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Captain's Log: The Medical Facts of Time versus Fantasy

by Jeffrey A. Rothermel

The Captain's Log

The Medical Facts of Time versus Fantasy

(Part Three of the Dungeon Cooking Chronicles)

"Having Five Dollars, And Not Having Five Dollars Makes Ten."

Gerhard Kolb

WARNING: Some may find this article disturbing. It contains a semi-graphic photo of a splinted bone fracture with trace elements of blood. This article contains some rough, crude language. Additionally, there is a single photo of a disciplined pack of superbly painted, ancient AD&D lead action figures [monsters] waging combat (fictional violence, also called posturing). Traditional Advanced Dungeon and Dragons (AD&D) purists may find the action nostalgic, perhaps others may find it traumatizing? Others will perceive this posting as click-bait for getting people to check out the current status of the Captain's Book Shoppe Website. Each reader is free to judge for themself about the validity and/or veracity of the warning.

Author's note: This is a somewhat fictionalized account of a real Dungeons and Dragons Campaign. The campaign events are basically real, but aspects have been fictionalized to protect client privacy. The campaign started with a book... Today we discuss harnessing nature. It is a popular subject seen by the number of gardening books that were published in years past. The manner in which they quickly depart the store, suggests people are still interested in harnessing nature. Leading some to wonder if J.R.R. Tolkien's hobbit gardens are real or simply fantasy.

This third installment of the Cooking Chronicles was medically delayed. One of my typing hands received a recent, minor fracture which delayed this story.





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Scrolling Down

is Recommended for Only the Strong Stomached.

Photo of Real, Mangled Hand

is Below

Photo Contains

Human Blood


The splinted fracture inside the hospital emergency room causes one to wonder what happened. The story of how I broke my finger is only mildly interesting. It is what happened next that caused the plot to thicken. When a bookseller breaks a finger, the book world is significantly disrupted.

Gently lifting a book, and examining its pages is no longer possible with a broken finger. A bookseller's reality is altered when they cannot rapidly lift a book and examine its contents. The faster a bookseller can work, the greater the opportunity for financial solvency. Time is money. But then, "having five dollars and not having five dollars makes ten" is so true in the used book world. In other words, the art of tabulating fact and fiction remains this log entry's subject.

"Fünf Mark zu haben und keine fünf Mark zu haben, ergibt zehn."

Gerhard Kolb (the father-in-law)

As we consider the realities of fictional math we transition to the real Dungeons and Dragons campaign:

Our adventurers assembled for their third Dungeon's and Dragons gaming session on 23 March 2024. Gamers call the version we are playing: Fifth Edition. It is often referred to as D&D 5e. A fully educated bookseller will not find "Fifth Edition" anywhere in the book that D&D collectors refer to as 5e or Fifth Edition.* Publishers occasionally use artistic license and make it difficult to determine the edition of a book. It is one of the many acquired hidden knowledge points bookdealers store away for future use.

The last episode was a discussion about Brocc the Gnome's profession. Old timers would call him a thief, but now a days it is best we call him a rogue.

This episode started with the entire group of adventurers in the Merry Manticore Inn. Brocc the short gnome stood on the table so he could be seen. He rose his glass for a toast. A thunderous crack of lightning snapped through the drinking hall, bringing silence. Standing under the mounted manticore head, Brocc's voice boomed:

"Tonight, secure in the warmth of the Merry Manticore and enjoying the fruits of our gnome fungus wine. I would like to raise a toast to you all - for saving my life today.

A thank you to Bill Redbeard the Dwarven fighter for hire and to Arvid the Dwarven Barbarian for the strength of their mighty weapons and sharp wit.

To Rolan Xiloscient (Gold Petal) the Honorable High Elf Palace Guard turned adventurer, for his expertise and skill of his sword.

To Lark Arbora the Conservator of Nature's Balance, for her wisdom and affinity with the forces of nature.

To Ren, for her faith and ability to call upon the unseen powers. And her ability to bind my wounds.

To Able the Paladin, for the faith and strength of compassion, who has healed my grievous wounds twice in our adventures so far.

A humble rock gnome such as myself could not ask for a better group of friends and companions such as yourselves. Thank you.

And last.... even to the man-dragon, EYE, for his unwieldly sorcery. Even though he tried to burn my face off with acid."

