Dec 17, 2023


This week I read:

Roleplaying Games

The Halls of Arden Vul

This week the players decided to do something completely different, taking a break from their exploration of the Howling Caves where two of their number died last week, and instead start to track down the expedition which tried, and failed, to retake Arden Vul some 250 years ago.

Specifically, they wanted to achieve two goals:

  • Find where Adrienic, the leader of the expedition, was buried and loot his tomb.
  • Figure out what’s up with Lankios, a crazy hermit who they’ve learned is a magically-preserved polemarch from that expedition.

They’d previously learned that Adrienic’s tomb was near the Obsidian Gates, that the Obsidian Gates are at the end of the Hall of Forty Pillars, and that the Hall of Forty Pillars can be reached from a secret staircase behind a fresco of a baboon. So off they went.

I’ve been looking forward to this: the Lankios situation has been on the back burner for a while, so it’s good to see some progress there, and also the Obsidian Gates directly connect to two of the ancient factions of Arden Vul (and the mysteries of those factions). So I am all for the players poking around that part of the dungeon!

This week they managed to find and loot Adrienic’s tomb, and got some hints about Lankios but not quite what they were hoping to find. They also visited the Obsidian Gates and here I told the Cleric and Paladin that they felt a kind of spiritual revulsion upon seeing the gates and the glyphs carved upon them. So this should entice them to investigate further and delve deeper…

Advent of Code

Well, it had to happen sooner or later: I got bored. A little earlier than usual this year, but these things happen.


A huge inconvenience has occurred: nyarlathotep, my home server, appears to have simply… died.

For a few years now I’ve had mysterious hangs, where it just totally locks up and has to be hard reset. Inconveniently, whatever is causing it to lock up does its job so thoroughly that no logs about the problem get persisted. The whole system just stops in an instant. Inconvenient, but I couldn’t debug it, and it was pretty infrequent, so urgency slipped away.

Until Friday, when it locked up three times in quick succession, and after the third time just would not boot. It turns on, fans spin, but nothing happens.

I tried plugging in a speaker, but there’s no beep code. So the motherboard, at least, thinks all is fine (or at least, isn’t fatally borked) but since the CPU doesn’t have integrated graphics there’s not much more I can do to debug. I’ve ordered a cheap graphics card which’ll arrive on Wednesday: hopefully it’s just something simple like the repeated power cycling has corrupted some important file which is preventing it from booting, as I can fix that. If it’s a deeper problem I guess I’ll just have to replace the machine.

I have weekly backups, so I’ll not have lost anything of importance, but it is inconvenient.