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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!

Yuan-ti Have a Wedding

Elrothir:

It is my hope that this letter finds you well.  We have won our way from the roadhouse, following a tunnel out into the Mere of Dead Men.  Rest assured, the place does not live up to its name and we are all hale and well.  

In an interesting bit of news though, we found another bard captive among the lizard-folk in the tunnel; a woman by name of Tosca McTambour.  From her letter of introduction, she is a celebrated artisan from Waterdeep so it may be likely you’ll have heard of her there.  Apparently, though, our resident investigator Koto Okaya was smitten at first sight.  He offered Tosca one of the rings from the wizard, Antun’s, belongings — the man died tragically in an unfortunate pit of lava — but the offer of a ring is a custom of marriage in Tosca’s culture!  Imagine that.  Koto didn’t seem to protest much, given the woman’s pleasing aesthetic.

Impromptu weddings aside, we encountered a small yuan-ti hunting party out on the moors but they weren’t anything we couldn’t handle.  With the wizard gone, it was interesting to see how cooperative the party’s efforts became in dispatching our enemies.  They show a lot more promise now that they’re able to showcase their own skills instead of relying on the crutch of the wizard’s arsenal.

We have camped for the time being in the abandoned yuan-ti camp near some kind of lake.  I scouted it myself in the form of a giant snake so as not to arouse any suspicion, but I found little of import.  The lake stretched farther than I dare scout alone, there was nothing beneath the water in terms of caves of passages of egress, and no other signs of the yuan-ti disembarking anywhere.  They had to go somewhere; the canoes stationed at the lake’s edge near the encampment stood silent testimony to that fact.

Still, those are other concerns for tomorrow.  Ellywick sends her regards!

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A Mini Journey

I’ve been considering taking up painting miniatures for my D&D games for a while now, but was oftentimes overwhelmed at the sheer bulk of information there is out there about it.  Even basic “starter kit” suggestions seemed a bit much for my novitiate mind, so I kept hemming and hawing about it for ages.  Well, I finally decided to just bite the bullet, throw down and a starter paint kit and go from there.  My first attempt has been clumsy to say the least, but I overlooked a few things that are likely pretty important.

Primer being first and foremost on the List of Things I Neglected to Buy.  The kit I purchased didn’t have any.  (Why you’d sell a starter kit without primer, I’m not entirely sure!)  So when I sat down and started painting I realized that my paint ended up running off the mini more than it actually stuck!

Woe is me, but I refused to be defeated.  I stuck with it and applied a couple of extra layers of basecoat before I started adding colors for the armor and weaponry.  So far, I feel like it’s rather a trainwreck of horribleness, but for a first attempt I don’t think it’s that bad.  Plus, it’s an orc bad guy — bad guys can look terrible!

I’ve reached out to friends that paint minis on the regular, though, and they’ve all been super helpful so I’m hoping it will help me improve.  I just need to get some proper primer…

dnd5e-elaria-adrifthour

I said I would write from our adventures on the road.  Some means by which you can reconnect and reconnoiter yourself to this world centuries beyond the one you remember.  I’m not sure why I’m doing this or if you’ll even read these when they reach you.  Still, I hope this letter finds you well and that you’ve found somewhere to establish yourself.

Our first day since parting ways with you was spent mostly shopping.  Shopping!  As if there weren’t an evil band of cultists bearing the treasure hoard of a dragon-queen away to the North and we had all the time in the world to waste.  I don’t know yet that we’ll ever find the relics that were stolen from Evermeet given the sheer size and quantity of what’s being taken North.  I would not be me if I didn’t try, though.  While I have no particular care for the relics, I’m being paid a handsome sum to track and recover them.  If I can manage that much, then that’s all the better for me.

My companions still leave something to be desired.  The wizard seems to be a bumbling idiot; how this party has survived this long with him — well, they must be significantly blessed of one god or another.  The “investigator”, as he stylizes and prides himself, appears to be what passes for a leader in this group and, subsequently, decides everything for everyone with little input from anyone else.  The dragonkin is more muscle than brain and his blood-thirst in battle is highly concerning for someone so supposedly light-born as a paladin.  I think, perhaps, he is a barbarian in sheep’s clothing.  The gnome seems to be their comedic relief, adding a light-heartedness to what seems would ultimately be a party of bandits.  The ranger says little to nothing at all.  The recent addition of the “legendary” bard is something of an enigma for now.

