American Horror Story Cult – S:7 Ep:3 – “Neighbors From Hell”

Well, at least this episode did some stuff, so that’s what we’re here to discuss.  We had exploding pets, nude men looking for lesbians, sombreros, a sweet opening with coffins, video footage of a sleeve getting moist, and a chemical truck.  That is something.  Anyway, I wanna thank Melanie, Cece, and Teddy for stopping by to offer their insight and humor me by answering my inane questions.  Finally, any comments in the blog in bold are from Kent.

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  1.  Give me your thoughts on the opening scene with the coffins.

Melanie:  The therapist is taking his patients being cured really hard.

Cece: It was kind of a cool way to start the episode.

Teddy:  made me hella suspicious of the therapist.  (It was the moment where the writers were like “Hey, just in case you haven’t figured it out yet, this therapist guy is going to have a bigger role”.)  

Kent:  It felt like an opening that you would have gotten from season’s past, if that makes any sense.  It was quick, to the point, and cool.  I miss that sort of thing happening more frequently.

 

  1.  What do you make of the chemical truck?  What do you think that they are spraying?

Melanie:  Is it wine? I hope it is wine.  (Oh man, I hadn’t considered that but I am totally in favor of it being wine!) 

Cece: Truck was weird. I think they were spraying some sort of hallucinogen.  (So you are also on board with my Joker gas.  See people, I’m not 100% crazy.)

Teddy:  they were clearly spraying gmo’s that turn people into clowns (bet thats what Ally legit believes xD) (If that happens, I would laugh, and be incredibly sad at the same time.)

Kent:  I feel that The Joker is behind all of this.  Yes, Ryan Murphy has made a deal with DC and that’s what we are seeing.  I guess it could be the Riddler, but the Joker seems more likely.  In all seriousness, this is actually the most interesting subplot so far for me.

 

  1.  The detective that has been at Ally and Ivy’s place numerous times, Jack Samuels, is also friends with the “Neighbors From Hell”, Meadow and Harrison.  Give me your thoughts on this.

Melanie:  The detective is Harrison’s boyfriend or someone he wants to be his boyfriend.

Cece: He is Harrison’s boy toy and he is also part of what I think is the cult forming.

Teddy:  I believe that everyone including the cop and the therapist are part of this cult. I believe they’re torturing Ally and her wife due to the coffee spilling incident with Kai (he’s already shown how vindictive he is)  (This reminds me of the ludicrous plot to the remake of Shaft with Samuel L Jackson.  Basically the whole plot revolves around a guy’s lunch or dinner being spilled on him.  As always, I am up for randomness.)

Kent:  Jack is Harrison’s buddy with a butt.  More importantly, Jack has some good connections and will hopefully be involved with the clowns giving them a big time “inside guy” in certain capacities.  He could be a big character.

 

  1.  How does Kai have that much control over the protesters, that he can simply say “enough” and they all scatter?

Melanie:  He paid them.

Cece: I think Ryan Murphy was making a nod at all the ‘paying protestors’ stuff that is happening in today’s political climate. So, I believe Kai paid them. (Teddy gets credit for realizing this, although, I agree)  (Alright, then your answer is disqualified.  You get the consolation prize.  teddy moves on to the next round.)

Teddy:  I told cece last night that its a reference to the real world claims of paid protesters. Kai is trying to either groom or terrorize Ally

Kent:  I got nothing.  Everything about it was inane.  Even if the paying protesters thing is legit, think about how fucking dumb that shit is.  The reality of it, baffles me.  I’m also apparently the only person who didn’t know that paying protesters was a legitimate thing.  I don’t watch the news when at all possible.

 

  1.  Was the microwave scene a little too much or over the top for your tastes?

Melanie:  I was still focused on the terrible way the boy said I would rather be saying goodbye to you from the previous scene.  (Yeah, that was a pretty awful thing as well.  He’s still my #2 fav character so far.)

Cece: I mean, it is what it is. It didn’t bother me as much as it could have, but the idea was gross.

Teddy:  I bet peta has an annuerism from this. Personally, I hate guinea pigs xD while I would never do this, I wasn’t heart broken

Kent:  Over the top for me considering how this season has played out.  In other seasons, an exploding guinea pig would fit right in.  Over the top for the sake of being over the top rather than caring about the story.  It’s like jump scares in a movie just for the sake of having a jump scare that doesn’t add any value or merit to the film (cough…Insideous…cough cough).  Or Saw 7……in it’s entirety minus anything involving Cary Elwes.

 

  1.  Kai talked to Meadow and Harrison separately.  In the end, we know(assume) that something bad has happened to Meadow.  Was this Kai’s doing or somebody else’s?

Melanie:  I don’t think anything happened to Meadow.  (This answer intrigued me most of all. )

Cece: I believe since Kai spoke with Harrison, he was behind the incident but maybe not physically.

Teddy:  it was definitely Kai’s hand that gave the order. He is a very vindictive person as he shows time and time again.

Kent:  Kai seems to be the one in control, but I think he’s at best, second in command.  The real answer is in my response to #7.

 

  1.  Do you think that Dr. Rudy Vincent (Ally’s doctor) is a protagonist or antagonist in this season?

Melanie: He is both. He is working both sides of this terrible coin.   

Cece: I literally believe he is THE antagonist. We see Kai being the voice, but maybe he is the brains behind everything.  (Pet Peeve alert.  I’m sorry, but you used literally.  How does literally fit the sentence?  We are through the looking glass, people!  Literally has been so overused that people just flippantly toss it in to sentences and it makes zero sense.  Parents, punch your children in the face every time they utilize the term literally improperly.  This is a fight that we can win!  Also kick your children for improperly using the term epic.  Together, we can make a difference.)

 Teddy:  knowing people’s fears is definitely the doctor, but I feel like the doctor is still number #2 in the operation. Kai is this shows Manson and we all know how convincing Manson was to people  (Ahh, so you have the top 2 spots inverted from my theory.  I can see that working.  I would guess that Kai has been a patient and that’s why I think doc is the head honkey.)

Kent:  If this guy isn’t the lead puppet master in all of this, I am not going to be a happy Kent.  He knows who and how to manipulate.  He needs to be the leader.  Whether that makes him the antagonist or protagonist is beyond my cares.

 

  1.  Who was more inane in the moments after Oz showed his mom’s the video of WInter getting her sleeves wet: Ally or Ivy?

Melanie:  I was too busy staring at the sleeves to notice. Seriously, such a weird scene.  (The sleeves are going to be what I take away from this season first and foremost.)

Cece: Ally. Ivy had every right to be pissed off and leave.

Teddy:  i feel like Ally just felt like her fears were justified with all this shit going on

Kent:  Ivy saw all of 3 seconds and wasn’t hearing anything.  I get it, but it was foolish of her to at least not ask Ally, “Why didn’t she roll up her sleeve?”.  I get why most people are going to say Ally.  You just got caught in a bad situation and rather than try to explain what happened, you focus on the big issue at hand.  Seriously, what’s more important in that moment: hurt feelings over something that you don’t know the full story to OR the fact that somebody is recording shit in your house and mother fuckers are dying left and right in your neighborhood?  Women, they’re silly in times of crisis.

 

  1.  Are Ally and Ivy the worst TV parents of the past 5 years?  

Melanie:  Nope not even close.  (Ohhhh, this is something that we must discuss on the podcast.  I don’t watch enough TV to offer alternatives.)

Cece: I mean, maybe. I truly believe Ivy has done nothing wrong though, and frankly, I feel bad for her.  (She’s certainly not very firm in the least bit.)

Teddy:  Ally is the worst person ever, i feel like she is gonna pass Kai in the crazy scheme. Ivy needs to take her boy and gtfo

Kent:  Rick and Laurie Grimes have held this prestige for awhile, season 2 of TWD was a fuckeroo in parenting.  I know, let’s all blame ally.  She killed wrestling hall of famer, Pedro Morales, in front of her kid.  I get it.  She should have stayed with Oz rather than simply telling him to wait somewhere because clearly he doesn’t get punished much so he is gonna do whatever he wants, due to shitty parenting.  The fact is, Ivy is becoming aware that she is married to a fuckig whacko, and she should have never left Ally alone in such a situation.  Also, this is why I am so glad that I do not have kids.  Also also, seriously, Pedro Morales????  Look him up.  He’s a wrestling great.  You could have gone with anything aside from Morales and Martinez and been fine.  

 

Bonus Deuce

 

  1.  Do you think that AHS is going downhill due to Ryan Murphy spreading himself too thin with American Crime Story as well Scream Queens and Feud?

Melanie:  Downhill, no. Boring as fuck, yes.

Cece: I don’t think it’s going downhill because he’s working on other shows. I think he just needs to go back to his earlier seasons in the fictional style. No more real-time. I watch TV to escape real life. But also, I respect him for doing it this way. It just doesn’t play out like his Hotel and back seasons.

Teddy:  i dont believe this is the case at all. Hollywood and actors usually have too much down time in between projects and I feel like he is just keeping busy.  (I think downtime is absolutely needed when it comes to the creative process as a writer or actor.  That shit takes a HUGE ass toll that the common viewer often is like “Well it’s their fucking job, so just do it and move on” but often, you engulf your whole life into certain projects, so the break is needed.  Otherwise you just become Nic Cage.)

Kent:  I liken this to what happened with Seth MacFarlane.  He finally gets to come back with Family Guy, Then, a year or two later, he gets to make American Dad.  Shortly after that, he is allowed to make The Cleveland Show.  So here’s what happened, Family Guy’s quality went down big time around seasons 7 and 8.  American Dad stayed pretty great throughout.  Cleveland had one good season out of 4, the rest were hit and miss.  Some great episodes, but it didn’t last long for obvious reasons.  Of course this is hurting AHS.  Take a mental break.  The past 2 seasons have not been nearly as good as Hotel, not anywhere close.  If you think about it, it’s not like Hotel was GREAT as far as the overarching story, but what it lacked in that regard, it made up for in really great characters.  We are missing great characters.

 

  1.  Would you be okay if the ending of this season showed that this has all been imagined by Ally as she is currently in a mental ward?  

Melanie:  Sure. Whateves at this point.  (Great, I got Melanie and her bottles of wine on board.)

Cece: I think that would be cool as hell, but I don’t think that will happen. I think it’s really going on.  

Teddy:  I feel like it would be a big fuck you to all the other characters in this show.  (Like this season already isn’t a big enough fuck you.  I say reach for the biggest fuck you that they can offer.  I doubt they can outdo the finale of Roanoke, but I would love to see them try.)

Kent:  This would be the saving grace.  I’m not going to spell it out for you, but go ahead and watch the past 3 episodes and think about it.  Ally is in a mental ward.  She sometimes is willing to talk to the doctor, but not always.  She has to deal with a crazy nude guy.  She has a phobia of clowns.  Maybe the election pushed her over the edge.  All of this could tie together so well.  No, it won’t happen.  BOOOOOO!

Were you Kentertained by this week’s episode?

Melanie:  No

Cece: Meh. It was a bit more exciting than last week, but, it looks to be getting better as per next week’s preview!

Teddy:  I feel like there was alot going on in this episode at least in the murder sense so thats a plus.

Kent:  Well at least Ryan Murphy delivered the man ass.  Seriously, what took so long?  Best episode of the season, no doubt.  With that being said, I was bored more often than enthralled unfortunately. I’m close, but not quite there yet.  So nay, I am not Kentertained.  Bring back the nude guy, name more people after pro wrestlers, give me more HLA in bathtubs, some female nudity, and more Evan Peters slapping bitches, and we may have something here!

All pictures used in this blog are for review purposes. They are the property of the FX Network, Ryan Murphy, and whoever else is involved.

2017 No Mercy Preview

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Keri and Kent break down the No Mercy as best we can.  As of this time, there has been no Kickoff Show match(es) announced, so we just wildly speculate without a care in the world.  Not only that, but on this week’s Are You Not Kentertained we do a better job at selling No Mercy than RAW did.

Please check us out at 9 Deuce Wrestling on Facebook , on Twitter @official9deuce, or Instagram at Official9Deuce.  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question at wrestling@9deuce.com.  Thank you.

 

The 9

  1.  Kick off Show Match – ?

Keri:  Something with Elias.

Kent:  Elias will sing, and maybe Curt Hawkins will get to extend his streak

  1.  Intercontinental Championship match – The Miz vs Jason Jordan

Keri:  This is the match that everyone saw coming a mile away. Apparently, the WWE thinks Jordan is  ready for a feud. This will be a decent match and there will be Miztourage involvement in the outcome.

Prediction: Miz retains.

Kent:  Will I be looking at porn during this match?  Probably.  Do I give a single, solitary fuck about Jason Jordan’s push?  Nope.  Do I already miss Maryse?  Yup.  Do I miss Miz having interesting feuds?  Yup.  This can be a very good, technical match.  Alas, I just am not remotely interested in this match.  I don’t see any way that Miz can rebuild at this time, he needs something different, and I think WWE is hellbent on giving us the Jason Jordan experience.  SIgh.  
Prediction: Jason Jordan is the new IC champ

  1.  Finn Balor vs Bray Wyatt

Keri:  Honestly, I could careless about the match or the people in it. WWE has ruined Finn and that in itself is shameful. With that said, I didn’t know they could ruin Bray after putting the WWE title on him roughly a year ago yet here we are.

Prediction: Bray wins, I guess.

Kent:  I fear I will have run out of energy and or porn by this point.  God damnit.  I am done with this feud.  Give me Bray vs Miz and Finn vs Roman moving forward,  That would feel so much better than what we are given here.  Put Elias in with Jason.  As for this match, Finn probably wins, but Bray has a tendency to win matches that are meaningless.  There’s no demon, there’s no storyline.  At this point, bring Luke and Rowan over and reform the family.  Would you honestly be opposed to that?  Brock vs Bray would be way better with them involved.  Joe vs Bray would also be more fun.

  1.  Cruiserweight Championship Match – Neville vs Enzo

Keri:  I think Neville’s tone as champ is over. WWE, in order to hopefully save the division, is probably going to put the belt on Enzo. Enzo has more “star” power and that is going to out eyes on a stale product.

Prediction: Enzo wins and we get at least a month have of bad promos.

Kent:  I just don’t care.  I think Neville’s reign of dominance ends this Sunday.  It should have been Akira to have a run, but Enzo provides something that Akira doesn’t, in WWE’s mind, which is mic work, despite Akira having Titus.  I will admit, I am kinda intrigued how Enzo’s belt will be personalized.  Also, the potential for Enzo to be a champion before Cass is amazing.  At Summerslam, had I asked which participant would be most successful by the next PPV, nobody would have said Enzo.  Most would have said Cass, some may have said Big Show out of spite.  Both guys are injured, so how you doin?
Prediction: Enzo wins the 205 Belt

  1.  Women’s Championship Match – Alexa vs Nia vs Sasha vs Emma vs Bayley

Keri:  I think adding Bayley to this match is pointless but what do I know. She comes back and gets a title shot. Yeah good one Creative. Prediction: Alexa retains and drops the belt to Asuka when she debuts

Kent:  So Bayley is magically in despite having not won a match or a feud in how many months?  This is fucking absurd.  Even better, most people assume that Emma is there to eat the pin and go back to obscurity.  Honestly, just last week, I was still very excited for this match.  Now, I am daring to be sour.  It should still be good, lots of interesting spots with Nia and Bliss I hope.  Bayley will be outside the ring a lot I speculate.  Emma and Sasha will keep the match flowing in between bigger spots.  It should be a well done match.  Still, I am less excited than I had been the past month.
Prediction: Emma wins the belt

  1.  WWE Tag Team Championship Match – Fistius vs Sheasaro

Keri:  I don’t care about this match at all. The build they had going up to this match just doesn’t translate well. Why are we getting an all tag team on deck match at this PPV? WWE I would like a thorough explanation.

