The Best Cinnamon Rolls You’ve Ever Eaten

So today was our one year anniversary of playing together in Rise of the Runelords. We had a game yesterday where we celebrated by reviving Glenn and watching Kief get murdered and helping Osanna open the temple of Sarenrae in Magnimar. It was good times.

In actuality, I always make food for our games and I have always said I would post some of the recipes for the stuff I make, and I never have. So I thought today would be a good day to change that, and what better recipe to start off with than my cinnamon rolls? Especially since the batch I made yesterday was the most perfect of perfect cinnamon rolls, apparently.

cinnamonrolls Continue reading

Where Angels Fear To Tread, part 2 — Beyond The Rift

All I want to say about this piece is that I have a bit of recommended listening to go with it:  an Israeli trance band called Infected Mushroom.  Any of their albums are acceptable, but I would especially recommend either Classical Mushroom or Converting Vegetarians (disc 1), both of which can be found on YouTube.  For reference, this is mostly what I listened to while I wrote this piece…if that says anything.

You’re welcome, Derrick. Continue reading

Coffee. Osanna’s Journal Part 19.

Howdy folks.  I thought that I’d change it up a little bit for her this time around.  Usually her journal entries are on the serious side, and have quite a bit to do with her duty and her faith; the backbone of what she is.  For the sake of variety, I thought I’d add a more personal touch and remind everyone that she’s a person, too.  Hope it’s enjoyable.

-Derrick

 

Osanna enjoys a rare opportunity to converse with Ameiko over breakfast in the pre-dawn hours before traveling to the shrine of Sarenrae , and then heading to Abaddon to save Ko’s soul on yet another damned fool idealistic crusade.

“You’re not eating your food, Osanna.  You’ve declared war on it.  If you keep hacking at the ham you’ll saw right through the plate, and not even you get to carve your initials inside a heart on my bar.  What is it?”

She sets her silverware down politely, and chuckles while she wipes her face.

“I’m hungry!  Running about in all of this metal gives me quite the appetite.  And your food is clearly the standard by which I compare all other food.”

Ameiko smiles and cocks an eyebrow at her redheaded friend.

“Am I laying it on too thick?  I’m sorry.  I’ll work on it.  In reality, I’m trying to focus on too many things and it’s getting to me.  Do you know where we’re going today?”

“I heard Samael talking to that beautiful man at the corner table yesterday evening.  I heard enough.  If it were anyone other than the lot of you I’d say that you were all completely insane.  But yes, that’s enough to put anyone in a serious mood.”

“You don’t want that one, Ameiko.  Trust me.  Bad news doesn’t begin to describe him.  Anyway, our pending extra planar travel is only a small part of what’s on my mind.  We’ll go, we’ll conquer, and we’ll return.  Ko’s soul will be freed, we’ll resurrect him, and he’ll be sitting in his halfling-sized chair right over there once again.”

“Ok so…you’re telling me that potentially being torn apart by divs and daemons doesn’t bother you at all?  This sounds serious.”

“It doesn’t.  I’ve been dead.  I know what’s going to happen now.  No matter what happens to me, I know that She’s waiting for me on the other side and that I’ve lived a fulfilling life.”

“Ok ok.  Enough religion for the morning.  Spit it out.”

“I feel as though I’m going to Abaddon with Varisia’s worst seven-year-olds.  I feel like I should be wearing an apron and whacking them with a broom when I’m with them.  Don’t gawk at me, now.  Think about it.”

Osanna holds up one finger at a time as she describes her compatriots.

“Little boy number one is a destructive, power-hungry sadist that loves nothing more than pulling the legs and wings off of insects and bullying the other children.   Little boy number two is the good-hearted, yet socially-stunted chubby shut-in that wants to play with his books and not play with the others.  Little boy number three is the one that gets in to everything that mother tells him not to get in to, and ends up constantly getting himself and the other children hurt, burned, cut, or otherwise injured.  My wayward little girl is grouchy, and desires to make mud castles and play with the lizards and puppies outside instead of play with her siblings.  Then, of course, there’s the last little boy.  Precious though he is, he’s been the smallest one his entire life and has to stand up to the bigger ones over and over again to the point where he doesn’t know when not to….and gets himself killed because of it.”

