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The Murder Hobos – Episode 64 – Mind Games – The Final Push

The water pummeled Thia’s body, driving her to the floor. The large drops fell in a torrent, pushing the breath out of her lungs as it washed over her. In the growing light, she saw the blood flow away from her as the deluge subsided. The rivulets began to run clear, no longer tainted. Her soul, though, was still drenched with guilt.Nothing would wash that away. And she knew it.“Get up,” a woman commanded her. A towel was thrown down near her hand.Thia sat up, grasping at the rough fabric, and covered herself. Herasta stared at her. “Thank you,” she muttered.Her mother snorted, “For what? A towel? I knew you’d be weak when you came out of me. I should’ve kept you, or made sure you died. Bran...
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The Murder Hobos – Episode 63 – Called Away

Adam nodded, knowing no one else in his group saw his Patron. None but him heard the voice. “I understand. And I will comply. But why now?”The Solar pulsated once.Letting out a deep breath, Adam nodded again. “Caelynn, as well? But,” he hesitated, “you know what’s about to happen. I’d like to see this through if possible. Please.”The celestial pulsated again, brighter and more insistent.“Adam? What’s that?” Caelynn asked.“You see it?”She nodded.“It’s my Patron. You and I are needed elsewhere. Stay here, I’ll go tell Jinnaari.”“What about Thia?” she grabbed his arm, stopping him.“He says all will be well. I have to do what he says, Caelynn. We both do. If we don’t, Thia’s doomed.” He looked a...
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Review of “Dagmar of the Northlands” by John C. Adams

An epic-length book, this story is filled with fantastical lands, intriguing characters, and a complex history of kingdoms and gods. I really enjoyed the vivid imagery and excellent characterization of both the heroes and villains. The plot itself builds and draws you in as you begin to understand how everything might come together. The scenes... Continue Reading →Original link
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The Murder Hobos – Episode 62 – Mind Games pt. 2

The blackness was thick. Even with her ability to see within the darkness, she couldn’t make out her own hand in front of her face. Thia kept her left hand on the wall; her fingers trailed against the smooth surface, ready to warn her if it changed. She didn’t know how she got here, but it wasn’t that bedroom where Aust’s ghost was. Nor was it the cocoon Lolth had wrapped around her.It could be an illusion. Trust nothing. Lolth’s going to twist everything until I see it Her way.        The texture of the wall changed. Thia stopped, turning toward her left. Her fingers began to trace the outline of a door.  Her heart beat a little faster with the hope that it was a way out. Her right hand fou...
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Quote of the Week – March 25

If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door. ~ Milton BerleOriginal link
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The Murder Hobos – Episode 61 – Mind Games pt. 1

“Thia?”She stirred, her mind struggling to push away whatever fog permeated it.“Thia? Are you awake?”The voice was male, but not one she recognized. Part of her screamed a warning, but the fog quickly silenced it. It can’t be Lolth, she reasoned. it’s a man. Remember what they taught you. Observe, don’t react. They’re coming for you. Kelemvor won’t leave you here.            She was laying on something soft. The ropes that bound her were gone, and she could feel cloth on her. She wasn’t in the cocoon any longer, and dressed. Was that Lolth’s doing? Or had Jinnaari and Pan found her already?“It’s okay, Thia. No one else is here but us. You don’t have to be afraid.” Someone sat down near her, ...
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The Murder Hobos – Episode 60 – The Aftermath

Pan carefully rolled up Thia’s gear in her bedroll, making sure that all the smaller pieces were tucked safely within the fabric. Her armor he set off to the side. He’d have to put that into his bag separately.“We’ll get her back, Pan.” Jinnaari’s voice was just above a whisper, but confident.“We have to,” he insisted. “I made promises to her. Ones I intend to keep.”“What sort of promises?”Pan opened up his bag and eased the bulk of her gear inside. “My mother would want to meet her. Our entire family would. I promised to take her there. She’d have a home, if she wanted it.” He leaned back. “This is my fault.”“No, it’s not. It’s no one’s fault. Not even Moon’s.” The dragonborn knelt in front...
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The Murder Hobos – Episode 59 – Taken

