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Todd Stewart's page

Contributor. Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Society Member. 2,168 posts (2,318 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 3 Pathfinder Society characters. 6 aliases.


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I prefer to use singular 'they' unless I'm specifically told otherwise by a publisher. I do the same in spoken language as well.

If someone I know specifically tells me that they prefer a specific generally unrecognized neologism of the xe/ze/faer/etc variety I'll humor the request in their presence, but it doesn't otherwise show in my writing. Singular they is my go-to in any writing.


Following the PCs defeat of Freezemaw in 'Sins of the Saviors':

Il’setsya pokes around at the pile of treasure while it’s still in-situ and doesn’t feel the need to lay claim to any specific object. Before everything is gathered up however for transport and sale, she holds up both hands and a tail.

“Before anything else, let me have this one moment to do something.” Then, after a bought of seemingly pathological laughter she concentrates, wiggles her fingers and casts a spell. A flash of light and Il’setsya is gone, replaced by something significantly less weird (which is usually the opposite effect of polymorph sub-school spells): in this case a medium sized green dragon, albeit with the same shade of amber colored eyes with mismatched, crazy looking pupils.

“Muahahaha! I am the great wyrm Il’setsya the Flippant, Ravager of Order, Consumer of things that you probably shouldn’t binge drink, and Devourer of probably not virgins! Cower before me mortals and gaze with gold-lust upon my vast treasure hoard!” Distinctly lacking both dragon-fear and any sense of shame or public composure, the Il’setsya dragon proceeds to roll around on the pile of treasure while giggling amid puffs of vaguely chlorine-smelling breath and some muttering of ‘Faerie dragons are so passé at this point’ and ‘I’d be a keketar but the laws of magic won’t let me. Yet. Stupid laws of magic holding me back.’

Give the special snowflake an hour to get it out of her system and she’ll (grudgingly) dismiss the spell and even help collect stuff before teleporting folks back to Fort Rannick.


Following the events of RotRL book 4 and the PCs return to Sandpoint:

“It’s not so much hedonism as it is a complete and utter disregard for the consequences of my actions.”

Il’setsya smiles widely with a rosy blush on her face. The morning after her first evening back in Sandpoint, the arcanist doesn’t appear to have slept much, if at all. Her hair is tousled, her neck and face are blemished by lipstick smears in a color very distinct from what she’s using on herself, and for lack of a better term, she’s barely dressed. In whatever alcohol or hash induced haze she was in prior to wandering across town and into the Rusty Dragon, she appears to have not grabbed her own clothes, but a half-completed evening gown from whatever dress-form mannequin it had previously adorned.

“Hopefully you enjoyed it all as much as I did, though to tell the truth I can’t say I remember much after the third Andoran Explosive Rune I chugged. They were tasty to be certain.”

A soft giggle on her part as her tail twirls about a stand of her hair like a nervous teenager staring longingly at their latest crush.

“I’m doing better though. I haven’t gotten addicted to anything, and I didn’t drink until I puked.”

To anyone capable of reading protean, the runes orbiting Il’setsya’s head shift into the following line of text, “I’m a terrible liar when I’m drunk. Of course I drank until I puked. I don’t however know whose chimney it was that was the recipient of it all. Of well.”

“At some point I’ll have to find a way to bring you with me on a shopping spree through a textile market of the City of Glass, or Brass, High Ninshabur, or Galisemni. I also owe you a romantic dinner. Candlelight, fine wine, expensive and finely prepared ingredients, and for music maybe an imentesh chorus… or something else that sounds less like a euphemism. Something fun and sweet, just like you.”

The not-exactly-a-tiefling blushes again and starts making faces.

“Seriously though, you’re so damn adorable. I can’t believe that you did your hair up like me. That must have seriously taken some effort and a considerable amount of dip-dying. I’m impressed sweetie pie.”

She cups a steaming mug of hot cocoa in her hands, though it wasn’t there a moment before. The steam rising up from the mug forms tiny whirls and spirals that look deceptively like tiny spinning voidworms before they evaporate against the tyranny of high vapor pressure.

“I’ll have to be gone for most of today though, as fun as the idea of just staying all warm and snuggled up with you is. It’s probably the ‘responsible’ thing to do to go investigate the catacombs and what not.” Il’setsya rolls her eyes and emphasizes a certain condescension to the word ‘responsible’. “Plus I know that you’ve got to finish some of those new designs that you’ve been working on. I really like that black and purple one; super pretty. You’ll have to let me model it for you once I’m done dungeon crawling. I’ve also got some magical crafting requests for folks to start on.”

At some point someone should probably tell the arcanist that she’s spent the last ten minutes talking to her reflection in a mirror.


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KaiserBruno wrote:
So whats the new protean like?

Well the book is out to subscribers now, and since no one else has answered the question (and since I wrote the critter in question), I'll field the question. :)

The hegessik proteans are serpentine in profile, but plumed and multi-armed, with a third eye. They act like wandering clergy who mediate between and at times coordinate between various keketar led protean choruses.

CR 15. Gaze attack, a ranged telekinetic attack, and an aura of confusion. Various other abilities as well.

Some examples of known hegessiks, including a group that act as servitors of the protean lord Ssila'meshnik, and a nearly mythical individual hegessik known as Galisem the Whisper of Malleable Dissonance.

Lots more and more detail than that little bit. I hope folks enjoy it. I'm also a big fan of the Strix ecology article in this AP entry.


Four days after defeating Mokmurian, Il’setsya gathers everyone together to hear the “true and absolutely accurate tale of the wizard Mokmurian’s defeat by noble adventurers”. Why she felt the need to tell everyone rather than just Hajime, being that you were all present for that event, eludes your comprehension. Of course the sending spell she used was somewhat slurred, so she may have been drinking, which would explain a lot. She also asked one of you to bring “more firewood”. Presumably explanations will be forthcoming.

What follows when you arrive at the house she shares with Sandpoint’s resident master seamstress is very odd and thus not at all out of place for the protean-blooded thingamajig.

“Causality is always the first victim when proteans are involved.” The not-exactly-a-tiefling pauses to puff at an ornate glass waterpipe in the shape of a dancing faerie dragon, filled with iridescent purple mist of unknown origin. Her eyes briefly cross before she exhales a shimmering cloud of sparkling mist and taps a finger to her nose to remove a patch of sudsy bubbles.

This is probably the best time to explain Il’setsya’s current status, which is lounging half-submerged in a literally giant-sized iron cauldron covered in now very much defaced Thassilonian runes. Mokmurian’s former undead spawning artifact is now in-use not to make undead servitors but to serve as a giant impromptu hot tub filled to the brim with a combination of magically colored bubble bath and Crazy Hooves herself. Bubbles cover up for the lack of clothing either by design or simply by bizarrely modest luck.

An empty bottle of champagne drifts lackadaisically in the water and a mostly empty bottle of white wine sits on the ground. Clearly the party started prior to your arrival and she had a grand old time by herself if the empties are any indication. Where she got the patchwork classically styled witch’s hat currently perched atop her halo is anyone’s best guess, but hopefully she’ll explain that too.

Then again, explanations –or at least cogent explanations– and Il’setsya are not often frequent bedfellows, which perhaps makes explanations exceptions to the rule.

“What was I talking about again?” Il’setsya turns her attention back to the present moment; both pupils are actually quivering and alternately going from blown to pinpricks.

“Ok, so this all happened after we killed Mokmurian, or possibly prior to that. Proteans were involved. I was involved. A protean staff was snapped in two over my leg. Stuff happened.” She waves off such concerns as temporal continuity with one hand wiggling in the air, still holding onto the waterpipe stem. “Give me a moment to concentrate on this and I’ll try to weave together something vaguely coherent, or if not, just something informative, and if not even that, hopefully something that’s at least amusing which is probably the most important thing to aim for in life in general.”

Having said that, she sinks further down into the artifact-cum-hot tub, finally ending with the water level at her chin. She blows a few bubbles before re-emerging with soap suds still conveniently in place, presumably again either by luck or magic.

“So around the point that I remember what happened, I was sitting in a booth in the Laughing Dragon in Galisemni. Now normally I prefer to drink at the Velvet Imentesh, but I’m banned from the premises at the present time. Long story.” She rolls her eyes, brushes several strands of wet multicolored hair from her face and takes another puff of her pipe. “So I was there with Grover, Francisco, and Esmeralda. We were all drinking, I was paying, and I think I did some lines off of the small of Ariel’s back, or Xenia did a few off of mine when I got onto the bar after making out with Celine. Yes, in case you must know, yes we got thrown out of that bar as well.”

