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Sunday, 18 August 2013

Moving: On and On and On and...

You get the idea...

This just doesn't end.  And now I'm out of money for the remainder.

The series of disasters that have plagued this move is endless. 

It begins with the bank having need of our house, this is due to a rather prolonged period of unemployment.  Then my car's emergency brake failed, and rolled from a centre park, across one lane of traffic and into a post, bashing the front end of it.  Not enough to kill it, but it did cost time and money to have it repaired.

Two of my dogs have come down with paralysis ticks.  These ticks poison pets, and taking them to the vets costs hundreds of dollars per incident.

My favourite cat has vanished. he's been weeks gone now.  I suspect he's dead from a tick.  Another has been missing for several days.  I fear she's gone too.

In returning fro the new house (In a trip fraught with trailer delays), the car my wife was in breaks down in a small town hundreds of ks from anywhere.  It cost time and money, as she had to stay overnight in this small town.

Items have been broken, and things have gone to shit.

The latest is borrowing a ute (pickup for my American friends) and borrowing a trailer,  in an attempt to move the stuff myself, and proceeding to damage both in a tragic jackknifing incident that happened when I tried to reverse the ute with the trailer still attached.

The whole thing is fucked.

I figure I'm about 20% moved.  I can't hire a truck, and I can't seem to get out of this place.  It may well be the last thing I ever do.  I have to go.  I don't have a choice.  And I've got a job, but its hours away from here.

It's like I'm battling an evil spirit or something.  Seriously, the place has got its teeth in me, and I'm not being permitted to leave.  And every time I try, I bleed a little more.

The stress of it is taking its toll.  Its effecting my decision making abilities.  I'm tired all the time.  I'm having trouble focusing, yet I know, the longer this goes on, the less likely I'll be financially, physically and emotionally capable of actually moving.  Any moments of merriment are snatched away almost before I can laugh reflexively.

Moving sucks chocolate salty balls at best.  And this move is the worst I've ever experienced, not only had it cost me time, its also cost me every cent I've got and its cost emotionally.

I can tell you I don't want to go on.  But I must.  As the Aussie band "The Angels" have said, "I've got to get out of this place, if its the last thing I ever do.."

Making it stop, I guess that's up to me.

Fuck me dead.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

It's Been a Long Time

I don't know if any of you still follow this blog, or even give rat's ass about anything I have to say.  But I have had a disturbingly lot going on in the 7 months, including but not limited to, the loss of my crappy job, the loss of my house, severe depression, anger, fear and sadness. 

Blogging does help me deal with depression, and while thought about it a dozen times, I couldn't bring myself to write about it.  Indeed, thoughts of self destruction took precedence.  I had it planned, even managed to get rid of the wife for a few days to do it.  My plan was simple.  A sharp knife across the throat would have take care of it.

So.  Why didn't I do it?

I was watching tv, my inability to cope with my life had me try to find escape wherever I could.  I descended into the tv and video games.  Much to my wife's disgust.  Anyways, while I was watching, I saw a commercial for  and I learnt a few things.  I'm in the second most at risk age group in Australia.  My circumstances are the common reasons within that demographic.

I spoke to people by phone, and got my shit straightened out, more or less, because I'm still here.

Still breathing; and yeah, still smoking. It helps me cope.

So I'm up late tonight, smoking too much and watching Die Welle (The Wave).  The Wave is based,  loosely, on a genuine experiment by a high school teacher about fascism.  He used his class as a test group.  This German film is scarier, and more disturbing than the original which ran as an after school special on tv when I was a kid.  Its worth watching.

So, what's upcoming in Torggil's World?

I'm starting a new job in a few weeks.  Followers of this blog will know I've done it before.  I'm going back to taxi driving.  This time in Townsville.

More than just the town the Powerpuff team rescues on that show, It's actually a real city, in tropical north Queensland.  So I may change the name of the Blog to Torggil's Nights, or something. I'm going to try to do something on it every week. 

When the Eddard game starts back up, I hope to post more adventures as well. 

Also, the Australian Federal Election is coming up.  I know I have a take or two on that.