Thia took a sharp breath as the black veil fell away from her brain. She was being carried. No. She was in a box that was moving.She took a few deep breaths, trying to calm the panic that rose within her. What had Adam and Jinnaari told her? Stay calm, learn your surroundings, observe. Evaluate everything so you’re ready to act if opportunity comes. Focus on what happened before to find clues on what’s happening now.They’d made camp for the night. She remembered taking off her armor and, using her cloak as a blanket, laying down on her bedroll. The Underdark wasn’t the warmest place, but it wasn’t like a blizzard raged just outside. Between her clothing and the cloak, she should’ve been warm...
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The Murder Hobos – Episode 58 – Ding, ding, ding

Moon absently raised the dark blue gem toward her eye and peered through it. The light in the room was subtle; no source could be found. But ever since they’d set foot into this…what had Adam called it?…conduit? Yeah, that was it.Though that word didn’t describe it. She preferred spidey bones or mummy webbing. Every time she’d said that, though, Thia and Pan shot her a dirty look.Ding            Her ears perked up at the sound. It was hauntingly familiar.Ding            Her head swiveled up, searching for the source of the sound. A small hole, about fifteen feet up the wall and just shy of the ceiling, was a small dark spot on the opaque white walls.DingShe looked at the door. The heavy wood...
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Doing what I can

inversion of magic final
So, day 1 of my unplanned vacation is going okay. I spent time cleaning out my closet this morning. Taking the winter stuff to the closet in my daughter’s bedroom (she’s at college), bringing some of the spring stuff into mine. Getting rid of stuff I don’t wear or have shrunk out of. Organizing my shoes. That sort of thing.It actually was nice to do. I opened the curtains in our bedroom to add some extra light. We’re having great weather today, and that helps. When you’re cooped up inside, it’s good to see the sun.Plus, the cats love that I have the door open. They can go in/out at their leisure. And sunbeams are back!The Murder Hobos are still meeting online this week (sob!). But I think th...
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A gift of sorts

Hey!So, it’s day something of being in a quarantine zone. Honestly, I’ve lost track of how long this has been a problem around here. At least a month, I’m certain. It feels sooo much longer.The retail chain I work for gave the green light for our store to close today through April 1st. I expected it, honestly. What I didn’t expect is that all associates are being paid for the time we would’ve been scheduled. I got two weeks of paid vacation dropped in my lap (I did my early shift and went home before the store even opened, as we were on modified hours of operation) today.Two weeks where I can binge watch shows. Sleep in, as Muse lets me. Breathe. Take walks. Drive to the coast and back.Write...
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Taking part of the #AtoZChallenge


April is almost upon us, and that means Spring….or for those of us who blog, it is time for the A to Z blogging challenge.For those of you, who haven’t heard about it, the A to Z challenge is a challenge for bloggers to post every day in April (except Sundays). Every day (Monday through Saturday) is matched with a letter of the alphabet. On the first day, you write about a topic that begins with A, the next day B and so on.Now the organizers suggest you come up with a theme to help you get through the challenge. My first year (2014), I didn’t pick a theme. The next year, I did a theme of TV shows followed by characters in 2016, antagonists in 2017, songs about magic in 2018 and finally chara...
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The Murder Hobos – Episode 57 – Grasping at Straws

Thia grasped the fabric of her cloak tightly, moving the edge closer to her chin. Almost everyone else was sleeping. Adam was moving around on the floor below her, where Jinnaari, Caelynn, and Moon slept. Pan was up here, with her. Where Helix was, no one knew.She shifted again. Her body was used to sleeping on the ground. And she was so tired. Every muscle ached tonight. Jinnaari had set a quick pace when they left Vizeran’s tower. Now she knew why.“Thia?” Adam whispered.She opened her eyes and watched him emerge from the opening in the floor. “What?” she asked.“Why are you still awake? Is something wrong?” He moved near her and lowered himself to the floor.She laughed, but there was nothin...
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Free Urban Fantasy Trilogy

