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October 2017 Archives

Carve A Spooky Timmy Geek-o-lantern

A Spooky Timmy Geek-o-lantern

Happy almost-Halloween! Here at ThinkGeek World Domination HQ, Halloween is probably our monkeys' collective favorite holiday. In addition to being dog-friendly, our office is also definitely costume-friendly (even Timmy dresses up!), and we take advantage of that each year. If you've been paying close attention over the years, you also know we love Jack-o-lanterns! We often carve some together and share our creations with you online.

History And Lore of Jack-o-lanterns

Of course, we couldn't carve Jack-o-lanterns without geeking out at least just a little bit. Do you know the history of the Jack-o-lantern? It's actually pretty interesting! The tradition of carving Jack-o-lanterns began in 19th century Ireland, and the original medium was a turnip, not a pumpkin. There is a lot of lore around the meaning of the lanterns, and much of it conflicts, but the name Jack-o-lantern is a reference to the unusual lights that flicker over Irish peat bogs, known as the will-o'-the-wisp, or, for the more technically inclined, ignis fatuus.

In Ireland and some parts of the Scottish Highlands, Halloween lines up with the festival of Samhain. It's long been believed that the souls of the dead wander the night at this time of year, and the Jack-o-lanterns people carved were meant to represent the spirits of the dead, or in some cases, to ward off the malicious ones.

Another telling of the origin of the Jack-o-lantern relates to the legend of "Stingy Jack," a man who asked the Devil to have a drink with him, and then tried to skip out on the bill. The legend follows Jack as he tricks and bargains with the devil time and again to keep himself safe throughout his life. Eventually, though, Jack died, and being barred from Heaven and exempt from hell, he roamed the Earth in spectral form with only a burning coal in a carved turnip to light his way. The legend of Stingy Jack is long enough for its own blog post, though, so you should just go read it here.

Carve Your Own

Want to carve your own Geek-o-lantern? Just download this Geek-o-lantern template, print it out, and cut out the black parts. Then, tape the stencil pattern to your pumpkin, trace on the design, and get to cutting! Just remember to be careful - knives are sharp and stuff.

Get yourself a nice, fresh pumpkin, get your tools together, and in no time at all, you'll have a great looking Geek-o-lantern to show off.

The Right Tools Make The Job Easier

Watch Us Carve Our Pumpkin

(Not at actual speed)

Put The Finishing Touches On Your Halloween Shopping

If you're still looking for the perfect Halloween costume or accessory, there's still time! Check out our Halloween apparel or just go ahead and order the perfect outfit for carving your Jack-o-lantern.

10/30 UPDATE: Thanks for hanging out with us! If you missed it (or just want to watch it again), check out the livestream on Twitch, Facebook, or YouTube!

Find us at www.twitch.tv/thinkgeek

Kobolds and goblins and adventure - oh my! All at Twitch.tv/thinkgeek

Spooky scary skeletons, and kobolds, and vampires, and beholders...

ThinkGeek is getting in the Halloween spirit with a Dungeons & Dragons 5e actual-play livestream! Join the adventure at 3 PM ET, Friday October 27th on Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube and you could win some loot of your own!

The Campaign

The harvest moon is rising and Countess Vorinica promises her most spectacular party ever. Guests will be attending from far and wide. The town of Fausthaven has been abuzz for weeks with enigmatic strangers arriving for the event. The ball will be held at the countesses country manor just outside of Fausthaven away from prying eyes and would be party crashers.

The Players

Dungeon Master, David Friant

David Friant is a friend of ThinkGeek and lifelong gamer. He runs Nerdarchy, a channel dedicated to everything involving tabletop roleplaying games. Nerdarchy is a great resource for player tips, DM advice, encounter building... you name it! He'll be DMing this game and will therefore be playing every character not controlled by our players.

Velisar Telurra, Half-Elf Warlock

Born into the noble Elven House of Telurra, Velisar found himself treated well but distanced from his family. This was not due to his half-elven heritage, but instead the actions of his father, a human adventurer of some note who fell to a cursed charm and turned upon his comrades. Among them was Velisar's mother who was killed. 

