Friday, April 2, 2021

Rappan Athuk: Throat of Doom

Session played on 3/28

Nick the Pike, Fighter 6 (Me)
Karl, Dwarf 9 (Julia)
Borumar, Thief 9 (Josh)
Darryl, Cleric (NPC)
Biffin, Fighter (NPC)
Cassandra, Sellsword
Cory, Sellsword

After recovering from the last delve, Nick goes looking around for more meatshields hirelings, as well as other helpful items to bring into the dungeon. He’s accosted by a youngling who says his grandpa is interested. Going off to meet him, it turns out that Grandpa Wilsig is a “mystic” of some sort who can, at the very least, knock people out. He charges 50gp a day. Nick agrees.

There’s also a night farm belonging to Edrick the “Naturalist” wizard. Thankfully the old man is not naked, but sells “organic” and “scientifically proven” potions, tinctures, and sachets. Nick buys the available healing potions, and Karl buys the Fire Candles. Edrick does ask (after prompting) that should we happen to acquire some stirge poop (and/or a live specimen or two) he’d appreciate it.

Nick also hires on Leafglad the linkman and Sunkin the sellsword.

Heading to the dungeon, they go directly to the lair of the stirges, but find that there are some giant ants in the room, eating the poop. Nick bottlenecks them in the door while Karl guards the back of the party, especially the old squishy “mystic” (ants are boring and you’ve got it). Only a single sack of stirge droppings were collected. Moving back to the entrance hall, the bag was left as a lure for the pit trap.

The stairs from the fossil room are flanked by a pair of iron cobra statues. Karl uses Nick’s shield to suft down the stairs. The stairs collapse into a ramp, making that easier, but one of the statues animates and follows Karl down. Nick slides after the snake, and together Nick and Karl smash it apart. Ropes are tossed down, and the rest of the party safely joins Karl and Nick. The stairs (now ramp) end in a branching corridor. Following along the branch that they can see a door,beyond which the party finds a large room with a pool in front of a statue of a dragon being ridden by an armored figure with a demonic goat head (helmet?) Checking the pool causes the stone bat on the figure’s shield to fly and attack the party. Darryl smashes the bat out of the air. The chunks of stone slowly begin to make their way back toward the statue. Karl grabs one, but the force of the pull causes it to worm out of his hand. Some coins are recovered from the pool.

Moving further down the hall, the next door leads to a room used to camp, with fairly freshly gnawed bones and a cold campfire. Directly connected to this room was a room with half a dozen gnolls. Wilsig sleeps 3 of them, the others are killed. While most of the party searches the room, Borumar grabs one of the corpses and drags it back to the camp room, and has a snack. It wasn’t tasty. The smell attracted 4 zombies, which he slowly killed. Darryl watched, just in case he needed help.

Adjoining the gnoll’s room was a very stinky room. The party opted not to investigate.

The next room from the camp room was a small square room with “Dam it is alive. Have to sleep, or die” written in charcoal on the wall.

The last door off of the camp room was more gnolls and a pair of hyenas. Wilsig tried to web them, but missed. He then shot out some flaming arrows… which didn’t seem to do much more than lightly crisp the gnolls. Meanwhile Biffin and Darryl tossed in flaming oil, and the gnolls were cut down. Some more minor treasure was recovered.

Feeling rather battered and bruised, the party packed up, and headed back to Zelkor’s Ferry.

There, they hired the gem cutter to try to recut 5 saphines they’d found. He destroyed one, damaged three, and only did a good job on the one. Never gonna hire him again. The stirge poop was dropped off to Edrick who was hoping for more.

Gains: Too little coin
Kills: Iron cobra, gnolls, hyenas, zombies, giant ants

Thursday, April 1, 2021

March in Review

The Pandemic continues… there’s an end in sight, and it seems not so far away. I’m now qualified to sign up for the vaccine. There aren’t any appointments available that I’ve managed to get, but in theory, soon, I should be able to get my shots. Originally I was thinking by the end of May I’d have my first shot, but I think I can adjust my timeline to the end of April. Fingers crossed.

This week is my final week of paternity leave, and going into next week… well, it’s not going to be a gentle ramp up into work. On top of all that, we're looking for a new apartment... not fun.

Nick the Pike continues his explorations of Rappan Athuk, and I’m up to date with all those reports. I’m caught up with my Stonehell reports… writing them, anyway. The rest will be posted over the next several weeks.

I’ve been playing a bunch of Sunless Sea, which has sucked up a bit of time that couple probably have spent painting or reading or writing, but sometimes trying to survive in this resource draining game is HARD!

There’s also been a bit of Pandemic, Five Crowns, and Skip-Bo

My Reaper Challenge League entries are all done. One of the ones I’m most happy with is the pig and pumpkin cart. I stretched my style with the cyberpunk hacker.

Next month the theme mini is vampires for some reason. I picked 2 to work on, one fully armored, the other with his helmet off. I'm also going to work on some non-Reaper stuff to go along with Stargrave (the Nickstarter kicks off 4/5 I think...).

Star Trek TNG finished
Star Trek DS9 finishing season 3
Disney’s Gargoyles in season 1
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Star Trek Insurrection

Delta Rae’s The Dark over and over again

Survive the Pandemic
Get the Shot
Finish Cardboard Spaceship #3

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Stonehell: Taking Chances

 Session 165 was played on 8/30

Boris, Cleric 9 (Jeff)
Joho, Mystic 6 (Chris)
Ool, Mystic 3 (NPC)
Morgana, Mage 7 (Reggie)
Borumar, Thief 8 (Josh)

In the trade hall, the party encounters a wide variety of colorful characters, and groups more powerful than tend to show up in the Korners. Borumar ends up befriending Bashuk the Crimson, leader of a troop of orcs. She’d never seen a half orc so handsome, and was taken with him immediately. She was also on her way to the casino, and so the 2 groups traveled together. On the way, a group of 2 dozen kobolds were heading from the casino. One of them was excessively drunk and friendly, and insisted on hugging *everyone* before he could be convinced to continue on his way.

Once at the casino, the priests of chance collected everyone’s weapons, informed them of the rules, and traded cash for chips. Games were played, drinks consumed, karaoke sung. Karl and the silent albino he met at the bar signed up for “I will always love you” 


Everyone is moved to tears.

Boris and Morgana meet with the head of the casino, Fortunate Dram, and they discuss the casino, the chasm, healing/restorative magics, and make an offering to the gods of chance. Boris’ silver hammer gains a magical enchantment, and Morgana’s staff gains the power to detect evil. 

Morgana also spends time with the casino’s security wizard, and finds out that he’d been duped by his lover, a woman named Devona. She’d tricked him, turned him into a frog, and stolen one of his spellbooks. The wizard asked Morgana to get it back for him, and he’d reward her with new spells.

Gains: Winnings in the casino, enchanted weapons
Losses: Losses in the casino

Monday, March 29, 2021

Stonehell: Looking for Answers

 Session 164 was played on 8/23

Boris, Cleric 9 (Jeff)
Joho, Mystic 6 (Chris)
Ool, Mystic 3 (NPC)
Morgana, Mage 7 (Reggie)
Borumar, Thief 8 (Josh)

A messenger arrives for the party. Esmalia wants to meet with them. The party is suspicious, but agrees.