They are largely thankless and disingenuous.  Twice now have I garnered higher wages for them (once at the command of the aforementioned investigator) and still they offer me little in the way of respect — particularly the wizard.  They shared nothing of their story with me when I joined the caravan, but told it readily to the bard when he joined so it’s clear to me that it has nothing to do with being a strange face to the party and more that they’re prejudiced against elves for whatever reason–though can that really be said when another elf already travels with them?  Perhaps, then, it is just me they dislike.  Thusfar, I’ve no reason to place much faith or trust in them; they attacked me without provocation when I joined them, have done little to include me in their doings despite decades more experience.  They are, for now, simply a means to an easier end.  If the cultists are distracted enough by their efforts, then perhaps I can infiltrate them and their wagons further to find out more.

When not occupied with the foolhardy ventures of my companions, I find that my thoughts turn to your first words to me.  “I know you,” you said.  Admittedly, my memory is not what it once was.  The Emerald Enclave restored me to life after an incident they will only ever refer to as “an unfortunate accident.”  My debt to them is being paid by this search for their stolen relics.  I don’t remember much of my life before then, only since, and that has been filled with travelling the world in search of every rumor and every lead that might bring me to my goal.  Once my debt to the Enclave is clear, I will be free to be my own person and do as I please.

I digress, however.  I wonder then where you might know me from and how.  Perhaps I will ask the gnome your story as we travel and it will afford me some insight.  Even that much I have not been entrusted with, though I did what little I could to see you left in comfort and safety.  I may be a selfish creature at times, but even I have my moments of altruism.  

I must needs leave you with this for now, though.  There is work to be done in the roadhouse where the caravan has pulled in and I, for one, intend to at least pull my weight.  They may dislike me, but they won’t be able to say that I don’t do my share.

Regards,

dnd5e-elaria-sig

Instruments of the Gods

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The Rod of Seven Parts…

For many, it was only a thing of legend; a whisper in the night never to be fully realized in the waking world of reality. An artifact of such intense power that it could not remain in one piece for long, destined to be eternally broken and remade time and time again. Many who sought the Rod and its power embarked upon a fruitless quest, the waste of a lifetime. Yet, there were also those who built their entire life around it, believed them destined to find it.

Taka Ironfeather was one such creature. Born in the shadow of the Star Mounts as a child of the Last Aerie, she was raised on stories of the Rod and fed the light and word of the old Goddess, Syranita. As she grew up, her entire life’s work was dedicated to the study of the Rod, mapping out where even the barest whisper of rumor cared to mention it. She also studied the Arcane so that, someday soon, she might make her way out into the world of the Ground-dwellers and seek out the Rod. Never once in her wildest dreams would she have ever thought that opportunity would come looking for her instead.

Summoned by the Goddess, Sune, Taka was taken to Her celestial demi-plane where the Goddess herself requested for her aid.  The party that Taka arrived with prostrated themselves before the beauty of this foreign goddess, but the aarakocra remained unmoved. Her heart and soul belonged to but one goddess; she would bend knee to no other. What interested Taka most, however, was the goddess’s promise that she would be the recipient of a piece of the Rod of Seven Parts. The woman’s request seemed simple enough: rid her of her enemy, the evil goddess, Talos.

There are some who might have said it a fool’s errand. What chance to mortal men and women have against the power and might of two deities at war? The same chance of an ant against a boot, some might say. Yet, aarakocra are bred of sterner stuff. Any chance to find a piece of the Rod was worth fighting for; it was even a chance worth dying for. Taka’s loyalty to the search for the Rod and the might of her people was no exception as she agreed to the woman’s terms.

Across dangerous planes and the paths of equally dangerous foes, Taka and her party fought. Down into the heart of a mysterious labyrinth of puzzles, curiosities, and creatures most foul did they win their way. It was here, through the grace of Sune, on the cusp of the final battle with Talos, that the very item that was Taka’s lifeblood now rested in her hands.

A twelve-inch piece of the Rod of Seven Parts.

The lusterless black substance of the rod was not metal, wood, or stone.  It felt neither light nor heavy. Each end of the foot-long piece was an intricate puzzle of geometric facets of both protrusions and depressions. She clutched it to her chest, closing her eyes and praying to Syranita that this wasn’t some kind of twisted illusion. Part of her looked around at the party she was with, calling to mind the Teleportation spell that could easily carry her back home. She had what she came for. What care did she have for ground-dwellers and their ground-dwelling problems?

Despite her loyalty to her people and to the search for the Rod, however, she was an aarakocra of her word. She would follow through with her end of the bargain, as she promised, and conduct herself with honor.

Part of her paused. Since when do I care about honor and keeping my word?

None of it mattered, however.  What mattered was keeping this part of the Rod and then, perhaps, finding the next.  First, though, they had an evil goddess to slay.

“Let’s not waste time, groundlings,” she said to the party as they gathered themselves in the Room of Mirrors. “I’m sure you want to go back home as much as I do. Let us finish this.”