After a tough week...

It's not a frequent thing that I post here, lately.  Just too busy, or unfocused, or just more enthusiastic about other places (oh hey, live tweeted RP sessions).  It doesn't really matter, because this is meant to be for me to share with whomever reads.


This week was a rough one for me.  My wife and I  have known she was pregnant for a little over a month (maybe six weeks?).  We told the first few people about a month ago, but not all of our family members know yet (so, uh, hey, if you know them, don't go telling or posting on facebook, please, the surprise is coming at the end of the month).  I've been pretty excited.

So this last weekend was rough.  It started with bleeding on Thursday, and an ER visit.  I didn't know what was going on for several hours and some of the things that were said made me very afraid of a miscarriage.  We stayed in the ER until 4 am, when we were sure it wasn't a miscarriage and that it was something bladder related.  But neither of us had slept and she could barely move.  I had to give up going to my game night, which I had been looking forward to, but she needed me in a way that pretty much never happens.

Instead of getting better from there, it got worse.  More blood.  Blood clots.  Increasing pain.  We ended up back in the ER on Sunday.  They talked around the C-word.  And in the ER and hours to follow, the doctors screwed up, causing secondary bladder injuries.  Leaving her in screaming agony (which I'd seen maybe once before this) for 9 hours until a doctor came in, recognized that we'd been asking help and not getting it for all that time, and yelled at everyone while finally helping her.  The baby was healthy, but she was put into real jeopardy.  We finally got out of the hospital on Tuesday, many tests later, with a relatively clean bill of health, still three of us rather than two.

For a while, I had thought a dream that I'd had since I was a pre-teen was dying.

Most of my childhood dreams have died.  I thought I'd be a paleontologist.  That died by the time I was five, when everyone in my class laughed at the idea, and convinced me that I shouldn't even consider it.  Knee surgery killed my dream of being a professional athlete, which may or may not have been possible, but wasn't ready to die.  The built up social awkwardness destroyed the confidence that would have carried me to being an actor.  My dream of writing may not be dead, but it isn't flourishing.  I've found a job and I like it, but it isn't those dreams.

But I'd always wanted, hoped, dreamed of being a parent.  It's the one dream I've managed to not lose or feel hopeless about.

It's going to mean sacrifice.  I understand that.  I'm already planning ahead.  Telling people I may have to cut back on how often I game in person in September (the baby is due in mid-October).  Planning contingencies for if the baby needs me during the weekend of Blizzcon (which I still want to commit to).  I have to be ready to spend money on a kid rather than myself.  I'm also trying new ways to get in shape.  Changing my diet.  Purging sugar.  Trying to be not just a father, but a father that can keep up.  Trying to do it differently than it was done for me.  It's bittersweet, giving things up, hoping it is temporary but not really knowing.

But I'll try anything to keep chasing this dream.  The dream it looks like maybe I'll catch.


Wrak quick hit description

Trying to quickly sum up Wrak's appearance so that I can share it easily from memory.  The goal is to get each set of relevant details boiled down to a sentence or two that is easy for me to recall quickly so I can incorporate it into descriptions of actions, or in my visualization of scenes.

  • Wrak is 6'8", tall even for a Dragonborn, but only weighs 270lbs, making him lean despite his strength.
  • His scales are the color of aged silver, not shiny and reflective, but definitely metallic.
  • Like his draconic ancestors, Wrak bears a bullet-shaped snout, the upper half of which ends in an beak.  Small, almost goatee-like, fins jut from the very tip.
  • Wrak's "hair" (aka dragonborn head tentacles) is shaped like a mohawk down the center of his head from brow to the base of his skull.
  • Wrak wears two leather pauldrons strapped to a bandoleer style sword belt across his chest.  The right-hand pauldron displays his tribe and clan crests and is lined with polar animal fur.
  • The Rimebite Tribe's crest is a beaked dragonskull.
  • The Odeyar Clan's crest is a slightly-curved longsword and spear crossed, points down.
  • Wrak wears a black leather kilt with a number of pouches and pockets.
  • Wrak goes barefoot out of choice, especially in warmer climates.
  • The weapons Wrak carries match the weapons from the Odeyar crest.



Wrak was born upon the frozen tundra north of the Ten Towns, near the foot of Kelvin's Cairn.  He was the first (and only) son of the Chieftain of the Rimebite Tribe of Dragonborn.  His mother, the Chieftain, taught him of their lineage, silver scaled Dragonborn brought to Faerun by the spellplague, surviving in harsh environs by accepting them and being molded by them.  She taught him of Bahamut, the Platinum Dragon, and his war against Tiamat.  She trained him in the way of the Barbarian. To walk that path was to accept the primal rage of dragons and channel it, but to be of his blood meant to also temper it with the wisdom of Bahamut and duty to protect the weak.

