Last week, three characters almost died and it was all my fault. This week, two characters came even closer to death and it had nothing to do with me. And then I fell and practically broke my legs. But, let’s start at the beginning of this week. (As a note, the player for Octavia was absent this week, so she played no role in these events)

After successfully making our way down to the first gallery, we decided to check out the shorter shafts first. Our logic was if we fell, we probably wouldn’t die. Probably.

The first shaft we looked at was about twenty feet deep. The bottom was moldy as far as we could see, and while it had a ladder, moldy wood was not exactly something that’s conductive to climbing easily down it.

To that end, we decided to look at the other, 30-foot shaft. On first inspection, it had a pile of rubble from a cave in at the bottom. Some bones. Some pants. Carric descends first, using a safety line to secure his way down the shaft. On reaching the bottom, he sees a 70ft gallery, with the entrance being only about 10 feet from one end. After he makes his way down, Haltz, myself, and Ronin also descend.

Ronin and I both begin investigating the rubble. I find that it is easily not a cave in – The pants, for one, are at the wrong angle. But on further inspection, we’re interrupted by an investigating grunt/cry.

Everybody turns, and I spotlight an ugly, wretched goblin type thing with my lantern. Startled, it turns and runs, diving down a shaft along a rope tied to it. Carric and I both run after. Carric isn’t fast enough to catch him, and I fall flat on my face, extinguishing the lantern in the process.

Not pausing, Carric jumps on the rope and climbs down after the goblin, landing in a pile of awful nasty detritus – Sticks, mud, plant bits, and the like. He does see the goblin scurry into a tunnel, and while the rest of us climb down after, he goes in and looks.

It isn’t a large enough tunnel for the rest of us to fit in, and it goes out further past the mine. Haltz feels a breeze, and we guess this might be another entrance to the mine for the goblins. Not being able to enter the tunnel, I suggest that we fill the bottom of the shaft with some of the rubble, ensuring at the very least we won’t be backstabbed on our exploration through the rest of the mine. This is done using stones from the not-cave-in, and in the process we find that it looks less like a cave in and more like a set of nasty, awful, goblin beds.

The room also has a second exit, a shaft that leads down into piles of things. Broken barrels, sacks, half eaten limbs, and the like. Again, Carric descends first using a safety line. Midway down the shaft, the safety line comes into good use when half the ladder is missing and broken, leaving just a single pole on one side before resuming its normal form.

Before he can reach the bottom, a javelin comes flying out of the dark, clattering off the stones next to his face. Dropping the last few feet and taking some minor injuries in the process, Carric tries to hide in the rubble at the bottom but sees nothing. Haltz and myself, having seen and heard the spear, secure a line and I descend rapidly on it, ignoring the ladder.

As I descend, Carric stands – and almost fatal move. As he does so, the javelin thrower reveals himself, skewering Carric and sending him immediately unconscious. At this point, the great goblin charges me, his two-handed morning star swinging at me. Thankfully, my armor saves me from damage, and Hatlz arrives behind me, a much-needed boost.

He swings at the goblin before being fully down, using the rope as both a fist weapon and a balance for a kick. Sadly, neither connects, but the Goblin’s attack on Haltz hits. I swing, missing as well, and Haltz makes a second attack that also fails. The goblin, not content on one hit to Haltz, smacks him one more time, this time dealing a significant amount of damage to him and knocking him unconscious as well.

At this point, Ronin – who had managed to not notice the javelin in the first place, notices we’re having the snot beaten out of us and joins us at the bottom. As if trying to make up for his lack of noticing, he attacks the goblin, one punch missing wide but the other slamming into the goblin.

I swing again, but again I miss. Proving his worth, Ronin smacks the goblin again, and my next attack finally hits, my glaive cleaving the goblin in two. The inside of this goblin is as corrupted as the outside, covered in black and green nastiness, and somehow withered without impeding the goblin.

Ronin tends to Haltz and Carric, and then searches the room while I watch the entrance behind us. He finds a preliminary mining tunnel that leads to the main shaft, and after he is done searching I look at a pair of bodies in the corner.

One is a peasant, their throat slashed. The other is a man in gear similar to the guards in the town, his armor and side punctured by a hole that match the one made in Carric by the javelin. On him, I find a locket, a small painting of a woman inside. Thinking it might be of use, I put it in my pack. It may come in handy later. I also investigate the shaft, and as I look into the main shaft I see a guard fall screaming down it. He hits the net that Haltz had secured previously, but the fall was too great. His scream is silenced in a way that only death can manage, and continues falling down the shaft beyond us.

After resting for some time, allowing Carric and Haltz to regain some of their strength, we make our way to the main gallery. We test the rope to the surface, and it is secure. At the very least we’ll be able to make our way back up. Deciding the best decision was to press onward, we head down to the moldy shaft, with Ronin leading this time due to Carric’s injuries. Ronin lands, seeing the entirety of the cavern is filled with the mold. Spotting an interesting puddle with a corpse in it, he heads towards it. The corpse seems intact, but the breastplate it was wearing is quite a bit dissolved.