Prediction: The Bar wins and this feud continues this time with the assistance of Chad2Badd

Kent:  Fistius isn’t losing this.  They just lost on RAW.  Making it a 3 way would have added far more intrigue to this match.  I am actually saddened that Gallows and Anderson aren’t in this.  Dean and Seth are fine at what they do, I am just not into them as a team despite doing everything right.  Their will they or won’t they build to Summerslam simply burned me out.  Sheasaro are sooo good right now.  I want them as the champs.
Prediction: Fistius Retains

  1.  John Cena vs Roman Reigns

Keri:  I guess I’m looking forward to this match. It should be good and hopefully it lives up to the hype. Honestly, couldn’t this match had waited until Mania?

Prediction: Cena wins. But I’m still rooting for that meteor.

Kent:  This match should be very good, no doubt about that.  Roman doesn’t put out shitty matches much anymore.  Cena puts on a match if he’s into the feud.  Something to really pay attention to is how much of a show Cena is putting on.  If he goes for a couple of flashy or big moves, it’s more likely that he loses.  This is how he works.  If he loses, he takes more of a beating during the match and hits his more traditional moves, only off the top rope or something that adds a little extra oomph.  Rumors have it that Cena is going to win and then have Roman get his redemption as he builds to Wrestlemania against Brock.  Does anybody really want to see this or thinks that this story would add any more legitimacy to him?  I hate to say this, but an injury to Roman that takes him out for a year would be best for business so WWE can do the right thing.  I’m not wishing injury on him, just saying that WWE would benefit from it because then Braun would get the push that he deserves.
Prediction: Cena wins via golden shovel

  1.  Red Belt Match – Brock Lesnar vs Braun Strowman

Keri:  I want to see this match. It’s the one on the card that I’m positively giddy over. This is going to be a great brawl that I know will probably leave me very disappointed. As much as I want him to win and how much he deserves this win, Braun is not going to win on Sunday. But maybe WWE will surprise me and do the right thing. Therefore rediction: Braun wins!

Kent:  This is the match I am most looking forward to.  Both guys will put on a show.  I do fear the amount of time that this match will get.  10 minutes at most seems likely.  Expect Brock to get manhandled at some point, going through tables.  Expect some struggles to suplex, but eventually land a bunch.  I don’t know if we will see just one finisher or if this is going to be whoever hits their finisher 3 times type of match.  I think it’s going to be a 3 F-5 type of night.  I really wish WWE would put the belt on Braun.  Fuck it, let’s pull a Revival and go hard.
Prediction: Braun Strowman wins the belt

  1.  In your opinion, is this card better than Summerslam’s?

Keri:  I’m going to go with kinda. There are some strong matches and some real duds. It should be at least watchable for the majority of the time.

Kent:  It’s a tough one.  Summerslam had more high quality matches on paper, but it also had like twice as many matches and took 6 damn hours.  Add to that, there’s no Jinder on this card, and it’s 2 hours shorter, I will take this card.

Bonus Deuce

  1. Predict the best and worst match of the night.

Keri:  Best: Tag Team

Worst: Cruiserweight

Kent:  Best: Tag Team Championship

Worst: Cruiserweight Championship

  1.  What match are you most looking forward to and least looking forward to?

 Keri:  Most: Brock vs Braun

Least: Cruiserweight

Kent:  Most: Brock vs Braun

Least: Cena vs Roman

All pictures used in this blog are for review purposes. They are property of WWE and wwe.com.

The Wrestling 9 Deuce – September 18 & 19, 2017 – No Mercy’s Laughable Go Home Show Edition

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In what could possibly have been the worst cumulative week for WWE programming all year, which is saying A LOT, we drudge through the steaming piles of garbage, squeeze out all of the garbage juice, and try to make sense of it all, just in time for No Mercy.  Really WWE, this is what you give the fans??? Not only that, but on this week’s Are You Not Kentertained we do a better job at selling No Mercy than RAW did.

Please check us out at 9 Deuce Wrestling on Facebook , on Twitter @official9deuce, or Instagram at Official9Deuce.  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question at wrestling@9deuce.com.  Thank you.

Let’ start off remembering Bobby the Brain Heenan.  WWE did a rather lackluster job this week in doing that.

Russ:  I remember Bobby as the quintessential heel commentator.  When I was young and was lucky enough to see a wrestling show on one of the 4 Networks (I didn’t have cable until I was 17.)  It was always Bobby and Vince calling the matches.  I hated Heenan because he would always back up the guy I wanted to lose and call out a lot of things that were just not true.  Back then I had no clue that wrestling was scripted so I just hated the man.  Now looking back I can honestly say that he was one of the best commentators I ever had the experience of listening to.  He knew how to make the audience at home feel like they were a part of the experience, which is a feat that few commentators can do even today.   

Keri: So, little do our readers know but I have two separate segments of my wrestling fandom. The first segment began about 18 years ago when I was in college and started watching pretty much regularly with my friends. That’s the time I remember the most. The second segment, well that one is a little more difficult to remember given how young I was at the time. It was the early years of Wrestlemania and I would watch wrestling with my parents and their friends. This was the time of Hogan, Savage, Andre, and yes, Bobby “the Brain” Heenan. While I don’t remember specifics,  I do remember the name and the fact that he was one of the premier managers at the time. What I also remember, maybe slightly, is the reaction he was able to get from the audience both in the arena and from the viewers watching at home. This is probably why, despite a 8 to 9 year gap between when I first started watching wrestling and when I resumed, his one of the names I remember the most from my first years as a wrestling fan.

Kent:  Every wrestling fan has certain people that helped keep their attention or draw them in.  For me, in 1989, while the Hulkster was running wild, the Ultimate Warrior was starting to get as much shine in the audience’s eyes as Hulk.  Vince knew that in order to get Warrior over, he’d have to work with the best of the best.  SO he feuded with a good chunk of the Heenan family, and when I started, it was with Ravishing Rick Rude. As you all know, I hold Rick Rude in extremely high regard as one of the 10 greatest heels ever, probably higher.  Rick and Bobby got the Warrior over and helped get Big Bossman (my other favorite wrestler at the time) over as a face while feuding with the Heenan Family as well. At the time, I didn’t get it, I just knew that I hated everything that Bobby touched and I wanted him to get his ass handed to him.

Moving forward, I’d see Bobby move to commentary, and his stuff along with Gorilla Monsoon and Vince was probably the best commentary of my wrestling life.  Jim Ross with Heyman and Gorilla with Ventura are also up there.  Bobby simply made you laugh, and a lot of it was cheesy, but it was effective.  The height of this had to be the 1992 Royal Rumble, right here in Albany, NY!!!  While I saw it live, I did eventually rent the VHS, and my goodness, Heenan was so ridiculous in regards to Ric Flair.  “It’s not fair to Flair” has been one of my go to lines for so long now.  Unfortunately, for the WWE, Bobby would go to WCW and he killed it over there on commentary.  Would the NWO angle have felt as real or well done if Bobby wasn’t on commentary?  Hell no!  He never receives the credit that he deserves in making that angle so successful, but he was very instrumental in it.  He also was influential in getting Goldberg over, which was hugely important for WCW,  I didn’t even touch on the Prime Time Wrestling stuff, which I missed a lot of, but the highlights are absolutely remarkable.  I hope the WWE puts together a 2-3 hour highlight clip.  It would be deserved.  I’m very pissed that WWE didn’t do a 10 bell salute.  He’s probably one of the 50 most important people in wrestling history, and I am probably underselling that.  We need more managers in WWE. When the Paul’s (Heyman and Ellering) leave, what will we be left with?  

 

The 9

  1. Was it smart to add Bayley to the Women’s championship match on Sunday?  Also, Paige is back at the WWE Performance Center.  Which show should she be placed on and should she be a heel or a face upon return?

Russ:  I hate the fact that Bayley was added to this match!  It wasn’t needed.  In a day and age where WWE has many performers miss a PPV or two, why couldn’t they just keep her off TV until next monday?  Adding her made everything that preceded it obsolete.  Emma and Nia had to earn their spot, but Bayley walks in and BOOM!  She is now apart of the match.  Truly Asinine. They have totally screwed Emma on this.  She was left off of RAW last night which is dumb right before a PPV she is involved in.  Now I have read rumors that Emma won’t be the one to eat the pin on Sunday, but I just don’t believe that. I mean she is the forgotten, so why wouldn’t she be the one to be pinned.  Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if she doesn’t even get into the match.  As for Paige:  I don’t care what show she ends up on, unless they want to get her involved with Xavier then I say Smackdown!  She should definitely be a heel though.  

Keri:  I’m going to follow up the question about Bayley with a question. A simple question. Why? This return and it’a timing makes literally no sense. They could have waited. As for her being added to the match, I’m not surprised by it just annoyed with it. The only way I will not be annoyed is if Alexa retains and then cuts a promo the next night in how she is better than everyone on the roster and no one can touch her. Then cue Asuka. You know similar to Paige’s debut on the main roster with AJ Lee minus the title change because I don’t  think Asuka is cleared yet. Speaking of Paige, I would like to see her go to Smackdown as a heel, tweener, or face. It doesn’t matter to me really. I just know that show and it’s division needs help.

Kent:  5 way?  What?  RAW showed me Alexa, Nia, Sasha, and Bayley.  That’s only 4.  Ohhhhh, Emma is apparently part of the match too.  I can’t wait to see her eat the pin and go back to the shadows.  I’m truly sick of this shit.  Oh and Asuka is coming, so Emma will return to job to her.  Smart use of somebody that talented….and hot.  Well, on the plus side, Paige is coming back.  Put her on Smackdown.  Asuka should have gone to SD and Paige to RAW.  Huge missed opportunity for Paige to work with a bunch of fresh match ups.  Good thing that WWE continues to overvalue Charlotte and not push her. WAIT a fucking second.  Jennifer Lopez is getting a spot on WWE for being Hispanic????  The fuck?  And we can’t give Heenan a 10 bell salute?    Oh, and the first commercial is about how women eat, and they are strong.  Fuck this politically correct fucking country.  I now demand to see commercials about what racially diverse lesbians eat, and you know that I am being lewd about that, but let’s have it.  What about what gay black men eat?  What about half Puerto Rican, half Indian transgender people eat?  I gots ta know.   Come on Special K, up your game!

  1.   Do you find it odd that Gallows and Anderson are not in the tag team championship match at No Mercy?

Russ:   With all the build up with G & A over the past few weeks it does seem a bit odd that they aren’t in the match at No Mercy.  It feels like they are trying to build a feud for the aftermath of No Mercy, which I am completely fine with.  I think G & A will have a match at No Mercy with the Hardly’s and it may even be a #1 contender’s match.    

Keri:  It is very very odd. They are included in the storyline each week but they are not added to the PPV match. It sounds like someone dropped the ball here to me.

Kent:  I don’t really see the sense in all of this build up, where I feel like G & A have been the most over of the 3 teams, and to get nothing.  I wouldn’t be opposed to getting a G & A vs Hardlys or even Ginger Rhynos or Miztourage.

  1.  Who has the least amount of momentum: Bray Wyatt, Finn Balor, Goldust, Apollo Crews, Miz, Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel, or Jason Jordan?  Be as mean as you can be and only select from these people.  Dana is not an acceptable answer…..or wrestler.

Russ:   Well first of all you need to have momentum in order to have the least.  That eliminates Apollo, Bo and Curtis.  Goldust is enhancement talent so momentum means nothing to him.  Jason Jordan is at fault for his own lack of true momentum, because let’s face it WWE is trying to give him momentum and it is sort of working.  Bray and Finn, I’ll be honest, I like the direction this feud is going.  That leaves The Miz.  Raw has completely wasted him as a talent.  This week he even came out and said how he has been wasted as a talent.  He is the IC Champion, yet they barely have him defend it.  He didn’t even defend it at SummerSlam!  While they have been hinting at a Jordan feud for the past several weeks, they didn’t even set up the match until the last possible second for No Mercy.  What a joke!  I feel sorry for The Miz.  

Keri:  There is only one answer here and it is Finn and his abs. (Kent: There’s the Keri we all know!)  And before anyone says anything I have not jumped back to Team Finn and I’m still very much on team Braun. (Kent: My bad.)  But in all seriousness, when was the last time he was on TV? He had a match with Jordan a couple of weeks ago and did a run in during whatever that was last week with Bray and Goldust. But outside of that when was the last time you saw them properly use Finn. They have ruined him and for that they should be shamed repeatedly.

Kent:  First of all, did you see Elias jump to the top rope?  That’s my boy!!!  As for this question, what a dearth of momentum.  Yeah, when was the last time you saw the word dearth appear in a wrestling blog?  I’m going to eliminate all of the Miztourage easily.  Apollo and Goldust aren’t the answer by default due to never having much momentum, so it’s not like they have been downgraded.  That leaves Jason Jordan, Finn and Bray.  Jason would be a funny answer, but not accurate.  Finn wasn’t at Mania, has been left off of PPV’s, lost the week before PPV’s, had to bring back his gimmick to get some momentum after getting an acidic blood bath.  That makes it seem like a sure thing.  Of course, then there’s Bray.  He was involved in the hottest storyline of the first quarter of the year and won his first championship.  Then Luke got the boot, and then weird images showed up on the mat during Mania. From there, bray went to RAW, got buried, got involved and then uninvolved in various storylines that went nowhere, including against Seth.  He has since been involved with Finn in which he beat Finn cleanly, burned him with acid, and then lost.  Since Summerslam, he’s wiped the paint off of Goldust’s face and……well that’s it pretty much.  When you go from being the world champ at Mania to wiping off Goldust’s face paint, that is going to be the answer.

  1.  Overall, which match has been built up better: Brock vs Braun or Roman vs Cena?  Also, in hindsight, should WWE have pulled the trigger and had Brock lose to Joe in July or to Joe, Braun, or Roman in August?

Russ:   Brock vs Braun has definitely been built up better.  Cena vs Roman has had some great promos, but I just feel the lack of physicality between the two hurt it.  On the other hand Braun has just been gold!  Every time he comes out it feels like he ups the ante for a match that already has the “richest” prize on Raw.  I’m looking forward to both matches this Sunday, but when Braun loses, I’m going to be pissed!  As for the hindsight piece of business.  If Braun wins then I’ll say that WWE did the right thing in waiting, because this would feel big and deserved.  