Heading into the dungeon, they go directly for Rocky, rather than the meeting with Esmalia. After their usual chat and catchup, they get to the questions
Q1 What’s the most valuable treasure on the 5th level?
A1 The Hammer of Laghrin

Q2 What’s the most dangerous thing in the 5th level?
A2 Song of Night’s Screams

Q3 What does Esmalia really want?
A3 The head of Gamlegor Olga

They thank Rocky, and head down to the 4th level, turning a wraith that dared poke it’s head out. Down to the Neutral Grounds, they find a troop of kobolds talking to a couple of ogres. The ogres want beer from the Korners, the Kobolds want Nolti and the fairies gone. The party agrees to check in on Nolti to see what’s up, and try to arrange for some beer to be brought to the ogres. The kobolds and ogres depart, and the party waits for Esmalia… And waits… and waits…

Getting bored, they head down a level, coming to the Hydra pit of the Vrilya. The hydra keeper demands either gold, or battling the hydras to pass. They decide to pay the exorbitant 100gp each to pass. They head to the north, get blown over by a wind obelisk, and then interrupt a meeting between some Vrilya and some humanoid tigers. Moving on, they get directions to the elevator down to the main trade hall. Right off of the elevator, they come to a stall selling some Vrilyan blades. Borumar buys as many as he can.


Thursday, March 25, 2021

Reaper's Squarg

 The Squarg is an angry, violent, hungry but dumb beast. I decided to paint it up for the Reaper Challenge League Limited Palette category. This month's colors were Green, Purple, and Gold. 

And yes, you can see some of the other minis I'll be working on. 

After giving it a wash and scrub with warm soapy water, and taking care of a bit of flashing on the side, I started with Blue Liner all over the whole mini. 

Since I was limited in paints, I did a bit of blending and mixing to get some additional shades. I also decided that while I was painting him, he needed more than just green skin. I added some spots of both light green and purple.

Painting the eyes I started with the purple, but then kept lightening it so that it wouldn't just all look black. The teeth have a touch of purple mixed in so that it wouldn't look too clean. I don't think the Squarg has a dentist. 

It was then I realized I hadn't used any gold yet. Problem? Nope. Opportunity!

I decided that the Squarg does in fact have a dentist, and I gave him a gold tooth. 

For the base, I thought about cutting him off of the integrated base so that I could glue it to a textured base, but settled on some sand. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Stonehell: Dinner with the Ghouls

 Session 163 was played on 8/16

Boris, Cleric 9 (Jeff)
Joho, Mystic 6 (Chris)
Ool, Mystic 3 (NPC)
Morgana, Mage 7 (Reggie)

Back at Lady Eiric’s estate, Boris decides to interrogate the (dead) dragon. It’s discovered that the dragon wasn’t always a dragon, and was, until recently, a large croc that lived in the swamp… no giant unprotected pile of treasure to be had.

Gathering the clothing ordered for the Ghouls, the small group heads down for dinner. Conversation is enlightening, including learning more about Song, the black dragon that lives in the dungeon, as well as various other tidbits about the dungeon. Unfortunately they don’t know much about the tombs of the dead that might heal the ability damage that various members of the party have suffered.

After dinner, the party makes its way back up to Rocky, and asks him about the tombs, their protections, and treasures to be found within them.

Rocky confirms that the tombs do have restorative magics, that the tombs themselves are unguarded, and that they contain the power to change the world.

Returning to the surface, they mull over the info they’ve collected.


Monday, March 22, 2021

Stonehell: Dinner Invitation

 Session 162 was played on 8/9

Boris, Cleric 9 (Jeff)
Joho, Mystic 6 (Chris)
Ool, Mystic 3 (NPC)
Morgana, Mage 7 (Reggie)
Borumar, Thief 8 (Josh)

Returning to the dungeon, and heading down to the Ghouls, the party pauses briefly in the Hobgoblin redoubt to squash an ooze that attacked them. Down in level 4, they head back to where the hellhounds had laired. The firepit was still burning. Exploring around they went up a flight of stairs to what looked like the Ghoul’s back door. Rather than being rude, they circled around back to the front door, and with some slight hesitation, knocked.

The Ghouls answered, happily surprised to see the party, and invited them in. They were offered seats in the sitting room and drinks. They chatted with the party, and apologised that they wouldn’t be allowed to join them for dinner as they were not properly dressed. Discussion veered to clothing, and the threadbare and out of date nature of the Ghouls’ wardrobes. The Ghouls offered to pay the party if they would return with new fashionable clothing for them to wear, including hats. Knowing that it would take weeks, the party planned a 6 week delivery time and dinner reservation.

Taking some cash, the party heads to town, and places their orders. Boris begins to train with a grand master for throwing hammer, and the Karl’s hat shop going into high production.

During a break, the party gears up to make another delve, and heads to the dungeon… but they don’t make it. While passing along the raised walkway through the southern end of the swamp they hear a roar, and from out of the water a black dragon emerges! The party wasn’t surprised, and they had just a tiny bit of space before the dragon would be on them. Boris cast bless, Borumar crits with his force bow, Morgana casts lightning bolt, Joho hits with a dart, and Ool chucks a spear that goes right into the dragon’s open mouth as it was about to spray them down with acid. The dragon went crashing down in front of the party, dead.

With their hearts still pounding, they cheer and laugh, then get to the business of getting the dragon’s body back to the estate. Thankfully Borumar has his elephant statue, so they didn’t have to wait to get a big cart. Back at the estate, they have the dragon skinned and butched.

Gains:  Dinner reservation, black dragon body
Kills:  Black Dragon, ooze

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Rappan Athuk: Mouth of Doom: Bees, Wolves, Slimes, & Snakes

 Session played on 3/14

Nick the Pike, Fighter 6 (Me)
Darryl, Cleric (NPC)
Biffin, Fighter (NPC)
Ulmo, Halfling (NPC)
Cassandra, Sellsword
Cory, Sellsword

Wanting to continue to explore the Mouth of Doom, but finding that both Borumar and Karl were off doing… something, Nick rounds up who he could and heads out. Shortly after leaving the village, the party hears a loud buzzing coming from the tree line, and then giant bees are spotted flying straight for them! Panic sets in and most of the party is swinging wildly and ineffectively for what feels like hours, but was in total around a minute. The bees on the other hand were deft with their stingers and managed to pierce even the thickest armor the party had.

Eventually… the bees were killed, and the party collapsed in exhaustion and embarrassment at how badly they’d panicked. Tending to their wounds, they collectively agreed that the bee’s poisoned stingers had done enough damage for one day, and the party returned to the village to recuperate.

2 Days Later they set out again.

Once again, before reaching the dungeon, they were attacked by wild animals, this time a pack of wolves led by a warg. Nick directed the archers to focus fire on the warg, while having Darryl and Biffin ready vials of flaming oil. Several arrows hit the warg, and it dropped back to the rear of the pack. The flaming oil hit 2 of the wolves, causing them to howl in pain, and Nick killed one with his ax just as it reached the party. The pack quickly decided that this wasn’t a fight worth having, and ran off.

