Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Justice League: Doom - Just One Month Away!




There's a brief preview of some footage up at Topless Robot but I posted this older trailer so as to share some news that hasn't been making the rounds as well as other bits of news.

* We knew that Tim Daly and Kevin Conroy were reprising the roles of Superman and Batman respectively.

* We knew this script was the last thing Dwayne McDuffie completed before his untimely passing.

*We knew the script was based on Mark Waid's classic JLA story Tower Of Babel.

But we now know the following as well...

* Michael Rosenbaum, Susan Eisenberg and Carl Lumbly are also back, reprising their roles as The Flash, Wonder Woman and The Martian Manhunter respectively.

* Also returning are Phil Morris, Olivia d'Abo and Alexis Denisof, who voiced Vandal Savage, Star Sapphire and Mirror Master in the original Bruce Timm produced Justice League animated series.

* The real big news? Hal Jordan will be once again be voiced by Captain Tightpants himself - Nathan Fillion.

I think this may well be the best animated film DC Comics has made yet.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Skyrim: A Journal of War - Chapter Twenty Two - A Bird In Flight

SOMETIME LATER...

Mercer Frey: And you're sure he said Karliah is back? And that this would "end where it first began"?
Me: Yeah. I'm guessing that means something to you?
Mercer Frey: Twenty-five years ago, Karliah was a friend. Before she killed the old guild master. Seduced him. Poisoned him. Tried to take over.
Me: Sounds like a classic female rogue.
Mercer Frey: Oh, she is. And she's good. Too good for you to stand any chance against her.
Me: ... does that mean?
Mercer Frey: You will accompany me to the ruins where she's hiding. Together we will bring this rogue rogue to justice.
Me: Sir, may I say how impressed I am that you are willing to get your hands dirty and actually do something yourself rather than sending an underling?
Mercer Frey: Oh, I don't plan to get my hands dirty, son. You'll still be leading the charge... through the undead-infested, booby-trapped tomb known as The Snow Veil Sanctum!
Me: And suddenly it all makes sense.



ONE DAY LATER...

Mjoll:
I hope your ally gets here soon, beloved.
Me:
Relax, dear. Here he comes now.
Mercer Frey:
Okay, kid... let's get in - by Talos! It's Mjoll The Lioness! In a really impractical outfit!
Me:
Relax, Mer... uh... friend! She's here to help us.
Mjoll:
Love, why does your friend seem so nervous?
Me:
He's excited, my love. Excited to see that such a famous thief hunter has come to aid in our quest to bring a notorious thief to justice. Isn't that right?
Mercer Frey:
Uh.. yes! That's me. Blushing like a schoolgirl.
Me:
But Skyrim doesn't have any schools.
Mercer Frey:
Ixnay!
Mjoll:
Oh, I see. Well, don't worry. Famous as I am, I put my trousers on one leg at a time. Or at least I did before Matthias found me this lovely Ancient Nord Armor. Any friend of my husband's is a friend of mine. As is any man who would see justice done.
Mercer Frey:
Ha-ha, yes. Perhaps it would be best if you guarded the front door to make sure none of those... thieves sneak up behind us while your... "beloved" and I go inside and look around.
Me: I think that's a great plan!
Mjoll: Oh, very well. But don't stay away too long.
Mercer Frey: Of course not. Matthias, can I have a word with you as we head down into the pit?





Mercer Frey: Are you INSANE bringing that woman here?
Me: I'm sorry, Guildmaster. I would have left her at home, but when I said I was going after a thief, she insisted on coming.
Mercer Frey: ... you're friends with her?
Me: Ah. Bit more than that - we're married.
Mercer Frey: You married the Champion of Riften?!
Me: And talked her into strutting around in that impractical "armor".
Mercer Frey: Why?
Me: Have you seen that woman's body?!
Mercer Frey: No! Why did you marry her?
Me: Again, have you seen that woman's body?!
Mercer Frey: You like to live dangerously, don't you?
Me: We're thieves. It's what we do.
Mercer Frey: Point taken. So any questions before we go in there?
Me: Just two. First, aren't we going to get in trouble for doing this? I mean, killing somebody in the line of duty is against the Thieves' Code.
Mercer Frey: True. Except when dealing with those who violate the Thieves' Code in such a way that death is the only suitable punishment... like killing a superior. I have an long-standing arrangement with The Dark Brotherhood. If I need someone in the guild taken care of, we do it ourselves.
Me: Okay. I hope you didn't pay them in advance. And my second question?
Mercer Frey: Yes?
Me: Have you seen that woman's body?!


SOMETIME LATER...

Mercer Frey: I think I've misjudged you, Matthias.
Me: Oh?
Mercer Frey: Oh, yes. When you first came to us, I thought you were a weasel who'd sell his own sister if it would profit him.
Me: And now?
Mercer Frey: Now I KNOW you're a weasel who'd sell his own sister if it would profit him.
Me: Ha!
Mercer Frey: But seriously, son, I am impressed. You've taken one of the greatest enemies of our guild and made her your wife, doing your work right under her nose. You haven't set off a single trap since we got down here. You found that sailboat model Delvin has been looking for hidden away in that alcove. You even managed to sneak attack a zombie. That's not even supposed to be possible!
Me:
Does this mean I'm getting promoted?
Mercer Frey:
We don't have ranks in the guilds anymore, son.
Me:
Awwww...
Mercer Frey:
But I am going to teach you a few tricks. Take a look at this door, for instance... one of the famous Nord puzzle doors. Completely inaccessible if you don't have the right dragon claw key and don't spin the stone circles around the right way, right?
Me: Right.
Mercer Frey:
Wrong! Watch me work this.




*CLICK*

Me:
Huzzah!

*THWUNK*

Me:
... goodnight.






SOMETIME LATER...

Me: Buh... I'm really getting to hate this.
Karliah: How are you feeling?
Me: ... you shot me.
Karliah: Yes.
Me: You tried to kill me!
Karliah: No. I saved your life. My arrow was tipped with a unique paralytic poison. It slowed your heart and kept you bleeding out. I spent the better part of a year perfecting it.
Me: Then why did you shoot me instead of Mercer?
Karliah: I promise you, the thought had crossed my mind. The poison on that arrow took me a year to perfect; I only had enough for a single shot.
Mjoll: What's going on here?!?





Me: Mjoll! How did you get here?
Karliah: Who is this? And how did she sneak up behind me?
Me: *sighs* This is Mjoll, the Lioness. My wife and protector. Mjoll, I think this is the woman we were hunting. But it's gotten complicated. I think.
Karliah: To put it mildly. Mercer Frey is a traitor. He tried to kill me, framed me for his crimes and just left your husband for dead.
Mjoll: That seems unlikely.
Me: I agree. But since she dragged me out of that tomb when she could have left me behind, I think we owe it to her to hear her out.


From The Saga Of Matthias The Bather; Written by Sven

Karliah told the duo her story. Of how she had been part of a trio of adventurers, charged with a holy mission. How the treacherous Mercer Frey - secretly a member of the Thieves' Guild - had killed her lover and framed her for his many crimes. But more, she told of a journal whose contents would clear her name... if only it could be translated from the strange tongue they were written in.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Latest On The "Green Arrow" TV Show...

