Dorrowsan is a city with about 30,000 people living it. The city is a single structure made entirely out of magical ice. The ice doesn’t melt despite high ambient temperatures and does not chip when attacked with a non-magical weapon. It does melt when an everlasting torch is put next to it, even though such a torch is just an illusory flame that produces no heat.
The fortress’s temperature is a comfortable 72˚F (22˚C) with a slight wind in larger rooms. Sunlight penetrates the walls illuminating every room, hall, and passageway, but one cannot see through the ice into other rooms. Food, furniture, and items can be produced at will if the person doing so is in a calm state of mind. In combat a Concentration check is required of DC 15+how many rounds the combat has lasted. The created things all have a look similar to the ice and will melt if taken from the fortress.
Obviously such a paradise would attract many people, but the city is run like a mystical cult with many odd organizational principles and rituals. The societal classes are split into colors with White being on the bottom going through Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple to the highest Black. To get into the city you must give up your possessions and wear a robe according to your color. If you wish to have your items returned you are given a tattoo that signifies that you are never to enter the city again. One is upgraded from each color for doing something considered exceptional for their current ranking and downgraded for doing something dishonorable. The society’s rules are vaguely Japanese in structure.
The different ranks don’t have any significant responsibilities as the fortress provides enough that no real work is needed. Each rank simply has a level of control over lower ranks. Hence if a Yellow wanted a Red to help him make a table with their minds then the Red would have to help or risk demotion.
Dorrowsan exports a few magical items in exchange for commodities that can’t be produced by the fortress. The imports are mostly good food and other luxuries such as blankets that the fortress is incapable of making from ice.
An odd thing happens in Dorrowsan at sunrise that seriously disturbs foreigners. All of the people wake up, go outside of the fortress, and stand in what would look like a military parade. They then simultaneously empty their bowels and pee. The excrement is quickly burned by the people before they retreat to the fortress. This is done every day in silence and when mentioned to the residents of the city the event is always denied.
The leader of the city is titled The Great Lump. Prior to the events of the Second Alliance War, The Great Lump was a fire giant priest named Chirrigar. The people of Dorrowsan, instead of being unnerved by the identity of their ruler were honored to have such a wise and strong protector. The ice in the Dorrowsan shrank and retreated to accommodate space for whatever he did. Chirrigar’s scepter gave him this power and allowed him to see through the walls. The scpeter counts as a +4 Flaming Burst Mace. The scepter can also be used to control the people in the city who wear the robes or have the tattoos, but only when the sun shines its brightest, sunrise. He maintained the morning ritual as a cruel joke upon his subjects.
Chirrigar was walking through the desert after his tribe had been wiped out by a blue dragon when he found the scepter. He went to the dragon’s cave and slew it, taking its hoard he spread the word to humans of his new city he had seen in a divine vision. He went to the site of the city northwest of the desert and planted a large piece of quartz he had found in the dragon’s cave. It grew and grew and took on the shape that Dorrowsan has today.
Dorrowsan initially joined the Xorians in the Second Alliance War. Chirrigar used the scepter to physically move the icy city towards Dalleer. Upon reaching the city he challenged the Alliance to single combat. The Alliance would send forth a champion to fight the Great Lump. The winner would gain control of both Dalleer and Dorrowsan. Hektor of Lakatia represented the Alliance and defeated Chirrigar by beheading him.
The scepter that controlled the city was given to Kig Yupington. He moved the city east to Jipangu to train with other new recruits to the Alliance.
I attended my wife’s graduation ceremony or her completion of her Masters of Arts in Education.
Her mom, dad, and grandma all came to Davis to join in the celebration.
And during the speech given by the university chancellor, the fire alarm went off!
We all had to slowly file out of the building while my mother-in-law helped my grandmother-in-law down the stairs.
We caught up to my wife, her friend, and her friend’s family and hung out with them, taking some “mid-graduation” photos.
After heading back inside we found the seats had shuffled around a little bit and another family was sitting where we’d been sitting before.
I got to sit next to a very well-dressed woman who quietly disapproved of me coming to a graduation ceremony in the same clothes I’d worn to work. Tight scheduling had forced me to do that, but she didn’t know that. Just a little frown out of her though. It was actually kind of funny.
My wife had decorated her graduation hat and we got to see her march on stage and get her apron draped over her or whatever it is.
There were a few more speeches besides the chancellor’s as well. All the usual stuff about moving forward and making the world a better place. The recipient of the faculty award had some interesting stuff to say about the necessity of being bilingual in California that I liked, but everything else was fairly typical for a graduation ceremony for teachers.