Reaching the Mouth of Doom without any other encounters, the party headed in, and immediately began exploring the southern section. As they open the door to that section, a mouth forms on the door and exclaims “

The party takes a deep breath, and pushes on. Beyond the magic mouth is a corridor with several doors. Taking the nearest, they find a room lined with battlefield tapestries. Upon them are scenes of human archers battling against ogres and horned robed figures with skull headed maces. “Orcus cultists” Darryl informs the rest of the party. “Total buzz kills…”

Beyond the tapestry room is an irregularly shaped room that hides a pit trap. Ulmo finds the pit trap, with his feet, and falls in, landing badly. Darryl quickly grabs a rope and drops in after him, using his healing magics to save the halfling. There’s another body, long dead, with some adventuring gear, some gold, and some fancy boots. The boots are tossed into the backpack and the backpack tied with the rope and hauled out after Darryl and Ulmo are pulled out. Some giant centipedes crawled out of cracks in the walls, and the party fled, rather than fighting vermin.

Backtracking they try another door, which leads to another corridor with a single door at the end. The door was nailed shut from the inside, and within were 3 skeletons, 2 in bedrolls, 1 leaning against the door. There was an air of peace and safety in the room. Nick checks it out, and begins to feel sleepy. He recovered the bags and chest of clothing from the long dead adventurers, and handed it off to Cassandra and Cory. He also finds a secret door. Ulmo checks the door, and opens it, revealing a large green slime clinging to the ceiling of the smallish room. As it seems otherwise empty, they close the secret door, and check out the regular door. It leads to a long winding corridor. Following it to the west (generally) leads to an old large and long abandoned barracks. Beyond that, to a large ritual space. 3 rows of pillars carved with horrific gargoyles (demons?) with a pair of large brass brazzers burning merrily away. Carefully making their way along the wall, approaching the brazzers, they’re a little surprised when a brilliant emerald cobra snaps out of the fire and bites Ulmo, whose scream is cut short as he flops twitching to the floor. The snake was killed, but not before it managed to bite Nick too. Thankfully the cobra seemed to have used up the venom when it bit Ulmo (or more likely, Nick made his save). Taking the corpse of the snake and stuffing it in one of the bags of adventuring gear they’d recovered, they check the rest of the room, discovering a secret door that led to the back side of the skeleton statue with the 2 wolves. Nick, while checking it out, gets bitten by another damned leech.

Deciding enough was enough, they gather up Ulmo’s body and head back to the village. There they sell a copy of the map to the owner of the general store for 2,000gp, and the snake for 1,000gp. Back at the keep, they’re offered a 25gp reward for Ulmo’s body. Nick felt bad about that, and donated the cash to the temple at the keep.

Gains: fancy boots, 3203gp
Kills: Leech, emerald cobra, bees, wolves
Losses: Ulmo  

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Stonehell: Dogs and Cats

 Session 161 was played on 8/2

Boris, Cleric 9 (Jeff)
Karl, Dwarf 8 (Julia)
Joho, Mystic 6 (Chris)
Ool, Mystic 3 (NPC)
Morgana, Mage 7 (Reggie)
Borumar, Thief 8 (Josh)

Returning to the 4th level of the dungeon, the party continues to explore the area around the Ghoul’s lair. They return to the room with the defaced statue. Karl tries to push it over, feels a tingling in his arms, then sends it crashing to the ground. The noise attracts a pair of depraved berzerkers who rush the party and are cut down. Not finding anything of value, they move on.

“DO NOT OPEN!” is written all over the door. Do they listen? Of course not, and they release an animated amber sabre-toothed tiger statue. It hits hard, but the party hits harder. Karl lands the killing blow with a crit, smashing the cat into chunks with his hammer.

Avoiding the stairs down to level 5, they investigate a room with bas-relief carvings of a dwarven funeral rite on the walls, a mosaic of the world tree on the floor, and geometric patterns carved into the ceiling. There’s also a 12’ ladder on the floor leaning against the wall. In the center of the room is an empty stone bier. Fussing about with the ladder draws the attention of 4 hellhounds!

The scary demon dogs cause the party to use their horn of Valhalla, and the war mammoth. The berzerkers summoned by the horn are only a little effective (mostly as meatshields) but the evil dogs are killed. Some gems are collected from the burning bonfire in the adjoining room that the hellhounds came from. Having made far too much noise, and feeling some pain from burns, the party heads back to town.

Gains: 5 gems
Kills: Amber Golem, Hellhounds

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Stonehell: The Lost Level - A Game of Thrones

 Session 160 was played on 7/23

Boris, Cleric 5 (Jeff)
Joho, Mystic (Chris)
Ool, Mystic (NPC)
Morgana, Mage 5 (Reggie)
Borumar, Thief 7 (Josh)

Back in town, Morgana works on a scroll of Invisibility, and a scroll of Sleep. Boris pays a sage for information on the throne room, and discovers that it was the that of a fire giant king named Zathros that was stolen by the archmage Feris.

Returning to the Lost Level, they make their way to the throne room. On the way they’re spotted and spot a pair of Ogres. The ogres nod at the party and say “s’up?” The party nods back, and they continue on to the throne room. Boris prepares to enter by casting Protection from Evil 10’, and Invisibility, and then makes his way to the throne. The golems try, and fail to stop him, protected as he is, and he climbs up onto the throne. Instantly he feels both Wiser, and more powerful. He ferries the rest of the party to the throne. Morgana gets more Charismatic. Borumar feels no effect.

Moving on, they stumble on an old camp, complete with a broken harp half burned in the cold firepit. Digging through the ashes they find a hidden stash of coin.

Finding themselves in a long passage, they spot alcoves ahead on either side. Within each is a crystal on a display pillar. Boris chucks a hammer down the hallway, and it’s zapped with energy as it passes between the crystals. The party turns back.

Returning to the burned out library, they look again for anything missed, and Borumar is swarmed by wights. Boris destroys them, but not before Borumar is drained. Thankfully the wights had a fair bit of treasure.

They call it a delve, and return to town.

Gains: coins, jewelry, and book ornamentation
Kills: wights,

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Stonehell: The Lost Levels - The Power of Fireball

 Session 160 was played on 7/23

Karl, Dwarf 8 (Julia)
Boris, Cleric 5 (Jeff)
Kili, Cleric (Matt)
Joho, Mystic (Chris)
Ool, Mystic (NPC)
Morgana, Mage 5 (Reggie)
Daton, Fighter 4 (Jay)

Heading back into the lost level via the caves, the party explores around some new areas, and come to a door they hadn’t tried yet. It wasn’t locked, and they could hear some voices on the other side. Opening the door, there were 6 large trolls sitting around a far too small table, playing some sort of card game. One troll, in a green visor, turned and said “No room, seats full. Go find another game.” Joho closes the door with a muttered apology. Karl says “Elf that!” lights a nate-bomb, and kicks open the door, lobbing the bomb into the middle of the table.

