The Master of Baiting Kwip to His Death

So after a long break, I finally convince Dr.Sexy to come back to AC. He plays this god-awful spear user, Cindar. Why on earth he wanted to use a spear is beyond me, but I’m sure it has something to do with phallic envy.

When last he left off, we had just gone through all the grief of getting him Tibri’s Fire Spear. I was pretty pleased with myself, as this was yet another quest I managed to accomplish all by myself. Well, okay, myself, CoD, Maggie, random passer-byers that took pity on us, and a blinding stroke of luck (someone running by actually cast Armor 6 on both of us).

So after a brief tumble down the subway pit, which brought me to the lifestone and allowed me to repeat the process (I always forget to stop and heal after fighting those damn miners, and just leap, and then I’m amazed that I die – sigh). But finally, I make my way to Cindar, who’s trying to look up the Sentinal’s statue’s skirt. Some people’s kids.

You say, “C’mon, let’s go explore.”
Cindar says, “Explore what?”
You say, “I dunno, let’s just run around and look for stuff to kill.”
Cindar says, “Every time you say that, WE end up being the stuff that gets killed!”
You say, “Stop being such a fragile girly kitten and c’mon!”

So off we go. The first thing foolish enough to cross our paths is a bunch of good for nothing Bandies, hiding out in someone’s house! Well, we’ll just make short work of them…

Cindar says, “Ack! I forgot my shield! This hurts!”
Cindar runs off.
You say, “Come back here, you bastich! Don’t make me fight these guys myself!”
Cindar says, “No way, you get ’em!”
You say, “There’s too many of them, goombah! They’ll kill me!”
Cindar says, “That’s a chance I’m willing to take!”

Bastich.

But by some miracle, I don’t die.

Death says, “Zzzzzzzz….znork. Hey! What’d I just miss?”

Yeah, that’s right – me, alone against SEVERAL bad-ass bandies, and who’s left standing? How I loves it when they call me Big Poppa…

Cindar says, “Hey Lardass! You done yet?”
You say, “Hate joo!”

Well, nothing left to do now but pick through the bits of the bandies for anything salvageable. Cindar’s looting the guys inside, and I’m jumping up and down on the guys outside, when I notice about 500 blips on the radar. All heading right at us. Well, right at ME.

You say, “SWEET MOTHER OF GOD! GET INSIDE THE HOUSE AND LOCK THOSE DOORS!”
Cindar says, “huh?”
You say, “INCOMING!”

At this point, Cindar wises up and closes the door. In my face. Now, rather than take the fifteen minutes I know it will take me to figure out how to open that stupid door, I spend the next few minutes running in circles and screaming like a schoolgirl, the whole time cursing Cindar, who’s inside. Giggling.

Cindar says, “Hee. I like it when they hit you and I can hear it through the door!”
You say, “You bastich, you’re going to pay for this!”
Cindar says, “Okay, I’ll open the door now. Come here.”
You say, “hurry!”
Cindar says, “Psych! No entrance for joo!”
You say, “Bastich!”
Cindar giggles.

Now, somehow, I’ve managed to jump on the roof. The mobs of Banderlings have grown weary of playing slap-ass with me, and have left me with five hitpoints. They run off, back to whatever nefarious schemings they were up to before they saw the Banderling Signal flash in the sky. Cindar decides that now that all the critters have left, he will come out and rescue me. He steps out of the door.

Cindar says, “Ta-da!”

In the meantime, I have climbed on top of the chimney, from which perch I am about to introduce Cindar to the joy that is impact damage.

Except I forget this isn’t DarkTide. And that I tend to suck at jumping. And that jumping, sometimes known as ‘falling’, damages me.

You have died!
Cindar tells you, “Woah! That was cool! What were you trying to accomplish there?”
You tell Cindar, “I hate joo.”

So now I make the run back, get all my gear, and try and get my revenge on Cindar by leading a group of Tumeroks at him. Instead, the Tumeroks decide it would be more fun to jump on my back and make my butt cheeks their new banner carrier by embedding it solidly in my nether regions. So I die. Again.

Cindar tells you, “Hey! I like how it tells you when people nearby have died! Look, now I don’t even have to be near you to hear about you dying! Hee!”
You tell Cindar, “H8.”

Finally, we meet up once again, and I take a few minutes to lecture Cindar on his lack of intelligence, sexual prowess, hygiene, and a long discourse on his genetic make-up and where is father’s DNA just might have come from. Our friendship rekindled, we’re off once again. This time, we’re going to hunt down the Banderling Leader that spent some time chasing me, because I’ve never seen one of them before. Therefore, we must kill it. Perfectly logical.

So we track this critter down to his little mob scene with his groupies, and I give very careful instructions to Cindar about what to do: I will draw the group to me with my mighty bow, and then he is to wait by my side and attack them as they come close to me.

Cindar says, “No problem; fire away!”

Now, a sane person would assume that by “No problem,” what he meant was, in fact, “yes, I understand your directions and will follow them with no problems.” But what was apparently actually meant was, “I DO NOTHING YOU TELL ME TO AND HOPE YOU DIE,” because here is what happened:

I fired my first arrow.
It hits the Banderling Leader.
His band of half-wits turn towards us and begin rushing.
I continue firing.
CINDAR TURNS 180 DEGREES AROUND AND CHARGES AT THE GROUP OF WOOD GOLEMS BEHIND US.
I begin screaming at him. Then I begin screaming at the Banderlings that have now grouped me in and commenced to play slap-ass with me.
Cindar realizes he’s not quite up to tackling the Wood Golems, and runs off.
The Wood Golems, now fully aroused, come over to see what the Banderlings are doing, and if they might get a turn.
I die, screaming obsceneties as I go.

