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Pathfinder This Week…

pathfinder-fidget-expers

Oh!  Well, hello again, journal.  I suppose I’ve been a bit remiss in updating you on all the goings-on with me of late.  We got into a monumental battle recently with those nasty goblins and some savage henchmen!

Fwip did some magicky-priestess thing that made their leader go crazy and start attacking them instead of us.  It caused enough confusion that we were able to whittle them down without too much trouble.  The threw some bombs at us, though, but they weren’t nearly as effective as mine.  I showed them how real bombing is done!

Remington, Lok, Winnie, and Fwip did their parts on taking out the enemies, too.  I’m afraid since I am so small I didn’t get to see much, but I’m sure they were spectacular!

We searched the hunting lodge after all the enemies were defeated.  Inside, there was a small altar surrounded by the mutilated bodies of goblins and savage humans.  Apparently, they were using their own people as ritual sacrifices?  Ew.  I hope they get hazard pay for that.  The bookshelves were all burned and I didn’t find anything at all useful among them, except a book on cooking and burning things which I found a bit ironic.  Remington, though, found a trap door in the floor and a cage full of puppies!  Also, another creepy altar surrounded by dead puppy sacrifices.  This place is filled with a bunch of sick people, I tell you.

Fwip came in dragging one of the savages still in some armor; it was emblazoned with a strange tree talisman.  I have no idea at all what it means or what it belongs to.  Down in the basement, Remington found a large bone in the back of the puppy cage, but he said it didn’t appear to be human or animal.  An elven finger bone?  That’s just gross.

Winnie came back and reported that some of the goblins escaped, but none of the savages.  She brought guards from the city with her, so we left the cleanup and fate of the puppies with them.  When we returned to town, we found a caravan consisting of armor-plated wagons hauled by armor-plated bison, orc guards along with a smarmy sort of gnomish merchant with a shop front with it.  After talking to the Captain of the Guard, it was discovered that traveling with this caravan was the safest way to reach Salty, even though the chance of doing it successfully was still only fifty-fifty.

The Captain of the Guard then paid us in full for our contributions to The Maws.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much money in all my life!  I could make tons of bombs with it, but I suppose I have to be a bit more practical.  After Remington had a visit with the merchant, we all retired so we could set out for Salty in the morning.

We left early and traveled a fairly long way until we reached a lush forest.  I don’t know if anyone else noticed, but it was obvious to me that it was fae-touched.  No visible road or path led the way through it.  The caravan’s sturdy bison trampled through the thinner trees with no trouble, but as they passed the trees grew back!  Whoa.

As we traveled into midday, there were buzzing sounds like bees!  I don’t have to tell you I don’t much care for bees, journal.  Out of nowhere, instead of bees, there were all kinds of angry faeries!  They wanted one of the party for a sacrifice, but we refused.  What is it with people lately and having weird sacrificial rituals?  It it some kind of fashion trend?  Stab one sacrifice, get one miracle free?  I don’t really know and the faeries didn’t leave us much time to dwell on it.

They were pretty tough for such tiny creatures, but we eventually swatted them down like the bugs they were.  I think that was enough for everyone for one day, so we settled in to rest.  I hope nothing out here tries to eat us while we’re sleeping.  That would just be really rude.

The Value of Creativity

I got into a discussion with my very good friend, Meredith, tonight about the value of our creative efforts and how we should embrace that all our creativity is, well… created equal.  Just because something may not be up to quality standards, one creative work shouldn’t be lessened by another, even in our own minds.  It still takes time, effort, and creativity to produce; all of which are valued commodities to artists and creatives.

It raised an awareness about myself and the way I view my endeavors.  I’m certainly guilty of labeling my various creative efforts and compartmentalizing them into the “good” stuff and the “extraneous fluff.”  All of it, though, was created by me and shared with you.  While one may not be as good in quality as the other, it shouldn’t lessen the creative energy that went into producing it.  I think a lot of creative people I know are guilty of doing it to some degree.