However, the room disagreed with the invasion, and was suddenly filled with a loud, wretched, screeching noise. I was most of the way to the bottom, but the shrieking startled me and I fell the last few feet, landing heavily. At this point, I reach in and find my second wind, bringing me back up to full fighting shape.

Carric and Haltz descend fairly quickly, and Halts quickly identifies four fungi that are emitting the shrieking. Letting Carric know which ones they are, Carric fires at each, but they remain in their ear-splitting noise mode.

Ronin, meanwhile, has noticed that the puddle has started moving, if slowly. Seeing Carric firing at the fungi, I make my way towards one, but a dart from Haltz kills it before I can reach it. However, this distraction allows me to spot that the puddle REALLY seems to like me. It is slowly reaching out towards me, and noting how slow it is moving I grab a flask of oil and throw it on the thing.

With that opportunity, Ronin lights the thing on fire with his torch while Carric finishes the fungi off, allowing our hearing to return to normal. With a few more arrows, Carric stops the now-flaming puddle, which quickly sputters out as the oil is consumed.

The area secure, we look around, finding another passage leading to the main shaft and two shafts leading down. One is unfinished, simply a hole that ends after a short distance. The other one leads about forty feet down to another gallery. It is there that we call time on the session.

In all, we managed to not die a horrid death from the goblin, possibly seal an entrance of theirs, and clear a room of fungi designed by a wretched god. Who knows what we will come across next week.

Kashua, Accursed of Blood

Other Titles: Bloody One, She the All Seeing, The Final Breath

Alignment: NE

Weapon: Sickle ( Dream Sever)

Major Domains: Blood, Dying, Divination

Minor Domains:  Famine, Bad Omens, Harvest

Totem Animal: Vulture

Holy Symbol: A single, bright red blood drop, often stylized, with the drop encasing a howling skull. Sometimes this is worn on a necklace or a bracelet, but it is worn as a circlet as well, with the blood drop settling between the eyes.

Favored Appearances: Kashua is often seen walking the earth, but it is not a pleasant tiding. Her favorite form of a wizened old man or woman tend to share the same features. Long, dying gray hair with cataract covered eyes, hunching over a walking stick of some sort. Both have lost most of their teeth and seem to be at the end of their lives. They always seem to be followed by vultures as if to telegraph their imminent demise. Both speak slowly and deliberately, never lying or attempting to deceive the listener. Her appearance in an area spooks the locals, who see in her both the coming of fall and the signs of the first frost in her footsteps both portents of the hard winter to follow.

Warform: A vulture of great size, as all warforms, hers is composed of solid rock, somehow afloat on the air none the less. Its Beak and Talons are sharp and made of obsidian while her feathers are carved in intricate patterns, often with shrieking faces being visible. She tends to lead armies on recon missions and attempts to outflank and out maneuver. with her ability to divine the future, she is always a great assett.

Personality:  The Accursed of Blood is a solitary individual. She keeps to herself and makes no lasting bonds with others. She is selfish and needy, as well, requiring attention from whoever seeks her out, and desiring to keep what she has attained for herself. Those who follow her and revere her offer up to her enormous amount of blood as sacrificial offers, and she receives it all, regardless of source. She has a small conflict with Ariannas, the Paltonarch of Banditry and violence due to the amount of unconsecrated blood she spills and wastes on a daily basis. Her association with the Accursed comes from the sly words of Ferosh, who brought to her awareness her vital connection to all the creatures in the world and that without her, without her massive power, their would be no life! She took this to heart and believes that the wrongs she is suffering now are the fault of the Paltonarchs not acknowledging the primacy of the younger gods, and the fault and blame of all the decisions made since then lies squarely on the four gods of the Elements.

Teachings: Kashua’s Teachings are fairly straight forward. She is the lifeblood of all living beings. As the Goddess of both Blood and Harvest, she has the ability to kill with a single displeasure. She is also the god of dying: not death, or the afterlife, simply the act of passage between one form of existence and the other. She believes that life is a choice and that if you so desire both suicide and death in combat or some such other means is a glorious, well deserved, end. To honor the goddess of blood is with living sacrifices, swift harvest and bloody deaths. What was once a well respected and admired following have now become ostracized on the outskirts of society.

Abode: Kashua lives in the Avra Geldura,  the old tongue phrase that roughly translates the beginning of blood. A dark maroon wooden structure deep within the mercury and Lead swamps in the heart of the Iron Marches, it is from here that she makes her stories and attacks deep into the contested lands.

Cultists: Those who follow Kashua are branded as lunatics and heretics among their societies.  Believing that bleeding out their sacrificial victims and letting them expire over the longest space of time will assist in harvests and prevent Famine, they are only sought out in the very worst of times to either alleviate plague or to bring a much needed boost to an ailing crop.  with their ability to divine the cause of the problems and the best possible outcome, they can spell out the best way to appease the goddess. Often demanding the the best and largest animal with the most blood for sacrifce, and have been known to bleed out animals for hours before letting them expire. Often, these fanatics are lone hermits in the deepest parts of the woods or high in the hills simply to perform their devotions to their chosen god in peace.