Il’setsya giggles to herself, puts the fingers of her left hand into the vague shape of a pair of lips and moves them as if they were talking. Holding a conversation with her hand which is apparently supposed to be one of her protean partners with a perpetually shifting nom-de-amore, the arcanist eventually remembers that she was in the middle of explaining events.

“So yeah at some point we decided to come back to Golarion. I don’t recall how we actually got back, and there were some other things that happened as well, but for the sake of Cairn’s preferences I’ll hold off on the juicy details. That’s really the only reason though because let’s face it, I’m completely blitzed at the moment and I really don’t have much of a sense of shame even without that particular qualifier.”

She offers the waterpipe to anyone curious and then continues the story.

“So I showed back up with Larry, Darryl, and the other Darryl just shortly after everyone inclusive of me had just killed some freaky Tindalos hounds in the Thassilonian library.” She reaches an arm out of the water and off to one side, retrieving a mug of steaming tea and a shot glass of some variety of whiskey, shifting hold of the water pipe mouthpiece to her prehensile tail. “Oh yeah, and in all that previous stuff, Hajime was there too.”

Shamelessly and perfectly in line with her previous commentary about her lack of shame the arcanist drops the shot glass into the mug of tea and proceeds to chug the now exceptionally alcoholic drink. Her face contorts and her tail shakes as the alcohol hits her bloodstream with sudden alacrity.

“That of course was when Mokmurian showed up, not that I knew it was Mokmurian. In fact I gave my whole ‘I’m not a villain but I’m going to act like one for the purpose of giving a threatening speech’ speech.” Il’setsya blushes, both as an effect of her emotional state, the heart from the bubble bath, and the booze in her system. “There was a cold fog that completely obscured our line of sight, so if I recall correctly, I think I promised to pay whoever cast that spell double what Mokmurian was paying them. I may have also threatened to disintegrate them. I also also might have promised them a date if they were cute and fit my metrics.” She pauses and makes a face and a quick laugh at her own expense. “He did not as it turned out, obviously. Heh.”

She tosses the now empty mug and its accompanying shot glass carelessly over her head to shatter somewhere out of sight and out of mind. The water pipe goes back to her lips and she blows a serious of purple, orange, and green smoke rings with a pleasant sigh on her part.

“Mokmurian ended up filled the whole room with fog and a poisonous cloud. The end result of this was that everyone backed out of the room and left me alone to my certain doom.” She quirks an eyebrow and blows a stream of phosphorescent smoke in your direction, flicking a forked tongue with a soft hiss at the tail end of that. “Was that intentional? Did a devil, archon, or axiomite pay one of you to get me cornered in a room so that I’d be taken out and give the terrible forces of Law and Elemental Boring a victory in the cosmic scheme of things? Was that payback for my streaking across the rooftops at 4am the other night during the full moon? Was it retroactive revenge for something I’ll invariably do in the future that’s embarrassing or so amazingly awesome that one of you becomes evil, learns time manipulation magic, and comes back from the future to do…”

Il’setsya narrows her eyes and points accusingly with a steadily rising volume to the hiss she’d started before. The witch’s hat sitting atop her halo slides down as the halo flickers and becomes momentarily less solid, dropping the hat onto her head. She pauses and puts both hands up to grab the hat, placing it back atop the circle of runes. The runes steady and then blink in and out of cohesion, drifting more and more erratically over her head. Il’setsya concentrates, closes her eyes, and then does her best to hold onto them as a solid object as if steadying them might steady herself.

“I’m drunk aren’t I?” She looks up with a confused, concerned look, “Crap.”

She waves off the worry and continues with a now much more abbreviated version of what happened.

“Lots of fighting. I almost got disintegrated myself. Proteans are awesome. Cairn is a really good shot with arrows. Siorm’s druidic shapeshifting looks like fun and it boggles my mind why I haven’t learned any more advanced polymorph spells for myself.”

You notice as she lists things out, her speech becomes faster and a greenish pallor hits her cheeks.

“Esper you should know that Milani was and continues to remain pretty awesome in my eyes. Acid arrow is a very fun spell. Books! So many books!” She unconsciously bites her lower lip, “Soooo many books! And… uh…”

Il’setsya’s eyes suddenly go wide and she abruptly spins around in the water, leaning over the far side, losing any remaining self-respect as she violently upchucks, “Bleeeeaaaaarrrrugggghhhhh!!!!”

An awkward silence ensues as she continues to spit and sputter, her face thankfully out of view. She whispers the words to a spell to clean up her face before turning around and somehow manages to not completely expose herself from the waist up by carefully and probably unconscious use of her tail.

“Wait, what was I talking about again?”


baron arem heshvaun wrote:
Todd Stewart wrote:
willing to indulge me and my Olympic dive into crazytown.

To be fair here sir, I've been your writings awhile now, and you've quite clearly been pulling vertical backstrokes in the crazytown Olympic pool for awhile now.

I remember way back before smart phones, before we could read up on anything, anywhere, preparing my Holiday flight to home, I would print out reams of your material on 'loth lore for my in flight reading.

To the casual observer it looked like I was reading stack piles of work but it was your imaginative scribblings and often dark tales on the fiends that kept me company on my flights.

Your work on Baernaloth more often than not spooked me so much I could pause and reenact the scenes in my minds eye and visually picture a horror movie sequence I would never be brave enough to watch.

To this day I sometimes equate daemons with Holiday flights.

So thanks for your deranged works.

*blush* Alright then, I'm going to be smiling for the rest of the day now. :D

Wow, that's a serious compliment right there. Thank you!

I'm doing edits on another one in the Baernaloth series right now as well, hopefully to post it over on Planewalker relatively soon.


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Brother Fen wrote:
Woo hoo! Thanks for including the Sutter chapter! I'm bummed we didn't get close to Todd Stewart. :(

I'll still be writing a chapter, just not the stretch goal. I promise it'll be awesome :D


After some other PCs muttered about her wisdom (or lack thereof) and what exactly she was and what to call her:

“Hey, I’ll let you know that I’m exceptionally intelligent. There’s reason however bizarre and flighty behind anything that I suggest. I’m just not exactly the wisest woman out there, to say the very least. I’m aware of this fact. That I don’t care is something else entirety I suppose.”

Il’setsya looks up from her spellbook and sticks out her tongue, forked tip dancing around lazily before she slips it back in and touches up the purple gloss on her lips with a cantrip. For a moment her eyes shift color as one pupil dilates and the other contracts in equal time before returning to normal.

“Mad woman works perfectly well. I’ll happily answer to that. I’ll also answer to Drunkard Queen of Galisemni, snakey-tongue’d fiend, wyrm at the bottom of every bottle, division by zero, and Dzenirusiphia the Whisper of Wanton Whimsy – honorary keketar of the Chorus of Rampant Delusion. But arcanist works as well. I don’t get too hung up on names. Or reason. Six or one half dozen of the other.”


baron arem heshvaun wrote:

Thank you for this Todd.

Amazing. Truly.

May I never be your GM.

I'm generally a better GM than a player since in the former case I know everything that's going on and largely have complete control over the situation, so the RP is a lot smoother and with less thinking and hesitation on my part.

Currently though it's largely a complete disregard for consequences and a GM in Steve Miller who's willing to indulge me and my Olympic dive into crazytown. I'm honestly having more fun than I have in years playing a character.


Kalindlara wrote:
and the third-party project I'm part of has wood elementals. Designed by Paizo contributor Todd Stewart, even.

Just so I don't get undue credit for someone else's work, I wrote up the bone elementals (corrupted wood elementals) while David Ross wrote up the wood elementals themselves. :)


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mechaPoet wrote:

For a question as big as "What is gender?" I would advise you to look into works on gender theory. You might try Judith Butler (although she's notoriously difficult to read) and Bell Hooks for starters. With an entire field dedicated to the study of what gender is and how it works, I'm sure you can find some good reading on it. I'm not really sure that it's the kind of thing that can be answered in a single forum post (even a long one) :P

I'm sure there's also some gender-related neuroscience and other biology, but that's outside of my particular knowledge set.

