Friday, October 12, 2018

Undead in October part 2

The wonderful thing about skeletal undead (and mummies) is that they look so good even with just a drybrush of Dirty Bone!



I used... I don't remember which brown on the weapon shafts.



The demi-lich got Nightmare Black and Pine Green on the smoke. I lightened the green with Linen White. Debating whether to paint the bones up, or hide them...



I also used the green on the archer's cloaks, and the black on the robes of Death and the Lich-Lord (way in the back).

More to come!!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

5e: In the Eye of the Alfather

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

Mother and Father:

The Great Digger has been more obvious in her signals. Perhaps it is that we are in a holy place? Or it could be that she wants to make sure we stay focused on our mission. Whatever the reason, she quite literally lead the way…

Leaving the magical gate, we decided to explore the rest of the temple complex. One wing turned out to be cells for those giants who were just visiting the temple for a spell, or possibly monks who used to take care of the complex. There were two notable features of the hall, the first being a large crack in the wall of one of the cells, the other being the rounded shape of the floor, like a gutter. The magical statue at the end of the slightly sloped hall was another clue.

Before heading into the crevice ourselves, Bran used his bag of tricks to summon a creature to send into the hole. And this, dear family, is where the Great Digger made herself very clear, as the summoned creature was a giant badger! With Bran’s crow perched on it’s back, they went in. Bran reported that there were 2 main chambers, one was creepy, and the badger didn’t want to go there, the other was full of icy webs, and had several cocooned things. Thorin and Bran were pretty sure it was mountain goats, but Joda and I felt that this was important.



Heading in, we had to move slowly because of the icy uneven ground, and we soon found ourselves fighting ice spiders in the cramped confines of the tunnel. Their web attack was chilling, but we snapped out of it, and squashed the spiders. Following the tunnels to where Bran saw the cocoons, we hacked our way through the webbing and found an old corpse of a dwarven prospector, a mountain goat, and a seer of the Wyrmblood tribe. The seer was the only one of the three still alive. She told of a vision that brought her to the Eye: a blue dragon, a wyrmskull throne, and a scepter…

I said final rights for the prospector, and then piled rocks over his corpse to send him to his rest.

Deeper into the tunnels we came to the creepy chamber, and spied a mound of eggs topped by a bloated spider. She was so focused on turning her eggs, she didn’t notice us until we were on her, and because of our surprise and the intensity of our attack, she was blasted off the pile of eggs, her body crushed! But the eggs… They ALL hatched! There was much flailing and stomping, but the swarm of baby spiders were… well if not all killed, enough so that it will be years before they’re a real threat again.

Among the debris and crushed bits of spiders we came across a fancy hammer, which I haven’t had the chance to spend any time with, but I suspect it’s magical.

Back in the hall, we continued to explore the different cells, and triggered a giant boulder trap! Seeing the massive rock coming toward us, I told everyone to run for Harshnag, and as I reached him I completed the enchantment of flight on him. We were clinging on for dear life, while he hovered up and over the boulder! And then the magic statue at the end of the hall pushed the boulder back, resetting the trap, and opening the doors to the cells which had magically sealed.

In the upper section of cells, the back half had collapsed, but we discovered a satchel containing a magical ice shard!

Going back to the main room, we opened the far doors, and in a chamber that the word massive is inadequate to describe, a trio of remorhaz were basking by a (magical) fire pit. The door opening was enough to get their attention, and they charged toward us. Joda got her flame on, while Thorin hacked away at them. Aramel turned one into a goat, but that didn’t do anything to change it’s mood. I called on my lightning magics, and aside from the splatter of their fiery blood (which really did burn) we slaughtered the oversized vermin.



Monday, October 8, 2018

Tombstones

In addition to the walls and crypt I painted, I also painted up the gravestones from the Bones 3 Graveyard set. These were fairly simply done, starting with Grey Liner, mixing in some Stone Grey and a drop of Jade Green to give them a bit of color, and Linen White to lighten it even more.



Because they’re so wobbly I decided to base them so that they wouldn’t immediately tip over. I was thinking of basing them in sets, or a mix of individually and in sets, but ultimately decided that they looked better individually based. Basing was simple, just a bit of flock stuck on with wood glue. The flock itself is a mix of Woodland Scenics Earth Blend turf plus a little used dried coffee grounds. Usually I use the coffee grounds for rocky texture, but some got mixed in and I didn’t want to bother dumping the batch.





