#1995

[The scene opens on the interior of a dim tavern, the name of which – Dragoneye Charlie’s – is painted above the bar in passably readable script. Judging by the dark windows and sparse remaining crowd, it’s nearly closing time. Only the regulars linger still, scattered among the bare wood tables and ill-lit corners, and even most of them have stopped ordering refills. Dragoneye Charlie himself stands behind the counter, idly polishing shot glasses as he keeps an eye on the two patrons still drinking at the bar. Despite their size, the tiefling and half-orc seem considerably tipsy. The tiefling, Remr, leans her elbows on the counter as Brutus, the half-orc, fights to keep his tears to a manly, albeit heartbroken, minimum. It is clear they have been here for a while.]

Brutus: I thought he was the one, okay? Like, deep down I knew he didn’t want anything serious, but I guess I thought it would be different with me, you know?

Remr [grimacing]: Oh, I know. And it’s never different. They’ll always leave you high and dry like a fuckin’… [she snaps her fingers] a fuckin’…

Brutus: Desert?

Remr: YEAH. Like a fuckin’ desert. Speaking of deserts, [she turns to Charlie and indicates their empty glasses] can I get another round over here?

[Dragoneye Charlie fills their glasses without comment.]

Brutus [staring into his glass]: I still have his yoga mat. Do you think I should let him know so he can come pick it up? It’s a nice mat. He probably wonders where it is. I should tell him.

Remr: No! Throw that thing away, man, like, just toss it. Make a clean break. It’s the only way you can move on. There are other fish in the sea. Other gay orc… fish. Like, so many, and you [she jabs Brutus’ chest with one finger to emphasize her point] could have any of them, because you are FABULOUS. No, wait, no, you know what? Forget about all those stupid fish. Dating’s for losers anyway. Who wants a person who’s, like, always around and supporting you and stuff? More time to discover miral… mircul… mir-AK-ulous scientific breakthroughs when you’re alone. [she chugs the remainder of her drink]

Brutus [confused]: I’m a baker.

Remr: Then more time to… I don’t know, invent better… pie. Hand pies. More time to invent better hand pies. [She holds out her empty glass to Charlie with a smile] More drink please!

Dragoneye Charlie [shaking his head]: I’m cutting you off.

Remr: But I’ve only had three!

Dragoneye Charlie: You’ve had six.

Remr [with much indignation]: …yeah, well… whatever, I’m a biologist, not a math-eh-muh-tician. Speaking of science, though, the process by which alcohol is fermented is fascinating on the molecular level, it really is. [she pulls a scrap of parchment and a piece of charcoal out of her pocket and starts drawing] You start with–

Brutus: Oookay. [he pats Remr’s shoulder with a giant hand] Let’s get you home.

Remr [blinking sleepily]: Oh. Okey doke. [she deposits a handful of coins on the bar and stands, or at least gets herself into a vertical position, albeit with a definite sway. Brutus, having weathered worse binges, hooks an arm around his companion and leads her out to the street with a minimal amount of wobbling. He deposits her at the door to her inn, where she revives a bit and slaps him on the shoulder in what she clearly intends to be a gesture of commiseration.]

Remr: Friendship’s all you need in life, buddy. Fuck that guy. Just you an’ me, it’s just you an’ me against the world. And science.

Brutus: Uh… thanks. [he pushes her toward the door] Get some sleep. And stop calling me in the middle of the night, okay?

Remr [attempting a combination of thumbs up and finger guns at the same time]: Call you in the middle of the night. Got it.

[She disappears through the door, just managing not to shut it on her tail. Brutus stares at the closed door for a second, contemplating how he got to this point in his life, then sighs and heads for his own home.]

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#1991

[ The great DM in the sky told us to design masquerade outfits for our characters, so here is Remr being predictably nerdy and over the top. ]

“Companions, hello!” Remr hurried down the last few stairs to where her party waited and spun in a circle to show them her masquerade costume. Beneath her mask, she grinned with glee. “Get it?” The tiefling seemed very proud of her creation, and it was both easy and yet incredibly difficult to see why. On the one hand, her dress was clearly of very fine quality; black velvet, silk, and lace cascaded over the large black crinoline cage beneath, and at each bunching little jewels glimmered. Her mask, too, was of fine black lace and glittering jewels, and the raven feathers that framed it extended back to encompass her horns and wrap into her carefully spiked hair. On the other hand, though, the dress was also torn to shreds. The bodice was fine, neatly sewn and studded with rhinestones, but at her waist things seemed to have gone rather south. The front of the dress had been torn back completely, revealing the hoop skirt beneath. Its ragged edges tapered back to Remr’s sides, where the fabric devolved into a shredded mess that just brushed the floor. Likewise, Remr’s black sleeves and tights also sported tears halfway down and ended in unraveling strings. It was quite possibly the most expensive wreck any of them had ever seen.