SOURCE: Casting Breakdown For The Green Arrow Show Reveals Black Canary And More Will Appear

Apart from Ollie, none of this cast seems to have any relation to anything from the comics.

Here's the full character list, based on the pilot script, being floated around casting agencies at the moment...

***

OLIVER QUEEN
What They’re Looking For: A 27 year old reformed bad boy, who after having spent five years shipwrecked on a tiny, brutally dangerous island in the South China Sea returns to town a different man. Or to be more specific, a tortured, thoughtful master of the bow with a ferocious determination to make a difference.

DINAH “LAUREL” LANCE
What They’re Looking For: 28 years old, smart sexy, Laurel is a legal aid attorney determined to use her life as a one-woman war against the 1% following the death of her younger sister Sara. A sister, who as luck would have it, just so happened to have died aboard Oliver’s yacht.

TOMMY MERLYN
What They’re Looking For: 28 years old and devil-smooth, Tommy is a trustafarian like Oliver, a spectacularly rich young man whose life revolves around parties, clubs, liquor and lots of anonymous sex. Unlike Oliver, he can’t seem to understand his former best friend’s sudden change of lifestyle and direction.

MOIRA QUEEN
What They’re Looking For: 48 years old, a beautiful woman, Oliver’s mother Moira is a very wealthy woman who is not used to being shaken. Having remarried during the five years that former husband Robert and Oliver were both presumed dead, Moira has had free rein over the Queen billions. Not surprisingly, she’s deeply interested in learning whether or not Robert will also return unexpectedly, to ruin her present marriage and go over the books with a fine-tooth comb.

JOHN DIGGLE
What They’re Looking For: 35 years old, African-American, Diggle is really, really big, a former military man who served with the Army Rangers in Afghanistan, and has been a bodyguard for hire for the last four years. Hired by Moira to be Oliver’s chauffeur and protector, Diggle soon finds he is trapped in a battle of wits, as Oliver repeatedly eludes his protection. But in fact, Diggle’s primary conflict is one of loyalty — he has to show that he’s working for Oliver, not Moira, before Oliver will give him a smidgen of trust.

THEA QUEEN
What They’re Looking For: 17 years old (suggest 17-22 years), Oliver’s Lolita-esque sister, Thea was a 12 year old girl when he went on his infamous yachting voyage — but now she’s a celebutante who’s testing the boundaries of acceptable behavior. Thea loved her big brother with all her heart, and is delighted to have him back in her life — but she’s spreading her wings, and is unprepared for Oliver to become the Bad Cop in the family, restricting her access to boys and drugs.


*****

This seems to combine all the worst elements of the Winick, Kreisberg and Krul books of the last ten years, mixed it with Gossip Girl and hit the Frappe button!

* "Laurel" sounds like she'll be the standard love interest/damsel in distress who loves the hero but hates the secret identity. I see no Black Canary here.

* Tommy Merlyn just sounds lame... particularly if he's supposed to be Ollie's spoiled best friend who - based on the name - goes on to be his greatest rival, despite NOT having five years of survival training to match him.

* Ollie's mom being an evil gold-digger ala The Queen from Krul's brief run during Brightest Day is just wrong on SO many levels.

* Do I even need to begin to list everything that is wrong with giving Ollie a younger sister who is basically Paris Hilton?

I've said it before. I will say it again. I suspect I will say this several more times.

*deep breath* DAMN YOU, KREISBERG!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Why Manga Publishing Is Dying... And Not Just In The USA.

SOURCE: Why Manga Publishing Is Dying (And How It Could Get Better)

Interesting article on why the Manga Market is collapsing - not just in the US but in Japan as well.

Skyrim: A Journal of War - Chapter Twenty One - One Hundred Hours In Solitude

From The Saga Of Matthias The Bather; Written by Sven

And so it came to pass that
Matthias and Mjoll did journey to cold Solitude - the capital of Skyrim and seat of the High King in the Blue Palace. Ever champions of the people, they went there - not because of the ever-growing threat of the dragons but in the cause of thwarting the dark influence of The Thieves' Guild. And so it was that the duo sought out Gulum-Ei - an Argonian dock-worker of sordid reputation.


Mjoll: Well?
Me: He denies knowing anything but I'm sure he's lying. I think it best we follow him for a time.
Mjoll: As you will, beloved. But I find it hard to believe that the Thieves' Guild would conduct business this far from The Rift.
Me: Ah, but thieves go where the wealth is and there is much wealth to be had here.
Mjoll: That is true. But I still can't shake the feeling there is much going on here I cannot see.
Me: *muttered* Not if I can help it.
Mjoll: What's that, dearest?
Me: Uh... I said "If only we could help it... get better?"
Mjoll: Oh, we can, my love. We can.





SOMETIME LATER...

Me: There! He ducked into that warehouse! We'll have to go in after him!
Mjoll: I must say this is exciting! My father used to take me hunting with him all over Tamriel...
Me: *working with lockpicks* Quiet, dearest. There may be guards inside who are protecting the honest merchant's goods. And they're not likely to look kindly on us coming in here, even if we're tracking a thief.
Mjoll: Ah. Good point, beloved. I shall follow your lead, then.





Me: Actually, Mjoll... perhaps it might be best if you waited here -
Mjoll: You're not supposed to be in here.
Me: - what?
Mjoll: You're not supposed to be in here.
Me: What?
Mjoll: You're not supposed to be in here.
Me: Okay. Technically true. But we have that thief to track and-
Mjoll: You're not supposed to be in here.
Me: Okay. Would you please stop saying that? In fact, don't say anything because-
Guard #1: What was that?!
Me: Oh, Oblivion!
Mjoll: Grrrrrrrrr!
Me: Double Oblivion!
Guard #2: Thought I heard something...
Me: Thrice damned double dog Oblivion!


ONE VERY BLOODY MINUTE LATER...

Me: Okay, Mjoll? Mead Lips? Could you explain to me why you just killed two innocent dock guards?
Mjoll: You're not supposed to be in here.
Me: Fine. We'll just step outside and talk about it...
Mjoll: You're not supposed to be in here.
Me: Grrrrrrrrr!


ONE STROLL OUTSIDE LATER...

Me:
Look, Mjoll. If you can't keep quiet, at least wait here for me.
Mjoll: Okay. I'll be right here.
Me: Yeah, yeah not supposed to... what?!?!
Mjoll: I said I'll be right here.
Me: ... but a minute ago, you couldn't say anything except "You're not supposed to be here"!
Mjoll: I couldn't?
Me: No!
Mjoll: Hmm... I suppose it could have been some sort of automatic reflex caused by the thought of violating the laws regarding breaking-in-and-entering.
Me: But you killed those two guys who were about to discover us! Those poor innocent... well, relatively innocent dock guards!
Mjoll: Apparently my reflex to protect my beloved is stronger.
Me: Awwwwww. You're as sweet as you are strong. But maybe you should wait out here so I can go in and deal with the thief. Watch my back so no reinforcements come in.
Mjoll: Okay!


