reroll at +4: 1d20 + 4 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 4 + 6 = 27
"You're right, of course. We can't let the shadows get to us." Dandi straightens her shoulders and forces a smile until she nearly feels it for a truth and not a wish.
She eyes each of her friends in turn,praying silently for their safety in the upcoming hours.
"Lord of Dreams watch over these my friends, that we may better the tapestry of the World. Each is a unique thread, worthy of their continued place upon the loom.
Niko, Quiet but dedicated. With a vicious way with the blade, he is fearless. Aid his arm if you would; he is part of the wall of steel that makes the world a better place.
Fondo Not Quiet, but just as dedicated. He always seems to know just what to say to motivate the rest of us. Bless his tongue and his toes, that he might avoid stepping into anything too dreadful today.
Charlie Dear, sweet Charlie. He's generous to a fault, and like as not we'd all be dead without him. Keep him safe and don't let his drink spill before he has a chance to enjoy it when we are safe once more.
Briar ...uhm.... let's come back to him...
Barael... Don't judge him on his fur, though now that I look, perhaps it's not so greasy really. More like sleek. and poofy. But look at his hear. He's good, just good, deep inside. I doubt he even knows it. Ease his heart and bring back his luck, and if he must be a rat, let him avoid the traps that wait ahead. Oh! and Briar! He is good with a bow, so there's that. And still travels with us, though I'm never sure exactly why. Still, he is here. Aid his aim, and protect him from any uhm... unwanted? harm? With Majenko above him, and Laori at his side, let him always find the magic that is best for the world.
Jalkara Kal and your blessed consort, please, keep your eye upon Deyanira, wherever she might be, that her trouble is nothing she can't handle and lead her back through the pattern to us again. These things I pray, should it please you and fit your Will.
”I’ve seen what not knowing has done to Mum, and I know now that it was wrong to keep it from her, why Da left her. I thought it would keep the pain away, but the imagination is worse than the truth. Because it changes. Finds new places to stab, new ways to hurt. It grows the pain.” Barael pauses, takes a couple of deep breathes.
She nods, soothing as she listens. imagination is worse than the truth... Her braid pets at his shoulder, and if he'd have it, her hand reaches for his, to make the telling easier.
She keeps her eyes on his as the story weaves out of him, and into herself. Family, aunts, mums, sons, these are concepts she’s only really owned in her own imagination, but his thread of a tale looks nothing like what she'd imagined. Her eyes, too large and too blue, never leave his, though her pupils pulse with fear at the telling. ...I stayed behind... her hand shakes for him, the soothing stroke of her braid stills. She has to remind herself that he's here. That he lives to be here. Her fingers tremble but she gives a squeeze and nods.
Imagination is *so* not worse than the truth! Denial claws at her inside, trying to get out. This is not what fathers are like, not the way she imagines them to be. This... This is Lamm… and his goons…or the Spider King. This is not ever anyone that should love you! In her mind a fragment of a dream turns ugly. The benevolent smile of the green eyed elf hardens and sneers, becoming the father in Barael's tale. It is but a moment, a fragment of nothing, and unimportant to the here and now.
She focuses that much harder on the man in front of her, on his pain and his past. She listens, draws closer, as if that could protect him from his father even now. Wraith scuttles in, drawn by the scent of her fear for him, even the spider tries to reach out to ease his pain.
She holds close to him, her hands, both now, holding his own. She breathes with him, and her braid wraps around his shoulders, as if she could protect him from the memory. She clucks soothingly in the back of her throat, but her eyes narrow and her jaw sets.
Barael wipes his eyes. ”That’s when I killed him.”
It hangs there between them. She looks at her hands tangled with his, then back up to meet his gaze.
“Then I won’t have to when we get home.”
Dandi sighs, her soul heavy with the continued pressure to be more than she was ever meant to be. "I love you brother mine, but not all of us are up to grand visions and world saving heroics. The Shoanti died in droves for those heroics just past; how do I look them in the eye and ask for more? How do I ask any of you for more? Some days, even words are too much."
