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April 16, 1746

Inverness 15 8.12
274 years ago, a battle took place outside of Inverness. The name of Culloden became synonymous with bravery, pride, courage, and honor. And forever cemented the lore of the Scottish Highlanders. When I went on my trip, I spent time at the battlefield. Today, I can share with you what happened. How it changed me, gave me peace, and remains with me. Tara and I spent time apart that morning. It was a Sunday, and she wanted to attend a local Pokemon Go event with friends she’d met through the game. Part of that would be out at Culloden. We agreed that she’d go off with them, I’d do stuff on my own, and we’d meet at the battlefield later that morning. From there, we’d head over to Clava Cairns t...
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The Murder Hobos – Episode 76 – Advanced Spellcraft

“Again,” his Patron commanded. Adam leaned on his staff, sweat dripping from his brow. Muttering the incantation, he sent a fresh wave of energy toward the barrier. He’d been at this for hours. The stone was barely singed, and his magic stores were almost spent. When the light dissipated this time, though, a small, perfectly round hole rested in the center of the stone. He’d broken through! “Now you may rest. We train again tomorrow,” the Solar flared once before disappearing. Adam’s stomach growled and his eyes stung. He staggered over to the barrel of water that stood in the corner of the room, dunking his head quickly to cool himself off. “You should’ve let me sketch you first,” Caelynn’s...
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Baking, writing, and quarantine

Hey! We made it this far! It’s day 26 in quarantine, with at least 20 to go. My hubby doesn’t think I should keep track. Honestly, it’s nice to see that I’ve passed the halfway mark to the next possible back tracking of restrictions. It’s not going to go back to normal overnight. It may take all summer. I’m proud that the Governor here is working WITH OR and CA to make sure that the citizens in our states (it’s 1/6th of the total population of the US, btw) stay healthy while working toward reopening things. We’ve slowed down the spread, though the curve isn’t flat yet, and simply telling everyone to ‘go back to work’ is not a viable solution to keep a new wave from happening. Especially when...
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The Murder Hobos – Episode 75 – Ezzat

Thia’s skin began to crawl as soon as they entered the room. The heavy, sweet smell that came from the dozens of beeswax candles couldn’t overpower the stench of death emanating from the lich. “Not yet,” Jinnaari whispered. “Let Helix try and talk to him first.” “He’s an abomination,” she spat out the words. “Yes, but information’s what we need right now.” She inhaled deeply, forcing her mind to calm down. She didn’t want to admit it, but the paladin was right. On this matter, anyway. “Who are you?” the foul creature behind the desk stared at them. “How did you get in here?” “You must be Ezzat,” Helix stepped forward, his voice neutral. “Pleased to meet another practitioner!” He held out a p...
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The Murder Hobos – Episode 74 – A game of Coroniir

Helix kept his distance while the rest of the group entered the tower. The tip of his tail hovered just above his shoulder. Something wasn’t right. The stone floor of the room was clean. If the vampires at the door weren’t a big enough clue, this was. The stalagmite was occupied. Whether or not the owner was home was the question. He glanced over at Thia. She hadn’t flinched when the two Drow materialized. This was a good sign that her fear was waning. Still, something wasn’t quite right about her. Probably the drugs Lolth gave her, he reasoned. Jinnaari looked around, making sure they were all in the room before he opened the door. As it swung inward, the Tabaxi smiled. The warm glow of doz...
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The Murder Hobos – Episode 73 – A question asked and answered

Watching everyone as they packed up their gear from the night before, Thia took a deep breath. Now was as good a time as any to say what she had to. They really didn’t know what they’d encounter farther down the tunnel, after all. If she waited any longer, she may never know the answer. And she needed to know. “Hey, guys, can I ask a question?” She waited, nervously, until they all looked at her. All except for Helix. He was off…somewhere. Wherever it was that he disappeared to. Don’t get distracted, she chided herself. “What is it, Thia?” Jinnaari asked. “When I was with Lolth,” she started to speak, fidgeting with her hands. She couldn’t look at them. Not yet. “She made me take some drugs....
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Finding my center…again

Hey, guys! I know I’ve been quiet for a few days. We got some news (that I won’t share here, so please don’t ask. We’re fine, though) that made us do some reshuffling. All is good. We’re still healthy. Plus, the next Murder Hobo episode is one I want to play out in the group on Saturday before I write it up. If any of the Hobos are reading this, any scribbling you see me doing is me taking notes so I get certain parts right. LOL. Mainly it’ll be reactions, possibly some direct quotes. Thia’s got something weighing on her soul right now, and she’s not going any further until she gets an answer to at least one question. I like to think I’m a strong person. I’m one of those that people turn to ...
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Whelp, it’s official