Clerical Attire/colors:  The colors of the goddess of blood are lighter tans and grays, with a rope of blood red or deep maroon around the waist. Their worship and sacrificial robes are very different, with each drop of  blood bringing character to the sacrificial robes. Priests often wield no weapons and carry no arms but a single sacrificial sickle that is used to open veins and arteries.

Followers: Most of her followers are loners and hermits, with a few doctors, teachers and farmers mixed in. Warriors and assassins also often worship her, so that when the day comes, their blood may work their way into her already massive power and grant them status in the afterlives.

Few Succeed.

Last week was spent mostly with making characters and setting the foundation for this week’s gaming. This week, we tried our hardest to kill off our painstakingly-made characters.

It was midday when we arrived in Meturius, and we then proceeded to make our way down the road to the mine. This took the rest of the day, and as the sun was setting we reached the camp of four guards who were charged with watching the mine.

They were not informed of our arrival. Upon asking for our reason for being there, Ronin replied “We’re here to fix your dragon problem!”

The guards were not amused. They had no dragon. They weren’t even sure they had goblins. They were also significantly less amused by Carric’s proclamation of “We’re the idiots that were sent to clear out your mine.”

To make things even better, a horse and rider came thundering up the road, barely halting before horrifically trampling all of us. Seemingly compounding the fact that we’re a bunch of idiots, the crazy horse lady announced that the Constable, the one that had hired us, had doubts for the four of us completing the mission alone and sent her.

And then she proceeded to dismount and almost started a fight with her horse. While Carric explained things with the guards, the woman simultaneously attempted to pawn the horse off onto one of the guards and do whatever care she could for it. While she didn’t like the horse (And the horse didn’t like her much either!), she wasn’t one to let it just die.

In the interest of making the guards not immediately hate our guts, I passed the one that had been roped into horse duty a couple of silver pieces. They had no food, no equipment, and certainly weren’t expecting such a burden.

When the horse was dealt with, Carric had not only managed to secure us a location to camp for the night (An empty field behind the guards’ camp), but had made a bet with one of the guards on our survival in the mines.

The night passed uneventfully, with the new member Octavia quizzing each of the rest of us on our backgrounds. After our rest, we were escorted to the mine by Carric’s guard friend, who explained to the guards at the entrance what we were doing. Again, wanting to encourage positive thoughts on us, I gave him a silver piece for his troubles. If all goes well, there will be plenty enough coin to replace it.

This mine is more in the Roman style – essentially straight down. This created some problems – First, we had to find a way down. After Ronin took a peek down seemingly-endless shaft, I lit my bullseye lantern and we made our way forward.

Carric found a winch mechanism, which I managed to figure out how to work. Octavia, meanwhile, found the platform which we figured they used and used her rope tying skills learned at sea to rig it up to the winch.

Gathering as many rocks as we could, I lowered it down in a test. It failed, dumping the rocks down the shaft and into the water at the bottom. One of the knots had come loose, and after I returned the platform to the surface it was obvious that the whole thing had almost fallen completely off.

Octavia set about her knot-tying again, but thankfully Carric decided to keep an eye, finding some issues with the knots and having her re-tie them properly. With that issue settled, it was time for the real test – Sending Haltz and Carric down into the first gallery, about two hundred feet below us.

I volunteered to operate the winch, being the strongest of the group. I also wouldn’t have to trust someone else with lowering me down, especially given the fact that if we had trusted the previous knots, someone would have died.

Sending them down was uneventful. Someone stumbled a little upon getting off, but that’s to be expected with a jury-rigged rope elevator. It was at this point that I realized just how much work it was to lower two fully-equipped adventurers two hundred feet down a hole, winch or no winch.

Bringing the platform back up was easy, and it was at this time that Octavia decided to ask one of the guards outside to help us back up after we made our decent. Somehow, an exit plan had not exactly been considered by any of the rest of us.

With our return route secured, it was time to send down Octavia and Ronin. This was where the fun begins. About halfway down, I loose control of the winch for just a second. The platform tips, spilling both Octavia and Ronin off, with at least 650 feet of shaft below them. Even had they managed to land in the first mining gallery where Haltz and Carric were waiting, the fall would have left them as little more than smears.

Like something out of a cartoon, Octavia managed to catch herself on one of the platform’s eye hooks, and then Ronin, missing the platform, managed to latch on to Octavia’s leg. Realizing that holding on to someone that was similarly holding on to something else was a Bad Idea, Ronin managed to grab onto the platform, both helping level it out and reducing the strain on Octavia.

With the pair now dangling, it was a significantly easier option to resume lowering them. Pulling them up would have been much harder, and they were just as far from the surface as they were from the gallery. Haltz and Carric, having heard their shouting, were standing by to help them off the platform without having them fall down the remainder of the shaft.

