Archive for February, 2018

When It All Ended Pt. 6

February 3, 2018

The dragon had left Cora alone in her bedroom. The door was not locked and she had not posted any of her lizardmen for guards. She had simply threatened Cora with death if she wandered too far. Otherwise, she could move around the castle to feed and entertain herself as long as she did not make a move against Khandara. She knew she needed help but so far, she was still alone. The remaining Guard members of the castle had been chased off or killed. It was only a matter of time until the dragon got bored and consumed her as it had promised.

“Princess Cora?” A voice echoed in Cora’s head. “This is Cassandra Oakspring of Moonglow’s Raiders. I don’t know if you remember me but we’re here to help.”

“Cassandra?” Cora asked in her head. “Didn’t I meet you at New Moon? I appreciate the help but there is a small army between you and me.” Cora summoned an image from her memory of Cassandra but she could only envision a gawky teen girl from way back when.

“We’re working on that,” Cassandra responded. “We will be at the castle soon and I promise you we will take out that dragon or die trying.”

“I like the former option better,” Cora said. “but this dragon is very deadly. She has me prisoner alone in here. Is there anything I can do?”

“We want you safely out of the way when it begins,” Cassandra said. “The roof! Can you lure the dragon up there when the time is right?”

“I can try,” Cora thought. “She certainly likes playing with me and the longer she’s interested, the more likely she won’t eat me.”

“Think on it,” Cassandra thought. “Keep hope alive. We’re on the case.”

“Be careful,” Cora thought. “I honestly can’t wait to see you again. If you pull this off, my parents will give you anything you want.”

“Let’s focus on the fight first,” Cassandra thought. “Try to sleep tonight and conserve your energy. This is the last message I can send tonight.”

“Thank you and good night,” Cora thought. “I’ll see you tomorrow.” And then the connection was dead and Cora was alone again. But she was not completely alone. Somewhere out there was the gawky teen who had given her a tour of New Moon Wizardry School along with the renown adventurers group Moonglow’s Raiders. The thought was both comforting and exciting but now Cora had a mission. With that new purpose came a new strength that she had not known she had left inside of her. She was going to get that dragon to the roof.

* * *

Cassandra took a few breaths after using the Sending Pendant. It had limited uses per day and it took a bit of her energy for a little bit whenever she used it. She lay back on the soft bed in her little corner of Percival’s mansion. She had not thought that Princess Cora would remember her. She had imagined that the letters that Cassandra had sent were answered by some servant or something to spare Cassandra’s feelings. Instead, the connection was real and it kind of blew Cassandra’s mind. She was even more determined to save the Princess than before. It was not just her duty but her desire as well.

Now, Cassandra turned her attention to the other task that had been given to her. She sat up and rummaged through her pack and pulled out a cube. She had carefully constructed the cube alongside one of her old teachers at New Moon for a very specific purpose. The party had been trying to figure out what to do with it for a few months. It was not the object itself that was so tricky, it was who was inside of it. Months ago, the party had encountered a wandering Djinn that some students had accidentally released from the Elemental Plane of Air. The party had defeated the Djinn and trapped it in Cassandra’s trap, earning Cassandra a special accolade from her old academy. Now, Cassandra finally had an idea.

She held the trap up near her mouth. “Can you hear me in there?”

There was a long pause and then a whispery voice answered back. “I can hear you, Cassandra,” Monela answered back.

“You know my name?” Cassandra asked with some surprise. When the event had gone down, the Djinn had been uninterested in talking much. It had been more interested in playing tricks and pranks and property destruction. It sounded like it had calmed down some.

“I can listen all the time from inside this box,” Monela replied. “I have learned much about you and your compatriots.”

“Oh?” Cassandra asked. “I’m curious about what you think, then.”

“You are powerful yet kind,” Monela replied. “You bested me and tricked me into this trap. I have much respect for you.”

“Kind words,” Cassandra said. “Pretty words, too. What would you say to a deal which included your release?”

“Well,” the Djinn said. “I would not be adverse to hearing more of this deal. I mean, I am your captive audience so go ahead and speak.” Monela’s voice betrayed her and Cassandra could hear a tinge of excitement there and definite interest. She knew that Monela must be going crazy in the box and Cassandra actually felt sorry for her. She knew that Monela was a spirit of wind and freedom and was not meant to be in one place for long. Still, she also knew that Monela could be a mischievous creature and care was needed.

“We are having a little bit of trouble with some lizardmen, some wyverns, and a dragon,” Cassandra said.

“Nasty sorts,” Monela said. “They never want to have fun. Not my kind of fun. It’s no fun if people actually die.”