“That’s…harsh.  I don’t think that I’ve ever hear you say anything like that.  Honest!…But harsh.”

“This is a good point in time to remind you that paladins aren’t required to be nice.  I just am, by nature.”

Osanna flashes her sunshine-like smile that makes Ameiko laugh.

“Oh.  And let me not forget the little boy from across the street.  He has a potty mouth, he’s very inappropriate, he lies, he’s ignorant, and he tracks mud across your carpet.  But you let him keep coming over, because the rest of the dysfunctional children play better together when he’s here and you can keep a better eye on him when he’s around.”

“Ah, you’re talking about the elven newcomer.  I’d say you’re spot on with that one.  I know a sleazy con when I see one.  We know our own.” 

It’s Ameiko’s turn to flash a charming smile.

“Touché, but you’re not sleazy.  He’s half drow, too.  Factor that into your calculations.”

“Are we judging based off of appearance, Osanna?”

“Hardly.  I told him as much.  I doubt that he believed me, though.  Why would he?  It must be my long dishonest streak….or because I turned him down.  I doubt that he’s used to that.”

Ameiko nearly chokes on the coffee that she’s drinking.

“Stop it.   Hmm.  The sun’s coming up.  I need to finish obliterating this breakfast so that I can get on about my business.  May I please have a cup of that coffee?  Preferably from the batch that doesn’t have your sinuses in it.”   

Into the Depths (Kief’s Journal)

So I’ve been promising a journal entry for a while now. This is a little late so I ended up just rolling what I was going to write last week into this week’s entry and making it one post.

Meet Kief. The party turd. For those of you who are new to the blog or who maybe haven’t heard through the grapevine, Glenn is dead and Kief is my new character. I hope you like him as much as I do.  Who knows if he’s here to stay?

As a little side note, since Kief doesn’t explicitly say it in his entry, he is in fact a half-drow, but was posing as a normal half-elf when he first met the rest of the party.

* * *

Kief sits at the bar of the Rusty Dragon early one morning, nursing a mug of ale and idly writing in a small, leather-bound book. Ameiko watches him with veiled amusement as she prepares her tavern for the day’s activities.

By the Sting, what a headache. It’s been a while since I’ve had quite that much to drink, and nothing even came of it, as far as I can tell. I remember one of the pitspawn coming into my room with me last night, but she was gone this morning when I woke up, and the door was locked.

Bother.

Sandpoint has decent ale and at least one pretty tavernkeep, I’ll give it that, but otherwise it seems like a wretched little hole – almost literally after what happened to the town garrison. How I ended up getting dragged down into that pit with the rest of this lot, I’m still trying to work out. Something about the town being built upon some ancient ruins, and people started disappearing after the garrison fell into a sinkhole, and then a kid went and wandered into the pit by himself, and of course the “heroes of Sandpoint” had to go investigate.

I didn’t sign up for that. Or any of this. Some heroes they turned out to be, anyway – they couldn’t even keep one lousy grippli alive. When I first met them, even I was convinced I was the most normal of the bunch for a moment. Two pitspawn – one calling herself a paladin of the Dawnflower, even! – two humans and a half-elf. You’d think the humans would be relatively normal, but no – one of them has a flower growing out of his eye, and the other can spontaneously grow fur and a tail like some kind of dog. As if that weren’t bad enough, the half-elf is apparently possessed not only by a spirit residing in a cursed sword that he carries, but also by the soul of some ancient wizard that he’s trying to revive, whose power he can’t really control. Oh, and he looks — and acts, based on how much he eats — like some kind of ravenous undead.

And they have the gall to question why I hid my true heritage from any of them.

