You spent weeks planning this confrontation. Squads of hobgoblins harried the party all the way up the mountain side, deathtraps lurked around every corner, and ancient curses tried to break their minds and spirits. They finally step into the ancient tomb of the lich lord, roll initiative... and just like that, the spell is broken, and you're back to business as usual. The tension, the drama, and the pulse-pounding excitement all leech out of the scene, hiding under the table until one side or the other emerges victorious from the run-of-the-mill slug fest your combat has become.
We all think we've got a handle on the rogue. They're trap spotters, skullduggerers, thieves, blackguards, and all-around bastards. Their moral compass points toward gold, and there is no trick too low, and no scheme too dirty, for them to stick their fingers in.
We all like to think we're normal, for the most part. It's not until we get out of our comfort zones, and start meeting other people, that we find out there are folks who think it's weird to put pineapple on your pizza, who don't like watching scary movies right before bed, and who think it's a little weird that you coordinate the shoes you're wearing with the gun you're carrying.
If you're a sexually active human being in the 21st century, then you've heard the words "kink" and "fetish" before. If you're lucky, you've been to the kind of parties where these things are put on display, and those who aren't familiar with them can get a hands-on demonstration to see what they like. Leather, bondage, whips, chains, and candle wax are probably the images that come to your mind, but it's actually possible for almost anything to be a kink. The problem is that it's also possible for any kink to be a fetish.
When you're a geek, your hobby is your happy place. Whether it's the flying of digital lead in the latest first-person shooter, the shuffle of Magic cards, the wood pulp aroma of comic books, or the rattle of dice as they clatter across your character sheet, this is the place where you belong. You're doing something you enjoy, and a lot of the time you're doing it with your friends.
The Eastern Roman Empire was a place of grandeur and majesty, and Byzantium (known today as Constantinople) outlived the Western half of the empire by centuries. However, while the Eastern Empire was known for its wealth, for its culture, and for the prominent role it played in the spread of Christianity throughout the world, it was also known for its political treacheries. Usurpers were not common, but they were far from unheard of in the city's history.