ONE STEALTHY CRAWL THROUGH A WAREHOUSE AND A HIDDEN UNDERGROUND CAVE LAIR LATER...




Me: Knock Knock.
Gulum-Ei: Who's There?
Me: Um... that's not a joke. I was being dramatic.
Gulum-Ei: Huh. You want my advice? Stick to thieving and forget acting.
Me: You're right. The bow and arrow in my hands and the fact that I killed all your bandit accomplices on the way in are dramatic enough. Now tell me everything about the woman who hired you to start working against The Guild.
Gulum-Ei: Alright, alright. But I want you to promise me you'll tell them that I had no idea it was Karliah when she approached me!
Me: Who?
Gulum-Ei: ... you don't know? Really?
Me: No.
Gulum-Ei: Mercer didn't tell you?
Me: No. Who is Karliah?
Gulum-Ei: She was a thief. A damn good one. Used to be the old Guildmaster's partner. In every sense of the word. And then she decided to change her terms of employment.
Me: You mean she killed him?
Gulum-Ei: Yes. Plunged the guild into disarray for years until Mercer got it back under control.
Me: Any idea where to find her?
Gulum-Ei: She said that "it would all end where it first began".
Me: Huh. Now THAT is dramatic.
Gulum-Ei: Yes, I thought so.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Skyrim: A Journal of War - Chapter Twenty - A Change In Wardrobe

From The Saga Of Matthias The Bather; Written by Sven

Matthias returned home to Mjoll, with the tale of how brave Aerin had given his life to save Matthias from an assassin's arrow. Determined to avenge the companion who had saved her life and now, reportedly, the life of her husband, Mjoll swore vengeance upon The Dark Brotherhood and joined Matthias once more.

The battle which followed is already spoken of in my own song, The Bather Cleaned Up That Night, so I need not recall it here. Suffice it to say that it was as a result of this campaign that the couple gained fame as the slayers of The Dark Brotherhood and Matthias adopted the garb of their former leader as a symbol of his mastery over those who sought to master death. How the custom-fitted armor for a woman half his size was able to fit him is beyond my ken, as is the unusual armor that Mjoll adopted at that same time...






Me: There. A fine fit, don't you think?
Mjoll:
Oh, the fit is fine, beloved... it's just...
Me:
What is it, dearest?
Mjoll:
It's just, when you said that you had found a rare set of Ancient Nord Warrior Women's armor... I was expecting something more...
Me:
Ancient? Heavy?
Mjoll:
Substantial, I think...
Me: I think you look fearsome and powerful.
Mjoll:
It's just... not that I don't trust you, beloved. But if I didn't know any better, I'd swear this armor was just two small bits of bear hide, hastily sewn together and then strategically ripped and cut in various places. It's rather chilly...
Me: Chilly? Are you not a Nord, woman? Are your people not renowned for their ability to their ability to survive the harshest elements?
Mjoll: Well, yes...
Me: And are you not, as you've boasted many times, the hardiest and strongest of women?
Mjoll: Undoubtedly
Me: So you can easily stand any discomfort you may feel, as your ancestors did, and stand proud knowing that you are upholding their legacy.
Mjoll: I suppose so. But could we keep an eye out for a suitable cloak?
Me: Ahhh... sure. Maybe we can find one on the way to Solitude. There may be a shop selling cloaks somewhere out there on the frozen mountain pathways...




Mjoll: I love my husband... I will not strangle him... I love my husband..



Thursday, January 19, 2012

Skyrim: A Journal of War - Chapter Nineteen: Cleaning House, Literally and Metaphorically

From The Saga Of Matthias The Bather; Written by Sven

With his training complete, Matthis and Mjoll did journey to Whiterun, where they had decided to make their home...




Me: Here we are, beloved!
Mjoll: Oh, it is a grand home! It will be a fine place to rest between adventures. Still, I think I will open a small shop while you are away dealing with Dragonborn business. I don't want to get bored.
Me: Well, I don't know how much chance you'll have to get bored. The Jarl would probably welcome another sword to deal with things around here. But I think that Lydia will appreciate the company. At least she will when she gets back... curious that she isn't here.
Mjoll: So we have the entire house to ourselves, eh?
Me: So it seems.
Mjoll: Just you and me... husband and wife?
Me: What... are you suggesting?
Mjoll: Come upstairs and I will show you...
Me: It's good to be the Thane!



SOMETIME LATER...

Me: Owwww, my head. Feeling woozy... vision blurry. Honey, as good as that felt I think maybe we should hold off on doing it more than five times in one night...
Astrid: I'm sure it was a wonderful evening, but the way you're feeling has less to do with the stamina of your warrior woman bride and more to do with the poison leaving your system.

Me: Huh? Who are you...?
Astrid: My name isn't important. What is important is that I know what you did to Gerlod The Kind.





Me: You know about that?!
Astrid: Half of Skyrim knows. Old hag gets butchered in her own orphanage? Things like that tend to get around.
Me:
Butchered?
I put an arrow in her head. That's hardly butchering!
Astrid: Oh, I'm not criticizing the death, believe me. She was a horrible person and everyone knew it. They just refused to do anything about it. Saving those orphans from an evil mistress? Good story. Makes a body feel good to hear it...
Me:
I don't like where this conversation is going...

Astrid: As well you shouldn't. The thing of it is... that Aretino boy was trying to contact The Dark Brotherhood... me and my associates.
Me: I knew it!
Astrid: And while your killing was fair and just, the fact of the matter is you still stole a contract from us.
Me: Here it comes...
Astrid: We are owed a death. And we shall have a death tonight. Whether or not it is yours shall be your choice.
Me: Wait for it...
Astrid: Behind you are three people. Two of them are innocents. One of them has been contracted to die. You must use your skills to determine which is the one to die.
Me: *dead pan* No. Please. Stop. You are mad. I cannot have anything to do with the death of innocents. I want no part of this.
Astrid: You shall not leave this place until someone lies dead.
Me: You're sure that's how this has to be?
Astrid: Yes!

*THWACK THWACK THWACK*

Me: Ha! You'd think an assassin would have seen a sneak attack like that coming. Or that they'd be smart enough to take my bow away. Ah well... that's why Thieves rule and Assassins drool. And speaking of thieving, let's take a look at this fancy, faintly glowing black armor...





Victim 1: Hello? Can you take this bag off my head now?
Victim 2: Yeah! My bag smells funny!
Victim 3: I threw up in my bag!
Me: Rejoice! You are free now, my fat and greasy citizens!
Victim 2: Oh thank you! Thank you! I promise I won't tell anyone about this!
Me: What? But I want you to tell people about this. Tell any who will listen that you were saved from assassins by Matthias The Dragonborn. Thane of Whiterun. Slayer of Dragons. Beater of Ass.
Victim 1 : Whatever. Just let me out of here.
Me: No, there's no need to thank me. Rush home to your loved ones and reassure them that as long as their is ass that needs kicking, the Dragonborn is ... hey! Wait a minute! What about my loved ones? Mjoll is probably worried sick... assuming the assassins didn't kill her getting to me! By Talos' loincloth, I must hurry home!



