Monday, December 17, 2018

Iron Fist season 2

Iron Fist - Season 2

Sadly I finished watching this excellent season just as it was announced that Netflix was canceling it and Luke Cage, which kind of put a damper on getting my review written. And it’s a real shame, because this was such an improvement over the first season, especially for Danny, who, let’s be real here, was probably the single worst character to come out of Marvel’s netflix shows. I’m not even just talking main characters here. Danny was a train wreck of a character.

Spoilers below

One thing that the Netflix shows have done an excellent job of is character development. Everyone has a story arc, everyone grows and changes. Danny, after returning to NYC as the Iron Fist goes through a lot in season 1 and in the Defenders. And in season 2 we can see that it’s had an effect. He’s a bit more mature, but still struggling, and a bit afraid of his power controlling him. Like Luke Cage he’s struggling with the gangs, and you can see that he’s very clearly doing his best not to set himself up as the defacto kingpin.

However that hesitancy to use the Fist’s full power is one of Davos’ major issues with Danny. And when he steals the Fist from Danny, he starts using it indiscriminately. Davos is a remarkably sympathetic antagonist, far more in the mold of anti-hero rather than villain. He’s grieving the loss of everyone he’s ever loved, his home, and the feeling of betrayal by Danny. Honestly Davos mirrors Danny’s journey in a way that looking back should have been more obvious to me before sitting down to write this.

Colleen Wing’s journey this season begins with her having put up the sword, and trying to live a life of peace. Hard to do with the Immortal Iron Fist as her live in boyfriend, and she keeps getting dragged back in. There’s also a fun subplot with her family that helps push along the season to its conclusion.

The Meechums… Ho-boy… These two very damaged people both looking to reinvent themselves and going about it in conflicting ways.

Ward is doing all the things you’re supposed to do on the road to recovery, trying to deal with the myriad of issues he has in his life while also running Rand Corp. Except, of course, he’s fucking it up (in part by hooking up with his sponsor).He’s desperate to reconnect with his sister. He’s still incredibly selfish, which Joy is happy to point out, but he’s trying. He is, I think, the most sympathetic character of the series.

Joy, teaming up with Davos, is out to hurt Danny, and wants nothing to do with her brother. Some of the best scenes with her revolve around the dinner at Colleen’s apartment. It was so delightfully forced and awkward. More like a scene out of a comedy of manners than something out of a superhero tv show! It was so incredibly uncomfortable for all of the characters for all of their different reasons. By the end of the season the anger she’d been nursing and the danger she’d been courting have run their course. Where she’ll go from there will be interesting to see. Or it would have if the show hadn’t been canceled.

Joy hired Walker (aka Typhoid Mary) to help Davos steal the Fist. Played by Alice Eve (who I know as Dr. Carol Marcus from Star Trek Into Darkness) she does a fantastic job playing both Mary the sweet artist, and Walker the cold ex-special forces killer. Typhoid Mary is yet another character I’m unfamiliar with, but this version fits in really well with the rest of the street level characters.

Things get really interesting as the season progresses. Danny without his power, Colleen conflicted, Misty pushing Colleen to work with her, Joy getting what she’d planned, and it not working out like she thought… Then things get CRAZY, as Colleen gets the Fist, while Davos ALSO has the fist… and then that ending. Again, just like Luke Cage, the last few minutes of the season put it over the top.

It’s a crime that we doesn’t get to see Danny and Ward out on their quest, see Colleen and Misty cleaning up the streets…

Thursday, December 13, 2018

This is the end...

These notebooks contains the notes from just about every session of Stonehell that I’ve run (on the left) and the Storm King’s Thunder game (on the right).

They’re full. It’s a strange milestone to have reached, especially as Stonehell is still going, with our 84th session scheduled for this weekend, and SKT have a couple of sessions left.

I’ve actually been fortunate lately to have been in several long lasting games. Starting with my Weird New World 5e game, Stonehell, My Brooklyn 5e game, and Storm King’s Thunder, The last several years have been exceptional for gaming and story creation. Except for Stonehell, which is still ongoing, the other campaigns have all come to a natural conclusion (or in the case of Storm King’s Thunder is in the process of wrapping up).

Honestly, I’m blown away thinking about it. In all my years of playing and running D&D, I’ve never seen campaigns run like this. From the time I started playing until relatively recently, games start, everyone is excited, and then.. They just kinda peter out and people get excited about the next game they want to play. Games that run for a couple of weeks, or at best a few months, before switching to something else were the norm. From my school days to the flailsnail days…

The unexpected fortune I’ve had lately to have found gamers that have collaborated with me to spend months (and even years) forging the stories of Thorin the Famous, Eiric, Nessendra, and so many more. I’ve had players willing to travel extraordinary distances to get in game time!

But it’s a bittersweet thing. Endings always are. Here’s hoping that as Storm King’s Thunder ends, we finish it with a bang!

*The Castles and Crusades game would probably be on this list except that I ended up dropping out of it because trying to play on Sunday nights just wasn’t working out. But even that one I played in for about 2 years!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

5e: Lawn Ornaments?!?

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

Mother and Father:

The maelstrom is an amazing place, and we’ve spent our time here taking advantage of that fact. I’ve poured over the Archmage Dangledork’s spellbook. For someone of his skills, the contents are rather pedestrian. It’s no shock that he was so poorly able to handle our assault. Nevertheless, I’ll be able to make use of it.

Joda took advantage of the walls of water surrounding the palace to work out in the morning. He literally ran around the palace on the walls of water. It was such a feat that the giants of the palace took the time to watch, gathering in the spots with the best views and snacked on popcorn lobster.

Taking advantage of this, Hilda visited King Hekaton. Only because of her help in freeing him did he allow her to approach and talk with him. She spoke slowly, carefully, knowing that she was treading on dangerous ground. She spoke of his daughters, and of her own experience as one of many siblings, and the loneliness that can happen even when surrounded by those they love. She advised the king to ensure that his daughters know that they’re all loved equally. The king was touched by her words, and promised that he would keep them in his mind going forward.

But first, there is the dragon to deal with. We gathered together in the meditation chamber. The king told us his allies would be arriving at the desert lair of Iymrith from a variety of locations, and by a variety of means. We would be teleporting in directly. He activated the chamber, and we were suddenly being baked by the heat of the dry sun, rather than cooled by the watery light.

The amphitheater was ruined, and covered in statues. Statues that it turned out were all animated. “I can’t believe we have to fight her lawn ornaments” Hilda lamented, drawing her sword, and quaffing the potion of giant size. The rest of the party followed, except for Aramil, and grew between 14-18 feet tall.

Joda ran up the side wall of the seating area. Thorin tried to follow, using Bran’s back as a stepping stone. That was about the point we noticed the trebuchet. The stones started flying toward the king, and he launched a lightning strike at the first one, wiping out the stone crew. Almost everyone piled into the fight. Aramil and I circled around to help flank. Bran tossed ice storms while I kept my spells in reserve, working my hammer more than my magic.

