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A Man and his Pug: Volume 9

For those of us willing to pay attention it is very easy to see that all animals, and dogs especially, have their own unique personalities. Just like we human folk. Some are quiet and reserved, some are energetic and excitable. Others may tend toward stringent obedience or exuberant playfulness but with the majority of our beloved hounds they also incline toward having a loving demeanour, as is ideal from one companion in the company of another.

With each pet that we choose to care for, we also take with us the responsibility of ensuring that we help it to become what they have the potential to be. With the appropriate time and care, they can become true testaments to their respective breeds and their personalities will inevitably shine through as a result.

The Bulldog can provide a plodding gentleness. The Alsatian is capable of becoming stout and courageous. The Rottweiler tends toward determination and fearlessness. The Chihuahua is known to be wilful and lively (to say the least) and the Boxer could become both boisterous and loyal. These are just a few cases that the kingdom of canines provides with plenty more examples of why owning a dog is just a brilliant idea. Do you want something that can become excitably curious or laughably defensive at the mere prospect of a human fart? This is one of many reasons to go searching amongst the many breeds of boundless brilliance canine companionship offers.

With all of this in mind, I will then politely ask you to consider the Pug.

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I’ve had my share of experience around dogs in my life but never have I come across a creature so wonderfully odd and astoundingly awesome as our Pug, Oghren. Allow me to elaborate on some noteworthy instances that best showcase the personality of this fantastic, fun loving and occasionally flatulent little fawn laden fur frolicker.

Most mornings as the sun rises and so do we, he will bound into the bedroom as we awake with all manner of excitability and an epic desire to void his bowels so that he can revisit his second favourite place in the house, the treat cupboard. The obvious stop in his mind for a poop well done. But before all that can ensue, he has a tendency to nudge my fiancé out of the way of her gradual ascent from slumber (face first) so that he may proceed to wrap and roll himself, as much as he is able to, upon her pillow. He will not stop until he has coated himself in a shroud of scent detectable only to the nose of this pillow prancing pooch. There’s no doubting that he likes the smell of ‘future wife’ so much so that he will attempt to dig through the pillow to try get to it. I don’t think he is aware that it’s not something he can grab and gain to use as he sees fit. We’re not going to stop him though, it’s adorable. Ignorance and bliss and all that!

Lately he has also taken to a cementing an abusive/loving relationship with his most recent toy, a plush stuffed polar bear that must be named Ian. This is due to a predetermined mentality employed by my significant other regarding the naming of all bears as ‘Ian’ because of an attachment to a digital bear that she once acquired in the game Zoo Tycoon.

Anyway, one minute he will be chasing him down the hallway as part of a classic game of ‘fetch what I am about to throw because reasons’ before furiously ravaging this once unblemished plush toy betwixt his teeth. An arduous activity to be sure if the proceeding act of lazily lounging on the floor after a few minutes of exertion is anything to go by. So, they will be lying on the ground together enjoying some well-deserved snuggle/smush time – with the bear still firmly embedded in Oghren’s teeth. Sometimes he licks the bear, sometimes he paws at it. Is there an end goal to this? Bugger knows! We still aren’t sure if this thing is a respected member of his toy selection or just an unfortunate victim of his odd propensity to inflict his will upon something so undeniably subservient, being an inanimate object and all. Basically, this Ian is his bitch, in the non-gender appropriate terminology of the word relating to dogs of the opposite sex.

And he is not exactly unenthusiastic about dressing up either.

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Oghren dressed as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Michelangelo on Christmas Day. You can see him contemplating his eventual reward as he stares into the kitchen.

Pugs are well known for being sociable, loving, sensitive, playful clowns and just like any other dog, if they’re looked after they will become a boundless source of joy and love and a perfect companion for any person or family. Except for neglectful bastards who need not burden themselves with the consideration. The words that I believe could best attributed to this breed though, and most definitely in the case of our own little Pug, are quintessentially quirky with a dollop of endearing eccentricity and a dash of slothful nonchalance. A veritable cornucopia of canine quality!

Please forgive my obvious bias but there is no creature alive quite like him. He is undeniably adorable and fervent in his many attempts to enforce his desire to show his affection and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Forged From Reverie.

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A Forge Reborn

Greetings once again folks and welcome back. It is my proud privilege to introduce to you the new brand new look of my forum of fantasy, Forged From Reverie.

Recently I have been pondering about the aesthetics and the overall appearance of this site and how I bring my work to you good people and it occurred to me that I was not entirely satisfied with just how my work was being presented. I shall not ruminate too much on the negatives involved with such an epiphany, I’ll instead focus on the positive aspects that have emerged as a result of this change.

I’m not a particularly great artist, my photography skills are severely lacking and my abilities to produce any level of quality video content are almost non existent. I can make a damned fine cup of tea though, so there’s that! I am a writer, first and foremost. So the primary goal of this site is to bring to you my written fictions of fantasy as well as my insights into fantasy gaming and my general thoughts and musings regarding life, and aspects of my own life, in general. It should therefore be obvious that this is what I would like to be the focus of the Forge and yet I began to feel that this aspect was not being fully realised to it greatest potential.