And I think we all need to stop doing that.  Being dismissive of our own work and lessening its value is why we get taken for granted by jobs and prospective employers.  It allows us to get sucked in to opportunities and projects where “exposure” is our payment, instead of cold, hard cash.  Or lets us be paid a pittance for hours of labor, instead of being paid the quality rate of an industry professional.  We have to change our own perceptions of our work and its value if we expect others to do the same.

Know what you and your creative endeavors are worth.  Know what your time is worth.  Neither are infinite.  You are a finite resource and everything you do is valuable.  Embrace that mentality, share it with other creatives when you find them devaluing themselves or their work.  Nothing you do is worthless.  In fact, someone, somewhere, may love it.

Remember that and take it to heart.  If someone else can love your work, then you should too.  All of it.  Equally.

pathfinder-fidget-expers

 

Today started with — A box!

Not just any box, journal.  It was a fiery box.  Now, I don’t know what kind of lockpicks they make around here, but these obviously weren’t very good ones despite being called “masterwork.”  When I tried to pick the lock with them, they set off a trap in the box that set everything on fire.  Thankfully, Remington is quick for an android and managed to bring in some snow and water to douse the flames.  We were lucky that everything didn’t get turned to cinders!

Inside the box was a sort of shopping list, but it was for people.  Remington called it a “hit list”, I think, and said it had something to do with assassinating people.  That sounds like a messy sort of business, if you ask me, journal.  Very messy, indeed!  But that’s neither here nor there.  On this list were several names of people right here in the Maws!  It included our new friend, the innkeeper.  Each name had a bounty item to collect and in the case of our innkeeper friend, it was his gold tooth.

Fwip asked aloud if we could “borrow” the innkeeper’s tooth, but… uh, he sort of wasn’t in the room.  A few of the locals in the room seemed to get offended by everything we’d been talking about and tried to “discourage” us from pursuing things any further, but I persuaded them to leave us be.  By buying them drinks!  Who’s really going to turn down a free drink?  That certainly seemed to mollify them, but while I was dealing with that, Remington said something about a girl escaping.  What girl?!

Remington and Lok ended up going out the front while Fwip, Winnie, and I went out the back through the kitchen.  As we passed through the kitchen, though, we heard some strange noises and eventually found a girl in one of the cupboards!  Tied up and gagged, poor thing.  We set her loose and she told us that she was the innkeeper’s adopted daughter.   But — if she was the innkeeper’s daughter then who was the girl we met on our first day here?  This was all pretty odd, I have to say, journal.

The girl was worried about her father and said we might find him in his room, so we went there and found him unconscious in bed.  He was alive, but breathing slowly and unresponsive to Fwip’s prodding.  I half expected her to claim his soul for her Death God and do all kinds of suspicious rituals with his body, but she didn’t.  It turns out he was just really sick with a cold, Fwip said he’d be fine in a day or two.

We talked to the girl for a while, once she was reassured that her father would be fine.  She told us that she was restless at the inn and she wanted to come adventuring with us.  Fwip and I didn’t think that was a good idea.  Adventuring life is no place for a little girl.  Even if Winnie did tell us that she was some kind of changeling.  I don’t even know what a changeling is!  It sounds kind of creepy.  Creepy kid.  No thanks.

Remington and Lok eventually returned, telling us that they followed the tracks of the girl and apparently a larger companion to a house on the far side of town.  The doors and windows had been barricaded, but Remington braved going in stealth to have a peek inside.  He espied six people, including an old man, a bored-looking bard lady, and a few others.  We decided we should go and tell the Captain of the Guard about all this, because it was very suspicious!

She seemed pretty angry that someone was going around her town trying to assassinate people, but just as it seemed like we were about to do something about it we received word that the town was under attack!  They seemed strangely calm about it, though, like this sort of thing happened all the time.

I have to tell you, journal, the Maws is one strange town.

pathfinder-fidget-expers

So!  Our adventure took us onward, journal, and I have to tell you it couldn’t have gone to a more EXCITING place.  We went to a place called “The Maws,” named thusly because of the giant dragon cannon that shoots fire.  They wouldn’t let me up to see it though; I was very disappointed in their lack of hospitality toward someone who could really appreciate such a fine piece of machinery!  I may lean more toward Alchemy than Engineering, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the ingenuity of it.