Yeah, it's a difficult topic since many people are often coming from different definitions of the same thing based on what field they're coming from. Gender theorists and other critical theory/philosophy groups don't communicate much with neuroscientists and biologists, and there's more than a little acrimony between some of those disciplines over standards of evidence and other topics. I would venture to say IMO that some of the critical theory bunch have a bad habit of simply making things up and spinning theories based on zero empirical evidence.

Gender roles and social standards of gender expression are clearly social in nature and learned. Gender variance in behavior versus social norms might not have anything to do with being unhappy with your gender identity versus natal assignment. These things have little to nothing to do with biology most likely, but neurochemistry is a subtle, cantankerous thing and it worms its way in like a whispering familiar of influence.

Internal gender identity however seems to the best of our knowledge to be exclusively biological in nature, but it isn't a simple binary either, as it seems to occur on a sliding scale. It's a fascinating field and it's exploded in terms of the number of studies and the quality of the studies in the past five to ten years.

But there's still not much talk between the critical theorists in social science departments and their hard science colleagues doing neurochemistry/developmental biology work. They should, and let the pieces fall as they may insomuch as it concerns the true nature of it all.

Obviously with more data, we learn and understand thing better, and my beliefs are open to change with that new evidence.


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Raleigh NC. 0.1L.

Like much of the state, it's a very mixed bag politically speaking, which has both its positives and negatives on every given issue. We've often had solidly Democratic state leaders and solidly Republican national representatives.

Very much a solidly purple state.


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With 100% more me as well. :D


Ilsetsya’s list of things that we must all do once we’ve earned some universal good will after defeating Makmurion:

1) Get plastered. This probably doesn’t warrant being on this list since it’s something that I’ll be doing anyway, but for good measure it remains on the list.
2) Punch a walrus*. Those snaggletoothed suckers have had it coming for a long time.
*Siorm wildshaped into a Walrus technically counts. However, I’ve already sort of magically suckerpunched Siorm one too many times this month for my own liking, so I’d like to avoid this being an option that we go with.
3) Have someone else in the party take the Hagfish challenge back in Sandpoint
4) Waste said good will by burning it all, metaphorically speaking, in a night of wanton feel-good mayhem that must include at least one building burning to the ground not metaphorically speaking so that we can make snow-angels in the ashes.
5) Defile at least two more idols of Lamashtu. For my purposes, I may be calling someone Lamashtu for an evening. Less said about this the better. I need to keep up my thin veneer of innocence in public or in front of my adventuring companions. Wait. I actually wrote that down. Damn. Hey, at least I won’t be calling any of you Lamashtu or any other pet names. Don’t judge me!
6) Snort a line of pesh off of a sleeping maralith’s tail. This one is dangerous and will require some planning. She must be encountered in the flesh, on the planes, or else called physically. Summoning doesn’t count.
7) Visit the Maelstrom and make a sacrifice to Ssila’meshnik the Colorless Lord. Ssila’meshnik is pretty flexible as to what constitutes a sacrifice, so in return for the loose to nonexistent strictures there, be imaginative!
8) Next big city we visit, spend some gold to get Hajime laid so that he won’t be an aristocratic stick in the mud quite so much.
9) Bender for all of us at the Velvet Imentesh in Galisemni. This will require me getting a hold of planeshifting magic. Easier said than done. If you help me get there I’ll pay the resulting bar/food/escort tab.
10a) Get Ketra drunk
10b) Get Ketra drunk and ride around on her back while being equally tipsy, doing my best Karn impression!
11) Develop a spell that transmutes water to alcohol, including the water content of food. Hijinks ensue at the next orchard or bakery I find.
12) Memorize nothing for a day but sending spells. Proceed to drunk cold call anyone that has ever pissed me off. Have someone take notes because assuming I survive (if they happen to be a fiend or an evil wizard capable of teleporting or planeshifting) I won’t remember much of anything.
13) Visit a certain man about a certain thing. Purple frogs be damned, I’m not letting that slide.
14) That other thing. At that place. Formerly known as that other place. Stupid super secret fey club. She too damn smug for her own good. It’s a shame that she’s such a spectacular flute player, and a leanan sidhe. I still don’t know what her problem is. Is it the feathers? Is it the scales? The hooves? The penchant for babbling randomly about esoteric subjects? Or just the fact that when she’d had too much to drink and asked me to be a friend and hold her hair back during that one party back in Galisemni I did so and then promptly barfed all over her back. I said I was sorry. Jeez.
15) See #13.
16) Buy ‘I’m so very sorry it won’t happen again’ presents for everyone in the party that I’ve accidentally hit with my spells. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does need to be unique and/or heartfelt. I’m open to suggestions.
17) What happens if you cast knock on a kyton? This is an important question. Actually, no. Every question is important, though the answers might not be. Still, this is deserving of in-depth research.
18) Pretend to be a dragon and roll around on a bed of coins. Clearly there’s something to that whole thing. Otherwise every single dragon in existence wouldn’t have a thing for doing just that. This too is an interesting question that deserves answers.
19) Summon mephit. Transmute mephit to chocolate. Devour said chocolate mephit.
20) Send money, interesting stories, or nifty items to various paramours. They aren’t sick of me yet, so bank on that fact and make their lives interesting.
21) Donate money to the Church of Milani, courtesy of the Cult of Ssila’meshnik.
22) Buy a wand of cure something something wounds. Don’t eat the magic in this one. I do wonder what it tastes like though.
23) Learn brevity when it comes to making lists of things that you want to do.
24) Laugh at the notion of self-control. Laugh at it haha! Screw you self-control! Screw you moderation! You can’t stop me! None of you fools can! Mwahahaha!


You have no idea how tempting it is to just snap this protean staff across my knee and see what happens. As much as I absolutely abhor and eschew the idea of being predictable, in this case let’s face it: I’m going to snap it at some point in the indeterminate future. It may happen up on some isolated mountain top where I can do less damage. But that’s boring so it isn’t going to happen that way. It might happen in Sandpoint where we’ll have a bigger audience! Doesn’t that sound awesome! More likely though, it’s going to happen when I’ve just gotten clocked upside the head by something a giant threw at me, with two of you all bleeding out on the ground, my keketar’esque halo forming into a myriad of arrows pointing to the nearest exit, and my tail slapping me in the face to tell me to just teleport out and screw everyone else. But no! I have high moral standing! When you think of Il’setsya you should think, ‘Wow she’s a stand up sort of woman! She’s a paragon of integrity! She’d never do something unwise, inadvisable, or downright hideously dangerous without thinking of the consequences no siree!’ I’d never abandon you all without clear reason*

*Clear reasons may include:

- Public drunkenness on my part
- A party with an open bar that you aren’t invited to and whose guards can see invisibility, thus spoiling my attempts to sneak you in (yes, there’s a story here, but that’s for latter)
- Ssilameshnik the Colorless Lord her/him/itself reaching out of the tenuous fabric of mundane reality and snatching me up for grand adventure, a valiant quest, ice cream and coffee, by accident, for the hell of it, or because I can do more damage elsewhere on behalf of the multiversal concept of Chaos
- Hallucinogens!
- Lonely on-again-off-again archmage girlfriend on another plane
- Axiomite and inevitable hit squad for something that I’ve proudly done!
- Axiomite and Inevitable hit squad for something that I’ve totally forgotten that I did!
- Better monetary offers from other adventuring companies that aren’t such a sausage fest
- Private drunkenness on my part
- Spontaneous transcendence to divinity, or at least keketar status
- Ladies night in Cayden Cailean’s divine domain
- Drunken attempt to redeem Nocticula from evil on short notice
- Sober(ish) attempt to corrupt Iomedae to Chaos
- Consequences of that one time back in Galisemni catching up with me
- Consequences of that other and unrelated time back in Galisemni catching up with me

So yeah, that all being said… I don’t entirely remember what I was talking about. Remind me once we’re done killing giants.
I don’t like giants though, I’m going to put that out there. I’m way too squishy and they’re way too prone to throwing boulders, cows, small temples, exploding pumpkins, dragons, etc. I don’t handle any of those very well. Someone take one for the team for me if that happens alright? I’ll pay you back later. Somehow.

‘Really?’ You balk at my suggestion.

Yes. Really.


Because when you think of Il’setsya, you think of moral integrity! :D


Freshly relieved of the burdens of my most recent drug addiction, I find it ever so appropriately ironic that I give my opinions on my most recent encounters with my familiar and spirit animal: booze.

