the town since we keep being attacked, they want to make sure we aren’t be tricked”. A massive sigh erupts of the erstwhile messenger as he pulls back his cloak to reveal the markings of a Hythe City courier. “Listen,” he grumbles “I don’t have time for all of this nonsense. I don’t really care about your little Podunk town nor all of its nervous citizens and scared farmers. I am just coming to let everyone on the way to Stoneden know that the King is coming.”

Stopping to take a breath, he first demands some water for his horse and then continues as the guard scurries to obey. “Apparently the King is tired of this talk about bandits and about all of the different Houses fighting and bickering, so he is sending out a major complement of the King’s army to march through the land and put down any problems that arise.” Taking the proffered bucket, the weary man holds it in front of his horse and speaks loudly to be heard over the sound of the guzzling equine.  “Hythe was taken by surprise, and it’s not good because there was a lot of fighting going on. I was just sent to get here as quickly as possible and let everyone know so that they can get their affairs in order before someone questions things too closely and bad things happen. I have heard rumors that the Army is just putting on a show and laying down the law without really caring who is at fault or what the real story is.” 

Handing back the bucket, he grips the pommel of his saddle and swings effortlessly into place. “I must go, but warn your leaders to get ready. I feel some big changes are coming this way, at least for those involved in politics.” Turning his horse to head back down the path, the messenger offers a wry smile to the nonplussed guard “Though I fear not much will change for the common man, life just is not fair that way”.

Silence descends over the clearing where the path and gate intersect, both guards stand slack jawed and watch as the messenger rides off around the bend. A few moments pass without any movement before the gate guard suddenly gulps loudly and turns to stare at his fellow in the watchtower. Confused eyes meet and betray mutual worried expressions, then the gate guard suddenly yelps and races into the town looking for the nobles to pass along this most important message.

A Setting Sun

As the sun slowly fades below the horizon, the air is filled with the terrible sounds of death. A black shroud slowly descends to cloak the blood soaked meadow where thousands of bodies lie in a chaotic tangle. Moans and groans are the only sounds audible from these bodies, though the myriad birds feasting upon still warm flesh assault the ears with a cacophony of raucous calls.

Staring blankly at the carnage from the edge of a once peaceful meadow, a haggard survivor struggles to keep his composure as his mind fails to process such horrible devastation. Slowly turning a slim profile to view the warriors resting behind him, he utters soft orders. “Teratha, let’s get the wounded moving and give Last Peace to those who can’t survive the trip.” Turning from the black haired priestess, he then addresses a wounded soldier resolutely standing at his side. “Lyet, we have to get back and tell the Emperor. He needs to know that all is lost and we must sound a retreat”. The soldier’s eyes widen at hearing that; he is not surprised by the fact as it a truth that they have all come to recognize, but he is more surprised at hearing his superior actually admit it out loud.

As the small band of wound soldiers slowly gathers themselves and prepares for an arduous trek, the leader turns one last look at the ghastly battlefield. “To think, the entire might of the Arkhold people will soon be spread amongst the carrion birds. May history never know the truth of this defeat.” With that he reaches down to pick up his equipment, a battered shield and a well-used battle-axe. A moment of reflection is spent gazing at these few pieces of metal that have so defined his entire adult life. No longer is his visage keenly reflected on the polished edges of the shield, nor does his axe bear the shimmering marks of the marvelous Adante metalworking. Instead they appear worn and torn, almost as if some ancient tribe had buried and lost these artifacts several centuries in the past. Realizing that his life now would be very different than it has been in the past, he actually drops the shield in the dirt and almost drops his axe before Lyet reaches over to stop him. “Hold, my lord Baratel,” mutters the young brunette, “We still have need of your strength in arms should we meet more barbarians on our trip to the Emperor.”

Baratel hearkens to the words of his junior officer, though he nearly demands to know what point there is in fighting the barbarians. Grudgingly, the small group forges onward through the branches of the forest and sets their sights to a distant point in the east. Hours blend into days and then weeks as they journey south, each day appearing to rise only to give them less reason to carry on. The air hangs heavy with smoke, laden with the horrifying stench of burnt flesh. Countless villages appear on the edge of the path they travel, but all are ransacked and destroyed; little remains of the vast Empire which once gracefully spread across the plains and mountains. Instead they face only reminders of their great failure, evidence that the time of the Arkhold Empire has come to a close. 

Gripping his battle-axe with bitter fierceness, Baratel mentally swears to protect the last remnant of his people until they can recover from this travesty and once again fill this world with true civilization. Gentle golden rays of sunlight caress his face for a last brief moment before the sun sets, almost as if abandoning the Arkholdian people entirely. As gloom settles, it matches the feeling in the heart of all civilization, and the question is left hanging against the flickering glower of the moon. “What will become of the Arkhold Empire and its people? Will history ever know that they existed?

Where did Time go?

I think about this blog every single day, I promise. I think about it and I think "I should really post an update and let people know what is going on" ... and then I look up and the last time I post is 2 months ago *sigh*

I know that the number one rule to actually gaining followers on a blog is to constantly provide updates.. and I want to! But then I get busy and my mind moves on to my next character or my next plot point and I lose the thought, desire, energy to spend time pouring words into a blog that barely anyone reads any more (because I quit posting!).

So I apologize to anyone who stumbles across these words, I hope to have more for you soon. Please don't abandon me, please send me good thoughts and maybe comment or two. The more reaction, the more that I know I am not wasting my time and so I will actually spend more time here. Yay