Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fantasy Races for Baronial Players

My take on the classic races for my baronial setting

Appearance: Most Tuathanas are over six feet tall and have a smallish bone structure. Their hair and eye color vary, with many capable of magics that allow them to alter such things. Before the rebellion, lighter colors were popular.

Background: The Tuathanas of old were slave owning, abuse wielding, eccentric jackasses. They abused their humans slaves, using them for experiments, house cleaning, tending the fields, and cleaning up after the failed experiments.

For thousands of years, the elves and dragons ruled their respective lands. The lack of conflict bred stagnation amongst the Tuathanas. Apathy and disinterest became common in some of the elves, while others were completely overtaken by mania. Arts were taken to the extreme and magic came to rule the land. Eccentric-ism was the new normal and any elf not taking their interest to the furthest extreme was quickly cast out of social circles.

During the Age of Conflict, Tuathanas began treating their slaves better, as an owner might treat a Roman gladiator better than a field worker. The humans were needed as cannon fodder. Against their better judgment, the Tuathanas decided to teach a limited number of humans how to work Tuathanas sorcery. A collection of the best human specimens were taken away for instruction. In time, as the war with the dragons wore on, those specimens were bred with each other and with Tuathanas. The latter of which would lead to the half-elven race referred to as, “The Children of Men.”

The Age of Conflict ended with the dragon race wiped off the planet, the dwarves now enslaved by the Tuathanas and considered even lower class than the humans, and the gnomes pondering their next move. The sorcerer chantries set about learning dragon magic from the dwarves while the less magically inclines Tuathanas commanded the dwarves to begin moving the riches from the caverns and halls of the dragons into the decadent homes of the elves. Humans were appointed overseers to the dwarves, but more often than not, they simply showed the dwarves how to avoid punishment for wrongs not committed.

The Age of Strife brought the downfall of the Tuathanas as a people and nearly removed them as a race from the planet. Sensing a growing movement to revolt amongst humans and dwarves, the Children of Men put together a plan to free their relatives from the clutches of their overlords. By combining their knowledge of sorcery with the martial abilities of humans and dwarves, the Children of Men were able to strike at the heart of the Tuathanas kingdoms. Within the first week, most of the leaders were dead. However, the rebellion was not strong enough to win against an organized Tuathanas people. The rebellion's inability to close the deal in less than a month, allowed for the Tuathanas to recover, analyze, and strike back. Whole villages and armies were extinguished by single Tuathanas chantries.

Gnomes aligned with the rebellion reached out to sympathetic Tuathanas, bringing them over to the side of the rebellion. These turncoat Tuathanas were able to supply knowledge and lend magical support needed to overthrow the Tuathanas as a ruling race. In return, the gnomes cut a deal with the humans and dwarves that these Tuathanas would not be killed. Instead, they were sent to live in what would become the Barony of the Woods at the lake of glass that was once a Tuathanas city named Lanark.

For three human and dwarven generations, Tuathanas have primarily lived in Lanark. Some stayed in the chantries in which they serve, others have begun wandering the land, hoping for a better life than that which is Lanark. Lanark was once a grand city among the trees. However, during the Age of Conflict, a wing of dragons melted the core of the city with their fiery breathe, leaving only a lake of glass. The new city of Lanark is a constant reminder to the Tuathanas that they can be defeated.

Today, the Tuathanas are trusted by those in positions of power, but still feared by the populace at large. Horror stories are still told of the treatment delivered to man and dwarf by their former masters. Tuathanas do not gather in groups outside of Lanark, to ensure they do not incite fear or riots among man and dwarf.

Appearance: Half-elves tend to have small to medium body types and average near six feet tall. While their hair and eye colors can be as varied as the Tuathanas stock they have been bred from, human traits of darker colors run stronger than the lighter colors that can be found amongst the Tuathanas.

Background: The Children of Men grew out of an experiment performed by Master Magician Pyrrus. Master Pyrrus was curious as to the ability of his own race to breed with humans in an effort to create a more pure race of humans. He had already overseen experiments wherein humans were bred with the beast men, who were born from the stuff of chaos. The experiments with human and Tuathanas were successful and thus were born the Children of Men, half-elven.

