Fifty-odd Years

I was exiled on Merdi, the 29th day of Autumn, 541.

From a bumbling exile running around wide-eyed looking for enlightenment, to a (still wide-eyed) apprentice under Diotima’s care. From the poor town-sitting Thoom who once managed to get kidnapped by a drake with Algernon, to a recognized, seasoned (and rich!) Journeyman under Phiros’ guidance and beyond. From a (mostly) quiet fan at the first Slyphonics concert, to having tea with Slyph, J’nder, and Gaia in Her temple, to finally becoming the chainmail-bikini-clad singer’s fiancé almost half a century later (and yes, she still makes jaws hit the ground wearing that bikini, thank you very much). From a blip on the radar to the One, larger-than-life, True Thoom.

A lifetime of exile: physical, spiritual and mental. Stranded and lost at first, my patience was tried, tried again and tried some more (as were my wits upon occasion). Sometimes the burden was too great, sometimes the path too difficult to see, or too difficult to walk. Yet I was pulled back out of my funk too many times to count. Too many people to thank, too many names to list (under what criteria, in what order?)… Again and again, almost giving up, faced with utter darkness, only to be blinded again and again by the light of our little exiled community.

Yesterday, Fordi, the 78th day of Spring, 592, our community smiled on me once again. Yesterday, I was recognized as a Mystic.

There had been hints, of course. Winks and nudges, though as a fashionable Thoom, such occurences are fairly commonplace – and I was merely thankful they weren’t accompanied by a pinch to the bottom or other such displays for which my Thoomishness seems to be a risk factor. After 50 years however, one doesn’t let his hopes go up too easily. And so it was that I got summoned by a few familiar faces.

The drawing seems reluctant to resolve clearly.

Mystics in the garden

Familiar yet awe-inspiring faces, all clad in ceremonial attire no less!

A fairly short chat later, the details of which I would rather not consign here, and I was a Mystic! From there, aside from a quick tour, it was all congratulations, cheers, and… Beer! We made our way back to town for some kegs and shenanigans. A few orgas even joined the festivities, and somehow were polite enough not to steal any of the beer.

Orgas and beer

Wangah Rah had brought some friends along for the celebration.

Of course, it’s not the end of the journey for me, and aside from catching up on all this paperwork I was given following my promotion, I don’t intend to be any less active as a result of it. A few days to bask in the newfound position seems in order however, and I have received many words of encouragement and congratulation. Geotzou even had his own version of a celebratory party.

Geo's garden

At least I'd like to believe it's a party, not simply an acute botanical form of OCD.

I want to thank the entire town for their support, for their friendship, their enmity, their acknowledgement and dismissal, their hatred and their affection. I wouldn’t be the Thoom I am now without it.

Posted in Ansset, Asenath, Diotima, General, Geotzou, J'nder, Melben, Phiros, Platypus, Ragin' Cajun, Salazar, Slyph, Wangah Rah | Leave a comment

Old Flames Can Still Set the World Ablaze

…as long as they still burn.

Althea might not have been fully honest giving Slyph and I her blessing. Or did she even do that? I thought she had… Maybe she was just polite or putting on an act while my snugglekitten was around. Either way, it seems clear now that she still harbors feelings for Slyph, and just as clear that she wishes me dead, or at the very least wouldn’t shed much of a tear for an early thoomish demise.

She was out on the town, asking about my dear Slyph and I, just a few days ago. When did we meet? When did we start dating? How did we come to be an item? All questions that I normally take great pride in answering, of course. And yet, when Althea asked, terror settled in. And so did doubts. Questions raced through my head as I struggled to keep my countenance.

Yes, indeed, Slyph and I met just about forty years ago, and yes, we had a lovely time with Gaia in her temple, drinking J’nder’s amazing tea. (Was she with Althea then?). No, we weren’t dating at the time  (Will I be doubly tortured simply on the assumption that I may have tried to steal Slyph away?). Yes, we only recently admitted our feelings (Does that imply an opening for Althea to try to steal her from me?)…

All the while, the Sylvan killer seemed to sink deeper into… Dare I say rage? Her cold, calm demeanor was only slightly shaken at best, and yet some clues of agitation are hard to miss, such as flipping her sword in the air and catching it on the blade. I will not even pretend I wasn’t intimidated. Something about her presence, about her casual attitude as she demonstrated just how easily she could claim my life if and when she wishes to, shook me to the bone.