Around the time we’d cut though the first half of the gargoyles, 2 larger stone figures arrived, followed by a distinctive sound… the roar of a dragon, and the flapping of her wings. Iymrith. Her terrifying presence was felt across the amphitheater. I took faith in the Great Digger, knowing she’d sent me on this quest, and it was time to see it to the end.

King Hecaton, at the front of the fight took the first hit from her, as she flew past, tail lashing out. Her wings kicked up a great blast of sand, blinding most of those in the path. I used, and used up, the wand of magic missiles, dumping each and every charge into her wings. The wand crumbled in my hands as the magic was spent. Iymrith flew off, leaving her golems to finish us off. Beyond the amphitheater a spray of sand showed where she’d burrowed into the ground.

Leaping down from the amphitheater seats, I swung my hammer repeatedly into the back of the golem slamming into the king, drawing off its attention. Thorin, further up, was dealing with the gargoyles operating the trebuchet. Hack, slash, shove, hack, slash, shove…

We dropped the golems, and took a moment to wipe the sweat from our brows. Mere moments had passed since we’d arrived, but our blood stained the sands. Below us, Iymrith’s lair awaited… and we could hear her rumbling below…

Tuesday, December 11, 2018


Once again, and for the last time of this campaign, my DM has asked about some minis. Gargoyles. I have a few metal gargoyles painted up, along with some weeping angels that will serve, but I also have some unpainted minis to add to the horde. So time to paint some quick and dirty gargoyles!

Included in this group are the following
Reaper’s Weeping Angels (x4)
Reapers Gargoyle from Bones 3 (x1)
Reaper Bones Vorvorlaka and Bat Demon(bones 2?)
Wizkids Gargoyles (x2)
Random pewter gargoyle

After making sure there weren’t any horrible mold lines, they were all washed with warm soapy water and scrubbed down to remove any oils and dust on them. They were then glued to bases, and all were primed with Grey Liner. I then dry brushed them with Dungeon Stone, Stone Grey, followed lastly by Linen White.

I haven't bothered to flock the bases yet.

They aren’t fancy, but they’ll look good on the table.

I figured 14 gargoyles would be enough for just about any encounter!

Narrators Voice: It was not enough. Not by half...

Friday, December 7, 2018

Blightfang part 2

Way back in May I wrote about painting up Blightfang, but never got around to writing the end of the WiP.

Thankfully, I took notes on what I did!

I added some more highlights of Heraldic Red onto the fin and wings, and then mixed in some Sunrise Orange. The teeth were painted with dirty bone, and then lightened with Linen White. I also went over the less scaly parts of the legs with Jungle Moss, then gave it a drybrush of 1:1 viper green & Sun Yellow.

Not really being sure what else to do, I painted the elbow spikes and horns with the same red/orange as the wings. I then flocked the base, and... that's it! And looking at these pictures, I realized I never cleaned up the base, so it's since been painted black around the edge.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

5e: When the boat's a rockin!

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

Mother and Father:

The storm continues to blow around the stern of the ship, while Bran and I watch from the crow’s nest.

Hilda and Joda both continue to cut down the cultists, while Rin chops up another merrow. Bran shoots the half orc mate, while Captain Dangledork the archmage flies up and out of the storm I had blowing. The I called the lightning from the storm to hit him, and then hit him with a lightning bolt of my own. He was staggered, but still standing (flying), and now he knew where the wizard was. My second lightning bolt however continued past the archmage, hitting one of the chains, breaking it, and then through the hull of the ship… cracking it. Two of the cultists fired the mounted ballistas at Aramil. He just dodged the first, and almost was skewered by the second, saved only by Rin’s ancestors.

Continuing to slay cultists, Hilda and Joda dance around each other. Rin hurts, but doesn’t quite slay the next merrow. Bran, having a clear shot at the archmage, takes it, and the black bolt seems to catch him unexpectedly. He blinks in confusion, and falls from the sky, hitting the deck with a bone crunching splat. Bran’s second shot slays the next merrow harassing Rin.

Seeing the archmage drop to the deck breaks the half orc’s nerve, and he rushes into one of the cabins.

Using the storms lightning, I again strike at the chains enchanting the king, and then fly down from the crows next to the cabin the mate entered. He was already ransacking the room. I told him to leave the spellbook, surrender and order the crew to stand down, and I’d let him live. He wanted the spellbook for himself, but his sense of self preservation won out.

Having cleared enough of the cultists, Hilda breaks the remaining two chains while Jode keeps the rest off of her back. The Storm King sucks in a deep breath, and begins to stir. The half orc mate steps out of the cabin, and orders the crew to stand down. The merrow don’t listen, so Rin kills another. The last one decides it would rather live far away than swim in the waters with his dead friends. Bran slides down a rope from the crow’s nest, shooting at the merrow swimming away. Aramil and Joda both lay some healing magic on the Storm King.

Sitting up, his first act is to try to swat the mate. We convince him to let him live, so the King tosses him overboard. The King is suspicious, somewhat confused, but we tell him we were sent by his daughter Seresa to save him. He doesn’t entirely believe us, but showing off the conch shell he’s at least willing to hold off on just wiping us all out. I have the opportunity to search the wizards quarters, and do find the spellbook, as well as some notes, sea charts, and carved into the woodwork the words “Iymrith” “Sisters” Treachery”

Blowing the conch shell, we’re teleported back to the Storm King’s Palace in the Maelstrom. His daughters are delighted and amazed, and he calls a family meeting in the throne room… but the throne is gone. Iymrith has stolen it. The Storm King was astounded, astonished, and amazed at all that had happened, and how foolish he’d been. “She didn’t even change her name!”

After some debate about what to do next, and catching the Storm King up on all that had happened, it was decided that Iymrith needed to be taken care of first. He sent out a call for giants to come to him, and we scryed to discover what we could. Iymrith was upon the throne in a ruined palace in the desert. The ship the king had been imprisoned on was destroyed, and the kraken was in inky black water.

I spent my time again studying magic, while the rest of the party continued to explore the palace. In a few days we were ready to make the assault on Iymrith.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Gravestones part 2

I didn’t expect there to be a second part to this, but I found that I had 2 more gravestones from the old Games Workshop skeleton box. They got exactly the same treatment. Glued to square bases, primed with brown liner, brushed grey, then lighter grey, and flocked.

The brush on primer really doesn't work all that well with flock.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Imyrith The Ancient aka Narthrax

Much like the aboleth I painted a while back, we’ve encountered an ancient black dragon in our campaign, and it looks like there’s gonna be a big fight with her at the end. SO… time to paint a big blue dragon.