ONE DAY LATER...

Me: Mjoll! Darling! Are you - WHAT FRESH OBLIVION IS THIS?!?!




Mjoll: Oh, dearest! I was just cooking dinner!
Me: You're cooking dinner in your underwear?
Mjoll: I didn't think you would mind. You certainly didn't object to me walking around in less last night.
Me: Yes, but... you're cooking dinner in your underwear with HIM here?
Aerin: I don't see a problem.
Mjoll: Nor do I. Aerin and I lived together for some time before I wed you. You think he has not seen me so before? Or in less when he was healing my wounds?
Me: ... yes, but.... that was then. And now we're... in OUR home.
Mjoll: Aha! So the man who saved my life is not welcome in OUR home?
Me: I never said that.
Aerin: I just came to visit and keep her company while you were gone.
Me: I've been gone less than a day! How did you get word that she was alone so quickly?
Aerin: I just happened to be in town.
Me: A likely story! You just happened to come all the way here from Riften?
Mjoll: Oh? And just where have you been all day... beloved?
Me: I was kidnapped by the leader of The Dark Brotherhood!
Mjoll: Oh really?
Me: Yes! I just barely got away with my life.
Aerin: A likely story! As if any assassin could get in here and steal you away while my Lioness was sleeping beside you.
Me: YOUR Lioness?
Mjoll: Boys, please! That's enough!
Me: Agreed. Mjoll, can we go talk outside for a moment?
Mjoll: Certainly.





Me: Mjoll, I'm trying to be understanding about your and Aerin's special bond but... what the? You didn't even put a robe on?!
Mjoll:
It's the middle of the night and we're on the porch. Nobody can see us.
Belethor: Hi Matthias!
Me: Son of a... Hi Belethor.
Belethor: Is this your new bride? Niiiiiiiice. I could make you a good offer for her.
Me: Not. Now.
Belethor: I could even trade you my sister for her, if I had a sister...
Me: NOT... EVER...
Belethor:
Alright, alright. Do come back...


Me: *sighs* Now, as I was saying...
Aerin: Are you done? Mjoll was supposed to be teaching me about swordplay later.
Me: ... was she?
Mjoll: Oh yes. I've tried to teach him some basics, but I keep having to correct his grip. Many is the night I've had to stand close, my arms around him... my hands on his...
Me: Yeeeeeeeeeeeees. Well, I'm afraid that won't be possible.
Aerin: Oh?
Me: Yes. You see, I came out here to ask Mjoll to
come with me and deal with the rest of The Dark Brotherhood. You're welcome to stay here though, Aerin. I mean, they do know where I live. And having just killed their leader, I'm sure they're itching for revenge. But I'm sure it will be safe since only a total idiot would stay in his own home after killing the leader of The Guild of Assassins. Especially since they already know where he lives. So knowing I'm not an idiot, they probably won't come back here looking for me.
Aerin: Aha... yesssssss. But I really must be heading home to Riften. That city won't cleanse itself of evil. Especially with Mjoll gone, now.
Me: Yes, yes. Much to do, I'm sure. Safe journey and all that.
Mjoll: Yes, safe journey Aerin! Well, beloved... shall we be on our way?
Me: Ah... not just yet, dear. Why don't you wait here while I run a quick errand?
Mjoll: A quick errand? At this hour?
Me: Ah-ha-ha.... yesssss. The Drunken Huntsman - finest store for archers in town. They're also a tavern. I need to get some new arrows.
Mjoll: Well, alright beloved... but don't take too long. And don't sneak any drinks while you are there.
Me: Oh, no dear... no drinks! I'll hurry as fast as I can!


*run run run*




*sneak sneak sneak*

*THWACK! THWACK! THWACK!*

*loot loot loot*




Me: Scratch one home-wrecker. And hey - now I really DO need more arrows!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Skyrim: A Journal of War - Chapter Eighteen: Back To School.



From The Saga Of Matthias The Bather; Written by Sven
Matthias and his bride did leave Riften that very day, for while he loved Mjoll he could no longer neglect the duties of the Dragonborn. With the shield maiden at his back and her trusted companion Aerin in tow, the trio did set off for the ancient tomb Ustengrav - the resting place of the magical horn of Jurgen Windcaller...


Mjoll: Oh, Matthias - this is everything I dreamed of in a Honeymoon.
Me: Well, I'm glad you're enjoying yourself.
Mjoll: Oh, how could I not? Getting a chance to go right back into the field? Fighting undead monsters by my husband's side? And more... getting to aid you on a quest given to you by The Greybeards themselves!
Me: I do have one question, my darling.
Mjoll: Yes, dear?
Me: Did Aerin really have to tag along?
Mjoll: Why shouldn't he?
Me: Well... this IS supposed to be our time. And besides, how can I perform my... marital duties with another dude watching you all the time?
Mjoll: Oh, there will be time enough for that once the world is saved.
Me: I suppose. Hey, I think this is the final chamber before the horn...
Mjoll: Yes, it does have a certain grandeur. But wait - there appears to be a note on the stand there!
Me: What? Let me see...




Mjoll: Damn thieves! They are taunting you now, taking items that are rightful yours and trying to lure you into a trap.
Me: I ah... don't think the Thieves Guild is involved in this, beloved. They aren't in the habit of leaving notes behind to taunt the people they steal from, telling them where they can be found.
Mjoll: That's just what they want you to think!
Me: Ah, but they won't expect YOU to be coming to watch my back, will they?
Mjoll: Well, that's true...
Me: So we're off to Riverwood then!


ONE DAY LATER...




Delphine: Welcome to the Sleeping Giant Inn. Will you and the woman be needing a room?
Me: Yes, we'd like your attic room, please.
Delphine: Our attic room, eh? Well... we don't have an attic room. But you can have the one on the left. Make yourself at home.
Me: Thank you, fair innkeeper.
Mjoll: So now what do we do?
Me: We wait.

SOMETIME LATER...

Delphine: *slipping through door* So you're the Dragonborn I've been hearing so much about.
Mjoll: Back off, wench! He's my husband.
Me: Relax, dearest. I don't think she's come in to offer us a way to spice up our honeymoon.
Delphine: Indeed. But it;s not safe to talk here. We shall go to my room.
Mjoll: *growls*
Me: Down, girl. I take it you're the one responsible for the horn disappering?
Delphine: Yes, I have it here. You see, I needed to find the true Dragonborn. I think I may know where the dragons are coming from. But I need the True Dragoborn to prove that I'm right. Because only the Dragonborn can kill a dragon and absorb its' soul so that it can't come back. You have done that, haven't you?
Me: Oh yes... lots of times!
Delphine: Good. Then we shall make our way to Kynesgrove! And if you are the real Dragonborn, you should have no trouble slaying the dragon there.


ONE DAY LATER...