Never and Tevasshus exchanged their usual Remr is being weird again look, but did not answer. Solena, still new to the group, smiled encouragingly yet waited for someone else to speak. Finally, Tarcella took the bait. “Get what? Did your dress lose a fight with a wolverine or something?”

“No, silly. I’m the concept of entropy!” Remr held out her arms as if a better display of the outfit might render further explanation unnecessary. She received only blank stares. Sighing, she lowered her arms. “I know what you’re thinking; this is way too oversimplified to really represent a complex thermodynamic system. I was worried about that. I almost went with a costume that represented the known universe using the mask as the sun and radiating outward and downward through the cloth of the dress based on the distances between objects in space, but I couldn’t get the calculations to accurately account for all the folds and pleats in the fabric. So I thought of this but then I wasn’t sure if people would understand that I was going for more of an artistic representation of the common understanding of entropy, you know, as in order versus disorder, versus the obviously more accurate and more recent understanding of entropy as it relates to quantum theory and statistical thermodynamics.” She frowned uncertainly. “Do you think anyone will call me on it?”

Silence. Blinking. More silence.

“Uh,” said Tarcella.

“…what the fuck,” said Never.

“I think you look great!” said Solena, despite having understood none of what Remr just explained.

“Oh good, thank you,” Remr, visibly relieved, hugged the cleric and then gestured toward the door with an excited grin. “Shall we be off, then?”

#1990

Yo, okay, even if you don’t read my sporadic updates about my DnD character Remr, Best Scientist Ever!!, you need to read this one cause it’s hilarious. Here goes:

  • While exploring in the Lunanovan archives, Remr found the Sanderson Sisters’ book (yes, from Hocus Pocus) and with it she learned the Sticks into Snakes spell (SHE IS SO EXCITED) and the spell to turn someone into a cat. She hasn’t had a chance to try them yet, but you can bet she will at her very first opportunity.
  • While in the archives, she also met a half-elf cleric named Solena who said her goddess had sent her to the city to find the party and journey with them. Without asking questions or really any hesitation whatsoever, Remr invited her to join the party and basically gave all their secrets away. What can I say? She likes to assume the best of people.
  • She visited Fantasy Costco (where all your dreams come true!) and traded her collection of various body parts (including a frost giant’s toe) and somewhere between 25-30 live bug specimens for the following discount items:
    • A Diadem of Brothaurity, which gives the wearer the eloquence of a diplomat; however, when wearing the diadem you can’t stop calling everyone “bro”.
    • One wooden banana-shaped walkie talkie; if you call its companion walkie talkie, you wake up a cranky half-orc named Brutus who will yell at you for waking him up. If you remain on the line, he will then complain to you about his life. There is also a 2% chance your walkie talkie will ring and it will be Brutus calling to complain about his life to you.
    • A Belt of Pants, which gives the wearer control over an illusion with which you can look like you’re wearing any kind of pants you want, or no pants at all.
  • Thanks to Solena, who speaks Orc, Remr was able to learn that Brutus lives in the merchant market in the city of Tssun. He just broke up with his boyfriend because his boyfriend didn’t want a long-term relationship. Brutus is, therefore, trying to get back into the dating scene. Remr will definitely help him with that in the future.
  • Remr managed to get the entire party into Tssun, which is currently controlled by the Big Bad, by using the diadem and her university papers to bluff that she was someone very important, and the others were her servants. The guards therefore thought she was an advisor to the Big Bad and waived them not only into the city but into the Big Bad’s headquarters. When it was discovered that the person the party had come to kill was no longer in Tssun, Remr then managed to not blow their cover and the party left without incident.
  • I need to emphasize how really very impressive it is that Remr managed not to fuck any of that up. Like seriously. Her charisma is eight. EIGHT.

