The Face: 1. Façade

    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.
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Why Boats?

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.”

Overture

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).

– Jake