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Life after the Fall

Humans have attached special significance to the yearly cycle of the seasons from time immemorial. Ancient religions centered elaborate spiritual ceremonies around the transition between seasons; and even in our enlightened postmodern world, it is difficult to deny the magic that infuses the quarterly shift from one season to the next.

I myself am not immune to this magic, and have my own special ritual to help me process and appreciate the seasons--particularly the season of Winter. Exactly once per year, I undergo this ritual during the winter months. While the exact timing of the ritual is determined at random by the inscrutable hands of Fate, the ritual always occurs sometime during the winter months, and after several years of undergoing the ritual I am starting to interpret it as a symbol that Old Man Winter is reaching the end of his days. I am referring to what I have come to call "The Fall."

The Fall is exactly that: a physical fall, precipitated by the interaction between my foot and a patch of previously undetected ice. But this is no ordinary fall--not your typical stumble or slip. The Fall is truly epic in scope and can occur only once (we hope) per year.

The Fall is epic enough that nobody witnessing it is likely to forget it for years to come. It is no graceful drop-to-the-ground--oh, no. The Fall is wild, uncontrollable, loud, and is invariably accompanied by the crazed flailing of my limbs and inarticulate (and unanswered) cries to the gods above to spare me, please just once, from the dread fate that is unfolding for me.

The Fall can be recognized (and distinguished from average, run-of-the-mill, lower-case falls) because it will invariably feature all of the following characteristics:

  1. I (hereafter referred to as "The Chosen One") will be wearing the maximum possible number of white-colored articles of clothing at the time of The Fall.

  2. The Fall always occurs when The Chosen One is least expecting it. In fact, it has been known to wait to spring its deadly trap until The Chosen One decides that he has successfully evaded his fate and foolishly believes himself to be "home free," with Spring right around the corner.

  3. The Fall is utterly and completely grace-less. That is, The Chosen One is forced to expend an enormous amount of effort, including wild gestures, awkward contortions, panicked body twists, frantic prayers for mercy, and (if family members or fellow church-goers are present) the utterance of shocking obscenities. The efforts are never able to avert The Fall, however, and in fact only serve to increase its comic effect on witnesses.

  4. The Fall, defined as the the period of time between The Chosen One's contact with the ice and the moment his battered body comes to a full and complete stop on the ground, is a variable. The base time is 10 seconds, modified by the following environmental conditions:

    • The Chosen One skipped church earlier that week: +3 seconds
    • The Fall is witnessed by bystanders: +1 seconds per bystander
    • The bystanders are female: +1 per female (cumulative with above modifier)
    • The Chosen One has, within the previous 24 hours, boasted that he has made it all the way through the winter without falling on ice even once: +5 seconds
    • The Chosen One has a vested interest in impressing anyone within visual range: +3 seconds

  5. Recovering from The Fall is no simple matter of simply standing up again. Standing up again can occur only after 2d4 failed efforts to clamber to one's feet on the treacherous ice, only to slip halfway through the manuver and trigger another fall. Each bystander within visual range of The Fall increases by one the number of failed attempts that must be suffered.

  6. The Chosen one will be carrying a precious item which will be hurled 20+ feet in a random direction, if possible striking a bystander. The item will not be destroyed by The Fall but will be permanently stained with mud and dirty snow as an eternal reminder to The Chosen One of his fatal hubris.

As you may have surmised: today was the day I took The Fall. With this last ritual of winter complete, we may at long last look ahead to a glorious spring. It's not easy being the Chosen One--but I bear my burden with honor and not a little pride. Behold--I bring you tidings of winter passing, and of spring approaching.


Andy, after reading the first sentance, I realized this one was a keeper, and started reading it aloud to my roommate Matt, and Mandace. We were rolling on the ground laughing. Well done. On behalf of humanity, I thank you for your sacrifice, and your willingness to pass it on to us mere mortals.

And I thought the razor post could not be topped. At this pace you are going to make it impossible to write a better post by mid-March.

I'd also like to point out that last summer I suggested that you invested some of your skill points in Balance and Tumbling, but you just HAD to improve your Crossbow skill. See what happens when you have a one-dimensional character?

Hi, just popped in here through a random link. Cool site, keep this good work up :-)

Casino in Italiano

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