I also made the following decisions regarding her backstory:

  • The university she works for is called Telvira University. Its colors are blue, gold, and white. Its crest features a crossed feather quill and falling four-pointed star (both gold) on a blue background. Telvira is extremely difficult to get into, and the tuition is atrocious.
  • Remr’s family (surname N’Batshi) crest features two curving horns connected by four lines, which together make the stylized shape of a harp.
  • She is still in love with her childhood friend, a Tiefling named La’lua’t’rashi’li’lata’kyr’ova, but thinks La’lua wants nothing to do with her because she stopped answering Remr’s letters once they graduated the DnD version of high school. However, the real reason is because La’lua has a secret identity as a magical girl, and is afraid that her enemies will try to harm Remr if they know she loves her.  Will these star-crossed lovers ever be together? Tune in next time!

#1985

“Why do you bother dressing like that every day?” 

“What, I can’t look nice?”

“The dress shirt seems like overkill. And why the tie? You’re not even going anywhere.”

“Are you really giving me fashion advice when you’re not even out of bed yet, let alone dressed?” 

“You didn’t answer my question.”

“It’s just habit, okay?”

“It’s a weird habit.”

“Says the man who wears nothing but black every day.”

“Why shouldn’t I? It’s served me just fine thus far.”

“Fine, I’ll lose the tie. But then you won’t have anything to yank on like a dog collar when you…”

“Okay, okay, you make a good point. Keep the tie; lose the shirt.”

#1984

The abandoned hospital hunched amid deep shadows and bright floodlights, the latter placed there to dissuade interlopers from trespassing on the construction zone at night. Despite the lights, the chainlink fence was cut in a dozen places and fresh graffiti scrawled over both the building and the waiting construction equipment. As if sensing tonight’s intended activity, however, the usual rebellious teens seemed to be giving the site a wide berth. Only one figure moved between light and darkness, their shadow tall and straight as the floodlights threw it up against the hospital walls. Tanim, standing beyond the touch of the lights, watched this shadow for several long moments before ducking through a hole in the fence. Gravel crunched beneath his feet as he approached, the sound absurdly loud in the still night. He paused at the black mouth of an underground garage to let his eyes adjust before descending the ramp.

“If you plan on stopping me, I suggest getting out of my way,” Tanim’s eyes just barely picked Daren out in the darkness, a stray shaft of light glinting off the small blade in the man’s hand. The voice itself was warning enough – the knife merely made good on the threat. Swallowing, Tanim held up his hands and slowed his pace, leaving a good distance between them. “I don’t want to stop you,” he soothed, “I just want to know what you’re doing.” He nodded to the bag slung over Daren’s shoulder and the metal cylinder at his feet. The man had stowed two other such cylinders around the building in the time Tanim watched him; how many others he had already placed, Tanim could only guess.

“Too much evil has been done here,” Daren tapped the cylinder with one foot while his eyes pinned Tanim in place. With the same foot he then knocked the cylinder back, causing it to roll up against the support column behind him. He seemed to wait for some answer, perhaps a protest, but Tanim gave none, only nodded in understanding. Daren pocketed the knife, though Tanim knew it would be back in his hand in half a second if he felt threatened, and gestured into the bowels of the garage. “There’s one left.” He pulled the final explosive from his bag and set off into the darkness. Tanim followed at a wise distance.

#1981

Having defeated the second witch queen without a single scratch to any of the party, the companions returned to the capital city and rewarded themselves with a brief respite. The events leading up to the battle had been extremely taxing, both physically and emotionally, and they had all earned some downtime. Predictably, Remr’s concept of downtime meant spending her waking moments deep in the labyrinth of the castle’s library and records vault, exploring for the forgotten tidbits of knowledge which only a historian can truly appreciate. Had the rest of her party given it much thought, they might have found it odd that Remr hadn’t shown up even once to bore them with the fine details of something old and useless, but each was firmly entrenched in their own thoughts and could be forgiven the oversight.

For her part, Remr would barely even let herself acknowledge the lingering memories which nagged at her as she explored the musty vault. Each fragile, dusty scroll requiring dutiful analysis put another brick in the mental wall between the tiefling and the things she had thought, but never spoken, right before the battle began. She wasn’t Never, after all, who had a bard’s gift for persuasive words; nor was she Tarcella, whose speech may have been rough but carried the weight and power of a wounded heart. She was only Remr, skilled in the writing of academic papers and giving of long lectures, and she had known during the showdown in the ice palace that she should stay silent.