Cindar tells you, “Wow, that was fun. What happened to you?”
Death giggles.

Wait, explain this roleplaying to me again?

So I’m trying to find my way around here. I feel pretty damn proud, ‘cause I tricked Yellow Rat Bastard into giving me a bunch of gold, and now I’m roaming the countryside, living the big life.

Yates tells me that the place to go is the Mad Friars Inn in Ludlow. Me, being the social animal that I am, instantly decide that this is a PERFECT place for me to meet the locals!

I stroll in there, and first thing I see? A rock imp has obviously mezz’d everyone in the room!

You yell, “SWEET MOTHER OF GOD! DON’T WORRY, I’LL SAVE YOU ALL!”
You attack Pebble!

Well, next thing I know, some big goombah named Corwin has tackled me and is giving me a stern lecture about disrupting the performances, accenting each point by bouncing my head off the floor.

Bouncer Corwin says, “Youse ought to not inter… uh… inter… mess wif da show!”
*bounce*
Bouncer Corwin says, “We’s pay good money to gets Lady Darden here.”
*bounce*
Bouncer Corwin says, “An’ we don’ need the likes of YOU messin’ wif her or her liddle friend!”
*bounce*
Bouncer Corwin says, “Youse gots dat?”
*bounce*

Well, now I know how he got his name. Being the mighty warrior that I am, I demonstrate that I understand completely by bleeding all over his boots. He drops me back onto the floor, where I take a moment to compose myself.

Yates shakes his head.
Yates says, “How many times do I have to tell you – this is a roleplaying server. You have to learn to blend in!”

Oh, right – roleplaying. I’m all over that! Lessee…

You yell, “Barkeep! Get yer most full-breasted wench over here with some ale right away, ye scurvy dog!”

Next thing I know, Corwin’s back at it. This time he carries me up to the second floor to throw me out a window. Apparently, there’s no good windows on the ground floor.

But I’ll not be stayed! Yeay, verily shall I layeth waste to thith…er, this challenge!

So I storm back in the pub, working EXTRA hard to blend in. This time I figure I’ll just follow the local’s lead.

Keener Woedin says, “Excellent Yasminea! Show us some more tricks!”
You say, “Yes! Show us some leg, ye scurvy wench!”
Trini Pipper says, “Shhh…Just watch the show and don’t make a lot of noise!”
You yell, “YE WOULDEST THOU SPEAKETH TO ME IN THAT TONE? PREPARETH TO TASTE MY STEEL, WENCH! YE SHALL LEARN THYEST PLACE!”

I don’t remember much of what happened next. Apparently, at some point, Corwin attempted to make castanets out of my testicles, and Trini inserted her Cutter in a MOST unpleasant place.

And then they have the nerve to ban ME from the Inn!

Hrmph. Roleplayers. They just can’t handle it when someone beats them at their own game, I tell you.

Let the exploring continue!

Okay, so now I’ve got some free time, and as I’ve stated before, I’m eager to explore some of these dungeons and quests that I never really got to check out before. Well, I’ve been told numerous times that Lillitha’s bow is pretty easy to get.

Now, because I am smart, I do not charge blindly into this dungeon! Ooooooh, no! You foolios might do such foolhardy feats as that, and if it were up to Kwipette, I’m sure we would’ve charged ahead, killing everything in our path. But this was my solo time; I was exploring on my own and had lots of time to plan carefully.

First thing I do is pop over to CoD and make some notes; then of course, I have to check every other site under the sun, because maybe THEY’LL have that information about the secret lever that you throw to get the GSA!  Well, hey, you never know… so I hit Maggies, and AC Vault, and Stratics – basically, everything I can find. I start out with the intent to make very careful notes; but everyone’s saying something different, so my notes come out something like:

“Go down. Take left. Jump down. Kill Raider.” etc etc.

But hey, it’s not like this is a huge dungeon or anything, right? I’ll find my way!

So I leap in. And I’m off! First thing I do is follow the tunnel down, then leap over to a catwalk. I follow that a bit, and a zombie and a lich kill me.

Huh?

Going back over my notes, I see that I wrote “do NOT jump on catwalk”. Oh. Right.

So back I go. I decide I should get that body, because it’s got my wand on it, and I’m gonna look pretty silly trying to recall out of this place without it. Silly me; I muled everything I was sure I wouldn’t need, but never considered that I might need another wand.

Here I am again, asking the nice Mr. Lich and Mr. Zombie if they’d mind if I picked up that pesky little wand.

Death says, “and a one, and a two, and a…”

And I died. Apparently, liches and zombies CANNOT be trusted. I make a note of that in my notebook:

“do NOT jump on catwalk. if you do, do not trust lich and zombie as they r sux.”

Now I have two bodies down there. And no wand. And I’m missing my pants.

So now I’m half-nekkid, running around this dungeon. This time, I actually kill the undead goombahs and manage to get my bodies! It was WAAAAAY close, though – I barely survived! I don’t even bother to heal; just grab my loot and run run run! I run back to where the catwalk is, and jump back to the main path.

And I miss the path, and fall.

And die.