Beyond that, the Maws was a strange place.  Except for that cannon, the city itself was devoid of anything that might be considered mechanical; no clockwork, no guns among the militia, or any kind of similar technology.  We eventually discovered why when we encountered this preacher proselytizing in the streets about the return of the Traveler?  He kept going on about how angels destroyed our world because our lack of belief or something.  Blah-blah-blah, technology is bad and the root of all evil, the downfall of humanity… whatever.  Dummy.

From what we could gather, these worshipers were a bunch of old arcanists trying to revive the Age of the Arcane and the return of the Mageocracy, when only people with magic and magical ability were considered anyone of quality.  They warn people against technology, keeping people firmly rooted in cruder tools and discouraging advancement.  It’s a very odd frame of mind to have.  I mean, I like building things and making new discoveries.  Imagine if I couldn’t do that anymore, journal.  What a travesty!

Once we got to the inn in town, we delivered the box that we got in the other town to the innkeeper there.  Only she wasn’t the innkeeper, she was actually the innkeeper’s daughter.  The innkeeper who was the innkeeper was sick, so she was keeping the inn while the actual innkeeper was upstairs.  Fortunately, Fwip was able to help the poor lady, having all kinds of hands-on experience with life and death and sickness and stuff.  I just hope she doesn’t smother him with a pillow or something, being a Death Priest and all.  Death for the Death God!  That would just really make everything awkward.  Where would we stay?  It’s cold outside!

While Fwip dealt with that, I went with Ann to find the Captain of the Guard to inform him about the ambushed caravan.  We found out from the innkeeper’s daughter that it was carrying food and supplies for the town.  Without it, they were going to starve!  I made sure to let people know what they were in for as we went along.  I mean, I’d certainly want to know if I were about to starve to death!  

Along the way, I found out that Ann’s name wasn’t “Ann” at all.  His name is Remington!   Whoa.  I asked him why he kept telling people he was “android” then if his name was actually Remington; he said being android was like being gnomish.  It’s what he was, not who he is.  I suppose that makes sense.  It doesn’t make me think he’s any less not-undead, but at least he’s a pretty sensible not-undead.

Everyone seemed to be taking the idea of starving to death pretty well.  All they really did was roll their eyes when I told them, complain about having headaches, and point us in the direction of the Captain of the Guard.  She was a pretty scary lady, though, she had a tail and horns and everything!  She cracked up her desk, she was so unhappy about hearing about the caravans.  I don’t really blame her.  She looked like she could eat half a horse on her own, so I’m sure the idea of starving to death wasn’t that appealing.

Remington, for his part, seemed vastly more interested in the Captain’s collection of guns.  I’m not sure why she’d have them, given the worshipers we heard in town and just the general sentiment against technology.  I suppose that’s why she’s the Captain of the Guard, though.  She has a pretty formidable arsenal just on her own.

Still, she was glad to have our information and she offered us a deal to join a caravan going on to Salty, our original destination.  In exchange, we’d have to go deal with the goblins that attacked the caravan, though.  I suppose that was fair.  You don’t get a silver for a copper, as Mum used to say.  With our job done, we returned to the inn.

It was there we learned that Fwip saved the innkeeper from poisoning — good job, Fwip!  In the morning, Fwip talked to the innkeeper about how he got poisoned.  I spent it making extracts, some to make my bombs more effective, and another to cure wounds.  I can’t make Fwip tend to my injuries all the time!  I’m sure she’s a very busy Death Priest.  Plus, you know, I don’t want to end up some ritual sacrifice somewhere down the line.  So it’s kind of in my best interests to help myself a little so I don’t annoy her and make her want to accelerate my offering to her god.

It would take us a full day to get to the goblin camp and back, to say nothing of the inevitable fight that would ensue — given the goblin propensity to try and shoot the gnome, I’m disinclined to just let them off with a warning.  However, that meant we’d have to try and survive the bitterly cold night that lay ahead.  The innkeeper solved that pretty neatly by giving us several blocks of Blackfire Clay, so we went out to clobber some goblins!

