Joe Shaw led us to believe he'd be there, but he never appeared. We were worried that he had gotten lost in Baltimore traffic. One person expressed concern that maybe the Trollocs got him. Another worried that the Dragonsworn may have done him in. Judy said he was probably just shot (Balma crime is fairly bad, apparently). Someone else suggested that maybe "Shawmmael" was afraid to leave his stronghold, or that Rand may already have toasted him. We found out later that Joe couldn't come, but that Judy didn't check her mail in time to get his message. Gaidal Cain didn't appear, either. I guess his mommy said he was too young to go out alone.
Melissa was challenged to drink $37 worth of beer. When she requested a wine list, she found out that $37 wouldn't even buy her a single bottle of most of the vintages listed therein. I've offered to (attempt to) drink $37 of beer at the next social if I don't have to drive home.
Topics of discussion included the White Tower and the Shaido, speculations on Rand's battle plan, Padan Fain's machinations (Chad revealed a fascination with Fain's evolving character), Elayne and Nynaeve in Ebou Dar, and the actions and whereabouts of various Forsaken in LOC.
One random question that popped up during the afternoon was "Who created the Black Ajah? Was it Ishamael?" To which Chad quickly and smoothly replied, "Yes, I created it." At issue was Judy's insistence that everybody attending this Social provide some proof of being a darkfriend. Chad clearly provided proof with his statement. Ivis came dressed in her black shawl. Judy didn't quite make the muster because she was dressed conspicuously in Yellow and even produced some pain relievers for Hawk when she complained of a headache. Incidently, Hawk seems to suffer illness at every Social. Hawk, what gives? Is our company really that intolerable? :)
We also discussed the works of other fantasy authors. Melanie Rawn got an overall negative rating, GG Kay got mixed reviews, Stephen Donaldson was given cautious praise (specters of "Thomas Covenant is a rapist pig and must DIE DIE DIE!!" loomed over the group), and Heinlein was generally dissed.
We discussed the situation of the raswrj group, particularly the current tensions between oldtimers and newcomers. It was resolved that we oldtimers need to form our own clique and exclude all those pesky newbies. We speculated on taking over alt.fan.robert-jordan for our own private purposes. We discussed going back to rasfw and posting messages with "Jordan:" in the header again, relegating rasfwrj to all the neophytes. Then we realized that we'd have irate rasfw'ians to deal with again, so we figured we could just post things under a fabricated name, e.g. "Jenkins: Perrin and Faile in trouble?".
[Hint for the clue-impaired: the previous paragraph contains Sarcasm.]
Toward the end of the Social -- or before I left, at least -- we brought up some major questions about LOC, particularly: What's Rand's plan, and What's the DO up to? These are Spoilers, so I'll cover them in a separate post.
Memorable quotes from the afternoon:
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