Sully Movie Review

sully

So… the Sully movie. Most Americans are passingly familiar with the plot as it was a national news story.

In 2009, Captain Sully, pilot of a passenger jet, gets engine trouble right after taking off from New York. There’s no time to turn around and land on the airstrip. He stays calm and lands the plane in the Hudson River. Ferries and emergency services respond immediately and everyone is rescued with no significant injuries.

Seems pretty simple which leads to the question I heard most people ask about this movie, “How does it fill up an hour and a half of time?” 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

Locations of Cimmeria: Geyser of Talos

Geyser of Talos

The Geyser of Talos is a magical location in the far north of Cimmeria. The Geyser lies about a day’s journey west of the origin point of the Great Divide river which separates Cimmeria’s western and eastern halves.

When the Olympians moved to Cimmeria, Hephaestus was looking for a location to set up his new forge. Before finding his permanent home in Horror Peak he made a temporary work station for himself at the base of the Terror Mountains. Needing water to quench his red-hot iron, Hephaestus struck his hammer upon the ground and a geyser shot up. Since the smith god vacated the area, the Geyser has dwindled, only erupting every few months. The water still retains the magical qualities imbued into it by its progenitor, making it useful for all manner of things. Continue reading

Tetalya

Tetalya.png

Tetalya is a jungle city with a population of about 45,000 along the Aractrash River’s exit from the Aractrashan Jungle. The city is a center for alchemy of all kinds. Magic potions and nonmagical salves are made in great quantities in Tetalya. The surrounding trees, plants, and animals have many different type of spell components that fetchers bring in to the city to be harvested for spell components. The more rare and dangerous specimens such as Basilisks are processed in a cordoned area just outside of the city.

Tetalya has a popular battle arena that attracts visitors from other cities. Many husbands have lost their life savings and gone home to the verbal abuse of their wives while others have moved up to positions of insane wealth. The arena is special in that it does not hire new people or use beasts except for its most special combats on holidays. The arena has rotated through a set of twelve different combatants since its formation. The fighters rarely leave their cush arena position thanks to the large cut of the betting, luxurious living space, and the best food that can be given to them. The twelve combatants currently active in the arena are: Hargoth the Axe Rager, Dylan the Sword Ranger, Julian the Drunk Monk, Shara the Half-elf Grappler, Tira the Knife Woman, Organ the Buffing, Sheera the Elven Archer, Tjakres the Githzerai with Magic Arms, Batinhen the Dwarven Paladin, Constance the Dwarven Defender, Kuvintal the Rapier using Acrobat, and Bats the Halfling with a Hooked Hammer and Net. There are contingent spells put on the combatants to prevent them from dying. All of them are best buddies and spend most of their off time together.

The biggest production of alchemy ingredients is done at Grandma Sullust’s Garden in Tetalya. She has a virtual monopoly in the East on magical plants that can be grown domestically. She sells some of her crop in the city itself but most goes to the druid’s guild in Lordodo. They use the plants they can to make salves and the rest are exported mostly to Crafterton to make alchemist’s fire and other offensive chemicals.

The Druidic Healing Guild of Lordodo has an office in Tetalya. This office is the organizational center of Tetalya, filling the basic function a lord’s castle would in a feudal town. The druids do pay fealty to King Staynard of Aractrash and defer to his authority when he is in the city. The druids increased sanitation to levels that some of the public think is unnecessary, while the rest think the clean streets are the best thing since bread. The guild built many public parks and improved the fire prevention service. Overall the druids have drstically improved the standard of living within the city while restricting most of the city’s more dirty medieval traditions.

-GoCorral

Lordodo

Lordodo

Lordodo has a population of over 80,000 people and is a mush pot for Aractrashans and Xorians; their starkly different cultures have combined to make a port fit for rowdiness and gambling. Almost all the people here can speak and write several different languages. The port was originally founded by Jovy the first sailor. He received a message from Hermes to build a giant bowl out of wood on the Aractrash River. He did so and was rewarded. The bowl grew until it became a boat with sails, rigging, and fine sailing men, the first carack vessel. Jovy was named captain of the boat and discovered Those Blasted Islands in the Caspian Sea. He invented classic pirate speak.