With no others to lower me down, I decided to reclaim the extra climbing rope, secure the winch, and climb down the line to the platform. This was easier said than done, and a simple loss of grip led me to plummet fifty feet before suffering pretty heavy rope burn before stopping myself. On finishing the journey down, Haltz took some of the rope and some of his pitons, making a net at the shaft’s hole. At the very least, the platform wouldn’t be lost even if someone above cut the rope.

The mining gallery we now stood in was pretty significant. About 150 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 15 feet tall, it was obvious that a significant amount of effort had been put into this mine. This was just the first gallery, and there were four shafts leading from it. One was the main shaft, heading down another 500 feet or so beyond where we were currently. Another looked like the mine’s secondary shaft, and a third was fairly short. The fourth shaft decended some distance before terminating in rubble, but not before expanding into another mining gallery.

That is where we left off this week. Three people almost died in the first 250 feet of our adventure, with no monsters needed. Plus, I had my hand in all three!

And as it would be unfair to leave Octavia without an introduction:

Name: Octavia

Race/Class: Human Cleric (Disciple of Nera)

Background: Coming from a merchant family devoted to Nera, Octavia was sent to a boarding school run by the priesthood of Nera. There, she learned many things about exploration and the oceans, things that would be useful for an adventurer. Upon her graduation, the head of the school arranged for her to have some work with the Obsidian Vault Reclamations, who then assigned the poor woman to work with us.

Over the last 18 years, I’ve DM’d nearly exclusively in a world of my own creation. It’s a fairly cold place, with short cool summers and brutal, cold winters but life has managed to grab hold, and civilization is nothing if not persistent. I’ve generally focused on the relatively medieval nation of Tyrndall and its fall from powerful nation to a despotic Tyranny, and I think it’s time for a change of pace. Tyrndall’s main rival and sufferer of equal misfortune is the late republican Roman based Killbar. Though the adventurers had heard about what had happened and even visited the land once or twice, the perils of its peoples and the darkness that has fallen on the land hasn’t really been showcased.

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How Long have I been doing this? As long as I can remember, almost. Dying, reviving and dying again, battling my way through hordes of undead and their legions of lords, overseers and taskmasters, each locked in place. Now, however, I feel it. Its almost time. I am almost there.

OH. RIGHT. SPOILER DISCLAIMER. I’M TALKING ABOUT MY DARK SOULS II BOSS FIGHTS. 

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NAME: Valeas, Goddess of Honor

Other Titles: Daughter of War, Queen of Chivalry, The Duelist, Chaste Lady

Alignment:  Lawful Good

Weapon: Great Sword (Custodian)

Major Domains: Honor, Personal Combat, Purity

Minor Domains:  Lawful Punishment, Weddings, Oaths, Duels

Totem Animal: Unicorn

Holy Symbol: An open faced helm with three long, sharply upturning horns. Two of the horns come from the Brow and one from the back of the head.

Favored Appearances: Valeas is much more active on the prime world than many of her Paltonarch peers. To aid in her ventures she has developed a form that is both nondescript and constant, enabling her to slip in and out of conflicts without much fuss. She generally appears as a woman of average height and weight, with shoulder length red hair and deep blue eyes. She has the physique and the gait of someone who’s fought for her entire life, despite being so young.

Her male form is just as standard, with bright, fiery red curly hair, dark eyes and dark skin. both forms wear half plate and carry greatswords both of unknown metal and unknown craftsmanship. in both forms, she carries with her an air of respect, but not one of command. following orders as given by the commanders of the causes she chooses to champion.

Warform:  Valeas’ warform is that of a flaming unicorn of ash and coal. Her body and coat are of condensed ashes and her eyes are blazing purple embers. her hooves and horn are wispy and fiery, shifting shape, size and form constantly as the battle wears on.

Personality: A stern warrior and a stoic champion of the causes of goodness and right, Valeas has been witness to many of the deprivations of evil in all forms, from accursed and demons to the teachings of her fellow Paltonarchs. Though it causes friction within her own family and her own organization, she stands against evil in all its principals and actions, and though it pains her personally, she has come to blows with her older brother repeatedly on the fields of the Iron Marches. Though she rarely leads the fight or determines the limits of the engagement, she is the consummate champion of a cause, seeking out the hardest and most deadly challenges facing her fellow warriors, heedless to the cost to her self. Though never called meek or timid, she does not try and impose her code of honor on others and simply seeks to lead by example.

Teachings: Valeas teaches a very strict code of conduct that tolerates no wavering or second thoughts. It is also unconcerned with actions beyond the code, giving great latitude for the student and followers to determine what causes they should champion and why. Though the code is long and detailed, the main tenants, called the Four Dictates.
1. Abide no evil either within your person or within your site. Work against it in all its forms.
2. Confront all trials directly and with force, if necessary. Lingering troubles and unanswered misdeeds will only fester and come back to haunt you.

3. Be Honorable. In nothing you do should you allow yourself to commit dark deeds or shady thoughts. Commit yourself to being the the best among those around you.

