I realized I never posted this commission I had made of Sibiliss back from the D&D campaign, which needed to be remedied immediately because I absolutely love it. I loved the concept of the character, a Medusa Sorceress turned Queen of the Pirates, and I feel she went over exceptionally well with the players as well. They did wind up working for her after all, despite my original intention for her to be a villain.
It’s not the end of the campaign, but it is the end of the original story arc I had intended. It, like most homebrew campaigns, went unexpected places and went a whole lot longer than originally anticipated. I’m taking a short break from D&D to try out Savage Worlds, in what I hope to be a ‘Mass Effect meets Ghost in the Shell’ kind of setting. I’m calling it the unimaginative “Solethania Galactic”. Because branding and laziness. We’ll be streaming this too.
Anyway, below is the end of the first story arc of A Tale of Solethania.
And here is the whole messy playlist (apologies for various audio issues and whatnot early on).
New batch of videos are now up on my youtube channel. You don’t have to wait for my slow self to upload them there, you can keep up in real time every Sunday at 7:30pm CST at twitch.tv/rinsland!
New batch of videos since the last group was added. Maybe I’ll just continue doing it like this. But hey, you can keep up in real time every Sunday at 7:30pm CST at twitch.tv/rinsland!
I’ve been neglecting to add the D&D Campaign Streams to the website. So there’s going to be three youtube videos in this post. I’m also testing some automated sharing to Twitter and Tumblr. Because why not. You can also subscribe via RSS or email via the right hand menu.
So now, without any further ado, Session 4, 5, and 6. We stream Sundays at 7:30pm CST at twitch.tv/rinsland if you wanna come watch the antics.
Sir Avell Norclair,
Off. The Ivory Guard,
Mikayis, 2nd Frathes
Somewhere in Eastern Mountains,
It has been some time since last I wrote, as we have joined the Draconic Armies proper. You may recall, if my previous letter arrived safely, I mentioned the color of these creatures to be quite uniformly gold, the littlest of them to be called Kobolds, and the largest Dragonborn. Their faces are deeply angular and reptilian, not unlike old Wizard Nevell’s pets from our childhood. However, now that we have somewhat integrated into their grand army, I was shocked to learn they are not all of a singular color. Indeed, their coloration is that of what they call a clan or family. Each clan not only has a unique coloration (the one we were introduced to being the unimaginatively named Gold Clan) but temperament as well. In the two months of travel through these war torn lands to reach our assignment, I have determined the metallic colors to be the more friendly and amiable of the lot, while the more painterly colors are more alien, violent, and aloof.
Thus, dear sister, it was with great dismay to learn we had been assigned watch upon the snow covered mountains of Eastern Draconia Major with the White Dragonkind, or Clan White as they call themselves. We are assigned to guard these tall mountain passes with them, as the mountain climate here is not unlike our own, and we have great experience fighting in the kind of conditions that may arise. Of all the Clans I have met so far, none are like Clan White. They are, from what our helpful Gold Clan Kobold guide said, “The smallest in number of all the clans” because “The Queen is still young.” What the age of the Queen has to do with the size of the clan is quite beyond me, and I never had the opportunity to ask.
The members of Clan White are, like the gold coloration in Gold Clan, aptly named. We were met by a Dragonborn Sorcerer named Ethinon, and his cohort of Kobolds. Ethinon is a full head taller than I and almost twice my width, giving him a deeply powerful appearance like he could lift a golem by himself. But despite his immense size and number of Kobolds with him, we didn’t even notice they were there until we were nigh on top of them, so well and effortlessly were they blended into the snow. Their scales are a shimmery white, like freshly fallen snow, their tongues black, and eyes as deeply blue as the delphiniums in your garden. These creatures walk like ghosts, and we nearly lost sight of them traveling to our new fortification line. Their mannerisms are that of apex hunters, constantly stalking unseen prey.