And if Althea’s threats weren’t enough for a Thoom slightly past his prime to wish for the invention of a device to regulate his heartbeat, Yor has been out and about visiting Metzetli island… Surely that mighty Zo is not one to be deceitful as a general rule, and yet, I am wary of taking his implicit blessing at face value. Who knows what his legendary honor and bravery amount to, when faced with the dilemmas and struggles of the heart?

Complacency has not served me well, and being too comfortable or trusting might be the key to my own demise. I do believe Yor to be trustworthy, but I fear my gambling habit has extended to include my own life as I contemplate the possibility of asking one potential threat to act as a bodyguard against the other. Zos have been hired, of course, but could they stop Althea? Yor seems to have survived her, perhaps I shall ask for his help in trying to do the same. One last gamble, as it may be.

Posted in Althea, Rambling, Slyph, Yor | Leave a comment

A Grand and Drunken Engagement Party

As I write these lines, I am dreadfully ill. Shakily-handed, with the unpleasant cotton in my mouth that comes with drinking my weight in beer and other alcoholic beverages, the world around is still turning and shaking and twisting, and so is my stomach. My face is blue for some reason, too. I suspect some foul play on Lily’s part orchestrated that particular plan.

My lovely blueberry dumpling was the first of us to fall, she's always been a fast drinker, but of course wouldn't stop there. Sadly she was raised before I could position her under the tap.

Things are coming back to me however. First of course the drinking. Thankfully it has yet to come back in a literal sense, despite the encouragements and subconscious need for emulation that comes with extended exposure to Naferu. But other reminders of the party are present. Such as, well, presents. I believe I once had room in my bag!

Aw. My honeylumps sweetums munchkin and I, looking together in the same direction - the next keg - but not quite able to reach. Thankfully we were back on our feet soon enough!

Now I seem to be lugging around a trophy of a Greater Death, among other things. Flashes of Gremlins recommending I hide behind it when my dear Slyph is in a murderous rampage blink to existence in my memory – or was it threatening her with it? Either way… Silly Zo! My tender marshmallow only goes on murderous rampages for people who deserve it, of course, and I tend to be more than happy to join in on the lynching, ritual burning, or simple dismembering.

A Greater Death! Quite the trophy... I suppose it'll be a change from the many mundane deaths I tend to collect.

There were more presents… A lovely vase from Chopper I believe (It seems to be painted to represent some strange religious concepts of bunny gods ruling over bunny people, that was my first clue. The second clue was that it was wrapped half-full of blood)… Drake drops from Mondegreen. I believe my snugglebear even got a gold necklace! As well as an indulstone from Gremlins again — to recall me if I was to try to escape, as if I would!

I get a bloody vase, Slyph gets a necklace. I might have been jealous; but had I gotten expensive gifts I would probably have just given them to my rainbow-flavored pudding cup.

Sadly, other images creep into my recollection of the party’s events. Dreadful things, terrible horrors… Speeches. Endless, self-gratifying speeches serving no other purpose than breaking the rhythm, keeping people from the beer, putting people to sleep! Thankfully a shot or two of the harder stuff made it bearable… But the images and sounds do still haunt me.

Sadly I was not drunk enough yet to blur quite as much of the speeches out of my memory as I would have liked. My scrumptious tangleberry pie was struggling, too, of course.

The few hesitant sketches I somehow managed of the party itself tell a different story at least. Great fun with beer and my sweetie-pie’s hilarious impersonations, lovely music — including a piece written by Ojesi about our legendary love already! Phiros was there playing, too, I remember that much.

A worthy ending to the party! Thankfully the few winners didn't stop our friends running the Golden Butterfly from pocketing quite a good chunk of change.

