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So for my birthday I received the third book for the Dresden Files RPG: The PARANET PAPERS. The title refers to an online network that evolved from The Midwest Arcane in the Dresden-verse.

The contents feature a lot of information about the wider world of the Dresden Files, including other eras and several well fleshed out, areas to visit (just don’t violate that Sixth Law of Magic visiting the past).

Other sections update several entries from the OUR WORLD DFRPG source book. Mixed in with this are tips for creating plot device level entities and updates to Sponsored Magic and Thaumaturgy systems.

My only real complaint is the art in the book being a little inconsistent, and a stylistic departure from the first two books in the line.  This is only a minor complaint, the book is a solid addition to the Dresden Files RPG.

Important locations are fodder for the city creation process for the Dresden Files RPG. So here are the first batch of  locations that have made appearances in the games so far. Where appropriate I will link to the home pages or Wikipedia entries of the places in question.

NAME:Summit Avenue

DESCRIPTION:Old money and big housesgriggs house

THEME (OR) THREAT:Theme

THE IDEA:The home of old families of the Twin Cities, and all the baggage that implies

THE ASPECT: Old money and dark secrets

THE FACE: Martha Griggs – Protector of reputations and tradition.

NAME: Dinkytowndinky1

DESCRIPTION: A borough of Minneapolis surrounding the University of Minnesotacampus, populated predominantly by college students and townies.

THEME (OR) THREAT: Theme

THE IDEA: The muggle origins of the name “Dinkytown” are unknown, but to the supernatural world, it is a central hub for pixies, brownies, dwarves, elves, sprites, and their related changelings, all of whom maintain a bustling Dinkytown Overcity of tiny homes and businesses atop the muggle-sized homes and businesses. The Dinkytown Overcity is, believe it or not, the center of supernatural commerce in the Twin Cities.

THE ASPECT: Fragglesque goblin-a-rific market.

THE FACE: Squeentyn McFarklerface III, the pixie mayor of Dinkytown Overcity, who is commonly seen to riding a massive rat that he insists is a mouse that he has named Lieutenant Bunderplum.

NAME: The Blue Door

bluedoor

DESCRIPTION: An upscale jazz bar owned and operated by supernatural creatures, for supernatural creatures, located in downtown St. Paul. Muggles need not apply.

THEME (OR) THREAT: Theme

THE IDEA: The Blue Door is Accorded neutral territory and one of the only agreed upon safe havens in the Twin Cities. Owned, operated, managed, and staffed entirely by supernatural creatures, it is a true nexus where the disparate supernatural powers truly play nice.

THE ASPECT: Peace enforced by threat of gratuitous violence.

THE FACE: Valentine, the owner, manager, and primary vocal entertainer for the Blue Door, is a mysterious figure of unknown nature and origin. She is beautiful and dangerous, with honey-colored skin, striking violet eyes, and is rumored to be one of the oldest denizens of the Americas, and possibly the world.

Aiden Croft acts as chief enforcer and bouncer at the Blue Door. Tall, broad, muscular and strikingly Teutonic, he makes no secret that he is, in fact, a werewolf. His dominance is sufficient that he could easily take alphaship of any werewolf pack in and around the Twin Cities area, but he instead chooses a solitary life as a lone wolf. It is believed that he and Valentine were lovers once, but now their relationship seems strictly professional.

NAME: St. Thomas Universityust2

DESCRIPTION: A parochial university located on Summit Avenue in St. Paul.

THEME (OR) THREAT: Theme

THE IDEA: Higher education with a very special library

THE ASPECT: Knowledge is a double edged sword.

THE FACE: Monsignor O’Malley – The Good Shepherd

NAME: First Avenue / 7th Street Entrance1stave

DESCRIPTION: Aging music venue barely holding its market share. The walls have an amazing history of acts of all genres, home of the Twin Cities Sound.

THEME (OR) THREAT: Theme

THE IDEA: Don’t like the music, come back tomorrow, really please, come back.

THE ASPECT: The Twin Cities sound… of desperation.

THE FACE: Steve McClellan – club owner at the end of his rope.

NAME: Magus Books

magus

DESCRIPTION: Dinkytown’s finest magic bookstore.

