Characters of Cimmeria: Karnafaust

karnafaust

Karnafaust was the first Dwarf and the first Dwarven King. King Karnafaust always put his people first, but his hot temper often led him to make decisions to their detriment. He led the Dwarves in quitting the Conclave to found the city of Fangaroot and he was the first mortal to be brought back to life under the Resurrection Pact of Hades. Karnafaust died a second time during Kenderax the dragon’s attack on Fangaroot. The dragon devoured his bones, so he was never buried, but a shrine in his memory was built in Dalleer. Continue reading

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La La Land Movie Review

la-la-land

I’d heard a decent amount of buzz before going to see La La Land. Critics gave it good scores, my friends and family were raving about it, and it even won a bunch of Golden Globe awards.

A lot of hype to live up to and while it was a very good movie it ultimately did not meet my inflated expectations.

I went into the movie only knowing it was a romance staring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. Stone plays an aspiring actress/barista in Hollywood. Gosling plays her love interest

Continue reading

Behind the Curtain: Designing Gurutama

One of my friends has an obsession with Skype chat groups. Skype lets you add people into a chat so you get a group chat.

I think most people just use that and then recreate the same group everytime they want to talk with those folks.

My group of friends creates chat groups for specific topics and then revives the chat when we want to use it again.

We’ve got a group for discussing our ongoing D&D campaign, a group for RSVPing to D&D, a group for discussing Hackmaster, another for Crusader Kings 2, another for Overwatch, and one for discussing our ongoing collaborative effort to develop Gurutama as a fun campaign setting.

We’ve been typing in the Gurutama one a lot lately, talking about things like Continue reading

Sing Movie Review

sing

Illumination, the newcomer to the animation oligopoly of Disney and Dreamworks, has released their new animated animal movie, Sing.

Sing follows the story of a singing competition like American Idol, X Factor, The Voice and many others. At times the shows are parodied, but mostly the story is told straight.

Buster Moon, played by Mathew McConaughey, is a owner of a theater known for its poorly produced musicals. Buster is also a koala. He’s in debt and the bank is close to foreclosing on the theater which doubles as Buster’s home. Buster starts the singing competition in a last ditch effort to save the theater.

The movie tells many short stories about the different leading contestants, just like singing contest shows try to bring the contestants personal stories to life through interviews and documentary style shots of their daily lives.

I think Sing does a better job of this personal storytelling because inherently, the stories can be more personal and involved in a fictional setting than in reality where the cameras aren’t necessarily around at the moment of a character’s tragic loss/big break/whatever.

The characters are Rosita the pig, Johnny the gorilla, Mike the mouse, Ash the porcupine, and Meena the elephant. I feel your enjoyment of the movie hinges on your connection to one of them. Let’s go through them one by one and if their stories seems interesting than I think you should go see Sing.

Rosita is a homemaker with 25 little piglets. Her husband works from dawn to dusk while she cooks, cleans, and manages the household for her family. Feeling a little underappreciated at home, Rosita joins the competition to find feelings of satisfaction and acceptance that aren’t present in her domestic life. Rosita is paired with another pig, Gunter, for her performance. Gunter is a minor character inserted for comedic effect with no significant story or character development of his own.

Johnny is the young adult son of a burglar. He stands lookout for his father’s gang, warning then when the cops might interrupt one of their heists. Johnny wants to get away from the criminal life using his natural singing talent which his father has never acknowledged.

Mike is a street musician and small time criminal. Feeling that he has been unfairly denied his chance at the big life, Mike enters the contest for the fame and fortune that come with winning.

Ash is a member of a rock duo with her boyfriend, Lance. He is resistant to Ash’s desire to “sell out” or be successful as most people call it. When Ash makes it into the contest finals without Lance, that puts a strain on their fragile relationship which Ash channels into her music.

Meena is a shy girl who lives at home with her mother, grandmother, and overbearing grandfather. Meena loves to sing, but has confidence issues that prevent her from performing in front of an audience. Her family is aware of her amazing singing talent and push her to enter the competition so her dreams of being a star can be realized.

There are a few other characters that enter the contest initially but their stories are not explored and they are eliminated before the finale.

The plot is… a little predictable. I’m not saying I wasn’t satisfied, but don’t expect any surprises. The movie is targeted at children and is accordingly, simple enough for children to understand.

Each of the stories is nice and all the characters get happy endings in their own ways. The voice acting and singing were quite good as well. My wife and I have been listening to bits of the soundtrack since we saw it.

At first glance the animation style felt like Illumination attempted to capitalize on the success of Zootopia but I noticed its own individual flare once I got into it.

I’d recommend Sing to anyone who likes good musicals, to children, and to anyone who is interested in at least two of the main characters (one is not enough!). The movie appeals to a fairly broad crowd and I think the soundtrack has staying power. Definitely enjoyed it!

-GoCorral

Cimmerian Timeline Part 10

Previous: Cimmerian Timeline Part 9

955BCE: Jeffery died of old age.