The message came down today. As of now, I’m on furlough from my retail job. The good part is I’ll still see 2 more paychecks per what the company already agreed to. And I’m furloughed, not laid off, so I’ll have a job when we reopen. It’s unclear when that’ll happen, though. It depends on when our Governor feels it’s safe to reopen the state. For us, life will move on. I’m going to start working on all the books I need to rewrite/reimagine or finish writing. Those will go to my beta readers and my agent as fast as I can work through them. My gaming group will keep going. Dishes will be cleaned, laundry washed, bills paid. This isn’t an end. It’s a reboot. Our society has been given the chanc...
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The Murder Hobos – Episode 72 – Shadows creeping up from behind

Robert moved around the end of the bar, signaling to his bouncers to help. “Throw the bodies into the chute,” he instructed the two men. “Strip them first, if you want. Not sure there’s much worth keeping.” “Got it,” one replied. Robert started to right chairs and benches. The fight could’ve been so much worse. He’d warned Eliot’s gang to be ready to die. The plan was foolish to begin with. Who takes on a paladin of Bahamut? The rest of the group weren’t exactly sloppy. The one Tabaxi was killing bandits without having to lift a finger. “Are they on their way?” the voice came from a dark corner of the room. The one Robert made sure always stayed that way. “Aye, my Lord. They left not even an...
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The Murder Hobos – Episode 71 – Hard Conversations

Thia lowered herself to the ground, her back against the wall. Torches burned at regular intervals, illuminating the passageway. “How far down does it go?” she asked, staring at the slope ahead. “Several miles,” Valerie responded. “Nothing is likely to disturb us. Not until we reach the Runestone Caverns themselves.” “Doesn’t matter,” Jinnaari said. “We’ll still keep a watch.” “Put me as third,” Thia said as she removed her boot. A pebble had been rolling around in it since the fight at the pass. Even if they weren’t staying put long, she wanted it gone. She felt the paladin’s gaze on her. “We need you to have your spells, Thia.” Looking at him, she said, “I’ll have them. I’m taking a watch....
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The Murder Hobos – Episode 70 – A Marked Man

Jinnaari pulled his sword from the fiend’s body. Blood dripped down the blade. Stepping aside, he leaned against the rocky wall of the pass and started to clean the weapon. He wasn’t sure how far until they found the inn Valerie was leading them to. Pan and Moon were looting the corpse. He had time. “What was that thing?” Helix asked. “An Abishai. Tiamat uses them as messengers,” he replied, not looking up from his task. “Take a close look at any pouches or pockets. There’s likely to be something.” “Found it.” “What’s it say?” Thia asked. Her voice was tired, which didn’t surprise him. He was exhausted. Yes, they’d slept when they got to Cirrain. But then dinner happened, and everything that...
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On castles, Scotland, and seeing the meaning of things

Faside 39 8.14
Something odd happened earlier this week. Beyond the laptop going wonky and all the strangeness of life in ground zero, that is. A memory of my trip to Scotland popped into my head and wouldn’t leave. At first, I thought it was just because of how odd the sequence of events was. Then again, I’m Wiccan and there was so much of the trip that happened on a spiritual level for me. I spent a week not simply sightseeing, but healing my soul. Reconnecting with past lives, rejuvenating my spirit. One thing I did was spend the night at Fa’side Castle. It’s a restored 14th c. castle that is now a B&B. Or it was when I stayed there. The owner has since been found guilty of embezzlement and the castle i...
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Because memories can be tricky things

Hey everyone. There may be a Murder Hobos episode later today or tomorrow morning, before the game starts. I’ve got one in mind, but something else is higher on the list of what I want to write currently. I’ve read about people who think the COVID-19 is a hoax. That the numbers are being faked, etc. I can’t say a thing about numbers. Statistics aren’t my forte, but I lean more toward cases being under reported over purposefully inflated. As testing isn’t readily/widely available, it’s truly impossible to know if someone who stayed home because they had the flu really had a milder than normal case of this stuff. Others simply don’t like doctors and won’t go in and get tested. But this post is...
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A Scary Start to April

