So my regular RPG group has a few people who can be a little bit gamebreaking at times, but it’s mostly benign stuff like “I can hold my breath for 6 years” or “I have taken Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Human Corpse” or even “My max carrying capacity allows me to pick up the Eiffel Tower.”
Then there’s Aaron.
Aaron doesn’t really understand all the rules of the games we play, but he’s usually good for a laugh with his ridiculous characters, so when we started a Mythic Pathfinder Campaign, our GM let him play an Undead Gunslinger/Barbarian with clown paint and a viper living in his empty chest cavity.
So we open the session with Aaron’s Undead Clown leading a mismatched posse of characters who’s races/classes aren’t relevant to this story up to the gates of Bartertown. The gates are locked.
The guards demand to know our business and our identification, blah blah blah. Aaron gets a mischievous look in his eye that I recognise as “It’s screwing around time.”
The clown declares that he is Popo the Clown, returning to work at the local circus after a long journey away from Bartertown.The guards seem convinced, and just go to confirm this with some circus types. At this point, my Lizardfolk Swordsage drops back into charging distance and awaits us being rumbled.
It turns out that their circus does have a Popo the Clown. But he’s already at work, and isn’t an undead. Aaron adopts an attitude of indignation, demanding that this imposter Popo face justice and be brought outside. A critical success on bluff, while the guards fail horrifically. Popo the clown is brought to the gates, and before he can begin to defend himself, a quickdraw coat pistol drops Popo dead in the mud, with a cry of “How dare you, imposter! Shame on you!” before forcing the curious viper living in his chest cavity back between his ribs with a “No, Steve, not now.”
Flabbergasted, the guards call their captain, who casts a Zone of Truth spell on our “Popo”, failing to realise that undead are immune to mind affecting compulsions such as Zone of Truth.
The captain and his men don’t bother to sense motive on him, despite his bluff rolls barely passing the 15 mark thanks to their own stupidity, and we are allowed into the city, and “Popo the Clown” is given an official apology letter from the guards and the circus, while he and his “bodyguards” are given free reign over the marketplace, and our GM holds his head in his hands in despair.
This was the first ten minutes of the first session.
You’ve been so many things, Bonnie. A witch, a human, a ghost, a corpse, an anchor to the afterlife, and now the woman who’s gonna kill me. And every time, you come back stronger. Do you know how incredible that is, Bonnie? Do you know much I envy you? […] And if you kill me right now, it’s not your fault. I did this to us. But please, forgive me….before you do what you have to.
In 1780 the Italian anatomy professor Luigi Galvani discovered that a
spark of electricity could cause the limbs of a dead frog to twitch.
Soon men of science throughout Europe were repeating his experiment, but
it didn’t take them long to bore of frogs and turn their attention to
more interesting animals. What would happen, they wondered, if you
electrified a human corpse?
“Someday I will understand Auschwitz. This was a brave statement but innocently absurd. No one will ever understand Auschwitz. What I might have set down with more accuracy would have been: Someday I will write about Sophie’s life and death, and thereby help demonstrate how absolute evil is never extinguished from the world. Auschwitz itself remains inexplicable. The most profound statement yet made about Auschwitz was not a statement at all, but a response.
The query: “At Auschwitz, tell me, where was God?”
And the answer: “Where was man?”
- William Styron, Sophie’s Choice
Today marks 70 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp by the Russians during WWII.
Known as the Horseman because he was buried with his mount, this mummy is the second such find in recent years. A richly attired woman called the Princess, discovered in 1993, was also taken to Moscow. Believed to be Scythians, a nomadic central Asian tribe, both mummies had been buried beneath low mounds in log-lined chambers under more than seven feet of permafrost. Both had had their internal organs removed and had been embalmed by a method that scientists do not yet fully understand
The Horseman, 25 to 30 years old, had been impaled by an enemy’s weapon or animal’s horn. this was evident by the markings and the wounds found on his body. His face and hands have not survived well, but the rest of his skin and muscles and his braided hair are in good condition, as is a tattoo of a deer on his right shoulder. He was wearing a thick wool cap, high leather boots, and a marmot and sheepskin coat. The Horseman was buried with his bow, arrows, axe, and knife (this, being the reason for his warrior status). The horse wore a harness richly decorated with griffins and animals carved in wood and covered in gold foil. (x)
Chiesa dei Morti, or the Church of the Dead, is a tiny church - and the main attraction - in Urbania, a lively medieval town located in central Italy. In the cemetery, eighteen mummies are standing in individual glass cases that have been on display behind the altar since 1833. These corpses have been naturally mummified by the presence of a special mold that sucked all of the moisture out of the bodies