So hang ten everyone.  As soon as this move is over, I'll be back.  Regularly, I hope.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Eddard's Diary: Chapter 4

2: The Valley of Hobgoblins
Thoram did an inventory of the weapons found.  As a gesture of thanks he offered each us what ever we wanted from the inventory.  I took two finely made but plain daggers.  These were the only weapons he had that I could use.  But daggers were always handy, and I wasn't going to insult him by refusing his generous offer.
The next morning, we rode out, being competently led by the hunter.
It took us most of the day to reach Miklaus' valley.  When the hunter told us his lodge was in the next valley, Wren did a little scouting.
There were a dozen hobgoblins in the valley, practising archery, possibly there as guards.  There was no sign of Miklaus.  Thinking he may simply be in the lodge set apart from the humanoids, we decided a direct attack was in the cards.
We set ourselves up.  Logan and Garrus were taking point, lances at the ready.  I took the right flank with Thoram.  Azzarak and Ulf took the left.
We crept as close to the summit as possible, and then charged full speed down the hill.
We took them by surprise.  We were halfway down the slope before the creatures opened fire with their bows.  I fired back, wounding one and in turn, naturally, being wounded, but only slightly.
When we impacted their line, we swept it.  The opening clash left 6 humanoids dead.  I had some trouble taking mine out, wounded as he was.  Short swords are not very good when fighting mounted.
When I killed mine, I leaped off my horse and ran for the house, concerned that we could be under attack from the dwelling, not knowing how many people were inside, or what weapons they had.  I guarded the entry as the rest of the party finished off the hobgoblins. 
It didn't take long, and during the rest of that fight, no one came out of the house. 
With a short sword in either hand, I covered the locked door to the lodge.  And shortly, the rest of the party joined me. 
Thoram didn't hesitate and simply walked through it.  His sheer strength has always left me in awe, and this occasion was no exception.
The house was empty of anyone save ourselves.  We searched it thoroughly, there was little loot.  We weren't gentle.  I was sure that this man was the local source of many wrongs in the area.  It was wren that drew my attention to something.
It the valley to the north, there seemed to be plenty of smoke rising into the air.  My first thought was perhaps a forest fire.  I asked he to go check it out.  She headed up the slope quickly, and it wasn't long before she returned.
"Hobgoblins."  She said, out of breath.  "Five hundred of them."
I think everyone in the party swore at the same time, to their own Gods.  The number was direct threat to the baronies, and perhaps even the county.
We needed to get the Hells out of there.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Something to think about...

We Are People


We are people.
We are not gay, straight, or bi.  We are all these things, and so much more.
We are people.  We are not black, white, Asian, or aboriginal.  We are all of these things, and so much more.
We are people.  We are not Jews, christian, Muslim, Shinto, Buddhist, atheist, or any other religion.  We are all of these things, and so much more.
We are not rich or poor.  We are not pretty or ugly.  We are not old or young.  We are not male nor female.  We are all of these things, and much, much more.
Why we insist on narrow viewpoints, limiting perspectives, and closing our minds to new ideas is beyond me.
We are people.  We need to be equal in standing, in rights, and in potential.  Should we ever achieve this, humanity will leap forward.
We are weaker when any of us is thought of as just gay.  Or just Muslim.  Or just black.  We all fail in our potential.  That is our weakness.  That is our critical flaw.  It is why we fight, why we weaken ourselves, and why we deny recognition of others, and therefore, through that precedent, ourselves.
Our strength as homo sapiens lies in our diversity.  Our willingness to adapt to new ideas, share new philosophies, and use them to change our perspective.  We grow, we develop, and we improve as we change, progressing ever forward and these ideas and philosophies are applied.
We are all people, as different as we are from one another.  But because we are people, we are also the same.
Copyright 2013 this blog.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Eddard's Diary: Chapter 4- Siege at Halfbrook

1. Smoking Inn

Two more miles, and my worst fear was realised.  The Troll and Maiden lay in ruins.  There were men, the Duke's men by the look, poking through the still smouldering remains of the Inn.
My first thoughts were for Tia ad her child.  I could see no others anywhere in the area.
With no sign of anyone else, I decided to go to the nearby temple of Chauntea, to see the priests. 
That decision didn't help.  The temple area was empty, though undamaged.  A quick search of the area made it appear as though the priests simply abandoned it.
What happened to Tia?  Where were the survivors?  I was torn, I had a duty to those we had rescued in Scornubel.  I also had a very strong need to find Tia.  Duty won.  It had to, though the question of her location would plague me for some time.
I went back to the ruins to converse with the soldiers there.  Only Logan and I approached them, the others hid some distance off, though near enough if we needed them.
A conversation with them proved that they were there merely to investigate.  We were told the in was attacked, by soldiers wearing cloaks in the colours of Baron Redhand.  This was proved out when someone discovered a Redhand Knight's sword.  Logan and I looked at each other.  Someone was trying very hard to implicate Garrus' father in something.  The whole thing smelled bad.  I didn't believe the evidence, he definitely wasn't the type.  So the question is, who was doing this and why?
We didn't dally.  We had people to take home, safely, and night was coming, so we pushed on. 
It took 2 days to get to Halfbrook, our final stop.  There were only four people left.  Two were the girls Wren rescued from the traders, and the last two were from village itself.
When we got to Halfbrook, we were greeted by the townsfolk, and an impromptu celebration was held at the Inn.  Wren decided she would blend in as a rescued person, in an attempt to discover if the return of the girls was welcome by everyone.
Logan and I got to talking about the night of the raid.  We decided to find out as much as we could about it, as a stepping stone to learning what was really going on.
As we interviewed everyone we could think of, the militia men involved in dealing with the raid, the parents of one of the girls- from the farm north of town, and staff members at the inn, we learnt many things.
The raid was clearly well planned.  The door at the back of the stables was left unlocked.  The militia were busy at the farm when the inn was hit, and Thoram's goods were a bonus and not the target.  We knew the date was consistent with the information on our map from the bandit hideout,thus indicating the date was planned in advance, and wasn't changed because of the presence of Thoram's goods.
The unlocked gate gave the bandits free access to the inn.  They had inside help.
By the time the investigation was concluded, day had turned to night.  I wrote a quick note or Wren and slipped it into her hand, asking her to look check on the inn's employees.  We narrowed it down to someone with a store room key.  The owner and the night manager.
Wren did her thing.  It was the night manager.  She did a quick search of his room and Thoram's weapons were found.
We had the night manager arrested.  Thoram was pleased to see his weapons.  The armour, however had been taken by the bandits.
A hard interview with the night manager and we got a name.  Miklaus.  He was a hunter who had a lodge a ways north of town.  A local hunter, eager to help, offered to lead us there.  So, tomorrow, we would go.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Eddard's Diary: Chapter 3