Keri:  It’s really a toss up because both match ups have had an exciting build up. I have to give Brock vs Braun the slight edge though. The build up for this match has made want to see if they pull the trigger on Braun. They almost have to at this point. They have to capitalize on the build. And honestly, who better to get the former next big thing rub than the next big thing. Ask me a year ago if I saw Braun as champ and I would say yes but he won’t be a good one. My stance has changed. He is ready, WWE. As for Roman and Cena, it’s the same old stuff we here for every Cena feud. I’m not excited and I’m still rooting for that small meteor to hit the ring.

Kent:  I have been wavering back and forth on this.  I took a lot of factors into this.  Longevity favors Brock vs Braun.  Most screen time with each other since Summerslam favors Cena and Roman.  Promos seemingly favor Cena and Roman.  The better match is probably Cena/Roman but the Brock/Braun is more likely to be exciting and memorable.    On top of that, potential outcomes don’t help because best outcome is Braun winning, worst is Brock, while the Cena/Roman one doesn’t move the needle in a direction either way.  So I am left to go back and analyze promos and face to face meetings.  Technically Cena and Roman have a great past from the Shield days, but they failed to really capitalize on that.  Furthermore, we got the same old “Shoot” promos on Cena, and he did his Cena stuff.  Just because you mention shovels and Alex Riley, it doesn’t make it feel any more real.  Neither guy is ever going to elicit an ounce of sympathy for me while in character, while in real life, I am definitely on Roman’s side of this.  They had that really good promo with Miz, but Miz isn’t part of it, so it doesn’t really count.  On the other hand, Paul has been doing the same old shit, and yet I eat it up, still I can’t praise it after bashing the other’s for doing the same old shit.  There is one big difference, and this is the only reason I am going this way.  Brock and Braun got into it physically and it felt good.  Roman and Cena haven’t.  Game, set, match, Brock and Braun.  Yeah, Joe should have won the belt in July.  I’m sticking with that belief.  Joe was hot and they could have built up to a Joe vs Braun feud that could have been amazing.

  1.  205 has been doing well since Summerslam with Enzo going there and Jack Gallagher turning heel.  If WWE replaced the first hour of RAW with 205, would you watch 205 more frequently than you do now, and would it be beneficial to WWE?

Russ:  While things seem to be finally moving in the right direction for 205, I cannot say that I would watch 205 more than I already do.  First, I would like to say that I would welcome Raw’s first hour being strictly 205.  I love many of the wrestlers on the show and I feel like they deserve to get a chance on free TV.  However, I don’t think it would increase my viewing of 205 Live!  Simply put I just don’t have enough time to do everything.  Yes, I know 205 is on the network and I can view it anytime I wish, but after Monday and Tuesday evenings of wrestling and almost every other Sunday being a PPV I find myself wrestled out.  There are a lot of TV shows that I want to see and very limited time.  So 205, much like Lucha Underground, gets the shaft.  

Keri:  The WWE has made progress in changing how 205 live is perceived by fans. Am I excited about the division? Not really but I wasn’t to begin with so I guess nothing has really changed for me. However, I am intrigued about this Gulak storyline and his campaign to end high flying. Why is nobody talking about this? From what I understand, its pretty interesting TV. Anyways, would I watch 205 live more if it was the first hour of RAW? Probably because it is the first hour of RAW and my TV would be on anyways. With that said, since it’s on my TV that means it is on other TVs which means that WWE is increasing viewership on the division which I feel would be a good thing for WWE.

Kent:  To answer the first part, yes, I would watch 205 more frequently, pretty much every week.  I have reserved this time frame every week into my routine, so I would just enjoy 205.  This would be huge for 205 and I think that I would actually like this.  Then I think about how WWE would run RAW, and I realize that rather than them spreading talent around and giving guys week’s off and continue to provide us with quality match ups, they would revert to short matches and angles in order to fit everybody on every week.  As bad as RAW has been since the brand split, they have been doing better when they give us 2-4 solid matches a week and made RAW way more fun to watch.  As good as 205 can be, the good to great matches that RAW can provide us that go 15-20 minutes is far more tantalizing to me as a fan.  If they take the chains off of the 205 roster and allow them to actually work their style, then I would have to really reconsider things.  In a perfect world, RAW would just rotate guys better and give us solid matches while giving 205 it’s own hour.

  1.  Randy Orton has been involved with a lot of younger or newer talent this year with Bray, Luke, Jinder, Aiden, Rusev, and Shinsuke and put all of them over at least once (I’m not 100% on Luke). Is this a good role for him?

Russ:  This is a great role for him.  I don’t need to see Randy as champion anymore.  Whenever he is champion it feels like his matches are lacking and I find myself bored.  I’ve never been a huge Randy fan, I just don’t like his style, but having him work with the younger talent is great!  He has the pedigree (or is that HHH) (Kent: Or is that Seth?) that makes him a legit top guy. So when he is facing the younger talent and he puts them almost always over it makes the younger talent seem more legitimate.  I never thought Randy would be the type of guy who would develop the younger talent, but he has proved me wrong and it’s a great spot for him. Side Note:  I missed Rusev getting his win back this week and judging by some of the gif’s I’ve seen I’m kind of disappointed by missing it.  

Keri:  Randy has been around long enough and has had enough success where if you are a younger guy and he puts you over it means something. And I mean let’s be honest, Randy at this point in his career really has done it all. Why shouldn’t he give back to the younger talent that is going to carry the company years after he has retired? Especially since he seems willing and almost eager in some instances to do it.  A certain individual could learn a lot from what Randy is doing right now. I won’t mention who because frankly I can’t see him and probably neither can you.

Kent:  Let me tackle the negative or middle ground first.  The Bray match failed at Mania, and by and large the build up to Mania once Luke was taken away.  I do not blame Randy as I feel that he legitimately loved working with them and Bray may never have gotten the championship if Randy wasn’t willing to do the program.Still, that was one of the 5 worst Mania title matches ever due to the awful gimmickry. The other bad thing, and I type this as he is on my screen and they are walking past 2 very attractive ladies, well the brunette was at the very least. Yummm.  Anyway, as we are quickly learning, you can diet, you can sculpt your body, but just like Chris Masters can attest, you may not deserve the push that you are being given.  Wow, this promo is fucking awful.  Anyway, I don’t believe Orton had a chance in hell in getting Jinder over, and you could see the energy slowly dissipate as the feud went on.  With that being said, with Randy away from Jinder, I’m starting to see Randy appear like he’s enjoying his time again.I am guessing that him and Jericho have talked at length and Randy bought in.  I like this Randy, a lot.  After Rusev, give him Baron and Mike Kanellis (if he is still employed by then).

  1.  Is Smackdown doing a good job with a great, a young guy, and a buried wolf in the AJ, Tye, and Baron storyline?

Russ:  I really like this storyline.  Sure at first Corbin was getting buried and that sucked, but he took his lumps like a man and is now turning that negative into a positive.  Adding Tye into the mix has given the story a much needed twist.  Instead of Bad guy vs. Good Guy, as per usual, they have turned this into deserving up and comer vs. Jerk up and comer vs. amazing veteran.  The three guys have a pretty good dynamic and I am looking forward to how they resolve this in the end.  

Keri:  This is quite frankly the best storyline on Smackdown right now. Nothing really comes close. The Shinsuke-Jinder thing is a joke and I don’t care at all about the Owens vs. the McMahons even though that has had a decent build. This storyline is really what we should be getting and it is helping to build younger talent. Half a gold star for Smackdown creative for this storyline. Now fix the rest of the show so I can give the other half.

Kent:  Corbin feels violated.  He is such a good petulant child.  I love that Tye has maintained his role in this and isn’t looking out of place.  He has so much potential and talent, he does need to add something to his repertoire, but he can be a lead guy in the midcard division.  AJ is still AJ.  Something that I would love to see is the WWE go back to how AJ was scouting Baron last fall and winter.  It would help add to this feud.  Tye needs a big night moving forward, like have a big time upset victory over a Jinder, just so he has that “anything can happen” vibe.

  1.  The Hype Bros lost to New Day.  They had a segment backstage where Mojo suggested that things need to change.  What kind of changes should we expect?

Russ:  Ok bare with me on this.  So The Hype Bros. lose and Mojo goes crazy.  He beats the crap out of Ryder.  The next week Ryder comes out and asks Mojo to the ring.  Mojo comes out and Ryder tells him he forgives him for last week and wants to work together still.  Mojo again goes wild on Ryder.  This will of course lead to a feud between the two.  For several PPV’s they have back and forth matches but neither getting a decisive win.  Finally,  right before Mania Ryder calls out is Hype Bros.  Again, he tells him that he wants to work with Mojo as a tag team and that they could be the best of all time.  Mojo says that he wants to be rid of Ryder once and for all so they will have a decisive battle at Mania.  Finally, at Mania they have an incredible match where Ryder gets a decisive win.  He puts his hand out for Mojo to shake.  Mojo thinks about it and shakes the hand.   The Crowd goes wild, because they know now:  This was how Ryder finally got his Mojo back!   (Kent: I sat here blinking my eyes after reading that one.  It went places.)

Keri:  They will go the Enzo and Cass route. They will break up, talk trash about each other, and have some lackluster matches against each other where one of them will end up in a shark tank.  Seriously, you think with the current product that Smackdown creative is putting out that it will be something good. Oh you did. Well that is unfortunate.

Kent:  Hopefully they join up with Dolph and start doing some crazy fun group activities.  No, not like Paige.

  1.  Was this one of the 3 worst Smackdowns of the year?  You can also talk about the women’s match if you prefer.

Russ:  The show was on my TV, but I barely knew what was going on.  It was a very promo heavy show.  The few matches we did get were kind of boring, with exception to the Main Event.  So I can’t say if it was actually one of the worst or not, but I can say that I don’t feel like I missed anything spectacular.  

Keri:  In the words of our Smackdown GM, Yes! Yes! Yes!  it was one of the worst if not the worst Smackdown of the year. It just seemed like Creative said let’s throw something against the wall and see if something sticks. Well guess what? Nothing stuck to the wall. In fact, the big new story from the last two nights is the live crowd attendance and how low it was on both nights. I think people are finally starting to voice their displeasure with the product. If this continues, will things change? Who knows. With that said, the women’s match was decent with a predictable ending.

Kent:  Yeah, I would rank it only behind the night of the unthinkable burial.  This night didn’t offer much of any progress or anything interesting.  The most interesting stuff involved the AJ, Barn (Russ: Is Barn a new wrestler? Is he the personification of Bray Wyatt’s barn that was burned down by Randy and is now looking for vengeance?) , Tye angle, the Hype Bros, and possibly Rusev getting a win back.  When those are the only highlights of your show, that is a fucking terrible show.  Add to that the terrible Jinder promo, the terrible Natty and the terrible one’s promo, the bland main event, actually every match was relatively bland.  Like, it was just a really bad night all around.  (Kent: To answer Russ’ question, he is partially correct.  He forgot about Bray’s secret uncle, and father of his sister, Abigail.  Yup, Arn Anderson because he does a lot of things.  Just ask Breezedango……where are those guys?  You see, Breezedango was pissed at Bray for not accepting them into the Wyatt family, so they hired Randy to burn down the barn and pay for any legal fees because, in case you forgot, Tyler used to be a runway model and Fandango was a world renowned dancer, so they got money.  After seeing what happened to his daughter, Arn beheaded Tully the horse.  I don’t know why WWE failed to elaborate on this whole ordeal,)

Bonus Deuce

  1. Rate RAW

Russ:  No Brock and Cena kind of hurt this week.  I understand why Cena wasn’t there, but there is no excuse not to have Brock on.  It was ok, nothing really stuck out in my mind from this week.  I liked what Braun did with Enzo and the Six Pack Challenge was decent, albeit with a predictable ending.  Rating: 4.5

Keri:  And we are back to mediocre RAWs. How did I miss them? Seriously, that was your go home show for No Mercy, WWE? Wow just wow. Rating: 3

Kent:  Let me just say that despite writing this first, it sucks when you get down to me and somebody has basically written the same damn first line, making what I wrote seem redundant.   With that, here’s my original response.  Well no Brock or Cena there live really helped the build up for what looked like an adequate card on Sunday.  Great job WWE!  You get a 3.4 this week.

  1.  Rate Smackdown

Russ:  It was on my screen, that’s all I can really say about this week.  Rating: 2

Keri:  I want the hour and half I watched Smackdown back and I want it back now. That was beyond awful. Rating: 1

Kent:  2.1 as I truly felt that it was a really bad Smackdown.  I mentally checked out the second half of the show.  Seriously, I rated it the highest.  No love for the AJ stuff, with Tye and Barn?

 

Final Thoughts

Russ:  If I reversed the roles of Ryder and Mojo from Question 8.  It would be How Mojo got his Ryder Back and that sounds much more like a porno than an actual Wrestling feud.  

Keri:  WWE is seriously starting to make me question why I am a fan and why I pay attention to the product. I think it is time to end this abusive relationship.

Kent:  It’s getting to October, and I am wondering how badly I want to watch five episodes of RAW, five episodes of Smackdown, and two PPV’s.  That’s over 30 hours, and it feels incredibly thankless.  

All pictures used in this blog are for review purposes. They are property of WWE and wwe.com.

Tales from the Plunderbund Consortium – Chapter Three

Tuesday is back and that means the newest chapter of Tales From The Plunderbund Consortium is upon us.  In case you missed any of the past blogs/chapters, just go to 9Deuce and look through the archives and start from the beginning to get the full experience.

You can find us at the actual 9 Deuce website where we have the archives as well as other content such as horror movie reviews, wrestling blogs, podcasts, and some other material.  We’re on Facebook, on Twitter @official9deuce, or Tumblr @ superkent92 or Instagram at Official9Deuce .  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question or a comment at kent@9deuce.com.  Hell, you can subscribe via RSS.  Facebook and the website are probably the best bets.  Thank you.

Tales from the Plunderbund Consortium

Dark Sun Campaign – Chapter 3

Upon entering Nibenay, may of the party members separated.  Hookeri went off looking for a good place to hunt, Ilana sought information on the captured Jura Dai elves, Coraanu headed out to find information on “The Mountain,” and the rest accompanied Dimebag to headquarters of House Inikia in Nibenay where the adventurers would hopefully be able to stay for free.

Ilana eventually found herself at the Temple of the House, the bureaucratic agency that controls most of the day to day administration of the city.  It is here that all of the slaves of the city are registered.  Ilana was informed that her request for the names of the slaves would take “at least” three months; however, she soon after learned that a bribe of 1 gold could reduce the request to 1 month, and a bribe of 5 gold would reduce it to one week.  Ilana, not having a ton of cash on hand, paid the 1 gold bribe.

While following leads in the city-state, Coraanu learned the following information about the Mountain.  1)  A minotaur had recently been seen in the area of the Crescent Forest noted by Coraanu; 2) A new warden had arrived a month and a half ago to protect the forest but he was severely injured and has spent that time healing; and 3) Templar agents from Urik had recently come to Nibenay and were asking about the Mountain’s location.