And of course, I remember that it ended in what’s become a second home, almost a love nest to my sugar-coated-love-muffin and I: The Golden Butterfly of course! I remember the burden of carrying my purse lifting quite quickly, replaced by the wholesome calm of the slots machine’s joyous clamor. Some even won things! But mostly we were happy to bring business to our good friends in charge of the place.

Posted in Airlea, Articna, Athl, Aye'Cha, BluePheonix, Chopper, Connie Crete, Creed, D'Ead, Eirian Caldwell, Feodoric, Fiona, Golden Butterfly, Gremlins, Han, Hel, Jeanne, Kaitlyn, Katrina, Leyenda, Lily Fren, Lorikeet, Maeght, Mondegreen, Naferu, Natas, Noivad, Ojesi, Phaos, Phiros, Raul, Salazar, Semie, Slyph, Sos, Stinkfist, Stora, Var | 1 Comment

Slyph’s Chainmail Bikini: Curse or Blessing?

26th day of Summer, 582

I suppose there may be worse kinds when it comes to curses. Clearly worse than a curse consisting of having to model in her bikini for her fiancé, yet hardly a threat to her life that said bikini is too small. Still, I can’t truly combat my dear Slyph’s want to fight it. After all, I certainly have the most to gain from her fitting in that delightfully enticing outfit.

Clearly, she is no halfling, and the turning heads at her passage demonstrate that amply, her ageless curves are still balanced and well-proportioned, her figure still one for gaping mouths. Her charm is far from gone, and jealousy is still rampant — such a lovely feeling to read seething hatred on others’ faces since our engagement.

And yet, anything short of perfection will simply not be enough for her. Her extended stint in the library left its mark through lack of exercise, and while fabric may be more forgiving, chain mail hardly allows for much chocolate or even beer. And so – thankfully through someone else’s advice, as I may have lost my head suggesting it – she runs, convinced each lap turns back the tide of the “curse” a little further.

Still, her training regiment is relentless, methodical, and frighteningly time consuming. She hardly has had time for much else at all. All for a good cause of course, so I have been exhibiting a mystic-worthy patience, enjoying the already quite noticeable improvements. Mouths gape wider, heads turning threaten to cause an epidemic of neck injuries with every lap around town center.

Soon enough, that bikini will fit her like a glove, but until then I bide my time. An engagement party is in the works, to celebrate the future celebration, but I dare not suggest a date before she’s satisfied with her exorcism. I’m sure the entire town would vote for her to take her time and look even more attractive… If it was up to them – which it isn’t, she’s mine!

Posted in Rambling, Slyph | Leave a comment


1st day of Summer, 582

Ah… Slyph!

Slyph, Slyph, Slyph…

Everything has changed. The trees seem to whisper sweet nothings in my ears, birds and lesser sylvans than you alike chirp your name melodically. The mud has been replaced by imaginary blades of grass moved by a gentle wind in an endless ballet. The rain resonates in the puddles, a beautiful symphony of nature greets my every waking moment… What a strange feeling!

Moments of worry about the millions of things that could go wrong with the wedding, its preparation, the engagement party I still have to have organized, all those things seem fleeting, and so quickly replaced in my mind by your blindingly gorgeous image. How I wish I had admitted sooner, to have known this feeling even a few more days!

But time is not for regrets, and the years of blissful happiness ahead of us worth even more than memories past. Oh dear Slyph how glad I am that you accepted my feelings, and damned be those who would stand in our way! Certainly some old flame of yours could take my life, but then so could a rat on a good day, and I vow to see the obstacles to our unquestionable love as nothing else but that, rodents nibbling aimlessly, waiting to be slaughtered. And they shall be!

They’ll all see. Our wedding will be glorious, our marriage a symbol, and our love a tale for the ages! Much remains to be done, of course. Bards hired to work on original compositions for the wedding, paintings commissioned to brighten our many new homes, decorators found to furnish our many love-nests. Many more butlers, maids, cooks, … But time is on our side, and the unpleasant hiring process can be delegated, for my attention simply cannot be divided: it belongs to you, my dear.