Before I delve into this in detail, I have to thank Esper for helping me out of the aether addiction without going old school and just tying me up to a bed and making me ride it out cold turkey. This has happened before. Being tied down and forced to ride out an addiction that is. Being tied down to a bed for other reasons has of course happened before as well on multiple occasions, but that’s neither here nor there.
So thank you Esper and by proxy thank you Milani. You’re cool. Milani isn’t my go-to deity, because that would be Ssila’meshnik the Colorless Lord, but the Everbloom is pretty damn cool as well.

Cracktooth’s Taven in Sandpoint – I’m not a great singer, nor a particularly skilled dancer (the tail has a mind of its own and I have hooves, so you try dancing daintily while standing on your tippy toes because that’s what I’m effectively doing) but I’ve gotten hammered here before and taken to the stage that Jesk Berinni has for just that purpose. Let me clarify though: he has the stage there for all of his patrons drunk or otherwise and not just me.

The Hagfish in Sandpoint – I’ve gambled more so than gotten blitzed here, mostly because both you and I know that I’d end up in the fish tank smooching Norah the hag fish. My name is carved above the tank, which normally only happens if you manage to drink a mug of water from the fish tank, but I don’t remember doing that. This may be a good thing given how it apparently tastes.

The White Deer in Sandpoint – I’ve woken up on more than one occasion sitting on top of one of the titular deer statues that flank the front entrance. Otherwise though, I’ve never done anything that I regret. Not that I really much regret wandering in a blackout drunk daze across town and hopping on top of a statue and whispering into its ear that it was my bestest friend ever and that I needed it to take me back to my house. Apparently there’s a slight dent from where I got off, ran off and came back with a saddle because apparently deer statues become magical and obedient if you use a saddle? I truthfully don’t know where I got the saddle from. Apparently it wasn’t sized for a horse. Somewhere in Sandpoint, someone is into some odd things. Coming from me, that’s a sign to reevaluate your life choices. Oh, the peppercorn venison is really, really tasty!

The House of Welcome in Magnimar – I’ve already written a morning after apology letter to this establishment, and my hoof prints are on the walls in the main room. There’s also a portrait of me… the less said about this place the better. The ale is bad. Don’t go back there. Her niece is a cutie and a smart cookie.

The Pixie’s Kitten in Sandpoint – Despite whatever reputation that I may or may not have acquired amongst you all or just the general public in Sandpoint itself, I’ve never actually patronized this particular place. Oh I tried, apparently, in my first month in Sandpoint, right after having drunk a pint and a half of applejack and some wild mushrooms of dubious genera. They thought I was the Sandpoint Devil. I have no desire to particularly disabuse them or anyone else of this notion.

The Rusty Dragon in Sandpoint – Ameiko is a sweetheart. No matter what I do, no matter how blackout drunk I get, no matter how many times I cause magical oddities to occur while I’m there, she has yet to throw me out. Allow me the guilty luxury of thinking that she has a thing for me that she dare not make public knowledge. I’ll believe that and not say a word to her and we’ll keep hope alive.

The Shucked Oyster in Magnimar – Word of warning: there are no oysters, shucked or otherwise, at the Shucked Oyster. I’ll admit that I didn’t intent to go here, though just based on the name it was either going to be a seafood raw bar, or a different kind of place with decidedly less briny attractions. I woke up here and ended up having tea with Madam Raccas while recovering from a hangover.

The Scarlet Fog in Magnimar – Rather than a brothel, this sounds like something that I’ve huffed before. As it turns out however, the place has a history more involved than me gracing them with my presence for an evening and dropping two hundred gold pieces on the stay and double that for the unfortunate damage to the walls, the roof, and some elf’s wounded pride and the tattoo I put on his face when he tried to keep up with me in taking shots and lost. Apparently I demanded to be called ‘The Silken Sin’ and pretended to be Sokothbenoth the demon lord of perversions for a while. I personally find his sister Nocticula of the Midnight Isles to be more my type. Apparently though, that was a bit of a faux pas since some nutter who used to frequent the place actually worshiped said demon lord for reals and killed his whole family as a sacrifice. I don’t demand sacrifices, I just get drunk and do stupid stuff.


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I'm running a fever courtesy of a staph infection from kitten scratches. My life is an itchy hell with chills as I hope I don't have MRSA (I'm on antibiotics).


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BigDTBone wrote:

GMO soy is unable to adequately respond to stress and accumulates formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.

V.A. Shiva Ayyrdurai is not a biologist. Him publishing on the topic of GMOs is like me as a biologist publishing a paper calling gravity into question with no or flawed data and expecting physicists to take me seriously.

Additionally, his research was published because he paid a low-tier journal to publish it. Calling it peer reviewed is a farce and honestly, he and his work isn't taken seriously by scientists in the biological sciences.

This article looks at his work, him, and the problems with both when it comes to the science: Ayyadurai’s formaldehyde-in-GMOs claim challenged, engineer refuses verification offer


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For anyone talking about GMOs potentially introducing new food allergies, that's a major part of the R&D process in developing them prior to any discussion of market authorization. Any gene that's being introduced has its sequence compared to that of known allergens and additionally we look at structural homology of the inserted gene compared to expressed proteins that tend to provoke IgE and other responses. Anything that falls afoul of that testing is rejected. Conventional hybrids do not receive this level of scrutiny whatsoever. The testing during development for GMOs is orders of magnitude greater than that for conventionally bred plants.


thejeff wrote:
Krensky wrote:
Yes, by all means, let's celebrate violent, destructive, futile acts by people opposed to advancing technology because it imperils their interests.

By all means, let's celebrate all advances in technology even when they leave populations out of work and starving.

Yes, in the long run, with massive social changes and government support, it led to a better world, but the adjustment took generations and caused much devastation.
The union wars a hundred years or so later also involved a lot of violent, destructive, apparently futile acts. But they actually had a working solution. At least for the time.

As I said, the Luddites didn't have a solution, just a diagnosis. Breaking the machines wasn't the answer then. Distributing the productivity of those machines more widely was. We're facing similar issues today. The answer is still the same.

And it's a sidetrack from the GMO issue, since the Luddites had entirely different motivations than anti-GMO activists today.

Yes, the Luddites were fighting for their livelihood as well as fighting the progress of technology. Anti-GMO radicals are just scientifically illiterate fearmongers. Whether you're anti-GMO, anti-vaccine, anti-evolution, or a climate change denier, scientific progress and education will drag you into the 21st century kicking and screaming.


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CBDunkerson wrote:

How 'bout a reality based Greenpeace controversy?

They're one of the biggest opponents of genetically modified foods. Good or bad?

Personally, I find their position on this ridiculous. Granted, Monsanto is clearly evil... but that doesn't change the fact that GMOs can be safely developed to provide vast health, environmental, and security benefits to the human race. If Greenpeace wants to protest Monsanto for unethical business practices, great. However, painting GMOs as 'dangerous' is anti environmental propaganda IMO. Every bit as bad as the global warming deniers... and hypocritical to boot coming from supposed eco-champions.

Greenpeace being in bed with anti-GMO radicals is more than enough to make the entire organization sullied in my eyes.

GMO technology allows us to better serve public health, reduce food waste, increase crop yield per acre, use less fossil fuels, reduce pesticide runoff, reduce herbicide runoff, reduce bacterial contamination of food, and increase crop efficiency. Somehow this is bad, "not natural", or a giant conspiracy between corporations and scientists to poison people, just like vaccines and chemtrails /s. I dunno. *sigh*

Anti-GMO radicals infuriate me as a scientist, and it very often smacks of scientific illiteracy, privilege, and comfort with allowing people to starve, go blind, etc.

You can find issue with Monsanto's corporate policies and business practices without going into loonyville and screaming about Frankenfoods.


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In Thistletop, the following was shouted as an insult to both the statue of Lamashtu and to Nualia: "I enjoy non-procreative sex!"


BigNorseWolf wrote:
The Fox wrote:
The science of the human brain pretty much started with Freud. Even if his models were total crap (which we now know they were), they were still useful because of his desire to construct a working model of the human psyche.

The desire to create a working model does, at best, nothing without the means to do so, means which he didn't have and we are, at best, JUST starting to get our grubby little paws on.

I'll admit a preference to Penrose's Orch-OR model of consciousness, and hey, it even makes testable predictions. Jury is still massively out on it of course.


Was the concept -ever- valid in any way to reality?


