lurkerwithout: (gaming)
We start with the duel against Triffaccir about to begin and the return of Matt's wizard and Eric's arcane archer.  After a few rounds with the rest of the group observiving Bill's cleric spots that Triffy isn't what he appears.  This leads to Sillius the wizard wandering over under an anti-magic shell.  Which is aggravating in that it suprresses all MY magic items and buffs, but does reveal that Triffy is a disguised efreet.  This quickly turns the duel into a mass combat with the efreet taking flight and unleashing mutliple scorching rays.  Eventually the evil genie is defeated by a mulitude of enchanted arrow strikes from Thrumm the A.A, spells from Terry the cleric and the witch and flying attacks by Terry's celestial dog mount and Krogar the Pig (given flight by me).  Sillius, the high level wizard, mostly tried to get the efreet to look at him and his symbol of stunning.  Of course getting hit by a half-dozen rays did mean Terry died before the end of the fight.  Of course at our level thats a pretty short term effect.

So the first of our Defeat the Queen goals was accomplished and I got some new blood to drink so I could learn scorching ray.

lurkerwithout: (gaming)
Despite being two players down, started back into the finale of the Crimson Crown.  This session saw my pirate, Bill's halfling cleric (with celestial dog pokemon) and Frazer's half-orc fighter (with witch girlfriend) tracking down the "hero" Tiramasu (Brendan: That's not his name!  Me: Don't care).  Taffamassoo (Brendan: Still not his name!) is running a false flag operation, using a hired gang to stir up trouble as "rebels" who he then drives off.  Then gives a heroic speech about the Queen and tosses money to the people.

We track down a trio of the thugs as they're out strong-arming and easily dispatch them.  And then interogate them at our new base (found by the two PCs who weren't there).  After that is a confrontation with the remaining dozen members of the gang.  One where someone is apparantly granting the "rebels" wishes.  But then Trifaccir (Brendan: His name is, oh no thats it) shows up (after Krogar has been turned into a pig) and challenges us to take him one-on-one.  So Fenyx steps up to fight the duel.  Which is where we end for the night.
lurkerwithout: (gaming)
And so we officially begin "Crown of Fangs", the final installment of the Curse of the Crimson Crown.  And everyone is back with their character's from the last module almost three years ago.  My pirate captain, the elven magus Fenyx Asher; Bill's halfling cleric of Shelyn, Terry (with celestial hound mount/follower); Frazer's fighter Krogar (with witch follower); Eric's arcane archer Thrumm and Matt back in the group with his wizard Sillius.  Following a not-so-short loot division and shopping we teleported back to Korvosa where Queen Ileosa's enthrallment to her hat continued.

The party met with the various NPCs/rebel leaders from the previous modules and got the general Sub-quests that needed to be compleated before charges could be brought against the Evil Queen, parliamentary style!  Anyway, next session should see us going after one of the items on that list, a new "hero" who has been taking down groups of fake rebels.

lurkerwithout: (gaming)
Finished up the final parts of "Snows of Summer".  Which mostly involved looting the tower (and the defeated witch from last session) and closing the winter-causing portal to Taldor.  Though the looting did lead to Brendan's Erasmus getting cursed twice, first by a trap and then by a ring he thought was a ring of regeneration but was not.  Luckily, Eric's mage had an arcane remove curse scroll for the first and we were able to get a divine version back in town for the second.  After that it was all bookkeeping and loot divvying.

Next session should be the return to Brendan's "Curse of the Crimson Throne" campaign and starting the final module "Crown of Fangs".  Which for me means finishing up a level 15 version of Fenyx Asher my Magus.

lurkerwithout: (gaming)
And the group did press on without resting and confronted the slyph mistress of ravens.  And lo did swarms suck in the dealing of irritating amounts of damage.  But Eramus the Investigator was able to use his remaining flaming loogies and the aviary was cleansed and looted.  Then to the resting, cause the cleric's player hath dropped out for a time.  And so Eramus must now be the group healer.

Then to the final boss.  And the witch-boss' goat was smited.  As was the witch-boss.  And his summoned baby ice elementals.  And so next session will be the wrap up.  As well as the prep for the return to the roommate's Carrion Crown Crimson Throne campaign.
lurkerwithout: (gaming)
This session we were down a player, as Byron had to cancel. And since Bill didn't have a copy of his character no cleric. So Bill let us all have our level bumps without needing to rest and we continued onward thru the 2nd floor. Well first we interrogated the Fae bard we captured last session. Mostly getting general info on the higher ranking tower residents. The main one was away, searching for the Black Rider, aka the old dude who died and gave us sweet stat bumps. So the final boss looks to be a Witch of some kind plus a Slyph spymaster.