Jovy sailed to many small settlements around the Caspian Sea and is in a great way responsible for modern sea trade. Near the end of his career Jovy purposely ran his boat aground at the Aractrash River mouth. The magical sailors all disappeared back to Hermes; however, the boat, Mira Miro, stayed. It is now the city hall of Lordodo and the wood has not rotted after all these years.

Lordodo is a province of Aractrash and pays homage to the Aractrashan king. The port has a navy peacekeeping force with Admiral Lucas at its head. He is the legislative and executive head of the city and has the responsibility of stopping crime in the city and judging any criminal cases lower judges find too complicated. Most of the navy sailors under Lucas’s command patrol the streets as well as the seas. The navy has a total of five thousand sailors manning dozens of ships of different sizes.

Lordodo does not have much it produces on its own, but it is the waypoint between the Aractrashan Jungle and the rest of the world. The city does not have any income taxes. The city attains revenue by charging a fee for protecting any caravans, boats, or individuals that travel in and out of its walls. If the city does not receive payment, then it will simply not protect somebody. Word gets out soon to thieves that a particular person hasn’t paid the guards and that person will soon wish they had forked over the entry fee to the city. This practice provides enough funding to pay all the navy troops and to keep the public buildings in good order. Lordodo also serves as a shipbuilding center for the Caspian, exporting well-constructed trade ships to merchants originating from other port cities.

Lordodo has three major guilds that almost everybody worth mentioning is a part of, the Druidic Healing guild, the Navigator’s guild, and the Bounty Hunter’s guild. The Druidic Healing guild is a hospital set up by druids inside the city. It is made out of living wood and has an herbal garden with almost every spell component and potion worthy ingredient imaginable. If someone has a rare disease this would be the place to get it cured. After the destruction of the druid enclave in Semanarie, the Druidic Healing guild of Lordodo is the largest gathering of druids in Cimmeria. The Navigator’s guild is an organization for sailors to get drunk, gamble, and fight without the city watch interfering. The Bounty Hunter’s guild is where you should go if you want somebody killed, but you don’t want the law knowing about it. It is also the only know place outside of Phoenix where anybody can reliably redeem monster parts for cash. The guild maintained an outpost in Phoenix prior to the Xorian invasion where they accepted contracts and paid for monster parts, but they did not accept new members there. The Thieves guild exists as a fourth shadowy presence that provides the pressure to enforce the city’s fee based tax system. The Thieves guild works closely with the guards of the city, but good luck getting them to admit it.

Gambling is prevalent in the city. Rare is an event that goes by that isn’t bet on at all. You can even see sailors betting on how loud their next burps will be in the tavern and winning a small fortune in the process. The largest and most popular casino in Lordodo is called the Hunter’s Best. It has all the usual games plus once a year they will hold a contest to see who can bring back the most of something like Orc’s ears or the biggest Minotaur horns. The entry fee is 50 GP and the prize is the bounty for the amount or size of the things brought in plus 50% of the entry fees. Occasionally the Hunter’s Best holds a tournament at the end of the year with a threshold of bounties to enter.

-GoCorral

Arriving to and Leaving from the Island

Previous Post About Bois Blanc Island: Bois Blanc Island Dinners

Coming on the ferry to Bois Blanc Island has an unofficial ceremony to it.

A member of the Plaunt family that runs the ferry backs my rented car onboard and I walk on.

As the ferry pulls away from the dock I watch the bridge opening in front of us over the Cheboygan River.

The ferry pulls out past the icebreaker that keeps the Straits of Mackinac open during the winter.

This boat is named the USCGC Mackinaw.
This boat is named the USCGC Mackinaw.

I watch the approach of Bois Blanc Island in the distance for a bit before returning to the car to read, chat, or sleep.

Once the ferry gets closer everyone becomes antsy and crowds to the front.

The ferry was pretty busy because people were coming for a tour of all the neat cottages on the Island.
The ferry was pretty busy because people were coming for a tour of all the neat cottages on the Island.

My relatives wave from the sea wall protecting the ferry dock on Bois Blanc.

When we dock we shout, “Hello!” before driving the car off.

We park the car and exchange hugs and greetings with the relatives. Then we drive to the cottages to take out our groceries and luggage.

Leaving is pretty much the same thing.

The relatives come to wave goodbye. They hug, say what a good time they had, and promise to see us again.

The ferry pulls out and I walk down to the end of the sea wall to wave goodbye one more time.