THEME (OR) THREAT: Theme

THE IDEA: The place to go for bits and baubles of a magical variety

THE ASPECT: A glimpse behind the veil

THE FACE: Derius DeWitt – the magic man.

NAME: Stardust Lanes

stardust

DESCRIPTION: South Mpls bowling alley with a sketchy reputation

THEME (OR) THREAT: Theme

THE IDEA: The seedy underbelly of Mpls

THE ASPECT: Good old fashioned corruption.

THE FACE: Leo Marcone – Hungry crime boss

NAME: The Basilica of St Mary and St. Paul’s Cathedral

basilica

DESCRIPTION: Center of Catholic Faith in the Twin Cities

THEME (OR) THREAT: Theme

THE IDEA: The archdiocese of these two great institutions form the heart of Catholic worship in the entire

Twin Cities Metro Area. Behind the scenes, however,  the leaders of the church are reassembling a gnostic group that looks strikingly like the Templars. Whether or not this is done with the blessing of the Vatican remains to be seen.

THE ASPECT: Psalm 23:4 (Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.)

THE FACE:  Father Benedicte Christos, Peaceful Warrior

NAME: Saint Paul City Hall

Saint_Paul_City_Hall

DESCRIPTION: The police on the east side of the river

THEME (OR) THREAT: Threat

THE IDEA: Minneapolis has its trouble with mundane corruption, the SP-PD has more supernatural troubles.

THE ASPECT: Saintly halos are beginning to tarnish

THE FACE: Detective Cameron Baker – Remarkably savvy peace officer.

City building in an important step in the start of a Dresden Files game. During that process the players and gamemaster create locations and important or noteworthy NPCs or Faces for those locations. What follows are the faces that have thus far come into play in the game I have been GMing the last few months.  We did some casting along the way finding appropriate images for the NPCs.

NAME: Martha Griggs msgriggs

IS THE FACES OF: Summit  Avenue

HIGH CONCEPT: Protector of reputations and tradition  

MOTIVATIONS: Protect the privileged.

RELATIONSHIPS: Knows Monsignor O’Malley  socially. She knows the business of anyone  who  is  anyone. Could be a powerful friend or enemy.

 

NAME: Monsignor O’Malleyomalley

IS THE FACES OF: U of St Thomas

HIGH CONCEPT: The good shepherd

MOTIVATIONS: Protect the flock from dark forces.

RELATIONSHIPS: Ray’s boss, knows Martha Griggs socially. Professional dealings with Thao Nguyen. Has met both Leo and George Marcone in roles both clergy and academic.

NAME: Big Wally Gundersonbigwally

IS THE FACES OF: North of 694

HIGH CONCEPT: Werewolf from up North.

MOTIVATIONS: Protecting his pack.

RELATIONSHIPS: Knows Leo Marcone, has done construction all over the Twin Cities, including UST

NAME: Squeentyn McFarkler III dinkytown

IS THE FACES OF: Dinkytown

HIGH CONCEPT: Pixie Mayor of the Overcity

MOTIVATIONS: Sing, sing everyone  sing for me!

RELATIONSHIPS: Knows Darius Dewitt  very well, and Valentine.

 

NAME: Valentine _20150615_194737

IS THE FACES OF: The Blue Door

HIGH CONCEPT: A song as old as time

MOTIVATIONS: Keeping  the peace

RELATIONSHIPS: Romantically  linked to her bouncer, she has a wide range of admirers. McClellan  has heard of her talents and tried to book her into his club, but she never returns his calls.

 

NAME: Aiden Croftaiden2

IS THE FACES OF: The Blue Door

HIGH CONCEPT: You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry…

MOTIVATIONS: Unknown.

RELATIONSHIPS: Has an intense on-again off-again relationship with his boss, Valentine. Seems to know most all the supernatural players on a first name basis. Charismatic and extremely dominant, he could easily unite the conflicting werewolf packs in the Twin Cities, and possibly beyond, but he seems to have no interest in doing so.

NAME: Leo Marcone marconetheelder

IS THE FACES OF: Stardust Lanes

HIGH CONCEPT: Hungry crime boss.

MOTIVATIONS: Honor the family name, become a player.