Master Pyrrus would later go on to experiment on the abilities of beast men and Tuathanas to reproduce. Much to his dismay, they were able to produce viable offspring. Master Pyrrus never released the details of these experiments to the others within his chantry. He ordered all participants burned to ash. Master Pyrrus attempted the same experiments with dwarves, but found they could not be bred with other races, outside of certain beast men.

While the Children of Men were originally humans bred with Tuathanas, they would eventually be bred with each other, instead of sullying the Tuathanas blood. After all, the goal was to improve humans, not water down the blood of pure Tuathanas stock.

Before the rebellion, the Children of Men were bred to help with sorcery and the upkeep of the chantries. They were taught rudimentary magics as to be able assistants to the Tuathanas wizards. As the war with the dragons wore on, the half-elves were eventually taught how to read grimoires and cast powerful spells. Many amongst the elves did not agree with this practice, but the overall concern that the Tuathanas nation needed more spell casters in order to defeat the dragons won out. This also allowed for fewer Tuathanas to be on the field of battle, as the half-elves could replace them as war-casters

Following the defeat of the dragons, the Children of Men became the go-between from the Tuathanas and the slave races of man and dwarf. The Children of Men were no longer taught high end magic, but instead were taught how to use their magics to control the slaves. A lucky few half-elves were allowed to lead exploration parties into the old dragon caverns where they could lead as they desired and not be the whip upon their parents' backs.

In time, the seed of rebellion would be planted across the known world. Human, dwarf, and half-elf would join together in a bid for freedom. Allies amongst the gnomes were levied to gain help from sympathetic Tuathanas. The rebellion was over in under a year's time. In every major battle, the Children of Men were present, often leading the charge.

Today, half-elves can be found across the land in the same roles as their human and dwarven allies. They tend towards roles where their education in the elven chantries would prove to be a benefit: alchemists, smithing, providing healing, and as instructors.

Appearance: Most humans range in height from 4'10” to 5'8” and have dark colored hair and eyes. Their bodies tend to be from medium to heavy stock and quite muscular.

Background: Humans were brought into the world by the Tuathanas to be their slaves and play-things. They served as housekeepers, farmers, beast keepers, fisherman, hunters, laborers, and the subject of magical experimentation. There was no job too low for a Tuathanas to assign a human to perform.

Until the Age of Conflict and the war with the dragons, mankind was not allowed to bear arms or armor. When the Tuathanas discerned they would need more help to defeat the dragons and their slaves, the dwarves, the Tuathanas began to train men on the art of war. Man was never given plate armor, not instructed on how to create it. Nor was he taught how to work special metals such as the moon metal that fell from the sky. The hunters of beasts among mankind taught some of their brethren how to draw bow, but most found this unnecessary with the Tuathanas ability to support armies with spell casting.

Following the war, mankind was slow to give up the arms and armor they had been provided. They realized the potential freedom they could attain with these things formerly forbidden. Those few who had learned the ways of crafting mail and sword secretly passed that knowledge to their offspring. Mankind was given a standing above that of the dwarves. While some took advantage of this decision by their Tuathanas owners, most attempted to work with the dwarves more as equals.

No one recorded the event that led to the uprising to begin the War of Strife. Three generations later, no one cares. Humans bore the brunt of the rebellion. They were ever-present in the lives of the Tuathanas and the first to be punished by the Tuathanas. They had also been allowed to breed at will, with no checks or balances in place. This gave them number superiority in the rebellion. Yet, thousands died the first night the Tuathanas finally organized themselves and began fighting back properly.

With the dwarves providing additional martial support, the Children of Men wielding magic, and the eventual deal brokered by the gnomes with sympathetic Tuathanas, the humans were finally able to gain freedom for themselves and all other enslaved races. All Tuathanas who refused the same deal brokered by the gnomes for the sympathetic Tuathanas, were executed in public. Tuathanas took to the woods and the mountains in an effort to hide from the doom that came for them. Humans and dwarves hunted those elves down, killing them, and bringing their ears back as proof.

Those humans in positions of power today have modeled the lands and their leadership on the former models developed and used by the Tuathanas for the Tuathanas. They know it is not the best model, but it is the only model they know. Differences exist between the baronies and the barons that rule them.

Appearance: Dwarves range in height from 3'10” to 4'8” and all are of heavy stock. Their hair and eye color tend towards the dark colors seen amongst humans. Long hair and beards are common and were originally grown to help keep them warm while in the depths of the caverns or upon the mountaintops.