Death giggles.

I can reach the next level by standing on my tip-toes, but I fall and DIE from it. Hrmph. I hate my life.

Well, enough of this. I run back into town and recruit some able-bodied adventurers to help me!

You say, “Howdy folks! Anyone wanna come with me to get Lillitha’s Bow?”
Benga says, “lol”
You say, “What’s funny about that?”
Benga says, “that bow sucks”
You say, “No it doesn’t! It may have at one point, but now Lillitha is our Queen! She has left behind only the BEST weapons!”
Benga says, “they bufed lils bow?”
Benga says, “for real?”
You say, “Ummm…yes. Yes they did.”

Well, hey, I needed someone to go with me, and it’s not MY fault he doesn’t keep up to date on these things!

Benga says, “ok, i go with u, but gotta be careful – i’m only lvl 10, so we go slow, ok?”
You say, “Of course! I’m in no rush to die myself!”
Death says, “I beg to differ…”
You say, “Quiet, slut!”
Benga says, “huh?”
You say, “Nothing, I have a cold. Anyway – ready?”
Benga says, “yah, i can lead, i know the way”
You say, “Nothing doing! I have a GREAT map!”

Well, after about half an hour of wandering, it turns out my map was upside down! Silly me. I think Benga started to notice, too…

Benga says, “dude, i tol you this is the wrong way. it’s to the n of her.”
You say, “Who?”
Benga says, “what?”
You say, “To the north of who?”
Benga says, “wtf r u tlaking about?”
You say, “Yellow Rat? Is that you?”
Benga says, “huh?”
You say, “Never mind. I think we need to go North.”
Benga says, “i tole you it was n!”
You say, “Yes, whatever. Stay off the drugs, son.”

And once again we’re off. This time we actually find it! I TOLD him this map was excellent!

You say, “Man, good thing you’ve got me along. You’d probably have been wandering around here for HOURS without MY help!”
Benga says, “dude, shutup”

Hrmph. That’s gratitude for you.
Now we enter the dungeon – there’s that pesky catwalk! I’m not making THAT mistake again!

You say, “Lessee here… according to my map, we have go this way. Jump down there.”
Benga says, “u sure?”
You say, “You doubt me? Philistine!”
Benga says, “huh?”
You say, “Never mind. Just go that way. Now! Go!”
Benga says, “u r wierd”

You don’t know the half of it, my young friend! But follow me he does, and down we go to the lower level.

You say, “Okay, now that way.”
Death says, “My, but this adventure seems pretty tame…*cues spooky foreshadowing music*”
You say, “Would you shut up already?”
Benga says, “what’d i say?”
You say, “Just you keep going there, bucko.”

And so off he goes, straight into a pair of Bandies.

Benga says, “kwip help”
Benga says, “heal plz”
You say, “Wait a sec…I’m POSITIVE there aren’t supposed to be any Bandies here. Excuse me, fellas? I think you’re in the wrong part of the dungeon.”

Of course they don’t answer me. No social graces, those guys. You can see why THEY’RE not going to be allowed into AC2, I tell you. Besides running around nekkid all the time, they’re just rude little buggers.

Benga says, “dude, wtf? i almost died there!!!”
You say, “I know! Isn’t it disgusting how weak newbs are in this game?”
You say, “I’m telling you, if Turbine doesn’t implement my suggestion about starting newbs with GSA and Atlans, I’m quitting.”
Benga says, “next time you better help or i’ll kill you myself.”
You say, “Ack! Pk!”
You beg for mercy.
Benga says, “knock it off. let’s go – which way?”

I consult my trusty map!

You say, “Okay, we have to jump down here again!”
Benga says, “r there mobs?”
You say, “Nope.”

Benga jumps.

You say, “Just that lone Raider.”

But now Benga has already gotten to meet Mr. Raider, and said Raider is pounding the snot out of him rather effectively. I don’t want Benga to die, so I leap to his defense, and in short order, we have defeated this worthy foe.

Benga says, “u r an idiot. i’m done. i want out.”
You say, “But we’re sooooo close!”
Benga says, “i dont care. exit.”
You sigh.
You say, “Fine; that corridor to the east, and then take the north passage.”
Benga says, “u sure?”
You say, “Yes yes yes. I’m positive. Just go on out of here, quitter.”
Benga says, “whatever jerk. u suck.”
You say, “Oh now come on, can’t we still be friends?”
Benga says, “u r on my squelch list.”
You say, “No! What if I have something important to tell you?”

Benga runs off.

You say, “Like ‘watch out for those two Raiders!’ or something!”
Banderling Raider smites Benga so hard the Lifestone flinches!

Now, you see what happens when people don’t listen to the wise counsel of their elders? Honestly. Kids nowadays.