2 of the 6 trolls are burned to a crisp, the others rise up and rush to the door, getting in each other's ways. One grabs hold of Joho, and bites him hard. Joho in return rips out his heart. The other badly burned trolls are quickly cut down. The room is searched, and a bunch of blackened gold coins are recovered.

A bit later, the party finds a secret door that opens up into a large worship space in which a bunch of lizardmen are engaged in a ritual. Morgana tosses in a fireball, incinerating all but one that is clinging to life with 1hp. Kili soothes his pain with a healing spell, talks to the lizardman, gets the location of their hidden treasure, and then crushes the lizardman’s skull.

The next notable room was a large vaulted chamber with several stirge nests tucked up among the crossbeams. Morgana lobbed another fireball, killing all the vermin, and setting their nests alight. Once the flames had died down, with the lingers smell of burned sugar filling the air, they recovered the treasure that hadn’t been destroyed by the flames.

After the stirges, they come across a massive room tiled in white (right side) and red (left side). At the far end was a massive throne, flanked by 3 giant iron statues. Karl makes it up almost to the throne, and is grabbed by one of the iron golems. The metal of the golem was literally burning hot, and the construct tossed the dwarf hard, bouncing him back across the room burned, bruised, and bloody. Begging for some healing, Karl crawls from the room back to his friends, and after a few potions, they decide to head back to the surface.

Gains: cloak of fire resistance, 6,100gp, and 6 pieces of jewelry
Kills: Trolls, lizardmen, and stirges

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Rappan Athuk: Mouth of Doom - Rats, Traps, and a Cannibal

 Session played on 3/7

Nick the Pike, Fighter 6 (Me)
Borumar, Thief 9 (Josh)
Biffin, Fighter (NPC)
Ulmo, Halfling (NPC)
Cassandra, Sellsword
Carey, Sellsword

Investigating the room with the rustling noises, the party discovers 20 giant rats, and triggers a dart trap. The dart misses Nick who opened the door, but catches Cassandra, who falls over unconscious. The rats attack, but have trouble getting through the party’s armor. A few minor scratches are taken here and there while the rats are slowly cut down. Some minor treasure is found among the trash piled about the room.

Down and around some twisting hallways (who designed this place?) the party comes to a door off a t-intersection, and checks it out. The largish room is lined with 11 alcoves, in 10 of which are statues of various gods of chance all holding various gambling implements. In the 11th alcove is a stone altar with a metal bowl on it. Nick and Borumar look at each other, Borumar's looks said "please" and Nick's said “nope” and close the door, continuing down the hall.

The next room is a modest octagonal room with hallways heading out in each of the cardinal directions. Out the other 3 exits, the hallways extend a short distance before ending in doors. A pit trap is discovered in the middle of the room, and is triggered to see if anything interesting is in it. At the bottom of the 10’ drop is an open pit trap (or open secret door?) with a ladder heading down into darkness. Nick tosses a handful of copper pieces down the pit to see if anything reacts. Nothing does, but some cackling can be heard to the north, so the party checks that out.

The door is wedged tight, and spiked from within. The party heads back south and over to the west. This large room has a statue of a human skeleton with both hands on wolves standing next to it up on a large plinth. There’s also a large stair heading down. Investigating the plinth reveals that it’s hollow and there are 3 pillars within it supporting the statues above. Also in it is a human skeleton with adventurers equipment. Borumar drags the skeleton out, but gets attacked by giant leeches who do a quick and efficient job of sucking his blood. The leeches are removed and stomped. Borumar drinks a healing potion. The skeleton, aside from his basic equipment, has some small treasure.

Back to the octagonal room and to the final unexplored section reveals a dusty empty room.

Back to the north, Nick forces the door. The room is a mirror of the room to the south, but littered with bones, both human and goblin. Huddled in the far corner is an oldish man cowering behind a shield. He’s nuts, but seems mostly harmless. He offers up the gear of his former adventuring companions in exchange for helping him escape. The party agrees, and the man hoots and hollers for a good 5 minutes before Nick takes his arm and leads him from the dungeon. Releasing him on the surface, they point him toward town, and wish him luck, heading back into the Mouth of Doom.

Filling in some of the map, Nick discovers a secret door hiding a trapped treasure chest. Borumar notes that the chest is trapped, but also there’s another trap attached to the chest. Borumar leaves the room, Nick tries to push the chest from the doorway with his pike, but fails. Borumar has more luck, and triggers a falling block trap that smashes the pike into toothpicks. Moving around the block, Cassandra and Carey grab the heavy chest. Heading for the surface, they stomp a pair of zombies near the bandit lair. Once out, the party heads back to the village, and there Borumar safely disables the trap and opens the chest, revealing a lot of coins (mostly copper) and a magic dagger!

Gains: 1457gp worth of treasure, +1 dagger
Kills: Leeches, zombies, giant rats

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Stonehell Lost Level: Dragon!!

Session 158 was played on 7/12

Eiric, Wizard 8 (Kat)
Karl, Dwarf 8 (Julia)
Boris, Cleric 5 (Jeff)
Borumar, Thief 7 (Josh)
Morgana, Mage 5 (Reggie)
Daton, Fighter 4 (Jay)
Plus war dogs

Under threat, the pigs lead the party to where the dragon is supposed to be laired, with the understanding that they’ll be released after doing so. The pigs aren’t 100% sure of exactly where that is, since they’re not dumb pigs, and they avoid dragons as a general rule. The party agrees, as long as the pigs succeed.

They do… the smell of burning coal precedes the heat of the “lair” of the dragon.. And before they can spot the dragon, they see black skeletons shoveling large piles of coal into a massive furnace in the center of a massive room. Beyond the red glow of the furnace, the room is lit by 4 crystalline fixtures on the ceiling in the corners of the room. The skeletons mostly ignore the party.

From within the furnace, the dragon roars, and threatens the party, then offers them a deal. Free him, and he won’t kill them.

Okay, free him, and he’ll give them his treasure.

Okay, okay, free him and he’ll give them his treasure and he won’t kill them.

Lady Eiric confirms that the glowing crystal things on the ceiling are involved in some sort of binding magic. Making no promises, they say they’ll return later, as they don’t have the lightning bolts needed to destroy all the fixtures.

Departing the dragon furnace room, the party follows the smell of leather, and then per their agreement, frees the pigs.

The leather smell turns out to be a weird room. Opening the door to the room causes the boots of the party members to begin to turn to steel, but a steel treasure chest is bolted to the floor of the room. The party slams the door closed before their other items are ruined. Borumar offers to go in, since he has only his bark armor on. With a rope tied around his waist, he smiles, tells the party he left a Karl coin in the vampire lord’s coffin, and then rushes into the room. Karl chases after him, the party closes the door behind them.

Karl pummels Borumar then they try to open the chest… but find no openings, and it’s firmly attached to the floor, and all their metal tools become leather… Borumar ties a rope around the chest, then summons his elephant to try to rip it out of the room. The rope strains, but holds, and the chest is ripped from the floor, and dragged from the room. After some time in the non-leathery brown air of the room, the chest begins to sag, and turns to leather. They cut it open, and collect the coins and jewelry from inside it.

