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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Short Fiction: Seanan McGuire's My Last Name, Velveteen vs. the Retroactive Continuity & Velveteen Presents Jacqueline Claus vs. the Lost & Found; Stephen Leigh's the Atonement Tango
New Read: Eric Flint/Griffen Barber's 1636: Mission to the Mughals
Chuck Wendig's Star Wars: Aftermath
Yuya Sato's Dendera: Old ladies vs. enviroment. And a marauding bear.
Mira Grant's Parasite
Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl: Coming of age/starting college for the fanfic writer set.
Douglas Hulick's Sworn in Steel
Foz Meadows' An Accident of Stars. Teen travel to magical worlds now with PTSD.
Paula Goodlett/Gorg Hoff's Bartley's Man: "Ring of Fire" sidestory, specifically the Sewing Circle/OPM/Barbies bit.
Grady Hendrix' Horrorstor: There should be an umlaut over that 3rd o. Haunt at not-Ikea.
Evan Curie's Into the Black
Rachel Aaron's No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished
Rereads: Eric Flint's 1635: the Eastern Front, 1636: the Saxon Uprising & 1636: the Ottoman Onslaught
Graphic Novels/TPBs/RPGs: Chris Hastings & Guhiru's the Unbelievable Gwenpool vol.1: Believe It
Stjepan Sejic's Sunstone vol.5: Final volume of the best bdsm-lesbian-romance comic.
John Layman/Rob Guillory's Chew vol.12: Sour Grapes: More than a bit of a downer ending. Not Ex Machina levels, but still.
Short Fiction: Seanan McGuire's Lay of the Land & Velveteen vs. Recovery, Yoon Ha Lee's Extra Curricular Activities.
New Read: Robin McKinley's Deerskin
Tim Pratt's Liar's Blade: Pathfinder tie-in novel.
David Drake's Death's Bright Day: Latest "Lt. Leary".
April Daniel's Dreadnaught: Nemesis: Cape fiction with trans-female lead.
T. Kingfisher's Summer in Orcus YA magical quest from one of the best in the genre.
Ben Aaronovitch's the Hanging Tree: Latest "Rivers of London" with visits the American & Russian magic heritages.
Becky Chambers' the Long Way to the Small, Angry Planet (I'm not crying you're crying shut up) & a Closed and Common Orbit
Daniel Jose Older's Battle Hill Bolero
Jasper Fforde's the Eye of Zoltar
Jack Weathford's the Secret History of the Mongol Queens: Non-fiction history on the female Mongol leaders.
Graphic Novels/TPBs/RPGs: Jennifer Doyle's Knights Errant
Tom Neely/Keenan Marshall Keller's the Humans vol.1: Humans For Life: Planet of the Apes meets outlaw biker gangs
Short Fiction: This was basically the "Neverless, She Persisted" theme Tor.com did. With stories by Seanan McGuire, Kameron Hurley, Hyssa Wong, Carrie Vaughn, Chalie Jane Anders, Nisi Shawl, Brooke Bolander, Jo Walton, Amal El-Mohter, Catherynne M. Valente.
New Read: Jo Walton's the Just City: Athena & Apollo attempt to create Plato's "perfect" Just City. Shockingly the actual and the theoretical do not mesh perfectly.
Chuck Wendig's Invasive. Sequel to the Zer0es. With this second volume its very much supers type bad guy in an espionage/adventure setting.
Chuck Wendig's Atlanta Burns: the Hunt: 2nd of his YA white-trash pulp. "Winter's Bone" meets Veronica Mars I guess.
RJ Ross' Coyote's Howl: Latest "Cape High" book.
C.B. Lee's Not Your Sidekick: YA semi-dystopian with supers.
Seanan McGuire's Magic For Nothing: Latest "InCryptid", with youngest sibling Antimony this time.
Patricia Brigg's Silence Fallen: Latest "Mercy Thompson", with Mercy kidnapped to Europe 'cause vampire politics. And the vamps are really the last interesting part of Brigg's urban fantasy series.
Jim Butcher/Kerrie L. Hughes' (ed) Shadowed Souls: Urban fantasy anthology.
Louis McMaster Bujold's Mira's Last Dance
Anne Leckie's Ancillary Mercy
Matt Dunn's A Day at the Office
Clifford D. Simak's City
George R.R. Martin/Melinda Snodgrass' (ed) High Stakes: This "Wild Cards" volume was actually a bit too dark even for me. I'm looking forward to at least slightly more upbeat future books.
Rereads: John Scalzi's Lock In & Redshirts
Douglas Adams' the Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. Rereading this I'm suddenly left with the feeling Adams just gave up around the final act.