Here It Is…

 Oh, look, another year, another MS Walk, must be time for another tear-jerker story

Sigh. See, I don’t want these stories to be tear-jerkers. Honest. I want them to just be…I dunno, a little peek into our lives, what our hopes and dreams are, how MS has been affecting us – and more importantly, how it has NOT been affecting us. That’s the important bit, that is. MS is kinda…well, it’s not kinda shitty – it’s COMPLETELY shitty. But MS can be sort of…hrmmm. I don’t exactly know how to phrase it. A lot of people like to call it “insidious.” According to Websters, that means “Working or spreading harmfully in a subtle or stealthy manner.” I don’t care much for that definition. There is nothing stealthy about MS. It is in your face; a constant reminder that yes, there is ‘something wrong with you.’ But we try pretty damn hard to not let it ruin our days; we try and make the most out of every waking second we have together – and even several of the sleeping moments together. 😉

Kwipette aches every day. Her pain has gotten worse over the past year. It used to be sporadic. Now it’s a constant companion. Her shitty retail job doesn’t help much; she has to lift a lot of stuff and there’s a lot of stress involved. Unfortunately, until my company makes a million, our insurance won’t cover her. So she has to stay at that job, adding more and more stress every day, because we can’t afford to pay her medical bills without insurance. Ask me sometime how I feel about the Medical and Insurance fields. Just make sure I don’t have any sharp objects nearby.

Blah. This certainly started out on the completely wrong foot, didn’t it? Let’s try again: Last year, team NeenerNeener.net KICKED ASS. Our grand total came out to over TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. And over EIGHT THOUSAND of those dollars came from YOU! Proud of yourself? You damn well should be. I started out wanting to raise $100. I ended up getting, oh, EIGHTY TIMES that amount from you guys! Not too shabby, eh?

So now here we are again. Me trying to skirt around the issue, trying to write a story that will come close to touching you the way all of your contributions touched us last year. I still go back and read your messages, you know. Probably about three or four times a month. I can’t sleep; I get up quietly so as not to disturb Kwipette, and I sneak into the office and pull up those messages. Some are the ones you put when you sponsored me; some were just supporting emails apologizing because you couldn’t afford to pay anything (as if you need to feel guilty about that!), and some were just emails saying hi and telling me what my stories have meant to you or sharing your own pains with me. I guess maybe it’s a sign of my own little fragile ego. A shrink could probably have a heyday with all my neurosis. In truth, it does make me feel pretty damn good to hear the nice things you guys took the time to tell me. I guess that’s why I do all this; to get some words of encouragement. But also, I like to read those comments and stories because…well, I dunno how to explain it. Because for the time it takes me to read your stories, I know I’m not alone. I’m not forgotten. Somebody out there is hearing my desperate little cries for help; someone is getting those messages in the bottles I keep casting out to the ocean that is the ‘Net.

The past year has been…well, it’s been good. We’ve got a nice new apartment in an awesome little setting – ponds and ducks and swans (whom we feed our stale bread to), a gym and a pool and a jogging trail (which we merely like to mention, but never use), and a whopping HUGE bleach stain in the middle of the carpet thanks to the kitten from hell. Sigh.

Of course, some of it has not been so good. Kwipette’s MS has progressed. She has trouble typing, and is in constant pain, and has trouble walking long distances. It hurts to type that – as if by putting it down here, by writing it out – somehow that makes it more real. Before we could perhaps ignore it. But now we’ve admitted it. And I guess you can’t really take that back. But it’s the truth, and it scares the shit out of both of us very badly. Look, it could be much, much, MUCH worse. There are people who are WAAAAAAAY worse off then Kwipette. I know that. I’m not trying to state we are worse off than anyone else. We’re not; we’re young, very much in love, and have great lives.

But we’re also very scared. Every day. Kwipette told me once, in one of our late-night chats where we both held each other for all we worth and vented in the form of tears and blubbering, that she wakes up every morning wondering if she’s going to be able to walk that day.

Every morning. Wondering if today will be the day she will have to really use the wheelchair.

This week, for the first time, we used her handicapped parking placard. That was…ugh. Long walks through a parking lot just wear her out too much. Looking at her, you couldn’t tell that there’s anything wrong with her. You’d think we were just some snot-nosed asshole couple that manipulated their way into having a handicapped placard. You’d think she was just lazy, because you couldn’t see the pain she feels just getting out of the car. You’d think she was a sloppy dresser if you saw her wearing those loose pants because the injection sites where I give her the medicine every other day were inflamed. You’d think I was a sexist pig, making her push the shopping cart, because you couldn’t see that the cart helped her keep her balance as she walked and let her lean on it for support. You’d think she was drunk if you saw her swaying on her feet as she stood. You’d think she was mentally handicapped if she slurred her words when speaking with you or forgot what she was saying. You’d think it would be okay to make fun of her.

You’d think it was a damn shame, how far up your ass I managed to work my boot.

Sigh. I’ve been having some problems too, lately. I find that, day to day, the number of people I want to inflict bodily harm seems to be increasing by leaps and bounds. People can just be…well, they can just be such stupid goombahs. Last month, Kwipette went into her woman doctors office to get her woman bits checked up (I’m not really sure what that consists of – I think they just go in a back room and tell jokes about what a terrible lover I am). Anyway, she’s being ‘screened’ by one of the office staff girls. As is common when she’s dealing with things medical, Kwipette tells her that she has MS. The girl responds with, “Oh, I forget – does that kill you or just make you crippled?”

Does that kill you or just make you crippled.

Every fear we’ve faced in the past couple of years, right there. In her face. She came home that night and cried harder than she has in a while. When she told me what happened, she had to physically restrain me from going to commit murder.

Does that KILL you or just make you CRIPPLED.

See, a close friend of mine summarized it pretty nicely: “99.9% of the time, situations can be handled by just being cool, calm, collect, and talking your way through difficulties. But that 0.1% of the time, you’ve just got to start jumping up and down and screaming.”

Yeah.

DOES THAT KILL YOU OR JUST MAKE YOU CRIPPLED.