After leaving they gave us one of those little cards if you ever want to grab the official photographer’s photos of the events (Never done it. Way too expensive when we have our own photos).
After the ceremony we went back to our house for pizza and cake. My wife loved the cake that I picked out!
Been a while since I’ve made a post because I’ve been quite sick. The flu is a terrible thing!
I’ve been wanting to make a post about Hearthstone’s new adventure expansion, Blackrock Mountain. Now that I’m no longer as concerned about dying I can write the post! Woohoo!
The adventure is based off a famous WoW raid once again that I know almost nothing about.
Looking at whats been released so far on the official website and trailer I can tell that the expansion has dragons, fire, and dwarves in it.
I LOVE dragons, so this is gonna be a killer set for me.
Moving on to a selection of the previewed cards though!
First up is the previewed Legendary, Rend Blackhand.
Only useful in a very very specific situation. You have to have him and a dragon in your hand and your opponent has to have a Legendary on their board that is worth killing. Otherwise it’s basically a weak Core Hound and no one plays that because it’s bad.
Next is the Hungry Dragon.
I’m pleased by this new addition to the dragon forces in the game. It’s strong, but not overwhelmingly strong. Did I mention that it’s a DRAGON?!?
Then we have the Dark Iron Skulker.
Pretty obviously intended as an anti-aggro card for Rogues. Rogues already have a few tools for this with Fan of Knives and their hero power. This card is even better because its basically a Consecration stapled to a 3 mana cost minion body for only 5 mana. You’re getting 2 mana of oomph for free if the Skulker damages all of your opponent’s minions. I think this one will see a lot of play.
And the best for last! Axe Flinger!
Super useful alongside Bouncing Blade, the GVG Warrior spell that deals 1 damage to a random minion and then another random minion until a minion dies. And the best thing about the Axe Flinger is that it immediately inspired me to make this video!
Blackrock Mountain is scheduled to come out sometime in April. Hopefully we’ll get to see a few more cards before then!
Here it is almost two weeks later and I still haven’t made a post about my awesome Valentine’s date!
My wife and I went out to eat at her favorite restaurant, Chevy’s. She likes the place a lot because they have really good tortilla chips and the family friendly atmosphere is very inviting.
After the wonderful dinner we used a birthday present I’d gotten for her back in November, tickets to Disney on Ice!
The opening act was a few ice-skating boomerang throwers.
Mickey came out along with all of his friends who wanted to throw a birthday party for somebody, but it wasn’t any of their birthdays!
The Mad Hatter came out along with Alice and suggested an Unbirthday party instead.
After the party Mickey stayed to clean everything up by putting on his wizard clothes and summoning a bunch of iceskating brooms.
The next celebration was Halloween (because Halloween is totally on Valentine’s Day in February).
After Halloween came Valentine’s Day. Finally!
Minnie was looking for her love, but couldn’t find him. All the Disney princes and princesses tried to help out by dancing around a fountain. Most of the traditional amazing ice skating moves were during this number. Lots of princes lifting princesses and dazzling spins on the ice.
In the end Mickey was inside the fountain that Disney royalty was dancing around. He came out and had a dance with Minnie.
After the Valentine’s Dance there was an intermission followed by Mickey’s fantastic travel the world second act! If you’ve been to Disneyland and seen the Magical Dot show, it’s almost the same thing.
Asia, Agrabah, all over Europe, New Orleans, and Hawaii!
Hawaii was the best of all. A man came out and sprayed some liquid onto the ice. Then the male lead from Lilo and Stitch came out with a fiery baton and lit the liquid (gasoline) on fire!
And then the show ended with the required big finale where all the characters came out to sing and make merry.
I did a little bit more work on setting up my Twitch channel and I think it is close to its “final form.”
Twitch has these things called panels that hang out below the video of a channel.
Normally you’re just watching the channel or using the chat and not paying attention to what else is on the page. But what if you want to know a little bit more about this streamer?
That’s what the panels are for.
I added a little bit of basic bio info, some Disney Channel level interview questions, my computer specs, and a list of what games I play.
What’s next for the channel? Well, one of my friends keeps bugging me to wear silly hats while I stream, so that’s probably something I should do.
I still have a random frame dropping issue that I need to deal with. The easiest way to fix that is unfortunately just dropping the quality of the stream slightly.
That sounds bad, but having slightly less detail on the video is probably better than a huge ten minute section of my video having 1 frame per second.
Which brings up another issue, my internet speed. Bad news on that front as well.
There are only two significant internet providers in Davis, Comcast and AT&T. I use AT&T currently and I’ll be damned if I sign up for Comcast ever. That company is run by Satan.
But I already have the fastest upload speed available to me with AT&T. There is no way for me to boost my streaming quality except signing up for the better upload speeds offered by Comcast.
