My mother has a piano and a Microsoft Surface Pro. The former is good for playing songs while the latter is good for many, many things, including, but not limited to, playing songs. Also the display of sheet music for use with a piano. It would be perfect, really, if there was a way to change pages in a hands-free manner. One traditionally uses ones hands, you see, to piano.
I know what you’re thinking – there is! You can buy such things, but also you can make them.
Once I had that figured out (or while I figured that out), I had to design a model to house it. And, you know, act as a foot pedal. Luckily, I have an awesome 3d printer so models can come to life in only ten to fifty hours, or so.
The buttons fit into those two holes, and as you apply pressure to the pedal in either direction it presses them. It’s powered by USB, which also charges a battery so it can continue to work should it be disconnected. Here it is assembled!
March 2020 will forever be remember by the world for at least one thing: the introduction of Percy Animé – inquisitive rogue; catman; avid journaler. Alignment: neutral, to avoid scientific bias.
Coincidentally it’s also when I joined a D&D campaign.
But who is Percy Animé?
As a kitten Percy was “adopted” by a hag. And though he eventually escaped, he is still haunted by his time with her.
To learn more about him, we need only inspect these few pages from his journal that I found, torn and stained, in a dusty alley somewhere in the dank side of Waterdeep:
Percy clicked the last ring into place and the whole thing came apart in his hands. Huh. Simpler than I expected, he thought. The rough stone at his back dug its way into his awareness as he absently reassembled the puzzle. He pushed himself off the wall and was midway through tossing it into the depths of the alley when the most intriguing thing caught his eye.
A group of ne’er-do-wells entering a tavern, artfully painted with the filth of hard travel. There were five of them, mixed in amongst the rabble. All strangers from the looks of it, apart from two. Those two looked similar enough to be brothers, though it’s difficult to tell with half-dragons.
What were they doing in Water Deep, he wondered. What were they up to?
Percy smiled, ever so slightly. An astute observer might have just glimpsed his needle-sharp teeth.
What was a self-respecting tabaxi to do, but investigate further?
Slipping into the tavern, he edged along the wall as he took in its layout. The group of ne’er-do-wells stood facing one of their number, a human female, whose back was to the bar. Integrating into the group was as simple as weaving his way through the common-folk, caught up in their own lives. Planting himself just close enough, and just far enough away, for it to be ambiguous as to if he were with them or not. He focused on the female human as she began to speak.
“Introductions are in order.” She paused. “I am Zelinas Havellyn, member of the Knights of the Shield. We specialize in legal services. And debt collection.”
She raised her voice noticeably, presumably so as to carry to the rest of the tavern’s occupants. “So if you’re looking for legal services, look no further than the Knights of the Shield.”
“Now, if you would please tell me a little about yourselves.” She nodded to one of the towering half-dragons.
“My name is Sasuto, practitioner of the blade. It is all I have in this life.” He had two, in fact. Along with horns, and red scales which glinted despite the tavern’s glooms.
The matching half-dragon, but for a third sword and deep, black scales, sighed. He finished the drink in his hand and spoke next.
“I am Roronoa, master of the blade. Sasuto is my brother.” He grumbled.
Brothers. He’d never doubted it.
“Hi! My name is Chadley and I’m an acolyte of Semuan.” Wide-eyed and with a cheerful grin, he looked to be half-elven. Or perhaps a dainty human.
The last of them – a firbolg – rumbled, “I am Gygg. Druid of the spores.”
“Anyone else?” Zelinas asked, looking directly at Percy.
“Umm..” I should have seen this coming. Surely they’d see through his deception and mark him as the imposter he was. Surely. And then he’d have to injure one of them and flee. Perhaps Chadley, he looked feeble.
Percy’s mind briefly caught up in plans and contingencies, none of them ideal. There was nothing for it. He had to double down and hope they hadn’t noticed the interminable pause.
“Yes, it is I! Percy Animé. Famed catman of diverse interests and great skill.” He nodded to each of his presumed companions in turn.
Zelinas nodded back, and Percy let out a nearly audible sigh of relief. He hadn’t truly expected that to work.
— Percy Animé’s private journal
I’m sure there must be more, hidden away somewhere. He’s reported to be a cagey cat. Perhaps it’s buried, or knowing Percy, he probably zagged, storing somewhere no one would expect. What’s the opposite of buried? No. There’s no way it could be in a cloud. Are there spells for that?
Just how handsome is he?
In short, very. There are no known pictures of Percy Animé, so I took it upon myself to render a portrait of him in exacting detail, through the art of digital painting.
It looks a little washed out, printed on canvas. But now his portrait hangs behind me, in an elaborate wooden frame of custom make.
What has become of him?
Unfortunately there have been few sightings of Percy Animé since his time in Borovia; we only know that he left it alive, and well, if somewhat changed by his experiences there. Strangely however, there was a sighting of someone going by a similar name (Persy Von Catsing). This “Persy” looks suspiciously like Percy, but younger. He is a bard, or so I’m told.
If this seems strange and confusing, I was right there with you, but then I began to think. What if Percy isn’t tethered by time and space in the usual manner? What if he isn’t weighted down by them as we are?
It describes, at a high level, a background which takes another as its parameter. What if there are multiple versions of Percy Animé, free of the constraints of time and space. What if there are many Percy’s, but only one will prove suitable to be the Percy Animé.
It called for something unique, I thought. I’d be different by disguising myself as someone else entirely; by altering my dress, constructing a mask, and concealing myself completely behind another’s identity.
Of all the people in this world, living their lives day to day, I could think of just one suitable to use as camouflage: Jack Skellington — the pumpkin king. (more…)