Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
Recruitment Play-by-Post Play-by-Post Discussion
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

PaizoCon 2014!

On Abadar's Secret Service (Inactive)

Game Master James Martin

A game of colonization and exploration in a new land with new dangers and threats.


151 to 200 of 1,224 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>

Male Catfolk Bard 5; HP 28/28; AC 17/13/14; F+1/R+7/W+4; Init +3; Per +10

Songan looks to Catlia curiously, tilting his head to the side in the same inquisitive way most felines display. His hears seem to perk slightly as he considers the words that the gnome relayed to her. "I didn't see anything...but if you had a vision of one of your kind telling us to hold fast, I think we should probably heed the advice. Should we get the colonists together to make it easier to protect them? Or would that only concentrate all the targets in one place?"


Catila:
It's not Aklo, but it and Aklo do share a common ancestor. You may, in time, be able to pick up the language a bit quicker because of its shared roots.

As for the First World, most gnomes know of it as the place where all fey and gnomes came from. They don't know why or when or how, but it's where they came from at some point in the past: a primal land, sort of the precursor to this world. You were born here, but your ancestors came from there.

From the spot where Songan indicated, comes a sound, a scrabbling noise, as if someone was scratching at the fence. It's near the top. Still, you see nothing.


Female Half-Elf Rogue 1/ Inquisitor 4. Init: +5, hp: 30/30 F: +4, R: +4, W: +7, AC: 18

Perception 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24

"I saw... someone too... as the beast disappeared. It looked like the beast's summoner or controller"

Lena steps forward gingerly, crossbow raised. She aims at the spot where she and Songan noticed a humanoid shape.
Ready action if possible to shoot anything which suddenly appears from that area and rushes us

When Catila darts forward with her call, Lena covers the gnome but if Orin and Daisy are following her then Lena decides that they can handle the scouting and she returns to the town to help calm the townsfolk. If the little folk decide they need Lena's help, she will follow


Female Gnome Bard (Detective)/ 5

@Chainmail:

Oh! Hey I've read an excellent Sci-Fi/Fantasy Series that involves something along those lines! The protagonist is a girl who's had all kinds of cybernetic enhancements, that keep growing stronger as her AI evolves, she's one super tough cookie. The story is in a time where several worlds are merging. 'Our' world, Demon world, Fey world (perhaps others, I forget). The main girl is in love with a demon, and one of her best friends is a fey panther in human form. Anyway, your First World reminds me much of the Fey world in the series. Just wish I remembered the name of the books!

Catila turns to answer Songan "Well the enemy has shown that they can attack us within the gates, so yes, I agree that keeping the colonists gathered together will help us keep an eye on them all."

Then at the scratching noise "Whatever is that"


Male Human (Chelaxian) Alchemist (vivisectonist) 5 (Init +2; AC 17, t12, ff15; hp 18/41; F+6/R+6/W+1)

Krupt watches the others go, not envying them their task. Then he turns to Sister Mara, a bright, toothy smile on his face that doesn't quite extend to his eyes.

"Well, sister, my intrepid associates will be off to hunt down the thing that bedevils us soon. In the meantime, the rest of us are here to attend you and the other colonists as we may. How may we best serve?"


Female Gnome Bard (Detective)/ 5

Others haven't gone anywhere just yet. Catila stopped after her vision


Male Dwarf Druid(Menhir Savant) 1, hp 11/11, AC 17, (T11/FF16), Init +1, Perc +7 F+4/R+1/W+4 (+3vsSpells)

Orin stops short when Catila stops.

"Well shouldn't we at least see where it got in, even if we don't follow?"

He draws his sword at the sound of the scratching.


Male Catfolk Bard 5; HP 28/28; AC 17/13/14; F+1/R+7/W+4; Init +3; Per +10

"I don't suppose anyone has a spell prepared that will allow us to see invisible things? Just in case?"


