My brother introduced me to Kickstarter shortly about a year before Relic Knights, and a short time before the Double Fine Adventure. Since that day, I’ve backed Six successful projects. In order: Wasteland 2, Reaper Bones, Relic KnightsWild West Exodus, Warmachine Tactics and Reaper Bones II. I have had fairly good success with these, and even though some have not delivered on their goods, I only really get worked up about two of them.

The key, I think, is that I view a Kickstarter as a perpetual investment into a possible product that is beyond the scope and ken of the people creating it. I don’t look at these games as pre-orders or great deals on product. I don’t expect them to ship on time, or even close to on time. I am pleased if the product ever releases, as there are enough projects out there that never deliver to make me pleased just to receive product before I die. I am also not terribly hard on the creators of a Kickstarter project, as I expect them to be completely convinced that what they are promising is both feasible and possible, while in reality none of them are.

This brings me to the two Kickstarters I feel the most about. They follow parallel, if opposite courses of frustration and aggravation. To me, they are both failures, but not for the reasons I think people expect to be attributed to each of the games. The timeline is strange, but bear with me, as I take you down the path of disappointment provided by two different companies.

The Initial Sell
Main Image


Relic Knights was the first Kickstarter I really backed with a group of other people. It came up through a group email, and I was heavily on the fence. I’d hemmed and hawed about whether or not I should join in, and if it was worth it for me to play another game. In the end, with my friends all talking about it, and a number of people getting into it, I joined the fray. I split a 2 player set with a friend of mine, and added all of the possible models for my faction into the pledge. I’d decided on the Star Nebula Corsairs because their look was the most unique. Well, except for Noh, but everyone was getting Noh and I have compulsive originality syndrome, forcing me to the least represented faction.

Wild West Exodus (WWX) was a bit of a different beast. I managed to find it all on my own and fall in love with the Warrior Nation models. I advertised it out to friends and other miniatures gamers and got a very lukewarm response. The models weren’t everyone’s style, and it just never clicked. though a few people said that they were going to pledge, remember only a few actually buying into the game. I got in with two other people, and we split a huge bundle three ways. I was going to have opponents and a nascent group. I’d also had a chance to look over the beta rules, but they were extremely rough and were said to be in the midst of a rewrite in order to make them better. I just couldn’t get attached to the rules. They were, though, clunky and obtuse, with some very strange interactions that I just didn’t think worked out. I was optimistic that they would sort the issues out because there was enough chatter on the beta forums for them to have to take notice. It turns out, however, that for the first time in my life I had been overly optimistic.

What really set these experiences apart for me was the initial enthusiasm. I was able to latch onto the WWX product line in a manner that was surprising even to my self, and enabled me to look past some of the warning signs of the game. Relic Knights was simply a peer pressure purchase because all the cool kids, and most of my friends, were doin’ it.

The Post-Kickstarter Insanity

Once the Relic Knights Kickstarter finished, I was able to easily hand over my money and get the products I wanted on order. My friend set it all up, and all I had to do was wait. The early updates were positive and flush with thanks, grateful that we’d pledged to support a great game. I was having a different friend who’d pledged forward me the email updates to keep me in tune with what was happening at the Relic Knights home base. Soon afterwards, however, Cool Mini or Not, one of the companies involved immediately started in on another Kickstarter, for another miniatures game. I wasn’t pleased by the development because I was, and am, convinced that you should finish what you start before moving onto something else.


WWX was abysmal in terms of making sure that I got the models I wanted. Each update seemed to provide a new spreadsheet with new calculations in order to get each model, in addition to the spreadsheet seemingly built by an anachronistic scribe summoned from the 14th century. It felt like it took me days to understand what the wizards tome wished me to do to unlock the awesomeness of the Warrior Nation faction, and in the end my greater persistence overcame the terrors of the Outlaw Spreadsheet. I would now be receiving, in a few short months, an enormous package of beautiful miniatures. I was frustrated, exhausted and ground down, but I had done it.

The big difference here was that I was able to pawn off all the pain of the pledge manager to another person. Without the burden of trying to sort through all the garbage that WWX made me go through in order to get their product, I was much happier at the direct outcome of the Kickstarter for Relic Knights than I was for WWX. I will say, as a side note, that I was exceedingly suspicious of the WWX backer numbers. See, the fluff has the game powered by a mysterious substance unique to the world, called RJ 1027. WWX had, exactly, 1027 backers. Some people might say that’s fluffy and funny, but I just call it unsavory.