But before that, more level exploration. We ran into the guard captain, some kind of fighter/spell-caster in the library. Thanks to several poor attack rolls early in the fight, she became a bit of a threat thanks to getting an enlarge spell off while wielding a greatsword. But the numbers won out and down she went.

Then we explored the conservatory and fought a mandragora, a kind of plant monster. Where the roommate's investigator downed an Elixer of Fire Breath thinking it was a potionof fire breath. Which work differently in addition to one being a 1100gp magic item and the other a 150gp potion.

So after the fight, he's pushing that we don't rest at the start of the next session, but instead push on so he doesn't waste the remaining time on his temp ability to spit flaming loogies.
lurkerwithout: (gaming)
Mostly just lots and lots of guards. Also a water elemental in a hot spring. And then we captured that fae-kin bard/evil herald from a few sessions back. And so the group leveled up to 4 at the end of the session. Of course finding someplace to rest and get the full effects of said leveling could be a bit tricky while in a relatively small tower dungeon.

Also hopefully this crosspost works...
lurkerwithout: (Cat Jedi)
On the trail to the Pale Tower goes the party.
And on that trail do they encounter a crow.
A magical, talking crow.
Neither Natural nor Planar, but Arcane is this crow.

And the crow doth try to pickpocket attack.
But fumble does the magic crow.
And so captured is the talking crow.
And then interogatted with truth spells he is.

Bargains are made with the crow.
Magical items are earned for his freedom.
And spying mirrors are given.
The wizard is happy with his magic brooch.

Off is sent the crow.
No more to steal from the party.
Instead he will pester the spy in the last town.
Goodbye new friend crow.


Oh and we got to the Tower and bluffed past the gate guards and then had to fight an ice troll.  Which left everyone less than 50xp from 4th level.
lurkerwithout: (Cat Jedi)
A quick getaway is not in the cards for the party.  Instead of sneaking away from the village, the party gets in a battle.  Luckily, its two seperate fights against the Queen's Guards and each is handled by the group.  And THEN the party leaves town for the Pale Tower.
lurkerwithout: (Cat Jedi)
With the party now in Irrisen and traveling with the NPC mom to the doll-ghost exposition happens.  But before reaching the nearest village, a night-time Skulk ambush.  They tried to steal our horses and other stuffs but instead got death.   Taste moose fury Skulks!

Anyway, we reach the village and its an almost exact duplicate of the original village.  Strange mystical convergance?  Deadly conspiracy?  Paizo not wanting to pay for two distinct maps?  Who can say!

What with being in a town, loots were divied, supplies were purchased and low-end magical gear was dangled just out of our collective buying power to taunt us for not being evil.  Also Bryon's cleric may have tipped off the local informant that dangerous adventures were about.  So that the session ends with the group preparing to flee towards the capitol.
lurkerwithout: (Cat Jedi)
Most of this session was of the book-keeping variety.  Finalizing 3rd level upgrades, updating Bill's notes on the PCs and sorting the loot from the troll mini-boss.  Which included our second long-term magic item, a +1 boar spear of manhunting.  It resizes which was nice and holds a target on criticals.  Frazer ended up picking it for his halfling cavalier.  I also realized, given how frequent heavy snow terrain is likely to be ongoing, that feather step was better 1st level choice than entangle and Bill let me swap them.  After that we headed thru the portal to Irrisen.  Where more snow, shockingly.  And then we rescued some locals from a giant mantis and got some more back story.  Especially on the murder doll.

No wait, backing up.  Before heading into the portal an old and dying warrior stumbled out of it.  He was one of Baba Yaga's knights, the Black Rider and he info dumped the main plot of the Adventure Path.  Stopping one of Baba Yaga's daughters from her coup of Irrisen and creating a world of constant winter.  And by taking on the dying servant's task we got a new trait, the Black Rider's Mantle, which resulted in everyone getting to add a +2 to one of their stats.  I went with CON for more hit points.  THEN we rested and went thru the portal.
lurkerwithout: (Cat Jedi)
Normally I'd recap, but Bill did a great one already.   Sooooo..YOINK:


Recap: The party made it to the Winter Portal...or at least an igloo camp located at the same spot on the map. After healing up Arasmus, who was promptly attacked by the soul doll he'd been carrying in his bag, the final leg of the journey led through heavy snow to a clearing where four igloos stood. Before investigating the igloos the party was attacked by a Thunderstone from above.