Delphine: A dragon! And it's resurrecting another dragon with the Thu'um!
Me: Hey, I recognize that dragon!
Delphine: You what?
Me: Never mind that now! RUN!





SOMETIME LATER...

Delphine: ... I don't believe it.
Mjoll: That's my man!
Me: NOW will you explain to me why you know all this and why you were so hell-bent on finding the Dragonborn?
Delphine: I am a member of The Blades. One of the last Blades. In times past we were the bodyguards of the emperors and dragonslayers. Now... we're not much of anything.
Me: Go on...



Delphine: I believe that the Thalmor - the Elven government - are behind the recent dragon resurrections.... somehow. I need to infiltrate their embassy to find out for sure. Now that I have you here, we can sneak in there and look for evidence.
Me: Woah! Woah! Woah! Hold on a second...
Mjoll: Indeed. My husband is far too honorable to sneak into another's home!
Me: Oh, I don't object to the sneaking in part. But I have a bunch of old men who are expecting me to take them this horn. And since they're the ones training me to be able to fight dragons AND they have the ability to make mountains collapse by saying "Boo!", I should probably go complete my training before they decide it's not worth waiting for their Chosen One and they decide to just destroy the whole sub-continent with a word.
Delphine: Indeed. Go finish your training. We can plan how to spy on the Thalmor later.


ANOTHER LONG JOURNEY LATER...



Arngeir: And so as it was written, The Dragonborn has returned to us with The Horn of Jorgen Windcaller. Come with me. It is time for us to recognize you formally as Dragonborn. Savior of Us All. Then I shall teach you the final word of the Unrelenting Force Thu'um.
Me: Is this going to involve a big, boring ceremony?
Arngeir: Oh, no, no, no. Well, a short one. More of a hazing than a ceremony, really.
Me: What?
Arengeir: Now, my brothers! Teach him what it is to shout at someone!
Me: Gah!




Arngeir: Meka Leka Hi Meka Hinei Ho?
Greybreads: MEKA LAKA HI MEKA HINEI HO!
Arngeir: Meka Leka Hi Meka Chani Ho?
Greybreads: MEKA LEKA HI MEKA CHANI HO!
Arngeir: You are now the Dovahkiin. Long live Arngeir. Now go, and never darken our towels again!

Skyrim: A Journal of War - Chapter Seventeen: Nice Day To Start Again...

From The Saga Of Matthias The Bather; Written by Sven

And so it came to pass that Matthias did return to Riften, with the sword of Mjoll called The Lioness...





Me: I have recovered your sword, Grimsever.
Mjoll: Astonishing. To think you actually were able to reach it and yet return to tell the tale.
Me: Yes, well... it was quite dangerous.
Mjoll: To think... you, a small, scrawny outlander were able to succeed where many great warriors lost their lives!
Me:
Ah, well it was noth-
Mjoll: I mean, look at you! A weasely little man who reeks like a sewer were able to accomplish what stronger, more capable men...
Me: Hey!
Mjoll: Oh, I am sorry. Clearly I underestimated you and I have a lot to learn about adventuring. I would be honored to fight by your side, were you to allow it.
Me: Oh, I'm sure you would be.
Mjoll: *blushing a bit* In fact... I... ah... would be even more honored if you would consider marrying me.
Me: WHAT?!
Mjoll: That is why you are wearing the Amulet of Mara, is it not? You are expressing your desire to seek a mate?
Me: Oh, is that what this is? I just found this amulet... somewhere and thought it looked nice.
Mjoll: So you are not interested in marrying me?
Me: I never said that!
Mjoll: Oh, wonderful! I'll have Aerin go tell them to prepare the temple of Mara for us. Of course these things do take time to set up... so we'll meet there in a day!
Me: ... great! See you in a day... my love.


Lydia:
I have a bad feeling about this.
Me: You have a bad feeling about everything. And I've just about had it with your negative attitude. Can't you just be happy for me?
Lydia: I am sorry, my Thane. But this seems rather sudden, even for one of your short attention span.
Me: What? This is still going according to plan. True, I didn't count on her falling head-over-heels in love with me... but this can totally work to our advantage. After all, the Defender of Riften can hardly spend her time trying to thwart the Thieves' Guild if she's off adventuring with her beloved. Or tending to his estate in Whiterun.
Lydia: Even so, this seems like an awful lot of trouble to go through just to make things easier on your co-workers.
Me: Well, let it not be said I'm not willing to make sacrifices for the team. Besides, there are other considerations at play.
Lydia: Such as?
Me: Such as that sweet valkyrie ass. You could bounce gold pieces off of that woman's rump!
Lydia: *sighs*


ONE DAY LATER...

Mjoll: This is a fine wedding, Matthias. And to think it's all for us.
Me: Yes, my darling. This will be a day to remember, for sure.
Mjoll: I know we should probably wait until after the ceremony but... oh, I can't wait! I want you to move in with me and Aerin. Unless you'd rather we come live with you?
Me: We?
Mjoll: Well, I can't leave Aerin by himself. He follows me like a lost puppy.
Me: Yes, I noticed he's sort of standing there in the back... not taking a seat like all the other guests... just starring at you.
Mjoll: Yes, well.. that is his way. But we can discuss that later. It looks like the priests are ready to begin...



Maramal: Marriage. Marriage is what brings us together today...


AN HOUR LATER...

Maramal: And that is why now, whenever a young bride asks me "What are Mara's opinions on fellatio?", I say "Well, I'd LIKE to tell you..."


ANOTHER HOUR LATER...

Maramal: ...when loving lovers love, when loving love on wings of gold. In loving love we fly above. Their love is such a soft and precious love. It's love.

YET ANOTHER HOUR LATER...

Maramal: And loving lovers love as loving lovers love. Golden. Shimmering. Lustrous. Llvely. Loving, Loving love. So yeah... that's it. You're married.
Me: By the Nine Divines I thought that would never end!
Mjoll: May the rest of our life together feel as eternal.
Me: Well put.
Mjoll: Well, thank you, my love. Now let us go back to my home and we can discuss a few things...
Me: Of course. We'll just step outside, bid fair well to our guests and... BY THE NINE!




Courier: Yeah, got this note for you.
Me: By the loins of Mara, where are your clothes, man?
Courier: You'll have to ask your bride about that.
Me: Mjoll?
Mjoll: Ah.. well, things MIGHT have gotten a little out of hand at my bachelorette party last night.
Me: You had a bachelorette party?
Mjoll: Well, I had a few drinks and there was a stripper.
Courier: Stripper, nothing! This crazy bitch ripped my clothes off while I was trying to get a drink last night!
Me: *sighs* Just give me your message and I'll give you a generous tip so you can buy some new pants.
Courier: Great. *passes over a note*
Me: Who is this from, anyway? A well-wisher on the day of my wedding?
Courier: Don't know. Creepy fella, black robe. Couldn't see his face. Paid me a pretty sum to get that into your hands, though.
Me: He paid you a pretty sum and you STILL haven't gone to buy new clothes yet?
Courier: Listen, pal. I don't tell you how to do your demeaning job.
Me: Right, right, right... Well, let's see who this is from...