Background: The dwarves were created for the same reason as humans, to be another race's slaves. In the case of dwarves, it was to serve the Nathair-Sgiathach, dragons. While the working conditions were no better overall, the dragons were quicker to teach dwarves how to use rune magic and alchemy and allowed them to develop their own culture. As long as the dwarves accomplished what the dragons set them forth to perform, no care was given to any other excess they desired.

When the Age of Conflict began and the dragons went to war with the Tuathanas, the dwarves were brought into the war immediately. The Tuathanas never thought to bring their humans into the battle until being routed more than once by fields of dwarves, armed with their heavy mining tools and the scales of dead dragons as armor. The dwarves proved themselves worthy adversaries and gave as good as they got. This martial prowess and mutual respect given to their opponents, the humans, allowed for an easier than expected transition to their new masters following the deaths of the dragons.

To say the dwarves missed their former masters were be an incorrect statement. Yet, it was also be incorrect to say that they hated their former masters – they did not. They would learn to hate the Tuathanas and their treatment of dwarves and humans, alike. Moreso, they pitied the humans forced to lord over the dwarves and deal punishments unearned.

There are those among the dwarven communities that claim the dwarves provided the leadership needed to start the rebellion against the Tuathanas. Humans rarely argue this point, instead glowering over the topic and attempting to move the conversation along to other topics.

Following the War of Strife, most dwarves retreated to their caverns and mountaintop homes. Most of these communities were self-sufficient before being enslaved by the Tuathanas and they would become so once again. The most public dwarven community is the Barony of the Mountain, lead by Baron Ponoshich. The barony rests to the west of the Barony of the Woods, where they can provide an extra set of eyes upon the elven city of Lanark.

Appearance: The shortest race of people in the known world, gnomes typically stand between 2'4” and 3'8”. Their hair and eyes run the full gamut of colors, including those not found amongst human, dwarf, or elf. Their body frames are typically very slight.

Background: Gnomes are from another land, a land lost to memory and time. They entered the known world and immediately created a place for themselves as go-between for the Tuathanas and Nathair-Sgiathach. Diplomats, traders, and deal makers were the perfect role for this small, unassuming race of people. They quickly mastered the tongues of both races, finding the Tuathanas language much easier than that of the Nathair-Sgiathach. In practice, they were more likely to speak the dwarven version of the dragon-tongue, then the natural tongue of the winged giants.

A deal gone bad was the cause of the Age of Conflict, though none know this today. Diplomat Vipponah the Elder was attempting to cut a deal where he would benefit, not the elves or dragons whom he was employed by. A mis-translated word in the dragon-tongue lead to a violent display of emotion by an elf in front of his dragon host. The Nathair-Sgiathach removed all of the visiting Tuathanas via teleportation magic to a realm of chaos formerly unknown to the Tuathanas. The Tuathanas retinue fought their way out of the Chaos realm by striking deals with new demon allies. New demon allies that would supply new magics in the War of Strife.

Vipponah the Elder was imply eaten by the dragon for bringing an insulting Tuathanas into the home of a Nathair-Sgiathach.

Gnomes did their best to stay hidden during the Age of Conflict. While no one knew that Vipponah the Elder had caused the rift between their two sets of customers, the gnomes knew that to get into the middle of the elves and dragons would only result in death. Instead, they took on miniscule roles within the various kingdoms that allowed them to stay safe.

Following the Age of Conflict, some gnomes returned to their roles of old as traders and diplomats between the different Tuathanas. No longer were they the movers and shakers of dragon hordes and elven art. Instead, some tried their hands at leading raids into the old caverns and mountaintop palaces of dragons. Many of the gnomes took a liking to this life of adventure and investigation. While most lead from behind a wall of human and dwarven buffers (you never know where an old dragon trap might exist), they were none the less present in the field.

When the airs began changing and the War of Strife was beginning, the gnomes were very quick to decide which side to support. During the war, they would serve as spies for man and dwarf. They would lead explorers to old caches of magic and arms. They were able to work within the Tuathanas system and find sympathetic Tuathanas that understood the futility of fighting a war they could not win. They even went so far as to broker a life saving deal for the Tuathanas and their former slaves turned conquerors that allowed for the Tuathanas to live if they helped free mankind, dwarves, and the Children of Men.