I looked at the new WizKids pre-primed dragons, but the only one my alternate FLGS had in stock was the green one, and I was not impressed at all. So I went for Narthrax from Reaper instead. Knowing that she’ll have to look extra impressive on the table, I started out by picking her base. As an ancient dragon, she needs to be gargantuan, or on at least a 4” base. I did Blightfang on a 4” base, and Narthrax is just a bit bigger so she got a 5” base. Then I layered up some cork to boost up her height on the table a bit, and carved it out to fit with her integrated base.

Then it was onto painting. After washing in warm soapy water, I primed her with both Blue and Brown Liner, depending on what color the section was going to be. For the main body, I used True Blue as the primary base color, darkening it with the Blue Liner, and lightening it with Linen White.

The wing membrane, belly scales, and horns and teeth were base coated with NMM Gold Base over the brown liner. For the teeth and horns I then went to Yellowed Bone, and then Linen White. She’s a little too old to go all the way up to Pure White or even Bleached Linen. I’m not really thrilled with the wings yet, but I’m not entirely sure how to make them look better. I think I’m going to do the boring “deeper shadows, higher highlights” thing and start by darkening the shadows.

After building up the scale color, I then added in Frosty Blue (Not to be confused with Frost Blue, which is an entirely different color) to bring up the lightning crackle that I imagine courses over her scales when she’s pissed. I used Nightmare black and Eldritch Purple to paint the transition spots where horns/spines poke out from the scales, as well asher gums and the interior of her mouth.

A few notes up to this point:
She was painted (and still is) entirely unassembled.
Initially I didn’t clean up any mold lines, but there were a few on the wings and head that needed it after I applied paint and saw how bad they were.
I haven’t decided how to paint the rocks, but I’m thinking about using the same recipe for them as the flagstone bases of the minis.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

November in Review

There was only one session of Stonehell this month, and I'm itching to see where it goes this month.

Storm King's Thunder is almost over... and I can't wait to see how it wraps up, but I also don't want it to end. I guess that's the sign of a really good campaign.

I still haven’t finished the dancing girl, or returned to the giants, but my Undead of October project was rather more successful than I had honestly expected it to be:
4 mummies (Bones 2) Done!
Hecklemeyer (25th Anniversary mini) Done!
Demi-Lich (Bones 2) Done!
3 Nefsokar mummies (Bones 1) Done!

So only a month late, but I got it 100% done!

I also have been working on Reaper's Narthrax, which you'll get to see more of in a few days.

In addition to that, I also wrapped up the WizKids Beholder, and worked a bit on a few other minis.

But wait! There’s more! I also started painting up 3 new character minis for my fellow players in the Storm King’s Thunder game!

I expect that I should be able to wrap these all up in fairly short order.

The fact that there were 2 holidays this month meant that in addition to all the painting, I also watched a bunch of movies...

Movies/TV Watched
Daredevil Season 3
My Neighbors the Yamadas
Cowboy Bebop (episodes 1-4)
Isle of Dogs
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
The Lord of the Rings
Forbidden World
The Warrior and the Sorceress

This is gonna be a relatively short month for gaming and hobbying. So I'm just gonna say wrap things up for the new year so that come January I've got a clean painting tray to start the year off with.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

New Spell: Thorny Crown of the Seven Pointed Star

Alianora’s scalp bled, the blood soaking in her hair, and flowed down her face, over her clenched eyes. Rathgar, Nimble, Feris, and Selina all felt slightly less exhausted, less achy as the next wave of goblinoids jumped down from the ruins of the old fort.

“How long can you keep this up?” Rathgar asked pulling his sword from the chest of a goblin.

Nimble’s dagger lodged firmly in the skull of the goblin that was heading right for her. The lifeless body dropping at her feet.

“Not long!”

1st level Cleric Spell
Thorny Crown of the Seven Pointed Star
Range: 30’
Duration: varies
Effect Area heal effect

This spell will allow the cleric to heal 1 point of damage to 1d6+1 individuals within 30’. On a roll of 7 the caster may spend 1hp to use the effect for an additional round. The caster may also sacrifice hit points on a 1:1 basis to fuel the spell up to 7, however the caster must sacrifice all the way to 7. The cleric cannot benefit from the healing of their own casting of the spell.
(i.e. if the caster chooses, rolling a 5 would require the sacrifice of 3 HP, 2 to get to 7 and 1 for the roll next round)

Rules Cyclopedia D&D doesn't really have a good low level healing aura type spell, and one of the players playing a cleric asked for one. I think this offers a nice balance between healing and potentially hurting. It'll be interesting to see how it plays in game.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

5e: Death From Above!

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

Mother and Father:

Heading out of Yartar, we discuss what our strategy is going to be, and most of the party wants to head up to Old Snarl to pay our respects, and maybe get a little more help. For my part, dealing with dragons is never a good idea. Dealing with an ancient red dragon is an even worse idea, but we did agree, as part of our use of the airship, that we would visit.

If you’ve heard stories of Klauth, then you’ve heard that he is not only ancient, but bigger than maybe any other dragon on Faerun? The tales do not begin to even come close to accurately portraying the sheer power and awesome majesty of that being. Also the annoyance that we had not yet completed our quest. I think what kept us from becoming a snack was that we did at least have some information that he didn’t have, namely that Imyrith is working with Slarkrethel. That seemed to intrigue him. His advice was simply “don’t die.”

Departing Klauth’s domain, we headed for Waterdeep, resupplied and stocked up on things we thought would be helpful for a sea battle. Our efforts to find out more about the Kraken Society and their activities were ineffective, but the one bit of luck turned out to be the journal we’d taken from Lord Drylund. While we’d had no luck deciphering the code, a contact of the Grey Hand was able to figure some of it out, including the phrase “purple islands.” We’d heard that name before, and checking through our assorted goods in the bag of holding, pulled out an old map of them. Since we were in Waterdeep, we contacted a local cartographer and acquired a more up to date chart. This in hand, we set off.

The flight out from Waterdeep was cool, cloudy, and wet. Thankfully it was a calm sort of wet, but bone chilling. On the 4th day out, we spotted the islands… and then we saw it, the Morkoth. Distinctively squid shaped with an open hold containing a chain bound storm giant. Thankfully our arrival by air meant we hadn’t been spotted. We followed the Morkoth from above, spying on it for the rest of the day, the night, and in the first light of day, dropped down upon them.

Joda summoned a cloud from the Astorian Fan, and we dropped down to the ship. Bran and I hopped off at the crows nest, startling a sleeping watchman, and silencing him before he could make a sound. I then summoned a storm over the stern of the ship, while Hilda dropped down into the bow swinging her sword at the sailors there. Joda leaps down onto the giant and inspects the chains. Aramil tries to dispel the magic on the chains, but their enchantments are too strong. Joda fails to break any of them.

