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The Diary of Guantanamo the Bard(Lock) – 26 July 2019

Friends,

It started off a day like any other: I woke up outside, stoked the coals to boil water and make coffee, untethered Rocinante, and began stretching. I slept pretty well and my shoulder stiffness is abating. I played a few songs while I enjoyed my coffee and hacked a dart. Packed up camp at a deliberate though purposeful pace. Walking to the road with Rocinante, I noticed a large group of people in the distance on the move so I rode up to them.

There was lots of bawling and self-pity, and while they were utterly wretched and seemed to have come by their disposition honestly, I didn’t feel particularly up to the challenge of engaging them in conversation. Woulda harshed my mel’. Instead I nodded in greeting then rode alongside at a slight distance.

We came to a castle at length and they began trickling in. I was greeted by a paladin whom I later found out was named Emilio. He had two friends, Abel and Lynn, and the three of them seemed the only ones there who didn’t have a dark cloud above their heads, and this particular morning I had already had enough “rain.”

They seemed to be still in the middle of figuring out their next move. I offered my rapier to their cause they seemed nice enough and I suppose did my part in sussing out a plan. I am always a little wary about volunteering ideas to new adventurers whose parties I join because even though the group is often fluid, I am still a new and unproven outsider. Plus, I know how I tend toward thinking my ideas are the best, so I try and be very mindful about not being too obtrusive with suggestions.

We decided on a course of action after they over-estimated what I meant when I said my knowledge of spiders was “slighty above rudimentary.” Truth is, I don’t think I know a lot about spiders -but I hate saying “no” when I can give an “honest yes”, which I then trust people to decipher as “no” without me actually having to say “no”. I need to be a little more judicious about this approach and just say “no” when I don’t know. So many missed opportunities and so many tragic misunderstandings because my younger self tried to be “all things to all people”. Still we mustn’t waste days lamenting over wasted days…..

Long-story short, I ended up getting mandible shitf—ked in the chest by a giant spider. This was actually our second visit to the spiders, and incidentally the only one in which we got attacked. What does it all mean? 🤔

Anyways, I thought I could try and join their spider cult if I acted all spidery so I turned on the charm and started bouldering and balancing on a slack line. Some young shooter didn’t like getting stunted on and so he started to flex, hissing at me and shit. I was like “You don’t even know! I’m about to shit on this bitch!” I presti’d some fuego in both hands and began screaming from my perch on my “web” using my sacred beast speech ability, intimidating af. He got shook real quick. Then I started making eyes at the girl spider just to clown him. I wasn’t really even all that attracted to her, cause she’s like a giant spider, but I want that young one to think that the only reason I didn’t smash is cause I tried to show him mercy. If he knew I thought his girl was ugly it would break his spirit, and he already took an L today.

So making eyes at the spider-queen, I start playing Goldfinger for her on my guitar “…..the man with a Midas touch -A SPI-der’s TOUCH!!….”. I think in retrospect this is where everything went f—kup for me and the crew. The shooter got froggy again and attacked me. Thankfully I was wearing my breastplate, but I was fairly shocked because the queen was looking at me like things were “getting right” for her, all hungry-eyed and such, and nothing is more shocking than having some ruffian remove his glove and slap you with it when you a-courting. 

So there I am, on my slackline playing Goldfinger bleeding out my chest -all in all, not the worst date I’ve been on- and a battle ensues. Everyone seems to be making good account of themselves. I think Lynn might got bit too, but I think she got poisoned. Abel, a druid, summoned more spiders for some f—king reason and half of them were horny young bucks too who started white-knighting for the queen trying to get in her pants.

Thirsty. Bitches.

Then ….what’s his name? Emilio! Emilio is all like, “Guantanamo, you didn’t yell for help like you were supposed to!”

“Are you joking me?” I would have thought that getting bitten in the chest by a giant f—king spider counted as universal sign language for “Help”!

It takes all kinds I guess…

At this point, I (reluctantly) slung my guitar, shot an agonizing blast which knocked a spider from the ceiling and slashf—ked another one.

How did it feel? F—king awesome I guess.

I don’t know.

It’s not like a karma thing where I lament having to kill the spiders, but like, this problem should have never got to this level. I feel like there’s a proper place for spiders where we can coexist with them. It’s at the margins of our homes, or in the case of giant spiders, the margins of society. We shouldn’t be furnishing them with nests; they can’t help who they are, they are going to begin eating us at some point. It seemed like a no-brainer to me.