With the end of the War of Strife and the beginning of the Age of Recovery, gnomes continue to branch out into other roles. No longer do they only serve as diplomats, traders, and deal makers. Some serve as heralds in the courts of the new world, while others study magic in the chantries, and others have decided to try their hand at farming or fishing.

Racial Modifiers
  • Movement: 10m
  • Start with Common Magic
  • Dark Sight
  • Life Sense
  • Intelligence and Dexterity can be raised as high as 21 at game start
  • Languages: Common, Elf
  • Movement: 6m
  • Dark Sight
  • Earth Sense
  • Size cannot be over 12
  • Strength and Constitution can be raised as high as 21 at game start
  • Languages: Common, Dwarf
  • Movement: 6m
  • Start with Common Magic
  • Size cannot be over 10
  • Constitution and Dexterity can be raised as high as 21 at game start
  • Languages: Common, Gnome
  • Movement: 8m
  • Start with Common Magic
  • Power can be increased as high as 21 at game start
  • Languages: Common, Elf
  • Movement: 8m
  • +10% to one combat style
  • +10% to two professional skills (non-combat)
  • Persistence +10%
  • Resilience +10%
  • Languages: Common

The Pitch

Continuing an idea I am developing...

High Concept
Ancient European style culture set in a world trying to emerge from a Dark Age; humans intermixed with dwarves, elves (who surrendered control of the world to man and dwarf), and gnomes (whose real purpose is not known); set in a bleak world trying to come out of a Dark Age.

The Pitch
The cast join with Baron Galen of Tamaris in attempting to reunite a land now divided. Along the way, they play integral roles in forming alliances with other baronies, encounter experiments left behind by their former masters (the elves), and rally against those who would support a despot as king.

The cast will become embroiled in the machinations of Baron Galen (portray by James Coburn) as he attempts to unite the baronies across the continent. Allies must be formed and enemies swayed or defeated. The cast will need to prove their worth to Baron Galen before being sent on missions of greater and greater importance. With success, they will become emissaries of a sort for the baron as he pursues his personal goal – setting himself up as the king of a reunited land. Faraway lands will be visited, including those adverse to serving a different baron's goals. Can the cast survive in these lands, let alone gain supporters for Baron Galen amongst the peoples within these lands. Along the way, caches of old will need to be explored and experiments left behind by the evil elves of old must be destroyed.

The cast will have the freedom to not help the baron if they find him a detestable leader.

Cast and Concepts
Location: Barony of the Southern Coast
Capital: Tamaris
Ruler/Leader: Baron Galen (James Coburn)
Important Court Members:
Allies: none
Enemies: Baronies of the Mists and Swamps
Neutral: Baronies of the Mountains, Woods, and River
Population: 1200
Notes: The elves of old turned sandbars near the coast into three, small islands and then constructed bridges, towers, and buildings upon those islands. The towers give the impression of wrapping around themselves, as if seaweed. The buildings are constructed to look like rocks and coral from the seabed. The bridges that stretch from the mainland to the islands and betwixt the islands are layers of wood that warp and wrap around each other like a field of seagrass to form a perfectly smooth surface. Each bridge has a command word that may be used to retract or extend the bridge, as if some sort of drawbridge. The main island houses the baron's home. The other two islands serve as either the base of the military or as a starting point for fishermen, complete with docks. The town itself spreads from these three islands on to the mainland.

Location: Barony of the Mountains
Capital: Carnock
Ruler/Leader: Baron Ponoshich (Ernest Borgnine)
Important Court Members:
Allies: none
Enemies: none
Neutral: Baronies of the Woods and Southern Coast
Population: 950
Notes: The Barony of the Mountains lies within the western mountain range. Most of the residents within the barony are dwarves and live underground. Unlike the Barony of the Falls, this barony does not trade its ore with human settlements outside the barony. Most of the trade is with dwarven communities deep within the mountains.