4. Follow, do not lead. Your deeds are the examples to others, and what cause you choose to follow speaks volumes. Offer your fealty, and keep to it once you see a worthy cause and leader.

Abode: As with all of the gods of war, Valeas’ castle, The Hall of Light, is on the front lines of the war with the Accursed. Unlike the others, though, her fortress is not her own. The Hall of Light is under the purview of her father, Takannas, and she rules in his name, commanding troops for him as a trusted general, but never taking the lead on her own.

Clergy: The church of Valeas is a deeply structured and ordered affair, attempting to lead the way forward with good deeds and good words. Unlike many churches, the clergy of Valeas all swear oaths of fealty to the honorable lords and dukes that they serve. Many families retain the services of the Church for generations, but some take that as an oath to the family, when it is instead an oath to each leader in turn. It is hard to find large churches of Valeas, though there are many abandoned buildings which once sheltered the faithful. The Church tends to be a school of law, teaching the next generation about the laws, traditions, customs and taboos of the land they have been born into.

Knightly Orders: Of all the gods, Valeas has the most knightly orders pledged to her. In order to not violate the fourth Dictate, each and every one is ruled by a council of knights, selected by the sworn brothers and sisters of each order. Each Order has its own term length and selection process. The greatest among these are the Chosen of Valeas, though they are few in number they are gifted with the divine manifestation of their god on Kasan: a unicorn mount. Though both men and women are Chosen, the order has an overwhelmingly female majority.  The Chosen ride into battle not as champions as causes, but as champions of concepts. Unique among the orders, their are no leaders in the Chosen, because each feels the touch of Valeas directly, and receives visions and direction from her alone.

Clerical Attire/colors: Clerics of Valeas are always ready for combat, carrying weapons, arms and armor with them at almost all times. Accessories to plain metal armor are often bone or black colored, along with a a trademark deep gray cloak, almost sliver. Pauldrons, attached over the cloak are bone colored and vary in size dependent on the tastes of the wearer.  Finally, many followers choose to sport the tri-horned helm to delineate them in combat from their lesser companions and to serve as a calling sign to the champions of their opponents: herein is a warrior of great ability and skill, meet me in battle if you dare!

Followers: Most followers of Valeas are soldiers, knights and other powerful combatants. Many oppressed or downtrodden members of society will also take to her worship to portray their goodness and be an example to others. Few Nobles or other high ranking individuals in society tend to take Valeas as their patron due to the Dictate to follow, something these individuals find extraordinarily hard to do.

Good day, and welcome again to the tales of the Obsidian Vault Reclalmations!

The first meeting of the group happened on Tuesday, and everything went quite well. There are currently four of us in the campaign – Some of the potentials had work schedule changes, or were sick, or some other problems. That’s why Tionas invited multiple people – Just In Case. So without further ado, I will introduce you to the current team:

Name: Atalian

Race/Class: Human Fighter

Description: Atalian is a stoic-looking individual. He dresses primarily in dark colors that don’t show the dirtiness of travel, his skin tanned from months of sun exposure. His black hair is kept short, and his brown eyes tend to be hard on those he watches.

His weapon is one of his prized possessions. Made for him by the Dwarves of Narunmad after he stayed and fought with them, the weapon looks much like the blade of a short sword on the end of a shaft much like a glaive would be. The haft of the weapon is carved with intricate spirals of runes, the meaning known only to him.

Atalian speaks many languages – If it is spoken by any significant population, he knows it. Killbaran, Tyrandallian, the dialects of the shared tongues of Dwarves and Orcs, Elvish, Draconic, and even Celestial, learned from his time studying with the Dwarves.

History: Atalian is the son of Tyrandall, and was sent to study with the dwarves of Narunmad, seeking knowledge on the ancient Primal language. Close to the end of his studies, the tentative peace between the Dwarves and the Giants to the south disappeared, the Giants and Dragons attacking the Dwarven cities. Atalian stayed and fought alongside the dwarves, earning his weapon in this time. He was with them as they fell back further and further, eventually reaching Kenderick, then Anzerat before making his way to the Tyrandallian city of Kendian with some of the dwarven survivors.

After ensuring his companions were situated as best as he could, he returned to Tyrandall, and was sent west in search of more information on this Primal language. He stopped in Hilea, then made his way north to the Elvish lands. He hoped he would be able to convince them to allow his entrance, but was met with only violence, returning to Belian briefly before heading to the Orcish city of Gagdreg.

From there, he returned to Hilea, gathering supplies before making his way west to where the Killbaran city-states fought among themselves for power, dominance, and even food. He made several stops at various places, notably helping Bethania a T’ominex’s forces secure their newfound hold over Bacatae.

While there, he learned of the return of Tyrandall’s iron-fisted King, and having no desire to see the madman in possession of the knowledge he had accumulated, decided to seek out the Obsidian Vault on the recommendation of one of Bethania’s fighters. Parminium was thus his next destination, and it was here he met with the others.

Notes: This is my character, so obviously I will know more about him than the others. One of the others sent me an awesome amount about his guy, but for Atalian? I can fill in the gaps on the fly as needed.