She reaches out and touches his face, finding a sad semblance of a smile, for him. "Aye, I'll walk with you on whatever grand quest you've in mind, but don't ask me to believe exactly as you do. I don't have it in me to be more than I am. Befriend the Shoanti if you will, I'll not get in the way, at least not knowingly."
... some several weeks later...
From the outside, it seemed everything happened in a rush. But for the people of the town, the wedding of Kast and Fleur seemed just the way to put things right once more. Each did their part, seeing the marriage of one of their own to one of the town heroes as a symbol of rebirth, a chance for the town to move beyond the ugliness. Once word had gotten out that Kast had proposed to Fleur, everyone pitched in, happily, as a way to set the small town straight. Some tongues wagged, suggesting that Fleur may have asked the shy young hero rather than the other way around, but neither one of them was telling.
Kimi scoured the field for flowers, promising a wreath of bluebells to adorn the bride’s hair, while Edgrin penned just the right tune for the ceremony. He and Tyran would play it, and play in the evening as well, for dancing. Bricks plotted and planned decorations for the gathering, promising flowers and pinwheels during the day and a thousand lights for the evening.
Will lead the loggers in setting up a Marriage Pole, while the women from the Rouge Lady decorated it with ribbons and bows, as was tradition in Falcon’s Hollow. Laurel produced a gown of dream spider silk, the opalescent hues promising to make the bride the most beautiful woman at the wedding.
A greased pig parade was planned, which prompted a call for other games, and soon it was clear that while the ceremony would be a sincere joining of two lives into one, the celebration afterward would commemorate the newfound life of the town entire. And all of it pulled together in just a few weeks.
Something smaller, or something later in the year would probably have been easier, but Fleur insisted they marry quickly, and Kast was too lovestruck to argue. She wanted to invite the entire town, and again, Kast was far too lovestruck to argue. She wished for an outdoor affair, and Kast was far too lovestruck to argue. She thought Eli might feel more a part of things as one of Kast’s best men, and Kast quickly agreed to please her. She wanted flowers and dresses and music and dancing and fine food for all, and Kast gave in to her every whim.
The only thing Kast wanted was Fleur and as long as he got that, he was going to be happy.
Watching Fleur, it was no secret to anyone (except possibly, Kast himself) that marriage or no, she was already his. Her eyes found him whenever he entered a room, and her smile shone brighter at the mere mention of his name. When he was near, she inevitably drew close, like a moth to a flame.
When all was arranged and the Day arrived, even the weather cooperated. Sun warmed the glade and a light breeze stirred the pinwheels that lined the aisle as the town filled borrowed chairs and benches.
Nimeon stood as Kast’s best man, with Chrystosm and Othoe beside him. Simon, freshly back from the Fey Queen’s court, stood facing the couple, ready to perform the ceremony. Llwynally watched from the sidelines, though the Cauldron was no where to be seen. It was Kast’s sole demand, and one easily accomplished, though some said they heard it knocking about in Simon’s cottage, disgruntled at being left out.
Kast, himself, would have normally felt quite awkward being the center of attention, but when it came to Fleur, nothing but perfection would be good enough. In a way, Fleur had issued challenge to Kast to be even better, to be even more perfect, to be a man worthy of her. This was not a challenge that Kast would shirk from. This would be a challenge of a lifetime.
While Fleur, of course, looked radiant, Kast stood resplendent in his polished armor, a tunic of pure white, and a deep blue cloak. As always, his signature weapon, the Iron Quill was nearby, held by his squire-at-arms, Hollin.
The Grigs came first, their song in tune with Edgrin’s new instrument. Their wings shimmered clean and iridescent in the spring sun. The sprites were next, alighting in the trees. Each carried an ageless blossom from the First World to celebrate the Wedding of the Shining One. They adorned the trees, and the glade blossomed with Fey-ish beauty. The townsfolk bristled at first, but surely these fey were as different as night and day from the fungus tainted others. Their grumbles turned to murmurs of awe as the final fey contingent stepped from between two trees of indescribable beauty.
