Archive for November, 2014

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New Monster – Scythe Drake

30 November, 2014

Striking like lightning the winged creature, a lesser dragonkine, lashed out with its tail.  The hard bone at the end of the drake’s tail cut through the mail on the warrior’s leg and the flesh underneath as though it were water.

SCYTHE DRAKE    CR 6        XP 2,400
N Large dragon
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +17
DEFENSE
AC 21, touch 11, flat-footed 19 (+2 Dex, +10 natural, –1 size)
hp 63 (6d12+24)
Fort +9, Ref +6, Will +8
Immune sleep, paralysis
OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft., fly 60 ft. (poor)
Melee tail-slash +9 melee (2d8+6 /19-20), bite +9 melee (1d8+4), 2 wings +5 (1d6+2)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with tail)
Special Attack rake (2 talons +9, 1d6+4)
STATISTICS
Str 19, Dex 14, Con 18, Int 7, Wis 13, Cha 11
Base Atk +6; CMB +11 (+15 grapple); CMD 23
Feats Flyby Attack, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Skill Focus (Perception)
Skills Fly +5, Perception +17, Sense Motive +10, Stealth +7; Racial Modifier +4 Perception
Languages Draconic
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Pattern Seekers – Episode 17: Forbidding Island (Part One)

29 November, 2014

After having investigated some strange caves last time, this episode starts with a new arrival: Kurtz Dreiman was on the brink of being slain by satrapal agents when he found himself wakening on the black and white floor of the Complex alone but unharmed.  He goes exploring, encountering a stream of ants before moving into Thea’s room where Thea and Pho explain to him where he is and take him to meet the Shaper.

While uncertain of the Shaper and the Pattern, Kurtz sees little choice but to go along for the moment.  Soon enough he, Thea, Tack and Mirror are summoned for a new task.  The ancient home of a great dragon slayer may have been rediscovered but it will require a short sea voyage, luckily a skill set that Tack has.

Someplace like thisThe Portal places them on an abandoned hilltop among equally abandoned standing stones, marking their arrival point they head down toward the fishing village they can see down the the hillside.  Making their way down, they arrive to much polite interest.  They go to the one inn in the village, the Mermaid, where they are to meet their contact, Gordian, who will provide them with a boat.  That they do, finding a newly built boat, fully equipped with a week of supplies for five.  Tack christens it the “Lady Bess”.  After a night spent befriending the locals through gambling, and losing, story telling and buying drinks, they board the boat for their journey.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Elegant Eyes

25 November, 2014

The eyes have itThe dowager duchess entered the ballroom, still elegant and commanding for all of her advanced age.  Her quizzing cane was not in evidence and she moved with a confidence that she had not displayed in public for years.

Intrigued, I approached.  Giving her a deep bow I was unsurprised to see her eyes were still white from their cataracts, but today she wore a headband set with two eyes made of opal.

“Marquis,” she smiled, “how good to see you again.  You remain as handsome as I remember.”

I returned the smile.  “It is delightful to have your perceptive gaze back upon us, your grace.”

Elegant Eyes

 These pieces of jewelry are almost always worked into the shape of eyes or creatures with eyes, with the eyes themselves being made of gems.  Headbands are the most common but other forms are not unknown such as necklaces, broaches or even bracelets.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Ground Nightmare

18 November, 2014

Nightmares in processDoctor Thoston cleaned the sliver needle as he looked down upon his bound patient, twitching and jerking in the throws of some terrible dream.  “Fear not, I will not let you suffer for long.”  With that he inserted the needle into the patient’s temple and they immediately quieted.  With a sharp twist, the Doctor withdrew the needled, pulling with it a twisting worm made of a shadowy grey substance and placed it into a crystal box where it writhed and twisted until the lid was sealed.

The Doctor stroked his patient’s forehead, wiping away the drop of blood.  “Rest well, I have freed you of your nightmare.”

Ground Nightmare

This glossy black material is made of round grains the size of pinheads, seen out of the corner of the eye they seem to be moving on tine legs like spiders.  By touch, they are smooth and break into a charcoal grey powder is any pressure is applied, the dust is so fine that it quickly dissipates.  It can be eaten, dissolved in liquid and drunk, inhaled or smoked.

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Campaign Report – Evard’s Black Orchestra*, Fear and Loafing in Vine

17 November, 2014

*the greatest musical show that hasn’t happened yet, name subject to revision (it is noted as such on all their posters).

Having escaped the clutches of the cultists, the band finally reunited in Vine, Capital of the Eastern Storm Empire and host to the Dominion Court Music Tournament.  Jet immediately grabbed a local ne’er-do-well, pushed coins in his hands and told him to bring him someone who could provide the best local drugs.  They then make there way to the Seven Ravens, an inn secured by Igor for their use, where he, Lewis, Martin and Ozzi are awaiting them.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Unit Helm

11 November, 2014

RainonHelmets“Brave soldiers of the Union,” the young officer addressed the soldiers, mostly raw recruit fresh out of training, “we face enemies that would destroy our way of live, overturn the world we have built.”

He gestured to the gate.  “Out there, are the enemies we must defeat.  Now, ready your weapons and prepare for combat.  Today we make a stand, today we turn the tide.  For the Union and our homes!”

“For the Union!” echoed back the soldiers.

Unit Helm

These items are mass-produced by societies that have advanced in the use of magic and suddenly find themselves in need of a mass army quickly.  They are made as inexpensively and as quickly as possible to equip hastily raised military units in defense of the nation.

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In Remembrance of the Brave and Noble Who Served

11 November, 2014

Time moves on and we have reached another Armistice Day (in modern parlance Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth and Veterans Day in the US).  It originally served as a remember of the end of the Great War, the Armistice that ended the war starting at 11:11am on 11 November, 1918, and those who served and died there.  Since then, it has been expanded to include the many others who have served and died for their country in honorable service through the years.  This year, being the hundredth anniversary of the start of the Great War, evokes the memories of that conflict with a deeper resonance.

If you remember, pause for a minute of silence to honor the brave soldiers and other members of the armed forces that have guarded us -and still do- at 11:11am.

While it has been my wont in recent years to find poems from lesser known war poets, this year, partly in honor of the superb and moving field of poppies display at the Tower of London (properly called “Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red” by ceramic artist Paul Cummins), I am using the poem which inspired it:

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