They came, We saw, I Charged

It was like that, As soon as the two wagons came into view, I spurred my horse forward.
I had one major concern, that the guards did not have time to react to the attack and kill the people being transported. 
I stood high in my saddle, and leaped the distance from my horse to the wagon top.  Even as the crossbow bolt stuck in my side, my swords impale the guardsman.  I was hurt pretty bad, but I used the body of guardsman as cover from the crossbowman on the wagon.
An arrow appeardd in him, and he fell, from Ulf I think.  Thoram took care of the guards flanking the wagon.  Garrus and Ulf went after the other.
As quick as I could I got the body of the guardsman free of my blades, and he fell with a dull thud to the packed ground below. I swung into the wagon.  The guard looked like he was going to fight until Thoram's appeared behind me.  He dropped his weapons.
And just like that, it was over.  I was bleeding from my side from the bolt, but one by one, sacks were untied and people appeared.
We created quite a commotion.  There were people everywhere.  Even the guard turned up before long.  There wasn't that many involved that the city guard couldn't put a stop to it in reasonably short order.
We were asked questions.  It was sort of undiscussed, but the party as a whole decided not to try and fight the watch.  The freed people spoke for us, as both witness and evidence.
In the end, we were asked to leave town, but the guard captain in charge seemed a little worried.  He asked us to stay in touch, and we'd use the Troll and Maiden as the message point.
We left the next morning, with out fanfare.  We rode while our charges walked.
Well for the most part.  Azzarak did catch up to us the following day.  He had little explanation for his absence.  He also had this idea that the freed people would be better on horseback while we, their protectors walked. 
A quick lesson in battlefield tactics will tell you that the armed people needed to be mounted, as we can respond to better to threats.  We can see further, and react faster to potential problems then someone on foot.  In fact the first lesson I learnt in fighting mounted opponents was "be the mounted opponent."
He got his back up and insisted he was right. 
I realised that Azzarrak was a moron.  I offered to demonstrate this principle.  I told him to start at 150 paces.  If he could reach me before I could put 3 arrows in the ground, he was right.  I knew that I could put 5.  He also refused to take me up on it.
I wanted him out of the party.  I can abide many things.  Except constant stupidity on behalf of the guy that should know better.
Logan soothed us.  Azzarrak walked.  I got over it.  For now at least.
It took us nearly a week to return to the Troll and Maiden.  As we drew close, we saw smoke on the horizon.  This wasn't going to be good.  I could tell.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Eddard's Diary Chapter 3