The frictions between realism and fantasy can be seen with Brocc's toast. He implied that he was subjected to friendly fire that was not so friendly from the dragon-man-creature, "EYE." Dungeons and Dragons illustrates the rules of the universe one desires to follow and those that are ignored. Certain things in this world are rarely discussed in the fantasy world, such as the biological realities. Biologic creatures create organic waste in liquid and solid forms. That aspect (urination and defecation) is rarely explored in role-playing games. Few castles or homes for humans or halflings disclose the secrets of where human or hobbit waste is deposited. The next time you find a book about Dungeons and Dragons, check out the maps concerning the plumbing. If the item has realistic or plausible plumbing schematics, Centuri will probably recommend that the Captain buy that item.


Returning to the action of simulated combat: The thirsty gnome, Brocc the Rogue, was snooping for a drink. Just like the saying "curiosity killed the cat;" we can say "a curious and thirsty gnome nearly killed everybody."

The enemy grappled and entangled the gnome. The elf can swing his sword at the enemy. The dwarf can bash the enemy with an overhead swing of a war hammer. No one (to include the gnome) questions if the elf or dwarf are endangering Brocc the grappled gnome. Their danger-close methods of "help" from conventional weapons were not questioned.

As soon as the dragonborn sorcerer prepares to launch his spell, the gnome is screaming about the possibility of friendly fire. Not a drop of acid fell upon Brocc the gnome, but it is rumored gnomes reportedly lose all bodily functions (which is a fact of combat.) "In the shit" is slang from America's Vietnam War meaning when the human body releases all unnecessary muscles to focus on expending energy for survival. "In the shit" means real combat. Few admit they were ever in a moment that they lost all bodily control and pissed and shit themself. Few veterans ever speak of "being in the shit."

The dragonborn was accused of reckless danger-close-spellcasting while the elves and dwarves are toasted as the heroes. The point is one should evaluate any story about sorcery, particularly when told through the eyes of a rogue.

Reading various perspectives and evaluating the evidence often causes one to calculate the probability that such an event happened as depicted.



A few simulated days later, our group was in a mountain ravine near water at sunrise. We encountered the following creatures which are pictured below that were blocking our passage. It was an interesting battle.

The creature that appeared to be the leader of the enemy squad threw what appeared to be a wooden javelin at the dragonborn sorcerer "EYE." Once the javelin launched, a thunder boomed, the air smelled like burnt copper, and felt electrified. As everyone's skin tingled... The wooden spear flashed into a lightning bolt. EYE's chest exploded as lighting struck him. He was knocked unconscious with a smoking spear in his chest. The rest of the party fought a valiant battle, destroying the enemy. When the fight was over, the dwarves and gnome rolled the bones to determine whom would get the honor of pulling the spear from the dragonborn's chest. Ren (the master healer) brought the dragonborn back to life.

It did not take long, and EYE the mighty sorcerer was fully healed and had more skills than ever before (went up a level). Unfortunately, booksellers do not heal as fast as fictional dragon-men. It took approximately six weeks before I was back to typing sixty words a minute.

The medical facts and mysteries of time versus fantasy are clearly evident as I type this with my healed broken finger.

Cooking with the Captain

A Dungeons and Dragons session is not complete without the food. Bill Redbeard the Dwarf prepared scrumptious "Persimmon Date Drop Cookies."

Arvid the Dwarf made homemade cannoli. While the recipe was stupendous, the group was hesitant to ask for the recipe when the dwarf was overheard telling the gnome: "leave the dice, bring the cannoli."


Before this Captain's Log Cooking Chronicles series, few of the real characterized people in this saga knew one another. They were recruited by Centauri-the-bookdealer whom is known to frequent Captain's Book Shoppe LLC. If you are interested in joining, just ask to see Centauri the next time you are in the Captain's Book Shoppe. The Captain deals in all kinds of books ranging from fantasy to the sciences. People have tried to harness and describe the mysteries of the ages. Some call such spells cookbooks. Others call them gardening books. Others call them chemistry. Some call it witchcraft / alchemy. The spice in the recipe for both fantasy and fact is time. Understanding time is one of the most elusive subjects in any bookstore.


The Cooking Chronicles Series


*Special note: The back cover of the book states: "Wen you're ready for even more, expand your adventures with the fifth edition Dungeon Master's Guide and Monster Manual."


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