RELATIONSHIPS: Cousin to Chicago’s own John Marcone. His son, George, goes to U of ST. Has dealings with Big Wally’s construction company. Leo has recently become the business partner of Tyrone Mayfield in a takeover bid of the First Avenue nightclub.

NAME: George Marcone georgemarcone

IS THE FACES OF: The Obsidian Club

HIGH CONCEPT: Future crime boss

MOTIVATIONS: Honor the family name, become a player.

RELATIONSHIPS: Recently initiated Dylan Eldridge after helping George steal a trophy from the MSP admin building. Knows the Monsignor and has taken a class from Ray.

NAME: Steve  McClellan firstavessteve

IS THE FACES OF: First  Avenue/Seventh Street Entry

HIGH CONCEPT: Club owner at  the end of his rope

MOTIVATIONS: Get the club on its feet again.

RELATIONSHIPS: Knows Marcone, has rented the club for private events to Mayor Dan Roe.Has tried to book Valentine into the club on numerous occasions but to no avail. He is desperate to hold onto some shred of control of his club

NAME: Father Benedicte Christos christos

IS THE FACES OF: The Basilica of St. Mary and the St Paul’s Cathedral.

HIGH CONCEPT: Peaceful Warrior

MOTIVATIONS: To confront evil in all it’s forms.

RELATIONSHIPS: Knows most of the major league players in town by sight, is Ray King’s mentor and trainer.

NAME: Detective Cameron Baker baker

IS THE FACES OF: The St. Paul Police Department

HIGH CONCEPT: Remarkably savvy peace officer.

MOTIVATIONS: Detective Baker is driven by the need to know the truth. She will stop at nothing to find it.

RELATIONSHIPS: Knows Albert Aberdeen, Eoin Murphy, Thao Nguyen, Steve McClellan, and Valentine in a professional capacity. Knows Father Benedicte Christos through reputation (and by the fact that she is a lapsed Catholic). Knows George and Leo Marcone by their rap sheets.

NAME: Derius DeWitt  dewitt

IS THE FACES OF: Magus Books

HIGH CONCEPT: The Magic Man

MOTIVATIONS: Knowledge and profit

RELATIONSHIPS: Knows all the supernatural players, has a difficult relationship with Mpls PD. He has sold Dylan a few books to aid in his mystical education

tc skyline

Our cast of characters:
Dylan Eldridge – Teenage Wiz kid
Professor  Ray King – Soldier of God
Sean Hastings – Half breed warden
Tyrone Mayfield – Werewolf on the Rise

Things are a foot on the campus of UST. Ray King has been taken into custody as a material witness in the murder of Paul Carlson, and is brought downtown by Detective Cameron Baker of the St Paul PD homicide unit.

Meanwhile SSCAD+Presents+aTVfest+Day+3+-8QE2hk4bUllean is visited by members of the White Council, including the current Blackstaff Ebenezer McCoy to discuss the fate of Lizabeta aka Lizzie who is now under the protection of sanctuary in the Minneapolis basilica.

The wizards tell Sean that Lizzie had been manipulated by Sean’s mentor, Wells Locksley, in the 1600s to break the laws of magic for his personal gain. She thought she was acting under special dispensation from who she thought was the Blackstaff of the White Council.

After Sean’s disappearance Locksley’s plots were discovered and he fled the justice of the Council, successfully. The Council thinks there is a reasonable chance Locksley is still alive. They assign Sean to find him, and are willing do give Lizzie amnesty if she assists.

Sean having heard Ray was taken in enlists Tyrone and Dylan to assist him after Lizzie accepts the Council’s offer.

Lizzie as it happens ad managed to tuck away a piece of Locksley’s hair in case he came after her, and luckily it survived preserved and intact but with Lizzie in her doll.

The two practitioners make a circle in Dylan’s recently acquired brewery and do a tracking spell to find the renegade wizard. The ritual is a success, Locksley is found but according to the spell he is in Sri Lanka.

Back at City lockup after cooling his jets in holding and with council from the church at his side Ray and Baker have a contest of wills over what happened on Summit avenue at the Carlson estate a few days prior.

Baker let’s it be known that the brass are hot to put him away, and the legal hit squad from the church make her think they could be right.

Ray eventually makes a leap of faith to show Baker what’s really going on, and the two eventually make their way to the basilica.