Name: Haltz

Race/Class: Human Monk

Description and History: Haltz has led a secluded life for the past twenty years, teaching himself martial arts and attempting to conquer the elements. After the fall of Killbar, he sent himself into the wilderness, following Nera’s favor of wandering and exploration. As his self-imposed exile went on, his disdain for civilization grew next to his capabilities in sustaining himself in the wild.

When he hit a plateau with his self-taught combat, he set a challenge for himself, following Retren’s teachings of hardships as personal trials. He would fast for a week, spending 12 hours of the day with his left side exposed to the burning sun, staring directly into the sun with his left eye. For the 12 hours of the night, he exposed his right side to the bitter cold.

At the end of the week, his left side was sun burnt and ragged, his right side frostbitten and blackened. Satisfied with this endurance, he decided that the wild was no longer suitable for him – It had become too easy. He turned his eye back towards the challenges that civilization will bring, and made his way back to what had become the Killbaran city-states. In his travel he heard of the Obsidian Vault and made his way to Parminium, and hopes that the path ahead will challenge him more and more, allowing him to grow stronger and more versatile.

Name: Ronin

Race/Class: Tiefling Monk

Description and History: Ronin was orphaned at a young age, living a rough life in the streets before being brought in by his Order. A tiefling of red skin, he does not fit in well with the more common crowds, a fact made obvious by his scars – His left horn is almost entirely missing, and while his right horn curls back along his head, it stops abruptly, the tip broken off long ago. He also lacks a Tiefling’s typical tail – The reasons behind this are known only to him, and few care enough to ask.

Name: Carric

Race/Class: Wood Elf Rogue

Description/History: Carric is the offspring of a pair of elves that decided on self-imposed exile when the Elven leadership called everyone back and closed their borders. He has grown up in a Killbaran setting, although not entirely in a noble setting. He was expelled from his city for one too many thefts, and was spotted on the road by Nimel, the recruiter for the Obsidian Vault. Seeing opportunity, he made his way to Parminium.

Carric has coppery skin with a greenish tint, and his favored weapons are his bow and a pair of daggers.

 

Now that everyone is introduced, I shall recap the (short) session that we played through. Each of our characters were meeting with Brolen, the Vault’s Dwarven treasurer, when a man from the town of Meturius came, asking for the Vault’s aid. Their silver mine – Formerly one of the most famous in Killbar – had been overrun. Goblins, he had said.

But they flushed the goblins out. The mines were clear – They sent in a team to check things out. Then they sent in a second team to check on the first team. And then he made his way here, as neither team had been heard from again.

Brolen asked our characters if we would be willing to do the job. Silly question. I think we’d all end up crawling the walls if we were left here too long. Happy to see us accept, Hadruck, the Obsidian Vault’s Half-Orc leader, instructed Brolen to give us an open writ for supplies.

We made our way to the supplier – A fat, greasy, nasty man named Timorus. Generally a terrible example of a human being, he did have what we needed – supplying us with another gallon of oil for Atalian’s lantern, more arrows for Carric, and some jerky and hard tac for our time away from civilization.

It was at this time that Ronin commented on the spiderweb tattoo on the back of Timorus’s neck. Timorus claimed it had no real significance, but everyone had seen a similar tattoo on the left side of Hadruck’s neck, and Atalian, during one of his conversations about the Dwarven lands with Brolen, had noticed a similar tattoo on the dwarf’s right wrist. None made any effort to hide the tattoos, but neither were they making an effort to show them off.

After securing our supplies, we rested for the night, meeting up with an outbound caravan to Meturius in the morning. Around mid-morning, the caravan was stopped – The guard had noticed something in the woods.

At this point, everyone slipped into their combat postures. Carric made his way into the woods, quiet as a mouse. Ronin used his monastic magic to send the sound of a twig snapping behind whatever was making the noise. At this point, an awful, nasty goblin shouted and jumped up. He was out of view of everyone, behind the tree – Or so he thought. Carric took a shot with his bow, killing the goblin and causing its companions to flee.

After Carric recovered his arrow, the caravan continued on, only pausing when it was ambushed once again – By a deer. Arriving in Meturius in the evening, the session came to a close.

Next week, I’m sure we’ll be making our way into the mine, and hopefully I’ll be able to get some use out of this fancy polearm. Goblin heads do not deserve to be attached to Goblin bodies.

Before there was MK II, there was Prime Remix. Before there was remix, there was the old, black and white prime. In that book, there was an affirmation of the type of game that Privateer Press wanted to make. Page 5, when I first read it, was a defiance of the type of game on the market at the time. It was, and still is, a credo to play a game as its written, within the rules and with honor. To understand that the game isn’t about being fair, its about being equal. You’re going to experience some terrible things happening, and if you don’t see it coming then its not your opponents fault, its yours. At its core, page 5 represents, to me, not giving up in the face of loosing, finding solutions, not problems, and learning the game inside and out, until your eyes bleed and your head aches and yet still being surprised by the game, the opponent, the models. And loving every minute of it.

