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About Blaze

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  • Birthday 08/03/1969

Character Details

  • Location
    Milwaukee, WI
  • Class
  1. I've updated my stats for last week and the start of this week. Got a bit off track, what with work stresses, the stress of the new home ownership thing and whatnot, but I'm trying to keep going with this challenge and not just throw in the towel like I did last challenge after food poisoning derailed me. To keep going with the little adventure quest I've created for my PC Cedar Lynd, I've added a daily dice roll element with the chance of encounters increasing every few days. Today I rolled for an encounter, so here it is... ------ After Naji, Cedar and the newly healed barbarian Jorn were finally able to meet and confer regarding the goings on in Stalis and other villages in the region, they decided to split up to help speed up the investigation. Thanks to Cedar's work so far, they are certain that the scrolls carry what might be considered a minor enchantment - something she suspects was added simply to make the these entertainment sources difficult to resist, thereby increasing the sales for the now incredibly wealthy Mr. Tock. She suspects there might be a more insidious spell at work beneath the enchantment, but none of the three have enough magical knowledge to uncover it. Today Naji, along with her faithful blink dog tor, are off visiting the farms around Stalis to determine the extent and degree of influence of the scrolls in Stalis, and to help free any and all from enchantments as she had done with most of the villagers. Jorn is continuing to chat up the locals in town, knowing from experience that there is often a grain of truth in the rumors and gossips that go around. That leaves Cedar to test her Intelligence by investigating the latest shipment from the Tick-Tock factories. Knowing there could be a mimic among these seemingly normal crates of books and scrolls and tubes, she proceeds with great caution. "Hurry it up, would you, love?" The wagon driver urges impatiently. "This entertainment ain't going to deliver itself." "Just a few more minutes, Mr. Pillowsby," she replies. "Unless you want to be held responsible when the next mimic attacks, and possibly kills someone." "Get on with it then." He huffs. She continues her search, and finishes without incident. On one hand, she's glad there are no mimics, but on the other hand, she finds no clues either. Was the mimic at the Frosty Fox simply one that had somehow had gone astray? "You're all clear," she tells the relieves wagon-driver as she leaps down from the wagon, landing in a crouch beside the wheels. Pillowsby is about to pull away when she notices the mark and shouts for him stop. "Hold up! What is this?" "What is what now?" he asks, clearly in a foul mood. "I haven't got all day.!" Cedar points to the symbol burned into the wood on the other side of the wagon. "Where did this mark come from? Or more importantly, where did this wagon come from? Is it yours?" "Nah, it's Tock's wagon, in'nit. Come from the city. He provides 'em. We just drive 'em where he tells us," he says, as he looks closer at the swirling brand burned into the wood. "What's dat then? Looks like Tock's mark, but with more bits added." "Could be nothing," Cedar says, but she copies the symbol into her book before letting him drive on. That symbol did looks like the clock symbol that Tacticus Tock used on all of his crates, but it was the 'extra bits' that worried Cedar. She had seen them only once before, in a cave some miles east of Stalis on the way to the city. A cave that contained mimics, and things much worse than mimics too. This could be the lead that they need, for the symbol of a Willow tree and moon superimposed acfross Tock's clock logo looks suspiciously like the mark of the Green Hag known as Rotten Rita Nightwillow.
  2. Naji Whisperwood rides into town on the back of her faithful companion blink dog Kastor. When she received the message from her old friend Cedar, she found it all too easy to dismiss that anything sinister could be associated with the scrolls and books coming from the city. She'd always thought it a harmless entertainment, and often indulged in some of the magical games that could be found within those books of many faces. In her own little village of Cowomonoco, it's more of an issue with the young people not doing their chores than anything else. But now as Kastor lopes into the heart of Stalis, she finally begins to believe. It's not just the young people here, it's everyone - walking heedlessly along with their noses stuck into their enchanted books or perusing the scrolls. Kastor paused at the village green, still white with fresh snow from the night before, though no doubt it would all melt away soon by evening. The highly intelligent blink dog let out a soft growl of a comment, "You're right, my friend," Naji agreed. "This feels all kinds of wrong. The sooner we find Cedar, the sooner we can help her out." ------------ The past few days have been a whirlwind. After only just beginning the search for a condo last weekend, today I find that I've actually had my bid accepted. I'm about to be a home owner. EEK! So yesterday and today I haven't been exactly on schedule, although I'm still trying to meet all my goals. My life's about to be CRAZY the next few months. Good thing I have friends like Naji - aka my bestie Janine - to help see me through. I think at least one more of my friends will turn up in this quest, but I'm saving her for when things get really tough. Stay tuned!