Hey everyone! Taking a short break from The Murder Hobo stories. We’re still playing, and I’ll have a new episode posted tomorrow that should bring everyone current to where we’ll start the game on Saturday. Let’s face a simple fact. March sucked. It was full of things that NO ONE truly expected, some of which was mishandled to a huge degree and cost people their lives. Schools closed down, conventions and sporting events were cancelled or postponed, the retailer I work for closed all locations (we’re being paid through 4/11 at least!), social distancing became a thing, and Governor Jay Inslee shut down the entire state. I made a joke on Twitter that the month took an entire century to get t...
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The Murder Hobos – Episode 69 – Brother and Sister

“I’m going to kill him,” Pan muttered under his breath as Jinnaari was led from the great hall. “Pan, take me to our cousin. Now. I fear she’s about to do something rash.” Valerie tugged insistently at his sleeve. He tore his eyes off of the retreating paladin and looked at his sister, “Which cousin?” he asked, trying to read her expression. The cloth that covered her eyes prevented most from seeing what Pan could. “Thia,” she said. “Pan, we must go now.” He grasped her hand and threaded it through his arm. Once he knew she had a secure grip, he started to weave through the throng of people. Their aunt, Randy’s wife, and her daughters followed the corpse from the hall. Helix was with them. “...
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The Murder Hobos – Episode 68 – Honored Guests

Jinnaari sat in his chair, watching the ceremony unfold to formally acknowledge Thia’s place within the family. She was quiet, as always, and unused to the attention. Then again, the last time any of her family tried to get to know her, they were down in the Underdark. And she ended up gutting her mother before presenting the woman’s heart to Lolth. He grasped his goblet and took a drink. The wine was perfect. “You’ve got a skilled vintner, Lord Randy,” he commented to the man to his right. “Thank you, though it’s not something we’ve brewed here. One of my brothers tried, and failed rather spectacularly, to brew several different beverages.” He chuckled, “Let’s just say it took the keep abou...
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The Murder Hobos – Episode 67 – Family

The sound of feet shuffling on the floor woke Thia hours later. Opening her eyes, she caught sight of a young woman moving through a door she’d not noticed earlier. “Hello?” “Just a moment,” the woman said. “Let me put the towels down.” Pushing off the blankets, Thia froze. Blood was caked on her hands and under her fingernails. Herasta’s blood. Memories of what she’d done while drugged assaulted her. Bile rose in her throat as she saw the stained sheets. Frantically, she shoved them away. “Matron had me get a bath ready for you,” the woman said as she came into the room. “And there’s a clean dress in there that should fit you.” Thia looked up at her, her heart racing in fear. “Matron?” she ...
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What normal now looks like

So, today’s day 10 since the company I work for closed the store. Given that our Governor closed down the state for at least 2 weeks, I’ve got another 11 days minimum to go. Add to that the federal government is saying to keep at social distancing through April, and it’s more like 30 day. This is what normal now looks like, people. Video chats to be able to stay connected with friends. Walking the neighborhood just to get out of the house. Trying not to get obsessed over stats for my blog. Playing D&D online instead of in person. Limiting the runs to the store to once a week to keep exposure risk at a minimum. I have friends who are living in their pajamas. They haven’t worn shoes (or bras) ...
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The Murder Hobos – Episode 66 – A Homecoming

Thia took a deep breath and looked around the courtyard as Pan’s mother spoke with Jinnaari. A prince? And not just a prince, but the heir to the kingdom? She felt the muscles in her jaw clench. Something else he hadn’t bothered to tell her. She began to wonder just how well she knew him, after all. “Thia,” Pan’s mother’s voice broke through her thoughts. “I’m sorry,” she stammered. “I didn’t hear the question.” “How fares my brother? Your father? We haven’t had word from him in some time.” “He died,” she said. “Fifteen years ago, this past spring.” A shadow passed over the older woman’s face. “I feared as much. I will not press you, niece. But, at some time when you are able, I would like t...
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The Murder Hobos – Episode 65 – The Fight

“Damn it, Jinnaari!” Pan screamed at the paladin. Thia staggered toward one of the prisoners; her naked body splattered with blood from the woman she’d killed as they arrived. The curved dagger she held slashed at the air in front of her. She was on drugs; Pan knew that much. That the paladin had ignored her and moved on Lolth angered him. “You’re the only one who can save her! If you let my cousin die or become one of that bitch’s followers, I’ll make sure Bahamut knows you let her die!” Drawing on his own magic, he summoned an invisible creature and sent it after one of the Drow closest to him. Maybe, just maybe, he could use it to keep Thia safe somehow. “This is your last warning, paladi...
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