A group of winter touched fey including 3 Sprites led byan Atomie kept the fighters busy while a Moss Troll approached from the forest. The troll speared Fixlith, who was trying to get a bearing on the Atomie, critically injuring the Elven wizard. Stomper moved to aid and was also speared. Being harrased by a summoned eagle Fixlith managed to critically injure the troll using the Wand of Scorching Ray and Gnawbones and Stomper finished it off as Fixlith fell unconscious from his wounds.

Meanwhile, Situbu was in a battle for his life vs. the Atomie behind the igloo out of sight from his companions. After the troll was defeated Gnawbones was able to squeeze through the frozen tree to aid Situbu, who prevailed with the atomie on the end of his spear.

The snow settles and as the party heals Fixlith and the other injured members, you realize the winter portal is literally yards away.

That basically wrapped the part 2 of the module.  So far we are flying thru this thing.

lurkerwithout: (Cat Jedi)
The session started with the group maneauvering through a field of ice boulders (with spooky moving shadows) in pursuit of a weird little girl.  Which led to a hut (on fake carved chicken legs) with a creepy doll with a magical gem eye.  So after some study, of course we took the doll with us.  After that was an ambush by that giant weasel, a small air elemental and another ice mephit.  After many, many low combat rolls the creatures were defeated.  With the mephit being finished off by Eric's wizard using some charges from his rented wand of scorching ray.  Which left my character FOUR xp short of third level. 
lurkerwithout: (Cat Jedi)
Started off with everyone updating our character info for 2nd level for Bill's pc notes.  Then the party headed back to town again, though not before id'ing the magic cloak that was part of the bandit loot.  It was a pretty nice cloak too, a Cloak of the Yeti.  Free endure elements, barkskin and a +2 to intimidate.  So after deciding we'd go with the Buy-In for magic items (where a party member pays or agrees to pay in the future the wholesale value of the item to the group) I ended up picking it up for Gregor, my Hunter.  Then back to town and some "Princess" rescueing story awards and the exchange of piles of looted equipment for goods.  Including another war horse to go with the three we got from the bandits.  Then back to the Woods.

And despite bookkeeping and shopping we still managed to get in multiple encounters before calling the night.  Several Frost Firs, which seem to be cold climate variations on vegepygmies.  And a mephit.  Luckily we mostly made our saves against its spell attacks and it went down to multiple burning hands and ranged attacks.  And a few more of those frost skellies showed up as well.  And we found the remains of one of the local hunters, who seemed to have fallen to a giant weasel of some kind.  Luckily, for us not the dead guy, his gear included a couple of magic arrows with animal bane enchantments that the roommates' Investigator laid claim to.
lurkerwithout: (Cat Jedi)
This week's battle against the bandits in the Lodge in the Unnatural Winter Woods would be the climax of chapter one of the module.  And it truly was a climatic 1st level fight.  The Desna-ian cleric kept critting bandits with his long spear, the demi-dead wolf power attacked others to pieces (unitl his halfling cavalier was knocked out and the beast returned to its' pokeball), both my moose and the wizard were dropped to 0-hp and staggering.  But in the end the bandits were slain, the frozen undead were destroyed, the bandit captain was captured and the noblewoman was rescued.  Plus we gained a potential NPC recruit in Tenpenny the half-orc cook/rogue AND a winter fae in a cage.  Oh and maps that included where ambush sites and the magical portal causing the unnatural Winter are.  But most importantly, DING for level two.
lurkerwithout: (Cat Jedi)
With Aaron off again, Bill took over his halfling ghost-rider cavalier.  Much of the first half of game was spent getting back to town with our prisoner, followed by some rest and recuperation.  Then after selling our loot (including finding a buyer for the dimunitive faerie gear) general shopping (mostly for spell writing inks) and info gathering.  Where Bill taunted us with magic items owned by people willing to sell but WAAAAAAAAY out of our 1st level price range.  Yes, we know BIll.  We're NOT playing evil murder hobos who'd just slaughter the townsfolk for the good stuff.  Stop pointing out the ring of force owned by the general store owner.

