Half-Assed Crew: Thordren Lost in Love and Longing for home

i’ve never been normal in my musical likings and preferences, and i remember in high school during the 90’s being the only kid listening to 50’s and 60’s and Jimmy Buffett music.  My father also had a huge influence on what i listened to and he used to craft these epic CD tales on our road trips in the summers.

Thordren is a dwarf away from his home, he feels lost and some of that is his own fault.  He is also heartbroken, and that may be mostly his fault. Without getting too spoilery here are the songs i think reflect Thordren’s past, his present, and where he hopes to be.  I use a lot of myself in Thordrens character and in his journey so far i think these best represent his and my journey.


“The Samurai Set” – Gaelic Storm

We start and end this list with my favorite music.  From a young kid the sound of bagpipes has always spurred my imagination and left me inspired, this is one of my favorite sets from an awesome band.

“Girls Chase Boys” – Ingrid Michaelson

Thordren is a bard, by divine right of classes he is meant to be a ladies man.  I wish it were the same for me, but I love Ingrid and this song feels very Thordren.

“You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth” – Meat Loaf

The first time my dad played me this album I fell in love with this song in particular. For Thordren its the first time he lays eyes on Maewin in Bardic College. Taking the words out of Throdrens mouth is definitely a feat in itself.

“Magic” – The Cars

Another band I adored in High School thanks to my dad.  This one hit me as something very Bard magic related and as Thordren continued through school the magic hold was something he would come to regret.

“A Girl, a Boy, and a Graveyard” – Jeremy Messersmith

Dani introduced me to this song and it struck a deep chord.  For Thordren it begins a darker lonelier time in his life.  Mistakes were made, relationships torn asunder and consequences delivered.

“Gone” – The Show Ponies

Saw the show ponies my first week in LA.  If you play a fiddle, violin or bagpipe im yours for life.  Seeing them live was an experience that touched my soul and for Thordren the loss of his love hit hard in his.

“Last Kiss” – Pearl Jam

I used to call into the Portland Radio station to hear the original song when i was a kid. The pearl jam remake hit me where it counts in longing for love and the same pretty much goes for my dwarf bard.  He is lost.

“Wish You Were Here” – Pink Floyd

Wandering, lost, swimming in a fish bowl year after year.  His actions brought him to this point and even though he was in the wrong he cant help but feel alone.  Besides its Floyd people.

“Don’t Run” – Bad Veins

This song caught my attention on Spotify.  It hits home for Thordren because now his actions have caught up with his family, and he runs.

“Exile Vilify (From the Game Portal 2)” – The National

Literally cried the first time i found the wall from Ratman painted with Chele’s image. It hits Thordren that he may never see home or family again, and this song gives me those feelings.  I love feeling bad 😉

“Hide and Seek” – Imogean Heap

On the run, no real goals. Thordren goes from town to town filling the hole in his heart with song, false merryment and beer. Another song that just feels right to me.

“I’m Movin’ On” – Rascal Flats

A song I play on every move I make in life.  Something about picking up and starting again…im just in love with feeling emotions, Thordren knows he cant go back now, and perhaps its time to move on.

“Comfortably Numb” – Pink Floyd

Because its Floyd. Hes done worrying, he is numb to his pain time to just live.

“Midnight City” – M83

more feels, the opening of this song i just like, always have always will. Thordren moves along with life, waiting for that next thing that might fill his lonliness.

“You’ve Got A Friend” – James Taylor

harried by goblins and a Bugbear, found hanging upside down from a tree Aldric and Thordren meet for the first time.  The Bromance is real.  Also I love James Taylor.

“Be OK” – Ingrid Michaelson

Things might be okay.  With a companion in tow Thordren has found someone who needs more help than him.  Putting up with the giant pain in the ass makes the dwarf feel good, plus maybe he can help Aldric find his own way even if Thordren cant find his.

