Rejuvenation Station

It’s time I started posting again.  It’s been a significant amount of time since I did anything with this site, and so here we are.  Seven or so years into the future since the last post.

I’m sure you’ve very excited I’m back.  I imagine at least a half of you that are reading this have been here before.  But I mean, let’s be honest, chances are you’re actually a bot reading this for indexing purposes.

While I’ve been in the business of domestic maintenance and education and the such, I wish to renew my skill set as a writer.  I’ve never been very excellent, but that’s to be expected.

D&D 4e: Barons of the Wild – Session 12

There's naughties in them there woods.
There’s naughties in them there woods.

The heroes were carried deep into the woods, swaying backing and forth on the back and underbelly of the treeman.  Dreamily slipping between semi-consciousness and sleep, Llamers noticed a mist that crept along with their movements. Some undetermined time later, Keelix noticed a cloaked woman following them through the wilderness, and called out to her.  The woman gestured to be quiet, but Keelix just got louder.  The tree-man garumphed and struck her across the head knocking Keelix unconscious.

Pujols, about to get pixied

Ansis woke as the treeman parted his way into a clearing.  In the center of the clearing was a tree rising hundreds of feet into the air, dwarfing any of the trees of the surrounding forest.  Ansis felt an overwhelming force of wildness pouring from it, and it deeply unsettled him.  All throughout the clearing there were pixies tormenting half sewn zombie frogmen, apparently kept alive through the fey magic.  Halfway between the tree and the edge of the clearing were two strange bone/wood type structure rising from a mounded hill in the ground.  It appeared to have humanoid creatures seated in the tops of them.  The treeman moved through the clearing to the tree, were there was a large assortment of people lashed to it with vines and branches, in various states of consciousness.  As the treeman began climbing the tree, Ansis felt the arms of the treeman reach to various parts of his body, lifting people off and setting them in the trees, but couldn’t see exactly what was happening.  As the treeman went higher into the tree, he eventually reached for Ansis which sent him into a wild panic.  He attempted to burn the treeman, which he did, but the treeman clobbered Ansis into unconciousness.

Pujols woke some time later lightly wrapped in bark and twigs.  Finding a new friend in Horace the Brute, a thug/idol from Pujols early days who he helped free from the branches as well, Pujols found each of the heroes in sequence.  Llamers and Keelix he was able to free without much effort, but while attempting to hack Ansis out of the trunk of the tree a familiar sing-song Pixie interrupted with his song of:

My sweet little prizes

See through your disguises

I’ll pry out your eyeses

I hear some chopping

But that should be stopping

Your blood I’ll be mopping

Ansis, again panicked by the wildness around him sent flames out again, but failed at it terrifically and ended up blinding himself in pain by burning his genitals. Ansis was freed by Pujols and Keelix just as the Pixie appeared, bloated and fattened to grotesque swollen size, around a gnarled tree limb.  Ansis lept blindly at the Pixie, missing terribly and plummeted down crashing through the branches.  Keelix followed suit, doing the exact same thing.

Pujols, in his monkey form, killed the pixie immediately, as the pixie smiled strangely.  But as soon as he did so, the pixies throughout the clearing began lazily drifting back to the tree.  The heroes figured it was time to get out of there, and snuck their way back to the edge of the clearing.  As the group snuck past one of the two large structures raising from the mound in the clearing, they noticed that the figure seated in it was the skeleton remains of what appeared to be a human.

Back in the woods again, the light nearly extinguished due to what they assumed was the thickness of the forest canopy.  Reexamining where they had just been, they noticed that a river came flowing wildly from the east side of the tree flowing eastwardly quicker than would be natural.  While getting ready to raft their way down the river, they ran into their old grizzled Alderman quarryman friend, Whit Dugger, who explained that as soon as Allisahn had gotten news to Stonewall that the Royal Munch Bunch had returned, the stonewall folk demanded that they come help.  And so he had brought with him some of the foresters and hunters and quarrymen with him to assist Allisahn in whatever way the group would need.  Whit now has an arm of stone that functions like a living arm, the group wondered aloud about it, and he explained that Allisahn did it for him to stop the spread of the grey-rot disease.

Ansis, anxious to see Allisahn wandered deeper into the forest, and came across Allisahn.  Before she noticed him, Ansis saw that the tattoos on her arms were flaming a bright red and had a recollection of those tattoos having something to do with the worship of flame or some such.  He tried to ask her about them, but she seemed shy, and he dropped it.

Allisahn explains that she believes the tree to be the Crossing to the Feywild, and that the clearing used to be Milltown.  The heroes explain that the bronze warder was instrumental in closing the Shadowfell crossing at Bog-and-Log and are curious if one is around.  Allisahn believes there is one in the basement of the Belltower at the north end of the clearing, and the heroes climb into the basement to retrieve it.

Phasing out OwnCloud and the Triumphant Arrival of BTSync

I posted over a year ago about installing and using Owncloud, a Dropbox type personal file-sync system complete with encryption.  It does, however, take a good deal of installation and specialized configuration.  And with every step of complexity causes more opportunities to mess something up royal and to bang my head against the wall in horrified disgust over my own incompetent button mashing.

Because of this, I almost immediately started searching for a new solution, and who should arrive but the glorious and golden haired savior of my file-syncing needs, BTSync.

All I required was three things when it came to file syncing:

  1. Unlimited space
  2. Completely free
  3. Encrypted transmissions

BTSync does all this.  All of it, I say!