I wonder if that stupid bitch has any idea – the slightest of a clue – of two things: 1) how very horrific and painful her question was to Kwipette; and 2) how very, VERY close she came to getting the living shit kicked out of her.

I am such a wimp. I avoid confrontation like the plague. But I was very intent on driving over there, going into the office, asking to speak with the young lady in question, and then picking up whatever heavy object was handy and beating her with it until the candy came out.

Sigh. This idiot worked in a doctor’s office. Some of you may not believe it, but I swear, this story is true. This… this worthless, stupid, ignorant, insensitive, idiotic bitch actually said that. To the woman that means more to me than anything has ever meant to anyone in the world. And I bet that stupid feckless wonder probably has great health. Did I mention I carry around an awful lot of frustration? And it’s growing; every day, it seems, someone is volunteering for a throat punch.

And then there’s you guys. You people; most of whom I’ve never met, some of whom never heard of me until someone sent them to read the story I wrote last year – you people pledged over EIGHT THOUSAND DOLLARS. On behalf of a stranger.

Ain’t human nature a bitch? 😉

So here I am again. Jerking at your heart-strings; trying to convey a glimpse of our every-day life so that it will touch you to re-create the actions so many of you took last year. And to tell the truth, I’m scared out of my head. I’m terrified. And excited. And humbled. And so very, very hopeful.

I’m terrified that we’ll fall not just short, but downright DEAD this year. Last year, I was perhaps at the peak of my fame; I had tons of visitors to my site. This year, I’m less than a week of releasing a new version, and there hasn’t been a blip out of me in months, aside from some space the folks over at CoD were kind enough to give to me. And everyone at the National MS Society is hoping and expecting us to do at least as well this year as we did last year. Gulp.

I’m excited because I wrote to Microsoft. They weren’t able to come up with anything in time last year; but I’m so very excited that maybe, just maybe, this years letter will reach them in time, and they’ll pledge some whopping amount. And I’m excited because I’m trying to get some other companies on board this year: Mythic, for one. I’m hoping someone there will take notice and jump on board. Ben & Jerry’s – they are the source of all Good in the universe, after all (well, next to Gillian), and I’ve got something kinda crazy planned for the Walk involving them, so I’m hoping I can find someone there to talk to about sponsorship. And of course, Turbine. They have already helped out by donating some prizes (which I’ll get to in a bit), and I’m hoping I can weasel some more goodies from them. And besides, they let us party with them at the ACPL, so that’s pretty damn significant alone. 😉

Odds are, I won’t hear from any of those companies except for Turbine. They’ll help, I’m pretty sure; but the rest are pretty much a guessing game. But maybe – just maybe – someone there high enough on the ladder will catch wind of this in time to help out. And maybe, MAYBE, even more people will donate. And we’ll beat last year’s total, and I’ll get to be a hero yet again.

I’m humbled, because any of this greatness I achieve – it’s from you. You people that don’t really know me; most of you have never met me (which is probably a good thing, come to think of it), and most of you have never met Kwipette. But you reached out, and you gave. You gave money, you gave words of comfort, you gave story after story. Some inspirational, some touching, some sad – but all so significant. You took the time to share that little bit of your souls with us. You broke off chunks of your hard-earned pay, and you shared that with us and with everyone affected by MS. You gave your support, your comfort, your caring. You gave. And I know that I will never ever ever be able to thank each of you enough. To tell you how every little penny and every word you gave touched and helped us.

And I’m hopeful. I suppose it’s really sad – but I’m so hopeful. I see the amount of money that people all over the world raise, and I hope. I hope that this year there will be a staggering new breakthrough – some new branch of research that has struck paydirt. Some laboratory where a ten-thousand dollar grant from the National MS Society was just what they needed to purchase something or another that they needed.

And now they’ve found a cure. I hope; oh, Lord, how I hope.

Gah. Stop with the making of the tear jerking already! Good grief, see what happens when I try and write seriously? I think I better change the story to the time I caught my… er… self… in my zipper. That was not fun. But this – THIS is going to be fun! Yes!

Last year, I couldn’t think of a way to say thank you. This year, I’m afraid I haven’t done much better. But I’ve got something, at least. If you pledge to team NeenerNeener.net – for every ten dollars you pledge, you will be given a lottery ticket. After the last of the donations has been accepted, we will hold a kooky little raffle. Right now, I’m afraid to say we don’t have a lot of prizes. And even worse, some of them are vicious little joke prizes – but they should all be fun, one way or the other (we hope!). Here’s what we have so far:

  • 4 copies of the ORIGINAL Turbine/Microsoft Asheron’s Call; all in their boxes, and ALL autographed by the Turbies!
  • 1 hour of powerleveling, by Kwip, on Darktide (pity the poor bastich that wins THIS little gem!)
  • 1 copy of Asheron’s Call:Dark Majesty (not autographed – well, not yet, lemme get a weekend off and see if I can get past the guards at Turbine and we’ll see what we can do)
  • 1 copy of Mythic’s Dark Age of Camelot
  • 2 Team NeenerNeener.net’s OFFICIAL MS Walk 2002 T-shirts, autographed by the team, and used to mop up the sweat from my brow – well, only on request if you’re fussy.
  • 1 $10 gift certificate to Barnes & Nobles
  • 1 spoon used by Kwip on a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie
  • 1 $20 gift certificate to www.angryyoungandpoor.com for all your punk music and clothing needs, of course.