Back in the brewery Sean is has decided that Locksley is to far afield to be gone after, Lizzie with her neck literally on the line has an idea, The Mayor of Dinkytown might solve their problem. He might do it for just a song, quite literally just a song.

The group makes their way to Dinkytown. Going down the alley past Magus Books where the owner waves a friendly hello to Dylan, and receives a withering look from Lizzie. They go further taking the stairs to the railroad tracks and the Mayor’s court.
urban_pixies_2_by_jinksa-d6gm58mAfter beckoning, his lordship he arrives riding his trusty rat. The Mayor is a wee pixie on a large rat. After some negotiations the Mayor agrees to grant passage via the Never-never to Sri Lanka, for a song that satisfies him.

The Mayor gives Tyrone an iridescent purple saxophone, and the quartet preform a mix of traditional Native American mixed with Jazz and a hint or two of Russia folk music that brings the pixies of Dinkytown to their feet. The Mayor opens the portal and tells Tyrone to play a song to reopen the portal for home when their task is complete.

At the basilica Ray takes detective Baker to a subbasement where a priest and a nun stand watch over a cell with what appears to be a young woman, but is soon revealed by Ray to be a Black Court Vampire. Ray’s cross and faith backing it into a corner it tries to dominate Baker, but she resists resealing the creature’s cell.

Ray and Baker then have a chat about what is behind the veil and the nature of reality, and come up with a solution to the Carlson murder that works with the evidence at hand. Carlson was a serial killer and one of his victims had turned the tables and fled.

Father Christos interrupts letting Ray know Sean had taken Lizzie from the building with her consent, but he had an acolyte trail them to Dinkytown, just outside of Magus Books.

On the other side of the portal the tropical heat and humidity hit the quartet like a sack of bricks. The scene the step into is no less jarring.

They emerge in the center guerrilla camp, or the remnants of one. Shell casings and mangled bodies litter the ground as do the collapsed tents of the soldiers who until recently occupied them.

They track the source of the carnage to swaths of broken foliage cut through the jungle by something huge and hulking. They also find a lone survivor.

She is injured and like the other casualties wearing the uniform of the LTTE, the Tamil Tigers. The woman, Lakshmi, is an officer, a captain in the LTTE.

She is a bit Leary of a band of Americans stumbling through the heart of the jungle, but shares that her brigade was attacked by cobras the size of elephants, and a crazed Englishman. She also fears they are still being hunted.

Soon enough her fears are realized. One of the massive snakes attacks. Sean and Tyrone.  In a flash of ax heads, fists and ice magic the  snake is dispatched, and the band get ready to make the trek to the abandoned Buddhist temple where Locksley is living.

king_cobra_2

tc skyline

Our cast of characters:
Dylan Eldridge – Teenage Wiz kid
Professor  Ray King – Soldier of God
Sean Hastings – Half breed warden
Tyrone Mayfield – Werewolf on the Rise

Having defeated the wendigo of Summit avenue, one Paul Carlson, a dilettante and would be adventurer who made a bad deal with the supernatural to survive being lost in the Canadian Arctic during the winter, and Ray having survived an unproductive round of threats and posturing  between he and Martha Griggs, invites the gang for a meal at the Blue Door Jazz Cafe so they can debrief and relieve some stress.

As it happens the Blue Door is neutral ground in all conflicts supernatural, and frequented by more than a few changelings, white court vampires and shapeshifters of various types, as well as mortal practitioners of magic of various traditions, in other words not a bad place to talk shop.

This all is going well and good until the food arrives and an old acquaintance, or more accurately, foe of Sean is their server. The woman is Elisabeta or as she goes by now, Lizzie. Lizzie is a witch born in Czarist Russia who Sean had been given orders to apprehend for trial for violating the Laws Of Magic established by the White Council. This was in the 1600s and Lizzie not wanting to lose her head, imprisoned Sean and inadvertently herself in some wooden dolls. That is until both managed to be freed from their respective dolls.

lizzie

Lizzie in a panic tosses the tray of food at Sean and bolts for the door, Tyrone being helped along by his wolf side gives chase along with Ray and Sean.  Lizzie fleet of foot makes a good show of trying to escape but is subdued, and after some threats by Sean and some promises by Ray, the lot of them go back to the Blue Door to for an audience with Valentine the owner and house chanteuse. She also happens to be one of the oldest supernatural beings in North America. After more threats and and counter offers, Ray offers Lizzie sanctuary at the Basilica while Sean consults with the White Councils on Lizzie’s fate.