That’s just not happening. One of my friends posts a Comcast horror story every couple months. The most recent one was this guy who spent a year arguing with them on the phone for an erroneous $2000 charge. Comcast ended up calling the guy’s work and getting him fired because he wouldn’t pay their bogus charges.
Just… Not gonna get involved with a company like that.
Back to the stream! The internet speed thing means I can’t stream my League of Legends games. League of Legends eats up to much of my bandwith. If I stream at the same time the video quality will be reduced and my League game suffers some lag problems as well where I can’t react as fast to stuff in the game.
This is fine. I can get by without streaming League, but it creates another issue.
I’ve been wanting to stream my Sunday hangouts with my friends. We get together to play D&D and some video games nearly every Sunday.
The video game we play most often is League. We play at least one game every Sunday.
So if I’m streaming on Sundays, there’s gonna be this random gap in the stream when I leave to play League.
And this is also very strange for a Twitch channel. I imagine a viewer being like, “You’ve stopped streaming so you can play League of Legends? The most popular game on Twitch?”
Another option I’ve considered is throwing a switch to reduce stream quality while I’m playing League of Legends on Sunday. That’s probably a good compromise. I wish AT&T just offered better internet speeds though.
The final thing I’d like to do for the stream is to establish a weekday night where I stream every week on that night. Even if its just for half an hour I’d like to have some consistency. I think that’s the best way to build a fan base. Along with wearing funny hats.
What are Kel’Thuzad’s advantages over you in Heroic? EVERYTHING!
He starts off with 20 armor and 45 health.
If you’ve played against him then you probably already know that he has two hero powers.
His first hero power is used for free very turn. It freezes you and deals you 3 damage.
His second hero power is unlocked when you remove Kel’Thuzad’s armor or when you finish your tenth turn, whichever comes first.
The second hero power costs 8 and allows Kel to steal a random minion from your side of the board. And when his hero power changes he also gets two 5/5 minions with taunt.
Plus he’s got some of the best cards in the game in his deck.
I tried so many decks against him. I tried Paladin, Shaman, and Mage before I landed on Divine Spirit/Inner Fire Priest once again.
The Paladin deck I tried was too slow to build a board presence against Kel’Thuzad. The 3 damage a turn from his hero power brought me down before I could get the buff train rolling on my minions.
My Shaman deck focused around dealing lots of early damage with Dust Devils, but Kel killed the Dust Devils every time with Frostbolt.
The Mage deck I created had some success. It could consistently survive to Kel’Thuzad’s second stage, but it faltered at that point.
The Mage deck was a Secret deck. Mad Scientist and Ethereal Arcanist featured heavily in it.
I usually broke through Kel’s armor with a buffed Arcanist.
Then Kel would transform, drop two huge taunt minions, and steal my Arcanist.
I couldn’t figure out a way to recover from that.
Sooo… Back to the Divine Spirit/Inner Fire Priest! Here’s the deck list:
Circle of Healing x2
Inner Fire x2
Power Word: Shield x2
Northshire Cleric x2
Divine Spirit x2
Loot Hoarder x2
Novice Engineer x2
Imp Master x2
Stoneskin Gargoyle x2
Shadow Madness x2
Holy Nova x2
Just the usual jazz for Divine Spirit/Inner Fire, but with the addition of a bit more card draw to get the required pieces. The Loot Hoarder and Novice Engineer will hopefully take some of Kel’s removal spells with them as well.
The Silence is added to remove any taunts that Kel might get. Racing him was how I won and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the Silence. Ironbeak Owl might work just as well though.
Getting a big beastie should be fine, but then Kel will transform and get his minion stealing power. What do we do then?
That’s why I put Imp Master in. Kel will steal a 1 attack creature more often than not, so he’ll just avoid using the ability entirely.
Shadow Madness is also quite useful against Kel’Thuzad because he runs Dark Cultist and Sludge Belcher. If they die on your side of the field then you get the deathrattle as well!
While the deck is pretty simple, the boss fight is still quite hard. I beat Kel’Thuzad on my tenth try after going into fatigue and being one turn from losing.
I took a crack at Heroic Grobbulus in the Construct Quarter of Hearthstone’s Naxxramas adventure and found out that an Inner Fire/Divine Spirit Priest deck works consistently.
Here is the specific deck list I used, although many variations could work:
Circle of Healing x2
Holy Smite x2
Inner Fire x2
Power Word: Shield x2
Divine Spirit x2
Shadow Word: Pain x2
Nerubian Egg x2
Shadow Word: Death x2
Dark Cultist x2
Stoneskin Gargoyle x2
Holy Nova x2
The strategy is the same as any other Inner Fire/Divine Spirit deck. Create a minion too big for your opponent to deal with and then tear him down.