With their gains, they head back to town.

Gains: A good haul of coins!

Monday, March 8, 2021

Stonehell: Reconnoitering the Residential Tombs

 Session 159 was played on 7/16

Karl, Dwarf 8 (Julia)
Boris, Cleric 5 (Jeff)
Joho, Mystic (Chris)
Ool, Mystic (NPC)
Borumar, Thief 7 (Josh)
Morgana, Mage 5 (Reggie)
Daton, Fighter 4 (Jay)
Plus war dogs

In town, Joho and Daton train, Karl fixes his armor, and after they settle on exploring more of level 4. Heading down to the quadrant with the Ladies and Gentlemen Ghouls, they explore the more northern side, and stumble on an ogre patrol. Karl throws a nate-bomb, killing 2 and injuring the other 2. Karl gets caught in the blast. Morgana tosses a dagger into one of the ogres eyes, pommel first. The burned ogres are quickly cut down and looted.

Turning a little to the south, in a small side cavern, Borumar is surprised and grappled by a giant spider thing, and then bitten. Morgana magic missiles it to death. In another cave the party discovers a hollow rock formation with some hidden coins. Looping around past the Ghoul’s front door, the party comes to a room with the defaced statue of a young human. Karl touches it, but nothing happens. The next door they come to has “DO NOT OPEN” written on it in several languages. They opt to follow the free advice, and call it a day.

On the way back to town the sun is hidden by an angry black dragon. Morgana casts invisibility on the party, and the dragon gives up looking for them after a few minutes.

Gains: More coin
Kills: Ogres, Rhagodessa

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Reaper Minitaur Pink Demons

 When Reaper did their Bones 4 kickstarter, one of their little stretch goals was a set of minitaurs... short minataurs. 

Minitaurs (4) 

They're kind of ridiculous, but... perfect for a silly paint challenge over on the Reaper Discord. 

 February's limited pallete challenge was to use only 5 colors, a white, black, blue, magenta, and yellow. Keeping it pure, I went with Pure White, Solid Black, and the 3 newish Clears: Magenta, Blue, and Yellow. 

This meant that there would be no metallic colors... an interesting challenge to be sure! I washed them, and stuck them on bases and got to work... starting by making some swatches.

Then I got painting.

I don't have a lot of WiP pics, as I was going back and forth a lot experimenting to see what colors and effects I could manage to make these things look good. 

My first attempt at Non-Metallic Metals was... eh? It works. 

In the end, I have a pair of pink demon minitaurs that will absolutely find their way into a game at some point. Just gonna have to stat them out for D&D... could easily use them as minor demons in Frostgrave... and I'm sure I can find some other games they'll work in. Now I guess I need to paint up the other 2 to match.

Friday, March 5, 2021

Cardboard Spaceship #2 for #Stargrave part 2

 It seems I neglected to actually post about painting my little ship...

Again, I started with my house paint, making sure that everything was covered. 

Then I used some craft black, and some Reaper Gory Red for the body.

I added some white on the front, and drybrushed some metal tone airbrush paint over it

And picked out a few panels to highlight with off shades from the rest.

And here they are together!

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Rappan Athuk: Mouth of Doom - Gnolls and Bandits and Stirges, Oh My!

 Session played on 2/28

Nick the Pike, Fighter 6 (Me)
Borumar, Thief 9 (Josh)
Karl, Dwarf 9 (Julia)
Biffin, Fighter (NPC)

Karl the Dwarf Lord caught up with the party in the tiny village, 2 more arms-men were hired, and everyone headed back toward the Mouth Of Doom. On the way, 6 gnolls with bows had blocked the road. Negotiations were brief, and combat was joined. One of the new hirelings was shot dead right away, and another was cut down in melee before the gnolls were dealt with. A meager 5sp was collected from their corpses.

Once at the MoD, the party agreed to deal with the bandits first, and after carefully stepping over 15 trip wires, they reached the pair of secret doors to their lair. Upon opening the door, the party got the drop on them, but only just. They’d apparently been waiting for an attack, as 4 were barricaded behind an overturned table with bows, while 4 orcs and their ugly rat faced leader waited by the door. Thanks to the gnoll’s bows, the bandits got a bunch of arrows in the face, dropping 2, while Nick cut into the rat faced dude.

Borumar blasted the table to bits while the woman at arms killed the remaining 2 bandits. Biffin tripped over himself, and then Karl clocked Ratface with his hammer.

Nick hits Ratface again, before Karl pounds him into the floor. Borumar kills an orc, and the remaining 3 orcs call for a halt… they offer up all the treasure, and promise to leave the dungeon. We make them dump the treasure and disarm the trap, and then tell them to be on their way. Better return than the gnolls at 175gp and 1sp, but… Ratface’s rapier is crudely inscribed with “Tael the Rat” and Borumar holds onto it, though it doesn’t seem particularly valuable.

Heading out of the bandit lair, the party goes to a room with pools. Karl spends time playing with them, sticking his 10’ pole into them. 4 out of 5 are about a foot deep, but one is more than 10’ deep. One also scares Karl, causing him to run for the surface, hitting 7 trip wires on the way. The party follows the first time, but not the second or third. Meanwhile, through a hole in the wall to an adjoining room Stirges keep coming out. The 3 arms-men are tasked with shooting anything that pokes its nose through the hole. The deep pool is discovered to be not actually filled with water, but to be a tunnel with the illusion of water over it. Karl, Borumar, and Nick climb down the ladder to take a look, see some hallways and doors, and head back up.

After a dozen stirges are killed, the door to the room they seem to be coming from is checked, revealing some wasp-like nests on the walls, and a lot of bones on the floor. The nests are destroyed and some treasure found.

Exploring some more of the dungeon brings the party to a room with a long exhausted dart trap that is still attempting to shoot the long dead body crumpled on the trigger plate. The bones are shoved off the trigger.

From the next room down the hall, rustling could be heard…

Gains: 6sp, 175gp, jade necklace, silver mirror, small cut diamond
Kills: human bandits, orc bandit
Losses: Hith the arms-man and Mack the guardsman

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Reaper Snakeman and Giant Cobras

You ever see a really cool image online, and think to yourself, I wanna do that?

Well, I saw this snakeman and thought that exact thing. So I decided to give it a try... and maybe on a few giant cobras too. 

I did my usual soapy water scrub with my hobby toothbrush, and glued them onto bases. I primed them with my cream airbrush primer, and then started with Phoenix red... which was too bright.

I then used a sample orange and Sun Yellow to do the markings, and bleached linen for the belly scales.

 The armor was painted with Nightmare Black and Pure Black. The decoration was Dragon Gold, and the blade was Blade Shadow. I used Brown Liner to line the belly scales on the snakeman.

 The bases were painted with Earth Brown that got a bit of Linen White added to it for highlights.

 The Cobras could probably use a dark brown wash to help bring out the scales, but I'm happy enough with them as is.