The Beta Process

Relic Knights original beta test book was terrible. Awful even. There were problems with wording, phrasing and any number of other parts of the book that made the game nearly unplayable. Among the most egregious to me was that cover was ill defined and, as it is now, very powerful. Now, I will say that as an extremely avid Warmachine fan, I do expect a games rules to have a certain rigid fluidity to them. They say what they mean, and they mean what they say, and all is fair. This was exactly the opposite of the Relic Knights book. However, due to overwhelming beta testing from the backers and everyone who could get their hands on a downloaded copy, the game was hammered into something that is clear and concise, while still presenting the solid rules. I’ve been reading over the book since it delivered, and I can pretty much say I’ve not encountered any problems or contradictions. I am sure they are in the book, they just aren’t there at first glance, nor even at a heavy read. Soda Pop did it right by asking, receiving and even relishing in the criticism and assistance with making this game the best game as envisioned by the game designer and as it matched that vision with the consumer.


If you’re not familiar yet with the pattern here, I’ll just lay it out. Everything that Soda Pop did right, WWX did completely wrong. Their beta rules were a terrible pile of trash that was better served as toilet paper and scrap coding than the paper and files that contained it. The first update was exceedingly insulting, to boot! though there were changed affected by the beta players and readers, they were mostly rules clarifications and spelling errors. Where balance was concerned, and where game play came into question, I felt we were being told, in only so many words, go STFU! The biggest portion of this came to the fore when it came to the overwhelming rule. With some models having tons of action points and a pile of attacks per action, there were models that could shred entire armies of weenie troops. However, the overwhelming rule stated that for every model beyond the first that you could make attacks against, your Strikes (attacks) were reduced by one. This served, many in the community claimed, to make only the good fighters worse while not affecting all the little guys, as attacks could never be reduced below 1. It seemed counter intuitive that the game, which reveled in the glory of its characters would make its characters suffer such humiliation at the hands of the hired help. Instead of trying something else or reworking the rule to make sense to the player base, they instead told the player base they were wrong in the most passive aggressive manner possible: A call out in the rules directly addressed their gripes, and told them to take a hike; that the rule was meant to reduce the effectiveness of a nasty model, and nothing more. It was just poorly done. The rules went through a few more changed, but at this point I was already frustrated with their lack of compassion for the customer and completely put off by their obstinate predilection to go forward with their vision, flawed or not.

Both Processes were frustrating, but I find that working with a company and fine tuning the rules for balance, fun and concept to be a fantastically enjoyable endeavor. When this works well, it creates a set of rules that many of the fans of the game enjoy. When done wrong, it will drive away players in droves and hordes.

The Long Wait

The wait for the Relic Knights Kickstarter was one of joyful nothingness. It was long, which is true, but each time I got a forwarded update, it seemed to be straight forward and honest. I know that there are many who would disagree, but I don’t remember getting offended by a single report from the front. Instead, I took the absence of the miniatures calmly, as I had nearly a thousand miniatures, of witch maybe 30% are painted and I’ve put just over 60% on the table. What Relic Knights did, as each successive shipment and delivery date was set and then broken, was assure me that they would have their own day. The Reaper Bones models delivered and had their day. The Wild West Exodus Miniatures came and were assembled in a flurry of activity. Even Warmachine Tactics miniatures came, and even one was painted. Still, I had not anything from Soda Pop. Finally, the wait started to end, slowly and viscously the tracking number slid into mailboxes with the urgency of molasses on a winters morning. Then, our turn came, and my friend alerted me, almost 18 months later, that Relic Knights was on the way.