But worst of all, dear sister, is what we learned very soon after setting up our encampment. The Kobolds of Clan White are cannibalistic. They eat their fallen in ritual meals, and turn the skins of their dead into leather pieces of armor. One of my men learned this horrific fact when he politely inquired to a Kobold about the similarity of its armor to its own scales. The Kobold apparently spent no small length of time regaling the poor man about the bravery and exploits of all the deceased Kobolds that made up this grotesque suit as if it were some form of great honor to wear their skin to guard his own.
Were it not for the greater Enemy we are so gallantly and dutifully fighting in the name of Eghrodro, I may have just turned our group around right then and there and come home, and gladly let the Dragonkind and the Demons and the Tieflings kill each other off.
However, it is not all terrible here, on the sunny days the view is stunning. I believe I can almost see the Midder Sea from our vantage point, and the mountains themselves are very much like the ones you and I explored in our youth. And you needn’t worry, and tell mother not to worry overmuch, for while there is some occasional fighting, it is much quieter here than it is nearer Ixubexo. I eagerly await any news of home and civilization you may care to send my way.
Sir Avell Norclair
Off. The Ivory Guard
Episode 3 last week, and I forgot to put it up here till now.
Had a little technical trouble to start again, but slowly getting better.
New episode. The party has left Cottingham and has resumed traveling toward Jamport. An intelligent angry badger and a mysterious hill were encountered.
There’s some important stuff that went down in this session. I figured I’d save what the various characters experienced here. Watch the session to get the full context.
A flat, snowy mountaintop above a great city carved into and from the mountain. There is a long stone table of black marble surrounded by chairs in various states of disarray. Fallen over onto the table is a figure, vaguely elflike in figure, her extravagant clothing continues to shift with the colors of the rainbow. Her skin is prismatic and scaled, hair and eyes red were like rubies. Her now lifeless expression is one of shock as she lies surrounded on the table by a pool of now dried blood. She looks eternally at her hand, the ghostly form of a ring still resting on one of her fingers. As you try to look closer at it, it fades and disappears.
An Eladrin King. His crown is dented and cracked but still rests defiantly on his head. Bandages cover part of his face and neck. His eyes are fire in color and purpose. He’s dressed for war, elegant elven-fey plate armor as white as snow, trimmed with glowing orange runes. His long orange hair flickers like fire in an unseen wind. He rides a unicorn, also adorned in plate armor. It’s horn is as red as a maple leaf, its color is almost glowing white and its eyes are literal fire, crying tears of lava into a rich dark dirt. The king’s left hand is in a sling, but he rides forward with purpose out of a castle the same white color as his armor. Behind him march thousands of Autumn Eladrin, in differing shades of skin and hair tone from bright red to deep earthy brown. Their armor the color of a setting sun, shining and glittering in the dim light of the early dusk. You are drawn like a ghost through the procession to the courtyard, in the center of which stand two knights standing watch over a freshly dug grave, whose headstone is a statue, an elegant Eladrin queen.
Plume of Smoke:
A mighty armada of warships, hundreds, possibly thousands, of them, sailing toward a blood red sky. In the air are four airships, built for war, keeping pace with the rest. Behind them a chain of islands are burning, the great clouds of smoke partially concealing the armada. At the head of this armada is one great and imposing ship, a man-o-war, with hundreds of crewmembers and carrying almost 300 cannon. And yet it looks like it has been dredged out of ocean, and barely looks seaworthy. At the prow of this mighty ship is a figurehead. It’s a stone statue of a girl tied to a bow, eyes blindfolded, her face etched in an eternal silent scream.
Vast dunes of sand as far as the eye can see. Walking across them you see giant mechanical scarabs, they are the size of semi trucks. They’re carried along on metal mechanical legs as thick as people, these things are so large a person could walk underneath a moving one and not have to duck to avoid its underbelly. There are dozens of them, atop each are flags, weapons like canons or ballista, one even looks like it has a trebuchet on its back. Trotting in formation around them are raptors, ridden by undead skeletons. Their armor is comprised of thick cloth and scale male, and a cloth wrapped around pointed helmet gives it the helmet the look of a turban. They each carry a spear, with a bow and quiver on their backs. Behind them march thousands of undead footsoldiers. Armored in a similar style as the riders, they carry a large shield (like roman style) and a long spear. Flags and pendants of multiple colors blow in the hot desert wind. They pass you by almost soundlessly.