Me: *hoarse whisper* ... the symbol of The Dark Brotherhood...
Mjoll: My love? Is something wrong? Your jaw seems to have frozen open.
Me: Oh, it's nothing, dear. Just got caught up in a yawn this news was so boring. So, listen... about our plans to move far, far away from here?

Friday, January 13, 2012

No Flying No Tights' List of Must Have Anime.

SOURCE: No Flying No Tights' definitive list of Anime must-sees.

CW Announces Pilot For Green Arrow TV Show - Starman Develops A New Ulcer!

SOURCE: The CW Nearing Pilot Order For Green Arrow TV Series ‘Arrow’

I was actually hopeful - perhaps foolishly so - for a moment. But the more I read, the more I realized how bad this could be. And then I knew that this was going to suck like a black hole.

So what brought this revelation on?

Was it the news that this was being developed for CW that got me? No. The core concept of Ollie's character is such that you could make him a college-age guy and it could still work. Just have the brat prince get forced to play Survivor The Home Game and come away from it realizing how lucky he is and how he has a responsibility to help the helpless.

Was it the announcement that the show was called "Arrow"? No. Catchy, one-word titles are par for the course for dramatic series.

Was it the announcement that the show "sets him in a new world with an original story that is not based on the comics"? No, because the current Green Arrow book basically did the same thing with its' concept of Oliver Queen as Steve Jobs with a bow.

Was it the fact that the show's own writer/producers don't seem to know anything more about the show other than that it won't have any previous connection to the comics? No, because that's frequently the case in Hollywood. Staff writers are brought in to write someone else's creative undertaking after the pilot episode all the time.

Was it the announcement that the pilot was being written by former Green Arrow/Black Canary writer Andrew Kreisberg, who was also serving as the show's executive producer/show runner?

YES. THAT was it!

oh,wailywailywailywaily... lament! lament! rue! rue!

Power of the Valkyrie: The Fate of the Gods and Men - A No Flying No Tights Review

SOURCE: Power of the Valkyrie: The Fate of the Gods and Men
  
 
 
There’s a saying that one should never judge a book by its cover. As a librarian, I hate that statement. I agree with the intent – that one should judge not by outward appearances but by inner depth, yet it seems a bit silly to use books as the metaphorical object for making that point. The publishing industry invests millions of dollars every year to conduct market research and pays professional artists in order to ensure that their books have nice covers that will attract people’s attention and, presumably, inspire them to buy their books. That’s three whole industries – marketing, management and art – that depend upon people judging books by their covers.

Why am I picking apart this old cliché? Because when I first saw the cover of Power of the Valkyrie, I must admit I became rather judgmental. Well, what else am I supposed to think when presented with a buxom blonde in scanty armor (if by armor you mean a metal corset and a pair of dangerously low-cut hot-pants), with a come-hither look, pencil-thin arms, and cleavage you could ski down, holding a sword that would make Cloud Strife say “that seems impractically big”? If you’re anything like me, you’d probably presume – judging the cover – this title was written for no purpose other than to showcase the artist’s skill in drawing attractive women that are not wearing very much clothing.

Dear Reader, it’s much worse than that. You’re presuming that the artist has the ability to draw attractive women not wearing much clothing in the first place.

Calling Craig Yeung’s grasp of female anatomy “bad” would be understating it. Abysmal is a far more accurate word and much more fun to say. I could, on some level, forgive the blatant cheesecake if it was drawn well. But it is not. And Yeung’s incompetence goes far beyond that, his artwork being rife with continuity errors to boot! I dare say one could create a fine drinking game with this book, taking a sip every time Yeung draws Odin with one-eye in the close-ups only to draw him with two-eyes in the long shots or each occasion that The Valkyrie’s winged horse is depicted without wings.

That brings to another interesting point. The world of this story is a mishmash of random mythological elements mixed together and changed (frequently) for no apparent reason. I could deal with the horse of The Valkyrie specifically being named Pegasus (a specific winged horse from Greek Mythology), but I will not stand for Odin’s familiars Thought and Memory being specifically depicted – in the text and the artwork – as black eagles rather than ravens. At one point, our heroine tries to throw away her magic sword like Excalibur and she is pursued by Christian demons, who disguise themselves as Scully and Mulder from The X-Files.

The plot of the book – such as it is – will be familiar territory to anyone who has ever read a Marvel ComicsThor book. Indeed, the whole story reads like a rejected script for “What If Jane Foster Was Given The Power Of Thor?” Our heroine is a nurse named Susan or Suzanne depending on what chapter we’re in. She is given the vaguely defined power of The Valkyrie after her car crashes into Odin, who was teleported away from Asgard to prevent the power from falling into Loki’s hands. Why Odin or the many warriors surrounding him at the time couldn’t just fight Loki is never explained.

Despite this transfer being accidental and Odin having been seconds away from bequeathing the power to the warrior woman Emu, before Loki showed up, Odin decrees that Susan/Suzanne will wield the Valkyrie power and be trained in its use by Thor. But it turns out Emu was in league with Loki the whole time and already plotting to overthrow Odin! So Loki completely sabotaged his own plans by attacking Emu’s empowerment ceremony. This is but the first of many plot holes this book has.

All that being said, you still can’t judge a book by its cover…because this book is so much worse than its cover. The story and characters are lawsuit fodder for Marvel Comics. The writing is terrible, with the authors’ unable to keep the name of their own heroine straight. And the artwork is amateurish, at best.

Power of the Valkyrie: The Fate of the Gods and Men
by Darren G. Davis, Chad Rebmann
Art by Craig Yeung
ISBN: 9781450723831
Bluewater Productions, 2011

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Blackbeard Legacy - A No Flying No Tights Review

SOURCE: The Blackbeard Legacy


I love pirates. Treasure Island was one of the few classics my mother forced upon me that I found tolerable. My favorite anime is One Piece. One of my favorite cartoons from my misspent youth was The Pirates of Dark Water. My point is that I love pirate stories and it takes a lot for me not to be able to enjoy one. Yet The Blackbeard Legacy has managed that seemingly impossible feat.

Centering (for the most part) upon Hanna Teach – the daughter of Blackbeard in an alternate reality where voodoo is real and submarines exist in 1718 – the story of this book is spread across four chapters. In the first chapter, we are introduced to Hanna as she steals a log-book and then commanders a ship with the intent of going after some lost treasure, even as she is being perused into Chapter Two by several bounty hunters, including a zombie-raising voodoo priestess. Curiously, the third chapter focuses upon a female bounty hunter named Morgan Sheppard, who – after a brief interlude where she brings down a mark while disguised as a harem girl and confronts two cannibal rivals – is sent after Hanna Teach in the final pages. The final chapter of the book begins, oddly, sometime after Chapter Three ended, with Morgan Sheppard exiting stage left as the zombies we first saw in Chapter Two show up and we find out that the person sending all these bounty hunters after Hanna in the first place is Daddy Blackbeard himself!

