Free-write, 5/29/20

If you’ve grown up without a demon-dog, I envy you. I didn’t know it was such a rare thing back when I was a kid, but apparently little girls and some little boys grow up without a demon-dog, but with just normal dogs. That doesn’t seem fair to me–but there you have it.

So, you might be askin’ yourself what’s a demon-dog and how did I, of all people, get one? After all, I’m just a normal person, like you or your mom, or your granddad, or you best friend. Yep. I’m just like you. The only difference other than that, is I have a demon-dog.

Here’s some history–and this is only stuff I learned after-the-fact.

Demon-Dog: A Demon-Dog is born just as any other puppy is. The first Demon-Dog was born during the Spanish Inquisition in Granada, Spain. Nobody knows why, but there are some pretty good guesses. Like, all the horrible torture and death and persecution drew a Demon-Dog to the mortal plain, I guess. And once there was one Demon-Dog puppy here and it discovered how fun and chewy everything is, well–more followed, I guess.

My Demon-Dog came on Christmas. Fitting, right? I was young then, like a little kid full of bright eyed curiosity and my parents put a bunch of presents under the tree that night–but they weren’t for me. They’d thought it’d be funny to make me open a bunch of dog toys and be confused–they’d never mentioned getting a dog and I just looked at the ropes and chewies and asked them what they were for and they told me they were good to play with and chew on so I put the rope in my mouth and they told me to shake it so I did and it wasn’t very fun and hurt my jaw a little bit so I took it out and put it down and started to cry because all I wanted was a body paint set so I could paint myself pink like a Tiefling like the one daddy played as with his friends every Sunday. I wanted to be a Tiefling child so bad and have little horns and pink skin and a devil tail. . . I know–I know. Maybe I deserve my lot.

Anyway–after all the dog toys had been opened, which included a dog bed that was way too large for a puppy but much to small for me, and that my parents told me was MY new bed and made me try to lie down in it, they told me to go out to the garage. I did and they followed as I waddled along and they opened the door for me into the lit garage and there she was. My puppy. My Demon-Dog, though I didn’t know it yet. She was cute and stinky, because she had peed on some puppy pads and I didn’t notice or understand by my parents were a little confused how her urine had melted the pad through and even made holes in the concrete.

Freewrite, 5.24.20

Concerning bad writing: 2:
This lack of continuity in which sentences do not naturally follow their predecessors is especially frustrating to see in gatekeeped published material. While I have not been playing Dungeons and Dragons for long, and do not know the rules particularly well, I have been appalled at how awkward some of the writing is in the D&D Adventurers League modules.
While the modules themselves are simple to follow and understand, the “in-game” material that DMs are supposed to read to players is sadly lacking in specificity or else riddled with a lack of continuity, adjectives, and adverbs as well as a lack of attention to the order of presentation. For instance: “The sound of a crack of lighting echoed across the water and smell of swamp comes to your nostrils.”
Now this is not a quote from a module, but it is similar in nature. You may be asking yourself why this doesn’t work. The truth is, it does work. it’s fine. But it can work a whole lot better. For instance, “A crack of lighting echoes across the water, and the stink of rot and decay assaults your nostrils.” If there is a sound like cracking lighting, the writer should know you don’t need to say, “A sound. . .” In fact a writer should know they shouldn’t write this because it breaks the immersive environment the DM is hoping to achieve for their players. In terms of the order of presentation, why does the lighting come first? As written above it is implied that the lighting brings the stink of the swamp–but it surely doesn’t. There are certain things humans notice before others and if they aren’t presented in the order in which people naturally experience things, the whole illusion is broken. Characters/players would surely smell the swamp long hear lighting unless they are in the middle of a thunderstorm. And in that case, “The stink of rot and decay assaults your nostrils as you approach the foggy banks of a swamp. Further out, amid the water a flash blinks and blinds you, followed swiftly by the crack of lighting.”
Yes, I added some extra details–but is that not the point of observing your own writing and taking the time to make it more immersive, more concise?
For the module I have planned to run on Tuesday, I have rewritten all the “in-game” text so that the order of presentation makes more sense, has more depth, and is hopefully more immersive than what was there before. It is easy to criticize someone else’s work, and much more difficult to see these mistakes in your own. While I hope I have made this module better for my rewrites, it is difficult to tell and I’ll only know as players react to the session at hand.
That being said, it’s still frustrating to see a script that is in the hands of thousands of people that is sadly lacking in so many areas.

Free Write: 10/28/19

The guard pushed the old man out of the church, face forward. Douglas stumbled in the bright light of day, his eyes adjusting.
Somewhere nearby the creak of a wagon rolling by, the clucking of hens, the hammering of metal on metal, the smell of smoke from the smithy.
“Go on there, Dougy,” said the guard. “You think we’d not find out?”
Douglas couldn’t answer, he just mouthed his confusion. Not because he was innocent. He was guilty. But because he didn’t know how they’d found out.
“You look like a fish outa water, you do,” said the guard. “It’s right sick.”
The other soldier chimed in, standing on the stone steps of the church. “Witch out of Harem more like.”
The first one asked, “I thought only women’d be witches, don’t you?”
Douglas shook his head. The congregation in the church watching from the entrance to the holy building.
“Sirs, sirs,” said Pastor Barnaby, “Surely you’ve got the wrong man?” he asked. Then, “You’ve got the wrong man.” It was a statement.
“Nop,” said the first soldier. “Nop. I’m sorry, father, but this one ‘ere, he’s been hiding ‘ere for too long and thinking nobody’s the wiser.”
Douglas could feel the burning in his bones. He wished he could make it stop. Break the curse, anything.
“Don’t,” he said.
“Don’t” asked one of the soldiers. “Or wha’, you go’n turn us into little froggies or som’at?”
“I mean,” said Douglas. “Don’t hurt them. They didn’t know.”
“Like ‘ell they didn’t” said the first guard. “Been livin’ with a witch all this time and never thought nothing did they?”
“Nothing,” said Douglas.
“Right, well, Grand Master Picel thinks different, he does.”
The soldiers accosted him again. Douglas didn’t fight. He was all done fight. “Not a witch,” he said.
“Oh no?” asked the guard on his left, a boy barely past his childhood, if his facial hair was any indication. “Then what are yea, then?”
They walked him down the dirt lane, shadow’s stretching out behind them, and each step he took Douglas could feel the pain inside him grow. It was a burning, a trifle at first, but quickly strengthening.
“Look,” said Douglas, trying to explain. “If you kill me, This town. . . it will also die.”
“Ah, making threats now, eh? That’s more like it.”
Douglas shook his head. They passed the scroll and book emporium he had spent so much time in, since his arrival in the quaint town. It had been years and he loved it and he’d come to love those who made it what it was. A tiny town on the outskirts of Bath–but then why’d they come for him. He’d not done magic since. . .
“You’re a sick bastard, you are,” said the guard on his right. “Ask me, you deserve to be burned up.”
“My bones,” said Douglas. “There’s something wrong with ’em.”
“No doubt there’s something wrong with all witches,” said the boy guard. “It’s why they’re witches, right?”