Fearing that the Mountain may be in trouble, Coraanu headed straight for the House Inikia barracks where he found Alexa, Dimebag, and Pane-Pan.  He asked the three if they would accompany him to find the Mountain, noting to Alexa that by doing so they would likely also find the location of Nok’s tomb.  The three agreed and all four headed out of the city and into the Crescent Forest.

While searching for clues that would allow them to hone in on the Mountain’s location, Alexa tripped over the mummified body of a Halfling.  Finding nothing of value on the body, the adventurers chose not to disturb its rest and pressed on into the forest.

Soon after the Halfling encounter, the adventurers heard the sound of battle off in the distance.  Nearby, they could see a terrible demon, a Bearded Devil, fighting a minotaur.  Likely, the devil had been summoned by an Urikite Templar to track down and kill the Mountain.  The party attempted to sneak up on the devil, but just as they were nearing the edge of the tree line, Alexa stepped on a twig.  This turned out to be fortuitous to the Mountain, as the distraction prevented the demon from striking the final blow on the minotaur.

The party rushed in, and after a hard-fought battle, they were able to strike down the horrid demon.  After the fight the Mountain thanked the party and healed their injuries.  Coraanu then pulled him aside and explained that the spirits of the land had sent him to learn nature magic from the once mighty warden.  At first the Mountain was reluctant, his spirit still hanging heavy from his former adventuring party’s defeat at the hands of Urikite Templars; however, if the spirits desired to see Coraanu trained, then he would do it.  The Mountain explained that they would need to compete a ceremony in which the land spirits would “devour his arcane spark.”  In exchange, Coraanu would be able to call upon the spirits of the land to cast magic similar to that used by preservers and defilers.

Coraanu agreed to partake in the ceremony, and the Mountain told him that the ceremony required the use of an alter currently stored in the tomb of the great Halfling warrior Nok.   Unfortunately, the Mountain also had to inform Coraanu that one week prior a powerful undead Mul known as Thurbatur took over Nok’s tomb.  The Mountain had been unable to exercise Thurbatur from the tomb due to his still healing injuries.  To make matters worse, the Mountain believed that Thurbatur was attempting to devour Nok’s soul to become even more powerful.  Realizing the severity of the threat at hand, the four agreed to head to Nok’s tomb and take care of Thurbatur.

Upon reaching the cave that housed Nok’s tomb, they found the entrance guarded by the raised zombies of two half-giants.  Using the element of surprise, they rushed in and quickly dispatched one of the zombies; however, the second half-giant zombie would not fall so easily.  During the battle Coraanu snuck into the cave to get a better shot at the zombie, at which point he heard evil chanting and an unearthly scream!  It appeared Thurbatur had begun devouring Nok’s soul.

Upon finishing off the second zombie, Pane-Pan, who had taken several blows from the zombies, asked to take a short rest.  Coraanu warned that any such rest could spell doom for Nok’s soul.  Not wanting to seek Nok’s soul devoured, Alexa urged them on.

Coraanu, using his impressive stealth, snuck in and saw that Thurbatur, a rotting carcass of a Mul, was indeed casting some form of spell on the ghost of Nok.  Hiding behind a stalactite, Coraanu used his sneak attack on the undead horror, and battle commenced.  During the ensuing battle both Coraanu and Pane-Pan fell victim to Thurbatur’s necrotic touch; however, through sheer luck they both managed to avoid falling victim to Thurbatur’s Rotting Curse [DM Note: Mummy Rot, however this is Dark Sun where there technically aren’t mummies, just undead that have the powers of mummies]

 In the end, it was Alexa who struck the killing (re-killing?) blow against the undead fiend, freeing Nok’s soul.  The ghost of Nok thank Alexa and the others (although he was speaking Halfling so the others really couldn’t understand) and told Alexa that he was expecting her thanks to the spirits of the land.  Nok told Alexa to open his sarcophagus and to take from his body the “Gauntlets of Nok.”  Upon putting on the gauntlets Alexa felt a great strength well up within her.  Additionally, she learned from Nok that if she forms an army, the greater the size of the army the more powerful the gauntlets become.

Nok further informed Alexa that if she truly wanted to surpass him as the greatest Halfling barbarian of all time, she should have to acquire both “Nok’s Psionic Circlet” and “Nok’s Obsidian Battle Axes.”  He also informed Alexa that the battle axes would be useless to her until she trained under the ghost of Battlemaster Zeheron.  She was told that Zeheron currently haunts the ruins of the city-state of Kalidnay.

From there, as promised, the Mountain conducted the spirit magic ceremony.  Great pain racked Coraanu’s body as the arcane spark was devoured from within.  At the completion of the ceremony, Coraanu found that he now knew and number of spells and could call upon the spirits of the land to cast them.  Filled with newfound purpose and vigor, Coraanu gathered the others and they made their way back through the Crescent Forest to Nibenay.

American Horror Story Cult – S:7 Ep:2 – “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” Edition

The group is back to discuss this week’s AHS.  So far, not a lot of positivity going around,  but even worse, not much of a plot.  I sense some of us are struggling to truly enjoy this season like we have in season’s past.  Still, we will trudge on!  This week, we have Dom, Melanie, Cece, and Teddy helping out.   I should note that this isn’t the typical 9 Deuce blog because there’s not enough substance for us to answer that many questions on a week to week basis.  Finally, any comments in the blog in bold are from Kent.

Please check us out at the actual 9 Deuce website, on Facebook at facebook.com/9deuceblog , on Twitter @official9deuce, or Instagram at Official9Deuce.  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question at kent@9deuce.com.  Thank you.

 

1  Was Ally on the verge of cheating on Ivy with Winter in the tub?

Melanie:  I was more concerned with Winter not rolling up her sleeves.  (Yeah, you bring up a great point and it really bothered me in a weird way.)

Dom:  Yes.

Cece: Yes. It was gross.  (Why gross?  It was fantastic!)

Teddy: she was definitely being groomed by the nanny

Kent:  My little head thought so, so my big head is going to concur.

 

  1. Was that the most ridiculous bathroom that you have seen in a TV show?

Melanie:  I thought this bathroom was amazing and one I want to have…therefore the most extra bathroom in AHS history.

Dom:  Sure.  I don’t have a bathroom fetish or anything so I don’t stalk shows to see the bathroom layout but hey I’ll say yes  (Are you implying that I have a bathroom layout fetish?  If so, you may be on to something.  Seriously, the room deserves recognition damnit!)

Cece: I can’t recall. Probably the ones in AHS. They’re all fun!

Teddy: omfg that bathroom is soooooooo extra  (Millennial talk right there.)

Kent: I am struggling to think of a more unique bathroom, but I got nothing.  I am hoping others think of better examples.  Just the layout was incredibly unique to me.  Also, I have no idea why 2 people used the term extra, and I’m not going to ask why.

 

  1.  Did the guy with the ladle seriously think that he was going to win the fight against Pedro, who had a knife?

Melanie:  Machismo is a strange animal.  (Especially with ladles, so strange.)

Dom:  It’s not the size but how you use it. Nah, it’s always about size.  (That was an impressive ladle, I’ll give you that.  How one can use it, well, I’m at a loss and may not want to know of the varieties that one can use it for.)

Cece: Nah. But then again, he’s white, so he probably thought so…  (If he was black, would he have not tried using a ladle?  What utensil would he have used?)

Teddy: he was just another asshole feeling empowered by the political climate.  (I assume it was warm in there.)

Kent: In the moment, his anger blinded his thinking, I think.  That or he thought it would be “Everybody beat up the Pedro day”.  Kinda silly scene in a show that has been chock full of them.

 

  1.  Give me your thoughts on the new neighbors.

Melanie:  Love them! Billy Eichner is hysterical. (I had no idea who he was, then I looked him up and know his voice from Bob’s Burgers.  Apparently I’m the only person who is not familiar with his work.)

Dom:  I keep waiting for him to be nasty as he is in Difficult People.  And then I’m so waiting for the “teens” from Popular to show up.  But so far I like ‘em  (I’ve never heard of these shows that you are referring to.  Yes, I live under a rock.  I showed you that on Sunday.)

Cece: I love Billy Eichner. And he’s playing a good role. I think they’re a little odd but fun.  (Odd but fun is a good representation so far, which is cool.)

Teddy: I love the irony in making Billy Eichner a gun toting right-winged person (he has a staunch stance against it irl) also Kent she doesnt like to touched due to her cancer (billy explained it)  (A moment of honesty.  I was falling asleep during it, which also probably explains just how bad my questions are this week.  Thank you for the head’s up, I totally forgot that was mentioned.)

Kent:  I found them interesting at the very least.  I liked how they didn’t mind just saying whatever.  I am curious if she also gets a free weekend to get her sex on, or if only he gets the weekend.  I am curious how the bees will play a role in this season.  Most importantly, this just seems like a convenient way for Murphy to include man ass, probably on a homoerotic content.  Meanwhile we have lesbians and I doubt we will see a single female butt cheek or breast.  We (Me) demand equal opportunity!

 

  1. Ally killed Pedro. We all saw that coming….right? Name another death in the AHS franchise that was obviously foreshadowed.

Melanie:  I having a hard time thinking of one in particular. This season has zapped all of my excitement from the show. 

Dom:  My desire to keep watching.  I’m sooooo sick of this clown thing. MOVE ON Already.  ( and are we sure he’s dead?)

Cece: Probably Elsa Mars in Freakshow.  (That is a good one.  I almost chose Fiona in Coven.)

Teddy: I call a lot of things in this show. Its what I do. I would say biggest foreshadow for me was Wes Bently in hotel being the killer.  (Yeah, I nailed that prediction during the first episode, which people can vouch for and call it a “lucky guess”, which it totally was.  He was the only one that made sense if you only watch the first episode though.)

Kent: Myrtle Snow in Coven.  I loved that scene!

 

Were you Kentertained by this week’s episode?

Melanie:  Nope

Dom:  This is so slow moving.  And again Stop. With.  The. Clowns.

Cece: Meh. It was kinda boring and annoying.

Teddy: I don’t think it was boring but predictable to say the least

Kent: I wasn’t as irritated, but nothing really happened.  This was a typical second episode in a season.  Just stuff to build up the story.  We may get another 2-3 weeks of this before it picks up.  Look at how long it took for Hotel to build up before it got great.    This still has potential, and it was less political at the very least.

There you have it ladies and gents.  Another week of people being relatively disappointed.  I hope that it picks up because I struggled to come up with questions this week.  I may have to lower the bar again if this nonsense keeps up.

All pictures used in this blog are for review purposes. They are the property of the FX Network, Ryan Murphy, and whoever else is involved.

The Wrestling 9 Deuce – September 11 & 12, 2017 – The Return of the Mac Edition

Image courtesy of meenapelsis from fiverr.com

Kevin Owens decided to attack Vince this week and WWE is handing out first time matchups like it was trick R treat season.  Morons!  Russ, Keri, and Kent are here to sort through the rubbish and find that sweet silver lining that isn’t Steph’s attire.  Not only that, but on this week’s Are You Not Kentertained we did a RAW and Smackdown re-draft.  It’s better than our blog quite frankly.

Please check us out at 9 Deuce Wrestling on Facebook , on Twitter @official9deuce, or Instagram at Official9Deuce.  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question at wrestling@9deuce.com.  Thank you.

 

The 9

  1. Asuka is on her way to RAW.  Was this the right move?

Russ:  In the current environments I am going to say yes!  There are several reasons why this is the right move so let’s take a look at them.  First, the rosters.  Honestly, right now the best roster is the Raw roster.  You have the Goddess Bliss who can be a great antagonist for Asuka.  You have Sasha who can put on a good match given the right opponents.  You have Emma, depending on how she does at No Mercy we could see her emerging as a top star, though her loss on Raw doesn’t make me feel too good about that.  Finally, you have Nia, who continually improves and gets better each week.  That would be a great feud to watch Nia vs. Asuka.  Smackdown has some greats, but they are being squandered right now.  Another reason is that Raw is still the flagship of the company where most of the performers want to be and the company’s real money maker.  You want a top performer like Asuka on that program because she will draw eyes to the show.  

Keri:  I had to think a bit on my response to this question and probably longer than I should have. While I would have liked to have seen Asuka give some much needed star power to Smackdown, I  also understand why she is RAW bound. She is already a star and her reputation proceeds her so Smackdown’s promise of a land of opportunity is kinda lost on her. Also, look at the current state of each division. The RAW women’s division is thriving at the moment. The storylines are interesting and going somewhere. It would be the perfect place to unleash Asuka. As for Smackdown, the women’s division is lost in the shuffle at the moment. Bring her in there and you risk a repeat of what happened with Bobby Roode.

Kent:  Well, in theory, you should put Asuka on the weaker division.  Let’s see, RAW has Alexa, SAsha, Emma, Nia, Mickie, Alicia, Bayley, and possibly Paige.  Smackdown has Becky, Carmella, Natty, Naomi, Tamina, Lana, and stupid ass.  Rumors are swirling that Ronda Arouseme will be feuding with Charlotte inevitably because WWE is mildly retarded….majorly. That tells me that RAW is where she will be better built up and surrounded by legit talent.  WWE is really missing the mark though,  Asuka vs Charlotte in a passing of the torch and Ronda vs Bliss, somebody who can actually talk, would be smarter.  Ohhhh well.  Really, this all goes to shit because of WWE’s insistence on trying to make Charlotte seem a notch above everybody else when she isn’t even in the top 5 in ring on the main roster.  

  1.   Should WWE be giving away first ever match ups as frequently as they have this year?

Russ:   Well it would be nice if WWE actually saved some of these first time ever match ups for the PPV’s.  Lets face it the PPV’s have sucked a lot lately.  Maybe if they gave us some of the first time match ups on them we may have something to look forward to, even get a little excited about.  Instead all the first-time matches are ending up on Raw and Smackdown leaving matches that have worn the tread off for the PPV’s.  

Keri:  On one hand, you should have always have a few of these match ups to keep the audience hyped and interested in the weekly product. However, what Creative has done the past two years is they have saturated the weekly programming and have neglected to save anything for the PPV. They really have gone from one extreme to another instead of finding a nice balance.

Kent:  No, just no.  This pisses me off beyond belief.  You don’t give away an attraction like a first ever big time match up on free TV unless it goes like a minute and chaos ensues.  Any other answer is the wrong answer.  Joe vs Roman, Cena, and a few other guys have all been on RAW for the first time.  Braun vs Cena is another big one.  You MUST leave these first time match up for PPV’s to build up interest and not kill off the intrigue of another boring ass 4-7 hours, depending on the event.  Why do PPV’s suck so much?  Because they make the matches feel unimportant in the build up and the week after.

  1.   Is the Jason Jordan experiment starting to pay off for you yet?

Russ:   I think the last two weeks have been great showcases for Jordan.  We all had issues with his abilities.  He looks like a dead fish out there in promos and when he was first introduced we were iffy on his in-ring skills.  Now I can say that given good opponents he can definitely put on a good show.  Now he needs to prove that he can give us a decent promo.  He could be the next Benoit: the in-ring technician with no charisma, not the messed up in the head due to concussion part.  