With the Lizzie situation settled and Dylan opting to leave before the dust settled Tyrone goes back to First Avenue to get ready for the evening’s show, where he meets up with Dylan a bit later to discuss a business opportunity to market a new energy drink. The two agree to move forward with their plans to hire a professional to do the ad campaign.

After the weekend Tyrone and  Dylan meet with Nanse Wilkins at First Ave to do a sampling of the product and to spit ball some strategies.

While this meeting is going on Gunderon Construction is finishing their project at the bar and Big Wally is coming to make a third offer to merge packs before he takes things to a more physical level. Big Wally calls Tyrone down for a chat leaving Dylan and Nanse to go over financials for the beverage company. The universe has other plans for Dylan. He goes into a seizure and has a vision of wolves, a shattering whiskey bottle and gun shots.

Meanwhile, Big Wally lays on the threats and his crew surround the two as they argue. Wally gives away that there is a threat coming from the north, and he sees Minneapolis and St Paul as their only real solution to that danger. Just then Dylan staggers down the stairs, and try to get Tyrone’s attention the sound of breaking glass and the rapport of a .45 drown his shouts out.

One of the wolves drops to the ground dead, and quickly morphs into a human being bleeding out over the checker board dance floor. At the far end of the club, Steve the owner, mobster Leo Marcone, and Vinny Argenti Leo’s body guard. Vinny is holding a smoking .45 and mumbling about how much he hates dogs, and all three men stand in a puddle of broken glass and whiskey.  The wolves make a break for the door.

vinny

The sound proofing of the club hides the gunshot well enough, even the VIP lounge baffles the sound well enough that  Ms. Wilkins buys dylans story of a construction crew mishap, Dylan stalls for time going over more financials and marketing ideas while Vinny cleans the mess, Steve quietly breaks down in the corner and the rest debate just what was, and was not seen in the last few moments. Marcone knows what he saw no matter how many times Tyrone and Wally insist that there were no wolves and that Vinny is off his nut!

Dylan also wants to know what happened, and an explanation of what he saw. Tyrone shows him the wolf, and eventually takes him back to the Blue Door to chat with Valentine about the truth of the world and his place in it. Valentine gives him the Cliff Notes version of whats out there and  suggests he is more a part of the supernatural world than the mundane, and sketches him the rune that marks him, but only those looking with “The Sight”.  With that  Dylan and Tyrone are off to explore a local magic book shop, where he purchases several tomes to aid his study.

Ansuz

My gaming group has started a Dresden File RPG campaign, and I hope to add senario recaps as I go and perhaps NPCs, monsters and Locations as they come up in game play. Please enjoy THE WENDIGO OF SUMMIT AVENUE

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Our cast of characters:
Dylan Eldridge – Teenage Wiz kid
Professor  Ray King – Soldier of God
Sean Hastings – Half breed warden
Tyrone Mayfield – Werewolf on the Rise

The year is 2003 and it is a warm spring day. A history class taught by adjunct  professor and Knight of the Cross Ray King at the University of St Thomas more a less as expected when the clatter of a student falling from his desk in a full  Grand  Mal  seizure disrupts the class.

The student is Dylan Eldridge, a and it is no ordinary seizure. Dylan although he does not see it as such is receiving  a vision of the future. He sees a weeping woman handing  out a missing person flier, a human heart  on a fine dinner plate and a creepy old mansion.

As Dylan seized another student  and a Warden  for the White Council  examines the young man using  The Sight. It reveals mystical energies  swirling  around Dylan and glowing rune.

As Dylan is helped  to student health  the woman from the vision arrives on the scene, with Monsignor O’Malley. The woman Lourdes Guzman is passing out fliers of he missing husband  Miguel. Miguel  had been working as a day laborer from time to time at UST.

Once recovered Ray teaches his next class and Dylan  goes about creating  a mock up of the house in the vision using Photoshop. From there he decides a chat with Ray and the Monsignor is in order.