Striding on two good feet, Berryk, the Rabbit Baron, lead the progression, the wingless fairy princess perched radiantly upon his shoulder. Lords Posey and Pixette followed after, their natural exuberance curbed by the dignity of station and stature. Still, their tails twitched and fluffed behind them, remembering their eternal scuffle even as they dampened it in honor of the wedding. Later, they would let loose the reins —viciously cuffing each other in a spinning raucous fight, chasing each other through the assembly at high and dangerous speeds with much growling and upticked fur— but for this singular precious moment, they were the epitome of honor, grace and duty.
”All hail the Queen!” croaked the toad, with all the fey present echoing the sentiment.
With each step, the glade grew more magical, as if with her very presence, Queen Syntira wrapped the First World about the place, drawing it into her realm. Several people claim that just prior to her appearance, a giant, dragon-like butterfly blotted out the sky. Huge wings — 40 feet across and of colors so indescribable that rainbows would pale in comparison — spread wide, blessing the gathering with a soft, dry shower of pixie dust . As it flew away, day turned to night, the sky above a velvety blanket of indigo studded with diamonds. All eyes turned to the sky for a single eternal moment before being brought back to earth by a shimmering undeniable presence; The Queen of the Fey had come to call. She strode bare foot to the altar, flowers popping up in her wake.
”Thank you, Simon. What a grand beginning that was. But if none might mind," —and surely, no one was brave enough, or crazy enough, to do so—" I’d like to continue from here.” Her voice strummed at a place deep within the chests of all that could hear her, though it was clear she had voluntarily dimmed her presence, for all stared in wonder, but none were struck blind.
With Simon and Katarynne standing in witness, She began:
"Brightest blessings, gentle people of Falcon’s Hollow. Kast Phaer and Fleur DeLys have chosen you, those special and important to them, to witness and celebrate the beginning of their life together. Today, as we create this marriage, we also create a new bond and new sense of family - one that will undoubtedly include all who are present here today."
She wove a blessing with her words, surrounding the two of them in love, acceptance, the barest beginning of understanding. Some say t’was not just Kast and Fleur she wed that day, but the town and the Fey that had gathered in that enchanted glade.
sense you're joking, right?: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
If no one else points out a spot, Dandi searches for something appropriate, hopefully with sand, dust, or other debris nearby. Finding the most likely area, she begins spinning the very air itself into a web, eventually crafting a lightly sticky mound of faintly iridescent webbing 20 feet in diameter, with a door large enough for all but the biggest egos to enter.
meanwhile, back and Chez Shivér
Laughing, she flies up and up, only to fall down again, into her father's arms...she knows him, knows the shape of his chin and his large elven eyes the shade of summer, trusting his strong arms that never fail to catch her again. Up and up she flies, then down once more.
But this time there are no arms to catch her, nor laughing elven eyes, to beam with love. She is alone ...and so she falls... down and down and down. Into the gutters of the streets of Korvosa. Ahead the shadows gather, but behind her, a wave of ugly green sin towers ever closer, sweeping the streets.
"A cleaner Korvosa holds no room for you..." A voice, imperious and sweet calls from atop the impending tsunami. "Surely you see."
She runs, on chubby baby legs she runs into the distance. Faster and faster she goes, not watching her way, or the world, just trying to survive. She runs until she can't possible run anymore, and once again she is falling, down and down... into a web as large as the world. At its center, a laughing spider of yellow and blue beckons...."relax. I have you. How bad could it be?" and over and over again, she falls.
Dandi smiles at Nikolay, an odd shimmery look in her eyes, "Oh, but it's too late! I've cast this al...."her voice trails away as her body begins to shape. Iridescent wings take form behind her, and she begins to shrink and shimmer in a multiple of hues of blue and yellow.
Soon, she is no bigger than the spider beside her. There is some waving of antennae and flicking of wings for a moment before the spider spits a web at the dragon fly, catching her just as she soars upward. With a ferocious flutter of her wings, the dragonfly takes flight, towing the spider behind her.
...gasping, she scuttles left, into an ancient alley built right into bedrock. She squawks, loudly, drawing the attention of the silent insectoid shadows that mirror her step. *This Way! Come this way* Her vision shifts, fragments, a myriad prism of possible realities in place of the usual singular point of view*
The shadow takes the form of man, wearing one of Barael's mask. she smiles, realizing that her mouth is not her own. Hard, sharp and chitinous arms beckon; they are her own, at least for now.