That’s it for now; hopefully I’ll have some more ‘real’ prizes soon.

One more thing: thank you, everyone. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Those of you that can’t pledge, don’t feel guilty; spread the word as best you can, that’s helpful. Those of you that can’t do that, why not drop Kwipette an email and say hi? She’d love to hear from you. Tell her you’re thinking of her. Tell her you wish her well. Tell her not to marry me – woah, wait a sec, DON’T tell her that. Sheesh. If you can’t drop an email, think good thoughts about us and your well wishes will be appreciated. If you can do that, then smile at someone. If you can’t do THAT, then stop reading this page, Yellow Rat Bastard, and get your laundry together or something.

For now, I’m gonna climb into bed with the person I love and hold them tight as we drift off to sleep together.. I hope that everyone out there can do the same.

Take care of yourselves, friends.
Live. Love. Laugh.

Kwip

Pledge To Team NeenerNeener.net Here

Boys Are Different From Girls!

No, I’m not talking about being able to write our names in the snow.

Women are just…different.

Now, I’ve gone on at great length how important Kwipette is to me, how she is my soulmate and what great lengths I go to in order to impress her. Well, having said all that, I have to say: she is completely insane. Of course we all knew that, simply because she’s agreed to marry me. But now I have new proof: her gaming style is something akin to a 200-lb rabid pit bull.

It’s been a pretty common occurance in the past that we would partake of LAN games at Yellow Rat Bastard’s gaming shop and proceed to blow the holy hell out of each other, something only those truly in love can really enjoy. I would suggest that we play a cooperative match, like Team Deathmatch, CTF or even a cooperative mission.

“Sure. Just as long as we can play some Deathmatch first.”

And she doesn’t want to be on MY team. She wants to be on the OTHER team, to facilitate her blowing the living hell out of me, the people around me, any structures I might be hiding behind, and anything in my line of sight.

Now, keeping all that in mind, I recently convinced her to come back to Dereth. She hadn’t been able to play for a long time because I couldn’t figure out how to hook her computer up to our network. Uh, I mean, of course I could figure out how to do that – what, you think I’m stupid? Oh yes I am! I mean, no, of course not. No, the problem was a… er… thingy… with the ports. Yes. Those damn ports.

So anyway, after listening to me blab and blab about how much I like the new starter dungeons and how the new character creation is, blah blah blah…the point is, she’s intrigued, and wants to give it a try.

So we both create newbs, and off we go, into the starter dungeons.

I log in slightly behind Kwipette, and as I arrive, she’s jumping up and down on the dungeon greeter.

You say, “Babe! Light of my life! No! He’s not a bad guy!”
Kwipette says, “Are you sure? Maybe he’s one of those Virindi in disguise…”
You say, “No, honest, he’s okay – just here to greet us.”
Kwipette lets the Greeter off the floor.
Greeter cries.
You say, “Uh, let’s just move along, shall we?”

So we go in the next room. In this room, there’s another of those goombahs, and he wants us to find some things hidden in the room. Okay, fine, this’ll be fun. We start looking around.

Kwipette says, “Where are the leggings?”
You say, “I dunno…maybe there aren’t any?”
Kwipette says, “Uh-huh. Or maybe THIS GUY’S HIDING THEM!”
Kwipette leaps on the Greeter!
Greeter says, “Aiiiiiiieeeeee! Get her off!”
Kwipette says, “Where is it?!?! Give it up or DIE, Virindi poser scum!”

I have to admit, exploring the Starter Dungeons with Kwipette is WAY more interesting than going solo.

Despite the best efforts of the Sparring Golems, we do manage to survive. Well, ‘survive’ being a relative term – I die twice to those damn wasps in the woodpiles. Buggers. But for me, that’s practically unscathed.

So now we’re topside, and I’m eager to explore some of the dungeons I never really got to investigate before. The first place I want to go is the Shreth Hive outside of Shoushi. I LOVE that place. It’s one of the few dungeons I ever hung around, although I’ve never seen the bottom of that one, either.

Well, thanks to a helping hand of someone who’s name I instantly forgot (sorry!), we get a portal right to Shoushi. A brief run, detoured so Kwipette can run over and kick the crap out of some Banderlings that were standing around OBVIOUSLY plotting no-good-ed-ness, and then we’re there.

You say, “Okay, now when we get in here, there’s going to be some drudges right inside the entrance, so be ready for a fight.”
Kwipette says, “Ok.”

We pop in. Kwipette immediately kills (one-shots, even) the drudge standing right at the entrance. And then she leaps down to the pit below and begins dishing death out to everything below.

What do I do?

I die.

No sooner do I get in the portal, then not ONE, not TWO, but THREE drudges jump on my head.

And I die.

Death says, “God, I love this part. Can we rewind it and watch it in slowmotion? Look at your face right here – Ah-ha-ha-ha!”

Grrrrrrrr.

So by the time I find my way back there from the lifestone, Kwipette is chasing the last remaing drudge around the top of the pit. How the hell she got back up from the bottom, I don’t know, but I suspect it had something to do with the pile of dismembered drudges stacked in the corner of the pit.

Just as I enter, there is a new spawn. This time, however, I manage to get out from underneath the Airborne Drudges. By jumping down into the pit.

Where ALL of the drudges follow me.

And kill me.

Death says, “Hooo-hooo-hooo, stop, stop it, I’m gonna wet myself!”