Stuck in isolation and looking for books? I’m following the lead of many other authors and have made “THE ALT-WORLD CHRONICLES” free for the rest of the week! Stay safe, folks.Original link
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Quote of the Week – March 18

You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending. ~ C.S. LewisOriginal link
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The Murder Hobos – Episode 56 – Setting Watch

Adam climbed down the ladder, glad to be out of the room. The look in Thia’s face wasn’t one she normally wore. There was no mistake; she’d overheard them enough to realize something was being kept from her. And she didn’t like it.“Everything okay?” Caelynn asked him as he reached the main floor of the fortress.“Yeah,” he said, forcing himself to be calm. If it wasn’t, they’d know it soon enough. Not that Thia was one to scream when she was angry. But he didn’t think the discussion would stay silent, either.He looked at the bard and Moon. “Jinnaari wants us to set up a watch. I’ll take first, he’ll take last. Who wants the second and third one?”Moon’s ears twitched, “Why do we need a watch? ...
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The Murder Hobos – Episode 55 – Shifting Attitude

Thia tossed the cloth back into the bowl of water. They’d been able to bathe at Vizeran’s tower, but getting some of the dust off her face still felt wonderful. All she wanted was to have this over, behind her. Once she got back to the surface, there was no way she’d go back into the Underdark again. Not willingly, anyway.If Jinnaari defeats Lolth, I won’t have to. She sighed, correcting the thought. Not if, when. He has to do this. Otherwise… Her mind shied away from the idea. If the paladin couldn’t take down the Goddess, she was defeated as well. She could resist for a while, would fight against whatever She threw at her. Eventually, though, that will would crumble. Especially if Lolth of...
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Coronavirus pandemic causes people to behave crazy


Two weeks ago, I wrote about talking to my daughter about the Coronavirus threat and why she should not be worried. And while I thought that would be my only post on this topic, the world has gone crazy. Now we have Disney World, the NBA, festivals and production of dozens of TV shows and movies closing down. We have city, state and national declarations of emergencies. And we have people going crazy stocking up on bottled water, Clorox wipes and toilet paper as well as ransacking grocery store shelves leaving them bare of canned goods, meat, eggs and milk.The rest of the world may be running around like the world is coming to an end, but not us. As I said two weeks ago, we are not concerned...
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We played D&D today! Sort of….

So, The Murder Hobos were back in action today. We set up a game on the Roll20 platform and did our best to muddle through it. Some fights happened. No one died. Well, no party members anyway.The system isn’t perfect. One player had serious microphone issues. Another drained his iPad during the final fight. But it was better than not playing! We’re all thinking that in person is the best, but this will do for now.If we’re really lucky, we’ll be done with this whole ‘social distancing’ stuff in a week. By the way, I’ve rarely ever seen THAT level of luck. So, we’re planning for another online session. With a few stories in between, of course!My son is going to work with me some before the nex...
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The Murder Hobos – Episode 54 – Educated Guessing

Jinnaari waited for Moon to walk away before he tried to talk with Adam. Turning to the warlock, he asked, “What’s going on?”“We were right,” he said. “Vizeran put more than he said into this.” He held up the cylinder. “I’m not entirely certain what, but my Eldritch sight gave me enough information to limit it.”“Damn,” the dragonborn breathed the word. He’d anticipated this, talked about it with Adam. Still, he held out a small sliver of hope that the Drow wasn’t as evil as they suspected. “The passage does exist though, right?”Adam nodded. “Helix brought me a map. I don’t know where or how he got it, but he did. It showed the route, and the tunnel we need. Just not how to find or access the...
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