  3. After checking in on the recovery of her friend Jorn, former barbarian and current bartender and owner of the Frosty Fox tavern, Cedar notices the weather, for today at least, actually feels like Spring is here. Sure it might snow again tomorrow, but snow will make it easier to spot any prints that don't belong in her village and her woods. Another shipment of Tick-Tock scrolls, Books of Many Faces, and enchanted U-tubes have arrived in Stalis. But under Jorn's orders, none are permitted in his tavern. That just means business at the Frosty Fox has dropped off considerably, and the two other taverns in this modest village have benefited. People still walk around, if they're walking around at all, like mindless automatons. The more she notices their behavior, the less she wants to view these new magical entertainments herself. And yet... There's a lure about them that she finds almost irresistible. On several occasions now she has found herself scrolling through the latest material, without remembering when she had even begun, or why. But nothing she can do or say on her own will stop the locals from using them. She heads out for another circuit of the village and the neighborhood, hoping her friend Naji Whisperwood will arrive soon to help with the investigation. Maybe she'll have some advice on what to do about these scrolls and books... I walked 1.9 miles today during my lunch, glad that the temp is above 50 for the first time in several weeks, and that the rain is holding off. Today I'm working on eating better. So far I've had one serving of fruit AND one serving of veggies, and the day isn't even over yet. Woohoo!
  4. I had stomach flu about a month ago, during last challenge, totally knocked me out for days, Sure I lost five pounds, but they all found me again after I recovered.
  5. Spent a bit too much time caught up in scrolling in social media yesterday, and ate entirely too much, even though I tracked most of it. Even so, three day's in and I'm still on task. Yay! I'm tracking everything on a white board, but I suppose I ought to be tracking here as well. Not sure how to do a table, so this will have to do for week one. C = Completion H = Half-credit -- = Rest Day X = missed Investigation Journaling C C C H X H H ........C C C Tracking C H C C C C X........X X C Patrol Walking C C C C X C X ........C C C Cleaning C H C X C C C........X C C Destroy Kettlebell C - - C - - X........- - C Self-Care Back stretch/strength C C C C C C X........H X C Bedtime Routine C C C C H X X - X C C Favorite thing so far is the back exercises I've been trying. At handbell choir practice yesterday, my back did not feel completely wretched afterward, just a bit tight, so that's a good sign I think. I was going to add this daily roll of my D&D dice, to give them some use, to determine if my investigation is getting results or if I encounter any more mimics etc, but today I've decided to roll every time I find myself spending too much time on social media, with the chance of an encounter going up every 5 days or so. No mimics or anything suspicious encountered so far. Stay tuned!
  6. First things first, I'm clearing out the area around my massage chair, where I normally charge and use my lap top and cell phone the most, and to the least meaningful purpose. So I'll be relocating my charging cords. And clearing the area of any suspicious (Is that a Mimic?) detritis. I will relocate my journals, bible studies, a good quantity of books and some crochet projects to that corner of my living room, plus my trusty ukulele, so I can make better use of the time I spend working the kinks out of my back after work every day. Second, I'm creating a dedicated workout space in the living room, obvious but not too much in the way, to be a daily reminder to either stretch or do my kettle-bell workout. Since the weather was uncooperative today, I'll also spend half an hour getting my steps in for the day. Of course all this activity will be a good beginning to the cleaning project that's part of this challenge. I've already tracked my food for today and I have a nightly alarm set to start my bedtime routine timely. So I think I'm in decent shape to start tackling this quest tomorrow. ------------------------ It's a big job to tackle on my own, Cedar thinks, as she heads upstairs to her modest quarters above the Frosty Fox tavern. With Jorn focused on recovery, she decides to do some preparations this evening , gather and check her gear and whatnot, before jumping into this new mission...., quest..., thing. But tomorrow, perhaps it would be best to seek out a few friends to help her locate and free any be-spelled villagers, track the source of the mimic, and root out any others that may be lurking nearby. There's the halfling druid, Naji Whisperwood. She lives in a nearby village but many a time they've patrolled the woods together in the territory between their two villages. Naji is always eager for an adventure, so Cedar is sure she'll come help if summoned. It's getting late and there's much to do. She'll send Naji a message in the morning. Perhaps if she also puts a notice on the local message board in the town square, there'll be others willing to help.