Location: Barony of the Woods
Capital: Caerlaverock
Other Cities: Lanark
Ruler/Leader: Baron Ulric (Brian Blessed)
Important Court Members:
Allies: none
Enemies: none
Neutral: Baronies of the Mountains, Southern Coast, and Mists
Population: 1000+elves
Notes: The Barony of the Woods lies between the Barony of the Mountains to the west and the Barony of the Southern Coast to the southeast. Baron Ulric has the unenviable job of watching over the remnants of the people who were once our jailors. While most consider the idea of guarding against future problems with the surviving Tuathanas, Baron Ulric has found it to be easier than expected. He has made allies with a group of gnomes who serve as spies and informants within the Lanark community.

The glass lake that once was Larnark lies in the center of this barony. The new elven town of Larnark has built up around the old city.

Location: Barony of the Mist
Capital: Polworth
Ruler/Leader: Baron Kobel (Terrence Stamp)
Important Court Members:
Allies: none
Enemies: Baronies of the Southern Coast
Neutral: Baronies of the Woods and Fields
Population: 1500
Notes: The Barony of the Mist lies in under the Falls of Cimmeria along the Northern Mountain ridge. The falls are one hundred yards wide and cause a mist to rise up, covering the entire city of Polworth. The old elven buildings of the city are designed to resemble the mountainside from which the water flows. The city was evacuated during the war with the dragons.

The entrance to the Chantry of the Falls lies within the Falls of Cimmeria, which is easiest to access via the city of Polworth. A dwarf community within the mountains does business within the city of Polworth, trading ores for foodstuffs. This has resulted in the largest foundries and best smiths working from Polworth.

Baron Kobel is said to be a stern, selfish man. Those who do not do as he wishes often find themselves on the wrong end of a blade.

Location: Barony of the Fields
Capital: Sleat
Ruler/Leader: Baron Bellamy (Derek Jacobi)
Important Court Members:
Allies: Baronies of the River
Neutral: Barony of the Mists
Population: 1500
Notes: The Barony of the Fields is a large land and the food basket of the continent. Baron Bellamy's fields include orchards, farmlands, and ranges. Small villages have sprouted along the barony's borders where residents of other baronies can come and trade for the foodstuffs. This trend is beginning to be noticed by Baron Bellamy and the other nearby barons.

Baron Bellamy's land is a mostly peaceful one. Occasionally, outsiders will enter his lands to steal cattle or sheep. While there are patrols walking the perimeter of the land, they are unknown to most of the populace and rarely catch cattle thieves. To that extent, what is their real purpose?

Location: Barony of the River
Capital: Navia
Ruler/Leader: Baroness Kellie, daughter of Choilleich (Katie Sackhoff)
Important Court Members:
Allies: Barony of the Fields
Enemies: none
Neutral: Barony of the Southern Coast
Population: 1300
Notes: The Barony of the River started as a outpost guarding against the Haunted Wood. What began as a fort on an island in the middle of the Grand River has become a large city. The city now extends out along the banks of the river. Trade in Navia is mostly in foodstuffs. They trade fish and rice with the Barony of the Fields and Barony of the Apples for fruit and grains. Some additional trading is performed with the Barony of the Southern Coast.

Baroness Kellie rules with a firm hand. She and her husband, Sheriff Oram, have maintained peace and calm in their land for the past five years. The secret to their success is arming all of the citizenry. With the Haunted Wood within bow-shot, all persons traveling in the portion of the town along the eastern bank must be armed at all times. Creatures of chaos in the past have encroached into this portion of the city and an unarmed populace is an easy target. Persons on the western bank are not required to go about armed, but it is highly encouraged. With a well armed populace, the sheriff's guards are very quick to arrest anyone who gets out of line. Those who get too far out of hand are placed in a jail found within the Haunted Wood.

The Haunted Wood is the old dumping ground for all things failed in the way of Tuathanas experimentation. Creatures born of chaos and left to fend for themselves were transported here and released. Why this was done instead of simply killing the creatures is unknown.

Location: Barony of the Eastern Coast
Capital: Navia
Ruler/Leader: Baroness Gemma (Christine Weatherup)
Important Court Members:
Enemies: Barony of the Swamps
Neutral: Barony of the Fields
Population: 1200
Notes: The Barony of the Eastern Coast is the most removed barony on the continent. It lies far to the east of the Barony of the Fields and well north of the peat stricken Barony of the Swamps. Baroness Gemma rules with a light hand, allowing her banner families to run the land for her with only a minimal interest from her. The people of the land have formed a solidarity not to be seen amongst the other baronies. Arranged marriages and shared enterprises (farms, fisheries, livestock) have ensured a peaceful land exists.