Meanwhile, across the river in Minneapolis, Tyrone Mayfield try to work on the books at First Avenue while a crew from Gunderson  Construction  dismantles the decommissioned  coffee bar, when Big Wally Gunderson enters the club with a casserole   in one arm and some fliers in the other.

As it happens Gunderson, like Tyrone, is also a werewolf  and the leader of a well established pack from north of Minneapolis  and St Paul. Wally has a couple of reasons for his visit first to pass out  the fliers about the missing  Manuel Guzman, and second to greet the new pack leader with a tater-tot hotdish and an offer for a pack merger. Tyrone says he will consider the offer.

Back at UST Dylan, Ray, and the Monsignor have a chat about Dylan’s flash of insight, and Ray offering to assist after Dylan shared his vision. The Monsignor  has heard rumors that Ray has a position  within  the  church. The Monsignor  hints around asking if Ray will look into this in an official capacity and keep young Dylan out of trouble.

After grabbing a pistol, and Sean Hastings, the three go to the fenced off construction  site  that was the last place Mr. Guzman  had been seen.

The only thing that the investigation reveals is some very large dog prints that stop at a set of bare footed human prints  at the office trailer, and Big Wally  brandishing a shovel to deal with who ever broke into his construction site. After a bit of deescalation Gunderson shares that a Summit avenue socialite, One Martha Griggs  had been asking around for a carpenter to do some work on a friend’s house on Summit.

griggs house

As it happens Dylan knows Ms. Griggs having daughter out her approval  for a business  venture in St Paul being a mover and a shaker in St Paul, with a well established family name that graces streets, and buildings.

The next move was to talk to Martha Griggs and try to find the house from Dylan’s vision, to that end Dylan calls up Tyrone Mayfield  to meet the trio of investigators at A Fine Grind, a coffee shop near UST. Dylan knows Tyrone via the club scene and his wishing to explore recreational  pharmaceuticals. Due to some unfortunate   assumptions  Dylan thought Tyrone would be the man to do some B and E. Fortunately, Tyrone  and Ray know each other, and Tyrone owes Ray and agrees to do what he can.

Ray, Sean, and Dylan go to visit Ms Griggs, while Tyrone goes house hunting on Summit. The Griggs meeting featured lost of posturing  and some thinly veiled threats and questions  about Ms Griggs well stocked  paranormal  library. In the end the find out that Griggs   had helped  secure Mr. Guzman’s services as a carpenter for  Paul Carlson another Summit Avenue  resident with a respected family  name.

Meanwhile Tyrone finds the house and goes in for a little recon. He not so quietly lets himself in through a window. A voice beacons Tyrone to the dining room, where an exceptionally  gaunt man is sitting at the head of the table about to dig into a human heart.

WENDIGO PAUL

The thing beacons him to sit and eat with him, revealing a truly horrific visage, bloody face, razor like teeth and claws. It attempts to command Tyrone to sit but to know avail Tyrone turns tail and runs with the thing howling and running after him swiping claws leave  him chilled to the bone as he makes a hasty escape back to A Fine Grind to meet up with the others.

Tyrone still shaken waits for  the rest of the crew as far away from the street as possible. Comparing notes Sean suggests that they are dealing with a wendigo and it is time to deal with it.

They go to the basilica  to gear up, watching Ray put on riot gear a shotgun  and a sword, and Sean in his heavy grey cloak and brandishing his warden’s  weapon, a heavy tomahawk  like some deranged LARPer or SCA member. Dylan goes home to do some online research in hopes of not being implicated in something, bad, really bad.

The three go back to the Carlson mansion and let them selves in the front and the back the find Mr Carlson  clinging to the high ceiling   of the living  room  saliva  dripping from his gaping maw.

A melee ensues with blows exchanged. Some magics are tossed around resulting in all the windows in the house exploding, the wendigo getting tossed around and meeting his final end after a few shotgun blasts. Some quick sword and axe work is followed by an escape just before St Paul Police respond  to a call of shots fired.

Vegan Mofo Day 3: Faux Fish

Posted: September 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

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So at long last I was able to try the Garden Fishless fillets. I was happy I did, it is one of the better vegan sea food items I have tried. I even made a little tarter sauce to go with it and some oven fries with malt vinegar. Yum!