Old News 2005

December

December 11th: Well hopefully this is the end of an utterly shite week. It started with the car being a bit crap, then not working very well (sorry, utterly shite at mechanical problems) and costing £400. Then the Hospital dentist pulled out two of my teeth, which caused my jaw to ache three days after the operation (I say operation as there where stitches as my tooth fragmented and required drilling and cutting.) I am currently over dosed on painkillers - the box says 6 iboprofen a day max, and I have taken 33 in a 60hr period*, and it still hurts in a jolly bad fashion, my Christmas present of Sky+ installation failed horribly as I live too close to a line of tree's and didnt want to put 4 bolts in my neighbours wall, while today I can hear drilling on my front room wall meaning he didnt have the same qualms as I had.

Had, as I will be getting sky back to drill what they like in the wall - fed up with not being able to record programs properly with NTL - this is assuming I can contatct them as I spent an Hour and 15 mins listening to a message being repeated while I played FEAR. Then my Yamada DVD player acts up, and finally dies - not surprising as I used it every day for a few hours a day for 18 months or so, so as the other part of my christmas pressie, my missus gets me another DivX player, a Philips 5100 which has had very good reviews. I get it home, multi region it, and then firmware upgrade it (with Phillips own firmware,) and it fucking dies.....

At my Christmas party (which went well) I had to suffer the office twat try and be autheritive with me, until I told him in my special way to go away, which caused my mate to have a go at me as apparently "..its wrong to make a grown man cry.." - some people just cant take a joke when a drunk bloke taking pictures of his own arse happens to spot you having a piss in the gents...

Oh and the car is also leaking Oil, which it was'nt before, so is going back tomorrow, so technically the week hasnt ended yet....

* - I forget whether alcohol is supposed to help or hinder the painkilling process, and my normal piss poor tolerance level excelled its normal low limit as I must have consumed 12 or 13 bottles of 1664, Stella and Sol. On the plus side, the lime in the Sol bottle must have counted towards my 5 a day fruit and vegatable content though.

December 5th: Well the new chapter is now up, and onto the next. If I can get the chapters done to 117 (the last of the sessions we played up until around March, by the new year, I will be very happy. The rest are on the laptop, so that should make things that much easier, but I will let you know if thats actually the case or not.

No real TV watching for a while, as I catch up on the Lord of the Rings Trilogy Extended versions, watching half a film every night - think I will fininsh them off in the next day or so. As mentioned below, the chapter quote is indeed the one listed - nothing came remotely close enough to take its crown suprisingly.

Slime and the Elven trap detection crew start Chapter 114, and another city assualt finds many dead that we honestly didn't have anything to do with. The Gay Barbershop Quartet are born, and Orko takes offence to Kua-toan quisine.

November

November 28th: Working on the next chapter at the moment, and I havent even written a page and I already have a likely suspect for the chapter quote in the shape of this:

Agador starts to examine one of the magical spears that we picked up along the way, a Black half spear, looking tarnished but still very sharp. He suddenly collapses and falls to his knees, a throaty cough producing a spec of blood on his lips. He has the look of one recently touched by undead, and weakly calls out a warning " ….dont touch that…". This is completely ignored by Orko, who steps over the stricken Wizard, picks up the spear, and then collapses next to him, shivering cold, pasty faced, and also blind for his troubles.

Bloody stupid Elves.

The next session is likely to be round at mine this weekend, and we will be continuing our fight with some rather rude Fire Giants, and remember to check here to see what we are up to while I get the chapters updated.

November 16th: Added more quotes to the list. Oh, and reading Simon R Green books leant to me by Agador, about two guards called Hawk and Fisher - which are Fantasy based murder mysteries, and a very good read. Nice and simple, and you dont have to remember 30 peoples names before the end of the first chapter, or read on and on about swampy swamps like some other books I could mention.

November 14th: Had a good clear out of my EQ stuff, and loads of Bodi sheets went in the bin, but I started to type them up, and they are posted here if you fancy a trip down EQ memory lane.

Oh, and playing FEAR. Do the makers realise just what they have done, giving someone like me a slow motion button and a shotgun? Do you know how many times I went through the same section as I scared my neighbours witless as I laughed like a madman? And yes, that is his head blown off. Now all I need is a shotgun, some magical method of slowing down time, and the address of the person responsible for playing the Clover butter adverts again....

November 12th: Chapter 113 is now up, and here's the little synopsis:

We are still in the pool room during Chapter 113, then leave shortly after to run round in the dark to cause trouble with the local militia where many powerful spells are thrown on both sides, but nothing is as powerful as the horror that is caused by realising you have vomit on your nice clean robes.

Chapter 113 was played 23 Jan 2005.

As for other things going on, you (hopefully) may have noticed the new quotes images on your left, and I need to change the rest of the quotes to look like that - feedback would be good, and if you want a different image for the background (I used the ones from the character pages apart from Orko), or can suggest a different layout etc, then just let me know.

As for other things - got my PC sorted, and can play games again - huragh! I have used this to full effect by playing the FEAR demo, and coming home to kill some naughty terrorist's in Raven Shield certainly stops me from wanting to take my anger issues out on passersby, fellowbus travellers, work collegues etc. I updated Steam to the new client (which is supposed to be better now) and should get a chance to play Half Life 2 tomorrow.

Done some more Magic stuff, which you will find posted on the MTG page shortly - basically me and Mike thrashed Keith and Rob 7 or 8 games to 1, and today I had a MASSIVE clearout of all the Everquest stuff I had printed off in the many years that I played the game that was kept in the bottom of my wardrobe. Why have I kept Maps, Quests, character sheets for more than 3 years I dont know, but I did, and now they are all gone. Well except the character sheets - I am not binning them until I have typed up the bits I have written on them. Yes, I know that sounds weird, I know I am not playing the game anymore, nor involved in any Monk related boards, but I like to keep the stuff I have written, and on the internet, its there as history. I know what I mean even if others don't, and otherwise I would only fill it with pictures of Chin Chilla's copulating.

Oh, and if you go to Google, there is a site that is number one out of 56 million entries for the words 'Into the Night Below' - maybe we should check it out?