Wrak is not, by most reckonings, an adult Dragonborn.  It was this fact that let a rival barbarian, Garruk, wrest control of the tribe away from him, from his family's lineage.  Wrak, though his heart demanded he fight, fled in the face of Garruk's rage and the slings of his sycophants.  He wandered south, taking work as a manual laborer, a tavern tough, a caravan guard, anything that would gain him the coin to keep moving.  Eventually, he arrived in Silverymoon, but the great city was not so welcoming to one who'd been raised so long in the wilds.

Wrak is strong willed, but not wise.  He is brave, but his courage is not tempered by introspection or esperience.  He is strong and charismatic, able to charm and intimidate by turns.  Perhaps his most redeeming feature, however, is that he is ardently devoted to the idea of justice.  While he adheres to no codified structure of justic, his barbaric nature too wild to pin down one set of ideals, he has a keen sense of right and wrong and rarely can he tolerate a villain.  He believes that trials are set before him so he might strengthen himself, whether for some more worldly challenge ahead or simply to return and best Garruk, he is not yet sure.

Character exploration:

His mother's body still lay on its pyre when Wrak was approached by Garruk.  The elder Dragonborn snarled at the teenaged Wrak, backing the teen into the Chieftain's tent, which had been Wrak's because it was his mother's but would not be if Wrak could not face and overcome the trials leading to his own installment as Chieftan.  First among them this discussion with Garruk.  And so he would face it.  The blade upon the stone.

Wrak stretched to his full height, managing to crest above the other Dragonborn's own not-unremarkable height.  Garruk growled again.  "Chieftan Odeyar lays dead.  The tribe is without leader.  And yet the pup sits here, mewling over a lost parent.  What of your greater family, pup?  What of the tribe?"

Murmurs of agreement came from without the tent.

"Have you no shame, Garruk?  We honor our lost, it is our way."

"Excuses," Garruk hissed, silver scales catching the light of the pyre.  "Talk in place of action."

Wrak reached out to brush past Garruk, but the elder Dragonborn gripped his arm, held him in place.  He sneered.  "You cannot run, son of Odeyar."

Shaking free, Wrak forced his voice to calmness, saying, "I will face the trials, Garruk.  The mountain.  The gauntlet.  The word.  I know them.  I will do as my mother before me."

"The gauntlet.  Now."  Suddenly, Garruk dropped back, gesturing.  Outside, in the night, twenty Dragonborn stood with weapons readied.  Garruk smiled.  Wrak drew a ragged breath.  Twenty.  Of course any who lay claim may join the gauntlet.  So many.  So many of those of age.

"Perhaps you thought only the minimal four would stand?  Not so many eager to follow a child, you see."

"Garruk, this is not the time."

"The challenge is laid, son of Odeyar.  Ignore it and ignore..."

"I know what I ignore!" growled Wrak, his anger causing the air around his muzzle to chill and frost to form on his lips.  Garruk smiled.  Wrak stepped fully from the tent and towards the gauntlet.

"Oh, but I am first..."  Lightning fast, a club smashed into Wrak from behind, sending him sprawling to the feet of the Dragonborn he'd assumed would start the gauntlet.  Before he could roll over, the club came down on him again, cracking something inside him.  Wrak twisted, trying to fight back, trying to free one of his own weapons, but paused, remembering that blades were not allowed in the gauntlet.  None of the collected Dragonborn offered him a weapon as was traditional, but not required.  They show me every sign that I am unwanted.

Wrak rose, but Garruk was already there, waiting.  The club smashed along Wrak's nose, dropping him prone once more with the force of the blow.  Again Wrak rose, again Garruk smashed him to the ground.  The nearby Dragonborn laughed.  For what seemed like hours, Wrak attempted to mount an attack, but was rebuffed at every turn.  Finally, he began to crawl.  Not towards the gauntlet, but towards the edge of the camp.  Garruk paused in his assault.  "Have you accepted it, pup?  That I lead this tribe now?  If you beg for my scraps, I may let you stay."

Wrak, finally given a moment to breath, pushed himself to his feet.  He glanced over his shoulder, eyes burning from blood and sweat, but he could not bring himself to turn back.  He slipped into the darkness, Garruk's laughter haunting him until the sun rose.  The blade upon the stone.