"Come then, if you would be a Mantis. Let's dance like Mantis do,feed and breed and bleed like Mantis do, little man. If you would worship a god of Chitin and guile, you need go no further!"
Dandi bolts upright, suddenly whispering, "nothing good happens in Kaer Maga" as she stares blindly into space.
Suddenly she blinks, then smiles sleepily at Fondo. "Good morning. Where are we going?"
I'm not sure that's ever really an appropriate alias, unless it means something other than what I think it means. There's no reason to be snarky most of the time, but it is especially out of order when addressing someone that says, "I'm a complete newbie to this".
Basically, if you have a choice between being polite to someone or not, being polite is usually better, even if you think they won't realize that you weren't.
When I go to a convention next week and someone asks how they can get information, I want to be able to point to these boards, knowing that this community will treat them right while they settle in and learn things. Pointing them to the Guide is helpful. Doing it with some acronym or a rude comment isn't.
Lies and slander, Simon. I'm vicious. Just for that, you can lug around the kid while you try to save the world. That's much meaner than killing her off to free you up! ;)
Dorial and Nimeon, having gathered all the evidence they can without actually leaving their companions behind, return to the ruin to find a very relieved Simon with two living patients and two reluctant assistants debating just what to do now.
Yes! You should totally send me pictures! Never tease a convention addict. The results aren't pretty... ;)
Dandi stalks about the house, chittering and frowning as she "talks" to Wraith.
"All I'm saying is you could at least consider it. I thought you wanted to have children of your own some day. It would take the spinning duties off your shoulders quite so much and I..."
He sounds so...normal. So sane. She turns, then, facing him but her eyes not quite reaching his face, not daring to.
"...other night." She nods, swallowing hard. "Me too." But they didn't. His pale chest broadened again in her mind, greasy black fur spreading like mold across it. His body breaks and those horrible bulbous pulsing eyes stare back from inside her memory. Her own reflection wavers tiny and fragile in their depths, the only targets in a sea of rage. His...hers...He's ruined it! Ruined everything!
Her fingers curl tightly around the edge of the table, resisting the urge to throw herself at him, scratch those damned eyes out. Her hair, still in its braid, coils and flicks behind her. But she doesn't dare, doesn't call out the beast from its slumber. He could bite me...kill me in an instant...or worse...he could....
She shakes her head, flinging the images against themselves, letting them shatter into today...But he didn't...not then...won't now. See how sorry he is? How bad he feels? She gives a shake of her head and tries to smile. It is a miserable thing, weak, nothing, but she offers it up, the best she can do. A last ditch effort to hold on.
"N-no..it's ahh," ok....it's ok...it could be.... she wants it to be, wants so badly the nice normal family she'd been building in her mind, the one she's dreamed about. It's so close...if she just tries hard enough, it could be...
“Oh good, you couldn’t sleep either? misery loves company, hmmm? Still, she can’t help smiling a little to have him join her.
“I had the weirdest drea….” Dandi’s nose wrinkles at the stench as she turns towards him, finding a nearly naked man instead of the companionable friend she was hoping for.
“Ba-rrie?” Her throat goes dry as her mind refuses to believe… Just another nightmare, just like before… just another nightmare not real…not realnot…...
“OhgodsNO, please!” In her head, it’s a shriek, a loud Clarion for the others. But her body lets her down….again. Barely a breath, a wheeze, no more than that as her lungs try to hide in her throat.
It is nothing compared to the HIM. Ridden by his Curse, he falters, arches and breaks, arches and breaks reforming again and again in front of her eyes…. noNOnoNOnoNO!!!!! The word pulses like the rocketing pace of her heart but serve no purpose ricocheting alone in her head.
He stands, his back to her. She knows now is the time to move…walk…RUN…scurry…scream…Cry….but she is frozen, caught like a fly between abject terror and horrified fascination. His narrow shoulders are long gone, broad muscle and unnatural fur in it’s place. He heaves, his breathing a warning she can’t ignore and can’t bring herself to heed. She can smell her own fear now, and a small dark voice in her head laughs at her previous reaction to his scent. not so different afterall….