Find them, indeed, we did.  This time they had wargs with them.  Very mean, very bitey wargs.  They seemed particularly interested in eating Fwip, so I used my bombs to try and distract and deter them from turning her into puppy chow.  They also seemed to want to dismantle Remington, so I tossed more bombs that direction to help out.  The leader, a goblin riding on a bigger warg than the rest, beat a hasty retreat when he got blown up and shot a bit too much.  Goblins are such cowards; this makes the second one to run away from a fight with us.  It was too late to try and chase him down, plus Fwip got pretty badly injured, so we decided to head back to town, nurse our wounds, and figure out what to do from here.

pathfinder-fidget-expers

Brigh’s Bright Samophlange, journal!   I think I nearly died yesterday.  

It felt like nearly dying, anyway.  Goblins are pretty awful people I’ll have you know and I think they’re prejudiced against gnomes.  Likely because we’re vastly superior for being nearly the same size.  But I suppose that’s putting the cart before the horse.  Or the horse before the cart.  One of the two.  Mother never was very clear on her cliches.

But, to begin at the beginning, we left the Big Town of… something or other, I’m not sure I was ever paying close enough attention to catch its name, but I’m not sure it’s relevant anyway since we left!  The Priestess-Lady, whose name is Fwip, said we were to go and hunt for some undead!   I love undead hunting!  My Uncle Tas used to hunt undead.  He told me all about this magical Spoon of Turning that he had that would send them running!

I kind of wish I had that spoon.  I could tell for sure if our friend Ann was really undead or not.  I’m not sure why his name is Ann, but that’s what he keeps telling people.  “Ann Droid”  It seems kind of a silly name, if you ask me, but I guess people think that Fidget is a funny name too.  Anyway!  Fwip, Ann, and I — along with Winnie and Lok, a couple of kind of scary mercenaries we have with us — we took ourselves out of town following instruction to head north, I think?  For three or four days until we reach the town of Salty.  

So off we went!  Have I mentioned how much I dislike the snow, journal?  I mean, imagine being just three feet tall and having to make your way through snow drifts taller than you are!  It’s like walking through a cold larder and hugging the meat slabs.  Not that I’ve ever done that.  (Okay, okay… maybe I have, but it was just one time…)  We must’ve walked for hours in the snow until we finally reached a quaint little hamlet.  We went straight to the inn where it was warm(er-ish) and the surly innkeeper gave us food and directions.  Ann even helped out by sweeping the floor and peeling, well, everything that had a skin on it.  I’m kind of glad I wasn’t anywhere near the kitchen, I like my skin where it is.

With my skin intact, we went on to our next destination.  More walks through the snow.  Out of all the places I had to end up, it had to be in a place full of snow.  At least Ann was good for breaking up the snow drifts and making it easier to walk.  I’m not sure what happened next, since I could barely see through the snow, all I know is that I ended up getting shot!   Honestly, who shoots a gnome?  All these tall people around and they shoot the gnome!

It was the aforementioned goblins, of course.  Haters.  I decided I’d give them a little payback for their discourtesy.  So I loaded up Whippet, my Flask Thrower, with a bomb of my own making and started slinging them at the goblin that shot me.  I have to say, he exploded quite fantastically, I was rather impressed with the efficiency of my own product.  Of course, Winnie the warrior-lady helped whittle him down some, but it was the bomb that really did the trick!  Although, maybe Winnie didn’t appreciate the mess.

There were a few more goblins that kept shooting at me.  Do you know how much being shot hurts?  Also, getting burned by a bomb.  How dare they take my own tactics?  I moved away from the others to, hopefully, avoid further splash damage and loaded up some Alchemist’s Fire to sling at another goblin that was occupied by Lok.  I, uh, might’ve missed.  I think I failed to adjust for the wind trajectory that was inhibited by the treeline.  Oh well, live and learn!  It still eventually died. And I got shot again!  What was it with these goblins and their gnome hate?  By Brigh’s Ample Bottom, I’d exact revenge!