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I'll also add that I made several new proteans in the Hell's Rebels AP, and there was one created by Thurston Hillman in the Giantslayer AP (which partially broke from the serpentine form of the other classical proteans in that only its lower body was serpentine and the rest was more up to chance or who summoned it).


Shadowrun is my second favorite.

Eclipse Phase is in that race as well (I've just not hard much chance outside of conventions to dabble in it).


Nice! :)


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mechaPoet wrote:

I just wanted to drop in and say: hey, how are your MOGAI/LGBT characters doing? Having any fun adventures with them lately?

I don't have a clue what MOGAI stands for, but thankfully I've never personally had a bad experience playing a trans character in PFS. My MtF arcanist has had zero issues with her gender identity versus more than a few complaints in game (and one or two out of game) about her tiefling identity.

I'm also running a version of her in a RotRL campaign and having a blast. Gender has never come up, though her in-game dangerous level of whimsy, substance abuse, and 5 Wisdom has. I've probably written a good 50k words from her PoV as random in-character supplementary material to flesh her and her backstory out (including the circumstances of her transition).


Welcome aboard! You're safe from the proteans. Mostly. :D


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It's difficult to portray creatures who perpetually shift colors and various superficial details in static art, and their internal anatomy is more fluid than anything else. On some level the proteans are an homage to the slaadi (who had a paradoxical regularity), but they also express chaos in far more than form. The keketar choruses in their infinite number have unique philosophies and even mutually exclusive and conflicting ones (there's an intentional immune system allusion going on there as well). Plus they can all change form through various levels of polymorph (or mimicry in the azuretzis' case).

Typing from my phone, but trying to explain as best I can what I've worked on (which admittedly is most of their fluff). I tried to emphasize the seriously alien nature of their society and their mindset beyond the 'act silly or eat you' that the slaadi tended to default to.

The proteans' serpentine forms play on a lot of myth and fiction showing serpents as progenitor races long vanished, and in my case the Egyptian hebdomad of hermopolis creation mythos in which a group of elder creator gods created the world from primal chaos: the males were frogs, the females serpents. Slaadi and protean. As far as poetic little allusions go, I thought it rather appropriate.

Also keep in mind that surely deeper in the maelstrom, it gets weirder and the types of proteans more so. The major protean castes have been described as the Maelstrom's reaction to the stable planes like a living thing reacting to a foreign body or infection. So assume perhaps any implied uniformity an artifact of the sampling and an artifact of that provoked reaction forming those programs we see more of.


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Diet code red mountain dew. It's damn hard to find sadly (ie I have to drive out of state every few months to stock up)


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Eric Hinkle wrote:
The fiction by Todd 'Shemeshka' Stewart is just icing on the cake.

I do rather enjoy writing about horrifically evil creatures. *innocent*

Hopefully it sets the stage thematically for the critters in the book (which are awesome, and I pity PCs that encounter them). :D


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BigNorseWolf wrote:

While an incredibly small sample size, the David Reimer case should have pretty much ended tabula rasa as a rational idea.

While still seemingly fashionable in some social science circles, it's junk science that deserves to be left in the 19th century insomuch as any claims that it holds for either sexuality or gender identity. The horror show that was the David Reimer case, or modern day conversion therapy abuses put a nail in that coffin. Though like a vampire it keeps trying to clamber its way out of the shallow grave we buried it in once we actually began to get empirical data on the brain and larger sample sizes.


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Suetyfiddle wrote:

So I just started a Pathfinder game with a group at my new job.

I decided to play a qlippoth-spawn tiefling, because they're unusual and it felt like I could get a really interesting story out of it.

Saw the image of the cythnigot and created a character who was infested by the fungus while on the verge of death. Somehow, presumably, the invading abyssal fungus thing killed off any other disease, pathogens etc which allowed the kid to stay alive. After some period of time, it became interested in experiencing how a soul works and functions (and maybe this could provide some useful information on stopping the spawn of more daemons and prevent them overrunning the abyss) so retreats enough to allow the kid to function as a person (albeit with a huge mouth thing splitting his chest, and a few extra hands).

Anyway, fast forward to the present, character has just joined the adventuring group. Have been trying to make up some rules regarding treating Snappy (that's the fungus-mouth's name - my char has int 6 :P) as an intelligent item with a high ego score. Thought it could be fun to have him lash out at things he dislikes (upon introduction, a number of party members were convinced I was daemonic, which Snappy takes offence to). ALSO thought that if we were ever to come across some hugely powerful artifact that could do massive amounts of damage to humanity, that Snappy might forego his soul-watching experiment and take over.

So I was wondering what the appropriate rate of mutation would be for such a creature, and whether or not it would be plausible for Snappy to totally consume me, swell to monstrous size, and essentially become a boss.

Hopefully this is an interesting one for you! Thanks :)

I absolutely love it when players come up with off the wall, bizarre, and yet deeply thought out character concepts for the GM to use as living plot hooks over the course of the campaign. Snappy here is one such example, and I love it. XD

What rate of mutation? A campaign plot appropriate rate of mutation. Let the GM decide when to put things up a notch based on what's going on in-game and how long they intend for the campaign to last. It's the same way that I handle experience in my own campaigns. Don't worry about numbers, you'll level when I as the GM feel that it's appropriate to level, and as you do, I'll advance the threats presented to more or less keep pace.

Yeah I think it would be totally awesome to at some point have Snappy take over, have the music change so to speak, and the GM hand you a new character sheet to represent Snappy writ-large and have you play them for the resulting RP or even combat against the other PCs as it happens. If the PCs manage to do whatever it takes to suppress Snappy and being your PC back into control, go back to the previous character sheet (but have that looking threat of Snappy coming back still there lurking).

Dang that's a really cool character concept! :D


Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
What's the deal with the Fleshwarren? Anything would be nice, as there is so little info...

In part it's a subtle homage to Bruce Cordell's demiplanes in the 2e 'Guide to the Ethereal Plane', specifically the demiplanes 'Wormscape' and 'The Boundless'.

Might it be the corpse of a dead god seeking to reenter the world through the people that become bound to its corpse? Might it be the results of an experiment gone horrifically long and whose deadly results not only killed the creature whose corpse forms the demiplane but not lingers on like a metaphysical prion infecting and corrupting those who become exposed? There are so many ways that you could go with it in a campaign.

As for the actual truth behind it, that remains to be seen if and when it receives further attention in a future publication. :)

Mind you, I'm a bit loathe to greatly expand on a bunch of material from that book since they were tiny plot nuggets and teasers of intentional mystery that might be expanded in the future. I don't want to write something here and burden either myself or other authors in the future with either having to stick with my non-canon answer here or else have people complain if they write a canon answer in the future that goes against what I've done here in non-canon form as the original author.


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I've monstrously expanded upon the planes and planar pre-history for my home campaign and added in some more overtly Planescape flavor in certain ways to pay homage to that setting. :)


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And through all of the arguing about the historicity of the material in the Book of the Damned, and the timeline of Asmodeus/Ihys/The Seal versus the rest of the cosmos, there are a bunch of keketar proteans gesticulating wildly in the Maelstrom yelling something about, "Dumb kids! Get off our lawn!"



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Crystal Frasier wrote:
James Sutter wrote:
Looking forward to people starting to get the book. I'm really proud of our whole operation on this one—I think everybody involved threw in some extra love. :) And the opening art pieces are some of my favorite art of the year!
I have very strong feels about this book.

It's a very nice book on a whole number of levels. :)

And yeah, I want to play a ganzi character in PFS if it becomes PFS legal. :D


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Kvantum wrote:

Got my PDFs but I'm stuck at work till after 5 CDT.

** spoiler omitted **

Yep, not a typo. Derived from another word by intent. Method to my chaos. :)


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FallenDabus wrote:
Personally, I'm hoping Todd has more Proteans or Daemons in store for us, but we'll see.

You'll find out :D

Whatever it is, I had a ton of fun writing it.


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Aniuś the Talewise wrote:

I'm heading over there to punch the polish president in the face

And the name of Jaryło will be written on the knuckles

I don't know about Polish laws that penalize "insulting a head of state", but I could say it's probably not the wisest thing to be making threats of violence on the board here (regardless of hyperbole or of them deserving it or not).


Looking forward to this!