Lena finally asked me to come here to find the frog after we heard about the so-called “heroes of Sandpoint” who saved the town from a group of marauding goblins. I knew she would, eventually – I’m surprised it took her this long, actually. It didn’t take her long to put two and two together once she heard that one of the “heroes” was a grippli swordsman. I’m sure she would have come herself, but, well…she’s not really in any condition to be traveling across Varisia right now.

Turns out her little hunch that something was wrong turned out to be right. I got here too late; the frog is dead, and his friends can’t even figure out how to raise him. Yeah, some heroes, all right. Something about his soul being bound somewhere in Hell or the Abyss or something. Although…the tavernkeep said it wasn’t Hell or the Abyss when I mentioned it to her this morning, which makes me even more worried. What were they up to last night? I had this bizarre dream that they were having some secret meeting with a figure cloaked in black. Was it a dream? They wouldn’t let me join them at their table last night. Some friends. I wonder if they treated Glenn like this – no wonder he got himself killed traveling with them.

Still, I promised Lena I’d help him if he was in trouble, and I’d say being trapped in one of the Lower Spheres qualifies as “trouble.” So I guess I’m sticking around for a while longer; I told her in the letter I sent the other day that I’d do what I could to help this lot bring him back. She’d want me to. She still loves him, despite everything that’s happened. The others mentioned he was cursed – well, hell, Lena and I knew that much, he saved her from whatever it was that chased them out of those ruins months ago, but I guess there’s more to it than just the physical transformation. The flower that the big human has growing out of his eye is supposed to be able to break curses; they said they went back into the ruins that Glenn and Lena were in to begin with to find it, so that they could break the curse on Glenn and the half-dead half-elf. Well, so far he hasn’t done either, as far as I can tell, but maybe something will actually come from the secret meeting they had last night.

Fallen — Chapters 11 & 12

So now we finally learn where the name Ko came from. Anyone who knows me should not be surprised. In fact, I can just see Derrick eyerolling/facpalming right now.

And now we also learn of the promise Glenn made to Helena…and then he goes and breaks it when he leaves at the end of the novella (that’s not really a spoiler since they’ve been separated for the entirety of the campaign.) And then he went and broke it even further by DYING and getting STUCK IN ABADDON.

Oh wait, that was sort of my fault, wasn’t it? Continue reading

Alive for Now. (Xander’s Journal pt. 18)

Well, still alive.  For a while at least.  Mostly because they need me, more than anything else.

Samael would rather just kill me, I can see it in him.  Osanna is getting to that point as well, Paladin of Redemption or not.  Sadly, I think most of them would.  The thing is, I can’t really blame them either.

I suppose it’s not without cause, I brought this on myself.  Or… rather, my body did while I was asleep.

Apparently, after I tried to kill Bill, they performed the surgery to implant Alaznist’s flower and were successful.  However, the Dullahan reappeared and killed Ko and Osanna.   Osanna has been brought back, but Ko seems to be trapped somewhere, his soul never made it to the Boneyard.    Whatever that thing is, somehow it took his soul to Abbadon instead.  Joy.

So, we need to go get him.  Or find another way to free him.   Especially since I like Ko, or Glenn, or whatever he wants to call himself now.  Besides, it’s my fault they died, yet again.  If I hadn’t gone crazy, Samael and I would have been there too, and it wouldn’t have been two unprepared people getting ridden down while their backs were turned.

And if it happens again, Osanna has already made it clear she’ll kill me herself.  So be it.

Fallen — Chapters 9 & 10

So uh. These chapters. Where do I start.