Kwipette tells you, “I’m sorry honey, I didn’t get down there in time.”
You tell Kwipette, “That’s okay; I just didn’t expect them all to focus on me.”
Kwipette tells you, “Heh, these guys sure do die easily enough, though.”
You tell Kwipette, “You’re not funny.”
Kwipette tells you, “Oh yes I am.”
Death says, “I think she’s a RIOT!”
You say, “You shut the hell up, slut.”

Sigh. So exploring as part of a team is a lot of fun. I distract the monsters with my screaming in a shrill girly voice and running about, and Kwipette storms in and pounds the hell out of everyone. Then by the time I get back from the lifestone, she’s got the dungeon cleaned out.

Okay, so we’re not exactly Bonnie and Clyde. Or Conan and Red Sonja. More like… er… She-Hulk and Bugs Bunny, on a good day.

Sigh.

Time to Explore!

Well it’s about time. There’ve been so many new things added to Dereth that I just haven’t gotten to see yet! I think the last update that I saw most of the things added was…ermm…December…of ’99.

So I decide I AM GOING TO EXPLORE. Yes. Yes, I am.

Death says, “This will end badly, I tell you!”
You say, “You shaddup!”

Well, where to begin? So much to see, so much to do…suddenly inspiration strikes me!

Gigas Lugian smites you so hard the lifestone flinches!

Death says, “Yeah. Inspiration. In the form of a boulder.”
You say, “Quiet, slut!”

The Lugian city! I shall visit the Lugian city! I have never been there – in fact, now that I think about it, I don’t even know where the hell it is. Someplace with a lot of lugians, I’d suspect.

Death says, “Your brilliance continues to overwhelm.”
You say, “WOULD YOU SHUT THE HELL UP ALREADY DAMMIT!”
Death says, “Make me. Nyeah nyeah.”
You say, “Hrmph.”

Let’s see now…who would know where this place is? I could always ask Maggie… well… except for that whole “restraining order” thingy. Hee. Such a kidder, that girl. I could pop over to my comrades at CoD and check the library…then again, there’s that whole stink over the mess I made in the corner that night after my birthday party. Keth said I couldn’t come back until I cleaned it up, and no WAY was I touching that stuff; I don’t know what I ate that night, but I was pretty sure those weren’t little green seeds poking out of that goop. Hey, it wasn’t MY fault. I TOLD them Isparian Ale does that to me. Hrmmm…where else…Eldreth told me if I came around there again he’d tie me to a tree in front of a randy drudge and cast Piercing Vuln VI on my behind, so that’s out…dang. Oh! Duh! Ask a Lugian!

Now I know where the Lugian Citadel is. Been there a few times, in fact. So it’s really no trouble to find my way back there again.

Death says, “‘No trouble’ he says! Just like that! Ask him about the three visits to the lifestone and the ‘shortcut’ via Aerlinthe he took us on!”
You say, “Hey man, that WAS a shortcut. There was just a… er… server… glitch… thingy… it threw ALL the portals askew man, don’t ask me.”

Truth is, I think in one of the past updates, Turbine moved the Citadel. Some of you newer players not ‘in the loop’ like yours truly might not know that.

Death says, “Hee hee – ‘in the loop’. That’s funny. Turbine CERTAINLY keeps you in the loop. Remember last year at the ACPL when Devilmouse told you everyone was meeting at the Waffle House?”
You say, “Well, yeah, he wanted me to come hang out with the rest of them!”
Death says, “Then why did he tell you it was the Waffle House in New Jersey?”
You say, “Because… ah… he… uh… SHUT THE HELL UP!”

Pretty sneaky, those guys. Don’t want people getting TOO complacent with the world. After all, Dereth IS an ‘ever-changing’ world, right? Right. SO SHUT YER BLATHERING PIE-HOLE!

Now then.

I arrive safe and sound (Death says, “HA!”) in Cit. And it’s EMPTY! Well, the drop is. I figure the campers are somewhere further in. But lo and behold, there’s like NOBODY hanging out there! You folks on these white servers are crazy, man. The Citadel is uber, everyone knows that.

Wait, what’s that noise? Ah, there’s some Lugians now!

You say, “Excuse me, fellas, but could one of you kind gentlemen direct me to the…Ow! Hey, careful there!”
You say, “Ow! Hey! OW OW OW OH SWEET MOTHER OF GOD! NOT THE FACE! NOT THE FA…”

Gigas Lugian smites you so hard even the lifestone flinches!

Death says, “Helpful blokes, those Lugians.”

You say, “Well, OBVIOUSLY those guys were WILD Lugians. I need to seek out help from the TAME Lugians. Duh.”
Death says, “Obviously.”

I have no trouble remembering where one of those fancy-pants Lugians hangs out – good ol’ Rithwic! City of enchantment! City of mystery! City of 28% vitae in 12 minutes! Yeah, this is sort of a homecoming for me. Rithwic’s always been one of my favorite starter towns. I think it has to do with the high-cut dresses they all wear there.

Celcynd the Dour tells you, “Hey! You said you wouldn’t tell anyone about that! It was the wine I tell you! The wine affects me that way!”

Ermm…where was I.

Yes, Rithwic! Behold, in two shakes of the leg I have returned!

Death says, “Two shakes of the leg and three more visits to the lifestone!”
You says, “FOR THE LOVE OF PETE, SHUT YER FLYTRAP!”

