Wednesday, August 15, 2018

5e: Chimeras and Curses

From: Sir Fulhoff of Clan Balderk, Knight of Hawk’s Nest
To: Helja and Adrik of Clan Balderk

Mother and Father:

After sorting through the dragon’s hoard, we discovered a magical dragon slaying sword, and a small dragon statuette that seems to be some sort of communication or scrying device. Later the grimlocks would tell us that they’d heard the dragon speaking with someone else through it… someone the dragon was differential to…

As we finished looting the cave, an elf wizard calling himself Traxedes the Wanderer came through the open cave mouth, surveying the dragon’s corpse. He lamented his lateness, and asked for a share of the treasure. We laughed at him, but figured he could help out with the pair of chimera.

While Journey and Rin took care of butchering the dragon, we went off and slaughtered the chimera. The bard hypnotized one of them, and we focused fire on the other. The elf’s fireball, plus Thorin with his new dragonslayer and Joda with her kicks and punches, knocked the monster about while I lined up a lightning bolt, catching both beasts in it’s path. The electricity crackled snapped, and the more injured chimera popped! The remaining chimera looked from its still twitching mate and then it breathed fire on me! Thankfully the armor of Hammerhart’s enchantment saved me from the flames!

Thorin saved me from further danger by skewering the beast, a heart strike that dropped it instantly. Their nest was further up in the cave, so I enchanted Thorin with flight and he went up to take a look. Bran followed, and together they discovered a big egg!

And then Thorin dropped it.

Thankfully Joda, recalling the days of her masters tossing chicken eggs off a balcony for the novices to catch (and then eat for breakfast) walked up the wall, flipped, caught the egg, and rolled safely to the ground.

Next we took care of the grimlocks. Traxedes’ fireball and my lightning bolt cleared the room of all but one, who we interrogated. The weretigers, in thanks, gifted us with an enchanted sabre.

Did I mention that Aramel the bard decided to take Heap on as an apprentice? Our motley collection of hirelings is growing by the day...

Rather than fly directly to Bryn Shander we headed back to Mirabar to offload some of our treasure and supply for the journey. Apparently the gods have a sense of humor (as if we didn’t know that already). Before the gates of the cite was a caravan of ill nobles, all afflicted by a newcromatic curse, tied somehow to the deaths of their ancestors some 2 centuries back, the “Bright Bannered Brandished adventuring company.” (BBB)

We… Joda and Bran… offered our services. Then some yokals going by the name “The Silver Hook” started by insulting us, and tried to take the quest. None of us were having that, so now it’s a race to and through the Mines to the BBB’s final resting place. Using our hippogriffs, we flew to the mouth of the mines, and encountered Malar Goldstine, the Archive Docent. He shared with us what he knew of the mines, and the BBB, and that somehow the Silver Hook managed to arrive ahead of us by minutes… They must have access to some magical transport...



Outstanding Rumors/Plot Points
Highdale/Westfelds necromatic curse
Eye of the Allfather in the Valley of Kadroon
Frost Giant w/ White Dragon Helm
Fire Giants attacked Tribor and took a rod from the center of town.
Gua - Hill Giant Matriarch - Grug-Hug Village location generally described
Eraglass the Sage - Missing?


Loose Threads
Jeff the guard, abandoned in Everland
Yartar - Lady Italia, Bat-weirdos (Kella & Zopin), Paw-Ming, Lord Dryland
Old Gnawbone - wishes she could transform into an elf


Completed Quests
Mt. Black
HawksNest Payroll
Zymorvan Giantslayer
Aboleth of Yartar
Defended Goldenfields
Well of Victory
Orcs of the Ardeep Forest
Nightstone (again)
Tomb of Darshin Hammerheart
Grey Hand
Zathros Zethros, Cloud Giant
Nightstone

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Stonehell: Rats, Harpies, & Skinheads

Session 75 was played on 8/5

Eiric, wizard 7 (Kat)
- men at arms (Alias the Elf, Eddard “Sunny Jim”, Modar, Kartas)
Brie, wizard 4 (Apprentice to Eiric)
A-A-Ron, Thief 6 (Henchman)
Daryll, Cleric 6 (Henchman)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 6 (Henchman)
Karl, Dwarf 7 (Julia)
- Hobart (dog)
- men at arms (Gilcox, Maax, Dar)
Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 4 (Henchman)
Koltic, Cleric 3 (Chris) - Stayed in town
- men at arms (Medrick)


Karl spreads out the pile of shoes along the hallway, just like the various corpses are spread out along the walls. Finding nothing, they continue on, stopping at the beer hall, and discovering 2 small men with glowing chalk drawing spirals on the floor. Karl yelled at them, and one turned invisible, while the other made odd hand gestures. Karl shooed them out of the room, and they ran off into the dark. Karl then spent a while washing the floor clean of the chalk.