Grimfang rushes to the wall and begins growling and pacing at the spot where you heard the scratching, looking upward. From the top of the fence, there is a sudden flash as something becomes visible atop the palisade. For a moment you see a small pale humanoid with white hair and skin, wearing a jaguar skull headdress with a jaguar skin cloak and loincloth. He smiles a wicked smile, revealing sharpened teeth, just before falling out of sight on the far side of the wall.

Catila experiences a shudder of recognition.

It was a gnome. A bleachling gnome.


Female Gnome Bard (Detective)/ 5

And a bleachling Gnome is...? And was it the same one from her vision?


Bleaching, courtesy of the Pathfinder Wiki:

The Bleaching is a result of the gnomes' exodus from their home plane. It only serves to fuel their racial curiosity and whimsy. In essence the Bleaching is a sort of unnatural aging that gnomes have experienced since their migration to Golarion. While gnomes are still immortal, they now require regular wondrous or vivid experiences to sustain themselves otherwise they begin to fade, their entire body losing all its colour. The condition is eventually fatal.

Origin

Despite generations of visionary gnomish research, the exact nature of the dire affliction known as the Bleaching remains a mystery. The race’s scholars believe it is tied to the events of the exodus and insist that the mortal world lacks the animus to nourish a gnome’s sophisticated spirit.

Effects

The Bleaching manifests itself as a blanching of skin, hair, and eye color during early adulthood. From there on, the complexion of the gnomish body is tied to the experiences she alights upon. The more shocking and vivid a gnome’s life, the more vivid she herself becomes and the longer she lives. In contrast, a lack of excitement causes a fading of color and is accompanied by depression and the dulling of curiosity, heralding the beginning of a vicious spiral that leads to insanity and death. Due to the effects of the Bleaching, a gnome’s age is not tied to the passing of time. Instead, every year a gnome lives without experiencing new wonders takes a toll on her physiology, causing her to age noticeably.

Bleachlings

While many gnomes succumb to the horrific effects of the Bleaching in a long and drawn out process after they cease to excite their senses, some are able to exist in its emotional void. Often fueled by a dramatic trauma, these individuals, called “bleachlings,” remain in a distorted state of consciousness, immune to the final touches of the affliction. Their skin, hair, and eyes seem either colorless or in moderate earthly tones, and their demeanors are calm and dreamy. A bleachling’s connection to the First World is incredibly strong, granting her elderly wisdom and renewed powers of her fey heritage as well as an ageless existence. Bleachlings are generally at least middle age before the aging effects of the process cease to affect them. At this point a bleachling effectively ceases to age.


Female Half-Elf Rogue 1/ Inquisitor 4. Init: +5, hp: 30/30 F: +4, R: +4, W: +7, AC: 18

Do we all see this? If so then:

"What the-!?"

Lena runs to the nearest gate in an attempt to get around to the place where the bleachling might have landed. (If thats quite far, she will instead attempt to get up on to the wall and look down)


Female Gnome Bard (Detective)/ 5

Wait, what?? Gnomes are immortal??


Male Tiefling Void Elementalist 5

Everything from the first world is immortal.


Effectively, yes, as long as they keep having new experiences. They're very close to fey in Pathfinder, even more so than the elves.

Lena looks to the gate and the wall and judges the gate to be closer. She races there, pushing through as fast as she can before racing to where the pale gnome fell. She sees no sign of him, but scans the area intently.

Perception check please, as well as from anyone who raced to see where the pale gnome went.


Male Dwarf Druid(Menhir Savant) 1, hp 11/11, AC 17, (T11/FF16), Init +1, Perc +7 F+4/R+1/W+4 (+3vsSpells)

Ogrim rushes after Lena, bringing along Grimfang.

Perception 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (9) + 9 = 18


Male Human (Chelaxian) Alchemist (vivisectonist) 5 (Init +2; AC 17, t12, ff15; hp 18/41; F+6/R+6/W+1)

Krupt stays put, having been duly impressed with the the enemy's show of strength and deception, but still waiting for the other shoe to drop. He'll remain by Sister Mara unless the pursuers give word of finding anything.


