I am a writer, artist and poet from North Carolina. I recently self published a children's/YA book called Harold and the Dreadful Dreams. You can learn more about it at my blog https://jmhauser.com, as well as other projects.
STORM WARNING JM Hauser T he Doppler Radar showed a mass of supercumulus thunderheads gathering over Orange County, North Carolina. The weather report, as of 4am, just an hour ago, had predicted a clear and sunny day with a high of fifty-two. For Alex Bachman, after eight years of meteorology at Channel 9 News in Raleigh, this was an unprecedented screw up.
Why I Switched to Online D&D
So, some backstory. I was first introduced to D&D around 9 or 10 years old when I saw the 1st edition Monster Manual at a cousin's house. I still remember the picture of rot grubs burrowing into a man's arm, and that image branded itself into my young mind with frightful clarity. This intrigued my inner geek, but that wasn't the sort of game my parents would let me play. Instead, I opted for the Endless Quest series, of which I still have the original 36 books and a smattering of others in a similar series. Return to Brookmere to this day is dear to my heart, as is the wonderful, eternal art of Jim Holloway.
A Brief Exploration of Esoteric Buddhism
Also known as Theosophy, Esoteric Buddhism is a spiritual science first introduced to the western world in 1875. I personally discovered the philosophy about five years ago, although I recall brushing up against it perhaps fifteen years earlier during a spiritual renaissance when I had unlimited internet access at work and plenty of free time to browse the web. Back then, the strange name of "Blavatsky" was hard enough to pronounce, much less comprehend the nuanced underpinnings of the system she taught. To further complicate things (as I learned much later), after her passing, other members of the Theosophical Society (such as Alice Bailey and Annie Bessant) made their own contributions, greatly muddying the waters of the original teachings and adding a distinctly Christianized slant. For the purposes of this article, I will only be touching on HPB's works and some of her contemporaries and students such as William Quan Judge, Colonel Henry Olcott and Robert Crosbie, who founded the ULT (United Lodge of Theosophists) in 1909 with the strict mission to not let the core, original teachings be diluted.
A Seedless Melon
I regret only two things in my life, and as old as I am now, that’s pretty good I think. My second regret is not asking Julia Bicksworth to marry me when I had the chance. That might have saved me from heartache later on. Or, Fate might play its hand just the way it did. Fate is shrewd like that. But more on Julia later.
Something Wild This Way Comes
The title is a mix of Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. I also owe many inspirational thanks to Shel Silverstein’s poetry from Where the Sidewalk Ends, Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg, and Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Waterson.
Curse of Strahd (5e) Campaign Recaps - Session #2
Last Session… The heroes were in the Rusty Goat tavern when a mysterious stranger entered, handed them a sealed letter, and told that his master needed their help in the nearby town of Barovia, west through the Svalich Woods. So off they went, seeking the wealth and treasures promised by the Burgomaster if they could ease the illness afflicting this wife, and with a druid, cleric and paladin in the party, they’re pretty confident in their healing acumen. The rogue just wants to steal shit. They entered the forest through some immense (beheaded) statues after traveling for hours on foot, and not far into the Svalich Woods they were attacked by a dire wolf the size of a grizzly bear. They climbed trees to escape it, pelting down with ranged attacks until they drove it off, and that’s where we pick up now.
Curse of Strahd (5e) Campaign Recaps - Session #1
T his is the start of our Roll20 Curse of Strahd campaign. We have four players and four characters, all 1st level. We started in 2020, and of this writing, we are at Session #73 and near the end of the adventure. It has been one hell of a ride. Please let me tell you what happened.