Finally shaking off the shock of the assault, the sailors retaliate. The commanding officer shoots at Joda with a crossbow, but Joda catches the bolt, and throws it back at the half orc. Hilda and Rin are swarmed by sailors, but they’re mostly irritating rather than dangerous. Rin tosses a few of them overboard. From the storm, I lightning bolt the crossbow wielding half orc, who is now joined by a spellcaster. I counterspell the invulnerability spell he was trying to cast, and then drop an acid sphere on the stern. The wizard goes invisible….

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Undead of October part 8

Jokes On You

I’ve been poking at Hecklemeyer and Styx for a while now, and I think I’ve reached the “it ain’t gonna get better than this” stage. The color pallet has been very limited. Nightshade Black, Linen White, Dirty Bone, Yellowed Bone, Succubus Kiss, Fresh Blood, Pumpkin Orange, Sun Yellow, Oh, and just a tiny bit of blue for the puppet tied to his leg. Okay, maybe not all that limited.

Once I decided I was done with painting it was time to do the base. I popped Styx off of his base, and positioned him a bit to see where I thought he’d look good. I then rolled out some greenstuff, stuck Styx in, and started sculpting the floor tiles. As usual I used Brown Liner as the primer, and then went with my standard Redstone Shadow, Stone Grey, Linen White base.

Also, I realized I never posted the finished Bone Fiend, so here it is.

And with that, my Undead of October Project is finally complete!

Friday, November 23, 2018

Fulhoff's Fellow Adventurers part 3

A minor update on the minis.

I did some work on their bases to bring them up to match those of the rest of the party, and then did some minor detail work. The monk's wrist wraps I did in blue and silver, and the leg and feet wraps in Earth Brown.

Xanathar is unimpressed with being ignored in favor of these twerps.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

DCC: Dire Turkey

"This isn't a joke!" The farmer's face contorted as embarrassment, fear, and desperation flashed rapidly across it.

"Where did it come from?"

"A druid came through a couple of weeks ago. When he demanded I let him sleep in my barn I asked for something in return... he offered to bless my harvest feast bird... to make it the biggest bird the hamlet had ever seen and to make its flesh rich and wonderful." He paused. "In hindsight I should probably have just let him stay without bother."

"That would have been wiser." Rathgar sighed. "So where is this overgrown turkey?"

"Its been in the pumpkin field since yesterday." He said pointing off to the north. "Blake's boy went out to shoot it last evening. He only riled it up, and..." He gulped. "His body is still out in the field."

Dire Turkey: Init +2; Atk bite +9 melee (2d6) or claw +9 melee (2d6); AC17; HD 7d10; MV 30', fly 15'; Act 1d20; SV Fort+7, Ref +8, Will +0; AL N.

The dire turkey is a stupid and overly territorial bird. It's primary attack is pecking the target and flinging it into the air. On a successful attack that is 4+ over the target's AC, a medium sized opponent will be thrown in a random direction 1d12 feet and take an additional 1d6 damage. Small opponents will be thrown 3d6 feet and take an addition 2d4 damage.

A Dire Turkey may also perform a kick attack. Opponents hit with the feet must make a saving throw vs petrification or be stunned for 1d4 rounds. Opponents wearing a helm get a +2 to the saving throw.

Dire Turkey meat is highly prized and will fetch a good price if the market is available for it. A full grown dire turkey can easily fetch in excess of 75gp in a large village.

Image Source: Monster Turkey by Tenshi3D

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

5e: Kraken Heads in Yartar

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

Mother and Father:

On the way to Yartar we discussed what it was we wanted to accomplish. Our main objective was to get information: find out who killed the Giant Queen (and why) and what happened to the Giant King. Amazingly this is when the rest of the party thought a night raid was the plan to go with.

A night raid… onto a casino barge… full of the rich and powerful of Yartar… I pointed out the flaws of this plan, and managed to talk them out of it. We were then rudely interrupted by some random woman who strolled into the cabin who initially introduced herself as Phyllis, then later as Laura?

One downside to having become famous is that we’ve started attracting fanbois and girls. I worry that this might be letting our enemies know what we’re up to, but thankfully the bards are getting it so mixed up that it’ll be hard for them to get coherent info out of the stories.

Another downside is that our fans are just as misinformed. Druid-girl was completely focused on burning down the barge and then swimming away with Lord Drylund that we had to sit her in the corner and tell her to shut up or we’d toss her overboard. Which is honestly not much of a threat to someone who can turn into a bird….

Arriving in Yartar with a fair amount of fanfair (flying ships tend to attract a bit of attention), we split up to see what we could see…

Aramil got in with the local musicians, and got himself booked on the Golden Goose after sharing more stories of our travels. As usual Thorin was the hero of the stories.

Joda and Hilda visited Bidet at the Winking Clam, ‘hideout’ of the Hand of Yartar. They learned a bit more info about Lord Drylund and Pau Ming, but little we hadn’t guessed already. Then they went shopping Hilda ended up the fanciest dressed Barbarian ever! Complete with expensive and gaudy jewelry.

Meanwhile I went about town in my gaudiest outfit, splashing petty magic and coin around with abandon. The best way to get someone’s attention is to be obvious about it. Especially when that person craves money and power… I also bought and used some very expensive incense to cast Legend Lore seeking info about “Lord Usland” who was Lady Italia’s contact person… and the spell provided only a single lyric, being sung by Aramil “And Thorin Slayed the Aboleth…


Aramil’s stint on the boat was mostly a success. He managed to get the attention of Pau Ming, but his performance of “I’m on a boat” was an even bigger hit that “The Thorin Chronicles.” Oh, and the druid did some sneaking about, and discovered that Lord Drylund has a pet octopus named Squishy and a headache problem. Thankfully he didn’t burn the boat down while everyone was on it.

The next day I sent an embossed invitation for Lord Drylund to visit our skyship at his convenience. It wasn’t even 2 hours before he was on the pier. While providing a tour, we took flight, so as to provide the best view of Yartar. It also had the advantage of removing him from his guards and his pet wizard. We confronted him with the coin found on the Giant Queen’s corpse and made it clear that he had one chance to fess up. The druid tried to summon a thunderstorm, but I countered her interruption. She stormed out of the cabin in a huff, and summoned it anyway. She then dropped a lightning bolt next to his ship, and then one onto the mast. He explained that he was a member of the Kraken society, and they killed the queen and kidnapped the king and had him on a ship in the trackless sea named the Morkoth. Sadly that was all we got out of him, as his eyes bulged and he started to foam at the mouth. I tried to dispel whatever was affecting him, while Joda tried some healing magic. Whatever curse was upon him was beyond our magics, and he collapsed dead to the deck.

Deciding to make the best of a bad situation, Bran used the hat of disguise to make himself appear as Lord Drylund, even going so far as to don his shoes! We returned to the river and “Lord Drylund” stormed off our ship and onto the Golden Goose…. Where he was promptly stuck by a bolt of lightning that left behind only a pair of shoes!