The two tombs were painted the same way, but given Bronze accents.

While they’re really simple, they’re tracked on my spreadsheet, and so count toward my total.

Total number of minis painted: 49

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Stonehell: Getting Lost

Session 79 was played on 9/23

Koltic, Cleric 3 (Chris)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 6 (Henchman)

Koltic awoke bleary eyed an unfamiliar doorway. Darryl’s boot was unforgivingly harsh, and his voice piercingly loud. “The goddess’s blessing is also a curse you bloody fool! WAKE UP!”

A short time later, over a bowl of porridge and a pint of small beer. Darryl filled Koltic in on what had happened. “And to make matters worse, that damned stick-in-the-mud seven-pointed-dwarf cleric Kili is back from his retreat… and Eiric seems to trust him more than she trusts me. Me! Who was there when the heartless repeatedly threatened? Was it Kili? Nooo… It was me. ME!” Darryl slammed his mug down on the table. Here’s what you’re going to do. I can’t stand the runty holier-than-thou number-worshiper, but I want you to keep an I on him. Go back into the dungeon with Orpheus. He’s shopping right now for more supplies. They’re planning on spending the week in there, gods preserve them… Find him, and get down there! Prove that a number is no real god!”

Koltic took this overly-loud lecture to heart, and decided that he needed to do some shopping himself. He stopped by the orphanage, taking inventory of his goods, and collected the goblin Grishnaz, who had been taking in by the orphans as a playmate, much to the nuns’ distaste.

“Be sure to tell the Lady Eiric that we’re looking forward to seeing her take up residence in her new estate… With her entire entourage.” The mother superior’s smile was… disconcerting.

The first thing Koltic needed was a few meatshields. The tracker Elwyn signed on as a woman at arms, and Caldwell the gravedigger signed on as a torchbearer. A few extra bits of armor and equipment are purchased. Finding Orpheus (who is quick to offload some of the supplies to the hired hands), they head to the dungeon. On the way, they discuss their lives, and Orpheus tells Koltic about the job offer, and how he’s thinking about retiring after the business with KaNefar is finished. Koltic shares his life's motto “All major decisions require a night of heavy drinking before being decided. And one after.”

Awaiting them at the bottom of the stairs was Esmalia. “Eiric sent me to tell you they had to move from the elevator, and that you can meet them down in the robing room before the maze down on the third level.” She doesn’t know why they moved, and doesn’t seem to care.

Grishnaz wants to go visit his clan, but Orpheus wants to get back to Eiric. He gives in since the caves are just right there. The goblins excitedly swarm the party, expressing how impressed they are with Grishnaz’ new armor. Pressing them deep into the caves to the watery chamber of Zunbar, the old troll grabs Koltic and draws him near. “We will all perish under the Black Sun if you don’t fix this.” The monster’s black eyes look deep into Koltic’s eyes holding the look for an uncomfortable time before releasing him. Orpheus sighs deeply, relaxing his grip on the hilt of his sword. The goblins wave them out of the caves and send the party on their way.

Down and around they go passing by the well known landmarks, down into the Asylum. Avoiding the corner of left shoes, Orpheus forgets the spear trap, and again breaks it after triggering it. His cry of pain startled… a group of something, which ran away before the party could catch sight of it.

Taking the stairs down to the Dorm, Orpheus looks around at the hallway… and can’t remember how to get to the maze from here. Picking a direction they come to the Oliphant room, and Orpheus warns Koltic about it. Taking hallways at random, Koltic manages to trigger a dart trap which hits both him and Grishnaz. Then pass through an unnaturally cold spot that sends shivers down everyone’s back. Orpheus remembers that, but still can’t figure out how to get to the robing room.

Passing by the boulder that blocks the wererat den, they continue on reaching a section of hallway that gets warmer and more humid, smelling of earthy rot and flowers. Spying the weirdly lit hall, Orpheus is pretty sure this isn’t the way, so they backtrack, and take the next passage. It opens into a hexagonal room where half a dozen gnolls are bundling large leaves and other plants. They bark at the party, and 2 grab bows and open fire, hitting Orpheus in the shoulder (a crit!). 2 grab their axes and charge. Koltic and Grishnaz injure one, while Orpheus chops his in half, sending the torso tumbling toward her mates. The 2 that weren’t engaged charge in, and one cracks Orpheus’ armor with his blade (Another critical!) and then slams the flat of the ax into his helmet (THIRD critical hit!) Koltic calls for a retreat!