Inciting the Riot


As the afternoon wore on, I made my back to Garrus and Logan.  I told them of the riot I was setting up that night.  They agreed that it would be useful in keeping the city watch off our backs while we ade a play for the captives.  With little information in how they would actually be moved, we did work out the most likely route Denthos' men would use.  We would be ready.
At te appointed time, I made my way to the market square.  Using all of my oratory skill, I made the already angry crowd, angrier.  I used the evil lurinking in the neighbourhood line to great effect.  I played on their sympathetic emotions to the orphans by claiming," These unfortunates, who have already lost an incalcuable amount, who have already suffered at life's injustice should have those wrongs compounded by being betrayed by the very people that are supposed to protect them.
"These poor children are being sold into slavery, prostitution and worse by the headmaster.
"The law does nothing.  They do not care about the fate a few children.
"The only people that care are standing here.  The only people with the strength and will to do something stand before me, here, tonight.
"We will act when no else will.  We will provide justice to these children.  We will step forward and say 'No!  Not anymore."
The crowd starting chanting. "No more! No more!"
My own voice was rising in pith of righteous anger," Let's end this!  To the orphanage!"
And like water behind a broken dam, the crowd surged in the direction of the orphanage.  I could already see the town guard arriving in force.  Some tried to stop the crowd from moving on the building.  Others engaged the crowd directly with clubs.  Fights were breaking out.
I had to be somewhere else, and made my way quickly to where the party waited.  I worried that I could be identified for inciting the riot, and needed to make a fast getaway.
I was told that the captives were being transported in 2 wagons.  Each one had guards flanki g either side, a driver, a guard on the roof and one riding inside the wagon to watch captives themselves.
We set up an order of battle.  Only Wren and Azzarak were missing.  Wren was to enter the last wagon by stealth.  No one had heard from or seen Azzarrak in 2 days.  He couldn't be bothered to report in.  As we waited, I wondered if I wanted to continue to work with someone as stupid as Azzarrak seemed to be.  After all, anyone with a brain would check in once in a while.  He should be here, waiting for them with us.
And then we saw them, coming down the street.  We readied ourselves and then charged,

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Eddard's Diary Chapter 3 (Con't)

Eddard's Really Bad Day Part 2


I hushed the girls as I crouched low, bow at the ready.  I could hear rummaging around and then I heard the ladder creak.  I waited.  Just a little longer, I thought, wait for it...
A head appeared at the the top of the ladder, I kicked at it, knocking him off the ladder. 
"There they are!  Get him!."
I lined up one with my bow, determined that I meant business.  I let the arrow go, and managed to wing one them in the leg.  By the tears of Mystra, first clouting a little girl, then shooting an unarmed individual.  Would this day never end?
"The next one what comes up here, dies!" I called down to them.  That paused the four men. "I will not permit these children to become slaves."
"What?"  That from the one I wounded.
"These girls were sold as slaves by the headmaster at the orphanage!"  I drew upon my oratory skills for all they worth.  I was at a cross roads here.  If they didn't believe me, they would be back with more people.  I couldn't hold off all of them, though I was confident I could against these four.  I knew that I wouldn't be able to get them all, and I didn't want to.  They were just trying to find a murderer, and a thief.   But maybe they could help us.  We had to prove slavery in a town where those in the trade are established citizens, and even wealthy merchants, important for the economy of the town.
"I have been investigating a case of slave taking for some months.  With the help of some my friends, we have already managed to rescue a handful from certain slavery in Amn and returned them to the their homes.  We tracked more slaves, taken from their homes, from their loved ones, by bandits and sent here."
The men listened, disbelief slowly being replaced by anger.
"Sergeant Rogan was killed in the act of procuring a 12 year old girl for the pleasure of his Amnite master."
The men were visibly angry now.
"She was obtained, for monetary consideration, from the headmaster of the local orphanage."
They became really angry with that last line.  Wren appeared behind the men and made her way forward.
One of the men remembered the money, but before he could say anything, I forestalled him.  "She works with me, and has been crucial in the gathering of this information.  The girls trust her, even as I do."
None of the men moved towards her.  She climbed the ladder.  When she got the top, she told me three things.  She learnt that the remaining slaves were going to be moved soon, most likely that night.  She also said that Denthos was behind the slavery operation.  She believed the people would be taken out of Scornubel by river.
"Good people, I have just been given some important information.  The Amnite Denthos is behind the local slave operation.  I have been told that the remaining slaves from the baronies will be moved to the river tonight."
"Kill the Amnite!  Free the slaves!" came the call from the floor of the warehouse.  It wasn't long before it turned into a chant. 
"My friends, please," I said, gesturing to lower the noise from the building.  As they calmed down I said," Do not throw away your lives attacking the Amnite.  His men would kill you without a second thought.  Leave freeing the slaves to us.  We have friends and are getting quite used to this kind of thing."
They looked disappointed, but still angry.
"But we, as outsiders, can't do anything about the headmaster.  That's what I need you to do.  Go to your favourite hangouts.  Tell your friends and anyone else what has been happening there, gather them," I said a seed of a plan forming in my mind,"and meet me at the merchant square ear the orphanage, one hour after sunset."
"Do this and we can put a stop to the evil that has taken root in your neighbourhood.  Do this and we can bring justice to people who have operated without it for far too long.
"One hour after sunset.  I will update you all then."
The men left.  Talking among themselves. 
I think they were looking forward to the coming night.
I was happy, too.  I was going to use the riot that I would incite to draw the guard away from the people transporting the slaves, taking the city guard out of the equation. 
Inciting a riot.  Should a paladin be doing that?
I couldn't let that thought stop me, there was still a lot to do.