October

October 24th: Added another little page, called chapterinfo, where cunnigly, it contains info on the chapters (do you see what I did there?) that are written, and also a little note on the ones that havent, so you can see what we are actually doing while I struggle to catch up with the other chapters played sometime last year.

Other stuff - OOooo Smallville, OOooo Surface (no, not the 80's slick soul group, but a TV show on some scary sea monsters) and Ooooo Bones.

October 19th: Just returned from a weekend down at Folkestone, and the start of another mammoth DnD session. At least 20 hrs of gaming over the 2 days, and a Magic booster draft thrown in for good measure - although this did cause some people a few short nights sleep (finishing at 530am and back up at 10am) - I am glad I took the day off, I can handle the short nights, but only for a day or so, then this old man needs his kip!

Once more a terrific session, where we went into a brand new area, a new chapter in the Night Below saga, and we got to meet new and exciting creatures - except the Purple wurm, the Ropers, the Trolls, the Spectres, the tarbaby....hmm, ok, that leaves a Basilisk and some scary rocks, which actually did the most damage to the party.

As for the weekend itself, 10 blokes drinking beer and eating crap all weekend caused the house to be able to power half of Folkestone with the amount of natural gases being emitted, and there where many kebabs and (rank looking) pizza consumed. Also, the amount of cussing to each other was at an all time high, and although largely attributed to "..all you down one side," - but I am sure one of those suspects could have done quite well all by himself. I cannot imagine what it would be like if this level of abuse was taken out on others....

I took my laptop for the first time, and that went down well I thought - an Excel spreadsheet allowed me to put all my many interchangable stats down as well as keeping track of saves and even xp. I also wrote notes directly into a Word document, and I think it will be a lot easier to convert into a chapter, hopefully cutting down the amount of typing. It also came in handy to play Robotron 2084 as well as some well old pikey games that I have never heard of, nor wish to play ever again, like Gypsy Juggler and some other title that should never be played by another living soul.

And lastly, we come to the saying, or phrase of the weekend, from none other than the Bard himself, Mr Robbie Falcon. When a few people where taken down again in a fight, he called out "..you are Wall One you are!" After a few curious glances, he reminded us of David Gemmells Legend, in which all the useless ones in the battle die first - and this phrase was repeated at every opportunity when someone took a good caning. Bloody genius.

October 5th: Huragh! Chapter 112 is here. I will eventually come up with my version of a witty anacdote about the chapter, and how we failed in this and that, and then overcome tremendous odds, blah blah, but I am knackered, and I think its time for bed. I will be back on the chapters straight away, and as mentioned, do have about 6 pages of notes written already. So, without any ado, I give you Chapter 112.

September

September 27th: No update for a while, so I will fill you in on a few things. Firstly, the DnD stuff:

PBEM: This stuff is still continuing, but not updated on the website at all, mostly as its just the final mop up of the city itself. The deal we did with the Son allowed us to gather the rest of the coin and jewelry around, and that is just being divvied up now. Once that is done, we will leave the city, training will be done, and Santa's little workshop will start churning out those early christmas presents.

Folkestone: Confirmed as the weekend starting Friday the 14th October, a little under 3 weeks away, and that will be the start of the DnD again, Huraghs all round methinks. The Friday will probably be a little Magic tournament, or at this moment, probably Alcatraz! Alcatraz! - Dont ask. It will involve 8 to 10 blokes, ranging in age from mid twenties to late thirties with blacked up faces running from one end of he garden to the other...

Chapters: 112 is still continuing, and I have done a little more than half way, and will get back on that soon as. The recent Magic tournament is what I am finishing up at the moment, but will be back to this shortly. Doubt it, but want to get 112 and 113 up and done before Folkestone.

Last but not least, I got this sent through by email, done by our very own resident artist, Orko, and jolly good it is too!

TV: Finishing off CSI Miami season 2, so I can catch up on the 3rd season where one of the team dies! Not good. Not sure whats next on the list, but Medium has started back on BBC1 and I havent seen all of those, plus there are a few other things as well.

September 2nd: Chapter 111 is done now, and the little cheery synopsis is posted below. There is more talk about the large Folkestone session, which is good, and also a 9th Edition Booster draft is also to be confirmed. Updated a few of the chapter quotes as well, adding in the last three or so that where missing, as well as changing the order in which they appear - I think they start from chapter 95ish and rotate to the latest before starting again from the begining, rather than from 80odd. Hero XP and the overall site synopsis is a tad out of date as well, so they will probably get some attention soon.

Next webby stuff will be the MTG session from last time, which Mike won (or was it Chris?) but that shouldnt take long, then I will be back to the chapters once more. If we are staring again in October, or Novemeber I would like to be up to date with it all.

Oh dear. I made the mistake of checking when the Chapter was actually played compared to when I wrote it, as well as noting when I started and posted them to see how long it was taking to do so....

Chapter Played Start writing Posted
108 - 10th October 2004 ??? 05/04/05
109 - 24th October 28/04/05 15/05/05
110 - 7th November 14/05/05 09/07/05
111 - 21st November 03/08/05 02/09/05

Looks like my target of one a month needs to be stuck to for a start. Chapter 112 is the last chapter of 2004, and it looks like another attack on the city, but this time to "......steal the faction flags and hang them in Milbourne as a morale boosting exercise." Sounds like a Robbie plan to me.

Finished reading Ironhands Daughter by David Gemmell, as well as Marabu Stalk Nightmares by Irvine Welsh. Currently reading the absolutely blinding Star Wars books by Timothy Zhan, which Mr Lucas, if you are reading, should be made into the last 3 films of your trilogy sets. Still watching CSI Miami, with Deadwood, and a few other things stacked behind it. Oh, and now have 33 stars in Mario on the DS.

Onto the chapter:

Chapter 111 is yet another attack on the Dukes residence. We find they have left a little pet for us to look after, although Pellet I suspect would probably have prefered to look after the Illithids Bonsai tree instead. Some people take a slight toshing in all the melee, but we do end up winning the day.

August

August 30th: Back in Blighty now, and gladly the sun is shining as it was in Ibiza (although not as hot). The question of "....glad to be back?" always prompts the same answer - one day I am watching the sun set on a San Antonian beach with a good few hundred people while ambiant house tunes are playing in the background with a beer in hand, the next, grabbing a coffee as I go through the pile of bills that awaited my return - which would you prefer?

