Lacking Natural Simplicity

Random musings on books, code, and tabletop games.

Rushing Valley D&D, Session #7

Rushing Valley D&D, Session #7

Thursday, 17 September 2009


2021-08-09 12:00:13

This is an actual play report from the “Rushing Valley” Dungeons and Dragons campaign. These actual play reports are available in html from T.K.B.'s blog and from P.D.F.'s RPG forum's Rushing Valley Campaign History forum.


Clockwise round the table, starting with the DM at 9 o'clock:

  • P.D.F. as DM

  • C.A.H. playing Onchu

  • T.K.B. playing Droston a'Seamus

  • B.MC. playing Polonius, Onchu's rowdy young cousin from Riverton

  • M.A.F. playing Bartha

J.H. was unable to attend, alas.


It was decided that Whaler would guide us to the elves, but first we needed to sweep back by town to tell them where we are going and pick up Eirnin. Whaler refused to accompany us into town (since he's scared of humans), so we arranged to meet Whaler outside the tomb of the Dwarven hero.

Actual Play

As we descended from the high grove of the Lady of the Valley, Droston and Polonius saw that there was no trace of where they have been — no path, no tracks.

Keep your voice down!

We reached the bridge, where Brock was still directing the building of new defenses and Sheriff Artair was directing defenders.

We went over to Sheriff Artair and Bartha started explaining, quite eloquently, what we knew, but the Sheriff had difficulty believing us. Droston went over to Brock, and after he got Brock's attention (and been told to keep his damn voice down and not panic folks) he told Brock about the fey and Lady of the Valley and the approaching Goblin Horde. Brock said it was just like he remembered from his youth. Brock and Artair conferred, we convinced them of the truth of the matter — the Horde is only days away, and their vanguard is probably only hours away.

Well, we're in it now!

So, the Sheriff decided someone had to stay at the bridge to hold off the vanguard as long as possible. We, of course, ended up as part of the lucky group, along with three archers, two melee fighters, and Brock, who refused to let these goblin scum trample over his home without a fight.

The brush had been cleared back 85 feet from the bridge. Brock had his dwarven crossbow, and there were plenty of arrows. One of the melee fighters had a hammer, and one an axe. There were a couple of extra spears. We Wolf-banes's each had one rye whiskey bomb. There are two (3, P.D.F?) wagons with walls attached blocking the bridge, and walls running along the town side of the ravine. The walls all had ledges so we could fight over the top.

Two archers along the river wall, Onchu with a melee fighter at the wagons across the bridge, Brock, Bartha, and another archer along the upper wall, and Droston and a melee fighter at the big tree beyond the upper wall, to ensure we weren't flanked.

Two spears. Five horses were left to help in our escape, should we survive long enough.

The Fight

[Unfortunately, I can't remember most of the details of the battle, so what follows is merely parts of the battle — T.K.B.]

Bartha and Onchu heard a wolf-like howl in the distance.

Large wolves crossed the ravine. Goblins [with ranged weapons?] followed. Hobgoblin archers began shooting from just beyond the cleared area.

Melee fighter with Droston was killed. When Droston got back to the fighter, he picked up the fighter's axe and said that he'd carry it in honor of the brave volunteer.

Goblins with large mantlet, with an ogre behind. Crashing and breaking of wagons.

Polonius mainly stayed on the rock wall assailing the enemy with arrows. His elven chainmail was crucial in keeping him from taking damage from the enemy archers. He assisted with the dire wolves and gave the killing blow to one of them.

Strange goblin in the spiky black armor attached Droston. Spit at him and hit him in the neck. Strange goblin eventually ran away, just like last time.

Droston unwisely charged to attack the ogre, and was struck down.

Polonius gave the killing blow on the ogre.

As Droston lay dying Bartha attempted to bind his wounds and bring him back from the brink of death, but was so overwhelmed by the terrible battle that she failed. Luckily, Brock strove mightily [and spent the Hero point] and brought Droston back from the brink of death. Poor brave, foolish Droston lies sorely wounded.


We each got +750 XP.

The XP total on Onchu's character sheet didn't match the spreadsheet, so the DM split the difference and gave Onchu +250 XP.

