Saint Nicholas has no relation to Christmas in Russia. It had for a Crowded Residence Crowded House shirt period in the late 19th–early 20th century, but that was clearly a German/French/English influence. We have Ded Moroz (Grandpa Frost) and his granddaughter/assistant Snegurochka (Snow Girl, literally “Snowlassie”), and they are the New Year characters. New Year is the only secular and non-ideological holiday in Russia, and the only truly universal one, although in its commercial streak it is similar to the Western Christmas in its current shape. Russian Orthodox Christmas is, in the last 100 years, a purely religious holiday, and due to the difference of the Gregorian calendar (official since 1918) and the Julian calendar that Russian Orthodox Church still uses in its defiance to 1917 revolutions, it’s not on December 24–25th but on January 6–7th.
While many have argued that their gating of Skill Feats is what the real differentiating factor is between characters of Crowded Residence Crowded House shirt , I’ve found that the Skill Feats are often too situational for this to be the case compared with the baseline rolls. There is a kind of compositing that happens wherein your ability score will tend to be higher for skills that you’re more invested in, so there will be a visible spread between the highly skilled and the relatively unskilled — but it feels like this spread is being contributed by the wrong factors. At the end of the day I’m still looking at a level 20 Wizard who’s never benched a day in his life rolling at a +16 Athletics roll, able to handily and easily beat trained warriors, albeit lower-level ones, in martial arts forms that he’s never trained in. Level 20 or not, that’s kind of stupid.
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Oh, and don’t forget: the tentacles of the Mind Flayers leave scars. You don’t face down horrors like these without losing something. Leave a few long-term effects, like a little bit of insanity. Maybe a character who came too close to them forever after has certain phobias. Maybe they have insomnia or recurring nightmares. Or maybe the scars are on a larger level, such as the large blighted area that has now formed around the crashed Mind Flayer ship, or the ruins of their dungeon. Maybe the humans they experimented on have developed mental powers themselves and become villains in the area. Maybe a Mind Flayer or two escaped and now plots its revenge. A great plot point would be if a piece of Mind Flayer consciousness got trapped in one of the PCs or an important NPC, causing changes in personality alongside new abilities.
Angry at having his time wasted, he throws accusations of Crowded Residence Crowded House shirt at Flaherty and disbelief at Corwin’s claim that the bag is supernatural. Dundee challenges Corwin to produce a bottle of cherry brandy, vintage 1903. Corwin reaches into the bag to hand Dundee his exact request, and is set free. He continues to distribute gifts until midnight, when the bag is empty. A man named Burt, whose desired pipe and smoking jacket had come from Corwin’s bag, sees Corwin again and points out that Corwin himself has not received a gift. Corwin says that if he had his choice of any gift at all, “I think I’d wish I could do this every year”. Returning to the alley where the gift-laden bag had presented itself, he encounters an elf sitting in a large reindeer-hauled sleigh, waiting for him. Realising that his wish has come true and he is now the real Santa Claus, Corwin sits in the sleigh and sets off with the elf. Emerging from the precinct, Flaherty and Dundee, now slightly tipsy from Corwin’s brandy, look upward upon hearing the tinkle of bells and see Corwin, in Flaherty’s words, “big as life, in a sleigh with reindeer, sittin’ next to an elf”, ascending into the night sky. Dundee invites Flaherty to accompany him home and share some hot coffee, with brandy poured in it, adding, “…and we’ll thank God for miracles, Flaherty…