Running, they round the corner back toward the weirdly lit plant corridor. Koltic heals Orpheus’ wounds (a little), and they continue down the hall onto the spongy loam, coming quickly to an intersection choked with plant life. To one side was a pile of broken wood and some chain half covered in plantlife, and to the other stairs going down into the dark. Wanting to be away from the gnolls, they head down…

At the bottom of the stairs they hear several large things coming toward them. Giant beetles being ridden by kobolds! They’re snarky about “cowardly sniveling Sniv” and fairly insulting to the party. They push past, heading back up to level 3. Taking a peek at the cavern at the bottom of the stairs, they remember that they’re supposed to meet the party on level 3. They head back up. Back at the boulder, they take the side passage, pick a hall at random, and end up in another set of rooms that Orpheus doesn’t recognize. Backtracking again, they find themselves at an intersection near the elevator. The button to summon the elevator is lit! With a shrug, Koltic presses it. Rather than the rumble of the machinery, there’s a distant bell that rings.

Gains:
Kills: 2 Gnolls
Losses:

Friday, October 5, 2018

Graveyard part 2

Back in August I took an evening and did a little more work on my graveyard fences and the crypt. Due to the awful texturing I encountered with the spray paint, I decided that I wasn't going to worry about the interior of the crypt, and decided to focus my attention on the more important exterior.



I liked the plaques on the outside, and decided they should be the same bronze as the roof. I also added bronze accents to the gates and fences.









And this was how it all looked in the middle of August. Early in September I decided to finish it up, finally...



I assembled the crypt, cleaning up a few details that needed it.



I also added a bronze sword to the central panel.



And here it all is!

Total Minis for 2018: 64 (Fence Gate (x2), Fence Ruin A (x3), Fence Ruin B (x3), Short Fence (x5), Fence Post (x12), Long Fence (x6), Obsidian Crypt)

Thursday, October 4, 2018

The Undead of October

The painting theme of the month has been chosen! The Undead of October will emerge from their (freshly painted) graves The miniatures have been selected… Here’s what's on the painting table:



9 Bones Skeletons (from Bones 2)
6 Undying (Death, minotaur, lizardman, elf, halfling, & dwarf skeletons from Bones 3)
Bone Fiend (Bones 2)
4 mummies (Bones 2)
Hecklemeyer & Styx (25th Anniversary mini)
Dust King & Tomb (Bones 3)
Demi-Lich (Bones 2)
3 Nefsokar mummies (Bones 1)

26 (or 28 if you count the broken tomb and the tiny puppet) minis, in 31 days? Less if you count the vacation in the middle of the month… Plus one day since I started on the last day of September. Granted, the skeletons should all go really quickly, but even still, it’ll be a push to get it done, but this would push me over 100 minis for 2018…



Since everything is already lined with brown liner, the plan is:
Dirty Bone on all the bone and mummy wrapping!
Scorched Metal all the armor and weapons
Heavy Sepia Wash pretty much everything
Highlights

Special Minis:
Demi-Lich - Thinking green/purple flames?
Hecklemeyer - Black & White costume? Black, White, & Red?
Nefsokar mummies - Lots of gold and bronze.
Dust King - Seriously tempted to paint it up like the ice lich from Warcraft…

As for their bases? That’s a little more work. The skeletons, bone fiend, and maybe the dust king will get bases to match the flocking on the tombstones. The demi-lich and hecklemeyer will probably get some sort of sculpted flagstone base. The mummies? Haven’t decided. Seriously tempted to give them dungeon flagstone bases too…

Okay, so it’s really unlikely I’ll finish all of these in October, but maybe by November?

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

5e: Mote in the Eye of Alfather

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

Mother and Father:

The path to the Eye of the Alfather continued up the mountain, its scale and the thin air making distances harder to determine. The cavern walls fell away step by step until only open air flanked the icy path. The light of the sun sparkled off the crystals of ice suspended in the breeze. Ahead, the flickering of firelight emanated from behind the pillars of the temple.

