Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman

I saw Wonder Woman with some friends. It was a good superhero movie, but I feel as if I’ve grown away from the genre despite still enjoying it in theory.

The movie stars Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and Chris Pine as her sidekick WW1 soldier.

Wonder Woman is, as far as I could tell, never referred to as Wonder Woman in the movie. Everyone calls her by her name, Diana, hearkening back to the virgin, Roman goddess of the hunt that inspired her creation. Continue reading

Characters of Cimmeria: Korjak

Korjak

Korjak is a half-Orc and is the vessel for the Nordic god, Baldr. Korjak was a Lieutenant in the Rebellion army and he nominally led the four Dragovinian mortals, Gregor, Sivirdm, Stanton, and Wu, during their quest to reclaim the lost pieces of the Druid’s Prophecy. He grew to like his traveling companions more than the Rebellion leadership. After the completion of their quest he resigned his command and left with Gregor and the others to reunite the Orc tribes in the east. Continue reading

Characters of Cimmeria: Zelus

Zelus

Zelus is the Classical deific embodiment of zeal itself. He encapsulates excitement, eagerness, rivalry, and unwavering devotion to a sworn cause. Zelus is one of the Daimons, the divine children of Pallas and the River Styx. He currently aids the Exiles in their quest to eradicate Dragovinians from the face of the earth.

Zelus has a complicated place in the Olympian pantheon. Continue reading

The Shack Movie Review

The Shack

I saw The Shack with my wife. We were expecting a spiritual journey movie like Field of Dreams or Peaceful Warrior. We got something far more overtly Christian than that.

The Shack stars Sam Worthington as Mack, a father who’s young daughter, Missy, is kidnapped and murdered. The tragedy ruins the lives of him and his family as they are consumed by depression.

Mack receives a note inviting him to spend the weekend at the eponymous shack where his daughter was murdered. The note is signed “Papa,” which is his family’s nickname for God.

Mack goes, half expecting the murderer to be there, but instead he finds that the note was actually delivered to him by God. Waiting at the shack are Papa, Jesus, and Sarayu (The Holy Spirit). Continue reading

Characters of Cimmeria: Delain

Delain

The Conclave that once ruled mortals lives became unbalanced by the departure of the different races. The Dwarves left the Conclave first due to disagreements between Dwarven and Human leaders about intercity coordination against the Goblin threat. The Elves soon followed suit. As the Humans turned the goal of the Goblin Wars from eradication to enslavement, the Orcs left the Conclave to continue the war’s original purpose. In time the Orcs saw value in preserving the Goblin way of life and in fact protected the Goblins from Human invasion. The Halflings were the last to leave the Conclave after the end of the Goblin Wars. They felt the organization had served it’s purpose and that it was time to start fresh.

The adversarial nature of the Humans that remained within the Conclave incited wars with Continue reading

Characters of Cimmeria: Cecilia

Whew! This one took a lot longer to write than I thought it would. A little late for “D&D Mondays.” I should still be able to keep up with one post a week though.

Cecilia

Cecilia the Salt Champion was the daughter of Zeus and the mortal Hymniara. The founder of the city that now bears her name and liberator of the Caspian, Cecilia slew the great sea beasts that prowled the sea. She accomplished many other great tasks on land as well as befriending the dolphins and the people of the sea. During the Dragon War, Cecilia imprisoned the black dragons. All her tasks were done in the name of her lord-father, Zeus, while wielding a shining sword that he gave to her. The sword was buried with her deep beneath the earth where Cecilia slumbers, awaiting the return of the black dragons.

Continue reading

Restnor’s Point

I talk a little bit about distilled beverages in this entry as if they are a secret that no one knows about. While that’s not true now, it was for when my campaign is set! The events in Cimmeria take place 400BCE and the first alcoholic beverage wasn’t distilled (in reality) until 1200CE, 1600 years later.

Restnor's Point

Restnor’s Point is a small mining town with a population of about 11,000 people. Restnor’s Point is named after its original founder Restnor the Third. He was a schizophrenic ranger who enjoyed exploring the northern wilderness along the Terror Mountains. In his travels he found a waterfall with a gold mine behind it. He returned to his hometown of Dalleer and made a large bet that there was a large treasure behind the waterfall. The man he made the bet with accepted thinking that Restnor had imagined the gold deposit during a schizophrenic episode. The man lost the bet and Restnor used the wager to set up a mining operation by the waterfall for people with socially devastating disabilities like his own. Thus, Restnor’s Point has become a place where the majority of the population have physical or mental disabilities.

Hephaestus has risen to a place above Zeus in the pantheon of Restnor’s Point. His lame leg and status as the god of mining make him at fitting patron deity for the city. Hephaestus has blessed the town and given them astoundingly high and thick walls made of adamantite. The walls are 32 feet high and 10 feet thick. No known weapon has been able to get through the town’s gates when they are closed except a dragon’s breath or a disintegrate spell, and even then only after repeated attempts.

