Friday, August 31, 2012

What's Subtlety? Can You Eat It? (Part 1)

We had another D&D adventure last weekend, and while it wasn't quite so nutty as our characters' first venture out, there were some notable moments. And by notable, I mean "quickly becoming increasingly obvious that our strengths lie in slaughtering goblins, and not being subtle in any way, shape, or form."

For instance, our first task of the adventure was to get a drawing of a magical hat in a wizard's keep, so it could be swapped out with a Helm o' Opposite Alignment. The wizard's lab was on the 4th floor of the keep, and none of us had the drawing skill, so we brought along a barmaid provided by our employer who did. We spent some time deciding how we'd get up into the lab, and who would go, and so on.

Now would probably be a good time to mention that our characters all lean towards the Evil end of the Good, Neutral, Evil spectrum.

Now would also be a good time to mention that I am utterly shitty at playing a character with an Int score of only 11. But I am good at playing a Lawful Evil character, so ultimately while I'm really good at throwing out ideas that my character wouldn't actually have, I'm also really good at following whatever plan we end up deciding on, even if it might involve shooting a halfling boy in the face with a crossbow. Or hauling his and his nosy mother's corpses to a nearby set of ruins for a quick and easy burial.

In the end, we decided that it would be a good idea to send our thief up into the keep with the barmaid, because he could climb walls and stuff. Except he failed his roll to climb walls, and had to be levitated up. But the two of them got up into the lab, found the magic hat, got the drawing, and then... heard meowing.

Meanwhile, the rest of our team is at the base of the keep, invisible, and praying that our thief doesn't decide to steal anything. Because that would be Bad for this particular adventure.

Anyway, it turns out that the barmaid is also a bit of a wizard, and she points out to our thief that the meowing is probably from a familiar, who then walks into the room and starts sniffing around.

I probably should also have mentioned - our thief is definitely Chaotic Evil. And very, very good at playing that role.

He decides to crossbow-up the familiar and lands a good hit on it, but doesn't actually kill the thing. The barmaid freaks out on him, shoves him out the window, and we all basically have to beat a fast retreat before the wizard actually returns and catches us. Because catching us would be Bad.

Our next task seems easy, by comparison. We just need to "take care of" a certain local character who owns a bar. We're told we can do it any way we like, "just don't burn down the place." He's got two body guards, but we're not too concerned, because we just took out a whole cave of goblins and bugbears. We got this.


We ambush the guy outside his bar and our thief gets a good hit on him before the bodyguards shove him behind them and start trying to be menacing. Luckily, we have a priestess with us who maxes out her Hold Person spell, so the bodyguards don't last too long - they get frozen, they get their throats cut, we turn to the target... who's vanished. He's fucked right off. What a dick.

So this means that we have to go racing through the streets, over rooftops, following a diminishing trail of blood, and finally we track him to an alley, where our DM suddenly says, "Everybody roll a save versus Breath Weapon!"

By this point, I really hate this bastard, and so I did my best to kill him as quickly as possible. He goes down, we strip him and then spend about a half hour debating where to leave a cloak pin that will frame a local thieve's guild for the murder.

More to follow. This has been enough lunacy for one day.
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Friday, August 10, 2012

Such a Very Tiny Kitty

On my birthday, I received a text from my mother, informing me that another one of her farm cats had just given birth to kittens.

I joked that the dark one would make an excellent birthday gift, because who doesn't love a teeny tiny kitty, right? Obviously she was far, far to young to be taken from her mother, but it was fun to tease my boyfriend about bringing another one home and giving Isis a little brother or sister.

Last week, we took a trip out to my mother's place to meet the little ones. There were probably other reasons, but let's face it: all you really need is teeny tiny kittens.

It soon became apparent that this little one was having some serious problems.

Poor little one. My mother has gone out of town for a few days, so I told her that we'd come by to check up on the little one, check the mail, raid the garden... but mostly check up on the little one.

We went out on Tuesday evening, and things got serious. I stepped out of the garage and looked down, and there was the little grey one, laying like she was asleep, but... well. The little dark one was still alive, somehow, even though her sister appeared to be the stronger, healthier one. However, the sister didn't get a few extra feedings of KMR formula, and this one did.

I let my mother know, and she mentioned that the kitten's mother had probably stopped producing milk. We made a fast decision, and brought her home with us. Since then, my boyfriend has been spending his days and nights trying to nurse the little one to health. We weighed her, and she was only 4 ounces. When I checked the wisdom of the internet the next day, I got quite the shock. A healthy three-week-old kitten should be closer to 10 ounces.

Getting her to eat was difficult. We (but mostly my boyfriend) spent a lot of time forcing KMR into her mouth, drop by drop, via a nursing bottle, or a syringe, or on the tips of our fingers. Anything we could think of to just get her weight up.

This was two nights ago. She's curled up in the palm of my hand, fitting so easily. This would be adorable, if I didn't have bizarrely small hands for an adult. Instead, all I could think of was how very sadly tiny she was.

And then she started walking normally.

That was yesterday morning, I believe. It was still a struggle to get her to eat, and her legs still had a tendency to lock in that awkward position, but we saw some improvement. I convinced my boyfriend to call the vet today, and he was able to get her in this afternoon. This is what we learned:

  • She's extremely dehydrated
  • Her body temperature was much lower than it should have been
  • She's underweight
He's loaned us an incubator to get her body temp up, and gave us some special canned food to mix with the KMR to feed her, as well as droppers to make feeding easier. She received two shots at the office to help with the dehydration, and we're now trying to feed her every 2 or 3 hours or so. 

This was just after I got home from work today. It was such a relief to see her going after the food like that. We fed her again just a few minutes ago, and it was kind of a struggle to get her to eat, but we're much, much more hopeful about her survival chances. We're taking her to the vet again tomorrow morning, but all through the night we're going to be feeding her in shifts. 

We've been trying to be cautious and realistic about her chances for survival. You may have noticed that we don't appear to have named her. I'm hoping that a week from now, I'll be able to post more photos, and more videos, of a much healthier kitten (named Freya, if I get my way). 

Isis, by the way, appears to have had mixed feelings about the whole matter. I'm trying to give her extra cuddles, and I ordered her a new toy from tonight. But she's still absolutely gorgeous, and a complete and total handful. 


Just got back from the vet visit. Her weight is up a little bit, and her body temp is normal now. We are still going to use the incubator, and she got more fluid injections, as well as some antibiotic ointment for a squinty left eye. But she's eating better, and with the other improvements, I hope she'll be out of the woods soon.
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