Still, it was difficult, even among the comfort of books and candlelight, not to imagine what she might have said, had she been braver – or perhaps more foolish. She sympathized with Gliss’ anger and grief, after all, and being inside the physical manifestation of the witch’s pain had touched her deeper than she cared to admit. I understand, she might have said. I know what it’s like to lose someone because they stop caring about you. It’s wretched. It made me want to hide too. You must have loved her very deeply. It probably wouldn’t have helped – they had already murdered Gliss’ sister, after all – but she had still felt compelled to say something. It’s not too late to move on, maybe. You’re a hot witch bitch with a palace, you can do better, or I could probably set you up with this weird elf chick I know, you might like her.


It was all moot anyway, of course. Her own ice pick had delivered the final blow to Gliss’ frozen heart. Was that ironic? Remr sighed, dislodging fifty years’ worth of dust from the clutter around her, and decided she didn’t care. Honestly, she’d love to take her ice pick to her own chest to chip out the cold little shard of jealousy buried there the past two days. At least Gliss had been unashamed to openly mourn the love she lost and still coveted. She was obsessed, yes, and most definitely evil, but brave nonetheless to bear her heart so openly.

#1980

I want to tell you all a story about my DnD character, Remr. So sit back, relax, and let me paint the scene for you.

It was my birthday, and the great DM in the sky had ruled there would be a haunted house one-shot for the occasion. Our characters – Remr the tiefling scientist, Never the dragonborn bard, Tevasshus the near-silent monk, and Tarcella the inebriated halfling pirate – had located said haunted house and were exploring its many floors in hopes of freeing the souls of two dead children. Remr and Tarcella took the lead in searching each dusty, gloomy room, Remr out of pure enthusiasm and Tarcella because her hangover (and desire for loot) dulled her sense of fear. Never and Tevasshus followed behind at a cautious distance with weapons drawn.

Their search led them to the house’s basement, a labyrinth of long, dark passages cut into the stone foundation and echoing with an eerie chanting. Having already found strong evidence of cult activity and human sacrifice, not to mention a spectre and the clingy ghost children, the party moved cautiously. Even Remr, still in the lead, moved with uncharacteristic care as she poked her head into each corridor and empty room. Their relative luck thus far – Never had slain the only spectre in one hit – was making her cocky, though, and her mind was wandering to the scientific principles of the various undead subclasses as they approached the deepest and longest passage yet.

(Me: I check for traps.
DM: Go ahead and roll.
Me: *rolls* …never mind.)

Seeing no obvious enemies or obstacles, Remr stepped confidently over the threshold… …and broke through the false floor and into a pit trap. Despite the rotted nature of the wooden stakes, two still pierced her arm and leg and the others knocked the wind from her, broke several ribs, and left some spectacular bruises. Tarcella, quick thinking as always, pulled a coil of rope from her pack and tossed it down to Remr. Between Tarcella and Never (but mostly Never), the two pulled Remr out of the pit. She used a major healing potion to heal the wounds and was soon back to full health.

At this point, the party had to find an alternate way across the open trap. A small lip of stone remained between the wall and the edge of the drop, and it was this that the party would need to use. Tarcella, as the smallest and lightest, went first.

(Her: I’m going to inch my way around the trap.
DM: Roll for agility.
Her: *rolls* Shit.)

Despite her advantages, Tarcella slipped and fell into the pit. Thankfully, her size enabled her to fall between the stakes, where she sustained only minor damage. Grabbing the rope, Remr moved along the ledge to help her friend.

(Me: I’m going to go along the lip and toss the rope to Tarcella.
DM: Roll for agility.
Me: *rolls* ………motherfucker.)

Unfortunately, Remr slipped as well – and fell into the pit for the second time in like two minutes. While she didn’t injure herself nearly as badly as the first time, she did fall on top of Tarcella, which wasn’t great either. Never and Tevasshus, having shared a mighty eye roll, assisted the ladies out of the trap and everyone sang a nice rendition of “The Pit” from Parks and Rec before moving on.

The end.