Like some crab with her hands awkwardly beneath her, she begins to crawl….quiet as a mouse, quiet as a mou… Toolate TOOLATE!! He turns…Pulsating eyes of red and black, wild and throbbing and staring daggers right at her.
Too late, but she finally begins to scream…..
Little by little, step by step, she makes her way to the neverending night at the center of the web.
He grows large, filling her view. His shadow swallows her path; strange things swim in depths of Him. She should be afraid, a wise woman would think twice. She soldiers on, one clinging thread at a time. Her past twists in upon itself, mocking her, the scenes playing out in surreal vibrant color, only to be sucked dry to a black and white nothing again and again.
In the corner, Fondo two-steps with a goat, his mouth growing horribly huge as he laughs while she stumbles over the strands.Vibrant red to maroon to gray, dead and gray and grasping the goat like a lifeline....gone.
Barael, working in the lab next to her, friendly smile as they talk potions and poisons...his hands, paws, curl to claws, knocking a vial from her hand, the equipment from the table. the scene covered in fur of gray and white and black...and gone....
Nickolay, stern and steady, a soldier in bearing if not in title, talking to his blade before it turns and talks back, his blood falling vibrant and red then seeping to black that takes her sight.
Briar, calm to the point of cold in the warrens side by side. Enraptured by the magic, no matter how small. The wall breaks and a thousand harlequin spiders pour through, swirl him up in the multitude of magical hues, then pull him under, into the depths of the river, washed out, gray to white to .....nothing.
"someone clean her up" Soothing cooling hands in the darkness, bright cleansing healing from beyond the veil. His voice comforts from the darkness...then chokes, coughs, hacks...and dies away.
The black abyss shudders, laughter rolling out in waves that shake her precarious balance. Web loops about her, tying her tight, cutting off her air. Her rainbows dance behind her eyes, rocking with the laughter, mocking from within, "did you think it would last?"
Strangled, she claws her way, closer, closer...
Large wings unfurl behind Him, more than twice His own considerable size. Wide spread, they block the night, shimmering with a silvery glow. Her light, his shadow, mingle and meld and become something else again."Who...who am I? and why?"
"Follow the web, feel the line, we will see you through in time..."
through the trembling haze...
"Follow the web, feel the line, it will see you through in time..."
"Charlie, your kit, please."
"Jalkara Kal! Father, I..." Failure overwhelms her and her feet stumble and falter upon the strands.
"Jel'enedra!"............"What can I do? What do you need? Do you need anything? Anything I can do?"..."Kuraf'te!"
The webs warp and waver, sending her sprawling. Faces loom up from the darkness, Elven, Varisian... Other. They mock, poisonous spittle flung in her face. "Get up, little one, get up!" He beckons, coaxes, that undeniable presence in its center and urges her to fight, to cling when she would otherwise fall down, or up, onto the spiral coil that awaits. So cling, she does.
"You can do it!"
The webs collect her, stabilize, set aright, but she must crawl onward, forward. Little by little, the faces fade, and she finds her feet again. And Jalkara Kal awaits.
"Someone clean her up..."
What a con! I was thrilled to see the Northern California PFS community come together for this incredible weekend. All those people mentioned above? They are every bit as great as the others have said. Maybe even more because we were so busy, no one could ever see everything going on at once, but no matter where you looked, there was someone somewhere going that extra step to make sure others were having fun and having a blast in the process.
We had brand spanking new GMs that jumped in feet first to run games. We had experienced players helping new ones get settled in to play. We had veterans sharing their minis and maps and pens and space; whatever it took to make sure everyone played.
I didn't see him mentioned so I want to give a special shout out to Richard Flynn, VL from Sacramento. Though not scheduled to be there, he came down to lend a hand and was right there in the thick of things with the rest of these amazing people.
We have Bookwyrm in March, Conquest Sac in April, and then the big one, Kubla Con on Memorial Day weekend; I can't wait to work and play with everyone again.
It's looking like I'm just gonna be around for the flea market this year, but will toss my opinion into the ring that this is a fun, very accessible convention. Highly recommended.