Heading down to visit the wererats, Esmalia agreed to help them get in contact with the Vampire Lord of Stonehell, but that it would cost them 1,000gp. Being a little short, they said they’d return with the gold

From the wererat den to the shaft, the sweet voices of the harpies managed to entrance Koltic, Gilcox, Lex, Darryl, Eddard, and Mordar. Again, the harpies requested to be allowed to keep them. Eiric declined. They then asked if they could borrow them for an hour or so? The men were practically begging, and Eiric agreed as long as they’d be returned unharmed. The harpies agreed, and swooped to take them men to their nests (except the dwarf Mordar, who stayed to watch).

(Lex will have a discussion about consent while under magical influence with Eiric, Karl, and Orpheus later)

While standing in the hallway, waiting for the time to pass, the air pressure shifted sharply, causing everyone’s ears to pop, followed by a strong gust of wind that lasted for about a minute.

After a little more than an hour, the party returned to the shaft, and Eiric called for the return of her men. The harpies brought them all back up. Everyone looked tired, but unhurt. Once everyone was redressed, the party headed around and down to the stairs heading to the caves of level 4!

As they emerged from the stairs, a party of shaved, tattooed, pierced, wild looking near-humans were coming in the opposite direction. With a roar they charged, but being outnumbered and facing a party better equipped, they were quickly cut down.

Gains: 58sp, Harpy STDs?
Kills: 4 Skinheads
Losses: Dignity

Friday, August 10, 2018

Graveyard

I have been insanely busy lately, and barely have had the time to touch my minis, but I’ve managed to claw back a little time over the last month to get something done.

Well, not done. Started. In progress. It began over July 4th. I had the whole day free, and spent most of it watching Luke Cage, and priming the graveyard terrain from Bones 3. The gravestones and statues were all primed with Grey Liner, while the hard plastic Crypt and Fences I’d planned to prime with black spray primer… but the nozzle broke. So I used white. Unfortunately it was really humid, and I forgot how that messes with spray paint. So, everything has a little more texture than I’d been planning.











Once it was all dry I spent a while washing it down with black, and that was about as far as I got that day. Too focused on the show to make much progress.

Since then, I’ve made a little progress mostly just dry brushing various greys over the stonework, painting the iron spikes of the fence black, and using Leaf Green to paint the summoning circle and as moss on the stone walls. If I use them for Frostgrave, it’ll clearly be at a point when spring is finally beginning to take hold.











Wednesday, August 8, 2018

5e: Succubi and Dragons

From: Sir Fulhoff of Clan Balderk, Knight of Hawk’s Nest
To: Helja and Adrik of Clan Balderk

Mother and Father:

The Frozen Mount Black was, it turns out, not home to a green dragon, but appropriately enough, a pair of black dragons! Though it turns out that by the time we arrived, only one of the black dragons remained… but forgive me, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Meeting with the remaining members of the weretiger clan, we discovered that there were more than we expected. They were however much more upset at The kobold Heap then at us. Their prisoners it turned out were just morlocks. Not having any desire to free them or even fight them, we left them locked up. Bran spent some time talking to them, but didn’t learn much.

The weretiger who surrendered to us said we needed to talk to Rufus, but he wasn’t there. Feeling impatient, we told them to find him so that we don’t stumble upon him and have to defend ourselves. He wasn’t far, just down the hall, along with some pups? Kittens? Were-kids… and a trio of succubus-es.

Succubi?



The biggest difficulty in the fight was getting everyone through the narrow door. Otherwise, they weren’t too difficult to take down, and there weren’t any losses among the weretigers. They were even more thankful for our assistance Between them, and Heap’s info, we discovered the 2 paths into the dragon’s lair. One required a 70’ climb, the other a 20’ drop. We picked the shorter path, used the invisibility fruit we’d gotten from the druid back a ways… it was getting a little bruised anyway.

Oh, and apparently our tiefling wizard decided that necromancy was a fun toy to play with, and she raised a kobold skeleton and handed it her crossbow.