Chicken 4.1.0 on Cygwin

Weird: after compiling and installing chicken with:

make PLATFORM=cygwin PREFIX=/sw/versions/cygwin/chicken/4.1.0
make PLATFORM=cygwin PREFIX=/sw/versions/cygwin/chicken/4.1.0 install

I had to copy /sw/versions/cygwin/chicken/4.1.0/lib/*.a to /sw/versions/cygwin/chicken/4.1.0/bin before it could link things properly. (I first noticed this while doing a $ chicken-install ncurses.)

Wanderlust, APEL, FLIM, and SEMI development

Someone once said something along the lines that to those in the Western world who don't speak Japanese there is an alternate universe of FOSS 1 development in Japan 2, and every so often things from that universe just appear in the Western FOSS universe as mysterious foreign objects. Ruby seems to have made a solid connection between the universes, but many others are less approachable.

Wanderlust development and the development of the emacs packages that it depends on (APEL, FLIM, and SEMI) feel like that to me. Some of them have web pages, but they're usually quite out of date. It can be difficult find to their CVS repositories, and even more difficult to find the browse-able web interfaces to their CVS repositories. Every time I want to look at the code, I have to figure this all out again, hence this post.

There was a post on the Wanderlust English-language mailing list from Katsumi Yamaoka <> on Wednesday, 27 May 2009 that gave the location of the APEL, FLIM, and SEMI cvs repositories, and mentioned that development in the FLIM and SEMI repositories was taking place under the flim_1_14 and semi_1_14 branches, respectively. The post also said that the place for discussion about APEL is the APEL mailing lists:

To subscribe, send an empty e-mail to and/or

The place to discuss FLIM and SEMI is the EMACS-MIME mailing list:

To subscribe, send an e-mail containing “subscribe YOUR NAME” in its contents to and/or

So, here are the CVS commands I just used to check the various packages out:

cvs -d checkout wanderlust
cvs -z9 -d checkout apel
cvs -z9 -d checkout -r flim-1_14 flim
cvs -z9 -d checkout -r semi-1_14 semi

Here are the browse-able CVS web interfaces:


Free or Open Source Software.


I wonder if there is a Chinese alternate universe of FOSS, too?

Reattaching a key on a Dell Inspiron 9200

So, last night I flopped a book down on my computer. I didn't notice it at the time, but it popped off the “N” key. Luckily, when I opened it this morning all four pieces were still there.

Directions: Top means toward the display, bottom means toward the touchpad.

The pieces, for lack of better nomenclature, are:

  1. The key surface (the part your finger presses on)

  2. The inside part

  3. The middle part, with small horizontal posts on the outside left and right edges part way back from the top D. The outside part, with small horizontal posts

You need to figure out how this pieces fit together and what parts catch where.

It took me a lot of fiddling, but eventually I figured out that it if I put the outside part on top of the middle part, flattened them, set them in the space where the key goes, and gently slide them toward the bottom that the bar at the top of the middle part and posts on the outside left and right edges of the outside part would slide under the cuts in the thin metal pieces that stood up from the base of the keyboard. Then I hooked the bottom of the inside part under the bar on the bottom of the middle part and gently pressed down on the front of the inside piece until it clipped on to the bar of the on the front of the middle piece. Once this was done, I had, viewed from the side, an X with a bar across the top. Then I slide the key surface onto the X from the bottom, making sure to hook the back of the X under the lip on the bottom underside of the key. Then I gently pressed down on the key surface until the clips on the front of the key surface clipped onto the front of the X.

Keep on the Borderlands, Play Session #7: The End of the Kobolds


We're playing B2 — Keep on the Borderland, so if you haven't played that you might want to skip this entry.

I got to run another Labyrinth Lord session for the kids.


Clockwise round the table, starting with the Labyrinth Lord:

  • T.K.B., the Labyrinth Lord.

  • M.A., playing James the Cleric and Jeffrey the Monk.

  • T.A., playing Glen the Strategist (a wizard) and Dooley the sly (a thief).

  • E.A., playing Curufin the Elf and Drusilla the Ranger.

  • L.B., playing Taffy the Halfling and Alice the Cleric.

Kobolds are Dead

Still out for revenge, they went after the kobolds again, but set off the alarm bell, and ran back to town. They came back on the second day and were attacked by female kobolds in the tree, who were joined by six more from inside the kobold warren, but the day went to the adventurers, who wiped the kobolds out, and proceeded to clean out the kobold warren as well.