Monday, March 1, 2021

February in Review

The Pandemic Continues… though an end is in sight. Hearing that the vaccinations are finally progressing at an appropriate pace is heartening, though it’ll be months yet before I get mine. This month was my second of paternity leave, and I’ve got March to go before I’m back to work. It wasn’t as productive as I’d have liked (is it ever?) but I still got stuff done, and had a good time doing it.

Nick the Pike continues his explorations of Rappan Athuk, and I’m up to date with all those reports. I’m slowly catching up with my Stonehell reports…

I picked up Sunless Sea (a computer game) and have already logged several hours playing it. It’s SO GOOD, and HARD!

Finished up the IMEF troops, painted 3 giant cobras, 1 nagendra (snakeman) swordsman, 2 minitaur demons, and worked on my new cardboard spaceship. 

Queer Eye (bunch of episodes)
Star Trek TNG season 7 almost finished
Captain America The Winter Soldier
Avengers Age of Ultron
Avengers Infinity War
Captain Marvel
Avengers Endgame
The Expanse (started season 1)
Lost in Space (season 2 in progress)
Umbrella Academy (season 2 in progress)
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Probably some other stuff too

I have several minis picked out to work on, I want to finish the cardboard space truck I started, and catch up on more of the Stonehell session reports.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Rappan Athuk: Mouth of Doom - Bandits!

 Session played on 2/21

Nick the Pike, Fighter 6 (Me)
Borumar, Thief 9 (Josh)
Biffin, Fighter (NPC)

Still in the Mouth Of Doom, the party heads around to the room the kobolds stay out of. In front of the door are a pair of boots and a gauntlet, all halfling sized. Checking the door, Borumar notes a weird sheen on it, as well as the foot or so of floor in front of the door. Using the gauntlet to try the door handle, it’s discovered that the door is locked, and that the sheen is from some sort of glue. One boot, then the other were stuck to the door. Borumar successfully unlocks the door while avoiding having his tools stick to the door. Within the room, which is entirely coated with the same sheen as far as the party can see, is a chest in the middle of the room. Just inside the door is a skeletal hand cut off at the wrist.

Nick suggests going outside to get a bag of dirt and leaves to make a safe path to the checks, but Borumar uses his crossbow to send over a rope line across the room, sticking the near end to the door. Then sends over a second line under the first, and convinces the halfling (for 200gp on top of their share of the treasure) to climb across and bring back whatever is in the chest.

The halfling makes it across, and thankfully the chest isn’t coated in the glue or locked. 500gp and 1sp were safely recovered before the glove fell off the door handle. Then the boot, and then the other boot, then the rope dropped to the floor, sticking. Seems the glue has a built in timer of some sort?

Nick tossed the silver back into the room. Borumar was bad at math in trying to figure out how the money should be split up.

Continuing on toward where the bandits were supposedly camped out, the party comes to a viewing room, with a closed coffin. 4 zombies laying around the coffin slowly attack the party, the party movies in to attack back (to avoid being bottle necked in the doorway) and one of the hirelings trips on a tripwire. The zombies are cut down easily. Checking the coffin disturbs a grumpy ghoul that apparently slept though the fight with the zombies. It was chopped down before it could seriously hurt anyone, and the heavy necklace it was wearing was taken as booty.

Deciding that the bandits probably weren’t worth the effort, the party circles back to the entrance hall, checks the pit trap (it was empty) then continues around to the east, checking another pit trap (also empty) before coming to a dusty room with a pile of 10 skulls (3 sided pyramid). Investigating further revealed that each skull had a hole in the top of it. The skulls were knocked around, but no gems or gold teeth were found.

Moving on, the next door Borumar unlocked and opened revealed 4 bandits with bows ready for us… Borumar took 3 arrows. Ouch. From behind us another group of bandits led by a big orc and a little rat faced fop. The bandits in the room were killed first, then the orc. With the death of the orc, the rat faced guy called a retreat and slammed the door shut in the party’s faces. Annoyingly the door relocked. Taking a moment to drink some healing potions (getting the halfling up off the floor), the party chesed after them, but lost them, stumbling on a group of giant ants. Not wanting to deal with them, the party retreated to the entrance hall and up the stairs. The ants followed up to where the sunlight hit the stairs. Using some flaming oil and some arrows, 2 of the ants were killed.

The party debats making camp, but decides to hoof it back to the tiny village. Borumar brings the dead uncooked ant to potentially eat and harvest the carapace for armor.  

Nick gives the 2 hirelings a 25gp bonus each.

Gains: heavy necklace, 500gp, body of 1 giant ant
Kills: human bandits, orc bandit

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Stonehell: Lost Level Burned Library

 Session 157 was played on 7/9

Eiric, Wizard 8 (Kat)
Karl, Dwarf 8 (Julia)
Boris, Cleric 5 (Jeff)
Joho, Mystic (Chris)
Ool, Mystic (NPC)
Borumar, Thief 7 (Josh)
Morgana, Mage 5 (Reggie)
Daton, Fighter 4 (Jay)
Plus war dogs

After dealing with the hogs, the party checks out the next door, and finds a skinny somewhat foppish man hiding behind an old sitting chair. However to get to him, they had to chop down the door, as the voice on the inside of the room refused to unblock the door. Karl used his ax to smash through the wood, grinning, and saying “Here’s Karl!”

The poor man was terrified, and was hiding from the hogs who had tried to eat him (and had eaten his friends). Kayani agreed (didn’t have much choice) to go with the party.

The party sees some goblin scouts, and they see the party. Each just goes their own way.

Continuing their exploration, they come across a tall hallway, and up above a short bridge crossing the hallway about 10’ up. Karl climbs up to scout, and then the rest of the party comes up. To one side of the bridge they find an empty library, and to the other a room with a heaped pile of burned books.

Going back down the hallway, they come to an old armory, and find 4pp hidden inside a rusted old breastplate. Then onto an old dusty kitchen, where the pig tries to make a run for it. He fails, and is soundly smacked about and threatened if he tries that again.

Gains: 4PP

Monday, February 22, 2021

Cardboard Starship for #StarGrave #3 The Cargo Hauler

Work has begin on my next ship, a short range cargo hauler with cargo pod. I spent a couple hours late last night working on mocking it up. I had a vague idea of what I wanted, but wasn't really sure how exactly I wanted to get there.




 Figuring out sizes and shapes and cutting things in half...


 Cargo pod mock up in progress. I have enough of the egg cartons to make 4 of them, so I'll probably build them all up to make additional scatter terrain.


The underside showing how the shampoo bottle will be the engine. 


 I decided toward the end of the build that I like the cream cheese container right side up better.

Like I said at the beginning, this is just a mock up. I've decided to try doing the cargo pod out of 1" pink foam, rather than building a box. I should be able to get a much more square shape that way, and I don't need it to be hollow. The flatbed will probably be made of 1/2" pink foam. I'd use foam core if I had any, but I don't. I could use cardboard, and still might, but we'll see.

As with my previous ships, the underside will have minimal detailing, as no one is going to see it. I'm hoping to have most of the construction done by the end of the week now that I have a plan!