Presentation people, its important apparently.

With the redesign comes a renewed focus on putting my writing front and centre. The imagery, links and any additional content that accompanies each post shall now be presented as exactly that – an accompaniment that will hopefully not detract from my works. My intentions are to have a simplified, more elegant presentation that provides me with what I feel is an appropriate forum with which to continue to bring you my writings and ramblings in a manner that removes the faff and focuses on the fiction, thoughts and fantasy.

That’s right guys, Forged From Reverie now comes with 30% less faffing about! For my non English readers, I now heartily apologise if you are now having to google the word ‘faff’.

The content that already exists here shall mostly remain intact, though I have already removed some older posts that I have deemed superfluous and very unnecessary. Oh hindsight, what a frustrating and oddly helpful chap you can be at times! I wonder what he’ll be telling me to do this time next year. A new category entitled ‘The Baffling Banality of Baked Beans and How Best to Better Them’ perhaps? Maybe though, only time will tell.

With all that in mind then I do hope you like what you see and more importantly I also hope that you continue to enjoy what you read. Feel free to let me know if you prefer this new layout or if I have well and truly buggered up my website. And sorry again if you’re now looking up the word ‘buggered’. I love this language!

Thank you again for continued support.

Forged From Reverie.

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The Apprentice Guide to Skyrim: Part 2

Welcome back apprentice. I hope your journey is going well, the frostback spiders not giving you the creeps are they? Just keep your distance, watch out for that poison and you will be fine. Well, here is the next piece of your guide to conquering Skyrim.

 

Not All Skills Are Created Equal

There are many disciplines for you to choose from when deciding where you place your perk points after levelling up. However, in my many hours developing characters in this game there has been one perk line that I have avoided entirely because, well…. the investment is just not necessary and thus quite useless. Simply put, avoid putting any perks into the Lockpicking skill. In many instances, I have managed to open Adept, Expert and even Master level chests just by having a mammoth’s butt tonne of lock-picks in my inventory. They are everywhere in Skyrim and the avid looters amongst you will have no issues accumulating a vast number of these useful tools. Sure, you’ll break plenty of them but this will still increase this skill and it is one that does increase quite quickly. The only barrier between you and the treasures contained within those locked chests are a basic lack of preparation.

 

Seek Out the Skill Books

Skyrim is a land not just for fighters and seekers of fortune. There are plenty of opportunities for the scholar or bookworm to indulge themselves, one need only keep their eyes peeled. Dotted around all over the place are literally hundreds of tomes that tell stories, offer helpful information (some will even kick start a quest) and some interesting histories of Tamriel’s past. Every now and then though you will come across a book that has a higher gold value than the others. Most books are worth about ten gold or so but if you come across one that is worth around the 50 gold mark or more, then I implore you to open it and have a look. These ones gift the reader an increase to one of their skills by one point. Find all of them and you will have gained 90 free skill points across all 18 disciplines to aid your development. Not a bad benefit for the curious mind.

 

Please Don’t Fast Travel

As you venture further and further across the map and you slowly begin to unravel Skyrim’s many secrets, the game allows the chance to fast travel to any previously discovered location. My wholehearted recommendation to anyone playing this game for the first time, and probably second or third, is to avoid this temptation whenever possible. Skyrim is a beautiful and intricately detailed land that can only truly be experienced by journeying from place to place on foot or horseback. This is how your own personal story will unravel as you encounter infringing strangers and curious instances, follow new pathways to places unknown and discover the many hidden secrets this ancient country has to offer.

 

You’ll Never Walk Alone, If You Choose

Sometimes we all need a little help and there is no shame in that. Near the games start you will be directed to travel to a small village called Riverwood. I suggest you go there to begin your adventures by following the soldier who guided you through the depths of Helgen to his hometown. It is a good place to get started and here you will find your first chance to gain a follower, which is someone who is willing to travel with you, carry your items and help you fight off your enemies. By speaking to either Faendal or Sven you will be given a choice with whom to side with in a lover’s dispute. Your choice determines your follower. Pro tip – don’t choose Sven, trust me! Along your travels, you will encounter many more potential followers that you can befriend or abuse as you see fit.

 

If in Doubt, Run!

Danger lurks in many places in the northern province of the Empire. In the deep tombs of the dank and dark dwell the undead draugr, within the cold caverns creep the falmer, high atop the icy peaks are where the frost trolls linger and when you reach a certain point in your adventure, the skies will become the domain of the dragons. A headstrong hero may look upon the visage of their foe and charge directly toward them unprepared and unaware that they may be too weak, too low levelled at the time and lacking the necessary equipment or abilities to slay that which threatens their very life. Be vigilant apprentice. If after one blow you have lost the better part of your health and your vision begins to blur, then run. There is no shame in fleeing to live another day and if you haven’t saved your progress recently then you could be looking at having to re-tread the same ground again just to catch up to where you fell.