Male Half-Orc Paladin of the Sacred Shield 4

Mevakh watches the others go looking for this white-faced gnome, but hangs back with the Chelaxian doctor. "It's probably best that we do not leave the colonists without defenders. Should the enemy try another strike, I intend to be here to protect them. I'm glad to see that I am not the only one."


Female Gnome Bard (Detective)/ 5

Catila too races behind Lena. Despite the warning of her distant cousin, the bleachling, her curiosity by far gets the better of her. When she reaches the spot she looks all around.

Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (18) + 10 = 28

Remember all, you have +1 to perception, reflex and init for the next hour or so.


Male Human (Chelaxian) Alchemist (vivisectonist) 5 (Init +2; AC 17, t12, ff15; hp 18/41; F+6/R+6/W+1)
Mevakh Ahrask wrote:
Mevakh watches the others go looking for this white-faced gnome, but hangs back with the Chelaxian doctor. "It's probably best that we do not leave the colonists without defenders. Should the enemy try another strike, I intend to be here to protect them. I'm glad to see that I am not the only one."

"Merely sound judgement, my good man. As a doctor I've learned to obtain a proper diagnosis before I wield my knives. We don't know all that's afoot here. And as you said, leaving the colonists unattended would be unwise. It may be just what our enemy is attempting to make us do."


Male Half-Orc Paladin of the Sacred Shield 4

Mevakh eyes Krupt as he speaks, though he tries his best to keep an eye on the area in case more enemies arise. With his free hand, he reaches down to his belt and briefly rubs a string that ties nothing. Normally, the priests and followers of Abadar wear golden keys on their belts, but Mevakh has none. When he was offered a key in Absalom after finishing his training as a holy warrior, he declined. The key, he told them, he would only accept after earning his freedom - and he would wear it as a reminder to himself of the accomplishment and a reminder of the First Master's teachings.

The half-orc speaks to Sister Mara, the new leader of this expedition. "It seems that we have discovered what happened to the previous villagers. This community will prosper, though, once we root out whatever darkness this island holds."


Male Catfolk Bard 5; HP 28/28; AC 17/13/14; F+1/R+7/W+4; Init +3; Per +10

Songan follows Catila, Lena, and Orin away from the camp, hoping that he, too, can get a better look at the oddly pale humanoid that they just saw climbing the wall, trusting that those who are staying behind can defend the colonists long enough to shout for help if they need it. Drawing his bow as he goes, he nocks an arrow, getting himself ready for combat should it prove necessary.

Perception: 1d20 + 8 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 8 + 1 = 15
Eesh. Good thing Catila had a good roll...


Female Half-Elf Rogue 1/ Inquisitor 4. Init: +5, hp: 30/30 F: +4, R: +4, W: +7, AC: 18

Lena rushes through the gate, noting the three others at her back. With her crossbow ready she scans the area, Catila's strange tune still stuck in her head. Lena finds the melody calming and it helps to focus her eyes.

Perception 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (19) + 10 = 29
boom


As the party splits into pursuers and defenders, the pursuers rush to the spot where the gnome dropped from the wall. Lena and Catila's sharp eyes spy a series of bent or broken stems leading into the jungle; the gnome is swift, but definitely not covering his trail. From earlier exploration, you know that he is heading toward a small stream that runs toward the sea past the colony.

In the fort walls, Sister Mara nods at Mevahk's words and clears her throat loudly. "Do not be afraid! This is a challenge, yes, but no larger a challenge than carving new lives from a strange island! We will not fail. We will not be frightened off. We will stand together and we will prevail!" The colonists look to each other, not seemingly completely swayed by the Sister's words.


Female Gnome Bard (Detective)/ 5

Plus Scent, don't forget Scent ; )

As they continue speeding after the strange Gnome, Catila calls out loudly "Wait cousin! I promise, we mean you no harm! We merely wish to speak with you!"