Back to the chapters, and then the Magic writeup from last time. Should have the next chapter posted by the end of the week, honest.

August 21st: Happy Birthday Dad [Raises a pint].

August 15th: On the chapters again, finished the first page or so, and we have just started attacking the bear. In other news, spent my birthday getting some retro t-shirts (Transformers and the Atari symbol) for my holiday to Ibiza next week, then some take away washed down with a bottle of champers. I cant wait for the holiday, as it means I dont have to suffer my incompitant manager, and she can live and die on her own merits. Just finished reading A Midsummer Nights Dream (yes, I do mean Shakespeare), then followed it with the Time Wars book about The Scarlet Pimpernel, and I will follow it off with my culture in the form of Irvine Welsh and one of his depraved books on drugs and sex. Hmm, just in time for Ibiza....

Oh, and a quick pre 9am update on last night - spent a good hour or so playing loads of old arcade games, including my favourite Mr Do!, Robotron (Godamn its hard firing and moving with the keyboard and not using the curser keys) - gotta love the noise it makes when the game starts as well, Gunsmoke (western scroller shooter that has three fire buttons to fire left right and forwards) Twin Cobra (helicopter scroller shootemup) and good old Commando. Oh, and to top it off, a bit of Guantlet. Now they are what you call arcade games, not the slot machine filled shite you find nowadays....

August 13th: Happy Birthday me!

August 8th: Saturday was a BBB day - Beer, Bowling and BBQ, and jolly nice it was too. My forearm is throbbing, and I sadly let myself down with my l33t bowling skills as my normal score of 110-130 (an average of 1 strike and 3 spares? - or what ever its called when you get 10 down in 2 goes) went out the window. I fear it may have been Phil's ballet dancing followed by a strike (on more than one occasion) that just put me off completely. I think I scored 105 and 95 in the two games, and I cant blame "...not played in ages," as I have been twice in the last two or three months (£2 games on Sundays before 12). 1 Strike, a few spares and far too many splits that I either hit one side of pins or went straight through the middle of them. Anything else I can think of to explain my poor ski11z? Oh yes, I nearly broke my toe trying to emulate Fred Flinstones twinkle toes bowling run...

Oh, and beat my score on Jamies DS - Now rocking along on 500,000+ on the timed Zoo Keeper. Also seen the new Playstation PSP, and jolly good it is too. Looks nice and easy to transfer files (MP3's and video format as MP4's onto a Sony Memory Stick Duo which is about £85 for 1Gb) and playing the Golf game, the graphics are smooth - very much PS2 like. The screen is also very crisp indeed...

Oh, and anyone else noticed that they have changed the Natwest bank advert? The one where the bloke walks down the street expling quite rightly how banks are inexcessable at times and impossible to talk too, and says the line "My Indian, Local, My bank, India"? someone has obviolusly said something about it, and it has now changed to "My Indian, Local, My Bank, a million miles away." What PC nonsense is that? How is it offensive to imply that the majority of call centres have transfered to India? Surely its more offensive that banks who already make tons of cash want to save even more by making call centres in cheap labour based countries, and remove jobs from the UK. Before you think I am going into a racist based rant, I think India and other third world countries are probably being kept artifically poor in one way or another, so banks and other large corporations can get the cheap resources in the first place - so more of a Mark Thomas (who should be back on TV more often) rant than anything.

TV - just finishing off CSI season One, and Deadwood new season, and also flashed my Yamada DVD player so that you can actually see the entire filename rather than only 12 characters, as well as sorting out the piss poor subtitle support it had. Now they are centered and white on black borders, making them infinatly better to read.

Oh, and finally, updated the splash page to the www.castle-grounds.co.uk to add the Magic the Gathering site. Unfortunatly, I didnt have the PNG files I needed to make the icon for the page, so had to redo them with a different font, I think it looks better anyway.

Back to the chapter writing.....

August 5th: If you have not yet sampled the delights of Deadwood (Western showing on Sky One, now in its second series), then please let me narrate a small sample for you:

[Scene: Ian McShanes character entertaining a whore in his office, bent over the desk in unbearable pain.]

Why?, when I was moving forward did you fucking pursue me? When I stopped pressing down thyself did you drive your thumb into my intestine?

Sorry...

Is there a river of blood? Or what the fuck is pouring out of me now?

Nothing..

Ah. Close the assflap. The entire area of my fucking asshole is one gigantic fucking throb. I have no idea what transpired today.

Shall I suck your prick?

Please...

Absolute Genius......

August 1st: The PBEM has kicked off again, as as LotD says - "..theres always a sting in the tail..."

Played another Magic tournament the weekend, and got beaten soundly, but not sure why, and have spent a while playing my daughters Nintendo DS, namely Zookeeper, which is just the MSN game bejeweled repackaged. Tetris like addictiveness though, you have to swap animals around to line three of them up, and then they disappear to be replaced with more. Also, the animal on the top screen makes an excellent face when you line three of his icons up, the kind of face one makes when their nadges are gripped and twisted tightly. Not that I would know, seeing as my local petting corner finally got their restraining order against me AND confiscated my pictures. Cracking good fun though, and I am trying furiously to beat my just shy of 400,000 score on the 6 minute timed game. Cartridges are the size of postage stamps as well, so to fit the N64 Mario game onto it is jolly well done..

Seen a few films recently as well - the marvelous Charlie & the Chocolate factory, purely for the psycotic grins that Depp pulls as he goes into flashback mode as well references to burning puppets. Grudge, which I was working as I watched it, so although the scary japanese lady down crawling around was fun, I didnt get the sense of dread that others had said it produced so will watch it again and concentrate this time. To top it off, the hilarious Dodgeball, which if I had watched it at the cinema, I would have surely been expelled from it. Even the phrase "...if you can dodge a spanner, you can dodge a ball.." makes me chuckle, and to see me last night rolling round on the floor as my daughter and missus stared in disbelief as I cried with laughter.

Still well busy at work, and I hope to get cracking on the chapters again - I will do another chapter before I write up the Magic tournament as I did last time. Toodleloo for now...