952BCE: Brelfagar was slain while out hunting alone.

950BCE: Sunrise, an avid alchemist, died in a potion-making accident. Rilopenaril accused Langudina of sabotage. They argued but came to no resolution. Langudina refused to leave Apollo’s Hill. Rilopenaril volunteered to leave for a time.

949BCE: Shoree died in childbirth. In her brother’s absence, Langudina decreed that the successor of the Bronze Chords would be decided by an areo-arcane gauntlet of duels. Each descendant of the Bronze Chords would duel each other until only two remained, a male and a female. The two would be wed and would rule as king and queen over the city.
The people of Sheerzen protested in outrage, but one spout of dragonflame from Langudina’s snout quieted their dissent. The tournament took place in Rilopenaril’s absence without his consent. The winners, King Batard and Queen Challah, ascended to the thrones. Both were children of Rilopenaril.

948BCE: Rilopenaril returned to Sheerzen. He was horrified at what his sister had done in his absence. They argued once more. Rilopenaril insisted that her actions were immoral. Langudina insisted that mortals existed only to be played with for the amusement of their draconic betters. Her actions were only the result of the age-old maxim, “Might makes right.” Frustrated with her actions, Rilopenaril retired to the cave beneath Apollo’s Hill to sulk.

947BCE: Rilopenaril emerged from the Hill with a secret plan to end not only Langudina’s rule over the mortals of Cimmeria, but the rule of all dragons. He allied himself with the wandering psion, Shratalanda.

946BCE: King Batard and Queen Challah gave birth to sextuplets, three boys and three girls. Einhart and Luitgard were the eldest. Leo and Fastrada were the middle pair. Danar and Desiderata were last. The dragon blood flowed in them giving them magical powers, even in infancy. Einhard’s powers were strongest while Danar was the runt of the group.

938BCE: Batard and Challah decreed that their heirs would be decided in the same manner that they rose to power, a magical tournament upon their deaths. The two strongest would rule Sheerzen after them. The six siblings began training their magical abilities. Einhart excelled in lessons while Danar lagged behind.

928BCE: Danar’s parents still lived, but he feared for his life when they died. His arcane skills were inferior to those of his siblings and his compassionate heart prevented him from harming them during practice sessions. He went to Rilopenaril for advice. Rilopenaril recognized that Sheerzen had become an unfit place for his grandchild. Seeing a path for his secret plan, he exiled his Danar. The young sorcerer fled the city into the western wilds.

-GoCorral

Next: Cimmerian Timeline Part 11

Cimmerian Timeline Part 9

Previous: Cimmerian Timeline Part 8

968BCE: The dragon monarchs began exploiting the labor of their subjects to build grand palaces and monuments. The bronze dragon siblings, Rilopenaril and Langudina, disliked these vain practices. They used their power to provide patronage for adventurers that aided the bronze dragons’ subjects on a personal level. Rilopenaril and Langudina’s taxes were minimal compared to their cousins. The only exceptions were mithral, adamantine, and lead, which were taxed at enormous percentages, all but denying those metals to the common inhabitant of Apollo’s Plains.

967BCE: The dragons inbred with their subjects and in many cases, the local wildlife. Draconic half-breeds became relatively common.

964BCE: An adventuring group caught the eye of Rilopenaril and Langudina. The adventurers had kept the bronze dragons’ more civilized subjects safe from a raiding band of white dragon hybrid ogres. The adventurers were honored and named the Bronze Chords. Their names were Brelfagar the Dwarven fighter, Shoree the Human paladin, Sunrise the Elven wizard, and Jeffery the Human cleric of the Muses.

963BCE: Rilopenaril tasked the Bronze Chords with gathering all the people of Apollo’s Plains in one central location, the sacred Hill of Apollo where the draconic pair made their lair. He wished to make an announcement to his subjects. Langudina was oddly absent when Rilopenaril gave this task to the Bronze Chords.

959BCE: After many years the Bronze Chords completed their task. They traveled the length and breadth of Apollo’s Plains and slew many beasts and monsters to ensure safe travel for the weaker subjects of the bronze dragons. All the people of the Plains packed up their belongings as directed and migrated to Apollo’s Hill.

958BCE: All the people of Apollo’s Plains came together as one. Rilopenaril announced that they would no longer live separately. They would live together in a new home of his design. Rilopenaril intoned a divine spell and a magnificent structure rose from the crown of Apollo’s Hill. The stone castle rose a thousand feet into the air reinforced by adamantine and lead. The town of Sheerzen came into existence in less time than it takes to bake a cake. All those present were invited to inhabit the castle or return to their villages as they wished. Rilopenaril named the Bronze Chords the leaders of the new community.

957BCE: Rilopenaril mated with the Bronze Chords and some of their existing children, infusing their bloodlines with draconic power. Langudina rarely emerged from her home beneath the Hill.

-GoCorral

Next: Cimmerian Timeline Part 10