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Monday, July 31

Death in Freeport - Part 7: The Bricked-Up House

Vlad led the way down the trapdoor to an old wine cellar. The walls were lined with nine large casks made of oak, each about six-feet tall and nearly eight-feet long.

“No dust,” said Kham, wiping one finger along the top of one of the barrels. He rapped on one of the casks with his knuckles. It sounded hollow. “This is the entrance. Vlad, wanna knock?”

Vlad stepped up to the barrel. “My pleasure.” It took only two hacks before the wood splintered, revealing a stone passage and more stairs leading down.

“Who wants to go down the creepy tunnel into the crazy cultist headquarters first?” asked Kham. [MORE]

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Thursday, July 27

Death in Freeport - Part 6: Yellow Shields at Sunset

“You’ve got a nice bounty on your head, Cam,” said the leader. “We’re here to collect. And we’ll take that staff back too.”

“Great,” said Kham. “The Yellow Shield gang.”

“You know these guys?” asked Vlad.

“Yeah, that leader’s Rittoro,” said Kham. He pulled two pistols from his overcoat.

Ilmarė spun on her heel. “We’ve got more company.”

A bald sorcerer with eyebrows dyed bright red stepped into the alley with another mercenary.

“That’d be Belko, the sorcerer,” said Kham. “Now that we’re all acquainted, let me introduce you to the ladies!” [MORE]

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Tuesday, July 25

DVD Review: May

May is one of those rare brand of movies that is both horror and drama, parable and slasher flick. Director Lucky McKee comments that "there's a lot of raw, personal stuff here" and it shows, in bloody, angry, pathetic, beautiful detail, from the spring-loaded fake blade that Adam plays with to the aching loneliness of a blind child in the park. McKee's masterpiece, like Donnie Darko, may well define its own genre. [MORE]

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Friday, July 21

Death in Freeport - Part 5: The Temple

A few minutes later, a slight man with pince-nez huffed up to Kham. “I’m afraid you cannot thee Brother Egil,” he said with a strong lisp. “He’th buthy. I’m Miloth. If you have quethtionth for him, you can talk to me.”

Kham looked back at Ilmarė as if to ask, “Is this guy for real?” Then he turned back to Milos. “Okay, Miloth—“

“Miloth,” said Milos.

“That’s what I said,” said Kham. “Miloth.”

“No, MiloTH,” said Milos. [MORE]

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Thursday, July 20

Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean is fun, but fun in a not quite mature, making funny faces kind of way. It could have been better, and it leaves nothing resolved; sorry guys, but I don't consider fighting the Kraken to be an actual plot resolution. The third movie better be unbelievably fantastic to make up for it. [MORE]

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Tuesday, July 18

Death in Freeport - Part 4d: The Bloody Vengeance

A huge, muscular orc ran in. He was wearing a chain shirt and little else.

“Intruder!” he shouted. “What’s wrong wi’ ye! I`ve been shoutin' t' th' rooftops!”

The singing stopped. Ilmarė hopped down from the table.

“What th' hell be wrong wi' YOU?” shouted Scarbelly. “We be jus' havin' some fun wi' that juicy morsel o'er there,” said the captain. His tongue licked one of his protruding fangs as he looked Ilmarė up and down.

“Thar be an intruder in me room!” shouted Aggro, the first mate. “I saw th' lad wi' me own eyes!”

“This better nay be another one o' yer bad dreams,” said Scarbelly.

“Shut up! 't wasn’t about seagulls!” shouted Aggro, who towered over Scarbelly. [MORE]

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Monday, July 17

DVD Review: The Astronaut's Wife

This movie is a blatant rip-off (or homage, if you think it's good) of Rosemary's Baby. This explains Theron's pageboy haircut, but doesn't excuse anything else. The battle of wills between husband and wife is really a battle of viewer's patience. Will she escape her husband? Will Jillian abort the children? Does anyone care? [MORE]

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Sunday, July 16

DVD Review: Double Jeopardy

The best part of the film is when Libby, dressed to the nines, confronts her husband at a charity auction. If the film were half as good as that scene, it would have been truly something. Instead, we have a lackluster script, a flimsy premise, and the talents of Tommy Lee Jones wasted on what amounts to the Female Fugitive. [MORE]

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Friday, July 14

Death in Freeport - Part 4c: The Bloody Vengeance

Kham pulled his trusty dagger from his jacket. With a twist, he turned the hilt and lock picks sprung out. After feeling each of the picks, Kham decided on one and inserted it into the lock.

There was a soft click. “Piece of cake,” Kham though to himself.

Then his left arm went numb. Something had pinched the top of his hand while he was fiddling with the lock.

Poison! Kham knew he had to work fast. He put the dagger back in his overcoat and slowly lifted the lid. It was heavy, heavy enough that he had to strain to keep it from slamming open and dumping everything on top of it to the floor.

There was a low, rolling sound. An Altherian compass, undoubtedly taken off the body of an Altherian captain, wobbled its way across the lid… [MORE]

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Wednesday, July 12

Death in Freeport - Part 4b: The Bloody Vengeance

“So what’s the plan?”

“Plan?” said Kham, patting himself down until he found the potion he was looking for. “You must be new. I don’t do plans.”

“Okay,” said Dril. “Well, I can’t see you any more.”

Kham faded from site as a result of his invisibility potion.

“And here I thought our first date was going so well,” said Kham. “Keep the guards busy.” [MORE]

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Sunday, July 9

Death in Freeport - Part 4a: The Bloody Vengeance

Ilmarė tensed up. “They’re looking for Kham.”

The orcs slurped their meals, practically taking bites out of the wooden bowls as they did so.

“Well?” shouted Scarbelly. “Ye get me all excited about some treasure an' now th' guy doesn’t show up?”

“If they get back to the ship while Kham is on it…” said Vlad.

Ilmarė closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “I really didn’t want to have to do this.”

Vlad looked at her in bewilderment. “Do what?”

With a shout, Ilmarė hopped up onto their table. Throwing her arms wide, she began to sing:

“Oooooooh, WHO LIVES IN A GROTTO DOWN UNDER THE SEA?” [MORE]

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Thursday, July 6

Death in Freeport - Part 3: House of Lucius


Brother Egil looked at the note curiously. “Well, it does mention sleeping. Poor Lucius, he must have been exhausted. And he did have a fondness for turnips. But this last part, about visiting Captain Scarbelly—“

“Scarbelly?” asked Kham. He clumped back up the steps of the basement. “He’s bad news.”

Egil nodded. “He’s the captain of the Bloody Vengeance. It’s crewed by orcs.”

“I have heard of this orc,” said Ilmarė. “He claims to have killed twenty nine men in hand-to-hand combat.”

Vlad slapped one hand on the hilt of his longsword. “Let’s make sure he doesn’t hit thirty.” [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:19 AM | 0 comments links to this post


Want more? Please consider contributing to my Patreon; Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and the web; buy my books: The Evolution of Fantasy Role-Playing Games, The Well of Stars, and Awfully Familiar.