Book reviews, art, gaming, Objectivism and thoughts on other topics as they occur.

Aug 28, 2007

Psionics Game: Nymbus' Journal Stone Entries

Stone 1:

“Ga’an is making a great deal of progress towards integrating his powers with his martial skills. I wish he were more focused on studying, though, but he never seems able to move beyond the desire to fight.

“Today I overheard him telling Sulveig that he plans to use his new training to lead his people out of the deep tunnels where they have been slaves to the drow, illithids and other Underdark inhabitants for centuries. Certainly he is allowed his ambition, but I find the prospect of a psionic war in the realms below somewhat troubling. It is fortunate that the illithid here are a weak and paltry race, not like their cousins that ruled so many planes long ago.

“It is probably a needless concern, as my students will have little time or opportunity for pursuing Ga’an’s goals if things happen as I expect.”

Stone 2:

“I traveled to Amn today for supplies and encountered a young rowdy that nearly made off with my money. He has some small potential for power, although I do not think he will make a true psion. Still, as they say here, any port in a storm, so I attempted to engage his interest. This proved more difficult than I had anticipated and it was only through demonstration of my own considerable abilities that I was able to convince him to accept my tutelage.

“Within half an hour of his arrival at the school he’d already discovered my cache of psychoactive crystals. I suspect that I would discover several of the most valuable missing were I to conduct an inventory. It is hardly worth the effort; he will no doubt have use for them himself in the coming months. Still, I had best move everything important to the Observatory before retiring for the evening.

“I still have a nagging desire to ask him where he came by that preposterous name, however. What mother names her child ‘Sam’? It sounds like something you’d call a small dog.”

Stone 3:

“Baugetha was not pleased to discover I was engaging more students. I think she is used to enjoying the full attention of her trainer and does not look forward to watching me train novices while her own more advanced studies are neglected. This was exacerbated, I think, when she attempted to be friendly towards Athur and was rewarded for her efforts by being referred to as a ‘child’. Granted, he calls everyone that, but I think he will learn better soon.

“She was still further displeased when I revealed that it was my intention to have her teach the newer students, at least for the most rudimentary portions of their education. She accepted my explanation that I consider teaching to be part of the advanced study course, but it was a near thing. Dwarf women certainly are ferocious.”

Stone 4:

“Tendwis believes I need to keep a closer watch on Sulveig. I have counseled her before about her paranoia; it is an unusual failing for a githzerai. I wonder whether it might be best to return her to her people before something untoward occurs as a result. I wonder also if the time she has spent on the Prime has unsettled her mind somehow. She has pursued odd directions for her studies and I confess it is somewhat alarming to see how her feet fail to touch the ground when she is not paying attention.

“On a more positive note, she has succeeded in prompting Ga’an to take a more strategic approach. In time, this will likely bear fruit.

“Zerth Namoblix sent me a message to, as he said, ‘remind me of our agreement’. I hastened to assure him that Tendwis continues to learn and will be returned to him in due time. I have been able to use the chaos-stuff he provided to great effect; it would be unwise to allow him to become dissatisfied with me.”

Stone 5:

“I find it strange that Barak and Sam appear to have become good friends in the short time they have lived here. Neither speaks very much and Sam seems to be unpleasant towards other people as a matter of principle. Perhaps it is only because they are of similar ages and isolated from their former lives. It hasn’t harmed Barak’s devotion to his studies. I wish I had encountered that young man years ago. Of course, if I had my other students would likely have corrupted him, so it is perhaps best that I have him now. I wish there was more time. He has the potential to be truly great if he applies himself.

“What is it about humans that makes them able to cram centuries of life into a few short decades? If we could all learn this trick, what progress could we make? Or, perhaps I should be asking, ‘what disasters could we wreak?’ Humans seem sane only when they are isolated from their fellows. In large numbers they are horrifying.”

Stone 6:

“Would someone please explain to me how a half-giant manages to break his ankle in a gopher-hole while walking to class? Tobrin is by far the clumsiest creature it has ever been my misfortune to encounter. Luckily he worships Athur, although I’m not sure Athur benefits from the worship, and their relationship gives Tobrin a measure of self-confidence and even dignity. I dread to think what the school would look like otherwise. Enormous holes in the walls or some such.”

Stone 7:

“And lo, I have discovered . . . lizards. They seem harmless, actually, although I’m not yet sure which of them is which. It’s a pity the one has already learned the rudiments of wizardry, it may make him—I think that’s the male anyway—resistant to my tutelage. The female—I think—disapproves completely of my furniture arrangements and has taken it upon herself to displace everything in the student quarters. Is this some kind of nesting behavior? I must confess that I don’t know very much about lizards, especially the kind that live in a dragon-infested swamp created by a portal into the elemental plane of Water. I thought of going into the city in that peculiar country and doing research, but the fact that even the peasants were hesitant to speak of their strange unnatural terrain feature dissuaded me.

“The look on Sam’s face when he discovered his new roommates was quite amusing, however, and makes up for whatever trouble they may cause while they are getting settled in. I think they were amused in turn when Barak complained that my new pets had gotten loose. Clearly my new students are going to get along like a house afire.”

Stone 8:

Krrik’tchuk caught some kind of small winged woman while he was exploring away from the school. It took some work, but eventually I was able to understand the creature’s speech and reassure it that we did not mean to harm it. Then I was forced to explain to the giant bug that we don’t eat sentient creatures because paladins would show up and beat us to death. Well, not me obviously, but certainly anyone else. This argument did not go over very well with him. I will have to speak with Sulveig, he was obviously egging Krrik on.

“I returned the small creature to its valley and met the other inhabitants. These ‘fey’ are not uncommon in this part of the world, possibly due to the large elven forests elsewhere in this country. They were quite friendly and I took advantage of the opportunity to study them at some length. The females especially seemed lonely and urged me to visit again soon. Perhaps I will oblige them, I doubt any harm can come from it. Humanity wears on me and what Demaris doesn’t know can’t hurt her. It will be ten or fifteen years before Prodeclas is finished with her anyway. Strange to think that Krrik might be dead of old age by then. Thri-kreen do not live very long. Then again, humans don’t ordinarily live much longer.”

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