So whatever, we killed them and started heading to some amber door I think. -I don’t really pay as much attention as I should. One day into the two day journey we encountered some zombies in the woods. I was like, “Hell Yeah.” And tried to charge them, but they were more 

B A S E D than the little male spider and didn’t flinch.

I’ll be honest though, in that charge I experienced a moment of doubt which I think led to the ultimate failure of trying to rout them and scare them. I suppose I am still possessed of a fairly persistent idea which I read long ago in some archaic bestiary: “Zombies are formed from the corpses of men executed for committing the most depraved and DEGENERATIVE crimes against the innocent….”

DEGENERATIVE.

That word: It was seared into my brain.

I knew exactly what they were talking about even though I had no precise definition of the word. I look at them (zombies) as a special case in my sub-conscious quite possibly. It’s not that I have especial hatred for them because they were (probably) child-molestors, as the bestiary rather ham-fistedly implied, I mean, sure -it’s that too, but I am aware of the absolute darkness they saw and felt in life and now endure in undeath, and in that moment,

I. Felt. Doubt.

I doubted my ability to frighten them because they are the true embodiment of darkness; a darkness so deep that it isn’t simply satisfied with extinguishing light, but which seeks to make a mockery of the light’s very existence by snuffing out the fresh sparks which have yet to blossom into luminescence.

For a man to get to that point of darkness… For a creature to be possessed of that point of darkness… What can I possibly do to frighten it? Hence, I believe, my doubt.

Fortunately, my rapier and elven dagger demonstrated much greater self-confidence than their wielder. The battle seems won, but there are still some writhing limbs on the ground and we should clean them up. I mean, kids play here, right?

ONWARD TO THE AMBER DOOR!!

God bless!

-Guantanamo

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Bard v. Death

Friends,

The following happened last night while playing Dungeons & Dragons with my peoples. Enjoy!

