I found another shallow cave up top but as it is a bit smaller and I did not have my light with me at the time I opted to wait. Bears are starting to pick their spots for winter I think. With the bear sanctuary being just the next valley over and all, well, it could wait. I did get an interesting shot of an old tree. I'll be darned but it looks to be at the end of a rainbow. On top of all that it looks like a little treeman sittin (circled him) in the middle of the trunk. I will have to get a better look next time. Looks like he's daring me to dig a little "C'mon punk, do ya feel lucky?"
Went out for a hike in the cool weather today, pretty foggy and cloudy but was still nice being deep in the woods. This lil waterfall is just a couple miles from the house. Met a lil butterfly on the way and the drive on the nice n lonesome rd back felt good with the windows down afterwards.
Thanks all. :) Too many letters coming concerning medicaid and temp disability lately. Each time I have to open one is stress. So, I am going to try and get out in the woods a bit more. The sights, sounds, and scents seem to be calming, esp. this time of year. Walking through tunnels of rhododendron and the leaves on the ground, stepping over rocks and roots in the trail, up steep and taxing inclines and down again, feeling the burn in the muscles and lungs, is just enough to keep my mind focused at least, and for that small time troubles ease back a bit.
I'll take a bit, just good enough.
I may post a bit here about my experiences with severe PTSD, as I mentioned recently on the unhappiness thread (finally). Today I find my state will not help me with medicine, and as a type 1 diabetic it is hard when one can't work, and due to a serious illness that makes jobs impossible for the time. Life is tough enough as it is at the moment but getting the letter denying medicaid today was a slap in the face really. I partly blame my state in general and the last gov'nur as well. He did not take the 3B deal from the feds. The new gov is I think but if the state still does not consider me worthy enough to help then not much I can do. Oh well, I should say they DID approve me for a vasectomy if i wanted to. Jeeze, one, I did not ask for that, and two I have no need of it anyway as I am pretty much on the male version of BC being on hormone replacement(another side of diabetes for 35+ years). So I guess Type1, severe PTSD, and kidney disease is not good enough for them. Bastids.
Thanks JB. You most certainly make your rounds here on this forum. It's appreciated :)
I almost feel like stickin my head out the window like an ol JG Wentworth commercial for structured settlements and hollerin "It's my money, and I want it now!" Heh, I know I paid a CRAPLOAD of money in taxes in the past. One slip up and bam, down in the gutter we go.
I am finding local help to be better than fed or state help by far, at the moment.
If anyone thinks applying for asst. , or going to a food pantry for the first time is easy, let me tell ya, it AIN"T. It is one of the most embarrassing and humbling things I have done in my ENTIRE life. Admitting one can't make it own their own. It does not feel much better for repeat visits.
The darn bureaucracy is a maze sometimes like no other.
But, ya know what, I have also noticed that I have been able to connect and talk with folks in the same plight and get the real truth about why they are there, or how hard things are. I would never have had this chance(?) otherwise if seen as one just 'studying' them as a bit of research or play acting the part. That they are most certainly not, but I guess to some, I now am just that, a bit of research.
Really, they are a they no longer as I am a they, and a them now myself as well. I don't that thought will ever leave me again, regardless of how I turn out.
I’m so sorry that life is throwing so much more than your share at you right now. I am familiar with the challenges of PTSD and depression. Combined with all of your other challenges, I can’t fathom why they would not approve your request for Medicaid. Do you have the option of contesting this denial?
Ravenslight, I do have the option and it is one I started just after getting the letter. It appears now is being tied up partly with the disability app, but am told in a way it might help that I did both at hte same time. Time will tell. Thank you :)
Xeroshi Thanks. I know my post in the unhappiness thread is a long one, but I wanted to include as much as possible as I know others might know someone suffering from something similar. It is hard to know how to help them, and stressful if one has to live with a loved one that has PTSD as well.