Bran safely Thunder stepped back onto our ship, and cast Speak with Dead on the corpse. Bran asked him about the cypher for the journal we stole last time, but he was uncooperative about how to break it. We asked about Lady Italia, but he dismissed her as being of little importance. We then asked about the name “Slarkrethel” which is apparently the name of the Kraken who founded the society. Bran lops off Lord Drylund’s head, and drops it in a pickle jar, while we feed the body to the fire elemental.

I burned another several sticks of incense and cast Legend Lore, hoping for a better result than my previous attempt! It was certainly more informative. This ancient beast is also a powerful wizard, the Chosen of Umberlee (the Bitch Queen Sea Goddess herself), founder of the Kraken Society, and seeking a path to godhood, and lairs in some great ruined city somewhere under the trackless sea.

Because of course it does…

We pay our respects to the Waterbaron, and then depart Yartar, never again to return to its cursed riverbanks (until the next time we return), and set sail for Waterdeep, leaving the fangirl druid to hunt around for Lady Italia in Yartar’s sewers. 

Current Quests
Find the Storm Giant King aboard the Morkoth on the Trackless Sea
Iymrith the Ancient
Slarkrethel & the Kraken Society

Loose Threads
Jeff the guard, abandoned in Everland
Old Gnawbone - wishes she could transform into an elf
Eraglass the Sage - Missing?
Old Snarl

Completed Quests:
Yartar (yet again) - Lord Dryland (deceased, head pickled)
Coup in the Court of the Hill Giants
Eye of the Allfather in the Valley of Kadroon
Find Harshnag
Highdale/Westfelds necromatic curse - Mountaintop Crypt
The Silver Hook adventuring party
Mt. Black
HawksNest Payroll
Zymorvan Giantslayer (Yartar…. again)
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

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Stonehell: Napalm

Session 83 was played on 11/3

Eiric, wizard 7 (Kat)
- men at arms (Mulligan)
Brie, wizard 4 (Apprentice to Eiric)
A-A-Ron, Thief 6 (Henchman)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 6 (Henchman)
Darryl, Cleric 6 (Henchman)
Karl, Dwarf 7 (Julia)
- Hobart (dog)
- men at arms (Dar, Lorman, Cadwell)
Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 4 (Henchman)
Koltic, Cleric 3 (Chris)
- Grishnaz, Goblin
Blix, Fighter 1 (henchman)
Kili, Dwarf Cleric 3 (Matt)

“Want flash-boom, and I let you out.” The spider offered. “You teach”

Eiric, trapped in the sticky web of the mushroom men quickly agreed. Sadly cutting everyone out took time. Time they didn’t have. From the direction the mushroom men ran off to, they returned the same way, with company. Standing tall amongst their 4’ crowns strides a thorn covered woman with bark skin, and leafy hair.

“Hello fertilizer”

The spider retreats as fast as it’s legs can take it. Eiric and the rest of the party look on, stuck as she approaches the edge of the webbing. “Not that I much care, but what brings you to my home?”

Eiric explains that they’re looking for the heart of Ka-Nefer. She doesn’t know who that is. Karl thinks that maybe *she’s* the heart. She gets bored and wanders off, ordering the mushroom men to keep us contained until we expire. They toss another pair of bombs in, knocking out more of the party. Waiting for the dryad to move on, Eiric then drops a fireball on the mushroom men, filling the air with a delightful savory smell.

Quickly as they can, they cut themselves free, and flee from the hothouse and out of the dungeon. To regroup and plan their next moves.

In town, A-A-Ron throws a big party. He then regretfully informs Eiric that he isn’t always going to be available to go into the dungeon, though he’s cagey as to why.
Lex also throws a bit party, and is inducted into the Fraternal Order of the Round Table (FORT Local 361).

Meanwhile Karl really wants to be able to throw fireballs, and talks Eiric into brewing a couple up. Thankfully both “potions” were successfully made, and neither blew up in the lab. Eiric then hires Wennic as her new linkman.

While discussing what to do, Karl declares that “We’re gonna kill her (Urishol the Dryad) because his name means tree!” (Ka-Nefer/Conifer)

The party packs up to head back into the dungeon, without A-A-Ron. In his place, a young woman named Lucretia shows up, carrying his sword Slider.

Down in the Asylum the party takes their usual route down to level 3, but stop as they reach the hallway leading to the auditorium. The doors of the “fairy - NOPE” room are open. Standing guard are a pair of mummy wardens. Within are several other mummified forms, and dominating the back wall is a massive Black Sun. Standing before it, performing some sort of ritual… Ka-Nefer! His burning blue eyes flicker toward them, and they run for the stairs taking them down deeper into the dungeon...

Kills: Mushroom men

Friday, November 16, 2018

Undead of October part 7

Time for a little mummy-loving.

I’ve really only been giving the mummies a fraction of the attention the more skeletal figures have been getting, and they really deserve more. Well, maybe not the basic mummies… They’re really basic, and at this point really close to done. As they’re all now finally based properly, I used my usual dungeon floor color assortment of Redstone Shadow, Stone Grey, and Linen White. And since I hand the linen white out, I used it to highlight a bit of the mummy wrappings. Then it was out with Black paint to clean up the bases, and they’re done! (pic pre-black on the base)

The bases for all 3 of the more characterful mummies are just… disks, basically. Probably designed to looks sort of like sand? And the more I thought about it, I knew what I had to do… Snip, Snip, chop chop… Mush up some green stuff… And that looks better.

Now for a bit of paint...

The other 3 mummies are more detailed, and need a bit more work. The most basic guy is mostly mummy wrapping, and that was done the same as the basic mummies above. I had already painted most of the metallic bits with scorched metal, but I’d missed the… bib? So a bit of brown liner, and then scorched metal on that. I then dry brushed cursed gold on top of it to bring out the detailed bits. For the hat, I used Succubus Kiss as the base for the fabric wrap, and highlighted with a 50/50 Succubus Kiss/Fresh Blood mix.

The shield and sword were a bit of a quandary for me. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep the sword kind of bronze colored, or go more iron/steel. I decided to try the steel, in part because I had blade steel on my tray. For the shield, I decided to paint the outer surface with Nightmare black.

And BAM! The mummies are done!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

You aren't tonight's Special Guest Star

When you play in a game at your FLGS, there will likely be drop in players week to week. Whether they're new, and looking to try things out, or their usual DM is off, they likely won't be regulars at the table. Most of the time this isn't much of a problem. When I DM I'm happy to have a rotating seat or two for just such players. I know what it's like to be without a game, and given the chance I'd rather someone have the chance to roll some dice than not.