Unlimited?  Well I suppose that is up to interpretation, as I suppose each synced folder is limited to the filesystem on which it is being synced.  But for my purposes, completely unlimited.  As it takes no cloud storage system, and no cloud computing service to store the data (although there are proxies that at times act as middle men for transmissions) it means that the only machines that house that data are the machines that I authorize by use of the encryption “secret” key.   Keeping it secret.  Keeping it safe.

My own.

My precious.

Free?  They haven’t, and don’t plan to ever have a plan to charge.  So, in your face, Dropbox/Anybody Else.

Encrypted transmissions?  Although it uses BitTorrent transmission protocol, it is encrypted with up to a 40 byte encryption key.  I use 20 bytes, because I’m not greedy, and if the NSA really wants to crack that encryption, I don’t want to waste government funds!  Check out my PDFs, George HW Bush!  You won’t believe what kind of order forms I’ve been creating! (I’m pretending I’m in 80’s cold war America)

All in all, BTSync is the greatest.  Thank you, noble Torrent technology, for making my life amazing once again.  I salute you and your worldwide distributive ways.

D&D 4e: Barons of the Wild – Session 11

Pixies are Sickies

After Vlad left, and Lickspittle turned to ash and dust, the heroes ventured north to find the source of the bracelet-based cure for the Greyrot.

After not very far, the Munch Bunch came to a thick hedge.  Hearing tinkling songlike voices on the other side, Keelix barreled into the hedge limbs akimbo, swords swinging with reckless abandon.  Although her impulsive attack seemed odd at the time, tiny pixies with angry long fingers came pouring out of the bush.

Continue reading “D&D 4e: Barons of the Wild – Session 11”

D&D 4e: Barons of the Wild – Session 9 & 10

Bogtown is dead

The Munch Bunch set about exploring the mad labyrinth of the Copper Holes, and came across a gelatinous cube that was congealing in the way of some contraption attached the labyrinth wall.  After a spirited battle in which both Pujols and Keelix were almost digested to death, they stomped the jelly flat and fiddled with the knobs and levers on the wall.  Llamers was able to determine that it controlled the movement of the labyrinth, and deduced that they could use this knowledge to hide the hoards of wealth they had found. “Until we can return it to its owners.”

The group exited the Copper Holes, gathered up Dawny the Halfwit Halfling, who had been practicing his art of tattoo on Chuggs, and with their newfound Bronze Warder headed west to the bog.

Continue reading “D&D 4e: Barons of the Wild – Session 9 & 10”

D&D 4e: Barons of the Wild – Session 8

Mannish gone Mad

The Royal Munch Bunch dove into the depths of the Copper Holes, leaving Doni the Halfwit Halfling to practice the art of obscene tattoos on Chuggs outside.

The dreams that had haunted Ansis came to life in the darkened pits of the mine, as a cat faced snake chased them through a labyrinth, crashing into them and crushing them time and time again.  While attempting to hunt it down and kill it, the fellowship blundered through the maze and into a giant hoard of treasure.  Amongst the treasure was a giant bronze statue of a minotaur that Llamers and Keelix recognized as a Bronze Warder from the Mages of Saruun.   Draped in the arms of the bronze minotaur was a real minotaur.

Breathing heavily, oozing from sores and snorting foamy bits of blood from his snout, the minotaur rose from his repose and spoke to the heroes.  Hearing his voice, the Munch Bunch recognized the beast as Mannish, the bloodcrazed minotaur from their time in Thunderspire.   Through a collapsing frame of disease and madness Mannish’s mind would return at myriad moments and he told them that Meshach and the remains of the Tattered Band released the pixies and faeries by murdering the Mages of Saruun that had held them bound, the pixies went wild, and the things that have resulted since were due to that mistake.  Meshach has declared himself King and now sits arrogantly in the Gash thinking himself above humanity.  Apart and above.

Mannish’s mind was as decrepit as his body, and he lashed out violently intent on killing the heroes.  Through bouts of wild insanity Mannish begged for death, and the heroes granted it.  Ansis was able to command the Bronze Warder to come crashing down on Mannish with the mammothing bronze axe it held, breaking off horns and cracking Mannish’s skull.  Cat the Maze Snake returned and fought alongside Mannish but it was too late, and the heroes were able to finish them both off.

The hoard of the copper maze was enormous, and the heroes quickly determined that it was basically the entire wealth of the valley that had been robbed by Mannish and his roving bands.  Searching the hoard they found many items of power, and quickly girded themselves up to close the Shadowfell Crossing, which they believed to be at Bog Village of the Frogmen to the west.

WordPress Pretty Links

I had a heck of a time getting this to work, and this is just as much for my notes as it is for the wider web world’s usage.

To use the pretty links of WordPress, I had to enable mod_rewrite in Apache.  Which was actually already enabled with my default installation.

I was using virtual hosts in the /etc/httpd/conf.d directory, so I made sure that the <Directory> configuration included these lines:

AllowOverride All
Order allow,deny
Allow from all

Also I made sure that that virtual host itself had these options set:

Options Includes MultiViews -Indexes FollowSymLinks SymLinksIfOwnerMatch

But to my deepest chagrin, it still wasn’t working.  After laying my head down on my desk and allowing the tears to flow like a mountain spring, I girded up my loins and looked again.

In Apache’s main config file, /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf  I found an AllowOverride  None line!  NO!  I was beat by my own laziness and ignorance again.  I commented out that line, and pretty links suddenly worked.

Learn from my mistakes, Future Dewey/World at Large.  Don’t let it fool you again.