Bladerunner 2049 this afternoon. Hot dawg! Going to see it today as my lady flew/drove in for the weekend. Won $50 on a scratcher yesterday, so put it toward some punkin ale, dark chocolate bars, vegan chik patties, and tickets to a movie. Knowing her, (and welcome by me as well) we will most likely hit the sushi bar after for some good vegan sushi rolls at a place not to far down the mountain. They make some good tempura sweet potato, fried tofu ,and cucumber rolls to finished it off with. She is crazy bout the stuff. The seaweed salad ain't too shabby either. Shes got a lil sniffle so a good dose of wasabi might be called for as well, just for medicinal purposes mind you, hehheh.
Yup. Ridley did mighty good with Bladerunner 49er, again. An awesome movie, esp, seeing the first I dont know how many times.
As the sushi joint didnt open for another 45min after, and it was already a real frog strangler out, we headed back up the mountain for ale and chik patties and an apple pie. Just about the right timing too as then the heavier rains and wind started up from the remnants of Nate passing right over the house now. This ol one laner headed back up the mountain was rough enough as it was. But, a good day.
Reading some of your posts and I just wish to say bravery, courage, and steadfastness come in many forms and guises, whether it is through putting the needs of others before your own or continuing despite grevious loss.
@anduin. A non-reader reading, huh, nice one. Opens new worlds for someone. My two younguns are writing me and telling of all the books they are reading. I never thought they would ever get away from the TV when younger.
It's the first of October, and finally staying dark longer. Time for the Carolina Renassiance Faire to start it's 6wk run soon. Time for new fall flavored brews to be mixed by the local boys and girls, to be tested by all willing souls. The moon is out and clear at 3500', and the air is cool and crisp here in mountainous Transylvania Co. Just as long as no body bugs me up on this here hill, I'll be fine n dandy, hopefully, with fresh brewed coffee, a lil punkin spice ale, and a nice bowl of 'Old Toby' for my churchwarden. Fall has finally arrived. Ahhhhh. I guess it's bout time for the ol flu shot as well, as I have to traipse over hill and dale to get to the gym and the sto a few times a week.
I keep finding it a nice sight, as I sit on the back porch as the sun rises. I am on the side ,just below the peak the mountain I am on, with the next mountain over , across the lake valley below, being about 800 or so odd feet higher. While I am still in relative twilight, the taller mountain gets hit by the sun first, covering it with a bright glowing effect, before I get the sun on the cottage. Quite nice to be out and watching, with coffee in hand.
I've got mixed feelings. I love fall, a dry fall with trees sporting yellow, orange and red is the most beautiful part of the year, but where I live most of the time fall means gray skies, dark days and rain day in and out. Had an amazing fiery sky this morning. Stood there just looking at it for minutes, the sun slowly rising, blazing orange fire colors at the horizon.
Heh, guess we all tend to one season or another, and I spose all have good and bad aspects. Mine is fall and early winter.
Now I will say bout Jan and Feb. when the hard snows hit it gets a little tougher drivin. Last winter, late, we got a one snowstorm that left 18" here. I had NO way of getting down the steep mountain drive for bout 2 weeks. But I had power, heat, plenty of food, and a good stock of rum n my baccy in the house so was not too bad. Well, I guess I COULD have gotten down the mountain, but it would not have been the way my lil Saab would have liked to, Straight down and wrapped round a tree or two. Out in the boonies like I am, no stores until a few up n down mountains and valleys away anyway, so was not worth the risk. :)
Cally gettin a lil sun on her belly. I told her the hawks might be attracted to those bright colors and try n get her but she did not seem worried bout no hawks or buzzards, heh.
The biggest of the southern leopard frogs came out of the lil fountain pool after a rain. Seems like he was wantin an answer to a question from the buddha statue. "Say man. I said say man, oi! Lookie here now, make it dark quicker, and more rain to. You listenin ta....naw, I guess ifin you can let moss grow on ya, ya not listenin bubba.