Keri:  I’m going to go with a big fat nope here. The storyline fell flat and now the crowd doesn’t care. Jordan went from a member of a championship caliber tag team to a member of the job squad.  Great job WWE. Glad you thought that one through.

Kent:  Not for me.  Any guy his size with his background should be able to have those types of matches.  Cena and Reigns are capable of these matches on a weekly basis if they choose to, mainly Cena as Roman puts in the work.  I will say this, if Jason Jordan beat Jinder right at this moment for the belt, the belt would be in a better situation.  That’s not to compliment Jordan, but to point out how bad Jinder’s run has been.Jason will never get too far if he can’t add some character and charisma, just like his daddy.

  1.   In a night full of adequate matches and Brrrrock Lesnar, did the 8 man tag make sense to you as the main event?

 

Russ:   Unfortunately,  my power went off just as the match was starting so I didn’t get to see it.  It was a really weird thing.  The power flickered so I had to wait for the cable box to reboot, which takes forever.  It was just about to come back on and then the power flickered again and had to start the whole process over.  I was done at that point and as i went to shut the TV off for good the power went out and stayed out.  Fantastic!  I will say that I have noticed WWE has been taking careful strides to rotate who is in the Main Event each week so I guess in that regard it makes sense.  

Keri:  It was refreshing to see something not involving Brock in the main event segment. They have really been playing up the tag team division the past few weeks. It would make sense that they would showcase it in the main event at some point. Look at you RAW Creative using logic. I think I may need to bring back my gold stars if you keep this up. (Kent: I would say that since Mania, we have seen Brock more often in non main event segments than in the final spot on RAW.  He usually kicks things off or is at the top of hour 1 or 2.)

Kent:  As Russ said, the WWE has been meticulous in who gets main event spots, and that is a GREAT thing and is helping RAW feel fresh.  The match was fine for what I saw of it.  More important, anything that gets the vast majority of these guys in the main event is a good thing.  They all have merit in some capacity, so kudos.  Sheamus and Cesaro may be the best thing that WWE currently has going behind Braun.

  1.  Aside from everything else mentioned, any other segment work well for you?

Russ: I really enjoyed watching Braun destroy Cena.  (Kent: See question #2 that we already mentioned. GAWD!)  That was a fun segment because it is so rare to see Cena get taken behind the shed and beaten mercilessly.  Oh, The Miz and Maryse are having a child!  That was a nice feel good moment.  The fans cheered and for a second were taken out of Kayfabe.  Then promptly thrown back in when Enzo came out.  Do they seriously not have anything for the Intercontinental Champion to do other than to interview the Enzo’s of the WWE?  

Keri:  The Braun-Brock segment worked for me. Surprised I said that one, aren’t ya? (Kent: See question #4 that we already mentioned. GAWD!.)  Yeah, I didn’t think so. Between that segment and the match with Cena, Braun has been booked over the past year to perfection. The only thing missing is the cherry on top of the sundae. Come on Creative. The time to act is now. But the belt on the man, will ya?  He looked really good holding it on RAW. Just saying.

Kent:  Uhmmmm, I legit just had to read the recap.  Bray vs Goldust happened.  Emma lost.  The Miz knocked up Maryse and destroyed Enzo.  Yeah, let’s just congratulate Miz and Maryse and wash my hands of this question.

  1.  We have new tag team champions on Smackdown. Good or bad decision?

Russ:  I really don’t know if it is a bad decision or not, but I will say that New Day and The Uso’s have some major chemistry!  Each match they have had has been a treat!  This was no exception.  While this was definitely not their best match it was still fun and exciting.  Loved how The Uso’s basically kept a two on one advantage most of the match by being intelligent in their attacks.  Loved the big spots and overall just a fun match.  It may look bad shotgunning the title back and forth, but I’m not going to complain when I get to see these two teams fight.  Hopefully, this will culminate in a HiaC match at… Hell in the Cell PPV.  

Keri:  I’m at a loss for words while at the same time experiencing serious deja ju. Are we seriously watching Creative put together another hot potato belt storyline? Didn’t we just see this a year ago on RAW with the women’s title? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Recycled storylines are so exciting. I’m just wondering when the first time evers and historics are going to come into play. With that said, unlike the Sasha-Charlotte hot potato game, I’m enjoying this one a lot more and don’t mind watching it a bit longer. Just not too much longer.

Kent:  Rumor has it that WWE is trying to pad NEw Day’s number of championships, and here we are.  Sasha Banks is telling herself that someday she will get a long run like New Day had too.  She is delusional.  I like the Uso’s as champs a lot.  I am shocked by how much I enjoy them.  The match seemed a tad sloppy.

  1.  Natty and Naomi had a match. Compared to their SummerSlam match, Tuesday’s match was ________?

Russ:  Not worth my time.  I started watching it and then they went to commercial and that is where they lost me.  I started playing a video game because the match was boring and I’m really not interested in watching a crap match during the commercial. Naomi usually puts on a decent match.  This was not one of those times.  

Keri:  I think the word you are looking for is mediocre. Because that is the word I would use. Also, Smackdown, did you want Asuka? This is why you did not get Asuka.

Kent:  “Freshly squeezed garbage juice” is my response.  I suspect that Naomi isn’t fully healthy and working through some nagging injury.  She was off during this match and has been lackluster lately.  Now, it could have a lot to do with Irma, I don’t know, since she’s from Florida.  It was a bad match considering how much I enjoyed their Summerslam match.

  1.  Is Smackdown doing a good job as far as getting their roster screen time?

Russ:  Nope.  this was always going to be a problem for Smackdown due to it only being two hours. The two hours isn’t the problem (please WWE do not make it three hours!)  It’s the WWE’s fault.  I mean just look who wasn’t on Smackdown this week:  Bobby Roode, Breezdango, Randy Orton, Shinsuke, Luke Harper, and Eric Rowen.  While I certainly can understand having a superstar or two not on the show (there is no way we can fit everything and everyone, I get that.)  However,  Leaving Roode off the show makes no sense!  Two weeks now he hasn’t been on the show and that is criminal!  He just got moved up from NXT he needs to be on screen consistently each week or how else will people get to know him.  This isn’t how you treat an emerging star!  Trust me he is an emerging star.  He has all the tools.  It just seems WWE is squandering them.  I don’t even want to get started on the mistreatment of Luke.  

Keri:  Another question where I can give the answer of a big fat nope. My reason for saying nope is two words, Bobby Roode. Where was Bobby Roode? I’m ready to start a milk carton campaign for him. Seriously you bring up the guy and then do nothing with him. Bad form WWE especially considering he would be perfect answer to Ziggler’s new making fun of gimmicks gimmick. Sigh. I would mention others that have already gone missing but I have milk carton campaigns out for them already and I’m getting nowhere with those so right now they are not worth mentioning.

Kent:  No.  When Ginger Rhynos have substantially more screen time ove rthe past 3 months than Harper and Rowan and Hype Bros and Mike Kanellis combined, and the Ginger Rhynos are the least used tag team on RAW, well, you do that math.  Something bad is happening on Smackdown.  It’s becoming the weekly show that I dread….sigh.  Every single title division is stagnant as fuck.  Jinder gets time weekly, as does AJ, KO, usually New Day and Usos, Carmella, and usually Shinsuke and Baron.  Remember when Smackdown was rotating the acts all around so that it was nice to see everybody get time?  It was only a year ago!  Sigh.  Go Aiden!!!  Go Sami!!!

  1.  Vince McMahon returned to deal with Kevin Owens. Vince announced the Hell in a Cell match and promptly got beat up. Steph returned in a terrible outfit. Discuss all of this and is this leading to HHH vs KO?

Russ:  This was definitely a highlight of Smackdown.  The Vince beat down served its purpose perfectly.  While Vince is definitely not a sympathetic character watching a 70 year old man get his ass handed to him by a man that is much younger definitely seems unfair.  This feud was already personal, but this just made it a McMahon Family affair!  Well done.  During the entire beat down I kept on thinking that McMahon must really like or at least have faith in KO to let him do the amount of damage he did.  Let’s face it McMahon shouldn’t be taking these types of beatings at his age, yet he allowed KO to go nuts on him.  Finally, this solidified KO’s status as one of the top heels in the business and he deserves it.  

Keri:  I have a few comments about this segment. First, isn’t Vince getting too old to get beat up like he did on Smackdown? I mean good for him but at some point you have to take a step back and say maybe I shouldn’t do this anymore. Second, it looks like we are getting another wrestler vs McMahon storyline and I’m honestly not sure how I feel about that. Those storylines are always so annoying because they take up so much air time. Lastly, I noticed Kent made a comment about Stephanie’s outfit on Smackdown. And I didn’t think it was too bad. It was kind of flattering for her figure. Oh yeah. I almost forgot the answer to the Triple H question. Yes, yes it is leading to a KO vs. Trips match. It couldn’t be more obvious.

Kent:  Yeah, I immediately asked outloud: “What the fuck is Steph wearing?”  Anyway, I said on Monday that I figured either Vince would order the match or get beat up which would prompt Daniel to order the match.  I honestly didn’t foresee both of these things happening, and for that, I will give them kudos.  Vince shouldn’t be taking this type of punishment anymore, but you know damn well that he told KO to do it and was probably smiling on the inside the whole time.  Vince knew what he’s doing and it worked really well.  I was so exhausted, but I forced myself to stay awake.  Yes, I think HHH vs KO is a cool Mania idea, or possibly before then.  HHH is obviously a KO fan, and he must have won Vince over as well.

Bonus Deuce

  1. Rate RAW

Russ:  Another above average Raw!  Granted the average isn’t very good, but I’m not complaining in this case.  The matches were good, especially Roman vs Jordan and Braun vs John.  A slight downside that I have noticed over the past few weeks is how the WWE has decided that the worked shoot is the best thing since sliced bread!  Seriously, ever since John and Roman did their worked shoot a couple of weeks ago WWE has gone back to beat that horse more times than Kent and I beat the Paige/ Xavier horse on the podcast!  They are like kids in a candy store they are very excited about doing these worked shoots and just can’t stop.  Rating: 6.5

Keri:  It was another good RAW. The only problem I had with this week’s RAW is that it seemed they over focused on this Cena and Reigns feud. There was too much time spent on it and I think it took away from some of the other stuff going on. But, I guess I’m just being overly critical at this point because I did just offer RAW creative gold stars. So, rating: 6

Kent:  I don’t feel like I am suited to rate it this week.  I watched it half awake and it’s my fault.  I simply don’t want to go back and rewatch it, so I will say that it wasn’t as good as last week, but it was above average with no rating.

  1.  Rate Smackdown

Russ:  Another adequate show by Smackdown.  The tag match and final segment were definitely highlights.  I enjoyed the Tye vs AJ match.  While Tye lost it was still a strong showing by him.  I could have lived without the women’s title match and while i liked the last segment they spent too much time on the KO Shane stuff.  Rating: 5

Keri:  I’m just not impressed by Smackdown anymore. It just seems like Smackdown is moving into year ago RAW territory. Everything so haphazard and pointless now. I really dread watching it. Rating: a begrudging 4

Kent:  I will giev Smackdown a 5.1 as there are some things that I would absolutely rewatch, mainly the tag match and the final segment.  Both were well done.

 

Final Thoughts

Russ:  Pizza is great!  It tastes delicious and comes in a square box as a circle and when eaten turns into a triangle!  So many shapes in such a small package!  Wrestling has a small package.  Pizza = wrestling.  

Keri:  I want everyone to answer a question for me. How can I be behind less than 1 week into a new semester? Bad planning is the answer just in case you couldn’t come up with one. This is going to be a long semester. Guess I should not have watched wrestling this week, huh? It’s not like I would have missed too much anyways. Sigh. Back to sticking my nose in a book.

Kent:  Hopefully I will be more awake next week.  Go see teh remake of IT.  Very well done, and as you know, I am a horror fanatic.

All pictures used in this blog are for review purposes. They are property of WWE and wwe.com.

Tales from the Plunderbund Consortium – Chapter Two

It’s Tales From The Plunderbund Consortium Tuesday, and as promised, here is the riveting continuation of our tale.  In case you missed any of the past blogs/chapters, just go to 9Deuce and look through the archives and start from the beginning to get the full experience.

You can find us at the actual 9 Deuce website where we have the archives as well as other content such as horror movie reviews, wrestling blogs, podcasts, and some other material.  We’re on Facebook, on Twitter @official9deuce, or Tumblr @ http://superkent92.tumblr.com/ or Instagram at Official9Deuce .  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question or a comment at kent@9deuce.com.  Hell, you can subscribe via RSS.  Facebook and the website are probably the best bets.  Thank you.

Tales from the Plunderbund Consortium

Dark Sun Campaign – Chapter 2

 

Having sustained mild to moderate wounds at the hands of the gith, and needing to wait for the female Jua Dai to awaken, the adventurers decided to take a long rest.  During the rest Ilana decided to molest the magical fruit, at which point she learned that they were fruits of invisibility.

As Ilana finished her magical studies, the female elf awoken screaming, “where is Fanan, my beloved.”  Ilana immediately cast charm person on the elf to ensure they would be the best of friends.  At this point the elf was calmly informed that Jengi was Gith-chow.

After the screaming, wailing, and gnashing of teeth subsided, the female elf introduced herself as Jengi.  As the conversation proceeded, the adventurers learned that Jengi was the daughter of the Jura Dai chief, Tuga Dai. They also learned many of the things they had been informed of up to this point; 1) slavers from Nibenay had been taking Jura Dai elves as slaves to be sold in Nibenay; 2) the Jura Dai had been doing a number of things to hinder Nibenay (the city state, not the sorcerer king) in the hopes Nibenay (the sorcerer king) would free the slaves as opposed to simply destroying the entire tribe (the annoyance v. actual threat matrix); and 3) they kidnapped the druid and poisoned the oasis to punish Cromlin for allowing Nibenay troops to water there and as part of their continuing campaign to free their brethren.  During their conversation the adventurers revealed their “interest” in the druid.

Despite the fact Jengi was actively hostile to everyone that didn’t have her under a charm spell, the adventurers decided to treat her as a traveling companion rather than a valuable captive.  Upon reaching the Jura Dai fort deep within the Black Spine Mountains, they were rewarded for their trust by having Jengi run ahead and yell, “guards, guards, intruders are here to take the druid, do not let them enter the fort!”  The watchtower guards then appeared, arrows drawn and pointed at the adventurers.

Not wanting to have to assault an elven keep, Dimebag and Alexa headed back down the trail.  Coraanu and Pane-Pan chose to hide in the woods.  Ilana, confused at how her new bestie could act like this (despite not having recast charm person), decided to confront the guards.  What occurred next was a vigorous back and forth between three parties.  Ilana would tell the guards that they saved the princess and that they should be allowed in to see the chief.  The head guard would then say, “you have a point,” at which point Jengi would say, “yes they saved me, but I’m ordering you to kill them, so do it.”  Then Ilana would begin her argument again.