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22

So did Daisy and Leralt in fact stay back with the defenders? Otherwise that just leaves two defenders. And is Daisy even still with us?


Male Tiefling Void Elementalist 5

Yeah I guess he stayed behind. Don't blame me if you suffer without my magical expertise ;)


Female Gnome Bard (Detective)/ 5

Lol, we'll do our best! ; )


Catila calls out to the fleeing gnome. A moment later, a lilting voice floats back in Sylvan. "I will speak with the kin. No other. Leave us and I shall speak in peace."


Male Catfolk Bard 5; HP 28/28; AC 17/13/14; F+1/R+7/W+4; Init +3; Per +10

Songan slows at the returned call of the bleachling, his ears dropping flat against his head. [B]"Alone? I do not think it a good idea. He could easily pick you off when you are separated from us. I do not like it."[/] he says to Catila.

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14


Male Dwarf Druid(Menhir Savant) 1, hp 11/11, AC 17, (T11/FF16), Init +1, Perc +7 F+4/R+1/W+4 (+3vsSpells)

"I don't like it, but if you go take Grimfang, he'll look after you."

Orin tells Grimfang to defend Catila.


Female Gnome Bard (Detective)/ 5

Having no fear whatsoever herself, Catila nevertheless bows to the common sense of her allies and answers back in the same tongue "I will come! But my friends insist I take the wolf with me for protection. I will tell him to stand several feet back."

If the Gnome approves, she approaches slowly, her gaze peeled for any sign of trickery but a warm and welcoming smile on her face.

Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (10) + 9 = 19


The pale gnome awaits you, sitting about 10 feet up on a low branch. He looks at you with undisguised curiosity. "How did you come to this land? We have never seen others of the People before, save the Unspeakable Ones."

He is thin, almost gaunt and made of whipcord muscle. He is not the same gnome you saw in your vision however.


Female Gnome Bard (Detective)/ 5

'Interesting' Catila muses to herself as she notices that this Gnome is different that the one of her vision 'Perhaps there is more than one faction here on the Island. His words seem to indicate at least one other such'

Again answering in the same tongue she smiles winningly and says "Well met cousin! Who are these Unspeakable Ones, if I may ask? Are they enemies of yours? As for why and how I am here, well, I imagine you already know that I arrived on the great ship with all the others, the one you sank" she evidences no anger or malice in this probing question, she simply states it as a fact " As for why. I am here to investigate the disappearance of all the previous colonists. I consider it great fortune to have met you already, for I surmise that you might be able to provide many answers on that front. But oh! Silly me! Please forgive me cousin! I forget myself! I am Dr. Catila Eyesquint, Detective Extraordinaire! What may I call you? And how do you come to this land? How long have you been here?"

If there are any Knowledge checks she can make in this situation, please feel free to roll them for her


He looks at you for a long moment before responding. "You speak much. No one must leave. No one must be allowed. The others were given to He Who Gnaws. I am Tarak, first of the Far Walkers. I have always been here." He seems confused, as if he doubts there is anywhere BUT here.


Back in the colony, the colonists seem a bit less scared, but you catch sight of many furtive hand gestures that all mean the same thing: protection from evil. Many of them are very decidedly not Abadarian in nature. Finally, the crowd disburses, heading back to their dorms to huddle together for comfort. Murmurs of "We're doomed. They sent us here to die. We're a sacrifice to their devil gods." echo through the crowd.

Sister Mara sighs and seems to visibly deflate. "This is not my strong suit," she murmurs and turns back to the adventurers. "Please, what should I do now?"


Male Tiefling Void Elementalist 5

"I would suggest that you assure these people that they are as safe as they make themselves. So working on a sort of watch or guard and training to defend themselves is important. Also that all they have seen is a trick, created by magic none the less but no more then I could do myself. A watchful eye, calm mind, and prepared defenses will keep them safe from illusional gods.