Graphic Novels/TPBs/RPGs: G. Willow Wilson/Adrian Alphona/Tekeshi Miyezawa/Cameron Stewart's Ms. Marvel vol.6: Civil War II: Carole is in an idjit, out-idioting Tony from the first one.
Gwenda Bond/Kate Leth's Girl Over Paris: Lady high-wire walker vs. ghost mystery.
Marguerite Bennett/Ming Doyle/Marguerite Sauvage/Laura Bragen's Bombshells vol.1: Enlisted
Kate Leth/Brittany Williams' Patsy Walker aka Hellcat! vol.2: Don't Stop Me-ow. Now with teen mom/vampire Jubilee.
Tom King/Michael Walsh/Gabriel Walte/Mike Del Muado's Vision vol.2: Better Than a Beast
Jason Bulmahn's (et al) Pathfinder: Horror Adventures
Sandy Petersen's (et al) Call of Cthulhu: Keeper's Handbook
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.
The next time we tried "White Knight" with Harry, Karrin, Sanya (still me), Ramirez and Butters. Again it came down to single roll of six dice. And again we lost after a zero result.
Then we got back to CoC, with the same group of Wooster & Jeeves and my giant Hawai'in. This first session was basically set-up, with us arriving in London, some avoiding of Wooster's family and then attending a Challenger lecture on ghosts by our main contact. Then waiting to hear back from said contact about what we were going to be tasked with investigating. But before that, a mysterious fire and three dead men with the same name. So that is where we'll start next time.
Also hopefully this crosspost works...
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.
The next day we attempted to report our missing person to the local cops to no effect. And checked with the grocery store where our deranged and doomed grocery clerk worked. Minimal gains there as well. We did notice an ongoing pattern of injury to eyes amongst the townsfolk. After that we headed out to the farm owned by the local handyman who dragged off Kenny's body last time. And had a bad reputation. There we came upon some goons and what looked to be a mob digging a giant hole. Violence ensued, with the goons drawing knives after mention was made of the rampant pink eye going about. The mob seemed to be some kind of forced labor and fled the farm after the fight. And interogation was attempted on the surviving goons but to no avail. And then we searched the farm, finding a drawer full of assorted key rings, a barn full of cars and eventually a group of filled in giant holes. Investigation of one revealing it was mass grave. Leading to more shock and horror to poor, innocent Wooster.
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.
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.
A quick drive up from New York to Connecticut and we get to the professor's house. But no one is home. The door is open so we head on in. A quick search doesn't turn up the missing Prof, but we do find our boat tickets and travel papers. But no sign of violence or a rushed exit. Though while looking thru his study a maddened grocery clerk throws a rock through the window and attempts to attack. Max subdues him and keeps him from attacking Wooster & Jeeves with a jagged piece of glass wielded bare-handed. But Kenny (he had a name tag on his smock) wriggles free and bolts outside. Where poor Wooster gets to see the local Sheriff blow Kenny's head open without warning.
After that we visit with the Prof's secretary who lives nearby. She seems worried and harried and is holding something back. But not even Wooster's charm and offers of a new better paying job get any more details from her. And Jeeves and I observe her slightly off twin girls. Who, when they think they're not being watched, go from sweet if gifted little girls to cruel people who verbally tear into their mother. Very odd.
We finish up with a meal at the main local eatery, Mother's Bakery, a restaurant noted for its wonderful pancakes. Wooster and I indulge in a meal and aren't poisoned, drugged or turned into Deep Ones.
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.
Short Fiction: No free range fiction at all that month.
New Reads: Brandon Sanderson's Warbreaker.
Eric Flint's 1636: the Ottoman Onslaught
Rereads: So I started rereading all of the Ring of Fire books (not including the semipro Gazettes)
Eric Flint's 1632
Eric Flint (ed) Ring of Fire vol. 1-3, Grantville Gazette vol. 1-6
Eric Flint/David Weber's 1633 & 1634: the Baltic War
Eric Flint/Virginia DeMarce's 1634: the Ram Rebellion, 1634: the Bavarian Crisis & 1635: the Dreeson Incident
Eric Flint/Andrew Dennis' 1634: the Galileo Affair & 1635: the Cannon Law
Eric Flint/Charles Gannon's 1635: the Papal Stakes
Virginia DeMarce's 1635: the Tangled Web
Graphic Novels/TPBs/RPGs: 7th Sea 2nd Edition
G. Willow Wilson & various artists' Ms. Marvel Vol. 5: Super Famous
Tom King, Gabriel Walta & Mike Del Mundo's Vision Vol.1: Little Worse Than a Man
Short Fiction: Drew Hayes' Supervillain Apology Letter, Johnathan Carroll's the Loud Table, Chuck Wendig's Beware of Owner & This Guy.
