The common reaction I get when I tell people I’m a Seattle Mariners fan is “why?” and a look that says, “I’m sorry for you.” I could say that I’m a fan because the Mariners are the local baseball team that I grew up rooting for. That doesn’t explain why I’ve continued to be a fan into my adult life, through all the frustrating seasons, rationally choosing to continue to support the team even though there is very little hope in sight. Yet in my eyes, there is always hope. I believe in the Seattle Mariners. I have believed in them for the last 10 miserable years. I believed in them during the exciting 7 years before that. It isn’t always easy and it certainly isn’t always fulfilling but they are my team.
Yesterday afternoon the Seattle Mariners traded Trayvon Robinson to the Baltimore Orioles for Robert Andino. Trayvon Robinson came to the Mariners at the trade deadline in 2011. His skill set is interesting with growth but redundant as the Mariners have a number of outfielders in the system with a similar skill set. We traded from a position of depth.
Andino is a utility infielder with experience at SS, 2B, and 3B, his skill set is actually fairly similar to Robinson but he shouldn’t be an impact player for the Seattle Mariners. However, Andino does fill a need the team had going into this offseason, a competent reserve infielder. Last year, Munenori Kawasaki filled that role and was known for his energy off the field more than his performance on the field. Because Andino can play three infield positions, he assumes the role that both Kawasaki and Chone Figgins were taking up last year. This frees the Mariners to be more flexible with their roster this year and hopefully that will prove much more beneficial than Robert Andino’s on field performance.
Chapter 3: Visage
In the doorway stood the man wearing the gold cloak. It was an exceptionally crafted piece of clothing, gold thread spun through violet fabric giving the man an elegant, almost royal look. His features were regal as well, as though he was a lord or a prince. Loran didn’t know why his memory had been jogged when he had seen this man in the lower passages but now that he was standing face to face with him, the connection was fading.
“Please, come in. We were just getting settled,” his voice was smooth and silky, every syllable purposefully and perfectly formed. “I’m glad you were able to find us, we had thought you lost in the labyrinth below.”
Tomorrow, the Seattle Sounders will face their darkest hour. They are facing the Los Angeles Galaxy in the second game of a two game, aggregate goal series after losing in game one 0-3. The odds are stacked against the Sounders. The LA Galaxy are one of the best teams in the league and they are playing in top form. The Sounders are reeling from a number of injuries to key players. A win tomorrow night would be historic, a Hollywood ending against the team from Hollywood.
Today started just like any other day in November. It was cold and a low fog layer covered Bellingham, Washington. I started work at Logos Bible Software at 10:00 am unaware of the extraordinary events about to take place. At around 10:15, I entered the basement of building 1 with my co-worker, Mark. We saw over 50 chairs gathered together, some older and broken down, others young and still plush. It was a fairly common sight, chairs usually congregated in spaces like this. However, this wasn’t just a regular collection, the chairs had something far greater in store for us.
I can remember the very first time I saw Star Wars. I was hanging out with my neighbor, who was a few years older than I was and we were looking for a movie to watch. He asked if I had seen this movie called “Star Wars.” On the cover were three characters holding laser guns and a dark looming figure in the background holding a laser sword. Surrounding these characters were robots, spaceships, explosions, and what looked like Bigfoot. I had no idea where I was about to be transported. Two hours later, I was in love.
Chapter 2: Façade
The group of six companions moved quickly through the streets of Thebes. The sun had fully set and the streets were shrouded in darkness with only a few lanterns lighting the streets. Loran stuck close to Façade, he didn’t completely trust the rest of their companions and he didn’t quite understand what he had gotten himself into. At least Façade knew what he was doing. They made their way towards the Mages Tower near the center of the city.
As they were walking, Loran took the time to study the others he was now traveling with. Two elves, a man and a woman all following one of the tallest dwarfs he had ever seen. Eldaran was wearing what Loran assumed were adventuring clothes, many pockets and buckles adorned his outfit and a long rapier hung from his side. It looked as though he was ready for pretty much any encounter and Loran was glad to have someone who at least looked competent on the outside. He couldn’t say the same for Vera, however. He was wearing a simple black cloak and he carried no visible weapons. Loran caught a glimpse of a tattoo on Vera’s wrist underneath the sleeve of his cloak. Other than that tattoo, he was fairly nondescript. Perhaps he was a monk or a pacifist, Loran couldn’t be sure.
Chapter 1: Façade
The tavern was like any number of taverns Loran had frequented during his lifetime. The lighting was dim and his nose was overwhelmed with the scent of alcohol and overcooked food. There were a few unsavory characters loitering in the darkest areas of the room but most of the patrons were simple folk unwinding after a long day of work on the docks.
Loran took a swig from the ale in front of him, looked into the mirror on the wall behind the bar and sighed. A long and jagged crack ran the length of the mirror splitting his image in two. How fitting he thought. He finished off his ale and began to turn off his bar stool to leave. Before he fully left the stool, a group of three sitting in the back of the tavern caught his eye, two elves and a man in full plate armor. Now that was certainly an interesting combination of accomplices. Perhaps they were the individuals he was trying to find. He looked around for the barmaid thinking she might know who these characters were. Loran spotted her cleaning up the food she had just spilled into a customer’s lap. He shook his head and started across the room towards the booth the group occupied.
I suppose I should explain the title of my blog as well. It is a reference to my Dungeons and Dragons character who you will meet shortly. My character is an ex-actor turned vagabond who suffers from what one might call multiple personality disorder. During one session we found ourselves sailing on a boat and we were serving as the crew. Having learned how to sail a few years ago and being generally interested in maritime endeavors, I enlivened our session with a maritime flavor and assisted the narrator in creating a realistic setting on our journey.
I decided that my character could also join in on the fun. My character had played an especially competent and flamboyant captain in his past so he decided to appear completely confident in his skill as a sailor when in reality he had never set foot on a sailing ship before. With the aid of a natural 20 die roll, he earned 10 skill points in Knowledge: Boats and found truth in the saying “fake it ’til you make it.”
In music, an overture is an introduction and preview to the themes and moods of a symphony or opera. The overture serves to prepare the audience for the forthcoming performance as well as break the entire symphony or opera down to four short parts. This is the Knowledge:Boats Overture.
At the heart of this blog is a story. Actually two stories. They’re both intertwined, yet completely distinct. The story that first inspired this blog is not actually wholly my own. It was shaped and told by a group of friends on Monday nights around a coffee table and later novelized by one of those friends. You see, for the last year I have been participating in a session of Dungeons and Dragons with a group of six (now five) dear friends. If future-you had told past-me that I would be playing Dungeons and Dragons when I was 25 years old, past-me would have laughed in your face. But then past-me turned 25 and began learning about story and the power it has when connected with our human experience.
Story is something that is deeply resonant with my soul. My favorite time as a child was story time. It still is today, only I have much greater control over the stories that I digest. I think most people want to be able to tell a good story with their life. When you’re asked, “So…What do you do?” most people want their response to be interesting and exciting and not at all boring or mundane. So 25 year old-me decided there was something valuable about purposefully living a life that was worth a good story. So, a year later, here we are.
You will find two types of posts here. First, following the lead of my friend who began novelizing our Dungeon and Dragon sessions I will also be novelizing our current campaign. You will find these under the category “The Face: a Novelization.” I will also be chronicling my own, completely non-fictional, story. You might find musings about baseball, the current state of our education system, or Star Wars. You just never know. You can find these under the category “The Life and Times.”
I hope that you will be able to find a good story or two here. Or at least be entertained by my attempts at telling one (or writing one).