"And Ao appeared during the Time of Troubles (ToT), white beard, wearing a black robe doted with many moons"
Beyond the realms of time and space is another, some say even having a hand in the creation of the universe (or at least a pseudopod). "That last amorphous blight of nethermost confusion which blasphemes and bubbles at the centre of all infinity-the boundless daemon sultan Azathoth, whose name no lips dare speak aloud, and who gnaws hungrily in inconceivable, unlighted chambers beyond time amidst the muffled, maddening beating of vile drumsand the thin monotonous whine of accursed flutes" HP Lovecraft. He is attended by his servitors, flautists that announce his appearance. Those that worship Azathoth worship insanity and chaos.
Nyarlathotep, the Crawing Chaos, is his servant, or is it the lesser being Nyarlathotep that pulls the strings for himself? Another may come, born of a god from the ToT, to overtake Nyarlathotep, loyal to Azathoth alone, a flautist supreme...
Thus begins the tale of young bard of Candlekeep, born of a half drow gypsy of whom he has no memory other than that of the name she gave him, Velnarin (Drow:'Instrument).His dreams started after following one of the many cats of CK to a long forgotten and hidden stash of books. A strange hairless little beast with piercing eyes, as if they looked right through him, adopting him when all the other cats shied away from him and howled at his strange music. These books with names such as the Book of Eibon, Unausprechlichen Kulten, De Vermis Mysterilis, Cultes de Goules,and part of both the Celaeno Fragments and the Pnakotic Manuscripts spoke of almost forgotten beings, from outside the realms, beings worshiped by nonhuman races when humans were still primitive.
In his dreams he saw unspeakable abominations, crawling, bubbling, amorphous horrors that strained his mind to near breaking. It was the music he heard, the monotonous drone of flutes that kept him from wholly losing himself. Flautists, seemingly part frog and part octopus, playing to him, searing the music into his mind.
After some time he began this music while awake, often causing the monks to loose their concentration, resulting in their drawing of disturbing imagery while copying manuscripts. Velnarin found he had inherited his mothers gift of charming others through his music, to do his bidding. He could play many an instrument but the flute was his first choice.
The night came when he sensed something was going to change. Going to sleep, his dreams of the demon like flautists appeared once more, beckonng him to follow, but he suddenly awoke to morning. The hairless cat was perched atop him, staring. The cat looked to the bedside table and he saw upon it rested a black flute, like those played by the flautists in his disturbing dreams, with a swirling of bluish-olive coloring marbled over it's surface. As he picked it up his head spun and he passed out.
When he awoke, a monk was standing over him, speaking as if through glass, telling him to gather his things and meet Gorion. He was to leave CK immediately. As he picked up the strange flute and his meager belongings he noticed the hairless cat had gone. He would have liked to taken him with him, as a companion to wherever. But no time to hesitate, it was time to go. He had the strangest feeling though that he would see that cat again one day.
As he was leaving, his thinking felt somehow strange, his mind felt strained. What he was beginning to experience, unbeknownst to him, was cognitive dissonance, brought on from the stresses of his dreams, horrible and yet oddly attractive experiences that were really beginning to make more sense than his waking life. It was him trying to reconcile this with his real waking life that was causing some distress. Neither his dreams or his 'real' life seemed to fit together quite right and life to him appeared as if looking through a closed window. Regardless, he would have to deal with it soon, he must rush to Gorion, maybe he could provide some insight that could help, wise as he was.
So far so good. After soloing the first half I have joined two fellow ...'mentally insightful' shall we say, companions to continue on into the Cloakwood Mines with. Xzar and Tiax have proved to just the right audience for this gypsy's aspirations, as they both find his disturbing style of playing both soothing and inspirational compared to most, heh.
I went back to extreme backside of CK by the sea and cast my FF spell. The little hairless cat jumped from the high ramparts of CK, did a backflip and landed feet first in front of me. Knew I would see him again.