The problem is that when you face Grobbulus it isn’t clear whether you should be healing yourself or the big minion.
The fix for that issue is having the big minion be Stoneskin Gargoyle. It’ll heal itself and you can always heal yourself.
While the deck works, I felt unsure about some of the parts of it.
Often times when I played the Nerubian Egg, all the Nerubian would be capable of trading with would be the slime produced by Grobbulus’ hero power killing the egg.
Lightspawn felt a little bad because it gets weaker as it takes damage. It was an even tougher choice of whether I should heal it or myself.
Mind Control also felt a little odd, but I put it in there in case I needed to clear a taunt on Grobbulus’ side to secure lethal. I suppose a silence effect would’ve worked just as well.
I might substitute in a little more draw to get the Inner Fire combo faster.
Otherwise it was a simple strategy that got a simple victory. Enjoy!
I’ve described what’s on and around Bois Blanc Island, but what do we actually do there?
A typical day starts with my wife and I waking up in the Pines Cottage at 8:30. We sleep that late partially due to a three hour jet lag, but mostly because vacations are created for sleeping in.
In the morning we turn on the space heater in the living room (I’m bad at lighting fires in the fireplace) before doing some activities in no particular order.
We shower, eat breakfast, work on a 1000 piece puzzle of a dragon on a cliff, read, write, and play on my wife’s iPhone with limited internet access.
At the end of the morning we eat lunch before calling my relatives on the West End to figure out dinner plans.
My wife is a vegetarian. If meat is in the main dish we have to make sure she has something else to eat.
After calling ahead we pack up what we need for the day and go over to the West End.
When we arrive at the West End we put away any food we brought that requires refrigeration before starting another group of activities in no particular order.
We read, write, wade in the water, kayak, watch my cousin and his friend from Montana windsurf, go on a walk, bike, work on a 500 piece puzzle of a pile of beach glass, eat snacks, play board and card games, and chat with my relatives.
We don’t do all those things in one day, but we managed to do them all in the week we were on Bois Blanc Island.
Around 5 or 5:30 we go over to the New Cottage for drinks with my grandparents, drinks being anything from vodka to diet soda.
We talk with them or they talk around us about people all my aunts know but I’ve never met.
Half an hour later dinner is served and we gather around a big table or two tables if one isn’t enough.
We eat dinner and dessert if there is any.
After dinner we do a few more of the afternoon activities with the additional options of watching the sunset over Round Island at 9:15, or starting a fire in the fireplace or on the beach.
Then we pack up our stuff and dodge deer on the drive back to the Pines Cottage.
At the Pines we read, write, work on the dragon puzzle, and eat a few snacks before going to bed around 11.
One of my friends hasn’t read the latest Game of Thrones books yet.
So whenever we try and talk about the books he’ll shout out, “No spoilers!” and then cover his ears.
I’ve heard about this sort of thing happening more and more since the TV show became popular.
People watch the show, but don’t read the books.
So you could be talking with someone about Game of Thrones stuff and then casually mention something from Dance with Dragons. The book came out three years ago right? You can’t say spoilers in response to a three year old plot twist can you?
Apparently you can.
I guess I’m a little surprised by that.
When I was reading Harry Potter this sort of thing didn’t happen.
If you were interested in talking about the series it was assumed that you’d read all of the books that were published.
The movies came out afterwards, but from my own experience very few people watched the movies that didn’t also read the books.
Why is Game of Thrones different?
At first I thought maybe book size, but both Harry Potter and Game of Thrones books are massive.
Adult content might be it, but why?
The TV show has more sexual content and violence than the book. That’s also the main reason why I don’t watch the show.
I already know what’s going to happen, so there’s no plot mystery.
But the added sexual content just makes me uncomfortable.
My opinion on sex in TV shows and movies comes from an early filmmaker named Ernst Lubitsch.
Sex couldn’t be shown on screen and you couldn’t show someone in their underwear either.
Lubitsch represented sex by holding the camera on a closed door.
That was all.
And it worked! People knew exactly what was happening on the other side of the door, but you didn’t need to show it.
Game of Thrones goes way too far on this for my taste. Many of the scenes seem like they’d fit in a porn movie better than a high fantasy TV show.
But maybe that’s what’s attracting people to the show, but not the books.
The show has more sex scenes and they’re obviously more visual than those in the book ever will be.
So maybe more people watch the Game of Thrones show than read the books because its a guilt free way to get some softcore porn.
Or maybe its some other reason, but I’ve run out of space.