July

July 12th: Well I added the latest chapter - I just didnt get the time to go through the motions of updating this page, the synopsis page, etc. Even didnt get round to doing Hero XP, and there are a few chapter comments as well, which may or may be added to during the next week or so. I have the Magic page to update now, but then will be back on the Chapters again.

Chapter 110 as usual sees us take a 'reet good kickin' - this is not that unusal in itself, as many things down here are quite capable of doing that, its just that you dont think that you would be on the reciveing end of such a pasting by what amounts to be small woodland creatures, even if they where magical. So we do what normally happens when we get beaten up - find someone easier to pick on instead.

July 7th: Just about to turn midnight again (on the 6th), and I have decided to finish off this chapter before I do anything else (i.e the Magic writeup from Saturday night.) Just to proove that I am still working away - I actually managed to get an hour or so nearly uninterupted at lunch, and maybe another half an hour or so tonight - so here's another little snippet:

Once they where sure they where safe, the party start to clear the area, and set up a camp within the tree-line. A small collection of rocks acts as a windbreak and also to disguise the flames of the tiny campfire, which is only big enough to boil water rather than cook anything.

Robbie, sipping on some tea, and munching on his trail ration turns to Pellet. “Those tricks you showed us earlier. How could you do them again?”

Pellet turns to face Robbie, but doesn't spot the mischievous glint in his eye. “I have learnt them through the trials of becoming a Deepwood Sniper.” He says proudly.

July 6th: Well its just past midnight, and I have just translated about a third of a page of notes into a chapter writeup. See! Told you I would! *ahem* just 2 pages of notes to go....

Another massive explosion of fire blossoms in the kitchen, followed by Robbie calling "Duck!", as he leaps in amongst the dying flames. The flames have no noticeable effect on Robbie, as his ring of fire protection has thrown up a soft red shadowy shield to absorb the flames surrounding him. Despite the obviously delayed warning, the Fireball clears the Stirges from the kitchen, and he leaps past us heading for the back door.

Oh, and more adverts that fucking jar me. Those ones to do with health and beauty (all women's) - what the fuck is Boswellox? Its a made up name! ".....you too can have visibly improoved life luerlints, as the midiclorines lift and straighten your boswellox clarity." Fuck off.

Hahaha! And watch the little asterix next to the percentage of 'improovements' ie, 70%* of women said it was fab. That little asterix explanation gets shown, normally in white writing on a white background, and it shows how many people where tested, normally around 12 people. What kind of test is that? I see more people than that in an hours travel to work - do some proper testing for fucks sake. I bet more than 12 rabbits wore your boswellox shite, and I bet they didnt mention anything about how it made their face shine.

July 5th: Finished Troy a while back, and jolly jolly good it was too. So is the Crow Road if you havent read it, but I bet it would suprise some people gaining my recomendation seeing as how it's non fantasy and covers the simple story of a Scottish Uncle that goes missing, and his nephews attempts in trying to dispher his whereabouts. Back to Troy - it has some good battles, and also emotional enough to bring that little lump to your throat - you know the one where you pretend it never happened, cough, put the book down and come back later once you have made a coffee. Ebay copies are slowly coming down in price to under the £30 mark now rather that £80+ when they first started to appear.

Watching a lot of CSI Miami at the moment, catching up on the first and second series. For some reason I did'nt like it when it started, just could'nt get into 'feeling' for the team. I watched the one where CSI and CSI: Miami team up, and decided to watch a few more, and suddenly the lead (apologies for forgetting his real name) Horaitio, was a character to really watch, and feel for. He is very passionate about everything, and gets angry when he can't 'get his man' - I don't mean this in the Biblical sense, a contrast to Grishom, who was is apparently very removed from all emotion. So, if you like the original, try Miami as well. Now, I wonder if that works for CSI: NY and the upcoming CSI: The Bronx*?

Oh, mixing it with a dash of Doctor Who. Now I must admit, I watched the first episode in all its camp glory, and although I rate Christopher Eccleston highly as an actor (Cracker, 28 Days Later and numerous little TV drama's and I am sure he was in an Inspector Morse episode) it just did'nt appeal to me. I saw glimpses of other episodes, and even the bit I saw of the Dalek epiosde didnt force me to watch it regulary. I take it all back now though - sitting watches the later episodes in the series they are rather good. When I was a youngster the Daleks (well, more Davros rather than the actual Daleks themselves) and the Cybermen where my nemisis - scary mofo's you needed to be careful of. In this version, the Sleveen's, whom are all cute and fat and cuddly when close up - although they have sharp claws, when any of the people run off, they are chased by digitally enhanced versions, who look more like a scary Spcesis 8472 (whatever) and in the episode where Rose meets her father, the Dragon like beasts in that would give any 6yr old a wet nights sleep.

Talking of scary - Saw War of the Worlds on Sunday with Jamie. Its rated 12a, but I bet there where some back handers with the ratings people - what is it on the back of DVD's now 'moderate violence'? Jamies 12 in a month, but I wouldnt take anyone younger really - although saying that, I know I would have loved it at 7+ death, big robots with lasers, and scenes of the countryside splattered with entrails and dripping in blood.

The effects are all supurb - this is the norm nowadays though - if a film demands a 100ft robot, no problem! Digitally enhance and digatise and here's a handful of them. Other effects such as streets falling apart and buildings exploding all look real. What makes the film that much better in my eyes was the amazing sound track - you just will not be able to recreate the sound whilst watching the DVD when it comes out. Well, not without your neighbours calling the police assuming you have a grand or two's worth of dedicated sound kit. Our UCI blasted the noise and crashing walls and screams echo all around. Ooo and the foghorn noise they make sends a shiver down your spine. Jolly good....

Played another Magic booster draft the weekend as well - the write up will follow shortly. PBeM is still going, we have found some treasure, and just picking through it all now to see what we have.

Chapter writeup? I will be doing some more tonight. No, truthfully! Hand on heart.

* - Not actually a CSI program, but it could be.