Velnarin's mental state continues to make adjustments to his waking life vs his dream life. Now the dreams have changed into something new. It must be the influence of Azathoth, guiding and granting him new powers.
His singing has improved. His attackers hear his music and are mentally unable to comprehend the images that appear in their heads, lulled into doing whatever he tells them to do.
Often they are ordered to lay down their weapons and go stand facing into a corner while their buddies are subsequently destroyed, their screams echoing in their heads. At other times they are told to attack their friends themselves, seeing the horrified looks on their faces as they face death from one who a moment before was a comrade.
11th lvl now, save vs his charming are +0 against.
The cat had no name, but seemed ok with the one Velnarin gave him, Murrpau, or 'cat' in the name of his mother's kin on her drow side, simple but pleasing to the ear. Half drow like his mother he has taken quite well into studying the language from the rare book here and there. He did meet a wayward drow, Viconia, on the surface, but she seemed somewhat disturbed by his music (which she said was unusual, given her background). He save her from death and departed from her. Maybe another day.
Velnarin just defeated the demonknight with Tiax and Xzar, gathering all the various goodies from Durlag's Tower, Summons kept him busy while a dagger did him in. The whole place seemed unreal, but then again the rest of the world seems a bit unreal as wellm a buncha undead and crazy dopplegangers in there. They went to the Ice Island and back again. Buncha crazy people on that island.
Vel helped Xzar kill his Zhentarim superior, that was fun. The shadow thief rep in BG was about to tell us something about Saervok but we did not like him play acting as a drunk, figgerin they were playin us for fool, so took them all out. Got an invite to the grand ball but still out wandering about. Even met Drizzt, who turned on me after not helping him fight some poor ol gnolls for crying out loud. I played a tune on the flute for him few times, ran him around in circles and put a few daggers in em. Charmed him a few times, having him stand with his back to me, looking down at the fishes, til he joined them. I hated doin it but he drew the first blood.
These drow, the folks he carries half the blood of in his veins are kinda strange. The only halfway nice one he met was the Viconia lady, that he helped out and let continue on her way. Baeloth seemed to think lowly of him for his half human blood. Sent him on his way as well.
On top of all that he's carrying on a relationship with a Djinn in a lamp, Jini. He's also carryin on with a reformed will-o-the-wisp named Fay, who fools around with him in his dreams.
I met a strange hooded man in a dream where he captured and threatened Jini. Said he was testing people for something. Met a deva, a demon, and a hag name Ravel asking me what can change the nature of a man. Got outa there with Jini but was weird.
Not sure where reality begins and dreams end, or is it the other way around. Anyway, the last of three books he found boosted his Wis to 19, leaving him with more insight than ever. I believe Tiax is really at the service of Azathoth, only thinking it is Cyric.
Regardless, Velnarin, Tiax, and Xzar seem to have an understanding and insight into things most don't.
Aec's cultists, pheh. They dared to attack and were then only ordered to fight amongst themselves. No one can long resist the monotonous drone of the black flute. Xzar did go down by a surprise attacker, but Tiax quickly raised him again, just for the spirited conversation. And as with the demonknight, Aec'Letec fell with a thrown dagger as well. Saervok's dopplegangers were dispatched in the palace with the help of Xzar's shadow's and Velnarin's blast of Divine Wrath. These enemies are falling like a dream falls into wakefulness, or is it the other way around?The lines are blurred and Azathoth does stay calm with the power and skill of a master flautist born of the god of murder. So many defeated and still Velnarin and his small band of madmen continue to defy what the 'norms' think of as reality.
Together they continue their terrible pilgrimage to seek the nighted throne of the far daemon-sultan Azathoth at the center of the Astral Plane(HPL). The chance for Velnarin to sit in his rightful place as his flautist supreme grows one step closer.
Man, if I've said it once I'll still say it again, the gypsy and his charming powers make for my favorite style of play and most powerful bard yet.