New Reads: Drew Hayes' Going Rogue (more NPCs turned Adventurers)
Maggie Stiefvater's Sinner (Coming of age while trying to date a werewolf rock star)
Bob Defendi's Death by Cliche (Unfunny garbage I only got several chapters in before metaphorically tossing it)
Stephen King's Joyland
David Weber's At the Sign of the Triumph (9th and final "Safehold" book. At least until Weber decides to do another arc)
Lois McMaster Bujold's Penric's Mission
Poul Anderson's 3 Hearts & 3 Lions (enh, I've liked other P. Anderson, but not this time)
R.J. Ross' Mic Drop (newest "Cape High")
K.D. Spengler's Brute Force (latest "Rachel Peng")
Rereads: Eric Flint/Andrew Dennis' 1635: Parcel of Rogues
Eric Flint/David Carrico's 1636: the Devil's Opera
Eric Flint/Charles Gannon's 1636: Commander Cantrell in the West Indies
Eric Flint (ed) Ring of Fire 4
Graphic Novels/TPBs/RPGs: Shaenon Garrity & Jeffrey G. Well's Skin Horse Vol.6
Roger Stern, Gerry Conway, Bill Mantlo, Mike Magnola, Kevin Nowlan & Gene Colan's Dr. Strange & Dr. Doom: Triumph & Torment (Strange and Von Doom team up to breach Hell and rescue Doom's mom)
Chris Claremont & John Byrne's X-Men: Days of Future Past
Steve Englehart, Roy Thomas, Ross Andru, Sal Buscema & Neal Adams' Defenders Masterworks Vol.1
Short Fiction: Catherynne M. Valente's the Beasts Who Fought For Fairyland, Mavisela Navarro Reverse Documentary & Carrie Vaughn's the Thing About Growing Up in Jokertown
New Reads: James S.A. Corey's Caliban's War (2nd "Expanse" book. I will likely be able to juuuuust keep ahead of the tv show)
Catherynne M. Valente's the Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
Lexie Dunne's How to Save the World
Blythe Woolston's MARTians (box store service industry slow slide into dystopia/apocalypse. extra depressing thanks to election, even with hopeful ending)
Michael Wallace's Queen of the Void (nice enough milspec scifi, but milspec scifi writers a suggestion. there are era's OTHER than Napoleonic Europe and Victorian Colonialism to base your future societys on. just sayin'.)
Anne Pederson's 1635: the War for the Rhine
Jay M. Gates/Andrew Liptak (ed) War Stories
Karen Diem's Super
Emma Cline's the Girls (this got a lot of positive buzz last year but it did nothing for me. i quit like halfway)
Marion G. Harmon's Team Ups & Crossovers (newest "Wearing the Cape" with the lead going on a cross-dimension journey and interacting with other writer's supers universes)
Rereads:Eric Flint (ed) Grantville Gazette 7
Eric Flint/Walter H. Hunt's 1636: the Cardinal Virtues
Eric Flint/Paula Goodlett/Georg Huff's 1636: the Kremlin Games
Terry Pratchett's Hogfather (Christmas tradition)
Graphic Novels/TPBs/RPGs: Mark Waid, Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson's Star Wars: Princess Leia
Kieron Gillen & Salvador Larroca's Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol.1 (i can't say for the rest of the Marvel run, but these two were both VERY good and I'll probably get more of the Vader series)
Eiichiro Oda's One Piece: New World (finished vol.82 which seemed to finish up this arc)
Tony Isabella, Bill Mantlo, George Tuska & John Byrne's the Champions Marvel Masterworks vol.1
Christopher Baldwin's Anna Galactic
Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare, Natacha Bustos' Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur vol.1: BFF
Nick Spencer, Ramon Rosanas & Mark Brooks' the Astonishing Ant-Man vol.1: Everybody Loves Team-Ups (i like Spencer's lower tier comedy books but do not care for his take on Captain America. or his strange no punching nazi positions.)
After that was mostly prep for the next game, and for Bryon's turn he's going with 7th edition Call of Cthulhu 1920s, using the Orient Express sourcebook. The roommate & Frazer are going with CoC versions of Wooster & Jeeves. Alyce will be giving tabletop another try, brining in an a archeologist. I'm still not sure. I rolled up a few different possiblities. Maybe a Quebecois goon or punk kid crook.
And we finished up the night with a game of En Garde. Which came down to me and Frazer. And he managed to eventually overwhelm me, though I came close, whittling him down from a 4 point Poise lead to just 1.