June

June 24th: Oh nearly forgot. Picked up a copy of David Gemmells Troy from ebay - the book proof seeing as how its due for release in September, and was reading it together with Iain Bank's Crow Road. Started getting a tad confusing, and so now I have finished Crow Road, can start back again on Helikon and his mates. Questions regarding small helpless boys that grow big and strong and become Kings defeating beasts of terrifying unnatural design will be ignored as I plead the fifth.

June 22nd: Night Below News - Well the PBeM is still going on, and it gets regulary updated, but we are useless at it really, and its more focused on Rallets clearing out the chests. I am sure I am not alone in wanting to get back into D&D. Rolling a dice to see who goes first in a game of Magic is not the same as that same dice roll determining whether your 'little man' can attack before the naughty beast rips your face off.

Chapter Writing - *cough* Well it is sort of happening, but its a long chapter worth of notes, I wanted to write it differently, and it all takes time...tbh, I havent much been on the laptop writing, its too bloody hot to keep on my legs, and my neck hurts if I type with it on the settee, and story writing at work just doesnt happen. Well enough with the excuses anyway - I have actually marked down in the notes when I started it, and have done for the last few chapters - too long is the answer. I will be back on form shortly.

Magic - Dunno whether I pointed this out earlier or not, but look slightly downwards and you should see a link to my Magic the Gathering page. I have just updated it with a new page to cover the night at Mike's, which was jolly good.

Adverts - Good? The ultra weird Three advert with the Japenese lass with huuuuuge hands. Bad? Shockingly so, the fucking anger inducing Clover add where they cry when they eat butter. Why cry you mugs? Has it got ground glass or some form of acid in it?

TV - Finished the Splendid Fawlty towers, and catching up on Nip Tuck showing after Big Brother last night.

June 19th: Happy Fathers Day Dad.

June 6th: PBEM notes are hosted here.

Went to Paris on Saturday, surprise for my better half's birthday, and it was jolly nice. Paris seems a lot cleaner than London, and I liked the streets being more or less all straight, as well as the architecture of the whole place being 'old' and a lot less crowded - even the new buildings where old looking. Mentioning all this to a mate at work, he did point out that we where bombed the hell out of during the war, so I suppose he has a point.

Chapter updates: Still writing chapter whassname, and its a long one - I am writing it in a different style than normal, ie in third person like a 'proper' book, rather than it being in first person (ie written by Grassy). I hope to have it finished by the end of the week, and subsequents drafts over the weekend.

TV Stuff: Lots of shows all finishing at the moment, and I have now watched all of Smallville (brilliant), Scrubs (brilliant), Malcolm in the Middle (brilliant), caught up with some old Ultimate Force (brilliant, unlike the last episode in the third series which was utter pants.) and currently watching Numb3rs (brilliant - I see a pattern here....). Lost will propably be next I think......

May

May 12th: As you can see, a new chapter has been posted, the 109th in our sorry saga.

Chapter 109 covers annoying attacks from Devils and Demons, Pellet taking time out to train, and the rest of us making a few more magical items in our efforts to take on the city. Oh and two new boys arrived, Orco the Sun Elf Wizard, and Hordex the Halfling Barbarian.

I will be starting chapter 110 soon, and this is the one where we are attacked by the zombie swarms. Again, if you have any comments, send them in, and I will add the comment. For reference, try this snippet from LotD:

"Another night another dollar, on watch and got attacked by exploding zombies etc, mass Fireballs all round to clear the decks, save the day and run away. Highlight must be the creation of my fine Tommy Coopers Cape with a built in Dimension Door, others build items to fight, I build items to flee!, I am now Lord of the Dance run awaaay...."

I also have a few ideas on what I would like to do with the site once I have caught up, which include collecting all the chapters into a story, which would be a HUGE undertaking, but very rewarding, as well as going back through the chapter pages to make sure they are not showing incorrectly.

May 7th: Just had a week off, so you can imagine how much writing I have done! Yep, bugger all. I have blasted through a load of levels on Half Life 2, which if I have'nt said lately is amazingly good. If you are lucky enough to have a fast processor and a decent graphics card the visuals are nothing short of amazing. Observe - Pic1 - Pic2 - Pic3 - Pic4, and they look even more stunning while in motion.

So, what have I done with my time off then? Well more TV stuff obviously, Smallville Season 4, with one of the episodes producing the immortal line "..I need a hug..", and watching a friends Monkey Dust, a really dark cartoon with the immortal line "..ok, I lied. I have actually been watching porn in an x rated theatre wanking off like a safari chimpanzee." Mix this with some painting - front door and kitchen ceiling and walls, more Half Life 2 playing - oh, and I know some bits would be hard without the assorted companions that join you in your journey, but they really piss me off when you are trying to get past them in the corridor. Plus they make some of the 'exciting' pieces go too quickly if you know what I mean. Right, no more Half Life 2 talk, ooo except when you have to set up your own turrets...

Good adverts to watch out for - The new Sure advert, where they are all like stunt men, and the martial arts teacher with the wicked side. Best of all are the series of ones that depict the 'what could happen if a car crash victim hadnt been run over before their prime. Hands up who thought it really was a film, and wanted to see it? Crap ones that need to be removed - anything advertising Loan or credit 'amalgamation' or anything with that bloody Michael Winner.

I have started the chapter, and am around a third of the way through, and hope to type more today while its still raining. Oh look at that....its just stopped and the suns coming out...

Last but not least, we have finished book 2 of Into the Night Below. We fought the Priest King, and will be doing the moping up of the city, probably in a play by mail thing and use the time to go to the pub/pictures etc instead - expect to read the write up by the 22nd century.

April

April 28th: Well, I lied. Once this is uploaded I will start on the chapter writing. Firstly, I thought I'd let you know what this months items from ebay were. Well, I say this month, I dont buy stuff every month, but once you start looking its hard to stop...

Lovejoy Season Two DVD, David Gemmell short story, 2000AD Summer Specials 1984-88, Beat the Bullying band, Nike Anti Racism Bands, Scarlet Pimpernel Hardback book dating 1971 with dustjacket, David Gemmell book (1st edition paperback to replace an nth edition paperback I already had of it), and 4 lots of assorted Magic cards. Total Price around 50 notes.

Ok! Ok! Back to the chapter...