Arte, I'll definitely be using your Bardic Wonders goodies and venturing out with Pai'Na ifin I ever make it to BG2, great lookin stuff you put together for bards. The Storm Drummer was a great Idea I thought. :)
Velnarin met Mendas, a self styled scholar of sorts, wanting volunteers to travel to an island in search of knowledge. He seemed strange somehow. Vel remembered something from the the hidden books he found at CK. Unaussprechlichen Kulten or Nameless Cults in the common, spoke of The Esoteric Order of Dagon, a group of once human being!s that worshiped Dagon. Apparently many of them transform after a time into merrow or Kuo-toan like beings. (o lawd, merrow's got me thinkin ogres again). He also read that some of these same being worshiped one of the Old Ones, named Cthulhu, a deity serving as the high priest of Azathoth himself! He had to travel there and see what information he good find, maybe something to help the trio's quest to find others that new of the great Azathoth.
Well, nothing. They did find Loup-Garou, of which Vel had come across before. Wolf-men described by a long dead monk named Clark Ashton. Wolf=men and no Order of Dagon, or merrow, or kuo-toan.
An interesting island regardless, he met one of the people named Delainy that thought him quite the charmer (if she only knew-but she could not be trusted Xzar thought). Tiax was still sea-sick from the journey and vowed that when he came to power he would make a bridge of slaves to walk there instead sailing upon that wretched ship again.
They met a strange elf mage that when Xzar suggested he wear a bib to keep the food off his robes he attacked us. Twas no problem as Vel quickly ducked outside and quaffed a potion, then returned and smote him with two lucky strikes from Icingdeath.
The werewolves were all cleansed with fire by the three comrades, dropped right upon themselves as they had prepared for it. Tiax said the heat made him feel better. When they returned to the mainland, the chief Loup-Garou attacked them, a mistake that cost him his life as Vel had found both a dagger and a sword that ripped though his hairy flesh like the butterknife of Balduran they found would through well, butter. A strange angelic being appeared to help them, Vel was never able to get a name as it did not speak (beats me?)
Xzar was busy examining the entrails of the beasts, showing Vel the best way to collect it's blood. Xzar combined the blood with a belladonna leaf from the island and produced a dire stinging nettle out of the leaf Vel had been holding. Nice one Xzar, but warm me first. A mere flesh would though. The three of them having travel the length and breadth of the land, defeating demons, Saervok's mooks, and various other beings, unhelpful in his quest, decide to finally head for Saervok and the last of his band held up in the Undercity beneath the Thieves Guild.
Velnarin's grip on reality seems to have stabalized for the moment, as the dreams have stopped. That made him uncomfortable, as he was beginning to feel more at ease in them than in the world of the 'norms'. He knew his mental state had changed, and at least he knew partially why, but knowing a thing does not necessarily mean a recovery from a thing. At this point however he was just willing to accept it and float to wherever the wind took him, one day at a time.
Maybe the one one who appears to be his half-brother would be of some use in the end, have some knowledge that woud help. They could only follow and see. If not, he and his other followers would be told to stand in a corner and listen as the montonous drone of the black flute ate into their mind, in the end hearing the whisper of voices from the darkness behind them drawing out every fear within, particularly the greatest fear of them all, that of the unknown.
And the Saervok's rule over his essence has ended. The comrades waded through the maze and undercity, with Tiax and Xzar taking on the undead. They both though construction could have been better on them. The flute took control of a few skeletons as it sets up a resonating vibration in their bodies that disturbs the link to their maker. About the only undead that listen, cept the odd zombie or two, the flesh writhes upon their bodies doing the same. The others are immune so far.