WWX had a plan, and it showed. They were constantly updating their models, putting out their masters and showing us 3d renders prior to print. Some of those renders were so reviled that they were sent back to the artists and re sculpted to make their vision more in line with the actual sculpt as the backers saw it, though there was, to no ones surprise, a model that the community didn’t like that was explained instead of changed, which would normally be just fine, except the model is so ridiculously goofy looking that it defied reason that this model would be the one they would take a stand on. It was also, to amplify the problem, after a number of community demanded re sculpts that they had given in to, so the expectation was there. The plan that WWX had, however, completely collapsed under its own weight once they received the product. With a tiny number of staff, they were overwhelmed on the first day of shipping with the sheer scope of the project, and you could tell. For me, it was at this point that the Updates started turning belligerent, blaming the customer for the delays. Maybe it was just my sensitivity, but telling us that the flexibility you allowed us in your hellish spreadsheet is causing the problems with shipping doesn’t help anyone.

Though Relic Knights made me wait almost a year longer than WWX to receive my product, I really felt the wait of the WWX product much heavier. It was, I feel, Simply the communication methods that were used and how the backers were treated. In one case, they were treated like a burden, and in the other was just constant disappointment.

The Models
Relic Knights has delivered and I am, very shortly, going to be wrapping my head around the finer points of the rules. I am, however, exuberantly disappointed in the models that I have assembled so far. This is becoming extremely crushing to me as I wanted to paint these models, but with their sub par sculpts and their bland character, they are not inspiring me to pull out the paint and put aside my current project. Instead, as I slowly assemble each one, I get deeper and deeper into a mode of apathy with the models. What was once going to be an interesting painting project has now turned into a decision on which models will ever get paint.


When the WWX models showed up, I could not wait to put them together. Each model in turn was cooler and more grandiose than the next, and though they had their flaws in a number of the models, I was excited to start painting them. Some represented a great chance at practicing flesh and skin tones, while others were going to allow me to play around with OSL or furs. Some models, though, seemed like they were foisted on me without me fully knowing what I was getting, and stayed in the sprue throughout the process. Though the enthusiasm was tempered a bit by the completely abysmal treatment of a number of rules, I was still positive I could affect change and be part of a better game.

Both lines of models seemed to crop up with problems. The plastic used by RK is not the greatest, and the resin used by WWX echos that same quality. I was, however, pleased by the WWX plastics that were very similar to the Wyrd plastics that have received so much attention. Even though Relic Knights has less models, I definitely put together the WWX models faster.

Current Times

Relic Knights still have some models in the boxes as I struggle to get the desire to assemble the models. Each one has been a disappointment that built upon the failings of the second model I assembled. Thankfully, the concept of the rules, the variety of the game, and the coolness of the Relic Knights has kept me involved. I am anxious to try out the rules set, get a couple games in and pass a judgement on whether or not I’ll actually enjoy the game. All signs point, it seems, to yes. There is a nagging worry in the back of my head, though, that the game size is too small for me. While I like the concept of 8-10 models, it is extremely hard to break the core of those models up and try different things, especially when you might only get one game a week or so. Small Squads seem to be more to my liking, and I really look forward to trying to get my friends to play 70 points!.

Today, almost all of my models for WWX are in a box as well. However, that box is now in transit to Kansas and their new owner who will hopefully enjoy them more than I. The models were great and looked to be extremely fun to paint, but I’ll most likely never bother. The rules had holes in them as large as a bus, and it was extremely disappointing to me to see a game with so much potential waste itself. I mentioned, on now-deleted posts and a podcast interview that I enjoyed 97% of the rules, but the 3% that were terrible were so bad as to drive me off. A single line of text in the rules that stated that LOS was going to be True LOS is a small fraction of a set of game rules that interacts with every game and gamer, and there were a few of those that floated around the rule set. In addition, the scenarios were, and from everything I hear are still, not balanced. Even the competitive scenarios were built from too much story and not enough fairness. One does not always want fairness, but it should be obvious if and why and by the exact amount a scenario is unfair. It should also compensate for that unfairness somehow within the rules, and I never saw that WWX did. For my vocal criticism, I was tossed out of the community, my memory excised and my texts burned. There is no history of me except for those who know where to look by my absence.

While it might not be obvious at first, these two games have followed very parallel lines of delivery with exciting Kickstarters, perilous delivery, rough rules sets, and problems with models. However, the way that each now sits in my life is extremely divergent. One could be said to have a chance, and potential excitement. The other’s excitement was slain brutally with but a glimmer of a hope still in its infant eyes.


Till next week’s Monday battle report, or maybe even 2!

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y, I was asked a simple question, mostly off the cuff, by a friend of mine.