Posted in Rambling, Slyph | 3 Comments


66th day of Spring, 582


As I have learned, it seems everyone but my dear Slyph knew of my fondness for her. But taken aback by the news, and shaken by the words I addressed her – and I pointedly refrain from mentioning Lily Fren’s dreadful timing on her well-meaning but self-appointed approach in the matter – the Sylvan beauty, after only some hesitation, gave a poignant and heartfelt answer, a decisive yes! And subsequently proudly announced our engagement to everyone in town.

The original announcement was too emotional for me to capture a sketch, but her subsequent gloating about her catch inspired me to immortalize it

Lily Fren, squire to the resplendent healer, was honored – and petrified with mind-numbing terror – to be named wedding director, with full creative control, under our watchful and critical eye, of course. Funds will be put together for what is sure to be one of, nay, THE most incredibly exuberant display of style and taste, as our love is celebrated for the entire world to see – other worlds having expressed an interest, but sadly had other plans (or planes, as it may be).

An apt sum-up of the example we shall strive for as a celebrity couple in Puddleby - and perhaps inspire others?

The date for the wedding has not been set yet, of course, as my ravishing companion and I bask in prenuptial bliss, which aside from the obvious will no doubt express itself in a good few parties and gambling bouts. Once we (and Lily) feel ready, announcements will be made, and a whole other set of complications will arise. For now however, the focus is squarely on enjoyment and celebration for the sublime knight and myself.

Salazar putting both "man" and "best" in "best man", all at once (and yes, he made it back alive after snatching a third fallen Mystic, Ansset) - Sketch courtesy of Lily Fren

Too soon, sadly, the dazzling embodiment of style had to leave us for her studies, a void that could only be filled by idle distractions such as… picking a best man. The elimination process was short-lived however, as my mind was set on my good friend Salazar. I hope the other candidates will not resent me – or him – for that choice; I’m sure he will be considerate enough to not monopolize and hit on every female at the reception; but then again, that is his traditional right and duty. My only worry is convincing him to put clothes on for the occasion.

Posted in Ansset, Feodoric, General, Lily Fren, Salazar, Slyph | Leave a comment

A Trip to the Golden Butterfly

53rd day of Spring, 582

For reasons I have yet to fully put a finger on, I’ve had a strange calling as of late, to indulge in the smaller pleasures in life, as if intellectual pursuit might not be the only thing worthwhile. Preposterous concept of course, but all the same, it’s in such a spirit that I found myself thoroughly enjoying an evening of gambling with Slyph. Not a superstitious person as a general rule, I am however not ignorant of my past record with gambling. And thus decided it would be best to let Slyph handle the pocket change that I decided to indirectly invest in the Golden Butterfly casino, as well as the money Kitlin entrusted me to transform into chains – apparently we have a reputation.

My original plan for a round number was thwarted by Kitlin's investment, but it also permitted to prolong our amusement.

Her expert fingers on the sum, and the traditional ritual to warm up the wheels – and spirits – having been handled, Slyph proceeded to “let it roll”, with some degree of success. I found myself burdened with lilaberries and chains (three of which went to Kitlin for her generous sponsoring of our debauchery), while Slyph’s squire Lily Fren, who hung back within safe distance of her knight’s fiery temper (when she loses, anyway), was assigned to beer-drinking and ore-checking duties – which in retrospect might have been a poor choice, for either I should start believing in luck and assume her to be the unluckiest person in the lands, or she embezzled every piece of iron found in the process.

That last wheel seemed to move in slow motion.

But little did I care for iron, and my friend Lily was of course welcome to it if she needed it. So we proceeded with this technique until… I dare not call it an incident; an incident would require more than the simple coincidence that is involved in the wheels showing a winning item on all three slots machines, but still, it seemed to offer a perfect excuse to my partner in crime for stepping outside and sending her squire away to “fix” the wheels by losing on the 10c slots “before it explodes”. I suspect (hope?) she just wanted some time alone with me.

A life-threatening gumball attempted to cut the party short.