Within that same page, the final two paragraphs pulled out the stops on the models as well. They were going to be beefy, awesome, destructive metal models that created awe and were a joy to paint. They were going to be detailed, expertly sculpted and a joy to behold. And they were going to be metal.

Over time, both of these statments had to morph with the growing popularity and complexity of the game, and nothing, not even the MK II design of Page 5, says that more than the plastic models that have come out. Starting with the Knight Exemplar Bastions detailed in NQ 24 with their own article explaining the shift to plastic and what to expect.

Since then, There have been a number of units resculpted into plastic, as well as new units being put out from the very start in plastic. The results, while initially promising, have been somewhat of a let down. They arrive fairly warped with a proliferation of mold lines and flash in aggravating areas. The end result, at least in theory, are much improved models. If you can make your way through cleaning up these models, your likely to end up with some very good ones.

Notable models converted to plastic:

Stormguard
Winterguard Infantry and Riflemen
Trenchers
Exemplar Errants and Knights Exemplar
Bane Thralls
Man O War Shocktroopers and Demo Corps.

However, even more recently, harkening back to the MKII releases, they have been resculpting Warcasters as well, and a number of them have really needed it. In order to take back what they declared so many years ago, about their models oozing character, sculpted by experts and meticulously crafted, they have had some blemishes on their resume. There are a number of reasons why this has happened, but I believe it has to do with some excellent vigor brought into the company fairly recently for the models and art. I really enjoy seeing the direction that Nick Kay and Dough Hamilton, specifically, are bringing to the models.

Of the casters in Prime, we have but a scant few left that, I believe, will end up being resculpted. Severious alone, I believe, sits in the land of Prime Warcaster without a variant. And, Until recently, so did Goreshade The Bastard stride alone among his Escalation brethren without a resculpt. Recently, though, he was given new, awesome, life.

They’ve been on a tear through some old models lately, and I just didn’t realize until recently that since Goreshade was announced with a Con Exclusive in February, they have announced 10 additional resculpts (11 if you count the Cephalyx Mind Slaver). C’mon PP we’ve got almost three months here before we hit the full 12 months, give us one more! Severious demands it!

Now, Without further ado, a parade of resculpts.

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I can go on and on about how fantastic these sculpts are, but just suffice it to say that I picked up and am trying to play a Goreshade I army for the first time in years, simply because of how awesome his model looks.

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I’m really a fan of this resculpt. Bigger and badder, they make me feel like they actually are gatormen. As much as others don’t like the cartonish vibe, I love every minute of it.

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These were just begging for a resculpt because the metal bends, breaks and is a violent pain to store. These models will e seriously terrifying to clean, but the upgrade in sculpt is worth the time and effort.

Strider old

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Honestly, I don’t care one way or the other for either sculpt. Its nice that they are doing multi-unit boxes, but I’m just not enthralled by the Legion ascetic

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Outside of a few cosmetic changes, these models remained the same. I’ve heard they are larger, but I’ve nothing to go off of in that department. I will say that if these and the Kriel Warriors are larger, I’m all for it. Huge Trollkin should be a thing.

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While not a 2 part box with the Swordsmen/Keltari, The Karax are an amazing resculpt based on the same body. While they don’t seriously perform on the field, I would consider picking these up just because they are so nice looking. The flash and mold lines, though, terrify me.

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I really like this resculpt of the unit. In addition to driving down price, its was a very good method of integrating some of the new themes that the trollblood line has evolved into back into some of the oldest models in the faction.

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This is the one I thought was the least necessary. I loved the old Power Pose version of Siege, and am very glad that I have him. While his rocket is cool and all, I just think his old pose radiates an amount of power that’s undeniable.

Fiona Old

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I’mg Going to melt my old one down and do nothing with it. While the old pose was good enough, and the majority of the model was well done, the sculptor just couldn’t pull of the face. This new model has a sleeker, meaner, more awesome pose and a fantastic face.

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Zerkova was probably the most derided warcaster in all of PP games. In addition to having rules that no one finds appealing, her model was mocked for being “Parkeresque” and being in a strange pose. This new model doesn’t truly address the strange stance, it sure is an upgrade. The model is good enough that, much like Goreshade I and Fiona, I might want to actually put her on the table one day.

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This model was the most out of the blue, though I heard afterward that there was a lot of call for this resculpt. There isn’t a whole lot different, but it sure is going to be a mean model to transport.

 

Thats the last of em, as of today, but I have hope. Ed Burelle told me three years ago, in relation to a Deneghra II resculpt that I would be a happy man. I’ve yet to see that emerge, and I am definitly not playing her until she gets a solid resculpt.

 

 

It is time!

Its been over a year since I’ve been at an RPG table at all, an even longer since I have been behind the screen as a DM. Now, its time for me to return to my favorite non-competitive past time and start weaving stories.