Andrut stared at the near perfect sphere of rice sitting in the clay bowl in front of him. Bright white, it stood in stark contrast to the deeper reds of the bowl and the dark brown of the bar counter. A little steam trickled from it into the air, and small clay saucers sat around the bowl holding an array of different sauces, dressings, and vegetables.
It had been a day or so since the Bard Pria Tama had come through, showing them all how to make a meal of the town’s windfall of rice. Rice, when you know how to cook it, seemed to Andrut a very flexible thing with a lot of possibilities. The Tabaxi pirate that was traveling with the Bard had shown them that, when she made a small dessert out of it.
Two elderly human sailors entered the bar. It was fairly empty, being it was early afternoon and most regulars were still out on the ocean fishing or working the docks. They both walked over and sat themselves down on stools opposite Andrut. He looked up from the food at them, his voice resounding with the depth of the sea,
Karl answered, an elegantly carved whalebone pipe jutting out like a lighthouse from a giant bushy beard of silver, “I reckon we’ll be having a pint, to start the afternoon.” He looked at the rice between them with eyes the color of the sea, “I’ll take a six copper meal atop that, though we can be convinced to go half if you want to use us to test this here northerner food.” He placed some coins on the counter.
Andrut laughed as he counted out the coins and handed a couple back before pouring their beer, “Fair enough. Help yourself to the rice and whatever else is there. Tell me what you like best.”
Dave was a bit younger than Karl, but not much. He had short hair and a well trimmed beard. They were a couple of old retired fishermen with little to do anymore now that their sons had taken over the family responsibilities. Lifelong friends, they now spent most of their time down at the Leaky Whale, reminiscing about the good old days, talking shop with Andrut, and offering advice to anyone who’d listen (and a few who wouldn’t) until their sons would come in and take them back to their respective homes for the evening.
Today was no different. All the news about the medusa, some jokes about the new stone bar decor, the pirates just leaving a heavily laden ship behind kept the conversation between the three of them quite animated. Andrut’s booming voice would echo out from wherever he happened to be in the building as he kept up with their chatter while cleaning or preparing for the evening rush. Karl and Dave tried a few different sauces, by pulling off chunks of sticky rice and rolling it up into bite size balls and dipping them into the various sauces. They settled on a beer cheese sauce as the preferred sauce. There was a minor discussion between them before they called Andrut over. Dave pulled out a couple more copper,
“You got any mutton around? We want to try something here, we’ll need it real thin, like almost…”, he looked around the counter before settling on the Tiefling himself, “Thin as your apron. Hell, if you got any sea veggies to go with, that’d probably be good too.”
Andrut cocked an eye, “Ain’t every day I hear you two requesting a thinner cut meat.” They laughed and shooed him towards the kitchen area.
In the kitchen there was a large grey chest, bolted firmly to the floor and wall. Blue runes flickered and danced across the top and sides, leaving a trail of frost behind them. The front had a small handle that connected to a circular rune in such a way as when Andrut walked over and turned the handle the magic of the rune went out, the dancing runes disappeared, and the top of the chest popped open with a frozen hiss. The interior walls of the chest were covered in a thick layer of frost. It was here Andrut kept most of his non-fish meats to prevent spoilage. He grabbed a decently sized chunk of mutton from there and tossed it onto a grill and covered it. When he closed the magical chest and returned the handle to its original position, the rune lit up and the various other runes resumed their dance across the surface.
A short period of time later he returned from the kitchen with a small plate of thin cooked mutton slices and sea veggies and set it in front of the two old men. They handed him another copper each for more beer, and as Andrut poured, they simultaneously explained and built their new food concoction. “Y’see Tiefling, the thing about mutton is it goes good with this here beer.” Karl said, “And this rice keeps its shape when dipped in this here beer cheese sauce. So,” he winked conspiratorially at Andrut, “Stands to reason that this here mutton goes together with this here cheese sauce, and that when you shape the rice in a long shape like this, you can drape the mutton over it like so, tie it all together with the veggies, and dip the thing in the sauce, take a bite, and then a swig.” Karl, finished up his sentence in that precise manner. Dave and Andrut waited expectantly for him to finish. He put down his pint with a grin, “Aye, that’s the stuff. Go ahead, try it yourself.”