West of Talon’s Waterfall is a large alcove bored out of the mountain wall. This alcove is used for Restnor’s Point’s temple. It is devoted largely to Hephaestus, the town’s patron god, but also to Apollo, for he is the god of healing, and to Hades, for his dominion over wealth. These three are the only who have statues in the temple, but the largest altar is still reserved for Zeus and the rest of the pantheon. The High Priestess of the temple, Titandra the blind seer, is the spiritual leader as well as the actual leader of Restnor’s Point, although she spends most of her time in Bradel Fields aiding the Alliance’s efforts against the Xorians. The only tax in the city is a tithe, but it is also considerably larger than most tithes. This tithe is used for all typical religious practices and for secular secular services that the town needs, such as paying for food and textiles from downriver.

The town exports the products from their divinely blessed mine for their economic livelihood. They sell stone, jewels, iron, bronze, copper, tin, mithral, and adamantite. They also produce cold iron, alchemical silver, normal silver, and gold. The town has grown to a position of wealth, but not arrogance. It has no standing army and has not increased prices even though they have a virtual monopoly on some metals.

The town does have a few barley and potato farms, along with a banana orchard that is magically enchanted to survive the freezing temperatures during the winter. These crops are not used for food except in the most dire of circumstances. They are more frequently used to make beer and an exotic banana wine. Dwarven alchemists in Restnor’s Point have also perfected a process where the alcohol of many different beverages is combined to make the hardest liquor anyone has ever laid eyes on. This, “vodka,” as they have named it, is exported throughout the known world and the secret to its making is guarded vehemently by the very few brewers who have access to it.

The mine of the town has its entrance behind the waterfall, known as Talon’s Waterfall, at the start of Talon’s Bed. Every morning the majority of the town’s adult populace gathers in the temple to the west of the waterfall for a blessing before going into the mine. Because the people of the town have worked for so long in the same place they have acquired many magical digging and appraising tools to help them in the excavation of ore. There are so many of these tools that they could be worth quite a  bit more than the metals, jewels, and stones they are used to mine, if one could find a buyer for them.

Restnor’s Point is also home to some of the best falconers in the entire world. They have bred normal birds of prey with other magical varieties to make a super hunting machine that still acts docile around humanoids. This new species has been dubbed the Asestaro. One of these creatures can be purchased at maturity for 20,000 gold pieces, at a young age for 15,000, and in the egg for 10,000. The bonding process between the new owner and the animal is amazingly only one week. At that point the Asestaro will do anything it has been trained to do for the owner.

In recent years Restnor’s Point has joined the Second Alliance against Xoria. The town cannot contribute much in the way of troops, but the wealth and resources produced by the town’s mine have proved useful for the Alliance. Additionally, Titandra receives prophetic visions of the future that have occasionally aided in the conflict with the Xorian Empire.

-GoCorral

Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 15

Previous: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 14

Remember that Dawrven invasion that took many of the cities from the Najar Empire? And do you remember them ever taking Najar, the capital of the Najar Empire? Because they never took that capital. The invasion stalled after all the other cities were claimed.

Najar became a point of light for the rebellious Humans in the new Dwarven Empire. After a century and a half of minor revolts, the Najarns finally got enough coordination to take back a few of their cities. Cynelle already came back under Human control with help from the Merfolk. Alixria and Alrdia now revolt in unison. Najar and Cynelle help them and the Dwarves are forced to hide in Syluk.

The Elves have similar problems and must also retreat to their capital city. They fortunately do not have an ancient demon god tormenting them. The Elves fare a lot better than the Dwarves.

The end effect of this revolt is to solidify the differences between the Empire Dwarves on the Maw and the Metal Dwarves on Hearthland. The Empire Dwarves continue to make ethical lapses as they are now unwitting pawns of Navillus. The Metal Dwarves… They just want to get away from all this, but there will be more on that later.

453 NA: The Black Prince watched Najar and the lands beneath the Red Peaks. The Holy City began to stir, its people cried out to be saved from the Dwarven tyranny and to know once again the pleasures of Old Najar. And so they took up arms against their oppressors! Full-fledged rebellion broke out in the twin cities of Alixria and Alrdia, enough to clear the way for advancing troops from Najar to reclaim their cities.

454 NA: The Najaran forces marched towards the mighty fortress of Syluk but stopped in the foothills. No mortal man ordered the halt. Only one whisper from Navillus and one sly smile stopped the army. He would deal with Syluk himself. With no unifying purpose, the armies dispersed. A few Najarn commanders demanded obedience, but a higher power controlled affairs in the Upper Maw.

Morale sank in occupied Syluk. News of the retaking of the twin cities of Alixria and Alrdia had reached the Dwarven commanders from their post in the mountains and with the fall of Cynelle and the Elves on the coast they were surrounded. They were safe at least, they told themselves. No foe could storm the mountain under the fire of Dwarven siege machines and the old city was rich and well supplied for a siege. They had the military might to keep the native population under control and while sabotage continued, it was petty in its nature. And then, soon after the other cities fell, the nights began to grow longer. Restlessness settled in amongst the Dwarves as nightmares plagued their dreams. Animals were born hideously deformed. Crops seemed to whither and turn to ash. And the Najaran sabotage seemed to grow at supernatural speeds.