“Back in the High Life Again” – Steve Winwood

This is my families penultimate road trip song, my sister and I always have to hear it and it brings back memories of traveling all across the US.  For Thor its basically what plays in his head every time him and Aldric enter a new town and he sets up shop on a stage. Even now that Thor and Aldric have found others to travel with

“Tubthumping” – Chumbawamba

In this list for reasons.  Half Assed Crew Reasons.

“One Particular Harbor” – Jimmy Buffett

Heard this song on a jukebox in High School, it was one of those test ones filled with random music to be later placed in our senior lounge.  The music was all replaced but this song stuck with me, i would play it after school when everyone had left.  It reminds me that one day i will find my home, that one place destined for me, its just out there waiting for me.  To Thordren its the hope of one day returning to his.

“Floating The Flambeau” – Gaelic Storm

More bagpipes, because bagpipes.

Taking out the Trash

I have always felt things strongly.  It has been consistent throughout my entire life and it has been a blessing and a curse.  It has been uplifting more times than I can count, but the times I remember in vivid detail are the ones where it has literally left me a heaping pile of discarded human emotions.  It fights my happiness, it eats away at the things I take joy from. I hate it so much and I want it to go away.  There are month’s weeks and even years I teach myself to let it go, to beat it back, to send it reeling back into whatever dark depths it spawns from.  It always comes back.  Is it something I do?  Is it my fault for letting it back in my life?  I have no clue. Should I even blame myself?  I have felt its presence coming back for months now, as if it sensed my growing joy, as if it saw the relationships I was building and the togetherness I was once again feeling.  This weekend it struck hard and fast and left me wounded from the attack.  I spent the majority of this weekend locked in my house unable to get up, unable to do anything but lie on a couch and stare at the ceiling.  I wanted to claw my brain out with anger, I felt like a prisoner in my own body, unable to enact any meaningful change of state or will myself back into existence.  I sobbed uncontrollably I wanted to call out to my friends to my family for help, I tired but then I was afraid no one would understand, or that I would lose them forever when they saw who I really was.

It’s infuriating.  I know this isn’t me, I know who I really am, I know that my friends and family would support me, but it whispers lies into my ear and I swallow it up as truth like it was candy coated pills of pure wisdom.  So I either give into it, let the thoughts course through me and hold on for dear life or I fight it and drive myself mad from the anger and exhaustion I feel from beating on what seems like a stone wall.

I thought I had this beat I thought I was winning, but I let myself fall into a false sense of security, I let the loneliness get to me again, and it’s in the loneliness that this stupid thing thrives.  So now I do the only thing I can.  I throw the words it speaks onto a page and let my logic take over.  I let my mind see the weightless words, the vacuous thoughts, the nonexistent fears.  It is a process.  The feelings that I experience leave their scars, the recovery is long, but the will to resist returns, the happiness grows and the people in my life shine once again.

I am better than I was.  15 years ago I would make the threats and the damage real.  I let it control more than my emotions, I hurt myself and those around me.  Even remembering those times makes me feel sick that I let if have all that control.  Today its control is small, and its duration short.  I must remember that I have gotten better.  I can see it right now, what I couldn’t see 10 hours ago, I am strong, I am good, and I feel silly for the torment I let myself endure these past few days.

Creating takes power, it take emotion, and it takes soul.  That is what I forgot again.  Why do I always forget that?  I have always had the need to create and maybe those two voices are related.  The whisper to create and the whisper to hate.  It tells you the things you create are bad and worthless. In fact they aren’t, they are unique and beautiful and that is what it hates because those things show the darkness what it really is.  Intangible, unimportant, meaningless and inconsequential. I let that fear stop me and in doing so I gave the wheel over and became a passenger. The need was still there but i let the whispers drive, i let them tell me it wouldn’t make a difference, that my talent isnt  great that everyone else is better.  It built up like a river against a dam and i was surprised when it eventually gave under the force.  Once again it is a process, i will remember, and next time will be better.  I will be better.

I remember what I told myself that day so long ago when I decided to fight back.

I Love You