If this summary of the story seems convoluted, that is because it is. There is no easy way to sum up the story of this book because there is no real unifying plot from chapter to chapter. Stuff happens because it is supposed to or because it is cool. We have zombies chasing after Hanna because a pirate story is supposed to have zombies in it. We have a pirate in a steampunk submarine show up to save Hanna because steampunk is big right now. The Ancient Mariner shows up to deliver cryptic warnings because then we can pretend this mess of a story somehow has literary relevance.

It is notable that even for a genre where the heroes typically have no motivations beyond “get treasure” and “seek adventure” that all of the characters in this book are as lifeless as a zombie and as flat as the female characters bodies aren’t. This dry comment brings us to the artwork, which is full of gratuitous low-cut tops, low-slung pants, and generous helpings of cleavage, both above and below decks. I’d dismiss the whole thing as base pandering to the lowest common denominator, but that would presume one could find something erotic in the horrible, misshapen figures drawn by artist Mike Maydak.



Don’t let the painted cover fool you – the women in the interior artwork look less like a Luis Royo painting and a bad imitation of Humberto Ramos. Maydak may have a certain style but that style is ill-suited for this kind of book. Granting that, Maydak’s art is horribly inconsistent with none of the characters look the same from chapter to chapter! Indeed, when Chapter Three started, I assumed that the woman in the harem girl costume was Hanna Teach in disguise rather than a new character!

The Blackbeard Legacy is exactly the sort of product I have come to associate with Bluewater Productions – poorly conceived, badly written and terribly drawn. I would add “horribly edited” to that list, save for one thing – this book has no credited editor! Whether that was because the editor pulled an Alan Smithe and demanded his name be taken off the book or whether it is because Bluewater Productions publisher/co-author of this book Darren G. Davis sees no need to employ somebody to examine his work and ensure that it has things like cohesive character design or a smoothly-flowing plot, I have no idea. What I do know is that this book is a technical failure on every level and it has no place in any library collection anywhere.

The Blackbeard Legacy
by Darren G. Davis, Scott Davis
Art by Mike Maydak
ISBN: 9781450702577
Bluewater Productions , 2011

DC Comics: Six Books Out, Six Books In - My Thoughts

SOURCE: Six DC Comics Canceled But Six New Titles Are Planned To Keep The Magic 52 Number

Word is that the characters from the canceled series will be popping up in other titles, so not all is lost. Let's count them down.



THE CANCELED

Blackhawks - Unsurprising. The artwork was lackluster and the concept was basically G.I. Joe for adults. Problem is, most of the fans of that sort of book were buying the much more adult official G.I. Joe comic series.

Mister Terrific - This one hits me hard. I honestly enjoyed this series, though apparently I was one of the few who did. I think the series was just starting to find it's footing and needed a little more time to find an audience. Maybe the multi-dimensional storyline will get resolved in time for Michael Holt to find a place in the new Earth 2 title? We can only hope.

OMAC - Another good series aimed at a limited niche. I guess there weren't enough Jack Kirby fans willing to shell out three clams a month for a tribute book.

Men At War - Again, it was a good series for what it was. But there wasn't enough appeal to make it sell to the majority of comic readers who don't typically like war comics.

Static Shock- Unfortunate, but predictable. John Rozum leaving the book early on worried many long-time Milestone fans and Scott McDaniel - while a skilled artist - is relatively untested as a writer. Throw in the fact that the book opened mid-stream, with plot threads from previous Static comics going unexplained (such as why Virgil's older sister now had a clone) despite the series being meant to be a jumping on point for new readers, and it's not hard to see why this one failed to find an audience.

Hawk And Dove - Perhaps the least surprising cancelation of all, given poor reviews and the widespread hatred of Rob Liefeld among the comic-reading mainstream. The one thing this book had going for it was Sterling Gates' scripts. When Gates jumped ship, it was just a matter of time.




THE NEW BLOOD


BATMAN INCORPORATED – Writer: Grant Morrison. Artist: Chris Burnham.

The acclaimed ongoing writer of ACTION COMICS, Grant Morrison, presents a fresh take on BATMAN INCORPORATED, in which the Batman brand is franchised globally in preparation for a major international threat.

Despite generally enjoying Morrison's work, I'm not a big fan of the Batman Inc. concept. And do we really need another Batman book at this point? Still, this has been in the works for a while and I'm sure it will sell well.


EARTH 2 – Writer: James Robinson. Artist: Nicola Scott.

The greatest heroes on a parallel Earth, the Justice Society combats threats that will set them on a collision course with other worlds.

This series has also been in the planning stages for a while and I've been looking forward to it for several reasons. My fondness of Robinson's work is well-known but I also loved Nicola Scott's work on Birds of Prey and Secret Six. Putting Robinson in charge of the Earth 2/Golden Age heroes makes perfect sense given his track record with them and Scott's style will be well suited to such a title. A definite must see once it comes out.


WORLDS’ FINEST – Writer: Paul Levitz. Artists: George Perez and Kevin Maguire.

Stranded on our world from a parallel reality, Huntress and Power Girl struggle to find their way back to Earth 2. Perez and Maguire will be the artists on alternating story arcs.

Levitz work is hit and miss with me. His Legion work is largely inaccesible to me but I have enjoyed his Huntress mini-series. Despite this, having either Perez or Maguire on art duties would tip the scales in favor of me giving this book a shot. Having both of them clinched it. Can't wait to see this one.


DIAL H – Writer: China Miéville. Artist: Mateus Santoluoco.

The first ongoing series from acclaimed novelist China Miéville, this is a bold new take on a cult classic concept about the psychological effects on an everyman who accidentally gains powers to become a hero.

Unless this gets particularly rave reviews, I'll probably pass on this one personally. I've never been a big fan of the H-Dial concept. I'm not familiar with Miéville's work. And Mateus Santoluoco's artwork looks far too dark and dirty for my tastes though well-suited toward a psychological tale.


G.I. COMBAT – Writer: J.T. Krul. Artist: Ariel Olivetti.

Featuring the return of a classic DC Comics series, THE WAR THAT TIME FORGOT, along with rotating back-up stories and creative teams – including THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER, with writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti and artist Dan Panosian; and THE HAUNTED TANK, with writer John Arcudi and artist Scott Kolins.

Cancelling one war book to publish another? Even with Gray and Palmiotti doing a back-up, I'm having a hard time working up an interest.


THE RAVAGERS – Writer: Howard Mackie. Artist: Ian Churchill.

Spinning off from TEEN TITANS and SUPERBOY, this series finds four superpowered teens on the run and fighting against the organization that wants to turn them into supervillains.

Hey kids! Is Scott Lobdell's Teen Titans not angsty enough for your liking? Have we got a book for you!

Ignoring that the concept sounds like a blatant rip-off of Marvel's Runaways, there's still the matter of the creative team. Howard Mackie, lest we forget, was the writer of most of the Spider-Man Clone Saga. Ian Churchill is the poor man's Michael Turner, who was responsible for putting Supergirl into a stripper version of her own costume back when Jeph Loeb was writing her book.