Unfortunately we’re not the quietest group, and in the confines of a narrow cave, we managed to wake the dragon. Thankfully we were still invisible. She spit acid, just missing me. Then the skeleton… claimed first blood. Amazingly it hit with the crossbow! Aramel the bard wreathed it’s black scales in fairy fire, while Joda used her fan to blow the dragon toward the 70’ fall. Unfortunately the passage was a little too small, and she caught herself. I blasted her with a lightning bolt, Journey dropped a fireball on it, Rin hacked into it with his giantslayer. It started to call out, I think to yield, but Joda got her flame on, and pummeled it down, ending with a bone shattering punch to the side of the monster’s head.

This was about the point Thorin finally made it down the rope. That we managed to take down an adult dragon so handily… He didn’t even get a chance to get a swing in. I didn’t get more than my lightning bolt off. I’m sure the bards will make it even more epic in the telling.


**************

Outstanding Rumors/Plot Points

Mount Black: Morlocks & Heap's treasure
Mount Black: Chimeras in the caves
Eye of the Allfather in the Valley of Kadroon
Frost Giant w/ White Dragon Helm
Fire Giants attacked Tribor and took a rod from the center of town.
Gua - Hill Giant Matriarch - Grug-Hug Village location generally described
Eraglass the Sage - Missing?


Loose Threads
Jeff the guard, abandoned in Everland (Jeff did nothing wrong Journey!!!)
Yartar - Lady Italia, Bat-weirdos (Kella & Zopin), Paw-Ming, Lord Dryland

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Stonehell: Trolling around

Session 74 was played on 7/29

Eiric, wizard 7 (Kat)
- men at arms (Alias the Elf, Eddard “Sunny Jim”, Modar)
Brie, wizard 4 (Apprentice to Eiric)
A-A-Ron, Thief 6 (Henchman)
Daryll, Cleric 6 (Henchman)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 6 (Henchman)
Karl, Dwarf 7 (Julia)
- Hobart (dog)
- men at arms ()
Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 4 (Henchman)
Koltic, Cleric 3 (Chris) - Stayed in town
- men at arms (Medrick)


While in town, Karl tries to discover a means to restore his lost life force. A dirty old woman with a small bird cage in her hair containing a pair of mice tells him that a month of spiritual cleansing and relaxation can cure this ill.

Meanwhile, the jewelry shop that’s been closed forever was burned to the ground. 3 void gems were found later. Brie, Eiric, and Karl each bought one, knowing their magical, but unsure what they do. The tingling sensation when they touch them is oddly pleasant. Eiric and Brie are also successful in creating Darkvision.

The party resupplies, and hires on a few more meatshields who’ve heard about the treasure map acquired last time, including Maax, Gilcox, Dar, and Kartas. Mordar leave’s Karl’s employ, but Eiric hires him on.

Heading into the dungeon, the party visits Rocky for the first time in a long time. He tells them about how Chairman Sniv has abandoned Stonehell completely, and how Kash’r keeps coming daily to ask questions of it.Rocky is sorry he can’t answer any questions for them.

Thinking Kash’r is the troll the goblins have as their god, they do to the caves to deal with him. They’re confronted by a goblin who demands they abandon their fruitless quest, for The Chosen of Zunbar will never allow unbelievers to bother their god. Karl offers the warty goblin some ale, and a donation, and with that, the goblins bring the party to the water cave where Zunbar the troll lounges, talking to itself. Eiric offers it some of the colorful moss she’s collected, and Zunbar is pleased, but still very out of it. The goblins are all now very drunk, and happily show the adventures out of the caves, begging for more of the good stuff should they return. In fact, they’re so happy, they decide to mark the party as Chosen of Zunbar: Adjacent! Sadly this “marking” involves smearing bat guano on them.

After saying their goodbyes, they head down to the Asylum, on their way to the 3rd level. Once again, as they’re rounding the corner at the pile of left shoes (and now stacks of dead dry bodies) they’re set upon by 5 heartless. Gilcox, Mordar, and Kartas all shake in terror, and try to bolt, but are grabbed by Lex, Orpheus, and Karl before they can get away. The rest of the party piles into the undead monsters, while they swing ineffectively back.

Once put down, Karl again digs through the pile of left shoes looking for something, anything that might be drawing the monsters to this spot in particular.

Gains: Acceptance by the Chosen of Zunbar as “Chosen of Zunbar: Adjacent”
Kills: Heartless
Losses:

Friday, August 3, 2018

Review: The Road to El Dorado

There are some movies that it seems like you always mean to see, but year go by, and. you just kinda miss them. And when they're popular movies, and you're on the internet, you get a certain level of familiarity with them, without ever having seen them.