Stonehell: Bad food, Bad Dining Company

Session 156 was played on 7/5

Eiric, Wizard 8 (Kat)
Karl, Dwarf 8 (Julia)
Boris, Cleric 5 (Jeff)
Morgana, Mage 5 (Reggie)
Daton, Fighter 4 (Jay)
Plus war dogs

Gathering their gear, the party returns to the hidden level via the caves to the bubble fountain room, then exploring around until they come to a room with a sphynx statue and some writing in an unknown language.

“The number of Hells is the key; to unravel a sharpened mystery.”

Probably would have come in handy prior to messing with the dome of magical swords…

Boris dusts some skeletons.

They find a banquet hall laid out for a full feast. Karl tries a slice of pie after he’s unable to convince Lady Eiric to summon a swarm of corgis. Daton throws pies and cakes out of the room, making a mess in the hallway while Karl collects the silverware from the table.

Nearby, the party encounters some large pigs eating… something that was humanoid. The pigs are rude to the party, insulting their smell, their ancestry, and their choice of sexual partners. Karl decides to charge in, the pigs charge back. Unfortunately for the pigs, their lack of armor was a problem, and 3 of 5 were quickly cut down. The other 2 are put to sleep and captured.

Gains: Silverware
Kills: Rude Pigs, skeletons

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Stonehell: Lost Level Hidden Treasures

Session 155 was played on 7/2

Boris, Cleric 5 (Jeff)
Morgana, Mage 5 (Reggie)
Joho, Mystic (Chris)
Ool, Mystic (NPC)

Returning to the Lost Level, the small party quickly stumbles into a trio of Shadows that drain Joho and Ool’s strength before they’re destroyed by the Mystic’s glowing fists. Additionally the Ring of Strength that Joho was wearing turned out to be cursed and dropped his strength to 3! Boris quickly used Remove Curse so that Joho could take the ring off, and Joho felt his strength return. Morgana holds the ring, and promises to investigate further.

Searching around they explore several empty rooms, trigger a dart trap, find a hidden safe with several old bottles of elven wine, and a fancy drinking horn. Then discover a hidden tea set inside the base of a statue.

Deciding they’d found enough to have made the trip worth the effort, they start making their way back. An ogre tries to waylay them, but Boris Holds the creature, and Morgana slits its throat. They collect some gold from the corpse.

Gains: fancy wine, fancy tea set, gold, and a Horn of Valhalla
Kills: Ogre, Shadows

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Rappan Athuk: Mouth of Doom!

Session played on 2/14

Nick the Pike, Fighter 6 (Me)
Borumar, Thief 9 (Josh)
Biffin, Fighter (NPC)

While everyone else is busy with removing curses from the gems, Borumar and Nick head back through the portal to the keep, and collect some new rumors, including the location of a smaller side dungeon called the Mouth of Doom! The drunken wizard who tells of the dungeon gives the location for a fairly exorbitant price, and warns of the gnolls that guard it.

Sounds like a fun diversion for them, so they hire a couple of sell-swords, and a plucky halfling, and secure passage on a ferry to the nearby village. The boat ride is long and generally boring. The small village is set on an isthmus protected by a wooden wall on the land side. Poking around to see what can be learned of the Mouth of Doom, the party visits the local necromancer who is friendly, a bit creepy, and offers his services should we be in need. The gem cutter is similarly friendly, but has no intel on the dungeon, other than that people regularly bring him work.

In the trading post, the party finds 7 maps for sale, and Borumar buys all of them. The shopkeeper offers 2,000gp for an accurate map. Taking the maps to the inn, the party reviews the differing scraps of info to glean any useful info from them before heading out to the dungeon.

Leaving the village, they follow the river to a ruined cottage, spend 10 fruitless minutes exploring it (it’s been frequently visited and picked over) before fording the river and heading south to a large cliff face. Carved into it is a massive demon’s screaming face. The 20’ diameter mouth is the entrance to the dungeon. Carefully stepping into the mouth, the party takes the stairs down into the darkness, the gem on Nick’s helmet lighting the way. 

Image result for Rappan Athuk: Mouth of Doom!

In the entrance hall at the bottom of the stairs, were 6 doors. 2 to the east and west, 1 to the north and south. The northern door on the west side was barred by an old portcullis trap that had been broken. With no way to reset it, the mighty Borumar hoisted the gate up, then handed off holding it to the two sell-swords while he checked the door. Beyond was a hallway heading further to the west and also to the north. Continuing west the party came to another door, beyond was a creepy room with fossilized humanoid skeletons partly fused into the walls. Cutting through that room to the north Borumar walked right into a gelatinous cube. Thankfully he didn’t get sucked into it, and Nick managed to avoid getting slammed by it, and the 3 of them hacked it apart while the hirelings guarded the back.

The melting remains of the cube turned up a bit of treasure!

Soon after a secret door was found, and a long passage revealed. Up ahead, a hissing chatter could be heard, and the party readied themselves for an attack. Around the bend came a small troop of kobolds, and they came swinging. Nick cleaved the first one down with a mighty blow, which gave the rest pause. “We don’t want to do this!” Nick yelled. Parlay was called, and Nick paid a blood price of 15gp for the death of Fred, and then an additional 12gp for info on the dungeon. The kobolds were very forthcoming as the gold pieces were clinked in front of them.

Included in the kobold info:

  • There’s a large chamber of bandits on the other side of level 1
  • A metal snake guards the stairs down to level 2
  • There are a couple of known pit traps
  • The Kobold camp is outside of the dungeon to the west
  • Don’t trust any priests you encounter
  • The necromancer in the village is okay and doesn’t bother the kobolds

Gains: opal, 40gp, chain mail armor, spear head, 5 arrow heads, gem
Kills: Fred the Kobold, Gelatinous Cube
Losses: -27gp paid to kobolds

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Stonehell: Lost Level wanderings

Session 154 was played on 6/28

Karl, Dwarf 8 (Julia)
Boris, Cleric 5 (Jeff)
Morgana, Mage 5 (Robert)
Borumar, Thief 7 (Josh)
Daton, Fighter 4 (Jay)

Continuing in the lost level, the party comes across some giant white apes, and kills them. Then continue into an old barracks, and find a long lost hidden stash of coin in one of the dry rotted bunk posts. Beyond that, a looted map room. A trio of ghouls try to get the jump on the party, but Boris easily Destroys them.

The next chamber they come to is a large one, with several gargoyles perched on a weird fountain, blowing bubbles. The bubbles are sticky, and Borumar reaches a critical number of them and begins to float up to the ceiling. Karl and Boris grab him, stab the bubbles and keep on the ground. Across the room is an open doorway that leads to some natural caves. Following the fresh air, the party finds itself on the surface.

Heading back into the caves, after hours of crawling in the darkness they come to an opening onto a shear wall. Below, a softly glowing mist, above them the dark form of a bridge, and the bottom of a floating island. In a hidden stash just inside the opening, the find a potion.

Backtracking, they return to the bubble room, then backtrack to the hallway to the teleport chamber. They check to the east, finding a chamber with 4 pillars, each of which has a ring with 4 letters on it, and the rings spin. They try spinning the rings for a couple of combinations, but quickly give up.