We entered the temple and Tiax used his farsight to divine the subject of our hunt was at the far end of the temple. As we prepared ourselves with various spells and such for those Tiax had in his sight, I told them both that Saervok was mine alone. As we approached the other side with Xzar's shadows in tow, we came into the sight of Mr Big himself. Xzar webbed and slowed him somewhat while I started in. As the other two retreated I could hear they had a battle going with one of Saervok's minions. I removed his paultry protections and let the boys have at him. They would later take on Angelo as well but the shadows and Tiax's arrows of dispelling wore him down,
As to Saevok, he followed me to the throne, where upon that ol half-ogre Tazok tried to ambush me. A mistake he was made to regret. As I started playing that same monotonous tune upon the black flute, taught me by Azathoth's master flautist himself, Saervok looked disturbed, as if he had seen an image even too horrible for him to imagine. He was in my power as I ordered him to attack Tazok, who held his own quite well against the armored Saervok. As one would strengthen his mind against my music the other would fall prey to the horrors that formed in their minds, that of a being the size of a star, distorted and writhing, enough that they were open to my voice alone. The two kept fighting even as they tried to turn against me. In the background I could here Tiax and Xzar doing their own lil jig to my tunes, meaning they had defeated Saervok's other lil helpers.
I kept playing, while Murrpau stood looking around my head, eyeing the two with a gleam in his eye.
Finally Tazok the half-ogre, born from one of the strongest races around dealt Saevok crushing blow to his sternum, stopping his heart. As Tazok stood alone, having killed my half-brother, I waited for some new knowledge to come. No did, but I did see Saervok's essence leave his body before I could gather it for myself, for the power to find Azathoth. I watched Tazok leave and I let him, he may be useful in the future, with that ogre blood in his veins.
Velnarin, Tiax, Xzar, and Murrpau returned to the city and an unwelcome gathering of those that wished to thank them. Gathering made them nervous, they were all hyper-vigilant to the extreme. The sights still seemed as if Velarin was peering at life through a closed window. Was this real, did it matter to the goal of their ultimate pilgrimage to find Azathoth? No, but for now they might take a little time to dream and see what awaits them next.
Talk about never happening before, Tazok and Saervok going at it til Tazok kills him. I had a stock of Greater Malisons saved and chucked one in their direction ever 4or5 rounds to help the song out. We went through Saervok's boys pretty easy, although I will say I like the shadows of SR.
Velnarin 12th lvl Gyspy Bard
Tiax 8/10 lvl cleric thief
Xzar 10th lvl necromancer
Talking of merrows earlier and seeing the power of Tazok, I might have to run this Ogre Spirtwalker shaman I made a week or two ago at the same time as the fremlin and the The Storm caller. Both nice, with some fitting magic found for them but this SWalker will be different, as he takes the spirits into himself, and they are pretty darn cool looking. Verr'Sza will most likely work for a CN ogre SW, as he himself is a spirit of sorts, albeit a material one. Probably another shapeshifter like Faldorn as well, as a totemic druid maybe. Will see.
Perhaps I'll NPC EE Garrick or Eldoth into an interesting bard kit. My ogres like a bard about, not being able to read and such ya know.
Velnarin will definitely be continuing at some point into SoD, where he waits now in the opening dungeon. A most enjoyable run this has been.
The nice time of year begins, as they days grow ever shorter. I always feel better this time of year, soon as we turn the clocks back. The color of the leaves paints the mountains in a wash of color, with the resulting carpet of sweetness as my find slosh through them. The deep woods here often rain leaves at times when the wind blows, even on the roads in a couple months it rains leaves through our little mountain road as it makes its way across the southern highlands of the Blue Ridge. Still have to make it through the season of the, Da dah daaa 'The Leaf Peepers' as they begin their drive thru next month.
And on the Fall Equinox today, I added the final entry below for Velnarin the Gypsy in BG, with Tiax and Xzar. What an unexpected finale it was! Will think of a new ogre run in BG perhaps while I rest my mind from Azathoth just a bit, before SoD. Although, I would not trust myself to work some HPL into the ogre Spiritwalker, heh. Will think on it a bit.