This odd dish was quite the hit among the dockworkers and fishermen who arrived that evening, and its popularity quickly spread throughout the town, and led to more experiments with different kinds of meats and sauces, wrapped or tied with edible seaweed. The ‘Classic Slice on Rice with a Pint’ would continue to be Karl and Dave’s food of choice in the times to come, when they would pull up their seat at the bar and shoot the breeze with Andrut, until their sons would come to take them home.
Last week (yeah I was slow getting this up) I created a log raft challenge/race for D&D. It involved a water elemental, and was the very first time I tried streaming one of our sessions. There were some minor things I’d like to get cleaned up with it, but hopefully it improves as we go along. At least next time you’ll be able to hear everyone at the start.
Check out the stream here:
The Race Mechanics, as written before the session started. I made some adjustments on the fly, simply to help things go smoother. If I revisit this, I’ll probably rewrite them to be more in line with what I’ve learned.
- Perception at the start. Perception dictates how aware of the obstacles in front of you before hitting them. If you’re well aware, you can roll to potentially avoid, mitigate, or even target an obstacle’s effects.
- If the HP of your craft hits 0, it breaks apart and the logs are lost downstream, to hopefully be recovered by those at the end.
- More than one person can handle any raft. However, 4 log rafts suffer disadvantage on roles with more than one, 12 log rafts have disadvantage with less than 2, and 20 log rafts have disadvantage with less than 4.
- You can add a sail to the raft. It gives +10 speed, but makes it more difficult to maneuver out of the way of obstacles. It takes a turn to set up or take down.
Eddy. Eddy is a water elemental who lives at and near the confluence of the Draime and Limlar River. He is, at least for the denizens of Cottingham, a literal force of nature. Eddy is not malevolent or hostile, however it likes to ‘toy’ with passerby, by manipulating the waters of the river. The larger the craft, the more likely it is to draw the attention of Eddy. And Eddy loves to have fun. He always goes first in initiative, because he is pretty much the literal embodiment of the river in the area.
-Gene’s Rafters (4 man, Big One 20log)
-Bel (Traditional 4log) played by Pria’s player
-Rainald’s Racers (4 man, Pyramid 12log)
-Inyen (Nimble 4log) played by Venita’s player
Navigator -calls out upcoming obstacles,
Polemen/Paddlers -push or paddle to control raft as needed,
Helmsman -Mans the rudder.
Initiative order is based on the raft, and the people within the raft.
At the start of a raft’s turn, roll to see if any hazards happen.
On the second turn, Eddy starts doing his thing at the start of the turn, and retains first spot in the initiative order. Roll a 1d12 and see what happens from the table, to someone who is targeted by whatever means you think is good. I used a dice roll because that seemed to work out ok.
Table of potential hazards:
|1||Sand Bar||A slow, shallow area of sand either above or just below the surface.||Slows/stops movement for a turn until able to push off. (STR, or STR Athletics)|
|2||Stump||A tree fell into the river at some point, and the stump/roots became lodged here||Roll 1d4. 1-2 take damage. 3-4 half speed next turn to disantangle from roots.