Eventually, Chief Tuga Dai grew weary of this pointless conversation and appeared on the keep walls with his head psionicist.  Demanding to know who was appearing before the great Tuga Dai, both Ilana and Uk’Chataa introduced themselves.  Tuga Dai allowed them to enter the fort but warned them that death by 300 arrows would be swift if they said or did the wrong thing.

Confident in his defiling powers, and in the powers of his chief psionicist, Tuga Dai and the psionicist met alone with Ilana and Uk’Chataa in his private tower.  The two could feel the psionicist probing their minds, and they freely granted access.  They told the great chief that they were thankful for the freedom they were granted when the Jura Dai elves attacked the slave caravan days ago.  They also offered their services in helping free the Jura Dai elves that had been taken into slavery.  The two were also upfront about the fact that Cromlin had hired them to rescue the druid, but that they had no real loyalty to Cromlin and House Shom.  In fact, Ilana offered her services in helping the elves destroy Cromlin.  Tuga looked at her as if she was crazy as completely destroying the village would likely result in drawing the full force of the military power of both the Shadow King and House Shom, virtually ensuring the complete destruction of the elf tribe.

At the completion of conversation Tuga Dai left to confer with his psionicist.  Upon returning, he explained that the psionicist had learned that the adventurers were to rescue the druid, return him to the oasis, and then hire on to a merchant caravan heading to Nibenay.  Tuga explained that 50 Jura Dai elves had been taken as slaves offered the following deal:  He would release the druid into their custody, they would return to Cromlin and say they rescued the druid from the elves, and they would then hire on to the caravan and travel to Nibenay.  Then adventurers would then have six months to rescue half of the enslaved elves.  Doing so would earn them the eternal friendship of the Jura Dai elves, failing to do so would result in enmity and painful death.  The adventurers accepted.

Meanwhile, while all of this was going on, a Jura Dai hunting party was returning from a rather poor hunt.  The demoralized party soon ran into the retreating Alexa and Dimebag, at which point, seeing intruders in Jura Dia territory, they attacked.  Many elven kneecaps and torsos were axed that day.

Subsequently, Ilana and the others met up with Alexa, Dimebag, and a pile of dead elves.  Uk’Chataa then proceeded to “prepare” the meat, and Dimebag (whose battle axe had broken in the fight) crafted a shiny new bone dagger.  From there the entire party plus T’klick’chik the druid had an uneventuful trip to the oasis, where the adventurers guarded the druid as he cast many neuralize poison spells to remove the methelinoc from the water.  After completing the task, T’klick’chik pulled the adventurers aside and told them that the caravan they would soon be guarding would spend an intire day and night watering the mekillots at the oasis.  He hoped they would agree to a nature spirit reading on that evening as the spirits apparently had a lot to say.  The adventurers agreed; even Ilana who normally doesn’t take no guff from no punk ass nature spirits.

Upon returning to Cromlin the adventurers accepted their reward, and then spent the evening drinking (Alexa), sleeping with and then robbing some drunk dude (Ilana), and having a pimped out leather jacket with bone embroidery made (Dimebag).

The next morning the adventurers reported for duty with the caravan master, Capt. Gen’erik.  During the day patrol the elves were run around the caravan’s perimeter at a moderate distance, while the shorties (Alexa and Dimebag) were to take the far perimeter while riding on crodlu.  The bugs would stay in the wagon during the day and patrol the perimeter at night.

The first day’s trip back to the oasis was uneventful, as was the day spent guarding the caravan as the mekillots watered.  That evening, T’klick’chik gathered the adventurers around to hear what the spirits had to say.

First, Dimebag was told that to fulfill his focus, he must “find the tower of light that protected men when the silt was blue.”

Ilana was informed that, “the mad spirit of the stream wishes to speak with you.”  A likely reference to the possessed elf-hating water source at the clan reservation.  Ilana told the druid to inform the stream that, “she will come see him when she is damn good and ready.”

Pane-Pan, to his surprise, was told that “the spirit of Far‑Misc is waiting for you at the Temple of the Sky Serpent.”

From there, the druid turned to Alexa and noted that, while the spirits see great promise in her, she should stop trying to surpass the greatest half-giant barbarian and instead focus her sights on surpassing the greatest halfling barbarian; namely, Nok Thal, the halfling barbarian warlord that raised such a mighty army Hamanu himself was forced to finally enter the fight to stop the uprising.  To start her journey, Alexa was advised to first seek Nok’s tomb.

This led the druid to turn to Coraanu and informed him that, “the spirits note that you have magical potential within you.  However, they would see you properly trained so that you do not turn to the vile depravity that is defiling magic.”  Coraanu was directed to seek out one of the spirit’s greatest champions, a man known only as, “The Mountain.”  [DM’s note:  “The Mountain” was a former player’s 4e Warden character from approximately 2009]  Coraanu was informed that The Mountain had returned to his guarded land in Cresent Forest north-west of Nibenay.  He was also informed that The Mountain’s guarded lands included Nok’s Tomb.

Finally, the druid addressed Uk’Chataa-Hookeri, letting him know that, “Mutami is with the one who silenced the Stealers of Songs.”  Had Coraanu’s player been in attendance that night I’m sure this would have led to much emotional roleplaying and stuff.

As the reading came to an end, the adventurers returned to the caravan duties.  The next morning, about two hours after leaving the oasis, Alexa, holding on for dear life to her crodlu mount, saw in the distance raiders heading straight for the caravan.  Expertly swinging the mount around, she arrived in time to warn the caravan and set up defenses.

While the raiders put up somewhat of a fight, for the most part they were slaughtered by the adventurers and crossbow wielding caravan staff.  As the last raider sought to flee, Alexa mercifully lowered her blood axes; however, the captain yelled to Dimebag that the raiders were likely from the “Silt Saviors” slave tribe, and that if they captured the former slave turned raider they could torture him for the location of the Silt Savior’s slave tribe and sell the information to slavers.  Being a dwarf of low to no moral character, Dimebag set off on his crodlu to capture the raider.

Expertly piloting the animal, Dimebag was able to wrangle in the raider; however, realizing that he was about to put all of his friends and family in jeopardy, the slave-turned-raider bit his tongue off.  Dimebag attempted to save the raider’s life (so that he could be tortured later), but the raider soon bled to death.

The remainder of the trip to Nibenay was uneventful, and, per their word, the caravan master bribed the templar gate guards to ensure that the adventurers would not be searched.  What new adventures await them in the city-state of the Shadow King?

 

American Horror Story Cult – S:7 Ep: 1 – “Election Night” Edition

We are back to discuss this season of AHS.  I really wish we had started doing this from the first season.  Alas, we are starting the Cult season and while it is too early to judge it properly, the numbers aren’t lying and neither is the viewer feedback.  I have heard a lot of negative things in regards to this, and the best I can say is that for the people who are going to see this through, I think the vast majority of the fans are hoping for less politics.  It’s like Facebook or Twitter came alive on my TV screen, in the worst possible way.  This week, we have Dom, Melanie, Cece, Teddy, and Tom (for one question) helping out.  I am hoping to get a couple more people on board for next week.  I should note that this isn’t the typical 9 Deuce blog because there’s not enough substance for us to answer that many questions on a week to week basis.  Also, starting next week, Melanie and I should be doing a podcast, so you will get a verbal companion to this blog.  Finally, any comments in the blog in bold are from Kent.

Please check us out at facebook.com/9deuceblog , on Twitter @official9deuce, or Instagram at Official9Deuce.  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question at kent@9deuce.com.  Thank you.

 

  1.  This season clearly has a political undertone.  There is no avoiding that.  Does it make sense to use politics and elections as a backdrop for horror?

Dom: It does.  Politics is a scary thing.  It can be a force unto itself and like religion can be volatile.  (The religion part of your comment, it’s a good one.  We tend not to think twice about religion in horror but politics can bring out a whole other beast.)

Melanie: I think this particular election makes a great backdrop for horror. It’s also is the election that everyone is still talking about.   

Cece:  Absolutely. From what I can tell, Murphy is tackling everyone’s greatest fears and focusing on the whole ‘people crave fear’ aspect. It’s working.

Teddy:  politics enables people to feel empowered. So it makes sense that it makes crazy people (like evan peters character) feel empowered as well

Tom:  Traditionally no, I’m not sure it makes sense but I’ll give Murphy credit for trying the unconventional.  It has truly worked for him before. (Thank you for your one and only response.)

Kent:  It sort of worked for The Purge part 3.  There was an episode of Masters of Horror that didn’t work so well.  I HATE politics.  I vehemently loathe them.  I hate discussing them.  I hate most everybody’s perspectives.  I am not open minded to it.  I don’t give a fuck.  So I suppose that if a story could be crafted intelligently, then sure, it could work, but by and large, it’s usually stupid shit.  Politics and horror don’t mix.  It sure as shit isn’t helping this season.  I will gladly accept more weekly man ass if it removes all of the political garbage.  I will also accept payments of more female ass, but Ryan Murphy just tuned me out.

 

  1.  Is there a character that resonates more with you than other ones?  Someone that you may identify most closely with.

Dom:  To early to tell for me

Melanie:  I am any background character you see drinking wine.  (Well played.)

Cece: I mean, I can’t exactly say as of yet. I’m definitely more on the Ivy and Ally side, I guess.

Teddy:  I related to the Asian guy who flipped out on Jill stein voters…I kinda did that after the election so it was right in the feels with that one.  (I don’t even know who Jill Stein is.)

Kent:  I know everybody expects me to say Twisty.  Well naturally, there are some things that will resonate with me, especially wearing big, comfy clothes and the urge to kill morons.  WIth that being said, I will go with the child, Ozzie.  He likes horror comics and would rather stay up late scaring himself.  He also has a crazy parent.

 

  1.  Are clowns scary or silly?

Melanie:  Fun birthday clowns, scary.  Fucking terrorizing clowns, scary.  Ronald McDonald, terrifying.  

Dom: depends on how they are presented.

Cece: I don’t find them scary at all. They’re silly, of course. Except John Wayne Gacy.

Teddy:  Pennywise chose my fate when I was 4…

Kent:  When done right, they are both.  I don’t find them scary, but they can be if done right.  By next week, I may have more to say regarding clowns after I see IT.  Look at other clown horror related things and by and large, it’s more silly than scary.  I could go for seeing Killer Klowns From Outer Space again though.  There is also Clown and Stitches that are both more modern.  Clownhouse, Clowntown, Ginger Clown, and Clown Kill also exist.  

 

  1.  Regarding all of the things that Ally (Sarah Paulson) keeps seeing in this particular episode, are they: A) All in her mind, B) Partially really and partially in her mind, or C) Entirely real?

Melanie:  B

Dom:  I’m gonna go with B.

Cece: Everything is in her head. The harsh reality of things has been triggering her deepest fears and she is letting it all get the best of her in her own mind.

Teddy:  I honestly don’t know yet, because if its all in her head then how is her kid also seeing them? I feel like stuff is being covered up.

Kent:  B seems the most likely, but for right now, I will say C.  She will eventually see something real though, if she keeps looking.

 

  1.  Name 3 actors or actresses from past AHS seasons that you want to see this season.

Dom:  Kathy Bates, Denis O’hare and Lily Rabe

Melanie:  Lady Gaga, Kathy Bates, Denis O’Hare

Cece: You mean people we haven’t already seen? I’ve kept up with the cast list up until now, so, I don’t think anyone else I want will show up, unfortunately. I am happy to see Evan, as always.  (Yeah, how bad is the announced cast list?  Fucking trash!  If you don’t know what we are talking about, just look it up and prepare to be wildly unimpressed.  We still get Frances Conroy, Mare Winningham, Lily Rabe, Adina Porter, and I may be forgetting somebody else from the past, but no Bates, Bassett, Lange, O’Hare, Chloe, Taissa, Gaga, Cuba, among others missing.  Sigh.  End rant.)

Teddy:  The girl who murdered her mom and stepdad in asylum (I miss her pretty eyes), Lady Gaga because she needs to redeem herself after terrible Roanoke, and Dylan Mcdermott.

Kent:  Denis O’Hare,  James Cromwell, and Taissa Farmiga or Alexandra Breckinridge

Well all know that I have at least 20 other names that I want to list, but Denis is always first in my heart.

Were you Kentertained by this week’s episode?

Melanie: Not particularly

Dom:  Middle of the road for me

Cece: Yes. It was a great start to be a thrilling season.

Teddy:  I wasn’t let down but so far it was overall pretty meh (props to the fucking/masturbating clowns)

Kent:  No, not really.  Waaaaay too political for my enjoyment.  The clown stuff was fine.  The show is on it’s last legs.  It’s starting to show by the lack of a great cast.  It’s a shame.  STill, there were parts that I liked.  I liked how Murphy almost poked fun at the hyper sensitive, over reactionary people after the vote.  I can appreciate that.  I can appreciate killer clowns.  Just no more politics, PLEASE!!!!!  Also, the main picture of the clown sex is basically how I felt on the receiving end of this particular episode.

Check out this article about how amazing this episode did in the ratings.

‘American Horror Story: Cult’ Debut Ratings Fall From 2016 ‘Roanoke’

All pictures used in this blog are for review purposes. They are the property of the FX Network, Ryan Murphy, and whoever else is involved.

Tales from the Plunderbund Consortium – Chapter One

Note from Kent.  Starting next Tuesday, we will be updating on a weekly basis.  We will try some alliteration and call it Tales From The Plunderbund Consortium Tuesday.  It rolls right off the tongue, doesn’t it?

You can find us at the actual 9 Deuce website , on Twitter @official9deuce, or Tumblr @ http://superkent92.tumblr.com/ or Instagram at Official9Deuce .  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question or a comment at kent@9deuce.com.  Thank you.

 

Tales from the Plunderbund Consortium

Dark Sun Campaign – Chapter 1

 

The sound of the roaring crowd could be heard as the six men and women were ushered into Urik’s gladiatorial area, the infamous Pit of Black Death.  All six were there for different reasons and were from different backgrounds, slaves, freemen, merchants, and tribesmen.  As they entered the arena they could see peering down at them Urik’s feared Sorcerer King Hamanu.

As the “gladiators” took their positions around the area, the Master of Games spoke, never taking his gaze off Hamanu.  “Great Hamanu, for blessing us with your divine presence this day, I have arranged for you a truly special event.  Please allow me to introduce the famed gladiator Ella!”

From the center of the area arose a hulking female half-giant wielding her famous psionic maul the Ellakrad.  Ella, a famed gladiator who was also the mentor of cute but deadly Halfling Alexa, had disappeared from the fighting area years ago and was said to have taken up with a group of adventurers.  Some of the rag-tag gladiators attacked from afar, some dared approach the hulking half-giant to fight, and Alexa, after getting over the shock of seeking her former mentor after two years, threw all she had into the fight she had been dreaming of for so long.  While the gladiators put up a noble effort, with Alexa even striking with a hand axe attack that bit deep into Ella, the famed gladiator quickly incapacitated them all.