They were Dwarves of hard metal but as nights grew longer and the pressure grew… they began to break. Madness, paranoia, and strange illnesses plagued the Syluki Dwarves. New military tribunals were formed with harsher punishments. Loyal Dwarf soldiers began to be executed by their own officers for trifling offenses. Suspicions ran rampant. To those in charge it seemed that all of their men were traitors. The few remaining pure souls wept for the fate of Syluk, the city of terror…

467 NA: The Bastards’ invasion horrified the Elves. They had never seen such brutality. The Hobgoblin race terrified the sylvan people as well. The Elves begin setting traps within the forest, both mundane and magical. The Elves set a great ward around Crodolan to prevent any outsiders from entering the city.

475 NA: The darkness in Syluk began to lift. After twenty years of endless sabotage, military tribunals, and sickness, a semblance of order returned to the mountain city. The Empire Dwarves took stock of themselves cut off as they were from the Dwarves on Hearthland. The whispers of Navillus had turned them away from the Holy Books that they used to know. The priesthood corrupted. Human sacrifice began to take place to ward off the evil. Little did the Dwarves know that the souls they sacrifice went to feed the Dark God. Farpoint, the other Dwarven controlled city in the Upper Maw, was too far away to lend aid or even effectively communicate with the Syluki Dwarves.. The Empire Dwarves knew that the crusade must be completed or their failure would be remember in history for eternity. They recruited among the Humans in the city who finally accepted their new masters. Soon, they planned to march to Najar and face the evil master of the Maw as they should’ve done in the first place.

-Mister Ed

Next: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 16

Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 7

Previous: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 6

I was playing Spore around the time we were playing this part of Dawn of Worlds.

In Spore you can defeat other nations by fighting them or by converting them to your cause.

I tried to do the conversion thing with the Dwarves, but the other players wouldn’t have it. It’s difficult to convert people when each race has their own living god (Drolfo, Navillus, Izquitl, and The Books).

36 NA: Without definite proof of the demonic presence in the Upper Maw the Merfolk refused to form an offensive alliance with the Dwarves against the Humans. The Dwarves asked that a commission of Merfolk be sent along with the Dwarven missionaries to the lands of the Najar. There, the people of the sea would see the threat that loomed in the North.

40 NA: Now that the people of Bwolark had settled themselves on the newly christened, Bwolo Isle, the Merfolk decided to intervene. The fish-men demanded tribute in rice from the Humans on their island. Just as Bwolark had spat at the offer of Navillus the Black Prince, the Bwarlor rejected the random demands for foreign crops by the Merfolk.

50 NA: After years of trying, shaky diplomatic relations were finally established between the Dwarves and the Avians. Unfortunately, the Avians rejected the Dwarven offer to arbitrate peace between the Avians and the Merfolk. Since the death of Trebor the Avians lacked true central leadership. While the Prophets of Cui-Xoloc were recognized as the Avian rulers, they held little real power. Generals, sages, princes and prophets seemed a dime a dozen, each vying for control of the Hrududu.

The Avians were too proud to accept the humiliating terms of the Merfolk. They could not let their people’s spilled blood go unpunished and yet… they lacked united leadership and the military discipline to formulate an attack. They posed little threat to the Merfolk, beyond the occasional raid on Tortuga. With each passing decade their attacks became less ferocious, smaller, and more content to merely pilfer outlying farms and villages.

52 NA: The Dwarven missionaries, after failure at Rontu-Aru, took the Merfolk embassy to the port city of Alixria. The Dwarves reminded the Merfolk of the worldwide earthquake many years ago. The Dwarven sages believed the quake was some sort of demonic presence entering the world and corrupting the Humans. The Dwarves showed as much of the Human devil worship as they could manage without endangering themselves. Unfortunately, the Najar were good at hiding their villainy. The Merfolk rejected the alliance offer, seeing no danger in the Najaran Empire’s existence.

The Dwarves went home, defeated before any battles had even taken place. Without any allies they had no hope of winning a war against the Humans.

67 NA: The wraith-like race of Grez emerged in the cold reaches of Glacierstone. Who knows how long they had been there, biding their time.

78 NA: The growth of the Halusho Forest manifested itself in new, mysterious ways. A new race came walking out of the trees, the Elves.

83 NA: The Elves quickly organized their civilization with their natural talents. They built a city around a giant oak in the forest, Crodolan. There the Elves created great works of art with wood from the Halusho and with metal mined from the Mandibles.

97 NA: Reesrevo, the god of winter and patron god of the Grez, guided his people as they established themselves in the new world. The Grez moved into the cold ocean between Glacierstone and the Upper Maw. They created Reesrevoton by freezing the ocean and making a giant glacial tower surrounded by a layer of ice under the command of their god. The Grez turned all of Glacierstone and parts of the northwestern Maw to ice.

-Mister Ed

Next: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 8