The Chelish Gardens. These are totally not canon as far as I am aware; as I stated in an earlier commentary, there were some things I made up to add to my version of Magnimar. This was one of them. So I know Cheliax is known for being all DEVILS and SLAVERY and PENTAGRAMS but not everything about Cheliax is dark and foreboding and evil. Varisia was partly conquered by Cheliax some couple hundred years before the start of the campaign, and then regained its independence, but there’s still some amount of Chelish influence, especially in the larger cities like Magnimar. I figured it would make sense for there to be something like a botanical garden where they kept plants and stuff native to Cheliax. Okay…there might be a devil statue or two, as well. But that was not intended to be the main focus. I do kind of wish I had gone into more detail as to what was in the garden itself. Continue reading

Whatever Kills You Makes You Stronger… (Xander’s Journal pt. 17)

This was supposed to be posted last week, while Xander was unconscious in the Citadel.  RL got in the way, so I’m breaking it up in 2 pieces to account for the last weeks game being separate entrys.  —————————————————————-

 

Xander’s body lies in a cell in the Fortress of the Nail, fading in and out of consciousness and stripped of everything but undergarments.  Samael and Osanna stand outside, looking in, Samael holding Xanders Black Blade. 

“We’ll leave him here while we get everything else taken care of, they’ll keep him unconscious and unable to do anything else.  Then we can tend to… this… situation.  Until then, we should keep the weapon away from him.”   They turn and walk away, as he fades back into darkness.   A few hours later, as they start out from the city, the blade flickers, and disappears. 

Strange dreams plague him, twisted snippets of battles against giants, ogres, sometimes fighting against them, other times it seems leading them.  The undead in the crypt again, attacking his companions, he steps forward, bends them to his will, then turns on his earlier comrades and attacks with the undead at his side.   A new battle, once again versus giants,   They smash through the giant and ogre forces, instinctively he knows they are looking for Karzoug, fighting into his fortress.  It feels great to be fighting alongside the others again, but then he realizes they are… different.  Darker.  An unholy aura surrounds Osanna, Samael seems to be nothing but a dark force within his twisted armor, Bill is a withered version of himself, his eyes glowing with fell magic, and Ko is bouncing everywhere, black tendrils writhing down his lolling tongue.  A… Deathknight, followed by a Graveknight, a Lich, and a small Mohrg?!?   They turn towards him, seeking his will to continue.  What is this? 

-The Future, a Future that can be, will be, if only you embrace it…-   Not his father’s voice this time, another, softer, with more gravel and greater power coiled within the words.  So seductive.  -Don’t you want this?  You can have it all, anything you wish.  Take what you will, when you will, none to gainsay your word.  Respect, Fear, Obedience to anything your desires demand.  No more Half-life, no more being caught between two worlds you will never be a part of either way, A world as You make it.  War when you desire, peace when you desire, the devil worshippers sent packing from these lands once and for all.  Isn’t that what you always wanted?-

No… I don’t want this, I never wanted this…   -You will learn to accept it, and embrace it in time, and you will find strength in it-

Xander struggles to sit up, wildly thrashing about.  His hand falls on the hilt of his sword, and he recoils from the seductive power radiating from the weapon.  Visions of the others, warped by necromancy into twisted caricatures of themselves, race through his mind.  Half remembered images of attacking them in the Alaznist complex, the thing bound into the sword, he can’t think of it as his father anymore, guiding his hand.

No… One hand reaches out to trace the arcane runes carved into his chest, calling on the magic to turn his body to mist, that he may escape the cell.  NO!

Summoning his last bit of willpower, he slams his own head against the bars of the door, blacking out before he can complete the casting.  His last conscious thought, “I hope Bill survived, and that he can break this before they have to kill me, or I kill them all. “

 

 

Fallen — Chapters 7 & 8

Welcome to the comedy chapter of Fallen, which fits in perfectly with the rest of this week’s blog posts (not.)  Actually the timing for this chapter is pretty amusing because Derrick and I just went out for drinks a couple of days ago and were commenting about how hilarious it would be if Osanna and Glenn got drunk together one day.

Rukka implying that Glenn is handsome is amusing. He’s not bad-looking, but he is average. Of course, the girls are primarily just picking on Helena.

I must have written these chapters toward the end of the novella; I can tell the writing style is closer to how I write now (limited third person POV) and I’m actually kind of pleased with how it has stood up over the last year.

Not really much to say here. Hopefully the writing speaks for itself. Enjoy! Continue reading