April 26th: Having a prolonged abscence from Chapters, I am starting 109 tonight, and we are looking at Chapter 117 happening this Sunday. If I havent already mentioned, we will be taking a break after the Cities demise - probably switching to a small game before returning once more. To anyone else than us reading this, the DM needs a break to convert the third book, and I think that we all think the City has gone on longer than it should have done.

To be honest, there was no way round this though - our DM made a sterling job of making the encounters complete bastard ones without wiping us out every week, and we got enough victories to make sure we continued the pressure. Otherwise, we would have attacked once, killed a few of the inhabitants, possibly bagging someone important, then the whole city would have chased us down and killed us all.

Other stuff - Played in the Magic Sealed Deck PTQ 2005 London qualifiers, and lost - which was expected really. Pellet did the best out of those who went, winning the first two matches out of three, but was beaten in subsequent matches. I won my very first game, but then lost 4 games after that, meaning I was 0-2 down. Going into the third match, who is my opponent? None other than Hordex - 150 people turned up, 5 of us went, and 2 of us end up playing each other! Well, he beat me 2-1, and anything I will say will just be an excuse, but I didnt have any green mana, he had better cards than me, sun was in my eyes...etc etc.

Good laugh though, and I finished the day after 5 matches with 2 wins. 1-2, 0-2, 1-2, 2-1, 2-0. Oh, and "..I have all my cards in my box!"

TV Stuff - The O.C is my current watching delights, and I have no idea why, but its completely captured me, possibly becasue there are certain similarites to Strangers in Paradise.

April 14th: Oh well, ticking along as usual. No Chapter stuff done at all yet, sorry, spent a long time on various other projects - buying crap from ebay, playing yahoo pool, reading up on Magic Sealed Deck tournaments, reading, watching more TV etc...

Nearly finished the books I was talking about, in which the story has picked up abit, and its not as annoying as it was, but I have already started to re-read Tom Clancey's Rainbow Six again. Just finished Tru Calling, in which I guessed the twist at the end, but the twisty twist I totally missed...

This Saturday we have a little mini LAN (ie not an all nighter) where more SWAT/RAINBOW related challanges as terroists will be saved, and hostages killed etc. Next Saturday is a Magic Tournament, where 4 of us will all get removed from the premisis as we vent our anger at 13yr olds who know the rules better than us, especially concerning Trample vs Protection from colour which changed more than 5 years ago.

April 6th: Just making a few amendments here and there, couple of things I noticed I had missed, and some little nip tuck's. I am just making some notes on the web site itself at the moment, ie the whole details of the individual pages - mostly things like the positionings of the layers etc, but to be honest I am bored of that already and will hopefully start writing again soon, although I do need to get in the mood again, I think chapter 107 wiped me out more than I knew, and I dont want to see this as a chore.

Bookwise, I read David Gemmells Legend (again) while on holiday, and I am just finishing the last of a Forgotten Realms 'Avatar' Trilogy, which I dont rate that well really. There are some good bits in it, but massive character alignment changes without real reasons, the stupid 4 party (Warrior, Wizard, Cleric, Thief) make up, which gets worse when they lose one character and replace them with another of the same class, and the fact that the Cleric is a waste of time...Well cant complain when you get the books for a total of £1.50 from the local charity shop, and it makes the bus journey to and from work go by quicker I suppose...

TV Stuff, finished Band of Brothers, will be moving onto Commited, or The Mountain I think....

April 5th: Another day, another Chapter. Despite what the little marker said underneath the up and down buttons that you use to navigate this main page, we have only just played Chapter 116, meaning I am not quite as far behind as I thought I was. Our foray this week was another milestone session - seeing the death of a party member as well as another Duke dying, and a main building within the City crumbling - but only after it was suitably plundered.

Chapter 108 is our 73rd attack on the city or near abouts, where we attack what appears to be a kiddies swimming pool. And I am sure Mr Falcon would agree, exactly the kind of thing that makes us the Heroes we are today.

March

March 30th: More character updates - The eagerly awaited new picture of Beard is now up, and I have updated the dead people, and also changed Max and Salas to the new format despite being dead. New chapter work soon, honest.

More web related work done with web listings - ie searching for Grassy Knoll means you get a lot of conspiracy websites, and hopefuly that is slowly being redressed. I found that some of the pictures on older chapters had been corrupt, and white writing on a white background means a blank page. In the future, if anyone goes back and reads anything and it looks crap in any way, please let me know. One day I will go back through the site and change the title sections and links on 60 or so chapters so the page fits properly as well.

TV Stuff - Watching Band of Brothers again, for the third time at least - its just such an excellent programe and needs repeat viewings. There is a new US show called Robot Chicken - loads of plastecene models and action men in various little short sketches, and very funny. As an example, Optimus Prime, the Transformer leader explains all about Prostate Cancer before dying and transforming into a little red coffin...

Just came back from a short break to Illfracome, and jolly nice it was too - there was an adventure playpark type thing that myself and my daughter ran around, including one of those vertical drop slides. If you dont know what I mean, imagine a 25 to 30' foot drop, with the slightest of inclines - say a 95 degree angle, and off you drop. Well doesnt that advert say do something each day that scares you?

March 23rd: I have updated all of the Character pages with the new images and design, and need final pieces of info for Hordex and Orko, but let me know what you think - the backgrounds can be changed with no problem, and if you think you have found one more appropriate, send me a link and I will change it.

In TV stuff, Fox have cancelled a bloody good show called Jonny Zero - which is a heinous crime in itself, and made doubly worse by the fact that 5 episodes of the 13 episode run remain unaired! Why? Repeats of an older show have been put in its place - surely the fact that the episodes are made (and I believe are also finished off) means it costs nothing to show them?

Tru Calling is nearly finished for me, and I have been chuckling along to Malcolm in the Middle, as well as catching up with The Simpsons from Season 4. Add to that a few PC problems, work, illness, Paintballing - I have been a busy bee.

March 14th: Just to let you know that I am currently working on updating the character pages for everyone, and then will go back to chapters again.

In TV related news, watched nearly all of Simpson Season 4, "..Simpson, Homer Simpson, from the, town of Sprngfield, hes about to crash in toooo a tree..." as well as the first Deadwood from the new series, and a bit of old Buffy.