Sometimes there's that random player that acts like they're the night's Special Guest Star at the table, not realizing that they're actually just someone keeping a seat warm. Their name won't appear in the opening titles of the episode, but rather in the closing credits, after the main cast, under the heading "Also Appearing"

At last night's game was just such a player. A player who ignored the fact that we were on session 40 of our campaign. A player who ignored the dynamics of the party, and tried to keep the focus of the game on them, even when their character wasn't actually there. A player who ignored the rest of the other players when they told him that they heard him, and no, we aren't going with your plan.

A player who made the night far less enjoyable than it should have been.

Chances are, if you're reading this, you aren't that player. But you might have to deal with him at your table, either as the DM or as your fellow player. While you can always hope that they got the message, and will just opt to play at other tables, maybe there's a better way to address it?

There's a lot of social pressure to be accommodating, especially when playing in public. Keeping the table rules and expectations front and center can help. Presenting a unified "this is what we expect, this is how we run our game" is necessary. But it's hard to do in the moment.

However, after the moment is a great time to circle around with your fellow gamers and discuss what it is you want and expect from your game, and from players who drop in, then next week, have a plan to handle the situation going forward.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Wyrm in the Apple of the Alfather's Eye

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

Mother and Father:

Standing at the entrance to the court, with Princess Saresa before us, flanked by her advisors was… intimidating. Even from as far away as we were, it was an imposing sight. The Dragonskull Throne’s black obsidian form perched atop the skulls of the blue dragons, all hovering just slightly above the pearlescent floor… I never honestly expected to see the ancient dwarven throne. Princess Seresa seemed oddly delighted at our entrance, much to the consternation of her advisors who warned her that it was likely “little folk” who were involved, if not RESPONSIBLE for her mother’s murder and her father’s disappearance!

Bran surveyed the room, and saw something, and silently signaled that it was the female advisor, but what about her we would learn later…

At the female advisor’s warning I chimed in dryly with “Oh, yes. We murdered your mother, and kidnapped your father.” Thankfully the sarcasm was not lost on her, but she did try to suggest that it hid a more nefarious truth. Princess Seresa was having none of it, and listened to Bran as he explained why were had come. She called us closer to the throne, and then showed us something that she hadn’t even shown to her advisors… a wooden coin, painted gold, with a goose on it. A chit from the casino in Yartar. They objected to her giving it to us, but she ignored them, asking us to accept her quest, to find her father.

Of course we accepted. One does not ignore the instructions of a god…

The princess then told us of the meditation chamber where she could send us anywhere we wanted. At that point Bran pointed out that we’d not yet been informed of her advisors names. The male was her uncle, and the female was Imryth.

“Funny, that’s the name of the blue dragon that attacked us at the Eye of the Alfather” Aramil laughed nervously.

“That’s because she *is* that dragon.” Bran said remarkably calmly.

The next few moments were a bit confused as you might expect, but Imryth grabbed something from around the princess’ neck, and started to run off. I threw up a wall of light to block her path, which only made her pause. She snarled at me, and teleported away.

Dismissing the blindingly bright wall, we returned to the throne room, suggested that the throne be hidden since Imryth now had one of the keys known to be able to control it. The princess and her uncle were both unnerved by the thought of Imryth taking the throne, and agreed it would be protected. The princess thanked us for revealing the truth, and then offered the hospitality of her palace until we were ready to go look for her father. I think the shock of discovering that someone who she grew up knowing turning out to be an enemy was too much of a shock. Her sisters, on hearing the news, became slightly nicer. Slightly.

The princess then showed us around. I skipped out on the tour after we hit the library, and spent the next 3 days enraptured. Rin was bored, which he expressed often. Aramil was enraptured by the acoustics. Bran apparently spent his time with the princess and her collection of gadgets and gizmos of the “little people” describing what many of them were. Hilda made friends with the Princess’ orca.

There was also a scrying pool. We discovered that Harshnag was safe, and somewhere white and cold. Imryth was in a ruined structure somewhere in the desert, raging at her fortune. Lord Dryland was with his sorceress assistant discussing business on his casino boat.

And one evening, very late… While everyone else was asleep, I checked in on you. With all the traveling I’ve been doing, I know it’s been impossible to get messages to me, and I wanted to make sure all was well.

Dropping this note off with a courier in Goldenfields before we head out to Yartar. Again.

I hope to see you soon. In person.

Current Quests:
Find the Storm Giant King
Iymrith the Ancient

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
Eraglass the Sage - Missing?
Fire Giants attacked Tribor and took a rod from the center of town.

Completed Quests:
Coup in the Court of the Hill Giants
Eye of the Allfather in the Valley of Kadroon
Find Harshnag
Highdale/Westfelds necromatic curse - Mountaintop Crypt
The Silver Hook adventuring party
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

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Fulhoff's fellow adventurers part 2

Continuing to work on the party members, I did some cleanup on the bard, adding in some skin highlights with Tanned Flesh Highlight, and lightening up the hair with Earth Brown with some Dirty Bone. While I think it’s looking fairly good, my bride thinks he looks jaundiced.

The armor and sword were painted with Blade Steel and Cursed Gold. I brightened the red with some pure Fresh Blood, and added some yellow stripes on his pants. I also put a red stripe in the yellow of the sleeve, though I find myself thinking he needs some blue in his outfit. Given that he’s a bard, the only party member who might out bling him would be the paladin, and even then, the paladin likely won’t be as flamboyant!

The warlock I cleaned up the blocked colors, highlighted the flesh, realized that the hand holding the sword was actually gloved so then painted over the freshly painted flesh with Earth Brown. The sword and flame were based in Nightmare black, and then lightened up with Eldritch Purple. The boots were painted with Dungeon Grey and then highlighted with Stone Grey. I brought up the blue again, adding in more highlights, and then used some of the same blue to work on the feathers. I still don’t think I’ve got it, but I’m not sure what else I can do.

The bases for both were dry brushed with Dungeon Grey, then Stone Grey, then a Stone Grey and Sepia Wash mix to give it a brown tint. That didn’t really give me the color I wanted, so I went back and reread what I did for Fulhoff and Thorin, and pulled out my redbrick shadow.

The monk’s cloak was painted with Earth Brown, and then Pine Green over it to represent the Cloak of Elvenkind. I decided to keep the robes neutral in color, with the pants dark grey, and the top a light grey, almost white. After cleaning up the skin some, and painting the eyes Blade Steel I painted the hair with a base of Earth Brown, then Pumpkin Orange, Fiery Orange, and finally Sun Yellow highlights. The belt got the same colors, except for the yellow. I haven’t decided what color the wrist and ankle wrapping should be.