Being so far removed from the nearest two kingdoms, there is a lack of fighting over fishing and farming rights. In fact, this barony could double its population and size without encroaching on to others' territory.

Location: Barony of Swamps
Capital: Cambria
Ruler/Leader: Baron Montrose (Vinnie Jones)
Important Court Members:
Allies: Barony of the Mist
Enemies: Barony of the Southern Coast, Fields, and Eastern Coast
Population: 800
Notes: The Barony of Swamps lies in the shadow of uninhabited mountains. Some of the highest peaks on the continent overshadow this barony. Where the mountains do not provide a border, the ocean and lakes line the borders of this kingdom. Waterways run throughout the land, many of which are the salt water of the ocean or intermingled with the salt water of the ocean. This has lead to a land of swamps (not bayou) and lakes.

Baron Montrose is a dark man with evil intent. He believes in the power of might and self. Yet, he has no problem with employing thieves and assassins to perform treachery. This baron leads from the front and brooks no challengers.

To be added:
Stonehaven – Dwarven city of note
Chantries of Note
Chantry at the Top of the World – Jurgen Prachnow
Chantry of the Falls – Lucy Griffiths
Chantry of the Lake – Natalie Umbruglia
Chantry of the Underkeep – Ralph Richardson
Chantry in the Plains – Sienna Miller
Religion's role in the lands of the baronies

Monday, February 18, 2013

Devil May Care about this post

Sebastian Faulks’ Devil May Care is the first James Bond not written by Ian Fleming that I have enjoyed reading. Faulks goes back to the Cold War era, the height of Bond action. We find Bond on sabbatical, forced by M to relax and evaluate whether he should come back to the service or not. We all know that final answer, but Faulks guides us down that path with new enemies, new loves, and plenty of fast paced action.

Gone is SMERSH, but the land of the hammer and sickle still factors into the story. As does a beautiful woman, double crossing allies, and an enemy worth hating. Nowhere are the fancy gadgets that would overtake the action of the movies and the Raymond Benson novels. Instead, Bond relies on ingenuity and his skills to defeat those who would do the world harm.

Bond travels to Paris, then Persia (yes, Persia) to investigate a man with a monkey hand who travels with a Viet Minh aid. Along the way, he meets Larissa Rossi, the beautiful banker whose sister works for Dr. Julius Gorner, person of interest. We get a quick glimpse of Matthis, well before the events of Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace as Bond works through Paris en route to Persia. Once in Persia, Bond makes contact with the local agent works his way to Dr. Gorner’s warehouse on the docks of the Caspian Sea with Scarlett Papava and his local driver. From here, things go sideways and Commandre Bond is soon fighting for his life before saving the world. . . and Miss Papava.

I think Devil May Care will appeal to Bond fans of old, especially those who enjoyed the novels. However, I think new fans brought in by the films starring Daniel Craig can also enjoy this book. The pace of the book is quick and spurs its reader forward. There is no lengthy explanation of how this gadget or that gadget works. Each chapter fills one of two rolls – foreshadowing or bringing the action. From this viewpoint, Faulks appears to combine the best of the Fleming novels and the movies.

If you are looking for a Bond that woos multiple women, shoots bullets out of fountain pens, or would rather love than fight, this isn’t the Bond for you. However, if you have a few hours’ time and want a thriller that is a quick read, then you’re in luck.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Film Friday

I was cruising through movie trailers today and came across these three. All three have elements that can be stolen for roleplaying games. All three videos are via YouTube, in case anyone doesn't have Flash loaded.

First up is "Hammer of the Gods." There's nothing new here. It's a classic vikings invade Britain during the Middle Ages, the king's son must be brought home to save the people, and lots of fighting. I fear this trailer shows us everything worth seeing the film.

The next one is "The Prototype" and is about a land based military drone that gets out. I think there is more to the movie than that, as it hints that we may have a case of sentience transfer, as well. This has elements that could be utilized in a Cyberpunk, Shadowrun, or even Conspiracy X game.

I think this final film is the one that looks the best. If you are looking for South Korean action in espionage filled Berlin, "The Berlin File" may be for you. I doubt it's a Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, but I think it'll do just fine.It's already out and showing in some theatres, but no where near me.