Then it was back to the frozen woods and eventually a cabin that looks to be the base for a group of bandit/mercenaries.  Likely the low-end fodder for the kidnapping that started us off.  We got some scouting in and then a first strike on one of the bandits who was distracted by a moose (Stomper) chased by an undead wolf (Gnawbones).  And after a round of getting into position, we stopped for the night before the battle could really get going.
lurkerwithout: (Cat Jedi)
Despite the distraction of the election results the game continued.  The party even made significant progress along the frozen trail.  Dealing with an atomie sprite and its charmed elk, a frozen stream crossing with snow man trap and small ice elementals.  And then finally taking down a trio of archers.  We even managed to capture one as a prisoner.  Group is soooo close to hitting that first level up.  All of which still didn't change how fucking depressing the drive home was where I had to finally just turn off NPR for my own sanity.
lurkerwithout: (Book on bed)
July
Short FictionAliette de Bodard's "Lullaby For a Lost World", Douglas F Warrick's "Sic Semper, Sic Semper", Justina Ireland's "Aisle 13", Gretchen McNeil's "By the Star-Dogged Moon", Chris McKitterick's "Waking the Predator", Mari Mansusi's "the Princess Can Save Herself", Ninu Allen's "the Art of Space Travel" and Sarn Raasch's "Seven Lifetimes"

New Reads:
Ferret Steinmitz' Flex: An interesting magic-system and world building for his urban fantasy series.  But while pretty good overall, the book didn't really grab me enough to continue on with the series it starts.
Lois McMaster Bujold's Penric & the Shaman:  Continuing on with the Penric stories in her "Chalion" series.
Michael Chabon's Telegraph Avenue: I think this is the first Chabon book I just didn't like.  Not sure why.
Cecil Castellucci's Stars in the Sky:  Sequel to Castellucci's YA sci-fi/western Tin Star.  Lots of neat "alien" aliens and the space station setting goes from near Ghost Town to Boom Town.
KJ Parker's the Last Witness:  1st person tale of revenge from a very unreliable narrator.
Douglas Hulick's Among Thieves:  Down in the streets with the scum style fantasy.

Rereads:
Alan Dean Foster's Into the Out Of:  I was pretty sure this was one of Foster's books I'd read when first bingeing on him back in high school.  But I honestly couldn't recall any of it until the end and the thing with the eyes.
Tamora Pierce's Rebekah Cooper: Terrier & Bloodhund:  Didn't reread the third book because the ending makes me sad.  And in a depressed kind of way.
Harry Turtledove's the Misplaced Legion & Empoeror for the Legion:  If I recall Amazon had the ebook omnibus edition of these two on sale.

Graphic Novels/TPBs/Rulebooks:
Kate Leth, Brittany L. Williams & Natasha Allegri's Patsy Walker aka Hellcat vol.1: Hooked on a Feline
David Wills' Dumbing of Age vol.5: Hey, Guess What, I'm a Lesbian

Total: 14


August
Short Fiction:  Annie Cardi's "the Ones Who Survive", Bethany Hagen's "Hearth Stone Rain", Seanan McGuire's "Full of Briars" & "Velveteen vs. Going Home Again", Rudy Rucker & Bruce Sterling's "Totem Poles" & Dhonielle Clayton's "the Things Our Mothers Tell Us".

New Reads:
Kerryn Offord & RIck Boatwright's 1636: the Chronicles of Dr. Gribbleflotz.  Collecting and expanding the various short pieces into a full novel.  Plus Tom Stone gets yelled at for a being a dick in that one Mercedes Lackey short story which makes me happy.
Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu's the 3-Body Problem
Ann Leckie's Ancillary Sword
RJ Ross' Super Villain Grandpa:  More "Cape High" fluffy junk food.
David Weber/Timothy Zahn/Tom Pope's A Call to Arms:  More "Honor-verse".  Also, I've mentioned a few times before in places that I seem to only really like Zahn when he's playing in someone elses' toybox.
Django Wexler's the Guns of the Empire:  Well that was a nasy twist for "the Shadow Campaigns" series.
A. Lee Martinez' the Last Adventure of Constance Verity:  Trying to retire from a fate-given heroism and adventure.
Johnathan L. Howard's Goon Squad (issues #8-#12):  Sadly the last for awhile until Howard can find a way to make them financially workable.