I’ve gotten feedback from all 3 players, and they’re thrilled with how they’re coming out! So now I just need to keep on, and finish them up.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Stonehell: Hothouse Blues

Session 82 was played on 10/28

Eiric, wizard 7 (Kat)
- men at arms (Mulligan)
- linkman (Nolmar)
Brie, wizard 4 (Apprentice to Eiric)
A-A-Ron, Thief 6 (Henchman)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 6 (Henchman)
Darryl, Cleric 6 (Henchman)
Karl, Dwarf 7 (Julia)
- Hobart (dog)
- men at arms (Dar, Lorman, Cadwell)
Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 4 (Henchman)
Koltic, Cleric 3 (Chris)
- Grishnaz, Goblin
Blix, Fighter 1 (henchman)
Kili, Dwarf Cleric 3 (Matt)

Heading into the Hothouse, the party keeps to the west and south, following the long hallway. The weird light makes all of the vegetation seem more vibrantly colored than it does on the surface, and the smell of growing and rotting plants overwhelms any other smells. Disturbingly there are occasional bones that can be seen sticking out of the thick loam.

Off in the far end of one room they spy a hive of giant bees. Avoiding that, they turn into what was once a large dining hall. Long tables and benches, now covered with moss and small plants run the length of the room. 3 thorny bushes uproot themselves and scurry toward the party. THeir spiky branches scratch ineffectively against the armor and shields of the front of the party, and they’re quickly hacked apart.

Beyond the dining hall is a kitchen with a bush growing out of the sink. Nolmar collects some berries from it. The pantry door is wedged stuck, but Karl forces it open. The smell of rotting flesh blows over everyone and all of the newer hirelings are overcome with nausea. Everyone else manages to keep their lunches down. Karl, Orpheus, and A-A-Ron, head in, and make sure it’s safe. The pantry is free of dirt and vegetation, but among the slowly rotting hunks of meat hanging from hooks is the body of a former adventurer. The armor and equipment of the warrior long rotted was of no interest, but the small pouch of coins and jewels were snagged. The next room over is a dry pantry, and another dead adventurer. This leather clad thief was wearing a fancy hat and hair pin that had survived the years(?) since her death. Karl put on the hat. The rest of the party rushed through the stink of the meat pantry to catch up.

The next room was another kitchen. This one covered in large dandelion like plants. One of them puffed out a cloud of fluff that stung like mosquitoes. Nolmar and Lex took the brunt of the fluff, and tried to brush it away, but where it touched skin, it stuck! Karl sprayed them down with PowerThirst and lit them both up. Lex suffered through it, but Nolmar was only saved by the quick intervention of Darryl. Deciding that trying to make it through the kitchen covered in that white fluff was too dangerous, they sprayed another bottle of PowerThirst, and tossed in a torch and went back the way they came.

Bees! Swarming out as the party returned to the hallway, the bees attacked. Kili and Nolmar both dropped from anaphylactic shock, while Brie, Eiric, Orpheus, A-A-Ron, and Hobart only suffered minor swelling once the stingers were removed. Thankfully most of the bees died after stinging. Karl tried giving Kili the Badger Hammer, but the anti-poison effect didn’t help. Darryl’s curative magics weren’t effective either. Karl then remembered that he had an antidote potion. Amazingly, it worked! (25% chance of success!!)

Further down the hall, from another large room, the party catches the attention of 2 large soggy plant monsters. Thankfully they were slow, so the party just moved on. Unfortunately, the plant monsters weren’t the only things that had spotted the party. A patch of mushroom-men armed with spears were coming their way, and with the plan monsters behind them, the party was surrounded!

Karl, growling with frustration, soaks the lead plant monster with PowerThirst, but the flames don’t catch. It’s too wet. Eiric cracks a lightning bolt at them, and they both explode in a shower of rotting plant bits. The mushroom folk, rather than closing with their spears, toss terracotta balls toward the party. The first releases a blueish mist that knocks out Mulligan, Kili, and Holdred. The second sprays a sticky mucus over the party which quickly firms up trapping them in place. Karl freaks, and tells Eiric to burn them out! Drop a fireball! Anything as he flails ineffectively. The mushrooms then run off!

“Now what?”

From the south a large spider appears, silvery black and the size of a small pony. It climbs up onto the ceiling of the hallway, over the sticky mucus. It waves its front legs at Eiric, who recognizes that it’s a spell, but she isn’t sure what spell. It cocks its head, 8 eyes looking intently at Eiric, when she hears a new voice in her head…

Gains: Coins, fancy hat, jeweled comb
Kills: giant bees, sump monsters, strolling nettles, dandelion fluff
Losses: Nolmar

Friday, November 9, 2018

Stonehell: The Lady is a Vamp

Session 81 was played on 10/20

Eiric, wizard 7 (Kat)
- men at arms (Mulligan)
- linkman (Dungforth)
Brie, wizard 4 (Apprentice to Eiric)
A-A-Ron, Thief 6 (Henchman)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 6 (Henchman)
Karl, Dwarf 7 (Julia)
- Hobart (dog)
- men at arms (Dar)
Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 4 (Henchman)
Koltic, Cleric 3 (Chris)
- Grishnaz, Goblin
Kili, Dwarf Cleric 3 (Matt)

Having survived approximately 5 days in the caves, the party was getting anxious. Not helped by the occasional visits by various vermin (bats, rats, spiders, etc) that were enough to keep everyone jumpy without actually being a threat. And then came the visit by an ogre scout. After making several rude comments he departed, saved by the truce of the commons. Some hours later a massive ogress and half a dozen ogres came into the room. Words were exchanged and threats issued, but again, no fight erupted.

Later, as the party rested, a swarm of giant ants emerged from the pit, and attacked the party. Most were sleeping when the attack started, and Dungforth was promptly torn in half. A few others took some damage before the pony sized bugs were squashed.

In revenge, Koltic pees on the ants, much to everyone else’s disgust. He then drags the corpses and piles them up in the passageway toward the east. Karma strikes later as there’s a loud long rumbling that dislodges several rocks, one of which strikes Koltic on the head.

On the 6th day (the party thinks), Reveka, wife and representative of Lord Faite arrives with annoyance at the party, their freeing of Ka-Nefer, and pointed comments about their lack of hygiene. In the darkness beyond their torchlight there is the hint of shadowy movement. Eiric conducts most of the negotiation. They first discuss Rocky’s riddles to the party about destroying the heart of Ka-Nefer and finding the heart somewhere in the hothouse. Kili asks if Reveka knows where the hot house is, and if she’ll take them there. She points the general direction of the hothouse out to them, but laughs at the idea of taking them there.

Eventually it comes down to the fact that the party wants *unspecified* help cleaning up the problem they created. Reveka wants blood for her help. Eiric offers up her arm. For her life’s blood (and a loss of 2 levels), she’s given a sword designed to slay mummies.

Needing to resupply, the party packs up and heads back to the surface. They meet some grumpy kobolds on the elevator, and then some mummy wardens in the passage between the Asylum and the Reptile House.