Upon striking down Alexa, whom Ella has specifically left for last, Hamanu arose from his throne and said, “Ella, did you really believe that I would not know your so called return to the area was simply a distraction while your other adventuring companions attempted to infiltrate my castle?  By now your friends should have already been captured and are likely dead.  Prepare to join them.”

With that Hamanu began to cast a mighty spell, drawing life from not only the surrounding vegetation but also the humans and demihumans in attendance at the games.  Unleashing a torrential beam of necrotic energy, Ella attempted to protect herself with her legendary weapon.  Upon Hamanu’s powerful magic clashing with the equally powerful psionic enchantment of the hammer, there was a great flash of light and white mists began rising from the area floor.  When the mists receded, both Ella and Hamanu were gone.  As the gladiators began to pass out from their injuries, they heard the sounds of panic all around and cries of, “the Sorcerer King has disappeared!”

A month passed and the former gladiators, soon to be an adventuring party, started this day the way they started every day for the past month, in a state of psionic paralysis for 23 hours a day with only one hour to eat and drink in the cramped cabin of the mekillot caravan while continuously tied to the wall (not chained to the wall as chains are metal and would be worth a radiculous amount of money).

Over the past 30 days the adventurers learned as follows.  After passing out in the area slavers took advantage of the confusion to collect the adventurers and sell them to a very low level merchant house.  They were now on their way to be sold in the City State of Nibenay.

On this day the adventurers decided they were going to do something.  During the one hour of freedom from the psionic paralysis, Coraanu decided to use his ability to create minor illusions to make it look like he was puking uncontrollably.  While it made for an interesting site gag, it did not result in their freedom.

While considering what other wacky hijinks they might employ, a great blasting sound rang out, and the caravan came under attack by a group of 300 elves the adventurers would later learn were from the Jura Dai elf tribe.  As the attack commenced, a magically (or psionically) enhanced voice stated, “The Jura Dai are not slaves.  Your king must release our people, or all his caravans will perish in the desert.”  The elves then went on to slaughter nearly everyone who was not a slave.

At the conclusion of the battle the elves were indifferent to the freed slaves, even the elves Coraanu and Ilana.  They did agree to allow the adventurers to take with them two waterskins and two obsidian weapons.  Despite being greatly outnumbered by the elves, Uk’Chataa decided to take this opportunity to antagonize the elves by attempting to take three water skins.  During the ensuing arguments and threats of bodily harm, elf Ilana and thri-kreen Pane-Pan peaced out into the desert.

During the next few days Ilana and Pane traveled together.  An odd pairing as thri-kreen find elves particularly delicious and elves are always suspicious because of this.  During their aimless wanderings they observed giant flying insects traversing the desert and carrying wax globes.  Apparently, these “Wezers” would go into the desert and collect balls of water to return to the hive.  As the two companions were able enough to fell a Wezer, they were able to get by well enough on insect wax water for a few days.

Meanwhile, after Uk’Chataa agreed to give up the third water skin, Uk, Alexa, Coraanu, and crazy not crazy dwarf “Dimebag” Dandrel Darksmith decided to brave the desert together by heading south in the hopes they would reach the road to Nibenay.

During their nighttime travels they encountered a very thorny bush covered in sharp thorns.  Within this thicket could be seen a pool of water.  Dimebag entered the thicket and was immediately stabbed with over 40 thorns.  Even worse, upon reaching the pool of “water,” he learned that it was merely a thin layer of sap covered by an oily residue.

As Dimebag exited the thicket and began pulling thorns from his skin, Uk’Chataa, Alexa, and Coraanu noticed a contingent of 12 individuals heading their way.  The 12 individuals were dressed the same as the guards from the slave caravan they had just escaped.  Thinking quick, Coraanu used his ability to create minor illusions to mimic the sound of a nearby desert beast.  As such beasts often hunt individuals carrying food, water, and supplies, six of the guards broke off to investigate, with one of the guards warning “Ted” not to screw them out of their share of water as they left.

Ted then led the remaining six guards to confront the four adventurers.  Ted demanded their water and promised not to sell them back into slavery if they acquiesced.  Uk, Alexa, Coraanu, and Dimebag proceeded to kill them all.  Upon searching their bodies the four found a map of the area and learned that they were a few days journey from an oasis, and that the oasis was near the trading outpost of Cromlin.  Upon learning this information, they decided to walk to the oasis to the east instead of continuing south towards Nibenay which was still many days away.

Continuing on, the four eventually, came upon a cactus field in a section of stony barrens.  Dimebag immediately consumed a purple ball cactus which turned out to be poisoned as hell.  Luckily, his dwarven resiliency protected him from too much harm.  During this time, Uk’Chatta and Coraanu went on ahead and continued discussing things with one another, caring not for Dimebag’s antics.  Next, Dimebag approached a “writhing mass” cactus and chopped into it.  Upon chopping into the cactus a giant worm flew out and began encasing Dimebag.  With Uk and Cor not carring about their fellow party members, it was up to Alexa to cut Dimebag free.

Together, Alexa and Dimebag began examining the 180 foot long worm and realized that it could be used as a study rope.  The two decided that the best course of action was keep the rope at 180 feet long and for Alexa to carry it.  At this point Coraanu walked over and said, “hey, where did you get that rope.”  Upon learning of Dimebag’s plight and the decision to keep it whole, Coraanu told them that they would be cutting the rope into two 90 foot ropes and that he would have one and Alexa would have the other.  With all the assertiveness of Sprinkles the Low Self Confidence Elf, Alexa and Coraanu agreed.

Upon setting up camp the next morning, Uk’Chataa began his hunt for food and water for the party.  During his travels he ran into the powerhouse team of Ilana and Pane.  Even though they recognized each other as former captives of the same slave caravan, Ilana immediately began insulting Uk’Chataa and demanding to know who the hell he was.  Uk’Chataa, for the most part, ignored Ilana and tried to have a conversation with Pane.  After some vigorous back and forth and up and down, Ilana and Pane decided to rejoin the other four so as to increase their chances of surviving in the desert.

As Uk, Ilana, and Pane headed back to camp, Coraanu was sitting around doing some lame elf shit while on watch.  While engaged in such activity, he began to hear the sound of trickling water.  Looking down, he saw that a 20 foot long Silk Wyrm had attached itself to his water skin and was vigorously sucking the contents down.  Upon screaming/waking everyone else in camp, battle ensued, and the Silk Wyrm was slain.  Upon cutting the dead Wyrm open, it was discovered that it had six undigested magical fruits within it.  Each of the six adventurers took a fruit, which all appeared to have the same properties.  To date, Ilana (or any of the other adventures) has not sat down with one of the fruits for an hour to investigate its properties.

At the next dawn the adventurers were able to see the oasis off in the distance.  Coraanu stealthed ahead and found the oasis being guarded by one of the Mekillots that had been pulling the merchant caravan.  Along with that Mekillot was the dead body of its mate.  As the rest of the adventurers approached, investigation revealed that the living Mekillot appeared to be guarding the oasis but also appeared to be severely dehydrated.  This led the adventurers to surmise that the oasis was “poisoned as hell.”

There is an old Athesian saying, “the only thing a Mekillot can outrun is another Mekillot.”  Knowing this,  Pane-Pan offered to act as bait to lure the Mekillot away and run it in a wide circle around the oasis while the others investigated.  The dead birds, dead mud crabs, and Dimebag’s bard expertise revealed that the oasis was indeed “poisoned as hell.”  While the adventurers did find an alter with offerings to the local druid, the offerings were uneaten, and presumably the druid was missing or dead.  Further, they were able to identify copious amounts of the herb methelinoc, which is deathly poisonous to all living things except for elves and kanks.  Coraanu and Ilana both knew that some evil elven tribes are known to poison water supplies with methelinoc to prevent others from being able to use their water source.

As the adventurers were completing their investigation, they saw in the distance that a party of about 20 elves and their kanks were heading for the oasis.  The elves appeared similar to the Jura Dai elves who had attacked their caravan days earlier.  Assuming that these were the elves poisoning the oasis, the adventurers immediately headed out.  Further, Pane did one final loop and sent the Mekillot straight for the elves in the oasis.  Their screams could be heard for miles.

Knowing they were only six hours from Cromlin, the adventurers pressed on.  Two hours into their journey, they came across a group of 20 children of mixed races.  They had come from Cromlin and were heading to the oasis to fill their water skins.  While they had hears about the poisoning, they were sure their offer of sugar coated ants would be sufficient to get the druid to purify the water.  After much cajoling, the adventurers were able to convince the children that the druid was gone.  The children asked the adventurers to return with them so that they could help the village.  The adventurers agreed, but had the children act as human shields for the remainder of the journey to Cromlin.

Upon reaching Cromlin, the adventurers headed straight for the House Shom trading post headquarters where they received a small reward of Nibnenese ceramic pieces from the front desk secretary.  Soon after they were greated by Master Trader Hurdll Crost of House Shom.  Upon seeing Dimebag she said, “Dandrel Darksmith you old son of a gun, House Inika told us all you were dead.  I have to admit, while I was sad to hear you died, I think I’m sadder still to see you’re actually alive.”

Crost then informed Dimebag that upon his wandering into the desert it was assumed he died of thirst or was eaten by some monster.  As such, all of his assets had been liquidated, with most of it being used to pay his debts, and the remainder being put into Gulg’s war funds to fund their upcoming war with either Tyr or Urik.  The good news was that his three wives were currently receiving government stipends so they didn’t starve.

After discussing Dimebag’s current monetary situation, Crost thanked the PCs for rescuing the children and discussed the poisoning of the oasis.  While Cromlin has its own well, they still rely on the oasis for supplemental water to provide for everyone.  Apparently, the Jura Dai elves were punishing Cromlin for allowing soldiers from Nibenay to water there, as Nibenay had recently been taking a significant number of Jura Dai elves as slaves.  In order to keep the oasis poisoned, they kidnapped the druid of the oasis, a thri-kreen named T’klick’chik.

Crost offered to hire the adventurers to infiltrate the Jura Dai camp and rescue the druid.

[DM’s Note:  The next part I’m just going to gloss over.  House Shom is the largest merchant house in Nibenay and is extremely powerful.   During their interactions with Crost the adventurers said, did, and thought things that would pretty much ensure they would be murdered by assassins hired by House Shom upon stepping foot in Nibenay, if not earlier.]

After everything became copasetic between the adventurers and Crost, they agreed to the following deal.  Crost provided the adventures with his magical bone short sword, the Bone Saber, which can turn into a portable chain saw once per day, as a down payment, and upon returning the druid to the oasis they would be paid 2 silver pieces each.  Further, the adventurers would be able to hire on as guards to the next caravan heading to Nibenay.  Upon leaving the trading village they were provided with three day’s worth of food and water.  Despite the fact everyone in the party could use the Bone Saber, Coraanu laid claim to it with very little resistance.

The adventurers set out by night into the mountains where the Jura Dai fortress sits.  As Coraanu stealthed ahead, he saw two elven lovers, dressed in the colors of the Jura Dai, having their amorous rendezvous interrupted by 12 hungry Giths.  Coraanu warned the others, and as the adventurers engaged the Gith that had broken off and headed their way, the majority continued to assault the lovers.  After an intense battle, some of the adventurers were wounded, 9 Gith were dead, the male elf lay dead, and the female elf was unconscious.  The remaining Gith and the adventurers struck a deal.  The three Gith took the male elf’s body to be eaten, and the unconscious female elf was left with the adventurers.

A little worse for wear, the adventurers decided to take a rest.  Whether that rest will be long or short has not yet been determined.  Further, they are debating whether to try to use the unconscious elf as a bargaining chip to rescue T’klick’chik.  The magic fruits also remain unidentified.  What will happen when the adventurers reach the Jura Dai compound?  Find out in our next moderately exciting instalment.

 

 

Tales from the Plunderbund Consortium – The Characters

Welcome everybody to the newest feature in the 9 Deuce family, Tales From the Plunderbund Consortium. This is the first time that somebody else has written their own content at 9Deuce.com.  The premise of this is a simple one.  My buddy Eric, Keri’s husband, does a weekly D & D campaign and has generously decided to write out how the story has played out.  I’ll let him explain things more thoroughly.  With that being said, if you like the fantasy and role playing stuff, I think that you will enjoy this.  I will update this as often as Eric gets me the write ups.  PLEASE, leave us a comment to let us know what you think and share it with your friends that are into this stuff.  Thank you. – Kent

You can find us at the actual 9 Deuce website , on Twitter @official9deuce, or Tumblr @ http://superkent92.tumblr.com/ or Instagram at Official9Deuce .  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question or a comment at kent@9deuce.com.  Thank you.

Tales from the Plunderbund Consortium

Dark Sun Campaign

Welcome to Tales of the Plunderbund Consortium.  The group was officially established when we started a weekly Thursday night Dungeons and Dragons game after the release of fifth edition.  Over the past two years we have run the following campaigns:  Ravenloft – Grand Conjunction series of adventures, campaign completed and ended at level 12; Homebrew – inspired by the Animes Magi and Is it Wrong to Try to Pick up Girls in a Dungeon, campaign fell apart at level 5 due to loss players; American High School USA: Neo-Tokyo 2086 – completed season 1 of 3 using the OVA anime role playing game system; Ravenloft 2 – Curse of Strahd, used new characters but featured NPCs from the original Ravenloft campaign, campaigned completed and ended at level 10.

After competing Curse of Strahd the group was originally planning on playing Season 2 of American High School and then moving on to the current Dark Sun campaigned; however, after my wife became enamored with playing a duel-axe wielding Halfling barbarian, the group decided to head straight to Athas.

While the Plunderbund has been in existence for two years, many players in the group have known and played D&D together since fourth edition.  As such, certain characters appear in this campaign from our prior 4e Dark Sun Campaign.  The current characters are as follows.

 

Coraanu Songstealer: Elf Rogue (Outlander)

Player: Jacob

Coraanu Songstealer, of the Silver Hand Tribe, prays every morning to the elements of earth, fire, water, and air, pacing to each corner of his gladiatorial slave pen and muttering prayers in turn. He does this partly out of religious observance, but mostly to annoy his mul cellmate with entirely made up elven chants and the like. Cooranu Songstealer also spends every night swearing to the moon to get revenge for the death of his clan, the Songstealers. He does this to keep himself focused, and to make sure he doesn’t get too distracted playing pranks on his mul cellmate.

After all, it wasn’t that long ago that Coraanu came back from a nice morning jog over the dunes to find the remains of his clan and their campsite by the desert oasis. Slit throats and charred bodies–this was no animal attack, or even some raid from a rival tribe. This was a massacre.

Coraanu couldn’t figure out who would do such a thing. It’s not that the Songstealers had no enemies, of course, but that they had too damn many. Elves aren’t known for getting along with, well, anyone outside their clan and tribe, and the Songstealers in particularly cultivated a magical ability that made them targets not only of fearful outsiders, but of powerful mages as well. Coraanu could really only trust one group of people–any member of the Silver Hand Tribe to which his clan belonged. A fellow tribe member told him that, while out running, they saw a parade of metal shields head towards Songstealer campsite the night before.