I loaded Whippet with an Acid Bomb next and flung it at what seemed like the leader.  Burn, baby, burn!  Someone eventually finished him off.  I’m not sure.  By this point I’d been shot at and burned, I just wanted all the goblins to die.  Was anyone else hurt?  I wasn’t sure.  I think I might’ve fainted a bit at one point, because all I remember is waking up to find Fwip standing over me saying a prayer.  I hope she wasn’t plotting my death.  She’s a Priestess of the God of Death, you know.  I’m not really prepared to die yet!  I have so much left to do and discover!  I think she just healed me, though.  I wonder if that’s allowed for a death-priest?  It must be a very conflicting life to lead.

I made sure to loot the goblin bodies, though.  I mean, if they’re going to be indecent enough to shoot me multiple times and try to set me on fire, then I think I’m due some fair compensation.  

[ Journal ] Explosive Personality

This is the personal journal of Fidget Ironwick, Gnomish Alchemist, based on her adventures in the Pathfinder Campaign setting!

I woke up today!

Okay, okay, maybe that doesn’t sound all that exciting to you, journal, but it really was the most amazing thing!  I woke up and had no idea where I was, isn’t that fascinating?!  I was in a room with a very nice priestess-lady named, Fwip, but we weren’t prisoners or anything.  Which is a good thing, jails are usually bad places and the food is just awful.  Let’s not speak of the beds, either!  Anyway, this lady Fwip and I decided we’d nose around a bit and try to get our bearings.  She had no idea why we were here either.

In a nearby room we found a man…thing.  He kept saying he was “just born”; I think maybe he’s part of one of those new-age cults that pretend they’re reborn to absolve themselves of sin and stuff.  He didn’t look all that sinful, but the priestess seemed convinced that he wasn’t alive either.  If he’s an Undead, that definitely makes him sinful.  It’s a pretty big sin not to stay dead, I think.  All the undead I’ve ever met have been pretty nasty creatures.  So, yeah, I hope he’s not Undead or that’s just going to make this all kinds of awkward.  He claimed to be alive, though.  I poked him to check.  He certainly felt squishy!   But Undead feel squishy too.  But it wasn’t the squishy-squishy that Undead are squishy like; it was a weird sort of squishy, kind of like spongebombs.  If I soak him in some oil and set him on fire, I wonder how much damage he’d do…

Oh, right.  Mother always said it’s not nice to set people on fire — at least not until you get to know them and get their okay.  It’s something I’ll keep in mind for later.  It’ll make a good experiment to see if he’s alive or not!  Undead don’t like burning.

I was so intent on thinking about this and the various ways to set our new, not-alive-but-not-undead friend on fire that I didn’t really pay attention to where we went.  I just sorta followed his shadow around until we got somewhere.  It was a Temple of Brigh!  So much clockwork and interesting things… and bombs!  Ugh, such inferior product, though.  Clearly, Ironwick Bombs are vastly superior.  They could use some lessons in proper wicking as well as exterior construction.  The materials they used were just so… so… common.  They obviously don’t have a half-decent Alchemist.  Poor sods.  

One of the Priests of Brigh came over while I was looking at their stuff and we got into a lively discussion on the inferior state of his products.  I tried to inform him as to why his bombs were low-quality compared to mine, but he just wouldn’t listen!  I guess there’s no accounting for taste or skill, even in the Temple of Brigh.  Poor Lady, if I were a Goddess of ingenuity I’d want high quality products made in my name.  Not this junk.

I don’t recall much else, I guess I must’ve fallen asleep at some point.  When I woke up and went out to find our Not-Undead friend and the Priestess-Lady I found them near a big arena.  Some orc was winning at… something.  I don’t know what, but everyone was applauding and cheering, so I did too.  It’s only polite.  And Mother always said to be polite to things five times bigger than you are.  It’s just good sense.

I don’t remember too much after that.  I think I got distracted wondering about ways to set the Not-Undead guy on fire again.  Someday, journal, someday!