>Dnd 5e
>lv7 party
>been playing together for 8mos.
>Human female cleric, elf female wizard, human male rogue, and me, Guantanamo, a human male bard
>With shades of what might be called ‘Chaotic Spectacular’, Guantanamo is neutral good. How that plays out is when order is too stringent or too much talk and not enough action, he does chaotic (often ‘chaotic stupid’) shit for greatest possible good
>whuddupdrpeterson.jpg
>theoretically, when things get too chaotic he restores order for the same greatest good -I assure the team of this…
>Party are newly-minted members of Mages Guild
“The F-F-Fantastic Waterdeep Chapter!’
>A couple different quests we’re working on simultaneously
>Find ourselves in old dwarven caverns now occupied by evil
>Not really sure why we’re here -like I said many threads we’re investigating
>Also, Guantanamo is stoned. I know this because I’m stoned.
>Shimmy up tunnel to some small room with an altar, upon which the body of a somewhat rotted young man (kidney had been removed), with snake-shaped dagger sticking out of his chest, lies, set in front of some weird glowing relic/tabernacle
>Walk up to altar humming Bardic Inspiration to myself then whip off bandana to reveal sigil of BBEG I had earlier
P R E S T I D I G I T A T E D
onto my forehead
>Grab snake dagger (in meta retrospect, probably where trouble began), slice my palm so blood drips onto altar and yell out “OH EVIL ONE! I , YOUR SERVANT BRING YOU NEW SACRIFICES”
>nocharismacheck.jpg
>portal opens
>fgt floating mike wazowski appears
Literally summoned the Monster Manual’s cover model smh
>Go time! Tuck snake dagger in belt and draw silver arrow back in my longbow as I approach
>Vicious Mockery: “Yo She-Bitch! You got something in your eye!”
> Vicious mockery fails due to cone of magic. Dm tells me it fails so catastrophically that It hurts me emotionally and I am unable to fire arrows
>playinwitmyfeelins.jpg
>Rogue fires two silver arrows
>2nd sticks right into mike wazowki’s eye –he just laughs
>mike wazowski counter-attacks rogue with petrification but saving throw is made and rogue just gets a momentary muscle cramp
>cleric and wizard cast support spells on me and rogue
>Dm is heavily suggesting that we are no match for this thing and should bail, citing its ability to counter specifically
>on my next turn I
P R E S T I D I G I T A T E 
a flash of light for momentary distraction while we escape down shaft, drawing and aiming another silver arrow as I retreat, but not firing cause of counterattack ability.
NOTE: In handbook, P. Digitate is described as sensory effect, and is considered a parlor trick, so didn’t think I was risking counter-attack. DM agreed in this regard but at the same time didn’t even allow light to reach mike wazowski’s eyes because of magic cone
>dm moves to rogue next who plays his turn, moving toward escape, not attacking
>Dm is like ‘oh shit, I forgot to counter-attack Guantanamo’ and moves back to me and makes to counter-attack with one of small eyes
>this sort of quick, specific adjustment within reasonable amount of time is generally allowable in game for dm trying to manage a combat sequence
>”You see the eye moving to attack you”
>Dm allows me to let fly the arrow I had drawn and readied on my turn but have to roll at least 15 for a hit. Roll 9 but
+5atk with longbow and bardic insp I manage to hit below the socket and cause no real damage
>eye attacks
>need to roll 16 save to have the possibility of *only* taking 45 dmg (my total hp is 38)
>I roll 15 and get literally disintegrated
>Party is shocked
>A full minute passes with Rogue, out of character, repeatedly asking, “What just happened?”
>I sit there cross-legged in lotus position calmly pondering my new life after dnd or at least what new character I would like to play moving forward
>as the dm moves to the wizard she’s a little taken aback, like “right…so don’t attack…”
>thatsit.jpg
>turn To DM:
Me: I never attacked you initially, how did you move in for a counter-attack?
Dm: You did attack me though
Me: But only after you moved in for a counter-attack that I hadn’t provoked
>He felt that since I ultimately attacked it was a warranted counter (linear perception of time be damned!) On the other hand, my argument’s legitimacy hinged on him making an out of turn attack that I responded to, rather than delivering an overdue counter which I had brought upon myself
>we discuss at length, seemingly out of character but essentially in character as Bard v. Death
>for Guantanamo’s part, he’s politicking his ass off like a combination of Perry Mason, Clay Davis and Atticus Finch
​>”IF THE ARROW DON’T HIT, YOU CAN’T COUNTERATTACK SHEEEEEEEEEEEIIT”
>Rogue chimes in suggesting I cop a plea deal: “Well Guantanamo, maybe you have an ability that would allow you to survive”
>I stay in pocket, claiming that the focus is not me making a legal move to cheat death, but calling out an illegal/out of turn move that caused my premature disintegration
>point out that I had no issue with dying initially when it seemed fair (‘Transcending Physical Plane’ is literally written as Guantanamo’s over-arching goal on char sheet) -only had a problem when I felt mistake had been made
>at length, Dm grudgingly accedes, no doubt because of my masterful persuasion skills
>as a compromise, he essentially grants me the saving throw I missed, un-disintegrates me and, dealing 45 dmg instead, I end up at -7hp
>dm/Death states this is a one-time exception
>tilnexttimelol.jpg
>dm even has the courtesy to have my flatlining body fall into the hole we’re escaping through into the water below, rightly figuring that he would lose all the rest of his heroes trying to save me if he didn’t
>rogue picks me up and we boo boo
>cleric stabilizes then heals me when we’re back in waterdeep
>”Guys, I had the weirdest dream….”
>We go to mage’s guild for debrief
>Im excited that I escaped with badass snake dagger
>dm doesn’t appreciate my cavalier attitude toward being recently disintegrated and so I am destined to not get to enjoy the dagger
>mage’s guild elder won’t even touch it
>Dagger is analyzed. Its cursed. Basically minus1 to every possible action taken while carrying it (maybe why I didn’t make my saving throw)
>my one souvenir from disintegration is essentially dogshit; unlucky dogshit
>mages seal it in magic box and bury it
>other members begin whispering about me as the one who was crazy/foolish enough to carry the cursed dagger
>I smile because all bards are narcissists
>allattentionisgoodattention.jpg
>try to use my newfound notoriety to demand to speak with the recter, even leveraging my recent disintegration and citing how I talked my way (pretty much) into death’s pants
>end up overplaying my hand with runaway self-esteem and now nobody is talking about me any more
>fame is a harsh mistress
And that’s the story of how a stoned, redneck, yogi bard beat Death on a technicality
Best,
-Andre

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