In Blog type news, there are a few issues I have with the world at the moment. The first two are based on news articles, well one from a reader comment, and one from the news anyway. From todays Metro a reader wrote "..with all the news on the Sudan colouring causing things like Pot Noodles to be removed from the shelves as it potentially cause Cancer, why did they not take Cigarettes away from the shelves when we know it more or less does?" - he has a fair point...

The news article is in relation to the fact that a boy is being awarded 500,000 pounds for falling through a roof he should'nt have been on in the first place. I have major gripes with the 'suing' issues that the USA have and that we are slowly following, where everyone is thinking that someone other than themselves is to blame for something that would not have happened to them if they were'nt doing what they where doing - for example the Farmer going to jail for killing a burgler, would have not been an issue with the new laws, but the dead burglars mate who sued as he pulled his groin while escaping was pushing things a bit.

So we return to the boy and his half a million quid. This should be a complete no brainer. If you are breaking the law in some way, then you should not be able to obtain compensation from anyone - I admit there will probably be some exceptions, but in 97% of the cases, it should be thrown out! Why is it so hard to come to that point? Currently - Judge - Why where you on the roof of a building that was fenced up regardless of if it was abandoned or not? Boy - the fence was broken so I got in and climbed up for a laugh, and fell through a hole. Judge - Oh you poor boy, thats obviosuly made you a head case for the last 5 years, have a large amount of cash.

Should be - Judge - Why where you on the roof of a building that was fenced up regardless of if it was abandoned or not? Boy - the fence was broken so I got in and climbed up for a laugh, and fell through a hole. Judge - And you want compensation? Heres six months for tresspassing.

And even if you allow the compensation, why is it soooo much money? That teacher who got her head and arms cut with a machette while she protected primary school kids got what, 20 grand? How the fuck does that work?

Grrrrr, makes me really angry.

Next we have advertising. Politics are rubbish, and I only read enough to wind people up when others start talking about it - normally adding a throw away comment that sets of an arguement which I walk away from smiling about the trouble I have caused, but now this has given me the hump. Its all about double standards. Why is it that the Tories and Labour can say "There shit becasue of x reason, vote for us" when other companies are not allowed to? You dont see an advert for Andrex saying "...dont buy toilet paper from the piss poor cartoon bears, we all know they dont wipe there arses properly anyway, buy from us instead as we will help train your dog to bring you bog paper while you dump"?

They also have the cheek to say dont vote for x party as they made unemployment/NHS/Immigration/Fox Hunting/2012 Olympics bad/not work/etc, but DONT say that y party will do it better! The Government should be accountable in someway - and if the bugger up really bad, then an election gets kicked off again. Why? Because then they may actually try and do something that makes things better rather than make you wait four years and hope you dont remember exactly what they fucked up on, and think "oh, they seemed alright, stay with them."

I still think we should go to my idea, which would be to have the best person for the role regardless of what party they come from. Labour may have a more presentable frontman, but the Tories may have someone in Education or Transport thats better, and Lib Dems have their bloke in for er... another part of politics (see, told you I was'nt really into it much)

There was something else, but I have worked myself up so much I have forgotton was else I was angry about. Well enough from me, will update you later.

March 10th: Made more adjustments than you can shake a shakey stick at. Went back through lots of chapters (back to around 83ish) and adjusted the bottom navigation and title heights, did so to my story, and amended various things within the progress section. I needed to amended the sysnopsis pages per 'area' as well, as currently City of the Glass Pool has 4 pages, ranging from chapters xx to 107. We are still there at chapter 116, which means I will need another two pages to add, and we may be there for another 3 to 8, meaning another 2 pages needed. So, while I have a spare bit of time before going back into the chapter writing, I am making room for expansion, and thus have amended and uploaded more than 20 pages over the last few days.

Agadors page is all done now as well, so please send in your updated details, or even just conformation that all is ok, and I will do yours next.

I also got glowing comments about the last chapter, thanks to you all - all comments help as they mean that a) you read it, and b) makes sure I continue to write them.

Chapter 108 will be started soon, and its the one where we surprisingly head back into the city again, we fight another duke, someone didly dances and someone dies.

March 6th: Mothers Day it is, and its chapter day for you lot. Amended a few previous chapters (from 101 to 107) as I wasnt happy with the location of where the chapter title was located (it's now at 545 pixels rather than 565 if you care) - well goto chapter 101, then back to 100, you will be able to see what I mean..

FInally managed to find where I had put my Jasc Animation disk so I can up date the animated Quote gif on the right, and promptly forgot what font I had used, and spent nearly an hour checking 'a' and 'h' - not sure why I have told you that, as you wouldnt be able to tell the difference - oh well, with any luck, you are probably not reading this either.

Chapter 107 is a landmark for other reasons, I have added the first of the comment pages - I will change the layout probably, well the navigation is not right, but I will work on that later. Anyway, its a place for us to discuss the chapters happenings and what we thought of it all. Written in character or OOC, its another place for people to add information and possibly explain why a certain action was or was not taken, or just how they came to do what they did. Anyway, you are welcome to change them as you see fit - just email me with what you want to add and I will amend it. You can write it in third person, OOC, first person, or a mixture of all three if you want.

I have not added in the Hero XP yet, or amended the sysnpsis pages of City of the Glass Pool, but I know you are waiting for this, so I have added it now. Hope you enjoy!

Chapter 107 is a bloodbath. No easy way to say it, but we all pretty much get a damm good thrashing, and sadly this is the last we will see of some people. Damm good fight though, its just not nice when your own tactics are used against you, especialy when its done better...

February

February 24th: Right, Rallets is now showing as he is now, ie 11th level, and I once more changed my picture again. I removed a load of old news from this page adding it to the old news page, and also added a news page for 2005 news. I think I have the maintenance of the site now done, meaning that once more I can faithfully promise to start on chapter 107.

Those of you who want your character pages done in the nice smart way please send in your details to me. If you want a new picture done (ie so your smaller Dwarf/Halfling sized character looks like a Dwarf rather than a Human) then go here and give me the code that is generated when you click 'save'. If you like your original picture, just say so, but give me new info, and I will update you. Cheers!