  7. THE QUEST I recently took a 140 question quiz to find out I'm a level 6 Lawful Neutral Human Ranger (xp 14,000) with the following stats. STR 11 / DEX 11 / CON 9 / INT 14 / WIS 11 / CHA 13 So I've decided to build this challenge around my strong desire to play D&D, even though I never have. I've been educating myself, and having a lot of fun doing so. It's kind of tricky being the DM of my own quest, but I'd like to ievel up and eventually increase my stats a bit, so I came up with this idea for an old ranger like me to get back into the adventuring game. Where did this mimic come from? Are there more hiding in plain sight just waiting to attack? And what's going on with these scrolls? INVESTIGATE I must investigate the strange goings-on at the Frosty Fox and the surrounding village of Stallis. This means I will be keeping a more detailed journal than I have been doing, and tracking my food (already doing this hit or miss but I need to keep it up every day and track ALL meals) (50 xp max per day - 25 for journaling/25 for tracking) PATROL After a long winter, I need to get back out on patrol. My goal is to walk more, at least 1.5 miles per day, preferably more and out in nature somewhere, and to work on cleaning up my home environment at least 10 minutes per day to discover any other hidden mimics in my immediate vicinity. (50 xp max per day - 25 for walking/25 for cleaning) DESTROY My bell-handled kettle, or Kettle-Bell if you prefer, seems a perfect weapon to tackle any other Mimics hiding in the neighborhood. I will train with it regularly, and use it to crush any other mimics I encounter. (50 xp per workout 3 days per week) BONUS - SELF-CARE I need to take a few minutes every day to stretch and strengthen my back, and I need to limit exposure to the possibly cursed or enchanted Tick-Tock scrolls, the Books of Many Faces, and even the U-shaped Tubes, so I can get to bed on time and get plenty of rest to do it all again the next day. (50 xp max per day - 25 for stretching / 25 for completing my bedtime routine) With this system I can earn a Maximum of 7,000 xp if I do all the things. I need 9,000 to go to Level 7 Ranger so it won't happen all in one challenge, but let's see how far I can go in unraveling this mystery that's bringing Cedar 'Blaze' Lynd out of her early retirement.
  8. ..... The moment Jorn touches the vile mimic pretending to be a crate of scrolls from Mr. MacTock's shop, she snaps out of his strange reverie and shouts, "By all the gods! What's this?" His hands are now stuck fast to the sides of this false crate, and he leans back as far as he can to dodge that sickly purple tongue that strains toward his face. He looks around the room for aid. "Blaze! Help me," he cries. Cedar, somewhat shocked that he would suddenly call her by her old nickname, is already moving. What a day to leave her crossbow at home! Her dagger and short sword will do no good here, she knows, so instead she lobs a pair of darts straight into the creature's side, cracking its wood-like skin and sinking deep into its true flesh. Jorn takes the opportunity to lift the crate, since he can't let it go, and slam it against the nearest wall. But it seems to be bigger than it was just a moment ago, and its tongue latches onto his shoulder. The old barbarian howls at its touch. "Gah! It burns!" Burning... that gives Cedar an idea. She lunges for the old, cast-iron stew kettle hanging over the hearth. It's heavy. and her back protests, but she has no time for the pain. Rushing to Jorn's aid before he can take any more damage , she slams the kettle down on what ought to be the growing monster's head. To her surprise, the kettle with its bell-like handle comes away easily from the Mimic. It doesn't stick! Perhaps all the crease built up on its cast iron sides prevents the creature's natural stickiness from taking affect. "Again! Hit it again!" Jorn bellows as he slams it against the wall twice more. He's wounded though, and surely can't hold it off much longer before it grows big enough to swallow him up whole. A half-dozen more strikes with the heavy bell-kettle convince the mimic to take its natural form, release Jorn and make a retreat. But it's wounded now too, and far too slow. Jorn grimaces as he reaches for his old maul, hidden under the bar, and levels a mighty blow down on its gruesome head, enough to crush the vile creature and end its miserable existence. "Well then," he sighs, looking around the room where not a single one of his patrons has noticed the commotion or even stirred an inch in their chairs. He snatches a book of many faces from his serving girl's hands. "Oye! Clean that up, would ye?" She jumps, and blinks as if coming awake after a long sleep. He points to the gory remains of the mimic strewn across the wall, the floor and the bar itself. Shocked speechless, she runs out of the room, hopefully for a mop and bucket. "Something is terribly wrong here, my friend. Why should a mimic hunt prey in my pub? They're cave dwellers , for Uthgar's sake!" Jorn grunts as he looks down at his wounded hands and bleeding shoulder. "If not for you..." "Think nothing of it," Cedar replies. "Don't worry about all of this. Just get yourself to a healer. I swear to you I'll get to the bottom of this. But first things first." She moves about the room, snatching away every last book and scroll from the dazed villagers and kicks them out the door. Some of them protests but she tells them all, "Go look at the message boards in the town square like everyone else. Some of us have more important things to tend to."