“Random speculation time: Who do you think we’ll get for ‘casters in the next Warmachine book (since the Hordes one seems to be locked up)? I don’t feel like they’re going to pull the trigger on any new ‘casters, so I think it’s going to be more epics, but I’m having a hard time guessing who.”

This simple questions got my mind churning. What are the next casters, and how are they going to shape the game? What characters are the closest, in fluff terms, of being promoted to Epic?

Off the top of My head, I was able to go through this list

I really don’t want to see them go back to the well for epics, though it makes sense at this point. Supposedly, this is the “Legends” of MK II – The end and culmination of the stories leading so far. That leads me too completely insanely guess the following:
Cygnar: Haley 3 – She’s been poisoned and out of it for a while while Stryker and Nemo take the fore. With her final recovery, she heads back into combat, aware that Deneghra, now alive, is plotting.

I really think this is likely. With the amount of time that Privateer has spent on Haley, for her to be out of the story this long is ludicrous. She has to come back soon, and I can’t see a reason why it won’t be now. Her poisoning has only driven her desire to return to the battlefield.

Khador: Strakov 2 – He’s hunted down Karchev and has returned its hero to his country. Now, given greater leeway and force allocation, he’s able to drive deep into the enemy with complete abandon.

I think that this is a good time to try and bring Strakov, who the story writers seem to really enjoy, into the big time. Toting Karchev back to the motherland, alone and through the heart of the enemy territory should grant him a singular hero status. Strakov – Savior of the Motherland has a fantastic ring to it.

Only the Greatest heroes get parades like this!

Only the Greatest heroes get parades like this!

Protectorate:Feora 3: Taking control of the the whole of the flameguard and forcing the southern protectorate to declare her “Protector of the South” she sets of on a campaign of destruction against the Cygnaran south.

I think this is something that’s been building for a few books. Her interaction with Vinters minions and her open disdain for Severius has lead her down an irredeemable path. She sees herself as the Protector and Defender of the Protectorate itself, she will cause a huge schism with her hubris.

Cryx: Deneghra 3 – Culmination of plans enables her to achieve whatever status she’s been searching for, though her complete plans are thwarted by Haley somehow, because Haley

I think its past time for Deneghra to Level Up again, and it would be perfect to pair it with her sister. I’m terrible at guessing twists and turns in plot, so I expect it to be something cool, but I have no idea what it is. I do expect, however, that it will be thwarted. Its starting to be that time.

Ret: New Caster, enabling a form of gameplay that Ret neither likes nor wanted.

Man, I wish I had a better answer, but its almost exactly what I expect of the younger child. eventually you grow out of it (mercs) but the young ones always act weird to the old folks.

Mercs: Magnus 3. The Civil war for King Vinter starts again, thrusting Magnus and his mercenary army into the forefront of combat once again.

I cannot wait for this. It has to happen sometime. His story has been building, he is going around preparing for Vinters Return. My favorite Merc characters revolve around him as well, so I hope to see more of Saxon and Orin.

However, I am not convinced that they’ll go strictly on story. Sometimes, Epics have come out of nowhere, with Borka 2, Reznik 2, and Butcher 3 kinda coming out of nowhere. If we were to go with casters I’d be interested in seeing go epic, I vomited out these: Sloan 2, Sorcha 3, Thyra 2, Skarre 3, Garryth 2, Gorten 2. Each of those characters are compelling on their own, though not always great on the tabletop, and I’d like to see what type of design or character space they’d entail.

My friend responded with a number of affirmations, and some thoughts of his own:

Cygnar: Agreed. Dark horse potential for Constance, though I think that’s unlikely.

I’d not thought of Constance, and that would be extremely legit. I look forward to seeing her epic form, one day!

Khador: Agreed, kinda. My gut says “here comes Sorscha3 or Irusk3” because of course. Strakov’s got a good dark horse bid though.

I could stomach Sorscha 3, but Irusk going epic because of defeat would be way to much like his standard epic incarnation. I’d be sad to see them retread that ground.

Protectorate: Agreed, yet again. No dark horses stand out because Protectorate fluff is crazy limited in who gets screen time.

There is one standout, though, and we’ll get to that one later.

Cryx: Agreed. Dark horse potential for Skarre3, because 3 is “in” this year.