Hilde went forward after Bran told her they looked like barbarians. There were 2, and a small white dragon. When Hilde approached, the dragon went into the temple, and the barbarians called for her to halt. They yelled back and forth for a while, basically telling us to go away. Thorin and I got tired of waiting, so I pulled out a scroll, and started yelling about how long we’ve traveled trying to find this place, and that we weren’t just going to wander away. Pointing at the scroll, I walked forward, Thorin at my side, repeating that we’d come a long way, and weren’t leaving without seeing the oracle. Eventually they decided to check with their chief, Wyrmblood.

Getting the okay, we all slowly made our way forward, but it was a trap. Once Bran, Hilde, and Aramel were in the tunnel, 2 massive stone blocks dropped down, sealing them in with one barbarian, and locking Thorin, Harshnag, and I out with one barbarian. They had better luck with theirs, and talked him into being peaceful, while ours made a more fatal choice. He hit Thorin hard a couple of times, and then Thorin hit back harder.



Meanwhile Harshnag had managed to deadlift the first block a few feet off the ground, and Thorin and I scampered under. We saw one barbarian watching another attacking the dragon with Hilde, while Aramel was strumming away, and deeper in the passage a shaman was casting a spell. I got the barbarian with his back to me, the dragon, and the shaman in a line, and let loose a Lightning Bolt! Thorin charged the dragon, but Hilde chopped it down before he reached it. I then used the wand of Magic Missiles to finish off the shaman.

The chief, Wyrmblood looked very worried, more so as Aramel mocked the last standing barbarian to death. Who says words don’t hurt? Thorin charges Wyrmblood, but Hilde gets there first, cutting through his defenses like they weren’t there. I shot him with a ray of frost, and Aramel mocked him. All that combined meant that Thorin, again, didn’t even get the chance to land a blow.

Bran found the switches that controlled the trap, and eventually got the block up, allowing Harshnag in. Up a massive set of stairs, and through a rhine covered door, we entered into a chamber of cyclopean dimensions, with statues of the 7 gods of giants, the 6 representing the major types of giants kneeling around the central Alfather giant. The Alfather faced a magical portal, with 6 runes inscribed on it. Above the portal read:

“Children Mine, Enter In Order, If You Wish To Cross This Border, Start With Low And End With High, Start With Hills And End With Sky”

Harshnag assures us that it sounds better in the original Giant. Interesting that the translation happens to rhyme a little…

We recognized a few of the runes, but decided that we’d explore some of the side chambers before tackling the gate.

Monday, October 1, 2018

September in Review

This was a busy and eventful month! Good news is that I passed the courses I was taking, and can now move on to studying for the CPA again. On top of that I got to spend time with family, see an old friend, saw a great broadway show, and played some D&D.

Onto the update!

Gaming

Still no miniature gaming, but Stonehell and Storm King’s Thunder are both a lot of fun in their own ways. It’s interesting being a player, and getting to see my DM in action. It’s even better that she is working to improve her game, and we’ve had some really good discussions about DMing.

Stonehell got interesting, as the party ended up split, and one group is lost, hurt, and doesn’t know how to find the other group, while the main group doesn’t even know they’re missing yet! It’s glorious!!

I also ran D&D for my nieces and nephews again. They burned down a goblin fortress! Gonna have to add some more debate to the games I think.

Miniatures
Because of my classes, there wasn’t a lot of quality painting going on, but I did finish the crypt and fences, as well as managing to knock out a dozen tombstones & grave markers. They’re even based! (post on those later this week). I also speed painted a trio of giants. They aren’t done, but are table ready. I also poked a bit at my Dancing Girl/Genie, and at this point I think I’m going to have to wrap her up. I’m not sure how to improve her without seriously risking ruining what I’ve done. It might be time to take my lessons learned and move on.

Media
Books
The Armored Saint Book 2 SO GOOD!

Movies/TV Watched
Crazy Rich Asians - Fun RomCom, great ensemble of actors.
Porko Rosso
Pom Poko - sweet, depressing…
Whisper of the Heart - I really enjoy the slice of live movies from Miyazaki.
Iron Fist Season 2 (episodes 1-4)
Supernatural - finished Season 10, started 11

Broadway
The Band’s Visit - incredibly sweet and touching

Goals
Finish the Dancing Girl/Genie
Paint some undead (skeletons, zombies. and mummies)