In Coraanu’s mind, only one group could afford such an expensive military expedition: templars from the nearby city of Urik. [DM’s Note:  In order to better fit in with the back stories of subsequent players, this was subsequently retconned to the city-state of Balic]  Though still young and untrained, Coraanu swore on oath to find out who was responsible for his clan’s death and kill them. (But also to have fun along the way! Revenge is no reason not to be a dick.)

When he got to the city, however, he had hardly a chance to pickpocket anyone–or gather information–before local slave traders, looking to fill a gap in their inventory, got him arrested for a robbery (not even the one he was going to commit!) and sentenced to slavery in the gladiatorial games. Which is where Coraanu now finds himself…

Goals: 1.) Find the person or people responsible for killing is clan. 2.) Kill them. 3.) Mess with others for the lulz

Bonds: 1.) Oath of Vengeance! 2.) Silver Hand Tribe 3.) Other elves, more or less

Traits: 1.) Quiet 2.) Smart 3.) Smartass

Ideals: Lol no

 

Dandrel “Dimebag” Darkhammer:  Dwarf Bard (Guild Merchant)

Player: Plamen

Spice is a valuable commodity on Athas, and one held in monopoly by the Honorable Trade House of Inikia. Protected by decree of Oba Lalali-Puy, House Inikia has plied the roads of the seven city-states for generations. The dwarves of Clan Darkhammer are few in number, but they are sworn to service House Inikia since the clan was saved from destruction by a Nibenese war band decades ago. Their superior dwarvish sense of smell (and resistance to poison) has made them invaluable to Oba Lalali-Puy in other ways as well, and Clan Darkhammer is known for serving their deadly hot kank gumbo to the Oba’s enemies. While most components of their gumbo blend are well known, there is a secret spice that the clan Spicemasters add (harmless on it’s own, of course) which results in the diner’s violent and messy death as they void their lungs.

Dandrel Darkhammer is one such Spicemaster, as was his father before him. Compared to his wastrel younger brother, Darkius, Dandrel spent most of his life traveling between the seven cities selling the wares of House Inikia, and well protected by the Oba’s guards. It was a mundane existence, but one tempered by the tidy profit Dandrel enjoyed, and the taste he acquired for the finer things in Athas. As the years wore on, this decadence began to take its toll, and Dandrel found himself swelling with water-fat, his old eyes taking on the blue-within-blue of the hopelessly spice addicted. He also acquired some brides from Balic, three dusky-eyed maidens that replaced his older servants. Life was good.

But then came the dreams. Vague, unfathomable shapes tempted his mind and troubled his nights. At times, he would see them in the corner of his eye; ghastly figures with eyes like plates, who pointed above to a great ball of fire. It was nothing at first, and Dandrel blamed it on his rich food and heavy drink. But the visions would not cease, even as their message grew clearer. The comet had landed; crash landed somewhere in the desert. Two days ago, he had another of these nightmares, in which the comet, now cool and black as obsidian, got up and began to walk like a man. As if commanded by some unspeakable power, Dandrel left his caravan and began to wander the desert, searching for the obsidian man. When he regained consciousness and control of his facilities, he found himself deep in the Sand Wastes, all alone. An Urikite patrol picked up the smelly old dwarf after a day or so of aimless wandering, and sold to the gladiator pits. He has been to Urik many times before, and there are some in the city who know him by name and reputation, if not by his face. Though he practiced some swordplay in his youth, Dandrel knows there is little chance he could escape, let alone survive, the Pit of Black Death.

Goals:

“Find the comet-man” (Note: The comet is none other than the Mighty Servant of Leuk-o, which plunged through a dimensional rift following the great, final conflict between the forces of Lum the Mad and the infamous General Leuk-o. It is indeed in the rough shape of a towering 10-foot-tall man made of jet black metal. Anyone who knows the password can enter into the construct and pilot it, making it essentially a mecha. Any person piloting the device must eventually become a chaotic evil warlord.)

Bonds:

“One day when I get out of this mess I’ll get back home and show everyone what I’m made of.”

Traits:

“You mean you’ve never heard of the spice of Dandrel the Pure? One dram of this stuff made a Tyrian Templar snort out his eyes. That’s what you get for shorting House Inikia.”

Ideals:

“As long as I’m comfortable, it’s hard to care about those around me.”

Flaws:

“None must ever learn of my true purpose”

 

Ilana Ludgate:  High elf wizard (sage)

Player: Rob

 

After generations (elf generations!) of on-again, off-again warfare over the few rapidly-diminishing patches of arable Athasian land, about 250 years ago the Templars of Balic, on behalf of Sorcerer King Andropinis, signed a peace treaty with the Land Orca tribe that would allow them “perpetual dominion” over what was basically an agglomeration of red rocks, poisonous horseshoe crabs, and predatory sphinxes. Then about 120 years ago, when Ilana Ludgate was a young elf of 50 years, the tribe discovered valuable copper deposits on the land. The Templars soon heard of the find and suggested the Land Orcas would be just as happy on an even remoter, less habitable expanse of dust now known as the Res, which turned out to be somehow even shittier than the Land Orcas’ former home. The horseshoe crabs seemed even stingier, the sphinxes’ riddles were harder, and the one source of surface water–an intermittent stream that was dry for most of the summer–was sentient when running and usually had active malice toward the elves. Not loving her new sitch, Ilana peaced out at the tender age of 90 and started a hardscrabble life in the bowels of human civilization.

She’d picked up a sprinkling of magic from the handful of tribal wizards who had served as heavy artillery in the interspecies wars. The old guard seemed pretty reluctant to use magic, coming as it did at the expense of the land, but Ilana gives zero fucks about the costs of defiling. The way she sees it, if it weren’t for all the dickbag humans around there would be plenty of life energy to draw from, and as it stands Athas isn’t particularly worth preserving in its present human-polluted state. When she’s in human cities one of her favorite pastimes is to find a rich neighborhood with a nice, cultivated tree, sit down in front of it, and magically light her cigarettes when nobody’s looking, slowly watching the tree die over the course of her loitering. I mean, when she’s not unceremoniously shuffled off by the local guards.

She’s lived the last 80 years on the margins of society, eking out a relatively meager existence with an easy, flexible combination of small-time grifting and big-time staying out of mortal danger. By and large, she has small goals – life is a process of chiseling her due out of a zillion flat-footed strangers who hate her for her race and her magic. She understands the small rebellions of constantly dicking over strangers as the key to her dignity in such hostile circumstances. She’ll smile and play nice, but only if she knows she gets to stab you in the back afterwards. To now, resentments aside, it hasn’t been half bad. Recently, though, a female elf was reported to have thrown a well-timed bucket of feces out a hovel window at a passing templar. Ilana got swept up in the resultant witch hunt and now, for all her sly cartwheels on the razor’s edge of legality, finds herself unjustly tossed into the gladiatorial pits with a half-dozen other pointy-eared women (some of whom look insultingly not like her, btw).

Alignment: neutral/neutral – who the fuck’re you?

Bonds: elves, particularly the grizzled war vets and the underclass elves in cities (she has issues with new-generation Res-based elf tribal leadership, seeing them as pushovers). She’s maybe less resentful of downtrodden humans, etc., and probably won’t go out of her way to dick them over.

Ideals: nah

Flaws: many and deep

Will she sleep with you?: No, but she will pretend to like you and then cut your dick off, if you seem sex-offendery.

 

Pane-Pan: Thri-Kreen Psion (Urchin) Neutral Good

Player: David

 

Pane-Pan [pahn-ee-pahn, accent on the first syllable], was born into a clutch with his 6 fellow egg-mates, as are all Thri-Kreen.  He spent his youth hunting the deserts for delicious horseshoe crabs, a delicacy inexplicably unwanted by all other races.  He was always obedient to the largest and strongest of his clutch, Far-Misc [fahr-misk].  Living in relative silence, (communicating only Psionically with his clutch-mates), Pane-Pan grew to love the peace of Athas’ deserts.  Pane-Pan spent the slow desert hours honing his Psionic skills, and his clutch came to depend on his clarity of mind.  Pane-Pan could always be counted on to know the thoughts and feelings of his clutch-mates, and to freely share this knowledge with the powerful Far-Misc.

One fateful day, hunting for horseshoe crabs, Pane-Pan’s clutch was ambushed by a human hunting party, bearing the seal of Balic.  The Venetians had never encountered Thri-Kreen before, and were frightened.  The humans interrogated Far-Misc, and despite Far-Misc’s attempts to allay the humans’ fears, his crude clicking sounds were interpreted as cries to battle.  Fear won out, and the humans began to slaughter Pane-Pan’s clutch-mates.

Pane-Pan fought bravely, but the humans were too many.  Eventually Pane-Pan was the last of his living clutch-mates, backed up against a tree.  He knew there was only one way to save himself – to use his Psionic powers for ill.  He had only ever used his powers to assist Far-Misc and his clutch, but his Thri-Kreen survival instinct was too strong for him to give in.  He sensed the deepest fears of the Venetians – poverty – and projected the image of their vaults being raided.  The humans ran from the scene, fearing their wealth was in danger.

The effort of using his Psionic powers for ill (for the first time), took an enormous toll on Pane-Pan, and he fell unconscious.  He awoke alone in the desert.  A Thri-Kreen without his clutch, or some other community, is an incomplete Thri-Kreen.  Pane-Pan wandered the desert, eventually coming upon an unknown city-state.  He lived in the city-state for years (although he has ceased measuring time) subsisting by eating what the other races took for trash.  When confronted with danger, Pane-Pan has learned to use Psionic powers to strike fear and confusion into enemies.

Until yesterday, when an evil human defiler wizard, and famed patron of the gladiator games, came upon Pane-Pan.  Pane-Pan sensed the wizard’s fascination and excitement (a Thri-Kreen in the games!), and was worried.  When Pane-Pan refused the wizard’s offers of wealth in the game (Thri-Kreen do not kill for sport), the wizard attacked Pane-Pan.  Pane-Pan’s still- developing Psionic powers were no match for the wizard’s wisdom, and Pane-Pan was tossed in a cell.

Goals:

-find, if not a clutch of Thri-Kreen, a community where he is valued, and where he can follow a strong leader (whoever is biggest and strongest)

-kill the Balicans who killed his clutch-mates.  Death begets death.

Bonds:

-to other Thri-Kreen

-to any who are without a community

-to users of magic and Psion for good

Ideals:

-peace, desert, telepathy, community

Flaws:

-he is not very independent

-his traditional moral compass will limit what he is willing to do

-not a good leader

Traits:

-he is a new-style Thri-Kreen, no enlarged thorax

-He sensed another Psionically gifted being during the ambush.  It was Ender Wiggin, who lives somewhere in Balic.

 

Uk’Chataa-Hookeri – Thri-Kreen Barbarian/Ranger (Outlander)

Player: Dean

 

Amidst the chaos of a Thri-Kreen raid on a group of elves, two Thri-Kreen eggs were dropped.  This small group of elves warily adopted the Thri-Kreen clutch, much due to the advocacy of a young, but promising elf Mutami.  Soon, the Thri-Kreen hatched, prompting Mutami to wed his companion, Ekee.

I hatched alongside a fellow Thri-Kreen, my only connection to our ancient culture.  She was given the Elven name Ratany and I Hookeri.  Both of us were named ironically and after plants, she the root parasite Krameria and I after the Cereus Hookeri, or “Climbing Cactus.”

Not always accepted by our peers, Ratany and I spent much time together.  Through many meditative sessions, we tapped into the Thri-Kreen collective memory and learned bits and pieces of our people’s history.

The clan, the Silt Moon Tribe’s, goal is not survival, it is to thrive.  A Human would say “whatever the cost,” but we have no concept of cost an sacrifice.

Of course, our values are a mix of elven values with Kreen propensities.  Loyalty, Hunting, Independence, and unrelenting endurance.  Despite the animosity between Kreen and elves, the two share many traits.  Both Elves and Thri-Kreen of the tablelands are nomads, refusing to settle or utilize the crutch of a mount.  The elves taught me to keep my independence and strength, I need no humanly tools such as armor.  I am an Elven Kreen.

In our childhood, Mutami left the clan, hearing of the massacre of his distant family: The Songstealers.  I was never told more on the subject, though Mutami was spoken of often in our tribe.  Both in regards of his strength and fealty as well as his fool-hardiness and idealistic revenge.

In adolescence, I would leave the clan, wishing to take after Mutami.  Ratany insisting she join me, but her place was with our family.  They needed her.  They utilized our strengths to complement their own.  Ekee needed her protection.  What would become of her if her whole family left?  Constant chiding and other subtle attacks, no doubt.  Something worse?  Ekee was strong, but could she resist the antagonism and xenophobia that has been soft mutterings for the entirety of my existence?  No, Ratany would stay, ensuring her and Ekee’s place

amongst the Silt Moon.  Ratany would become a great hunter.  In a final meditative session, Ratany and I connected once again to our Kreen ancestry and each other.  Only now were we ready to give each other traditional Thri-Kreen names.

I am Uk’Chataa-Hookeri of the Silt Moon Tribe, an Elven-Kreen and loyal

clutch mate.  Once again, I am alone.

 

Alexa – Female Halfling Barbarian (Gladiator)

Player: Keri

 

From a young age, halfling Alexa of the Head-Splitter Tribe in the Forrest Ridge would help her mother “cure” the meat for the great feasts, never knowing from what animals the meat came.  When not assisting in the meat preparation, she was training in the art of hunting.  Then, on her sixteenth birthday, as was the tribe’s tradition, Alexa was invited to join her father on a “hunt.”  She was soon horrified to learn that the prey they were hunting was the group of adventurers that had recently stumbled on the village.  After killing, preparing, and cooking the human ranger, Alexa found that she could not eat the meal at that night’s feast.

Soon after, Alexa began a crusade to get the halflings of her village to cease eating humans and demi-human.  Unfortunately for Alexa, she was repletely laughed at and told, “you don’t make halfling tribal alliances with salad.”  Two months later, Alexa’s family was to provide the meal for one of the tribe’s biggest celebrations.  Alexa’s father had slain a might half-giant, and it appeared that it would be the greatest feast in some time.

While only Alexa truly knows what happened that day, according to her official Tyr Gladiatorial Biography, on that day Alexa’s barbarian rage manifested for the first time and she threw the body of the half-giant clear across the Ringing Mountains.  The biography also informs that ten percent of all proceeds from Alexa’s fights would go to the Fund to Support the Victims of Halfling and Thri-Kreen Cannibalism.

Alexa was immediately exiled from the Forest Ridge.  While crossing the Ringing Mountains, Alexa was ambushed and captured by slavers.  She was subsequently sold to House Shom who in turn sold her to a Tyrian Noble family.  While in Tyr she met the famous half-giant gladiator barbarian Ella, who took Alexa under her wing.  Together the two had many great victories, which resulted in Alexa being sold to a Noble family for a very high price in Urik two years ago.  [DM’s Note:  Ella was my wife’s 4e Half-Giant Barbarian]

Alexa has not seen Ella since being sold, but she has heard that Ella escaped slavery and joined an adventuring party.  Alexa hopes to one day surpass her mentor.