Rereads:
Harry Turtledove's the Legion of Videssos & Swords of the Legion
Seanan McGuire's Rosemary & Rue
David Weber's A Rising Thunder & Shadow of Freedom

Graphic Novels/TPBs/Rulebooks:
Various writers & artists on the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl & the Great Lakes Avengers.  In addtion to all the fun GLA stuff, has the original Squirrel Girl story where she saves Tony Stark from Dr. Doom.  And canonically kicks Von Doom's metal keister.
David Petersen & various on Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard vol.3
Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting's Captain America: the Winter Soldier vol.1 & 2
Jess Fink's Chester 5000 XYV vol. 1 & 2:  Steampunk sexy time comics.
Gurihiru (mostly) & Marc Sumerak, Alex Zalben & Fred Van Lente's Power Pack: Reread my various Power Pack mini-tpbs.  Thor & the Warriors Four, Avengers/Power Pack: Assemble, Power Pack Day One, Power Pack: Pack Attack!, Fantastic Four/Power Pack: Favorite Son, Spider-Man/Power Pack: Big-City Super Heroes & Hulk/Power Pack: Pack Smash! (the only one not drawn by Gurihru, instead having David Williams, Gary Martin and Andy Kuhn).

Total: 20

September
Short Fiction:   No free standing short stories.

New Reads:
Barbara Hambly's Bride of the Rat God:  Urban fantasy/horror in the Silent Film era of Hollywood
Walt Boyes & Bjorn Hasseler (ed) Grantville Gazette vol. 65-67
Sarah Kuhn's Heroine Complex:  Millenial-age social media exploiting supers.
Adrian Tchaivosky's Spoils of War: A "Shadows of the Apt" short story collection.
Michelle West's the Uncrowned King & the Shining Court:  Books two and three of her "Sun Sword" series.
Seanan McGuire's Once Broken Faith:  Latest "Tobey McGuire", with October having to be diplomatic. Again.
Kai Ashante Wilson's the Sorcerer of the Wildeeps
Ian Thomas Healy's the Neighborhood Watch:  YA entry into Healy's "Just Cause" supers series.
Ilona Andrews' Magic Binds:  Lastest "Kate Daniels", where Kate and her chosen family have to push forward on confronting her ancient super-villain dad.
V.E. Schwab's Viscious.  Supers-style revenge with blurring of villain vs. hero.

Rereads:
David Weber's Shadows of Victory

Graphic Novels/TPBs/Rulebooks:
Stan Lee & Steve Ditko's the Amazing Spider-Man Marvel Masterworks vol.1
Pathfinder's Rise of the Runelords: Anniversary Edition
Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda's Monstress: Awakening vol.1

Total: 15
lurkerwithout: (Cat Jedi)
After various delays back to the Reign of Winter.  Where a return trip to the starting town heavy piles of salvaged arms and armor were exchanged for magic nails for all!  And then after resting, and making sure everyone had cold weather outfits, back to supernaturally frozen woods.  Eventually facing off against some malicious ice sprites.  Who, because 1st level vs. dimunitive flying targets, a lengthy battle ensued.  Wherein a masterwork snowball was used.  But still, victory!
lurkerwithout: (Cat Jedi)
So Matt decided he was burned out on D&D and cancelled his game and is taking a break from the group.  So Bill stepped up back behind the GM Screen and going with a new campaign, the Reign of Winter path set.  Our intrepid group started out in a southern Taldoran village, where the summer weather is taking a strange turn to cold.  As well as the nearby woods showing signs of much more Northerly beasts.  Leading to the abduction of a young noblewoman.  Setting off on the rescue are the roommate's human Investigator, Byron's human Cleric, Frazer's halfling Cavalier, Eric's elf (and playing the character type for the first time) Wizard and my half-orc Hunter (with baby moose companion).

After getting what limited gear was available and borrowing some horses the group found the abduction site.  And after dealing with some zombies we even recovered the dowry of the noblewoman.  Then we set off on the trail, succesfully disarming a spiked log trap and then facing a dread tasselworm? Tesselwurm?  Tusslewyrm?  Frosty, Fuzzy Murder Snake!  After that victory the rest of the group decided we should head back to town to rest and rearm instead of pushing onward...

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