Its the same thing I felt when writing the initial go through. Skarre 3 would, I think, be a ton cooler, but Deneghra 3 seems more right.

Ret: Will be totally true until someone like Pagiani wins 3 Masters in a row with the new ‘caster, then everyone will C&P his list forever (even past when it’s really useful in the meta, thus proving them “right” in the long game.) I feel like any of the Forces ‘casters are very likely for an Epic, just because people seem to like Epics.

If its not Garryth, it better be Rhan. Epic Rhan will be amazing, I’d think, and I would have to pickup the whole faction. Crazytalk, that would be. Garyth’s jack gives me hope.

Garreth Jack

Maybe? Who knows.

Mercs: If this book doesn’t give us Magnus3 or at least Gorten2, I’m going to be fucking stunned. That pot has been on the burner for way, way too long now.


In my heart of hearts, I want PP to corkscrew everyone and fill this book with Apotheosis epics: Darius2, Karchev2, Harby2, Termnius2. There’s no practical reason why they can’t do that anymore (‘caster power level isn’t a factor, alternate materials make it much more cost feasible,) and indeed they’ve written some mighty goddamn good fluff reasons as to why at least two of those all but have to happen at some point.

I cannot put enough Oomph behind this concept. Each of those casters has pleny of following and plenty of character within them to force Epic without missing a beat. Terminus has been defeated twice now in this body, and he can’t be too pleased about it. Darius had to abandon his armor and spend a ton of time crafting the Stormwall, give him screen time! Harbinger is now out and about int he world, moving and shaking it and creating a new vision of the Protectorate, A Queen not dark but beautiful and terrifying. Finally, Karchev has been torn out of his suit, tortured, drug across a continent and nearly killed, and he still has not given in. The powerful, unstoppable caster should be rewarded with a new set of armor and set on Khadors enemies like a storm of vengeance.

Karchev, Storm of Vengeance – Epic Khadoran Warcaster

Weapon: Greataxe – P+S 14 – Kockdown
Weapon: Greatshield – P+S 10
Field Marshal: Critical Brutal Damage
Warjack Bond: Bloody Spectacle: When a model bonded to Karchev boxes a model, remove it from play. If the model is part of the unit, that unit must immediately make a command check or flee
Rage of the Motherland – When this model is an offensive spells point of origin, that spells damage rolls are boosted.
Survivor – if this model is destroyed, this model instead heals a number of Health equal to any focus on the model, and then remove one focus from this model.

Ground Zero
Death Knell
Iron Agression
Tyranny of Gears – Warjacks in this models battlegroup gain +2 speed and boosted melee attacks. Warjacks in this models battlegroup that charge, run, slam, trample or make a melee attack suffer d3 damage at the end of their activation.

Feat: Limitless Strength models in this models battlegroup currently in its control area gain +4 Strength and Follow Up. Models activating in this models control that declare a Powerstrike, Slam Revisited or Slam Power attacks gain +2 to the distance Slammed. A model that throws or slams a model may move directly towards that model the distances thrown or slammed after resolving the attack.

I’ve gotten my relic knights in, but an burning away at painting my Cephalyx for the Nova Open. I will do a complete unboxing and pictures and everything, soon enough!



As many people know, as of Wednesday, I have been Banned from the WWX forums. Forever. So, I probably won’t be giving any reviews, good or bad, of their product. I am also fairly certain I won’t be playing the game as they have cut me off from the tournament rules, announcements of the locations of tournaments, and anyone that could possibly want to play, with the exception of one. Sadly, I’ve left behind a few people that I have no other way of contacting. Fortunately, I get to leave behind the pompous prick that was Romeo, same guy from battlefoam and a hundred other incidents in internet infamy.

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Earlier this year I signed up for Project Orange Crush Hunger. The concept is for the community to volunteer to paint models of a given army in an orange theme of each painters choice, and then once the army is finished, its raffled off. The proceeds of the raffle go to hunger relief in conjunction with the years Foodmachine efforts. This, the third year, they’ve chosen to do an orange Convergence army.

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Earlier this year I signed up for Project Orange Crush Hunger. The concept is for the community to volunteer to paint models of a given army in an orange theme of each painters choice, and then once the army is finished, its raffled off. The proceeds of the raffle go to hunger relief in conjunction with the years Foodmachine efforts. This, the third year, they’ve chosen to do an orange Convergence army.