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After convincing another PC to purchase her a questionably legal dose of elven absinthe (which is very much unrelated to the alcoholic beverage of the same name – but which Il’setsya has snagged a bottle of as well), she giggles profusely as she imbibes the deep greenish-black, iridescent liquid. Her giggling abruptly stops as one of her pupils dilates and the other shrinks to a tiny pinprick of a dot as she slurs a surprised, “Huh, now that’s funny…” and stares off into space blankly, mouth open and drooling. She continues to do so for the next hour and a half, occasionally swatting or stroking things that aren’t there and rambling to herself in whispered protean.

While still seemingly incoherent, she gets out quill and parchment and starts writing. You’re not entirely sure how she manages to compose anything though, much less avoid writing all over herself since her eyes never seem to clearly focus on the paper or together on any one thing at once.

Still, somehow, inexplicably, in complete violation of common sense and the laws of nature, she writes a trio of letters while still otherwise riding out her roaring crazy-train of a drug-fueled high. Glancing over her shoulder reveals a sweetly written letter to Rynshinn Povalli with some dress design ideas carefully scribbled on the back, a nerdy but flirty letter with lots of intricate arcane jargon to someone in Magnimar addressed as ‘the Cutest Mage at the Stone of the Seers’, and a note to a certain keketar protean, formerly bound to the Thassilonian dam at Skulls Crossing.

Roughly an hour later, upon finishing two and writing a much longer third, she pauses and tamps her quill in sand to blot the still liquid ink. That being done, she blows on the page and promptly topples over sideways, completely unconscious, soon to have a large bruise on her temple once she wakes up.

Only the third letter remains openly displayed for closer inspection (rather than sealed in an envelope, literally with a kiss in the first case and for the second with a wax stamp of Il’setsya’s arcane symbol and the words in common ‘I may or may not have prepared explosive runes today’). Of note, every lowercase i and j in the third letter are dotted with hearts.

“Dear Issuzessiksess aka Disjunctive Preamble to the Collapse, keketar protean of the Chorus of Meandering Syncopation, aka the only person I’ve met in the past year with a longer tail than me,

Giants were killed. Ogres were killed. Mountains were climbed. Booze was consumed and opiates oh so very much enjoyed. Also, Lamashtu must haaaaaaate me right about now. I say bring it. I only barely find demons less distasteful than axiomites, probably on par with devils and archons in the they suck department. Curiously I can at least get along with azatas. Go figure. I dunno.

Seriously though, I’m batting two for two in the sport of defiling shrines to the Queen of Demons, Mother of Monsters, blah blah blah yadda yadda yadda. Yeah sure, she’s super hot if her idols are any indication. But she’s fruit-loops level crazy. Now granted with the audience here, given me and given you, that isn’t necessarily a disqualifier in my book by any means, but there’s the whole she’s a demon, she’s a demon goddess, and the whole perpetually preggers and popping out monsters element of that which just rubs me the wrong way and goes well into super icky not ever going there territory. I can give or take the jackal head, the three eyes, and the vulture’s feet. The wings are kinda cool. I’ve known a few imentesh that had wings, some of them functional, some of them decorative, and some of them really had a thing for when you tickled the wingtips.

Don’t judge me for my remembered and half-remembered dalliances. Imentesh are really smooth talkers, especially when they’re paying for the drinks, which when you think about it, probably explains why I’m even here in the first place. Well, assuming of course that I was protean-blooded before the Lethe Wall incident and all. I did mention that to you when you went drinking with me last time in Quantium yes? I sort of assumed that you knew, or the Speakers of the Depths let you in on that, however it works with you.

Oh! But back to the shrine thing.

The statue got re-carved –at least within the limits of my artistic ability- into a decent likeness of me, with ‘Ixnay on the Pregnay’ written on the statue’s belly, and some more clothing added.

When I’m the person telling you that you might want to consider the ramifications of how you’re dressed and having some vague consideration for social decorum and not looking like a strung-out vrock being pimped out by a nalfeshnee, you might want to reconsider your life choices. I stamped my arcane symbol in various strategic places and on the base of the altar itself, along with some instructions for how to pay proper obeisance to “Il’setsya Wyrmtouched, Chaos Goddess of Fun, Questionable Decisions that Absolutely Seemed Like the Best Idea at the Time, and Smarty Pants Magical Mayhem: now accepting priestess applications. Being pretty is good but not required, intelligence is drop dead sexy and absolutely required, but seriously don’t worry about Wisdom, I certainly don’t – (Crazy Hooves’ divinity on loan from Ssilimeshnik the Colorless Lord, please include the Protean Lord of Fate, Freedom, and Paradox in your prayers as well).

If I have any applications or admirers, they’ll know how to contact me if they can cast any degree of magical sending on their own or can jiggle a wand of the same well and competently enough to hit me up.

Oh, and as to what I may or may not have done to defile the shrine prior to giving it a much needed makeover, consider me at my best/worst and use your imagination. You’re probably close.

You’ll be pleased to know that my latest item creation attempt is going well and I’m maybe halfway done with the crafting process. I’m taking inspiration from your keketar’s crown. Also, since the item gives me access to a limited ability to ask for advice or guidance, perhaps you might see fit to be my own personal proxy for the divine (I’ve a fondness for Ssilameshnek as a divine patron when it comes down to making a defined choice).

Your biggest fangirl,

Il’setsya Wyrmtouched aka D’zenirusiphia the Giggle of Wanton Whimsy, self-professed honorary keketar of the Chorus of Nebulous Illumination


[Drawn below the hugs and kisses is a crudely drawn keketar protean with a crudely drawn Il’setsya beaming a smile and hugging the end of its tail]

PS. You’re so cool!

PPS. I forgot what I was going to say here.

PPPS. I cannot wait to see you when I get back to Sandpoint. It was so cold in the mountains and I really needed you there to snuggle with. I’m bringing some absinthe I picked up in Magnimar that I think you’ll like. I also brought some pesh if you wanted to try it with me. Prior to then however, if you’d be a darling, please wear that lovely cherry red dress of yours and I’d love to cook you something for dinner. Candles, wine, everything all sweet and fancy to make getting back to Sandpoint and more importantly getting back to you all the more special. Being a hero and killing ogres is cool, but I miss you and your cute pointy ears and the way you blush.

PPPPS. Whoops! That was meant to go to Rhynshin. I suppose you can crash at her (our?) place in Sandpoint if you wanted to drop by at any point prior to the looming evil giant invasion (or possibly during which, which would be amazing!). She’d like you. I like you. I’m rambling aren’t I? This is what happens when I do drugs. This also happens when I’m not on drugs. XD

PPPPPS. Come to think of it, how in the heck do I get this letter to you anyway? Huh. I need to think about that.


The following document is found in everyone’s possession following the return from Skulls Crossing:

The Amazing Adventures of Il’setsya Wyrmtouched and Mr/Mrs Creature, otherwise known as Issuzessiksess / Disjunctive Preamble to the Collapse, keketar protean of the Chorus of Meandering Syncopation.

Several previous versions of the story title are scratched out in one or another variety of ink. Some of them are simply different styles of calligraphy, some of them written in protean by accident before she realized her mistake, some of them use different names for both herself and the keketar, and more than one of the previous includes the word “Erotic” rather than ‘Amazing’. These instances seem especially thoroughly crossed out, sometimes by what appears to be more than one set of hands, based on the penmanship.

The pages shimmer as you pick them up, flickering with chaotic energies before a large fraction of them transmute into metal, than peppermint, then a rapidly dispersing cloud of blue and yellow butterflies. Whatever those particular portions of the story contained, the mind can only wander, or be thankful given the content and coherency (or lack thereof) of the remainder.

It was pretty awesome how time stopped after we released the totally awesome keketar (and we didn’t even need to sacrifice either Siorm or Karn like he first suggested). Well, time stopped for everyone except for me and the keketar. So there I was, star struck –and probably drooling like a total fangirl– waiting to see what Mr. Creature had to say, or what he might do, or what glorious adventures she and I might go on.

That being said, I felt so bad for what Karzoug had done to her that I offered to try to make her feel better and at the very least treat her to her first bottle of whatever her pleasure might be, maybe polish her scales, get a claw manicure, or just play sidekick, accomplice, or slavish toady for whatever wanton folly he wanted.