  9. The story begins, as all good stories do, in a tavern... She sits in the farthest corner of her local pub - always in the corner with the best sight lines, multiple escape routes, and no chance for an enemy to sneak up from behind - because her long years of training will not allow otherwise despite that she as been out of 'game' for many years now. Cedar Lynd, once known among her compatriots simply as Blaze, now leads a quiet life in this quiet town, and here she sits quietly perusing the latest scrolls from the capital. More than ever, they seem to be filled with nothing but the most superficial, yet somehow oddly engaging bits of information or entertainment. In particular, those produced by the famous former clock maker Tacticus MacTock, seem to have caught everyone's fancy, leading him to convert his workshops over solely to the production and dissemination of these scrolls. Each tiny token of a tale compels her to push the scroll down and view the next one, and the next. Some clever bit of basic magic adds a degree of animation, and even some repetitive but highly catchy music has been added, leading to this almost irresistible effect. Pausing a moment to sip her cardamon tea, Cedar glances around the dark but homey pub room with its huge hearth and familiar fixtures. Another habit ingrained in her, to scan for threats. But the big room of the Frosty Fox is quiet, more quiet that usual at any rate. It seems that all of her fellow patrons, a dozen souls in all, are equally engrossed by these so-called Tick-Tock scrolls. Even the barkeep Jorn Hammerheart, a burly ex-barbarian and her good friend of many years, seems totally enthralled by these things. Cedar knows there is no value in them. She should get out into the woods and patrol for trouble. Even if there hasn't been the slightest sign of trouble in years, it would still do her good to get out of this smokey pub and tread along the old familiar pathways around town again. But the weather is turning, she thinks, maybe just one more scroll. When next she lifts her head, to laugh out loud at the silliness of a very small dog carrying a very large stick, she sees the shadows have moved at the windows. At least an hour has passed. She reaches for her tea only to discover it's gone cold. A quick scan of the room confirms the same twelve patrons all in the same twelve chairs. They are all staring at their scrolls, or at their leather-bound books embossed with many faces. None of them are talking to each other, and in fact, she's not sure she's heard a word spoken beyond the odd mutter for quite some time. Even Jorn's serving girl sits staring at a book of many faces near the bar. It's very strange, isn't it? Or is it normal, Cedar asks herself. Is this normal now? She can't tell anymore. It's almost like... Like being under a spell. But that's nonsense. of course. Suddenly her friend Jorn straightens up from the bar, rolls up his scroll and sets it aside. Good man, she thinks. Good example to the rest of us. She too lays down her scroll and stretches in her chair, her back in a sorry state after sitting so long hunched over like that. It cracks when she pushes up from the table. Time for that patrol. But Jorn isn't done after all, she notices. Instead he reaches toward the Tick-Tock crate sitting atop the bar, intent on reading another scroll. When did that crate get delivered, she wonders, certain it had not been there before and that the color of the box looks odd compared to the others. Jorn himself seems quite odd and not at all himself. His grey eyes are glazed and he seems unaware of his surroundings, just like the rest of the people in the Frosty Fox today. So only Cedar notices the row of jagged white teeth that suddenly appear around the rim of this crate, and the sickly purple tongue of a mimic as it rolls out, straight toward Jorn! ......... to be continued ........
  10. My progress isn't showing up on the 2nd tab. Did I fill something out wrong?
  11. Hellooooo! I've just discovered this group and glad to join up with fellow like-minded travelers. I've signed up and added my progress to-date, and then tracked the distance I've walked today. I only track miles walked when I specifically go for a walk, not all of my footsteps taken in a day, so it's taking me a bit longer. My current goal is to make it to Rivendell by my birthday August 3rd. I will have to average about 1.36 miles per day to reach it on time, which I think is achievable. If I really step up my game, so to speak, and average 2 miles per day for the rest of the year, I could make it to Lothlorien by New Years Eve.
  12. This is just what I need. I managed to lose 10 pounds of Covid weight last year, but got stuck with another 12-15 still to go, and that's to just get me back to where I was March of 2020. I'm still figuring out my battle plans, and looking forward to stealing ideas from any source, and adapting them to my own circumstances. Whatcha got?
  13. I'm here/back. So things didn't quite go as planned. I was doing stuff but not tracking, intending to report on this thread eventually. Then I got food poisoning and was out for several days - seriously messed up my whole system. I totally forgot what I was supposed to be doing. I did not FLY more than a handful of times BUT I have been focusing more on getting veggies in every day. AND I have done a few more of the new random things from my list - Take a Nap (no problem there), Go Somewhere New, Try a New Form of Exercise, Go to a Different Store than Usual, Try a New Recipe, No TV/YouTube for a Day. Anyway, going to try again next go around with something a little more structured. Good luck on the next Challenge everybody!
  14. Unfortunately, lack of snow here in Southern Wisconsin lead to the cancellation of the outing. It snowed the next night plenty, but too late for us because we couldn't reschedule.
  15. Sunday I got my first real lesson on how to knit and I managed a few rows on my own. Today's new thing to try was to learn a new game.... Am I crazy wanting to try D&D at this stage in my life? But I'm kind of addicted to Viva La Dirt League and have watched all their D&D sessions, and now I just want to play. Only I have very little clue how to get started. Today I registered on D&D Beyond and worked on creating my first character a moon elf druid. Next step is figuring out what to do with her.
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