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So, its been quiet for a lot longer than I would like around here. I’ve been preparing for a number of major life events.
The wife and I had our daughter, and she’s an adorable little person, and If I have anything to do with it, a future nerd. She gets to make the final decision, but its pretty much all daddy does. Now, 10 days later, I will also be moving, and packing for that has been great fun. I apologize for the delays, but I feel its good reasons.

We’re just gonna get some general nerd comments out there, its gonna be a brief one.

I finished inferno, but have not started up on the Stronghold, the last of the Standard Campaigns. It was a good ride through inferno, and I look forward to finishing the game.

I picked up Puzzle and Dragons. Its Pokemon meets bejewled, and its my time-killer of choice lately.

I sorted through my old D&D notebooks. I’ve got maps and notes from 12+ years ago, and its some really cool stuff. My world has grown and expanded well past anything I’d imagined. Well, grown isn’t the right word. I’ve destroyed all but one of my civilizations, and that one is about to get a rude awakening. Also, the notes I was reading through made me realize: I’d never written a history for Tysis (the continent where all the action happens). When I originally created it back in ’95, it was an “as is” state. I’ve moved forward almost 30 years at this point, but I’ve only looked here and there at the history. Its time to rectify that.

I’m finally getting rid of a ton of my old GW models. I am pleased.

Warstore weekend is about to go down! Normally I’d be there to help out my buddies, but this newborn thing is pretty complicated, so I’ve bowed out for the year. Head up to northern Jersey if you get the chance. Most of my Convention Locals will be there, give em hell!

Malifaux Has edited and updated their 2e tracker with beta Wave 2! In it they have all the models of Malifaux that were not covered in the initial release. So, for me, I am getting my first look at Lucious, the new Neverborn/Guild Master (he’s been upgraded from Henchman in 1.5) and McCabe, the Guild/Ten Thunders Master. They both look fun, and perhaps a reason to pick up Lucious that I’d never had before, especially with the influx of money from the GW stuff. It also has Abuela Ortega and the Latiago Pistoleros, both of which are a favorite of mine. Oh, and the vast majority of the guild guard models that I had enjoyed in theory were in there as well, with the Drill Sergeant, Captain of the Guard, and Riflemen, among others. I really look forward to grabbing those and using them with McMourning. It makes only perfect sense.

That’s all I have for now. I’ll be trying to get in 3 times a week and see how that works out.


Skeltor from :

Privateer Press Responds to Plastic Quality

This was something that impressed me, both from a community standpoint and from a company standpoint.

The problems with the plastics that PP has chosen to use have been causing gripes for some time. It was noticable in the live community, and has a really vocal component in the online forums. It has been harder and harder to blow the concern off, especially in person. Problems fitting and mold lines in places that make it hard to model are just a few of the legitimate problems that I’ve heard vented by my community just here in MD.

I’ve never really experienced the problems myself to be honest. But the problem is much to large to be ignored. This weekend, it came to a head

The thread is here

Its a long, civil discussion, 7 pages and counting, about the problems with the plastics. I was impressed with the levelheadedness of many of the posters when I perused it, but I figured that it’d just be another lost topic after a few bad seeds stepped in and ruined it for everyone. surprisingly, it never happened, and it continued through the weekend as a civil, polite discussion. I still considered that there would be no official response.

Then, yesterday, there was this

PP responds via Simon Berman, the Community Manager. The response is a little canned-sounding, but that is kinda the cost of working with a company. However, they responded with a concern for their customers, to a thread that was criticizing their product, on their own forum. Good for them!
They also didn’t lock it, which is doublegood.

As I said, I’m impressed. Glad to wear the black for em!



Seems like a stupid way to start off a blog, but what else do I have?
I’m a Nerd and a gamer, and have been for nearly 30 years now. I’ve play almost every game that I get my grubby little mitts on.
This is where I’ll discus my adventures, victories, defeats and other sundry happenings that involve all of my games. Maybe there is something you’ll like, maybe there is something you don’t like. Something you think I should try. Let me know!

Tonight should be the food for my First post, as Jerek of Jord, Alchemist/Theif continues his ongoing adventures