“Exactly,” Cassandra said. “I’m so glad we’re on the same page. My friends and I are going after the dragon. Can I ask you to help take care of the rest?”

“Ask?” Monela nearly shouted. “Not order? That is interesting and I find your phrasing pleasing. Speak your deal and I will consider it.”

“The simple deal is as follows,” Cassandra said. “I release you and in return, you fight alongside the Guard but especially target the wyverns. Once the battle is done, you will leave this place.”

“Leave this place?” Monela asked and it was clear she was surprised. “Gladly. If you survive the dragon, you could try and trap me again. I do not wish to be in here again.”

“Understandable,” Cassandra said. “Of course, I make no promises that we or some other group won’t try to catch you again if you make trouble.”

“That possibility makes the thrill of making trouble all the sweeter,” Monela said and laughed.

“Well, then,” Cassandra said. “We have a deal. I will release you inside the city gates tomorrow.”

“Rest well, Cassandra,” Monela said. “I do not wish to hear of your death.”

Media Update 2/1/18

February 1, 2018

Blade Runner 2049

I had heard mixed reviews of this movie but then I remembered the one really bad review I got was from somebody who does not seem to like movies in general. I love the original Blade Runner for its world-building, characters, and settings. I did not like its pacing but it was really my one issue with the movie. That is actually my big issue with this movie. Well, pacing and also length. I watched the movie in two installments because my schedule has gotten tighter on a regular basis. That is not to say that the movie is boring, though. Far from it. If I had been in theaters, I probably could have made it in one shot. The two movies gave me the same feeling. There is kind of a hopeless feeling to watching things that look like humans try to survive being killed off by somebody just doing their job. Ryan Gosling plays the titular blade runner this time and he has a great subtle performance as he tries to solve a big mystery. Robin Wright plays his boss, a woman who does not suffer fools. Ana de Armas was one of my favorite parts of the movie, as a very interesting character that made me smile but also made me sad. I also really loved the technology and implications of Carla Juri’s character. Finally, of course, there was Harrison Ford who felt like he fell right back into his role from the original but properly aged as he would be. If it feels like I am talking too vaguely, it is because I do not want to spoil anything for you. That is because I definitely recommend this one.

Peaky Blinders

I had heard about this show off and on for a while now but the name threw me a bit. After three episodes, I am sure not sure what that name actually means. It is largely immaterial. The show is about a small gang in England who are trying to move up in the world. They are a band of brothers back from World War I and still feeling the effects of the trenches but believing they have something left to prove. They have a lot of obstacles. The IRA is around, still stinging from recent losses to the English government. Communism is starting to take hold and workers are threatening to strike. There other British gangs both ones that pretend to be gentlemen and gypsies. Above all, there is a new chief inspector brought over from Ireland, formerly an IRA hunter and he tolerates no nonsense. The head of the gang is played with a lot of good layers by Cillian Murphy. His chief rival, the no-nonsense inspector, is played by Sam Neill. The show is gritty and dramatic but definitely without a sense of humor. The interplay between the different factions of Birmingham, England make for a very volatile plot that could shift at any moment. I definitely recommend watching this one.

The Pinkertons

I have heard about the historical Pinkertons for a long time. From what I had heard, they mostly helped to protect trains but I did some research and found out that they are security guards and private detectives. The show follows that narrative. In the show, Allan Pinkerton (the founder of the nationwide company) teams his son up with a female agent in Kansas City. William Pinkerton is a ne’er-do-well who gets by on his street smarts, likability, and physical toughness. He is assigned a new supervising partner in Kate Warne, a by-the-book agent who loves science and it feels like she operates a bit like Holmes. The show deals with dark subjects like murder and the aftermath of the Civil War but it does so with a light touch. I would liken the show to stuff like Warehouse 13 or Brisco County Jr. The chemistry between the two stars is fun to watch. Yes, the story is set in the south during the reconstruction period and that is addressed. People are still very hurt and angry. People are also still rocked by the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. This is the landscape in which the two heroes are trying to solve crimes while also not being official law enforcement. I recommend it as I will be checking out the rest at some point.

Music of the Week:
The Fall – Telephone Thing

Sigrid – Don’t Kill My Vibe

Becky G – Todo Cambio

Vince Staples – Norf Norf

Red Sun Rising – Amnesia

Weekly Updates:
– This week’s theme is “Detectives and Criminals”
– I watched more Glitter Force Doki Doki Season 1
– I watched more Gurren Lagann
– I watched more K
– I finished Season 2 of Schitt’s Creek
– I watched more Little Witch Academia Season 2
– As usual, I watched more Game Grumps and Critical Role
– I also watched the Royal Rumble and Takeover: Philadelphia

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