Log Size: 12-20 half speed 2 turns.
|3||Eddy||Water rushes around behind an obstacle towards shore in a reverse current. A large enough eddy will form a whirlpool.||Roll 1d8. 1-2 is a whirlpool, become stuck until successful Dex/Str save, 3-4 get launched toward nearest shore and lose control for a turn, 5-6 retain control and slingshot downriver an extra 15 ft. 7-8 Eddy the Elemental is having fun.|
Log Size: 12-20 ignore unless 7-8.
|4||Water Pillow||Water piles up against an underwater obstacle and flows around it.||Lose 5 ft of movement.|
Log Size: 8-20 take damage.
|5||Pourover||Submerged ledge. It’s like a vertical eddy. A quick slide down effect into a wave of angry recirculating backwash at the bottom.||Roll 1d8. on a 1, get knocked off in the backwash (DC 10 save). On a 2-3 get stuck for a turn in the backwash. 4-7 nothing happens. On an 8, get catapulted forward an extra 5 ft.|
Log Size: 12-20 ignore 2-8.
|6||Rapids||Either due to underwater boulders, Eddy the Elemental, or just the two rivers slamming into each other, the water moves fast and is very turbulent and frothy in this section.||Roll 1d6. 1-2 boulders, take damage. 3-5, It’s just the river, go faster 5ft. 6, It’s Eddy having fun (see table).|
Log Size: Traditional, nimble, long make DC10,14,12 or get rolled.
|7||Sweeper/Strainer||A tree hangs over the river (if near shore, sweeper) or a submerged tree lies underneath, slowing the water and whatever goes through gets slowed down.||If sweeper, DC10 to stay in boat. If Strainer, slowed by 10ft.|
Log Size: 4 ignore strainer. 12-20 Save Advantage vs sweeper.
|8||Hole/Hydraulic||Water is flowing back in on top of itself creating a large churn. Usually caused by water flowing over a rock and creating a void behind it. May also be a breaking wave.||DC 12 or become stuck until a succesfull save.|
Log Size: 12-20 ignore.
|9||Flock of Birds||Up to a flock of ducks, pelicans, geese, doves, swans, or cranes fly through your space.||DC12 to become slowed by 5ft next turn.|
|10||Deep Current||You found a deep, possibly main, channel. It’s deep and fast.||Gain 15ft this turn. No obstacle roll next turn.|
|11||Headwind||A strong wind blows water in your face, impairing sight, and negating a sail if you have one.||DC12 save. If sail equipped, must choose either disadvantage next turn on roll with no avoidance roll, or be slowed 15ft next turn.|
Eddy having fun table:
|1||Ice Sledding||A large sheet of Ice rises up under the raft, for a good distance in front of you. You lose control of the raft and speed dangerously fast down the sheet of ice. Until you hit the end, hit an object, or slide off the edge.||Roll 1d6. 1-2 you shoot off the end of the ice and catch a bit of air doing so. Gain 15ft this turn. 3-4 You hit an object, take damage and fall off ice and off your raft. 5-6 You manage to somehow manipulate your raft off the edge of the ice (sail gets advantage)
|2||Water Splash||Eddy Splashes you with a wave of water.||DC10 to hang on. Get pushed 15 ft. Roll 1d4 to determine direction your raft gets pushed. 1 = North, 2 = East, 3 = South, 4 = West.|
|3||Geyser||Eddy causes a geyser of water to explode under the raft, lifting it into the air.||The smaller the craft, the further in the air it gets launched. 4log, 6 dmg. 8 log, 4 dmg. 12log, 2dmg. 20log no dmg. 4log raft, make DC14 to stay on raft.|
|4||Giant Whirlpool||Eddy creates a giant whirlpool and spins your boat around in it.||Get stuck for the turn. At the start of next turn get launched 25ft. Make an obstacle roll, cannot avoid it.|
|5||Passenger||A small humanoid blob of water plops itself down onto the boat and relaxes on the deck in a manner not unlike the bystanders on the shore. Your raft slows to a leisurely pace.||Half speed next two turns. No need for obstacle rolls, as obstacles just ‘get out of the way’.|
|6||The Waterfall||A section of the river literally arcs toward the sky for a good 30 ft, and then falls down in a gigantic fall. Hang on.||Eddy loves waterfalls. He loves going over them, He loves being one. He thinks you do too. So you find yourself and your raft unexpectedly going over a 30ft fall where just moments ago there was no waterfall. DC15 to hang on. 5 damage to your raft. On a successful save, get launched 15ft extra down the river, ignoring obstacles due to ‘riding the wave’.|