Bye bye, Ferry!
Bye bye, Ferry!

Until next year!

-Mister Ed

This is the last of my posts about my trip to Bois Blanc Island this year. Hope you enjoyed them!

Sacramento Music Festival 2014

I went to the Sacramento Music Festival for a vacation this Memorial Day weekend with my wife and my parents-in-law. Here are some pictures of all the stuff that was going on there.

Here’s what our hotel was like.

The Governor's Inn where we stayed had birds named after the Reagans.
The Governor’s Inn where we stayed had birds named after the Reagans.
First time I got room service with my wife!
First time I got room service with my wife!

We went on a walk along the river by our hotel.

Here's a bridge in Sacramento by our hotel.
Here’s a bridge in Sacramento by our hotel.
There was this weird water thing in the river.
There was this weird water thing in the river.
An abandoned boat out in the river by our hotel.
An abandoned boat out in the river by our hotel.
The abandoned boat was an anomaly. Most of the boats were sailing around like this one.
The abandoned boat was an anomaly. Most of the boats were sailing around like this one.
The Rusty Duck Restaurant is quite rusty as it has been abandoned for awhile.
The Rusty Duck Restaurant is quite rusty as it has been abandoned for awhile.
An abandoned PG&E block building.
An abandoned PG&E block building.

And we went to the festival where my father-in-law was playing.

We were stuck in line for one of the music sets, but there was a polevaulting event outside to watch!
We were stuck in line for one of the music sets, but there was a polevaulting event outside to watch!
Here the girl is going over the bar.
Here the girl is going over the bar.
The girl did not make it over the bar.
The girl didn’t quite make it over the bar. She hit it on the way down.
A bunch of Hawaiian kids played some covers on the street to earn money for college.
A bunch of Hawaiian kids played some covers on the street to earn money for college.

The College Fund band that we saw on the street has a Facebook page. Here’s the link.

My father-in-law's band playing some 20's jazz.
My father-in-law’s band playing some 20’s jazz.

My father-in-law’s band is called the Royal Society Jazz Orchestra (RSJO). You can check out their website here.

And that was my weekend! Lots of music and lots of fun!

-Mister Ed

League of Legends Map Part 2

https://i2.wp.com/img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20131205125131/leagueoflegends/images/4/49/Summoner%27s_Rift_jungle_map_with_monsters.png

League of Legends Map Part 1

Today the focus will be on a specific part of the League of Legends map, the Jungle.

The Jungle is the space between the lanes and the river. There are four different sections of the Jungle formed by the X that the River and the middle (mid) lane create.

Each of the four sections contains three monster camps. Each section has a few names in the game. The top section is called purple top because it is close to purple’s top lane. The right section is called purple bottom (bot) Jungle for the same reason. The bottom section is called blue bot and the left section is called blue top.

The sections have other names that are used more often that refer to the specific monsters within them, so lets take a look at those.

Purple top and blue bot are mirrored and contain the same three monster camps in identical places. The central camp is the Lizard Elder and his two Lizard buddies. The Elder attacks with his nasty sword while the little Lizards shoot fire from their staves.

When a player kills the Lizard Elder they get a buff that lets them deal a little bit of extra damage every time they hit a minion, monster, or another player. This buff has a visual effect of red runes circling the player who has it. This red effect is why the section of the Jungle with the Lizard Elder is sometimes called the red Jungle. The two different red Jungles are differentiated by calling them “their red side Jungle” or “our red side Jungle.”

The other two monster camps around the Lizard Elder are the Golems and the Wraiths.

The Golems are two big rocky brothers. One is an older brother and is thus bigger than his younger brother.  The Golems attack you by smashing you with their rock hands.

The Wraiths are four ghostly looking things. One of the Wraiths is bigger than the other three. The Wraiths attack by shooting out little ghost lights from their hands.

The purple bot and blue top Jungle sections are dominated by the Ancient Golem at the center who also has two Lizard buddies. The Ancient Golem is the huge father version of the two Golem brothers in the red side Jungle. The Lizard buddies are just like the two that hang out with the Lizard Elder.

When a player kills the Ancient Golem he receives a buff, just like with the Lizard Elder. The Ancient Golem’s buff has blue runes instead of red runes. The player with the blue buff can use more of their special abilities and can use them faster. The blue buff gives these sections of the Jungle their name, blue side Jungle. Just like with the red side Jungle, the two sections are differentiated by which side of the river they are on, our side or their side.

