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(Game note: written during the day, before going to Sallah's in the evening.)

I've known many great people in my life. When one is a valued soldier-slave, one tends to guard those who are considered to be most valued. I have moved almost-invisible through the halls of power at the heels of one who aspired to greatness, and have known many like him.

Two have trumped all other definitions of greatness in my life. One I feared. The other I met today.

Solon and I were summoned to the Golden Tower, where Kalaq's daughter, Lotus, has attained entrance and taken up residence. This alone is a feat unmatched by anyone else; King Tithian has been trying for months to overcome the Tower's protections to no avail. Our meeting took place very early, at an hour when I am usually in the training grounds and Solon is usually still abed.

The Princess - a title I will use nowhere but here for a while yet - has her father's overwhelming sense of presence. And she had a very different aura. I have been in the presence of Kalaq, though I would never boast of the fact as Solon used to do. When we were sommoned to attend him, all I wanted was to leave. He terrified everyone about him. I know I'm a pretty terrifying person much of the time, but the difference is that for me, it's passive. If my size and training and weaponry are terrifying, they are not so because I am setting out to increase the terror (well, most of the time.) For Kalaq, "terrify" was an active verb. He did it on purpose. The princess set out to reassure. The sense of her was of a kind and powerful goddess. She promised at least once during the interview that we could speak freely and would not die for it. I believed her. I, who has rarely been worthy of truth from anyone and has even more rarely had a promise kept to her through anything but happenstance, believed that she would hold any promise she made to me as a sacred thing.

I am a fool, I know. And yet I believed her. I still believe her.

(More later.)
(It's now later.)

She asked questions. First of Solon, which I was expecting, if indeed I expected anything from this interview. She asked him what he had thought of her father during his reign, and she asked him what he thought of her father now. It was intriguing, from my new position which is not slave and not truly servant, yet not truly equal either, to listen to him hedge his answer. The part of me that had given myself over to the Princess already wondered why he bothered. Surely he could see that she would not want to rule as her father had. But he hedged, so he must have been less sure of that than I, or at least more of a politician.

Then she addressed me. I had not expected that - not in my dreams or my nightmares. She asked me why I had stayed with him, when I could have left, when so many had left.

I did not hedge. I don't think I was able to lie to her, even in a politician's way. I know that this was part of her art, and that I should not trust it. But one does not always choose trust. Sometimes it simply is.

I told her that I stayed because he had changed. When she pressed me, I said that he had been used to using me to crush people in the city with nary a thought to what would become of them when he was done. Since the death of the King, he had stopped doing that, and had started to redress some of those old wrongs.

She asked next if I thought he was still a good Templar. I did not hesitate to say yes. I said that he was now better able to mete out, not punishment, but justice.

She switched her questioning back to Solon then, and asked him what he thought of slavery. He indicated that he did not want to see it again. When she asked me, I told her, "I would fight for my freedom before Tyr, and I would fight for Tyr before all else."

She dismissed us from her presence then, and I was sorry to go.

Solon does not serve Tithian in more than name, and never has. I suspect he will serve the Princess with a different kind of fervour from that which he gave to her father.

And whether he does or not, if she asks me and I can do it without harm to Solon, I will be hers to command.
velvetpage: (Default)
We, the female gamers of the world, are FUCKING tired of this.

Who in the world thinks this could possibly be anything but a sexist, classist clusterfuck?

No, this is not sexy. No, this is not funny. It is demeaning and rage-inducing. A pregnancy tracking sheet? Really? It's like a bad Youtube satire of playing with girls. "Roll to see if you're menstruating!" Filling in your bust and waist measurements on your character sheet? Really?

We are more than our genitalia. We want to play characters who are more than their genitalia. We want you to respect that we're fully-fledged human beings. Why on earth is that so difficult?

*Disclaimer: the men I play with, to the best of my knowledge, will all see this as just as jaw-droppingly disgusting as I do. That's one reason I continue to play with them.
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Did anyone here replace their original edition of Settlers when the new one came out, and keep the old one around?

If you would be willing to part with an old copy, or if you upgrade at any point in the next, say, six months, I would love to have your old copy. I'd like to run a games club at school in the fall, and Settlers is great for basic probability and strategy. It can also be played start to finish in about 45 minutes once you know the game, and our lunches are 40 minutes long, so kids could conceivably play an entire game during a lunch hour if they were quick about it.

If I don't get any games this way, I'll be holding a game raffle in the fall to raise money to buy some games for the club. The list of games I'd like to teach the kids includes, but is not limited to:

Mancala
Checkers
Chess
Settlers of Catan
Carcassone
Monopoly
Payday
Cribbage and other card games

Some of these - chess, checkers, mancala, cribbage - can be bought quite cheaply, for a few bucks apiece. I could budget thirty bucks for ten to twelve kids to play at once and supply those games. The others are more expensive, with Settlers and Carcassone topping the list. I doubt I'll get much of a budget for this - I'd be surprised to get fifty bucks - so any help anyone would like to offer would be valuable.

I'll repost this in August when I'm sure I've a) got the job, and b) looked at my own supplies to see what I can come up with. Right now it's the genesis of an idea. I'm thinking six weeks per grade, starting with the older grades around the end of September. We'll see how it works.
velvetpage: (warm dice)
Lieutenant-Commander Kathleen Bell, acting Chief Medical Officer, FSS Bellerophon, private log.

Read more... )
velvetpage: (fairy dance)
(Note to readers: I am not enough of a Trekkie to know a lot of terminology that a Medical Officer would probably know, and I'm not a doctor, either, so I'm faking an awful lot of this. Feel free to gently correct minor details. Also, please note that several of the events mentioned here are embellishments on what happened in-game. I forgot to do them last night, and realized in the middle of the night that they made sense to do and were implied in some of the things I said I was doing. So they're going into the character journal.)

Log date whatever-it-is, Starship Bellerophon, Acting First Medical Officer Kathleen Bell's private log.

It's been too long since I did a character journal. )

June 2017

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