So, leaving everyone else frozen in time, Mrs. Creature opened up a portal and off we went. I’m rather vague on the details, but I recall having tea in a grove of giant, iridescent mushrooms. I’m pretty sure that we spent some time throwing chocolate bars at a trio of meladaemons, adding errant numbers into the equations of some axiomites somewhere on the painful ugly fringes of Axis, throwing our voices in a pre-riot crowd in Galt that quickly became a pitchforks and burning torches crowd with the pitchforks and torches that we provided, and I very distinctly remember streaking down the bridge leading to the Starstone Cathedral in Absalom screaming “I’m drunker than Cayden Cailean and you’re all in a whole flipping f*ckload of trouble if I gain divinity. Muahahahahahaha!!!!!”

Spoilers: I did not in fact gain divinity. I did not in fact even make it across the bridge. I don’t know what happened, but I woke up in the Velvet Imentesh Inn in Galisemni with a splitting headache, wearing a really badly stitched replica of a habit worn by the Sisters of the Golden Erinyes, and dappled with dried chocolate pudding.

I also have a tongue stud now. Thankfully though, no overly regrettable tattoos.

Don’t have regrets.

That’s my motto in life.

Mrs. Creature made breakfast. I paid for the room and the damages, and with a twinkle in his eye she popped open another portal and I found myself back here, staring off into space, seemingly none the worse for wear.

Except for the piercing.


All or some or none of that may have happened. Honestly I’m not really sure, though I’m perfectly fine with any of those options. I may have simply spaced out for a moment and daydreamed the entire thing up. I may have had a particularly lucid and hallucinogenic flashback and dreamed up what I –wanted– to have happened, which really says something about the way that I think. I’m normally not one for anything so terribly strong that it’s damaging in the long-term, and as far as I remember it’s been a while since I dropped daemonbleed or anything similar, and that particular drug was frankly a onetime thing. If I’d known what it was and how it was made, I probably wouldn’t have used it at all, or at least not the double dose that I did. Maybe. Perhaps. (Note to self: Go back in time and reroll the dice on that one. Trippy!) Perhaps the stale pesh from Foxglove Manor was stronger than I thought?

Back to the story: Focus Crazy Hooves! Focus!

Wait. You already finished the story. Did you wreck this applecart of a story before you reached the cider mill and just sold the horse for glue to go buy booze? What’s wrong with you? That horse might have had a family. It might have had a destiny. Wait, what? Now you’re just writing in the third person. Are you drunk again? Oh that’s a staggering leap of logic right there. Eyeroll. Onomatopoeia of a raspberry.

Onomatopoeia of a cough.

So there you have it! The amazing and totally based on a true story 100% legit and all tale of Il’setsya Wyrmtouched and her new BFF who may or may not have left her true name for summoning purposes later.


Additional things from Il’setsya, suitably backdated to the week following the retaking of Fort Rannick, because linear temporal continuity is grossly overrated, and besides, effect being predicated on cause is just a harsh, overbearing multiversal rule that’s there to keep us down. Fight the power.

Il’setsya seems largely preoccupied with stitching and enchanting the new outfit (a robe of arcane heritage (protean)) that she ultimately spends most of the week working on. Much of the time that she isn’t working on that task of magical crafting while talking to herself or potentially unseen creatures flitting about, she spends doing two things:

1) flying over Fort Rannick and the eagle aerie doing cartwheeling loop de loops, seeming to go about the flying in motions more reminiscent of swimming (specifically a serpent swimming through water, sometimes in a sidewinder fashion and sometimes just via exaggerated motions of her tail) all in roughly nine minute giggling, laughing, joyfully screaming intervals before the fly spell ends.

2) Getting joyously sh*tfaced on whatever alcohol and whatever mostly vaguely non-permanently damaging intoxicants she can find. She really doesn’t seem to have much sense of self control, if that hadn’t been readily apparent already. You’re still not sure where she got that water pipe from, and honestly, she isn’t either.

Eventually though, near the end of the week, just prior to embarking off to Skull’s Crossing, she makes a point to visit everyone in the party:

Il’setsya walks up, looking remarkably spry for someone last seen passed out drunk the night before. Outside of a sizable, slightly bruised lump on her forehead she seem rather well – too well in fact. The way her eyes sparkle, the wandering canter of her clip-clopping gait, and the grin plastered across her face suggests that she has something in mind. As she gets within a few feet you also notice that the ubiquitous circle of runes drafting around her head in loose orbit is no longer simply an ever changing garble of protean symbols that may or may not be completely random and/or meaningless. Half of them are now tiny floating caricatures of a grinning, chibi Il’setsya head doing their best to look innocent and adorable.

The arcanist pauses and frowns, glancing sidelong at the halo above her head that now for once stands still in space as she moved to get a direct look at it, sticking out five inches or so of a forked tongue for a quick raspberry before addressing it, “Stop it! That’s not funny. You’re going to make them suspicious! Why are you always ruining my fun? You’re like a manifest poker tell and a running narration of my actions. Said Il’setsya, glancing up in annoyance at her own halo while completely ignoring her adventuring companion before realizing with shock that she was talking out loud... Hah... Haha... Yeah...”

Breaking out into a smile of renewed innocence, now crowned by a rosy blush of embarrassment on her cheeks, she awkwardly bites her lower lip before finally getting to the point.

“Soooo... my crafting ability has worked out really, really well. But it takes a decent amount of time, and I just came up with an idea for something really, really, really, really awesome that I want to make next. It totally won’t come back to bite us by being annoying or anything like that. Trust me. Paragon of rationality here speaking.”

Involuntarily she half-snorts a giggle upon referring to herself as being rational, but seems completely unaware of having done so.

“So at some point relatively soon I’d like to start working on it. I can probably start working on it while we’re traveling to Skull’s Crossing, but whenever it would be appropriate to next take some time, that would be awesome. All said and done, it’s probably an 11 day job. But to that end and since it might be mildly annoying to make folks wait, I’ve decided to do something good and completely not self-indulgent. Rather than holding onto it, I’ve decided to sell off the wand of acid arrow that I picked up from the ogres and donate the proceeds either to the party as a whole, or to helping rebuild Fort Rannick, paying for the chapel that Esper wants to build, and/or getting Esper some singing lessons because wow, Zolo of Hungry Shapes preserve us all, that was something to listen to, and I was hammered at the time.”

She breaks into a grin once again, the brilliantly colored plumage at the end of her tail flitting side of side irregularly like an irrational, physics bending metronome.

“Just give it a thought and we can spend the jink however you all decide is best. But in the meantime, I have to go send another half travelogue and half flirty love letter to Sandpoint and write something flirty but magically nerdy to someone in Magnimar.”

And with that, she spins around on one hoof, nearly taking you out with her tail in the process before vanishing in a flash of impossible colors* with a pronounced *BAMF!*.


Upon being asked by another one of the PCs if she could somehow magically deduce the fate of former leader of Fort Rannick, Lamatar Bayden:

Il’setsya puts upon a lower than normal voice and pulls a cowl over her head that shimmers with a multitude of tiny stitched proteans that seem to wiggle in and out of the main length of green cloth that comprises the whatever it is between a robe and a coat that she wears as an outer garment.

“Why yes. Yes I can...” Her voice is ominous and her hair wavers in an unseen breeze. “But this quest is fraught with danger and risk, and I will require a number of things. First a bottle of the local baijiu or whatever it’s called in this particular mortal backwater.” She pauses, deep in thought, licking her lips with a forked tongue. “Actually make that two bottles, no three. One for me, one for later, and one for Il’surrish the Wanderer, protean lord of wistful malcontents, gambling, and whatever else I feel the need to needlessly amend and tack onto their titles. Next I will need to procure magical supplies, but that task I must undertake alone for demons and evil, hungry spirits may follow and ensnare those untrained in the magical arts. I will also definitely need a sprig of lemonbalm, mint grown under a crescent moon, and a shot of whiskey given to a stranger in the name of Il’setsya Wyrmtouched the honorary keketar of the Chorus of Accidentally Incendiary Samurai and Dancing Girls or Something Like That. It’s an obscure protean lord, you probably haven’t heard of her.”

She chuckles and takes a drag from a pipe full of something that looks suspiciously like some of the out of date pesh that was found in Foxglove manor.

“Give me a day or two and I can help out, assuming that Turtleback Ferry isn’t washed away along with wherever I can procure some ink and scroll parchment. I’m also very much inebriated right now, so I wouldn’t trust me to cast spells involving divinations. Ssilameshnik only knows what might answer and how badly they might care to screw with me depending on what I asked about. It’ll be fun of course, but probably not the wisest course of action.” She stands up, wobbly on her hooves, and only managing to stabilize herself with the aid of her tail pushing against the wall behind herself. “So all of that being said, screw the stuff in my system jumbling about like a pack of shocker lizards in heat and the proteans giggling in my head. Let’s get a fast start on this all and toss caution to the wind.”