Mara nods, sighs and takes a deep breath. "I am truly grateful for your presence here. And your wisdom. I will begin drills tomorrow; we have enough shelter for now, we can afford to put off more construction until everyone is comfortable with the spear and crossbow."


Female Gnome Bard (Detective)/ 5

Catila is silent for a few moments as she contemplates her backwater distant kin. 'Were we truly once as they?' she wonders to herself.

When she speaks though, her smile is still friendly and genuine "Ah Tarak! It is truly a pleasure. And yes, haha, I have been known to speak overmuch! So, 'He Who Gnaws', eh? That must have been the fearsome creature who appeared before our walls? You yourself must command great power to be able to summon such a being! I am impressed! But, forgive me I must ask, why exactly is it that no one must leave? And surely whatever reason there is, it couldn't apply to those of us from other lands, could it? We came here innocently and with only good intentions. We thought this land was empty and uninhabited! We had nor have no desire to upset or offend any one. Can't we all just get along? Surely there's more than enough space here to do so, yes? And just think, that would give you and I a chance to get to know each other better, doesn't that sound nice?" he final smile the biggest of all of them yet.


Male Half-Orc Paladin of the Sacred Shield 4

Diplomacy 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25

Mevakh scoffs at the tiefling's words. "It isn't a task that they need, or a goal. It is a reason to be here." He stands up to his full height and holds his hands out to the colonists. "Men! Women! Do not fear! We are here for a reason. Abadaria is that reason. Creatures like that may stand in our way, but they are mere obstacles in the way of civilization. Did Aroden shy away from bringing forth Absolom out of nothing? Nor shall we! We will carve a place for ourselves, and for all those who flee the chaos and towards order, on this island, no matter who or what stands in our way! I pledge to you that I will give my life, gladly and without regret, to defend you, to defend Abadaria! Who stands with me? Who stands with the future?"


Male Tiefling Void Elementalist 5

Leralt groaned in his head. If he made it to own his lands he would make sure their were none like him in it. He whispers at the half orc.

"That kind of talk is what every army commander says to his troops. We are not here to make war, destroy, or conquer. If this land belongs or is lived on by another would you steal what is theirs. If so, you are a theif and a thug. Violence is a last resort, we are the outsiders and invaders here. More then that we are at a disadvantage in every way, keep your foolish tongue in check before we end up like the last colony, which may I add had far greater numbers then we."

Leralt goes thru alot of trouble to pass for human, only his head is regularly exposed. He does not come off as a tiefling by a quick look. He grew out his hair just to cover up his little forehead horns. Yes thats why his last name is a pun xP


Tarak the pale gnome ponders this for so long you think he may not reply. Finally he says, in a low voice, "He Who Gnaws is not Tezcatlipoca. Tezcatlipoca sent me to deliver His message. You may not leave." He seems to consider this to be a simple statement of obvious fact and does not elaborate. "I must go. My task is done." He turns, readying himself to leap limb from limb into the jungle.

At the colony, Mevakh's words stop the dispersing crowd. They turn, and begin nodding at the half-orc's words. Even the naysayers, who before were muttering, are silenced and several voices begin a chant of "Abadaria! Abadaria!" that rises to a thundering roar of defiance against the jungle. In the distance birds take to the skies, turning the sky into a rainbow of tropical colors.

Mara, her eyes filled with tears, nods, but is unable to speak. She finally chokes out a "Thank you," with difficulty. The crowd disperses, heading to their evening meals and rest with a renewed sense of purpose and pride in their colony.


Male Human (Chelaxian) Alchemist (vivisectonist) 5 (Init +2; AC 17, t12, ff15; hp 18/41; F+6/R+6/W+1)

"A stirring speech, Mevakh. Let's hope there are no more columns of fire from the sky for the time being. That will likely put a dent in morale that another stirring speech won't fix..."

He runs a hand through his hair, then fiddles with the tools and surgical instruments in the pockets of his blood-spattered apron, apparently realizing the undercutting effect of his words.

