Welcome to the Flaming Faggot

Callovia is called "the boundless empire" yet you have managed to find its northern border - a notorious roadhouse deep within the Madrasan Marches on the edge of the wilds of Llanvirnesse. The sign above the door reads "Flaming Faggot," which would suggest a cozy, homey inn with fresh biscuits served at teatime if not for the severed troll heads mounted on pikes at the gate.

As you cross the threshold the raucous din quiets momentarily as all eyes dart to the door and calloused hands drop instinctively to well-worn sword hilts. The threat, instantly assessed, is dismissed and roadhouse patrons go about their business hardly missing a beat.

Grim, hard-eyed men huddle around tables in close conversation thick with conspiracy; caravan guards gamble away their earnings; Caemric rangers sit close to the fireplace cooking the damp of the Black Annis from their clothes as they warm their innards with Red Dragon Ale; minstrels play and buxom wenches dance for the pleasure of men who pay them little attention - until they need a companion to warm their bed.

As you approach the bar, a huge, bald barman with a greatsword slung across his back slides a mug of freshly-pulled ale towards you, its frothy head dripping over the rim.

"Pull up a seat, lad," he says, "and let me tell you a tale of high adventure."

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tricky Treats

With just a week left until Halloween, I bought treats for the kids yesterday, instead of my usual habit of buying them in September, then twice again in October as they kept 'running out.'

I've been noticing over the years how Halloween chocolate bars seem to keep getting smaller and smaller - and no, it isn't because I've been getting bigger and bigger.  For example, when I was a kid Halloween Kit Kat bars were two full-sized fingers; now you get two half-sized fingers.  All Halloween chocolates have diminished from nearly full sized bars to bite-sized treats.  The one exception to this over the years has been Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, which have consistently been packaged as single full-sized cups.  Until now.  I opened my bag of Peanut Butter Cups yesterday (for quality control, you understand - can't give the kids substandard candy), and much to my dismay, the cups are now tiny little mini-cups.

Those treats are tricksy, I tells ya'; they keep getting smaller, but the price keeps getting bigger.  It's almost like magic.

Now here's some mood music by Concrete Blonde

'Bloodletting' by Concrete Blonde from the Album, Bloodletting

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