Long story short, as the years turned, a hint of the curse that befell his father tugged at Velisar until eventually it made contact: the Queen of Air and Darkness, Ruler of the Gloaming Court. He would be hers to direct for 50 years, upon which time he would be released from her cursed grasp.

Armada Von Singhel, Human Fighter

Armada is the latest hunter in a long line of hunters dedicated to ridding the world of monsters. She was trained from birth to track, hunt, and kill the creatures that prey upon mankind. Armada has no patience or leniency for those who fall into the category of monster, seeing the world as only black and white, good and evil, with no shades of gray.

This fighter has made a name for herself as a capable woman with an ability to solve unique problems and is often sought after by nobility of various ranks to help rid their lands of evil creatures plaguing their people. She will use nearly any method in pursuit of her goal, knowledge of arcana, history, even dabbling in magic, if it helps her save the day. Although, usually a crossbow bolt through the heart works well enough.

Harold Howard Copperworth, Bugbear Barbarian

Orphaned by his goblin tribe as a child, Harold was taken in and raised by the members of a chef's guild with more curiosity than common sense. The guild taught the bugbear everything they knew: cooking, conversing, fitting in in a more "civilized" society.  When his mentors thought him ready, they found him employment in the home of a more open-minded noble. Harold was diligent and thoughtful, earning his employer's favor and, eventually, the title of head butler.

But something dark lurks within Harold that he has to fight to control. He has always struggled to suppress an inner rage for as long as he can remember. While Harold won't speak about the incident that got him removed from his previous position, he is on the lookout for a new employer. Harold wishes to redeem himself as the civilized butler he knows he can be, but he can not always contain the animal instincts he has within. 

Fairegoe Il'Linde, Dark Elf (Drow) Bard

Fairegoe is a drow with dreams. He yearned to make a name for himself as a musician on the surface, but quickly found himself shunned from polite elf society because of his appearance. Turned away from the Elven musical academies, Fairegoe was forced to learn his trade by sneaking into bard colleges and theatres to practice in secret. 

To avoid the same rejection he faced in his youth, the drow wears a mask when he performs and will only publically play his music at night. Because of this, Fairegoe has built up a bit of a reputation for being mysterious, while whispered rumors wonder whether or not he is some sort of shade or specter. Now, Fairegoe is in search of a partner equal to his musical prowess. His enchanting voice and haunting melodies lure other bards to his side, but as of yet, no one has been worthy to join him.

Helja Gunnloda Wellsdeep, Gray Dwarf (Duergar) Rogue

Helja was born on the surface and raised by her mother, a duergar exile and a master criminal. She learned the tricks of the trade quickly, picking pockets and cutting purses while her mother served as a distraction. Helja was never satisfied with her performance, no matter the gold earned, and worked to prove herself a better thief than anyone. Her reckless attitude eventually lead to a falling out with her mother. This only served to motivate her further.

Helja often takes advantage of her innate ability to turn invisible, leading her to attempt more daring and foolhardy schemes. She is always looking for the next big score, eager to unleash her roguish reign of terror on unsuspecting towns.

Kelvin Ricard Drollsy III, Fallen Aasimar Wizard

Kelvin Ricard, or "KeeRye," was always an awkward child who liked to play with dead things from an early age. As an adult, not much has changed. Except now, the dead things play with him as well, and he is happy for their companionship. He has been bereft of living friends and family since the untimely death of his family due to a rotting disease that swept the household when Kelvin was 11. KeeRye was the only survivor, and it was months before anyone came to clean up the country estate.

Ever since then, he passes the time studying his mother's books on magic to discover the best ways to bring them all back. He enjoys playing games and having conversations his pet rat/bat Nebbekanezzer (affectionately known as NebNeb) and his favorite housemaid, who both help him as he studies dark secrets within his country estate. Though others may view him as strange and quite mad, KeeRye believes that those who cannot converse freely with the dead are the ones who have a touch of true madness.

Tune In to Win!

So don't forget to join us on Friday October 27th at 3 p.m. on Twitch, Facebook, or YouTube!

And if you're planning your own campaign, gear-up with our latest Dungeons & Dragons accessories!