Still, there's something to be said for forestalling panic. Fear is inevitable, but panic will tear everything down before our mysterious enemy does. Hopefully the detective brings us back some useful information, so we can best plan how to deal with our new adversary."


The night is coming. We'll let Catila finish her conversation, but in the meantime, is there anything specifically you'd like to do before nightfall?


Male Tiefling Void Elementalist 5

Leralt will place 4 alarm spells on the main entrances of the colony or the best places to go thru to enter. He will spend the night in his rope trick as per usual.


Female Half-Elf Rogue 1/ Inquisitor 4. Init: +5, hp: 30/30 F: +4, R: +4, W: +7, AC: 18

Lena will guard Catila cautiously (as close as the Bleachling will allow) and if the weird gnome tries anything, she will shoot him with her crossbow.

After which, Lena will return to town and get some sleep so she can be up early.


Male Catfolk Bard 5; HP 28/28; AC 17/13/14; F+1/R+7/W+4; Init +3; Per +10

Songan will return to the camp, and when supper is made he will do his best to entertain the people as they eat to try and keep their spirits up, telling stirring tales of great explorers in the past who overcame great adversity to become both heroes and legends.

Perform (Oratory): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20


Female Gnome Bard (Detective)/ 5

Catila merely smiles this time, nods and waves goodbye, allowing the Gnome to leave. Once his back is turned though she casts a quick spell allowing her to detect if any evil emanations radiate from him.

Once satisfied she reaches over to ruffle Grimfang's fur and says "Well, what did you think of that big fella? Should we trust him? And, did get his scent? Would you be able to track him?"

As she speaks she uses her inherent racial ability to be able to understand Grimfang's reply in the way of communication most native to him.

As the two converse, they make their way back to the others, where Catila shares all the transpired.

Actions:
-Cast Detect Evil
-Use Speak with Animals

Once back in the colony, Catila aids her voice to Songan's to try and calm the populace. She also informs her companions that if, for safety and security sake, the decide to sleep in their armor, she can easily relieve them of whatever fatigue they may experience come the morn.
Perform(Sing) Aid Another: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (8) + 9 = 17


Catila:
Your detection of evil doesn't find him to be evil, but it does detect an evil taint to him, as if he had spent time in the presence of something vile. The fact that it lingers speaks to its intensity.

Grimfang rumbles deep in his throat. "Pale thing smell foul. Like rotten meat no maggot will touch. This hunter can track. This hunter can find."

Songan and Catila make their way into the dormitories, using their songs to calm and reassure the colonists. By the time they are done, the colonists do seem to be a great deal more optimistic, if still slightly scared.

Spells are cast upon the gates and sleep is sought, for it has been a long day and much has transpired. Watches are set upon the walls, but the night passes warm and quiet. In the morning a thin mist covers the land and a chorus of birds and insects provide a song of normalcy. As the colonists and adventurers rise, they are shocked to find, left outside the gates, a pile of fruits and vegetables, as well as 10 sealed jugs of what seems to be berry juice. The watch, when questioned, admit they saw nor heard anything, and none of them slept or wandered off in the night.

What is your plan for the day?


Male Tiefling Void Elementalist 5

Leralt will want to scout the area around the colony with anyone else that is doing the same. If only to make a detailed map if nothing else ;)


Male Human (Chelaxian) Alchemist (vivisectonist) 5 (Init +2; AC 17, t12, ff15; hp 18/41; F+6/R+6/W+1)

The good doctor will continue long term care on his patients. When not looking in on them, he'll pick another party member to join and search out the colony (Leralt when he's out and about, otherwise Lena or Mevakh if they're willing). He'll pay particular interest to the area where the mayor disappeared. He'll consult with anyone that has studied engineering to see if they can determine whether it was some beast that tunneled up under the building, or something else entirely.

151 to 200 of 1,224 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>
Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Community / Online Campaigns / Play-by-Post / On Abadar's Secret Service All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.