Back in town, they collect the mace that Eiric commissioned from Feris the Archmage, Kili commissions some full plate armor, and a few other mundane items are purchased. Eiric then goes to talk to Darryl. There was a lot of cajoling, but she was just able to convince him to return to the dungeon

Hiring on a few more meatshields (Lorman, Cadwell) linkmen (Nolmar), and taking on a new fighter (Blix), they head back down into the dungeon, heading for the hothouse. In the Asylum they again encounter more Mummy Wardens, of which Darryl turns 2 and the other 3 are slaughtered. Down in the 3rd level, they prepare to enter the warm and humid hothouse. The hallways are choked with vines, moss, and fern-like plants, making visibility difficult in spite of the weird light.

Before going in a kobold pops up with a lavender scented letter from Reveka.

Carstahz was rather put out to find that I’d given his sword away. I probably should have asked. Oh well, I guess you’ll have to beg his forgiveness.
Good luck with Ka-Nefer!
P.S. You’re absolutely delicious. Caz really enjoyed tasting you on my lips. We’ll have to do that again sometime.

Gains: ~500gp
Kills: 6 giant ants, 9 mummy wardens
Losses: Dungforth

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

5e: Violations of Etiquette

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

Mother and Father:

While the pigs were probably going to get the job done, Bran makes sure to put Gua out of her misery. We summon Moog & Plak back to the village, free some prisoners who’d been captured by the giants, and take them all back to Goldenfields. With Moog installed as the new queen we’re hoping that things will quiet down.

We spend a couple of days in Goldenfields recovering, and then head to just outside the town to activate the teleportation spell embedded in the conch. The magic of the shell is beyond old, and feels different from any other teleport spell I’ve ever encountered. It deposited us far out under the trackless sea in a coral palace lit from within by bioluminescent life in a myriad of forms. The air was rich with the smell of salt water and the sounds of pipe music and singing from above.

Following the music, which Aramil began to accompany on his lute, we found ourselves witness to a spectacle that is difficult to fully express. A pair of storm giant princesses were performing before an assortment of giant nobility. One was singing, while the other was playing a giant crab, the shell encrusted with coral growths. The whale bone mallets she tapped the crab with caused it to emit the organ sounds, along with tiny sprays of water. It was hauntingly beautiful, and the way the sound carried in the chamber was impossible to put into words. Aramil was in tears.

As the music ended, the princesses addressed us, and the rest of the giants turned their attention our way. They were haughty, and insulting, and dismissed our concerns. Neither was the princess we’d come to see, and we were guarded in what we’d say. While deciding what to do with us, we were sent to a guest room. The guard outside the door was… perhaps more receptive to our words, especially when we mentioned the oricle, and explained that we absolutely had to speak with Princess Seresa. One guard went off with our message...

Princess, Mirin, having intercepted the message, came to escort us to her sister. Or so she said. We found ourselves back in the portal chamber where we’d first materialized, and there were the giant nobles. She left us with them, and ascended the stairs back toward the music room.

“We came to talk, it doesn’t have to come to blows” I cautioned them. They were unreceptive to my words, so I tapped the ground in front of me with the Astorian Gavel of the Venn Rune (aka my Hammer of Justice). A shockwave of power washed over the room, and the giants recognized the danger of attacking, knowing they’d receive a backlash of power. The Jarl Hellenhild the frost giant was impressed at our moxy and cunning, and convinced the rest of the giants to hear us out… at least until the effect of the artifact ended.

We told them a condensed version of what happened with the Eye of the Alfather, Imryth the Blue, and our adventures. The Frost Giant Jarl, in spite of not being a fan of Harshnag, and the Stone Giant Thane Braxal were convinced that we should talk to Princess Seresa. The cloud giant Count Va’Al was on the fence, and Duchess Tartha the fire giantess wanted nothing more than to squish us under her steel clad heel, and she egged on the cloud giant to help her.

Joda took the initiative, lit up, and charged toward the fire giantess. Each step she took pushed her a little higher up in the air with a flash of divine fire from her feet. Her first strike, in the center of the giantess’ breastplate, caved in the armor and knocked the breath out of her. 3 more solid strikes followed that up, concluding with a fiery kick to the giantess’ jaw.

I conjured ropes of ethereal shadow at the Fire Giantess’ feet that coiled around her legs, her weapons, and hands, tightening with the strength of my arcane power.

Hilda charged over to the cloud giant, and knocked him to his knees with 2 clean blows from her sword. Aramil and Bran shot the fire giant. Joda continued to lay into her with fists and feet, divine fire flashing against the flames of the giantess. I tossed a lightning bolt at the cloud giant, who’d stood up and landed a painful blow on Hilda. I envy her ability to take a hit like that and shrug it off. Hilda again knocked the cloud giant down, and threatened to take his family jewels if he got back up.

A couple more arrows, and the squeezing of the ethereal ropes finished off the fire giantess. She didn’t even get off a scream as the ropes had coiled around her neck. The cloud giant, still on his knees, yielded. The frost and storm giants gloated. “We told you not to underestimate them. Come, let’s go see if we can’t get you an audience with the Princess.”

Monday, November 5, 2018

Undead of October part 6

Okay, time to knock off the demi-human trio. Fairly simple work, I added a highlight on their cloaks, another highlight of splintered bone on their skulls, and then flocked their bases.

While I was highlighting the bone, I also did the same to the other skeletal figures. I also painted the bone handles in Hecklemeyer’s hands, and the minotaur’s stone hammer head.

Moving on from there, I decided to work on the dragonborn skeleton’s shield. The shape of it doesn’t really lend itself to the same iron crown, so I went with the mace design. I’m not sure who the lich lord has doing his skeleton’s shields, but it clearly isn’t anyone with any particular skill.

With that, the minotaur and dragonborn skeletons are based and done!

Next up, DEATH. Since the robe is the majority of the mini, it was time to deal with that. Nightmare black was the base, and I don’t want to brighten it up too much, though it needs highlighting, I started by adding a bit of runic purple, and then some spectral white, and then hit it all with a black wash to bring it down again.

The Dust King got some Cursed Gold accents, the fur on the robe was painted with a 50/50 Succubus Kiss+Earth Brown base coat, brought up to pure Earth Brown, and then with some Dirty Bone highlights. I decided to base him and DEATH the same as the rest of the skeletons, in part because it’s easy and it ties them all together visually. Also because I wasn’t really sure what else to do with them. Plus, as they’re tabletop pieces, I didn’t want to over focus on basing.

Of course I say that and…
The mummies got a little attention, but mostly just their bases. Unlike the rest of the undead, I don’t see these guys strolling through a grassy yard, and I don’t have anything based in the desert, so dungeon it is! A little bit of greenstuff and a sculpting tool, and they’re now on flagstone bases!

The Demi-litch also wasn’t going to cut it with some grassy turf, or even dungeon floor. I wanted to do a fancier base, so I’m gonna try for tiles. We’ll see how this works out. You can sort of see him hanging out behind the mummues.

The other mummies I did a little work on their exposed skin, painting it with Dark Flesh, but were otherwise ignored...