I will be sending my adventurers in the wreckage of the Killbaran Empire, the shattered shell of what was once a great mageocracy and then a short lived dictatorial Empire. Now, in its rotting carcass over 30 city states and countless warlords and bandits vie for control of the what they can chew off.

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NAME: Hedima, Accursed of The Lost

Other Titles: Queen of Traps, The Lure, Beguiler, The Mad Accursed

Alignment: CN

Weapon: Mace (Discorder)

Major Domains: The Lost, Chaos, Confusion

Minor Domains:  Mazes, Traps, Curiosity

Totem Animal: Toad

Holy Symbol: As one of gods of Chaos, Hedima’s holy symbol has many variations. Her most common is a pounded silver medallion with a maze either engraved or painted into it. Each of these mazes has three exits: one at the top, and two at either side, symbolizing Chaos, Confusion, and Curiosity, the three main reasons people and things become lost.

Favored Appearances:Hedima tends to walk the world as a female, though her form is easily confused for a male. Androgynous, with a sharp jawline, wide eyes, and a high forehead. She wears black trousers almost without exception, and a loose, white shirt. Her hair rests easily on her shoulders, but is sometimes worn pulled back into a ponytail to place emphasis on her jaw and forehead. In this shape, she will respond to both male and female forms of address and seems to revel in confusing and deceiving whoever addresses her.

Hedima’s Male form is the complete opposite, a definitive man, with a large barrel chest, broad shoulders,  and limbs the size of tree trunks.  His beard is a singular brown expanse that is the envy of many. However, he is a terrified being, scared of the smallest animal, afraid to confront those who threaten him, and dismissive of anything that isn’t immediately a threat to his person. He will also wander off at the worst time in a conversation and has been known to interrupt people just to make a nonsensical comment.

Warform: When Hedima Marches to war, its in the form of a gigantic toad. Its eyes, tongue and mount are all pure flame, while her body is riled water riddled with Ice-warts. Its legs, too, are ash and coals compressed into muscles and sinew built to propel around her massive girth. In battle, she seeks out enemy commanders and consumes them whole, hoping to sow confusion and discord among the ranks and therefore cause a rout.

Personality: Hedima is, like many of the gods of chaos, a being with many facets. Though many of her actions concern chaos and confusion, her true dedication is to the lost. This concept of lost encompasses all aspects of the term. Under her ward are those who have become lost, those who have lost their way, and even those who have lost their mind, though this can sometimes lead to conflict with Woan. Additionally, it also encompasses lost knowledge, missing bits of lore and civilizations that have ceased to be entirely. To this end, she seeks to, as befits her nature, either continue or abate that condition as she seeks fit. She is the patron of people looking for something they have lost, seeking to have something become lost, and those we are lost themselves. Though all pray to her to their own ends, they know that they are simply at her mercy. With her mercy, however, she is mercurial and volatile. Those who please her only know a short spat of bountiful attention and adoration before her attention turns else where. Likewise, she is also quick to forget past grievances and cannot hold a grudge long.

She loves tricks and traps, and enjoys seeing her quarry both elude and succumb to her deadly attention.

Teachings: With such conflicting ideals, it is hard for any solid teachings to come from Hedima. She teaches that those who are, or that which is, lost are there for a reason. Diving that reason is the province of Hedima alone, though her acolytes are encouraged to work towards assisting the lost with their purpose, whichever end that is that they see fit. They are also taught that in a straight up fight, the winner is the one who can cause the most confusion. Therefore, make the enemy come to you, through a maze of traps and tricks meant to kill, maim and disable even before the battle begins. Fighting in a forest or out on the plains, chaos is your most valuable resource.

Abode: as befits the Queen of Mazes, Hedima lives in an enormous labyrinth deep within the accursed side of the Iron Marches. Built of Lead and rusted iron, its sharp edges and lead-lined pools of water are traps in themselves. In addition to stocking The Warren with captured souls from the battles in the Iron Marches, she enjoys wandering it in person when her powers wane and she is no longer needed preparing ambushes and leading trappers in war on the plane.

Cultists:  The cultists of Hedima are a confused bunch, rarely gathering together in a single group long enough to make decisions. However, there are many that operate individually throughout the world, doing what they can to sow chaos and confusion. There are some few, however, that maintain lodges and libraries in the most remote of places, seeking knowledge and people lost to both time and the world. When encoutnered or found they offer hospitable exchange of supplies and information at the cost either information of your own, or memories you hold dear. These crazy, deranged hermits are not to be messed with.

Clerical Attire/colors: Hedima’s followers tend towards clashing colors of purples, greens and pinks. Though most of the time they do not flaunt it, if you find all three colors on the same person its very likely that they follow the Mad Accursed. Those high ranking cultists of Hedima wear, as a badge of office to other followers, a broad, dyed pink, belt  made of some sort of skin. The material is left to that of the creator, and it is not polite to ask what ones belt is made of.

Followers: The Followers of Hedima count among their numbers barbarians, tricksters, assassins, strategists and thieves.The worship of this particular accursed is fairly popular with Elves, though Dwarves and humans have only a passing relationship with her.