That's too bad, Howie. I was looking forward to getting to play with you again.
Mogre, I'll second (third? fourth?) what everyone else has said, Dundracon is amazing and whatever time you can be there, you should definitely give it a whirl. The PFS crew in this area is amazing, and nothing shows that more than the way they come together at a con.
oh and 18 days, folks! It's coming.
Jerett Schaufele wrote:
Thank you for your critique. Your thoughts coincide with Jerry's that it was too much whimsy for this competition.
I do want answer your question regarding the charm person effect:
It is a fey pig, created using the fey animal template from Land of the Linnorm Kings. Using this template, a 0-3HD animal has either faerie fire or charm person as a spell-like ability. In this instance, I went with charm person. The multiple colors were from the hypnotic pattern spell. As for the dancing, well who wouldn't stare at a dancing pig?
havoc xiii wrote:
Woohoo my item was actually seen. I was worried since I never saw it...and it wasn't culled....but still a failure Que Sera Sera.
havoc xiii, your item was NOT a failure. By submitting, you most likely battled and triumped over demons of self doubt, time thieves, and holiday madness. Just by submitting your item, you pushed it past the failure mark. Further, if it wasn't culled, that means you were in the TOP 75% of the entrants. That isn't failure; that is progress. Next year awaits.
Thanks Eric! Your dedication was never in doubt, but this is pretty spectacular.
I count 810 on this list. I've copy/pasted it to a googledoc document. If anyone knows of any that aren't on this list, I'd love to add them to see just how complete a list we can get.
Thanks Mike, it was inspiring:
too long email sent out to Bay Area Pathfinders Society, due to said inspiration:
So, what did everyone else think of Mike's blog post today?
It made me want to do more, reach out more, and get those conversations started with our local group of players on how best to move forward in growing PFS in our area.
I thought about that, and thought about old players, new players, and the players yet to be, and I realized that we don't get perfect players coming through the doors; we have to take what we get and turn them into great players. This is an important part of building our lodge (at least in my mind) and it’s one I need to remember and wanted to share.
Some of our more experienced players (including me) get so frustrated with the new ones. They have poor etiquette and don't always do what's right. They may not know the rules, or realize that getting your own CLW wand is like announcing to your companions that you care enough to take care of yourself, “you're one of us”.
I get it, I really do, but attrition is a very real threat to the lodge; we'll have three tables, talking about four and in a few weeks we're scraping together one again. The biggest resource isn't the scenario or the map packs or dice; it's the people that come in the door every week. And the best thing we can do for us and for them is train them to be the players we want to play with.
I am not saying that urging someone from the group is never an option, but diamonds don't spring from the ground cut and polished and set, and excellent players aren't born (or hatched) Someone, somewhere, trained them. And now it's our turn.
OK, so that's quite a bit from me, what did you get from Mike's post?
Speaking only for myself, I appreciate the restraint so that we can have nice things on the chronicle sheets and as boons. I think cool named magic items and prestige classes can be particularly awesome on chronicle sheets. I do like the idea (not sure if you're using it, since I wasn't at GC, but I like it none the less) of having boons earned during play that you can apply either to that character or to a new one.
"While recounting tales of your adventure at XXX, you inspire a trainee to focus on YYY. This boon may be applied to any new character created within the next 6 months. When that character has been created, fill in the number below and mark off this boon by date "today+6months". Or some such.
I agree that people like to know things, but sometimes it's just so cool to get something you never expected.
Josh Spies wrote:
Nobody else should have to help you do your job.
I'll have to disagree. It's not my job to keep you on your feet. That's your job. How you decide to do it is up to you. You don't have to know anything to pop a potion. It's more expensive that way, sure, but you can go that route. The wand is cheaper, and shows the people you're playing with that you're not there just to use up their resources, so they might be more likely to be generous with their actions and work your wand for you if need be. For instance, I play an oracle of stone that *can* work a wand of clw. But it's not why I made him, and not my first go to for fun.
That said, most people are nice people and will help others. They shouldn't be penalized for being nice by being expected to pay out over and over again for someone else's fun.
I like this. Sorry, no reskinning just sounds counter-creative.