The Road to El Dorado was, for me, one of those movies. But, I've now seen it, and I (mostly) enjoyed it! It was a lot of fun seeing those two rogues fumble their way through their adventure. I appreciated that neither the chief nor the high priest really thought (for long) that they were actually gods, but were totally willing to go with it as long as it advanced their own agendas.

And let's not forget Chel (Rosie Perez), whose sass and spunk not only saved those two, but allowed her to take life on, on her own terms. She was FANTASTIC.

The music though. Sir Elton was really phoning it in on this one. The songs weren't good to begin with, and they felt shoehorned in in a way that was completely unnecessary, to the detriment of the movie. Given the impressive cast, it's a shame that it wasn't better. I mean, seriously; Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh, Armand Assante, Edward James Olmos, Jim Cummings... the talent here deserved better.

The story itself was okay.

All in all I'm glad I've seen it, but I doubt I'll be re-watching it anytime soon.

Though there is this one lasting bit of the movie that has stuck in my brain...



I haven't been able to get it out of my head. So, I did what had to be done, and started carving up some pink foam... But more on that later.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

5e: Tigers in the Mountains

From: Sir Fulhoff of Clan Balderk, Knight of Hawk’s Nest
To: Helja and Adrik of Clan Balderk

Mother and Father:

Traveling to Mirabar was uneventful, though bringing our hippogryphs through the teleportation circles was something of a sight. Especially when we emerged in a hay filled loft of a stable. Somewhat convenient location, though getting them all down with the limited space was something of a challenge.

The gatekeeper, Zasper, was a kindly mage, though concerned that the hippogryphs would be a challenge to house (and more to conceal). His fears were allayed once we revealed our collective knighthoods. We also left George and Gracey (Thorin named the shrubs) as well as Bran’s henchman Codlin to watch over them all. We also talked him out of switching from a password based system to a riddle based system to secure the circles.

In town, we started by getting some warmer clothing. We spent more on barely adequate sheepskin cloaks than we spent on the finery in Yartar. The prices here are outrageous. Following that, we stopped on a curiosity shop, and the rest of the party engaged in some shopping. Among the goods the party acquires is a map to an old dragon’s lair.

Checking out the town, we make an appointment to see the Council of Sparking Stones, and inform them of our mission, and confirm the rumors they’ve heard of giants. They, unfortunately, had little information to offer us.

Oh, and while we were there, we had the… pleasure... to hear our own exploits recited to us in song! To say there were liberties taken would be a bold understatement. Thorin came out of the telling sounding like the hero, of course, while the rest of us served as his semi-helpful companions. I’ve included a transcription of the song for you to share with his parents.

Mirabar, while a fascinating city, may be a dead end as far as our quest goes. Collectively grumpy from the cold, we decide to continue on to Brin Shandar, via the old dragon’s lair on Mount Black.

Mount Black was easy enough to find, and the kobold Heap was more than willing to show us around the dungeon, for 50gp. She promised to tell us everything as we went, for an additional 50gp each time. Bran spent a long time negotiating with her. Once in the dungeon, we were almost immediately set upon by weretigers of all things. Tough monsters, but we coordinated our efforts well, and killed 3 before the 4th surrendered with the promise that we’d spare him, his wife, child, and grandmother. We agreed. We also turned over the kobold, who was in cahoots with the weretigers.



Oh, and there may actually be a dragon still in residence. A green one…


Outstanding Rumors/Plot Points
Green Dragon in Mt. Black?
Eye of the Allfather in the Valley of Kadroon
Frost Giant w/ White Dragon Helm
Fire Giants attacked Tribor and took a rod from the center of town.
Gua - Hill Giant Matriarch - Grug-Hug Village location generally described
Eraglass the Sage - Missing?


Loose Threads
Jeff the guard, abandoned in Everland
Yartar - Lady Italia, Bat-weirdos (Kella & Zopin), Paw-Ming, Lord Dryland

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

July in Review

Gaming:
Storm King's Thunder and Stonehell are both rolling along. I had to come up with some new spells for Stonehell, and you've gotten to see most of them already. A couple more to go...

I'm really itching to get in some tabletop action. I might have to just run some solo Frostgrave for myself soon...


Miniatures:
I decided to work on something simple this month, and pulled out all the graveyard terrain from Bones 3. It's a work in progress...






I also acquired a Wizkids Beholder and paints from an old kickstarter!



Books:
Uh... Mostly just reading my Cost Accounting textbook, which is why there hasn't been more progress on my minis.


Media:
Rewatched Jurassic Park
Started and finished Luke Cage (season 2) and Glow (season 2)
Finally caught Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind.


Goals:
More Studying
Finish Dancing Girl & Demon Statue