Taking the teleporter they return to the Quiet Halls, and then back to town.

Lady Morgana researches Invisibility 10’ radius, Daton trains with a swordmaster, Karl expands his hat shop, Borumar trains with Captain Morgan, getting a deeper mental connection with the dog.

Gains: Small stash of coins, potion of gaseous form,
Kills: giant apes, ghouls

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Rappan Athuk: Black Skeleton

Session played on 2/4

Nick the Pike, Fighter 6
Lady Eiric, Magic User
Karl, Dwarf
Darryl, Cleric (NPC)
Biffin, Fighter (NPC)

Exploring the outside of the big mausoleum failed to turn up any other ways into the structure, but a selection of old ruined stoneworking tools was found on the roof.

Lady Eiric used her magic to unlock the doors, and Nick pushed them open. Within was a large open space, with a stone coffin resting in the center back of it. Upon the coffin were a pair of brass candelabras, each with a single lit candle. Karl and Nick carefully entered. Karl, using his 10’ pole knocked the candelabras from the coffin, and the candles stayed lit. Everburning flames… Nick pocketed one, Karl the other. Karl also bagged the candelabras.

Then Karl triggered… something. Nick, standing back at the doors was knocked out of the mausoleum, while Karl was trapped inside. A cackling laugh echoed from within the coffin, and Karl started screaming and banging on the doors. Lady Eiric quickly magiced the doors unlocked, but shoving them open was difficult, but accomplished. Karl squeezed out as the doors slammed shut once more. A loud grinding noise continued for several minutes.

Once everything had quieted down again, Lady Eiric again unlocked the doors, and Nick and Karl tried to go around whatever trap they’d triggered but hugging the walls, and trying to investigate the coffin from the rear of the room. That failed. Again, the doors slammed shut, breaking in half a steel pick head that had been wedged between the doors. Trying to shove the coffin off the metal plate upon which it rested was semi-successful, as the coffin did move. Unfortunately the black skeleton within didn’t take too kindly to that, and clawed at both Nick and Karl. Nick took the worst of it, but the skeleton was destroyed. At this point the pair noticed that the floor was now much closer to the ceiling, and blocking the door.

Karl was still screaming.

Then the banging began. First on the ceiling, then a pause, then on the doors. Far louder than anything that Biffin, Darryl, or Lady Eiric could accomplish, but all apparently ineffective at breaking into the structure.

With time and space running out, they finish pushing the stone coffin off the metal plate, and get onto it themselves. There was a cut out area in the ceiling directly above the plate deep enough to keep the pair of them from getting crushed. As the stone coffin was shattered, Karl and Nick curled up and prayed.

Karl continued to scream.
And then, with the push of extreme air pressure Karl and Nick were shoved, as the stone coffin reformed on the plate. The room had returned instantly to its previous condition.

The banging continued. Karl’s screaming… stopped.

With a bit of trepidation, they pushed the coffin off the plate again, and used a hidden handle to lift the plate. A 30’ drop was before them. And from the pit, the smell of moldering bodies. Figuring that there’s probably another way out through the tunnels, and not wanting to face whatever was banging on the doors, they tied a rope to the metal plate’s hinge structure and went down into the darkness.

At the bottom of the drop, the roughly carved tunnel stretched 100’ to the east. Down the tunnel they went, all the way to a 10’ deep pit in the floor. Pausing to check the pit, Karl discovers a metal door hidden under some loose dirt. Opening the door revealed another room, rough cut, with a low 4’ high ceiling. The air was fresher down that way, so down Nick and Karl went. In the room were several small piles of bones, all clearly intentionally stacked. Not messing with them, they took the open doorway out into another tunnel, and kept straight, avoiding the branches, and following the fresher air.

Emerging from the tunnel they came into a medium sized room with a normal height roof. The worked stone of this room was far nicer than the rough cut stone of the previous passages. Following the doorway. A short ways beyond that was what appeared to be a viewing room, with a coffin laid out. Very dusty, with a set of stairs going down… rather than go deeper, they decided to backtrack and return to the tunnel and see where that would get them.

Once in the tunnel, they heard Lady Eiric yelling for them. Continuing to backtrack they returned to the rope, the mausoleum, and found the doors open, and the party waiting for them. Lady Eiric explained that she’d summoned an earth elemental to try to break in, but it didn’t work, while Darryl found the key in the base of the dwarf statue! Karl and Nick told of what happened to them. Deciding they’d done (taken) enough damage, they returned to the keep and Lady Eiric’s estate to recover.

Gains: Small Silver Necklace
Kills: Black Skeleton

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

IMEF Troops

 As part of my sci-fi theme this year in anticipation of Stargrave, I dug through my previous Bones Chronoscope minis, looking for things that'll be useful. A lot of them aren't. There's probably not gonna be a lot of use for old west or modern minis, but I do have a bunch of IMEF and Nova Corps minis, as well as the Blackstar Corsairs. I long ago painted up bunch of Nova Corps, so decided to go with the IMEF troopers. They're very reminiscent of the marines from the Aliens movies. 

So the Corsairs and the Nova Corps went back into the box, and the IMEF soldiers got a hot soapy scrub down, and lined in Green Liner. 

I think I ended up with doubles of the heavy gunner, flamer, and the one trooper from the Box of Goodwill that goes around on the Reaper Forums, but they might also have been mispacks from the kickstarter. I don't remember at this point.

I would like to point out the difference in the bases between these guys and the Squigg Soldier behind them. While the Squigg is on a traditional 1" base, it's completely featureless, while the IMEF troopers all have vaguely sci-fi decking molded onto their much thinner bases. Given the choice, I'd much rather have the thinner sculpted bases. They're easier to cut from the base should I want something else, but also it's easy to just paint what's there. 

After the green liner I pulled out some other paints to try on these guys. I don't think I've ever painted green army men, so the whole camo type thing is new to me. Thankfully I've got good paints to work with. For this project I pulled out IMEF Olive, Camouflage Green, and Worn Olive for the greens, and Desert Stone and Desert Sand for the tan/khaki colors. I used Redstone for the flamers' padded armor.

But before I got to that I blocked in the weapons with Metal Tone, and the faces with Ruddy Flesh and Tanned Flesh.

I then blocked in the tan under suits and straps, added some colors and washes trying to figure out the best strategy to get the look I'm trying to achieve. I found the black wash over the guns was fantastic, but a little too dark on the outfits. A blend of dark sepia wash with a bit of black wash worked better. 

After washing, it was time to go back and bring the highlights back up. I painted some blue reflection onto the lenses

I decided to try a little OSL from the guns. It was... semi-successful. I also blue lined the bases, followed that up with a Scorched Metal over brush, and then dry brushed with Metal Tone.

Can't really see it here, but all the guns also got a dot of red above the barrel. The heavy gunners' bandanas were painted red and blue with pure white dots to suggest a pattern. 

I need to take some final shots of them, but until I do, this is where I'm gonna wrap up the post. 

Next up: Snakes!