Three words. DO. NOT. WANT.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Abobo's Big Adventure - A Review

A labor of love six years in the making was released today, to thus far near-unanimous positive reviews. I speak of Abobo's Big Adventure which is fast on its' way to becoming the Indy Game hit of 2012.





Starring Abobo - the man-mountain first-stage boss of the original Double Dragon game - the plot is simplicity itself and the stuff of classic console gaming. Your son Aboboy has been kidnapped by dark forces unknown. Your mission is to fight your way through several mayhem filled levels, doing the impractical, the obscene and the totally impossible along the way.






The controls are simplicity itself. You use the arrows to move and have two buttons for punching, kicking, swimming or whatever any given level may require. The one constant is a rage meter, which you fuel by kicking ass without taking damage. Power it up and you can clear the whole screen with a level-appropriate special attack.




The various stages are full of the flotsam and jetsam of games long past. For instance, the game's second level - a tribute to the numerous water levels we all hated - will pit Abobo against characters from Super Mario Bros, Mega Man II, Goonies 2 and yes... Jaws, the NES game. Another level is a lost Legend of Zelda dungeon. Yet another involves the old NES Pro Wrestling game...




This game is funny, like a good/bad action movie and over-the-top in just the right ways. It is pure, unabashed insanity like the games of old. I should note that with options to mate with a mermaid and then using your own freak babies as a protective shield or the ability to behead innocent bystanders and use their body parts to raise your health or their broken bodies as weapons, this game should definitely not be played by small children.





Long story short. I like it. If you're a fan of old-school gaming , you'll probably like it too. This is easily the greatest tribute to 8-bit gaming since the Scott Pilgrim series. And now, let us close this up with a totally inappropriate meme.





Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Skyrim: A Journal of War - Chapter Sixteen: The Kids AREN'T Alright.

From The Saga Of Matthias The Bather; Written by Sven


It is at this point that the story of Matthias the Bather, who I counted as friend and the most honorable of men, becomes confused. It is known that he sought the Thieves Guild of Riften but to what purpose I cannot say. Indeed, factual information about Matthias' adventures in Riften are hard to come by.

While many songs are sung in the taverns of Riften with much laughter and slapping of knees about Matthias' exploits , I do not consider most of these accounts credible even by the loose standards of bard songs. Not even the tale of his fighting two dragons at once at the very gates of Riften itself. As I chose for this biography to focus upon what few facts I could confirm or witnessed myself, I shall not recant those tales here.



There are only two hard bits of evidence of this period of Matthias' life that I could confirm. One was the
account of a rumor-monger, who insisted that Matthias did leave Riften with the intent of journeying to the far distant Dwarven ruins of Mzinchaleft. The other was the account of a Windhelm guard who confirmed that Matthias did stop briefly in their town to investigate rumors of a person attempting to summon the assassins known as The Dark Brotherhood...


Lydia: I do not understand why we undertook this journey to retrieve the valkyrie's sword.
Me: Some things are not done for coin, Lydia.
Lydia: By some, perhaps. But not you. my lord.
Me: Ah, but there are ways to barter without coin.
Lydia: So you hope to buy her favor?
Me: Yeah, but she doesn't seem like that kind of girl.
Lydia: *sighs* No. I mean, is that you hope that by winning her good graces, you might persuade her to turn her attentions away from your... new friends?
Me: Yes. And it is for that same reason, that we are investigating these rumors of a young man attempting to summon The Dark Brotherhood. Thieves and Assassins are natural enemies. One kills for money. The other goes out of their way to avoid killing for money. If I can talk some sense into the boy, it will be a feather in my cap.
Lydia: You do not have a cap, milord.
Me: Good point. Make a note - I shall have to steal a cap. And quite possibly a feather.




Aventus: Sweet Mother, Sweet Mother, send your child unto me...
Me: I'd expect a noble house to have better locks.... the Hell?!
Aventus: ... Bloody Mary, Blood Mary, Three Bags Full...
Me: Uh... kid?
Aventus: ... Goblin King, Goblin King, Wherever you may be...
Me: Yoo-hoo? Shorty?
Aventus: Huh? Oh, it's you! I knew you would come!
Me: Wha?
Aventus: They said I'd regret running away! That I'd never find a copy of The Dark Sacrament! They said it would never work! But it did! You're here!
Me: Woah... slow down there, short stuff. I think you're confused.
Aventus: I hope not... you look just like I pictured. The cruel eyes... the hooded cloak... the slouching posture and thick brow.
Me: Oy!
Aventus: Oh.. right. I guess we should get down to business. I want you to kill Grelod The Kind, who runs the orphanage in Riften.
Me: Kid...
Aventus: I know, I know. Everyone says she's a nice old woman, but she isn't! She's mean! She makes us do all these awful chores! She makes us eat terrible things!
Me: I think I get the picture...
Aventus: Oh good! I don't have much - all of my wealth is being held in trust until I'm old enough to take over my estate again. But you can have this family heirloom. It must be worth a bit. Will you take care of things, Mr. Assassin? Sir?
Me: Okay kid. Sure. I'll take care of things for you.


ONE DAY LATER, AT THE RIFTEN ORPHANAGE...

Lydia: You don't believe a word of it, do you?
Me: Me? Of course not. Spoiled rich brat like that? She probably wanted him to make his own bed and told him to eat his vegetables. I'm sure that once we go in there and talk to the lady, she'll be glad to know the boy is safe.
Lydia: But should we really be going to the orphanage this late at night?
Me: Well, I don't want to go talking to her about all this when the kids are awake, do I? Hello, what are those voices?





Gerlod The Kind: ... and the double beatings will continue, until your attitude improves.
Children: *soft crying*
Gerlod The Kind: And one more thing! I will hear no more talk of adoptions! None of you riff-raff is getting adopted. Ever! Nobody needs you, nobody wants you.
Children: *sobbing*
Gerlod The Kind: Shut up! The next one who cries will get double puppy stew for breakfast!
Me: *whispered* By Talos' loincloth! The brat was telling the truth! This woman is textbook Lawful Evil! Almost comically so!
Lydia: *whispered* Indeed, my lord. We must go fetch the city guard at once. Inform the Jarl of the cruel treatment these children are suffering.
Me: Hmm? Oh, did you say something? Sorry, I was looking for my most dull arrowhead before I shoot the old bitch.
Lydia: Wait!

*THWUNK*




Gerlord The Kind: ACK!
Child #1: Gerlod! I think....
Child #2: ... she's dead!
Children: ... hurrah! We're saved!
Child #1: He did it! Aventus did it!
Child #2: I knew he could do it!
Child #3: Thank you, Dark Brotherhood!
Lydia: ... how are they not seeing us kneeling here in the corner?
Me: This is Riften. People here are really good at not seeing things happen here.
Lydia: ... but WHY?!
Me: Because there comes a time when even the lowest of men must look evil in the face and say "enough". Because a true man must stand up when the weakest and most helpless are repressed and unable to live in simple dignity. But mostly because that little boy promised me a shiny geegaw for doing it.
Lydia: Whatever happened to Thieves not killing for money?
Me: Meh. Who's going to tell them?