She grins, takes a step, and passes out mumbling, “No Shalelu, go home, you’re drunk. That’s a bad idea.”


When planning the siege of Fort Rannick:

Il’setsya studiously pours over the maps, the symbols drifting over her head an ever shifting blur that combined with her frequently squinting, flick of a forked tongue, and muttering in Protean seems to denote intense concentration on her part. After an hour or so she looks back up and smiles, “Yeah I have no idea how this whole strategy thing works. I do like shocker lizards though!”

The tiefling-ish thingamajig pulls some candy out of her haversack and idly munches on a handful while her prehensile tail goes about uncorking a bottle of wine with a mind of its own. After a considerable intake of sugar and a deep vintage from somewhere that she’s probably never heard of, the symbols over her head drift both faster and more diffuse in their errant circumambulation of her head.

“Oh oh oh! I have an idea!” She pauses and bites her lower lip with a few fangs, “This one isn’t one of the socially suicidal and/or grotesquely irresponsible ones either. I can fly, I can set things on fire, and I can make myself invisible, and they’ve got a veritable tinderbox of a wooden barracks they’re holed up in. So how about I fly over the wall, I light the thing on fire with either a fireball or something else, while they’re scrambling about like axiomites trying to divide by zero, we make our way in by one or another route.”

After this almost perhaps reasonable and honestly somewhat selfless offer by the resident arcanist in the party, she upends the bottle for a long and obnoxious swig. After her head stops swimming and her halo of symbols stop colliding with her horns, she adds one more brilliant point, “They aren’t faerie dragons, but I really do think shocker lizards are adorable.”


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I'm currently playing a very -very- Chaotic Neutral character by the name of Il'setsya Wyrmtouched (a protean blooded tiefling(ish) blood arcanist) in RotRL on Wednesday evenings. Int 20, Wis 5. To say that she's whimsical is an understatement. "I have horns, hooves, and a twelve foot long tail. I don't do subtle."

In-between sessions or during off-weeks, I've been prone to writing in-character material to further flesh her out as a character, and to just have more fun interacting with the other PCs. Let me share some of it all with you folks.


In the aftermath of defeating Xanesha and receiving a substantial reward from Magnimar’s mayor, Il’setsya shows up the next morning after a night of self-proclaimed ‘getting completely sh*t-faced’. She’s clearly hung over, with squinted, light-sensitive eyes, and her tail seems content to simply drag on the ground. Even the circle of runes drifting above her head seems to be tilted at an awkward angle. The scent of both whiskey and various sweet and stereotypically ‘girly’ drinks hangs about her like a raincloud, while splashes of wine dot her outfit, and lipstick smears in two different colors splotch across her face and neck.

After a long, protracted period of sporadically and suddenly paying unhappy obeisance to Cayden Cailean (out of the nearest open window), she finds the energy to write down the following note and provides everyone with a copy, right before she passes out for at least the second time in the previous six hours.

“To those of you that I know and remember, and to those of you that I didn’t know prior to drinking far too much last night and most certainly don’t remember now except for the traces of your lipstick, the scent of your perfume, and a number of difficult to see without a mirror hickies and bite marks, I have the following to say:

I very much apologize for what I may have done last night.

Let’s make that a blanket apology covering what I can only infer might have gone on, because to be perfectly honest, I drank waaaaaay too much, might have indulged in various illegal or questionably legal substances willingly or unwillingly at the Dreaming Dryad and one other parlor, and with respect to at least two people who I didn’t know at all prior to last night, you were good as far as I can recall.

Here I am with a splitting headache, trying to deduce what exactly I did, who I owe money to, and which establishments I probably don’t want to go back to until this all blows over. I’m not all that experienced in divinations as a school of magic, so if you have any memories of what happened or heard any rumors, please politely tell me.

This morning began with my waking up in a rather posh room in the House of Welcome, albeit with the room décor at that juncture -post whatever happened overnight- best described as “it looks like someone tossed the place before the city watch arrived”. So in no particular order of importance, let’s cover what may or may not have happened, and what I need help with:

I seem to have found myself in possession of someone else’s gold and garnet earrings. At least I assume they’re earrings. I’ve left them with the staff at the House of Welcome and you can get them with a good enough description of the words inscribed on one of them.

I need to return the pair of rather tiny, lacy… errr, an article of clothing suffice to say, to an unknown someone with very good taste who left them behind last night and which I woke up wearing this morning. As darling as it was to leave them with me, I’d like to return them and at the very least know your name. Also I’d like my own back. I already had to hunt down a ghoul lord last time for that express purpose (don’t ask, it’s complicated), so hopefully this time is less creepy and doesn’t involve haunted mansions and obsessive undead perverts.

I live an interesting life. Welcome to my world.

I also seem to have in my possession another… article of clothing… left underneath the pillow serving as an impromptu and very poorly thought out stopper to a bottle of rather fine port. Whatever color they were before, they’re now a deep burgundy and short of magic, they’ll be staying that way. I suspect that was my fault and my idea at the very least, and I’ll pay for the cleaning bill as needed.

To the owners of the Gilded Cage gambling den and tavern, I’ll happily pay for any damage done in the main commons room, though I strongly suspect that my winnings should cover most of it. My hooves have a smattering of wax and spilled ale on them this morning, and so I suspect that at some point I spent some time dancing on one or more of your tables (possibly the ceiling and walls as well… oh Ssila’meshnik the Colorless Lord, I hope that I was at least dressed at the time…). Suffice it to say, I’ll pay for removal of any hoof prints left behind (This is why someone needs to make Horseshoes of the Zephyr for those of us with one pair of hooves rather than two, and also those of us with cloven hooves rather than un-cloven!)

I also woke up wearing a feathered hat. I don’t own any hats of my own, well, at least not the conventional kind at least. Hats and horns don’t mix well, as this hat’s owner will swiftly discover if they collect their hat because my horns put holes therein. Should it have a sentimental value, I’ve left the hat with the front desk at the House of Welcome. I’ll pay for a replacement.

Additionally, if anyone remembers how exactly I appear to have transformed a pigeon and the back cover of a clearly bootleg copy of Volume 14 of the Pathfinder Chronicles into a roast rack of lamb last night and took notes as to what the hell I did or said to make that happen, please let me know! This would have happened sometime prior to my vomiting glass rhinestones all over the porch of Billivin's Benevolent Balms and Effulgent Elixirs. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what happened there. I’m going to blame it on the quasit that I remember punching in the face sometime around midnight. Come to think of it, it might not have been a quasit, but just a very ugly child, or possibly a dwarf. All you non-outsiders look alike to me.

Finally, this sort of behavior is fairly normal for me if you weren’t already aware.

I do not need any sort of intervention.

Yes Rynshinn is well aware of my proclivities. She’s a darling and this sort of thing doesn’t lessen what we have. I would however appreciate anyone witness to any of my activities last night to avoid spilling all of the details to her. I’d rather her not feel embarrassed on my behalf. Not that I’m particularly embarrassed. Clearly I had a hell of a time!


Il’setsya Wyrmtouched, aka the Great Archmage Crazy Hooves, Mad Matriarch of Galisemni’s Tavern District, aka D’zenirusiphia the Giggle of Wanton Whimsy, self-professed keketar of the Chorus of Exuberant Delusion"

[The remainder of the final page of the letter is a mixture of incoherent babbling in Protean, some lewd scribblings of Xanesha, Nualia, and various planar creatures, and some equally crude self-aggrandizing sketches of Il’setsya jousting atop the back of an imentesh protean]


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I think it's balanced. Of course, I wrote the sourcebook in question. :)

And yeah, there are some racial feats required before you can fully fly.


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We're getting close to being able to test each individual patient for specific genetic variations that influence drug bioavailability, clearance, metabolism, etc so we can avoid as many of those potential side effects as possible.

Right now we can take certain population scale considerations into effect (since certain genes that influence drug metabolism are more frequently found in specific racial demographics, broadly speaking) but ideally in the next decade we'll be able to personalize this stuff patient by patient.

And breaking topic to another, I've had SU recommended to me, but I've been put off rather a lot by the fandom online that I've seen in passing (threats against show writers and some really creepy stuff on tumblr).

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