February 23rd just after Midnight: Updated both mine and Rallets web pages, with new images and the same new and improved layout. Once more spent ages changes things that results in little to you, but satisfaction to me. Compare both my picture and Rallets - I think the extra work on mine was worth it - dont you? Although when I say nothing was done to Chapter 107 and now I am off to bed, I think the answer maybe a no....

February 23rd: Just to say that I am back on the web site again, and have just spent more than an hour pissing about with images* for both mine and Rallets pages - I changed my page ages ago as you know, but when I went to do Rallets, I realised what a complete mess I had made of it. For those interested, I created seperate layers and added text, when all I needed to do was use a 2 columned table, pic on one side, info on the other. Now I dont have to balance one with the other as the text is more than the picture....

As usual, you the reader will say, "..I cant see any diference". Well, at this point, that statement would be true as I havent uploaded the new pages yet. When I do however, you still wont notice a change. Believe me, thats good.

All the rest of you who's stats are different from those here, or want their pictures changed to reflect the new image or hairstyle you are currently sporting, send them in, as I cant be arsed to chase you for it and your pages will change to reflect the new images.

Now where was I? Oh yes, Chapter 107.....starting that again tonight, promise.

*This is moving a section of the picture 3 pixels down, looking at it, moving it 7 up, saving it, moving something else, moving the first thing I started with back to its original posiotion, redoing the image, adding a different colour, moving the original thing back to another location.

February 18th: Just a quick update to say that I am still about, but been very busy in a non D&D way, which is possibly illegal in several states, er, if I lived in America anyway. I have done less than a page of the six pages of notes I have for Chapter 107, we are due to have a big fight on Sunday.....its all stacking up. Perhaps I can get a day off work to write Chapters and still get paid.....

Just realised that I am treating this part of the website as a Blog type page, which as its my site, I can - *adopts cunning Homer voice* woo hoo, I have evil powers, I have evil powers....

Normal News - I started running. Well fast walking anyway, and yes, I go out with a 'Resusitate me Please' t-shirt on just in case.

TV show news, watching CSI season 2, Buffy Season 6, current Jonny Zero, Numb3rs, Malcolm in the Middle and The Simpsons, and nothing on the 150 channels I have of normal television. Does this mean I can burn my TV licence?

February 7th: Well another LAN party has been and gone, and Raven Shield and Never Winter Nights where played for ooo, around 18hrs or so. Another D&D session has just been played, and it seems as though we have managed to cause quite a lot of hassle to the cities inhabitants as within the space of one day after we killed the third duke, half the city seems to be dead in the streets, and it was'nt us, honest.

TV stuff: Finished off Friends season 10, and when being asked 'What is white and is in a fridge?' Joey comes out with the classic 'Paper! Snow! ooooh A Ghost!' not once, but twice. Brilliant. And now watching loads of Malcolm in the Middle, which is quality.

Repeat after me....'Your not the boss of me now, your not the boss of me now....'

Updates: Chapter 106 is now up, but it wont take long to read - actually took longer to get sorted than a normal chapter - *shrug* go figure. I will be starting on chapter 107 soon, and I hope to start the first draft with in the next few days. This is the chapter where I and half the party all die, so its bound to be a good read. I also have a few comments from players regarding the whole session, as well as a massive write up from the DM on the whole event, which is a very good read. A little taster follows:

DM comment - "I knew this encounter was going to be a nasty one for the pc's. It kind of happened 'by accident'. The party had been doing well, using hit and run tactics on the city to cause mayhem and damage then retreating to a safe spot in order to return refreshed with new tactics later. During this whole assault on the city, I have had to be extremely careful with the forces I throw at them, there are a lot of very dangerous npc's in there, mid-level clerics, fighters and spell slingers that could easily overwhelm the pc's if a load were thrown into the fray and where's the fun in that?" - tune in about a week later to read the whole thing.

January

January 18th: We played another session on Sunday just past, and once more it was proved that anyone mentioning being 'untouchable' gets touched mighty fast and in a place that really really hurts.

Nearly finished Invisible Man, not sure whats lined up next, and have stopped playing HL2 temporarily as very busy with web stuff, and was also waiting on my NEW SPANGLY GRAPHICS CARD, which I can gleefully announce arrived the other day. Got myself a Geforce 6600GT, which has a mermaid on it, which obviously means it must be faster than any non mermaid, and therefore lesser graphics card.

Chapter 105 contains our plan of lushiness, one that like Haileys comet comes but once in every 76 years, or more commonly known as a working plan. Slaves rejoice, but we mourn the sad loss of Mrs Miggins, where no
longer will we enjoy her marvelous breakfasts, nor feel her angry stares as we teleport into the larder amongst the sugar bowl.

January 5th: Nearly done Chapter 105, and its a bit of a self indulgent one to be honest, as it contains the lengthy speech I made to my Deities Avatar. I was going to make it a separate page, or skippable, but I thought bollocks, I spent ages on the whole concept, thinking of all the things that could possibly go wrong, and so I am going to milk it for all its worth.

In other news, I bought Half-Life 2, and OMFG is it good. IMHO, it pisses all over Doom 3, which I think just forces horror upon you by being all in the dark rather than being genuinely tense and wondering what's happening next. The physic effects of things like sparks, and fire fights where your cover is destroyed by gunfire, and the little red light that spirals when you bounce a grenade are just absolute quality. Yes Doom 3 is lush, but check these screen shots out (1 - 2 - 3), especially the last one with water effects rippling on the guards body, and tell me that's not 'Lusher'.*

* - No, this is not Pub band version of Usher, it is actually a word. If you don't think it is, then look into my eyes, not around the eyes, but in the eyes....

January 1st, aka New Years Day: As usual as benefits this time of year, spent it with friends and family, and now catching up with Chapters and stuff as well as my vast TV series collection. Invisible Man is half way through, and chrimble brought me CSI Season 3, Magnum and another Lovejoy DVD to watch - at least 60 hours worth of viewing, which as they say, is nice. Just a final thing to say you all have a good 2005, and a last big huge thanks to British Telecom, Laugh Out Loud, Field Of View and Elephants Fight Naughty Evil Tigers.

 

Other news: 03, 04, 05, 06, 07
2005 - December : November : October : September : August : July : June : May : April : March : February : January