The two monster camps around the Ancient Golem are the Wight and the Wolves.

The Wight is a recent addition to the Jungle. The company that makes League of Legends, Riot Games, updates the game all the time with significant updates at the beginning of every year. 2014 saw the addition of the Wight to the Jungle along with a few other things.

The Wight  is all by it’s lonesome in the Jungle. It is bigger than all the other Jungle monsters except for the Ancient Golem and the Lizard Elder. The Wight looks a lot like the Wraiths and attacks in the same way they do which is why the Wight is sometimes called the Big Wraith. I find this a little confusing because there already is a big Wraith in the Wraith camp itself. I’ll keep calling it the Wight and hoping that everyone else changes.

The Wolf camp has three Wolves, a mama Wolf and two baby Wolves. You can call the baby Wolves Romulus and Remus if you want. The Wolves attack by biting (obviously).

The monsters are a lot like minions, but different in key ways.

Minions walk down the lanes, but if attacked will follow the attacking player out of the lanes. The monsters don’t leave their camps. If you hit them and lead them away from their camp, the monsters will head back to the camp and quickly return to full health.

Minions spawn every thirty seconds. The monster camps only respawn if all the monsters in them are killed. The respawn times are 50 seconds for the Golems, Wolves, Wraiths and Wight, and 5 minutes for the Ancient Golem and Lizard Elder.

The monster camps do not respawn until all the monsters in them are killed. This allows a clever player to kill the Ancient Golem or Lizard Elder on their opponent’s side and waltz away with the buff, leaving the Lizard buddy scraps for the other team to have.

There are two more monsters on the map above, Baron Nashor and the Dragon. Those two are different than the other monster camps, so I will describe them another time.

There’s a lot more to tell you about how the map is played, so I hope you keep reading to learn it all!

If reading this has gotten you interested in League of Legends you can click this link to download the game for free. Doing so also gives me a little boost in game, so we’re both winners! League of Legends Signup Link

-Mister Ed

League of Legends Map Part 3

League of Legends Map Part 1

This is a map of League of Legends. I figured I’d bring it up to show you a few things about the game to help understand future posts.

The League of Legends map is split into two halves. The middle line is referred to as the River because in the actual game shallow water divides the map. This dividing line goes from the top left to the bottom right.

The two sides, bottom left and top right, are color coded in League of Legends. You can see the little icons on the map above are blue for bottom left and purple for top right. Because of these colors the two sides are always called blue side and purple side.

Each side has a corner deep in its territory where the base of that side is. To win the game your team must break into the opposing base and destroy the giant crystal there called the Nexus. The Nexus is represented on the map by the six pointed star thing.

The map is further defined by the three lanes. The three lanes are top lane, middle lane, and bottom lane. The lanes are marked by those helmet looking things you can see on the map.

Top lane runs the perimeter of the map from bottom left, to the top left, and then to the top right. Bottom lane runs the opposite perimeter from bottom left, to bottom right, and then to the top right. Middle lane runs on a diagonal across the map from bottom left to top right.

Every thirty seconds three groups of computer controlled minions spawn at each Nexus. One group goes down each lane. The minions of each side meet at the River and fight each other to a standstill. The actions of the people playing the game will tip the balance in favor of one side or another.

The goal of the game is to destroy the Nexus, but all those helmet looking things, called towers or turrets, protect the Nexus.

Each turret has to be destroyed in succession. An outer turret in one lane must be destroyed before an inner turret can be dealt any damage.

So why not just walk up to a turret and blow it up? Because it shoots lasers at you! That’s why!

The turrets prioritize their laser targets in a predictable way though. Taking advantage of this prioritization allows the turrets to be destroyed.

The first target of turret is always a player on the opposing team if that player is attacking a player on the turret’s team. The secondary targets are minions. If no minions are in range the turret will fire its lasers at any enemy players that come within range.

So the turrets are approached and destroyed by having minions going first and ignoring any opposing players that may be under the turret. This can be quite dangerous so a certain amount of strategy is required to accomplish it.

I’ll talk about those strategies in a different post though!

If you’d like to give League of Legends a try you can click this link and give me a little boost in game. League of Legends Signup Link

-Mister Ed

League of Legends Map Part 2