Welcome to Boxing Day. For many of us, this brings about the post-holiday dinner blues and bloating. As you chew on your cold leftover turkey leg and your congealed gravy, I offer you a list of fantasy land-approved activities to consider for warding off the blues, enjoying the winter scenery (should you have it) and working off some holiday pounds. To help you select an activity, I’ve even included a list of pros and cons!
Disclaimer: Neither the writer of this blog nor Black Gate can be held responsible for any legal, moral, personal or logistical penalties resulting from following any of the suggestions below. Should you find yourself seriously considering following any of these, we strongly suggest throwing on a Hitchcock marathon, re-reading all of Moorcock’s works, or picking up a hobby, like making papier-mâché squirrels wearing tiny armor.
Lay Siege to Your Neighbor’s Home
Difficult to do in a townhouse/apartment situation, but not impossible. Remember, the trick is to cut off their supply line. Consider first going for the water line (no toilets post-holiday meal will flush them out faster), and don’t forget to bring pots to bang outside their home while they consider the direness of their situation.
PRO: You don’t have to clean the banging pots, so you save some dish time!
CON: Everyone has cell phones, so cutting off their phone lines won’t really work. That, and this is pretty annoying and illegal.
PRO: You get to learn about power and water lines, and chances are that you’ll get to visit the cavernous dungeon of the sewers!
Hunt a Rare Mystical Creature
Unicorns count for extra challenge points if you’re in a land covered in fresh snow. White on white = difficult to spot.
PRO: This will probably keep you moving all day, since mystical creatures are really hard to find.
CON: Mystical creatures are pretty endangered, so some hero will probably come to stop you.
PRO: Meet a new hero; make a new friend!
CON: Dragons might burn your head off.
Find a Long Lost City
Bonus points if there’s a still-thriving and probably evil or highly advanced civilization living in it.
PRO: Sell new techs on the open market and become a millionaire
CON: … I might be in love with the tech idea as my new retirement plan, because I can’t think of a con. Well, I suppose if they use the tech against you, that might be bad. Avoid that bit. Use your ninja skills.
This is a nice easy activity, if you’re not feeling up to mystical creature/ lost city hunting. Basically, find a comet. Acquire the comet. Find mystical forge hot enough to melt comet. Forge comet into sword.
PRO: Easy peasy, for the lazy among you (I’m not judging. I’m probably off doing this myself right now). Again, I see no cons to this one.
Lead a Party into Dark Haunted Woods
Don’t bring your BFFs, since chances are most of you aren’t coming back. But running away from hellish demons is great exercise. Bonus points if you come back with all of your limbs.
PRO: Funny stories to tell at your next family gathering.
CON: Loss of limbs, friends, and/or sanity.
Take Down an Evil Cult
This is such a time-honored tradition in fantasy that it must be mentioned. I did my university studies in religion and culture myself, so I’m more tempted to ask you to study them while hiding in a bush, but I respect your decision to take them down instead.
PRO: After freeing them, worshippers might gratefully sing and dance for you. They might also be naked.
CON: After freeing them, worshippers might gratefully sing and dance for you. They might also be naked.
OTHER CON: Pissing off a deity thing. Make sure your character class can withstand holy spells.
That’s a good starting point list, but I’m sure you’ll agree it’s by no means all-inclusive. There are other classics, of course, like forging a party, getting your hometown destroyed, having a family member kidnapped, raising an army of the night, hunting a mystical item, making friends with a druid/wizard… the possibilities are endless!
So go forth and enjoy. Don’t forget to bring leftovers and some friends! And, in the spirit of meeting all legal obligations, I encourage you to re-read the disclaimer listed at the top of this post.
Marie Bilodeau is an award-winning science-fiction and fantasy author, as well as a professional performing storyteller. Check out her writings and find out what the heck a storyteller is at www.mariebilodeau.com. Her last post for us was “Nine (mostly) Distinct (almost) Positive Traits of Chainmail Bikinis.”