After that convoluted yet welcome attempt at courtship, and some further ritualistic demonstrations, she was ready to head back in and gamble some more. Perhaps bolstered by the rituals, she proceeded to win a cluster of orgaberries and a myriad of other less-valuable prizes. And thus the rest of the sum was spent nonchalantly as we bantered about the need for the casino to set up a V.I.P. room for its best clients – although if anyone calls us “whales”, they will be in for a world of pain.

The big prize of the evening, and a step toward my next outfit.

And so we headed back to town to let the adrenalin rush fade, and gloat of course. Sadly, we didn’t go relax in the bath house this time, for I would have loved to draw another sketch of that particular scene – the one I have of our last stay will remain in my pocket.

Posted in Golden Butterfly, Kitlin, Lily Fren, Slyph | 6 Comments

First Steps in the Nexus

30th day of Spring, 582

A couple days ago, I was minding my own business – which is to say I was minding everyone else’s business -, when I was advised to a strange cavern that was discovered. I would be hard pressed to state where said cavern is, as that geographical oddity is seemingly everywhere and nowhere, all at once.

Lorikeet demonstrating the keen observation sense that found the cavern in the first place.

This subterranean cavern, at least from what is known, which is, as is to be expected, off-limits to any group without a pathfinder having mastered Trillbane’s lessons, seems to stand on a geographical oddity. It branches out into such diverse places as the passes, the slime cave, the mountain glen, estuary, and the jade arachnoids cavern.

The Estuary entrance to the cavern (in the left rock wall), where it was originally spotted.

The cavern itself is far from safe, seemingly letting monsters seep in from its many dangerous destinations. Jades, slimes, meshras are not uncommon. The area underneath the passes even contained some dangerous basalt greymyrs, a species generally only found on another island altogether – Metzeli.

Underneath south passes' well, the party was greeted by a handful of Basalt Greymyrs.

Of course, and as is common in our “fight-first, think-never” mentality-driven town, no illusion breaking mystics were present, and as such, it’s impossible to know what other secrets might be hidden deep under our feet. But nonetheless, I expect heavy traffic through that cave once people are made aware of its presence, shortening travel time to many places considerably. Particularly from the convenient entrance to it located in the southern east farms’ well.

A convenient entrance under East Farms (just above the puddle).

Update: It would seem the cavern contains no illusion, a thorough inspection with the help of Phiros’ illusion breaking talent led to nothing but disappointment.

Posted in Ayelwen, Exploration, Hoggle, Kani, Lorikeet, Mephisto, Moon Kitty, Naferu, Phiros, Revlis, Stinkfist, WormTounge | Leave a comment

A Place for my Thoughts

21st day of Spring, 582

It’s been a very strange time. A tiring time, but enlightening all the same. Adventure follows adventure, and sleep rescinds before them. And so it does too, before the “simple” act of having a conversation in town. Come to think of it… When was the last time I slept?

Ah perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself. A few steps back now. Just a frog’s leap. Maybe 40 years… I had adventures then, too… And then the books.

I thought I might never escape the books, the studying, losing myself in strange tomes that even I could barely only make out the meaning of the title. That held me captive in the library over so many years.

And now it’s as if I’m immune to their call. I know, I can see, that my training is suffering. I can see mystics already far more trained than I am breezing through trainings that will take me many zodiacs to muddle through.

The support I’ve received from many has helped, of course. The little people love me. Pah! Love me enough to let me know when they fall and need me to come break a chain on them, certainly. But no, let it not be said that I’m not appreciative as well. Still not quite as much as I would progress in the crafts, if I were to spent more times in the books. Always the books!

That logic however falls short. As the books – or, perhaps, the training itself – seem to bring me little in comparison to what a good conversation, a good exploration can. So let them call me a town dweller, let them think I sit all day! Little do they know what these eyes have seen, and see every day.

But they’ve seen even more, and an old Thoom can only remember so much. It’s time to consign my memory somewhere.  So I grabbed a pen, and this old useless tome. Lucky for me some idiot thought that telekinesis was so applicable and dangerous they needed to hide their five hundred pages of useless self-congratulatory ramblings in invisible ink. The cover is quite nicely ornamented, too.

Posted in General, Rambling | Leave a comment