Lessee now…ah, there’s the big lug now.

You say, “Novedion you big poof! How the heck goes it?”
Novedion the Gem Seller tells you, “Greetings.  I and my two brothers have been sent to some of the Isparian Arrival points to offer our fine wares.  While many Isparians have only dealt with our less refined cousins, the Tukal smiths are masters of many arts.  These particular gems have been crafted by some of our finest master gem crafters and imbued with helpful magics which I am sure will be useful to the Isparian adventurer.   I also am selling Benevolent Calm, a necessary ingredient to fashion the Staff of Clarity.”
You say, “Uh, no, thank you – listen, could you tell me where this Linvak Tukal is?”
Novedion the Gem Seller tells you, “Greetings.  I and my two brothers have been sent to some of the Isparian Arrival points to offer our fine wares.  While many Isparians have only dealt with our less refined cousins, the Tukal smiths are masters of many arts.  These particular gems have been crafted by some of our finest master gem crafters and imbued with helpful magics which I am sure will be useful to the Isparian adventurer.   I also am selling Benevolent Calm, a necessary ingredient to fashion the Staff of Clarity.”
You say, “Ermm…right. That’s very nice. Now then – the location of your city?”
Novedion the Gem Seller tells you, “Greetings.  I and my two brothers have been sent to some of the Isparian Arrival points to offer our fine wares.  While many Isparians have only dealt with our less refined cousins, the Tukal smiths are masters of many arts.  These particular gems have been crafted by some of our finest master gem crafters and imbued with helpful magics which I am sure will be useful to the Isparian adventurer.   I also am selling Benevolent Calm, a necessary ingredient to fashion the Staff of Clarity.”
You sigh.
You say, “Look, I appreciate that you need to make a living and all…”
Novedion the Gem Seller tells you, “Greetings.  I and my two brothers have been sent to some of the Isparian Arrival points to offer our fine wares.  While many Isparians have only dealt with our less refined cousins, the Tukal smiths are masters of many arts.  These particular gems have been crafted by some of our finest master gem crafters and imbued with helpful magics which I am sure will be useful to the Isparian adventurer.   I also am selling Benevolent Calm, a necessary ingredient to fashion the Staff of Clarity.”
You say, “Fine! FINE! Here! Give me some of that stupid Benevolent Calm!”
Novedion the Gem Seller tells you, “You will find that to be of good service to you in the future.”
You say, “Yeah, yeah, useful my left butt cheek. So…”
Novedion the Gem Seller tells you, “Greetings.  I and my two brothers have been sent to some of the Isparian Arrival points to offer our fine wares.  While many Isparians have only dealt with our less refined cousins, the Tukal smiths are masters of many arts.  These particular gems have been crafted by some of our finest master gem crafters and imbued with helpful magics which I am sure will be useful to the Isparian adventurer.   I also am selling Benevolent Calm, a necessary ingredient to fashion the Staff of Clarity.”
You say, “What? I know that, you jerk! Where the hell’s Linvak Tukal?!?!”
Novedion the Gem Seller tells you, “Greetings.  I and my two brothers have been sent to some of the Isparian Arrival points to offer our fine wares.  While many Isparians have only dealt with our less refined cousins, the Tukal smiths are masters of many arts.  These particular gems have been crafted by some of our finest master gem crafters and imbued with helpful magics which I am sure will be useful to the Isparian adventurer.   I also am selling Benevolent Calm, a necessary ingredient to fashion the Staff of Clarity.”
You say, “Hey! Where’s your damn city, you big goony goo goo looking bastich?”
Novedion the Gem Seller tells you, “Greetings.  I and my two brothers have been sent to some of the Isparian Arrival points to offer our fine wares.  While many Isparians have only dealt with our less refined cousins, the Tukal smiths are masters of many arts.  These particular gems have been crafted by some of our finest master gem crafters and imbued with helpful magics which I am sure will be useful to the Isparian adventurer.   I also am selling Benevolent Calm, a necessary ingredient to fashion the Staff of Clarity.”
You say, “That does it, you big dumb hairless goombah! I know one sorry Lugian sonofabitch that ain’t surviving to AC2!!! It’s go time!”
Novedion the Gem Seller smiles.
Novedion the Gem Seller bashes your head for 26 points of bludgeoning damage!
You say, “Gah! Sweet baby jeebus! You’re gonna pay for that one!”
Novedion the Gem Seller bashes your head for 34 points of bludgeoning damage!
Novedion the Gem Seller bashes your head for 57 points of bludgeoning damage!
You begin to cry.
Novedion the Gem Seller bashes your head for 32 points of bludgeoning damage!
You say, “AAAAIIIEEEE! NOT THE FACE! SAVE MY PRECIOUS FACE!”
Novedion the Gem Seller knocks your faceplate through the back of your skull!
You have died!
You’ve lost 2,345 pyreals, your yumi, your koroi leggings, your pathetic self-respect, any chance of impressing the ladies, and your bladder control!

Death says, “My! Didn’t THAT plan go over well!”
You say, “I hate you.”

Hrmph. I drag my sorry carcass back to the Hub and sit in a corner and cry for a minute or two. Then I figure, frag it; I’m tired and it’s time for bed. I’ll discover Linvak Tukal another day.

Just as I’m logging out, I hear:
Fasticous says, “Hey, I’m taking a group to Linvak Tukal. Anyone wanna come?”
Death giggles.

Sigh.